Thursday, July 7, 2011

GOING BACK TO THE WORLD

HEADQUARTERS
27th Marine Regiment
1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF
FPO, San Francisco, California 96602
3/LMS/jma
Ser. 0059-68
2 Sep 1968

From: Commanding Officer
To: Commanding General, 1st Marine Division
Subj.: Command Chronology for period 010001H August to 312400H August 1968

PART II
NARRATIVE SUMMARY

During the month of August 1968, the Regiment continued operating in the DaNang TAOR. On 3 August 1968 the 27th Marine Regiment was relieved of operational responsibility of Operation ALLENBROOK on GO NOI Island by the Fifth Marines.
Within the DaNang TAOR, the emphasis continued on saturation patrolling with particular attention directed to the area of the rocket and mortar belts. Enemy contact was light to moderate throughout the month of August, with the principal means of warfare being the employment of mines and booby traps coupled with the utilization of guerrilla tactics against forces of the Regiment.
At 1200 on 2 August 1968, RLT 27 and BLT 1/27 were activated for planning in order to expedite preparations for redeployment of thos units to CONUS and Hawaii respectively.
On 28 August 1968 the 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines was relieved of responsibility of its TAOR by the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines. At 1800 on 30 August 1968, the 2nd Battalion, 27th Marines was relieved of responsibility for its TAOR by 1st Battalion, First Marines. At 1200 on 31 August 1968, RLT 27 was relieved of operational and tactical responsibility of its portion of the DaNang TAOR by the 1st Marines. Operational control of BLT 1/27 and 2nd Battalion, 27th Marines was passed to the First Marines at 1200 on 31 August.
As the reporting period closed, the Regimental Headquarters and 3rd Battalion were relieved of all tactical responsibilities and were preparing for redeployment. BLT 1/27 and 2nd Battalion remained in an operational status OPCON to First Marines. They were scheduled for released from tactical commitments in early September.

THE ROCKET BELT: 1968

Enemy Unit Locations, ref. to OpOrder 301-68, in the 27th Marines TAOR: (c. April, 1968)

CONFIRMED UNITS.

2NVA Division Hqs. Que Son (D)
1st VC Regimental Hqs BT 0318
40th Bn BT 0318
60th Bn BT 0318
90th Bn BT 0318
3rd NVA Regimental Hqs Go Noi Island
1st Bn Duy Xuyen
2nd Bn Duy Xuyen
3rd Bn Duy Xuyen
31st NVA Regimental Hqs AT 8664
101st Bn AT 8862
102nd Bn AT 8766
103rd Bn AT 8865
68B Rocket Regiment Go Noi Island
368B Rocket Regiment West of Song Yen River
R-30 Bn Go Noi Island
V-25 Bn Go Noi Island
402nd Sapper Bn West of Song Yen River
Q-15th Company Dien Ban (D)
Q-16th Company Hoa Van (D)

POSSIBLE UNITS

341st NVA Division Hqs West of Song Yen River
U/I NVA Regiment West of Song Yen River
U/I NVA Regiment West of Song Yen River
K-27 152 Gun Bn AT 8174
K-49 Gun Bn AT 8665
K-75 152 Gun Bn AT 9162

1. All NVA Battalions at T/O strength 600-650 men.

2. All Viet Cong Local Force Battalions at T/A strength 300-450 men.

3. District Companies 120 men.

4. NVA Battalions contain at T/E strength 10x81mm Mortars, 19x60mm Mortars, 1x57mm RR, Unknown number B-40 Rockets, and Unknown number AK-47's, HMG and LMG.

5. VC Local Force Battalions contain at T/E strength 3x81mm Mortars, 1x57mm RR, unknown number B-40 Rockets and assortment of small arms.

6. Local Force Companies contain 1x81mm Mortar, 2x60mm Mortars.

7. Rocket Regiments at T/E 54 122mm Launchers.

BY COMMAND OF COLONEL A. G. SCHWENK
N.G. RODES
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Executive Officer

REGIMENTAL ORDER 3800.1A

CONFIDENTIAL (c. April 1968)
Copy___of___Copies
S-2 Section
Hq 27th Mar, 1st MarDiv
Duong Son (2) Viet Nam

APPENDIX 1 (INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE) to Annex B (Intelligence) to Operation Order 301-68

Reference: (a) Maps (b) Regimental Order 3800.1A

1. MISSION.

a. Basic Mission. 27th Marines participate in defense of the DaNang Vital Area and other U.S. or ARVN or GVN critical installations, conduct unilateral and joint operations within the TAOR, when directed conduct operations exterior to the TAOR, and support the Revolutionary Development Program within assigned TAOR.

b. Previous Decisions. None

c. Purpose of this Estimate. To develop the intelligence necessary to support the assigned mission.

2. ENEMY SITUATION.

a. Recent and Present Activities.

The enemy utilizes our TAOR as part of Military Region V Reconnaissance Zone. The zone consist of area north of Go Noi Island and west of the Song Yen River. The 2d NVA Division, (Ist VC, 3rd NVA and the 21st NVA Regiments), R-20 Bn and V-25 Bn utilize Go Noi Island and the area to the south as a base area for training, administration, replenishment and other miscellaneous purposes. The mountainous area west of the Yong Sen River is utilized as a base area for the 31st NVA Regiment and the probable location of the 341st NVA Division with two regiments. It is believed that the 402nd Sapper Battalion also uses this area for its base camp. The only units which remain within the TAOR indefinitely are the Q-15th Dien Ban District Company and the Q-16th Hoa Van District Company. In addition to these two companies, village and hamlet guerrillas also remain within the TAOR at all times. Regular units only enter the TAOR on their way to DaNang or to conduct offensive actions against the ARVN or USMC units within the TAOR.

Village guerrillas only leave the area for training in the mountains west or Go Noi Island to the south.

The VC/NVA utilize Highway 1 and the waterways running north to south as major LOC's through the TAOR.

Defensive positions in close proximity to hamlets and tunnels within the hamlets are used as way stations during movement through or in the TAOR. b. Characteristics of the Area of Operation. (See current TACTA's).

c. Enemy Military Situation.

(1) Composition-Tab B and C.

(2) Locally Available Strength.

The enemy maintains 2 District companies (Q-15 and Q-16) in the TAOR at all times. In addition village guerrilla companies, lightly armed and poorly trained, are in the area. Their weapons consist of unknown number of 81mm mortars, LMG's and an assortment of small arms.

(3) Availability of reinforcements.

Immediate reinforcements from the R-20 and V-25 Local Force Battalions (400 men each) within 24 hours and 12 NVA Battalions (C) (and 6 (P)) within 36 hours supported by 108-122mm Rocket launchers, and other supporting arms possibly up to and including 152mm guns.

(4) Location and disposition-see Tab A.

(5) Movements and activities--see 27th Marines Intsums.

(6) Logistics.

Weapons and ammunition are brought in country via Laos and sea infiltration. The main storage areas are located to the south of Go Noi Island and west of Song Yen. Food and medical supplies are obtained from the local economy.

(7) Counterintelligence

(8) CBR-The enemy has used C/S in the area before and still retains the capability.

(9) Pecularities and Weaknesses.

The enemy enters the TAOR, conducts offensive actions, withdraws to his base camps for 30-60 days and returns to repeat the cycle again. Prior to offensive operations, civilians within the TAOR stock up on food, build rafts, work on defensive positions, and the enemy commences attacks on the periphery of the TAOR.

The enemy's main weakness is reliance on the local population for assistance in any operations, the inability to sustain long engagements, and recruitment problems from the local population.

3. CAPABILITIES.

a. To attack 27th Marines patrols anytime with squad size units 6-15 men.

b. To defend any hamlet with many squad size units 6-15 men each, anytime supported by unknown number 82mm Mortars, 60mm Mortars and B-40 Rockets, reinforced by unknown number VC main force companies.

c. To reinforce hamlet guerrillas in TAOR anytime with unknown number of VC mainforce companies.

d. To continue mining of LOC's during hours of darkness.

e. To launch rockets from sites, during the hours of darkness, within the Rocket Belt.

f. To continue to infiltrate through the TAOR with unknown number of units in a south to north direction.

g.To continue stockpiling of equipment in TAOR in preparation for second offensive.

h. To attack any ARVN or U.S. compound within the 27th Marines TAOR with up to four infantry Regiments (8000) supported by two 122mm Rocket Regiments and unknown number of 120mm Mortars, 60mm Mortars and B-40 Rockets. Reinforced by unknown number of local force guerrillas, Mainforce Gerrillas, and NVA regulars.

4. CONCLUSIONS.

a. Relative Probability of Adoption of Enemy Capabilities.

a, d, g, e, b, c, f, h,

b. Effect of Enemy Capabilities on Commander's Mission.
The adoption of the capabilities or a combination of them will in some cases have a serious effect but not prevent the accomplishment of the assigned missions.

BY COMMAND OF COLONEL A. G. SCHWENK
N. G. RODES
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Executive Officer

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

MAP SHEET 6640-4: DAI LOC

DAI LOC

Southern sector Danang TAOR for 27th Marines was found in several map sheets, the predominant one being Sheet 6640-IV.
The map as a whole can be found at :

http://www.virtual.vietnam.ttu.edu/cgi-bin/starfetch.exe?D1p8WCXnruJhXYoNprZZi4QuIZZc7w.QKtgYVk.UJPl@i2WUuTMO9MpZl.esdfAHXNhv5LhFdd9cghpxE.FL@u3oImM1ymzk/6640-4.jpg"

A B/W version of the map:


Monday, February 14, 2011

Army/USAF vs. USMC Air War

DECLASSIFIED FROM SECRET

200148Z FEB 68
FM CG III MAF
TO CG FMFPAC

SECRET MARINE CORPS EYES ONLY
FOLLOWING MESSAGE SENT TO GENERAL WESTMORELAND, INFO GEN MOMYER (USAF), FROM LTGEN CUSHMAN
REF (A) YOUR 191147Z FEB68

1. IN RESPONSE TO REF (A), GENERAL MOMYER AND I MET THIS DATE AT III MAF HQTRS. GENERAL MOMYER PRESENTED HIS PROPOSED I CORPS ORGANIZATION FOR AIR REQUEST AND CONTROL. AS A RESULT OF THIS BRIEFING, SEVERAL POINTS HAVE BEEN RAISED IN MY MIND:

A. FIRST, THE PROPOSED ORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT IN THE I CORPS TACTICAL ZONE. IN THE PRESENTATION OF GENERAL MOMYER'S, THERE WAS A PROVISIONAL CORPS B NORTH AND AN I CORPS SOUTH, WITH PARALLEL AIR RERQUEST AND CONTROL ORGANIZATIONS. THERE WAS NO INDICATION AS TO WHETHER THERE WOULD BE A COMMON SUPERIOR TO PROVISIONAL B NORTH, AND I CORPS SOUTH, OR WHETHER, AS YOU HAVE STATED TO ME, I WOULD FUNCTION AT THE FIELD ARMY COMMANDER LEVEL AND THE PROVISIONAL CORPS WOULD BE UNDER MY OPCON. IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE PROPER AIR REQUEST AND CONTROL ARRANGEMENTS, IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE EXACT ORGANIZATION FOR COMBAT BE ESTABLISHED.

B. UNDER THE PROPOSED ORGANIZATION, THE TACC AT SAIGON WOULD FRAG ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATING IN VIETNAM. UNDER EXISTING MARINE CORPS DOCTRINE, THE SENIOR MARINE CORPS COMMANDER POSSESS THE AUTHORITY TO FRAG ALL AIRCRAFT THAT ARE INTEGRAL TO THE MARINE CORPS COMBAT ELEMENTS. IT IS MY DESIRE THAT ANY SYSTEM ENSURE CONTINUANCE OF THIS HIGHLY DESIRABLE PRACTICE OF FRAGGING MARINE CORPS AIRCRAFT. UNDER THE PROPOSED SYSTEM, AT LEAST TWO LEVELS OF APPROVING AUTHORITY WOULD BE SUPERIMPOSED OVER MY PRESENT SYSTEM. NATURALLY, RESPONSIVENESS TO FRAGGING PRE-PLANNED MISSIONS WOULD SUFFER. DURING OUR DISCUSSION, IT WAS CONTENTED THAT THE MARINE CORPS REQUESTS FOR AIR SUPPORT WOULD RARELY BE CHANGED BY THE 7TH AF; IT WAS POSTULATED THAT THIS WOULD OCCUR ON THE ORDER OF ONCE A MONTH. ACCORDINGLY, TO INSIST UPON A MORE COMPLICATED REQUEST SYSTEM FOR THE EXCEPTION, RATHER THAN THE RULE, APPEARS TO BE NEITHER NOR DESIRABLE.

C. UNDER ANY ARRANGEMENTS, IT IS AXIOMATIC THAT THE GROUND COMMANDER BE THE DETERMINING INDIVIDUAL AS TO WHICH SUPPORTING ARM-ARTILLERY, AIR, OR NAVAL GUNFIRE, WILL BE DELIVERED IN HIS AREA. I, AS THE GROUND COMMANDER, MUST POSSESS THE FINAL CHOICE IN WHETHER I WANT TO SHUT OFF ARTILLERY, AIR, OR NAVAL GUNFIRE AT ANY PARTICULAR MOMENT DURING THE BATTLE.

D. THE MARINE CORPS, BY STATUTE, PROVIDES FLEET MARINE FORCES OF COMBINED ARMS, TOGETHER WITH SUPPORTING AIR COMPONENTS. OUR DIVISIONS AND AIR WINGS ARE ORGANIZED FOR COMBAT INTO AIR/GROUND TEAMS, AND THE FIXED-WING SQUADRONS ARE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A CERTAIN NUMBER OF SORTIES FOR EACH MARINE BATTALION. TO FOLLOW THE SYSTEM PROPOSED BY GENERAL MOMYER WOULD, IN EFFECT, DILUTE THE NUMBER OF SORTIES REQUIRED FOR THE SUPPORT OF EACH MARINE BATTALION. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE INTEGRAL AIR SUPPORT OF THE U. S. ARMY IS UNTOUCHED. UNDER THE PROPOSAL, HELICOPTERS ARE NOT AFFECTED. AS YOU KNOW, THE ARMY ORGANIZATION INCLUDES HUEY GUNSHIPS, HUEYS ARMED WITH A.R.A., HUEY COBRAS, AND IN THE NEAR FUTURE, THE ADVANCED AERIAL FIRE SUPPORT SYSTEM. ACCORDINGLY, THE ARMY COMMANDER RETAINS THE CONSIDERABLE FIRE POWER OVER WHICH HE HAS DIRECT CONTROL, AND WITH WHICH HE CAN INFLUENCE THE TIDE OF BATTLE. UNDER THE PROPOSED SYSTEM, THESE ASSETS WOULD BE UNTOUCHED, WHEREAS THE FIXED-WING OF THE MARINE AIR/GROUND TEAM THAT PERFORMS SIMILAR MISSIONS IN SUPPORT OF MARINE GROUND SERVICES WOULD BE PLACED UNDER THE MISSION CONTROL OF ANOTHER SERVICE.

2. IN MY OPINION, THE PROCEDURES OUTLINED IN YOUR DIRECTIVE 95-4 PROVIDE YOU THE FLEXIBILITY NEEDE TO MARSHALL ALL AVAILABLE AIR ASSETS IN MACV, IN THE EVENT OF A MMAJOR EMERGENCY OR DISASTER. IN QUESTIONING GENERAL MOMYER, I WAS UNABLE TO DETERMINE THAT THERE HAD BEEN DISSATISFACTION OF THE PART OF THE GROUND UNIT COMMANDERS WITH RESPECT TO THE AIR SUPPORT BEING PROVIDED IN I CORPS. CONSEQUENTLY, IT IS MY OPINION THAT THERE IS NO COMPELLING REASON FOR CHANGING A SYSTEM THAT IS PRESENTLY WORKING WELL. ALTHOUGH NOT ACTIVELY ADVOCATING THE FOLLOWING PROPOSAL, I BELIEVE IT COULD VERY WELL SATISFY YOUR DESIRE FOR HAVING A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL YOU COULD HOLD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE AIR EFFORT IN I CORPS. AS YOUR PRINCIPAL GROUND COMMANDER, I ALSO POSSESS CONSIDERABLE ASSETS, AND IN MY OPINION, THE FINEST AIR CONTROL SYSTEM EXISTING IN THE WORLD TODAY. IF YOU WISH, I COULD ASSUME THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONTROL AND COORDINATION OF THE ENTIRE AIR EFFORT IN THE I CORPS TACTICAL ZONE AND BE THE SINGLE INDIVIDUAL YOU COULD HOLD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ENTIRE U.S. MILITARY EFFORT IN THE I CORPS TACTICAL ZONE. IN THIS REGARD, THE MANY NAVY CARRIER SORTIES COULD EASILY BE ASSIMILIATED AND CONTROLLED BY MY AIR CONTROL SYSTEM, AS BOTH OUR SERVICES USE THE SAME SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN PROVEN SO SUCCESSFUL IN PAST AMPHIBIOUS COMBAT OPERATIONS.

3. ALTHOUGH THE BRIEFING CONDUCTED BY GENERAL MOMYER WAS WELL DONE, SEVERAL POINTS OTHER THAN THOSE OUTLINED ABOVE WERE RAISED BY ME OR MY STAFF. AS A RESULT, I HAVE ASKED GENERAL MOMYER TO PROVIDE ME THE DRAFT PLAN THAT YOU INTEND SUBMITTING TO CINCPAC FOR APPROVAL, WHICH HE PROMISED TO DO. I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT UPON RECEIPT, IT WILL RECEIVE MY IMMEDIATE ATTENTION

4. WARM REGARDS.
GP-4
UNQUOTE

DECLASSIFIED FROM SECRET

Top Secret Declassified

TOP SECRET

020200Z APR 68
FOR MGEN TOMPKINS, MGEN ANDERSON, MGEN ROBERTSON, BGEN LAHUE, AND BRIG GEN OLSON FROM LT GEN CUSHMAN

1. THE FOLLOWING RECEIVED FROM GEN CHAPMAN AND IS PASSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION. QUOTE:

1. AS YOU MAY BE AWARE, GENERAL WHEELER HAS PASSED A MESSAGE TO THE PACIFIC COMMANDERS AND MACV RELATED TO THE PRESIDENTS STOPPING AIR OPERATIONS AGAINST NORTH VIETNAM NORTH OF 20 DEGREES NORTH LATITUDE. PORTIONS OF THE MESSAGE ARE QUOTED AS FOLLOWS:

"3. THE FOLLOWING FACTORS ARE PERTINENT TO HIS (THE PRESIDENT'S) DECISION:
A. SINCE THE TET OFFENSIVE, SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND THE CONGRESS FOR THE WAR IN SEA HAS DECREASED AT AN ACCELERATING RATE. MANY OF THE STRONGEST PROPONENTS OF FORCEFUL ACTION IN VIETNAM HAVE REVERSED THEIR POSITION, HAVE MOVED TO NEUTRAL GROUND, OR ARE WAVERING. IF THIS TREND CONTINUES UNCHECKED, PUBLIC SUPPORT OF OUR EFFORTS IN THE SEA WILL BE TOO FRAIL TO SUSTAIN THE EFFORT.
B. WEATHER OVER THE NORTHERN PORTION OF NORTH VIETNAM WILL CONTINUE UNSUITABLE FOR AIR OPERATIONS DURING THE NEXT 30 DAYS; THEREFORE, IF A CESSATION OF AIR OPERATIONS IS TO BE UNDERTAKEN, NOW IS THE BEST TIME FROM THE MILITARY VIEWPOINT.
C. IT IS HOPED THAT THIS UNILATERAL INITIATIVE TO SEEK PEACE WILL REVERSE THE GROWING DISSENT AND OPPOSITION WITHIN OUR SOCIETY TO THE WAR.
D. THE INITIATIVE WILL AID IN COUNTERING FOREIGN CRITICISM.
E. PRESIDENT THIEU HAS BEEN CONSULTED AND AGREES TO THE CESSATION

4. THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF HAVE BEEN APPRAISED OF THE UNILATERAL INITIATIVE TO BE TAKEN. UNDERSTAND THE REASONS THEREFOR, AND THEY ENJOIN ALL COMMANDERS TO SUPPORT THE DECISION OF THE PRESIDENT. IN THIS CONNECTION, ADDRESSEES, WITHOUT CITING THE SOURCE OR MENTIONING THE PRESIDENT, SHOULD DRAW ON THIS MESSAGE IN TALKING TO SUBORDINATE COMMANDERS TO SOLICIT THEIR UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORT. IN PARTICULAR, EVERY EFFORT SHOULD BE MADE TO DISCOURAGE MILITARY PERSONNEL FROM EXPRESSING CRITICISM TO NEWS MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES. I RECOGNIZE THAT THIS IS A DELICATE MATTER AND ONE WHICH CANNOT BE APPROACHED ON THE BASIS OF ISSUING FACTS; RATHER, THE ATTITUDES OF COMMANDERS WILL PROBABLY BE MOST INFLUENTIAL IN GUIDING THE REACTION OF THEIR SUBORDINATS (SUBORDINATES)."

2. I AM IN COMPLETE ACCORD WITH GENERAL WHEELER'S VIEWS IN THIS MATTER AND FEEL IT IS DOUBLY IMPORTANT THAT OUR MARINE COMMANDERS FULLY SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT IN HIS DECISION THROUGH OUR ATTITUDE AND IN OUR DISCUSSIONS WITH SUBORDINATES AND THE PRESS. WE ARE IN THE DMZ AND ARE THE ONES FIRST TO BE AFFECTED BY A BOMBING PAUSE; THEREFORE, THERE WILL BE REAL PRESSURE TO CRITICIZE. THIS WILL BE A SEVERE TEST OF OUR LOYALTY BUT I AM CERTAIN, THROUGH YOUR GOOD OFFICES AND THOSE OF YOUR SUBORDINATES, WE CAN STAND THE TEST. WARMEST REGARDS." GP-4 UNQUOTE BEST REGARDS


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SECRET DECLASSIFIED

061336Z APR 68
FOR GEN ABRAMS FROM LT GEN CUSHMAN

1. IT IS URGENTLY RECOMMENDED THAT THE LENGTHY AND VIVID BROADCASTS OF ARMED FORCES RADIO DESCRIBING STATESIDE RIOTS, LOOTINGS, AND BURNINGS BE CURTAILED SUBSTANTIALLY TO SPOT FACTUAL REPORTS. THESE OVERLY LENGTHY AND DESCRIPTIVE BROADCASTS ARE IN SOME RESPECTS INFLAMMATORY AND INDICATIONS ARE THAT THEY ARE ADVERSELY AFFECTING REAR AREA TROOPS IN THIS AREA...

I HAVE ALSO COUNSELED ALL COMMANDING OFFICERS TO EXERT THEIR FULL INFLUENCE TO ENSURE THAT THIS TRAGIC EVENT DOES NOT DETRACT US FROM OUR MUTUAL GOAL OF DEFEATING COMMUNISM IN VIETNAM.
(NO "WARM REGARDS") DELIVER IMMEDIATELY


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CONFIDENTIAL DECLASSIFIED

060634Z APR 68
TO GEN CHAPMAN, INFO LTGEN KRULAK, FROM LTGEN CUSHMAN

1. THE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM MGEN TOMPKINS: QUOTE:

1. COL DAVID E. LOWNDS AND HIS TWENTY-SIXTH MARINES AT KHE SANH HAVE BEEN THE FOCAL POINT OF VIETNAM NEWS SINCE 21JAN68.. DUE TO THE FIRST AIRCAV'S COMMENCEMENT OF RECENT OPERATIONS, HIS NEWS VALUE IS RAPIDLY DIMINISHING.
2. HIS NEWS VALUE TO THE MARINE CORPS IS STILL GOOD AND CAN BE GREATLY ENHANCED ON THE SPEAKERS CIRCUIT REPRESENTING THE AMERICANS AT KHE SANH AND AS THE MARINE COMMANDER WHO THWARTED GENERAL GIAP'S PLANS TO MAKE KHE SANH A SECOND DIEN BIEN PHU.
3. RECENT NEWS ARTICLES HAVE REFERRED TO THE MARINES AT KHE SANH AS "FRIGHTENED AND DEMORALIZED". COL LOWNDS' PERSONAL APPEARANCES AND TALKS WOULD SERVE TO DISPEL THESE FALSE IMPRESSIONS BY TELLING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THE TRUTH ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL MARINE'S COURAGE, HIGH MORALE AND STATE OF READINESS.


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122001Z FEB 68
SECRET
SPECAT EXCLUSIVE FOR LTGEN CUSHMAN FROM LTGEN KRULAK.
MARINE CORPS EYES ONLY

1. I HAVE BEEN CONCERNED, SINCE MY VISIT, WITH QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE POST-TET CONDITION OF THE ARVN. CAN YOU GIVE ME A FEEL FOR WHETHER THE TET BATTLES HAVE GRAVELY AFFECTED THE ARVN'S FIGHTING CAPABILITY IN ICTZ? HOW ABOUT THEIR STRENGTH? DESERTIONS? IN OTHER WORDS, DO WE HAVE A NEW AND UNFAVORABLE SITUATION AS A RESULT OF THE MULTIPLE SHOCK RECEIVED DURING THE TET PERIOD?

2. WHEN THE NVN SENT SEVERAL IL-14 TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT DOWN TO THE ASHAU VALLEY THEY HAD TO HAVE SOME VERY IMPORTANT MISSION. DOES ANYBODY HAVE AN IDEA WHAT THEY WERE DELIVERING?

3. I DO NOT BELIEVE THE REDS WILL INITIATE THE BATTLE OF THE DMZ UNLESS THEY ARE CONVINCED THAT THEY HAVE A HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF VICTORY. THIS IS UNLIKE THE BATTLE FOR THE CITIES, WHERE THEIR EFFORTS WERE IN SOME RESPECTS SUICIDAL, FOCUSED ON PROPAGANDA AND POLITICS. IF THIS IS SO, IT WOULD BE DESIRABLE TO AVOID A WAITING POSTURE IN THE DMZ BUT, EITHER THERE OR ELSEWHERE, TO DO SOMETHING THAT WOULD SEIZE THE ENEMY'S ATTENTION, HEIGHTEN HIS CONCERN, DRAIN HIS RESOURCES AND, OVERALL, MAKE IT IMPRACTICABLE FOR HIM TO PREPARE THE DMZ BATTLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS OWN DESIRES. DO YOU SEE IT THIS WAY? WHAT IS THERE THAT MIGHT BE DONE, IF RULES WERE CHANGED OR MEANS AUGMENTED?

4. IN THIS MORNING'S PAPER THERE WAS AN ARTICLE BY JACK FOISIE; DATELINE DANANG. BRIEFLY IT SAID THAT HIGH RANKING MARINES ARE "DEEPLY DISTURBED" AND "RANKLED" CONCERNING GENERAL ABRAMS' COMING TO I CORPS AS "OVERALL NORTHERN COMMANDER". IT PUT THE WHOLE THING IN AN INACCURATE AND UNFAVORABLE LIGHT. WOULD IT NOT BE A GOOD IDEA, WITH WESTY'S CONCURRENCE, FOR YOU AND ABRAMS TO HAVE THE PRESS IN AND DESCRIBE MACV FORWARD IN THE CORRECT TERMS?

WARM REGARDS


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CONFIDENTIAL DECLASSIFIED

25130Z FEB 68
FM CG III MAF
TO CG FMFPAC
FOR LTGEN KRULAK FROM LTGEN CUSHMAN//FOR GEN WESTMORELAND

1. SOME RECENT ARTICLE IN THE PRESS HAVE CONTENDED OR INFERRED THAT GENERAL ABRAMS HAS BEEN SENT TO ICTZ BECAUSE OF MARINE INCOMPETENCE. WHEN QUERIED I HAVE REPLIED THAT THE MOVE WAS TO PROVIDE GENERAL WESTMORELAND WITH A FORWARD COMMAN POST NEAR THE SCENE OF CRITICAL COMBAT, THAT IT INTERFERED WITH MY OPERATIONS NO MORE THAN GENERAL WESTMORELAND'S PRESENCE IN SAIGON INTERFERED WITH II FFV OPERATIONS, AND THAT IT WAS SOUND MILITARY PRACTICE.

2. I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU COULD MAKE SOME STATEMENT TO THE PRESS WHICH WOULD REMOVE THE STIGMA THEY PRESENTLY SEEK TO ATTACH TO THE STORY

WARM REGARDS

Cushman vs. Tuohy

DECLASSIFIED FROM SECRET

110910Z MAR 68
EXCLUSIVE FOR GEN CHAPMAN AND LTGEN KRULAK FROM LTGEN CUSHMAN. MARINE CORPS EYES ONLY.

1. IN ORDER TO ADEQUATELY COVER THE SCOPE OF THE TUOHY ARTICLE, ONE MUST ADDRESS THREE AREAS: FIRST, THE DOWNGRADING OF MARINE CORPS COMMAND OVER US FORCES IN ICTZ; SECOND, THE ALLEGED LACK OF ENTHUSIASM BY MACV HEADQUARTERS OVER MARINE CONDUCT OF THE WAR IN ICTZ; AND THIRD, SPECIFIC REBUTTAL OF THE CANARDS PUBLISHED TO SUPPORT THE TUOHY THEORY OF THE REASONS FOR THE FIRST. IN DISCUSSING THESE, THE TIME HAS COME TO BE COMPLETELY CANDID WITH OURSELVES, LEAVING THE NICETIES TO OUR DISCUSSIONS WITH OTHERS.



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2. FIRST, WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT THERE APPEARS, TO ALL LOCAL OBSERVERS, TO BE AN OVERT AND DRAMATIC DOWNGRADING OF THE COMMAND EXERCISEDBY THE CG III MAF OVER THE FORCES IN ICTZ. ALTHOUGH THERE IS A LEGITIMATE REASON FOR COMUSMACV TO ESTABLISH A FORWARD COMMAND POST, THE HQTRS AT PHU BAI HAS NOT BEEN STAFFED AS A FORWARD CP, BUT RATHER STAFFED AS A SUPERIOR HQTRS TO III MAF, HEADED BY A FOR (FOUR)-STAR GENERAL, WITH A TRULY JOINT STAFF, AND WITH RANK STRUCTURES GENERALLY IN EXCESS OF THOSE AT DANANG. IT HAD NO OTHER APPARENT OPERATIONAL INTEREST THAN THE ICTZ. IT MOVED EN MASSE INTO PHU BAI DURING THE CRITICAL TET OFFENSIVE AND THE BATTLE FOR HUE AND DIVERTED MUCH OF OUR CRITICAL ENGINEERING, COMMUNICATIONS, AND LOGISTIC ASSETS FROM TACTICAL SUPPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES OF ESTABLISHING AND HARDENING ITS CP. IN SPITE OF LIP SERVICE TO THE ROLE OF CG III MAF, THE LARGE ENERGETIC STAFF AT PHU BAI HAS LARGELY DUPLICATED THE FUNCTIONS OF MY OWN HQTRS, AND HAS CAUSED A HEAVY BURDEN ON MY ALREADY OVERWORKED STAFF TO EDUCATE, GUIDE, AND REBUT THEIR STAFF ACTION. PROPOSALS OF MACV FWD HAVE EITHER BEEN ACCEPTED BY THIS HQTRS, OR MY ACTION MUST BE DEFENDED IN DETAIL. IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE CHAIN OF COMMAND HAS RUN FROM THE ARMY DIVISIONS THROUGH III MAF TO COMUSMACV (MAC FWD), ARMY UNITS HAVE DEALT DIRECTLY WITH MACV FWD WITHOUT GOING THROUGH III MAF.
ON OCCASION, WHEN AN ARMY UNIT HAS BEEN UNHAPPY WITH A III MAF DIRECTIVE, IT HAS GONE TO GEN ABRAMS, AND A WAY HAS BEEN FOUND NOT TO COMPLY. THIS IS KEENLY FELT BY MY STAFF, AND IT CANNOT LONG GO UNOBSERVED BY THE INTELLIGENT OBSERVER. WITH THIS PRECEDENT, I AM NATURALLY CONCERNED WITH THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WILL DEVELOP BETWEEN FROV CORPS V AND COMUSMACV. WILL THEY TRY TO DEAL DIRECTLY WITH EACH OTHER RATHER THAN THROUGH THIS HEADQUARTERS? I SHALL INSIST ON THE LATTER.

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3. SECOND, WITH RESPECT TO THE ALLEGED LACK OF ENTHUSIASM BY MACV HQTRS OVER MARINE CONDUCT OF THE WAR IN ICTZ, I AM AFRAID MR. TUOHY HAS MISTAKEN COCKTAIL TALK FOR FACTS. IT IS AN OPEN SECRET THAT VARIOUS OFFICERS AT MACV, SOME OF WHOM HAVE ENOUGH RANK TO KNOW BETTER, HAVE OCCASIONALLY BAD-MOUTHED MARINE CORPS OPERATIONS DURING THEIR TOURS OF THE COCKTAIL CIRCUIT IN SAIGON. A DEGREE OF THIS IS TO BE EXPECTED BECAUSE OF OUR DIFFERENCES IN DOCTRINE, AND BECAUSE OF HONEST CONVICTIONS THAT THEIR METHODS ARE BETTER THAN OURS. HOWEVER, MR. TUOHY, IN CASTING ABOUT FOR AN EXPLANATION OF THE OBVIOUS SUPERIMPOSITION OF A HIGHER COMMAND OVER III MAF, HAS SEIZED UPON THIS TALK FOR HIS ANSWER. THIS IS BAD REPORTING, BECAUSE THERE IS AN ANSWER, AND THIS IS NOT IT.
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4. I AM PERSONALLY CONVINCED THAT THE MOVES HERE ARE NOT MOTIVATED BY ANY DISENCHANTMENT WITH MARINES BY ANY VALID REQUIREMENT FOR ADDITIONAL CONTROL MECHANISMS. THEY ARE DELIBERATE AND CALCULATED MOVES TO WEAKEN USMC POSITION IN THE FIELD OF MILITARY POLITICS,---- WHICH INVOLVES SUCH INTANGIBLES AS PUBLICITY, PRESTIGE. ETC. THESE ARE WELL THOUGHT OUT STAFF ACTIONS, AND I AM NOT CERTAIN HOW WILLINGLY THEY HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED AT THE TOP. THIS HAS BEEN A JOINT ARMY-AIR FORCE VENTURE FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT. AS I SEE IT THE PLAN IS GENERALLY DESIGNED TO DIVIDE THE ICTZ INTO TWO PARTS, ONE UNDER ARMY COMMAND, THE OTHER UNDER MARINE. BY SO DOING, THEY ACCOMPLISH THESE ENDS:

A. THE FACT THAT THE PREDOMINANT FORCES IN ICTZ ARE STILL MARINES IS CONCEALED FROM THE PUBLIC.
B. THE MARINE CORPS AIR-GROUND TEAM IS EFFECTIVELY SPLIT UP, AND OUR POSITIONS PERTAINING TO COMMAND RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE TEAM, SUCH AS OUR POSITION ON THE CONTROL OF (NOT READABLE).
C. A MARINE DIVISION IS PLACED UNDER ARMY COMMAND AND AN ARMY DIVISION CONTINUES UNDER MARINE COMMAND, WHICH ARRANGEMENT WILL SUPPORT BY HISTORICAL PRECEDENT ANY SUBSEQUENT MOVE TOWARD UNIFICATION.
D. THE 7TH AIR FORCE HAS BEEN GIVEN WHAT AMOUNTS TO OPERATIONAL CONTROL OVER MARINE CORPS TACTICAL AIRCRAFT. THE SPLITTING OF SUPPORTED MARINE CORPS UNITS INTO TWO WIDELY SEPARATED AREAS OF OPERATION, WITH ARMY UNITS IN BETWEEN, MITIGATES AGAINST OUR REGAINING THIS CONTROL.
E. THE MOVE WILL ULTIMATELY PLACE COMMAND OF THE ICTZ IN THE HANDS OF AN ARMY COMMANDER BY A PROCESS OF EVOLUTION RATHER THAN DEVOLUTION. THIS IS THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS:
(1) GENERAL ABRAMS RETURNED YESTERDAY AFTER THE STAFF AT PRCV CORPS HAD BEEN SUFFICIENTLY ORGANIZED TO LOOK AFTER ARMY INTERESTS, AND AT THAT TIME CG III MAF, AS THE SENIOR COMMANDER IN ICTZ, REASSUMED OVERALL COMMAND OF ALL FORCES HERE. THE RELATIONSHIP IS SOLELY DEPENDENT UPON THE RANK OF THE INCUMBENTS, HOWEVER, AS I AM SENIOR TO LT GEN ROSSON.
(2) UPON MY DEPARTURE, AND I SHALL STAY UNTIL ASKED TO LEAVE, UNLESS RELIEVED BY A MARINE SENIOR TO LTGEN ROSSEN, ROSSON WILL BECOME THE SENIOR COMMANDER INICTZ, AND WILL ASSUME OVERALL COMMAND.
F. DURING THE TIME CG III MAF IS THE SENIOR COMMANDER IN I CORPS HE WILL HAVE A REQUIREMENT FOR STAFF EXPERTISE ON MANY ARMY MATTERS. OUR REQUEST TO COMUSMACV FOR STAFF AUGMENTATION BY ARMY PERSONNEL HAS NOT BEEN GRANTED, AND UNTIL SUCH TIME AS IT IS GRANTED, THE III MAF STAFF WILL BE SHORT HANDED. BY CONTRAST, THE PROVCORPSV STAFF HAS BEEN LIBERALLY PROVIDED WITH MARINES FORMERLY ASSIGNED TO COMUSMACV HEADQUARTERS. THIS SERVES THE DUAL FUNCTION OF COVERTING (CONVERTING) THE PROVCORPSV STAFF WITH A MORE TRULY JOINT STAFF THAN III MAF, AND SUBSEQUENTIALLY REDUCES MARINE CORPS PRESENCS AT HQTRS, COMUSMACV.



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5. THIRD, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE FORGOING, THERE IS AMPLE EVIDENCE TO REBUT EACH OF THE SPECIFIC CANARDS ENGROSSED IN SUBJECT ARTICLE.



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A. ALLEGATION: MARINE COMMANDERS HAVE NOT SUFFICIENTLY PREPARED THEIR TROOPS FOR THE KIND OF WAR THAT HAS EVOLVED ALONG THE DMZ. SPECIFICALLY, MARINES WERE ILL-PREPARED FOR THE ARTILLERY ATTACKS AT THE NORTHERNMOST UOTPOSTS, AND DESPITE A MONTH OF OPPORTUNITY, KHE SANH WAS NOT PREPARED TO WITHSTAND AN ENEMY ARTILLERY SIEGE UNTIL IT ACTUALLY BEGAN.
FACTS: (ALONG DMZ) PRIOR TO THE TET OFFENSIVE 495 BUNKERS HAD BEEN COMPLETED ALONG THE NORTHERN OUTPOSTS (DYE MARKER COMPLEX) MEETING MACV APPROVED STANDARDS WITH MINIMUM OVERHEAD THICKNESS OF MORE THAN 3-1/2 FEET. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE HUNDREDS OF BUNKERS AND COVERED FIGHTING HOLES WHICH DID NOT MEET PERMANENT STANDARDS, BUT WHICH WERE WHOLLY ADEQUATE FOR TEMPORARY BATTLEFIELD USE. IN ADDITION, WE FILLED 1.5- MILLION SANDBAGS, SOWED MORE THAN 100-THOUSAND MINES, EMPLACED OVER 51-THOUSAND METERS OF BARBED WIRE. NEVERTHELESS, THE NATURE OF THE WAR IN THE AREA WAS NOT ONE THAT PERMITTED ONLY A STATIC DEFENSE AS ALLEGED. THE BULK OF THE COMBAT ACTIVITY FROM JUNE 1967 TO SEPTEMBER 1967 WAS MOBILE. IT FOCUSED IN AN AREA OF ABOUT TWENTY (20) SQUARE MILES IN EXTENT, CENTERED GENERALLY AROUND HILL 158 (CON THIEN). THE HILL WAS NEVER OCCUPIED BY MORE THAN A REINFORCED BATTALION. MOST OF THE ACTION OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF CONTACT BETWEEN MARINE UNITS MANEUVERING IN THE SURROUNDING AREA AND NVA FORCES SEEKING TO PREPARE A MAJOR ATTACK ON THE HILL. TWO MAIN ENEMY INVASION ATTEMPTS WERE MADE: JULY: TWO NVA REGIMENTS WERE DEFEATED NORTH OF CON THIEN BY MARINES IN OPERATION BUFFALO; SEPTEMBER: THE 312TH REGIMENT WAS LOCATED SOUTH OF CON THIEN IN MARINE OPERATION KINGFISHER AND DRIVEN FROM THE FIELD BY A SUCCESSION OF SHORT, INTENSE GROUND ENGAGEMENTS COORDINATED WITH HEAVY SUPPORTING ARMS. FROM MARCH 1967 TO PRESENT, OVER 9,000 ENEMY DEAD HAVE BEEN COUNTED BY MARINES IN THE DMZ AREA.
(KHE SANH) WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE KHE SANH, AFTER OPERATION VIRGINIA IN APRIL 1966, KHE SANH WAS OCCUPIED BY A MARINE COMPANY FOR ALMOST A YEAR. THE FIRST MAJOR BATTLE IN THE KHE SANH AREA WAS 24 APRIL-13 MAY 1967, (DURING WHICH 4 MARINE BNS WERE DEPLOYED, WITH 949 ENEMY CONFIRMED KIA AS COMPARED TO 155 USMC KIA. THE BASE WAS PERMANENTLY GARRISONED BY ONLY ONE MARINE BATTALION FROM MAY UNTIL DECEMBER 1967. BUNKERS WERE WHOLLY ADEQUATE FOR THIS SIZE UNIT. FOR THIS REASON, OUR REQUEST TO COMUSMACV FOR RELEASE OF DYE MARKER MATERIALS FOR USE AT KHE SANH WAS DENIED. ON 18DEC67 KHE SANH WAS REINFORCED WITH A MARINE BATTALION WHICH DUG IN. BUNKER MATERIALS WERE NOT AVAILABLE IN QUANTITY, HOWEVER, AS THERE WERE HIGHER PRIORITY ITEMS COMPETING FOR AIRLIFT. ON 22 AND 24 JANUARY 1968 TWO ADDITIONAL MARINE BATTALIONS WERE SENT TO KHE SANH. ENEMY ARTILLERY WAS FIRST REPORTED AT KHE SANH ON 24JAN68, TWO DAYS AFTER ARRIVAL OF THE LAST MARINE BATTALION. DEFICIENCIES IN BUNKERS RESULTED NOT FROM ANY NEGLIGENCE, BUT FROM THE FACT THAT THE TROOPS HAD BEEN DOUBLED DURING THE WEEK BEFORE THE FIRST ARTILLERY ATTACK, AND THE ALL-AERIAL RESUPPLY COULD NOT PROVIDE ALL BUNKER MATERIAL DESIRED IN ADDITION TO COMBAT ESSENTIAL FOOD AND MUNITIONS. HOW WELL THE MARINES WITHSTOOD THE ARTILLERY SIEGE IS REFLECTED IN CASUALTY STATISTICS. SINCE THE SIEGE BEGAN ON 21 JANUARY 1968, AS OF 5 MARCH 1968 KHE SANH HAD RECEIVED 3,472 ROUNDS OF MORTAR, 1,519 ARTILLERY ROUNDS, AND 967 ROCKETS. A TOTAL OF 5,958 ROUNDS. DURING THIS PERIOD, THE KHE SANH GARRISON HAD 124 MARINES KILLED WHICH INCLUDES CASUALTIES FROM GROUND ATTACKS BY FIRE. EVEN IF ALL THE CASUALTIES HAD BEEN THE RESULT OF ENEMY ARTILLERY/MORTAR/ROCKET FIRE, IT WOULD AMOUNT TO ONE CASUALTY (KIA) FOR EVERY 50 ROUNDS--NOT A VERY IMPRESSIVE RESULT FOR AN "UNPREPARED" OBJECTIVE.
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B. ALLEGATION: TOP MARINE LEADERSHIP IN VIETNAM HAS BEEN SINGULARLY UNIMPRESSIVE.
FACTS: IN ADDITION TO REFUTING THE DETAILS LISTED BY TUOHY IN SUPPORT OF THIS CONCLUSION, MARINE LEADERSHIP SHOULD BE EVALUATED UPON THE BASIS OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OR FAILURES OF ITS SUBORDINATE COMMANDS. I BELIEVE A PER CAPITA KILL RATIO SHOWING RESULTS VIS-A-VIS ARMY WOULD BE FRUITFUL, BUT I DO NOT HAVE THE ARMY FIGURES. ALSO, IT WOULD BE OF VALUE TO COMPARE THE PERCENTAGE OF THE ENEMY (VC AND NVA SEPARATELY) IN ICTZ WITH THE PERCENTAGE IN THE REMAINDER OF SVN. AND COMPARE THIS AGAINST THE PERCENTAGE U.S. TROOPS IN ICTZ VIS-A-VIS ALL OF VIETNAM. TGHESE FIGURES HAVE NOT BEEN RETAINED AT THIS HEADQUARTERS. BUT ARE BELIEVED TO BE AVAILABLE AT HQMC. ALSO OF INTEREST IS OUR EMPHASIS ON PACIFICATION OF OCCUPIED AREAS, IN WHICH WE EXCELLED, THE FOLLOWING STATISTICS GIVE SOME INDICATION OF OUR COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE KILL RATIO IN 1967 AND 1968 REFLECT NOT ONLY THE DYE MARKER LOSSES, BUT THOSE OCCASIONED BY THE BOOBY-TRAP WAR.

ICTZ CASUALTIES-MARCH 1965-FEBRUARY 1968

MAR65-DEC65//
USMC//292 KIA
ENEMY//2,560 KIA
RATIO: 1/8.77

1966
USMC//1,326 KIA
ENEMY//10,724 KIA
RATIO: 1/8.08

1967
USMC//3,015 KIA
ENEMY//17,349 kia
RATIO: 1/5.75

JAN68
USMC//310 KIA
ENEMY//2,211 KIA
RATIO: 1.713

FEB68
USMC//647 KIA
ENEMY//5,040 KIA
RATIO: 1/1.77

TOTAL
USMC//5,590 KIA
ENEMY// 37,884
RATIO: 1/6.77



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C. ALLEGATION: VAST TIME CONSUMING AMPHIBIOUS OPERATIONS THAT DO NOT RESULT IN CONTACT.
FACTS: SINCE AUGUST 1965 THE SPECIAL LANDING FORCE HAS CONDUCTED 41 NAMED OPERATIONS. ALL BUT SIX HAVE RESULTED IN CONFIRMED ENEMY KILLS. IN 1967 OPERATIONS WHICH THE SLF CONDUCTED UNILATERALLY OR IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER FORCES, ACCOUNTED FOR OVER 3200 ENEMY KIA VS LOSSES OF UNDER 550. TWENTY OF THE OPERATIONS LASTED ONE WEEK OR LESS. ONLY THREE HAVE EXCEEDED TWO WEEKS, WITH THE LONGEST BEING FOR 22 DAYS.



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D. ALLEGATION: FORAYS INTO THE DMZ BY UNDERSTRNGTH UNITS.
FACT: NO BASIS OF FACT. MOST INFANTRY UNITS ARE BELOW T/0 AND MANNING LEVEL WHEN IN COMBAT; HOWEVER THE EFFECTIVE STRENGTH HAS BEEN WHOLLY ADEQUATE FOR MISSION ASSIGNED.

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E. ALLEGATION: FAILURE TO ACCEPT INTELLIGENCE ON ENEMY UNITS SUPPLIED BY MACV FROM ITS MANY SOURCES.
FACTS: ALL INTELLIGENCE PERTAINING TO THE ENEMY BUILD-UP IN ICTZ HAS BEEN MINUTELY FOLLOWED. MUCH OF THE INTELLIGENCE HELD BY MACV WAS, IN FACT, RECEIVED FROM AND THROUGH III MAF RESOURCES. THE LOCATION OF MAJOR VC AND NVA UNITS IN ICTZ HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN PLOTTED BY III MAF WITH GREATER ACCURACY THAN MACV. LOCAL WARNINGS PERTAINING TO THE DEGREE OF ROCKET THREAT HAVE BEEN REMARKABLY ACCURATE. THE NIGHT OF 20 DECEMBER III MAF SIMULATED AN ATTACK AGAINST DANANG, CAUSING THE ENEMY TO REACT PREMATURELY AND RESULTING IN THE CAPTURE OF THE FIRST COMPLETE 122MM ROCKET LAUNCHER AND THE SPOILING OF A PLANNED ROCKET ATTACK. THE TET TRUCE WAS DISCONTINUED IN ICTZ AT III MAF'S PROMPTING BASED ON ENEMY INTELLIGENCE. PRIOR TO TET, III MAF MOVED TWO BATTALIONS OF ARMY TROOPS INTO THE DANANG AREA BASED UPON THIS INTELLIGENCE, AND AS A RESULT SAVED THE CITY OF DANANG FROM ENTRY AND DAMAGE. AT THE TIME OF THE SO-CALLED "SURPRISE" ENEMY ATTACK AT TET, THE ENTIRE III MAF STAFF WAS MANNING THEIR POSITIONS IN THE COMMAND CENTER, ALL OF THE SUBORDINATE UNITS WERE ON 100 PERCENT ALERT. THROUGHOUT ICTZ, WHERE THE ENEMY CONCENTRATED HIS GREATEST STRENGTH, HE WAS DEFEATED MORE RAPIDLY AND MORE THOROUGHLY THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN VIETNAM. EXCEPT FOR HUE, WHICH INITIALLY WAS SOLELY DEFENDED BY ARVN FORCES, ALL ICTZ CITIES FARED BETTER THAN CITIES IN OTHER CORPS TACTICAL ZONES, INCLUFWNG (INCLUDING) THE CITY OF SAIGON, HEADQUARTTERS FOR COMUSMACV.
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F. ALLEGATION: RASH AND COSTLY ASSAULTS ON ENTRENCHED ENEMY POSITIONS OF LIMITED VALUE.
FACTS: MARINE CORPS TACTICS ARE DESIGNED TO REDUCE FORTIFIED POSITIONS WITH THE FEWEST CASUALTIES. OUR DOCTRINE REQUIRES MAXIMUM USE OF SUPPORTING FIRES. IN THOSE FEW INSTANCES WHERE THERE MAY HAVE INITIALLY HAVE APPEARED TO BE AN ASSAULT UPON FORTIFIED POSITIONS WITHOUT ADEQUATE COORDINATION, SUCH AS IN OPERATION BADGER TOOTH, IT HAS BEEN FOUND THAT THE ATTACKING TROOPS WERE UNAWARE THAT THE AREA ASSAULTED WAS FORTIFIED. IN A WAR OF THE NATURE OF THIS CONFLICT, ENTRENCHED POSITIONS CANNOT BE BYPASSED AND ISOLATED AS IN CONVENTIONAL WAREFARE (WARFARE), BUT THEY MUST BE REDUCED, REDUCTION OF FORTIFIED POSITIONS, EVEN WITH THE BEST OF TACTICS, MAY OCCASIONALLY PROVE COSTLY. THIS DOES NOT QUALIFY THE REDUCTION AS BEING RASH OR RECKLESS.



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G. ALLEGATION: OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS LAUNCHED WITHOUT SUFFICIENT FORCES AND SUPPORT.
FACTS: NO OPERATION LAUNCHED TO DATE HAS TERMINATED BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE FORCES OR SUPPORT. ALTHOUGH THERE WERE ALWAYS TIMES WHEN MORE FORCES AND MORE SUPPORT COULD HAVE BEEN USED, NO MISSION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED BEYOND THE MEANS OF THE UNITS TASKED WITH THE OPERATION. NO WAR IN HISTORY HAS RECEIVED SUCH ADEQUATE SUPPORT. FROM THE STANDPOINT OF LOGISTICS--OF ORDNANCE AVAILABLE, FOOD AVAILABLE, EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE, AND CREATURE COMFORTS AVAILABLE, MARINE FORCES HAVE FARED WELL THROUGHOUT ALL OPERATIONS. FIRE SUPPORT HAS BEEN EXEMPLARY. THE MARINE AIF-GROUND TEAM CONCEPT HAS PROVIDED THE BEST SYSTEM OF AIR SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO ANY MODERN ARMED FORCE.

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H. ALLEGATION: FAILURE TO EMPLOY HELICOPTERS PROPERLY.
FACTS: PRIOR TO EACH HELICOPTER ASSAULT AN AVIATION SUPPORT PLANNING CONFERENCE IS HELD AT THE MARINE DIVISION OR REGIMENTAL COMMAND POST OF THE GROUND UNIT INVOLVED. REPRESENTING THE WING IS A WING PLANS/LIAISON OFFICER, THE TACTICAL AIR CONTROLLER (AIRBORNE), AND HELICOPTER COMMANDER (AIRBORNE) WHO WILL DIRECT THE AIR STRIKES AND COORDINATE THE ASSAULT, ARE ALSO PRESENT TO OBTAIN A COMPLETE AND THOROUGH BRIEFING FROM THE INFANTRY UNIT COMMANDER AND HIS STAFF. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE THE CONFERENCE AN OVERFLIGHT OF THE AREA BY THE TACTICAL AIR COMMANDER AND THE INFANTRY UNIT LEADERS IS CONDUCTED. THE ASSAULT IS PRECEDED BY EXTENSIVE FIXED WING AIR STRIKES IN THE LZ AREA AND ADJACENT THREAT AREAS. THE APPLICATION OF THE AIR ASSAULT WEAPONS IS LIBERAL IN SUPPORT OF THE HELICOPTERS AND INFANTRY UNITS. SUBSEQUENT TO THE LANDING, FIXED WING AIR SUPPORT AND HELICOPTER REINFORCEMENTS ARE AVAILABLE ON SHORT NOTICE FROM THE MARINE TACTICAL AIR DIRECTION CENTER. A QUICK REACTION PACKAGE OF TWO UH-1E ARMED HELICOPTERS, TWO CH-46 ASSAULT TRANSPORT HELICOPTERS, AND A PLATOON OF MARINES IS MAINTAINED AT MARBLE MOUNTAIN PHU BAI, AND QUANG TRI. EACH ON FIFTEEN MINUTE ALERT. FURTHER, THE DASC OR TADC CAN DIVERT FIXED WING OR HELICOPTER FLIGHTS IN THE AIR TO PROVIDE SUPPORT IMMEDIATELY IN ANY EMERGENCY.



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I. ALLEGATION: SOME OF THE WEAKNESSES IN THE MARINES STRATEGY AND TACTICS ARE NOT OF THEIR OWN MAKING. THE MARINES STRUCTURE WAS DESIGNED FOR HIT-AND-RUN ASSAULTS, THEIR HELICOPTERS FOR SHIP-TO-SHORE OPERATIONS, AND MUCH OF THEIR EQUIPMENT FOR THE SHORT-TIME PULL. IN VIETNAM THEY FIND THEMSELVES FIGHTING A LONG HAUL IN A RUGGED AREA WHERE THE HEAVIER ARMY DIVISIONS COULD BE MORE EFFECTIVELY EMPLOYED.
FACTS: MR. TUOHY IS GROSSLY MISINFORMED AS TO THE NATURE AND COMPOSITION OF U.S. MILITARY UNITS. THE MISSION OF THE MARINE DIVISION IS TO EXECUTE AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT OPERATIONS AND SUCH OTHER OPERATIONS AS MAY BE DIRECTED. TO FULFILL THESE MISSIONS, MARINE CORPS FORCES HAVE BEEN ORGANIZED, TRAINED, AND EQUIPPED TO PROVIDE NOT ONLY THE WORLD'S MOST EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT ASSAULT LANDING FORCES, BUT ALSO----WHEN LANDED----TO CONDUCT LAND OPERATIONS ALONG THE ENTIRE SPECTRUM OF LAND WARFARE. DURING AN AMPHIBIOUS OPERATION IT DIFFERS FROM A CONVENTIONAL ARMY IN THAT IT CARRIES ITS INITIAL LOGISTIC SUPPORT WITH IT RATHER THAN RELYING UPON OTHER FORCES, BUT ONCE SUSTAINED ASHORE, ITS LOGISTIC SUPPORT IS SIMILAR TO A CONVENTIONAL ARMY. FOR INITIAL AMPHIBIOUS LANDINGS THE MARINE DIVISION IS TAILORED WITH LIGHT AND MOBILE, ALTHOUGH DURABLE, GEAR; BUT FOR SUSTAINED OPERATIONS IT HAS IN ITS FORCE TROOPS ALL THE ITEMS OF HEAVY ARMS AND EQUIPMENT TO SUPPORT SUSTAINED LAND COMBAT. THE MARINE DIVISIONS IN VIETNAM ARE NOW SUPPORTED BY BY HEAVY ARMS AND EQUIPMENT IDENTICAL IN MOST RESPECT TO THOSE OF THE ARMY. IT HAS TANKS, LIGHT, MEDIUM AND HEAVY ARTILLERY, ETC., FOR CONVENTIONAL LAND WARFARE. ITS HELICOPTERS ARE NOT ONLY CARRIER-CAPABLE, BUT ARE PROCURED WITH AIR MOBILE OPERATIONS IN MIND. EACH MARINE DIVISION IS THE ICTZ HAS MORE FIREPOWER, MORE PERSONNEL IN THE FRONT LINES, MORE HELICOPTER LIFT AVAILABLE, AND MORE COMBAT CAPABILITY THAN HAS ONY (ONLY) ONE OF THE THREE ARMY DIVISIONS IN ICTZ. TO EPITOMIZE THE MARINES AS A SINGLE-MISSION FORCE IS TO DISPLAY GREAT IGNORANCE OF THEIR CAPABILITY.



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J. ALLEGATION: UNDERSTRENGTH BATTALIONS WERE THROWN HASTILY INTO BATTLE.
FACTS: AT THE TIME THE NVA STARTED THE TET OFFENSIVE IN HUE THE NIGHT OF 30-31 JANUARY TASK FORCE X-RAY FORCES WERE FULLY COMMITTED IN THE ASSIGNED AREA OF OPERATIONS AND NO RESERVE WAS AVAILABLE. THEREFORE, UNITS WERE COMMITTED TO OPERATION HUE CITY AS THEY COULD BE RELIEVED BY READJUSTMENT OF FORCES WITIN THE AO AND THE ARRIVAL OF OTHER UNITS OPCON TASK FORCE XRAY. AS A RESULT ENTIRE BATTALIONS COULD NOT BE COMMITTED AT THE START OF THE OPERATION AS THEY WERE NOT AVAILABLE. INSTEAD THE BUILD-UP WAS COMPLETED AS RAPIDLY AS POSSIBLE BUT WITH UNITS OF COMPANY SIZE. FORCES WERE COMMITTED AS FOLLOWS:

31 JAN 1/1 COMMAND GROUP, A 1/1, G/2/5, AND 1 SECTION 81MM MORTARS ASSUMED OPCON OF 4 TANKS-2 GUN AND 2 FLAME AT THE HUE RAMP ENROUTE TO 3D MARDIV. 01 FEB F/2/3, 2 ONTOS, 1 SECTION 81MM MORTARS
02 FEB H/2/3, 2 ONTOS, 2 M42 DUSTERS USA (OPCON TO TFX)
04 FEB B/1/1
09 FEB 2 ONTOS
17 FEB 5 GUN TANKS, 2 FLAME TANKS (3RD MARDIV TANKS RELIEVED)
(UNIT STRENGTHS INCLUDED HERE)

THESE UNITS WERE ASSIGNED THE MISSION OF CLEARING THE CITY SOUTH OF THE PERFUME RIVER.

ON 10 FEBRUARY TFX WAS ASSIGNED THE MISSION OF CLEARING THE ENEMY FROM THE SOUTHEAST SECTION OF THE CITADEL, IN HUE CITY NORTH OF THE PERFUME RIVER. THE 1/327, 1ST BRIGADE, 101 ABN DIV WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO TFX AND STARTED TO RELIEVE 1/5 IN THE PHU LOC AREA WHERE THEY HAD BEEN OPERATING SINCE 29 DECEMBER. FORCES WERE COMMITTED AS FOLLOWS:

10 FEB A/1/5
11 FEB 1/5 COMMAND GROUP, B/1/5, C/1/5, AND 1 TANK PLATOON OF 5 TANKS
12 FEB MOVED INTO POSITION TO ATTACK
13 FEB ATTACK COMMENCED AT 0750
14 FEB D/1/5
19 FEB 2 ONTOS
21 FEB L/3/5
22 FEB B/1/5 WITHDRAWN FROM HUE
23 FEB 1/5 MOVED FROM CITADEL TO SOUTH SIDE OF PERFUME RIVER TO PARTICIPATE IN MOPPING UP OPERATIONS NORTH OF E-W GL YD20.
(UNIT STRENGTHS INCLUDED HERE)

AN ANALYSIS OF THE ABOVE LISTED STATISTICS REVEALS THAT THE 1ST MARINE DIVISION MADE EVERY EFFORT TO PROVIDE TIMELY REPLACEMENTS TO THE FORCES COMMITTED TO OPERATION HUE CITY AND THAT UNDERSTRENGTH BATTALIONS WERE NOT THROWN HASTILY INTO BATTLE.



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K. ALLEGATION: MARINE FORCES IN HUE WERE NOT PROPERLY SUPPLIED WITH MEN AND AMMUNITION.
FACTS: (DETAILS/STATISTICS FOLLOW TO REFUTE ALLEGATION)


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L. ALLEGATION: NO SERIOUS EFFORT WAS MADE TO KEEP THE SEVEN-MILE ROAD BETWEEN PHU BAI AND HUE, WHICH THE ENEMY INTERDICTED AT WILL, TURNING BACK BIG CONVOYS.
FACTS: (EVIDENCE TO REFUTE ALLEGATION PRESENTED)
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M. ALLEGATION: THE CHAIN OF COMMAND FROM BATTALION TO DIVISION WAS CONFUCED (CONFUSED).
FACTS: (EVIDENCE TO REFUTE ALLEGATION PRESENTED)
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N. ALLEGATION: LITTLE COORDINATION BETWEEN MARINES AND THE VIETNAMESE FORCES WAS IN EVIDENCE. (HUE CITY).
FACTS: (EVIDENCE TO REFUTE ALLEGATION PRESENTED)


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(0.) ALLEGATION: THERE WAS LITTLE FIRM INSTRUCTION TO TROOPS ON HOW TO COMPORT THEMSELVES IN DEVASTATED URBAN AREA. HENCE LOOTING WAS COMMON.
FACTS: AT THE START OF THE OPERATION THE REGIMENTAL COMMANDER, 1ST MARINES THROUGH BATTALION COMMANDERS, OFFICERS AND NCO'S GAVE EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS THAT LOOTING AND PILLAGE WOULD NOT BE TOLERATED, PERIODIC SHAKEDOWNS WERE HELD, ALL MOVES WERE ON FOOT WHICH DISCOURAGES LOOTING. SOME ITEMS WERE REMOVED FROM DAMAGED BUILDING(S) FOR SAFE KEEPING AND SENT TO THE 1ST MARINES COMMAND POST. INCLUDED WERE SOME MICROSCOPES FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF HUE, TAPE RECORDERS, PIASTERS, JEWELRY, AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS. MANY ITEMS HAVE BEEN RETURNED TO THE PROPER OWNERS AND OTHERS ARE BEING HELD PENDING DETERMINATION OF OWNERSHIP. (ALLEGATION REBUTTAL CONTINUES)
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P. ALLEGATION: THE PERFORMANCE OF MARINE HELICOPTERS, WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE RESUPPLY AND MEDICAL EVACUATION, WAS SPOTTY AND UNDEPENDABLE...(ALLEGATION CONTINUES)
FACTS: (EVIDENCE TO REFUTE ALLEGATION PRESENTED)
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Q. ALLEGATION: THE MARINE GENERAL IN COMMAND OF THGE AIR WING ORDERED HELICOPTERS NOT TO FLY IN LESS THAN A 500 FOOT CEILING. LOW CEILINGS WERE COMMON DURING THE 25 DAY BATTLE FOR HUE.
FACTS: (EVIDENCE TO REFUTE ALLEGATION PRESENTED)
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R. ALLEGATION: AS MARINES LAY WOUNDED, VAINLY WAITING FOR ONE OF THE DOZENS OF MARINE HELICOPTERS GROUNDED AT PHU BAI ONLY TEN MINUTES AWAY, U.S. ARMY "HUEY" HELICOPTERS ARRIVED AT HUE ON ROUTINE MISSIONS
FACTS:THE WEATHER DURING THIS PERIOD WAS MARGINAL AT BEST. (REBUTTAL CONTINUES WITH EVIDENCE) THE ABOVE ALLEGATION IS NOT ONLY UNTRUE, BUT IS GROSSLY UNFAIR TO A GROUP OF DEDICATED PILOTS WHO DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB UNDER VERY DIFFICULT CONDITIONS.
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7. I REALIZE THE FOREGOING IS LENGTHY AND DETAILED; HOWEVER, IT PROVIDES BACKGROUND AND FACTUAL INFORMATION FROM WHICH YOU CAN GLEAN THAT WHICH MAY BE USEFUL IN YOUR EVALUATION OF THE ARTICLE, AND IN YOUR DISCUSSIONS OF IT. WARM REGARDS.
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General Westmoreland's Position:

260935Z FEB 68
FM GENERAL WESTMORELAND COMUSMACV
TO LTGEN CUSHMAN, CG III MAF
CONFIDENTIAL MAC 02707 EYES ONLY.

1. FULLY SHARE YOUR CONCERN OVER PRESS STORIES WHICH INFER MARINE INCOMPETENCE AS RESULT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF MACV FORWARD, ALTHOUGH I PERSONALLY HAVE NOT SEEN ANY SUCH STORIES.
2. THERE HAS BEEN EXTENSIVE BACKGROUNDING HERE WITH THE VARIOUS NEWS BUREAU CHIEFS TO POINT OUT THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MACV FORWARD CARRIED NO STIGMA WHATSOEVER WITH REPECT TO THE MARINES, THAT IT WAS MERELY A NORMAL MILITARY PRACTICE OF ESTABLISHING A FORWARD HEADQUARTERS NEAR THE SCENE OF IMPENDING CRITICAL COMBAT, AND THAT IT WAS ONLY TEMPORARY.
3. I HAVE DISCUSSED THIS MATTER WITH GENERAL SIDLE AND WE AGREE THAT A STATEMENT BY ME TO THE PRESS AT THIS TIME WOULD APPEAR DEFENSIVE AND WOULD SERVE PRIMARILY TO HIGHLIGHT THE MATTER. MOREVER, THE ARRIVAL OF GENERAL ROSSON IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND THE COMMAND ARRANGEMENTS WHICH RESULT SHOULD CLEARLY PUT THE MATTER IN PERSPECTIVE. MY RECOMMENDATION IS THAT WE SIT TIGHT AND LET THE SITUATION CLARIFY ITSELF. BEST REGARDS

Lang Vei//6 Feb 1968

DECLASSIFIED FROM CONFIDENTIAL

090204Z FEB 68
FOR LTGEN CUSHMAN FROM LTGEN KRULAK

1. THE FOLLOWING AP 127/128 RELEASE IS QUOTED FOR INFORMATION. I HAVE RECEIVED A REQUEST FROM HIGHER AUTHORITY FOR ELABORATION OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED THEREIN:

QUOTE 127

LANG VEI SURVER KHE SANH, VIETNAM (AP)- BARRIERS WERE UP AT KHE SANH TODAY AGAINST NEARLY 200 IRREGULAR DEFENDERS OF LANG VEI WHO ESCAPED TO THIS U.S. MARINE BASE AFTER THE FALL OF THAT SPECIAL FORCES CAMP. ACCORDED NO HERO'S WELCOME, THE MONTAGNARD AND VIETNAMESE CIVILIAN SOLDIERS WERE STRIPPED OF WEAPONS AND TURNED OUT INTO THE COMMUNIST-CONTROLLED COUNTRYSIDE TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES. SOME WERE WOUNDED, SOME WERE WITHOUT SHOES, ONLY A FEW HAD FOOD AND BLANKETS.

SYMPATHETIC MARINES PASSED OUT CANNED RATIONS TO THE SURVIVORS, BUT COULD DO LITTLE ELSE. ABOUT 2,000 LAOTIAN CIVILIANS, SOME SOLDIERS FROM AN AMERICAN-SUPPORTED LAOTIAN BATTALION AND LOCAL BROU TRIBESMEN ALSO ARE CAUGHT LIKE TENNIS BALLS BETWEEN A NORTH VIETNAMESE FORCE AND A MARINE BASE. FOR THE MOMENT THEY ARE THE WAR'S FORGOTTEN PAWNS. MARINE OFFICIALS HAD TRIED FOR NVYS TO GET THE REFUGEES OUT OF WHAT PROMISES TO BE THE BLOODIEST BATTLE ZONE IN THIS COUNTRY, BNUT WITHOUT AVAIL.

ONE INFORMED SOURCE SAID A HIGH VIETNAMESE OFFICIAL REFUSED TO PERMIT THE RERFUGEES TO BE EVACUATED, SAYING THE MONTAGNARDS AND LAOTIANS ARE NOT VIETNAMESE AND NONE OF HIS AFFAIR. THE CASE OF THE LANG VEI SURVIVORS STILL WAS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR, BUT APPEARED TO INVOLVE A QUESTION OF JURISDICTION BETWEEN U.S. SPECIAL FORCES AND MARINE AUTHORITIES.

(QUOTE) 128:

KHE SANH-ADD LANG VEI SURVIVORS .(127)
WHEN THE FIRST STRAGGLERS TURNED UP WEDNESDAY THEY ASKED TO BE LET INSIDE THE BASE, WHICH INCLUDES A SECRET SPECIAL FORCES CAMP. A MARINE OFFICER SAID HE WAS TOLD BY AN AMERICAN GREEN BERET STANDING ATOP A BUNKER: "THEY'RE NOT OUR PROBLEM." THE MARINE REFUSED TO BRING IN THE SURVIVORS, WHO ARE KNOWN TO BE RIDDLED WITH VIET CONG EVEN THOUGH THEY WORK FOR THE SPECIAL FORCES. THE MARINES STRIPPED THE MEN OF THEIR RIFLES, AMMUNITION AND GRENADES.
MARINE OFFICERS SUGGESTED THAT THE IRREGULARS TAKE REFUGE IN AN OLD, ABANDONED MONTAGNARD VILLAGE OUTSIDE THE MARINE LINES. THE VILLAGE IS ON THE MAIN ROUTE OF ADVANCE FOR THE NORTH VIETNAMESE REGULARS WHO USED TANKS TO OVERRUN THE LANG VEI CAMP WEDNESDAY.
a MARINE OFFICER, TURNING BACK A GROUP OF 30, SAID "THE SPECIAL FORCES DOESN'T WANT THEM, WHAT INFURIATES ME IS THAT THE WOUNDED ARE TURNED OUT TOO." UNQUOTE.

2. WOULD APPRECIATE ANYTHING YOU CAN PROVIDE ME WHICH MIGHT SHED MORE LIGHT ON THE...

WARM REGARDS




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



DECLASSIFIED FROM CONFIDENTIAL

091218Z FEB 68
REF: CG FMFPAC MSG 090204Z FEB 68
FOR LTGEN KRULAK FROM LTGEN CUSHMAN

1. ON THE AFTERNOON OF WEDNESDAY, 7 FEB 68, A GATE AT THE SOUTH PERIMETER OF THE KHE SANH COMBAT BASE WAS APPROACHED BY SEVERAL THOUSAND PEOPLE OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN ASKING TO BE ADMITTED INTO THE BASE. THESE CIVILIANS WERE DENIED ENTRY BASED ON PURELY MILITARY REASONS. FIRST, THERE WAS NO WAY TO PROPERLY IDENTIFY THE CIVILIANS. SECONDLY, IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE OF THE NORTH VIETNAMESE TO PUSH INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN FRONT OF THEIR ATTACKING FORCE WHEN MAKING AN ASSAULT ON A MILITARY INSTALLATION. THIRD, THERE WAS NOT SUFFICIENT RESOURCES OF FOOD AND WATER FOR SUCH A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE. FOURTH, THE KHE SANH COMBAT BASE HAS BEEN UNDER DAILY ROCKET AND MORTAR FIRE AND PROPER SAFETY COULD NOT BE PROVIDED THE CIVILIANS IN BUNKERS OR TRENCHES.
2. THERE WERE AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF VIETNAMESE CIVILIAN IRRIGULAR (IRREGULAR) DEFENSE GROUP (CIDG) PERSONNEL AMONG THE REFUGEES. UNFORTUNATELY THERE WERE NO ARMY SPECIAL FORCES PERSONNEL WHO COULD POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THESE PEOPLE AS FRIENDLY. IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT THE ENEMY HAS INTRODUCED VIET CONG PERSONNEL INTO THE CIDG FOR THE PURPOSE OF GATHERING INFORMATION AND COMMITTING ACTS OF SABOTAGE AND MURDER. THEIR WEAPONS WERE TAKEN FROM THEM SO THAT THEY COULD NOT BE A THREAT TO FRIENDLY FORCES, AND ALSO IN THE BELIEF THAT SUCH WEAPONS AS WERE TAKEN WOULD BE NO DEFENSE AGAINST THE NORTH VIETNAMES (VIETNAMESE).
3. IT WAS SUGGESTED TO THE CIDG PERSONNEL THAT THEY REFUGEE IN AN ABANDONED HAMLET UNTIL SUCH TIME AS VERIFICATION OF THEIR STATUS COULD BE MADE, AND SUBSEQUENTLY EVACUATED TO SAFETY.
4. EVACUATION OF THE REFUGEES FROM LAOS COMMENCED ONTHE MORNING OF 9 FEB 68. PLANS WERE MADE FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE CIDG PERSONNEL ALSO. UNFORTUNATELY MANY OF THE CIDG PERSONNEL CANNOT BE LOCATED. IT IS BELIEVED THAT MOST CIDG LEFT ON FOOT TO PUT AS MUCH DISTANCE BETWEEN THEMSELVES AND NVA AS POSSIBLE.
5. STORY AS A FOLLOW ON BEING WRITTEN BY NEWBOLD NOYES, EDITOR, WASHINGTON EVENING STAR, WHICH WILL PROBABLY BE PICKED UP BY AP, EXPLAINING THE VERY DIFFICULT DECISION. HOPEFULLY IT WILL EXPLAIN TO SOME DEGREE THAT THIS DECISION WAS BASED ON GOOD MILITARY JUDGEMENT. NOYES WAS AT KHE SANH AT THE TIME EVENT OCCURRED.
6. THE POTENTIAL FOR UNFAVORABLE PRESS WAS RECOGNIZED AT THE TIME OF EVENT, BUT THE IMPORTANCE OF KHE SANH AND ITS SECURITY WAS CONSIDERED TO BE PARAMOUNT.
7. A STATEMENT BY COLONEL LOWNDS HAS BEEN SENT TO MACOI FOR POSSIBLE USE IN THEIR FIVE OCLOCK PRESS MEETING. THE STATEMENT CONVEYED THE SAME RATIONALE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH ONE OF THE MSG PLUS THE STATEMENT THAT HE, LOWNDS, COULD NOT AFFORD TO JEOPARDIZE THE SAFETY OF HIS COMMAND KNOWING THE ENEMY WAS WAITING FOR SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY TO ATTACK. WITH THE STATEMENT BY THE CO AND THE NOYES STORY IT IS POSSIBLE THAT A BETTER PERSPECTIVE WILL RESULT OF THE FACTS OF THE EVENT.
8. YOUR CONCERN AND UNDERSTANDING APPRECIATED.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




DECLASSIFIED FROM CONFIDENTIAL

101230Z FEB 68
FOR GEN KRULAK
DISPOSITION OF DISPLACED PERSONS
A. CG IIIMAF 100330Z FEB 68 (C)

1. CODE NAME FOR EVACUATION OF BV-33 AND LAOTIAN REFUGEES FOR FURTHER TRANSPORTATION IS OPERATION LUMBERJACK (U).
2. AS OF 091515 FEB, 83 MEMBERS OF BV-33 ELEPHANT BATTALION HAD ARRIVED DANANG AND WERE SHELTERED IN EMPTY AIR AMERICA HANGAR. TODAY 20 OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BATTALION PREVIOUSLY EVACUATED BY SPECIAL FORCES WERE MOVED TO AIR BASE. ELEVEN WOUNDED STILL REMAIN AT SPECIAL FORCES DISPENSARY HERE AND WILL REQUIRE EVACUATION. TOTAL IN DANANG 114.
3. PIR RATIONS FURNISHED BY SPECIAL FORCES, CORDS/REFUGEES, G-5, AND 29TH CA ARE WORKING WITH LOCAL MINISTRY FOR SANITATION, HEALTH AND COMFORT ITEMS, ETC.
1630 REPORT FROM SPECIAL FORCES INDICATED 26 CIDG/MSF WERE EVACUATED TO SPECIAL FORCES CAMP, DANANG. ONLY FOUR BV-33, INCLUDING BATTALION COMMANDER, REMAIN AT KHE SANH. THESE DUE TO BE EVACUATED ON 11 FEB.
5. WE HAVE NO FIRM INFORMATION ON WHAT HAPPENED TO REMAINDER OF 2500 LAOTIANS WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE ARRIVED HERE. HOWEVER, FIRST ARRIVALS SAID THAT MANY OF THEIR PEOPLE HAD RETURNED "TO THEIR COUNTRY" BECAUSE THEY HAD NOT EATEN FOR TWO DAYS. OTHERS SAID THAT A LARGE GROUP HAD RALLIED AROUND A "COLONEL" AT KHE SANH. 1630 REPORT INDICATES THE LATTER HAS NOT OCCURRED. OPINION OF SPECIAL FORCES IS SOME WILL E AND E TO KHE SANH. THE REMAINDER HAVE FLED WEST.
6. AMPLIFYING REPORTS WILL BE SENT AS CHANGES IN OPERATION OCCUR.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I Corps//Enemy Forces

27th Marines//
The President
1/1/68//Order of Battle
Da Nang TAOR//Order of Battle/1968
Robert S Mueller III
DaNang TAOR Maps
1st Recon Bn//1968:
I Corps//Key Terrain
I Corps//Enemy Forces
Lang Vei//6Feb68
CUSHMAN VS. TUOHY
TOP SECRET DECLASSIFIED
Army/USAF vs. USMC Air War


Da Nang Vicinity:

1stMarDiv Command Chronology//MAY 68

36th Regt., 308th Div.//AT9958
31st Regt., 341st Div.//ZC2058
368B Arty Regt.//ZC2062
Group 44//AT9553
3rd Quang Da Bn.//BT0952
1st Bn., 68B Arty Regt.,//ZC1938
3rd Sapper Bn.//ZC2048
2nd Sapper Bn.//AT9091

812 Regt.//YD3434
803rd Regt.//YD5043
9th Regt.//YD5810
90th Regt.//YD6010
K4B Bn.//ZC1096
K4C Bn.//YC9298
HQ 4th Regt.//ZC0298
22nd Regt.//Base Area 115
6th Regt.//YD5315
C-19th, C-24 Sapper Co's.//ZC0798

402nd Sapper Bn.//AT8259
R-20th Bn.//BT0057
V-25th Bn.//BT1654
Q-82nd Bn.//BT1058


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
("9th Regt." corrected to "29th Regt"//JUN 68)

Quang Tri//Key Terrain

27th Marines//
The President
1/1/68//Order of Battle
Da Nang TAOR//Order of Battle/1968
Robert S Mueller III
DaNang TAOR Maps
1st Recon Bn//1968:
I Corps//Key Terrain
I Corps//Enemy Forces
Lang Vei//6Feb68
CUSHMAN VS. TUOHY
TOP SECRET DECLASSIFIED
Army/USAF vs. USMC Air War


Quang Tri-

(3rd Marine Division Command Chronology//Aug/1968)

Hill 471 Khe Sanh//XD846394
Hill 527//XD789383
Hill 587//XD901359
Hill 632//XD828483
Hill 663//XD828321
Hill 689//XD803409
Hill 691//XD927443
Hill 728//XD730416
Hill 832 Khe Sanh//XD874447
Hill 843//XD897328
Hill 861//XD803443
Hill 881N//XD777458
Hill 881S//XD777438
Hill 926//XD755489
Hill 950 Khe Sanh//XD844456
Hill 1015 Dong Tri Khe Sanh//XD854454
Hill 1371 Dong Pa Thien//XD814519
Hill 1739//XD831546

Poppa/1st Recon Bn..

DECLASSIFIED

1st Reconnaissance Bn.
Da Nang, RVN
010800H Aug 68

OPERATION MAMELUKE THRUST
Operation Order: 564-68
Patrol: Flaky Snow E-4-3
Debriefer: Lt. J.J. Barta
Maps: Vietnam 1:50,000; AMS L7014;
Sheet 6640 IV, 6540I

PATROL REPORT

1. SIZE, COMPOSITION AND EQUIPMENT:

A. COMPOSITION: 15 ENL, 1 USN
B. SPECIAL ATTACHMENTS: NONE
C. COMM AND OBSERVATION EQUIPMENT: 2 PRC-25, 1 7X50, 1 BC SCOPE, 1 STAR-LITE SCOPE
D. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 2 M79, 1 M60

2. MISSION: CONDUCT RECONNAISSANCE AND SURVEILLANCE OPERATIONS WITHIN YOUR ASSIGNED HAVEN TO DETECT POSSIBLE VC TROOP MOVEMENT OR ARMS INFILTRATION IN THE QUAN DUC DUC VALLEY. BE PREPARED TO CALL AND ADJUST ARTY/AIR ON TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY IN SUPPORT OF OPERATION MAMELUKE THRUST.

3. TIME OF DEPARTURE AND RETURN: 301500H/010600H

4. ROUTE: N/A

5. SYNOPSIS: THIS PATROL COVERED A PERIOD OF 39 HOURS WITH 1 CONTACT WITH AN ESTIMATED VC COMPANY, RESULTING IN 7 VC KIA CONF., 5 USMC KIA, AND 11 USMC WIA MED-EVAC. A REACTION FORCE RELIEVED THIS PATROL AND SECURED THE PATROL'S POSITION UNTIL ANOTHER PATROL WAS INSERTED.

6. OBSERVATION OF ENEMY AND TERRAIN:

A. ENEMY:

010405H AT 797528 AN ESTIMATED COMPANY OF VC/NVA ASSAULTED THE PATROL'S POSITION FROM THE NORTHERN SIDE OF THE PERIMETER WITH GRENADES, RPG ROCKETS, BANGALORE TORPEDOES, SATCHEL CHARGES, AND SMALL ARMS. THE VC/NVA SWEPT THROUGH THE PATROL'S POSITION AND THEN WITHDREW TO THE NORTH. THE PATROL CONFIRMED 7 VC KIA AND SUFFERED 5 USMC KIA AND 11 USMC WIA. DUE TO LOSS OF COMM, NO FM WAS CALLED. AT FIRST LIGHT, A 29 MAN REACTION FORCE WAS INSERTED, THE REACTION FORCE RECEIVED SPORADIC SNIPER FIRE IN THE ZONE AND 3 USMC WERE WIA FROM AN EXPLOSION OF UNDETERMINED ORIGIN. THE PATROL AND THE REACTION FORCE WIA'S WERE MED-EVACED. THE REACTION FORCE POLICED UP THE POSITION AND DESTROYED DUD ORDINANCE IN THE AREA. 2 AKM ASSAULT RIFLES WERE CAPTURED ALONG WITH ASSORTED WEB GEAR AND AN NVA FLAG WHICH WAS FLYING OVER THE POSITION. AT 011600H ANOTHER PATROL WAS INSERTED AND THE REACTION FORCE WAS EXTRACTED.

D. TERRAIN: N/A

7. OTHER INFORMATION: INSERT AND EXTRACT LZ VIC, AT797528

8. RESULTS OF ENCOUNTERS WITH THE ENEMY: 7 VC KIA CONF., 5 USMC KIA, 11 USMC WIA

9. CONDITION OF PATROL: 5 USMC KIA, 11 USMC WIA EVAC

10. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: EXTENSIVE FORTIFICATION IS NEEDED AT THIS POSITION.

11. EFFECTIVENESS OF SUPPORTING ARMS: N/A

12. COMMENTS OF DEBRIEFER: NONE

13. PATROL MEMBERS:

CPL. KEISTER / 2180551
LCPL LUERA / 2346589
LCPL. IRBY / 2369119
PFC. MOORE / 2417588
PFC. MILES / 2404374
LCPL DERENICK / 2245148
LCPL. KING / 2354566
CPL. BERTIN /2288217
PFC. WHITACH/ 2411884
SGT. HICKS / 2302511
HM3 PLOETZ / B401751
LCPL. GRAY/ 2375218
PFC. SMITH / 2404911
SGT. POPPA / 2215726 (verified at aad.archives.gov)
CPL. PARKER / 2337321

DECLASSIFIED

Robert S Mueller III

2nd Plt., H Co., 2nd Bn., 4th Regt., 3rd Marine Div//
July 1968 to June 1969//2nd Lt.//Platoon Commander


DECLASSIFIED

HEADQUARTERS
2nd Battalion 4th Marines
5 Jan 1969

10 December 1968

Company E continued to search and destroy the area of its encounter (grid) 0364). Company G secured Objective 8 (YD 038633), prepared to receive the command group and to move on order to Objective 9 (YD 046634), all of which was accomplished by 1500. Company H relieved Company F at YD 019648 and Company F moved out for Objective B (018658), the approximate location from which the enemy mortar fire the night before had originated. Air strikes on the high ground at YD 018658 and on a mortar position at 021658 forced Company F to stop short of the high ground. They held up for the night at YD 018654. The three air strikes destroyed four hundred meters of trail, five bunkers, one .50 caliber position, damaged five bunkers, and set off four secondary fires. Night acts consisted of four squad ambushes and eleven LP's.

11 December 1968

Plans for 11 December were as follows: Company E was to continue its intensive search and destroy operations in grid 0364 and the ground and stream to the east. Company G was to conduct similar activities in the area north and south of YD 046635. Particular attention was to be paid to any further indications of routes used by the NVA when vacating the area where Company E made contact two days earlier. Company H was to heavily patrol the ridge and surrounding areas at YD 028652. Company F was ordered to seize the highground at YD 024660 and YD 026664, called Objective B for this Operation. Action in the vicinity changed the above plans.

At 0825 Fox 1 took 60mm mortar and small arms fire. 81mm support was called in and an AO came on station and reported having enemy in sight. Pressing forward toward YD 024660 the lead elements came under small arms and automatic weapons fire. The enemy were well entrenched and the dense vegetation made it difficult to spot the sources of enemy fire. As it was later discovered, Company F had fought its way into the middle of a large, well laid out bunker complex. Havbing fought their way in, the company found it extremely difficult to maneuver its way out, due both to the fires of the enemy and the problem of carrying their wounded.
Air strikes were called and four flights were flown, after which mortars and artillery continued to work the area over.
Shortly after the contact was initiated Company H was dispatched forward to reinforce Company F. Reaching the area of contact around noon, Hotel was opconned to Company F and shortly thereafter was committed to take the pressure off pinned-down Company F units.
Once Company H was in position its concentrated fire power assisted greatly in forcing the enemy to withdraw. Artillery, 81's and air continued to work over the enemy positions and possible routes of egress, artillery being responsible for at least one secondary explosion.
By 1620 the field quieted. Company H stood by to interdict enemy escape to the north. While Fox began the task of reorganizing and consolidating Golf was positioned to reinforce F and H. Darkness was rapidly approaching and drawing the curtain on this, the battalion's first major combat effort in almost five months. At the end of the day the companies in contact had recovered their wounded. Marine units reported definitely killing at least seven enemy, but no search of the battlefield was yet possible.



The three companies formed a united, well placed perimeter on the western portion of Objective B, with Company E and the battalion command group on the ridge across the valley to the south at YD 019648. Battalion night acts consisted of three squad ambushes, and regular LP's.
Friendly casualties on this day were thirteen Marines KIA () and thirty-one WIA. Enemy losses were unknown at the close of the day, except for seven bodies found in addition to the seven reported killed by Marines in the course of the action.

12 December 1968

Early this morning the battalion command group received one dud artillery round and two other rounds in their positions. Fortunately no casualties resulted.
The battle plan for the day called for Company G to envelop into the complex from the southwest on a small spit of land not shown on the map. It was hoped that this route would put the company on the right or southern fringes of the complex. Company H was to move back out onto the finger to the north which they had occupied the previous day and to act as a base of fire for Company G if the latter were to encounter resistance. Either company was to be ready to support the other if one route of approach was seen to be more favorable than the other.
Following air strikes, artillery preps and an 81mm mission, and fires to zero in the 60mm mortars, Company G moved out. The enemy had fled, however, and no contact was made. One NVA soldier was found alive and unharmed in a bunker. He was relieved of his loaded light machine gun mand helilifted to higher headquarters.
Companies F and H recovered their BNR's. A careful and thorough search of all bunkers turned up a vast array of material of all kinds. Besides the live POW the units found: three AK-47's, one SKA, one light machine gun and drum, one M-14, one M-16, 24 RPG rounds, 62 82mm mortar rounds, 300 60 mm mortar rounds, 37 chicom grenades, 10 anti-personnel mines, 49 chicom claymore mines, 1600 rounds of small arms ammunition, 1600 rounds of light machine gun ammunition, medical supplies, documents, assorted clothing and 782 gear, on 82mm mortar base plate, and 600 pounds of rice. Five NVA bodies were found this day.

One item of worthy note was that intelligence sources reported that the Battalion, in its attack on Objective B on 11 December, had killed the Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion, 27th NVA Regiment, and had virtually decimated his staff.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Enemy Contact and Activity

(2) On 11 December, Company F made contact with an unknown number of NVA in a well developed bunker system in the vicinity of YD 022659. After several hours of fighting, Company F, heavily engaged with a large, well-entrenched enemy force, was joined by Company H (-), and their combined firepower succeeded in driving the enemy off the northern slope of Objective B. Air strikes and artillery were called in on likely avenues of escape. The bunker complex was found to contain 178 bunkers.

9. Enemy Disposition

a. Enemy disposition and strength in the Scotland II area of operation was reported to be as follows during the month of December 1968.

(1) 27th NVA Regiment, strength 1065, location YD 1369
(2) 2nd Battalion, 27th NVA Regiment, strength 250, location YD 1268.
(3) 3rd Battalion, 27th NVA Regiment, strength 250, location YD 1469.

b. Operations of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines indicate that the First Battalion, 27th NVA Regiment, strength about 250, was located at YD 0266 (Objective B).

Addendum

Subsequent reports state that the assault on 11 December at "Foxtrot Ridge" (YD 0266) annhialated the Battalion Commander and staff of the 1st Battalion, 27th NVA Regiment.

DECLASSIFIED



VFW ARTICLE: Oct, 2002

When the North Vietnamese infantry company opened fire with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, 2nd Lt. Bob Mueller instantly took command.

"Let's go, squad leaders! Defensive perimeter! Bring up that M-60, on the double. Come on, guys--move it!"

It happened in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, on Dec. 11, 1968.

On that morning 34 years ago, Robert Swan Mueller, III, was leading a U.S. Marine Corps infantry unit on a Vietnam War combat patrol.

Suddenly, Mueller's hard-charging platoon of gung-ho "grunts" found itself confronting more than 200 battle-hardened North Vietnamese regulars.

Within 15 minutes, Mueller's outfit had taken several casualties.

But the lieutenant didn't hesitate. After several months of grueling preparation at Quantico--headquarters for Marine Corps officer training--he was ready to assume command. During the next few hours, he would lead his courageous platoon of "jarheads" through a brutal firefight marked by heavy casualties on both sides.

He also would earn the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart as commander of 2nd Plt., H Co., 2nd Bn., 4th Regt., 3rd Marine Div., during his tour in Vietnam between July 1968 and June 1969.

According to the .U.S. Marine Corps archives, here's what happened next on that long-ago morning in Quang Tri.

"Quickly establishing a defensive perimeter, 2nd Lt. Mueller fearlessly moved from one position to another, directing the accurate counterfire of his men and shouting words of encouragement to them.

"With complete disregard for his own safety, he then skillfully supervised the evacuation of casualties from the hazardous area and, on one occasion, personally led a fire team across the fire-swept terrain to recover a mortally wounded Marine who had fallen in a position forward of the friendly lines.

"2nd Lt. Mueller's courage, aggressive initiative and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk were instrumental in the defeat of the enemy force and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."

DaNang TAOR/1968

040220Z JUN 68

III MAF//BT041784
FLC/1ST FSR//AT945800
H&S BN FLC/1ST FSR//AT945800
SUP BN FLC/1ST FSR//AT945800
MAINT BN FLC/1ST FSR//AT945800

5TH COMM BN//BT063756
7TH ENGR BN//944782
7TH MT BN//AT945800
2ND CAG//BT058778

1ST MARDIV HQ//AT959749

3RD BN 5TH MAR//AT892676

7TH MAR//AT969620
1ST BN 7TH MAR//AT925690
2ND BN 7TH MAR//AT938783
3RD BN 7TH MAR//AT916583

27TH MAR//AT992676
1ST BN/27TH MAR//BT073653
2ND BN 27TH MAR//AT992781
3RD BN 27TH MAR//AT983653

26TH MAR//AT925690
1ST BN 26TH MAR//AT940755
3RD BN 26TH MAR//AT925690

11TH MAR//AT957756
3RD BN 11TH MAR//AT968616
4TH BN 11TH MAR//AT989714

1ST BN 13TH MAR//AT922690
2ND BN 13TH MAR//AT990710
1ST ARMD AMPHIB//AT997723
3RD 8" HOW BTRY//AT921799
3RD 155 GUN BTRY//AT957756
B BTRY 8TH ARTY//AT985675

1ST RECON BN//AT959750
1ST TANK BN//AT997723
3RD AMTRAC BN//BT053706
1ST ENGR BN//AT947755
1ST SP BN//AT981745
7TH COMM BN//AT989701
11TH MT BN//AT948762
1ST HOSP CO//AT975754
B BTRY 4TH ARTY (USA)//AT985719

1/1/1968//Order of Battle

27th Marines//
The President
1/1/68//Order of Battle
Da Nang TAOR//Order of Battle/1968
Robert S Mueller III
DaNang TAOR Maps
1st Recon Bn//1968:
I Corps//Key Terrain
I Corps//Enemy Forces
Lang Vei//6Feb68
CUSHMAN VS. TUOHY
TOP SECRET DECLASSIFIED
Army/USAF vs. USMC Air War


(note: all locations, accurate or approximate, based on Stan Leishner Map/1968)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Allied Forces:

I Corps:

3rd Marine Division/Dong Ha
1st Marine Division/Da Nang
1st Marine Air Wing/Da Nang
36th Tactical Fighter Wing/Da Nang

Americal Division/Hoi An
3rd Brigade of 4th Infantry Division/Hoi An
196th and 198th Light Infantry Brigades/Hoi An
11th Infantry Brigade/Hoi An
3rd Brigade of 1st Cavalry Division/Hoi An
Airmobile (also attached)/Hoi An

ARVN 1st Division/Dong Ha
ARVN 51st Regiment/Hoi An
ARVN 2nd Division/Quang Ngai

ROK 2nd Marine Brigade//Chu Lai vic.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
II Corps

1st Brigade of 4th Infantry Division/Dak To
Elements of 2nd Brigade $th Infantry Division/Dak To
Elements of 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)/An Khe
2nd Brigade of 4th Infantry Division/Ban Me Thuot
Elements of 25th Infantry Division/Ban Me Thuot
Elements of 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)/Qui Nhon
31st Tactical Fighter Wing//
1st Field Force Headquarters/Nha Trang
5th Special Forces Group HQ/Nha Trang
Army Engineers Command/Cam Ranh
12th Tactical Fighter Wing/Cam Ranh
483rd Troop Carrier Wing/Cam Ranh
35th Tactical Fighter Wing/Phan Hang
Elements of 101st Airborne/Phan Hang

ARVN 22nd Division/Qui Nhon
ARVN 23rd Division/Ban Me Thuot

ROK Capital Division/Qui Nhon
ROK White Horse Division/Nha Trang
Royal Australian Air Force Sqdn./Phan Hang





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
III Corps

1st Infantry Division/Quan Lok
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment/Bien Hoa
3rd Tactical Fighter Wing/Bien Hoa
1st Brigade/101st Airborne/Xuan Loc
199th Light Infantry Brigade/Long Thenh
Elements of 9th Division/Long Thenh
25th Infantry Division/Cu Chi

ARVN 5th Division/Saigon
ARVN 18th Division/Bien Hoa
ARVN 25th Division/Tan An

Royal Thai Queen's Cobra Regt./Long Thenh
Republic of Philippines Contingent/Tan An
2nd and 7th Battalions Royal Australian/Vuog Tau
Regt., 1st Australian TF/Vuog Tau
NZ Artillery Battery/Vuog Tau


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IV Corps

Elements of 9th Infantry Division/My Tho
Delta Helicopter Aviation Bn./Can Tho
HQ for USN River Patrol Boats, SEALS/Can Tho
Junk Forces, Army Special Forces/Can Tho

ARVN 7th Division/My Tho
ARVN 9th Division/My Tho
21st Division/Vinh Loi
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Enemy Forces:

NVA 324th B Division/Dong Ha
NVA 325th Division/Dong Ha
Elements of NVA 341st Division/Dong Ha

NVA 368th B Regt./Da Nang
Two Rocket Arty Bn's/Da Nang

NVA 2nd/3rd Div.s/S. of Hoi An
NVA 3rd Div./II Corps North
NVA 1st Div//E. of Pleiku
NVA 5th Div./ mid II Corps

VC 5th Div./III Corps East//Phuoc Binh
VC 9th Div./III Corps East
VC 7th Div./IV Corps Delta
Other VC Bn's//IV Corps Delta

LBJ//Cabinet Meetings

TOP SECRET DECLASSIFIED

NOTES OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEETING WITH HIS FOREIGN POLICY ADVISERS: 03/26/1968

The President is briefed by Generals Wheeler (JCS) and General Abrams (XO/MACV); the policy advisers respond:

Summary:

Ridgway: I agree with the summary as presented by McGeorge Bundy.

Dean: I agree. All of us got the impression that there is no military conclusion in sight. We felt time is running out.

Dean Acheson: Agree with Bundy's presentation. Neither the effort of the Government of Vietnam or the effort of the U.S. government can succeed in the time we have left. Time is limited by reactions in this country. We cannot build an independent South Vietnam; therefore, we sould do something no later than late summer to establish something different.

Henry Cabot Lodge: We should shift from search and destroy strategy to a strategy of using our military power as a shield to permit the South Vietnamese society to develop as well as North Vietnamese society has been able to do. We need to organize South Vietnam on a block-by-block, precinct-by-precinct basis.

Douglas Dillon: We should change the emphasis. I agree with Acheson. The briefing last night led me to conclude we cannot achieve a military victory. I would agree with Lodge that we should cease search-and-destroy tactics and head toward an eventual disengagement. I would send only the troops necessary to support those there now.

George Ball: I share Acheson's view. I have felt that way since 1961--that our objectives are not attainable. In the U.S. there is a sharp division of opinion. In the world, we look very badly because of the bombing. That is the central defect in our position. The disadvantages of the bombing far outweigh the advantages. We need to stop the bombing in the next six weeks to test the will of the North Vietnamese. As long as we continue to bomb, we alienate ourselves from the civilized world. I would have the Pope or U Thant suggest the bombing halt. It cannot come from the President. A bombing halt would quiet the situation here at home.

Cy Vance: McGeorge Bundy stated my views. I agree with George Ball. Unless we do something quick, the mood in this country may lead us to withdrawal. On troops, we should send no more than 13,000 support troops.

General Bradley: People in the country are dissatisfied. We do need to stop the bombing if we can get the suggestion to come from the Pope or U Thant, but let's not show them that we are in any way weakening. We should send only support troops.

Bob Murphy: I am shaken by the position of my associates. The interpretation given this action by Saigon would be bad. This is a "give-away" policy. I think it would weaken our position.

General Taylor: I am dismayed. The picture I get is a very different one from that you have. Let's not concede the home front; let's do something about it.

Fortas: The U.S. has never had in mind winning a military victory out there; we always have wanted to reach an agreement or settle for the status quo between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. I agree with General Taylor and Bob Murphy. This is not the time for an overture on our part. I do not think a cessation of the bombing would do any good at this time. I do not believe in drama for the sake of drama.

Acheson: The issue is not that stated by Fortas. The issue is can we do what we are trying to do in Vietnam. I do not think we can. Fortas said we are not trying to win a military victory. The issue is can we by military means keep the North Vietnamese off the South Vietnamese. I do not think we can. They can slip around and end-run and crack them up.


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TOP SECRET DECLASSIFIED

Cabinet Meeting:03/26/68//White House:

Generals Wheeler and Abrams brief the President on the outcome of the Tet Offensive; the President responds:

The President:

"Our fiscal situation is abominable. We have a deficit running over 20. We are not getting the tax bill. The deficit could be over 30. If it does, the interest rate will raise. The British pound may fall. The Canadian pound may fall. The dollar will be in danger. Unless we get a tax bill it will be unthinkable.

"They say to get $10 in taxes we must get $10 in reductions of appropriations. We have to take one half from non-Vietnam defense expenditures. That will cause hell with Russell. If we don't do that we will have hell. What happens when you cut poverty, housing and education?

This has been complicated by the fact it is an election year. I don't give a damn about the election. I will be happy just to keep doing what is right and lose the election.

"There has been a panic in the last three weeks. It was caused by Ted Kennedy's report on corruption and the ARVN and the GVN being no good. And now a release that Westmoreland wants 206,000 men, and a call-up of 400,000. That would cost $15 billion. That would hurt the dollar and gold.

"The leaks to the New York Times hurt us. The country is demoralized. You must know about it. It's tough you can't have communications. A worker writes a paper for Clifford group and its all over Georgetown. The people are trying to save us from ourselves. You must bear this in mind.

"Bobby advocated: (1) Rusk resigning. (2) Placing the war in the hands of a Commission. I said no.

"I will have overwhelming disapproval in the polls and elections. I will go down the drain. I don't want the whole alliance and military pulled with it.

"Ambassador Goldberg wants us not to bomb North Vietnam for three weeks. Secretary Clifford has a plan to stop above the 20th parallel, and his infiltration. We must have something.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they repealed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. Senator Russell wants to go in and take out Haiphong. Senator McCarthy and Senator Kennedy and the left wing has informers in the departments. The Times and the Post are all against us. Most of the press is against us.

"How can we get this job done? We need more money in an election year, more taxes in an election year, more troops in an election year and more cuts in an election year.

As yet I cannot tell them what they expect to get in return. We have no support for the war. This is caused by the 206,000 troop request, leaks, Ted Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy.

"I would give Westmoreland 206,000 men if he said he needed them and if we could get them."


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TOP SECRET DECLASSIFIED

Cabinet Meeting:02/28/1968//

The meeting opens with General Earle Wheeler giving a presentation accounting for the recent Tet offensive in South Vietnam. Others at the meeting add and respond. President Johnson then adds comments:

The President:

"The big problem is the impression we make with the public... We have to be careful about statements like Westmoreland's when he came back and said he saw 'light at the end of the tunnel.' Now we have the shock of this Tet Offensive.

"Ho Chi Minh never got elected to anything...He is like Hitler in many ways... But we, the President and the Cabinet, are called murderers and they never say anything about Mr. Ho. The signs are all over here. They all say 'Stop the War'. But you never see any of them over there. Then he launches the Tet attack, breaks the truce and escalates by firing on 44 cities, all the time we are offering a bombing pause.

"It is like the country lawyer who made the greatest speech of his life but they electrocuted his client. We are like that now...

"We have got to guard against over-optimism now. We have got all these proposals...From the Javitses and the Gavins, Fulbright and the Kennedy boys and Romney and the rest.

"I want the State Department and the military, Bob McNamara and Dean Rusk to look at all these proposals, get me a paper on how these opinions and options...Analyze them and let me know how we can escalate peace.

"We have our shirttails out all around the world...We have people out traveling, hunting for peace...Just when you think there may be some progress and you draw circles around Hanoi and Haiphong, just at that time you're answered by a cannon shot."

Order of Battle

Order of Battle//
Danang TAOR/circa Tet, 1968

(note: coordinates in "AT" and "BT" grids)

3RD AMTRAC //AT053706
1DIV/HQ BN //AT059749
3 BN/5TH //AT892676
3 BN/7TH //AT916583
3RD 8" BTRY //AT921799
1 BN/13TH //AT922690
1 BN/7TH //AT925690
26TH REGT //AT925690
3 BN/26TH //AT925690
2 BN/7TH //AT938783
1 BN/26TH //AT940755
1st FSR //AT945800
7TH MT BN //AT945800
1ST ENGR //AT947755
11 MT BN //AT948762
11TH REGT //AT957756
3RD 155 BTRY //AT957756
1ST RECON BN //AT959750
3 BN/11TH //AT968616
7TH REGT //AT969620
MASS-3A //AT972737
1ST HOSP CO //AT975754
1ST RGR GP //AT976794
37TH RGR BN //AT976794
3RD MP BN //AT978726
1ST SP BN //AT981745
3 BN/27TH //AT983653
1/51 INF //AT984687
B BTRY/8TH ARTY //AT985675
B BTRY/4TH ARTY //AT985719
7TH COMM BN //AT989701
4 BN/11TH //AT989714
2 BN/13TH //AT990710
27TH REGT //AT992676
1ST MAW/HQ //AT992757
MWSG-17 //AT992757
WERS-17 //AT992757
H&MS-18 //AT992757
34TH ARTY BN //AT992759
2 BN/27TH //AT992781
MWHG-1 //AT995755
H&HS-1 //AT995755
MWFS-1 //AT995755
MWCS-1 //AT995755
1 AMPHIB //AT997723
1ST TANK BN //AT997723
4TH CAV REGT //AT998726
MAG-2 //AT998751
H&MS-2 //AT998751
MABS-2 //AT998751
VMF(AW)-235 //AT998751
VMA(AW)-242 //AT998751
VMFA-122 //AT998751
MACG-18 //BT001757
H&MS-18 //BT001757
MASS-2 //BT001757
1ST MP BN //BT004746
1ST LAAM BT //BT005749
59TH RF BN //BT017682
10TH ENGR BN //BT020760
51ST REGT HQ //BT025658
3/51 INF //BT026649
3 ARVN/HQ //BT028758
1 BN/2ND ROK //BT057608
2ND CAG //BT058778
5TH COMM BN //BT063756
MAG-16/M MTN. //BT067737
H&MS-16 //BT067737
MABS-16 //BT067737
HMM-361 //BT067737
VMO-2 //BT067737
HMM-463 //BT067737
HMM-265 //BT067737
2 BN/2ND ROK //BT073515
1 BN/27TH //BT073653
MASS-4 //BT092837
3 BN/2ND ROK //BT102529
4/51 INF //BT104646
2ND ARTY BN //BT107583
5 BN/2ND ROK //BT116646 1/14 ARTY/HOI AN //BT133453 3/82ND ARTY //BT133453 2ND ROK/HQ //BT142619 102ND ENGR BN //BT149972 2/51 INF //BT158568

Allen Brook

Below documents and reports are from 3rd Battalion's engagement with the enemy in mid-May of 1968//note: the files are currently being "unscanned" from the original PDF files and edited.
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3rd Battalion Record//5 June 1968//

During the last half of May the battalion took part in Operation ALLEN BROOK while the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, assumed responsibility for this battalion's T.A.O.R. The enemy force encountered during Operation ALLEN BROOK was estimated to be three separate NVA battalions. The enemy was well equipped, well entrenched, and prepared to defend his positions. A detailed account of the battalion's action during Operation Allen Brook is contained in the Operations After Action Report.
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-Execution. This battalion was alerted to the pending operation on 8 May 1968 and was given the general area of operation. Visual reconnaissance flights were arranged and on 11 May 1968, the Commanding officer, S-3, Air and Artillery Liaison Officers, flew to the area, made a visual reconnaisance of the island and 1anded near the mobile Command Post of the 2nd Batt1ion, 7th Marines for a briefing with the Battalion Commander. On 13 May 1968, Company I was a1erted and flown out to the area of operation and placed unider OPCON of the 7th Marines. On 16 May 1968, the remainder of the battalion was alerted and except for Company M, to be prepared to move by truck company convoy to Liberty Bridge, and to move on foot to the area of operations. Tho LSA was to be located at the 27th Marines Landing Zone,number 410.

17 May 1968

On 17 May, at approximately 0830 the truck convoy arrived at the 3/27 CP and troops and equipment were loaded. During the course of the movement toward Liberty Bridge, the convoy was ordered to report to Landing Zone 410 and the battalion was alerted to be prepared to lift by helicopter into the area of operation. This order was received approximately l000 and the convoy arrived at Landing Zone 410 at about 1045. There was some delay in the arrival of the helicopters, however, at about 1300 the first elements of Company K were airborne.

Still anothor delay was experienced when a coordination problem arose in the air prepartion of the landing zone. Once this problem was overcome the troop helicopters landed in the zone in the vicinity of AT 961512 at approximately 1500, on 17 May 1968. After the initial delay the lift went smoothly and all elements were in the zone by approximately 1730.The LZ was hit by sporadic mortar fire during the course of discharging troops resulting in 4 WIA. The helicopter landing of this battalion relieved the pressure on Company I which had been in heavy contact during most of the day and had suffered relatively heavy casualties. Company I was still OPCON to 3/7 at this time, and the plan was to link up the battalion with Company I prior to darkness.

As the battalion moved forward it was subjected to occasional mortar and small arms harassing fire. Company K moved into the tree line in the vicinity of AT 962522 and came under intense small arms and automatic weapons fire. Company L moved to the east of Company K and met little resistance. Air and artillery missions were called in support of Company K, and at about 1930,two platoons of Company K were successful in linking with Company I. Company L was located to the East in the vicinity of AT967523 and the Command Group, with one platoon of Company K, were located in the vicinity of AT 963518. These positions were maintained throughout the night. At 1910H OPCON of Company I passed to the 27th Marines and remained until the end of the operation. Casualties sustained on the 17th of May were as follows: Company I- 50 WIA and 15 KIA, Company K- 14 WIA and 6 KIA, Company L- 4 minor WIA's. Enemy casualties could not be accurately assessed at this time due to darkness.
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18 May 1968

On the morning of 18 May 1968, at 0830 Company L moved from it's night position to link up with Company I and Company K. The Command Group with the platoon of Company K also began to move toward the rendevous point. At approximately 0940 the Command Group with one platoon of Company K joined Companies I and K in the vicinity of AT 959526. While consolidating and attempting to expand the perimeter, friendly units came under small arms fire from LE BAC (2). Company K was moved to the North and Company L, approaching from the East was diverted North to assist in the action. Initially it was thought the enemy force to be nothing more than one or two snipers, however, it soon became clear that a major enemy force was involved. The volume of fire became exceedingly heavy. Lead elements of Companies K and L were pinned down and could not be extracted. As the battle continued, heat began to take its toll, and heat casualties soon exceeded the number of battle casualties.Flak jackets, which had been worn by all hands, were discarded. Water became a critical item. Company M, which had been alerted previously to replace Company I, began arriving at 1500. Both Companies K and L and the Forward Command Grouphad been in contact continually since 0940. Air and artillery missions were called in support of the troops in contact, but since friendly units were in such close proximity to the enemy it was not possible to bring supporting arms to bear on all enemy positions. Company M, upon arrival, was commited to the action in support of Company K, which had suffered a considerable number of battle and heat casualties. Company I was withdrawn from the area of operations utilizing turn about helicopters that transported Company M. Company K was replaced by Company M and withdrawn to a defensive position approximately 250 meters to the rear. The battle raged throughout the day until finally at nightfall, friendly units were able to break contact, retrieve all wounded, most of their dead and withdraw to an area from which air and artillery could be fully brought to bear on the enemy positions. All units withdrew to the defensive position established earlier by Company K. Two rifle companies from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines also joined the battalion at this position at about 1900. The battalion set in at this location (vic AT 959524) for the night. Friendly casualties for this day was placed at 15 KIA, 78 WIA, and 6 MIA, with 20 enemy KIA. Casualty figures were not confirmed at this time due to the tactical situation.
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19 May 1968

On 19 May 1968, at 0630, patrols were sent out to the battle area to finish picking up equipmet which had not been retrieved the night before. At the same time units within the Battalion Comman Post began a detailed search of that area. This was the same area through which the battalion had previously passed when attempting to link up with India Company. At 0800 three dead NVA were discovered together with a machine gun tripod, ammunition, 1 AK-50 machine gun barrel and other items. At 1030 two Chicom radios were found and one dead NVA. Three hundred pounds of rice and 200 pounds of corn were discovered and destroyed at 1035. Several more NVA dead were discovered together with quantities of equipment including a heavy machine gun, AK-47 rifles, SKS rifles, grenades, ammunition, and field telephone. A prisoner was found at 1215 who claimed to be a cook for the NVA but claimed he was not a NVA himself. All captured equipment and the prisoner was evacuated to 27th Marines Regimental Headquarters. As this search was being conducted, air and artillery missions were being fired into the tree line of the previous day's action prior to sending Company L back into the area to search it thoroughly, and at about 1400, Company L departed the Battalion CP. In the meantime, more enemy equipment, bodies and documents were discovered in the Battalion CP's location.

Upon arriving in the battle area, Company L discovered a number of dead NVA, a few weapons and five friendly KIA. By the end of the day the cumulative casualties were as follows: Friendly 40 KIA, 139 WIA; enemy 66 (NVA) KIA, 1 (VC) detainee. The battalion spent the night of 19-20 May in the same location. area.
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20 May 1968

On the morning of the 20th at 0800 Company I and K of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, departed 3/27 Battalion CP to rejoin their parent battalion. At 0800, 3/27 moved to the East with Companies L and K in the lead, and with the Command Group and Company M in trace. While enroute, CVompany K received sporadic sniper fire. Upon reaching coordinates AT 970522 the battalion formed a perimeter with the three companies and set up night defensive positions. There had been no significant contacts and casualties both enemy and friendly remained unchanged. At 2230 several NVA were surprised by a Kilo Company listening post. One became disoriented and ran into the Battalion CP. As he crossed in front of a Company L defensive position, he was wounded by small arms fire and captured. He was treated, interrogated, and medevaced the following morning.
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21 May 1968

At 211150 the battalion began moving to the north toward objective ECHO, the village complex of PHU DONG (2). At approximately 1355 at coordinates AT 974532, the battalion's lead elements began receiving small arms and sniper fire. Artillery and air strikes were called on the enemy positions, a number of heat casualties were evacuated, and both air and artillery missions continued. The battalion pulled back and prepared night defensive positions in the vicinity of AT 972537. At 212235 Company L in defensive positions received 5 to 6 rounds of 60MM mortar fire while at about the same time Company M received small arms fire and 6 rounds of 81MM mortars. Small arms fire was returned and artillery missions were called on suspected enemy mortar positions.
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22 May 1968

On 22 May at 0835 the battalion moved out to sweep from its night positions North to AN QUYEN (1). Prepatory fires were fired at coordinates AT 972644. Sniper fire wounded two Marines, neither seriously, and the battalion continued to advance. Another prep fire mission was called at 1200 on coordinates AT 970553 to clear a tree line. The Command Group and lead companies continued to move forward halting on occasion to prep danger areas with air and artillery. Sporadic sniper fire was received by lead elements but there was no major contact made. At 1452 the lead companies and the Command Group reached coordinates AT 972553 and prepared to set in night defensive positions. Company K had been left back approximately 800 meters with several heat and a few battle casualties, together with some supplies and equipment that had not been picked up previously. Company K rejoined the remainder of the battalion after the equipment was flown out. At about 1630, a six man scout team from the S-2 Section departed the battalion perimeter on a reconnaissance patrol to the village of AN QUYEN (1). They observed a young Vietnamese male, who, when he saw the Narines, ran away into the tall elephant grass adjacent to the village. The patrol pursued this individual and in the process of searching in the grass for him discovered seven fresh camp fires and recent occupancy of about 35 people. The patrol returned to the battalion's position and the area around AN QUYEN (1) was fired on periodically throughout the night by artillery.
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23 May 1968

On 23 May at 0800, Companies K and M commenced an offensive sweep North from the battalion's night defensive positions to the SONG THU BON River. Several air strikes and artillery missions were called by both companies but neither company made contact with the enemy and both returned to the battalion's position by late afternoon. The battalion remained in position for the night.
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24 May 1968

At 240700 the battalion moved from its night position towards LE BAC (1). Companies K and L comprised the lead elements with the Command Group and Company M following in trace. At 1130, after crossing a dry river bed, the lead units began to receive sporadic small arms fire from a tree line to their front. Company K continued to move forward until 1230 when they encountered heavy resistance from prepared positions in LE BAC (1). Company K remained in heavy contact while Company L received only light sniper fire. Company M was ordered to assist Company K in extricating their wounded and dead as well as those pinned down by heavy enemy fire. Company M moved through the CP Group with two platoons, leaving one back for CP security. The two companies linked up at about 1400 and Company M in conjunction with Company K attempted to withdraw North to allow supporting arms to neutralize the enemy positions. By 1630 all friendly units were clear of the area and air and artillery fire was called in on LE BAC (1). During the course of the contact both close air support and artillery fire was employed. Once disengaged, Companies M, K and L pulled back North toward the Battalion CP and reconnaissance elements were dispatched to the vicinity of PHU TAY (2) to locate a suitable CP site. At about 1700 all units commenced moving to the night time positions in the vicinity of 954545. Perimeter defenses were established and re-supply was completed. During the night about 100 to 150 rounds of small arms fire and 4 to 6 rounds of 60MM mortar fire were received in the battalion's position resulting in two minor USMC WIA's. A few hours later approximately 20 rounds of mortar fire fell outside the battalion's perimeter as though the enemy was attempting to locate the battalion's position and was confused as to itys location in as much as the battalion had not returned any fires in response to their earlier harrassing fire.
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25 May 1968

Beginning at 0712 on the 25th, artillery prepatory fires were called on LE BAC (1). These were followed by air missions at 0845. Again at 1000 more artillery prep fires were called in on the target area and at 1002 Company L was ordered to move out toward objective NOVEMBER (LE BAC (1)). As Company L moved toward the objective another air strike was made and at 1045, Companies M and K with the Command Group again reached the dry stream bed just North of the objective, while Company L moved through the objective approximately 150 meters to the front. At 1205 Company L took one casualty due to small arms fire but avoided heavy contact by withdrawing and calling another sir strike on the objective. At 1220 the Battalion CP Group received mortar and small arms fire from its rear. Mortars and helicopter fire were brought to bear on the enemy positions while at the same time, the Command Group and all companies commenced moving West, toward the SONG THU BON River. A Battalion Command Post was established at AT 942538 and the rifle companies began preparing defensive positions. At 1330 Company I, together with a platoon of tanks, joined the battalion and were integrated into the battalion defensive positions. Re-supply was completed by 1615 and further air and artillery prepatory fires were brought to bear on LE BAC (1). At 1800 on the 25th, the cumulative friendly casualty count was 51 KIA, 204 WIA, 9 WIANE, and 9 MIA, while enemy casualties numbered 114 KIA and 9 detainees. Night positions were manned and at 2120 an ambush from Company M killed two NVA. Artillery and air continued to be called on LE BAC (1) throughout the night.
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26 May 1968

On the 26th at 0720, Companies L and M together with tanks commenced moving toward LE BAC (1) from West to East. Both air and artillery continued to fire on the objective, At 0940 Company L found 7 dead NVA and 22 freshly dug graves, which were opened and found to contain NVA dead. Company L received six rounds of mortar fire, wounding six men. The battalion's mortars returned fire on the suspected enemy positions and an artillery mission was called. At 1325 Company M made contact with an unknown size enemy force, receiving small arms and automatic weapons fire as well as RPG rounds directed at the supporting tanks. Company M returned fire, called air strikes on the enemy positions and directed tank fire, all of which resulted in suppressing the enemy. 5 NVA were killed and one captured. At 1520 a torrential downpour halted further contact and under cover of this rain, the enemy broke contact and withdrew toward LE BAC (2), which is located to the East of the objective area. An air mission was requested and artillery was fired into this area. By the end of the days operations, friendly casualties totaled 56 KIA, 226 WIA, 9 MIA and 9 WIANE, while known enemy losses were 167 KIA and 5 detainees. Defensive positions were established in LE BAC (1) and the battalion prepared to spend the night. During the night of 26-27 May, three hand grenades were thrown into Company K's positions wounding one man slightly. The Command Post received approximately 20 rounds 81MM mortar fire. Artillery was called on suspected mortar positions.
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27 May 1968

Orders from the 27th Marine Regiment had been received indicating thyat one company from the 1st Battalion would be helilifted into the area and two companies from this battalion would be lifted out. This exchange began at 0938 and was essentially completed at 1435. Company C, of 1/27 had been brought in, and Companies K and M had been retracted. In the meantime, Companies I and L continued to search LE BAC (1) and at 1005, Company L captured another NVA> Howevere, he was severely wounded and died prior to evacuation. A number of weapons, ammunition, documents, rockets and rocket launchers were discovered and were evacuated to 27th Regimental Headquarters. As of 271200 total friendly casualties were 61 KIA, 228 WIA, 1 MIA, 9 WIANE, while known enemy casualties numbered 173 KIA and 6 detained. At 1228 Company L discovered 5 dead NVA, together with large quantities of rice and peanuts. At 1400, Company I discovered 12 fresh graves. These were opened and found to contain recently killed NVA. At 1505, a helicopter CH-34, made a forced landing at grid coordinates AT 952541 and one platoon from Company C was dispatched to provide security. At 1600, the Command Group and two rifle companies commenced moving to a new location AT 959529 and arrived at 1625. Immediately, preparations for night defensive positions were begun, helicopter re-supply was completed, and the platoon from Company C was returned after the downed helicopter was retrieved.
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28 May 1968

Orders were received indicating that the First Battalion would relieve the Third Battalion on the 28th and that the two forces were to effect a link-up in the vicinity of Liberty Bridge. As a result, the battalion moved from its night position at 0805 on the morning of the 28th with Company I and Company C forward with tanks and the Command Group and Company L following in trace. At 0915 in the vicinity of AT 950532, Company I made contact with and enemy force entrenched in atree line. Air strikes were called on the enemy positions and one tank was hit with an RPG round wounding three men. Contact remained heavy until approximately 1140 when Company I was able to break contact and withdraw to safe distance so that air and artillery could be fired into enemy positions. After re-organizing Company I, the battalion moved along the dry stream bed toward SONG THU BON River and the southwest to Liberty Bridge effecting link-up with lead elements of the 1st Battalion at approximately 1335. Just prior to link-up, the Command Group received two 60MM mortar rounds resulting in two WIA's, who were placed on tanks. The column reached Liberty Bridge at about 1400.