AAR - 5 thru 8 May 1967
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
14 May 67
SUBJECT: After Action Report
TO: Commanding General
The attached is a resume of a 3 day operation involving Co A, 1st Bn, 14th Inf. The information from the report was garnered from the operations log, and a debriefing of the Company Commander and Platoon Leaders.
On 5 May 67 at approximately 0830 Co A 1-14 was conducting S&D operations in the Ly Tin District, RVN. The company was searching in a southwesterly direction on three axis. The 3d Platoon was moving in a column formation with flank security to both sides. At coord BS341109 the platoon received 5 rounds of sniper fire from a position about 300 meters to the SW. The platoon returned the fire with SA and M79 fire. A fire team from the platoon attempted to out flank the sniper. The area where the sniper fire came from was swept by the maneuvering element. Several expended cartridges (7.62 short) were found at coord 338107 but the enemy sniper had disappeared. The platoon moved about 500 meters in a southwesterly direction and paused to set up a base from which they planned to patrol. Security was posted and one of the OPs saw 2 individuals about 300 meters to the SW moving south. It was not determined whether or not these persons had weapons in their possession. The Platoon Leader with a fire team, one MG and his RTO moved to a position at coord 338106 in an attempt to cut off the 2 individuals. At that point the patrol drew enemy fire from 3 automatic weapons at a distance of 200 meters located to the patrol's south, west and southwest. The patrol returned the fire and the remainder of the platoon immediately built a base of fire. Within minutes a FAC was up and 20 minutes subsequent to the initial contact an air strike was delivered on the high ground west of the platoon. The platoon swept the area of the strike and found 5 VC KIA (BC) and an additional 5 VC KIA (estimated). A VC jumped from a tree at coord 337102, and was taken under fire by the point of the patrol. The VC later died of his wounds. At this time the 2d platoon of Co A was located at coord 360087 and moving towards the 3d platoon. Artillery and gunships were employed throughout the day. At about 1300 the Company Commander arrived with the 1st platoon. The C.O. with 2 platoons abreast swept across the rice paddy in a SW direction and mounted the high ground in the vicinity of where the air strikes had been delivered. The 2d platoon which had arrived shortly prior secured the company base vic coord 337100. As the maneuver platoons crossed the hill the 1st platoon continued SW and the 3d platoon moved in a NW direction. Many hootches were discovered with uncovered foxholes and bunkers with overhead cover. In one of these firing positions located around the hill at coord 334103 MG links and expended cartridges (7.62 - about 200 in number) were found. At coord BS333103 1 VC wearing black PJ's, an OD cap and assorted web gear jumped up and began to flee from the attacking troops. He managed to traverse 10 meters before he was shot and killed. The sweep of the area continued and by 1500 hours 33 civilians had been detained. By nightfall the company had been fed and wagon wheeled at coord 337100.
Results of 5 May:
At 060300 May the 1st platoon RTO was shot in the foot by sniper fire. In addition 2 grenades were thrown into the perimeter with negative damage resulting. At 060820 hours as the 1st and 3d platoon moved to sweep the high ground west of their previous night's position a heavy volume of fire was received from 2 enemy positions located at coord 337106 and 334104. At the same time the 2d platoon received enemy fire from the east from coord 336105. Artillery fire was called for on grid 332107 and small arms fire silenced the fire coming from grid 331106. After 20 minutes of artillery fire the 1st platoon moved NW across the rice paddy (since the enemy fire had ceased.) As the platoon approached the middle of the paddy they received fire from three directions. With a base of fire provided by the 3d platoon and supporting artillery the 1st platoon was able to negotiate the paddy and move to the base of the high ground located at coord 333107. In negotiating the open area the company took 1 friendly KIA and 3 friendly WIA. 7 VC were KIA (BC) and the Company Commander estimated 12 additional VC KIA. A sniper was spotted firing from a tree at coord 328107 and was shot out of the tree by a burst of MG fire. The Company pulled back to a perimeter at coord 334104. At 1800 hours 5-6 VC were observed digging in at coord 335110. Artillery was immediately called for and the FO estimated that 5 VC were killed.
Results of 6 May:
At 070655 May as the company was moving out, they received 5-M79 rounds from a position 300-400 meters west of coord 337101 resulting in 8 friendly WIA. 6 of the WIA were evacuated by dustoff and the other 2 remained with the unit. Artillery was called in and the area was swept with negative results. By 1000 hours the company had swept approximately 1 kilometer to the west. Shortly after noon the 2d platoon heard noises coming from several hootches located in the vicinity of coord 326107. The 1st platoon flanked the buildings under cover of the 2d platoon. At 1254 hours 1 VC emerged from a hootch vicinity coord 328108. The VC was killed with small arms. One N14 was captured. One old man and 6 women were discovered in the hootch from which the VC exited. The detainees were evacuated to Bde. A continued sweep of the area discovered the bodies of 2 additional VC KIA by small arms fire. 3 chicom grenades were found on the bodies and destroyed. At coord 326108 the 1st platoon found 3 VC KIA, probably as a result of the contact on 6 May. The bodies had been stripped of all equipment except black PJ's. 10 huts 8'x10' were found and destroyed. All of the huts had firing positions in and around them. The company moved to wagon wheel at coord 326123. At about 2000 hours what appeared to be enemy H&I fire was heard about 1 kilometer to the south. Friendly troops had left the area.
Results of 7 May:
On 8 May Co A was extracted by M-113 after walking out of the contact area.
Results of the 3 day operation:
A total of 944 artillery rounds were fired in support of the operation, the majority of these being high explosive. Five airstrikes (15 sorties) were utilized.
The terrain in which the 3 day operation took place consists of numerous islands of dense jungle foliage surrounded by moats of rice paddies. The dense undergrowth both on these islands and on the ridge lines precludes the actual locating of any enemy casualties. It is almost impossible to obtain an accurate analysis of the results of artillery fires or air strikes unless the searching elements literally step on the enemy.
The following items are of significant value to be noted. All are comments made by the Company Commander/Platoon Leaders.