operation RAYBURN CANE information
for B-23 SF DET

From date 680525 to 680530

B-23 SF DET was a US Army unit
Primary service involved, US Army
Darlac Province, II Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Ban Me Thuot
Description: This was a BRIGHT LIGHT raid on a VC POW camp area known to contain three America civilians plus several ARVN and Montagnards captured near Ban Me Thuot during Tet of '68. On 20 March, an escapee from the camp helped a Special Forces team move against the camp. A thousand meters from it, they ran into a VC patrol which was hit with an air strike. During this strike, an ARVN NCO escaped from the camp. Later he helped two companies from the 173d Abn Bde sweep the area. They found that the camp had recently been abandoned. On 3 April, a Montagnard who had worked for Mike Benge, head of USAID and one of the three American POWs, escaped. He returned to friendly lines on 6 April and on 7 April guided a helicopter assault to the camp found to be recenly abandoned but exactly as described by the Montagnard. On 3 May, two Montagnards escaped from the camp. Acting on this date, the JPRC launched RAYBURN CANE which was delayed five days because one of the Montagnards was sick. Two CIDG teams led by American Special Forces were inserted. The teams quickly made contact with the VC and drove them away. The teams remained in the area for several days. During their search for the cave complex used for a POW camp, they found two Vietnamese men who had been used as slave labor for the camp. While screening they picked up additional Vietnamese and found the cave - abandoned.
Comments: CIV Benge, Mike; head of USAID; ; CIV Blood, Henry; missionary; ; CIV Olsen, Betty; missionary; ;

The source for this information was Code-Name Bright Light P:172

Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

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Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023