All the content in this article comes from ProfessionalSoldiers.com, a forum from Green Berets for Green Berets. I had read it and listened to the recording many years before I come aboard at SOFREP and I wanted to share it as a tribute to the brave men of MACV-SOG as this piece of history showcases vividly what those men endured.
This is a recording of two Recon Teams (RT’s) who are in dire straits. Both RT’s are losing a battle whereby death is imminent. Those RT’s are: RT Colorado with Pat Mitchel being the 1-0, Lyn St. Laurent as the 1-1, and David “Lurch” Mixter as the 1-3. RT Colorado is an eight man team including the five indigenous troops. The other was RT Hawaii with Les Dover as the 1-0, Regis Gmitter the 1-1, and John Justice the 1-2 (I believe this to be the case with this recon team as far as who was what on the team through natural progression of skills learned in combat,) it may not be accurate though, reader and listener take note. Also, it is unknown to me how many indigenous troops made up RT Hawaii at that time.
RT Colorado is the team that is running for its life. RT Hawaii is holding their own. Both RT’s have called out a “Prairie Fire” in Laos near the Ho Chi Minh Trail and are approximately 10 miles apart as the crow flies. Colorado has just been hit by a North Vietnamese platoon of 40 men who desire no more than to wipe this team completely off the face of the Earth.
During this Prairie Fire, David Mixter is killed when he saves Mitchel’s life by shoving him to one side and exchanging fire with an NVA armed with an RPG. Mixter and the NVA exchange fire immediately. The NVA fires his RPG as Mixter fires his weapon. The RPG hits Mixter in the knee area and kills him instantly as the NVA drops dead by Mixter’s return Fire.
What exactly does a Prairie Fire mean? At least three things: 1) You are in contact with a much superior force than yours. 2) Either completely surrounded or will be. 3) Death is imminent.