January 5, 1967
History and Museums Division, USMC
Sergeant Orest Bishko planned the patrol carefully. Along with other Force Reconnaissance units, his four-man team would go out on another scouting mission.
In July of 1966, I was reporting to Col. John Chaisson, the G-3 of III MAF. Col. Chaisson would send me, an infantry captain, to join different units at the company level and below. I would go on the patrol or op and later write about what happened from a tactical point of view. The descriptions of the firefights were later published by the G-3 of Headquarters Marine Corps, MajGen Murray, as a tactical manual distributed to The Basic School, etc. as lessons learned, called Small Unit Action, Vietnam, 1966 and published by Headquarters Marine Corps in Jan of 1967.
In mid-July of ‘66, Col. Chaisson sent for me and told me to go to Quang Tri and join 1st Force Recon. He said he was reading some interesting reports about what the recon patrols were doing deep during Operation Hastings, one of the first efforts by the NVA to send a division straight across the DMZ. LtGen Lewis Walt gave me a two-sentence type-written note to the CO of 1st Force saying he wanted me to join a patrol seeking to engage the NVA by indirect fires and after that I was to report back to III MAF. Major Dwaine Colby, the commanding officer, was understanding. He said his patrols were working on SOPs which held promise, but he would like me to stay several days and go out on some local patrols first. Then he would see about a deep patrol. We both smiled and I began my check-out period.