|MAP 1 Overview
of South Vietnam.
During the latter part of 1965, the 25th Infantry Division was alerted
to deploy to Viet Nam. On December 24, 1965, the advance party for
the 25th Division arrived in the Republic of South Viet Nam. It was decided
that the 25th Division's 3rd Brigade would be deployed to Pleiku in the
central part of South Viet Nam. The 2nd Brigade and the remainder of the
division were to be deployed to Cu Chi District of Hau Nghia Province,
located between the City of Saigon and the Cambodian Border.
The main body
of the 2nd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division, arrived at Vung
Tau, South Viet Nam on January 18, 1966. The 2nd Brigade Command
Post was initially located in the area of Saigon University. Company B,
1st Bn 503 Bde, 173rd Abn Div was under the operational control of the
2nd Brigade Task Force and supplied the perimeter security for the Task
Force. The 2nd Bn 27th Infantry supplied 9 rifle squads to Co B, 1/503rd
Inf to reinforce the perimeter security of the staging area. The 1st Bn
27th Infantry and the 1st Bn (M) 5th Infantry were on standby to furnish
3 rifle squads each to Co B, 1/503 rd Infantry, should they be needed.
Controlled issue of ammunition for the 2nd Brigade Task Force was to be
maintained. Only those personnel occupying perimeter defensive positions
and ambush sites were supposed to be issued ammunition.
On January 22, 1966 an Operations Order was issued to alert units
to prepare to move to the area of Cu Chi. Movement was to be in 4 segments.
The first segment on January 25; the second on January 27; the third on
January 29 and the fourth at a date to be determined.
The 1st Infantry Division (Reinf) was given the assignment
of receiving, staging and deploying the 2nd Brigade 25th Infantry Division
to the base area near Cu Chi. The 1st Division was to coordinate security
during movement to, initial occupation of, and development of the Cu Chi
base camp area.
3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division was assigned to clear and secure the
initial base area near Cu Chi not later than 1200 hrs on January 25, 1966.
The 25th Infantry Division of the Army of the Republic of South Viet Nam
(ARVN) was assigned to secure Highway 1 from the area of the Cau Bong Bridge
to the road junction of Highway 8A near Cu Chi during the movement of the
2nd Brigade Task Force convoys.
On January 25, 1966 at 0930 hours, Task Force Jack, consisting of
one company from the 1st Bn(M) 5th Infantry , one battery from the 1st
Bn 8th Artillery, Companies B and C of the 65th Engineer Battalion and
the advance parties from 2nd Brigade units departed the staging area near
Saigon University and proceeded to an assigned assembly area at Cu Chi.
After the arrival of TF Jack at Cu Chi, elements of the 1st Infantry Division
continued to receive small arms (SA), automatic weapons (AW) and mortar
fire. The Viet Cong (VC) in the area were operating in small teams and
attempted to maintain continual harassing activities against friendly forces.
TF Jack units were moved into assembly areas in the vicinity of their assigned
sectors. The 3rd Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division was responsible for
the security and defense of the area and orders were issued that strict
fire discipline was to be observed by all units. The firing of weapons
by TF Jack units was not permitted during the period that the 3rd Brigade,
1st Infantry Division had responsibility for security of the area.
27, 1966, at 0830 hours, Task Force Queen, consisting of the 1st Bn
27th Infantry, the 2nd Bn 27th Infantry, the 1st Bn 8th Artillery(-), the
2nd Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company (-), and elements of
the 2nd Support Bn, proceeded from the staging area near Saigon University
to Cu Chi.
29, 1966, at 0830, hours Task Force King, consisting of the 1st Bn(M)
5th Infantry(-), The 2nd Brigade HHC Rear element, and elements of the
2nd Support Bn began movement to their assigned assembly area at Cu Chi
from the staging area near Saigon University.
Meanwhile at 0700 hours, the 1st Bn 27th Infantry began relieving the 1st
Bn 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division and assumed their perimeter defensive
positions. They also provided extraction zone security for the 1st Bn 28th
At 1200 hours, the 2nd Bn 27th Infantry began relieving Company B, 2nd
Bn 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division and assumed their perimeter defensive
sector. A secure extraction zone was also provided for Company B, 2nd Bn
There were 5 tunnel systems that had been located in the area by the 3rd
Brigade, 1st Infantry Division soldiers. Some of the information passed
on from the 1st Division soldiers to soldiers of the 2nd Brigade 25th Infantry
Division was to beware of hand grenade booby traps marked with a red dot
somewhere on the handle as this indicated the grenade had been short fused
by the VC and should be destroyed in place. Also rice bags in the area
have been found to be booby trapped, and snipers have been firing at them
from trees and spider holes.
On January 30, 1966, an operation began with the purpose to expand
and clear the base camp perimeter. At 0815 hours, two companies from the
1st Bn(M) 5th Infantry passed through the lines of the 2nd Bn 27th Infantry
and attacked outward. The 2nd Bn 27th Infantry with Company B, 65th Engineers
followed, sweeping and clearing the area and destroying tunnel complexes
that were located. During the five day operation 20 tunnel complexes, some
as long as a half mile were located and destroyed. Booby traps of all sorts
were used by the Viet Cong to inflict casualties.
31, 1966, a booby trap was detonated killing two men from Company B,
1st Bn(M), 5th Infantry. The event emotionally jolted some the men of the
company and impressed upon them that this was the real thing. Not training,
not practice. Soldiers get horribly wounded and disfigured in wartime.
Soldiers die in wartime! These were people you knew, if only by sight.
One moment they are laughing, talking, breathing, living and the next moment
they are very horribly dead. How thin and delicate the thread between
life and death is, was a lesson soon to be indelibly implanted in the consciousness
of the soldiers of the battalion. Some wondered who would be next.
During January 1966, two Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were:
Dan R Shearin . They
were the second and third Bobcats to die in Vietnam. The first was
W. Osborn who was killed on April 1, 1965 while TDY from the 1st
Bn(M) 5th Infantry as a helicopter door gunner.
Map 2 and Map
1966 Operations Maps.
The 1st Bn(M) 5th Infantry soldiers continued to improve upon the defensive
positions in their area of the base camp perimeter. This included clearing
the thick vegetation growth out to the banks of the Ben Muong, a stream
that ran across the front of the portion of the perimeter that the 1st
Bn(M) 5th Infantry was assigned to occupy and defend. The men of the line
companies lived in the bunkers and fighting positions, washing with water
taken from local wells. They got as used to the mosquitoes, bugs and other
various local critters that they had so far encountered as well as one
can get used to such things.
On February 3, 1966 the last element of the 2nd Brigade Task Force
closed into the Cu Chi base camp area from the staging area near Saigon
University. There were no major convoy incidents during the movement of
the entire task force.
Patrols, ambushes, 3 to 4 man Claymore teams, out posts
(OPs), listening posts (LPs), sniper-killer teams, all became a part of
normal life for the soldiers of the battalion. Mistakes were made and lessons
were often harshly learned. Extremely rare, if nonexistent, was the combat
soldier who did not, at one time or another, make a mistake, of one sort
or another. Unfortunately, when a mistake was made in a combat situation,
someone usually ended up getting wounded or killed. Not always, but often
On February 11, 1966 a man from Company B was shot and killed while
examining the kill zone after a nighttime ambush was tripped. No one used
a flashlight after that.
On February 14, 1966 was a
busy day for the medics and the Dust-offs. At 0530 hours, Company A prepared
to depart the base camp area and to move across the Ben Muong on a dismounted
Reconnaissance in Force (RIF) of the area beyond the stream. An element
of Company B secured the stream-crossing site to be used on the operation.
They were in place at 0530 hours. Company A crossed their line of departure
at 0630 hours. A platoon from Company C was positioned beyond the
Ben Muong to act as a security force for Company A’s route of withdrawal,
should it become necessary and also as a left flank security. At 0745 hours,
the Company C security platoon received several rounds of small arms fire
but sustained no injuries. At 0935 hours, the Company C platoon again received
small arms fire. In the exchange four men were wounded. One was hit in
the head and another in the hip. By 1019 hours all four had been Dusted-off.
Company A was making slow but steady progress on their sweep, destroying
houses and tunnels and finding rice caches. By 1100 hrs they had sustained
10 wounded. Then two Chicom Claymores were command detonated by the Viet
Cong, killing 8 and wounding 3 in the vicinity of XT 643176. Four
of those killed were from Company A. Two were forward observers from Battery
C, 1st Bn 8th Artillery, and two were non-combatant photographers. At 1430
hours, Company A began their return back to the base camp. By 1630 hours
the Company C security element had recrossed the stream on the fringe of
the base camp perimeter.
Also on February 14th, a platoon from Company C was attached to the 2nd
Bn 27th Infantry for a clearing operation. At 0837 hours, a man from Company
C was injured when he fell on a punji stake. At 1030 hours, the Company
C “angel” track (Medical Armored Personnel Carrier) hit an Anti-Tank (AT)
mine at XT 632158. The vehicle was disabled and a number of VC attacked
from the south in an attempt to capture the vehicle. They were driven off
by the track commander and driver firing the .50 caliber machine gun and
an M-79 grenade launcher. Several men were later wounded by sniper fire
while extracting the downed vehicle.
had been some mention concerning what was considered a slow reaction time
of the Dust-offs (medical evacuation helicopters) during the day, but in
situations like that minutes can appear to be hours. The medics and doctors
were not miracle workers. They did the best they could with what they had.
In many instances they performed their duties above and beyond the normal
requirements of their responsibilities.
Among the Bobcat casualties for the day were 4 killed from Company A and
1 killed from Company C. Wounded were 5 from HQ Company, 15 from Company
A, and 3 from Company C. The casualties of members of supporting units
were reported and carried on the parent unit rosters.
February 18, 1966 the
First Platoon of Company C began a raiding mission at 0100 hours. All 18
members of the raiding party were volunteers. They crossed their line of
departure (LD) at about 0115 hours and the Ben Muong at 0130 hours. After
crossing the stream they moved through dry rice paddies for about 900 meters,
stopping some 25 meters short of the wood line, where they set up security.
Sp/4 Fernandez and the squad leader went into the wood line on a brief
reconnaissance of the area. At about 0235 hours Sp/4 Fernandez and the
squad leader returned and the party moved forward into the rubber plantation
for about 300 meters. The raiding party set up a perimeter and SP/4 Fernandez
and the squad leader went out on another reconnaissance of the area. When
they returned to the raiding party they stated that there was nothing to
raid. The party then moved back about 100 meters and set up in a line perimeter
near a graveyard (XT 178654), where they were going to wait until moving
back to the base camp at 0900 hours.
At about 0700 hours, contact was made with some VC on the left front. The
M-60 machine gunner on the left flank opened fire, killing 3 of the Viet
Cong. Immediately the entire patrol came under intense enemy small arms,
automatic weapons and grenade fire. At this time the M-60 gunner was shot
and killed. The left flank was pushed back about 20 meters. Sp/4 Fernandez
and the medic moved forward in an attempt to rescue the M-60 gunner. Three
more men came out to help them. The gunner was picked up and the group
started to move back when the man carrying the M-60 gunner was shot in
the left leg. Everyone hit the ground and returned fire. Grenades and small
arms and automatic weapons fire from the VC was intense. Sp/4 Fernandez
observed a grenade land amongst his small group. He accidentally kicked
the grenade when he attempted to move away and it rolled nearer to the
wounded soldier. Sp/4 Fernandez yelled a warning and dove onto the grenade
and smothered the blast with his body, saving the lives of those around
Artillery and mortar fire was called in on the enemy positions around the
patrol. Tactical air strikes with napalm were also summoned. The remainder
of the 1st Platoon of Company C made their way out to the patrol.
At that time the raiding party moved back to the rice paddy area at the
edge of the woods. Sp/4 Fernandez was laid on the ground and the wounded
man he saved was laid next to him. The wounded man held Sp/4 Fernandez’s
hand and talked with him. Sp/4 Fernandez told him he was hurting. The Dust-off
arrived and the wounded along with the dead M-60 gunner were evacuated.
The man with the leg wound was placed next to Sp/4 Fernandez at the hospital.
The next time he looked, Sp/4 Fernandez was not there anymore. The wounded
man asked the doctor about SP/4 Fernandez but the doctor would not tell
The 1st Platoon of Company C returned to the base camp perimeter by 0935
SP/4 Daniel Fernandez
was later posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his
February 22, 1966, Troop A,
3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry arrived at the Cu Chi Base Camp Area.
While the priority of the 2nd Brigade was the continued expansion and improvement
of the Cu Chi Base Camp area, a three day mounted search and clear operation
was conducted by the 1st Bn(M) 5th Infantry. Their mission was to search
and clear a wooded area located some 1500 meters southeast of the Cu Chi
base camp, running from coordinates XT 674135 to 698118. They were then
to provide security for six ARVN bulldozers that were to level parts of
the area. The 1st Bn, 49th Infantry Regiment (ARVN) was to attack and operate
in the southeastern portion of the objective area (XT 698113).
The 1/5th Mech crossed the line of departure (LD) at 0830 hours, attacking
with Companies A and B abreast. Recon Platoon screened the left (west)
flank. A platoon from Company C was to search and clear the wooded area
centered at XT 677118. Company C(-) was held in reserve. All units experienced
continual sniper fire during the initial advance. At one point the Recon
Platoon received intense small arms(SA) and heavy machine gun (MG) fire
which was returned with organic weapons, mortar and artillery fire. Extensive
tunnel systems were located in the vicinity of XT 688120. The battalion
formed a night defensive perimeter at XT 688119 and spent the night at
that location. Nine ambushes were deployed, two of which made contact with
23, 1966, six tanks from the 3/4 Cavalry joined the battalion. The
day consisted of search and clearing operations with only light sniper
fire being received. A lone sniper firing incident was the only enemy contact
made on February 24th. After conducting a final sweep, the battalion
closed back to Cu Chi base camp at the end of the day.
The area that had been searched during the operation
was found to be heavily fortified with trenches, small bunkers, tunnels,
mines and booby traps. An estimated platoon of VC were in the operation
area. The battalion suffered casualties of 5 Bobcats killed and 18 wounded.
The battalion also reported one of its first incidents of a friendly fire
casualty when a man received a gunshot wound to his left buttocks.
It was noted in the battalion operations summary
that "Troops are unnecessarily exposing themselves in the APCs by sticking
their heads and bodies too far out of the tracks."
1966, Fourteen Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were:
Safford S. Pye;
Cantrell; William A Hoos Jr.;
Gene C. Milligan;
Daniel Fernandez ;
H. Cassube; James L. Fain;
Billy B. Day;
Gary W. Garis;
William B. Parnell;
Ira C. Boggs Jr.; and TWO whose names are unknown to us
who are writing this work.
Sidney John Elyea
2. Douglas Dwight Alley
Map 4 Cu
Chi Base Camp and the "Filhol."
"He knew no one and no one knew him. He had no friends here, no confidants.
He was not in on the gags, he did not share in the trifles and the traditions.
He was new in the outfit. A replacement."
"They talked afterwards of how the blood was spurting from the new guy
in all directions, how he never uttered a cry of pain, and how, when he
finally gave in, he did it quietly. They wondered then who he was and where
he was from. What he was like and why he was here. But no one had the answers.
They didn't know his first name. They were not sure where he was from.
Most only knew his last name cause it was stenciled on his shirt." [From
a news article by Tom Thiede]
Years later the men would rack their brains trying to recall the names.
They could see the faces, they remembered well the details of the death.
Some could recall the time of day, even the date, and what the weather
was like. But no one could remember the names!
March 1966 was also a month of working on, expanding upon and improving
the defensive perimeter of the Cu Chi base camp. An 8 foot long Monitor
Lizard was finally shot and killed in the Ben Muong. The creature had been
spotted on occasion and soldiers were extremely watchful when wading across
the stream or when working near it.
On March 04, 1966, the 1/5th(M) and the 2/27th Infantry conducted
a one day search and destroy operation in the vicinity of Xom Moi , Giong
Viec and Ba Xa, all located some 1500 meters NE of Cu Chi and along a dirt
road marked on the map as Highway 237. There were no friendly casualties
suffered by the 1/5th(M) during the operation and all members were commended
for the maximum destruction of enemy equipment and structures. Numerous
booby traps and dud rounds of various types were also found and destroyed.
The soldiers of the battalion were learning more and more about the booby
traps used by the VC. There were the hand grenades with trip wire;
the unexploded cluster bomb units rigged with tip wire; the Chicom Claymore
designed to explode in a 360 degree circle, the artillery and bomb duds,
rigged to be tripped or command detonated. They were in the ground, on
the ground, hung in trees or bamboo clusters, ankle high, knee high, waist
high, head high or higher. You would find them on trails or footpaths.
They could be encountered in tunnels or attached to spider hole covers.
One was even found attached to a pineapple growing in a garden. And there
were the sharpened bamboo sticks, referred to as punji stakes. All were
designed to damage the human body. They were not everywhere, all the time,
but they were around.
There was a road that ran from the village of Cu Chi, through the base
camp, across the Ben Muong, and then through the Filhol – Balancie Rubber
Plantations to the village of Phu Hoa Dong where it linked up with Highway
15. The portion of the dirt road through the plantations had not seen motor
vehicle traffic for some time and was overgrown with vegetation. The bridge
at the Ben Muong had been destroyed and in March of 1966 the engineers
of the 25th Infantry Division completed construction of a new one. This
bridge would allow direct access to the area north of the base camp by
tracked vehicles. The bridge was in the 1/5th(M)’s sector of the perimeter
and the battalion was given the job of providing security for it. This
was accomplished by establishing a platoon size combat out post located
just to the north of the bridge on the southern edge of the rubber plantation.
The area directly north of the outpost was made up of three rubber plantations.
The Filhol, the Balancie, and the Liocara. But the area was soon referred
to simply as “the Filhol” by the soldiers of the battalion. Ann Margret
was the name initially given to the combat outpost by some of the officers
and it stuck with the troops.
March 14 thru 19, 1966
the 1/5th(M) participated in a search and destroy operation, the first
phase of which was located in the general area southwest of Bao Trai (XT
5204) near the Oriental River. The units of the battalion crossed the LD
[line of departure] at 1000 hours on March 14, 1966 and encountered light
enemy contact. Some APCs got stuck in the soft ground as they approached
to within 1000 to 1500 meters of the Oriental River. The battalion then
continued the operation dismounted. The battalion spent the night of March
14 in the vicinity of XT 483023. One man was wounded when he attempted
to throw a captured booby-trapped hand grenade into a canal. He pulled
the pin and threw the grenade but it had been short-fused and immediately
exploded. Light enemy contact was made on the morning of March 15th as
the companies moved to and searched various objective areas. At 1507 hours
Company C received SA fire and at the same time a booby trap was detonated.
The encounter resulted in 4 Bobcats wounded and 1 killed. Sporadic contact
continued through the day and by 2045 hours all units closed in the vicinity
of XT 5202.
At 0710 hours, on March 17th the battalion, now mounted, moved north
to an area of operations west of the junction of Highways10 and 6A, towards
the Oriental River. Anti-tank mines and booby traps were encountered throughout
March 18, 1966, the battalion
continued to search the area. Tunnel networks and booby traps and mines
were again encountered. Several Bobcats were wounded and 1 was killed.
On March 19, 1966, there was light enemy contact. By 1930 hours
all units had closed back to Cu Chi Base Camp.
28, 1966, the 25th Infantry Division command group arrived at Cu Chi
29, 1966 to April 05, 1966 the 1/5th(M) participated in a four battalion
search and destroy operation which began in the Filhol and continued into
the Ho Bo Woods (XT 6229).
The men of the battalion were still adjusting. Changes were made to the
APCs. Sandbags were put around the cargo hatch opening to offer a little
better protection to soldiers fighting from the tracks. The M-60 machine
gun mounting post was removed from the track and the gun was employed from
the side of the cargo hatch using the sandbags as a gun rest.
initial phase of the operation on March 29, the 1/5th (M) moved
through the rubber plantation and established blocking positions to prevent
movement in or out of the village of Phu Hoa Dong. The 7th ARVN Regiment
then conducted search operations throughout the entire village area. There
was light enemy contact throughout the day. Night ambushes were of course
employed, and they met with some success.
On the next day the units conducted a search of the local area. Numerous
supply caches and tunnel systems were located.
March 31, 1966 the battalion enlarged the area of its search and destroy
operations. Enemy contact was again sporadic and more tunnel systems and
enemy supplies were located. Blocking positions around Phu Hoa Dong continued
into the 1st of April and that afternoon the battalion made preparations
to move into the Ho Bo Woods area.
During March 1966 ,
two Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were:
George E. Snodgrass
and Daniel G. Stands Jr.
A major malfunction of the M-16 Rifle started to appear amongst soldiers
in Viet Nam. The rifle would fire, but the extractor would be unable to
remove the spent cartridge from the chamber of the rifle. A rod would then
have to be inserted down the barrel and the spent cartridge would have
to be “punched” out of the chamber. Initially, it was related that the
soldiers were not clearning their weapons properly and this was the cause
of the jamming.
Then it was stated that the weapon needed a new buffer
system to correct the problem. Next the barrel chamber was crome plated
to reduce fouling friction. Then the barrel twists were changed and a bolt
closure device was installed. And the weapon kept jamming. And the department
of the Army fell back to saying that the soldier was not keeping the weapon
Bullshit. We cleaned the damn things. We over-cleaned them, if there is
such a thing. When your life and the lives of those around you depend upon
a weapon, you take care of that weapon. But nothing seemed to solve the
problem. They kept jamming all through 1966 and into 1967.
Finally, a Congressional Sub-Committee held hearings on the problem in
1967 and concluded that the rifle was initially provided with a cartridge
containing IMR Propellant and worked fine. Then the Army Munitions Command
contracted with Olin Mathieson to produce the powder for the cartridge
and they in turn supplied Ball Propellant, which was cheaper to manufacture.
Ball Propellant burned faster and increased the cyclic rate of fire in
the M-16 Rifle. According to the weapons inventor, Eugene Stoner, this
was a worst case senerio for the weapon and was THE cause of the “failure
to extract” jamming malfunction.
Furture ammunition was made with IMR Powder and the jamming
problem disappeared as the Ball Propellant ammunition was replaced.
The Rifle and the Myth
Congressional Sub-Committee held hearings on the problem
Map 5 Northern
Ho Bo Woods and Southern Ho Bo
Northern Filhol and Southern Ho Bo.
At 0730 hours on April 2, 1966,
the battalion units moved along assigned routes to predetermined objective
areas. Troop A, ¾ Cavalry was attached to the 1/5th(M) and Company
C 1/5th(M) was OPCON to the 1/69th Armor. Company C had 2 APCs bog down
and during the extrication process one Bobcat was shot and killed. Upon
moving to a secondary objective, Company A had an APC destroyed by a command
detonated 175mm Arty round at 1730 hours. A second was damaged by another
mine. The 1st APC was flipped over onto its top and resulted in 4 Bobcats
killed and 4 wounded. Two Vietnamese National Policemen were also wounded.
Three Bobcats were wounded on the 2nd APC. One of the men described
it as one hectic evening and night. “The command detonated mine blew the
track up and over onto its back, killing four and seriously wounding others.
When I got there the track commander, who was seriously wounded, was determined
to ‘call in my own damn dust off.’ Due to enemy contact we had to strip
the track, evac the wounded and pull back for the night. We were in contact
all night long ¼ then recovered the A5 in the am ... finding our
cook, KIA, beneath the track.”
Numerous tunnel systems and assorted fortifications were discovered in
the area along with some caches of various supplies and equipment. “There
were so many houses and tunnels that they couldn’t be effectively covered
in a week’s time;” and “The area is honeycombed” were some of the reports
being transmitted over the radio.
April 3, 1966, the battalion
task force continued a detailed search of the area. Tunnel systems, supply
caches and numerous booby traps were encountered. Enemy contact was light.
Co B had an APC detonate a mine, the explosion of which ignited the gas
tank, resulting in one Bobcat being killed and 4 wounded in the vicinity
of XT 655270. Some of the men started referring to the area as the
“Christmas Tree” because it was ‘decorated’ with so many booby traps and
April 4, 1966, Company
C returned to battalion control and Troop A, ¾ Cav went OPCON to
the 1/69th Armor. Company C also reported that on April 3rd while
OPCON to the 1/69th, they had 3 Bobcats killed and 13 wounded. The
battalion continued its search and destroy mission in the area. A very
large cache of polished rice was located along with several smaller ones
in well concealed and booby-trapped areas. There were several skirmishes
during the day resulting in one Bobcat killed. Among the wounded were 7
men who were badly burned when there was an internal explosion and fire
on one of the 4.2 inch mortar tracks.
At 0900 hours on April 5, 1966, Company B and the Recon Platoon
were committed to assist the 2/27th Infantry, whose A Company had been
attacked in their night defensive perimeter in the Ho Bo Woods by the 1st
Battalion, 165A VC Regiment. Later in the day they were assigned to assist
the return movement of the Brigade Command Group from Trung Lap. All units
closed into Cu Chi Base Camp by 1630 hours with no enemy contact, ending
The battalion reported VC killed by body count during the operation and
a large amount of enemy supplies and equipment were located. Estimates
were also reported on the number of enemy soldiers probably or possibly
killed. It was becoming apparent to the men of the battalion that this
was to be a war of numbers. How many, how much. It was not sufficient to
report that some small arms ammunition was located. It was required that
the number of rounds, the caliber, and make of the rounds be reported.
It soon got to a point where units were reporting the “capture” of a single,
rubber sandal, or ¼ pound of documents, or a pair of gloves, amongst
the items found on the various operations. Enemy body count was also being
emphasized, big time! Initially some incentives were experimented with,
as if the war were some sort of contest which was winnable by whichever
side scored the highest number. In the beginning of April 1966, one company
had a policy in effect where if a soldier killed a Viet Cong and his body
and weapon were recovered, he was entitled to a three day pass to Saigon.
Another had a liberal policy as to letting the men keep the weapons of
any killed VC.
Their were also the friendly losses, as the casualties of war were by no
means a one sided event.
On April 6, 1966, one of the men burned in the 4.2 inch mortar track
fire on April 4th died of his injuries.
On April 7, 1966, the 1/5th(M)(-), supported by Troop B, ¾
Cavalry and Company C of the 1/69th Armor and Company A, 1/27th Infantry,
participated in phase one of a search and destroy mission of the Phuoc
Vinh Ninh area, located southeast of Cu Chi Base Camp at XT 6814. There
was sporadic enemy contact during the sweep of the area. Numerous booby
traps and mines were encountered. Eight men were wounded by mines and booby
On April 8, 1966, a platoon from Company B conducted a reconnaissance
into the Filhol. "What I seem to recall," the platoon leader later recollected,
"was that it was less than a platoon size recon. After finishing the recon
(we had seen a lot of indication of traffic on one trail) I called in and
asked for permission to set an ambush for a while and see what happened.
I believe I remember springing the ambush quite a few times, maybe four
or five. Each encounter was with a small group, 2-4 individuals. Most would
not surrender when challenged and although armed, would run and be shot.
Each time we would take some branches and clean up the blood on the dusty
trail and reset the ambush."
"I do recall there being captives and I do remember one was a young woman
who was detained behind the platoon position where we had the tracks. I
definitely remember going back there when I heard a commotion and found
several guys preparing to rape her. I put a stop to that."
Soldiers are a reflection of the society that produces them. Thus in the
military, as in society in general, there are thieves, rapists, murderers,
sadists, alcoholics and drug abusers. And there are men of honor and principle
and deep religious beliefs. As in society, the latter far outnumber the
former. And there are rules and laws that must be followed, even during
war. The officers and NCOs usually did a good job in making sure those
rules and laws were followed. And there was a system in place to punish
those who violated or disobeyed.
On April 9, 1966, Company B dropped off a dismounted platoon sized
daylight ambush in the Filhol. The remainder of the company, then conducted
a reconnaissance of the area to the north west and stumbled onto an entrenched
company size VC force. During the 45 minute fire fight which followed,
one of the APC’s was hit twice with 57mm recoilless rifle rounds. Company
A and C were dispatched into the area to assist in a further search of
the enemy who had fled the trench line after having enough.
Later in the afternoon an APC from Company B, driving
through the thick vegetation fell into a deep gully and turned over onto
its top and caught fire. Somehow there were no casualties in the incident
and no fatalities during the day’s activities. All units closed back into
Cu Chi Base Camp by 1800 hours.
On April 13, 1966, the 25th Division PX commenced operations at
the Cu Chi base camp. The major facility was established with a warehouse
and sub-exchanges were to be established in subordinate units.
On April 13th, the 1st Bn(M)
5th Inf began a two day search and destroy operation in the Filhol. C Company
(-) of the 1/69th Armor was attached to the battalion along with 1 platoon
of the 65th Engineers. The battalion task force was divided into three
teams and a command group. At 0630 hours, all elements departed Cu Chi
Base Camp through OP Ann Margret and the teams secured their respective
objectives without opposition. The battalion command group established
a task force forward base in the vicinity of XT 647207. As the teams conducted
searches of their areas throughout the day, 7 APCs, 3 tanks and 1 VTR struck
mines. 1 tank was struck by an RPG-2 round that penetrated through the
tank and caused 1 minor injury. This was the first time that a tank of
the 25th Division had been hit with an RPG round. Company B encountered
a small group of VC in spider holes and tunnels who, by the use of snipers
and rifle grenades, killed 5 and wounded 7 members of the company. The
other teams suffered light casualties in scattered encounters. Companies
A and C and the Recon Platoon closed into the battalion night base camp.
B Company established its own perimeter as it was providing security for
three tanks which had become mired and were not extracted until 2300 hours.
April 14, 1966 the companies
continued the search of the area between the Filhol and the Ho Bo Woods.
Light contact was made and mines and booby traps were again encountered.
At 0950 hours, Company B received small arms fire resulting in 1 man killed.
At 1535 hours, Company A discovered a rice cache. In the process of checking
it, a booby trap was detonated and 1 Bobcat was killed and two were wounded.
By 1900 hours all elements had closed Cu Chi Base Camp.
During the operation VC had been killed and 68 short
tunnels, 41 bunkers and various amounts of weapons, munitions, equipment
and supplies were seized or destroyed. 8 APCs, 2 tanks and 1 TVR had been
damaged by AT mines and 2 tanks were damaged by AT weapons. 7 Bobcats died
and 27 were wounded.
16th thru the 21st the 1/5th(M), along with the 1/27th Infantry and
the 2/27th Infantry, participated in a 2nd Brigade search and destroy operation
northeast of Trang Bang. The operation consisted of daytime sweeps and
night-time saturation ambushes.
On April 23, 1966, the 3rd Platoon of Company C departed Cu Chi
base camp at 0720 hours for a mounted patrol into the Filhol. At 1045 hours
they reported that 1 man had been killed by sniper fire near XT 696196.
At 1600 hours the platoon returned to Cu Chi Base Camp with the one Bobcat
During the day a sergeant from Company B was conducting a class on the
use of the Claymore anti-personnel mine in the battalion motor pool. The
group was inside an APC with the rear ramp in the down position. One of
the B Company mechanics said he had just walked past the track when there
was an explosion. Somehow the claymore had detonated. Two men were killed
outright and several were wounded. The mechanic related that there were
putting people on jeeps and ¾ ton trucks and rushing them to the
hospital area. “It was a bloody mess,” he related.
On April 27, 1966 one of the Bobcats wounded in the Claymore class
incident died of his wounds.
On April 30, 1966, the main body of the 25th Infantry Division’s
1st Brigade arrived at Cu Chi Base Camp.
During April 1966, 24 Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were:
J. Coffey; Curtis E. Dorris;
George S. Franklin;
Keith L. Shipp;
Lester J. Thornell;
B. Taylor; Larry J. Nichols;
J. Sykes Jr. ; Johnny B. Boston;
Jarrell; Arthur C. Morris Jr.;
Steven M. Smith;
Donald R. Brown; Green Conley ;
A. D’Amico ;
Clinton B. Fackrell
LaMarr; James R. Taylor;
Lewis M. Thomas;
E. Rothring Jr.; Francisco Correa-Morales; John P. Isaacs;
Walter J. Type and ONE
whose name is unknown to us who are writing this work.
Map 7 Trang
Bang and Go Dau Ha.
Map 8 Trang
Bang north to Suoi Cao.
Casualties for the 25th Infantry Division(-) during the period of January
1, 1966 thru April 30, 1966 were: 91 KIA(killed in action), 914 WIA(wounded
in action), 0 MIA(missing in action), 17 DOW(died of wounds), and 12 NBD(non-battle
There was a small outbreak of Bacillary Dysentery within
the 1/5th Inf(M), which was classified as from a filth borne source. Whether
from water, nonpotable ice or food handler was never confirmed.
It was also noted that the burn out of human wastes collected in the half
drums using diesel fuel had not proven totally satisfactory as some residue
always remained and the disposal of the residue had created some problems.
There was nothing like the smell of burning shit in the morning to arouse
Although there were some base camp growing pains, the engineer battalion
managed to establish the camp to a class II configuration in less than
From May 1, 1966 thru May 11th, the 1/5th(M) and Company C, 1/69th
Armor participated in providing security for engineer operations on Hwy
1 and Hwy 22 in the vicinity of Go Dau Ha.
On May 5, 1966, another of the Bobcats wounded in the Claymore class
incident in April died of wounds received.
May 7, 1966, Company
B, with one platoon of tanks attached, conducted a one day reconnaissance
operation in the southern Boi Loi Woods code named “Sitting Bull.”
At 1205 hours, the force engaged some VC in a trench line. At the end of
the engagement 1 Bobcat was killed and 22 were wounded. 12 of the WIAs
were evacuated and the others were treated and returned to duty.
Also on May 7, 1966 another Bobcat who was wounded in the Claymore
class incident died from the wounds he received.
On May 10, 1966 a Bobcat from Company A, which was attached to the
1st Brigade on an operation in the Filhol, was killed when a booby trapped
tunnel door was detonated. Members of the company spent most of the night
digging his body out of the collapsed tunnel system. On May 12, 1966
, all 1/5th(M) units were back at Cu Chi Base Camp.
From May 15, 1966 thru May 27, the 1/5th(M) participated in a multi-battalion
search and destroy operation in the Filhol, the Ho Bo Woods(XT 6228) and
the Boi Loi Woods(XT 5630).
May 18, 1966, Company B
was involved in a firefight. One of the soldiers was firing from an APC
cargo hatch. Another soldier got up to relieve him and as the first went
to sit down his rifle accidentally discharged, the round struck and killed
the second soldier, who was standing in the cargo hatch. The man who fired
the round, when he spoke of the incident, was very distressed and despondent
about having killed one of his own men. He would have given anything to
change what happened, but he knew that could never be.
May 26, 1966, at 0810
hours, as Company C was in the process of extracting its night ambushes,
one man was killed when a Claymore mine he was in the process of disarming,
Also on May 26, a sixth man who was wounded in the Claymore class incident
in April, died of his wounds.
During the operation 2 Bobcats died and 43 were wounded,
of whom 25 returned to duty. Of the 11 APCs that were damaged by AT mines,
5 were repaired in the field, one was unrecoverable and blown in place,
and 5 were evacuated to base camp for major repairs.
May 30, 1966 a Bobcat
from Company B died from the wounds he received on
During May 1966, Eight Bobcats died in Viet
Nam. They were James E. Johnson;
S. Moya; Ismael Lebron-Lopez ; Robert
Bobby J. Barefield;
Lopez Ramos Jr .
June, all of Southeast Asia is under the influence of the southwest monsoon.
The weather will usually follow a daily pattern, highlighted by thundershowers
in the afternoon and early evening. Rain can be expected about 22 days
of the month, with a total average of 12.5 inches. Heavy showers will not
normally last more than 45 minutes.
Cloudiness will prevail most of the day, with only about
one quarter of the day in sunshine. But temperatures will not be affected
much: the mean daily maximum should be 92 degrees with an average minimum
of 75 degrees. Although the temperatures are lower for June than May, the
high relative humidity will make it seem just as warm. The average relative
humidity for the whole month will be between 80 and 90 per cent.”
Map 9 Bao
1, 1966, a Bobcat, who was wounded on April 13th, died of his wounds.
He was a medic who responded to the call for help from others and took
a sniper's bullet in the head.
3 thru June 8, the 1/5th(M) participated in a 4 battalion search and
destroy operation in the Bao Trai area. As soon as the 1/5th(M) entered
their AO the Recon Platoon observed some VC attempting to flee. The Recon
Platoon opened fire and killed two. They then ran over two more with their
APCs as they gave chase. A search was made of the area (XT 466155) and
the VC were found to be hiding under the water. Hand grenades were used
to help flush them out. 12 VC were killed and 19 were captured by the members
of the Recon Platoon in this initial encounter of the operation.
7, 1966, Company C discovered a very large ammunition and weapons cache
vic XT 518110. The cache was located on a camouflaged lean-to built just
above the water level.
By 1645 hours on June 8, 1966, the battalion had closed
Cu Chi Base Camp. During the operation there were no Bobcats killed. 24
were wounded, of whom 14 were treated and returned to duty. 6 APCs were
damaged by AT mines, 3 of which had to be sent back to base camp for repair.
June 18, 1966, the 1/5th(M)
conducted a one day search and destroy operation in the Filhol. At 1030
hours one Recon track hit an AT mine and had to be towed. Company A started
receiving sniper fire and then mortar fire at 1145 hours on the southern
edge of the Plantation. 2 APCs were hit by RPG-2 rounds. Company A located
a bunker and tunnel system vic XT 682166 at 1215 hours. They spent the
rest of the afternoon neutralizing the area and searching and destroying
the bunker and tunnel system. Company C conducted a search and destroy
operation in the center and west end of the Filhol. They deposited a stay
behind ambush at XT 675200. Company A left an ambush at XT 679167.
Numerous mines and booby traps were located and destroyed during the day.
All elements except the two ambushes closed base camp by 1835 hours. During
the operation Company A suffered 3 KIAs and 14 WIAs, 2 of whom were treated
and returned to duty.
On June 19, 1966, at 0510 hours, the Company C stay-behind ambush
reported that one of their men had moved out of position without his helmet
and when challenged did not halt, and was shot and killed.
Between June 19 and June 24, 1966 different elements of the 1/5th(M)
were attached to and OPCON the 2/27th Infantry.
On June 21 and June 22, elements of the 1/5th(M) conducted convoy
escort to Bao Trai.
On June 24, 1966 one Bobcat from Company B died of wounds he had
From June 25 to July 1, 1966 the 1/5th(M) conducted operations in
the Boi Loi Woods and the Ho Bo Woods. Their primary objective was to locate
and destroy VC units and base camps. This was the fourth excursion of the
battalion into the area. Some troops wondered why they were going back
into "that damn" area. "I didn’t loose anything the last time we went in
there," was one comment expressed. Others wondered why the battalion just
didn’t set up a base in the area and stay there, instead of going in, "kicking
ass and getting our ass kicked" and then leaving and letting Charlie rebuild
his defenses and booby traps and then going back in and starting the whole
process all over again. Just didn’t seem to make much sense. But then nothing
much did. The majority of the troops did not even know where the Ho Bo
and Boi Loi were on a map. They had no idea of the overall "Big Picture"
of what was happening in Viet Nam other than the Communists were trying
to take over the place. But then at times one wondered if anyone had any
idea of the overall "Big Picture" or if there even was a "Big Picture,"
other than the statistics of who killed how many and who captured what.
Yet the men of the battalion carried on, doing what was asked of them.The
battalion began its operations on June 25 at 0630 hours, when the battalion
left Cu Chi Base Camp and conducted operations along the southern edge
of the Boi Loi Woods complex. It was hoped that these maneuvers would deceive
the VC as to the main operation which commenced on the 26th and consisted
of S&D operations in the Ho Bo Woods.
26, 1966, the battalion moved to the Ho Bo Woods area. Company A made
contact at a bunker tunnel complex. In the ensuing firefight one Bobcat
was killed and 13 were wounded, of whom 7 were dusted off. 2 Company A
APCs had hit AT mines. At 1432 hours Company C encountered a large command
bunker with an extensive tunnel complex. During the fight which followed,
2 Bobcats were killed and 6 were wounded. 2 of the WIA were returned to
June 28, 1966, at 1040 hours
Company B had a man killed in a tunnel. The man who was behind him said,
"We got to a corner in the tunnel. It turned 90 degrees to the right. He
moved part way around the corner and said ‘Oh No,’ and then some shots
were fired and he was dead." The men who went into the tunnel to retrieve
his body were fired at by the VC and had to use his body as a shield as
they dragged it out.
On June 29, 1966, a Bobcat from Company A died from a gunshot wound
to the head he had received earlier.
On June 30, 1966, a Bobcat from Company B died from fragmentation
wounds he had received earlier.
During June 1966, 12 Bobcats died in Viet
Nam. They were:
Jimmy L. Scott ;
Garry L. Burgess
; Joseph S. Vesely Jr.
;Ivor E. Bunch;William
James L. Northrop;
R. Rolf ; Rickey D. Castleman;Clarence Gene
Forman; and Arnoldo J. Cardenas.
1, the battalion terminated the operation at 0700 hours. Six Bobcats
died during the operation and 81 were wounded with 39 being treated and
returned to duty.
14 APCs were damaged by mines. 6 were repaired in the
field and the other 8 had to be evacuated. 6 of the evacuated APCs were
declared combat losses. A mechanical problem with the idler arm separating
from the carrier hull still existed. This required the vehicle to be short
tracked if it was to move under its own power. There were 7 such mechanical
failures during the operation, all of which required the evacuation of
Numerous bunkers and tunnel systems were destroyed by
a "special tunnel team" from the 65th Engineer Battalion. A special technique
of using acetylene gas and detonator proved inadequate. The method worked
well in tunnels of less that 6 feet in depth, but the majority of the tunnel
complexes encountered were of much greater depth. Cratering charges placed
throughout the tunnels at key locations and linked with detonating cord
proved effective. It was noted however that this method would require a
large amount of explosives for the extensive tunnel systems in the area.
While 78 tunnels were found and destroyed, it was believed that this was
only a small portion of the tunnels that exist in the area.
During the month of June, agent reports, Chieu Hoi reports,
and SPAR activity indicated that the VC had returned to the Ho Bo Woods
area. Operations conducted by the 1/5th(M) during the period June 25 to
July 1 confirmed these reports. Numerous reports continued to be received
during the month concerning large VC units moving into the Boi Loi Woods
area from the vicinity of the Michelin Plantation.
On July 4, 1966, Company C, 1/5th(M) was attached to the 2/27th
Infantry. They provided road security along Highway 7A south of Heip Hoa
(XT 4709) and also provided security for a "County Fair."
The beginning of July was a period of maintenance of
vehicles and a welcome "break" in the action.
During the period of June 26 to July 5, 1966, the 25th Division
Chemical Section provided technical supervision to division troop units
for the dispersal of 2,4-D Defoliant on the perimeter of Cu Chi Base camp.
The mixture used was two parts Diesel and one part 2,4-D.
Method of dispersion was the use of the M106 Portable
Riot Control Agent Dispenser (Mighty Mite) loaded on a vehicle. In areas
that could not be traversed by vehicles, the M106 was back packed. A total
of 22 barrels were dispersed. Later evaluation indicated that not enough
defoliant was dispersed by this method and recurring applications would
be required to defoliate new growth.
During the day on July 15, 1966, the 1/5th(M) conducted maintenance
and civil affairs activities southeast of Cu Chi in Tan Phu Trung (XT 6809).
July 16, 1966, the 1/5th(M) conducted a platoon size sweep of the area
around XT 685069, searching for a suspected VC base camp with no contact
being made. The remainder of the battalion conducted escort and maintenance
throughout the day.
17, 1966, the 1/5th(M) again conducted maintenance and civil affairs
activities during the day at Tan Phu Trung.
18, 1966, the battalion continued maintenance and civil affairs. Two
daylight ambushes were deployed, one of which was tripped.
19, 1966, Company A and the Recon Platoon conducted a S&D operation
in the area of Ap Phu Loi (XT 707110).
Elsewhere on the 19th, the 1/27th Infantry was conducting Eagle Flights.
The 1st Platoon Company A, 1/27th Infantry went into a landing zone at
XT 577265. At 1235 hours the platoon received sniper fire. At 1239 hours
the 3rd Platoon of Company A 1/27th Infantry was inserted into XT 562265.
Small arms fire was received as the helicopters approached the LZ and upon
dismounting the platoon moved across the LZ under intense small arms fire.
Both units became heavily engaged and the 2nd Platoon was committed at
1430 hours into XT 577265. A platoon from Company B, 1/27th Infantry was
inserted into XT 562265 at 1550 hours.
At 1504 hours Company B, 1/5th(M) was alerted to stand by as a reaction
force for the units of the 1/27th Infantry. The men mounted their vehicles
in the Cu Chi base camp motor pool and waited. They could see the helicopter
gunships firing and the sound of artillery firing was constant. Some of
the men wondered why they were not moving. People were in trouble. And
they waited. And they waited.
At 1630 hours the extraction of the 1st platoon of Company A 1/27th Infantry
was completed under intense fire.
the action 25 "Wolfhounds" were killed and 24 wounded.
B, 1/5th(M) was given the word to stand down but was informed that at least
15 Wolfhounds were left on the field of battle and were presumed dead.
The company was to move out in the morning. That information did not sit
too well with some of the men. You don’t leave people on the battlefield,
dead or alive. Besides, how do you know for sure they were dead? Bobcats
were not afraid of the dark. "They should send us now" was a general feeling
among the men.
It was a restless night.There was an attack on the Phuoc Hiep outpost located
on Highway 1, nine kilometers northwest of Cu Chi. The VC also fired 40
– 50 rounds of 82mm mortar into the Trung Lap ARVN Ranger Training Center.
This clearly demonstrated the capability of VC main force units to successfully
conduct simultaneous attacks on separate targets.
20, 1966, at 0630 hours, Companies A and B and the Recon Platoon of
the 1/5th(M) left base camp enroute to search the area of the previous
day’s contact by the 1/27th Infantry. At 0910 hours the bodies of 15 Wolfhounds
were located near XT 576268. They were laying in a neat row, next to each
other, all on their backs. They were clothed, but stripped of all weapons
and equipment. It was a sad sight indeed. But at the same time, the professional
courtesy of the enemy also left an impression.
A helicopter had been shot down and burned during the action of the day
before. When it was turned over the body of a door gunner and his M-60
machinegun were located. The units of the battalion closed back into base
camp at 1640 hours.
July 21, 1966, Companies
A and B and the Recon Platoon departed base camp for a search and destroy
operation in the western end of the Filhol. Several preselected objective
areas were searched. At 1600 hours Company B became engaged in a fire fight
in the vicinity of XT 642217. During the course of the fight one of the
APCs moved to attack from the right flank and a command-detonated mine
was exploded. There were several cases of TNT and C4 explosives inside
the carrier. When the mine detonated, it set off the explosives. The only
thing left of the APC was the floorboard and the driver’s steering sticks.
There were seven Bobcats in the APC at the time of the explosion. Most
of their body parts were located and recovered from around the area. Some
were not found. By 1700 hours Company A had closed with Company B and the
units moved out of the area at 1800 hours heading for Cu Chi Base Camp.
It was noted in a medical evaluation report that "There was difficulty
identifying the remains of seven men, who were mutilated when their track
exploded. A careful search for remains should be made if tactically possible
whenever a body has been mutilated. This could assist in the positive identification
of the remains."
On July 22, 1966, the battalion performed maintenance and prepared
for future operations.
Also on the 22nd, condolence boxes containing canned food, clothing, rice
and health items were donated to the surviving family members of National
Police Officers Mai Van Dung and Dang Van Tron who were killed in action
while working with the 25th Infantry Division.
On July 23, 1966, the 1/5th(M) conducted reconnaissance
in force (RIF) operations in the vicinity of XT 5423, 5525, 5724, 5723,
5621 and 5619. 55 VC suspects were apprehended of which 19 were confirmed
to be VC. The battalion returned to base camp at 1715 hours.
July 24, 1966, the battalion
(minus Company C which was attached to the 4/9th Infantry) began a 19 day
period of operations in the northern Filhol, the Ho Bo Woods, and the area
around Trung Lap.
At 0815 hours Company A and the Recon Platoon commenced operations. With
the assistance of a PF soldier and a Chieu Hoi, a VC base camp was located
at XT 720104. The camp consisted of 4 buildings and a bunker tunnel complex.
One Bobcat was killed when a booby trap was detonated. The camp was destroyed
and the units closed Cu Chi Base Camp at 1440 hours.
On July 25, 1966, the battalion conducted maintenance throughout
On July 26, 1966, the 1/5th(M) conducted maintenance and an element
provided a convoy escort to Bao Trai. Company B, 1/5th(M) was attached
to the 2/27th Infantry and reinforced Company C, 2/27th Infantry at a fire
support base at Bao Trai upon an intelligence report that the Bao Trai
outpost was to be attacked.
That night Cu Chi Base Camp received a total of 206 rounds of 75mm recoilless
rifle and 82mm mortar fire.
On July 27, 1966, the battalion(-) departed base camp to establish
a battalion forward base at XT 5130. Company B joined the battalion en
route. Companies A and B and the Recon Platoon conducted operations in
the area and established daytime ambushes. The units closed the battalion
base by1630 hours and at 1910 hours deployed night ambushes.
Company C returned to Cu Chi Base Camp at 1830 hours, terminating its attachment
to the 4/9th Infantry.
On July 28, 1966, Companies A and B and the Recon Platoon departed
for the village of Loc Hung (XT 5226) at 0655 hours. Operating with a local
Regional Forces Platoon, they commenced a seal and search of the village.
19 VC suspects were apprehended, 5 of whom proved to be VC. The units returned
to the battalion forward base camp by 1630 hours.
On July 29, 1966, the battalion ended operations and returned to
the division base camp by 1830 hours.
On July 30, 1966, units of the battalion conducted maintenance,
civil affairs operations at Tan Phu Trung and provided an escort for an
artillery convoy from Duc Hue (XT 4405) to Cu Chi.
It was noted in a report that the Filhol Plantation and the Ho Bo Woods
in spite of their proximity to the division base camp, constant harassment
by artillery, and frequent S&D operations, continued to be the scene
of occasional intense fighting.
During the Quarterly Reporting Period of May 1 thru
July 31, 1966 casualties for the 25th Infantry Division(-) were:
KIA- 132; WIA- 1,239; MIA- 0; DOW- 24; NBI- 34; NBD-
During July 1966, eight Bobcats died in
Viet Nam. They were:
David L. Berry;
X. Gilch ;
Richard D. Gill Jr. ;
G. Harris; Leo E. Hinterlong ; Wilberto C.
Sanchez; Larry Van Clief
On August 1, 1966, the 1/5th(M) conducted S&D operations and
also checked the effectiveness of a B-52 strike in the area of XT 640225
– XT 665240. Four extensive bunker- tunnel complexes were located and destroyed.
Artillery dud rounds rigged for command detonation and some weapons and
ammunition were located in the complexes. The battalion set up two night
bases with Company A at XT 645227 and the battalion(-) at XT 608234. Night
ambushes were employed.
August 2 and 3, 1966,
the battalion continued searching the area. More tunnel and bunker complexes
were located and destroyed. Enemy contact was light. Some areas were extensively
booby-trapped with cluster bomb unit bomblets and command detonated mines.
On August 03, one Bobcat was killed when a boobytrap was detonated.
On August 4, 1966, the battalion continued its search and destroy
operations in the area. At 1101 hours vic XT 658259 a booby trap was detonated
killing one Bobcat from Company C and seriously injuring another. At 1132
hours 1 Bobcat from Company C was killed and 3 were injured while they
were investigating a bunker that turned out to be booby-trapped. That evening
ambushes were again employed from the battalion's night encampment.
On August 5, 1966, the battalion conducted RIF operations of two
areas. Enemy contact was again light and scattered. Several steel and log
reinforced bunkers were located and destroyed, along with munitions and
supplies. The battalion relocated its night encampment to XT 569241. No
night ambushes were deployed. Also on August 05, a Bobcat died of wounds
he had received earlier.
On August 6, 1966, the battalion participated in a 2nd Brigade seal
and search operation of the village of Trung Lap. At 0545 hours the battalion
command APC hit a mine causing 3 WIA. The track was damaged beyond repair
and was destroyed in place. At 1205 hours a 4.2 inch mortar track hit a
mine resulting in 4 WIA. At 1410 hours the battalion C&C helicopter
was knocked to the ground and severely damaged as it detonated a mine while
lifting off over a bamboo hedgerow. There were 3 WIA as a result of the
crash. The operation was completed at 1540 hours and all units closed Cu
Chi Base Camp by 1800 hours.
From August 8 thru 14, 1966, the 2nd Platoon of Company C was attached
to the 1/27th Infantry.
On August 10, 1966, Company B, 1/5th(M) was attached to the 4/9th
Infantry effective at 0800 hours. They provided security and conducted
S&D operations east of the junction of highways 26 and 19, in the area
of XT 355450.
On August 13, 1966, Company B, 1/5th(M) conducted reconnaissance
of possible stream crossing sites north of Go Dau Ha in the area of XT
Map 10 Dong
On August 14, 1966, the 1/5th(M) became attached to the 1st Brigade.
Company A was assigned to provide security for Battery A, 7/11th Artillery
at Go Dau Ha. Company B provided security for the extraction of the 4/9th
Infantry at XT 355432. Company C conducted S&D operations northeast
of Go Dau Ha, in the area of XT 337437. The battalion established a forward
base near Trung Mit at XT 4039. From August 14 thru the 20th, the 3rd Platoon
of Company A was attached to the 1/27th Infantry.
On August 15, 1966, Company A remained at Go Dau Ha providing security.
Companies B and C and the Recon Platoon conducted reconnaissance of various
areas. At 1150 hours, one APC from the Recon Platoon detonated a mine at
XT 371422. Five Bobcats were wounded and evacuated. One died of his injuries
later in the day. All units closed the battalion forward base by 1900 hours.
On August 16, 1966, Company A continued to provide security at Go
Dau Ha for artillery units. Companies B and C conducted separate S&D
operations in the area. Both units had light contact and closed back to
the battalion forward base by 1730 hours. A Recon Platoon APC detonated
a mine at XT 358438 while on an escort mission from Go Dau Ha. Three Bobcats
were wounded. One wounded Bobcat died of his wounds before a dust-off could
get there. A check of the road revealed 3 more mines in the area. The platoon
stayed at Trung Mit overnight.
From August 17 thru August 30, 1966, the battalion continued operations
in the area. Enemy contact was light. From August 20th thru the 28th, the
1st Platoon of Company B was attached to the 1/27th Infantry. On the 21st,
Company B replaced Company A at Go Dau Ha. Enemy munitions and fortifications
were located and destroyed. On the 28th, two men were injured when an APC
detonated a mine. The 2nd Platoon of Company B was attached to the 1/27th
Infantry from August 28 thru September 1, 1966. On the 29th , six Bobcats
were wounded by a 60mm mortar round.
On August 30, 1966, the battalion(-) returned to Cu Chi Base Camp.
On August 31, 1966, Companies A, B(-), and C conducted road clearing,
security and convoy escort duties. Company C was the last to close Cu Chi
at 2337 hours.
In the battalion commander’s analysis of the operation it was noted that
"Fragmenting a mechanized battalion reduces its firepower and shock action
and seriously hampers its flexibility. Employing a mechanized unit in a
static security role, ie., securing an artillery battery, protecting engineer
work crews, ect., fails to make use of the mobility and shock action which
characterize mechanized infantry."
During August 1966, six Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were:
A. Goodwin; Rodney W. Casselman;
Joe L. Hill;
Richard J. Willett;
W. Harris ; and
On September 1, 1966, elements of Company B were still attached
to the 1/27th Infantry.
On September 2, 1966, the 1/5th(M) was attached to and under OPCON
of the 1st Brigade. Company A established a base at the northern end of
the Filhol ( XT 691213) where they conducted daylight patrols and night
ambushes of traffic on the Saigon River.
On September 3, 1966, the Battalion Headquarters and the Recon Platoon
joined Company A and established a forward base in the area of XT 679211.
After conducting local S&D operations the battalion command group,
and the Recon Platoon departed the Filhol and returned to Cu Chi Base Camp.
Company B conducted operations in the Filhol under OPCON of the 4/23rd
Infantry and retuned to Cu Chi Base at 2000 hours. Company A remained in
the Filhol deploying night ambushes and Company C remained under OPCON
of the 2nd Brigade and had 1 platoon attached to the 1/27th Infantry.
On September 4, 1966, the battalion command group, Company B and
the Recon Platoon joined Company A in the Filhol and established a forward
base. Company C remained OPCON to the 2nd Brigade.
On September 5 and 6, 1966, battalion units conducted local S&D
operations. Contact was light and scattered. One APC detonated a mine without
casualties. Miscellaneous enemy supplies and fortifications were located
On September 7, 1966, Company B and one platoon from Company A conducted
operations in conjunction with the 4/9th Infantry. Recon Platoon suffered
one WIA from small arms fire. At 1455 hours Company C (-) joined the battalion
at the forward base.
On September 8, 1966, the battalion conducted 3 separate company
size operations in conjunction with the ARVN 1/7th Infantry.
On September 9, 1966, The battalion moved to a new base area at
XT 680211 on the northern fringe of the Filhol. S&D operations continued.
Company C became OPCON to the 2nd Brigade and established a forward combat
base at XT 439349.
On September 10, 1966, the battalion conducted two one
company operations with light contact. Company C conducted RIF operations
north of Bao Don (XT 442365) and received 9 rounds of mortar fire at their
September 11, 1966, the
battalion command group moved to XT 637211. Company A conducted an S&D
operation, destroying bunker and tunnel complexes. At 1205 hours two WIAs
were sustained from small arms fire. At 1220 hrs a 105mm artillery round
was command detonated against an APC wounding 3 Bobcats. Company B conducted
an S&D operation, destroying bunkers and tunnel complexes and munitions.
3 APCs detonated mines with no casualties. At 1900 hours the battalion
forward base received 4 rounds of 60mm mortar fire resulting in 1 Bobcat
from Company A being killed.
At 2005 hours Company B received 15 rounds of friendly 105mm artillery
fire. 1 Bobcat from Company B was killed and 3 were seriously wounded.
Supposedly someone was firing a counter-mortar barrage.
September 12, 1966, the
battalion(-) was detached from the 1st Brigade and returned to Cu Chi Base
Camp, closing by 1215 hours. Company C established a blocking position
at XT 540205 and was attached to the 1/27th Infantry. Also on the August
12, one Bobcat from Company C died from wounds he had received earlier.
From September 13 thru 19, 1966, the battalion conducted maintenance
and prepared for future operations. During the period the Recon Platoon
conducted a three day search and destruction of a two level tunnel complex
that was reported by a Chieu Hoi at XT 695117. A total of 1270 meters of
tunnel were destroyed. There were also Medcaps and road runner operations
On September 20, 1966, a series of operations in preselected objective
areas in the Filhol and Boi Loi Woods and vicinity began. The mission of
the battalion was to conduct S&D and RIF operations and on order to
assist in the destruction of VC forces fixed by 1/27th Infantry Eagle Flights.
An APC from Company C detonated an AT mine at XT 614243 resulting in 2
WIA who were evacuated. The Battalion command group, while enroute to establish
a forward base, had one APC hit a mine at XT 625218 at 1230 hours resulting
in extensive damage to the vehicle and 2 minor injuries. The damaged APC
was taken back to Cu Chi by the Recon Platoon who then returned to the
battalion forward base at XT 609240. During the day numerous dud artillery
rounds and booby traps were located and destroyed. Night ambushes were
employed from the forward command base.
On September 21, 1966, Co A displaced to the new battalion base
location. Companies B and C conducted S&D operations. One platoon from
Company A escorted a damaged Recon Platoon APC to Trung Lap. Enroute they
had 1 APC detonate a mine. Companies B and C both located enemy base camps
with various amounts of equipment and supplies. Among the items found and
destroyed were 21 - 55gallon drums of 30W oil.
September 22, 1966, at
0415 hours the forward base received 15 rounds of 60mm mortar rounds resulting
in 5 WIA. Company A dispatched one platoon to recon a direct route from
the forward base camp to Trung Lap. At 1105 hours an APC from Company A
detonated an AT mine resulting in 1 WIA. The vehicle was extensively damaged
and the company dispatched additional APCs to assist in its removal. The
wet ground caused the damaged APC and the towing vehicles to continually
bog down. The party did not close the battalion base until 0200 hours.
Company B (-) performed maintenance while one of its platoons extracted
stuck vehicles and returned to base camp at 1545 hours. Company C conducted
S&D operations in an attempt to locate the area from where the mortar
attack had taken place. The area was located and while extending the area
of their S&D operation the company engaged an estimated 8 VC at 1216
hours. At 1332 hours an APC detonated a mine and one Bobcat was wounded.
Night ambushes were deployed from the battalion forward base with negative
contact. Also on September 22, one Bobcat from Company B died from injuries
he had received earlier.
23, 1966, the battalion moved to a new base location at XT 505307.
While enroute S&D operations were conducted. Some vehicles became stuck
in the soft ground and all units, except one platoon from Company B, finally
closed the new base. The Company B platoon remained at XT 513304 with a
stuck 4.2 inch mortar track.
On September 24, 1966, elements conducted local S&D operations
and repaired and extracted downed vehicles. The Recon Platoon escorted
two brigade command carriers to the brigade forward CP at XT 475265. The
3rd platoon from Company B spent the night at Go Dau Ha.
September 25, 1966, at
0110 hours it was reported that one of the men with the platoon at Go Dau
Ha was involved in a shooting incident. Apparently he wanted the services
of a female companion of one of the American advisors at Go Dau Ha, and
when they were refused he shot the American advisor in the foot with his
.45 cal pistol.
Company A departed the base at 0745 hours and at 0842
hours one APC hit an AT mine at XT 493316. The explosion ignited the gas
tank and eight Bobcats burned to death. Three others were seriously injured.
At 0955 hours it was requested that Graves Registration dispatch a team
to remove the remains of those deceased Bobcats that were still inside
At 0940 hours Company B had one APC hit a mine causing 2 minor injuries
but extensive damage to the track. At 0947 hours one Recon Platoon APC
hit a mine. There were 3 wounded and the APC was a total loss. At 1100
hours a Company B APC hit a mine resulting in 2 wounded.
September 27, 1966, the
companies conducted local S&D operations. At 1150 hours an APC from
Company A had a booby trap that was suspended in a tree command detonated
as the track moved past. One Bobcat from Company A was killed and 2 were
At 2047 hours an OP/LP from Company C was fired upon with an M-79 by a
Company C soldier on the Company C portion of the perimeter. One Bobcat
was killed and two were wounded in the incident.
On September 28, 1966, at 0859 hours, one APC from Company A hit
an AT mine resulting in 4 minor wounded and extensive damage to the track.
While in the same area at 1000 hours, Company A received 2 rifle grenades
with negative casualties. At 1135 hours Company A received 2 rounds of
fire from an AT weapon. Company C had just joined Company A in the area.
At 1207 hours one APC from Company C detonated an AT mine resulting in
4 minor WIA. At 1210 hours Company A received sniper fire at XT 498333
resulting in one Bobcat from Company A being killed.
At 1147 hours, elements of Company B engaged in a fire-fight resulting
in two Bobcats from Company B killed and two others wounded.
The battalion established a new CP location at XT 533347.
September 30, 1966, 5
APCs from Company A continued their march toward Go Dau Ha at first light.
At 0700 hours the vehicles became bogged down at XT 489299 and the element
awaited assistance. Company A(-) departed the perimeter at 1110 hours acting
as rear guard for the battalion during movement to the 2nd Brigade CP.
At 1208 hours one APC from Company C which was traveling with the group
struck an AT mine at XT 510447 resulting in 1 Bobcat from Company C being
killed and 3 others wounded. The APC was later stripped and destroyed in
A(-) was unable to get to the 2nd Bde CP because of stuck vehicles and
established a night base at XT 478352. Company B was also forced to establish
its own night perimeter at XT 510346. Company C managed to close the 2nd
Brigade forward CP at 1930 hours.
During September 1966, seventeen Bobcats died in Viet Nam.
They were: Earl E. Irving Jr.;
L. Soliz; Billy J. Dailey
James E. Miller;
Gary A. Barnard; Gary R. Dopp;
Ernest R. Martie;
Terry L. Pundsack;
Robert M. Waters; Walter Williams Jr.;
M. Centeno; Thomas A. Lowden;Thomas J. Ontiveros;
Ralph G. Till ;
L. Snyder and ONE whose name is unknown to us writing this report.
"Higher temperatures and less thunderstorm activity can be expected in
October as the autumn season sets in in the Cu Chi and Tay Ninh area. October
marks the transition between the wet and the dry season. Temperatures during
this period at Tay Ninh will increase to an average high of 90 degrees
and a low of 75 degrees. Cu Chi temperatures will be slightly cooler. Warm
moist air from the southwest will be replaced by the relatively cooler,
drier air of the northeast monsoon."
On October 1, 1966, the battalion finished closing to the 2nd Brigade
On October 2, 1966, the battalion defended the brigade forward base
and conducted maintenance. One platoon from Company A conducted road runner
operations from Trang Bang to Cu Chi.
On October 4, 1966, one Bobcat from Company A died from wounds he
had previously received. Throughout the day the battalion performed maintenance
and secured the brigade perimeter until all brigade elements were removed.
At 1700 hours the battalion departed the forward base and returned to Cu
Chi Base Camp, closing by 2100 hours.
5, 1966 was a day of maintenence. On the 6th, Company C operated in
the area of Tan Phu Trung. On the 7th, a convoy was escorted to Trang Bang
and Companies A and B patroled in the area of Tan Phu Trung. Medcap activities
were also conducted in the area.
On October 8, 1966, the battalion conducted local operations with
no significant contact. During the day elements of the battalion conducted
convoy escort to Bao Trai and Duc Lap.
On October 8, 1966 a ten man patrol from Company C, 1/27th Infantry departed
the Bao Trai airstrip at 1930 hours to set up at XT 544038. At 0146 hours
the patrol was attacked and communication was lost. An 18 man reaction
force was committed at 0212 hours. Company C 1/27th Infantry began to search
at first light. At 0720 hours the bodies of 9 of the patrol members were
located at XT 563032. At 0831 hours a villager along the trail being followed
disclosed that 30 VC and a Negro US Soldier prisoner passed through the
village moving southwest.
From October 9 thru 11, 1966, the battalion continued local operations
in the area of Tan Phu Trung, souteast of Cu Chi.
The battalion participated in the mid-Autumn children's festival at Tan
Phu Trung. Candy and toys were distributed to some 1500 children. The 1/5th(M)
also delivered a brick-making machine, cement and steel fence posts to
In the commander's analysis it was noted that the mines encountered were
becoming larger, resulting in greater physical damage to the APCs. However,
barring aggravating factors such as fires or secondary explosions, casualties
from mine detonations remained relatively light.
Map 11 Tan
On October 12, 1966, the 1/5th(M) continued pacification and security
operations at Tan Phu Trung.
On October 16, 1966, at 0155 hours, an OP/LP (XT 692095) from Company
C received 3 incoming hand grenades resulting in one Bobcat from Company
C being killed and one injured who later died of wounds he received. An
immediate search of the area was conducted with no enemy contact.
On October 17, 1966, operations in the area of Tan Phu Trung continued.
At 0700 hours one platoon from Company C made an airmobile combat assault
into the area of XT 715120. One platoon from Company A secured the Hoc
Mon Bridge (XT 713072).
On October 18, 1966, two platoons from Company B closed base camp
at 0110 hours after conducting a night road runner operation to and from
Trung Lap to escort one battery of the 3/13 Artillery back to Cu Chi. At
1015 hours, Company C conducted an airmobile combat assault into XT 696135.
One minor WIA was received when a VC squad was engaged. At 1345 hours Company
B conducted an S&D operation at XT 627218 in response to a LRRP contact
with 25 VC. One minor WIA was suffered at 1612 hours from a booby trap.
At 1641 hours, another minor WIA was received from a booby trap.
On October 19, 1966, Company C conducted an airmobile combat assault
into multiple landing zones starting at 0920 hours. One platoon from Company
A secured the Hoc Mon Bridge during hours of darkness.
On October 22, 1966, Company A continued operations from a forward
base (XT 687104) in Tan Phu Trung. The remainder of the battalion commenced
an S&D operation into the Ho Bo Woods. There was light contact with
several WIAs sustained.
On October 23, 1966, Company B sustained two Bobcats KIA and two
wounded at 1440 hours when an APC was hit by an AT round. Company B and
Company C destroyed numerous bunkers and tunnels in the area. The battalion
forward base was located at XT 588281. Company A continued operations in
Tan Phu Trung.
On October 24, 1966, Company C sustained 1 WIA from a sniper at
0940 hours. Company B located an enemy base camp at 1330 hours and destroyed
the structures. At 1650 hours, with the assistance of a Chieu Hoi, Company
C located a booby trap factory and destroyed 600 pounds of TNT and miscellaneous
items used in the manufacture of booby traps. All units closed Cu Chi Base
Camp by 1800 hours. Company A continued operations in Tan Phu Trung.
On October 27, 1966, The 1/5th(M) Battalion(-) conducted RIF/S&D
operations southeast of Trang Bang in the area of XT 5214. The battalion(-)
established a forward base at XT 509141. The battalion(-) continued operations
in the area and closed back to Cu Chi base camp at 1840 hours on October
29, 1966. Company A remained at a forward base at XT 525141 and Company
B continued operations in the Tan Phu Trung area.
On October 31, 1966 Company A completed "bushmaster" and S&D
operations in Thai My (XT 5214) and returned to Cu Chi Base Camp at 1255
hours. At 1500 hours Company C discovered an extensive tunnel complex just
to the northeast of Tan Phu Trung at XT 702102.
Exploration was halted due to darkness and was scheduled
to resume the next morning.
the Quarterly Reporting Period of August 01, 1966 thru October 31, 1966,
the 25th Infantry Division(-) reported the following personnel statistics:
79 - KIA; 845 - WIA; 7 - MIA; 19 - DOW; 3 - NBD; and
65 - NBI.
It was also noted that there was a shortage of Infantry
NCOs in the grades E-5 and E-6. The casualty rate of NCOs has created a
shortage in greater proportion than the rate of fill.
influx of approximately 1200 daily hire laborers into the Division base
has required intensive and continuous counter-intelligence measures to
neutralize VC espionage.
Medical: Veneral Disease is being contracted at a steady rate. The rates
for August, September, and October were 278.0, 205.5, and 212.2 cases /
1000 men/year respectively.
In the Division command analysis it was noted that:
1). Explosives and demolitions are carried in the cargo
compartment of APCs with troops. On occasion vehicles carrying troops and
explosives hit anti-tank mines which cause the explosives to detonate.
It was recommended that only a minimum amount of demolitions should be
carried and additional demolitions be brought out by resupply means. The
carrier which is used to carry the demolitions should only have a minimum
number of personnel aboard to reduce the number of personnel exposed to
a single explosion.
2). VC forces make extensive use of mines and booby traps,
often placing them in vehicle tracks. Command detonated mines are often
rigged in trees to be employed against vehicle crewmen from above. During
the last 30 days there has been a marked increase in VC deployment of RPG-2's.
The RPG-2's have been employed singly or in groups (up to five) and have
been habitually fired from close in.
During the month of October 1966, five Bobcats died in Viet
nam. They were: George W. Alexander Jr.;
J. Collier; John C. Ardis and TWO whose names are unknown to us who
are writing this work .
Thomas William London
Jimmy Doyle Phipps
On November 1, 1966, Company C continued exploring the tunnel complex
at XT 702102. A large ammunition cache was located in the tunnel at 1010
hours. At 1745 hours the tunnel was destroyed.
On November 2, 1966, Company C closed Cu Chi at 0900 hours. The
battalion continued maintenance and preparation for future operations.
November 3, 1966, at 0615 hours, the 1st Battalion(M) 5th Infantry
with Troop B, 3/4 cavelry attached, commenced an attack into the northern
Filhol in the area of XT 6322. Company A, with the help of a Chieu Hoi,
discovered a munitions cache. At 1800 hours Company A established a base
at XT 655231. Company B sustained 1 Bobcat wounded in a fire fight when
an APC detonated an AT mine. Company B established a base at XT 647241.
Company C became engaged in a firefight at XT 638239.
The fight went from 1253 hours until the VC broke contact at 1700 hours.
During the fight, two Bobcats were killed and three were wounded. The Battalion
CP and Company C established a base at XT 635235. Troop B had 3 APCs hit
mines resulting in 3 troopers being wounded. Troop B established a base
at XT 642228.
Map 12 Katum
On November 4, 1966, a Chieu Hoi led Company B to a munitions and
weapons cache. At 1250 hours a Company C APC hit an AT mine resulting in
two Bobcats wounded. The battalion(-) closed into Cu Chi Base Camp by 2350
hours. Company A continued to move throughout the night.
On November 5, 1966, Company A closed Cu Chi Base Camp at 0630 hours.
Company B moved to Go Dau Ha, closing at 1730 hours. The remainder of the
battalion moved to an assembly area (XT 416238) closing at 0155 hours on
On November 6, 1966, at 0700 hours, the 1/5th(M) was attached to
the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. The battalion departed Go Dau Ha
and established a base at XT 340583 and provided a perimeter defense for
the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division Headquarters, a forward supply airhead,
two artillery batteries, a Special Forces compound and a Popular Forces
compound. Company A was sent to XT 394622 to reinforce an infantry battalion
which was securing a fire support base consisting of two artillery batteries.
The 1/5th(M) continued to provide security to fire support bases and conducted
local patrolling and ambushes until November 10.
On November 10, 1966, the 1/5th(M) reverted to OPCON of the 2nd
Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and moved its base to XT 274686 to secure
the 2nd Brigade Headquarters at the "Old French Fort" located north of
Nui Ba Dinh mountain on Highway 4.
On November 11, 1966, the battalion conducted RIF operations
in the area, north to the junction of Highways 247 and 4. Many signs of
recent activity were found along the trails in the area. Some enemy supplies
were located and destroyed. Company A established a perimeter at XT 269755.
One platoon of Company C, with a damaged APC, spent the night in the Company
A base. Company C(-) and Company B returned to the battalion forward base.
Night ambushes were deployed with negative contact.
On November 12, 1966, The battalion secured and established an area
for a fire support base at XT 273785, on Highway 4, just to the north of
the Highway 247 junction. For the next 13 days the battalion units conducted
security, reconnaissance, and search and destroy operations in the area
between Nui Ba Dinh and Katum. Enemy contact was scattered with some brief
intense encounters. APCs hit mines wounding some and booby traps were encountered.
Enemy bases and supply caches were discovered and destroyed throughout
the area. One Bobcat died on the operation. That was on November 22,
1966 . "We were just standing there talking to each other," said a
member of Company C, "when there was a single shot and down he went. He
was dead before he hit the ground."
On November 25, 1966, Operation Attleboro ended. The majority of
the units involved moved back to Cu Chi Base Camp on November 24. The 1/5th(M)
conducted deep reconnaissance and had a "training exercise" on extraction
techniques east of Trai Bi.
"It was noted that two basic things resulted from this operation (Attleboro):
(1) We have learned that the controlled road is one of the basic logistical
routes utilized by the 9th VC Division, and (2) one thing that surprised
us was the adequacy of the intelligence network which the VC had. They
knew just about every move we made."
28, 1966, the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division established
a base at Dau Tieng. The 3rd Brigade began continuous operations in the
area surrounding Dau Tieng with maximum use of small unit patrols and "Bushmasters."
Company C, 1/5th(M), was attached to the 3rd Battalion,
21st Infantry and conducted operations in the Thanh Dien Forest, south
of the Tay Ninh Base Camp.
1966, three Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were:
Riccardo B. Dickerson;
Milburn H. Starnes; and Dock J. Pinion.
On December 1, 1966, the 2nd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division
began operations in Hau Nghia Province to interdict the VC harvest, movement
and storage of rice and to locate and destroy VC forces, base camps and
On December 7, 1966, the 2nd Brigade established a Brigade Forward
Command Post and assumed the additional mission of screening the rice producing
areas adjacent to the Ho Bo - Boi Loi Woods complex. The 1/5th(M) effected
a ground link up with the 1/27th Infantry at the forward combat base north
of Trang Bang. (XT 484271). While enroute the Recon Platoon had 2 APC's
hit AT mines near XT 509240 resulting in four Bobcats being wounded.
On December 8, 1966, the battalion conducted reconnaissance in the
area and received sniper fire which resulted in four Bobcats being wounded.
On December 9, 1966, units from the 1/5th(M) conducted a RIF from
XT 601307 to 530314, and secured LZs for the 1/27th Infantry. A firefight
took place at XT 526314 and shortly thereafter an APC from Company A detonated
an AT mine resulting in one Bobcat from Company A being killed and three
On December 10, 1966, Company A secured an LZ for the 1/27th Infantry
and then joined the rest of the battalion in conducting S&D operations.
During the day 3 APCs detonated AT mines resulting in seven Bobcats being
On December 11, 1966, 3 underground fortifications, containing numerous
electrical items and medicines, were located by Company A.
On December 12, 1966, all three companies conducted S&D operations
and the Recon Platoon secured a river crossing at XT 525345. There was
no enemy contact during the day.
On December 13, 1966, Company A located 7 underground fortifications
containing supplies and ammo. Also on December 13, a Bobcat from Company
B died in hospital from wounds he had received on an earlier date.
From December 14, 1966, thru December 18, the 1/5th(M) conducted
S&D operations in the Boi Loi Woods and along the Saigon River. Miscellaneous
enemy supplies and equipment, along with enemy fortifications and tunnels
were located and destroyed.
On December 18, 1966, the 1/5th(M) conducted a convoy move to Cu
Chi Base Camp, closing at 0900 hours.
On December 19, 1966, Company B provided security for villages north
of Bao Trai in the area of XT 568069. This was in response to recent VC
threats against the villagers.
20, 1966, Company A established a company base at XT 629198 near Bau
Tron, northwest of the Cu Chi base. Company B secured Battery A of the
1/8th Artillery at Duc Hanh and Company C prepared for night ambushes.
On December 21, 1966, the 1/5th(M) conducted company ambushes and
patrols. At 2320 hours Company A received mortar and RPG-2 fire which resulted
in ten Bobcats being wounded.
The fire was returned with Artillery with unknown results.
On December 22, 1966, Company A conducted an S&D operation from
XT 630197 southeast to Cu Chi Base Camp. Company B established a company
base northwest of Cu Chi at XT 630206. Company C continued to provide security
northeast of Bao Trai at Duc Hanh (XT 570070).
On December 23, 1966, Company B conducted S&D operations around
their forward base. Company C continued to provide security for the 1/8th
On December 24, 1966, Company A and the Recon Platoon prepared for
future operations at Cu Chi Base Camp.
On December 26, 1966, Companies A and C conducted an S&D operation
northwest of the Cu Chi Base Camp near XT 6319 while Company B and the
Recon Platoon set up blocking positions near XT 6220. There was no enemy
contact but enemy material losses were extensive.
December 28, 1966,
the battalion continued S&D operations in the same area. At 0740 hours
an unknown number of VC were engaged at XT 627183. One Bobcat from Company
A was killed and one was wounded. Also on December 28th, a Bobcat from
Company B died in hospital from wounds he had received on a previous date.
29, 1966, the battalion conducted S&D operations. Company A established
a forward base at XT 630174 and all other elements of the battalion closed
Cu Chi Base Camp by 1640 hours.
On December 30, 1966, Company B established a forward base at XT
630163. The remainder of the battalion conducted maintenance.
On December 31, 1966, the 1/5th(M) conducted daylight ambush patrols.
A patrol from Company C was fired upon at 1600 hours by 3 VC. There were
no friendly casualties. And that is the best way to have closed out the
During December 1966, four Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They Were:
L. Sherrell ;Dennis F. Delasandro;
William L. McLaughlin; and
one whose name is
unknown to us who are writing this report.