Hill 200 or 250

I was the the officer in charge of Hill 250 from January 1969 until September 1970. 1st Recon was sent to the hill to provide security for the IOD and my men and I, in that order. We had thermite (sp?) grenades strapped to the IOD. Our job was to destroy it should we get over run. The IOD (Integrated Observation Device) was my responsibility. I remember the dozer being brought to level some high ground adjacent to our hill.

I also remember that we were sent a recoilless rifle, which was worthless because the back blast would have killed us. I seem to remember that we disarmed it and put it down by the LZ for bait.

Recon was sent out to get this tiger because it was killing villagers. ​You had to listen for them, you wouldn’t or couldn’t see them coming.

The hill was initially Hill 200, then they resurveyed and renumbered it. Or visa versa, can’t remember which.

Semper Fi,
Robert Beksel

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14 thoughts on “Hill 200 or 250”

  1. I was there, Sgt. Jensen, I remember the rats (swift scout) was my call sign back then. Bravo Company
    third platoon. 1st Recon. moved on to S-2 prior to being shipped home.

  2. my brother Hal Swan was C 1st recon. 69 -70 point man .
    i went to recon school ,but they would not let us be together, I went
    to 2/1 . salute

  3. I was on tower watch at AnHoa HQ 2/11 when a 175 tube blew up, they asked if I saw any lights in the Arizona Territory
    I gave FDC the azimuth & approximate distance to Hill 250, I was right on target
    Luckily the FDC did their job or else big friendly fire mistake
    Spring 1970,
    I told the guys on 250 that story on my many trips to the hill
    So many friendly fire accidents in Nam

  4. I was on Hill 200/250 several times in ’69 and ’70. I always thought it was 250 but I see it referred to as Hill 200 in many posts. I remember when the IOD was installed and what a blessing it was for controlling the Arizona Territory. Prior to its arrival we had 10×50 binoculars, a 20x ship’s binocular and a stabilized image binocular. We would watch the trails down in the Arizona, sight enemy movement, then located the coordinates on a map. We called in for a spotter round of Willy Pete, then adjusted. The spotter round sent the enemy to cover so, after adjusting, there wasn’t anybody left for the fire for effect. The IOD fixed that problem. I heard that in Jan. 1970 Hill 200/250 had more kills than the rest of the 1stMarDiv combined. Scuttlebutt – maybe? The downside of the IOD was that it brought a lot of brass to the Hill. As a result, we were supposed to be clean shaven with shined boots. That went over like a turd in a punchbowl. Even the rats shook their heads in disbelief.

  5. Someone help me out here, the guy front row right, is that an M-16A2 with banana clip?Did not think that the A2 version was in use during Vietnam. I’m probably wrong but, just asking since it is so easy to photo shop these days. Nick

    1. Nick, It looks like they all have gloves on. Did you ever wear gloves? Just saying I don’t remember ever wearing gloves. Murray 1371 ps. of coarse I am from Minnesota.

  6. I guess that I don’t look close enough, Nick, Bill 0311 and Murray are all correct, the picture doesn’t look right. Only gloves would be for a M-60 gunner. It’s been a long time but I seem to remember having 2 30 round magazines that I got after I arrived on hill 37 from someone heading home. I see a handset, but no cord or radio pack sticking up behind him or a tape antenna coming over his shoulder.

  7. I was NCOIC of the IOD team on Hill 250 under Lt Beksel. Previously served in the same billet on Hill 65 under Lt Janis(?). Lots of Brass did visit Hill 250 but mostly because they did not believe the incredible accuracy and range of the IOD. One exception was a visit by the newly assigned CO of 1st Recon, LtCol. William Leftwich. Most impressive Marine I think I ever met. Truly cared about the wellbeing of “his” Marines but also was very concerned about the IOD team. Recon units rotated about every two weeks. IOD team was “permanent personnel.” He specifically asked about “hot meals”. There was no such thing, c’s only. The next day a 46 arrived with pork chops, mashed potatoes, salad and ICE CREAM! It was like Christmas!
    LtCol Leftwich was KIA, November, 1970 along with an entire Recon Team and a CH46 crew.

  8. My first patrol was with a team that established Hill 200 as an OP back in 1967. It rained most nights, and I, being a green “newby,” was scared shitless until dawn each morning. It was interesting to watch the hill top develop over the next 12 months.

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