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After Action Report 21
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Office of the Adjutant General
Washington, D.C. 20310
AGAM-P (M) (20 Apr 67) 26 April 1967
SUBJECT: Operational Report - Lessons Learned, Operation CEDAR FALLS
25TH Infantry Division (U)
TO: SEE DISTRIBAUTION
1. Forwarded as enclosure is a Combat After Action Report for Operation Cedar Falls., conducted by the 25th Infantry Division during the period 8 - 26 January 1967. Information contained in this report is provided to insure appropriate benefits in the future from lessons learned during current operations, and may be adapted for use in developing training material.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY.
Kenneth G. Wickham
Major General, USA
The Adjutant General
US Army Combat Development Command
US Army Command and General Staff College
US Army War College
US Army Air Defense School
US Army Artillery and Missile School
US Army Armor School
US Army Chemical Corps School
US Army Engineer School
US Army Military Police School
US Army Intelligence School
US Army Infantry School
US Army Medical Field Service School
US Army Ordnance School
US Army Quartermaster School
US Army Security Agency School
US Army Transportation School
US Army Signal School
US Army Special Warfare School
US Army Civil Affairs School
Copies furnished to:
Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development
Research Analysis Corporation (Library)
Security Officer, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
South East Asia Forces, OSD (SA)
Office of the Director of Defense Research & Engineering, ODD (SEAM) ODDR&E
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 25th INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 97225
COMBAT OPERATIONS AFTER ACTION REPORT
OPERATIONS CEDAR FALLS
10 Mar 67
1. NAME AND TYPE OF OPERATION: Operation CEDAR FALLS was a search and destroy and blocking operation along the SAIGON River to prevent exfiltration from the THANH DIEN Forestry Reserve and IRON TRIANGLE areas, denying the use of the SAIGON River in the sector to VC/NVA forces. This operation was conducted in two phases.
Phase I: (D Day) 25th Inf Div under the guise of normal operations deploys the 196th Bde (reinf) by air and ground means to seize the critical ground overlooking the SAIGON River in the HO BO Woods and destroys VC/NVA forces and installations in sector.
a. (D+1 to D+9) 2nd Bde deployed by ground means to blocking positions along the SAIGON River in sector. The 2nd and 196th Bdes prevented VC/NVA exfiltration from the THANH DIEN Forestry Reserve and IRON TRIANGLE area, and controlled the SAIGON River in their sectors to deny its use by VC/NVA forces.
b. Brigade blocking forces conducted detailed search of their sectors and destroyed VC/NVA forces and installations.
2. DATE OF OPERATION: 8 January 1967 - 26 January 1967.
3. LOCATION Along the SAIGON River from south of the BOI LOI Woods to a line 4 kilometers east of PHU HOA DONG.
4. CONTROL OR COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: II FFORCEV
5. REPORTING OFFICER: Major General Frederick C. Weyand, 8 Jan - 26 Jan 67
6. TASK ORGANIZATION:
25th Inf Div:
2nd Bde, 25th Inf Div:
1st Bn, 27th Inf
2nd Bn, 27th Inf.
2nd Bn, 34th Armor
1st Bn, 8th Arty (DS)
3rd Bn, 13th Arty (-) (GS)
B Co, 65th Engr Bn (-)
196th Inf Bde (LT) (SEP)
2nd Bn, 1st Inf F Trp, 17th Cav
1st Bn (M), 5th Inf 3rd Bn, 82nd Arty
2nd Bn, (M), 22nd Inf A Btry, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty
3rd Bn, 21st Inf 175th Engr Co.
B Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
7. SUPPORTING FORCES:
a. Air Support
During Phases I and II air support was provided by fighter bombers and heavy bombers. A total of 409 sorties were flown in the area of the operations from 8 Jan - 26 Jan 67. B-52 strikes were flown in the AO during the period in support of the operations. They are as follows:
DATE / TIME STRUCK AREA COVERED
060200 Jan 67 XT626303 - XT634314
XT648282 - XT656296
070240 Jan 67 XT582312 - XT586303
XT612322 - XT616312
070200 Jan 67 XT649290 - XT660293
XT653270 - XT669274
061600 Jan 67 XT654248 - XT665270
XT660242 - XT672246
190400 Jan 67 XT570352 - XT601359
XT574340 - XT604347
b. Artillery Support
(1) 5 January: A command and control element from HQ Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty and A Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty displaced from CU CHI Base Camp to vicinity TRUNG LAP Ranger Training Center. A Btry, 2nd Bn, 32nd Arty (8” - 175mm) moved from CU CHI to TRUNG LAP and was GSR to the 25th Inf Div. A platoon of M42's from B Btry, 5th Bn, 2nd Arty (AWSP) were attached to 3rd Bn, 13th Arty (-) to provide security for the fire support base,. The MPQ-4 Radar Section from 7th Bn, 11th Arty was attached to the 3rd Bn, 13th Arty at TRUNG LAP.
(2) 6 - 7 January: No change in status or location of units.
(3) 8 January: Operation CEDAR FALLS commenced with the 1st Bn, 8th Arty, located in CU CHI Base Camp providing direct support to the 2nd Bde, A Btry, 3rd Bn. 13th Arty was assigned the mission of reinforcing the 3rd Bn, 82nd Arty from its fire support base at TRUNG LAP. D Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty was in general support of the 25th Division from its location in CU CHI Base Camp.
(4) 9 - 12 January: No change in status or location of units.
(5) 13 January: C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty displaced from base camp at vic XT74701464 to better support the 1st Bn, 27th Inf. The 8” platoon of A Btry, 2nd Bn, 32nd Arty displaced from TRUNG LAP to vic TON SON NHUT, and a platoon of D Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty moved from CU CHI to the TRUNG LAP fire support base, and was attached to A Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty.
(6) 14 January: No change in status or location of units.
(7) 15 January: 8” platoon from A Btry, 2nd Bn, 32nd Arty returned to TRUNG LAP, and the 8” platoon from D Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty was detached from A Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty and returned to CU CHI Base Camp.
(8) 16 - 20 January: No change in status or location of units.
(9) 21 January: C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty displaced from XT74701464 to CU CHI BaseCamp.
(10) 22 - 24 January: No change in status or location of units.
(11) 26 January: Operation CEDAR FALLS terminated HQ Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty (-); A Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty; A Btry, 2nd Bn,. 32nd Arty and the platoon of M42's from B Btry, 5th Bn, 2nd Arty displaced by convoy from TRUNG LAP to CU CHI Base Camp. .
(12) Special Equipment and Techniques: During the operation, Armor Infantry units established multiple base camps and forward positions in the FILHOL Plantation and HO BO and BOI LOI Woods. Up to this time there had been little or no target area survey because of the lack of high ground for a target area base and because of the requirement for an inordinate amount of security for isolated survey parties. Taking advantage of the security offered by the forward bases and by using DME's with NUI BA DEN as a control base, the survey parties were able to establish control in areas that are frequently target areas.
(13) Commanders Analysis: With the artillery fire support originating from CU CHI Base Camp and TRUNG LAP, administrative and supply matters were greatly simplified. Supporting from the base camp enabled the firing batteries to improve defenses and living conditions.
(14) Total missions and rounds fired:
(a) Missions: Support 515, H&I 2,276.
(b) Ammunition expended: HE 14,644, WP 868, ILL 386
(c) Results: 12 VC KIA 9 (BC), 40 VC KIA (poss), 6 Bunkers, 25 sampans, 23
buildings destroyed and 27 buildings damaged.
8. (C) INTELLIGENCE:
a. General: The area of operation for the 25th Inf Div during Operations CEDAR FALLS encompassed the area from south of the BOI LOI Woods to a line 4 kilometers east of PHU HOA DONG. The division positions were located along the SAIGON River in former VC safe havens in both the HO BO Woods and FILHOL Plantation. Enemy units operating in and around the AO included the 1st, 2nd, 7th, and 8th Bns of the 165th A Regt, elements of the D 14 Local Forces Bn, elements of MR 4, and local guerrillas. The area contained many foxholes, trenches, tunnels, bunkers and underground fortifications. The VC utilized the SAIGON River to a great extent in moving supplies and equipment
b. Terrain: The terrain in the area of operation varied from broad, flat plains of wet rice land to scrub brush and forested areas with heavy canopy. Cover in the rice paddies, marshes, and swamps was limited to road embankments and dikes. Concealment in the rice land was poor, with fair to good concealment in the forests and high marsh grass area. Fields of fire were poor in the forest to generally good in the rice lands and marshes. However, fields of fire were limited by stream banks and vegetation. Obstacles to overland movement were the interconnecting streams, ditches, and dikes in the rice land marshes.
c. Weather: The weather during the operation was generally clear to partly cloudy with good visibility and light winds. The maximum temperature was 93 degrees and the minimum was 63 degrees with an average high of 86 degrees and low of 68 degrees. Total rainfall for the period was .2 inches.
d. Operations: Light enemy contact was made initially as friendly units moved to the occupied blocking positions in the HO BO Woods and FILHOL Plantation. In the extreme eastern portion of the division sector, heavy contact was made with forces of the 2nd Bn, 165 A Regt on 8 January 1967 by elements of the 1st Bn, 27th inf. The enemy encountered by 1st Bn, 27th Inf withdrew under cover of darkness on the night of 8 - 9 January. Throughout the remainder of the operation no other heavy contact was made with the enemy forces, and most of the body count resulted from contacts with small groups of VC. During hours of darkness, maximum use was made of ambushes along the SAIGON River, and several VC were killed by ambush patrols as they sought to escape from the CEDAR FALLS Operational Area. Search and Destroy Operations accounted for most of the daylight activity of friendly forces. Through these S&D operations, several VC base camps along with large amounts of rice, equipment, ammunition and weapons were located. A large tunnel complex was discovered by the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf in the HO BO Woods on 21 Jan at coordinates XT650235, The tunnel is believe to have been the location of a VC headquarters unit. It was destroyed after it had been fully searched.
9. MISSION: To conduct S&D and blocking operations south and west along the SAIGON River, to prevent exfiltration from the THANH DIEN Forestry Reserve and IRON TRIANGLE areas, and to destroy VC base areas. (P4)
10. CONCEPT OF OPERATION:
a. 2nd Bde: Attached: 2nd Bn, 34th Armor, effective D-1
B Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, effective 1900H, D Day
B Co, 65th Engr Bn, effective 1900H, D Day
MID element, effective 1900H, D Day
Attached: 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf to 196th Bde, effective 1900H, D-1
(1) Establish blocking positions in sector along SAIGON River early on D+1 to prevent VC/NVA exfiltration from the IRON TRIANGLE area.
(2) Maintain control of the SAIGON River to prevent its use by VC/NVA forces.
(3) Destroy VC/NVA forces and installations in sector.
(4) Conduct BUDDY Operations in conjunction with 2nd Bn, 7th ARVN Regt to destroy VC/NVA infrastructure in PHU HOA DONG and expand government control over that village.
(5) Continue reorganization of 4th Bn, 23rd Inf in base camp.
(6) Be prepared to release 4th Bn, 23rd Inf to 3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div in the event 25th Inf Div or II FFORCE V reserve is committed.
b. 196th Inf Bde: Attached: 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf, effective 1900H D-1
2nd Bn (M), 22nd Inf, effective 0600H D-1
B Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, effective 1900H D-1
(1) Conduct airmobile operations on D Day to destroy VC/RVN forces in sector with priority of effort in objective A.
(2) On D+1 secure high ground overlooking SAIGON River in sector and establish blocking positions to prevent exfiltration from the THANH DIEN Forestry Reserve and IRON TRIANGLE.
(3) Maintain control of SAIGON River in sector to deny its use to VC/RVN forces.
(4) Conduct detailed search of sector to destroy VC/RVN forces and; installations.
(5) Upon shift of left limiting point from vic XT571349 to a point east of BEN SUC, be prepared to release control of B Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav to parent unit.
(6) Maintain security of base camp and retain responsibility of securing Route 26 in p blue.
(7) Be prepared to release one battalion to the 3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div in the event 25th Inf Div or II FFORCEV reserve is committed. If this is released, 196th Bde is relieved from responsibility for securing Route 26.
a. General: On D-2 (6 Jan 67) the Div, under the guise of normal operations, deployed the 196th Inf Bde reinforced. The 2nd Bn (M), 22nd Inf DAU TIENG along the southern edge of the BOI LOI Woods to an overnight position. At the same time the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf with Trp B, 3rd Sqdn, attached moved into the area north of the TRUNG LAP Ranger Training Center to partially open a route and secure artillery fire support bases. The 3rd Bn, supporting artillery consisting of the 3rd Bn, 82nd Arty and A Btry, 77th Arty was lifted into these bases. The 196th Inf Bde CP and elements of the 3rd Bn 13th Arty and 2nd Bn, 32nd Arty moved by convoy to TRUNG LAP. the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf secured a LZ for the 2nd Bn, 1st Inf. All elements less the fire support base security forces moved to blocking positions along the SAIGON River at the same time the 2nd Brigade moved to blocking position along the SAIGON River north of the FILHOL Plantation and NHA VIEC. Btry deployed with TF 2nd Bn, 34th Armor in the north, TF 2nd Bn, 27th Inf in the center, along with 2nd Bn, 7th ARVN Regt and 1st Bn, 27th Inf in the south. During the nights, a maximum amount of ambushes were emplaced along the river. During daylight hours minimum forces secured the river allowing extensive S&D operations in the VC base areas. Control of traffic on the SAIGON River was the responsibility of the 25th Inf Div while the 1st Inf Div was responsible for the control at the junction of the SAIGON - THI TINH Rivers. The 1st Inf Div with the and 11th Armd Cav Regt blocked enemy escape routes east of the THI TINH River, executed an air-mobile assault north of the IRON TRIANGLE, and then executed S&D operations south through the area. Highlights of the operations were:
(1) B-52 strikes exploited by ground follow-up 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 HQ's tunnel complex by the 1/5 (M) Inf in the HOBO/BOI LOI Woods complex from which exploitation resulted in the recovery of important land timely intelligence
(4) The US and ARVN cooperation in the evacuation and relocation of personnel and live stock from the village of BEN SUC to a New Life Hamlet.
(5) The use of a 3rd Riverline RAG Task Force enabling the 196th Inf Bde to search thoroughly along and beneath both sides of the SAIGON River resulting in the exploitation of several VC safe havens.
(6) The destruction of numerous VC fortifications and structures along with the discovery of many VC cache sites.
(7) The effective fire support provided by the supporting artillery from the forward fire support bases and CU CHI plus the integration by tactical air support greatly aided the success of the operation.
(8) The utilization of bulldozers and engineer equipment on the out-skirts of PHU HOA DONG to isolate that village from the VC in the FILHOL Plantation.
b. Significant Actions: (p5)
(1) On 8 January, B Co, 2nd Bn (M), 22nd Inf, located 10 tons of rice, 1500 gals of fish sauce, 2 boats (one with motor), 12 CBU's and 3 bicycles vic XT566323. All were destroyed except the rice and motor which were evacuated.
(2) On 8 January, C Co, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf Ambush Patrol engaged an unknown number of VC with SA and AW fire vic XT733297. Results: 5 VC KIA (BC) (no unit identification). One US carbine and one Russian rifle were captured and evacuated.
(3) On 9 January, C Co, 2nd Bn (M), 22nd Inf, destroyed 2 underground fortifications vic XT597324. In the same area 35.65 tons of rice were destroyed.
(4) On 9 January, B Co, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor engaged 15 VC on a raft with 90mm fire vic XT688222. Results: 15 VCKIA (BC) (no unit identification).
(5) On 10 January, B Co, 2nd Bn (M), 22nd Inf, destroyed 5 VC structures vic XT563313. In the same area 100 tons of rice and 100 gals of tar were located and evacuated.
(6) On 10 January, C Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf, destroyed 30 underground fortifications vic XT744155 and 30 underground fortifications vic XT734184.
(7) On 11 January, A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf, destroyed 1 sampan, 1100 lbs of rice, 9 underground fortifications and 20 VC structures. B Co destroyed 61 underground fortifications and 1 sampan vic XT7319.
(8) On 12 January, A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf, conducted an airmobile operation from the SAIGON River to vic XT747142 and conducted S&D operations resulting in the capture of 4 tons of rice, 2000 rds of SA, 2 sampans, 1 underground fortification, 1 VC structure and 5500 lbs of rice destroyed.
(9) On 12 January, between 2000 and 2130, A Co, 2lnd Bn, 27th Inf, engaged 13 VC in sampans vic XT715214 to XT716210. Results: 13 VC KIA (BC) (no unit identification) and 2 sampans destroyed.
(10) On 13 January, C Co, 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf engaged 4 VC in a sampan vic XT673255. Results: 4 VCKIA (BC) (no unit identification) and 1 sampan destroyed.
(11) On 13 January, B Trp, 2nd Bn (M), 22nd Inf engaged an unknown number of VC vic XT569305 with SA and AW fire. Results: 6 VC KIA (BC) (no unit identification).
(12) On 15 January, B Trp, 2nd Sqdn, 4th Cav destroyed 1 underground fortification, 4 tunnels, 60 50mm rds, and 5 grenades vic XT592288.
(13) On 16 January, C Co, 2nd Bn, 1st Inf engaged 13 VC in a sampan attempting to cross river vic XT673287. Results: 10 VC KIA (BC), 3 VC KIA (poss) and 1 sampan destroyed. Miscellaneous documents were captured and evacuated from the same area.
(14) On 16 January, 8 Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav destroyed 2 underground fortifications and 1 tunnel vic XT615303. One shotgun, 1 cal .45 SMG, 2 Chicom rifles, 1 pellet gun, 1 cal .25 rifle were captured and evacuated.
(15) On 17 January, B Co, 2nd Bn (M), 22nd Inf, located 14 tons of polished rice vic XT590306 which was evacuated. In the same location 12.5 tons of rice were destroyed.
(16) On 19 January, B Co, 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf located 9 VC KIA (BC) vic XT664274 that were a result of operations conducted by the unit in the area. Five tons of rice were located and evacuated.
(17) On 20 January, Co C, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, engaged 6 VC in a sampan vic XT718213. Results: 5 VC KIA (BC) (no unit identification), 1 VC PW and 1 cal .45 pistol captured and evacuated.
(18) On 20 January, B Co, 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf, with the assistance of a HOI CHANH located the following: 2 Springfield Rifles, 2 US SMG, 1 French Rifle, 1 Mauser Rifle, 6 CHICOM Carbines, one Shotgun, and 700 rds SA ammo vic XT661281.
(19) On 21 January, A co, 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf, located a tunnel complex consisting of a main tunnel 600 meters long and 10 branch tunnels vic XT650235. Sixty pounds of documents were evacuated.
(20) On 22 January, C Co, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, apprehended 3 VC PW's vic XT704210. VC PW's led the unit to XT704216 where the following items were destroyed: 3 hand grenades, 10 AT mines, 4 homemade bangalore torpedoes, and two 155mm rds. Located and evacuated were: 2 commercial radios, miscellaneous web equipment, 1300 rds SA ammo, 4 Chicom carbines, 1 Russian rifle and 1 Mauser rifle.
c. Revolutionary Development Activities: MEDCAP Teams were used and held. Hand items distributed in PHU HOA DONG. Mass evacuation and relocation of the villagers and livestock of BEN SUC to a New Life Hamlet was completed
d. ARVN participation: The 2nd Bn, 7th ARVN Regt, conducted successful seal and search operations in PHU HOA DONG in coordination and conjunction with the 2nd Bde. The 30th RAG of the 3rd Riverine Zone provided boats to allow the banks of the SAIGON River to be checked for VC caches and sampans
a. US Losses:
(1) Personnel: 40 KIA, 156 WIA
(2) Equipment: 3 APC destroyed, 3 APC damaged (moderate), 2 APC's damaged (heavy), 1 tank-dozer damaged (heavy), 1 tank destroyed, one ¼ ton truck damaged (heavy)
b. Enemy Losses:
(1) Total Personnel Losses:
VC KIA (BC) 331
VC KIA (POSS) 155
VC POW's 39
HOI CHANHS 147
(2) Total Material Captured: (p8)
(a) Small Arms Weapons:
Rifle, Cal 30, M-1 Us 7
Rifle, 7.92mm, Mauser 7
Rifle, AK-47, Soviet Assault 6
Rifle, U/I 5
Rifle, U/I, Soviet 2
Rifle, MAS-36, French 3
Rifle, Type 56, CHICOM 7
Rifle, Cal .25 1
Rifle, Enfield 1
Rifle, Springfield, (US) 2
Rifle, 7.62mm, M-14 (US) 1
Carbine, Cal .30 (US) 12
Carbine, Type 53 CHICOM 35
Carbine, 7.62mm, Soviet 3
SMG, Cal .45 (US) 4
SMG, 7.92mm 2
SMG, CHICOM 1
Pistol, Cal. 45, (US) 6
Pistol, Homemade 8
Pistol, 9mm, P-38 4
Shotgun, U/I 2
Gun, Pellet 3
(b) Crew Served Weapons:
Launcher, RPG-2 Rocket 3
BAR, Cal .30, (US) 2
Rockets, U/I 3
(c) HE Rounds
82mm Mortar 2 rds
(d) SA ammo 7717 rds
(e) Rice 253.85 tons
(f) Miscellaneous: NONE
(3) Total Material Destroyed:
(a) HE Rounds
155mm 10 rds
105mm 18 rds
90mm 1 rd
81mm 23 rds
60mm 117 rds (p9)
4.2 inch 2 rds
82mm 1 rd
57mm 26 rds
57mm 26 rds
RPG-2 2 rds
8 inch 3 rds
75mm 3 rds
175mm 1 rd
(b) Mines and Grenades:
Bangalore Torpedoes 4
Shape Charge 1
AT Mines 101
AP Mines 59
(c) SA Ammo. 3013 rds
TNT 4 lbs
Salt 200 lbs
Outboard motors 6
Printers Ink 5 gals.
Tar 5 gals
Cement 600 lbs
Documents 285 lbs
Books Four 5 gal cans
CHICOM flashlight Batteries 260
Roll of tin 1 roll (1000' X 3')
Gasoline 10 gals
Medical Supplies 15 lbs
Mask, gas (VC) 121
Mask, protective, (US) 4
Sewing Machine 1
Misc. clothing & web equip. 0
Civilian Radios 1
Tape Recorders 2 (p10)
Sound Tapes 74
Forging Kit 1
Rolls of Wire 2
Fish Sauce 1500 gals
Outboard Motors 3
Salt 1200 lbs
Claymore Mines 7
TNT 292 lbs
Printing Press 1
Kerosene 5 gals
Punji Pits 26
VC Structures 340
Rice 100.4 tons
13, ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:
a. Logistics: For a listing of logistic problems encountered, see the After Action Report of the 25th Inf Div SUPCOM (App 1).
b. Signal. The circuits established to support this operation are described in the 125th Signal Bn After Action Report (App 1)/
c. Aviation. For Aviation Operations, see 25th Aviation Bn After Action Report (App 1).
14. CIVIC ACTION:
a. 196th Bde:
(1) Conducted a total of 3 MEDCAPS at TRUNG LAP treating 301 patients.
(2) Provided 2,500 lbs of captured rice to ARVN dependents at TRUNG LAP Ranger Training Center.
(3) Constructed 5000 meters of road vicinity TRUNG LAP.
b. 2nd Bde:
(1) Conducted a total of 10 MEDCAPS vicinity of PHU HOA DONG, treating 473 patients/
(2) Distributed clothing to approximately 1000 people at PHU HOA DONG (P11)
(3)Constructed a swing for school at PHU HOA DONG.
(4) Constructed playground at PHU HOA DONG.
(5) Delivered 4000 lbs of captured rice (sour) to PF Compound at TAN PHU TRUNG to be used as hog feed.
(1) Provided clothing and commodities to 83 people evacuated from operational area.
(2) Provided 4000 lbs of captured rice to HAU NGHIA Province Chief.
d. Civic Action by Divisional units was confined generally in the vicinity of TRUNG LAP (XT7119) villages. The proximity of US forces has enable units to increase civic action projects in those villages. The security provided by 2nd Bde has enabled the district chief of PHU HOA DONG to reestablish the district office at PHU HOA DONG from PARIS TAN QUI. Evacuation of non-combatants was primarily handled by 1st Div units. 25th Div was involved in the evacuation of 83 non-combatants who were subsequently returned to GVN control at TRUNG LAP New Life Hamlet.
e. Psychological Operations:
(1) The task organization of the division had a HB, light Mobile (Loudspeaker Team) attached to 2nd Bde, 25th Inf Div and an ARVN PSYOPS team attached to the 196th Lt Inf Bde. The 246th PSYOP Company was in general support of the 25th Inf Div PSYOP program.
(2) The general attitude of the population toward the US forces was one of mistrust and concern. In the area in and around the village of PHU HOA DONG (XT7121), the population was extremely hostile as this had been a Viet Cong stronghold for many years.
(3) Psychological Operations were directed against enemy targets, emphasizing Allied Might and Introductory Themes. As the operation continued, emphasis was placed on themes to convince the VC that their situation had deteriorated in order to induce them to rally. For this purpose, CHIEU HOI and inevitable victory themes were used. Target areas were systematically covered to reach all intended target audiences. On D+1 the 146tih PSYOP Company and brigades commenced leaflet and loudspeaker operations in the AO. Pre-planned operations to D+5 were executed and then conducted as the tactical situation presented itself. Ground mounted loudspeaker broadcasts were conducted on a nightly basis at (XT7121) across the SAIGON River. There were 3 HOI CHANHS exploited with personalized leaflets and 4 with loudspeaker tapes. Altogether there were 976,265 leaflets dropped and 29 loudspeaker sorties flown in support of the operation,. Total aerial broadcast time was 10 hours and 40 minutes. Total ground broadcast time was 17 hours and 20 minutes. Approximately 70% of all loudspeaker operations were conducted at night.
(4) The operation resulted in 37 HOI CHANHS who returned, 11 of them to US units.
Those who were interviewed acknowledged seeing leaflets and hearing loudspeaker
Broadcasts, and admitted that they were to some extent influenced by the propaganda.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
JAMES D. DETHLEFSEN
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
18TH MILITARY HISTORY DETACHMENT
25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCMH 30 June 1969
THRU: Commanding General
United States Army Vietnam Transcribed by Ron Leonard From
ATTN: Command Historian original documents. Obtained from
APO San Francisco 96375 25th Infantry Museum, Hawaii
Department of the Army
Washington, D.C. 20315
1. NAME AND TYPE OF OPERATION: Fires Support Base Crook (Offensive-Defensive)
2. INCLUSIVE DATES OF OPERATION: 052000 June - 072130 June 1969.
3. LOCATION: Tay Ninh Province, RVN. Map Series 1501, sheet Number NC48-3. Grid XT055595.
4. CONTROL HEADQUARTERS: 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.
5. PERSON BEING INTERVIEWED: Maj. Joseph E. Hacia, 05311008, Executive Officer, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Officer in command of FSB Crook)
6. INTERVIEWING OFFICER: Division Historian
7. TASK ORGANIZATION
a. Company B, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry.
b. Battery A, 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery
Elements of the 3-22 Infantry communications, medical, support, and mortar platoons.
8. SUPPORTING FORCES: Artillery, aviation, and Air Force support was allocated from normal brigade and division assets as the action developed at FSB Crook.
a. U.S. Artillery
(1) Battery C, 1-27 Artillery (155mm), FSB Washington, (XT146568),II FFV.
(2) One platoon, Battery A, 2-32 Artillery (175mm), FSB St. Barbara
(XT272683), II FFV GSR.
(3) One platoon. Battery B, 3-13 Artillery (8 inch), Tay Ninh Base Camp
(XT165515), 25th Division Artillery.
b. ARVN Artillery: One platoon, Battery C, 3-38 Artillery (155mm). Cao Xa
c. U.S. Aircraft:
c. U.S. Air Force Aircraft
a. Enemy - Prior to the beginning of the attacks of Fire Support Base Crook, intelligence indicated that a high point of enemy activity was to occur between 1 and 10 June 1969. Information received from documents captured on 23 and 28 may by the 1st Air Cavalry division revealed that the 88th NVA regiment would attack a U.S. position in the Tay Ninh area. A specific time frame for the attack was not mentioned in the documents; however, they did disclose that the cadre of the 88th Regiment to finish training courses conducted at the Regimental headquarters by 1 June. At this time the Regiment was believed to be dispersed in central War Zone C. The remaining two regiments of the 9th VC/NVA
Division, the 271st and 272nd, were believed to be located in the base areas in Cambodia, also preparing for attacks in the Tay Ninh area.
Information received from P.W.'s and documents after the attacks on FSB Crook identified the 3rd Battalion, 272nd NVA Regiment as the attacking force on 5-6 June, and the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 88th NVA Regiment as the attacking force on 6-7 June. The actions and locations of the 3rd Battalion, 272nd NVA regiment just prior to the 5-6 June attack are uncertain; however, the 2nd battalion, 88th Regiment with a strength of 180 men, had moved to the vicinity of XT049678 on 4 June and built defensive positions and continued training. The 3rd Battalion, 88th Regiment with a strength of 200 men had moved to a temporary base camp in the vicinity of XT1061 on 4 June. A 50-man company from the 271st NVA Regiment was attached to the 3rd Battalion. The attacks on FSB Crook coincided with the Midway meeting of the U.S. and South Vietnamese Presidents. It is likely that the enemy objective was to gain a moral or psychological victory, in order to counter the impact of this meeting.
b. Terrain- The terrain surrounding Fire Support Base crook is flat and generally forested. The area to the east is triple-canopy jungle. To the north, there is scattered double-canopy jungle. The area to the south is secondary growth, while to the southwest and west are abandoned rice paddies. The Soui Ben Da stream flows north to south 300 meters to the west of the base. Fields of observation and artillery direct fire are good, extending from the minimum of 220 meters on the east to 350 meters on the north and south up to 1000 meters to the southwest. Fields of fire for small arms are excellent out to 200 meters. The wooded areas on the east and northeast offer the best avenues of approach; however, the is a destroyed village to the south with broken ground and brush which offers a secondary approach to within 200 meters of the base. The base is positioned astride an east-west road, and there is a north-south trail east of the base, which provide rapid approaches into the general area. The only significant obstacle to movement in the area is the Soui Ben Da stream on the west which is not fordable in the immediate vicinity of the base, although there is a footbridge at the road crossing (See Enclosure 2).
c. Weather- During the period 5 to 8 June the area around FSB Crook was characterized by partly cloudy skies in the morning and afternoon with a general overcast (ceiling 1000 feet) by 1900 hours. There were intermittent rain showers in the late afternoon and early evening in the area. At approximately 2400 hours, however, the sky would clear for a radius of five miles around FSB Crook, providing excellent observation and flying conditions.
10. MISSION: Fire Support Base Crook was established in April 1969 to interdict VC/NVA movement northwest of Tay Ninh City and to support the platoon and company sized offensive operations conducted in that area.
11. EXECUTION: The first indication of the impending attack on fore support Base Crook came at 2000 hours on 5 June when the base monitored seismic sensor activations, indicating heavy activity 950 meters east and 550 meters northwest
west of the base. These two areas were engaged with supporting artillery and the activity ceased. At this time, the AN/PPS-4 radar mounted on the observation tower began to detect groups of 3-4 personnel moving in the wood lines all around the base. Approximately 18 sightings were made between 2000 hours and 0100 hours. The direction and distance of each sighting was relayed to the artillery battery within the base, which engaged each location with time fused direct fire (Killer Junior). Beginning at 2130 hours, the Battalion Executive Officer requested interdictory artillery fires on the trails and likely assembly areas around the base, and placed the e base on 100% alert. As the cloud cover cleared shortly after midnight, an observer with a starlight scope in the tower began to sight the same small groups that had been detected by radar. From 0130 hours to 0255 hours the movement around the base generally c eased, but the interdictory fires were continued.
At 0255 hours, the enemy initiated an attack by fire. 107mm and 122mm rockets, 75mm recoilless rifle rounds, 82mm and 60mm mortar rounds, RPG's and small arms fire began to impact in and around the base. The rate of indirect fire was 80 rounds per minute for the next one and one-half hours. Most of the rockets passed over the base and impacted outside the wire to the east. A mortar round killed one man as an L.P. to the west was being withdrawn. There was little damage and were few casualties within the perimeter. Coordinated with the attack by fire, the enemy launched a battalion-sized assault from the south and east. (See Enclosure 3). The troops within the base laid down a heavy volume of grazing fire, as the howitzers fired “Killer Juniors” to the depth of 150-200 meters all around the base. The supporting 155mm artillery was used to hit the enemy attack positions in the wood line to the south, while the 8-inch artillery fired deeper into this area. The base's 81mm and 4.2” mortars fired on the wood line to the east, and 175mm artillery was used to suppress the enemy firing positions to the north. The intense defensive fires slowed the enemy ground assault but a 16-man element did breach the outer wire on the south with bangalore torpedoes. The men on the bunker line stopped this group with automatic weapons and claymore mines. Although their attack was stopped, the bulk of the enemy force remained in the open firing small arms and RPG's at the bunkers. At approximately 0400 hours, AC-47 and AC-119 gunships, helicopter fore teams, and Air Force fighters arrived over the area. The 175mm artillery fire was shifted 1 kilometer to the north, thus clearing the area to the north and west for engagement by the gunships. The AC-47 gunship poured fire into the open area around the base for 360 degrees. As the helicopters moved in, they were engaged by numerous .51 caliber machineguns (estimated 15) around the area, with the heaviest concentration on the west. One-observation helicopter was damaged and the Brigade command and control ship received five hits. As the helicopters suppressed the anti-aircraft fire, the intense supporting fires forced the enemy to withdraw into the jungle. (See Inclosure 4). By 0530 there was only sporadic fire from the surrounding area, but artillery and TAC air continued to hit suspected targets. At 0645 hours, Company B sent a platoon through the break in the wire to search through the area to the south. As they moved into the old village area they were engages at close range by a group of 10-15 NVA who had remained concealed in spider holes. Grenades wounded the Company B Commander and three radio operators. The platoon moved back to the bunker line by bounds and the
area was engaged with 155mm Artillery and TAC air strikes, forcing the remaining NVA to flee into the forest to the south. After the search of the battle area was resumed, 76 NVA bodies, 15 small arms, 1 RPG launcher, 10,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, and numerous RPG rounds were recovered. The NVA soldiers were dressed in khaki uniforms and wearing “Ho Chi Minh” sandals. Each man had been equipped with an AK-47 rifle, a bandolier, 8 to 10 hand grenades, a cup type gas mask, and was carrying an extra 5 RPG rounds. The bodies were significantly free of extraneous material such as documents, diaries or other personal effects. Three infiltration passes were found, which identified the battalion as an element of the 272nd NVA Regiment.
Later that morning, Companies A and C of the battalion were air-landed approximately 5 kilometers north of FSB Crook to search south towards the base. At 1245 hours, company A became engaged with an unknown sized enemy force and light contact continued until 1`545 hours. Due to this contact the search north of the base was not completed on 6 June,. On the evening of 6 June, the pattern of activity resumed in an almost identical fashion. From 2000 to 2030 hours, the seismic sensors northwest and east of the base transmitted heavy activity. The radar detected two groups of approximately 40 personnel moving 1500 meters north of the base. From 2000 to 0100 hours the radar continued to detect groups of 3 to 5 men in the woodlines all around the base. Each area of activity was engaged with mortar and artillery fire, or direct fire from the howitzers within the base.
By 0100 hours, the majority of the movement had ceased, but all areas continued to be engages with direct (Killer Junior) and indirect fires. At 0200 hours, a Night Hawk helicopter, flying in to support the action, detected large groups of enemy moving towards the base along the road from the east. Artillery fires were immediately shifted to attack these groups, At 0255 the enemy attack by fire began with greater intensity than the previous night. For the first five minutes the rate of fire was 150 rounds of rocket, mortar, and RPG fire per minute, and approximately 50 rounds per minute for the next one and one-half hours. The initial volley wounded three U.S. soldiers. Coordinated with the attack by fire, the enemy launched a two-battalion ground assault, one battalion moving out to the woodline to the northeast, and the other attacking from the northwest (See Enclosure 5). The base engaged the attacking enemy with “Killer Junior” and automatic weapons. The Night Hawk helicopter strafed the enemy coming out of the jungle to the northeast, while two helicopter fire teams hit the battalion on the northwest with machinegun and rocket fire; these gunships were followed by TAC air strikes which dropped napalm and fragmentation bombs on this force. An AC-47 gunship and helicopter gunships engaged the .51 caliber machineguns, which had begun firing from the west of the stream. 175mm artillery was placed on the jungle to the northwest, while mortar fire 155mm and 8 inch howitzer fire was used to suppress the enemy firing positions to the east and south. The area was under continuous illumination by the AC-119 gunship, which engaged the area outside the wire with machinegun fire. (See Enclosure 6). The enemy coming from the northwest breached the first wire barrier, but was stopped by the intense defensive fires. The attack from the northeast was stopped before it reached the wire. The continuous defensive fires forced the enemy to attempt to withdraw, but the volume of automatic fire and bursting munitions
was so great that the majority were trapped and cut down in the open. Those who did reach the jungle had to move through concentrations of mortar and artillery fire, which was shifted out in pursuit of them.
By 0530 hours, those enemies who could had withdrawn. At 0815 hours, Company A of the battalion was air-landed southeast of the base and began a sweep to the west. Company C landed east of the base at 0845 hours and began a search of that area. The Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon, and two platoons from Company D were brought in to reinforce Company B, and to assist in the sweep to the north.
As the sweep around the base concluded, 323 NVA bodies, 10 PW's, 39 AK-47's, 2 light machineguns, 2 60mm mortars, 90 rounds of 60mm ammunition, 2 RPG launchers, 230 RPG's, 500 hand grenades, 84 satchel charges, 10 bangalore torpedoes, and 3000 rounds of small arms ammunition were recovered. That evening at 2000 hours, the Base Commander (Maj. Hacia) ordered a test firing of all weapons as a precaution in the event of continued enemy attacks. Moments after the test firing began, the base received small arms fire from 360 degrees and several 75mm recoilless rifle rounds. Within 15 minutes they already had received a light volume of mortar and rocket fire. The base returned the fire with automatic weapons, “Killer Junior” and artillery. This duel lasted until 0100 hours when firing ceased. A third enemy attack had been aborted by the initiating of the test fire. 3 NVA bodies were recovered from this attack.
12. COMMAND: The base was under command of Major Joseph E. Hacia, Executive Officer, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry. CPT Larry B. Thomas commanded B. Company of the Battalion and CPT Dickson A. Real commanded Battery A, 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery. Major Hacia alternated his position between the observation tower and the TOC bunker. CPT Thomas positioned himself along the bunker line at the point of the main attacks. The battery commander remained at the battery firing position.
a. Radio- The operation was controlled on the Battalion (3-22 Inf) Command Net. The TOC bunker had one radio on the Battalion Command Net, one radio on the Battalion Logistics Net, and one radio on the company B Command Net. On the tower there were two radios, one on the Battalion command Net and one on the Battery A Fire Direction Net. The Company B CP had one radio on the company Net and one radio on the Battalion Command Net. Battery A operated on their Fire direction Net and monitored the Infantry Battalion Command Net.
b. Wire- The communications bunker was located 15 meters from the TOC. The switchboard had connections to t5he TOC, the tower, the FDC, the Company B CP, and the platoon CP's. In addition to this wire net, there was a “Hot Loop” connecting the TOC, company B CP, FDC. The switchboard operators in the communications center had been instructed to connect all stations in a conference call at the first sign of enemy contact, this addition to the “Hot Loop” provided two open circuit telephone systems.
14. RESUPPLY: Seven CH-47 sorties were required to resupply FSB Crook on the
mornings of 6 and 7 June. Infantry and artillery expenditures for the period of 5-8 June are as follows;
a. M16 5.56mm -170,360 rounds
b. M60 7.62mm -120,820 rounds
c. Hand Grenades (Frag) -300
d. Caliber .50 MG -13,000 rounds
e. 66mm Rocket (LAW) -156
f. 4.2” Mortar HE -477 rounds
ILLUM -353 rounds
WP -57 rounds
CS -34 rounds
g. 81mm Mortar; HE -822 rounds
ILLUM -567 rounds
WP 93 rounds
h. 40 mm Grenades; HE -5197 rounds
CS -114 rounds
i. 90mm RR; HE -38 rounds
BEEHIVE -192 rounds
j. Claymore Mines -274
k. Trip Flares -328
l. Hand Flares -324
m. 105mm Howitzer -1764 rounds
n. 155mm Howitzer -843 rounds
o. 8 Inch Howitzer -96 rounds
p. 175mm Howitzer -75 rounds
15. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES:
a. “Super Claymore”. A 15 pound electrically detonated shaped charge pointed in the direction of the enemy with a roll of barbed wire placed in front of the shaped charge. The roll of wire has a block of C4 explosive in the center, fused with a nonelectric blasting cap, and connected to the shaped charge with detonating cord. Upon ignition, the C4 ruptures the rolled wire as the shaped charge blows the disintegrating mass in the direction of the enemy. Thirty of these devices were positioned around Fire Support Base crook and used with the devastating effect on the enemy assault troops.
b. Fougasse. Eight 55 gallon drums of fougasse were positioned around the base, but the enemy troops took great care in avoiding the ground infront of these devices.
c. Six of the eight M-60 machineguns belonging to the artillery battery were placed on the bunker line and manned by the rifle company. This doubled the number of machineguns firing from the bunker line.
d. The rifle company 1st Sergeant maintained a P.L.L. for small arms and established a repair point in a bunker. Weapons, which malfunctioned, were immediately brought to this point for on site repair.
e. Three smudge pots were kept at each perimeter bunker, allowing the outline of the camp to be marked throughout the night.
f. This battalion had adopted a policy of rotating rifle companies in and out of the fire support Base at two to three week intervals. This periodic change increased the morale and alertness of the troops and caused them to view their new surroundings with a critical eye. Constant improvements were made in the defenses and internal arrangements of the base, in a spirit of competition between the companies.
g. A ready reaction force was composed of support personnel and organized into three squads with an AN/PRC-25 radio and M-60 machinegun each. They were rehearsed to react as squads, reinforcing designated sectors, or to react as an entire platoon to a major threat from any direction.
h. The battalion maintained a forward aid station at Fire support Base crook, manned by the Battalion Surgeon and three senior aid men from Battalion Medical Platoon. Thus they had the capacity to perform life saving surgery in the event that the enemy anti-aircraft fire would delay medical evacuation. There were landing zones inside and outside the perimeter. Medical evacuation was preformed at 0530 hours each morning from the interior landing zone. Gunships provided cover for the MEDEVAC helicopters.
i. Ammunition was prestocked in three main ammunition supply points and in eighteen small supply points positioned behind the fighting bunkers. This precluded any heavy loss of ammunition from enemy fire and reduced the amount of time and exposure of personnel in resupplying the fighting bunkers.
a. U.S. KIA -1, WIA - 7, Heavy Damage to 1 LOH, Light Damage to 1 UH-1H.
b. Enemy: KIA - 402, P.O.W. - 10
Light MG -2
.51 Cal. MG -1
R.P.G. Rocket Launcher -3
60mm Mortar -2
60mm rounds -90
R.P.G. rounds -230
Hand Grenades -500
Satchel charges -84
Bangalore Torpedoes -10
Small Arms Ammunition -13,000
17. ANALYSIS: The overwhelming victory achieved at fire support Base Crook is attributable to planning and motivation. The personnel, at FSB Crook were physically and mentally prepared for any contingency. When the enemy moved en masse against them, they calmly and efficiently destroyed them.
a. The physical structure of the base provided excellent frontal, rear, lateral and overhead protection for the personnel, and it was constantly being improved. Three wore obstacles stood between the bunker line and the enemy. Flat, well-cleared fields of fire surrounded the base. The firepower of all weapons in the base could be used against an attacking force. Six howitzers, four mortars, twelve machineguns, automatic rifles, recoilless rifles, grenade launchers, claymore mines, and “Super Claymores” provided a shield of fire around the base.
b. A well-equipped and trained reaction force was available to reinforce any
sector of the base.
c. Communications, ammunition supply, weapons maintenance, and medical aid were specifically structured to function efficiently under heavy attack.
d. Not only was the system of fire support preplanned, it was thoroughly understood by all concerned. The Rifle company commander, Battery commander, the Artillery Liaison Officer, the Brigade Air Liaison Officer, the Brigade Aviation Officer, the S3 Air, platoon leaders and forward observers had all been briefed that, in theevent of an attackl on the base, the 155mm and 8 inch supporting
Artillery, and the mortars within the base would fire to the south and east of the base, the 175mm artillery would fire to the north and west until air support arrived, and then be shifted to the north to clear the air space ion the north and west for the use of TAC air and helicopter gunships. The area immediately around the base would be engaged with small arms, “Killer Junior”, and AC-47 or AC-119 gunships flying above the path of incoming artillery. In this manner there would be continuous fire in concentric rings around the base, and all available supporting fires could be employed simultaneously. When this system had to be implemented, it was done rapidly and smoothly, since everyone understood the plan.
e. Early warning from radar, seismic sensors, and night observation devices enabled the base to initiate a preemptive attack by fire on the enemy weapons emplacements and attack positions. Although this did not prevent the enemy attack by fire or ground assault, it did severely reduce their coordination and effectiveness as evidenced by a 400 to 1 KIA ratio.
f. After the enemy ground attack failed, the supporting fires were employed to pursue and destroy the withdrawing enemy. This retention of an offensive spirit was the most significant factor in this operation. A defensive situation was turned into an offensive situation in which the destruction of the massed enemy forces became the objective.
Michael D. Keating
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 3D BRIGADE, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO SAN FRANCISCO 96268
TRANSCRIBED ON 10/10/2001
BY RON LEONARD
FROM ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS.
AVDCTB-C 23 JAN 1968
SUBJECT: COMBAT AFTER ACTION REPORT
TO: COMMANDING GENERAL
25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
ATTN: ACOFS, G3
1. NAME OF OPERATION: OPERATION CAMDEN
2. DATES OF OPERATION: 18030 DEC 67 - 270600 DEC 67
3. LOCATION: BOI-LOI WOODS, TRAPEZOID AREAS.
4. COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: 3D BRIGADE 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION.
3D BDE 25TH INF. DIV COL. LEONARD R. DAEMS JR.
2D BN 12TH INF LTC RAPHAEL TICE
2D BN 22ND INF (MECH) LTC THOMAS HARROLD
2D BN 77TH ARTY LTC WILLIAM L. ALBRIGHT
6. TASK ORGANIZATION:
2-12 INF (-A CO) BDE CONTROL
3 TMS, 44TH IPSD CO A (-), 2-12 INF (OPCON)
1 PLT, D/65 ENGR (DS) 2-77 ARTY (DS)
1 PLC A/2-12 INF (OPCON)
2-22 INF (M) D/65 ENGR (DS)
3 TMS, 44TH IPSD SIG PLT, ELM(SPT)
1 PLT, D/65 ENGR (DS) 3D PLT, 25TH MP CO (SPT)
DISCOM FWD ELM (SPT)
3-22 INF (-C CO) FWD SPT SECT S&T (SPT)
3 TMS, 44TH IPSD B/25TH MED BN (SPT)
1 PLT, D/65 ENGR (DS) D/725 MAINT BN (SPT)
SEC QM GBBEG PLT (SPT)
7. SUPPORTING FORCES:
(1)THE 2/77TH ARTILLERY PROVIDED BOTH PREPLANNED AND ON CALL SUPPORT FOR THE3D BRIGADE IN ADDITION TO EXTENSIVE H&I FIRE.
(2)ARTILLERY PROVIDED SUPPORT FROM FIRE SUPPORT BASE ALLEN (XT541492) FROM 18 TO 22 DECEMBER 1967 AND FIRE SUPPORT BASE LAFAYETTE EAST (XT586423) FROM 22 TO 26 DECEMBER 1967
(3) STATISTICAL DATA:
(A) H & I MISSIONS: 2609 ROUNDS EXPENDED: 3213.
(B) SUPPORT MISSIONS: 158 ROUNDS EXPENDED: 3600
(1)THE NORMALCHANNELS FOR REQUESTING TACTICAL AIR SUPPORT WAS USED.
(2) STATICSTICAL DATA
1. PREPLANNED MISSIONS REQUESTED: 14
2. PREPLANNED MISSIONS FLOWN: 14
3. IMMEDIATE MISSIONS REQUESTED: 8
4. INMMEDIATE MISSIONS FLOWN: 8
(3) RESULTS TACTICAL AIR:
BUNKERS DESTROYED: 5
BUNKERS DAMAGED: 16
BUNKERS UNCOVERED: 53
TRENCH DESTROYED 15 METERS
TRENCH OPENED UP: 135 METERS
MILITARY ASTRUCTURES DAMAGED: 4
MILITARY STRUCTURES DESTROYED 2
C. ARMY AVIATION:
(1) OPERATION CAMDEN STARTED 18 DECEMBER 67 WITH THE COMBAT ASSAULT OF 2-12 INF AND 3-22 INF INTO LZ AT XT585419. THE LZ WAS PREPPED WITH TAC AIR, ARTY AND THE 269TH COMBAT AIR BN'S SMOKE SHIP, SMOKEY BARRON. THE 269TH ALSO PROVIDED TWO LIFT COMPANIES THE 116TH AHC AND THE 187TH AHC. THE LZ WAS XCOLD AS THE 2-12 INF WAS INSERTED IN 4 LIFTS UTILIZING BOTH COMPANIES. THE 3-22 FOLLOWED IN 7 LIFTS, THE LAST 6 BEING MADE BY ONE ASSAULT HELICOPTER COMPANY AS THE OTHER WAS RELEASED DUE TO PREVIOUS COMMITM,ENTS. THIS WAS THE ONLY AIRMOBILE OPERATION THAT OCCURRED DURING OPERATION CAMDEN.
(2)ALL EXTRACTIONS AND RESUPPLY FOR THE BRIGADES THREE BATTALIONS WAS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE USE OF CH-476 MULESKINNERS FOR THE 242ND SUPPORT HEL CO. NORMAL PROCEDURES WERE FOLLOWED IN THAT NIGHT KITS WERE EXTRACTED EACH MORNING TO ENABLE THE BNS TO MOVE UNENCUMBERED. THE NIGHT EQUIPMENT WAS THEN RETURNED WITHEHT EVENING RESUPPLY. DUE TO THE TACTICAL SITUATION, A COMBAT ESSENTIAL WAS REQUESTED FOR 3-22 ON 22 DEC. THIS EMERGENCY RESUPPLY WAS COMPLETED AT 1905 HOURS, AFTER DARKNESS HAD SET IN. THE MULESKINNER PILOTS DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB IN ACCOMPLISHING THIS MISSION.
(3) ON 22 DEC THE 25TH AVIATION BATTALION CO. SUPPLIED 2 SHIPS AND PROVIDED ACCURATE AND CONTINUOUS GUNSHIP SUPPORT FOR 3-22 INF COMMENCING AT 1030 HOURS. THE LIGHT FIRE TEAMS WERE REQUESTED WHEN VC CONTACT WAS ESTABLISHED VIC XT5739. THE LIGHT FIRE TEAM REMAINED ON STATION UNTIL AFTER THEY HAD ESCORTED THE COMBAT ESSENTIAL RESUPPLY OUT OF THE LZ.
(4) DUE TO THEIR NON-AVAILABILITY, GENERAL SUPPORT SLICKS WERE USED SPARINGLY. WHEN OBTAINABLE THEY WERE USED FOR MISSIONS SUCH AS:
(A) EXTRACTION OF KIA'S FROM THE FIELD
(B) FERRY SIGNAL REPAIRMEN AND CARGO SLINGS.
(C) INSERTION & EXTRACTION OF MEDCAP TEAMS.
(D) RETURN OF DETAINEES TO HOME PROVINCE.
(E) EMERGFENCY RESUPPLY.
(5) THE BDE AVN PROVIDED AN AVERAGE OF 3 FLYABLE OH-23 SNOOPIES DAILY. DO TO THE 2-22 INF (M) RAPID MOVEMENT; AN OH-23 WAS ASSIGNED TO THEM DAILY FOR COMMAND AND CONTROL. A SECOND
OH-23 WAS SHARED BY THE 2-12 AND 3-22 ALSO FOR C & C. IN ADDITION THESE AIRCRAFT WERE EMPLOYED FOR NUMEROUS RECON AND ARTY ADJUSTMENT BY ALL THREE BATTALIONS. THE THIRD OH-23 WAS USED PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE TYPE MISSIONS. AIRCRAFT #64-15256 DID NOT FLY AS IT UNDERWENT A SERIES OF CORRECTIONS AT THE 725TH MAINT. BN.
A. INTELLIGENCE CONCERNING THE AREA OF OPERATION CAMDEN WAS OBTAINED FROM 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION G-2 SOURCES, VR MISSIONS, AGENT REPORTS, AND INTERROGATION REPORTS.
B. THE 3D BDE AREA OF OPERATION WAS THE TRAPEZOID, IMMEDIATELY SOUTH OF THE MICHELIN PLANTATION. THIS AREA IS CHARACTORIZED BY HEAVY JUNGEL WIOTH STREAMS AND INTERMITTENT OPEN AREAS RUNNING THROUGHOUT, PROVIDING GOOD SUPPLY ROUTES. PRIOR TO THE OPERATION, INTELLEGENCE CONCERNING THE AREA INDICATED LARGE CACHE SITES AND NUMEROUS FORTIFICATIONS AND BASE CAMPS IN THE AREA. IN ADDITION, ROUTE 14 FROM DAU TIENG SOUTH TO THANH AN WAS REPORTED TO BE HEAVILY MINED.
(1) ENEMY INITIATED INCIDENTS DURING OPERATION CAMDEN WERE AS FOLLOWS:
(A) SNIPER FIRE: 11
(B) MORTAR FIRE: 3
(C) MINES: 11
(D) BOOBY TRAPS: 7
(E) ENGAGEMENTS: 13
(F) FIRE AGAINST AIRCRAFT: 2
(2) ACTION ALONG AVENUES OF APPROACH WAS CHARACTORIZED BY COMMAND DETONATED MINES WITH BOOBY TRAP WIRES PRIMARILY ALONG ROUTE 14 AND ON TRAILS LEADING OFF THIS ROUTE. IN THE EVENT A MINE WAS DISCOVERED AND DISARMED. ANY ATTEMPT TO TRACE THE WIRE RESULTED IN FRIENDLY CASUALTIES FROM BOOBY TRAPS.
(3) AN APPARENT COMMUNICATION STATION WAS LOCATED AT XT600412 WHERE A TELEGRAPH KEY AND HEARSE WERE CAPTURED. ANOTHER APPARENT COMMUNICATIONS STATION WAS LOCATED AT XT606415 WHERE ONE RADIO TRANSMITTER AND ONE SPEAKER WERE CAPTURED.
(4) ONLY IN ISOLATED CASES DID VC ENCOUNTERED EXCEED 8 IN NUMBER. NORMALLY THEY WERE SEEN IN GROUPS OF 3-6.
C. TACTICS: AS IN RECENT PAST OPERATIONS, VC TACTICS WERE LIMITED TO HARASSING SNIPER FIRE AND SHORT MORTAR ATTACKS. ENEMY UNITS OF ANY SIZE ATTEMPT NO LARGE SCALE GROUND ASSAULTS. WHEN DISCOVERED AND ENGAGED HE WOULD EXFILTRATE THE AREA RAPIDLY. ONLY ONE INCIDENT OCCURRED WHERE THE ENEMY STOOD HIS GROUND FROM WELL-FORTIFIED BUNKERS AND ENGAGED FRIENDLIES FROM FRONT AND FLANKS RESULTING IN 12 US KIA ABD 13 US WIA.
9. MISSION: 3D BRIGADE CONDUCTS OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS IN THE TRAPEZOID COMMENCING 180400 DEC 67 TO LOCATE AND DESTROY THE 101ST NVA REGT. BDE PREPARES TO DEPLOY WITHIN THE TRAPEZOID OR REPOSITION TO OTHER GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS ON ORDER.
10. CONCEPT OF OPERATION:
A. MANUEVER: THIS OPERATION WAS CONDUCTED WITH THE 2-22 INF (M) CONDUCTING A NIGHT TACTICAL ROAD MARCH TO ESTABLISH A BASE TO PATROL IN ASSIGNED AREA. 2-12 INF & 3-22 INF COMBAT ASSAULT INTO LZ VIC XT585419 WITH 3-22 INF FOLLOWING 2-12, SUBSEQUENTLY ESTABLISHING BASES AND PATROLS IN ASSIGNED AREAS.
B. FIRES: MAXIMUM USE WAS MADE OF TAC AIR AND ARTILLERY THROUGHOUT THE OPERATION.
C. REFERENCES: OPLAN 39-67 HQ 3D BDE 25TH INF DIV DTO 17 DEC 67.
A. CHRONOLOGICAL SUMMARY
(1) 18 DEC 1967:
(A) 2-12 INF: BN (-) CONDUCTED A COMBAT ASSAULT INTO COLD LZ VIC XT5845419 AT 0721 HRS. CO A(-) CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF. ONE PLT, CO A CONTINUED OPCON 2077 ARTY FOR SECURITY OF FSB ALLEN. A BN BASE CAMP WAS ESTABLISHED VIC XT570815 AND INTEDICTORY OPERATIONS INITIATED IN ASSIGNED AREAS.
(B) 2-22 INF (M): CONDUCTED ROAD MOVEMENT FROM DAU TIENG TO XT546393, DEPARTING AT 0405 HRS AND CLOSING AT 1108 HRS. AT 0828 HRS VIC XT527423 A COMMAND DETONATED 8” ARTILLERY SHELL WAS FIRED CAUSING 2 US KHA AND 3 WHA TO THE BN SWEEPING TEAM. AT 1035 HRS B CO O415-753-0934BSERVED 10-15 VC VIC XT551396. ARTY WAS EMPLOYED AND B COMPANY PURSUED WITHOUT GAINING CONTACT. NEG US AND UNK VC LOSSES. AT 1147 HRS CO C ENGAGED 2 VC VIC XT546393. VC BROKE CONTACT AND FLED SE. UNK VC RESULTS. COMPANY PATROL BASES WERE ESTABLISHED BY CO A VIC XT527400, CO B VIC XT562389, AND CO C XT546393. THE BN OP LOCATED WITH CO B. FROM 1517 TO 1525 HRS, CO C ENGAGED 3 VC VIC XT548399 WITH SA, AW, AND M-79 FIRE. VC RETURNED FIRE WITH RIFLE GRENADES AND AK-47 FIRES. RESULTS INCLUDED 1 VC KIA (BC) AND 1 AK-47. THERE WERE NO US LOSSES.
(C) 3-22 INF: BN(-) CONDUCTED A COMBAT ASSAULT INTO A COLD LZ VIC XT585419 AT 0807 HRS. A BN BASE CAMP WAS ESTABLISHED XT587417 AND INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS INITIATED.
(2) 19 DEC 1967:
(A) 2-12 INF: BN(-) CONDUCTED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM XT570415 TO XT565425. CO A(-) CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF AND ESCORTED RESUPPLY CONVOY TO AND FROM FSB ALLEN. ONE PLT, CO A CONTINUED TO SECURE FSB ALLEN. AT 1016 AND 1034 HRS A CO, SWEEPING THE ROAD FROM DAU TIENG TO FSB ALLEN. AT 1016 AND 1034 HRS A CO, SWEEPING TH EROAD FROM DAU TIENG TO FSB ALLEN HAD MINES DETONATED CAUSING9 KHA AND 7 WHA VIC XT523413.
(B) 2-22 INF(M): CONTINUED CO LEVEL INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM BASES VIC XT527400 (CO A); XT562389 (BN(-) ); AND XT546393 (CO C). AT 1213 HRS CO C HAD 6 OR 7 RPG ROUNDS FIRED AT IT VIC XT546393. CO C RESPONDED WITH ARTILLERY, MORTAR, AND .50 CAL MACHINEGUN FIRES. A SWEEP OF THE AREA THE ROUNDS WERE FIRED FROM PRODUCED NO RESULTS. CO C SUFFERED 2 MINOR WHA.
(C) 3-22 INF: CONTINUED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM XT587417 TO XT599411. AT 1505 HRS CO D ENGAGED 4 VC IN 2 BUNKERS VIC XT597411. VC USED AK-47 FIRE TO INFLICT 1 US WHA. ARTILLERY AND LIGHT FIRE TEAM WERE EMPLOYED WITH UNK RESULTS.
(3) 20 DECEMBER 1967
(A) 2-12 INF: BN(-) CONDUCTED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM VIC XT565425. CO A(-)CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF AND ESCORTED RESUPPLY CONVOY TO AND FROM FSB ALLEN. ONE PLT, CO A CONTINUED TO SECURE FSB ALLEN. AT 0920 HRS CO C OBSERVED 4 VC VIC XT562426. ARTILLERY WAS CALLED IN WITH UNK RESULTS. AT 1205 HRS CO A SUFFERED 5 US WHA FROM BOOBY TRAPS VIC XT501441.
(B)2-22 INF(M): CONTINUED CO LEVEL INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM BASES VICXT527400 (CO A); XT562389 (BN(-) ); AND XT546393 (CO C). FROM 1455 TO 1503 HRS CO C ENGAGED AN UNK NUMBER OF VC VIC XT557383, VC EMPLOYED CLAYMORE MINES AND SA FIRE. CO C USED ARTILLERY AND ORGANIC WEAPONS AND MANEUVERED TO CLOSE WOTHJ THE ENEMY WITH UNKNOWN VC RESULTS. THERE WAS 1 KHA AND 3 WHA SUFFERED BY US TROOPS. AT 1605 HRS RECON PLT OBSERVED AND ENGAGED 2 VC VIC XT568380. VC BROKE CONTACT IMMEDIATELY AND RESULTS WERE UNKNOWN.
(C) 3-22 INF: CONTINUED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM XT599411 TO XT 598412. CO C CONTINUED ATTACHED TO 1-5 INF(M). AT 192027 DEC THE CO A AMBUSH PATROL ENGAGED 1 VC VIC XT593412 WITH SA AND CLAYMORE. RESULTS 1 VC KIA (POSS).
(4) 21 DECEMBER 1967
(A) 2-12 INF: BN(-) CONTINUED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS VIC XT564424. Co A(-) CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF. ONE PLATOON, CO A CONTINUED TO SECURE FSB ALLEN. NEG CONTACT.
(B)2-22 INF(M): CONTINUED CO LEVEL INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS ESTABLISHED COMPANY BASES. NEG CONTACT.
(C) 3-22 INF: CONTINUED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM XT495412 TO XT588399. CO C REMAINED ATTACHED TO 1-5 INF (M). AT 1145 HRS CO A ENGAGED 4 VC VIC XT587407 WITH S/A. VC FLED AND RESULTS ARE UNKNOWN. AT 1435 HRS A CO RECEIVED HARRASSING FIRE VIC XT586397 WITHOUT CASUALTIES. A CO MANEUVERED AGAINST THE SOURCE OF FIRE WITHOUT RESULTS.
22 DECEMBER 1967:
(A) 2-12 INF: BN(-) CONTINUED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS VIC XT564424. TO XT577393 CO A(-) CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF. ONE PLATOON, CO A CONTINUED TO SECURE FSB ALLEN UNTIL CLOSED AT 1015 HRS CO A DETONATED A BOOBY TRAP VIC XT502441 CAUSING 1 WIA.
(B)2-22 INF(M): CONTINUED CO LEVEL INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM COMPANY PATROLS BASED TO THE SW. CO C ESTABLISHED A BLOCKING POSITION FROM XT575373 TO XT583373 TO SUPPORT THE 3-22 INF CONTACT. NEG CONTACT.
(C) 3-22 INF: CONTINUED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS TO THE SOUTH FROM XT495412 TO XT588399. CO C REMAINED ATTACHED TO 1-5 INF (M). AT 0915 HRS CO D CAME INTO CONTACT WITH UNK NUMBER OF VC IN BUNKERS VIC XT594394. D CO MANEUVERED ON LINE AND CO B MOVED TO THE RIGHT FLANK. BOTH UNITS WERE ABLE TO GO ON LINE AND CO B MOVED TO THE RIGHT FLANK. ARTILLERY FIRES BY 1500 HRS. RESULTS INCLUDED 8 KIA AND 14 WIA. THER WAS 1 VC KIA (BC) AND UNKNOWN OTHER VC LOSSES. AT 0935 HRS CO A ENGAGED AN UNDETERMINED NUMBER OF VC VIC XT584391. ARTILLERY
(6) 23 DECEMBER 1967:
(A) 2-12 INF: BN(-) CONTINUED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS VIC XT576393. TO XT573327 CO A(-) CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF. AT 0835 HRS CO A DETONATED A BOOBY TRAP VIC XT476393 CAUSING 1 WIA. AT 1412HRS CO D VIC XT535391 FOUND 1 VC KIA (BC) IN BUNKER
(B)2-22 INF(M): CONTINUED CO LEVEL INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM XT577376 TO XT377374. SCOUT PLATOON CONTINUED TO SECURE FSB LAFAYETTE. AT 222105 DEC AN A CO AMBUSH PATROLS ENGAGED AN UNDETERMINED NUMBER OF VC VIC XT577374. RESULTS INCLUDED 3 VC KIA (BC), 2 AK-47'S AND 1 UNIDENTIFIED WEAPON CAPTURED. THERE WERE NO US LOSSES.
(C) 3-22 INF: CONTINUED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS TO THE SOUTH FROM
XT594396 TO XT604380. CO C REMAINED ATTACHED TO 1-5 INF (M). AT 1030 HRS ARTY SHORT ROUND FELL INTO FRIENDLY LOCATION VIC XT583395 RESULTING IN 1 US KIA AND 3 US WIA.
(7) 24 DECEMBER 1967:
(A) 2-12 INF: BN(-) CONDUCTED OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS VIC XT583377. TO XT588364 CO A(-) CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF. NEGATIVE CONTACT
(B)2-22 INF(M): CONDUCTED OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS FROM XT577374 TO XT576341. SCOUT PLATOON CONTINUED TO SECURE FSB LAFAYETTE. NEGATIVE CONTACT
(C) 3-22 INF: CONDUCTED OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS FROM XT604380 TO XT603355. CO C REMAINED ATTACHED TO 1-5 INF (M). AT 1438 HRS 3-17 AIR CAV ENGAGED 10 VC VIC XT607356. THE RECON PLT MOVED TO THE POINT OF CONTACT AND JOINED THE PURSUIT CONTACT CONTINUED UNTIL 1503 HRS WHEN THE REMAINING VC ELUDED THEIR PURSUERS. RESULTS INCLUDED 2 VC KIA (BC), 1 VC KIA (POSS) AND NO US LOSSES.
(8) 25 DECEMBER 1967:
(A) 2-12 INF: BN(-) CONDUCTED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS VIC XT589345 CO A(-) CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF. AT 241955 DEC AND UNTIL 2000 HRS WHEN A BN DAU TIENG AMBUSH PATROL WAS ENGAGED BY AN ESTIMATED 4 VC VIC XT512408 ARMED WITH SMALL ARMS. THE AMBUSH RESPONDED WITH S/A, AW, AND M-79 FIRES. RESULTS INCLUDED NO US CASUALTIES AND UNKNOWN VC LOSSES.
(B)2-22 INF(M): CONDUCTEDCOMPANY LEVEL INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM XT577181 (A CO), XT576340 (B CO), XT551360 (CO C).. SCOUT PLATOON CONTINUED TO SECURE FSB LAFAYETTE. AT 242016 DEC CO C RECEIVED 2 RPG ROUNDS VIC XT551340, RESULTING IN 2 WHA, THE SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE WAS ENGAGED WITH S/A, AND M-79 AND .50CAL MG FIRE WITH UNK RESULTS. AT 0836 HRS CO A AND THE BN CP RECEIVED SEVERAL ROUNDS OF AK-47 FIRE VIC XT576361 WITHOUT LOSSES. THE SOURCEOF FIRE WAS ENGAGED WITH .50 CAL MG FIRE WITH UNK RESULTS. AT 1345 HRS VIC XT574335 A CHIEU HOI WITHOUT WEAPON TURNED HIMSELF IN TO CO B.
(C) 3-22 INF: CONDUCTED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM XT602354. CO C REMAINED ATTACHED TO 1-5 INF (M). AT 250446 DEC THE BN CP XT603355 AND SCOUT PLT XT608353 RECEIVED S/A, A/W, AND RPG FIRE AND 60 AND 82MM MORTAR FIRE FROM AND ESTIMATED VC SQUAD. FIRES CONTINUED UNTIL O503 HRS WHEN FRIENDLY ORGANIC AND ARTILLERY FIRE SIKLENCED THEVC WEAPONS. THERE WERE NO US AND UNKNOWN VC LOSSES. AT 0627 HRS THE SCOUT PLATOON RECEIVED ONE INCOMING HAND GRENADE WITHIOUT CASUALTIES. FIRE WAS RETURNED WITH S/A,A/W, AND M-79 WITH UNKNOWN RESULTS.
(9) 26 DECEMBER 1967
(A)2-12 INF: BN(-)TERMINATED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS VIC XT5834 CO A(-) CONTINUED AS DAU TIENG RRF. AND SWEPT AND OUTPOSTED RTE LTL 14 SOUTH TO VIC XT519418. CO B CLOSED DAU TIENG AT 12306 HRS BY HELIBORNE MOVE. CO C RELEIVED SCOUT PLT, 2-22 INF (M) FOR SECURITY OF FSB LAFAYETTE. AT 1201 HRS. CO D MOVED BY HELIBORNE MOVE TO VIC XT57631 AT 1113 HRS TIO ASSIST THE 2-22 INF (M) IN THE CORDON AND SEARCH OF THANH AN CO C AIRMOBILE MOVED TO DAU TIENG
AFTER CLOSURE OF FSB LAFAYETTE. CLOSING AT 1727 HRS. AT THE CLOSE OF THE PERIOD CO D REMAINED WITH 2-22 INF (M) AND CO A CONTINUED TO OUTPOST RTE LTL 14 FOR PASSAGE OF 2-22 INF(M) & D/2-12 INF. AT 1136 HRS, CO A RECEIVED 2 RDS SA FIRE VIC XT499449 WITHOUT LOSSES. FIRE WAS RETURNED WITH SA, AW AND M-79'S WITH UNKNOWN RESULTS. AT 1150 HRS VIC XT509432 A CO HAD A COMMAND DETONATED MINE DISCHARGED AGAINST THEM RESULTING IN 1 KIA.
(B)2-22 INF(M): BN CONDUCTED CORDON AND SEARCH OF THANH AN XT531379. SCOUT PLATOON WAS RELEIVED OF SECURITY OF FSB LAFAYETTE AT 1201 HRS,A ND MOVED TO JOIN THE BN(-) VIC XT546393 AT 1349 HRS. THE SEARCH OF THANH AN WAS COMPLETED AT 1402 HRS AND THE BN BEGAN MOVING TO DAU TIENG. AT THE CLOSE OFD THE PERIOD THE BN CONTINUED TO MOVE TOWARDS DAU TIENG. A CO LAAGER XT576361 RECEIVED 2 INEFFECTIVE MORTAR ROUNDS AT 252107 DEC 67. COUNTER-MORTAR FIRES WERE EMPLOYED WITH UNKNOWN RESULTS. AT 1430 HRS VIC XT522407 SCOUT PLT RECEIVED LIGHT SNIPER FIRE AND DETONATED A MINE RESULTING IN 1 KHA. AT 1450 HRS VIC XT536378 CO B RECEIVED AN INCOMING RPG ROUND WITHOUT LOSS. THE AREA WAS RECONNED BY FIRE WITH UNKNOWN RESULTS. AT 1520 HRS SCT PLT WOUNDED AND APPREHENDED 2 VC PW IN A BUNKER COMPLEX VIC XT522407. AT 1545 HRS SCT PLT HIT 2 COMMAND DETONATED MINES RESULTING IN 1 KHA.
(C) 3-22 INF: TERMINATED INTERDICTORY OPERATIONS FROM XT602354. AND AIRMOBILE MOVED TO DAU TIENG, CLOSING AT 1409 HRS. CO C REMAINED ATTACHED 1-5 INF(M). AT 251930 HRS THE BN LAAGER SITE XT603355 RECEIVED 15 ROUNDS OF 60MM MORTAR OUTSIDE IT'S PERIMETER THERE WERE NO US LOSSES. COUNTER-MORTAR FIRES WERE EMPLOYED WITH UNKNOWN RESULTS..
(10) 27 DECEMBER 1967
(A) 2-12 INF: BN(-) REMAINED DAU TIENG BASE CAMP AND PREPARED FOR FUTURE OPERATIONS.
(B) 2-22 INF(M): MOVED BY MOTOR MARCH FROM VIC THANH AN TO DAU TIENG CLOSING 270048 DEC 67. CO A WAS RECONNING BY FIRE VIC XT519419 AND FIRED INTO CO A 2-12 INF (OPCON 2-22 INF). RESULTING IN 8 US NBI AT 270830 DEC 67 DEPARTED DAY TIENG BY MOTOR MARCH ENROUTE TO XT285619. AT 271200 DEC 67 BN CAME UNDER OPCON 1ST BDE, 25TH INF DIV.
(C) 3-22 INF: REMAINED DAU TIENG BASE CAMP AND PREPARED FOR FUTURE OPERATIONS.
A. US LOSSES
(1) PERSONNEL: 21 KIA, 67 WIA, 1 DOW, 8 NBI.
A. ENEMY LOSSES:
(1) PERSONNEL: 10 KIA, 5KIA (POS), 2 POW
(2) ENEMY EQUIPMENT CAPTURED AND DESTROYED:
(3) ENEMY EQUIPMENT CAPTURED AND EVACUATED:
13. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:
A. PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATION: DURING THE OPERATIONS THE
BRIGADE S-1 SECTION OPERATED FROM DAU TIENG WITH REPORTS BEING FORWARDED TO AND FROM THE FORWARD LOCATION.
B. SUPPLY: OPERATION CAMDEN WAS SUPPORTED FROM DAU TIENGWITHREPORTS BEING FORWARDED TO AND FROM THE FORWARD LOCATION.
C. MAINTENANCE: MAINTENANCE & SUPPORT SERVICES WERE ADEQUATE THROUGHOUT THE OPERATION.
D. STATUS OF EACH SUPPLY: ALL CLASSES OF SUPPLY WERE ADEREQUATE
THROUGHOUT THE OPERATION.
E. PATIENT CARE AND EVACUATION: HELICOPTERS CONTINUED TO BE THE PRIMARY MEANS OF EVACUATION OF WOUNDED PERSONNEL. CO B 25TH MEDICAL BATTALION OPERATED OUT OF DAU TIENG.
14. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES: NONE
15. RECOMMENDATIONS: NONE
FOR THE COMMANDER:
DONALD K. WEISE
1ST BATTALION 69TH ARMOR
3rd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division
TLARM - C 4 August 1966
SUBJECT: Operational Report on Lessons Learned for Quarterly Period Ending
31 July 1966. (RCS GSGPO - 28) (R1)
TO” Commanding General
3rd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division
APO US Forces 96355
1. (U) During the period covered by this report this organization participated in combat operations with the 1st and 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi, RVN; deployed the Battalion (-) from Cu Chi RVN to Pleiku RVN and participated in combat operations as part of the 3rd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division.
2. (U) At the beginning of the period the Battalion minus Company B was positioned at Cu
Chi and employed under control of CG 25th Infantry Division. Company B, as part of the 3rd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division, was positioned at Pleiku
3. (U) During the period 1 to 13 May 1966 the Battalion (-) was attached to the 1st Brigade for defense of the Division base area perimeter. In addition, elements of the Battalion secured the Division base area perimeter. In addition, elements of the Battalion secured the Division Laterite Pit, and provided tank support for infantry battalion combat operations. Concurrently the Battalion (-) prepared for deployment to Pleiku.
a. The scout platoon and HHC tank section provided security for the Division Laterite Pit for 8 days during this period.
b. Company A provided security for the Division Laterite Pit for 6 days, provided one tank platoon to the 4th Battalion 9th Infantry for a 2 day operation in the Filhol Plantation (XT676165), provided one tank platoon for perimeter defense to the 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry for 13 days and provided 1 tank platoon for perimeter defense to the 4th Battalion 23rd Infantry for 2 days.
c. Company C was attached to the 2nd Brigade for Operation LIHUE from 2 to 10 May 1966. This operation consisted of securing the road from Cu Chi to Tay Nihn in support of the 1st Division Operation BIRMINGHAM.
d. Company B secured Route 19 from Pleiku to Kontum for the period 1 to 7 May. On 10 May 1966, Team B (Company B minus 1 platoon, plus 1 cavalry platoon C-3-4) moved to the Oasis (ZA1027); on operation Paul Revere and provided security for the forward Brigade Base Area and route security from the Oasis to check point #3 (AR774368).
4. (U) a. During the period 14 to 22 May 1966 the Battalion (-) deployed from Cu Chi to Pleiku. The Battalion (-) moved from Cu Chi to Saigon overland, loaded aboard LST's and moved to Qui Nhon. Upon off loading, units moved to a marshaling area outside of Qui Nhon to prepare for the movement over Route 19 to Pleiku. The schedule followed for this deployment was as follows.
Co C & Bn CP HHC (-) Bn Tns A Co
LST #1 LST #2 LST #3 LST #4
Depart Cu Chi 14 May 66 15 May 66 15 May 66 16 May 66
Load LST 15 May 66 15 May 66 19 May 66 17 May 66
Depart Saigon 15 May 66 15 May 66 19 May 66 18 May 66
Arrive Qui Nhon 17 May 66 17 May 66 21 May 66 20 May 66
Depart Qui Nhon 17 May 66 17 May 66 21 May 66 20 May 66
Depart Marshalling 19 May 66 19 May 66 22 May 66 21 May 66
Arrive Base Camp 19 May 66 19 May 66 23 May 66 21 May 66
b. While the Battalion was in transit from Cu Chi, Team B (Company B minus 1 tank platoon, plus 1 cavalry platoon) continued to provide route security and convoy escorts until 18 May 1966. On 18 May Company B moved to LZ 27D (YA864134) to assist in security of 1st Battalion 14th Infantry Command Post.
5. (U) On 20 May 1966 Troop C 3rd Squadron 4th Cavalry was attached to this Battalion by General Order 10, Headquarters 3rd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division, APO96225, dated 1 June 1966.
6. (U) During the period 22 thru 30 May 1966 the Battalion (+) provided company sized units to operation Paul Revere, provided security for the Pleiku Base Area, conducted 2 company sized operations, and moved a forward CP element to the Oasis to assume the mission as control headquarters for the defense of the Brigade Forward base area and control of Brigade armor elements.
a. Company A secured the Battalion's sector of the Pleiku base camp perimeter from 22 May thru 31 May and conducted two company size operations, Custer I, vicinity Pleiku, on 30 May 1966 and Custer II, vicinity Plei Me, on 31 May 1966.
b. Company B remained at LZ 27D until 25 May when the unit was ordered to Duc Co to provide security for the Special Forces Camp.
c. Company C moved from Pleiku to the Oasis on 21 May to provide security for the Brigade forward base area. During this period Company C secured Route 19 from check point #3 to the Oasis on 8 days and escorted two convoys to Duc Co and 1 convoy to Plei Me.
d. Task Force Duffer (Troop C-3-4 minus 1 cavalry platoon, with 1 tank platoon of Company B-1-69, A Company 1st Battalion 35th Infantry, and one squad D Company 65th Engineer Battalion attached) conducted search and destroy missions east of Ia Tae River and west of Plei Me. Dismounted reconnaissance patrols were conducted west of Ia Tae River to the Chu Pong Mountain (YV8899). This mission was completed on 24 May and Task Force Duffer was dissolved. On 25 May, C Troop 3-4 began its withdrawal from the area of operation to Highway 14. This extraction was completed on 28 May and the Troop (-) with an attached tank platoon moved to the Oasis. On 29 May Troop C escorted a convoy to Plei Me and returned to the Oasis. On 30 May Troop C (minus 1 cavalry platoon) was committed to assist TF 2-35 Infantry which was heavily engaged vicinity LZ 10A (YA768374).
7. (U) During the period 1 to 7 June the Battalion supported operation Paul Revere and participated in the defense of the Pleiku Base Area. The Battalion CP moved from Pleiku on 3 June to join the Battalion Forward Command element at the Oasis. The scout platoon and headquarters tank section provided the forward base area reaction force during the period 3 thru 7 June 1966. The scout platoon reinforced with one infantry platoon conducted one patrol south of the Oasis. The Battalion 4.2"mortar platoon fired 42 rounds in support of the Brigade H&I program.
a. Company A moved from the Pleiku Base Area to the Oasis on 1 June and provided security for the Brigade Forward Base Area. Company A secured the road from the Oasis to check point #3 on 4 days and escorted 2 convoys to Duc Co.
b. Company B moved to Pleiku on 1 June and provided security for the Pleiku base area until 7 June 1966. Company B also escorted 1 convoy to Plei Me. On 7 June Company B moved from Pleiku to ZA034310 to secure the area for a Battalion base of operations.
c. Company C remained at the Oasis to provide security for the Brigade base area during the period 1 to 7 June. During this period Company C opened the road from Oasis to check point #3 on 4 days.
d. Troop C-3-4 Cavalry (-) 1 platoon remained attached to 2nd Battalion 35th Infantry operating vicinity LZ 11A (YA865365), through 7 June. One platoon and the troop trains remained at the Oasis during this period and participated in the security of the Brigade Forward base area, and supported Company A and C on road security and convoy escort missions.
8. (U) On 8 June the Battalion Task Force (consisting of the 3 organic tank companies and Company B, 1st Battalion 14th Infantry) moved from the Oasis to establish blocking positions along Highway 19 from ZA076309 to YA903269 and north along the Plai Dejereng road to YA896353. The Battalion CP was established at ZA034309. The concept of this operation was 3 infantry battalions sweeping south against the blocking positions established along Highway 19 (Incl 1). The Battalion Task Force was under the operational control of 2nd Brigade 1st Air Cavalry until 2 June when the 3rd Brigade Task Force assumed control. There was no enemy contact by the blocking force during this operation. The operation was completed with a link up between the sweeping forces and the blocking forces on 19 June. The Battalion was given the mission of positioning one company / troop each to the following locations: Brigade Forward base area, Pleiku base camp, Duc Co and Plei Me. The Battalion CP returned to the Brigade base area to assume the mission of control headquarters for the security of the Brigade forward base area.
a. Company A moved from the area of operations to the Oasis on 11 June to provide security for the Brigade forward base area.
b. Company B moved from the area of operations to Duc Co on 11 June and was placed under Operational Control of the 2nd Battalion 35th Infantry.
c. Company C moved from the area of operation to Plei Me escorting a convoy from the Oasis on 10 June. The company remained under control of the battalion.
d. C Troop remained at Pleiku during; this period to provide security for the Pleiku base camp.
9. (C ) During the remainder of the month (12 thru 30 June) the battalion provided the control headquarters for the defense of the Brigade forward base area and a mobile reserve force for the 3rd Brigade Task Force. On 21 June the Brigade forward base area displaced from Oasis (ZA1027) to Waikiki (ZA1128). On 29 and 30 July the Battalion (-) employed tanks in the Brigade H&I program. During this period the scout platoon and headquarters tank section participated in road security and convoy escort missions under control to the three organic tank companies. The battalion 4.2” mortar platoon fired 124 rounds in support of the Brigade H&I program.
a. (U) Company A provided security for the Brigade base area during this period, and during the period 21 thru 30 June provided 1 platoon for security of the Plei Me Special Forces Camp. During the period, Company A secured the road from the Oasis to check point #3 on 3 days, secured the road from Waikiki to check point #3 on 2 days, and provided convoy escort for 7 convoys. On 25 June, 1 platoon conducted a reconnaissance sweep vicinity Plei Me with CIDG troops from the Plei Me Special Forces Camp. (p4)
b. (U) Company B was positioned at Duc Co under the operational control of the 2nd Battalion 35th Infantry during the period 12 to 18 June. On 19 June Company B moved from Duc Co to the Brigade forward base area. For the remainder of the period Company B was at the brigade forward base area to provide security for that installation. During the period 12 to 30 June Company B escorted 1 convoy from Waikiki to check point #3, and secured the road on 5 days.
c. (U) Company C was positioned at Plei Me for security of the Special Forces Camp during the period 12 thru 21 June. During this period Company C conducted extensive reconnaissance in the vicinity of Plei Me in conjunction with the CIDG personnel of the camp,. On 14 June Company C encountered and cleared a log road block on Highway 14 vicinity coordinates AR795223, enemy contact was not made. Company C also escorted 2 convoys from Plei Me to check point #3. On 21 June Company C minus 1 platoon moved from Plei Me to Pleiku to provide security for the Pleiku Base Camp. They remained at that location for the remainder of the month.
d. (C ) Troop C-3-4 Cavalry was positioned at Pleiku to provide security of the Base Camp from 12 thru 20 June. On 29 June Troop C moved from Pleiku to Duc Co and was placed under operational control of the 2nd Battalion 35th Infantry. On21 June Troop C was placed under Operational Control of the 1st Battalion 35th Infantry who relieved the 2nd Battalion in that area of operations. The Troop (-) was positioned at Duc Co with 1platoon at LZ 27D until 25 June when a second platoon was moved into the infantry area of operation. On 24 June the 2nd platoon became heavily engaged by an estimated reinforced company of NVA while enroute to reinforce an engaged infantry company. The reinforcement was accomplished and the infantry company was extracted. The platoon suffered 3 KIA and 11WIA during the encounter and was credited with 47 NVA KIA (BC). The Troop remained in the vicinity of Duc Co under operational control of 1st Battalion 35th Infantry for the remainder of the month.
10. (U) During the month of July the Battalion provided the 3rd Brigade mobile reserve / reaction force and also acted as control headquarters for the defense of the Brigade Forward base area. On 5 July the Battalion CP displaced from Waikiki to Catecka (ZA213343), the Brigade forward base area. One company (Company C) was provided to the 1st Brigade 1st Air Cavalry Division for operation Henry Clay vicinity Ban Blech (BQ005985) during the period 10 thru 29 July. The Battalion continued with the missions of providing armored elements at Pleiku, Plei Me, Duc Co and the Brigade forward base area. The Battalion was also responsible for daily road security and convoy escort missions. The Battalion provided armored elements to infantry units for the security of remote landing zones. During the month the Battalion scout platoon assisted the tank companies on convoy escort missions and provided the forward base area defense reaction force. The 4.2” mortar platoon participated in the Brigade H&I program and fired 2099 rounds.
a. Company A provided 1 platoon for the security of the Plei Me Special Forces Camp while the Company (-) participated in the security of the Brigade forward base area during the period 1 thru 7 July. On 8 July the Company moved from Plei Me to Duc Co to provide security for the Special Forces Camp for the remainder of the month. Concurrently with this mission, Company A provided 1 tank platoon to the 3rd Battalion 1st ROK Regiment for 21 days and one platoon to the 1st Battalion 14th Infantry for 5 days to secure remote landing zones south of Duc Co. On 16 July Company A (-) 2 tank platoons reinforced with 1 armored cavalry platoon. C Troop 3rd Squadron 4th Cavalry, was committed to reinforce a Special Forces outpost vicinity YA776223 which was under attack. Light contact was made by the company and resulted in 4 NVA KIA. During the month, Company A provided convoy escort forces for 5 convoys.
b. Company B remained with the Battalion Headquarters at the Brigade Forward base area. During the month one platoon was positioned at Plei Me to provide security for the Special Forces Camp from 11 July until the end of the month. Company B participated in one joint US-ARVN operation on 7 July. Enemy contact was not made. One platoon was provided to the 1st Battalion 35th Infantry for a search and destroy operation south of Oasis (ZA1027) on 14 July. Enemy contact was not made. During the month Company B secured the road from check point #3 to the Brigade forward base area on 20 days and provided armored convoy escort for 12 convoys.
c. Company C remained at Pleiku base camp for security of that installation from 1 to 10 July. On 10 July Company C was attached to the 1st Brigade 1st Air Cavalry Division for operation Henry Clay. The company reverted to Battalion control on 29 July and was positioned at the Brigade forward base area for the remainder of the month. During the period 10 to 29 July Company C escorted 5 convoys from check point #3 to Ban Blech and participated on 14 combat operations in conjunction with air mobile forces. 1 VMC was captured by the company.
d. Troop C was attached to 1-35 Infantry and 1-14 Infantry Battalions in the area of operations south of Duc Co during the period 1 to 17 July. On 18 July the Troop moved to Pleiku to provide security for the base camp and remained there until 30 July when it moved to the Oasis and was placed under operational control of the 1st Battalion 35th Infantry. During the period of attachment in the area south of Duc Co, the Troop was positioned in remote landing zones to provide security of the infantry battalion and company base areas. These elements were also used in search and destroy missions, reconnaissance, establishment of screens and ambushes. On 3 July the 2nd platoon was committed to relieve a reinforced infantry platoon which was ambushed. This relief and extraction was accomplished with light casualties and the platoon was credited with 36 NVA KIA (possible). While the troop was positioned at Pleiku, 2 scout sections with 2 mortar squads attached, escorted a convoy of 299th Engineer Battalion to Dak To on 28 July and from Dak To to Pleiku on 29 July. Upon moving to the Oasis on 30 July, the troop escorted a 105 artillery battery from the Oasis to the Infantry Battalion Base Area (ZA082216) and secured this base area.
11. (C ) During the quarterly period this Battalion's units were involved in 4 combat actions which resulted in contact with enemy forces. These contacts resulted in friendly losses which totaled 3 KIA or DOW, 33 WIA, 1 tank, and 2 APC's damaged by direct enemy action. Enemy losses during these contacts were 51 KIA (BC), 36 KIA (POSSIBLE), 3 CIA. In addition to active contact, vehicles of this Battalion were involved in 27 mining incidents. These mines caused 3 KIA, 4 WIA and damaged 19 tanks, 1 VTR, 9APC's and 1 wheel vehicle of this battalion. Of these vehicles damaged, 1 tank and 3 APC's were damaged beyond repair and required replacement.
1. (U) Recommendations:
a. Personnel: None
b. Intelligence: It is recommended that an interpreter by furnished at company level to facilitate and immediate interrogation of prisoners upon their capture. This would enable intelligence of tactical value to arrive at each evaluating headquarters faster, thus allowing more timely reaction by combat units.
(1) Organization: The current TOE for this Battalion requires modification to permit the tank companies to conduct extended operations in this geographical area. There is a definite need to provide increased capability for vehicle recovery, ground medical evacuation, cross country logistic resupply, and reconnaissance and security operations. Specific recommendations and the required personnel and equipment will be made in a modified TOE request being prepared by this organization.
(a) The movement of armored units at night is entirely feasible. This will hamper the VC/NVA mining activities on the routes traveled, and retard enemy resupply efforts by limiting his freedom of movement. Enemy ambushes of an armored element at night gives the armored element a distinct advantage, as enemy AT weapons will be less accurate and muzzle flash pinpoints enemy positions for accurate return fire.
(b) During tactical operations in areas of VC/NVA activity, commanders must have freedom to conduct reconnaissance by fire at potential ambush sites.
(c ) The use of night vision devices such as infrared searchlights and starlight devices in conjunction with the tank fire control system, increases the night effectiveness of armor and increases the ability of an armored unit to conduct night offensive operations.
(d) Current air mobile / armor operational concept is to engage the enemy with the air landed infantry and reinforce with armor. An equally effective concept would be to engage with the armor and use the air mobile infantry to land in the rear of the enemy force.
(e) The pilots of command and control helicopters must be thoroughly briefed before take off. This briefing should contain the concept of the tactical operation and the commander's concept of control.
(1) A minimum of one chain saw for each company sized unit is an absolute must. These items have proven invaluable in recovery operations.
(2) Several authorized items which have not yet been issued and considered essential for operations are: Xenon searchlights, Special set A & B for each type armor vehicle authorize, and the impact wrench which is OEM to the VTR.
(3) The shortage of replacement track vehicle two cables (1-1/8 inches diameter by 10 feet long) is also becoming critical.
e. Communications: Continuous command emphasis is required to insure that proper radio telephone procedures are used.
2. (C ) Lesson Learned:
a. (U) Personnel: None
b. (U) Intelligence:
(1) Item: Commanders and staff must make a detailed map reconnaissance supplemented with an aerial reconnaissance before planning a ground tactical operation for armored vehicles.
Discussion: Maps of this area, as an example, will show an intermittent stream which will vary, depending upon season, from dry wash to full running streams. Likewise, streams exists on the ground where none are shown on the map. Trails indicated on the map may be a road 15 feet wide or paths 2 feet wide.
Observation: After selecting several possible avenues of approach from a detailed map reconnaissance, these avenues are checked by aerial reconnaissance before a final selection is made. The executing commander should be present on this reconnaissance if possible.
(2) Item: Trafficability maps which correlate topography, vegetation, and seasonal impact, must be compiled by armor units.
Discussion: This facilitates maintaining an up-to-date area of operation overlay indicating new trails, condition of old ones, possible fords, areas of good and / or poor trafficatility, and any other pertinent information the commander discovers in his area of operation.
Observation With accurate up-to-date information of the area of operations, tactical decisions can be made with more exactness than could be possible by map reconnaissance. (P9)
(3) Item: Units should make use of the Special Forces Intelligence network in their area of operation.
Discussion: A guerrilla war at best is an extensively fluid situation with action in many areas being conducted simultaneously. Timely intelligence from as many sources as possible, aids in the evaluation of enemy intelligence. With Special Forces units operating extensively in the central highlands, coordination should be effected with these units to utilize their intelligence network and intimate knowledge of the area.
Observation: A great deal of timely information concerning the enemy and terrain has been obtained from the Special Forces Camps at Duc Co and Plei Me.
c. (U) Operations:
(1) (U) Item : Sniper suppressive fire.
Discussion: On operation Circle Pines, the Battalion CP was plagued by snipers firing from woodlines approximately 300 meters away. This was combated by firing suppressive fire using 90mm tank guns and 7.62 machine guns at various intervals during the day and night.
Observation: After initiating this suppressive fire, the Battalion was not bothered by sniper fire.
(2) (C ) Item: The use of a command and control helicopter greatly assists the battalion commander in the control of his elements on road marches and during combat operations.
Discussion: The company commander is required to be on the ground where he can best influence the tactical action. During escort missions, the aircraft can provide the ground commanders with timely information on route, and traffic conditions and convoy discipline. During combat operations in dense vegetation or jungle, ground commanders have experienced difficulty in maintaining proper orientation and direction of movement. The command and control helicopter is used to keep the ground elements moving in the proper direction, and assist in the selection of the best route of advance. During both type operations the helicopter can be used to detect and give the ground commanders warning of enemy ambush positions.
Observation: This organization has experienced considerable success in directing ground commanders from the air. To facilitate air identification of vehicles, unit designation symbols have been painted on the vehicle tops or rear decks. The use of colored smoke grenades has proven helpful for locating elements by air observer in extremely dense areas.
(3) (c ) Item: NVA AT weapons, RPG-2, 57mm RR and 75mm RR will penetrate the turret and hull of the M48A3 tank
Discussion:: The use of field expedients such as sand bags will decrease the effectiveness of the enemy HEAT weapons as well as absorb metal fragments with these weapons.
Observation: A tank which had sand bags carried on the front slope was hit by an RPG-2 round but caused no damage to the vehicle or crew.
(4) (U) Item: Armor units have proven effective to bolstering the defense of small outlying positions.
Discussion: Tank platoons and companies have been used to provide security for artillery positions, Special Forces Camps and infantry battalions. The presence of tanks reduces vulnerability to an attack. A ground attack against a well prepared defensive position, reinforced by tanks, would be costly to the enemy.
Observation: The NVA/VC have shown a reluctance to engage tanks where they can be avoided.
(5) (U) Item: Ambush patrols must remain in constant radio contact with control stations.
Discussion: In operations where units of more than one major command or nation are operating concurrently in a joint area of operations, coordination can not always be effected on a timely basis. When information is received that a units patrol and that of another unit are operating in the same area, there must be a positive means of communicating this information immediately to the patrol.
Observation: The use of the tracked vehicle head and chest set with the PRC-25 radio allows continuous communication to be maintained with patrols without disclosing their location by speaker noise.
(6) (U) Item:: The majority of casualties from the scout vehicle crews are
Discussion: The scout vehicle commander is protected by a prefabricated gun shield while the observer has no protection.
Observation: The gun shield for the track commander is effective in protecting him from enemy fire. The use of sand bags has reduced the casualty rate among the observer personnel.
(7) (U) Item: Armor is an absolute necessity if an overland line of communication is to be used to support combat operations in areas subject to interdiction by the NVA/VC.
Discussion: This battalion has been used extensively in convoy escort and route security missions. Escort missions are accomplished by interspersing the escorted column with tactical vehicles so that several can engage any ambush position. Helicopters greatly enhance security of the column. The route security mission is accomplished by establishing outposts of one or more combat vehicles along the route so that effective fire can be brought to bear on any ambush position. In addition mounted patrols are conducted between these outposts to prevent any ambush force from getting into position.
Observation: There have been no attempts to ambush any escorted convoys or convoy moving along a route secured by this battalion.
(8) (U) Item: Armor units can be used effectively to reinforce engaged units or to counter-attack the enemy force.
Discussion: When infantry units become engaged, armor units can move to the scene of action. This can be accomplished in areas normally considered unsuitable for mass armor employment, but requires a thorough knowledge of trafficability within the area of operations to facilitate timely action. (See Section II, paragraph 2b (2) In areas where the tanks can not close with the enemy, the long range direct fire capability can be used to influence the outcome of the engagement.
Observation: On three occasions during this period C Troop 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, or one of its platoons has successfully been employed in this role. (See Section I, paragraph 6d, 9d, and 10d.)
(9) (U) Item: The M48 AVLB is used to extend the mobility of armor units.
Discussion: The AVLB has been used on numerous occasions to permit rapid crossing of obstacles. It extended the use of Route 19 to Duc Co for a period of a month after the ford at YA975291 became unusable. During Operation Circle Pines, the ABLB was used to allow the battalion entry and exit of the area of operations, (paragraph 7, Combat After Action Report RCS/J3/32), this headquarters dated 7 April 1966). The M48 version of the AVLB is obsolete, too heavy and subject to mechanical failure, but the system is an absolute requirement for armor units. This vehicle should be replaced by a lighter, more maneuverable, and more maintainable item.
Observation: The AVLB has proven to be one of this battalion's more valuable assets.
(10) Item: Logistic elements that are being escorted must be thoroughly briefed prior to the convoy's departure. (12)
Discussion: This Battalion's SOP for convoy escort places the escort commander in charge of all personnel. His briefing includes, but is not limited to the following subjects: rate of march, distance, frequency and call-signs, action in event of contact and route information. The convoy is assembled in a secure area where this briefing is conducted and the convoy organized.
Observation: The briefing has improved the control of logistic elements during marches and insures proper reaction in event of enemy ambush.
d. (U) Logistics:
(1) Item: Feeding of A Rations in remote areas.
Discussion: When units are deployed in remote areas for extended periods A Rations should be fed at least once a day. This has proven to be a definite factor in maintaining high morale. This requires that kitchens either be deployed with the unit or the food moved by use of mermite cans (insulted container).
Observation: The practice of feeding at least one A Rations per day to units deployed in remote areas should be continued when tactical situation permits.
(2) Item: Armor units deployed in remote areas must be resupplied with fuel by other than TOE means.
Discussion: The resupply of an armored units' fuel requirements in remote areas, can best be accomplished by use of the 500 gallon collapsible containers. Replacement couplings, hoses and valves must be available since these items are inclined to be damaged during transport and delivery. A battalion sized unit will require approximately 209 of these containers. These containers can be transported by either armored personnel carriers or by air. Units should also have the necessary sling apparatus to permit air delivery.
Observation: Since this organization has procured the collapsible container, the resupply of fuel has presented no problems.
(1) Item:: Enemy mines have caused suspension damage to many tracked vehicles.
These vehicles, particularly tanks have not always been immediately repairable due to shortage of suspension parts.
Discusssion: The normal enemy mine will cause damage that will require replacement of six road wheels, three road wheel hubs with bearings, 2 road wheel housings, one road wheel arm, and eight track blocks to effect repairs. The repaired vehicle will experience future problems with the suspension system and track life will be cut to approximately one ;half that normally expected. This problem area was forecast in November `1965 to Division C4.
Observation: Armor units deploying to RVN should have suspension parts stockage based on the demand experience of this Battalion.
(2) Item: The 4.2 KW generator authorized as a component of the Track Command Post M-577 is used extensively during combat operations in Vietnam.
Discussion: The repair parts for the 4.2 KW generator are based on demand data generated on State Side use. For the past 5 months these generators on the operations and intelligence vehicles have operated an average of 8 hours a day. Repair parts, particularly replacement engines, are not available in the supply system at this time.
Observation: Support agencies must stock repair parts for this piece of equipment based on demand data generated by like units in-country and stock these parts before entering RVN.
f. (U) Communications:
(1) Item: Excessive down time for communication equipment.
Discussion: Although the new series radio is far superior to the old, excessive down time caused by inadequate stockage of required items is causing a strain on effective combat communications. Within the command, the shortages of repair parts, modules, transistors, cables, test equipment and float radios has created a high deadline rate and a down time of three weeks or more for vehicular mounted radios. The lack of availability of land line communications equipment, i.e. telephones and line packs for switch-boards, is reducing current equipment capabilities and causing base area communication requirements not to be satisfactorily fulfilled.
Observation: The current assigned supply priority of this battalion does not adequately levy the supply system to ensure timely delivery of required repair parts and equipment. Also the direct support agencies stockage of repair parts and float equipment does not appear to be adequate to support combat operations.
/s/ R.J. Fairfield, Jr.
Lt. Col, Armor
1. Sketch Map of Blocking Pos on Rte 19
2. MONEVAL Report May (Limited Distr)
3. MONEVAL Report June (Limited Distr)
4. MONEVAL Report July (Limited Distr) (p14)
Copy 1 - CG, IFFV, ATTN: AVF- CG -TNG
Copy 2 - CG, IFFV, ATTN: AVF -CG- TNG
Copy 3 - CG, 3rd Bde, TF, ATTN: AVDC - C- OP
Copy 4 - CINUSARPAC, ATTN: GPOP - MH
Copy 5 CG, USARV, ATTN: AVC - HIST
Copy 6 - CG, USARV, ATTN: AVC - HIST
Copy 7 - CG, USARV, ATTN: AVC - HIST (p15)
SUBJECT: Operational Report on Lessons Learned for Quarterly Period Ending 31 July, 1966
(RCS GSGPO - 28) (R1)
Headquarters, 3rd Bde TF, 25th Inf Div, APO US Forces 96355, 20 Oct 1966
TO: Commanding General, I Field Force Vietnam, APO US Forces 96240
1. Forwarded herewith is Operational Report of Lessons Learned for Quarterly Period Ending 31 July 1966, submitted by the 1st Battalion, 69th Armor.
2. The inclusion of additional lessons learned delayed submission of this report.
3. The report and recommendations appear adequate.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
SUBJECT: Operational Report on Lessons Learned for quarterly Period Ending 31 July, 1966
RCS CSFOR - 66
HEADQUARTERS: 4th INFANTRY DIVISION< APO US Forces 96262, 22 Oct 66
TO: Commanding General, I Field Force Vietnam, APO US Forces 96350
1. Reference message your headquarters UNCLS B-2221 AVFA- GC-OAT,
Subj: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 July 1966, RCS CSFOR-65 (U), dated
190310Z Oct. 66
2. Forwarded is the Operational Report on Lessons Learned for quarterly period ending 31 July
1966 for the 1st Battalion, 69th Armor.
3. The reported unit was attached to the 4th Infantry Division on 18 October 1966. Any assets
available within the division will be applied to alleviate materiel deficiencies noted above.
FOR THE ;COMMANDER: RONALD B. STEPHENS
Asst Adjutant General
SUBJECT Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 July 1966, RCS CSFOR-65 (U)
Headquarters: I Field Force Vietnam, APO US Forces 96450 25 Oct 1966
TO: Commanding General, United States Army Vietnam, APO US Forces 96307
Concur with comments and recommendations in basic report.
FOR THE COMMANDER: (P18)
ROBERT A. DICKOVER
ASST. ADJUTANT GENERAL
AVHGC - DP (1 Aug 66)
SUBJECT: Operational Report - Lessons Learned for the Period Ending 31 July 1966
(RCS CZFCP - 65)
HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY VIETNAM, APO San Francisco 96307
TO: Commander in Chief, United States Army, Pacific, ATTN: ------- APO 96558
1. This headquarters has reviewed the Operational Report - Lessons Learned from Headquarters, 1st Battalion, 69th Armor as indorsed.
2. Pertinent comments are as follows:
a. Reference Paragraph 1b, Section II, Para. 7: Inclosure 2 to letter, Headquarters, United
States Military Assistance Command Vietnam, subject: Administration and Control of Non-Commissioned Officer Interpreters, 7 November 1965, authorizes one Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) interpreter per tank company and also one interpreter per rifle company. Due to the non-availability of qualified ARVN personnel, all authorized positions cannot be filled at this time. There is a critical shortage of qualified US Army interpreters in Viet Nam.
b. Reference Paragraph d(1) and (2), Section II, pages 7 and 8: The items referred to should be included in MTO- that is being prepared by the unit.
c. Reference Paragraph d(3), Section II, Page 8: Tow cables for tracked vehicles are short throughout the command. Current status is none at hand, 1,920 on requisition, and 511 due out.
d. Reference Paragraph 2e(1), Section II, Page 12: Concur that suspension parts stockage for tracked vehicles in this theater of operation should be based on Viet Nam requirements. There is a shortage of suspension system components in Viet Nam at his time.
e. Reference Paragraph 2e(2), Section II, Page 12: Increased stockage of repair parts for the 4.2 KW generator is being accomplished as parts become available in supply channels.
f. Reference Paragraph f(1), Section II, Pages 12 and 13: Communications capabilities as well as signal maintenance capabilities have vastly improved since the submission of this report. Prescribed Load Lists and maintenance float equipment has been increased to reflect theater experience in those areas where justified.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
Asst. Adjutant General
GPOP-OT (4 Aug 66) 5th Ind (U)
SUBJECT: Operational Report - Lessons Learned for the Period Ending 31 July 1966 (RCS CSFOR-65)
HQ, US ARMY, PACIFIC, APO San Francisco 96558
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army, Washington, DC 20310
This headquarters concurs in the basic report as endorsed with the following additional comments:
a. Reference Section II, Paragraph 1d (3), Page 8: Requirements for tow cables are currently being investigated by this headquarters. If required, CONUS NICP will be requested to expedite delivery of this item.
b. Reference Section II, Paragraph 2e (1), Page 12: Parts in support of combat vehicle suspension systems are being shipped to USARV to meet current demands. Redistribution of suspension components excess to Eighth Army has been initiated.
FOR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF: