Operation Hop Tac I

Operation Hop Tac I was a road security operation conducted during the Vietnam War by the U.S. 9th Infantry Division along Route 4 in Dinh Tuong Province, South Vietnam from 10 February to 10 March 1968.

Background

On 10 February, 9th Division commander Major General George G. O'Connor gave the commander of the 1st Brigade, 9th Division, Colonel Harry O. Williams, control of the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, 84th Artillery Regiment and Company A, 15th Engineer Battalion to conduct Operation Hop Tac I to secure and repair Route 4 across the length of Dinh Tuong Province.[1]:373

Operation

The operation proceeded uneventfully for the first week. On the evening of 14 February, three Vietcong (VC) battalions attacked Vĩnh Long and the 1st Brigade was put on alert to assist, however the South Vietnamese forces were able to force the VC out without U.S. assistance.[1]

Firebase Jaeger

The 1st Brigade had established Firebase Jaeger (10°23′42″N 106°16′34″E / 10.395°N 106.276°E) to support the operation approximately 7km northeast of Đồng Tâm Base Camp.[2] Jaegar was built on dry rice paddy criss-crossed by shallow dikes giving clear observation of the surrounding area. Four 155 mm howitzers of Battery B, 1/84th Artillery were located at Jaegar, together with Companies B and C, 5/60th Infantry, equipped with 25 M113 armored personnel carriers, a 30-man road-building team from Company B, 15th Engineers and a platoon from Company A, 2/39th Infantry. Half of the M113s were spaced at 25-meter intervals around the base perimeter, while the rest were concentrated at the center. Given the hard dried out ground, none of the M113s were dug in and the base was only lightly fortified.[1]

In the early hours of 25 February when 3-400 VC 263rd Main Force Battalion and the 313th Sapper Engineer Company approached Jaeger from the south, east, and west. At 01:45 an observation post on the southeast of the base saw VC through a Starlight scope and raised the alarm. Four M113s were sent to investigate the contact and had only just exited the north of the base when they were hit by Rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) setting the lead M113 on fire. Seconds later, more RPGs were fired at the M113s on the western perimeter setting a further 5 ablaze. VC sappers then attacked the perimeter wire with satchel charges. Col. Williams called for reinforcements from Firebase Hessian, 3km to the east and Firebase Fels, 3km to the west. At 02:45 a VC squad penetrated the artillery battery capturing 2 of the howitzers. The commander of Company C then called for artillery support from Firebases Hessian and Fels as airbursts directly over Jaeger. The defenders took cover as the artillery barrage temporarily disrupted the VC attack.[1]:374

A relief force of 7 M113s had left Firebase Hessian and despite losing 2 M113s to RPGs en route, 5 arrived at Jaeger at 03:00 and began attacking the VC around the perimeter. By 03:15 the VC began retreating. At 03:30 M113s carrying Company A, 2/39th Infantry arrived from Firebase Fels and pursued the VC to the south. At 04:15 Company C 2/39th Infantry, walked in from Firebase Fels and by 05:15 the area had been secured and the engagement was over. 22 Americans had been killed, 9 M113s had been destroyed and two howitzers had been damaged. The VC had lost approximately 100 killed.[1]:374-6

Aftermath

VC activity in Dinh Tuong Province dropped off noticeably after the battle at Firebase Jaeger. U.S. night ambushes of VC mine-laying teams on Route 4 reduced mine attacks to negligible levels. The operation concluded on 10 March 1968.[1]:377

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 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. pp. 5–261. ISBN 978-1555716257.
Firebase (U.S.-Vietnam War)

Firebases in the U.S.-involvement Vietnam War, were a type of military base, usually fire bases.

It may refer to:

Firebase 6, Central Highlands

Firebase Airborne, central South Vietnam

Firebase Argonne, Quảng Trị Province

Firebase Atkinson, southwest South Vietnam

Firebase Bastogne, Thua Thien Province

Firebase Berchtesgaden (Firebase Eagle's Nest) Thừa Thiên–Huế

Firebase Betty, Bình Thuận Province

Firebase Bird, southern South Vietnam

Firebase Birmingham, Thừa Thiên–Huế Province

Firebase Checkmate, central South Vietnam

Firebase Crook, southwest South Vietnam

Firebase Cunningham, central South Vietnam

Firebase Currahee, central South Vietnam

Firebase Delta, Central Highlands

Firebase Fuller, central South Vietnam

Firebase Gela, southern South Vietnam

Firebase Gio Linh, central South Vietnam

Firebase Granite, central South Vietnam

Firebase Hawk Hill, central South Vietnam

Firebase Henderson, Quảng Trị Province

Firebase Illingworth, southwest South Vietnam

Firebase Jaeger, Dinh Tuong Province; involved in Operation Hop Tac I

Firebase Jay, southwest South Vietnam

Firebase Kate (Firebase White) Quang Duc Province; aka Landing Zone Kate

Firebase Maureen, central South Vietnam

Firebase Mile High, Central Highlands

Firebase Neville, Quảng Trị Province

Firebase Pedro, central South Vietnam

Firebase Ripcord, Thua Thien Province

Firebase Ross, Quảng Nam Province

Firebase Russell, Quảng Trị Province

Firebase Sarge (Firebase Dong Toan) central South Vietnam

Firebase St. George, Central Highlands

Firebase Thunder III, southern South Vietnam

Firebase Tomahawk, central South Vietnam

Firebase Veghel, central South Vietnam

Firebase Vera, central South Vietnam

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (G–L)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War 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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