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Battle for Dau-Tieng, Base, 3Bde,25 ID
22-23 Feb. 1969
The pictures of enemy warriors, will be in the picture album of the same name as this off of the ALBUMS link on the left side navigation frame of the home page. They were very good, tough warriors themselves,and they showed absolutely NO LESS courage than our boys did in THEIR desire to do what they thought was best for their country. So, may they Rest in Peace!
Below is the After Action Report (AAR) of the 2/22 Inf. (M)They were one of I believe 3 Infantry units involved in the Action. Elements of 1/27 Inf. (First Hounds) also were. And some Special Forces and some of their Montagnard Special Troops also. Great Job all and many thanks!
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 2D BATTALION (MECH) 22D INFANTRY
1. IDENTIFICATION AND TYPE OF UNIT: 2d Battalion (Mech) 22d Infantry
2. TIME: 222330 Feb to 230800 Feb 69
3. LOCATION; Dau Tieng Base Camp
4. COMMAND AND CONTROL: Headquarters, 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
5. TASK ORGANIZATION: 2d Battalion (Mech) 22d lnfantry
6. SUPPORTING FORCES: a. USAF (TAC Air)
c. Gun Ships
d. Flare Ships
7. INTELLIGENCE: Various reports had been received that the enemy was grouping in the area with the mission of attacking the Dau Tieng Base Camp and fire support bases throughout the 3d Brigade area of operation.
8. MISSION: 2d Bn (M) 22d Inf was to have one platoon of Co B and the scout platoon present in Dau Tieng as the base camp reaction force, 2d Bn 22d Inf was also to occupy 12 bunkers along the north and east of the perimeter and 2 on the south side of the perimeter. The personnel occupying the bunkers were members of the rear detachment to include cooks, supply personnel, clerks, and mechanics.
Co A was to remain ready to react from Fire Support Base Wood II and Company B from their night defensive position.
9. CONCEPT OF OPERATION; The rear detachment of 2d Bn (M) 22d Inf would occupy 12 bunkers covering the north and northeast of the base camp perimeter. They would also occupy 2 bunkers on the south. Companies A, B, and C would be prepared to move into blocking positions and to react to the base camp.
10. EXECUTION: At 2330, Dau Tieng came under extremely heavy mortar and rocket attack. Within 15 minutes, the enemy shifted their indirect fires inside the perimeter and made a ferocious attack on the berm line. Although almost the entire perimeter was receiving very heavy RPG,
recoilless rifle, machine gun, and small arms fire, the main attack came from the southeast and south. Moving into the wire in waves, the enemy was able to breach the wire on the east end of the active runway. At the outset of the attack the scout platoon from Co B was alerted and was ordered to reinforce the perimeter at the east end of the runway. Arriving only minutes later, three of the APC's moved on line 100 meters north
of the runway and began placing heavy fire to the area of the breach. The other two tracks in the platoon moved directly to the runway to attempt to reinforce the bunkers on each side. Bunker 65 was on the north and 66 on the south. The enemy had managed to breach the wire in front of bunker 65 and were in the drainage ditches along the sides of the runway and were attacking the bunkers from the rear. As the tracks approached, the enemy in the ditches were firing RPG's. As the APC'S arrived at bunker 65 it was struck with an RPG round and was on fire. The wounded men who were on the tracks were pinned down by enemy fire. Those who were able returned fire and on one occasion a man who had been blown off one of the tracks had
tracks had jumped two of the enemy in the ditch. As his weapon had been destroyed in the explosion, he fought them with his hands. He was mortally wounded in the fight but he delayed the enemy long enough for his fellow soldiers to move out of the open. The personnel of the track at bunker 66 seeing this immediately assaulted across the runway. Receiving RPG fire from both front and rear they placed suppressive fire on the enemy long enough for the men of the disabled track to get their wounded to safety. Despite 2 RPG rounds that had pierced the APC it was able to pull back with the remainder of the platoon and support by fire. Bunker 66 was still in need of assistance. Disregarding a warning that it would be suicidal to
take another track back across to bunker 66 the men volunteered and moved one track across the runway to bunker 66. Braving extremely heavy fire fron both front and rear the APC was able to hold off the enemy until it was hit with an RPG round and burned. The driver of the track although wounded and shaken was able to locate a 3/4 ton truck with three of the tires flat. Knowing the necessity of getting medical care for the wounded he drove the truck to the vicinity of bunker 66 and transported the wounded to the hospital. Throughout the night he drove to and from the airstrip evacuating the wounded. At this time gunships were firing rockets down
the runway and artillery was firing beehive to attempt to keep the enemy out.
while the above was taking place the mechanics who were in the bunkers on the south edge of the perimeter were under heavy attack,The wire had been breached on both of the mechanic's flanks; however they prevented a break in their sector and they attempted to keep the breach closed with fire even though some of the enemy had managed to break through and were attacking bunkers 86 and 88 from the rear. the mechanics knowing the importance of maintaining their position held out under overwhelming odds. Many of the men were wounded and one man had been killed by an RPG which hit the rear of the bunker. The platoon of Co B which had been moved to
the airstrip was ordered to reinforce. Co B was ordered to send another platoon to reinforce the Dau Tieng Bridge and Co A was ordered to move to the vicinity of the Ben Cui along Route 19 to block. Page 2
Fire Support Base Wood II, through Dau Tieng and into the Michelin. Five hundred meters east of Dau Tieng, Co C began pushing north along the Michelin truck route. Receiving fire from snipers which the enemy had employed in an effort to delay the mechanized company, Co C. courageously braved the fire and passed on to establish contact with the withdrawing enemy, eliminating the snipers as they passed. Co C's actions drove the enemy into friendly blocking forces in the northern Michelin.
Braving intense fire the reaction platoon inside the base camp was able to reinforce the bunkers. The perimeter was once again restored. As the platoon from Co B approached the Dau Tieng Bridge they were met with heavy RPG and automatic weapons fire. Breaking through the enemy positions they were able to reach the bridge and help drive the enemy off. The bunkers in the vicinity were becomming extremely low on ammunition; seeing this, the men began to resupply them from the ammunition on the tracks.
Throughout the night all elements bravely fought in the face of overwhelming odds and were able to hold.
At first light a Chinook which was to evacuate casualities was unable to land because the LZ was not secured. Learning of this, mechanics, clerks, and supply personnel volunteered to take a VTR, a 3/4 ton truck and a 2 1/2 ton, all with machine guns mounted to the LZ. Moving through heavy sniper fire they were able to secure the LZ and the wounded were evacuated.
Throughout the night countless deeds of heroism and valor went almost unnoticed as the aggresseveness, devotion to duty, professionalism and complete disregard for personal safety appeared to be the rule rather than the exception.
From the moment of contact all the medics volunteered to assist in the area of contact although it was outside of the battalion area of responsibility. Braving almost impossible odds they crawled, ran, and drove through enemy fire to assist and evacuate the wounded.
Shortly after BMNT Co A was ordered to move from its blocking position and conduct a RIF around the outside of the perimeter while the platoon of Co B at the bridge was moved into the base camp to help find and destroy the enemy still remaning inside the wire. At the same time Co C was ordered to move from
All elements were extremely successful in completing their mission and by 1000 hours the base camp was once again secure.
11. RESULTS: The enemy had attempted to overrun the base camp; however they were once again handed defeat. Although the wire was breached in two separate locations only about 25 enemy soldiers were able to get through.
a. Enough cannot be said for the courage and valor of all elements that participated in the defense of Dau Tieng that night. The coordination was perfect in deploying men and equipment.
b. Medical treatment could not have been better. All medics of the battalion who were at Dau Tieng volunteered to assist. The enemy had broken into the perimeter and the medics had to move under fire from all directions. They did a fantastic job.
13. VALOR AWARDS
a. Medal of Honor - 1
b. Silver Star - 6
c. Bronze Star - 15
d. Army Commendation Medal - 7
DAVID M. NORRIS
Below is the March 10, '69 Tropic Lightning News account
Vol 4 No. 10 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS March 10, 1969
NVA Try Daring Dau Tieng Siege,
All-Night Battle Rids Base Of Foe
DAU TIENG - Lifting an all-night siege of Dau Tieng base comp, infantrymen, cooks, clerks and other support soldiers of the 3d Brigade killed 73 enemy who had overrun portions of the installation. There were 14 detainees.
By the time a red alert was called, shortly after midnight, portions of the camp’s perimeter had already been overrun. For more than eight hours North Vietnamese Army soldiers held a rubber forest near the south end of the camp and a part of the camp near the east end of the Dau Tieng air strip.
At the height of the fighting, when the enemy flanked brigade headquarters from two sides, Major General Ellis W. Williamson, 25th Infantry Division commanding general, flew his helicopter into Dau Tieng personally and led the counterattacks that drove off the enemy.
Colonel Louis J. Sehelter, Jr., brigade commander, of Columbus, Ga., said, “The troops performed magnificently. In every respect they did the job that had to be done.”
The North Vietnamese troops, attacking in a force of two battalions, hit the base camp from four sides, storming the perimeter at two points and also entering by way of a tunnel. They surrounded portions of the bunker line and trapped a number of Tropic Lightning soldiers behind the lines. During the attack hundreds of rounds of rockets, mortars, and RPG’s struck the base camp.
Some of the heaviest fighting centered around an area of French buildings and swimming pools just south of brigade headquarters. The NVA mounted a machinegun on the porch of the base library while a group of five infantrymen huddled inside with rifles trained on the doors.
All night long the NVA kept a force of combat engineers and infantrymen pinned down in ditches alongside a road in front of the old house belonging to the Michelin family of French rubber planters.
At dawn, a group of enemy snipers had holed up inside the Michelin house and were laying down fire into areas controlled by the military police and brigade headquarters.
Special Forces troops and a 40mm duster leveled portions of the second floor of the house killing some of the snipers.
Meanwhile armored personnel carriers of the 2d Battalion (Mechanized), 22d Infantry, and Wolfhounds of the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, along with an assortment of support personnel, blasted the main enemy force away from the area near the swimming pools. Four dead NVA lay in a road beside the officers’ pool when the fighting stopped.
The enemy retreated past the post exchange and into the woods near the base camp communications center of the 587th Signal Company’s White Platoon. Heavy fighting drove this force of NVA toward the perimeter.
Meanwhile other Triple Deuce armored personnel carriers drove the enemy off the east end of the air strip, but not before several spotter planes and a helicopter had been damaged with satchel charges.
With the coming of daylight and the driving out of enemy main forces, there remained the job of cleaning out snipers from many of the base camp’s trees. This job took almost until noon. Shortly after one p.m., a group of eight soldiers was found hiding inside a culvert near the (Continued on Back Page)
Below is a picture of the above mentioned helicopter, a OH-6 "Loach" Thanks to Thom Mcgarey.
Siege . . .
(Continued From Page 1)
east end of the runway and were detained. During the long night there were many instances of individual heroism.
“As the fighting became savage we had to commit our reaction forces into the hottest areas,” said Captain Joseph Heeney of Fords, N.Y., assistant brigade operations officer. “We formed small reaction forces from cooks, clerks mechanics engineers, and military policemen. It’s amazing how such an amalgam of units that are trained primarily for other jobs were able to function so well.”
Meanwhile helicopter gunships and an AC-47 dragonship provided illumination and additional fire power to infantrymen on the ground.
The fighting was the heaviest in and around the base camp in the three years that American infantrymen have used it as a jumping-off point for large-scale operations near War Zone C.
Sergeant First Class Preston Rowser, Detroit, Mich., moved to a position during the attack where he could see the advancing enemy, knocking back any who dared advance.
Grenadier Specialist 4 Bruce Brauman, Baltimore, Maryland, located a bunker held by the NVA soldiers and poured fire on the enemy.
A final, powerful punch was provided by Tropic Lightning artillery and gunships. The big guns pounded the advancing enemy throughout the assault.
Fighting got so close at one time that according to artilleryman Specialist 4 John Jasinkski, St. Paul, Minn., “When I turned around and saw them on top of our protective berm, we traversed the gun on them and started firing point blank. It was just like a firefight but we were using 105’s.”
Helicopter gunships poured walls of lead on the enemy making low level passes in the midst of enemy fire. Air strikes brought their powerful bombs up to the perimeter forcing the enemy to retreat.
Combined body count for the two nights of action approached upwards of two hundred NVA soldiers and delivered serious damage to a prime enemy division.
Below is an article from an un-named Newspaper,with some glaring inaccuracies.
This is a copy of a newspaper article provided to Bill Biggs, (H/1/27FA, '68 -'69 Veteran) by the archives at Texas Tech University
Reds Burst Into Base, Kill 21 GIs
By Robert Karlor
DAUTIENG, South Vietnam, Feb. 23 (UPI)
Communist sappers burst through the perimeter of an Amercan headquarters here early today, leaving 21 Americans and 71 of their own dead in a fierce 15-hour fight. Some of the. invaders never got past the barbed wire, which surrounds what was once a large rubber plantation and now is the headquarters of the 3d Brigade of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division: about 40 miles northwest of Saigon.
About 70 others made it into the former manager's residence and had to be dislodged by house-to-house fighting.
About 70 American soldiers were wounded in the battle, in which GIs and
Communists were intermingled everywhere in the eerie half light of fires and explosions.
Six helicopters at the base were heavily damaged. Two were shot down as they attempted to defend the base. The attack started, at about 12:35 a.m. with a barrage of rocket, mortar and recoilless-rifle fire, which continued through the night.
At 1:15, an estimated 20 Communists neatly snipped their way through the
barbed wire between bunkers at the end of the airstrip. Within half an hour
another 75 had worked their way in at other locations. They destroyed several bunkers and blasted the two armored vehicles which raced down the airstrip to reinforce the perimeter, killing five Americans aboard them.
The Communists then went down the airstrip setting off homemade satchel
charges in motor pool and aircraft areas. At 7 a.m., what one officer described as a "pitched battle" was raging near the headquarters building itself.
When bunkers at the end of the airstrip were knocked out, the U.S. troops put in an urgent call for help to a group of U.S. Army Special Forces who were on the base.
Three Americans and a squad of their Montagnard mercenaries ran the length
of the airstrip through rocket and mortar fire to the bunkers.
When dawn came there was a pile of Communist bodies in front of the bunkers.
The crew of a helicopter gunship tried to get their chopper into the air to defend the camp. As they left the ground at the end of the airstrip the helicopter was hit and burst into flames. They circled back and crashed just inside the perimeter. The crew escaped and became riflemen for the
rest of the night. Two headquarters soldiers were trapped helplessly inside a building with no ammunition for five hours while the Vietcong fired a
machine gun from the porch but never looked inside.
The French plantation owner no longer lives at Dautieng but the Communists entered the nearby town, went to the homes of his two Vietnamese assistants, and shot them to death.
©1999 Texas Tech University, Used with Permission
At this point, let's look at some illustrations of the battle area. The first one, for any civilians viewing this who MAY not know, is a "Topographical" Map. It shows terrain features, along with man made structures, etc. It has been annotated by Bill Biggs, one of the participants in the battle, and a contributor of much of this info. Thanks, Bill.
The second is a detailed Drawing of the base camp, and is important, partially because it shows the locations of the various unit areas on base, AND, more specifically, the tunnels mentioned in the story.
The third is an aerial photo of Dau Tieng Base. Bear in mind that the EAST end of the runway is at the BOTTOM of the photo.
Dau-Tieng Area "Topo" Map
The above are courtesy of Bill Biggs, Bill wimer, and Ken Fillmore with many thanks.
Also, here's a look at the HQ area before the attack. The picture shows 2/77FA BN. HQ, but Brigade HQ was in the same area,and in the same style of buildings. French Colonial Plantation Style.
Haven't been able to find the source of this "blurb". But it does refer to a specific portion of the Battle for Dau Tieng, Feb. 22 - 23, '69. Around Bn HQ. There will be other stories of personal perspectives on specific aspects, or portions of the battle taking place at different locations.
Staunch UpTight Artillerymen Save HQ From Enemy Siege
DAU TIENG - “Up Tight” artillerymen of the 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery, fought as infantrymen to save their headquarters and fire direction center from being overrun.
During a massive North Vietnamese Army attack on Dau Tieng base camp of the 3d Brigade in which 73 enemy were killed, the Up Tight Battalion headquarters was threatened.
Specialist 4 Phillip Fadley of Anderson, Ind., was the first to spot a group of NVA sappers who had penetrated the perimeter. The enemy troops were inside the Battalion motor pool placing satchel charges. The enemy force was apparently maneuvering for position from which to attack the fire direction center, which is in a large underground bunker.
Fadley alerted a group of cannoneers including Major Robert Moose of Russellville, Ark., Up Tight executive officer. Moose led a patrol of artillerymen in defeating the enemy attack.
Moose, Fadley, Sergeant Roy Lischinsky of Tillson, N.Y., and Private First Class Charles Bailey of Barberton, Ohio, opened fire on a group of NVA in the motor pool, hitting two and pinning down the remainder.
As they kept the enemy glued to the ground, Specialist 4 Merlin Beedy of Garden City, Ka., crept forward from his position atop the fire direction center to a small trench alongside the motor pool. From there he threw hand grenades at a suspected enemy position.
A sweep of the motor pool the following morning turned up six enemy bodies in the motor pool.
As dawn broke, Specialist 4 Stephen V. Ladouceur of Detroit, Mich. spotted an enemy sniper in a tree across the airstrip. Ladouceur, who is a driver for the Up Tight battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Vernon Lewis of Marshall, Tex., leveled his M-16 rifle and brought the sniper down.
Commenting on the men’s fighting efforts, Moose said “My artillerymen did an outstanding job of rooting out the enemy. They displayed great courage and coolness under fire. They fought in the best tradition of our battalion."
Below, is a transcription of the content of the NVA Propaganda Pamphlets found in the wire of the perimeter the next day....Including the errors in grammar, and spelling. The formating of the length of the sentences is not perfect, but it is as close as I could get it. The pictures of it were hurting my eyes. Boy, check out the importance of body counts, and false claims of victory and equipment destroyed by the enemy. LOL!
U.S Officers and men
in the 25th infantry division
As you know:
At night of 23 and 25 February, 1969 The People’s Liberation
Armed Forces launched a attack on Dautieng, Dong du base
camp and twice attacked against Ben-tranh group of encampments
of the 3rd Brigade of 25th Inf. Div. Near 3,000 U.S. men were
killed, or wounded, more than 100 aircrafts 200 military
vehicles demolished including tanks and armored cars and 30
artillery pieces and various military equipments destroyed.
How many of your buddies falled down and tax funds of the U.S.
people wasted by the dirty war in South Vietnam?
When day, the Nixon government still obsnate to prolong the
aggressive war against South Vietnamese people then the People’s
Liberation Armed Forces still continue to launch many attacks which
fiercer than these. Like that your life will be strickly threaten.
The Vietnamese people have no hate for the American people we are
fighting for independence and freedom of our people like the U.S. people
did in the 18th century.
We have sympathized and supported and welcome the U.S. anti war men
who love peace and refuse to die for weapon-dealers in White and Pentagon house.
Don’t fold your arms to yield to Death!
For your own life, for future and happiness of your family, for the
prestige and honour of United States, you should:
----Refuse to go out to the field.
----Demand a immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops home
----If you are forced to go out, when in contact, quickly
lay down your arms, you will receive humane and lenient treatment.
----Seek for chance to cross over to the L.A.F, you will receive fair
treatment and help to safe coming home.
PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMED FORCES
That's all we have for now.
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