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After Action Report 52
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCCS 14 November 1968
MEMORANDUM FOR: CO, 4TH Battalion (M), 23rd Infantry
CO, 1st Battalion (M), 5th Infantry
CO, 2nd Battalion (M), 22nd Infantry
CO, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
CO, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor
SUBJECT: Recovery of Mired Vehicles with CH-47 Helicopter
1. While in Vietnam as Commanding General of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the Commanding General experimented with the use of CH-47 helicopters to extract APC's which had become mired in deep mud. The Commanding General then directed that a test be conducted here at Cu Chi, utilizing a CH-47 helicopter to determine whether an APC, which was mired in a rice paddy, could be extracted.
2. The test, designated OPERATION MUCK OUT , was conducted on 14 October 1968. One CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 242nd AH8C, two pathfinders from 269th Aviation Battalion, one APC from 3 /4 Cav, and one sling, four legged horse, 15,000 pounds, FSN-1670-902-3080 were used for this test.
3. On two separate occasions the APC was extracted by using the CH-47 and the four legged horse fastened to four of the eight possible places it can be attached on the APC. Using various connections, the CH-47 provided the APC, which was assisting with its own power, enough lift to free itself.
4. Any unit requiring assistance to extract mired APC's may request a MUCK OUT by calling the Division TOC (G-3). Division TOC (G-3) will then notify AAE. AAE will request that a CH-47, one UH1 helicopter, with pathfinder and four legged horse sling, be dispatched to the requesting unit's location. Frequency to be used should be either the primary or alternate command push of the element requesting the MUCK OUT.
For the commander:
GORDON SUMNER, JR.
Chief of Staff
LRP AFTER ACTION REPORT
REPORTING UNIT: LRP TEAM NO. 15 DATE OF REPORT: 22 Jan 69
DATE - TIME GROUP AND COORDINATES OF DATE-TIME AND COORDINATES OF
INSERTION: 161150 JAN 69 XT529357 EXTRACTION: 171045 Jan 69 XT528353
TEAM MEMBERS AND POSITIONS:
1. TEAM LEADER SSG RIDDELL METHOD OF INSERTION: UH1D
2. ASST TL SGT JANSZWESKI
METHOD OF EXTRACTION: C TROOP 3 /4 CAV
SGT DEVEGA PFC MC NEILY
SP4 NYE PFC MRKVICKA
PFC PORTER KCS HUNG REASON FOR EXTRACTION: TOO CLOSE TO FRIENDLY FORCES
PFC WOODFORK SSG SPICER
MISSION: Team 15's primary mission was to ambush enemy personnel and if the opportunity arose, capture an enemy soldier.
1161150 Team 15 was inserted by UH1D in the vicinity of coordinates XT529357. The team had moved approximately 30 meters into the wood-line on an azimuth of 280 degrees when they received three sniper rounds from an AK47 on an azimuth of 280 degrees, approximately 100 meters from
the team. The team also found a foxhole four feet wide by four feet long by four feet deep. The position had been freshly dug. The team estimates it was less than one week old.
161220 Team 15 monitored three single shots fired from an AK47 on an azimuth of 50 degrees, 150 meters from the team. At this time the team was still in route to their OP.
161234 Team 15 moved into their OP in the vicinity of coordinates XT529359.
161625 Team 15 observed five enemy soldiers moving South on a trail 75 meters east of 15's OP. The enemy were moving too rapidly and were too for away to effectively engage with small arms. The enemy were wearing black PJ's, no headgear and were armed with AK47's.
161630 Team 15 observed three more enemy personnel moving South on the trail, 75 meters East of their OP. Again the enemy were wearing black PJ's and were armed with AK47's.
161700 Team 15 monitored Third Squadron Fourth Cavalry tracks moving towards their OP on an azimuth of 200 degrees. When the tracks were approximately 500 meters from the team, a fire fight broke out between the tracks and the enemy.
161710 Team 15 observed eight enemy personnel moving towards the Northeast on an azimuth of 100 degrees, approximately 100 meters from the team. The team reported that the enemy were wearing black PJ's but they could not identify the type of weapons the enemy was armed with.
161730 Team 15 made radio contact with Third Squadron Fourth Cavalry tracks and informed them of movement towards their position.
161750 Team 15 observed two enemy personnel on an azimuth of 360 degrees, 100 meters from their OP. The enemy were moving West. The enemy were armed with AK47's and were wearing black PJ's.
161800 Team 15 observed one enemy soldier moving towards the Northeast on an azimuth of 300 degrees, approximately 100 meters from their OP. The team could not see the type of uniform the enemy was wearing or what type of weapon he was armed with.
161810 Team 15 monitored heavy movement heading West 150 meters to the North of their position. The team could not determine the number of personnel moving.
161820 Team 15 began having 50 caliber rounds crack over their heads. The rounds were being fired from A Troop tracks who at that time was engaged in a fire fight with the enemy.
161840 A gun-ship supporting A Troop was sent to 15's position. The team directed gun runs on enemy movement 50 to 150 meters north of their position.
161900 to Team 15 monitored heavy movement heading towards the South-west, 100 to 200 meters East 1930 of their position. The team could not determine the number of personnel that passed their position.
161945 A fire fight with the Third Squadron Fourth Cavalry tracks broke out again and the team began receiving both AK47 and 50 caliber rounds in and around their position.
162015 Team 15 monitored light movement on an azimuth of 210 degrees, 300 meters from their position. The team could not determine the number of personnel or the direction of movement. At the same time the team monitored light movement towards the Southeast on a 90 degree azimuth, approximately 75 meters from their position.
170830 Team 15 received word to move to C Troop's position.
170930 Team 15 moved on an azimuth of 220 degrees for 600 meters. While moving, the team was being followed by an enemy force of undetermined size.
171045 Team 15 reached C Troop's position in the vicinity of coordinates XT528353 and was extracted by tracks.
M/Sgt. Stellins, Operations Sgt.
4th BN - 9 Inf. Regt, 25th Inf Div.
War Zone C - Vietnam
Mar 1969 - Mar 1970
U.S. ARMY VIETNAM
COMBAT LESSONS BULLETIN
NUMBER 6 24 May 1969
DEFENSE OF PATROL BASE FRONTIER CITY
Quick reaction lessons learned published by HQ USARV have emphasized the fact that small units are subject o defeat in detail when they do not make adequate preparations, adhere to basic fundamentals, and fail to be physically and mentally alert. This Combat Lessons Bulletin describes an action of Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. This company prepared itself, applied basic fundamentals of combat, and exhibited a high degree of alertness. The outcome was a highly successful combat action which resulted in the defeat of a larger enemy force.
Patrol Base (PB) Frontier City was one of a series established along the Cambodian border by the 25th Infantry Division. It was situated in flat open terrain, approximately three kilometers from the border, in an area which intelligence revealed to be heavily infiltrated by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. The terrain surrounding the base was generally open, except for small wooded areas southwest of the base. Dense brush lined a stream which ran 450 meters southwest of the base.
A key concept in the planning, and a critical factor in the successful defense of PB Frontier City was the capability to build a fortified company position in one day. In order to accomplish this, two companies, two bulldozers and prepackaged bunker kits were used. Personnel, construction materials and equipment were air-lifted into the site. A Large bulldozer was rafted to a point near the site and then driven overland.
CONSTRUCTION OF PB FRONTIER CITY
Construction began at 0800 hours on the morning of 24 April 1969. The base was to be circular in configuration (see figure 1). The bunker line, 80 meters in diameter, consisted of 24 positions. The positions were constructed by Company c, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, using bunker kits. Each kit consisted of a 15 pound shaped charge, two pieces of steel planking and a bundle of sand-bags. A triple concertina barrier was constructed 75 meters outside of the bunker line by Company A, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry. Between the barrier and the bunker line, 300 claymores were emplaced in two concentric circles. The bulldozers cleared the entire area out to 100 meters beyond the wire. Next they dug ammunition storage pits within the perimeter. Finally they prepared interior berms for the two 105mm howitzers and built up an earth wall between the bunkers. The howitzers, a pre-fabricated 20 foot radar tower, a starlight observation telescope and an AN/PPS-4 radar were lifted in to complete the base. By 1700 hours construction was complete. Company A was extracted by air and Company C assumed the defense of Frontier City.
At 1945 hours on 25 April, the radar picked up movement of a company sized unit to the south-west (see figure 2). This target was not immediately engaged. At 2100 hours the starlight scope picked up a platoon sized element 1000 meters from the base. This unit was positioning RPG launchers and ammunition along a rice paddy dike. At 2200 hours the radar picked up heavy movement to the west. Another platoon was sighted in the starlight scope. The battalion S3, who was the senior officer present, directed that the perimeter and enemy position be marked. Railroad flares and smudge-pots marked the perimeter. 81mm mortars fired to illuminate the target. With both the enemy and friendly positions well defined, the S3 called in a flare-ship/gun-ship team, which had earlier been placed on station. At 2230 hours, 8 inch, 155mm and 105mm artillery fired the first of two firecracker TOT's in the target area. At 2300 hours, a second TOT was fired and a second helicopter team expended. The base's two howitzers were then directed to fire a 360 degree direct fire mission ranging from 50 to 1000 meters from the wire. By 2330 hours fires had ceased, but radar continued to indicate heavy movement.
At 035 hours the initial rounds of a heavy mortar and rocket preparation began impacting around the base. At 0100 hours the enemy launched a battalion sized attack from the south. The wire was blown in one location by a Bangalore torpedo, and 11 enemy penetrated the barrier. Immediately claymores were blown in the penetrated area. A 90mm recoilless rifle and two M60 machine-guns further blunted the attack. Finally two light fire teams orbiting in the area engaged the enemy and started the rout. The enemy tried to escape under the cover of heavy fires, but artillery and air bombardment continued to devastate the enemy troops and destroy his supporting weapons. By 0330 hours all significant enemy action had ceased. As a result of this battle 214 enemy were killed, six prisoners were taken, and 64 individual weapons and 13 crew served weapons were captured. Large quantities of munitions were captured and destroyed. Only one defender was wounded.
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE U.S.. SUCCESS
A LARGERENEMYU FORCE WAS DEFEATED BY AN ALERT, WLL PREPARED US FORCE. Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry was well prepared for anything the enemy had to offer. The result was the virtual destruction of an enemy battalion.
a. ALERTNESS: The defenders of Patrol Base Frontier City exhibited a high degree of alertness. The enemy was located and engaged well outside the defensive perimeter.
b. DETAILED PLANNING: Prior planning provided for the timely arrival of troops, equipment and construction materials.
c. METICULOUS PREPARATION: The US forces were able to defeat a greatly superior force because of superbly prepared defenses.
d. FIRE COORDINATION: Skillful coordination of available fires allowed the defenders to devastate the enemy.
e. COMMUNICATIONS: Using wire and FM equipment organic to a rifle company, the defenders were able to skillfully control their own forces and all supporting fires.
f. INNOVATION: Several imaginative techniques were employed in this operation which permitted unusually effective employment of available equipment and fire support. These included:
(1) The concept of a rapidly constructed hardened PB.
(2) Rafting a bulldozer into position.
(3) Use of a prefabricated radar /observation tower.
(4) Use of bunker kits.
(5) Use of PB artillery as a direct fire defensive weapon.
In RVN small units must be constantly prepared against attacks by larger forces. Proper use of the superior mobility, firepower and communications available to US forces will assure their victory. The following lessons can be learned from this action.
a. Units which are continually alert will not be surprised.
b. Detailed planning permits the efficient use of resources in the manner that will best assist the accomplishment of the mission.
c. No effort should be spared to strengthen a defensive position at the earliest feasible time. The enemy frequently attacks US forces shortly after they have occupied a position, hoping to catch them unprepared.
d. Even the smallest US unit can bring devastating fires to bear, provided that supporting fires are properly employed. Competent fire direction personnel and alternate means of communication are indispensable.
e. Under favorable conditions, electronic surveillance can supplement or entirely replace security out-posts.
f. An imaginative approach to any situation will allow standard techniques to be tailored to the specific situation in such a manner as to best accomplish the mission.
Through the timely use of intelligence and the skillful and imaginative employment of available resources, elements of the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry were able to decisively engage and defeat a larger force. Commanders at all levels who demand the highest standards of preparation and readiness will save lives and insure similar successes on the battlefield.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
GEORGE L. MABRY, JR.
Major General, US Army
Chief of Staff
USARV G3 DST - 50
COMUSMACV, ATTN: MACJ3-05 - 10
7th AF - 10
COMNAVFORV - 10
III MAF - 10
SA IV CTZ - 10
CINCUSARPAC, ATTTN: GPOP-DT-5
USCONARC, Ft. Monroe, Va - 5
USACDC, Ft Belvoir, Va - 5
USAARMS, Ft Knox, Ky - 5
USAIS, Ft. Benning, Ga - 5
REPORTING UNIT: LRP TEAM NO. 11 DATE OF REPORT: 15 JAN 69
DATE-TIME GROUP AND COORDINATES OF DATE-TIME GROUP AND CORDINATES OF INSERTION: 071135 JAN 69 XT578294 EXTRACTION: 091907 JAN 69 XT579297
TEAM MEMBERS AND POSITIONS:
METHOD OF INSERTION: UH1D
1. TEAM LEADER SSG DENT
2. ASST TL SGT LONG
TEAM MEMERS METHOD OF EXTTRACTION: UH1D
SSG BYRD SP4 MARNEY
SGT THORNTON SP4 MADRID
SP4 GURROBAT PFC CRACH
SP4 TURNAAGE PFC POMMERENK REASON FOR EXTRACTION: MISSION COMPLETED
MISSION: Team 11's primary mission was to plant “duffel bag” devices. The team's secondary mission was to ambush enemy personnel and if the opportunity arose, capture an enemy soldier.
071135: Team 11 was inserted by UH1D in the vicinity of coordinates XT578294. On the LZ, the team found a tunnel approximately twenty feet long by four feet in diameter. The tunnel had entrances on either end. One of the entrances was in an open hole approximately ten feet in diameter by five feet deep. On the opposite wall of the hole there was another tunnel entrance approximately four feet in diameter. The other tunnel was not checked out because the team was exposed and the team leader wanted to move off the LZ. Inside the one tunnel that was checked out, the team found a metal canteen, a khaki shirt and one wax candle. The team estimates the tunnel to have been less than one month old. In the area around the tunnel
entrances, the team found boot prints that were less than one week old. (Note: A diagram of the tunnel layout is included with this report.)
071325 The team moved to coordinates XT57882941 and implanted their no. 4 “duffel bag” device.
071355: Team 11 received automatic fire from an estimated two AK-47's. The enemy fire was coming from a position approximately 100 meters to the West of their location. One of the team members returned fire without permission and in doing so compromised the teams position. The team did not believe they had been spotted by the enemy. The team leader felt it would be better to move the team than sitting in one place waiting to be hit. The team moved approximately 30 meters when they halted because they could hear voices and movement 35 meters to their Southwest.
071430: Team 11 called for a reaction force from A Troop 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry to move into their area.
071445 Team 11 was informed that A Troop elements had made contact with an enemy force while moving towards the team OP.
071500: While A troop was in the middle of their fire fight 600 meters to the North of team 11, the movement around the team's position had increased and shifted to the North, between A Troop and the team.
071520: An estimated enemy force of eight to twelve personnel opened up on the team with a heavy volume of AK-47 fire. The team received two RPG rounds. The team did not return fire because they would be firing in the direction of friendlies. The enemy was located to the North approximately 50 meters from the team. After the initial burst of fire, the enemy fires became sporadic.
071540 When the sound of A Troop's tracks could be heard moving towards 11's position, the enemy stopped firing altogether.
071630: Team 11 moved 200 meters to the North and linked up with A Troop in the vicinity of coordinates XT568296.
071815: Team 11 arrived at A Troop's night laager position in the vicinity of coordinates XT565318. The team remained for the night inside A Troop's perimeter.
080800 Team 11 moved out with A Troop and was dropped off in the vicinity of coordinates XT577299
One was wearing a black shirt with dark blue pants, one was wearing a dark blue shirt with green pants, and one was wearing a dark blue shirt with black pants. All three were wearing flop hats and Ho Chi Minh sandals. The results of the ambush were two VC KIA (BC), two AK-47's and a packet of documents captured. The enemy point man managed to escape the team's kill zone and run to cover. When gun-ships came on station, the team made a sweep of the area toward the East, the direction in which the enemy point man had run. On the sweep the team found a pair of Ho Chi Minh sandals that had been discarded by the enemy. The team found nothing more and it was beginning to get dark, so the team moved to their LZ to be extracted. While the extraction ships were inbound, team 11 received two rifle grenades that splashed 20 meters from their position. The team could not determine where the grenades had been fired from. The team suffered one WIA.
091907 Team 11 was extracted by UH1D in the vicinity of coordinates XT579297
18TH MILITARY HISTORY DETACHMENT
25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDOMH 8 July 1968
SUBJECT: Combat After Action Interview Report
1. NAME AND TYPE ORGANIZATION: 2ND Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry.
2. INCLUSIVE DATES OF OPERATION: 19 - 20 June 1968
3. LOCATION: XT84092, map reference, VIETNAM, 1:50,000, Sheet 6330 IV, Series L8020
4. CONTROL OR COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
5. PERSONS BEING INTERVIEWED:
a. SP4 RICHARD J. HAYES, RA11622281, Assistant Squad Leader, 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry.
b. SGT. DANIEL W. QUINLAN, RA19873541, Squad Leader, 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry.
c. SP4 LARRY E. STREIGHT, RA16906398, 4TH Squad, 2nd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry
d. PFC DAVID J. DUNN, US56933739, 2ND Squad, 2nd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry.
e. PFC CARY BRITTON, US55945978, c Company, 65th Engineer Battalion, attached to C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry.
f. PSGT WOODROW MITNAUL, RA44164985, Platoon Sergeant, 2nd Platoon, C Company 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry.
g. CPT. WILLIAM A. COLEMAN, 05710528, S-2, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry
h. MAJ BRUCE G. LMSALLEY, OF113285, S-3, 1ST Battalion, 27th Infantry
6. INTERVIEWER: SGT DENNIS A. SMITH, US54961693, 18th Military History Detachment.
7. TASK ORGANIZATION: 2nd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry.
8. SUPPORTING FORCES:
a. 3rd Platoon, B Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry
b. D Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry
c. B Battery, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery
d. C Battery, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery
e. B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 13th Artillery
f. 25th Aviation Battalion.
g. 116th Assault Helicopter Company.
h. 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron.
9. INTELLIGENCE: Agent reports, visual aerial reconnaissance, people-sniffer mission readouts, prisoner of war interrogation, and captured enemy documents all indicated that the vicinity around XT784092 was being used extensively by VC/NVA forces as a supply and infiltration (ex-filtration) route into the SAIGON - TAN SON NHUT - HOC MON complex. Enemy units positively identified as operating within this area were the 88th NVA Regiment and the 101st NVA Regiment. The position XT784092 is located approximately 15 kilometers northeast of SAIGON and three kilometers west of the SAIGON RIVER. The terrain here is characterized by flat, low lying, uncultivated rice paddies. The land is compartmented by two to three feet dikes overgrown with heavy underbrush and bamboo thickets (hedgerows). The paddies are marshy with one to two feet of mud under approximately one to three feet of water. The water level in the paddies varies throughout the day because of tidal actions on the SAIGON RIVER. A heavy growth of grass and reeds three to four feet in height covers the paddies. The general area is further characterized by numerous north-south canals and streams flowing into the RACH TRA, an east-west tributary of the SAIGON RIVER. These canals and streams are lined with heavy under-growth and bamboo thickets. The area in the immediate vicinity of XT784092 is unpopulated. (CAPT. COLEMAN and MAJ SMALLEY)
10. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry had moved into its area of operations generally north of SAIGON - TAN SON NHUT - HOC MON and west of the SAIGON RIVER on 13 June, 1968. Maneuver elements of the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division had been operating in this general area since early May as part of an overall Division mission to seal off the northern and western approaches to SAIGON to intercept and destroy VC/NVA forces attempting to infiltrate into the capital city area. On 13 June the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry relieved the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry in place. Using a combination of daylight helicopter borne combat assaults - reconnaissance in force operations and night ambush patrols along likely avenues of approach, the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry had experienced several small scale contacts with the enemy and had located and captured numerous weapons, ammunition and supply caches. On the night of 18 June 1968, the Battalion Headquarters, C Company (minus its 2nd Platoon) and D Company were located in a night defensive position at XT805050. A Company occupied a night position at XT783058 and B Company was positioned at XT758025. 2nd Platoon, C Company was given the night mission of securing the HOC MON Bridge on Route #1 at XT711071. (CAPT. COLEMMAN and MAJ SMALLEY)
11. MISSION: The mission of the 2nd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry on 19 June was to conduct Eagle Flights (helicopter borne combat assaults) within the battalion's area of operations. The Eagle Flights were designed to have a platoon size force airborne and available for quick insertion to targets of opportunity as they developed on the ground. The mission of other elements of the battalion was as follows: The 3rd Platoon, A Company was airlifted into a landing zone at XT774088 and conducted a reconnaissance-in-force to the south of this location; B Company, which had conducted night ambush patrols the previous night, remained in its night location to prepare for an ambushing mission for the night of the 19th; C Company, minus its 2nd Platoon, was air-lifted to a landing zone at XT753057 to conduct reconnaissance-in-force in this general area; D Company was airlifted into a landing zone at XT761097 with a mission of searching to the south along the banks of a north-south canal which began at the landing zone. (CAPT. COLEMAN and MAJOR SMALLEY)
12. CONCEPT OF THE OPERATION AND EXECUTION: At approximately 0900 the 2nd Platoon, C Company was picked up by five helicopters at its night position near the HOC MON Bridge. After going airborne, the platoon was ordered to land on a road in the battalion's area of operations and check a large group of civilians observed moving along the roadway. The platoon landed at approximately 1000 hours and commenced checking identification cards of the civilians on the road and searching ox-drawn vehicles being used by the group. Meanwhile, D Company had been inserted into its landing zone at XT781097. In over-flying the D Company landing zone after the insertion, helicopter pilots observed several VC running along a canal several hundred meters southeast of D Company's landing zone. This canal paralleled the canal along which D Company was to perform its search and destroy mission. (CAPT COLEMAN)
Reacting to this intelligence, the battalion commander ordered the 2nd Platoon, C Company to be inserted at XT784092 to sweep south along the canal in question. The platoon would sweep south 1,000 meters to a position at XT788084 where it would link up with D Company which was moving along the parallel canal to the west. The 2nd Platoon's landing zone was “preped” with a CS gas drop to flush out any VC which might be located in the area. (CAPT. COLEMAN and MAJOR SMALLEY)
The platoon was picked up by its five helicopters and immediately moved to its new landing zone, arriving there at approximately 1100 hours. The landing zone was marked by a smoke grenade and the five helicopters entered the landing zone in an echelon formation. This formation was used in order to deliver maximum fire power to a hedgerow flanking the landing zone on the west. As the helicopters set down, approximately 15 meters from the hedgerow, the platoon leader issued instructions that the platoon's first maneuver on the ground would be to move to the hedgerow where it would have cover in organizing for its sweep. As the platoon debarked from the helicopters, heavy automatic weapons fire was received from the hedgerow. The helicopters were able to move out of the landing zone without major damage, but the 2nd Platoon was pinned down and unable to move. (CAPT. COLEMAN, PSGT MITNAUL, SP4 HAYES and SP4 STREIGHT)
Seeking cover in the tall reed grass, the members of the platoon became scattered with all control over fire and maneuver being lost. Lying in as much as one foot of water, weapons, gas masks and the radio equipment of the platoon were rendered useless. Attempts of the battalion commander to establish radio contact with the platoon were unsuccessful as the water soaked radio of the platoon failed to function properly. 2nd Platoon personnel on the ground who attempted to return fire on the enemy positions in the hedgerow, maneuver into a better position or call for the assistance of a medic were subjected to heavy fire upon revealing their positions. (CAPT. COLEMAN, PSGT MITNAUL, ST4 HAYES and SP4 STREIGHT)
Helicopter gun-ships of the 25th Aviation Battalion flying in the vicinity of the landing zone were quick to react to the situation. Within 15 minutes after the platoon came into contact, the gun-ships were placing suppressive automatic weapons fire along the hedgerow. The gun-ships made a first pass at the hedgerow to determine the exact positions of friendly personnel on the ground (some of whom were less than 10 meters from the enemy firing positions). With the 2nd Platoon personnel located, the gun-ships then proceeded to deliver fire against the enemy over the heads of the friendly troops. (CAPT. COLEMAN and PSGT MITNAUL)
Shortly after the gun-ships had swept the hedgerow by fire several times, the battalion commander ordered a helicopter smoke-ship to lay down smoke on the hedgerow in order that the friendly personnel on the ground could have concealment under which to withdraw from the proximity of the hedgerow. In addition, an AN/PRC-25 radio was dropped to the troops on the ground in an effort to reestablish communications. However, 2nd Platoon personnel were unable to recover the radio. At the same time that the smoke ship was moving down the hedgerow, a second helicopter was sweeping low over the hedgerow conducting a saturation CS gas drop to flush out the enemy taking cover in bunkers. (CAPT. COLEMAN and MAJOR SMALLEY)
Under cover of the smoke screen, personnel of the 2nd Platoon who were able to do so began crawling to the east away from the hedgerow. PSGT. MITNAUL moved about the area in which his platoon was dispersed attempting to locate his men and get them to the rear. (CAPT. COLEMAN and PSGT MITNAUL)
At approximately 1200 hours, the 3rd Platoon of B Company which had been involved in Eagle Flight operations elsewhere in the battalion area of operations, was ordered into a landing zone 200 meters to the east of the hedgerow from which the 2nd Platoon, C Company had come under fire. The mission of the B Company platoon was to assist in the extraction 2nd Platoon, C Company from the battlefield and to secure a landing zone for medical evacuation helicopters. 2nd Platoon personnel withdrawing from the hedgerow, began to reach the relief platoon's position at that time. When PSGT MITNAUL arrived in the rear area, he conducted a muster. He learned that 12 men from his platoon were unaccounted for, one of whom was the Platoon leader, and that most of his personnel had abandoned their weapons and equipment as they crawled to the rear. (CAPT. COLEMAN and PSGT. MITNAUL)
As the 3rd Platoon, B Company was extracting the survivors of C Company from the battlefield, D Company which had been moving down the parallel canal to the west was ordered to move north and east into a position astride the northern edge of the hedgerow in which the enemy was located. While D Company moved into position, helicopter gun-ships continued to rake the hedgerow with automatic weapons and rockets. Artillery was placed to the south of the enemy positions to cut off any enemy reinforcements attempting to move into the hedgerow and to destroy any enemy trying to ex-filtrate down the hedgerow. (CAPT. COLEMAN)
As D Company moved into an assault position, an Air Force air strike was placed on the hedgerow. With this completed, D Company attacked to the south attempting to roll up the flank of the enemy position. However, as the company moved into the hedgerow, it came under heavy fire and was pinned down. The company was then ordered to withdraw to its original position to allow additional artillery and helicopter gun-ships to place additional supporting fires into the hedgerow. (CAPT. COLEMAN and MAJOR SMALLEY)
As darkness settled, the supporting fires were lifted and D Company again moved down the hedgerow to the south. With this move, no enemy fire was encountered, and the company was able to recover the bodies of the 2nd Platoon personnel scattered to the front of the bunker line. (CAPT. COLEMAN and MAJOR SMALLEY)
13. RESULTS: The following are the statistical results of the action:
a. Friendly losses: 15 KIA, 13 WIA and seven (7) helicopters damaged.
b. Enemy losses: 44 KIA (BC), seven AK-47 rifles, 25 RPG-2 and 25 hand grenades captured.
1 Incl. RICHARD A. BAUN
TAB A - Sketch by MAJ SIG C
PSGT MITNAUL Div Historian
1ST BATTALION 27TH INFANTRY
APO U.S. FORCES 96225
TLIBA-T 20 JULY 1966
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (RCS: MACV J3-32)
THRU: Commanding Officer
2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
APO US FORCES 96225
25th Infantry Division
APO US FORCES 96225
U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
APO US FORCES 96225
1. Operation: Sante Fe
2. Dates of Operations: 13 June - 4 July 1966
3. Location: Hau Nghia Province, Duc Hoa District
4. Central Headquarters: 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.
5. Reporting Officer: Lt Col. Alvin L. O'Neal
6. Task Organization:
A1/27 Inf (Capt. Mayone)
B1/27 Inf (Capt. Garrett)
Recon Plat CT
AT Plat National Police
Hv Mort Plat Interpreters
Plat, Co B 1/65th Eng 3B 1/5 Mech. Plat
3rd Spt Plat., 16th RRU 1A 3/ 4 Cav Plat
Elem, 25th MID
Elem, 125th Sig.
7. Supporting Forces:
a. Artillery Support: Btry A, 1st Bn, 8th Arty, DS to 1st Bn, 27th Inf.
b. How and when Artillery employed: 1/8 Arty on 13 June, established fire support base vic Bao Trai (XT527045). On 28 June, Btry A, 1st Bn, 8th Arty was attached and established a fire support base within the perimeter (XT570044). On 2 July, Btry A, 1st Bn, 13th Arty established fire support base vic Duc Lap (XT553053). Throughout the operation, 1/8 Arty supported with pre-planned and on-call fires.
c. Results of Artillery: Artillery support during the operation was greatly restricted due to close proximity of friendly and allied units, and the many houses scattered throughout the AO.
d. Army Aviation:
(1) How and when aviation was used:
(a) Command and control aircraft for ground opns.
(b) Airlift of troops and equipment within the AO.
(c) Re-supply of rations, water, and equipment.
(d) Evacuation of serious casualties.
(2) Results of Army Aviation: Army air support was a decisive factor in the accomplishment of mission in the AO. The helicopter support provided TF1/27 Inf with a high degree of flexibility and mobility which could not be achieved by other means due to the restrictive effects of the weather. 1/27 Inf. utilized organic personnel throughout the operations to set up and control helicopter landing zones. This method proved extremely effective and 1/27 Inf was able to develop and establish a workable air-mobile SOP.
a. Enemy situation prior to operation: Operational area has been the scene of numerous VC initiated incidents, and has long been regarded as a VC safe area where the VC could seek refuge. 3 VC platoons were estimated to be operating out of Ap Hau Hoa (3) (XT579035), Giong Lon (XT615018) and Nhanh Hoa (XT575019). The VC force which attacked C1/27 Inf ambush, vic XT564046 on 3 May 1966, was composed of local guerrillas and an intelligence platoon from the 506th Local Forces Bn. The C2 Co (Duc Hoa Co), strength 80, was normally located within the operational area. Co sized forces of the 506th Bn were also known to have operated in the southern portion of the AO. Recent activity includes:
(1) 26 May - 2 VC companies reported at XS500952 (Eval. F-3).
(2) 27 May - Unk number of VC directed harassing fire on ARVN 3/50 at Duc Hoa.
(3) 29 May - 5 roadblocks discovered at XT563083.
(4) 1 Jun - 300 VC and 30 laborers at XT620063 (Eval. F-4)
(5) 1 Jun - ¾ ton truck hit mine vic XT545049
(6) 2 Jun - 3 dirt mounds discovered at XT628003
(7) 2 Jun - 200 VC rpted XS525965 (Eval F-3).
(8) 5 Jun - 80 VC rpted vic XT531059 (Eval F-3)
b. Enemy situation during the operation: Throughout the operation, the VC employed numerous grenade booby traps and mines. They also utilized snipers to harass and confuse US Forces. A major contact was made on 282300 June by ambush Purple (Co A, 1/27th Inf.) at XT551034. In this engagement, a recon element of C3 Company, 506th Local Force Bn with a nine (9) man militia sqd. Attached, attacked the ambush patrol. The entire VC force consisted of 40 - 50 men. Identification of unit involved and unit strength was obtained from a VC WIA captured on 29 June 1966, documents captured from VC KIA on 3 July 1966, and National Police and Sector agent reports. In a heli-borne operation in Bao Canh Na, the VC evidently had prior knowledge of our intention to operate in the area. The VC advised the villagers via their Psywar loudspeaker system, to remain in their houses as they intended to booby trap the area. A number of villagers, VCC, VCS and detainees gave information that the VC used the following routes to transport food, weapons, ammo, and VC WIA from Giong Loc (XT584015), to Bao Canh Na (AT562011), to Ap Thoi Moi (2) (XT544017), to Ap Bao Cua (XT5201), to canals vic XT5100 where sampans were waiting. The most active areas appeared to be:
(1) Ap Giang Lon (XT6101)
(2) Xom Giong Sen (XT5802)
(3) Giong Loc (XT5801) and
(4) Xom Giong Sen (XT5903)
c. Terrain and Weather: The terrain was flat with rice fields. The houses and hamlets were situated on high ground where dense vegetation was prevalent. The weather during the first 3 weeks made the terrain ideal for APC and Infantry operations. However, after this initial period, the terrain was rendered untrafficable and APC's experienced difficulty in supporting infantry elements.
d. Civic Action / Psywar / Evacuation of the Population: An aggressive and intensive Medcap II program utilizing the 1/27 Inf Bn Surg and the 2 medics of the ARVN “Go Team”, was conducted throughout the operational area. This program paid great dividends in the following ways:
(1) The villagers were treated for their illnesses and diseases.
(2) The attitude of the people changed from that of passiveness which was almost hostile, to that of friendliness. This friendliness increased in each successive visit by the Bn Surgeon. Villagers in the area where Medcap II was conducted, willingly began giving information pertaining to the VC. In Ap Hau Hoa (3) (XT5703), long a VC sanctuary, the villagers indicated booby trapped areas, pointed out the house of the VC chief, and volunteered information on VC movement through the hamlet. In Duc Lap (XT5505), and Ap Chanh (XT560050), the children pointed out booby traps, 60mm rounds, and grenade duds to the 1/27 Inf Recon Plat.
(3) Distribution of “Helping Hand” clothing, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, USAID clothing, candy, ice, burgum, tablets, pencils, and handbags, greatly aided in changing the attitude of the villagers throughout the AO.
9. Mission: 1/27(-) conducts tactical motor march to AO130900 June 1966; conducts S&D opns, combat patrols, and ambushes in AO to locate and destroy VC forces and supplies; conducts combined opns with local ARVH forces: establish liaison with Hau Nghia Advisory Team (XT5204); provide wire, pickets, and technical advice on installations to RF and PF units in AO; conducts road improvement operations in AO from XT585-88 to XT526043 and from XT526043 to XT525048; and conducts Road Runner opns in AO.
10. Concept of Operations:
a. 1/27 Inf(-) (Wolfhouds) conducts S&D operations vic Ap Hau Hoa (XT575703) for approximately three (3) weeks beginning 130900 June 1966. Operations will be conducted in four(4) phases:
(1) Phase I: 1/27 Inf(-) (Wolfhounds) security plus quartering party escorted by 1/5 Mech element, conducts motor march from base camp to fwd def. base, (XT570044). Elements will sweep bn base site and secure for arrival of main body.
(2) Phase II: 1/27 Inf(-) (Wolfhounds) main body plus attachments conducts motor march from base camp to Ap Hao Hoa (3). Co A will occupy southern half of the base defense perimeter. Co C will occupy northern half. Bn truck-master will muster empty trucks for return to Cu Chi. AT plat will begin security checks of civilians residing west of perimeter.
(3) Phase III: 1/27 Inf(-) commenced operations in AO to include day and night patrols, ambushes, village searches, destruction of VC forces and supplies, and a vigorous CA program.
(4) Phase IV: 1/27 Inf returns to Cu Chi.
11. Execution: The 1st Bn 27th Inf (Wolfhounds) was tasked by CO, 2nd Brigade, 25th Inf Div, to conduct search and destroy operations in Duc Hoa District, Hau Nghia Province, for approximately three (3) weeks commencing 13 June 1966. (2nd Brigade OPORD 27-66. dtd 10 June 1966). CO, 1st Bn, 27th Inf planned a concept of operation and issued Bn OPORD 6-66 (Operation Sante Fe) at 120730 June 1966. The plan envisioned Bn TF (2 Companies plus attachments) moving by motor convoy to establish a fwd base north of Ap Hau Hoa (3) (XT570044). Upon establishment of bn base, TF1/27 Inf was to conduct search and destroy opns throughout AO Sante Fe for a period of approximately three weeks. Where practical, combined opns with ARVN forces would be conducted. Road Runner, CA, road, and installation construction projects would be incorporated into the general plan.
a. 1st Bn 27th Inf (Wolfhounds) conducted motor march to vic Ap Hau Hoa beginning 130808 hrs to initiate its participation in operation Sante Fe. The security elements and quartering party departed base camp (Cu Chi) at 130808 hrs and arrived at bn fwd defense base at 130935 hrs. At 0847 hrs, the main body crossed the SP and at 1050 hrs the battalion task force closed battalion operational area. Bn CP was established at XT570044. B1/27 Inf remained in base camp Cu Chi and assumed responsibility for defense of 1/27 Inf base camp perimeter.
b. 131800 - 141800 June 1966: 1/27 Inf established eight(8) night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. At 132235 hrs, Ambush Sardine (XT560042) received ineffective fire from an automatic weapon and carbine. The firing appeared to originate from vic XT559047. The ambush did not return fire, but 6 rounds of 81mm mortar fire were called in with undetermined results. Ambush Sardine moved approximately 50 meters and no further contact was made during the night. All other ambushes had negative contact. At 140630 hrs, the Recon plat with attached Engineer mine detector team, moved out to secure Route Blue from base camp to road intersection at XT555053 - clearing the area 500 meters on either side of the road. The unit returned to bn fwd defense base at 141135 hrs. Negative contact was made and no tunnels or VC supplies were found. At 141415 hrs, attached RRU unit reported homing-in on a suspected VC transmitter located at XT567039. 3A1/27 Inf was dispatched to the suspected site. After a thorough search, the element reported that it was unable to locate the transmitter and returned at 141545 hrs.
c. ---800 - 151800 June 1966: 1/27 Inf established 5 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact. At 142155 hrs Bn fwd defense base received small arms fire (carbine), automatic weapons fire, rifle grenades, and 60mm mortar fire from vic XT568040. 1/27 Inf forces replied with small arms, and 40 rds from 81mm mortar platoon. Results were unknown. There were no friendly casualties. At 150700, the Recon Plat with attached mine detector team, moved out to secure Route Blue from Bn fwd base camp to road intersection at XT555053. The road was secured by 150830, and the attached engineer element moved out to help construct the ARVN outpost at Duc Lap airstrip. At 150701, one ARVN Mach Co, the 1/10, and a rifle company from the ARVN 4/49 Bn, moved out of Ap BaoTrai to a blocking pen S of Hau Hoa(3), (XT575030). At 150900, TF 1/27 Inf commenced sweep south towards the objective area (Ap Hau Hoa). Numerous mines and booby traps were discovered and destroyed, but no contact was made with VC elements. A thorough search of the area and an extensive interrogation of the population by the ARVN “Go Team” yielded negative results. The ARVN blocking force to the south effectively sealed off the area, and no one was allowed to pass through the force without proper credentials. TF 1/27 Inf returned to Bn fwd defense base at 151440, and the ARVN blocking force was released for their return to Bao Trai at 151445. The engineer element completed the earth work portion of their construction project at Duc Lap airstrip, XT543049, and returned to the Bn fwd base camp at 151515. 1/27 Inf elements continued to search for a VC transmitter reported earlier to be in close proximity to base camp. The transmitter was not located.
d. 151800 - 161800 Jun 66: TF 1/27 Inf established six night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact except Ambush Hawk (XT541033). At 152155, ambush Hawk saw 5-6 VC moving in line formation from SW to ambush site. Mortar concentrations were fired. Results unknown. At 160300, Ambush Hawk received small arms fire, automatic weapons fire, possible MG fire and 5 - 7 rifle grenades from the South, Southwest, and Southeast. Mortars were fired with undetermined results. There were no friendly casualties. At 160700, the Recon Plat moved out to secure Route Blue from base camp to road intersection at XT555053. The road was secured at 160800 and the attached engineer element moved out to assist in the construction of the ARVN out-post at Duc Lap Airstrip. At 160830, TF1/27 Inf began a sweep south towards Ap Riau Hoa XT579035, the Bn object for the day. Numerous grenade booby traps and AT mines were discovered and destroyed, and approximately 60 “L” shaped trenches were filled. At 161024, 1/27 Inf received small arms fire from an estimated 2 VC from Loc XT583027. At 161037, Co A received additional carbine fire from estimated 4 snipers at location vic XT579026, and XT574036. A 1/27 Inf maneuvered elements, but snipers could not be located. Intelligence information from villagers indicated that approximately 5 VC armed with rifles and pistol belts with ammo had been in the area, but had not fired and moved southward when US forces approached. After securing Ap Riau Hoa (p6) extensive Medcap and Helping Hand activities were conducted and smallpox inoculations were administered to indigenous personnel throughout the area. XT platoon supported by National Police continued to screen and check all civilian personnel passing 1/27 Inf check-point at XT587044. A total of 80 Vietnamese civilians were checked. All had proper identification cards.
e. 161800 - 171800 June 6, 1966: TF 1/27 Inf established six night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact. At 162158 hrs, TF 1/27 Inf elements on bn fwd defense base perimeter noted 1 VC in vic XT572040. Three 1-79 rounds were fired. A thorough search of the area at 170700 hrs failed to reveal any sign of VC. At 170700 hrs, the recon plat moved out to secure Route Blue from base camp to road intersection at XT555053. The road was secured at 170800 hrs, and the attached engineer platoon moved out to assist in the construction of the ARVN out-post at the Duc Lap airstrip, and to continue road improvement operations between Duc Lap and the bn fwd defense base. ------vic Duc Lap intersection (XT555052), the engineer platoon destroyed3 grenades and 1 AT mine. The grenades and the AT mine appeared to have been laid the night before. Of interest, is the fact that the location of the mines were pointed out to the US forces by children who were playing in the area. It appears that the incentive Medcap activities which had been conducted throughout AO Sante Fe by 1/27 Inf forces, had made a marked impression on the indigenous population, and had served to strengthen US and ARVN influence throughout the area.
At 170830 hours, Co A and Co C moved out on a sweep to the SE and SW respectively. Numerous booby traps and rifle grenades were located and destroyed by both companies. At 171114 hrs, C1/27 Inf encountered sniper fire from two snipers vic XT581022. C1/27 Inf returned with small arms and artillery. C1/27 Inf reported finding fresh blood on the trail at XT581020, indicating at least 1 VC WIA. (poss). No further contact was reported by wither company, and both units closed bn. Fwd defense base by 1445 hrs. Extensive troop activities were conducted in Ap Hau Moa. A total of 112 personnel were treated. All appeared to be appreciative and extremely happy to see the surgeon. The mutual trust which has developed between US forces, --- elements, and the indigenous population was readily apparent. The villagers openly offered information to US forces on VC movements and activities. At 171330 hrs, a Vietnamese Intelligence Agent accompanying the Medcap Team, reported that a dwelling in Ap Hau Moa, at XT577034, belonged to a VC hamlet chief, and had been visited by both the hamlet Chief and the village Chief between 162400 and 170415 hrs. An ambush was established near the site that night in anticipation of a return visit, but the VC failed to return. The Recon platoon conducted Road-Runner opns between Duc Lap and Duc Banh B, XT575075. AT platoon supported by Nat'l Police continued to screen and check all civilian personnel passing 1/27 Inf checkpoint at XT567044. A total of 108 Vietnamese passed 1/27 Inf checkpoint at XT567044. A total of 106 Vietnamese civilians were checked. All had proper identification cards. (p7)
f. 171800 - 181800 June 1966: TF 1/2 Inf. established five (5) night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. At 180045 hrs, ambush Austin (XT557054), reported that it had been hit by automatic carbine fire and that there was 1 US WIA. Two APC/s from attached 5th Mech platoon were dispatched t evacuate patrol. The wounded individual died enroute to bn fwd defense base. At 180715 hrs, Recon plat moved out to secure Route Blue from by fwd defense base to road intersection vic XT555053. The road was secured at 160808 hrs. At 180600 hrs, companies A and C were air-lifted from defense base to Bao Canh Ra loc vic XT541007. Airlift consisted of thirty-three UH-L lifts, and was conducted in a highly orderly and expeditious fashion. At LZ Red, south of Bao Canh Ra, PF1/27 Inf(-) commenced its sweep from S to N with attached 1/5 Mech plat. Positioned North of the hamlet as a blocking force. The initial civilian reaction appeared to be one of surprise. However, upon questioning the villagers, it was learned that the VC with loud-speakers had been through the obj. area on the night of 17 June, and had warned the villagers that US troops would be entering the area on 18 June. Villagers were also informed that they were to remain indoors because the area would be booby trapped. Information received also reported there were 20-30 VC in Bao Cahn area on 16 June 1966. Only one booby trap was found in Bac Canh area. It was destroyed in place. Four VC were captured vic XT556015 and a total of 8 VCS were detained. At 131149 hrs, A/27 Inf encountered automatic sniper fie from an estimated 3 VC at XT577018. A1/27 engaged the snipers and made a thorough search of the area, but was not able to locate C. At 1---3-hrs, 1 APC from 5th Mech plat hit an AT mine at XT562012. No damage was done to vehicle or personnel. C1/27 Inf and A1/27 Inf closed bn fwd def base at 181226 hrs and 181350 hrs respectively. Road-runner opns were conducted between base camp and Duc Hanh by the Recon Plat. At plat supported by National Police continued to screen and check all civilian personnel passing 1/27 Inf check-point at XT56-044. A total of 80 personnel were checked. All personnel checked out satisfactorily.
g. 181800 - 191800 June 1966: TF 1/27 Inf established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact. At 190715 hrs, Recon pLat moved out to secure Route Blue from bn fwd base to road intersection at XT555053. The road was secured at 190800 hrs, and the Medcap element secured by 1st plat, A1/27 Inf, proceeded to Duc Hanh A and B to carry out Medcap activities. A total of 176 patients were treated. Element returned to fwd base camp at 191200 hrs. At 190800 hrs, C1/27 Inf stated that villagers reported 4 VC running across field vic XT597036. Helicopter recon failed to locate VC. At 190948 hrs, C1/27 Inf received sniper fire from vic XT604030. Arty fire was placed on suspected VC locations. Results undetermined. From 191002 hrs to 191030 hrs, sniper fire was received from Obj Kitty. A thorough search of the area, however, produced negative results. C1/27 Inf did locate a (p8) building complex on Obj Kitty which might have at one time might have served as a VC hospital
C1/27 Inf returned to Bn fwd defense base at -15. B1/27 Inf conducted sweep between Duc Hanh A and B fwd defense base commencing 191134. No VC contact was made, but 5 VCS were detained vic XT580058. B 1/27 Inf found approximately 20 bamboo stakes with attached propaganda leaflets along the road vic XT578049. The stakes appeared freshly planted. AT platoon supported by Nat'l Police continued to screen and check all civilian personnel passing 1/27 Inf checkpoint at XT567044. A total of 110 personnel were checked. All personnel checked out satisfactorily. Road-runner operations were conducted between base and Duc Hanh B by Recon Platoon.
h. 191800 - 201800 Jun 66: TF1/27 established 7 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact. At 200430, TF1/27 Inf(-) moved out on S&D mission to Obj Cat vic XT609001. At 200600 attached mech plat departed Bn fwd defense base to act as a blocking force of Obj Cat. At 0655, B1/27 Inf received sniper fire from XT603022. Friendly casualties: 1 KIA, 1 WIA. TF1/27 Inf returned fire with unknown results. At 200715, the decision was made to expand the Bn obj to include the hamlet complex to the SE of obj Cat. At 200755 several booby trap signs and a VC trench network were uncovered vic XT699022. At 0802 hrs, 8 VCS were detained at XT609022, two of which later proved to be VCC. One VCC stated that he had hidden a weapon under his bed. A thorough search of his hut produced negative results. At 100930, TF 1/27 Inf wheeled north and swept the operational area again. Successive sweeps N to S and E to W produced negative results. At 200945, TF1/27 encountered additional VC trenches and booby trap signs. At 1115, after the objective had been thoroughly searched, TF1/27 Inf with attached Mech Plat moved NW to Obj Cat, where B1-27 Inf suffered 1 slightly WIA by a booby trap. TF1/27 commenced return march to Bn fwd defense base at 1315. Enroute to base camp, B1/27 Inf located a fully armed CHICOM claymore. It was set up and ready to fire. The claymore was brought back to Bn fwd defense base. TF1/27 Inf closed at 1520. At 200810 hours vic XT570045, a CHICOM claymore was found and detonated approx 50 meters in front of the perimeter, slightly wounding 1 US soldier. A thorough search of the area was conducted and a CHICOM battery and 300 meters of detonating wire were found. Medcap was conducted at Ap Chanh (3) vic XT559048. Approximately 70 patients were treated. AT plat supported by Nat'l Police continued to check all civilian personnel passing 1/27 Inf checkpoint at XT567044.
i. 201800 - 211800 Jun 66: TF 1/27 Inf established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact. At 210715, Recon Plat moved out to secure Route Blue from base camp to road intersection at XT555053. Road was secured at 210745. At 210815, Bn Recon Plat reported that small children at Duc Lap intersection were reporting the location of old US hand grenades and 60mm mortar duds.
Between the hours of 1815 and 0950, a total of 22 hand grenades, one grenade booby trap, 16 60mm duds, and two 155mm duds were found and destroyed. At 210800 hrs, B1/27 Inf moved by motor convoy to de-truck point located XT526842. Upon reaching destination, B1/27 Inf dismounted and began a two pronged sweep East utilizing one plat to the North and one plat to the South. At 210937 hrs, vic XT551030, B1/27 Inf encountered booby trapped signs. One booby trap was destroyed. Two US WIA occurred as a result of tripping grenade booby traps. Two VCS were detained and brought back to base. One proved to be VCC, and when questioned, gave much intelligence information to MID. This information included names, organs, and opns of VC in area. Attached Medcap Team treated 6 villagers enroute to base camp. The people encountered during the sweep appeared very friendly to US personnel. B1/27 Inf closed base camp at 211145 hrs. At 210945 hrs, 16 RRU reported picking up signals from a VC transmitter at XT557080. 3B1/5 Mech was dispatched to investigate, but was unable to locate the transmitter. Recon plat conducted a Roadrunner opn from Duc Hanh B to base camp. AT plat supported by National Police continued to screen and check all civilian personnel passing 1/27 Inf checkpoint at XT567044. A total of 50 persons checked out satisfactorily.
j. 211800 - 221800 June 1966: TF 1/27 Inf established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. At 212810 hrs, Ambush Tiger, XT589043 noted 7 VC walking along the trail towards their ambush site. When the VC were approx. 30 meters from the ambush site, US Forces opened up with M16 and hand grenades, resulting in 2 VC dead (poss). The VC did not return the fire although the ambush patrol did receive fire from huts located vic XT588642 and XT595038. The VC ran towards the East and the US patrol called in 81mm mortar fire. The ambush patrol relocated to XT589044. A thorough search conducted in the area during the morning produced negative results. At 212013 hrs, the ARVN outpost at XT577074 received SA fire North of out-post. At 211943 hrs, the bn perimeter received 4 incoming rds from vic XT572040. Fire was returned with M-79. Results unknown. At 220845 hrs, 3B1/5 Mech plat departed base camp to set up blocking psns SE of Ap Tram Loc, vic XT636044. At 220905 hrs, a two (2) company airlift commenced, and by 220945, all elements had arrived at LZ. Movement thru the obj was slow, and the entire area was thoroughly searched. At approx 221030 hrs, sniper fire was received vic XT622033. Fire was returned. Results unknown. At 221450 hrs, C1/27 Inf touched off two booby traps (XT622033) and sustained one WIA. Dust-off evacuated WIA at 1520 hrs. At XT602033, 221410 hrs, C1/27 Inf again received SA fire. 3B 1/25 Mech. Which was being used as a blocking force, located a cache of approx 1500 lbs of rice, vic XT622033. The rice was brought back to base. AT plat supported by National Police, continued to screen and check all personnel passing 1/27 Inf check-point at XT567044. A total of 50 persons were checked. All checked out satisfactorily.
k. 211800, 211900 and 211906: TF 1/27 Inf established 5 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact except Ambush Yankee. At 230730 hrs, Ambush Yankee (Recon platoon), reported seeing 30 civilians gathering at XT609031. As the Recon plat maneuvered towards vic XT609031 in order to better observe what was taking place, it received 4 rds of sniper fire from vic XT609032. Additional fire was received from XT618020, resulting in one US WIA. Bn CO ordered 5th Mech platoon to proceed to Recon location to aid engaged element. 5th Mech and Recon platoon cleared area from where sniper fire originated with the help of two gun-ships which arrived at 230943. A thorough search of the area was made with negative results. However, 2 VC women were detained and returned to base camp for interrogation. Mech and Recon platoons reached base camp at 231148. At 210536, B1/27 Inf moved to village vic XT554033. The village was sealed off, and a thorough search of the area was conducted. The entire opn was so well executed that the villagers were caught completely by surprise. Not a single villager managed to escape the cordon which was placed around the village. The search netted a total of 10 VCS detainees and 5 VCS. VCS and VCC detainees were transported to base camp fwd for interrogation. B1/27 Inf returned to base camp at 231045 hrs. C1/27 Inf was air-lifted to Bao Canh Na, XT562008 at 230822 hrs. No VC contact was made, and the company proceeded with its pacification and Medcap opns. A total of 47 patients were treated. 2 VC were detained at XT562017 and XT562010. C1/27 Inf returned to base camp at 1500 hrs. AT platoon supported by Nat'l Police continued to check and screen all civilians passing 1/27 Inf check-point at XT567044. A total of 60 personnel checked out satisfactorily.
l. 231800 - 241800 June 1966: TF 1/27 Inf established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact. At 231950 hrs, fwd defense base received 6 probing rounds from BAR and rifle grenades from vic XT574043. Fire was returned with M-79 and 81mm mortars. Results unknown. At 240540 hrs, ambush Eagle (Co B - XT558017) reported that it had 1 WIA from a booby trap which it had encountered on return to fwd defense base. WIA was evacuated to Cu Chi. At 240800, B1/27 Inf was airlifted from base camp fwd to LZ Bravo, XT612034. The entire air movement was well coordinated and executed. No VC contact was made during B1/27 Inf opn. Very few indigenous people were seen during the sweep. B1/27 Inf returned to fwd defense base at 1410 hrs. C1/27 Inf commenced move south to Obj X, XT581024 at 0830 and reached the Obj area at 0915. Several freshly planted grenade booby traps were encountered at XT580025. Two US WIA by booby traps were reported at 241015. WIA's were evacuated to Cu Chi. A total of 5 booby traps were destroyed within Obj X, and two VCS detainees were taken from XT581024 at 241030. C1/27 Inf returned to base camp at 241515 hrs. The attached 5th Mech platoon was released from TF1/27 Inf control effective 241200 hrs. One A3/4 Cav platoon replaced the 5th Mech platoon. At 240820 hrs Recon Plat reported that children in one vic of XT556053 were again pointing out hand grenades and mortar duds. The children pointed out a total of 1 CBU bomb, 7 hand grenades, and 2 60mm duds. All were destroyed in place. Medcap Team was dispatched to Ap Chanh (3) vic XT560047 at 240900 hrs, to treat the indigenous personnel. A total of 108 patients were treated. All appeared extremely appreciative of the help rendered them by the US personnel. AT platoon supported by Nat'l Police, continued to screen and check all civilians passing 1/27 Inf checkpoint at XT567044. A total of 55 personnel checked out satisfactorily.
m. 241800 - 251800 June 1966: TF1/27 Inf established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact. At 241942 hours, B1/27 Inf received 3 probing BAR rds from vic XT573042. B1/27 Inf returned with M-79, SA, and 81mm mortars. Results unknown. At 0853 hours, the Medcap Tm commenced opns at Obj B, Xom My Tau, XT568059, after it had been secured by B1/27 Inf. A total of 58 patients were treated. When Medcap had been completed, B1/27 Inf continued with its sweep to the NE thru Xom Luc Vien (2), vic XT580063, and returned to Bn forward defense base. No VC contact was made nor were any mines or booby traps encountered. The people appeared friendly throughout the sweep. C1/27 Inf commenced pacification of Ap Hau Hoa (3) at 250815 hrs. The people in the village stated that at 241930 hrs, a platoon of VC had entered the village to check on the possibility of constructing a roadblock on the main road, and that 3 VC decided to fire 3 rounds at the 1/27 Inf perimeter. When 1/27 Inf returned fire, the VC changed the plans and moved out of the village. This would coincide with the firing which 1/27 Inf experienced at 241942 hrs. While pacification operations were being conducted, a number of ARVN and US advisory personnel visited Ap Hau Hoa, and observed the Medcap Tm administer aid to some of the 144 patients treated in the hamlet that day. At 2511100 hrs, 1 APC from 1A3/4 Cav, which had been given the mission of screening the road from bn forward defense base south to XT580022, fell into a tank trap vic XT572040. Dimensions were 16'X14'X6'. The vehicle was pulled out of the trap undamaged. 1 WIA resulted (broken jaw and ribs), and was evacuated to Cu Chi. 3 booby traps were found at XT578035 at 1425 hrs, resulting in 1 US WIA. 8 “L” shaped trenches were also destroyed at same location. At 1330 hrs, vic XT578035, C1/27 Inf destroyed 2 small bunkers and 1 VC house. By 1520 hrs, C1/27 Inf had completed the pacification of Ap Hau Hoa and returned to base camp. Throughout the opn, Recon platoon continued to secure the road from base camp to Duc Lap. At 1030 hrs, Recon platoon found a small child on the road approx. 200 meters north of the perimeter, vic XT557048. The child was dead and was turned over to his parents who evacuated him to Bao Trai.
n.-------------------------------------------------------TF established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. At 251814 hrs, one of the APC's that was carrying Ambush Wolf to its ambush site hit an AT mine, vic XT553038. APC was badly damaged and 8 WIA were sustained. A VTR was called in to help extract the damaged APC. An evacuation chopper was also called in to remove the wounded. The APC could not be extracted. One reinforced rifle squad from B1/27 Inf moved out to secure the village of Ap Bao Son (2) vic XT556025. B1/27 Inf made a thorough search of the area and detained a total of 25 VCS for questioning (17 detainees, 8 VCS). Once secured, pacification and Med cap opns were undertaken by the ARVN “Go Team” and US medical personnel. The people were most responsive to the pacification opns and welcomed the Medcap pers. A total of 94 patients were treated. At 260920 hrs, B1/27 Inf moved N to Ap Bao Sen (1) vic XT554032. Pacification opns were again conducted with the same general response. A total of 114 personnel were treated by Medcap pers. Co sustained one WIA (slightly) from booby trap vic XT557036. B1/27 Inf closed base camp at 261300 hrs. At 260700 hrs, C1/27 Inf was air-lifted to LZ at XT626055. Aircraft reported automatic wpns fire from vic LZ. However, C1/27 Inf reported negative contact upon landing. Numerous sampans, SA ammunition and mines were destroyed in C1/27 Inf sweep to the AO. Three grenade booby traps were destroyed. Motor convoy departed base camp at 150 hrs and picked up C1/27 Inf sweep to the NE. 3 grenade booby traps were destroyed. Motor convoy departed base camp at 1500 hrs and picked up C1/27 Inf at the entracking area, XT576077. C1/27 Inf closed base camp at 261555 hrs. Eng plat continued with road improvement opns from bn fwd def base to Duc Lap, commencing 261300 hrs. AT plat supported by National Police, continued to check and screen all civilians passing 1/27 Inf checkpoint at XT567044. A total of 37 personnel were checked. All checked out satisfactorily.
o. 261799 - 271800 June 1966: TF1/27 Inf established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. At 270700hrs, 1 plat of C1/27 Inf moved to Xom My Tau, vic XT568049, and Go Cao, vic XT543052, with the mission of searching the area. Plat at My Tau reported negative contact and returned to base camp at 0940 hrs. The platoon searching Go Cao detained 1 VCS vic XT544041. Another VCS was detained at XT544046. No VC contact was made and the element returned to base camp at 271230 hrs. At 270630 hrs, B1/27 Inf moved with the ARVN “Go Team” to search and secure the village of Giong Loc vic XT583015. At 0910 hrs, while enroute to obj area, B1/27 Inf. received sniper fire voc XT5750-0 from an estimated 3 - 5 VC. VC were engaged but results unknown. At 1210 hrs, B1/27 Inf apprehended 4 VCS at XT570020and at 1030 an additional 6 VCS plus the wife and 3 children of a confirmed VC were apprehended. At 1100 hrs, blood and expended carbine rounds were found vic XT570020. Villagers stated that 2 VC had been seen dragging away a badly wounded comrade. (1 VC KIA, pos). SA fire was again received at 1105 hrs from vic XT575012. B1/27 Inf engaged and pursued snipers but were unable to track down VC. When B1/27 Inf finally arrived at Gion Loc, it made a thorough search of the area with negative results.
p. 261800 - 281700 June 1966: TF 1/27 Inf established 5 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. At 282310, Ambush Purple located at XT551034, made contact with a large VC force estimated to have consisted of seventy (70) VC. When the engagement began, firing could be heard at the battalion defense base. Radio contact was lost between patrol and parent company immediately. A1/27 Inf fired 81mm mortars around ambush locations with unknown results. At 282315 hrs, the battalion reaction force, 1A1/27 Inf was ordered to go and assist the patrol. 1A1/27 Inf departed wire at battalion defense base at 282345 hrs, and reached the ambush location at 290113 hrs. 1A1/27 Inf made negative contact with both VC element and the US ambush. 1A1/27 Inf continued to search for the ambush until 290345 hours, at which time it returned to the battalion defense base due to intense darkness. A1/27 Inf departed the battalion defense base at first light to continue the search for Abush Purple. At 290705 hrs, A1/27 Inf encountered a soldier who claimed to be a survivor of the ambush group being sought, but could not provide any information as to what happened. At 290822 hours, the Bn S3 sighted the lost ambush from the air vic XT551034. He notified Co A1/27 Inf who was on the ground approximately 230 meters away. All 12 patrol members were dead. They had made contact with a superior sized VC force and had been overwhelmed in position. A1/27 Inf called for dust-off to remove the dead. A1/27 Inf commenced a search of all houses and growth in the area for signs of VC. Much blood was found in the vic of the ambush site indicating that US troops killed many VC. A1/27 Inf continued to search area within 1500 meters of the ambush site, apprehending three VCS at 291015 hrs, vic XT542026. A1/27 Inf returned to bn fwd defense base at 291115 hrs. At 0800 hrs, B1/27 Inf received the mission of assisting in search of VC who had hit ambush Purple. B1/27 Inf moved to vic XT564009, Bao Canh Na, conducted a search of the villagers, swept E to vic XT583015, and headed N to base camp. At 291050 hrs, B1/27 Inf apprehended 3 VC vic XT561045 at 1245 hrs, and commenced a search 1000 meters either side of Route 9 up to Bao Trai (XT526044). C1/27 Inf apprehended 8 VC at 1410 hrs and closed Bn forward defense base at 1450 hrs. 4/49 ARVN swept area W of AO Sante Fe. 34th RVN Ranger swept N of AO Sante Fe bounded by coord 5500, 5597, 5897, 5800. None of the units participating in the search for the VC who attacked Ambush Purple were able to locate anything of significant value.
q. 291800 - 301000 June 1966: TF1/27 Inf established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. At 300340 hrs, Ambush Tiger (XT558040) spotted 14 - 30 approximately 500 meters NW; of ambush site. At 0430 hrs, the same ambush noted what they believed to be a squad sized unit moving toward a nearby wood-line. 81mm mortar fire was called in, and the area was kept under surveillance. At 0615 hrs, Ambush Tiger found 1 VC KIA (BC), 1 VC WIA, and 2 VCS women. Blood was found in the immediate vicinity of the site indicating that more VC were KIA. Ambush Tiger returned to base camp at 0800 hrs. Ambush Tiger results: 8 VC KIA (poss), 1 VC KIA (BC), and 3 VCS apprehended (2 VCC and 2 VCS). TF 1/27 Inf departed base perimeter at 0730 hrs for S&D opns in Bao Canh Na (XT562009). At 0745 hrs, A1/27 Inf destroyed 1 freshly planted booby trapped grenade vic CY569035. A1/27 Inf reported that women stated that VC in area had warned people to stay out of rice paddies because they were mined and booby trapped. A thorough search of Bao Canh Na produced negative results. B1/27 Inf departed fwd def base at 0752 hrs by motor convoy to psn Yankee (XT5759079), and commenced S&D opns in NE sector of AO. B1/27 Inf apprehended a total of 10 VCS during the opn. B1/27 Inf closed bn fwd def bse at 1410 hrs. Along assignment route, C1/27 Inf destroyed 1 booby trapped hand grenade vic XT558042. A thorough search of assigned sector produced negative results. C1/27 Inf departed bn fwd def base at 1530 hrs for base camp Cu Chi, and closed base camp Cu Chi at 1630 hrs. 1A3 /4 Cav, with attached mine sweeper team from Eng. Plat conducted road improvement operations from base perimeter (XT570044) to Duc Lap (XT555053). AT plat su0ported by national Police continued to check and screen all civilians passing 1/27 Inf checkpoint at XT567044. A total of 30 personnel were checked. All checked out satisfactorily. At 0930 hrs the Medcap Tm escorted by Recon plat moved to Duc Hanh to conduct Medcap operations. A total of 90 patients were treated. The Medcap team closed the bn fwd def base at 1250 hrs. At 1435 hrs, Recon reported that it had destroyed 1 60mm gun and 3 hand grenades at XT556052. Children in area had again pointed out the guns and grenades to the Recon Plat.
r. 301800 Jun - 011800 Jul 1966: TF1/27 Inf established 4 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. At 010035 hrs, Ambush Mercedes, XT563053, observed 4 VC by starlight setting up a mortar 600 meters away vic XT569050. Indirect fire was called, and the VC dispersed. Results unknown. At 010112 hrs, Ambush Mercedes observed 12-20 VC vic XT569050. 4.2 mortar fire was called. At 010225, Ambush Mercedes again observed through the starlight, 7 -9 VC crawling in a rice paddy approximately 500 meters east of their location. Artillery fire was called and the VC ran toward a nearby tree-line. At 010300 hrs, Ambush Mercedes saw 6-8 VC in the wood-line vic XT569058. 81mm mortar fire was called, VC dispersed, results unknown. At 010458 hrs, 1 plat, 3 /4 Cav and A1/27 Inf departed for ambush Mercedes location to make a thorough check of the area. A total of 14 VCS were found in vic XT562030. The VCS were returned to base camp. At 010856 hrs, 1A3 /4 Cav and A1/27 Inf reported that they could find nothing further and returned to base cmap. Recon plat secured Route Blue and found one hand grenade vic XT556053 at 1130 hrs. Two 60mm duds and one hand grenade were found at XT555053 at 1430 hrs. All were destroyed in place. At 1140 hrs, a small boy was brought to Bn Aid Station for treatment of a badly infected hand. A small boy who was found in the vicinity of XT564045, reported to the Recon plat that a VC was in a house located at XT559047. A thorough search of the hut resulted in one VCS..AT plat continued to check Vietnamese passing 1/27 Inf checkpoint. A total of 50 personnel were checked. All checked out satisfactorily.
s. 011800 - 021800 July 1966: TF 1/27 Inf established 2 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes reported negative contact. On 2 July 66, the Vn TF effort was devoted entirely to the conduct of a Country Fair in Ap Hau Hoa, vic XT576036. At 0526 hrs, Co A moved out and sealed off the southern boundary of the village to insure that no one escaped, while 1A3 /4 Cav secured the route from bn fwd def base to the southern edge of Ap Hau Hoa. At 0745 hrs, Co B swept through the village, policed up the inhabitants, and moved them to a centralized screening area. GVN national Police, with the assistance of the AT plat, screened the civilians to determine their true status, and a complete census of the population was conducted. After Ap Hau Hoa had been secured, and the screening process begun, the Country Fair activities commenced. TF1/27 Inf scheduled Medcap and Helping Hand visits by ARVN and GVN officials. The Country Fair activities were well received by the village inhabitants, although they seemed to be rather bewildered at the vast array of entertainment. At 1415 hrs, the Country Fair was completed, and TF1/27 Inf closed bn fwd def base at 1605 hrs. 1A3/4 Cav plat was released from TF1/27 Inf control at 1515 hrs and returned to Cu Chi. 3B1/5 Mech was attached to TF1/37 Inf effective 1515 hrs.
t. 021800 - 031800 July 1966: TF1/27 Inf established 3 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe. All ambushes had negative contact. The Operations for 3 July 66 envisioned a sweep by B1/27 Inf from NE portion of AO to bn fwd def base. A1/27 Inf was to be utilized as a blocking force a few hundred meters NE of bn fwd def base, while 3B1/5 Mech would be tied in on the left flank of A1/27 Inf and would be utilized to block traffic moving west of Route Blue. 4/49 ARVN from Bao Trai, established an additional blocking psn along the Duc Lap - Cu Chi highway. By 0835 hrs, A1/27 Inf, 3B1/5 Mech, and 4/49 ARVN elements were in their assigned blocking positions, and B1/27 Inf was ready to commence its sweep from psn Yankee (XT525087) to bn fwd def base. (p16) B1/27 Inf had negative contact throughout the sweep.
A1/27 Inf------------------ ------approximately 300 meters fro its blocking position. A1/27 Inf challenged the individuals with voice commands and warning shots but personnel continued to run and were subsequently cut down by US SA fire. Only 1 body could be found, but it contained documents which indicated that individuals were VC. A search of the immediate vicinity produced blood around area where the other VC had been observed. A thorough search was undertaken, but the other VC could not be located. All elements closed bn fwd defense base by 1405 hrs. AT plat assisted by National Police continued to check Vietnamese passing 1/27 Inf check-point. A total of 35 personnel were checked. Alo personnel checked out satisfactorily. At 1445 hrs. a suspected enemy transmitter was traced to vic XT569045. A thorough search of the area was made with negative results.
u. 031800 -041800 July 1966: TF1/27 Inf established 2 night ambushes in AO Sante Fe/ At 032245 hrs, Ambush Red, XT558047, reported observing 10 VC vic XT559038. Ambush Red engaged VC with 81mm mortar fire and estimated that three VC were KIA (poss). VC dispersed in a NE direction. A thorough search of the area was made by Ambush Red the following morning producing negative results. A “Lighting Bug” mission was flown over TF1/27 Inf AO during the night. AW fire was received from vic XT614015 and SA fire was received from vic XT611015. The “Lighting Bug” retaliated with suppressive fires, results unknown. Additional fire was received from vic XT559012. TF1/27 Inf departed fwd def base by motor convoy to base camp Cu Chi in two march serials. Serial #1 departed fwd base at 0955 hrs and closed Cu Chi at 1025 hrs. The second serial departed at 1247 hrs and closed base camp at 1340 hrs. No enemy activity was encountered by either serial along the return route to Cu Chi. The entire operation was conducted in an orderly fashion. A C4C UH-ID controlled the movement and a UH-ID fire team was on immediate stand-by alert. The closing at base camp Chi marked the termination of Opn Sante Fe.
a. VC losses: 4VC KIA (BC), 16 VC KIA (poss), 21 VCC, 65 VCS, 82 VCS detainees.
b. Captured and destroyed enemy equipment and material:
(1) Two (2) Claymores (10) Two (2) 155mm duds (2) Thirty-six (36) booby traps (11) Sixty-eight (68)”L” shaped trenches (3) Sixty-three (63) hand grenades (12) One (1) CBU bomb (4) Three (3) AP mines (13) One (1) CBU bomb (5) Eleven (11) AT mines (14) Four (4) VC huts (6) Two (2) 7.62 Chicom carbines (15) Twenty-five (25) sampans (7) One (1) VC tunnel (16) Assorted Medical supplies (8) Forty (40) 60mm duds (17) Two (2) pistol belts
(9) Ten (10) 105mm duds (18) One hundred sixty (160) rds 30 cal. Ammo.
c. Friendly losses: 14 KIA, 30 WIA
d. Friendly equipment destroyed or damaged:
(1) Five (5) M-16 rifles (5) Two (2) M-79 grenade launchers (2) Three (3) 45 Cal. Pistols (6) One (1) M-60 machine gun (3) One (1) M-14 rifle (7) One (1) starlight scope (4) Two (2) M-14E2 rifles (8) Two (2) PFC 25 radio sets
13. Administrative Matters:
a. Supply: Resupply was accomplished by motor convoy. A scheduled convoy was dispatched from Cu Chi one each day and adequately met the requirements of TF1/27 Inf. Supplies required on an emergency basis were flown in by helicopter.
b. Maintenance: Normal maintenance of weapons and equipment was performed prior to, during, and after the operation.
c. Treatment of casualties and evacuation: The Bn Aid Station accompanied the Bn CP group. Casualties were treated by the aid-men attached to the rifle companies, then moved to the aid station by litter or helicopter for further treatment. C&C and resupply helicopters were utilized to transport wounded requiring evacuation. Emergency casualties were evacuated utilizing both Dust-off aircraft and assigned UH-ID's.
d. Communications: TF1/27 Inf utilized numerous means of communications during Opn Sante Fe. FM and AM-RTT/CW/Voice were established by 1/27 Inf communications platoon. Elem. 125th signal provided TF1/27 Inf with VHF Sole User, Common User, and Land Line teletype capability. No communications difficulties were encountered during the operation.
14. Commanders Analysis:
a. TF1/27 Inf accomplished its mission. TF1/27 inf. Entered a long established VC stronghold, and through a balanced combination of tactical opns and civic action programs, was able to dominate the terrain and population. The effects of TF1/27 Inf extensive Medcap and civic action programs will most likely make a more lasting impression upon the indigenous population than the display of US tactical power.
b. The use of the ARVN “Go Team” materially aided 1/27 Inf in accomplishing its mission. Members of the team were familiar with the customs and many knew the local village inhabitants. They were thus sympathetic to the Viet Cong. This assistance helped unit commanders to apprehend many persons who later proved to be VCS
c. Airmobile operations greatly enhanced the combat capability of TF1/27 Inf. As the operation progressed, it became increasingly apparent that the rising water level was causing personnel to experience fatigue. APC's also became increasingly dependent upon the road, and their cross-country mobility was cut to a minimum. The use of the helicopters enabled TF1/27 Inf to operate unfatigued in a designated operational area, and eliminated the need for extensive APC support during movements to and from bn fwd defense base. Greater results could be attained if a DS airmobile Co were available to the battalion commander;
a. GVN and ARVN personnel be immediately prepared to actively assume responsibilities for areas cleared by US Forces. Although TF1/27 Inf controlled AO Sante Fe from 13 June to 4 July '66, future GVN influence will be minimal if appropriate measures are not taken to actively continue the pacification effort.
b. That every effort be made to provide TF1/27 Inf with the same aviation company throughout the duration of any operation.
c. That a helicopter fire team be on stand-by status to insure a quick reaction capability. Use of the fire team is invaluable in sealing off an objective, and preventing the escape of VC.
d. That a C&C helicopter be assigned to 1/27 Inf for the entire day. On numerous occasions it became necessary to release the helicopters due to higher priority commitments. This often occurred during the critical stage in the operation, and resulted in the ground elements being left without essential air surveillance and protection.
ALVIN L. O'NEAL
Lt Col, Infantry
Annexes: A-Operation Overlay
Annex A (Operations Overlay) to Combat After Action Report to OPORD 6-66 (Operation Sante FE) dated. 11 June 1966
Ref: Map, RVN, 1:50,000 Sheet 6243I
TLIBA-T (20 July 66) 1st Ind (C)
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (Opn SANTE FE) (U)
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION, APO 96225 3 August 1966
THRU: Commanding General, II Field Force Vietnam, ATTN: ACofS G3 (D&T) APO 96227
TO: Commander, US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, ATTN: J343 APO 96243
Operation SANTE FE is one of four operations conducted to date with primary emphasis on pacification. This operation successfully extended GVN and US influence throughout the assigned area of operations.
Operations of this type should be followed closely by a determined effort by ARVN and Province forces to keep the area pacified. Without such effort, the advantages obtained are quickly dissipated and the initiative again given to the VC.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
PHILIP U. BONDI CPT. AGC Adjutant General
ACofS for Force Dev, DA CG, USARPAC, ATTN: GPOP-MH MACV, ATTN: J343 (thru IIFFORCEV) MACV, ATTN: J2 (thru IIFFORCEV) MACV, ATTN: MACT (thru IIFFORCEV) MACV, ATTN: Chief, USAF Advisory Group (thru IIFFORCEV) CG, USARV, ATTN: AVC (D&H) CG, IIFFORCEV, ATTN: ACofS G3 (D&T) CG, USA Infantry School, Ft Benning, Ga. CG, USA Armor School, Ft. Knox, Ky. USACDC Ln Of APO 96558 USA Inf H Res Unit, Ft Benning, Ga.
DOWNGRADE AT 3 YEAR INFERVALS DECLASIFY AFTER 12 YEARS
DOD DIR 5200.10