Quarterly Report - Period Ending 31 Jul 67
1ST BATTALION, 14TH
APO San Francisco 9635$
'I August 1967
Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 July 1967
3rd Bde TF, 25th Inf Div
APO SF 96355
Significant Organization or Unit Activities
During the period 1 May to 31 July 1967, the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry
continued its mission of providing security for the Chu Lai Defense
Command. Numerous search and destroy operations and ambush patrols were
conducted, primarily in the western portion of the AO, as this area
contains the bulk of the VC forces currently opposing the battalion and
would be the springboard for him should he plan a ground attack on the
CLDC. In conjunction with aggressive ground operations maximum use was
made of available artillery and mortar fire support, gunships, tanks, and
airstrikes to keep the enemy off balance, impede his movement and
seriously curtail his operational flexibility.
battalion conducted surveillance operations of the waterways in the east
and southeastern portion of the AO. Elements of the 1/14th Infantry along
with Popular Forces troops conducted combined search and clear missions
with amtracks. In addition river check points were habitually set up at
night along waterway routes of infiltration.
Operations conducted by the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry successfully
denied the enemy a route of approach to northern Chu Lai area. An
effective screen by the battalion reduced 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.
Overlays attached of AO's reference maps VIETNAM, 1:50,000, Series L7014,
Sheets 6639I, 6739IV & 6740III.
During the reporting period the 1/14th
Infantry has recorded 136 separate enemy contacts. The majority of
contacts were with groups of 2 to 5 enemy and were during daylight by
squad/platoon size units conducting s& D operations in Zones CAT and DOG.
The enemy employed snipers and booby traps extensively against US Forces
throughout the AO. Avenues of approaches into enemy base areas were
heavily mined with anti-tank and anti-personnel mines and booby traps
fabricated from grenades, mortar/artillery shells and 250lb bombs. The
enemy made maximum use of mines containing very little metallic material
therefore rendering the mine detector almost ineffective in locating them.
The western portion of the battalion's AO
is the most lucrative area for making contact with enemy forces. Normally
the enemy within the AO attempted to evade and avoid contact with US
Forces. On several occasions he conducted aell planned and coordinated
grenadier attacks against platoon size elements of this battalion. During
the attacks the enemy demonstrated that he was highly motivated and well
trained. Contacts were made with elements of the following units: 706th LF
Co, 74th LF Co, 75th LF Co, V14th LF Co and 70th Co of the 409th Sapper Bn.
Documents recovered from enemy KIA have established positive
identification of these units.
Because of the extensive operations by
1/14th units throughout the AO the enemy was kept off balance and denied
many areas where he previously moved freely. During July there was an
increase in the number of enemy bunker positions and reconstruction of
those previously destroyed in the western portion of the AO. Indications
are that the enemy is preparing to move a larger size force into the area
or getting ready for the coming monsoon season.
d. Enemy KIA and
Weapon CIA: During the reporting period the 1/14th Infantry
accounted for the following enemy casualties:
Enemy KIA (BC) -
Enemy CIA - 13
Weapons CIA - 27
majority of the enemy soldiers KIA were heavily armed with hand grenades.
They have used them extensively since the arrival of this battalion in the
Chu Lai area.
Operations and Training Activities.
Plans: Current plans for the 1/14th are
to continue search and destroy operations under OPCON of the 196th Light
Infantry Brigade in the Chu Lai Area of Operations as part of TF Oregon.
The battalion conducted search and destroy operations, night ambushes,
search and clear, and cordon and search missions. Emphasis was placed on
squad size elements saturating a given area to achieve maximum coverage.
Elements were employed within close support distance of each other.
The battalion assisted 2/11 Cav during Operation RHINO, which
was conducted in the northern portion of AO BOBCAT. The Assault and
Reconnaissance platoons were attached to "E" and "F" Troops during the
A total of 19 "fireball" operations were conducted during the
reporting period. 7 - 105 How, 4 - tank, 8 - 4.2" mortar.
"Fireball" operations were utilized to extend heavy weapons and
artillery coverage to the west into a 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 battalion.
CAP India remained under OPCON of the battalion conducting civic action
missions and combined unit patrols in Zone OWL.
Interdiction of enemy routes was conducted by platoon sized eagle flight
operations into areas of suspected enemy concentrations.
Police of inland waterways was conducted with the use of
amtracks in conjunction with RF/PF forces and GVN officials. In addition
river ambushes were conducted by US forces to search boats and check
COMMANDER'S OBSERVATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
Observation (Lessons Learned)
Enemy Sniper Employment:
During the period covered by this report the enemy used a new tactic of
employing snipers in depth, with booby traps on likely approaches.
Method used to
counter this: Individual platoons were broken down into
fireteams and were employed within close supporting distance of one
another. This technique insured maximum area coverage while minimizing the
probability of exposure of enemy fire. Artillery was placed in likely
sniper areas and on the flanks of the platoon. the element in contact
would then use fire and movement to close with the enemy. Two additional
fire teams would protect the flanks of the base of fire and maneuver
Enemy Anti-helicopter Tactics:
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. 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 approach 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 at 1500 hrs and returns to pick up empties
approximately one hour later.
Saturating the approach to the LZ with fire team size patrols
allows effective interdiction of enemy movement and provides a quick
reaction force when the enemy fires. The 1/14th Infantry had enemy kills
on three different occasions when this technique was employed during the
past three months. When employing such a technique, the helicopter pilots
are advised of friendly locations to preclude the door gunners from firing
on friendly troops. The ground commanders advise the pilot to approach the
LZ along the route that has been secured. When it is impractical to employ
such patrols, the ground commanders advise the pilot to vary his flight
pattern loading to the LZ. Regardless of the tactic employed, the ground
commander must always brief the pilot on the friendly and enemy situations
and advise him of the safest approach to the LZ. Units should move to a
new location after resupply and extraction of empties has been completed
to preclude the enemy from pinpointing their positions.
Deliberately building fires and firing around friendly locations at night.
The enemy is often aware of the general night locations of US units. A
tactic he has employed is to fire several automatic weapon bursts at a
safe distance from US positions and build fires. This will usually result
in artillery fire being called into the area 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 until morning when friendly
troops move out on daily operations.
Methods used to
counter this tactic are:
(1) Avoid trails and open areas when
leaving bivouac sites.
(2) Be especially alert during all
(3) Move from bivouac in a directions
away from the objective, then circle around.
(4) Recon by fire with organic and
indirect fire weapons prior to and during movement.
(5) Conduct all movement using the best
tactical formation and all around security.
Use of M14 rifles:
The enemy sniper uses weapons which have effective ranges up to 500
meters. In order to counter this advantage over the M16 rifle, the 1st Bn,
14th Inf has issued one M14 rifle per squad. In addition, all LRRP's have
at least one M14 rifle with sniper scope. This has resulted so far in two
(2) known kills at ranges in excess of 500 meters.
Quick fire range:
It has been found that in thick underbrush troops have only fleeting
glimpses of the enemy at short ranges. The situation then resolves itself
into a case of who gets off the first, most accurate shot.
The 1st Bn, 14th Inf has developed a line fire, moving pop-up
range. Troops are retrained in the ability to "snap-shoot" at targets
which appear suddenly. Instinctive shooting is incorporated into the
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