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After Action Reports 39
Patrol Officers Hosko, Clayton, Darley
Boat Capt Thompson/Snider/Wiggins/King/Whitney/Snider
At approx 1800H USA FAC spotted 3 VC running along small canal on west bank at XT 440042. USN UH-1B gunships on rountine patrol vectored to area coordinating with Ens Hosko's PBR patrol, the FAC and LRP team 21 in ambush position at XT 452048, placed A/W and machine gun strikes into area. LRP team 21 monitored burst of AK fire directed at gunship from tree line 200 meters south of their position. Ens Hosko's patrol standing off the LRPs position proceeded to the area and placed M 60 and 40MM grenade fire into the tree line.Gunships having expended departed to Duc Hoa to rearm and refuel. As gunships cleared, FAC observed 3 more VC run from area and called in 155MM resulting in 1 VC KIA (BC) and 2 VC KIA (Prob). At this time Ens Hosko's patrol received 3 burst of small arms fire from east bank XT 454052. Patrol cleared area and fired 40MM HE and CS gas into a tree line along a small canal. Observed one man running and took him under fire. Man was observed by patrol and FAC to fall in canal approx 50 meters in from the river. SMC Claytons patrol discontinued search for evading sampan at XT 470010 and closed to assist. Troop request to Duc Hoa district HDQT for follow up sweep for enemy bodies was turned down. GMG1 Darley's patrol scrambled from Tra Cu with LRP team 26 on board. Upon arrival at scene LRP team 26 inserted and with illumination provided by Tra Cu ARTY started to patrol along canal bank toward position of body. At this time LRP team 21 on west bank heard voices and movement very close to their position and initiated contact with claymores and A/W - and marked their flanks with flares for extraction. Immediatley thereafter the team was hit by a tremendus explosion, possibly a booby trap or mine, set off when team member shifted his position. Ens Hosko's patrol placed fire on flanks and moved in to extract decimated team. Dust Off requested thru Duc Hoa. SMC Claytons patrol pulled in and PBR crewmen jumped ashore and administered first aid and back load wounded to boats on boat pump covers. PBR crewmen from GMG1 Darley's patrol and LRP team 26 set up and secured east bank for emergency Dust OFF. Wounded moved to east bank as USN Seawolves returned and flew over head cover and guided Dust Off and USA Slick to LZ. Dust OFF evacuated 4 WIAs and Slick 2 WIAs, all serious. Seawolves released and USA DiamondHead gunships arrived on scene. Ens Hosko directed Diamond head strikes on contact area. On completion of strikes gunships flew overhead cover as 2 survivors from LRP team 21 joined with members of LRP team 26 and inserted with GMG1 Darley's patrol into contact area to recover field gear of WIAs. Gear recovered, LRPs extracted, gunships released, and Ens Hosko's and GMG1 Darleys patrol returned LRPs to Tra Cu while ATCs from RAID 21 placed covering fire on both banks of the river.
Report by Lt. Barnett USN
At 1625Hrs Capt. O'Shea (A326 team CDR, Tra Cu), Capt. Stark (II Field Force Arty Liaison Officer) and LTJG Young (CTU 194.1.9) observed from CIDG tower, VC in field across Vam Co Dong from Tra Cu. At 1650 USA Spectra aircraft arrived over scene and working with Capt Stark adjusted 155MM from Tra Cu on area. At 1735 spotter aircraft and personnel in the tower observed 20 VC moving in the file across an open field at ET-485004. VC engaged with .50 cal machine gun fire from CIDG tower, Tra Cu Arty and 81MM mortor. Spotter aircraft also adjusted Arty from Tra Cu and Sugar Mill, into a bunker complex at XS-482002, and a platoon of VC in the open at XS-482999. US Navy Seawolves, Black Pony and Diamondhead gunships placed extensive strikes into the areas with unknown results.
Patrol Officers Wickland/ Barnes/Brennan/French
Boat Capts Hong/Moui/Haynes/ Snider/McDonald/Turner/Thompson/Rose
At 1732Hrs. PBRs on routine patrol received 3 to 4 RPGs and light A/W fire from east bank EX472003. Bulk of fire was directed at cover boat. Cover boat took rocket hit port side in coxswains flat below armor plating resulting in 3 USN WIA( boat capt, McDonald serious ) and I VN WIA. PBR went out of control and beached west bank in contact area. Units returned fire, remaining in area to support beached boat. Lead boat observed 4-6 VC evading from area took them under fire. 1733Hrs. Seawolves, Arty, FAC requested and PBRs scramble patrol underway for contact area. Dust Off requested at 1734hrs. 1739hrs. Seawolf 79 and Nonstop 16 on station. Seawolves placed strikes. PBR scramble patrol on station 1740Hrs. providing cover for beached boat. WIAs returned to Tra Cu by PBR for Dust Off. Arty ready to fire at approx. 1736Hrs. but checked fire due to air strikes. At 1742Hrs. PBR patrol with VNN RAID 71 ATC with 1 plt. "D" Co 1st/27th embarked for combat area. 1st rnd ARTY on deck 1802Hrs. Dust Off completed 1801Hrs. Delay due to administering first aid to serious WIA. At 1807Hrs. Black Pony 10 on station. At 1809Hrs. troops inserted for sweep. At 1825 HRs. Special Forces Camp at Tra Cu observed VC in the open ET480990. Non Stop 16 diverted to area and coordinated Black pony strikes. Troops swept contact area and found fresh trails and drag marks near ambush site along with a large bunker 400meters inland. TAC air requested : Allen 04 on station at1910Hrs. however strike was not placed due to lack of prime target. At 2000Hrs Seawolf 46 placed strike in area ET480990. VNN ATC pulled beached PBR clear at 2025Hrs. 2030Hrs Diamond Head A/C on station to provide cover and support for units still in area. At 2013 Hrs. 1 WIA dusted off by Seawolf 46 when no Dust Offs available.
Friendly Cas. 5 WIA ( 1 WIA serious ).
Eye Witness Account: Frank W. Free
I was aboard this boat and was the only person not wounded. My close friend Mike Farney also wounded passed away this Oct 4, 2002 from cancer from Agent Orange.
Patrol offcers SMC Clayton/ RDCBarnes
Boat Capts. Studds,Collingwood, Rose, Thompson
At 1955Hrs. PBRs received 4 to 6 RPGs and A/W fire from coords. XT-427058. At 2015 Hrs. Seawolves arrived and put in strikes into contact area. At 2035 Hrs. USN OV10 Black Pony aircraft put strikes into area with the assistance of USA Diamond Head flareships. Black Pony put rockets into a large bunker setting off a secondary explosion. Arty called in from Tra Cu and worked contact area over working back in tree line for 500 meters. Prior to arrival of Seawolves, PBRs attempted to pen down VC with grazing fire, expending 3500 rds. of .50 cal. 1200 rds of 7.62 and 375 rds of 40MM. Neg. friendly cas. enemy cas. unknown.
Patrol Officer Darley
Boat Capts Snider/Haynes
At 2029Hrs. LRPs of 75th Rangers in night Ambush at XT 427086 initiated contact on sampan observed moving south to north on opposite bank of Vam Co Dong with unknown results. Sampan evaded into canal vic ET 425086. PBRs proceeded to contact area, checked out area and reconned by fire. Fire Fly checked out area and placed multiple strike . ARTY Illum. requested at 2110Urs. First rnd fired 2130Hrs. PBRs extracted LRP team and reinserted on opposite bank. LRPS swept area with neg. results.
At 1925Hrs. Boston Whaler in ambush at 460964 observed 3 VC to north of position. Whaler continued to observe movement until 1930hrs. when ARTY mission requested. 1945Hrs. first rdn. on deck. At 2051 ATSB( Advanced Tactical Support Base ) Tra Cu tower spotted swimmer in Kinh Gay Canal XS 471974. Fire fly on patrol checked out area. 2130Hrs. Fire Fly observed sampan evading, vic 469971. Fire Fly placed strike on Sampan. At 2138Hrs units on patrol reported red flare southwest of camp. Immediately thereafter ATSB Tra Cu began receiving incoming mortor rnds. Seawolves scrambled and ARTY made ready to fire at 2140Hrs. First rnd on deck 2141Hrs. VNN ASPBs and USN PBRs set ambush 489966 to interdict possible crossing through known infiltation route. At 2150Hrs. units scrambled from Tra cu to provide support and remain clear of incoming rnds. Fire Fly, Seawolves and ARTY placed strikes on suspected mortor positions and possible crossing points checked out by Seawolves and Fire Fly.
Patrol officer Collingwood
Boat Capt. Cain/Rose
PBRs in ambush XT 413104 detected movement in tree line approx. 20 meters south of ambush position. Immediately thereafter 3 VC stood up approx 10 meters in front of lead boat. Units initiated contact receiving light AK fire in return. Units remained in area reconning by fire until Black Pony and Arty srikes could be placed in the area. BP on station 1958Hrs. Arty requested 1945Hrs. First round on deck 2016Hrs. Arty checked fire at 2032H to allow Fire Fly to check area. At 2036H sensor activation monitored 300yds southwest of contact area confirming enemy activity. Fire Fly placed strikes in area of contact and sensor activity. Check fire effected at 2100H and fire mission placed on sensor activation and linear sweep conducted from XT 413104 to XT 410100. End of mission. Results 3 VC KIA body count.
Patrol Officer ENS Hosko
Boat Capt. Saxton/Studds
In reaction to sensor activation PBRs inserted 1 Plt "B" Co 1st/27th at XS 483964. Troops swept area discovering numerous booby traps and trails. At 1745H as lead boat approached extraction point tin can grenade booby trap detonated resulting in 1 USN WIA(minor) 3 USA WIA (1serious 2 minor) 1 ARVN Kit Carson WIA (serious). Dust off requested 1748H, on station 1758H. 2 serious personnel dusted off by Night Hawk. Dust off for minor WIAs completed 1815H
Patrol officer Collingwood
Boat capt. Garner/ Farley
PBRs scrambled to extract 8 Section "D" Co 1st/27th after they initiated contact on 2 VC approaching their position. Elements received 2 RPGs in return. 2315Hrs. troops extracted. Night Hawk checked area with unknown results.
Patrol officer Collingwood
Boat Capts. Rose/Whitney
PBRs in night ambush position observed 3 to 5 VC about 25 meters inland at XT-408128. At 0135Hrs. PBRs took VC under fire. At 0210Hrs. Little Bear reports on station. At 0215hrs. Little Bear took automatic weapons fire. Arty requested and placed on area. Results of sweep early morning 2 VC KIA( body count).
Patrol Officer Collingwood
Boat Capt. Rose/Cain
PBRs scrambled to assist ground element in contact 548912. Contact initiated against 2 enemy sampans. Enemy returned fire resulting in 1 ARVN KIA. While PBRs were extracting ground element they received AK fire from east bank. Units made firing runs on area. Black Pony ( USN OV10 ) and Seawolves made strike on area at 2351Hrs. Little Bear and Diamond Head A/C came into area and provided Illum and cover for troop sweep.Troops discovered 2 sampans, 2 mackeral can booby traps, 1 U.S. M 26 Grenade, 3 bandolers of AK-47 magazines, 1 VC flag, 4 backpacks with personal gear and documents. Troops extracted at 0100 Hrs. and reinserted at 551917. At 0600Hrs. troops reinserted into contact area for futher sweep. 1130Hrs. troops extracted.
Results: Friendly: 1ARVN KIA
Enemy: 1 VC KIA ( BC)
3 VC KIA ( Prob.)
2 Sampans Destroyed
All other equiptment retained by 1st/27th