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After Action Reports 16
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 January 1967,
To: SEE DISTRIBUTION
Operational Report for Quarterly Period (RCSCCSFOR-65)
Location: Vicinity, Cu CHI (XT647453),RVN
Reporting Officer: Major General Fred C. Weyand
Prepared by: Major Golfredo D. Sansalone, CO 18th Military History
1. Significant Organizational Activities.
a. (C) Operations.
(1) General. There were 9 major (Bn or higher) operations and 1380 small unit actions conducted by the 25th Inf Div (-) during this quarter. All major and 98 small unit actions resulted in enemy contact.
(2) ATTLEBORO (14 Sep-25 Nov). On 1 Nov, 1st Bn 27th Inf came under OFCON of 196th Inf Bde. On 3 Nov, the 1st Bn, 27th Inf conducted a two company airmobile assault and established blocking positions while the 2d Bn, 1st Inf (-) and the 4th Bn, 31st Inf (-) conducted operations toward the blocking positions. At 1040 hrs Co C, 1st Bn, 27th Inf became engaged by AW fire. By 1206, it wass determined they were engaged with a reinforced VC Co. At 1148 hrs Co B, 2d Bn, 1st Inf was engaged by the VC using small arms and claymores. The 2d Bn, 27th Inf (-) was committed as a reaction force to reinforce the 1st Bn 27th Inf (-). Enemy contact continued throughtout the day and night. By 041600 Nob the 196th Bde had committed the 1st Bn, 27th Inf and C 1st Inf; 4th Bn, 31st Inf; Co A, 2d Bn, 27th Inf; Co C, 2d Bn, 27th Infl 2d Bn Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf. Co B, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf remained on standby alert at DAUTIENG. A Brty 3d Bn, 82 Arty and A Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty continued in DS of the Bde forces from DAU TIENG with four 155 howitzere supporting from SOUIDA. On 4 Nov, A and C Co, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf and B and C Co, 2nd Bn, 1st Inf were heavily engaged with a dug in VC main force unit of estimated Bn size, vic XT410538. Elements of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf engaged the VC force from the southwest and relieved the pressure on other heavily engaged units. Enemy activity ceased during the evening hours. Heavy fighting again broke out the morning of the 5th as elements of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf and 2nd Bn, 27th Inf began Attacking. Six VC mass attacks were repulsed by the 1st Bn, 27th Inf Causing heavy VC casualties. A and B Co, 3d Bn, 21st Inf were committed the afternoon of the 5th to aid in securing the LZ site for the extraction of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf and 2d Bn, 27th Inf. Both units were extracted during the day. The 1st Inf Div assumed OPCON of the 196th Bde on 5 Nov and the Bde was attached on 6 Nov. The 196th Bde (-) closed TAY NINH on 11 Nov and was released from attachments to the 1st Inf Div. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf remained attached to the 1st Inf Div vic DAU TIENG and was released back to the 196th Bde on 12 Nov. On 10 Nov, 2d Bde was committed and moved to a fwd combat base. The 2d Bn, 14th Inf which was attached to the Bde on 8 Nov, conducted and S&D operation from vic XT284682 to vic XT315681 where they set up a combat base. By 12 Nov, two brigades of the division were conducting Operation ATTLEBORO. The 2d Bde continued to operate north of NuI BA DEN vic XT2761 to the Cambodian border while the 196th Inf Bde operations were to the east and west of the mountain. Both units has small enemy engagements almost daily for the remainder of the operation. Through the use of eagle flights a great amount of land was searched by the US forces and many cache sites were found and destroyed. The operation proved the feasibility of tracked vehicles operating in wet terrain as found in the area of War Zone C. The division forward OP was established on 10 Nov 66 and controlled the 2d portion of the ATTLEBORO operation from its base at Operation ATTLEBORO were: 254 VC KIA (BC), 237 VC KIA (poss), 6 VCC, 60 VCS, and 19 detainees. One field expedient rocket launcher, 1 60mm mortar, 2 M79, 29 small arms, 401 tons of rice, 15 tons of beans, 78 lbs of documents, 1 portable military radio, medical supplies and other foodstuffs and munitions captured. In addition, 228 VC structures, 92 tunnels, 1 bridge, 36 caves, 102 underground fortifications, 141 punji pits, 169 foxholes, 729.4 tons of rice, 7955 lbs of fish, 440 gals of tar, 10 tons of salt, 9000 lbs of tobacco and other munitions and foodstuffs destroyed.
(3) KALIHI (17 Sep-14 Nov). This operation continued in the FILHOL Plantation and areas east of the SAIGON River. Close coordination was maintained with the District Chief of PHU HOA District and the CO, 1st Bn, 7th Regt (ARVN). Action during the month was characterized by company sized operations. Results of Operation KALIHI were: 39 VC KIA (BC), 192 VC KIA (poss), 3 VCC, and 60 VCS. Eleven small arms, 1 grenade launcher, 1 movie projector, 10 reels of movies, 1 tube tester, and various mutations were captured. In addition, 2 mortors (est 60mm), 44 tunnels, 222 VC structures, 44 underground fortifications, 51 foxholes, 32 punji pits, 32 sampans, 4.85 tons of rice and various munitions were destroyed.
(4) KAILUA (12 Oct-14 Nov). Elements of the 2d Bde working in conjunction wirh elements of the 49th Regt (ARVN) and Popular Forces, conducted both ground and airmobile operations throughout the AO. ON 3 Nov, Ist Bn (M), 5th Inf with Trp B, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav attached, conducted an operation vic XT6422 which resulted in 3 VC KIA (BC), 4 small arms and various munitions captured and 102 rds 75mm RR and other munitions destroyed. On 4 Nov, the operation continued vic XT6523, resulting in 6 CHICOM carbines, 1 .30 cal MG, 1 N1 rifle, 22 RFG-2 rocket rds, 6057 rds of small arms ammunition and 1 sewing machine captured. In addition numerous fortifications and other munitions were destroyed on 5 Nov. From 6-14 Nov, because of commitments to Operation ATTLEBORO, only air and artillery support was provided in the area of operations. Results of the operation were: 67 VC KIA (BC), 175 VC KIA (poss), 34 VCC, 112 VCS. Twenty-two small arms, 22 RPG-2 rockets, 1 grenade launcher, 58 lbs of documents, 72 710 $VN, 3 transistor radios and various other munitions captured. In addition, 102 rds 75mm RR, 48 booby traps, 208 VC structures, 21 tunnels, 115 underground fortifications, 9 bridges, 11 trenches, 3.7 tons of rice and other munitions were destroyed.
(5) CEDAR FALLS (8 Jan-26 Jan). The 2d Bde, 25th Inf Div, reinforced with the 2nd Bn, 34th Armor (-) and the 196th Inf Bde (Lt) (Sep), reinforced with the 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf and the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf, had the mission of conducting S&D and blocking operations south and west along the SAIGON River to prevent exfiltration from the THANH DLCN Forestry Reserve and the IRON TRIANGLE areas and to destroy VC base areas. The units moved into the blocking positions along the SAIGON River and made extensive use of ambushes along the river at night. During saylight hours minimum forces secured the river allowing extensive S&D operations in VC base areas in the FILHOL Plantationand the HO BO Woods. Control of traffic along the SAIGON River was the responsibility of the 25th Inf Div while the 1st Inf Div was responsible for control at the junction of the SAIGON-THI TINH Rivers. Hightlights of the operation were: (1) B52 strikes exploited by ground followup and occupation; (2) the effective denial of VC escape routes and use of the SAIGON River as evidenced by the high casualty toll suffered by the VC throughout the operation; (3) the discovery of a major VC Hqs tunnel complex by 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf in the HO BO/BOI LOI Woods; (4) US and ARVN cooperation in the evacuation and relocation of personnel and live stock from the village of personnel and live stock from the village of BEN SUC to a New Life Hamlet; (5) the use of a 3d Riverine RAG Task Force enabling the 196th Inf Bde and the 2d Bde to search thoroughly along and beneath both banks of the SAIGON River resulting in the exploitation of several VC safe havens. Fire support was suppliedfrom several forward fire support bases and CU CHI plus the integration of tactical air support which greatly aided the success of the operation. Results of the operation were: 331 VC KIA (BC), 155 VC KIA (poss), 33 VC PW, 147 Det, 10 CHIEU HOI. One hundred and twenty-six assorted small arms, 7717 rds SA ammo, 253.85 tons rice, 200 lbs salt, 11 sampons, 6 motors, 5 gals printers ink, 600 lbs cement, 285 lbs documents, 260 CHICOM flashlight batteries, 1000 ft roll of tin, 15 lbs medical supplies, 121 CHICOM gas masks, 1 sewing machine, 1 camera, 2 tape recorders, 74 sound tapes and other supplies were captured. In addition, 904 underground fortifications, 340 VC structures, 14 trenches, 251 tunnels, 129 foxholes, 26 punji pits, 145 sampans, 4 boats, 3 motors, 117 60mm mortar rds, 26 57mm RR rds, 7 claymore mines, 3013 rds SA ammo, 292 lbs TNT, 135 CBU's, 451 grenades, 101 AT mines, 59 AP mines, 100.4 tons rice, 1500 gals fish sauce, 1200 lbs salt, 1 printing press, and other miscellaneous supplies were destroyed.
(6) FAIRFAX (1 Dec-31 Jan). 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div with the 4th Bn, 9th Inf conducted S&D (BUDDY) operations with the 3d ARVN Abn Bn, characterized by airmobile assaults and eagle flights. Extensive night ambushes and BUSHMASTER operations continued to restrict VC movement and inflict significant casualties. Eagle flights and ambushes in the “Pineapple Area” (XT6238) interdicted VC utilization of the canals and waterways. On 30 Jan B52 strikes were employed in the area with airmobile assaults and ground exploitation by the 4th Bn, 9th Inf and the 31st Co of the 3d ARVN Abn Bn. The 199th Inf Bde (Lt) (Sep) assumed the mission of Operation FAIRFAX on 1 Feb 1967. Results of the operation were: 109 VC KIA (BC), 289 VC KIA (poss), 14 VC FW, 567 Det and 1 CHIEU HOI. Thirty-seven assorted small arms, 5130 rds SA ammo, 73 lbs documents, 985 lbs medical supplies, 3 homemade radio receivers, 30 lbs explosives, 1 drum of mixed ammo, 1 film editing machine, and 1 outboard motor were captured. In addition, 97 VC structures 551 underground fortifications, 8 tunnels, 29 sampans, 1 footbridge, 33 grenades, 1087 rds SA ammo, 300 lbs rice and 8 bags of cement were destroyed.
(7) MANIKAI (15 Sep-continuing). During the early part of November, the 4th Bn, 9th Inf was phased out of BEN LUC while the 4th Bn, 23d Inf was phased in. This was completed by 5 Nov 66. On 4 Nov two Co size airmobile BUDDY operations were conducted with elements of the 3d Bn, 50th Regt (ARVN) vic XT623763, which resulted in 1 VC KIA (poss), 2 VCS and 1 transistor radio captured. On 7 Nov 66, the 4th Bn, 9th Inf established a Area Security Coordination Center at BINH CHANH (XS7279) and conducted BUDDY operations in GIA DINH Province. A fire support base vic of BINH CHANH is being constructed. There have been 32 BUDDY operations during this month. They include S&D, CHECKMATE, and BUSHMASTER operations. 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div established and occupies battalion forward bases and two fire support bases in LONG AN Province vic BEN LUC and RACH KIEN. S&D patrol operations were conducted in the AO , RF/PF forces were aided in construction of local outposts, and RAG and PRU forces were used extensively in operations. Phase IV of Operation LANKAI began on 19 Dec when 2d Bn, 14th Inf moved its base area from BEN LUC to RACH KIEN. Emphasis has been placed on small unit night operations. Effective and continuous fire support from artillery has been provided from the fire support bases at BEN LUC and RACH KIEN. 1st Bde, now located at BEN LUC, has provided guidance and coordination for both Operation LANINAI and Operation FAIRFAX. During January, Operation LANIKAI continued in Phase IV as the 2d Bn, 14th Inf continued operations vic RACH KIEN. Combined S&D (BUDDY) operations were conducted with the 1st Bn, 46th ARVN Regt; 1st Bn, 50th ARVN Regt and the 3d Trp, 10th ARVN Cav. Elements of the Bn opened and repaired the road from BEN LUC to RACH KIEN. BUSHMASTER and extensive night ambushes were conducted. The 1st Bde tactical CP remained at BEN LUC and continued to coordinate operations FAIRFAX and LANIKAI. Results of the operation to date are: 85 VC KIA (BC), 238 VC KIA (poss), 11 VC PW and 119 Det. Three 60mm mortars (1 homemade), 15 assorted small arms, 1 grenade launcher, 17 documents, 1 transistor radio, 300 gals diesel fuel, 2.5 tons rice and 1 motor captured. In addition 15 81 mm mortar rounds, 25 60mm mortar rounds, 389 12.7mm rds, 7 claymores, 7 AT mines, 13 turtle mines, 7 cylindrical mines, 44 rifle grenades, 104 blasting caps, 1 tunnel, 43 VC structures, 149 underground fortifications, 6 trenches, 221 foxholes, 20 sampans, 11.1 tons rice, 600 lbs salt, 1 bridge and 34 weapon emplacements were destroyed.
(8) FITCHBURG ( 25 Nov-continuing). On 25 Nov, the 4th Bn, 31st Inf assumed the security of Rt 26, east of TAY NINH. VC contact was made on two occasions with unknown results. On 28 Nov, the 3d Bn, 21st Inf with Co C, 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf conducted operations in the THANH DIEN Forest, south of the TAY NINH base camp. This operation was in conjunction with the PHILCAGV and ARVN in order to clear the forest prior to PHILCAGV starting their New life Hamlet. The mission of this operation is to destroy VC forces, bases and supplies in areas of TAY NINH Province contiguous to the 196th Bde base camp. The operation was initiated when the 4th Bn, 31st Inf secured the road in the CAU KHOI Plantation area (XT340453). On 1-12 Dec the brigade conducted operations adjacent to a CIDG operation west and southwest of their base camp. During the period 10-21 Dec, the 2d Bn, 34th Armor was attached to the 196th Bde with the mission of securing Rt 26 and determining the trafficability of the immediate area. The battalion encountered minor contact and limited VC mining activity. At the present time, the 4th Bn, 31st Inf maintains road security on Route 26. The 4th Bn, 31st Inf conducted extensive S&D and BUSHMASTER operations north, west, and south of the TAY NINH base camp. Elements continued to maintain road security on Route 26 and secured the rock quarry on the southern slope of NUI BA DEN. Co C, 4th Bn (M), 23d Inf was attched to the 196th Bde on 11 Jan and conducted base camp security, S&D and road clearing operations vic TAY NINH. Troop A, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav assumed Co C's mission on 23 Jan. On 28 Jan a combined US/ARVN (BUDDY) operation was initiated south of TAY NINH. The 2d Bn, 1st Inf and 3d Bn, 21st Inf conducted S&D operations with RF/CIDG forces and PHILCAGV. Fire support was provided by Btry B, 3d Bn, 82d Arty from a forward fire support base and by artillery at the TAY NINH base camp. Results of the operation to date are: 42 VC KIA (BC), 89 VC KIA (poss), 41 Det and 3 VC PW. Forty-five assorted small arms, 1 rifle grenade launcher, 36 lbs documents, 9.2 tons rice, 12 claymores and other supplies were captured. In addition, 111 underground fortifications, 214 VC structures, 59.05 tons rice, 30 sampans, 8 AP, 4 claymore and 3 AT mines, 1 bridge, 182 foxholes, 11 trenches, 49 tunnels, 60 oxcarts, 20 gals tar, one 55 gal drum C/S and other supplies were destroyed.
(9) FORT NISQUALLY (28 Nov- Continuing). This operation involved the displacement of the 3d Bde, 4th Inf Dic to DAU TIENG and subsequent actions to secure the base camp and eliminate enemy influence in the Bde TAOR. The 2d Bn, 12th Inf and 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf have conducted continuous operations in the area surrounding DAU TIENG. These operarions have consisted of cordon and search of local villages, search and destroy operations in outlying areas and continuous patrolling and ambushing. The mission of this operation is to conduct operations to secure the area adjacent to the base camp at DAU TIENG and eliminate VC influence in the 3d Bde, 4th Div TAOR. Troop C, 1st Sqdn, 10th Cav continues to secure the road from DAU TIENG to TAY NINH. Simultaneously, S&D operations were conducted in the TAOR using the two available battalions, 2d Bn, 12th Inf and 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf in a rotating fashion. American troops wre constantly on operations. Contact has remained light throughout the operation. Maximum use has been made of small unit patrols and BUSHMASTERS. Fire support throughout the operation has been provided by 2d Bn, 77th Arty, located at DAU TIENG. On 11 Jan, 3d Bn, 22d Inf with Btry C, 2d Bn, 77th Arty moved to DAU TIENG. Results of the operation to date are: 21 VC KIA (BC), 2 VC (poss), 26 PW and 53 Det. Twenty assorted small arms, 35.7 tons rice, 2 FM radios, 77.5 lbs documents and assorted supplies were captured. In addition, 37.7 tons rice, 125 lbs meat, 1630 gals fuel oil, 160 underground fortifications, 1 trench, 4 tunnels, 72 foxholes, 33 punji pits and other munitions were destroyed.
(10)ALA MOANA ( 1 Dec- Continuing). 2d Bde, 25th Inf Div conducted operations in the HAU NGHIA, TAY NINH, and BINH DUONG Provinces to locate and destroy VC forces, supplies and base camps and to interdict VC harvest, movement, and storage of rice. On 7 Dec the 2d Bde established a Bde CP in the field and assumed the additional mission of screening the rice producing areas adjacent to the HO BO - BOI LOI Woods complex. Numerous caches were located near the HO BO - BOI LOI complex. After 17 Dec. the Bde CP returned to CU CHI and emphasis was shifted to the DUC HUE and DUG HOA districts. Operations included search and destroy operation, reconnaissance in force, and saturation patrolling throughout the AO. Fire support was provided by 1st Bn, 8th Arty from numerous fire support bases throughout the AO. 2d Bde, 25th Inf Div conducted operations in HAU NGHIA Province to locate and destroy VC forces, supplies and base camps and to interdict VC LOC's. Varied tactics have been used to accomplish this mission such as, BUDDY airmobile operations on multiple LZs reacting to intelligence generated from ASCC's at BAO TRAI and TRANG BANG. From 8 Jan until 26 Jan, the 2d Bde conducted operations along the SAIGON River in conjunction with Operation CEDAR FALLS. Fire support was supplied by 1st Bn, 8th Arty from numerous fire support bases throughout the AO. Results of the operation to date are: 81 VC KIA (BC), 122 VC KIA (poss), 3 VC PW and 211 Det. Thirty-four assorted small arms, 1750 rds SA ammo, 85 lbs documents, 1 AN/ PRC-10 radio, 1 transistor radio, 822 dry cell batteries, 77 lbs medical supplies, 1 sampan motor and, 5.8 tons rice were captured. In addition, 158 81mm rds, 13 155mm rds, 12243 rds SA ammo, 41 AT mines, 61 hand grenades, 189 VC structures, 345 underground fortifications, 7 trenches, 62 tunnels, 38 foxholes, 42 punji pits, 25 rolls tin, 100 gal tar, 110 gals fuel oil, 200 yds canvas, 74.1 tons rice, 1 ton sugar, 100 gals cooking oil, 150 gals soy bean oil, 570 gals pickled fish, 275 gals dried fish, 100 lbs peas and 200 lbs peanuts were destroyed.
b. Artillary Support. During the quarter Div Arty fired 115784 rounds, 63132 in support and 52652 as H&I. Results were 205 VC KIA (BC) and 819 VC KIA (poss), Included in these fires are 5536 rds fired in support of ARVN operations and or/outposts under attack.
c. Air Support. There were 4080 tactical air sorties during the quarter with the following results: 49 VC KBA (BC), 360 VC KBA (poss), 557 VC structures, 826 bunkers, 76 sampans, 4 oxcarts, 5 bridges, 3 tunnels, and 12 caches destroyed. There were 67 secondary explosions and 116 secondary fires.
d. Army Aviation. There were 42204 sorties resulting in 13 VC KBAA.
On 22 December 1968 at approximately 0025 hrs the Diamondhead 10 light fire team from B, Co 25th Avn Bn was scrambled to XT2430 to support three (3) elements of 4th Bn, 9th Inf. Enroute to the area of contact, fire team leader WO-1 Robert H. Moore, contacted the ground commander and received a tactical briefing of his situation. This briefing revealed that the friendly units were surrounded and in danger of being over-run by a large enemy force. Arriving over the area of contact, WO-1 Moore's aircraft came under heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire. Realizing the urgency of the mission, and with complete disregard for his own safety, WO-1 Moore maneuvered his fire team through the hostile anti-aircraft fire as to provide the friendly units with immediate suppressive firing passes. Maneuvering around friendly artillery and enemy anti-aircraft fire, WO-1 Moore began placing the ordnance of his fire team into the main body of the enemy force. Noting that constant suppressive fire was needed in more than one location WO-1 Moore decided to split his fire team into two separate fighting units. WO-1 Moore then began independent suppressive firing passes through intense enemy ground missions. Leaving the area of contact only long enough to refuel and rearm, WO-1 Moore made continuous firing passes for a period of over six hours, truly contributing greatly to the repulsion of the enemy attack and reducing the number of friendly casualties. Remaining on station after enemy contact had been broken, WO-1 Moore provided security for medical evacuation and resupply operations.
B Co, 25th Avn Bn
On 22 December 1968 at approximately 0025 hrs, the Diamondhead 10 light fire team from B Co, 25th Avn Bn was scrambled to XT2430 to support a night location containing three (3) elements of the 4th Bn, 9th Inf. A briefing from the ground commander revealed that their situation was desperate and that they were surrounded and in danger of being over-run by a large enemy force. Upon arriving over the area of contact, the lead ship of the fire team came under heavy anti-aircraft fire. WO-1 Larry D King, aircraft commander of the wing ship, immediately began to place suppressive fire into the enemy weapons positions with complete disregard for his own safety. Maneuvering his aircraft around friendly artillery WO-1 King began making immediate suppressive firing passes into the main body of the enemy force, ignoring the large volume of enemy anti-aircraft fire directed at his ship. Realizing that constant suppressive fire was needed in more than one location, and coordinating with the fire team leader, WO-1 Robert H Moore, the decision was made to split the fire team into two separate fighting units. WO-1 King then began making independent firing passes at the enemy, exposing himself to intense enemy fire, to give the friendly units maxium support from his armed helicopter. Noting that a large enemy unit was attempting to withdraw form the area of contact, WO-1 King contacted the forward air controller, Issue 15. Having expanded all ordnance WO-1 King maneuvered his aircraft into such a positions to the forward air controller, who then placed an air stike on the enemy location. Leaving the area of contact only long enough to refuel and rearm, WO-1 King made continuous firing passes for a period of over six (6) hours, thereby contributing greatly to the repulsion of the enemy attack and reducing the number of friendly casualties. Remaining on station after the enemy contact had been broken to provide security for medical evacuation and resupply operations.
Robert H Moore
B Co 25th Avn Battallion
4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry
25th Infantry Division
18 December 1966
SUBJECT: Combat After Action Report
TO: Commanding Officer
25th Infantry Division
APO SF 96225
1. Operation LANIKAI, search and destroy and pacification.
2. DATES OF OPERATION: 5 Nov - 10 Dec 66.
3. LOCATION: Base camp (XT 655165) to Ben Luc (XS 630764) Long An Province to base camp.
4. CONTROL OR COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: 1st Brigade, 25th Inf Div (5 Nov - 10 Dec 66).
5. REPORTING OFFICER:
a. Hq, 4th Bn 23rd Inf - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - LTC L. J. North
b. Co A, 4th Bn 23rd Inf - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - CPT Clyde A. Hennies
c. Co B, 4th Bn 23rd Inf - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - CPT William Little
d. Co C, 4th Bn 23rd Inf - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - CPT Angel L. Huggins
e. Battalion Control - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Recon Platoon
6. TASK ORGANIZATION:
a. Control Headquarters - Hq, 4th Bn 23rd Inf
b. 4th Bn 23rd Inf
c. Attached: 1 Sqd, A/65th Engr
1 MI Det, 25th MID
1 VHF Team, 125th Sig
2 Sct dogs, 38th Sct Dog Plat
7. SUPPORTING FORCES:
a. C 7/11 Arty
b. A 65th Engr
c. 125th Signal
d. 25th MI Det
e. 38th Scout Dog Plat
f. 25th RAG (River Assault Group - Ben Luc)
h. US Army helicopters coordinated through 1st Brigade Aviation for troop lifts, resupply, medial evacuation and reconnaissance.
i. GO Team (National Police, PRU, 25th ARVN, Psy War Team)
j. Chieu Hois
a. The existing situation prior to the 4th Bn entry into AO LANIKAI is as follows:
At present, there is one (1) VC company known to be operating in each of the seven (7) districts and one (1) floating type company around the Ben Luc area. These companies may be broken down into platoon-size or smaller units and are constantly on the move to avoid major conflicts with friendly troops. Each hamlet contains some type of VC defense squad if the hamlet is under VC influence. The 506th Local Force Bn is the main opposition and is believed to be at 550+ strength. The VC in the area are well armed and supplied. They employ US BAR's, carbines, M-1's and Thompson sub-machine guns as well as Russian and Chicom weapons. Heavy weapons include US 60mm mortars, 81 or 82mm mortars, 50 Cal machine guns and 57 Recoilless Rifles. During this period of the season, the VC use the Oriental River, its tributaries and canals for resupply and movement of troops. Many known and suspected VC agents are working in the area. Highway #4 from Saigon to Ben Luc is relatively secure but should be traveled in convoys of at least two (2) vehicles with three (3) personnel per vehicle. Movement on this portion of the highway should be as rapid as safety will allow to avoid small arms fire. The VC morale has been quite low in the past due to the 4th Bn 9th Inf being committed. Chieu Hoi ralliers have more than doubled and efforts must be increased to raise this total as Chieu Hois are a prime source of current intelligence information.
b. Two main force Viet Cong Battalions operate near the area of Operation LANIKAI II in Long An Province. The 506th Bn, sometimes referred to by the code name D 506, has 3 rifle companies and a headquarters element giving it an overall strength of 400+. This unit is fairly well armed with the usual complement of assorted small arms and automatic weapons. Two 57mm recoilless rifles and two 50 caliber machine guns have been reported in the unit but no confirmation has been made. The combat effectiveness of this unit is unknown and no contact was made with it during the operation. The Second Independent Battalion or Second Separate Battalion operates south of Ben Luc generally in an area from grid line 6271 east to grid line 7171, south to grid line 7164 and west to 6264. This unit has an approximate strength of 350 - 400 men and contains 3 or 4 rifle companies, heavy weapons platoon and a special mission unit. Armament consists of assorted small arms, automatic weapons, two 50 caliber machine guns, six 60mm mortars, four 81mm mortars and two to four 57mm recoilless rifles. The uniforms worn by troops of the Second Independent range from the usual black pajamas to a green khaki or fatigue uniform which has been reported on several occasions. Combat effectiveness of this unit has been rising during the past several months due to several successful ambushes on RF/PF outposts in the area. The unit appears to maintain a strong defensive network in the vicinity of Phuos Van Village, XS 700700. The exact type of defensive measures have not been determined yet because no friendly elements have penetrated this area thoroughly. In addition to the two main force battalions, there are at least six local force companies which range freely throughout the area. The C 280 company generally operates north of the 75 east to west grid line along the Song Vam Co Dong River. This unit has a reported strength of 163 men formed into 3 rifle platoons and a weapons platoon. Armament consists of small arms, automatic weapons, 81mm mortars and 60mm mortars. The C 314 Company generally operates in a 6,000 meter radius from grid line XS 6366. The unit consists of three rifle platoons and a weapons platoon. Unit strength overall is approximately 125 men. The main mission of this unit is harassment of RF/PF outposts and supporting other VC units in the area when necessary. The C 315, C 316 and C 317 Companies have the same general configuration as the C 314th and move freely throughout the area of operation away from large villages or cities. All units have capabilities of linking with either the 506th Bn or the 2nd Inf Bn for large scale operations. All units can be considered to be well armed, well supplied with ammunition and food, and quite flexible. Villages and hamlets under VC domination have formed local defense forces under VC supervision. These forces are usually squad or platoon size with 10 to 20 men depending on the size of the villages. The usual tactics consist of sniping and warning for guerrilla forces operating in an area where friendly forces attempt to conduct operation. Armament of these forces will vary with each hamlet. The terrain of this area is completely flat with an elevation of two to three feet at the maximum and nearly all land is used for rice paddies. The rice paddies vary in depth from twelve to twenty-four inches of water and nearly all paddy floors contain thick mud which makes walking extremely difficult. All major streams in the area were unfordable by foot traffic and these streams varied in depth from two to five meters depending on local tides. In almost all cases, bridges shown on the map had been blown by VC. The banks of all streams are covered with thick stands of mangrove and water palm, affording excellent concealment for VC sniper activity. Movement through these areas is extremely slow and difficult due to heavy vegetation, mud and the inability to determine the exact edge of a stream bank. Any area with a slight degree of elevation and dry ground is populated by local farmers. There are no obstacles to movement in the area and all streams are used to the maximum as movement routes. Civilian movement commences at 0430 hrs and continues until 1300 hrs, at which time all inhabitants observe the traditional siesta. Movement begins again at 1500 and ceases with darkness. This is true for river and road traffic. Roads in the area are unimproved dirt with the exception of Highway 4 which is two-lane macadam. The weather in the area was fairly consistent with early morning ground fog and haze which usually burned off by 0900 hrs. Skies during the day were generally clear with a prevailing northwesterly wind at 5 knots. Showers and thunderstorms usually built up by 1500 to 1600 hrs daily. Daily rainfall varied from no rain to 1.56 inches within a 24 hour period. Average high temperature was 89 deg - 90 deg with an average low of 74 deg to 75 deg at night. Long An Province contains a wealth of intelligence agencies which appear to be well organized and cooperative to US actions in the area. Information was timely and fairly accurate. The only major problem encountered was sorting information out of the numerous reports that were received daily. H & I fire proved to be an effective measure on VC morale in the area. Chieu Hoi reports in the area indicated a definite fear of artillery fires after the H & I program was initiated in early November. Interrogation reports from current Chieu Hois indicate the H & I fire program was having a detrimental effect on VC morale during the last few weeks of the operation.
9. MISSION: 4/23 Inf relieves 4/9 Inf vic Ben Luc (XS 6276) 051200 Nov 66, continue operations in assigned AO to locate and destroy VC forces, supplies and base camps, interdict VC LOC's and support the Revolutionary Development Program.
10. CONCEPT OF OPEERATION:
a. 4/23 deploys C 4/23 by convoy to Ben Luc (XS 6276) commencing 020700 Nov 66; C 4/23 attached to 4/9 during period 020600 Nov 66 to 051200 Nov 66; 4/23 (-) moves by convoy to Ben Luc commencing 050700 Nov 66; relieves 4/9 Inf of mission in AO and assumes responsibility for Ben Luc base camp 051200 Nov 66; selected staff 4/23 operates with 4/9 Inf during period 27 Oct 04 Nov 66; after assuming mission from 4/9 Inf, conduct search and destroy operations, raids, combat patrols and ambushes in AO, separately and joint operations with ARVN forces, to locate and destroy VC forces and supplies, support the Revolutionary Development Program and provide material and technical assistance to PR and RF outposts in AO.
a. OPORD 15-66, 1st Brigade (Operation LANIKAI) was issued participating units 301200 Oct 66. OPORD 171-66, 4th Bn 23rd Inf (Operation LANIKAI) was issued to participating units 0100 Nov 66.
b. In compliance with OPORD 171-66, 4/23 Inf, the 4/23 (-) with Co A departed base camp at Cu Chi for Ben Luc 050730 Nov 66. The 4/23 (-) closed Ben Luc base camp (XS 630764) 051020 Nov 66. The convoy totaled 56 vehicles. The 4/23 (-) devoted the remainder of the day to establishing and improving upon the Ben Luc base camp. Co Co ambush patrol closed base camp 060625 hrs with negative contact. The Bn (-) devoted the remainder of the day (4 Nov 66) to improving upon the base camp and finalizing plans for the joint US/ARVN operation on 7 Nov 66.
Civil Affairs/Psy War
The project of the Ben Luc Water Plant initiated by 4/9 Inf will be carried over and continued by 4/23 Inf. Progress was made on the facility this date. In addition, repairs were made on the floor of the Bn CP (White House).
7 Nov 66
C Co ambush patrol closed base camp 070210 hrs with negative contact. Commencing 0170550 hrs A Co moved from base area by trucks for a joint search operation with one (1) ARVN company from 3/50 ARVN Regt and one (1 ) RF/PF company from Benh Chanh (XS 7179). (See Appendix 1 to Annex B.) The operation was completed 071420 hrs. Three (3) detainees were apprehended and interrogated and released to the Ben Luc District Chief.
Civil Affairs/Psy War
A medcap was conducted this date at the Ben Luc Refugee Center. A total of 100 patients were treated. The following news distribution was made in conjunction with the medcap: 150 - JUSPAO Magazines
15 - Agriculture Magazines
15 - American History - Vietnamese Language
15 - Navy Hero Comics
500 - Medcap Leaflets
18 - Health Habit Posters
A one (1) hours English class was held at the Ben Luc school for 100 students in the primary and intermediate category. The class was taught by the Ben Luc sub-sector NCO advisor and volunteers from the 4/23 Inf.
8 Nov 66
Work was completed on the Ben Luc water plant this date. In addition, 5000 leaflets of various types were passed out today in the area of C Co's operation.
9 Nov 66
C Co's ambush closed base camp 090635 hrs with negative contact. Co A with one (1) co 51st Ranger Bn and one (1) platoon 3/50 ARVN conducted a joint search and pacification mission vic Xom Cong (XS 6874) commencing 090400 hrs. (See Appendix 3 to Annex B.) At approximately 091050 hrs, Co A and Co 51st Ranger Bn received approximately 30 rds of small arms fire from XS673742. The fire was returned and suppressed with SA and 60mm mortar fire. The pacification effort continued and was completed at 091145 hrs. Co A returned to the Ben Luc base camp 091245 hrs.
Civil Affairs/Psy War
(1) One (1) medcap was conducted in conjunction with today's operation in the village of Xom Cong (XS 6874). A total of 115 patients were treated and the following distribution was made: 500 - JUSPAO Newsletters
130 - JUSPAO Info Magazines
600 - JUSPAO Leaflets
50 - Health Habit Posters
(2) The culvert and road outside the Ben Luc base camp was repaired by the engineers, with local civilians assisting.
(3) The bi-weekly English class was conducted 1900 - 2100 hrs at the Ben Luc school.
10 Nov 66
A Co ambush observed 12 to 15 VC approximately 200 meters to their right flank. The VC were not taken under fire because of its distance and direction. Patrol closed base camp 100545 hrs with negative contact. One (1) platoon Co A conducted a VAAP (Vietnamese American Acquaintance Program) vic village of Ap Ba Cu (XS 6075) commencing 100800 hrs. In addition, one (1) platoon Co A plus one (1) sqd 3/50 ARVN will conduct checkmate vic XS 605753 during period 102000 - 102300 hrs. (See Appendix 4 to Annex B.) The checkmate closed Ben Luc camp 102315 hrs with negative results. During the VAAP operation, the villagers were very hospitable and eager to meet the American troops in the area. S-5, with newsletters, followed the platoon into the Ap Ba Cu area and distributed same.
Civil Affairs/Psy War
During the VAAP operation, the S-5 distributed clothing to 160 men, women and children. The village population totaled 300 people consisting of 70 families. 25 ea of the following JUSPAO magazines were distributed:
6-628, 7-017, and 6-818
50 - Children's Comic Books 6-791
300 - JUSPAO Newspapers
500 - Leaflets # 315-66: Subj - Americans
to help VN fight the Communists
500 - Leaflets # 204: Subj - Americans to help
VN people to progress and to give aid
10 - Posters (SP-995 and SP-1015)
The VAAP operation was accomplished with much success. The American troops with ARVN interpreters moved freely through the hamlet greeting villagers and distributing magazines, newspapers and leaflets explaining the American presence in Vietnam. In addition, a two (2) man ARVN Psy War Team, with portable “Bullhorn” made announcements of our presence and intentions. Two (2) five man teams moved through the village and distributed clothing to the families. No enemy contact was encountered. Villagers said the VC occasionally moved through the hamlet at night.
11 Nov 66
Two (2) waterborne checkmates were conducted during period 0545 - 1000 hrs. (See Appendix 5 to Annex B.) Both checkmates resulted in negative detainees. Medcap was conducted in conjunction with a two (2) platoon sweep (one (1) platoon Co A, one (1) platoon 3/50 ARVN) vic XS 637751. The operation leading up to medcap resulted in negative contact. The medcap operation was completed 111635 hrs. Co A platoon w/ARVN platoon closed Ben Luc base camp 1715 hrs.
Civil Affairs/Psy War
During the medcap, 123 patients were treated. The following items were distributed during the medcap operation: 45 - JUSPAO Magazines
300 - TUDO Magazines
100 - SP-1015 Leaflets
30 - Children's Hero Comic Books
150 - Bars of soap
The medcap operation was considered a complete success. The villagers were very receptive to efforts in all areas, including the psy war operations.
12 Nov 66
Co A ambush closed base camp 120145 hrs with negative contact. Co A departed on search operations 0530 hrs and landed at objective via RAG with negative contact (See Appendix 6 to Annex B). Co A linked up with 51st Ranger Bn occupying a blocking psn west of Oriental River. Negative contact was encountered throughout the operation. Co A closed base camp 1030 hrs.
Civil Affairs/Psy War
(1) The following leaflets were dropped in the area bordered grid line 57 to 60 easting and 76 to 78 northing: 20,000 - SP 14-61
10,000 - 926
2,000 - Safe conduct passes
(2) Three (3) GP medium tents (salvage) were distributed to the Chie Hoi Center at Tan An. In addition, three (3) GP medium tents (salvage) were distributed to the Ben Luc Refugee Center.
(3) Co A aid men treated five (5) sick villagers during today's operation.
13 Nov 66
Co A ambush returned to base camp 0600 hrs with negative contact. Co B closed Ben Luc 0945 hrs. Co C returned to Cu Chi base camp by convoy to assume security mission vic Cu Chi base camp. Bn (-) planned and coordinated for an airmobile operation within the AO on 14 Nov 66.
14 Nov 66
Co B patrol closed base camp at 0720 hrs with negative contact. Co A conducted an airmobile operation commencing 1200 hrs and provided the blocking force for the 51st Ranger Bn. (See Appendix 7 to Annex B.) Co A received AW fire at 1216 hrs from coordinate XS 704733. The fire was returned and suppressed. At 1300 hrs, Co A apprehended one (1) VCS at blocking psn South. At 1330 hrs, 51st Rangers received AW fire from XS 690730. Fire was silenced by artillery fire. At 1310 hrs, Co A located various medical supplies vic psn South (XS 704730). At 1410 hrs, Co A apprehended another VCS vic psn XS 698738. At 1500 hrs, Co A received SA fire from XS 705729 resulting in one (1) US KIA. Co A linked up with organic transportation vic Go Den (XS 6876) closing base camp 1700 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
S-5 made leaflet drops of the following leaflets at coordinates XS 5581, 5681, 5581, 5679, 5779, 5879: 5,000 - Safe conduct passes
2,500 - SP 1461
2,500 - SP 1151
20,000 - SP 1329
15 Nov 66
Recon platoon patrol closed base camp 0700 hrs with negative contact. One (1) platoon Co B w/one (1) Platoon 3/50 ARVN conducted search operations commencing 0500 hrs. (See Appendix 8 to Annex B.) Platoons 3/50 ARVN conducting recon by fire wounded one (1) female VCS who was evacuated to base camp for medical treatment and interrogation. It was later discovered that the female's husband was a VC and consequently, after hearing of his wife's injury, turned himself over to the District Chief in Ben Luc. The remainder of the operation met with negative results. Co B and ARVN element closed respective base camps 1440 hrs. One (1) platoon Co A moved and occupied a checkmate position vic XS 611779 at 0900 hrs. A total of 14 personnel were checked and all passed with proper identification. The platoon closed base camp 1137 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A leaflet drop was conducted at 1400 hrs. Location of drop from grid line 54 east to grid line 55 and from grid line 80 north to grid line 82. The following leaflets were dropped: 500 - Safe conduct passes
2,500 - SP 1151
12,500 - SP 1461
20,000 - Allied Presence and Might
(2) One (1) swing set was delivered to the Ben Luc school.
16 Nov 66
Co B ambush patrol closed base camp at 0640 hrs with negative contact. Co A with one (1) platoon 3/50 ARVN and Intelligence Squad moved 0630 hrs and established security vic Long Hiep (XS 6675) and approximately 1,000 meters south of Long Hiep. (See Appendix 9 to Annex B.) Medcap team was flown into Long Hiep. Medcap operation was conducted Area Nightingale (XS 6675) 0930-1300 hrs. A Co observed two (2) VC at 1230 hrs vic XS 667737. VC were taken under fire. A Co was credited with two (2) VC KIA (poss). Co A moved from area south of Long Hiep and apprehended one (1) VCS vic XS 665746. Co A closed base camp at 1545 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
A medcap was conducted vic Long Hiep (XS 6675). A total of 150 patients were treated by the battalion surgeon, one (aidman from 4/23, one (1) aidman from 86th Advisory team and one (1) nurse from the village dispensary. Reports from the people in the village indicated two (2) VC were operating south of the village and that the area was heavily booby-trapped. These reports were confirmed when Co A encountered a booby-trapped area south of the village. The villagers were friendly to the US troops in the area. The following items were distributed:
50 - bars of soap
3 - 6-628 magazines
10 - 6-818
50 - 6-512
83 - 7-203
7-017 Set and Education Comics
6-791 - 7 ea War Hero
6-182 - 10 ea History of America
300 - JUSPAO Newspapers (Thong Tin)
30 - Almanacs
The following medical posters were distributed:
7 - SP-995
5 - SP-1017
10 - SP-1004
14 - SP-1015
5 - SP-998
17 Nov 66
Co A patrol encountered unknown VC force at 16130H Nov resulting in 1 US KIA and 8 US WIA. Dust-off aircraft was called. Area of contact was secured 162350 hrs, and dust-off was completed 170004 Nov. One (1) Platoon from Co A conducted waterborne checkmate commencing 0530 hrs. Approximately 50 sampans were checked with one (1) VCS being detained. Checkmate closed base camp with detainee 0930 hrs. The detainee was interrogated and released to Ben Luc District Chief. Co B with one (1) ARVN platoon conducted a heliborne raid on Xom Cay Trom (XS 6678). One (1) company 51st Ranger Bn provided blocking force approximately 600 meters southwest of the village. Negative contact was encountered during the operation. (See Appendix 10 to Annex B.)
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A leaflet drop was made bordered by the following coordinates: XS 66 to 81, 66 to 84, 68 to 84, 68 to 81. The following items were dropped:
5,000 - Safe conduct passes
2,500 - SP-1151 Medical appeal
20,000 - SP-1329 Medical appeal
5,000 - SP 1-014 Terror
(2) Two (2) lister bags were given to the Chieu Hoi Center on a loan basis.
(3) A condolence gift was given to the family of the Vietnamese Ranger killed in joint US/VN operations on 14 Nov 66. The gift consisted of 100 lbs of rice, 1 can powdered milk, 2 cans of liquid chocolate milk and clothing for 7 children and wife.
(4) The engineers are also currently working on the walkway at the refugee center.
18 Nov 66
Co B patrol closed base camp 0530 hrs with negative contact. Co A, with a platoon 3/50 ARVN, conducted a heliborne raid on Ap Nhi (2) (XS 5979) at 0700 hrs. (See Appendix 11 to Annex B.) Negative contact was made. Four (4) detainees were returned to the Ben Luc base camp, interrogated and turned over to the Ben Luc District Chief. Co A closed Ben Luc base camp at 1100 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) Repairs were made by the engineers at the tennis court in Ben Luc village.
(2) S-5 distributed clothing to 100 men, women and children through the Ben Luc District Chief in area north of Ben Luc.
19 Nov 66
Co A patrol closed base camp 0715 hrs with negative contact. One (1) platoon Co B, Recon Plat and madcap team moved into village Ap Ba Cu (XS 5975) at 0900 hrs. Medcap operation was completed 1415 hrs. Co B operation was cancelled due to planning and recon required for joint US/ARVN airmobile operation on 20 Nov 66.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) During the medcap operation, 95 men, women and children were treated in Ap Ba Cu (XS 5975). The following publication and newsletters were distributed:
27 - Almanacs
300 - JUSPAO Newspapers (Thong Tin)
100 - 6-808 (16) village story
5 - Medical posters (SP 999, SP 1015, SP 998,
SP 1004, SP 995, SP 996, SP 1002, SP 1017
100 - SP 981 American Presence
33 - 6-512 (42) Agriculture
40 - 7-203 (42) Agriculture
60 - 6-789 (16) War Hero Comics
20 Nov 66
Co C arrived Ben Luc base camp via helicopters 0845 hrs. A one (1) hour weather delay was placed on airmobile operation involving Co's A & B (See Appendix 12 to Annex B). At 1027 hrs both Co's A & B were on the LZ's and moving along with their designated route. At 1045 hrs Co A located and destroyed five (5) freshly dug positions vic XS 689710. At 1155 hrs, Co A received SA fire from XS 691701. Fire was suppressed and silenced by SA and arty fire. At 1206 hrs, Co A had one (1) WIA from SA fire vic S 700703. Dust-off was called and completed at 1255 hrs. Co A had 4 VC KIA (BC) at 1258 hrs vic XS 693707. At 1451 hrs, Co B suffered 2 US WIA vic XS 692703. Dust-off was called and completed by gunships at 1459 hrs. At 1640 hrs, Co B had 2 WIA from SA fire at XS 693704. Dust-off was called and completed at 1701 hrs. Two (2) airstrikes were called into the area where Co's A & B were receiving the SA and automatic weapons fire. The Bn was credited with 17 VC KIA (Poss) from the airstrike. An agent report from Tan An verified the count by the number of fresh graves seen in the area of operation. A total of 18 suspects were returned to the Ben Luc base camp for interrogation. The detainees were further turned over to the Ben Luc District Chief. Co's A and B were extracted by air to the Ben Luc base camp and closed the base at 1900 hrs.
21 Nov 66
Co C patrol returned base camp 0530 hrs with negative contact. One (1) platoon 3/50 ARVN moved and secured area for medcap operation 0730 hrs vic XS 644742. Medcap team closed base camp 1200 hrs. Platoon from Co C and 18 detainees apprehended on 20 Nov operation. 15 detainees were released to district; 3 were released after interrogation as VCS.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A medcap was conducted at Long Dinh (XS 6474). A total of 100 patients were treated by the Bn Surgeon, two (2) aidmen from 4/23, and one (1) aidman from the GO Team with two (2) National Police. Candy was given to 50 during the medcap operation. In addition, the following distribution was made:
250 - JUSPAO Newspapers (Thong Tin)
Medical posters - SP 995 (7 ea), SP 1015 (12 ea)
SP 996 (5 ea), SP 1917 (8 ea), SP 999 (6 ea),
SP 1002 (2 ea), SP 998 (4 ea), SP 1004 (2 ea)
and SP 997 (6 ea).
10 - Comics of History of America No 6-182 (208)
30 - War Hero Comics No 6-789 (16)
100 - Village Story No 6-808 (16)
(2) The engineers have begun the preliminary work on the foundation at the Ben Luc dispensary.
(3) Bn maintenance is currently working on a water storage rack for the Ben Luc Maternity Hospital.
22 Nov 66
Co B patrol closed base camp 0710 hrs with negative contact. Co C departed base camp 1500 hrs on search operation (see Appendix 13 to Annex B). Co C returned to base camp 1930 hrs with negative contact. Co C stay-behind location vic XS 657790.
Civic action/Psy War
A leaflet drop was conducted at coordinates XS 6874, XS 6868, XS 7471, XS 7473. The following leaflets were dropped:
40,000 - No 040-1 Terror
5,000 - Safe conduct passes
20,000 - SP 1329 - VN Government will defeat
23 Nov 66
Co C patrols returned base camp 0720 hrs with negative contact. Co B with two (2) companies 3/50 ARVN conducted search operation south of Ben Luc commencing 0600 hrs to locate VC cache vic 648717 (see Appendix 14 to Annex B). At 0810 hrs, one (1) ARVN Co received SA fire from approximately four (4) VC vic XS 650736. The fire was returned; the VC broke contact and moved north. At 1110 hrs, Co B located a cache vic XS 648717. One (1) homemade 60mm mortar was located at the cache site. At 1115 hrs, Co B moved to another suspected cache vic XS 652719. The following items were located and destroyed at this location:
4 - 10 lb AT mines
3 - miles of wire
4 - US grenade adapters
53 - assorted rds of small arms
1 - pr. wire cutters
8 - boxes large blasting caps
1 - homemade VC grenade
13 - sub-machine gun magazines
1 - 2.75 rocket warhead
2 - Bangalore torpedos
Co B closed Ben Luc base camp 1625 hours.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A total of 100 books were given to the English class students at the Ben Luc schools. The following books were given to the Catholic grade school in Ben Luc:
6 ea - Bibles
5 ea - Missal Books
7 ea - Picture Books
(2) The incinerator was completed at the Ben Luc Maternity Hospital.
(3) Storage racks and 2 - 55 gallon barrels were installed at the Ben Luc Maternity Hospital.
(4) Minor repairs were made on the District Chief's vehicle.
24 Nov 66
Co C patrol closed base camp 0525 hrs with negative contact. Co C conducted two (2) checkmates to interdict VC traffic and resources commencing 0500 hrs (see Appendix 15 to Annex B). During the checkmate operations, no detainees were apprehended. The two (2) checkmate elements from Co C closed base camp 0925 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A leaflet drop was conducted at coord XS 6273, 6320, 6568, 6768, and 6774. The following leaflets were dropped:
10,000 - Safe conduct passes
20,000 - SP 926 Medical
10,000 - VN Government defeat VC
500 - SP 146
4,500 - No 040-1 Terror
(2) Thanksgiving dinner was served with Vietnamese Commander and American advisor as guests at 1300 hrs.
25 Nov 66
Bn (-) employing Co's B and C conducted joint waterborne and search operation south of Ben Luc commencing 0630 hrs. ARVN from 3/50 ARVN Regt conducted search from XS 665690 south to XS 665675. Co's B and C occupied blocking positions XS 665675 and XS 655674 (see Appendix 16 to Annex B). 3/50 ARVN located approximately 50 two-man positions with overhead cover at location XS 655687 southeast to XS 653682 and XS 640680 southeast to XS 643677. Grenades were used by the ARVN troops in an attempt to destroy the positions with little success. Negative contact throughout the operation. Co's B and C closed base camp 1400 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
A leaflet drop was conducted at 1500 hrs at coordinates XS 5886, 5885, 6289, 6388. The following leaflets were dropped:
40,000 - SP Medical appeal
40,000 - SP 1329 VN Government defeat Communists
10,000 - Safe conduct passes
26 Nov 66
Co C patrols returned to base camp 0602 hrs with negative contact. Two (2) platoons from Co B augmented with eight (8) VN National Police conducted search operation vic Binh Nhut (1) (XS 602742) commencing 0700 hrs. Upon completion of the search, the platoon and attachments remained in the area and provided security for medcap and Psy War Team. VC propaganda leaflets were found in the area. At 1230 hrs, the madcap and Psy War team closed base camp. The security platoon closed base camp at 1245 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
A total of 130 villagers were treated by the Bn Surgeon, 2 US aidmen and 1 ARVN aid man. The initial response was slow but later a friendly and receptive attitude developed. The psy war team distributed the following in conjunction with the madcap:
10 - 6-182 (208) History of America
50 - 6-808 (16) Village Story
30 - 6-8-8 (16) VN War Hero Comics
20 - 7-203 (42) Agriculture
20 - 6-512 (42) Agriculture
400 - JUSPAO (Thong Tin) Newspapers
7 ea - SP 995
12 ea - SP 1015
5 ea - SP 996
8 ea - SP 1017
6 ea - SP 999
2 ea - SP 1002
4 ea - SP 998
2 ea - SP 1004
6 ea - AP 997
27 Nov 66
Recon platoon patrol closed base camp 0650 hrs with negative contact. Co A relieved Co B at the Ben Luc base camp, arriving 1030 hrs. Normal patrols continued plus plans and recons were made for pending operation on 28 Nov 66.
Civic Action/Psy War
A total of two (2) bookshelves were built and delivered to the VIS (Vietnamese Information Service) in Ben Luc.
28, 29, 30 Nov 66
Co A patrol returned to base camp 0435 hrs with negative contact. Co C plus one (1) platoon 3/50 ARVN moved 0600 hrs to a designated AO to establish a company base and conduct search, ambush and checkmate operations. (See Appendix 17 to Annex B.) Co C establish company base vic XS 599767. Co C received two (2) US WIA from booby traps at 1300 hrs vic coordinates XS 597762. Dust-off was called and WIA's evacuated at 1315 hrs. Aerial resupply to Co C complete 1635 hrs. At 2010 hrs, Co C received AW fire vic XS 597762. The fire was ineffective resulting in no casualties. Fire was suppressed and silenced with SA, M-79 and 60mm mortar fire. Co C had negative contact the remainder of the night. One (1) platoon Co A moved out 0725 hrs providing security for the medcap team on Phouc Tu (XS 6377). The medcap team closed base camp 1100 hrs. The security platoon from Co A closed base camp 1130 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
A medcap was conducted in Phouc Tu (XS 6377) on 28 Nov. A total of 83 patients were treated by the battalion surgeon, one (1) US aidman, and one (1) VN nurse. The initial response was slow but later a friendly and receptive atmosphere prevailed. The following printed material was distributed in conjunction with madcap:
Psy War: 32 - 6-808 (16) Village Story
33 - 6-818 (42) Agriculture
10 - 6-182 (16) History of America
31 - 6-628 (42) Agriculture
Medical Posters: 5 - SP 995
12 - SP 999
10 - SP 1002
10 - SP 997
4 - SP 1004
4 - SP 998
8 - SP 1017
12 - SP 1015
General: 50 - 6-769 (16) War Hero
50 - 7-203 (42) Agriculture
29 Nov 66
Co C ambushes returned to Co C base camp 0830 hrs. Ambush patrol #1 encountered ineffective SA fire from vic XS 596768. Fire was returned and area checked with negative results. Co C moved from base location 0930 hrs conducting search operation to XS 598760. Co C established base at this location and established four (4) ambush locations. Co C had negative contact at the ambush locations and the company base area.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) Two (2) bookshelves built by the engineer squad were donated to the VIS (Vietnamese Information Service) reading room.
(2) Psy War: The attached ARVN Psy War Team was employed at the bus checkpoint on the west side of the Ben Luc bridge. The team broadcasted the national and local news. Propaganda was also distributed during the period 1400 - 1630 hrs at the same location.
30 Nov 66
Co C ambushes closed Co C base camp 0610 hrs with negative contact. Co C moved by plat to a vehicle pickup point vic XS 607757. Co C closed Ben Luc base camp 0845 hrs. A medcap was conducted at Loung Hoa (XS 570880) during period 0930 - 1300 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
A total of 120 villagers were treated by the Bn surgeon, two (2) aid men from 4/23 Inf, one (2) aid man from GO Team, and one (1) nurse from Ben Luc dispensary.
Psy War: The Psy War team set up at Ben Luc bridge and handed out literature and broadcast goodwill messages. The following pamphlets were distributed:
34 - 6-789 (16)
30 - 6-182 (208)
200 - JUSPAO newspapers (Thong Tin)
40 - 6-628 (42)
40 - 6-808 (16)
1 Dec 66
Co A conducted two (2) platoon-sized checkmates at vic XS 613778 and XS 635786 during period 0700 - 0900 hrs. No detainees were apprehended at either location.
Civic Action/Psy War
One (1) medcap was conducted at the 3/50 ARVN compound located under the Ben Luc bridge. A total of 130 patients were treated by the Bn Surgeon, two (2) aidmen from 4/23 Inf and one (1) aidman from the GO Team. The following distribution was made: 70 - 6-789
16 - War Hero Comic Books
30 - 6-689
69 - magazines
2 Dec 66
Co A patrol closed base camp 0515 hrs with negative contact. Co C and one (1) platoon 3/50 ARVN conducted a heliborne and search operation vic Ap Nhi (2) (XS 6480) (see Appendix 18 to Annex B). One (1) ARVN Co, 3/50 ARVN moving into blocking position received fire from estimated one (1) squad VC vic XS 632791. Fire was returned and the enemy fire ceased. A search of the area revealed negative results. Co C located and destroyed two (2) grenade booby traps vic XS 648802. At 0945 hrs, Co C located and destroyed four (4) grenades in a box at 647801. At 1000 hrs, Co C located and destroyed one (1) booby trapped grenade at XS 647801. Co C closed base camp at 1400 hrs with negative contact.
Civic Action/Psy War
A leaflet drop was conducted in the following area: 62 to 72 east/west grid line and 69 to 72 north/south grid line. The following leaflets were dropped:
10,000 Safe conduct passes
50,000 Chieu Hoi letters
3 Dec 66
Co A patrol closed base camp 0600 hrs with negative contact. Co A with platoon ARVN and PRV departed 0700 hrs for assigned AO to locate and destroy VC forces operating in the assigned AO. Co A established its company base vic XS 593709. Co A established five (5) ambushes within the AO. Co A had negative contact.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) Eight bookshelves were delivered to Tan An library.
(2) Engineer squad continued work on the Ben Luc dispensary.
(3) One (1) barbecue pit was delivered to the Ben Luc Refugee Center.
(4) The Psy War Team located at Go Den (XS 6876) market place during period 0800 - 1200 hrs. The team broadcasted local and national news over the PA set with radio and tapes. In addition, JUSPAO literature was distributed.
4 Dec 66
Co C patrol closed Ben Luc base camp 0600 hrs with negative contact. Co A patrols closed Co A base camp 0730 hrs with negative contact. Co A with platoon ARVN and PRU continued search operations in AO. Co A conducted search operation to XS 600721. Prior to closing in company base camp area, Co A had one (1) US soldier drown vic XS 601720. A thorough search of stream and stream banks was conducted with negative results. At 1715 hrs, Co A received rifle grenade fire vic XS 603723. The enemy fire was countered with 60mm mortar and arty fire. At 1840 hrs, Co A received SA and AW fire from same general vicinity of previous fire. The fire was suppressed with AW and arty fire. Co A credited with 1 VC KIA (BC). Co A had one (1) US WIA from GSW in foot. Dust-off was called and completed at 1947 hrs. One (1) ARVN WIA during first dust-off. Another dust-off was called for ARVN WIA and completed at 2042 hrs. Negative contact the remainder of the night.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A leaflet drop was conducted at 1030 hrs at coordinates XS 7376 to XS 7669 to XS 7377 to XS 7777. The following leaflets were dropped:
150,000 - Chieu Hoi letters
30,000 - SP 1830 (VC wives)
30,000 - Safe conduct passes
40,000 - No 941
(2) Repairs were made to sliding boards at the 3/50 ARVN dependent compound vic Ben Luc bridge.
5 Dec 66
Co B patrol closed base camp 0630 hrs with negative contact. Co A patrols closed the company base 0600 hrs with negative contact. Co A departed assigned AO 0840 hrs to meet transportation back to Ben Luc base camp. Co A closed Ben Luc base camp 1050 hrs. One (1) platoon Co B provided security for medcap vic An Than (2) (XS 6177) during period 0930 - 1230 hrs. The medcap closed base camp 1240 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A total of 120 patients were treated during the medcap in An Thanh (2).
(2) Engineer squad repaired playground equipment at 3/50 ARVN compound.
6 Dec 66
Co B patrols closed base camp 0605 hrs with negative contact. Co B departed base camp 0800 hrs for assigned AO. Co B established company base (XS 648747) and prepared to conduct search and ambush operation within assigned AO. Co B established three (3) ambush patrols within AO. Co B had negative contact this date in AO. The MIA (drowned) soldier from Co A was found by a VN civilian in river vic XS 603725 at 1100 hrs. The remains were returned to US personnel at Ben Luc at 1320 hrs and further evacuated to Cu Chi at 1430 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) 4/23 Inf lent one (1) 2-1/2 ton truck to sub-sector at Ben Luc for transport of lumber from Saigon.
(2) Engineer squad worked on cooking stove at Ben Luc Refugee Center.
(3) One (1) “C” box of women's clothing and one (1) “C” box of food was given to the district chief for distribution to refugee families.
7 Dec 66
Co B patrols closed the company base 0550 hrs with negative contact. One (1) platoon Co A arrived Long Phu (XS 6477) for medcap security 0750 hrs. Co B moved and closed new base area XS 665745 at 1040 hrs. Co B received ineffective SA fire at 1330 hrs and again at 1720 hrs from vic XS 660769. The fire was suppressed with arty fire. Co B established three (3) ambushes in AO. Co B had negative contact in AO the remainder of the night.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A total of 110 patients were treated during the medcap in Long Phu. Four (4) National Police and the Psy War Team distributed the following:
40 - 6-512 (43) Agriculture
200 - JUSPAO Newspapers (Thong Tin)
60 - 6-789 (16) War Hero
75 - almanacs
Medical Posters: 20 - SP 998
15 - SP 1017
20 - SP 1002
15 - SP 997
30 - SP 1015
(2) Engineers completed the concrete stove for the Ben Luc Refugee Center.
(3) Engineers installed a wash basin at the Ben Luc Maternity Hospital.
8 Dec 66
Co A patrol closed base camp 0600 hrs with negative contact. Co B patrols returned to company base 0615 hrs with negative contact. Co B moved by foot and closed Ben Luc base camp 1200 hrs with negative contact.
Civic Action/Psy War
A leaflet drop was conducted 1300 hrs at coordinates XS 4669, XS 5171, XS 4477, XS 4676. The following leaflets were dropped.
100,000 - SP 1461 Medical appeal
30,000 - Safe conduct passes
20,000 - SP 1329 American Presence
9 Dec 66
Co A patrol closed base camp 0630 hrs with negative contact. One (1) platoon Co A departed 0800 hrs to provide security for medcap vic Long Phu (XS 6375). The medcap was conducted during period 0900 - 1200 hrs. Medcap security platoon and medcap team closed base camp 1220 hrs with negative contact. Co B closed Cu Chi base via vehicle convoy at 1400 hrs.
Civic Action/Psy War
(1) A total of 150 patients were treated during madcap. Psy War Team was utilized during madcap.
(2) A total of 100 school kits were donated to dependents of 3/50 ARVN in Ben Luc.
10 Dec 66
Co A patrol closed base camp 0545 hrs with negative contact. Bn CP and Co A departed Ben Luc for Cu Chi at 1150 hrs. Convoy closed Cu Chi base camp with negative contact 1410 hrs. 4/23 Inf was relieved of mission in Ben Luc area by 2/14 Inf effective 101200 hrs.
a. Friendly: The 4th Bn 23rd Inf had the following casualties:
(a) 5 VC KIA (BC)
(b) 34 VC KIA (poss)
(c) 17 VC KBA (BC)
(d) 4 VCS
(2) Captured: 1 - 60mm mortar
4 - 10 lb AT mines
3 - mile wire
6 - Chicom grenades
53 - assorted SA rounds
4 - US grenade adapters
1 - pr wire cutters
1 - sampan
8 - boxes large blasting caps (40 caps)
1 - VC grenades (homemade)
13 - Sub-machine gun magazines
1 - 2.75 rocket warhead
1 - Bangalore torpedos
5 - foxholes
13. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:
a. Supply: From the period 5 Nov 66 to 10 Dec 66, daily resupply convoys were dispatched from Cu Chi to Ben Luc. Items of Class II thru V were sent by this means to the forward tactical base. The average number of 2-1/2 ton trucks used daily for resupply was five (5) and the convoys departed Cu Chi between the hours of 0730 and 1000 hours daily. Resupply of Class I items was conducted from the 1st Brigade Resupply Pad. From 5 Nov thru 30 Nov, resupply was accomplished by means of UH-1D. From 1 Dec thru 9 Dec, resupply was accomplished by CH-47. There were a total of 85 aerial resupply sorties during the period 5 Nov thru 10 Dec.
Class I - The normal resupply cycle was 3 “A” ration meals delivered each afternoon for the following day. “C” rations were issued in accordance with operational requirements. The following Class I items were consumed by this unit during operation LANIKAI: (a) 44,898 “A” Ration meals, (b) 1,200 “C” ration meals.
Class II & IV - The following materials were supplied in the category:
(a) 200 fence post (8 ft)
(b) 9,000 sandbags
(1) 129 PRC 25 batteries
(2) 300 BA 30 batteries
(a) 3600 gallons diesel fuel
(b) 7200 gallons mogas
Class V - Total tonnage (short) for this area was 15 tons.
b. Treatment of Casualties. Evacuations and Hospitalizations - WIA's were evacuated to Cu Chi hospital directly from area of operation. No major problems were encountered with MEDEVAC.
14. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES:
a. During Operation LANIKAI, the following special techniques were used in conjunction with combat operations in AO LANIKAI.
(1) On at least five (5) operations, the RAG (River Assault Group) was employed to transport, provide security and fire power and extract troops within the AO. These operations were very successful and proved a new and interesting experience to the battalion.
(2) The use of a civilian bus as a deceptive means of transporting a patrol, during the hours of darkness, to a location on Hwy 4 southeast of Ben Luc. The patrol exited the bus during the time the vehicle developed mechanical troubles. The patrol then moved to their ambush location approximately 300 meters from the release point. This deceptive measure of entry into an ambush position proved highly successful.
(3) A newly developed operation referred to as VAAP (Vietnamese American Acquaintance Program) proved very successful. A platoon-size unit was sent into a semi-pacified hamlet and had the mission of conversing thru interpreters and passing out literature explaining the US mission in Vietnam. It allowed the Vietnamese people to see the American soldier in a pacification mission rather than the usual search and destroy or search and clear type mission.
15. COMMANDER'S ANALYSIS:
a. the results of this operation were small compared with the effort and time expended. However, the area was patrolled heavily and the VC LOC formerly running in the vicinity of BEN LUC was undoubtedly disrupted.
b. The wet marshy paddy area made all foot movement and maneuver extremely difficult. Without priority on helicopter support, effective operation could not be conducted.
A - OPORD 171-66
B - Operation Overlays
C - Casualty Lists
Annex A (Intelligence) to OPORD 171-66 (Operation LANIKAI)
1. Summary of Enemy Situation
a. Existing Situation
(1) At present there is one VC company known to be operating in each of the seven districts and one floating type company around the Ben Luc area. These companies may be broken down into platoon sized or small units and are constantly on the move to avoid major conflicts with friendly troops. Each hamlet contains some type of VC defense squad when the hamlet is under VC influence. The 506th Local Force Bn is the main opposition and is believed to be at 550+ strength.
(2) The VC in the area are well armed and supplied. They employ US BARs, carbines, M-1s and Thompson sub-machine guns as well as Russian and Chicom weapons. Heavy weapons include US 60mm mortars, 81 or 82mm mortars, 50 cal machine guns and 57mm Recoilless Rifles.
(3) During this period of the season, the VC use the Oriental River, its tributaries and canals for resupply and movement of troops.
(4) Many known and suspected VC agents are working in the area.
(5) Highway #4 from Saigon to Ben Luc is relatively secure but occasional small arms fire may be encountered. Highway #4 from Ben Luc to Tan An is also relatively secure but should be traveled in convoys of at least two vehicles with 3 personnel per vehicle. Movement on this portion of the highway should be as rapid as safety will allow to avoid small arms fire.
(6) The VC morale has been quite high in the past but due to the 4th Bn 9th Inf being committed Chieu Hoi ralliers have more than doubled and efforts must be increased to raise this total as Chieu Hois are a prime source of current intelligence information.
2. Essential Elements of Information.
(1) What is the location, disposition, organization, and identification of guerrilla and main force units?
(2) Where are the VC supply and commo-liaison routes? What type transportation is used? What types of supplies and materials pass over these routes?
(3) What operational bases, secret bases, and supply areas are used by the enemy? How are these areas defended and camouflaged?
NOTE: NEXT 20 PAGES CONSIST OF MAPS TO BE SCANNED IN.
NAME RANK UNIT TYPE OF WOUND
ROUFF, Roger D SP4 HHC FW lower back
REED, Robert P SP4 Co A GSW
NICKLEBERRY, Clifford SP4 Co A Drowned
NAME RANK UNIT TYPE OF WOUND
LEONARD, Niles SP4 Co B FW lower back
MESS, Dariel PFC Co B FW right buttock
ORITZ, Richard PFC Co B FW right shoulder
SINDT, Douglas PFC Co B FW upper chest
CLARK, Dale PFC Co B FW back and thigh
MANN, Bruce SP4 Co A FW chest and legs
ROBINSON, Allison PFC Co A Concussion both ear drums
BOWLAND, John C SP4 Co C FW right arm
JOHNSTON, Patrick SP4 Co A FW right thigh
FOUST, James L SGT Co A FW head
PERRY, Herman SGT Co A FW right leg
PHILLIPS, Charles SP4 Co A FW back
OLSON, Albert PFC Co A GSW right leg
FOSTER, Frank Psgt Co A FW forehead
BRAN, George T PFC Co C FW head
ONSTOTT, Robert PFC Co C FW legs, groin
LEWIS, James M SSGT Co C FW stomach
BALDERAMOS, Richard SGT Co C FW right arm and shoulder
CARTER, Bernardo PFC Co C FW arms
TERREL, Douglas 1/LT Co C FW mouth
POE, William L Pvt Co C FW legs
HENNEY, Joseph F 1/LT Co A FW leg and right instep
UPTON, Roger K 2/LT Co A GSW right side
McGLONE, Warren SGT Co B GSW chest, right leg
DOLE, Robert H SP4 HHC GSW shoulder
BROKES, Peter SP4 Co B Concussion both ears
MONTGOMERY, James PFC Co B Concussion both ears
BOWEN, Krandal SGT Co B FW left hand
LARDIZABAL, Billy PFC Co B FW right arm
CLARK, Dale PFC Co B FW right wrist
PETTIFORD, Richard SP4 Co B FW left hand
PONCE, Robert PFC Co B FW right wrist
RAMPINO, Mario PFC Co B FW left arm
TORTTA, Vincent P SP4 Co B FW left arm
SMITH, David C SP4 Co B FW left knee
CHAMBERS, Charles PFC Co B FW left leg
RICHARDSON, James SGT Co B FW left leg
COXIE, Hosey SSGT Co B FW left knee
FISHER, Willie PFC Co B FW left arm
MARTIN, Ronald PFC Co B FW right arm
BENSON, William SP4 Co B GSW left shoulder
TRAVER, George SP4 Co B FW left hand and arm
ZACCARIO, Vincent Pvt Co B FW left knee
BONDS, Cleophus SGT Co B Concussion both ears
DEVANE, Cossell SGT Co B FW left hand
RAIDEN, Samuel SP4 Co B FW left shoulder
McCLENNOHAN, Samuel SP4 Co B FW left hand and lip
FAISOR, Warren PFC Co B FW left hand and lip
NOONAN, Robert PFC Co B FW left hand and lip
CALVERT, Woodrow SP4 Co B FW left wrist
MINTZ, James PFC Co B FW neck
GAGES, John 1/LT Co B FW right hand
SCHNEIER, Steven SPR HHC GSW left arm
- 43 -
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 2ND BATTALION 14TH INFANTRY
APO San Francisco 96225
9 December 1966
SUBJECT: Troop Orientation: Operation Lanikai
TO: Commanding Officer's All Units, 2nd Bn 14th Inf, and all
Staff Sections 2nd Bn, 14th Inf
Attached is a Troop Orientation for Operation Lanikai. The Orientation will be given to all personnel by their respective unit commanders and staff section chiefs prior to departing Cu Chi for Ben Luc.
1 Incl WILLIAM E. DAVIS
TROOP ORIENTATION: OPERATION LANIKAI
Within the next week this battalion will relieve the 4th Bn 23rd Inf on Operation Lanikai. This operation is being conducted in Long An Province in the Delta area of Vietnam. This operation is unique in that up until September of this year no U.S. Infantry troops have conducted sustained combat operations in this area of the rice-rich lands of the Delta. This operation is also unique in that American troops work very closely with and are integrated with Vietnamese units during all combat operations. In addition American soldiers work with Vietnamese agencies in conducting various Civil Affairs activities.
Before we go any further let's take a brief look at our future operational area. Long An Province is situated generally to the south and south-west of Saigon. The capital of the province is Tan An located approximately 40 kilometers south-west of Saigon. The total population of the province is approximately 381,000. The province is made up of 6 districts. Our tactical base will be located in Ben Luc, the capital of Ben Luc District. Ben Luc District has a population of approximately 46,000. The main economy of the province is agriculture, the principal crop being rice.
Long An Province is strategically important. Through it pass highways 4 and 5 and all the main waterways leading from the Saigon area into the southern most part of the Delta.
Since this operation has several unique factors there will be certain positive guidelines and rules we must follow. The reasons for these rules are as follows:
1. The people of Long An Province enjoy a relatively stable economy and a higher standard of living than most areas in which we have operated.
2. American combat troops are new to the area and they must present to, and maintain favorable impressions with Vietnamese civilian and military personnel.
3. Free World Forces must gain, through combat operations and pacification tasks, control of this strategically important area.
The rules and guidelines are:
1. Individuals will not purchase anything from civilian vendors or merchants in the area. Only one person in each company will be authorized to buy items from civilian merchants. The items purchased by this authorized person should be limited to ice, straw mats, wash basins, and other minor comfort items needed by individuals of the companies. Prices for items purchased will not exceed those published by the Bn S-5. Do not buy souvenirs or other fancy items. The District Chief wants to keep the souvenir shops out of Ben Luc. P.X. and Sundry pack items will be provided by the battalion. Authorized barber services will also be provided.
2. Do not give anything to the civilians. This includes giving candy to children. Effective Civil Affairs programs will take care of the civilians.
3. While riding in convoys do not throw candy or cigarettes to anyone.
4. Do not let children or civilians congregate around bunkers. Be polite but firm and tell them to move on.
5. Do not privately contract for civilian laundry. Authorized laundry services will be provided.
6. Do not leave the base area unless you are on official business as determined by your company commander.
7. Do not go into bars. There have been several attempts by Vietnamese civilians to establish bars in Ben Luc that cater to the American Soldier. The District Chief has closed some of them but he cannot completely control them unless he has our cooperation. The people of Ben Luc do not want them.
8. Stay away from prostitutes. Wherever soldiers go there will be prostitutes. Ben Luc is no exception. The prostitutes found and dismissed from the area were from Saigon. They wear western style clothes and are run out of Ben Luc as soon at they are detected. As with the bars the people of Ben Luc don't want them. The District Chief attempts to keep them out but again he has to have our cooperation. Hold on to it until your DEROS or R&R.
9. Be helpful and courteous to the Vietnamese People and soldiers. We will be conducting combat operations with ARVN squads and platoons. Although you may not always agree with them, understand that they have known nothing but war during their lifetimes. The ARVN soldier has no DEROS, R&R program, nor is there an effective retirement system in the Vietnamese Army. They are in for the duration.
10. Drivers must be careful. Be extremely cautious while operating vehicles. The area around the base is extremely crowded and congested with civilians, mostly children. All rules of proper and safe driving must be adhered to.
Unlike any operation this battalion has conducted in Vietnam, our overall success depends upon the favorable impression and cooperation we establish and maintain with both the ARVN troops and the civilian population in Long An Province.
11. All personnel will stay in the proper uniform. The prescribed uniform will include steel pot and weapon.
2D BATTALION 14TH INFANTRY
APO San Francisco 96225
AVTLFBB 19 July 1966
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report MACV (RCS/J3/32)
THRU: Commanding Officer
1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
APO US Forces 96243
1. Name or Identity and/or Type of Operation:
a. Operation FORT SMITH.
b. Search and Destroy; Pacification.
2. Dates of Operation:
03 June to 03 July 1966.
Hau Nghia Province in area bounded by XT-465233, XT-560233, XT-490140 and XT-570135. (Majority area of operations in the Trang Bang District).
4. Control Headquarters:
2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry vic AP AN Binh (XT-515193).
5. Reporting Officer:
CO, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry (Lt Col Shultz, Commanding)
6. Task Organization:
CO, A 2/14 Inf (Capt Norberg, Capt McQuillen)
CO, B 2/14 Inf (Lt. Muir, Capt Williams)
CO, C 2/14 Inf (Capt Turner)
Engr Sqd A/65th Engr (SSG Turner, SSG Forest)
3A 3/4 Cav (Lt Appler) (25-29 Jun)
2B 3/4 Cav (Lt Kyle, Lt Conner) (5-10 Jun, 19-25 Jun)
3B 3/4 Cav (Lt Miller) (3 Jun-5 Jun, 10 Jun-19 Jun)
1A 3/4 Cav (Lt Spielman) (29-3Jul)
VHF Team, B/125th Signal
Radio Team, 1st Bde
MID Team, 25th Inf Div
7. Supporting Forces: Supporting forces included direct support artillery by B Btry, 7/11 Arty from 3 June 66 to 3 July 66. A Btry, 7/11th Arty reinforced the fires of B Btry, 7/11th Arty from 17 June 66 to 21 June 66. 3/13th Arty provided general support from 3 June 66 to 3 July 66. 7th USAF provided tactical air on 20 minute ground alert but was not utilized during the operation. Army aviation support from 25th Aviation Bn, 145th Aviation Bn, a/82 Avn Co., and 13th AVN Bn greatly contributed to the success of operation FORT SMITH by providing Command and Control aircraft, light and heavy gun teams for combat operations and daily resupply aircraft. All aviation units that supported our operations did an outstanding job in coordination and execution of all airmobile operations conducted. Trang Bang District Chief supported TF 2/14 Inf with an attachment of 4 National Policemen for employment during Search and Destroy operations, pacification operations and night ambushes. There were also 3 MEDCAP personnel and equipment provided from the Trang Bang District for pacification and MEDCAP operations. Intelligence and Vietnamese Information Service personnel were provided to support TF 2/14th Inf operations to search and interrogate civilians for intelligence information. Their overall effectiveness was outstanding. Intelligence information provided by the district chief was timely and accurate. The VIS (Psy War Team) personnel were responsive and effective in the operations conducted. The US Advisors and Government Representatives at Trang Bang district also provided support during operations by using squad and platoon PF and RF forces in blocking positions to seal off the objective areas.
a. Intelligence Prior to Operations:
VC Activity within the operations area was generally concentrated along Highway 1. Since 1 May 66, the area, vic XT490190, XT530225, XT525188, XT502250 was the scene of numerous anti-aircraft and mine incidents. Most VC fortifications observed during visual reconnaissance and interpretation of aerial photographs were also located in the same area. The Trang Bang Company (AKA B85) strength 80, normally operates with 5 mile radius of district of Trang Bang. The C54 company was last reported at XT475345. The C120 (LF) company was reported operating in the Southwest corner of the operational area, it's strength estimated 50-120 personnel. The C50 company (LF) was reported at XT532218, (B/2 evaluation). The 320 LF Bn was also operating in the area.
b. Enemy Situation During Operation:
Throughout the entire operation, the VC activity consisted of sniper and harassing small arms fire. Mines both AP and AT, booby traps, claymore type weapons, 60mm mortars and hand grenade incidents were numerous. The enemy operated in units smaller than company size. Units of squad size and smaller were common in the area of operations. VC units indicated t obe in the area of operations were the 491st company and the 132nd company. These units were operating in the area from XT4915 to XT5715. The 2nd Bn 165A was reported at vic XT400210, XT560200. The 1st Bn 165A was reported vic XT575270. A Bn size unit (possibly the 320th) was reported at vic XT525245. Also an unidentified VC company with an attached guerrilla platoon was reported at vic XT569248, XT569244, XT575248, and XT575244.
c. Terrain and Weather:
(1) The terrain is generally flat, marshy and soft. There are several heavily wooded areas within the area of operations. But mostly the area consists of thick hedgerows with clearings in which peanuts, sugar cane, or rice are planted. These hedgerows offered the enemy good cover and concealment as well as fields of fire, when friendly troops were on the approach march. Vegetation is ideal for VC guerrilla tactics. There were no major obstacles for foot troops; however during heavy rains the Cau Truong Chua river on the west side of the area of operations became untrafficable for foot troops and vehicles. Trafficability for wheeled vehicles is poor. APC's could still move in selected routes over rice paddy areas.
(2) The weather during the operation was fair for foot troops. Heavy rains made secondary roads impassible to vehicles. Generally it was hot and humid in the mornings and cloudy and rainy in the evenings. Weather was generally favorable for air support in the morning and fair to poor in the afternoon and evenings, commencing about 1400 hours daily.
d. Fortifications: No major fortifications were found within the area of operations. Fortifications consisted of trench systems, spider holes and a few tunnels which were not elaborate.
e. Psy War: The evaluation of the population and their attitude in hamlets and villages within the AO of the 2/14th Inf was improved because of the active and continuous Psy War program employed. The District Chief of Trang Bang District coordinated the activities of his VIS (Vietnamese Information Service), his intelligence personnel, loud speaker systems, aircraft available, and his personal appearance to talk to villagers. The most significant success was in the village of AP AN PHU. The village area of AP AN PHU XT510168 has over 1000 families and a total of 3448 persons living in the area. The district chief described the area as being a rich community where the majority of the people are educated. He described the VC activity in the area as being active in the realm of gathering supplies and foodstuffs to ship north. He described the people as accepting the VC because they had no choice in the matter, due to fear and intimidation. The people were happy to be able to continue their farming and therefore tolerated the VC. The VC propaganda directed that the people would leave the village every time the government forces attempted an operation in the area. This permitted the VC to conceal themselves among the people allowing them to escape. Also, the propaganda described the government as being corrupt and the Americans as animals who would slaughter people, rape, burn homes, and destroy crops. Our operations, conducted in the AP AN PHU area were deliberate plans coordinated with the Trang Bang District Chief to win over the people of AP AN PHU to the government. This was accomplished first by a ground operation to eliminate any VC forces, and to orient the troops on the terrain. The second and third operations in the area were mainly to educate the people concerning their government, and the policies and purpose of the Americans being here. Education of the people was accomplished by leaflets being air-dropped, the district chief making personal contact with the people on the ground, and the VIS making speeches to the people. In conjunction with these efforts, Helping Hand material was passed out and the Bn Surgeon conducted MEDCAP in the area. All of these actions created a positive win for the government as illustrated by the actions of the people during the last heliborne operation in AP AN PHU. Operations were conducted in AP AN PHU on 13 June 66, 21 June 66, 24 June 66, and 2 July 66. On 2 July 66, when TF 2/14th Inf conducted a heliborne operation in AP AN PHU, the people were reacting as the District chief desired. Only 10% of the people evacuated the area. Most of the people remained at home, and those in the fields continued their work. The people spoke freely and offered information as to when, where, and the number of VC in the area, and the location of booby traps and mines. Some families told of the VC instructing them to leave and that they had refused, saying "Every time we go, rice and valuables are missing when we return. We will stay". The VC prior to operation FORT SMITH had a strong hold on the people in AP AN PHU. As a result of our operations in the AO, the VC hold over the people was relinquished. This fact was made evident by two families that requested to be relocated in new life hamlets in the Trang Bang District. The success in employment of Psy War operations cannot be under-estimated. The attitudes of the people is now oriented to the government. The villagers now have a clearer understanding of their government and the purpose of Americans in Vietnam due to the education and influence exerted through the Trang Bang District Chief.
TF 2/14 conducted tactical motor march to AO 030800 June 66 and established Bn base camp to interdict VC lines of communication; conducts S&D of VC forces, bases and supplies; establishes liaison with US Advisory team Trang Bang District; conducts combined opns with ARVN forces; assist in pacification of AO; provides wire, pickets and technical assistance on installations to PF and RF units in AO.
10. Concept of Operation:
TF 2/14th Inf conducts S&D operations vic AP AN BINH, Trang Bang District (XT515193) for approximately three weeks commencing 030800 June 1966. TF 2/14 conducts tactical motor march from Base Camp (Cu Chi) to establish a Bn base vic XT515193 (AP AN BINH). TF 2/14th will establish liaison with local District Chief through the US Advisors and conduct patrols, security, pacification operations, Psy war missions and a positive civic action program.
(3 June 66)
2/14th Inf received 1st Bde OPORD 7-66 (Operation FORT SMITH) dtd 010800 H June 1966, planned the execution of the mission and issued TF 2/14th Inf OPORD 6-66 (Operation FORT SMITH) dtd 012200 June 66 to conduct a tactical motor march from base camp to the RP (XT514189) commencing 030900 June 66. TF consisted of A 2/14, C 2/14, Recon Plat, Mort Plat, 1 short range Radar Tm, Security and Assault Plat, 3rd Plat B Trp 3/4 Cav, 1 Squad A 1/65th Engr, VHF Tm B/125 Signal, Radio Tm 1st Bde, MID Tm 25th Inf Div and 8 National Policemen attached. Upon arrival RP, A 2/14 with attachments cleared Bn base vic XT515197 and established a defensive perimeter with CP locations as follows: Co A - XT514196, Co C - XT516198, B 7/11 Arty - XT519198, HHC - XT515196 and Bn CP XT515197. Companies of the 2/14th Inf rotated in AO, but CP locations remained generally the same throughout the operation. Upon closing Bn base area, A 2/14 reported sniper small arms and rifle grenades in their area from vic XT513199 on or about 031520 June 66. A 2/14 returned fire and VC withdrew to Northwest. No casualties were reported for friendly or VC. 4 VCS were picked up vic XT 515190 without proper identification on or about 031030 June 66. These were turned over to Trang Bang District Chief, later discovered to be detainees only. 031800 June 66 Bn base received sniper small arms firing and 2 rounds 60mm mortar at XT521196 no casualties reported. Sniper fire was received from XT514200, fire was returned with small arms. VC sniper was silenced. No casualties were reported. TF 2/14 Inf dispatched five (5) ambush patrols at 032000 June 66. A 2/14 patrol reported VC followed ambush patrol for 200-250 meters and disappeared. No contacts established by ambush patrols. 032351 June 66, C 2/14 reported 3 rds carbine fire from XT521201. Returned fire silenced VC snipers. No casualties reported. 040430 June 66, C 2/14 reported 3 rds carbine fire from XT515200. Returned fire. VC silenced. No casualties reported. All ambush patrols closed Bn base 040735 June 66. Recon Plat reported road cleared with mine detector from Bn base to Hi-way #1 effective 040735 June 66.
(4 June 66)
TF 2/14th Inf conducted S&D operations vic XT515210 (AP AN THOI) 040915 June 66, with elements of the 3/4 Cav Plat blocking from the North vic XT515213 and A 2/14 and C 2/14 S&D from South (XT505193) to North (XT515213). Two VCS were captured vic XT516198 by C 2/14 040945 June 66. VCS turned over to MID vic Bn base. 041050 June 66, C 2/14 reported bunker located XT521212 unoccupied destroyed with demolitions. 041054 June 66, A 2/14 reported VC aid station abandoned with 2 lbs of medicine. Turned in medicine to Bn base medics - tunnel (aid station) destroyed in place (XT515205). National Police with A 2/14 advise burning all homes of farmers with incriminating equipment such as signs, medicine, ammunitions, pictures of known VC and VC small arms fire. Houses were located general vicinity of AP AN THOI. 041230 Recon Plat cleared 200 meters forward of perimeter. Recon Plat reported people were departing their homes leaving hot meals on tables also extensive tunnel systems were located in the area of homes. Recon Plat received sniper fire (carbine) from XT529197 at 041317 June 66. Returned fire with automatic wpns & small arms. Snipers silenced. All elements closed Bn base 041432 June 66. 042250 C 2/14 ambush patrol vic XT525206 reported VC following them. Hasty ambush set for VC. No further sightings of VC. 042331 June 66, C 2/14 patrol reported one round mortar 60mm mortar fired to their front vic XT525206. No casualties reported.
(5 June 66)
Operation Frag order #1 for "FORT SMITH" direct TF 2/14th Inf to S&D in vic XA LAM VO (1) (XT530218) and leave a stay behind ambush in objective area vic XT531219. Co "C" moved from Bn base 050400 to block obj from the North vic XT533223. 050430 A 2/14 ambush patrol captured one VCS vic XT525213 on bicycle. 050545 C 2/14 reports hearing voices and carts moving out of the village XA LAM VO (1) north. C 2/14 secured blocking positions North of obj at 050640 June 66. Artillery and 4.2 blocked the west (XT528228) of obj w/fires. A 2/14 reported civilians in obj area claim 25 VC were there last night but departed the area prior to our arrival. C 2/14 received 2 rounds small arms sniper fire from XT547224. C 2/14 returned fire and maneuvered foot troops against location. VC withdrew. 051200 Recon Plat 1/4 ton vehicle destroyed by mine XT518207, 3 men injured. Wounded men air evacuated to Cu Chi. Recon Plat discovered small arms cache in house XT517207. House burned and ammo cache destroyed in place. A 2/14 stay behind ambush reported killing one VC with small arms fire 051617 June 66 at XT542230. Ambush sprung by a National Police firing his pistol at range of 250 meters. Artillery, gun ships, and Cav Plat were utilized to kill and cause VC (estimated 25 armed men) to withdraw. Two VC KIA (BC) and three additional dead reported by ARVN intelligence next day. One (1) rifle (VC) captured and turned in to MID 051730 June 66. Reaction to the reported VC contact was immediate. The Bn Cmdr was airborne and positive radio contact established with ambush element. Artillery was directed from an airborne observer and a light gun team was employed in conjunction with a Cav Plat which maneuvered to block and sweep through the VC positions at XT537225 controlled by Bn Cmdr airborne. Stay behind ambush of A 2/14 closed Bn base 051730 June 66. No friendly casualties reported.
051930 June 66 TF 2/14 dispatched 5 ambush patrols with negative results. Radar PPS-4 reported 052040 June 66 3 or 4 persons and 1 bicycle moving from north to south 360 meters to 310 meters forward of perimeter vic XT526201. No further Radar sightings. 052115 June 66, A 2/14 perimeter spotted 3 VC with starlight devices and fired M79s. VC withdrew vic XT513200. 052345 June 66, B 7/11 Arty reported 4 rounds VC sniper small arms fire received at XT521201. Returned w/MG. Snipers silenced. No casualties reported. 060600 June 66 all patrols closed Bn base. Negative contact reported except that a VC or something follows patrols out of perimeter area for short distances. Follower seems to know when he is observed or heard and stops or disappears without being killed or captured.
(6 June 66)
Frag Order #2 is a heliborne operation to S&D vic AP BAO ME and XA BAO ME (XT505214) 3/4 Cav Plat and Recon Plat blocks from the East from XT511215 to XT509209 at 061200 June 66. C 2/14 is helifted at 061210 June 66 to block obj area from the North from XT505221 to XT510220. RF and PF forces would block west end of obj from XT498220 to XT494200 at 061200 June 66. A 2/14 maneuvered from South to North into obj area at 061320 June 66 S&D enroute. A 2/14 killed one water buffalo attacking soldier and civilians in area. One (1) US Soldier evacuated to Trang Bang. C 2/14 captured 3 VCS at XT505220 at 051250 June 66. A 2/14 captured 3 VCS vic XT501208 at 061355 June 66. 061545 June 66 B 7/11 Arty had three men cutting bamboo vic XT522200 who received sniper fires from house. Arty destroyed house with WP rounds. Dozer with A 2/14 filled in 450 meters of VC trench line vic XT508213 at 051548 June 66. All units closed Bn base 061801 June 66. Stay behind ambush located XT501204. TF 2/14 Inf dispatched 5 ambush patrols 061900 June 66. Ambush site at XT512194 recalled because close proximity to ARVN ambush site. (S&A Plat ambush returned Bn base 062130 June 66). No contacts made by ambush patrols. All patrols closed Bn base 070628 June 66.
(7 June 66)
Frag Order #3 TF 2/14 conducts S&D operations, vic AP AN THOI (XT515208) by blocking in the North with 3/4 Cav Plat XT515213 at 070815 June 66. S&A Plat and Recon Plat blocks from East at XT520202 and XT520205 at 070800. A 2/14 and C 2/14 will S&D from XT508195 North to XT516210. 3/4 Cav Plat received sniper fire from XT514217 at 070848 June 66. Cav maneuvered and returned fire. VC disappeared. C 2/14 reported one 81mm mortar round found at XT508196, destroyed in place with demolitions 070925 June 66. A 2/14 captured female VCS XT514202 June 66. 2 VC snipers engaged by Recon Plat and 3/4 Cav element 070929 June 66 vic XT513210. VC withdrew West with carbines slung over shoulders. C 2/14 destroyed 3 spider holes vic XT512206 071017 June 66. A 2/14 requested dozer use in his area to cover trench lines. Dozer arrived his location 071100 June 66, and hit a mine. Killed Capt Norberg, A Co Commander and Pfc Rivera of A Co 2/14. Both were standing alongside dozer. Mine damaged dozer blade and hydraulic lines. 3 other men wounded by blast of mine air evacuated to Cu Chi 071132 June 66. 071250 June 66, S&A Plat captured 2 VCS and received sniper fires from XT525206. S&A returned fire and VC withdrew North. C 2/14 observed 1 VC with rifle XT530204. Wounded VC with small arms but continued mission S&D South towards Bn base. 072000 June 66, TF 2/14 sent out 4 ambush sites with negative contact reported. Road to Hi-way #1 cleared w/mine detector by Recon Plat completed 080700 June 66.
(8 June 66)
8 June 66 - Frag order #4, TF 2/14 conducted S&D in AP TINH PHONG (XT535209 and XA LAM VO (2) (XT550221). A 2/14 moved on foot June 66, to block obj from the north, east and south vic XT550227, XT555224 and XT550219. 3/4 Cav Plat (-) moved from Bn base 080700 June 66, to block north vic XT541229. C 2/14 moved on foot from Bn base S&D enroute through obj AP TINH PHONG (XT535209) at 080700 June 66. A 2/14 reported automatic fire from VC sniper KIA one US soldier vic XT558225 at 080730 June 66. A 2/14 returned fire and VC withdrew Southeast into trench line. Artillery was directed into VC positions. Recon Plat captured one VCS vic XT514190 080700 June 66. VCS turned in to MID Bn base. Gun ships reported extensive trench lines vic XT569230 extending 1000 meters northwest. Gun ships unloaded ordinance into trench system prior to departure. 080820 June 66, 3/4 Cav Plat (-) reported 5 VC with wpns vic XT549235. VC taken under fire with automatic wpns from APC's at 250 meter range. VC disappeared moving North into jungle area. 080827 June 66, C 2/14 reported 8 VC moving South vic XT536199. VC disappeared into brush 700 meters away. C 2/14 fired on one VC 080849 June 66 at XT546214, results unknown. C 2/14 reported 400 lbs rice, 20 lbs salt found at XT548022. Vietnamese military intelligence personnel recommended destruction in place because it is VC cache. Cache destroyed in place. S&A Plat reported one US heat casualty vic XT550217 081310 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched four (4) ambush patrols at 081900 June 66. 081935 June 66, C 2/14 ambush patrol captured one (1) VCS at XT528221 and received sniper fire from XT526214. Patrol returned fire and called artillery. VC withdrew East. All ambush patrols closed Bn base 090605 June 66. 090750 June 66, Recon Plat completed road clearing operation from Bn base to Hi-way #1.
(9 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #5) civic action operation in coordinating with Trang Bang District Chief in XA CAY CAU (XT514188) during the morning and XA AN DUC (XT532180) in the afternoon. Operations area was secured by one rifle company and 2 APCs and one (1) 2 1/4 ton trk were utilized to transport medical supplies and helping hand material. S&A Plat secured helping hand (S-5) and medcap activities concurrently. Psy War leaflets and speeches presented by District Chief and Vietnamese Information Services kept the people orderly and informed. Each area received Medcap, Helping Hand material, and Psy-war lectures for approximately 2 hours beginning 090900 June 66. 091149 June 66 Bn base received 30 rounds sniper fire from vic XT511195. One US WIA evacuated to Cu Chi by air. Defensive concentrations fired vic XT520192 by Arty FO injured 2 civilians Nguyen-Thi-Na (53 year old woman) and Tran-Van-Duong (56 year old man-husband). Two civilians evacuated to Trang Bang then to Saigon by air. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 night ambush positions at 091930 June 66. 100002 June 66 ground surveillance reported 5 persons moving towards perimeter vic XT519200. Target engaged with M79 and small arms. 5 VC possible KIA. 100618 June 66 all patrols return Bn base with negative results. 100637 June 66, Recon Plat cleared road to hi-way #1 with mine detector.
(10 June 66)
Frag order #6 directed TF 2/14 to Search and Destroy in and along the Cau Truong Chua river from XT501193 to XT513220 100800 June 66. (10) picket stations blocked on west bank of river utilizing minimum 4 man positions from XT508218 to XT505203. (9) picket stations blocked on east bank of river from XT513215 to XT508195. A 3/4 Cav Plat reaction force west of river vic XT504207 and a tank section reaction force with recon Plat vic Bn base. 100740 June 66, C 2/14 reported 4 VC at XT507212 carrying bags and moving towards river. C 2/14 reported sniper fire from XT510218 at 100745 June 66. Returned fire and VC withdrew east towards river. C 2/14 continued to blocking position and VC withdrew north. 100845 June 66 S&A Plat in water searching north in river with C 2/14 (-) on his left and A 2/14 on his right. A 2/14 spotted 5 VC with weapons headed north 100855 June 66 at XT513213. C 2/14 picket station 4 reported 2 VC at XT507228 100925 June 66. A 2/14 picket station #2 reported 2 VC with weapons and wounded one w/small arms and attempted to move in on other VC at XT514212 100951 June 66, A 2/14 at picket station #2 heard squad size element maneuvering around its east. A 2/14 picket station #2 heard movement on flanks of its position. 101040 June 66 S&A Plat killed one VC in river XT508206. A 2/14 picket station #2 receiving fire from 4 sides. Reaction force (3 tanks and Recon Plat) sent mounted to assist. A 2/14 picket station #2 1 VC KIA and 1 US WIA XT509218 101130 June 66. Picket station 1, 2, and 3 of A 2/14 joined together at picket station #2 and fought off VC squad surrounding picket station #2. C 2/14 reported capturing 4 VC's vic XT505208. A 2/14 picket station #2 reported 7 VC KIA (BC) 3 VC WIA, captured 1 pistol belt, 1 magazine, 3 rds ammo one hand grenade at XT514212 101300 June 66. A 2/14 reported one (1) VC WIA XT512219 101325 June 66. A 2/14 reported (1) VC WIA at XT511205 with small arms, VC disappeared into underbrush 101340 June 66. 13 VC's released by district chief representative vic XT505208 at 101440 June 66. The people were farmers from XA BAO ME. A VC captured by district chief on earlier operations led C 2/14 to alleged cache but nothing was found. 20 VC's released 101730 June 66 vic XT505208. District chief representative identified people as farmers. All elements closed Bn base 101800 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 ambush sites at 102100 June 66. Negative results from ambush patrols. All patrols closed in Base 110625 June 66.
(11 June 66)
On 11 June 66 TF 2/14 Inf was given eagle flight mission to search and destroy in vicinity of AP DUONG TRAN NHO (XT551193) with one rifle company plus attached 3/4 Cav Plat. A 2/14 conducted helilift 110835 June 66 to XT551193, S&D in area with VCC informers to located VC equipment, documents and personnel. 3/4 Cav blocks on south vicinity XT550180. 3/4 Cav Plat captured 5 VCS vic XT549182, 110857 June 66. 110930 June 66, received information from local Vietnamese that woman wounded by artillery fires died of wounds in Saigon Hospital. S-5 and interpreter assisted, and B Btry donated money and foodstuffs and offered their apologies to the family. Assistance was given to insure claims from the family would be handled promptly by the District Chief (Trang Bang District). 111033 June 66, A 2/14 received 10 rounds sniper fire from XT550187. A 2/14 returned fire and VC moved north east. A 2/14 captured 5BCC XT530183 111215 June 66. A 2/14 received sniper fire from XT548188 111352 June 66. A 2/14 returned fire, VC silenced. A 2/14 destroyed 1 tunnel XT547194 111450 June 66. 3/4 Cav at 111550 June 66 reported sniper fire XT533188 WIA 1 US in chest. Man air evacuated by C&C ship to CU CHI. 3 VCC and 2 VCS captured by 3/4 Cav Plat 111220 June 66 vic XT545190. 3/4 Cav Plat captured 6 VCS 110857 June 666. At XT549188 A 2/14 found carbine magazine w/30 rounds ammo vic XT547183 and turned equip in to MID Bn base 111715 June 66. C 2/14 found 1 home made single shot rifle XT520208 111717 June 66. C 2/14 reported VC Chicom claymore set off vic XT518201 at 112120 June 66 no casualties reported. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 patrols 112000 June 66. Short range radar sighted 11 man target vic XT528201. Target taken under fire with small arms 112315 June 66 and target disappeared.
(Operation Fargo 12 Jun 66)
Operation FARGO reported on feeder report to 1st Bde 29 June 1966 covered period 120400 June 66 - 121500 June 66. 1 Plat A 2/14 returned CU CHI 121515 June 66. B 2/14 closed Bn base 121700 June 66. A 2/14 employed 2 plat size ambushes vic XT525213 and XT530196 121830 June 66. VC set off one Chicom claymore vic XT513196 at 122014 June 66. 1 US WIA. Radar reported target at vic XT122304 June 66. Small arms and M79 fired results unknown. (More AboutOperation Fargo)
(13 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducts S&D operations vic AP AN PHU following Frag order #8. 130400 June 66, C 2/14 moved on foot to block objective area from the south and east with 12 (4 man) picket stations from XT515175 to XT515163 to XT512161. Local PF and RF forces blocked on North and West vic XT512186 and XT495172 by 130630 June 66. B 2/14 with 3/4 Cav Plat and Civic Action teams attached conducted S&D from North to South in AP AN PHU (XT505169) 130545 June 66. 130635 June 66 all picket stations in positions and C 2/14 captured 1 VCS at station #1 (XT515175) and 20 VCS at station #5 (XT516170). S&A Plat captured chicom claymore mine vic XT515198 turned in to Bde. B 2/14 reported sniper fires w/rifle grenades vic XT507174. VC withdrew South. C 2/14 received sniper and rifle grenade fires vic XT516164. C 2/14 returned fire and VC silenced. B 2/14 131000 June 66 reported 5 VC with weapons (1 submachine gun, 1 automatic rifle, 3 rifles) vic XT506176. VC fired upon by stay behind ambush wounding 2 VC. No friendly casualties. B 2/14 captured 1 VCS vic XT505161 131304 June 66. B 2/14 received sniper fire from vic XT505165 131455 June 66. VC silenced with small arms. S&A Plat reported 1 VC w/camouflage vic XT512195. VC moved west when fired upon with M79. 131645 June 66, 2 rounds of 60mm mortar landed vic B 7/11 Arty. No casualties reported. All TF 2/14 elements closed Bn base 131740 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 ambush patrols 132000 June 66. 132100 June 66, VC claymore mine set off vic XT514196. 1 US WIA. All patrols closed 140615 June 66 with negative results. B 2/14 discovered VC claymore mine forward of position vic XT514196 at 140740 June 66.
(14 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #9) civic action and helping hand operations vic XT530195 (AP TRANG DAU) (1). C 2/14 moved on foot to block from North and East vic XT535201, XT539198 at 140830 June 66. 3/4 Cav moved from Bn base 140945 June 66 to block obj from West vic XT530196. B 2/14 with civic action teams attached moved from XT534184 North to XT532199. Objective area was without people except approximately 20 old ladies and old men and about 50 children that followed B 2/14 into obj area. TF 2/14 elements closed Bn base 141355 June 66. TF 2/14 141940 June 66 dispatched 4 ambush patrols. Radar (PPS-5) reported Plat VC (20-25 men) vic XT522199 at 142250 June 66. VC element taken under fire with small arms and direct fire from 2 tanks w/cannister rounds in conjunction with azimuth reading from radar. Radar reports after firing only 8 persons moving. Estimate 15 VC KIA or WIA 142330 June 66. All patrols closed Bn base 150615 June 66 with negative contact.
(15 June 66)
TF 2/14 executed (Frag order #10) S&D mission vic XT502206, B 2/14 moved by foot to establish 10 picket stations on North and East end of obj area from XT500216 to XT510216 to XT508218 at 150400 June 66. PD and RF elements blocked obj area from West from XT498216 to XT495208 at 140630 June 66. S&A Plat was reaction force at XT510217 150630 June 66. C 2/14 with 3/4 Cav Plat attached S&D from South to North (XT500205 to XT504213) beginning 150630 June 66. 150750 June 66, S&A Plat received sniper fire and rifle grenades XT508218 returned fire and VC withdrew North. C 2/14 discovered tunnel complex XT506512 at 151019 June 66. Tunnel complex destroyed with demolitions by C 2/14 151545 June 66. All elements closed Bn base 151615 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 ambush patrols at 152000 June 66. One patrol returned to Bn base reported hearing many VC XT519217. Artillery fired in location: results unknown. 142145 June 66 1 60mm mortar landed in Bn base, one 2 1/4 ton trk slightly damaged. No casualties reported. C 2/14 received sniper fire XT514197. Artillery directed fire in vic VC positions silencing VC fire. All patrols closed Bn base 160607 June 66. VC constructed small dirt mounds on Hi-way #1 vic XT525186: reported by air recon element 160720 June 66. TG 2/14 airlanded one squad of Recon Plat attached, moved mounted from West to East on both sides of Hi-Way #1 to cut off any VC in area. Road block was cleared and traffic continued 160845 June 66. National Police found 155 shell wired for command detonation on East end of road block XT528184. Mine destroyed in place by National Police.
(16 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducts (Frag order #11) armed reconnaissance in XA ONG DAM (XT535231), and XA BAO TRAM (XT500235) 160955 June 66. C 2/14 moved by foot to XT500235 160730 to conduct armed reconnaissance of obj area. C 2/14 captured 1 VCS vic XT510226 160955 June 66. C 2/14 discovered 2500 lbs of rice cache buried in cemetery XT506226 at 161035 June 66. Rice burned and spread into water. B 2/14 moved by foot to conduct armed reconnaissance vic AP ONG DAM (XT520230) 150850 June 66. B 2/14 received sniper fires 161125 June 66 from XT516199. B 2/14 returned fire and VC withdrew Northwest. 3/4 Cav moved from Bn base 161100 June 66 to conduct armed reconnaissance vic XA ONG DAM (XT535231), 3/4 Cav Plat reported suspected mortar position XT525232 recently occupied in freshly dug ground. 3/4 Cav reported locating an attachment (grenade launcher) for a carbine and a home made gun at XT525232. C 2/14 captured 2 VCS at XT500230 at 161303 June 66. B 2/14 sighted 4 BC with weapons at XT519238, and 3 VC with weapons at XT523241. 161310 June 66, the VC moved north into wooded area. TF 2/14 dispatched 3 ambush patrols at 162000 June 66. C 2/14 reported red and white lights flashing vic XT521203 162130 June 66. Lights taken under fire with 81mm mortar, 4.2 mortar, and 155 artillery from Cu Chi. Lights disappeared. All patrols closed Bn base 170645 June 66 with negative results. 170716 June 66 S&A Plat cleared road to Hi-way #1.
(17 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #12) daylight ambushes vic XT530203 and XT515214 with negative results. TF 2/14 conducted mine clearing and S&D operations vic XT515208 (AP AN THOI) with the Recon Plat. Recon Plat found tunnel at XT514208 and destroyed same with demolitions at 170945 June 66. Recon Plat found 200 bags of rice, 50 lbs each bag, at XT510208. Rice was scattered over ground and into nearby wells. Recon Plat found 2 lbs medical supplies and 1 grenade XT515204 171055 June 66. B 2/14 reported a bomb at XT525186, yield unknown (estimated 250 lbs bomb). Bomb destroyed in place 171125 June 66. Recon Plat discovered tunnel system with 18 entrances vic XT518208 and destroyed it in place 171345 June 66. C 2/14 captured 1 VCS and 1 VCC vicinity XT525213 at 171935 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 ambush patrols with negative results. All patrols closed Bn base 180543 June 66. TF 2/14 moved Recon Plat, mounted on 3/4 Cav elements, to clear mounds of dirt across Hi-way #1 at XT522187 and XT542178 - at 180650 June 66. 1st location of dirt mounds cleared 180722 June 66. 2nd location of dirt mounds was cleared with mine detector and flanks checked for command detonated wires. All signs of mines or booby traps were investigated and believed cleared. A detail shoveled dirt off to the side of road, a shovel of dirt set off a mine wounding 7 US soldiers at XT538180 180749 June 66. All wounded evacuated by air to Cu Chi. 2nd mounded area cleared 180858 June 66.
(18 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #13) pacification, civic action and MEDCAP vic AP TINH PHONG (XT536218) 181148 June 66. C 2/14 blocked on North from XT535213 to XT530210, 3/4 Cav blocked East end of obj vic XT541212 with Recon Plat and S&A blocking South vic XT535206 and XT540207. B 2/14 moved on foot with civic action teams and conducted civ actions with Vietnamese Information Service Personnel presenting speeches. Prepared leaflets (3,000) preceded the movement of B 2/14 by air drops into obj area. B 2/14 moved from West to East through obj area 181230 June 66. B 2/14 secured LZ, and MEDCAP personnel landed and conducted MEDCAP vic XT539209 at 181430 June 66. All elements closed in Bn base 181630 June 66. 1 US soldier wounded seriously by friendly artillery WP round vic Bn base (XT518198) at 181730 June 66. Man air evacuated to Cu Chi. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 ambush patrols 182000 June 66. All patrols closed Bn base 190555 June 66, with negative results. S&A Plat cleared road to Hi-way #1 190728 June 66.
(19 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #14) S&D in XA LAM VO (2) XT550220 with 3/4 Cav Plat blocking from South vic XT551218 and B 2/14 S&D from XT540230 to XT550110 at 190830 June 66. 3/4 Cav Plat destroyed a command detonated 105 arty shell mine vic XT526227 at 190905 June 66, leaflets air dropped in obj area 191015 June 66. B 2/14 had 5 WIA from VC small arms and rifle grenade vic XT514223 at 191227 June 66. B 2/14 maneuvered and returned fire. VC withdrew to Southeast. All elements closed Bn base 191510 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 3 ambush patrols 191930 June 66, with negative results.
(20 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #15) fire flush and S&D operation vic AP LONG MUC (XT527246) 200300 June 66. B 2/14 and C 2/14 blocked south of obj area vic XT52238? and XT526238 at 200611 June 66. B 2/14 made contact with 1 VC vic XT524240. VC moved West. B 2/14 reported freshly dug holes vic XT524241 at 200700 June 66. Recon Plat cleared road to Hi-way #1 at 200720 June 66. Artillery fired from North to South towards B 2/14 and C 2/14. Artillery continued firing from South to North while troops moved North 200630 June 66. S&A Plat with 3/4 Cav Plat attached as reaction force vic XT528238, received sniper fire from XT525237. Fire was returned and VC moved West. All elements closed Bn base 201237 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 ambush sites at 202000 June 66. B 2/14 ambush patrol was ambushed by 5 VC with auto wpns. Patrol returned fire and broke contact XT529195 at 202015 June 66 and continued mission. No casualties reported for VC or friendly troops. B 7/11 Arty sighted 3 people 210102 June 66 with starlight device vic XT525199. M79 fired at target and target disappeared. B 2/14 moved to Hi-way #1 on North side from XT518190 to XT527186, at 210400 June 66, to prevent VC from setting road block on Hi-Way #1. Recon Plat cleared road from Bn base to Hi-way #1 210615 June 66. B 2/14 210640 June 66 reported 2 VCS vic XT520192 moving East. All ambush elements closed Bn base 210720 June 66.
(21 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted search and Civic Action in AP AN PHU (XT510168) at 210730 June 66. (Frag order #16). S&A elements blocked on South vic XT511161 and XT515161 and 3/4 Cav Plat blocked on West and positioned themselves as reaction force at XT518174 at 210800 June 66. 7,000 leaflets were airdropped prior to opns. S&A Plat received sniper fires 210830 June 66 at XT520161. One medic wounded from S&A Plat air evacuated to Cu Chi. Artillery was fired at XT518161 and silenced VC snipers. Artillery killed two water buffalo. B 2/14 and C 2/14 moved (East to West) and moved all civilians to a central location so District Chief could conduct speeches and explain the leaflets. The reception was good, and through the entire operation the District Chief spoke to approximately 385 people. Bn base received sniper fires from XT515198. B 2/14 returned fire with small arms and mortar fire. VC silenced. B 2/14 received sniper fire vic XT514284 at 211840. B 2/14 returned fire with small arms and 60mm mortar. Results unknown. All elements closed Bn base 211930 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 4 ambush patrols 211930 June 66 with negative results. C 2/14 moved from Bn base 220400 June 66 to secure Hi-way #1 from XT527186 to XT516190. No contact and no road blocks encountered. All elements of ambush patrol and road security closed Bn base at 220840 June 66.
(22 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #18) Security and ARVN element assisted in construction of FR outpost XT495295. Heavy equipment was utilized (dozer, bucket loader, 5 ton trk, Engr sqd and civilian laborers) to build outpost. C 2/14 received sniper fire from XT495208 at 231152 June 66. Returned fire and VC moved North. Recon Plat found 10 bags of rice, 25 lbs per bag, at XT518216; returned rice to Bn base. All elements closed Bn base at 231811 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 2 ambush patrols and 3 listening post to secure Hi-way #1 from road blocks. No contact made and no road blocks on Hi-way #1 as of 240845 June 66.
(24 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #19) Search and Civic Actions operation in AP AN PHU (XT510160) at 240730 June 66 with B 2/14, 3/4 Cav Plat and attachments from Tran Gang District Chief. B 2/14 moved into obj area clearing area and securing the District Chief as he conducted speeches to people. 7,000 leaflets were airdropped for a 20 minute period prior to arrival of district chief. 3/4 Cav Plat received sniper fire from XT538177 at 240845 June 66. Returned fire and silenced VC. One Plat, C 2/14, moved on foot to XT495205 to secure outpost construction at 240807 June 66. B 2/14 received sniper fire at XT513168 241115 June 66 - one US soldier KIA. District Chief spoke to 472 people in obj area. A large percentage were adult males (approximately 25%). 35 persons received MEDCAP treatment and 42 families received helping hand materials. All elements, TF 2/14, closed Bn base 241743 June 66. TF 2/14 established 2 ambush sites and 3 listening posts 242000 June 66. Recon Plat cleared road to Hi-way #1 240633 June 66. All ambush patrols closed Bn base 240720 June 66 with negative contact and no road blocks reported.
(25 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #20) security for outpost construction (XT495205) and Search and Stay behind ambush vic XT520213. B 2/14 moved one Plat by foot to secure outpost construction site at 240700 June 66. Same element returned to Bn base 240945 June 66 because equipment was unable to move in muddy area. B 2/14 moved one Plat from Bn base to XT520213 at 240800 June 66. No contacts made and all elements closed Bn base 241812 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 2 ambush patrols and 3 listening posts to secure hi-way #1 at 252000 June 66. C 2/14 captured 1 VCS vic XT522189 at 252205 June 66. All patrols closed Bn base 260630 June 66 - with negative results except 1 captured VCS turned over to MID at Bn base.
(26 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #21) heliborne opns vic AP LONG MUC (XT530248) and AP TRUONG GIAI (XT515247) 260830 June 66. S&A Plat cleared road 260700 & secured LZ vic XT519197 at 260815 June 66. B 2/14 and C 2/14 airlifted in two lifts into non-prepared LZ at XT532247 at 260830 June 66. B 2/14 and C 2/14 moved east to west 260900 June 66. C 2/14 received sniper fire vic XT520243. Returned fire and moved forward. VC fires silenced. C 2/14 & Recon Plat closed Bn base at 261520 June 66. B 2/14 with 3/4 Cav Plat attached remained vic XT525248, oriented north for stay behind ambush. 261708 June 66 two tanks damaged by antitank mine vic XT516193, no injuries reported and one tank able to move without assistance. TF 2/14 dispatched 3 ambush sites to secure Hi-way #1. C 2/14 ambush patrol reported 270620 June 66 2 mounds of dirt vic XT511189. Mounds cleared and all patrols closed Bn base 270753 June 66. S&A Plat cleared road to Hi-way #1 270801 June 66.
(27 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #22) S&D missions with B 2/14 and 3/4 Cav Plat, leaving stay behind ambushes 270800 at XT525243, XT525237, XT525321, XT530218, and XT525210. B 2/14 received sniper fire from XT523237. Returned fire and silenced VC. B 2/14 received sniper fire from XT518252 and directed artillery fire on VC and silenced VC. B 2/14 reported 1 US soldier KIA [PSG Ed Paresa] by anti-personnel mine 270955 June 66 at XT525237. Search of area revealed 2 grenade booby traps which were destroyed in place. Fresh punji pits covered with fresh banana leaves in same location reported by B 2/14 at 271100 June 66. A 2/14 and C 2/14 exchanged positions from Cu Chi effective 271300 June 66. TF 2/14 ambush patrol received 4 rounds sniper fire vic XT515293. Patrol returned fire with negative casualties reported. Patrols returned to Bn base with negative contact and no road blocks reported at 280710 June 66.
(28 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #23) heliborne operations and initiated civic actions vic AP LONG MUC (XT525245), AP TRUONG GIAI (XT515246), AP BOA ME (XT510226) at 280300 June 66. B 2/14 moved on foot to block with picket stations west side of 1st obj from XT520249 to XT520240 - at 280715 June 66. A 2/14 airlifted to LZ (XT525251) 280705 June 66. 3/4 Cav positioned vic XT530246 at 280900 June 66. A 2/14 moved from North to South without contact. S&A Plat reported road to Hi-way #1 cleared 280915 June 66. 3/4 Cav reported 2 VCS captured vic of command detonated mine (XT540239) at 281050 June 66. Obj area received 10,000 leaflets prior to operation via air drop. B 2/14 received rifle grenade fire from XT511210 at 281620 June 66. B 2/14 returned fire and maneuvered. VC escaped in trench line moving south east. All elements closed Bn base 281748 June 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 3 ambush patrols and 3 listening post. Ambush site at XT536180 fired upon a VC ambush site that had initiated fire on a ARVN ambush patrol. ARVN patrol was caught between friendly and VC fires. Results 1 KIA and 1 WIA (ARVN). US patrol relocated, and District Chief assisted in returning WIA and KIA to hospital at Trang Bang. S&A Plat cleared road to Hi-way #1 290815 June 66. Patrol closed Bn base at 290730 June 66. District Chief transported to LOC HUNG to register and handle relocation of 236 families that desired to move into his new life hamlet as a direct result of US operations in area.
(29 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #24) search and destroy and daylight ambush vic AP AN THOI (XT519205). A 2/14 moved 291200 June 66 on foot to clear area of civilians. There were no people in the area. B 2/14 followed A 2/14 to obj area and passed through and returned to Bn base without contact at 291530 June 66. 3/4 Cav Plat sent to PHUOC HIEP (XT560170) 291700 June 66 to assist American Advisor and 30 ARVN ambushed with 4 KIA and 8 WIA (ARVN). TF 2/14 dispatched 3 ambush patrols and 3 listening post at 292030 June 66 with negative results. S&A Plat cleared road to Hi-way #1 300825 June 66.
(30 June 66)
TF 2/14 conducted night firing proficiency training vic Bn base, following training circular 350-12 HQS 2d Bn, 14th Inf dtd 13 June 66, beginning 301330 June 66. Night firing phase from 301930 June 66 to 302330 June 66. 302000 June 66, TF 2/14 dispatched 3 ambush sites and 3 listening post with negative results. All patrols returned Bn base 010650. 010750 July 66 S&A Plat reports road to Hi-way #1 cleared.
(01 July 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #25). Stay behind ambush positions during daylight for instruction and actual emplacement. B 2/14 moved by foot to obj area vic XT520214. B 2/14 captured 5 VCS at XT518217 010950 July 66. A 2/14 in heliborne mission on 30 minute notice. S&A Plat secured LZ 011100 July 66. A 2/14 picked up at LZ in two (2) lifts to secure west end of road at blocking positions at XT580195 and XT566173 for 1/5 mech move at 011125 July 66. A 2/14 completed lift to LZ 011155 July 66. A 2/14 picked up by 3/4 Cav Plat and returned Bn base 011610 July 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 3 ambush patrols 011935 July 66 with negative results. All patrols closed Bn base 020650 July 66.
(02 July 66)
TF 2/14 conducted (Frag order #26) heliborne operations with RF and PF forces and conducted S&D operations AP AN PHU (XT505170) 020700 July 66. PF and RF blocked on north west and east vicinity XT495172, XT500180 and XT524173 at 020700 July 66. 3/4 Cav Plat blocked on north vic XT512187 at 020645 July 66. A 2/14, B 2/14 and District Chief with troops landed at LZ 020700 July 66. PF Forces reported 2 VC fired on them 020651 July 66 at XT495175. Fire was returned & VC moved south. 3/4 Cav Plat reported sniper fire from XT508180 at 020705 July 66. 3/4 Cav returned fire and silenced VC. Villagers remained in homes and in their fields. Only few families evacuated (10%). Villagers spoke freely to District Chief and interpreters about VC. Villagers pointed out area that VC put booby trap grenades and possible mines. B 2/14 reported 3 grenade booby traps in hedgerow where villagers pointed out to District Chief (XT505417). US Advisor with RF force reported 7 draft dodgers caught vic XT524174 at 020849 July 66. B 2/14 received one rifle grenade XT505175. Returned fire and results are unknown. S0-3 found 105mm (HE) command detonated mine vic XT509179 and destroyed it in place. 100 meters of wire turned over to District Chief. B 2/14 stay behind ambush vic XT503163 engaged 5 VC with weapons. 1 VC KIA (BC) 2 VC KIA (poss). VC body had pistol belt w/black PJ's: no weapon found. VC had returned fire and either crawled away or were dragged away. Area was searched and no weapons were found. 3/4 Cav Plat hit one mine and damaged one track XT514181. Three more anti tank mines found and destroyed in place (same area). All elements closed Bn base 021430 July 66. B 2/14 returned by air to Cu Chi 021700 July 66. TF 2/14 dispatched 3 ambush sites 021945 July 66 - with negative results. A 2/14 reported 3 VC XT517196, taken under small arms fire and mortar fire at 022030 July 66, VC moved North.
(3 July 66)
TF 2/14 coordinated movement of wire, pickets, sandbags and timber to Trang Bang District Chief. All elements closed Cu Chi 031835 July 66.
13. Administrative Matters:
(1) Class I - C ration were used for 2 meals per day and A ration for supper meal.
(2) Class III - POL was provided by two 1200 gallon tankers. One was filled with gasoline and the other diesel fuel.
(3) Class IV - A large amount of barrier materials were sent to the field to support the forward Bn base camp.
(4) Class V - A small ASP was maintained in the field to take care of emergency needs.
(5) Water - Water was initially a great problem. It is impossible to support 4 field messes by flying water in jugs on a helicopter. All battalions moving to the field for an extended period should have a 5000 gallon tanker or an engineer water point attached.
b. Maintenance. Vehicular maintenance was supported by a 2d echelon contact team along with a wrecker. When an armor element is attached they should also provide a mechanic. Maintenance of M16 rifles was difficult because of critical shortage of cleaning rods.
c. Treatment of casualties and evacuation and hospitalization:
A battalion aid station was located in the forward base camp. Casualties were evacuated to this point if they occurred close to base camp. If not, they were taken by helicopter to the 25th Medical Bn at Cu Chi. Some of the minor casualties were able to be treated at the aid station and returned to duty. Others were evacuated by air to Cu Chi.
d. Transportation. Transportation for resupply and troop movement was provided by UH1D helicopters and medium trucks. A daily resupply by helicopter was effected. Every few days a land convoy was sent to resupply bulk items such as POL, water, barrier materials and PX supplies. All road convoys were protected by armed escorts.
e. Communications. FM radio communication was excellent throughout the conduct of the operation. UHF worked 99% of the time and provided positive communications to Bde. AM/RTT was slow due to a large volume of traffic. The 16th RRU provided an excellent monitor system to police our own FM communications.
14. Special Equipment and Techniques:
a. Starlight devices and sniperscope sights were taken by combat elements and effectively utilized by patrols and elements defending the Bn perimeter.
b. Dozer and tank dozers were utilized to dig bunkers, build berms, and clear fields of fire for the perimeter.
c. Vietnamese from local areas (soldiers) were provided by District Chief to assist ambush patrols in identifying VC and guiding patrols at night into farmers homes for ambush sites from homes.
d. Establishment of a "Kiddie Korner" coordinating point. A location centrally located where signs pointed out where sales people can assemble to sell. All other areas surrounding Bn base (within 500 meters) was off limits by posted Vietnamese signs. This coordinating point allowed sales people and children to come and pass on information of VC in area or any intelligence information available. A Bn representative who spoke Vietnamese was in this location to pass out C rations and candy and receive information. It did assist in control of people and some intelligence information was received from children.
e. The utilization of "Picket Stations" with a strong mobile reaction force enabled the TF to cover area with fire and observation to block and restrict VC attempts at escaping. The "Picket Stations" consist of small elements (4-6 men) that are spaced to block with observation and fire over an extended area. These stations checked villagers attempting to leave the area and encouraged them to return to their homes. The picket station exemplifies the principle of economy of force, and the reaction force the principle of mass and surprise, allowing the commander to develop a situation. The key to the employment of the "Picket Station" is knowing the enemy situation and having excellent communications. The utilization of picket stations provided excellent results in observing the VC killing the VC, and turning back or controlling villagers. Previously the VC just disappeared through routes in areas not covered. "Picket Stations" enabled us to cover and block off an objective area more effectively.
15. Commander's Analysis:
a. An infantry Bn reinforced with a mechanized element can conduct pacification operations for long periods effectively; especially if coordination can be effected between government representatives and the Bn Task Force Commander.
b. Operation FORT SMITH can be considered a success, in that the areas in which operations were conducted were part of an overall plan to pacify the Trang Bang District. The District Chief must be complimented for his professional competency, his personal courage, and his prompt response to suggestions. He assisted the TF 2/14th Inf in its operations completely and was a reliable ally in combat operations. The relations established with the District Chief Trang Bang District were established through the American Advisory personnel and the Commander and Staff of the TF 2/14th Inf. There was complete trust and understanding between the District Chief and the TF Commander. This was due to two members of the TF 2/14th Inf staff being able to speak Vietnamese at daily coordination meetings with the District Chief. These meetings were brief and allowed for maximum flow of information to one another.
c. Coordination meetings with the District Chief gave a complete current picture of the local enemy and friendly situations; and the freedom of action given the Battalion Commander allowed him to react to situations in the area of operations without restrictions.
d. Pacification operations can be accomplished with greater success over a minimum of four weeks in AO. The Vietnamese should initiate the pacification actions and we support it.
a. That engineer support with a dozer be attached to any Bn TF conducting area pacification missions. This machinery enables TF to work on defensive construction and road networks for internal defenses rapidly. It also enables the TF to build and repair local installations and improve or build road networks important to the Vietnamese people.
b. That armored infantry or mechanized elements be attached to any Bn TF on area pacification missions. This attachment allows the TF greater flexibility and gives the TF a quick reaction force.
C. That liaison be established through US Advisors to appropriate Vietnamese representatives to enable coordination meetings in the early stages of the operation and through the entire period of the pacification operation.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
1 Incl RIHO VAHTEL
Civic Action Report Captain, Infantry
Civic Action Report (Combat After Action Report Opn FORT SMITH dtd 3 June 3 July 1966)
Trips Description Area
3 Medcap & Helping Hand Ap An Phu XT514190
2 Medcap & Helping Hand Xa Cay Chua XT505193
1 Medcap & Helping Hand An Duc XT532181
1 Medcap & Helping Hand Lorraine XT478488
1 Medcap & Helping Hand Ap An Phu XT506169
1 Medcap & Helping Hand An Tinh XT53210
1 Road Construction 450 meters XA Cau Chua XT508213
3 RF Outpost Construction X Loc Du XT494205
Narrative Description of Projects:
1. Nine visits were made to six villages in the Trang Bang District to conduct Helping Hand and Medcap during Operation FORT SMITH, 3 June 66 to 3 July 66. In addition to Medcap and Helping Hand and other civic action progects and services were undertaken. Total Civic Action results for operation FORT SMITH are as follows:
Visits to Village 9
Medcap patients treated 904
People receiving helping
hand items 2,205
Chewing gum 650 sticks
Can openers (P-38) 50
Sugar 200 lbs
Wheat 80 lbs
Rice 210 lbs
Toothpaste 425 tubes
Soap 1,455 bars
Cans of Food 1,652
Toys 1,185 items
Candy 140 bars
Clothing 1,533 lbs
Cans of Milk 1,104
Propaganda leaflets 17,950
Road Construction 450 m completed
Outpost Construction 1 - 35% completed
Relocated Families 238
Political Indoctrinees 851
Damage Claims processed 1
1. As stated in weekly reports for operation FORT SMITH pacification should be in every operation where the tactical situation and terrain permit.
2. Medcap, Helping Hand, and Propaganda leaflets contributed immensely to counter-acting VC propaganda and instructions, winning friends, and instilling faith and trust in the Vietnamese government and the American Soldier.
3. Civic Action wherever possible warrants the full support of every individual. Many soldiers have skepticism toward Civic Action and an orientation program should be conducted to educate the individual soldier in the area of Civic Action operations.
a. Visit to a village should not exceed 2 hrs. After 2 hrs people become impatient and unmanageable.
b. Minimum support for a Civic Action operation should be 3 APC's and 25-30 riflemen to secure and control people where medcap team is located.
c. District Chief and/or American Advisor consulted for recommendation as to what area should have priorities for civic action.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 2D BATTALION 14TH INFANTRY
APO San Francisco 96225
3 September 1969
SUBJECT: Combat After Action Interview Report.
1. 2nd Bn, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
2. Operating Date: 19 July 1969.
3. Location: XT758148.
4. Control or Command Headquarters: Tactical Operations Center, S-3, 2d Bn, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
5. Person being interviewed: Thomas A. Barbera, 149-34-6902, SP/4, age 25, RTO, A Co, 2d Bn, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
6. Interviewing Officer: 1LT Howard W. Mitchell.
7. Task organization: A Co, 2d Bn, 14th Infantry.
8. Supporting forces: A 1/8, 105mm Arty, A Co, 25th Aviation (Night Hawk), B Co, 25th Aviation (LFT) (Flareship).
9. Intelligence: Area was known to be a VC/NVA infiltration route to Saigon.
10. Background Information: A Co 2d Bn, 14th Infantry had been conducting Night Combat operations in this general area for a period of 1 week with sightings and contact every night.
11. Mission: Mission of A Co 2d Bn, 14th Infantry on 19 July, 1969 was to conduct Night Combat Operations in a known VC/NVA infiltration corridor to harass and interdict enemy movement.
12. Concept of operation and execution: On 19 July 1969, A Co, 2d Bn, 14th Infantry, departed FSB Emory at 1815 for Night Combat Operations. The company was to set up three (3) AP's with the Command Post included in one of the AP's. At 2030 the company broke from it's holding area and started moving toward it's separate AP locations. At 2035 the company received small arms and automatic weapons fire with 3 RPG rounds, from an enemy element of 2 platoons located about 200 meters to the South southwest. A company immediately returned fire, killing 3 VC and calling for Light Fire Team, Flareship, and Artillery.
The gunship began working over the area of contact with mini gun and rockets suppressing the enemys fire. Arty was fired on suspected withdrawal routes with the Night Hawk covering these areas. After all firing was stopped A Company made a complete sweep of the contact area revealing a 3 body count and 1 AK-47.
13. Results: 1 US WIA (leg wound); 3 VC body count, 1 AK-47.
Anthony S. Baron