combat operations after-action report information
3 BDE 25 INF was a US Army unit
for 3 BDE 25 INF
From date 670501 to 670731
Primary service involved, US Army
Quang Ngai Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Duc Pho
Description: HEADQUARTERS, 3RD BRIGADE TASK FORCE, 25th Infantry Division, APO San Francisco 96355
AVDO-0-0P: 10 August 1967
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period 31 July 1967 (RCS-CSFOR-65) (U).
TO: See Distribution
SECTION I (C) SIGNIFICANT ORGANIZATION ACTIVITIES
1. (C) GENERAL: During the reporting period 1 May to 31 July 1967, the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division participated in Operation Baker for a total of 92 consecutive days in combat. The 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division has participated in 448 days of consecutive days in combat as of 31 July 1967.
a. Mission: The Brigade mission in Operation Baker was to assume responsibility within the DUC PHO TAOR, for:
(1) Offensive and defensive operations designed to locate and destroy NVA, Main Force, Local Force, and Guerrilla units as well as Viet Cong Infrastructure.
(2) Support of Revolutionary Development.
(3) Counter infiltration operations in the coastal areas within the TAOR.
(4) Conduct of psychological operations in support of tactical operations and revolutionary development.
(5) Conduct of offensive and reconnaissance operations within the TAOR, coordinating as appropriate with CG 2nd ARVN Division.
(6) Conduct of offensive operations outside of DUC PHO TAOR, as directed or approved by CG TASK FORCE OREGON.
(7) Participating in the defense of other US and GVN critical installations as directed by CG TASK FORCE OREGON.
(8) As directed by CG TASK FORCE OREGON and in coordination with appropriate GVN Provincial and District Authorities, assist in the training of and render support to GVN Regional and Popular Forces.
(9) Be prepared on a quick reaction basis when directed by CG TASK FORCE OREGON to relieve and/or reinforce CIDC Camps at BA TO (BS558327), GIA VUC (BS 379270), TRA BONG (BS345882), HA THANH (BS386704), MINH LONG (BS541525), and KHAM DUC (ZC005080). 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division has primary responsibility for BA TO and GIA VUC; secondary responsibility for the latter four camps.
(10) Be prepared on 12 hours notice to provide one reinforced infantry battalion for employment anywhere in South Vietnam. Be prepared on an additional 12 hours notice, to deploy the remainder of the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division anywhere in South Vietnam.
b. Operational Area (See inclosure 1): The area designated for Operation Baker encompasses the majority of DUC PHO and parts of MO DUC Districts, Quang Ngai Province, covering an area of approximately 155 square miles.
c. Control: The 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division was under the operational control of TASK FORCE OREGON throughout the reporting period.
d. Task Organization: Principal units of the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division, with commanders' names and dates of command and the major supporting and operational control units are as follows:
Headquarters, 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division
Colonel James G. Shanahan (1 May - 24 June 1967)
Colonel George E. Wear (24 June - 31 July 1967)
Deputy Commander 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division
LTC Rodney B. Gilbertson (1 May - 22 June 1967)
LTC John D. Weil (22 June - 31 July 1967)
1st Battalion, 14th Infantry
LTC William H. Miller (1 May - 21 July 1967)
LTC Peter P. Petro (21 July - 31 July 1967)
1st Battalion, 35th Infantry
MAJ James E. Moore
2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry
LTC Clinton E. Granger (1 May - 14 June 1967)
LTC Norman L. Tiller Sr. (14 June - 31 July 1967)
2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery
LTC Bruce Holbrook (1 May - 18 June 1967)
LTC Gerald B. Bobzien (19 June - 31 July 1967)
C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
CPT John P. Irving III (1 May - 9 May 1967)
CPT Ronald Penn (9 May - 28 May 1967)
1LT Richard A. Knudson (28 May - 31 July 1967)
3rd Support Battalion (PROV)
MAJ Robert R. Rutledge
Company D, 65th Engineer Battalion
CPT Arthur J. Panszo Jr.
40th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
1LT Robert W. Thackeray
174th Aviation Company (GS) (1 May - 31 July 1967)
C Co, 2nd 34th Armor (attached) (1 May - 31 July 1967)
B Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry (OPCON) (1 May - 15 June 1967)
MAJ John D. Weil (1 May - 15 June 1967)
MAJ Henri M. Weinberg (15 June - 31 July 1967)
MAJ Edgar Egeland
MAJ Emil P. Houben
MAJ John A. Joyce
MAJ JOHN W. Schnieder Jr. (1 May - 17 June 1967)
CPT Converse B. Smith (17 June - 31 July 1967)
a. Situation Prior to Deployment - DUC PHO and MO DUC had been under the domination of ultra Nationalistic Communists since the end of WW II. These two districts had provided the communists with a regular food source, a secure area for re-supply operations, important operational bases and many well indoctrinated communist leaders. Volumes of evidence indicate that every phase of daily life was organized to provide complete control over all of the people. Active in the area were Communist youth organizations, fisherman's associations, women's associations, farmer's associations, a teacher's federation, a merchant's association, a Buddhist association, and others. An extensive communist school and dispensary system had been organized. The control of the people was so thorough that the first three months of American Marine operations in the area convinced only three enemy to rally to the GVN. Government authorities in DUC PHO District estimated that 80% of the 90,000 people of DUC PHO were communists or communist sympathizers. Regular enemy forces in the vicinity included three battalions of the 22nd NVA Regiment with a composite strength of 1400 men, the 60th Battalion of the 1st VC Regiment with 300 men, the 300th Heavy Weapons Battalion of the 3rd NVA Division with 300 men, and several companies of local forces totaling about 300 men. These forces were augmented by armed guerrillas in the villages and hamlets and were materially aided by the extensive infrastructure of the local Communist Government.
b. The First Phase - 19 April 0 1 June: The 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division, fought a new type of battle upon deployment of troops in the lowlands of DUC PHO and MO DUC. Regular enemy troops were entrenched in fortified hamlets and were fighting with the local village and hamlet guerrillas. It was evident that the enemy had carefully considered all of the approaches to the fortified villages and had constructed mutually supporting bunkers with interconnecting trenches and concealed escape routes. The enemy fought wll, adjusting his forces to counter US attacks, exercising strict fire discipline and making maximum use of cover and concealment. The Brigade successfully countered these tactics and defeated the enemy in a series of fierce battles by utilizing helicopter assaults to surround a fortified village and then employing artillery and air strikes to destroy the enemy in his fortifications. During this period instances of ground to air fire and anti-personnel and anti-tank mining increased as a reaction to US Forces opening roads and conducting extensive search and destroy operations. The ground to air fire was preplanned and effective, however the enemy soon learned that if he fired at an aircraft US response was always immediate and violent. The mining incidents revealed that the enemy had several well trained sapper teams who were clever and imaginative in the use of local materials to fabricate their devices. Effective sources of tactical intelligence consisted of the inherent reconnaissance in force characteristic of search and destroy operations, aerial reconnaissance from patrolling helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, and agent reports from the District Operations and Intelligence Center. Each was effective, especially the DOIC agent reports which provided US Forces with extremely valuable and current information from which timely operations could be preplanned. The agent reports were not based solely upon professional low level agents. Most of the reports came from local people who had a vested interest in the Government of South Vietnam and a hatred and fear of communism.
c. The Second Phase - 2 June - 31 July: In contrast to the earlier period of Operation Baker, the pitched battles with regular enemy soldiers were fought only on the periphery of the area of operation. The enemy sought to avoid contact and concentrated his efforts on harassing friendly forces and interdicting traffic on Highway #1. During this period the number of mine and booby trap incidents continued to increase, however instances of ground to air fire against fixed wing and rotary type aircraft began to decrease. In late June and early July, evidence indicated that two and possibly three regular battalions had infiltrated into the area of operations north of the Tra Cau River. The brigade had pitched battles with three different regular force battalions in Northern MO DUC District. The operational bases for these enemy battalions were located in the vicinity of BS7052, BS7753, and BS7361, with the last the most active. Enemy activity in the southern part of DUC PHO District was reduced considerably. Several sharp contacts were made during the months of June and July, however most of the fighting consisted of methodically cleaning up small pockets of VC and NVA hiding in tunnels and hedgerows. Almost 700 VC were killed in this manner, mostly in the Northern part of the Brigade AO.
d. Summary of Enemy Personnel & Equipment Losses - 1 May - 31 July:
(3) Other Equipment:
SA Ammo: 13,034
81/82mm Mortar rounds: 312
60mm Mortar rounds: 1
Rocket Launcher: 7
TNT: 139 lbs.
250 lb bomb: 30
(b) Personal Equipment:
Clothing Sets: 25
Web Gear: 24
Med Equipment: 95 lbs
(d) Material Destroyed:
Rice: 717 lbs
(e) Material Captured:
Rice: 289.7 tons
Salt: 21.0 tons
3. OPERATIONS AND TRAINING:
(1) During Operation Baker, the 3rd Brigade TF had contingency plans for the relief and reinforcement of CIDG Camps at the following locations:
1. BA TO - BS556327.
2. GIA VUC - BS377271.
1. MINH LONG - BS535510.
2. TRA BONG - BS391704,
3. HA THANH - BS391704.
(2) 3RD Brigade TF prepared a MONTEZUMA Base Defense Plan and a plan to upgrade facilities at MONTEZUMA in preparation for the approaching monsoon season.
(1) General: The brigade continued with the missions assigned for Operation Baker throughout the reporting period (1 May - 31 July). The First and Second Battalions, 35th Infantry conducted search and destroy operations in their respective areas of responsibility with attachments from C Troop, 3/4 Cav and C 2/34 Armor. The contacts in May were heavy and in some cases were initiated by an enemy attack. In all cases the enemy forces were defeated and heavy casualties were inflicted. In June and July the contacts became smaller as the Brigade's operations forced the enemy forces to shift their base of operations into the hills and break up into small elements. It became more and more a process of locating and destroying small pockets of VC and NVA resistance. The concept of operations was to advance over suspected avenues of enemy movement, methodically searching for enemy personnel, caches, and fortifications. The objective was to deny the enemy use of the inhabited lowlands of DUC THO and MO DUC Districts and thereby cut him off from his sources of food, intelligence, labor and recruits. In order to accomplish this it was necessary to have the physical presence of US fire bases with the battalion command post. The general plan was to have the infantry battalions establish fire bases with the battalion command post, supporting indirect fire elements, and one rifle company and then conduct sweeps and search and destroy operations with the other rifle companies, attached cavalry, and attached armor elements. The Infantry was used to find and fix the enemy. Once this was accomplished, all available fire power was brought to bear on the enemy. Then the infantry advanced, methodically searching and destroying every enemy position.
(2) 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry: During the reporting period, the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry conducted search and destroy operations in their AO with the battalion CP located at LZ OD (OLIVE DRAB), BS786368. The battalion had major contacts in fortified villages on 19 May at NGA MAN and on 22 May at DIEN TRUONG (4). In addition there were many minor contacts and ambush engagements and one major contact in the mountains on 15 July with a reinforced NVA platoon, (See Inclosure 4).
(3) 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry: During the reporting period the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry conducted search and destroy operations in their AO with the Battalion CP being located at LZ LIZ, BS751436. The Battalion had three major contacts on 20 May, 21-29 May, and 21 June (See Inclosure 5,6). A detailed explanation of the techniques employed during these operations is included in the inclosure. In between these major contacts the battalion concentrated on finding and destroying the enemy located in the many spider holes and tunnels throughout the battalion area of operations. (See Inclosure 2.)
(4) 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry: During the reporting period the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry was under the operational control of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade.
(5) Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 45th Cavalry: From 1 May 1967 to 18 July 1967, C Troop (-) was OPCON to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Infantry. During this period, the Troop conducted search and destroy operations around LZ LIZ and east to the beach area. One platoon was OPCON to B Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry for security of LZ MONTEZUMA, with two of its APC's OPCON to the 39th Engineer Battalion, to provide security for engineer work parties along Highway #1. A provisional tank platoon was OPCON to the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry for search and destroy operations along the beach south of LZ GUADALCANAL. From 19 June to 31 July one APC platoon was OPCON to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry for search and destroy operations around LZ LIZ. The troop (-) was OPCON to the 3rd Brigade for security of LZ MONTEZUMA and the road from LZ MONTEZUMA to LZ GUADALCANAL. From 3 July 1967 to 31 July 1967 one platoon was OPCON to the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry for search and destroy operations in the Northwest corner of the battalion AO.
(6) D Company, 6th Engineer Battalion:
(a) Engineer support to the infantry battalions in the TAOR averaged five (5) line squads per day and consisted mainly of:
1 Clearing landing zones.
2 Destruction of enemy caves, tunnels, bunkers, and defensive positions.
3 Construction, maintenance, and clearing of defensive perimeters.
4 Mine clearing.
5 Technical assistance in construction of field fortifications.
6 Construction of tactical bridging.
(b) Engineer support at the forward base camp (LZ MONTEZUMA) including:
1. Construction and maintenance of Brigade forward base.
2. Helipad construction and maintenance.
3. Maintaining a water supply point.
4. Peneprime distribution.
5. Mine clearing.
6. Road construction.
(c) Base Defense: D/65th Engineer Battalion assumed responsibility for the control of the LZ MONTEZUMA Base Defense upon departure of B/1/9 Cav, 1st ACD.
(7) 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery: During the period 1 May 1967 through 31 July 1967, the mission of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery was direct support of the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division. Battery A was in direct support of the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry; Battery B was in direct support of the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry; and Battery C was in direct support of the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry.
(a) During the reporting period the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery fired the following missions and rounds:
OBSERVED MISSIONS: OBSERVED ROUNDS: UNOBSERVED MISSIONS: UNOBSERVED ROUNDS
271: 8626: 1773: 7022
374: 8841: 1254: 5335
308: 8123: 1473: 4213
TOTAL: 953: 25,590: 4,500: 16,570
(b) In addition to the three firing batteries, one artillery battery and one searchlight section were under the operational control (OPCON) of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery during this period. These units functioned in an excellent manner. The firing battery fired in support of the infantry units in contact, fired checking fires, answered immediate fire requests and greatly enhanced our extensive harassment and interdiction (H&I) program. The searchlight section assisted in the defense of the several fire bases in the Brigade Area of Operation (AO), and was also successfully integrated into the H&I program. These units, and the period that they were under the OPCON of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery area are listed below:
1 Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 320th Artillery, OPCON to 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery (12 July - 31 July 1967);
2 Five each searchlights from Battery G, 29th Artillery OPCON to 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery (12 July - 31 July 1967).
(c) 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery supported the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery, in a general support - reinforcing role during the period 1 May 1967 through 31 July 1967. This Battalion with the attachment of Battery C, 3rd Battalion, 18th Artillery, fired in support of the infantry in contact, fired blocking fires, answered calls for immediate fire, and added great depth and power to the H&I program of the brigade.
c. Aviation: During the quarterly period the Brigade Aviation Section flew 807 hours, 2018 sorties, and carried 1587 passengers in the OH-23 helicopters. The UH-1B's flew 204 hours, 475 sorties, and carried 487 passengers. The totals were: 1011 hours, 2493 sorties, and 2074 passengers. Two of the OH-23's, armed in July to provide a scout team, were credited with 8 VC KIA and assisted in the capture of three NVA. Air Mobile support was provided to the 3rd Brigade TF by the 174th Aviation Company, 14th Aviation Battalion throughout the reporting period. 174th Aviation flew 7,678 hours, 44,531 sorties, moved 53,479 troops, carried 3,150 tons of cargo, conducted 101 combat assaults, 43 extractions, accounted for 45 VC KIA, and assisted in the capture of 2 VC.
d. Tactical Air support statistics for the reporting period were as follows:
Month: FAC Missions: Combat Proofs
Req: Flown: Req: Flown
MAY: 191: 173: 146: 76
JUNE: 129: 85: 85: 45
JULY: 170: 123: 102: 72
TOTAL: 490: 381: 333: 193
e. Chemical: Riot control agent (CS) and white phosphorous grenades were employed to the maximum extent to clear tunnels and bunkers.
f. Training: During the reporting period 3rd Brigade TF personnel graduated from the following schools:
SCHOOL: # GRADUATED
3RD Brigade NCO Preparatory School: 163
4th Division NCO School: 64
MACV Recondo School: 10
4th Division Pre Recondo School: 7
a. General: The 3rd Support Battalion (PROV) had primary responsibility for logistical support to the Brigade. The 1st Log Command, Task Force Gallagher, continued to provide general support to the Brigade. The reactivation of a formal supply activity account with the 1st Log Command greatly improved the requisitioning and receiving procedures for Class II & IV items, including repair parts. Class II & IV and maintenance support for elements in the Pleiku Base Camp continued to be provided by the 4th Infantry Division.
(1) Class I:
(a) Perishable and nonperishable items were provided by FSA under supervision of Task Force Gallagher, 1st Log Command. All distribution was made to the Brigade Class I yard for storage and issue. Ration break-down for all tenant units in LZ MONTEZUMA was accomplished by the 3rd Support Battalion (PROV). Non-perishables were stored in the open on the ground. No problems were encountered with open storage due to the dry climate. Perishables were stored in three (3) 1-1/2 ton reefer freezers.
(b) Class I Statistics:
A Rations: 570,400
C Rations: 275,700
(c) Class II & IV:
1 Depot ships direct to our activity address code, through the Brigade Supply Officer, to a Class II & IV storage and distribution area. This was made possible by the opening of a supply account enabling all organic, attached and OPCON units to requisition and draw directly from the Brigade Supply Officer, rather than returning to a distant base camp.
2 Initially, requisitioning procedures to depot were ill defined. However, a workable courier system was established by Task Force Gallagher which enabled prompt passage of requisitions to depots at Qui Nhon, Cam Rahn Bay, and Da Nang. Long range planning and longer lead times are still required at all levels because of the longer shipping time inherent in sea movements.
3 The completion of the airstrip at DUC PHO on 15 May 1967 greatly aided the functioning of the logistical train, bringing quick delivery of personnel replacements, R&R, and necessary items of equipment.
(d) Class III:
1 Task Force Gallagher provided wholesale issue of all types of fuel.
(e) Class V:
1 Task Force Gallagher operated the local ASP and was in turn supported from Qui Nhon. Original stockage levels for the ASP did not always meet the demands of the supported units; however, they were easily readjusted.
2 Class V Statistics:
4.2 HE: 12,568
(1) Two (2) light truck squads and one (1) medium truck squad from the 3rd Support Battalion supported the brigade units at LZ MONTEZUMA. The cargo capabilities of the 5 ton bridge trucks, organic to a platoon of the 554th Engineer Company (Float Bridge) has also been used.
(2) Air Force C-123 and C-7A aircraft provided a scheduled air lift between the brigade at DUC PHO and its rear detachments at Pleiku. Averaging four sorties per day, the aircraft compiled the following record during the reporting period:
(a) Sorties: 464
(b) Passengers: 9,855
(c) Cargo: 289 tons
(1) Number of patients admitted: 1,695
(2) Number of disease cases: 1,006
(3) Number of battle casualties: 232
(4) Number of non-battle casualties: 457
5. CIVIL AFFAIRS:
a. General: Priority of effort was directed towards the following three areas: public health and sanitation, public education, and refugee relief. All projects were designed to be short range and high impact in nature. All projects were requested by GVN officials and work was performed by indigenous labor. US personnel and units participating in civic action in DUC PHO were: S5, 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division, a team from 41st Civil Affairs Company, a team from 29th Civil Affairs Company and the MACV Sector Advisory Team. GVN Agencies included four RDC Teams, Refugee Relief Personnel, VIS, and the VN Cultural Drama Team.
b. Medcap Results:
(1) Sick Call 20,953
(2) Dental 78
(3) Baths for Children 1,257
c. Engineer Projects:
(1) Schools: A new five room high school was 90% completed during the reporting period. A New five room elementary school was 50% completed and a library/classroom was finished at the Mirat Evangelical Church Refugee Camp. Repairs were completed on three additional schools, with a total of 16 classrooms being renovated.
(2) Wells: Three new wells were completed, with eight more presently under construction. Six wells were reclaimed and repaired.
(3) Latrines: Three new latrines are under construction.
(4) Orphanage: A new dining room is under construction at the DUC PHO Orphanage.
(5) Hospital: Repairs were begun to upgrade and improve the facilities at the DUC PHO Hospital.
(6) Dams: One dam was constructed to provide water for the Hoa Thanh Refugee Camp.
d. Commerce: 47 local laborers were hired daily to fill sandbags at 70 Piasters per day. As of 24 July 1967, 350 local laborers were being hired daily to gather rock at 70 Piasters per day. A total of 350 cubic meters of rock were obtained.
e. Refugee Assistance:
(1) 8000 refugees were generated from military operations in the 3rd Brigade AO.
(2) 800 refugee housing units were constructed.
(3) The following supplies were provided:
Rice: 285 tons
Salt: 23 tons
Clothing: 1,500 lbs
Tobacco: 500 boxes
Candy: 1003 boxes
Soap: 6690 boxes
Foodstuffs: 25 tons
#10 Cans: 1000 ea.
(1) English Classes: Four hours were given daily with an average attendance of 30 pupils per class.
(2) Audio/Visual Programs: Movies were shown three times a week in the DUC PHO marketplace. Films were provided by the military and equipment and operators were provided by the Vietnamese Information Service.
(1) Psyops activities during the reporting period included leaflet drops, and aerial and ground speaker missions (both tape and live). The primary effort was in support of tactical units with the secondary effort directed towards refugees and other personnel already under GVN influence.
(2) Leaflet drops and serial speaker missions were accomplished by C-47, U-10, O-2 and UH-1D aircraft.
(3) The use of armed propaganda personnel (ex VC specially trained in psywar) to make live broadcasts and appeals was very successful. They were best utilized on the ground after the infantry had trapped the enemy in caves and tunnels.
(4) Tapes and live appeals were directed toward specific individuals and units while exploiting Chu Hoi ralliers.
(a) Leaflets dropped: 18,279,400
(b) Aerial speaker time: 70 hrs, 30 min
(c) Ground speaker time: 337 hrs
(d) Chieu Hoi Ralliers: 257
(e) Weapons: 17
(f) Leaflets fabricated: 11
(g) Tapes made: 28
a. Unit Strength:
(1) As of 31 July 1967, the strengths of the units of the 3rd Brigade TF, 25th Infantry Division were as follows:
Unit: Authorized OFF: WO: EM: Assigned & Attached OFF: WO: EM: PDY OFF: WO: EM
HHC Bde: 27: 7: 217 40: 5: 379 37: 5: 303
1/14: 37: 2 790 32: 2: 770 29: 2: 733
1/35: 37: 2: 790 30: 1: 784 30: 0: 741
2/35: 37: 2: 790 28: 1: 750 27: 1: 715
2/9: 39: 3: 452 36: 4: 432 35: 4: 405
D/65th: 5: 0 154 7: 0: 175 7: 0: 174
D/725th: 10: 2: 224 10: 2: 228 10: 2: 214
D 25th Med: 10: 0: 85 7: 0: 70 6: 0: 66
C ¾ Cav: 5: 0: 172 5: 0: 181 30: 0: 170
40th SD: 1: 0: 26 1: 0: 30 1: 0: 30
14th PIO: 2: 0: 3: 1: 0: 5 : 1: 0: 5
TOTAL: 210: 18: 3703: 197: 15: 3804 : 186: 14: 3556
(2) The 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division strength fluctuated daily during this period. The following are periodic strength figures:
DATE: OFF: WO: EM / DATE: OFF: WO: EM
5 May: 220: 19: 3784 / 5 May: 209: 17: 3644
12 May: 206: 19: 3735 / 12 May: 194: 17: 3600
19 May: 212: 18: 3732 / 19 May: 203: 16: 3562
26 May: 208: 17: 3870 / 26 May : 201: 16: 3693
31 May: 198 : 17: 3847 / 31 May: 191: 16: 3703
DATE: OFF: WO: EM / DATE: OFF: WO: EM
5 June: 194: 17: 3937 / 5 June: 183: 17: 3781
12 June: 197: 17: 3964 / 12 June: 185: 17 3797
19 June: 208: 18: 3912 / 19 June: 197: 18: 3767
26 June: 203: 18: 3882 / 26 June: 193: 17: 3644
30 June: 203: 17: 3863 / 30 June: 190: 16: 3577
2 July: 198: 15 : 3817 / 2 July: 191: 14: 3595
12 July: 196: 13: 3863 / 12 July: 188: 12: 3605
20 July: 196: 15: 3812 / 20 July: 182: 13: 3573
26 July: 193: 15: 3799 / 26 July: 182: 14: 3559
31 July: 197: 15: 3804 / 31 July: 186: 14: 3556
(3) Total figures on replacements received for the period May, June, July 1967:
Unit: E-8; E-7; E-6; E-5; E-4; E-3; TOTAL
1/14: 1; 1; 4; 1; 10; 260; 277
1/35: 1; 0; 15; 6; 10; 266; 298
HHC: 2; 0; 1; 3; 5; 5; 16
2/35: 0; 3; 4; 7; 12; 282; 308
2/4 Cav: 0; 1; 5; 8; 7; 43; 64
SPT: 0; 1; 0; 2; 3; 29; 35
D/65th: 0; 0; 3; 6; 12; 30; 51
2/9: 0; 0; 2; 1; 12; 49; 64
Total: 4; 6; 34; 34; 71; 964; 1113
(4) The number of friendly casualties for May, June, July are as follows:
KIA: 98; WIA: 484; MIA: 3; WIA DIED OF WOUNDS 11
(5) Number of Emergency Leaves:
Unit: MAY; JUNE; JULY
HHC 3rd Bde: 2; 2; 3
2/25 Inf: 2; 4; 4
1/35 Inf: 2; 4; 2
2/35 Inf: 0; 1; 5
2/9 Arty: 1; 1; 2
3/4 Cav: 0; 2; 0
D/65th Engr: 0; 1; 1
B/25th Med: 0; 0; 1
40th Sct Dog Plat: 0; 0; 0
14th PI Det: 0; 0; 0
D/725th Maint: 0; 0; 1
Total: 7; 15; 19
(6) Personnel who departed for PCS and ETS:
b. (C) Morale: Morale continues to be excellent within the command.
(a) Number of bags received: 3,734
(b) Number of bags dispatch: 1,544
(c) Total money orders sold: $888,437.44
(d) Total stamp value sold: $8,946.70
(e) Dates mail was not received:
MAY 2, 19, 24
JUNE 9, 10, 14, 19, 21, 25, 26, 28, 30
JULY 5, 6, 7, 11, 15, 16, 23, 24, 31
(2) R & R:
(a) Out of country allocations were sufficient to satisfy the needs of the command and additional 3-day in-country R & R to China Beach was instituted. An 80% participation by the units has been in effect since the China Beach R & R was started on 27 June 1967.
(b) Monthly out of country allocations were as follows:
Unit: MAY: JUNE: JULY
HHC 3rd Bde: 22: 50: 54
1/14 Inf: 52: 66: 80
1/35th Inf: 43: 58: 78
2/35th Inf: 47: 67: 71
2/9 Arty: 31: 48: 48
3rd Spt Bn : 3: 10: 12
3/4 Cav: 8: 14: 19
Totals: 226: 313: 362
(c) There was a 100% use of allocations for all three months.
c. Promotion Allocations:
MAY Units: E-4; E-5; E-6; E-7; E-8; E-9
1/14/ Inf: 85; 3; 1; 1; 0; 0
1/35 Inf: 97; 9; 1; 2; 0; 0
2/35 Inf: 65; 7; 0; 2; 0; 0
2/9 Arty: 0; 10; 7; 0; 0; 0
65 Engr: 19; 2; 0; 0; 0; 0
3/4 Cav: 12; 9; 0; 0; 0; 0
HHC 3rd Bde: 3; 3; 0; 0; 1; 10
25th Med: 14; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0
D/725 Maint: 19; 2; 4; 0; 0; 0
TOTAL: 314; 42; 13; 6; 1; 0; 376
JUNE Units: E-4; E-5; E-6; E-7; E-8; E-9
1/14/ Inf: 93; 56; 10; 3; 0; 0
1/35 Inf: 92; 34; 8; 1; 0; 0
2/35 Inf: 100; 10; 1; 2; 0; 0
2/9 Arty: 10; 20; 7; 1; 0; 0
65 Engr: 3; 8; 0; 0; 0; 0
3/4 Cav: 28; 4; 0; 0; 0; 0
HHC 3rd Bde: 7; 1; 0; 1; 0; 0
25th Med: 2; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0
D/725 Maint: 4; 1; 0; 0; 0; 0
TOTAL: 339; 134; 26; 8; 0; 0; 507
JULY Units: E-4; E-5; E-6; E-7; E-8; E-9
1/14/ Inf: 68; 5; 3; 1; 0; 0
1/35 Inf: 26; 6; 2; 1; 0; 0
2/35 Inf: 18; 3; 2; 2; 0; 0
2/9 Arty: 0; 8; 0; 0; 0; 0
65 Engr: 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0
3/4 Cav: 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0
HHC 3rd Bde: 0; 0; 0; 1; 0; 0
25th Med: 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0
D/725 Maint: 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0
TOTAL: 112; 22; 7; 5; 0; 0; 146
d. The increase of promotions for the months May and June was due to a USARV msg relaxing the limitations on 2nd in-country promotions.
(1) Effective 8 July 1967 awards were being submitted to the different headquarters. All posthumous awards were being submitted to the 4th Infantry Division, while all other awards were submitted to Task Force Oregon.
(2) Awards Presented: MAY; JUNE; JULY
Air Medal: 4; 0; 28
Army Commendation: 2; 6; 31
Bronze Star Medal: 25; 22; 27
Distinguished Flying Medal: 1; 0; 0
Legion of Merit: 0; 0; 3
Silver Star Medal: 6; 9; 6
Distinguished Service Medal: 0; 0; 0
Distinguished Service Cross: 0; 0; 0
Soldiers Medal: 2: 0; 1
(1) Chaplains continued to conduct numerous religious services in the field and have noticed a significant increase in attendance.
(2) On their weekly trips to Qui Nhon the chaplains have noticed the excellent esprit of the men of the Third Brigade in the hospitals.
Term: MAY elig-reen; JUNE elig-reen; JULY elig-reen; PERCENT
Last Prior Service RA (career): 5 and 5: 7 and 7; 4 and 4; 100%
Last Prior Service (1st Term): 5 and 5; 7 and 7; 6 and 2; 78%
Last Prior Service (AUS): 6 and 2; 8 and 8; 5 and 1; 58%
Totals: 16 and 12; 22 and 22; 15 and 7; 77%
SECTION 2 (C) COMMANDERS OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Part I, Observations (Lessons Learned)
1. (C) PERSONNEL:
a. Item: Critical shortage of non-commissioned officers, MOS 11B40
Discussion: At the end of the reporting period, 31 July, a shortage of infantry non-commissioned officers, MOS 11B40, existed as follows:
E-7: AUTH 27; ASG 23 / E-6: AUTH 114; ASG 67 / E-5: AUTH 189; ASG 96
Observation: Although a liberal promotion policy is a possible solution, it is not a desirable substitute for experienced and mature non-commissioned officers.
2. (C) OPERATIONS:
a. Item: Use of the collimator with the M-2A2 105mm howitzer
Discussion: The collimator can be used with excellent results in the shifting and laying of a firing battery. After being laid initially, and the collimator set, the howitzer can be laid to 0 mils by pushing the howitzer forward or backward to obtain the proper sight picture on the collimator. After laying the collimator the battery refers to the aiming circle for a safety check. When the line of fire is parallel to the line of sight from the howitzer to the collimator, the displacement cannot be taken up by moving forward and rearward. In this particular situation, it is faster to use the aiming posts.
Observation: The collimator can be used to lay the battery in much less time than when aiming posts are used.
b. Item: Problems encountered with the collimator.
Discussion: The collimator can be knocked out of alignment with only a slight bump or a strong wind, such as derived from a helicopter.
Observation: By building a bunker around the collimator it is protected from being bumped or tipped over in a strong wind. Also, it is recommended that the wires from the collimator be covered with sandbags to prevent their dislocation.
c. Item: Telephone lines to howitzers
Discussion: Telephone lines (WD-1) to the howitzers are frequently cut or shorted out by personnel making improvements in the firing positions, causing a loss of communications to the howitzers.
Observation: Instead of using a hot loop to the howitzers, lay individual lines from the howitzers to a terminal block (TM-184), in conjunction with the switch board (SB-22). If a line is cut, communication is lost with only one section. As a backup, install a hot loop to all guns using a different route from the primary lines. If a line is cut, the section that has lost communications can switch to the hot loop which has a connection to the switch board (SB-22).
d. Item: Use of a hot loop in a fire mission which used only one or two howitzers.
Discussion: Many fire missions required the use of only one or two howitzers. If a loop is used, all phones will ring each time a mission is called to a howitzer, causing interruption until the adjusting piece answers.
Observation: By using (SB-22), any time a fire mission is received that requires only one or two howitzers, only the pieces needed are called, thus eliminating confusion. By installing another phone on the switch board, it is possible to conduct two fire missions at once.
e. Item: Ground control and contact for FAC controlled air strikes.
Discussion: The brigade has averaged four air strikes a day for this quarterly period and in one major contact had 17 air strikes in a 24-hour period. The artillery forward observer with the ground unit nearest the target area is used as the ground contact and control. This procedure has proved highly successful and has received many favorable comments from the FAC. The FO, by the very nature of his job, must be an expert map reader and must know the location of all friendly units. The FO is also the commander's advisor for fire support. This use of the FO does not tie up the command net and it allows the Company Commander to concentrate on his primary duties.
Observation: The artillery forward observer is ideally suited and trained to be the ground contact for FAC controlled air strikes.
f. Item: The problem of VC Grenadiers
Discussion: On several occasions, VC have infiltrated a unit's location and thrown hand grenades. They are very adept at this and have caused several casualties. Their primary targets have been outposts.
Observation: Several principles have been developed that have proved successful in killing some of these VC grenadiers and avoiding friendly casualties.
(1) Outposts should move into position after dark.
(2) Outposts that have been in position during the day should shift their position after dark.
(3) An ambush position should be occupied after dark.
(4) Claymores and trip-flares should be emplaced after dark.
(5) Units should avoid setting up near hedgerows or ditches.
(6) Individuals should always dig in at their night position. At a minimum, a prone shelter should be dug.
g. Item: The use of the portable chemical E8 CS Dispenser.
Discussion: the units of the brigade have tested and on several occasions employed the E8 CS Dispenser. It is an excellent item of equipment to use when confronted with VC in fortified positions. Many units carry at least one with them on S&D operations. When employing the dispenser, the wind conditions must be considered in the unit's scheme of maneuver in the objective area. In addition, the battalions keep several on stand-by should a unit need them.
Observation: Units should consider the use of E8 CS Dispensers in their tactical operations.
h. Item: There is a need for an M-79 marking round.
Discussion: It has become almost an everyday occurrence to have gunships firing in support of ground troops. The normal procedure is to have the ground troops mark their position with smoke and then point out the target by using distance and direction or referring to terrain features. Marking rounds for the M-79 could be used to rapidly indicate the target; it would also eliminate the human error in referring to terrain features.
Observation: A standard M-79 marking round should be developed.
i. Item: M-79 CS Round
Discussion: In many instances it would greatly assist the ground troops if they could fire a CS grenade at ranges further than 25 to 30 meters. A CS round for the M-79 Grenade Launcher would allow the grenadier to place non-persistent CS gas on a target more accurately and at a much greater distance.
Observation: A CS round should be developed for the M-79 grenade launcher and issued to line units as soon as possible.
j. Item: There is a need for a standard survival signal mirror.
Discussion: Several key personnel in this brigade have survival mirrors. These mirrors greatly conserve the use of smoke and do not compromise the unit's position when signaling aircraft. When used properly on a sunny day, they are actually easier to spot than smoke.
Observation: The standard survival signal mirror should be made available for issue on the basis of one for each rifle squad.
k. Item: Use of booby traps against the VC.
Discussion: The enemy habitually trails US troops and scavenges the unit's camp sites. Booby traps implanted in old friendly camp sites would greatly harass the enemy. To prevent friendly troops from detonating their own booby traps at a later date, self-destruct devices should be employed. The ideal device would be the chemical time delay fuse.
Observation: The chemical time delay fuse should be made available on a limited basis so that self-destruction booby traps could be used against the enemy.
l. Item: Tunnel Destruction
Discussion: Destruction of tunnels and spider holes can be expedited by the construction of prefabricated charges at the rear area. The charges are delivered by helicopters ready for use. Two blocks of C-4 (5 lbs) have proved adequate to completely destroy the normal spider hole. A 30-second delay fuse is sufficient to allow personnel to escape the effects of the blast. When the hole is larger, two of the prefab charges are used. In addition to the prefab charges used for small tunnels and spider holes, two tunnel kits are maintained at the battalion trains consisting of flashlights, rope, gas mask, CS gas grenades, armored vests, and a grappling hook. These are pre-packaged and ready to be picked up by helicopter on a moment's notice. These items can be delivered by the C&C when no other helicopter is available.
Observation: A five pound pre-fabricated charge is a great time saver for the line units in destroying spider holes. Having a tunnel kit such as the one described above ready to be brought forward on call will also save valuable time for the infantry unit.
m. Item: 106mm Recoilless Rifle
Discussion: One of the finest weapons to be added to the infantry arsenal is the 106mm Recoilless Rifle Beehive round. The round has a simple but effective fuse allowing the firer to select muzzle action or a bursting point up to 3200 meters. A test was conducted at a range of approximately 300 meters using 25 ammunition boxes spaced over a linear distance of 50 feet and placed in depth 25 feet. Not a single box escaped the strike of at least one fleshette. Several boxes were hit as many as ten times. This round will be extremely effective against groups of personnel at various ranges. In addition to the anti-personnel round, the standard 106mm HEP round has a good casualty producing effect when employed against personnel. Due to the accuracy of the weapon system, it has successfully been employed in many roles during the reporting period. The flat coastal plain interrupted by small hill masses, in which we have been operating, offers numerous opportunities for effective employment of the 106mm Recoilless Rifle, both offensively and defensively.
Observation: The 106mm Recoilless Rifle should be maintained at battalion level for use as an offensive and defensive weapon against personnel.
n. Item: Use of Detonation Cord in bunker destruction
Discussion: Destruction of bunkers is often a slow and tedious job requiring large amounts of explosives. Frequently a great deal of time is wasted by destroying one bunker then proceeding onto the next. A time saver is detonation cord laid between bunkers for hundreds of feet to destroy several bunkers simultaneously. Normal demolition procedures are used, with a line of detonation cord forming the ring main of main line of the charge. Individual bunker charges are placed on the various branches. The charge is double primed and detonates almost instantly due to the high detonation rate of the cord.
Observation: The employment of large amounts of detonation cord in bunker destruction is justified by the time it saves in placement of individual charges.
o. Item: Timing of aerial resupply operations.
Discussion: Units normally develop patterns in resupply operations which will have an impact on tactical operations. The practice of conducting aerial resupply at a night defensive perimeter location pinpoints the actual location to the enemy, denies the friendly unit the advantage of surprise in establishing the defense, and increases the vulnerability of helicopters by establishing fixed patterns of activity which are predictable to the enemy.
Observation: Resupply of tactical units, at other than specific locations dictated by a tactical requirement, should be accomplished on an irregular basis, varying the patterns in a random manner. A unit should displace, even if only a short distance, after accepting resupply.
p. Item: Ground Air Signal Strobe Light
Discussion: A battery powered high intensity strobe light, which emits a brilliant flash of light at approximately one second intervals is provided in aircraft crew emergency items for signaling. The light is visible even during daylight and is clearly visible at night over distances up to four to five kilometers. The light is provided with a shield so that it may be employed as a directional signaling device. The entire device is about the size of a first aid packet. When used at night, the strobe light provides a light weight, compact means of identifying landing zones or drop zones to aircraft.
Observation: Each tactical unit which may be required to operate separately (squad, LPRP, special detachment) should be equipped with one ground to air emergency strobe light for signaling. Resupply of batteries should be maintained in the supply system.
q. Item: Depth for commitment of blocking forces.
Discussion: Experience in actions conducted in the DUC PHO area indicate that the enemy can withdraw very quickly when he believes he is faced with a superior force. Efforts to position a blocking force will hinge on the time that the force is introduced in relation to the time that the force is introduced in relation to the time when the enemy recognized the requirement for withdrawal. As a general rule, when the axis of withdrawal can be accurately predicted, the blocking force should be introduced between 1500 and 2500 meters from the point of contact. Introduction at a point closer to the point of contact may permit some enemy to escape, and may limit the use of supporting fires between the attacking and the blocking forces.
Observation: Blocking forces should be introduced as far (up to 2600 meters) from the point of contact as it may be practical to predict the enemy withdrawal routes.
r. Item: Enemy sniper employment.
Discussion: During the period covered by this report, the enemy has made good use of snipers located in positions to cover booby traps placed on likely approaches.
Observation: A unit coming under sniper fire should immediately obtain maximum dispersal and establish a base of fire. The sniper or snipers should then be attacked by fire and movement using fire teams with artillery being placed on likely sniper locations, routes of egress, and the flanks of the advancing elements.
s. Item: Enemy anti-helicopter tactics.
Discussion: US units are almost entirely dependent upon the helicopter for resupply, therefore the volume of helicopter traffic in enemy infected areas is quite heavy. Numerous documents captured by this organization have contained extensive training material on techniques for shooting down helicopters with small arms. The enemy will watch as the helicopter goes into a US position and will move to a good firing position along the final approach to the LZ. He will then select a position that will allow him a good shot when the helicopter is on its final approach and is most vulnerable to ground fire. The enemy position is often several hundred meters from the LZ, making counter fire by small arms difficult. The helicopter usually delivers its resupply to units during the afternoon hours and returns to pick up empty marmite containers before sundown.
Observation: The enemy tactics mentioned above can be effectively countered by saturating the approach to the LZ with fire team size patrols. This technique effectively interdicts enemy movement and provides a quick reaction force when the enemy fires on the approaching helicopter.
t. Item: The enemy's use of automatic weapons and small campfires to deceive US troops.
Discussion: The enemy is often aware of the general night location of US units. A tactic he has employed is to fire several automatic weapons bursts a safe distance from US position and build camp fires. This will usually result in artillery fire being called into the area and a subsequent search by friendly troops at first light. The enemy will then employ booby traps and snipers along the most likely route that a unit will travel when leaving the bivouac site and will patiently wait until morning when friendly troops move out on daily operations.
Observation: This tactic can be effectively countered by the following:
(1) Avoid trails and open areas when leaving the bivouac sites.
(2) Be especially alert during all movement.
(3) Move from the bivouac site in a direction away from the objective area and then circle around.
(4) Recon by fire with organic and indirect fire weapons prior to and during movement.
(5) Conduct all movement using the tactical formations which afford the best all around security.
u. Item: Enemy Anti-Tank Mines
Discussion: The armored units of the brigade have encountered many pressure type anti-tank mines. These mines have been placed almost exclusively along old tank trails, old ditch crossings, and other channeled areas. These mines are normally placed in such a manner that when a tank follows an old tank track, the mine will detonate directly under the tank, sending the full blast under the hull and resulting in maximum damage to the hull and suspension system.
Observation: Old tank trails, ditch crossings, and other channeled areas should be avoided by armored vehicles to the maximum extent possible. When one of these danger areas must be negotiated, the area should first be checked out by probing with bayonets or checking with a mine detector.
v. Item: Enemy Recoilless Rifles and RPG-2's
Discussion: The use of recoilless rifles and RPG-2's in the AO give Viet Cong and NVA units an effective anti-tank capability. Since tanks must move relatively slowly because of the terrain and the infantry with whom they operate, the danger to the tank is increased. A well concealed anti-tank team is able to detect and attack a tank well before the tanks are aware of their position. With the many ditches and hedgerows in the area, the enemy is offered many ideally concealed ambush locations and escape routes.
Observation: The best means of securing tanks against this type of attack is by employing infantry extensively along the flanks and rear of the armor. When this is done, the tanks are able to concentrate their fire power to the front and the infantry can check along ditches and hedgerows for enemy positions along the flanks and to the rear.
w. Item: Tank Reaction Time
Discussion: When attacks are made upon friendly units reinforced with tanks at their night locations, the key to the defense is the reaction time of the tankers to return fire. Experience has shown that as soon as hostile fire is returned effectively by tanks, the enemy will break contact.
Observation: To keep a tank's reaction time as short as possible, one man should be awake and in the tank commander's cupola at all times. His mission is to stand guard and monitor the radio. If an attack comes, all he needs to do is throw the main switch on the gunner's controls and he can have a round on the way seconds after the first battle round is received. In addition to the man who is awake, a second man should sleep either in the bustal rack or on the back deck. This man can be inside the tank ready to act as the loader seconds after the first hostile round is received.
x. Item: XM-69 Tunnel Destruction Kit
Discussion: The Brigade's Engineer Company has on hand the XM-69 Tunnel Destruction Kit. The kits consist primarily of an acetylene generator and an oxygen converter, and is designed to be supplemented with a Mity Mite blower. The oxygen converter must be filled with liquid oxygen within 48 hours prior to use. Liquid oxygen is not readily available and the 48 hour limitation is not feasible for current operations where tunnel destruction missions are usually given on short notice. The kit may be utilized without the blower or the oxygen converter and is effective in this manner within certain limitations concerning the length, depth, width, and ventilation of the tunnel.
Observation: The XM-69 Tunnel Destruction Kit may be effectively utilized within certain limitations. Tunnels should either be analyzed by someone aware of the kit's capabilities or complete data on the tunnel should be provided when requesting a team for tunnel destruction.
y. Item: Peneprime Distributor
Discussion: The application of peneprime or similar dust palliatives is a major engineer task in Vietnam. No distribution equipment is available to combat engineer companies or battalions. All distribution must be accomplished with fabricated or improvised distributors which are cumbersome, inefficient and, in many cases, ineffective. Both a large capacity truck mounted distributor (800 gals or larger) and a smaller airmobile distributor are needed.
Observation: Present equipment available for dust palliative distribution is unsatisfactory. Necessary distributors should be included in the MTOE of engineer and aviation units and made available to these units.
z. Item: Materials Handling Equipment
Discussion: Engineer operations frequently required the loading, unloading, transfer, and movement of heavy materials. Combat Engineer companies have no organic means of loading materials too heavy with manpower. This necessitates utilization of handling equipment from other support units which are also short on lifting and loading devices. A few examples of engineer work requiring large capacity lifting devices are the loading of dust palliative 50 gallon drums, and the transfer of lumber bundles bridging, and prefabricated membranes.
Observation: Combat Engineer companies need a 5 to 10 ton wrecker or similar piece of material handling equipment.
aa. Item: OH-23 Scout Team
Discussion: Two of the OH-23s of the Brigade Aviation section were armed in July to provide a scout capability within the Brigade. The aircraft were armed with two M-60 machineguns mounted in the doors on Bungee Cords. The cords are attached to the door frame with a wire loop and a snap link. The OH-23 has proven to be a good scout ship with good visibility, good load carrying ability, and endurance. The two observer/gunners have provided a suppressive fire capability and increased the target acquisition capability. The scout team has been most effect in screening the perimeter of combat assault areas.
Observation: The scout team increased the surveillance capability of the Brigade. Float aircraft and rapid replacement of combat losses are absolutely essential to the operation. A minimum of two teams is desirable but not always possible with only five OH-23 aircraft assigned to the section.
ab. Item: Action to Secure Aircraft Shot Down by Hostile Fire.
Discussion: During the reporting period one OH-23 of the Brigade Aviation Section was destroyed by hostile forces after being shot down. The crew was evacuated under fire. Prior to the time forces were available to secure the aircraft, it was blown up by a large explosive charge.
Observation: Aircraft downed in the Brigade AO must be secured immediately and evacuated as soon as possible. Sapper units are prevalent and very skillful in the Brigade Area of Operations.
ac. Item: DUC PHO Airfield
Discussion: The many day to day problems of coordinating the DUC PHO Airfield operations consume a considerable amount of the time of the Brigade Aviation Officer. Most airfields with operations of this size had an airfield operating detachment almost as large as the aviation section.
Observation: An airfield operating detachment is needed at DUC PHO Airfield.
a. Item: Brigade Intelligence Sources
Discussion: Tactical intelligence when operating against unsophisticated light infantry and guerilla forces must be available at the brigade and battalion levels. In the DUC PHO Area of Operations, experience has shown that there are only four important sources of immediate tactical intelligence. These sources are aircraft reconnaissance, reconnaissance in force (i.e. S&D operations), interrogation of POW's and returnees, and the consolidation of reports from low level agents, civilians, and interrogation of POW's which have been provided to this brigade by the District Office Intelligence Center (DOIC). Of all the sources, the latter has proved to be the most lucrative.
Observation: The DOIC project has been successful and should be further developed and extended. In addition, the attachment of a low level agent handling team to the Brigade would provide the Brigade S2 with another reliable source of intelligence in addition to the Vietnamese source.
b. Item: Interpreter Assignment
Discussion: There is a critical shortage of interpreters in the Brigade. The search and destroy operations have been conducted almost exclusively at company and platoon levels. This results in daily contact with Vietnamese people without the means to communicate due to the language barrier. As a result, a great deal of immediate tactical intelligence is lost.
Observation: There is an obvious need for at least one interpreter per rifle company, with additional interpreters at battalion and brigade level.
c. Item: Use of 01 VR Aircraft
Discussion: Through trial and error experience, this Brigade has found that 01 VR Aircraft flying over lowland populated areas are best employed in direct support of friendly sweep operations. By flying overhead when a ground unit is sweeping an area, the observer is frequently able to spot VC or NVA forces attempting to evade the sweeping units. The observer then calls in artillery fire and the friendly forces on the ground maneuver to block the enemy's escape.
Observation: The employment of the 01 VR Aircraft in support of S&D operations is highly recommended.
4. (C) LOGISTICS:
a. Item: Insufficient power for refrigeration units.
Discussion: At present, the Brigade stores its Class I perishables in three 1-1/2 ton reefer freezers. The TOR generator equipment has proved inadequate to power these refrigeration units. The feasibility of establishing an R&U central power supply is currently under study by the Brigade S4.
Observation: There is a requirement for a minimum of two 100RW generators to be made available to brigade size units when operating a Class I distribution point.
b. Item: Lack of qualified Reefer Repairmen.
Discussion: The development of the Brigade base complex necessitated the establishment of a cold storage and freezer capability. The minimum amount of reefer items are now on hand; however, they break down under constant use. The Brigade does not have a qualified reefer mechanic to accomplish the minimum inspections necessary to determine the cause when a breakdown occurs. A mechanic must be called in from a distant support unit causing great delay and the difficulty in obtaining parts creates more of a problem.
Observation: A Reefer Mechanic should be assigned to the FSA on a permanent basis.
c. Item: Availability of Float Aircraft
Discussion: In late June, the 335th Transportation Company, the DS Maintenance Support Unit for Aviation, received a number of float OH-23 aircraft. Float aircraft have been available to the Brigade aviation section to replace battle damaged aircraft immediately, while the damage is being repaired.
Observation: The availability of float aircraft greatly increases the Brigade aviation flying rate. In addition, it reduces the variation in mission capability during periods of frequent battle damage.
d. Item: Airlift of Packs and Unit Equipment
Discussion: To decrease the load carried by the individual soldier, it is frequently practical to collect individual packs, specialized equipment (starlight scopes, trip flares, anti-intrusion detection devices), and unit equipment (mortars and ammunition, recoilless rifles, etc.) at first light and return them to the unit's night defensive locations. This enhances the ground mobility of the individual, lessens fatigue, and assists in maintaining a better overall combat posture. Adoption of this technique also permits the introduction of more and heavier weapons at a planned defensive position. To expedite lifting of equipment, storage during the day, and return at night, a cargo net might be utilized whenever the situation permits.
Observation: The technique of picking up the unit's equipment in the morning and returning it at the end of the day's operations should be utilized whenever the situation permits.
e. Item: Ammunition Resupply Packets
Discussion: After a fire fight, the requirement for small arms ammunition, grenades, and similar Class V items may be reasonably predicted, based on time in contact and the size of the force employed. A "package" of all normal types of Class V items suitable for a platoon can be established and several of these "packages" stocked at the Battalion's trains area. When a fire fight develops, an immediate ammunition resupply can be made available. The "package" can be rigged for sling load and carried under a UH-1D aircraft for touch and go delivery, thus reducing the time the aircraft may be exposed to ground fire.
Observation: "Packages" of selected Class V resupply items should be prepared for sling load aircraft and maintained at Battalion Trains area to provide an immediate Class V resupply capability.
f. Item: Stitching on Jungle Fatigues
Discussion: Some models of Jungle Fatigues have the seam sewn on the inside to give the exterior a more finished appearance. This leaves a projecting hump of material on the inside. When the individual soldier perspires, the uniform tends to cling to him and the interior seams rub sore spots on the skin in contact.
Observation: Tropical Fatigues with seams sewn on the inside should be eliminated from the supply system.
g. Item: Disposable Containers
Discussion: Normal resupply of water is accomplished for companies having aerial resupply through the use of metal 5 gallon cans and hot rations are fed using insulated food containers. In both cases, the empty containers must later be extracted by helicopters. In some cases, the extraction may be delayed by weather or non-available of aircraft, thus delaying the movement of the tactical unit required to secure the landing zone.
Observation: A disposable water container and a disposable food container should be supplied to preclude the necessity for lifting out empty food and water containers.
h. Item: The M-79 Carrying Vest
Discussion: Several months ago, this Brigade received a small amount of M-79 Ammunition Carrying Vests. This is an item of equipment that has been needed for some time. The vests are excellent. They are light weight, durable, distribute the load, and carry sufficient ammunition. Since the arrival of these vests, no more vests have been received even though may requests have been submitted.
Observation: The M-79 Ammunition Carrying Vest is an excellent item of equipment and should be provided to units in much greater numbers.
i. Item: Special Equipment for Tunnel Exploration
Discussion: In this area of operation, the units of the Brigade have encountered numerous caves and tunnels. Some of them have been elaborate and extensive. Our problem has been to secure the equipment to properly exploit the finds. There are several items of equipment that would be of great value.
(a) Miner Lamps
(b) Large Flashlights (6 cell)
(c) Revolvers with silencers
(d) Smaller light weight gas masks
Observation: The procurement of this equipment would greatly assist in tunnel search operations.
j. Item: Spray aircraft and preventive medicine assistance for Malaria Control.
Discussion: During the reporting period the Brigade has not had a spray ship available for anti-malaria spraying. It appears that all the personnel and equipment of the preventative medicine program are located elsewhere.
Observation: The malaria incident rate is higher in the DUC PHO area than in other areas in Task Force Oregon. Therefore, it seems logical that a portion of the preventative medicine program should be allotted to this area.
k. Item: Effect of Climate and Terrain on Parts Life
Discussion: Sandy soil in this area has increased wear on many of the critical moving parts on vehicles. In addition, movement of armored vehicles through the rice paddies and across dikes has increased the stress on torsion bars and consequently increased breakage of these items.
Observation: The effect of soil on parts increases the importance of constant attention to first echelon maintenance, to detect problems before they become serious.
5. CIVIL AFFAIRS:
a. Item: Forced Evacuation of Hamlets
Discussion: The tactical situation occasionally dictates that entire hamlets be forcibly evacuated. If strict control is not exercised over the personnel, they will return to their homes within 48 hours.
(1) All such moves must be closely coordinated with district officials.
(2) Living facilities should be enclosed by wire and patrolled by GVN personnel.
(3) People must be allowed to gather up their necessary personal belongings to be evacuated with them.
(4) Food, water, shelter, and medical treatment must be provided.
b. Item: Control of Handouts
Discussion: The uncontrolled distribution of items such as candy, C-Rations, and cigarettes from vehicles is both undesirable and dangerous. It has the results of making beggars out of children and offending the adults. Additionally, it increases the possibility of serious injury to a child who is blindly chasing a vehicle in hopes of getting a handout.
Observation: Units desiring to donate surplus items should coordinate with the unit S5 and make arrangements to distribute such items to needy refugees in an unobtrusive and organized manner.
c. Item: Utilization of Psywar Ground Team
Discussion: The most effective use of Psywar ground speaker teams is in support of tactical operations. There are many instances in the search and destroy missions were the infantry has trapped the enemy in caves and tunnels only to incur friendly casualties while attempting to force them out. The use of speaker teams to appeal to the enemy to surrender, while not effective 100% of the time, would reduce the number of friendly casualties and increase the number of POW's and resultant intelligence.
Observation: Infantry companies should be made aware of Psywar capabilities and encouraged to request their assistance. Once requested, a high priority should be allotted for airlift of the team to the contact area.
d. Item: O2 Aerial Speaker Missions
Discussion: Interrogation of POW's and HOI CHANHS indicates that aerial broadcasts from the O2 aircraft are not understandable. This is further substantiated by statements of interpreters and GVN troops in this area. It is believed the O2 flies at altitudes too high to be heard. In addition, on several occasions the FACs supporting this unit have reported that 02 pilots have contacted them in the air and requested assistance locating a target which was not indicated on their 1:25,000 maps.
Observation: Pilots should be furnished 1:50,000 maps of their target area. Flight broadcasts should be made at an altitude of 1000 feet with more emphasis on targeting a specific hamlet rather than a large area.
Part II: Recommendations
1. Personnel: None.
a. Higher Headquarters should do everything possible to encourage the development of the DOIC program.
b. A low level agent handling team should be attached to the brigade in order to allow the brigade S2 to establish an independent low level agent net.
c. That qualified interpreters be provided to brigade sized units on the following basis:
(1) Brigade Headquarters: 10
(a) MI Section: 5
(b) S-5: 3
(c) S-2: 1
(d) Military Police: 1
(2) Infantry Battalions: 5
(a) Battalion Headquarters: 2
(b) Rifle Companies: 1 each
(3) Artillery Battalions: 1
3. Operations and Logistics:
(a) That a standard 40mm marking round be developed for standard issue for combat units.
(b) That a strobe light be added to the MTOE of the infantry rifle squad and LRRP team.
(c) That Peneprime distributors be added to the MTOE of Engineer and aviation units.
(d) That an Airfield Operating Detachment be provided for the DUC PHO Airfield.
(e) That a refrigerator mechanic be assigned to the FSA.
(f) That Jungle Fatigues with seams sewn on the inside be eliminated from the supply system.
(g) That disposable water and food containers be developed and supplied to tactical units.
(h) That additional M-79 ammunition carrying vests be made available in the supply system.
(i) That spray aircraft and preventive medicine assistance for malaria control be made available to the brigade.
4. Civil Affairs: That 02 pilots on aerial speaker missions be furnished with 1:50,000 maps of their target area and instructed to make the broadcasts at an altitude of 1000 feet with more emphasis on targeting a specific hamlet rather than a large area.
1. Area of Operations Map (Withdrawn, Hqs, DA)
2. Mines and Booby Traps
3. Search Technique
4. Combat After Action Report for 15 July 1967, Assault of Bunker Positions.
5. Combat After Action Report for the period 19 May-20 May 1967, the Battle of Vinh Hien
6. Combat After Action Report for the period 27 May-30 May 1967, the Battle of Ton Phong
[rest of the list deleted]
AVDF-CG (10 August 1967) 1st Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period ending 31 July 1967, (RCS-CSFOR-65)
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, HEADQUARTERS AMERICAL DIVISION, APO San Francisco 96374, 24 September 1967
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army (ACSFOR, DA), Washington D.C. 20315
1. (U) Forwarded herewith are two copies of subject report of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
2. (U) Reference Section II, Part I, para 3a, Subject: Brigade Intelligence Sources. The 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division has a two-man Counter Intelligence Team assigned to the brigade. The team is well suited for accomplishment of the tasks for which the brigade is asking support. The District Intelligence Operations Coordination Center (DIOCC) is a DACV concept with CAS backing. The DIOCC suffers from under-staffing which causes a loss of efficiency; however, this is not a matter for a brigade to address.
3. (U) Reference Section II, Part II, para 3a. Latest reports from Headquarters, Department of the Army indicate cost estimates are extremely high for a 40mm colored smoke round; however, immediate procurement and continued research and development should be continued, as the requirement is critical.
4. (U) Reference Section 2, Part II, para 3b. The unit has been advised that ATOE action is necessary.
5. (U) Reference Section 2, Part II, para 3i. An aerial spray capability to be mounted on a UH-1D helicopter, was procured and became operational on 28 August 1967. Spraying operations commenced in the Duc PHO area on 5 September 1967. Batex larvae killing granules, for spreading over stagnant waters, has been issued to Headquarters, Americal Division and further provided to subordinate elements. Additionally, a team consisting of two personnel from the 926th Preventive Medicine Detachment was positioned at DUC PHO to assist in the malaria prevention program in that area.
FOR THE COMMANDANT:
/s/ D. A. Gerner Jr., D. A. GERNER, JR., CPT AMC, Asst Adjutant
The source for this information was Vietnam Source document prepared by Ron Leonard and sent by Les Hines
Additional information is available on CD-ROM.
Please send additions or corrections to: Gary Roush Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to panel index
Return to Helicopter Pilot KIA index
Return to VHPA Home Page
Copyright © 1998 - 2021 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association
Date posted on this site: