HEADQUARTERS 1ST SQUADRON 4TH CAVALRY APO 96345 26 February 1967 SUBJECT: Combat After Action Report (OP TUCSON DELTA) TO: CO, 1st Bde, 1st Inf Div ATTN: S-3 APO 96345 1. (c) opord 4-67 (TUCSON DELTA) Hq, 1/4 Cav, dtd 13 Feb 67, 1/4 Cav opcon 1st Bde from 12-17 Feb 67. 2. (U) Dates: 12 Feb through 17 Feb 67. 3. (C) General: 1/4 Cav moved to Minh Thanh, established blocking positions in AO YOKE; conducted security, S&D and road clearing opns in AO as directed in OPCON 5-67 (OP TUCSON DELTA) Hq, 1st Bde, 1st Inf Div, dtd 10 Feb 67 and subsequent frag orders. a. Reporting Officer: LTC Thomas W. Fife b. Task Org: Trp A: CPT Rodney W. Symons Trp B: CPT Harold W. Wilkens Trp C: CPT Jack Dice Trp D (air): MAJ Robert Oberg - frequently opcon to Div or Bde's throughout the operation. Btry A/5/2 Arty (AHSP) CPT John F. Gulla C/2/34th Armor: CPT Kimerling 4. Intelligence: (1. Prior to operation: See Intellignece annex to OPORD 5-67 (OP TUCSON DELTA) 1st Bde, dtd 10 Feb 67. (2. Enemy situation during the operation: The area was heavily mined. Many mines were found at likely river crossings, roads and likely base areas. Few enemy contacts were made with only one encounter being of significance. This encounter involved Trp B. On the evening of 16 Feb an element of Trp B was ambushed by the VC. Re-enforcement was prompt and the enemy element suffered 7 KIA (BC) and the loss of wpns and equipment. a. Weather: Weather during this operation was hot and dry with cool evenings. b. Terrain: Terrain in the area of operations consisted of heavy jungle in part with numerious clearings bordered by unfordable creeks. The only easily traversable areas were the clearings and the main trails. (See Overlay) 5. Mission: 1/4 Cav moves by road to Minh Thanh. Secures movement of and a base for seven batteries of arty, occupies blocking psn YOKE, and prepares to commit battlefield relief force in 2/28th Inf sector on order. 1/4 Cav completed all missions assigned. 6. Concept of Operations (extract from OPORD): a. Maneuver: 1/4 Cav task force positions forces in Minh Thanh on order for blocking mission in AO YOKE and escorts arty, employing A, B, C, D Trps 1/4 Cav, C/2/34th Armor, and A/5/2 Arty. This operation will be conducted in two phases: (1. Phase I (positioning 12 Feb): 1/4 Cav moves to Minh Thanh escorting 2/33d Arty. (2. Phase II (Search and Destroy 13-14 Feb: 1/4 Cav Task Force secures arty base #3 (XT660579) and blocks in AO YOKE. 7. Execution: 12 Feb: 1/4 Cav TF moved to Minh Thanh escorted 2/33d Arty. 13 Feb: Trp B cleared Hwy 13 and escorted units to An Loc and Minh Thanh. Other units continued proparations for movement to AO YOKE. No enemy contact was made. 14 Feb: 1/4 Cav TF moved to blocking psns and secured movement of and base for arty. No enemy contact was made, however two tanks were damaged and one M113 completely lost due to enemy AT mines. 15-17 Feb: Secured arty base III, cleared and secured roads, conducted S&D operations in AO YOKE. (See O/L attached). 8. Support: a. Field arty support was provided by 1/5, 2/33, and 8/6 Arty batteries of the 1st Inf Div Arty. Continuous use of arty support was made by the 1/4 Cav in preparation defensive fires, recon by fire, illumination and harassing and interdiction. The most important single contribution by the arty occurred on the evening of 16 Feb when B Troop 1/4 Cav was ambushed by unknown number of VC on the Minh Thanh/Michelin Road. Batteries A/2/33, D 1/5th and B/8/6 arty fired a total of 859 rds of 105 and 155 in support of Troop B. This fire was directed by B Troop's forward observer "Dynamite 92 through Drumfire 50B, one of the division arty air observers who got into the air over the action immediately. Arty support provided during TUCSON DELTA was of the highest quality in responsiveness and accuracy. b. 7th AF provided Tac air support. Prop and strikes were both preplanned and on call. 9. (C) Results: a. US Casualties: 17 WIA, 3 NBC's. b. US Equipment Losses: 5 M48A3 tanks damaged, 1 M113 total loss, 1 M113 damaged, 1-2 1/2 ton truck destroyed. c. VC Losses: 8 KIA, (BC), Equipment: 4 wpns, 630 rds of ammo, 12 AT mines, 24 AP mines, 7 bags of rice, 6 BA batteries, 9 hand grenades, 1 B-50 AT rocket w/fuse, 300 ft commo wire, 3 rds of 105mm, 8 bobby trapped CBU's, 1 document, four 30 rd magazines. 10. (C) a. Logistics: Logistical resupply was accomplished by use of land lines of communication from Minh Thanh. Minh Thanh logistical facilities proved inadequate initially for support of their units primarily in the field of Class V. Inadequate stocks were initially on hand of 7.62 MLB 4 &1. Aircraft for aerial resupply were difficult to obtain. These problems were largely eliminated by the 3d day of the operation. The water point operated at Minh Thanh was impractical for all units to use due primarily to excessive turn around time and long waits at the water point. This problem was alleviated when the squadron began using a fuel transfer pump to pump stream water into water tanks where it was chlorinated. b. Maintenance: Vehicular maintenance was excellent using the recently established consolidated PLL vehicle located in the CP area. Repair parts were readily available under this system. The overall maintenance posture was good despite the extensive damage caused by mines. c. Treatment of Casualties: Numerous minor fragment and blast injuries from mine incidents were treated at the forward aid station. One accidental drowning occurred. Attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful. No other unusual problems were noted. d. Communications: Due to distance of operation from Pui Loi base, direct communications between sqdn CP and base station was cut out during the day. This problem was solved by setting up a retransmission station at Trp C base in Lai Khe. 1st Platoon, Trp A frequency to be compatable for retransmission of both the logistics and command nets so Trp A's 1st plt was given the squadron operations frequency. "Cricket" an air outfit, interfered with the log push; as yet, there has been no action on this by higher authority. The division signal officer stated that we share the frequency and it will not be changed unless the interference get worse. Subsequent report indicated that the XUAN LOC station would change frequencies. e. Medical Evacuations: All evacuations were by supply helicopters or Dust-Off. The above mentioned decease of a drowning victim was evacutated by routine dustoff. No evacuation problems were encountered. f. Personnel Analysis: ORGAINIZATION DESIGNATOR INITIAL TERMINATION 1/4 Cav Authorized........... 1019 1019 Assigned............. 1032 1032 PDY................ 993 997 PIF................ 668 691 PBC Hq Trp......... 55 55 Trp A.......... 11 11 Trp B.......... 19 19 Trp C.......... 15 15 Trp D.......... 105 105 A/5/2.......... 24 24 The shortage of personnel to make 5 man crews for each track remains a constant problem. 11. Special Equipment: None. 12. Lessons Learned and Conclusions: a. Areas previously occupied by US combat vehicles are likely to be heavily mined. This was the case at Arty Base III. Numerous AT mines were found on the roads, shoulders of the roads, and adjacent to the roads out to 30 meters. Such area should be thoroughly swept by mine detector teams and should be completely traversed by a tank prior to occupancy by other vehicles. In addition, several casualties (arty personnel) were sustained as a result of personnel gathering together too close to the vehicles moving through the area. A mine was detonated by a passing tank which (mine) injured five arty officers standing together nearby. The particular mine was the third or fourth that exploded withing the immediate area over a one hour period. b. Regular vehicular movement over a particular jungle road invites ambush. For several nights prior to the ambush of a three vehicle group (Trp B), mech inf unit periodically ran the same road. Armored vehicles only should be run when ambush is likely (one truck was destroyed by a VC anti-tank wpn) and a strong, armored reaction force should be only minutes away from the area of likely ambush. Such was the case in this particular incident and the VC probably suffered far more casualties than the seven body count found the next morning. /signed by THOMAS W. FIFE LTC, Armor Commanding Note: This is a correct and complete copy of the original made by Bill Baty on Nov 13, 2000 using OCR.