Operation Kunia

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Operation Kunia
Part of Vietnam War
Date 15 September - 10 November 1967
Location Ho Bo Woods, South Vietnam
Result Inconclusive
Belligerents
 United States Viet Cong
Commanders and leaders
MG John C. F. Tillson
Col Edwin H. Marks
Strength
1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
Casualties and losses
40 killed US body count 105 killed

Operation Kunia was an operation conducted by the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in the Ho Bo Woods, lasting from 15 September to 10 November 1967.[1]

Background

In September 1967 the 1st Brigade was assigned responsibility for destroying base areas in the Ho Bo Woods, which were believed to be sheltering the Viet Cong (VC) 1st and 7th Battalions. U.S. forces had last entered the area in June 1967 during Operation Manhattan.[1]:373

The plan called for 4 artillery battalions to support the attack, 2 of which would establish firebases on Route 6A near the Saigon River. A battalion from the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division would form a screening force along the river and the 1st Brigade would then sweep through the woods. After eliminating any resistance, the 1st Brigade would provide security while the 168th Engineer Battalion would use Rome plows to clear the woods. The entire operation was to be completed by the end of October.[1]:373

On 14 September the two artillery battalions moving along Route 6A became stuck in mud several kilometers from the planned firebase locations. The 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry was deployed to protect the stranded convoy while it took 2 days for engineers to extract the bogged down vehicles and build a Corduroy road out of the area.[1]:373

Operation

After the delayed start, the sweep of the woods proceeded relatively uneventfully with occasional small engagements, sniper fire, mines and booby-traps. On 20 September the 168th Engineer Battalion began flattening the woods, being met with some mines and hit and run attacks resulting in 33 vehicles destroyed. Most resistance had been eliminated by mid-October and the clearing operation proceeded unimpeded, extending southeast into the Filhol Plantation. When tunnel complexes were located the engineers would pump water into the entrances, then wait several days for the structure to weaken before destroying them with explosives and artillery fire.[1]:373-4

Aftermath

Operation Kunia officially concluded on 31 October, with the US claiming VC losses were 105 killed, U.S. losses were 40 killed. Within 2 months of the end of the operation the VC had returned to the area which they used as a base for their Tet Offensive attacks.[1]:374

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

  1. ^ a b c d e f MacGarrigle, George (1998). Combat Operations: Taking the Offensive, October 1966 to October 1967. Government Printing Office. p. 372. ISBN 9780160495403.

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