Inf Smashes VC Force
On Banks Of Song Ve River
26Aug1967-DUC PHO Pushing the
routed Viet Cong forces to the banks of the Song Ve River, 4th Infantry Division's 2nd
Battalion, 35th Infantry massed three companies and the reconnaissance platoon to seal off
enemy avenues of escape.
Tightening the cordon around the VC, the day-long battle left 65 enemy
killed by body count.
The operation was prompted by information from a Hoi Chanh who stated that
a large enemy unit was located about 19 miles northwest of here near the Cong Ve River.
Responding to the intelligence, the infantry men conducted combat assaults
into the area to find and destroy the enemy.
Companies A and C and the recon platoon were the first to touch down. They
deployed rapidly to encircle the enemy force.
In an effort to escape the grip of the infantrymen, the enemy began
fleeing to the north.
Observation helicopters of the brigade's aviation section immediately
engaged and killed six guerrillas and spotted what appeared to be the main force.
Flying over the area in the command and control ship, Lt. Col. Norman L.
Tiller, battalion commander, informed the company commanders of the rapidly developing
The ground troops were ordered to move north, pressing the fleeing enemy
toward the Song Ve River.
Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry was combat assaulted to the west
to block off the remaining route of escape.
With all paths of withdrawal blocked and the enemy contained, the three
companies and the recon began closing in on the besieged enemy force.
Under the mounting pressure, many guerrillas attempted to escape to the
river but were met by the devastating firepower of the gunships from the 174th, 161st, and
176th Aviation Companies.
The choppers maintained an effective screen around the cordon while the
Pushing in from three directions through thick, heavily vegetated
hedgerows interspersed with trenches, bunkers, and spider holes, all three companies
engaged the divided enemy forces.
With their control shattered, the guerrillas took to their underground
hideouts. Carefully searching each bunker and trench the infantrymen dislodged the
Contact was broken by late afternoon and on the battlefield lay 65 enemy
killed, 20 weapons, and large amounts of ammunition.
Source: Army Reporter, dated August 1967, provided by Les Hines, 123rd
Aviation Battalion Historian.