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After Action Reports 6
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Headquarters, 1st Brigade 25th Infantry Division
APO San Francisco 96385
AVDCFB-C 27 OCTOBER 1969
SUBJECT: Combat After Action Interview
1. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Nui Ba Den protruding 968 meters above the surrounding rice paddies and hamlets has long been an enemy sanctuary. The Black Virgin mountain has served as home for VC commo liaison elements, a rest area for elements passing through, and a staging area for elements intent on attacking Tay Ninh from the north. While the top and the bottom belonged to the US forces, the middle, the steep slopes, caves and crevices, belonged to the enemy. For months elements of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division have been engaged in operations to deny the enemy free access to and from the mountain. Continuous offensive operations were conducted day and night around the base of the mountain by elements of the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor and the 4th Battalion 23rd Infantry (Mech.). Routes to and from the mountain were ambushed at night., artillery constantly rained down on numerous Intel targets detected by sensor devices, and psyops assured the enemy of his doom. As the body count mounted, and the routes became more perilous to negotiate, agent reports began to filter in that the enemy was starving to death on his mountain sanctuary. On 13 October it was learned that an enemy battalion identified as F33, an element known to have been located on the mountain in 1966, had returned in an effort to save the enemy from complete isolation. Armed with his knowledge, plans were formulated to eliminate this reinforcing element and to again make existence on Nui Ba Den a very tenuous one at best.
2. THE PLANNING STAGE: On 17 October, Colonel John E. Tyler, commanding Officer of the 1st Brigade, offered a proposed plan to the Province Chief for his consideration. thereafter, Colonel Tyler with the Province Chief's assurance of support from the sector forces turned over the concept to his staff. On 18 October the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry was issued the warning order and at 1000 hours 20 October a briefing was presented to the participants by Major George F. Mohrmann, S-3 of the 1st brigade on the overall plan for operation "Cliff Dweller".
3. CONCEPT OF OPERATION: Elements of the 1st Brigade under the command of the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry conducted reconnaissanced operations on Nui Ba Den during the period 21-23 October to locate and destroy enemy forces located thereon. The 3rd Battalion 22nd Infantry would be augmented with A. co., 2nd battalion, 34th Armor, reinforced with one platoon, C Co., 4th Battalion 23rd Infantry (Mech.); B Co., 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mech); 2 PRU teams, and RF Co. from Tay Ninh sector forces. These elements constituting Task Force Jones, would establish blocking positions on Nui Cao, on the southern slopes in the vicinity of the Pagoda, at the base below the Pagoda, and in the east along TL243. Other elements would be lifted to the top of the mountain, and would conduct a detailed reconnaissance down the eastern slopes. Artillery for support to be provided by elements of the 7th battalion 11th Artillery (DS) and 7th Battalion 9th Artillery located at FSB Buell, Rawlins, St. Barbara, and in addition C Battery, 3rd Battalion 13th Artillery would move from Tay Ninh Base Camp to provide direct support for the forces moving down the eastern slope. Equipped with this information LTC Jones, Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion 22nd Infantry and Major Carmen Cavessa, S-3, set out to develop detailed plans and effect final coordination. By 1800 hours all details had been worked out, commanders briefed and the operation set to commence on schedule the following morning.
4. EXECUTION: At first light on the morning of 21 October the mountain was clear as elements of the A 2-34 and B 4-23, moved toward their designated locations. By 0910 one platoon A 2-34 with one platoon C 4-23 had secured an LZ at XT 287560 at the base of the mountain in the south. Five minutes later B 4-23 and
C 3-13 were in position vicinity of old FSB Bragg to support the operation on the southern and eastern slopes. At 1010 B co. 3-22 completed its combat assault to XT 287560 and began their ascent to their blocking position. At 1047 one platoon B Co. 3-22 completed their combat assault on top of Nui Cao inserting one ship at a time after the LZ had been prepped by no less than 7 artillery batteries and three airstrikes. By 1100 A. Co. 2-34 Armor was in it's blocking position at XT 301593. Thus by noon on the first day, 1st Brigade forces were all in position awaiting the movement of the elements to the top of the mountain and their subsequent descent in search of the F33 Battalion.
At 1520 hours C. Company 3rd Bn, 22nd Infantry and two PRU teams completed their lift by CH-47 to the top of Nui Ba Den and began their recon mission. This move was followed by the lift of the Reconnaissance platoon and one platoon of A company 3rd Bn, 22nd Infantry to serve as the RRF atop the mountain.
The night of 21 October proved to be the most eventful of the entire operation. D company, laagered in the vicinity of the Pagoda, had an ambush patrol at XT 281572, C Company, laagered at XT285585, and the e platoon of B Company at XT 271605. B Co. 4th Bn 23rd Inf. (Mech.) had ambush patrols at XT 355592, XT 329588 and XT 344567. At 2030 hours A Company, 2nd Bn 34th Armor observed 8 VC moving NW at 500 meters, these were engaged with artillery; at 2045 15 more VC were spotted through a starlight scope and were engaged with organic weapons, artillery, nighthawk (Little Bear 196), and LFT (Centaur 52). The initial report of results included 5 VC KIA, 4 AK47 rifles and 2 RPG launchers. The 160 RF Company on a sweep of the contact area reported an additional 10 VC KIA. One RF soldier was slightly wounded by small arms fire during the conduct of the sweep. At 2215 D company reported engaging 1 VC with organic weapons resulting in 1 VC KIA. During the period 0026 to 0305 A Company 2nd Bn, 34th Armor was supported by Shadow 62 and 64.
On the morning of 22 October friendly forces blessed once again with clear weather commenced to sweep the contact area. A Co. 2-34 wrap up of their contact included 20 VC KIA; 4 RPG-2 launchers, 1 RPG-7 launcher, 20 B-40 rounds, 8 B-41 rounds and 8 chicom hand grenades captured. D Company on their sweep located an additional 5 VC KIA. If the enemy was testing the mettle of 1st Brigade forces it had certainly been a costly lesson. By 0730 all forces commenced to move out in pursuit of the enemy.
B company of 4th Bn, 23rd Infantry in a sweep of the area to the east of the mountain had an APC detonate a mine at XT 302588 resulting in one KIA and 5 WIA. The vehicle was a combat loss. D Company in a recon of the area in the vicinity of the Pagoda at 0840 located 3 VC in a cave and engaged with organic weapons resulting in 3 VC KIA. Again at 1000 hours Centaur 46 VR Team in support of D Company located and engaged 4 VC resulting in 4 VC KBH. At 1030 Delta engaged 2 VC in a cave with small arms, M-79, and hand grenades with unknown results.
By the afternoon of the second day C company had negotiated the eastern slope down to PL Everest. At 1300 D Company located a cave with a plastic pipe leading into tit; and at 1525 Centaur 46 engaged 1 VC resulting in 1 VC KBH and 1 weapon destroyed. Delta company at 1620 hours located at XT 292568 began receiving small arms fire from 10-15 VC. Fire was returned with organic, LFT (Diamondhead 50) and FAC (Issue 15). Results of the contact were 1 US KIA who was evacuated from the Pagoda by Yellow Jacket 005, WO Derck; enemy losses were 7 KIA body count with 5 credited to Diamondhead 50 and 2 to Delta company.
The night of 22 October was relatively uneventful. C company had the only sighting, a light 150 meters to their SW, which they engaged with unknown results.
The third day of the operation commenced at 0810 with C company departing their night laager, at 0945 D company located 3 NVA shirts, cooking utensils, and 1 Chicom grenade, a cave 15' X 20' with a bed, and at XT 289573 a cave 20' X 50' with table and chairs. At 1000 hours D Company at XT 289573 received fire from 2 VC located 200 meters to the northwest. The contact was supported by Issue 12, Centaur 41, and Blue Max Delta engaged 3 VC at XT 296579 with unknown results. D Company had 1 US WIA and on a sweep of the area had negative findings.
By 1040 hours Charlie Company had arrived at PL McKinley and was continuing it's move to the bottom.
At noon it was decided that D company and the blocking forces at the base of the mountain would remain in position over night while the other elements would be extracted. C Company at 1610 located 2 VC in a cave, and engaged with flame thrower resulting in 2 VC KIA. by 1855 C Company, the PRU, 1 platoon of B Company, the reconnaissance platoon, and 1 platoon of A Company had all been airlifted from the operational area.
During the night of 23 October heavy movement was detected by the elements remaining in the operational area. D Company at XT 292573 received 10 rounds of AK fire and A Company 2nd Bn, 34th Armor engaged a lighted trip flare. Night hawk aircraft (Little Bear 27) checked the area with negative findings.
D Company 3/22 and A Company 2nd Bn, 34th Armor swept the area at first light on the 24th with negative findings. At 1005 hours D Company was airlifted back to Tay Ninh Base Camp, and the blocking and security forces commenced movement back to their bases thus bringing to a close "Operation Cliff Dweller".
5. RECAPITUALATION: In summary, "Operation Cliff Dweller" resulted in 44 VC KIA: 4 AK-47, 4 RPG-2,
1 RPG-7, 20 B-40 rounds, 8 B-41 rounds, 9 CHICOM grenades captured in action; one weapon destroyed. Friendly casualties totaled 2 US KIA and 6 US WIA. The cliff dweller learned from 1st Brigade forces that his was a tenuous existence. No longer was the Black Virgin a sanctuary for the VC and a psychological obstacle in the path of allied success. The enemy was taught that the mountain was no longer exclusively his.
With enemy forces dealt a sever blow, denial operations commenced again on 25 October to cut off his routes to and from the mountain; persistent CS drops were made, the artillery returned to pound intell targets around the base and on the mountain; and psychological operations fore warned the enemy of his eventual fate.
If the Black Virgin is of such vital importance to the enemy, he is going to have to pay the price of dealing with the forces of 1st Brigade Lancers, in order to retain a foothold on his once impregnable fortress.
FOR THE COMMANDER
BRUCE L. BROWN
1. List of participating units.
2. Operations Map-"Cliff Dweller" Adjutant
3-25th Inf Div historian
LIST OF PARTICIPATING UNITS
1. 3rd Battalion 22nd Infantry
a. Company C
b. Company D
c. Reconnaissance Platoon
2. A Company, 2nd battalion, 34th Armor - 1st Platoon, C Company, 4th Battalion (M), 23rd Infantry.
3. B Company, 4th Battalion (M), 23rd Infantry
4. C Battery, 3rd Battalion, 13th Artillery (155)
5. Province Reconnaissance Company
6. 160th Regional Force Company
7. Centaur - D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
8. Little Bear - 25th Aviation Battalion
9. Issue - 25th Division Forward air Controllers
10. Yellow Jacket - 1st Brigade Aviation Detachment
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Headquarters, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
APO San Francisco 96225
Commanding General 18 July 70
25th Infantry Division
Attn: Division Historian
SUBJECT: Combat After Action Report, BOLD LANCER I (6 May - 14 May 70)
1. (U) Operation BOLD LANCER I (Thoan Thang IV)
2. (U) Dates of Operation - 041200 May 70 to 141925 May 70
3. (C) Location - Base Area 354 (XT1090, XT1060, WT 8080, WT8060)
4. (U) Command Control Headquarters - 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
5. (U) Reporting Officer - Paul J. Mueller Jr, Col Inf Commanding
6.(C ) Task Organization:
2/14 Inf (05 May - 14 May 70) 7/11 Arty (PS) (04 May - 14 May 70)
3/22 Inf (04 May - 14 May 70) A 2/32(-) (GS) (06 May - 14 May 70)
1/5 Inf (M) (04 May - 14 May 70) B 3/13 (R) (05 May - 14 May 70)
2/22 Inf (M) (-) (04 May - 08 May 70) C 3/13 (R) (10 May - 14 May 70)
B 2/22 Inf (M) (04 May - 13 May 70) D 3/13 (R) (08 May - 12 May 70)
D Troop 3/ 4 Cav SQDN (04 May - 08 May 70)
3/17 Air Cav SQDN (06 May - 14 May 70)
1F 75th Inf (Rangers) (04 May - 14 May 70)
A 65th Eng. (BS) (04 May - 14 May 70)
Prov. Co. (Nui Ba Den) (04 May - 14 May 70)
46th Inf Plt Scout Dog (04 May - 14 May 70)
1 Plt. 25th MP Co. (04 May - 14 May 70)
7. (C ) Supporting Forces:
(1) 7/11 Artillery (DS) HQ (041200 - 141925 May 70)
A Btry - (04 May - 14 May 70)
B Btry - (04 May - 14 May 70)
C Btry - (04 May - 14 May 70)
Support by the 7/11 Arty was continuous and extremely timely. The planning and coordination of these fires were also extremely effective.
B 3/13 (155) (Reinf)
C 3/13 (155) Reinf)
D 3/13 (8”) (Reinf)
The indirect fire support provided by the 2/32 was highly effective during the Cambodian operation.
a.US Army Aircraft:
(1) 1st Brigade Aviation Section: This is a section of 5 light observation helicopters. Support provided included both administrative and tactical missions. The close cooperation between brigade and the aviation section was contributed to overcoming many of the control problems inherent with operating in a large area of operations. Troop lift support was provided by the 187 AHC (6-8, 10, 11, 13, 14 May) and 116 AHC (6, 9, 12, 14 May) with both troop transport and armed helicopter escort.
(2) B Troop 2/ 4 Cav and 3/17 Air Cav also provided helicopter, gunship and aerial recon support in the brigade area of operations. This support enabled the brigade to have an immediate strike capability in contact areas, the assets to VR new areas for enemy troop movements and enemy staging and supply areas.
(1) US Air Force - Tactical air support was provided by the USAF Forward Air Controllers
And Fighter aircraft. This support provided the air strikes necessary for destroying enemy bunker, storage complexes, and troop concentrations.
a. Engineer Support - Special use was made of Company E 65th Engineers for installation of a pontoon bridge for the movement of mechanized troops over the Rach Cai Bach River (Rach Beng Co) into Cambodia. Their support was effective, however emplacement of the bridge was delayed due to difficulty of establishing a bridge approach on the west bank of the river.
b. Signal Communications support for this operation was supplied by the organic commo. platoon and elements from the 125th Signal battalion. Brigade commo provided the radio communications. Due to the distance involved during the first part of the operation, the communications was at times difficult. The installation was quick and effective. VHF communications was provided by 125th Signal. This means pf communications was delayed in becoming operational due to the difficulty encountered with equipment seviceability. However, once communication was established, it was very reliable with prompt action and efficient ;operation.
8. (C ) INTELLIGENCE: The general status and disposition of enemy forces in the vicinity of Base Area 352* prior to operation BOLD LANCER I was believed to have been as follows:
UNIT LOCATION STRENGTH INFO.SOURCE
95C Regiment Western War Zone C 570 PW/Contacts
HQ/9th VC/NVA DIV Base Area 354 (Cambodia) 845 PW/Rallier
Z31 Vic Xom Giua
Base Area 354 (Cambodia) UNK PW
272 VC/NVA Regt NW of Thien Ngon 900 PW/Contacts
Note that Base Area 354 covers an area in W.War Zone C (Viet Nam) and
Cambodia W. of Dogshead.
a. The principal targets of the operation commencing on 6 May were the suspected base area, training and logistical facilities and headquarters units of the 9th VC/NVA Division located in the northern portion of Base Area 706 and Base Area 354 in Cambodia. A secondary, but important consideration was the presence of the 95C Regiment in Western War Zone C and Base Area 354. This unit had been in an offensive posture since late March, and had conducted numerous attacks against the 1st Cav. Division (AM) Fire Support Bases in the area. In addition it was thought that the targeted area in Cambodia contained various support units and replacement organizations. PW's captured in previous operations in War Zone C had indicated the existence of a unit known as Z-31 which supplied replacements to main force units in the area.
b. When combat operations were initiated in Base Area 354, enemy contact was significantly less than anticipated. Initially groups of as many as 30-40 NVA were engaged with gunships, but ground contact was limited to scattered exchanges of fire with small groups. There appeared to be no organized resistance and no significant enemy formations were encountered until 9 May when elements of 1/5 Inf (M) engaged a tenacious enemy force. On 12 May C 1/5 Inf (M) NCP was attacked by an estimated two company force. Although no positive identification was made, the attack was believed to have been conducted by the 95C Regiment. With the exception of this contact, the enemy encountered in the operation were not in an offensive posture, and generally were not organized to conduct coordinated defensive operations. Many of the large base areas discovered had evidently been recently evacuated, with civilians reporting that large numbers of personnel had moved to the west and southwest out of the operational area at the start of the operations.
c. The following units were identified as having operated in the area prior to the operation:
94 Engr Bn PW/Documents
C 20 Sig. Co 95C Regt. Documents
Z-31c Military Hospital Documents
94 Recovery Regt. Documents
C23 Hospital, 82 RSG Documents
Medical Dispensary, 82 RSG Documents
Z-31, 94 Recovery Regiment PW's
9 Bn, 94 Recovery Regiment Documents
Transportation Bn, 82 RSG Documents
3rd Bn, 95C Regiment Documents
K77 Hospital, RS Section COSVN PW's
Property and Training Sect. COSVN Documents
27 Bn, Engr, Office, Mil. Staff Dept. Documents
A total of 58 bunker and hootch complexes, 11 rice storage areas, 6 arms and munitions storage areas, 4 hospital complexes (1 with a capacity of 250 beds) and a complete workshop with arc-welders and machine tools (drill press, lathe) was found in the objective area. The road and trail networks found indicated motor vehicle traffic and numerous motorboats and sampans were captured along the Rach Cai Bach River. Two battalion size training areas were also discovered containing, in addition to living accommodations, bleacher areas and classrooms,, large mess halls and wooden mock-ups of tanks, jets and helicopters. Base Area 354 was in all probability a training, rest and staging area for the 9th VC/NVA Division and numerous supporting elements.
d. The Cambodian portion of Base Area 354 lies in an area roughly 17Km by 13Km and is bounded on the east by the Rach Cai Bach (Rach Beng Go) River and on the south by the Prek Kampong Spean River. Neither of these rivers is fordable. The Rach Cai Bach is approximately 50m wide and the Prek Kampong Spean is slightly larger at 50 -70m. Consequently there are no direct routes of approach into the area from SVN. The eastern half of the area is densely forested and provides few landing zones except in the extreme southern portion. Numerous roads and trails run throughout the area and provide good access to the entire base area. Cross country traffic is largely limited to tracked vehicles as roads and trails soon become very difficult for wheels to travel due to deterioration. To the west of base Area 354 the terrain is sparsely wooded woods, and provided good cross country trafficability. (p3)
It should be noted that the operation was conducted during the latter part of the dry season and only scattered showers fell during the period. As rains increased, trafficability throughout the area was considerably reduced. Weather had little effect on aircraft operations during Bold Lancer I. Good flying weather was predominant and on only one occasion did ground fog delay an airmobile operation until midmorning.
e. During the initial stages of Phase I cover and concealment in Area 354 was of two distinct types. Approximately one third of the area was open and flat providing no cover and very limited concealment. Most open areas were dry rice paddies affording limited concealment behind rice paddy dikes for the infantry, and no concealment for wheeled or track vehicles. The open area afforded free movement to mechanized vehicles and wheeled vehicles towing artillery pieces and few problems were encountered in these areas. The open areas offered unrestricted observation and field of fire. All open areas in Area 354 were usable for both mechanized and to a large extent to wheeled vehicles providing avenues of approach; in any required direction. The other two thirds of the area of operations were densely vegetated varying from double to triple canopy. Mechanized and wheeled vehicles were limited to dirt roads and wide trails. Ground troops were restricted by thick underbrush although there were numerous trails throughout the area. Limited cover was provided by the dense canopy and considerable concealment was provided by the thick undergrowth in the area. Observation and fields of fire were restricted at times to a few feet and at best a few meters in all densely vegetated areas. During the initial assault into Cambodia, two critical terrain features became evident in the successful accomplishment of the mission. The first was the bridge site across the Rach Cai Bach River at Lo Go (vic WT969752). The site was critical in that it provided access through the forest to the west by trails to the village of Tasuos. This bridgehead also provided access by road south to the Prek Kampong Spean River. The second critical terrain feature was the village of Tasuos directly west of the bridge site. The village controlled the junction of several roads, and airmobiling the 3/22 Inf. to secure he village enabled the rapid deployment of a mechanized infantry unit to the west and then south after reaching the village. The road south from the bridgehead and adjacent to the Rach Cai Bach River was utilized by another mechanized infantry battalion providing a suitable avenue of approach to the south.
f. The population in Base Area 354 was largely located west and south of the bridge site at Lo Go (subsequently FSB Minnie WT969752). One population center, Tasous (WT917747) was the focus of much of the initial tactical operations. Nowhere in the TAOI was the population in excess of -800 persons per village. Just to the south of the TAOI was the city of Kampong Trach (WT866615) which had a population in excess of 1000 people.
The attitude of the indigenous was initially one of fear, followed by warmth and cooperation. The 1/5 Inf (M), 2/14 Inf and the 2/22 Inf(M) enjoyed friendly relations with local villagers, though at Tasous the 3/22 Inf encountered ill will because of an artillery incident.
9. (C) MISSION: 1ST Bde, 25th Infantry Division relieved elements of 1st Cav Div(AM) in northwestern War Zone C on 4 May and attacked into Base Area 354 to locate and destroy enemy su0pply staging areas, equipment and personnel.
10. (C) CONCEPT OF OPERATION: 1st Bde, 25th Infantry Division conduct Operations Bold Lancer in three phases>
Phase I - Movement of elements of the brigade into northwestern War Zone C, relief of elements of 1st Cav Div (AM) and preparation for the attack (4 and 5 May).
Phase II - Attack and river crossing. ;On 6 May 1970 one Infantry Battalion was air assaulted into Cambodia. One company secured the western bank of the Rach Cai Bach River by air assault, while 2/22 Inf secured the eastern bank. Company E 665th Engineers constructed a float bridge for the passage of 1/5 Inf (M) and2/22 Inf (M) to their objectives in Cambodia.
Phase III - Detailed Search - The insertion of another infantry battalion by air on 8 May 1970 began the detailed searching of the base area. This continued through 14 May 1970 with all elements of the brigade.
11. (C) EXECUTION: (See Overlay) Operation Bold Lancer I was an offensive move into Cambodia on a search and destroy mission to limit the enemy's capability to resupply into S. Vietnam. The order for the operation was issued on 3 May 1970.
Comnmand and Conrol:
The brigade forward CP was moved to Thien Ngen (XT085817) on 6 May 1970. This was to augment the command and control originating from Tay Ninh Base Camp. On 10 May, the movement of the brigade headquarters was completed from TNBC and Thien Ngen to FSB Wood (WT047794).
Operation 6 May:
Movement of ground troops into Cambodia began on 6 May 1970 with the combat assault of three companies of the 3/22 Infantry to the vicinity of the village of Tasuos (WT917747), and one company securing the bridgehead on the western bank of the Rach Cai Bach River (WT968752). The 2/22 Inf (M) attacked to seize the bridgehead on the eastern bank, and Co. E, 65th Engr Bn initiated float bridge construction.
0334 and 0416 hrs. - two Commando Vaults were employed at the bridge site in Cambodia for the insertion of elements of the 3/22 Inf. These were 15,000 lb bombs.
0715 hrs:- C 3/22 Inf spotted 30 individuals moving away from their position at XT046815 at 150m. They were engaging with S/A, gunships and artillery with negative results.
0955 hrs: - C 3/22 received an unknown number of HE rounds, resulting in 2 US KIA and 8 US WIA. Fire was determined to be friendly artillery.
1025 hrs: - A&D Co 3/22 received small arms fire from the vicinity of Tasuos. Engaged with organic weapons and LFT's resulting in 2 US KIA and 3 WIA. Negative enemy losses.
Total enemy losses for the day were 46 NVA KIA or KBA: captured - 13 SKS rifles, 3xCC carbines, 1xUS M-1 carbine; destroyed - 27 bxs, 2x50m trenches, 7xCC HG's, 6 hootches, 1 tunnel uncovered, 1x51 cal position, 1 shack and 2xF/P. (p5)
Operations 7 May:
0605hrs: The engineers completed the bridge. At 0715 B 1/5 Inf(M) crossed the bridge. The rest of the 1/5 Inf(M) finished crossing the bridge 0800. At 0830, 2/22 Inf(M) started across the bridge. Movement across the bridge was completed at 1000 hrs.
0740 hrs: At grids WT920635 and WT938620 Vietnamese PBR's received heavy automatic weapons fire, RPG and 51cal fire. Fire was returned with organic weapons, A/S, LFT, FAC and Black Pony. Engagement was at a distance of 40m. Results were: 2US WIA, 1VN KIA, 10VN WIA. Enemy losses unknown.
1045 hrs: - B 3/17 Air Cav engaged 14 enemy with organic weapons at WT951461. Results, 14 enemy KBA. On a recon of the area, they located and destroyed 1x57RR.
1200 hrs:: B 7/`11 Arty (towed) crossed the river, followed by 1/5 Mech and were in firing position by 071730 May 70.
1300 hrs:: At WT 905670, A 1/5 Inf(M) engaged an unknown sized enemy force with organic weapons. Enemy force returned fire with S/A and A/W fire. Fire ceased at 1310. Results were: 1 US KIA, 1 US WIA; enemy losses were 11NVA KIA, 8 PW's and 6 weapons.
1525 hrs: A 2/22 Inf (M) engaged an unknown size enemy force vicinity WT9672. Engaged with organic weapons and LST with unknown results.
1745 hrs: A 2/22 Inf(M) received S/A and A/W fire from vicinity WT9465. Returned with organic weapons and LFT, 10 enemy in wood-line at 150m. Results 4 enemy were KBA
2050 hrs: - Recon 1/5 Inf(M) AP received 5RPG's and S/A fire. Contact broke at 2100 hrs with one platoon of B Co reacting. Results were: 1 US KIA, 1 US WIA, and 4 NVA KIA.
Support for ground troops was primarily through the use of aerial rocket artillery and
105 artillery supporting on the west side of the river. Enemy losses for the day were: 73 NVA KIA; captured 6 unknown type weapons, 2,25kb mines, 5xrifle grenades, 1xSKS: destroyed 65 hootches, 70m trench destroyed, 4 bxs, 1/57mm RR.
Operations 8 May:
The 8th of May saw the completion of the move into Cambodia with the insertion of the 2/14 Inf into the south of the brigade area of operations. This completed Phase II of the operation. Significant actions for the day were:
0528hrs: - B 1/5 Inf(M) at WT900673 NDP observed and engaged 10 enemy at 300m. Engaged with organic weapons with negative results.
0650 hrs: - VN PBR at WT9560 received 6 rds B-40 and heavy A/W and 51 cal fire from an unknown size enemy force. Returned with organic weapons, FAC, A/S and LFT. Fire ceased immediately. Results: No friendly casualties; enemy results unknown. 2/22 Inf (M) minus Co B relieved OPCON 1st Bde; placed OPCON 2nd bde.
The communication was excellent during the period discussed. Arty support was both DS and general support nature.
Total results of enemy losses were: 28 NVA KIA; captured 1SKS rifle, 55 gal Mogas, 55gal oil, 42 bicycles, 2 AK-47's, 26 hootches, 4 tunnel entrances uncovered, 12 motor scooters, US losses 13 WIA.
Operation 9 May: (p6)
All units were involved in detailed searches of their areas of operation. Enemy activity increased. Significant activities for the day were:
0102 hrs: VN PBR at WT962608 received B-40 and heavy A/W fire from an unknown size enemy force. Fire was returned with organic weapons, FAC, LFT and N/H. Distance of engagement was 50m. Fire ceased at 0112 hrs. There were no friendly casualties and negative enemy results.
1010 hrs: C 1/5 Inf(M) at WT890658 engaged 4-5 individuals with organic weapons at 200m. Recon at the contact located an area 400m long by 400m wide, containing a large base camp complex with mess-halls, bunkers, fighting position: They also located 1 RPG launcher, 1 transistor radio, 10 RPG rounds, 51lbs documents, 20x60 satchel charges, 1NVA protective mask and 100 AK rounds. Negative casualties.
1130 hrs: A 1/5 Inf(M) at WT835684 was in contact with an estimated platoon size NVA element. Enemy were engaged with organic weapons and LFT. The enemy reutned with S/A. amd A/W fire. Results were: 1US KIA, 14 US WIA and 9 NVA KIA.
1130 hrs: B 1/5 Inf (M) at XT835705 engaged an unknown size enemy force. Fire was returned with S/A, and A/W and RPG sporadically. US forces employed a LFT and A/S. Negative casualties or results.
1630 hrs: C 1/5 Inf(M) at WT840674 received A/W and RPG fire, returned with organic weapons. Support was requested from Artillery, LFT and A/S. Results were: 1US KIA, 14US WIA, unknown enemy results. Artillery support was provided by 7/11 Arty (DS). The artillery fire was accurate and timely.
1923 hrs: FSB Minnie at WT971750 received 25-30 rounds of 82mm Mortar fire from suspected locations of WT971747. Fire was returned by 7/11 Arty, Blue Max and FAC. Results were : 1 US KIA, and 18 US WIA, enemy losses were unknown.
2030 hrs: Recon 1/5 Inf(M) at WT903665, enroute to AP received S/A fire from an unknown sized enemy force. Fire was returned with organic weapons. Fire ceased at 2035. Results: 2 US WIA; enemy losses - 4 NVA KIA, 1011 lbs of documents, 10x60mm mortar rounds, 1 set LNVA web gear, 3xCC HG's, 151 lbs clothing, 51 lbs medical supplies, 3 can teens, 6 ponchos and 1 helmet.
0630 to 1800 hrs: Co B 2/22 Inf(M) found two large caches, one at WT959621 and the other at WT953688. The results of these finds will be reflected in the totals.
The communications for all actions in the Bde AO the 9th of May were good. Some of the minor problems encountered had been solved and commo. was operating in an effective manner. The artillery put down effective indirect fire both on contact areas and intell. targets. Total enemy losses for the day were: 29NVA KIA: captured 1xAK-47, 1xSKS, 30 tons of rice, 3 large boats, 1 large sampan with in-board motor: destroyed 3 hootches, 16 sampans, 100 bxs, 1x 200m trench line, 9 huts, cooking utensils, 3 hammocks, 1 homemade gun, 15 structures, 6 structures damaged, 75m of trench uncovered.
Operations 10 May:
The operations on 10 May were directed toward cache sites. The contacts during the day were limited to hit and run tactics with one to two individuals. The result of the days actions were: 8NVA KIA: captured - 18 SKS, 50 AK-47's, 1 RPD LMG, 80 K-54 pistols, 6x51 cal MG, 100 CC claymores, 1 CC LMG, 1 cc HMG, 1 M-2 carbine, 6 M-16's, 17 AK-50's, 1x7.62 AA/HG, 12x100lb bags of rice, 250 1`1/2 lb blocks of explosives, 1 entrenching tool, 1x25-30lb mine, 1 ½ tons rice, 88 CC Hg, 65x51 lb blocks explosive destroyed - 192 bx's, 6 F/P's, 124 hootches, 3 classrooms, 2 NVA flags, 1x51 cal position, 254 CC Hg's, 6x60mm mortar rounds, 9x8mm mortar rounds, 133 sleeping positions, 1 mess hall with 3CC stoves, 1500 NVA OD uniforms, 200 blue shirts and trousers, 200 brown shirts, 500 -1000 lbs miscellaneous items, 6 pigs, 4 chickens, 4 sewing machines, 150gal MoGas, 50gal Kerosine, 2x122 rockets, 7 rolls of 35mm film, 4x60mm rounds, 5RG's, 2 boxes blasting caps, 15x25lb mines, 6 cases CC HG's, 25lb of C-4. 901lbs of documents were captured.
Operations 11 May:
The operations were a continuation of Phase III of Bold Lancer I. Action was light. Significant actions during the day were:
1005 hrs: C 3/17 Air Cav observed enemy at WT768837 with packs, cooking utensils and ponchos. Engaged three individuals evading the area. Results: 3 NVA KBA.
1010 hrs: D 3/22 Inf at WT933744 located an old enemy base camp containing medical supplies, bicycles, C-4, several mess halls, VIP mess hall and 90 - 100 lbs of documents. The hootches were made of tin. One large classroom was located which was 50' X 200' with 22 large desks and a podium in front.
1040 hrs A 2/14 Inf at WT968740 located and destroyed 2 sampans, 1 with motor and 5 hootches.
1250 hrs: : C 2/14 Inf at WT948648 located a small workshop with 1 arc welder, assorted tools, 1000 lbs miscellaneous parts, 10-15 small generator motors, 1 SKS, 2 RPG launchers and 1 drill press.
Totals for the day were: 7 NVA KIA: captured - medical supplies, bicycles, 90-100 lbs documents, 1 arc welder, 10-15 small generator motors, 1 SKS, 2 RPG launchers, 1 drill press: destroyed - 2 sampans, several mess halls, 1 classroom, 25 tons of rice, US losses were 4 US WIA.
The day was completed with the receipt of the warning order for the 1st Brigade to depart the present AO NLT 141800 May to assume AO in Base Area 353.
Operations 12 May:
Operations on the 12 May were marked by the heaviest contact of the operation with C 1/5 Inf(M). The rest of the action during the day was limited to small contacts with 3 -4 individuals. Caches were generally smaller.
0530 hrs: C 1/5 Inf(M) at WT928682 received S/A, RPG, mortar fire and sniper fire from an unknown sized enemy force. Returned fire with organic weapons, LFT, NH, D&C ship, FAC A/S. A&B Co 1/5 Inf(M) reacted with A Co receiving fire at WT413687. Contact was broken at 0950. Results: 5 US KIA, 44 US WIA, 1 Kit Carson KIA, 6 APC's combat loss. Enemy losses: 13 NVA KIA.
1020 hrs: D 2/14 Inf located and destroyed, at WT931664, 10 hootches, 10'X20' in size.
11:30 hrs: C 3/17 Air Cav at WT8665998 engaged an unknown size enemy force with organic weapons. Results 15 NVA KBA. A/S put in by Issue FAC with an additional 6 XBA. Individuals were carrying SKS's. (p8)
1800 hrs: A 3/22 Inf at XT044840 located and destroyed 4 old F/P's, 30' commo wire, 1 VA protective mask, 1 first aid kit, 23 x82mm mortar rounds, also located 4NVA KB arty 2-3 weeks old.
Results of the day were: US losses - 5 US KIA, 47 US WIA, 1 Kit Carson KIA, 6 APC's Cmbt loss: Enemy losses - 51 NVA KIA, 10 hootches, 4 F/P;s 30' commo. wire, 1 protective mask, first aid kit, 23 c 82mm rounds.
Operations 13 May:
Action of the 13th of May picked up again to include numerous contacts with the enemy. Most of the contacts were with people evading the area. Significant actions during the day were:
0710 hrs: B 3/22 Inf at WT938735 observed and engaged 2 individuals with no return fire. Results were 1NVA KIA, 1 AK-47 and 1CC HG.
0830 hrs: B 3/22 Inf at WT940734 located a cache containing 17 cases of empty vials, 7 gunny sacks of empty plasma, bottles, 1 case of 9mm rounds. Samples of the items were evacuated to FSB Woo.
0945 hrs: C 3/17 Air Cav at WT795228 observed and engaged 3 individuals. Results 3 NVA KBA.
1015 hrs: A 2/14 Inf at WT964724 received S/A fire from USEF. Returned with organic weapons. Results 1 AK-47, 1 NVA uniform and 1 NVA KIA. Engaged at 100m
1045 hrs: D 2/14 Inf. at WT977640 located a bunker complex of bn size. Possibly a training area which would hold approximately 200 individuals.
1150 hrs: D 2/14 Inf at WT975631 engaged 10 individuals at 350m with weapons and resupply. There was no return fire with 1 NVA KIA.
1200 hrs: A 2/14 Inf at WT964725 located a hospital compound of 200-250 bed capacity. Engaged with an A/S resulting in 3 hootches and 36 bunkers destroyed.
1245 hrs: A 2/14 Inf at WT964724 received S/A fire from an USEF 150-200m south of their location. Fire was returned with organic weapons. Results: 1US KIA. Enemy losses unknown
1310 hrs:. D 2/14 Inf at WT973654 located 2 tons of rice, 1 complete 57mm RR and 1 rocket launcher tripod.
1530 hrs: B 2/14 Inf at WT956685 located 12 tons of rice, unknown number of rolls of cloth, 3lbs medical supplies, ammo reloading equipment for US ammo, several sewing machines.
1630 hrs: C 3/22 Inf at WT905766 observed and engaged 5 individuals 150m from their location. Results were: 1 US KIA, 1 US WIA, enemy losses unknown.
Throughout the day the communications system was maintained at a high level of operability. Aerial support by the 3 /4 Cav and 3/17 Air Cav proved invaluable in providing maximum air cover for contracts and also providing a means by which areas inaccessible to ground troops were covered.
Operations 14 May:
The 14th of May saw the withdrawal of the 1st Bde from Base Area 354. The last unit pulled out of the AO at 1925 on 14 May 1970. The move was to relieve the 1st Cav(M) in place for operations in the Fishhook area of Cambodia. (p9)
12. (C) RESULTS: In the 9 day period covered by Operation Bold Lancer I, operational results were:
Enemy Losses: 283 NVA KIA, 12 POW's, 7 Hoi Chanhs, 297 individual weapons, 34 crew served weapons, 1561 round + several tons HE ammo (destroyed) 9 cases 4847 S/A rounds, 222 tons rice, 355 lbs documents, 705 buildings, 1202 bunkers, 701lbs, 56 non-motorized sampans, 12 boats with inboard motors, 8 tons corn, 1 mimeograph machine, 2 boxes of ink, 3 sets of binoculars, 17 wire cutters, 15 picks, 500 pick and shovel heads, 60 garden hose heads, 17 cases glass vials, 17 gunny sacks of empty plasma bottles, 5 cases glass tubing, 1536 lbs explosive. 55 A/T mine, 2 x 10KW generators, 250 bed hospital complex, 30 rolls barbed wire, 100 saw blades, 10 small motors, 5 sewing machines, 2 boxes blasting caps, 100 pistol holsters, 1 drill press, 1 lathe, 2 x55 gal drums fuel oil, 3 arc welders, 30 satchel charges, 1070 lbs clothing, 10 shape charges, 17 sets web gear, 4 rucksacks, 10 detonators, 1 radio, 60 AK magazines, 100 MG barrels, 150 MG drums, 20 canteens, 1800 unknown forms.
13. (C) ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:
Class I, limited Class II & IV, Class V, Class VIII and Class IX were available in sufficient quantity at Tay Ninh Base Camp with back up support at Cu Chi Base Camp. The establishment of a Forward Support Element at Thien Ngon commenced on 4 May 1970. Class III products were furnished to the battalions promptly and in adequate amounts from the Forward Support Base. Class I other than C rations was not available except in Tay Ninh. The battalions sent resupply convoys back to Tay Ninh daily to obtain Class “A” rations, ice, and some Class V as well as some repair parts.
The forward Support Base of Thien Ngon was slow in establishing a Class I distribution point and obtaining ice for the units. Units requested ammunition through the DAO who arranged for the ammunition to be drawn from the ASP at Tay Ninh and hauled to Thien Ngon. This was normally delivered 1 to 2 days after the item was requested. Because of a high usage of ammunition during the initial phase of the operation, the battalion supplemented this by going directly to the ASP and picking up ammunition and delivering it the same day.
A contact team from D Co 725 Maint. Bn was established at the Forward Support Base. The first two or three days were oriented on getting the maintenance facilities established and repair parts were in short supply. However, this was quickly remedied and repair parts began to arrive in sufficient quantity.
C. TREATMENT OF CASUALTIES: EVACUATION AND HOSPITALIZATION:
A medical clearing station was established in the FSB for treatment of minor wounds and caring for illnesses not requiring hospitalization. Additionally a Dust-off station was established in the clearing station for calling for and controlling Medevac helicopter. Evacuation was prompt.
D. TRANSPORTATION: (p10)
The initial requirements for supplies and equipment at the Forward Support Base exceeded the whole transportation assets. The distance of the only land line of communication and the security required prohibited more than one convoy to and from the Forward Support Base a day. Additional support was provided by the US Air Force Aircraft to the Forward Support Base where on air strip capable of handling C123's was located. Transportation for resupply to the battalions who assaulted into Cambodia was generally accomplished by CH47 and UHI helicopter. This was accomplished in a superb manner. The responsiveness of the aviation to the battalions needs, enabled the units to continue combat operation with no delays. CH54 aircraft were used for the evacuation of the disabled combat vehicles.
Communications were taxed by movement and the distances moved. During the first portion of the operation, difficulty was experienced in commo with Tay Ninh,. As soon as a retrans unit was installed on Nui Ba Den, the rest of the communications improved to the degree that no major breaks occurred.
14. (C) SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
Company E 65th Engrs constructed a float bridge to span the Rach Cai Bach River for the rapid movement of the mechanized battalions into Cambodia. Two Commando Vault Air Strikes were employed in preparation of landing zones for the air assault of 3/22 Inf Bn into the bridgehead area in Cambodia. These were employed on 6 May 1970- at 0334hrs and 0416hrs.
15. (C ) PSYOPS ACTIVITIES:
a. Initially the emphasis for PSYOP / Civic Action planning during the operation Bold Lancer I, was on tactical PSYOP aerial broadcasts. Tapes targeted at the populace, however, were developed to inform non-combatants of Allied intentions, to allay fears and to urge them to remain in their homes and stay clear of the battle area. The objectives were three-fold.
(1)To minimize civilian casualties.
(2)To reduce the number of refugees.
(3) To create a favorable psychological climate in which to operate
a. A lack of civic action planning was realized midway in Operation Bold Lancer I when it became obvious that there were many more opportunities for Medcaps to be held than were anticipated. The emphasis on rapid movement of troops during the initial stages of the operation, caused the area of Medcaps to be de-emphasized in civic action planning.
b. Initial planning with respect to non-combatants was to prevent or minimize the refugee problem by advising the populace through aerial loudspeaker broadcasts to remain in their homes. The success of this plan was demonstrated by the fact that during Operation Bold Lancer I, only eight ethnic Cambodian refugees and seven ethnic Vietnamese refugees were evacuated. (p11)
a. Medcaps, after it became apparent that they were feasible, were used to further good relations between US troops and the civilian populace. A total of seven Medcaps treating 355 patients, were held during Operation Bold Lancer I. It is significant to note that the civilian populace in base area 354 was generally very healthy and therefore the number of patients treated was somewhat less than might be expected. Information gathered at Medcaps indicate that NVA medics had performed occasional Medcaps in the area prior to the beginning of the operation.
b. The attitudes of the indigenous personnel toward the US presence varied greatly. In the vicinity of Tasuos, the attitude was distinctly pro-Viet Cong and NVA in rapid response to property damage caused by the unit. While in the southern portion of the TAOI, the civilians invited US troops to supper after Medcap teams had visited their village. Only after three Medcaps did the attitude in Tasuos show signs of changing.
a.The Cambodian's first loyalty was to his family and village. Information was obtained by direct conversation with villagers, either during tactical operations or Medcaps. In almost every case, the Cambodians informed US troops that the NVA and the Viet Cong had departed days or even hours before the Americans had arrived.
b. It became apparent as the operation progressed, that Civic Action, i.e. Medcaps and Icaps, should be emphasized and that the shortage of interpreters decreased the effectiveness of tactical operations. In future operations, Civic Action should immediately compliment tactical operations and interpreters should ideally be assigned one to each maneuver company.
16. (C) COMMANDERS ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
In addition to the fact that operations were conducted in Cambodia, Operation Bold Lancer I was significantly different from other brigade operations in the past. For the first time, in a substantial period, the brigade operated as an entity employing its maneuver battalions in a closely integrated, mobile role with control and support elements operating in the field.
Mission accomplishments required the attack of a river line in a densely jungled area to permit bridging to be installed for the passage of mechanized forces. The time required to construct the bridge was sufficiently long to permit a concerted enemy counterattack, and hence the operation was of relatively high risk. As no counteraction materialized, the passage of mechanized forces into the objective area to link up with heliborne forces was accomplished without serious incidents.
The base area was dispersed over a large jungle area, which made detailed searching difficult and time consuming. Although a substantial quantity of supplies was captured and a large number of facilities were destroyed, the time and forces available permitted the neutralization of only a portion of the base area. More time to operate in the area would certainly have achieved additional results.
Initial operations included some problems because of difficulty in communication. Maintenance of the brigade main CP at Tay Ninh, necessary in order to maintain communications with the Division CP, was not the best solution, as communications with some battalions on the move was periodically lost, and the contact between the main and forward CPs was not always reliable. The problem was resolved when an area communication facility (VHG) was established at Thien Ngon, permitting the movement for ward of the main CP.
(1) Brigade command post exercises should be conducted periodically to assure optimum performance of staff sections under full field conditions.
(2) Communication planning for operations over extended distances should include early establishment of communication facilities at points where the brigade CP'' must be located in order properly to control their maneuver elements.
WT927739 Centaur 46 eng 30 NVA - 9 KIA
WT915747 Eng 1 NVA on bike - 1 KIA, 1 SKS CIA
WT917748 D-3/22 Contact - 5 NVA KIA
WT927742 Centaur 46 and B-3/22 Eng 3 NVA, 1 NVA KIA, 1 hootch dest.
WT980730 Centaur 46 Eng. 7 NVA, 1 NVA KIA
WT892741 Centaur 47 Eng. 3 NVA 2 NVA KIA, 2 SKS CIA
WT886754 Centaur 46 Eng. 5 NVA - 2 NVA KIA
WT927710 B-3/22 found 6 NVA killed by gunships
WT937732 A-2/22 Eng. 2 NVA - 1 KIA, 1 SKS CIA
WT910736 Falcon Eng 10 NVA - 1 NVA KIA
XT027781 D-3/22 dest 4 bunkers
XT032797 B-3/22 dest 4 US claymores hooked up to PRC-25 btry.
WT967746 Centaur 47 Eng and dest 12 bunkers W/AS
WT915747 A-3/22 found 10.6 tons of rice (to be evac) Dest 1 Honda, 10 bikes
WT915746 A-3/22 dest 14 bikes, 15# dec and 2 tons of rice to be evac.
WT954760 Centaur 46 Eng base camp of 80 bunkers and 30 hootches
WT923748 Centaur 46 Loc 160 x 100# bags of rice. (8 tons to be evac)
WT945755 Centaur 46 Eng 5 bunkers and 3 hootches
WT918749 D-3/22 found 25 tons of rice and 20# of docs - evac.
WT927742 B-3/22 dest 4 bunkers, 2 hootches, found 9 tons of bagged rice (evac)
WT937732 A-3/22 dest 2 bunkers
WT927710 B-3/22 found 2# of docs, and small amt of medical supplies.
WT930736 A-3/22 dest 30 bunkers and 30 hootches made of wood and straw.
WT967741 B-3/22 dest 11 sampans w/inbd mtrs, 2 samp. 5 mortars and 6 tons corn
WT967753 A-3/22 dest 10 bunkers
XT047812 C-3/22 dest 8 bunkers
XT034733 A-3/22 loc hospital complex (suspected)
XT047607 C-3/22 dest 19 bunkers and connecting tunnels
WT936766 A-3/22 dest 20# AT mine
WT965746 B-3/22 dest 60 well constructed hootches, 12-15 man size
WT963745 D-3/22 found and dest: 1 hvy 30 cal MG, 1 lt 30 cal MG, 1 M-2 Carb. 3 SKS, 1 B-40,
13 20# AT mines, 86 CC HG, 4 PRG rds, 10 pick axes, 10 large wire cutters,
3 binoculars, 6 RG, 65 5# exp blocks.
WT983767 D-3/28 Loc Inf Tng base. Dest 40 bunkers, 40 hootches, large mess hall, VIP mess hall,
10 tons rice evac.
WT907667 1/5 dest 60 rds AK ammo, 15 lbs clothing, Evac 10# docs and dist 6 tons rice and food stuff to
WT896662 1/5 dest base camp complex - 10 CC HG, 15 lbs of clothing and evac 60# of documents
WT883647 1/5 dest base camp complex - 2 CC HG and 1 gas mask
WT897677 1/5 dest 50 rds AK and evac 2 lbs doc
WT900675 1/5 dest 15 sets of web gear and 40 loaded AK mag. Evac 12 burb guns, 3 SKS, 5 AK,
1 K54, and 3 lbs doc, 1 US Jeep
WT904674 1/5 dest 10 RG, 4 RPG rds, 10 CC Shape charges, evac 1 RPG-7, 1 transceiver radio and
10 lbs doc.
WT891646 1/5 dest 10 rds 60mm mtr, 8 loads AK mags, 1 RPG rd, 5# C-4, and 15 lbs clothing and
Equip., 3 AK's, 1 SKS, and 5# doc evac.
Enclosure 3 to Combat Operations After Action Report (p14)
WT850670 1/5 dest 4 CC HG and 1 51cal psn
WT885651 1/5 dest bunker complex, dest 15# clothing and evac 2# docs.
WT867669 1/5 evac 7 CC claymores, 6 cases HG(150) and 12 cases of C4 (230#4)
WT835747 1/5 evac 2 road blocks
WT965738 1/5 loc base camp
WT945748 1/5 dest 10 bunkers
WT951748 1/5 contact 1 NVA KIA
WT933668 1/5 8 PW evac (replacements no sig intel).
WT897666 1/5 4 detainees (IC)
WT903674 1/5 Contact 11 NVA KIA
WT895665 1/5 Contact 4 NVA KIA
WT899668 1/5 Contact 2 NVA KIA
WT899677 1/5 Contact 2 NVA KIA
WT890658 1/5 Partially dest 200 bunkers
WT876627 1/5 Hoi Chanh - ARVN's to exploit
WT835675 1/5 Contact 17 NVA KIA
WT903664 1/5 Contact 4 NVA KIA
WT966762 2/22 loc ammo storage areas made of brush
WT968734 A/2-22 Eng. 2 NVA, Res: 1 NVA KIA
WT930745 Scts 2/22 loc base camp and dest 2 tons rice.
WT946656 A-2/22 Contact 4 Eni KIA
WT885660 C-2/22 APC hit mine - 2 US WIA, mod dam to APC
WT883655 2/22 APC hit mine. 2 US WIA
WT923687 C-2/22 contact s-a w/USEF. Res: 2 US WIA
WT953677 A-2/22 recd 2 rds 82mm mtr and RPG, 1 US WIA
WT900688 Scts 2/22 loc 2 NVA KIA
WT923661 A-2/22 APC det 70-80lb mine. 3 US WIA. APC CBL
WT961685 A-2/22 dest 2 25' sanoabs w/motors and 9 15; sampans, 25 bxs, 3 small huts, mess halls
and 3 day old cooked food.
WT953692 C-2/22 dest 2 bx, sleeping equip and cooking utensils
WT976655 Scts 2/22 dest 4 bamboo thatched hootches, RPG 7 rds, pots, pans and 3 fgt psns
WT050622 B 2/22 dest 35 bx (6x6' and 20x20') 6 fgt pans, 64 hootches, 3 classrooms (20'x50')
2 RPG launchers, 6 60mm rds, 9 81mm rds, 8 slpg pans, mess hall (20'x20') w 3 stoves
6 tons of bagged rice, 250 ¼ lb blocks of exp, and 2 SKS's in ex. Shape
WT952691 C-2/22 contact 4-5 eni, 2 NVA KIA
WT953688 C-2/22 dest 125 slpg psns, 1500 NVA uniforms, 400 shirts, 200 trousers, and 1000 lbs of
misc. clothes and utensils
WT923637 2/14 1-55 gal drum of oil, 1-55k gal drum of fuel, 3 sampans (1 w/eng) 1 ton of rice, 2 bikes
and 1 ox cart dest
WT912638 2/14 dest 2 B-40 rds, 2 CC claymores and 2 AK-47's
XT038787 2/14 dest 1 RPG rd w/booster and 2 CC HG
WT906646 2/14 dest 1 AK-47
WT917648 2/14 dest 80 crates of food, 2 10KW Gen and 100lb shape charge, 225 Frag. Grenades,
29 AK mags, 12 assault rifles, 9 SKS's, 66 AK-47's, 21 cases of exp (60 clocks / case),
80 K-54's, 1 122mm rkt, 100 holsters, 50 uniforms, 3 75mm RR, 3 cases of K-54 ammo.
1 case CC HG, 2 cases 9mm ammo, 4 cases 7x62 ammo, 100 saw blades, 500 shovel heads,
40 AT mines, 1 LMG, 6 51cals, 1 120mm mtr, 100 CC claymores, 5 RPG's 6 M16's
15 AK50's, and 3 tons of bagged rice evac. (p15)
WT911647 2/14 dest 2 122mm rkts.
WT982655 2/14 capt 1 K-54, dest 4 Hg, 12 CC Hg., 1 RPG 7 and 2 boxes blasting caps.
WT917660 2/14 dest, 50 lbs NVA clothing and 750 lbs of rice.
WT833658 2/14 recd Hoi Chanh (9th Div).
WT910653 2/14 dest 1 AK-50, 3 CC Hg. 3 AK mags, and 2 NVA KIA
WT897704 A 2.22 contact 1 APC dam. Neg res.
WT899685 3/17 loc Bx complex and poss ammo storage area
WT937769 C 2/22 loc cache w/100 7.62 MG barrels, 500 shovels and 100-150 MG drums
WT900650 B 2/14 contact eng 2 NVA Res: 2 NVA KIA, 1 AK-50, 30 CC Hg's, 3 AK mags CIA
WT924754 A 3/22 recd 2 HC, 2 SKS's and 2 CC Hg's
WT965715 187 AHC recd g/f w/4 hits and neg cas.
WT976645 2/22 loc Bx complex.
WT948727 2/22 loc hospital complex. 3/22 rea
WT969618 2/22 loc trenches
XT099762 Ron 2/14 dest 40lb bbt mine
WT800717 LOH recd s-a g/f w/neg hits
WT967831 3/17 obs eni assy area and 3 NVA
WT960687 B 1/5 det unk size mine bbt, 4 US WIA
WT963687 B 1/5 det unk size mine bbt. 2 US WIA
WT948647 C 2/14 loc work shop, 1 arc-light welder, asst tools, 1000 lbs of misc parts, 10-15 small gen
Motors, 1 drill press, 2 RPG launchers and1 SKS.
WT888890 C 3/17 contact 2 NVA KBA
WT933696 C 1/5 loc base area, hootches and 25 tons of rice
WT934743 D 3/22 loc BC, mess halls, lg classroom, med supplies, and 90-100lbs of doc.
WT960747 A 2/14 loc 2 sampans and 5 hootches.
WT932743 S2 3/22 loc 4 tons of rice. Evac to TNBC
XT043803 A 3/22 recd 3 rds 82mm mtr. No cas.
WT917665 B 2/14 contact 1 NVA KIA and 5lbs med. Supplies CIA
WT906663 B 2/14 contact 1 NVA KIA and 1 AK-47 CIA
WT966694 B 1/5 APC det 30 lb mine. Res: 3 US WIA. APC CBL
WT963693 B 1/5 APC det 30 lb mine. Res. 3 US WIA APC med dam.
WT908697 B 1/5 dest hootches
WT931690 C 1/5 dest 5-lb mine. Res: 3 US WIA. APC CBL
WT966692 B 1/5 dest 4 sampans
WT951690 B 1/5 dest 34 hootches, 22 Bxs and 1 RPG
WT925730 Scts 1/5 loc 1 ton of rice, 24 lbs of clothing, 4 lbs doc (evac), dest 9 hootches, 1 Bx,
1 kitchen. Contact 2 NVA KIA
WT933690 C 1/5 APC det 30lb mine. Res: 1 US WIA. APC CBL
WT928683 A.B.C. 1/5 contact 5 US KIA, 44 US WIA, 1 APC CBL. 1 Kit Carson Sct KIA
13 NVA KIA
WT905855 C 3/17 Eng 1 NVA - 1 NVA KIA
WT932663 D 2/14 dest 10 hootches
WT865998 C 3/17 Eng 15 NVA Res: 21 NVA KIA
WT895728 A 3/22 Contact 1 US WIA. Neg. enemy res.
WT918643 2/14 dest 7 120mm mortar rds and 72 cases CC explosives.
WT947765 D 3/22 det BBT - Res: 2 US WIA (p16)
WT964735 B 3/22 contact . Neg res.
WT915065 B 3/22 contact. 26 NVA KIA
WT976631 D 2/14 dest 100 lbs corn, 300 lbs rice, 4 bikes, and ½ lb doc.
XT044838 A 3/22 dest 4 fgt psns, 30' commo wire, 1 NVA gas mask, 1 first aid kit, 23 82mm mtr rds,
7 NVA bodies killed by arty
WT967637 C 2/14 capt 1 POW (reclass. HC)
WT939744 B 3/22 cont 1 NVA KIA, 1 AK-47, and 1 CC HG CIA
WT965724 A 2/14 cibt ebg 2 BVA - 1 KIA and 1 AK CIA
WT940734 B 3/22 fnd 19 cases of empty vials, 7 guny sacks of plasma, 50I boxes of pills, 5 cases of
Glass tubing, 1 mimeograph machine, 2 boxes of ink
WT908707 B 2/22 dest 30# mine- BBT - Act w/in 12 hrs.
WT975613 D 2/14 cont - 1 NVA KIA
WT965724 A 2/14 fnd hosp comp 200 - 250 beds
WT974659 D 2/14 fnd 2 tons corn, and 57mm RR.
WT925708 B 2/22 dest 30#CC mine - BBT
WT956643 B 2/14 fnd 1 NVA killed by s-a
WT957686 B 2/14 fnd 1.2 tons rice, many bolts of cloth, 3 lbs med equip, ammo reloading equip,
Several sewing machines
WT906764 C 3/22 contact - 1 US KIA and 1 US WIA
WT966630 B 2/14 contact - 1 NVA KIA
WT977647 C 3/17 rec'd s-a fire w/neg hits
WT965725 A 2/14 contact - 1 US WIA
WT977640 D 2/14 loc and partially dest bkr complex appeared to be Bn size trng area.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Office of The Adjutant General
Washington D.C. 20310
AGAM-P (M) (24 April 1967) 23 April 1967
SUBJECT: Lessons Learned, Operation Attleborro, 25th Inf Div (U)
TO: SEE DISTRIBUTION
Forwarded as inclosure is a combat After Action Report for operation Attleborro. Operation Attleborro was conducted by the 25th Infantry Division during the period 14 September - 25 November 1966. Information contained in this report is to provided to insure appropriate benefits in the future from lessons learned
during current operations, and may be adopted for use in developing Training Material.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:
1: Incl KENNETH G. WICKHAM
as Major General, USA
The Adjutant General
US Army Combat Development Command
US Army Command and General Staff College
US Army War College
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US Army Armor School
US Army Chemical Corps School
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(See Page 2 for Copies Furnished)
AAR - April 23, 1968
Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development
Research Analysis Corporation (Livrary [sic])
Office Secretary of Defense, South East Asia Forces (SA)
Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, ODD(SEAM), ODDR&E
DA HQ 25th Inf Div, APO SF 96225
COMBAT OPERATIONS AFTER ACTION REPORT
1. NAME AND TYPE OF OPERATION: Operation ATTLEBORO was a Search and Destroy operation. For the purposes of this report, this operation has been broken into four phases.
PHASE I: 14 Sep - 28 Oct, a series of BN operations by the 196th Inf Bde (LT)(SEP.
PHASE II: 29 Oct - 5 Nov, operations leading up to and including contact with the VC 9th Div.
PHASES III: 5 - 10 Nov, control of operations changed to 1st Inf Div and then II FFORCEV.
PHASES IV: 10 - 26 Nov, 25th Inf Div given mission to make a reconnaissance in force in sector.
2. DATES OF OPERATION: 14 September 1966 - 25 November 1966.
3. LOCATION: TAY NINH Province.
4. CONTROL OR COMMAND HEADQUARTERS:
14 Sep - 5 Nov 196th Inf Bde (LT)(SEP)
5 - 6 Nov 1st Inf Div
6 Nov - 25 Nov II FFORCEV
5. REPORTING OFFICER:
a. Major General Frederick C. Weyand, 14 Sep - 13 Oct, 25 Oct - 28 Oct.
b. Brigadier General George G. O'Connor, 19 - 25 Oct, 28 Oct - 25 Nov.
6. TEAM ORGANIZATION:
a. Phase I (14 Sep - 31 Oct)
196th Inf Bde (LT)(SEP), Brigadier General DeSaussure commanding:
2d Bn, 1st Inf
3d Bn, 21st Inf
4th Bn, 31st Inf
3d Bn, 82d Arty
B. Phase II (31 Oct - 5 Nov)
196th Inf Bde (Lt) (Sep)
2d Bn, 1st Inf
3d Bn, 21st Inf
4th Bn, 31st Inf
1st Bn, 27th Inf 1 Nov
2d Bn, 27th Inf 3 Nov
3d Bn, 82d Arty
A Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty reinforcing 1 Nov, attached 4 Nov.
C Btry, 3d Bn, 13th Arty CS, reinforcing 2 Nov
Plt, B Btry, 3d Bn, 13th Arty attached 3 Nov
c. Phase III (5-10 Nov 66)
196th Inf Bde Task Force attached to 1st Inf Div
2d Bn, 1st Inf
3d Bn, 21st Inf
4th Bn, 31st Inf 8-10 Nov attached to 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf
1st Bn, 27th Inf attached to 1st Inf Div 5-11 Nov
2d Bn, 27th Inf attached to TAY NINH Base Camp commander
1st Bn (M), 5th Inf attached to 1st Inf Div 6-10 Nov
d. Phase IV (10 Nov - 25 Nov)
2d Bde Task Force
1st Bn (M), 5th Inf 10 Nov
1st Bn, 27th Inf
2nd Bn, 27th Inf 11 Nov
2d Bn, 14th Inf
2d Bn (M), 22d Inf 13 Nov (from 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div)
1st Bn, 8th Arty DS
196th Inf Bde Task Force
2d Bn, 1st Inf
3d Bn, 21st Inf
4th Bn, 31st Inf
3d Bn, 82d Arty
7. SUPPORTING FORCES:
A. Air Support
(1) General: During Phase I & II air support was provided by fighter bombers. During Phase IV both fighter bomber and heavy bombers were used. A total of 1029 sorties were flown in the area of operations from 16 Sep - 25 Nov. Eighty-four immediate sorties were flown and 53 sorties were flown by VNAF.
(2) Eleven B52 strikes were flown in the AO during the period 11-23 Nov. They were as follows:
MISSION NO. DATE/TIME ????? AREA COVERED
25-10-1 10820 Nov 66 XT327843 - 340843
327813 - 340813
F 71 11710 Nov XT305780 - 320780
305753 - 320753
25-11-1 (F96) 130730 Nov XT140787 - 142758
158760 - 153790
25-12-1 (F98) 141100 Nov XT313922 - 325927
326896 - 338902
?????d by 1st Div 161000 Nov XT344780 - 320790
in 25th Div AO 333752 - 353767
25-15-1 (F107) 180700 Nov XT370810 - 320790
350810 - 3507?0
G2-3 190730 Nov XT368868 - 2778?0
392?51 - 40??61
???? 221?00 Nov XT1453?0 - 173377
25-18-1 162358 - 138370
?????n 23 210500 Nov XT223970 - 223980
??? 243970 - 2439?0
25-21-1 230500 Nov XT200820 - 200810
TF 43 230810 - 230820
(3) Results of the tactical airstrikes were :
4 VC KBA (BC)
115 VC KBA (poss)
88 buildings destroyed
17 buildings damaged
14 bunkers destroyed
8 bunkers damaged
2 sampans destroyed
12 secondary explosions
10 secondary fires
1 bridge destroyed
1 bridge damaged
* This includes the 196th Inf Bde from 16 Sep - 25 Nov and the 2d Bde, 25th Inf Div from 13 Nov - 25 Nov.
b. Artillery Support.
(1) During Phase I, the 196th Inf Bde was supported by the 3d Bn, 82d Arty with B Btry, 2d Bn, 13th Arty (-). B Btry, 2d Bn, 13th Arty was in DS from 20-29 Sep.
(2) During Phase II & III, 3d Bn, 82d Arty (+) continued in support of 196th Inf Bde. On 1 Nov, A Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty reinforced their fires.
(3) During Phase IV, 3d Bn, 82d Arty (+) supported the 196th Inf Bde. 1st Bn, 8th Arty with A Btry, 2d Bn, 13th Arty; A Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty; B Btry, 3d Bn, 13th Arty supported the 2d Brigade Task Force.
(4) Artillery fire was utilized to:
(a) Suppress sniper fire.
(b) Soften areas in front of advancing maneuver elements.
(c) Prepare landing zones and suppress enemy fires during the assault and extraction phases of an airmobile operation.
(d) Fire false preparations to mislead the enemy as to intended or possible landing zones.
(e) Harass and interdict.
(f) Assist patrols in navigating through dense terrain and during hours of darkness by firing high air burst WP rounds.
(g) Fire defensive concentrations for forward support bases.
(5) Total missions and round fired:
(a) Missions: Support - 2634; H&I 10,356.
(b) Ammunition expended: HE - 70,470, WP - 2085, ILL - 342.
(c) Results: 70 VC KIA (BC), 132 VC KIA (poss).
c. Aviation Support.
(a) 25th Avn Bn.
(b) 11th Avn Bn.
116th Avn Co (Lt)
147th Avn Co (Med)
178th Avn Co (Med)
(c) 13th Avn Bn
175th Avn Co (Lt)
(d) 52d Avn Bn
117th Avn Co (Lt)
(e) 145th Avn Bn
68th Avn Co (Lt)
71st Avn Co (Lt)
118th Avn Co (Lt)
(2) Type and number of airmobile operations.
Type Bn Co
Combat Assaults 17 3
Extractions 12 2
Repositions 7 1
(3) Helicopter assets were utilized for command and control, airmobile assaults and extractions, reconnaissance, resupply and medical evacuation.
8. (C) INTELLIGENCE:
A. General: Operation ATTLEBORO was initially a 196th Bde operation to the south and west of TAY NINH City. The AO was expanded to include the DAU TIENG area in exploitation of VC logistical bases located in this area and subsequently included all of War Zone C. VC units located in the area included elements of the 9th VC Division (271st, 272d and 273d Regts), 101st NVA Regt, 70th Guard Regt, U8O Arty Regt, COSVN HQ and associated facilities, the 320th LF Bn, & LF Companies, and local guerrilla elements. The area contained large supply/arms/ammo caches, factories, hospitals and base camps
of the Rear Services Supply and Transportation sections of Group 82 and 83. It was anticipated that the VC would have the area well fortified against ground and airmobile assaults. The proximity of the Cambodian border, the rivers into the ara, the well developed roads and trails attested to the fact that the VC were present and had the area well developed as a diversified military complex. There had been no significant ARVN/FWMAF operation in War Zone C since April - May 1966. Agent reports, PW's, CHIEU HOI's, II
reports, Visual Reconnaissance, H?Sa's and USSF reports were utilized to assist in development of the enemy situation. Generally, the intelligence received before and during the operation proved to be useful when properly evaluated and collated.
b. Terrain: The terrain in the area of operations varied from low flat terrain and cultivated fields to scrub brush and forested areas with double and triple canopy. the latter offered excellent concealment and poor observation. Avenues of approach were generally limited to developed trails and cleared areas. the only key terrain in the area, in the traditional military sense, is NUI BA DEN mountain, the top of which is controlled by USSF with considerable VC activity on the slopes. Obstacles were found in streams, dense forests, inundated areas and paddies. The low land in the northern area was inundated with water, making movement of tracked vehicles and foot troops very difficult.
(1) 14 to 22 Sep: Cloudy in the early morning hours becoming partly cloudy by noon, with almost daily rainfall.
(2) 23 Sep to 4 Oct: the skies were partly cloudy throughout the afternoon rainshowers were present in the area.
(3) 5 to 8 Oct: Conditions remained partly cloudy but occasional afternoon rainshowers were present in the area.
(4) 9 to 14 Oct: Conditions were again partly cloudy with only slight restrictions to visibility in the early morning hours due to fog or haze.
(5) 14 to 18 Oct: Conditions remained partly cloudy, but daily afternoon and evening rainshowers and thundershowers were present.
(6) 19 to 29 Oct: Cloudy conditions with frequent early morning fog and general rain present over the entire area.
(7) 30 Oct to 8 Nov: Conditions were partly cloudy with no restrictions to operations during the period.
(8) 9 to 19 Nov: Sky conditions continued to be partly cloudy, and there were afternoon rainshowers or thunderstorms present in the area.
(9) 20 to 25 Nov: Partly cloudy without restrictions.
NOTE: Early morning helilift operations were restricted by fog or low clouds until mid-morning on the following dates: 14-15 Sep, 27-29 Oct and 13 Nov.
(1) During the initial phase of the operation around TAY NINH City, the VC units expected to be contacted were the C40 Company, 4 other LF Companies, 1 platoon operating near the TAY NINH West airfield, and other local forces and guerrilla elements operating within 15 kilometers of TAY NINH. The units were probably in the area, but due to the influx of a large US unit, they evidently preferred to avoid contact during the initial stages. Only light and sporadic contact was encountered by the 196th during this phase of
(2) The 196th, in October, shifted its operations to the DAU TIENG area to concentrate on neutralizing two supply activities of the Groups 82 and 83 of COSVN Rear Service units. This shift was prompted by the numerous reports of logistical complexes in this area and the location by the 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div of 279 tons of rice vic XT482423. Documents captured in the area identified Group 83, a COSVN Rear Service Group, and substantiated other reports that the are was a major VC supply activity. Other documents captured by the 1st Bde were VC plans for political activities, directives from higher headquarters concerning tax collection schedules and personality lists of the Finance Section and other infrastructure activities within TAY NINH Province. The fact that all of the food and documents were found on the fringes of the woods without a major sweep into the interior made the area a very lucrative target for future US operations. During the first half of October, VC units in the area, including the 9th VC Division operated in their normal areas of operations with a gradual southerly movement noted towards the end of the month. Because of the southward movement of the VC units, it was anticipated that possibly elements of the 271s and 273d Regts would be contacted in the area. Local guerrillas operating in the area were expected to offer constant harassment to US forces which proved to be an accurate estimate. Between 20 Oct and 3 Nov, the 196th Bde located several large rice/supply caches in vic XT4342 while making only sporadic contact with the enemy. Documents captured on 31 Oct XT440501 during a sweep through the BEN CUI Plantation indicated that the extensive rice and supply caches were maintained by the B 60 Section, Group 82 of COSVN Rear Service Department. On 3 Nov, 196th elements made contact with an unknown size VC force vic XT415536 and XT442518. The VC used SA, hand grenades, rifle grenades, claymore mines and conducted a determined defense of the area indicating a main force element was involved. Documents captured vic XT454534 on 3 November established that the VC unit contacted was the 095 Reconnaissance unit, subordinate to the 9th VC Division. Six documents contained the designation for the 273d Regt. Sporadic contact continued throughout the night of 3-4 November 1966. On 4 November, elements of the 196th Bde were again heavily engaged vic XT417540. Three company size VC assaults were repelled during the day resulting in 40 VC KIA (BC). Documents captured on the battlefield identified elements of the 271st and 273d Regts. Shortly after midnight on 4 Nov, the 2d Bn, 272d Regt executed a coordinated attack on SOUI CAU OP vic XT453289 using mortars, RR, AW and a variety of bangalore torpedoes and satchel charges in an attempt to breach the defenses of the camp. The attack was repelled and the VC took heavy personnel and equipment losses before withdrawing to the BO LOI Woods leaving over 50 VC KIA (BC) on the battlefield. Also on the morning of 4 November, between 0208-0230, 0540-0550
PAGE 8 CONFIDENTIAL
The VC mortared the 196th Bde base camp vic XT165515. It is believed that the attacks were designed to relieve the pressure on VC units in the DAU TIENG area. On 5 November, vic XT4154 and XT4054 elements of the 196th Bde again made contact with a VC force well fortified in bunkers resulting in 123 VC KIA (BC) and 19 VC (POSS). Frontal assaults involving 80-100 VC each were again used by the VC against US Forces. It is believed that the VC force was composed of elements of the 271st and 273d Regts. After the engagements with the 25th Division on 3-4-5 November, the 1st Inf Div made contact with the VC who were withdrawing. the 1st Inf Div had contact with the VC on several occasions and identified the 1st Bn, 2d Bn, and 3d Bn of the 101st NVA Regt and the 2d Bn, 271st Regt and 273 Regt.
(3) The 25th Division main effort was then directed north to War Zone C. It was anticipated that if heavy contact was made, it would be with main force element. Food, supply, arms and ammo caches were expected to be found as US troops moved into the ara. In order to disrupt operations and harassed the US
base camp at TAY NINH, VC mortared the camp on the night of 11 November and the morning of the 12th. A search of the mortar position on 12 November revealed a document that indicated that the C16 Recon Company, subordinate to the 271st Regt could have been responsible for the attack. Contact with the VC was sporadic until 19 November when contact was made with a VC Platoon vic XT216804 and XT229811 and a VC Company vic XT274956. The company contacted vic XT274956 was the C2 Co, 1st Bn, 70th regt. (The Security Regt for the COSVN) Documents captured vic XT278908 disclosed the LBN 1751B which is the Signal Bn subordinate to COSVN. Documents captured vic XT229811 indicated the unit contacted was a medical unit subordinate to the 271st Regt with a convalescence center and a rear service section also mentioned. Documents and capture of two 12.7mm barrels vic XT227813 indicated the presence of an antiaircraft Battalion in the AO. This believed to have been the Z43 AA Bn which had been previously reported. Contact continued to be sporadic through the remainder of the operation with the majority of the VC contacted in squad size or less. The VC reaction anticipated by US forces because of the intrusion into War Zone C did not materialize. It is believed that due to the losses suffered as a result of contacts with the 25th and 1st Divs'. Main force withdrew to avoid major contact and begin returning and supply activities. Local forces were to continue to harass US forces or monitor our movement in the area. During the operation, it is believed the 2d Bn, 70th Regt operated along route 4 and had full responsibility for the road. the 3d Bn 70th Regt had control and operated on route 22. the VC controlled the road running from vic XT396632 to XT380858 is now believed to be a primary LOC for resupply activities in WAR ZONE C. The 1st Div found the majority of the caches in the area along the controlled road. The route runs both north and south, and appears that the VC utilize BOI LOI Woods, the Saigon River and controlled road to accomplish most of their major transportation of supplies. There are no friendly units to harass the VC in the area. It is believed that major logistical complexes are still located along the road, and that the 25th Division did not locate any major caches in their area of operations in the heart of War Zone C because the USSF Camps at TRAI BI and SOUI DA are in excellent position from which to harass the VC logistical routes. The VC prefer to have a controlled route through War Zone C from which they can support operations in any direction with relatively no harassment. Indications are that ATTLEBORRO completely disrupted VC plans for a major winter offensive by the 9th VC Div and the 101st NVA Regt. Rice caches (1 ton or over), base camps, supply caches, ammo caches, and contact of estimated platoon size or larger:
(Ref: 25th Division INSUMS)
15 Sep XT079559 2.5 tons rice
17 Sep XT068543 1.25 tons rice
25 Sep XT496418-501417 Base Camp
25 Sep XT487424 Base Camp
25 Sep XT480427 1.75 tons rice
26 Sep XT486421-482425 279 tons rice
26 Sep XT486421 2 tons rice and 1.5 tons peanuts
29 Sep XT484426 1.25 tons salt
29 Sep XT520463 6 tons rice
9 Oct XT073545 1.7 tons rice
20 Oct XT487424 680 sheets of tin
21 Oct XT484425 13 tons rice - supply cache
22 Oct XT490413 1.65 tons rice
24 Oct XT509401 1 ton rice
29 Oct XT438500 420 tons rice - 25 tons salt, supply cache
30 Oct XT433496 60 tons rice
30 Oct XT441499 32.5 tons rice
30 Oct XT435501 Ammo cache
30 Oct XT445506 4.5 tons rice
31 Oct XT440501 23.7 tons rice, supply cache
31 Oct XT440501 59.8 tons rice, 3/4 ton beans, 4.5 tons tobacco
31 Oct XT438503 107.5 tons rice
1 Nov XT443501 55 tons rice, 15 tons beans, supply cache
2 Nov XT436501 Supply cache
2 Nov XT445493-445506 28 piles of laterite
3 Nov XT415536 Unknown number of VC
3 Nov XT442518 Unknown number of VC
3 Nov XT448518 Base Camp
4 Nov XT417540 Elements 271st and 273d Regt
4 Nov XT417540 Elements 271st and 273d Regt
4 Nov XT436541 215 tons rice
4 Nov XT408543 1st Bn of 273d Regt
5 Nov XT4154-4054 273d Regt (element)
10 Nov XT270755 1 ton rice, supply cache
12 Nov XT303777 20 tons rice
14 Nov XT255807 20 tons rice
14 Nov XT263757 1.25 tons rice
17 Nov XT285897 Base Camp
18 Nov XT361462 VC platoon
19 Nov XT274956 VC platoon
18 Nov XT216804-223811 VC platoon
19 Nov XT144496 VC platoon
20 Nov XT206812 VC platoon
10 Nov XT349940 Base camp
22 Nov XT303775 12.4 tons rice and base area
25 Nov XT130384 VC platoon
VC use of mortar LOCATION NUMBER OF ROUNDS
9 Oct X XT298564 15
4 Nov XT165515 150
11 Nov XT165518 5
12 Nov XT167518 84
22 Nov XT269859 48
22 Nov XT341581 20
9. (c) MISSION: The 25th Inf Div conducted search and destroy operations in TAY NINH Province to locate and destroy enemy forces and supplies.
10.(c) CONCEPT OF OPERATION
a. PHASE I. 196th Inf Bde conducts search and destroy operations on VC bases, supplies and interdict VC LOC's near the TAY NINH Base camp.
b. PHASE II. 196th Inf Bde conducts search and destroy operations in vic of DAU TIENG to locate and destroy VC forces, supplies and base camps.
c. PHASE III. 196th Inf Bde is under the control of the 1st Inf Div.
d. PHASE IV. 25th Inf Div (-), conducts a reconnaissance of forces operation in assigned area of operation.
11. (G) EXECUTION:
a. PHASE I. (14 Sep - 28 Oct).
(1) 14 - 21 September. B Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted an airmobile assault to establish blocking position vic XT071534. A Co., 2d Bn, 1st Inf and C Co, 2d Bn 1st Inf drove into the block and then helped establish a base camp vic XT073546. During the next 6 days, light contact was made with the VC. On 21 September, the battalion cleared TAY NINH base camp.
(2) 18 - 25 September. The 4th Bn, 31st Inf conducted an airmobile assault to establish forward base vic XT191393. On the next day the Battalion air assaulted in vic XT181468 having light enemy contact. On 20-21September no contact was made with the enemy. On 22 September the battalion located a VC base area vic XT165490. From 22-25 September no further contact was made with the enemy. The Bn closed TAY NINH base camp on 25 September.
(3) 6 - 14 October. The 4th Bn 31st Inf conducted S&D operations vic XT9054. Light enemy contact was made with negative results. On 7 October, A Co made contact with 3 VC vic XT073547, resulting in two VC KIA(BC) and 1 VC
KIA (POSS). On 6 October, Co D destroyed 250 lbs of rice vic XT062543 and 4 booby traps vic XT069546. On 9 October, the battalion moved its base camp vic XT066545. On 10 October no contact was made. On 11 October, Co A and Co B discovered and destroyed a tunnel complex vic XT055554. On 14 October, the Bn was extracted to TAY NINH base camp.
(4) 15 - 23 October. On 15 October, the 3d Bn, 21st Inf was airlifted to TRAI Bi vic XT120686. All units were closed by 1710 hours. On 16 October, Co A conducted an S&D operation east of TRAI Bi with negative contact. On 22 October, the Bn conducted continued operations to the east and west of TRAI BI resulted in negative contact. On 22 October, the Bn conducted an S&D operation toward TAY NINH base camp arriving on 23 Oct.
(5) 18 - 28 October.
(a) 18 October, due to increased reports of VC caches in the area, an operation was directed toward the west side of the Saigon River vic XT4842. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf commenced air movement of troops and supplies to DAU TIENG.
(b) 19 October. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf completed their air movement to DAU TIENG.
(c) 20 October. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted an airmobile assault vic XT483438 with Co A and Co C, and vic XT455436 with Co B. Co B set up block while Co A and Co A and Co C drove against it.
(d) 21 October. B Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf discovered 13 tons of rice, 500 cans of milk, 1000 lbs of salt and 2500 lbs of peanuts vic XT460420.
(e) 22 October. Co C, 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted an S&D operation from XT483421 to vic XT489400, resulting in 2 tons of rice, 15 lbs of sulfa drugs and 150 lbs of epsom salts captured and 6 VC structures, 10 lbs of TNT and 7200 lbs of fish destroyed.
(f) 22 October. Co C, 2d Bn, 1st Inf discovered 3630 lbs of cement and 20 1"x12" planks vic XT481427.
(g) 24 October. A Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf and B Co 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted an operation vic XT4542, resulting in 1 VC KIA(BC) and 3 VC structures 2 foxholes, 2 underground fortifications, 2 tunnels, 1.5 tons of rice and 400 lbs of wheat destroyed. In addition, 1 1/2 lbs of documents and 400 lbs of VC clothing were captured.
(h) 25 October. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted operations vic XT4542 with negative contact.
(i) 26 October. 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted operations in vic XT485414 with light contact. Results were 2 VC KIA (POSS).
(j) 27 October. 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted operations from vic XT451431 to vic XT747456, resulting in 1 VC KIA(BC), 8 VC KIA(POSS) and 8 VCand 8 VCS apprehended.
(k) 28 October. 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted operations from vicXT478437 to vic XT442448, resulting in 34 VCS apprehended and 200 punji stakes destroyed.
b. b. PHASE II. (29 October - 5 November) (Diagram 16). On reports of a possible VC hospital in the area vic XT4348, attention was directed to that area.
(1) 29 October. 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted an airmobile S*D operation vic XT430488 resulting in 1 VCS, 420 tons of rice and 15 tons of salt captured. In addition, 440 gals of gasoline, 5 ox carts, 2 VC structures and 4 hand grenades were destroyed.
(2) 30 October. On this day, the 196th Inf Bde, directed the 4th Bn, 31st Inf into area and the Bde CP displaced to DAU TIENG and was reinforced by G-2 and G-3 personnel from division. 4th Bn, 31st Inf conducted an airmobile assault to vic XT45506? resulting in 4.5 tons of rice, 3 bicycles and 100 lbs
of clothing captured. the 2d Bn, 1st Inf conducted an S&D operation vic XT440490 resulting in 1 VC KIA(POSS) and 92.5 tons rice, 1 Chicom rifle, 91 hand grenades, 26 rifle grenades and 2 bicycles captured.
(3) 31 October. The 196th Inf Bde directed 2d Bn, 1st Inf to conduct an S&D OPERATION vic XT455500 and the 4th Bn, 31st Inf to conduct an S&D operation vicXT441498. At 0900, 2d Bn, 1st Inf received sniper fire and one claymore at XT438498 which resulted in 2 wounded and 1 killed. The battalion continued on its mission and discovered 83.5 tons of rice, 9000 lbs of tobacco, 1 Chicom rifle, 300 "D" handle shovels, 600 gals of cooking oil, and 1500 lbs of buns. Meanwhile, 4th Bn, 31st Inf started their operation having no enemy contact until 1600 hours, when C Co, 4th Bn, 31st Inf discovered 187.5 tons of rice vic XT438503.
(4) 1 November. Due to finding additional foodstuffs, the Commanding general, 25th Inf Div placed the 1st Bn, 27th Inf under OPCON of the 196th Inf Bde.The 1st Bn, 27th Inf was given the mission of securing the 196th Inf Bde. Hq at DAU TIENG and conducting eagle flights over the rice cache area. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf secured the rice and conducted saturation patrolling within 100 meters of XT441491, the battalion base. Co C, 2d Bn, 1st Inf captured 55 tons of rice and 15 tons of beans vic XT4450. The 4th Bn, 31st Inf conducted saturation patrolling vic XT441491 resulting in negative contact.
(5) 2 November. A total of 843 tons of rice had been captured to date vic XT4450. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf and 4th Bn, 31st Inf continued conducting saturation patrolling while the 1st Bn, 27th Inf conducted eagle flights vic XT425458 and XT425530. The 4th Bn, 31st Inf discovered 6 bicycles, assorted medical supplies and 1/2 lb of documents vic XT440496. In addition, they searched an ox trail vic XT445505. On either side of the trail were foxholes and trenches. Twenty-eight piles of laterite were discovered from XT445493 to XT445506.
(6) 3 November. The 196th Inf Bde planned to search for cache areas to the north. In order to do this, they had 3 battalions; 2d Bn, 1st Inf; 4th Bn, 31st Inf; and 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-). (Diagram 1) The plan was to block with the 1st Bn 27th Inf (-) from XT423547 to XT450538, on the general line of provincial route 19. (Diagram 2) The 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) would attack on AXIS RED from vic of the rice cache area XT4450 to the northwest 1000 meters, then guide on a trail as it goes to the northeast. A coordinating point was
established at XT434538. Co A, 2d Bn, 1st Inf was to attack north on AXIS BLUE which was on the west side on LTL 19 from the 50 east west gridline to XT443538. A Co, 4th Bn, 31st Inf would attack on AXIS WHITE which was on the eastside of LTL 19. The 4th Bn, 31st Inf would attack on AXIS PURPLE northeast from the rice cache area until they reached a trail vic XT461507 and would then guide on the trail until reaching a coordinating point at XT450538. The operation kicked off at 0900 hours when 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) and 4th Bn, 31st Inf (-) attacking along AXIS RED, BLUE WHITE AND PURPLE. At 0922, B Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf landed at LZ#2 vic XT463529. The LZ was cold. The company moved north for 1200 meters, through elephant grass to vic XT411538. At that time the company commander sent a point forward to discover the trail the company had to guide on. Upon moving 40 meters north into the wood, the point came under small arms and semiautomatic weapons fire. The company in the elephant grass also came under fire from the front, both sides and rear which cut off any escape route. (See Diagram #3 for disposition of the unit.) The company had come upon a fortified position of the Recon Company of the 9th VC Division. Upon coming under fire, the company suffered casualties immediately. By 1210 hours the company had 6 KIA and 6 WIA. One of the casualties was the commanding officer. At 1120 hours, B Co 2d Bn, 1st Inf on AXIS BLUE ran into an enemy position on the 52 east west grid line. The fight lasted a short while and the VC withdrew. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) continued on its mission. By 1230 hours, Co C, 1st Bn, 27th Inf had 10 KIA and 14 WIA. At that time, A Co 1st Bn, 27th Inf which was at DAU TIENG was committed to reinforce Co C, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. At 1248, the 1st lift of A Co 1st Bn, 27th Inf landed vic XT410534. At 1306, the 2d lift arrived and the company was ordered to attack west of C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf and to roll up the VC flank. AT 1330, C Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf was moved to DAU TIENG and 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) was alerted to reinforce 1st Bn, 27th Inf. At 1425 the 1st lift of C Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf landed at LZ#1. At 1505 the 2d lift landed. C Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf was then ordered to attack east of C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. (See Diagram #4) At 1515 hours A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf married up with C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf vic XT411537. At 1550 hours, C Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf married up with 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-). At 1600 hours, 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) was ordered to reinforce the 1st bn, 27th Inf (-). At 1800 hours, 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) landed and a
perimeter was formed vic XT410537. (See Diagram #5) Evacuation of
The next four pages are very difficult to decipher. The copy is probably from badly exposed microfilm. The left and bottom part of the document were cut off. Much of the transcription on these pages is guess work......
dead and wounded began and lasted into the night. There were VC probes on the perimeter that night. Late that evening the 196th published orders for 4 Nov. (See Diagram #6) The 1st Bn, 27th Inf(-)
?? attack northeast guiding on the same trail that C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf ?? supposed to guide on the day before and found a position vic XT4245???? ?? 1st Bn, 27th Inf was to attack west along LTL 19 and link up with 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-). The 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) was to attack east and establish a position at XT443537. A Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf would attack west and link up with 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-). The 4th Bn, 31st Inf would attack northeast to a blocking position vic XT437553. The purpose of the operation was to prevent the 9th VC
Division from moving to the southeast and at the same time to consolidate all subordinate commands.
(7) 4 November. AT 0900, the 4th Bn, 31st Inf departed their battalion base vic XT450538 for a blocking position at XT4?9553. They encount-ered no opposition. B Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-) began movement to link up with 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-). A Co 2d Bn, 1st Inf also began their move west to link up with 2d Bn, 1st Inf. The 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-) did not begin their ?? until their eight kia had been evacuated. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) began to move on the east at 1045. At 1140 hrs, the 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-) began moving to the northeast with A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf leading the Bn ?CA Ops? ?? 3d Bn, 21st Inf; and C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf following that order lead company was in a column of two with an interval of 20 meters apart. ?? advance guard; however, the 1st ??????, 2d Plt was leading in line ??ing and spread between the two columns. The lead element moved approximately 750 meters from the east when all of A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf came under intense automatic weapons and machine gun fire vic XT413541. Co ?, 3d Bn, 21st Inf was ordered to establish a position to the left flank of A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. In doing this, two plts went to the left flank and one plt went to the right flank. The 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-) was still under heavy fire from both their flanks with sniper fire from the rear even though the VC position was ?? (Diagram #7). The CO, 1st Bn, 27th Inf ordered Co D, 1st Bn, 27th Inf to ??? two plts to the left flank of C Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf and one to the right of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf. By this time the misplaced plt of C Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf ?? returned to ?? company position. The plt of C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf which was to tie in with the right flank of A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf was not able to accomplish this because of the heavy fire. The CO of A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf which observed this and ordered his right flank plt to turn back and link up with the ?? from C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. (Diagram #8) This was immediately done. Only 30 minutes had elapsed since the beginning of the fire fight. All units of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf were committed. The battalion had no officers in contact with the 196th Bde. However, contact was established through a ?? who relayed the situation to the 196th Inf Bde. At 1246 ? Co, 2d Bn, 27th
was alerted for possible movement to reinforce the 1st Bn, 27th Inf. The CO 2d Bn, 27th Inf requested that he go into action with Co A and Co C, The request was denied because of the time element. At 1513, the CO, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. tried to contact CO 2d Bn 1st Inf and request his assistance 2d Bn 1st immediately started going to the aid of the 1st Bn 27th ??? this was later approved by the Commanding General, 196th Infantry ??? at 1?20, the CO, 1st Bn, 27th Inf was wounded by mortar fragments. The fire in the area continued to be intense, at 1455, ?C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf was located at XT424545 and began heading southeast to attempt to aid the battalion. At ??40 C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf with the CO, 2d Bn, 27th Inf landing
at XT408538. They then moved to the east in an attempt to roll up the VC left flank. At 1451, the 1st Plt of A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf was attacked by an estimated 100 VC who came at the platoon in a line of skirmishers. This was the first of three frontal assaults against A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. C Co, 1st Bn. 27th Inf and artillery fire repulsed the attack. The artillery was firing from DAU TIENG at close to maximum range at this time. At 14?? C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf with a Battalion Command Group departed from an LZ at XT407538. They landed on a cold LZ. The company immediately moved to the east (See Diagram #8) At 1515 hours, the CO, 1st Bn, 27th Inf and CO, 2d Bn, 27th Inf agreed that C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf should roll up the left flank of the VC. It took the company 2 hours to reach vic XT411541 due to the dense jungle. At 1545 hours, a second frontal assault was launched against A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf and C Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf. At 1530 C Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf had arrived in the vicinity of XT416539 after having traveled through the heavy jungle. C Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf came under heavy fire from an extension of the fortifications which were pinning down the 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-), C Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf was about 300 meters from A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf at this time. The CO, 1st Bn, 27th Inf ordered B Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf to fill the gap between the right flank of A Co, 1st
Bn, 27th Inf and the left flank of A Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf Bn at 1600 hrs. A Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf had broken contact and was then ordered to swing to the southwest and cover the southeast portion of the perimeter. (See Diagram #9) B Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf then was moved so that the company was oriented to the east. Also at 1600 hrs A Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf landed at XT407537. A Co 2d, 27th Inf then moved up and assisted 1st Bn, 27th Inf in securing a PZ and evacuating casualties. At this time the third frontal assault hit the positions of A Co, 1st Bn 27th Inf and C Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf. AT 1700 hours it was determined that C Co, 2d Bn, 27th
Inf had gone too far to the north and was actually behind the VC positions facing 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-). At 1715 hours C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf was under heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire. The CO, C Co. 2d Bn, 27th Inf was immediately killed. The ranking platoon leader took command at 1745 hours. C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf Assaulted the position in an attack to overcome the VC. They were unsuccessful. It was determined that the VC position consisted of a series of connected bunkers interconnected by trenches. Extending from the bunkers were cleared fire lanes which extended 100-150 meters from the bunkers. Those lanes had only the underbrush cleared from them and a soldier would not see them unless he was
standing in one. At this time the CO, 2d Bn 27th Inf threw a smoke grenade, and a FAC determined that C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf was approximately 100 meters from 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-). At 1730 hours, resupply and medivac began in 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-) area. At 1734 the Co 2d Bn 27th Inf took one squad and attempted to link up with the 1st Bn, 27th Inf. He crossed a fire lane and was killed. Also by this time, the 1st Sgt, a platoon leader, and a platoon Sgt had been killed. The company formed a tight perimeter. C Co. 2d Bn, 27th Inf was not totally isolated from the remainder of the units on the battlefield. AT 1811 hours C Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf was ordered by CO, 2st Bn, 27th Inf to attempt a night attack in an attempt to reach C Co. 2d Bn. 27th Inf. C Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf intended an attack
.........xerox copy missing bottom of page?.....
immediately and were unable to link up with C Co. 2d Bn 27th Inf. At about this ?? time the 4th Bn, 31st Inf; A Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf and B Co, 2st Bn 27th Inf CO had earlier been ordered to assist 1st Bn, 27th Inf (-) from the north and was ordered to withdraw and establish a perimeter vic XT424525. (See Diagram#10) as night wore on and crippled C Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf returned, they relieved A Co,? Bn, 27th Inf of responsibility for the LZ as A Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf was scheduled to make a daylight attempt at rescuing her sister company. C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf was ordered not to fire regardless of how many times it was probed. They were probed four times during the night, took casualties but by this tactic the VC were not able to determine exactly where the Company was located.
(8) 5 November. In the early hours, additional DUST OFF ships managed to evacuate the wounded of C Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf and as the 1st aircraft came in and switched on his landing lights, the VC began a mortar attack. The ?? CO, 1st Bn, 27th Inf called the aircraft and told the pilots either they had to
come in blind and land by flashlights or wait until daylight. The pilots of the DUST OFF decided to come in blind and evacuated the wounded of C Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf by morning. As daylight came, the fire fight continued. At 0745 hrs, A Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf moved out to the east and then north and then west to relieve C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf. (See diagram #11) After moving 30 meters, the company came under heavy automatic weapons and machine gun fire and immediately sustained casualties. A Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf laid down a base of fire and overran three bunkers and a trench but they could not breach the VC lines. The company again laid down a base of fire and evacuated their wounded and dead. AT 0830, A Co, 2d Bn, 1st, B Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf and A Co, 4th Bn, 31st Inf who were in a position in the vicinity of XT424546, attacked southwest in order to assist 1st Bn, 27th Inf(-) and C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf. The three companies came along different axis and coordinated their movements between each other. At 1000 hours, the Commanding General, 196th Inf Bde placed these three companies under the control of the CO, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. The companies were navigated by sound and ??le. B Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf was directed into the northeast corner of 1st Bn, 27th Inf perimeter. A Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf and C Co, 4th Bn, 31st Inf were directed into C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf perimeter. By 1200 hours B Co; 1st Bn, 27th Inf reached the perimeter, having received only one casualty. Also by 1200 hours, A Co, 2d Bn 1st Inf and C Co, 4th Bn, 31st Inf reached C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf. Upon arrival; however, the fighting began again in the location of C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf. The ?b?? companies were ordered to move north, west and then south to rejoin the main force. (Diagram 12) This, the force successfully accomplished. The extraction of C Co, 2d Bn, 27th Inf began immediately and was completed at 1600 hours. At 1610 hours, 1st Bn, 18th Inf from the 1st Inf Div landed and the extraction of 1st Bn, 27th Inf Task Force began. At 1630 hours, C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf withdrew. ?Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf withdrew. B Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf set up a secondary block ? Co, 2d Bn, 1st Inf followed by C O., 3d Bn, 21st Inf and A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf conducted a passage of lines through the block. AT the same time artillery fire was called in to within 25 meters of the withdrawing elements. At 1700 hours the redirection was complete.
....is ....was ..... the ...of the 1st infantry
8. Phase IV (10 Nov - 26 Nov). For a detail account of units' actions, see the Brigade and Battalion reports of? Appendix A.
(I) On 7 November, following heavy contact by elements of the 1st Inf Div northeast of SOUI DA, this division was ordered to start operations in the western part of War Zone C. B Co, 2d Bde and the 2d Bn, 14th Inf were ordered to move to TAY NINH which they accomplished on 8 Nov 66. On 9 Nov, the Div Fwd OP along with Hq, Div Arty displaced to TAY NINH. The Div Fwd assumed operational control at 0930 10 Nov. The div mission was to destroy elements of the 9th VC Div in War Zone C. At this time, it was believed the 271st Regt (VC) was located in the woods northeast of BAU CO vic XT3370. An order was issued by the 2d Bde to conduct S&D operations to destroy the 271st Regt with priority to objective MONKEY vic XT3970. Operations would not go further north than the 80 east west grid line. Guidance from COMUS MACV required that one B52 strike per day be planned for by each division. The operation began on 10 Nov. The 2d Bde on that day moved the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf and the 2d Bn, 14th Inf to CAU CO (XT276) to establish a fire support base. The 1st Bn, 8th Arty then displaced to BAU CO. A decision was made to open the LOC from SOUI DA to BAU CO in order to save on helicopter support.
(2) On 11 Nov, the II FFORCEV commander attached 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf from the 3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div to the 25th Div (-). The Div was to use the battalion near Go DAU HA in order to protect against a threat from the BOI LOI -HOBO Woods complex (XT5333), the 1st Bn, 27th Inf was released from the 1st Inf
Div on 11 Nov and arrived at BAU CO on 11 Nov. A series of operations were conducted by this base (see diagram 11&12). The 2d Bn, 14th Inf conducted operations from 11-14 Nov, east of BAU CO, sending patrols as far as the south edge of MONKEY. The 1st Bn, 27th Inf conducted an airmobile assault on the 12th and established a base to search out an area hit by a B52 strike. (See diagram 13 for B52 strike areas). The 2d Bn, 27th Inf moved to BAU CO on 12 Nov. Also on this same day elements of the 196th Inf Bde (LT)(SEP) were released from 1st Inf Div. The 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf conducted a S&D operation north of BAU CO and established on 12 Nov a base which was later called Fire Support Base #1 in the vicinity XT275790. The 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf established three company bases north of GO DAU HA and BAO DON with the mission of conducting operations south of the BOI LOI Woods. On the morning of 12 Nov, the battalion was given orders to secure the Rt 22 bypass in the vicinity of CAU KHOI Plantation in the vicinity XT3445. The Bn made this move on 15 Nov. On 14 Nov. the battalion mission again changed, this time because of a change of mission for the division. The division's mission changed from a search and destroy mission to reconnaissance in force astride Route 14 to KATUM and be prepared to move north and seize objectives in the vicinity of the Cambodian Border or to move southeast to seize BO DUC. The 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf was attached to the 2d Brigade on 14 Nov. The Brigade therefore had 2 mechanized battalions, 5 infantry battalions and 2 artillery battalions. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf took over the mission of guarding the Route #22 Bypass and the plantation. At that time the division was directed to construct a Special Forces camp in the vicinity of Fire Support Base #1 prior to the completion of the operation. Though this mission was later rescinded, it did ????? the division ???? the ??? Support Base at .... ... . .. . . . . . . . . .
CONFIDENTIAL (Note: Pages of original documents are again readable
the preceding four pages were hard to decipher).
Fire Support Base #2 in the vicinity of XT270865 was established by the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf and the 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf on 15 Nov. Two batteries of artillery were then moved to the area. Local operations were conducted in the vicinity of both Fire Support Bases for several days. The base at BAU CO was closed on 17 Nov 66 and the 2d Bn, 14th Inf moved back to TAY NINH. On 18 Nov, the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf established a base north of KATUM in the vicinity of XT9627. The battalion conducted operations in the area until the 22d. The 1st Bn, 27th Inf moved from Fire Support Base #1 to Fire Support Base #2 on the 18th. A series of combat assaults were conducted from 20-23 Nov. the 2d Bn, 14th Inf conducted one the 20th in the vicinity of XT204803, where the 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf had a sharp fire fight the day before. They conducted another on the 21st to establish a temporary fire support base to support the Aero-Rifle Platoon, D Troop, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav which exploited a B52 strike next to the border. The 1st Bn, 27th Inf conducted a combat assault on 21 Nov and another on 23 Nov. The decision was made not to move the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf southeast to the BO TUC area. Rather, the 2d Bn 27th Inf conducted an air assault into the ara on the 22d. On the 23d, the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf moved back to Fire Base #1 and then secured Fire Base #0 in the
vicinity of XT1977 on 24 Nov with one company. The majority of units moved back to base camp on 24 Nov and the operation terminated on 25 Nov for all except the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf which conducted a reconnaissance to TRAI BAI (XT1170).
VC KIA (BC) 254
VC KIA (poss) 237
Field Expedient Rocket Launcher 1
60 mm Mortar 1
M79 Grenade Launcher 2
CHICOM SMG 1
Thompson SMG 1
CHICOM Assault Rifles 3
CHICOM 7.62 Rifles 2
CHICOM Carbines 2
M1 Rifle 3
Russian Rifles 2
C O N F I D E N T I A L
French MAS-36 Rifle 1
Rifle (type unknown) 3
Homemade rifle 1
US Carbines 3
9mm Pistol 1
Homemade Pistols 2
Cross Bow 1
Dart Gun 1
RPG-2 Rocket Rounds 4
60mm Mortar Rounds 6
Small Arms Ammunition 588
Claymore Mines 12
AP Mines 2
Rifle Grenades 54
Hand Grenades 104
AT Mines 4
Rice 401 tons
Beans 15 tons
Canned Food 25 lbs
Milk, 8 oz cans 820
Salt 15 1/2 tons
Peanuts 2500 lbs
Military Radio, portable 1
Motor, Sampan 1
Tin 680 sheets
Medicine 50 bottles
Cement, 100 lb ba 33 bags
1" x 12" lumber 20
Sulfa drugs 15 lbs
Epsom Salt 150 lbs
Medical Supplies 4 lbs
Clothing 105 lbs
Detonating Cord 10 ft
Radio, transistor, commercial 3
Cooking oil 600 gals
"D" handle Shovels 300
Medical Uniforms 6
Pills (type unknown 1000
Gas Masks 3
Chinese SMG Magazine 5
.50 Cal MG Barrel 1
Radio Transmitter 1
12.7mm Hvy MG Barrels 2
Wheeled Mounts 2
Fuses, Electrical 2
105 rds 4
60mm Rds 3
SA ammo 1026
100 lb bombs 2
500 lb bombs 2
250 lb bombs 1
200 lb bombs 1
20 lb bombs 5
AT mines 12
AP mines 15
Claymore Mines 1
Booby Traps 43
Hand Grenades 91
Blasting Caps 228
Underground Fortifications 102
Punji Pits 141
Weapon emplacements 28
Boat Docks 2
Rice 729.4 Tons
Wheat 800 lbs.
Fertilizer 1050 lbs
Fish 7955 lbs
Canned Food 240 lbs
Cement, 5 lb bags 8
Clothing 460 lbs
TNT 10 lbs
Tar 440 gals
Gasoline 500 gals
Salt 10 tons
Tobacco 9000 lbs
Beans 1 ton
"D" Handle Shovels 61
Motor, Outboard 1
Acid (Type Unknown) 176 Gals
Rice Mill 1
Peas 100 lbs
Wire 350 ft
FRIENDLY LOSSES (Phase I, II, III, IV)
196th Inf Bde 25th Inf Div
KIA 53 44
WIA 399 342
1/4 ton M151 4
Wrecker 5T 1
Tractor 5T 1
13. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS.
a. Logistics. For a listing of logistic problems encountered see the After Actions Report of the 25th Inf Div SUPCOM (App 2)
b. Signal. The circuits established to support this operation are described in the 125th Signal Bn After Action Report (App 2).
14. CIVIC ACTION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS.
a. Civic Action did not become a part of operation ATTLEBORRO to a measurable degree. This was due to a lack of civilian populace in the AO, particularly in War Zone C. An element of the 196th Bde did conduct one MEDCAP at BEN RUNG (XT3240), a VC dominated hamlet in the CAU KHOI rubber plantation, treating 207 patients. This battalion was statically deployed in the area of this hamlet for prolonged period on a route security mission. An incident occurred on 19 Nov when a 1st Div tank struck and seriously injured an elderly man. He subsequently passed away and was identified as the 3d ranking bishop of the CAO DAI Temple of TAY NINH. The CG, 196th Bde and his S5 accompanied by the TAY NINH Province Chief immediately paid their respects to the ranking CAO DAI Bishop expressing their regrets. Solatium was paid and the bishop was most impressed by their expression of concern and sympathy. There was little PSYOP exploit possible during the operation due to a lack of HOI CHANI, and few prisoners were taken. Leaflets and loudspeaker tapes were planned and utilized by the 196th Bde and by the division PSYOP section in support of the 2d Bde. In future operations, each Bde must plan daily applications of PSYOP activities as a regular support adjunct to their tactical plans. Division PSYOP developed and locally reproduced an outline strip map which was distributed with CHIEU HOI leaflets and NSC passes prior to operations in the KATUM area (XT3093) in an effort to reach any returnees who might be located in this area. The total leaflets distributed and loudspeaker mission flown follow with general subject themes:
Total - 2,697,000 leaflets
14. LOUDSPEAKER MISSIONS
a. G-5 & 246th PSYOP CO 196th Bde
CHIEU HOI 780,000 1,377,000
Former, scare (Power) 435,000 52,000
Reward for weapons or info 105,000 50,000
Loudspeaker missions *8 6
*NOTE: Figure includes 3 days of "NO DOSE" missions.
b. B52 strikes were exploited by quantity leaflet drops by the 246th Co. No civil Action/PSYOP evaluation of population and attitudes was possible because of the sparsely populated nature of the general AO.
15. Commanders Analysis. An After Action Critique by organic and attached infantry commanders was conducted on 29 Nov 66 (App 3).
FOR THE COMMANDER:
1 Encl G. L. JENNINGS
Combat Operations After Action Report CPT, AGC
25th Infantry Division, Aviation Battalion
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (U)
TO: Commanding General
25th Infantry Division
APO US Forces 96225
1. (U) IDENTITY OF OPERATION: Operation Attleborro
2. PARTS OF OPERATION: 11th through 25 November 1966.
3. (U) LOCATION: TAY NINH Province.
4. (U) CONTROL OF COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: 25th Inf Div.
5. (U) REPORTING OFFICERS: LTC Edward P. Davis, Commanding Officer, 25th Aviation Battalion.
6. (U) TASK ORGANIZATION:
a. CONTROL HEADQUARTERS: Headquarters, 25th Aviation Battalion.
b. ASSIGNED OR OPERATIONAL CONTROL:
CO A, 25th Aviation Battalion.
CO B, 25th Aviation Battalion.
170th Aviation Co, APO 96319 (OPCON)
175th Aviation Co, APO 96357 (OPCON)
c. Other units under 25th Aviation Battalion control for portions of the operation:
Headquarters, 145th Aviation Battalion (-), APO 96227
56th Transportation Co (-), APO 96307
71st Aviation Co (-), APO 96227
116th Aviation Co (-), APO 96225
118th Aviation Co (-), APO 96227
128th Aviation Co (-), APO 96289
162d Aviation Co (-), APO 96289
147th Aviation Co (-), APO 96291 RED
178th Aviation Co (-), APO 96289 RED
7. (U) SOLICATING FORCES: NA
8. (U) INTELLIGENCE: NA
9. (C) MISSION: The 25th Aviation Battalion (+) provided aviation support to the 25th Infantry Division during the conduct of Operation Attleborro to include aviation combat assaults, aerial supply, command and control aircraft, aerial reconnaissance, armed helicopter support, and artillery repositioning.
10. (C) CONTROL OF OPERATION:
a. During the period 11-24 November 1966 the 25th Aviation Battalion established a forward command post, vicinity Tay Ninh West Airfield (XT1651). The 145th Aviation Battalion Headquarters (-), 170th Aviation Co, and 175th Aviation Co. co-located their elements with the 25th Aviation Battalion forward command post. Other supporting aviation units commuted from home station on daily or mission basis, as required.
b. The overall controlling headquarters for aviation support during Operation Attleborro was the 25th Aviation Battalion. the 145th Aviation Battalion was utilized as the controlling headquarters for all troop lift missions.
11. (C) EXECUTION:
a. The 25th Aviation Battalion and supporting aviation units conducted the following troop movements during the period 11-24 November 1966:
TYPE OF MOVEMENT INFANTRY INFANTRY
CONDUCTED BATTALION COMPANY
Combat Assaults 10 NONE
Extractions 10 NONE
Repositions 5 1
b. A total of sixteen Artillery Battery repositionings were conducted by attached CH-47 helicopters.
c. A total of 5,658 flying hours were flown by units under the control of the 25th Aviation Battalion during the period 11-24 November 1966. A detailed analysis of these totals is included as TAB A.
12. (C) RESULTS:
a. No friendly aviation personnel were wounded in action.
b. A total of 4 VC were KBAA (BC). A total of 3 VC were KBAA (POSS).
13. (C) ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS:
a. Supply: Adequate.
b. Maintenance: Adequate. Supporting aviation units rotated aircraft from home station or nearby fixed facilities to perform organizational and direct support maintenance.
c. Treatment of casualties and evacuation and hospitalization: NA.
d. Transportation: NA.
e. Communications: Adequate.
f. Medical Evacuation: NA.
14. (U) SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES: NA
15. (C) COMMANDERS ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
(1) Artillery firing during the conduct of airmobile operations endangered troop carriers and embarked personnel.
(a) Discussion: Infantry Battalion Artillery Liaison officers aboard C&C aircraft were not able to provide timely control of fires during airmobile lifts. This difficulty is attributed to employment of artillery units from several fire support bases in support of several maneuver units. The artillery LNO in the C&C aircraft controlled only those fires in support of the battalion conducting the airmobile assault.
(b) Recommendations: Artillery Liaison Officer aboard C&C aircraft during the conduct of airmobile operations must be from an echelon that is capable of controlling all artillery fires which have an influence on the execution of the airmobile operation.
(2) Two Aviation Battalion Headquarters are neither required nor desirable for an operation of this scope encountered in Operation Attleboro.
(a) Discussion: The Divisions organic aviation battalion is capable of controlling tactical and logistical support for tactical operations of the magnitude encountered in Operation Attleborro. Augmentation is required in POL dispensing systems and pathfinders. The addition of another aviation
battalion headquarters serves to increased to chain of communications and coordination on required to execute a given mission. The addition of a second headquarters creates a structure which becomes unwieldy when tactical lift requirements and logistical life requirements are intermeshed utilizing the same aviation assets.
(b) Recommendation: That the Division's organic Aviation Battalion be utilized to conduct and control all airmobile activities in sup-port of operations employing tactical forces of the size encountered in operation Attleboro.
(3) Airfield operating personnel must be augmented with operat-ing forward airfield facilities.
(a) Discussion: In addition to operating the forward airfield, forward refueling, and forward rearming areas, the aviation battal-ion was responsible for the normal operation of the Division Base Airfield at Cu Chi. Approximately seventy percent of the aviation battalion airfield operating personnel were required for the sustained operation of the forward facilities at Tay Ninh West Airfield. Only thirty percent of the personnel remained at the Base Airfield, thereby drastically reducing the operating capability of the airfield.
(b) Recommendation: That the requirement for the personnel and equipment to operate the division forward airfield control tower be placed on USARV on a mission basis. The 125th Air Traffic Control Company has the additional mission of operating forward airfields on a mission request basis. A solution arrived at by the 1st Infantry Division is to use a sup-port battalion for the operation of the facilities in the forward ara.
(4) Separate refueling areas and adequate POL dispensing equipment for CH-47 and UH-1 aircraft are essential to efficiently utilize all available daily operating hours of aircraft lift assets.
(a) Discussion: CH-47 aircraft refueling requires approxi-mately thirty minutes per aircraft utilizing the standard 1200 gallon POL dispensing truck. A ration of on 1200 gallon truck per two operating CH-47's
is required to preclude refueling delays. UH-1 aircraft refueling areas and dispensing systems must be capable of refueling a minimum of ten troop carrier aircraft and two armed helicopters at one time. This is best accomplished through the use of six 100 GPL portable dispensing pumps.
(b) Recommendation: That separate refueling areas be established for CH-47 and UH-1 aircraft on all future operations.
(5) Pathfinder requirements for the control of simultaneous activities involving troop lifts and resupply airmobile light companies and artillery or heavy equipment displacement by CH-47 aircraft exceeds the capability of the Division's organic pathfinder detachment.
(a) Discussion: The personnel and equipment of the Divis-ion's organic pathfinder detachment will permit simultaneous operation in three areas at one time. During Operation Attleboro, pathfinders were frequently required to operate in six areas: Three locations working CH-47 loading or unloading, on UH-1D resupply area, one troop pickup zone and one staging area for reaction forces.
(b) Recommendation: The Division's pathfinder detachment be augmented with a detachment of pathfinders from the unit providing CH-47 support.
(6) Aviation requirements for tactical operations and logistical support must be considered simultaneously.
(a) Discussion: Aviation requirements constantly exceeded aviation assets for a given day. It is a must that the unit commander be appraised of aviation assets and consider the requirements for tactical
operations and logistical support simultaneously. The commander must consider the effect of each of these areas upon the other and how he can best accom-plish the mission.
(b) Recommendation: That the unit logistical representative and the aviation liaison officer be brought into the tactical planning as early as possible. This will enable complete plans to be formulated and
presented to the commander for a decision only after all aspects of the oper-ation have been considered.
(7) Requirements for UH-1D command and control aircraft deplete the aviation airlift capability.
(a) Discussion: All requirements for C&C aircraft must be taken from available total lift assets. This reduces the capability of the aviation unit to perform its mission of troop lift or aerial resupply. During Operation Attleboro, four UH-1D aircraft were utilized for C&C by the brigade. Under this concept, and assuming a two brigade operation, the assets of one lift company will be required to support C&C requirements.
1. That the OH-23 capability of the Brigade be used to provide C&C aircraft for ground commanders not engaged in airmobile operations.
2. Each brigade be furnished one UH-1D for C&C to augment assigned OH-23s.
(8) Planning of aviation support must consider the effects of adverse weather and darkness.
(a) Discussion: It is desirable to complete all aviation operations during daylight hours. Night operations near the border and over undefined terrain are hazardous. Adverse weather, i.e. early morning
fog and late afternoon thundershowers, must always be considered as possibility. The effect of these limitations on the mission must be considered by the commander.
(b) Recommendation: That emphasis and consideration be placed on the possibility of adverse weather and darkness when planning an operation. Alternate courses of action should be established.
(9) The determination of overall aviation requirements to support a given operation must consider the rotation of units for maintenance down time.
(a) Discussion: Neither the Division nor supporting aviation companies possesses the capability to displace adequate OL and DS maintenance support to forward locations to sustain the high flying hour demands which were imposed during Operation Attleboro.
(b) Recommendation: Provisions must be made to satellite aviation units on a maintenance facility near the base of deployment for a portion of the OL and all of their DS maintenance or have sufficient latitude in aviation assets available versus demands so as to permit rotation of units, or portions thereof, to have? station for maintenance.
b. Tactical Operations.
(1) No difficulties were encountered during airmobile operations.This is attributed to the extensive airmobile experience of the units of the 2nd Brigade to include the planning, coordination and execution of combat assaults.
(2) Time factors for the airmobile deployment of artillery units must consider the airmobile experience level of these units.
(a) Discussion: The ability of an artillery unit is to meet average, expected airmobile deployment times is directly proportional to the airmobile training and experience of that unit. Attempts to move such
units by airmobile manes during the rapid pace of combat operations can have a serious impact on the entire ground tactical plan if this factor is not considered and appropriate allowances made.
(b) Recommendations: That artillery units without previous airmobile experience be employed where time factors are not critical, and where feasible, assistance be provided by personnel from experienced units.
(3) Three CH-47 aircraft are normally adequate for the rapid displacement of a 105mm Artillery Battery for one-way distances up to 30 Kilometers. An increase in aircraft above this number offers no increase in expediting the displacement.
(a) Discussion: The determining factor in short distance displacement of artillery units is the speed with which a unit can rig its equipment for movement. The allocation of lift aircraft above that level
which the unit can handle, only results in inefficient use of aircraft.
(b) Recommendation: That extreme care be utilized in determining and scheduling aircraft for heavy lift requirements. The CH-47 Liaison officer is best able to assist a unit in determining the maximum
number of aircraft which a unit can efficiently utilize for a rapid move.
c. Aerial Resupply.
(1) An adequate resupply staging area, properly organized and controlled is essential.
(a) Discussion: UH-1D aerial resupply was hampered intiially by lack of adequate resupply staging area. This was later remedied and positive control and coordination permitted efficient movement of supplies to the units in the field.
(b) Recommendation: Prior to an operation detailed planning must be directed toward establishing the resupply staging areas.
(2) Aviation support of the magnitude required during Operation Attleboro is dependent on early anticipation of the ground unit's requirements and timely passage of information to supporting aviation battalion. Liaison Officers from the aviation battalion and CH-47 unit, located in the Brigade forward command post were found to be indispensable.
(a) Discussion: Upon receipt of the cumulative daily sortie requests, the Brigade S-3, Brigade Aviation Officer and the Aviation Liaison Officers considered the validity of the request, established prior-ities and computed the aircraft requirements for the following day.
(b) Recommendation: That XXXXXX liaison officers be utilized on all future operations of this magnitude.
(3) Unit equipment and supply displacement by airmobile means must be controlled by a representative of the highest headquarters being displaced.
(a) Discussion: A single representative vested with the authority to act in accordance with the ground commanders desires and supported with adequate communications must be present to direct pathfinder personnel during the displacement of a unit's equipment and supplies. In the absence of such a representative of the ground commander, with an adequate communications capability, pathfinder personnel are left without proper guidance should a situation arise which necessitates a change in priority or sequence of events.
(b) Recommendation: That a staff representative of the headquarters being displaced, with necessary communications equipment remain at the displacement site to lend guidance to pathfinder personnel during the conduct of the displacement.
(4) A central agency is necessary to establish resupply requir-ments and priority of movement.
(a) Discussion: The Brigade designated an individual who received and consolidated the logistical requirements for all of the maneuver and fire support elements. He coordinated logistical requirements in view of tactical requirements and priorities established for aerial resupply.
Each battalion further evaluated and established priorities within their assigned block of sorties.
(b) Recommendation: That the Brigade designate an individual to function as a center agency for consolidating resupply requirements and establishing the priority of movement of supplies for all units of the
.............................xerox copy truncated.......................
(5) Accurate forecasting of logistical requirements by supported units is essential.
(a) Discussion: For routine operations, it is essential that daily logistical requirements forecast be accurate and expressed in terms of sorties. In general, the following sortie requirements were average
for this operation:
DAILY RESUPPLY SORTIES
UH-1D SORTIES CH-47 SORTIES
Bde Hq 4-5 None
Inf Bn 15-18 None
Mech Bn 22-28 2 (POL) (20 Barrels per sortie)
Arty Btry None 5 (4 ammo, 1 water trailer)
DAILY CARGO REQUISITION SORTIES
UH-1D SORTIES CH-47 SORTIES
Bde Hq 1 None
Inf Bn 5-7 None
Mech Bn 10-12 1 (Empty POL barrels)
Arty Btry None 1
CARGO SORTIES REQUIRED TO REPOSITION UNITS
Bn Hq 8
Inf Bn 1
Arty Bn 13-19
(b) Recommendation: That standard initial supply sorties be established for units based on unit tactical employment. that Unit S-4's establish typical daily aerial resupply requirements for each
individual unit to eliminate the accumulation of supplies in the forward location.
(6) A daily meeting of aviation and logistical representatives to review all requirements is essential.
(a) Discussion: Throughout the operation, the daily meeting (3100 hrs) of the aviation and logistical representatives was most beneficial. This meeting permitted a discussion of the day's activities,
evaluation and establishment of the coming days requirements, and the resolution of any problem or difficulties which may have arisen during the current day's operations.
(b) Recommendation: That this meeting be made a matter of regular practice.
(7) It is desireable that moving units establish a night base early enough to receive resupply during daylight hours. The area chosen should be large enough for multi-aircraft resupply.
(a) Discussion: On several occasions units failed to establish a night base in sufficient time to receive resupply during daylight. Adverse weather combined with darkness could have prevented the
unit's receiving critical supplies on several occasions.
(b) Recommendation: The moving units attempt to establish a resupply base in sufficient time to receive resupply during daylight hours. That this base be capable of accommodating five aircraft
simultaneously whenever the tactical situation and terrain permits.
(8) Aerial resupply of artillery ammunition can be greatly expedited by prepacked loads.
(a) Discussion: The packing of artillery ammunition for aerial delivery is quite time consuming. The prepacking of loads during period of very light requirements would preclude an interruption in flow
during periods of heavy requirements.
(b) Recommendation: That artillery ammunition be prepacked and rigged for aircraft sling loads to meet normal resupply and emergency resupply requirements.
1 Incl Edward F. DAVIS
as LTC, Armor
DOWNGRADED AT 3 YEAR INTERVALS,
DECLASSIFIED AFTER 12 YEARS
DOD DL. 5200.10
TAB A, Summary of Aircraft Flying Hours, Operation Attleborro.
1. The following is a summary of the aircraft flying hours for units in direct support of the 25th Infantry Division during Operation Attleborro from 11-25 November 1966.
11th Aviation Battalion Combat 1,100
145 Aviation Battalion Combat 1,334
22nd Combat Aviation Battalion 407
170th Aviation Company 921
175th Aviation Company 1,020
A Co, 25th Aviation Battalion 724
B Co, 25th Aviation Battalion 378
TOTAL FLYING HOURS 5,658
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 25th INFANTRY DIVISION ARTILLERY
APO San Francisco 96225
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (RCS/J3/32)
TO: Commanding General
25th Infantry Division
1. NAME: Operation Attleborro.
2. DATE OF OPERATION: 1 Nov thru 25 Nov 66.
3. LOCATION: Western Binh Duong Province and Northern Tay Ninh Province.
4. CONTROL HEADQUARTERS: 25th Infantry Division.
5. REPORTING OFFICER: Colonel Daniel B. Williams.
6. TASK ORGANIZATION AND COMMANDER:
a. 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery (LTC JAmes M. Cannon, cmdg)
(1) Btry A (1-3 Nov, 12 Nov - 25 Nov)
(2) Btry B
(3) Btry C
(4) Btry A, 2d Bn, 13th Arty (9-13 Nov)
(5) Btry A (-), 2d Bn, 77th Arty (22-23 Nov)
(6) Btry B, 3d Bn, 13th Arty (5 Nov)
b. 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery, (LTC Billy B, Nicholas, Cmdg)
(1) Btry A (-) (9 Nov-25 Nov)
(2) Btry B (-) 9-17 Nov, 24-25 Nov)
(3) Flat Btry D (9 Nov - 25 Nov)
7. SUPPORTING FORCES:
Btry C, 2d Bn, 32d Arty: GS; Reinf 1st Div Arty and 25th Div Arty
Strategic Air Command provided extensive B-52 strikes.
7th Air Force provided direct air support.
25th Aviation Battalion provided UH-1D aircraft.
184th Aviation Company proved O1 aircraft.
147th Aviation Company provided CH-47 aircraft.
178th Aviation Company provided CH-47 aircraft.
8. INTELLIGENCE: Reports indicated that contact had been made with elements of the 9th VC Division during the week of 1 November. The 196th Light Infantry Brigade made contact with the 101st NVA Regiment and the 273d VC Regiment of the 9th VC Division. In the areas of Nui Ba Den the 1st and 2d Battalions, 70th Regiment were encountered. After 9 November there was no major contact with either VC or NVA. The area of operation was a VC stronghold with many caches. the total material captured or
destroyed was the largest of the war.
9. MISSION: For the 25th Infantry Division Artillery, Operation Attleborro is divided for convenience into three phases with elements of the command executing assigned missions as noted below;
PHASE 1. (1-4 Nov) Reinforce fires of 196th Light Infantry Brigade.
PHASE 2. (5-11 Nov) Reinforce 1st Infantry Division Artillery.
PHASE 3. (12-25 Nov) Provide direct and general support for the committed organic and attached maneuver elements of the 25th Infantry Division.
a. 1 November, Battery A, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery became the first element of the command to become engaged in Operation Attleborro. Initially an alert was received to move one 105mm howitzer battery to Tay Ninh at 1045 hrs. At 1445 hrs the requirement was changed to move the battery to DAU TIENG by air movement. The movement to Dau Tieng was initiated at 1400 hrs and the battery closed vicinity XT492473 at 2200 hrs having utilized 17 CH-47 sorties. The battery was assigned the mission of
reinforcing the 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery.
b. 2 November: Battery A, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery continued its mission of reinforcing the 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery at Dau Tieng. In order to provide medium artillery fire, Battery C (-), 3d Battalion, 13th
Artillery displaced from vicinity Go Dau Ha to vicinity Truong Mit (XT398394) closing at 1130 hours and was assigned the mission of GS; reinforce 3d Battalion 82d Artillery.
c. 3 November: The build up of artillery support continued as a Platoon of Battery B, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery (attached to 3d
Battalion, 82d Artillery) was moved to vicinity Soui Da (XT349579). Battery A, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery and Battery C(-), 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery remained in place and continued their mission. Enemy activity indicated substantial enemy strength and resulted in three friendly casualties(1 KIA and 2 WIA) in the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery.
d. 4 November: Battery A, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery was attached to the 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery effective 0001 hours. The battery fired in support of both the 1st and 2d Battalions, 27th Infantry. The 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry became heavily engaged at 1200 hours and was pinned down by heavy automatic weapons fire. The enemy attacked Company A, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry using human wave assaults, but was repulsed with the aid of fires from Battery A. The enemy attacked again at 1800 and was again repulsed with the aid of Battery fires. On 5 November surveillance of the area by an infantry element credited Battery A for 25 VC KIA (body count) and 150 VC KIA (possible). The positioning of artillery to support the operation continued with a platoon of Battery B, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery (attached to 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery) moving to Soui Da (XT349579) joining the platoon already there. In addition, Battery A, 2d Battalion, 13th Artillery displaced from Cu Chi Base Camp to Tay Ninh Base Camp closing at 2130 hours and was attached to the 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery. Battery C (-), 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery displaced from vicinity Truong Mit to vicinity Go Dau Ha (XT414239) where it remained for the rest of the operation in support of convoys traversing Highway #1 and #22 contributing indirectly to the success of operation Attleborro.
e. 5 November: Battery A, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery remained at Dau Tieng and along with other elements of the 196th Light Infantry Division. A Command group from the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery moved from Cu Chi to vicinity Soui Da (XT349579) by CH-47 closing at 0855 hours and assumed control of Battery B,3d Battalion, 13th Artillery. Battery A, 2d Battalion, 13th Artillery displaced from Tay Ninh to Soui Da and was attached to the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery closing at 1000 hours. The platoon of Battery D, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery which was attached to the 2d Battalion, 32d Artillery and positioned at Tay Ninh with concurrences of II Field Force Viet Nam Artillery was directed to move to Soui Da and to become attached to Battery B, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery. Maintenance difficulties precluded 1 howitzer from moving, however, the platoon less the 1 howitzer displaced to Soui Da closing at 1815 hours and was attached as stated. The second howitzer was repaired with a part airlifted from Cu Chi to Tay Ninh the night of 5-6 November and displaced to Soui Da closing at 061715 hours. At 2400 hours the command group
relinquished control of the two batteries which were then placed under control of the 1st Infantry Division.
f. 6 November: At 0001 elements previously under the control of the command group, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery were attached to the 1st Infantry Division. The command group returned to Tay Ninh closing at 1235 hours. At this point all elements of the command that were supporting Operation ATTLEBORRO were either attached to or under the operational control of the 1st Infantry Division.
g. 7 November: The control group from the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery displaced from Tay Ninh to Cu Chi by ground convoy closing at 1828 hours.
h. 8 November: At 1200 hours information was received that tactical CP of the 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division would move to Tay Ninh immediately. 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery (-) was attached to the 2d Brigade Task Force as of 1200 hours and was to move with the brigade. At 1515 hours the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery departed Cu Chi for Tay Ninh alerted to move a forward command post to Tay Ninh and the 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery (-) to Soui Da on 9 November.
i. 9 November: The 25th Infantry Division Artillery forward CP displaced from Cu Chi to Tay Ninh Base Camp and established a forward tactical CP vicinity XT165520 closing at 1200 hours. The 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery(-) displaced from Cu Chi to Soui Da (XT343577) closing at 1400 hours and assumed
control of its organic units already there. At that time the 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery (-) was comprised of elements of Headquarters, Headquarters & Service Battery, Battery A (-), Battery B (-) and a Platoon of Battery D. The battalion was placed under the operational control of the 1st Infantry Division. Battery A, 2d Battalion, 13th Artillery was released from control of the 1st Infantry Division and displaced to Tay Ninh Base Camp closing at 1630 hours where it was attached to the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery and prepared for air movement.
j. 10 November: At 0500 hours the 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery reverted to control of the 25th Infantry Division and was assigned the mission on GS, reinforce 1st Battalion 8th Artillery. A Battalion command group and Battery B 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery moved by air to vicinity Bau Tam (XT276685) using 29 CH-47 sorties closing at 1810 hours. BATTERY A, 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery was released from control to the 1st Division and returned to Tay Ninh Base Camp closing at 1840 hours.
k. 11 November: Battery A, 2d Battalion, 13th Artillery and Battery D, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery displaced from Tay Ninh to vicinity Bau Tam (XT276685) by utilizing 41 CH-47 sorties. The forward CP of the 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery returned to Tay Ninh completing the active participation of that battalion in Operation ATTLEBORO. The enemy attacked the Tay Ninh Base Camp with rifle grenades at 2110 hours. As a result of the reaction the attack Headquarters, Headquarters Battery, 25th Infantry Division Artillery sustained
1 KIA when a defective US Air Force flare struck an enlisted man from the aviation section on the head.
l. 12 November: Battery A, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery was released from attachment to the 1st Infantry Division and moved by air to vicinity Trai Bai (XT119692) utilizing 11 CH-47 sorties. On sortie resulted in a howitzer being dropped some 5 Kilometers from its destination. That howitzer was later located through the search efforts of CIDG forces from Trai Bi and the villagers of Xoa Hoa Duc and destroyed to prevent its use by the enemy. At 0200 the enemy again struck the Tay Ninh Base Camp with mortars which continued until 0230
hours. Casualties sustained by Headquarters & Headquarters Battery, 25th Infantry Division Artillery were 12 KIA with the majority of the personnel from the communications section. One warrant Officer in the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery was also wounded. In addition the Special Forces compound at Trang Sup was mortared resulting in 1 KIA and 1 WIA in the Platoon of Battery B, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery positioned there.
m. 13 November: Battery A (-), 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery displaced from Soui Da to vicinity Bau Tam (XT278680) closing at 1305 hours and was assigned a mission of GS, reinforce 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery.
n. 14 November: The command post of the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery was split into two control groups. Battery A, Battery C and Battalion Control Group Number One, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery were moved by air to vicinity XT273785 using 34 CH-47 sorties.
o. 15 November: Battery A, 2d Battalion, 13th Artillery and Battery 8, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery under control of battalion control group were airlifted from Bau Tam to a position vicinity XT2686 utilizing 35 CH-47sorties. A preparation, to include smoking the eastern, slopes of Nui Ba Den while the 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry (Mechanized) moved past Nui Ba Den, was fired under Division Artillery control. A Platoon of Battery C, 2d Battalion,32d Artillery displaced from Cu Chi to Soui Da joining the Battery (-) that had been previously positioned there.
p. 16 November: All Artillery units remained in position. In addition to its normal direct support mission, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery supported a long range reconnaissance patrol action near grid XT2795. The patrol adjusted fire against Viet Cong to open and credited the artillery with 10 VC KIA (body count). With the aid of fires from Battery B, the patrol was extracted from the area without sustaining a casualty.
q. 17 November: Since elements of the 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division were out of range and road trafficability precluded movement forward, and to lend credence to the Division feint to the left, all elements
of the 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery were displaced to the vicinity of Tay Ninh with Battery B (-) returning to its Base at Trang Sup where it was attached to the 196th Light Infantry Brigade and the resulting elements closing into Tay Ninh Base Camp vicinity XT154516. The 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery remained in position.
r. 18 November: All artillery units remained in position and continued their missions.
s. 19 November: All artillery units remained in position and continued their missions. The intensive H&I program that had been
PAGE 38 (very hard to read, most could be deciphered except last line).
instituted by the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery was increased further as a result of intelligence indicating an increased effectiveness against the enemy.
t. 20 November: The Commanding Officer, 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery was alerted to replace Battery A (-), 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery which had been attached to his battalion, and prepare it for air movement and further attachment to the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery.Battery C, 2d Battalion 32d Artillery displaced from Soui Da to Tay Ninh Base Camp. An intensified H&I programs was continued.
u. 21 November, Battery C (-), 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery displaced to a firing position vicinity Phum Prey Sala (XT 265960) in support of Troop D, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry's exploitation of a B-52 strike near the Cambodian Border. One howitzer was damaged when it was dropped from a height of 10 feet. After the exploitation, Battery C was airlifted to vicinity XT 355925 where it supported the 1st Battalion, 5th (Mechanized) Infantry. Two preparations were fired and the intense H* program continued.
v. 22 November: Battery C, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery supported the airmobile operation of the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, vicinity XT3785 and then displaced by air to Tay Ninh. Battery A (-), 2d
Battalion, 77th Artillery was attached to the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery and airlifted into fire support base number 1, vicinity Van ?ich (XT276785) in support of the 2d Battalion, 22d (Mechanized) Infantry. Head-
quarters, Headquarters and Service Battery, Battery A (-) and one Platoon of Battery D, 3d Battalion, 23th [sic] Artillery displaced to position vici-nity Soui Da (XT 342579) where it closed at 1400 hours. At 2155 hours, the 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery was attacked by mortars. Approximately 20 mortar rounds were received which inflicted 15 casualties including on enlisted man KIA and two officers and 12 enlisted men wounded.
w. 23 November: Battery A, 2d Battalion, 13th artillery supported an airmobile assault by the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry and then was airlifted to Tay Ninh Base Camp where it closed at 1745 hours, was
released from attachment to the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery and prepared for movement back to Phu Loi Base Camp.
x. 24 November: Battery A, 2d Battalion, 13th Artillery was released from Attached and departed Tay Ninh for Phu Loi closing at 1845 hours; Battery A (-), 77th Artillery was released from attached to the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery and was airlifted to Soui Da where it joined the 2d Battalion, 22d (Mechanized) Infantry. A battery A, 2d Battalion, 8th Artillery supported the extraction of all elements from fire support base number 2 and the move of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 8th artillery to vicinity S?o Ky (XY 185765) fire support base number 0, and then together with battalion control group was airlifted to Tay Ninh Base Camp. Battery B (-), 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery displaced from Trung Lap to vicinity Trai Bi (XT 117692) where it was given .......
y. 25 November: The 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery (-) displaced from Tay Ninh Base Camp by road convoy and returned to Cu Chi Base Camp. Battery B, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery supported the extraction of elements of the 1st Battalion, 5th (Mechanized) Infantry and was then airlifted to Tay Ninh Base Camp where it was attached to the 3d Battalion, 82d Artillery. Elements of the Division Artillery Forward CP returned to Cu Chi Base Camp. The 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery (-) with Battery A (-) and a Platoon of Battery D returned to Cu Chi Base Camp and continued the mission of general support of the 25th
Infantry Division. Battery B (-), 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery remained vicinity Trai Bi in support of elements of the 1st Battalion, 5th (Mechanized) Infantry. At 2400 hours, Operation ATTLEBORO terminated.
z. 26 November: Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 25th Infantry Division Artillery displaced to Cu Chi Base Camp.
a. Enemy losses.
(1) Forty Viet Cong killed by artillery (body count).
(2) One-hundred and seventy-nine Viet Cong killed by artillery (possible).
(3) One VietCong structure destroyed.
(4) Three Viet Cong structures damaged.
(5) Three Viet Cong bunkers destroyed.
b. Friendly artillery losses.
(1) Three US killed in action.
(2) Thirty-four US wounded in action. (Notes: This includes 4 US wounded when Battery A, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery was attached to the 1st Infantry Division)
(3) Two OH-23 helicopters damaged. (Repaired)
(4) Two AN/GRC 46 shelters damaged.
(5) Two 105mm howitzers destroyed (not due to enemy action).
12. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS.
a. Maintenance: No abnormal mechanical failures were noted during the operation. Preventative maintenance was performed on all equipment during the operation.
b. Transportation: During Operation ATTLEBORO extensive use of aircraft was utilized for both movement and resupply. Between 1 November and 25 November 1966 some 462 CH-47 sorties were utilized and
the UH-1D flew an average of 5:30 hours each day re-supplying forward units and transporting unit and staff personnel. During the operation, support was both timely and well coordinated; often on short notice. The most efficient use of helicopter slings that are available deserve more study. On several occasions hortage of slings or components became critical to the operation. Prompt return of sling equipment to the resupply point must be emphasized. Battery personnel must be well trained in airmobile operations since Pathfinders often have little or no time to check loads.
c. Communications: The wide spread deployment of subordinate organizations made communications difficult. The use of retransmission facilities on Nui Ba Den, facilitated radio communications with sub-
ordinate and adjacent headquarters. VHF facilities afforded excellent communications and are considered mandatory for the accomplishment of the mission.
d. During the operation the Division Artillery continued its program of command inspections of subordinate organizations.
13. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES: A 200 meter height of burst with Shell WP fuze time was effective as the first round in adjustment for a ground observer in dense vegetation. It also proved to be effective in providing navigational marking rounds for maneuvering ground units as well as marking the limits of an axis of advance for a mechanized battalion.
14. COMMANDER'S ANALYSIS: The major portion of Operation ATTLEBORO supported by the Division Artillery was a reconnaissance in force North into War Zone C by a reinforced brigade. Artillery support for the operation involved positioning batteries within fire bases secured by infantry battalions, and as the operation progressed, establishing new fire bases within artillery range of existing fire bases. Medium artilery was used in the mutually supporting fire bases as far into War Zone C as the roads permitted. However, most of the operation was supported by direct support 105mm howitzer batteries, which were employed in two battery fire bases with an artillery control headquarters. During the operation, an extensive H&I program was developed. Intelligence derived from forward observer reports, visual reconnaissance flights, long range patrol reports, agent reports and other reconnaissance means were used is a basis for the program. Indications are that the H&I program was highly effective and as the operation progressed it was further intensified.
15. STATISTICAL DATA*
a. Artillery ammunition expenditures.
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(a) 105mm 28,354
(b) 155mm/8 in 5,783
(a) 105mm 655
(b) 155mm 143
(a) 105mm 9
(b) 155mm/8 in 85
b. Missions by type:
(1) H&I's 5,533
(2) Support 798
*NOTE: All data includes the fires of Battery A, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery during 1-5 November 1966, and the fires of Battery A, 2d Battalion, 13 Artillery for 5 November. It does not include the fires of the ed Battalion, 82d Artillery or the fires of Battery A (-), 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery except for the period when it was attached to the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery.
c. OH-23G. Organic aircraft support by organization:
UNIT TOTAL HOURS RECON ARTY ADJ OTHER
1st Bn, 8th Arty 104:50 30:15 35:50 38:45
3d Bn, 13th Arty 61:30 15:10 11:00 35:20
Hq Div Arty 91:10 17:00 4:00 70:10
TOTAL 257:30 72:25 50:50 144:15
d. O1 aircraft support (two O1s daily)
TOTAL HOURS MISSIONS SORTIES
180:00 57 120
FOR THE COMMANDER:
ERNEST J STANDEVEN