Operation Buffalo, Jul. 2-15, 1967.

Operation Buffalo

Sources:
1/9 CC Jul 67 & AAR Op Buffalo
2/9 CC Jul 67 & AAR Op Buffalo
3/9 CC Jul 67 & AAR Op Buffalo
BLT 1/3 CC Jul 67 & AAR Op Buffalo
BLT 2/3 CC Jul 67 & AAR Op Buffalo
3rd Tk Bn CC Jul 67

OPERATION BUFFALO, USMC Fight For The DMZ, by Keith William Nolan
CON THIEN, The Hill Of Angels, by James P. Coan
MARINE CORPS TANK BATTLES in Vietnam, by Oscar Gilbert
U. S. MARINES IN VIETNAM Fighting the North Vietnamese 1967, By Maj. Gary L. Telfer, USMC, LtCol. Lane Rogers, USMC and V. Keith Fleming Jr.

TANK Plt’s, Co,s. Crewmen.

2nd Plt. Bravo Co., 3rd Tks. W/1/9 on Jul 2, 67
B-25 GySgt Eckler
B-24 SSgt. Sloan
B-23 Cpl. Holston, Greg Martin, Terry Hunter, Hank Brightwell (A Conversation about Operation Buffalo)
B-22 Sgt.Randolph

BLT 2/3
(2nd Plt. (Rein), Co. A 3rd Tks 2nd Lt. O’neal ?, attached to BLT 2/3) (2/3 AAR) (1st Plt. B/3/Tks?) B11 Fred Mace, B13 SSgt. Max Fallagan, Charlie Carson, Driver of B13 Leonard Miramontez KIA Jul 6, 67. B14 Bill Nelson, Ron Shuppy, Jerry Wahl. 2 tks w/E/2/3 2 tks w/H/2/3 then all 4 to H/2/3
Munoz, Jim Moyer, Four Gates to Hell Church (YD 123-674)
Det., H&S Co. 3rd Tks

BLT 1/3
1st Plt. Co. C 3rd Tks Jul 5-6, 67 (1/3 AAR) w/H sec of tks 1st Lt. Wayne M. Hayes KIA Jul 6, 67.
1st Plt. Co. A 3rd Tks Jul 7, 67 (1/3 AAR)

2/9
2nd Plt. Co. C. 3rd AT Bn. Jul 2-9, 67
3rd Plt. Co. A. 3rd Tks Jul 2-9, 67

3/9
3rd Plt. Co. C. 3rd Tks Jul 2 + 2nd Lt. Anderson w/3 gun tanks & 1 flame tank (F23 Guy Wolfenbarger). (Guy's Story)
                              1/9 AAR for Operation Buffalo in .PDF format.


Jul 02, 67; At (approx. 1000) B/1/9 ambushed on Rt. 561 (Market Place (YD 135-725) 
     (1/9 AAR)
    At 1000 OPCON to 9th Mar for Op Buffalo. W/ 3rd Plt. Co. A 3rd Tks. (2/9 AAR)
    At (approx. 1200) a reaction force is sent from Con Thien, (3/D/1/9 and 4 tanks 2/B/3/Tks.)
    B22, B23, B24, B25 on sweep W/1/9 through (YD 1370-1371-1372). Two tanks hit mines
    (1 at YD     134-718) (USMC #202136) another at (YD 133-716) (USMC #201983), 1 tank
    took RPG hits (w/1 penetration), another tank took 10 RPG hits w/no penetrations 4 WIA
    (med-evac 40 NVA KIA (probable). (3/Tk CC)
    At (approx. 1230) the first part of 2/C/1/9 and HQ began landing at the forward LZ
    (YD 133-712) (A grunt from C/1/9's story) (1/9 AAR) All 4 tanks (2 towed by 2 loaded w/WIA’s    and KIA’s returned to Con Thien an put in defensive positions (by 1600). (1/9 AAR).
   3/9  landed  at LZ
(YD 130-706) and was OPCON to 1/9, (3rd Plt. Co. C. 3rd Tks Jul 5-6,)
   (2nd Lt. Anderson
w/3 gun tanks & 1 flame tank (F23 Guy Wolfenbarger). Where did they
   come from?). (2/9 AAR)
 


Jul 03, 67; At 1030-1400 BLT 1/3 lands at LZ Hawk (?) (BLT 1/3 AAR)
     At 1935 BLT 1/3 linked up with 3/9 and the 2 Battlaions set up a night defensive line.
     (BLT 1/3 AAR)


Jul 04, 67; At 0700 1/3 and 3/9 w/ tanks from A/3/Tks (English, JJ Carroll, (Gilbert),
     Langley, ?) move north to retrieve B/1/9 KIA’s. (YD 135-720) (BLT 1/3 & 3/9 AAR)
     At 0945 three RPG’s fired at tanks w/K/3/9 Tks fired cannister back. (3/9 AAR)
     At 1015 a tank w/L3/9 was hit by RPG, disabeled and evacuated. From 3/9 AAR. Jul 4,
     Vic. (YD 131-701).  3 RPG rounds fired at tanks w/Co. K. A tank w/Co. L was hit with
     an RPG and disabeled. No matching report in 3rd Tks CC.
     At 1045-1150 Co.s K and L w/Lt Sec (C/3/Tks ?) Tks pull back to (YD 129-717)
     (3/9 AAR)
     At 1130 Alpha Co. Tks at (YD 117-714) fired on suspected NVA Mortar position.
     (3/Tk CC)
     At 1300 4 tanks at (YD 123-733 (?)), Alpha Co., 3rd Tks w/K/3/9. Fired on NVA
     fortified position, 10 NVA KIA (probable). (3/9 AAR says vic YD 127-710 & 129-717)
     (3/Tk CC says YD 123-733). (??)
     At 1630 Co. K w/2 Plt. Co. I and Tks resumed sweep, secured at 1830. (3/9 AAR)
     At 1630 Alpha Co.Tks at (YD 114-712) fired H&I. (3/Tk CC)
     From 2200 Jul 06 to 0530 Jul 07; From 3/9 AAR. Jul 4, Vic. (YD 128-713). 4.2
     Howitzer, 81mm Mortar and tank fire brought to bear on advancing enemy, The enemy
     unsuccessfully concentrated his effort on destroying the tanks w/the front line Co’s w/RPG’s.
 


Jul 05, 67; At 0900 BLT 2/3 OPCON to CO 3rd Mar. (LZ Canary ?) (BLT 2/3 AAR)
    At 1200 1st Plt. B Co. 3rd Tks OPCON BLT 2/3. Vic (YD 146-613) (BLT 2/3 AAR)
    At 1330 Sec of (2) Tks w/F/2/3 and sec of (2) Tks w/H/2/3 from 1st Plt. B Co. 3rd Tks.
    readied for sweep. (BLT 2/3 AAR)
    At 1730 All units positioned for night west of MSR (561).


Jul 06, 67; At 0650 Recieved tanks from A Co. 3rd Tks. (BLT 1/3 AAR)
     At 1000 1st Plt. A Co. 3rd Tks OPCON BLT 2/3. (BLT 2/3 AAR)
     At 1115 Co A sent 1/9 KIA’s to rear on tanks. (BLT 1/3 AAR)
     At 1315 Alpha Co. Tank (#217780) hit mine at (YD 133-725). (C Co. Tk OPCON to
     A Co.) (3/Tk CC)
     At 1945 Alpha Co.Tks at (YD 125-720) w/3/9 picking up KIA’s. (3/9 AAR) (3/Tk CC)


Jul 07, 67; At 1210 (1st Plt. Co. C 3rd Tks w/ BLT 1/3 ,) Jul 5-6, 67 +H sec of tks 1st Lt.
     Wayne M. Hayes KIA Jul 6, 67. 57mm RR hit tank (USMC #201991) setting it on fire.
     (Not in 3rd Tks. CC). (BLT 1/3 rpt RR at  (YD 144-719)
    At 1245 Alpha Co.Tank at (YD 140-718) hit by RPG, 2 WIA (med-evac). (3/Tk CC)
    At 1730 Alpha Co.Tank at (YD 124-720) rced heavy mortar and arty fire. (3/Tk CC)
    At 1745 Alpha Co. (YD 116-701) Flame tank from Camp Dobbins (?) burned out
    treeline. (3/Tk CC)
    At 1800 Alpha Co. At (YD 133-723) 2 tanks hit by RPGs, 1 caused a fire in the turret,
    5 WIA. (3/Tk CC)


Jul 07, 67; At 0800 Tanks w/H/2/3 rec RPG fire from Church at (YD 123-674) 1 hitting turret
     and 1 hitting tracks, both tanks still operatable. (2nd Plt. (Rein), Co. A 3rd Tks 2nd Lt.
     O’neal, ?) SSgt. Max Fallagan Driver KIA Jul 6, 67. Four Gates to Hell Church
     (YD 123-674) (Flame tank ?) (Gilbert) (BLT 2/3 AAR)
     At 1030 Attached tanks (BLT 2/3) fired on spotted NVA resulted in 16 KIA (conf),
     10 KIA (prob). (BLT 2/3 AAR) (3/Tk CC states time as 0815)
     At 1241 Bravo Co. Tanks at (YD 115-673) fired on NVA positions. Results, 4 WIA,
     10 NVA KIA (confirmed), 12 NVA KIA (Probable). (3/Tk CC says (YD 115-815 ?))
     At 1567 Bravo Co. Tk at (YD 115-673) recon by fire. (3/Tk CC) (1/B/3 Tks WIA for
     Jul 6, PFC. C. A. Carson, (B13) Cpl. F. P. Mace, (B11) SSgt. M. R. Flanagan, (2nd Wound),
     (B13) LCpl. L. Miramontez KIA (B13)) (Munioz (Montiz) & J. Moyer were also crewmen of
     1st Plt. there.)


Jul 08, 67; At 1110 Alpha Co. Tank at (YD 116-701) under artilery fire. (3/Tk CC)
     At 1145 Alpha Co. Tank at (YD 156-735) took 10 RPG hits, total loss of tank.
     1 WIA. (3/Tk CC)
     At 1320 Alpha Co. Tank at (YD 125-719) set in defensive positions. (3/Tk CC)

Jul 09, 67; At 1805 Alpha Co. Tank at (YD 136-712) under mortar and artilery fire.
     1 WIA (med-evac), 2 WIA. (3/Tk CC) (1/B/3 Tks WIA for Jul 8, LCpl. J. K. Wahl no
     grid given, near Four Gates to Hell Church)

Jul 10, 67; At 0900 3/9 droped OPCON of 1/9. (From C.O.’s Analysis,) “That trccked vehicals
     includlng Ontos and LVT' s be utilzed extenslively when operating in ths area in a general
     suport role. TheRPG l has been found to be relatively innaccurate at ranges g:reater than
     150 meters. By careful employnent of lnfentry forces the effects of the RPG’s can be
     minimized. The tanks supporting 3/9 were fired at daily with RPG’s and only one was hit. 
     That tank left the battlefield under1t's own power.”

Jul 11, 67; Nothing reported.

Jul 12, 67; At 0800 a tank w/E/2/3 hit AT mine at (YD 128-636) damaged road wheels,
     track and shock absorber.  (B Co. Tk. 3rd Tks CC.) (BLT 2/3 AAR)

Jul 13, 67; At 0810 A Co. Tank at (YD116-701) rcd 4 rounds arty fire. (3/Tk CC)

Jul 14, 67; Nothing reported.

Jul 15, 67; At 0659 BLT 2/3 secured from Buffalo and comences Hickory II.

Jul 16, 67;  Operation Buffalo secured.

The aftermath of Operation Buffalo, Jul. 2-15, 1967.

Summary of Operation Buffalo/Beaver Track

Aerial photo of Con Thien Fire Base looking North towards North Vietnam.
Con Thien Fire Support Base.  Curtesy of Jim Coan.
  July 2nd, Marines from 1/9 bringing in thier wounded.

Tanker Terry Hunter helping, note Terry's wounds on his back. A Dana Stone photo.  
  July 2nd, dead Marines from B/1/9 are taken out by tanks.  A Dana Stone photo. 
  July 2nd, more dead Marines from B1/9.  This tank may be B24 from 2nd Plt., B Co., 3rd Tank Bn.  A Dana Stone photo. 
  July 4th, 5th & 6th, Marines from 1/3 & 3/9 with tanks from Alpha Co. 3rd Tanks get the grizley task of retrieving the bodies of B/1/9 Marines.  A Frank Johnston photo.
  Back to normal.  A road sweep leaves Con Thien.