Source : BuNavRec
Subject : RAS 13 after action report
Place : Rach Ba Rai (Snoopy’s Nose)
Date : 13 July 1968
Daily OPSUM 13 Jul 68
1. Operations :
A. The 4/39th Inf Bn was backloaded vic XS 195 472 at 130645H with intentions of proceeding to a PZ vic XS 183 383 for air mobile lift, however, as RAC transited down Rach Ba Rai enemy fire was received from both banks between XS 197 407 and XS 180 407, fire was returned and suppressed (my spotrep 130100Z and 130230Z Refer.) Co 3rd Bde and CTG 117.2 made decision to land 4/39 Inf Bn on both sides of entrance to Ba Rai. After beach prep C Co was landed vic XS 190402 abt 0945hr. As A Co made beaching approach vic XS 172 406 aw fire was received from the beach. B Co was landed vic of XS 174 405 at 1046hr. While beached vic 172 406 at 1136 hr T-131-8 received underwater explosion while adjusting position on beach. (my spotrep DTG 130410Z July refers.) At 1255hr. as T-131 13 was beaching vic XS 173 406, an underwater explosion blew an 18 inch hole in lazaret (my spotrep 130550Z July refers.) No personnel casualties from either explosions. Salvage ops begun and both boats remained beached. Several boats beached in vic T-8 and T-13 and all RAC will remain inside of perimeter throughout night while salvage ops continue.
B. RAD 131 boats were refueled by Windham Cty in relays this afternoon.
C. Windham Cty remaining vic junction Song My Tho/Ham Loung. Shifted anchorage as a defensive measure.
D. Abt 1600hr T-131-1 with army flame unit escorted M-111-3 (monitors were switched during one refueling run para 1.8) transited to Cai before recharging without incident. Flame was expended during this AM firefight.
E. M-111-3 and A-92-6 arrived from MRG Alfa at 131200hr.
A. Following RAC sustained battle damage:
1. T-131-5 heat round through MK 19 mount. Weapon damaged beyond repair. Heat round through stbd side under 20mm mt. Minor damage to bar armor and hole in armor plate at base of 20mm mt.
2. T-131-13 underwater explosion caused an 18 inch hole in port shaft tunnel in lazaret. Will require lift.
3. T-131-8 underwater explosion caused an 18 inch hole in hull under stbd fuel tank. Eng room flooded. Will require lift.
B. Following additional material descrepancies exist:
1. T-131-2 port engine has broken crank shaft.
2. A-111-3 contaminated fuel system.
3. T-131-6 port engine still inoperative.
A. If present tempo of ops continues 40mm HE, it will be in short supply only 40mm ammo avail is what is on mike boats. My 130550Z Jul 68 applies.
B. Windham Cty provided outstanding service to RAS boats with chow, cokes, fuel and water, DC equipment, and shipfitters to AO on short notice.
A. Casualties from this mornings action were as follows:
7 USA WIA, 2 dustoff
9 USN WIA, 2 dustoff, one of which remained in Dong Tam, the other medivaced to Long Binh.
B. After landing of 4/39 Inf Bn the troops sweep through the ambush site and discovered 2 VC KIA (one floating and one in small bunker) the KIA’s were credited to CTU 117.3 by army. Several blood trails were also noted.
C. From all indications damage sustained by T-131-8 and T-131-13 were from contact mines or trip wire activated mine which detonated as boats beached. There was no indications of command detonation.
D. For oprep 5 Windham Cty expended 40 rds 3″50 Dong Tam anchorage. RAS 13 will report ammo expenditure separate msg. Boat usage and AO’s in previous opsum.
5. Future Plans/Future Operations:
A. Plan transit T-131-8, T-131-13 and escorts with A-111-3 and M-91-2 to Dong Tam as soon as patched, pumped and floated.
B. When above completed remaining RAD 131 units will remain vic mouth of Rach Ba Rai were 4/39th Bn will ron.
C. Plan transit RAD 131 units and Windham Cty to Dong Tam at AM 14 July if salvage ops go on sked.
D. Stand down and effect boat repairs.