In the last four months of 1964, the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
deployed twenty-six "A" Detachments and three "B"
Detachments to the Republic of Vietnam to assist Special Forces Vietnam
during the phase-in of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Listed
below are the designations of these Detachments, their locations and
a brief summary of their mission: (7)
A-131 was initially split into two teams. A-131A under the command
of the Executive Officer, Lt Harpole, was sent to Dong Ba Thin, and
A-131B under the command of the Detachment Commander, Capt Luck, was
sent to Trung Dung, both camps being located in Khanh Hoa Province,
II CTZ. During the period 24 July 1964 -10 November 1964, each team
was given the mission of pacification of the area. and interdiction
of VC lines of communication. In November A-131A rejoined A-131B and
the detachment was moved to Long Van, where it was assigned the mission
of the defense of the Long Van airfield until their return to Okinawa
on 17 January 1965.
A-414, commanded by Capt Pearce, was located at A Ro, Quang
Nam Province, I CTZ during the period 7 August 1964 thru 2 February
1965. A-414's primary mission was the surveillance of the Vietnam-Laotian
border. They were assigned a secondary mission of pacification of the
assigned area of operations. A considerable amount of the Detachment'
s time was devoted to building an airstrip and finishing the fortifications
and permanent buildings of the camp.
B-210, commanded by Major McNulty, was located at two different
camps in II CTZ. Arriving on 21 August 1964 the detachment replaced
B-330 at Pleiku, Pleiku Province, II CTZ. While at Pleiku, the Detachment
maintained operational control over 21 "A" Detachments with
a primary mission of interdicting VC routes of communication. In mid-November,
the detachment moved to Ban Me Thuot, Dar Lac Province, II CTZ, where
it maintained operational control of seven "A" Detachments
until its return to Okinawa on 16 February 1965.
A-l13, commanded by Capt Harper, was located at A Shau, Thua
Thien Province, I CTZ, during the period 21 August 1964 to 16 February
1965. The Detachment was given the mission of surveillance of the Vietnam-Laotian
border and interdiction of VC routes of communication. In August, the
camp was virtually destroyed by Typhoon TILDA causing a suspension of
long-range operations while the camp was being rebuilt.
Upon its arrival in Vietnam on 24 August 1964, Detachment A-311
was split. A-311A, under the command of the Detachment Commander, Capt
Darnell, was sent to Buon Sar Par, where it remained until 5 October
1964 at which time the camp was closed. In October, A-311A relocated
to Pleiku where the Detachment became involved in training air-mobile
reaction forces. A-311B, under the command of the Executive Officer,
Capt Webb, was initially sent to Bu Prang until 5 October 1964, at which
time the camp was closed and the detachment moved to Kontum to open
a new camp. Detachment A-311 returned to Okinawa on 25 January 1965.
A-422, commanded by Capt Guynn, was located at Plei Ta Nagle,
Pleiku Province, II CTZ, during the period 21 August 1964 to 16 February
1965. The detachment's primary mission was to assist the Vietnamese
Army Special Forces (LLDB) in advising and equipping the Civilian Irregular
Defense Group (CIDG). In Addition, the Detachment was able to accomplish
numerous civic action projects which greatly assisted in the pacification
of their area of operation.
B-320, Commanded by Major Hiebert, was, on its arrival on 4
September 1964, located at Saigon and had operational control over nine
"A" Detachments within the III CTZ. In December, with the
arrival of personnel from the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), to
include a new "B" and "C" Detachment, B-320 was
moved to Tay Ninh, Tay Ninh Province, III CTZ, where they remained until
their return to Okinawa on 2 March 1965. During this period, the detachment
was given the mission of assisting the LLDB in extending the government's
control to remote areas, in addition to conducting combat operations
against the Viet Cong war zones and base areas in III CTZ.
B-130, commanded by Major Drake, was located at Can Tho, Phong
Dinh Province, IV CTZ, from 14 September 1964, to 10 December 1964,
and had operational control over seven "A" Detachments. In
December, when the Detachment moved to Long Xuyen, An Giang Province,
IV CTZ, they retained control of five "A" Detachments. B-130
remained at Long Xuyen until its return to Okinawa on 3 March 1965.
The mission of B-130 throughout the tour was to provide administrative
and logistical support to the "A" Detachments in IV CTZ, and
to advise the LLDB on Civic action, Psychological warfare and small
A-213, commanded by Capt C.R. Smith, was located at An Long,
Kien Phong Province, IV CTZ, during the period 11 September 1964 thru
10 February 1965. The mission of this detachment was to advise, equip
and train the CIDG force in border surveillance operations. A unique
aspect of this mission required that border surveillance operations
had to be conducted using either plastic assault boats or locally procured
sampans, powered by outboard motors. In Addition to combat operations,
A-213 spent considerable time maintaining and improving the camp defenses.
A-223, commanded by Capt Sutton, was located at Bu Gia Map,
Phouc Long Province, III CTZ, during the period 11 September 1964 thru
10 March 1965. A-223 was initially given the mission of surveillance
of the Vietnam-Laotian border, however, in November, this mission was
changed to interdiction of known or suspected VC infiltration routes.
This mission was effectively carried out by means of long range patrols.
Through initially hampered by a lack of intelligence, the Detachment
assisted the LLDB in establishing an effective intelligence net. The
highlight of the detachment's tour was a company size patrol commanded
by the Executrive Officer, Lt Overcash, which, acting on reliable intelligence,
destroyed a Viet Cong Hospital and rest area along the Cambodian border
along with quantities of medical supplies and clothing.
A-211, commanded by Capt Van Dine, was located at Don Phuoc,
Kien Phong Province, IV CTZ, during the period 3 October 1964 thru 15
January 1965. At Don Phuoc, the Detachment's mission was surveillance
of the Vietnam-Cambodian border. The Detachment accomplished its mission
using boats and sampans. It was during the conduct of such an operation
in October 1964, that Capt Towery, the Executive Officer, was killed
in Action. On 15 January, the team moved to Thu Duc, Bien Hoa Province,
III CTZ, with a mission of training Vietnamese Rangers. The Detachment's
replacement XO, Lt Sandlin proceeded to Nui Ba Den, Tay Ninh Province,
III CTZ, where he took command of a security force guarding a radio
relay station. The detachment returned to Okinawa on 17 March 1965.
A-411, commanded by Capt Healy, was located at Trang Sup, Tay
Ninh Province, III CTZ, during the period 9 October 1964 thru 6 April
1965. The Detachment, operating with CIDG companies, had a primary mission
of conducting combat operations in War Zone "C" and a secondary
mission of surveillance of the Vietnam-Cambodian border.
A-424, commanded by Capt R. Allen, was located at two different
camps. From 11 October 1964 to 15 January 1965, the Detachment was located
at Long Khot, Kien Tuong Province, IV CTZ, while the new camp was being
built. In January, the Detachment moved to Binh Than Thon, in the same
province. A-424's mission was that of border surveillance and pacification
of its assigned area of operations. The Detachment returned to Okinawa
on 2 April 1965.
A-434, commanded by Capt Barnett, was located at Loc Ninh, Binh
Long Province, III CTZ, during the period 9 October 1964 - 6 April 1965.
A-434's mission was to advise, train and equip the CIDG companies assigned
to Loc Ninh, and to conduct combat operations against the VC infiltration
routes connecting War Zone "D" with War Zone "C"
across the souther portion of Loc Ninh.
A-221, commanded by Capt Ballard, was located initially at Muc
Hoa, Kien Tuong Province, IV CTZ, from 15 October 1964 - 6 March 1965.
A-221's mission was to conduct border surveillance of the Vietnam-Cambodian
border. On 7 March, the Detachment moved to Long Xuyen, An Giang Province,
IV CTZ, where it began a training program for the CIDG and Regional-Popular
forces in IV CTZ. The Detachment returned to Okinawa on 3 April 1965.
A-114, commanded by Capt Ekman, was located at Suoi Da, Tay
Ninh province, III CTZ, from 9 October 1964 to 6 April 1965. The Detachment
was given the mission of interdicting VC infiltration routes within
War Zone "C". In addition to conducting combat operations,
the Detachment implemented extensive civic action programs and psychological
warfare operations within its area of operations.
A-233, commanded by Capt Kincheloe, was located at Dong Tre,
Fhu Yen province, II CTZ, from 16 October 1964- 12 April 1965. The Detachment's
mission was to advise, equip, and train CIDG companies, and conduct
combat operations in its assigned area. The Detachment also initiated
a civic action program which included building a library for the civilian
population located in the area.
A-231, commanded by Capt Viau, was located at Kannack, Binh
Dinh province, II CTZ, during the period 16 October 1964 through 21
Apri1 1965. On the night of 8 March 1965, the camp successfully repulsed
an attack by two hardcore Viet Gong battalions, killing 119 of the attackers
and capturing large quantities of arms and equipment. For his part in
the action, Capt Viau has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
A-133, commanded by Capt, Cale, was located at two different
camps during the period 16 October 1964 through 12 April 1965. From
20 October 1964 to 22 January 1965, the Detachment was located at Polei
Krong, Phu Bon Province, II CTZ, with the mission of advising, equipping,
and training CIDG companies. In February , the Detachment moved to Dien
Khanh, Quang Duc Province, II CTZ, and successful1y recruited members
of the local populace into the Regional-Popular Forces Program. Prior
to A-l33's return to Okinawa, part of the recruits were turned over
to the local District Chief and incorporated into his Regional Force
A-322, commanded by Capt Haley, was located at Kham Duc, Quang
Tin Province, I CTZ, during the period 27 October 1964- 23 April 1965.
A-322's mission was to assist and advise the established CIDG companies
in the conduct of border surveillance operations. In addition, the Detachment
trained other CIDG personnel in tactics, communications, weapons, and
intelligence gathering. After completion of the training program, the
recruits were sent to other camps within II CTZ to be incorporated into
the existing CIDG forces.
A-323, commanded by Capt C. Allen, was located at Khe Shan,
Quang Tri Province, I CTZ, during the period 27 October 1964- 23 April
1965. A-323's mission was to conduct border surveillance operations
along the Vietnam-Laotian border, gathering information on North Vietnamese
troop movements. In addition to the border surveillance mission, the
Detachment also acted as a Sector Advisor Team for the military: Assistance
Command, Vietnam (MACV).
A-122, commanded by Capt F. Brown, was located at Gia Vuc, Quang
Ngai Province, I CTZ, during the period 30 October 1964 thru 18 April
1965. Gia Vuc was organized under the CIDG program with the primary
mission of pacifying the immediate operational area. In addition to
normal combat operations, A-l22 trained 350 CIDG recruits, who were
posted to other camps, and assisted in establishing a New Life Hamlet
for more than 1,000 Montagnard refugees who were previously under Viet
A-324, commanded by Capt Moon, was located at Gia Vuc, Quang
Ngai Province, I CTZ. A-324's mission was to advise, equip, and train
the established CIDG companies in the pacification of their assigned
area of operation.
A-431, commanded by Capt Terrana, was located at Phey Srunh,
Tuyen Duc Province, II CTZ, on 30 October 1964. In anticipation of the
closing of Phey Srunh and the subsequent turnover of the camp to the
local Vietnamese authorities, four members of the Detachment were sent
to Post Duc Lac to set up a forward operational base to be used in the
conduct of long range operations. Prior to the new camps completion,
the Detachment returned to Okinawa.
A-432, commanded by Capt P. Anderson, was located at Buon Beng,
Phu Bon Province, II CTZ, during the period 30 October 1964 thru 27
April 1965. The Detachment's duties consisted of assisting the District
Chief and other local officials in establishing control over the area
through civic action a saturation patrolling of the area/
A-224, commanded by Capt Popham, was located at Duc Co, Pleiku
Province, II GTZ, during the period 6 November 1964 -30 April 1965.
The Detach mission was to advise, equip and train GIDG companies, and
to conduct surveillance operations along the Vietnam-Laotian border.
On the Detachment's arrival at Duc Co, the camp defenses were approximately
45 percent completed. During the following six months, the Detachment
not only completed the defenses, but also conducted numerous long range
combat operations along the border.
A-313, commanded by Capt R. Mendoza, was located at Plei Me,
Pleiku Province, II CTZ, during the period 6 November 1964 thru 30 April
1965. The Primary mission of A-313 was to conduct border surveillance
operations al the Vietnam-Laotian border. One unusual aspect of this
operation was organization of a Montagnard Scout, platoon which proved
invaluable in gathering of intelligence.
A-331, commanded by Capt Charles Mendoza, was located at Tinh
Gien, Chau Doc Province, IV CTZ, during the period 6 November 1964 thru
30 April 1965. Initially, the Detachment was given the mission of advising
and assisting the LLDB in the conduct of border surveillance. During
the last three months, the Detachment was one of the two test Detachments
in IV CTZ given the additional mission of advising the local Vietnamese
District and his Regional-Popular Force troops in military and civic
action matters. The initial program had no provisions for basic training
but concentrated on advising the troops during actual combat operations.
A-334, commanded by Capt Lockridge, was located initially at
Dak To, Kontum Province, II CTZ, during the period 6 November 1964 -15
January 1 January, the Detachment was split; A-334A, under command of
Capt Lockridge moved to Pleiku, Pleiku Province, II CTZ. A-334B, under
the command of the Executive Officer, Capt Neumann, moved to Plateau
Gi and built a new camp. Capt Neumann's home town sent 54 large boxes
of clothing and blankets for families of the Strike Force personnel.
The Detachment returned to Okinavm on 21 April 1965.
Of the 16 Detachments deployed to Vietnam from the 1st Special Forces
Group (Airborne) during 1965, 7 returned during the period of this
report. The following is a brief summary of their activities:
A-121, commanded by Major Cole, was located at Qui Nhon, Binh
Dinh province, II CTZ, during the period 9 April 1965 -5 October 1965.
This detachment, a modified "A" Detachment, acted as a "B'
Detachment with operational control over four "A" Detachments
from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Binh Dinh Province.
A-l21 was required to set up RF/PF camps to accommodate three new teams
that were being organized to support the new Regional-Popular Forces
Program. A-121 accomplished its mission by getting the initial RF/PF
program started and operating smoothly before a full "B" Detachment
A-123, was commanded by Capt Dugan during the period 27 April
1965 thru 12 October 1965. A-123 was located at Binh Khe, Binh Dinh
Province, II CTZ. Initial1y, the Detachment was given the mission of
training regional force/ popular force personnel. On or about 1 August
1965, the mission was changed, requiring the Detachment to recruit,
equip, and train CIDG forces which it supported and advised. The ultimate
mission of Camp Binh Khe waS to retake and reoccupy the Vinh Thanh Valley.
A-l23' s operational activities were highlighted by participation in
joint operations with the 101st Airborne Brigade and the 1st Cavalry
Division, which enabled the Detachment to penetrate portions of its
operational area that had been denied previously.
A-321 was commanded by Capt P. Davis during the period 27 April
1965 thru 22 October 1965. A-321 was located at Camp Bong Son, Binh
Dinh Province, II CTZ. The mission of this detachment was three-fold,
to serve as advisors to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Headquarters
in Hoai Nhon District, to construct a new U.S. Special Forces camp at
Bong Son, and to and to train and conduct operations with the RF/PF
troops. A-321's activities were highlighted by an operation conducted
on 18 June 1965. During the operation, Capt Davis, MSgt Waugh, SSgt.
Morgan, SP4 Brown, and five PF platoons were pinned down by an estimated
reinforced VC Company. Although the VC had superior forces and the tactical
advantage, Capt Davis refused to allow them to break contact. This resulted
in keeping the VC off balance and providing lucrative targets for RVNAF
and USAF aircraft. Approximately 200 VC were killed by the combined
ground/air action. Capt Davis was awarded the Silver Star Medal for
his heroism during this engagement. On a later operation, SSgt Morgan
was killed, increasing to 25 the number of personnel from the 1st Special
Forces Group (Airborne) killed in action. (9)
A-111 was commanded by Capt R. Hart during the period 4 May 1965
Thru 31 October 1965. A-111 was initially stationed at Tri Ton Chau
Doc Province, IV CTZ, from 14 May to 5 October 1965. While in Tri Ton,
the Detachment had the mission of a sub-sector advisory team in conjunction
with the RF/PF program. From 6 October to 30 October 1965, the Detachment
was stationed on the island of Phu Quoc, Kien Giang Province, IV CTZ.
At Phu Quoc, the Detachment received an additional mission of training
a company of CIJG troops. A-111's activities were highlighted by their
psychological operations and civic action projects. The Detachment's
location was in the middle of the KKK religious group who were fighting
against the Vietnamese, advocating that two RVN provinces be turned
over to Cambodia. Through the efforts of the Detachments extensive psychological
operations and civic action programs, two companies of KKK surrendered
to the ARVN authorities. General Ky personally came to the area to accept
the surrender and a pledge of allegiance from the KKK personnel. Capt
Hart was presented the Vietnamese Medal of Honor, 1st Degree, for his
excellent guidance and tireless efforts in implementing the programs.
A-311 was commanded by Capt W. Otte during the period 4 May
1965 thru 27 October 1965. A-311 was located at Camp Tan Chan, Chau
Doc Province, IV CTZ. The Detachment was the first team to assume the
mission of sub-sector advisor for the Tan Chan District. A-311 activities
were highlighted by the establishment of a mobile training team, consisting
of five US and seven ARVN soldiers. This team trained the Popular Force
troops in the remote outposts and concurrently conducted medical patrols,
civic action, and Psychological operation activities in the various
hamlets. The increased enemy casualties and equipment captured, plus
the marked improvement in the collection of intelligence, were indicative
of the program's success.
A-122 was commanded by Capt W. Myers during the period 1 June
1965 thru 28 October 1965. A-122, located at Tuy Phouc, Binh Dinh Province,
II CTZ, trained RF/PF troops and conducted combat operations. A-1221s
operations were successful in pacifying the immediate operational area.
Villages in the area were cleared of VC and secured by PF troops. Many
civic action projects were initiated, and with assistance from USOM,
destroyed villages were rebuilt and repopulated with loyal South Vietnamese.
A-223 was commanded by Capt E. Murphy during the period 13 July
1965 thru 21 December 1965. The Detachment was located at Hoai An, Binh
Dinh Province, II CTZ, and had the mission of training CIDG forces and
acting as sub-sector advisors. In order to accomplish these two missions,
the Detachment initiated and provided advice on a number of combat operations,
psychological operations, and civic action projects in an attempt to
pacify and maintain control over its area of operations. A-223's activities
were highlighted by Operation Harvest. This operation involved moving
a reinforced RF Company into a VC controlled area to protect the local
farmers during the harvest and to deny the crop to the VC. With support
from friendly forces, the farmers were able to harvest and move 100
tons of rice to a safe location.
As of 31 December 1965, the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) had
nine Detachments remaining in the Republic of Vietnam. The following
is a list of these Detachments, their locations, and the names of the
A-213 Van Canh, Dinh Dinh, II; Capt Schroeder
A-322 Dak To, Kontum, II; Maj Ruhlin
A-112 Mai Linh, Phu Bon, II; Capt Gregor
A-212 Song Mao, Binh Thuan, II; Maj Bass
A-221 Kien Binh, Kien Tuong, IV; Capt Holland
A-211 Vinh Thanh, binh Thanh, II; Capt Durr
A-114 Bong Son, Binh Dinh, II; Capt Snyder
A-324 Tien Phuoc, Quang Tin, I; Capt O'Connor
A-113 Da Nang, Quang Nam, I; Capt Stitt