DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

Headquarters, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry

APO San Francisco 96217

September 29, 1968

Synopsis of the Combat Action Report Champagne Grove

 

Commanding Officer

11th Light Infantry Brigade

APO San Francisco 96217

 

1.      Name of Operation: Champagne Grove

2.      Dates of Operation: 15 September Ė23 September 1968

3.      Location of CP lz Chevy (BS428717}

4.      a. Command Headquarters: 11th Light Infantry Brigade

b. Control Headquarters: 1st Battalion 20 th Infantry

5.      Reporting Officers:

  1. Col Oran K. Henderson. CO, 11th Light Infantry Brigade
  2. LTC William D Guinn Jr.,  1st Battalion 20 th Infantry

6.      Task Organization:

7.      A-1-20 Inf,  B-1-20 Inf, C-1-20 Inf, D-1-20  Inf, E-1-20 Inf, HHC-1-20 Inf

8.       Supporting Forces:

  1. D-6-11 Arty, (GS)
  2. B-1-82 Arty, (GS)
  3. The 7th USAF
  4. Armed helicopters and an aerial scout section from the 123rd  Aviation Battalion.

9.      a, Mission: 1-20 Infantry conducted air movement from LZ Charlie Brown(BS9727223), LZ Thunder (BS873325),LZ Bronco (BSBS818384),LZ Liz (BS754461) and LZ Dragon (BS731527) with four rife companies, Heavy mortar platoon and recon platoon into HA Thanh Special forces Camp (BS388702) by CH 47.  Battalion CP moved into LZ Chevy (BS428717) by CH 47 and UH 1.  Movement commenced 150700 September 1968 was completed 161020 September. Companies moved into assigned sector of operation at 161300 September 1968.

  1. Fire Support: B-1-82 Arty. (GS) provided 155 support from LZ Chevy, D-6-11 Arty. (GS) provided 105 support from LZ Chevy, Heavy mortar platoon 1-20 Infantry supported units in the field and LZ Chevy from Ha Thanh Special Forces Camp, 7th USAF provided air strikes on suspected and known enemy targets throughout the operation.
  2. Mission: TF Galloway conducted combat operations in the area of responsibility

To find, fix and destroy elements of the 3re NVA Div, interdict supply routes to QUANG NAGI and to eliminate threat of an attack on QUANG NGAI CITY.

10.  concept of operation:

  1. PHASE I: (4-12 Sept 68) Task Force Galloway attacks 040600 Sept. 68 with 4-3 Inf, conducting combat assaults into LZ North of THA KHUC River and drive east to link up with elements of the 6th ARVN Regt. (TF LUAT). 3-1 Inf attacks east to link up with elements of the 4th ARVN Regt; (TF LUAT).  Upon linkup, 3-1 Inf. Conducts multiple air assaults west of HA THANH Special Forces Camp.
  2. PHASE II: (13-14 Sept. 68) TF GALLOWAY ASSUMES OPCON OF THE 1/1 Cav and attacks west with 1/1 Cav. And 4-3 Inf on two axis.  1-20 Inf moves by airlift to HA THANH Special Forces Camp and commences operations to the west in conjunction with 3-1 Inf.  Ė1 Inf continues operations to the west.
  3. PHASE III:  (14-24 Sept 68)

11.  EXECUTION:

  1. 4 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf 04 1158H Sept 68, A, C and D Coís conducted CAís from QUANG NGAI AIRFIELD to LZís vic BS439764 and BS446752 respectively.  The CAís were completed by 1242hrs and both LZís were cold, C Co conducting recon in force to the NE of the LZ engaged and killed one VC evading north. A and D coís made no contact through the day.  At 1530 hrs the CC ship of the 4-3 inf. Spotted 3 VC with packs attempting to evade across the river (BS189750).  The CC engaged with M-60ís at 300 ft and killed 3 VC. The bodies and packs were not recovered.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A company conducted a CA to BS540716,  B co was airlifted into the same LZ.  C Company conducted a CA into BS425715 to establish LZ  Chevy. D company reinforce with E-1 Cav (-) crossed LD Vic BS570710 and moved west to join with elements of the 1-1 Cav., operating separately west of QUANG NAGI CITY, All LZís were cold and no casualties were sustained.  At 1540hrs at BS555722 B co discovered four VC in graves dressed in black with web gear, the 4VC killed earlier by gunships A, C, D and Recon reported no contact.

 

  1. 5 Sept 68
  2.  

(1) 4-3 Inf: A Co conducted a recon in force operation to BS483767 with negative contact. B co conducted a CA into LZ at BS5144816 and conducted patrolling with negative contact. C co moved SE and at BS449755 detained 1 NVA attempting to hide in a spiderhole. The NVA was to LZ Bronco for interrogation.  D Co moved SE on a sweep mission. At 1415hrs at BS478725 an unknown size enemy force engaged the lead elements of D CO.  Aero scouts were called and extended on the area from which the fire was received.  The C&C helicopter attempted to extract a wounded man but was shot down by AW fire from BS472723.  D co moved to and secured the downed helicopter. 1 US was killed and 2 WHA from the Helicopter.  Artillery was directed on all suspected enemy locations and the unit maneuver to destroy the enemy force, The enemy broke contact at 1745hrs and withdrew to the NW. At 1145 hrs Recon Plt reported heavy contact at BS545788, The fire was returned and artillery called on the enemy location.  The enemy broke contact and evaded SW.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A co conducted clover leaf patrols out from the NDP B co conducted recon in force operation west of the NDP C co; and recon Plt continued patrolling Vic BS425714 and maintained security of FSB Chevy.  D co and E-1-1 (-) conducted a sweep west of their NDP. At 0235 hrs A co received fire from west of their NDP resulting in 1 WHA, Artillery was fired into the area with unknown results.

 

  1. 6 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf: A co swept from BS482773 to BS494765 than south to vic BS495759 with negative contact, B co continued operations SW. At 2225hrs and ambush from B co engaged and killed 1VC at BS537776. C co swept north with negative contact.  D co swept north with negative contact.  Recon Plt swept north from BS540715 and at 1410 hrs vic of BS548773 engaged an estimated NVA Co Artillery and gunships were called and the fight continued for 2 hours. Results: 43 NVA KIA, 11 US KHA and 4 WHA.  Aero Scouts working for the 4-3 Inf engaged 10 VC with weapons in vic of BS552772.  Their organic infantry platoon was inserted and captured 1 AK-50, 1 RPG and 1US carbine.  Results: 10 VC KIA, 3 weapons captured. At 1718 a lift ship working for the 4-3 Inf received .50 cal fire vicBS505765 resulting in 1 WHA.  At approx. 1700 Hrs gunships engaged an unk number of VC with weapons vic BS557778 resulting in 1 VC KIA, 2US WHA.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf A co continued a recon in force south from BS540715. At 1230 hrs A co received AW fire and 4 60mm mortar rounds vic BS533703 resulting in 1Wha by SA fire.  At 1400 hrs A co engaged 3VC near a tunnel complex vic BS538697 resulting in 2VC KIA and 2 AK-47ís captured. B co moved from their NDP and swept SW to vic BS535711.  At 1605 Hrs vic BS524712 B co engaged 2 VC attempting to evade resulting in 2VC KIA.  C Co and recon Plt continued security of LZ Chevy and local patrolling.  D co and e-1cav conducted a seep from BS578708SE to BS609671 the SE to BS622622. AT 0650 E-1 cav engaged 1VC attempting to evade resulting in 1VC KIA.

 

(3) Aircraft working in the AO made these separate contacts. At 1020 hrs a helicopter of the 174th Avn engaged 1 VC killing him.  At 1330 hrs an Aero scouts observed a VC attempting to evade and engaged resulting in 1 VC KIA.

 

  1. 7 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf: A co swept NE from BS495578 to BS544787.  B co moved from BS495758 to BS544787.  C co conducted a CA from Pz vic BS474765 to Lz vic BS548783.  D co conducted a CA from vic BS 475755 to LZ vic BS568762.  No 4-3 Inf unit made contact.  The only contact was made by Aero Scout supporting the 4-3 Inf in the vic BS560787 when at 0950 hrs they observed 2 VC KIA.  Recon Plt returned to Chu Lai.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A & B co moved NE from BS540715 on a two company sweet operation.  At 0850 Vic BS550758 contact was made with an unknown size enemy force in the vicinity of a tunnel complex. A & B co engaged the enemy and with the aid of Areo Scouts maintained contact until 1700 hrs at which time the enemy broke contact.  The fight resulted in 26 VC KIA, 1 US carbine, 1AK47, 1 82mm mortar base plate, 2 82-mm bipod and misc. equipment captured.  US losses were 1KHA, 13 WHA (E), 1WHA(M), and 1 gunship shot down (recovered).  C co secured LZ Chevy, D co moved with E-1Cav north thorough QUANG NGAI then west to vic BS556771 with negative contact.  Recon continued patrolling Vic LZ Chevy.  At 2304 hrs D co received 6rds of 60mm mortar vic BS560763 resulting in 1 WHA (E).

 

  1. 8 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf: A co moved from BS546788 to BS492776.  B co swept west from BS545784 to BS484775.  C co moved west from BS560773 to BS522778.  D co moved west from BS555782 to BS 524783.  Recon Plt located in Chu Lai.  The ground units made negative contact.  At 1150hrs the C&C helicopter spotted 1 VC killed by artillery at BS474777.  At 1210 hrs, gunships working for the 4-3 Inf engaged 3 VC evading resulting in 3 VC KIA.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A, B and C co.ís conducted sweeps around NDP locations and closed back on NDP s sites.  D co was airlifted from QUANG NGAI airfield to LZ Chevy.  Recon Plt continued patrolling west of LZ Chevy.  The 3-1 Inf had negative contact.

 

  1. 9 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf: A co moved from BS492776 west to BS473776 to SE to BS489775.  At 1258 hrs vic BS483775, A co found 1 soviet 7.62 pistol under the floor of a burned hooch.  At 1845 hrs vic BS493768 A co engaged 7 VC with weapons evading north 2 KIA, no weapons were found.  B co moved SW from BS545784to BS465778 then south to BS465768.  At 1105 B co received sniper fire vic BS465777.  They returned fire resulting in 3 VC KIA.  C co moved SW from BS522782 to BS509775 then south to BS493754 with negative contact.  D co moved SW from BS555782 to BS510760.  Recon Plt located at Chu Lai.  At 1745 hrs C&C helicopter of the 4-3 Inf was shot down by SA fire at BS488775 with negative casualties.  The helicopter was secured by A & B co.ís.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf At 0030 Hrs A& B co.ís received 7 or 8 rounds of 82 mm mortar and SA fire in the NDPís vic BS548739 resulting 1 US WHA (M).  They observed 1 VC near the perimeter and engaged resulting 1 VC KIA and 1 AK-47 captured.  At daylight, A co moved SW from BS550750 to establish a blocking position at BS523719.  B co moved from BS552758 to establish a blocking position vic BS514734.  At 1100hrs B co engaged 1 VC hiding in a spider hole vic BS523740 resulting in 1 VC KIA.  C co moved from LZ Chevy to establish a blocking position at BS443726.  D co secured LZ Chevy.  Recon Plt continued patrolling vic LZ Chevy.

 

  1. 10 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf: A co conducted a CA from Vic BS488775 to a cold LZ vic BS495718 and made negative contact on their recon in force throughout the day.  B co conducted a CA from vic BS465767 to a cold LZ vic BS495754 cold LZ vic BS495718 also making negative contact.  C co conducted a CA from BS494754 to LZ vic BS470710 and D co conducted a CA into the same LZ.  The LZ was cold but C co did receive some sniper fire on their PZ with negative casualties.  On the subsequent sweep of the area, C co had 2 WHS from Punji stakes vic of BS470710.  At 0800 C co found 1 VC Killed by artillery during the LZ Preparation.  At 1545 hrs vic BS476717 C co found 1 k-44 rifle and at 1630hrs vic BS474718 they found 2  .45 cal sub-machine guns in the brush behind a hut.  D co had Negative contact all day.  The recon Plt remained located at Chu Lai

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A co conducted a CA from BS522719 to a LZ BS340685. Some sniper fire was received on the LZ but negative US casualties. In a sweep of the are, A co engaged 5 NVA at 1515 Hrs vic BS340760 resulting in 3 NVA KIA.  B co conducted a CA from BS513734 to cold LZ vic BS344675. Although the LZ was cold, at 1310 hrs B co had 1 WHA (E) and 1WHA (M) from  punji stakes located in the vic of the LZ BS344676.  During their sweep operation, B company at 1735 hrs vic BS390700 found 1 VC body and 1 AK-47.  At 1920 B co observed 15 VA in the open vic BS392705.  Aero Scouts were called and engaged the resulting in 8 NVA KIA .  C co conducted a CA from BS444728 to LZ vic Bs350674.  The LZ was hit by small arms fire killing l helicopter pilot and wounding 2 doorgunners, 1 KHA and 2 WHA. As airstrike was placed on the enemy resulting in 3 KIA vic BS353672.  In sweeping the area, C co had 1 WHA from punji stakes vic BS358680.  C co made no further contact. D co had remained at LZ Chevy for security and recon Plt continued patrolling vic LZ Chevy with negative contact.

 

(3) In other action in the AO, the Aero Scouts at 1630 hrs vic BS345690 found 1 NVA KBA in a river.

 

  1. 11 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf: A co moved west from BS495716 to BS484716 with negative contact.  B co swept from BS480711NW to BS484723.  At 1100 hrs B co found 3 KBA in the vic BS480711.  At approx. 1230 hrs B co conducted a CA from BS484723 into a cold LZ at BS504697 then moved S with negative contact. C co moved NE from BS470710 to BS475720. Negative contact was made but at 0920 hrs vic BS475720 C co found 1 bar hidden in bushes beside a trail.  D co swept from BS470710 to BS472716 with negative contact.  Recon Plt remained in Chu Lai.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: AT 0420 A & B co received a probe on the northern perimeter of their joint NDP.  Four to five HG were thrown by the enemy but landed outside of the perimeter.  Fire was returned with HG and Claymore mines with negative results. There were no friendly casualties.  At approx. 0630 hrs A & B co.ís received 8-10 rds of 82mm mortar in their joint NDP resulting in 2 KHA 25 WHA.  Artillery returned fire on suspected enemy mortar positions with negative results.  At daylight, A & B c.o. swept NE from BS353689 to BS355699 with negative results.  C co searched from BS350674 NE to BS380691 with negative contact.  D co and Recon Plt remained at LZ Chevy for security.

 

  1. 12 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf: A co swept from BS484717 to BS495716 with negative contact.  B co moved from BS504698 NE following two Chier Hoiís who claimed knowledge of a large caliber artillery piece buried by the VC.  At 0930 hrs in the vic of BS517711 B co found a complete 105 mm Howitzer SN100228 buried.  The howitzer was evacuated and B co continued the seep to BS522708 with negative contact.  C co conducted a CA from BS472728 to cold LZ vic BS500705 then searched south to BS505692 with negative contact.  D co conducted a CA from BS472717 to the same LZ and swept the area with negative results. C & D Co were following up on an intelligence report of a possible VC base camp with wall camouflaged huts.  Recon Plt was airlifted from Chu Lai to LZ BUFF.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A co moved from NDP vic BS355699. At 1210 in vic of BS372686 A co engaged as unknown size enemy force at about 100-150 meters.  A co quickly picked up a base of fire and maneuvered against the enemy force.  The enemy force broke contact, which resulted in 3 NVA KIA and 3 AK-47 captured.  Friendly losses were 1 KHA and 2 WHA A co continue to sweep the area and at 1645 hrs vic BS373698 found 1 AK-47 and 1 RPG hidden in some bushes.  A co had no further contact. B co moved SE from BS355699 to BS380691 with negative contact.  At 1845 hrs C co received 3 122mm rockets in their NDP vic BS380691 resulting in 1 KHA and 3 WHA.  Artillery returned fire on suspected enemy location at BS368684 with negative assessment. D Co continued security of LZ Chevy.  Recon Plt continued security of LZ Chevy and conducted local patrols around the firebase.

 

(3) Aero Scouts made most of the contacts in the AO on 12 Sept 68. At 0840 hrs vic BS556782 engaged 3 VC evading resulting in 3 VC KIA At 1853 hrs they engaged an evading VC in vic BS543746 results 1 VC KIA and VCS was snatched at 1100hrs vic of vic 558782.  The VCS, wearing black shorts with blood on them was trying to evade.  The VCS himself was not wounded and moved to the rear for questioning.  At 1230 hrs vic BS373697, five evading VC wee engaged resulting in 3 VC KIA.  The Aero Scouts received fire at 1645 hrs in vic of BS373698.  They returned fire with the results of 1 NVA and 1 AK-47.

 

  1. 13 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf:: A co conducted a CA from BS494717 to cold LZ at BS521757, The area was swept but negative contact was made.  B co moved NW to BS515711 then SW to BS510707 than east BS522707. Several tunnels were found, but they were empty.  B co id find 1 B40 rocket rd, 1 60mm mortar rd, 1 mine, and misc. equip in a hole vic BS510707. C co conducted a CA from BS504698 to cold LZ BS 505677. A search of the area was made with negative contact.  D co swept from BS513718 north to BS511731 with negative contact.  Recon Plt remained at LZ Duff for security.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A co moved from BS363685 south to BS383675.  B co moved from BS383686 southeast to BS389679 than south to BS389665.  C co moved from BS380692 south to BS389673 than SE to BS374668.  D Co provided security of  LZ Chevy. Recon Plt provided security of  LZ  Chevy and conducted patrols in the area around LZ Chevy. None of the 3-1 Inf units made contact with the enemy.

 

(3) 1-1 Cav: On 12 September 6968, the 1-1 Cav with B co 1-46 inf attached become opcom to TF Galloway.  They road marched to QUANG  NGAI based on intelligence reports which indicated the city would be attacked by elements of the 3rd NVA Div.  On 13 Sept 68 at 1200 hrs, A trp with B co 1-46 Inf began a zone recon west of QUANG NGAI.  At 1430 hrs a plt of A trp made contact with an well-entrenched NVA force vic BS566715 supported by AW, AT, and AA weapons.  Immediately the reminder of A trp assaulted the enemy positions right flank, In the assault, A trp became mired in untrafficable terrain but continued to place effective fire into the enemy position.  C trp was ordered to attack through the south flank of A trp and assume OPCON of B co1-46 Inf.  F trp 8th ACAV provided an aerial block to south and west, immediate airstrikes were called on the enemy position as c trp moved into position.  C trp and B co 1-46 inf assaulted the enemy position, overrunning the forward trenches and penetrating the major defenses.  By 1830 hrs the position was consolidated and secured, but darkness prevented further exploration or complete reports of results.

 

(4) Aero Scouts working in support throughout the AO had the following contacts

1830óVic BS492755 engaged 4 VC evading-4 VC KIA

1135---Vic BS389679 engaged 1 VC evading 1 VC KIA

1158---Vic BS392668 engaged 15 to 20 NVA in green uniforms-3 NVA KIA

1415---Vic BS392669 1 NVA in green uniform evading 1 NVA KIA

 

  1. 14 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf: A co moved NW with B trp 1-1 Cav to BS604786 then SW to BS525764.  At 0930 hrs vic BS604785 A co engaged 1 VC attempting to evade resulting in 1 VC KIA.  In Vic of BS547766 at 1500 hrs a shallow grave was found containing 4 NVA KIA. B co moved north to BS518731 than conducted a CA to a cold LZ at BS482778 and moved south to BS508668 making negative contact.  C co conducted a search east from BS502676 to BS512673 then SW to BS508668 where they found the entranced of a large well camouflaged cave.   Upon searching the cave the following enemy equipment was captured: 8 IW, 1CSW, 5 122mm rockets, 22 60mm mortar rounds, 115 B40 rocket rds, 22 RPG rds, 1 mortar sight, 98 57mm RR rds, 14 82mm rds, 562 blasting caps, 1 US made collins Radio, 1 US Starlight Scope, mics small arms ammo and misc medical supplies. C co continued SW to a NDP at BS502678 with negative contact.  D Co moved N across the river from BS517745 to BS504777.  At 0945 hrs vic BS514744 a man stepped on an M-14 anti-personnel mine resulting in 1 WHA.  D co had no further contact.  Recon plt remained at LZ Buff for security.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A co moved south from BS384675 toBS375655.  B co swept south along the river from BS389665 to BS385617. C co searched SW from BS374668 to BS369645.  D co continued security of LZ Chevy and Recon Plt conducted local patrols around Lz Chevy units made no contact.

 

(3) 1-1 Cav: on 14 Sept 68, A trp and C trp with B co 4-46 Inf continued recon in zone toward the west and northwest along probable avenues of withdraw as a follow-up to the contact of the previous day.  At 1410 hrs, A trp was engaged by an NVA force vic BS522750 supported by AW and AT weapons.  A trp immediately assaulted the enemyís position and C trp with B co 1-46 Inf was ordered to assist A trp by attacking alone A trpís eastern flank.  The attacks dispersed or destroyed the enemy and A trp, C trp with B co 1-46 Inf established night blocking positions along a line from BS493745 toBS532764. Results of the contacts on the 13th and 14th of Sept were as follows:

Friendly-3KHA, 22 Wha, 1 track destroyed, 2 tracks damaged.

Enemy Ė 112 KIA, 1 CIA, 17 IW, 11 SCW

 

  1. 15 Sept 68

(1) 4-3 Inf:: A, B and D coís converged on a staging area located in vic BS492762 for subsequent airlift to the Duc Pho AO on 16 Sept and release from Operation CHAMPAIGN GROVE. C co was airlifted to LZ THUNDER and recon airlifted to LZ BRONCO.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf : A, B, and C coís moved to the vic of the HA THANH Special Forces Camp for a short stand down before continuing Operation CHAMPAIGN GROVE.  D co and Recon Plt remained at LZ Chevy for security.  At 1910 Hrs B co received 15 rds of 82mm mortar inside their perimeter resulting in 4 WHA.

 

(3) 1-1 Cav: No contact was made with enemy and at 1500 hrs 1-1 cav and B co 1-46 Inf were ordered to move to assembly areas vic BS645763 preparatory to movement to their base camp at HAWK HILL and release from Operation CHAMPAIGN GROVE.

 

(4) 1-20 Inf: D co was airlifted into the HA THANH Special Forces camp and OPCON to CHAMPAIGN GROVE.

 

  1. 16 Sept  68

(1) 4-3 Inf: Completed airlift to Duc Pho AO and was released from OPCOM to Operation CHAMPAIGN GROVE.

 

(2) 3-1 Inf: A, B, and C co's continued stand down at HA THANH SF Camp in preparation for continuing operation.  D co and recon Plt remained at LZ Chevy for security.

 

(3) 1-20 Inf: The reminder of the battalion was airlifted into HA THANH SF Camp to join D co in preparation for operations under TF GALLOWAY.

 

  1. 17 Sept 68

(1) 3-1 Inf: A co conducted a recon in force SW from HA THANH to BS356686 with negative contact. B co airlifted to LZ Chevy to replace D co and provided security. C co conducted a CA from HA THANH to a cold Lz vic BS365648 then swept northwest.  At 1710 hrs vic BS383717 they received heavy AW fire and received 1 WHA.  Fire was returned resulting in 5 NVA KIA and contact was broken.  C co then moved to vic BS364655 and set up their NDP.D co after being airlifted to HA THANH swept to BS366687 with negative contact.  Recon PLt remained at LZ Chevy for security.

 

(2) 1-20 Inf: at 0541 hrs a squad ambush from A co was hit by estimated enemy platoon near the A co NDP vic BS383717.  The ambush called for help and A co moved to reinforce but did not reach the location in time.  Arriving at 0645 hrs A co found that the ambush had been overrun leaving 4 KHA and 3WHA.  A co pursued the enemy to the southwest. At 1215 hrs vic BS378736 and evading NVA was engaged at 50 meters resulting in 1 NVA KIA and 1 AK-47.  Five minutes later 2 more NVA threw a HG and tried to evade but were engaged resulting in 2 NVA KIA and 1RPG CIA.  A co had 1 WHA from the thrown grenade.  A tunnel was discovered at this location, BS378736, containing 1 RPG, 2 AK-47, 6 RPG rds and 2,200 rds small arms ammunition.  A co continued the search of the area with negative results.  B co swept NW from vic HA THANH to BS385730 with negative contact.  C co swept from vic of HA THANH north to BS395754 with negative contact.  D co conducted a recon in force to the southeast.  At 1759 hrs vic BS368653 D co received sniper fire resulting in 1 WHA. Fire was returned with negative results and they moved on to the NDP.

 

(3) Aero Scouts working in the AO had two contacts:

0900hrs vic BS431772 engaged 1 VC evading, res: 1 VC KIA, 1 carbine CIA

1330 hrs vic BS420758 engaged 1 VC evading, res: 1 VC KIA

 

 

  1. 18 Sept 68

(1) 3-1 Inf: A co moved SW from BS456688 to vic BS342654.  At 0845 hrs vic BS338653 A co engaged 4 VC at approx. 75 meters.  The enemy quickly broke contact and tried to evade but were brought under effective fire. The results of the skirmish were 4 VC KIA and 2 US WHA.  B co remained at LZ Chevy for security.  C co swept from BS363655 NW to BS352670 with negative contact.  D co made no contact on a recon in force from BS367688 SW to BS352670.  The recon Plt remained at LZ Chevy for security.

 

(2) 1-20 Inf: At 0120 hrs vic BS349709 an LP from D co received 2 bursts of AW fire resulting in 2 WHA.  The LP pulled back into the D co perimeter.  At first light A, B, and D co conducted a recon in force SW to the built up area in the valley vic BS3467.  C co and Recon Plt conducted a CA to BS323702 then swept SE toward the valley.  At 0730 hrs vic BS348708 D co engaged two evading NVA at 100 meters resulting in 2 NVA KIA and 1 AK-47 CIA.  At 1255 hrs Vic BS352691, A co received AW fire resulting in 3 WHA. Fire was returned but the enemy broke contact.  At 1336 vic BS335702 the recon Plt found a tunnel, heard voices and threw in grenades resulting in 1 NVA KIA. All units continued to coverage toward the build up area in the valley. At 1421 vic BS351701. D co received mortar and AW fire resulting in 2 US WHA. Fire was returned but enemy broke contact. At 1445 hrs vic BS358692, the point man of A co was wounded and contact was made with an unknown size enemy force.  Fire was returned and artillery called.  The contact continued until dark when the enemy broke contact and withdrew.  Darkness prevented assessment of enemy losses and A co set up their NDP.  A co losses were 3 KHA and 6 WHA.  In the meantime, D co continued to sweep toward the valley. At 1605 hrs vic BS350695, D co received heavy SA and AW from an unknown size enemy force well dug in along the base of the hills on the eastern side of the valley. Fire was returned and maximum use made of supporting fires.  The enemy broke contact during darkness and D co held in position for further exploitation at daylight.  US losses were 10 KHA, 19 WHA Four of the KHA could not be recovered at this time.  Darkness prevented enemy assessment.

 

  1. 19 Sept 68

(1) 3-1 Inf: A co moved NE from BS342655 to BS368674 with negative contact.  At 1400 hrs, B co conducted a CA into multiple LZís at BS443763, BS446743 and BS445754 and conducted a sweep of the area adjacent to the LZís.  At 1505 Hrs an element of B co engaged 1 VC in a spider hole resulting in 1 VC KIA.  At 1700 hrs, B co was extracted back to LZ Chevy for security.  C co conducted search operations SE from BS352670 to BS355668 without contact.  D co moved NW from BS362660 to BS355670 with negative contact. Recon Plt remained at LZ Chevy for security.

 

(2) 1-20 Inf: A co swept the area of the previous dayís contact with negative results.  B co also swept the area adjacent to A co contact and found 21 NVA KIA.  D co began sweeping the area of their contact of the previous afternoon.  At 0915 hrs vic BS345695, D co received 2 rds of mortar fire resulting in 2 WHA. D co continued to search the area and at 1045 hrs vic BS349692 found 5 NVA KIA and 1 AK-47.  At 1320 Hrs vic BS346690 they found 5 NVA KIA killed by SA floating in a river. Recon Plt swept the area vic BS345694 with negative contact.

 

  1. 20 Sept 68

(1) 3-1 Inf: A, C and D coís were airlifted back into HA THANH SF camp.  A co was picked up at HA THANH and B co was picked up at LZ Chevy and conducted a two company CA into BS448612 to establish FSB Cork.  The LZ was cold enabling the airleft of  C & D from HA THANH into LZ Cork. A co remained LZ Cork for security.  B co moved west BS442612, C co moved SE to BS463595, D co moved south to BS450595 and at 1645 hrs received sniper fire resulting in 1 KHA. All coís established NDPís in their respective areas around LZ cork and prepared for further operations. The recon Plt remained at LZ Chevy for security.

 

(2) 1-20 Inf: A, B, C, and Recon Plt were airlifted into HA THANH SF Camp to prepare for further operations. D co airlift to LZ Chevy and will remained at LZ Chevy for security.

 

(3) Aero Scouts working in the AO engaged 1 VC evading vic BS3900648 resulting in 1 VC KIA

 

  1. 21 Sept 68

(1) 3-1 Inf : A co continued security of LZ Cork. B co conducted patrols in the vic of their NDP (BS442613) with negative contact, C co moved from BS462595 SE to BS468583 with negative contact. D co moved SW from BS455595 to BS452583 with negative contact. Recon Plt remained at LZ Chevy for security.

 

(2) 1-20 Inf: At 0737 hrs A co conducted a CA into cold LZ vic BS459665.  A recon in force was conducted east to a PZ at BS495665. At 1505hrs A co was extracted and airlifted back to HA THANH with negative contact. At 0922 hrs, B co conducted a CA into a cold LZ vic BS388601. C co was then airlifted into the secure LZ.  B co swept to the SW and C co swept to the SE of the LZ.  At 1110 hrs vic BS395593, C co found 1 VC in a hole who would not come out. A HG was s thrown in resulting in 1 VC KIA. At 1432 hrs vic BS378580, B co engaged 3 VC in a tunnel resulting in 3 VC KIA. At 1640 hrs vic BS375586, they engaged 1 VC evading resulting in 1 VC KIA, B & C coís established NDPís as darkness fell on their operation.  D co remained at LZ Chevy for security and Recon Plt was airlifted to HA THANH SF Camp for security.

 

  1. 22 Sept 68

(1) 3-1 Inf All units airlifted from field locations back to LZ Cork then airlifted back to Duc Pho AO to LZ LIZ, Dragon and Bronco. 3-1 Inf has terminated operations in CHAMPAIGN GROVE AO and is preparing for future operations.

 

(2) 1-20 Inf: At 0440 hrs three OPís of the HA THANH Special Forces Camp came under fire and enemy ground attack.  A co in a NDP adjacent to the SF Camp was given the mission to move to the OPís as a relief force. 0625hrs vic BS376695, A co engaged 1 NVA evading west, could not see the body but would try to find when the fire lifts. HA THANH was occasionally receiving B-40 rocket fire at this time and A co would try to locate the fire.  At 0710 hrs when A co approached the area where they engaged the NVA they found 2 NVA playing dead.  The NVA attempted to evade, and engaged resulting in 2 NVA KIA, 1 carbine CIA. A co continued to move toward the OP.  At 0721 hrs vic 376694 A co engaged 1 NVA resulting in 1 NVA KIA and 1 AK-47.  They continued to move toward OP 7and upon approaching the hill location of the OP at 0813 hrs, the C & C Helicopter for 1-20 Inf. Received an RPG rd which hit the tail rotor resulting in 4 WHA (M) the helicopter was forced to set down at HA THANH.  A co continued their assault to regain the hill and succeeded in pushing the enemy off of the hill.  At 0846, while pursuing the enemy into small group of huts at the northern base of the hill (BS380696) 3 NVA who evading were taken under fire resulting in 3 NVA KIA.  /a few minutes later, A co found 1 NVA hiding in a hole at the same location: 1 NVA CIA. Fifteen minutes later, in the same area, an unknown size enemy in bunkers and tunnels took A CO under fire. Fire was returned and the firefight continued for approz: 2-Ĺ hrs. A co dispersed the enemy and found 10 NVA KIA, 3 AK-47ís, 1 RPD MG and 1 -57mm /RR.  A co had 1 WHA (E). A co searched the area contact then started to sweep further east through the huts.  At 1430hrs vic BS382695 they again engaged an NVA force in bunkers and tunnels and were very successful in routing the enemy without friendly casualties.  Enemy losses were 15 NVA KIA and captured equipment is as follows: 1 US .45 cal pistol, 2 Chi Com flare pistols, 8 AH-47, 1 RPG-2 rocket launcher, 1 field telephone, 1 PA set, 1700 AK-47 rds, 15 57mm rds, 28 Chi Com HGís, 1 bangalore torpedo, 6 B40 Rockets and 5 boosters for the B-40 Rockets.  A co set up their NDP at the base of the hill, B co conducted a CBT sweep from BS390579 to vic BS394625 with negative contact.  D co remained at LZ Chevy for security. Recon Plt conducted a combat sweep to vic BS3770 then returned to HA THANH  for security.

 

  1. 23 Sept 68

(1) 1-20 Inf: A co moved back to HA THANH and along with Recon Plt were airlifted to LZ Dottie.  B & C coís were airlifted from BS395625 to LZ Dottie. D co secured LZ Chevy until all Brigade elements had departed, then was airlifted to LZ Dottie.  1-20 Inf terminated operations in the CHAMPAIGN GROVE AO and assumed responsibility for the southern DUC  PHO AO at 1445 hrs.    

  (2) At 1045 hrs vic BS380560 a gunship flying in the AO was shot down.  The Aero Scouts were scramble to give covering fire and engaged the enemy resulting in 6 VC KIA.

(3) TF GALLOWAY was disbanded and all elements airlifted out of LZ Chevy.  At 1925 hrs TF GALLOWAY had been evacuated and control of the brigade units assumed by CO, 11th Inf Bde.

  1. 24 Sept 68

(1) Request to Division for termination of Operation CHAMPAIGN GROVE.  Permission granted 242400 hrs Sept 68 Operation CHAMPAIGN GROVE terminated.

12.         (C) Results: 1st Battalion 20th inf

a.       Personnel:               KIA     WIA    MIA     VCS

Friendly:                 18        70        --         --

      Enemy:                   98        --         --         8

 

b.      Equipment Losses:              Type                Quantity

Friendly:                             UH1                 1

Enemy:                               mixed ammo     4,404 rds

            c.    Weapons Losses:               Type                Quantity

                    Friendly:                           M-16                          4

                    Enemy:                             AK-47                      18

                                                            Pistol .45cak               1

                                                            RPD MG                    3

                                                            57 mm RR                   1

 

 

                                                            Flare gun                     2

                                                            RPG 7 launcher            1

                                                            B40  launcher               1

16.         Commanderís Analysis 1st Battalion 20 Infantry

            It is difficult to estimate the size of the enemy force in the HA THANH area.  With a couple of exceptions, the NVA did not actively seek contact with our forces.  The NVA, however, were forced into fight, fought hard and well.  Their defensive positions were exceptionally well prepared and indicated a trained and disciplined force.  Their equipment was relatively new and appeared to be maintained properly.  The success of this operation is attributed to the aggressive action by elements of this command and the immediate response by Tac Air, Artillery and Army aviation.

15.              COMMANDERíS ANALYSIS:

Operation CHAMPAIGN GROVE was designed initially as a relief operation of the HA THANH  and the impending attack on HA THANH, the concept of the operation was broadened and changed to an operation designed to fix and destroy all enemy forces in the West QUANG NGAI area. By employing ARVN Forces in the mountain areas, enemy forces were cut off and prevented from massing for attacks on HA THANH AND QUANG NGAI CITY.

16.              RECOMMENDATIONS:

Operations of this nature should be initiated immediately whenever sizeable enemy forces are defined and located and intelligence indicates the enemy plans an attack on a major RVN installation or city. By denying the enemy the opportunity to consolidate his forces and mount an offensive, he is denied the military and propaganda benefits derived from a successful offensive.  

 

 

Transcript by Charles S. Seketa 1/15/2004

 

 

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