HISTORY OF THE 1st BATTALION 20th INFANTRY
The 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, "Sykesí Regulars", was reactivated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on 1 July 1966 and assigned to the 11th Infantry Brigade. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Edwin D. Beers the unit undertook a tremendous task associated with the activation and subsequent training of an Infantry Battalion. A Method of Instruction Course was established to insure the quality of leadership and instruction given to new troops was the finest available. First, Advanced Infantry Training and then Basic Unit training which ended around December 1966. Early 1967 "Sykesí Regulars" moved into their Company Unit Training and Battalion Training began with an air movement to the Island of Hawaii for rigorous exercises at Pohakuloa Training Area. Demonstrating its adaptability and readiness, the battalion landed, prepared to sustain full combat.
Training conducted at Pohakuloa consisted primarily of live-fire exercises and preparation for annual company tests. After successfully completing the Army Training Tests with highest praise from the test umpires, the unit prepared and implemented an Advanced Individual Training program in April for the personnel of the various units of the brigade, in seven military occupational specialties.
When the unit was alerted for deployment to the Republic of Vietnam, it participated in extensive jungle warfare training at the Jungle Guerrilla Warfare Training Center at Schofield Barracks. Also participating in small unit tactics in the rugged Kahuka Mountains of Hawaii, the battalion conducted thorough training exercises in counterinsurgency and unconventional warfare.
In May 1967, "Sykesí Regulars" began amphibious training in preparation for Operation Coral Sands II, a joint forces amphibious operation to be conducted on the island of Molokai during the period of 1-10 August. Because of its outstanding record of training, the battalion was selected to be lead elements of the assault landing force. Because of the ferocity of the battalionís assault and the super physical condition of the troops, the aggressor force was completely confused and disorganized. So swift was the unitís advance that the Chief Umpire had to stop the operation to allow the aggressor forces to regroup and recognize so that the aggressor force could continue.
Immediately upon return to Schofield Barracks, "Sykesí Regulars" began preparation for deployment to the Republic of Vietnam. In August of 1967, the Battalion was reorganized into a Light Infantry configuration. The organization of Delta and Echo Company would go into effect on the 15th of August. Although a stiff challenge to all concerned, the transition from a four company to a six company battalion was able to make with little or no major difficulty. Because of the outstanding leadership and esprit de corps of the unit, it was able to POR quality, prepared for shipment and was ready for deployment sooner than any other unit in the brigade.
More Jungle training followed at the Jungle Warfare Training Center thus increasing the proficiency of the adept 1st Battalion 20th Infantry. The level of training that its rifle companies had attained resulted in having one of its companies selected by the 11th Light Infantry Brigade commander to accompany and provide security for the brigade advance party.
Charlie Company 1st 20th Infantry was selected to provide security for the main body of the advance party. The advance party departed Hawaii by aircraft for the Republic of Vietnam on a phased schedule. The small group was sent on 28 November. On 4 December 1967 when the remainder advance party with personnel and equipment were airlifted to Da Nang (Personnel) and (Equipment) to Chu Lai and subsequently airlifted to Duc Pho. On 6 December 1967, the advance party moved to LZ Carenten to establish a temporary base camp next to LZ Bronco.
The main body of the battalion moved with the remainder of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade to Republic of Vietnam. The 11th Light Infantry Brigade shipped-out with 3rd Battalion 1st Infantry, 4th Battalion 3rd Infantry, 1st Battalion 20th Infantry, 6th Battalion 11th Artillery and 6th Support Battalion aboard the USS Gordon and USS Weigel, debarking at Qui Nhon on 19 and 22 December 1967. The 4th Battalion 21st Infantry remained in Hawaii to finish their training and will join the rest of the Brigade in April, 1968. The 1st Battalion 20th Infantry and rest of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade traveled by convoy to LZ Carentan, 65-Miles north. While at LZ Carentan, the battalion participated in an in-country training program in search and destroy operations, ambush techniques, destruction of fortifications and food caches, helicopter orientation, and combat assault training. " Sykesí Regulars" then moved to its rear area at LZ Bronco and began combat operations in the Duc Pho Operation Champaign and later in Muscatine AOís.
On January 2, 1968 The 1st Battalion 20th Light Infantry, 11th Light Infantry Brigade had moved into and taken over the southern most Area of Operation from the 3rd Brigade 4th Infantry Division and began Combat Operations in Vietnam. During the period 2 January to 20 March 1968, the unit participated in operation Champaign, aimed at destroying the Viet Cong military forces and political infrastructures in the Duc Pho District. Because of their superb training and high motivation, the unit was able to disrupt the Viet Cong organization and inflict serious damage on the insurgents. A particularly significant incident occurred during the early morning hours of 1 March, 1968, when the 11th Brigade was informed that an unidentified trawler had been detected by two U.S. "Swift Boats" operating approximately three miles offshore in the brigade area of operations. The 1-20th Infantry was directed to dispatch ground elements to the vicinity of the observed naval activity to block any attempts to land personnel or cargo on the beach and to seal off the beach area from possible support from Viet Cong ground units. The battalion reacted most aggressively and moved Alpha Company by E Troop 1st Calvary, 11th Brigade Armored Personnel Carriers from a night lager position four kilometers north of the area to be cordoned off. While a platoon from Delta Company was moved by foot from an ambush site two kilometers to the south of the expected landing site. During the operation flare ships, the direct support Artillery Battery and the heavy Mortar Platoon of the 1-20 Infantry provided continuous illumination. Control and coordination of all elements was effected through the "Sykesí Regulars" Operations Center on Landing Zone Thunder. As the land forces converged from the north and south, the sea activity approached the surf line, where, at 0211hrs, the enemy ship was blown up with sufficient force to rain debris from a distance of one-quarter of a mile along the shoreline. A search of the area through the rest of the days disclosed more then 700 new but damaged weapons, numerous grenades, with recoilless rifle and mortar ammunition. 1st Battalion 20th Infantry took part of Operation Champaign. Charlie Company during January 21, 1968 to April 7, 1968 was OPCON to Task Force Barker working in the Muscatine Area of Operation. Alpha Company was OPCON to 4-3 Infantry, in 11th Brigade Operation Show Low, from March 7 to March 14, 1968 both companies played a major role in the Muscatine Area of Operation.
On March 20, 1968, "Sykesí Regulars",minus Charlie Company, were placed under the operational control (OPCON) of the 196th Infantry Brigade to participate in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa, the longest running operation of the Vietnam War, north of Chu Lai fighting soldiers of the North Vietnamese Army in extremely rugged mountain terrain. Delta and Bravo Companies where OPCON to the 1st of 1st Calvary just south of Da Nang for 3-4 days. The 1-20 Infantry established their Area of Operation at LZ OíConnor in support of the 196th Infantry Operation Wheeler/Wallowa in the Que Son Valley western section.
On 8 April 1968, the unit was again returned to the control of the 11th Brigade for Operation Norfolk Victory, an offensive sweep in the mountainous, heavily forested terrain west of Nghia Hanh. Charlie Company from Task Force Barker also rejoined the Battalion for Operation Norfolk Victory as Task Force Barker Mission was completed with the arrival of the 4th Battalion 21 Infantry in the 11th Brigade Area of Operations. The rest of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry immediately planned and conducted an air and motor move from LZ OíConnor to a staging area on LZ Dragon. The operation was begun by conducting combat assaults with five rifle companies supported by two batteries of artillery, with the 1-20th Infantry Heavy Mortar Platoon and tactical air support. Simultaneously with the company assaults, the Battalion headquarters, a Battery of 105 Howitzers and the Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon were lifted by CH-47ís to establish a forward command post at Nghia Hanh. The unit engaged troops of the North Vietnamese Army in rugged, brushy terrain. During the 10 days of the operation, "Sykesí Regulars" captured 110 rifles, 3 pistols, 11 machineguns, two mortars, two M-79ís, 15,938 rounds, 276 mortar rounds, 77 RPG-40 rounds, 264 grenades, two gas masks, 16 radios, 8.6 tons of rice and one sewing machine. Also 20 tunnels, 201 fortifications, and two punji pits were destroyed. Commanderís Analysis: The success of this operation is attributed to the immediate response by TAC Air, Artillery, and Army Aviation and diligent detailed search by subordinate elements of this command. In mountainous areas, whenever possible, insert maneuver forces on the high ground to sweep downhill into blocking forces positioned in the low ground. Consider using an assault team to repel into an area to improve it as an LZ, or when available use troop ladders for the same purpose. Operation Norfolk Victory has a major effect on further Operations in the 11th Infantry Area of Operations as the 11th Brigade began to shift from Body Count to taking away supply bases and Base Camps from main force NVA Units.
On 20 April 1968 the battalion was placed under the OPCON of the 196th and a short time 198th Infantry Brigade to again participate in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa north of Chu Lai. Working out of LZ Ross and in the Que Son Valley in support of the Americal Division and the 198th Infantry Brigade. Major action in May, the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry Delta, Alpha and Bravo Companies supported the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry at LZ Center. In the Battle at Nui Hoac Ridge to its successful finish against the 2nd NVA Division, the Battalion had units involved in constant contact from May 5, 1968 to May 18, 1968. The 1st Battalion 20 Infantry had established their Area of Operation with LZ Ross being the Battalion Headquarters and during the Battle for Nui Hoac Ridge where Delta, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Companies where OPCON to the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry. The 1st Battalion 20th Infantry operated with one Company from 3rd Battalion 1st Infantry, 4th Battalion 3rd Infantry and 4th Battalion 21st Infantry until the Battalion Companies returned from OPCON to the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry.
On 14 June 1968, the unit returned to control of the 11th Infantry Brigade for Operation Champaign again fighting mostly Viet Cong insurgents, "SkyesíRegulars" killed 151, wounded 20, captured 11 and apprehended 191 VC suspects. The unit captured 19 rifles, 3 pistols, one machinegun and one mortar, 2,890 small arms rounds, 158 50.cal rounds, 25 M-79 rounds, 32 mortar rounds, 21 artillery rounds, 43 mines and booby traps, 40 grenades, 10 radios, one sewing machine, 11.5 tons of rice and 22.6 tons of salt. Also fortifications, 72 tunnels, and 14 punji pits were destroyed. On July 12, 1968 Colonel William D. Guinn Jr. assumed command of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry.
On 15 September 1968, the 1-20th Infantry moved into the Ha Thanh area for Operation Champaign Grove against fresh NVA troops. In close, hard fighting the unit killed 98, captured one and apprehended eight VC suspects. The unit took 18 rifles, one pistol, three machineguns, and one recoilless rifle, 4,406 small arms rounds, 21 recoilless rounds, 20 mortar rounds, 57 grenades, four gas masks, one RPG-7 rocket launcher, and one B-40 rocket launcher, also, 95 tunnels were destroyed. Commanderís analysis: Operation Champaign Grove was designed initially as a relief operation of the Ha Thanh Special Forces Camp. Due to the threat on Quang Ngai and the impending on Ha Thanh, the concept of the operation was broadened and changed to an operation designed to find 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. Operations of this nature should be initiated immediately whenever sizeable enemy forces are defined and located and intelligence indicates the enemy planned 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.
On 7 October 1968, "Sykesí Regulars" started Operation Logan Field, the unit, supported by elements of Delta Battery, 6-11th Artillery, Company C, 26th Engineers, 1-1st Calvary and a platoon of National Police Field Forces along with units of the 2nd ARVN Division which acted as a blocking force. Began combat operations, working out of the LZ Uptight. The unit engaged Viet Cong Forces in broad, open paddy land and low brushy hills, killing 17 and apprehending 13 Viet Cong suspects. During six days of the operation, "Sykesí Regulars" captured three rifles, one shotgun, five grenades, four 82mm mortar rounds, four shotgun rounds, five 57mm RR rounds, five 57mm RR fuses, one gas mask, clothing and equipment. A POW led the way to a tunnel, which was destroyed. Commanderís 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 small contacts, he remained evasive. Even though commanders took all feasible precautions, mines and booby traps in the area accounted for approximately 90 percent 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 preceded by an Arc Light Strike.
Operation Vernon Lake II became the objective of the 1-20th Infantry on 2 November 1968. The unit supported by elements of Company D, 6-11th Artillery, 174 Assault Helicopter Company, and 132nd Aviation Company began combat operations, working out of LZ Cork. The area was known to be a stronghold of the 3rd NVA Division. Due to absence of the U.S. troops in the past, and small population, knowledge of the area was limited. The unit engaged North Vietnamese Regulars in the mountainous, heavily overgrown terrain, killing 53 and capturing three. During the operation, "Sykesí Regulars" captured 18 rifles, one machinegun, and one RPG Launcher. Also 12 anti-tank mines, 52 grenades, 841 mortar rounds, 60 RPG rounds, 171 B-40 rounds, 13,943 small arms rounds, 5,500 .30 cal rounds, two radios, 400 .51 cal rounds, eight 57mm rounds, 320 5.56rds, over 10 tons of rice, 2.5 tons of salt, and 150 pounds of corn. A division-size NVA hospital was found which yielded miscellaneous equipment and Supplies. MISSION: 11th Inf. Brigade realigned forces in the Duc Pho AO and employed ground forces in the DA VACH Mountains and subsequently in the Song Re and Song Ve Valleys to find, fix and destroy (elements of) the 3d NVA Division. CONCEPT OF OPERATION: The concept of operation for Vernon Lake II was to combat assault two Infantry Battalions into the DA VACH Mountains, establish two fire support bases (FSB CORK and FSB AMY) from which extensive Recon in Force and multiple combat assault operations could be conducted in the surrounding mountains and valleys to interdict the movement of the 3d NVA Division and destroy their base camps. The length of the operation and commitments in other parts of the 11th Brigade Area of Operation, at times, necessitated the increasing or decreasing of the forces available to support the concept. But the original concept of operation was maintained throughout the operation. At 071200 Dec 1968, Task Force COOKSEY was inactivated. The operation continued under the Brigade Commanding Officer, and Task Force Headquarters became Brigade FWD. The 3-1st Infantry request to Americal Division for termination of Operation VERNON LAKE II on Feb 28, 1969. On 12 January 1969 Colonel Hershel E. Chapman assumed command of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry.
The "Sykesí Regulars" then engaged in Operation Iron Mountain under LTC Hershel Chapman (Phase I which began 28 February 1969 and end on 10 August 1969. The battalionís Tactical Area of Responsibility is located in the coastal lowland and southern Quang Ngai Province and is bordered on the west by jutting slopes of the Nui Lons and on the east by the South China Sea. The area is characterized by expansive stretches of rice paddies and inter-spread with tree lines and small hamlets.
The 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry has done an extremely creditable job in accordance with mission assigned it by the Americal Infantry Division and began Phase II of Iron Mountain from 11 August 1969 to 01 May 1970. During May 30, 1969 Major Wayne C. Harrington assumed command of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry. On June 26, 1969 Colonel Robert E. Wilson assumed command of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry. By the end of July 1969 the major units of the 3rd NVA Division operations in the Duc Pho and Mo Duc Area of Operation was cut back greatly and the Pacification Programs began to start taking hold.
During the past periods of the operation, "Sykesí Regulars" have worked extensively with South Vietnamese forces in the area and have demonstrated the viability and effectiveness of integrated allied efforts. The Battalion has conducted numerous combined operations chiefly with the ARVN Regiment with the 147th and 172nd Regional forces companies. Also with the 106th, 215th, 216th, and 217th Popular Forces Platoons; local National Police units and Popular Self Defense Forces in the Du Ho and the Mo Duc Districts, and Provincial Reconnaissance Unit soldiers working with MACV advisors. The compatibility of the allied forces was evidenced on 24 October 1969 when eight men from Bravo Company were awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
The Battalionís civic actions, psychological warfare and information programs have steadily approached fruitaltion during Operation Iron Mountain. One of the most notable of the pacification programs was the upgrading of four "New Life" hamlets at An Di Dinh, My Thuan, Vinh Bac, and Vien Nam, five miles north of Duc Pho. A dramatic example of the Battalionís concern for the welfare of the Vietnamese civilians occurred on 30 October 1969, when a driving two-day rain virtually caused the complete inundation of several small hamlets along Highway One. "Sykesí Regulars" pooled their resources and considerable efforts to evacuate 127 civilians to the high, safe ground of LZ Liz. They were provided with emergency supplies of food and clothing and sanitation facilities were constructed for their connivance. December 1969 Colonel Arthur F. Fischer took command of 1st Battalion 20th Infantry.
During Operation Iron Mountain from 1 January to 1July, 1970, the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry achieved noticeable success by specifically targeting its operations against the enemy it faced. Enemy forces within the battalion against the enemy it faced. Enemy forces within the battalion area of operations were, for the most part, local force guerrilla units that operated in squad-size elements. To counter this type of enemy, the battalion geared its operations to that of the enemy by using squad-size elements on ambushes and patrols. This action accounted for a large per cent of all the battalion operations conducted during the reported period. LTC Gordon P. Lynch assumed command of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry and continued to work on Pacification programs. The success of these tactics is evidenced by the fact that almost all of the enemy contact accrued during the hour of darkness. Iron Mountain Operation Phase III was conducted from 02 May 1970 to February 28, 1971 and was the larger reason in denial of rice and base camps in the Mountain areaís to keep main force NVA forces for launching any large scale operations in the area.
During this period Bravo Company successfully worked with Regional and Popular Forces to secure a five-mile stretch on Highway One, five, miles north of Duc Pho. They isolated 5,000 civilians living along Highway One and 5,000 in the nearby area which consists of 64 square kilometers. The Viet Cong, for food, supplies, manpower and intelligence previously relied upon these people.
The allies gained support of the Vietnamese people on the five-mile stretch with Revolutionary Development teams, who took up residence in the hamlets. Bravo Company installed permanent defensive positions with the Vietnamese forces and set up wire around the perimeter.
Currently, the five-mile stretch is occupied solo by Vietnamese forces. Bravo Company has moved further north near Quang Ngai City to initiate another pacification program in which they will train another element of Vietnamese soldiers to conduct self-sustained operations.
MEDCAPS were instituted on a regular basis with Advisory Teams administering direct medical and educational aid in at least three different locations three times a week. The Battalion Surgeon Dr. (CPT) Mark Feldman initiated a new health program for the Vietnamese civilians. He trained Vietnamese medics to care for the people by giving weekly classes in the Mo Duc clinic, teaching them how to apply the concepts of modern preventive medicine and sanitation.
Charlie Company found one of the largest rice caches ever recorded in Vietnam on the Gaza Strip, ten miles north of Duc Pho. During a nine-day operation they uncovered and extracted 107,000 pounds of rice and boosted the Iron Mountain total to over 300,000 pounds.
Colonel Gordon P. Lynch took Command of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry. "Sykesí Regulars" made a successful shift in tactics to prevent the enemy from anticipating U.S. maneuvers and operations. The unit used surprise tactics such as night and day ambushes; squad-size roving night patrols into suspected enemy sanctuaries and company-size combat assaults coined as "Eagle Flights". During the "Eagle Flights" the men were deployed spontaneously to several sections of the area of operations to search for enemy soldiers, equipment, food and supplies.
The unit was extremely successful with rice denial operations during this period. A cold and hungry VC sapper gave evidence of this. Who came to LZ LIZ to Chieu Hoi? He told an interpreter that his former unitís mountain base camp did not have enough food for the enemy soldiers to subsist on. During this period, the battalion found 57,920 pounds of enemy rice. Delta Company took the spotlight by finding 48,000 pounds of the above total through extensive and meticulous searching,
Beginning the period 11 October 1970, through 7 December 1970, was TASK FORCE HONJID. During the three days of this operation, which was conducted in the Song VE Valley in western Mo Duc District, "Sykesí Regulers" were credited with 7 NVA KIA, 4 NVA WIA and 7 AK-47 rifles while also recovering two automatic weapons, one machinegun, two M-79, 21 CHICOMS, two radios, and the detention of over 200 civilians suspected of being VC sympathizers.
With the exception of TASK FORCE HONJIYO, the enemy encountered within the battalionís area of operations were, for the most part, local force guerrilla units that operated in small sized elements. Again, to counter this type of enemy, the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry employed squad and platoon size elements in its tactics. It is this action which had enabled the battalion to achieve notable success against the enemy it faced.
On 22 November 1970, Operation Surge was put into effect using a fast action technique, a sweeping operation conducted by U. S. ground and intelligence units of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry and South Vietnamese units killed 17 and detained 51 Viet Cong.
The 1st Battalion, 20th Infantryísí Battalion commander, LTC Gordon P. Lynch, and the District Senior Advisor, Major Albert Witt, coordinated a tactical plan with Mo Ducís District Chief Cpt. CUí, devised to obtain enemy information quickly after the operation began. U.S. and South Vietnamese intelligence teams were deployed into the enemy area along with the combined infantry units. Their mission being; Eliminate previously experienced delays in relaying enemy information to the working units.
Alpha Company initiated the action by killing four members of a VC patrol the night before the operation began. At dawn, Bravo Company, Delta Company and Echo Company had reached designated locations and the area was sealed. The Mo Duc Commandos, South Vietnamese intelligence personnel, and the 103rd Regional Forces platoon joined Alpha Company and split into three sweeping elements. In the first two hours, intelligence personnel and two of these people divulged information that led to the capture of 27 hardcore VC screening of 35 detainees. The confirmed total of VC captured reached 51 and included 13 hardcore VC killed in hard fighting. The 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry was credited with 17KIAís and 51 CIAís, with four AK-47 rifles, one automatic weapon, one M-1 carbine, one pistol, and over 30 Chicoms. Numerous tunnels and bunkers were also destroyed.
During this period, "Sykesí Regulars" and the Regional and Popular Forces, along with the National Police Field Forces of the Mo Duc District have combined to make many operations a success. The invaluable assistance from such units as Popular Forces (PF) 147, PF 158, Regional Forces (PF) 103, RF 143, RF150. The National Police Field Forces (NPFF), along with the Mo Duc Commandos and units from MACV, has proven instrumental in bringing the VC and its infrastructure to its knees in the Mo Duc District.
While conducting operations during this period, the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry had again been extremely successful with its rice denial program. By the 1971 "Sykesí Regulars" had captured and removed from the hands of the enemy 129,000 pounds of rice. Along with the rice, numerous caches of corn were found, one such consisting of 3,800 pounds. Also large amounts of potatoes have been found and about 1,250 pounds of salt.
LTC Thomas W. Brogan assumed command of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry on December 23, 1970. The Battalion then took part in Operation Finney Hill 0601hrs May 1, 1971 to 1200hrs on July 1, 1971 which was to replace Iron Mountain and to continue the use of denial or rice and base camps to the Main Force NVA Units.
MISSION: To conduct unilateral and combined operations with ARVN forces to locate and destroy the VC Quang Ngai Provincial Headquarters and the 21st NVA Regiment. Additionally, to assist in the GVN Pacification and Revolutionary Development Program by conducting combat operations in conjunction with RF/PF forces to destroy VC/NVA forces and to assist in the Rice Denial Program.
MANUEVER: The concept of ground operations for Operation Finney Hill remained essentially the same as in the past. Each battalion normally maintained one Rifle Company on its fire support base and three-rifle companies operating in the battalionís AO. The rifle companies were to find and destroy the enemy in his base areas and to deny him access to populated areas. This was accomplished by employing the techniques of saturation patrols and ambushes. Flexibility in operations was maintained throughout Operation Finney Hill by the extensive use of combat assaults and night movements.
Rice Denial operations were conducted in conjunction with RF/PF forces to further enhance the GVN pacification program
Fires: During Operation Finney Hill, each maneuver battalion was supported by a105mm Artillery Battery in direct support and, in addition, the fires of 155mm, 8 inch, and 175mm guns were available on request. When the tactical situation dictated, artillery was repositioned by road or air movement to better support the ground operations. Both tactical air support and helicopter gun-ships were available to all ground units upon request.
The 1st Battalion 20th Infantry had a change of Command with Major Larry G. Banks assuming command on April 20, 1971 then Major John S. Pepper on May 5, 1971. Then Major Leroy Edwards on July 5, 1971 until LTC James R.Whitley assumed the Command of the 1st Battalion 20th Infantry.
The Controlling Headquarters March 1 to April 1971 was the 198th Infantry Brigade and the 11th Infantry Brigade was the Controlling Headquarters from 12 April to 1 July 1971.
The 11th Brigadels Last Operation in Vietnam had No Name from 11 July 1200hrs to October 4, 1971 2400hrs. 1st Battalion 20th Infantry to became OPCON to the 198th Infantry Brigade on 12 September 1971 to finish their combat time in Vietnam on October 4, 1971 at Chu Lai.
MISSION: To conduct unilateral and combined operations with ARVN forces to locate and destroy the VC Quang Ngai Provincial Headquarters and the 21st NVA Regiment. Additionally, to assist in the GVN pacification and revolutionary development program by conducting combat operations in conjunction with RF/PF forces to destroy VC/NVA elements and to assist in the Rice Denial Program.
1st Battalion 20th Infantry opened LZ Vanguard in defense of the Special Forces Camp at Minh Long and later LZ Custer. The 1st Battalion 20th Infantry closed their military operations OPCON to the 198th Infantry working in the Que Son Valley Western Section at LZ Siberia and LZ West and then Air Moved to Chu Lai to close out their Military Operations on Oct 4, 1971.
TANT QUE JE PUIS:
" TO THE LIMIT OF OUR ABILITY"
LAST UPDATED BY CHARLES S. SEKETA December 22, 2005
Articles and histories used were by Roger D. Harms, Richard K. Lipsett, William P. Honjiyo, Conn J.Orville and Blair Larson.
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