Giong Trom Operation 14-15 Feb 1970
I. Intelligence Data.
a. Area to the west
and southwest of Giong Trom District towns is currently held as the
operational area of the D-263 and 516-A VC Bns. The D-263, which
is believed to be comprised primarily of NVA troops, consists of
approximately 200 men. The 516-A Bn is rated and has a strength
of about 250 men. Both battalions are equipped with 75 mm RR,
82mm mortars and 12.7 AA guns in addition to small arms.
b. The terrain is
characterized by sparse vegetation with occasional clusters of
cocoanut groves. The enemy has made excellent usage of existing
conditions by placing his revetments in places most advantageous for
a defense. Current visual reconnaissance of the area reveals many
well camouflaged bunkers and gun emplacements.
II. Listing of Events.
0945 MAJ O'Dell received air lift package
consisting of 1 C&C, 3
gunships, and 6 slicks. Proceeded to Giong Trom to select LZs.
1030 First lift complete at LZ1, XS 601184,
1045 Second lift complete at LZ1, XS 601184,
1100 Third lift complete at LZ1, XS 601184,
cold LZ. This is the final
lift for the 1st landing zone. The 103 RF, 589 RF, RF plt
of 1 squad from 529, 532, 536, LD 39, and advisors
from Giong Trom
First lift complete at LZ2, XS 588174, cold LZ.
Second lift complete at LZ2, XS 588174, cold LZ.
Third lift complete at LZ2, XS588174, cold LZ. 855 RF, 258 RF,
and MAT 22 were inserted. 307 RF, 298 RF, 255 RF, LD13, and
MAT 91 are reserve elements standing by at Ben Tre airfield.
589 RF company and PF plt in contact at XS 611189 with
estimated 2 platoons VC. Swamp Fox 19 went to contact area
and had negative sighting. At approximately 1300H contact was
broken, negative results.
589 RF company and PF plt in heavy contact at XS 618176 with
estimated company of VC. Swamp Fox 19 was over area and
received ground fire. One round hit the flap motor and he had to
TOC called 7th Division TOC and requested gunships and C&C.
Called Vung Tau and requested Black Pony support.
103 RF and LD 39 in heavy contact at XS 616183. They were
trying to maneuver in support of the 589 RF company.
TOC requested standard lift package from DTOC. Alerted
reserve forces to get ready to insert.
Vietnamese Field CP lost radio contact with the 589 RF
company. Swamp Fox 11 over contact area. Was informed
by 7th Div TOC that lift package was on the way to Ben Tre
C&C and guns directed to pick up MAJ O'Dell, S-3 advisor
and counterpart. Rest of package going to Ben Tre airfield.
103 RF and LD 39 have broken contact.
Black Pony was diverted by DMAC.
C&C ship reported sighting 35-40 bodies on ground, presumed
to be friendly.
First lift of the reserve force inserted (235 RF, 298 RF, 307
RF, LD 13, and MAT 91) at XS 605183, cold LZ.
LD 13 in light contact, gunships suppressed the fire,
Second lift complete at XS 605183, cold LZ.
Gunships took fire north of landing zone, put in strike with
negative known results.
Giong Trom reports they have 10 RF WIA.
Third and final insertion complete, cold LZ.
(est) 7th Div TOC advised by LL that 10th Regt was going
to insert troops in support of the sector operation.
Air Package released to 10th Regt.
(est) 7th Div TOC advised by LL that plan for 10th Regt to
support the sector operation was changed. 10th Regt was
not going into the Giong Trom area.
MAT 91 has light contact at XS 603177, 1 VC KIA. Contact
broken at 1900.
103 RF, and LD 39 has heavy contact at XS 614180. Stated
they were surrounded and requested to be extracted.
TOC requested gunships and Black Pony from Div TOC.
LTC Andrews talked to DSA of 7th Div. Explained the
situation and asked for insertion of Division forces. DSA
stated he would try to get the air cav package and would
assist in any way possible.
Contact was broken. Black Pony on the way to the area.
Black Pony on station over area.
Black Pony having difficulties locating friendly units.
Black Pony leaving area, could not put in strike due to
situation on ground. Could not identify all friendly units.
TOC requested Night Killer Team from Div TOC.
Results at this time are: 11 RF KIA, 15 RF WIA, and 13
Field CP moving to Giong Trom District town.
Night locations: 103, LD 39, Giong Trom Advisors at
XS 615173; 589, 235, 307, 298, PF plt, LD 13, and MAT 91
Received message from Div TOC we would not be getting
night hunter killer.
Fire Dragon over the area, negative targets.
MAT 91 reports a light probe from the north, negative results.
TOC called Div TOC, requested SPAT to give air coverage
SPAT 19 on station over area.
MAT 91 reports they received 1 round of 60mm mortar,
1 RF WIA.
TOC called Div TOC, requested 1 slick with gunships for
0700 to resupply units in field.
MAT 91 in heavy contact, 2 American advisors WIA,
interpreter WIA, Lien Doi commander KIA. Unknown VC
size force with small arms, automatic weapons, and 57 RR fire.
Fire Dragon was returning, SPAT could not locate enemy fire.
No radio contact with MAT team.
TOC called Div TOC, requested Black Pony, Night Hunter
Killer Team, Shadow, and Vampire Flight.
TOC called Div TOC, requested dust off with gunships.
Mr Kotzabue and Province Chief requested troop support
from 7th Div.
Vietnamese reported 1 American had died, did not know
Shadow on station coming into contact area.
Dust off on station without gunships for pick up of the
American and Vietnamese casualties.
Black Pony on station.
Vietnamese TOC reported that contact lasted only
Vietnamese report 1 US KIA, 1 US WIA, Lien Doi
commander KIA, 5 VN WIA.
Dust off complete, 1 US and 7 VN; US SFC Gary L. Proudty,
US KIA was 1LT Theodore F. Sas. Black Pony supported
the dust off. Reason for dust off delay was no American on
ground. Vietnamese had to build fires on ground to identify
SPAT put in a/s at XS 582203, 3 sampans destroyed and one
large secondary explosion.
589 - 18 KIA
LD 13 - 7 KIA
US - 1 KIA
1 US KIA
1 US WIA
2 AN/PRC 25
lost PF - 4 KIA
22 M-16 lost
7 M-79 lost
9 M-16 lost 2
AN/PRC 25 lost
1 machine gun
1 Kilo Document
1 Field pack