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Operation Bushmaster II
Part of the Vietnam War
Date1–6 December 1965
LocationMichelin Rubber Plantation, South Vietnam
11°15′47″N 106°20′02″E / 11.2631°N 106.334°E / 11.2631; 106.334
Result See Aftermath
Belligerents
United States Viet Cong
Commanders and leaders
Col. William Brodbeck unknown
Strength
3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division 272nd Regiment
Casualties and losses
39 killed 300+ killed

Operation Bushmaster II (also known as the Battle of Ap Nha Mat) was a US Army operation that took place in the Michelin Rubber Plantation, lasting from 1 to 6 December 1965.

Prelude[]

On the evening of 27 November 1965 the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 7th Regiment, 5th Division operating in the Michelin Rubber Plantation was overrun by the Viet Cong 271st and 273rd Regiments, killing most of the Regiment and its 5 US advisers. MG Seaman ordered Col. William Brodbeck's 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division to rescue the shattered 7th Regiment. Several days later intelligence was received that the Viet Cong Phu Loi Battalion and the 272nd Regiment were operating in the area and the mission was changed to locating and engaging these units.[1]

Operation[]

Operation Bloodhound, later renamed Operation Bushmaster II, commenced on 1 December when the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment (2/2nd Infantry) was landed at landing zone (LZ) Dallas inside the Michelin Rubber Plantation. LZ Dallas was to serve as the command post for the two Battalions involved in the operation. From 2–5 December the US Battalions searched southeast of LZ Dallas in the Viet Cong base area known as the Long Nguyen Secret Zone.[1]:89

At midday on 5 December, three companies from the 2/2nd Infantry came under fire from Viet Cong bunkers. An American attempt to outflank the Viet Cong position was repulsed and a Viet Cong force then attempted to outflank the Americans who withdrew into a defensive perimeter. The 2/2nd Infantry commander LCol. Shuffer called for air and artillery support and the 8th Battalion, 6th Artillery Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 32nd Artillery Regiment provided fire support on the southwestern perimeter, while air strikes were conducted on the east and helicopter gunships strikes on the north. The Viet Cong attempted to escape this firepower by "hugging" the American positions but were forced back by small arms fire. The barrage continued for over 4 hours allowing the 2/2 Infantry to secure their position and to allow Companies A and C to move south behind a creeping barrage to overrun the Viet Cong bunkers. By 14:30 the Viet Cong were abandoning their positions and fleeing the battlefield leaving behind their dead and weapons and equipment. LCol. Shuffer decided not to pursue the retreating Viet Cong fearing a further ambush and withdrew into a night perimeter.[1]:89–92

The 2/2nd Infantry spent the next few days policing the battlefield and destroying bunkers and Operation Bushmaster II ended on 6 December.[1]:92

Aftermath[]

Total US casualties were 39 killed, while Viet Cong losses were over 300 killed. The 272nd Regiment disappeared for the next four months presumably to recover its losses.[1]:92

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Carland, John (2000). Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, May 1965 to October 1966. Government Printing Office. p. 88. ISBN 9781782663430. 

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

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