J.J. McCloud

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: January 10, 2005
Awarded: January 10, 2005
SHADOW SOLDIERS ~ CHAU PHU, 1968

On the road to Cambodia in the Province of Chau Doc
there set a place called Chau Phu, the Provincial Capital

It is night on 30 January 1968; it is the New Year
Chau Phu was home to Regional Forces who fought VC

It was also home to Det.B-42 and other troops unknown
SEALS were there as was Phoenix and Shadow Soldiers of SOG

On this dark night came the VC whose Mission was to kill
Kill and rape and torture those who lived in this place called Chau Phu

Two Battalions of Viet Cong made the assault and positions
were easily overrun, Regional Popular Forces are easy prey

American and other civilians were trapped and targets;
Easy prey for the hordes of VC, examples of them would the VC make

Staff Sergeant Dix heard of a nurse who was trapped and easy prey
The Sergeant, rounded up some Phoenix forces and brought the nurse out

To the Tactical Operations Center her safety she was given
Again and again Dix would assault the hordes of VC

In two days he and his team would kill or capture 59 of the VC horde
and he would rescue 14 civilians and capture unknown numbers of weapons

Throughout the city the fighting raged, small teams of soldiers
Small teams of soldiers routing the battalions of VC,

Phoenix was rising from the ashes of this city and revenge
Revenge was in its heart and mind, on the bodies of VC it would dine

SEALS were taking a horrible toll on the murdering VC foe
Small teams of men, hunting and killing the VC Foe

Vipers and Sidewinders and Hammers and Anvils throughout the city
Dying cries of VC resounded throughout the shattered buildings and street

VC bodies left in macabre positions of death, eyes wide open staring at death;
all killed in silent swift attacks, their blood spraying the walls and streets

VC snipers taking a deadly toll on the defending forces from buildings in the city
H/K Teams[1] fan out the city, looking for snipers on whom they have no pity

A flash of sunlight where it should not be, is it a barrel or broken glass I see
Freezing where I lay, I sight on the shattered window in place

First to move is the first to die, behind me on the street someone moves
and a suppressed flash I see, in the dim dark behind the flash is a glint

A glint of sunlight flashing on the sight of the hidden VC
slowly swinging the barrel to its place, movements slow and without haste

Again, that flash of light where it should not be, once more and it will not be.
Time stands still as for the flash I wait, there it is; fire now and for him it’s too late

A high velocity round through his sight smashes, his body smashed back
against the wall and then pitches forward and through the window she falls

Her body lies dead on the street. If she had been careful it might have been me
but she wasn’t and now she’s just some more carrion for the dogs and hogs to eat.

I wait to see if she was the only one, I signal my one-one
He eases forward an inch at a time, touches her outstretched hand

She’s dead and that’s that; move into the building and search for more Cong
Building secured and on to the next we go, scene is repeated again and again

For thirty six hours, the Gods of War played their macabre little game;
for thirty six hours they watched as this game was played out

VC were totally defeated, not a single one left alive.
Not what their plan was of that you can be sure

But they didn’t know of the Phoenix or of the Seals and Shadow Soldiers;
These made the difference of that there is no doubt; there were none their equal

None better of more willing to fight than those soldiers;
Those soldiers who lived and fought and died in the shadows of Viet Nam

Just one more small battle in a place called Viet Nam

Author’s Note: There was one (1) Medal of Honor and other medals too numerous to mention awarded to those who defended Chau Phu