Operation Davy Crockett

Operation Davy Crockett was an operation during the Vietnam War, instigated by 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. It took place near Bong Son, and lasted from 1 to 16 May 1966.

Prelude

Following operations in the Central Highlands in March and April 1966, the 1st Cavalry Division returned to Bình Định Province in May. Intelligence indicated the presence of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) 22nd Regiment, 3rd Division on the Bong Son plain and the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division commanded by Col. Hal Moore was given the mission of engaging it.[1]:215

Operation

On the morning of 4 May 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment (1/7th Cavalry) and the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment (2/7th Cavalry) were landed by helicopter to the north and west of the suspected location of the PAVN 22nd Regiment while the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment established blocking positions to the east along Highway 1. The 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment (1/9th Cavalry) supported by ARVN armor then attacked north. The first day's operation killed 15 PAVN soldiers and several were captured, however the bulk of the PAVN unit (identified later as being the 9th Battalion, 22nd Regiment) avoided the engagement.[1]:215–6

At 13:50 on 5 May Troop D, 1/9th Cavalry was engaged by heavy weapons fire from the hamlet of Binh De 2. Col. Moore ordered his units to create a cordon around Binh De 2 which would then be softened up by artillery in preparation for an assault the following day. However, when the assault began the next morning it was clear that the PAVN had left the area. Shortly afterwards, PAVN fire downed a 1/9th Cavalry helicopter near the village of Thanh Son 2, approximately 5 km south of Binh De 2. Col Moore again ordered a cordon to be established around Thanh Son 2 and 1/7th Cavalry attacked the village from the north but was repulsed. Air strikes were called in however many PAVN were able to withdraw at nightfall under the cover of heavy rain. The following morning the cavalry forces entered Thanh Son 2 and captured some stragglers including the 9th Battalion's Political Officer. Also on 7 May the 3rd Brigade was reinforced by the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment.[1]:217–8

From 7–11 May the reinforced 3rd Brigade conducted fruitless searches of the Bong Son plain, then on the 11th the 2/7th Cavalry was landed by helicopter into the Kim Son Valley, establishing Firebases Bird and Pony, while the 1/9th Cavalry conducted aerial reconnaissance.[1]:218 Several small engagements took place, but no sizable units were located and Col. Moore terminated the operation on 16 May.[1]:219

Aftermath

Total US casualties were 28 killed, while the US claimed that Viet Cong losses were 345 killed and a further 192 estimated killed.[1]:219

References

 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 Carland, John (2000). Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, May 1965 to October 1966. United States Army Center of Military History. ISBN 9781782663430. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
3rd Division (Vietnam)

The 3rd Infantry Division also known as the Yellow Star Division is a division of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), first formed from Viet Cong (VC) and PAVN units in September 1965.

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.

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