1ST BATTALION, 14TH
APO San Francisco 9635$
'I September 1967
SUBJECT: Monthly Evaluation Report
(August 1967) MONEVAL
TO: Commanding Officer
196th Light Infantry Brigade
APO San Francisco 96256
a. During the period 1 - 31 August
1967, the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry continued its mission of security
for the Chu Lai Defense Command. Numerous search and destroy operations
and ambush patrols were conducted, primarily in the western portion of the
battalion AO. This area would be the most likely route of approach if the
enemy planned to conduct a ground attack against CLDC. In conjunction with
aggressive ground operations maximum use of available artillery, mortar
fire, gunships, tanks and air strikes were used to keep the enemy off
balance and to impede movement in and around CLDC area.
b. The battalion conducted
surveillance operations of the waterways in the eastern and northeastern
portions of the AO. Elements of 1/14th Infantry with Popular Forces
conducted search and clear missions with amtracks and boats on the inland
waterways. In addition night river check points were established along
waterway routes of infiltration to provide continuous security along these
routes of access.
c. Operations conducted by the
1/14th Infantry successfully denied the enemy freedom of movement within
the battalion AO. These operations prevented the enemy from conducting an
attack on the CLDC and other friendly units in the CLDC area. In addition
the 1st Bn, 14th Inf during participation in Operation "Benton" destroyed
significant enemy forces west of AO BOBCAT and east of base area 117.
a. General: During the period 1-14
August the 1st Bn, 14th Inf continued operations in AO BOBCAT. Enemy
contacts were light and infrequent. The enemy continued to employ mines
and booby traps to the maximum in the western portion of the AO. All
contacts made during the first part of the month were in the northwestern
portion of the AO in the vicinity of PHU DUC #4, BT305145. Operation
"Benton" commenced on 14 August 1967 with the 1/14th beginning movement to
the west of AO BOBCAT into areas predominantly controlled by the VC. As
the movement of friendly units to the west progressed the frequency and
size of enemy contacts increased. The enemy continued the tactic of using
harassing fire against US Forces from well covered and concealed positions
and withdrawing quickly from the contact area. During the initial stages
of Operation "Benton", the VC attempted several unsuccessful ambushes
against Co C, employing platoon size ambush elements. As operations
continued the VC stopped the ambush tactics. In questioning the civilians
in the hamlets to the west of AO BOBCAT, it was learned that many of those
people had recently moved into the area from hamlets in AO BOBCAT. This
move was caused by pressure applied against the VC by this battalion's
operations in AO BOBCAT - the enemy was forced to flee west taking his
families and supporters with him. The attitude of the people appears to be
changing and the majority of the population appear very anxious to return
to RVN Government control. Some of these people were provided security and
relocated to Tam Ky City. It should be noted that GVN resources for this
purpose are extremely limited at this time.
On 20 August 1967 a Chieu Hoi led
Co C to the remains of a downed H-23 helicopter at BT269123. The
helicopter had been thrown into the river at that location and camouflaged
with bamboo and brush. A helicopter going into the site of the downed H-23
received heavy ground fire from the hill mass vicinity BT260125, BT263121
and BT264117. An estimated VC platoon was dug in along the high ground at
these coordinates. A total of 5 air strikes were placed on the enemy
location and Co C swept the area resulting in 9 VC KIA (BC) and 10 VC KIA
(P). The wrecked H-23 was found to be a 196th Bde helicopter that crashed
on 18 June 1967. It was recovered from the river on 28 August 1967 for a
detailed analysis to determine cause of crash. There were several bullet
holes in the H-23 at the time of recovery.
On 25 August 1967 at BT264126 Co C
located a VC prison camp resulting in the recovery of 6 ARVN prisoners
being held captive by the VC. As Co C continued to search and destroy to
the south they found a VC base camp at BT260115. The base camp consisted
of several huts well camouflaged and a cave within a rock complex. The
cave was approximately 50 meters in length and had several rooms in it.
Action in and around the cave resulted in 13 VC KIA (BC) and the capture
of various medical supplies and miscellaneous clothing.
b. Conclusions: Operation "Benton"
was successful in that the enemy's base camp areas were attacked,
disrupting his organization making it more difficult for him to plan and
organize for attacks against allied positions during the coming monsoon
season. The relocation of the civilians in the area denied the enemy an
important source of food supplies. Many VC families were relocated along
with the civilians therefore lowering the morale of the VC soldiers. This
has caused and will continue to cause many Chieu Hois among the VC ranks.
c. Enemy KIA and Weapons CIA: During the
reporting period the 1/14th Infantry accounted for the following enemy
Enemy KIA (BC) Enemy KIA (P) Weapons CIA
In addition to the above 48 caves and tunnels were found and
destroyed and 1100 lbs rice captured. There were 19 sniper and 15 mines
and booby trap incidents during the reporting period.
3. Operations and Training
a. Plans: Current plans for the
1/14th Infantry are to continue search and destroy operations under the
OPCON of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade.
(1) The battalion conducted
search and destroy operations, night ambushes, search and clear and
cordon and search missions. Emphasis was placed on saturation patrolling
incorporating thorough search techniques. In many instances companies
dispersed into squad-sized elements in close supporting distance
enabling each company to cover maximum area.
(2) A FFSB was established on
hill 175 coordinates BT338136 consisting of the Battalion TAC CP, B/2/9
Arty Btry, 4.2" mortar platoon, and the 196th Brigade TAC CP. The 1/14th
Reconnaissance Platoon (reinf) provided security for the FFSB.
(3) CACO India continued to
operate in Area OWL, conducting civic action missions and combined unit
patrols and ambushes in coordination with the 1/14th Inf.
(4) Interdiction of enemy routes
of infiltration and accomplished by platoon-sized "Eagle Flight"
operations throughout AO BOBCAT prior to Operation "Benton".
(5) The battalion increased its
surveillance of inland waterways using a patrol motor boat. Vietnamese
watercraft were stopped and searched.