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After Action Reports 11
AVDCMHD (25 Aug 66) lst Ind (U)
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (RCS MACV J3/32) (Operation KOKO HEAD)
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION, APO 96225 2 Sep 66
THRU: Commanding General, II Field Force Vietnam, APO 96266
T0: Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, ATTN: J343, APO 96243
FOR THE COMMANDER:
DISTRIBUTION: CECIL L. WALSH
ACofS for Force Dev, DA CPT, AGC
CG, USARPAC, ATTN: GPOP-MH Asst AG
MACV, ATTN: J342 (thru IIFFORCEV)
MACV, ATTN: J2 (thru IIFFORCEV)
MACV, ATTN: MACT (thru IIFFORCEV)
ACV, ATTN: Chief USAF Adv Gp (thru IIFFORCEV)
CG, USARV, ATTN: AVC (D&H)\par
CG, IIFFORCEV, ATTN: G3 (D&T)
CG, USA Inf Sch, Ft Benning, Ga.
CG, USL Arm Sch, Ft Knox, Ky.
CO, USA Inf Rsch Unit, Ft Benning, Ga
USACDC Ln Off, APO 96558
REGARDED UNCLASSIFIED WHEN SEPERATED
FROM CLASSIFIED INCLOSURE
1ST BATTALION (MECH) 5TH INFANTRY
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCSBA-C 28 August 1966
SUBJECT: Combat After Action Report (RCS: MACV 73-32)
T0: Commanding Officer
25th Infantry Division
APO U.S. Forces 96225
1. NAME OF OPERATION: Operation KOKO HEAD.
2. DATES OF OPERATION: 240700JUL66-061640AUG66.
3. LOCATION: Liocare Plantation (XT 6422), Ho Bo Woods and vic (XT 6527 - XT 6424 - XT 6123)
and Trung Lap and vic (XT 5021), Hau Ngbia Province Viet Nam.
4. COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: 1st Bn (Mech) 5th Inf.
5. REPORTING OFFICER: Lt Col Victor F. Diaz.
6. TASK ORGANIZATION:
1st Bn (Mech) (-) 5th Inf, Lt Col V. F. Diaz, Commanding
Recon Plt, Lt J. E. McQuinn
Hvy Mort Plt, Lt L. B. Wickman
Company A, Capt J. A. Renner, Commanding
Company B, Capt R. C. Vannerman, Commanding
Company C, Capt W. A. Blair, Commanding (Attached to 4/9th
Inf until 27 July 1966)
Six RVN National Policemen
7. SUPPORTING FORCES:
a. C Btry, 1/8th Arty: DS.
b. 1/8th Arty (-) and 3/13th Arty (-): GS.
a. 24 July 1966. On 23 July 1966 the Bn S5 received information from the village chief concernin two tunnels and approximately nine VC north of Ap Ben Do Hamlet (Tan Phu Trang). The chief also furnished two guides to point out the tunnels. The guides were a Popular Forces soldier and a Chieu Hoi and were picked by Co A enroute to the area on 24 July. It we determined that the VC were probably members of the tax collection unit operating in that area. The tunnels were located at XT 700110 and XT 702107. Both were unoccupied and destroyed by Co A. A further search of the wooded area disclosed a well camouflaged house at XT702104 which was also destroyed. A small VC base camp was found at vic XT 702104 and four bunkers and a tunnel were destroyed at XT 707103. A small amount of documents
found in the tunnel were tax records. It is noteable that this area was cleared by bulldozers at one time and vegetation has since regrown and is quite dense in many spots. The VC base camp consisted of six huts made with bamboo and tree trunks that were knocked down in the horizontal position. The horizontal limbs were used for the roof. Undergrowth was placed against the limbs. This formed a very well camouflaged shelter underneath. Trafficability in the area was good. As in the past, close cooperation between the village chief and the Bn S3 resulted in the specificlocation of VC installation in the Tan Phu Trang area.
b. 27 to 30 July 1966. Intelligence reveived from Hq, 2d Bde indicated a possible build up for an attack on Trung Lap or Trang Bang in the near future. There was also a suspected supply and infilitration route (north/south) somewhere in this area. Many reports had been received indicating that elements of the VC 271st and 273rd Regt's were located in the Boi Loi Woods along the north edge of the AO. The Boi Loi is also known to be the base area for the 320th VC Bn. In the two week period prior to the operation, elements of the 1st Bn, 165A Regt were also active in the AO. A thorough search of the area was made with the following results: Two VC armed with carbines were killed by an ambush at XT 516309, a total of 43 VCS were evacuated, most of which were found working in the fields. Information had been received that the village of Loc Hung (XT 516264) was a VC hideout. Coordination was made with RF outpost at XT 508260 and 20 RF troops aided in the search. Once the village was surrounded, all male suspects were screened by the RF soldiers and 13 were evacuated as VCS. The terrainin this area was trafficable, but many rice paddies were to soft for APC's to cross. The AO is characterised generally by wet paddies with
scattered clumps of woods and brush.
c. In the two weeks prior tho the operation, intelligence reports from HQ, 2d Bde and other divisional units indicated that elements of the 1st Bn, 165A Regt had been seen frequently in the AO vic XT 6229 and XT 6226. Elements of the 7th Bn, 165A Regt were reported in the Filhol Plantation vic XT 6622 A VC weapons tranning center was reported to be located vic XT 5928. Past operations and reports indicated that hibitual VC base and rest areas were located vic XT 588264, XT 575247, XT 575234, XT 600254 and XT 645237. A new VC company was reported to be located vic XT 5926. During the actual operation no VC units of any size were encountered. All actions involved not more than a VC squad and usually consisted of three-to-five man cells operating within and covering mined and/or booby trapped areas.
d. Significant Intelligence Gained:
(1) XT 643247. A base camp was found with a cache of 2000 pounds of rice, several maps of the Saigon-Cholon area showing detailed locations of U.S. and ARVN petroleum storage areas, numerous sketches of ARVN outpost and friendly hamlets, and a skeleton map of the Cu Chi base camp.
This area was heavily mined and booby trapped.
(2) XT 651237. This area was heavily mined and booby trapped and defended by a three-to-five-man cell. The VC were pursued onto a tunnel. Tunnel runners located a 81 or 82mm motar sight and some documents concerning a VC motar company (a company roster was found, also a document stating
the unit had five 81mm motars). The unit was later identified as a weapons company of the 7th Bn 165A Regt. After the documents and motar sights were recovered, a fire fight developed in the tunnel and the VC moved the remainder of the motar further back into the tunnel. A "Mighty Mite" was used and a second tunnel entrance was located some 100 meters away (due to visibility limitations in the heavy underbrush a helicopter was called to the area and located (the second tunnel entrance, marked by escaping smoke). Two air holes were also located and blocked. After six hours of attempting to remove the
VC from the tunnel; both entrances and the two air vents were blown. The result was a collapse of the tunnel (traceable on the surface).
(3) XT646236 to XT 647234. Indications of a VC base camp were found with several hidden houses, one small concrete Anti-aircraft bunker, several new bunkers, camouflaged huts and buildong materials. At this location two VC were killed. Several pounds of documents, training manuals and three wewapons were captured. All installations were destroyed.
(4) XT 639240. Three VC were engaged. Two escaped and one was captured. The captured VC spoke good English and was armed with Chi-com (type 56) assualt rifle. It was found that he was a member of the 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon, G20 Section, H2 HQ. Thie reconnaissance and intelligence unit suboridnate to the Saigon-Gia Dinh Military Region. The unit's mission is reporting friendly unit dispositions throughout the Phu Hoa District and Binh Dueng Province, including the Ho Bo Woods and
Filhol Plantation. He also indicated that the 1st Bn, 165A Regt coordinated with Arty elements from COSVN during the 26-27 July motar attack on the Cu Chi base camp. He gave his unit HQ location as XT 637232. An immediate check of that location was made by the 2/27th Inf and a concrete tunnel complex was destroyed.
(5) XT 640229. Three bombs from the 1 August 1966 B-52 strike had created a large crater in a heavily mined and booby trapped area. These items were unearthed, uncoversd or dislodged. Electrical wires to command detonated mines had been severed. A bunker and tunnel complex was also destroyed by the bombs. It is noteworthy that the bunker and three level tunnel found at this location had an M113 cargo hatch as the bunker top and an M113 commander's hatch as a trap door between leveld. On 4
August 1966 a VC rallier stated that his unit (4th Squad, 2nd Platoon, 1st Company, 7th Bn, 165A Regt) had been under direct attack by B-52's at Xom Bung (XT 645230) and were ordered to break up immediately into small groups and move out of the area.
(6) XT 643217. B/1/5th Mech located and destroyed an extensive bunler system with two three-level tunnels that contained 30,000 rounds 0f .30 cal armor piercing ammunition (Chicom) and large quantities of mines and granades. At this camp location a week prior. Co B had an APC destroyed by command detonated mine with seven U.S. KIA. On that date the time schedule prevented a thorough search of the area. On returning to the area it was found that rhe APC wreakage was untouched and still had many 40mm grenade rounds (damaged) scattered in the vicinity.
(7) XT 645234 to XT 646235. Two concrete bunkers, four dirt and log bunkers and one three-level tunnel were destroyed. Assorted medical supplies and propaganda material were captured.
(8) XT 615268. Four rows of barbed wire, approximatley 30 feet long with each row constructed in a different manner, were located. This indicated some type of training area.
(9) XT 653274 Two bombs from the B-52 strike had destroyed a VC company CP. A trench, bunker, tunnel and several huts were destroyed. There were two dead VC, a company roster for H1B Company listing one captain and four lieutenants, 60 black uniforms, three bolts of black cloth, one
U.S. carbine, one Chocom "56" assualt rifle and miscellaneous documents.
(10) XT 653282. A rice cache of 900 pounds was found in a hut.
(11) XT 646236. A rice cache was found buried in a 55 gallon
drum with 2000 rounds of small arms ammunition.
(12) XT 621256 to 648249. Many recently travelled trails were found. At the latter coordinates were indications (ie, water containers with soap, food scraps, several fires--some of which were still warm and cooking utensils) that a large (possible company size) VC force had spent the night.
(13) XT 623256. A large bunker complex and many booby traps were destroyed.
(14) XT 620224. Five steel reinforced bunkers and a 30 meter tunnel were destroyed. Equipment for making grenades and 25-30 pounds of lead (in rods) were captured. This area had many booby traps.
(15) XT 675281. The area was heavily mined and booby trapped, with many huts. Two bunkers with interconecting tunnels were destroyed, two weapons were recovered and two VC were presumed killed when the tunnel was destroyed.
(16) XT 643242. In a large hole (similar to a well) 400 pounds of explosives in 1/4 pound blocks, one Chocom claymore, one flare pistol and miscellaneous equiptment were found.
(17) Ambush patrols were utilized each night during the operation. On some nights as many as eight were used. No contact was made, nor any VC movement observed.
e. The B-52 strike seemed most effective when the bombs created a large crater. Bunkers and tunnels were physically affected only when directly hit (ie, in one instance a bunker located 15 feet from a crater measuring approximatley 40 feet in diameter by 20 feet deep was unaffected).
In two areas many mines and booby traps were uncovered or dislodged. Wireing used for detonating mines were severed.
f. Terrain. The Ground in the wooded areas was firm and provided excellent trafficability. Movement in rice paddies was generally good, with some exceptions. All wooded areas had a large amount of undergrowth that limited visiability but not trafficability.
9. MISSION: 1st Bn (Mech) (-) 5th Inf conducts S&D operation in 2d Bde AO on order; provided mechanized reaction force on order.
10. CONCEPT OF OPERATION: The 1st Bn (Mech) (-) 5th Inf based at Cu Chi conducts local S&D operations, civil affairs activities, maintenance and retraining; is prepared for deployment as base reaction force on order.
24 July 1966
The village chief of Tan Phu Trung (XT 6809) offered the assistance of a Popular Forces soldier and a Chieu Hoi to locate tunnels vic XT 700110 which were being used by the VC. Co A and the Recon Plt were dispatched to the area. After a thorough search, four well camaufloged huts, bunkers and tunnels were located and destroyed. Several documents, one Chicom carbine and two VC suspects were also captured.
25 July 1966
The battalion (-) conducted retraining and maintenance.
26 July 1966
The battalion (-) conducted retraining, maintenance and convoy security missions to Bae Trai XT5204).
CoB was attached to the 2/27 Inf.
27 July 1966
Eight daylight ambushes were established. One made contact vic XT516309 at 1455 hours, resulting in two VC killed (BC) and one U.S. carbine, one Chicom carbine, three hand grenades, 50 rounds small arma ammunition and miscellanaous documents captured. The battalion (-) departed at 0800 hours to conduct S&D operations south of the Boi Loi Woods vic XT5130 (Incl 1, Operation Overlay). Company A operated in Obj SAM and Obj HARRY apprehending eight VC suspects. Co B was releived from 2/27th
Inf and joined the battalion (-) enroute to the AO. They then seperated in Obj JOE, Obf BILL and Obj TOM. Severalambushes were set along the southern edge of the Boi Loi and at 1455 hours two VC were killed (BC) and two rifles captured. The Recon Platoon initially blocked Co B pm Obj JOE then conducted operations vic XT 480297 where 15 VC suspects were apprehanded. (Eight of the suspects apprehanded were confirmed as VC by the 25th Div IPW team.) The battalion (-) established a fire support base vic XT 479271 and Btry C (-), 1/8 Arty (105 How) was airlifted in to support the battalion (-). Co C returned to the rear base camp at 1830 hours terminating their attachment to 4/9 Inf.
28 July 1966
Eight ambushes were established during darkness 27-28 July. None made contact and all returned at first light. The battalion (-) assisted by the local RF platoon, encircled the village if Loc Sung (XT 5226) and apprehanded 19 VC suspects, of which five were confirmed to be Viet Cong.
29 July 1966
Seven ambushes were established during darkness 28-29 July. One made contact at 2030 hours vic XT 482295. Two WIA were sustained, enemy casual ties were unknown. The ambush returned to the Bn base. All other ambushes returned at first light. The battalion (-) continued operations in the AO
(Incl 2. Operation Overlay) which netted one VC and 15 suspects. The battalion CP remained in position to secure the LZ for extraction of the Arty battery. By 1830 hours the battalion had returned to base camp.
30 July 1966
Battalion activities included maintenance, conduct of civil affairs opreations at Tan Phu Trung (XT 6809) and escort of an Srtillery convoy from Duc Rue (XT 4405) to base camp.
31 July 1966
Lt Col Victor F. Dias assumed command of the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Infantry vice Lt Col T. U. Greer. The battalion conducted mainenance and prepared for fuure operations.
1 August 1966
The battalion departed base camp at 0725 hours on a mission of exploiting and determining the effectiveness of a B-52 bomb strike vic XT640225 - XT 665240. In conjunction with this mission the battalion conducted S&D operations in the AO (incl 3. Operation Overlay).
The company, with Recon Platoon attached, established blocking position X-RAY, then exploited the bomb strike on Obj 2. With the exception of three AT mines, company had no enemy contact. An extensive bunker-tunnel complex was discovered vic XT 640229. Another tunnel complex was found vic XT 645227. There was little or no evidence of the B-52 strike in the objective area.
The company moved to clear and hold Obj 1 until passage of Company A, then conducted a detailed search vic XT 646215. A bunker-tunnel complex was discovered vic XT 643217 which contained an ammo cache of small arms ammo, grenades and AT mines. After completing the search the company moved to Obj 13. At 1650 hours two houses were found vic XT 624243 containing a rifle, 15 artillery rounds, 2 AT mines, documents and medicine.
The company departed base camp at 0725 hours moving through Op Ann Margret along Axis WHITE to conduct S&D operations to Obj 3, XT 622231. The Company arrived in the AO at 0908 hours and between 0917 hours and 0956 hours found and destroyed five bunkers vic XT 621230. Ineffective small arms fire was received throughout the morning but no casualties were sustained. Found and destroyed vic XT 623227 were an extensive tunnel complex with new punji pits around the entrance. Found inside the complex were fresh food on a table and recent sign of much activity. At 1305 hours an element found a letter containing North Vietnamese money vic XT 623277. Also found in the same area were one canteen, a holster and miscellaneous small arms ammunition. At the same time elements vic XT 619233 destroyed one 105mm dud and one 155mm dud, both rigged for command detonation and booby trapped in a tunnel in the area. Three VC were located in a bunker-tunnel complex vic XT 619233 at 1338 hours. In the maneuver against the bunker two WIA were sustained resulting from a command detonated mine at 1351 hours. Another WIA was sustained at 1405 hours from another command detonated mine in the same area. All attempts to force the VC from the complex failed and the complex was destroyed with demolitions. Found vic XT 623277 at 1405 hours was one U.S. 1917 Eddystone rifle. Found vic XT 619233 at 1600 hours were eight homemade hand grenades and miscellaneous field equipment. At 1600 hours the company removed the top from a bunker in the area and found six hand grenades and miscellaneous small arms ammunition. At 1700 hours the company departed enroute to the battalion are
2 August 1966
The battalion established ten ambushes during darkness 1-2 August. No contact was made and all returned at first light. The battalion received the mission of exploiting the northern half of the 2/27th Inf objective area and departed at 0715 hours. Co A maintained its blocking position until 1140 hours then joined the battalion vic XT 646236. Co B conducted its operation vic XT 650257. Several new tunnels, bunkers and sniper holes were found and destroyed vic XT 646239. Co C was diverted to vic XT 639240 after receiving small arms fire from a house. The area was thoroughly searched and one VC captured. Several maps and documents were also found is this booby trapped area. The 2/27th Inf was relieved of its mission and at 1455 hours Co C was dispatched to assist in their move to Trung Lap. The 1/5th Mech then
assumed responsibility for the entire AO.
3 August 1966
Eight ambushes ware established during darkness 2-3 August, none of which made contact and all of which returned at first light. The battalion
conducted an extensive search on the objective area (Incl 4, Operation overlay), which showed several indiciations of recent use by VC. Co A Killed two VC in a tunnel and dragged their bodies out; a third VC refused to come out and the tunnel was destroyed. Co B found extensive tunnel-bunker systems in their objective area along with ammunition, medical supplies and large amounts of propaganda material. 60mm mortar firing positions and continers were found in the area. Co C also discovered an extensive tunnel-bunker system in its area which was ringed with CBU bomblet booby traps. Uniforms and gas masks were found in the tunnel. The Recon Platoon encountered an extensively booby trapped area which was
defended with command detonated mines. Two VC were encountered in a tunnel, one of which was killed and extracted. The other was buried when the tunnel was destroyed.
4 August 1966
The battalion established nine ambushes during the hours of darkness 3-4 August. None made contact and all returned at first light. Throughout the day the batalion conducted post-strike analysis in the AO immediately after the 040715 AUG 66 B-52 air strike (Incl 5, Operation Overlay).
The company departed the battalion perimeter at 0715 hours enroute to the AO. By 0827 hours the company had arrived at the AO and at 0909 hours elements found one VC claymore, miscellaneous small arms ammunition and several miscellaneous documents, including a company roster (possible unit designation: H-1B) vic XT 653274. At 1045 hours a cache containing approximatley 60 black uniforms and several bolts of cloth was found vic XT 651281. Four slight WIA were sustained and an APC was damaged extensively when the vehicle hit an AT mine vic XT 655275 at 1210 hours. Found in the same area were two VC bodies--an apparent result of the morning B-52 strike. Recovered with the bodies were one U.S. carbine and one Russian assault rifle. Continued search of the AO revealed a heavily booby trapped and mined area containing several houses vic 675281. After compleion of S&D operations the company returned to the battalion perimeter.
The company departed the battalion perimeter for the AO at 0715 hours, arriving at 0920 hours, and began its S&D operations. At 0925 hours 900 pounds of loose rice was found at vic XT 653282. Two command detonated mines were set off and small arms fire was received vic XT 654282 at 1000 hours.
There were no casualties. An old carbine, in unusable condition, was found in a hole vic XT 657281. At 1100 hours two VC with one weapon were trapped in a bunker-tunnel complex vic XT 657281. The weapon, a Chicom Carbine, was captured, but all attemps to coax the VC from the tunnel were unsuccessful and the VC were killed (est) when the complex was destroyed with demolitions. At 1533 hours another APC hit an AT mine in the same location. One minor WIA was sustained. At 1700 hours the company completed its S&D operations and returned to the battalion perimeter.
The company departed the battalion perimeter at 0715 hours and while enroute to the AO several recently travelled, heavily used trails were found vic XT 621256 and XT 648249. Two bunkers were destroyed at 1008 hours vic XT 648249. At 1036 hours automatic weapons and small arms fire was received from vic XT 660257. Motar fire was called in and the VC broke contact. There were no casualties. At 1101 hours one friendly KIA and one serious WIA resulted from an exploding booby trap vic XT 658259. At 1132 hours one KIA
and three WIA were sustained during the investigation of a booby trapped bunker vic XT 658259. All casualties were evacuated. At 1514 hours a blood trail, as well as a pair of sandals with bits of flesh in them and a bandeleer of 7.92 mm ammo, were found near a sampan vic XT 667261. The sampan was sunk in the river where the blood trail ended. The company finished its S&D operations at 1700 hours and returned to the battalion perimeter.
At 0745 the platoon departed for Trung Lap, escorting the battalion's downed vehicles. The escort mission was completed at 0900 hours, at which time the platoon started its return movement to the AO. Between 1425 hours and 1552 hours the paltoon screened the northwest flank of the objective area. After the completion of the mission the platoon returned to the battalion perimeter.
3 August 1966
The battalion established eight ambushes during the hours of darkness 4-5 August. None made contact and all returned at first light. The battalion conducted maintenance during the early morning. At 0932 hours the battalion commenced a reconnissance in force in areas DOVE and RAVEN
(Incl 6, Operation Overlay). The battalion CP was moved to vic XT 567241.
At 0934 the company began its movement to area RAVEN (Obj 6), searching along Axis JAN in areas 3, 7 and 2. Ineffective small arms fire was received at 1040 hours from vic XT 594265. A heavy volume of automatic weapons fire was returned and the VC broke contact. Ten VC were spotted in a woodline vic XT 573287 at 1140 hours. The VC were pursued but all attemps to make contact were unsucessful. At 1300 hours the company arrived at the battalion CP.
The company began its movement at 1030 hours moving to Obj 10 searching along Axis PEG in areas 3 and 1. One 250 pound bomb and a house were destroyed vic XT 613266 at 1106 hours. Another house and two booby traps were destroyed vic XT614247. There was a warm fire site in the area. One male VCS was apprehanded vic XT 614222 at 1614 hours. The suspect was seen in the company of a VC with a rifle; however, the VC escaped. At 1700 all elements returned to Bn CP.
At 0938 hours Co C began its movement to Area RAVEN (Obj 6) searching along Axis LISA to areas 5, 12, 13 and 4. Enroute, at 1013 hours, an element found a 55 gallon drum of motor oil, civilian manufactured ("Shell"), in a U.S. type drum marked "Gasoline" vic XT 622268. Also found in the area were
a trail of fresh footprints and two booby traped CBU bomb. A squad size assembly area was found and destroyed vic XT 623260 (1123 hours). The area appeared to have been used three days prior. At 1239 hours a large bunker-tunnel complex was found and destroyed in a heavily booby trapped area vic
XT 623256. After the completion of its misson the company returned to the battalion CP (1800 hours).
The platoon departed the battalion CP at 0932 hours and moved to Area RAVEN (Obj 6). At 1105 hours two bunkers (one steel reinforced) were found and destroyed vic XT 620274. Also destroyed were a 30 meter tunnel and one 250 pound bomb. The area was found to be heavily booby trapped and miscellaneous hand grenade part, 25-30 pounds of lead rods and 250 pounds of
polished rice were found in the vicinity. At 1203, in the same area, the platoon destroyed five hand grenades, two bunkers. During this period seven rifle grenades were fired into the area. There were no casualties. The search contuined with the platoon destroying three more steel and log reinforced bunkers and eight hand grenades. 300 pounds of polished rice was also found. At 1638 hours the platoon returned to the battalion perimeter.
6 August 1966
No ambushes were established. The battalion, participating in a 2nd Bde ("seal and search") operation, established blocking positions vicinity grid squares XT 5821, 5921, 5820, 5920, 5819 and 5919. The operation was completed at 1540 hours. All units closed Cu Chi base camp at 1753 hours.
The company departed the battalion perimeter at 0500 hours and moved to vic XT 594211 into blocking positions. S&D operations were conducted in the immediate area. The blocks remained in position until 1540 hours, at which time the company began extraction of downed vehicles and returned
to base camp at Cu Chi.
Departing the battalion perimeter at 0500 hours, the company moved to vic XT 594220 and established blocking positions. The company then conducted S&D operations in the immediate area. Throughout the day numerous civilains were questioned and released. At 1540 hours the company consolidated and returned to Cu Chi base camp.
The company departed the battalion perimeter at 0500 hours and moved to vic XT 585119, and established blocking positions and conducted S&D operations in the area. Several civilians were detained and questioned; however, all were released. At 1540 hours the company departed the area and returned to base camp.
The platoon established a POW Collection Point vic XT 591210. Throughout the day several civilians that were detained were questioned and released. At 1540 hours the paltoon departed, escorting the battalion CP and all downed APC's to Cu Chi.
Battalion Command Group:
The battalion command group departed the area at 0500 hours following the major elements displacing to XT 595203. Enroute, at 0545 hours, the battalion operations APC hit an AT mine vic XT 573232. The vehicle was damaged beyound repair and later destroyed by demelitions. Three WIA were
sustained, of which two were treated and returned to duty and one was evacuated. At 1410 hours the battalion C&C helicopter was knocked to the ground by a mine as it lifted over a bamboo hedgerow approximately 15 feet in the air (XT 577231). The aircraft was extensively damaged and later extracted.
In the crash the Battalion Commander, Battalion S3 and the pilot were wounded. The Battalion Commander was evacuated and the Battalion S3 and the pilot were treated and returned to duty. The Hvy Mort Plat travelled with the battalion command group and had one APC that hit an AT mine vic XT 575228 at 1205 hours. The vehicle was extensively damaged and four WIA were sustained. Three were evacuated; one was treated and returned to duty.
a. Friendly: 610 personnel started the operation and 582 completed, of which 39 were WIA returned to duty (Incl 7, Casualty List). Nine carriers, M113; one carrier, CP, M577; and one mortar carrier, M106, were damaged by AT mines. Five carriers were repaired in the field and continued the operation. The M577 was unrecoverable and destroyed in place. All others were evacuated to base camp. One helicopter, OH 23, was severerly damaged by a mine blast and also evacuated to base camp.
(1) Killed: 6 VC (4 BC, 2 est).
(2) Captured: 13 VC
4 Chicom carbines
3 U.S. carbines
1 U.S. rifle
1 U.S. SMG
1 French SMG
2 Russain assault rifles
1 rifle (Mauser)
30,000 rounds cal .30 Chicom ammunition
1 82mm motor sight
1 flare pistol
3 VC gas mask
275 tons rice
5 bolts cloth
55 gallons engine oil
Miscellaneous medical supplies
Miscellaneous maps and documents
(3) Destroyed: 1 rifle
6 AT mines
69 hand grenades
11 CBU bomblets (boby trapped)
17 rifle grenades
5 AP mines
1 claymore weapon
18 105mm rounds rigged for command detonation
2 105mm rounds (booby trapped)
1 155mm round (booby trapped)
7 WP grenades
2 250 pound bombs (booby trapped)
6 81mm rounds
2073 rounds small arms ammunition
500 rounds 7.62 mm ammunition
2 base camps
64 VC uniforms
400 pounds explosives
Miscellaneous VC field equipment.
13. ADNINSTRATIVE MATTERS.
a. Supplies: All resupply was accomplished by UH1D helicopters flying from base camp at Cu Chi to forward CP area.
(1) During the operation, 134 sorties delivered the following supplies:
(a) Class I: 42,000 pounds.
(b) Class II: 2,600 pounds
(c) Class III: 53,300 pounds (6,660 gallons).
(d) Class IV: 2,000 pounds
(e) Class V: 18,500 pounds
(f) Miscellaneous: 42,830 pounds (includes 7,800 gallons of water).
(g) Personnel: 8,650 pounds
(2) The battalion expended the following ammunition and demolitions during the operation:
(a) Ctg, 5.56mm, ball 14,480 rounds
(b) Ctg, 7.62mm, ball 10,080 rounds
(c) Ctg, 7.62mm, ball and tracer 16,000 rounds
(d) Ctg, cal .45, ball 1,150 rounds
(e) Ctg, cal .50, ball and tracer 11,420 rounds
(f) Ctg, 40mm, granade, HE 654 rounds
(g) Ctg, 40mm, shotgun (XM 587) 322 rounds
(h) Ctg, 81mm, HE 594 rounds
(i) Ctg, 81mm, illumination 11 rounds
(j) Ctg, 81mm, smoke, WP 238 rounds
(k) Ctg, 4.2", HE 112 rounds
(l) Ctg, 4.2", smoke, WP 238 rounds
(m) Grenade, hand, fragmentation 455 each
(n) Rocket, M66, heat, (LAW) 27 each
(o) Mine, AP, M18 36 each
(p) Signal, illumination, grd red parachute 7 each
(q) Signal, illumination, grd red cluster 22 each
(r) Signal, illumination, grd green cluster 16 each
(s) Signal, illumination, white cluster 4 each
(t) Flare, surface, trip, M49 64 each
(u) Chg, demo blk, TNT, 1 pound 250 pounds
(v) Chg, demo blk, comp C 796 pounds
(w) Chg, demo, cratering 15 each
(x) Chg, demo, shaped, 15 lb 6 each
(y) Cap, blasting, non-alas 220 each
(z) Cord, detonating 3,000 feet
(aa) Fuse, blasting, time 600 feet
(bb) Igniator, blasting, fuse 170 feet
(cc) Grenade, hand, indcendiary 16 each
(dd) Grenade, hand, smoke, green 15 each
(ee) Grenade, hand smoke, yellow 27 each
(ff) Grenade, hand, smoke, violet 51 each
(gg) Grenade, hand, smoke, red 11 each
(hh) Grenade, hand, smoke HC 23 each
(ii) Shell, shotgun, 12ga, 00 buck 1,040 rounds
b. Maintenance: The battalion started the operation at full strength on track vehicles. During the operation,nine (9) carries, M113, were damaged by AT mines. Five (5) of those vehicle were repaired in the filed and continued the operation. The other four (4) carriers were towed back to base campwhere they were declared not economically repairable. The location of the mines were as follows, XT 707103, XT 642228, XT 642229 and XT 654281. Twenty carriers, M113, became inoperable due to mechanical failures. Twelve (12) were repaired in the field and continued the operation. The other eight (8) were evacuated to base camp for repairs. Seven of those vehicles were repaired and returned to the battalion before the termination of the operation. Seven of the mechanical failures were due to the seperation of the idler arm from the hull of the vehicle, the repair of which was accomplished by the Bn Maint Plat. One (1) M577, command post carrier, was damaged by an AT mine at XT 591213. this vehicle was so badly damaged that it was destroyed in place. Three other M577's had mechanical failures, two of which were repaired in the field. One was returned to base camp where it was repaired and joined the battalion before the termination of the operation. One M106 mortor carrier, was damaged by an AT mine at XT 575228. It
was later declared not economically repairable. Two M106's had mechanical failures, however, they were repaired in the field and completed the operation.
c. Treatment of Casualties, Evacuation and Hospitalosation: A total of 101 patients were seen and treated in the battalion forward aid station during the operation. Of the 101, 53 were due to disease-induced sickness, of which 2 were evacuated, 27 were injured as a result of hostile action, and 21 received non-battle injuries. Of those injured, 15 were evacuated and 33 were returned to duty. Evacuation of wonded was good throughout the operation, but in one case a patient was evacuated on an urgent basis when it could hav been considered priority. Because of the difficulty in finding suitable landing zones, two seriously wonded patients had to be evacuated to the forward aid station.
d. Transportation: The battalion consumed a total of 10,410 gallons of MOGAS during the operation.
e. Communications: During Operation KOKO HEAD, 23 July 1966 through 6 August 1966, the primary means of communications used by this unit was FM radio. Wire nets were used at all tmes in the CP area and when the companies were in a defensive posture during the hours of darkness. At this time, FM radios remained on listening silence. The battalion maintained FM contact with the brigade. The battalion RATT radio was damaged enroute to the objective area and could not be repaired at the field locations. There was no wire communication between battalion and brigade because of the distance involved.
14. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES: None
15. COMMANDER ANALYSIS:
a. Mechanized battalions can move at will throughout the VC controlled areas opposed by only minor harassment by the VC.
b. Some of the assets (ie, shock action, mobility, ect) of a mechanized battalion are dissignated when the battalion is employed in purely dismounted operations such as detailed searching of tunnels, bunkers, and trench systems.
a. A rifle company should be attached to a mechanized battalion to preform purely dismounted task and/or:
b. An infantry battalion be given the mission to follow and support the mechanized battalion, thereby allowing exploitation of the mechanized advantages and strengths.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
JAMES G. ANDRESS