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This page we are gonna start with how the 25th started their part of the Cambodian Offensive.
This is a story from 5_25_70 Trop Lightning News, so it was 25 days earlier. Anyway memory jolts from you "Class of 70" guys to add to or clarify any of this stuff will be apprerciated, and full credit is always given.
25th Secures Lifeline Road
By SP4 CHARLES SELF
This one, of course, shows The 25th's attack objectives
THIEN NGON -- To reach Cambodia, 25th Infantry Division troops had to conquer Route 22 - the only road from Tay Ninh to Thien Ngon in War Zone C, a queazy thrity kilometers of uncertainty. They did!
It’s a slow, dusty, tossled ride where brush and trees close in too close and where men have good cause to fear mines.
But Route 22 has to be traveled. It is the only ground route from the rear support bases of Cu Chi and Tay Ninh to the division’s forward supply point east of Cambodia.
War Zone C formerly was occupied by elements of the First Air Cavalry Division - an air mobile unit with considerable air assets. Supplies could be flown in for operations then.
But the 25th Infantry Division, with fewer air vehicles organic to it, must depend upon support units for air resupply. The critical items can be carried by Air Force C-130s and the very critical supplies can go by Chinook.
But most items must travel on road convoys and those convoys must go up Route 22.
“The complication is we only have one road. The enemy knows there is only one road. Sweeping and security then become much more important,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Salucci, First Brigade Executive Officer.
“We have to secure our life-line in order to operate in our A.O. (area of operations).”
“The road net in the area is practically non-existent,” he said. “Some east-west routes exist,” he added, but only Route 22 runs north and south.
When the 25th Division moved into the area the division’s 65th Engineers upgraded the narrow, winding dirt road, and swept the road clear of mines.
“You need infantry and armor to secure a road sweeping operation,” Salucci pointed out. “It’s a laborious, difficult task to open the road. Once you open the road you have to outpost-it so anything you want to move on the road can get through without being ambushed.”
“We’re going to have the double problem of beating the road to death with heavy traffic.”
Route 22 is open. Armored units of the 25th Infantry Division bounced up the powdery surface early this week and established the unit’s control over the area.
ROLLIN’ ACROSS -- Mechanized elements of the 25th Division’s 1st Brigade roll across a pontoon bridge into Cambodia. The bridge, about 3 ½ miles east of Tasuos, was built by the 25th’s Echo Company, 65th Engineer Battalion.
Map shows Rt.22 from Tay Ninh to the border
The black dot a little SW of Pleiku is Where A/2/77
was sent to fire support apparently of the 4th Division's
and ARVN Northern operation into Cambodia.
Below is a personal story from Michael "Cool Breeze" Kuehlewind..A/2/77, 1970
In April 1970 the division took part in Operation Bold Lancer, which took the Vietnam War into neighboring Cambodia to destroy enemy sanctuaries previously immune from attack. Thousands of tons of supplies were captured and base areas destroyed before the division returned to Vietnam by June of that year. buy the way that Plei Ku deal into Cambodia involved both II corps and III corps.So we were actually in their zone instead of ours. My understanding was this operation was done in 4 parts along the border and at slightly different times.We were part of plan 2 or 3 I'm not sure. This Cambodia thing happened around the first of May 70. I believe we were 30k west of Plei Ku. We were either right at the border or over it. It was the first time we ever lined the guns up in the W formation rather than the usual circle with base piece in the center. We were told almost nothing other then to get as much ammo ready at charge 3 fuse PD and did presets on quadrant and deflection and waited for the command to start firing. Then something happened that I'll never forget. From behind us we start hearing a huge rumble and see at least 20 columns of APC's, Tanks, 544, 548, 5 ton 21/2 ton trucks, Dusters, Quad 50's along with 3600 ARVN's March right passed us heading into Cambodia. It took well over an hour for them to pass. We started firing no less than 30 minutes later. We fired for 8 hours straight. Then there was a short break about 11:00pm. Chinooks had been dropping net after net of ammo all the time we were shooting and now we had to break it down and resupply again not knowing what was next. There where piles of ammo 8 feet high 30'L by 50'W and it was all gone before the night was over. What made matters worse was that it was raining all night and the mud was so slippery that moving the ammo several hundred feet from where it was dropped to the gun's was shear misery. This went on for almost 3 days. We later found out that there where 18 battalions of mixed arty firing those nights and days. The body count was in the thousands. I still remember those tracers both green and orange bouncing off stuff in the distance. Everyone was there that night Air force with 104's and c-130 gunships and cobras by the dozens and a constant flow of Huey's uh1's.It was the wildest light and noise show I've ever seen. They sent us on a stand down directly afterward to Tay Ninh to replace the 1/8Th Cav.
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