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 CU CHI BASE CAMP. the events of February 26. 1969

Slide Show Of Pictures of 242nd The Morning After

Give the slide show  a Few minutes to load after you click the link above. Click the arrows to proceed


History of the 242d Aviation Company (Aslt Spt Hel) 269th Aviation Battalion (Combat) 12th Aviation Group (Combat):
1 January 1969 31 December 1969
Prepared by CW2 Lawrence M. Cain, Unit Historical Officer

(....)Then tragedy struck in the form of a vicious enemy sapper attack on the “North Forty” Chinook parking area. One crew member was killed (SP4 Isaac Stringer, Jr.) and 5 wounded with aircraft losses totaling 9 destroyed, 3 with major damage and 2 with minor damage. Around the clock work by the dedicated men of the 242d returned the unit to fully operational in 10 days.



Americans die awaiting orders to fire - The Times (London) 27 Feb 1969
by Nicholas Tomalin

       “The Americans in Vietnam today officially declared that the fighting over the past four days, which has cost 250 American lives, and more than 3,000 Vietcong (sic) and North Vietnamese lives, could now be called “the communist offensive.”
     They also released a short statement on an early morning attack on Cu Chi base, headquarters of the American 25th Infantry Division and one of the largest and best defended camps in Vietnam. The base, the official report laconically said, received 10 enemy rockets, and some mortar shells.
The statement went on: “Simultaneously, an unknown size enemy force probed three locations of the perimeter, employing small arms and rocket-grenade fire. During the action, an unknown number of enemy sappers carrying satchel charges infiltrated a portion of the perimeter and caused light material damage before being killed or repelled.”
     As it happened, some newspaper reporters visited Cu Chi base this morning. This is what we saw had actually happened. Twelve large double-rotored Chinook helicopters were put out of action by Vietcong saboteurs. Nine of these were destroyed. They lay, charred wrecks, in their protective bunkers.
An ammunition dump was blown up.
     The total cost of helicopters and ammunition, bearing in mind that each Chinook costs 700,000 pounds was more than 7m pounds. The crucial destruction took only five minutes.
The Cu Chi base is one of the six most important American military establishments in Vietnam. It is the headquarters for the whole area to the north-west q/ Saigon towards Cambodia, through which North Vietnamese forces are advancing towards the capital. The base had received clear intelligence it was to be attacked.
     Yet 80 Viet Cong sappers managed to spend three and a half hours cutting through the 10 barbed wire fences that protect Cu Chi perimeter, without any of the American ambush patrols, sentries, and bunker defense units detecting them.



Keyed from the original source materials cited, spelling errors generally retained. Abbreviations as they appeared in originals. (....) indicates irrelevant material excluded.

Page 1 of l2


Rocket Signal

     At 4 a.m., the first rocket signal for the attack landed on the base. Thirty Vietcong sappers simultaneously rose beside the Chinook helicopter pad and charged the defense bunkers.
The sentries, under orders to telephone headquarters for permission to open fire, did so. But the telephone failed. Before any answer arrived, the Vietcong had dropped concussion grenades inside the bunker.
     One minute later the attackers had cut through the Final wire defenses round the Chinook helicopter pad.
In each Chinook helicopter a guard lay asleep. The first rockets woke them. At one minute past four, the first Chinook helicopter exploded, a satchel charge of plastic explosive thrown into its protective bunker. In the next four minutes, eight more Chinooks went up.
Garry Baker, in the third Chinook form the left in the first line, awoke to see Vietcong soldiers grinning through the side door. Unfortunately his rifle was not to hand. In his socks and white underpants Baker leapt from the aircraft and ran.
Jose Pridou, another guard, seized his .45 pistol and shot blindly at two Vietcong he suddenly saw facing him. He hit one with bullets in the eye, the arm and the leg. The other escaped. Pridou `s helicopter was one of those that survived.
     Three other guards, named Slinger (note: Stinger is correct,), Milley and Cradock, started to run for the headquarters bunker. A rocket grenade caught Slinger (sic) in the back of the neck 50 yards from the bunker. It took his head off Cradock also fell, wounded in the shoulder.
Other rocket grenades exploded on three Chinooks, blowing off rotors, tai lplanes, and undercarriages.
This helicopter unit, which Jam forbidden by Army regulations to name, had 16 machines. Only three can still fly. The official statement said the unit had sustained “light material damage.”
The official definition of `slight damage” according to Military Assistance Command Vietnam regulations, is that a unit is has sustained damage, but not damage that affects its capability to perform its normal military role.
     “Boy, we were shot to hell and back, “said one helicopter pilot. “Boy, we got it right where it hurts the most. But don't you mention my name.
Elsewhere in Cu Chi Base the Vietcong and North Vietnam troops made simultaneous diversionary attacks. Seven came in the main gate. They were all shot down. Their bodies still hung, this morning, on the perimeter barbed wire. Over on the south-west corner of the base another 20 came in. They overwhelmed and overran bunkers 19 and 20, and scattered into the camp.

Suicide squads

We talked with soldier after soldier, bewildered headquarters troops, drivers and teleprinter operators of the “reaction force” that had raced down to repel the attack They did not talk like heroes.
Yes, they had seen the Vietcong. Yes, they `d shot back, they thought. But it was all too sudden and violent.
     A young intelligence officer briefs us on the general situation. It looks as though North Vietnamese units, three regiments strong, are marching through the 25th Infantry

Page 2 of 12


Division area. Mainly they are to attack bases and outposts there. But their target, documents say, is Saigon.
     For half an hour, the gathered reporters appeal to the information men to allow them to write the truth. `Light damage,” we argue, just seems ridiculous. The information officer, sweating and smiling reminds us that the enemy must not be given comfort at this critical moment. “And our General, he just can't understand how it happened.”
During the day, as the enemy attacks Bien Hoa, 10 miles to the north of Saigon, with all American troops hidden in bunkers even at the main United States base of Long Binh, the spokesmen continue to prevaricate.
They point out that the communist propaganda objective is to create the impression that this new offensive is putting the Americans into a panic. This is why they are making surprise attacks on United States bases with crack suicide squads.
At the same time, it is the American `s duty to show the world that they are standing firm, inflicting huge casualties, and still winning. The Paris peace talks depend on it.
The audience of journalists, uncomfortably aware of the reassuring copy many of them have been sending home, hope that the entire military situation in Vietnam has not been distorted as has that at Cu Chi.”

Department of the Army Headquarters 25th Infantry Division
APO 96225 INTSUM No. 057
Period covered: 260001 Feb 1969 to 262400 Feb 1969 Summary of Enemy Activity:

     Significant activities - 260400 Cu Chi Base Camp vie XT6515 received SA/RPG/mortar fire on the northeast portion of the bunker line. Fire was returned with SA/AW/ dusters/LFT/Arty/Spooky. At 0430 the Base Camp began receiving 122mm, 107mm rockets and 75mm RR fire. At 0445 heavy SA fire was received in the western sector, and the enemy penetrated the perimeter in the southeast destroying 9 CH-47s and damaging 2. By 0630 fighting had subsided to occasional sniper fire. Results of the contact were 31 NVA MA (BC), 8 NVA PWs, 36 RPG-2 Rds, 1 9mm pistol, 3 AK-47 rifles, 28 HG s, 175 sapper charges, 16 rds of RPG-2 ammo, 250 rds of SA ammo, 1 bangalore torpedo, 10 lbs of TNT, 1 pr of wire cutters, 1 walkie talkie, and 1 lb of documents evacuated. US casualties 13 US KIA, 28 US WIA.

Following are the names and unit identifications of the PW s in the attack on Cu Chi Base Camp on 26 Feb:
Ha Chi Loi, PFC, 2nd Sqd, 5th Plt, 3rd Bn, 2nd Regt, 10 1st Front Division
b.   Nguyen Van Cau, PFC, 1st Sqd, 3rd PIt, 6th Co., 8th Bn (Sapper Unit)
C.  Doan Van Nhut, Asst Sqd Ldr, 3rd Sqd, 3rd Plt, 1St Co, 2nd Bn, 2nd Regt, 9th Div.
d.  Nguyen Xuan Thuong, Cell leader, 3 man Special Sapper Team and Plt Ldr, detached from 3rd Plt, 48th Co, B16 Sapper Bn, COSVN.
e.  Do Van Co, Sgt 1st Class, Asst Plt Ldr, 2nd plt, 7th Co, 3rd Bn.


Page 3 of 12



     f. Ngo Van Huan, Asst Sqd ldr, 1St Sqd, 3rd PIt, 7th Co, 3rd Bn, 2nd Regt, 8th Worksite.

     The above PW s were captured on Cui Chi Base Camp during an attack on the morning of 26 February. Preliminary interrogation has indicated that the attacking force was composed of a variety of sapper elements some of which were recently formed in War Zone C by personnel apparently drawn from existing units. One of the units indicated as contributing personnel was the B-16 Sapper Unit (AKA D5 Sapper Bn). Elements of this battalion were recently identified in sapper attacks against Dau Tieng Base Camp. One of the PW s Nguyen Xuan Thuong indicated that two platoons from his company did not come directly to the Cu Chi area but were to attack another base camp, unknown to source, and possibly a reference to the Dau Tieng attack.

     All of the PW s indicated that they (unintelligible) in the Cu Chi Area from War Zone C. Most of the PW s had not been aware of the specific objective of the attack until immediately prior to the action taken against the base camp. With the exception of Nguyen Xuan Thuong, the PW s indicated that they had received little or no sapper training in preparation for these attacks. Thuong stated his unit coordinated with local force VC elements in the Cu Chi area on the evening of 25 Feb. Thuong' s unit of approximately 18 men started moving forward and working their way through the base camp perimeter at about 0130 hours on 25 Feb. The PW further indicated that once inside the base camp he was to find the longest weapon possible and use it to fire against targets within the camp. Two personnel, who had been trained to operate Allied tanks, were to locate a tank and drive it off the base camp if possible. The remaining personnel in Thuong's unit were to advance toward the Division Tactical Operations Center (DTOC).
     Subsequent to the attack, the PW's unit was to be met by commo-liason personnel and led to an unknown location. Two of the PW s indicated a specific interest in destroying tanks, APC's and bunkers, while the remaining two PW s said that they were to search for and destroy the most lucrative targets they could find within the base camp.


Department of the Army
Headquarters 25th Infantry Division
APO 96225
INTSUM No. 058
Period covered: 27001 Feb 1969 to 272400 Feb 1969

     Further interrogation of the 7 PW s captured in the attack on Cu Chi Base Camp of 26 Feb (Ref: 25th lnf Div INTSUM No. 057) revealed that four of them are most likely members of a newly formed unit, the 3rd Sapper Bn form the Katum Area of War Zone C.
     According to the PW s the Bn is composed of 3 companies (the 7th, 8th, 9th) with a total strength of 300 personnel. The 7th Co has a heavy weapons platoon equipped with 2 61mm mortars and 1 82mm mortar. Support elements of the 3rd Bn are: a recon element, a communications section. One of the PW s was an assistant platoon leader who indicated that elements of this new Bn were formed by personnel drawn from other sapper units and from infiltration groups. The PW himself was originally a member of the B 16 (AKA D5) Sapper Bn before joining the 3rd Bn. (25th Inf Div OB Comment: We believe

Page 4 of 12

that the 3rd Bn may have been involved in the recent attacks on Dau Tieng and may explain the reason for the multiple unit identifications from the PW s captured during the attack. Documents captured from an enemy KIA at Cu Chi identified the 262 Sapper Bn which is believed to be an independent Bn operating in the Katum area. There is not sufficient evidence at the present to determine if the 3rd Bn is an AKA for the B 16 Sapper Bn or possibly for the 262 Bn.) All of the PW s indicated that they had not been informed of the specific objectives of the attack until shortly before the action began. Only two of the PWs had received extensive sapper training; the rest of them received a minimum of preparation. The PW who was the assistant platoon leader (Do Van Co) stated that his unit coordinated with Cu Chi (VC) local force elements on the evening of 25 Feb and received diagrams and sketches for their plan of attack. His unit of approximately 18 men started moving forward and working their way through the base camp perimeter at about 0130 hrs. Once inside the camp his unit was to: (1) Look for the largest weapons they could find, possibly a 105mm Howitzer and use it to fire against targets within the base camp; (2) Two personnel who had been trained to drive allied tanks were to capture a tank and drive it off the base camp. If they were unable to leave the base camp, they were to perform a suicide mission and destroy as many targets as possible; (3) The remaining personnel were to advance toward the DTOC. This was to be accomplished by using the drawings and sketches of the base camp obtained from the local populace. Theses sketches indicated all roads and opponent units where no defensive positions would be set up. The unit was to move toward the DTOC in a zig-zag fashion. Another PW indicated that his unit prior to the attack divided themselves into groups of eleven personnel and spaced themselves along the perimeter at different intervals. One man with each element led the way for the remaining ten members cutting the wire and avoiding the trip flares. After reaching the last wire and cutting through it they were to break down into three man cells and disperse with one cell attacking bunkers along the perimeter and others moving into the base camp to destroy bunkers, APC s, tanks, and any other lucrative targets. Other PW s indicated that their units were targeted against tanks, bunkers, APC s and the airfield and helicopter pads. Two of the prisoners indicated that they were given rallying points for reassembly outside of Cu Chi Base Camp after the attack. One PW stated that the attack, within the base camp, was to last for one hour. A PW said that he had been told to be prepared to continue to fight though another indicated that Cu Chi Base Camp was not to be reattacked. Two of the prisoners said their units were to return to Katum after the attacks. Explosives used by the sappers consisted of satchel charges, HG s, RPG s, various amounts of TNT, C4 and bangalore torpedoes. In conclusion, we believe that the 3rd Sapper Bn with a strength of approximately 300 personnel was primarily responsible for the attack on Cu Chi Base Camp and was also involved in the recent attack on Dau Tieng. The attack was evidently supported by a rocket and/or artillery unit and possibly by other smaller sapper elements which have not thus far been identified. We believe that the attack was centrally planned and controlled by COSVN.

Daily Staff Journal/S2 Staff Section /65th Eng Bn 0001 -2400 26Feb69

     0455 Captain Richard R. Sonstelie to bunkerline south (kept the log)

     0630 MSG Collins, SP/5 Caviness and SP/4 Preston to southeast section of bunkerline w/battle wagon loaded WI 50 Cal

     1020 LT Malie, MSO Collins, SPI4 Mercer transport bodies of NVA killed on bunkerline to ARVN post in Cu Chi village.

Page 5 of 12



Daily Staff JournaIIS3 65th Eng Bn 0001 -2400 26Feb69
Harold V. Hooks, MM, CE Opns Officer (kept the log)

     0353 Cu Chi Base Camp came under mortar, rocket and ground attack

     0801 Notify all companies to organize and feed men and carry on with normal activities

     0855 No information will be passed to any source regarding attack on Cu Cbi until it is officially announced.

     0911 Small rocket landed in our MP and hit a truck; on fire; 0955 fire out

     0947 There are 16 sappers still on Cu Chi Base Camp: notify your people and conduct a thorough search of your area and bunkerline; 1012 Penetrations were also made in B and C sectors of the bunkerline and these are the people we are looking for; 1037 HHC and C Cos report neg findings and have areas secured

1020 Have B Co repair wire on bunkerline. Place many more trip flares than have previously been employed, enough to insure they will be tripped. Hang warning devices in the wire such as tin cans. Insure claymores are place properly, that all key areas are covered--recheck system thoroughly. Repair breaks in wires and insure existing wire is adequate. If necessary reinforce wire. Check out new bunkers and determine what is needed before they can be put into use.

1541 LTC Gibson notified me that he wants a double load of illumination rds for the bunkerline.

     1620 Have 9 tripflares in front of each bunker; repaired wire; placed noisemakers on wire closest to bunker; repaired fuegas (sic) and claymores in front of bunker 62; work around 59 will be completed in 30 minutes. Ans: Do not forget to place claymores in from of bunkers 57, 58, 59.

     1641 At 1800 we go on amber alert. Must have 7 men in each bunker, 2 men in each fighting position, 4 men awake in bunkers at all times. Must have 3 men per tower with 2 awake at all times. All guards must be in uniform. Vehicles must be parked in Task Force assembly area. Forces must be able to assemble on 15 minute notice. Must have 2 ea 2 man roving patrols. Clubs will remain open.

     1720 From Sgt Millet 554 S3 to BTOC SSG Talkington. Request the use of one of your water trucks to fill the NCO and officer showers in our Bn area. We lost 2 of our water trucks last night.
1951 From OD LT Nester to BTOC SP Award. The following is the number of trip flares in front of each bunker: 57-3; 58-6; 59-5; 60 left 9; 60 right-6; 61-4; 62-3. We are still putting up flares at this time, in front of all bunkers.

     2105 From SOG SGT Duncan to BTOC SSG Talkington. ii have a man in bunker 62 who was hit in the arm with SA fire. Also bunkers 57, 58, 59 are receiving SA fire. Also 57 thinks he sees movement 100 ft to his left. Request permission to fire flare. Ans:
Permission to fire flare granted, and to engage movement.

Daily Staff JournatIS2I3 Section, 2d Bde, 25th lnf Div 0001 -2400 26Feb69
Carl E. Anders., LT. kept log

     0418 Cu Chi is under ground and air attack

     0420 Cu Chi being hit on all sides by ground attack (53 Major Downing)

Page 6 of 12

     0940 Co A 2-27 requests dustoff for I urgent litter at XT518 160. Completed at 1000.

     1000 Co A 2-34 at XT700172 found trails that have been used in last 48 hours and also a
hole that could be used for a mortar position. At XT693 175 found new bunkers and
tunnels.

     1000 Co C 1-5 requests dustoff for 2 US urgent litter. Loc at XT605224.

     1010 Element of 1-5 received AK fire. Have 3 US WIA from 65th Eng. I gunship wound.

     1950 2-34 rear received 10-12 unknown size rockets. Damaged 3 buildings, results I US MA.

     2115 Cu Chi receiving incoming fire; red alert.

     2230 DISCOM has put Cu Chi off red alert at 2230.

Daily Staff Journal/S3 Section, 25th Med Bn, 25th lnf Div 0001-2400 26Feb69
B. Richard Laaken, CPT. kept log

     0400 Received notification that Cu Chi Base Camp was under ground attack.

     0415 Received call from MAJ Cunningham, Support Command S3, requesting ambulance at bunker #22, C sector

     0431 Received word that infiltrators were in our bunkers on bunker line. Dispatched personnel to Bn perimeter.

     0458 Received orders to get all aircraft off airfield. Talked to COL Atwell ref tactical situation of airfield. All dustoff aircraft in air (3); Tay Ninh Ship 156, (1St up) and 162 (2nd up). Other three not flyable.

     0555 CO of S&T Bn called CPT Laaken for doctors. Was informed that doctors were tied up at our dispensary.

     0620 Received call from Support Command requesting ambulance at Bunker #21.Ambulance dispatched from dispensary.

     0635 Received call from Support Command requesting ambulance at bunkers #18 and #19. Ambulances dispatched from dispensary.

     0719 CPT Laaken called Support Command to check on ambulance dispatched to bunker #21. Was informed that ambulance was at bunker with flat tire. Driver and patients still there.

     0730 Received damage and casualty report for Support Command; A Co has no damage or casualties, C Co has no damage or known casualties (3 men unaccounted for in ambulance on bunker line) and 159th has no damage or casualties.

     0735 Notified that Replacement Training is canceled until further notice.

     0737 Stand down.

     0830 Received instruction that VC were still in Base Camp. Check all areas for VC.

     0955 CPT Laaken notified HQ & Co A, C Co and Lodger units to have a complete check of their areas, hootches, culverts, between sandbags, etc. for possible VC hiding.


Page 7 of 12


     1150 Received request for 2 ambulances from Graves Registration. Needed to transport
15 KIAs to Tan San Nhut. CPT Laaken turned down request due to shortage of ambulances.

     1200 The following information given to MAJ Cunningham concerning casualty figures at Cu Chi Base Camp; 74 US WIA, I civilian WIA, 2 VC WIA. Persons admitted: 2 to 25th Med Bn and 37 to 12th Evac.

     1430 Sappers (4) found in Finance bunker. Notified companies to re-sweep areas.

     1500 Vietnamese documents turned in by 1 SGT Rinehart, Dispensary NCOIC. Discovered under sheet in litter.

     1615 Briefing canceled. Condition yellow. Clubs will close at 1730.

Daily Staff Journal/HQ 12th Evac Hospital 0001-2400 26Feb69
Michael W. Courtney, ILT, MSC, Adjutant kept log

     0355 Notified by DLSCOM that Cu Chi Base Camp under mortar attack

     0420 107 mm round landed in hosp area adjacent to Bldg T-41 13. Minor damage to Bldgs T-41 13 and T-41 11. No casualties.

     0600 107mm round landed in rear of Bldg T-4138 (Ward C-5) adjacent to Bldg T-4141.
Minor damage to Bldgs, electrical cable and loss of 4-55 gal drum of fuel oil. Generator
operator received minor frag wound. Treated and returned to duty. No other casualties.

     0720 5GM Regier received call from DISCOM - notification of Standdown.

     2130 D1SCOM called on Red Alert - VC on bunker line.

     2140 First casualty received in ER.

Summary: Approximately 55 casualties arrived from the Cu Chi incident.

Daily Staff JournalIG3, 25th lnf Dlv 0001-2400 26Feb69
Ronald C. Meeks, MM kept log

     0354 D1SCOM (COL Atwell). Cu Chi Base Camp is on Red Alert. Bunkers #19,20 have mov't., bunker #22 rec'g mortar fire.

     0440 DISCOM (Duty officer) Cu Chi B/C Main Gate rec'g SA fire. Bunkers 19 and 20 also rec'g SA/RPG as well as the North side of the perimeter; no significant pressure.

     0441 Mission to 3-4 Cav (LT Dixon) Alert 1 trp 3-4 Cay for possible commitment to Cu Chi area

     0444 AAE: there are 3 LFTs on station as well as Spooky 71

     0504 MP s (SP/Cochran) 0/A 0425 MP Patrol eng'd 1 personnel running, near  chopper resupply point. \1 body located carrying RPGs (EOD team confirmed)

0514 DISCOM (Duty Officer) At 0505 reported POL/rearm pt/ Salvage Yard are burning, extent is unknown; there are 8 CH-47 burning


Page 8 of 12


     0520 At 0510 all Little Bears and 116th AHC A/C that can fly are airborne and moving from Cu Chi C/B; 3-4 Cav also moving A/C. MP (SP/Cochran) also reports bunker #20, 21 or 23 is firing inside the base camp.

     0540 DISCOM (Maj Cunningham) DISCOM CO recommends scrambling all aircraft to other airfields (CO approved; AAE notified)

     0642 (....)Total results so far, 9 NVA KIA (BC). There are some US casualties in Bunkers 18, 19 & 20. More casualties to follow

     0730 DISCOM CO (COL Atwell) recommended standdown; CG approved.

     1003 20 NVA killed (BC), 7 PW s

     1035 G2 (log) at 0958 C/3-17 Cobra rec'd SA fire, took hits & was downed at XT125685. A/C 4-23 securing aircraft, 1 slight WIA (pilot)

(....)(rocket/mortar activity described)
     2124 DISCOM (COL Atwell) informed DTOC (MM Meeks). At 2113 Cu Chi is on Red Alert.

     2340 Summary:(....)The results of the action are as follows: 14 US KIA, 9 CH-47 helicopters were destroyed & 2 more have moderate dam, 31 NVA KIA (BC), 8 PW S.
At the time Cu Cbi was being hit with rockets, mortars and ground attack the following FSBs rec'd mortars: St. Barbara, Reed, and Patton.

Facts on File Yearbook, 1969- The Index of World Events, Facts on File, Inc. Thursday, Feb. 27-Wednesday, March 5, 1969

     Communist troops carried out heavy ground assaults against two major installations in the Saigon area Feb 26. At Cu Chi (sic), 20 miles northwest of the capital, enemy commandos penetrated the perimeter of the base of the US 25th Infantry Division by cutting through 10 barbed wire fences. The commando force, estimated at 80 men, destroyed nine large transport helicopters and killed 13 Americans and wounded 50 in the 3 1/2 hour operation. Viet Cong losses totaled 31 killed(....)

Department of the Army
HQ, 554th Engineer Battalion (Const)
APO San Francisco 96353
EGEC-2
6 March 1969
Memorandum for Record
Subject: Ground attack on HOTEL Sector, Cu Chi Base Camp by NVA
Forces on 26 February 1969

     0200 - ILT Stares, the Officer of the Guard, called DLSCOM for flare support, received it, and reported a negative sighting.

     0330 - 1LT Stares fired hand flares and M-79 rounds at enemy in wire and again reported a negative sighting.

     0400- RPG and SA fire received in A and D Company areas.


Page 9 of 12


DISCOM called alert for ground attack - 0554 siren sounded.

SP5 Johnson of D Company while enroute to showers was shot and killed by NVA.

SP5 Jackson and SP5 Goodale of A Company were killed by enemy RPG and SA fire in company area.

Companies were notified to reinforce secondary line on perimeter.

Bunker 66 was blown by satchel charges from NVA forces - SP4 Koski and SP4 Tennant were KIA, SP4 Ervie WIA. This report was not confirmed until 0630.

     0410 -     Two NVA killed in A Company area - one of these was seriously wounded and later died about 0500.

Two NVA killed in D Company area, one by 1LT Benson. The other was killed in motor pool area. He was carrying satchel charges - because of this it was at first thought the body was booby-trapped. This was later disproved.

Incoming mortar round from Vinh Cu village hit helicopter rearm point behind bunker 63 and 64. This caused secondary explosions to continue until approximately 1300 hours.

0415 RPG hit roof of EM barracks in C Company area.C Company went to man secondary positions behind bunkers 70-73. When 5-ton dump truck stopped to unload 1St platoon personnel, 2 RPGS were fired at point-blank range killing 4 US: PFC Alferink, SP4 Barnett, SP4 Pearson, and SP4 Quigley. Five others were seriously wounded. Captain Calek's driver, SP4 Taylor, killed this NVA with SA.

Two water trucks destroyed by RPG fire near Company A showers.

Companies A, B, C, and D in position on secondary line.

One NVA killed by RPG misfire as be attempted to destroy bunker in A Company.

SP5 Williams of C Company killed one NVA moving toward perimeter road from 3/4 Cav area.

     0418 -     Medics called to evacuate C Company killed and wounded.

     0420 -     A Company barracks belonging to 515th Asphalt Platoon destroyed by PRG and satchel charges.

     0435 -     Personnel in bunker 64 knocked out enemy machine gun firing from village with M-79 fire (no BC).

Page 10 of 12


0430 (sic) - NVA deployed themselves between bunker 69 and 70 in drainage ditch. SSG Covington and SSG Bailey crossed perimeter road to their front and fired at the enemy. NVA returned AK-47 fire and hit SSG Covington. At this time ILT Titus crossed road to aid SSG Covington who later died of his wounds. SP5 Brown, SP4 Maxwell, and ILT Titus evacuated SSG Covington, after throwing several hand grenades at the enemy position. SSG Bailey provided covering fire this whole time.

ILT Stares and SP5 Brown assaulted and killed two NVA beside bunker 69 with hand grenades and SA fire.

0615 -     Elements of A Company were responsible for capturing several (6) prisoners of war.

0620 -     Headquarters Company started sweep of battalion area for NVA stragglers, booby traps, satchel charges, etc.

0745 -     DISCOM called a stand-down and all units dispersed back to their area.

EOD team arrived on bunkerline to clear area for sweep.

0750 -     D Company platoon led by ILT Benson made a sweep of bunkerline area. Many blood trails were found leading to Vinh Cu village. Protective barbed wire was completely cut through by NVA sappers between bunker 69 and 70. At bunker 66 the two innermost wire barriers had been cut.

0800 -     Headquarters Company sweep team reported negative findings.

RESULTS:     10 US MA, 29 US WIA; 11 NVA KIA (BC); 6 NVA POW Captured 6 AK-47s, I pair of wire cutters, one 9mm pistol, one RPG-2 launcher, an unknown number of SA rounds, RPG rounds, Chi Com grenades, homemade satchel charges, and several documents identifying enemy units and individual soldiers.
Signed:     David D. Zaus, I LT, SIGC, S2

Logs that appeared to be more or less routine for the period of the attack:

Daily Staff JournalIS4 Section, 25th Med Bn, 25th lnf Div 0001-2400 28Feb69
 Lawrence G. Blitz, CPT kept log.

Daily Staff Joumal/DISCOM DTO 25th lnf Div 0001-2400 26Feb69
Juan Benitez Torres, Major. TC, Div Trans Officer kept log

Daily Staff Journal/725th Mn Bn/HQ & Co A 0001-2400 26Feb69
J.R. McGurk, CPT, OrdC Commanding kept log


Page 11 of 12



Daily Staff Journal/725th Mn BnICo B 0001-2400 26Feb69
James W. Ritt, CPT, OrdC, Commanding kept log

Daily Staff Journal/725th Mn BnICo D 0001-2400 26Feb69
Edward M. Voelker, Jr., CPT, OrdC, Commanding kept log

Daily Staff Journall725th Mn BnICo E 0001-2400 26Feb69
Paul J. O'Donohue, MAJ kept log

Casualty Record: 725th Mn Bn 0001-2400 26Feb69
(statistics, no names) Frank B. Mayer, CPT, OD Adjutant

Daily Staff Journal/DISCOM S-S Section 25th lnf Div 0001-2400 26Feb69
William M. Menzel, I LT

0830 All Med Caps canceled due to VC activities in local area.

CLM note for the record:

KIA 26 Feb 1969 at Cu Chi Combat Base

554th Engineer Battalion
Jerry L. Alferink (PFC)
lria D. Barnett (SP4)
Hobart E. Covington (SSG)
Leon R. Goodale, Jr. (SP5)
David C. Jackson (SP5)
Richard M. Johnson (SP4)
Larry C. Koski (SP4)
Van Harvey Pearson (SP4)
Henry L. Quigley (SP4)
John R. Tennant (SP4)

242nd ASHC (Muleskinners)
Isaac Stringer. Jr. (SP4)

25th Infantry Division
Donald C. Le Blond (SSG)
Ronald L. Quigley (PFC)
William B. Wilson (SOT)

Transcribed from original sources: Constance@Menefee.com


Page 12 of 12

 Operation KoKo Head 2nd Brigade





                    DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
          HEAD QUARTERS 2ND BRIGADE, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
                         APO  US FORCES 96225

AVDCSB-T                                                                                                                                   9 December 1966

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

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

1.  Operation KOKOHEAD  (OPORD  31-66)
2.  23001 July - 062400  August 1966
3.  2nd Bde,  25th Inf Div conducted search and destroy operations in HAU NGHIA and BINH DOUNG Provinces
4.  Control Headquarters:  2nd Bde,  25th Infantry Division
5.  Reporting Officer:   Colonel Thomas M. Tarpley
6.  Task Organization and Commanders:
          1/5 (M)  (Lt.Col. Victor F. Dias, Cmdg)     
               1/5 (M)
               Helicopter

          1/27  Inf  (Maj Guy S. Meloy III, Cmdg)
               1/27  Inf
               Helicopter

          2/27  Inf  (Lt Col Boyd T. Bashore,  Cmdg)
               2/27  Inf
               Helicopter

7.  Supporting Forces:

a.  Air Support:

                              (1)   General:   Both tactical fighter bombers and heavy bombers (B-52) were used to support the operation.  A total of 73 air-strikes were used throughout the area of operations.  All air-strikes were extremely accurate and very effective.  Preplanned air-strikes were based on current intelligence of VC unit actions and suspected storage areas.  Four of the strikes were “immediate”, in close support of ground troops.  Reaction time for the “immediate” strikes was 20 minutes after the request was made, which is a satisfactory time.  The “immediate” strikes were 100% effective.

                             (2)   All air-strikes except the B-52 strikes were controlled and assigned to the 2nd Bde.  Ordnance was delivered by the following:

(a)  Navy fighter-bombers  -          15 strikes.
 (b) Air Force fighter-bombers  -  55 strikes.
(c) Air Force  B-52 bombers  -       3 strikes

                            (3)   Results:  20 KBA (BC),  80 KBA (POSS), 9 trenches destroyed,   (?) sampans destroyed,  50 meters of canal damaged, 4 roads cut, 129 VC structures destroyed,  59 bunkers destroyed.

b.  Army Aviation:

                           (1)   The 25th Avn Bn, 25th Inf Div provided airmobile support including resupply and gun-ships, liaison, and coordination for air-mobile operations.  The 118th Avn Co (Airmobile) provided back-up support for combat assaults and extraction of company size eagle flights.

                           (2)   2nd Bde, 25th Inf Div provided OH23 helicopters for command and control, daily reconnaissance, and artillery fire adjustment.

c.  Artillery Support:

                           (1)   Organization for Combat.

(a)  1/8  Arty  (-)  DS  3rd Bde.
(b)  3/13 Arty (-)  GS  25th Inf Div.

                           (2)   The extensive area of operations necessitated wide dispersal of firing batteries and frequent relocation to provide artillery support to the maneuver elements of the brigade.  By organizing a fourth four-gun battery, (D Btry provisional) and airmobile pre-positioning of Battery (-) elements throughout the area of operation, maximum fire support was immediately available to all maneuver elements.

(3)  Artillery fire was used primarily for:

(a)  Suppression of sniper and mortar fire.
(b)  H&I fire.
(c)  Preparation of landing zones and suppressive fire during the introduction and extraction phases of airmobile operations.
(d)  Softening of area in front of advancing maneuver elements.
(e)  Counter mortar fire.
 (f)  Diversionary tactics through the area of false landing zone preparations.
(g)  Marking air targets.
(h)  Marking rounds to confirm maneuver unit locations.  (Patrol navigation by artillery).                                   (p2)
(4)   Total missions and round fired by type
     a.   Mission:           9     Registration
               1,427                   H&I
                  305                   Close support
               1,738                 Total Missions
     b.   Ammo expended:    12,238  HE
                                                    323  WP
                                                    529  Ill
                                               13,090   Total

(5)   Results:   1 VC KIA (BC),  11 VC KIA (POSS),  1  60mm mortar destroyed,  12 buildings destroyed,  3 buildings damaged,  1 sampan destroyed,  3 bunkers destroyed,  5 secondary explosions.

d.  Fire Coordination:

                              (1)   Daily coordination meetings enabled TAC Air, Army Aviation, and artillery to deliver timely and effective fire support throughout the operations.
                              (2)   Closely coordinated flight corridors allowed uninterrupted air, artillery, and armed helicopter fire during airmobile operations.

e.  Armor:

                              (1)   The Brigade was supported by 3rd platoon Co A, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav.   Attachment was effective 271635 July 1966 to Co A, 2nd Bn,  27th Inf.  Both units operated on the island of XOM HOI (XT6117) from time of attachment until 291115 July 1966.

8.  Intelligence:

a.  Enemy Situation Prior to Operation.

                            (1)   TAN THANH DONG area:   An estimated 100 VC guerrillas operate in the TAN THAN     area bounded by XT7412, XT7713, XT7709.  During the day the VC hide in the swamp and rice fields vic XT7409 and move into the hamlets at night to harass the PF outposts and local villagers.  Numerous incidents occurred in this area prior to 15 June.  9 VC KIA (BC).  5 VC KIA (POSS), 27 VCC, and 2 VCC resulted from action in this area during Operation MOKULEIA (15 - 22 July 1966).

                          (2)   BAO TRAI area:  VC activity in area declined due to presence of US troops during Operation MOKULEIA (15 - 22 July 1966).  During Operation MOKULEIA, large caches of VC weapons, ammunition and equipment were found vicinity Oriental River.  Nineteen VC road blocks were constructed in the area during previous 30 days.

                          (3)  TRANG BANG area:   There were no major VC operations or large unit movement reported in TRANG BANG area.  41 road blocks were constructed by VC during previous 30 days along Hwy #1 from CU CHI to GO DAU HA.

                         (4)   HO BO WOODS, FILHOL Plantation, HIA HOA DONG area:  A major enemy contact was made by A 1-27 on 19 July 66 on two objectives vic XT575265 and XT560265.  Estimated 2 VC main force companies of 1st Bn, 165A regt. were engaged by A 1/27.  

                 b.   Expected Enemy Course ;of Action:   Past engagements with the VC in the AO reveal that the enemy had good control of his units, executed actions rapidly and violently, and delivered accurate SA and AW fire when engaged.  Maximum use of mines, booby traps, road blocks, and harassing fire was expected throughout the AO.
                                                       (p3)
                  c.   Enemy Situation During Operation:
                      (1)   Most significant enemy activity during the period 23 July 66 to 6 Aug 66, was the attack on the 25th Infantry Division base camp at Cu Chi on the night of 26 - 27 July 66.  A total of 206 rounds of 75mm recoilless rifle and 82mm mortar fire was received.

                      (2)   VC road blocks along Hwy #1 from CU CHI to GO DAU HA increased from one each on 23, 24, 25, 27, 29 July; 2, 3 Aug to three on 4 Aug, one on 5 Aug and three on 6 Aug.  Nine VC road blocks were reported in BAO TRAI area during the two week operation.

                    (3)   On 3 Aug 1/5 Inf captured documents vic XT652237 which indicated that the area was utilized as a training area for the 7th Bn, 165A Regt.  The documents included lesson plans for the 7.62 rifle, K57 submachine gun, 30 cal machine gun, 81 and 82mm mortar, and 57mm recoilless rifle.  Exploitation of the documents indicated that a weapons company consisted of a recoilless rifle platoon, a mortar platoon and machine gun platoon.  There were also lesson plans pertaining to radio training, sound waves and antennae, indicating a possible signal training facility in the area.  One of the documents was certificate of commendation issued to a woman whose position was listed as a soldier of the 7th Bn.

                   (4)   Excluding shelling of the 25th Inf Div base camp on 25 - 27 July, primary VC activity against US forces during the operations was the employment of AT and AP mines, booby traps, road blocks, sniper and harassing fire.

           d.   Terrain and Weather:   The terrain in AO is generally flat, open and predominantly rice paddies and cultivated area.  Dense forest makes up the northern part of AO in HO BO WOODS and FILHOL plantation.

      9.   Mission:   2nd Bde conducts operations in HAU NGHIA and BINH DOUGH Provinces commencing 23 July 1966 to locate and destroy VC forces, supplies and base area;  interdicts VC ICC's;  conducts pacification operations in HAU NGHIA Province.     

     10.   Concept of Operations:  2nd Bde conducted a series of airmobile and ground assaults, search and destroy operations, employed eagle flights, combat patrols, ambushes, and combined operations with local ARVN forces to locate and destroy VC forces, supplies and base areas.  Airmobile operations were characterized by several small unit eagle flights, with the capability to rapidly reinforce or extract, supported by pre-positioned artillery..

     11.   Execution :   Div OPORD 21-66 was received 101100 July 1966.

             a.   Daily Summary:

                          D-DAY  23 July 1966

                              1st Bn (M), 5th Inf.

     Throughout the day the battalion conducted reconnaissance in force vic XT545237, XT555250, XT575247, XT577233, XT567216 and XT560197 to locate and destroy VC forces, and to determine VC activities and movements.  A total of 55 VC suspects were apprehended, of which 19 were confirmed to be VC and 4 listed as draft dodgers.  The battalion returned to base camp at 1715 hours.

    (p4)

                                1st Bn.  27th Inf.                

     Co A and Co C continued to man the base camp defenses.  Co B, located with elements of the 1st Bn, 8th Arty at TRANG BANG, apprehended 2 VCS vic XT488205 at 0530 hrs.  At 0702 hrs Co B commenced a security sweep with one reinforced platoon in the area of the artillery base camp.  At 0731 hrs, 1 US KIA was sustained vic XT501208 from sniper fie.  Fire was returned with negative results.

                                  2nd Bn.  27th Inf.

     The Bn continued to conduct small unit air-mobile opns. in the vicinity of XT-5106.  Co C commenced operations at 0815 hrs.  During the course of the search, 4 VCS were apprehended.  No other contact was made and extraction was completed at 1418 hrs.  Co A continued to work in base camp and Co B continued security mission for elements of 1/8 Arty at BAO TRAI.

                                  D +1 24 July 1966

                                  1st Bn (M),  5th Inf.  

     Operating with the assistance of a popular Force soldier and a CHIEU HOI, Co A and the Recon plat commenced operations in the vicinity of XT700100 at 0815hrs.  A VC base camp was pointed out by the CHIEU HOI at XT720104 at 1028 hrs.  The camp consisted of 4 buildings and a bunker-tunnel complex.  The area was thoroughly searched and 1 Chi Com carbine, miscellaneous explosives, and documents were found.  After completing the search of the camp, the units destroyed the structures and tunnels.  Two VCs were apprehended in the area vicinity XT710108.  The units continued operations with no further contact, and closed base camp at 1412 hrs.
                              1st Bn,  27th Inf.

     Co A and C continued to man the base camp perimeter and to conduct training and maintenance functions.  Co B was relieved of the responsibility of securing the artillery base at TRANG BANG and returned to division base camp at 1513 hrs.

                              2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion commenced operations at 1000 hours.  Co B reinforced by Recon and security platoons, were heli-lifted to XT565005, and XT561006, to conduct cordon and search operations.  At XT561008, 30,000 piastres (VC) and some web gear was located by Co B.  The units questioned civilians throughout the area and as a result located 1 draft dodger, and 2 female relatives of the Duc Hoa district finance cadre vicinity XT561008.  The units were extracted at 1455 to the division base camp.

                              D + 2  25 July 1966

                              1st Bn (M), 5th Inf.

     The battalion conducted maintenance and refresher training throughout the day.

                              1st Bn,  27th Inf:

     During the day, the battalion conducted training and continued improvement of the bunker line.

                              2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion conducted a two company airmobile operations into multiple LZ's, at XT4612.  Co's A and C participated.  Co C's lift was completed at 1003 hrs into 3 LZ's, all of which were cold.   Co A competed all lifts at 1027 hrs on three LZ's which were also cold.  Co B moved into blocking psns located at XT469122, XT476120, and XT463119, while Co A, with an ARVN GO Team and a VC captive, swept through the objective area.  Twenty-five detainees were questioned and one was classified VCS and taken to BAO TRAI for further questioning.  The units were extracted to base camp at 1635 hrs.  Air-strikes called in support of this day's operations resulted in 4 VC structures destroyed and 3 damaged.

 D + 3  26 July 1966
 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf

     The battalion conducted refresher training, maintenance, and convoy security missions to BAO TRAI (XT5204).  Co. B was attached to the 2/27 Inf.

2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion planned a series of Eagle Flights vicinity of BAO TRAI (XT5204) with the Recon platoon commencing at 0900 hrs.  At 0912 hrs the platoon was heli-lifted into an LZ at XT538097.  The LZ was cold and the platoon began operations by questioning the civilians in the area concerning recent VC activities.  At 1132 Hrs the operation was curtailed and the platoon extracted to allow for reaction to intelligence that the US/ARVN outpost at BAO TRAI (XT5204) was to be attacked.  Co C, located in the BAO TRAI area as security for an artillery fire support base, was reinforced by Co B 1/5 (M).

D + 4  27 July 1966

1st Bn (M), 5th Inf.

     The battalion (-) departed division base camp at 0800 hours to establish a battalion base vic XT5130.  Co B returned from attachment to 2/27 Inf., joined the battalion en-route. All elements closed the area of operations at 1000 hrs and commenced operations.  Co A operated vic XT501268 and XT514276, establishing ambushes and sweeping throughout the area.  The company returned to the battalion base camp vicinity XT479271 after retrieving the ambushes.  A total of 8 VCS resulted from the operation.  Co B conducted operations vic XT430297 and XT516305, establishing 4 daylight ambushes.  One ambush located vic XT516309, was sprung at 1445 hours resulting in 2 VC KIA (BC) and 1 US Carbine and 1 CHICOM Carbine captured.  Co B closed battalion CP at 1626 hrs.  The Recon platoon established 1 ambush and a blocking position for Co B XT480297.  The platoon block captured a total of 15 VCS and returned to battalion CP at 1330 hrs.  The battalion conducted night ambushes commencing at 1910 hours.

1st Bn,  27th Inf.

     At 0531 hours, Co B, the division reaction force, was alerted for an operation into the FILHOL Plantation.  The company was lifted into XT659167 at 0725 hrs and conducted a sweep from that location to OP ANN MARGRET (XT6617).  At 0804 the company received sniper fire from vic XT697167.  An artillery mission was called, suppressing the fire and resulting in 2 VC KIA (Poss).  One AT mine (XT643165) and several weapons positions (XT673167 and XT671167) were located by the company and destroyed.  Co B closed OP ANN MARGRET at 1156 hrs with no further contact.  At 1450 hrs the Recon platoon conducted a sweep in front of the battalion base perimeter.  The sweep closed base camp at 1630 hrs with negative contact.     

 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.

     The battalion planned an airmobile assault into XOM HOI (XT6117) commencing at 1500 hrs to conduct S&D operations, and ambush throughout the night in conjunction with one platoon from A Trp,.    3 /4 Cav.  A sweep of the area located 3 booby trapped bunkers vic XT610170.  Co C was released from its security mission at 1025 hrs and returned to division base camp at 1320 hrs.               (p6)

D+ 5  28 July 1966

1st Bn.(M), 5th Inf.

     The battalion commenced operations at 0655 hrs.  Co's A and B, and the Recon Platoon departed for the village of LOC HUNG (XT5226).   In conjunction with the local RF platoon, these elements conducted a seal and search opns. of the village.  The operation terminated at 1530 hrs, and all units returned to the battalion base.  The units apprehended a total of 19 VC's, 5 of whom under interrogation , proved to be VC.

1st Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion continued to conduct training and maintenance of defensive positions.

2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     At 0730 hrs Co A moved from its night defensive positions and began a sweep of XOM HOI (XT5117).  Seven fighting holes and 1 trench were located during the first phase of the operations.  A heavily booby trapped area was found vic XT613171 and 5 WIA's were sustained.  A tunnel was located vic XT515171, and a search revealed 1 MIA E2, 1 M1 carbine, and miscellaneous ammunition.  During the search of the tunnel, 2 VC were captured digging out of a collapsed portion of the tunnel.  Continuing to evacuate this area, 1 VC body was found, apparently suffocated when one end of the tunnel was blown.  Also found in this portion of the tunnel was 1 Russian rifle, 1 US SMG, and two cases of ammunition.  Due to information obtained from the captured VC, the company was ordered to remain in position, and at 1500 hrs, was reinforced by the recon and security platoons.  At 1700, while preparing night defensive positions, the unit found a tunnel vic XT525172.  The tunnel contained one BAR, one M1 rifle, and 1 VC body.  The company had sporadic contact throughout the night with no casualties.

D + 6  29 July 1966

1st Bn (M), 5th Inf.

     The battalion conducted operations vic XT4727 commencing at 0755 hrs.  Co A at 0915 hrs apprehended 1 VCC and one VCS vic XT502233.  Co B apprehended 1 VCS vic XT492222 at 0925 hrs.  At 1003 hrs, 5 VCs were detained by the Recon platoon vic XT459253.  The battalion terminated operations and all units closed the division base camp at 1830 hrs.

1st Bn,  27th Inf.  

     Battalion activities included training and maintenance of the bunker line.  Recon platoon conducted a sweep to the southwest of the battalion perimeter.  Two mortar positions were located vic XT509144 and destroyed during the sweep.

2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     Operations began at 0655 hrs with Co A continuing to search at XOM MOI (XT6117).  The unit received 2 WIA's from booby traps vic XT515171.  Five structures with tunnels were destroyed in the area as well as 5 dirt & log bunkers.  At 1115 hrs, the company was extracted to base camp, and the cavalry elements released to return over-land.  All elements returned to base camp by 1255 hrs.  At 1915 hrs, Co A personnel on the bunker line observed 7 VC digging positions vic XT638173.  Tanks positioned on Co C bunker line, fired at the VC resulting in 7 VC KIA (Poss).
(p7)
D + 7  30 July  1966

1st Bn (M),  5th Inf.

     Battalion activities included maintenance, conduct of civil affairs, operations at TAN PHU TRUNG (XT6809) and escort of an artillery convoy from  DUC HUE (XT4405) to base camp.

1st Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion continued maintenance of bunker line and training.

2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion operation planned for this day was cancelled due to heavy rainfall preventing airlift.  Maintenance of the bunker line was conducted.

D + 8  31  July 1966

 1st Bn (M),  5th Inf.

     The battalion conducted maintenance and prepared for future operations.

1st Bn (M)  27th Inf

     At 0700 hrs the battalion began an S&D operation in the base camp defense sector.   Co A located and filled 58 foxholes.  Co C engaged 3 snipers vic XT618158.  The VC broke contact after a brief engagement which resulted in 1 US KIA.  1 Russian carbine, miscellaneous ordnance, and a small amount of medical supplies were found.  No other contact was made throughout the day, and the unit returned to base camp at 1238 hrs.
2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion conducted maintenance and prepared for future operations.
D + 9  1 August 1966

1st Bn (M),  5th Inf.

     The battalion departed base camp through Op ANN MARGARET on operation NAKULA.  The mission of the battalion was to exploit and evaluate a B52 strike vic XT6424 in conjunction with the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.  The battalion reached the area at 0835 hrs and commenced a search of the area (Incl 1, Operation Overlay).  Co A assigned to Obj 2, had no enemy contact, but an extensive bunker-tunnel complex was discovered vic XT643217, which contained an ammo cache of small arms ammo, grenades, and AT mines.  After completing the search, the company moved to Obj 13.  At 1650 hrs, two houses were found vic XT624243 containing a rifle, 15 artillery rounds, 2 AT mines, miscellaneous documents and medical supplies.  Co C arrived in Obj 3 (XT622231) at 0908 hours and initiated a sweep of the area.  Five bunkers and one extensive bunker-tunnel complex were located and destroyed vic XT621230.  The bunkers and tunnels evidenced signs of recent occupation, and the tunnels contained a 105mm dud, and a 155mm dud rigged for command detonation.  The company continued operations and located 3 VC in a bunker vic XT619233 at 1338 hrs.  All attempts to force the VC from the complex failed, and the bunker was destroyed resulting in 3 VC KIA (POSS).  The company continued sweeping through the area and in the process found 1 US 1917 Eddystone Rifle (XT623277), 8 home-made grenades (XT619233) and a small ammunition cache (XT418234).  The battalion established two night bases with Co A located vic XT645227, and the battalion (-) vic XT608234).                             
 (p8)

1st Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion assumed responsibility from the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf Base Camp reaction force and continued training and maintenance activities.
2nd Bn.  27th Inf.

     The battalion, operating in conjunction with the 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf, conducted an operation in exploitation of the B52 bomb strike mentioned above.  Operations commenced with an airmobile assault into LZ 1 located vic XT636235 commencing at 0755 hrs.  First contact was made by Co C at 0824 hrs vic XT643235, and sporadic contact continued throughout the day.  Co C received 2 WIA's during daylight operations.  The sweep of the area resulted in 17 bunkers destroyed, 1 US SMG captured and miscellaneous ordnances and equipment captured.  The battalion began to prepare for night operations at 1800 hrs vic XT638123.  Intermittent contact was throughout the night resulting in 2 US WIA.

D + 10  2 August 1966

1st Bn (M),  5th Inf.

     The battalion was given the mission of exploiting the portion of the objective area located in grid squares XT6423 and XT6424.  Operation commenced at 0715 hrs.  Co A maintained its blocking position vic XT645227 until 1140 hrs, and joined the battalion vic XT646235.  The battalion (-) departed to relocate the command post and conduct operations throughout the AO.  Co B, operating vic XT646239, destroyed several tunnels, bunkers and sniper holes and preceded the CP location.  Co C received small arms fire from vic XT639240, and found that the area was heavily booby trapped.  During a search of the area, one VCC with weapons was captured.  No further contact was made and the unit was dispatched to assist the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf to extract and move to TRUNG LAP.  All elements closed the battalion CP at 1800 hours.

1st Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion continued to man the bunker line of the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, and to conduct training and maintenance.



2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     Contact began at 0708 hrs when 7 - 50mm mortar rounds were received by the battalion.  Small arms and automatic weapons fire was also directed at the battalion perimeter.  5 WIA's resulted from this contact.  Gun-ships were called in and 4 additional WIA's were received from a mortar round during the gunship attack. Fire was suppressed and the battalion commenced operations at 0810.  One tunnel, one house, and several booby traps were destroyed as the battalion swept through the area.  At 1025 Co A encountered a manned bunker vic XT642234.  The unit maneuvered against the bunker resulting in 10 VC KIA (POSS) and 12 US WIA.  Several other manned bunkers were located during this action and engaged resulting in 12 additional VC KIA (POS) and 7 bunkers destroyed.  The battalion began to move to TRUNG LAP for extraction at 1430 hrs.  While moving vic XT609226, Co B was engaged by automatic weapons fire from several bunkers located in the area.  2 WIA'S resulted.  Artillery was called in and suppressed the fire.  All elements closed base camp by 2005 hrs.

D + 11  3 August 1966

1st Bn (M), 5th Inf.             
  (p9)

     The battalion conducted an extensive search of the Obj area (Incl 2 - Operations Overlay) which showed indications of recent use.  Commencing at 0733 hrs.  Co A engaged 3 VC, vic XT553274, hiding in a tunnel, resulting in the destruction of the tunnel, and 2 VC KIA (BC) and 1 VC KIA (POSS).
               (four lines unreadable)
Co B located extensive bunker-tunnel systems containing a rice cache of approximately 1500 lbs, vic XT653282.  The rice was evactuated and the tunnels destroyed.  Co C found a tunnel system vic XXT657281.  During the exploration of the tunnel, 2 VC were found.   The VC would not come out of the tunnel and the tunnel was destroyed resulting in 1 VC KIA (BC) and 1 VC KIA (POSS).  The battalion established night defensive positions vic XT632278.

1st Bn, 27th Inf.

The battalion continued its training and maintenance mission.

 2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

The battalion continued work on the bunker / barrier line and conducted care and maintenance of equipment.

 D + 12  4 August 1966

1st Bn (M),  5th Inf:

     The battalion had the mission of conducting a post-strike analysis of a B52 bomb strike while conducting S&D operations throughout its AO.  Operations commenced at 0715.  Contact was very light throughout the day although the unit sustained 2 KIA and 9 WIA.   All casualties resulted from mines.  Several weapons and assorted equipment were found during the day's operation.  Co B trapped 3 VC in a tunnel vic XT657281 and the tunnel was destroyed resulting in 3 VC KIA (POSS).  The battalion closed into a night base at 1800 hours.
1st Bn, 27th Inf

     Training and maintenance continued to be conducted in the battalion base camp area.  Co B conducted a platoon sweep outside the defensive wire with no contact.

2nd Bn,  27th Inf.

     Co B with the recon platoon was dispatched to XOM MOI to conduct S&D operations during the day, and establish a night defensive position.  No contact resulted from the operations.
                                     D+13  5 August 1966

1st Bn (M), 5th Inf:

     The battalion conducted reconnaissance in force throughout the day with light contact.  One VCS was apprehended by Co B and several bunkers and structures destroyed.  All units closed battalion CP vic XT569241 by 1800 hrs.

1st Bn,  27th Inf.

     The battalion continued training and maintenance throughout the day.

 2nd Bn,  27th Inf:

     The battalion conducted care and maintenance throughout the day in the battalion base camp area.  Co B, reinforced, was extracted to base camp at 1045 hrs.

D+14  6 August 1966

1st Bn (M), 5th Inf:

     The battalion participating in a Bde seal and search operation, established blocking positions vic grid squares XT5821, 5921, 5920, 5817, and 5919.  Throughout the day many civilians were screened and questioned, and 10 VCS apprehended.  The operation was completed at 1530 hrs.  All units closed Division base camp at 1753 hrs.
 (p10)

1st m.  27th Inf:

     The battalion participated in the Seal and Search of TRUNG LAP (xt4920).  All elements were air-lifted into the area commencing at 0825 hrs.  Blocking operations were conducted throughout the day, and all elements returned to base camp by 1500 hrs.

2nd Bn,  27th Inf:

     The battalion also participated in the Seal and Search of TRUNG LAP (XT4920).  The unit was air-lifted into blocking positions commencing at 0648 hrs, and extracted at 1327 hrs with negative contact.
 (p11)
b.  Pay  Op /Civil Affairs:

                           (1)   General:  During the period 24 July - 7 August 1966, the Brigade S5 Section participated in Operation KOKO HEAD in the province of HAU NGHIA.  This operation was successful from a civil affairs stand-point.

                          (2)   Accomplishments:

a.  Approximately 1,294 Vietnamese Nationals were treated by battalion surgeons through MEDCAP.
b.  The following Helping Hand items were distributed during this period:

1.  Clothing:  Approximately 3,000 lbs.
2.  Children's books:  Approximately 500 lbs
3.  Ladies purses:  Approximately 240 lbs.
4.  Canned food:  Approximately 1000 lbs.
5.  Soup Base:  5cases of 120 ca

c.  A Brigade County Fair was conducted at Trung Lap (XT682215) on 6 August 1966:

1.  A noon meal was served to approximately 1800 persons.
2.  A MEDCAP was conducted at which 291 persons were treated.
3.  Helping Hand items were distributed to approximately 1420 persons.
4.  The Division band entertained the populace.
5.  It has been noted that crowd control is one of the most difficult phases of a County Fair.
                                                       d   A total of 19 leaflet missions were flown by Brigade attached “PsyOp” team from the 246th Psyop Company, and Division in support of Operation “KOKO HEAD”, air dropping a total of 412,500 leaflets.  Four loud-speaker missions were flown during this period.

1.   The daily leaflet drops were flown at the request of the battalions in support of their operations requirements.
2.   The only analysis of the effectiveness and results of Psyop that can be cited is, during the County Fair of 6 August, the Bde dropped special leaflets telling the villagers of TRUNG LAP to go to their assembly areas to be screened and identified.  This was backed up by a flown loud-speaker mission conveying the same information.  A mounted PA set was also employed for the same purpose.  The villagers assembled at the designated area as directed.

                                            e.   A total of 53 VN detainees were returned to areas that had been evacuated.  Each detainee was issued a “solatium” box.

                                           f.   Two English classes with a total of 130 students were conducted during this period.
                                          g.   A total of $400.55 was collected from members of the 25th Inf. for donation to the Vietnamese National Police KIA Indemnity Fund.                       (p12)

                      c.   Results:    Enemy Losses
VC KIA (BC)  
1
Cloth, Bolts
3
VC KIA (POS)
92
SA Ammo
51,950
VC POW
25
 Sampans  
18
-------------------
113
 Documents
25 Lbs.
Rice
3400 lbs
Maps    
3
Trenches
25
 Propaganda Material
12 Lbs
Structures  
208
Explosives
400lbs
Bunkers
152
Uniforms
60 Sets
Tunnels  
34
Web Equipment
6
A P Mines
26
MG barrels
1
Claymore Mines  
1
Clothing
120 lbs
Grenades  
83
Grenade Launcher
1
8” Arty Rds
0
Gas Mask
2
105mm Arty Rds
22
Cement Bags
7
75mm RR Rns
2
Medical Supplies  
8lbs
51 and 82mm Psns
3
Mortar Light 82mm
1
Bombs  250 lb
1
Flashlight
1
Booby Traps
7
 Shovel heads  
3
C38's   
8
Mortar Psns
3
 Bridge   
1
Gun Psns  
1
M-79 Rds
7
Brass Casings  
22
Bunker Tunnel Complex
6
Canteen  
1
Holster
1
         d. Friendly Losses

          KIA                  8
          WIA               97
13.   Administrative Matters:

a.   Supply:  Since the brigade maintained its base at Division Base Camp, the only re-supply was to units engaged in the final days of the operation.  Re-supply was by air with no unexpected problems.

b.   Communications:

(1)  Type utilized:

(a)  FM radio
(b)  Wire - local distribution
(c)  Air couriers

(2)  Problems encountered:

(a)  Interference by radio stations sharing assigned frequencies (FM)
(b)  Tendency of FM radios to “flutter” on weak signals.

(3)  Lessons Learned:

(a)  All FM radio stations must be prepared to change to the alternate frequency when required.
(b)  Re-transmission stations (FM) must be used if distances become so great as to preclude proper functioning of FM receivers.  “Fluttering” type reception can be reduced by placing FM radios in the “Squelch Off” position.
 (p13)
14.   Special Equipment and Techniques:     None

15.   Commanders Analysis:          None

16.   Recommendations:               None


                                             FRANKLIN D. LUKSIK
                                             Captain, Infantry
                                             Adjutant
 (p14)