Quarterhorse in Vietnam

1st SQUADRON

4th CAVALRY

QUARTERHORSE

1/4 Cavalvry After Action Report - BLUEFIELD - 19 Jun 67


 
					HEADQUARTERS
                           HEADQUARTERS, 1ST SQUADRON, 4TH CAVALRY 
                                   APO San Francisco 96345
AVDB-QH3 								19 June 1967



OP BLUEFIELD AFTER ACTION REPORT


1.	REFERENCE:   OPORD 6-67 (OP BLUEFIELD) Hq 3d Bde

2.      DATES:   From 1 June to 9 June 1967

3.       GENERAL:   The 1-4 Cav under operational control of 3d Bde conducted S&D 
operations in AO Dragoon N/W of Ben Cat.

	a.  Reporting Officer:  LTC John W. Seigle
		(Assumed command of 1-4 Cav on 2 June 1967)
	
	b.	Task Organization:

		Hq Trp		CPT George S. Moffitt
		Trp A		CPT Charles B. Fegan
		Trp B  (detached to 2d Bde) CPT James A.. Skillings
		Trp C		CPT William G. Yarborough
		Trp D (Air)	Major Robert E. Oberg
		       (opcon of Div and/or Brigades throughout the operation)
		2d Plt A/5-2 Arty  Lt Jimmy R. Hines

4.     ENEMY ACTIVITIES:


	a.  General:  During Operation Bluefield friendly elements engaged no 
enemy units.  There were no confirmed sightings of Viet Cong personnel. 

On 4 June 1967, the command and control helicopter was fired upon vic XT846414.  
There were no hits or casualties.

There was one attack on the Squadron perimeter with M79 or rifle grenades.  Only 
two or three rounds were received and there were no casualties.

Thirteen base camps which contained 106 bunkers were found in the Squadron area 
of operations.  Some base camps had been recently used.  The most significant 
findings were a regimental sized base camp found vic XT673451 and 300 meters of 
standing-room sized tunnel found vic XT871468.  The regimental size base camp 
contained 90 bunkers, trenches and a small tunnel system.  The tunnel system was 
approximately 6 months old and had never been completed.  There were no 
indications that the tunnel had ever been used or lived in. 

	b.	Fortifications:  Fortifications encountered during the operation 
consisted of bunkers made of logs and earth, and foxholes, some with overhead cover.

	c.	Terrin and weather:  The terrain in the area of operations was a 
sandy loom type soil and was in fair condition for movement of armored vehicles.  
The area was primarily jungle of single canopy with dense undergrowth and rubber 
trees.  The roads through the rubber were approximately 20' wide and in good 
condition.  The roads were not used because there was a high probability of mines.

The weather during the period of the operation was partly cloudy to cloudy with
2 heavy rainshowers which had no signigficant effect on movement by the maneuver.

5.	MISSION:  1-4 Cav conducted S&D operation in AO Dragoon with priority to 
areas, E, F, and G.

6.	CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS:

	a.	Concept of Operation:

		(1)  Maneuver:  1-4 Cav (-) conducts S&D operations in areas E, 
F, and G in three phases.  Phase 1  -  Trps A and C move on assigned routes, cross 
ID abreast commencing 050900 June, conduct S&D operations in area E.  Phase 2 - 
On order, Trps A and C conduct S&D in area F.  Phase 3 - On order, 1-4 Cav (-) 
conducts S&D in area G.  (ANNEX A Overlay).

		(2)	Fire Support:  Preplanned concentrations will be fired 
commencing at 050730 June.  Supporting fires provided from Lai Khe, Phuoc Vinh 
and FSB 33 (XT781450)  (Annex C, Fire support Plan).

    	b.  Troop A:

		(1)  Move to LD on Route Saddle, cross SP at 050830 June.

              	(2) Conduct S&D operations in assigned zone of area E.

		(3)  Return to and occupy assigned defensive position in UDP STUD prior to EENT.

                (4)  Be prepared to continue S&D in area E on succeeding days.
	        
		(5)	  On order, execute Phases 2 and 3.
	
	c. Troop C:
		
		(1)	Move to LD on Route Bugle, crsss SP at 060800 June.
		
		(2)	- (5) Same as Troop A
                        
	d.	2Plt, A/5-2 Arty:
                               
		(1)   Protect Hqs group during. movement.
	
		(2)	Organize defense of inner Hqs group in NDP STUD.

		(3)	Be prepared on order to detach Hqs ACAV's and reinforce 
either Trp A or C.

7.	EXECUTION:  

	a.	1 June 67:  1-4 Cav  moved from Phu Loi to field location at 
XT861307 released from opcon 1st Bde and placed under operational control of 
3d Bde upon closing field location.

   	b.	2-8 June 67:  1-4 Cav (-) conducted S&D operations in AO 
Dragoon east of Bau Bang. No enemy contact was made during the entire operation. 
The most significant accomplishment of the operation was the location and 
destruction of enemy base camps and the capture and/or destruction of VC weapons 
and equipment shown in Para. 9.

 	c. 3 June Squadron CP moved to XT856442.

  	d. 4 June 67:  Squadron CO's command helicopter received fire from 
XT846414. Trp C was deployed approximately 900 meters N/W of contact location.  
Artillery and airstrikes were placed on target.  A search of the area after  
(end of page - unreadable)
  
	e.	(end of page - unreadable)

	f.	Areas E and F were thoroughly searched during the course of the 
operation.  However, only the extreme southern fringe of Area G was searched.

8.  SUPPORT:   Artillery units of the 1st Infantry Division artillery provided 
artillery preparations and fire support on call.  7th Air Force provided TAC air 
support.  Prop and strikes were on call and pre-planned.

9.  RESULTS:

   	a.  Enemy Losses:                   Base camps

        Base Camps	13 (1 possible medical station)
        Bunkers		106
        Foxholes 	127
	Huts  		 21
	Trench		425 meters
	Tunnels		350 meters
 	Vegetable garden  1
	Weapons	4 shotguns and 8 rifles
	Grenades	22
	.50 cal MG ammo	52 rounds
	SA Arms		367 rounds
	Gunpowder	1/2 lb
	M79 (40mm) ammo	 11 rounds (possible 15)
	LAW		  2
	Electric wire	100 meters
	Documents	  2
	Sleeping bags	  2
	Bicycles	  3
	Misc med supplies	
	M14 protective mask  2
	1/8" steel reinforcing rods 	1000 lbs
	civilian type portable radio	1
	Miscellanious clothing	
	Bamboo type electrical mine detonator

	b.	US Losses:

	Personnel -	1 KIA
			1 WIA

	Equipment -	1 M42 (Damaged)
						
10.	ADMINISTRATION MATTERS: 

	a.	Administrative and Logistical Support was adequate.

		(1)	Supply:  Support of Class I, III and V was carried 
as basic load.  Resupply was by air. Resupply was based from Phu Loi, with 
supplies being transported from Di An.  A total of 281 tons were transported 
by air.  42 tons were moved by road to transport point in Phu Loi for air 
transport.  A total of 66 tons of Class III was moved by air and consumed 
during this operation.

		(2)	Maintenance:  All maintenance was performed at field 
location.  A total of 30.9 tons in parts were moved by air.

	b.	Personnel analysis:

	ORGANIZATION DESIGNATOR		     INITIAL		TERMINATION
		1-4 Cav:   Authorized	       930                930
                   	   Assigned	       591                567

Above figure reflects squadron strength less Troop
B and. Troop D (Air) which wore dettached.
	
                           Present for Duty    537                519

Figures exclude Troop B and. Troop D (Air)

			   Present in field  A  32                 21
	                                     B 415                413

Figure (A) includes Troops A, C, and Hq
Figure (B) includes Troops A, C, and Hq Plus 1 plt  from A Battery 5-2 Artillery 
which was attached.

			  Present Base Camp  A	32		   21
					     B	Detached
				 	     C	28		   34
					   HHT 109                                                  98
					     D (Air) Detached

11.  SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES:   None

12.	CONCLUSIONS AND LESSONS LEARNED:

13.	a. Conclusions:

		(1) Viet Cong base camps in AC Dragoon were almost always located 
within 100 - 150 meters of an open area (valley, clearing, or trail) and in densly 
forested areas. This pattern reflects most earlier experience with base camp 
locations. Although the VC cannot necessarily be expected to continue the practice 
of sitting base camps in a predictable pattern, experience does at least allow the 
search and destroy force to concentrate its efforts in the areas most likelv to 
contain base camps.

		(2)  The Infantry Division Cavalry Squadron configured (as is the 
1st Squadron 4th Cavalry) without organic infantry squads still offers some 
advantages as a search and destroy force - - even in heavily - jungled areas.  
Although it lacks the personnel for a thorough foot search of extensive areas it 
has the capability to move comparatively quickly from one area to another and to 
search thoroughly within limited areas on the ground.  This movement - dismounted 
search tradeoff should be taken into account in determining squadron missions.  

	b.	Lesson Learned:

		(1)	Whenever possible, an area to be searched by dismounted 
troopers should first be reconnoitered by fire using 90mm canister. Artillery and 
air strikes will destroy many booby traps, but not all of them.  Selective canister 
fires reduce the likelihood of encountering Viet Cong booby traps.


		(2).  Continuous, unremitting "jungle crashing" takes a heavy toll 
in mechanized equipment.  It literally tears apart tracked vehicle suspension 
systems and strains transmissions beyond endurance.  It is neither necessary nor 
desirable to search a forested area completely by "jungle crashing."  Some vehicular 
penetration is necessary, but the extent of penetration desireable should be 
determined in light of several other factors.  In no sense should the "track 
pattern" observable from the air become the guide to the thoroughness with which 
an area has been searched:  


	(a)  Known and suspected base camp locations - - based on common sitting 
practices as well as available intelligence.


	(b)  Areas of jungle partially "opened up" by artillery preparations and 
air strikes.  Air strikes using 500 pound or larger bombs are well invested in 
opening up suspected locations.


	(c ) Through ground search of selected areas with tanks providing prior 
reconnaissance by fire with canister and all tracked vehicles then in an overwatch 
role.  Only by searching on the ground can one fine - - other than as the product 
of blind luck - - well-concealed Viet Cong positions and caches.  Armored vehicles 
sometimes provide the best means of reaching an area to be searched on the ground; 
they do not provide a suitable means for the detailed search itself. 



                                                        /signed by
                                                      JOHN W. SEIGLE
			                              LTC, Armor
			                              Commanding


After Action Report - PAUL BUNYAN - 13 Sep 67

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