Operation Bushmaster II (also known as the Battle of Ap Nha Mat) was a US Army operation that took place in the Michelin Rubber Plantation, lasting from 1 to 6 December 1965.
On the evening of 27 November 1965 the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 7th Regiment, 5th Division operating in the Michelin Rubber Plantation was overrun by the Viet Cong (VC) 271st and 273rd Regiments, killing most of the Regiment (possibly up to 500 soldiers) and its 5 US advisers.. MG Seaman ordered Col. William Brodbeck's 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division to rescue the shattered 7th Regiment. Several days later intelligence was received that the VC Phu Loi Battalion and the 272nd Regiment were operating in the area and the mission was changed to locating and engaging these units. The Viet Cong forces meanwhile prepared an ambush for the incoming assault planned by US forces.
Operation Bloodhound, later renamed Operation Bushmaster II, commenced on 1 December when the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment (2/2nd Infantry) was landed at Landing Zone Dallas ( ) inside the Michelin Rubber Plantation. LZ Dallas was to serve as the command post for the two Battalions involved in the operation. From 2–5 December the US Battalions searched southeast of LZ Dallas in the VC base area known as the Long Nguyen Secret Zone.:89
At midday on 5 December, three companies from the 2/2nd Infantry assaulted a VC base complex and were met by heavy fire from the entrenched VC. An American attempt to outflank the VC position was repulsed and the VC force then attempted to outflank and press the Americans who retreated into a defensive perimeter.:5 The 2/2nd Infantry commander LCol. Shuffer called for air and artillery support and the 8th Battalion, 6th Artillery Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 32nd Artillery Regiment provided fire support on the southwestern perimeter, while air strikes were conducted on the east and helicopter gunships strikes on the north. The VC attempted to escape this firepower by "hugging" the American positions, but were forced back by small arms fire. The barrage continued for over 4 hours allowing the 2/2 Infantry to secure their position and to allow Companies A and C to move south behind a creeping barrage to overrun the VC bunkers. 18 aerial sorties were conducted alongside the artillery barrage, which prompted the VC to withdraw.:2 By 14:30 the VC begun withdrawing, leaving behind their dead and wounded. LCol. Shuffer decided not to pursue the retreating VC fearing a further ambush and withdrew into a night perimeter.:89–92
The 2/2nd Infantry spent the next few days policing the battlefield and destroying bunkers and Operation Bushmaster II ended on 6 December.:92
Total US casualties were 44 killed and 3 missing, while the US claims VC losses were 318 killed and 27 captured and 75 individual weapons were recovered.:6-7 The 272nd Regiment disappeared for the next four months presumably to recover its losses.:92
This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1965, 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.Long Nguyen Secret Zone
The Long Nguyen Secret Zone was a geographical area of the Republic of Vietnam, a heavily-forested area located between Highway 13 and the Michelin Rubber Plantation about 56 kilometers (35 mi) northwest of Saigon, in Binh Duong Province that served as a Viet Cong divisional sanctuary.It was the site of numerous military operations during the Vietnam War, including:
Operation Bushmaster II
Operation Shenandoah II
Easter Offensive (1972)
Post-Paris Peace Accords (1973–1974)