1967

1967

 

1967 OVERVIEW
This was the year of big operations – like JUNCTION
CITY (Feb. to Apr.), CAMDEN (Dec.), and YELLOWSTONE (Dec.) – and it was
the year of the 2/12th Infantry’s historic BATTLE OF
SOUI TRE (March 21).

There were two events in 1967 that “upset the apple-cart” and pissed off members of the battalion:
1.)
The August 1967 transfer of the battalion from assignment to the Fourth Infantry Division to the Twenty fifth Infantry Division.
2.)
In September 1967 one platoon each from Alpha, Bravo and Charlie were used to form the (new) Delta Company.

1967
was the year that the 2/12th’s Specialist Fourth Class
Donald “Doc” Evans earned the Congressional Medal
of Honor (CMH) – giving physical evidence to the
words ‘no greater love than he that lays down his life
for his fellow man.’

BACK IN THE WORLD
In 1967: the Beatles released ‘Sergeant Pepper’s
Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ Other hit songs of the year
were “I’m A Believer” by the Monkees and “Light My Fire” by the Doors. Muhammad Ali declines to be
‘drafted’ for religious reasons; declaring ” No Viet
Cong ever called me nigger.” It was a comment about
the pervasive racism that still existed in the U.S.
“Make Love Not War” became the mantra of the
anti-war generation. And it was “the ‘Summer of
Love’” in the Haight-Ashbury streets of San Francisco.

 

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January 1967

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3 JAN 67

B Co. KIA:
Spc4 Fedrico Perez (20) of San Diego, TX
perished in Binh Duong Province.

C Co. KIA:
Spc4 Ronald L. Arrigoni (20) of St. Paul,
MN perished in Binh Duong Province.

[NOTE: FEDRICO PEREZ's first name is misspelled "Frederico" on most KIA lists. Connie Constantine, who bunked with Fedrico in AIT and was with him in Nam, says that FEDRICO IS THE CORRECT SPELLING.]

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5 JAN 67
C Co. KIAs:
Spc4 Jimmy A. Miller (20) of Los Angels, CA; and
Spc4 David L. Pearson (20) of Maxwell, IA
perished in Binh Duong Province.
Pfc. Roger C. Mitche (20) of Delano, CA Died of
Wounds (DOW) he received in Binh Duong Province.

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9 JAN 67
ELSEWHERE IN VIETNAM:
1st DIVISION SIEZED BEN SUC
The 1st Infantry Divisions plan for the seizure of Ben Suc village ["Mushroom" area of Saigon River] fell behind and caused a change of plans that put the 2/12th Infantry into the fight much earlier than planned. [Source: MacGarrgle COMBAT OPERATIONS p.102-103 & p. 111]
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13 JAN 67
B Co. KIAs:
Pfc. Fordham E. Finch, Jr. (20) of
Columbia, SC; and
2Lt Richad M. Cummings(26) of Wilkes-Barre, PA
perished in Binh Duong Province.
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14 JAN 67
A Co. KIA:
Spc4 Joseph D. Noel (20) of Providence, RI
perished in Binh Long Province.
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24 JAN67
C Co. KIA:
Pfc. Richard A. Erickson (20) of Naguabo, P.R.
was killed in action.

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MEDAL OF HONOR

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27 JAN 67

A Co. KIAs:
Pfc. Armand J. Aufiere (22) of Landsdale, PA;
Spc4 Donald W. “Doc” Evans (23) of Covina, CA; and
Spc4 John C. Faidley (20) of Mt. Savage, MD
perished in Binh Duong Province.

Co. A veteran Bill Comeau wrote “…. Faidley was the
point man when we hit a bunker complex….” Porter
Harvey said “[I] saw my first real action on January 27,
1967. Eight of the eleven in my squad [were] killed
or wounded. Donald Evans -he was our medic.” I
held him as he died. My platoon was the second
listed in the write-up on Don.”

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Extract of
MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION
SPC4 DONALD W. EVANS

….[Evans] left his position of relative safety with his
platoon [3rd] which had not yet been committed to the
battle to answer the calls for medical aid from the
wounded men of another platoon which was heavily
engaged with the enemy force. Dashing across 100
meters of open area through a withering hail of enemy
fire and exploding grenades, he administered
lifesaving treatment to 1 individual and continued to
expose himself to the deadly enemy fire as he moved
to treat each of the other wounded men and to offer
them encouragement. Realizing that the wounds of 1
man required immediate attention, Spc.4 Evans dragged
the injured soldier back across the dangerous
fire-swept area, to a secure position from which he
could be further evacuated. Miraculously escaping the
enemy fusillade, Spc4. Evans returned to the forward
location. As he continued the treatment of the
wounded, he was struck by fragments from an enemy
grenade. Despite his serious and painful injury he
succeeded in evacuating another wounded comrade,
rejoining his platoon as it was committed to battle and
was soon treating other wounded soldiers. As he
evacuated another man across the fire covered field,
he was severely wounded. Continuing to refuse
medical attention and ignoring advice to remain
behind, he managed with his waning strength to move
yet another wounded comrade across the dangerous
open area to safety. Disregarding his painful wounds
and seriously weakened from profuse bleeding, he
continued his lifesaving medical aid and was killed
while treating another wounded comrade…
ñ Department of the Army Citation
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[NOTE: Camp Evans, Plieku, RSVN was named in honor of
Donald, as well as some more permanent memorials;
the Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson,
CO; and the Evans Theatre at Fort Sam Houston
Medical Training Center, San Antonio, TX. - bh]

 

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February 1967

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OPERATION GADSDEN
February 3 to February 21, 1967

25th Div Major Gen. Frederick C. Weyand
3rd Brigade, 4th Div (OPCON 25th Div), Col Marshall B. Garth
2/12 Inf, 4th Div, Lt. Col. Joe F. Elliott, commanding

[SOURCE:Lt. Gen. Bernard William Rodgers, Vietnam Studies, CEDAR FALLS - JUNCTION CITY: A TURNING POINT, Dept. of the Army, Washington, DC 1989]

Operation Gadsden was a nineteen day operation in Western War Zone C near the Cambodian border. The brigade’s forward TOC was established at FSB TRAI BI (Trai Bai, Tay Ninh Province), south of the Dogs Face, off highway QL-22.

Some 10 months before, the American Army had been here before – the 1st Division’s 1st Brigade had fought a pitched battle at Lo Go during Operation Birmingham in April 1966.

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10 FEB 67
While participating in Operation Gladsden, the 2/12th air assaulted into “Objective 2″ (Obj. 2) – an LZ 1 klick north of Trai Bi at [?vic XT1171?]

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13 FEB 67
Co. A moved to a blocking position in the vicinity of WT9977 and also captured 6,790 rounds of small arms ammo .

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14 FEB 67
Elements of the 2/22 Mechanized Infantry linked up with the 2/12th Inf. and continued Search and Destroy operations to the vicinity of Objective 1 (Obj. 1) at vic XT0278.
[NOTE: One thousand klicks south of "the Dogs Face" and near the Cambodian border.]

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15 FEB 67
“The [Top] Tigers conducted twelve combat assaults and extractions while supporting the 2/12th Infantry Division [sic] in the area of Trai Bi.”
[OLD WARRIOR]

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21 FEB 67
Operation GADSDEN ENDS.

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22 FEB 67
OPERATION JUNCTION CITY (22 Feb-14May 1967) begins.

Operation Junction City was the largest operation mounted in Vietnam to that date.
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SURROUNDED: The Ordeal of Company B

February 25-26, 1967

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25 FEB 67
B Co. KIA:
Spc4 Leon D. Eckhart (21) of Lehighton, PA perished
in Tay Ninh Province.

HHC KIA:
William “Doc” Coggeshall (20) of
Marshfield, MA perished in Hua Nghia Province
while serving as a medic for Company B.

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26 FEB 67
B Co. KIA’s:
S/Sgt. John K. Davis (23) of Fort Jackson, SC;
Spc4 Edward J. Ginter (20) of Greensburg, PA,
Pfc. Warren F. Muhr (21) of Chicago, IL; and
Sgt. Donald L. Pender (25) of Tacoma, WA
perished in Tay Ninh Province.

HHC KIA:
Spc4 Robert J. Gold (20) of Sidney, OH perished
in Tay Ninh Province. Gold was a mortar-man,
formerly with Co. A, and died serving as a
4.2″ mortars’ Forward Observer for Co. B.

 

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EYEWITNESS:
Co. B’s K. C. Kramarczyk relates this eyewitness account to the author;

“….the day we got surrounded was 2-26-67. On the 24th FEB Recon got hit ñ losing one KIA and one WIA. We were dispatched on he 25th to go and check out the area. Triple canopy jungle.

We found the bunkers where Recon got it, the VC had their camp farther to the rear. As I climbed a tree to cut their commo wire [leading] from the bunkers, B Company moved forward. Echard and Lindsey were on left flank point. Eckhart [never saw] them. He never knew what hit him. VC took his gold medal that he got for Christmas and his gear. But one of the other guys see them and open up ñ no dead VC. We dueled it out with the rest and Rubin got it through his arm – he was next to me.

Put Eckhart and Rubin on the Bubble Chopper.

We went back in. Instead of going straight at their camp we flanked them and started digging in for the night. Within 15 minutes we went at it again. …the 3rd platoon had their backs to the 3 VC, with AKs, that walked out the jungle. No one saw them and [the VC] opened up and killed Coggeshall, Pelz and someone else, and wounded four (if I remember right).

I was given a machine gun crew and told to go get them ñ I’m crazy, but not that crazy ñ I knew where they were at. I went out 100 meters and stopped and sat there. They were watching us, but wanted the whole company. Called back in [and] lied about what I found and came back.

They tried to draw fire all night on the 26th. [The next day] Captain Mayen decided to go around them and come straight in. I told Lieutenant Haxton “listen. What do you hear?”

“Nothing.”

“That’s the problem!”

So Captain Mayen sends me out again with the crew. This time I did not go so far and sat there and found a fresh foxhole. Went further and found more fresh holes. Called in. Came back. Told Mayen we’re walking into a trap. They wanted the company. I told the guys to “watch it, they’re waiting.”

Went back on point flank. After we got in their noose, Mayen stops us so he can call in artillery close to us – in case we need it. Spent a good 1/2 hour in this small opening with a hut that was their old camp ñ trenches included.

We didn’t even get 50 feet and all hell broke loose. [The enemy] got the RTOs, leaders, etc., cut weapons platoon from us and wiped them out. They did not care about us in the front, we only had a handful. Lucky it was a dud grenade and a bad shot VC [or] I wouldn’t be writing this.

Mayen realized we were surrounded – no where to run. The only thing that saved us was the trench line, lucky for us they didn’t booby trap it. We had to call in artillery on top of us to try and brake contact. [The artillery's] first salvo stopped their mortars – lucky for us. After the 3/22nd [Mechanized Infantry] reached us, they just walked by and disappeared into the jungle. We had bodies everywhere.

After we cleaned the WIAs and KIAs out I was told to take a head count. [I] report back to Lieutenant Haxton that I make 39. ….2 platoons, 1st had 20 [and] 2nd had 19. And that’s how we operated ’til now and then we’d get a replacement or two. When we got there in ’66 we had 148 in the company.”
[KRAMARCZYK]

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IVEY LEAF newspaper:
The following is an account of the February 25 & 26 Company B battle that appeared in the 4th Divisions newspaper the IVEY LEAF, Vol. I No.18, March 10, 1967:

3/22nd TROOPS, 2/77th ARTILLERYMEN ASSIST BESIEGED 2/12th COMPANY

DAU TIENG ñ Accurate close supporting artillery fire, quick response of nearby friendly forces, and calm professionalism of members of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, saved their unit from being over run in a two-hour battle during Operation Junction City.

Company B of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division battalion was conducting a search and destroy mission in the northwest portion of War Zone C when it was attacked by two reinforced companies of Viet Cong.

As the Ivey company approached a clearing near the suspected site of a sizable VC base camp, the Ivymen were taken under fire from six machine guns, an equal number of automatic weapons, and small arms and grenades from at least a company-size force to their front.

They returned the fire and began to receive fire from the rear by an equal size force.

Captain Leon R. Mayer, Company B commander, radioed for fire support and within minutes a rain of 105mm, 155mm and eight-inch shells ringed the surrounded company.

During the fire fight, supporting units poured in over 1000 rounds, hitting the attacking Viet Cong in their ground positions and knocking snipers from trees.

This close, extremely accurate fire which had been placed within 25 meters of the trapped company was described by Colonel Marshall B. Garth, 3rd Brigade commander, as “the finest I have seen to date.”

The enemy was repelled long enough to allow Company B of the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, to come in and reinforce the 2/12th company and help drive off the Viet Cong.

Captain Walter Shugart, commander of the 3/22nd company, moved his men through 1500 meters of dense jungle in just 30 minutes to assist the defending unit.

The Viet Cong fled during the night leaving 12 dead.

Colonel Garth told both company commanders that they had done an outstanding job. He personally congratulated members of the division’s 2nd Battalion, 77th Artillery.
[Source: IVY LEAF (from Kramarczyk)]

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From 25th OP REP:
“On 26 February… Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry engaged an estimated Viet Cong Company. The ensuing fire fight resulted in 11 Viet Cong KIA by body count and 19 WIA.”

 

March 1967
8 MAR 67
Co. A’s artillery forward observer (FO) Lt. “Joe” Kirkup is wounded in action (WIA).

15 MAR 67
Co. A KIA:
Spc4 Thomas C. Nickerson (20) of Chatham, MA and
Spc4 Clinton A. Smith (21) of Oakville, CT
perished in Binh Doung Province.

Bill Comeau said “Clint Smith and Tom Nickerson were killed at the Dau Tieng dump where they were taking out the company trash in an area which was no longer being used. We weren’t told of the change and there was no security there.”

The two Warriors were ambushed on a truck just out of Dau Tieng Base Camp.

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The Battle of Suoi Tre (FSB Gold)

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19 MAR 67
As a part of the movement of TASK FORCE FULLBACK, the
2/12th Infantry is airlifted into Landing Zone (LZ)
Gold, later Fire Support Base (FSB) Gold, along
with the 3rd BN, 22nd Inf (minus Co. C), and the 2nd
BN, 77th Arty (105mm).

TASK FORCE FULLBACK:
2/22nd INF (Mech) (minus Co. A)
3/22nd INF [at FSB Gold]
2/12th INF
Co. A, 2/34th Armor
44th Independent Scout Dog
Co. C, 4th Engineer Battalion

25th Division, Major General C. F. Tillison III commanding
3rd Brigade, 4th Div. (Opcon to 25th Div.) Colonel Marshal B. Garth, Commanding.
2nd Bn, 12th Inf, Lt. Col. Joe F. Elliot, Commanding.

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19 Mar (Sunday)
“JUNCTION CITY. ….. In other action, Tay Ninh Prov 30 km NE Tay Ninh City at 1038H, 3rd Bde 4th Inf Div unit conducting air assault into LZ received SA AW fire. Also, cmd det 5 arty   in LZ. 3 UH-1s destroyed. 13 UH-1s hit by arty frags or ground fire. Frd cas: 14 KIA 24 WIA. Day’s results: 61 EK.”

[SOURCE: MACV Office of Information MACCI-P 16 April 1967 CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS ñ MARCH 1967 pg. 11 (a.k.a. MACV Press Release or "the Five O'clock Follies.")]

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20 MAR 67
The 2nd of the 12th moved west of FSB Gold on a
‘Search & Destroy’ operation.

Co. C veteran (Sgt.) Les Cooper recalls, “Prior to us going in to the LZ [on the 19th] we had lost a couple of choppers. There were command detonated mines (or least that was what we were told). We finally arrived at the LZ; dug in; spent the night and then moved out. On our way out we found a base camp that looked like it was being set up as a hospital. Drying fish and a cow were found. The cow went with us and was destroyed the next morning prior to our rush
to the rescue.”
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21 MAR 67
Co. A KIA:
Spc4 Larry D. Barton (21) of Millersburg, OH
perished in Tay Ninh Province.

[NOTE: Some casualty reports state Larry was
"(A3) Hostile [action], died while missing. Reason:
Gun, small arms fire (ground casualty).” Larry was
killed during the initial contact at Firebase Gold
(Soui Tre) when pre-plotted ‘counter mortar fire’ was
shot by the artillery at Gold – who were under attack -
and landed amoungst the soldiers of Alpha.]

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“On 21 March, 34 km northeast of Tay Ninh City at LZ “Gold”, a battalion of the 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division engaged an estimated five enemy battalions. Two U.S. infantry battalions and an armored cavalry squadron reinforced. The enemy attempted to withdraw. The battle resulted in 631 enemy killed. U.S. casualties were 31 killed, 109 wounded.”

[SOURCE: MACV Office of Information MACCI-P 16 April 1967 (Press Release) pg.8]

21 Mar (Tuesday)
“JUNCTION CITY. 27 km NE Tay Ninh City, 0640H-1200H, en atkd 3d Bde 4th Inf Div arty elm w/82mm mort fire. At same time, a 3d Bde bn engaged 5 en bns (3,000 men). US reinf the 3d Bde bn. Mid-morning en began withdrawl to NE and SE. Arty and air atkd retreating en. From 1015H-1200H contact sporadic. 631 EK 196 wpns. Frd cas: 31 KIA 109 WIA. USAF 0-1 directing air strikes was downed by en ground fire and exploded on impact. Two crew KIA. USAF sptd opn w/117 direct spt sorties. Late afternoon in another area, a direct spt air strike by 2 USSAF F-100s w/FAC control resulted in 2 US KIA 10 US WIA.”

[Source: MACV Office of Information MACCI-P 16 April 1967 CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS ñ MARCH 1967 pg. 13]

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BATTLE OF SOUI TRE
When a massive NVA / VC attack was launched
against FSB Gold (XT385708) the 2/12th fought
their way into the partially overrun firebase and
counter attacked to restore its perimeter. For its
actions, the 2/12th was awarded the Presidential
Unit Citation.

Lawrence Greenberg wrote this about the battle in the,
June 1991, Vietnam magazine; “…. the 272nd
Regiment and U-80 Artillery attacked the base from
all sides following a 650 round mortar attack. Waves
of attackers advanced under recoilless rifle and rock-
et fire and penetrated the southeast perimeter.”

0640 hours FSB Gold attacked.
0655 hours 2/12th ordered to move to the relief
of Gold.

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“From the Northwest, a company of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry braved enemy mortar fire and the risk of ambushes and hacked its way through 1,500 meters of thick bamboo to reach the beleaguered camp at 0845. [Co. A. -Sarge] It charged into the base under covering fire from Gold’s defenders and assumed responsibility for the southwestern perimeter.”

[SOURCE: MacGarrigle COMBAT OPERATIONS p. 565. NOTE: Map 15 on page 130 identifies "relief force" as Co. C 2/12th. I know that Co. A made the 1,500 meter drive through heavy bamboo ñ my question for you Suoi Tre vets is; where there other companies on the ground the day before and during the relief phase of the battle? - Sarge]

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Extracts of the Recommendation and Award for
the Presidential Unit Citation provided by Howard
S. Paris (Flame 3), 2/12th’s S-3 at the time of the
Battle of Soui Tre. Howard said that Capt. Chris Stone,
Charlie company’s C.O., did most of the
preparation for the Recommendation:

HEADQUARTERS 3D BRIGADE
4TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96268

AVDDC-CO 1 April 1967

SUBJECT: Recommendation for the Presidential Unit Citation

THRU: Commanding General
25th Infantry Division
APO SF 96225

THRU: Commanding General
II Field Force
APO SF 96266

TO: Commanding General
United States Army, Viet Nam
APO SF 96307

1. The Presidential Unit Citation is reccommended for the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and all assigned and attached units (see Inclosure 2), for their actions on 21 March 1967.

[Sarge's NOTE: Parts 2 through 7 deal with the early morning attack of 2,500 NVA / VC upon FB Gold, defended by a compliment of 450 U.S. Soldiers - well documented elsewhere in histories about Operation Junction City.]

8. Alerted at 0655 hours and ordered to move to the aid of the beleaguered defenders of FSB Gold, the 2/12th Inf, 2/22nd Inf (Mechanized), and the 2/34th Armor pressed on from positions as far away as 3,000 meters.

[Sarge's NOTE: The Mech and Armor were working together some distance south of the 2/12th, who were working alone  some 1,500 meters due west of FSB Gold.]

As they started to move, the 2d Bn 12th Inf was subjected to heavy concentrations of enemy mortar fire in an attempt to delay their progress. Treating their wounded on the move, the 2d Bn 12th Inf continued to push on through 2,500 meters of heavy bamboo and underbrush toward their objective at FSB Gold. Harrassed by sniper fire and blocked by security elements of the enemy’s main attack force, the 2d Bn 12th continued to advance, moving the 2,500 meters overland through dense jungle against a determined enemy in less than two hours. The first elements of the 2d Bn, 12th Inf entered the south-western part of the perimeter minutes before the mechanized elements arrived at 0900 hours.

10. Having been repulsed on their first attempt to overrun the FSB, the enemy mortared the objective once again and launched a second determined ground assault. This second assault was interrupted as mechanized columns of the 2/22d Inf (M) and foot elements of the 2/12th Inf almost simultaneously broke into the clearing at 0900 hours, trapping the enemy in a murderous cross fire. The 2/34th Armor was trailing, and swept immediately behind the mechanized battalion. Both the mechanized and armored elements passed through the 2d Bn, 12th Inf and swept around the southern and eastern half of the FSB while the enemy troops swarmed over the lead APC’s. The heavy guns of the tanks were firing direct fire at point blank range into the teeming mass of troops as the enemy panicked and attempted to flee. After the mechanized units assisted in breaking the force of the attack in the eastern and southern flanks, Th. 2d Bn, 12th Inf moved in on the west and northwest, sweeping the entire perimeter and neutralizing the small remaining pockets of resistance. The full force of available air and artillery support was brought to bear against the Viet Cong force which was now desperately trying to break contact.

18. Analysis of the enemy actions of 21 March 1967 indicate an intent to conduct a ground attack against the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry immediately following the mortar attack on that unit. Only early commitment of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry prevented the ground attack. The entire movement of the battalion was subjected to continuous sniper fire from the north flank. The presence of the great numbers of anti-tank weapons further indicate that the Viet Cong expected a quick “roll-up” of Fire Support Base Gold followed by an engagement with the mechanized forces. In spite of a heavy preponderance of automatic and anti-tank weapons, the Viet Cong force was so throughly defeated that the mechanized forces suffered only two slightly wounded personnel. Not oneM-113 armored personnel carrier or M48A3 tank was struck by anti-tank fire during the course of the engagement.

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The Presidential Unit Citation

is awarded by direction of
the President of the United States

THE 3D BRIGADE, 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION
and Assigned and Attached Units
FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM

The 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and the Attached and Assigned Units distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism while engaged in military operations on 21 March 1967 in the vicinity of Suoi Tre, Republic of Viet Nam. The members of this Brigade and the foregoing units demonstrated indomitable courage and professional skill while engaging an estimated force of 2,500 Viet Cong. During the early morning hours of 21 March 1967, an estimated force of 2,500 Viet Cong launched a massive and determined ground attack against elements of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry and 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery located at Fire Support Base Gold near Soui Tre, Republic of Viet Nam. Opening the engagement with an intense mortar attack, the enemy force, later identified as the 272d Main Force Regiment reinforced by two additional infantry battalions, struck the perimeter in three separate locations.

Due to the ferocity of the assault and the overwhelming number of enemy troops, untenable positions in the north and southeast were overrun within the first 30 minutes of the battle despite determined resistance by friendly forces. As the enemy penetrated the perimeter, the American troops set up an interim perimeter and continued to direct withering fire on the enemy. When the Viet Cong directed anti-tank fire upon the artillery positions, heroic gun crews cannibalized parts from damaged guns, and, at several points, fired directly into the advancing enemy including the firing of “bee-hive” ammunition through gaps in the perimeter.

While the battle continued to rage and grow in intensity, the Brigade Commander was directing the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, the 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry (Mechanized) and the 2d Battalion, 34th Armor, to the besieged fire support base. At the same time, the support and service elements of the brigade began a furious aerial resupply of ammunition and medical supplies from the Brigade Rear base camp at Dau Tieng.

As the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry began its overland move to the fire support base approximately 2,500 meters distant, a heavy concentration of enemy mortar fire was directed upon their position, killing one man and wounding 20 others. Undaunted, the battalion moved nearly 2,500 meters in less than two hours despite constant blocking and harassment efforts by the enemy. Concurrently with the movement of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, mechanized and armor elements began moving across the Suoi Samat River at a ford which had only recently been located and which previously had been thought impassable.

Driving towards the fire support base, the mechanized unit followed by the armor battalion, drove into the western sector of the engaged perimeter passing through engaged elements of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry. Striking the Viet Cong on the flank, the 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry smashed through the enemy with such intensity and ferocity that enemy attack faltered and broke. As the fleeing and now shattered enemy force retreated to the north-east, the 2d Battalion, 34th Armor swept the position destroying large numbers of Viet Cong who were now in full retreat.

Throughout the battle, fighters of the United States Air Force, directed by the Brigade’s Forward Air Controllers provided close support to the fire support base and hammered enemy concentrations outside the perimeter. As the FAC aircraft dived through heavy anti-aircraft fire to mark enemy positions, the plane was hit by ground fire and crashed, killing both occupants.

After securing the fire support base, a sweep of the area was conducted, revealing a total of 647 Viet Cong bodies and 10 enemy captured. It is estimated that an additional 200 enemy were killed as a result of the aerial and artillery bombardment. Friendly casualties were extremely light, resulting in only 33 killed and 187 wounded of whom approximately 90 were returned to duty.

Through their fortitude and determination, the personnel of the 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and attached units were able in great measure to cripple a large Viet Cong force. Their devotion to duty and extraordinary heroism reflect distinct credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States.

≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥
Co. C veteran (Sgt.) Les Cooper wrote “we were not mortared. They had spread each company out – we were the ‘bait.’” “….we did the drive as did ‘A’ company. I can remember a radio call to the ‘Z’ notifying them we were coming in. I was the whole weapons squad for the 1st platoon, we were so short of people I had volunteered to cary the M60. I remember entering the LZ and tossing a hand grenade at the quad fifty ñ it had been over-run. Other than that I think I fired 4 or 5 hundred rounds, not sure I hit anything but it was supportive fire. You might check the number of wounded, number was increased by ‘friendly fire’ – no fire is friendly. I know the ones we had were.”

Co. A, 2/12th veteran Bill Comeau wrote of the
reception that the “Warriors” received when they
entered FSB Gold; “Artillerymen… ran out of their
foxholes and threw their arms around us with tears
in their eyes.”

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LATTER IN VIETNAM:
At a 19 May 1970 Commanders Conference, General Abrams saw Marshall Garth’s name on a promotion list and mused “Garth had a brigade in the 4th Division, and I went out to Fort Lewis three times while the 4th Division was mobilizing and training out there…. and he had a brigade that had a cadre, and then they brought the fresh ex-civilians in there, and that’s what that brigade was built of. And 11 months after they received the recruits – straight from civilian life, so all the basic training, advanced individual training, and so on was done right in the brigade, but 11 months after they got those men at Fort Lewis. They were in this big battle up in War Zone C, that brigade, where they were attacked one morning about five or six o’clock by one of these regiments out of the 9th Division. And a tremendous battle. And this brigade really performed in a first-class way. And Garth was the commander from the start, and he was the commander in that battle. Very rare that a fellow gets to see the results of his training effort, you know.”

[Source: Sorley, VIETNAM CHRONICLES (a.k.a. "the Abrams Tapes") pg. 416]

 

 

April 1967

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IVY LEAF newspaper article dated April 21, 1967:

VC LEADS 2/12th TROOPS TO RICE SORAGE AREA
Dau Tieng ñ Charlie lost 40 tons of rice and one and a half tons of beans to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry by accidentally leading a company into the storage area.
Company A, 2/12th was conducting sweeping operations about seven miles from its permanent base camp at Dau Tieng, when the Ivymen flushed out a frightened Viet Cong who began to flee down a trail.
He led his pursuers to a well-built base camp and in the ensuing fire fight was killed.
In the base camp, Company A found several permanent buildings including a large assembley building with a tin roof and benches in a classroom arrangement. Searchers uncovered eight bicycles and captured one weapon.
The following morning, a lone VC wassighted by part of the Reconnaissance Platoon running away from the base camp. The enemy soldier took cover and was killed in a brief exchange of fire.
Upon investigation of the area, searchers found a raised platform containing about 80 100-pound sacks of polished rice, carefully camouflaged and covered with a waterproof sheet of plastic.
An all-day search netted 15 more similar cashes, containing 80 to 90 more sacks, and a stack of a ton and a half of beans.
The rice was evacuated by helicopter and armoured personnel carriers the next day.
[Source: IVY LEAF (from Kramarczyk)]

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23 APR 67
Operation Manhattan begins. It ends on 11 MAY 1967.

*******************************************************

28 APR 67
Co. A’s Spc4 Gary Barney WIA.

*******************************************************

29 APR 67
Co. A’s Spc4 Ron Orefice WIA. Gunshot wound to the mouth and jaw.

*******************************************************

30 APR 67
Co. C KIA:
Spc4 Jose I. Garcia-Maldonado (20) of Naguabo,
PR perished in Hua Nghia Province.

 

 

May 1967

******************************************************
1 MAY 67
Colonel Kenneth E. Buell assumed commad of 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. Col. Marshall B. Garth departed.
[SOURCE: HQ 25th Div, Operational Report, Quarterly Reort Period Ending 31 July 1967 - 19 August 1967]

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Tropic Lightning News story:
NCOs of 2/12 GET NEW CLUB
DAU TIENG ñ May Day of 1967 marked the official opening of the 2nd Bn., 12th Inf.’s NCO Club. LTC Joe F. Elliott, battalion commander, and some 20 non-commissioned officers representing the units within the battalion, cut the ribbon stretched across the club’s main entrance.

[Source: Tropic Lightning News Vol. 2 No.21 May 29, 1967]

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4 MAY 67
Co. B KIA:
Clarence Blanks (25) of Tupelo, MS. died of
wounds (DOW) recieved in Binh Duong Province.

********************************************************
13 MAY 67
Co. A KIA:
Pfc. Dennis L. Hubbard (20) of Gary, IN perished
in Tay Ninh Province.

Fire Support Base Caroline (XT304498) {Latest info. -bh] [XT412443 previously listed on this website as the location. - bh] subjected to VC/NVA mortar, recoiless rifle and small arms attack. Co. A served here from 5 May to 19 May.

[Source: Alpha Association website. http://alphaassociation.homestead.com/files/index1.htm

*********************************************************
19 MAY 67
HHC KIA's:
S/Sgt. James M. Mosgrove of Baltimore, MD; and
mortarman, Pvt. Ronald T. Waldrop of Santee, CA
perished in Binh Duong Province.

*************************************************************************************************************

June 1967

*************************************************************************************************************

DAU TIENG MORTAR ATTACK

**************************************************************************************************************

24 JUN 67
DAU TIENG MORTARED
"At 2328 24 July [sic] the DAU TIENG base camp received ar [sic] attack by 82mm mortars which lasted for about 11 minutes resulting in approximately 70 rounds of 82mm HE ammunition impacting inside the base camp and 30 rounds outside the perimeter. The primary target appeared to be the airstrip. This attack resulted in 50 WHA (17 of which required dust-off) and 1 civilian WHA. One aircraft was destroyed and 24 received substantial damage. Other damage included a fire truck, a wheeled wrecker, 8-3/4 ton trucks, an RTT Van, and a 15 kilowatt generator. In addition numerous tents had to be salvaged as a result of damage received during the attack.”

[SOURCE: Headquarters 25th Infantry Division, Operational Report, Quarterly Report Period Ending 31 July 1967 -- 19 August 1967. NOTE: Report "24 July" is writer error - should be 24 June. - bh ]
Dau Tieng base mortared from Michelin. In 5 minutes over eight rounds. 29 helicopters damaged. 49 US WIA. [Source: MacGarrigle COMBAT OPERATIONS p.365]

[NOTE: For an excellent account read the 188th AHC BLACKWIDOWS http://www.blackwidows.net/june24.php (outside link)]

******************************************************

25 JUN 67
DAU TIENG:
“A sweep of the suspected mortar position on 25 June located four mortar positions in the vicinity of a village approximately 2 kilometers northwest of the base camp.”
[SOURCE: 25th Div Quarterly Report, Period Ending 31 July 1967 -- 19 August 1967]

CU CHI MORTAR ATTACK:
“A test of the battalion aircraft support capability came on 25 June 1967.” The 20th Transportation Company, 520th Transportation Battalion (“Pipesmoke”) at Cu Chi. “The 188th Assault Helicopter Company, Cu Chi, suffered a devastating enemy mortar attack that damaged 28 of its 30 aircraft and rendered it ineffective. The 20th Transportation Company (ADS), which had previously created an ‘Instant Reaction Evaluation Team (IRET)’ in anticipation of such emergencies, was at the damage scene within minutes. They designated aircraft on-site repair, evaluation and salvage. Rapid, effective support enabled the 188th to return to operational status four days after the disaster.”
[SOURCE: MULLENDORE]

******************************************************
27 JUN 67
Co. B KIA:
Pfc. Jimmy E. Carter (19), Co. B 1st platoon, of Smithfield, NC perished in Tay Ninh Provinc.

***************************************************

July 1967

***************************************************
1 JUL 67
Co. B KIA:
Pfc. Wayne M. Rockenbaugh (20), 2nd platoon, of
Baltimore, MD perished.

COMMANDERS:
Col. Marvin D. “Red” Fuller departs 25th Division HQ.
***************************************************
14 JUL 67
COMMANDERS:
LTC Raphael D. Tice assigned as Deputy Brigade Commander of the 3rd Bde, 4th Division.

***************************************************
20 JUL 67
Co. C KIA’s:
Pfc. Johnny T. Branham (18) of Winnsboro,SC
and Pfc. Thomas Gurley (23) of Somerville, AL
perished.

***************************************************
23 JUL 67
Co. B KIA:
Pfc. James J. McCarthy (19) of New York, NY died of
wounds (DOW) recieved in Binh Duong Province.

BACK IN THE WORLD” Detroit police raid an after-hours “blind pig” who are having a party for some returning Vietnam veterans.

***************************************************

August 1967

*******************************************************

*******************************************************
SWITCHING PATCHES:
From the Fourth “Ivy” Division to the Twentyfifth “Tropic Lightning” Division

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

1 AUG 67
Co. A KIA:
Pfc. Steven M. Stofko (19) of Highland, IN perished
in Tay Ninh Province.

Co. A was on patrol when they were ambushed and Private Stofko was killed.

2/12th INFANTRY JOINS 25th DIVISION
On the first of August, 1967 the 2/12th, as a unit in the 3rd Brigade 4th Infantry Division, was permenantely
transfered [assigned] – along with the rest of the 3rd
Brigade- to the 25th Infantry Division. In effect, the
3rd Brigades of the two divisions swapped divisions.

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The following story appeared in the TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS, Vol. 2, No.32:

3d BDE, 4th INF NOW 3/25th
DAU TIENG – After being under the operational control of the 25th Inf Div for more than nine months, the 3rd Bde, 4th Div is now carrying the Tropic Lightning name, as the 3rd Bde, 25th Div.

Prior to coming to Vietnam, most of the men of the 3rd Bde were raw recruits, just drafted into the Army. They were sent to Fort Lewis, Wash. where they received basic and advanced individual training. Twenty-two hundred draftees in December 1965 became the core of the fledgling brigade.

In Vietnam, the training continued as the brigade first sent out small unit patrols around the Bear Cat base camp. This progressed into company-sized operations, and then to the first multi-battalion operation”Bremerton.”

Designed to clear Viet Cong out of the Rung Sat Special Zone and also to promote the revolutionary development program in that area, the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf and Btry C, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty continued their search and destroy mission in the Rung Sat while the rest of the brigade moved the base camp to its present location at Dau Tieng.

Since the brigade’s arrival at Camp Rainer, November 1966, it has been under the control of the 25th Inf Div in such combat operations as “Attleboro, Cedar Falls, Gladsden, Junction City, Ahina,” and “Diamondhead.” These operations covered large sections of the dense jungle and swampy marshland of War Zone C.

In a single engagement during Operation Junction City, the 3rd Bde decimated the Viet Cong’s 272nd Regiment in hand-to-hand fighting at a small fire support base 35 kms northeast of Tay Ninh. When the four-hour battle was over, 647 Viet Cong regulars had lost their lives.

The brigade is now responsible for the majority of War Zone C including the Tay Ninh and Dau Tieng base camps and the large expanse of dense jungle north and west of Dau Tieng to the Cambodian border.

The 3rd Bde is commanded by COL Kenneth E. Buell and consists of three infantry battalions and one artillery battalion. The 3rd Spt Bn provides logistical support for the large brigade.

The 2nd Bn (Mech), 22nd Inf. commanded by LTC Ralph W. Julian provides the mechanized punch for the brigade operations while the two other infantry battalions, the 2nd Bn, 12th Inf, and the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, scour the jungles with the thoroughness only the man who is walking, and at times, crawling through the jungle can achieve. The 2/12 “White Warriors” are commanded by LTC James F. Greer, while LTC James E. Hilmar leads the 3/22 “Regulars.”

Artillery supporting fires are provided by the 2nd Bn, 77th ….. [Remainder of story missing.]
[Source: TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS, Vol. 2 No.3 (from Kramarczyk)]

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27 AUG 67
“On 27 August 1967 one man of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry (25th Infantry Division), was killed when he was hit by machine gun fire from a CH-47 helicopter. The doorgunner of the CH-47 had been hit and killed by enemy ground fire. His death grip on the trigger of the M-60 machine gun caused it to strafe the defensive position of a company of the 2/12th Infantry resulting in the casualty.” [Source: Shrader, Charles R. "Amicicide: the problem of friendly fire in modern war." U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Combat Studies Institute, Washington DC 1982]

***************************************************

29 AUG 67
Co. D KIAs:
Pfc. Donald L. Gasser (25) of Berkeley, CA and

Pfc. Roman Sisneros (22) of Anton Chico, NM perish-
ed in Tay Ninh Province.

 

September 1967

MONTH IN REVIEW:
“They took the 1st platoon of Co. A, and two platoons from B & C companies to form Co. D 2/12th.” [source: Pete Cullen]
When the battalion first arrived in Viet Nam, there was no Delta Company. In September 1967 they took one platoon each from Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Companies to form a new company ñ Delta.
It may also be during this time that they formed Echo Company, but there is no hard confirmation of them taking Recon and the 4.2″ mortar platoons from HHC to form Echo. [The Sarge would like it if some officer of the time would fill us in on this.]

******************************************************
11 SEP 67
Co. B KIA:
Pfc. Stephen R. Ford (21) of Lisle, IL perished in
Binh Duong Province.

*****************************************************

BACK IN THE WORLD: On September 23, 1967 a severe squall struck the Frankfort / Platte Bay area of northern Lake Michigan. Thousands of small boats fishing for Coho Salmon were subjected to high winds and waves – some as high as twenty-five feet. Many boats capsized or otherwise in distress. Seven sport fisherman drowned in the storm.

****************************************************

October 1967

****************************************************

13 OCT 67
C Battery, 2/32 Arty sets up at Dau Tieng with 8 inch and 175mm cannons.

**************************************************

17 OCT 67
Co. B KIA’s:
Spc4 Christopher E. Herderick (20) of Buena Park, CA;
Spc4 Willie Vann Goree (20), 2nd platoon, of Crossett, AR;
and mortarman, Spc4 Anthony J. Vaickus (20) of
Chicago, IL both perished in Binh Long Province.

HHC KIA:
(Co. unkwn) Medic, Pfc. Raymond B. Minus (23) of
Detroit, MI perished in Binh Long Province.

ELSEWHERE IN VIETNAM:
The “Black Lions” of the 2nd Bn, 28th Infantry [HHC, Co. A and Co. D fight The Battle of Ong Thanh - east of Dau Tieng. The Black Lions sustain 58 KIA, 75 WIA and 2 MIA. Read about it:
On Line -  http://www.28thinfantry.org/oct17.htm
The Best Seller - “They Marched Into Sunlight”

******************************************************
23 OCT 67
Co. B KIA:
Pfc. Charles A. Rieger (18) of Philadelphia, PA
perished in Binh Duong Province.

*****************************************************
HORSESHOE AMBUSH: Alpha Battle

*****************************************************

25 OCT 67
Co. A KIA's:
Spc4 Bobby J. Bonin (20) of Pasadena, TX;
Pfc. Gordon J. Graham (24) of Yale, MI;
Pfc. Alex R. Houston (21) of Pink Hill, NC;
Spc4 Arthur C. Roesler (20) of Robinson, IL and
Pfc. Carl S. Thorne-Thomsen (20) of Lake Forest, Ill
perished in Binh Duong Province.

"The 25th of October was a bad day for A/2/12," wrote
Bill Comeau ".... the company walked into a horseshoe
shaped ambush."

***************************************************
31 OCT 67
Co. C KIA:
Curtis F. Williams, Jr. (20) of Stuart, FL perished in
Tay Ninh Province.

********************************************************

November 1967

*******************************************************
LOC NINH
November 2 to November 7, 1967

2-12th air assaults 7 miles northeast of Loc Ninh, Binh Long Province and established battalion base camp.

The 2/12th INF (LTC Raphael D. Tice), 3rd Brigade, 25th Division, moves North and become Operational Control (OPCON) to the 1st Brigade (Col. George E. Newman), 1st Division.
[SOURCE: 1st Division Operation SHENANDOAH II OR-LL, 29 September to 19 November 1967.

******************************************************

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BOOK:

"Although the battalions landing was unopposed, that
evening eight enemy walked into the night laager
position and were taken under fire by the Warriors.
Four members of the 272nd Viet Cong Regiment were
killed and four captured. In response, the VC attacked
the Warriors' position that evening (030220 hrs) resulting in tweny-eight more enemy killed."
[Source: HAY Pg. 49]

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IN THE NEWS (19Nov67 AP account):

“In Cambodia, Associated Press correspondents George McArthur and Horst Faas and (un-named) UPI correspondents visited an abandoned VC camp 4 miles from the border. “Military records written in Vietnamese indicated that the camp had been used for several months since February by poddibly several hundred men…. A heavily traveled road from the camp led to the Vietnamese border and crossed it 9 miles from Locninh, where allied and North Vietnamese forces had fought Oct.29-Nov.3″ “

[Source: Kosut, CAMBODIA & THE VIETNAM WAR p. 39]

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******************************************************
2 NOV 67
“2/12 Inf of 25 In Div: The Bn conducted an [?] into LZ vic XU785135 and secure NDP and became OPCON 1st Bde.”
[SOURCE: 1st Div OR-LL AD506604 After Action Report 8 Dec 1967]f

PICTOMAP SUPPLEMENT to standard 1:50,000 scale map
SHEET 6332 IV S
Stock No. L80206332IVS

***************************************************
2 to 3 NOV 67
Co. B KIA’s:
Pfc. John H. Davis (24) of New York, NY; and
Pfc. Ronald J. Ensley (19) of Murfreesboro, TN
perished in Binh Long Province.

Co. D KIA:
Medic, Private James T. Morris, Jr. (19) of
Willmington, DE perished at Loc Ninh in Binh Long Province.

Co. D WIA:
Spc Johnson
Spc Warren Burton
and others.

ARMY OFFICIAL REPORT:
“2/12 If/25h Inf Di: (The Bn ) conducted search and destroy operations plus NDP security. At 022H vic Bn NDP the Bn received 40 to 50 mortar rounds. Spooky, LFT, FAC, and [? - b.h.] were placed in the air for the support of the Bn’s contact. At 0230H the Bn received a ground attack from the Northeast, East, and Northwest. At 0245H the attack lightened. At 0459H contact was broken. US losses were 3 KIA and 34 WIA. VC losses were 40 KIA and 5 POW’s. At 1005H the VC attacked the NDP. LFT, Arty and A/S were placed near the area of contact. No US losses and no VC losses were reported. At 1435H vic 780140, Co A located human remains and flesh, est 1 VC.”
[SOURCE: 1st Division, After Action Report, Operation SHENANDOAH II, 8 December 1967]

****************************************************

4 NOV 67
HHC KIA:
Pfc. Louis J. Sebastian of New York, NY perished in
Binh Long Province.

Co. B WIA:
2nd platoon’s Raoul Furry severely wounded at
Loc Ninh, Binh Long Province, and evacuated.

“2/12 Inf: The Bn conducted search and destroy operations plus NDP security. At 1005H vic XU800141, Co. D patrol located and destroyed a booby trapped military structure. At 1400H, vic XU781135, the Bn (-) located five VC bodies in fresh graves, 18-60mm mortar rounds, medical supplies, 60mm mortar sight, crossbow and 2 plastic gas masks. At 1415H vic XU780137, the Bn (-) located 1 VC body. At 1430H, vic XU781116 the Bn (-) found VC body, 6–60mm mortar rounds, and 4 CHICOM grenades. At 1455H, vic XU785135, Bn (-) located one VC body. At 1501H, vic XU755078 the Bn (-) located one body inside a hole 20 meters from the NDP.”
[SOURCE: 1st BDE 1st DIV 8Dec67 ]

***************************************************
5 NOV 67
“2/12 Inf: The Bn continued to conduct search and destroy operations and NDP security. At 0945H vic XU779137 the Bn located seven VC bodies, [? - b.h.] 60mm mortar rounds, and 1 CHICOM grenade. At 1055H vic XU775137, the Bn (-) located and destroyed seven bunkers and 200 rounds of AK-47 ammo. At [? - b.h.] vic XU767154 the Bn (-) located and destroyed 30 foxholes with overhead cover. At 1500H vic XU773142 the Bn (-) located and destroyed 60 (one) foxholes, 50 rounds of AK-47 ammo and 4 CHICOM grenades.”
[SOURCE: 1st Bde, 1st Div 8 December 1967 ]

*************************************************
6 NOV 67
HHC (Medic) KIA:
Spc4 Thomas G. Hawkins of Phoenix, AZ perished in Binh Long Province.

“2/12 Inf: The Bn conducted search and destroy operations plus NDP security. At 0920H, vic XU792137 the Bn (-) located and destroyed 10 MG positions, one right foot (human), and bits of human remains, est. 1 body. At 1050H vic XU812143 the Bn located 3 booby trapped bamboo piles. At 1825H vic NDP the unit received 20-60mm mortar round. Fire was returned with counter-mortar fire. Arty, Spooky, A/S and LFT were placed in the area that mortar rounds came from. US losses were 18 WHA.”
[SOURCE: 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division Operation SHENANDOAH II 8 December 1967 ]

******************************************************
7 NOV 67
Co. D WIA:
Sgt. Myron Williams, 4th platoon.

“2/12 Inf: The Bn conducted a combatextraction from field location to SONG BE without incident.”
[SOURCE: 1st Bde, 1st Div 8 Dec 1967 AD506604]

NOTE: Song Be, East of Loc Ninh, had an airstrip for fixed aircraft.

 

******************************************************
DAU TIENG MORTAR ATTACK

*****************************************************

9 NOV 67

DAU TIENG MORTAR & SAPPER ATTACK

[NOTE: For an account of this attack see 188th AHC BLACKWIDOWS http://www.blackwidows.net/november9.php {outside link)]

*****************************************************
15 NOV 67
Co. A KIAs:
Spc4 Jimmy E. Flynn (24) of Somerset, KY and
Spc4 Donald E. Kreuscher (21) of Merrick, NY
perished in Phuoc Long Province.
****************************************************

16 NOV 67
Co. A KIA:
Spc4 John Steven “Steve” “Doc” McConnell (20) of Orrville, Ohio.

****************************************************

20 NOV 67
Co. C KIA:
Pfc. Gregory S. Fennimore (19) of Elwood, IN
perished in Tay Ninh Province.

Co. D KIA:
Pfc. Kenneth A. Peterson (20) of Roanoke, TX
perished in Tay Ninh Province.

*****************************************************

24 NOV 67
Co. D KIA:
Pfc. John G. Davis (23) of Jefferson, GA perished
in Binh Duong Province.

*****************************************************

28 NOV 67
Co. B KIA:
S/Sgt. William T. Poston (23) of Dallas, TX perished
in Binh Duong Province.

*****************************************************

December 1967

*****************************************************
2 DEC 67
Co. D KIA:
Pfc. Donald Wayne Thompson (22) of Montezuma, IA
perished in Binh Duong Province. Posthumously promoted to Corporal.

Private First Class Thompson was originally assigned to Co. A and when Co. D was formed he was assigned to Delta. He was acting as a squad leader in Delta at the time of his death.

Co. D’s Lieutenant Ron Hendricks has to say about the events on the 2nd;
“It was the same day the mech fired on A Co.. Between the time Thompson was KIA and the A Co. incident we lost a combat engineer to a command detonated bomb. I don’t remember the exact location, we were working with the mech heading toward Dau Tieng. We assaulted a small village at the site but found nothing. We were then told to load onto the APCs to get back to Dau Tieng ASAP. We had specific orders not to fire into the bush as A Co. was strung out along the road to provide security. The mech never should have fired. The A Co. CO was hit in the buttocks by a .50 cal round.”

*****************************************************
OPERATION YELLOWSTONE

*****************************************************

7 December – 16 December 1967 (Phase I)
28 December 1967 – 31 January 1968 (Phase II)

Mission: During Operation Yellowstone 2/12th was called on to perform missions in several different areas.
a. On first mission, 9 December 1967, commencing H-Hour, D+1 2/12th Inf (ñ) conducts combat assault into LZ 1, secures southern portion of FSB HOOD (Bde Base). On D+2 effects link-up with TF 2/22 and conducts offensive operations in assigned AO to locate and destroy VC/NVA Forces and installations until D+7. On D+8 2/12th (ñ) conducts airmobile move to FSB RENO and continues to contact and destroy VC/NVA Forces until D+15. From D+15 to D+60 2/12th conducts detailed Reconnaissance in Force Operations in assigned AO.
b. On 2nd mission, 28 December 1967, commencing 0700H, 2/12th Inf (-) conducts airlift by fixed wing aircraft to Katum, becomes OPCON to 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div.

RESULTS:
US Losses 5 KHA 47 WHA
Enemy Losses 35 VC killed (BC), 1 VC killed (poss)

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8 DEC 67
OPERATION YELLOWSTONE begins in War Zone C.
2/12th(ñ) preparing for operation.
Co. C tasked as 3rd Brigade Ready Reaction Force (RRF).
[SOURCE: HQ2/12th INF AAR 15Mar68]

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9 DEC 67
From 0935 to 1100 hrs the battalion (minus Co. C) is airlifted into an LZ at (XT387704) ñ FSB Hood, 25 klicks NNW of Dau Tieng on the old Soui Tre/FSB Gold battlefield. Fire Support Base Hood was built a few hundred meters southeast of Gold.

Co. C at Dau Tieng as 3d Brigade Rapid Reation Force.
Co. C sends one platoon by air to FSB Grant (XT380620) 18 klicks northwest of Dau Tieng near Ap Tan Thiet/Xa. Loc Ninh ñ off LTL13 and near its intersection with LTL-19.
[Map Sheet 6231-1 TRI TAM]

Co. D found 2 bouning betty mines on LZ and destriyed.

SOURCE: 25th Div AAR YELLOWSTONE, and also HQ 2/12th Yellowstone AAR 15 March 1968]

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10 Dec 67
Eliment of Co. C at Dau Tieng airlifted to FSB Grant (XT382625) at 8:35 am for security and returned Chinook to Dau Tieng at 9:30 pm. Co. C sweeped just south of Dau Tieng to verify report of 10 VC in the area (XT502465). One platoon was left OPCON to Task Force Romeo and remained as RRF/.

Battalion (minus) conducted CA at 1:00 pm vic XT442686.
[SOURCE: 3rd Brigade, 25th Division AAAR (Yellowstone) 19 March 1968]

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11 DEC 67
BN (-) operations vic XT4696.

Co. C at 9:50 pm ambush patrol (XT509465 sprung with movement in area. Negative results.
[SOURCE: 3rd Bde, 25th Div AAR 19 March 1968]

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12 DEC 67
BN (-) operations XT462698, to XT467679, XT470684 and XT476693 then returned. Negative contact.

RECON platoon located and destroyed seven bunkers at (XT472691) south of the Soui Bu Chiem (Bu Chiem stream) at 0950 hours.

The battalion laagered at (XT464498) that evening.

Co. C(-) remain Dau Tieng as Bde RRF.
[SOURCE: 25th Yellow AAR]

[Recon platoon] “The bunkers were 10′ x 15′. Inside were a table, chairs,canteen and two entrenching tools.”

“Laager site for the Bn is (XT464498).”

[SOURCE: HQ 2/12 INF AAR Yellowstone 15 March 1968]

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13 DEC 67
“2/12th (-) conducted Eagle Flights into 4 areas of AO Otter, (XT3877), (XT38777), (XT3978) and (XT3478). At 1625H [?until?] fire from (XT3478). Laager for night (XT34?785).”
{SOURCE: HQ 2/12 Yellowstone AAR 15 March 1968]

XT463696 BN (-) operations.

BN (-) Eagle Flights into four areas of AO Otter. to XT3?3775, XT376757, XT375769, and XT73775.

[SOURCE: 25TH DIV YELLOWSTONE AAR 1968]

RECON platoon drew sniper fire, at4:40 pm, from (XT3478). Gunships and artillery results no negative results. No US casualties.

7:44 pm Co. D XT467702 ambush patrol observe 3 VC north digging in their ambush site. Artillery called in and 3 VC KIA (poss). Sweeping the next morning, two bicycles found and destroyed.

Battalion laager for the night of the 13th at (XT340785).

Co. C(-) at Dau Tieng as RRF as 3rd Brigade.

[SOURCE; 3rd Bde, 25th Div Yellowstone AAR]

“2/12th airlifted back to Dau Tieng due to possible enemy offensive action. Base camp received 45 rounds enemy mortar fire, scattered small arms fire, but no major offensive action. “

[SOURCE: Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry , Combat After Action Report, Operation Yellowstone, 15 March 1868 reported (HQ 2/12 INF Yellowstone AAR 15 MAR 68)]

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14 DEC 68
“2/12th on Eagle Flight lifted to (XT3279). They then returned to Dau Tieng because of Intelligence Report. Last element arrived 1525H. Bn went on Red Alert 1800H for possible attack. [?] camp c[?] under mortar attack at 2130H. Approximately 45 mortar rounds fell in Bn across. 2/12th suffered 3 WHA’s.”
[SOURCE: HQ 2/12 INF Yellowstone AAR 15 March 1968]

Co. A air assaults into (vic XT359798). without contact returns to DAU TIENG by 1525 hours [3:25 pm] because of Intell report of poss. attack on base. The first helicopter lift received small arms from XT479465 with no damage.

The battalion is put on Red Alert at DAu Tieng. The base received approximately 45 rounds of mortar fire between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. resulting in three WIAs.

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15 DEC 67
“Recon went on mounted patrol in Ben Cui Rubber departing 0905H. They closed base camp at 1430H. Co’s C & D departed base camp 0700H to establish two ambushes in Michelin. Co D established their ambush at (XT512483) and C at (XT519496). As C Co prepared to leave the ambush camp at 1535H. One platoon from C Co remains at FSB GRANT. OPCON to [??].”
[SOURCE: HQ 2/12 INF AAR (yellowstone) 15 MAR 2968]

RECON crossed the Saigon River and moved west into the Ben Cui rubber plantation.

Co.’s C(ñ) & D left Dau Tieng Base for a patrol and to set up ambushes in the Michelin, north-northeast of the camp.

Co. C’s ambush site was one klick north of Ap 6 (at XT510496). Co. C hit two mines just north of Ap 6 (at XT510488) wounding two. They closed the wire at Dau Tieng near 3:30 pm. One platoon of Co C was still detached at FSB Grant (XT380620).

Co. D’s ambush site was just outside and south of Ap 6 (at XT512483).
[SOURCE: 25th Div AAR Yellow]

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16 DEC 67
“Co. A combat assaulted to (XT455530) then started moving to night ambush site. At 1540H at (XT455522) they found 10 bunkers. At 16??H at (XT463522) located 3 bunkers 10′ x 24′ x 8′. All bunkers were destroyed. At 1720H at (XT464524) they located 2 bicycles along the river, also one [?unkn?] boat and one sampan. Co A’s ambush site that night established at (XT465523). Bn (-) remained at Camp Rainier with mission of Bde Reaction Force. The platoon from Co C returned to Dau Tieng from FSB GRANT 0930H. Recon ambush patrol at 1845H was in contact at (XT509461) on all sides. Artillery, gunships and firing from checkpoint was used to get patrol back to base camp at 2000H. Checkpoint at Post #1 at 2330H received incoming grenade with negative casualties.”
[SOURCE: HQ 2/12 INF After Action Report (AAR) Yellowstone 15 March 1968]

Co. A flew 7 klicks north-northwest of Dau Tieng to a cold landing zone (vic XT455534) near the Saigon River (at XT455530). They moved over a klick southeast and discovered and destroyed three bunkers (at XT463522). Moving northeast towards the river, they found two bicycles, a submerged boat, and a sampan. Alpha then moved due south and established an ambush site along a trail (at XT465523). End of day XT465525

Co. C(-) at FSB Grant returned to Dau Tieng in the morning. The remainder of the battalion was acting as the 3rd Brigade’s Ready Reaction Force.

RECON’s ambush patrol received fire from all sides at 6:45 pm (at XT509461) – a klick SEE of the base. Artillery and gunships helped the patrol to disengae and return to base by 8 pm. At 11:30 pm, Post #1 received a grenade with no friendly casualties.

[SOURCE: Yellow OR-LL 25th Div and 3rd Bde, 25th Div AAR]

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OPERATION CAMDEN
December 17 to December 27, 1967

2/12th participated in Operation Camden.

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17 DEC 67
2/12th continues as RRF at Dau Tieng.

Co. A operations from XT465525 to XT465500 [NW of Dau Tieng. - b.h.] where the company extracted at 3 pm back to Dau Tieng.

1:50 pm Co. B and C eagle flight to XT519517 and conducted operations until 4:37 pm. In the Michelin 2 miles o Dau Tieng Base Camp. No contact and returned to Dau Tieng.
[SOURCE: 2rd Bde ****************************************************
]

 

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OPERATION YELLOWSTONE (Phase I) ENDS,

OPERATION CAMDEN BEGINS December 18, 1967.

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OPERATION CAMDEN
18 DEC to 27 DEC 1967

The 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division attempt to destroy the 101st NVA Regiment in the “Trapezoid” AO (south of Dau Tieng).FSB Lafayette East XT586423 in the bulb of “the Onion.”FSB Allen XT541492 in the Michelin plantation at a crossroad 3/4 klick east of Ap 3. Five klicks northeast of Dau Tieng Base Camp.

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18 DEC 67

Co. A -  at Dau Tieng acting as the camp Ready
Reaction Force.

Co. A assault to cold LZ vic XT585419 at 7:21 am.

One platoon of Co. A is OPCON to
2/77th Field Artillery as security at FSB Allen (XT541492) in the Michelin.

Base camp established XT57?415

In addition, Co. A is tasked with providing road security and convoy escort south out of Dau Tieng along Highway LTL-14. Company A maintained these duties throughout Operation Camden.

At 0721 hours, 2/12th Inf(-) makes a combat air assault into a “cold” landing zone in an area known as “the Onion” (vic XT585419).
See Maps 1 & 2  in MAPS
The 12th’s landing in the rice paddies was followed an hour latter by elements of the 3/22nd Inf. The 2/12th moved (generally) south-west-west 1Ω klicks – patrolling as they went – and established a Night Defensive Position (NDP) at XT570415. A “Night Kit” of sandbags, barbed wire, claymores etc. was flown in at night and was “extracted” in the morning by the Muleskinners of the 242nd Aviation Co. ñ a practice that continued throughout Operation Camden.
SOURCE: 25th DIV Yellowstone OR-LL and 3rd Bde AAR]

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19 DEC 67
The 2/12th Inf(-) patrolled (generally) northwest and established a NDP at XT565425 near a tributary of the Rach (stream) Can Nom (approx. 2 klicks due west of The Onion). There was negative contact during the day. Unfortunately, one platoon of Alpha was not so lucky. Shortly after 10 a.m. mines were detonated on the convoy along LTL-14 at XT523413 causing 9 KIA and 7 WIA amoungst the convoys’ personnel.
[SOURCE: HQ 25th DIV Yellowstone OR--LL]

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20 DEC 67
WIA:
Ron Mosley wounded.

2/12th Inf(ñ) continued to work out of the NDP at vicinity XT565425 ñ an area some 3 klicks (1æ miles) south of the southern-most edge of the Michelin rubber plantation.

At 0920 hours Company C spotted 4 VC at XT562426 and engaged them with artillery fire with unknown results.

At1205 hours Co. A, while working road security south of Dau Tieng of LTL-14, suffered 5 WIA from booby traps (vic XT501441) norh of the bridge over the Soui Duo at Xom Dua village – some two clicks SE of the base..
[SOURCE: 25th Div Yellowstone AAR 1968]

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21 DEC 67
2/12th Inf(-) continued operations out of a night defensive position (NDP) in the vic of XT564424, a base they had been at for three days now, with negative contact.
[SOURCE: ibid]

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22 DEC 67
2/12th Inf(ñ) continued operations in the same area west of “the Onion.” They patrolled southeast three klicks and established a NDP in the vic of XT576393.

Co. A, while on road security along LTL-14, at 1050 hours exploded a mine wounding one Alpha trooper south of the bridge at Xom Dua. [Going south on LTL-14 out of Dau Tieng, there were two bridges pretty close together and then this bridge - the same bridge as the December 20th incident.]
[SOURCE: ibid]

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23 DEC 67
HHC KIA:
Pfc. John R. Phillips (20) died of wounds (DOW)
received in Binh Duong Province.

2/12th Inf, working out of a NDP (vic XT576393), patrolled SSE to vic XT583377.

At 0835 hours Co. A, while on road security southwest of Dau Tieng along LTL-14, detonated a booby trap resulting in 1 US WIA (vic XT476393).

Shortly after 2 p.m. Co. D found a VC body (1VCBC) in a bunker, in the middle of the Xom Ben Tranh(2) rubber plantation (XT535391).
[SOURCE: ibid]

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24 DEC 67
Co. D KIA:
Pfc Larry W. Pierce (21) of Baden, PA perished in
Binh Duong Province.

2/12th Inf(ñ) continued patrolling and established a NDP at XT588364. Co. A continued to guard Dau Tieng as the Ready Reaction Force(RRF).
[SOURCE: 26th Div Yellowstone OR-LL]

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25 DEC 67
2/12th Inf continued to work out of the NDP (vicXT5834) and prepared for the end of Operation Camden.

At 1955 hours a 2/12th Dau Tieng ambush patrol was engaged by an estimated force of 4 VC, with small arms, in the vicinity of XT512408. Fire was returned with organic weapons with unknown results. [NOTE: This incident poss. happened 25DEC67 (Christmas night).]
[SOUCE: HQ 25th Div Yellowstone OR-LL ]

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26 DEC 67
OPERATION CAMDEN ENDS.

Co. A KIA:
Spc4 Sammy Buffington (22) of Barnesville, GA
perished in Binh Duong Province.

Carl Swon wounded in action (WIA).

Co. A(ñ) swept LTL-14 to the vic of 519418 and out-posted the road. This brought them to a location just north of the village and rubber plantation of Ben Tranh ñ future site of FSB Kien (aka Mahone III).

Co. A continued to outpost the road for the eventual passage of D/2/12th Inf and the 2/22 Inf (M) “Tripple Duce.”
At 1136 hours Co. A recieved 2 rounds of sniper fire at XT499449. They returned fire with their organic weapons with unknown results.
At 1150 hours a command detonated mine was blown on Alpha resulting in the death of Specialist Buffington (vic XT509432).

Co. B flew back to Dau Tieng and “closed” shortly after noon.

Co. C relieved the scout platoon of the 2/22 Mech Inf, at FSB Lafayette, to perform security for the closing of that base. At 1727 hours FSB Lafayette was closed and Co. C flew back to Dau Tieng.

Co. D moved at noon by helicopter to vic XT57631 to assist the 2/22 Mechinized Infantry in a Cordon and Search of the village of Thanh An. Co. D 2/12th remained with the 2/22 Inf (M) as they began to move up LTL-14 towards Dau Tieng.

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27 DEC 67
2/12th Inf remained at Dau Tieng and prepared for future operations.

Co. A, 2/22 Mechanized Infantry, while reconning by fire, hit Co. A 2/12th Infantry resulting in 8 wounded in what the offical records call “non-battle injuries” (NBI). [Non-battle my ass! Try telling that to the eight Alpha Warriors who were wounded this day. - Sarge]

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MOVE TO KATUM

OPERATION YELLOWSTONE (Phase II)

28 Dec 67 ~ 2/12th airlifted to Katum and became OPCON 1st Bde.

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28 DEC67
OPERATION YELLOWSTONE (Phase II) RESUMES

“2/12th resumed Operation Yellowstone. They were airlifted by fixed wing to Katum (XT333897). Last lift completed 1100H. Bn came under OPCON to 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div. From Katum they will combat assault to (XT282925) and will recon in force from laager site until 2 Jan 68. Co B and Recon platoon are in Dau Tieng as 3d Bde, Ready Reaction Force.”
[SOURCE: HQ 2/12th Inf (Yellowstone) AAR 15 March 1968]

“….commencing 0700H, 2/12th Inf conducts airlift by fixed wing aircraft to Katum, became OPCON to 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div. Conducts combat assault in vic (XT2893) and to locate and destroy VC/NVA Forces and installations until 2 Jan 58. On 2 Jan 68 returns OPCON to 3d Bde, 25th Inf Div …”
[SOURCE: HQ 2/12 Inf AAR Yellowstone 15 March 1968]

Chuck Mohr wrote “A couple of days after
Christmas 1967 we moved to Katum airstrip.”

The 2/12th Inf – minus Co. B & Recon Platoon, who remain at Dau Tieng as the 3rd Brigade Ready Reaction Force, are lifted to Katum by fixed wing aircraft the morning of the 28th. At Katum they become OPCON to the 1st Brigade (25th Div.). From Katum the Battalion  air assaulted six klicks northwest to a landing zone at (XT282925) 4 miles northwest of Katum.

Co. B and RECON platoon remain at Dau Tieng as the 3rd Brigade’s Ready Reaction Force.

2/12th BN moved by fixed wing to KATUM. Came under OPCON 1st BDE, 25th DIV.

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29 DEC 67
OPCON 1st Bde 1st Brigade KATUM

Moving northwest from the landing zone, the 2/12th (ñ) discovered three large rice cashes at (XT279934) and established a night laager.

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30 DEC 67
“2/12th Inf continues OPCON to 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div. Bn is currently running Recon in Force operations from their laager site at (XT279934) in A/O MITCH.”
[SOURCE: HQ 2/12th Inf (Yellowstone) AAR 15 March 1968]

2/12th continues to exploit rice cache and run operations from their night laager at (XT279934). Approximately seven tons of rice were evacuated on the 30th.

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2/12th INF OPCON 1st Bde.

31 DEC 67
Co. A KIA:
Pfc. Guillermo Estrada (24) of Gary, IN died of
wounds (DOW) received in Binh Duong Province ñ most likely due to the 26-27Dec67 event along Hwy 14.

“”Began extraction [?unkn?] for large rice cache. Approximately 7 tons were extracted on the 30th of Dec and another 30 tons today.”
[SOURCE: HQ 2/12th Inf AAR (Yellowstone) 15 March 1968]

Cache (4 miles NW of Katum..