Various 1st Battalion Actions

July 30, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Various 1st Battalion Actions

I Corps and III Corps -- South Vietnam
July 1968 - November 1970

13 July 1968 Army Reporter Vietnam Communiqué
Trang Bang, Hau Nghia Province, III Corps -- Elements of the 25th Infantry Division killed 82 enemy during a week of moderate fighting. The 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne, operating under the control of the 25th Division, killed 38 enemy in a two-hour battle north of Trang Bang. The encounter began when a reinforced VC company attacked the night defensive position of the 1-506th Airborne 29 miles NW of Saigon. A suicide sapper squad armed with satchel charges, assaulted the paratrooper's perimeter. The two-hour battle was intense, the defender at times lobbing grenades into gaps between their positions to halt enemy infiltration.


13 July 1968 Army Reporter
Cavalrymen Repel Midnight Assault
Trang Bang, Hau Nghia Province, III Corps -- The 1-506th Airborne, 101st Airborne Division received a midnight attack on their defensive perimeter three miles north of here, killing 38 enemy in a four-hour fire fight. The battalion had set up its night positions in a huge open field along Highway 6A near several villagers. "My men reported that the villagers appeared to be leaving their homes," said 1LT Arthur J. Short, platoon leader of Company A. "This is usually a good indication that Charlie is in the area." Several hours later SP4 Dan R. Burbeula peered to his front with a starlight scope and spotted "approximately three VC about 150 meters out." The Company A troopers opened fire briefly, and a period of silence followed. Shortly after midnight the uneasy calm was shattered by a long burst from a machinegun manned by SP4 Robert L. Harvey. "It seemed like they were gathering by a small hut near the corner of the perimeter," said SGT Ken Brokaw. "Harvey's burst dropped a couple and the rest scattered." Mortar and grenade rounds began landing inside the perimeter as an enemy suicide squad assaulted a foxhole and attempted to reach the company's portion of the perimeter. SP4 James E. Burke, already wounded in the hand by a rocket, killed four of the attackers with his rifle. The enemy soldiers fell within five feet of his position. "They were so close that we were tossing grenades between our positions to insure that they wouldn't slip past us," said SP4 Terry Sherman. SP5 Ubaldo Maestas, a medic in Company A was treating a fellow trooper when he glanced up and saw a VC soldiers two yards away. "I emptied a magazine into him and he didn't get back up," Maestas recalled. Two hundred yards away, Company D also was being rushed by the VC. We were set up in a listening post about 250 yards in front of the perimeter when we observed approximately 35 enemy moving toward our position," related PFC Lester D. L'Heureux. L'Heureux motioned three other men back, blew Claymore mines and threw grenades at the enemy. "Then we got back to the perimeter fast," he said. The battle raged into the early morning hours. Artillery, helicopter gunships and an Air Force Spooky supplied strong fire support to the Airborne infantrymen. At dawn the trooper counted 31 bodies on the perimeter. A sweep of the area revealed seven more. Twenty-five weapons were captured, including 14 rifles, nine rocket launchers and two machineguns. There were no trooper deaths. Sherman, Brokaw, and Maestas received Bronze Stars for their heroism.


Operational Report of the 25th Infantry Division for Period Ending 31 July 1968
Section 1, Operations: Significant Activities.
21 June: Shifting its area of operations from the TRAPEZOID south of the MICHELIN PLANTATION to western HAU NGHIA Province southwest of TRANG BANG, the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division engaged in a significant combat action. At 1142 hours, Company A, 1st Battalion, 506th Airborne was searching east of the ORIENTAL RIVER at XT430113 when it ran into the base camp of an estimated VC company. In the heavy fire fight that followed, A Company was reinforced by C Company and A Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne. Helicopter gunships, artillery and air strikes were also brought to bear on the enemy positions. After the contact which lasted through the day and night, the area was searched and disclosed 64 VC KIA and the capture of 13 AK-47 rifles, two PRG-2 rocket launchers, two machine guns, 29 hand grenades, 19 RPG-2 rounds and 5,000 rounds of small arms ammunition. The enemy unit in contact was later identified as the 267th VC Battalion.

23 June: The reconnaissance platoon of the 1st Battalion, 506th Airborne conducting a night search and destroy operation along the west bank of the ORIENTAL RIVER, discovered a large enemy ammunition cache. At 0210 hours the platoon uncovered 106 -75mm recoilless rifle rounds, one 120 mm mortar round, 110 RPG rounds, 429 -60mm mortar rounds, three 82mm rounds and 1,000 rounds of small arms ammunition at XT420105.

30 June: Earlier in the day, the night defensive position of the 1st Battalion, 506th Airborne at XT492235, came under attack from an estimated two companies at 0005 hours. In the contact which lasted until 0230, the paratroopers supported by armed helicopters and artillery turned back the enemy assault and accounted for 38 NVA KIA, and the capture of 12 AK-47 rifles, nine RPG rocket launchers, two machine guns, 2000 rounds of small arms ammunition and 40 hand grenades. The attacking companies were later identified as elements of the 2nd Battalion, 275th VC Regiment.

3 July: Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, participating in the squadron's road clearing and security mission of the MSR between TAY NINH City and SAIGON, drew fire from an estimated enemy platoon at 0140 at a point on the MSR four kilometers southeast of GO DA HAU (XT413231). At about the same time that this contact was taking place, ten kilometers to the northeast (XT538264) the night defensive position of D Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Airborne Infantry came under attack by an unknown size enemy force. Meeting the attack with organic weapons and supporting artillery, the company fought off the enemy charge. Sweeping into the area from which the enemy came, the company located 13 VC KIA and captured two machine guns, two rocket launchers, four AK-47 rifles, and one field radio.

The 3rd Brigade, 101st Air Cavalry Division** became OPCON to the 25th Infantry Division 14 June and remained in that status through the end of the reporting period. Organic units of this brigade were: the 1st Battalion, 506th Airborne Infantry, 2nd Battalion, 506th Airborne Infantry; the 3rd Battalion 187th Airborne Infantry, and A and C Batteries, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Artillery.

[**NOTE: On June 27, 1968, the 101st Airborne Division had been redesignated the 101st Air Cavalry Division. However, this terminology was withdrawn on August 26, 1968, and the new designation established as the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile).]


4 Nov 1968 Army Reporter Vietnam Communiqué for the period Oct 16-22
Hue, Thua Thien Province, I Corps -- In a week of light action paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division reported killing 20 enemy soldiers. During a reconnaissance-in-force operation eleven miles south of Hue, B/1-506th Infantry discovered an enemy basecamp composed of several huts and bunkers. A search of the area uncovered 31 individual weapons, nine crew-served weapons, including three mortars and two 75mm recoilless rifles.


11 Nov 1968 Army Reporter Vietnam Communiqué for the period Oct 22-28
Operation NEVADA EAGLE, Hue, Thua Thien Province, I Corps -- Members of the 101st Airborne Division killed 143 enemy soldiers in a week of moderate action. The paratroopers added 93 enemy to the list of kills in Operation Nevada Eagle. The 1-506th Infantry, 3rd Brigade discovered a small enemy base camp 10 miles south of Hue. A search of the area turned up 80 enemy bodies.


For the period Dec 16-24, 1968
Operation RAWLINS VALLEY, Nam Hoa, Thua Thien Province, I Corps -- The 3d Brigade, 101st Airborne had the 3/187th and the 1-506th Airborne Battalions conduct this reconnaissance in force operation in the Nam Hoa District with the 3d ARVN Regiment. Casualties: US not reported; enemy 8 KIA.


For the period Dec 31, 1968 - Jan 13, 1969
Operation TODD FOREST, Nam Hoa, Thua Thien Province, I Corps -- The 3d Brigade, 101st Airborne conducted this reconnaissance in force operation with the 1-506th Airborne Battalion and the 1st ARVN Regiment into the area 10 miles south of Hue. Casualties: Allies 2 WIA; enemy 12 KIA.


17 Aug 1970 Army Reporter Vietnam Communiqué for the period July 27-Aug 2
101st Airborne Division
Jul 31: Men of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), working in their I Military Region, discovered a cache secreted in the heavy jungle 35 miles west of Hue. Screaming Eagles of Company C, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, counted 24 bunkers containing 300 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, 800 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 38 rifle grenades and one 82mm mortar base plate.


30 Nov 1970 Army Reporter Vietnam Communiqué for the period Nov 9-15
101st Airborne Division
Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) found a bunker complex 15 miles west of Hue in Military Region I.

Nov 11: Elements of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, discovered 540 pounds of TNT, two crew-served weapons,26 individual weapons, one mine and eight telescopic sights. Enemy materiel continued to be recovered from the bunker complex.

Nov 12: New discoveries included 285 pounds of TNT, 16 individual weapons, one crew-served weapon, three large Chicom mines, 38 small Chicom mines, one 60mm mortar rounds, 271 82mm mortar rounds, two RPG rounds, 24 122mm fuses, two cans of 82mm fuses and one can of fuses of an undetermined type. The total weight of the cache was 2.4 tons.

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