OP: Masher III

The Masher series continues with its third installment: White Wing III – Return to Eagle’s Claw. This event was held from APR 29 to MAY 01, 2011 on private land in Tunica, LA. Roughly 30 attendees were instructed by Black Company staff members on both US and NVA tactics employed during the Vietnam war. Attendees skills were then matched against one another, providing a challenging and rewarding opportunity for all.

US Forces Storyline

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.
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’s Claw.
During the Second Phase of Operation Masher LRRP units were deployed into the Eagle’s Claw area and met with heavy resistance and were withdrawn.
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 infiltration 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.

NVA Forces Storyline

As large portions of the People’s Army began moving into staging areas in anticipation of the rice harvest the valiant fighters detected increased Imperialist activities in the area. Several small reconaissance units were discovered and destroyed in the area of Bong Son Viilage. This reconaissance is undoubtably part of a planned movement of troops by the invaders.
We must maintain a large presence here during the harvest if we are to tax enough food from them to continue the struggle; the villagers in the area are untrustworthy supporters of the puppet government. These villagers must also be re-educated to the proper way for the duration of our stay. The Imperialists soldiers will treat them with suspicion which will drive them to our cause, take advantage of this.
We have suffered a defeat in the An Loa area, but it is only temporary and this build up will allow us to move back into the An Loa as soon as the rains end. Prepare yourselves!
As the Regiment moved into the area of Eagle’s Claw we discovered more reconaissance elements and had some success in destroying them, however we believe that many missions were successful and the running dogs now have some idea of our strength in the area, we must be cautious. In anticipation of the insertion of an Imperialist Infantry company you will all be required fight this aggression with all your heart.
Your unit is being moved to maintain control of the village of Kim Son.
This is the primary village in the area; it is critically important. It is the only crossing over the Suoi Tem River for several miles and is near to Hwy QL-1 a critical march route into the rice growing areas of Binh Dinh province around Phu My and Bong Son. We must not loose control of this area!
Remain strong, One Vietnam!