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MRF Summary Report - November 1967

ComRivFlotOne / ComRivSuppron - Seven
Command History
November 1967

MRF operation CORONADO IX commenced 2 November with a one-day search and destroy operation in southwestern Giao Duc District (My Luong Peninsula) of Dinh Tuong Province. The area was initially targeted by ComNavForV due to attacks on PBR's in the area. Additionally, enemy harassment in the form of the mortarings, attacks on RF/PF outposts and road interdiction had been stepped up in the two weeks previous to the operation.

MRF Operation Coronado IX (4-6 November) terminated during the reporting period. In early morning of 5 November five separate areas in Dinh Tuong Province, including Dong tam and My Tho, came under VC mortar attack. The heaviest attack was directed at the village of Cai Lai (vic XS 230502) which sustained 120 casualties, including 18 friendly KIA. Based on intelligence that the VC 261st Main Force Battalion was responsible for this attack, the MRF area of operation was shifted northwest to an area bounded by N/S Gridlines XS 22/31 and E/W gridlines 50/60.

During the reporting period MRF operation CORONADO IX (9-11 November) terminated. This operation was conducted in the Cam Son and Ban Long Secret Zones of Dinh Tuong Province to locate and destroy elements of the VC 263rd Main Force Battalion, 514 Provincial Mobile Battalion and VC local forces and installations. The operation marked the initial employment of the 5th BN Vietnamese Marine Corps as the third maneuver battalion of the Mobile Riverine Force. This battalion, staging from its base camp on the north side of the My Tho River just south of Dong Tam. Was supported by RAD 112 throughout the operation. This joining of the Vietnamese Marines with the TF-117 "combat sailor" in operations against the common enemy represents a milestone in Vietnamese/U.S. cooperation.

On 14 November the MRF conducted a one-day two battalion riverine and airmobile saturation patrolling and search operation in Dinh Tuong Province to enhance the security of Highway 4 and the Dong Tam Base. TF-117 provided close support to 4th/47th Infantry Battalion and the 5th Infantry Battalion, VNMC. The 5th Infantry Battalion, VNMC now functions as a maneuver battalion operating in close cooperation and coordination with the MRF. The 5th Infantry Battalion, VNMC, is integrating very smoothly into MRF operations. The battalion, supported by River Assault Division 112, has quickly adapted to riverine warfare.

During the reporting period the Mobile Riverine Force conducted MRF phased operation Coronado IX (18-24 Nov) in VC base areas 470/471 in western Dinh Tuong/eastern Kien Phong Provinces. This operation, part of a joint US/ARVN Operation Kien Giang 9-1, was conducted in coordination with 7th and 9th ARVN Divisions. The initial phase of MRF participation involved transit of a riverine assault unit, with 5th VNMC Battalion embarked, from the MRB at Dong Tam to the AO, a distance of 32 miles. This marks the furthest extension of the MRF strike capability to date. Later in the day the MRB itself relocated to the vicinity of Sa Dec (vic WS 9138), successfully demonstrating the capability of the MRB to relocate to "where the action is." Since this was the deepest penetration the MRB has made into the heart of the Delta, DEFCON II was set, and one infantry company deployed on the land mass about the MRF for added security.

During the reporting period, the Mobile Riverine Force conducted MRF Phased Operation CORONADO IX (27-30 November) in Cai Lay and Long Dinh Districts of Ding Tuong Province. This operation was conducted with the primary mission of clearing the Xang Canal (Canal Commercial) of obstructions from Dong Tam to vicinity XS 2060. This canal has been closed since 1964 by a series of barriers constructed by the VC.

Early on 27 November, two infantry companies were lifted to Dong Tam for airlift and surface moves to fire support bases in the objective area. At 0800H one infantry battalion was lifted from the MRB by CTU 117.1.2 to various locations along the Xang Canal to provide security for Army Engineers who, assisted by EOD Team 26 and Harbor Clearance Team THREE detachment, began clearing the water barriers while river assault craft provided security in the waterway.

In the afternoon the two companies were backloaded and returned to the vicinity of Long Dinh for the night. Water blocks were established in the area by CTU 117.1.2. During the night, T-92-4 and Army LCM-8 were hit by one B-40 round each and T-92-10 received small arms fire. Damage to the boats were minor. Effective fires could not be returned due to the proximity of a friendly village.

The VNMC battalion and 3rd/47th Infantry Battalion were committed on 28 November and the barge mounted artillery was deployed into the AO with CTU 117.2.2, CTU 117, 1.1 and CTU 117. 2.1 in close support.

The Engineers, Infantry and Navy supporting units worked deeper into the previously VC dominated canals during the 28th and 29th, removing bridge wreckage, two massive earthen barriers and two extensive stake barriers; along with other obstructions to waterborne traffic. This successful operation provided a clear demonstration of the MRF's ability to carry out its mission, an important aspect of which is to regain control of the Delta waterways, making these avenues of commerce available once again to the Vietnamese people for peaceful transportation of goods and produce. Another important objective gained was opening the remaining waterways which encircled the Cam Son/Ban Long areas. This will allow further avenues of approach for riverine strike operations from the north as well as south in these areas. The operation was terminated on 30 November.

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