kills 76 VC during Op Coronado V
Cai Lai -
The 5th Mechanized Battalion, 60th Infantry was credited with 76 enemy
kills during Operation CORONADO V - the highest number of any single
unit participating in the search and destroy mission.
Fifty of the enemy died Sept. 13 in one fierce encounter along the
Rach Ba Muong River, four miles southwest of here.
The action began at 11 a.m. when two platoons from Company A, 5th-60th
and two platoons from Company C, 3d-60th were hit my machine gun fire
from four bunkers concealed in a wood line along the river.
The infantrymen turned in to attack and called in the 5th-60th
reconnaissance platoon for reinforcements.
Reports initially listed the enemy force at squad size but as the
fight became more intense, officers at the scene radioed that the VC
strength was much greater than originally estimated.
In the late afternoon recon platoon leader First Lieutenant Robert L.
Brechinor of Bakersfield, Calif., launched a swift attack against the
bunkers and found they were only part of a much larger complex.
A heavy volley of anti-tank round and automatic rifle fire answered
Artillery pounded the enemy position throughout the night though
ground contact was broken at nightfall.
A sweep the next day revealed the 30 enemy bodies.
Lieutenant Colonel William B. Steele of Carlisle, Pa. 5th-60th
battalion commander, praised the performance of his men against a
well-equipped and well-entrenched enemy.
killed in 27 days of Coronado V operations
Long Thanh - The 9th Division's Operation CORONADO V, originating in
the Cam Son Secret Zone of Dinh Tuong Province, moving into Kien Hoa
Province, and shifting to the Ban Long Secret Zone near Cam Son,
accounted for 330 enemy killed.
The operation ended Oct. 8, following 27 days of combat and patrol
missions in the watery lowlands of the Mekong Delta.
Soldiers of the Division's 2d Brigade, two battalions from the 3d
Brigade, and units of the 7th Division, Army of the Republic of
Vietnam (ARVN) saw the shapest fighting of the operation when they
searched the marshy Cam Son area during mid-September.
Infantry units, elements of U.S. Navy's Task Force 117, supporting
artillery, helicopter gun ships, and Air Force fighter-bombers killed
213 enemy soldiers during a six-day period ended Sept. 16.
Major battles erupted as the 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry; 3d
Battalion, 60th Infantry; 5th Mechanized Battalion, 60th Infantry and
the 2d Battalion, 60th Infantry clashed with the 263d Viet Cong
Battalion along the Ba Rai River 50 miles southwest of Saigon.
Action flared up again Oct. 6 and 7 when a total of 94 enemy were
killed during search and destroy missions in Dinh Tuong Province near
the site of the mid-September battles.
Totals for the operation, which began Sept. 12, show 11 individual
weapons captured, one crew-served weapon seized, and 11,200 rounds of
small arms ammunition taken from enemy supply caches.
Demolitions teams destroyed 1,143 bunkers, 41 rounds of enemy mortar
ammunition, 13 mines and 11 punji pits during the operation.
Five enemy rifles and two crew-served weapons were destroyed by
artillery fire and air strikes that pounded enemy fortifications in
support of Allied ground forces.
Thirty-five Americans, including six men serving with Naval Task Force
117, were killed during Operation CORONADO V.