Operation Birmingham

Operation Birmingham was a military operation of the Vietnam War in War Zone C, north of Saigon conducted by the U.S. 1st Infantry Division and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 5th Division from 24 April to 17 May 1966.


The objective of the operation was to sweep War Zone C and engage the Viet Cong (VC) 9th Division.


The operation began on 24 April and in the first few days there was only sporadic contact with VC, however a number of supply caches were located.[1]:308

On 27 April a battalion of the 1st Brigade killed 3 VC and discovered several tons of supplies, while a battalion of the 3rd Brigade found a battalion-size VC base camp.[1]

On 30 April two battalions of the 1st Brigade swept north along the east bank of the Rach Cai Bac river on the border between South Vietnam and Cambodia attracting fire from both across the river in Cambodia and from the Vietnamese hamlet of Lo Go. The 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment engaged the forces firing from Cambodia while the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment engaged the VC in Lo Go. The fighting at Lo Go continued into the afternoon when the VC, latter identified as coming from the C230 Battalion, withdrew leaving 54 dead. U.S. losses were 6 killed.[1]

The operation continued for another two weeks as the 1st Infantry Division swept War Zone C in the hope of finding COSVN headquarters which was believed to located in northern Tây Ninh Province, but there were no other major engagements.[1]:308-9

Operation Birmingham also employed two brigades of the Vietnamese Mobile Guerrilla Forces (MGFs) whose primary objective was to locate and engage VC forces as well as to destroy their base camps along the Cambodian border. These brigades moved rapidly to exploit recently acquired intelligence on enemy installations and movements and were frequently transported by helicopter to locations throughout Tây Ninh Province. The MGFs utilized guerrilla warfare tactics that were often employed by the VC against U.S. and ARVN units.[2]


The operation ended on 17 May 1966.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

  1. ^ a b c d Carland, John (2000). Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, May 1965 to October 1966. Center of Military History United States Army. ISBN 9780160501975. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Olson, James S. (2008). In Country: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. New York, New York: Metro Books. p. 458. ISBN 978-1-4351-1184-4.

External links

4th Cavalry Regiment (United States)

The 4th Cavalry Regiment is a United States Army cavalry regiment, whose lineage is traced back to the mid-19th century. It was one of the most effective units of the Army against American Indians on the Texas frontier. Today, the regiment exists as separate squadrons within the U.S. Army. The 1st Squadron of the 4th Cavalry's official nickname is "Quarterhorse", which alludes to its 1/4 Cav designation. The 3rd Squadron of the 4th Cavalry's official nickname is "Raiders". Today, the "1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry", "2nd Squadron, 4th Cavalry", "4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry", and "6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry" are parts of the 1st Infantry Division, while the "3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry" serves as part of the 25th Infantry Division. On 23 September 2009, the "4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry" officially stood up at Fort Riley, Kansas as part of the 1st "Devil" Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. On 28 March 2008, the "5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry" officially stood up at Fort Riley, Kansas as part of the 2nd "Dagger" Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. The 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry served as part of the recently inactivated 1st Infantry Division, 3rd "Duke" Brigade, at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

5th Division (South Vietnam)

The Fifth Division of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)—the army of the nation state of South Vietnam that existed from 1955 to 1975—was part of the III Corps that oversaw the region of the country surrounding the capital, Saigon.

The Fifth Division was based in Biên Hòa, a town on the northern outskirts of Saigon, and due to the division's close proximity to the capital Saigon was a key factor in the success or failure of the various coup attempts in the nation's history. As a result, the loyalty of the commanding officer of the division was crucial in maintaining power.

9th Division (Vietnam)

The 9th Infantry Division is a division of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), first formed from Viet Cong units in 1964/5 in the Mekong Delta region.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1966)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1966, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their allies.

Outline of the Vietnam War

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Vietnam War:

Vietnam War – Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War (1946–54) and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States, Philippines and other anti-communist allies. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People's Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units to battle.

War zone C

War Zone C was the area in South Vietnam centered around the abandoned town of Katum near the Cambodian border where there was a strong concentration of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC) activity during the Vietnam War. This area war reportedly the general location of COSVN, the headquarters for communist military and political activities in the southern half of Vietnam.

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