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After Action Reports 31
25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO, San Francisco 96225
AVDCMHD 18 November 1966
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 October 1966,
TO: See Distribution
Operational Report for Quarterly Period (RCS CSFOR-65)
Location: Vicinity, CU CHI (XT647153), RVN
Reporting Officer: Major General Fred C. Weyand
Prepared by: Major George J. Martin, CO 18th Military History
1. Significant Organizational Activities.
a. (C) Operations.
(1) General. There were 10 major (Bn or higher) operations and 1211 small unit actions conducted by the 25th Inf Div (-) during this quarter. All major and 113 small unit actions resulted in enemy contact.
(2) KOKO HEAD (22 July - 6 Aug). The 2nd Bde Task Force (1st Bn, 27th Inf (-); 2nd Bn, 27th Inf (-); 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf and 1st Bn, 8th Arty (+)) conducted airmobile assaults and S&D operations in conjunction with ARVN forces. Joint US/ARVN Operations Centers at BAO TRAI (XT545049) and TRANG BANG (XT490195) were operational. Fire support bases were established at DUC HUE, BAO TRAI, TRANG BANG, and TRUNG LAP. From 23-25 July, the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf conducted a reconnaissance in force and S&D operation vic XT699108. They destroyed several VC structures in which covered bunkers were located. In response to intelligence information, elements of the 3rd Bn, 49th Regt (ARVN), and the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf conducted airmobile assaults to XT6003. On 1 August, two B52 airstrikes were flown in support of the operation. There was extensive damage to tunnels and underground fortifications in both areas. In the follow-up operation, a VCC was captured who spoke fluent English. This individual disclosed the location of his unit headquarters at XT642243. A search of the area revealed a large tunnel complex with concrete walls. Results of the operation were 11 VC KIA (BC), 31 VC KBA (BC), 92 VC KIA (poss), 82 VC KBA (poss), 25 VCC, 113 VCS. In addition, 25 small arms, 3400 lbs of rice, 35,955 rounds of ammunition and 101 grenades were captured. Two hundred and eight VC structures, 152 bunkers, 34 tunnels, 12 sampans and other miscellaneous items were destroyed. (App 1)
(3) OAHU (1-31 August). The 1st Bde Task Force (4th Bn, 9th Inf (-); 4th Bn, 23rd Inf (-); 2nd Bn, 14th Inf and 7th Bn, 11th Arty) conducted operations in TAY NINH Province to locate and destroy VC forces and supplies, and to support Operation BLUE JAY. They secured and defended the 196th Bde base camp vic TAY NINH Airfield (west). Extensive S&SD operations, patrols, and ambushes were conducted by the 1st Bde TASK FORCE from the TAY NINH Airfield with only light enemy contact occurring in the northwest sector. On 14 Aug, the 1st Bn (m), 5th Inf was attached to the 1st Bde Task Force and the 4th Bn, 9th Inf was detached. The 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf established a base camp vic TROUNG MIT (XT4034) and conducted S&D and screening missions north of Hwy 22 to prevent VC forces from interdicting the LOC to TAY NINH. On 25 Aug, the 4th Bn, 23rd Inf was placed under the OPCON of the 1st Div and deployed to LAI KHE. Results of Operation OAHU were 14 VC KIA (BC), 6 VC KBA (BC), 69 VC KIA (poss), 16 VC KBA (poss), 12 VCC and 110 VCS. In addition, 16.3 tons of rice and 4 small arms were captured. Seventy-eight VC structures, 33 underground fortifications, 1 trench and 5 tunnels were destroyed. (App 2)
(4) LAHAINA (7 Aug - 1 Sep). The 2nd Bn, 27th Inf conducted S&D operations in HAU NGHIA Province. Eagle flights of platoon and company size were found to be the fastest and most reliable means of reacting to intelligence provided by the Joint Operations Center at BAO TRAI. Results of Operation LAHAINA were 29 VC KIA (BC), 51 VC KIA (poss), 40 VCC, 57 VCS. In addition, 18 small arms, 25 lbs of medical supplies, 763 hand grenades, and 42 lbs of documents were captured. Twenty-nine VC structures, 14 underground fortifications and 40 tunnels were destroyed. (App 3)
(5) AIEA (8 Aug - 1 Sep). The 1st Bn, 27th Inf established a base camp vic XT526188 astride the major VC infiltration route to the BOI LOI Woods. Five BUDDY operations were conducted with the 2nd Bn, 49th Regt (ARVN), and TRANG BANG RF/PF Companies. Results of Operation AIEA were 20 VC KIA (BC), 2 VC KBA (BC), 35 VC KIA (poss), 46 VC KBA (poss), 18 VCC, and 206 VCS. In addition, 79 punji pits, 33 tunnels, 48 underground fortifications, 223 VC structures, and 5 sampans were destroyed. (App 4)
(6) KIPAPA (31 Aug - 12 Sep). This operation was conducted in the FILHOL Plantation (XT;6720. Initially, two company S&D operations (Co A and Co B, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf) resulted in limited VC contact. On 2 Sep, the 4th Bn, 9th Inf and 4th Bn, 23rd Inf began separate operations in the east and west portions of the plantation. On 3 Sep, 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf (-) was attached to the 1st Bde and conducted operations in the northern portion of the plantation. Three BUDDY operations were conducted with the 7th Regt, 5th Div (ARVN). The ARVN forces ranged from a platoon to two battalions. Results of Operation KIPAPA were 8 VC KIA (BC), 1 VC KBA (BC), 24 VC KIA (poss), 8 VC KBA (poss). In addition, 2 VCC, 43 VCS, 52 AT mines, 47 grenades, 9 82mm mortar rounds, 36 105mm rds, and 4 weapons were captured. Five punji pits, 121 VC structures, 30 foxholes, 171 mines and booby traps, 15 tons of rice, 47 underground fortifications and 65 tunnels were destroyed. (App 5)
(7) SUNSET BEACH (2 Sep - 11 Oct). The 2nd Bde conducted operations in HAU NGHIA Province to locate and destroy VC forces, supplies and bases, and interdict VC LOC's. The operation, conducted in three phases, initially employed 2 infantry battalions (1st Bn, 27th Inf and 2nd Bn, 27th Inf) and a mechanized platoon in areas contiguous to population centers and election polling places. In Phase II, the 2nd Bde employed the two infantry battalions in areas removed from election polling places and population centers. The 1st Bn, 27th Inf established and operated from a forward combat base vic TRANG DAU (XT5319) during Phases I & II. The 2nd Bn, 27th Inf operated from CU CHI base camp in Phase I and by the use of airmobile assaults extended their influence into the AO. In Phase II, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf also worked from a forward combat base. Both units made the US presence known by use of eagle flights, search and destroy operations, MEDCAPS, and BUDDY operations. Phase III was a continuation of Phase II. The 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf conducted reconnaissance in force along the periphery of the BOI LOI Woods, and assisted in the destruction of VC forces flushed by 1st Bn, 27th Inf eagle flights. Intelligence was processed through the Joint Operations Centers at TRANG BANG and BAO TRAI. A total of 22 BUDDY operations were conducted with elements of the 25th Inf Div (ARVN) and RF/PF forces. Quick reaction to CHIEU HOI information and agent reports process through the Joint US/ARVN Operations Centers at TRANG BANG and BAO TRAI was instrumental in capturing or destroying VC forces and supply caches in the area of operations. Total VC losses for the operation were 80 VC KIA (BC), 4 VC KBA (BC), 128 VC KIA (poss), 7 VC KBA (poss), 46 VCC, 220 VCS. In addition, 19 small arms, 2 LAW's, 11 AP mines, 20 grenades, 2,409 blasting caps, 296 lbs of TNT, 5 cameras with photographic supplies, 43 lbs of documents, 161 lbs of medical supplies, 11,400 lbs of rice, 200 lbs of salt and other supplies were captured. Ninety-seven tunnels, 151 VC structures, 20 sampans, 47 underground fortifications, 2 underground storage areas, 164 foxholes, 20 punji pits, 14,525 lbs of rice, 4 rolls of tin and miscellaneous munitions were destroyed.
(8) LANIKAI (15 Sep - Continuing). For the first time, a US battalion is conducting operations in LONG AN Province. The 4th Bn, 9th Inf is conducting S&D operations, interdicting VC LOC's, supporting the revolutionary development program of the province, and conducting BUDDY operations with ARVN forces. The operation is in 4 phases. During Phase I-III, the battalion moved by air and vehicle to BEN LUC (XS629765) and established a battalion base. Phase IV consists of S&D operations in support of revolutionary development, aiding RF/PF forces in construction of local outposts, and the conduct of joint US/ARVN S&D operations. A Joint Operations Center has been established at BEN LUC. On 10 Oct, the Bn (-) conducted a waterborne S&D BUDDY operation with the 3rd Bn, 50th Regt (ARVN) and one ARVN GO-team, resulting in a VC weapons and ammo cache being captured. On 14 Oct, another BUDDY operation was conducted with the 3rd Bn, 50th Regt (ARVN). While Co B, 4th Bn, 9th Inf moved by land to a blocking position, the 3rd Bn, 50th Regt (ARVN) moved by boats to another blocking position. Co A and Co C, 4th Bn, 9th Inf then made a combat assault and S&T toward these blocks. Results of the action were 4 VC KIA (BC), 6 VC KIA (poss) and 3 weapons captured. The battalion has conducted 15 BUDDY operations with ARVN forces in the BEN LUC area. Both aerial assault and River Assault Group (illegible) boats have been used as a means of transporting troops to an objective area. The battalion continues with its MEDCAP program. They have also distributed JUSPAO school kits to the local school, and helped in the construction of two footbridges in the BEN LUC area. Results to date are 22 VC KIA (BC), 33 VC KIA (poss), 4 VCC and 36 VCS. In addition, 2 60mm mortars (complete), 10 small arms, 9 rifle grenades, 25 blasting caps, 1 demolition kit, 1 lb of documents and other supplies have been captured. Also, 15 81mm rds, 24 60mm rds, 6,180 rds of small arms ammo, 29 mines, 234 grenades, 11 VC structures, 3 underground fortifications, 5 trenches, 23 foxholes, 2,750 lbs of rice, and other supplies have been destroyed.
(9) KALIHI (17 Sep - Continuing). The 4th Bn, 23rd Inf conducted S&D operations in the FILHOL Plantation. Company size units were employed throughout the area utilizing both ground and air assaults in an attempt to locate VC forces. On 21 Sept, a BUDDY operation was conducted, resulting in limited VC contact. On 3 Oct, Co B, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf with Trp B, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav conducted a two day S&D BUDDY operation in the vic XT701182 with one company of the 1st Bn, 7th Regt (ARVN). Between 4 and 11 October, airmobile assaults, S*D operations, ambushes and patrols continued throughout the FILHOL Plantation. On 12 Oct, the 2nd Bn, 14th Inf conducted an airmobile assault and with 1 plat Trp A, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav conducted S&D operations in the northeastern sector of the FILHOL Plantation along the SAIGON River. The battalion has conducted 3 S&D BUDDY operations with the 1st Bn, 7th Regt (ARVN). On 17 Oct, Co B and Co C, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf attacked toward a block established by the 1st Bn, 7th Regt (ARVN) encountering an unknown VC force. Between 15 and 19 Oct, the 4th Bn, 23rd Inf conducted 5 S&D BUDDY operations with the 4th Bn, 7th Regt (ARVN). On 22 Oct, working on information supplied by a CHIEU HOI, the BN(-) conducted an S&D operation toward an attached Cav plat which was holding a blocking position. Light small arms fire was received. Upon reaching their objective area, 1 VC (illegible) was apprehended and a cache of rice, assorted tools, medical equipment, movie projector, 10 reels of movies, and other miscellaneous (illegible) were captured. Results of the operation to date are 37 VC KIA (BC), 103 VC KIA (poss), 3 VCC and 60 VCS. In addition, 11 small arms, 667 rounds of small arms ammo, 6 lbs of documents, 1 movie projector, 10 reels of film, and 1 tube tester were captured. Also 2 mortars (est 60mm), 177 VC structures, 43 tunnels, 40 underground fortifications, 51 foxholes, 9 tunnels, 31 punji pits, 26 sampans, 4.85 tons of rice and other supplies were destroyed.
(10) KAMUELA (20 Sep - 4 Oct). The 2nd Bn, 14th Inf conducted S&D operations along the eastern edge of the BOI LOI Woods vic XT5042. The battalion conducted combat assaults into the AO to cover the maximum area possible and develop the enemy situation. Shall penetrations were made along the eastern edge of the woods. On 26 Sep the battalion, acting on information obtained from a rallier, located over 280 tons of rice in seven separate locations. The 2nd Bn, 1st Inf was placed under OPCON of the 1st Bde on 27 Sep to secure the cache. Upon their arrival in the rice cache area, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf continued on the S&D operation while 2nd Bn, 1st Inf prepared to evacuate the rice. On 23 Sep, 50 laborers arrived from DAU TIENG on 5 ships to pick up and evacuate the rice to DAU TIENG. By 4 Oct, all edible rice has been evacuated (126.25 tons), and the remainder, having been inspected and declared inedible because of varying stages of decay, was destroyed. The two battalions then conducted an S&D operation to DAU TIENG and returned to their respective bases at CU CHI and TAY NINH. Results of the operation were 5 VC KIA (BC), 8 VC KBA (BC), 32 VC KIA (poss), 41 VC KBA (poss0, 3 VCC and 28 VCS. In addition, 1 CHICOM carbine, 35lbs of documents, 126.25 tons of rice, 2500 lbs of salt and other miscellaneous supplies were captured. Forty-four tunnels, 184 VC structures, 14 underground fortifications, 5 trenches, 14 spider holes, 157.90 tons of rice, 100 lbs of salt and other supplies were destroyed. (App 6)
(11) KAILUA (12 Oct - Continuing). 2nd Bde is conducting operations in the HAU NGHIA Province to locate and destroy VC forces, supplies and base camps, and to interdict VC LOC's. This operation began with Co B, 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf conducting saturation ambushes and security operations vic XT695096. Both the 1st and 2nd Bn, 27th Inf conducted airmobile assaults and S&D operations resulting in limited VC contact. Between 13 and 15 Oct, the three battalions established forward combat bases. Over 20 operations have been conducted to date based on information received through the TRANG BANG and BAO TRAI Joint Operations Centers. The operations have resulted in numerous VC caches being discovered, and on several occasions contact with VC forces. Scout dogs have proven useful to the Bde forces. On 23 Oct at 0200 hours, a scout dog attached to the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf alerted the unit to VC presence in the area. The battalion engaged the VC force resulting in 7 VC KIA (BC). Numerous firing positions were located for both 60mm and 81mm mortars. The Brigade has participated in several BUDDY operations and have conducted both CHECKMATE and BUSHMASTER operations. MEDCAPS have been conducted throughout the operational area. To date, over 1500 personnel have been treated. Results to date are 51 VC KIA (BC), 118 VC KIA (poss), 34 VCC, and 112 VCS. In addition, 7 small arms, 38 lbs of documents, 71,710 $VN; 26 grenades, 3 transistor radios, and 3 sampan motors were captured. Also, 600 lbs of TNT, 35 booby traps, 140 VC structures, 7 tunnels, 63 underground fortifications, 8 bridges, 2 boat docks, 33 sampans, and 3.2 tons of rice were destroyed.
b. (C) Artillery Support. During the quarter, 159,847 rounds of artillery were fired with the following results: 107 VC KIA (BC), 650 VC KIA (poss).
c. (C) Air Support. There were 2927 tactical air sorties during the quarter with the following results: 41 VC KBA (BC), 229 VC KBA (poss), 683 VC structures and 120 bunkers destroyed, and 45 secondary fires started, 12 secondary explosions, and 41 sampans destroyed.
d. (C) Army Aviation. There were 9102 army aviation combat sorties and 32,035 aviation support sorties resulting in 35 KBAA, 6 VCC, 27 structures and 8 sampans destroyed.
e. (C) Intelligence.
(1) VC Activity.
(a) August 1966.
1 VC initiated activity decreased within the 25th Inf Div's TAOR and other areas in HAU NGHIA Province in which division elements operated. The number of anti-aircraft incidents decreased by approximately 25% from those reported in July. The decrease of 65% in the number of road obstacles during the period is attributed to the presence of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf in the TRANG BANG area astride Route 1 where roadblock activity has been heaviest in the past. Reports indicate that the amount of VC movement within HAU NGHIA Province remained approximately the same as that reported in July. One major unit, the 273rd VC Regt, reportedly moved into the BOI LOI Woods at the beginning of August, but later moved to its present location north of the MICHELIN Plantation vic XT5458. Reports indicated the 273rd VC Regt was on a resupply and training mission.
2 One of the most significant indications of the VC's internal deterioration is the marked increase in CHIEU HOI returnees. Records at the Provincial CHIEU HOI Center indicate that 91 CHIEU HOI's rallied during August. This is the highest monthly figure for the year and represents an increase of 86% over July. Most returnees complained of the constant hardships and hazards they endured as VC soldiers. The VC's fear of the division's eagle flight operations was reflected in a recent captured document which indicated they could not defend against the operations, and their efforts were greatly affected by the operations.
3 Quick reaction to intelligence provided by the National Police Headquarters and thru the Joint US/ARVN/NP Operations Centers in HAU NGHIA Province resulted in numerous highly successful operations. Examples follow:
a On 4 Aug, this headquarters was notified that 100 VC were located in an orchard vic XT516006. Reacting rapidly to this intelligence, an immediate TAC air strike was called. The intelligence source returned to the area and reported that VC losses were 20 VC killed to include a VC Company Commander. Two mortars and 2 machine guns were also reported damaged during the strike.
b On 11 Aug, a joint operation by division elements, ARVN forces, and elements of the National Police was mounted. The intelligence source, a captured VCC, was made available for the operation by the TRANG BANG National Police Headquarters. He located hidden VC rice caches in AP AN PHY Hamlet (XT496173) containing a total of 24.25 tons. Residents indicated that the rice was left there by the VC for storage and subsequent recovery. Also during the operation, 8 VCS were apprehended and turned over to TRANG BANG District officials for further processing.
c On 17 Aug, intelligence received from Sector Headquarters, BAO TRAI, revealed the location og an ammunition cache at XT4017. An aerial reconnaissance was made, and on 18 Aug a company was airlifted into selected areas to search for the cache. Two separate caches that contained the following were uncovered: 136 booby traps, 732 hand grenades, 13 rifle grenades, 583 rounds of SA ammo, 1-60mm homemade mortar with base plate and bipod, 40-60mm mortar rounds, 1-57mm RR round, and 7 bangalore torpedoes.
d Based on intelligence provided by the TRANG BANG Joint Operations Center, division elements conducted a search and destroy operation vic XT521214 on 29 Aug. A VC platoon was encountered and immediate reaction combined with skillful tactical maneuvering resulted in 6 VC KIA (BC), 2 KIA (poss), 1 VCC, and 11 VCS apprehended. Fifteen bottles of medicine and 47 rounds of SA ammo were captured. Twenty-nine foxholes, 15 lbs salt, 11 VC structures, 1 tunnel, and 7 underground fortifications were destroyed.
e Based on intelligence provided by the CU CHI District National Police chief, a joint US/ARVN operation was launched against an assassination group known as the CU CHI Sapper Unit vic XT605061 on 29 Aug. The source, a member of the assassination group, furnished a detailed sketch of his unit's hideout. The sketch was confirmed by map study, detailed visual reconnaissance, and aerial photography conducted by the 25th MI Det. According to the source, the unit numbered 17 to 22 men. Based on the evaluation of the source and the study of the area, the mission was undertaken; results were 8 VC KIA (BC), 13 VCC, 4 VCS, and 7 small arms captured. Destroyed in the same area were 19 tunnels, 5 grenades, 1 booby trap, and 4 sampans. Evacuated were miscellaneous documents, clothing, and 303 rounds of small arms ammunition. The source accompanied the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf into the area of operations. Through his personal efforts, at least three VCC were captured together with their weapons. His detailed briefing enabled out forces to utilize most effectively a 140 man airmobile group as a “Quick Drop” force to head of VC escaping from the area of operations. Three of the VC body count included in the total were attained through this “Quick Drop” technique. The operation highlights the results that can be attained from a rapid evaluation and response to intelligence generated by joint US/ARVN collection efforts.
4 The VC continue to be forced from their base and supply areas, and have had an ever increasing problem of preventing ralliers from returning to the government. The presence of US forces continues to motivate the populace into offering information concerning VC activities. Rapid reaction by division elements in responding to agent reports and information provided by returnees has denied the VC the freedom of movement they previously enjoyed.
5 Total VC personnel, positions and equipment losses 1-31 Aug 66.
VC KIA (BC) - 81 Returnees - 91
VC KIA (poss) - 475 Small Arms - 30
VCC - 52 Rice - 46 tons
VCS - 305 Tunnels - 97
Trenches - 31 Underground
Fortifications - 200
(b) September 1966.
1 VC initiated activity during the month of September continued at relatively the same level as that of August within the 25th Inf Div's TAOR and HAUGH NGHIA Province. The exception was an increase of anti-aircraft incidents from 42 to 50. Roadblock incidents dropped from 12 to 11, continuing a downward trend initiated in August. VC movement reported within the division's area of operations also remained relatively constant with those reported for the previous month. The majority of reports placed confirmed units within their normal operational areas. The one exception was the movement of the 9th VC Div Hq to an area south of DAU TIENG, vic XT548385. Reports indicated that the division headquarters remained in the area for approximately 2 weeks before it displaced to the South Vietnam-Cambodian border, vic XT560900. The location of the division headquarters and its subordinate regiments prompted the movement of US forces to the DAU TIENG area to counter the threat. The area which was the subject of the largest number of reports concerning VC movement was along the ORIENTAL River from the LOC GAIN area, vic XT4077, to the HORSESHOE area, vic XT5592.
2 Intelligence provided division units by the Joint US/ARVN/NP Operations Center in HAU NGHIA Province resulted in 6 successful operations.
a On 1 Sep 66, a joint heliborne operation was conducted vic XT577035 in response to intelligence received from the MSS concerning the exact location of a VC propaganda activity associated with the DUC HOA District Committee. The operation, involving 2 companies of the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf and elements of the 49th Regt (ARVN), resulted in 9 VC KIA (VC), 22 VCC and the capture of 10 individual weapons, 10 lbs of medical supplies, 210 rds of SA ammo, and 40 lbs of documents.
b On 5 Sep 66, based on information provided by the Joint Operations Center at BAO TRAI, an airmobile operation was conducted vic XT526114, to locate 2 VC squads reported operating in the area. Contact was made and results of the operation included the capture of 4 VCC, 3 individual weapons and 110 rds of SA ammo. Interrogation of the VCC revealed the location of 2 large mines which were buried in a road and wired for command detonation.
c On 15 Sep 66, a heliborne assault was conducted by 2nd Bn, 27th Inf vic XT611061 to exploit intelligence indicating an estimated 20 VC in the area. The CU CHI National Police Chief accompanied assault elements along with 3 recently captured VCC who had knowledge of the general locale. Results of the operation included the capture of 4 VCC, 7 VCS, 2 weapons, 800 lbs of peanuts, 300 lbs of rice, 100 lbs of tobacco, 6 dry cell batteries, and 3 rolls of WD-1 wire.
d On 23 Sep 66, a joint operation was conducted vic XT6106 by the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf and the HAU NGHIA Province Intelligence Platoon. This operation was based on intelligence developed by the BAO TRAI Joint US/ARVN/NP Operations Center indicating the presence of a 12 man VC squad located in the area. Results of the operation included 4 VC KIA (BC), 3 VC KIA (poss) and the capture of 3 weapons, 20 hand grenades, 400 rds SA ammo. Fifteen VCS were also apprehended in the immediate area.
e On 24 Sep 66, the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, utilizing intelligence provided by the BAO TRAI Sector S2 and MSS, together with on the spot assistance of 2 CHIEU HOI's, conducted an operation in search of a reported VC aid station and ordnance cache. While searching the area, 2 VC were engaged resulting in 1 VC KIA (BC), 1 VC KIA (poss) and 1 weapon captured. The aid station was located at XS497972 and 145 lbs of misc medical supplies were captured. VC were engaged with artillery resulting in 9 more VC KIA (poss). The arms cache was located vic of XS506970 resulting in the capture of 377 rds SA ammo, 100 lbs rice, 2 grenades, and 14 ammo magazines.
f On 27 Sep 66, the 1st Bn, 27th Inf and a PF platoon from TRANG BANG District conducted an operation vic XT463243 based on information provided by the TRANG BANG Joint Operations Center indicating a VC platoon was located at the above coordinates. A series of small engagements and a thorough search of the area resulted in 14 VC KIA (BC), 8 VC KIA (poss), and the capture of 3 VCC, 3 weapons, 1 lb of documents, and the apprehension of 22 VCS.
3 The VC continue to be forced from their base and supply areas and still have the serious problem of ralliers returning to government control and assisting Free World Forces by providing information on VC activities. An example of this was illustrated on 26 Sep 66 when the 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, reacting to information volunteered by a rallier, captured 281 tons of rice.
4 On 11 Sep 66 at XT432172, thorough search techniques utilized by division troops resulted in the significant capture of VC photographic equipment. The 2nd Bn, 27th Inf located a 55 gal drum which had been carefully concealed in a thicket and covered with mud. The contents, which included 3 expensive movie cameras, 2-35mm cameras, 24 rolls of 35mm film, printing paper and development chemicals, probably were utilized by a relatively sophisticated VC propaganda or proselytizing activity operating in the area.
5 The presence of US forces continues to motivate the populace into offering information concerning VC activities. Rapid reaction by division elements in responding to agent reports and information provided by returnees has denied the VC the freedom of movement they previously enjoyed at the beginning of the year.
6 VC Personnel positions and equipment losses 1-30 September 1966:
VC KIA (BC) - 114
VC KIA (poss) - 281
VCC - 64
VCS - 231
Returnees - 50
Small Arms - 34
Rice - 312.5 tons
Tunnels - 240
Underground Fortifications - 152
(c) October 1966.
1 VC initiated activity during the month of October remained relatively the same as that of September. Roadblock incidents remained the same. Anti-aircraft incidents increased from 50 to 59 for an 18% increase. VC movement within the division's area of operations remained stable, with no significant movement noted. VC units operated in their normal area of operations.
2 Significant Operations:
a On 4 Oct, 4th Bn, 9th Inf discovered a VC arms/ammo cache vic XS676692. Information was provided by a CHIEU HOI, who led the unit to the operational area. Included in the cache were 3 CHICOM carbines, 2 French Carbines, 1 BAR, 1 Thompson SMG, 1-60mm mortar sight and assorted amount of grenades, rifle grenades, 81mm and 60mm ammunition, AT mines and demolition equipment. This was a joint US/ARVN operation. The close cooperation between the US and ARVN forces was instrumental in the success of the operation.
b On 5 Oct, a well organized and smoothly functioning US/ARVN Joint Operations Center in BAO TRAI proved its value again. Reacting quickly to an agent report giving the location of a VC squad, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf conducted a heliborne operation into the vic XT480048 - XT495055. The results of the operation included 3 VC KIA (BC), 6 VCC captured, 3 VCS apprehended and 1 Thompson SMG and misc documents captured.
c On 7 Oct, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, with the assistance of CHIEU HOI searched the area vic XT489067. The operation resulted in 4 VCC, 3 VCS and 5 lbs of medical supplies located and evacuated.
d 4th Bn, 9th Inf, with the assistance of the CHIEU HOI who led them to the cache of 10 Oct, found another cache vic XS675676. The cache included 1 CHICOM carbine, 6 turtle mines, 8 cylindrical mines, 150 AR magazines, 39 rifle grenades, 8-60mm mortar rounds, 400 rounds of 12.7 MLB, assorted communications equipment, SA ammunition and weapons parts.
e On 13 Oct, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf contacted a VC company vic XT652227. Results of the engagement were 5 VC KIA (BC), 7 VC KIA (poss), 1 VCS, and 2 CHICOM type 56 SMGs, 2 CHICOM type 56 carbines and 1 grenade launcher captured. The VCC revealed, under interrogation, that the company was the C4 Co, 7th Bn, 165A regiment which had a strength of 37 men. The under-strength company illustrates the fact that the division is taking a toll of the 165A Regt.
f D Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav gunships observed 6 VC and 2 mortars (est 60mm) vic XT645238 on 16 Oct. Gunships and TAF engaged the VC and suspected VC locations resulting in 9 VC KIA (BC), 13 VC KIA (poss); 2 mortars (est 60mm), 23 VC structures, 2 mortar positions, 2 underground fortifications, and 1 tunnel destroyed.
g On 22 Oct, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf captured an RCA 16mm projector, 10 reels of 16mm propaganda film, a microphone and other assorted signal equipment and parts vic XT753203. The equipment belonged to the SAIGON-GIA DINH Special Region Propaganda and Training Section.
h On 23 Oct, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf forward base area was attacked by an estimated VC company vic XS563986. The attack consisted of SA, AW, claymore, 60mm and 81mm mortar fire. A well executed counter mortar plan resulted in breaking the VC attack, and 7 VC KIA (BC), 20 VC KIA (poss), 7 VCC, 1 VCS, 1 CHICOM assault rifle, 2 hand grenades, 11 rifle grenades, 5 CHICOM claymore mines, 13 mortar rounds and misc SA ammunition were lost by the VC.
i On 24 Oct, a CHIEU HOI who rallied to TRUNG LAP Ranger Training Center, voluntarily led 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf to a demolitions cache vic XT604258. The cache included 600 lbs of TNT, 1 large shape charge, AT mines and 1 hand grenade. Twenty-five booby traps surrounding the cache were destroyed, along with the cache itself. The intelligence value of the CHIEU HOI was again exploited in the operation when he led the unit through a booby trapped area to the cache.
3 The VC continued to be forced from their base and supply areas by US operations. The loss of major supply caches will definitely affect the tactical capabilities of the VC in the near future. The VC also continue to have a serious problem of ralliers returning to government control and assisting Free World Forces with information on VC activities, supply and base areas.
4 The presence of US forces continues to motivate the people. An excellent example of this occurred on 30 Oct when a female villager pointed out a mail pick-up to 2nd Bn, 27th Inf. The unit located several VC letters in the area vic XT476059. The presence of US forces in the area of operations has given the people new confidence in their government and in the US effort to assist them. One good example of US influence occurred in LONG AN Province where the CHIEU HOI rate nearly tripled from September.
5 VC Personnel and Equipment Losses 1-31 October 1966:
VC KIA (BC) - 352
VC KIA (poss) - 39
VCS - 272
Small Arms - 30
Grain - 13.2 tons
(2) Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP):
(a) Operations. During the reporting period, the division LRRP conducted 26 patrols in HAU NGHIA, TAY NANH, and LONG AN Provinces. The LRRP has conducted missions for the ACofS, G2, the Brigades, and the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav. In doing so, the patrol has acquired the capability of operating at extended distances from the division base. When proper coordination and support is provided, the LRRP can obtain for units preoperational information concerning enemy movement patterns, troop concentration, and installations. During operations, the LRRP has acted as point reconnaissance and screening force for infantry battalions and cavalry troops. After operations, the LRRP has operated as a stay-behind force to monitor traffic of personnel and equipment that has returned to the operational area.
(b) Training. During the period, the LRRP has conducted a 92 hour water-borne training program. At the end of the instructional period, the patrol conducted 2 water-borne operations. On both operations sampans were used for the transportation of the LRRP. In addition to the water-borne training program, members of the division LRRP attended the 5th SFG (Project Delta) MACV RECONDO School. Of the 11 division personnel who attended the first course, one became the Honor Student. Presently the LRRP has an additional 11 personnel attending the course.
(3) Liaison: The G2 Section has increased its liaison capability within HAU NGHIA and TAY NINH attempting to insure that all intelligence information originating within these provinces is made available to the CG of the 25th US Division. In addition to the daily visits to the 25th ARVN Div HQ, Province Capital at BAO TRAI, and subsector headquarters, two officers are strategically positioned at key locations to assist in the reporting of intelligence. One is at TAY NINH Province and the other is positioned at the subsector headquarters at TRANG BANG. The value of this close liaison has proven itself on numerous occasions when perishable information was received and then relayed to division, thus enabling a rapid and effective division response.
(4) Counterintelligence: The influx of approximately 1200 daily hire laborers into the division base has required intensive and continuous counterintelligence measures to neutralize VC espionage. These measures have included maintaining personal data files on all indigenous personnel having access to the base, name checks against records of known or suspected VC or VC sympathizers, investigation of information concerning VC alleged to be in the division work force, and development of informants who can report on possible espionage attempts. Counterintelligence measures to date have resulted in the apprehension of 9 persons on the division base who have admitted to conducting activities for the VC. In addition, approximately 50 individuals have been detected with improper or false identification documents.
(a) The division CHECKMATE program of establishing check points at random locations along major transportation arteries in HAU NGHIA Province has been continued during this reporting period. It has denied to the VC the freedom of movement he once enjoyed by covertly moving personnel and equipment through our TAOR. These check points were manned by elements of the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, CI agents of the 25th MI Detachment, and National Police.
(b) Twenty-six CHECKMATES were conducted during the period and a total of 28,757 personnel, 2874 vehicles, and 15 sampans were screened. Results of these operations included 1 VCC, 21 VCS, and 3 AP mines captured.
(6) Tactical Imagery Interpretation Facility (TIIF):
(a) The TIIF has been received by this division and is utilized by the Targeting Section. Its primary function is to afford the imagery interpreter a highly sophisticated capability of interpreting photos.
f. (U) Logistics.
(1) Class I Supply.
(a) Status of rations at end of quarter.
TYPE RATION STOCKAGE OBJECTIVE (DAYS) O/H (DAYS)
A 3 3
B 5 5
C 4 4
(b) Fresh fruits and vegetables were received through SAIGON, from DALAT, RVN, and CONUS. A substantial percentage of fruits and vegetables have been received in an inedible condition.
(c) Ice cream issues were made 3 times per week. This included some air delivery to elements at TAY NINH.
(d) Ice issues.
AVG NO LBS/
1 TYPE ICE AVG NO LBS/DAY MAN/DAY
Potable 19,300 4.6
Non-Potable 78,300 6.0
2 One ice plant has been completed at CU CHI. Capacity will average 14 tons per day. Three more of these plants are needed to provide proper allowance of potable ice to troops in CU CHI.
(e) The Class I yard has been partially surfaced with laterite. At the end of the quarter it is still not usable for issue or storage.
(f) Close monitoring of unit periodic logistic reports by Division supply personnel and liaison with the supporting supply activities in SAIGON has kept critical shortages to a minimum.
(2) Class II & IV Supply.
(a) The number of items in critical demands has been reduced.
(b) The ASL has been increased by 204 line items. Total ASL is now 709 line items.
(3) Class III Supply - Issues during quarter:
COMMODITY DAILY (AV GAL) QUARTERLY (TOTAL GAL)
Mogas 12,000 1,042,828
Diesel 13,000 774,517
JP-4 17,000 1,188,420
Avgas 900 96,745
(4) Graves Registration.
(a) Deceased US personnel processed during the quarter - 128.
(b) Deceased RVN personnel processed during the quarter - 6.
1 10,692 bundles
2 1,837 washer loads
(a) Mileage driven:
1 Total - 163,791
2 Average daily - 1,753
(b) Tonnage moved:
1 Total - 2,834
2 Average daily - 31
(c) Troops moved by convoy:
1 Total - 8,137
2 Average daily - 88
(d) Personnel moved locally by bus:
1 Total - 7,095
2 Average daily - 77
(7) 725th Maintenance Battalion.
(a) The number of job orders completed during the quarter were as follows:
COMMODITY NO. COMPLETED
Fire Control 974
Office Machines 337
Small Arms 1,501
Track Vehicles 129
Wheel Vehicles 656
(b) Certain vehicles were modified with steel plating for protection of drivers and passengers.
(8) 25th Medical Battalion. This unit supported an average of 23 division units with medical service and supplies, as follows:
SERVICE NO OF PATIENTS
Lab Tests 8,267
A total of 4,783 medical supply items were issued during the quarter.
(9) Transportation Office.
(a) Convoys were operated between CU CHI and SAIGON to supply the CU CHI Base Camp and between CU CHI and TAY NINH to establish and re-supply the base camp for the 196th Infantry Brigade and the Philippine Civic action Group.
1 CU CHI - SAIGON
Total Convoys 350
Number per day 4
Total volume of vehicles 20,955
Average daily volume 235
Number of vehicles involved 1,464
In unit distribution
2 CU CHI - TAY NINH
Total Convoys 88
Number per day 1
Total vehicles 9,379
1st Log Comd vehicles 5,198
CU CHI base camp vehicles 2,820
196th Inf Bde vehicles 837
PHILCAG vehicles 524
(b) Air Force Airlift requirements - The transportation office coordinated Air Force airlift requirements for the 196th Infantry Brigade. Eighteen missions were requested and flown. Total cargo delivered was 832,604 pounds.
(c) Baggage Section. The Division Transportation Office established the Division Baggage Section in September. During the first six weeks of operation, this section has processed baggage for 211 personnel. Total baggage weight processed to date is 18,781 pounds.
(1) Division Ammunition Office.
(a) Stockage Objective.
1 Stockage objective - 1,600 tons (7 days)
2 On hand - (illegible) (illegible) days)
PERIOD AMOUNT (TONS/DAY)
16 Jul - 15 Aug 91.4
16 Aug - 15 Sep 92.3
16 Sep - 15 Oct 32.7
Average for quarter - 72.1 tons/day
(1) Personnel. During this period the personnel posture of the division has been excellent. Assigned strength (approximately 100.2%) slightly exceeds the authorized strength. There is a shortage of infantry NCO's (MOS 11B40) in the grades of E-5 and E-6. The casualty rate of NCO's has created a shortage in greater proportion than the rate of fill. A shortage also exists in armor intelligence NCO's (MOS 11D40) in grades E-5 and E-6. The fill action received in relation to the unprogrammed losses has not been sufficient to maintain a good strength picture in this area. Other critical shortages are Infantry Operations and Intelligence Specialist (MOS 11F20), General Cryptographic Repairman (MOS 31K20), and Artillery Mechanic (MOS 45F20). These shortages are the result of lack of fill action on requisitions. In a majority of the above instances personnel in lower grades, lower skill level MOS, and OJT categories are performing in these positions. Although it does not show in the overall personnel picture as reported to higher HQs, this necessary type of action results in malassignments, misutilization of personnel, and tends to present a false strength picture in lower grades and MOS skill levels. The overall officer strength picture within the Division is excellent. However, there still remains a grade imbalance between officers and warrant officers. This imbalance, for the most part, falls within the 25th Aviation Battalion. The non-availability of WO aviators and the subsequent fill of these positions with officers has caused this. Currently, that battalion has 37% of its authorized strength in WOs and 175% of its authorized strength in officers.
(2) Key losses/gains:
(a) 3 August 1966, Major Guy S. Maloy III assumed command of 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry.
(b) 10 August 1966, BG Edward H. DeSaussure, Jr. assumed command of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade.
(c) 22 August 1966, Lt Colonel William C. Barott assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry.
(d) 24 August 1966, Lt Colonel Felix Salvadore assumed command of the 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery.
(e) 24 August 1966, Lt colonel William D. Brown appointed Division IG.
(f) 16 September 1966, BG George G. O'Connor appointed ADC to 25th Infantry Division.
(g) 19 September 1966, Colonel Aaron E. Walker departed for 1st Log Command.
(h) 21 September 1966, Lt colonel John W. Vessey, Jr. appointed Division Artillery Executive Officer.
(i) 23 October 1966, Lt Colonel Kenneth R. Hass, Division Transportation Officer, departed for Hq USARV.
(3) The Division PX remains in operation with 4,000 square feet of floor space and 4,000 square feet of storage space. Total sales from the Division Site Exchange was $1,840,681.01 for the quarter ending 31 October 1966.
Division (-) as of 31 October 1966:
OFF WO EM AGG
Auth 727 163 10,838 11,728
Asgd 788 105 10,997 11,890
PDY 746 97 10,725 11,568
(5) Losses. (1 Aug - 31 Oct)
OFF WO EM ACG KIA 5 0 74 79
WIA 65 6 774 845
MIA 0 0 7 7
DOW 0 0 19 19
Non-Battle dead 0 0 3 3
Non-Battle injured 0 1 64 65
(6) Gains (1 Aug - 31 Oct).
OFF WO EM ACG
147 10 1,997 2,154
(7) Provost Marshal Activities.
(a) General. The Provost Marshal section and the 25th Military Police company have continued to provide military police support to elements of the 25th Infantry Division engaged in combat operations while simultaneously supporting the base camp operations.
(b) Base Camp Operations.
1 Due to the static semi-permanent nature of the division base camp operations, many military police functions normally associated with garrison type duties have been established for the proper control of personnel, military traffic and installation security to include: motorized patrols, both on and off post; gate guards at the installation entrances; security guards at key facilities and headquarters within the cantonment area; and the processing of all indigenous laborers employed within the base camp.
2 Processing Indigenous Personnel. Approximately 1200 indigenous personnel are processed in and out of the base camp daily except Sundays. Specific working areas within the base camp have been designated for indigenous laborers, and military police prohibit their access into unauthorized areas. Indigenous personnel desiring to conduct official business with units or staff sections are receipted for by US military personnel at the Main Gate and remain under their supervision while inside the cantonment area.
3 PW Collecting Point. A semi-permanent facility consisting of one perimeter fence and eight individual enclosures capable of housing 120 personnel has been completed. A total of 262 detainees were processed through the collecting point and subsequently classified as follows: PW's - 16; Civil Defendants - 146; Returnees - 21; Innocent civilians - 79. All detainees are fed three hot meals daily while at the PW Collecting Point. All foods, except for purely American type dishes are well received by the detainees, particularly meats, as it is a rare item in their diet. There have been no disciplinary or control problems concerning detainees, nor do they appear to be hostile toward the US Military. Detainees subsequently classified as innocent civilians are given “Helping Hand boxes” and solatium payments for each day detained prior to release to civil affairs personnel for return to their villages or place of capture.
4 Convoy Escorts. Military police have escorted 365 convoys, consisting of 23,707 vehicles for a total of 428,106 vehicle miles in support of Division tactical and re-supply operations. No significant problem areas were encountered.
5 Registration. For the purpose of identification and control of third national and local national personnel permanently employed at the base camp, and the control of privately owned weapons, war trophies, motor vehicles and pets, a registration section has been established within the Office of the Provost Marshal. Seventy-two identification cards were issued to ARVN interpreters attached to units of the Division, 60 identification cards were issued to third nationals employed by PA&E, and 197 privately owned weapons, 19 war trophies, 5 motor vehicles and 23 pets were registered with the Provost Marshal.
6 Discipline, Law, and Order. A total of 54 Class I and 73 Class II offenses have been reported resulting in the initiation of 43 Class I and 6 Class II criminal investigations, and the identification of 73 offenders. A total of 51 motor vehicle accidents have occurred resulting in 3 traffic fatalities, and a total property damage of $2,910.00. Other routine investigations involving division personnel were conducted with no serious incidents or unusual problems.
(c) Division Tactical Support. During the period 1-31 August 1966, the 1st platoon, 25th Military Police Company, was attached with the 1st Brigade for movement to TAY NINH to establish a base of operation for the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. Support provided to the 1st Brigade included: convoy escorts, checkpoint operations, TCP's, town patrolling, base camp patrolling, VIP escorts and security, processing of 118 detained personnel, and operation of an indigenous laborers checkpoint.
h. (C) Civic Action.
(1) A special Assistant to the commanding General for Revolutionary Development was designated. This adviser coordinates the overall GVN program of long term national growth (Revolutionary Development) with division activities.
(2) Statistical Summary.
August-October To Date
Helping Hand Recipients 31,000 56,000
MEDCAP Patients 28,500 54.400
Health & Sanitation 380 750
Construction 168 303
Transportation 41 88
Commerce & Industry 22 69
Agricultural & Natural Resources 6 10
Education & Training 51 118
Community Relations 210 554
Communications 35 107
Refugee Assistance 19 31
Public Affairs 46 107
(3) This quarter marked the expansion of the division's original civic action program into a larger area of influence on a recurring basis. Significant changes were:
(a) 1st Bde now has CA responsibility for one village, the 7th ARVN Regt dependent area in PHU HOA District, BINH DUONG Province, and the 50th ARVN Regt dependent area in LONG AN Province.
(b) 2nd Bde conducts its civic action programs in three villagaes, and for all 25th ARVN dependents in three additional villages.
(c) Division Artillery now provides civic action support for two large villages, and the dependents of two artillery Bns of the 25th Inf Div (ARVN).
(d) Other division elements are currently active in three other hamlets.
(e) The civic action program was extended to PHU HOA District, BINH DUONG Province and LONG AN Province.
(4) MEDCAP II. The division MEDCAP program has seen an expansion from 210 to 271 MEDCAPS and from 18,927 to 28,971 patients as compared with the last quarter. This expansion is due to increased use of ARVN medics, interpreters, doctors and nurses. MEDCAPS are using loudspeakers to announce MEDCAPS, and other communication devices to keep personnel occupied while waiting. There were two preventive medicine projects during the quarter. One consisted in administering smallpox and cholera immunization to school children in TAY NINH. The other consisted of administration of eye drops to all children in TAN THOI when the MEDCAP surgeon felt there was a possibility of an eye infection. Additionally, a prenatal clinic is being conducted by Division MEDCAP officers in TAY AN HOI.
(5) Helping Hand. The Helping Hand program became more diversified during the last quarter. On two occasions, a need was generated for living essentials. Once for 143 refugees and once for 160 national police dependents. The refugees generated by CIDG operations in DUC HUE District were relocated to the HIEP HOA sugar mill. The national police dependents were left homeless after the VC set fire to their quarters during an attack on 18 Oct. In both instances, Helping Hand was able to react immediately with refugee kits. There were two kits available; one for a family and one for an individual. These kits are purchased and pre-packaged at Helping Hand warehouse and contain the following:
Family Kit Individual Kit
Fry Pan Sleeping Mat
2 Water Buckets Rice Bowl
Rice Cooker Cup
Cooking Spoon Soup Spoon
Soup Base Chopsticks
(6) In August, 85 pallets of food, clothes, toys and medical supplies were received through a program known as American Christmas Trucks and Trains (ACTT) to supplement Helping Hand stocks. Additionally, 1,500 lbs of toothpaste were received from JUSPAO in September.
(7) Summary of issues (approximate).
Clothing - 126,800 pieces Dental kits - 7,000
Canned goods - 30,762 Soap - 36,722 bars
Pencils - 4,500 Toys - 10,212
Shower shoes - 915 pr Solatium boxes - 398
(8) Children's Parties. To celebrate the mid-autumn children's festival (children's TET) the division sponsored 10 mid-autumn children's parties for 4,020 children. In most cases, the traditional lanterns and moon cakes were purchased by division elements in keeping with the theme of the holiday. This was the division's first celebration of a strictly Vietnamese holiday and celebrations took place in four provinces. The parties were received with enthusiasm.
(9) Construction projects increased considerably during this quarter. Light construction work, to include road repair, is a part of all extended major tactical operation. Construction continues to be a lasting and necessary contribution to the Revolutionary Development program. As an example, in CU CHI District, playground equipment was fabricated, the national police headquarters is being rebuilt and an unused school building in XOM HUE was repaired with the division providing the material for renovation and the villagers doing the work under the Self Help Program. Statistics to date include:
Meters of road repair - 32,650
Playgrounds - 12
Wells built or capped - 6
Total projects - 263
Other significant projects included gates and fencing, structure repair, school refurbishing, and construction for local officials.
(10) RF/PF assistance. Closely related to construction has been the RF/PF assistance program. Barrier materials to include barbed wire, sand bags, steel stakes, and concertina have been delivered to 73 compounds. A pilot housing project in TAN PHU TRUNG was completed, to be followed by construction of kitchens for each family unit. Commodity assistance to dependents by division units is occurring regularly to supplement the meager pay and allowances of the RF/PF.
(11) Operational Activities.
(a) Operation LANIKAI. The most significant pacification type operation during the period commenced on 15 Sep in LONG AN. The movement of a battalion into the delta area with a pacification mission is doing much to assist Revolutionary Development in that province. The purpose of this operation is to use joint US-Vietnamese civic action and limited combat operations to improve the security of the area while providing Vietnamese officials with an opportunity to explain to the people the policies and intentions of the government. LANIKAI civic action is intensive and was planned prior to commencement of the operation by US and GVN. A Friendship Council meets once a week to monitor and review the program.
(b) Operation KAILUA. As a part of this operation, an intensive civic action program was undertaken in THO MO hamlet by the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf. This part of the operation was an excellent example of what an infantry battalion can achieve in pacification. The battalion used two HOI CHANH (returnees) to speak to the people about why they returned to the GVN cause, and to make commodity distribution. The people were well treated by the American soldiers and it is felt that even though the US forces did not remain in the area permanently, their actions will counter any anti-American propaganda of the Viet Cong in the future and make the people start to judge for themselves the two ways of life that they have been exposed to. Troop activity in civic action projects started spontaneously as the soldiers began to assist the people in their daily living. A footbridge was built, MEDCAPS were conducted, stagnant water holes were drained, and necessary commodity distribution of clothing and food were part of the program. The primary value of this entire endeavor was a demonstration to the people of the advantages of living under government control.
i. (C) Psychological Operations (PSYOP).
(1) Summary of Activities.
(a) PSYOP activities during the quarter were directed mainly at supporting the numerous Revolutionary Development-oriented operations conducted by elements of the division in HAU NGHIA, TAY NINH, and LONG AN Provinces.
(b) Leaflet drops and handouts were made almost daily. A total of 10,239,400 leaflets were distributed throughout the division operational area. The division established its own basic load of leaflets during the quarter. Stocks of the most commonly used standard leaflets are maintained on hand at division headquarters, and at the brigades. Requests from subordinate units are filled without delay, and the leaflets for missions flown by division aircraft are supplied from these stocks. Approximately 3,000,000 leaflets are now on hand with plans to increase the basic load to about 5,000,000 leaflets in the near future. Ten leaflets were developed and printed locally for immediate exploitation of propaganda opportunities. In addition, approximately 10,000 JUSPAO magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and posters were distributed during the course of tactical operations and civic action activities. The propaganda media output for this quarter was nearly three times that for the preceding quarter.
(c) Aerial and ground loudspeaker broadcasts were used throughout the period. A total of 70 aerial loudspeaker missions were flown in support of division operations. Actual broadcast time was 23 hours and 42 minutes. Nine of the missions were flown by division aircraft, and the remainder were flown by IIFFORCEV (246th PSYOP Co). The division now has its own aerial loudspeaker broadcast capability. Improvised systems have been developed for both the UH-1B/D and OH-23 aircraft. Presently, one system is being used by the PSYOP branch of the G5 section, and three others are on loan to subordinate units. Ground loudspeaker broadcasts were employed extensively during MEDCAP, CHECKMATE, and other operations.
(d) IFFORCEV provided the division with four PSYOP teams from the 246th PSYOP Co during the quarter. One of the teams advises the PSYOP branch of the G5 section and the others were attached to brigades during operations. The teams proved extremely helpful by providing qualified advice and assistance in planning and implementing PSYOP activities. PSYOP teams from the 25th Inf Div (ARVN) were used at brigade and battalion levels for extended periods during four major operations. GVN/US “Go Teams”, one from HAU NGHIA and one from LONG AN, accompanied US units on a daily basis during two operations. The Vietnamese cultural team sponsored by JUSPAO gave two performances in support of division operations. All of these GVN teams provided valuable and effective assistance to US units in their contacts with the local populace.
(e) The division provided PSYOP support to elements outside the division on five occasions. Two leaflet drop missions were flown for the 49th Regt (ARVN), two for HAU NGHIA provincial authorities, and one for the Special Forces detachment at HIEP HOA.
(f) The CHIEU HOI program continued to be a major area of application. Much of the division's propaganda output has CHIEU HOI themes. Returnees statistics for provinces in which division units operated are:
HAU NGHIA LONG AN TAY NINH
August 91 31 38
September 53 33 25
October 42 86 24
The marked increase in returnees for LONG AN Province is attributed to:
1 The presence of US troops which forced the fragmentation of larger Viet Cong units and their relocation into villages and hamlets. This, in turn, is considered to have caused many local cadre to defect because of a loss of prestige and authority.
2 The miserable living conditions in Viet Cong controlled areas due to extensive flooding.
3 A wider dissemination of propaganda, particularly concerning the CHIEU HOI program.
It is significant that in October for the first time, two returnees turned themselves in directly to a division unit, 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf in TAN PHU TRUNG. Interviews of 29 returnees were conducted during the quarter. Eight were immediately exploited with taped loudspeaker appeals, and seven were exploited with the printing of personalized leaflets. One of the returnees was a talented singer and willingly sang his appeal. The PSYOP branch has instituted a CHIEU HOI returnee leaflets and tapes library. Returnee leaflets and tapes originated by the division are held in the library for four months to permit immediate exploitation as soon as the returnee's unit is again located and targeted. Four of the returnees interviewed were main force, 2 were local force, and 23 were local guerrillas. Of the returnees interviewed, 26 stated they had seen and read leaflets, and 25 said they had heard loudspeaker broadcasts. Most admitted that they were influenced to break with the Viet Cong by the leaflets and broadcasts. Relatives and friends who had seen and heard GVN/US propaganda persuaded 15 returnees to defect. All said that their Viet Cong cadre took countermeasures against GVN/US propaganda. The interviews reaffirmed Viet Cong PSYOP vulnerabilities. The most prevalent reasons for their returning were:
Fear of GVN/USFWMAF might,
Desire to return to family,
Hardships of Viet Cong life.
The CHIEU HOI program also was supported in other ways. Helping Hand commodities were distributed to 42 families of returnees living in the CU CHI area. Food, cooking utensils, cots, and mosquito nets were provided to the CHIEU HOI Center at CU CHI to improve that facility. Employment for returnees was coordinated with Pacific Architects and Engineers Corporation, the company performing repair and utilities services for Army installations in Vietnam. To date, 14 formerly unemployed returnees have been hired. A “Friendship House” was built to accommodate returnees while they are with the division. This comfortably outfitted cottage has done much to favorably impress the returnees and win their cooperation.
(g) During the reporting period, the PSYOP branch has been expanded by the assignment of one major and one lieutenant. Justification for this expansion is contained in the MTOE submitted in early August. The MTOE also provided for one captain as a PSYOP officer in the S5 section of each brigade headquarters. Tentative approval has been received from HQ, USARPAC to proceed in filling the positions requested in the MTOE. Those additional persons specifically responsible for PSYOP activities throughout the division are expected to further enhance the division PSYOP program.
(a) In addition to the improvements mentioned above, division PSYOP program progressed during the quarter as evidenced by the improved awareness of the importance and effectiveness of PSYOP throughout the division. This has resulted in the more deliberate and thorough planning of PSYOP activities, the increased use of a greater variety of PSYOP techniques and devices during operations, and the more extensive and dense coverage of operational areas. Indications that the propaganda output is reaching and affecting the intended target audiences are the returnee rates, the favorable reports from returnees, and the reported negative reactions from Viet Cong cadre.
(b) Locally fabricated field expedient mounts for loudspeaker equipment can be adapted to aircraft available within the division. This gives the division its own aerial loudspeaker broadcast capability.
(c) Stockage of commonly used standard leaflets at division and brigade levels permits fulfilling requirements without delay.
(d) It has been found that an energetic “merchandising” of PSYOP at lower command levels enhances the overall PSYOP program. Through the media of liaison visits and inspections, the PSYOP branch has made a concerted effort to orient commanders and staff officers at all levels on the importance and potential benefits of PSYOP and the techniques and devices available to them. The orientations have resulted in deliberate and effective PSYOP being incorporated into all operations.
j. (U) Medical.
(1) Personnel and Supporting Medical Units.
(a) The Division at the end of the report period was short 5 Medical Corps Officers. These shortages were the Division Aviation Medical Officer in the Division Surgeon's Section, and four in the 25th Medical Battalion. We now have two MC Officer TDY from the 12 Evacuation Hospital. It is believed that this TDY program will orient hospital doctors with the Division medical functions and limitations.
(b) Elements of the 12th Evacuation Hospital began moving into CU CHI during October. Fourteen Quonsets have been completed and construction is continuing in the area. Personnel are working with the 7th Surgical Hospital.
(2) Special Events. On 5 September a special memorial was dedicated to CPT Authur E. Lewis, MC, who was killed on 17 May 1966. The Base Camp Dispensary was renamed Authur E. Lewis Dispensary in his honor.
(3) Preventive Medicine.
Health of the Command.
1 Personal hygiene. The personal hygiene and physical condition of the troops are excellent. No significant skin disease problems occurred during the third quarter 1966.
2 Disease. The Division has been very fortunate with respect to disease. During the 7th, 8th, and 9th months in RVN, no diseases occurred in large enough numbers to affect the fighting strength of the Division.
a The admission rates, rate/1000 men/year, for selected diseases are as follows:
Disease Aug Sep Oct
Common Respiratory Diseases 28.7 25.0 30.4
Diarrheal Diseases 15.6 26.5 39.5
Psychiatric Disease 6.6 2.3 5.3
Malaria 16.4 4.7 0.8
Infectious Hepatitis 4.9 1.6 5.3
Heat Injury 1.6 13.0 4.6
b Common respiratory disease ranks first and diarrheal disease ranks second in terms of number of admissions contributing to the non-effectiveness in personnel.
c Malaria has not been a problem in the 25th Infantry Division TAOR. While the majority of the cases were contracted on operations, at least one case occurred in an individual who did not leave the Base Camp, indicating the necessity for personal protective measures in the Camp.
d During July, 1966, the first case of melioidosis in RVN was diagnosed in a member of the 25th Infantry Division. Sporadic cases have been confirmed since then. Thus far, eight cases have occurred in Division personnel. Three individuals have expired from this disease.
e Venereal disease is being contracted at a steady rate. There was a significant drop during September. The rates for August, September, and October were 278.0, 205.5 and 212.3 cases/1000 men/year, respectively. Gonococcic conditions are by far the most common venereal disease, accounting for over 90% of cases. Chancroid and syphilis are second and third in the number of cases.
f The non-battle injury rates were 60.7, 70.2 and 57.3 admissions/1000 men/year for August, September, and October, respectively.
(4) Environmental Sanitation.
(a) Water supply. The Division has been supplied a highly favorable quantity of potable water by the engineers. Approximately 10 gallons/man/day are provided. Potable water has a 5ppm residual at the point of distribution and 2ppm at the point of consumption. The non-potable water is batch chlorinated to 8ppm to increase the degree of safety of this water for use in showers, etc.
(b) Insect and rodent control. Pacific Architects and Engineers are beginning to assume the responsibility of insect and rodent control. However, the main effort is still carried by Division personnel.
(c) Indigenous personnel. From a medical standpoint, the only Vietnamese nationals having a potential effect on the health of the troops are barbers. These people are required to have health certificates granted by a USA medical facility.
(5) Veterinary Data.
(a) During the quarter, a veterinary food inspection specialist was attached to the Division. His primary duty is to recommend and maintain sanitary practices of food distribution at the Class I yard.
(b) An ice cream plant began operations during the quarter. Initially, the product yielded excessively high standard plate counts and coliforms on bacteriological studies. This has since been corrected.
(c) Support for rabies control is provided by the 4th Medical Detachment, APO 96307. A veterinarian visits the Camp approximately once a month to immunize animals for rabies.
k. (U) Signal. The Division Signal Officer and ADSO attended the Army Signal Officers conference. The ADSO became part of study group which worked out plan for relationships between 1st Signal Brigade troops, who will provide base camp communications, and tactical units. The plan was forwarded to US/ARV for final approval. On 2 Sep the 86th Signal Bn Hq Det arrived at CU CHI Base Camp. This unit will ultimately be responsible for base camp communications. On 3 Oct, the DSO was visited by a team from the Office of the Chief of Communications and Electronics who desire to install IWACS into the base camp area to upgrade telephone trunking service. No definite date was given for the installation. The Division Distribution Authority completed the modification of all AN/GRC-46;s in the Div to operate with the KW-7. Installation of TSEC/KY-8 voice cyphony equipment was completed within the Brigades and Div Arty.
l. (U) Training.
(a) Replacement training continued throughout the month of August with emphasis placed on weapons firing, the use of special equipment, and claymore mines. Classes on adjustment of artillery fire, prevention of heat injuries, tunnel searching techniques, and squad tactics were taught. An orientation on the CHIEU HOI program and classes on Rules of Engagement with emphasis on minimizing noncombatant casualties was given. Special emphasis has been applied to night training to include night firing and night airmobile operations.
(b) The Lightning Ambush Academy conducted ambush training for twelve rifle platoons during the month. New ambush and counter-ambush techniques acquired through recent lessons learned are continually applied to the program of instruction.
(c) The recently acquired Scout Dog Platoon has conducted conditioning and proficiency drills between combat missions.
(d) A program to assist in the training of a IIFFORCEV aero rifle platoon had been developed and was scheduled to begin on 2 Sep 66.
(2) September: Replacement training and refresher training continued through the month of September. The Lightning Ambush Academy graduated its 25th class on 30 September. Training continued on special equipment such as intrusion devices, starlite scopes, and claymore mines. Training emphasis continued on night training, ambush, counter-ambush, adjustment of artillery fires, weapons proficiency, field sanitation, and personal hygiene. Training of the 197th Avn Co, with 1 rifle platoon of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf, to develop an aero rifle platoon for IIFORCEV was terminated on 30 September. Driver safety training was initiated at unit level in September and will continue as a quarterly training requirement.
(3) October: Efforts during the month of October were directed towards training replacements.
(a) The recently organized Division Replacement Training Detachment began training all replacements on 19 Oct 66. Initially, two 60 man classes were programmed each week. Classes will continue for 4 days, with the fourth day devoted entirely to the preparation and conduct of an ambush patrol. Other subjects include Know Your Enemy, Know Your Friends, The CHIEU HOI Program, Rules of Engagement, VC Mines and Booby Traps, Adjustment of Artillery Fires, Weapons Training and Special Equipment Training. As of 31 Oct 66, one hundred and seventy-two personnel have received training.
(b) The Mines and Booby Trap course, constructed and operated by the 6th Engineer Battalion, commenced formal instruction on 16 Oct 66. The course consists of a four hour unit of instruction on identification of US and VC mines and booby trap devices, and the VC methods of employment. Additionally, students are shown VC tunnels, fortifications, spider holes, and a village environment. Six courses have been completed. Replacement trainees also receive this training. The Lightning Ambush Academy graduated its 38th platoon size class at the end of Oct 66. Additionally, officers and NCOs from the 25th Inf Div (ARVN), 4th Inf Div and PHILCAGV attended classes.
(c) Division schools in mess management, generator operation, small arms maintenance, and demolition and explosives continued.
(d) Non-Divisional courses also continued with students sent to Recondo School at NHA TRANG, and orientation courses at SAIGON and TAN SON NHUT.
2. (C) Commanders Analysis/Recommendations.
a. Commanders Recommendations. Pacification operations in support of the Revolutionary Development program are geared to winning over the local populace and undermining VC influence. Results thus far attained include:
(1) Furtherance of US and GVN aims and policies.
(2) Extension of GVN influence into more areas through the building of bridges and road repairs to reopen civilian lines of communication previously cut by the VC. Traffic on LOC's in HAU NGHIA opened during the last reporting period continued with few VC incidents. The increased ARVN CA programs, to include an ambitious RF/PF CA program in HAU NGHIA for the last quarter 1966 are a major step in improving VN civilian-military relationships. Examples of these programs are: a dispensary being constructed by 4th Bn, 50th Regt (ARVN) at LONG HOA, the repairing and repainting of the MY LOC school in LONG AN and rebuilding of the adjacent outpost by the 46th Regt (ARVN).
(3) A continued increase of voluntary informants and willingness of VCS and VCC to implicate fellow cell committee members.
ITEM: Reporting on battlefield injuries.
DISCUSSION: Administrative problems resulted when troop and platoon medics treating minor battlefield injuries failed to prepare FMD DD Form 1380. All battlefield injuries, no matter how slight, should be carded as soon as feasible after the injury, and notification of injury should be given to the dispensary.
OBSERVATION: Preparation and submission of the FMD DD 1380 facilitates keeping track of all wounded, and expedites the awarding of Purple Hearts when applicable.
ITEM: Marking of landing zones for night airmobile operations.
DISCUSSION: During night airmobile operations, aircraft have landed as far as 2000 meters from intended landing zones due to the difficulty of navigation at night over featureless terrain. On several occasions, landing zones have been successfully marked at night by using white phosphorous shells. On one occasion, illuminating shells were used for navigational rounds for a helicopter night extraction of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol and proved to be very satisfactory.
OBSERVATION: White Phosphorous and illuminating shells can be used to mark landing zones at night. Close coordination between the Flight commander and the Fire Detection Center is essential to insure that the aircraft is not endangered, and that the aircraft is close enough to the landing zone to observe the burst.
ITEM: Maintaining communications on enemy contact.
DISCUSSION: Generally, in any combat situation, the leader and his radio are near the front. Many times upon enemy contact the radio is damaged, or the leader or RTO are incapacitated. Thus the platoon is momentarily without communications during a most critical period.
OBSERVATION: The use of a back-up radio at the rear of the platoon with the second in command will provide continuous communications throughout enemy contact.
ITEM: Care of wounded personnel.
DISCUSSION: The rapid and proper care of wounded often interferes with the exploitation of contact with the enemy. One technique successfully employed to minimize this effect is to allow the element making contact to fight while the elements following care for the wounded. Lead elements will usually sustain the majority of casualties. The elements following must be prepared to care for and evacuate the casualties. This will allow the lead element to fire and maneuver rather than get tied down by evacuation.
OBSERVATION: If this tactic is to be utilized, the elements following must be capable to caring for an evacuating the wounded.
ITEM: Use of gunships.
DISCUSSION: Gunships firing at distances of 40-50 meters from friendly troops has been found to be very effective. The “hugging” tactics of the VC often preclude the use of artillery. However, by marking friendly positions with smoke, gunships can very effectively support troops with machine guns and rockets, making their passes parallel to the line of combat.
OBSERVATION: This tactic has proven very effective when the VC were too close for use of friendly mortars or artillery.
ITEM: LZ selection/paddy areas.
DISCUSSION: During the wet season, almost all paddies are inundated. Trafficability for foot troops in the paddies varies with the status of the rice crop. Thos areas where the rice has been harvested with the stocks cut are muddier than where rice is still growing. To clear an LZ as quickly as possible, the air landed soldier needs the best possible footing. LZ's should be picked where the rice is still growing. These can easily be identified from the air by their color. Brown fields are usually muddy while green ones have a firmer footing. Those which have been recently plowed should be avoided at all costs.
OBSERVATION: Commanders should select paddies which are green in color for LZ's and PZ's.
ITEM: Identification of captured supplies.
DISCUSSION: When multiple units are operating in large cache areas, the supplies found should be marked or identified to preclude duplication in reporting.
OBSERVATION: Units should develop SOP's to establish identification of supplies and equipment found in large cache areas.
ITEM: Submission of ground fire reports by flight elements during airmobile operations.
DISCUSSION: Accurate and timely reporting of ground fire to the air mission commander during airmobile operations is essential. These reports influence decisions made concerning use of alternate approach and departure routes, alternate LZ's and PZ's, use of gunships, additional airstrikes, use of artillery, and terminating or delaying the assault or extraction.
OBSERVATION: Recommend that the vital importance of accurate and timely ground fire reports be stressed with all aviators.
ITEM: Planning of alternate approach and departure routes during airmobile operations.
DISCUSSION: The aviation battalion has learned through conduct of airmobile operations that detailed planning of alternate approach and departure routes is a must. Coupled with this planning is the requirement for a detailed briefing of flight leaders and all aircraft commanders on these alternate routes. By monitoring ground fire reports and altering the flight path of subsequent flight elements, damage to aircraft by ground fire can be reduced.
OBSERVATION: Recommend that on all airmobile operations, planning for alternate approach routes receive the same detail attention as selection of primary zones.
ITEM: Lighting devices for hasty helipads.
DISCUSSION: The aviation battalion is frequently called upon to conduct night medical evacuations. On occasions, the evacuation could have been effected sooner if the troop unit possessed adequate lighting devices.
OBSERVATION: Recommend all patrols and units operating in the field at night carry sufficient devices to signal and guide a helicopter to a safe landing. These items should be listed on patrol leaders' checklists and all personnel instructed in selection of hasty helipads and the use of lighting devices.
ITEM: Alternate command control party for airmobile operations.
DISCUSSION: During airmobile operations, an airborne command and control party is essential. Provisions must be made for an alternate command and control party to assume the functions of the primary party should the need arise. The alternate party must be responsive to the assumption of command should the primary party be forced to leave the operational area for refueling or in the event their aircraft is forced down by mechanical failure or enemy action.
OBSERVATION: Recommend planning for all airmobile operations include provisions for an alternate command and control party.
ITEM: Communications for downed aircraft recovery operations.
DISCUSSION: Experience has shown that when an aircraft is downed during an airmobile operation a recovery force commander must be appointed. He is responsible for securing the downed aircraft, evacuating the crew, and finally evacuating the aircraft. Forces required to accomplish this are placed under his operational control. When the recovery force element and the air mission commander utilize the same UHF frequency, the volume of transmissions is so great that prompt clear communications is impossible.
OBSERVATION: Recommend plans for an airmobile operation include reserving a sole user UHF frequency for all downed aircraft recovery operations.
ITEM: Improper utilization of Firefly equipment.
DISCUSSION: More discrimination should be exercised in determining the validity of Firefly missions. Adverse weather conditions and the type of terrain to be observed can almost completely eliminate the effectiveness of this team. Surprise is one of the primary advantages provided by the Firefly team. Continued or nightly use in the general areas reduces this desirable characteristic.
OBSERVATION: Use Firefly teams sparingly and with weather and missions commensurate with its capabilities. The Firefly team leader's opinion of the validity of the mission should carry considerable weight since he is more fully aware of the effectiveness of the team in relation to conditions existing at the time of the mission request.
ITEM: Improper use of gunships in support of ground units.
DISCUSSION: Gunships by their very nature are close support weapons, more highly maneuverable and more responsive to changing ground combat situations than any other equipment available to the ground commander. Their primary role is to provide suppressive fire against enemy targets and small arms directed against troops on the ground or aircraft on an airmobile mission. The presence of gunships in an area where fire is restricted or prohibited is useless and is only offering additional targets for the enemy. Orbiting over an area for long periods of time when not in contact with the enemy greatly reduces the aircraft's “on station” time when actually needed and increases maintenance burdens on the aircraft.
OBSERVATION: Gunships in support of ground elements, after being briefed on the disposition of friendly troops and the tactical situation, should remain on the ground until a target is available or gunship support can be used. Gunships should not be used solely in an observation role or just as a deterrent because of their presence.
ITEM: The use of red lights for marking LZ's by pathfinder detachments has proved to be ineffective.
DISCUSSION: On recent night airmobile operations, red lights in the form of a “T” were used by pathfinder personnel to mark the LZ. The inbound flight of helicopters were able to distinguish the general area of the landing zone by observing the flashing light gun used by the pathfinders. However, the touchdown point marked with the red light “T” could not be seen. It has been determined that the red lights on the LZ blended with the red instrument and cockpit lights inside the aircraft.
OBSERVATION: Recommend that in future night pathfinder operations, green, blue or amber lights be used to mark LZ's. These colors contrast with cockpit lighting and can readily be picked up by helicopters during the approach to the landing zone.
ITEM: Briefing of supported aviation units.
DISCUSSION: Aviation support for brigades of the division is provided almost daily by direct support airmobile companies not organic to the division. As a rule, these direct support airmobile companies do not habitually support the same brigades, but are assigned a direct support mission on a daily basis depending on the requirements of II Force. Frequently, these direct support airmobile companies are not familiar with the area of operation. To insure maximum efficiency and safety or operation, the liaison officer of the direct support unit should receive a detailed briefing by the supported unit to include: ground tactical plan, location of friendly units, enemy situation and the location of any ground fire received by aircraft previously operating in the area.
OBSERVATION: That either the Brigade Aviation Officer or the S3 representative, or in the case of an infantry battalion, the S3 brief the direct support airmobile company liaison officer on the above listed items.
ITEM: Inherent danger of low level flying.
DISCUSSION: On two different occasions within the past three months, casualties have been sustained from enemy gunfire by aircraft flying low left at an altitude just sufficient to clear terrain obstacles. In both cases, the aircraft were flying low level in an effort to avoid gun target fire of friendly artillery. Neither flight was made out of necessity, but rater to save time. In both cases, the flights could have been conducted at an altitude beyond the effective range of small arms and automatic weapons with only a slight deviation of course necessary to avoid artillery gunfire.
OBSERVATION: Aircraft should not be operated at low levels unless out of tactical necessity. Administrative flights should not be conducted a low level.
ITEM: Night illumination for heliborne operations.
DISCUSSION: Night heliborne operations require some type of illumination over the LZ's if the operation is to be successful in areas where the condition of the LZ and the surrounding terrain is unknown. Artillery flares, WP artillery rounds, “Firefly” aircraft and Navy Flare MK24, Mod II have been used with varying degrees of success.
OBSERVATION: Artillery flares are not desirable as their burnout time is too rapid, the candlepower of the lighted flare is not of desired intensity and the adjustment or placement of the flare requires too much coordination for the short period of time that it will be used.
A WP artillery round is desirable for marking the landing zone when no other form of artificial illumination is available. The round should be placed in the LZ 2 minutes prior to the actual landing. This procedure insures that the flight leader will see the flash of the exploding round and heading on the inbound flight can be adjusted. Smoke from the burning round can be seen by the flight leader 1500-1600 meters depending on the amount of natural light available.
Illumination of the LZ with the aid of the floodlights mounted on the “Firefly” aircraft provides a minimal amount of light on the LZ, but because of the arrangement of the lights on the mount, they will only project a fairly concentrated beam of light on a small portion of the LZ.
The Navy Flare, MK 24, Mod III dropped from a circling helicopter provides the best source of illumination of the LZ when dropped upwind two minutes prior to touchdown of the lift aircraft. Direct communications between the C&C aircraft and the flare aircraft enables rapid adjustment of succeeding flare drops if the initial drop is not in the desired location.
ITEM: Airmobile operations.
DISCUSSION: The success of eagle flight operations (airmobile assaults into targets of opportunity) depends largely upon the teamwork between the infantry unit and the supporting army aviation. Units which constantly work together form a high degree of proficiency in this type of operation. Supporting airmobile companies which are not familiar with either the infantry unit or the type operation or the areas of operation experience difficulty in successfully performing the mission.
OBSERVATION: Infantry battalions should be supported by the same airmobile company on all operations.
ITEM: Mechanized infantry in sweeping operations.
DISCUSSION: Mechanized infantry should make rapid sweeps through the major portion of their AO on the first day or days of the operation to close with and destroy the fleeing VC. Very little time, if any, should be spent on detailed searches the first day of the operation. Detailed searches on the first day or days of the operation should be conducted by additional troops or by the dismounted troops of the mechanized infantry on its return sweep through the area.
OBSERVATION: The major contacts and engagements with the VC occur on the first day of operation.
ITEM: VC contact.
DISCUSSION: When contact is made the VC withdraw through an area where either tunnels, bunkers or trenches are located. As US forces halt to conduct searches of those structures, the VC break contact and escape. The VC break up into two and three man teams, leaving one team in the bunker/tunnel location.
OBSERVATION: Rapid maneuver and pursuit should be employed to close with and destroy the VC. Very little time, if any, should be spent on searches of tunnels and bunkers when VC forces withdraw through these areas. Reserve elements should be employed in those areas as the major part of the unit continues rapid movement to close with and destroy the VC force. After the destruction of the fleeing VC force, elements should make a return sweep through the area and at this time detailed searches of tunnels and bunkers should take place.
ITEM: Explosives and demolitions carried in APC's.
DISCUSSION: Explosives and demolitions are carried in the cargo compartment with troops. On occasion, vehicles carrying troops and explosives hit anti-tank mines which cause the explosives to detonate. The dual explosions increased casualties and damage to vehicles.
OBSERVATION: Only a minimum of demolitions should be carried and additional demolitions brought out by re-supply means. The carrier which is used to carry the demolitions should have a minimum number of personnel aboard to reduce the number of personnel exposed to a single explosion.
ITEM: Organization of convoy escort by the cavalry troop.
DISCUSSION: Each platoon is responsible for one serial which will have a maximum of 50 wheeled vehicles. Scout squads are placed at the beginning and end of each serial. The lead squad moves far ahead of the column, checking the area to the front of the serial for ambushes and command detonated mines. The remaining vehicles of the platoon are dispersed throughout the serial. The platoon leader commands each serial so that he can control the speed. A trail party consisting of the maintenance armored personnel carriers, wreckers, and two headquarters APC's for security, is positioned at the end of the convoy. The communications truck is placed in the last serial. The company commander is habitually airborne.
OBSERVATION: The above organization has been found to be the best method for escorting convoys on a regular basis.
ITEM: Distribution of troops in convoys.
DISCUSSION: On one occasion, the VC detonated a mine against a truck carrying troops in convoy. The truck was the 110th vehicle in a column of 120. The majority of the vehicles were empty except for three trucks at the rear of the column carrying troops. The mine explosion wounded four men. However, it caused no damage to the truck.
OBSERVATION: Personnel in truck convoys should be evenly distributed on vehicles to minimize targets for VC mining incidents if tactical integrity can be maintained.
ITEM: Assault of trench lines and prepared positions by armored cavalry forces.
DISCUSSION: Recently, a cavalry troop encountered the VC in well prepared, skillfully concealed trench systems located in a rubber plantation area. The area was taken under artillery fire and then thoroughly covered by mounted elements. After the conclusion of the artillery fire and mounted search, the enemy still occupied the underground tunnels and bunker system.
OBSERVATION: The VC are well entrenched, well concealed in their positions, and can be rooted out only by dismounted action. A coordinated “tank-infantry” effort is essential to effectively clear any area.
ITEM: VC operations against armor.
DISCUSSION: VC forces avoid direct engagements with armored elements. When the VC do engage oncoming armor, they are in well concealed, well constructed trench and tunnel complexes. VC forces make extensive use of mines and booby traps, often placing them in vehicle tracks since armor units must frequently return over the same route due to the limited trafficability in many areas. Command detonated mines are often rigged in trees to be employed against vehicle crewmen from above. During the last 30 days there has been a marked increase in VC employment of RPG-2's. The RPG-2's have been employed singly or in groups (up to five) and have been habitually fired from close in positions that are well camouflaged and nearly inaccessible to track vehicles.
OBSERVATION: VC forces avoid direct engagements with armored elements. VC forces make extensive use of mines, to include command detonated mines, on frequently traveled vehicle routes. There has been an increase in the employment of RPG-2's in the past month.
ITEM: Construction and test of helicopter mounted grenade dispenser.
DISCUSSION: On the basis of sketches received from the 1st Cav Div (airmobile), and in conjunction with Co B, 725th Maintenance Battalion, the Division Chemical Section constructed two sets of helicopter mounted grenade dispensers. The dispenser was constructed utilizing 2.75 inch rocket shipping pods (4 tubes per pod). Angle iron is used to form a rack for the tubes and mounting the device on the aircraft. One set of dispensers was constructed of ten pods per dispenser mounted in two banks of five pods each, utilizing the full length of the tubes. The second set was constructed of six pods per dispenser mounted in two banks of three pods each. The length of the tubes for the smaller dispenser were cut so they would hold five grenades per tube. Total amounts of grenades that can be handled are 320 per large dispenser for a full load of 640 grenades per set and 120 grenades per small dispenser for a total of 240 grenades per set. Both dispenser sets were flight tested and are considered operable.
OBSERVATION: Large grenade dispenser: When loading, the dispenser grenades must be inserted upside down due to a lip in the tube about two inches from the bottom. Grenade handles will hang on this lip if grenades are not inverted. Small grenade dispenser: Grenades may be loaded either right side up or upside down since the lip referred to above will be cut off when the tubes are shortened. Due to fuse delay of grenades, as the drop altitude is increased more of the grenade filling is dissipated in the air and ground burning time is reduced.
ITEM: Installation of Spiral Four Cable.
DISCUSSION: In two instances, spiral-4 cable has been installed outside of base camp on existing poles in areas that were not considered secure after dark. One covered a distance of approximately 3-1/2 miles, and has not been molested by the VC in two months of operation. The second spiral-4 cable covers a distance of 10-3/4 miles and has been in operation for five days without interruption.
OBSERVATION: Spiral-4 cable can be used for relatively short circuits to relieve VHF and FM traffic.
ITEM: VHF antenna.
DISCUSSION: When antenna space is at a minimum, or when installation time is essential, use two VHF antenna reflectors (AT-414) on one antenna mast section (AB-235) for two VHF systems. To accomplish this, two modifications have to be made: the top or cover of the antenna reflector support has to be removed to allow for the insertion of additional mast sections, and a modified mast section must be constructed end to end for the continuance of additional mast sections for the second reflector.
OBSERVATION: The antenna configure affords 360° system coverage with either reflector and will function perfectly at two mast section (AB-322) separation.
ITEM: PA System.
DISCUSSION: Remove the high level input and monitor circuit of the AM/UIH(illegible) amplifier. Change the feedback circuit by adding a feedback resistor of 100 ohms from the collector to the base of transistor Q1. Add a tone control stage, consisting of a .1m capacitor and a 50 ohm audio-tapped pot connected in series, connected to the high side of the output transformer secondary to the collector of the driver stage Q5. The other side of the input transformer secondary must be connected to ground.
OBSERVATION: With this unit, four LS-103B speakers may be used effectively giving a dependable PA system capable of satisfying the most demanding requirements.
ITEM: Four-wire telephone patch.
DISCUSSION: For this type circuit, the following must be accomplished at the respective side locations: RTC operators of the interconnecting systems will have to turn respective 4 WTC channel model 4v-2w switch to the 4w position. The ringer corresponding with the channel must also be in the 4w position. You must also run another 26 pair cable from the van to the patching panel from either Sig3 or Sig4, depending on the system being used. The patch panel will make the necessary patching to complete the circuit.
OBSERVATION: This type of circuit increases the quality of a voice circuit where many stations or relays are used within a system.
ITEM: Map coverage for aviation units.
DISCUSSION: Aviation units alerted for deployment in RNV should requisition and have on hand prior to arrival in country a complete coverage of map, Vietnam, 1;50000. This is desirable since the location assignment of many aviation units arriving in RVN has been changed while the unit was enroute. These changes have resulted in the aviation units being unable to render maximum aviation support due to non-availability of map coverage. Aviation units in RVN are also frequently called upon to provide aviation support in adjacent corps zones, requiring map coverage not normally carried in the unit basic load.
OBSERVATION: Recommend that all aviation units alerted for deployment in RVN be issued a basic load of maps that will give them complete coverage of RVN.
ITEM: VC employment of searchlights in an anti-aircraft role.
DISCUSSION: On two different occasions in recent months, and from four locations, VC employment of searchlights in the anti-aircraft role have been reported. On both the sightings, the aircraft received automatic weapons fire from locations near the source of the light, indicating that the VC are employing coordinated light-gun teams. In one case, the fire received was estimated to be .50 caliber. One of the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 3,000 feet and reported that the aircraft had been bathed in light, which indicated the VC possess a considerable power source capability.
OBSERVATION: Recommend that aircraft commanders and pilots be especially alert while flying at night for VC searchlights. Evasive action should be taken immediately and a report rendered on the location as soon after as possible.
ITEM: Armed helicopter reconnaissance and marking of LZ's procedure.
DISCUSSION: Recent interrogation of a CHIEU HOI indicates that armed helicopters reconnaissance and marking procedures are possibly falling into a repetitive and therefore dangerous pattern. The CHIEU HOI related that when enemy troops first observe armed helicopters flying low in the area they calculate they will have about ten minutes before the troop carrying helicopters will arrive. Their actions in this case are to hide and not to shoot at the armed helicopter. Their mortars and machine guns are then laid on the suspected landing zone as determined by the interest of the armed helicopters. When the troops arrive, the enemy commander gives the order to fire at the formation.
OBSERVATION: That armed helicopter reconnaissance and marking procedures be scrutinized carefully in an effort to eliminate repetitive practices. Possible solutions are: Extensive use of aerial photographs in the planning and conduct of airmobile operations to enable troop carrying aircraft to land without a mark; armed helicopter reconnaissance and mark of false LZ's to provide deception; reduce the time interval of the pre-strike and mark by armed helicopters to a minimum; and use artillery and airstrikes in the vicinity of false LZ's to assist in the deception.
ITEM: Ralliers to the GVN cause through the CHIEU HOI Program and captured Viet Cong are a potential source of intelligence information on the effectiveness of airmobile operations.
DISCUSSION: It was recently determined that a rallier to the GVN cause through the CHIEU HOI Program had been involved in a VC operation against a US airmobile operation. The aviation battalion prepared a list of both specific and general essential elements of information which was used to interrogate the rallier. The information gained through this interrogation has prompted possible changes in tactics. The information has also provided valuable insights on the methods the VC use to shoot down helicopters.
OBSERVATION: Recommend that all aviation units prepare a list of essential elements of information pertinent to their operation to be made a part of the routine interrogation of ralliers and captured VC.
ITEM: Gunship assistance immediately following airmobile assaults.
DISCUSSION: During combat assault missions, when a fire team is assigned the mission of reconning, pre-striking, and marking the LZ, a secondary mission of reconnaissance above the operational area can provide invaluable intelligence information to ground commanders. This fire team is ideally suited for this role.
OBSERVATION: When weather conditions permit, the fire team that recons, pre-strikes and marks the LZ's be habitually given the secondary mission of reconnaissance over the operational area during and immediately following the heliborne assault. Further, that this team monitor the ground commander's tactical radio net in order to keep abreast of the tactical situation.
ITEM: Aircraft reporting of intelligence information.
DISCUSSION: Due to the airspace habitually used by army aircraft in Vietnam, aviators are in a position to continually provide intelligence information. This information includes, but is not limited to: roadblocks, groups of people and vehicles along highways which indicate a VC tax collecting point; trench lines, foxholes, and possible gun emplacements; unusual or suspicious sampan traffic on waterways; smoke suddenly appearing along flight routes and in heliborne operating areas. The VC are known to use smoke as a signal; freshly used ox cart trails in suspected VC areas of operations; any large groups of people containing Vietnamese males of draft age, especially in non-populated areas and rice fields; strange aircraft whose maneuvers or flight patterns arouse suspicion; any indication of possible jamming or communications deception.
OBSERVATION: Aviators should be encouraged to observe and report as soon as possible any of the above conditions noted during flight.
ITEM: Ready reference to past activities in areas of interest.
DISCUSSION: A system of ready reference, by use of a historical map was initiated to provide immediate information of past activities in the area of interest. The use of the pictomap supplement series L8020, 1:25,000 with acetate cover leaves has been found ideal for recording the site of incidents with pertinent marginal data, written in black India ink. An index system was established for quick reference to a particular area of interest, which provides type of incidents, actions and size of VC contacts.
OBSERVATION: Due to the influx of new personnel in key positions, a ready reference to all past activity is necessary as a means of providing continuity.
ITEM: Pictorial capability at battalion level.
DISCUSSION: Polaroid cameras were issued for use by battalion S2's and whenever possible, a signal combat photographer accompanied units on operations. This gives the unit the capability of making a visual record of bunker and tunnel complexes, base camps, caches, and techniques of general employment of mines. Sufficient copies can be reproduced for distribution to all units.
OBSERVATION: Recent experience has proven that pictorial capabilities at brigade and battalion level have been instrumental in the collection of intelligence.
ITEM: Proper tagging of POW's.
DISCUSSION: Proper and complete marking of POW's is an invaluable asset to field intelligence teams. Results of on-the-spot interrogation are necessary to verify information by IPW teams at battalion, brigade and division level.
OBSERVATION: The proper tagging of POW's to include detailed descriptions of the circumstances of capture has greatly facilitated interrogation teams in extracting information of immediate tactical value.
ITEM: Interrogation teams at Joint Operations Centers.
DISCUSSION: Interrogation teams attached to Joint Operations Centers have provided immediate readout facilities for VC captives and suspects. Usually, the province and district S2 files contain a detailed list of known VC in the area. ARVN knowledge of particular hamlets and villagers have greatly assisted US units in the screening of VC suspects.
OBSERVATION: With increasing numbers of suspects and captured VC, immediate evacuation to Joint Operations Centers at district and province headquarters becomes necessary. Interrogation teams located at those centers greatly facilitates immediate exploitation of tactical information.
ITEM: Use of province and district intelligence units on US operations.
DISCUSSION: The inclusion of intelligence troops not only builds rapport between the two allies but utilizes the tactical knowledge of terrain and tradition provided by Vietnamese soldiers. In many cases, items have aroused the suspicion of these troops which would have been unnoticed by US troops.
OBSERVATION: Past experience has proven the value of including at least a nucleus of province or district intelligence troops on US operations.
ITEM: Use of the spot report format.
DISCUSSION: In order for intelligence information to be of value to the commander, it must be timely, accurate, and complete. Use of the correct spot report format will assist the observer in assuring that the information he has reported is complete.
OBSERVATION: Many reports continue to be sent that are not in the correct SPOT Report format. This results in questioning by higher headquarters, unnecessary radio traffic, and in turn, causes confusion and wasted time. This problem can be easily eliminated by use of the correct format when making reports.
ITEM: Interrogation of returnees.
DISCUSSION: Interrogation of returnees revealed that their willingness to cooperate with intelligence personnel and lead US forces to the VC troop locations and caches decreases as he is exposed to the reeducation techniques and the security of a GVN CHIEU HOI Center. As he feels more secure, the returnee is less willing to take the risk involved in leading US forces to the locations and caches.
OBSERVATION: Exploit intelligence gained from the interrogation of a returnee as soon as possible.
ITEM: Use of the same interrogator during the exploitation of a source.
DISCUSSION: Continued use of the same interrogator while exploiting a PW frequently results in the establishing of a rapport between the interrogator and the source which leads to more complete cooperation of source. Many examples can be found where a source was “won over” by the interrogator and readily volunteers information of intelligence value which might otherwise have been withheld.
OBSERVATION: Within operational limitations, make maximum use of the rapport established by familiarity of source and interrogator.
ITEM: A captive's tactical exploitation value generally decreases with each step in evacuation.
DISCUSSION: The shock of capture is greatest immediately following capture of a prisoner. A VC captured in close combat is best acquainted with the immediate tactical situation. The capturing unit is in the best position to exploit tactical information on the battlefield. Immediate tactical interrogation by capturing unit personnel (not necessarily skilled interrogators) utilizing assigned interpreters is potentially more valuable in terms of information to which the local commander can react than information gained by interrogation personnel at higher headquarters since the latter is usually in excess of five hours old.
OBSERVATION: Capturing unit should make immediate tactical interrogation of all captured enemy personnel.
ITEM: Disposal of trash.
DISCUSSION: Current division directives require that all office classified and unclassified waste, personal letters, and like items be destroyed by burning, and that all material of potential value to the VC be destroyed or rendered unusable. Counter-intelligence coverage of the division sanitary fill is maintained to determine effectiveness and compliance with these directives.
OBSERVATION: Supervision and control of trash disposal at unit level is requisite to deny access to operational information and supplies. Early orientation of newly arrived units and individuals is a must.
ITEM: Accurate transliteration of proper names from Vietnamese to English.
DISCUSSION: Lack of office machinery adapted to the Vietnamese alphabet has resulted in a general disregard of Vietnamese diacritical markings on letters in favor of a rendition in the closest English equivalent, with resultant inaccuracy.
OBSERVATION: A recommendation has been forwarded by this headquarters which establishes numeric values to be substituted for diacritical markings and for those Vietnamese letters which are variants of English letters. If this recommendation is adopted by information and intelligence agencies of the US military, a correct version of Vietnamese proper names will be reproduced in translations from Vietnamese to English with office machinery on hand. This recommendation is necessary to avoid confusion and error in the identification of individuals and places of intelligence interest.
ITEM: Incident book.
DISCUSSION: In order to facilitate the collection and dissemination of information pertaining to enemy initiated actions, it is recommended that an incident book be maintained in the Order of Battle Section. This book can be divided into desired areas, preferably covering 100 grid squares and can provide accurate reference of incidents within a specific area.
OBSERVATION: An incident book can provide timely information concerning enemy actions in a specific area.
ITEM: OB training in counterinsurgency.
DISCUSSION: In order to better prepare OB specialists for their work in South Vietnam, it is recommended that the OB course of instruction at the US Intelligence School, Fort Holibird, include more instruction on Order of Battle techniques involved in a counterinsurgency situation. The instruction should be conducted, if at all possible, by intelligence personnel who have served in South Vietnam.
OBSERVATION: Instruction of this nature would decrease the amount of time that is presently required to train OB specialists to perform his duties in a satisfactory manner.
ITEM: Briefing and debriefing of FACs and AOs.
DISCUSSION: The briefing and debriefing of FACs and AOs has become an important part of our operation. The information obtained is a great help in building a more complete targeting plan.
OBSERVATION: The briefing and debriefing of all FACs and AOs from agencies within the division who support the visual reconnaissance program assists in keeping targeting data current.
ITEM: Length of mission (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol).
DISCUSSION: During the reporting period, it was found that the most successful operations were those that lasted more than 3 days. When a LRRP mission is in an area longer than 3 days it observed that an increase in enemy activity usually occurred, probably because the VC believe that friendly elements had moved out of the area.
OBSERVATION: Missions should be three days or longer if at all possible.
ITEM: VC booby traps in rice paddy areas.
DISCUSSION: Three basic types of booby traps have been found in rice paddy areas: (1) pressure types placed on the dike with dike junctions being the most likely place of emplacement; (2) hand grenades on the dike with a trip wire across the dike. Again, dike junctions have been the most frequent place of emplacement; (3) hand grenades placed on the side of the dike with the trip wire extending out of the paddy. Usually the hand grenade is painted green with the trip wire a non-lustrous wire or string. A normal practice for the VC is to have his booby traps in place at all times, with safety devices emplaced until such time as unfriendly elements approach. Once the signal is given for the approach of troops, the VC remove the safety devices. The number of booby traps armed are in direct relation to the amount of warning time and proximity of troops when the signal is given. The lack of booby traps in a VC controlled area at any time is a good indication that: (1) the VC are using the dikes and paddies for movement; (2) a strong VC element is in the area.
OBSERVATION: The condition and extent of booby traps in rice paddy areas will indicate the extent of VC activity in an area of operations.
ITEM: Translation of captured documents.
DISCUSSION: Captured documents turned in through intelligence channels are a good source of information and also a morale booster for the capturing unit. Many times documents are translated but the capturing unit is not given definite information on the document content.
OBSERVATION: A fully translated version of all translated documents should be made available to the capturing unit as soon as possible with any explanations of other definitive information. This will stimulate the intelligence gathering interest at the individual and small unit level.
ITEM: M109 Howitzer maintenance.
DISCUSSION: Proper maintenance procedures listed in TM 9-2350-10, TM 9-235-217-20 and FM 6-88 must be strictly observed and serve as a minimum guide. Section chiefs must be thoroughly trained on the maintenance of their howitzer. Organizational maintenance personnel must be trained to react with a high degree of skill and imagination.
OBSERVATION: Bore evacuator valves should be cleaned every 150 rounds instead of 300. Failure to do this, results in carboned valves and valves tend to break when being removed. Bore evacuators should be checked daily to determine if the flat portion has any cracks around the weld. The flat portion has blown out on 4 evacuators to date. An EIR has been submitted.
The howitzer can be fired with only 5 of the 6 bore evacuator valves in place. The missing valve should be at the top of the evacuator to reduce the possibility of blowing out the bottom of the evacuator. The bore evacuator lock key should be inspected for security after each fire mission. A daily one time check is not sufficient. Three failures have occurred which resulted in damage to the gun tube shield, variable recoil gear, and variable recall housing. An EIR has been submitted.
Rectifiers can be replaced with the rectifier from the M577 personnel carrier. An EIR has been submitted.
Radiator failures occur at the top and bottom of the tank mounted on the left side. Failures at the top of the tank can be caused by failure to remove the 3” armor plating bolt installed when the howitzer is first shipped. The bolt is supposed to be replaced by a 1-1/2” bolt when the howitzer is placed in service. An EIR has been submitted.
Radiators may be removed without removing the power back.
Fuel elbows connecting the upper and lower fuel tanks will fail and leak. Continued service can be accomplished by filling the lower tank only to approximately 3/4 full providing a 100 mile cruising distance. The hose can be installed without removing the power pack. An EIR has been submitted.
Cab power electrical segments should be cleaned daily along with the electrical brushes. The mounting screws have a tendency to work loose and damage the brushes, causing the segments to arc and burn. Complete failure of the segments can result in no cab electrical power.
Breech block closing springs fail rapidly during continuous firing. If replacements are not available, the breech block can be closed manually until replacements are available. An EIR has been submitted.
Replacement of equilibrator seals can be facilitated in the field by removing the ram from the bottom of the equilibrator without removing the equilibrator. Repair time is approximately 15 minutes with an experienced turret mechanic.
Breech block carriers can be damaged by improper timing of the carrier rack. Some of these racks have two timing marks on them. One mark is incorrect and should be ground off.
Bore evacuator valve cap lock washers fail prematurely because of continued removal and installation of bore evacuator valves. Several recoil housings have been damaged by the valve cap becoming loose and blowing back, hitting the recoil housing. A split lock washer will work until the proper replacement is available. If a split type lock washer is not available, tighten the caps without any washers and check for security after each fire mission. An EIR has been submitted.
Panoramic telescope failures can be reduced by keeping the sights covered when not in use. Covers should not be plastic bags as they cause condensation to accumulate on the sight. Canvas has been used successfully. Light failures can be reduced by insurance the sight light switch is turned off before starting the engine. One float sight per firing batter should be requisitioned to insure a replacement sight is readily available. An EIR has been submitted.
Firing pin retainers can be manufactured out of a brass welding rod.
Obturator spindles require a closer inspection than is listed in the operator's manual. The vent hole not only must be free of any obstruction and clean but must be checked for evidence of erosion. This can best be done using a piece of wire and running it along the vent hole. Eroded walls can cause artillery rounds to fall short. An EIR has been submitted.
Failure of the breech block to open or close completely can normally be traced to the breech block detent plunger turning. The retaining pin is hollow and wears easily, allowing the plunger to turn. Replacement pins should be solid. In an emergency, M-14 rifle cleaning rods can be cut to the correct length and used. An EIR has been submitted.
Damaged breech mechanism crank rollers are an indication of improper breech opening cam adjustment. Damaged rollers can be replaced faster by replacing the complete crank assembly.
ITEM: Medical evacuation.
DISCUSSION: In order to obtain a medevac helicopter in the shortest possible time, it must be requested with the initial report of a casualty. When the helicopter has a traveling time of 20 or more minutes, the probability of utilizing any other helicopter that becomes available increases. This, in many instances, results in the dustoff being cancelled while enroute to the requesting unit. However, had the unit failed to request the dustoff, the casualty would have been required to wait an even longer period.
OBSERVATION: The conflict between the desire to insure that the casualty be evacuated in the shortest possible time and desiring not to request a helicopter unless it will actually be utilized can be resolved by having a medevac capability available at all times at the nearest secure base to the area of operations.
ITEM: Materials used for overhead cover in forward tactical base.
DISCUSSION: Some tactical areas of operation afford little or no materials for use in the employment of overhead cover. Although sandbags can be used for building positions, the need for overhead protection still exists in case of enemy mortar attack.
OBSERVATION: The use of steel barrier rods (8 ft in length) has been employed successfully as a substitute for natural overhead cover. These rods can be placed over positions and sandbagged to provide adequate protection against indirect fire weapons. Resupply and extraction of these rods presents no major problems and consequently they can be used again on future operations.
ITEM: 2.75mm HE Rockets.
DISCUSSION: The Div ASR for 2.75mm HE rockets is inadequate in its support of aviation operations. If the aviation operations for the division were restricted to the TOE capability of the aviation battalion, adequate stockage under the present command ASR structure would be plausible. However, in as much as it is necessary for additional airmobile support being used, the expenditure of 2.75mm HE rockets has skyrocketed over the division ASR, causing a constant shortage. To control the continued use of 2.75mm rockets, a daily density record is being maintained, recording number of rockets being loaded to transmit non-organic direct support aviation units by unit identification.
OBSERVATION: Quantities consumed in the above manner are then requisitioned on a
”one for one” basis to replenish the division ASR stocks.
ITEM: UH-1 power loss and reduced engine life caused by dirty intakes on turbine engines.
DISCUSSION: Sand and grease accumulation around the engine intake section are ingested into the compressor section. In the compressor section, engine heat transforms the sand and grease into a ceramic type coating. If this coating is not removed, intake air is restricted and internal engine vibrations are induced. This results in a loss of power and engine life.
OBSERVATION: Daily inspection and removal of all accumulated dirt around the intake section precluded dirt ingestion. If this condition is discovered after the ceramic film has formed, internal cleaning will help restore engine performance.
ITEM: Effect of dirt on Teflon bearings (UH-1 Helicopters).
DISCUSSION: If sand and grease are allowed to accumulate around Teflon bearings, the retirement life is reduced to approximately 12% of the expected average.
OBSERVATION: The bearings must be cleaned. Daily inspection and cleaning will help to extend the service life of Teflon bearings.
ITEM: Suspension parts.
DISCUSSION: Due to the number of vehicles damaged by enemy mines, it is advisable to stock a 30 day PLL of all suspension items until sufficient demands are made to authorize additional stockage.
OBSERVATION: All suspension parts for the M48A3 and M113 (to include all nuts, bolts, washers, and seals from the hull out) should be placed on PLL.
ITEM: Brake shoes and wheel cylinders.
DISCUSSION: During the rainy season, brake shoes and wheel cylinders show a high mortality rate. Due to the muddy conditions, brake linings on ¼ ton trucks last approximately 5 00 miles; on 2½ ton trucks, 1000 miles; on 5 ton trucks, 1500 miles; and on ¾ ton trucks, 1800 miles.
OBSERVATION: The rainy season has made it advisable to stock a 30-day PLL of all brake linings, brake shoes and wheel cylinders until sufficient demands are made to authorize additional stockage.
ITEM: Ammunition storage, care and handling.
DISCUSSION: The extreme humid climate in Vietnam requires proper storage, care, and handling of ammunition. The normal operation procedures as set forth in TM 9-1300-200 are applicable. Special provisions should be set up to insure that ammunition is inspected weekly and then cleaned. A cyclic chart of ammunition on hand and inspection of these items insures that each type of ammunition is rotated or cleaned twice each month.
OBSERVATION: Maintenance, storage, and inspection of ammunition is critical in tropical climates.
ITEM: Otitic problem in Vietnam (medical).
DISCUSSION: The combination of heat, extreme moisture, and dusty environment has combined to make external otitis the most commonly seen ailment among the troops. Most of these respond well to Burrow's wicks for 3-4 days. Those in which swelling is marked have been treated with Cortico-sporin wicks for the same period of time and have been resolved. Unfortunately, the recurrence rate is high due to the conditions enumerated above. It has been necessary to place those patients on inside duty until the otitis clears, resulting in a significant loss of personnel active in the field.
OBSERVATION: External otitis continues to be the leading malady of our troops in Vietnam.
ITEM: Deterioration of medications.
DISCUSSION: Both coated and uncoated tablets deteriorate rapidly in the humid tropical climate unless they are stored in air tight containers.
OBSERVATION: Medications should be stored and dispensed in glass or plastic containers.
ITEM: Ration stockage objective.
DISCUSSION: During the quarter, the ration stockage objective was put to a severe test when the HOC MON bridge went out. Rations did not become critical because the stockage objective proved adequate.
OBSERVATION: Stockage objectives should be manageable. However, it should be adequate to allow for lead time for receipt and interruptions of supply.
ITEM: Trimming of fruits and vegetables.
DISCUSSION: Fruits and vegetables deteriorate very rapidly in this climate. Excessive waste could result if said items are discarded indiscriminately.
OBSERVATION: Fruits and vegetables are inspected by a veterinarian corps representative and then trimmed to insure that only inedible portions are discarded.
ITEM: Revision of “Day of Supply”.
DISCUSSION: “Day of Supply” can and sometimes does vary from day to day and over great periods of time. It is affected by marked increases (or decreases) in vehicle density and operational commitments.
OBSERVATION: Day to day variations of demand can, for the most part, be ignored; however, variation trends over a great period of time require re-computation of “Day of Supply”. To be a realistic and valuable management tool, “Day of supply” must be recomputed at least every two weeks.
ITEM: Critical shortage of package products.
DISCUSSION: Because of the small demand for many separate and varied packaged products, supporting Class III activities tend to ignore the demands for these items, creating critical shortages of these items.
OBSERVATION: Close coordination with the supporting Class III activity is necessary to eliminate critical shortages of packaged products.
ITEM: Handling of deceased personnel.
DISCUSSION: Proper identification and preparation of deceased personnel within the time limits set forth in Army Regulations, although very essential at this level, sometimes proves difficult.
OBSERVATION: Stringent controls to insure strict compliance with Graves Registration regulations and procedures have resulted in an effective operation.
ITEM: Cracking of frames on 5-ton dump trucks.
DISCUSSION: Frames of loaded 5-ton dump trucks cracked during cross country operations. Repair of these heat treated frames was beyond the capability of this unit and several were evacuated to backup support. In some cases, this repair work also exceeded their capability and some were salvaged.
OBSERVATION: Application of an external fish plate to all frames (cracked or otherwise) curtails the need for salvaging dump trucks. Smaller loads and more prudent operating speeds will reduce the number of frame failures.
ITEM: Rear idler arms on the M113 personnel carriers.
DISCUSSION: Rear idler arms on the M113 personnel carriers have been torn loose at a high rate. Continuous employment of the equipment in combat operations, resulting in excessive stresses being placed on a point on the APC which is inherently weak, i.e., steel components are attached to an aluminum hull at the point where, even under normal operations, excessive stresses are encountered.
OBSERVATION: Idler arms were repaired at organizational and division maintenance shops. However, repairs proved to be somewhat ineffective because proper facilities and equipment were not available. 1st Log Comd has this problem under advisement and is presently organizing teams to perform on-site repairs.
ITEM: Excessive deadline rate for generators and MHE.
DISCUSSION: The non-availability of some repair parts for construction equipment, generators and MHE caused an excessive deadline rate. Non-availability of these parts resulted primarily because of the many different models on hand and the low density of this equipment, particularly in the area of generators. In addition, some of the generators had exceeded the maximum life expectancy and others no longer have repair parts available in the system.
OBSERVATION: Combat engineers are attempting to standardize the equipment. Receipt of D7E bulldozers and military design 10KW generators has somewhat alleviated the problem. The Red Ball supply stem and close coordination with other supply and maintenance activities has also aided in keeping some engineer equipment and MHE in operating condition.
ITEM: Balancing of helicopter rotor head assemblies.
DISCUSSION: This unit was unable to properly balance rotor head assemblies on arrival in- country, due to non-availability of an air-tight, draft-free room. This severely hampered the division's operations, since tail rotor assemblies must be balanced each 100 hours of operation and the main rotor assemblies each 200 hours of operation, or sooner, if vibrations are experienced.
OBSERVATION: Before a unit of this type is deployed to Vietnam, a suitable double-walled tent or prefab building should be issued for balancing the rotor head assemblies.
ITEM: Excessive downtime of signal equipment.
DISCUSSION: Distribution of signal equipment to division units, without the necessary spare parts package (e.g. AN-GRC-106; AN/PRC-74, man-packed personnel detector and night vision equipment), has resulted in unnecessary deadline time.
OBSERVATION: All new equipment should be programmed to include necessary parts packages.
(5) Civic Action.
ITEM: Superficial mycoses during MEDCAP Operations.
DISCUSSION: An increasing number of superficial mycoses (tinea cruris, and tinea vesicolor mainly) have proved to be unresponsive to local antifungal therapy. In those cases, we had to resort to systemic antifungal therapy in the form of Griseofulvin. To date, all the superficial mycoses seen have responded to this drug and there have been no documented reactions to it.
OBSERVATION: Definite therapy for this superficial mycoses may include systemic as well as local antifungal agents.
ITEM: Genital chancres during MEDCAP Operations.
DISCUSSION: The frequent occurrence of genital chancres has made the importance of the differential diagnosis of Chancroid vs Primary Lues obvious. It has not been possible to tell in the early stages which of these diseases are present, if not both. Current policy regarding three dark-field examinations reports being negative before Lues can be ruled out is costly in the delay of treatment. Smears of the lesions likewise in many cases are non-specific. Consequently, these patients have started on a combination of Penicillin 2.4 mu.IM as well as Tetracytcline 500mg po qio. If the definite diagnosis thereafter is made Lues, the Penicillin treatment is continued, whereas if Chancroid is finally diagnosed, the patient is continued on Tetracycline and started on Sulfa.
OBSERVATION: The difficulty of diagnosis in genital chancres has let to initial combined therapy until definite diagnosis is obtained.
ITEM: Program for assistance to ARVN dependents.
DISCUSSION: Civic action programs oriented toward ARVN dependents are extremely effective in affecting harmonious relationships with associate ARVN units. The establishment of dependent “organizations” to distribute Helping Hand items and to present instruction in sanitation, 1st aid, midwifery, etc. have been a successful yet indirect means of improving the effectiveness of the ARVN units.
OBSERVATION: Assistance programs oriented toward ARVN dependent groups may assist in developing closed relationships at the unit level, and improving effectiveness of the ARVN units.
AVFBC-H (18 Nov 66) 1st Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 October 1966
DA, HQ II Field Force Vietnam, APO San Francisco 96266
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Dept of the Army,
1. The Operational Report-Lessons Learned submitted by the 25th Infantry Division for the quarter ending 31 October 1966 is forwarded herewith.
2. This headquarters concurs with the commanders recommendations and/or comments. Many of the observations are in the form of opinions; nevertheless, this headquarters does not take exception. Further, it appears that no action on any comment is required by this headquarters.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
1 Incl /s/ William K Hagy
nc WILLIAM K HAGY
Act Asst AG
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 3RD BRIGADE, 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96268
AVDDC-C 4 June 1967
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report, Operation AHINA
TO: Commanding General
25th Infantry division
ATTN: AC of S, G3
APO US FORCES 96225
1. (U) NAME OF OPERATION: AHINA
2. (U) DATES OF OPERATION: 130600h May 1967 to 182400H May 1967.
3. (U) LOCATION: Western Binh Duong and Eastern Tay Ninh Provinces.
4. (U) COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: 25th Infantry Division
5. (C) COMMANDERS:
3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div COL KENNETH E. BUELL
2nd Bn, 22nd Inf (M) LTC RALPH W. JULIAN
3rd Bn, 22nd Inf LTC JAMES E. HILMAR
2nd Bn, 77th Arty LTC FRED J. MERRITT
3rd Support Bn (Prov) MAJ RICHARD W. HOOVER
Co C, 4th engr Bn CPT CARL B. SCIPLE
44th IPSD 1LT ROBERT T. FENNER
6. (C) TASK ORGANIZATION:
2/22 Inf (M)
3 Tms 44th IPSD
3 Tms, Co C, 4th Engr Bn
3 Tms 44th IPSD
3 Tms Co C, 4th Engr Bn
2nd Bn, 77th Arty
Co C, 4th Engr Bn
7. (C) SUPPORTING FORCES:
(1) The 2nd Bn, 77th Arty supported the 3rd Bde for the duration of the operation.
(2) Positions Occupied:
BTRY COORD DATES OCCUPIED OCCUPIED SORTIES DISTANCES
A/2/77 Base Camp 12 May - 14 May 67 N/A N/A N/A
B/2/77 Base Camp 12 May - 15 May 67 N/A N/A N/A
C/2/77 Tay Ninh 12 May - 19 May 67 Convoy N/A 15 mi
A/2/77 XT388624 14 May - 19 May 67 Convoy N/A 28mi
B/2/77 XT388624 15 May - 19 May 67 CH47 9 1600 mtrs
HQ/2/77 XT388624 15 May - 19 May 67 CH57 3 1600 mtrs
(3) Artillery Statistical Data:
(a) 105mm A/2/77 B/2/77 C/2/77
HE 1483 1230 1548
WP 53 39 62
111 0 0 0
Beehive 0 0 0
(1) PD 1479 1221 1544
(2) Ti 52 47 36
(3) VT 5 1 30
(c) Missions by type
(1) H&I 148 197 329
(2) Support 58 62 16
(1) Tactical air was used in support of immediate requests and preplanned missions. Standard air request channels were used.
(2) Statistical Data:
Preplanned missions requested 30
Preplanned missions flown 26
Preplanned sorties 63
Immediate missions requested 1
Immediate missions flown 1
Immediate sorties 3
Combat proof missions requested 3
Combat proof missions flown 2
Combat proof sorties flown 3
(b) Results of Tactical Air:
VC KBA (EST) 2
Structures destroyed 4
Bunkers destroyed 21
Trench destroyed (meters) 75
Secondary fires 9
c. Engineer Support:
(1) Three engineer teams and one senior NCO were attached to each of the 3rd Brigade's infantry battalions. On D-Day, the 3/22 Inf air assaulted an area west of the Saigon River. The 3/22 Inf secured a bridgehead (XT459562) across the river. At 1100H a CH-47 took off from Dau Tieng and initiated the air delivery of engineer troops (1 sortie) and LTR bridging (6 sorties). These sorties were completed by 1150H. After site reconnaissance and bank preparation (this stretch of the river had never been bridged), construction was initiated (1330H). The bridge required 10 pontoons and the gap was 125 foot. The first vehicle, an M-113 from the 2/22 Inf (M), to reach the bridge crossed it at 1617H. The bridge was extracted the next morning. Between 1050 and 1150H the engineers and bridge were flown out of the bridgehead.
(2) The 1st Bde, 9th Div planned to place 2 AVLB's across the Rach Sanh Doi (XT390628) and Suoi May Tau (XT397632). They were unable to accomplish this due to high water and enemy mines encountered. On D+1, the LTR used by C/4th Engrs was flown in for A/15 Engrs reinforced by 1 platoon of C/4th Engrs. The LTR was placed across the Rach Sanh Doi on the evening of D+1. On D+2, a trestle and 2 dry spans, airlifted to A/15 Engrs, were used to cross Suoi May Tau. The LTR and the trestle and dry spans were extracted by 1st plt, C/4th Engr and A/15 Engrs on 18 May, and were flown by CH-47 (12 sorties) back to Camp Ranier.
d. Army Aviation:
(1) Initially on 13 May, the 3/22 Inf was airlifted to XT4656 using 4 sorties from the 187th CAH Co and co A, 25th Aviation Bn. A total of 489 personnel, combat loaded, were lifted in less than two hours.
(2) The second lift was conducted on 13 May by two CH-47's from the 214th CSH Co. In seven sorties (one of personnel, six of bridge) they lifted an LTR (Light Tactical Raft) and one platoon of engineers to XT459562.
(3) On 14 May, the LTR was extracted. The 162nd CSH Co lifted the bridge out and carried it to a crossing side being used by the 1st Bde, 9th Div. The 3/22 Inf used the same CH-47 with hoist to extract wounded from an area where there was no landing zone for a UH1D. The battalion was resupplied by dropping C-rations from a UH1D.
(4) On 15 May, the 213th CSH Co lifted one battery of artillery from Dau Tieng (XT492473). Ten sorties were used for the lift and an additional seven sorties were used for supply.
(5) On 16 May, 2 UH1D's were used to resupply the 3/22 Inf and six sorties by CH-47 were used to resupply the 2/22 Inf (M). On the backhaul from 2/22 Inf (M) 270 bags of rice and seven cows were evacuated to Camp Rainier (Dau Tieng).
(6) On 17 May, routine resupply was conducted for the 3/22 Inf by UH1D.
(7) The 2nd Bde Aviation Sections supported Operation AHINA flying 219 sorties to complete 125 missions and carried 167 passengers. There are 13 medical evacuation missions using 33 sorties in the above totals.
8. (C) INTELLIGENCE:
a. Intelligence concerning the Brigade TAOR for Operation AHINA was obtained from 25th Division 02, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division S2, 4th MI Detachment, Tay Ninh Sub-Sector, VR sightings and post operations.
b. Information received indicated that there were a number of base camps unlocated during Operation JUNCTION CITY, and this area is considered to be one of the main junctions of north-south and east-west supply infiltration routes in War Zone C. Enemy units believed to be operating within the area were some unidentified elements of the 7th NVA Division (XT4365), unidentified elements of one local force company (XT4456) and a local guerilla unit securing the supply routes and caches.
c. As the operation began, forces were unopposed as they started their search and destroy mission. Large amounts of foodstuff, particularly rice, were located along with livestock. Also located were a great number of well constructed bunkers, trench systems and many huts, all of which were destroyed. The polished rice was evacuated. Captured documents confirmed elements of Group 82 Rear Service operated in the area.
d. (line(s) missing) One sampan with USAID motor, Briggs and Stratton, was located vic XT463559. Three trucks were discovered, one burned by a previous airstrike, the other two were evacuated to base camp. The truck demolished by a previous airstrike is considered to have been in use recently, the remaining two probably were in use 6 to 8 months ago. Also located were four bicycles and 20 lbs of parts; two of the bicycles were rigged for heavy loads.
e. On 16 May 1967, forces located a weapons factory at XT459598. Munitions found were 16,00 mine parts, 48 rifle grenades, 38 hand grenades and equipment to manufacture small arms. Documents dated 1967 indicated that the site was subordinate to military region IV.
f. The following are the VC contacts made during Operation AHINA: On 14 May 1967, the 3/22 Inf vic XT443567 made contact with (illegible) VC resulting in 1 VC KIA (BC, 1 WIA (Poss) and 1 light machine gun captured. On 15 May 1967, 3/22 Inf vic XT425573 made contact with a small VC force employing S4 and B-40's, resulting in 1 VC KIA (illegible) and 1 AK-47 captured. Later the same day, A/2/22 Inf (M) vic XT454588 made contact with an estimated squad employing SA and claymore mines, with unknown results. On 17 May 1967, contact was made by both 3/22 Inf and 2/22 Inf (M). Initial contact was made by 3/22 Inf vic XT417628 with an unknown number of VC, resulting in 5 VC KIA (BC), 3AK-47 rifles and 1 B-40 AT weapon. 2/22 Inf (M) vic XT454636 encountered an estimated reinforced squad in well fortified trenches employing SA and B-40's, resulting in destruction of 2 APC's, VC casualties were unknown. In all of the engagements, no unit identification could be determined.
9. (C) MISSION: 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in conjunction 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division was to conduct offensive operations to destroy VC/NVA forces and installations in War Zone C.
10. (C) CONCEPT OF OPERATION:
The 3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div was to conduct offensive operations employing two battalions in conjunction with 1st Bde, 9th Inf Div. The operation was to be conducted in five phases:
a. Phase I: D-1, One battery 2/77 Arty moves overland to Tay Ninh.
b. Phase II: D-Day, H-Hour (130630H May 67), 2/22 Inf (M) was to attack along AXIS SNAKE to engineer bridge site, cross Saigon River and relieve 3/22 Inf of security of bridge site. 3/22 Inf was to conduct airmobile assault from Camp Ranier to LZ HOOD (XT465565), secure the LZ and engineer crossing site. C/4th Engr was to airlift one platoon and LTR into position, remove the bridge upon completion of 2/22 Inf (M) crossing.
c. Phase III: D+1, 2/22 Inf (M) and 3/22 Inf were to conduct S&D operations in zone toward PL BUSHMASTER. One btry 2/77 Arty was to move by air to FSB FANG (See overlay).
d. Phase IV: 2+2, 2/22 Inf (M) and 3/22 Inf were to continue S&D operations in zone to PL BUSHMASTER. One btry 2/77 Arty was to helilift from Camp Raninier to FSB FANG.
e. Phase V: 2/22 Inf (M) and 3/22 Inf were to cross PL BUSHMASTER continue S&D in zone toward PL RATTLER, link up with elements of 1st Bde, 9th Inf Div south of Hwy 13.
f. Fire Support: Tactical air was on call. Direct support artillery was provided by 2/77 Arty.
OPORD 7-67, Hq 3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div, dtd 10 May 1967.
FRAOO1 to OPORD 7-67, dtd 12 May 1967.
FRAOO 2 to OPORD 7-67, dtd 16 May 1967.
11. (C) EXECUTION:
a. D-Day, 13 May 1967: 2/22 Inf (M) moved overland to crossing site of Saigon River. 3/22 Inf and C/4th Engr airlifted to crossing site, emplaced LTR and all elements of the 2/22 Inf (M) crossed the Saigon River by 1820H. There was no enemy contact; however, 3/22 Inf found 300 lbs cordite and one sampan with tools, gasoline, and motor in the vicinity of crossing site.
b. D+1, 14 May 1967:
(1) 2/22 Inf (M): Companies A&B conducted S&D operations in zone and Co C along with Recon Platoon provided CP security. At 0850H, Co B found a base camp at coord XT463571 containing 10 bunkers and 100 meters of trench. At 0948H at XT55567, Co A received SA fire from the west from an estimated one VC. Fire was returned with neg results. At 1026H, Co B found a small base camp with five bunkers 6'X8' at coord XT463571. At 1237H, the Bn CP displaced to a new site vic XT471577. At 1345H, Bn CP closed XT471577. At 1420H, Co B found 14 huts with bunkers under them, two bicycles and a few documents at coord XT465567. The huts and bunkers were destroyed. At 1440H, Co A found 3 VC trucks, one of which had been destroyed by an airstrike. The other two trucks were evacuated. At 1457H at XT458575, Co A found 450-500 meters of trench with some overhead cover, six bunkers, seven huts, and one small mess hall. All structures were destroyed.
(3) 2/77 Arty: A/2/77 moved by convoy to FSB FANG.
c. D+2, 15 May 1967:
(1) 2/22 Inf (M): Units conducted S& D operations in their respective areas. At 0844H, Co A found three graves which appeared to be one month old at XT456578. At 1116H at Xt450580, Co A found 3,000 lbs of bagged rice, 330 lbs bagged beans, two oxcarts and one empty 55 gal drum. At 1202 H, Co A at XT450580 found documents, two bicycles, one classroom, one rifle grenade, misc clothing, 300 rds 7.62 ammo, one box of plasma and 50 lbs of polished rice. At 1500H, Co A at XT454584 found a large building which contained 12 five gallon cans of coconut oil, 30 two and one-half gal cans of beans and 20 lbs of polished rice. The rice was mildewed and was destroyed. At 1625H at XT456598, Co B found a VC body in a foxhole which was estimated to be 3-4 months old. At 1300 H, Co C had a training patrol depart the perimeter. At 1705H, Co C at XT455602 found one mess hall 15'X10', five huts, 8X10', 600 lbs of polished rice, one AT mine, booby traps throughout the area. All items were destroyed except the rice, which was evacuated.
(2) 3/22 Inf: Bn continued S&D operations in assigned zone and at 1100H, Co A made contact with 4 VC, with the following results: 1 VC KIA, and 1 AK-47 captured vic XT425573. At 1630H, the Bn established a night defensive perimeter vic coord XT409573.
(3) 2/77 Arty: Hq 2/77 and B/2/77 airlifted to FSB FANG
d. D+3, 16 May 1967:
(1) 2/22 Inf (M): Units conducted S&D in zone. At 0730H at XT453590, Co A found seven cows which were evacuated to the Bde S5. At 0945, Co A at coord XT451590 found 9 huts, 1 US hand grenade, and 1 US set of fatigues, 1-81mm mtr rd that was booby trapped, 2 bicycles, 20 lbs of clothing, 5 lbs of documents, 15 lbs of batteries, 50 lbs of peanuts, 9 lbs of poss and 200 lbs of rice. At 1130H, Co A found two bicycles rigged for carrying equipment at coord XT450590. At 1151 H, Co B at coord XT459595 found 7 bags of rice, some misc clothing, soap and misc pots and pans. At 0905H, Co C found 30 lbs of clothing, 150 M-16 rds, 100-.30 cal rds, one grenade and various bicycle parts. At 120H, Co C found a booby trapped trench system 8 cases (550 rds ca) of AK-47 ammunition at coord XT452584. At 1445 H, Co C at coord XT464657-XT466602 found a large base camp area. Items found were three RPG II rds, 15 rifle stocks, 7 AK-47 magazines, one 12 gauge shotgun, 84 rifle grenades, 18 lbs gunpowder, 1 M-1 rifle barrel, 38 frag grenades, 3 Chicom hand grenades, 4 M-79 grenades (US), one smoke grenade (US), one trip flare (US), one claymore mine, one DDT spreader, SKF manufactured gears, one metal lathe (table size), misc machine parts, weapons parts molds, 20 lbs of clothing, 20 lbs of documents, 10 lbs dried fish, 10 lbs of polished rice, 8,000 mine adaptors, 200 pistol barrels, 200 rds SA ammo, 100 ft electrical cord, 45 ft steel cables, 20 coiled springs and one single cylinder engine.
(2) 3/22 Inf: Bn continued S&D operations until 1613H when a bn night defensive perimeter was established vic coord XT423603.
e. D+4, 17 May 1967:
(1) 2/22 Inf (M): Units conducted S&D in zone. At 1610H, a second platoon of Co B at XT454637 made contact with an estimated VC reinforced squad. The enemy was well dug in and employed RPG II small arms and automatic weapons fire. The action resulted in 2 APC's destroyed, 1 APC damaged, 6 US KIA and 11 US WHA. At 1728H at XT454636, Co A's maintenance APC detonated an AT mine resulting in 6 US WHA.
(2) 3/22 Inf: Bn continued S&D operations and at 0915H, Co A found 12 old bunkers vic coord XT419611. At 1330H, Co B had two heat casualties. Casualties were sling-loaded from LZ at 1410H by helicopter. Co A located and destroyed 4 bunkers with overhead cover vic coord XT415627 at 1500H. At 1545H, the bn was halted when Co B made contact with approximately one squad of VC. Contact was broken at 1710H with following results: 5 VC KIA (BC), 1 RPG rocket launcher, 3 rifles captured, 3 US WIA (walking wounded). The bn swept north and reached LTL 13 at 1730H, then moved west along LTL 13 and established a night defensive perimeter vic coord XT391628.
f. D+5, 18 May 1967:
(1) 2/22 Inf (M): At 0758H, Co C departed perimeter to start clearing route to FSB FANG coord XT388627. At 1045H at coord XT422634, an APC from Co A detonated an AT mine causing moderate damage to the APC and neg casualties. At 1142H, Co B started receiving RPG II rds and SA fire at XT413633. Two immediate airstrikes, and a light fire team were employed and contact was broken. Action resulted in 1 US KIA and 2 US WHA. At 1315H, all elements of the bn had closed FSB FANG at XT388627 and had assumed security for the entire base.
(2) 3/22 Inf: At 0645H, the bn moved by foot to FSB FANG vic coord XT387623 and was helilifted from FSB FANG to Prek Nlok vic coord XT277787. The 1st lift began at 0730H and the 13th (final lift) was completed at 0930H. Upon landing, Co A and the Recon platoon moved to vic coord XT232771 to secure a possible FSB. Companies B and C remained vic Coord XT277787.
a. US Losses:
(1) Personnel: 21 WHA, 7 KIA, 1 DOW
(2) Equipment: 2 APC'c destroyed, 2 APC's damaged.
b. Enemy Losses:
(1) Personnel: 7 KBGF (BC), 2 KBA (Poss). In addition, 6 graves were located in three separate locations. Three were dug up and appeared to have been one to four months old or badly burned from an airstrike, probably napalm.
(2) Enemy Equipment Evacuated:
WEAPONS & AMMUNITION FOODSTUFFS
3 AK-47 7650 lbs polished rice
1 SKS carbine 330 bags unpolished rice (200 lb bag)
1 RPG II rocket launcher 7 cows
1 Chicom LMG, type 56 w/magazine
and 100 rds ammunition MEDICINE
1 M-1, rifle barrel, receiver group
8000 brass mine adapters 1 roll gauze
8000 detonator components 6 btls toothache pills
100 feet electrical cord 1 bottle aspirin
200 smooth metal cylinders, believed 3 btls misc pills & medicine,
to be pistol barrels type unknown
1 box powdered plasma, US type
1 truck, Willys panel
1 truck, Landrover type
70 lbs clothing
Misc machine parts. Weapons molds
1 fire extinguisher w/DDT spray
1 single cylinder gas engine
20 springs, 3” in diameter, 10” long
1 outboard engine, 9 HP Briggs &
Stratton, w/misc tools and spare parts
(3) Enemy Equipment Destroyed:
54 huts (includes 4 kitchens & 4 90 rifle grenades
classrooms) 63 frag grenades
42 bunkers w/overhead cover 11 anti-tank mines
1200 meters trench w/foxholes 1 RPG II rd w/2 fuzes
18 howitzer rds, believed to be
FOODSTUFFS Japanese pack-howitzer rds
1 81mm rd
Bin unpolished rice 5'X5'X15” 100 rds .30 cal
Bin unpolished rice 10'X5'x5' 150 rds 5.56mm
Bin unpolished rice 6'X4'X2” 4600 7.62 rds (short) for AK-47
2300 lbs polished rice 1400 7.62 rds misc size
9lbs peas 15 rifle stocks
50 lbs peanuts 12 magazines, 30 rd “banana”clip
1 hog (killed by airs strike) for AK-47
3 quarts cooking oil 1 shotgun
12 cans (5 gal ea) coconut oil 8 lbs black powder
30 cans (2 gal ea) beans 4 M-79 rds
1 trip flare (US)
OTHER 1 anti-personnel mine 8” diameter
6 CBU bomblets
1 truck 3/4T Dodge, WWII type 300 lbs cordite
(damaged from previous airstrike) 5 casings for shape charge
numerous pots and pans, cooking 9 60mm mtr rds
utensils 1 shape charge, 10 lb
2 fish nets 15 lbs batteries
8 bicycles w/misc repair parts 1 metal lathe
2 sampans 1 drum, 55 gal
1 winch w/30' cable
2 gal gasoline
1 gal kerosene
d. Status of Each Class of Supply:
(1) A ten-day stockage of C Rations and one day of A Rations were maintained at the FSE (Spt Bn).
(2) Class III:
MOGAS 5 days
JP-4 5 days
AVGAS 10 days
Diesel 5 days
(3) Class V: Battalions and separate units maintain their basic load plus ASR items in accordance with current directives.
c. Medical: Casualties were evacuated by helicopter to Dau Tieng or Tay Ninh.
14. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT & TECHNIQUES:
A light tactical raft (LTR) was emplaced on an unprepared site after securing it with infantry airlifted into the area. The far side of the river (no LZ) was secured by infantry troops crossing with rubber boats. The bridging and engineer personnel were lifted into the site by CH-47. The bridge was emplaced with no difficulty and an entire mechanized infantry battalion was across the river in less than eight hours from the landing of the bridging platoon. The only reconnaissance made of the area was made by air. The detailed and accurate analysis of the terrain and careful preloading of the bridging elements proved to be the solution to quickly emplacing a bridge. The bridge was then dismantled and extracted by CH-47, making it unnecessary to secure the area of crossing. All troops then participated in the attack into enemy areas.
15. COMMANDERS ANALYSIS:
a. Operation AHINA is considered a success primarily as a result of the vast quantities of enemy material and equipment captured and destroyed. Intelligence had indicated that the area had long been an area of VC supply activity and a major route of supply for units in War Zone C. By disrupting the means of transport (sampans and trucks) and capturing much of the stores, future VC operations will be hindered. The large quantities of good Chicom weapons and munitions found indicates that the VC continue to be well supplied in this respect, probably from northern War Zone C and Cambodia. All evidence indicated that only rice and foodstuffs, as opposed to weapons and munitions, are being transported from the Saigon River and adjacent areas.
b. Lessons Learned:
(1) Item: Dissemination of Intelligence.
Discussion: During the operation, a mechanized platoon on a reconnaissance mission was ambushed with RPG II and automatic weapons resulting in 7 US KIA, 22 US WHA, 2 APC's destroyed, and 1 APC damaged. The following day, the S2 received an intelligence document dated four days earlier giving enemy unit locations and including an enemy regimental size force located approximately two kilometers north of a proposed laager site. Had this information been received earlier,
a dismounted rifle Co would have been given the reconnaissance mission, thereby possibly avoiding or reducing the effect of the successful enemy action. (line missing) information is vital to successful exploitation.
(2) Item: Heat Exhaustion
Discussion: The combination of rough terrain and steady movement during Operation AHINA caused several cases of heat exhaustion, particularly among men carrying the PRC 25 radio.
Observation: In addition to the usual precautions against heat exhaustion, it is advisable to alternate personnel carrying radios and other heavy loads.
(3) Item: Radio Communications.
Discussion: Range of the PRC 25 radio is reduced considerably when used with short antenna under heavy jungle canopy. This is especially critical for artillery forward observers moving with ground units.
Observation: A continuous airborne radio relay is the best way to insure reliable communications with direct support artillery.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
/s/Jerome K. Palmer, 1LT, Inf
GILBERT M. REESE
1 CG, USARV, ATTN: AVC-DH
2 CG, 25th Inf Div
2 CT, 4th Inf Div
30 CO 18th Mil Hit Det
2 CO 2/12 Inf
2 CO 2/22 Inf
2 CO 3/22 Inf
2 CO 2/77 Inf
2 CO 3rd Spt Bn (Prov)
1 CO C/1/10 Cav
1 CO C/4th Eng
1 Radio Research Unit
1 (illegible) Signal Officer