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Robert J. Modrzejewski

Robert J. Modrzejewski

Over a period of three days:
The second night of the battle was fought at close quarters against a North Vietnamese force that was now battalion-size. Modrzejewski was wounded by shrapnel, but he managed to run and crawl two hundred yards to retrieve ammunition and provide it to a vulnerable part of his force. He later called in artillery strikes, which came within a few yards of the Marine positions.

By the third day, his unit had sustained many casualties, was surrounded, and was running out of ammunition. The enemy, now grown to the size of a regiment, attacked just before noon amid the noise of bugles and whistles and the explosions of mortars and automatic weapons. Facing more than one thousand soldiers, Modrzejewski reorganized his men for close combat. He called in air strikes again, calibrating them to hit so close that some of his men had to jump into a stream to keep from being roasted alive by napalm. Then, sometime before dark, for reasons Modrzejewski never fully understood, the North Vietnamese force broke off its assault and withdrew into the mountains.