1. SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF OPERATION: Reconnaissance Company with company headquarters; Nine Roadrunner Teams composed of four Vietnamese Nations (VNN) each; Seven Reconnaissance teams composed of two USASF and four VNN each; Three Mike Force Companies composed of 11 USASF and 428 VNN; Detachment A-303/Mobile Guerrilla Force 957 composed of 13 USASF and one Mobile Guerrilla Company, 174 VNN.
2. MISSION: To conduct extended reconnaissance and Mobile Guerrilla Force operations in AO Blackjack as directed by CG, 1st Infantry Division.
3. TIME OF DEPARTURE/RETURN: Operation Blackjack 33 was conducted from a Forward Operations Base (FOB) located at Phuoc Vinh, RVN inside the perimeter of 1st Bde, 1st Inf Div. during the period 24 Apr-24 May 67. Project SIGMA advance party began movement by C-130 from Bien Hoa Airbase to FOB 240800 Apr and completed movement 241700 Apr 67. FOB activated 241730 Apr. The main body was moved by C-123 transport from Bien Hoa Airbase with the first element arriving 261000 Apr and the last element closing at 261630 Apr 67. The operation terminated 240700 May and the Detachment command element (-) was returned to Base Camp by helicopter closing 240800 May. The main body began movement 240820 May by C-130 transport to Bien Hoa Airbase. Project SIGMA elements closed at Base Camp 241548 May 67.
4. CONDUCT OF OPERATIONS: Operation Blackjack 33 began with the issuance of a verbal OPORD on 191300 Apr 67. CO, Det B-56 issued a fragmentary order for movement of an advance party to Phuoc Vinh, RVN, on 24 Apr 67. On 20 Apr 67 the units airlift requirements were submitted by the S3 to II FFV. An advance coordination party departed for Phuoc Vinh to select a unit location. The S2 visited II FFV, CICV, and G2, 1st Inf. Div and obtained current intelligence and requirements concerning the assigned AO. A message was received placing Project SIGMA in direct support of the 1st Inf Div effective 25 Apr 67 for period of 60 days. On 21 Apr. CO, Det B-56, CO, Recon Company, S2, Det B-56 and CO, MGF 957 made a coordination visit to Hq, 1st Bde, 1st Inf Div. Det S3 published a unit movement order for
Operation Blackjack 33. OPORD 8-67 (Operation Blackjack 33) was published 242300 Apr 67. On 271400 Apr an aerial reconnaissance of the entire AO was conducted. Helicopter support, provided by 162d Assault Helicopter Company, was composed of four transport and two armed helicopters. Two O1E radio relay were provided by 184th Avn CO. CO, Det B-56 ordered three Roadrunner Teams to begin preparation for infiltration on 27 Apr. On 281055 Apr. CO MGF 957 arrived at the FOB and briefed the CO, Det 3-56. On 281345 Apr. CO, Det B-56 and CO, MGF 957 briefed the CO, 1st Inf Div and on 290800, S3, Det B-56 briefed CO, 1st Bde and staff. On 021907 May MGF 957 (-) was lifted by helicopter into AO vicinity Chi Linh. On 022020, CO Det B-56, DCO and S3 returned from visit with MGF 957 at Trang Sup and Chi Linh. MGF 957 was extracted from AO with KIA and MIA and closed FOB 032030 May. On 040830 May, CO, 5th SFGA and DCO, Spec Opns, arrived FOB for briefing on MGF 957 engagement. On 041145 May MGF 957 was moved to Trang Sup by 2 CH-47 helicopters. On 071500, CO, MGF 957 presented mission briefback at FOB for DCO Spec Opns, 5th SFGA and party. MGF 957 closed at Dong Xoai 091700 May and entered AO on foot at 092400 May 67.
a. Reconnaissance Team Operations:
(1) Recon Msn 1: Team received order 290930 Apr and presented mission
briefback 29200 Apr. Team infiltrated 300626 Apr vic XT971400 without incident.
At 301025 Apr team sighted approx 5-10 VC vic XT971679 and requested artillery
at 301049 Apr. Results of artillery fire are unknown. Team was extracted
by sling under fire vic XT988682 at 011810 May.
(2) Recon Msn 2: Team received mission order 291000 Apr and presented mission briefback 292030 Apr. Team attempted infiltration vic XT975397 at 300759 Apr. Team leader suffered a broken leg exiting the helicopter and the mission was aborted.
(3) Recon Msn 3: Team received mission order 302000 Apr. conducted aerial recon of RZ 010900 May and presented mission briefback 012030 May. While attempting infiltration vic XT9l8571 at 020620 May, the helicopter crashed, not as a result of enemy action. Four USASF personnel were slightly injured, but all returned to duty. Gunner of helicopter crew was medevaced. All personnel, radio and weapons were immediately evacuated. A reaction platoon was airlanded at 020710 May and secured the downed helicopter until evacuated.
(4) Recon Msn 4: Team received mission order 011400 May, conducted aerial recon of RZ 020900 May and presented mission briefback at 021300 May. Team was infiltrated vic YT012814 at 030650 May. At 030715 May 2 VC were sighted and a hasty ambush was set up in an attempt to capture a PW. The two VC sighted returned in approx 20
minutes with estimated 25 men and team heard signals from three sides.
Team requested exfiltration and moved to a LZ vic YT008813 and were extracted
by sling at 030850 May under fire.
(5) Recon Msn #5: Team received mission order 042000 May, conducted aerial recon at 051400 May and presented mission briefback 051900 May. Team infiltrated vic XT994563 at 061159 May without incident, and exfiltrated vic XT980568 at 071205 May when two VNN team members became too ill to continue. No significant sightings.
(6) Recon Msn 6: Team received mission order at 052000 May, conducted aerial recon of RZ at 061000 May and presented mission briefback 061900 May. Team infiltrated vic YT022582 at 070952 May without incident, and was exfiltrated vic YT010613 at 080740 May due to faulty radios. Team was re-infiltrated in vic YT036633 at 081339 May without incident after securing a new radio at the FOB. Team moved to a well used trail vic YT036638, turned west on trail for 100 meters then observed and killed one VC (BC). Team called for exfiltration and was extracted by sling vic YT039639 at 081445 May.
(7) Recon Msn 7: Team received mission order 062000 May, conducted aerial recon of RZ 071000 May and presented mission briefback at 071600 May. Team infiltrated vic YT061372 at 080730 May and moved crosscountry until 081550 May at which time they observed a VC jump from a tree vic YT051700. Team assumed position was compromised and requested exfiltration which was completed from vic YT052200 at 081605 May without incident.
(8) Recon Msn 8: Team received mission order 071000 May, conducted aerial recon of RZ 071500 May and presented mission briefback at 082030 May. Team infiltrated vic YT030440 at 090655 May. Team observed an estimated 200 VC moving southwest. Airstrikes were called in and a ground assessment by two platoons of Ist Company reported 43 VC KBA (BC), 9 VC KIA (BC) and 2 VC CIA and a large amount of medical supplies recovered. Two team members became separated due to a misunderstanding and were exfiltrated vic YT055414 at 111130 May. Remainder of team was exfiltrated from LZ at 111145 May.
(9) Recon Msn 9: Team received mission order 082000 May, conducted aerial recon of RZ at 091300 and presented mission briefback at 091700 May. Team infiltrated vic XT 946404 at 100705, moved only 100 meters and found themselves surrounded by an estimated two platoons of VC. At 100750 May team was receiving fire from three directions. Gunships suppressed the area with fire and the team was extracted at 100815 May. Artillery fire was placed in area with unknown results.
(10) Recon Msn 10: Team received mission order 091600 May,
conducted aerial recon of RZ 100800 May and presented mission briefback
at 101230 May. Team infiltrated vic YT023711 at 101558 May without incident.
Team moved immediately into an ambush position with the mission of capturing
a POW. Team remained in ambush position with negative contact and was exfiltrated
from vic YT023705 at 111732 May. Team was exfiltrated because one VNM team
member was believed to have appendecitis.
(11) Recon Msn 11: Team received mission order 110800 May and conducted aerial recon of RZ 111500 May and presented mission briefback at 120800 May. Team infiltrated vic YT036634 at 121340 May with the mission of capturing a PW. Team set up ambush on a trail vic YT039639 and at 121510 May ambushed one VC, wounding him. Team then called for extraction but POW DOW before they were extracted from infiltration LZ at 121530 May without incident.
(12) Recon Msn 12: Team received mission order 131000 May and conducted aerial recon of RZ 131500 May and presented mission briefback 141700 May. Team had planned infiltration for RZ HOTEL, but team leader was medevaced with a perforated eardrum. A new team leader was assigned and team infiltrated RZ GOLF vic XT945348 on 141458 May. Team captured one VC (female) nurse in close proximity to infiltration LZ and was exfiltrated from that location at 141528 without incident. PW was turned over to Ist Inf Div for interrogation.
(13) Recon Msn 13: Team received mission order 141000 May, conducted aerial recon of RZ 141500 May and presented mission briefback 142000 May. Team infiltrated vic XT981651 at 151245 May. Team encountered a VC force of 7 men at 151500 May and opened fire, killing 2 VC (BC). Team, was extracted under fire at 151545 May from infiltration LZ.
(14) Recon Msn 14: Team received mission order 151000 May, conducted aerial recon of RZ 161430 May and. presented a mission brielback at 161910 May. Team infiltrated vic YT045645 at 170655 May and moved to a well used trail to observe and capture a PW. Team observed an estimated VC Battalion using the trail, artillery fired with unknown results and team was extracted vic YT036644 at 181510 May without incident.
b. Roadrunner Team Operations.
(1) RR Msn 1: Team was infiltrated vic XT687572 at 271617 Apr without
incident. Team made contact with 3 VC vic XT684568 at 271630 Apr. Team
was fired on vic XT678527 during movement to LZ. One man WIA, left arm
(DOW) and team extracted under fire at 281710 Apr vic XT665509.
(2) RR Msn 2: Team was infiltrated vic XT614525 at 271655 Apr without incident. Observed 4 VC at XT625546 with machettes.
Team fired on from church vic XT658579. Team threw grenade into the
church with unknown results. Team suffered negative casualties, and was
exfiltrated 281707 Apr vic XT084590 without incident.
(3) RR Msn 3: Team was infiltrated via XT615630 at 271640 Apr. Team moved approx 200 meters off the LZ and were observed by 6 VC. Fire was exchanged with unknown results. Team threw emergency smoke and were extracted under fire at 271700 Apr vic of the Infiltration LZ. Negative friendly casualties.
(4) RR Msn 4: Team was infiltrated 281902 Apr vic XT688444 without incident. Team observed a VC platoon (40 men) at 282130 Apr vic XT833521 moving south on road. Team contacted 8 VC at 290910 Apr vic XT844479 and were followed and fired on with negative casualties. Team was extracted at 291647 Apr vic XT837473.
(5) RR Msn 5: Team was infiltrated at 281855 Apr vic XT840525. Team
sighted one VC Platoon moving south on road vic XT641489 at 291400 Apr.
VC fired at team at 291415 Apr and wounded team leader and one other team
member. Team returned fire and killed 4 VC. Team evaded and were extracted
at 291657 Apr vic XT632487
(6) RR Msn 6: Team infiltrated 291808 Apr vic XT944633 without incident. Team made contact with approx one VC Platoon at 300745 Apr vic XT896748. VC were in foxholes and fired at the team, team didn't return fire and were exfiltrated at 301705 Apr vic XT917735 without incident.
(7) RR Msn 7: Team was infiltrated at 291759 Apr vic XT944633 without incident. One man became lost from team upon infiltration and other three members became lost during movement. Team of three was fired on vic XT949631. Team returned fire with unknown results. Team encountered one VC at 0292300 Apr vic XT954630 in a hut and estimated a VC Platoon later tried to locate them with flashlights. Entire team joined up and were extracted by sling at 300705 Apr vic XT957768 without incident.
(8) RR Msn 9: Team infiltrated at 301840 Apr vic XT889608 without incident. No contact or significant observations were made and team was exfiltrated at 011709 May vic XT916511 without incident.
(9) Msn 10: Team infiltrated at 301845 Apr vic XT924345 without incident. Team contacted an unknown number of VC vic XT933356, who fired approx 15 rounds with an automatic weapon. After team retreated, VC fired single shots and signaled during the night, firing two shots every hour. Team was exfiltrated at 011658 May vic XT931356 without incident.
(10) RR Msn 8: The scheduled infiltration of RR Msn 8 at 301830 Apr was aborted due to weather and was later infiltrated at
010739 May vic XT978625 without incident. Team had negative contact
and was exfiltrated at 011719 May vic XT939564.
(11) RR Msn 11: Team infiltrated at 011734 May vic YT101824, moved to a trail where 3VC were observed at 011740 May vicYT073825.VC signaled with two shots, the team answered with one shot and the VC moved away. AT 011830 May vic YT056815 the team observed a Vietnamese dispensary with 3 VC guards, who fired on the team. Team withdrew to a CIDG OP vic YT078765 at 011950 May, then moved to Dong Xoai. Team was exfiltrated at 021040 May vic YT088757 without incident.
(12) RR Msn 12: Team infiltrated at 011739 May vic YT056854 without incident. 4VC fired on team vic YT073912. Team returned fire with unknown results. Team moved to the USASF Camp Dong Xoai and were exfiltrated at 021600 May.
(13) RR Msn 13: Team infiltrated 021600 May vic YT1081759 without incident. Team sighted 5 VC YT149843 without being detected. Team was exfiltrated at 031915 May vic YT136068.
(14) RR Msn 14: Team infiltrated at 050802 May vic YT023554 without incident after infiltration of 03 May was cancelled due to increased activity of MGF 957 and aborted on 04 May due to weather. Team made no contact or significant sightings. Team was extracted by vehicle at 051150 May vic XT995522, after contacting a friendly PF post.
(15) RR Msn 15: Team infiltrated at 050808 May vic YT074417 after being delayed for the same reasons as RR Msn 14. Team returned to FOB by truck 051400 May.
(16) RR Msn 16: Team infiltrated at 051403 May vic XT930535. Helicopter received approx 10 rounds all fire departing the LZ after infiltration. Team was exfiltrated 061008 May vic XT914573 without incident.
(17) RR Msn 17: Team was infiltrated 051402 May vic XT960530 and exfiltrated 061012 May vic XT983573 without incident.
(18) RR Msn 18: Team infiltrated 061202 May vic YT027529 and VC immediately fired three warning shots and began signaling one another. Team retreated south for 300 meters, then captured a VC suspect vic YT013533 at 061330 May. Team with suspect were extracted vicXT993519 at 061415 May.
(19) RR Msn 19: Team infiltrated vic XT956594 at 071414 May. Immediately on leaving the helicopter and moving north into the tree line they observed 20 VC to their front in foxholes with overhead cover. The VC opened fire and told them to throw down their weapons. Team returned fire killing two VC (BC) and one team member slightly
WIA. Gunships suppressed the VC and team was exfiltrated from the same
LZ at 071426 May.
(20) RR Msn 20: Team infiltrated vic YT062719 at 101136 May and was extracted vic YT028629 at 101605 May. Team encountered 9 VC vic YT033638 at 101555 May.
(21) RR Msn 21: Team infiltrated vic YT062342 at 120851 May. At 121200 vic YT019346, team sighted 4 VC who fired two rounds, but team did not return fire. At 130830 May team observed 2 VC vic YT012282. Team was exfiltrated vic YT011284 at 13100 May.
(22) RR Msn 22: Team infiltrated vic XTD38346 at 140807 May and was extracted by rope ladder vic XT973389 at 151000 May.
(23) RR Msn 23: Team infiltrated vic XT941622 at 150837 May. Team observed 30 man VC Platoon vic XT956637. At 151430 May, team was observed by estimated 2 VC Platoons vic XT963363. VC fired a rifle grenade near the team then began advancing without firing. One team member threw a M-26 grenade when the VC were about 15 meters away, and killed 5 VC (BC). Team then took cover in two old foxholes and killed 4 additional VC (BC). Gunships suppressed fire and team was extracted under fire vic XT963636 at 151525 May.
(24) RR Msn 24: Team was infiltrated vic YT015262 at 160934 May. Team fired upon by estimated 14 VC at 161000 May vic YT024264. Team exfiltrated vic YT034266 at 161512 May.
(25) RR Msn 25: (8 man team): Team infiltrated vic XT972623 at 190903 May. Team made contact with 3 VC vic XT966651 killing one VC (BC) and capturing one homemade weapon. Team then moved towards the LZ and were fired upon by VC with 3 rifie grenades. Team made contact with interpreter in the radio relay aircraft at 191155 May and requested immediate extraction from vic XT962638. During the recovery of this team two helicopters were downed by enemy fire. Two USASF WIA, 1 US pilot WIA, 1 interpreter WIA and 1 Roadrunner WIA. Downed aircraft were secured by 1st Company and MGF 957 and later recovered.
(26) RR Msn 26: Team infiltrated vic XT845449 at 210820 May and moved a short distance when they discoverecl 7 VC following. Team fired, killing 2 VC (BC) and requested extraction. Team extracted vic XT848451 at 210840 May with negative friendly casualties.
(27) RR Msn 27: Team infiltrated vic XT823498 at 211312 May. Team made contact with 4 VC vic XT829497 at 211420 May. They exchanged fire and VC disappeared. Team was extracted under fire at point of enemy contact at 211428 May. Team suffered two cases of heat exhaustion.
(28) RR Msn 28: Teams infiltration was cancelled enroute to
LZ due to supporting Aviation unit being returned to control of 1st Bde, 1st Inf Div for another mission.
c. Mike Force Company Operations:
(1) 2d Mike Force Company: The company was alerted on 1 May to move
to Dong Xoai with the mission of acting as a reaction force at that location.
Unit closed Dong Xoai 020847 May. On 050500 the unit departed Dong Xoai
on a reconnaissance in force mission. The patrol apprehended 2 VCs vic
YT074834. At 070800 May an estimated VC platoon was observed vic YT073843
moving east. Company fired on VC and they fled east without returning fire.
The Company received AW fire 070805 May from vic YT074826 by unknown number
VC. Company had 4 WIA and requested a medevac. Company covered approx 40
KM on patrol and closed at Dong Xoai 071445 May. VCs were turned over to
LLDB for interrogation. Company was moved from Dong Xoai to FOB by CV-2
aircraft and closed FOB 072145 May.
(2) 3d Mike Force Company: Received mission on 061400 May from S3, Det B-56, gave briefback for 3 day mission in RZ CHARLIE at 071900 May. At 080800 May company departed from vic YT045490 on foot. Unit moved east for 7000 meters and set up a patrol base vic YT030490 and conducted local patrols with negative results. At 081800 May 5 shots were fixed about 300 meters west of the base along the route company had moved in on. A patrol was sent to the vicinity of the shots with negative contact however. On 090700 May company moved from patrol base and at 090800 May 1 shot was fired from area of the patrol base. Again a patrol was sent out to the area, but with negative contact. Company moved on for 500 meters and found 2 graves vic YT038470. Graves contained 2 bodies in body bags, approx 2 months old. Unit moved south at 091150 May and vic YT041450 set up second patrol base. Ambushes were set along Song Be River with negative contact. Company moved from night location 100700 May. At 100900 May another body was found vic YT034456, similar to first two. Company closed FOB at 101500 May.
(3) 1st Mike Force Company: Company was infiltrated into RZ ECHO by helicopter at 121100 May vic XT876578. After company plus recon element landed and was formed, recon element, took point and moved from LZ on 120 deg AZ. Unit came upon main trail vic XT887565. Unit moved for approx 600 meters and stopped for noon meal. At this time fire was heard from vic XT8755 at 1430 furs. Fire was directed at FAC aircraft. At 1700 hrs unit stopped for night at XT887538. Unit moved out 130645 May continuing west along trail. At trail junction vic XT870537, unit stopped while numerous trail complexes were reconned. Upon rejoining unit, recon element took point and unit moved SE. At 131730 unit stopped for night vic
XT903487. Unit moved south at 140700 May and was resupplied at XT925447
at 141330 May. After re-supply unit continued south. At approx 1600 hours
unit began moving due east stopping for night vic XT963437. Unit moved
SW at 150700 May and at 171245 May FOB was notified that unit needed water
trailer to meet them at 1600 hrs vic YT938457. Unit returned to FOB from
water re-supply point. (See tab N for further operations by 1st Mike Force
(4) 3d Mike Force Company: The company received the mission of conducting a recon in force to determine a possible VC buildup in RZ DELTA. Unit was moved by truck at 161020 May to vic XT993525. At 161315 May vic XT999542, 4-6 VC were observed wearing black uniforms. No weapons were observed due to distance. At 161340 May two more VC were observed vic YT004547 wearing mixed uniforms, no weapons observed. Unit went into defensive position at 161800 May vic YT008568 and manned an ambush postion along LTL 1A. Negative sightings along route. Company was picked up by truck vic XT994521 at 171600 May and returned to FOB.
5. ENEMY INFORMATION:
a. On 3 May 67 MGF 957 contacted a multi-battalion sized force vic XT951669. This unit was equipped with AK-47's, RPG-2 rocket launchers, 2-3 heavy MG's, unknown type mortars and recoilless rifies. There were many ethnic Chinese fighting with this unit. The ethnic Chinese were all wearing khaki uniforms. One other group of VC were wearing black uniforms with camouflage soft hats. Some VC were wearing blue uniforms. This unit was well trained. They employed both fire and maneuver (well executed) and human wave attacks were attempted after many of the MGF were casualties. This unit is believed to have been 271 VC Main Force Regiment AKAQ761-subordinate to the 9th VC Division. This is based on reports placing 271 MF Regt in the immediate vic, and on a report that the 271 employs many ethnic Chinese mercenaries. On 11 May vic YT039408 recon mission 8 observed a total of 200-250 VC moving south from 0355H to 0515H. The VC were using flashlights and traveling in 4 different groups (approx company size). At 0734H the SIGMA FAC located 50-75 of the VC in an open area vic YT023378 and at 0802H TAC air was put in on the VC. Reaction by 2 platoons of 1st Company resulted in capturing 2 PW's and numerous documents that identified the units as 2d Company, 2d Bn, 273 VC Regt, AKAQ763, subordinate to VC 9th Div. Also, C-23, Medical Detachment, subordinate to 273 VC regt. Uniforms were mixed cloths of black, blue, and green. On 17 May MGF 957 located a large concentration of VC vic YT143578 (center of mass). There were many well used trails running coast-west throughout the area. Commo wire was run along some of the trails. All VC in the area were equipped with
new CHICOM series of weapons (1956). Uniforms were well cared for and troops appeared well groomed and healthy. This is believed to have been part of 9th Div HQ Security. SPAR reports indicated that 9th VC Div is located northeast of center of mass coordinates given.
b. The 9th VC div is apparently massing its subordinate regiments in War Zone "D." This could be a temporary move for attacks on targets near War Zone "D" but more probably the 9th VC Div has moved into War Zone "D" on a permanent basis. Presently, the only two 9th Div Regiments believed to be in War Zone "D" are the 271 and 273 VC Regts. Both located and identified by Operation Black jack 33.