Note: This is part two of a series. You can read part one here.

Sometime after midnight, Aug. 23, south of FOB 4 in Da Nang, sitting atop the highest of the five peaks that make up Marble Mountain, the nine men of ST Rattler were enjoying a quiet night. Assistant Team Leader Larry “Gambler” Trimble was monitoring the FM PRC-25 radio when a loud explosion sounded at the Marine outpost, located on a smaller hill in the mountain chain east of his location. That explosion occurred at the location where a few Marines were manning a 106mm recoilless rifle. Moments later, a second Marine position on the mountain—a listening post—was attacked.


Larry “Gambler” Trimble

Trimble dialed in the Marine FM frequencies for those positions. There was no response. “I tried to make contact with the Marines, but I heard nothing,” Trimble told SOFREP.


This is a shot of Marble Mountain with the camera pointing southwest from the S. China Sea beach on FOB 4, which was one area the NVA/VC sappers readily slipped into the base camp.

As the men of RT Rattler awoke, Trimble called FOB 4 to inform them of the explosions at the Marine locations that were on the other mountain peaks and that there was no response to the Marine Corps troops assigned to those areas. “About that time, all hell broke loose at the [FOB 4] compound,” he said.


Larry “Gambler” Trimble

Trimble moved to the north side of Marble Mountain, staring in complete disbelief at the explosive drama unfolding below him in the top-secret SOG base. Within a matter of minutes, Trimble began hearing explosions from satchel charges that the NVA/VC sappers were throwing into recon-team buildings made from plywood. As he observed those explosions, the indigenous mess hall exploded, and in short order the commo bunker was burning.