In this episode a story from Military.com titled: Vietnam War Captain Recalls Trick that Faked Out Enemy by Carole Glines is featured. It tells the story of how Captain Paul Bucha won the Congressional Medal of Honor and faked out the enemy one night in Vietnam. The incident occurred in March of 1968 while he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. His company was cleaning up enemy assets after the Tet Offensive.
The story attracted the writer’s attention because firstly because Bucha was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. The same division the writer served as a Cobra gunship pilot. The real kicker attraction is that Bucha’s action was reminiscent of how the great Civil War general Nathan Bedford Forrest operated. Forrest was one of the most remarkable people this country has ever produced. He came from extremely humble conditions on the Mississippi frontier and rose to become a highly successful and rich business man, politician and military commander.
The hallmark of Forrest’s military tactics was stealth, trickery and fakery. Since he raised and financed his own military forces he was very careful in there combat operations. Despite the fact he could be a ferocious fighter, he would much prefer to win battles with trickery.
This attribute was used by Captain Bucha that night in the field near Saigon when his company faced a battalion of North Vietnamese Army troops intent upon destroying his soldiers. He devised a system where each member of his unit was assigned a random number and when numbers were called out the soldier with the assigned number would start throwing hand grenades. This gave the impression to the enemy they were facing a much larger force. Rather than attacking the NVA unit decided to withdraw from the field without incurring any more than the 150 dead they had already suffered.
Captain Bucha and his unit survived with a loss of 10 KIA and he received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Richard M. Nixon.