Quarterhorse in Vietnam

1st SQUADRON

4th CAVALRY

QUARTERHORSE

1/4 Cavalvry After Action Repot - CEDAR FALLS - 5 Feb 67


 
 
                                      HEADQUARTERS
				1st SQUADRON 4TH CAVALRY
                                       APO 96345                                                    

                                            			5 February 1967
SUBJECT: Combat After Action Report (CEDAR FALLS)
	                    

TO:	Commanding Officer
	3d bde, lst lnf Div
	Attn: S-3
	APO 96345


     1.	(C)     OPOPD 2-67 (CEDAR FALLS) Hq, 1/4 Cay, dtd 6 Jan 1967, 1/4
Cav (-)  opcon 173d Abn Bde from 9 to 25 Jan 67. Opcon 3d Bde from 250700 
to 2615OO Jan 67.
                      
     2.	(U) Dates: 9 Jan 67 through 28 Jan 1967.
     
     3. (C) General: 1/4 Cay (-) conducted. road c1earing operations, convoy 
escort and security operations, made reconnaissances in force and occupied 
blocking positions, as directed in Oplan 2-67 (OP CEDAR FALLS)
173d Abn Bde and, subsequent Frag Orders.

	a.	Reporting Officer: LTC Thomas W. File.

	b.	Task Org:
		
		Hq Trp - Cpt Dudley M. Andrea
		Trp A -  Cpt Rodney N. Symons; detached, attached to 1st Bde on 17 Jan
		Trp B -  Cpt Harold W. Wilkins.
		Trp C  - Cpt Jack Dice.
		Trp D  (air) - Maj Robert Oborg frequently opcon to Div-Bde's 
                               throughout the operation.
		A/5/2 Arty {AWSP) - Cpt John F. Gulla..
		C/5/2 Arty (AWSP) Cpt Richard C. Steinbacher detached, on 23 Jan 67.
		C/2/2 Inf (Mech) Cpt Donald G Mitchell, attached on 24 Jan 67. 
                B/2/28 Inf - Cpt John A Turner, attached on 25 Jan 67. 

	c.	Squadron command group consisted or LTC Thomas W. Fife squadron
Commander, Maj Vernon E Ebert squadron executive officer; Maj David D Gilpatrick 
squadron, S-3 (wounded and evacuated on 23 Jon 67); Cpt Ronald Copes squadron
S-2; Cpt Samuel D Wilder squadron S-l; Cpt David Kelley squadron S-4; Cpt
George Moffitt squadron comnunications officer, and Cpt James Ski11ings
Squadron Maintenance officer.
                                    
4. (C)  Inte11igence:
 	
	a.  Enemy situation: Avai1able information prior to commencement of
OP CEDAR FALLS indicated the presence of the Hqs VC Military region IV in the 
Iron Triangle. Local guerillas were in the area for the defense of this 
headquarters but all main force units have withdravm. The existance of several
very sophisticated tunnel and bunker comp1exs was also reported.

	b.	Terrian and Weather

		(1.  Terrain.  The area of operations can be characterized as 
generally flat with two main rivers on either side.  Wooded areas run from thick 
scrub brush to heavy dense jungle.  Secondary roads are trafficable but Cross 
country mobility was from average to good through the jungle areas.  Rice paddies 
were still too wet to be traversed. 
	
		(2.	Weather.   Characterized by hot humid days.  Rain was at 
a minimum during this period.  Evenings and early mornings were exceptionally cool. 

5. (C) Mission:  1/4 Cav (-) completed all missions assigned.  Missions consisted 
of Road and Security; S&D operations; recon in force; security of Engr work parties;
blocking and screening.

6. (C) Concept of Operations:  Initally with three trps on line, blocking psns were                             
occupied east of the Thi Thinh River.  Subsequant opns, north of and within the 
Triangle, consisted of each manouver element being assisgned an AO up to 10 km 
wherein S&D and security missions were carried out.  Primary purpose of these 
operations was to locate and destroy the Hqs of VC Military Region IV; disrupt local 
VC infra structure; and secure work parties clearing extensive areas across the Iron 
Triangle. 

7.	(C) Execution:

	a.	9-10 Jan 67:  Three manouver elements on line occupied blocking psns 
on  east bank of Thi Think River while conducting S&D opns in zone between Hwy 13 and 
the river. Enemy contact resulted in:  VC Losses:  2 KIA.  US Losses:  1 M113 
destroyed, 1 KIA and 5 WIA.
	b.	10-22 Jan 67: Moved into area immediately north of the Iron Triangle 
to conduct S&D and recon in force operations.  Provided a screen along the northeast 
of the operational area.  Trp A detached 17 Jan 67 for operations with the 1st Bde. 
There was light enemy contact throughout operational area in the form of an 
occasional sniper and attempts to employ claymores against night perimeters.  An 
increase in mining incidents resulted in the order being given to stay off all 
secondary roads.  VC killed and captured are noted below.  Friendly casualties were 
light.  

	c.	22-28 Jan 67:  Only remaining unit operating in the Triangle area. 
Conducted S&D operations in addition to securing engineer exploitation of tunnels.  
During this phase of the Operation VCC and Chicu Hoi's were high.  Viet Cong hiding 
in the tunnels were driven by Hunger to surrender.  The biggest find was the capture, 
by A/5/2, of the G-1/G-2 of  MR IV with his report to Hanoi, reference success of MR 
IV in 1966.

8.	(C) Support:  Artillery units of the 1st Inf Div, 173d Abn Bde, and 11th ACR
provided support.  7th AF provided tactical air support.  Preperations and stricks 
were both on call and preplanned. 

9.	Results: 

	a.	US Casualties:  2 KIA, 35 WIA
	b.	US Equipment destroyed:  1 VTR, 1 Tank, 3 APC's, 1 1-1/2
	c.	VC Casualties:  37 KIA, (BC) 65 VCs, 36  chiau Hoi's, 26 Detained, 
82 tons of rice, 100 bunkers destroyed, 9 batches of documents captured, 10 
individual weapons captured and 17 sampans destroyed. 

10.	(C)  Admin and Log Matters.

	a.	Admin and logistical plans were adequate.
		(1.	Classes I, II and V were carried by Troops as basic load. 
Initially resupply was from Phu Loi by truck, then later from Lai Khe by air and 
by truck. 
		(2.	Maintenance:  Maintenance of vehicles was excellant since 
repair parts were rapidily available on a consolidated PIE vehicle located in the 
CP area.  This was the first occasion of this type of re-supply which proved to be 
very effective.  The overall maintenance posture was excellant.  
		(3.	Treatment of Casualties:  The squadron aid station was 
established at the forward command post.  Routine sick call was handled at this 
point.  When convenient or necessary, battle casualties were treated and screened 
there also.  In most instances, however, the squadron surgeon was flown to the 
point of injury in the field to supervise treatment prior to arrival of evacuation 
helicopters. 
		(4.	Transportation:  Re-supply by LLOC permitted rapid resupply 
of PLL and other needed items.  LLOC proved to be more responsive than an ALOC.  
		(5.	Communications:  Excellent radio communications were 
maintained during OP CEDAR FALLS. Contact was maintained with Phu Loi base station 
throughout the entire operation.
(6.	Medical Evacuation:  Evacuation was prompt in every case that rapid 
transportation was needed.  Response from Dust-Off was excellant at night as well 
as during daylight hours. On occasion, orgainic aircraft were utilized for 
evacuation when they were in the immediate vicinity of the injury and could be 
diverted for this use.  On two occasions med-evac personnel carriers were used to 
transport lightly wounded to the squadron aid station.  

	b.	Personnel analysis: 
                ORGAINIZATION DESIGNATOR                   INITIAL    TERMINATION
                  1/4 Cav: Authorized...................    1019          1019
                           Assigned.........................1057          1029
                           PDY..............................1021           934
                           PIF...............................653           613
                           PBC Hq Trp: ......................107           112
                               Trp A:..........................8             9
                               Trp B: ........................24            10
                               Trp C: .........................3             5
                               Trp D: .......................204           184

		(1.	The only personnel problem was a continuing shortage of 
ACAV crew members.  Five personnel  are required on each vehicle in order to fully 
fight the vehicle and to provide sufficient personnel for dismounted activities. 


11.	Special Equipment and techniques:  None

12. Conclusions and Lessons Learned:
                                     
	a.  Searching in areas wherein the VC have maintained extensive underground       
installations should be prolonged over several weeks.  The enemy underground 
is forced into the open as his food supply is depleted and his morale is weakened.
Continious mounted patrolling  over such areas allows daily coverage of extinsive
Areas and will increase the likelihood of capturing or inducing the surrender of a 
Hungry and demoralized enemy.

	b.  Secondary roads especially are apt to be heavily mined within VC 
dominated areas.  AT mines are often employed in pairs within 100 meters of one 
another. Freshly made vehicle trails are subject to being mined shortly after 
passage of a friendly element; hence a new trail should never be used again
without sweeping for mines and searching for command detonated wires.  Culverts
and trenches beneath a roadway are prime loactions for large antitank mines in 
this respect a bunker  or foxhole  next to a roadway should always be suspected
as an entrance to a mined tunnel beneath the road.  On one occasion a shred of 
tin foil was found buried at a depth of several inches, probably to confuse the 
mine sweeping teams.  At a greater depth in the same spot an anti-tank mine was 
 discovered. 



                                                                 /signed by
                                                                THOMAS W. FIFE
								LTC, Armor
								Commanding


After Action Report - Williston - 19 Feb 67

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