ORLL 3RD BDE, 4TH DIV

PERIOD ENDING 4-30-68

(Edited)

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DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

HEADQUARTERS

3D BRIGADE, 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION

APO San Francisco 96355

AVDDC-OP 4 May l968

SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 30 April l968

TO: See Distribution

SECTION 1 (C) SIGNIFICANT ORGANIZATION ACTIVITIES

1. (C) GENERAL: During the reporting period 1 February to 30 April l968 the 3d Brigade (TF), 4th Infantry Division participated in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa for 28 days and Operation Patrick for 31 days. On 30 March the 3d Brigade returned under the operational control of the 4th Infantry Division and participated in Operation MacArthur for the remainder of the reporting period. The 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division has participated in 722 consecutive days in combat as of 30 April l968.

d. Operational Areas: (See Inclosure #1 for Wheeler/Wallowa AO, Inclosure #2 for Patrick AO, and Inclosure #3 for MacArthur AO.

(1) The area designated as the 3d Brigade AO in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa encompasses Duy Xuyen, Que Son, and Duc Duc Districts in Quang Ngai Province. 

(2) The area designated as the 3d Brigade AO in Operation Patrick encompasses Phu My, Hoai Nhon, Hoai An, and Binh Khe District in Binh Dinh Province and part of Duc Pho District of Quang Ngai Province.

(3) The area designated as the 3d Brigade AO in Operation MacArthur encompasses Kontum District in Kontum Province. 

e. Task Organization: Principal units of the 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division with commanders names and dates of command, and major supporting units are as follows:

Headquarters, 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division

Commander:

Colonel George E. Wear (1 Feb — 25 Feb 1968)

Colonel Eugene P. Forrester (25 Feb — 30 Apr 1968)

1st Battalion, 35th Infantry

LTC William W, Taylor Jr. (1 Feb — 30 Apr 1968)

2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry

LTC William J. Livsey Jr. (1 Feb — 30 Apr 1968)

2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery

LTC Gerald B, Bobzien (1 Feb - 30 Apr 1968)

2. INTELLIGENCE:

a. General: During this reporting period, 1 February 1968 through 30 April 1969, enemy activity is categorized in three phases, based on the three separate areas of’ operations.

b. Phase One: 1 February 1968 -28 February 1968, Que Son-Thang Binh area of operation. The beginning of this phase coincided with the "TET Offensive" which found well armed and well disciplined enemy forces attacking almost all friendly installations in the Tam Ky areas to the south of LZ Baldy and the Hoi An - Da Nang area to the north, Local force units in coordination with NVA elements conducted numerous standoff and harassing attacks in the Que Son - LZ Baldy area during this same period. Intelligence sources indicated that the 2nd PAVN Division Headquarters and its three subordinate segments, the 3rd, 1st, and 21st, had moved north from its normal base areas into Duy Xuyen District in order to continue their part of the offensive. The Brigade launched operations in this area in order to interdict any withdrawal or future attack plans of this division. On 6 February 1968 the 3rd NVA Regiment attacked Hoi An and suffered 103 NVA KIA. Elements of the 1st NVA Regiment were engaged by Task Force Miracle elements north of the Song Thu Bon River on 8 February 1968, resulting in 266 NVA KIA. On 9 February 1968, 1-14th and 1-35th Infantry in separate contacts with elements of the 2nd NVA Division Headquarters and 21st NVA Regiment killed 236 NVA and captured or destroyed approximately 100 weapons. After these contacts the 2 nd NVA Division began to withdraw to its base areas in the mountainous jungle area of Que Son and Thang Binh Districts. The remainder of this phase was spent in platoon and company size operations on search and destroy missions directed against the withdrawing enemy. Although the enemy fled in small groups in order to avoid observation and contact, elements of the 3d Brigade killed 129 enemy and captured 32 weapons during the last two weeks of Operation Wheeler/Wallowa.

c. Phase Two: 29 February 1968 - 30 March 1968. On 29 February 1969, the 3d Brigade commenced Operation Patrick in Northern Binh Dinh Province, Although the 1st Air Cavalry Division had inflicted very heavy casualties over a four month period in the AO, it was apparent that the 3d NVA Division was still conducting some offensive operations; probably because they had received numerous replacements during the month of January and February. On 2 March C, 1/50th Infantry OPCON to the 3d Brigade, contacted elements of the 2nd VC Regiment east of their base area in the Nui Miu Mountains and killed 43 NVA and captured 11 weapons. On 4 March 1968 the Phu My District Headquarters came under attack, results: 20 VC KIA, additionally 53 VC PWs were killed when the district jail took direct hits from 82mm mortar and B-40 rocket rounds. On 4 March LZ Crystal received heavy 120mm mortar and RR. fire that resulted in light damage. The sane night LZ Moon came under a heavy ground attack from an estimated NVA Battalion and 54 NVA wore killed and 15 weapons were captured. On 8 March 1968 a LRP Team in the Cay Giep Mountains spotted an NVA company apparently on a supply mission. Artillery and tactical air strikes were called resulting in numerous secondary explosions, the destruction of a bridge, and 30 NVA KIA. Intelligence sources confirmed that the 22nd NVA Regiment had moved south from the Bong Son Plain area into the 506 Valley area and on 9 March 1968, LZ Litts Vic BR911712, received a ground attack from the 8th Battalion, 22nd NVA Regiment resulting in 36 NVA KIA and 12 weapons captured, The mission of the 22nd NVA Regiment was to reinforce the 2nd VC Regiment in the Phu My Valley area and gain the confidence and support of the population in this area. On 9 March 1968, 1-50th Infantry again contacted elements of the 2nd VC Regiment and killed 23 NVA. The remainder of this phase was spent in platoon and company size recon in force operations against an enemy that withdrew to resupply and refit.

d. Phase Three: 31 March 1968 - 30 April 1968. During this phase the 3d Brigade returned to the operational control of the 4th Infantry Division and assumed responsibility for the 173rd Airborne Brigade area of operation in southern Kontum Province. The enemy in this area was capable of fighting a more conventional type of war because of their proximity to the Cambodian-Laotian Borders. Also a new enemy road system which extends into southern Kontum Province has enabled the enemy to infiltrate personnel and supplies with much greater rapidity. When the Brigade moved into the MacArthur AO, the 1st NVA Division Headquarters and its support elements were believed to be located in the vic of YA8287. This was believed to be an indication of’ an impending enemy offensive, for the 1st NVA Division Headquarters had not been in country since the Battle of Dak To. The newly infiltrated 209th Regiment was located southwest of FSB 14, which it attacked on the 26th of March 1968. The 24th NVA Regiment, directly subordinate to the B-3 Front was located Vic YB9902 where they were receiving supplies and refitting. The 66th NVA Regiment was located in the Tri-Border area, but in early April joined the Divisions As the Brigade began operations, 1-35th Infantry moved into FSB 14 and came under sporadic stand-off attacks from an unknown and unidentified enemy. Over 400 rounds of mixed 82mm mortar and RR were fired at the FSB during an 8 day period. On 5 April A, B, & C Companies, 1-35th Infantry made heavy contact Vic YA9393 with an estimated enemy battalion and killed 48 NVA. On 15 April 1968, C, 1-35th Infantry made contact with a large enemy force Vic YA935937 with unknown results. Shortly after this contact, 2-35th Infantry was moved into FSB 14 and located numerous enemy KIA. probably as a result of the 1-35th Infantry contact and heavy artillery and air strikes. On 20 April 1968 two Hoi Chanh’s rallied to the 2-35th Infantry. These individuals stated that they were from the 14th AA Company of the 320th Regiment and that their Regiment had taken the place of the 32nd NVA Regiment which had moved south into Darlac Province. On 16 April, 1-14th Infantry and 1-22nd Infantry established a fire base to the west of FSB 14 in order to interdict infiltration and withdrawal routes. On 29 April 1968 at Vic YA828906, Company B, l-14th Infantry received a ground attack from elements of the K-4 Battalion, 320th Regiment and possible elements of the 66th Regiment resulting in 46 NVA KIA and 9 weapons captured. 1-22nd Infantry had sporadic contacts with an unidentified enemy force Vic LZ Pause during the period 24-30 April 1968 resulting in 25 NVA KIA. It appears that the enemy is concentrating and improving infiltration routes and has no plans for withdrawing. Future plans may include a new general offensive to be launched prior to the monsoon season.

3. (C) OPERATIONS AND TRAINING

a. Plans

(1) During the period covered by this report the 3d Brigade Task Force was responsible for assisting Americal Division in the relief of 3d Brigade elements from the Wheeler/Wallowa AO and planning the relief of 2nd Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry Division in the Patrick A0 effective 291200H February 1968.

(2) During the latter part of the reporting period, the 3d Brigade planned and conducted the relief of 173rd Airborne Brigade in the MacArthur AO effective 302000H March 1968.

b. Operations

(1) General: During the period 1 Feb-30 March 1968 the 3d Brigade participated as a Task Force in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa and Operation Patrick. During Operation Wheeler/Wallowa (1 Feb-28 Feb 1968) the 3d Brigade conducted recon in force operations in its respective area of responsibility with attachments from C Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Armored Cavalry and the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery. The contacts during this period were heavy with the most significant action occurring during the Tet Offensive. At this tine the 3d Brigade Task Force was employed to exert maximum pressure on the enemies’ southwestern flank in order to relieve pressure during the attack on Da Nang, and to block the enemy withdrawal routes into his established base areas. In order to accomplish this mission, 3d Brigade elements were combat assaulted on controlling terrain features, where Battalion fire support bases were established. From the FSB, companies conducted recon in force operations to block enemy routes of egress and deny the enemy access to previously established base areas. The action of the 3d Brigade Task Force in blocking routes of egress, interdicting enemy LOC, and making maximum utilization of extensive harassing and interdicting fires from artillery and air throughout the AO were factors in attenuating the enemy attacks in the Dang Nang - Hoi An area. On 28 February the 3d Brigade Task Force was ordered to pass responsibility for the Wheeler/Wallowa A0 to the 196th Infantry Brigade (LT) and relieve the 3rd Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry Division in place and assume the responsibility for the Patrick A0 effective 1200H

29 Feb 1968. During Operation Patrick (29 Feb-30 Mar 68) the 3d Brigade Task Force with attachments from C Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Armored Cavalry and 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery conducted detailed recon in force, economy of force, and security operations north of Bong Son River and search and clear operations south of Bong Son River in close coordination with ARVN and RF/PF Forces to support the Revolutionary Development effort and neutralize and destroy enemy forces in the AO. Battalion operations were characterized by show of force, maximum utilization of ARVN, RF/PF Forces in combined operations, and the use of rapid reaction forces which continually disrupted the enemy’s capability to mount significant operations. Enemy contacts during this period were light due to the continuos Brigade operations which forced the enemy to withdraw in small groups. Operations became a process of methodically searching for, locating, and destroying small groups of’ enemy in tunnels, caves, and spider holes. On 30 March the 3d Brigade Task Force passed responsibility for the Patrick AO to the 173rd Airborne Brigade effective 301200H March 1968 and assumed responsibility for the MacArthur A0 effective 302000H March 1968 and reverted to 4th Infantry Division control, During the period 30 March through 30 April the Brigade conducted reconnaissance in force, bushmaster, and security operations to defend the Provincial Capital of Kontum, interdict LOC, and block enemy routes of egress to the Cambodian Border. The contacts during this period were heavy and in some cases initiated by the enemy; however, in all cases enemy attacks were repulsed. The general plan was to have infantry battalions establish fire bases with the battalion command post and supporting artillery and mortars. The rifle companies were employed to guard the firebase and conduct local operations while the remainder of the infantry elements conducted operations throughout the TAOR. After the enemy was located and fixed, maximum artillery and tactical air power were employed, to repulse attacks and enable the infantry to advance and destroy enemy forces, Arc Lights were also employed and exploited to the maximum extent to harass and destroy suspected enemy base areas and troop concentrations.

(3) 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry: During the reporting period the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry participated in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa with the Battalion CP located at LZ Baldy (BTl32453) and LZ Cacti (BT059479) under the operational control of the 3d Brigade Task Force, 4th Infantry Division. On 19 February 1968 the Battalion moved to Pershing AO and became OPCON to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry Division. On 29 Feb the Cacti’ Green returned to the operational control of 3d Brigade Task Force and participated in Operation Patrick with the Battalion CP located at LZ English (BS875010),. On 29 March 1968 the Cacti Green deployed to MacArthur AO and participated in Operation MacArthur and established a Battalion CP at LZ Mile High (YA937931) and at LZ Bass (ZA027934). During the reporting period the Battalion had a number of minor contacts and ambush engagements with 3 major contacts occurring on 9 February, 5 and 15 April 1968.

(4) 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry: During the reporting period the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry participated in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa with a Battalion CP located at LZ Ross (AT025043) under the operational control of the 3d Brigade Task Force, 4th Infantry Division, On 13 February 1968 the Battalion came under the operational control of the 196th Infantry Brigade (LT), and established a Battalion CP at LZ Ryder (BT947345) and continued to participate in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa. On 20 March 1968 the Cacti Blue came under the operational control of the 11th Infantry Brigade and participated in Operation Champaign and established a new Battalion CP at LZ Thunder (BS874325). On 26 March 1968, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry deployed from LZ Thunder to Fire Support Base 7 (ZA025933) and participated in Operation MacArthur under the operational control of 173rd Airborne Brigade. On 29 March 1968 the Battalion was released from operational control of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and became OPCON to the 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and established Battalion CP s at FSB 7 (ZA025933) and LZ Mile High (YA937931). During the reporting period the Battalion had numerous minor contacts and ambush engagements and 4 major contacts occurring on 1 February, 27 - 29 February, 3 March, and 30 March-8 April 1968.

(6) 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery:

(a) General: During the period 1 February to 30 April 1968, the mission of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery was direct support of the 3d Brigade.

1 Battery A was in direct support of the 1-14th Infantry from 1 February to 27 February 1968. From 28 February to 17 March 1968, Battery A was in direct support of 1-35th Infantry. From 18 March to 30 April 1968, Battery A was in direct support of 2-35th Infantry.

2 Battery B was in direct, support of l-35th Infantry from (end of posted report)

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