http://www.aiipowmia.com/inter21/in080801vn.html
To: ALL

From: Andi Wolos & Bob Necci

(POW-MIA InterNetwork)

Re: Another Mass Grave Found in Vietnam

Date: August 08, 2001

Let us not forget the 300,000 missing in SEA...

"Vietnam Finds Another Mass Grave

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - Vietnamese authorities have located a mass grave containing the remains of Communist soldiers killed during the Vietnam War - the second one in a week, an official said Wednesday.

The grave, with 34 bodies buried in five layers, was discovered in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province, a local official said.

The Viet Cong soldiers - southern Vietnamese who supported the Communist government of North Vietnam - were killed during the Tet Offensive of early 1968, said the official, Nguyen Thi Hong Minh.

They were part of a group of 57 Viet Cong who attacked the South Vietnamese army's Van Kiep Training Center in Ba Ria town and captured its airstrip during the offensive, she said. Only two survived a counterattack by the South Vietnamese.

During the Tet New Year holidays in 1968, Communist forces launched attacks on major cities and military bases throughout South Vietnam. The show of North Vietnamese strength shocked the United States, which backed the rival South Vietnamese government. The Vietnam War ended in 1975.

The recovered remains will be reburied at the provincial war cemetery in Ba Ria, 60 miles southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, the official said.

Another mass grave, containing the remains of 37 North Vietnamese soldiers, was located in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai, authorities said Tuesday.

Vietnam says it still has not accounted for about 300,000 Communist soldiers from the war. The number of missing soldiers from the South Vietnamese side has never been announced

Tet 1968 Phouc Tuy
Tom Menke attending a party with friends the day before the VC/NVA/TET OFFENSIVE
On patrol near Dat Do. The Long High Hills
( a vc santuary ) are in the back ground with the South China Sea to the left.
Provincial headquarters located in Ba Ria
   On the morning of 1 Feb in Phouc Tuy Province, south of the 1st Australian Task Force Nui Dat Base Camp, the VC D445 Local Force Bn, reinforced by the C610 Ba Ria town company launched multiple attacks.  At 0455 two VC companies attacked the RF Ammunition and Logistics compound in the northeast sector of Ba Ria.  Heavy contact continued, the RF supported by artillery.  The RF kept the VC out of the compound until later relieved.  At 0500 about 140 VC attacked JUSPAO, PRU Hq, MSS Adv Hq, the MP station and VIS headquarters.  One platoon occupied the provincial hospital, Catholic church and town theater.  All these facilities were in the center of Ba Ria astride Highways 15 and 23.  At the same time two companies assaulted the bridge at YS375609.  The local RF outpost, supported by mortars and artillery, prevented the VC from destroying the bridge. 


    At 0700 the C1 Co of the D445 Bn assaulted and captured the airstrip adjacent to the Van Kiep National Training Center on the east of Ba Ria.  At 0830 Co A, 3d Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment with 9 armored personnel carriers counterattacked down Highway 2 from Nui Dat.  It was this small armored-infantry force which broke the VC grip on all the key centers in and around Ba Ria, while two ARVN units completed the clearing of the town itself of VC.  The Australian force swept to the center of town and cleared the VC from the church, JUSPAO, hospital, VIS, PRU Hq  and theater.  It then proceeded to the administration and logistical Co compound to resupply the RF force there.  Later it relieved the district headquarters and the Van Kiep Training Center, where elements of the 11 Abn Bn were in contact.


    Several ARVN units were now converging on the area.  Between 0945 and 1230 the 3/42 Inf was combat assaulted from Xuan Loc to LZs west of Ba Ria.  This bn commenced clearing operations eastward.  The 52d Ranger Bn was airlanded at the Van Kiep Field at 1300 and worked westward into town.  At nightfall the 52d Rangers and 3/52 Inf were securing portions of the town.  At 0900 the 4/48 Inf Bn, and RD support battalion at Dat Do moved westward to Long Dien by truck, secured the Chieu Hoi village at YS402601 and searched to north and east of Ba Ria.  At dark this battalion returned to secure its RD area at Dat Do. 


    The locus of VC effort shifted to Long Dien on subsequent days.  It was not until 4 Feb when the VC were substantially eliminated from the Ba Ria - Long Dien populated area.




Ba Ria movie theater above is mentioned in Situation Report below. The picture theatre was later found to be an aid station with miles of tunnels under it. They later pulled about 300 - 400 tons of rice out of there.

VC/NVA/TET OFFENSIVE
                     A personal account of the the start of the TET Offensive          
                                                  TOM MENKE


  We had information that there would be an attack on the Van Kiep ARVN training camp located about 2 clicks east of BaRia along with the small airstrip nearby. We set up an ambush (25 men) on the intended entry route and waited. We had no contact but at about 0400 we could hear heavy gunfire coming from an ARVN supply depot northwest of our location. At about 0530-0600 we heard heavy fire from the ARVN training center, which was approximately 1 kilometer from our location.      

  We rushed to the location (I distinctly remember running into a small house and seeing an older man and women having breakfast. I waved at them as I passed through). As I came out of the house, I started receiving fire from directly in front of me and to the right. In another five seconds we were in a culvert at the edge of the airstrip.

  There was VC running around all over the place. When we opened up they tried hiding in the sparse shrubbery in the field. We would knock them out of the shrubs with M-79 rounds and take them out when they were in the open. Actually, we were outnumbered about 4 to 1 but we were in cover and they were not. There were bullets buzzing around our heads and an occasional RPG came whooshing by.  

  Some time later, I really don't remember how long, my team leader Sgt. James Voss told me that there were some gun ships coming along with a "Puff The Magic Dragon". The Dragon was taking care of the VC at the supply depot and the gun ships were coming to help us out. We popped smoke and they did a fine job of evening the odds.   

  Somewhere around this time, the Province Chief was wounded so a few of us were ordered to escort him to the local medical station.  We had to move back and then South a ways to avoid any VC in that area. A couple hours later (1100) I was asked to help with a few other American military (AF, Marines and Army) to head out to the airstrip to find a missing airman. He was the ground crew for a FAC aircraft. The Foward Air Control aircraft is a two-seat piper cub used for observation.  

  Charlie Brown was the pilot and yes his real name is Charlie Brown. He just got off the ground when the VC first attacked the airstrip and the airman was there to assist him in preparation. There were still a few rounds flying around so we had to take some time to get to the airstrip about 50 meters from where I had been in the culvert.   

  We found the airman hunkered down in a drain pipe. He was facing in one direction and a Vietnamese soldier was facing in the other. There was a dead VC at the airman's opening. The airman told us the VC took a peek into the pipe and it was lights out. This all happened just as we arrived in the culvert so the other VC must have been too occupied to follow up on their missing comrade.
After Action Reports

http://25thaviation.org/history/id741.htm#20
Ba Ria.


    On the morning of 1 Feb in Phouc Tuy Province, south of the 1st Australian Task Force Nui Dat Base Camp, the VC D445 Local Force Bn, reinforced by the C610 Ba Ria town company launched multiple attacks.  At 0455 two VC companies attacked the RF Ammunition and Logistics compound in the northeast sector of Ba Ria.  Heavy contact continued, the RF supported by artillery.  The RF kept the VC out of the compound until later relieved.  At 0500 about 140 VC attacked JUSPAO, PRU Hq, MSS Adv Hq, the MP station and VIS headquarters.  One platoon occupied the provincial hospital, Catholic church and town theater.  All these facilities were in the center of Ba Ria astride Highways 15 and 23.  At the same time two companies assaulted the bridge at YS375609.  The local RF outpost, supported by mortars and artillery, prevented the VC from destroying the bridge. 


    At 0700 the C1 Co of the D445 Bn assaulted and captured the airstrip adjacent to the Van Kiep National Training Center on the east of Ba Ria.  At 0830 Co A, 3d Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment with 9 armored personnel carriers counterattacked down Highway 2 from Nui Dat.  It was this small armored-infantry force which broke the VC grip on all the key centers in and around Ba Ria, while two ARVN units completed the clearing of the town itself of VC.  The Australian force swept to the center of town and cleared the VC from the church, JUSPAO, hospital, VIS, PRU Hq  and theater.  It then proceeded to the administration and logistical Co compound to resupply the RF force there.  Later it relieved the district headquarters and the Van Kiep Training Center, where elements of the 11 Abn Bn were in contact.


    Several ARVN units were now converging on the area.  Between 0945 and 1230 the 3/42 Inf was combat assaulted from Xuan Loc to LZs west of Ba Ria.  This bn commenced clearing operations eastward.  The 52d Ranger Bn was airlanded at the Van Kiep Field at 1300 and worked westward into town.  At nightfall the 52d Rangers and 3/52 Inf were securing portions of the town.  At 0900 the 4/48 Inf Bn, and RD support battalion at Dat Do moved westward to Long Dien by truck, secured the Chieu Hoi village at YS402601 and searched to north and east of Ba Ria.  At dark this battalion returned to secure its RD area at Dat Do. 


    The locus of VC effort shifted to Long Dien on subsequent days.  It was not until 4 Feb when the VC were substantially eliminated from the Ba Ria - Long Dien populated area.


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