OP: Masher II

US Forces Storyline

Consider yourselves now attached as a LRRP element suporting Division level operations. Your team will be assigned to an area believed to be a heavy infiltration and reinforcement route used by main force NVA in the Kim Son Area. Your unit will be inserted in advance of the arrival of B Co 2/5Cav to detect, deter or interdict NVA infiltraion into or through the area. Be advised that your NDPs and unit operations will not be supported, Division Operations are strectched too thin with the current optempo, no friendly units will be operating in the AO, you’re on your own out there…God speed and good hunting.

Major Payne
Battalion XO

The above listed orders supercede and replace the following.
In response to reports of increased enemy activity and ammonia sniffer indications of significant occupation in several concentrated locations, Special Forces teams from Project B-52 Delta were inserted into the Bong Son vicinity in the jungle and mountainous regions of the Vietnamese Coastal plains. These insertions were in advance of planned sweeps by elements of the First Cav taking advantage of their mobility and support. Contact with the SF units was lost almost immediately after their insertion and they were assumed to be overwhelmed and destroyed. Clearly the region was more thoroughly occupied then initially predicted. Initial insertion by the Cav units was delayed by two days due to adverse weather. This was the first time in the war that major operations were significantly impacted by weather. This allowed the NVA/ VC to abandoned numerous fortified camps and establish both delaying actions and deliberate planned engagements that favored their forces. The Main force US elements became engaged in a sweep and pursuit operation that was intense and challenging. Frequent, sharp, small unit, encounters occurred within the Kim Son area and throughout the operation. The 2nd Battalion of the 5th Cavalry inserted each of their companies with two days rations to screen and block main exit avenues and the bulk of intense action was absorbed by these units.

The confirmed enemy units encountered included the heavy weapons battalion of the 18th NVA Regiment, A captured NVA Colonel revealed the presence of the Headquarters element of the 22nd NVA Regiment. In addition three provisional VC units were confirmed involved in the operation. The engagement included multiple assaults on enemy strongholds and a number of intense multi-wave assaults by NVA elements on Cav. defensive positions.

During the first phase of Operation Masher the 2/5 Cav were able to push the NVA forces out of the An Loa Valley area. However, large elements of the 3rd NVA are believed to be concentrating in Valley 506 near the area known as Eagle Claw. Your unit is being moved forward to LZ Bird in order to conduct search and destroy operations in the area.

The primary village in the area is Kim Son. Its tactical importance stems from its location as a crossing over the Suoi Tem River and its proximity to Hwy QL-1. This area is a major NVA and VC infiltarion route into the rice growing areas of Binh Dinh province around Phu My and Bong Son. The 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) operates from bases at LZ Bird and LZ Pony (to the northeast where the Kim Son Valley runs into the 506 Valley). Both firebases are within artillery range of most areas in this region and able to support infantry and cavalry operations.