NND 934888

CONFIDENTIAL

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 198TH INFANTRY BRIGADE (LT)
APO San Francisco 96219

AVDF-BCCM
12 July 1968

SUBJECT: Combat Operation After Action Report (U)

TO: See Distribution
1. (U) Name of Operation: SEARCH-AND-DESTROY OPERATION IN VINH TUY VALLEY.
2. (U) Date of Operation: 281400 June to 010500 July 1968.
3. (U) Location: Xuan Hoa (3) - Chau Nhai (1) district, Quanq Nam, RVN; Map references: Vietnam Scale 1:50,000, Series L7014, Sheets 6739 I, 6739 IV.

4. (C) Control and Command Headquarters: HEADQUARTERS 198th Lt Infantry Brigade (LIB)
5. (U) Reporting Officers: COs of 198th LIB; 1st Bn, 6th Inf.

6. (C) Task Force Organization:
a. Co A, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry (Americal)

7. (C) Supporting Forces:
a. 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile Light) - provided gunships employing suppressive fires to destroy the enemy and relieve enemy pressure on the Vinh Tuy Valley.

8. (C) General:
a. On 27 June 1968, the enemy initiated mortar attack against Alpha Company of 1/6th Infantry which provided search-and-destroy operations near Xuan Hoa (2) village (BT 2603 16920), located approximately 4000 meters south of Road 14.
b. The mortar attack on Alpha Co. began at 270113 June and terminated approximately 270200 June. Company Commander kept the Battalion HQ informed of the attack as it commenced, developed and terminated. This information was retransmitted to the Americal Division TOC as it was received. Company Commander requested Battalion TOC's approval to move elements of the 1st platoon into the area of Nui Trac and Nui Guia Ridges were could enemy mortar batteries located.

9. (C) Intelligence:
a. Weather:
(1) The weather conditions during the period of 28 to 1 July 1968 were: generally no cloudy skies without rain, middle humidity and temperatures averaging 89F maximum and 59F minimum.
(2) Effects on enemy operations: Periods of reduced visibility favored undetected movement by enemy units.
(3) Effects on our operations: Periods of reduced visibility which made it difficult to locate and identify enemy targets negated the employment of Air Force flareships and miniguns as well as Army gunships (armed helicopters) during all the operation.

b. Terrain: The terrain in the area of operations is generally hilly with elevation to 260 meters and contains several open fields and rice paddies. No streams and no lakes though several springs are exist (BT 262 1689, BT 264 1690 and BT 265 1693). Open fields are covered with elephant grass and brushwood. There are also two functional telegraph lines as well as many abandoned or detroyed old french fotifications.

c. Enemy:
(1) Numerous intelligence reports indicated that the enemy had improved his strength and increased his activities south of Xuan Hoa (3) (BT 261 1691 and in the area of Chau Nhai (1) (BT 267 1692). The intelligence liaison officer of the 198th LIB reported several times that the night mortar atack of Alpha Company could be made by mortar batteries of 72nd VC Bn. located somewhere on hills of Nui Trac and Nui Guia ridges.

10. (C) Missions:
a. Provide search-and-destroy missions in Vinh Tuy Valley (between Xuan Hoa (3) and Chau Nhai (1) to detect VC mortar positions.

11. (C) Execution:

28 June 1968
Morning Report
By 1400 hrs elements of 1st platoon under the command of SSG Popov were air lifted to LZ REEDS (BT 2602 16913).
1st Platoon has 17 EMs with 10 present (1 E-6, 1 E-5, 5 E-4s, 2 E-3s, 1 E-2s and 0 E-1s).
Report signed by Max Popov, SSG Infantry, Commander-in-charge.

1400 - 1600 1st platoon moved from LZ Reeds to the hills at BT 2614 16903. At map coordinates BT BT2602 16915 pointman PFC Dollard detected fresh footprints of enemy. During the patrol abandoned french fortifications were found on the hill at BT 2602-5 16913 as well as down the hills at BT 2612 16902-6.

1600 - 1800 platoon moved forward and checked the crossroad between roads from Duyen Phuoc (2) to Chau Nhai (1) and from Xuan Hoa (3) to Xuan Yen Tay (2) (BT 2612 16897) and detected enemy footprints on the trail. At 1758 pointman PFC Dollard on the edge of Xuan Hoa canyon detected abandoned french fortification (BT 2613-8 16895) as well as destroyed french bunker (BT 2619 16896).

By 1850 platoon came down to canyon and mover towards spring at BT 2623 16892 for water resupply. At 1920 PFC Dollard spotted an enemy squad sized unit on the top of the hill near telegraph line pole at BT 2624 16893 and informed CO. The next few minutes 1st plt started to receive small arms fire from several enemy locations on the top of the hill. 1st plt returned automatic fire, used some frags and tried several times to climb on the hill, but due to heavy machinegun fire retreated. By 2015 hrs, firing stopped resulting in 7 US KHA (SGT Turres, P. was killed by friendly fire supposedly by SP4 Ruster, Bob, later KHA too). Dust off was impossible because of the darkness. SSG Popov decided to move bodies on the hill, establish NDP wait for the morning dust off.

It should be noted that this action resulted in 2 VC WIA (Their withdrawl was spotted by 1st plt). Documents taken from the dropped equipment identified the attacking forces as elements of the 72nd Local Battalion of VC.

2200 - 0700 platoon established a night defensive perimeter at BT 2624 16892.