Operation Burlington Trail

Operation Burlington Trail was a security operation conducted during the Vietnam War by the U.S. 198th Infantry Brigade in Quảng Nam Province, South Vietnam from 8 April to 11 November 1968.


In early April 1968, the 198th Infantry Brigade moved into the Quế Sơn Valley to replace the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. On arriving the Brigade was tasked with assisting the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment and the 39th Engineer Battalion in reopening Route 533 between Tam Kỳ and Tiên Phước Camp, 20 kilometers to the southwest. Units of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 2nd Division would also assist in searching the Viet Cong (VC) Base Area 117 in the mountains south of Route 533, which was believed to shelter the 72nd Main Force Battalion and the 74th Local Force Battalion.[1]:485


The operation began on 8 April when Companies C and D 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment were landed on two hilltops overlooking Route 533 10km southwest of Tam Kỳ.[1]

On 9 April the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment was landed on Hill 218, several km west of the 1/46th Infantry positions. The 1/6th Infantry began constructing Firebase Bowman (15°29′24″N 108°25′34″E / 15.49°N 108.426°E) to serve as the main fire support base for the operation.[2] Meanwhile Troop A and a platoon from Troop C 1/1st Cavalry, began their advance along Route 533 towards Tiên Phước. The column was ambushed by elements of the VC 72nd Main Force Battalion, but the Cavalry fought through the ambush, killing 33 VC and capturing 4.[1]:486

On 10 April, a VC mortar attack hit Firebase Bowman, killing 2 Americans and wounding 8. On the afternoon of 13 April Company A 1/6th Infantry, engaged a VC platoon 5 kilometers southwest of Firebase Bowman killing 7 VC while another 19 were killed by air strikes. That evening, the VC launched an attack on Company B 1/6th Infantry's night defensive position, wounding 22 Americans.[1]:486

On 14 April the Cavalry column reached Tiên Phước and by 17 April Route 533 was open to regular traffic.[1]:486

Later in April the remaining companies of the 1/46th Infantry joined the operation together with Company A, 1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry Regiment, which assumed responsibility for the defense of Firebase Bowman.[1]:486

On 30 April, a VC force attacked Firebase Bowman losing 4 dead and wounding 8 defenders. On 1 May, Company A 1/46th Infantry, was landed 11km southwest of Bowman and was engaged by a VC force, the VC lost 31 dead before disengaging.[1]:486

On 23 July elements of the 1/1st Cavalry engaged the VC 105th Local Force Company and elements of the VC 2nd Division’s engineer battalion near the southern entrance to the Quế Sơn Valley, 10km northeast of Tam Kỳ killing 68 VC.[1]:611

The operation continued until 11 November 1968.


VC losses were 1,931 killed, while U.S. losses were 129 killed.


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

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Villard, Erik (2017). United States Army in Vietnam Combat Operations Staying the Course October 1967 to September 1968. Center of Military History United States Army. ISBN 9780160942808. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. p. 5–65. ISBN 978-1555716257.
6th Infantry Regiment (United States)

The 6th Infantry Regiment ("Regulars") was formed 11 January 1812. Zachary Taylor, later the twelfth President of the United States, was a commander of the unit. The motto, "Regulars, By God!" derives from the Battle of Chippawa, in which British Major General Phineas Riall noticed that the approaching regiment had on the uniforms of militia, which the British had defeated at Queenston Heights. Instead, the Americans pressed the attack. Riall is assumed to have said, "Those are Regulars, By God!" (though the only source of this was opposing U.S. general Winfield Scott).

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1968)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1968, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their allies.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (A–F)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War, a war fought by America to try to stop communism in Southeast Asia, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their assorted allies. This is not a complete list. Operations are currently listed alphabetically, but are being progressively reorganised as a chronology.

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