Battalion Operational Report:

Monthly Evaluation Report (August 1967)


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


   1. General.

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.

   2.  Intelligence.

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 casualties:

Enemy KIA (BC) Enemy KIA (P) Weapons CIA

Co A          7                 2                     4

Co B          4                 2                    13

Co C         45               13                     8

Arty          17                49

Air            22                 26 

TOTALS    95                92                   25

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 Activities.

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.

b. Operations:

(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.


Our special thanks to Cpt. Mark Morris, former 1967 Bn Artillery LNO to 1/14th Infantry, for supplying the 1967 Bn Operational Reports. This is the first of many to be transcribed and posted.