Fire Support Base Lambert
The Old Reliable
April 24, 1968
'Ambush Alley' near Duong Diem becomes 9th Division fire base
FIRE SUPPORT BASE JAEGER – "Ambush Alley" is no more. In its place stands a brand new 9th Division fire base – Fire Support Base Lambert.
Ambush Alley was the name given to a section of high ground near the village of Duong Diem on Route 4. The area was one of the worst of many places the Viet Cong launched violent terror campaigns aimed at cutting off the People's Road, Saigon's lifeline to the Mekong Delta.
To counter this threat the 9th Division initiated Operation PEOPLE'S ROAD to clear the route of Viet Cong harassment.
The task was not easy.
"Every time I sent my men into that area, they were soon engaged in heavy fighting," said Lieutenant Colonel Eric F. Antila, 41, of Santa Fe, N.M., commander of the 5th Mechanized Battalion, 60th Infantry. "Each time I flew over there my chopper would be machine-gunned."
After a series of vicious battles, however, the 5/60th infantrymen pushed the VC out of Ambush Alley and returned Duong Diem to government control.
Division engineers immediately began clearing the land and building the new fire base which now sits on the site of three major battles.
Named in honor of the first American soldier killed in support of Operation PEOPLE'S ROAD, Fire Support Base Lambert is a tribute to the men who were determined to take and hold Ambush Alley.
Now that the Viet Cong are gone, the men of the 5/60th have taken on another task – rebuilding the village of Duong Diem and bolstering the people's confidence in the Government of the Republic of Vietnam.
"Schools are being rebuilt and reopened that were closed when the village was under communists control," Anntila said. "Homes and farms are being reconstructed by the people with the help of the 5/60th.
"Ambush Alley also sits in the center of a major Viet Cong infiltration route, where men, food and munitions flow from the south toward Saigon. Now with our fire base directly in their path, they're going to lose that infiltration route."
"The Old Reliable
29 May, 1968
Newly arrived rifleman kills 3 VC in 1st fight
FIRE BASE LAMBERT – After two weeks in Vietnam, Private First Class David T. Griffin was batting 1,000.
While on patrol recently with the 9th division's 5th Mechanized Battalion, 60th Infantry, near this base 10 miles west of My Tho, he fired three bursts from his M-16 rifle and killed the first three Viet Cong he ever had seen.
"I was walking point through some heavy brush near a deserted village," said Griffin, 23, of Haytteville, Md. "I was being extra careful because we knew there was a lot of VC activity in the area.
"As I moved through some dense foliage, I was startled by a VC who jumped in front of me. I fired a quick burst and he fell into the canal."
Before taking a dozen steps, Griffin flushed two more enemy soldiers from their hiding place.
"I fired a burst at each one as the crashed through the underbrush," Griffin said.
The patrol advanced cautiously in pursuit of the fleeing VC, but the search barely got started when Griffin spotted the two enemy bodies on the trail.
The dead guerrillas were identified as demolition experts who had been sabotaging Highway 4.