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Actions Report, 1st Battalion, 173d Airborne Brigade, 503rd Infantry, Jan - Dec 67

(Many Thanks to Sky Soldier Vic Marciano, 173rd ABN, Recon, D Co, 1st Bn, who provided this documentation)

Prepared By

Lieutenant Gary Murphy

Headquarters

1st Battalion (Airborne) 503D Infantry

.

Approved By

Raymond E Gunderson

Major, Infantry

Commanding

The 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate), showed in 1967 that it could operate as an effective fighting force anywhere in Vietnam. From the hot, sweltering jungles of War Zones "C and D" and the Iron Triangle in the South, to the rugged, heavily vegetated mountains of Kontum Province, to the fertile coastal areas around Tuy Hoa, the Battalion decisively overwhelmed all opposition.

The Battalion spent the last seven months of 1967 in the field and the Base Camp was moved from Bien Hoa to An Khe in its absence.

The pride of the Men of the First Battalion of Sky Soldiers is drawn from their knowledge that they successfully completed the most difficult tasks assigned to anyone in Vietnam and that they engaged and defeated the best trained and best equipped forces the enemy could put in the field.

1. ORGANIZATION.

a. The Battalion operated under TC&E 7-35F during 1967. The normal task organization of the Battalion was as follows.

Company A

Company B

Company C

Artillery FO Team

Artillery FO Team

Artillery FO Team

4.2 Mortar FO Team

4.2 Mortar FO Team

4.2 Mortar FO Team

Engineer Demolition Team

Engineer Demolition Team

Engineer Demolition Team

Scout Dog Team

Scout Dog Team

Scout Dog Team

.

.

.

Company D (since 12 Oct)

Battalion Control

 

Artillery FO Team

4.2 Mortar Platoon

 

4.2 Mortar FO Team

Recon Platoon (until 12 Oct)

 

Engineer Demolition Team

Commo Platoon

 

Scout Dog Team

Battery 105mm Artillery (DS)

 

 

Interpreter

 

b. On 12 October 1967, D Co (Provisional), 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate), was organized under Brigade General Order Number 1588, authorizing 4 Officers and 150 Enlisted men.

2. PERSONNEL

During the first five months of 1967 the 1st Battalion operated out of Bien Hoa and the personnel had PX facilities, Officer, NC0, EM clubs, and recreational facilities for use when they came out of the field. After the Battalion moved north these facilities were no longer available. A PX truck was provided at Dak To during brief periods, and at Tuy Hoa PX facilities were available when the Battalion conducted a standown on 12 October. Although the Battalion did not return to Base Camp after leaving in May, morale and Esprit De Corps remained high, and members of the Battalion took great pride in having the highest kill ratio in the Battles for Dak To. The Battalion suffered 59 men killed in action and 405 men wounded.

3. MEDICAL SERVICES.

There were wide variations in medical operations in 1967. This was primarily a result of the many different sectors of the country in which the Battalion operated, the separation of the Brigade in many instances, and the absence or presence of a supporting Medical Company. In all instances Battle Casualties were first treated by Company Aid Men. Afterward they were evacuated to either B Co (Medical) 173d Spt Bn, or directly to an evacuation or Surgical Hospital by DustOff or UH-1D Helicopters or occasionally the Battalion C&C ship. During operations in the Bien Hoa and Tuy Hoa areas, evacuations were rapid and made directly to a hospital. However, in the Dak To area, evacuations were frequently delayed, occasionally as much as 24 hours, due to rugged terrain, heavy vegetation, monsoon rains, and subsequent unavailability of a suitable LZ. Also the distance to the nearest Hospital at Pleiku made evacuation to the Brigade clearing station at Dak To a necessity for stabilization and intermediate level treatment of casualties. In these cases the clearing station was a great asset to the medical operations. Due to variations in operational areas and seasonal weather, medical problems of a prevalent nature differed. In the Dak To area during the southwest monsoon season, primary problems consisted of skin infections, tropical immersion foot, and intestinal parasites, particularly hookworms and ascaris (roundworms). The Battalion had an enviable malaria rate during the monsoon season in a malaria endemic area while at Dak To. In Tuy Hoa the malaria rate rose greatly due to a combination of factors, including the transition stage between wet and dry seasons, a large number and concentration of malaria carrying mosquitoes, and the weary, resistance lowered condition of the Troops after operations in Dak To. The Battalion had a rigid malaria control program which was emphasized quite frequently and adhered to strictly. Upon returning to Dak To in the last two months of the year, malaria and medical problems in general, dropped off sharply and would have been negligible had it not been for a moderately high recurrence of those malaria cases contacted in Tuy Hoa. Medical resupply was generally fair and occasionally good, but sometimes quite poor when supply involved a number of channels as the Battalion was under the operational control of, but a considerable distance from the 4th Infantry Division.

4. LOGISTICS.

The S-4 section of the Battalion Headquarters was run from the Logistics Operations Center (LOC) in the trains area. At the LOC, representatives from each Company and the S-4 personnel processed requests for all resupply and maintenance. The Maneuver units were resupplied every three days almost entirely by Helicopter. When the turn around time for aircraft between the units in the field and the trains area became too great, a CH-47 Helicopter was used to prestock the needed items at the FSB each resuppply day and a UH-1D Helicopter was used for the shorter shuttle to the Maneuver Elements after they had laagered for the night. The biggest problem encountered was the maintenance of vehicles during the monsoon season at Dak To. The fender deep mud caused rapid deterioration of clutches, brake linings, and wheel bearings.

5. COMMUNICATIONS

During 1967, communications were continuously extended to maximum capability. Radios were kept in 24 hour operation from May thru December. The most critical area of concern was radio repair, necessitating much emphasis and foresight at all echelons of command. Specifically, it was necessary to place constant command emphasis on both first and second echelon maintenance, due to the continuous operation of equipment. Two onóline secure modes of communication were added to the Battalion's equipment during the year and both were employed on a full time basis when the equipment was operable. The TSEC KW-7 voice secure was utilized on the Brigade Command Net/FM and the cipher machine TSEC KW-7 secure on the Brigade Admin Log Net/AM. These pieces of equipment accelerated both the tactical and administration functioning of the Battalion and proved to be of extreme value to the overall effectiveness of the unit as a whole.

6. BASE CAMP

The Base Camp at Camo Ray (Bien Hoa} was nearly finished in May 1967, when the Battalion moved north. The Base Camp at Camo Ray remained occupied by the rear elements of the Battalion until October, when the Brigade Base Camp was moved overland and by sea to An Khe. E Co (Provisional), 173d Support Battalion was formed at that time to secure the personal effects of all personnel in the Brigade and the 173d Replacement Detachment was formed to process all incoming and outgoing personnel for PCS, R&R and leave. This eliminated the need for nearly all the First Battalion personnel who were stationed in the Base Camp area, and the Company Orderly rooms were moved forward to the Battalion trains area, where they could operate more effectively.

         Combat Operations: During the year 1967, the First Battalion, 173rd Airborne, 503d Infantry, participated in 15 major Combat Operations. The Battalion fought in the Jungles in the South until the end of May, when it was deployed to the Pleiku area in II corps. After three months in the Dak To area, the 1st Battalion moved to the Coastal Lowlands around Tuy Hoa. The big action of the year came at Dak To when the Battalion returned in November and engaged elements of the 66th NVA Regiment, resulting in a 10.5 enemy dead for every 1st Battalion Soldier killed. Enemy casualties attributed to the 1st Battalion during 1967 included 415 NVA/VC (BC), 22 NVA/VC KIA (body not recovered), 13 NVA/VC Captured, and 45 enemy bodies found or uncovered.

 

         OPERATION: NIAGARA FALLS, 4 - 8 January 1967
Operation Niagara Falls was a Search and Destroy operation and also a deceptive operation with the purpose of prepositioning forces for the initiation of Operation CEDAR FALLS.

         4 Jan 67- In the morning, the 1st Battalion departed Bien Hoa by motor convoy for PHU LOI. From there, A Co and elements of HHC conducted an air assault to LZ LOIS.

         5 Jan 67- In the morning while TM Bravo and TM Armor - B 2/34th Armor and Recon Plt 1/503d Inf commenced Search and Destroy operations. TM Bravo located a bunker and hooches containing assorted ammunition and equipment which they destroyed, TM Armor located and destroyed nine tunnels, and four houses. A Co moved to the east to provide security for Engineers who were working in the AO. That afternoon the Battalion CP and C Co moved 1300 meters south, where the CP and LOC were established. B 2/34th Armor was released from OPCON at 1700 hrs. Just after dark, A Co received ten rounds of small arms fire on the company perimeter, no casualties resulted.

         6 Jan 67- As Search and Destroy operations continued, the Recon Plt located and destroyed a booby trapped grenade. B Co found two 100 pound bags of rice, several partially destroyed hooches and some documents.

         7 Jan 67- Elements of the Battalion began movement to assigned sectors in preparation for Operation CEDAR FALLS. A 2/5th Artillery became attached and the Tank Plt from 2/11th ACR became OPCON. C Co located a motorized sampan and two tons of paddy rice, and later located a hut and a canoe. Just before dark an element from A Co engaged a water craft proceeding down the THI TINH river. Darkness quickly set in and the results of the encounter were unknown.

         8 Jan 67- Operation NIAGARA FALLS ended at 0745 with a total of 1 VC CIA, 1 VC suspect detained, 1 bunker, 13 huts, and 4 tunnels destroyed, 4 tons of rice, ll sampans and 2 motors, and assorted ammunition captured.

 

         OPERATION: CEDAR FALLS, 8 - 25 January 1967
The mission of the 1st Battalion during Operation Cedar Falls was to control river traffic at the confluence of the Saigon and the Thi Tinh Rivers and secure Highway 13 in the AO. For the first three days of the operation, the units conducted patrols within their assigned sectors.

         8 Jan 67- A Co detained one suspected ARVN deserter in a group of civilians in their unit area. C Co found a small boat motor late that same morning and that afternoon discovered three bodies which had expired from combat wounds. The Tank Plt from 2/11th ACR was released from OPCON at 1600 hrs.

         9 Jan 67- C Co had one man wounded when an antipersonnel mine was activated. A Co captured 1 VC, 3200 pounds of rice, a bicycle, 2 plows, and numerous publications. During the day, Co's A and C along with the Recon Plt received sporadic harassing fire. The fire was returned with unknown results.

         10 Jan 67- A Co lost 2 men when a sampan sank as a element was attempting to cross a stream. Only one body was recovered. That evening a sump exploded, causing 4 US casualties from A Co.

         11 Jan 67- Frag Order 1 to OPORD 2-67 was issued and A Co, Recon Plt, and the Battalion CP moved to Position RED by motor convoy. B and C Co's closed the same location that afternoon also by motor convoy.

         12 Jan 67- The Battalion (minus A Co and the 4.2 Mortar Plt) moved to the western edge of the IRON TRIANGLE and commenced Search and Destroy operations with the Aero Cav Platoon of E/17th Cav. Two VC located by the Cav Plt escaped by jumping into the river. Later 2 VC were killed by the Plt. That evening the Recon Plt engaged 3 VC, killing one and wounding another, who fled with the third. One Chicom carbine was captured.

         13 Jan 67- B Co began searching an estimated VC Company size Base Camp which a VC POW had led them to. Huts, rucksacks, ammunition and documents were found in the area. They sighted and fired on one VC carrying a claymore later in the day. C Co found over 20 tons of rice in one location and 400 pounds in another location. Early in the evening C Co captured one wounded male and one female near the Battalion CP. In the southern sector of the Battalion AO the Aero Cav Plt accounted for 13 VC KIA and 7 POW's, along with various weapons and supplies and 2500 pounds of rice.

         14 Jan 67- Much equipment and supplies were denied the VC when B Co located 1/2 ton of rice, C Co found over 15 tons, and the Aero Cav Plt found 131 tons of rice in addition to killing 13 VC and capturing one, along with weapons, ammunition, outboard motors, and several sampans.

         15 Jan 67- B Co accounted for most of the find when they discovered 731 4.5 volt batteries, 3 civilian transistor radios, and medical supplies, including large amounts of penicillin, alcohol, and sterile water. Around noon they engaged and killed 3 VC, one of them was an armed and shooting female.

         16 Jan 67- B Co captured one VC early in the morning and sighted 4-5 VC about mid-morning, capturing 3 before the rest fled south. B Co located 10 bicycles and 5 tons of rice in areas that were heavily booby trapped and resulted in 5 US casualties. The Company captured two more VC in the afternoon, along with 9 more tons of rice. Another booby trap wounded one US from B Co in the afternoon and still another was wounded in an encounter with 6-7 VC. Co A and the 4.2 Mortar Plt remained at Position RED.

         17 Jan 67- The Aero Cav Plt killed one VC and captured 2 tons of rice, 2 Russian carbines, 2 rucksacks, a sewing machine, and an inboard motor. In the afternoon B Co received 8-10 rounds of small arms fire. One VC was spotted and pursued. Four VC were later engaged, resulting in 5 US WIA's. One of the VC had an M-79 grenade launcher. Three VC were later engaged and 2 VC were seen to go down. One VC body and 1 AK47 were recovered. US casualties were 1 KIA and 1 WIA. Just before midnight an ambush patrol from C Co killed one VC.

         18 Jan 67- B Co spotted 5 VC during the day and killed 2, capturing 1 AK47 and 1 AK50 and 1 rifle.

         19 Jan 67- B Co located 10-12 tons of rice. The Company engaged 5 VC who fled with negative results and later pursued 1-2 snipers with negative results. In the afternoon C Co captured 1 VC and sub machine gun. The Battalion CP received 4-5 rounds of sniper fire enroute to a new location 4.5 km southeast.

         20 Jan 67- A Co was relieved of the Brigade security mission and rejoined the Battalion in the morning, they initiated eagle flights with the Recon Plt. They found over a ton of rice and 4 graves and 3 bodies. Just after dark the Company killed one VC. B Co had one US WIA as a result of an engagement with 2 VC. One dead VC was later found. C Co found 18-20 tons of rice, 2 Chicom carbines, 1 typewriter and 10 pounds of paper.

         21 Jan 67- A Co located 3 unknown French weapons, several grenades and 1 VC body. A Co engaged 15 VC in the late evening, an artillery concentration fired in support caused 1 US KIA and 1 US WIA before the enemy broke contact.

         22 Jan 67- The Battalion began moving north along the western edge of the IRON TRIANGLE. A Co found 2 VC bodies floating in the water, they had been dead about two weeks. The Battalion CP moved 1km to the northwest early in the afternoon. A Co found 3 VC bodies in graves, located 16 tons of rice, and later detained 1 female. A Co wounded another female VC, who later died. A Co exchanged grenades with the enemy during the night with unknown results.

         23 Jan 67- The Battalion CP moved 4 km to the northwest.

         24 Jan 67- The Recon Plt discovered a dead VC and destroyed 4 tons of rice in the morning and another 2 tons in the afternoon. The Battalion CP moved another 2km to the northwest.

         25 Jan 67- The l/503d Infantry terminated operation CEDAR FALLS at 0730hrs, and returned to Bien Hoa by motor vehicle. 41 VC were killed and 17 bodies found or uncovered, along with 341.5 tons of rice and 31 individual weapons captured. US losses were 2 KIA, 29 WIA, 2 Non Battle Dead, and 2 Non Battle Injured.

 

         OPERATION: BIG SPRING, 1 - 16 February 1967
Operation BIG SPRING was a Search and Destroy and Bushmaster operation in War Zone D. The 1st Battalion moved into AO 3 on multiple LZ's.

         1 Feb 67- A Co had 3 US WIA as result of a friendly firefight between two A Co units. A Co later engaged 6 VC, killing 3, with one US WIA. In a later engagement, 4 VC were fired upon and 1 VC KIA and possibly another was killed. One US was KIA and another WIA.

         2 Feb 67- B Co located and destroyed 1/2 ton of rice and 3 huts. All units positioned ambushes with negative results.

         3 Feb 67- C Co found an unoccupied Battalion-sized Base Camp.

         4 Feb 67- B Co, Recon Plt and the Mortar Plt conducted a Heliborne Assault to Position CADILLAC. Just before midnight an enemy 82mm mortar attack resulted in 12 casualties.

         5 Feb 67- The Search and Destroy operation continued with Platoon size forces. The Battalion CP, Mortar Plt, Recon Plt, and C Btry 3/319th Artillery moved to Position FORD in the afternoon. A Co suffered one casualty from a command detonated mine and engaged an estimated VC platoon sustaining 2 US KIA and l6 US WIA. The unit withdrew and placed airstikes into the area. One VC was killed. Dustoffs had to be delayed the following morning because of enemy ground fire.

         6 Feb 67- Command detonated mines against A Co resulted in 3 US KIA and 8 US WIA. B Co suffered 1 KIA and 2 WIA while searching a heavily booby trapped tunnel complex. An element from C Co engaged 3 VC in an area heavily fortified with booby traps and command detonated mines resulting in 3 US WIA.

         7 Feb 67- B Co received 3 rounds of incoming small arms fire in the morning. C Co found a Chicom carbine and ammo, but had 2 US WIA as a result of VC booby traps in the same general area. That evening B Co had 4 US KIA and 6 US WIA when an estimated reinforced VC squad fired 50-100 small arms rounds, 5-8 rifle grenades, and 1 claymore mine from the northeast into the Company's perimeter.

         8 Feb 67- B Co engaged an estimated VC Platoon dug in and received small arms and automatic weapons fire, hand grenades and claymores. The encounter resulted in 1 US KIA from A Co and 1 KIA and 22 WIA from B Co. There was 1 VC KIA (poss) when the fighting terminated. B Co withdrew to allow air and artillery fire to be placed into the area.

         8 Feb 67- Search and Destroy operations in the Battalion AO terminated due to the Tet Holiday truce. There was no enemy contact until 11 Feb, 1510hrs.

         11 Feb 67- 3 VC engaged a patrol from A Co and fled. The Company was later subjected to 2 command detonated mines resulting in 5 US casualties. LTC Goad replaced LTC Brownlee as the Battalion Commander.

         12 Feb 67- The Tet Cease Fire ended officially on 120790 and Search and Destroy operations continued with no significant contact.

         15 Feb 67- A Co engaged and killed 1 VC and captured a Chicom carbine as the Company was preparing for redeployment to Bien Hoa the following day. A Co later engaged an unknown number of VC in a heavily booby trapped area, resulting in 1 US KIA and 8 US WIA. C Co was later subjected to 2 command detonated mines resulting in 4 US WIA.

         16 Feb 67- Operation BIG SPRING was terminated when the last unit was airlifted to Bien Hoa.

 

         OPERATION: JUNCTION CITY ALTERNATE, 19 Feb - 15 Mar 1967
Operation JUNCTION CITY ALTERNATE was a Search and Destroy operation. The 1st Battalion was airlifted aboard C-130 aircraft from Bien Hoa to QUAN LOI and established a staging area with other elements of the Brigade in preparation for future operations.

         22 Feb 67- The Battalion was helilifted in 70 UH-1D helicopters to LZ's 11 and 12, and all Companies moved into their assigned blocking positions along Highway 4.

         23 Feb 67- Elements from B Co sighted and engaged 1 VC shortly after midnight with negative results. A hand grenade from C Co thrown at suspected movement ricocheted back into the foxhole of origin, killing two and wounding one.

         24 Feb 67- Several VC were sighted, but only one was engaged with unknown results. Several tunnels, bunkers and huts were located and destroyed.

         25 Feb 67- Although 1st Bn forces made no contact, a Engineer element that was working in the AO received 12 rounds of sniper fire, resulting in 1 US WIA. An element sent from A Co failed to locate the sniper.

         26 Feb 67- No enemy contact made

         27 Feb 67- A patrol member from Recon Plt inadvertently activated a grenade killing himself and one other.

         28 Feb 67- Early in the morning A Co threw grenades at suspected movement. At dawn blood trails were found which led to a tunnel containing 5 AP mines. That afternoon LTC Goad relinquished control of the Battalion to LTC Sachs. The Battalion continued to conduct patrolling and road clearing operation and improved defensive positions without enemy contact.

         4 Mar 67- An element of A Co securing a bridge site was subjected to 30-40 rounds of automatic weapons fire and two command detonated mines, resulting in 1 US KIA.

         5 Mar 67- The Battalion began preparation for redeployment to the southeast.

         6 Mar 67- FSB 3 was established. A and B Co's moved to secure objective PETE, unopposed. The Recon Plt engaged 1 VC with M-79's with unknown results.

         7 Mar 67- The Battalion continued Search and Destroy operations to the northeast with negative contact.

         9 Mar 67- The Companies reversed direction to the west. Several base camps were found, along with graves containing 2 VC.

         10 Mar 67- While moving to the east, B Co and the Recon Plt engaged an estimated 25-30 VC, and then another squad of VC. The firefight ensued, followed by airstrikes and artillery.

         11 Mar 67- While moving north, B Co was engaged by one VC with an AK47. At the same time C Co received one incoming small arms round resulting in 1 US WIA. 10-15 mortar rounds landed south west of the Battalion CP, after which 8 VC were observed to the south, moving to the west. A Co simultaneously observed an unknown number of VC to the west and the Recon Plt reported 20 VC. The CP later received small arms fire from the north and elements of the Bn HQ and Recon engaged the enemy. At that time B and C Co's were ordered to return to the perimeter. The perimeter was re-established with B Co on the north, A Co on the west, C Co on the east, and Recon to the south. In this configuration the Companies reported engaging 25-30 NVA on the north, 20-25 NVA on the west, and 18-20 NVA on the east. Concurrent with this firefight, Air strikes and Artillery were directed close to the perimeter. The engagement terminated shortly after noon, at which time B and C Co's moved north and east respectively to exploit the Air and Artillery attacks, while Recon searched to the south. The units found 29 NVA KIA (BC) and captured one wounded NVA. US casualties totaled 12 wounded. Interrogation of the captured NVA revealed the Battalion was attacked by a Battalion of the 101st NVA Regiment of the 9th NVA division.

         12 Mar 67- An element of A Co engaged an unknown number of VC, killing one. An exploitation by C Co of an Air strike on a base camp found on the previous day revealed 2 dead VC.

         13 Mar 67- In the afternoon C Co engaged an estimated 20-25 VC in a dug in position supported by claymores. C Co reported 11 VC KIA (BC) before withdrawing and calling in Air and Artillery strikes into the area. Later in the afternoon B Co again reported receiving fire from 3-4 more VC. One more VC was killed before more air and artillery was placed into the area. Later the unit engaged and possibly killed still another VC. While enroute to the Battalion CP, the Company found 2 VC bodies killed by Artillery. As a result of the day's contacts there were 2 WIA's from C Co, neither of whom required evacuation.

         14 Mar 67- The Battalion began movement to SOUI DA in preparation for the termination of the operation. During the move an artillery round landed inside the Battalion perimeter resulting in 3 US WIA.

         15 Mar 67- The Battalion moved back to Bien Hoa, closing at 1400 hrs. Results of the operation included 58 VC KIA (BC), 15 VC KIA (Poss), 2 VC captured, 5 individual weapons, 1 machine gun, and 2 rocket launchers captured. US losses, 5 KIA, 33 WIA, 1 Non Battle Injured.

 

         OPERATION: JUNCTION CITY II, 21 March - 13 April 1967

         21 Mar 67- The 1st Battalion moved by road and C-130 aircraft from Bien Hoa to MINH THANH in War Zone C to establish a forward staging area.

         23 Mar 67- The Battalion was helilifted into LZ ALPHA.

         24 Mar 67- The Battalion commenced a two pronged Search and Destroy operation to the northwest. C Co was subjected to 3 claymore explosions, resulting in 1 US slightly wounded. Just after dark a B Co LP received one incoming grenade but suffered no casualties.

         25 Mar 67- C Co suffered one WIA as a result of a booby trap.

         26 Mar 67- There was no significant activity

         27 Mar 67- The Battalion moved to Position PARRY. A VC activated a trip flare around A Co's perimeter that night and was possibly killed.

         28 Mar 67- Just after midnight 0030 hrs Position Parry received an estimated 5O rounds of 82mm mortar fire. The Headquarters element suffered 6 WIA and C Co had 10 WIA. A FAC spotted a suspected VC base camp and artillery was placed into the area.

         29 Mar 67- A Co received one incoming small arms round but suffered no casualties.

         30 Mar 67- Four small mortar rounds or rifle grenades landed near an A Co ambush site but caused no casualties.

         31 Mar 67- The Battalion was placed on a 1 hour alert to reinforce elements of the 1st Infantry Division to the northwest who where in heavy contact.

         1 Apr 67- The Battalion was placed on immediate alert, which lasted until 1300 hrs, when another 1 hour alert went back into effect. A Co suffered one slight casualty from friendly mortar fire on the night of Apr 1.

         3 Apr 67- Operations continued until the afternoon when Recon Plt made contact with an estimated squad of VC in fortified positions with automatic weapons, the unit withdrew and artillery and air strikes were placed into the area. Recon again engaged the dug in enemy and suffered 2 US WIA's before they could withdraw to put more strikes into the area. A and B Co's each supplied one Platoon to secure the road to the east and assist Recon in closing the perimeter. While enroute to the perimeter, Recon was again engaged with automatic weapons fire from a dug in enemy and suffered one more WIA. Recon was forced to establish a perimeter of its own and was pinned down by enemy fire. Air strikes and Gunships expended their ordnance into the suspected enemy positions. A Dustoff attempting to extract the wounded took several shots and was forced down at Position PARRY. Just before dark A Co linked up with the two Platoons on the road and moved through the night to link up with the Recon Plt, finally making contact at 0450 hrs in the morning.

         4 Apr 67- A soundoff by Recon and A Co at first light brought small arms and automatic weapons fire from the north and northeast. Recon suffered a total of four wounded in the contact. That afternoon A Co found 3 dead VC in graves, killed by air strikes, and also found in the enemy positions over 6000 flashlight batteries, 3 civilian radios and a enemy hospital which contained numerous medical supplies. That evening Position PARRY received approximately 50 82mm mortar rounds. C Co suffered 3 WIA's when a friendly mortar round stuck in the tube and detonated. The Battalion suffered 6 WIA's as a result of the attack.

         5 Apr 67- B Co suffered 1 WIA from small arms fire after beginning a search of an enemy base camp following an artillery prep into the area.

         6 Apr 67- B Co suffered 1 WIA from a booby trap

         7 Apr 67- Was uneventful.

         8 Apr 67- Recon reported 1 US dead as a result of friendly small arms fire. The US had evidently strayed from his position on an ambush and was killed when he tried to return.

         9 Apr 67- The Battalion left Position PARRY and received rifle grenades and small arms fire as the last units were closing the night position, resulting in 2 US WIA's.

         10 Apr 67- In sporadic light contact A Co had 2 US WIA and 1 VC KIA. Later that afternoon C Co engaged 2 VC riding on a bicycle, killing 1 and possibly the other.

         11 Apr 67- The Battalion cleared an LZ in preparation for extraction. A Co, searching a base camp found bloody bandages and a grave. Sniper fire received in the base camp caused 2 US KIA and 5 US WIA. One VC was killed.

         12 Apr 67- The Battalion displaced to MINH THANH and moved back to Bien Hoa by helicopter and motor convoy.
Results of the operation: 2 US KIA, 40 US WIA, 1 Non Battle dead, 10 VC KIA (BC), 3 VC KIA (Poss), 3 VC bodies found.

         Operation JUNCTION CITY II was successful not in VC kills, but in the capture and destruction of supplies and installations and denied the VC his sanctuaries in War Zone C.

 

         OPERATION: NEWARK, 18 - 22 April 1967
Operation NEWARK was a Search and Destroy operation into War Zone D west of the SONG BE River in PHOUC THANH province.

         18 Apr 67- The Battalion deployed to LZ BONE by UH-lD Helicopters on 18 April

         19-21 Apr 67- They began a Search and Destroy operation to the north and northeast. The Battalion continued to conduct Company and Reinforced Platoon sized patrols with negative contact.

         22 Apr 67- The 1st Battalion was relieved in the AO by the 2nd Battalion, and moved back to Bien Hoa by helicopter. Enroute to base camp one helicopter went down killing 3 members of A Co and injuring 3 more. All four crew members were killed.

         Operation NEWARK was a good training vehicle, preparing recent replacements for the coming operations, Enemy resistance was light, thus the men received practical training with a minimal loss in casualties.

 

         OPERATION: UNION TOWN, 23 - 29 April 1967
Operation UNION TOWN was conducted in the Brigade Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR) and the LONG BINH POST area. It included providing security for US installations at NUI CHUA CHAN and DREDGE.

         Apr 23-29 67- The order was issued on 23 April and was implemented the following day with B Co conducting Search and Destroy operations in the LONG BINH POST area and C Co operating in the TAOR. Recon Plt provided security for the NUI CHUA CHAN and DREDGE installations. A Co was the Battalion Reaction Force, B and C Co's conducted Platoon size patrols thru 28 April without enemy contact. The 1st Battalion was relieved by the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry and returned to base camp to conduct maintenance on signal items, vehicles, individual equipment and weapons.

 

         OPERATION: FORT WAYNE, 1 - 4 May 1967

         1-3 May 67- Operation FORT WAYNE into War Zone D commenced with the 1st Battalion moving into FSB 12 and conducting local clearing patrols on 1 May. Company sized patrols were conducted to the southeast with no enemy contact on 2 and 3 May.

         4 May 67- The Battalion returned to base camp. A Co received 3 rounds of small arms fire enroute, but received no casualties.

 

         OPERATION: DAYTON, 4 ó 17 May 1967
Operation DAYTON was conducted in the area of XUAN LOC commencing on 4 May. The 1st Battalion assumed responsibility for the security of FSB 1, with the 173d Engineer Co and D Troop 16th Armor attached.

         6 May 67- Search and Destroy operations were conducted by the Companies in their AO's with negative contact.

         7 May 67- An ambush from C Co moving into position on the night of 7 May spotted 4 armed VC who fled before they could be engaged.

         8 May 67- In the afternoon B Co had one WIA from friendly artillery while firing advancing prep fires. The Companies reported movement and light contact nightly with negative results.

         10 May 67- An ambush from the 173d Engineer Co reported 1 VC KIA as they were moving into position.

         11 May 67- The Battalion conducted a heliborne assault to LZ 14 and began to search to the south and east. That night A Co and B Co reported light probing around their perimeters. A Co had 1 VC KIA and 1 US WIA. There was evidence that other bodies had been dragged away.

         12 May 67- In the morning Recon spotted and engaged 5 VC and killed one before calling in artillery. C Co found and destroyed 2 trucks and later engaged 4 VC, killing one. A claymore that was detonated at B Co that morning caused no injuries.

         13 May 67- An ambush from C Co killed 2 VC with a claymore on the night of the 13th.

         14-16 May 67- General probing and harassment by the VC continued during the hours of darkness.

         17 May 67- The operation terminated in the morning, but A Co received 10-15 mortar rounds that afternoon causing 5 WIA.

 

         OPERATION: CINCINNATI, 21 - 24 May 1967
Operation CINCINNATI was conducted in the Brigade TAOR, commencing on the morning of 21 May. A, B and C Co's, (with Recon Platoon OPCON to Co C), conducted Squad and Platoon sized patrols in their assigned AO's.

         22 May 67- Recon reported 2 US WIA when a 2 1/2 ton truck hit a mine after they were released from OPCON and were enroute to their own AO. B Co also reported one US wounded by a friendly M79 round.

         23 May 67- No enemy contact was reported.

         24 May 67- Elements of the Battalion returned to base camp by motor vehicle.

 

         OPERATION: WINCHESTER, 26 - 29 May l967

         On the morning of 26 May the Battalion was airlifted by C-130 aircraft to Pleiku Air Base and established a command post at CATEKA. They prepared for future operations and on 29 May, key personnel of the Battalion received a briefing from the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division on future operations (Operation FRANCIS MARION).

 

         OPERATION: FRANCIS MARION, 31 May - 17 June 1967
The First Battalion moved into Operation MARION FRANCIS on 31 May. Elements of the Battalion displaced to FSB 1 in AO RED on 1 June.

         1 June 67- While on Search and Destroy, B Co engaged an estimated 20 VC. Small arms, automatic weapons, mortars, artillery, gunships, and airstrikes were used before B Co swept through the area, finding the VC had pulled out.

         3 June 67- After an exchange of grenades in the darkness of morning, a clearing patrol from C Co spotted and engaged 2 VC with unknown results. It appeared 2 bodies had dragged out of the area. The Companies continued Search and Destroy operations and nightly ambushes thru 6 June, but were unable to make contact with the enemy.

         7 June 67- Contact was finally made late on the morning when B Co engaged 2 VC, possibly killing one.

         8 June 67- C Co was sent to secure the Pleiku POW compound and the remainder of the Battalion returned to FSB 3 and became the Security/Reaction force.

         10 June 67- A and B Companies were moved by motor convoy to search four villages when a CDIG vehicle hit a mine, causing one US WIA from A Co. The four villages north of Pleiku were cordoned and searched in conjunction with CDIG and RF forces, with light enemy contact.

         11-12 June 67- No contacts were reported as A and B Co remained at CATEKA as the Brigade Reaction Force and conducted local patrols. C Co remained in the vicinity of the Pleiku POW compound.

         13 June 67- C Co reported one non-battle casualty when a weapon was accidentally discharged in the afternoon.

         14 June 67- A Co's night ambush reported mortars firing towards C Btry, 3/319th Artillery. The ambush pulled back and an air strike was placed into the area. A Co patrolled in the area the following day with negative results.

         16 June 67- B Co, conducting saturation patrolling, killed 1 VC and had 1 US KIA as a result of light contact.

         17 June 67- The Battalion was alerted for redeployment to DAK T0, ending Operation FRANCIS MARION.

 

         OPERATION: HORACE GREELEY, 17 June - 17 September 1967
On 18 June the elements of the 1st Battalion moved to Pleiku Air Base from CATEKA and the POW Camp, where the Battalion loaded on C-130 aircraft for the flight to DAK TO. In the DAK TO area a fire support base was established and the Battalion prepared to conduct Search and Destroy operations (See sketch pg 24).

         19 June 67- C Co was sent on a Heliborne Assault with the mission of recovering bodies of US Special Forces and CIDG forces. One Platoon of CIDG was attached to each Rifle Company. Meanwhile, A Co and Bn HQ conducted a Heliborne Assault to establish FSB 4 to the southwest.

         20 June 67- C Co reported 10 bodies had been found, two of which were believed to be US. One NVA body was found later that day. B Co was attached to 2/503d Inf on 20 June, and the following morning was attached to E/17 Cav.

         21 June 67- Bn HQ and A Co received small arms fire while they were being extracted back to FSB 1. Three NVA were spotted and engaged, a check of the area revealed only blood trails. An air strike was later placed in the area.

         22 June 67- Just before dawn, C Co, east of Dak To, began receiving mortar and automatic weapons fire, resulting in 6 WIA. Air strikes and 81mm mortars were put into the area. A Co, who went into an area to the south looking for a missing LRRP member, detained 16 Montagnards. E/l7th Cav with B/1/503d became OPCON l/503d.

         23 June 67- A Co found the body of the missing LRRP and then took up a blocking position while C Co began a sweep to the south,

         24 June 67- A Co reported several incoming grenades on the night of the 24th and returned fire with unknown results. A Co was extracted the following morning to FSB 7. B Co, moving by foot to FSB 7, received information that many NVA wounded had passed thru a nearby village at 2000hrs the previous day and moved to a hill west of the village.

         25 June 67- B and C Companies linked up with A Co at FSB 7 and in the morning were extracted to FSB 1 to prepare for future operations.

         27 June 67- A and C Co moved south and west of FSB 3 where B Co and the Bn CP were relocated, to conduct a bomb damage assessment (BDA) of a B52 strike. Operations continued until 30 June.

         30 June 67- The Battalion was helilifted to FSB 4. From there the Rifle Companies conducted Search and Destroy operations to the south. A Co found 8 bodies, 2 believed to be US, the remainder CIDG, all about 2 weeks old. B Co walked into a booby trapped area and reported 7 WIA.

         30 June 67- No enemy contacts were reported.

         1 July 67- Recon was OPCON to 3/319th Arty at FSB 3.

         2 July 67- C Co spotted and engaged 1 NVA with unknown results and later found an NVA body in a grave.

         4 July 67- Just after midnight, FSB 4 came under mortar attack, secondary explosions were heard after counter-mortar fire began.

         5 July 67- The Battalion was moved south to begin preparation of FSB 10, where the Companies worked on the FSB and conducted patrols until 9 July.

         7 July 67- The BN CP displaced to FSB 8 and assumed control of Recon 1/503d and 4.2 Mortar Platoon of 2/503d Infantry.

         9 July 67- The Companies established blocking positions to the north of FSB 10, where they remained until 11 July. An NVA Regiment was reported to be in the area.

         14 July 67- C Co spotted and called in artillery on 4-5 VC/NVA.

         15 July 67- C Co found a Battalion sized camp The food and warm fire indicated the enemy had been there recently. Search and Destroy continued thru 17 July.

         17 July 67- C Co found a Regimental sized base camp about a week old. Ambushes were placed out every night.

         18 July 67- In the morning, B Co's ambush made contact using grenades and small arms with unknown enemy casualties. The elements of the Battalion closed FSB 9 on 18 July where they stayed until 20 July.

         20 July 67- Early that morning B Co received incoming friendly artillery rounds in their position of the Battalion perimeter, killing 2 US and wounding 5 US. A Co was lifted to LZ NOVEMBER and cleared the LZ to accommodate the Ch47's bringing in B and C Co's on the following day. Search and Destroy to the southwest continued thru 22 July with single rifle shots being heard periodically, believed to be some sort of enemy signal.

         23 July 67- The 4.2 Mortar Platoon joined the Battalion CP at FSB 9. The Rifle Companies continued their Search and Destroy with no enemy contact.

         27 July 67- While the 4.2 Mortar Platoon was being helifted back to FSB 1 that day, a load of mortar ammo and a base plate were dropped from a helicopter when one of the main lift webs broke.

         28 July 67- At dawn FSB 9 received 30 rounds of 82mm mortar fire, but no casualties were sustained.

         29 July 67- B Co was helilifted to FSB 4 for security. Recon became OPCON to 2/503d at FSB 9. The remainder of the Battalion was lifted back to FSB 1 at DAK T0, where the Battalion became the Brigade Reaction Force and began conducting Company sized patrols in AO's Larry and Tom to the south.

         1 Aug 67- Recon Platoon was released from OPCON 2/503d and returned to FSB 1.

         2 Aug 67- C Co was sent to secure FSB 3 to the west of Dak To.

         3 Aug 67- C Co was relieved from FSB 3 by B Co.

         4 Aug 67- The entire Battalion, plus 1 Platoon of E/17 Cavalry and 1 Engineer Platoon was helilifted to DAK PEK, northwest of DAK TO.

         5 Aug 67- C Co found a total of 15 graves, which were later reported to be friendlies.

         6 Aug 67- One CIDG Platoon was placed OPCON 1/503d Infantry. A Co patrolled to the north, all with negative contact.

         7 Aug 67- Severa1 base camps, all about one week old, were found.

         8 Aug 67- Rifle Companies continued local patrols and secured the area for 4/503d, who joined the 1st Battalion that day.

         9 Aug 67- The Platoon from E/17th Cav returned to Brigade control, and the Companies began Search and Destroy operations south and west of DAK PEK beginning the long climb up Hill 1270.

         10 Aug 67- A Co fired on 2 VC with negative results. Search and Destroy continued uphill to the south and west thru 12 Aug.

         12 Aug 67- A Co found a 3 day old grave containing an NVA Officer. A Co found a Company sized base camp and C Co found a larger Battalion sized base camp on the next ridge to the west. B Co, following A Co, had 1 US wounded from a Chicom hand grenade he was attempting to throw into an empty bunker.

         13 Aug 67- General Westmoreland arrived at the Special Forces Camp at DAK PEK for a visit. A claymore mine was accidentally discharged by Recon, there were no casualties.

         15 Aug 67- A Platoon Sergeant from A Co was wounded by an NVA booby trap consisting of a chicom grenade inside of a piece of bamboo. A vine had been used as a trip wire.

         16 Aug 67- Artillery was fired into an area where a CIDG unit observed many fires and 50-100 VC, results were unknown.

         17 Aug 67- The Battalion reached the top of Hill 1270 without contact. Search and Destroy operations continued to the west, north and east until the Companies returned to DAK PEK on 19 Aug.

         20 Aug 67- The Battalion began extraction to DAK TO.

         21 Aug 67- The Battalion conducted a stand down to prepare for future operations.

         22 Aug 67- D Battery 4/60th Artillery and a CDIG Company were placed OPCON to the 1/503d Infantry.

         23 Aug 67- The Battalion moved to FSB 7 by helicopter, and from there the Companies moved overland to the northeast.

         24 Aug 67- A and B Co's who laagered together on the night of 24 Aug heard chopping and movement 500 meters to their east, and the following morning they found a four man camp site 400 meters away.

         26 Aug 67- There was no enemy contact reported.

         27 Aug 67- C Co reported 3 men wounded (one later died) when a mortar round exploded in a sump.

         28 Aug 67- LTG Rosson, CG of IFFV visited FSB 7. No contact was reported on 28 or 29 Aug.

         30 Aug 67- C Co reported 2 men wounded by punji stakes.

         31 Aug 67- Payday and no contact reported.

         1 Sep 67- The Companies established blocking positions and conducted saturation patrolling, which continued thru the Vietnamese elections.

         4 Sep 67- The Battalion was helilifted to FSB 14 (DAK SEANG) and the Companies moved to the north and west to conduct a Search and Destroy operation in the valley northwest of DAK SEANG the operation continued thru 5 September with no enemy contact.

         6 Sep 67- C Co found a large base camp and a AK47 rifle and other miscellaneous equipment, along with 8 graves. A Co pushed thru C Co and found another base camp further west. B Co found another body dead 3-5 weeks.

         7 Sep 67- The Battalion Surgeon accompanied A Co back to the base camps to perform an autopsy on one of the bodies. B and C Companies, moving to the north, exchanged fire with each other, but no one was injured.

         8 Sep 67- The Rifle Companies were helilifted from a one ship LZ to the top of the hill to the south, to begin Search and Destroy operations south along the ridge line. The sweep continued down the ridgeline with the Companies checking out ridges on both sides without contact.

         15 Sep 67- The Battalion was extracted to FSB 5 where the elements re-supplied and prepared for the next operation.

 

         OPERATION: B0LLING, 19 September - 5 November 1967
The First Battalion commenced Operation BOLLING on 19 September, utilizing 60 Huey Slicks to assault LZ LOBO on the large grassy hill dominating the AO northwest of TUY HOA.

         19 Sep 67- A, B and C Companies commenced Search and Destroy operations south of the fire base. Recon Plt provided security for the FSB. A Co had one man injured when two of its elements engaged each other enroute to their ambush sites.

         20 Sep 67- A and B Co's found enemy caves and B Co found a large base camp, but no enemy contact was made.

         21 Sep 67- Recon, conducting local patrols and C Co each found enemy base camps.

         22 Sep 67- A Co conducted a 2 Platoon heliborne assault into the area north of LZ LOBO and conducted Search and Destroy operations. They withdrew one Platoon and left one Platoon in the AO to conduct ambushes. B Co found a four-story tunnel 150 meters long and many small base camps.

         23 Sep 67- While S & D operations continued, C Co became OPCON E/17th Cav.

         24 Sep 67- A Co's 3rd Platoon, on entering a small base camp made contact with several NVA/VC killing one. LTC Schumacher, Bn CO, spotted 4 VC from the C & C ship and the door gunners engaged them with unknown results. A Co conducted a one Platoon heliborne assault to assist their 3rd Platoon who had spotted and engaged 4 NVA/VC with negative results. B Co found still another base camp estimated to be company sized.

         26 Sep 67- A Co spotted 4 VC without weapons, including 1 woman and 2 children, and pursued with negative results.

         27 Sep 67- Action broke out in the evening when A Co's 1st Plt ambush engaged a squad of VC, killing 3. The next morning a total of l0 rucksacks, 1 VC WIA were captured as a result of the contact. B Co found a base camp and spotted 4 NVA and pursued with negative results.

         29 Sep 67- A, B and C Companies conducted heliborne assaults south of the SONG BE river as part of a Multi-Battalion Cordon and Search operation around AO 99. C Co found several base camps and engaged 1 VC/NVA with negative results. E/17th Cav became OPCON 1st Battalion.

         2 Oct 67- HQ, Recon, Mortar and C Btry 319th Arty moved to FSB GOOSE while the maneuver elements continued S & D operations to the northwest.

         3 Oct 67- A Co spotted 30 VC, C Co was helilifted into a blocking position. A Co captured 27 VC suspects, killing 2 and wounding one small child.

         4 Oct 67- Early in the morning A Co reported 2 WIA as a result of a short 81mm mortar round. 1 US died before DUSTOFF could be accomplished in poor weather. (It was later learned that the same DUSTOFF chopper crashed during the rainstorm and killed all 5 crew members responding to a later incident in the 4/503d Inf to the north).

         5 Oct 67- B Co wounded and captured 1 VC. A and C Co's fired mortars at suspected movement. Recon found 5 women and l0 children. C Co engaged 15-20 NVA killing one Officer, when they later made contact again, C Co had 1 US WIA.

         6 Oct 67- The FSB was moved back to BASIN while B and C Co's prepared to return with Engineers to the caves they found earlier in the operation.

         7 Oct 67- An ambush from C Co fired on 1 VC with unknown results.

         8 Oct 67- There was no contact reported.

         9 Oct 67- Recon replaced A Co as FSB security and A Co moved 10km to the north, where the 2nd Platoon made contact with an estimated Platoon of NVA, killing 3 and suffering 2 US WIA. That night A Co's 1st Platoon sprung its ambush killing 5 VC and capturing 3 AK47 and 1 light machinegun.

         10 Oct 67- Three heavy blood trails which led out of the area were followed without results the next day by Recon who was placed OPCON to Co A. C Co found one body in a grave.

         11 Oct 67- All elements of the Battalion were extracted to PHU HIEP, for a stand down on 12 October.

         12 Oct 67- D Co was formed from the Recon Platoon, Ground Surveillance section, Mechanics, and 20 men from each Rifle Company.

         13 Oct 67- Search and Destroy operations again continued with an assault into AO CANOE. A Co conducted an assault into LZ SOUTH and B and C Co's assaulted into LZ NORTH. D Co remained as security and conducted unit training.

         14 Oct 67- A Co engaged 2 NVA possibly killing one and wounding the other.

         15 Oct 67- Although no contact was made, A, B and C Companies found huts and food in several areas.

         16 Oct 67- C Co found another cave complex.

         17 Oct 67- B Co found 2 rifles, one of which was booby trapped.

         18 Oct 67- B Co found another rifle in at abandoned Montagnard village.

         19 Oct 67- B and C Companies moved generally to the east in search of a 5 ship Pickup Zone. A Co was helilifted into the site of the future FSB, where they were approached by 3 VC and killed one. All Companies positioned ambushes during the hours of darkness and A Co's ambush made contact with an estimated 3-5 VC with unknown results.

         20 Oct 67- FSB GANDER was established. B Co was sent to PHU HIEP as Brigade Reaction Force. C Co found one VC dead about 7 days and later possibly wounded 1 VC in a brief encounter.

         21 Oct 67- As the operation continued, C Co's 3rd Platoon killed 1 NVA, then spotted another, which they engaged with negative results. A Co engaged 3 NVA wounding and capturing one. D Co's LP received two incoming grenades that night.

         22 Oct 67- C Co found one 18 year old male detainee, while A Co found 5 detainees. A Co had 1 WIA from a booby trap that afternoon, and C Co killed 1 VC and captured another in a short engagement. That night C Co had one ambush patrol member shot through the neck after leaving his position to relieve himself. He died before the DustOff could get him to the hospital. Later that night D Co received a false radio transmission over their company net, and the FSB perimeter went on 100% alert. However no contact was made.

         23 Oct 67- Early in the morning C Co's OP reported movement and threw grenades. A clearing patrol at dawn determined 6-8 personnel had been moving outside the perimeter. That afternoon A Co's 3rd Platoon killed 2 VC who had stopped for lunch and captured one AK47 and a transistor radio.

         24 Oct 67- A daylight ambush from C Co killed 1 VC, and an ambush patrol moving into position that night engaged 5 VC without results. One LRRP team was attached and commenced surveillance in the northern portion of the AO.

         25 October B Co was released from Brigade control and conducted an assault into the AO where they fired on 3 VC with negative results. C and D Co's also engaged 1 VC with negative results. The LRRP team was released from Bn control in the afternoon.

         26 Oct 67- A Co suffered 1 WIA from 1 VC who fled. B Co engaged 3 VC killing one and capturing another. C Co engaged 2 VC with negative results before engaging 2 more and killing 1 and capturing the other and 1 rifle. The Company later observed 3 VC and called in 81mm mortar fire with negative results. That evening D Co fired on 2 NVA with negative results. 27 Oct 67- A Co wounded and captured 1 VC while searching a hut, but the VC died before he could be extracted. When the Company later sighted 3 VC the VC fled and left behind 2 US M1 Carbines. A Co's ambush was engaged by 5 VC who fled without results. Later that afternoon C Co engaged and killed 1 VC and captured 1 rifle. Two Platoons of A Co provided security for FSB POWDER.

         28 Oct 67- The Battalion Commander, LTC Schumacher, captured 1 VC which he spotted from his helicopter while flying over the AO. B Co wounded and captured 1 VC, who later died. E Troop, 17th Cavalry was attached to the 1st Battalion and began Search and Destroy operations in the southern portion of the AO.

         29 Oct 67- Two LRRP teams were placed OPCON to 1st Battalion and conducted surveillance within their assigned AO's. D Co took 1 POW back into the area of his capture to locate other members of his unit and found 1 VC body (Credited to B Co as a result of contact 28 Oct). E/17th Cav fired on 3 VC with negative results. One LRRP team spotted 5 VC and called in 4.2 mortars, while D Co sent a Platoon to block.

         30 Oct 67- In the morning C Co engaged and killed 1 VC. Later that morning E/17th Cav engaged 2 VC, wounding and capturing one, who died after evacuation. When 3 more VC were engaged a short time later, the unit fired 81mm mortars into the area possibly wounding 1 VC. That night 4-5 VC walked into A Co's CP laager site, and a brief firefight ensued before the VC broke contact and fled.

         31 Oct 67- A Co engaged 2 VC who fled with unknown results. 3 VC walked into a B Co ambush, 1 VC was killed when the ambush was sprung, and the remainder fled. E/17th Cav encountered a VC Squad and had 2 US KIA with unknown enemy casualties. That afternoon one of the LRRP teams set up a hasty ambush after sighting 3 VC moving along a trail resulting in 3 VC KIA.

         1 Nov 67- A Co engaged 1 VC who fled east, then engaged 2 VC, killing one. C Co became FSB GANDER security and had one Platoon OPCON to D 16th Armor in AP SEN. D Co commenced Search and Destroy operations in their assigned AO and spotted 3 unarmed VC, 2 were captured while the third fled east. Two more VC were later engaged without results.

         2 Nov 67- A Co engaged 4 VC in a 3 hut area killing one while 3 fled. Sixteen women and children were found and were detained. One US WIA did not require evacuation. That evening an A Co ambush was sprung and fire was exchanged with unknown results.

         3 Nov 67- A Co observed 1 VC in a deserted village and pursued without results. Four VC waving white flags surrendered to D Co under the CHIEU HOI program.

         4 Nov 67- As Operation BOLLING continued, the 1st Battalion was alerted to move to DAK TO to reinforce elements of the 173d Airborne Brigade and 4th Infantry Division.

 

         OPERATION: MAC ARTHUR, 6 Nov - 31 Dec 1967
The elements of the 1st Battalion were deployed to FSB 12 (See sketch,pg 24) on 6 November.

         6 Nov 67- C and D Companies moved out on Search and Destroy operations, while B Co moved out on a road clearing operation to FSB 13 to the east. A Co remained as FSB security.

         7 Nov 67- C Co was helilifted into an LZ under OPCON of 4/503d Infantry. That day the 1st Battalion initiated Search and Destroy operations in AO FALCON north of FSB 12.

         8 Nov 67- C Co engaged 8 NVA, resulting in 1 US KIA, 1 US WIA and 1 NVA KIA (Credited to 4/503d Inf). That evening C Co received 10-20 incoming mortar rounds resulting in 1 US WIA. D Co, on a road clearing operation that morning received one B40 rocket round which destroyed one bulldozer. D Co was helilifted back to FSB 12 that evening, and C Co was released from OPCON, 4/503d Infantry.

         9 Nov 67- The Battalion was helilifted from FSB 12 to establish FSB 15 to the south. C Co found one NVA body which had been killed by artillery the previous night (also credited to the 4th Bn).

         10 Nov 67- In the afternoon, A Co found 6 NVA KIA in a base camp, it was determined they had been killed by 81mm mortar fire the previous day. Search and Destroy operations continued in AO CONDOR utilizing TF BLUE (A Co and one Platoon of Co D) and TF BLACK (C Co and 2 Platoons of Co D), while B Co remained as FSB security.

         11 Nov 67- Just after moving out in morning, TF BLUE engaged 50 NVA in bunkers and came under ground and mortar attack. TF BLUE withdrew and called in artillery and mortar fire. During this time, two 4.2 mortar rounds fell short, causing 1 US KIA and 2 US WIA. When TF BLUE moved back into the contact area they found many squad sized bunkers and trench systems. A short time later, the TF called in artillery again when they made contact with an enemy OP. An hour after TF BLUE's initial contact, C Co of TF BLACK, engaged an estimated Battalion sized force, and shortly thereafter began receiving incoming mortar rounds. D Co moved to link up and began receiving grenade fire. When D Co linked up, C Co had formed a perimeter and was receiving fire from three sides. Contact continued, and at one point the TF reported that their perimeter had been breeched. At that time a decision was made to insert a Company from the 4/503d Inf (C Co). About the same time contact was broken. TF BLACK still received small arms and mortar fire throughout most of the afternoon and the TF was still under fire when C Co 4/503d Infantry linked up, three hours and twenty minutes after the decision had been made to insert them. By 1600 hours all incoming fire had stopped. Shortly before noon a sling load of ammo was dropped too far outside the perimeter to be recovered, resupply was finally accomplished at 1545 hours. During the contacts all airstrikes were diverted to support of TF BLACK and BLUE. Results of the contacts included 116 NVA KIA and 2 NVA POW's (plus many more NVA KIA's found and reported on subsequent days). US casualties included 20 KIA, 154 WIA, and 2 MIA, bodies of the MIA's were later found.

         12 Nov 67- TF 1/503d continued Search and Destroy operations in AO CONDOR on 12 Nov and policed the battlefield. Late in the morning TF BLUE engaged an unknown sized NVA force in bunkers resulting in 3 US KIA and 6 NVA KIA.

         13 Nov 67- C/4/503d was released back to its parent unit. The Battalion reported 4 more US MIA as a result of the 11 Nov contact. TF BLACK counted 51 NVA bodies, 18 individual weapons and 4 machine guns as results of the 11 Nov contact. The following day they found 4 more NVA KIA's, results of airstrikes in the area.

         16 Nov 67- A Co engaged an unknown size enemy force, killing 1 NVA. Later that afternoon, A Co found one 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun.

         l7 Nov 67- The Battalion placed an airstrike which killed 4 NVA.

         18 Nov 67- Early in the afternoon A Co, the lead Company in the Battalion column fired on 1 NVA, just as the lead Platoon was entering the night's laager site. A short while later, in the same location, 8-9 NVA were observed moving to the LZ within the Battalion perimeter. From that time until 1905 hrs, A Co remained under fire, receiving, 60mm mortar, B40 rockets, rifle grenades, hand grenades, automatic weapons and sniper fire. Contact was estimated to be with a reinforced Rifle Company. As contact ended, A Co received an emergency resupply, and a short time later reported killing 1 NVA who had jumped into one of the Company's foxhole in the dark. US casualties were 6 KIA and 29 WIA. B Co that afternoon had reported 4 dead NVA in graves about 3 days old.

         19 Nov 67- In the morning A Co captured 1 wounded NVA and clearing patrols from A, C, and D Co's found 51 NVA KIA's and 18 individual weapons.

         20 Nov 67- Continuing Search and Destroy operations to the south and west, A Co found 11 60mm mortar rounds 75 meters outside the Battalion perimeter, and D Co found 4 82mm mortar rounds nearby.

         21 Nov 67- B Co engaged 1 NVA near the FSB, resulting in 2 US WIA. C Co found 2 dead NVA that afternoon and later found another who had been dead 2 days.

         22 Nov 67- C Co engaged an estimated NVA squad, resulting in 1 NVA KIA and 1 US WIA. D Co engaged and killed 1 NVA and found another body that morning and 1 weapon. That afternoon D Co engaged an unknown size NVA force, resulting in 1 US KIA, 1 US WIA, and 1 NVA KIA.

         23 Nov 67- A, C, and D Companies moved to FSB l6, where a quantity of assorted enemy ammunition was found and destroyed.

         24 Nov 67- The Battalion moved into an area of a B52 strike for a BDA. B Co was helilifted from FSB 15 to FSB 16, and C Co returned to FSB 15 for security. B Co found more enemy ammo, while D Co found 1 NVA body and later engaged 2, killing 1 and capturing 2 AK47s. They later found an SKS rifle with a grenade launcher.

         26 Nov 67- B Co found more assorted enemy ammo. Search and Destroy operations continued.

         29 Nov 67- The 1st Battalion concluded operations in AO CONDOR. The Bn CP and C Co moved from FSB 15 to FSB 13, while A, B, and D Co's continued to Search and Destroy to the north into AO FALCON.

         30 Nov 67- A, C and D Co's were helilifted into FSB 13 for a stand down.

         1 Dec 67- C Co 2/503d Inf became OPCON and C/2/503d and C/1/503d commenced Search and Destroy operations while A, B, and D Co's remained at FSB 13.

         2 Dec 67- C/2/503d was released to control of its parent unit and A Co (plus 1 Platoon Co D) and B Co commenced Search and Destroy operations. C Co found the bodies of the 3 NVA killed by LRRPs the previous day, also found were several maps and documents.

         3 Dec 67- Operations continued without contact.

         4 Dec 67- Co D continued FSB security and conducted a road clearing with 1 Rifle Platoon and 1 Platoon from the 173d Engineer Company. The engineer vehicle on the operation hit a mine which was believed to have been placed after the road had been cleared. Two men from D Co were wounded and the truck was damaged. 16 US and Russian anti-tank mines were found. Operations continued without contact thru 6 December.

         7 Dec 67- A Co assumed FSB 13 security. C Co provided security for an Engineer Recon party checking the trail north of FSB 13 on a 3-4 day operation.

         8 Dec 67- No contacts were made.

         9 Dec 67- B Co sighted and engaged 2 NVA and captured 8 rucksacks. They later engaged the NVA again and found a blood trail in the area.

         10 Dec 67- B Co found a Platoon of NVA working in a base camp and called artillery in on them after a brief exchange of fire. A subsequent sweep found 1 NVA KIA and 1 AK47. Two recently killed NVA were also found in grave in the camp. One US was KIA as a result of a short round of artillery. Two NVA were later sighted and fled when fired upon. D Co was helilifted into the area to join B and C Co's on their Search and Destroy.

         11 Dec 67- The Battalion established FSB 18 north of BEN HET

         12 Dec 67- 1, 2, and 3 NVA were sighted on separate occasions and engaged with negative results.

         13 Dec 67- No contact was made.

         14 Dec 67- In the morning the 1st and 2nd Battalions were placed OPCON 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and continued current operations. Early that afternoon C Co observed 17 to 20 NVA heading west, 81mm mortars were fired into the area, but a subsequent sweep of the area failed to turn up the enemy.

         15 Dec 67- B Co's point element sighted 2 NVA and engaged them with negative results.

         16 Dec 67- No contact was made.

         17 Dec 67- C Co made contact with a Reinforced Squad or Platoon, the Company withdrew and called in artillery fire. No enemy bodies could be found when C Co went back into the area.

         18 Dec 67- B and C Co's continued to search to the west, while D Co was helilifted to HILL 1258 to provide security and manpower for a Platoon of Engineers constructing a FSB. A Co replaced B Co on Search and Destroy.

         19 Dec 67- A Co sighted 1 NVA, in the exchange of fire, 1 US was slightly wounded while the NVA fled. B Co assumed FSB security. C Co called in artillery after exchanging fire with 4 NVA, a check of the area produced negative results. The Mortar Platoon was helilifted into D Co's location atop HILL 1258.

         22 Dec 67- C and D Co's each sighted NVA but were unable to make any kills.

         23 Dec 67- D Co spotted 2 NVA on the trail ahead of them and attempted to make a capture. The NVA escaped after being followed for 300 meters, but one NVA was sighted and engaged a few hours later and a blood trail was found and followed to a stream where it disappeared.

         24 Dec 67- A Co sighted 1 female VC with an M16 rifle who escaped to the west. The Christmas Truce lasted from l800 hrs 24 December to 1800 hrs 25 December, and passed without incident.

         25 Dec 67- At 1838 hrs, a C Co ambush patrol enroute to its ambush site was fired upon by 3 NVA who withdrew after a brief firefight.

         26 Dec 67- No contact was made.

         27 Dec 67- The Battalion was helilifted back to DAK TO and then moved by motor convoy to KONTUM City.

         28 Dec 67- The Battalion was inserted into AO LUZON to establish FSB SULU and conduct Search and Destroy Operations under the control of TF POWERHOUSE. Operations continued with no enemy contact thru 31 December.

 

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