1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
Camp Enari, Pleiku, Pleiku Province 1969
The Naming of Camp Enari
As Colonel Jud Miller, commanding officer of the Second Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, completed preparations for leading his brigade from Fort Lewis, Washington to Vietnam, Major General Arthur Collins, Division Commander, called him to his headquarters to wish him luck and give him final instructions. Among other things, Colonel Miller was to establish the base camp which the division would occupy when they arrived later in the year.
"Jud, I want you to name the base camp after the first GI killed by hostile fire after you get to Vietnam. That would be a fitting tribute to a brave soldier", said General Collins in his parting instruction as Colonel Miller left on that day in July, 1966 to board the plane taking the advance party to the division's new home south of Pleiku, Vietnam.
On September 3, 1966, while operating on a search and destroy mission as a member of Charlie Company, First Battalion, 22nd Infantry regiment, PFC Albert Collins became the first Ivy Division soldier killed in action when he was cut down by heavy fire from a Vietcong unit.
Knowing that General Collins would not want it to be perceived that the base camp was named after him, Colonel Miller sent a back channel message to General Collins at Fort Lewis explaining his proposed alternative plan for naming the base camp. "Since the first enlisted man killed in action was named Collins, I recommend we name the base camp after the first officer killed in action." General Collins agreed with Colonel Miller's recommendation.
On November 5, 1966, while participating in Operation Paul Revere IV with Alpha Company, First battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, Lieutenant Richard Collins, graduate of the West Point class of 1965, became the first Ivy Division officer killed in Vietnam when he was shot by a dug in North Vietnamese force. By now, General Collins had arrived in Vietnam and discussed the dilemna with Colonel Miller. "We'll name the base camp after the first posthumous recipient of the Silver Star, regardless of his name or rank," was the agreed to plan.
Lieutenant Mark Enari had worked on the Second Brigade staff and was constantly prodding Colonel Miller to let him go to a line company to lead a rifle platoon. As a replacement was needed in the First Battalion, 12th Infantry regiment, Lieutenant Mark N. Enari earned the Silver Star while fighting the North Vietnamese regulars during Operation Paul Revere IV in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Lt. Enari died as a result of the wounds he received during that battle.
Early in 1967, the Fourth Infantry Division's base camp, sitting at the foot of Dragon Mountain in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, was named Camp Enari in honor of Lieutenant Mark Enari and retained that name as long as American forces were in Vietnam.
PFC Albert Collins' name is engraved on Panel 10E, line 66 on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
Lieutenant Richard G. Collins' name is engraved on Panel 12E, line 27.
The above story was told to Bob Babcock, B/1-22 1965-1967, by BG (Ret) Jud Miller at a mini-reunion at Fort Lewis, Washington in 1994. It has appeared in the "Ivy Leaves" and in the book "War Stories - Utah Beach to Pleiku."
1LT Mark Enari
First Lieutenant Mark Enari served as a platoon leader in Company A, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division.
The 4th Infantry Division had arrived in western II Corps in 1966. It was their mission to seek out North Vietnamese divisions that had infiltrated across the Cambodian border.
Enari routinely led his platoon on "search and destroy" missions, a term given to operations that would seek out heavily entrenched enemy units and assault their fortified positions.
On December 2, 1966, Enari led his platoon in an assault on one of these positions concealed in an area of dense trees. As the platoon advanced, heavy automatic weapons fire erupted from bunkers hidden at the base of the tree line. As the battle raged, Enari was continually subjected to intense enemy fire while commanding the operation.
In the heat of the fire fight, five soldiers were wounded and pinned down in an open area by machine gun fire. Realizing that his men would die without cover and medical attention, Mark Enari stormed the machine gun nest with a furious barrage of fire.
During his single-handed assault, the lieutenant was struck by both sniper and machine gun rounds but continued his attack in defense of the wounded.
The young officer pushed forward until succumbing to his wounds; he finally slumped to the ground. As a result of his action, the five men were saved. Lieutenant Enari was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for valor.
Camp Enari was officially named in his honor on General Orders of the 4th Infantry Division on 14 May 1967.
Mark Niggol Enari was born on 8 April 1942. His home of record was Pasadena, California.
His name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the east wall, Panel 13E, Line 4.
The above picture and story was taken from:
VIETNAM Military Lore 1959-1973.....Another Way To Remember
by Master Sergeant Ray A. Bows, U.S. Army, Retired
edited by Stephen Bows
Copyright 1988 by Bows & Sons Publishing.
Used by personal permission of the author
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