Company A-44, 36th Signal Bn, 1st Signal Bde
and 269th Signal Company
Photo provided by Phil Boucher (1969-1970)
Bien Hoa Army Base, VietnamCo A44-269th Sig Co News/Discussion Forum
On the night of February 17th, 1970 five 105mm rockets slammed direct hits on several structures within the base camp area of a Top Secret U.S. Army communications unit. The Commanding Officer and Top Sergeant were not in the facility at the time. Two soldiers were killed and seventeen were wounded.
MACV initially attributed the rocketing to "VC radiomen infiltrating US Army artillery frequencies." When news-reporters questioned why the enemy did not target more important installations within range, such as MACV Hq or the Presidential Palace, MACV stated the VC responsible were captured and killed before those installations were hit.
Four hours after the first explosive salvos hit Company A44, another devastating strike erupted the compound. This time four soldiers were killed and thirteen were wounded. Within days after the strikes MACV abruptly changed Company A44's name to the 269th Signal Company. Journalists, such as CBS TV reporter Walter Cronkite, who visited the Co A44 on the morning after the strike and interviewed some of its personnel, including Phill Coleman (personal website), were later told that Co A44 had been "dis-established". Cronkite and others eventually learned the truth: MACV attempted to bury the episode.
Ten years after the friendly fire strike CBS TV produced a film titled, "Friendly Fire", starring Carol Burnett and Ned Beatty. This film provided immense insight into the night of 17/18 February 1970 that took the lives of many innocent Americans.
In 1980 a survivor of the attack on Company A44, Phill Coleman, completed a book on the incident. The complete text is available online. The book, "Cannon Fodder" was revised in 1987 for Paragon House Publisher. No changes have been made to the 1987 text. You are invited to research the Friendly Fire attack on Company A44, 36th Signal Bn,1st Signal Brigade...
We hope to soon have other accounts from other survivors soon.
This website established 11 November 1995