[Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of exclusive SOFREP stories of what led to the MACV-SOG Bright Light mission that haunts SOG Green Beret SSG James H. Shorten (Jones) to this day. It has taken him back to Cambodia twice and he hopes to return to Cambodia in 2018 to help DPAA officials locate and return two Air Force pilots he and his recon team tried to find in 1970.
Read part one here, part two here, part three here and part four here.]

As the second helicopter approached the team’s location, with ladders hanging from each side of it, the chopper door gunners leaned out with their M-60s firing relentlessly into the NVA troops, while the quartet of RT Delaware recon men blasted away toward the enemy emerging from nearby bushes – their numbers seemed to increase, despite killing so many of the charging, screaming NVA soldiers as they awaited the second chopper’s arrival to pull out the remainder of the team.

As the horrific firefight raged on, the men of RT Delaware heard a loud BANG! At first, RT Delaware One-Zero James H. Shorten (Jones) feared that an RPG had struck the helicopter. But, this time it wasn’t gunfire or rocket-propelled grenades that made the loud noise.