DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

Headquarters, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry

11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division

APO San Francisco 96217

 

AVCF-BA-XX-PE 13 November 1968

 

SUBJECT: Combat Action Report (RCS AVF-GC1) Logan Field

 

Commanding Officer

11th Infantry Brigade

ATTN: AVDF-BA-OP

APPO San Francisco 96217

 

 

1.      Name of Operation: Logan Field

 

2.      Date of Operation: 7 October 1968-13 October 1968

 

3.      Location of CP: LZ Uptight (BS730848)

 

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

 

b. Control Headquarters: 1st Battalion 20th Infantry

 

5.      Reporting Officers:

 

  1. Col John W. Donaldson, CO, 11th Infantry Brigade.

 

  1. LTC William D. Guinn Jr., CO, 1st Battalion 20th Infantry

 

6.      Task Organization:

 

TFA A 1-20, Plt E-1 Cav, E 1-20             Plt NPFF

TFB B 1-20, Plt C-1-1 Cav           HHC 1-20

C 1-20                                           D 6-11 (DS)

D 1-20                                           Plt C-26 Engr. (DS)

 

7.      Supporting Forces:

 

  1. D 6-11  Arty (DS)

 

  1. D 1-82 Arty (DS)

 

  1. 14th CAB provided helicopter airlift and gunship support.

 

  1. 7th USAF provided close air support.

 

  1. U.S. Navy provided naval gunfire support.

 

  1. Coastal Division provided blocking forces.

 

  1. 2nd ARVN Division provided blocking forces.

 

8.      Intelligence:

 

  1. The area of operation has long been the stronghold of the 48th Local Force Battalion and supporting elements.  Intelligence was scarce prior to the operation. An intelligence report indicated that the 48th Bn, with an approximate strength of 148, had joined forces with the P-31 LF Company and other supporting elements to raise their total strength to approximately 400. This was partially confirmed when a member of the 48th Bn and a member of the P-31 Company were captured together during a brief firefight on 7 October 1968.

 

  1. Contacts with the enemy were few, and additional intelligence was obtained from POWs and detainees. In one case, a POW from the 48th Bn led a company to a 250-meter tunnel pointing out booby traps along the way.

 

  1. The enemy employed expert evasion techniques.  Most of his movement was conducted at night and detected by radar (PPS-5) from LZ Uptight. The civilians were uncooperative. When questioned, the replies were evasive and included unbelievable and exaggerated statements of the enemy disposition. Nearly all detainees were identified as infrastructure members.

 

  1. Land mines and booby traps were extensively employed and proved to be an effective method of delaying friendly movement. Most of the mines encountered were the M-6 or the M-16 AP mine.

 

9.  Mission:

 

1-20 Infantry conducted air and ground assaults into LZ Uptight (BS725856) and LZ Lee (BS723816) and along axis A and B (See Overlay) to fix and destroy the 48th LF Battalion and associated infrastructure in the Batangan Peninsula.

 

10.  Concept of the Operation:

 

  1. Maneuver: 2nd ARVN Division attacked on 6 Oct 68, to occupy blocking position along the Diem Diem River. 1-20 Infantry conducted movement from LZ Buff (BS539825) and LZ Dottie (BS638855) with D 1-20, Heavy Mortar Platoon, Bn CP and D 6-11 Arty into LZ Uptight (BS725856) by UH 1 and CH 47. C 1-20 and Recon 1-20 made a CA into LZ Lee (BS723816). TF a consisting of A 1-20 and one platoon of E-1 Cav. And TF B consisting of B 1-20 and one platoon of 1-1 Cav. conducted an attack in zone crossing LD at 070700 Oct 1968. Upon the seizure of all objectives, extensive search and clear Operations were conducted to root out the enemy and destroy his military structures and fortifications. (See Operations Overlay).

 

  1. Fire Support: D 6-11 Arty (DS) provided 105 support from LZ Uptight; D 1-82 provided 8 inch support from LZ Dottie.  Heavy Mortar Platoon 1-20 provided support to units in the field from LZ Uptight. 7th USAF provided preplanned and on call air strikes on known and suspected enemy targets throughout the operations.

  

11.   Execution:

 

       The operations order was issued to the unit commanders and key personnel at 051300 Oct 1968 at LZ Dottie (BS633855).  TF A and TF B minus the platoon from 1-1 Cav arrived at their attack position at H-12. They crossed the LD at 070700 Oct 1968. Touchdown of the assault echelon into LZ Uptight was completed 070745 Oct 1968. At071000 Oct 3968, all elements had completed the move into their respective LZs and, the operation continued with light contact.

 

      Action on 7 Oct 1968: TF A and TF B crossed the LD at 070700 Oct 1968 and searched and cleared in zone to seize objectives 1 and 2. D 1-20 conducted a CA into LZ Uptight to secure and set up the FSB. D 1-20 was also given the mission of Bn Reserve. C 1-20 and Recon conducted a CA into LZ Lee. C 1-20 was to search and clear in zone to secure objective 8. Recon 1-20 screened the right flank of C 1-20 and attempted to maintain contact with the 2nd ARVN Division elements south of the Diem Diem River;  Aero Scouts working in support of TF A and TF B killed 3 VC vic objective 2.  A 1-20 reported killing 3 VC and B 1-20 reported killing 3 VC during the day. Naval gunfire provided timely support to TF B along Axis B. Air Cap was on station all day and sir strikes were available on call.  LZ Uptight received 25-30 rounds of 82mm mortar.  Us casualties were 1 KHA and 20 WHA.

 

      Action on 8 Oct 1968: 1-1 Cav could not make link-up with B 1-20. TF B minus 1-1 Cav continued the attack at fight light to secure objective 3.  Naval gunfire was used extensively to prep objective 3. B 1-20 picked up 2 VCs who were later classified as PWs from the 48th Bn and the P-31 LF Co. b 1-20 continued the attack to objective 5. TF A attacked to search, clear and seize objective 4. Other than booby traps, TF A had negative results all day. C 1-20 searched and cleared in zone and secured objective 8. Recon 1-20 reported finding over 1 ton of rice and salt mix between 1400 and 1445hrs. All rice along with 3 sampans were destroyed.

 

        Action on 9 Oct 1968: Activity was very light throughout the day. C 1-20 continued to search and clear vic objective 8 and picked up 5 VCs. B 1-20 continued moving along axis B located only 1 81-mm mortar round all day. A1-20 continued searching in zone but had negative results.

 

     Action on 10 Oct 1968: 1-1 Cav was detached from B 1-20 to link up with E-1 Cav to form a provisional troop. C 1-20 conducted a CA into LZ vic BS749861 and conducted a sweep to the NW along the beach. Recon 1-20 reported heavy contact at BS730821 with an unknown-sized enemy force at 1211hrs. D 1-20 committed first one platoon from vic objective 9 and another platoon conducted a CA from LZ Uptight to vic BS733824.  After lifting the platoon from LZ uptight, the commander of D 1-20 reported the enemy was pinned between his element and recon 1-20. 1-1 Cav was diverted to assist D 1-20 (-) and Recon 1-20.  At 1700hrs.1-1 Cav picked a SKS dropped by a running VC.  The contact continued into the night at which time a flareship was requested. While flying in support of the elements, the flareship reported receiving ground fire from BS733790. Contact was broken at 2030hrs., and

D 1-20 was all attached elements moved into a night Defensive position at 2200hrs.

 

      Action on 11 Oct 1968: A 1-20 conducted a CA into a LZ vic BS710823.

From that location it swept to the NE with negative results.  B 1-20 continued to search and clear along axis B. B 1-20 found 1 VC KIA be artillery and 1 old shotgun vic objective 5. C 1-20 searching and clearing vic objective 1 found a tunnel complex approximately 250 meters long.  Demolitions were brought in and it was destroyed. D 1-20 searching and clearing the previous days contact area found a SKS rifle and assortment of ammunitions and equipment. C 1-20 reported receiving 5 mortar rounds at 2115hrs. There was no casualties and counter mortar fire was placed on the suspected mortar positions. D 1-20 moved back to continue security of LZ Uptight.

 

      Action on 12 Oct 1968: At 0151hrs. LZ Uptight received 4 rounds  of mortar fire.  There were no casualties. A 1-20 was given the mission to search and clear to the south of LZ Uptight and prepare for possible extraction at 130700 Oct 1968.  B 1-20 continued to search and clear vice objective 3. C 1-20 searches and cleared south from objective 1 toward LZ Uptight.  No significant activity was reported during the daylight hours. The operation was terminated at 1900hrs. all elements was notified to ready for extraction and movement back to LZ Dottie.

 

     The move to LZ Dottie was started at 130700 Oct 1968. D 6-11 Arty was lifted out first by CH 47. At the same time, elements in the field were extracted by UH-1 to LZ Uptight from which they lifted by CH 47 to LZ Dottie or Buff. The move was completed at 1250hrs. And the Bn assumed the responsibility of the S Chu Lai AO at 131300 Oct 1968.

 

12.  Results:

 

a. Personnel:           KIA     WIA    MIA     VCS

   

    Friendly: 16        71        -           -

 

     Enemy:              17        -           -           13

 

 

b.  Equipment Losses:         Type                            Quantity

 

      Friendly                        -                                   0

     

      Enemy                          Hand grenades             5

                                          57 RR rounds               5

                                          57 RR rounds fuses      5

                                          82mm rounds               4

                                          Shot gun rounds            4

                                          Hand made gas mask    1

 

c. Weapons Losses:            Type                            Quantity

 

      Friendly                        -                                   4

 

      Enemy              SKS rifle                      2

                                          Shot gun                       1

                                          Carbine                        1

 

13.  Administration and Logistical Matters:

 

a.       Supply: Helicopters were utilized to resupply units in the field from Bn Trains area in Chu Lai. This was not satisfactory since daily resupply could rarely be completed because of the distance from Chu Lai, The tactical situation and weather conditions. CH 47 helicopters were later utilized to bring bulk supplies to LZ Uptight. Supplies were than distributed to the units by UH 1 helicopters. This proved to be a practical solution.

 

b.      Medical Evaluation: Medical coverage throughout the operation was excellent. Dust off requests were processed rapidly and ships were on station in a matter of minutes. All seriously injured were evacuated to Chu Lai.  Minor injuries were treated at the battalion aid station.

 

14.Special Equipment and Techniques:

 

         Flame-throwers were kept at LZ Uptight for immediate use had they been necessary. A large stockade of demolitions was on hand at the fire-bases to destroy bunkers and fortifications. LAWs were used to blast paths through hedgerows and suspected minted and booby trapped areas.

 

15. Recommendations:

 

            A, An operation into the Batangan Cape should consist of fast, hard hitting raid type operation. The more time spent on the ground by friendly elements, the more susceptible they become to enemy mines and booby traps.

           

c.       Tanks and armored vehicles is an asset to operations in areas of this type, however they are limited in mobility during the rainy season. An operation into the Batangan area-utilizing armor should be run in the dry season.

 

16. Commanders Analysis:

 

            Although the enemy was known to be in the area, as confirmed by prisoners and ground surveillance radar, it was difficult to locate him during the day. Except for a few contacts, he remained evasive. Even though commanders took all feasible precautions, miner and booby traps in the area accounted for approximately 90 per cent of our casualties. Most of the mines encountered were of the M-6 and M 16 type.  They were expertly concealed and ingeniously employed. Air strikes and heavy volumes of artillery were utilized in an effort to clear booby traps along our axis of advance; nevertheless the operation was costly in U. S. Casualties. Any future operation into this area should be proceeded by an Arc Light strike.

 

FOR THE COMMANDER

 

Michael T. Mooney

                                                                                                     1LT, Infantry

                                      

 

 Transcript by Charles S. Seketa   January 19, 2004

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