NND 934889


APO San Francisco 96219

20 August 1968

SUBJECT: Combat Operation After Action Report (U)

TO: See Distribution
2. (U) Date of Operation: 181000 August to 191400 August 1968.
3. (U) Location: Pot Ash (1) - Mi Chau district, Quanq Nam, RVN; Map references: Vietnam Scale 1:50,000, Series L7014, Sheets M 35-36 A, 6740 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 16 August 1968, the enemy initiated mortar attack against 1/6th Bn truck convoy followed by road 7.
b. The mortar attack on convoy began at 160450 August and terminated approximately 160515 August. Convoy Commander kept the 1/6th 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. Convoy Commander requested Battalion TOC's approval to move elements of the 1st platoon into the area of Wolf's Mud and Hills 146, 153 were could enemy mortar batteries located.

9. (C) Intelligence:
a. Weather:
(1) The weather conditions during the period of 18 to 19 August 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 flat with elevation to 40 meters and contains several open fields and rice paddies. Two main rivers are located in the area - Song Tra Thai and Suoi Xa Lao. Open fields are covered with elephant grass and brushwood. There are also many roads and crossroads.

c. Enemy:
(1) Numerous intelligence reports indicated that the enemy had improved his strength and increased his activities west of Lo Cam Xa (BT 902 278) and near Hill # 153 (BT 925 270). The intelligence liaison officer of the 198th LIB reported several times that the morning mortar atack of convoy could be made by mortar batteries of 72nd VC Bn. located somewhere on hills # 153 or # 146.

10. (C) Missions:
a. Provide search-and-destroy missions in Valley of Song Tra Thai River to detect VC mortar positions.

11. (C) Execution:

18 August 1968
Morning Report
By 1000 hrs elements of 1st platoon under the command of SSG Popov were delivered by trucks to BT 918 224.
1st Platoon has 17 EMs with 10 present (1 E-6, 2 E-5, 5 E-4s, 1 E-3s and 1 E-1).
Report signed by Max Popov, SSG Infantry, Commander-in-charge.

1000 - 1100 1st platoon moved from BT 918 224 to the river crossing at BT 917 238. At 1059 exactly on river crossing pointman SP4 Van York spotted an enemy squad moving along the river. The next few minutes 1st plt opened automatic fire on targets. By 1005 hrs, firing stopped resulting no US KHA as well as no enemy casualties.

1200 - 1400 platoon moved forward and checked Nui Ran (Valley of Snakes), Nui Rua (Valley of Turtles) as well as area of abandoned FSB Molly (BT 910 242). By 1400 1st plt reached Hill # 146 (BT 913 243/249). Pointman SP4 Van York on the edge of road which cutted the Hill # 146 detected abandoned enemy bunker (BT 913 243). No other signs of enemy activity.

1600-1745 1st plt moved toward to Hill #153 through crossroad at BT 920 266.

By 1800 1st plt reached unknonw Hill south east of Hill #153. SSG Popov found enemy resupply point at BT 930 271. 1st plt destroyed the point.

By 1830 1st plt reached Hill #153. No signs of enemy activity.

1900 - 0700 platoon established a night defensive perimeter on Hill # 153 at BT 927 270 as well as LP (PFC Davion and PVT O'Brien).

At 2300 NDP received numerous enemy attacks with heavy automatic rifles that lasted for thirty five minutes. Enemy movements were spotted on the northwest side. By 2335 hrs, firing stopped resulting in 2 US KHA (SGT Luberman, N. and SSG Pope, M.) and 1 VC KHA. Dust off was impossible because of the darkness and thickness of jungle. SGT Torres decided to defend the Hill till the morning and find the LZ on the next day.