Operation Akron

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Operation Akron
Part of Vietnam War
Operations east of Saigon June to Oct 1967.jpg
Map showing the operation area
Date9-29 June 1967
Location
11°09′58″N 106°39′58″E / 11.166°N 106.666°E / 11.166; 106.666
Result Allied operational success
Belligerents
 United States
 South Vietnam
Viet Cong
Commanders and leaders
United States MG George G. O'Connor
South Vietnam Gen Do Ke Giai
Senior Col. Nguyen The Truyen
Strength
United States 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division
United States 1st & 3rd Squadrons, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
South Vietnam 18th Division
5th Division
Casualties and losses
United States 9 killed
South Vietnam 51 killed
US/ARVN body count: 412 killed

Operation Akron was an operation conducted by the 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division and the 1st & 3rd Squadrons, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (11th ACR) in Hát Dịch, lasting from 9 to 29 June 1967.[1]:380

Background[edit]

Hát Dịch, housed Base Area 301, a staging area for the Viet Cong (VC) 5th Division from which they could harass Highway 1, the main supply route between Biên Hòa and Xuân Lộc District and all points further north. They could also interdict Highway 15 to Vũng Tàu, Highway 2 into Phước Tuy Province and Highway 20 to Da Lat. While earlier operations had pushed the 5th Division east into the Mây Tào Mountains, they were expected to return to the Hát Dịch during the rainy season. In early June U.S. forces operating 15 km south of Blackhorse Base Camp observed PAVN moving towards the Hát Dịch.[1]:379–80

9th Division commander MG George G. O'Connor devised the operation to clear the entire 250 square kilometers of Base Area 301. The 1st Brigade would move east from Highway 15 accompanied by an engineer task force. While the 1st Brigade provided protection, the engineers would use Rome plows to enlarge two parallel trails that eventually met east of Highway 2 and a third that joined the two in Hát Dịch. Simultaneously a squadron from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment would patrol with an Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Ranger battalion east of Hát Dịch.[1]:380

Operation[edit]

The operation commenced on 9 June and initially met little resistance. On 18 June the 3rd Squadron, 11th ACR located a recently abandoned VC camp on Slope 30 along Highway 2. That evening the 3/11th ACR established 4 separate night defensive positions west of Highway 2. At 01:00 on 19 January, the VC 1st Battalion, 274th Regiment attacked the northernmost defensive position which was the location of the squadron command post. The attack was beaten back after 1 hour by defensive fire, supporting artillery and helicopter gunships. 56 VC bodies were located around the perimeter, U.S. losses were 9 killed.[1]:380–2

On 26 June, a VC soldier defected at Tuc Trung on Highway 20, claiming to be from the 3rd Battalion, 275th Regiment and said that his unit was based 10 km northwest of Tuc Trung. On 27 June the ARVN 18th Division commander Gen. Do Ke Giai sent a Ranger unit to probe the campsite which they found to be abandoned, but fell into a VC ambush. A 1/11th ACR task force was dispatched to the scene that evening and the following morning arrived at the site of the battle finding ARVN and VC dead. Meanwhile, an ARVN Battalion had located the VC further east and were heavily engaged and the 1/11th ACR moved to support them, blocking the escape route across the Đồng Nai river with gunship and artillery fire, however the VC were able to disengage as night fell. The following day the ARVN located and overran a VC Company. ARVN losses were 51 killed, but they claimed to have killed 167 VC while U.S. forces claimed a further 49.[1]:383–4

In a follow up operation the ARVN engaged another VC force killing 40.[1]:385

Aftermath[edit]

Operation Akron officially concluded on 29 June, PAVN/VC losses were 412 killed, U.S. losses were 9 killed and ARVN losses 51 killed.[1]:385

References[edit]

 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 MacGarrigle, George (1998). Combat Operations: Taking the Offensive, October 1966 to October 1967. United States Army Center of Military History. ISBN 9780160495403. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.