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Battle of Chu Moor Mountain

The Battle of Chu Moor Mountain occurred between April 22, 1968 and April 30, 1968

The 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry fought a battle with the North Vietnamese Army on and around Chu Moor Mountain near the borders of Cambodia and Laos. Artillery, airstrikes, B-52 strikes and helicopter gunships were utilized. Units of 1/14 Infantry, 1/12 Infantry and 3/8 also joined the battle. After nearly seven days of heavy fighting the NVA withdrew.

Below are summaries from those days based on radio logs, staff journals, operations reports and summaries from both 1/22 and 1/14. These are summaries only and links to the sources of the information are provided.

Building the Firebase and Miscellaneous Pictures

 

April 22, 1968

A platoon from Company D, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry made contact with eight NVA, resulting in one US KIA and two US WIA.

April 23, 1968

Data not available

April 24, 1968

Airstrikes called at 0930hrs and 1300 hrs.

Company D, lst Battalion, 22nd Infantry made contact with an estimated NVA company.  The fighting, which lasted for two hours, resulted in seven US WIA and two NVA KIA.  A UH-1H helicopter in support of the contact was shot down by ground fire, but all personnel were rescued with only slight injury to one US.

1/22 Summary: 1/22 continued search and destroy operations in assigned AO with heavy contact with enemy forces. D/1/22 had contact with 6 enemy then enemy hit with large forces. Gunships, Artillery and Airstrikes were employed.

Results: 2 NVA KIA and 10 US WIA. Area of contact will be swept tomorrow morning for enemy bodies and equipment.

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April 25, 1958

Company D, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry killed two, NVA snipers in trees and captured their AK-47’s.  An hour later the company received mortar fire and shortly thereafter made heavy contact with an estimated reinforced NVA company.  The contact continued through the morning, and the company received two B-40 rocket attacks in the afternoon.

Contact continues: NVA equipment found; Gunships receive heavy gunfire; Airstrike called; incoming mortar fire; receiving B-40 rocket fire; D Co reports information on enemy element, new uniforms, letter diaries, handkerchiefs and scarfs, most headgear is camouflaged hats and carrying potato masher grenades. 30 casualties were dusted off. 8 serious.

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1/14 Summary: Golden Dragons continued operations in assigned AO. Bravo and Charlie Co’s found several bunker complexes with bunkers built to withstand 750 lb. bombs. They also found a camouflaged road approximately 15 feet wide going N&S. Indications are that chain saws and building equipment were used to complete the road.

PLANS: B&C Co’s are to continue to sweep the road and adjoining high ground. A&D Co’s to conduct local patrols.

April 26, 1968

Companies B and D, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry made contact with an estimated NVA company; receiving SA, AW, B-40 and 60mm mortar fire.  Two hours later Company C also made contact with an estimated company.  By 1250 hours all three companies were heavily engaged.  At 1255 hours a gunship from the 52nd Aviation Group received heavy ground fire, seriously wounding the pilot. The 1600 hours Company A conducted a relief in place of Company D.  At 1800 hours Companies A and B reported the enemy was withdrawing.  At 1845 hours the enemy broke contact with Company C.

From Bde CO: Indications are that the 66th NVA Regiment is prepared for combat in the 1/22 AO. Their combat operations will probably take place in the area of contact today. Regarding secondary Arclight targets – no bombs before 270650 or after 270800.

Request to Bde: Request airstrikes on a continued basis. We have known enemy targets and they will be needed to support maneuvers. Request 7/17 Cav conduct operations in 1/22 AO. Request 2 quad 50’s to enhance FSB perimeter defense. Consideration given to planning LRRP. Primary area of entry is the valley running N&S.

1/22 Summary: 1/22 Infantry with A/1/12 Infantry Opcon continued recon and force operations in assigned AO with heavy contact. A, B, C & D Co’s 1/22 heavy contact with Battalion size enemy force. Received B-40 rockets and mortar and small arms fire. Airstrikes, Artillery and Gunships were employed. Friendly – 29 WIA’s and 2 KIA’s. Enemy casualties unknown, contact too heavy to sweep the contact area.

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1/14 Summary: Golden Dragons continued operations in assigned AO. Charlie Co moving north along the road found an old bivouac are for approx. 200 people. Had not been used recently. PLANS: Bravo and Charlie Co’s to conduct CA to the south in support of 1/22 Inf. Alpha Co to move to LZ Swinger for security mission.

April 27, 1968

Company C, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry received one B-40 rocket round.  The night locations for Companies A and B received SA and B-40 rocket fire 30 meters outside their perimeter.  The two companies remained in their night locations and continued to receive sporadic SA rocket and mortar fire throughout the day.  At 0940 hours Company C conducted an attack against an unknown size force in bunkers.  Meeting heavy resistance the company withdrew and called in artillery and airstrikes.  At 1040 hours, the heavy enemy fire forced them to withdraw to the night location.  Artillery and airstrikes continued to hit the enemy position and at 1615 hours Company C took the high ground and the bunker complex.  At 1700 hours the enemy counterattacked with AW, B-40 rocket and 60mm mortar fire.  At 1825 hours the company withdrew but continued to receive mortar fire.  At 1920 hours artillery produced a large secondary explosion and the mortar fire ceased.

1/22 Summary: 1/22 continued recon and force operations in assigned AO, with contact with enemy battalion. A, B & C Co’s had heavy contact, received B-40 rockets, mortars & small arms while attempting to sweep contact area. 4.2 had 1 secondary explosion. Artillery, airstrikes, gunships & Spooky employed. Results of enemy casualties are unknown. Friendly casualties – 53 WIA’s / 4 KIA’s / 2 MIA’s.

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1/14 Summary: C/1/14 has one NVA KIA wearing green uniform with steel pot. Golden Dragons continue operations in assigned AO. Alpha Co found 2 tunnels and some partly burned documents. Documents found to be NVA clothing records. Bravo and Charlie Co’s conducted CA in support of 1/22 Inf.

PLANS: Conduct CA with Alpha Co to support ground operations of the 1/22 Inf. Delta Co to remain as security for LZ SWINGER.

April 28, 1968

A 105 mm artillery round impacted inside the perimeter of Company C, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, resulting in one US killed and one US wounded.

1/14 Summary: Golden Dragons continued operations in support of 1/22 Inf. Alpha Co conducted CA near Charlie Co 1/14 and began to conduct operations with Charlie. Alpha and Bravo Co’s revert OPCON to 1/22. Charlie Co while OPCON had 5 NVA KIA and 1 wpn. Delta also OPCON to 1/22. During CA Delta Co received mortar fire on LZ, results 5 WIA. LZ SWINGER received 7 incoming mortar rounds. AS was called and results one large secondary explosion. 1/14 receive OPCON Bravo Co 1/8 Inf for security of LZ SWINGER.

PLANS: Elements of 1/14 to continue support of operations of 1/22 Inf.

April 29, 1968

Company B, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry received one B-40 rocket resulting in three US WIA.

1/14 Summary: Golden Dragons saw Bravo Co while OPCON to 1/22 Inf had ground attack on the defensive position. Results 46 NVA KIA (B.C.) 150 NVA KIA (EST) 8 wpns CIA, 2 heavy MG CIA, numerous rockets and hand grenades CIA. Ind NVA were dressed in tan uniforms with new web equipment and packs. All units returned to 1/14 Inf. Bravo 1/8 reverted OPCON to parent unit. During extraction of Delta Co mortar rounds were received on PZZ. Results 13 US WIA, 1 US KIA. Alpha Co and Bravo Co returned to original positions upon return to LZ SWINGER.

PLANS: 1/14 to move from LZ SWINGER to establish new FSB to be named LZ ROBERTS.

April 30, 1968

Chu Moor mountain from the LZ April 1968

At the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry FSB an outgoing 105mm artillery round struck a radio antenna resulting in an airburst which killed one US and wounded 12.

1/14 Summary: Golden Dragons planned move was postponed due to lack of aircraft in the Bde. Golden Dragons continued to prepare for CA in the morning.

PLANS: CA to new firebase with three companies. Delta Co and the Command group to move to POLEI KLENG to await the clearing of the new FSB.

Sam Drake sent in the following view:

More Information and Personal StoriesTwo days on Chu Moor Mountain by Roger Salber

Memories of a D 1/14 Infantry Soldier

Article from the “Ivy Leaf” – newspaper of the 4th Infantry Division

Units involved in the battle

1st Battalion Killed in Action during the battle

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