In September 1967 the 1st Brigade was assigned responsibility for destroying base areas in the Ho Bo Woods, which were believed to be sheltering the Viet Cong 1st and 7th Battalions. U.S. forces had last entered the area in June 1967 during Operation Manhattan.:373
The plan called for 4 artillery battalions to support the attack, 2 of which would establish firebases on Route 6A near the Saigon River. A battalion from the 3rd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division would form a screening force along the river and the 1st Brigade would then sweep through the woods. After eliminating any resistance, the 1st Brigade would provide security while the 168th Engineer Battalion would use Rome plows to clear the woods. The entire operation was to be completed by the end of October.:373
On 14 September the two artillery battalions moving along Route 6A became stuck in mud several kilometers from the planned firebase locations. The 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry was deployed to protect the stranded convoy while it took 2 days for engineers to extract the bogged down vehicles and build a Corduroy road out of the area.:373
After the delayed start, the sweep of the woods proceeded relatively uneventfully with occasional small engagements, sniper fire, mines and booby-traps. On 20 September the 168th Engineer Battalion began flattening the woods, being met with some mines and hit and run attacks resulting in 33 vehicles destroyed. Most resistance had been eliminated by mid-October and the clearing operation proceeded unimpeded, extending southeast into the Filhol Plantation. When tunnel complexes were located the engineers would pump water into the entrances, then wait several days for the structure to weaken before destroying them with explosives and artillery fire.:373–4
Operation Kunia officially concluded on 31 October, Viet Cong losses were 105 killed, U.S. losses were 40 killed. Within 2 months of the end of the operation the Viet Cong had returned to the area which they used as a base for their Tet Offensive attacks.:374
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
- MacGarrigle, George (1998). Combat Operations: Taking the Offensive, October 1966 to October 1967. Government Printing Office. p. 372. ISBN 9780160495403.
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