3D SQUADRON, 4TH CAVALRY
APO San Francisco 96225
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (RCS J3-J2)
25th Infantry Division
APO US Forces 96225
21 January – 10 March 1968
Trang Bang (XT4919) to Tan Son Nhut (XS8169)
a. 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division
b. 2d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
c. 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
d. 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
Reporting Officer: LTC
Glenn K. Otis
Troop A, 3-4 Cav
Troop B, 3-4 Cav
Troop C, 3-4 Cav
Troop D, 3-4 Cav
HHT, 3-4 Cav
Company A, 1st Bn, 27th Inf.
Company B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf.
Company D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf.
Troop L, 3d Sqdn, 11th ACR
a. Air Support: Tactical air was provided when required. Troop D (Air) provided light fire teams for close-in support; while UH-1D’s and OH-23’s provided command and control, resupply, and lift helicopters as required.
b. Artillery Support:
(1) Battery B, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery
(2) Battery C, 6th Battalion, 77th Artillery
Mission: 3d Squadron,
4th Cavalry performed reconnaissance in force vic Trung Lap
(XT5820). Reacted to attack on Tan Son
Nhut Air Force Base vic (XS8196), conducted search and destroy, reconnaissance
in force missions vic Tan Son Nhut and Hoc Mon (XT7403).
Concept of Operation:
The Squadron moved vic Trung Lap to conduct reconnaissance in force to
locate, destroy, and prevent VC/NVA infiltration in/through that area
subsequently terminating this operation 29 January. The Squadron secured major areas along MSR, characterized by
ambush patrols, listening posts, and radar.
31 January the Squadron (-) reacted to Tan Son Nhut Air Base initially
with one ground troop (-), which was ambushed.
Subsequently reinforcing with one air troop and one ground troop
(+). The Squadron (-) became OPCON to
the 2d Bde, 1st Infantry Division to conduct search and destroy
missions vic Tan Son Nhut to locate and destroy all VC/NVA forces in area,
Operations terminated 7 February. The
Squadron (-) became OPCON 3d Bde, 25th Infantry Division to conduct
reconnaissance in force to locate and destroy VC/NVA forces rocket sites, and
VC/NVA Base Camps.
The Squadron conducted road march to vic Trung Lap. CP was maintained near same area. The Squadron conducted reconnaissance in force utilizing three ground troops with the air troop screening to their flanks. On 24 January Troop A tripped a booby trap 105mm round resulting in 3 US WHA and one VC PW with web gear. On 25 January a tank from Troop C hit a mine resulting in 2 US WHA. The Troop later was ambushed receiving 3 RPG-2, 300 small arms rounds. Return fire with organic weapons resulting in 2 US WHA. On 26 January Troop C picked up 1 VC PW and 1 detainee with carbine, 1 RPG-2 round, notebook and paper, 1 M60 machinegun and 1 aircraft radio. Troop A engaged 1 VC, XT572284, with three hand grenades and 5-10 rounds small arms, resulting in 1 VC KIA (BC) and capturing 1 AK47 with magazine, 2 batteries and 1 reel of wire, 6ea 2 ½ Lb bags of rice, 4 can of condensed milk, 2 pair brown and 1 pair of black trousers. On 28 January 3 VC jumped out of spider holes XT567262 and threw grenades at C Troop. The Troop took under fire resulting in 4 US WHA, 7 VC KIA (BC), 5 VC PW, and 3 detainees. On 29 January Troop D received fire from 4 VC, XT595304, returned fire resulting in 4 VC KIA (BC), then inserted Aerorifles, which made heavy contact with unknown number VC. The 2d Bn, 27th Inf. reacted to them. Results of action 5 US KHA, 6 WHA, 46 VC KIA (BC), 4 VC KIA (POSS), 8 VC PW and 6 detainees. There was 15 pounds of food, condensed milk, numerous documents and clothing captured.
30 January – 10 March
The Squadron secured major areas along MSR. On 31 January Troop C (-) reacted to Tan Son Nhut Air Base. The Troop was ambushed outside gate 051. The Squadron reacted with Troop D and Troop B (+). The results of action was 3 APC completely lost, 1 Tank completely lost, 7 APC damaged, 14 US KHA, 64 US WHA, 309 VC KIA (BC), 24 VC PW, 1 Chicom radio, numerous weapons and equipment. On 1 February Troop B and C began search and destroy mission vic Tan Son Nhut to destroy the remainder of VC/NVA forces in area. The Squadron was OPCON 2d Bde 1st Infantry Division until the termination of operations 7 February which results were 3 VC KIA (BC) and 1 VC KIA (POSS). The Squadron (-) then went OPCON to the 3d Bde 25th Infantry Division. The Squadron (-) and Co A, 1/27 Inf began search and destroy operations vic Hoc Mon (XT7604). Troop B and Co A 1/27 Inf, were on line moving through area with Troop C as reaction force when Co A 1/27 Inf made heavy contact. Troop C moved up to support Co A 1/27 Inf. The contact continued until 10 February with no night contact except aerial reconnaissance and ambush patrols in the area. Results of the action was 1 tank destroyed, 2 tanks damaged, 3 APC damaged, 10 US KHA, 53 US WHA, 102 VC KIA (BC). On 12 February Troop A went OPCON to the 2d Bde 25th Infantry Division. They were on search and destroy mission vic Ap Cho (XT7008) making contact with unknown size VC force. They were in contact for 4 days resulting in A Troop being credited with 57 VC KIA (BC) and 6 US KHA, 28 US WHA. On 14 February Troop C and HHT returned to Cu Chi leaving Troop B OPCON 3d Bde. On 16 February Troop A and B closed Cu Chi. The next day Squadron went OPCON 3d Bde 25th Infantry Division. The Squadron moved to vic XS7295. On 19 February Troop C while returning to CP location was ambushed (XS758979), returned fire resulting in 1 Damaged tank, 2 US KHA, 2 US WHA, and VC loses were unknown. On 20 February Troop D went OPCON 3/17 Cav. On 21 February Troop B destroyed 18 bunkers, 4 foxholes, and captured 134 rounds of RPG-7, 1 RPG-2 round, 10 electric blasting caps, 4 22Lb shape charges at XS702982. Troop C made contact with unknown number VC/NVA XS719922. Troop D and A reacted to the contact resulting in 3 US KHA, 20 US WHA, 1 UH-1C destroyed, 1 APC destroyed, 1 APC damaged, 135 VC KIA (BC), 3 VC KIA (POSS). That evening the Squadron CP was mortared resulting in 12 US WHA and light damage to equipment, 2 VC KIA (BC), 1 VC PW. On 22 February Troop C picked up 1 VC PW WIA with AK47 while sweeping threw the area XS719922. They also located 1 ea. 7.62 type machinegun on wheels and 2 ea. 9mm pistols vic same area. Troop C observed one platoon size element moving east to west. Engaged with artillery and spooky with unknown results. On 22 February Troop B detonated a dud round resulting in 1 US WHA. While on search and destroy Troop A and Troop L 3/11th ACR located 2 VC KIA (BC), 1 RPG-2 and 7 rounds, 4 AK47’s, misc. web gear, and 1 PRC-25. The Squadron received heavy volume small arms sniper, automatic wpns and RPG fire, returned fire resulting in 1 US KHA, 3 US WHA, 1 VC KIA (BC). Troop C observed 15-20 VC moving behind berm, engaged with organic weapons resulting in 2 VC KIA (BC), 3 VC KIA (POSS), captured 1 AK47. On 23 February Troop A located and destroyed 50 bunkers XS711931, 2 damaged RPG-7 rounds and one box of 7.62 ammo. Troop A later located a bunker which contained 1 AK47, 1 M-16, 2 ea. 9mm pistols with magazines, 2 Chicom grenades, 2 Lb of documents, 1 medical kit, 1 NVA gas mask, and one field pack. On 24 February Troop C on search and destroy, vic XS742997 captured numerous medical supplies, documents, 1 NVA gas mask, 1 AK47 and destroyed one tunnel, one 500Lb bomb, one 105mm round, 2 bunker complexes, 2 round 82mm mortar. Troop B received unknown number small arms, automatic weapons and RPG rounds from three sides, followed by ground attack, returned fire with organic weapons, air and artillery resulting in 1 US KHA, 4 US WHA, and 2 VC KIA (BC). On 27 February Troop A and B on search and destroy captured one detainee, and ½ Lbs of documents, while destroying 30 bunkers. On 28 February Troop A and C received small arms, automatic weapons, and RPG fire XT742015, returning fire with organic weapons, artillery, LFT and Tactical air, resulting in 1 US KHA, 13 US WHA, 1 APC damaged, 1 tank heavy damaged, 7 VC KIA (BC). On 4 March Troop C and Co D 2/12 Inf on search and destroy vic XT760052 captured one AK47, one set machinegun tools, 3 Lbs of documents, one RPG-7 sight, destroying 18 Chicom grenades, 138 bunkers, 9 rounds of RPG-2 and 7, 6 RPG boosters, 600 meters commo wire, 1 M-17 protective mask, 300 Lbs Chicom C-4, 200 rounds of AK47. On 6 March, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry received SA, AW, and RPG fire from unknown size VC force, returned fire with all organic weapons, LFT, arty and Tactical Air, resulting in 1 US KHA, 19 US WHA, 1 APC combat loss, 1 APC damaged, 2 tanks damaged, 2 VC KIA (BC), and 15 bunkers destroyed. 3d Squadron 4th Cavalry and D 2-12 Inf while on search and destroy mission vic XT7500 located 2 VC KIA (BC) in graves also destroying 215 bunkers, 4 anti-aircraft positions, 1 Chicom grenade, 1 carbine stock and 5 helmets. On 8 March Troop B and B Co 2-12 Inf captured 8 detainees and destroyed 12 bunkers and 12 spider holes while on search and destroy vic XT7302. CP located at XT712030 received 5 rounds 60mm mortar, returned fire with AW and arty, resulting in 3 US WHA. On 9 March Troop A and D-2-12 Inf captured 1 AK47, documents and a motor bike, they also destroyed 12 rocket positions vic XS736989. On 10 March Troop A and B on search and destroy vic XS7099 captured 4 detainees and destroyed 8 individual firing positions, also destroyed were 3 bunkers and 20 sleeping positions. Operations SARATOGA terminated on 10 March 1969. The Squadron remained in area OPCON to the 3d Bde 25th Infantry Division.
(1) 780 personnel participated in operation.
(2) Casualties: 57 KHA, 253 WHA.
Total Damaged Total Repaired Total Combat Loss
Tanks 10 6 4
M113A1 22 14 8
UH-1C 3 2 1
OH-23 1 1 0
(1) Enemy Losses: 741 VC KIA (BC), 21 VC KIA (POSS).
(2) Captured: 27 AK47, 4 Pistols, 7 Machine guns,
4 RPG launchers, 19 Lbs documents, 2
M-16’s, 2 radios, and 1 motor bike.
(3) Destroyed: 620 bunkers, 13 rocket firing positions,
272 RPG rounds, 6 tunnels, 12 anti-aircraft
positions, 380 Lbs CKC-C4, 8 gas masks,
22 grenades, 7 RPG weapons.
(4) ENI: Received SA 37 times, AW 23 times, 3 grenade
attacks, 2 mortar attacks, detonated 5 AT mines 1 AP
mine, 32 VC POW’s and 36 detainees.
(5) FRI: Engaged enemy 21 times without being fired on first.
Special Equipment and Techniques:
FOR THE COMMANDER:
JAMES D. MORELAND