ORLL 3RD BDE, 4TH DIV
PERIOD ENDING 4-30-68
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
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.
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:
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