Stars & Stripes


"Off Target Shell Does Dual Duty"

TAM KY, Vietnam (IO)--

A Btry., 2nd Bn., 9th Arty., chalked up one of the most unusual enemy kills in the Americal Div.'s area of operations recently when a smoke marker round killed an NVA soldier.

Operating north of Chu Lai, one platoon of C Co., 1st Bn. 35th Inf., on reconnaissance spotted several NVA in a clearing near their position.

Two of the enemy were dropped with M16 fire while other headed for cover. Platoon leader, Lt. Gary Nogle called the company's artillery forward observer Lt. Bert Landau, for assistance from A Btry.

From a nearby hill, Landau called for a marker round on one of his preplotted positions. The first round was slightly off target and Nogle radioed back the correction. Feeling that this would put an artillery round a little too close to the infantry patrol, Landau set up a compromise reading calling for a second marker.

As the round whistled overhead the GI's saw an NVA step out from behind some bushes to retrieve a fallen comrade hit by small arms fire.

By a strange quirk of fate, the smoke round burst considerably lower to the ground than usual and happened to be right over the stunned NVA who was killed by the metal fragments.  

Additional comments from Lt Bert Landau:
January, 2012

LT Nogle was one of the best. His older brother was killed in RVN a few years earlier and he didn't have to be there but he volunteered. A month and a half after that very unusual kill, Kerry stepped on a mine. He lived but was paralyzed in his lower body. I think he's still alive and living on the streets in Seattle but I have failed in my search for him.