Quarterhorse in Vietnam

1st Infantry Division - Lessons Learned (1 May to 31 Jul 1966)Part Three

(2) The PHU LOI Pacification Tast Force continued Operation LAMSON II with clearing and saturation patrolling operations in key areas of BINH DUONG Province. On 16 July, the 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry relieved the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry as the major US element of the combined task force. In addition to supporting national construction plans, the operation also provided essential tactical security to the PHU LOI base complex.

Offensive operations by the US and 5th ARVN Division forces consisted of platoon size search and destroy operations, squad size ambush patrols, and hamlet seal operations. During July, 127 platoon

search and clear operations were conduted, ten percent of which made contact with the VC. Six percent of the 257 ambush patrols made contact. Effectiveness icreased as personnel became more familiar with terrain and the local enemy and techniques were refined.

Task force hamlet seal operations continued with emphasis on revolutionary development. Excellent cooperation was given by all parties during combined ARVN - US planning. The hamlet seal operation conducted in PHU CHANH (XT 858234), 13 July, exemplified the continuing general success of operational techniques. A VC cell member, four guerrillas, 20 draft dodgers, and four deserters were captured. An arms cache was uncovered that contained 11 Nauser rifles, two US Shotguns, one Thompson submachinegun, and several thousand rounds of assorted small arms ammunition. The people were cooperative and volunteered the names of 14 VC guerrillas. Total results of all operations for the month included four confirmed VC KIA; 17 confirmed VC captured; 21 false ID cards; 25 deserters; 147 draft evaders; and 46 uncategorized suspects.

(3) The 1st Brigade initiated Operation CEDAR RAPIDS 1 at 0740 hours 17 July. Two battalions conducted search and destroy operatons in AOs adjacent to Interprovincial Route 16 in conjunction with resupply convoys between DI AN and PHUOC VINH. All convoys were conducted without incident and contact with A)s was limited to skirmishes with small groups of VC and mines and booby traps. On 23 July the plan to reduce the VC safe haven in the ONG DONG Jungle was resumed. The 1st Brigade attacked to isolate, seize and destroy VC forces, base camps, and fortified positions in the western sector of the ONG DONG Jungle. Three battalions (1/2 Inf, 1/16 Inf, 1/26 Inf) attacked south while the fourth (2/2 Inf detached from LAN SON II) blocked on the west. Contact with VC forces was limited to no larger than platoon size elements. However, several base camps, bunkers, and tunnels were discovered and destroyed along with the caches of ammunition and supplies stored in them. One large bunker eontained 12 - .45 caliber submachinegunes and about 2000 rounds of ammunition of various calibers. Fourteen sorties of Navy arcraft employed 1000 and 2000 pound bombs against trenches, foxholes, bunkers, and tunnels. Operation Cedar Rapids II terminated at 1300 hours 21 July.

(4) Operation SPRINGFIELD II was initiated by 3d Brigade to exploit intelligence of VC activity within the TAOR. A rallier gave information on 20 January 1966 which indicated a base camp and headquarters facility for the PHU LOI Battalion and 3d Battalion, 165A Regiment was located in the northeastern section of the 3d Brigade TAOR. Read out by imagery interpreters also indicated the possible existence of these facilities and a trail network. Two long range reconnsissance patrols operating in the area on 23 � 24 July confirmed the presence of two battalion size VC units and two large base camps. Both patrols were discovered and had to be extracted. On 27 July, the 3d Brigade initiated Operation SPRINGFIELD II by clearing National Route 13 from LAI KHE to AP BAU BANG with two battalions and establishing an artillery base at Bau Bang. Following two B-52 strikes on 28 July, one battalion moved into blocking positions while two battalions conducted airmobile assaults into the objective area. Numerous base camps, fortifications, and supply caches were discovered, but enemy contact was minor. During the nights of 29 and 30 July, the VC probed the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry perimeter around the artillery basse at Bau Bang. H&I fires by air and artillery were placed in the area and the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry was moved into a blocking position. Although an attack by one or more VC regiments appeared imminent, the VC backed off either because of the fire or the rapid deployment of the infantry battalion. Operation SPRINGFIELD II continued into August.

(5) There were 79, 492 rounds (2868.8 tons) of artillery fired and 1, 731 fighter bomber sorties flown in support of the division during July.

5. Training: The status of training in the division is excellent. Since the key to success in the type of combat experienced in the counterinsurgency environment is the proper use of squad and platoon size elements, intensified combat training programs were conducted by squads and platoons total ing to base camps from operational areas. Emphasis was placed on squad and platoon battle drills, designed to correct mistakes observed during operations and integrate replacements into effective fighting teams. The training program includes defensive fires, artillery adjustment, patrolling and small unit fire and movement. The effectiveness of units improved with the initiation of live fire and quick fire reaction courses. Combat training was conducted with emphasis on te OVERMATCH principle of fire and movement (Incl 6).

Because of the large number of replacements received in the months of June and July, emphasis has been placed in indoctrination and training of these personnel prior to participation in combat operations. Training in primary MOS duties is being accomplished on the job. To insure that each individual replacement receives a minimum of 40 hours of instruction prior to participation in combat operations, 1st Infantry Division Training Circular Number 20-6 was published 19 July 1966 (Incl 8). This training is required for all replacements since all units must be capable of participating in tactical operation or base camp defense. Training in airmobile assault techniques continues to insure amecable execution. Many of the problems involving airlift have been resolved through habitual association between maneuver elements and airmobile companies.

The 1st Infantry Division Mobile Training Team to the Philippines Civic Action Group (PHLCAG) completed the first details of their training program in preparation for departure to Fort Magdeysey in early August. The team, consisting of two officers and three NCO�s, will conduct the tactical training and complements the engineer and medical teams that will accompany the 1st Infantry Division team to the Philippine Islands. While operating in �country under the control of the Joint US Military Advisory Group, the team will provide: an accelerated orientation in general subjects for PHILCAG non-combatants; and an intensive training program for the PHILCAG security battalions. The latter group will receive instruction on defensive and counter-guerrilla tactics supplication of the older family of weapons to the counterinsurgency in South Vietnam, M-16 Rifle, and communist weapons and material identification and employment. The training program in-country is expected to require a minimum of 30 days for completion.

Training continues throughout the division to cope with the problem of VC tunnel exploitation, destruction, and denial. The Division Chemical Officer, with attached chemical units, is presently constructing a tunnel system to be used in conjunction with the tunnel operation training program.

The 35th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog) has been conducting a training program since its attachment to the division on 15 June 1966. The platoon deployed from CONUS prior to completion of their training cycle and have been completing this training in-country. In addition to the program for untrained dogs, refresher training is being conducted for the older dogs and handlers. Plans are being made to seek for future training at the ARVN Scout Dog Training Center since the installation there is more adequate.

6. Psychological Operation and Civic Actions. The intensified use of PayOp during the reporting period has proven to be of great value in supporting combat operations. The Division Civic Action Program continues to grow and is constantly supporting the 1966 MICAP in close coordination with district and province officials.

a. Psychological Operations.

(1). The 1st Infantry Division installed and commenced operating a 1250W Multilith press on 21 June 1966. The availability of this press has proven to be an asset to the Division PayOp Program. Situations have developed where immediate reaction, in the form of a leaflet, has given the friendly forces a distinct advantage and had a definite bearing on the effectiveness of the VC soldier. Though the support rendered by supporting PayOp company and JUSPAO has been satisfactory, the responsiveness of a division operated press has provided the tool with which the G5 can produce highly effective and timely PayOp media. The delivery time for a fast reaction leaflet has been as little as six hours. This included the development of the text, making of the plate, printing, cutting, boxing and delivery on target. During the reporting period 21 June to 31 July 1966, the division press has produced approximately 3,500,000 leaflets. Attached as enclosure 9 are samples of some of the leaflets published by the division. The utilization of the press has not restricted the necessity for support from the 246th PayOp Company and JUSPAO. In addition to leaflets printed by the division, over 30,000,000 were obtained from another source and deliveed by various means, e.g., C-47, HU-1D, U-10, and OH-13 aircraft. Some leaflets were distributed by US militia and ARVN personnel while participating in operations.

(2). Tapes and Loudspeakers. The availability of 1000 watt loud speaker sets, in each brigade, has provided the means of exploiting Chieu Hoi, captured VC, and ralliers. The immediate use of intelligence information gained from these individuals has proven most effective. Approximately 500 flying hours were spent in support of loudspeaker missions. This includes time provided by the 5th Air Commando Squadron�s C-47 and U-10 aircraft. Loudspeaker support is provided for during all operations within the division. In addition to aircraft, vehicular and backpack sets are utilized. The attachment of ARVN CA/PayOp Teams to the division has provided additional support particularly in the Lan Son Operational Area.

b. Civic Action.

(1). The fund provided under MACV Directive 37-13 has provided the division with a readily available source of funds to assist in the Division Civic Action Program. The fund was placed into operation on 2 July 1966. The procedures in administrating the fund are relatively simple and is not a burden on the controlling officer. The 200,000 piasters per month (July only) was sufficient to meet the requirements of the division. Projects that have benefited from the fund are:

(a). Renovation of THU DUC grade school: 44,100 piasters. Assistance was provided by the division engineer battalion and local Vietnamese participated in the construction.

(b). Purchase of athletic suits, educational supplies and personal hygiene equipment, 75.000 piasters. Expenditures were utilized in the LAN SON II area.

(c). Newspaper subscriptions for DI AN High School, one year subscription 2, 200 piasters.

(2). Horizontal Construction.

Location Percentage completed DI AN (less air strip) 94% PHUOC VINH 34% LAI KHE 52% PHU LOI 64% BEAR CAT 37% (3). DI AN 62% PHOUC VINH 24% LAI KHE 42% PHU LOI 62% BEAR CAT 69%

(4). Construction of the airfield at DI AN is 24% complete.

9. Personnel and Administration:

a. Personnel:

(1). Strength:

(a). There was a marked improvement in the division strength during this period. Assigned strength as of 31 July was 114% of the authorized strength. This is an increase of 4% over the previous report period. The present for duty strength compared to authorized strength is 107%. This is an increase of 6% over the previous period. Casualties, both battle and non-battle , took their toll. As of 1 May, the division sustained219 KIA, 1077 WIA, 12 non-battle dead, and 107 non-battle injured, for a total of 1409 casualties. The total casualties the division has sustained numbered 4543 as of 31 July 1966. Losses due to rotation, ETS, administrative discharge and reassignment within Vietnam were 2979 during the period. Division gains during the quarter totaled 3993. The command remains critically short of personnel in two enlisted MOS�s; 94B20 (cook), and 96C20 (interrogator). A number replacements from CONUS arrived with Class 3 profile. As a result, these personnel cannot be utilized in their infantry MOS field. A replacement short fall has developed in the E5, E6, infantry MOS field as a result.

(b). Division strength as of 31 July 1966 is:

OFF WO EM ACG AUTH: 943 166 14249 15375 ASGD: 1190 133 16270 17593 PDY: 1138 123 15150 16411 (c). Casualties (by month) 1. May OFF WO EM ACG KIA: 2 0 39 41 WIA: 13 0 339 352 Missing: 1 0 1 2 Non-battle dead: 0 1 3 4 Non-battle Injrd: 1 1 40 42 2. June: OFF WO EM ACG KIA: 3 0 101 104 WIA: 31 3 435 465 Missing: 0 0 0 0 Non-battle dead: 0 0 2 2 Non-battle Injrd: 0 0 23 23 3. July OFF WO EM ACG KIA: 0 0 66 66 WIA: 16 5 290 311 Missing: 0 0 0 0 Non-battle dead: 0 0 4 4 Non-battle Injrd: 2 0 40 42 4. Statistical analysis of battle casualties attached as Incl 10.

(2). Civilian Personnel:

(a). An additional 163 positions were approved by the Industrial Relations Office, Saigon, for hire. The command now has 986 positions established and filled 714 of the authorized 1000 spaces allocated. This is an increase of 282 positions filled since the previous quarter. Skilled labor continues to be short and 200 spaces were reclassified from skilled to unskilled. An additional 1200 spaces will be requested in the next quarter to meet the needs of the 2d and 3d Brigades.

(b). On 1 April 1966 the 1st Infantry Division Temporary Hire Program was authorized 11,907,000 $VN for the period 1 April 1966 to 30 June 1966. The division hired a daily average of 1838 local nationals during the period 1 July � 30 September 1966. The daily average of local nationals increased to 2600 during the month of July. It is anticipated that the division will operate at the current level for the next quarter.

b. Discipline, Law and Order:

(1). The discipline in the division has been excellent the past quarter. No stragglers were apprehended. No personnel assigned to the division were apprehended as stragglers. There were 91 reported AWOLS and 16 serious incidents reported during the three month period.

(2). During the report period the Court Martial rate increased from an average of 42per month to 52 per month. Discipline rates within the division continue to be excellent.

(3). The Division IG handles 156 complaints and requests for assistance during the period. This is a marked increase over the previous period. However, the majority of the cases were due to adjustment of DEROS dates and requests for curtailment.

c. Developments and Maintenance of Morale:

(1). The state of morale within the division remains excellent as a result of continued emphasis on improving services and facilities.

(2). Finance: The 3.2% across the board pay raise was paid to all members of the division during the month of July. A monthly Finance Newsletter has been initiated to keep members of the division currently informed on pay changes and procedures. The Finance Courier Teams initiated a new program of conducting pay clinics at the units to resolve individual finance problems and to insure improved services.

(3) Chaplain: On 20 June 1966, the Reverend Calvin Thielman, White House Chaplain, visited the 1st Infantry Division. On 10 July 1966, the 3rd Brigade Chapel was dedicated. During the Quarter the Chaplains conducted 1244 religious services and had a combined attendance of 34,471 personnel.

(4) Special Services: Out-of-country R&R quotas increased from 2714 at the end of the last period to 5872 on 31 July 1966. This was a gain of 3158 quotas. In-country quotas increased from 1899 to 2720. This is a gain of 920 quotas. In July the in-country R&R quota was increased from 12 every 3 days to 25 for every 3 days.

(5) Red Cross: There was an increase of 12% in the total number of services rendered in comparison to the previous period. A Total of 2997 new and re-opened cases were handled during the period.

(6) Awards and Decorations:

There were a total of 3285 awards given for valor and meritorious service during this period as follows: Silver Star 27 Legion of Merit 11 Distinguished Flying Cross 34 Soldier�s Medal 15 Air Medal � V 42 Bronze Star � V 442 Bronze Star � M 445 Army Commendation Medal � V 100 Army Commendation Medal � M 367 Air Medal 1157 Purple Heart 665 During the repot period 84 member of the division were honored by the Vietnamese Government. Awards given are as follows: National Legion of Honor 5th Class 2 Cross of Gallantry with Palm 3 Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star 21 Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star 58

(7) Burial and Graves Registration: During this period the Graves Registration Platoon processed and evacuated 173 remains. Nine of these were non-divisional.

10. Chemical Operations: The Division Chemical Section developed and field tested two expedient type C8 Munitions. The first of these munitions was a 55 gallon shipping drum of CS-1 fitted with a burster and fuse. These drums were dropped from both fixed and rotary wing aircraft an functioned with excellent results in so far as height of burst and target coverage was confirmed. Effects on enemy forces have not been determined. This munition has been used extensively during operations conducted by the division. The chemical section also tested a 105mm base ejection shell filled with C8-1. There was no significant contamination in the target area, and the product was discontinued.

The Division Chemical Section and the attached 266th Chemical Platoon and 242dChemical Detachment continued to support the tunnel exploitation program throughout the division. These personnel are presently constructing a tunnel system at DI AN to assist in the training of personnel in the exploitation, denial, and destruction of tunnel systems.

The division was issued twelve Chemical Manpack Personnel Detectors, in June with a total of thirty detectors to be eventually issued throughout the division. A training area has been selected in vicinity Camp Cox, and a training package has been prepared. Dates have not been set for the course because troops needed to secure the area are currently not available due to other operational commitments. Day and night tests of the detector were conducted by the 266th Chemical Platoon to determine its effectiveness and the requirements of the training program.

Six requests were prepared and submitted for defoliation missions and one has been approved as of 31 July 1966. The 266th Chemical Platoon has accomplished both herbicide and insecticide operations throughout the division forward and rear areas.

II. Commanders Observations and Recommendations

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Part Four

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Lessons Learned - After Action Reports - LogsIndex

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