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3d Bde, 25th In First VN Opn

PLEIKU, (25th INF-IO)—The 25th Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Task Force, located near this provincial capital in the central highlands of Vietnam, has completed its first operation since entering Vietnam.

Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery, under the command of Cpt. John Oliver, was given the mission of positioning itself some 7500 meters to the front of the outer perimeter of the brigade to conduct harassment fire into the mountains nearby.

Assigned to provide security for this 105mm howitzer battery was Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, under the command of Capt. Anthony Bisantz.

The small task force departed its area at 9 a.m., January 19, and arrived at the destination an hour later.

The unit utilized infiltration route techniques and created a circular perimeter around its final position. The 1st platoon covered the right flank, the 2nd the rear, while the 3rd

platoon watched the (left) right flank. The 105mm howitzer created the front of the perimeter.

The Infantry company set out 81mm mortars and established its barrage. The mortars and the artillery pieces conducted harassment fire throughout the night.

Before the firing started, however, Captain Bisantz and an interpreter entered a village near their position, to explain to the village chief and his people what they would be hearing during the night and why the small force was so near.

The village chief reported to the infantry company commander that his village is hit by the Viet Cong nearly every night. He gave Captain Bisantz the location of the two suspected VC groups.

This information was in turn given to the battalion intelligence officer.

After the completion of the task force’s mission, the motorized elements returned to the brigade area.

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