DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Headquarters, 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry
APO San Francisco 96355
AVDC C CTB 13 May 1967
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report for Mortar Attack on. LZ Liz,
12 May 1967
TO: Commanding Officer
3d Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division
APO San Francisco 96355
1. Name of Operation: Mortar Attack on LZ Liz (Operation
2. Date of Operation: 122340H - 130900H May 1967
3. Location: Duc Pho District, Quang Ngai Province, RVN.
4. Task Organization:
Co C (-)
106 RR Section
C/2-9 Arty, (DS)
5. Command and Control Headquarters.
a. Headquarters, 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry.
b. Company A, 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry,
c. Reconnaissance Platoon, 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry,
d. Troop C, 3d Battalion, 4th Cavalry.
e. Battery C, 2d Battalion, 9th. Artillery.
6. Supporting Forces,
a. 2d Battalion, 9th. Artillery,
c. 174th Aviation Company
7. Intelligence; Current INTSUM.
a. At 12 2345H May 1967, the 2d Bn, 35th Inf Fire Support
Base (FSB) located at 1Z LIZ, vic BS 755431 received 35-4O enemy mortar rounds
from five positions east, northwest, southwest, and west of LZ LIZ. The initial
enemy rounds landed in the saddle of LZ Liz where C Btry, 2d Bn, 9th Arty was
located, Two enemy rounds landed in one of the howitzer positions, hitting the
howitzer and the communications bunker. The crew was injured and the howitzer
damaged, The round which hit the ammo bunker caused large secondary explosions
which further damaged one other howitzer and totally destroyed the howitzer in
b. Approximately four other enemy mortar rounds fell
inside the perimeter in the vicinity of the artillery position where it appeared
that the main attack. was directed. Efforts to shift the mortar fire to the
1O6RR position to the north of the artillery position proved futile and
accounted for the remainder of the mortar fire, There appeared to be little
effort made to the south of the artillery where the Battalion CP and an
additional 1O6RR position was located.
c. Counter mortar fires were initiated as soon as the
first rounds landed and were increased as muzzle flashes were observed in the
five different areas. Indirect fires from the 81mm and 4.2 mortar sections at LZ
Liz were employed; in addition, C/2-9 Arty and the 106 RR Sections of the 2-35
Inf provided direct fire on the enemy mortar positions. The 50 Cal MG’s of
C/3-4 Cav flanking the artillery position raked the enemy mortar positions.
While artillery fire from the 2d Bn 9th Arty was directed by the battalion
artillery liaison officer. By 13 0001H May l967, armed helicopters from the
174th Aviation Company were on station and firing at the observed tube flashes,
They received automatic weapons fire from several positions to the northwest and
west of, LZ Liz. These were effectively engaged at 13 0001H May, the armed AC-47
arrived on station. Spooky was also fired on by the enemy which only served to
locate the enemy positions (BS750410 and BS735436).
d. At 13 0200H, Company A(-) departed LZ Liz in order to
reestablish contact with the enemy. At 13 0245H, Co A (-), under the canopy of
light provided by the USAF flareship, detained one NVA vic BS734427, who was
attempting to change from his uniform into civilian clothing. At 13 0545H, vic
BS740434, Co A (-) observed three individuals leaving a hut. Pursuing the three,
Co A (-) captured one who wore black pajamas beneath white pajamas. In a further
search of the area, the two platoons located two 60mm mortar positions which had
been recently used and which contained NVA type sandal prints. The company (-)
returned to LZ LIZ, detaining four other VCS enroute.
e. At 0830H, C/3-4 Cav, while making a sweep east of LZ
LIZ, located three 81mm mortar positions surrounded by eight one man foxholes.
One enemy lay dead in the position, a victim of counter mortar fire.
a. Enemy Loses:
(3) VC/PW 2
b. Friendly Losses
(b) Recon/2-35 Inf
(c) C/3-4 Cav
(d) C/2-9 Arty 4
(2) Equipment Losses
(a) l05mm Howitzer (destroyed) 1
(b) l05mm Howitzer (damaged) 1
(c) M-.l6 Rifle
(d) M-6O MG
10. Summary and Analysis:
The 2-35th Inf FSB at LZ Liz received 35-40, 82mm mortar
rounds from approximately five positions. The attack was short, lasting about
10-12 minutes and was extremely accurate. Only when the enemy tied to shift fire
to new targets did the rounds fail to hit the perimeter,
The two suspects detained by A/2-35 after the attack were
interrogated and determined to be one Viet Cong and one NVA. Information learned
revealed that elements of the 219th Main Force VC Unit, combined with at least
one NVA platoon (unit unknown) came from the west to attack a US Base (LZ Liz).
The NVA platoon carried two mortars (caliber unknown). The force later coherced
twelve indigents to carry dead and wounded from the battle area, One of the
prisoners detained by A/2-35 reported he carried two enemy dead and two enemy
wounded to the west (location unknown) from where they were later moved south.
Since there was no other contact in the area of operation
on that evening it can be concluded that the above force was the one which
attacked LZ Liz with mortars. It is highly probable that the high volume of fire
and quick reaction to the attack aborted a ground attack by the enemy.
11. Lessons Learned
a. Item: Weapons Sight for crew served weapons (starlight
b. During the attack the, 106 HR sections were used very
effectively against the enemy mortar positions; however, they could have been
much more effectively used had they been able to employ the starlight scopes for
crew served weapons. Due to the positioning of the 106 RR they were able to
adjust "Burst on target" to bring effective fire against the enemy. Of
course they could not fire until after the enemy had fired and then it was
extremely difficult to determine exactly where the mortars were located. The
tube flashes are a dead giveaway but they last only an instant. Had the 106 RR
had. the starlight scope weapons sight, they may have been able to locate the
enemy positions prior to the enemy’s initial round but even more important is
the fact that mortar flashes seen through a starlight scope are easily
identifiable and readily located. Once the enemy fires one round, the starlight
scopes could be used to bring extremely effective fire directly into the enemy
mortar position perhaps enabling the 106 RR to obtain a first round hit. Even if
the 106 RR does not obtain a first round hit with the starlight scope, the first
round will be close enough to upset the mortar or sights and at least cause the
crew to take cover thus preventing accurate mortar fire.
c, Recommend that starlight scopes be made immediately
available to employ on 106 RR as night firing devices.
/s./ Clinton E. Granger
CLINTON E. GRANGER
A TRUE COPY:
BEN G. CROSBY