During the month of June, the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry continued its
mission of providing security for the CHU LAI Defense Command. Utilizing
search and destroy operations and ambush patrols, the battalion
interdicted enemy routes of communications and infiltration. Maximum use
was made of available artillery and mortar fire support, gunships, tanks,
and air strikes to keep the enemy off balance and slow his reaction to
tactical operations of ground elements.
battalion continued to conduct surveillance operations on the island (Zone
FOX). Several operations were conducted with amtracks on search and clear
Operations conducted by the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry successfully
denied the enemy a route of approach to the northern CHU LAI area. An
effective screen by the battalion limited the enemy to small probing
actions using grenadiers and snipers. The enemy was unable to attack or
harass RD teams and the populace in pacified areas.
* Note: Overlays attached of AO's (incl's
1.1 & 1.2) reference maps VIETNAM, 1:50,000, Series L7014, Sheets 6639I,
6640II, 6739IV and 6740III.
battalion conducted search and destroy operations, night ambushes, search
and clear, and cordon and search missions.
Number of operations by unit type:
Battalion size operations - 1
Company size operations - 17
Platoon size operations - 83
Total enemy contacts were 53. The majority of contacts were made during
daylight company S&D operations in Zones CAT and DOG. Company sized
operations each lasted from 5 to 15 days. Enemy contact was made almost
The battalion assisted 2/11 Cav during Operation RHINO. The Assault and
Reconnaissance platoons were attached to "E" and "F" Troops during the
total of nine Fireball operations were conducted during the month 3 -
105 How, 3 - tank, 3 - 4.2" mortar.
Operations were utilized to extend heavy weapon and artillery coverage
to the west into the free fire zone. This tactic interdicted VC local
and main force rear areas and harassed his elements, rendering him
incapable of mounting a coordinated attack against elements of this
CAC India continued OPCON to the battalion, conducting civic action
missions and combined unit patrols in Zone OWL. (See overlay enclosure
During the month the enemy used a new tactic of employing booby traps and
snipers in depth. CO, C Co varied his operational techniques to counter
the new tactic. Individual platoons were broken down into fire teams and
were employed within close range of each other. This technique insured
maximum area coverage while minimizing the probabilities of being observed
when a sniper fired on one of the fire teams, artillery would be placed on
the flanks of the platoon. One fire team would maneuver behind the sniper;
the other would pin the sniper down by fire. Two additional fire teams
would protect the flanks of the base of fire and maneuver elements. (See
Approaches to sniper positions were booby trapped, usually with grenades.
The maneuvering elements then moved very slowly and stayed away from
normal routes for approach to sniper positions.
Mine sweep operations:
Daily mine sweep operations were conducted on Hwy #1 from BT338207 to
BT430110. No mines have been found in these operations.
Extensive mine sweep operations were conducted in the area of
operations where tracked vehicles had previously been used. The
infantry was dismounted, a visual check was made, backed up by mine
sweep teams. Mines were blown in place.
On 29 June the battalion began extensive sweeping in known mine
locations and suspected enemy mine fields.
A total of 13 close support air strikes were conducted in the area of
operations during the month. (Strike summary enclosure #3)
The battalion constructed a trainfire type assault fire range at its
base camp. The range is currently in use by units of the battalion. (See
sketches - enclosures 4&5)
Six EM attended 4th Infantry Division NCO Academy. All successfully
completed the school.
21 EM attended the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry NCO Preparatory School. 20
EM graduated in the top half of their classes.
160 EM and NCO's attended the Mine and Booby trap school at the charger
Academy during the month. Instruction was valuable to all elements.
The battalion currently has 2 individuals in 4th Infantry Division
During the month, the battalion continued to improve the 23 bunkers on
the perimeter. Additional overhead cover was added and structures were
The perimeter was cleared around the camp out to a 200 meter field of
fire. Additional wire was strung completely around the perimeter.
Two OP's are manned nightly on high ground to the north and south of the
perimeter. In addition rover patrols around the camp are employed daily.
1st Battalion, 14th Infantry recorded 53 separate enemy contacts during
the month of June. The majority of the contacts were with snipers. The
enemy continued to employ grenadier attacks against US Forces.
new tactic employed by the enemy was encountered by this battalion
during the month of June. In the past the enemy habitually employed
booby traps between sniper locations and US Forces. When friendly troops
pursued the sniper, they would run into the booby trap. The newly
encountered tactic is to place booby traps on the flank approaches to
the sniper position and employ snipers in depth to also cover the flank
approaches to the sniper positions. This tactic was employed against the
1/14th on three different occasions during the month. All units of this
battalion have been trained to counter this tactic.
a. During the month the enemy has extensively increased employment of
antitank mines. The mines encountered have ranged from standard US
antitank mines to 750 lb bombs. In most cases the mines were wrapped in
waterproof material as protection from the elements and the surrounding
areas were well camouflaged. The mines were found buried up to 18 inches
below the earth's surface. In many cases the AN/PPS 2 mine detector
failed to detect these mines resulting in injury to US personnel and
damage to equipment. It was suspected that the mines encountered were
command detonated, however on each occasion a thorough search of the
area failed to reveal any evidence of command detonation.
Methods used by this battalion to counter these tactics are covered in the
S3 portion of this report.
Experience indicates that enemy will normally move into an American
bivouac site shortly after it has been vacated. He is a very curious
individual and will dig up sumps and thoroughly police the area looking
for equipment or material left behind that will be useful to him. He is
very ingenious at making booby traps from C ration cans and other items
that American soldiers think nothing of leaving behind. Leaders should
make sure that the site is well policed prior to leaving the area.
Stay behind forces have been proven very successful when correctly
employed. Well concealed positions which afford good observation and
fields of fire should be selected as ambush sites for the stay behind
force prior to the main force leaving the area. The stay behind force
should occupy their positions just prior to the main force moving and
should remain in place adhering to strict noise discipline until the
enemy moves into the killing zone of the ambush.
Another method that can be used is to have the stay behind force move
out with the main body and upon reaching a pre-selected location double
back and return along a concealed route to the bivouac area. One of the
most important factors in employing this tactic is to make sure the
force moves slowly and quietly with good security to avoid walking into
an enemy ambush. When it is infeasible to leave a stay behind force,
TOT's can be planned and fired after the unit is a safe distance from
the area. Bivouac sites previously used by US Troops are good targets
for night H&I fires by indirect fire weapons.
US units are almost entirely dependent upon the helicopter for resupply,
therefore the volume of helicopter traffic in enemy infested areas is
quite heavy. Numerous documents captured by this organization have
contained extensive training material on techniques of shooting
helicopters with small arms weapons. The enemy will watch as the
helicopter goes into a US position and move to a good firing position
along the final approach to the LZ. He will select a position that will
allow him a good shot when the chopper is on its final and is most
vulnerable to ground fire. The enemy position is often several hundred
meters from the LZ making counterfire by small arms difficult. The
helicopter usually delivers its resupply to units around 1600 hrs and
returns to pick up empties approximately one hour later. It is during
this time period that the enemy selects and moves into his sniper
position. Saturating the approach to the LZ with fire team size patrols
allows effective interdiction of enemy movement and provides a quick
reactions force when the enemy fires. The 1/14th Infantry had enemy
kills on three different occasions when this technique was employed
during the month of June. When employing such a technique, the
helicopter pilots should be advised of friendly locations to preclude
the door gunners from firing on friendly troops. The ground commanders
should advise the pilot to approach the LZ along the route that has been
secured. When it is impractical to employ such patrols, the ground
commander should advise the pilot to vary his flight pattern leading to
the LZ. Regardless of the tactics employed, the ground commander should
brief the pilot on the friendly and enemy situation and advise him of
the safest approach to the LZ. Units should move toa new location after
resupply and extraction of empties has been completed to preclude the
enemy from pinpointing their positions.
The enemy is often aware of the general night locations of US units. A
tactic he has employed is to fire several automatic weapon burst at a
safe distance from US positions. This will usually result in artillery
fire being called in the area where the fire was heard and a subsequent
search by American troops at first light. The enemy will then employ
booby traps and snipers along the most likely route that a unit will
travel when leaving the bivouac site, and will patiently wait unitl
morning when friendly troops move out on daily operations. Methods used
to counter for this tactic are:
Avoid trails and open areas when leaving bivouac sites.
Be especially alert during all movement.
Recon by fire with organic and indirect fire weapons prior to and
Conduct all movement using the best tactical formation and all around
The enemy usually moves in small groups at a very slow pace and employs
good security. Recent enemy KIA by this organization have been well
camouflaged wearing back straps for holding brush, grass or other
camouflage substances. When an aerial observer flies over, all he has to
do is fall to the ground making detection extremely difficult. The most
successful counter-tactic employed by units of this battalion during
this month was to saturate an area with squad and fire team size patrols
The enemy uses weapon shots as signals to warn of approaching US Troops.
Whistles that sound similar to birds are also used as signals. Soldiers
can be trained to distinguish some of these signals, and with
experience, should recognize them when they are used.
The figures shown below reflect only information that can be
verified by friendly units, however according to agent reports and other
sources of information many more casualties have been inflicted upon the
Enemy KIA (BC)
Enemy KIA (est)
Enemy Wpn CIA
In addition to the above figures a total of
71 grenades and 15 booby traps were captured during the month. The
majority of enemy soldiers KIA were carrying hand grenades. They have used
them extensively since the arrival of this battalion in the CHU LAI area.
addition to the above, the following incidents occurred in our area of
operations during the past month.
Sniper Incidents -
Booby Trap and Mine Incidents -
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