combat operations after-action report information

From date 661101 to 661107

Primary service involved, US Army
Tay Ninh Province, III Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Suoi Da
Description: AFTER ACTION REPORT MIKE FORCE: ATTLEBORO, 1 - 7 NOVEMBER 1966 SUBJECT: After Action Report MIKE Force/"Attleboro" 1-7 Nov 66 2. General: a. III Corps MIKE Force had moved to Loc Ninh on 30 October 1966 in support of moving to new camp site, and was on an operation in Loc Ninh area. b. III Corps MIKE Force was alerted 2 November 1966 to move from Loc Ninh to Suoi Da. The move was completed at 1430 2 November 1966. 3. Task Organization: a. 530 Nungs in three (3) companies. b. Seven USASF EM. c. One USASF Officer. 4. Mission: Combat Reconnaissance. 5. Sequence of Events: 1 Nov: 2210 - China Boy alerted for movement from Loc Ninh to Suoi Da. 2 Nov: 0800 - 1st MIKE force company extracted from LZ. 0900 - Company closed Loc Ninh. 1045 - 2nd Company extraction began. 1215 - Completed extraction 2nd Company. 1030 - C-123 aircraft began arriving Loc Ninh. Direct support helicopter company moved from Loc Ninh to Tay Ninh East to lift MF from Tay Ninh East; and to lift MF from Tay Ninh West to Suoi Da. 1352 - Tay Ninh. 1530 - Movement of MF from Tay Ninh to Suoi Da completed. 1630 - China Boy Company 3 deployed. 3 Nov: 0830 - China Boy Company 1 deployed. 1220 - China Boy Company 3 engaged est VC Co vic XT486687, VC broke contact at 1245, fled north. SSG Monaghan wounded right arm and fingers (GSW). 1815 - China Boy Company 1 made contact vic XT458587 with est VC platoon. VC broke contact 1830. SSG Garza WIA (GSW). 4 Nov: 0730 - China Boy Company 1 hit mined area vic XT561588. One MF KIA, two MF WIA. Medevac chopper downed by SF fire vic XT485622, while enroute to China Boy Company 1's location. One US KIA (Crew Member), chopper was recovered. 1445 - China Boy Company 3 made contact vic XT416670 with est VC Bn or Regt. China Boy Company 3 withdrew south and called in airstrike. On initial contact chain saws, generators, and trucks could be heard. VC counterfired with 81mm and 60mm mortar, AW and SA fire, then tried to close with China Boy Company 3 elements. 1800 - Received resupply of ammunition and food vic XT435668. 2200 - China Boy Company 3 indicated that he was receiving heavy casualties and VC were encircling him. 2300 - China Boy Company 3 indicated light contact. 5 Nov: 0230 - China Boy Company 3 indicates contact with VC has ceased. 0730 - China Boy Company 3 receiving heavy volume of fire. Requested reinforcements. 0745 - Radio contact with China Boy Company 3 broken. 0800 - China Boy Companies I and 2 proceeding to China Boy Company 3's location. 0845 - China Boy Company 2 hit VC bunkers. Negative contact. 0940 - 28 MF personnel picked up by CIDG CO from Suoi Da. 0935 - China Boy Company 3 having casualties evacuated vic XT388634. 1200 - Three USSF MIA. 55 MF from China Boy Company 3 made linkup with China Boy Companies 1 and 2. Of those 15 to 25 WIA. 1330 - One MF drowned while crossing river with China Boy Company 1. 6 Nov: 1040 - Est VC platoon with mortars attacked Suoi Da airfield, 4 CIDF KIA, 2 WIA. 1700 - 9 MF personnel closed in to Suoi Da. 7 Nov: 1430 - MF begins move to Loc Ninh. 1600 - MF completes move to Loc Ninh. 1645 - One US body found. 1830 - MF bodies returned to Bien Hoa by CV-2 aircraft. 6. On 30 October, all 3 companies of the Mike Force deployed to Loc Ninh, A-331 Binh Long Province, to conduct operations in response to intelligence reports that the camp was a possible target for a major VC attack prior to 11 November 1966. However, hard intelligence reports received on 1 November indicated that a VC regiment had moved into the operational area of Camp Suoi Da, A-322, Tay Ninh Province. A decision was made to move the Mike Force into that area, and this was accomplished on 2 November. On 031220 November, the 3rd Mike Force Company made contact with an estimated VC company. The VC immediately broke contact and an airstrike was called in on their route of withdrawal. At 031845, contact was again established with an estimated VC platoon which resulted in 10 VC KIA and two USASF WIA. At 040730, the 1st Mike Force Company hit a mined area and suffered one KIA and two W1A. A Med Evac chopper in the same general vicinity was shot down by small arms fire and resulted in one US KIA. At 041445, the 3rd Mike Force Company made contact with an estimated battalion or regimental sized VC force. This contact resulted in 15 VC KIA and two Mike Force WIA. The Mike Force Company was still in contact at 041540 and attempted to withdraw to the south. At 042000 the Mike Force Commander reported that he was surrounded and had suffered 35 casualties (KIA). The remaining two CIDG companies departed Camp Suoi Da to reinforce the operation. At 042305 the 3rd Mike Force Company Commander reported that he was still in contact. Enemy casualties reported at this time were 50 VC KIA. Contact with the VC was broken at 050330. At 050900 the 3rd Mike Force Company again reported that they were receiving a heavy volume of fire. They were instructed to secure an LZ so that an attempt could be made to extract them from the area. This was accomplished at 051200. All Mike Force elements were extracted at 051830. Interview with SFC Heaps, 7 Nov 66: At 021630 Nov China Boy 3 landed at LZ vicinity XT491644, and began moving north (see attached overlay). At 031220 Nov vic XT473683 China Boy 3 discovered tunnel complex and fortifications. While destroying complex, VC fired on China Boy 3 wounding SSG Monaghan. China Boy 3 withdrew east to LZ, vic XT487686. Med Evac arrived, casualties were loaded, but because chopper was overloaded it could not take off. SSG Hunt, who came in with the Med Evac elected to remain with China Boy 3 so that casualties could be evacuated. Again China Boy 3 moved west to tunnel complex, but could not take it because of intense fire. China Boy 3 broke contact and moved to vicinity XT465692 (see overlay). Here they heard several motors that sounded like generators and trucks, plus several chain saws. Heavy contact was made. China Boy 3 received heavy automatic weapons fire and mortar fire. Mortars sounded like 60mm. China Boy 3 broke contact and moved to LZ vicinity XT435667 (see overlay). All during the time they were moving to LZ they were receiving sporadic small arms fire. Also when they crossed road vic XT453667, they received mortar fire. At LZ vic XT435667 China Boy 3 received resupply of food and ammunition. From resupply LZ the unit moved to vicinity XT444672, went into defensive perimeter and began breaking down ammo. While they were breaking down ammo, the VC attacked from the east in a "U" shaped formation. It was beginning to get dark and the VC withdrew to approximately 100 meters east of China Boy 3's position and maintained contact all night. At approximately 0645-0700 the following morning the VC made another assault on China Boy 3's position and overran them. SFC Heaps and SSG Hunt were wounded during this assault. SFC Heaps said he was knocked unconscious and when he came to SSG Hunt was giving him first aid. Heaps and Hunt decided to get to the LZ vic XT424680. They had two Mike Force with them, one was wounded. They couldn't move very fast or very far without resting, and Heaps and Hunt would pass out periodically. Finally Hunt said he could go no further so Heaps left one Mike Force with Hunt and continued to the LZ. After this Heaps didn't remember anything. Interview of SFC E7 Heaps on 7 Nov 66, 3rd Field Hospital. REFERENCE: LOC NINH Map Sheet 6245 II 465691 to 473681, first contact Area of Operations: Major contact overrun at 440669 Weather: Excellent, high clouds, temperature Terrain: Jungle, (thick) close to water supply, within 500 meters of road on high ground. Fortifications: Tunnel and bunker complexes for one, two or squad size positions. All with overhead cover and pre-arranged fields of fire. Positions were hardened against direct fire. Weapons, uniforms and equipment: Automatic weapons were in abundance; of the two weapons captured they were AK's. They had a lot of machine guns, sounded like 30 cal, heavy. Uniforms were mixed, personnel KIA had on black shoes. All of the soldiers encountered had complete sets of web gear. Significant weapons: Grenade launcher which looked like our LAW, light in weight, approximately 3 feet long, markings appeared to be Chinese, possible identification: Chinese antitank grenade launcher type 56, P. 155 DA pamphlet 381-10. Indirect fire was provided by 60mm mortars, identification by rounds. Tactics: Fire discipline was excellent. Upon making contact, VC fired in mass; upon breaking contact VC ceased fire without sporadic firing. The VC maintained contact while the unit was trying to break contact. They mortared and sniped at them in the retreat. After fixing the new location of the 3rd Company they (VC) attacked using squad fire and maneuver up to grenade range and then reverted to individual action. By this time, it was almost dark, so the VC withdrew approximately 100 meters and maintained contact all night. At 0645-0700 the next morning they assaulted using the same tactics with a heavy volume of fire suppressing the 3rd Company's position. Movement was forward by flanks and frontal assault forces. Other: The VC troopers were young and aggressive. At grid 465691 - Generators and chain saws were heard. US/Mike Force and VC casualties from 2-11 Nov. Opn "ATTLEBORO" UNIT FRIENDLY; KIA; WIA; MIA 1st;22 ;72 ;0 196th, 25th;46 ;300 ;5 USASF;1 ;3 ;1 Mike Force;25 ;17 ;7 TOTAL:;94 ;392 ;13 UNIT VC; Killed; Possible Killed; POW 1st; 721; 0; 5 25th; 181; 0 ; 0 173rd; 4; 0; 0 Mike Force; 85; 448; 0 TOTAL; 991; 448; 5 Following units identified: 271, 272, 273; 320 MFPMB, 70 Regt, 10th NVA Inf. 271 by contact and/or documents. 273 Regt and 272 Regt contact XT4254 by 2/1st Inf. 272 Regt contact on 4 Nov at Suoi Cau XT4530 one of our agents says the 320 are also involved. This is reasonable since this whole area is in their AO. 101st Regt by captive XT431559 on 8 Nov. 70 Regt possibly contact by 1/16 Inf on 9 Nov. 271 by 1 POW on 3 Nov. this unit identified by ASPAR in the southern part of the contact area SW of Dau Tieng. All of the documents and POW intelligence reports are still at lower level Headquarters and have not reached FFII yet for closer examination. US units committed to Operations: US 173d Abn Bde - 2 Bns ARVN Ranger Bns (Attached) - 2 US 1st Div - 8 Bns US 25th Div - 3 Bns 196th Bde - 1 Bn /a/ Thomas Myerchin / t / Thomas Myerchin CPT, INFANTRY COMMANDING

The source for this information was Vietnam Source document prepared by Ron Leonard

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021