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After Action Reports 48
1ST BATTALION 27TH INFNTRY
APO US Forces 96225
TLIBA-T 3 June 1966
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (RCS/J3/32)
THRU: Commanding Officer
2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
APO US Forces 96225
25th Infantry Division
APO US Forces 96225
US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
APO US Forces 96243
1. NAME OR IDENTITY AND/OR TYPE OF OPERATION.
a. Operation MAILI.
b. Search and Destroy; pacification.
2. DATES OF OPERATION- 27 April to 13 May 1966
3. LOCATION- HAU NGHIA Province in area bounded by XT509090, XT546122, XT616059 and XT057000
4. CONTROL- HEADQUARTERS. 1st Bn 27th Inf.
5. REPORTING OFFICER.
Co. A1/27 Inf. (Capt Mayo?? & Capt L????)
Co. B1/27 Inf. (Capt Garrett)
Co. C1/27 Inf (Capt Foss)
1B1/65 Engr (Lt Leatherwood)
1A3/4 Cav (Lt Trifiletti)
2A3/4 Cav (St Koro??y)
3A3/4 Cav (Lt Weatherwax)
3A1/5 Mech (Tl McQinn)
Plat A1/69 Armor
2d Spt Plat 16th RRU
3d Spt Plat 16th RRU
2d FASC Plat B1/25th Sig (Lt Rood)
25th Div MID (SA Detterline)
7. SUPPORTING FORCES: Supporting forces included direct support artillery by Btry A, 1st Bn 8th Arty during the period 27 April to 12 May 66, and Btry ? 3d Bn 13th Arty which reinforced A1/8 Arty during the period 27 Apr to 2 May 66. Army Aviation support from the 25th Avn Bn greatly contributed to the success of Operation MAILI in the form of C & C aircraft and light fire teams to facilitate command, control and support of daily resupply convoys and search and destroy operations. The 25th Avn Br. did an outstanding job in supporting airmobile operation during Operation MAILI. HAU NGHIA Sector supported TF 1/27 by attaching 20 counterterrorist personnel and 6 National Police to TF for employment in night ambushes and search and destroy operations. The Sector also provided MEDCAP, Intelligence and Paywar personnel for the daily TF operations to aid in working with the Vietnamese people in the AO and to promote the pacification program. These ARVN personnel proved to be invaluable in gaining the cooperation of the people of the various hamlets and obtaining intelligence on VC activities. The 25th ARVN Division supported several TF search and destroy operations by providing battalion-size blocking forces to help seal off the objective areas. The 25th ARVN Division also conducted several operations in conjunction with operations being conducted by the 1/27 Inf. TF.
a. Intelligence prior to operation: The VC had been active in the operational area, especially around DUC LAP (XT557054) which had been subjected to several attacks, mining incidents, mortar attacks and sniper fire. VC units reported to be operating in AO (?) included the DONG THAP (DT2) Regt consisting of the 267th Bn (strength 400) and the 269th Bn (strength 500); 506th Local Force Bn (strength 300); and C2 Company (strength 75-100). With the exception of C2 Co, which is a local force unit, the VC units are well equipped with assorted small arms and automatic weapons, 60mm and 81mm mortars, 57mm and 75mm Recoilless rifles. According to reports the DUC HOA LIASON ROUTE and VC SUPPLY ROUTE #1 B run through the operational area. A VC safe area was reported as being located in vic of XT5703, XT5903, XT5902. The last named location of known VC units in AO; 267 Bn., DT2 Regt at XT?90015 on 14 Aug 66, 269 Bn. DT2 Regt at XT401050 on 12 Aug 66; 506 Bn at XT 32???? on 9 Aug 66; and C2 Co. at XT6???.
b. Enemy situation during operation: VC resistance was primarily in the form of sniper and harassing fire, and ? of booby traps and ?. Two 60mm mortars??? were fired in vic of ? ? XT5?7??5 ? ? ? mortars were fired from vic XT5404. Villages in areas XT5703 and XT560? were reported bases for guerilla VC platoons. On 030235 May a sqd (+) ambush ?. Co C1/27 made contact with one VC Co. From equipment and other material left after the VC were repulsed, the indications are the 1 VC KIA was a sqd leader of the intelligence plat. C1 Co, 506 LF Bn. Another VC KIA was a member of the local VC Plat based in village vic XT5703. The VC Co evidently was aided in locating the ambush party by 3 women living in a temple vic XT565047. The three women were never located after this incident. Also, found in the area that contact was made were VC camouflaged straw hats, 1 belt of 30 cal MG rounds, CHICOM carbine rounds, M1 and US carbine rounds. The village (563047) where the Co C ambush made contact seemed to be a VC meeting area as reflected by ARVN agent reports and 2 contacts made by this unit in that area resulting in VC KIA. Vic XT582022 there is a rice mill where, while on a search and destroy mission, Co C found ? which ? the VC ? to the rice mill frequently to eat. At times, the reports indicate, the VC numbered 100. The preceding information was also verified by the Sector national Police chief and his US advisor via their agent reports.
c. Terrain and Weather:
(1) Terrain: Terrain in AO _. flat (dried out rice fields) with intermittent wooded areas (hedgerows), where houses are located. Heaviest vegetated area is in VC Safe Are vic XT5703.
(2) Weather: Moderate daily rains and occasional thunderstorms characterized the weather during the period. During the initial days of the operation the weather was hot and humid, but the weather became progressively cooler and more precipitous. The rain did not present a serious obstacle to trafficability on the principal roads; however, in four daily S & D operations ? ? were bogged down in wet, marshy areas. Three different times VIR's were required to return the tanks. APC's had no difficulty in traversing cross-country.
d. Fortifications: The AO had numerous spiderholes and bunkers with overhead cover. During the operation, the Bn TF destroyed or filled up 174 spiderholes, 214 bunkers, 16 trenches, and 6 tunnels.
e. Civic Action/Day One: Evaluation of population and attitudes through the LEDCAP II program, distribution of Helping Hand material, distribution of GVN leaflets (CHIEU HOI, etc.) and pamphlets, distribution of 25th Inf Div. leaflets, and utilization of ARVD MEDCAP, PayOps and Civil Affairs Teams the Task Force established a highly successful and vigorous Civic Action/PayOps program. A leaflet drop (CHIEU HOI and 25th Inf Div 969 leaflets) was conducted 27, 28, 29 and 80 April 1966 at reported VC controller/contented arose. In addition, a ? loudspeaker aircraft, specified curfew from 1900 to ?00 hours daily on the above dates. MEDCAP II was conducted by ? ? ? ? of the 1/8 Arty, DIV MEDCAP team and ARVN MEDCAP Team. The ? ? concentrated their efforts at ? ?. ?????????????????????????????? The PayOps and Civil Affairs teams also completed their assigned missions while accompanying units of the 1/27th Inf.
Helping Hand items to include clothing, soap, canned food, toothpaste and toothbrushes were distributed to approximately 600 villagers in DAU HANH A and B and AP CHANH. Clothing seemed to be in great demand and the villagers wore the clothing distributed either unaltered or altered to Vietnamese fashion. Through the above Civic Action/PayOps programs this BN gained the friendship of the villagers in the AO in a matter of two weeks. Their fears were gone and in DUC HANH B where the VC had destroyed 70% of the homes recently, the population of that village increased three-fold during the period that the 1/27 Inf operated in that area. Also, the villagers began to give information pertaining to the VC more readily after the battalion had been in the area for awhile.
9. Mission. TF 1/27 Inf conducts tactical motor march to AO 270730 Apr 66 and establishes defensive base to block VC Log; conducts search and destroy operations to include ambushes and combat patrols in AP to seek out and destroy VC forces and supplies; prepares to assist or support ¾ Cav element operating from CU CHI to BAO TRAI (XT526044); establish liaison with HAU NGHIA advisor team (XT526044) for coordination of operation and pacification of AO.
10. CONCEPT OF OPERATION: TF 1/27 conducts S & D operations via DUC LAP (XT554052) for approximately three weeks commencing 270730 Apr 06. TF 1/27 conducts motor march from Base Camp to RP (XT582083). On reaching RP, Bn bases established vic DUC LAP utilizing maximum barriers and tactical wire from Bn base, TF will establish night ambushes; conducts S & D operations to include combat patrols, village searches, destruction of VC forces and supplies; and conducts a vigorous civic action program.
11. EXECUTION: 1/27 Inf received 2d Bde OPORD 22?6 dtd 151200 Apr 66, planned the execution of the mission and issued 1st Bn 27th Inf FRAGO ?20 (Operation MAILI) to OPORD 3-66, DTD 251200 Apr 66. TF 1/27 Inf conducted a tactical motor march from base camp to the RP (XT582083) commencing 270130 Apr 66. TF consisted of : Recon Plat, Mort Plat, two SR Radar teams, BO/27, C1/27 with a plat from C1/5 (M), a plat from A1/69 Armor, a plat from B1/65 Engr, 2d, 3d Spt Plat 16 RU, element 25th MID and 6 National Police attached. Upon reaching the RP, B & C 1/27 w/attachments conducted a sweep to a bn base vic XT555060 and established a defensive perimeter with CP locations as follows: Co B - XT 556061. Co C - XT661061. Companies of the 1/27 rotated in AO, but CP locations remained generally the same throughout the operation. On that evening of 27 Apr 66, 6 sqd (+) ambushes wars established XT575074, XT567065, XT571077, XT559078, XT544075 and XT544069. On 271920 Apr 66, the ambush vic XT551071 received S/A fire from vic XT544069. 81mm mortars were fired into the area and the ambush moved to vic XT544075. At 272139 Apr 66, the ambush vic XT544069 was triggered at 3-5 VC. Resuite: 2 VC KLA (BC) with S/A fire. A hand grenade and documents were recovered from the battles. On 28 Apr 66 1/27 (+) augmented by 12 National Police, 6 intelligence personnel and 2 MEDCAP personnel from HAU NGHIA Sector conducted a S & D operation in an area bounded by coordinates XT5510?2, XT56??0, XT546065, and XT??????, Apr 66, B1/27 ?relievied ` VCS vic XT5?????.... destroyed 4 bunkers vic XT555078, XT57068, XT5?7075, XT5560?7 and ? ????? ???? ?? vic XT554067 to XT555078 and destroyed a 150 motor truck along the ???? XT554067 to XT555075. Plat 1/5 (M) located and destroyed 10 grenade and booby traps in area vic XT5520?? - XT 549067. four night ??? (_+_ ???????? were establishe don 28 Aapr with negative contact as follows: XT560065, XT5740?0, XT541069 and XT555077. On 29 Apr B & C 1/27 w/attachments conducted XT520065, XT530000, XT545077 and XT545065. At 290800 2 A3/4 Cav was attached to TF 1/27 and at 1330 hrs began a sweep through the general area of operation Maili with negative contact. On S&D operation B1/27, employing a tank dozer destroyed 20 bunker type foxholes vic XT543073, 14 booby traps vic XT537073 and 46 ? foxholes vic XT53307? B1/27 also located 17 types VC propaganda leaflets vic XT539072 and destroyed 22 flairs canisters vic XT540071. C1/27 apprehended 1 VCS vic XT533065 and 1 VCS vic XT528074, and had 1 WIA from a booby trap vic XT530076, B1/65 Engr had 1 WIA when blade of dozer hit dud on civic actions project vic XT557072. At 290800 Apr 66 A2/27 (+) came under Op/Con of TF 1/27 IAW 2/27 OPORD 33-66 (Opn BULLDOG) dtd 28 Apr 66 and established a Co base vic XT435071. Six night sqd (+) ambushes were established on 29 Apr as follows: XT562048, XT544055, XT47070, XT537027 and XT543043. At 292010 Apr 66 ambush vic XT562048 was triggered at 10-15 VC with S/A auto weapons, mortar and arty fire. Results: 3 VC KIA (BC), 3 VC KIA (Bat). Between 292200 and 292230 Apr 66 A2/27 engaged 16-18 VC vic XT435071 with S/A grenades and mortars. Results: 7 VC KIA (BC) and 6 VC KIA (Est). On 30 Apr 66, C1/27 with attachment conducted S & D operation in an area bounded by coordinates XT557053, XT553042, XT572038, XT575051. At 301010 Apr 66, plat A1/69 Armor was detached to parent unit. C1/27 destroyed 1 AP mine vic XT611043 and employing a tank dozer, destroyed 3 trenches, 1-500 meter long Vic XT566047. 2 A3/4 Cav destroyed 2 tunnels vic XT567044. At 301112 Apr 66 2 A3/4 Cav was given an additional mission of sweeping the village of CP HAU HOA with infantrymen mounted. While conducting this sweep, 2 trenches (130 meters and 80 meters respectively, 9 spider holes and 13 bunkers were destroyed by a tank dozer vic XT567044. Also a tank from 2 A3/4, Cav had a track blown by an AT mine vic XT575037 requiring a VTR for return to ? base. In conjunction with Operation MAILI, the following 5 night sqd (+) ambushes were established during the evening of 30 Apr 66: XT567050, XT558036, XT568064, XT555077 and XT540074. Two sqds (+) were moved by APC's to ambush vic XT568065. While moving to the position, 5 VC were spotted vic XT567065 and 81mm mortar fire was called in. One squad was used as a decoy and conducted a sweep through the area on return to the base. Results: Apprehended 1 VC, who was turned over to MI and then to Nat'l Police in BAO TRAI. In conjunction with Operation BULLDOG, A2/27 established the 4 night sqd (+) ambushes with negative contacts XT440068, XT443072, XT434074 and XT433072. On 1 May 66, C1/27 improved defense positions in the Bn base while B1/27, with attachments, conducted a S & D operation in an area bounded by coordinated XT566073,XT575048, XT573048 and XT594073. 2 A3/4 Cav conducted a fast sweep from N to S through the area and established a blocking position to the S. P1/27 with attachments then conducted a slow, methodical S & D operation from N to S. H1/27 detained 1 ??? vic XT5??064 who was released to ????? ?????? and, ????????? ? ???????????... vic XT581059. A plat from A2/27 ???? a ??????? bounded by coordinates XT430070, XT4?307?, XT4???60 and XT ????54 with negative results. At 0115?0 may 66, A2/27 was ed to base camp and released from op/Con of TF 1/27 at 011830 may 66. On the evening of 1 May the following 4 night squad (+) ambushes were established with negative content: XT562043, XT538067, XT553069 and XT571078. At 012150 May 66, B1/27 engaged approx 8 VC vic XT557057 with 81mm mortar and Arty fire. Results: 2 VC KIA (BC), 4 VC KIA (Est). On 2 May 66, C1/27 conducted a sweep in an area bounded by coordinates XT540057, XT547057, XT540052 and XT547052. Upon returning , C1/27 remained at the Bn base as a security force and to improve defensive perimeter. TF 1/27 (-) conducted a S & D operation from S to N in an area bounded by coordinates XT555090, XT555078, XT568078 and XT574091 with 2 A3/4 Cav (+) blocking to the N. B1/27 engaged 1 VC with S/A vic XT563080 and estimated 1 VC KIA. B1/27, employing a tank dozer, destroyed 35 bunkers (15 ea - XT5610?4, 20 ea - XT568083), 1-50 meter trench vic XT56083 and 10 spider holes vic XT555080. With demolition, B1/27 destroyed one 100 meter tunnel vic XT564???. At 021045 May 66, ?RU reported a VC radio transmitter vic XT551074. At 021100 May 66. 2A3/4 Cav began a sweep from a line between XT550088 and XT555088 to line between XT550073 and XT555073 in an attempt to locate the transmitter but with negative results. At 020856 May 2A1/5(M) returned to base camp and was detached from TF 1/27. During the evening of 2 May 66, the following 4 sqd (+) ambushes were established: XT536076, XT552075, XT56404 and XT519075. Between 030050 - 030205 may 66 the portion of the Bn base defensive perimeter occupied by Co's Ba nd C 1/27 received a total of 21 incoming rifle grenades. Claymores and 81mm mortars were fired into area where the grenades were believed to have come from. A sweep into this are at first light revealed the following: 2 US rifle grenade duds, 3 CHICOM rifle grenades, 2 US grenade fin assemblies, 1 CHICOM grenade fin assembly, 15 rds 7.95 crimped cart and 1 7.62 expanded cartridge. This action appeared to be a diversionary action. At 030205 May 66, the C1/27 ambush vic XT564046 received the first of 2 coordinated attacks by 2 main force plats and 1 local force plat (50-75 men) wearing steel helmets. As the ambush fired claymores and S/A, the VC withdrew at approx 0210 hrs and then attacked from 3 sides at 030215 May 66. The attack came from the NE, SE, and SW. Arty fire was called in and at 030235 May 66, Co 1/27 dispatched a rifle plat and 2A3/4 Cav to the ambush site. Re-enforcements arrived at ambush site at 030245 May 66 and then action terminated at approx 030300 May 66. Results: 10 losses: 5 KIA, 5 WIA (includes 1 counterterrorist). 31 VC IA (BC) verified by reports for sector S2 Agent, Regional forces leader and Sector S3/Sector S2. Upon conducting a sweep in the ambush area at first light, plat C1/27 captured 9 VCs hiding in bushes in vic of night's action (2 were later confirmed to be VCC by Nat'l Police) and the following items: 1-M1 rifle, 1 carbine, 2 carbine ammo pouches, 1 pr Vietnamese jungle boots, 5 BAR magazines, 2 hand grenades (US), 1 smoke grenade, approx 150 rnds assorted 3/A ammo, 2 ponchos, 3 field caps, 1 straw helmet and 1 M79 expanded cart. 2 VC bodies were left in the area of the ambush, 1 of which was identified as a Sqd leader. Intelligence Plat 1st Co 506 Bn by information located in the lined shirt he was wearing. From this time until TF 1/27 Inf. Returned to base camp, the area of this ambush was made an outpost dended by a platoon. On the morning of 3 May 66, 2C1/27 and 2A3/4 Cav (-) established a blocking position vic XT527103 to XT5520?5. A1/27 conducted an A/? assault from base camp to an LZ vic Xt5????6 and started a S & P operation to the NW and SW toward the ?????? ??????. (4 lines unreadable) S & D operation was halted and A1/27 was trucked to ??? A? 03?20? May 66. B1/27 began a S & D operation to the ? at 03??3? May 66. An additional platoon from 2/27 conducted an Eagle flight and landed vic XT556018, linked up with 2 APC's from 2A3/4 Cav and established a blocking position to the S. A227 destroyed 5 booby traps vic XT555024 and destroyed 2 tunnels each having a C who would not come out. Results: 2 VC KIA (??) and 2 tunnels destroyed. B1/27 employing a tank dozer, destroyed 30 bunkers (XT57?0?8), 6 booby traps (XT58?092), 1-40 mortar trench and 4 bunkers (XT583035) and 40 spider holes (XT519028). At 031600 May 66, A2/27 began air lift to base camp from vic XT557089. An Eagle flight plat blocked until extracation was complete, joined B1/27 and returned to the Bn base where they were also extracted to base camp by air. 2A3/4 Cav was replaced in the operational area by 3A3/4 Cav and B1/27 was trucked to base camp and closed at 031815 May 66. During the evening of 3 May 66, the following squad (+) ?????????? were established with negative contact: XT555077, XT571078, XT579075 and XT5660?9. At 032046 May 66, C1/27 received incoming S/A fire and approx 3 rifle grenades from vic XT551065. Fire was returned with M79, 81mm mortar and Arty. At 032055, B1/65 Engr received approx 12 rds of incoming automatic weapons fire from vic XT549068. Fire was returned with S/A and M79 fire. Results: Firing ceased; B1/65 Engr received 1 WIA. At 041130 may 66, C1/27 conducted a plat (-) sweep around their permanent outpost vic DUC HANH B (XT576076) and a platoon sweep of AP CHANH (6) (XT543055). A1/27 conducted a squad (+) sweep in the woodline in front of their sector of the defensive perimeter at 041130 May 66 and established a day outpost vic XT551066. All Actions had negative contact. TF 1/27 (-) concentrated on improvement of defensive positions. During the evening of 4 May 66, the following 4 sqd (+_ ambushes were established with negative contact: XT535073, XT553042, XT579075 and XT 5740f50. At 050830 May 66, A1/27, with attachments, departed Bn. Base on tracks from 3A3/4 Cav and began a S&D operation to the E and S in an area bounded by coordinates XT594040, XT592027, XT601027 and XT604040. At 050900 May 66, C1/27 conducted an A/M assault from a loading zone at Air America strip (XT544052) to an LZ vic XT573025 and began a S&D operation generally from N to S in an area bounded by coordinates XT593014, XT 583028, XT583008, XT28302 and XT604040. C1/27 apprehended 1 VCS vic XT582022 and another VC vic XT585020. C1/27 received 4 WIA's from booby traps vic XT580018, 13 booby traps vic XT584022, 9 booby traps vic XT583016, 2 trenches at XT581025 and XT583025, 12 bunkeers vic XT582024, 7 spider holes vic XT583014, 5 spider holes vic XT580016 and 8 spider holes vic XT584016. A1/27 received 2 WIA from booby traps vic XT595033. At 053550 May 66, C1/27 extracted from vic XT589015 to Bn base by helicopter and A1/27 with attachments returned mounted to Bn. Base. During thee vening of 5 May 66 the following 4 sqd (+) ambushes were established with negative contact: Xt547085, XT553037, XT579075, and XT569055. At 061232 may 66 Co's C and A 1/27 began A/M assault from a loading zone vic XT544052 to lZ's vic XT582111 and XT534100 respectively and started S & D operations in an area bounded by coordinates XT530115, XT553097, (14 lines unreadable) from vic XT566082. Fire was returned and infantry with 2 APC ??? to engage the snipers who quickly broke contact. B1/27 destroyed a tunnel XT556075. A1/27 commanded a daylight sweep in wooded area vic XT?????? ??? vic XT553067 with negative contact. The following night sqd (?) ambushes were established on 7 May 66 with negative contact: XT559??7, XT5???75, ST55???? And XT608158. On 8 May 66, B1/27 (beinf) conducted an A?M assault on an LZ vic XT566004 and a S & D operation in an area bounded by XT5502, XT5602, XT5500 and XT5600. B1/27 destroyed 5 booby traps vic XT562006, 7 booby traps vic XT554027, 3 booby traps vic XT5550?8 and employing a tank dozer, destroyed 3 trences (660-800 meter total) vic vic XT561?09- ST565013 and 20 spider holes vic XT5500??. Two incoming 60mm mortar rds were received vic XT54??50 and XT556056, causing no damage. Shell reports indicated rounds were fired from the village of ARG? CAO (1) (XT543043). Gunships were immediately dispatched to search out area. B1/27 also searched village on return from S & D operation All results were negative. A1/27 conducted a platoon sweep vic AP DuC NGAI (2) (XT553067) with negative results. Upon completion of S & D operation, 1A3/4 Cav replaced 3A3/4 Cav in AO. During the eveing of 8 May, TF 1/27 established the following sqd (+) ambushes with negative contact: XT545053, XT579075, XT544043, and XT558040. On 9 May 66 a tank dozer on a road clearing mission hit a mine vic XT569069 and blew a track. A searchof this area revealed another AT mine and 2 AP mines which were destroyed in place. A1/27 with attachments conducted a S & D operation in grid squares XT5706, XT 5806, XT5906, XT6006, XT6105 and XT6205. 1/46 ARVN Regt blocked to the SE vic XT,610030, XT625040, and XT620041 and the 34th ARVN Ranger Bn occupied positions vic XT620020, XT630023 and XT640029 to reinforce and to search these areas for VC equip and material. A light fire team delivered interdictory fires to assist in sealing off objective area to the N and R. and elements of 1A3/4 Cav provided a blocking force to the South. A1/27 destroyed a booby trap and burned a suspected booby trapped area with a flame APC resulting in 2 secondary explosions vic XT583070. the flame APC was again used to burn a suspected booby trapped area vic XT549068 resulting in 2 secondary explosions. B1/27 conducted a plat sweep vic Air America Airfield 9XT543049) and AP Go Cao (2) (XT543042) with negative results. During the evening of 9 May 66, the following sqd (+) ambushes were established with negative contact: XT543971, XT579075, XT569055 and XT544038. At 100?04 May 66 ????? radar picked up movement of 7-8 personnel vic XT559055. 81mm mortar and Arty were fired on the location and an estimated 4 VC KIA. On 10 May 66 B1/27, with attachments, conducted a S & D operation in grid squares XT5701, XT5702, XT5801 and XT5802. A flame APC hit an AT mine vic XT557037 causing 7 US WIA. Three VCS were apprehended vic ST582027. A1/27 conducted a plat sweep vic XT553068 and destroyed 2 AT and 2 AP mines vic XT563058. A1/27 received 1 WIA from an AP mine in this same general area. TF 1/27 established 4 sqd (+) ambushes during the evening of 10 May 66 with negative results as follows: XT559077, XT 574073, XT553037 and XT566946. On 11 May 66, A1/27 conducted a sweep vic XT563058 with 2 rifle sqds, a demolitions sqd and aflame APC destroying 6 booby traps and 1 AP mine in the area. B1/27 conducted a plat daylight sweep in the wooded area adjacent AP CHAU H (6) (XT543055) with negative contact. During the evening of 11 Mar 66 TF 1/27 established 4 ambushes with negative contact at XT563054, XT575073, XT539071 and XT542056. During the night of 11-12May TF 1/27 conducted a night operation with mission of encircling a village complex and conducting a thorough search of the area at first light. At 120300 May 66, encirclement of the village complex AP DUC NAGI-X0 THALA (XT5507) commenced when the plat size ambush force from C1/27 vic X5?2056 began movement to form a block to the West. At 120340 May, the block to the West was completed and C1/7 (-) with ARVN attachments, began movement from the Bn base to form blocks to the North and East. At 120555 May 66, all blocks were in position and the ARVN Pay war teams made an announcement to the villagers that the villages were surrounded and were going to be thoroughly searched. At 120600 May 66, C1/27 (-) began search of villages generally from NE to SW. C1/27 apprehended 2 VCS vic XT555076 and 2 VCS vic XT 549075. The S & D operation terminated at 0930 hours. At 121400 May 66, TF 1/27 began movement from Bn. Base to base camp CU CHI. During this operaton the company of 1/27th that was at base camp CU CHI aggressively defended the 1/27 defensive perimeter by conducting daylight plat sweeps and establishing night sqd (+) security force at the BAC HA Church vic XT643140 until 1/27 was relieved of this mission at 061200 May 66.
a. VC losses: 47 KiA (BC), 24 KIA (Poss), 2 VCC, 21 VCS.
(1) Captured and destroyed enemy equipment and materiel:
214 bunkers destroyed
174 spiderholes destroyed
85 booby traps destroyed
16 trenches destroyed
6 tunnels destroyed
1 house burned
8 hand grenades destroyed
5 AP Mines destroyed
3 AT mines destroyed
1 M-79 grenade destroyed
4 sampans destroyed
1 M1 rifle captured
4 CHICOM rifle grenades captured
2 U.S. rifle grenades captured
150 rds S/A ammo captured
3 types of propaganda leaflets (VC) captured
b. Friendly Losses: 5 KIA, 22 WIA (1 CT, 1 ARVN).
(1) Friendly eqpuipment damaged:
1 dozer tank
1 flame APC
13. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS.
a. Supply: All resupply was made by motor convoy. Vehicles departed Bn. Base after road from DUC LAP to CU CHI was cleared by tank dozer or engineer mine-sweeping team in the morning and returned to Bn. Base with supplies in the afternoon.
b. Maintenance: Normal maintenance of weapons and equipment was performed prior to, during and after operations. During the 16 day operation the battalion's three rifle companies were rotated on a five to seven day basis, and one rifle company defended the 1/27 Inf. Base camp perimeter and had five to seven days to work on maintenance of weapons and equipment.
c. Treatment and evacuation of casualties: The battalion aid station was located forward with the Bn. CP group. WIA's not seriously wounded were evacuated by available helicopter. Seriously injured were evacuated by dust-off helicopters.
d. Transportation: Battalion made effective use of motor transportation to move the battalion to the AO and for all resupply missions. All convoys were protected by armed escorts and gunships.
e. Communications: FM radio communications was excellent throughout the conduct of the operation. AM/RTT communications from Bn base to CU CHI was very slow due to large volume of other traffic on assigned frequencies.
14. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES.
a. Starlight devices were taken by all combat elements and utilized effectively by patrols and elements defending the perimeter.
b. flame APC's were used to burn suspected booby traps or mined areas.
c. Artillery shell casings filled with thickened fuel were employed throughout the perimeter (5-6 per company) as an expedient flame fougasse.
d. Composite Vietnamese teams, consisting of intelligence, paywar, medical and national police troops, were integrated into the U.S. rifle companies and accompanied the U.S. troops in all operations. This method was extremely effective in that it allowed a more thorough search of the area by elements of the TF.
15. COMMANDERS ANALYSIS.
a. The operation was a valuable experience for the leaders of this battalion in that it afforded them an opportunity to work closely with ARVN personnel and with leaders of armored cavalry elements at the small unit level.
b. The operation can be considered a success, in that, after a costly attempt by the VC to destroy a US force in an ambush position, there was virtually no contact made with any VC force in the area for the last ten days of the operation and control of the area was withheld from the VC for the duration of the operation. US forces moved at will day or night in the area of the operation.
c. The area of influence of the battalion TF comprised a rough circle of approximately 12 kilometers in diameter, considering the terrain and enemy situation as it existed in HAU NGHIA Province.
d. Daily meetings with the Province Chief and his staff and U.S. Advisors proved most beneficial and improved working relationships between the ARVN forces and U.S. Forces.
e. This operation allowed the GVN to extend its influence to most of the hamlets in the area.
f. The freedom of action given the battalion commander allowed him to react to the situation in the area of operations and to apply the proper force at the critical time and place without restriction.
a. That engineer support be attached to any battalion TF conducting area pacification mission in order to work on roads and other constructions so vitally important to the Vietnamese people.
b. That armored infantry or mechanized infantry elements be attached to any battalion TF on separate missions such as Operation MAILI, to allow the broad TF greater flexibility and to have a quick-reaction force.
c. That liaison be established with appropriate governmental officers and U.S. advisors at the earliest opportunity and daily meetings to set up during the entire period of a pacification operation.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
PAUL R. FLEBOTTE