Honoring SOG’s Secret Warriors

Edward Ziobron

Edward Ziobron

On 25 November 1970, Edward Ziobron volunteered to join a Hatchet Force platoon into Laos. Their mission was to raid an NVA regimental base-area and suspected POW encampment. Having just returned from Laos with his own platoon, Ed felt compelled to join his good friends, Chet Zaborowski and Clyde Conkin, along with two other Americans and their 36 Yards.

Once on the ground, the raiders were immediately taken under fire by the NVA and Ziobron was hit by frag from a bursting RPG. Ignoring his wounds, Ed rallied the raiders and led an uphill assault and eventually pushed the enemy back.
The following morning, the NVA attacked again while the raiders were having several wounded extracted. During this fight, Ed bounded between positions while engaging the assaulting NVA with his CAR-15 and several LAW rockets he carried. When he wasn’t shooting, he was on the radio, directing air-strikes.

After the assault was broken and the wounded extracted, command of the force unquestionably became his as the officer-in-charge was among the wounded who were extracted. Ed’s first order? Seize the initiative once more for the chance to liberate any US POWs held inside the base-area. Once at the target, SGT Ziobron lead a recon element forward and found only a shred of cloth from a US aviator’s flight suit, leading him to suspect they’d just missed him.

The raiders set about destroying enemy supplies and weapons while SGT Ziobron organized their defenses against a massing enemy. Suddenly, Ed was hit by a burst of machinegun fire that nearly severed his foot, and SGT Conkin had a bullet crease his skull. Ed crawled to his friend and began to render aid until SGT Zaborowski, the platoon medic, could reach them.
Ziobron once again orchestrated the raiders’ defenses and called air-strikes on the swarming NVA. Ziobron then led the beleaguered platoon to a clearing where they could extract the following day.

While working to get the raiders across a river, another American NCO was swept away by the fast current. That night, Moonbeam dropped flares and bombed an area to the south which confused the NVA as to their location.

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