After Action Reports 1 | After Action Reports 2 | After Action Report 3 | After Action Reports 4 | After Action Reports 5 | After Action Reports 6 | After Action Reports 7 | After Action Reports 8 | After Action Reports 9 | After Action Reports 10 | After Action Reports 11 | After Action Reports 12 | After Action Reports 13 | After Action Reports 14 | After Action Reports 15 | After Action Reports 16 | After Action Reports 17 | After Action Report 18 | After Action Report 19 | After Action Report 20 | After Action Report 21 | After Action Reports 22 | After Action Reports 23 | After Action Reports 24 | After Action Reports 25 | After Action Report 26 | After Action Report 27 | After Action Reports 28 | After Action Reports 29 | After Action Report 30 | After Action Reports 31 | After Action Reports 32 | After Action Reports 33 | After Action Reports 34 | After Action Reports 35 | After Action Reports 36 | After Action Reports 37 | After Action Reports 38 | After Action Reports 39 | After Action Reports 40 | After Action Report 41 | After Action Report 42 | Afer Action 43 | After Action Report 44 | After Action Reports 45 | After Action Reports 46 | After Action Reports 47 | After Action Reports 48 | After Action Report 49 | After Action Reports 50 | After Action Report 51 | After Action Report 52 | After Action Report 53 | After Action Report 54 | After Action Report 55 | After Action Report 56 | After Action Report 57 | After Action Report 58 | After Action Report 59 | After Action Report 60 | After Action Report 61 | After Action Report 62 | After Action Report 63 | After Action Report 64 | After Action Report 65 | After Action Report 65 | After Action Report 66
After Action Reports 25
SUBJECT: After Action Report MIKE Force "Attleboro" 1-7 Nov 66
a. Third Corps MIKE Force had moved to Loc Ninh on 30 October 1966 in support of moving to new camp site, and was on an operation in Loc Ninh area.
b. Third Corps MIKE Force was alerted 2 November 1966 to move from Loc Ninh to Suoi Da. The move was completed at 1430 2 November 1966.
3. Task Organization
a. 530 Nungs in three (3) companies.
b. Seven USASF EM.
c. One USASF Officer.
4. Mission: Combat Reconnaissance.
5. Sequence of Events:
2210-China Boy alerted for movement from Loc Ninh to Suoi Da.
0800-1st MIKE force company extracted from LZ.
0900-Company closed Loc Ninh.
1045-2nd Company extraction began.
1215-Completed extraction 2nd Company.
1030-C-123 aircraft began arriving Loc Ninh.
Direct support helicopter company moved from Loc Ninh to Tay Ninh East to lift MF from Tay Ninh East; and to lift MF from Tay Ninh West to Suoi Da.
1530-Movement of MF from Tay Ninh to Suoi Da completed.
1630-China Boy Company 3 deployed.
0830-China Boy Company 1 deployed.
1220-China Boy Company 3 engaged est VC Co vic XT486687, VC broke contact 1245, fled north. SSG Monaghan wounded right arm and fingers (GSW).
1815-China Boy Company 1 made contact vic XT458587 with est VC platoon. VC broke contact 1830. SSG Garza WIA (GSW).
0730-China Boy Company 1 hit mined area vic XT561588. One MF KIA, two MF WIA. Medevac chopper downed by SF fire vic XT485622, while enroute to China Boy Company 1's location. One US KIA (Crew Member), chopper was recovered.
1445-China Boy Company 3 made contact vic XT416670 with est VC Bn or Regt. China Boy Company 3 withdrew south and called in airstrike. On initial contact chain saws, generators, and trucks could be heard. VC counterfired with 81mm and 60mm mortar, AW and SA fire, then tried to close with China Boy Company 3 elements.
1800-Received resupply of ammunition and food vic XT435668.
2200-China Boy Company 3 indicated that he was receiving heavy casualties and VC were encircling him.
2300-China Boy Company 3 indicated light contact.
0230-China Boy Company 3 indicates contact with VC has ceased.
0730-China Boy Company 3 receiving heavy volume of fire. Requested reinforcements.
0745-Radio contact with China Boy Company 3 broken.
0800-China Boy Companies I and 2 proceeding to China Boy Company 3's location.
0845-China Boy Company 2 hit VC bunkers. Negative contact.
0940-28 MF personnel picked up by CIDG CO from Suoi Da.
0935-China Boy Company 3 having casualties evacuated vic XT388634.
1200-Three USSF MIA. 55 MF from China Boy Company 3 made linkup with China Boy Companies 1 and 2. Of those 15 to 25 WIA.
1330-One MF drowned while crossing river with China Boy Company 1.
1040-Est VC platoon with mortars attacked Suoi Da airfield, 4 CIDF KIA, 2 WIA.
1700-9 MF personnel closed in to Suoi Da.
1430-MF begins move to Loc Ninh.
1600-MF completes move to Loc Ninh.
1645-One US body found.
1830-MF bodies returned to Bien Hoa by CV-2 aircraft.
6. (C) On 30 October, all 3 companies of the Mike Force deployed to Loc Ninh, A-331 Binh Long Province, to conduct operations in response to intelligence reports that the camp was a possible target for a major VC attack prior to 11 November 1966. However, hard intelligence reports received on 1 November indicated that a VC regiment had moved into the operational area of Camp Suoi Da, A-322, Tay Ninh Province. A decision was made to move the Mike Force into that area, and this was accomplished on 2 November. On 031220 November, the 3rd Mike Force Company made contact with an estimated VC company. The VC immediately broke contact and an airstrike was called in on their route of withdrawal. At 031845, contact was again established with an estimated VC platoon which resulted in 10 VC KIA and two USASF WIA. At 040730, the 1st Mike Force Company hit a mined area and suffered one KIA and two W1A. A Med Evac chopper in the same general vicinity was shot down by small arms fire and resulted in one US KIA. At 041445, the 3rd Mike Force Company made contact with an estimated battalion or regimental sized VC force. This contact resulted in 15 VC KIA and two Mike Force WIA. The Mike Force Company was still in contact at 041540 and attempted to withdraw to the south. At 042000 the Mike Force Commander reported that he was surrounded and had suffered 35 casualties (KIA). The remaining two CIDG companies departed Camp Suoi Da to reinforce the operation. At 042305 the 3rd Mike Force Company Commander reported that he was still in contact. Enemy casualties reported at this time were 50 VC KIA. Contact with the VC was broken at 050330. At 050900 the 3rd Mike Force Company again reported that they were receiving a heavy volume of fire. They were instructed to secure an LZ so that an attempt could be made to extract them from the area. This was accomplished at 051200. All Mike Force elements were extracted at 051830.
Interview with SFC Heaps, 7 Nov 66
At 021630 Nov China Boy 3 landed at LZ vicinity XT491644, and began moving north (see attached overlay). At 031220 Nov vic XT473683 China Boy 3 discovered tunnel complex and fortifications. While destroying complex, VC fired on China Boy 3 wounding SSG Monaghan. China Boy 3 withdrew east to LZ, vic XT487686. Med Evac arrived, casualties were loaded, but because chopper was overloaded it could not take off. SSG Hunt, who came in with the Med Evac elected to remain with China Boy 3 so that casualties could be evacuated. Again China Boy 3 moved west to tunnel complex, but could not take it because of intense fire. China Boy 3 broke contact and moved to vicinity XT465692 (see overlay). Here they heard several motors that sounded like generators and trucks, plus several chain saws. Heavy contact was made. China Boy 3 received heavy automatic weapons fire and mortar fire. Mortars
sounded like 60mm. China Boy 3 broke contact and moved to LZ vicinity XT435667 (see overlay). All during the time they were moving to LZ they were receiving sporadic small arms fire. Also when they crossed road vic XT453667, they received mortar fire.
At LZ vic XT435667 China Boy 3 received resupply of food and ammunition. From resupply LZ the unit moved to vicinity XT444672, went into defensive perimeter and began breaking down ammo. While they were breaking down ammo, the VC attacked from the east in a "U" shaped formation. It was beginning to get dark and the VC withdrew to approximately 100 meters east of China Boy 3's position and maintained contact all night. At approximately 0645-0700 the following morning the VC made another assault on China Boy 3's position and overran them. SFC Heaps and SSG Hunt were wounded during this assault. SFC Heaps said he was knocked unconscious and when he came to SSG Hunt was giving him first aid. Heaps and Hunt decided to get to the LZ vic XT424680. They had two Mike Force with them, one was wounded. They couldn't move very fast or very far without resting, and Heaps and Hunt would pass out periodically. Finally Hunt said he could go no further so Heaps left one Mike Force with Hunt and continued to the LZ. After this Heaps didn't remember anything.
Interview of SFC E7 Heaps on 7 Nov 66, 3rd Field Hospital.
REFERENCE: LOC NINH Map Sheet 6245 II
465691 to 473681, first contact
Area of Operations: Major contact overrun at 440669 Weather: Excellent, high clouds, temperature
Terrain: Jungle, (thick) close to water supply, within 500 meters of road on high ground.
Fortifications: Tunnel and bunker complexes for one, two or squad size positions. All with overhead cover and pre-arranged fields of fire. Positions were hardened against direct fire.
Weapons, uniforms and equipment: Automatic weapons were in abundance; of the two weapons captured they were AK's. They had a lot of machine guns, sounded like 30 cal, heavy. Uniforms were mixed, personnel KIA had on black shoes. All of the soldiers encountered had complete sets of web gear.
Significant weapons: Grenade launcher which looked like our "IAW," light in weight, approximately 3 feet long, markings appeared to be Chinese, possible identification: Chinese antitank grenade launcher type 56, P. 155 DA pamphlet 381-10. Indirect fire was provided by 60mm mortars, identification by rounds.
Tactics: Fire discipline was excellent. Upon making contact, VC fired in mass; upon breaking contact VC ceased fire without sporadic firing. The VC maintained contact while the unit was trying to break contact.
They mortared and sniped at them in the retreat. After fixing the new location of the 3rd Company they (VC) attacked using squad fire and maneuver up to grenade range and then reverted to individual action. By this time, it was almost dark, so the VC withdrew approximately 100 meters and maintained contact all night. At 0645-0700 the next morning they assaulted using the same tactics with a heavy volume of fire suppressing the 3rd Cormpany's position.
Movement was forward by flanks and frontal assault forces.
Other: The VC troopers were young and aggressive.
At grid 465691-Generators and chain saws were heard.
US/Mike Force and VC casualties from 2-11 Nov. Opn "ATTLEBORO"
Following units identified:
271, 272, 273; 320 MFPMB, 70 Regt, 10th NVA Inf.
271 by contact and/or documents.
273 Regt and 272 Regt contact XT4254 by 2/1st Inf.
272 Regt contact on 4 Nov at Suoi Cau XT4530 one of our agents says the 320 are also involved. This is reasonable since this whole area is in their AO.
101st Regt by captive XT431559 on 8 Nov.
70 Regt possibly contact by 1/16 Inf on 9 Nov.
271 by 1 PW on 3 Nov. this unit identified by ASPAR in the southern part of the contact area SW of Dau Tieng.
All of the documents and PW intell reports are still at lower level Headquarters and have not reached FFII yet for closer examination.
US units committed to Operations.
US 173d Abn Bde-2 Bns
ARVN Ranger Bns (Attached)-2
US 1st Div-8 Bns
US 25th Div-3 Bns
196th Bde-1 Bn
/a/ Thomas Myerchin
/ t / Thomas Myerchin
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
OFFICE OF THE ADJUTATNT GENERAL
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20310
IN REPLY REFER TO
AGAM-P (M) (3l JAN 68) FOR OT RD-670701 6 February 1968
SUBJECT: Operational Report - Lessons Learned, Headquarters, 3rd Brigade,
25th Infantry Division
TO: SEE DISTRIBUTION
1. Subject report is forwarded for review and evaluation by USACDC in accordance with paragraph 6f, AR 1-19 and by USCONARC in accordance with paragraph 6c and d, AR 1-19. Evaluations and corrective actions should be reported to ACSFOR OT within 90 days of receipt of covering letter.
2. 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:
/s/ Kenneth G. Wick ham
KENNETH G. WICKHAM
Major General, USA
The Adjutant General
US Continental Army Command
US Army Combat Developments Command
US Army Command and General Staff College
US Army War College
US Army Air Defense School
US Army Armor School
US Army Artillery and Missile School
US Army Aviation School
US Army Chemical School
US Army Civil Affairs School
US Army Engineer School
US Army Infantry School
US Army Intelligence School
US Army Adjutant General School
US Army Missile and Munitions School
US Army Southeastern Signal School
US Army Medical Field Service School
US Army Military Police School
US Army Ordnance School
US Army Quartermaster School
US Army Security Agency School
US Army Signal School
US Army Special Warfare School
US Army Transportation School
Office, Chief of Staff, US Army
Deputy Chiefs of Staff
Chief of Research and Development
Assistant Chiefs of Staff
Chief of Engineers
The Surgeon General
The Provost Marshal General
Research Analysis Corporation (Library)
Dr. Martin J. Bailey, OSD (SA)
National Aeronautics & Space Administration, Office of Defense Affairs
Director, Weapons System Evaluation Group
Defense Documentation Center
CG, US Army Weapons Command
CO, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
This report received at Hqs, Department of the Army without
indorsements. To preclude further delay in benefits gained
from the lessons learned, herein, this report is published
without complete indorsements.
HEADQUARTERS, 3RD BRIGADE TASK FORCE
25th Infantry Division
APO San Francisco 96355
AVDO-0-0P 10 August 1967
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period 31 July 1967
TO: See Distribution
SECTION I (C) SIGNIFICANT ORGANIZATION ACTIVITIES
1. (C) GENERAL: During the reporting period 1 May to 31 July 1967, the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division participated in Operation Baker for a total of 92 consecutive days in combat. The 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division has participated in 448 days of consecutive days in combat as of 31 July 1967.
a. Mission: The Brigade mission in Operation Baker was to assume responsibility within the DUC PHO TAOR, for:
(1) Offensive and defensive operations designed to locate and destroy NVA, Main Force, Local Force, and Guerrilla units as well as Viet Cong Infrastructure.
(2) Support of Revolutionary Development.
(3) Counter infiltration operations in the coastal areas within the TAOR.
(4) Conduct of psychological operations in support of tactical operations and revolutionary development.
(5) Conduct of offensive and reconnaissance operations within the TAOR, coordinating as appropriate with CG 2nd ARVN Division.
(6) Conduct of offensive operations outside of DUC PHO TAOR, as directed or approved by CG TASK FORCE OREGON.
(7) Participating in the defense of other US and GVN critical installations as directed by CG TASK FORCE OREGON.
(8) As directed by CG TASK FORCE OREGON and in coordination with appropriate GVN Provincial and District Authorities, assist in the training of and render support to GVN Regional and Popular Forces.
(9) Be prepared on a quick reaction basis when directed by CG TASK FORCE OREGON to relieve and/or reinforce CIDC Camps at BA TO (BS558327), GIA VUC (BS 379270), TRA BONG (BS345882), HA THANH (BS386704), MINH LONG (BS541525), and KHAM DUC (ZC005080). 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division has primary responsibility for BA TO and GIA VUC; secondary responsibility for the latter four camps.
(10) Be prepared on 12 hours notice to provide one reinforced infantry battalion for employment anywhere in South Vietnam. Be prepared on an additional 12 hours notice, to deploy the remainder of the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division anywhere in South Vietnam.
b. Operational Area (See inclosure 1): The area designated for Operation Baker encompasses the majority of DUC PHO and parts of MO DUC Districts, Quang Ngai Province, covering an area of approximately 155 square miles.
c. Control: The 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division was under the operational control of TASK FORCE OREGON throughout the reporting period.
d. Task Organization: Principal units of the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division, with commanders' names and dates of command and the major supporting and operational control units are as follows:
Headquarters, 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division
Colonel James G. Shanahan (1 May - 24 June 1967)
Colonel George E. Wear (24 June - 31 July 1967)
Deputy Commander 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division
LTC Rodney B. Gilbertson (1 May - 22 June 1967)
LTC John D. Weil (22 June - 31 July 1967)
1st Battalion, 14th Infantry
LTC William H. Miller (1 May - 21 July 1967)
LTC Peter P. Petro (21 July - 31 July 1967)
1st Battalion, 35th Infantry
MAJ James E. Moore
2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry
LTC Clinton E. Granger (1 May - 14 June 1967)
LTC Norman L. Tiller Sr. (14 June - 31 July 1967)
2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery
LTC Bruce Holbrook (1 May - 18 June 1967)
LTC Gerald B. Bobzien (19 June - 31 July 1967)
C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
CPT John P. Irving III (1 May - 9 May 1967)
CPT Ronald Penn (9 May - 28 May 1967)
1LT Richard A. Knudson (28 May - 31 July 1967)
3rd Support Battalion (PROV)
MAJ Robert R. Rutledge
Company D, 65th Engineer Battalion
CPT Arthur J. Panszo Jr.
40th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
1LT Robert W. Thackeray
174th Aviation Company (GS) (1 May - 31 July 1967)
C Co, 2nd 34th Armor (attached) (1 May - 31 July 1967)
B Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry (OPCON) (1 May - 15 June 1967)
MAJ John D. Weil (1 May - 15 June 1967)
MAJ Henri M. Weinberg (15 June - 31 July 1967)
MAJ Edgar Egeland
MAJ Emil P. Houben
MAJ John A. Joyce
MAJ JOHN W. Schnieder Jr. (1 May - 17 June 1967)
CPT Converse B. Smith (17 June - 31 July 1967)
a. Situation Prior to Deployment - DUC PHO and MO DUC had been under the domination of ultra Nationalistic Communists since the end of WW II. These two districts had provided the communists with a regular food source, a secure area for re-supply operations, important operational bases and many well indoctrinated communist leaders. Volumes of evidence indicate that every phase of daily life was organized to provide complete control over all of the people. Active in the area were Communist youth organizations, fisherman's associations, women's associations, farmer's associations, a teacher's federation, a merchant's association, a Buddhist association, and others. An extensive communist school and dispensary system had been organized. The control of the people was so thorough that the first three months of American Marine operations in the area convinced only three enemy to rally to the GVN. Government authorities in DUC PHO District estimated that 80% of the 90,000 people of DUC PHO were communists or communist sympathizers. Regular enemy forces in the vicinity included three battalions of the 22nd NVA Regiment with a composite strength of 1400 men, the 60th Battalion of the 1st VC Regiment with 300 men, the 300th Heavy Weapons Battalion of the 3rd NVA Division with 300 men, and several companies of local forces totaling about 300 men. These forces were augmented by armed guerrillas in the villages and hamlets and were materially aided by the extensive infrastructure of the local Communist Government.
b. The First Phase - 19 April 0 1 June: The 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division, fought a new type of battle upon deployment of troops in the lowlands of DUC PHO and MO DUC. Regular enemy troops were entrenched in fortified hamlets and were fighting with the local village and hamlet guerrillas. It was evident that the enemy had carefully considered all of the approaches to the fortified villages and had constructed mutually supporting bunkers with interconnecting trenches and concealed escape routes. The enemy fought wll, adjusting his forces to counter US attacks, exercising strict fire discipline and making maximum use of cover and concealment. The Brigade successfully countered these tactics and defeated the enemy in a series of fierce battles by utilizing helicopter assaults to surround a fortified village and then employing artillery and air strikes to destroy the enemy in his fortifications. During this period instances of ground to air fire and anti-personnel and anti-tank mining increased as a reaction to US Forces opening roads and conducting extensive search and destroy operations. The ground to air fire was preplanned and effective, however the enemy soon learned that if he fired at an aircraft US response was always immediate and violent. The mining incidents revealed that the enemy had several well trained sapper teams who were clever and imaginative in the use of local materials to fabricate their devices. Effective sources of tactical intelligence consisted of the inherent reconnaissance in force characteristic of search and destroy operations, aerial reconnaissance from patrolling helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, and agent reports from the District Operations and Intelligence Center. Each was effective, especially the DOIC agent reports which provided US Forces with extremely valuable and current information from which timely operations could be preplanned. The agent reports were not based solely upon professional low level agents. Most of the reports came from local people who had a vested interest in the Government of South Vietnam and a hatred and fear of communism.
c. The Second Phase - 2 June - 31 July: In contrast to the earlier period of Operation Baker, the pitched battles with regular enemy soldiers were fought only on the periphery of the area of operation. The enemy sought to avoid contact and concentrated his efforts on harassing friendly forces and interdicting traffic on Highway #1. During this period the number of mine and booby trap incidents continued to increase, however instances of ground to air fire against fixed wing and rotary type aircraft began to decrease. In late June and early July, evidence indicated that two and possibly three regular battalions had infiltrated into the area of operations north of the Tra Cau River. The brigade had pitched battles with three different regular force battalions in Northern MO DUC District. The operational bases for these enemy battalions were located in the vicinity of BS7052, BS7753, and BS7361, with the last the most active. Enemy activity in the southern part of DUC PHO District was reduced considerably. Several sharp contacts were made during the months of June and July, however most of the fighting consisted of methodically cleaning up small pockets of VC and NVA hiding in tunnels and hedgerows. Almost 700 VC were killed in this manner, mostly in the Northern part of the Brigade AO.
d. Summary of Enemy Personnel & Equipment Losses - 1 May - 31 July:
(3) Other Equipment:
SA Ammo 13,034
81/82mm Mortar rds 312
60mm Mortar rds 1
Rocket Launcher 7
TNT 139 lbs.
250 lb bomb 30
(b) Personal Equipment:
Clothing Sets 25
Web Gear 24
Med Equipment 95 lbs
(d) Material Destroyed:
Rice 717 lbs
(e) Material Captured:
Rice 289.7 tons
Salt 21.0 tons
3. OPERATIONS AND TRAINING:
(1) During Operation Baker, the 3rd Brigade TF had contingency plans for the relief and reinforcement of CIDG Camps at the following locations:
BA TO - BS556327.
GIA VUC - BS377271.
MINH LONG - BS535510.
TRA BONG - BS391704,
HA THANH - BS391704.
(2) 3RD Brigade TF prepared a MONTEZUMA Base Defense Plan and a plan to upgrade facilities at MONTEZUMA in preparation for the approaching monsoon season.
(1) General: The brigade continued with the missions assigned for Operation Baker throughout the reporting period (1 May - 31 July). The First and Second Battalions, Thirty-Fifth Infantry conducted search and destroy operations in their respective areas of responsibility with attachments from C Troop, 3/4 Cav and C 2/34 Armor. The contacts in May were heavy and in some cases were initiated by an enemy attack. In all cases the enemy forces were defeated and heavy casualties were inflicted. In June and July the contacts became smaller as the Brigade's operations forced the enemy forces to shift their base of operations into the hills and break up into small elements. It became more and more a process of locating and destroying small pockets of VC and NVA resistance. The concept of operations was to advance over suspected avenues of enemy movement, methodically searching for enemy personnel, caches, and fortifications. The objective was to deny the enemy use of the inhabited lowlands of DUC THO and MO DUC Districts and thereby cut him off from his sources of food, intelligence, labor and recruits. In order to accomplish this it was necessary to have the physical presence of US fire bases with the battalion command post. The general plan was to have the infantry battalions establish fire bases with the battalion command post, supporting indirect fire elements, and one rifle company and then conduct sweeps and search and destroy operations with the other rifle companies, attached cavalry, and attached armor elements. The Infantry was used to find and fix the enemy. Once this was accomplished, all available fire power was brought to bear on the enemy. Then the infantry advanced, methodically searching and destroying every enemy position.
(2) 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry: During the reporting period, the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry conducted search and destroy operations in their AO with the battalion CP located at LZ OD (OLIVE DRAB), BS786368. The battalion had major contacts in fortified villages on 19 May at NGA MAN and on 22 May at DIEN TRUONG (4). In addition there were many minor contacts and ambush engagements and one major contact in the mountains on 15 July with a reinforced NVA platoon, (See Inclosure 4).
(3) 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry: During the reporting period the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry conducted search and destroy operations in their AO with the Battalion CP being located at LZ LIZ, BS751436. The Battalion had three major contacts on 20 May, 21-29 May, and 21 June (See Inclosure 5,6). A detailed explanation of the techniques employed during these operations is included in the inclosure. In between these major contacts the battalion concentrated on finding and destroying the enemy located in the many spider holes and tunnels throughout the battalion area of operations. (See Inclosure 2.)
(4) 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry: During the reporting period the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry was under the operational control of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade.
(5) Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 45th Cavalry: From 1 May 1967 to 18 July 1967, C Troop (-) was OPCON to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Infantry. During this period, the Troop conducted search and destroy operations around LZ LIZ and east to the beach area. One platoon was OPCON to B Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry for security of LZ MONTEZUMA, with two of its APC's OPCON to the 39th Engineer Battalion, to provide security for engineer work parties along Highway #1. A provisional tank platoon was OPCON to the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry for search and destroy operations along the beach south of LZ GUADALCANAL. From 19 June to 31 July one APC platoon was OPCON to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry for search and destroy operations around LZ LIZ. The troop (-) was OPCON to the 3rd Brigade for security of LZ MONTEZUMA and the road from LZ MONTEZUMA to LZ GUADALCANAL. From 3 July 1967 to 31 July 1967 one platoon was OPCON to the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry for search and destroy operations in the Northwest corner of the battalion AO.
(6) D Company, 6th Engineer Battalion:
(a) Engineer support to the infantry battalions in the TAOR averaged five (5) line squads per day and consisted mainly of:
1 Clearing landing zones.
2 Destruction of enemy caves, tunnels, bunkers, and defensive positions.
3 Construction, maintenance, and clearing of defensive perimeters.
4 Mine clearing.
5 Technical assistance in construction of field fortifications.
6 Construction of tactical bridging.
(b) Engineer support at the forward base camp (LZ MONTEZUMA) including:
Construction and maintenance of Brigade forward base.
Helipad construction and maintenance.
Maintaining a water supply point.
(c) Base Defense: D/65th Engineer Battalion assumed responsibility for the control of the LZ MONTEZUMA Base Defense upon departure of B/1/9 Cav, 1st ACD.
(7) 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery: During the period 1 May 1967 through 31 July 1967, the mission of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery was direct support of the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division. Battery A was in direct support of the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry; Battery B was in direct support of the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry; and Battery C was in direct support of the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry.
(a) During the reporting period the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery fired the following missions and rounds:
OBSERVED OBSERVED UNOBSERVED UNOBSERVED
MISSIONS ROUNDS MISSIONS ROUNDS
271 8626 1773 7022
374 8841 1254 5335
308 8123 1473 4213
___ _____ ____ _____
TOTAL 953 25,590 4,500 16,570
(b) In addition to the three firing batteries, one artillery battery and one searchlight section were under the operational control (OPCON) of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery during this period. These units functioned in an excellent manner. The firing battery fired in support of the infantry units in contact, fired checking fires, answered immediate fire requests and greatly enhanced our extensive harassment and interdiction (H&I) program. The searchlight section assisted in the defense of the several fire bases in the Brigade Area of Operation (AO), and was also successfully integrated into the H&I program. These units, and the period that they were under the OPCON of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery area are listed below:
1 Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 320th Artillery, OPCON to 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery (12 July - 31 July 1967);
2 Five each searchlights from Battery G, 29th Artillery OPCON to 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery (12 July - 31 July 1967).
(c) 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery supported the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery, in a general support - reinforcing role during the period 1 May 1967 through 31 July 1967. This Battalion with the attachment of Battery C, 3rd Battalion, 18th Artillery, fired in support of the infantry in contact, fired blocking fires, answered calls for immediate fire, and added great depth and power to the H&I program of the brigade.
c. Aviation: During the quarterly period the Brigade Aviation Section flew 807 hours, 2018 sorties, and carried 1587 passengers in the OH-23 helicopters. The UH-1B's flew 204 hours, 475 sorties, and carried 487 passengers. The totals were: 1011 hours, 2493 sorties, and 2074 passengers. Two of the OH-23's, armed in July to provide a scout team, were credited with 8 VC KIA and assisted in the capture of three NVA. Air Mobile support was provided to the 3rd Brigade TF by the 174th Aviation Company, 14th Aviation Battalion throughout the reporting period. 174th Aviation flew 7,678 hours, 44,531 sorties, moved 53,479 troops, carried 3,150 tons of cargo, conducted 101 combat assaults, 43 extractions, accounted for 45 VC KIA, and assisted in the capture of 2 VC.
d. Tactical Air support statistics for the reporting period were as follows:
FAC Missions Combat Proofs
Req Flown Req Flown
MAY 191 173 146 76
JUNE 129 85 85 45
JULY 170 123 102 72
TOTAL: 490 381 333 193
e. Chemical: Riot control agent (CS) and white phosphorous grenades were employed to the maximum extent to clear tunnels and bunkers.
f. Training: During the reporting period 3rd Brigade TF personnel graduated from the following schools:
SCHOOL # GRADUATED
3RD Brigade NCO Preparatory School 163
4th Division NCO School 64
MACV Recondo School 10
4th Division Pre Recondo School 7
a. General: The 3rd Support Battalion (PROV) had primary responsibility for logistical support to the Brigade. The 1st Log Command, Task Force Gallagher, continued to provide general support to the Brigade. The reactivation of a formal supply activity account with the 1st Log Command greatly improved the requisitioning and receiving procedures for Class II & IV items, including repair parts. Class II & IV and maintenance support for elements in the Pleiku Base Camp continued to be provided by the 4th Infantry Division.
(1) Class I:
(a) Perishable and nonperishable items were provided by FSA under supervision of Task Force Gallagher, 1st Log Command. All distribution was made to the Brigade Class I yard for storage and issue. Ration break-down for all tenant units in LZ MONTEZUMA was accomplished by the 3rd Support Battalion (PROV). Non-perishables were stored in the open on the ground. No problems were encountered with open storage due to the dry climate. Perishables were stored in three (3) 1-1/2 ton reefer freezers.
(b) Class I Statistics:
A Rations: 570,400
C Rations: 275,700
(c) Class II & IV:
1 Depot ships direct to our activity address code, through the Brigade Supply Officer, to a Class II & IV storage and distribution area. This was made possible by the opening of a supply account enabling all organic, attached and OPCON units to requisition and draw directly from the Brigade Supply Officer, rather than returning to a distant base camp.
2 Initially, requisitioning procedures to depot were ill defined. However, a workable courier system was established by Task Force Gallagher which enabled prompt passage of requisitions to depots at Qui Nhon, Cam Rahn Bay, and Da Nang. Long range planning and longer lead times are still required at all levels because of the longer shipping time inherent in sea movements.
3 The completion of the airstrip at DUC PHO on 15 May 1967 greatly aided the functioning of the logistical train, bringing quick delivery of personnel replacements, R&R, and necessary items of equipment.
(d) Class III:
1 Task Force Gallagher provided wholesale issue of all types of fuel.
(e) Class V:
1 Task Force Gallagher operated the local ASP and was in turn supported from Qui Nhon. Original stockage levels for the ASP did not always meet the demands of the supported units; however, they were easily readjusted.
2 Class V Statistics:
4.2 HE 12,568
(1) Two (2) light truck squads and one (1) medium truck squad from the 3rd Support Battalion supported the brigade units at LZ MONTEZUMA. The cargo capabilities of the 5 ton bridge trucks, organic to a platoon of the 554th Engineer Company (Float Bridge) has also been used.
(2) Air Force C-123 and C-7A aircraft provided a scheduled air lift between the brigade at DUC PHO and its rear detachments at Pleiku. Averaging four sorties per day, the aircraft compiled the following record during the reporting period:
(a) Sorties: 464
(b) Passengers: 9,855
(c) Cargo: 289 tons
(1) Number of patients admitted: 1,695
(2) Number of disease cases: 1,006
(3) Number of battle casualties: 232
(4) Number of non-battle casualties: 457
5. CIVIL AFFAIRS:
a. General: Priority of effort was directed towards the following three areas: public health and sanitation, public education, and refugee relief. All projects were designed to be short range and high impact in nature. All projects were requested by GVN officials and work was performed by indigenous labor. US personnel and units participating in civic action in DUC PHO were: S5, 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division, a team from 41st Civil Affairs Company, a team from 29th Civil Affairs Company and the MACV Sector Advisory Team. GVN Agencies included four RDC Teams, Refugee Relief Personnel, VIS, and the VN Cultural Drama Team.
b. Medcap Results:
(1) Sick Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,953
(2) Dental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
(3) Baths for Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,257
c. Engineer Projects:
(1) Schools: A new five room high school was 90% completed during the reporting period. A New five room elementary school was 50% completed and a library/classroom was finished at the Mirat Evangelical Church Refugee Camp. Repairs were completed on three additional schools, with a total of 16 classrooms being renovated.
(2) Wells: Three new wells were completed, with eight more presently under construction. Six wells were reclaimed and repaired.
(3) Latrines: Three new latrines are under construction.
(4) Orphanage: A new dining room is under construction at the DUC PHO Orphanage.
(5) Hospital: Repairs were begun to upgrade and improve the facilities at the DUC PHO Hospital.
(6) Dams: One dam was constructed to provide water for the Hoa Thanh Refugee Camp.
d. Commerce: 47 local laborers were hired daily to fill sandbags at 70 Piasters per day. As of 24 July 1967, 350 local laborers were being hired daily to gather rock at 70 Piasters per day. A total of 350 cubic meters of rock were obtained.
e. Refugee Assistance:
(1) 8000 refugees were generated from military operations in the 3rd Brigade AO.
(2) 800 refugee housing units were constructed.
(3) The following supplies were provided:
Rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 tons
Salt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 tons
Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,500 lbs
Tobacco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 boxes
Candy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1003 boxes
Soap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6690 boxes
Foodstuffs . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 tons
#10 Cans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1000 ea.
(1) English Classes: Four hours were given daily with an average attendance of 30 pupils per class.
(2) Audio/Visual Programs: Movies were shown three times a week in the DUC PHO marketplace. Films were provided by the military and equipment and operators were provided by the Vietnamese Information Service.
(1) Psyops activities during the reporting period included leaflet drops, and aerial and ground speaker missions (both tape and live). The primary effort was in support of tactical units with the secondary effort directed towards refugees and other personnel already under GVN influence.
(2) Leaflet drops and serial speaker missions were accomplished by C-47, U-10, O-2 and UH-1D aircraft.
(3) The use of armed propaganda personnel (ex VC specially trained in psywar) to make live broadcasts and appeals was very successful. They were best utilized on the ground after the infantry had trapped the enemy in caves and tunnels.
(4) Tapes and live appeals were directed toward specific individuals and units while exploiting Chu Hoi ralliers.
(a) Leaflets dropped . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,279,400
(b) Aerial speaker time . . . . . . . . . . . 70 hrs, 30 min
(c) Ground speaker time . . . . . . . . . 337 hrs
(d) Chieu Hoi Ralliers . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
(e) Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
(f) Leaflets fabricated . . . . . . . . . . . 11
(g) Tapes made . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
a. Unit Strength:
(1) As of 31 July 1967, the strengths of the units of the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division were as follows:
AUTH ASG & ATTACH PDY
OFF WO EM OFF WO EM OFF WO EM
HHC Bde 27 7 217 40 5 379 37 5 303
1/14 37 2 790 32 2 770 29 2 733
1/35 37 2 790 30 1 784 30 0 741
2/35 37 2 790 28 1 750 27 1 715
2/9 39 3 452 36 4 432 35 4 405
D/65th 5 0 154 7 0 175 7 0 174
D/725th 10 2 224 10 2 228 10 2 214
D 25th Med 10 0 85 7 0 70 6 0 66
C ¾ Cav 5 0 172 5 0 181 30 0 170
40th SD 1 0 26 1 0 30 1 0 30
14th PIO 2 0 3 1 0 5 1 0 5
TOTAL 210 18 3703 197 15 3804 186 14 3556
(2) The 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division strength fluctuated daily during this period. The following are periodic strength figures:
DATE OFF WO EM DATE OFF WO EM
5 May 220 19 3784 5 May 209 17 3644
12 May 206 19 3735 12 May 194 17 3600
19 May 212 18 3732 19 May 203 16 3562
26 May 208 17 3870 26 May 201 16 3693
31 May 198 17 3847 31 May 191 16 3703
DATE OFF WO EM DATE OFF WO EM
5 June 194 17 3937 5 June 183 17 3781
12 June 197 17 3964 12 June 185 17 3797
19 June 208 18 3912 19 June 197 18 3767
26 June 203 18 3882 26 June 193 17 3644
30 June 203 17 3863 30 June 190 16 3577
2 July 198 15 3817 2 July 191 14 3595
12 July 196 13 3863 12 July 188 12 3605
20 July 196 15 3812 20 July 182 13 3573
26 July 193 15 3799 26 July 182 14 3559
31 July 197 15 3804 31 July 186 14 3556
(3) Total figures on replacements received for the period May, June, July 1967:
E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 TOTAL
1/14 1 1 4 1 10 260 277
1/35 1 0 15 6 10 266 298
HHC 2 0 1 3 5 5 16
2/35 0 3 4 7 12 282 308
2/4 Cav 0 1 5 8 7 43 64
SPT 0 1 0 2 3 29 35
D/65th 0 0 3 6 12 30 51
2/9 0 0 2 1 12 49 64
4 6 34 34 71 964 1113
(4) The number of friendly casualties for May, June, July are as follows:
KIA WIA MIA WIA DIED OF WOUNDS
ORGANIC UNITS: 98 484 3 11
(5) Number of Emergency Leaves:
MAY JUNE JULY
HHC 3rd Bde 2 2 3
2/25 Inf 2 4 4
1/35 Inf 2 4 2
2/35 Inf 0 1 5
2/9 Arty 1 1 2
3/4 Cav 0 2 0
D/65th Engr 0 1 1
B/25th Med 0 0 1
40th Sct Dog Plat 0 0 0
14th PI Det 0 0 0
D/725th Maint 0 0 1
7 15 19
(6) Personnel who departed for PCS and ETS:
b. (C) Morale: Morale continues to be excellent within the command.
(a) Number of bags received: 3,734
(b) Number of bags dispatch: 1,544
(c) Total money orders sold: $888,437.44
(d) Total stamp value sold: $8,946.70
(e) Dates mail was not received:
MAY 2, 19, 24
JUNE 9, 10, 14, 19, 21, 25, 26, 28, 30
JULY 5, 6, 7, 11, 15, 16, 23, 24, 31
(2) R & R:
(a) Out of country allocations were sufficient to satisfy the needs of the command and additional 3-day in-country R & R to China Beach was instituted. An 80% participation by the units has been in effect since the China Beach R & R was started on 27 June 1967.
(b) Monthly out of country allocations were as follows:
MAY JUNE JULY
HHC 3rd Bde 22 50 54
1/14 Inf 52 66 80
1/35th Inf 43 58 78
2/35th Inf 47 67 71
2/9 Arty 31 48 48
3rd Spt Bn 23 10 12
3/4 Cav 8 14 19
226 313 362
(c) There was a 100% use of allocations for all three months.
c. Promotion Allocations:
E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
1/14/ Inf 85 3 1 1 0 0
1/35 Inf 97 9 1 2 0 0
2/35 Inf 65 7 0 2 0 0
2/9 Arty 0 10 7 0 0 0
65 Engr 19 2 0 0 0 0
3/4 Cav 12 9 0 0 0 0
HHC 3rd Bde 3 0 0 1 1 0
25th Med 14 0 0 0 0 0
D/725 Maint 19 2 4 0 0 0
TOTAL 314 42 13 6 1 0 376
E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
1/14/ Inf 93 56 10 3 0 0
1/35 Inf 92 34 8 1 0 0
2/35 Inf 100 10 1 2 0 0
2/9 Arty 10 20 7 1 0 0
65 Engr 3 8 0 0 0 0
3/4 Cav 28 4 0 0 0 0
HHC 3rd Bde 7 1 0 1 0 0
25th Med 2 0 0 0 0 0
D/725 Maint 4 1 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 339 134 26 8 0 0 507
E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
1/14/ Inf 68 5 3 1 0 0
1/35 Inf 26 6 2 1 0 0
2/35 Inf 18 3 2 2 0 0
2/9 Arty 0 8 0 0 0 0
65 Engr 0 0 0 0 0 0
3/4 Cav 0 0 0 0 0 0
HHC 3rd Bde 0 0 0 1 0 0
25th Med 0 0 0 0 0 0
D/725 Maint 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 112 22 7 5 0 0 146
d. The increase of promotions for the months May and June was due to a USARV msg relaxing the limitations on 2nd in-country promotions.
(1) Effective 8 July 1967 awards were being submitted to the different headquarters. All posthumous awards were being submitted to the 4th Infantry Division, while all other awards were submitted to Task Force Oregon.
(2) Awards Presented:
MAY JUNE JULY
Air Medal 4 0 28
Army Commendation 2 6 31
Bronze Star Medal 25 22 27
Distinguished Flying Medal 1 0 0
Legion of Merit 0 0 3
Silver Star Medal 6 9 6
Distinguished Service Medal 0 0 0
Distinguished Service Cross 0 0 0
Soldiers Medal 2 0 1
(1) Chaplains continued to conduct numerous religious services in the field and have noticed a significant increase in attendance.
(2) On their weekly trips to Qui Nhon the chaplains have noticed the excellent esprit of the men of the Third Brigade in the hospitals.
MAY JUNE JULY PERCENT
elig-reen elig-reen elig-reen
Last Prior Service RA (career) 5 5 7 7 4 4 100%
Last Prior Service (1st Term) 5 5 7 7 6 2 78%
Last Prior Service (AUS) 6 2 8 8 5 1 58%
16 12 22 22 15 7 77%
SECTION 2 (C) COMMANDERS OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Part I, Observations (Lessons Learned)
1. (C) PERSONNEL:
a. Item: Critical shortage of non-commissioned officers, MOS 11B40
Discussion: At the end of the reporting period, 31 July, a shortage of infantry non-commissioned officers, MOS 11B40, existed as follows:
E-7 E-6 E-5
AUTH ASG AUTH ASG AUTH ASG
27 23 114 67 189 96
Observation: Although a liberal promotion policy is a possible solution, it is not a desirable substitute for experienced and mature non-commissioned officers.
2. (C) OPERATIONS:
a. Item: Use of the collimator with the M-2A2 105mm howitzer
Discussion: The collimator can be used with excellent results in the shifting and laying of a firing battery. After being laid initially, and the collimator set, the howitzer can be laid to 0 mils by pushing the howitzer forward or backward to obtain the proper sight picture on the collimator. After laying the collimator the battery refers to the aiming circle for a safety check. When the line of fire is parallel to the line of sight from the howitzer to the collimator, the displacement cannot be taken up by moving forward and rearward. In this particular situation, it is faster to use the aiming posts.
Observation: The collimator can be used to lay the battery in much less time than when aiming posts are used.
b. Item: Problems encountered with the collimator.
Discussion: The collimator can be knocked out of alignment with only a slight bump or a strong wind, such as derived from a helicopter.
Observation: By building a bunker around the collimator it is protected from being bumped or tipped over in a strong wind. Also, it is recommended that the wires from the collimator be covered with sandbags to prevent their dislocation.
c. Item: Telephone lines to howitzers
Discussion: Telephone lines (WD-1) to the howitzers are frequently cut or shorted out by personnel making improvements in the firing positions, causing a loss of communications to the howitzers.
Observation: Instead of using a hot loop to the howitzers, lay individual lines from the howitzers to a terminal block (TM-184), in conjunction with the switch board (SB-22). If a line is cut, communication is lost with only one section. As a backup, install a hot loop to all guns using a different route from the primary lines. If a line is cut, the section that has lost communications can switch to the hot loop which has a connection to the switch board (SB-22).
d. Item: Use of a hot loop in a fire mission which used only one or two howitzers.
Discussion: Many fire missions required the use of only one or two howitzers. If a loop is used, all phones will ring each time a mission is called to a howitzer, causing interruption until the adjusting piece answers.
Observation: By using (SB-22), any time a fire mission is received that requires only one or two howitzers, only the pieces needed are called, thus eliminating confusion. By installing another phone on the switch board, it is possible to conduct two fire missions at once.
e. Item: Ground control and contact for FAC controlled air strikes.
Discussion: The brigade has averaged four air strikes a day for this quarterly period and in one major contact had 17 air strikes in a 24-hour period. The artillery forward observer with the ground unit nearest the target area is used as the ground contact and control. This procedure has proved highly successful and has received many favorable comments from the FAC. The FO, by the very nature of his job, must be an expert map reader and must know the location of all friendly units. The FO is also the commander's advisor for fire support. This use of the FO does not tie up the command net and it allows the Company Commander to concentrate on his primary duties.
Observation: The artillery forward observer is ideally suited and trained to be the ground contact for FAC controlled air strikes.
f. Item: The problem of VC Grenadiers
Discussion: On several occasions, VC have infiltrated a unit's location and thrown hand grenades. They are very adept at this and have caused several casualties. Their primary targets have been outposts.
Observation: Several principles have been developed that have proved successful in killing some of these VC grenadiers and avoiding friendly casualties.
(1) Outposts should move into position after dark.
(2) Outposts that have been in position during the day should shift their position after dark.
(3) An ambush position should be occupied after dark.
(4) Claymores and trip-flares should be emplaced after dark.
(5) Units should avoid setting up near hedgerows or ditches.
(6) Individuals should always dig in at their night position. At a minimum, a prone shelter should be dug.
g. Item: The use of the portable chemical E8 CS Dispenser.
Discussion: the units of the brigade have tested and on several occasions employed the E8 CS Dispenser. It is an excellent item of equipment to use when confronted with VC in fortified positions. Many units carry at least one with them on S&D operations. When employing the dispenser, the wind conditions must be considered in the unit's scheme of maneuver in the objective area. In addition, the battalions keep several on stand-by should a unit need them.
Observation: Units should consider the use of E8 CS Dispensers in their tactical operations.
h. Item: There is a need for an M-79 marking round.
Discussion: It has become almost an everyday occurrence to have gunships firing in support of ground troops. The normal procedure is to have the ground troops mark their position with smoke and then point out the target by using distance and direction or referring to terrain features. Marking rounds for the M-79 could be used to rapidly indicate the target; it would also eliminate the human error in referring to terrain features.
Observation: A standard M-79 marking round should be developed.
i. Item: M-79 CS Round
Discussion: In many instances it would greatly assist the ground troops if they could fire a CS grenade at ranges further than 25 to 30 meters. A CS round for the M-79 Grenade Launcher would allow the grenadier to place non-persistent CS gas on a target more accurately and at a much greater distance.
Observation: A CS round should be developed for the M-79 grenade launcher and issued to line units as soon as possible.
j. Item: There is a need for a standard survival signal mirror.
Discussion: Several key personnel in this brigade have survival mirrors. These mirrors greatly conserve the use of smoke and do not compromise the unit's position when signaling aircraft. When used properly on a sunny day, they are actually easier to spot than smoke.
Observation: The standard survival signal mirror should be made available for issue on the basis of one for each rifle squad.
k. Item: Use of booby traps against the VC.
Discussion: The enemy habitually trails US troops and scavenges the unit's camp sites. Booby traps implanted in old friendly camp sites would greatly harass the enemy. To prevent friendly troops from detonating their own booby traps at a later date, self-destruct devices should be employed. The ideal device would be the chemical time delay fuse.
Observation: The chemical time delay fuse should be made available on a limited basis so that self-destruction booby traps could be used against the enemy.
l. Item: Tunnel Destruction
Discussion: Destruction of tunnels and spider holes can be expedited by the construction of prefabricated charges at the rear area. The charges are delivered by helicopters ready for use. Two blocks of C-4 (5 lbs) have proved adequate to completely destroy the normal spider hole. A 30-second delay fuse is sufficient to allow personnel to escape the effects of the blast. When the hole is larger, two of the prefab charges are used. In addition to the prefab charges used for small tunnels and spider holes, two tunnel kits are maintained at the battalion trains consisting of flashlights, rope, gas mask, CS gas grenades, armored vests, and a grappling hook. These are pre-packaged and ready to be picked up by helicopter on a moment's notice. These items can be delivered by the C&C when no other helicopter is available.
Observation: A five pound pre-fabricated charge is a great time saver for the line units in destroying spider holes. Having a tunnel kit such as the one described above ready to be brought forward on call will also save valuable time for the infantry unit.
m. Item: 106mm Recoilless Rifle
Discussion: One of the finest weapons to be added to the infantry arsenal is the 106mm Recoilless Rifle Beehive round. The round has a simple but effective fuse allowing the firer to select muzzle action or a bursting point up to 3200 meters. A test was conducted at a range of approximately 300 meters using 25 ammunition boxes spaced over a linear distance of 50 feet and placed in depth 25 feet. Not a single box escaped the strike of at least one fleshette. Several boxes were hit as many as ten times. This round will be extremely effective against groups of personnel at various ranges. In addition to the anti-personnel round, the standard 106mm HEP round has a good casualty producing effect when employed against personnel. Due to the accuracy of the weapon system, it has successfully been employed in many roles during the reporting period. The flat coastal plain interrupted by small hill masses, in which we have been operating, offers numerous opportunities for effective employment of the 106mm Recoilless Rifle, both offensively and defensively.
Observation: The 106mm Recoilless Rifle should be maintained at battalion level for use as an offensive and defensive weapon against personnel.
n. Item: Use of Detonation Cord in bunker destruction
Discussion: Destruction of bunkers is often a slow and tedious job requiring large amounts of explosives. Frequently a great deal of time is wasted by destroying one bunker then proceeding onto the next. A time saver is detonation cord laid between bunkers for hundreds of feet to destroy several bunkers simultaneously. Normal demolition procedures are used, with a line of detonation cord forming the ring main of main line of the charge. Individual bunker charges are placed on the various branches. The charge is double primed and detonates almost instantly due to the high detonation rate of the cord.
Observation: The employment of large amounts of detonation cord in bunker destruction is justified by the time it saves in placement of individual charges.
o. Item: Timing of aerial resupply operations.
Discussion: Units normally develop patterns in resupply operations which will have an impact on tactical operations. The practice of conducting aerial resupply at a night defensive perimeter location pinpoints the actual location to the enemy, denies the friendly unit the advantage of surprise in establishing the defense, and increases the vulnerability of helicopters by establishing fixed patterns of activity which are predictable to the enemy.
Observation: Resupply of tactical units, at other than specific locations dictated by a tactical requirement, should be accomplished on an irregular basis, varying the patterns in a random manner. A unit should displace, even if only a short distance, after accepting resupply.
p. Item: Ground Air Signal Strobe Light
Discussion: A battery powered high intensity strobe light, which emits a brilliant flash of light at approximately one second intervals is provided in aircraft crew emergency items for signaling. The light is visible even during daylight and is clearly visible at night over distances up to four to five kilometers. The light is provided with a shield so that it may be employed as a directional signaling device. The entire device is about the size of a first aid packet. When used at night, the strobe light provides a light weight, compact means of identifying landing zones or drop zones to aircraft.
Observation: Each tactical unit which may be required to operate separately (squad, LPRP, special detachment) should be equipped with one ground to air emergency strobe light for signaling. Resupply of batteries should be maintained in the supply system.
q. Item: Depth for commitment of blocking forces.
Discussion: Experience in actions conducted in the DUC PHO area indicate that the enemy can withdraw very quickly when he believes he is faced with a superior force. Efforts to position a blocking force will hinge on the time that the force is introduced in relation to the time that the force is introduced in relation to the time when the enemy recognized the requirement for withdrawal. As a general rule, when the axis of withdrawal can be accurately predicted, the blocking force should be introduced between 1500 and 2500 meters from the point of contact. Introduction at a point closer to the point of contact may permit some enemy to escape, and may limit the use of supporting fires between the attacking and the blocking forces.
Observation: Blocking forces should be introduced as far (up to 2600 meters) from the point of contact as it may be practical to predict the enemy withdrawal routes.
r. Item: Enemy sniper employment.
Discussion: During the period covered by this report, the enemy has made good use of snipers located in positions to cover booby traps placed on likely approaches.
Observation: A unit coming under sniper fire should immediately obtain maximum dispersal and establish a base of fire. The sniper or snipers should then be attacked by fire and movement using fire teams with artillery being placed on likely sniper locations, routes of egress, and the flanks of the advancing elements.
s. Item: Enemy anti-helicopter tactics.
Discussion: US units are almost entirely dependent upon the helicopter for resupply, therefore the volume of helicopter traffic in enemy infected areas is quite heavy. Numerous documents captured by this organization have contained extensive training material on techniques for shooting down helicopters with small arms. The enemy will watch as the helicopter goes into a US position and will move to a good firing position along the final approach to the LZ. He will then select a position that will allow him a good shot when the helicopter is on its final approach and is most vulnerable to ground fire. The enemy position is often several hundred meters from the LZ, making counter fire by small arms difficult. The helicopter usually delivers its resupply to units during the afternoon hours and returns to pick up empty marmite containers before sundown.
Observation: The enemy tactics mentioned above can be effectively countered by saturating the approach to the LZ with fire team size patrols. This technique effectively interdicts enemy movement and provides a quick reaction force when the enemy fires on the approaching helicopter.
t. Item: The enemy's use of automatic weapons and small campfires to deceive US troops.
Discussion: The enemy is often aware of the general night location of US units. A tactic he has employed is to fire several automatic weapons bursts a safe distance from US position and build camp fires. This will usually result in artillery fire being called into the area and a subsequent search by friendly troops at first light. The enemy will then employ booby traps and snipers along the most likely route that a unit will travel when leaving the bivouac site and will patiently wait until morning when friendly troops move out on daily operations.
Observation: This tactic can be effectively countered by the following:
(1) Avoid trails and open areas when leaving the bivouac sites.
(2) Be especially alert during all movement.
(3) Move from the bivouac site in a direction away from the objective area and then circle around.
(4) Recon by fire with organic and indirect fire weapons prior to and during movement.
(5) Conduct all movement using the tactical formations which afford the best all around security.
u. Item: Enemy Anti-Tank Mines
Discussion: The armored units of the brigade have encountered many pressure type anti-tank mines. These mines have been placed almost exclusively along old tank trails, old ditch crossings, and other channeled areas. These mines are normally placed in such a manner that when a tank follows an old tank track, the mine will detonate directly under the tank, sending the full blast under the hull and resulting in maximum damage to the hull and suspension system.
Observation: Old tank trails, ditch crossings, and other channeled areas should be avoided by armored vehicles to the maximum extent possible. When one of these danger areas must be negotiated, the area should first be checked out by probing with bayonets or checking with a mine detector.
v. Item: Enemy Recoilless Rifles and RPG-2's
Discussion: The use of recoilless rifles and RPG-2's in the AO give Viet Cong and NVA units an effective anti-tank capability. Since tanks must move relatively slowly because of the terrain and the infantry with whom they operate, the danger to the tank is increased. A well concealed anti-tank team is able to detect and attack a tank well before the tanks are aware of their position. With the many ditches and hedgerows in the area, the enemy is offered many ideally concealed ambush locations and escape routes.
Observation: The best means of securing tanks against this type of attack is by employing infantry extensively along the flanks and rear of the armor. When this is done, the tanks are able to concentrate their fire power to the front and the infantry can check along ditches and hedgerows for enemy positions along the flanks and to the rear.
w. Item: Tank Reaction Time
Discussion: When attacks are made upon friendly units reinforced with tanks at their night locations, the key to the defense is the reaction time of the tankers to return fire. Experience has shown that as soon as hostile fire is returned effectively by tanks, the enemy will break contact.
Observation: To keep a tank's reaction time as short as possible, one man should be awake and in the tank commander's cupola at all times. His mission is to stand guard and monitor the radio. If an attack comes, all he needs to do is throw the main switch on the gunner's controls and he can have a round on the way seconds after the first battle round is received. In addition to the man who is awake, a second man should sleep either in the bustal rack or on the back deck. This man can be inside the tank ready to act as the loader seconds after the first hostile round is received.
x. Item: XM-69 Tunnel Destruction Kit
Discussion: The Brigade's Engineer Company has on hand the XM-69 Tunnel Destruction Kit. The kits consist primarily of an acetylene generator and an oxygen converter, and is designed to be supplemented with a Mity Mite blower. The oxygen converter must be filled with liquid oxygen within 48 hours prior to use. Liquid oxygen is not readily available and the 48 hour limitation is not feasible for current operations where tunnel destruction missions are usually given on short notice. The kit may be utilized without the blower or the oxygen converter and is effective in this manner within certain limitations concerning the length, depth, width, and ventilation of the tunnel.
Observation: The XM-69 Tunnel Destruction Kit may be effectively utilized within certain limitations. Tunnels should either be analyzed by someone aware of the kit's capabilities or complete data on the tunnel should be provided when requesting a team for tunnel destruction.
y. Item: Peneprime Distributor
Discussion: The application of peneprime or similar dust palliatives is a major engineer task in Vietnam. No distribution equipment is available to combat engineer companies or battalions. All distribution must be accomplished with fabricated or improvised distributors which are cumbersome, inefficient and, in many cases, ineffective. Both a large capacity truck mounted distributor (800 gals or larger) and a smaller airmobile distributor are needed.
Observation: Present equipment available for dust palliative distribution is unsatisfactory. Necessary distributors should be included in the MTOE of engineer and aviation units and made available to these units.
z. Item: Materials Handling Equipment
Discussion: Engineer operations frequently required the loading, unloading, transfer, and movement of heavy materials. Combat Engineer companies have no organic means of loading materials too heavy with manpower. This necessitates utilization of handling equipment from other support units which are also short on lifting and loading devices. A few examples of engineer work requiring large capacity lifting devices are the loading of dust palliative 50 gallon drums, and the transfer of lumber bundles bridging, and prefabricated membranes.
Observation: Combat Engineer companies need a 5 to 10 ton wrecker or similar piece of material handling equipment.
aa. Item: OH-23 Scout Team
Discussion: Two of the OH-23s of the Brigade Aviation section were armed in July to provide a scout capability within the Brigade. The aircraft were armed with two M-60 machineguns mounted in the doors on Bungee Cords. The cords are attached to the door frame with a wire loop and a snap link. The OH-23 has proven to be a good scout ship with good visibility, good load carrying ability, and endurance. The two observer/gunners have provided a suppressive fire capability and increased the target acquisition capability. The scout team has been most effect in screening the perimeter of combat assault areas.
Observation: The scout team increased the surveillance capability of the Brigade. Float aircraft and rapid replacement of combat losses are absolutely essential to the operation. A minimum of two teams is desirable but not always possible with only five OH-23 aircraft assigned to the section.
ab. Item: Action to Secure Aircraft Shot Down by Hostile Fire.
Discussion: During the reporting period one OH-23 of the Brigade Aviation Section was destroyed by hostile forces after being shot down. The crew was evacuated under fire. Prior to the time forces were available to secure the aircraft, it was blown up by a large explosive charge.
Observation: Aircraft downed in the Brigade AO must be secured immediately and evacuated as soon as possible. Sapper units are prevalent and very skillful in the Brigade Area of Operations.
ac. Item: DUC PHO Airfield
Discussion: The many day to day problems of coordinating the DUC PHO Airfield operations consume a considerable amount of the time of the Brigade Aviation Officer. Most airfields with operations of this size had an airfield operating detachment almost as large as the aviation section.
Observation: An airfield operating detachment is needed at DUC PHO Airfield.
a. Item: Brigade Intelligence Sources
Discussion: Tactical intelligence when operating against unsophisticated light infantry and guerilla forces must be available at the brigade and battalion levels. In the DUC PHO Area of Operations, experience has shown that there are only four important sources of immediate tactical intelligence. These sources are aircraft reconnaissance, reconnaissance in force (i.e. S&D operations), interrogation of POW's and returnees, and the consolidation of reports from low level agents, civilians, and interrogation of POW's which have been provided to this brigade by the District Office Intelligence Center (DOIC). Of all the sources, the latter has proved to be the most lucrative.
Observation: The DOIC project has been successful and should be further developed and extended. In addition, the attachment of a low level agent handling team to the Brigade would provide the Brigade S2 with another reliable source of intelligence in addition to the Vietnamese source.
b. Item: Interpreter Assignment
Discussion: There is a critical shortage of interpreters in the Brigade. The search and destroy operations have been conducted almost exclusively at company and platoon levels. This results in daily contact with Vietnamese people without the means to communicate due to the language barrier. As a result, a great deal of immediate tactical intelligence is lost.
Observation: There is an obvious need for at least one interpreter per rifle company, with additional interpreters at battalion and brigade level.
c. Item: Use of 01 VR Aircraft
Discussion: Through trial and error experience, this Brigade has found that 01 VR Aircraft flying over lowland populated areas are best employed in direct support of friendly sweep operations. By flying overhead when a ground unit is sweeping an area, the observer is frequently able to spot VC or NVA forces attempting to evade the sweeping units. The observer then calls in artillery fire and the friendly forces on the ground maneuver to block the enemy's escape.
Observation: The employment of the 01 VR Aircraft in support of S&D operations is highly recommended.
4. (C) LOGISTICS:
a. Item: Insufficient power for refrigeration units.
Discussion: At present, the Brigade stores its Class I perishables in three 1-1/2 ton reefer freezers. The TOR generator equipment has proved inadequate to power these refrigeration units. The feasibility of establishing an R&U central power supply is currently under study by the Brigade S4.
Observation: There is a requirement for a minimum of two 100RW generators to be made available to brigade size units when operating a Class I distribution point.
b. Item: Lack of qualified Reefer Repairmen.
Discussion: The development of the Brigade base complex necessitated the establishment of a cold storage and freezer capability. The minimum amount of reefer items are now on hand; however, they break down under constant use. The Brigade does not have a qualified reefer mechanic to accomplish the minimum inspections necessary to determine the cause when a breakdown occurs. A mechanic must be called in from a distant support unit causing great delay and the difficulty in obtaining parts creates more of a problem.
Observation: A Reefer Mechanic should be assigned to the FSA on a permanent basis.
c. Item: Availability of Float Aircraft
Discussion: In late June, the 335th Transportation Company, the DS Maintenance Support Unit for Aviation, received a number of float OH-23 aircraft. Float aircraft have been available to the Brigade aviation section to replace battle damaged aircraft immediately, while the damage is being repaired.
Observation: The availability of float aircraft greatly increases the Brigade aviation flying rate. In addition, it reduces the variation in mission capability during periods of frequent battle damage.
d. Item: Airlift of Packs and Unit Equipment
Discussion: To decrease the load carried by the individual soldier, it is frequently practical to collect individual packs, specialized equipment (starlight scopes, trip flares, anti-intrusion detection devices), and unit equipment (mortars and ammunition, recoilless rifles, etc.) at first light and return them to the unit's night defensive locations. This enhances the ground mobility of the individual, lessens fatigue, and assists in maintaining a better overall combat posture. Adoption of this technique also permits the introduction of more and heavier weapons at a planned defensive position. To expedite lifting of equipment, storage during the day, and return at night, a cargo net might be utilized whenever the situation permits.
Observation: The technique of picking up the unit's equipment in the morning and returning it at the end of the day's operations should be utilized whenever the situation permits.
e. Item: Ammunition Resupply Packets
Discussion: After a fire fight, the requirement for small arms ammunition, grenades, and similar Class V items may be reasonably predicted, based on time in contact and the size of the force employed. A “package” of all normal types of Class V items suitable for a platoon can be established and several of these “packages” stocked at the Battalion's trains area. When a fire fight develops, an immediate ammunition resupply can be made available. The “package” can be rigged for sling load and carried under a UH-1D aircraft for touch and go delivery, thus reducing the time the aircraft may be exposed to ground fire.
Observation: “Packages” of selected Class V resupply items should be prepared for sling load aircraft and maintained at Battalion Trains area to provide an immediate Class V resupply capability.
f. Item: Stitching on Jungle Fatigues
Discussion: Some models of Jungle Fatigues have the seam sewn on the inside to give the exterior a more finished appearance. This leaves a projecting hump of material on the inside. When the individual soldier perspires, the uniform tends to cling to him and the interior seams rub sore spots on the skin in contact.
Observation: Tropical Fatigues with seams sewn on the inside should be eliminated from the supply system.
g. Item: Disposable Containers
Discussion: Normal resupply of water is accomplished for companies having aerial resupply through the use of metal 5 gallon cans and hot rations are fed using insulated food containers. In both cases, the empty containers must later be extracted by helicopters. In some cases, the extraction may be delayed by weather or non-available of aircraft, thus delaying the movement of the tactical unit required to secure the landing zone.
Observation: A disposable water container and a disposable food container should be supplied to preclude the necessity for lifting out empty food and water containers.
h. Item: The M-79 Carrying Vest
Discussion: Several months ago, this Brigade received a small amount of M-79 Ammunition Carrying Vests. This is an item of equipment that has been needed for some time. The vests are excellent. They are light weight, durable, distribute the load, and carry sufficient ammunition. Since the arrival of these vests, no more vests have been received even though may requests have been submitted.
Observation: The M-79 Ammunition Carrying Vest is an excellent item of equipment and should be provided to units in much greater numbers.
i. Item: Special Equipment for Tunnel Exploration
Discussion: In this area of operation, the units of the Brigade have encountered numerous caves and tunnels. Some of them have been elaborate and extensive. Our problem has been to secure the equipment to properly exploit the finds. There are several items of equipment that would be of great value.
(a) Miner Lamps
(b) Large Flashlights (6 cell)
(c) Revolvers with silencers
(d) Smaller light weight gas masks
Observation: The procurement of this equipment would greatly assist in tunnel search operations.
j. Item: Spray aircraft and preventive medicine assistance for Malaria Control.
Discussion: During the reporting period the Brigade has not had a spray ship available for anti-malaria spraying. It appears that all the personnel and equipment of the preventative medicine program are located elsewhere.
Observation: The malaria incident rate is higher in the DUC PHO area than in other areas in Task Force Oregon. Therefore, it seems logical that a portion of the preventative medicine program should be allotted to this area.
k. Item: Effect of Climate and Terrain on Parts Life
Discussion: Sandy soil in this area has increased wear on many of the critical moving parts on vehicles. In addition, movement of armored vehicles through the rice paddies and across dikes has increased the stress on torsion bars and consequently increased breakage of these items.
Observation: The effect of soil on parts increases the importance of constant attention to first echelon maintenance, to detect problems before they become serious.
5. CIVIL AFFAIRS:
a. Item: Forced Evacuation of Hamlets
Discussion: The tactical situation occasionally dictates that entire hamlets be forcibly evacuated. If strict control is not exercised over the personnel, they will return to their homes within 48 hours.
(1) All such moves must be closely coordinated with district officials.
(2) Living facilities should be enclosed by wire and patrolled by GVN personnel.
(3) People must be allowed to gather up their necessary personal belongings to be evacuated with them.
(4) Food, water, shelter, and medical treatment must be provided.
b. Item: Control of Handouts
Discussion: The uncontrolled distribution of items such as candy, C-Rations, and cigarettes from vehicles is both undesirable and dangerous. It has the results of making beggars out of children and offending the adults. Additionally, it increases the possibility of serious injury to a child who is blindly chasing a vehicle in hopes of getting a handout.
Observation: Units desiring to donate surplus items should coordinate with the unit S5 and make arrangements to distribute such items to needy refugees in an unobtrusive and organized manner.
c. Item: Utilization of Psywar Ground Team
Discussion: The most effective use of Psywar ground speaker teams is in support of tactical operations. There are many instances in the search and destroy missions were the infantry has trapped the enemy in caves and tunnels only to incur friendly casualties while attempting to force them out. The use of speaker teams to appeal to the enemy to surrender, while not effective 100% of the time, would reduce the number of friendly casualties and increase the number of POW's and resultant intelligence.
Observation: Infantry companies should be made aware of Psywar capabilities and encouraged to request their assistance. Once requested, a high priority should be allotted for airlift of the team to the contact area.
d. Item: O2 Aerial Speaker Missions
Discussion: Interrogation of POW's and HOI CHANHS indicates that aerial broadcasts from the O2 aircraft are not understandable. This is further substantiated by statements of interpreters and GVN troops in this area. It is believed the O2 flies at altitudes too high to be heard. In addition, on several occasions the FACs supporting this unit have reported that 02 pilots have contacted them in the air and requested assistance locating a target which was not indicated on their 1:25,000 maps.
Observation: Pilots should be furnished 1:50,000 maps of their target area. Flight broadcasts should be made at an altitude of 1000 feet with more emphasis on targeting a specific hamlet rather than a large area.
Part II: Recommendations
1. Personnel: None.
a. Higher Headquarters should do everything possible to encourage the development of the DOIC program.
b. A low level agent handling team should be attached to the brigade in order to allow the brigade S2 to establish an independent low level agent net.
c. That qualified interpreters be provided to brigade sized units on the following basis:
(1) Brigade Headquarters: 10
(a) MI Section: 5
(b) S-5: 3
(c) S-2: 1
(d) Military Police: 1
(2) Infantry Battalions: 5
(a) Battalion Headquarters: 2
(b) Rifle Companies: 1 each
(3) Artillery Battalions: 1
3. Operations and Logistics:
(a) That a standard 40mm marking round be developed for standard issue for combat units.
(b) That a strobe light be added to the MTOE of the infantry rifle squad and LRRP team.
(c) That Peneprime distributors be added to the MTOE of Engineer and aviation units.
(d) That an Airfield Operating Detachment be provided for the DUC PHO Airfield.
(e) That a refrigerator mechanic be assigned to the FSA.
(f) That Jungle Fatigues with seams sewn on the inside be eliminated from the supply system.
(g) That disposable water and food containers be developed and supplied to tactical units.
(h) That additional M-79 ammunition carrying vests be made available in the supply system.
(i) That spray aircraft and preventive medicine assistance for malaria control be made available to the brigade.
4. Civil Affairs: That 02 pilots on aerial speaker missions be furnished with 1:50,000 maps of their target area and instructed to make the broadcasts at an altitude of 1000 feet with more emphasis on targeting a specific hamlet rather than a large area.
Area of Operations Map (Withdrawn, Hqs, DA)
Mines and Booby Traps
Combat After Action Report for 15 July 1967, Assault of Bunker Positions.
Combat After Action Report for the period 19 May-20 May 1967, the Battle of Vinh Hien
Combat After Action Report for the period 27 May-30 May 1967, the Battle of Ton Phong
DC, USARV 3
CG, IFFV 2
CG, TF OREGON 2
CG, 4TH INF DIV 1
CG, 25TH INF DIV 1
CG, 1ST CAV DIV (AM) 1
CO, 1/14 INF 1
CO, 1/35 INF 1
CO, 2/35 INF 1
CO, 2/9 ARTY 1
CO, C/3/4 CAV 1
CO, D/65 ENGRS 1
CO, B/1/9 CAV 1
CO, C/2/34 ARMOR 1
CO, HHC 3/4 TF 1
AVDF-CG (10 August 1967) 1st Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period ending 31 July 1967,
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, HEADQUARTERS AMERICAL DIVISION, APO San Francisco 96374, 24 September 1967
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army (ACSFOR, DA), Washington D.C. 20315
1. (U) Forwarded herewith are two copies of subject report of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
2. (U) Reference Section II, Part I, para 3a, Subject: Brigade Intelligence Sources. The 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division has a two-man Counter Intelligence Team assigned to the brigade. The team is well suited for accomplishment of the tasks for which the brigade is asking support. The District Intelligence Operations Coordination Center (DIOCC) is a DACV concept with CAS backing. The DIOCC suffers from under-staffing which causes a loss of efficiency; however, this is not a matter for a brigade to address.
3. (U) Reference Section II, Part II, para 3a. Latest reports from Headquarters, Department of the Army indicate cost estimates are extremely high for a 40mm colored smoke round; however, immediate procurement and continued research and development should be continued, as the requirement is critical.
4. (U) Reference Section 2, Part II, para 3b. The unit has been advised that ATOE action is necessary.
5. (U) Reference Section 2, Part II, para 3i. An aerial spray capability to be mounted on a UH-1D helicopter, was procured and became operational on 28 August 1967. Spraying operations commenced in the Duc PHO area on 5 September 1967. Batex larvae killing granules, for spreading over stagnant waters, has been issued to Headquarters, Americal Division and further provided to subordinate elements. Additionally, a team consisting of two personnel from the 926th Preventive Medicine Detachment was positioned at DUC PHO to assist in the malaria prevention program in that area.
FOR THE COMMANDANT:
/s/ D. A. Gerner Jr.
D. A. GERNER, JR
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVD CDH 14 February 1968
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 January 1968
(RCS CSFOR-65) (BC)
TO: SEE DISTRIBUTION
Location: Vicinity CU CHI, CU CHI Base Camp (XT647153), RVN
Reporting Officer: Major General F. K. Mearns
Prepared by: Captain Sidney P. Stone, CO, 18th Military History
1. (C) Significant Organizational Activities.
(1) General: There were seven major operations (battalion size or larger) and 716 small unit actions conducted by the 25th Infantry Division during the quarter. All major operations and 219 of the small unit actions resulted in enemy contact.
(2) The 25th Infantry Division Monsoon Campaign which began in May, continued into this reported period until the beginning of the 1967-68 Dry Season Campaign in December. The mission of the division in the Dry Season Campaign: to conduct offensive operations with emphasis in War Zone C, to destroy VC/NVA forces and installations, to secure lines of communications (LOC's), to support the Government of Viet Nam (GVN) Revolutionary Development Program and to reinforce Free World Military Assistance Forces and GVN forces as directed, and to prevent VC rice taxation, harvesting or transportation within the Division's Tactical Area of Interest (TAOI). Within the Division's TAOI during the reporting period, operations KOLEKOLE, BARKING SANDS, DIAMOND HEAD, ATLANTA, and CAMDEN were concluded, and operations SARATOGA and YELLOWSTONE are presently being conducted.
(a) YELLOWSTONE (8 December, 1967-Continuing). This is a multi-brigade operation involving the 1st and 3rd Brigades, 25th Infantry Division and is taking place in War Zone “C” located in the northern part of TAY NINH Province. The purpose of YELLOWSTONE is to destroy VC/NVA forces and installations and complete several engineering projects of rebuilding or constructing road networks, United States Special Forces (USSF)/Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) Camps, and KATUM (XT3389) airfield.
The 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division established a base camp at KATUM with its TAOI in the northern part of War Zone “C”. The brigade's operation was characterized by daily multiple company sized airmobile combat assaults which were exploited by extensive S&D operations. Another base camp was established at BO TUC (XT 3885) on 19 December 1967 when the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry and two batteries of the 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery were airlifted into fire support patrol base (FSPB), BEAUREGARD. During the early hours of 20 December 1967, NVA forces conducted a joint ground-mortar attack against FSPB BEAUREGARD which resulted in 40 KIA's (BC) to the enemy force.
The 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division airmobiled into SUOI TRE (XT 4169) in order to establish a base in its TAOI encompassing the central portion of War Zone “C”. No significant contacts were made before the 3rd Brigade was extracted to participate in Operation CAMDEN.
After completion of CAMDEN, the 3rd Brigade established FXPB BURT in the northern part of its TAOI at SUOI CUT (XT 5079) on 30 December 1967. During the New Years Truce (1-2 January 1968), NVA forces started the battle of SUOI CUT with a coordinated mortar attack on FSPB's BEAUREGARD and BURT. The mortar attack against FSPB BURT was followed by a massive ground attack by two NVA regiments. The NVA charge was repulsed resulting in approximately 400 KIA's by body count and nine prisoners of war (POW's).
Results of Operation YELLOWSTONE to date are: VC personnel losses - 907 KIA (BC) and 137 detainees. VC equipment losses - 134 individual weapons, 59 crew serve weapons, 25 pounds of documents, 42,645 SA rounds, 557.6 tons of rice, 249 mines, 7 radios, and 12 telephones.
(b) SARATOGA (8 December 1967 - Continuing). This operation's first phase ended on 31 January 1968 and corresponds with operation YELLOWSTONE and the last two months of the rice harvest. In conjunction with GVN forces and province officials, 25th Infantry Division (minus YELLOWSTONE forces) conducted operations in the TAOI portions of LONG AN, BINH DUONG, and HAU NNGHIA Provinces; to pacify 25th Infantry Division's TAOI in the provinces; to secure that portion of the allied base area in the Division TAOI: to prevent VC rice taxation, harvesting, or transportation within the Division TAOI; and to destroy VC/NVA forces within the Division TAOI> The execution of SARATOGA was principally effected by the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry.
During the month of December, 1967, the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division's Operation SARATOGA was restricted because of the holiday truces and operations ATLANTA and CAMDEN. In January the operation got into full swing. During the period of 4-10 January 1968, there were two significant contacts in the vicinity of AP AN HOA (XT 7416) with one contact resulting in 74 VC KIA (BC). Multi-battalion combat assaults, search and destroy missions, and joint operations with ARVN units were conducted in the vicinity of TRUNG BAP (XT 5921) between 11 January and the end of January. Rome Plow operations were conducted in the FILHOL PLANTAION and HOBO WOODS during January. Before moving the clearing operation from the FILHOL, a total of 4,325 acres had been cleared. By the end of January nearly 4,000 acres had been cleared in the HOBO. In conjunction with attacks on allied facilities in the SAIGON - TAN SON NHUT area during the period of 3-31 January 1968, the VC posed a threat to the 25th Infantry Division base camp at CU CHI, resulting in the 2nd Brigade encountering sizable VC forces east and south of the CU CHI Base Camp (XT 6515). During the first two months of SARATOGA, the kill ratio has been ten to one in favor of US forces.
(c) KOLEKOLE (13 May - 7 December 1967). This operation was a rainy season operation which took place in HAU NGHIA and TAY NINH Provinces. During this quarter, the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry division continued on KOLEKOLE. The mission of KOLEKOLE was to conduct offensive operations against VC units along the Oriental River from TAY NINH to DUC HOA; provide security for engineer activities; deny the VC use of lines of communications in the TAOI; and reinforce Vietnamese operations in the TAOI.
In November and December, 1967, the most significant activity of the 2nd Brigade in Operation KOLEKOLE was centered around security of the engineer operation of rebuilding route 10 from LOC THANH (XT4316) to BAO TRAI (XT 5204) and Rome Plow operations near THAI MY (XT 5415). Two of the 2nd Brigade's battalions were OPCON to the 1st Brigade in an operation near SONG BE (YU139074) during early November, and this accounted for the small amount of activity.
When KOLEKOLE ended on 7 December 1967, much of the operation's TAOI which was previously under South Vietnamese Government and US control remained “status quo” during this period of reduced ground mobility. Statistically, US casualties were 144 KIA, 14 died of wounds (DOW), and 876 WIA opposed to the VC losses of KIA (BC) 797, 150 PW, and 34 HOI CHANHS. The enemy also suffered the loss of supply caches and the interruption of lines of communications in the MY QUI (XT 3913) area.
(d) BARKING SANDS (18 May - 7 December 1967). This operation was a pacification and jungle clearing operation of the first Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in CU CHI and TRANG BANG Districts of HAU NGHIA Province and PHU HOA District of BINH DUONG Province. Numerous small unit actions, which included Bushmaster (extensive company size patrols), C&S of suspected VC hamlets, Roadrunners (mine sweeping of roads) and checkmate (road blocks in unannounced locations to check for VC personnel or supplies being moved by surface transportation), enabled the brigade to reduce VC capability to move freely. In addition, S&D missions employing airmobile combat assaults into the IRON TRIANGLE were conducted when intelligence reports located VC units in the area.
Artillery support for Operation BARKING SANDS envisioned many new concepts which proved to be highly successful in a jungle war against guerilla forces. BARKING SANDS, as never before, utilized the concept of airlift of light artillery batteries to exploit important intelligence data. Further, it was in Operation BARKING SANDS that the concept of a minimum of one artillery battalion equivalent would be used to support any maneuver force larger than a platoon. The results of these new ideas were a greater kill ratio per artillery round fired and most certainly added a confusion factor to the enemy as to the size force which was opposing him.
Jungle clearing operations were continued in the FILHOL PLANTATION in BINH DUONG Province as Operation KUNIA which had begun on 16 September as a jungle clearing operation in the HOBO WOODS. “Roadrunners” were conducted between PHU HOA DONG (XT 7119) and CU CHI Base Camp in order to keep the line of communications open. Contact with the enemy was very light during this operation which was part of Operation BARKING SANDS. The objective of Operation KUNIA was to eliminate the HOBO WOODS and the FILHOL PLANTATION as safe havens for the VC through extensive clearing and destruction of VC base camps and forces.
KAWELA, AKUMU, AND WAIMEA are other operations which were conducted as part of BARKING SANDS, but were completed before this reporting period. Overall, BARKING SANDS had a kill ratio of 1/2.77 in favor of US forces.
(e) DIAMOND HEAD (18 May - 7 December 1967). This operation consisting of S&D operations and security missions was conducted by the 3rd Brigade from base camps at TAY NINH and DAU TIENG. Also, the 3rd Brigade had the mission to secure engineer repair work conducted on the road network in his area of operation (AO).
As the operation continued in November, the 3rd Brigade conducted S&D and C&S operations in the upper BOI LOI WOODS, BEN CUI PLANTATION and along the eastern bank of the SAIGON RIVER south of DAU TIENG. During the first part of November, operations were curtailed due to two battalions being OPCON to the other brigades. While conducting S&D operations near the MUSHROOM bend on the SAIGON RIVER during the period 24-25 November, the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry encountered a company size VC force resulting in a VC body count of 20 plus another 25 more possible KIA's. Contact with enemy forces was light during the remainder of November with December contact being very similar.
Results of Operation DIAMOND HEAD were: Personnel losses - 237 VC KIA (BC), 496 detainees, 4 HOI CHANHS; Material captured and destroyed - 103 individual weapons, 2 crew service weapons, 170 tons of rice, and 34,000 SA rounds.
(f) ATLANTA (18 November - 23 December 1967). This operation was conducted in the IRON TRIANGLE of BINH DUONG Province in order to destroy the VC haven which had not seen any friendly operations since the termination of CEDAR FALLS in January, 1967. Enemy contact was made during the early stages of the operation in the southwestern sector of the IRON TRIANGLE where the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division had airmobile assaulted some of their units and other elements with the Rome Plows moved by land. The majority of the contacts consisted of mechanized Infantry attacks of fortified enemy positions from which the enemy initially fought fiercely and then departed. The repeated discovery of documents as well as the discover of 178.5 tons of rice in the AN THUAN and PHU AN (XT 7222) areas indicated a transfer of large quantities of rice from PHU HO DONG village (XT7120) to storage areas within the IRON TRIANGLE. With the assistance from a BEN CAT District Popular Force unit, the location, exploitation, and subsequent destruction of approximately 10,000 meters of interconnecting tunnels was accomplished. During ATLANTA, Rome Plows cleared a total of 10,995 acres in the IRON TRIANGLE.
The 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division conducted an airmobile combat assault of one battalion into the southeastern portion of the TRAPEZOID to support operation ATLANTA. From 18 November to 25 November, this battalion conducted S&D operations to interdict and deny VC use of lines of communications from the IRON TRIANGLE.
From an intelligence standpoint, operation ATLANTA was a great success. The location and destruction of a large percentage of the major tunnel complexes along with the extensive land clearing by the Rome Plows will hamper the enemies' ability to move and live in the TRIANGLE. ATLANTA should affect the VC's operations in the PHU HOA DONG area for some time.
(g) CAMDEN (17 December - 31 December 1967). This operation was conducted by the 2nd and 3rd Brigades, 25th Infantry Division, in HAU NGHIA, TAY NINH, and BINH DUONG Provinces to locate and destroy the 101st North Vietnamese Army (NVA) Regiment which was reported to be located in the HOBO - BOI LOI WOODS and TRAPEZOID areas. The unexpected presence of a main force unit operating near CU CHI is partially explained by the fact that a rich rice harvest was in progress and the 101st NVA Regiment was present to secure and oversee the transportation of the rice to the North. Numerous small unit actions, which included armor-infantry S&D operations, combined reconnaissance intelligence platoon (CRIP), aerial combat assaults on Landing Zones (LZ's) based on intelligence reports, and multi-battalion airmobile combat assaults were conducted during CAMDEN. The 3rd Brigade, who was operating in the TRAPEZOID area, used mostly company size airmobile combat assaults for interdictory purposes to stop the VC forces exfiltrating in front of the mechanized infantry S&D operations. The 2nd Brigade operating in the HOBO - BOI LOI WOODS, used tank-infantry teams and multi-battalion airmobile combat assaults for S&D operations. VC losses in personnel were 109 KIA (BC) and 4 POW's. The VC also suffered the destruction of several base camp areas and the loss of nearly 33 tons of rice. US forces experienced 27 KIA, 1 died of wounds (DOW) and 118 WIA. Also noteworthy was the massing of combat power from operation YELLOWSTONE for this operation when the 3rd Brigade and several artillery batteries joined with the 2nd Brigade for operation CAMDEN.
b. Artillery Support. During the quarter, Division Artillery fired 51,557 rounds in support and 26,002 rounds for Harassment and Interdiction (H&I) missions. Included in the totals were rounds fired in support of ARVN operations and/or ARVN outposts under attack.
c. Air Support. There were 2,954 sorties during the quarter in support of 1,361 missions with the following results: 52 VC Killed by Air Force (KBAF) (BC), 234 VC KBAF (poss). In addition, 168 VC structures, 1,795 bunkers, 3 sampans, 1 oxcart, 1 bridge, 2 caches, 1 truck, and 5 tunnels were destroyed. There were 44 secondary explosions and 47 secondary fires. There were 32 B-52 strikes in 201 sorties flown in support of combat operations.
d. Army Aviation. There were 18,313 sorties, 3,217 combat missions, 8,933 hours flown, and 32,592 passengers carried. The armed helicopter section expended 1,036,040 rounds of 7.62mm machine gun ammunition, 890 rounds of 5.62mm rifle ammunition, 14,142 rounds of 40mm grenades, and 4,075 aerial rockets in support of combat operations. These missions resulted in the destruction of 17 structures, 22 sampans, 49 VC Killed by Army Aviation (KBAA) (BC), and 106 VC KBAA (poss).
(1) VC Activity
(a) General: During November and December, VC efforts consisted primarily of efforts to delay allied clearing operations, counter sweep operations, and harassing activities along Main Supply Routes (MSR) and vicinity of base camps and field locations. During the last month of the reporting period, VC offensive activity increased. This increased activity was a result of the VC Winter - Spring campaign which began approximately 1 January 68.
(b) VC Tactics: VC activity during November was directed at countering allied sweep operations in HAU NGHIA, Southern TAY NINH and Western BINH DUONG Provinces. In December, simultaneous with the beginning of Operation YELLOWSTONE, counter-sweep operations were conducted primarily in War Zone “C”. At the beginning of January, the VC reverted from a defensive to an offensive posture, with the most notable attacks those at FSB Burt on 1-2 January and the attacks in the SAIGON area on 31 January. In addition to the ground attacks, there was a notable increase in attacks by fire. These attacks, beginning immediately after YELLOWSTONE was initiated, were directed at Base Camps and field CP's. 122mm rockets were employed on several occasions in attacks at KATUM, DAU TIENG, and CU CHI Base Camps.
(2) Significant Contacts.
(a) On 20 December at 0140 the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry received an attack of approximately 250 rounds of 60mm and 82mm mortar fire and an unknown number of small arms at FSPB BEAUREGARD (XT3885). They returned fire with small arms, automatic weapons, artillery, light fire teams, and air strikes. Documents captured indicated that elements of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 141st NVA Regiment conducted the attack. Results: 6 US KIA and 22 US WIA. VC losses were 40 VC KIA (BC), 33 VC KIA (poss). Also 15 AK-47 rifles, 4 Russian machine guns, 1 CHI COM rifle, 1 RPG-2 launcher, 1 RPG-7 launcher, 1 M-1 rifle, 1 unknown light machine gun, 2 9mm pistols, and 1 PRC-10 radio.
(b) At 2334 on 1 January 1968, elements of the 271st and 272nd VC Regiments initiated an all-out assault on the 3rd Brigade's FSFB, Burt, vicinity XT499806. Contact lasted until 0530 the next morning. Results: 21 US KIA and 152 US WIA. VC losses were 355 KIA (BC), 5 VC PW's, 75 AK-47 rifles, 16 RPG-2 and 12 RPG-7 launchers, 11 CHI COM LMG, 1 caliber .45 pistol, and scores of ammunition destroyed.
(c) On 29 January at 1625, just prior to the start of the 1968 TET Holiday Truce period, the Aero Rifles from Troop D, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry vicinity XT 954305 came into heavy contact with an estimated BC Bn force consisting of a recon unit from 272nd NVA Regiment and possibly elements from the local main force Battalions. Fire was returned with all available organic weapons, artillery, LFT, and Spooky. The 2nd Battalion, 27 Infantry conducted a night combat assault to reinforce the Aero Rifles. Results: 9 US KIA and 14 US WIA. VC losses: 64 VC KIA (BC), 1 VC PO WIA, 4 AK-47 rifles, one 82mm mortar tube, and 1 RPG-2 rocket launcher.
(d) On 31 January, the VC launched a large scale offensive in the SAIGON area. Troops B and C of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry while moving to reinforce the Capital Military District area vicinity XS 90950 came into heavy contact with elements of the D-14 and the D-16 VC Battalions at 0708 hours. After an all day fight, contact was broken at 1530 hours. Results: 15 US KIA, 23 US WIA, 3 APC's and 1 tank destroyed. VC losses: 162 VC KIA (BC), 24 VC PW's, and numerous weapons, web gear, and documents.
(3) Conclusion: The tactics employed by the VC during the first two months of the reporting period were devised to delay the US sweep and clearing operations. Tactics during January were employed to complement the Winter-Spring Campaign. The large number of attacks by fire are believed to have been conducted to cover the movement of VC forces to the SAIGON area and to cause as many casualties and as much damage as possible. By creating a threat on Base Camps, the VC hoped to restrict allied reinforcing capabilities to the populated areas and political installations where their man ground efforts were directed.
(1) Class I Supply - (25th Supply and Transport Battalion)
“A” Rations “C” Rations
1 Stockage objective CU CHI 5 10
(days) DAU TIENG 5 10
2 On Hand (days) CU CHI 3 10
DAU TIENG 4 12.5
(b) Fresh fruits and vegetables were received from Class I Issue Point SAIGON.
(c) Ice Cream:
1 Cycle of issue - three times a week.
2 Gallons per week from SAIGON - 1,950
3 Gallons per week from CU CHI - 329
4 Gallons per week from DAU TIENG - 450
(d) Average amount of ice issued daily:
1 Potable - CU CHI - 120,000
- DAU TIENG - 25,000
2 Non-potable - None
(2) Class II & IV (29th Supply & Transport Battalion)
(a) Additions to ASL during quarter - CU CHI - 158
- DAU TIENG - 0
(b) Total lines on ASL - CU CHI - 1,437
- DAU TIENG - 153
(3) Class III (25th Supply & Transport Battalion)
(a) MOGAS (gals) CU CHI 10,022 902,009
DAU TIENG 4,493 361,200
(b) Diesel (gals) CU CHI 19,375 1,743,580
DAU TIENG 12,664 591,805
(c) JP/4 (gals) CU CHI 1,420 127,775
DAU TIENG 760 62,700
(a) Contract Laundry - CU CHI - 8,187 bundles
DAU TIENG - 590-485 bundles
(b) QM bath units:
1 Total showers - CU CHI 18,078
Daily average - CU CHI 213
2 Total showers - DAU TIENG 7,900
Daily average - DAU TIENG 263
3 Total showers - Field CU CHI 5,101
Daily average - Field CU CHI 60
4 Total showers - Field DAU TIENG 7,640
Daily average - Field DAU TIENG 86
5 Total showers for quarter 38,719
Daily average 311
(c) Graves Registration:
Deceased US personnel processed during the quarter - CU CHI - 180; DAU TIENG - 61
Deceased RVN personnel processed during the quarter - CU CHI - 68, DAU TIENG - 61
(d) Division water resupply - average daily to CU CHI base camp users - 36,000 gals.
(e) DUC HOA Helicopter Rearm/Refuel Facility - 25th S&T Battalion has completed all construction at facility. Refuel point consists of 5 refueling points for JP-4, tank storage capacity 30,000 gals. AVGAS storage facility consists of M-49C Tanker and collapsible pods with capacity of 2,200 gals. Bunker and protected storage facilities are complete for storage and issue of ammunition and pyrotechnics.
1 TAY NINH - Facility consists of steel storage tanks for 252,000 gals of JP-4 and 20,000 gals of AVGAS with 16 operational refuel points. Berms and bunkers are built for storage and issue of ammunition and pyrotechnics.
2 DAU TIENG - Facility has 24 operational refueling points with JP-4 capacity of 70,000 gals and AVAGAS with capacity of 12,000 gals. Bunkers and berms are provided for storage and issue of ammunition and pyrotechnics.
3 KATUM - Facility opened for operation YELLOWSTONE for providing ammunition and pyrotechnics for operation in the area. Bunkers have been built for protection.
(a) Mileage driven:
1 Total - CU CHI 193,000
- DAU TIENG 83,599
2 Average daily - CU CHI 2,098
- DAU TIENG 925
(b) Tonnage moved:
1 Total - CU CHI 9,500
2 Average daily - CU CHI 103.3
- DAU TIENG 64.9
(c) Troops moved by convoy:
1 Total - CU CHI 11,500
- DAU TIENG 220
2 Average daily - CU CHI 125
- DAU TIENG 2.3
(d) Troops moved locally (replacement)
1 Total - CU CHI 18,400
2 Average daily - CU CHI 200.3
(e) Troops hauled (pass truck - CU CHI)
1 Total - 5,000
2 Average daily - 54.3
(6) Operation YELLOWSTONE
During Operation YELLOWSTONE the 25th S & T Battalion was tasked with the mission of providing both personnel and equipment to assist in the timely flow of supplies and equipment through the four established DISCOM Forward Elements.
DISCOM Forward, TAY NINH was under the command of the Battalion S-3, Major Malo. This was the focal point for supply activities for the entire operation.
DISCOM Forward, KATUM under the command of the Battalion XO, Major Pinkston, initially was responsible for the close monitoring and coordination of requisitions submitted and supplies handled through the 1st Logistical Command FSA. This facility was the most forward supply point for all operations in War Zone C. All classes of supplies were handled with initial resupply convoys augmenting the aircraft resupply effort. It was the function of the 25th S & T Bn personnel to insure that these resupply efforts were expeditiously handled and prompt discharge performed. In addition, continuous liaison was effected and up to date records and status reports were maintained on all supply actions.
The 25th S&T Company (Provisional) at DAU TIENG, under the operational control of DISCOM Forward, DAU TIENG, was responsible for the close and continuous processing of requisitions and providing all supplies and services requested by units operating in its area of responsibility.
DISCOM Forward, SOUI DAU included an FSE organized, manned, stocked, and operated by the 25th S&T Bn in conjunction with Operation YELLOWSTONE. Complete storage facilities were established for all classes of supplies, MHE service provided, refrigerated storage and van service provided for perishable Class I supplies and a bath point provided.
(a) The following jobs were completed by the 725th Maintenance Battalion during the reporting period.
ITEM NOV DEC JAN TOTAL
Wheel Vehicles 273 319 300 892
Track Vehicles 137 130 157 424
Small Arms 989 719 717 2,425
Artillery 161 136 141 438
Chemical 269 123 76 468
Refrigeration 22 26 40 88
Engineer 237 181 212 630
Signal 3,122 2,149 2,305 7,576
Fire Control 289 183 176 648
Office Machines 100 158 176 648
Aircraft 247 227 268 742
Total 5,846 4,351 4,567 14,764
(b) During this reporting period, the maintenance and supply mission of this battalion has been influenced by the following factors:
1 Repair parts availability
2 Geographical location (high temperature and dust).
3 Lack of sufficient maintenance at organizational level.
(8) Medical Support.
The 25th Medical Battalion supported Division units with medical service and supplies. Non-division units were support with medical supplies.
(a) Medical totals:
1 Patients seen - 11,913
a Disease - 8,399
b Non-battle injuries - 2,364
c IRHA - 1,450
2 Lab tests - 8,968
3 Immunizations - 5,555
4 Prescriptions filled - 7,938
(b) Dental patients seen - 9,186
1 Dental examinations - 7,916
2 Other (extractions, etc.) - 1,270
(c) Supply and Service
1 Line items issued - 6,629
2 Short tonnage total - 26.5
3 MED CAP line items issued - 1,525
4 Short tonnage total - 5.5
5 Bulk pharmacy items issued - 2,880
6 Eyeglasses ordered (pairs) - 455
7 Maintenance work orders received - 104
a Work orders completed - 84
b Work orders remaining at - 20 end of report period
(9) Transportation Office.
(a) Highway continues to be the primary mode of transportation for the resupply of CU CHI, TAY NINH, and DAU TIENG base camps. Following is a breakdown of regular resupply convoys operated in the division area:
1 CU CHI - SAIGON convoys
a Total Convoys - 182
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 9,025
d Number of vehicles involved in unit distribution
2 SAIGON/CU CHI - TAY NINH convoys
a Total convoys - 179
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 21,405
d Vehicles by unit
1st Log Comd 12,336
25th Div and attached units 10,222
3 TAY NINH - DAU TIENG convoys
a Total Convoys - 178
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 8,543
4 TAY NINH - KATUM convoys
a Total convoys - 48
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 4,091
5 TAY NINH - SUOI convoys
a Total convoys - 61
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 1,038
6 TAY NINH - HOC MON convoys
a Total convoys - 46
b Number of convoys per day - 1
c Total vehicles - 1,517
(b) Special airlift data for the quarter is as follows:
ACFT MISSIONS PRIORITIES SORTIES PAX CARGO (lbs)
C-130 2 TE 17 1,146 221,400
27 CE 175 2,782 3,577,933
14 I 21 60 405,839
C-123 1 ER 1 12,700
20 CE 133 1,318 1,358,169
46 I 60 1,466 310,126
C-7A 1 CE 1 4,034
90 I 643 15,467 376,469
(c) The Division Baggage Section steadily increased its volume of business this quarter due to the large number of rotating personnel. The section served 3,078 personnel and shipped 3,990 pieces of baggage weighing a total of 345,680 pounds.
(1) Personnel. During the past quarter the personnel posture of the Division has been good. The assigned strength dropped from 105% to 100% of authorized strength early in the quarter and remained at that level during most of the quarter. The shortage of Infantry Captains and NCO's continued to be a problem. In addition, there has been a shortage of engineer NCO's and a shortage in certain key maintenance areas. There was a critical shortage of artillerymen early in the quarter, but sufficient replacements have now been received and this no longer appears to be a problem area.
(2) Key Gains/Losses
(a) 1 Nov 67 - LTS Homer W. Keifer, Jr. assumed command of 3rd Bn, 13th Arty; LTC Thomas H. Ball transferred to II FFORCEV.
(b) 1 Nov 67 - LTC John M Henchman assumed command of 4th Bn, 9th Inf; LTC Thomas G. Banks appointed XO 1st Bde.
(c) 3 Nov 67 - LTC Billy J. Leathers assumed command of 7th Bn, 11th Arty LTC Alvin C. Hutchins transferred to MACV.
(d) 8 Nov 67 - LTC Alfred M. Bracy assumed command of 2nd Bn, 14th Inf; LTC James V. Ladd departed.
(e) 11 Nov 67 - LTC John G. Pappageorge appointed XO, 3rd Bde; LTC James F. Greer departed.
(f) 15 Nov 67 - BG Donnelly P. Bolton transferred to MACV.
(g) 15 Nov 67 - LTC Eldin D. Pulsipher appointed XO DISCOM; LTC Ted E. Gordiner departed.
(h) 30 Nov 67 - LTC Glenn H. Otis assumed command of 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav; LTC Richard R. Simpson appointed G-1; LTC John M. Shea departed.
(i) 4 Dec 67 - COL James R. Brownell assumed command of DISCOM; COL Leonard Daems assumed command of 3rd Bde; COL Kenneth E. Buell departed.
(j) 7 Dec 67 - LTC James B. Speer appointed Division Chemical Officer; LTC Noel L. Bergeron departed.
(k) 8 Dec 67 - LTC Ernest F. Condina assumed command of 1st Bn, 27th Inf; LTC David R. Hughes transferred to II FFORCEV.
(l) 10 Dec 67 - LTC Henry A. Flertzheim assumed command of 6th Engr Bn; LTC Avery S. Fullerton assumed command of 4th Bn, 23rd Inf; LTC Thomas A. Ware appointed XO 3rd Bde; LTC Richard C. Rogers departed.
(m) 10 Dec 67 - LTC William L. Albright assumed command of 2nd Bn, 77th Arty; LTC Allen T. Lindholm evacuated due to injury.
(n) 18 Dec 67 - LTC Chandler Goodnow appointed G3; COL Robert M. Ward departed.
(o) 20 Dec 67 - LTC Fremont B. Hodson assumed command of 1st Bde; COL Edwin H. Mark Jr. departed on emergency leave and remained in CONUS due to injury.
(p) 2 Jan 68 - LTC Henry B. Murphy, Jr. assumed command of 1st Bn, 5th Inf; LTC Jere W. Sharp appointed G4.
(q) 10 Jan 68 - LTC Clarence A. Riser appointed AG: LTC Robert S. Young departed.
(r) 15 Jan 68 - LTC Ranier S. Pakusch appointed Division Surgeon; LTC Hugh S. Wiley departed.
(s) 16 Jan 68 - LTC Elliot Schofield assumed command of 25th Bed Bn; MAJ John B. Leary departed.
(3) Post Exchanges within the Division area remained in operation. Following statistical data is furnished:
PX FLOOR SPACE STORAGE SPACE SALES
CU CHI 8,000 Sq. Ft. 14,841 Sq. Ft. $2,756,384.65
DAU TIENG 6,000 Sq. Ft. 2,500 Sq. Ft. $ 738,341.25
TAY NINH 5,000 Sq. Ft. 3,300 Sq. Ft. $ 809,989.77
(4) Strength as of 31 January 1968.
(a) Assigned Units OFF WO EM AOG
AUTH 1,044 13 5 15,894 17,023
ASGD 1,064 152 16,129 17,345
PDY 1,019 148 15,799 16,966
(b) Attached Units OFF WO EM AOG
AUTH 51 3 593 647
ASGD 46 3 567 616
PDY 43 3 551 597
(c) Losses (1 Nov 67 - 31 Jan 68)
OFF WO EM AOG
KHA/DOW 22 2 315 339
WHA 56 6 1197 1259
MHA 0 0 *5 *5
NBD 1 0 16 17
NBI 1 0 167 168
* All losses have been recovered but are awaiting positive identification before listing as KHA.
(6) Gains (1 Nov 67 - 31 Jan 68)
OFF WO EM AOG
353 32 4,845 5,230
(7) Provost Marshal Activities:
(a) Convoys. The 25th Military Police Company assumed the mission for escorting the CU CHI - TAY NINH Convoy from the 3/4 Cav on the 8th of November 1967. The unit's mission includes designating the timing, speed, density, order of march, and action during enemy attacks. The average number of vehicles in the convoy each day during the reporting period was one hundred and thirty-five (135).
(b) Joint Police Patrols. DAU TIENG Patrols were initiated on 6 November 1967 and TAY NINH Patrols were established on 23 November 1967. Joint Molbile Checkpoints consist of U.S. Military Police, ARVN QUAN CANH, and GVN National Police organized for the purpose of controlling population and resources and:
1 Conduct thorough searches of persons and vehicles to interdict VC movement of personnel and supplies.
2 Control traffic to reduce accidents and expedite the flow of traffic.
3 Render whatever services possible to promote the health and welfare of the people.
(c) Operation YELLOWSTONE. One Military Police platoon (-1) was attached to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Two squads of the security platoon were attached to the 25th Inf Div, HHC to provide security for Div Hqs at the Division Forward in DAU TIENG.
h. Revolutionary Development Support.
(1) Six additional Revolutionary Development (RD) teams became operational in TAY NINH Province, bringing the total operation there to 18. Projected goal in 1968 is to have 25 teams operating in TAY NINH Province. The teams, as they develop an area, are leaving a skeleton 4-5 man rear detachment in each of the villages/hamlets to insure that the area does not deteriorate in the teams' absence. Seven teams are now working in HAU NHGIA Province, an increase of one since last quarter. Additionally, six civil/military teams have been formed from RF/PF, National Police, Youth and sports personnel, District/Village/Hamlet officials and HOI CHANK. These teams appear to be successful in augmenting the RD program. The one RD team in PHU HOA District of BINH DUONG Province continues to work in the PHU HOA DONG area.
(2) The National Priority area has been enlarged as a part of the 1968 RD plan. The area now includes all populated areas in the TAOI.
i. Civic Action
(1) For the Division's Dry Season Campaign (DRYSECAP), Civic Action (CA) areas of responsibility were modified. The 1st Bde of the Division moved permanently from CU CHI Base Camp (XT 6515) to TAY NINH West (XT 1752). To assure continuity, CA platoons were realigned to permit them to remain in the area in which they had been operating. The 1st Bde was assigned civic action responsibility for PHU KHUONG and PHOC NINH Districts, TAY NINH Province. The 3rd Bde continues to work in TRI TAN District, BINH DUONG Province and KHEIM HANH District, TAY NINH Province.
The 2nd Brigade works in HIEU THIEU District, TAY NINH Province and in DUC HUE and DUC HOA Districts in HAU NGHIA Province. Div Arty continues to work in TRANG BANG District, HAU NGHIA Province and DISCOM in CU CHI District, HAU NGHIA Province, and PHU HOA District, BINH DUONG Province. A portion of GIA DINH Province was added to the Division's TAOI on 15 December 1967. It included a part of BINH CHAN and TAN BINH Districts and all of HOC MON and GO VAP Districts. The only civic action conducted in this area by the Division in the past has been support of the 25th ARVN Division dependents in HOC MON. Several other units are conducting civic action in this area and Division civic action responsibilities and relationships with the units conducting civic action in the area are pending clarification by II FFORCEV.
(2) A new high was reached in the number of civic action projects conducted with 431 completed in the last quarter. During the reporting period, many Christmas, New Year and TET activities were conducted with emphasis on winning support for the GVN and goodwill for US Forces. Over 2,425 pounds of candy and 15,885 toys were distributed to 19,635 children during the Christmas-New Year and TET holiday seasons. A total of 302,293$VN from private voluntary contributions, civic action funds, and private association funds was expended in support of these activities.
(3) There were 520 MEDCAPS during the last quarter, the highest number of MEDCAPS ever conducted by the Division and an increase of 256 MEDCAPS over the same period in 1966-1967. During the reporting period, MEDCAPS were conducted at 75 different locations throughout the TAOI. Medical treatment on a regularly scheduled basis was provided at 33 different locations. An inoculation program was instituted in association with MEDCAPS and 2400 children and 1900 adults received smallpox and cholera inoculations during the period. These inoculations were combined efforts by Division medical personnel and District medical teams.
(4) MEDCAPS treated 72,000 patients during the reporting period. 27,894 were treated during the month of January. This is the greatest number of patients treated during any single month since the Division has been in RVN.
(5) Division elements captured 600 tons of rice during the quarter. About 200 tons of this rice was evacuated for use in civic action projects. Approximately 100 tons of rice was given to Province Chief, TAY NINH Province. Care in distribution is exercised to avoid disruption of the local rice market. A total of 10 tons of this rice was donated to orphanages in SAIGON by Division units.
(6) Commodities continue to be supplied by CRS, USAID, and CARE. The CA AIK fund is increasing in importance. Commodities brought to RVN as a part of the Helping Hand Project are nearly exhausted and there are no provisions for replenishment. There will be increased reliance on the CA AIK Fund for CA supplies and commodities in the future.
(7) Assistance was provided to VN civilians and military dependents immediately following the VC attack on BAO TRAI, HAU NGHIA Province on 7 and 9 January 1968. Approximately 700 people were homeless as a result of the attack. Quick reaction by Civil Affairs personnel helped to meet the immediate needs of the people. 211 family and individual refugee kits containing sleeping mats, pots and pans, chop sticks, rice, and soup base were provided by the Division. Additionally, 4 tons of rice and 26 boxes of clothing were supplied.
j. Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).
(1) PSYOP activities were primarily in support of combat operations in HAU NGHIA, TAY NINH, and BINH DUONG Provinces.
(2) A total of 65,260,100 leaflets were airdropped and hand disseminated throughout the division's TAOI. 37 leaflets were originated by G5 PSYOPS and S5's of the Division brigades. The leaflets were produced locally or by the 6th PSYOP Battalion.
(3) Aerial loudspeaker broadcasts conducted during the quarter totaled 280 hours of broadcast time and ground loudspeaker time totaled 72 hours. Three 1,000 watt loudspeaker sets and 3 tape recorders were received by the Division in December. Each 1,000 watt set consist of:
4 amplifiers (250 watts)
4 control boxes
A 500 watt loudspeaker set was issued to each brigade and the Division Cavalry squadron for aerial and ground loudspeaker operations. One tape recorder was issued to the 1st Bde and one to the 3rd Bde. These sets are designed to be mounted on vehicles or the H-23 aircraft. G5 has a 1,000 watt set which can be mounted on a UH-1D/H.
(4) During the month of November 1967, an HE (Audio Visual) team (US) from the 6th PSYOP Bn was placed in support of the 25th Infantry Division. This team consists of one officer, one NCO, and a Jeepster equipped with a movie projector. They conduct PSYOPS by aerial and hand dissemination of leaflets, aerial and ground loudspeaker broadcasts, and showing of educational and propaganda films. The team is presently supporting the 2nd Brigade's Operation SARATOGA.
(5) During the quarter, the 246th PSYOP C o, supporting the III Corps area and the primary source of PSYOP support for the Division, was re-designated as the 6th PSYOP Bn. Its parent unit, which was the 6th PSYOP Bn has been re-designated as the 4th PSYOP Group. More PSYOP field teams from the 6th PSYOP Bn are expected to be made available to support this Division within 4-6 months as a result of the reorganization.
(6) CHIEU HOI program: During the months of November and December, the Division concentrated its effort on hard core VC and NVA units in War Zone “C”. During the quarter, 119 HOI CHANH rallied in the Division's TAOI. A drop in the number of returnees is occurring throughout the III Corps area.
(a) The 25th Infantry Division has authorized and assigned the following Army Medical Service Officers:
Medical Corps 37 37
Medical Service Corps 31 29
Dental Corps 4 3
The authorization for Medical Corps Officers has been reduced by seven (from an initial forty-four to the presently authorized thirty-seven). This reduction was effected under the provisions of unclassified message, AVHSU 64171, Headquarters, United States Army Vietnam, 18 September, 1967, Subject: Medical Service. In summary, this message reduced one Medical Corps Officer space in the Clearing Platoon of each Medical Company of the division's Medical Battalion. The three brigade surgeons were also eliminated by this message. Staff medical advice to the brigade commander is to be furnished by the medical company commander in support of this brigade.
(b) During this quarter, the Division Surgeon's Office has been up to full strength with the exception of the Division Aviation Medical Officer. The Preventive Medicine Specialist previously attached to this section was lost through normal attrition (DEROS). He is not to be replaced. A veterinarian and two enlisted veterinarian specialists are attached to HHC, 25th Infantry Division. They perform their duties under the general and technical supervision of the Division Surgeon. The Veterinarian and his enlisted staff provide immunization of pets of the Division, inspect meat and food supplies, perform Veterinary Civic Action Program (VETCAP) missions, detain animals suspected of rabies, and perform other various and sundry duties dictated by operations within the 25th Infantry Division's Tactical Area of Operations.
(2) Equipment. The reduction of Division level ground ambulances and associated personnel spaces has not yet been reduced fifty percent (50%) as outlined in the message mentioned in paragraph 1K (1) (a) above. The medical units of the Division are not in lack of any of their vital equipment. No medical equipment shortages have been reported to this office during the last quarter.
(a) Field Sanitation. In November 1967, an eight (8) hour block of instruction was given to Field Sanitation Teams of the Division's units. The instruction was presented by representatives from the 20th Preventive Medicine Unit headquartered at Bien Hoa. Areas covered in this instruction were:
Insect and rodent control
Insect borne diseases
(b) Cross Training. Cross training has continued to be stressed within the Office of the Division Surgeon. Special emphasis has been given to training all individuals in medical records and reports and the correct reporting procedures to higher and adjacent headquarters.
l. Signal. See separate ORLL from Signal Battalion, attached as Appendix II.
(1) During the period of November, December 1967 and January 1968, the following number of personnel attended the division schools listed below:
Replacement Training 5500 Generator Maintenance 60
Mines and Booby Trap 5500 Mess Management 50
Demolitions and Explosives 5500 Tunnel Destruction 60
Combat Leaders Course 511 MCID Operator 8
Small Arms Inspection 50 AN/PRC-74 Operator/
(2) Instruction was also given at non-divisional schools during the reporting period to the following personnel:
COURSE TITLE INSTRUCTOR NUMBER ATTENDED
Airframe Maintenance, UH-1B, C 765th Trans Bn 6
Airframe Maintenance, UH-1D 765th Trans Bn 5
Airframe Maintenance, OH-6A 765th Trans Bn 3
Turbine Engine Maint, T-53 765th Trans Bn 2
Turbine Engine Maint, T-53-L-13 765th Trans Bn 1
Engine Maintenance, T-63 765th Trans Bn 1
Avionics Communications Supply 765th Trans Bn 2
LOH (OH-6A) AC Pilot Transition 765th Trans Bn 6
AN/PPS-5 Radar Operator Cadre US Army Spt Comd 11
AN/PPS-5 Radar DS/GS Maintenance US Army Spt Comd 3
MCID DS/GS Maintenance US Army Spt Comd 2
AN/TSQ-43 TIIF Maintenance 1st MI Bn (ARS) 1
XM-27LL Armament Maintenance 765th Trans Bn 3
Key Telephone System Maintenance 1st Signal Bn 4
GH-6A Turbine Engine Maintenance 765th Trans Bn 3
Jungle Environmental Survival Crs Fleet Elect Trng 4
JUSPAO Orientation Course MACV 1
2. (C) Commanders Observations and Recommendations.
a. Observations (Lessons Learned)
ITEM: Identification of Individual Soldiers.
DISCUSSION: Recently a soldier who had died from hostile action arrived at the rear clearing station and could not be identified until dental records were produced and a check made.
OBSERVATIONS: To preclude the above happening, three measures should be taken:
Replacement of lost ID Tags and ID Card would be instituted at Brigade level for speedy replacement.
Individual boots should be marked as per regulation to aid in identification.
Have frequent checks of these items to insure compliance.
ITEM: Awards for Valor.
DISCUSSION: In the past, recommendations for awards for valor have been submitted by persons other than the senior eyewitness, thereby causing additional clerical work and wasted time because of the need for an eyewitness statement.
OBSERVATION: Much time and energy could be saved in the processing of recommendations for awards for valor if the senior eyewitness made the initial recommendation. This would eliminate the extra clerical work of securing an eyewitness report. It is suggested that recommendations still be processed through the Company Commander who can informally attach an Approval/Disapproval to the recommendation for the information of the Battalion Commander.
DISCUSSION: Some difficulty has been encountered when new replacements are received by this unit. Replacements normally arrive on convoy or by fixed wing aircraft from replacement company in CU CHI. In most cases, no one is in charge and many times there is some difficulty in determining the number of replacements for the unit. Often promotion orders are not placed in finance records, therefore payday becomes a complaint period for the unit personnel officer. Distribution of assignment orders to the receiving unit is often slow, and many times non-existent, resulting in late morning report entries and poor accounting for personnel.
OBSERVATION: That the senior replacement be designated as group leader prior to departure from the replacement company. One copy of promotion orders and one copy of assignment orders for each replacement placed in an envelope addressed to the receiving unit and delivered by the group leader to the adjutant would alleviate this problem.
ITEM: The use of Marijuana is hazardous to the health of the Troops.
DISCUSSION: There is reason to believe that the Vietcong may be behind the program to increase the use of marijuana. For example, it is known that up to three “Sticks” are routinely made available, free to US soldiers in some areas. This encourages experimental trial, usage, and endangers both the health and security of our forces.
OBSERVATION: Use of marijuana decreases to some extent alertness, caution, and the ability to detect and respond to sudden danger. Experimental trial of marijuana frequently results in repeated use. “Relaxing” with the use of marijuana can be the first step toward the use of even more potent drugs which have markedly dangerous psychological and physical dependence and complete ruination of the individual. Other diseases such as venereal disease are probably prevalent in the establishments where marijuana is processed and used. The product itself may be dirty. The lack of caution, sharing of a “butt”, etc, can give rise to disease.
ITEM: Troops in the field should be alert to the possibility of parathion (insecticide containing toxins which are harmful to man) being used in the rice paddies and other cultivated agricultural area.
DISCUSSION: Parathion is used in Vietnam as an insecticide, especially in rice paddies. Poisoning may result from agricultural products heavily contaminated by parathion in the following ways: Through the skin, the mucous membranes, the gastrointestinal tract, and the lungs. Toxic signs and symptoms are mainly confined to the effects of the insecticide upon: The eyes, intestines, muscles, lungs, and nervous system.
OBSERVATION: The best treatment and the most effective is the immediate injection of atropine since parathion is akin to nerve gas. The patient is to be considered a medical emergency and must have the care of a medical doctor without delay.
ITEM: Malaria prophylaxis is still very important even in dry season operations.
DISCUSSION: Even though the dry season has begun and water is scarce for the breeding of mosquitoes, malaria prophylaxis has to be continued. As operations expand into the northern regions of the 25th Infantry Division's Tactical Area of Operations, the daily use of dapsone tablets has become necessary in order to protect the troops from falciparum malaria. The weekly use of chloroquine-primaquine tablets are still necessarily taken to prevent vivar malaria.
OBSERVATION: Personal preventive measures must be constantly reemphasized by the surgeon and his commander. Sleeves should be rolled down at night and the tropical head unit should be used properly. Use of insect repellants, insecticide sprays, and the mosquito net will be advantageous.
ITEM: Dermatologic disorders of the feet continue to provide a great number of sick calls and produce considerable non-effectiveness
DISCUSSION: The rotational system of stocking drying developed during the Korean Conflict can be used to great advantage in Vietnam. An extra pair of stockings is used so that one pair may be rotated as needed, being strapped onto one's steel helmet, exposed to sun and air, where they may quickly dry.
OBSERVATION: The rotational system commented on above has been observed in the field here in Vietnam and has been found to be extremely effective. If the stockings are changed daily while in the field and the feet kept as dry as possible, many foot problems will be alleviated.
ITEM: Patients evacuated from the field should be treated as pre-operative in some cases.
DISCUSSION: Many patients whose condition dictates surgical procedures have been arriving at Evacuation, Surgical, and Field Hospitals after being given meals and oral liquids just prior to evacuation. Obviously, feeding a patient precludes any surgical procedure requiring a general anesthetic.
OBSERVATION: The above condition has not been reported in this command. All Army Medical Service personnel within the command have been notified to treat all patients being evacuated for surgical procedures be treated as “Pre-Op”.
ITEM: Air Support for Combat Assaults.
DISCUSSION: It was determined after using TAC as an LZ prep many times, that an LZ cap was more effective, especially when used in conjunction with an LZ unprepped by artillery. On a number of operations, a false LZ was prepped. This proved to be effective in establishing contact.
OBSERVATION: LZ air caps should be used as a method of increasing the chance of contact with the enemy. The FAC, however, must not arrive above the LZ prior to LZ time so as not to give the location of the LZ away.
ITEM: Destruction of Rice.
DISCUSSION: On several occasions, caches of rice were discovered that were not able to be evacuated. The problem arose as to how this rice could effectively be destroyed.
OBSERVATION: It was found that by soaking the rice with diesel fuel, inserting Bangalore torpedos into the rice and blowing it was effective. To insure that all the rice was denied use by the enemy, 55 gal drums of CS agent with detonation devices were dropped from helicopters on the rice.
ITEM: Use of Tracker Dog Teams.
DISCUSSION: The several instances tracker dog teams were used effectively in conjunction with road sweep teams to locate trails used by VC mine laying teams.
OBSERVATION: Tracker dog teams can be used effectively in road sweep operations to detect mine laying activity. They can also be used to react immediately in locating VC setting off command detonated mines.
ITEM: Employment of Bushmasters.
DISCUSSION: On several occasions, Bushmasters were used as a stay behind after a Recon-Inforce operation. The Bushmaster was sent to their overnight location after the two other companies had searched the area and had begun to withdraw.
OBSERVATION: This technique can be used effectively in placing stay behind forces. It provides for more rest for those staying on location and can add the element of surprise.
ITEM: Employment of Aero-Scout Section (Light) as a Team.
DISCUSSION: Employment of the Aero-Scout Section as a team has been found necessary to assure that all elements of that section have constant cover and improved communications.
OBSERVATION: The wing man should always keep the lead ship in sight. The lead ship should, at regular intervals, check the location of the trail ship and should notify the wing man of any sudden turns in orders to allow the trail ship to adjust its route of flight to give constant cover to the lead ship. The high ship should adjust is flight path to facilitate constant visual contact and cover for the low ship. It should also be prepared to relay the position of the team and any radio calls to the trail ship. The low ship should notify the high ship of any sudden changes of course to allow the high ship to adjust his flight pattern to provide cover.
ITEM: Precautions of the Aero Scout Section (Light) for Artillery and Following Flights.
DISCUSSION: Regular communications with artillery elements and following flight elements of the Aero Scout Section (Light) is necessary to prevent accidents resulting from a lack of co-ordination.
OBSERVATION: The lead ship should make regular checks of artillery fire warning nets at least every thirty minutes, even if operating in the same area. Artillery clearance should be obtained prior to entering any new control sector. The lead ship should maintain constant flight following, rendering position reports every thirty minutes. The team leader should inform the flight following of each landing, estimation of ground time, and each takeoff.
ITEM: Aero Scout Section (Light) Receiving Fire.
DISCUSSION: Certain action has proven effective in aiding the Aero Scout Section (Light) in returning more accurate fire upon enemy positions and also minimize the hazards of such an assault.
OBSERVATION: When either ship receives fire, smoke should be thrown immediately. The ship receiving fire should inform his wing man at once of the fire and his method of disengagement from the target, also the origin of fire, location of fire from smoke marker, and volume and caliber of fire should be reported. If the tactical situation permits, a high recon should always be made prior to both ships going low-level into an area. The wing man should never follow the same path over the ground as the lead ship, but should maintain a position from the lead ship that will allow constant coverage with either skip or door gun. When on low level, a crew member in each ship should have a smoke grenade ready at all times to mark targets and to mark reference locations of ground fire. The flight following should be notified as soon as possible, relating as much pertinent information as the situation permits. A full report of an incident should be made as soon as possible. No ship should engage a target without cover from his wing man and no ship should over-fly the target. Extreme caution should be exercised when flying the same route on standard missions because the Viet Cong have been known to take note of such repetition and set up ambushes. Caution should always be used when engaging an easy target because it could be a trap. When receiving fire from one area, do not let your attention become fixed on this area as an adjacent area may contain the more heavily defended emplacements.
ITEM: Dust Off Lighting of Aero Rifle Platoon.
DISCUSSION: A more rapid method for identification and approach of a dust off LZ has been found effective by the Aero Rifle Platoon.
OBSERVATION: An LZ marked with two lights, one flashlight with a red lens cover and a white strobe light, can provide a more rapid method for identification and approach of a Dust Off LZ. The strobe provides a rapid means of identification while the approach is made to the red light.
ITEM: Employment of Aero Rifle Platoon on Search and Destroy.
DISCUSSION: US Troops are frequently called to react to areas where aircraft have received fire and, after sweeping, report that nothing was found. Recent operations, however, by the D Troop Aero Rifles Platoon has shown that many supposedly unoccupied areas were not really what they seemed to other less patient units.
OBSERVATION: With patient probing of an area from which aerial reports of heavy fire have come, many concealed tunnels, bunkers, and spider holes can be found. It may be necessary to spend nearly as much time searching for the enemy positions as the enemy spent constructing them, but the positions are generally there. In recent weeks, D Troop Aero Rifle Platoon has killed or captured 15 VC in this manner. They searched the more obvious places such as wells and stream beds inch by inch. In most cases they were not required to fire a shot and suffered no friendly casualties. Almost without exception, POW's stated that there were more VC hiding in the area being searched. Sometimes as many as 60 VC were in an area where there were three or four killed or captured.
ITEM: Employment of 90mm Recoilless Rifle by Aero Rifle Platoon.
DISCUSSION: The 90mm Recoilless Rifle seems to be an effective counter sniper weapon when sniper fire is received from ranges greater than 100 meters.
OBSERVATION: In recent operations, D Troop Aero Rifles have used the 90mm Recoilless Rifle with considerable success.
ITEM: Aero Rifle Platoon and RF/PF Forces Combined Ambush.
DISCUSSION: RF/PF Forces have been found to be lacking in certain elements necessary to effectively carry out their assigned missions.
OBSERVATION: In recent advisor/training missions with RF/PF Forces, D Troop Aero Rifles have found that RF/PF shortcomings are attributable more to lack of RF/PF command and leadership than lack of training. They appeared reluctant to disrupt the local balance of power and have explicitly voiced fear of retribution if VC are aggressively pursued. This is partially understandable in view of their lack of appropriate weapons and low ammunition supply. Their only indirect fire support comes from 60mm mortars for which they have but a few rounds per weapon. However, capable of planning and executing excellent ambushes, they are also capable of sound tactical maneuvers at squad, platoon, and company level. They lack only the will to kill VC.
ITEM: Artillery Support for LRRP Teams.
DISCUSSION: Since artillery is the primary means of support for LRRP teams, coordination with artillery units must be made prior to insertion of those teams.
OBSERVATION: At least one (1) battery should be scheduled to fire missions for LRRP teams at all times, since artillery is their primary means of support. Coordination should be made prior to insertion and the command to fire and adjust artillery should rest with the LRRP team leader and not the artillery liaison officer. This will facilitate prompt artillery support to the team.
ITEM: Perforated Steel Plate.
DISCUSSION: RPG-2, RPG-7 and other antitank weapons have been used against this unit, causing both personnel casualties and vehicle damage.
OBSERVATION: PSP, mounted on each side of a tank, has proven effective as a stand-off for antitank rounds. The lower portion of the tank hull and portion of the suspension system is covered by PSP. As a test, three RPG-2 rounds were fired at a tank with PSP mounted on it. Although some rounds did penetrate the additional stand off distance afforded by the plate, the number of penetrations were reduced. On two occasions, tanks with PSP were hit with RPG-2 rounds and results were highly satisfactory. The round did not penetrate the hull of the tank, there were no casualties, and only a support roller was damaged on the tank.
ITEM: Use of Popular Forces/Regional Forces/National Police.
DISCUSSION: The RF/PF/NP can be of great assistance when conducting Night Thrust or other tactical operations. However, prior briefing of US personnel and close control of the Vietnamese personnel are necessary.
OBSERVATION: Use of the Vietnamese forces assists both in additional ground strength (since each Armored Cavalry Platoon has a limited number of dismounted personnel), and in identification of suspects. It is necessary to work with a ratio of at least one (1) US to one (1) Vietnamese to properly control movement and expedite the mission.
ITEM: Noise and Light Discipline.
DISCUSSION: Noise and Light Discipline are of primary importance for infantry when in a night laager. Lights flickering on and off throughout the laager, radios turned higher than necessary, generator and vehicle engines running, play directly into enemy hands. As the above situation occurs, the enemy can easily detect the answers he is seeking without exposing himself. The listening posts cannot properly perform the mission of early warning, for the only noise heard comes from the laager. Overall security is placed in a hazardous position.
OBSERVATION: When possible, mechanized infantry units should make it SOP at dusk to have all ramps in the raised position (to avoid running the vehicle engine after dark), cut off all generators and, for power, revert to PRC-258 for the hours of darkness. The leadership of each element must understand the importance of controlling light discipline. This will enable the perimeter and listening posts to properly accomplish the mission of protecting the laager.
ITEM: Boundaries between units on perimeter defenses.
DISCUSSION: When allocating sectors within the perimeter defense of a laager or FSPB, natural or man-made terrain features such as roads, ravines, ditches, and streams are used to readily identify the boundary. Most of the time these same terrain features are major enemy avenues of approach.
OBSERVATION: Enemy avenues of approach should never be split between two units. To do this weakens the defense of that sector. Attempt to establish a boundary in an area not likely to be an avenue of approach.
ITEM: Tactical Air Support.
DISCUSSION: The importance of tactical air support is invaluable to a combat infantry unit. Due to the jungle terrain of Vietnam, it is often difficult to pinpoint enemy targets.
OBSERVATION: Whenever a significant reference point is available, it should be used extensively.
ITEM: Reaction to Mortar/Rocket Attack (Prepared Positions).
DISCUSSION: During attacks there is a tendency to run for available cover in the general vicinity. Due to the characteristic high volume of fire during initial attack and relatively wide spacing of bunkers, numerous casualties are sustained with wounds being received in the upper part of the body.
OBSERVATION: Personnel must repeatedly be reminded that they must immediately hit the ground upon receipt of initial rounds and crawl to cover. Optimum spacing of required bunkers is advisable when the situation permits. Also, as soon as time is available additional emergency bunkers interspersed throughout the position as necessary will provide more readily available cover and reduce casualties.
ITEM: Ground Illumination.
DISCUSSION: A method is needed to provide illumination on perimeters of field positions without revealing friendly positions.
OBSERVATION: Illumination shells can be fired with a low height of burst at a range of between 1000 and 2000 meters, the height and range will depend on terrain. The shells will burn on the ground, illuminating and silhouetting targets between the point of impact and your perimeter.
ITEM: Direct Fire of SP Artillery.
DISCUSSION: When dug in to a depth which provides hull defilade, the M109 SP 155mm Howitzer has a clearance problem for direct fire.
OBSERVATION: Hull defilade of the M109 gives excellent protection against RPG and other flat trajectory firer. However, the lowered tube may be limited in its direct fire role due to friendly perimeter positions. Three steps may be take to ease the problem: (1) A careful orientation of gun crews as to cleared deflections may allow high charge direct fire, (2) higher than normal elevations may be used in order to direct fire in the tops of trees and cause air bursts with good effect on the ground, and (3) charge one may be used to lob projectiles over perimeters with either time or impact fuzes.
ITEM: Daytime H&I's.
DISCUSSION: Daytime H&I fires have proved valuable in reducing mortar attacks of field positions.
OBSERVATION: The tendency is to think of H&I's as primarily a night role for artillery. It has been shown, however, that daytime use of heavy and medium artillery against suspected mortar locations will sharply reduce mortar attacks on field positions. This is even effective against pop-up mortars which fire several rounds and then return to tunnels. The random nature of H&I's and the heavier artillery are apparently extremely discouraging to enemy mortars.
ITEM: Air Mobile Operations - Advance Parties.
DISCUSSION: Advance parties are an extremely important factor in a successful airmobile operation. Units have relied in the past upon infantry sorties to transport Artillery Battery Commanders and advance parties on initial lifts to the LZ. This method has never been 100% successful.
OBSERVATION: Every effort should be made by the artillery battalion to obtain its own aircraft for advance part insertion.
ITEM: Air Mobile Operation - LZ Selection.
DISCUSSION: On a recent battalion size combat assault to establish a FSBP, no reconnaissance was made by an artillery officer. Word was accepted from the supported Infantry unit who “had been there before” with an artillery battery. Upon arrival of the first CH-47, the LZ was determined to be unsuitable and a four hour delay resulted while searching for and securing a new LZ/FSB.
ITEM: Air Mobile Operation - Control.
DISCUSSION: During large scale operations such as Operation YELLOWSTONE Artillery air-lift, organization of the PZ is an extremely critical consideration.
OBSERVATION: There must be a Departure Airfield Control Officer (DACO) in charge, who is responsible for spotting, chalking and checking all loads.
ITEM: Storage area on UH-ID for small mission essential items.
DISCUSSION: An accumulation of numerous mission essential articles placed in the cockpit area and/or the radio compartments of aircraft create a hazard to flight. These articles (C rations, rags, cans of oil, etc.), if not properly secured, could damage communications equipment when bouncing around the radio compartment. A solution to the problem is the construction of a sheet metal partition between the heater compartment and the aft battery compartment. Then the heater compartment may be utilized as a secure storage area which is easily accessible. A lightweight flooring is recommended to prevent items from rubbing against the fuselage.
OBSERVATION: Due to the natural tendency of crew chiefs to collect unnecessary items, the complete solution to this problem lies with the aircraft commander. It is his responsibility to see that unnecessary items are left on the ground.
ITEM: Ammunition feed mechanism for the mounted 9 (UH-ID) (M-60) machine gun.
DISCUSSION: When firing the M-60 machine gun from the UH-ID helicopter, often times the link ammunition will not feed properly. To resolve this problem, place an unopened C ration can (preferably one such as ham and lima beans) in the ammunition feed tray latch. The link 7.62 ammunition slides over the can and is fed into the gun at a 90 degree angle which prevents jamming.
OBSERVATION: Recommend that other aviation units try this inexpensive device for their M-60 machine guns.
ITEM: RPM Loss on Takeoff.
DISCUSSION: RPM loss on takeoff with a heavily loaded aircraft is an everyday occurrence. Due to heat, variable wind conditions, and high density altitude experienced in Viet Nam, RPM loss can be a major cause of accidents. It has been found that a “takeoff from the ground” requires less power, hence less RPM loss.
OBSERVATION: The takeoff from the ground should be employed to prevent accidents due to loss of RPM.
ITEM: Inspection of captured rice prior to distribution in Civic Action.
DISCUSSION: A quantity of captured rice was found to have been treated with a chemical insecticide making it unfit for human consumption. To insure that the captured rice is not contaminated, it should be immediately dispatched through S-2 channels for analysis.
OBSERVATION: Captured rice should be analyzed to determine suitability for human consumption prior to distribution in civic action projects.
ITEM: Hard Core VC and NVA units are not easily influenced by the CHIEU HOI Program.
DISCUSSION: Hard core VC and NVA forces are more thoroughly indoctrinated and more ideologically oriented than the local guerilla. These units usually operate in remote areas, away from civilian and GVN controlled areas. Many individuals don't know where they are or where to go to rally. There is also the physical difficulty of getting to a safe area. Continuous PSYOPS cannot be directed toward a particular unit of this type due to the frequent lack of information on unit locations and conditions.
OBSERVATION: To increase the returnee rate from hard core VC and NVA units, the following actions should be taken:
1. Stress the ideological aspects of both sides, the deficiencies of communism as opposed to the benefits of a democratic government. Point out inhumane actions of the VC in the name of “Liberation”. Explain to the NVA that the people of South Viet Nam look upon them as conquerors, not as liberators.
2. Designate and publicize safe rally points to VC/NVA units whenever possible. This can be done by sketch maps and loudspeaker broadcasts.
3. React quickly to exploit intelligence on VC/NVA locations and conditions.
ITEM: Testing of Projected Charge Demolition Kits M2A1, Demolition Snake and MI “Line Charge”.
The 6th Engr Bn received sufficient parts to assemble a 100 foot section of the Demolition Snake. It was decided to test its possible applications under counter-insurgency conditions.
DISCUSSION: The “Snake” comes in a kit consisting of a metal casing, explosive, assembly for attachment to a tank, a nose piece to assist in pushing the snake through entanglements, and various nuts and bolts, and firing devices. It is designed to be assembled near an antitank minefield, hooked to a tank, pushed directly forward and detonated. The explosion opens a lane through the minefield.
To date no antitank minefields have been encountered in the 25th Division's TAOI. Thus, the available Demolition Kit was tested mainly as a device for hedgerow, jungle and booby trap clearing.
Twenty-five and fifteen feet sections were assembled and towed to the test site. Assembly time, about 2 feet/hour for a squad, makes on-site assembly highly undesirable. At the site, the shorter section was placed into and near the center of a 15 meter wide hedgerow, consisting predominantly of small trees up to six inches in diameter. The blast cleared the hedgerow of all trees, leaving a progression of stumps 18 inches high at the center and 40 inches at the edge. A crater 3 feet deep and 4 feet wide was created. The 25 feet section of snake was placed at the edge of a thickly grown hedgerows, 15 meters wide. The detonation completely cleared the hedgerow of all vegetation.
Another test, with a sixty feet section of snake was conducted to investigate its effectiveness against mines and booby traps. Fifteen pound AT mines were detonated up to 8 meters from the charge. This distance cannot be considered a limit; mines were placed at no greater distance.
OBSERVATION: The effectiveness of the M2A1 Demolition Kit against hedgerows and mines is impressive. Its two main drawbacks, bulk and assembly time, greatly limit the uses of the “Snake”. It is the conclusion of the 65th Engr Bn that other demolitions presently on hand, i.e., Bangalore torpedoes can more quickly and efficiently perform the desired demolition requirements.
ITEM: Testing of Projected Charge Demolition Kits M2A1, Demolition Snake and MI “Line Charge”.
Another demolition tested was the “Line Charge”, M1. Tests were conducted to determine its uses and possible applications in a counter-insurgency situation.
DISCUSSION: The “Line Charge” consists of six major components. At the head is a small “U” shaped rocket, used to propel the line. Attached is 170 feet of nylon covered detonating cable composed of 19 strands of special detonating cord. There is also a fuse lighter, delay detonator, anchor stake and metal container from which the line is unraveled.
The charge was tested against AT and AP mines at various distances, trip, spring and pressure activated booby traps, hedgerows, jungle and concertina wire.
Hedgerow: The line charge will not clear hedgerow or brush. It will remove small branches and leaves within one or two meters, greatly improving visibility and ease of travel. The blast will also clear the hedgerow of booby traps, strung below or within the branches.
Concertina: When the line is in direct contact with the concertina, the wire is cut. If the charge is not directly on the wire, the concertina was leveled, commensurate with the distance from the charge. Generally, the charge will facilitate a crossing.
Mines and Booby Traps: The line charge will not detonate the firing mechanism on AT or AP mines, or on trip type booby traps with an consistency. Explosives are detonated by sympathetic detonation up to a distance of 12 inches. Trip wires and command wires are cut if fairly close to the surface.
OBSERVATION: Although a good concept, and possibly useful under certain conditions, it is not recommended for general use. Packed, the item is bulky. It takes several minutes to emplace, fire, and detonate. Its length and destructive capabilities are not sufficient to overcome these disadvantages. There is no practical application for this device in this area of operations.
ITEM: Tunnel Destruction.
DISCUSSION: During the past quarter, various methods of tunnel destruction have been tested. Of the numerous methods attempted, given sufficient time, personnel and equipment, the following is recommended as an efficient and complete technique for tunnel destruction.
OBSERVATION: Two teams are established, one to go into the tunnel, the other above. Both teams are equipped with radios or telephones, both have a compass man and a “Pacer”. Pace is kept by counting knots on a string, or markers placed on a communications wire. The team going into the tunnel has several security personnel, while the team on the surface has a man to unroll engineer tape. Both teams start at the entrance, the compass man in the tunnel dictating the azimuth, the man on top following. At sharp turns, new azimuth and distances are called to the surface. At these locations, the engineer tape is tacked down to allow turns.
Every 100-150 meters, a bulldozer is used to cut a slot perpendicular to the line of the tunnel. This insures that the “Tunnel Rats' need never go too far from a exit, and that mistakes in tracking are quickly noticed and, eventually, aids in the rapid destruction of the tunnel by demolitions.
After the entire length of the tunnel is explored, cratering charges are placed, three per open segment, and blown.
This method, although time consuming, assures that the entire tunnel, including trap doors and side entrances, is discovered and destroyed.
ITEM: Construction of Bunkers.
DISCUSSION: Bunkers must afford protection from enemy fire and allow effective fire on the enemy.
OBSERVATION: Commanders must insure that all bunkers are mutually supporting by having firing ports to the front and both flanks, and that the overhead cover is constructed of at least three layers of sand bags, to provide protection from indirect fire weapons of 82mm or less.
ITEM: Construction of bunkers when co-located with artillery.
DISCUSSION: When artillery pieces are located within a perimeter, the howitzers can be used to fire directly over the defensive positions.
OBSERVATION: Bunkers should be constructed with a side entrance and sufficient cover to the rear of the bunker to prevent casualties from the direct fired artillery.
ITEM: Orientation of Listening Posts.
DISCUSSION: Listening posts are frequently ineffective due to their incorrect or uncertain location.
OBSERVATION: During daylight, in conjunction with another operation, at least one man from the proposed listening post should move to the site over the planned route, thus insuring familiarity with the area to be occupied at night.
ITEM: Wearing of the Armored Vest.
DISCUSSION: Armored Vests can be worn during the hours of darkness and periods of reduced activity without increasing the frequency of heat casualties.
OBSERVATION: Personnel in night location, on listening posts, and on night ambush patrols should be required to wear the Armored Vest.
ITEM: LRRP Teams used in an Aggressive Role.
DISCUSSION: In order for LRRP teams to carry out a mission in which they play the aggressor (i.e., targets of opportunity killer teams or prisoner catch teams). They should have additional training and the support to carry out such missions.
OBSERVATION: LRRP teams should have training in the aggressive role to facilitate their successful execution of this type of mission. Extensive training should be given in ambush technique, fire control discipline, immediate reaction drills and escape and evasion. Also, these items would require the tactical support that is required to reinforce or extract the teams in an emergency.
Company F, 50th Infantry (LRRP) continued constant training of all personnel. The Squadron received a training/maintenance period from 27 December 1967 - 2 January 1968. The Squadron performed battle drill (emphasis on Platoon Maneuver), Range Firing (bore sighting) and firing all weapons, and conducted maintenance at 1st and 2nd echelons. The Squadron had 3 hours of Emergency First Aid during the period.
ITEM: Rebuilding Destroyed Fortifications.
DISCUSSION: The NVA, like the VC, rebuild fortified areas after US Forces have destroyed them.
OBSERVATION: Fortified areas should be re-entered and searched by US Forces even though they have previously been destroyed.
ITEM: Enemy use of Claymores.
DISCUSSION: The NVA on one occasion used claymores on the flank of advancing US troops to commence fire. They followed this with a heavy volume of SA fire and attempted to pinch off the lead element of a rifle company.
OBSERVATION: Commanders should be aware of this tactic and be prepared to maneuver so as to reunite his lead element with the rest of the company.
ITEM: Use of Mines.
DISCUSSION: The NVA did not attempt to camouflage AT mines placed in the roadway of Route 4.
OBSERVATION: They generally placed the mines only a few inches from the surface and were of a pressure detonation type.
ITEM: Tank Killer Teams.
DISCUSSION: During the reporting period, Armored Columns operating along Highways 1 and 22 at night have been subjected to many attacks by RPG fire which is often accompanied by small arms and/or automatic weapons fire. It appears that the enemy is operating in 2 to 5 man teams, engaging their targets and quickly withdrawing. The activity has been concentrated in and around built up areas that provide good concealment for approach and withdrawals.
OBSERVATION: Emphasis has been placed on conducting a detailed search prior to and during movement through a built up area. In addition, the local district provides ARVN personnel to accompany US Forces. These personnel are in radio contact with ARVN outposts located along the route and provide timely information concerning anything unusual in their area. Another technique employed is for US personnel to conduct ambushes along known routes of movement into hamlets along the route. An Armored Cavalry Platoon is employed as reaction to the ambush and, if contact is made, it can be quickly exploited.
ITEM: Cordon and Search Operations.
DISCUSSION: During Cordon and Search operations in the MICHELIN Rubber Plantation, this unit was provided with names of known VC located in particular villages. The search was accomplished by sealing off the village with one company and searching with another company. Each identification card was checked out against known list of VC.
OBSERVATION: The village lists should be cross checked during the search of each village. VC names which did not appear on the list furnished for the village being searched at the particular time often appeared on other village lists. Also, interrogation of captured VC often produced valuable information on other local VC.
ITEM: Mines and Booby Traps.
DISCUSSION: During this period, elements of the 3rd Bde had numerous contacts and suffered many casualties from command detonated mines and booby traps. It was learned while working the MICHELIN Rubber Plantation that normally mines were placed in the ground in the center of the path between the trees. It was also noted that wires leading to command detonated mines were also booby trapped to explode when being investigated by the personnel discovering the wire.
OBSERVATION: While US Troops are moving through the MICHELIN Rubber Plantation it is recommended they walk as close to the trees as possible. Also, that extreme caution be exercised when checking out wires which are believed to be coming from command detonated mines.
ITEM: Imitative Deception.
DISCUSSION: During action on 5 Jan 68 near the Fish Hook, vic XT 5390, the 4th Bn Inf command net was entered by an unidentified station that spoke English with and Australian accent. The authenticity of the accent has been established by a native Australian and the fluency with English suggests the radio operator was not speaking his second language. During the course of the action, the imitator stated that he was a member of an Australian airborne unit just south of the locations of the contact and he requested a check fire in the vicinity of his location. A check through FWMAF channels determined no friendly units other than the 4th Bn 9th Inf were operating in the area of contact. This enemy station, however, entered a US net and temporarily confused the situation.
OBSERVATION: The quality of Communist supplied communications equipment and the availability of captured US radios gives the enemy an ever present ability to monitor US/FWMAF nets. Now, more than ever, authentication tables and periodic changing of frequencies and call signs is necessary to increase communications security. All personnel operating radios must be made aware that the enemy is always listening.
ITEM: SAEDA Orientation.
DISCUSSION: Subversion efforts are being directed against US servicemen in Vietnam at this time. Efforts of organized groups based in the United States and foreign countries to subvert US Military Personnel have been limited to “Unsolicited Correspondence” in the form of periodicals and letters. The most common periodicals have been two newspapers, The Bond and the Stripes for Peace.
OBSERVATION: Due to the recent defection of US Military Personnel, Commanders at all levels should stress their SAEDA Program. Commanders who have knowledge of derogatory “Unsolicited Correspondence” should report this fact immediately through ACofS, G2 Channels.
ITEM: Tactical Exploitation of Returnees.
DISCUSSION: Experience has shown that the willingness of Returnees to lead US Forces to Viet Cong troop locations and caches decreases as they are exposed to the re-education techniques and security of a GVN CHIEU HOI Center. As he feels more secure, the Returnee is less willing to take the risks involved in leading US Forces to the VC locations and caches. An example of this problem recently occurred in the 25th Inf Div. A Returnee who had located many VC caches, base camps, etc., on an operation shortly after his return to GVN control was hired as a Kit Carson Scout by the 25th Inf Div. During his tenure as a Kit Carson, he was of limited value to his assigned unit and eventually deserted the unit.
OBSERVATION: A Returnee's knowledge of VC caches, base camps, etc. should be exploited as soon as possible after his return.
ITEM: Separation of Prisoners.
DISCUSSION: Recent experience has shown that if detainees are not kept separated during tactical interrogations in the field and during the evacuation process, they will often fabricate a common story concerning their activities at the time of capture. This makes later interrogation extremely difficult and, in some instances, may actually cause the release of a VC as an innocent civilian. Even in cases where the suspect is classified a prisoner of war, it may keep the interrogator from uncovering valuable intelligence information.
OBSERVATION: Detainees should be kept apart at all times after their capture. The capturing unit should insure that there is no conversation between the prisoners and that any interrogation of a prisoner takes place out of the range of the hearing of all other prisoners.
ITEM: Collecting and Analysis of Intelligence Information in the Field.
DISCUSSION: It has been brought to the attention of the Order of Battle Section that the OB Handbook is an invaluable asset when used properly. Unit Commanders, S2's and PW Interrogators are sometimes able to identify enemy units while still in contact.
Captured documents are probably the best sources for identifying an enemy unit; especially those taken from a body of a prisoner. These documents usually include personal history statements, self-critiques, certificates of achievements or awards, and promotion orders. The individual's unit and most likely his commander or political officer are mentioned on these documents. Letter box numbers (LBN's) are an excellent means of identification. These sets of numbers, usually prefixed by HT are similar to our APO numbers and appear on all VC correspondence. The VC also assign code designations to their units. Some units are known to have as many as 5 code names and are changed when believed compromised. Also, different VC units are known by the same code designator to add to the confusion. It has been found that LBN's are more reliable than codes when used to identify enemy units because they are not changed as frequently and no two LBN's are the same. When identifying personalities, one should be aware that the VC use as many as 4 aliases for one person. Many of the VC only know their comrades by the VC name.
OBSERVATION: The best means of identifying an enemy unit is to be aware of the area of operation of VC units; local force units usually have defined boundaries and rarely operate outside of them. Circumstances of capture of prisoners and documents are of extreme importance when determining the identification of units. This information, along with a single code designator or a personality, may make identification possible. Order of Battle Holdings can then provide an estimate of the strength, weapons, probable tactics and capabilities of the enemy unit identified.
It is recommended that new S2's, upon assuming their duties, visit the Order of Battle Section in order to receive a general briefing on the enemy situation and become familiar with the overall intelligence collection plan. Timely visits by the S2's to the Order of Battle Section have proved valuable in the past to both parties.
ITEM: Exploitation of Inflight SLAR Readouts.
DISCUSSION: SLAR is effective primarily in detecting sampan movement along LOC's. The inflight readout capabilities cannot be effectively exploited by the employment of indirect fire. The time required to read out the imagery and pass the information on to the firing battery is too great to bring effective unobserved fire on a pinpoint target.
OBSERVATION: A Firefly and gun team following the SLAR ship at a sufficient distance to receive reports and react to them, provides the most effective means for exploitation of sensings.
ITEM: Inflight Spot Report Net.
DISCUSSION: During Operation YELLOWSTONE, the G2 Air Section established an inflight spot report not consisting of an AN/VRC 46 radio and a RC 292 antenna. The purpose of the net was to collect information of VR sightings from all army aircraft flying within the Division's TAOI.
OBSERVATION: The inflight spot report net was extremely efficient in controlling O1 and OV1 aircraft supporting the Division and in collection of information from their sightings. With proper administration and additional support, this system could be expanded to service the intelligence collection effort of all flying agencies, Too, it would enable maneuver elements to deliver appropriate ordnance on perishable targets in a timely manner.
ITEM: Resupply of Ammunition.
DISCUSSION: At the recent battle of SOUI CUT, ammunition resupply was delayed to a dangerous point because aircraft were not released to transport it. Although aircraft were available at the site of the ammo, they could not be used as they were under control of II Field Force. Aircraft that finally lifted the ammo to the battle site were routed from BIEN HOA to DAU TIENG then to FSB BURT.
OBSERVATION: In situations where emergency action is required, authority should be delegated to Brigade level to utilize existing aircraft for the purpose at hand.
ITEM: Use of “Caribou” between forward support base and DAU TIENG.
DISCUSSION: This means of transportation of men and supplies was found to be totally unsatisfactory due to the plane's unreliability. The aircraft was requested each day between 29 Dec 1967 and 22 Jan 1968. It failed to arrive half of these days. In addition, it was impossible to determine beforehand what time of day the aircraft was to arrive, therefore, many man-hours were lost by personnel having to wait at the airstrip the entire day.
OBSERVATION: One CH-47 sortie with backhaul or three “Slicks” sorties with backhauls are required daily for movement of supplies and personnel between DAU TIENG and a forward supply base.
ITEM: Inspection of Resupply Slings.
DISCUSSION: Nylon resupply slings are easily cut or abraded, greatly decreasing their load capability.
OBSERVATION: To prevent possible sling failure and loss of material, the sling should be inspected after each use for points of excessive wear.
ITEM: Engine Output Shaft Seal Leaks, L-11 Engine.
DISCUSSION: It has been our experience that on rebuilt L-11 engines used in our UH-IC Gunships, all engine output shaft seals start leaking between the 400 and 500 hour levels. This appears to be caused by the high dust and dirt conditions experienced in this area. By checking the engine intake during the daily inspection, we hope to eliminate this situation.
OBSERVATION: Cleaning of the engine intake daily may prolong the life of these seals.
ITEM: M-109 Howitzer.
DISCUSSION: Engines are overheating to the point of causing damage to the engine. A large number of heads are being cracked.
OBSERVATION: Cleanliness of radiators and water level must be watched very closely on this vehicle. The expedient of running engines at a higher than idle RPM during periods of static operation is an aid to avoid overheating.
ITEM: Howitzer 105mm M101A1.
DISCUSSION: Age and the dusty conditions that are encountered are affecting the wear rate of bushings, seats, and gears of the Howitzer, 105mm M101A1.
OBSERVATION: This weapon should be continually scrutinized to insure that organizational maintenance is performed and to determine as soon as possible when a mount, bearing, sleeve, or bushing becomes worn. By immediate replacement, tightening or cleaning, further damage may be prevented.
(5) Civic Actions and PSYOPS.
ITEM: Volunteer Relief Agencies, (CARE, CRS) require photographs to document distribution of supplies.
DISCUSSION: Photographs of the distribution of the supplies from volunteer relief agencies are required in order to requisition replacement stacks. Many S-5's have not been taking photographs of the distribution of these items.
OBSERVATION: All distribution of volunteer relief agencies' materials must be properly photographed and documented so the Division account will remain open and supplies can continually be drawn from these resources.
ITEM: Stockage Level of Relief Supplies must be maintained.
DISCUSSION: A recent VC attack on BAO TRAI left a large number of people homeless and without food. It was important to provide emergency provisions to alleviate their immediate needs.
OBSERVATION: Refugee Kits, food and clothing should be stockpiled at a determined level to provide emergency reaction capability to situations.
(a) Commanders should insure that all personnel within their respective commands understand the effects of Marijuana.
(b) Units in the field should be ever alert to the dangers of parathion and other insecticides being used in cultivated areas.
(c) A continuing education of the troops in malaria prophylaxis should be instituted in all units.
(d) Surgeons should supervise the rotational system of stockings of troops in the field.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
s/ Clarence A. Riser
4 Appendices Incl CLARENCE A. RISER
1. Task Organization LTC, AOG
2. 125th Sig Bn's ORLL Adjutant General
3. OOAAR, CAMDEN (Pub as 67X201 and 671204)
4. Pictures (Withdrawn Hqs DA)
AVFBC-RE-1 (14 Feb 68) 1st Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 January 1968
(RCS CSFOR-65) (BC)
DA, HQ II FFORCEV, APO San Francisco 96266
(illegible): Commanding General, US Army Vietnam, ATT: (illegible)
Commander, US Army Pacific, ATTN: GPOP-OT, APO 96558
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the
Army, Washington, D.C. 230310
1. Subject report is forwarded.
2. This command has reviewed the attached (illegible) of the 25th Infantry division and concurs with the comments and recommendations except as noted below.
a. p27, Item: Employment of Aero-Scout Section (Light) as a Team. This is not a new technique. This has been doctrine for several years and is an accepted tactic as described in FA 17-36 and 1st Aviation Brigade Operations Manual dated 1 February 1967.
b. p 28, Item: Aero-Scout Section (Light) Receiving Fire.
This should not be considered a new technique. The described procedure has been SOP in aviation units in Vietnam for years.
c. p 33, Item: Storage area on UH-1D for small mission essential items. Non-concur. Regardless of where the small items are stored, a carefully thought out loading plan is essential to insure that they do not become excessive. Constant command supervision of the loading plan is essential to insure compliance.
d. p 33, Item: Ammunition feed mechanism for the mounted (UH-1D) (M60) machine gun. This was standard practice for years by aviation units in Vietnam. With the introduction of the XH23 system the practice was no longer required. With proper cleaning and maintenance, the XH23 functions satisfactorily without the can.
e. p 42, Item: Inflight Spot Report Net. IIFFORCEV REGULATION 381-1 (C) established VR procedures in AO's, TAOR's. It also describes the procedure and requirement for establishing a spot report net.
f. p 42, Item: Resupply of Ammunition. Non-concur. Proper utilization of available air assets precludes the delegation of the requested authority. Air assets are limited and when emergencies warrant diversion, such action will be taken by the controlling headquarters.
g. p 42, Item: Use of “Caribou between forward support base and Dau Tieng. Non-concur. During the period 1-22 January 1968 a “Caribou” was made available to 25th Infantry Division as requested. The aircraft was non-available on 10 January due to required maintenance. The Caribou averaged 12.7 sorties each day for this period. The problem involves utilization of available assets rather than unreliability of the Caribou.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
s/ E. W. McCrath
E. W. McGRATH
AVHGC-DST (14 Feb 68) 2nd Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 January 1968
(RCS CSFOR-65) (BC)
HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY VIETNAM, APO San Francisco 96375
TO: Commander in Chief, United States Army, Pacific, ATTN: GPOP-DT,
1. This headquarters has reviewed the Operational Report-Lessons Learned for the quarterly period ending 31 January 1968 from Headquarters, 25th Infantry Division (WALXAA) as indorsed.
2. Concur with report as indorsed. Report is considered adequate.
3. A copy of this indorsement will be furnished to the reporting unit through channels.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
/s/ C. S. Nakatsukasa
C. S. NAKATSUKASA
Assistant Adjutant General
HK, II FFORCEV
HQ, 25th Inf Div
GPOP-DT (14 Feb 68) (U) 3rd Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report of HQ, 25th Inf Div for Period Ending
31 January 1968, RCS CSFOR-65 (RI)
HQ, US Army, Pacific, APO San Francisco 96558
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army,
Washington, D. C. 20310
This headquarters has evaluated subject report and forwarding indorsements and concurs in the report as indorsed.
FOR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF:
s/ C. L. Shortt
C. L. SHORTT
Appendix 1 (Task Organization) to Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending
31 January 1968
1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
HHC, 1st Bde HHC, 2nd Bde
4th Bn, 9th Inf 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf
2nd Bn, 14th Inf 1st Bn, 27th Inf
7th Bn, 11th Arty (DS) 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
4th Bn, 23rd Inf
1st Bn, 8th Arty (DS)
3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division 25th Division Support Command
HHC, 3rd Bde HHC and Band
2nd Bn, 12th Inf DISCOM FWD (Provisional)
2nd Bn, (M), 22nd Inf 25th Med Bn
3rd Bn, 22nd Inf 25th S & T Bn
2nd Bn, 77th Arty (DS) 725th Maint Bn
HHC, 25th Inf Div 2nd Bn, 34th A;rmor (-)
3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry 65th Engr Bn
25th Avn Bn 125th Sig Bn
25th MP Co 25th Admin Co
44th Scout Dog Plt 38th Scout Dog Plt
9th Chem Det (Atch) 18th Mil Hist Det
3rd Squadron, 17th Cav (Atch)
25th Military Intelligence Det (Atch) 25th Division Artillery (-)
372nd Radio Research Co (Atch)
15th Public Information Det (Atch) HHB, Div Arty
20th Public Information Det (Atch) 3rd Bn, 13th Arty (GS)
7th Team AA, Plat HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) 6th Bn, 77th Arty (Atch)
8th Team AA, Plat HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) Btry B, 5th Bn, 2nd Arty (Atch)
9th Team AA, Plat HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) Btry D, 5th Bn, 2nd Arty (Atch)
Btry C, 7th Bn, 8th Arty (Atch)
OPERATIONAL REPORT - LESSONS LEARNED
1 November 1967 - 31 January 1968
125th Signal Battalion, 25th Infantry Division
The 125th Signal Battalion continued to support the 25th Infantry Division in all operations during the period 1 November 1967 - 31 January 1968. Common user and sole user telephone and teletype circuits over multi-channel VHF systems continued to provide the major portion of communications for the Division. Battalion Forward Field Positions and Fire Support Bases were interconnected into the overall Division system through use of VHF means (Typical VHF Systems Diagram Tab A). The primary means of back-up for existing VHF systems remains the VRC-12 series radio. A secure FM Command Net provided communications for rapid response between major maneuver elements and the Division Headquarters. Traffic of a less sensitive nature was passed over a Division Clear FM Command Net. Other communications support means employed during the period were AM radio nets, a radio-wire integration capability, and FM radio retransmission facilities for both clear and secure modes.
2. BIRD DOG PROJECTS:
Reference Lessons Learned submitted for period 1 May - 31 July 1967, para 7f. The “split headset” installation described in these Lessons Learned has been abandoned. Further investigation toward a solution has come up with a system of removing the ARC-44 from the aircraft completely and substituting the PRC-25 alleviating the split headset problem. The pin connectors for FM on the 34 pin connector were identified and the PRC-25 was connected to them. Thus, the PRC-25 is not completely integrated into the aircraft's electrical system (See Tab B). The PRC-25 battery (BA-386) is being used to provide power for the FM presently. However, plans are now in progress to build a voltage dividing network which would drop the operating voltage of the aircraft to the operating voltage of the PRC-25. The advantages derived from using the PRC-25 radio are:
a. The transmission bandwidth is reduced from the ARC-44 100 KC bandwidth per channel to the current standard of 50 KC's per channel. This eliminates possible interference and overlap with other working frequencies.
b. Four times as many channels are available for use which increases the flexibility of the radio set and permits the FAC to contact directly any ground supported unit.
c. The use of new squelch is made possible on a Division wide basis. Old squelch is presently used in the Division in order to accommodate the ARC-44. Interference received from VC and ARVN stations would be significantly reduced by the use of new squelch and would result in improved transmissions quality. Until the Air Force outfits the OA1's with more modern equipment, the PRC-25 can be utilized in place of the AN/ARC-44 to provide the vital air-ground communications required.
3. INTERFERENCE ON SECURE FM:
The use of secure FM transmission for the Division Command Net has proven to be a very valuable asset in rapidly passing sensitive information between operating elements. However, the sensitivity to outside interference when operating in the secure mode requires a completely “discrete” frequency for optimum efficiency and effectiveness. The great number of FM radios operating in the close environment of a counter-insurgency action zone requires extremely tight control over authorized frequencies and increased monitoring of unassigned frequencies to permit the best possible frequency assignment. A unique and totally unsuspected interference problem on secure FM was discovered when a counter mortar radar in close proximity to the receiving end of a secure FM system caused sufficient interference to disrupt reception. In order to receive a secure transmission, the counter-mortar had to be turned off. The FM station located in proximity to the radar AN/MPQ-4 had sufficient strength to transmit a secure transmission through the radar interference; however, the weakened received signal could not get through the interference. It is suspected that the placement of the radar in relation to the direction of FM transmission has a bearing on the problem. At another location where similar counter-mortar radar and secure FM were co-located, no interference was detected. At this location, however, the counter-mortar radar was located behind the FM direction of transmission. It is therefore important for signal officers to coordinate the placement of secure FM equipment in relationship to the counter-mortar radar to insure that the counter-mortar is not placed between the FM station and the distant station.
4. POWER REQUIREMENTS - VHF:
In past operations the 125th Signal Battalion was dependent upon power being supplied from air-cooled and water-cooled 10 KW generators. Although a very useful unit and considered a workhorse in tactical communications units, the 10KW does lose its stability with age. Power fluctuations have been responsible for increased system and circuit outage time and a reduction of component life. A solution to this problem in areas of high density of communication equipment has been to install 100 KW and 45 KW generators at the more permanent sites such as Cu Chi, Dau Tieng, Tay Ninh and Nui Ba Den, providing a central power facility servicing the entire communications complex. This highly dependable power source provides a much more constant voltage and results in greatly reduced downtime on VHF systems. Also, the occasions of blown power tubes, defective tuning heads, and erroneous readings on carrier equipment (conditions attributable to fluctuating power) have been decreased significantly. The communication success of Operation Yellowstone thus far can be attributed in great part to the constant voltage supplied by the 100 KW and 45 KW generators. It has been learned that, wherever possible, these large more stable power sources should be installed.
5. B BAND VHF EQUIPMENT:
During Operation Yellowstone, it was determined that “B” Band characteristics lended favorably to the terrain features in the “tall tree” country of Tay Ninh Province. Installation of systems of extended length or one using obstacle gain principles were more effective using “B” band equipment than either “C” band or “D” band. “C” band systems were found to be the most ineffective due to FM interference from helicopter and airport control towers. The lesson learned is that in systems over high dense foliage, “B” band equipment produces the best results.
6. AB-216 TOWERS AND CRANK-UP AB-577's:
a. The ability to establish high quality VHF systems in the division TAOI during Operation Yellowstone has been greatly enhanced by the use of AB-216 towers at Dau Tieng, Cu Chi and Tay Ninh. The added height of up to 120 feet has extended transmission ranges and alleviated high noise levels experienced when the TRC-24 antenna masts were utilized. At Dau Tieng, for example, even 60' masts still resulted in the antenna pointing directly into the 50-80 feet tall rubber trees.
b. Additional flexibility has been gained by the 125th Signal Battalion by employing AB-577 crank-up antennas at fire support bases and forward sites. These sites move frequently and timeliness of communications support is of great importance. Crank-up antennas considerably reduce set-up time and provide the capability to keep systems on the air until the last possible minute before breakdown. They also afford the capability of rapidly adjusting the antenna to the desired height during system installation. The important lesson learned here is that for dependability and flexibility the AB-216 and AB-577 should be utilized wherever applicable and practical.
7. GROUND RODS:
Six foot ground rods have been found to be inadequate for proper grounding in many areas. It has been found that welding two together forming a 12 foot rod produces much better results. Further improvement can be obtained by hooking all grounding rods together with heavy duty electrical cable and spot-welding the cable to each rod. This forms a common ground and is much more effective. The lesson re-learned is that the higher moisture content you have, the better the ground. During the dry season, approximately the top three feet of soil is dry laterite.
/s/ Louis G. Methern
LOUIS G. MATHERN
(Typical VHF Systems Diagram Tab A)