MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION
2d Bn 35th Infantry
1 Nov 1967 to 30 Apr 1968
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Headquarters, 2d Bn 35th Infantry.
APO San Francisco 96355
26 May 1968
Annex A: Organization Activities
1. NAMES OF OPERATIONS:
2. COMMAND AND CONTROL HEADQUARTERS: 2d Battalion 35th Infantry
3. REPORTING OFFICERS:
4. TASK ORGANIZATION:
Annex B: Combat Operations
During this period the battalion continued to operate in reconnaissance in force operations with stay behind ambushes. On 1 November following up on a successful night ambush the evening of the 31st of October in which a POW was captured and said he was a member of the point squad of the 97th VC Battalion, A, B, Recon and 3d platoon of C Company OPCON to A Company worked in a joint operation conducting combat assaults in the vicinity of the Song Ve River Valley. Throughout the day they engaged the enemy killing 27 and capturing 5 weapons. Of that, the 3d platoon of C Company killed twenty, sixteen of whom were hiding in holes in the village of Phu An (BS 6858). During the 3d platoon of C Companies "hole hunting" operation, they had five hand grenades thrown at them from the holes resulting in negative friendly casualties. On 2 November continued effort in reconnaissance in force operations and "hole hunting" resulted in one enemy killed arid ten weapons captured, eight of which were found at BS 654496 in what appeared to be a rice cache made of bamboo and straw partially hidden under rocks and trees.
Operation Short Time commenced with all elements conducting combat assaults into the Song Ve Valley and conducting reconnaissance in force operations within the AO to engage elements of the 97th VC Battalion and stop their infiltration into the Song Ve Valley. An airstrike was conducted at BS 618533 and received ground to air fire from vicinity of BS 588518 with negative results. Additional airstrikes were called in on BS 588518. A reconnaissance of the area revealed negative results. A total of three helicopters went down during the day. One gunship had an internal rocket explode, one helicopter had a defective oil pump and one helicopter was shot down. All aircraft were secured arid evacuated and two members aboard the gunship were evacuated with wounds. The day’s operation resulted in five enemy killed and five weapons captured.
Operation Short Time continued with no significant contact.
On 12 November all elements continued reconnaissance in force operations. Throughout the day they engaged the enemy with artillery and gunships killing eight and capturing one weapon. On 13 November Operation Short Time terminated with no significant contact.
Elements continued reconnaissance in force operations in the Cacti AO with no significant contact.
On 18 November at 1530 hours the Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon moving on foot over a hill mass at BS 693596 found six - four man camouflaged huts and bomb shelters recently made. A search revealed cooking equipment and a new roll of concertina wire. At 1800 hours the 3d platoon of C Company sprung its ambush at BS 775550 killing eleven enemy and capturing two weapons.
Throughout this period elements continued reconnaissance in force operations conducting a total of forty-four airmobile combat assaults, one hundred sixty-six enemy killed and twenty-five weapons captured. During the period 8 December to 15 December, B Company conducted reconnaissance in force operations with Popular Force platoon from Duc Pho District RVN. Of particular significance during this period was the airmobile combat assault conducted by Company C on 4 December, in which three enemy were killed, eleven prisoners taken, and four weapons captured. The landing zone was the entrance to a natural tunnel complex made of rock at BS 659538. After the entrance was blocked and the complex surrounded, Company C began its detailed search of the tunnel unrooting the enemy throughout the day.
On 16 December, acting on intelligence gained from the MI that the village chief of Thach An (1) (BS 785438) was willing to point out VC living in his village, Companies A, B and Reconnaissance platoon conducted a coordinated cordon and search operation with the assistance of an MI team and National Police. Prior to day break the two companies and the Recon platoon completely surrounded the village blocking all avenues of approach and escape. At day break the village chief, hamlet chief, National Police and search elements from companies A, B and the Recon platoon searched the village resulting in the destruction of the village infrastructure as follows: 4 VC KIA, 6 VC POW’s, one being a squad leader of the 145th VC Battalion and 2 carbines captured. During the period 17 December to 18 December all elements conducted reconnaissance in force operations with no significant contact.
At 190700 December 1967, the Battalion minus companies A and B commenced displacement closing Quang Ngai airstrip at 191730 December 1967 with negative enemy contact in 10 air sorties carrying troops and the operations equipment and one 22 vehicle convoy carrying C/29 Arty and logistical equipment. Both A and B companies were now OPCON to 1st Bn 14th Inf arid at 191910 December 1967, the Battalion (-) became OPCON to 198th Inf Bde (LT).
On. 200815 December 1967, Company D and the Reconnaissance Platoon conducted airmobile combat assaults on what was to be the new battalion fire base, LZ SUE BS 567877, following a forty-five minute air and artillery preparation commencing 200730 December 1967. Once on the ground, Company D searched and cleared the new fire base while the Reconnaissance Platoon conducted reconnaissance operations about its perimeter. Company C initially remained at Quang Ngai airstrip as a ready reaction force in support of Company D and the Reconnaissance Platoon. Negative enemy contact was encountered and the Battalion CP and C/2-9 Arty were airlifted from Quang Ngai airstrip to LZ SUE, secured by Company D. At 201400 December 1967, Company C conducted an air- mobile combat assault. into the new AO at BS 560847, established a night fire base and conducted offensive operations. As of 200800 December 1967, Company B 1st Bn 6th Inf became OPCON to 2d Bn 35th Inf and conducted offensive operations in the NW portion of the new AO.
During Operation Muscatine the battalion continued to operate on reconnaissance in force missions killing an average of five enemy per day and capturing an average of two weapons per day. One contact was of particular significance involving the 1st Battalion 4th Regiment ARVN who were operating in a combined operation with our battalion. On 29 December at 1504 hours, the 1st Battalion 4th Regiment came in contact with an estimated VC Company at BS 580798 arid received a heavy volume of automatic weapons and M-79 fire from both flanks. Gunships were immediately requested and on station by 1540 hours. The CO of 2-35 Inf, controlling the gunships and coordinating the air and ground action directed companies B and C 2-35 to move to a blocking position to the west while the ARVN swept into the enemies location. Gunships from the 176th, 71st and 123rd Aviation companies provided continuous blocking and suppressive fire throughout the contact which ended at 1830 hours. The results of this battle were eighty-four enemy killed and forty-one weapons captured. Friendly casualties were six ARVN KIA and twenty-four ARVN WIA.
On 9 January the Battalion was alerted to displace from LZ SUE to FSB WEST (AT 990250), become OPCON to the 196th Inf Bde (LT) and prepare for offensive operations in a new area of operation vicinity of Tam Ky for anticipation in operation Wheeler-Wallowa. At 1237 hours Company D was extracted from BS 515785 and airlifted to FSB WEST to commence defensive preparations of the new battalion fire base. At 1550 hours Company C was extracted from BS 597807 and airlifted to Charger Hill BT 223318 to prepare for offensive operations in the new area of operations. No enemy contact was encountered except for what was believed to be an enemy mortar round hitting FSB WEST at 1530 hours wounding the Company Commander of D Company and killing one of his platoon leaders. In the early morning hours on 10 January Company D received mortar arid RPG fire resulting in two KHA and three WHA. Beginning at 0700 hours the battalion minus Company B was airlifted to the staging area, Charger Hill. Again no enemy contact was reported except for six enemy mortar rounds hitting FSB WEST between 2300 and 2400 hours, resulting in negative casualties. At 110937 January Company B was airlifted from LZ SUE to Charger Hill. By 1400 hours all elements were extracted from Charger Hill and conducting offensive operations in the new area of operations with no significant enemy contact.
Throughout this period the Battalion continued extensive reconnaissance in force operations in task force elements consisting of two companies or one company and the Recon platoon. Unlike the enemy in previous areas it was learned through intelligence and recent contacts that the enemy worked in company or higher size elements As a result companies working in task force elements always remained within mutual support of one another. During this period no significant contact was reported.
The Battalion minus Company D displaced from FSB WEST to LZ Ross relieving the 2d Battalion 12th Cavalry arid returning to the control of the 3d Bde 4th Inf Division. Company D remained on FSB WEST to destroy the battalion fire base. No significant enemy contact was encountered,
The Battalion continued detailed reconnaissance in force operations. Company D was airlifted to LZ Ross and prepared for offensive operations in the new AO. No significant contact was encountered.
All elements conducted reconnaissance in force operations resulting in eleven enemy killed, eight of which were killed in holes by Company A at AT 992322 and AT 995324.
During this period the Battalion continued reconnaissance in force operations with no significant contact.
All elements were to conduct a detailed search of assigned areas. As a contingency plan for a ground and/or mortar attack on the village of Que Son (BT 038348), guarded by the Popular Forces, RVN, Companies A and D were to be prepared to move from their co-night location to blocking positions to the northwest on order; Company C was to be prepared to dispatch one platoon from LZ Ross to search suspected mortar positions, on order. At 010500 February 1968, the U. S. Advisor of Que Son District reported being under a mortar and ground attack from the northwest. The CO 2d Bn 35th Inf., immediately alerted Company A to move from its night location, (BT 007351), to a blocking position on the high ground at (BS023357), Company D to establish a blocking position on its night location where it was co-lodgered with A Company, arid Company C to dispatch one platoon to search a suspected enemy mortar position at (BS048330) and the remainder of the Company prepared to assist on order.
At 010600 February 1968, Company A departed its night location. Enroute they observed and engaged enemy traveling east to west across an open rice paddy resulting in five VC and seven indigenous personnel killed. It was learned later that the indigenous personnel were working for the VC as laborers, ammo bearers and shields. Company A then started sweeping into the southeast killing four VC and flushing four more VC up against the northern portion of LZ ROSS. Elements on the perimeter, consisting of C/1-10 Cav and C/2-35 Inf. engaged killing the four armed VC. As Company A continued pushing to the east towards the "No Fire Zone" in coordination with the PF’s pushing west within the "No Fire Zone" the enemy became encircled by the two forces. Company A established blocking positions on the western boundary of the no fire zone and the PF’s continued to push towards them engaging and killing over fifty VC.
During this period the battalion, OPCON 196th INF BDE (LT), continued to operate in reconnaissance in force operations with stay behind ambushes resulting in twenty-one enemy killed.
On 13 February 1968, the battalion remaining under operational control of the 196th INF BDE (LT) conducted airmobile combat assaults with Companies A and C at 0900 hours from BT 952355 on to what was to be the new battalion fire base, FSB Ryder (BT 947345) following a five minute artillery preparation. Once on the ground the companies secured the new fire base and commenced clearing it with the assistance of two platoons from the 39th Engrs. On the morning of 14 February Companies B and D conducted an airmobile combat assault into the Antenna Valley at BT 955365 to commence offensive operations in the new battalion area of operations and block enemy infiltration from the west to the lowlands through the Antenna Valley. At 1345 hours the reconnaissance platoon was airlifted from BT 999315 to the new fire base an established an observation post on Hill 579, a dominating terrain feature, just two hundred meters east of FSB Ryder. The displacement resulted in negative enemy contact.
Throughout this period the battalion continued extensive reconnaissance in force operations in task force elements consisting of two companies working jointly or one company and the reconnaissance platoon. During this period light to moderate contacts were reported resulting in fifty-six enemy KIA, fifteen of which were the direct results of well employed stay behind ambushes.
At 270730 February 1968, Company C and the Reconnaissance Platoon departed on its reconnaissance mission. Numerous booby traps consisting of chicom grenades with trip wire were found on and beside the trail. At 1235 hours the point man heard movement to his front and shortly after two enemy were KIA, both carrying chicom grenades and trip wire. At 1558 hours an enemy fired from a foxhole along side the trail wounding C Company’ s point man. As the Company maneuvered, it received automatic weapons fire from both flanks and the front from enemy in trees and bunkers in vicinity of BT 944377. Gunships were immediately requested to assist the company in breaking contact. As the Company attempted to break contact the enemy employed 60mm mortars The Company continued to pull back utilizing fire and maneuver while gunships assisted by providing suppressive fires. They broke contact at 1838 hours leaving an additional 22 NVA KIA. During the evening of 27 February and early morning 28 February continuous artillery was placed in the contact area in attempt to destroy the fortifications. At 281050 February a CS drop was made on the contact area followed by an artillery preparation. As Company C moved into the contact area it found two concrete reinforced bunkers one destroyed by artillery at BT 944380. At 1340 hours gunships from Troop C 7/17 Air Cav reported a number of concrete bunkers at 943384, 41/2 feet deep 6 feet wide and 8 feet long from the left and front. The Company immediately broke contact and called artillery on the enemy location. On 29 February 1968, Company C working with Company D/2-1, OPCON 2-35 Inf, searched the contact area and trail finding sniper platforms in trees, more bunkers destroyed by artillery, eleven NVA KIA by artillery and fifteen weapons.
Throughout this period the battalion continued extensive search operations and night ambushes. Company C, the Reconnaissance Platoon and D/2-1 Inf continued reconnaissance missions northward on the trail leading from Antenna Valley with artillery and airstrikes clearing the path. On 2 March the companies found a complex at BT 955393 consisting of over twenty.-five fighting bunkers with heat supplied to all bunkers from one fire, numerous foxholes, a company size mess hall with cooking utensils, and huts resembling hospitals with platforms twenty feet by forty feet having trenches running down the center aisles. On 3 March the search continued resulting in the finding of another complex just five hundred meters further north. It consisted of fourteen bunkers heavily reinforced with two to three feet of layers of dirt and support beams, another hospital complex not more than forty-five days old, and a mess hall with cooking utensils. Among other findings within the complex were an FDC plotting board and two firing tables for a 120 mortar, many documents, ammunition of all kinds to include twenty-eight 122 rocket rounds with warheads, two AK 47’ s, one K 44, and four heavy 7.62 machine guns on carriages. On 4 March the search continued resulting in the finding of one 60mm mortar, an RPG rocket launcher, a chicom submachine gun and a tommy gun. During this period a total of 19 NVA were found KIA by artillery.
On 5 March, all elements were to conduct reconnaissance in force missions in assigned areas while Task Force A, consisting of Companies A, C and the battalion Reconnaissance Platoon, conducted an airmobile combat assault into the Antenna Valley and searched the village of Ap Bon (2). At 051000 March 1968, Task Force A, combat assaulted from a PZ BT951403 at 1000 hours to a "hot" LZ BT 917373. As the first lift approached the LZ it received automatic weapons fire from the southwest in: the vicinity of BT 905373 and BT910370, wounding one of the door gunners.. The gunships supporting the lift immediately provided suppressive fires. After they expended their ordnance, artillery was called in on the enemy locations. The airlift continued with sporadic enemy automatic weapons fire from the southwest. The airlift was completed at 1352 hours and Task Force A commenced movement to the search area with Company A on the north and Company C and the Reconnaissance Platoon on the south. As they approached the village of Ap Bon (2), Task Force A was immediately in contact receiving small arms, automatic and M-79 fire from the northeastern side of the village. A Blue Ghost Team from Troop C 7/17 Air Cav observed NVA in trenches to their front and others moving in a trench along their right flank and right rear. With gunships and artillery support the task force employed fire and maneuver to break contact and move to an area at BT 916364. As they pulled back the enemy employed 60mm mortars from the village. Contact was broken at 1725 hours leaving 23 NVA KIA. During the evening of 5 March a vigorous artillery program was being fired upon the fortified village. At 2000 hours Company A reported lights in a hut at BT 918365, and fired an M-79 resulting in a secondary explosion. At 060730 March 1968, Task Force A departed its night location for Ap Bon (2) with a Blue Ghost team from Troop C 7/17 Air Cav providing aerial surveillance and gunship support. As they entered the village they observed enemy in the trees to their front. An exchange of fire resulted in one NVA KIA. At 1000 hours the Blue Ghost team observed enemy camouflaged with bushes moving towards Company A. Contact was again made with enemy in trenches. The Task Force broke contact and six air-strikes were brought to bear on the entrenched enemy the remainder of the day. That night an artillery program was again fired upon the fortified village. At 071000 March 1968, a CS drop followed by a TOT was delivered on Ap Bon (2). Task Force A then moved into the village without any resistance finding good fortified trenches with communication wire, extensive blood trails, many bloody bandages, four NVA KIA, an M-72 law and other miscellaneous equipment.
During this period the battalion continued to conduct reconnaissance in force operations with night ambushes killing twenty-eight enemy, capturing eight POW’s and seven weapons.
On 19 March the battalion was alerted to displace from FSB Ryder to LZ Thunder (B5874325), be released from OPCON 196th Inf. Bde. (LT), become OPCON to the 11th Inf. Bde. and prepare for security missions and offensive operations in a new area of operation vicinity Duc Pho for participation in operation Champaign. At 201030 March 1968, the battalion commenced displacement closing 12 Thunder at 201820 March.
During this period the battalion conducted reconnaissance in force operations within the AO, provided security for seven bridges between BS 793408 and BS 920233 on Highway 1, provided security for Charlie Brown BS 928220, and established an OP on Tripoli BS849391. No significant contact was reported.
The battalion, having been alerted to displace from LZ Thunder FSB#7 (ZA025933), commenced movement by CA at 260750 March closing FSB#7 at 261520 March and became OPCON 173rd Airborne Brigade to participate in Operation MacArthur in a new AO vicinity Polei Kleng. On 27 March 1968, offensive operations commenced and the battalion assumed responsibility for the new AO by conducting an airmobile assault of Companies B and C at 0850 hours from FSB#7 to an LZ at ZA 007008, following an artillery preparation. At 0900 hours an OP was established on FSB#9, Hill 1039 (ZB 045973), with the battalion reconnaissance platoon, the 4.2 mortar platoon and the weapons platoon of Company C. No significant contact was reported.
Throughout this period offensive operations continued with no significant contact. At 291900 March the battalion was released from OPCON 173rd Airborne and became OPCON 3d Brigade 4th Inf. Div.
Companies B and C continued to block the valley approach by conducting. extensive reconnaissance in force missions on the valley floor and draws and employing numerous day and night ambushes along the trail running through the valley floor, while Company A moved from its night locations to make a reconnaissance of Hill 1000. At 300815 March 1968, Company A departed its night location, ZA 033987, for Hill 1000. At 1137 hours, as they were approaching the top from the south, they received enemy small arms, automatic weapons fire and mortar fire from enemy in trees and bunkers, vicinity ZA 037993, pinning down the lead element. Gunships were immediately requested and close support artillery called in on enemy locations as the company attempted to extricate its lead element and break contact. The company broke contact at 1245 hours and at 1300 airstrikes went in on the fortified positions followed by more artillery. During the evening of 30 March a heavy artillery program was fired on the fortified positions. On 31 March a CIDG platoon from the Special Forces Camp at Polei Kleng was airlifted from FSB#7 at 0830 hours and inserted with Company A to be OPCON to the Company. At 0930 hours an airstrike followed by an artillery preparation was placed on the enemy positions. Shortly after the company departed its night location it received automatic weapons fire pinning down the lead element. After extricating the lead element, the Company was still in contact with the enemy who was less than 100 meters from their position, an airstrike of napalm was placed on the enemy positions. The Company broke contact at 1130 hours. Airstrikes and artillery were placed on the fortified positions the remainder of the day. At 010800 April 1968, Company D was airlifted from FSB#7 to Company A’ s location and Company A returned to FSB#7. At 0900 hours Company D departed its location for Hill 1000 walking 4.2 mortar rounds in front of them while putting an artillery preparation on the hill. At 1045 hours Company D was receiving a heavy volume of enemy small arms, automatic M-79 and mortar fire vicinity ZA 037997. Artillery was immediately placed on the enemy location. As the Company broke contact they received mortar fire from the northeast and northwest. The Company broke contact at 1130 hours. Again airstrikes and artillery were placed on the fortified positions the remainder of the day and night. On 2 April Company D, following an airstrike and artillery, moved to the first knoll Hill 1000 (ZB 048018) with no enemy contact, After a search of the area uncovering miscellaneous equipment and one NVA KIA by artillery, the Company established a night location at ZA 038991. At 020900 April 1968, Company C conducted a combat assault from ZB 022013 to an LZ at the northern end of Hill 1000 (ZB 048018) with no enemy contact. Both companies, C from the north and D from the south, began to converge on the hill mass. By 1225 hours Company C reported receiving small arms, M-79 and mortar fire vicinity (ZB 039010) from enemy in trees and bunkers. At 1256 hours Company D received small arms then automatic fire vicinity ZA 038994. The Companies immediately began to break contact but were subjected to heavy volumes of fire. With both, close support artillery and close support air, the Companies were able to break contact by 1430 hours leaving 13 NVA KIA. On 4 April Companies C and D conducted security patrols around their respective perimeters and the entire day was devoted to destroying the enemy’ s positions with artillery and employing over nine airstrikes. Troop A 7-17 Air Cav worked the area killing eight NVA attempting to escape. At 1800 hours Company D, 1st Bn 8th Inf became OPCON 2-35 and departed FSB#7 establishing blocking positions to the southwest of Hill 1000 vicinity ZA 022947. At 050830 April 1968, Company B, 1st Bn 8th Inf. became OPCON 2-35, and conducted an airmobile combat assault from FSB#7 to a blocking position to the east of Hill 1000, vicinity ZA 068994. At 0130 hours Companies C and D departed their night locations and again began to converge on the hill mass. At 1030 hours Company C was receiving sniper fire from trees vicinity ZB 040011 and followed by mortar fire. Company .C immediately broke contact. Between 1115 hours and 1145 hours three airstrikes were employed in support of Company C. Again the remainder of the day was devoted to destructive tactics employing both artillery and air with the assistance of elements of the 7-17 Air Cav engaging fleeing enemy. On 6 April, following airstrike and artillery, Company C and Company D maneuvered on the hill mass encountering no enemy resistance. A search of the objective uncovered twelve (12) NVA KIA by artillery and four weapons captured to include a B 40 Rocket Launcher. The 7th and 8th of April were utilized by Companies C and D to make a thorough search of the hill mass and the destruction of bunker complex.
Throughout this period offensive operations continued with no significant contact. On 9 April a regimental size base camp was discovered on the east side of Ridge 1000, vicinity ZA 049998 by Company D. A large cache of AK 47 ammunition, demolitions, 60mm mortar rounds, medicine and miscellaneous NVA equipment was discovered. Also uncovered were 11 weapons to include a 60mm mortar.
On 18 April 1968 the 2-35 Inf was lifted to fire support base Mile High and assumed OPCON of the 1-35 Inf Area of Operations. Offensive operations consisted of Reconnaissance in Force, Patrols and Bushmasters. During this period 45 hostile KIA were found and 15 weapons were captured. The enemy KIA were a result of air and artillery fire. On 20 April 1968, two NVA/NCO’s surrendered to A Co, 2-35, at Fire Support Base 14.
Annex C: Administration
AVDDC-P (26 May 68)
SUBJECT: Recommendation of the Meritorious Unit Commendation
DA, Headquarters, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, APO 96355 6 Jun 68
THRU: Commanding General., 4th Infantry Division, APO 96262
TO: Commanding General, United States Army, Vietnam, APO 96375