Background[edit | edit source]
Cần Giuộc District was a Vietcong stronghold in the Mekong Delta. The operation plan called for the deployment of five Companies of the 3rd and 4th Battalions, 47th Infantry Regiment into the operations area by assault craft and sweep south towards the ARVN 2nd Battalion, 46th Infantry blocking positions near the town of Ap Bac. Company C, 3/47th Infantry would act as reserve.:106
Operation[edit | edit source]
On the morning of 19 June 3 Companies of the 4/47th Infantry were landed 4 km southeast of Cần Giuộc, 2 Companies of the 3/47th Infantry were landed 1.6 km south of Cần Giuộc while the ARVN 2/46th Infantry was landed near Ap Bac.
At 10:00 U.S. intelligence learned that a Battalion size Vietcong force was located east of the ARVN blocking position. Company C 3/47th Infantry was deployed by helicopter south of the reported Vietcong location while Company C 4/47th Infantry was moved by patrol craft northeast of the location. By 11:50 Company C 3/47th Infantry had swept the area but failed to locate any Vietcong, however Company C 4/47th Infantry encountered Vietcong positions as they moved west. At the same time Company A 4/47th Infantry moving south towards Company C 4/47th Infantry walked into an L-shaped ambush from well-entrenched Vietcong; exposed on open rice paddies the Company sustained heavy casualties.:106–7:37 Artillery and air support could not be used initially due to confusion over the location of the 4/47th Platoons, but from 12:00 helicopter gunship and artillery fire began to supplement the fire from small arms and nearby patrol craft.:107
Company B 4/47th Infantry was moved behind Company A while Company C, 3/47th Infantry was deployed north and then began to assault towards the east joining up with Companies A and B approaching from the northwest. Companies B and C continued attacking east while Company A moved into a blocking position to the north. By 20:00 darkness and enemy fire stopped the assault with Companies B and C 3/47th Infantry, still some 600 meters west of the ambush site.:107
With nightfall the casualties of Company A 4/47th Infantry were able to be evacuated while most of the Vietcong were able to escape through gaps in the U.S. positions. On 20 June 4/47th Infantry searched south of the ambush area locating a Vietcong force north of the Rach Gion Ong stream at Ap Nam and assisted by a Company from the 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, wiped out a Vietcong Platoon.:108
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
The operation concluded on 21 June, U.S. casualties were 46 killed and 15 sailors wounded, Vietcong losses were 255 killed.:39 Due to its location east of a town called Ap Bac, the 19 June ambush is sometimes referred to as Second Ap Bac after the disastrous Battle of Ap Bac on 2 January 1963, however that battle took place approximately 40 km further west.
References[edit | edit source]
- Fulton, William (1973). Vietnam Studies Reiverine Operations 1966-1969. Department of the Army. p. 104. http://www.history.army.mil/books/Vietnam/riverine/chapter6.htm#b4.
- "U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam Monthly Historical Supplement June 1967". Department of the Navy. 17 September 1967. p. 37. http://www.history.navy.mil/content/dam/nhhc/research/archives/commander-naval-forces-vietnam/monthly-summaries-1967/June1967.pdf. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
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