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After Action Reports 32
25TH AVIATION BATTALION (INF DIV)
APO SF 96225
AVDCAVB-C 5 June 1967
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (U)
TO: Commanding General
25th Infantry Division
1. (U) Identity of Operation: Operation Ahina.
2. (U) Dates of Operation: 13-18 May 1967.
3. (U) Location: Binh Duong and Tay Ninh Provinces.
4. (U) Control or Command Headquarters: 25th Infantry Division.
5. (U) Reporting Officer: LTC William A. Bearden, Commanding Officer
25th Aviation Battalion
6. (U) Task Organization:
a. Control Headquarters: Headquarters 25th Aviation Battalion.
Co A, 25th Aviation Battalion
Co B, 25th Aviation Battalion
c. Other Units Under 25th Aviation Battalion Control for Portions of the Operation:
187th Aviation Company (-) APO 96216
116th Aviation Company (-) APO 96353
7. (U) Supporting Forces: N/A
8. (U) Intelligence: N/A
9. (U) Mission: The 2th Aviation Battalion (+) provided aviation support to the 25th Infantry division during the conduct of Operation Ahina to include airmobile combat assaults, aerial resupply, command and control aircraft, aerial reconnaissance and evac, firefly, and armed helicopter support.
10. (C) Concept of Operation: 25th aviation Battalion with 187th Aviation Company (-) and 116th Aviation Company (-) attached was to conduct airmobile assaults for: 3/22 Infantry Battalion from Dau Tieng airfield to LZ Knox (XT468567); A Company, 115th Engineer Battalion from PZ (XT260691) to LZ Fang (XT455620); 36th ARVN Ranger Battalion from PZ (XT269691) to LZ Campbell (XT385618) on 13 May 1967. After completion of airmobile assaults, 25th Aviation Battalion was to furnish direct support of Operation Ahina as required. This included resupply, command and control, med evac, firefly, and gunship support. The overall controlling headquarters for the aviation support during Operation Ahina was the 25th Aviation Battalion.
11. (C) Execution:
a. The 25th Aviation Battalion and supporting units lifted 3/22 Infantry Battalion into LZ Knox and A Co, 115th Engineers, and the 36th ARVN Ranger Battalion into LZ Fang on 13 May 1967. First lift started at 0735-last lift completed at 1340.
b. B Company 25th Aviation Battalion provided “Firefly” support for the 3rd Brigade 4th Infantry Division for the duration of Operation Ahina. Firefly operations were planned to interdict enemy LOC's. However, due to poor weather all but one mission was aborted. B Company 25th Aviation Battalion also provided one UH-1C Light Fire Team in support of the 1st Brigade 9th Infantry Division throughout Operation Ahina.
12. (C) Results:
a. No friendly aviation personnel were wounded in action.
b. No VC were killed or captured by aviation elements.
13. (C) Administrative Matters:
a. Supply: Adequate
b. Maintenace: Adequate
c. Treatment of casualties and evacuation and hospitalization: N/A
d. Transportation: N/A
e. Communications: Adequate
f. Medical evacuation: N/A
14. (U) Special Equipment and Techniques: UH-10 Light Fire Team was successfully used to screen an open flank. Although this involved considerable flying time and netted no VC casualties, this technique was successful in preventing an enemy attack on one exposed flank.
15. (C) Commanders Analysis and recommendations:
a. Tactical operation: No difficulty was encountered with any phase of combat airmobile operations during Operation Ahina.
b. Aerial resupply: Adequate
/s/ William A. Bearden
WILLIAM A. BEARDEN
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 30 April 1968
(RCS CSFOR - 65) (BC)
TO: SEE DISTRIBUTION
Location: Vicinity CU CHI, CU CHI Base Camp (XT647153), RVN
Reporting Officer: Major General F.K. Mearns
Prepared by: Major Richard A Baun, Commanding Officer, 18th MR Det
I. (C) SIGNIFICANT ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITIES
1. General: The “Tropic Lightning Division” continued its 1968-68 Dry Season
Campaign during the course of this reporting period.. The mission of the Division in the Dry Season Campaign is specified in 25th Infantry Division OPLAN 17-67 (1967-68 DRY SEASON CAMPAIGN PLAN-DRYSECAP). The mission is to conduct military operations in the Divisional Tactical Area of Operational Interest (TAOI), to assist Government of Vietnam (GVN) forces in military pacification of LONG AN, HAU NGHIA and BINH DUONG Provinces, to secure allied base areas and to control resources, particularly food, and to neutralize War Zone “C”. The Dry Season Campaign had commenced 1 November 1967 and progressed through Phase I and Phase II prior to the beginning of this reporting period. Phase III commenced 1 February 1968.
Within the context of the Dry Season Campaign, the 25th Infantry Division participated in five major operations (battalion size or larger) and 530 small unit actions during the period 1 February to 30 April 1968. The major operations were Operations YELLOWSTONE, SARATOGA, QUYET THANG, WILDERNESS and TOAN THANG. All major operations and 49 of the small unit actions resulted in enemy contact. Elements of the 25th Infantry Division were in contact with the enemy on each day of this reporting period.
Phase III of the Dry Season Campaign and division operations for the reporting period were significantly bracketed and dominated by the reaction to the NVA/VC TET Offensive which commenced 30 - 31 January and the response to the suspected second NVA/VC Offensive expected on or about 1 May 1968. In general, operations during this time frame were characterized by counter offensive activities in response to the enemy TET Offensive between the period 1 February - 10 March, coordinated US/GVN search and destroy activities during the period 11 March - 22 April, and after 22 April, deployment of divisional forces and combat operations designed to counter an expected enemy attack on the Saigon area on or about 1 May 1968.
2. Operation YELLOWSTONE (8 December - 24 February 1968).
This operation , as previously discussed in the 25th Infantry Division Operational Report for the period 1 November to 31 January 1968, was directed at neutralizing War Zone “C” in the northern portion of the Divisional TAOI. It commenced concurrently with Operation SARATOGA which in turn was primarily directed at pacification activities in the southern portion of the TAOI. Initially, YELLOWSTONE was a two brigade operation involving the Division's 1st and 3rd Brigades. The basic mission of YELLOWSTONE as specified by 25th Infantry Division OPLAN 18-67 was to neutralize War Zone “C” in the northern part of TAY NINH Province by destroying NVA/VC forces and installations in the area and completing several engineering projects of rebuilding or constructing road networks, US Special Forces (USSF)/Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) camps and KATUM (XT3389) airfield.
As of 1 February, the 1st and 3rd Brigades were committed in force with supporting engineer and cavalry units to YELLOWSTONE. However, the initiation of the enemy buildup in the southern portion of the TAOI in mid January forced the gradual re-deployment of the 1st and 3rd Brigade assets to the south. The commencement of the TET Offensive on 30 - 31 January 1968 accelerated the re-deployment as assets were moved to support Operation SARATOGA and/or detached to the Capital Military District (CMD) for the defense of Saigon, Tan Son Nhut, etc.
The 1st Brigade was committed to YELLOWSTONE from 1 February until its termination on 24 February. However, whereas the 1st Brigade operated on 1 February with four maneuver battalions, on 24 February it terminated operations with one maneuver battalion. The 1st Brigade also commenced participation in Operation SARATOGA on 17 February and was committed to both operations concurrently until 24 February.
The 3rd Brigade terminated its activities in YELLOWSTONE on 16 February after being committed to YELLOWSTONE and SARATOGA concurrently on 6 February. The 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry which had supported the two brigades throughout the earlier phases of YELLOWSTONE was withdrawn from the Operation on 2 February, but provided limited aerial reconnaissance on 4, 8 and 15 February.
Details of significant activities within YELLOWSTONE for the period of this report are contain in the Combat Operations After Action Reports attached to this report as TAB B.
The final results of Operation YELLOWSTONE were:
US losses: 137 KIA, 1085 WIA (586 evacuated); 14 APC's, 210-1A's, 61 helicopters; 22 trucks, 4 tanks, 1 M55 Quad 50, 3 howitzers, 2 AVLB's, 1 Rome Plow, 1 crane, 1 earth mover and 3 trailers damaged; 5 trucks, 2 tanks, 12 APC's, 1 M42 duster, 1 trailer, 1 search light, ¼ ton and 7 helicopters destroyed.
Enemy losses: 1170 KIA, 182 detainees, 144 individual weapons, 69 crew-served weapons, 36 pounds of documents, 42765 rounds of small arms ammunition, 14 120mm mortar rounds, 4 flare pistols, 179.8 tons of rice, 7 radios, 200 pounds of medical supplies, 2 hand grenades and 12 telephones captured; 15686 grenades, 293 mines, 43 cluster bomb units, 42 bombs, 562 artillery and mortar rounds, 16515 small arms rounds, 384.3 tons of rice, 1 truck and 3 telephones destroyed.
A total of 1201 tactical Air Force sorties were flown in support of YELLOWSTONE.
3. Operation SARATOGA (8 December 1967 to 10 March 1968).
This operation, as previously discussed in the 25th Infantry Division Operational Report for the period 1 November 1967 to 31 January 1968, was directed at the southern portion of the division TAOI, and was executed concurrently with YELLOWSTONE in its earlier phases. The mission of SARATOGA as specified by 25th Infantry Division OPLAN 1967, was to conduct operations in conjunction with RVN forces, to pacify portions of LONG AN, BINH DUONG and HAU NGHIA Provinces within the TAOI, to secure allied base areas, to control resources, particularly food, and to prevent enemy rice taxation.
The initial concept of execution for SARATOGA envisioned the 2nd Brigade maneuvering with three battalions and supporting forces in conducting combined operations with the 5th and 25th ARVN Divisions, and other GVN forces in the three province area. The concept of execution was to take place in two phases. Phase I (1 December - 31 January 68) corresponded with the last two months of the rice harvest. (1 February to 31 February '68) could see a continuation of operations with the emphasis placed on transferring responsibility for TAOI pacification to the ARVN and other OAN forces.
The execution of SARATOGA underwent significant changes in the last half of January with the gradual buildup of NVA/VC forces in the three province area preparatory to the TET Offensive. The operation took on an entirely different aspect with the launching of the enemy's TET Offensive on 30-31 January 1968. Divisional assets committed to YELLOWSTONE were re-deployed to support SARATOGA. The 3rd Brigade commenced activities in SARATOGA on 6 February, dividing its assets between YEKLOWSTON and SARATOGA. On 16 February, the 3rd Brigade terminated its involvement in YELLOWSTONE to devote all its attention to SARATOGA. On 17 February the 1st Brigade joined SARATOGA, and on 24 February with the termination of YELLOWSTONE, was committed in its entirety to SARATOGA. With the exception of divisional elements detached to the Capital Military District (CMD) all divisional elements participated in SARATOGA until its termination 10 March.
The emphasis in Operation SARATOGA between 1 February and 10 March was placed on counter attacking against NVA/VC forces which had moved in force into built up and populated centers in HAU NGHIA, BINH DUONG, LONG and GIA DINH Provinces, to defending allied base camps which had come under heavy attack, and on mounting a counter offensive to destroy NVA/VC forces and installations in the northern portion of the TAOI. Concurrently with this phase of SARATOGA, divisional elements were sent into the Capital Military District to assist with the defense of Saigon, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, etc., and to clear enemy forces out of the CMD.
Details ;of the significant organizational operations of SARATOGA are included in Combat Operations After Action Reports attached to this report as TAB C.
The final results of Operation SARATOGA were:
US losses: 374 KIA, 1855 WIA (1184 evacuated); 2 MIA, 2'0-1's, 50 helicopters, 5 dozers, 18 Rome Plows, 1 FADAC, 15 tanks, 27 trucks, 31 APC's and 1 radio damaged; 1 asphalt distributor, 1 tractor, 2 tanks, 1 - 90mm RR, 46 APC's, 5 trucks and 1 helicopter destroyed.
Enemy losses: 3836 KIA, 581 detainees, 406 individual weapons, 180 crew-served weapons, 361 pounds of documents, 18 radios, 8.8 tons of rice, 40850 small arms rounds, 271 RPG-2 rounds, 600 pounds of medical supplies, and 5 telephones captured, 3 radios, 2533 grenades, 1715 rockets, artillery and mortar rounds, 98 mines, 66147 small arms rounds, 87 cluster bomb units, 24 individual weapons, 113 crew-served weapons, and 17 bombs destroyed.
1432 tactical air sorties were flown in support of SARATOGA.
4. Operation QUYET THANG (11 March - 7 April 1968) The mission of the 25th Infantry Division in Operation QUYET THANG was to conduct combined operations with GVN forces to destroy NVA/VC forces within the Capital Military District, HAU NGHIA and BINH DUONG Provinces, and to maintain the capability to reinforce Tan Son Nhut air base with mechanized or armored forces. Operation QUYET THANG was a combined II Field Force and II and III RVN Corps operation designed to clear enemy forces from Saigon and its environs, and to restore RVN control of the area in the wake of the enemy TET Offensive.
In addition to the involvement of the 25th Infantry Division in this operation, the US 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions also participated in conjunction with the ARVN 5th and 25th Infantry Divisions, the RVN Airborne Division and RVN Marine Task Force.
The “Tropic Lightning” Division began Operation QUYET THANG on 11 March with two brigades, the 2nd and 3rd, and one task force, TF 4-23 (Mech), committed. TF 4-23 (Mech) operated concurrently between QUYET THANG and Operation WILDERNESS which also commenced 11 March. For both operations the task force had the mission of road security of the MSR between CU CHI, TAY NINH and DAU TIENG.
The task organization of 2nd Brigade, 3rd Brigade, and TF 4-23 (Mech) remained the same for Operation QUYET THANG until the operation was terminated on 7 April. A detailed description of significant organizational operations on QUET THANG is included in Combat After Action Reports attached to this report as TAB-D.
The final results of Operation QUET THANG are as follows:
US losses: 50 KIA, 396 WIA (289 evac.), 9 tanks, 18 APC's, 7 trucks and 4 Rome Plows damaged. 1 helicopter, 9 APC's and 2 trucks destroyed.
Enemy losses: 729 KIA, 96 detained and 36 PW's, 234 individual weapons, 37 crew-served weapons, 62.6 tons of rice, 273 pounds of documents, 5 radios, 5.2 tons of salt, 21018 small arms rounds, 54 rocket rounds, and 1 Russian aiming circle captured: 1471 rocket, mortar or artillery rounds, 10.2 tons of rice, 1933 hand grenades, 19413 small arms rounds, 3.5 tons of salt, 230 mines, 69 sampans, 3 bombs, 749 rounds of documents, 5 crew served weapons, 105 cluster bombs, 1 truck, 1 radio, 16 individual weapons and 300 crates of ammunition destroyed.
A total of 312 tactical Air Force sorties were flown in support of Operation QUET THANG.
5. Operation WILDERNESS (11 March - 7 April 1968). The mission of the 25th Infantry Division in Operation WILDERNESS was to continue the mission activities associated with Operation YELLOWSTONE. The operations plan for WILDERNESS envisioned the security of allied base camp areas in the northern portion of the division TAOI with emphasis on the protection of TAY NINH base camp, TAY NINH city, DAU TIENG base camp, DAU TIENG city, BAU CO and the artillery fire support base, ST. BARBARA near BAU CO. The plan also envisioned security of the MSR's connecting these military and civilian complexes. The division commenced WILDERNESS on 11 March with the 1st Brigade committed with three maneuver battalions and supporting combat support elements. Task Force 4-23 (Mech) also participated in WILDERNESS in conjunction with its participation in QUYET THANG. A detailed description of the significant operations in WILDERNESS is provided by the Combat Operations After Action Reports for Operation WILDERNESS contained in TAB E to this report.
The 199th Light Infantry Brigade, an independent II Field Force Brigade with two organic battalions, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry and 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry became OPCON to the 25th Infantry Division on 31 March and participated in WILDERNESS until its completion. In addition to its two organic battalions, the 199th Brigade had operational control of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry and A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry. (25th Infantry Division units).
The final results of Operation WILDERNESS are as follows:
US losses: 26 KIA, 155 WIA (103 evac), 4 APC's, 4 helicopters, 18 trucks, 4 trailers and 1 duster damaged: 4 APC's and 2 trucks destroyed.
Enemy losses: 274 KIA, 4 PW's, 61 detainees, 150 rounds of small arms ammunition, 5 individual weapons, 1 crew-served weapon, 9.2 tons of rice, 27 pounds of documents and 1 motorcycle captured. 5 tons of rice, 20 mines, 37 sampans, 1 cluster bomb, 90 grenades, 1150 rounds of small arms ammunition and 18 rocket, mortar or artillery rounds destroyed.
A total of 289 tactical Air Force sorties were flown in support of WILDERNESS.
6. Operation TOAN THANG (COMPLETE VICTORY) (7 April 1968 - continuing). On 7 April 1968, the 25th Infantry Division commenced participation in Operation TOAN THANG. 25th Infantry Division Operations Order 1-68 (TAB F) established the mission of the division as follows:
a. Within assigned operational area of CMD, complete destruction of enemy battalions and company sized units, prevent infiltration of major forces from the western zone and support 2nd ARVN ABN TT as required.
b. Conduct combined offensive operations in conjunction with 25th and 5th ARVN Infantry Divisions throughout TAOI to destroy enemy forces with priority to elements of 7th NVA and 9th VC Divisions.
The concept of operations for all elements of the division, intelligence information, etc., are contained in the copy of the operations order appended as TAB F.
The 1st Brigade began TOAN THANG on 7 April 1968 with two maneuver battalions (4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, and 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry). The 2nd Brigade commenced the operation with four maneuver battalions: (1st Battalion, 27th Infantry; 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry; 1st Battalion 5th Infantry (Mech); and 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry). The 3rd Brigade operated with four battalions (2nd Battalion 22nd Infantry (Mech); 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mech); 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor; and 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry). The 199th Light Infantry Brigade continued under the operational control of the 25th Infantry Division beginning activities in TOAN THANG with three maneuver battalions: (3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry; 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry; and 2nd Battalion 12th Infantry).
On 7 April the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry conducted a reconnaissance in force (RIF) from XT1829 to XT175293. At 1105 hours at the vicinity of XT178295, Company C received small arms, automatic weapon and RPC fire. The company returned fire with organic weapons and called in artillery and helicopter gunships. Nine enemy bodies were discovered following the action together with one AK-47 rifle and one carbine. The company received three wounded who were evacuated. At 1305, Company C located and destroyed 21,200 pounds of rice at XT175293.
On 8 April the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mech) became OPCON to the 1st Brigade from 3rd Brigade. In the 2nd Brigade area, the 1st Battalion 27th Infantry conducted a cordon and search in the vicinity XT745072 and conducted a combat assault at XT787138. At 1345 hours in the vicinity XT792115 to 792118 Companies A and D captured 246 rounds of RPG-2 ammunition, 14 RPG-47 rounds, 305 60mm mortar rounds, 258 RPG boosters, 19 75mm RR rounds, 28,800 rounds of small arms ammunition, 1100 hand grenades and 1200 82mm mortar fuses. Also on 8 April, the battalion captured two pounds of documents, one AK-47 rifle and destroyed 500 pounds of sugar, 3690 pounds of rice and four sampans. The 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry conducted a RIF from XT1729 to 179323. At 1445 hours at XT178296, companies A and D captured 32 Chi Com Carbines, one light machine gun, one Chi Com heavy machine gun and 25 pounds of documents. It also destroyed 15 bangalore torpedoes, one RPG-7 round, 8 claymores, 15 pounds of explosives, 1000 small arms rounds, one light anti-tank weapon (LAW) and 50 pounds of salt.
On 9 April, the 199 Light Infantry Brigade was released from OPCON to the 25th Infantry Division and returned to the control of II Field Force.
On 10 April, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor passed to the operational control of the 1st Brigade from 3rd Brigade, and 3/22 Infantry passed from 1st Brigade to the 3rd Brigade. At 0950 vicinity XS725859 helicopter gunships from Company B, 25th Aviation Battalion supporting 2/27 Infantry engaged 11 VC in 5 sampans with automatic weapons fire. The 5 sampans were sunk and three enemy KIA were identified by body count.
On 11 April, the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry became OPCON to the 3rd Brigade from the 199th Light Infantry Brigade.
On 12 April the night locations of the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (3rd Brigade) at XT449609 came under heavy attack at approximately 0400. The attack began with a heavy 82mm bombardment and was followed shortly by human assault waves from a battalion size enemy force. The heaviest attacks came on the battalion perimeters south and southwest where the enemy succeeded in penetrating the perimeter. Engaging the enemy in close combat until 0600 hours with small arms and automatic weapons and upported by helicopter gunships, artillery and Air Force air strikes. The 3/22nd was successful in ejecting the enemy from its night position and reestablishing its perimeter. At approximately 0615, the 3/22nd was reinforced by the 2nd Battalion 22nd Infantry (Mech) and the enemy broke contact. Results of the (p7) engagement were: 153 enemy killed; 45 AK-50 rifles, 7 AK-47 rifles, 18 machine guns, 7 RPG-2 rocket launchers, and 2 bolt action carbines with grenade launchers captured: 38 RPG-2 rounds, 5 RPG-7 rounds, 45 RPG-2 boosters and 93 hand grenades destroyed. The 3/22 suffered 16 KIA and 47 WIA in the action.
On 13 April, the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Mech) (3rd Brigade) was conducting a reconnaissance in force in the vicinity XT455597 when companies A and C received small arms, automatic weapons and RPG-fire at 0937. Fire was returned with organic weapons and supporting helicopter gunships and artillery. Results of the engagement were : 36 enemy KIA by body count, 6 US KIA and 46 US wounded and evacuated.
At 0615 on 14 April at vicinity XT512249, Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry (1st Brigade) engaged an unknown number of VC with small arms, automatic weapons and supporting artillery and helicopter gunships. Results of the engagement were one US KIA, five VC KIA. At 0915, a helicopter gunship supporting Company C engaged an unknown number of VC at XT517242 with automatic weapons and rockets, killing eight enemy by body count. Contact between elements of the Tropic Lightning Division and enemy forces was relatively light and scattered from 15 to 22 April as the enemy avoided contact with maneuvering divisional battalions.
Reliable intelligence sources provided indications that NVA/VC main force units would attempt a major attack on Saigon and its environs on or about 1 May (Vietnamese Labor Day). To meet this threat, the 25th Infantry Division executed a major deployment of its assets on 23 April. All but two of its maneuver battalions were moved into the southern and southeastern portions of the TAOI to block the main avenues of approach into Saigon from the west. The 2nd Brigade (1/27 Infantry, 2/27 Infantry, 1/5 Infantry, 3/22 Infantry, 2/34 Armor and 3/17 Cavalry) maneuvered in GIA DINH, BINH DUONG, LONG AN and HAU NGHIA Provinces within the Division TAOI. The 3rd Brigade (2/22 Infantry (Mech) and 2/12 Infantry) assumed responsibility for the defense of TAY NINH and DAU TIENG base camp areas and the MSR's connecting them to CU CHI. The 4th Battalion 23rd Infantry (Mech) was placed directly under division control..
Contact remained light and scattered until 25 April when Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry, while conducting armed aerial reconnaissance, observed a base camp area at XT485042 at 1300 hours. The target was engaged with five Air Force air strikes between 1344 and 1622 resulting in 27 VC KIA (BC).
On 26 April between 0830 and 1920, five B-52 strikes were delivered in the HO BO WOODS area. Immediately after the last strike, three companies of 2/14 Infantry conducted combat assaults into the area. Bomb damage assessment of the strikes revealed 17 VC KIA (BC), 14 sampans, a large number of bunkers and trenches and a 50o caliber machine gun destroyed.
At approximately 1530, 27 April at XT517943, B Troop, 3/17 Air Cavalry observed a large number of VC in the open. Initial engagement by helicopter gunships resulted in 4 VC KIA (BC). Air Force air strikes were called into the area as well as additional gunships from the 344th Assault Helicopter Battalion and B Troop, 3/17 Cavalry between 1600 and 1700 hours. An additional 35 VC KIA (BC) was gained in the follow up strikes.
On 28 April at approximately 1030 at XT549119, the 49th ARVN Regiment came into contact with an estimated enemy company. The 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mech) was conducting a RIF in the vicinity XT4212 and re-deployed to the area of contact arriving at approximately 1500. At 1735, 4/23 Infantry (Mech) made contact with an estimated VC battalion resulting in 22 VC KIA (BC), 7 US KIA and 30 US WIA. The 4/23 Infantry (Mech) operating in a coordinated attack with the 49th ARVN Regiment continued the contact on 29 April. At XT545117 an enemy force was fixed in a bunker complex at 1230. Fire was delivered with all organic weapons, helicopter gunships, artillery and Air Force air strikes resulting in 33 VC KIA (BC), 15 AK-47 rifles, 5 carbines, and 3 RPG rocket launchers.
The cumulative results of operation TOAN THANG as of 30 April 1968 are as follows:
US losses: 87 KIA, 534 WIA (403 evacuated), 10 APC's, 1 tank, 2 helicopters, 1 trailer and 1 dozer destroyed, 3 trucks, 1 trailer, 5 helicopters, 4 tanks and 4 APC's damaged
Enemy losses: 759 KIA, 16 PW's, 161 detainees, 192 individual weapons, 34 crew-served weapons, 117 pounds of documents, 17.6 tons of rice, 1368 grenades, 30879 small arms rounds, 387 rocket, mortar or artillery rounds, and 1200 mortar fuses captured; 288 mortar, rocket or artillery rounds, 22 mines, 4305 small arms rounds, 584 grenades, 11 sampans, 28.8 tons of rice, 3 crew-served weapons, 6 individual weapons, 55 bomb cluster units, 1.6 tons of salt, 1 truck and 4 bombs destroyed.
b. Artillery Support: See separate ORAL prepared and submitted by 25th Infantry Division Artillery per paragraph 3c., USARV Regulation 525-15.
c. Intelligence: See TAB L
d. Logistics: See TAB J
e. Administration See TAB K
f. Provost Marshall Activities. See TAB Q
g. Revolutionary Development Support See TAB M
h. Civic Action. See TAB M
i. Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) See TAB M
j. Signal Activities See TAB O
k. Engineer Activities. See TAB N
l. Army Aviation See TAB P
(1) During the period 1 February - 30 April 1968, formal training activities were curtailed by the TET Offensive and its aftermath. Only mission essential training was conducted. The following listed number of personnel attended division schools:
Replacement Training 4131 Small Arms Inspection 24
Mines and Booby Traps 4275 Generator Maintenance 40
Demolitions and Explosives 4386 Mess Management 17
Combat Leaders Course 378 Tunnel Destruction 32
(2) Curtailed instruction was also experienced at non-divisional schools. The following numbers of division personnel attended non-divisional schools:
COURSE TITLE INSTRUCTOR NUMBER ATTENDED
Airframe Maintenance, UH-1B, C 765th Trans Bn 6
Airframe Maintenance, UH-1B 765th Trans Bn 8
Airframe Maintenance, OH-6A 765th Trans Bn 9
Turbine Engine Maint. T-53-L-13 765th Trans Bn 1
Engine Maintenance, T-63 765th Trans Bn 8
Avionics Communications Supply 765th Trans Bn 5
LOH (OH-6A) AC Pilto Transition 765th Trans Bn 4
AN/TSO-43 TIIF Maintenance 1st MI Bn (ARS) 1
Jungle Environmental Survival Crs Fleet Elect Trng - Unit Pacific 5
JUSPAO Orientation Course MACV 3 (P9)
n. Air Support: The following air support was received by the 25th Infantry Division during February, March and April 1968.
(1) Tac Air: 1283 missions consisting of 2413 sorties were flown in support of
the division during this period. 3089 tons of bombs were expended with the following results: 614 VC KIA (BC) 453 VC KIA (Poss), 205 secondary explosions, and 81 secondary fires. In addition, 2579 bunkers, 771 military structures, 35 sampans, 6 bridges, 3 VC trucks, and 3940 meters of trench-line were destroyed.
(2) 30 B-52 strikes consisting of 180 sorties were flown during this period. 4860 tons of ordnance were expanded resulting in 96 VC KIA (BC) and 39 secondary explosions.
II. LESSONS LEARNED: Commander's Observations, Evaluations, and Recommendations:
1. Casualty Reporting.
(a) OBSERVATION: Difficulties have been encountered in preparing timely and accurate casualty reports at battalion level.
(b) DISCUSSION: Battalion S-1's have encountered difficulties in collecting data necessary to submit timely and accurate casualty reports to higher headquarters. The data should be made available to the battalion S-1 by subordinate units as soon as possible after the action in which casualties were sustained. In addition to name, rank, serial number and unit of the casualty, information should include which unit individual was with if he was separated from his parent unit.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Commanders must take a personal interest in ascertaining that lower unit leaders (platoon leaders, platoon sergeants, squad leaders, team leaders) are aware of their responsibilities in respect to initiating a timely and accurate casualty report through channels by the quickest means of transmission.
2. Medically Evacuated Personnel
(a) OBSERVATION: Considerable delay has been experienced in the evacuation of health and dental records of medically evacuated personnel.
(b) DISCUSSION: Companies have been slow in processing the health and dental records of medically evacuated personnel.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Battalion and Company Commanders must make it a matter of personal interest to insure that the medical and dental records of medically evacuated personnel are forwarded through channels in an expeditious manner.
3. Movement of Units
(a) OBSERVATION: The re-deployment of units frequently on short notice from one base area to another results in unnecessary inconveniences for the unit at its new base.
(b) DISCUSSION: Except where the tactical situation makes it impossible, unit commanders should notify base commanders at least 24 hours in advance of their forthcoming arrival at a new base. Minimum information in this communication should be size of the unit, mess facilities required, and any special consideration (i.e. Aviation units should be billeted near an air strip.)
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That unit commanders notify commanders of new base area of their arrival and requirements at least 24 hours in advance.
4. Unit Strength Figures:
(a) OBSERVATION: Difficulty in maintaining accurate unit strength figures.
(b) EVALUATION: Orders continue to create problems in maintaining accurate strength figures, especially as reflected at higher headquarters. The average time period for receiving orders requested by a unit is two and one half weeks for GI, and up to a month for officers.
(c) RECOMMENDATIONS: Command emphasis at all levels should be given to insure the prompt publishing and distribution of orders.
1. Ambushes on Waterways:
(a) OBSERVATION: Techniques of ambushes on waterway lines of communications.
(b) EVALUATION: Companies were inserted / extracted both by overland and by use of 27' engineer boats. The insertion was conducted approximately 1000 meters from the ambush site. The area adjacent to the ambush site was searched and secured. The remainder of the day was spent in hiding. The ambush was established at dark, consisting of a killer force armed with M-14 rifles loaded with tracer rounds, a starlight scope, claymores, LAWS and M-79'S, a lookout force, and a rear security force. The ambush patrol leader armed with a M-14 and a starlight scope was the initiator of the ambush, with the remainder of the “killer force” following suit.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Careful prior planning must be made before the mission is undertaken. In addition during the period spent in hiding, final planning is made in the organization of the ambush. Rest is essential since the ambush must maintain a 100% alert throughout the night. An average of 6+ kills per ambush for 7 ambushes while suffering only 2 WIA's demonstrates the effectiveness of this technique.
2. Three man reconnaissance rafts:
(a) OBSERVATION: Use of 3 man reconnaissance rafts by small units.
(b) EVALUATION: Some units made extensive use of 3 man reconnaissance rafts in day to day operations and in inserting and extracting ambush patrols ranging in size from a platoon to a company. Each unit carried a 3 man reconnaissance raft and lengths of nylon rope. The rope was tied to the raft fore and aft, and fairly rapid river crossings were accomplished.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: By using 3 man reconnaissance rafts with lengths of rope, the units became versatile, enabling them to cross canals, streams, and rivers to reach their ambush sites which under other conditions would have been inaccessible. By using these rafts, ambushes were established at sites such as islands in the middle of canals and on opposite banks of streams. We operated in areas to which access was gained under the cover of darkness with the use of rafts. Thereby on many occasions, complete surprise over the enemy was gained, and his lines of communication and re-supply along water routes was disrupted. These rafts are very light, and easily transportable by the individual soldier.
3. Use of 8” Howitzer as a bunker buster.
(a) OBSERVATION: The use of 8” Howitzer as a bunker buster.
(b) EVALUATION: During the battle of AP CHO, a battalion used LAW's and 90mm recoilless rifles in an attempt to eliminate enemy resistance from hardened bunkers. These weapons had little or no effect on the bunkers nor the personnel manning them. The battalion asked for and received an 8” self propelled Howitzer to be employed as a direct fire “bunker buster” from a range of approximately 750 meters.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The direct fire method using the self propelled Howitzer as a “sniper rifle” was extremely effective. The elimination of the use of several smaller weapons proved quite satisfactory as the 8” gun was capable of eliminating each individual bunker with one round.
4. Use of 27” Whaler Boat::
(a) OBSERVATION: The 27' Whaler Boat. (p12)
(b) EVALUATION: The 27' Whaler was used extensively by the 3-22 Infantry during the period covered by this operational report. This small craft increases the mobility of the infantryman, and turns a natural obstacle into a valuable asset for the ground troops. In many areas of RVN, where natural and man-made waterways are abundant, the 27' Whaler is a primary means of troop and re-supply transport.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The speed with which troops can be deployed into an area gives the infantryman the elements of surprise and flexibility. The use of the 27' Whaler boats is limited by their vulnerability to enemy fire. Those craft have no armor protection which makes security of waterways very important. Safety while using these craft must receive a great deal of command emphasis. An unfortunate accident resulted in six drowning casualties when one boat capsized during a recent operation. All personnel should be given a safety briefing to include actions to be taken if the craft comes under fire, and proper wearing of web gear and equipment so that it can be shed quickly in the event it is necessary to abandon the craft.
5. Use of the OH-23G
(a) OBSERVATION: Down time of OH-23G
(b) EVALUATION: Keeping the organic OH-23's flying after several days of constant use. It became increasingly difficult to meet Bn C&C commitments, as the helicopters would be in maintenance, both organic and direct support, after flying 8 - 10 hours daily.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Other means must be utilized for administrative transportation to free the observation helicopter for Bn C&C. Unless in contact, the Bn must be limited to a limited amount of flying time each day.
6. Use of TAC AIR:
(a) OBSERVATION: Down time of OH-23G
(b) EVALUATION: Tactical air support was used frequently, especially in instances of enemy contact, and was an invaluable source of additional fire power.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The minimum coordination required to obtain air support and results obtained from those air strikes assisted in reducing enemy resistance. Also the ability of Napalm to burn off jungle canopy and bamboo hedge rows helped expose enemy bunkers and fortified positions.
7. Use of Night Locations:
(a) OBSERVATION: Enemy foxholes
(b) EVALUATION: It has been found that frequently used larger areas present problems in that the VC have prepared positions on their outer limits which enable them to slip in at night and engage friendly forces, then withdraw after return fires have subsided.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Sweep out around all positions to locate any positions that can be used by the VC.
8. Anti-mine Techniques.
(a) OBSERVATION: Enemy use of shrapnel and scrap metal around the vicinity of
buried wooden mines.
(b) EVALUATION: It has been found that the VC will use shrapnel and expended
shell casings from 1-5 meters in all directions of an anti-tank mine composed of wood. This will cause the sweep team to pick up the metal and go on, overlooking the wooden mine.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: When casings or shrapnel in excess amounts (p13)`
9. Information Gained From Children:
(a) OBSERVATION: Observation by Vietnamese children along a MSR:
(b) EVALUATION: The children along the MSR when rewarded, will provide constant observation between spaced outposts as well as show friendly personnel where the VC have placed mines, booby taps, stored ammunition and dud rounds. They also are an invaluable source of intelligence on the enemy's night activities.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Reward the children for any information they can give.
10. Discovery of Anti-tank Mines:
(a) OBSERVATION: More anti-tank mines have been found by probing than with electric sweepers.
(b) EVALUATION: It has been found by employing double the number of probers with one engineer team, more anti-tank mines were uncovered.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Coordinate with your engineer support and use more probing crews along stretches of road like the MSR.
11, Use of Scout Dogs:
(a) OBSERVATION: Use of scout dogs along the flanks of engineer sweep teams.
(b) EVALUATION: It has been found that the use of a scout dog team on each flank of an engineer sweep team discourages the enemy from employing command detonated mines along a road or trail.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Scout dogs should be employed on the flanks to discourage command detonated mines on engineer sweep teams.
12. Enemy Base Camp Indicators:
(a) OBSERVATION: Stumps of trees (base camp indicators).
(b) EVALUATION: When mounted or dismounted and moving through jungle, the appearance of one stump and no others can possibly mean that an enemy base camp is near. This area should be regarded instantly as a danger area. By examination of the stump it can be estimated approximately how much time the enemy could have been making preparations on such a camp.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Examine all signs of VC activity before entering an area.
13. Ambush Patrols”
(a) OBSERVATION: Often intelligence reports indicate the routine operation of small bands of VC in a certain area, but when ambush patrols are put in the area VC are not present.
(b) EVALUATION: The VC have a very effective intelligence net in VC controlled areas which makes insertion of a platoon sized force almost impossible without compromise. When it is known that the VC operating in the area are small in number, establishment of a squad sized AP is much more likely to be accomplished without compromise and more likely to meet with success.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That increased consideration be given to the use of squad sized ambushes in lieu of larger size ambush patrols.
14. Bridge Erection Boat used as a Gunboat:
(a) OBSERVATION: 27” Bridge Erection Boats were used to patrol the Saigon River, canals and streams of the Saigon River. The boats carried either an M-60 or 50 caliber machine gun sand-bagged to the bow.
(b) EVALUATION: A 27' Bridge Erection Boat when equipped with a 50 caliber machine gun as the firepower, space and mobility to effectively patrol streams and canals.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That 27' Bridge Erection Boats armed with 50 caliber machine guns be used in patrolling streams and canals
15. Seismic Tunnel Detector:
(a) OBSERVATION: Evaluation of the Seismic Echoing System was conducted in two
parts: 26 March - 4 April training and controlled tests were conducted at Cu Chi Base Camp. 5 April - 10 April, 68 operational tests were conducted in the BOI LOI WOODS and at Dau Tieng Base Camp. The equipment broke down and was returned direct to ACTIV on 10 April 68.
(b) EVALUATION: The Oscilliscope interpretation required too great a skill level for this equipment to be issued to combat engineer units. The equipment package is too fragile. The design of the sending and receiving units makes them difficult to drive into the ground during the Vietnam dry season. This results in:
(1) Poor coupling with resultant poor signal generations, and
(2) Excessive set up time for each reading..
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Seismic Echoing System in its present configuration is not acceptable for use in the 25th Infantry Division tactical situation.
16. Boston Whalers used for troop transport and patrolling:
(a) OBSERVATION: Boston Whalers were used to ferry troops to and from ambush sites, aid in checking of river borne craft, and assist in night river patrolling. They also provided a water-borne blocking force. Troops were loaded on the boats and put on station in areas where contact was expected. As the ground forces made their contact sweeps, the troops in the boats were available to reinforce or cut off escape via the river. One tactic utilized was the “silent drift” where the boats would just float with the current. This method enabled the boats to reach their locations without the give away noise of the engine.
(b) EVALUATION: Boston Whalers are ideal for operations on small canals and rivers. Ambush patrols can be inserted or extracted quickly and silently. These boats can also be utilized to ambush VC forces from the river. The Boston Whaler has a shallow draft, speed, and maneuverability which make it an excellent craft for this type mission. One limitation is that only 8 personnel can be carried by one boat.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Boston Whalers be used for river borne ambush operations.
17. Burning of Large Rome-Plowed Areas:
(a) OBSERVATION: 4 UH-ID's were each loaded with 12 cases of incendiary grenades. 4 engineers were in each ship to arm and drop grenades. The four airships fly parallel courses approximately 100 meters apart, approximately 50 feet above the ground at 100 - 110 knots. One grenade was dropped every 2 seconds resulting in approximately 100 meters spacing. (An area 8 sq Km was covered with each sortie). A LFT was used as security.
(b) EVALUATION: Numerous small fires were started by this method. A large area can be covered with a small on-target-time. The small fires did not spread, resulting in many small burned patches.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The effectiveness of this area burning technique is unsatisfactory.
18. Expendable Mine Roller: (p15)
(a) OBSERVATION: Expendable Mine Roller is mounted on a M48A3 tank. Mounting and assembly took six hours with five engineer personnel working. Upon striking mine, device flew apart as designed with no damage to tank. A trained crew can put the roller back into operation in 20 - 25 minutes…
(b) EVALUATION: The roller is easily repairable after damage by a mine. The backup of a wrecker and a truck to carry repair parts consisting of an assembly is required. The roller is reliable in detonating load mines of the pressure type. When turning, the tank track passes over portions of road not covered by roller. The sharper the turn, the more area not covered by the roller.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Attention be given to re-designing roller to be more effective on turning movements.
19. Three man Recon. Boat:
(a) OBSERVATION: 3-man recon boats can effectively be used to cross small streams or canals, reconnoiter streams, canals, and bridge sites. Due to troop carrying limitations, recon boats are not recommended for large troop crossing.
(b) EVALUATION: Extreme care must be taken in beaching to avoid puncturing the side or floor of boat. During over land movement, care must be taken so the boat does not drag or rub on any moving surface. This will also result in puncturing side and floor of boat.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: 3-man recon boat is an effective vehicle if care is taken to avoid contact with obstacles which will puncture the surface/
20. Airlifting of Float Bridging by CH-54
(a) OBSERVATION: Two floats with 10 pieces of balk connecting the floats can be airlifted by CH-54. Actual weight is 15,010 pounds. Due to the surface area of the floats, the water collected in the floats, and the down pressure exerted by the rotor, the CH-54 lifted between 18,000 - 20,000 pounds..
(b) EVALUATION & RECOMMENDATION: Float Bridges can be assembled and disassembled in half the time by airlifting in 2 floats by CH-54 instead of one float by CH-47. This weight over-loads the CH-54, so this technique should only be used in critical situations.
21. Dispersion of Elements:
(a) OBSERVATION: Many American soldiers have the “herd” tendency. From the small combat patrol to the troop or squadron, they feel that the closer they are together, the safer they are.
(b) EVALUATION: When a unit is not dispersed, it makes it possible for a smaller VC unit to attack the closed unit with less danger to the VC. The VC can very quickly inflict heavy casualties when a unit is not dispersed properly. There cannot be enough emphasis placed on dispersion of troops or vehicles, and moving in proper formations.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The element of dispersion should receive greater attention in training, planning of tactical operations, and execution thereof.
22. Selection of Night Blocking Positions:
(a) OBSERVATION: A night blocking position differs from a night defensive position in that the blocking position is selected as an offensive location.
(b) EVALUATION: A night blocking position should be selected with intent of finding the enemy or having him walk up to the position unknowingly. This can be accomplished by using a hedgerow or hedgerow complex for the location. The unit, one inside the hedgerow, can arrange its vehicles or rifleman positions at the outer edge of the hedgerow. This will provide good fields of fire, security against - - - - - -
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The proper selection and arrangement of blocking positions should be stressed in training activities.
23. Combat Casualties:
(a) OBSERVATION: The instinct of the American soldier in combat when he sees another soldier wounded is to immediately stop whatever he is doing and help the injured man.
(b) EVALUATION: When he stops fighting to help the injured man, the loss of his fire power will probably cause more casualties. It should be emphasized that the line troops continue their mission and leave the wounded to the medics, rear elements, or take care of them after the contact is broken.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Training agencies should emphasize the importance of the individual continuing his mission and leaving the care of wounded to the medics.
24. Gun-shields on Personnel Carriers:
(a) OBSERVATION: The gun-shields manufactured locally are below the standards of the ones that come pre-constructed on new Personnel Carriers.
(b) EVALUATION: If factory made gun-shields are mounted around the 50 Cal and two M-60's there is much more fire power and security for the crew. The ACAV kits should be issued for the Cavalry Squadron.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Only factory made gun-shields should be used on personnel carriers.
25. Basic Load:
(a) OBSERVATION: It is extremely rare in Vietnam when an individual manning an M-16, M-79, M-60 or 50 Caliber will carry the basic load prescribed. Normally they carry three or four times the basic load.
(b) EVALUATION: The situation and ammo usage should be analysed and new basic load standards set.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That a larger basic load of ammo be prescribed.
26. Destruction of Minor Fortifications:
(a) OBSERVATION: It has been noticed that many times there is a need for an explosive slightly more powerful than the standard fragmentation grenades to destroy minor fortifications.
(b) EVALUATION: This can be accomplished by wrapping the fragmentation grenade with one strip of Flex-X. This will give the extra power needed.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That the effectiveness of this field expedient be made known by publications.
1. Weapons Training.
(a) OBSERVATION: Personnel utilizing all weapons available.
(b) EVALUATION: It has been found that all members of a platoon are not familiar with some of the basic mechanized infantry weapons. A training period should be established within the platoons to familiarize all personnel with these weapons. (.50 Cal, 90mm recoilless rifle, M-60, and LAW) in case usage becomes necessary.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Provide the necessary training time within platoons to familiarize individuals with all basic weapons available. (p17)
2. Small Unit Training:
(a) OBSERVATION: During the reporting period one battalion conducted one week of refresher training. Training included squad and platoon tactics, M16 test firing, maintenance periods and flame thrower instruction.
(b) EVALUATION: The training held was beneficial in improving operating procedures within the battalion. However, the time allowed was not sufficient to reach a high degree of individual and small unit proficiency.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: A period of three weeks would allow increased opportunity for instruction in such vital subjects as squad and platoon tactics, fire distribution techniques and small unit live fire battle drill exercises.
1. Target File
(a) OBSERVATION: There is a need at Division level for an OB Section to produce
lucrative targets based upon documents, IW's and other sources. An incident file is not suited for this function. A solution is a Target File. This file consists of 3”x5” cards. Each card covers a grid square (4 digit coordinates), and the cards are filed in numerical order by the first two digits, and then by the last two. When a IW, document, or other source indicates an enemy target in a grid, the appropriate card is pulled, and the exact coordinates, nature of target and reference is entered.
(b) EVALUATION: This card system is highly flexible, allowing cards to be withdrawn or to be altered without damaging the file as occurs with notebooks or other bound volumes. It allows OD personnel to build a detailed list of targets that can be readily passed to visiting S-2's, and can be used to plot air-strikes and artillery concentrations. The system can be modified and improved without destroying the file, as often happens with bound volumes.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That division OD Sections organizze a target file as discussed.
2. Visual Reconnaissance by Air
(a) OBSERVATION: The aerial observer may be used in two ways. First, in a general reconnaissance of the area to discover new targets and movement. Secondly, to confirm intelligence reports of enemy locations. Any significant target are given to FSE for H&I fire.
(b) EVALUATION: The quickest way to confirm targets is through the targeting section. They have been limited and have not been able to confirm intelligence reports due to lack of air assets. If the targeting section can be allocated one of two aircraft on daily basis, the intelligence network can be made to function more effectively.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That the targeting section be allocated one or two aircraft on a daily basis.
3. Evacuation of Captured Enemy Material.
(a) OBSERVATION: Four VC flame-throwers were captured by a 25th Div unit and evacuated to LW Section, Cu Chi. The tanks on the flame-throwers all contained a full load of fuel, and in the later handling of this material, the unit was accidentally ignited, resulting in wounds to US personnel In an earlier case, a captured AK-47 was turned in with a misfired round in the chamber. Upon being turned into the S-2 section, 1st Bde, one US WIA resulted from the normal handling of this weapon.
(b) EVALUATION: If there is any doubt or question pertaining to the safety of captured material, it should be checked or destroyed prior to evacuation. (p18)
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That potentially dangerous material be rendered safe before turned in or destroyed in place.
4. Documents Captured with a Detainee.
(a) OBSERVATION: In April 1968, a detainee was brought in to be interrogated. The detainee was interrogated and classified Civil Defendant due to the lack of proper identification. Source stated that he had full identification when captured, but this could not be verified. After 3 days, the documents belonging to this individual were produced by the capturing unit. This detainee should have been classified “Innocent Civilian”, but had already been turned over to ARVN authorities.
(b) EVALUATION: All documents belonging to detainees should remain on the person being detained. Thus, when undergoing interrogation at the IWCP, accurate and proper classification can be given. This lesson applies to documents found on captured VC IW's.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Special care should be taken to insure documents remain with the detainee, as an uncooperative VC PW can be more successfully interrogated when confronted with authentic and accurate information obtained from incriminating documents.
5. SLAR and HAZE Readouts.
(a) OBSERVATION: SLAR, the side looking airborne radar, is used to detect the movement of sampans, vehicles and other moving military targets. Red Haze, an infra-red device detects heat emissions such as campfires, charcoal ovens, running motors and other heat emitters.
(b) EVALUATION: Readouts of SLAR & RED HAZE takes considerable time, most readouts being 5 to 6 hours old. When immediate in-flight readouts are received from aircraft, the time is cut from 15 to 20 minutes. This information, when passed / monitored by FSE or the Artillery FDC, can be immediately fired as H&I fires with a much higher possibility of inflicting damage on the enemy than ordinary H&I fires. Also, when these devices are used in conjunction, improved intelligence is available to the using unit.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: FSE and Artillery FDC should monitor in-flight readout of SLAR and RED HAZE, and be prepared to react to this information with the H&I program.
6. Expeditious Readout of Aerial Photography.
(a) OBSERVATION: Due to the time factor in ordering aerial photography through
normal channels, steps were taken to rely on the 73rd SAC (Mohawks) in obtaining immediate coverage of “suspected” areas. Their cooperation and professional results were such that a mission was requested, flown and the interpreted information requested by the G-2 was available within 26 hours.
(b) EVALUATION: Greater utilization of the 73rd's resources enhances the efficiency of the imagery interpretation section and increases the intelligence community of the 25th Division through accurate, complete and timely photographic intelligence, when immediate coverage is required.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Greater use of 73rd SAC (Mohawks) for aerial photography should be made by all units.
7. Debriefing of IPW Detainees for CI Information.
(a) OBSERVATION: Personnel detained by the IPW can contribute to CI effort in obtaining valuable intelligence information in their areas of residence, and employment concerning guerrilla units and infrastructure.
(b) EVALUATION and RECOMMENDATION: Local guerrillas and civil defendants should be interrogated and thoroughly debriefed concerning local guerrilla activities and infrastructure in their area of knowledge. This debriefing period will also present the CI with possible spotting and recruitment of intelligence sources for future use. (p19)
8. Enemy Capabilities:
(a) OBSERVATION: This unit for the first time encountered hamlets and villages in which the hedge rows (mainly bamboo) were set in a checkerboard fashion. The enemy selected positions in the corners of each square.
(b) EVALUATION: Bunkers were placed under the hedge row with apertures almost at ground level. Each bunker could support all adjacent bunkers. It was also noted that the hedge rows were tinned out on the outside of the village for better surveillance.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Make more used of hedge rows for cover and movement.
9, Sources of Information:
(a) OBSERVATION and EVALUATION: It has been noted that the enemy dead have not been thoroughly searched for documents, marks of identification, nor of the KIA's appearance, condition of clothing and equipment.
(b) RECOMMENDATION: Commanders should insure appropriate training and supervision of small units and individuals in methods of searching enemy IWs and KIAs, stressing the importance of reporting the enemy's appearance.
10. Intelligence Readout on POW's.
(a) OBSERVATION and EVALUATION: The 2/12th Inf. captured several POW's during the period. In most cases feedback information emanating from higher headquarters resulting from interrogation of these prisoners were not funneled back to the capturing unit.
(b) RECOMMENDATION: Unit personnel, especially those directly involved in the capture, express high interest in the results of these interrogations. Prompt receipt of interrogation reports in addition to their intelligence value enhance the morale of members of the capturing unit.
11. Utilization of Hoi Chans.
(a) OBSERVATION: Often Hoi Chan personnel will be flown in an aircraft to attempt to point out enemy base areas and troop concentrations with negative results, because the Hoi Chan is unable to identify the area of interest from the air.
(b) EVALUATION: Many Hoi Chans are terrified by the prospect of air travel. Because of this fear, the Hoi Chans are distracted from their mission, and avoid looking at the ground.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: If the Hoi Chan is given an initial familiarization flight, and given an opportunity to become acclimated to the aircraft, results are much better.
12. Utilization of Hoi Chans
(a) OBSERVATION: Many Hoi Chans when evacuated to intelligence personnel have valuable information concerning enemy locations, but when their directions are followed, the enemy is not found.
(b) EVALUATION: Many Vietnamese are very poor at estimating distances if the person is taken outside and asked to estimate various distances. If he is given the opportunity to draw the location on a sand table, and then taken outside to show what distances correspond to distances on the sand table, a much higher incidence of successful exploitation of intelligence will result.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That Hoi Chans be provided guidance as referenced above.
13. Utilization of Hoi Chans:
(a) OBSERVATION: Many times a Hoi Chan will indicate an area of enemy activity on a map, but it will not be found by US Personnel.
(b) EVALUATION: Often the Hoi Chan has only gone to and returned from the area by one route. If the air or ground party start out with the Hoi Chan from his point of origin, they are much more likely to find the area than if they attempt to approach it from a direction with which the Hoi Chan is unfamiliar.
(c) Recommendation: That in using Hoi Chans to identify locations, every attempt be made to retrace individual's actual route from point of initiation.
1. M109 Howitzer
(a) OBSERVATION: Equipment with extensive modification or involving numerous Federal Stock Number Changes should be preceded by revised parts manuals and a list of modifications that were performed. The lack of repair parts for new equipment increased maintenance problems.
(b) EVALUATION: The problem area encountered with the M109 Howitzers has been partially corrected by issue of fourth and fifth year production models. The new equipment is functioning properly, but weapons were delivered without revised TM's or adequate repair parts.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: None
2. Equipment Maintenance.
(a) OBSERVATION: The changing of oil, oil filters, and the cleaning of air intake and oil cooler systems under the dusty dry season environment cannot be over stressed.
(b) EVALUATION: Extensive operations in dusty conditions continues to be a major cause of engine failure. Oil samples were taken from a random selection of engines, both operational and non-operational. The sediment content of all engines in the non-operational category was excessive. The carbon residue was also high in these engines. A letter was published during the period instructing the units to increase the frequency of maintenance of filters, and the change of lubricants.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: All units must stress the changing of oil and oil filters, and the cleaning of air intake and oil cooler systems during the dry season.
3. Fork Slide Bearing of the Anthony Model MLT6 6,000 Pound Forklift.
(a) OBSERVATION: Conditions where dirt, dust and sand are a problem necessitates the operation of the fork slide bearing in a dry state.
(b) EVALUATION and RECOMMENDATION: The fork slide bearing is made of nylon and is self lubricating. Normal operating conditions call for GAA lube. However, for conditions where dirt and sand are a problem, bearings should be thoroughly cleaned and operated dry.
4. Disconnector Safety of the 45 Caliber Pistol.
(a) OBSERVATION: An abnormally high number of requests for replacement of the disconnector safety of the 45 caliber pistol --------------resulted from CMI's. This is an indication that unit armorers are not aware of proper inspection techniques as pertains to the pistol.
(b) EVALUATION and RECOMMENDATION: Small arms inspection courses are conducted monthly. Proper inspection procedures will be stressed in future classes on the pistol.
5. Vehicle Maintenance:
(a) OBSERVATION: New Vehicles (M11341).
(b) EVALUATION: A driver with a new vehicle is more likely to be lax in his in his
maintenance duties. This is due to the fact that no explanation has been given him by his platoon leader, platoon sergeant, or maintenance sergeant of why he must watch for new engine defects, loose bolts, or track expansion. These are just a few of the problem areas with new vehicles.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Insure proper maintenance measures are taken by all drivers, and that the drivers are aware of all responsibilities.
(a) OBSERVATION: AN-PRT and TA-1 Storage
(b) EVALUATION: These small radios and telephones are delicate, and as a result of
this, damage occurs very easily from rough handling. It should be SOP that these sets, when not in use, should be stored in a safe place where men will not, nor cannot walk on them causing extensive damage. Also, the trading of radios is not advised, because each platoon is on a different frequency, and as a result, personnel regard the radio as inoperable.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Store fragile equipment in a safe place when it is not in use to decrease breakage.
(a) OBSERVATION: Adjustment of carrying loads for individuals.
(b) EVALUATION: One of the battalions operated in areas which were a major distance from its main supply source. This condition necessitated a principle reliance on air means for daily re-supply. Weather conditions during this period were ideal for this method of resupply.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: During the coming rains (Monsoon) the efficiency of this technique of resupply will be reduced and units may be required to subsist for longer periods without resupply. With adjustments in individual loads, this problem can be reduced to some extent
E. Organization None
1. Use of ”Helping Hand”
(a) OBSERVATION: Rice and other food commodities captured from the enemy can be profitably used within the “Helping Hand Project.”
(b) EVALUATION: Captured rice and other food commodities stored at “Helping Hand” were an important source of sustenance , and measurably assisted in feeding refugees during the VC TET Offensive. Additionally, the salvage lumber stockpiled at “Helping Hand” has been used extensively by the RF/PF, ARVN and civilians as a source of building material.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Captured rice and foodstuffs should be evacuated for future use in civic actions, and salvage lumber should be -------- (p22)
2. Treatment of Plague:
(a) OBSERVATION: The reaction to the recent Plague outbreak was unsatisfactory.
(b) EVALUATION: A high incidence of Plague was evidenced in TAY NINH Province during the reported period. GVN/CORDS did not have sufficient vaccine on hand to conduct an immediate inoculation program. Stockpiles of insecticide powder were not available for immediate use. Reaction to the outbreak by preventive health teams should have occurred sooner.
(c) OBSERVATION: Prior planning and anticipation of the reoccurrence of Plague should be effected. Sufficient vaccines and insecticide powder should be stockpiled for immediate use.
III. (C) HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SURVEY INFORMATION:
TACTICAL COVER AND CONCEALMENT:
Several examples are available to illustrate tactical cover and concealment techniques used within this division during the reporting period.
The 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry recently placed into position a company ambush patrol in such a way as to deliberately compromise its position and draw enemy attention to its location. Once inserted, the ambush patrol was directed to simulate an ambush by fire, and thereby draw the attention of enemy troops in the vicinity. When this action was commenced and underway, a second company size ambush patrol was placed into a position that was considered more lucrative. The insertion of this ambush patrol went entirely undetected due to the enemy's preoccupation with the fire being delivered by the decoy unit. When the second ambush patrol was in position, the decoy ambush patrol was successfully extracted. The3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry reports using those tactics on three separate occasions during the reporting period, each time in a successful manner.
The use of smoke delivered by helicopters has been successfully used within this division to cover the extraction of units pinned down by enemy fire in open positions. In such instances, smoke ships are called in to lay down a screen between enemy firing positions and the friendly unit. With the observation obscured on the enemy's field of fire, successful withdrawal of units, their casualties and equipment, has been accomplished. Smoke has also been used on a limited basis within the division to cover the advance on divisional units on enemy objectives.
The use of cover afforded by darkness has come in for increased emphasis and use within the division. The objective of taking the night away from the enemy has been successfully accomplished. Lt. Col. Roy K. Flint, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, and Lt Col. Glenn K. Otis, Commanding Officer, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry have been extremely successful in training their units for night ambushing operations, and have been executing these ambushes with regularity. The tactics generally involve the movement of ambush patrols under cover of darkness to predetermine ambush locations, execution of an ambush and movement of a unit under cover of darkness to a predetermined alternate ambush site. It has been proven that with the proper training to instill confidence in his ability as a night fighter, the 25th Infantry Division soldier is equal to or superior to the enemy as a night fighter. Lt Col Otis and Lt Col Flint have prepared papers and presentations of their units night fighting activities. Copies of these papers are now in the process of being forwarded to the Office of the Chief of Military History for record purposes. In addition the 1st ----------------- considerably for night ambushing operations along avenues of approach from the west into the Saigon area. A “Small Unit After Action Interview Report” (audio tape) on one such ambush conducted by the battalion's Reconnaissance Platoon, has been recently forwarded to the Office of the Chief of Military History. The report provides a complete description of the platoon's operation under the cover of darkness, specifying deceptive actions taken to conceal the location of the ambush site.
FOR THE COMMANDER: B.F. HOOD
Chief of Staff
Reviewed: 12 May 68 1st Lt. O.B. FORY (p25)
12 May 68 Captain C.S. NAKATSUKASA (p26)
12 May 68 Captain C.L. SHORT (p27)
TASK ORGANIZATION (p28)
Task organization for the 25th Infantry Division for the period 1 February to 30 April 1968 is listed below. This task organization reflects the general organization of the division for the reporting period, and does not take into account the frequent shifting of maneuver and task forces to meet a given tactical situation. Such adjustments in task organization are reflected in the Combat After Action Reports included as TABS B,C,D and E to this report.
25th Infantry Division Troops
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 25th Infantry Division
25th Administration Company
`` 25th Aviation Battalion
3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry
65th Engineer Battalion
125th Signal Battalion
25th Military History Detachment
9th Chemical Detachment
15th PI Detachment
20th PI Detachment
25th MI Detachment
32nd Weather Detachment, 5th Squadron
34th Aviation Detachment
390th Quartermaster Detachment
2nd Civil Affairs Company
6th Battalion, 77th Artillery
Battery B, 5thi Battalion, 2nd Artillery
Company F,l 50th Infantry
38th Scout Dog Platoon
44th Scout Dog Platoon
1st Infantry Brigade Troops
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade
1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mech)
2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry
4th Battalion, 9th Infantry
2nd Battalion, 34th Armor
2nd Infantry Brigade Troops
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade
1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mech)
1st Battalion, 27th Infantry
2nd Battalion 27th Infantry
3rd Infantry Brigade Troops
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade
2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Mech)
3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry
2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry
Division Artillery Troops
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, DIVARTY
1st Battalion, 8th Artillery
7th Battalion, 11th Artillery
3rd Battalion, 13th Artillery (p28)
Division Support Command Troops
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, DISCON
25th Medical Battalion
25th Supply and Transportation Battalion
725th Maintenance Battalion
199th Light Infantry Brigade (OPCON to 25th Infantry Division 32 March to 9 April)
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 199th Infantry Brigade
3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry
4th Battalion, 12th Infantry (p29)
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 2ND BRIGADE, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCSB-C 06 May 1968
SUBJECT: Operational Report of 2nd Bde, 25th Infantry Division, for period ending 30 April 1968,
Reports Control Symbol CS FOR 65
25th Infantry Division
ATTN: Division Historian
1. Personnel: Daily requirements imposed by combat conditions often preclude accomplishment of necessary preventive functions. Required immunizations are frequently delayed and sometimes not done. Normally, dental examinations and treatment, excluding emergencies, are done when men are in base camp. Thus, minor defects become major ones before treatment is administered. To remedy this situation this brigade has established a system which insures systematic dental care for men in the battalion. Complete platoons are rotated from the line to the rear for required immunizations and dental examinations. The platoon moves to the rear on the morning re-supply run and returns to the field on the afternoon re-supply convoy. Thus, it is back with its parent unit within 12 hours, and in sufficient time to plan for, and participate in, night operations.
2. Operations: During night activities near populated areas frequently the time factor for illumination clearance extends beyond a reasonable limit. Hand thrown trip flares have proven very successful for illumination of the kill zone. The flares can be thrown to the back side of the kill zone, thereby lighting the enemy without showing the ambush patrol as ordinary flares do. A note should be made that personnel should be instructed in safety about the flare, because it does not have a delay type fuse. Trip flares are also a good method of showing the front trace of friendly forces for an air-strike at night.
3. Training and Organization: Covered by darkness and with a good percentage of our men shooting . too high, too many VC/RVN caught in ambushes are able to slip away. To make ambush patrols more effective, organic units now send one portable flame thrower from the flame platoon with each ambush patrol. Used on ambushes, the flame thrower can serve three purposes. First: If sprayed in the kill zone immediately after the initial burst of fire, flame will insure 100% kill in that area. Secondly: flame directed into depressions will both illuminate the target and force the Viet Cong who have taken cover to rise and run, framing them against the light background and making them good targets for aimed small arms and automatic weapons fire. Finally, flame can serve as an equalizer when an ambush patrol finds itself facing a numerically superior force.
4, Intelligence: None
5. Logistics: a. The aiming post lights for four point two inch mortars have no remote control switch. The lights must either burn all night or be turned on individually for each fire mission. Burning the light continually uses too rapidly B430 batteries which are in short supply. Aiming post lights can be wired to a BA-200/v battery with a switch that can be turned on and off with little difficulty from the mortar position. These batteries will last approximately one month if used only when firing a mission.
b. Delays in transportation and the extreme heat has caused ice to melt and perishable goods to spoil before they can reach the forward areas. A conex container can be lined with wood and used for transportation and temporary storage of ice and perishable foods. The conex can be placed on a truck for movement to the pickup zone, air lifted to the field location, and returned on a later flight.
6. Other: None
FOR THE COMMANDER LEM J. McLENDON, Major, Infantry, Adjutant
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION SUPPORT COMMAND
APO San Francisco, 96225
AVDCSPT-C 2 May 1968
SUBJECT Operational Report or 25th Infantry Division Support Command
Period Ending 31 April 1968, AVDCSPT-C
25th Infantry Division
1. Section 1, Operation: Significant Activities:
A 25th Division Support Command
(1) This reporting period was marked by increased enemy activity during the TET Offensive
against American and South Vietnamese base camps and lines of communication. DISCOM headquarters
elements and subordinate units continued to operate primarily from Cu Chi, Dau Tieng, and Tay Ninh in support of divisional and non-divisional elements. Early in February support elements at Katum were withdrawn, and due to the heavy support required for operations around Saigon, an FSE was established at Tan Son Nhut Air Base.
(2) This FSE location, known as “Conex City”, handled all classes of supplies issued on a daily
basis using supply point distribution to support almost two brigades. Class I stockage included a capability of freeze and chill reefers for perishables, and dry storage for one day of “A” rations, and five days of “C rations. Ice was procured by commercial contract while potable water was made available through the Air Force. Class III products were issued using bulk refueling methods. One 5000 gallon Diesel tanker provided the main POL support supplemented by drum products of MOGAS and DIESEL for aerial “hook out” to the forward tactical locations. Class V was requested by all maneuver and Div Arty units through DAO at Cu Chi and delivered by thru-put operations to Conex City, or dropped off at Fire Support Bases along the MSR, Route 1, from Saigon to Cu Chi. Limited Class II and IV was provided at Conex City, primarily DX of TA 50-901 items and barrier materials. A maintenance contact team consisting of (p32) communication, armament and vehicular specialists provided direct support not only to all maneuver elements, but also to all convoy traffic processed through the trailer transfer point maintained at Conex City. Other services provided included a bath and shower unit, PX, beer and soda pick-up, and commercial and QM laundry.
(3) Operation Quyet Thang (Resolve to Win) continued through March and early April, requiring increased support from Conex City to divisional units and the 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment which were engaged in cleaning out the VC/NVA rocket belt threatening Tan Son Nhut Air Base and Saigon.
(4) Through most of April, the requirement for heavy support shifted to Cu Chi and Dau Tieng in support of Toan Thang (Complete Victory) and its major actions around Trang Bang and the Michelin Plantation - War Zone “C” area.
B. 25th Medical Battalion
(1) At the beginning of this reporting period, the battalion was participating in Operation Yellowstone. On 8 February, Company D, which was deployed to Katum in support of the operations, returned to Tay Ninh base camp support there. On 28 March 68, this battalion received a commitment to send an emergency medical team to a northern position to treat and evacuate casualties incurred by a Special Forces CIDG element. The notification was received and within one hour, men and materials were ready to be placed on a helicopter The team consisted of fourteen medics and two officers, which included one doctor and one MSC officer. Supplies were taken in sufficient quantities to treat 100 patients with various injuries. During this two day operation, 6 US WIA and 29 CIDG WIA, plus 14 CIDG KIA were treated and evacuated. The one outstanding problem the team faced was the lack of a radio and operator. The Air Force air strip operator was able to help the team to a limited degree with his radio in getting a dustoff. Since the necessity of having a uniform emergency medical team for deployment on very short notice had been established, a plan was formulated and made apart of this unit's Tactical SOP. This appendix to the SOP is attached as Enclosure 1.
(2) Throughout the reporting period, this battalion supported division units with medical service and supplies. In addition, non-division units were supported with medical supplies.
a. MEDICAL TOTALS:
1. Patients seen 11,289
(b) Non -Battle injuries 2,031
(c) IRHA 1,414
2. Disease 7,844
3. Lab Tests 9,516
4. Immunizations 11,516
5. Prescriptions 9,531
b. DENTAL PATIENTS SEEN:
1. Dental Examinations 7,564
2. Other (extractions, etc.) 12,245
c. SUPPLY and SERVICE
1. Line items issued 6,892
2. Short tonnage total 34 short tons
3. MEDCAP line items issued 1,135
4. Bulk pharmacy items issued 1,876 work units
5. Eyeglasses ordered (parts) 324
6. Maintenance work orders received 30
(a) Work orders completed 17
(b) Work orders awaiting parts 13
C. 25th Supply and Transport Battalion:
(1) At the beginning of this reporting period, the TET offensive was launched during Operation SARATOGA. As previously mentioned, a logistical support base was established at Ton Son Nhut Air Base. The Supply and Transport Battalion contributed to Conex City with one officer and 25 enlisted men. Support rendered by this battalion is list as follows:
(a.) Class I
Equipment 2 reefer boxes, 1 forklift
Ice contract local firm in Saigon - 15,000 lbs
Rations two “A” rations and one “C” ration per day
(b.) Class II
DX point 20 items
(c.) Class III
Package products 2 days
5000 gallon Mogas tanker 1
5000 gallon Diesel tanker 1
(d) Class IV
Limited barrier material, PSP and sandbags
(e) Mobile PX
Personnel - 1
Beer and soda sales, and toilet articles $600.00 per day
(f) Shower point
Personnel - 2 approximately 150 showers per day. Throughout Operations Saratoga and Quyet Thang, inter-service cooperation between Air Force and Army units eliminated many potential problems.
(2) Throughout the reporting period, S&T maintained its forward location at Dau Tieng in addition to Cu Chi. Total supply operations by S&T Bn for the division are as follow:
(a) Class I Supply
1. Status A Rations C Rations
a. Stockage objective (days) Cu Chi 5 10
Dau Tieng 5 10
b. On Hand (days) Cu Chi 4 10.7
Dau Tieng 4 20
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables were received from Class I Issue Point, Saigon.
a. February 222,035
b. March 220,787
c. April 268,818
3. Ice Cream
a. Cycle of issues - four times per week
b. Gallons per week from Cu Chi - 487
c. Gallons per week from Saigon - 863
d. Gallons per week from Dau Tieng 266
4. Ice Issue - Average amount of ice issued daily
a. Potable - Dau Tieng 14,000 lbs
b. Potable - Cu Chi 59,400 lbs
c. Non-potable 40,000 lbs
(b) Class II and IV
1, Additions to ASL during Quarter
a. Cu Chi` 3,345
b. Dau Tieng 38
2 Total lines of ASL
a. Cu Chi 4,782
b. Dau Tieng 191
(c) Class III (consumption rates - gallons) Daily Quarterly
1. MOGAS Cu Chi 10,348 931,300
Dau Tieng 4,280 392,470
2. DIESEL Cu Chi 19,544 1,758,635
Dau Tieng 3,953 355,785
3. JP - 4 Cu Chi 36,000 3,240,000
Dau Tieng 6,887 619,900
4. AVGAS Cu Chi 1,942 174,860
Dau Tieng 281 25,915
1. Contract Laundry (bundles) Dau Tieng - 45,000
2. G. bath unit
a. Total showers - field (Cu Chi) 10,226
Daily average - field (Cu Chi) 114
b. Total showers - field (Dau Tieng 247
Daily average - field (Dau Tieng 21
3. Graves registration
a. Deceased US personnel during quarter:
Cu Chi - 448 (as of 2400 hrs 30 Apr 68)
b. Deceased RVN personnel processed during quarter
Cu Chi - 103 (as of 2400 hrs 30 Apr 68)
Dau Tieng - 0 (as of 2400 hrs 30 Apr 68)
4, Water resupply to Cu Chi base camp users - daily average: 45,000 gallons.
5. Duc Hoa - Refuel Facility
JP-4 Daily 3,978 Quarterly 358,031
AVGAS Daily 210 Quarterly 18,900
(c) . Transportation
1. Mileage driven
a. Total: Cu chi 8,997
Dau Tieng 2,060
b. Average daily Cu Chi 99.9
Dau Tieng 40.0
2. Troops moved by convoy
a. Total Cu Chi 12,600
b. Average daily Cu Chi 140
Dau Tieng 0
(3) During the reporting period, the MSR was closed for a number of days in February which presented several problems on Class III supply. It became necessary to schedule combat essential air lifts to provide the required quantities of product to the customer. During March and April the MSR was open and re-supply from 64th QM was very satisfactory. A problem was also encountered in re-supplying forward elements at Dau Tieng and the rearm and refuel point at Duc Hoa. This problem resulted not from a lack of product, but from a lack of organic transportation.
D. 725th Maintenance Battalion
(1) During Operations Saratoga and Quyet Thang, Connex City was in operation. To provide maintenance support to the field trains, it was necessary to have a maintenance team located at BISCON (Fwd) at Conex City. PLL items and fringe items were requisitioned through normal supply channels. If an item of equipment was dead-lined, the needed part was requisitioned from Headquarters, and A Co, 725th Maintenance Battalion. A special U1C was assigned to the team to expedite the requested parts. The maintenance team consisted of one officer and seven enlisted men.
(2) During the reporting period, the following jobs were completed by this battalion.
FEB MAR APR TOTAL
Wheel Vehicles 245 380 421 1046
Track Vehicles 150 220 111 481
Small Arms 927 1059 1082 3068
Artillery 170 144 98 412
Chemical 53 92 80 225
Refrigeration 29 14 14 57
Engineer 173 247 376 796
Signal 2283 2840 2588 7711
Fire Control 170 235 246 651
Office Machines 121 240 179 540
Aircraft 235 288 246 769
TOTAL 4,556 5,749 5,441 15,756
(3) Throughout the reporting period, the maintenance and supply mission of this battalion has been influenced by the following factors:
Repair parts availability
(b) Geographical location (High temperature and dust)
(c) Extensive and prolonged operations by maneuver elements of the division and transportation problems due to TET Offensive.
(d) Lack of proper maintenance at the organizational level.
E. Division Transportation Office
(1) Highway continues to be the primary mode of transportation for the re-supply of the division
base camps. Throughout this reporting period, due to the TET Offensive, no commercial vehicles from the
Shell Oil Company, Philco Ford, or Equipment Inc. have delivered products to the Cu Chi Base Camp. The movements Control Center, Saigon Support Command states the commercial trucks are fully utilized in port clearance, but in addition to this, the commercial contractors refuse to transport cargo between Long Binh and Cu Chi without an increased premium.
(2) Following is a breakdown of regular re-supply convoys operated in the division area:
(a) Cu Chi - Saigon
No. of Convoys 1st Log Comd. 25th Div & Attached Units
FEB 93 1315 2998
MAR 186 3249 4376
APR 180 3846 3627
Total 459 8410 11001
(b) Saigon - Cu Chi - Tay Ninh
FEB 44 2947 1898
MAR 61 4322 1904
APR 61 4760 2094
Total 166 12029 5896
(c) Dau Tieng - Tay Ninh
FEB 42 1396
MAR 46 1620
APR 50 2108
Total 138 5124
(d) Cu Chi - Duc Hoa
FEB 0 0
MAR 14 68
APR 24 237
Total 38 305
(3) Special airlift data concerning USAF support is as follows:
Month Cargo (tons) Troops Operation
FEB 1890 10909 N/A
MAR 1209 18737 N/A
APR 90 11787 N/A
TOTALS 3189 41433 N/A
(4) Division Baggage Section:
Month Service Pieces Weight
FEB 750 1011 78740
MAR 1950 2895 251,000
APR 1473 2028 178,750
TOTALS 4173 5934 508,490
F. Division Ammunition Office:
(1) Status at end of quarter - 704 tons on hand
(2) Issues during quarters: Total Tons Ton / Day
FEB 3067 105.76
MAR 2680 86.45
APR 2924 97.47
(3) Average for quarter (tons / day) 96.56
2. SECTION 2, LESSONS LEARNED: Commander's Observations, Evaluations and Recommendations.
A. Personnel: None
B. Operations None
C. Training: None
D. Intelligence: None
1. M109 Howitzers
(a) OBSERVATION: Equipment with extensive modification or involving numerous Federal stock Number changes should be preceded by revised parts manuals and a list of modifications that were performed. The lack of repair parts for new equipment increased maintenance problems.
(b) EVALUATION: The problem encountered with the M109 Howitzers has been partially corrected by issue of fourth and fifth year production models. The new equipment is functioning properly, but weapons were delivered without revised TM/s or adequate repair parts.
2. Equipment Maintenance:
(a) OBSERVATION: The changing of oil, oil filters and the cleaning of air intake and oil cooler systems under the dusty dry season environment can not be over-stressed.
(b) EVALUATION: Extensive operations in dusty conditions continues to be a major cause of engine failure. Oil samples were taken from a random selection of engines both operational and non-operational. The sediment content of all engines in the non-operational category was excessive. The carbon residue content was also high in these engines. A letter was published during the period instructing the units to increase the frequency of maintenance of filters and the change of lubricants.
3. “Fork Slide Bearing” of the Anthony Model HLT6, 6000 pound forklift.
(a) OBSERVATION: Conditions where dirt, dust, and sand are a problem necessitates the operation of the fork slide bearing in a dry state.
(b) EVALUATION: The fork slide bearing is made of nylon and is self-lubricating. Normal operating conditions call for GAA lube. However, for conditions where dirt and sand are a problem, bearings should be thoroughly cleaned and operated dry.
(4). Disconnector Safety of the 45 caliber pistol.
(a) OBSERVATION: An abnormally high number of requests for replacement of the disconnector safety of the 45 caliber pistol have been received in recent months. The majority of these requests resulted from CMMI's. This is an indication that unit armorers are not aware of proper inspection techniques as pertains to the pistol.
(b) EVALUATION: Small arms inspection courses are conducted monthly. Proper inspection procedures will be stressed in future classes on the pistol.
F. Organization: None
G. Other: None
(1). Personnel: During the past quarter, the personnel posture of the division has remained at
a fairly constant level. The assigned EM strength is about 99.7% of the authorized strength. The shortage of Infantry Captains and NCOs continue to be a problem. With the advent of receiving the “instant NCOs” we hoped the problem to be alleviated, but not immediately. For approximately one month during the quarter, there was a shortage of mess personnel. This shortage of mess personnel has been alleviated by enough replacements.
(2). Key Gain / Losses: WITHDRAWN, HQS, DA
(3). Strength as of 30 April 1968:
(a) Assigned Units: OFF WO EM ACG
AUTH 1049 135 15679 16863
ASGD 1027 154 15932 17113
PDY 1003 145 15714 16862
(b) Attached Units OFF WO EM ACG
AUTH 48 3 545 596
ASGD 39 2 491 532
PDY 38 3 477 518
(4). LOSSES: (1 Feb. - 30 Apr 68) OFF WO EM ACG
KHA / DOW 34 0 486 520
WHA 84 4 1553 1641
MHA 0 0 0 0
NBD 1 0 17 18
NBI 1 0 33 34
TOTAL 118 4 2089 2213
(5). GAINS: (1 Feb. - 30 Apr 68) OFF WO EM ACG
364 50 5965 6379
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCCA 5 May 1968
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 30 April 1968 (RCS CSFOR - 65) (R-1)
25th Infantry Division
ATTN: Division Historian
I. Section 1, Operations: Significant Activities:
A. Revolutionary Development.
1. No significant changes occurred concerning the placement or organization of the Revolutionary Development cadre through the TAOI. Although the majority of the teams were withdrawn from assigned hamlets into District Headquarters and assisted in fighting against the VC during the TET Offensive. As security increased, they were again deployed into the assigned hamlets. Several of the teams were effectively used to control and operate refugee camps in Hoc Mon area. The teams are now assisting in the GVN Civil Recovery Program. They are building homes and accomplishing other projects in an effort to return the situation to normal.
2. Shown below is information extracted from the Hamlet Evaluation System, comparing January 1968 with February 1968. It describes in general terms the effects of the TET Offensive on the pacification effort. The numbers shown in parenthesis under hamlet category depict change in hamlet status that occurred from January to February (i.e. In January there were 67 B category hamlets in the TAOI: in February, 42, or minus 15.) The February evaluation was prefaced with the statement that its validity could not be considered realistic in all cases as complete evaluations could not be made by District Advisors because of lack of security.
TAOI RES FEBRUARY 1968
HAMLET CATEGORY NUMBER OF HAMLETS POPULATION POPULATION CHANGE
A 0 0 0
B 42 (-15) 112,567 (19.1%) -40,018
C 96 (-13) 222,544 (39.1%) -25,299
D 72 (+15) 126,665 (22.2%) +43,875
E 17 (+9) 18,147 ( 3.1%) +10,820
VC 98 (-5) 75,992 (13.3%) - 204
ABANDONED 48 (+9)
NON-HAMLET _________________ 12,133 2.1%)________________
TOTAL 373 568,048 -10,826
B. Civic Action:
1. The only significant change in the organizational structure occurred when the five AA
Platoons from 2nd Civil Affairs Company were detached from the control of the 25th Infantry Division. The platoons continue to work in essentially the same areas through the TAOI, although they are now under the control of the respective Province Senior Advisors.
2. As result of the VC TET Offensive in early February and subsequent combat operations, normal civic action programs were discontinued and efforts redirected to support the GVN Civil Recovery Program. Considerable disruption of the civilian populous and damage to property necessitated this change.
a. In response to the guidance issued from the GVN Civil Recovery Commission and higher headquarters, the division reduced missions and established areas of priority for assistance. The priorities were established as follows:
(1) Provide emergency medical care to the extent medical supplies, facilities and personnel permit.
(2) Provide food, clothing and shelter to the destitute. (p46)
(3) Restore essential public facilities to include roads, wells, medical facilities, markets and administrative facilities to useable status.
b. Throughout the month of February, the division reacted to assist in the areas of most
critical need based on the damage estimates available. All activities in support of the recovery program, except for emergency medical care, were coordinated thru district / province advisors. G-5 was established as the control center and directed the distribution of all commodities, equipment and services.
c. The following is a brief general description of the situation in each of the provinces in the TAOI during the last quarter.
(1) TAY NINH:
(a) In Tay Ninh Province, the VC attacked the MACV Advisory compound on 15 February and then withdrew to prepare defense positions in Long My hamlet XT2948. The hamlet sustained considerable damage before necessary military pressure evicted the VC from the area. It was estimated that 2000 people were left homeless as result of the combat operations. The division provided emergency medical treatment and food to these refugees immediately following the attack. Salvage tents were provided for temporary shelter. The Province Chief continued the relief activities in that area and reacted to the needs of the people on a timely basis. 10 sheets of tin roofing, 10 bags of cement and 5000$VN was provided to each family as standard allowance from GVN. At the end of the month a great deal of the damage was repaired.
(b) Additionally, in Tay Ninh a high incidence of plague was reported. The outbreak was located generally in Tay Ninh City and in the populated area along Highway 22 to the south. The division supported an inoculation and an insecticide dusting program in that area. Over 16,000 people were inoculated during the month and the spread of the disease was held in check.
(c) During the month of March it was determined that 354 homes had been destroyed in Long My Hamlet XT2948 of Phu Khuong District. An estimated 90% of the people had completed the reconstruction or repair of their homes in that area by the end of the month. Two other areas sustained damage as result of further combat operations against the VC. Damage to Phuoc Tan, XT0143, Phuoc Ninh District was incurred during the first part of the month. The village is a trading center and many of the homes destroyed had provided only transient type accommodations and were not of great (p47) value. It was determined that a total of 430 homes were destroyed, of which approximately 200 provided only temporary shelter as just described. GVN is recognizing only permanent homes for reconstruction and allowance of the monetary payment and tin /cement. At the end of the moth it was reported that approximately 40% of the families had received the materials from GVN. Transportation and security created a problem and 1st Bde was asked to provide assistance in transporting cement to Phuoc Tan.
(d) Additionally Ben Cao XT2330 in Hieu Thien District suffered damage and 216 homes were reported to be destroyed. Again, Tay Ninh Province was able to react to the needs of the people and little assistance was required from the division. The materials were distributed on a timely basis and rebuilding was underway immediately.
(e) In April, the rebuilding continued and the remaining families received the commodity assistance from the GVN. 1st Bde provided a number of CH47 sorties to transport cement into Phuoc Tan, eliminating the transportation problem. Over all, little assistance was given to Tay Ninh Province in support of the recovery program by the division because the provincial government worked well and did not require the help. Civic action / MEDCAP programs continued as normal in other areas as security was not a great problem and the damage to the civilians as result of the combat operations was restricted to only three areas.
(2) Binh Duong
(a) In Binh Duong Province, the Tri Tam District headquarters came under attack during the first part of February. Considerable destruction to public facilities and governmental offices resulted in Dau Tieng. Over 150 RF/PF dependents and civilians were reported to be homeless. 3rd Bde rendered immediate relief in the form of blankets, clothing, food and medical attention. Heavy engineer equipment was provided to clear debris and rubble from streets and burned out areas to facilitate rebuilding. GVN was not able to provide building materials to the refugees and the majority of the assistance is being supplied from the 3rd Bde. GVN officials were forced to leave Dau Tieng as result of the assassination of the village council chairman, death of one of the hamlet chiefs and unsuccessful attempts on the lives of several of the other leaders. This left the area little GVN representation with the exception of the District Chief who remained.
(b) Phu Hoa District also suffered extensive damage as the VC occupied many of the populated areas and considerable damage was caused in the ensuing combat operations. Many of the civilians evacuated the area to more secure locations. It was initially estimated that 1000 refugee families were created and one hamlet, Tan Hoa XT7014, was completely destroyed. The division found it necessary to airlift a MEDCAP team and food commodities into the advisory compound at Phu Hoa Dong to assist in the relief of the people. No accurate damage assessments were made due to the general lack of security in the district. (p48)
(c) Additionally, during the month of February the division responded to the request of Binh Duong Province officials for assistance to the Provincial Hospital in Phu Cuong. Large numbers of people came into Phu Cuong seeking refugee and medical attention which over taxed existing facilities. The division provided necessary medical supplies and food commodities to the hospital which assisted in the care of these people.
(d) In March, conditions remained almost the same in both Tri Tam and Phu Hoa Districts. Accurate damages were tabulated in Dau Tieng (XT4947) and it was reported that 18 PF homes and 64 civilian homes had been destroyed. Although assistance continues to be provided, it was limited because necessary materials at the time were not available in the supply system to support the rebuilding effort. The governmental official returned and reestablished the village council and other governmental agencies became operational again. The Census Grievance Office, Vietnamese Information Office and several other buildings were completely destroyed and work was started to put them back into useable status.
(e) In Phu Hoa, the general situation remained fluid. The initial estimate of 1000 homes being destroyed was confirmed. Cement, tin or monetary payments were not distributed as many of the people had not returned to the area. A general lack of security and freedom of movement complicated the rebuilding problem. MEDCAP teams and food were supplied to Phu Hoa Dong on several occasions during the month. Approximately 4000 pounds of food commodities, the predominant amount being captured rice, was flown into Phu Hoa Dong on each occasion.
(f) During the month of April, civic action programs made progress in Dau Tieng. Work continued on reconstructing the VIS building and the Census Grievance Office. Other civic action projects continued to progress also. Five additional classrooms were added onto the public high school and rebuilding of the PF housing area was supported with material and heavy engineer equipment. The homes, when completed will have living quarters as well as defensive fighting positions. A berm and defensive wire will surround the entire housing area.
(g) In Phu Hoa District, material assistance was made available from GVN. The division provided considerable transportation assets to move cement from Saigon into the areas selected for rebuilding. Additionally, DISCOM has organized a provisional work force which is assisting in the distribution of supplementary lumber packets. Each packet will construct a 10' x 16' frame house when married up with the cement and tin provided by Province. Homes are initially being constructed in the Trung An area XT7515. It was reported at the end of the month that 80 homes had been constructed and sufficient lumber was pre-positioned at the site to construct an additional 122 homes. Present plans call for the homes that were destroyed in the Tan Than Dong area to rebuild next, and then depending on the district officials, work will proceed into the Paris Tan Qui and Phu Hoa Dong Village. GVN is closely supervising the rebuilding program. The work is being accomplished on a self help basis with the assistance provided by RD cadre/RF/PF/ARVN. The number of homes that were planned for reconstruction has been re-tabulated at slightly less than the 1000 originally estimated. The people are returning into the area and are very appreciative of the assistance being provided.
(3) Hau Nghia
(a) In Hau Nghia Province, hardest hit areas were in Cu Chi District. The district headquarters in Tan An Hoi, XT6312, came under ground attack in early February, and the VC occupied the village for a period of time. Considerable damage was sustained in the RF/PF dependent area, the district headquarters, and the National Police headquarters. It was estimated that approximately 15% of the business area was destroyed. Again it is believed that many people fled to more secure areas in Saigon or Hoc Mon. Heavy engineer support was furnished to the district to assist in cleaning up the rubble following the attacks. Emergency food and medical treatment was provided. The facilities at 12th Evacuation Hospital and 25th Medical Hospital were used extensively to provide medical treatment to over 250 civilians during the month.
(b) In Tan Phu Trung, XT7009, damage was extensive. An intensive combat effort was required to eliminate the VC from that area. A large portion, estimated 80%, of the village was destroyed and an estimated 2000 people moved from the area. As security conditions improved, a damage survey was conducted. It was necessary to spray the area with an insecticide in an attempt to control large numbers of insects that collected in the area immediately following the attack, and to minimize a possible health problem. No rebuilding was initiated as few of the people returned to the area and any assistance would have been premature.
(c) During the latter part of the month, Hiep Hoa of Duc Hue District XT4609 also suffered damage resultant from VC attacks. Because of a general lack of security, no damage estimate was made in the area during the month of February.
(d) During the month of March, reasonable damage estimates were completed which indicated that 1978 homes had been destroyed in Hau Nghia Province. The majority of the damage occurred during the TET Offensive, and another 229 homes were destroyed in the Trang Bang area during the month of March. In Cu Chi District, over 1000 homes were destroyed with primary destruction centered in Tan Phu Trung. A civilian engineer effort has assisted to clear the debris and to level the site prior to any rebuilding. US engineer support was scheduled to begin working and complete the project of preparing home sites, roads, and a drainage system. Large quantities of salvage lumber and building materials have been furnished from Cu Chi base camp, and has assisted in the rebuilding program. It was reported that in Cu Chi District, approximately 50% of the people received the allotted materials from GVN by the end of March.
(e) In Duc Hoe District, 737 homes were destroyed. It is estimated that approximately 45% of the people have received the monetary and material support from the GVN. Approximately 30% of the damage had been repaired by the end of March. An abundance of native materials has made it easier for the people in this area to rebuild.
(f) Over 18 tons of captured rice, peanuts and peas were provided to support RF/PF outposts in Hau Nghia Province during the month. The food commodities were given to provincial officials to distribute in the areas of most critical need in an effort to up-grade the morale and welfare of the RF/PF.
(g) In April, the division continued to support the GVN rebuild program in Hau Nghia Province. Main emphasis remained in the Tan Phu Trung area, and a reinforced engineer platoon took over the project of preparing the site for rebuilding. Considerable progress was evident, and by the end of the month the area was over 50% completed. DISCOM organized a 30 man work force to assist in distributing lumber packets which complement the allotted materials provided by GVN. Each lumber packet contains approximately 150 - 190 board feet of lumber which will construct a 10 x 16 foot frame for a house. 202 of these packets have been distributed to individual house sites. GVN officials are controlling the distribution and taking care to insure that an equitable distribution of the commodities is made. Additionally, in Tan Phu Trung, a school damaged during the fighting was selected to be repaired through the use of money voluntarily collected during the TET Aggression Relief Project (TARP). The school was badly damaged and sufficient funds were provided for its repair. TARP monies also financed the repair of the Cu Chi District dispensary and assisted in getting it back into operation on a timely basis.
(h) It was reported that monetary payments were extended to the people in Trang Bang, although little building materials have been issued as of yet. Province officials placed Trang Bang in last priority to receive the material support because of the increased availability of material resources and the self sufficiency of that area.
(4) Gia Dinh
(a) Shortly after the start of the VC TET Offensive, several large refugee camps were formed in the Hoc Mon area. Refugees came to this area seeking security and food. At one time five different camps were operating, and over 3500 people were consolidated in them. GVN officials, with the assistance of RD cadre teams, operated and controlled the camps. The division provided salvage canvass and tentage as temporary shelter, and also provided medical assistance in the form of frequent MEDCAPS in the camps. Large quantities of food commodities were provided to the refugees. The food, primarily rice, was available from Helping Hand as large amounts had been stockpiled there from rice captured in War Zone C during Operation Yellowstone. These food commodities were instrumental in providing for the large number of refugees.
(b) On 13 February 1968, a misdirected B-52 strike caused considerable damage to Dong Binh hamlet, XT8406. The division reacted immediately by providing medical attention and commodity support to the people. The division additionally paid 491,000$VN in solatium to the families of the 51 killed and 93 injured. IIFFV controlled all relief activities in that area.
(a) The division MEDCAP continued to provide medical attention to a large number of civilians. During the past three months a total of 444 MEDCAPS were conducted, treating 66,858 people. Only 77 MEDCAPS were conducted in February in contrast to 222 for the moth of April. April's figure represents the highest number of patients treated and MEDCAPS conducted in single month period since the division has been in Vietnam.
C. Psychological Operations (PSYOP)
1. PSYOP activities were primarily in support of combat operations in Hau Nghia, Tay Ninh and Binh Duong Provinces.
2. A total of 41,648,632 leaflets were air-dropped and hand disseminated throughout the Division's TAOI. 24 leaflets were originated by G5 and Brigade S5's. The leaflets were produced by the 6th PSYOP Battalion.
3. Aerial loudspeaker broadcasts conducted during the quarter totaled 189 hours 50 minutes of broadcast time. Ground loudspeaker time totaled 59 hours broadcast time. Emphasis was placed on increased use of 500 watt loudspeaker set for ground operations.
4. During the quarter, an HE (audio visual) team (US) from the 6th PSYOP Battalion was in support of the 25th Infantry Division. This team conducted PSYOP by aerial and hand dissemination of leaflets, and aerial and ground loudspeaker broadcasts. The team is presently supporting the Division's operation Toan Thang.
5. PSYOP during the quarter was in support of the following division operations:
(a) Operation - SARATOGA
(b) Operation - YELLOWSTONE
(c) Operation - WILDERNESS
(d) Operation - QUYET THANG
(e) Operation - TOAN THANG
6. Chieu Hoi Program: During the months of February, March and April, Chieu Hoi appeals were directed at NVA and NVA infiltrated units that participated in the TET Offensive. During the quarter, 49 Hoi Chanh rallied in the Division's TAOI. A drop in the number of returnees occurred throughout III Corps area.
II. Section 2, Lessons Learned: Observation, Evaluations and Recommendations:
A. Item: Use of Helping Hand:
1. Discussion: Captured rice and other food commodities stored at Helping Hand were an
important source of sustenance and measurably assisted in feeding refugees during the VC TET Offensive. Additionally, the salvage lumber stockpiled at Helping Hand has been used extensively by the RF/PF, ARVN and the civilians as a source of building material.
2, Observation: Captured rice should be evacuated for future use in civic action and salvage
lumber should be used to support projects of improving outposts or assisting refugees.
B. Item: Plague.
1. Discussion: A high incidence of plague was evidenced in Tay Ninh Province during the
reported period. GVN/CORDS did not have sufficient vaccine on hand to conduct an immediate inoculation program. Stockpiles of insecticide powder were not available for immediate use. Reaction to the outbreak by preventive health teams should have occurred sooner.
2. Observation: Prior planning and anticipation of the recurrence of plague should be effected. Sufficient vaccines and insecticide powder should be stockpiled for immediate use.
C. Item: Effect of military Civic Action:
1. Discussion: It was noted during the TET Offensive that the people did not support the VC., This was particularly obvious in areas where good civic action programs had been conducted. Civilians have provided essential intelligence information, and are more willing to assist the GVN/FW in combating the VC.
2. Observation: For maximum utilization of resources and accomplishment of civic action missions, close coordination and cooperation with GVN/CORDS personnel is essential.
VINCENT I. BROSKY
FROM 125TH Signal BATTALION
25TH INDANTRY DIVISION
FOR PERIOD 1 FEBRUARY 68 - 30 APRIL 68
PART I NARRATIVE1
TAB A VHF SYSTEMS DIAGRAM
TAB B GROUNDING OF AB-216 TOWERS
The 125th Signal Battalion continued to support the 25th Infantry Division in all operations during the period 1 February 1968 to 30 April 1968. Common user and sole user telephone and teletype circuits over multi-channel VHF systems continued to provide the major portion of communications for the Division. Fire Support Bases were interconnected into the overall Division system through the use of multi-channel systems. (VHF systems diagram, current as of 26 April 1968, is enclosed as Tab A). The primary means of back-up for existing VHF systems remains the AN/VRC-12 series radio. The secure FM Command net provides the communication media for rapid response to classified information passed between the Division Headquarters and the major maneuver elements. Traffic of a less sensitive nature is passed over the Division Clear FM Command Net. Other communications media employed during the period were AM and Single Side-band nets, Radio Wire Integration capability, and FM retransmission facilities for both clear and secure nets.
2. CO-AXIAL CABLE:
During the last reporting period, this battalion experienced many problems with co-axial cables utilized to connect the VHF radio to the antenna. The average operator, when he suspects a bad co-axial cable, will lower his antenna, install al new co-axial cable, and raise the antenna back into position. By substituting the co-axial cable, the operator does not know for a fact if the old cable is bad or if, in fact, the new cable is good. In some cases, the operator has substituted a bad cable for a good cable and is not able to discover this until many hours later. The hours of down-time incurred by this erroneous method of trouble-shooting could have been prevented by insuring that the operators understood and used the proper trouble-shooting method described in TM 11-687, AN/TRC-24. This method involves placing a 50,000 ohm resistor between the center conductor and the shield on one end of the cable, and measuring the DC resistance at the other end. If a 10% tolerance resistor is used, the obmeter should measure between 45,000 and 55,000 ohms. Any reading outside of these limits indicates a defective cable, or defective connector on the cable. It is important that commanders insure that their personnel know the proper methods of trouble-shooting. Supervision cannot be too close when multi-channel VHF system ;outages are involved.
3. VHF INTERFERENCE: (p57)
During the last quarter, this battalion installed a VHF system in a location approximately ½ mile from a counter-mortar radar, ANAPO-10. The system was originally installed using “D” band frequencies. Every evening, as the radar was turned on, interference would be experienced on the radar beam ------
periods of the radar. When the system frequencies were changed to ----, no more interference was experienced even though the radar continued to sweep its beam across the antennas. The lesson learned is that consideration must be given to the frequencies assigned to a VHF system if it is known that the terminal equipment will be in the vicinity of an AN/MPQ-10 radar set.
4. CALIBRATION OF AN/TRC-24 RADIO TUNING HEADS:
Poor calibration of AN/TRC-24 tuning heads has caused considerable difficulty in the alignment of transmitters and receivers, and has resulted in excessive installation times. It was determined that maintenance personnel were not calibrating the dials of the tuning heads when performing final check on a tuning head submitted for repair. This frequently caused the VHF operator to tune his receiver and transmitter to the wrong frequency, increasing system installation time and causing interference on other frequencies. A detailed review of tuning head calibration in accordance with criteria set forth in TM 11-687 has been made. Maintenance personnel have been instructed in the proper method , and as a result, the quality of VHG systems have considerably improved. The important lesson here is that repair procedures in signal repair shops must be continually reviewed and inspected to insure that radio sets are calibrated in addition to being repaired.
5. GROUNDING OF AB-216 TOWERS:
A continuing problem in Southeast Asia has been that of obtaining a good electrical ground for signal equipment and communication towers. This has been particularly true with the AB-216 Towers erected in the Division area and used for mounting FM, VHF, and UHF antennas. In addition to the normal amount of spurious electricity that might be found, the tower tends to attract static electricity which could result in serious damage if the tower is improperly grounded. To combat this problem, a more reliable path to the tower through the guy cables into the guy rod which is set deeply and firmly into the ground. The guy cables are interconnected with copper strap wire (making sure of metal to metal contact) which is then welded to the guy stake. (See Tab B). Once this is completed, the ground can be verified by a continuity check with a volt-meter.
7. COMMAND AND CONTROL RADIO CONSOLES AN/ASC 6, 10, & 11:
a. The Command and Control radio consoles utilized by commanders in their helicopters have presented a number of lessons learned during the last quarter. The Command and Control consoles ASC-6, 10, and 11, used in the 25th Infantry Division have been modified to add an additional radio, usually, the RT-246 or RT-524. This modification was initially accomplished by fabricating a cable to connect the “audio out” plug of the RT-246/524 to the connector in the ASC-( ), normally reserved for use by the AN/ARC-102.l When this modification is completed, it was discovered that there was an intolerable amount of audio feedback which made both transmission and reception difficult. A------
portion of the audio line connected the mismatch and eliminated the feedback. The successful addition of the RT-246/524 to the ASC-( ) extends the frequency range of the commanders communications capability from 69.95 (the maximum range of the AN/ARC-54) TO 75.95 mc., compatible with all AN/VRC-12 radios utilized by the maneuver elements under his command..
b. A major problem with the AN/ARC-54 radios in the AN/ASC-6, 10, & 11 command and control consoles, is recurring radio failure due to misalignment of the RF and IF amplifiers. The radios were failing with as little as 2 or 3 hours operating time. Investigation revealed that the aircraft vibration caused the tuning slugs of the adjustable coils to move from their proper positions. The correction for this problem is to apply a small drop of airplane glue to the tuning slug, adjusting screw after proper alignment of the coil has been effected. The drop of airplane glue will prevent the coil from becoming mis-adjusted, but is easily removed in the event future adjustments become necessary. Signal officers should be particularly aware of the unique maintenance and repair problems associated with helicopter installed radios.
JOHN W. SORBET
TAB A Diagram (p60)
TAB B Diagram - Inter-connections (p61)
SUBJECT: Feeder Operational Report - Lessons Learned of Headquarters, 25th Aviation Battalion, WALZAA, for Period Ending 30 April 1968, Reports Control Symbol CSFOR - 65
25th Infantry Division
Attn: Division Historian
APO: SR 96225
In compliance with paragraph 4d 25th Infantry Division Reg., dated. 23 April 1968, the following feeder report for inclusion in the Division Operational Report on Lessons Learned, in accordance with USARV Reg 525-15, is submitted.
FOR THE COMMANDER WALTER KUEHN JR
SUBJECT: Feeder Operational Report - Lessons Learned of Headquarters, 25th Aviation Battalion WALZAA, for period ending 30 April 1968, Report - Control Symbol CS for - 65)
25th Infantry Division
Attn: Division Historian
APO US Forces 96225
SECTION I. OPERATIONS
1. HHD - No Significant activities.
2. A Company: During the period 1 February 1968 thru 30 April 68, Company A performed 10,200 sorties, flew 2,975 combat missions, carried 25,608 passengers, carried 450 tons of cargo, flew a total of 4,740 hours, conducted 11 combat assault missions and made 5 troop extractions. The company expended 8,408 rounds of incendiary grenade ammunition in support of Incendiary Grenade Missions. A total of 90,790 rounds of 7.62 ammunition was expended in support of missions. These missions resulted in the destruction or damage of 5 structures, 3 sampans, 51 VC - KBAA (BC) and 2 VC KBAA (POSS).
3. B Company: During the period 1 February 1968, thru 30 April 1968, Company B participated in 4,259 sorties, flew 1,834 missions, carried 1,803 passengers, carried 10 tons of cargo, and flew a total of 2,148 hours. The General Support Platoon expended 609,963 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 870 rounds of .50 cal. ammunition, 6,477 rounds of 40mm grenade ammunition, and 5,859 2.75 inch rockets. These missions resulted in the destruction or damage of 331 structures, 55 sampans, 163 VCBKAA (BC) and 211 VC KBAA (POSS).
SECTION II, LESSONS LEARNED
Commander's Observations, Evaluation and Recommendations:
ITEM: Lack of school - trained armament personnel.
DISCUSSION: This is operating on an antiquated TO&E, and has
(1) ITEM: Reorganization of Airlift Platoon Commanders under the Operations Officer:
DISCUSSION: Since the unit operates exclusively from a permanent base installation, the capability of separate platoon employment is not required. Therefore, all TOE equipment in the 3 flight platoons of the unit, has been redistributed and the associated enlisted personnel internally reassigned. Under this organization the Platoon Commanders have only the assigned pilots under their supervision and flying is their primary responsibility. The Airlift Platoons only mission is to fly and to accomplish this mission. The platoon Commanders responsibilities lies with operations. The chain of command has been altered to include Operations Officer with the three Airlift Platoon Commanders under his supervision and reporting directly to him. This reorganization eliminates one administrative chain and reduces the possibility of operational errors. A significant improvement in mission planning, coordination and flow of information has resulted from this reorganization. In addition, the Operations Officer is able to directly influence the Airlift Platoon operations to include the utilization of personnel.
OBSERVATION: The effectiveness and efficiency of operations has steadily improved as a result of placing the Airlift Platoon Commanders directly under the Operations Officer in the chain of command.
(2) ITEM: Evaluation validity of “Hot-spot” readings obtained on People Sniffer Missions.
DISCUSSION: There are a variety of chemical substances suspended in the atmosphere which will produce readings on the man detection device, but primarily where ammonia is present. Ammonia is produced from almost all ammunition and explosive detonations. It is mandatory that all artillery fires and air strikes be terminated several hours in advance of the people sniffer mission if the readings are to be valid. If hot-spots are to be immediately engaged by light fire teams, the starting point and route of flight must cover the downwind portion of the area first. There are no known limits of how far a “scent” will travel from it's source and still be strong enough to produce readings on the sniff machine. Personnel evaluating the data obtained must know the location of villages, troops, or other concentrated population areas where a strong scent might be carried by the wind for several miles. Flight crews should note the wind direction, and report those hot-spots that are accompanied by village odors, usually identifiable by the smell of charcoal.
OBSERVATION: The People Sniffer Mission must be thoroughly planned at all levels of command. Improper planning and preparation produces invalid readings -------.
darkness, this problem ---
prevent border violations
must be relied on. Contact should be established -----
radar, and at least one aircraft should be in an operational -----
possible, the Decca Navigational System should be used to maintain an ------plot on the aircraft's exact location.
OBSERVATION: Electronic navigational equipment should be used on all flights, particularly those near international borders.
(4) ITEM: Blowing sand and dust has been causing malfunctions in the M-21 weapon systems.
DISCUSSION: The following steps have been taken to reduce the amount of grit entering the weapons system.
1. Keep weapons covered tightly with canvas when aircraft is not flying.
2. Keep the safing sector in place with the top bolt in the rear position when aircraft is not on a scramble status.
3. Minimize hovering flight to the maximum extent.
OBSERVATION: These steps minimize malfunctions to a great extent.
(5) ITEM: Inability to fully describe required maintenance of work order (DA Form 2407) has caused delay in D.S. maintenance on aircraft weapons system.
DISCUSSION: Whenever an aircraft is sent to direct support maintenance for work on weapons system, a member of the armament section is sent with the aircraft to fully explain the deficiency and to help perform the maintenance.
OBSERVATION: Better support and quicker response is received when unit personnel accompany aircraft to direct support maintenance facilities.
(6) ITEM: Improper installation of tail rotor thrust bearings.
DISCUSSION: When the tail rotor on the UH-1 is fully installed, it is impossible for the TI to tell if the thrust bearings are installed properly. During tail rotor installation, TI's should be present to inspect each step of the work.
OBSERVATION: Proper installation of certain other aircraft components could be insured by having the technical inspector present during ------
(7) ITEM: Increased wear on UH-1C Truunion bearings during dusty conditions.
DISCUSSION: Dust and grit causes early wear-out of UH-1C. Truunion bearings, although no practical way to preventing this increased wear has been resolved, the early discovery and correction of the condition prevents wear on other components of the rotor head,.
OBSERVATION: A more thorough inspection of the rotor head during the daily inspection and each pre-flight will help early detection of worn components.
(8) ITEM: Cleaning of turbine helicopter engines.
DISCUSSION: Inspection of several engines which failed in flight revealed that normal cleaning methods were neglecting the lower portion of the engine inlet and first stage stator vanes resulting in large build-up of mud and grease compound. This heavy build-up is a potential source of foreign object damage. Investigation revealed that the thoroughness of cleaning was deficient. Crew chiefs were neglecting to clean the engine inlet under the short shaft and were unable to reach the stator vanes due to the size of their hands.
OBSERVATION: That daily cleaning of engines with water and complete cleaning during each intermediate removes this potential problem area. A typewriter brush on the end of a small stick is an excellent expedient for clearing compressor vanes. Recommend that all helicopter units study the effectiveness of present engine cleaning techniques and if deficient, consider the above.
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION
ITEM: Reorganization of Aircraft Maintenance Effort:
DISCUSSION: TOE 1-77E allocated TOE equipment to include vehicles, aircraft and associated equipment as well as related enlisted personnel necessary to operate separately as a unit to the 3 flight platoons. These platoons, so equipped, have the inherent responsibilities by TOE to maintain and employ such equipment with organic personnel. Resultantly, school trained, technically qualified crew chiefs were utilized for vehicle maintenance, vehicle and generator operators and other essential details within the platoon not associated with aircraft maintenance. Since this unit operates exclusively from a permanent base installation, the capability of separate platoon employment is not required. Therefore, all TOE equipment in the 3 flight platoons of this unit, has been redistributed and the associated enlisted personnel internally reassigned. All technically qualified aircraft maintenance personnel were assigned to the service platoon for centralized control. When not performing flying duties, these personnel are now available for closely supervised maintenance of their assigned aircraft or for reinforcement of PE team, nonscheduled maintenance teams and other aircraft maintenance tasks. A significant increase in mission ready aircraft is apparent as a result of this redistribution. From 40% mission ready aircraft reported on 10 February the unit has progressed to reporting 70% to 80% consistently.
OBSERVATION: Centralized control of technically qualified aircraft maintenance personnel
Contributes significantly to the efficiency of the maintenance effort.
(pp66 & 67)
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
Office of the Provost Marshal
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCPM 1 May 1968
SUBJECT: Operational Report of Provost Marshal Office, 25th Infantry Division, AVDCPM
For period ending 30 April 1968
25th Infantry Division
1. Section I. Operations: Significant Activities:
(a) Convoys: The 25th Military Police Company assumed the mission of escorting resupply convoys from Cu Chi to Tan Son Nhut on 22 February 1968. This mission includes designating the rate of march, density of vehicles, order of march, and security,, as well as deciding action during enemy attack. The average number of vehicles per convoy is fifty (50) vehicles. To date, this mission has been considered very successful.
(b) On 11 March 1968, the unit assumed the mission of escorting POL resupply tankers, every other day, from Cu Chi to Duc Hoa. This mission included specifying rate and density of march, security, and action during enemy attack. The average number of vehicles per convoy was seven (7) vehicles. This mission was discontinued on 16 March 1968.
(c) On 25 February 1968, the 1st Platoon, 25th Military Police Company, relieved B Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, of operational jurisdiction at Tay Ninh. This mission consists of post patrols, gate security, forward PCW collection Point, joint police patrols, combat patrols, and TCC security.
(1) On 1 April 1968, Joint Police Patrols consisting of US Military Police, ARVN Quan Canhs, and GVN National Police, were resumed in the Cu Chi area. These patrols perform the following missions:
A. Conduct thorough searches of persons and vehicles to interdict VC movement of personnel and supplies.
B. Control traffic to reduce accidents and expedite the flow of traffic.
C. Render services to promote health and welfare of the population.
(2) On 24 April 1968, Joint Patrols began operating in the vicinity of Duc Hoa. Mission is the same as in paragraph above.
(a) Cordon and Search - Tan Thia Trung: On 20 April 1968, sixteen (16) MP's of the 25th Military Police Company were assigned the mission of traffic control and establishment of a collection point along MSR #1. This element was attached to the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, during this operation.
2. Section II. Lessons Learned: None
WILLIAM J McCLAIN
Provost Marshal (p70)
HEADQUARTERS, 25th INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCCM 1 May 1968
SUBJECT: Operational Report of Division Chaplain Section for Period Ending
30 April 1968, Reports Control Symbol CSFOR-65
25th Infantry Division
ATTN: Division Historian
1. Operations: Significant Activities:
A. During the report period ending 30 April 1968, there was a total of twenty chaplains assigned
To the 25th Infantry Division and eight were assigned to units which are operating within the 25th Infantry Division area of command providing for the religious and moral needs of all military personnel in that area. Approximately 2000 religious services were conducted by these twenty-eight chaplains at the base camps of Cu Chi, Tay Ninh and Dau Tieng, as well as in the field and forward areas, with the total attendance well over 50,000. Coverage included services for Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Episcopal, Lutheran, Latter-Day Saints and Seventh Day Adventist faiths.
B. The Division Chaplain organized and conducted monthly chaplain training conferences and monthly retreats attended by all division and non-division chaplains. These training conferences were extremely helpful as a means of instruction and guidance on many topics for the chaplains.
C. The 25th Infantry Division chaplains have developed a pastoral relationship with members of the command by participating in activities of the command by visiting soldiers during duty and off-duty hours, both at the base camps and in the field. They have made themselves available to all members of the command for interviews, guidance, counseling, and spiritual help. The chaplains have assisted in the rehabilitation of personnel in confinement by regular visits to confinement areas and by counseling and instruction. The chaplains have been particularly active in providing spiritual support and help to those sick and wounded by frequent visits to the hospitals.
2. Lessons Learned: Commander's Observations, Evaluations and Recommendations:
A. Personnel: None
B. Operations: None (p70)
C. Training: The monthly division chaplain training conferences, attended by all chaplains of the
Division and non-division chaplain in the area, and instructed by capable men in their respective fields, have become an invaluable tool for the dissemination of knowledge and operational techniques and policies on topics related to all phases of the chaplains' activities.
D. Intelligence: None
E. Logistics: None
F. Organization: None
G. Other: None
s/Parker C. Thompson
T/PARKER C. THOMPSON
Chaplain (LTC), USA