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Operation Circle Pines
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 2nd Brigade
25th Infantry Division

AVTLBDB-T     30 April 1966

SUBJECT:     Combat After Action Report (RCS/J3/32)

TO:          Commanding General
          25th Infantry Division
          ATTN:  G3
          APO US Forces  96225

     1.     OPORD 18-66 (Operation CIRCLE PINES).

     2.     290700 March - 051815 April 1966.

     3.     2nd Bde, 25th Inf Div conducted search and destroy operations in BINH DUONG AND HAU NGHIA Provinces in operational area bounded by coordinates XT6024, T7020, XT6714, XT5717.  OPORD 18-66 was issued 231200 March, 1966.  The operation was initially a three battalion sized operation employing an armored battalion (-) one company and two infantry battalions, one being mechanized.  This was the first operation in Vietnam in which an armored battalion was employed.  All units moved overland to their assigned operational areas and conducted coordinated search and destroy operations in the Brigade TAOR, north of base camp.

     Colonel L. N. JOHNSON, Jr is the reporting officer.  Task Organization and commanders were as follows:

     TF 1/5 (Lt Col Greer Cmdg)     Bde Control

          1/5 (MC) (-)               2/27 Inf
          Plat 1/59 Armor          1/8 Arty
          Sqd B/65th Engr          2nd Spt Bn
          1 Helicopter          Co B (-) 65th Engr

     TF 1/27 (Lt Col Cawthra Cmdg)

          1/27 Inf (-)
          Co (-) 1/269 Armor
          Plat 1/5 (M)
          Sqd B/65th Engr
          1 Helicopter

     TF 1/69th Armor (Lt Col Fairfield Cmdg)

          1/69th Armor (-)
          Co 1/27 Inf
          A 3/4 Cav
          2 Sqds B/65th Engr
          1 Helicopter

     FRAG ORD 1and 2 to OPORD 18-66 Task Organization:
           TF 1/5 (Lt Col Greer Cmdg)     Bde Control

          1/5 (M) (-)               1/27 Inf
          A Trp 3/4 Cav          2/27 Inf
          1/69th Armor (-)
          Co 1/5 (M)
          2 Sqds B/65th Engr
          1 Helicopter

     4.     Intelligence.

          a.     Analysis of terrain in which operation was conducted:

     The terrain was flat with an average elevation of less than ten meters.  The vegetation consisted of rubber trees, underbrush, bamboo hedgerows, and tall trees with underbrush; all of which afforded the enemy good concealment for harassing operations and evasion.  Tunnels, bunkers, and trenches afforded the VC an excellent network of defensive positions and evacuation routes.  Soft and marshy soil affected the movement of tanks in the area.  Vegetation did not significantly affect the use of APC's and tanks.

          b.     Intelligence prior to operation:

     The VC had exercised complete control over the operational area.  Recently, the 307th Bn of the 165 A Regt had been operating northeast of the PHU HOA DONG Plantation area.  Additional units that had been operating in the HOBO WOODS area prior to the operation were the 30tth and 306th Bns of the 165 A Regt.

          c.     Enemy situation during operation:

     During the first phase of the operations in the PHU HOA DONG Plantation aarea, TF elements encountered platoon-sized VC units with an estimated 2 companies in the plantation area.  The VC made extensive use of the tunnel network to evade the US elements.  Booby traps, pressure type and command detonated AT mines were laid throughout the area.  Two major battles developed near the end of the operation.  On 4 Apr 66, an estimated VC company was observed and engaged by artillery and elements of 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf.  During the second engagement, an estimated VC battalion attacked Co A, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.  The rifle company withstood the attack through the effective use of artillery and organic fire power.  An estimated 2 VC main force battalions were engaged in the HOBO WOODS during the second phase of the operation.

     5.     Mission:  The 2nd Bde Task Force was to conduct operations in the Brigade TAOR to locate and destroy VC forces and installations commencing 29 March 1966.

     6.     Concept of the Operation:  The 2nd Brigade Task Force conducted search and destroy operations in their TAOR with three Task Forces: TF 1st Bn, 69th Armor on the west, TF 1st Bn, 27th Inf in the center, and TF 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf on the east.  The plan was to move rapidly and aggressively into areas, then conduct detailed searches and exploit VC contacts.  Incl 1

          a.     According to FRAG ORD 1 to OPORD 18-66 TF 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Infantry and TF 1st Bn, 69th Armor moved from their locations in the southern portion of the TAOR on 2 April, both Task Forces sweeping northeast to continue search and destroy operations in the northern portion of the Brigade TAOR.  The 2nd Bn, 27th Inf was alerted to be prepared to support and reinforce either Task Force.  Incl 2

          b.     FRAG ORD 2 to OPORD 18-66 ordered TF 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf and 1st Bn, 69th Armor to swing southwest and then sweep southwest against blocking positions established by the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf (-) north of TRUNG LAP.  Incl 3

D-Day (29 March 1966)

1st Bn (Mech, 5th Infantry

     The Battalion crossed the (illegible) at 0700 and swiftly established blocking positions on the southeastern portion of the Brigade TAOR in order to stop exfiltration of VC forces from the area of operations to the village of PRU HOA (XT7119).  The battalion planned to link up with forces of the 7th ARVN Regt and systematically clear in the vicinity of PHU HOA.  During the day only sporadic sniper fire was received.  Nevertheless, two rice caches and miscellaneous small arms, ammunition, and equipment were found during the day.  The battalion coiled in company size positions and established (illegible) ambushes to increase the effectiveness of their blocking position.  A total of ten VC were killed during the day and three VCC and six VCS apprehended.

1st Bn, 27th infantry

     A Company, 1st Bn, 69th armor conducted a motor search under the operational control of CO, 1st Bn, 69th Armor which moved along Hwy 1, then north to TRUNG LAP and made a stream crossing vicinity XT595221.  The move was slowed by a weak bridge at the stream crossing site and several AT mines which disabled two tanks along the route.  After crossing the stream, the company moved north to establish a blocking position and provide flank security for the two infantry companies attacking abreast across the stream vicinity XT6316.  The companies immediately received small arms fire upon initiating their crossing.  The sniper fire ceased after mortar fire was placed on their positions.  The Task Force encountered numerous booby traps and mines during the day as it conducted search and destroy operations from company bases, but no significant contacts were made.  During the night 9 incoming mortar rounds were received.

1st Bn, 69th Armor

     The Task Force moved from the base camp at 0700.  Entry into the Brigade TAOR was delayed due to the extreme difficulty experienced by units in negotiating bridge by-pass at coord XT595221.  An armored vehicle launch bridge was dispatched to assist in the crossing.  A Trp, 3/4 Cav initially moved rapidly across the area of operations to establish a blocking position vic XT664239.  Its move was slowed, however, by disabled vehicles from VC mines and the position was occupied at 1745 hours.  The remainder of the Task Force attacked west to east on two axes, methodically searching in zone.  Co C was under continuous harassing small arms fire throughout the day.  The Task Force had a successful day in accounting for 6 VC KIA (BC), 11 VC KIA (possible), and 1 VCS, with 23 structures, 10 bunkers, 46 tunnels and 400 pounds of rice destroyed.

D+1 (30 March 1966)

1st Bn (Mech), 5th Infantry

     The Battalion conducted extensive searches in the southeastern portion of the area of operations.  Two large stores of ammunition, grenades, documents, training equipment and a considerable amount of penicillin, heroin and miscellaneous medical supplies were found.  Ten ambushes were established for the night, none had contact.

1st Bn, 27th Infantry

The battalion was ordered to concentrate its search and destroy efforts in the southwestern portion of area of operations.  During the day many tunnel complexes including an extensive two level tunnel complex vic XT625190 and a four level complex vic XT625186 were found.  The area contained a rice cache vicinity XT629187.  Two Russian 7.62 Massin Megant carbines and other weapons plus sizeable ammunition stores and medical supplies were located during the detailed search of the tunnels.  VC activity during the day consisted primarily of harassing and evasive tactics.  The battalion (illegible) the same positions which had been occupied the previous night and accomplished 6 ambushes.  

1st Bn, 69th Armor

     The battalion continued its (illegible) along the northern edge of the Brigade area of operations.  Along the eastern boundary of the operational area, a platoon of tanks with a Cav platoon as escort linked up with the Recon plat from 1/5 Mech at 1020 hours.  The group disrupted VC exfiltration from the area and moved east where it made contact with 7th ARVN representative operating to the east.  8500 lbs of rice and corn were discovered in a storage area vic XT647226 and a tunnel complex including a mess hall and school were discovered at XT640220.  The battalion experienced some difficulty in providing secure LZ's for helicopters; for example, at 1615 a resupply helicopter received fire vicinity XT648205 and the pilot and co-pilot were wounded.

D+2 (31 March 1966)

1st Bn, (Mech), 5th Infantry

     The battalion assumed responsibility for the northeastern portion of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf area of operations, commencing search and destroy operations early in the morning.  Seven tunnel were destroyed, one M1 rifle and numerous documents captured, plus two VC KIA (BC).  The battalion continued to use numerous ambushes for security during the hours of darkness.

1st Bn, 27th Infantry

     The battalion continued search and destroy operations in its reduced area of operations.  (illegible) units of VC's were engaged with small arms and (illegible) rounds, the latter being particularly effective.  Once again, mines were encountered and one tank and one APC were disabled by AT mines.  Company A found fifty-five unmarked graves, some only a few days old, vicinity XT(illegible).  (Illegible) fires and night ambushes were successfully employed throughout the night for security.

1st Bn, 69th Armor

     The battalion continued search and destroy operations and evacuated disabled vehicles to TRUNG LAP (XT5921).  The TF destroyed three tunnels and one house and discovered (illegible) pounds of grain, one VC ammunition dump and a quantity of medical supplies.

     FRAG ORD 1 to OPORD 18-66 was issued 311800 March 66.  This FRAG ORD directed the TF 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf and the TF 1st Bn, 69th Armor to move from their present location on 2 Apr to continue operations in the northern portion of the Brigade TAOR.  TF 1st Bn, 27th Inf was ordered to return to base camp, commencing 021100 Apr 66 and at the same time to leave a stay behind force in their operational area to observe and report enemy activity.  2/27th Inf was ordered to support 1/27 Inf's return to base camp and to be prepared to send one company to the operational areas, with the Bn (-) prepared to be airlifted on a 4 hour notice.

D+3 (1 April1 1966)
1st Battalion, 27th Infantry

     On 1 Apr the TF moved their search and destroy operation to the western portion of their assigned area of operations.  A tunnel complex vic XT(illegible) was searched revealing evidence that the tunnel had been used as a small arms factory for repair and making of arms and homemade bombs.  Equipment was evacuated from the tunnel prior to its destruction.  A Co, 1st Bn, 69th Armor was released to the parent unit for use in future operations.  At 1530 A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Inf was airlifted to base camp.  During the day the battalion continued to encounter and destroy VC mines and booby traps.  During the night rifle grenades, 60mm mortars and sniper rounds were incoming.

1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf

     On 1 Apr the Bn continued to occupy blocking positions in conjunction with the ARVN search of PHU HOA DONG which was completed that afternoon.  In accordance with orders, the Bn moved to a new assembly area vicinity XT643213, in preparation for continued operations.  The attachment of A Trp, 3/4 Cav was effected.

1st Bn, 69th Armor

     The TF made a return sweep of their operational area with the only contact being occasional sniper fire.  The TF moved to position TIGER vicinity XT554216 to plan and prepare for movement into the northern portion of the Bde TAOR to continue search and destroy missions.

D+4 (2 Apr 1966)

1st Bn, 27th Infantry

     The battalion conducted local search and destroy operations in the vicinity of their battalion base during the morning hours.  At 1330 Co B and the Battalion Command Group began foot move to base camp.  A Co was helilifted to base camp.  The battalion closed base camp by 1535 with the exception of the stay behind force which remained enemy activity.

1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf

     The Bn launched its attack into the northeastern sector of the Bde TAOR commencing 0730.  The TF seized its objectives along the Saigon River with no contact; however, en route mines damaged three vehicles from A Trp, 3/4 Cav.  A report of VC activity further to the north was confirmed so Co A was dispatched to the area vic XT628304.  A VC force of two squads was engaged in the area resulting in six VC KIA (BC).  One APC, however, was destroyed by a 175mm round rigged for command detonation.  VC base areas discovered near the river were destroyed.  The effectiveness of the Bn night ambushes was demonstrated when an ambush was sprung at 1955 hours resulting in 8 VC killed.

1st Bn, 69th Armor

     The Bn attacked to the northeast on an axis parallel to the TF 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf commencing at 0950.  The TF arrived at the objective by 1241.  The right flank arrived at the objective and was bogged down in the rice paddies southeast of the objective vicinity XT660279.  A cache of 2000 lbs of rice was discovered in the objective area.  Co C was delayed in an assembly area vic of TRUNG LAP pending repair of disabled vehicles.  Co C departed for operational area at 1200, moving to a blocking position vicinity XT641295 and then sweeping south toward XT655283.

2nd Bn, 27th Inf

     At 0630 Co B crossed SP for motor move to vicinity of TRUNG LAP.  By 0815 the Co had arrived in their operational area and had established company base vicinity XT590212 from which search and destroy operations were initiated.  Beginning at 1315 the Company encountered light sniper fire.  Upon arrival of a Dustoff, the VC opened fire with small arms, automatic weapons, and 60mm mortar fire.  As a result, two air strikes and artillery were delivered on suspected VC positions and all VC activity immediately ceased.  After a follow-up search the company coiled for the night, with no further VC activity.  The battalion prepared to establish blocking positions and conduct Eagle flights as directed in support of brigade operations.

D+5 (3 April 1966)

     At 1200 Bde FRAG ORD 2 to OPORD 16-66 was issued.  This order specified the action to be taken during the third phase of operation CIRCLE PINES.  TF 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, and TF 1st Bn, 69th Armor were instructed to conduct a sweep to the southwest against blocking positions established by Companies A and B, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf north of TRUNG LAP.

1st Bn, 27th Inf

     The stay behind patrol continued to observe enemy activity in the southwestern portion of the rubber plantation vicinity XT625178.  During the day, the patrol killed four VC and captured a Russian 7.62 (illegible) Nagant carbine.  The patrol called 4.2 and artillery fire on suspected VC positions throughout the day, returning to base camp by 1645 with no casualties.

1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf

     Bn conducted systematic searches in its area resulting in the capture of several weapons and a quantity of munitions, equipment, and documents. One truck was destroyed by a mine which ruptured the gas tank.  Final preparations were made and orders disseminated for the third phase of the operation.

1st Bn, 69th Armor

     During clearance operations in their zone, the battalion encountered mine fields, sniper fires, and assorted booby traps.  One claymore hanging from a tree was command detonated as an APC with hatch open passed beneath it, wounding six friendly.  A tunnel complex vic XT634286 contained mortar ammunition, 30 cal APT rds, and radio test equipment.  The battalion made final preparations for phase three of the operation.

2nd Bn, 27th Inf

     The Battalion (-) moved by motor convoy from base camp commencing 0830 and closed in the TRUNG LAP area by 1115.  Progress was slow due to numerous roadblocks constructed by the VC and congested civilian traffic.  The lead tank in the convoy from 3/4 Cav was disabled by a blown track.  Co B was harassed throughout the day by sniper fire.  The air strikes flown in the area during the afternoon eliminated the VC snipers and activity in the area.  At 1330 hours, Co A conducted an airmobile assault to XT605235 and initiated search and destroy operations in test area.  Light contact was made but the VC disengaged.  Both Companies established bases for the night, B Co at XT572232 and A Co at XT600236.

D+6 (4 April 1966)

1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf

     Initially the battalion moved NW supported by artillery, gunships and tactical air.  The Bn then swept southwest against the blocking position established by B Co, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.  At approximately 1700 the battalion encountered heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire.  Because of the delay as a result of this engagement and the discovery of a large rice cache, a flare ship was employed to assist the battalion in reaching its new assembly area south of TRUNG LAP.  All elements closed the new assembly area by 2400.  During the day, 6 VC (BC) and 15 VC (poss) were killed and 4 tons of rice, a large amount of military equipment, munitions and arms were captured.

1st Bn, 69th Armor

     The battalion swept southwest against blocking position established by Co A, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.  The battalion crossed the LD at 0840 with three companies abreast.  By 1511 the battalion had closed their new assembly area vic XT594215.  The VC used evasive tactics during the day.  At 1532 Co C was dispatched to clear reported ambush site vic XT582198.  The Bn then moved, on order, to base camp arriving by 1920.

2nd Bn, 27th Inf

     The battalion anticipated passage of its blocking positions vicinity XT604227 and XT561237 by late afternoon.  Local search operations conducted during the morning hours revealed two large rice caches which were evacuated.  Passage of blocking positions was accomplished with no significant complications.  During the afternoon, the two blocking force companies were ordered to establish company bases in their respective blocking positions.  Each company established two ambushes in the vic of its position.

D+7 (5 April 1966)

2nd Bn, 27th Inf

     At 0420 Co A received moderate small arms and mortar fire into their perimeter.  This was the beginning of what proved to be the first coordinated full scale attack by an organized battalion-sized VC unit on an element of the 2nd Bde Task Force.  By 0430 Co A was under an all-out attack.  Two attacks came from four directions, with the main assaults coming from the north and east.  Artillery was immediately available and over 700 rds were fired in defense of the Company A positions.  Fires were accurately and immediately delivered, causing numerous casualties and considerable confusion and disorganization among the VC.  At 0445, an artillery TOT was fired on VC mortar positions, silencing them.  At 1540, the Bn Cmd Group with additional medics moved with three artillery APC's and the Reconnaissance platoon of 1st Bn (Mech, 5th Inf to reinforce Co A and provide medical evacuation for the seriously wounded.  By 0645, an airborne FAC and a flare ship were on station over the area.  VC losses were thirty KIA (BC) and forty KIA (Poss).  Co B, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf arrived in the area at 1030 and conducted sweeps to the northeast where it established a blocking position.  The Company was placed under the OP/CON 2nd Bn, 27th Inf for the remainder of the operation.  Co B, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf was airlifted to the area where they conducted a sweep 1000 meters to the front of Co A's positions.  VC ammunition, magazines, knives, helmets, (illegible), and medical supplies were found.  At 1130, Co A was airlifted to the base camp at CU CHI.  Company B was extracted by air at 1400.  The entire battalion closed base camp by 1700.

1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf

     The Reconnaissance Platoon and Co B were utilized as indicated earlier in securing the A Co, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf area.  All battalion elements were closed into base camp by 1621 hours.

     8.     Results:

          Friendly Losses:     Enemy Losses:

          KIA:         30          KIA:   157 (BC), 323 (Poss)
          WIA:  195          VCC:     6
                         VCS:     6
                         Equipment Capt/
                         Destroyed:  78 tons rice, 150 lbs peanuts,
                         AK rifles, 3 pistols, 2 SMG, 2 RPG-2 rocket
                         launchers, 1 81mm mortar bipod, 75 hand
                         grenades, 59 rifle grenades, 33 VC claymore
                         mines, 34 AT mines, 38 AP mines,
                         37 Chinese 75mm RR rds, 3 57mm (illegible) rds,
                         1 - 175mm CD mine, 1 - 155 mm CD  mine,
                         3 - 105mm rds, 38 booby traps, 70 60mm
                         mortar rds, 11 81mm mortar rds, 4 CW keys,
                         1 250 lb dud; (illegible) pistol bolts, 3 55 gal
                         drums of new web equipment, 7 bicycles,
                         144 tunnels, 61 bunkers, 246 structures,
                         9 sampans, 13 bags documents, 11350 rds
                         small arms ammunition, 1 medical aid kit,
                         13 packs.

     9.     Supporting Forces.

          a.     Artillery Support:

               (1)     Organization for combat:

                    (a)     1st Bn, 8th Artillery, GS 2nd Bde TF.

                    (b)     Btry C (-) 3rd Bn, 3(illegible) Arty, attached to 1st Bn 8th Arty.

                    (c)     2nd Bn, 3(illegible) Arty (-) GSR 1/8 Artillery

               (2)     How and Whom Artillery Employed:

                    (a)     From 29 March through 1 April fire support base was located at base camp.

                         1     Preparatory fires totaling 191 rds were fired 291030 March 1966.

                         2     Artillery augmented the operations for next three days with on-call and preplanned fires.

                    (b)     On 2 April 1st Bn, 8th Artillery (+) moved to TRUNG LAP for support of operations in the northern portion of the Brigade TAOR.

                         1     The battalion fired numerous on-call missions on 2, 3, and 4 April which resulted in record number of 22 VC KIA (BC) and 125 KIA (Poss) for the three day period.

                         2     Artillery was utilized to maximum advantage during VC attack on Co A, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.  In excess of 700 rounds of artillery were fired in defense of Company A's position.

               (3)     Results of Artillery:  During operation CIRCLE PINES, Artillery was an invaluable asset.  Timely and accurate use of artillery fires continued to keep the VC off balance and inflicted maximum casualties on his forces.

          b.     US Air Force.

               (1)     During operation CIRCLE PINES, the USAF contributed immeasurably to the success of the operation through its flexibility and aggressiveness.

                    (a)     8 immediate strikes were requested and received.

                    (b)     Three flare ships were requested, four received.

               (2)     Two preplanned air strikes were flown on D-Day vicinity XT636228 and XT664240 from 0715 to 0815 hours.

               (3)     A total of 57 strikes were requested and 57 received during the operation.

               (4)     Results of the air strikes were as follows:  82 structures destroyed, 64 structures damaged, 14 trenches destroyed, 7 roads cut, 1 secondary explosion, 2 gun positions destroyed, bunker complex destroyed.  7 KIA (BC), and 24 KBA (Poss).

               (5)     Ground fire was received and effectively suppressed on fifteen strikes.

          c.     Army Aviation

               (1)     Six resupply aircraft, four command and control ships, and two to four light fire teams were maintained on a mission basis each day of the operation.

               (2)     A total of 612 sorties to include resupply, fire suppression, command and control, evacuation of WIA's, combat surveillance, and assault missions were flown during the operation.

               (3)     On 1 April Co A, 1st Bn, 27th Infantry was airlifted to base camp and on 2 April, Company C, 1st Bn, 27th Infantry made an airmobile move to base camp.

               (4)     Armed helicopters were extremely valuable in providing escorts for Medical evacuation and resupply helicopters and in suppressing enemy fires during the operation.

               (5)     Ground fire was more (illegible) during Opn CIRCLE PINES than on any previous operations of the Brigade.  A total of 17 aircraft received hits from ground fire, none of which were extensively damaged.

     10.     Administration and Logistics.

          a.     The Brigade CP remained operational in the base camp area throughout the operation.  A forward CP was operational at TRUNG LAP Ranger Corp during the period 1-5 April.

          b.     Casualty reporting:

               (1)     Confirmed casualty reports by name generally lag the actual occurrence of the incident by six to eight hours.  Spot reports are generally accurate, but they often do not reflect those wounded who have returned to duty.

               (2)     AG casualty branch has the most accurate casualty reports; however, they are normally late as indicated above.

          c.     Mail was processed through rear detachments and flown to and from forward elements in resupply helicopters.

          d.     PW's were evacuated directly to the Division PW compound.

          e.     Supply:

               (1)     The 2nd Support Bn (Prov) maintained normal operations in the base camp area during the operation.  Units participating drew necessary supplies in base camp for dispatch to the forward area.

               (2)     All resupply of Class I, V, and water was effected by air except for one overland convoy for 1st Bn, 8th Arty.

               (3)     A forward support operations center was not necessary due to the proximity of the operational area to base camp.

               (4)     Difficulty in water resupply was encountered, when the 5000 gallon tanker spotted at the resupply helipad had an inoperative pump.  A new hose for the pump was installed upon the displacement to TRUNG LAP(illegible).  It was possible to obtain water from the tanker utilizing a gravity feed system.

               (5)     Some difficulty was experienced in removing large quantities of loose rice from the operational area.

               (6)     The following combat damage to M48A3 tanks, M113 APC's, OH23 helicopters, and M88 vehicle tank recovery vehicles was sustained:

                    (a)     1/5 (M) Inf:

                         24 APC's damaged

                         (missing) APC's repaired in field
                         (missing) APC's total loss
                         12 APC's evacuated to base camp

                    (b)     1/69 Armor:

                         16 M48A3 tanks damaged

                              11 repaired in field
                                 5 evacuated to base camp
                                 2 (illegible) damaged slightly

                    (c)     A 3/4 Cav

                         5 M48A3 tanks damaged

                              (illegible) M48A3 tanks repaired in field
                              (illegible) tanks were hit twice and repaired
                              8 K-(illegible) armored personnel carriers damaged
                              4 M-113 armored personnel carriers repaired in field
                              4 M-113 armored personnel carriers evacuated to
                                  base camp
                              1 M-113 armored personnel carrier was hit twice
                                  and repaired
                              1  OH-23 helicopter damaged by small arms fire

               (7)     POL Consumed by Units:

                    1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf     7439 gal MOGAS
                                   1749 GAL Diesel

                    1st Bn, 69th Armor     1910 gal MOGAS
                                   3750 Diesel

                    A Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav     Figures are included above.

               (8)     Airlifts:

                    (a)     A total of 302 resupply sorties were flown, airlifting 147.5 tons of supplies.

                    (b)     The following is a breakdown of airlifted cargo by class of supply:

                         Class I - 21.7 Tons     Clas III - 23.6 Tons
                         Class V - 37.8 Tons     Misc.   - 40.2 Tons
                         Water  - 29.7 Tons

          f. Civil Affairs.

               (1)     Rice and peanuts extracted from the operational area were distributed as follows:

                    (a)     10 tons of rice and 150 lbs of peanuts to the District Chief at CU CHI (XT6312).

                    (b)     100 kilo bag to family of Vietnamese National Policeman killed in the operation.

                    (c)     1.5 tons to the priest at BAC HA 9XT6414).

                    (d)     .5 tons to BIEN HOA Orphanage

                    (e)     All remaining captured rice to District Chief at PEU HOA (XT7118).

               (2)     Medcap II was hald in TRUNG LAP by Brigade and 12/8 Artillery surgeons.  (illegible) persons were treated.

               (3)     Psy War.  Approximately 320,000 leaflets including 969, CHIEU HOI, and standard surrender policy leaflets were dropped in the operational area.

     11.     Commander's Analysis

          a.     This operation was the Brigade's most successful to date in terms of Viet Cong killed and equipment and material captured or destroyed.  It also marked the first employment in Vietnam of the 25th Division's armored battalion which very effectively combined with mechanized and regular infantry units plus a reconnaissance troop.  The effective use of a combined arms task force will not only prevent friendly losses but will inflict maximum destruction on VC forces and fortifications.

          b.     Principal lessons learned are divided into two categories in view of  (last line missing).

               (1)     Lessons particularly applicable to armored unit employment are:

                    (a)     In operating against the Viet Cong, armor must disperse and cover maximum terrain during operations; not move in column.

                    (b)     Tanks and mechanized vehicles must be used continuously to beat the bush, explode booby traps, and engage snipers.  Tanks moving through heavy brush will assist in uncovering tunnel entrances.

                    (c)     All well used trails and roads must be avoided by at least one hundred meters wherever possible.

                    (d)     Command and Control ships are a must for movement control.

                    (e)     When snipers fire, the mobility and shock action of armor must be immediately employed in order to run them down or cut them off from withdrawing through trenches.  Infantry shall immediately follow the armor, utilizing the cleared area made by the tracks.

                    (f)     Snipers can be silenced during the night by using suppressive fire at irregular intervals.  90mm canister is highly effective in this area role as well as a volley of artillery fire.

                    (g)     A centrally located and reasonably secure area is mandatory to effect repair of damaged vehicles.  Protection when evacuating armor or mech vehicles will always be a problem.

                    (h)     The need for a vehicular mounted company for armored units is a special requirement when operating in heavy vegetation.

                    (i)     When mechanized and armored elements are cross attached, tank recovery availability becomes an important factor.

                    (j)     Mechanical or (. . . illegible . . . ) clear a helipad for a single helicopter (. . . illegible . . . ) in less than 15 minutes.  This enhances the (illegible . . . ) in selecting assembly areas.

               (2)     Other lessons learned having (illegible) application area:

                    (a)     (Illegible sentence).

                    (b)     Patrols must (balance of sentence illegible).

                    (c)     VC trenches should not be used for defenses unless the complete trench system can be occupied; even then units must habitually dig into the sides of the trench to be protected from enemy fire down the trench line.

                    (d)     (Illegible)

                    (e)     (illegible)

                    (f)     Companies separated from their parent unit overnight must increase the number of registered artillery (illegible . . . ) to insure that all sides of defensive perimeters are covered by artillery and mortar fire.

                    (g)     Units must have an alert operator on the Brigade and Battalion (. . . illegible . . . ) at all times.

                    (h)     Wheeled vehicles to include M170 front line ambulance, maintenance and cargo vehicles were practically useless during operations over the type of terrain encountered in this operation.

                    (i)     There is conflict between accurate and timely casualty reporting.  The Brigade S3 maintains an informal record of friendly casualties based on spot reports; however, the Brigade S1 must serve as the official source.  The most accurate reports are obtained from the Division AG casualty branch; however, a six to eight hour time lag must be anticipated.

                    (j)     Although in most cases PW's were evacuated directly to the Division PW compound in base camp, the attached MP platoon must establish a Brigade compound at the advance CP as it is often impracticable to evacuate PW's directly to Division.

                    (k)     Continuous command emphasis on spot reports is a necessity.  Unit spot reports were incomplete in many cases.  SITREPS must include sufficient details for the preparation of the INSTUM and Brigade SITREP.

                    (l)     When reporting to Brigade, all units must use the Brigade Brevity Code, not their own unit codes.

                    (m)     Augmentation of personnel authorized for the Brigade S4 section is a consideration in view of the fact that control of resupply helicopters in the Base Camp area and control of the forward Brigade Trains area as well as (illegible) representation at the Forward Cp is mandatory and there are insufficient TOE personnel to fulfill these requirements.

                    (n)     Maneuver Battalions should carry empty rice bags with them during operations to facilitate evacuation of captured rice.

                    (o)     When National Policemen or interpreters are attached to a unit for operational purposes, a rice supplement to their diet utilizing captured rice stocks is recommended.  In addition, units should share small sundry packet items with them and make other special efforts to have them feel welcome.  The National Police have been of great assistance to (illegible) units in separating civilians from VC or VC suspects.


                                        /s/ A. P. Knight, Jr.
3 Incl                                   A. P. KNIGHT, JR
   as                                        Major, Infantry


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