Operation Paul Revere IV
10 May, 1966 - 26 Dec 1966
In December 1966 the 3D Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division Completed operation "Paul Revere" through phase IV, setting the army record for the longest sustained combat operation. The operation, begun May 10th by the 3D Bde Task Force, 25th Inf Div, reached the 230-day mark on 26 Dec. The previous record was 165 days, set by the 25th Inf Div in WWII during the Philippine Campaign. Setting such a record required nearly 32 weeks of field conditions and constant exposure to combat -- something never done for this long a time before.
During the operation, four major battles and countless skirmishes were fought by the 3d Bde. The "Big Four" were: "The Battle of Alpha 10" May 29th and 30th, involving elements of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 35 Infantry pitted against elements of an NVA regiment. "The New Battle Of The Ia Drang," July 31st through Aug 2nd, involving the same elements on a larger scale: The defensive battle of August 9th in which a Republic of Korea infantry company and a US tank platoon from the 1st Battalion, 69 Armor staved off an NVA Regiment; and, "The Battle for Dragon Crater, November 19th, where the 1st Battalion 14th Infantry fought an NVA Regiment.
In the long operation, 1,496 enemy were killed by body count, 424 North Vietnamese were captured and 534 of there weapons were seized. Men of the 3rd Bde Task Force acquired 5 Distinguished Service Crosses, 28 Silver Stars, 212 Bronze Stars with "V" Device, 8 Legion of Merit, and 24 Army Commendation Medals with "V". The valor they displayed brought South Vietnam"s Premier, Ngyen Cao Ky, to Pleiku twice to award four Gallantry Crosses with Palm, the highest award Vietnam has presented a foreign soldier.
On the other front, civic action has acted to free villages of ignorance and poverty and the dictates of communism. The 3rd Brigade Task Force alone has issued 110 cases of canned goods, 1,500 pieces of clothing, nearly 185,000 pounds of rice and 65 cases of soap. They released over 12-million
Propaganda Leaflets over suspected enemy locations. They've paid out 11,000 piasters ($9,300) in return for filled sandbags and cleared roads.
The biggest achievement of "Paul Revere" in the civic action field was the freeing of some 400 Montagnards who had been enslaved by the Viet Cong in 1962 and forced to grow rice and transport supplies for the NVA ever since.
When the Brigade began operations around Plei Djerang, the VC fled and 400 Montagnards drifted out of the mountains and back to there homes. The 3D Bde Task Force provided for these refugees, until they could harvest a rice crop. Operation "Paul Revere" was divided into four parts to denote changes in operational control. The 3D Bde Task Force controlled "Paul Revere I and III" exclusively and participated in II and IV. The 1st Air Calvary (Airmobile) Division controlled II and the 4th Inf Div, commanded by Major General Arthur S. Collins, "IV". The "Bronco Brigade however, is the only unit to have participated in all four phases and has come to consider "Paul Revere" its own.