LZ SALLY (USA) - In what has been termed one of the biggest Allied combat assaults of the Vietnam war, 154 NVA and Viet Cong were killed recently and 370 suspects detained. Also, 178 crew-served and individual weapons were captured by joint American and Vietnamese forces on the island province of Vinh Loc, southeast of Hue. The daring, early morning assault incorporated 101st Airborne Division Paratroopers of the 2nd Brigade's 1st Battalion, 501st Airborne Infantry, the 54th ARVN Regiment 1st Battalion, elements of the 7th ARVN Cavalry Squadron, and all available
Vietnamese paramilitary forces in the area. Simultaneously, CH-47 Chinook helicopters zeroed in on pre-designated landing zones along the northern shore of the province and poured a task force of hundreds of Allied infantrymen into areas of suspected enemy concentration. As the helicopters lifted away, a massive sweep raced over the entire island. Field commanders said that the enemy was caught completely off guard. Several detainees questioned in the early hours of combat told of the enemy's mass confusion. The following nine days witnessed continued sweeps and small cordons. Many local Viet Cong tried to bury their weapons and ran toward the south and into the
South China Sea. U.S. Navy "Pistol Pete" patrol boats and air-cushioned vehicles foiled their escape. Other NVA soldiers tried to change their clothes and blend in with local villagers, but special teams of Allied soldiers quickly separated the native villagers from the imposters.
The operation's element of surprise caught many Viet Cong in a deadly trap as they clustered in frantic groups.

This article, with more on the Vinh Loc operation, was sent in by Dave Reinhiemer, B 2/501, 68-69

Vol. 24, No. 275


Thursday, Oct. 3rd, 1968

Huge Assault Surprises VC, NVA