A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry 25th ID - Vietnam

Timeline: Counteroffensive Phase IV,
2 April 1968 to 30 June 1968
Last Updated on: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 12:33:16 PM

     We are building timelines for the Troop's service in Vietnam. If you have award citations, SITREP's, AAR's or other documents, they can provide dates that can add to the timelines.  John Moore, 1st Plt Ldr & Trp XO from Aug 68 to Aug 69, is our volunteer coordinator for the Counteroffensive Phase IV timeline. 
     Note 1: Entries that include an exact time or grid coordinates have been extracted from offical documents.  If no time is provided it is a recollection from a unit member.

Note 2 Email us and provide additions or corrections for this timeline.

0001    Journal Opened
0015    New points of Origin to SA, SB, SC and HHT
0055    SB, SH, SC, SA sitrep no change
0100    All Sabre elements sitrep, no change
0155    SH, SB, SA, SC sitrep, no change
??20    SA 30 in perimeter
??00    SH, SC, SA, SB sitrep, no change
??15    SA standto complet: LP in perimeter
0735    SA elem departing perimeter this time
0820    SC & SB on line EW grid line from 467308 SA East and left of SC
0903    SC6 (A) C30 (B) 2 tunnels 5’ dia, 20’ long, running East from entrance (C) 537312 0900 (D) will let SA blow in place
0917    SC, SB, loc on line at 537312, SA South East of SC & SB
1040    SB & SC on line in sector from A DO 2530318; SA Center of mass 533314
1145    All Sabre elem stopped for lunch break
1150    SA breaking for chow
1200    SB 540315, SC 534316, SA 535315
1243    SB moving SA ready to move
1252    Notified Flex SB, SC on move.  SA still stopped
1309    SA on move
1401    SA 535325 ; SB 542326
1458    SA 538331: SC 540333: SB 545330
1600    SA 540335; SB 544334; SC 544332
1655    Night location of SA & SB center of mass from M1.2 V1.7 XT542338
2101    SA, SB, SC sitrep negative
2137    SA combat patrol leaving perimeter at 7 o’clock to South, return in approx 60 min
2139    SA sitrep, no change, SH no change
2207    SA sitrep, no change
2230    SA 20 patrol returned to perimeter
2236    SB 30 LF saw 1 man run away from perimeter when SA MP shot star cluster for re-entry
2255    SH, SC, SB, SA sitrep, no change
2243    SB no change: SA10 no contact with LP for last 10-15, will keep trying, will send men out if contact is not restored
2400    Sabre elements sitrep, no change
2400    Closed

Apr 7

- 3/4 Cavalry OPCON to 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division for operation TOAN THANG.
Apr 8
- All 25th Infantry Division resources and assets were committed to operation TOAN THANG.
Apr 12
0100    SH, SB, Centaur65, SC, SA SITREP No Change
0207    SA, SB, Centaur 65, SC SH SITREP No Change
0255    SH, Centaur 65, SB, SA SC SITREP No Change
0358    SH, SB, Centaur 65, SC, SA SITREP No Change
0650    SA Stand-To complete
0814    A. Sabre 2.  B. One individual. C. Individual ran across open and disappeared from View. D. Requested Fire Mission.
0845    C9, C5 VTR 1 PC from A Send those elements to Sabre 6a location.  AVLB will be at the 3rd bridge
0914    SA SP.
0950     A Trp located XT 542579
0953    A Trp received small arms fire – returned fire with 90mm canister.
1011    A Trp reports new bunker with 2 persons presently, dismounts are maneuvering against the bunker.
1030    So.  Have Centaur 6 airborne for an air strike.
1042    Spotrep.  A. A10.  B. Received fire from bunker and saw one individual running. C. 1015H. D. It was fortified with overhead cover.
1050    1st prep complete, return to DT to refuel for 2nd prep
1057    Addition to msg #22 – received short burst of AK.  Checked the bunker and found two entrenching tools.
1114    KST spotted bunkers just west of A Trp psn.
1115    A Trp loc XT542579
1135    Issue 33 on station shortly.
1145    SA lead ‘C’ D 1.3 L 0.7 at vic loc 543583
1150    SA received sniper rounds from the left side of road; will fire canister into the location and continue.
1158    SA received more fire from AK; also 8 RPG-2 fires.
1208    56 – S33. RPG-2 hit SA25 tank with result of 2 WIA, no dustoff required now; turret damaged but tank is operational
1212    SC SP
1222    S3 – Flex 33.  Sabre 6 requests to stay in area of contact. Flexible 6 oks it
1234    Centaur 65 is dispatching dustoff to5 NL for 1 man with head wo0und – ambulatory
1242    Dustoff complete
1253    SA developing situation, negative on receiving any more fire
1320    Issue 32.  Airstrike on station for 1340H.  To strike area of 523611 – permission given by S6.
1330    Request dustoff for 1 individual from Centaur – go to loc of SB6, litter, serious
1340    SA operating east of road (same general area) entirely dismounted – area to thick for buicks and fords; received AK47 fire on man hit in head (ref 39)
1343    Dustoff complete – died enroute
1404    Loc SC “C” LO.8 D 2.0.  Loc SA “C” L 0.7 D 0.7.
1435    Issue 32 – Airstrike on station.  At approximately 1500H S6 will use it in SA area (Ramon Flight)
1440    SA Statue – 2 KIA – 1 WIA dustoff complete for K. PFC Everett (photo/shadowbox) and PFC McVay (photo/shadowbox) KIA.
1500    SC checking out bunkers.  SA pulled back some distance for artillery and airstrike.
1528    Airstrikes complete SA moving forward again to check extent of damage
1548    SA required another dustoff 1 litter – reaction to tear gas; gas was located in a 55 gal drum
1557    Dust off complete for SA
1559    SA65 1 dead VC found in AO.  Report will be sent
1742    SB reached SA lead proceed dismounted
1802    SA light location and SB fr C D 0,5 L 1.0 SC fr C D 0.3 L 0.7.
1816    Centaur gun team over SB loc
1817    S4 cancelled last three sorties for today
1818    Centaur 36.  Dustoff will be picked up for two litter cases.  Centaur 6 will have another dustoff ship come up or stand-by. Has two or three more casualties to bring to LZ
1820    Dustoff complete, 1 Kilo, 1 wounded
1825    Flexible 3. Request all Sabre elements to last night’s logger move air strike, coordination with artillery.  Sabre 6 agrees will detain NL
1834    Flexible 3 requests movement to NL ASAP
1854    Dustoff complete w/1 litter
1857    2 air strike complete, putting artillery on target.  SA, SC moving into last night’s logger position.
1915    SB needs another dustoff.  Centaur 6 wo;; talk it, cutoff ambulatory
1920    SA Wrap-Up. Received RPG, small arms, automatic weapons fire; 1 Buick hit, minor damage, operational again; 3 VC, body count. 1 RPG-7 captured 2 AK47 captured, destroyed 6 RPG-2 1 RPG-7, 2 Kilos, 3 wounded.
1924    Dust-Off complete
2000    Ambush Site coord 544595 East side of road, sniper fire for west. Automatic small arms, at east 1 RPG-2.  At coord indicated east-west trail 100 miles east side of road and extending to south some small arms from north of road.  4 VC body count.  Snipers in trees, 2 possible from ground elements.  2 of the body count have gotten by.  B20 element 200 meters south of ambush site.  SB casualties, 8 wounded, 1 killed, 1 in shock.
2010    Sabre element sitrep no change
2030    Issue 34  All air strikes completed
2100    SA, SB, SC Centaur Sitrep no change
2400    Journal Closed 12 April 1968
Late Apr - Intelligence sources indicate impending enemy attacks into the capital region.

May 2
- Enemy main force units of the 5th and 9th VC/NVA and the 7th NVA Divisions committed themselves to their approach marches into the capital region.
May 4
-  A new wave of attacks hit 109 cities, towns and bases all across South Vietnam.  This was the start of the Viet Cong (VC) and the North Vietnamese Army’s (NVA) “2nd Phase Offensive".
May 5
- Enemy units moving towards Saigon.
May 8
- A Troop road marches in to Saigon to block enemy approaches to city.  A Troop establishes cordon of the Cholon section of the city.  Troop maintains cordon for one week.  House to house searches take place during the week long cordon. Photos of troop appear in Time magazine (See May 17).
May 9
- At 0100 hours, 30 rounds of mixed 122mm and 107mm rockets struck the Cu Chi Base Camp. 7 US soldiers killed and 48 wounded.
May 10
- (from Bill Coomer) PFC Arthur C. Tijerina KIA. He was fairly new to the troop and came to the field with the evening chow.  He was on a tank, movement was observed through night vision devices, no weapons were identified, and the Trp received a few rounds of small arms fire resulting in Tijerina's death. Trp pursued with a patrol resulting in 2-3 enemy KIA's. 
May 13
- Enemy units which had moved towards SAIGON beginning on the 3rd of May were now exfiltrating the area in movements back to their sanctuary areas.
May 14
- Divisional units were now employed to pursue the fleeing enemy.
May 15
- (See Tropic Lightning News article). A Troop sweeps for the enemy in the northern HO BO WOODS and intercepts a large enemy unit moving north at XT560308. A Trp, commanded by CPT William 0. Coomer, spotted nine VC moving in the underbrush of an area cleared by Rome plows. 1LT Roger A. See and SP4 Roy A. Harbaugh led searches of tunnels that produced three VC detainees. PFC Lyall H. Chester of A Trp, during a search of a tunnel found approximately 50 pounds of medical supplies. In an all day battle, A Troop reinforced by the Squadron's C Troop and supported by gunships, artillery and air strikes accounted for 82 VC KIA and captured three prisoners. The PS's identified their unit as the 7th Battalion, SR-1, local force and reported that the battalion had been in constant contact for ten days with US and ARVN forces and had lost 400 of its 500 personnel either killed, wounded or missing. The surviving enemy pulls back into WAR ZONE C in northern TAY NINH Province. SP5 Taylor (photo/shadowbox) and PFC Rugar (photo/shadowbox) KIA.
May 16
- A Troop's M88 VTR hit by RPG fire.
May 17
- Photograph of A Troop during the Cordon of Cholon appears on page 27 of TIME Magazine's May 17th 1968 issue.  See the photograph here.
May 22
- 0840 hrs Troop A and Troop B search in an area a short distance to the northeast of the 1st Bn 5th Mech's prior contact at grid XT574278 came into contact with an unknown size enemy force. In a running battle which lasts all day, the cavalrymen, supported by helicopter gunships, artillery and air strikes, accounted for 29 VC dead.
May 26
- 2250 hrs 14 kilometers west of SAIGON at grid XS671925  the 4th Bn, 23rd Mech was located in a night defensive position. The battalion's night position came under mortar fire which was intermittent until 0330 hours when the position came under a massive ground attack. The 4th Bn 23rd Mech held off the human wave assaults with the aid of armed helicopters, artillery and air strikes.
May 27
- (See Tropic Lightning News article). At dawn, the 4th Bn 23rd Mech was reinforced by A Troop and C Troop. The combined US force moved out of the NDP at first light and pursued the enemy which was attempting to break contact. The fire-fights in the general vicinity continued until 1600 hours. The enemy body count within the NDP and the surrounding area was 243 VC KIA as compared to 6 US fatalities. In addition, three personnel were taken who identified their mauled unit as the 2nd Battalion, 273rd VC Regiment. Also captured were 28 AK-47 rifles, 11 RPG-2 rocket launchers, 16 machine guns, six 60mm mortars, 49 60mm mortar rounds, 58 hand grenades, 142 RPG-2 rounds and 22,500 rounds of small arms ammunition. See photo of captured weapons. SP4 Eugene Hilton WIA. PFC Ollie Sauls KIA.
- (from Rick Avant) The troop received orders to proceed to the Phu Tho Race Track where the VC had been spotted by scout helicopters.  Trp deployed in line formation and started receiving sniper fire.  Returned fire into the treeline.  Area was covered with trees laying down from Rome plowing.  VC had taken positions in spider holes under the tree roots.  Used grenades off the side of the tank to eliminate the VC in the spider holes.  LT See directs the platoon to keep moving and stay online.  Moved out and encounter more VC in spider holes to the front maining a 57mm recoilless rifle.  To close to them to depress main gun, 1st round misses.  Had to back up in order to engage.  2nd round destroys VC position crewing the recoilless rifle. SP5 Avant WIA and medevaced. (See Rick's detailed account: A Day at the Race Track)
- General Westmoreland, Commander, US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV) sent the following congratulatory message, a copy of which is in the 25th Division Foundation archives.
     "Fighting west of Phu Tho Race Track night of 26 May and continuing through 27 May has taken a heavy toll of enemy forces. Hearty congratulations to 4/23 Inf and to A and C Troops, 3/4 Cav for outstanding combat professionalism."
June 3
- SP4 Eugene Hilton (photo/shadowbox) dies from wounds received May 27th.

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