3rd Squadron History

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(RCS CSHIS-6 (R2))


1 January 1968 - 31 December 1968


Summary of Year’s Activities.

During January 1968, 3d Squadron participated in Operation FARGO,YELLOWSTONE, and CASEY in TAY NINH and BINH LONG Province.

Breakdown of Monthly Activities

Operation FARGO was a regimental search and destroy operation designed to destroy the 271, 272, and 273 NVA Regiments, open Highway 13 between AN LOC and LOC NINH, and halt enemy infiltration from Cambodia. From 1-5January 3/11 operated from FSB 5 km east of LOC NINH along Highway 14 in Northern LONG BINH Province. During this period there were light US casualties resulted from 4 light contacts. Displacing to a FSB in northeastern TAY NINH Province on 6 January, the Squadron encountered 15 AT mines considered to have been in place for over a year.

On 8 January Troops I, L, and M Company moved to northeast TAY NINH Province south of the “Fishhook” area. VC tank hunter-killer teams armies with AK-47’s and RPG’s were immediately encountered. The Squadron conducted one operation in coordination with one company of CIDG from the TONG LE CHON Special Forces Compound. This first encounter with CIDG support added increased flexibility to the Squadron. The Squadron established defensive positions on 14 January along Highway 13 and in the LOC N1NH area. For the remainder of the month, the Squadron secured the Regimental FSA/CP Complex and provided escort for Log convoys between AN LOC and LOC NINH along Highway 13.

Operation FARGO terminated on 22 January with 2 US KIA, 12 US WIA, 2 VC KIA, 8 captured VC ~mines, 50 VC bicycles, I AK-47with 400 rounds of ammunition, 6 grenades, and 31 gas mask. Numerous enemy fortifications were destroyed, 9 of the Squadron’ S ACAV’ s and 2 M48A3 tanks were destroyed by mines and RPG’s.

On 10 January Operation YELLOWSTONE commenced with 3/11 OPCON to the 25th Infantry Division and operating with the 2/22 Mech on search and destroy missions along the Cambodian border. Several contacts were made with tank-hunter teams, resulting in 4 and 1 USAF KIA, 12 and 2 CIDG WIA, 2 enemies KIA probably resulted. 3 ACAV’s were destroyed due to emeny action in Operation YELLOWSTONE.

Operation CASEY began on 23 January with the Squadron (minus I Troop) OPCON to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division continuing its security mission in the LOC NINH area along Highway 13 from LOC NINH to AN LOC. I Troop became OPCON to the 3d Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and moved from LOC NINH to DI AN and finally north of TAN UYEN in northern BIEN HOA Province. I Troop’s mission was to secure jungle clearing teams in the TAN UYEN area until 20 February 1968.

From 31 January to 29 February the 3d Squadron participated in Operation ADAIRSVILLE, UNIONTOWN III, and SARATOGA. The most significant action occurred between 311400H January and 011600H February. During this period the Squadron (minis I and K Troops) moved from LOC NINH to BIEN HOA and fought a major battle to secure the compound of the III Corps (ARVN) headquarters. Towards the latter part of the month the Squadron moved to an area west of SAIGON to provide security for the TAN SON NHUT complex.

At 300300H January 1968, the enemy’s TET Offensive was launched. On 31 January the Squadron (minus I and K Troops) moved from LOC NINH to BIEN HOA city, closing into ARVN III Corps Headquarters at 2315 hours. On 1 February Troop L and B Company 2/502 Airborne Infantry made contact with elements of the Viet Cong U-4 Battalion, while conducting search and clear house-to-house operation just outside III Corps Headquarters An Air Cav LFT supported L Troop. At 011630 February, when contact was broken, there were 36 VC KIA (BC), 2 US KIA, and 9 US WIA. Only1 US KIA and 7 US WIA was from L Troop.

The Squadron, new including I Troop, moved to a FSB 6 km south of LONG BINH Complex. I Troop was OPCON to the 2d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division on 5 February and moved to PHU LOI-TAN UYEN area. During the following 12 days I Troop had contact with the Viet Cong on 7,12, and14 February north of PHU LOI, resulting in 31 VC KIA. 1 VCC, 3 US KIA 6 US WIA and 1 ACAV destroyed. I Troop rejoined the Squadron on 17 February at LONG BINH.

From 7 February the Squadron was placed OPCON to the 199th Light Infantry Brigade (SEP), estab1ished a CP in the 199th LONG BINH Compound, and took part in Operation UNIONTOWN III. With infantry OPCON units, 3d Squadron had the mission of preventing VC ground attacks on the LONG BINH Complex. The Squadron conducted RIF operations in conjunction with Air Mobile assau1ts to sanitize the LONG BINH rocket belt. UNIONTOWN III netted 40 VC KIA and 8 VCC.

On 12 February Howitzer Battery supported by fire a 1st Infantry Division Air Mobile operation, receiving credit for 4 VC KIA (BC) 8 VCC, destruction of 8 VC weapons, 2 RPG rounds, and the capturing of 5,000 lbs of rice.

On 19 February the Squadron extracted from jungle NDP’s 12 km east of LONG BINH and established 2 fords across the heretofore unfordable LA BUONG River. On 22 February, aided by A Troop 3/17 Air Cavalry, M Company located a local force supply company staging area. 100 lbs of TNT, 10 RPG-2 rounds, and 3 sniper rifles were included in material evacuated from the base camp area.

On 17 February L Troop was placed OPCON to the 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and moved to a laager position west of SAIGON. That same evening L Troop’s perimeter was attacked by the U-1 VC Batta1ion. 24 VC KIA and 1 VCC with only 3 US WIA. L Troop nearly daily contact until 24 February, resulting in an additional 20 VC KIA (BC), 2 US KIA and 12 US WIA.

On 24 February the Squadron was OPCON to the 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and moved to occupy a FSB west of SIAGON. The mission was to provide distant security for TAN SON NHUT Air Base and the SIAGON Complex. RIF’s were conducted along with aggressive patrol plan. During sweep operations conducted by I Troop, K Troop, and M Company on 26 February, 3 AK-47 rifles and 27 RPG rounds were Located.

I Troop received 22 rounds of 82mm mortar fire on 29 April, resulting in 20 US WIA. During the month of April the total combined Squadron effort resulted in 725 enemy bunkers destroyed, 49 VC KIA, and 5 VCC, Significant weapons caches were confiscated along with numerous documents, utensils, food, and medical supplies.

During the period 1-31 May the Squadron conducted security operations in the vicinity of the SIAGON-LONG BINH-BIEN HOA military complex. The Squadron or e1ements of the Squadron were OPCON to the 1st, 9th, and 25th Infantry Divisions, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, and the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Combat operations were conducted in BIEN HOA, GIA DINH, LONG AN, HAU NGHIA, and BINH DUONG Provinces.

The Squadron participated in Operation TOAN THANG from 1-13 May supporting 3rd Brigade units in contact in the CU CHI-PHU LOI area, and also conducted security operations south of SIAGON. On 6 May the Squadron was assigned the mission of clearing CU CHI City. Working with C Company, 2/22 Infantry, M Company moved into the village establishing contact with an estimated 2 Platoons of Viet Cong. During the intense street fighting which lasted 8 hours, Captain Wilson, M Company Commander was killed and 7 men were wounded. There were 14 VC KIA (BC) and 2 weapons captured. On 7 May contact was re-established southeast of CU CHI City and M Company, supported by the 22d Infantry, was credited with 6 VC KIA (BC). One tank was destroyed by enemy anti-tank fire and one trooper was wounded.

On 9 May I Troop (OPCON to the 25th Infantry Division US) re-acted to the NDP of the 4/23 Infantry, 5 km north of DUC HOA to counterattack and re-secure the NDP which had been penetrated by an unknown size enemy force. Three 155mm self propelled howitzers of the 25th Division were destroyed. I Troop killed 109 enemy and captured 7 more, suffering 5 KIA and 38 WIA. One ACAV was destroyed by an AT mine.

Troop L remained OPCON to the 1st Infantry Division from 1-12 May, Occupying an NDP 10 km northeast of PHU LOI. On 5 May and again on 11 May, L Troop made contact with VU Companies northeast of TAN UYEN, resulting in106 VC KIA (BC), 9 VCC, and 24 weapons captured in the two engagements.

On 12 May, the Squadron moved into BIEN HOA and assumed the LONG BINH-BIEN HOA security mission. While performing this mission, Troops I, K, and L were at various times placed OPCON to the 3rd Brigade, 101st airborne division, and the 199th Light Infantry Brigade.

During the period 13-26 May there was no contact with the enemy. On May 28 the Squadron was placed OPCON to the 25th Infantry Division (US), moving and establishing a FSB west of SAIGON. Security operations were conducted for the remainder of the month.

Total results for May by all elements of the Squadron were 240 VC/NVA KIA (BC), 13 VC captured and 41 weapons (8 crew served) captured. US losses were 7 KIA ad 43 WIA 2 tanks and 3 ACAV’s destroyed.

From 1-10 June the Squadron conducted combat operations OPCON to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division along Highway 1 between TAY NINH and CU CUI, From 11-30 June the Squadron secured Blackhorse Base Camp under Regimental control. The Squadron had no major contact with the enemy during this period.

On 5 June the Squadron CP at TRANG BANG received 60 rounds of 60mm, 82mm, and RP fire, followed by a ground attack. A fire team from the 25th Aviation Battalion was on station within 15 minutes, immediately receiving fire from 3 well placed 50 caliber machine guns. At first light, a sweep of the area resulted in the location of 7 VC/NVA bodies, 1 VC/NVA POW, and the capture of 4 weapons, 3 Chicon claymores, 2 bangalore torpedoes, and 30 RPG rounds. Seven troopers were wounded but none seriously. On 7 June the Squadron CP moved to FSB KOOKADURA and on 9 June received 20-25 rounds of 82mm mortar fire resulting in 1 US KIA and 3 US WIA. Counter mortar fire produced unknown results.

On 11 June the Squadron was released OPCON to the 25th Infantry Division and reverted to Regimental control, returning to Blackhorse Base Camp that same day. I Troop moved on 11 June to LONG BINH to secure the DONG NAI River Bridge and to provide RRF to II FFV. K Troop relieved I Troop of the LONG BINH security mission on 20 June. L Troop relieved K Troop of the mission on 20 June.

Operating in direct support of the 43rd Infantry Regiment (ARVN) from 12-17 June, L Troop secured a fire support base in the BAO BINH area and conducted local reconniasance-in-Force operations. These operations resulted in 2 VC KIA and 5 POW detainees. L Troop had 1 US KIA and 2 US WIA, and 1 ACAV destroyed. From 23-26 June I Troop secured a FSB in the vicinity of the LA NGA Bridge. There was no enemy contact during this mission.

From 12-30 June the Squadron was charged with the security of Blackhorse Base Camp, the security of the LONG BINH-Blackhorse resupply convoys, and was directed to support the 18th ARVN Division with a minimum of one Troop/team. The Squadron had no major contact during this period. 55 enemy bunkers were destroyed during the month and 800 pounds of food supplies, 27 mines, 17 handgrenades and several 82mm mortar rounds, RPG rounds, and bangalore torpedoes were confiscated.

From 1-31 July the Squardon secured Blackhorse Base Camp under Regimental control, receiving no major contact during this period. The Squadron was also charged with the security of the LONG BINH-Blackhorse resupply convoys, with the clearace of route 1 to GIA RAY to permit the 31st Engineer Battalion to secure gravel from GIA RAY gravel pit, with the conduct of MEDCAP operations, and with the support of the 18th ARVN Division. The Squadron conducted 3 to 4 ambush patrols nightly, occassionally taking groups of 3-5 VC under fire, and successfully preventing VC mining activity along Route 2.

During the period 1-2 August the Squadron secured Blackhorse Base Camp, under Regimental control. On 3 August the Squadron displaced to field locations to continue Operation TANG THANG Phase II, under Regimental control. In conjunction with ARVN forces from 9-13 August, the Squadron conducted cordon and search operations in the BINH DONG Province villages of CHANH LUU, CHANH LONG, CAU DAT. On 14 August L Troop, with M Company reinforcing engaged an unknown size force and called in artillery and TAC air. 2 VC KIA resulted from this action and there were no US casualties. In the early morning hours of 15 August, Blackhorse Base Camp received 18 rounds of 122mm rocket fire. Three US casualties were sustained. On 19 August at fire support base Normandy II, Howitzer Battery received 20-30 rounds of 82mm mortar fire. Counter mortar fire produced unknown results. There were no US casualties. On 24 August the joint cordon and search operation of CAU DAT with the RF/PF unit from BINH DUONG Province took place. In addition, from 21-31 August, the Squadron provided security for resource control points with the VN National Police.

Throughout the majority of the month of August, the Squadron was OPCON to the 1st Infantry Division, under Regimental control. The Squadron was charged with cordon and search operations within the Squadron’s assigned area of operation, reconnaissance-in-force operations, night ambush patrols, and the security of ROME PLOW operations directed by 1st Infantry Division. During this period one troop was located in the vicinity of BEN CAT, with the mission of securing ROME PLOW operations. The Squadron tank company was deployed 13-31 August to Task Force PRIVETTE as RRF in the LONG BINH-BINH HOA complex. The remaining two troops conducted frequent reconnaissance-in-Force and cordon and search operations in the Squadron area of operations. The Squadron’s Howitzer Battery was located at fire support base NORMANDY II OPCON to the 1st Division Artillery. During the month the Squadron captured 27 mines, 2 500 pound bombs, 64 rockets of various sizes, 17 rifles, 4 tons of food supplies, 2200 rounds of assorted ammunition, and 7 motorcycles. There were 11 VC/NVA KIA during the month and 1 POW. There was no US KIA during the month.

During the period 1-13 September the Squadron continues the operation TOAN THANG Phase II in the 1st Infantry Division TAOR, under Regimental control. On 14 September the Squadron displaced to the- vicinity of TAN SON NHUT OPCON to the Capital Military Assistance Command under the control of the 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, assuming the mission of RIF and RRF for certain key installations and areas within the Capital Military Assistance Command TAOR.

During the period 1-12 September the Squadron conducted cordon and search operations with the 5th ARVN Division in the villages of HOA LOI, CHANH LUU, and CHANH LONG. Information received by the 5th ARVN Intelligence at 041457H September, indicated the Phu Loi Battalion as located in the vicinity of HOA LOI. Troops I and K moved to seal the village through difficult, rice paddy terrain, over as much as 12 kilometers, in only one hour and 17 minutes from the initial receipt of intelligence information. L Troop made a 42 km road march from its NDP to the village from receipt of the movement order, without benefit of a warning order. Eight VC and 7 VC suspects were captured. The Squadron sealed PHU CHANH village in CHANH THANH District twice in September with the aid of 2/28th Infantry and the 1st Armored Cavalry Regiment (ARVN). The 4th Battalion, 8th Regiment, 5th ARVN Division conducted the search each time. Results were 2 VC KIA, 32 VC and 19 VC suspects captured 79 draft dodgers, and 263 detainees. Most were processed through ARVN military channels.

On 5 September the Squadron received information that a high ranking enemy soldier desired to rally to RVN forces at CHANH LUU village. The snatch operation netted the XO of the K-4 Battalion, Dong Nai Regiment. Information garnered from the rallier led to the 3d Squadron’s engagement of K-4 Phu Loi Battalion elements with these results: 7 VC KIA, 3 VC POW, 1 RPG-2 launcher, and 3 RPG-2 rockets. Displacing to positions in and around TAN SON NHUT AFB on 13 September, the Squadron conducted resource control points and curfew control points north and west of TAN SON NHUT with VN Nation Police Support. The Squadron became OPCON to the Capital Assistance Command, under the control of 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. The Squadron assumed the mission of Reaction/Blocking Force for TSN/MACV. Local security for the Box Bridge and Route 1 north of HOA MON Bridge, local RIF’s, cordon and search, and night ambush patrols. The Squadron was also charged with the mission of RRF for certain key installations within the Capital Assistance Military District. These installations included the American Embassy, the Ambassador’s Residence, the 3rd Field Hospital, two R and R sites. TON SON NHUT AFB and the MACV compound.

During the first half of October the Squadron remained OPCON to the Capital Military Assistance Command, under the control of the 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. The Squadron continued its previous Reaction/Blocking force mission for TSN/MACV, local security for the Box Bridge and Route 1 north of HOA MON Bridge, local RIF’s, cordon and search, and night ambush patrols. I Troop’s mission continued as RIF for BIEN HOA-LONG BINH complex OPCON to the 11th ACR. The Squadron also continued to serve as RRF for installations within the CMAC area. On 18 October the Squadron moved to the 11th ACR TAOR in the vicinity of PHU LOI, meeting sporadic contact with enemy units of 5-6 VC during RIF and night AP’s. During October, elements of the conducted a cordon of the village of THONG TAY HOI and the villages HOA LOI and CAU DAT, resulting in the capture of a number of VC suspects and draft dodgers.

The Squadron continued operating in the PHU LOI vicinity during November, meeting sporadic enemy contact from RIF’s and AP’s. Moving to TAN BINH (Bandit Hill) north of the BINH MY, BINH CO area of operations, the Squadron CP received 33 82mm mortar rounds in the early evening of 28 November. US casualties were light with unknown counter mortar fire results on suspected enemy firing positions.

On 3 December the Squadron returned to Blackhorse Base Camp and began preparation for the Annual General Inspection (Regimental) set for 3-8 January 1969. The Squadron was named the best in the Regiment with M Company earning the honor of best Company/Troop in the Regiment. During December the 3d Squadron conducted night AP’s, RIF’s in the area south and west of Base Camp, and supported with artillery the 541st MI’s sensor program. An intense MEDCAP program for the Base Camp area was initiated.





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