Spec. 4 Anthony J. Santana
On August 23, 1968, the Command & Control North (CCN) MACV-SOG field command compound FOB-4 at Da Nang was attacked by approximately 100 members of North Vietnam’s Special Operation Brigade. Called sappers, they were Hanoi’s most elite commandos.
They entered the CCN compound along its 300-yard wide beachfront beginning at 2:30 AM. Their bodies greased to squeeze through fences, they wore only loincloths or khaki shorts and carried AK-47’s, grenades, hand-thrown RPG’s, and woven baskets containing demolition charges.
By dawn, the skirmish had ended as the Americans retook their compound. There were nearly 40 of the enemy sappers killed. 16 Green Berets had died, the greatest loss of Army Special Forces’ lives in one incident. Another 48 were wounded. In addition, 16 indigenous Allied soldiers were killed.