attack Xom Cau after 5-60 joins Coronado V
By SP5 Mike Renshaw - Staff Writer
XOM CAU - The Viet Cong returned.
It was a brief encounter and the enemy was beaten back, but the attack
proved to the villagers here that the VC have not conceded defeat in
the fight for control of this hamlet.
Soldiers from the 5th Mechanized Battalion, 60th Infantry had wrested
the village of Thanh Phu Long from a Viet Cong stranglehold and two
months ago elements of the battalion moved right into the hamlet of
Xom Cau to provide security so residents could live and work without
the continual threat of enemy terrorism.
Villagers returned. The market reopened. Commerce increased.
The mechanized infantrymen moved out temporally to take part in
Operation CORONADO V.
Two days later (Sept. 15), the VC attacked the village. Hamlet
securtiy during the absence of the Americans had been left to the
Vietnamese 848th Regional Forces Company.
When the enemy probed the small outpost on the outskirts of the
village at sundown Friday, the Regional Forces soldiers returned a
heavy volume of fire. After 30 minutes, the enemy withdrew.
One RF soldier died in the encounter and another was seriously
wounded. Enemy losses are unknown.
Army of the Republic of Vietnam officials estimated the enemy force at
Captain Richard L. Weber of Sharon, Pa., Intelligence officer for the
5th-60th, speculated that the platoon was part of the 313th Viet Cong
Company which has been reported working in the Xom Cau area.
Analyzing the action, Captain Tommie G. Copeland, battalion Civil
Affairs officer, said, "I'm sure the VC realize that even though we
wern't physically in Xom Cau, we certainly don't plan to let them take
it back. The RF soldiers sure gave the VC a fight they weren't
Copeland said the 5th-60th will return to the hamlet as soon as
CORONADO V mop up operations are completed.
"Sure, the VC have more sabotage and harassment plans," he continued.
"We're finding various types of enemy propaganda leaflets on the road
to Xom Cau and even in the hamlet; but whenever they try again, we'll
be ready for them."