11th Light Infantry Brigade
APO San Francisco 96217
1. Type of Operation: Combat Assault and Offensive Sweep.
2. Dates of Operation: 08 April – 19 April 1968.
3. Location: CP Nghia Hanh (BS 616638)
4. a. Command Headquarters: 11th Light Infantry Brigade.
b. Control Headquarters: 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry.
5. Reporting Officers:
a. Col Oran K. Henderson, CO, 11th Light Infantry Brigade.
b. LTC Edwin D. Beers, CO 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry.
6. Task Organization:
A-1-20 Inf, B-1-20 Inf, C-1-20 Inf,*C-4-3 Inf, Bn Cntl
D-1-20Inf, ***Trp E,1st Cav, D20-3-1 Inf, Hv Mtr Plat, Recon Plat
*Released from TF Barker to 1-20 Inf effective 8 April 1968.
**Released to 4-3 Inf effective 11 April 1968
1-20 Inf effective 11 April 1968
7. Supporting Forces:
Initial intelligence information for this operation was limited, However liaison with the local RF/PF forces and their advisors was quickly established.
Due to the small number of heavy contacts, no determination of the enemy’s actual strength or morale could be made.
D-1-20 at BS523663, which indicated a fairly large force was in the area, found
numerous weapons and radios. These weapons were
not hidden but were hastily placed behind rocks and bushes in a deep, well-camouflaged ravine indicating hasty evacuation of the area.
(See par 12, Results).
C-1-20 found a hospital with 30 houses and numerous medical supplies at
BS525654. The unit interpreter indicated that this was a
possible training site for a unit with code H-10. This information was obtained from documents found in the area.
Infantry conducts combat assaults into LZ Blue (BS504643), Red (BS42676), Black
(BS568605), and Green (BS576677) with four rifle
companies commencing 080800 April 1968; secures LZ’s; move to and secures Objectives 4,5,6,7,8,and 9 on order.
(Enclosure 1 Operations Overlay)
10. Concept of the Operation:
The operation order was issued to the company
commanders at 071750 Apr 68, at LZ Dragon (BS732562). The combat assaults of
rifle companies began at 080800 Apr 68 with the fifth rifle company being added later the same day. Simultaneous with the company CA’s the
Battalion headquarters and B Battery, 6-11 Arty were lifted in by CH-47’s to Nghia Hanh (BS616638). The following day the 4.2-inch Mortar
Platoon was lifted into LZ Black.
The majority of the enemy contact during the
operation took place on 8 April 1968. An OH-23 Warlord gunship was shot down at
coordinates BS567646. Helicopter inserting Bravo Company received AW fire from
HV MG while leaving the LZ from vicinity of BS561635. The air strike
for LZ Green was diverted to that area. Result: one secondary explosion. An immediate second strike diverted from LZ Black and was placed in
the area where the AW Fire downed the OH-23. B Company moved south down the valley searching as the moved. C-4-3 Inf was diverted from
vicinity LZ Black to secure downed aircraft and block the bottom of the valley that B Company was searching. C Company 1-20 was inserted into
On 9 April 1968 D-1-20 found large building 10
feet by 15 feet with 5,700 pounds of rice, chickens, 50 VC ponchos, rolls of
make ponchos, and fish oil, at coordinates BS524623. A short distance away, they found 6 more newly constructed houses with rice, enough
new eating utensils and pots and pans for 100 men, and numerous documents. C-4-3 found a ton of rice, which had two weapons concealed
inside. B-1-20 found six houses, which looked, likes classrooms and some documents and clothing. B-1-20 also found 30 rounds 60mm Mortar
ammunition and 7 rounds 57mm Recoilless Rifle ammunition. B-1-20 received a mortar attack and had five men wounded.
On 10 April 1968 D-1-20(-) conducted a combat
assault to coordinates BS500653 vicinity LZ Blue. D20-1-20 conducted a combat
to coordinates BS523698 and became OPCON to B-1-20. While moving south, D20 Made contact with 6 VC, killing 3 and capturing three
weapons. C20-4-3 conducted a Combat assault to join D-4-3 at Coordinates vicinity BS521720. A-1-20 received six hand grenades inside
RON position and had eight personnel WHA.
On 11 April 1968 D-1-20 found six more houses at
coordinates BS515664, which had been used recently. The roadrunner element
(Trp E, 1stCav) was placed OPCON to the 1-20 Inf, effective 110800 Apr 68. C-4-3 (1) was extracted and placed in D-4-3 area of operation
vicinity coordinates BS562985. Gunslinger D10-3-1 was lifted to LZ Dragon. D-1-20 found 25 houses at coordinates BS517666, which had
been recently lived in and at BS518664, found 40 more houses and military equipment.
D-1-20 on 12 Apr 68 had a squad ambushed with
three men wounded, the aerial scout platoon was placed in a blocking position at
coordinates BS525664. D-1-20 found another base camp with medical supplies at coordinates BS525672 and nearby found 57 weapons.
A-1-20 found a base camp at coordinates BS585592 with hot food and fresh camouflage. The aerial scout platoon was extracted at 1600 hours.
In the early morning hours of 13 April 1968,
a-1-20 received 11 explosive rounds on their night position. D-1-20 found 58
and one 82mm Mortar complete. D-1-20 continuing to move west up hill 922 on a narrow ridgeline received several bursts of sniper fire.
A-1-20 found one ton of rice at coordinates BS593600. C-1-20 maneuvered up from the south toward D-1-20 position. A-1-20 received
4 rounds of mortar fire wounding 3 men in the night lager position.
On 14 April 1968 D-1-20 began moving to the top
of mountain without any resistance. A roadrunner track hit a mine and 4 Wounded
1 KHA at coordinates BS618567. DUSTOFF received some sniper fire. The track was destroyed in place, as the mine had blown it upside
down. C-1-20 made contact with 20 VC dug in with poncho shelters overhead. B-1-20 conducted combat assault into vicinity BS525623.
C-1-20 found a base camp large enough for 2 companies with picnic tables and fresh cooked rice on the tables at coordinates BS524654.
D-1-20 found 27 fresh graves. All bodies had been hit with small arms and fragments recently. A-1-20 maneuver to occupy LZ Black
On 15 April 1968 D-1-20 found 14 PRC 10 radios, one weapon, and 1000 pounds of rice.
A-1-20 on 16 April 1968 located and destroyed two 250 pound bombs. The 4.2 inch mortar platoon moved to battalion CP area.
On 17 April all units were alerted for possible move north to LZ Ross, to participate in Operation Wheeler-Wallowa.
On 18 April 1968 made plans to conduct a combat
assault to vicinity LZ Blue, with A and B Companies 1-20 Inf on 19 April 1968,
however they were cancelled because of the move LZ Ross.
On 19 April 1968 the battalion moved to LZ Ross.
Check Transcript on March 13, 2006 by Charles S. Seketa
a. Personnel KIA WIA MIA VCS
Friendly 5 30 - -
Enemy 43 13
b. Equipment Losses:
Friendly Quantity Type
1 M-113 APC
1 OH*23 A/C
Enemy 16,900 Rds Mixed ammunition
16 Radios PRC-10 HT-1
c. Weapons Losses: Quantity Type
Friendly - -
Enemy 110 Rifles, AR’s SMG
2 Pistols, .45 Cal
9 LMG’s Chicom
2 LMG’s .30 Cal
3 Mortars, (82 & 60)
1 57mm RR
d. Other Losses Quantity Type
Friendly - -
Enemy 17,000# Rice
13. Administrative Matters:
b. Medical Evaluation: The medical coverage
was excellent. Minor injuries were treated at battalion CP and others were
other locations. Dustoff medical evacuations were very prompt.
14. Special Equipment and Techniques:
Recoilless Rifle was lifted in to D-1-20 with canister rounds to be used on the
narrow ridges covered with thick foliage to
prevent their advance from being halted by one or two snipers. It was effective in this situation.
15. Commander’s Analysis:
success of this operation is attributed to the immediate response by TAC Air,
Artillery, and Army Aviation and the diligent detailed
search by subordinate elements of this command.
EDWIN D. BEERS
Charles S. Seketa transcript January 15, 2004
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