The Main Event
All this happened before the main event. On November 18 a Mike Force company from Dak To camp, on one of the half-dozen forays mounted by Capt. Jimmy L. Braddock’s Special Forces Detachment A-244, was working its way across the eastern slope of Hill 875 when it encountered the enemy. The North Vietnamese 174th Regiment were hunkered down in an elaborate system of trenches and bunkers. The Mike Force strikers pulled back, and the next day Gen. Schweiter sent the 2/503 up the hill. Maj. Jim Steverton’s battalion moved from where it had been exploring an abandoned enemy base camp—a huge complex which, if it mirrored the defenses on Hill 875, portended trouble for the Americans and South Vietnamese.