Article Task Force Oregon


Sergeant Major
MI.Net Member
Mar 20, 2004
Duc Pho is in Quang Ngai Province which was the southern-most end of I Corps, a mostly Marine AO. With Marines being this far south, they were spread pretty thin. The 1st Cav was also in the area.

In early '67 most of the heavy fighting was taking place in III Corps around Saigon. The Army had most of their units there mounting 2 very successful operations back to back; Operations Cedar Falls and Junction City. To make up for the losses in III Corps, Charlie started to put more pressure on the ARVN and US forces in I Corps.

We were operating in II Corps as a reactionary force. I think the only full division in II Corps at the time was the 4th ID. At this time, we were still only 1 brigade. They bounced us all over the place from Kontum to Phan Thiet in NE III Corps. At times, all 3 rifle battalions would be in different AOs. From the end of JAN67 to the end of APR67, the 101st had conducted 4 operations in various parts of II Corps.

Not wanting to pull any divisions out of II and III Corps, losing their momentum, to contend with the pressure being put on in I Corps, MACV came up with Task Force Oregon instead. This would allow the Marines in Quang Ngai Province to move back north with the rest of the Marine units, and the 1st Cav to extend north, opening up Hwy. 1 all the way to Danang.

To make up TF Oregon, basically a division-sized unit, MACV brought together 3 seperate and independent brigades-the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, the 3rd brigade of the 25th ID, and us, the 1st brigade of the 101st Abn. Div.. We were all put under 1 command, commanded by MG Wm. Rosson. Later, and I don't know exactly when, the 3rd brigade of the 25th would become part of the 4th ID.

We started to arrive in the Duc Pho area the end of APR/first of MAY67. At the time, 2/327 had been back down around Tuy Hoa on the Coastal Plains. They were transported by boat [LSTs ?], and landed on the beach like a bunch of freakin' Marines. Our AO was going to be the rugged mountains to the west of Duc Pho.

The whole place was a bastion of VC, with most of the villes under their control. Most of the population, at minimum, sympathized with, if not joined them. A dangerous place. The mountains and valleys to the west were home to several VC units, most notably the 2nd VC Regiment. They knew the area like the back of their hands and were some tough SOBs, often bringing the fight to us. Also, the place was loaded with booby traps.

On 11MAY67 the 101st kicked off Operation Malheur I with 1/327 and 2/502 [me] doing a CA into the mountains. The 2/327 CA'd in the next day. We were to do Search and Destroy operations to locate and destroy the base camps that were in the mountains. We started taking casualties almost immediately, mostly to booby traps. We would have our first KIA 2 days after we got there. We stayed in the mountains for about a month.

When we came down, it was to kick off Operation Malheur II. We were to round up every civilian, dog, pig, water buffalo, and chicken in the Song Ve and the Crow's Foot Valleys. They were going to be moved to government villages in other parts of the country. The whole area was going to be a Free-Fire Zone. ANYBODY seen in the area after the move was to be considered enemy, and SHAME ON THEM. This was still going on when I rotated out the end of JUN67. Was glad to get the Hell out of there, and not just because I was going back to The World.

TF Oregon would stay in existence until the 199th LIB and the 11th Inf. got in-country later in the year to join the 196th LIB to form the Americal Division. This area would become part of their AO, with their basecamp in Chu Lai.
14MAY67 [Mother's Day]

Mother's Day Hill:
It happened 3 days after the 1/327 and 2/502 did a CA into the mountains west of Duc Pho, kicking off Operation Malheur I. This is how one of my best friends, James, ended up in Co. A, 1/327 when he came to the 101st as a replacement.

This is what I remember hearing about it about a month or so later. A platoon from Alpha Company, was on a patrol in an area that they weren't suppose to be in. A 101st LRRP unit spotted them, but were too far away to recognize them as Americans. After checking to see if there were any friendlies in the area, and being told "Negative," the LRRPs called in gunships on them. The guns made a quick pass and hit a couple of guys [There's no such thing as FRIENDLY fire]. Luckily, they were able to identify themselves to the gunships. The 327th brought in medevacs to take out the wounded. After the dust-offs left, the platoon walked right into an NVA ambush just a couple of hundred yards away. I'm sure they were attracted to the area by all of the chopper activity. The platoon was almost wiped out before help got to them.

Told ya Charlie was a tough SOB around Duc Pho.

I'll be visiting James in a couple of weeks at his home down in Oregon.
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More Duc Pho Memories

The 13 or 14MAY67. My company was being moved to another area in the mountains. The LZ was small and could only take 2-3 slicks at a time. I was on the second chopper. When the second group began to come in, Charlie opened up on them and us. One of the birds came down from small arms fire with 6-7 of us on it. One of our guys was killed, but I don't know if it was from the crash or enemy fire. I don't remember how the crew made out. I was pretty busy trying like hell to secure the LZ. A couple of us on the ground were wounded in the initial attack. This was one of Charlie's favorite tactics on small LZs. They'd let a couple drop us off and then hit us, making it a hot LZ to where they wouldn't bring in anymore of us as reinforcements. Then they'd "hug" us real close so the helicoptors couldn't open up on them without hitting us, too. Luckily, we were able to push them back pretty quick so the doorgunners could open up on them. Could of turned nasty.
That sounds like a bad place to have been Frisco, not sure how I would have reacted in that situation but its clear you kept calm and did what you had to do.

Stories like yours interest me and enlighten me about a war that is often portrayed in a less accurate light.

thanks once again frisco (Y)

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