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body count after the vicious battle was 647 Viet Cong KIA, and unknown Viet Cong WIA. LTC. John Vessey who assumed command 16 March was later presented the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions at Soui Tre by MACV commander, General William Westmoreland.

     On 25 March ** LTC Fred Merrit received command of the Battalion from LTC Vessey. From that date forward the operation was uneventful for the Battalion, although they were constantly on the move. The following months the Battalion participated in numerous operations including Manhattan, (Akina?) and Diamond Head. No ****** events occurred.

     Throughout the time the Battalion had been in Vietnam, it was attached to the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. The Brigade itself was under operational control of the 25th Infantry Division. Effective 1 August, the Brigade was redesignated 3rd Brigade 25th Infantry Division and the Battalion remained attached. Effective 1 September the Battalion was detached and assumed a Direct support role for the first time since its arrival in the Republic of Vietnam.

     During September and October the Battalion supported Search and Destroy missions in the Michelin Rubber Plantation. On 26 October LTC Merrit was wounded while flying in an OH-23 while near the site of Fire Support Base Vickie Shortly after the Battalion had moved to a new position. LTC ALLEN

Linnholm assumed command of the Battalion on 30 October. The Battalion moved south in November to support Operation Atlanta, returned to Dau Tieng early in December and moved North to Fire Support Base Grant at Loc Ninh on 7 December in support of Operation Yellowstone. On 9 December a brush fire started by ****** 





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