Operational Report, 25th Infantry Division, May-July 1969
The following information has been extracted from the
"Operational Report of the 25th Infantry Division for the Period Ending 31 July
1969", released on 18 December 1969. The report contains nearly 40
pages of summary operational information for all units attached to the Division
(as well as Lessons Learned and reports regarding other units, which have not
been included here).
On this web page, several pages of high-level overview information are included,
and then the remainder of this page contains only those sections with 2/14th
Whoever created the PDF file containing the scanned original documents, placed most of the pages on the scanner so that the top of each page is missing, so some information may is incomplete. This Report has been reproduced to appear like the original.
|May 6||Delta Co. sees action with 2/34 Armor, gunships and artillery, gets body count|
|May 20||Delta Co. finds weapons cache in the Filhol Rubber Plantation|
|June 8||Alpha Co. and 1/5th Mech fight NVA north of Trung Lap|
|June 14||Alpha and Bravo in the Filhol fight NVA force|
|June Road Mines||There are 17 road mining incidents on the road to FSB Patton II in June|
|June 22||Alpha Co. hit by mortar fire in night action at Bau Dieu, advances into village|
|June 25||Alpha Co. search finds 10 NVA casualties|
|June 27||Charlie Co. runs into NVA on Saigon River, loses 3; 1/5th assists, big body count|
|July 9||Alpha Co. and gunships take on enemy in Ho Bo Woods|
|July 10||Bravo Co. captures VC who will lead to a spectacular raid later in the month|
|July 22||Alpha Co. runs into enemy company on night ambush, kills 5-man flanking team|
|July 25||CRIP and 1/5th Mech net 4 enemy|
|July 27||CRIP finds weapons and uniforms cache, captures prisoners|
|July 28||A, B, C, D and CRIP participate in "Operation Nutcracker"|
|July 31||Bravo and CRIP at FSB Hunsley fire artillery on enemy unit, kill several and get weapons|
SUBJECT: Operational Report of the 25th Infantry Division for the Period Ending 31 July 1969, RCS CSFOR - 65 (E-1)
Location: Cu Chi Base Camp (XT647153), Cu Chi, RVN.
Reporting Officer: Major General Ellis W. Williamson
Prepared By: Major Michael D. Keating, 18th Military History Detachment
1. (C) Section I, Operations: Significant Activities.
A. General: During the previous reporting quarter the 25th Infantry Division had completely preempted the enemy's planned "Winter-Spring" Offensive. In the last week of February 1969, the Division crushed the enemy attack forces which had moved against Patrol Base Diamond, Fire Support Base Mahone II, Dau Tieng Base Camp and Cu Chi Base Camp. During March the Division engaged in a series of intense battles with enemy forces in their staging areas along the Saigon River, and in the Ben Cui and Cau Khoi Rubber Plantations as numerous attempts to ambush Division convoys were turned into major enemy defeats. The Division maintained relentless pressure against the enemy units throughout April, forcing their depleted remnants to seek sanctuary. Toward the end of April the enemy made several futile attempts to salvage some success from his aborted offensive. His multi-battalion attacks against Patrol Base Diamond II, Patrol Base Diamond III and Patrol Base Frontier City, launched from Cambodia, resulted in abject defeat and the loss of 494 men. The Division's counteroffensive had left the enemy forces in a seriously weakened condition.
As the present reporting period began, the Division determined to pursue a three-fold objective aimed at preemption of any new enemy offensive moves. Through widespread reconnaissance missions and battlefield surveillance, the Division troops would detect, engage, and destroy enemy main forces units through the rapid reinforcement of and application of massive firepower to every contact. Combined operations with ARVN and RF/PF forces would be increased to the maximum in order to up-grade the efficiency of these units and to apply more combat power throughout the Division TAOR. The pacification program would be vigorously executed in order to further erode the enemy's physical and psychological strength. Special emphasis would be placed on the destruction of the Viet Cong Infrastructure. [end of page]
[Start of next page missing...] and psychological advantage over the U.S. and GVN, thus weakening our resolve, hastening our departure, and leaving the NLF politically dominant in South Vietnam.
The enemy planned to conduct this campaign with a series of high points of activity timed to coincide with significant Viet Cong and North Vietnamese holidays and important events at the Paris Peace Talks. Prior to each high point of activity, the main force units would avoid contact and prepare themselves in their base areas. During these periods the local forces would be active in extending their area of control through terrorism, and occupy the attention of U.S. and GVN forces by interdicting lines of communication and conducting harassing attacks, attacks by fire and sapper attacks. In addition to keeping U.S. and ARVN forces preoccupied, these tactics would screen the movement of main force supplies and units to forward areas. The high points themselves would involve coordinated attacks by main and local force units to disrupt the pacification efforts and seize objectives of significant political/psychological advantage.
Tay Ninh Province was pinpointed as the major battlefield of the earlier stages of the offensive. In that area, Tay Ninh City, Tay Ninh Base Camp (XT1551), Fire Support Base Washington (XT147568), Fire Support Base Buell (XT218535), Fire Support Base Crook (XT055595), the Tay Ninh Chieu Hoi Center (XT210500) and ARVN and U.S. installations at Ben Soi (XT093475) were targeted for attacks. Cu Chi (XT6515) and Dau Tieng (XT4047) Base Camps were also considered enemy objectives. In the southernmost portion of the TAOR, Duc Hoa City (XS4996) and Bao Trai (XS389998) as well as Fire Support Base Keene (XT604017), which sits astride a traditional enemy line of communication from Cambodia to Saigon, were given special attention by elements reconnoitering the area. The Phu Cuong and Ba Bep Bridges, vital links across the Saigon River, were also slated for destruction.
The considerably weakened enemy attempted to bolster local guerrilla forces with full time cadre for use in terrorist activities and disruption of the pacification program. Throughout May, enemy main force units received replacements and supplies, conducted training in rear base areas, and sent out reconnaissance elements while local forces continued terrorist activities and assassinations. Special instruction in techniques for sapper squads was completed by the 1st of June, pointing to a possible increase in this type of activity.
During this period, the plight of the enemy soldier seemed to be far from improving. Attempts to offset low morale were evidenced by frequent issuance of directives stressing ideological indoctrination. The Committee on South Vietnam no longer promised total victory and set limited military objectives for their forces. The fear of air strikes, continuous failure [end of page]
[Start of next page missing...] During May, the organization of Division forces in the 1st Brigade area around Tay Ninh City included the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23rd Infantry, and the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, supported by the 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery and, for the first ten days of May, by Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry.
The 4-9 Inf was given the mission of conducting day and night offensive operations in the Renegade (XT2828-XT2832) and Straight Edge (XT1634) Woods to interdict VC/NVA lines of communication; to find and destroy enemy base areas, caches and elements of the 271st and 272nd NVA Regiments and D16 VC/NVA Battalion. The 4-23 Mech was given a similar mission in areas generally north of Tay Ninh City along with prevention of enemy control of Highways 22 and 26. The mission of the 3-22 Inf was to locate and destroy elements of the 273rd NVA Regiment northwest of Tay Ninh and to preempt attacks by fire against Tay Ninh City and Tay Ninh Base Camp. Emphasis was also placed upon conducting night operations based upon current intelligence to further frustrate enemy operations.
The 2nd Brigade continued operations in Hau Nghia Province with six battalions conducting extensive reconnaissance/search operations. The 2nd Brigade was composed of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, with the mission of destroying elements of the 259th VC/NVA Battalion, the 2642 VC/NVA Battalion and local VCI in the Bao Trai-My Hanh region (XT5005); the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, charges with destroying base areas, caches and interdicting movement of the 9th VC/NVA Division west of the Vam Co Dong River; the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, with the mission of locating and destroying base areas and caches of the 88th and 268th Regiments and eliminating VC cadre in the Trung Lap-Hobo Woods area (XT5020-6020) as well as preventing attacks by fire against Cu Chi Base Camp; the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, with the mission of destroying local forces of the 109th and 268th VC/NVA Regiments and local VC cadre in the upper Citadel area (XT5025); the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor (-), operating in the Filhol-Phu Hoa Dong areas (XT6720-XT7010) to conduct reconnaissance/search operations to interdict enemy movement and destroy local force elements and Viet Cong cadre; and the 1st Battalion, 508th Airborne Infantry, to preempt enemy activity east of the Angel's Wing.
The 1-508 Inf left Division control on 24 May and the 3rd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry shifted to support elements of the 2nd Brigade. The 2nd Brigade was supported by the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery.
The 2nd Battalion (Mechanized), 22nd Infantry, and the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, supported by the 2nd Battalion, 77th Artillery, continued to be the maneuver battalions under 3rd Brigade control in the western portion of Binh Duong Province. The 2-22 Mech had the basic mission of contacting [end of page]
[Start of next page missing...] The 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry was to operate in the western Citadel region north of Go Dau Ha and destroy elements of teh 88th, and 268th VC/NVA Regiments and VC cadre. Elements of the 1-5 Mech and 2-14 Inf, under the operational control of the 2-34 Armor, provided security for the Phu Cuong (XT8114) and Ba Bep (XT7813) Bridges.
The month of May was generally characterized by scattered activity throughout the Division area with the major actions developing in the 2nd Brigade area in Hau Nghia Province as a result of preemptive operations conducted by Division forces. During the first week in May, enemy main force units were in a standdown posture, performing reconnaissance, resupply missions and training. Operation Toan Thang, Phase III was still in effect as Division forces moved to counter these preparatory gestures by the enemy.
[At this point the report goes into more detail on the operations of the various Division units. Only those in which the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry participated, have been included on this page.]
In the eastern portion of the 2nd Brigade AO on 6 May at 1300 hours, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, conducted a combat assault along a suspected enemy route to Saigon (XT765160). They located an enemy force and engaged them with organic weapons. An element from the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor, joined the contact and placed 90mm tank fire on the enemy. Helicopter gunships and artillery were employed and a sweep of the area revealed 29 enemy killed. One enemy soldier rallied to Company D (2-14 Inf) and identified the enemy force in contact as the 2nd Battalion, Quyet Thang Regiment.
On the night of 12 May, the Division received its share of the theatre-wide shellings that struck most major U.S. installations. Dau Tieng Base Camp (XT4947) received 38 107mm rockets, 11 120mm mortar rounds and four 82mm mortar rounds; Cu Chi Base Camp (XT6515) was hit with six 107mm rockets, and Tay Ninh Base Camp (XT1551) received 33 107mm rockets. There were also attacks by fire on FSB Pershing (XT518256), FSB Patton (XT583217), PB Diamond III (XT327215), FSB Stoneman (XT303710), FSB Rawlings (XT317497), PB Frontier City (XT203293), FSB Crook (XT055595), and Tower #1 at the Phu Hoa Dong Compound (XT7019). The Combined Reconnaissance/Intelligence Platoon, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, suffered the heaviest losses with one man killed and five wounded as 100 rounds of 82mm mortar fire rained down on their position in the Cu Chi Sub-sector (XT627125). Other than this incident, the Division had three men wounded. Fire Support Base Rawlings effectively returned fire with a Night Hawk helicopter and killed 11 NVA, after receiving 75mm recoilless rifle fire.
Company D, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, located a cache in the Filhol Rubber Plantation (XT639219) at 1340 hours that same day (20 May), uncovering 18 rounds of RPG ammunition, 18 RPG boosters, 80 rounds of M-79 ammunition and quantities of 155mm, 105mm and small arms ammunition.
During June, the enemy launched a series of attacks which constituted the second phase of his Summer Offensive. The main thrust of these attacks was centered in Tay Ninh Province, the 1st Brigade area of operations, as the 9th VC/NVA Division moved against Tay Ninh City. The attacks were preempted by Division and GVN forces. Intelligence sources indicated that the enemy immediate objective in attempting to enter the city and hold a portion of it for a five day period was to announce the establishment of Tay Ninh City as the capitol of the NLF's Provisional government. The enemy also hoped to show the local populace that the allied forces could not protect them, by destroying confidence in the GVN pacification program.
The 2nd Brigade experienced a moderate level in the number of contacts initiated while conducting reconnaissance-in-force operations. On 8 June, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry and Company A, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, conducted a bomb damage assessment north of Trung Lap in the Citadel (XT573247) where they located seven NVA KIA and seven AK-47 rifles. At 1705 hours in this same area, the two companies initiated a firefight with elements of the 268th VC/NVA Regiment, engaging them with organic weapons, artillery, air strikes and helicopter gunships. Seventeen NVA were killed and eight small arms captured or destroyed.
At 1150 hours on 14 June, Companies A and B, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, with the support of the 116th Assault Helicopter Company conducted a combat assault in the Filhol Rubber Plantation (XT624216) and engaged an element of the C18AA Company of the 268th VC/NVA Regiment. Initial contact was made by an infantryman who killed an enemy soldier with small arms fire. The gunships accounted for 15 enemy KIA. One prisoner-of-war was captured and nine small arms destroyed. A reconnaissance after the firefight produced another NVA prisoner-of-war and a small quantity of arms and ammunition.
In the 2nd Brigade area at 2200 hours on the night of 22 June, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, positioned three platoon-sized night combat patrols in an area south of Trung Lap (XT577178-XT573180-XT569183) where scattered enemy activity had been experienced the night before. As soon as the 3rd Platoon established its position, they were informed by an observation post that Viet Cong were mining Highway 7A nearby. A reconnaissance element was ordered to investigate the report and engaged the Viet Cong with M-79 fire. The enemy returned fire with M-79 grenades and RPG's and the reconnaissance element withdrew. Helicopter gunships were requested to place fire on the suspected enemy positions and the enemy pulled back near a village where they began engaging the 3rd Platoon with 60mm mortar fire, killing one U.S. and wounding six. The 3rd Platoon was reinforced by the other two combat patrols and Company B (2-14 Inf). While Company B, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, established a blocking position. The enemy was engaged with artillery, M-72 light anti-tank weapons, helicopter and AC-47 gunships and, at 0200 hours, a sweep of the contact site uncovered 30 enemy KIA, 17 small arms and a 60mm mortar. [For a first-person account of this action, read "Tales Of A War Far Away: That Circle In The Sky"]
On 25 June, a light observation helicopter flown by Troop D, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, in the same general area of the previous day's contact (XT647288), took several hits from small arms and engaged the area with gunships, artillery and air strikes. Company A, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, swept the area and located ten NVA KIA and three AK-47 rifles.
On 27 June, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry conducted a combat assault into an area near the Saigon River five kilometers northwest of Phu Cuong (XT758170) and, at 1055 hours, made contact with an enemy force of unknown size, probably an element of the Quyet Thang Regiment. The enemy returned a heavy volume of RPG and small arms fire, killing three Americans and wounding four. enemy anti-aircraft fire hit a gunship, a command and control helicopter (2-14 Inf) and a MEDEVAC helicopter. Company B, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, reacting to the contact, reinforced Company C (2-14 Inf) from the west. Helicopter gunships, air strikes and artillery supported the sharp fighting and when the enemy broke contact the infantrymen located 44 NVA KIA, 15 AK-47 rifles, two RPG rocket launchers and 100 rounds of RPG ammunition.
July: The 2nd Brigade continued operations north of Highway 1 from Trang Bang to Phu Cuong, with primary emphasis in the Citadel (XT5025). The maneuver battalions in the 2nd Brigade were the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, with the mission of conducting intensive Eagle flight, combat assault and reconnaissance mission operations in the Citadel to destroy the 268th Regiment with emphasis on night operations and utilizing the mobile patrol base concept; the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, operating in the Citadel with the 2-12 Inf to destroy the 268th VC/NVA Regiment and local forces, and MSR security along Highway 1 and 8A; and the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, based at FSB Emory (XT702147), with the mission of conducting air mobile and reconnaissance/search operations in the Ho Bo Woods (XT6027) and Phu Hoa Dong areas against elements of the Quyet Thang Regiment and other main forces attempting to infiltrate through this traditional infiltration corridor, and combined operations with Regional, Provincial and 5th ARVN Division elements. The Brigade was also to support pacification efforts in Trang Bang, Cu Chi and Phu Hoa Dong Districts.
As the month of July approached, the Division continued to focus its attention on Tay Ninh Province. The 9th VC/NVA Division had been soundly defeated in its two moves toward Tay Ninh City during June. Its 271st and 272nd Regiments had suffered heavy losses in personnel and equipment as had the D1 and D14 Provincial Battalions. The highly successful preemptive campaign of the 4-23 Mech against elements of the 88th NVA Regiment, who had fled to Nui Ba Den mountain following its feeble attempts to penetrate the northern sector of the city, left that unit seriously weakened. Despite these overwhelming defeats, intelligence indicated that these same elements of the 9th VC/NVA Division planned to attempt a "more violent" effort at securing the Cao Dai Temple and proclaiming it as the seat of the NLF's illegal, shadow government.
All indicators pointed to the 15-25 July time-frame as the period during which the attack on the city was most likely to occur. Concurrent with this series of actions, the enemy planned to secure Highway 22 from Tay Ninh to Trang Bang and then overthrow the Go Dau Ha district. By 2 July, main force units were to relinquish the battlefield to local force and guerilla units who would maintain pressure while main force units prepared for the highpoint in their staging areas. On 15 July, the main forces would return to initiate the highpoint. Some reports indicated that if the planned highpoint failed to achieve its goals, the cycle would be repeated until Tay Ninh City was seized. One source stated that on 1 July, attacks by fire would be launched in the area to coincide with such attacks throughout Vietnam but this action did not take place. The targets for the offensive continued to be Division installations near the Cambodian Border (FSB Crook, FSB Washington) in the initial stages with the attack concluding in approaches to the city from the north, northwest and southwest. As the month of July began, the 271st and 272nd Regiments were believed to be located west-southwest of Tay Ninh near and in Cambodia; the 88th Regiment remained on and around Nui Ba Den mountain, and the D1 and D14 Battalions were located west of the Straight Edge Woods in Bo Ba Tay, Cambodia. However, one agent indicated that the D14 may have been operating in the upper Cau Khoi Rubber Plantation (XT3248).
The 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, operating in the eastern portion of the TAOR, killed 30 enemy soldiers, captured 13 prisoners-of-war and 24 weapons, and received one rallier in contacts initiated while on reconnaissance/search missions. On 9 July, Company A supported by an Air Force forward air controller engaged elements of the 3rd Battalion, 268th Regiment and the Trang Bang District Force in the Ho Bo Woods (XT592279). While the infantrymen exchanged small arms and automatic weapons fire with the enemy, helicopter gunships and air strikes were employed in support. The joint effort resulted in 17 enemy killed.
While the 1st Brigade worked to preempt any moves against Tay Ninh City, the 2nd Brigade experienced numerous small contacts. In the meantime, the capture of a senior captain of Sub-Region 1 correlated with documents captured by the 1st Infantry Division in June gave the Division an indication of the effects of its preemptive efforts in Sub-Region 1. The document, a report signed by a cadre of the Rear Service Staff, Sub-Region 1, COSVN, stated that allied activities had greatly hampered operations in northern Cu Chi District. The report indicated that the activities of civilian labor teams, assault youth group0s, and transportation units had been greatly reduced due to the large increase of allied operations and that the extensive use of armored vehicles, helicopters, air strikes and artillery by US/GVN forces had destroyed many rice storage, animal and poultry and transportation and hospital areas. Pressure was also applied to these areas by a large number of successful ambushes.
Trang Bang District was referred to several times as an extremely weak area. One paragraph revealed that the guerrilla movement had been slowly deteriorating due to a lock of cooperation by the local populace. The people refused to conceal troops, care for wounded soldiers, store rice or join civilian labor teams. As a direct result, the collection and purchasing of goods were seriously impaired. In addition, the document stated that the GVN "Chieu Hoi" program had been intensified and that the exploitation and employment of Hoi Chanhs to strike enemy forces had endangered many concealed positions.
This evaluation of the enemy's current situation in Trang Bang was expanded to include all of Sub-Region 1 by Tran Minh Dao who was captured when he tried to conceal himself in a spider hole. Dao was a senior captain who at the time of his capture was on his way to train company grade and higher officers of the 1st and 3rd Battalions, 268th Regiment. He had been with the Viet Minh as early as 1949, and had been trained in North Vietnam. Dao indicated that, due to heavy losses and land clearing operations, the 268th Regiment and Quyet Thang Regiment were going to revert back to the Phase I guerrilla and sapper tactics of pre-Tet 1968. this change in tactics is indicative of the erosion of Sub-Region 1's capabilities due to heavy losses inflicted by US/GVN forces in 1968/1969.
The change in tactics would also include increased mining and attacks against small units. Large scale attacks by night would be replaced by [end of page].
[Start of next page missing...] The 268th Regiment and Quyet Thang Regiment had been unable to keep their units together. The Rome plow land clearing efforts eliminated the ability of the Viet Cong forces to concentrate. Dao said that the enemy in Sub-Region 1 would not be able to mount its attacks until September until which time it would concentrate on destroying the increasing capabilities of ARVN forces and made good use of propaganda material against the ARVN/U.S. forces. He recommended that the Division conduct daylight operations by first locating a specific target, preparing the area with napalm and artillery fires to destroy mines and booby traps, and moving in infantry troops by air to block routes of escape. On 19 July, the Division carried out a highly successful airmobile raid in this manner.
On 10 July, a prisoner captured by Company B, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry in the vicinity of Sa Nho in the Ho Bo Woods (XT575275), stated that he knew the location of a house where 20-25 members of his unit stayed each night. These personnel, who were responsible for supplying food for NVA units operating in the Tu Duon/Sa Nho area, arrived each night at approximately 1800 hours and remained until dawn the following morning. He indicated that this house had been used every night for the past seven months.
[For more information, read the After Action report for the subsequent raid on 19-July-1969.]
On 16 July, a Visual Reconnaissance Mission was flown by the IPW section and hand-held photographs were taken of the Sa Nho area. The photographs were shown to this prisoner who immediately identified the same hut which had been under surveillance by the Imagery Interpretation Section.
This information was passed to the S2 of the 2nd Brigade who in turn recommended the target to the Brigade S3 for response. The Brigade decision was to conduct an early evening airmobile raid and the mission was given to the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry. After a careful reconnaissance and evaluation of the objective, the Battalion Commander decided to employ heavy preparatory gunship and artillery fires, a close troop insertion, continuous close fire support, and a rapid troop extraction. Two platoons from Company B, 2-14 Inf (OPCON 1-5 Mech) would be employed.
The execution of these plans at 1730 hours was perfectly timed and highly effective. Helicopter gunship and artillery preparations were shifted just as the nine-ship lift set down on its LZ. Encountering only sporadic and ineffective return fire, the two platoons overran their objective. A sweep of the area uncovered 47 enemy killed and a large amount of abandoned equipment. After these elements were extracted, two F-100 fighters hit the area with fragmentation bombs and napalm. This strike was followed by another with two A-37 fighters bombarding the area. A PSYOPS helicopter was diverted to the scene to broadcast "Surrender or Die" appeals. This was followed by an artillery attack of 145 rounds, and by another PSYOPS mission consisting of surrender appeals and 30,000 safe conduct passes and "Chieu Hoi" leaflets being dropped.
A sweep was conducted the next day by one mechanized (1-5 Mech) and [end of page]
[Start of next page missing...] radio, 30 pounds of medical supplies, 3000 pounds of rice, and six pounds of documents captured. Of the detainees apprehended, one was classified as an NVA prisoner-of-war, one as a Viet Cong guerrilla, one as a Viet Cong prisoner-of-war, and tree as civil defendants. There were no Division casualties.
The installation destroyed in this raid had housed the A-17 Local Force Dispensary, served as a supply point for the 83rd Rear Service Group, and as a way station for VC/NVA elements moving through the area.
At 0055 hours on 22 July, a night combat patrol from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, engaged the 24-man 2 company, 2nd Battalion, [end of page]
[To read more about this action, which actually occurred on July 19, read "Tales Of A War Far Away: Stamps And Silk Stockings" and "19 July After Action Report"]
At 1030 hours on 25 July, the Combined Reconnaissance/Intelligence Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, with elements of the 1-5 Mech three kilometers northwest of Trung Lap in the Citadel (XT562230), engaged a small, well-entrenched enemy force, later identified from documents as elements of the Cu Chi District Force, with organic weapons, helicopter gunships and air strikes, resulting in four enemy killed and one hand grenade, one AK-47 rifle, one K54 pistol and one .45 caliber pistol destroyed.
On 27 July, elements of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, under the operational control of the 1-5 Mech, conducted extensive searches of an area five kilometers north of Trung Lap (XT5826) with Company C establishing a blocking position (XT590264-XT588268). At 1950 hours, the Combined Reconnaissance/Intelligence Platoon (2-14 Inf) apprehended six detainees (XT580268), resulting in three Viet Cong prisoners-of-war and one civil defendant being identified. At 1120 hours, Company A evacuated 500 rounds of small arms ammunition and 550 sets of NVA uniforms (XT576271). At 1232 hours, a command and control helicopter (1-5 Mech) killed an NVA soldier with automatic weapons as he attempted to evade observation (XT568256) and at 1347 hours, the Combined Reconnaissance/Intelligence Platoon (2-14 Inf) killed four NVA with automatic weapons.
On 28 July, the 2nd Brigade dealt elements of the 268th Regiment and local Viet Cong elements another devastating blow in a one-day operation code-named "Operation Nutcracker." The operation arose out of information gained from a Hoi Chanh and targets spotted by the Tactical Imagery Interpretation Section of the 25th Infantry Division Military Intelligence Detachment. It involved elements from six infantry and one mechanized company with one Regional Force company supported by four batteries of artillery [end of page]
[Start of next page missing...] first objective was located in the vicinity of XT579238 and was the primary target of the operation, aimed at the capture of a prominent Viet Cong official. Companies A and D, and the Combined Reconnaissance/Intelligence Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, with the Regional Force Company searched this area but experienced only minor contact.
Objective 3 (XT571245) was north of the primary target and searches by Companies B and C (2-14 Inf) also resulted in minor contact. Companies C and D (2-14 Inf) then moved to Objective 4 (XT571252) while Company B, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry searched Objective 5 (XT575230).
On 31 July at 0250 hours, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry at Patrol Base Hunsley engaged an estimated 20 enemy with artillery, resulting in two enemy killed. At 0930 hours, the Combined Reconnaissance/Intelligence Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, engaged six enemy five kilometers north of Trang Bang (XT485249) with small arms and automatic weapons, resulting in three NVA killed and three prisoners-of-war. They also located one .38 caliber pistol, two M16 rifles, one RPG round and 500 rounds of small arms ammunition.
Selected excerpts from the remainder of the 120-page report:
(31) (U) ITEM: The frequency of Road Mining Incidents on Unimproved Roads.
(a) OBSERVATION: It has been observed that the frequency of mining incidents is inversely proportional to the quality of the road surface.
(b) EVALUATION: TL 6A was recently upgraded with rock and laterite fill and then capped with a peneprime coating. The decrease in mining activity was immediately evident. TL 7A, which received only periodic grading, was mined seventeen (17) times during the month of June despite increased emphasis on countermining activities.
[TL 7A was the road from Bau Dieu to Fire Support Base Patton II, and while we were in the process of constructing it, each day we watched the resupply convoy proceed up the road as we wagered which vehicle would be the first to hit a mine! For a first-person account of the road mining activity, read "Tales Of A War Far Away: The Road Gang"]
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That efforts be made to continuously upgrade secondary roads to fire support bases and other facilities in an effort to reduce road mining incidents.
Operational Report of the 25th Infantry Division for the Period Ending 31 July 1969
Copyright © 2009 Kirk S. Ramsey
Last modified: November 18, 2009