~ 720th Military Police Battalion Vietnam History Project ~
February 1968
Battalion Timeline
This Page Last Updated   13 April 2018
Regardless of MOS if you recognize or participated in any of the events listed on this Timeline page and would like to contribute any information, personal stories, documents, media articles, photographs, or, if you can provide information on any events not listed, please take a moment to contact the History Project Manager Tom Watson at the Email Link provided on this page. Your contributions are important to the recording of the Battalion history and always welcomed here.
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      All major theater activities, stateside incidents, or Cold War and Vietnam War events that affected the 720th MP Battalion’s force allocations, training, operations, deployments, morale or history are shown in Italic blue American Typewriter font.
18th MP
89th MP
720th MP

     At the start of the month Battalion HQ Detachment, its organic letter companies and the 615th MP Company were headquartered subordinate to the 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade in Long Binh Post in Bien Hoa Provence of III Corps Tactical Zone, South Vietnam.

1 February

Xuan Loc Convoy  Battalion S3 changed the Xuan Loc Convoy mission from a night back to a day operation because of increased enemy activity in the area. The change provided much more safety for the convoy vehicles and MP escorts.


USARV  0002 hours, MAJ Fred J. Villella of 89th MP Group, reported that 15 rounds of mortar fire hit around the USARV (United States Army Republic of Vietnam) HQ and are believed to have originated from the 720th Tactical Area of Responsibility. Long Binh Post Provost Marshals Office to investigate.

0115 hours, Long Binh Post Provost Marshals Office investigation revealed that the USARV HQ had been hit by canisters from 155mm illumination rounds, not enemy mortar rounds.

Cogido Barge Site  0130 hours, LTC Francis E. "Frank" Payne, Commanding Officer, 89th MP Group, notified this HQ’s that a fire fight was in progress 1,000 meters north of the Cogido Barge & Dock Site. The Battalion Reaction Force was called to assist elements of Company D, 87th Infantry (Rifle Security) of the 95th MP Battalion who were pinned down by enemy firing at the Cogido ammunition and fuel dock and barge site west of Long Binh Post.


     The Battalion Reaction Force escorted the 557th MP Company reinforcements from the 95th MP Battalion Reaction Force to the site.

     Upon arrival at the barge site they became the targets of heavy small arms fire and called for helicopter gunship and armored assistance. An armored Personnel Carrier from 720th MP Battalion HQ Detachment arrived and assisted in the evacuation of one man wounded in the exchange of gunfire. Their quick response prevented the enemy from penetrating the facility.

95th MP

0207 hours, Hospital Guards notified this office that an unidentified POW, #2054, admitted to Ward #1 at 1145 hours, 31 January, died from a gun shot wound to the head. The POW was pronounced dead at 0135 hours by CPT Fuller, 50th Medical Company.

0507 hours, the Long Binh Post Provost Marshals Office advised that 2nd Field Forces and the 90th Replacement Battalion are on “Red Alert” due to a mortar attack.

0515 hours, “Mississippi 26” reported that Honor Smith Compound and the 3rd Corps RVN area were also under enemy fire.

0530 hours, “Mississippi 26” reported that hostile fire on Bien Hoa had ceased.

0552 hours, “Wicked 77” found a lost .45 caliber pistol near the starting point.

615th MP Company 0630 hours, SGT Braswell, NCOIC (Noncommissioned Officer In Charge) of the Tan An Detachment, 615th MP Company, reported that at 1045 hours, 31 January, PFC Paul Chasten was admitted to the 9th Medical Hospital for illness and was expected to stay for 2-3 days.

0632 hours, SGT Michael J. Maratea, [A Company] Hospital Guards, reported that a VC, POW, name unknown #2079 was admitted to Ward #1, 50th medical Company at 0310 hours this date. He was captured in Bien Hoa with leg injuries.

0730 hours, SGT Michael J. Maratea, Hospital Guards, notified this office that POW, Na Mang Van #2049 expired at 0658 hours this date from multiple gun shot wounds. He was pronounced by CPT Schwarto, 50th Medical Company. POW count changed to 110.

0930 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton [A Company], Hospital Guards, notified this office that 1 unidentified POW, #2080 was admitted to the 50th Medical Hospital at 0925 hours this date. POW count changed to 111.

1050 hours, CPT O’Brennan, Operations Officer, 90th Replacement Battalion, called this office and requested an Operation SHOTGUN escort from the 90th to Bien Hoa and return. The escort must be at the 90th at 1200 hours. Advised same this unit would furnish three armored gun jeeps with three man crews each, and full combat gear. 1SG Arthur J. Reese, C Company, notified.

615th MP Company 1110 hours, MAJ Anthony, Long Binh Post, contacted this office and requested escort vehicles at 1630 hours, from Gate #3 to Bien Hoa Air Base and return. Escorts will be for the 172nd Engineer Detachment which is on Priority Orders to depart Bien Hoa this date. The convoy will consist of 74 personnel and four 2&1/2 ton trucks. 1SG Richard A. Shields, 615th MP Company, notified and advised he can fill the mission.

1130 hours, At 11:30 AM, SGT Hefflinger, 89th MP Group, contacted this office and requested an escort for a resupply mission from Long Binh Post to Saigon at 1230 hours. The convoy will consist of one 2&1/2 ton truck to Saigon and two 2&1/2 ton trucks on the return. MAJ Davis, 89th MP Group, S-4 [Logistics], will accompany the convoy. CPT Paul R. Guimond, B Company, advised he would fill the commitment.

1225 hours, LTC Robert Reinke, Battalion Commander, requested one V100 with crew with four times the basic load of ammunition to report to the 89th MP Group at 1230 hours. 1SG Thomas M. Amii, A Company notified.

1245 hours, At 12:45 PM this office was notified by Long Binh Post Provost Marshals Office that Highway-15 is in “Condition Red.” There is a fire fight at the Train Compound (MACV Team 95, Bien Hoa). Operation SHOTGUN and SP/4 Denkers, 89th MP Group notified.

1250 hours, C Company's V100 placed on alert for move out, instructed to carry four times basic load of .30 caliber ammunition. 1LT Price, C Company notified.

1310 hours, CPL Denton, A Company, Hospital Guards, notified this office that POW’s, Phan Van Nghia #2081, and Nguyen Van Anh #2082, both captured by 4tn Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade, were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1245 hours this date.

1500 hours, SGT Hefflinger, 89th MP Group, notified this office that 2nd Field Forces notified the 18th MP Brigade that enemy groups in the area are changing into civilian clothes to avoid capture, and to be sure we check all identification of all suspicious civilians.

1505 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, A Company, Hospital Guards, notified this office that 1 unidentified POW, #2804 was admitted to Ward #3, 50th Medical Company at 1430 hours. POW count changed to 113.

615th MP Company  1515 hours, SMG Buehler, 277 S&S, notified this office that his mission to meet up with convoy at Gate #3 is canceled because his flight at Bien Hoa Air Base will be tomorrow, and he will contact us then. 1SG Richard A. Shields, 615th MP Company notified.

1540 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guard, notified this office that two unidentified POW’s were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1530 hours, and are expected to expire. Their registration number are #2085 and #2086. POW count changed to 116.

Xuan Loc Detachment  Local villagers began fleeing their rural homes to the city warning of an imminent Viet Cong attack. 1550 hours, Viet Cong units attacked Xuan Loc, U.S. units arrived to reinforce the ARVN's and the VC assaults were repulsed.

615th MP Company  1645 hours, SGT Hefflinger, 89th MP Group, notified this office of a convoy from Class 1 Point [Ammunition], Long Binh Post, 506 Ammunitions Depot, to Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Camp Alpha [Billets for In/Out and R&R]. It consist of 4, S&T [Shipping and Transport] vehicles. One vehicle will be dropped at Camp Alpha, the other three at an unknown destination. Assigned to 615th MP Company on their way back to pickup at 1730 hours.

1700 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guards, notified this office that 2 PO’s, Nguyen Van Duong #2087 and one unidentified #2088, were admitted to 50th Medical at 1645 hours. POW count changed to 118.

   The 720th MP Battalion became the first MP unit in Vietnam under the 18th MP Brigade to be assigned its own Armored Personnel Carriers. The first 6 of 12 expected Armored Personnel Carriers [APC’s] were delivered to the 720th MP Battalion and were ready to be put into service by 2200 hours. Editors Note: See log entree, 1900 hours, Information, this date.

.Personal Reflection

     "Just to let you know that A Company did have tracks. I started driving one just a few days after the Tet Offensive started in 1968. We ran the tracks for maybe 3 or 4 months, but I am not sure. I was qualified to run the track by a Sergeant from Blackhorse [11th Armored Cavalry Regiment] because I drove around the "block" and didn't run down any buildings. We ran convoys to Tay Ninh at first. We did this for quite awhile. I can remember going over the Newport Bridge when part of the span was missing on my first trip to Tay Ninh, and on my first day of driving the track." SGT Phillip J. Beaver, A Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, August 1967-August 1968.

1845 hours, CPT Steven Vass, Jr. Battalion Operations Officer, notified this office that the Newport Convoy is canceled. B Company notified.

Operation SHOTGUN 1810 hours, escorts of C Company were released by the 90th Replacement Battalion.


1900 hours, SGT Scott, 18th MP Brigade, telephoned this office and stated that he has only one instructor for Armored Personnel Carriers and we should set up classes as soon as possible because the instructor is due to leave. Battalion CO’s and CPT Roger J. Gaydos [HHD] notified.

Personal Reflection

     "We received our Armored Personnel Carriers (APC-M113) just before or during the Tet Offensive, 1968. I believe each company received four. They were used on everything: Tay Ninh convoy; Black Horse convoy; Operation Overtake; Tactical Area Of Responsibility (TAOR), etc. Later that summer I believe all the APC’s were consolidated at one 720th Company but I can't remember which one. A sidelight, how many tracked vehicle mechanics were assigned to the 720th at this time? Answer- NONE!SSG (CWO3 Ret.) Peter A. Dedijer, A Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, August 1967 to August 1968.


     Since the MP’s lacked experience on the operation and maintenance of the new tracked vehicles they had to use their initiative and in some cases improvise.

     SP/4 Phillip B. Lutz of C Company, who had four months experience operating V100 Commando Cars, picked up pointers from an NCO at the Battalion Motor Pool. He in turn taught SP/4 Milton Johnson also of C Company. SP/4 Leroy A. Hayes of A Company used his civilian experience in operating a caterpillar tractor and instructed SP/4 George Gillespie also of A Company. SP/4 Wesley J. Busman of A Company used his previous six months of experience with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas.

SP/4 P. B. Lutz
SP/4 M. Johnson
SP/4 Hayes
SP/4 Gillespie
SP/4 Busman
If you can provide any names, photographs and/or additional stories about the receipt of and training on the new APC's, please contact the History Project Manager via the Email Link at the top of this page.

1940 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guards, notified this office that at 1850 hours POW’s, Thai Van Hong #2089, Huyett Van Tu #2090, unidentified #2091, and Dong Tu #2092, were admitted to the 50th Medical Company.

2000 hours, SGT Hefflinger, 89th MP Group, notified this office that we will have to commit to a convoy escort from the 7th Battalion T. C. Hill [Transportation Company Hill], home of the 48th Transport Group [Long Binh Post] to Gate #1 at the Newport Bridge. Vehicles 15-M-52, 5 ton wood SP [fifteen, M-52 Supply and Transport Trucks - wooden bodies or trailers that weigh 5 tons]. Six A Company jeeps, nine men from C Company, and nine men from B Company

2015 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guards, notified this office that POW, Le Toan #2093, was admitted at 50th Medical Company.

2120 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guards, notified this office that the new Ward #6 is now open. There are 20 POW’s in the ward, a new count of all wards will be submitted later.

2127 hours, SGT Orvis, 48th Transportation Group Operations, notified this office that there will be no Tay Ninh Convoy on 2 February 1968. CPT Steven Vass, Jr., Battalion Operations, and B Company notified.

2215 hours, SFC Janss, 89th MP Group Operations, notified this office that two platoons of Viet Cong were reported to be in the area of Grid Coordinates [map location] YT 0207.

2231 Hours, SFC Janss, 89th MP Group Operations, notified this office that we are now on “Yellow” alert status. CPT Perry, A ,B ,C, HQ Detachment, BOQ [Bachelor Officers Quarters], and 615th MP Company notified.

2310 hours, all Battalion units reported all men were present and accounted for.

2345 hours, SFC Janss, 89th MP Group Operations, notified this office that we are now on “Gray” alert status.

POW Status 24th Evacuation Hospital, 29 POW’s. 50th Medical Company, POW’s by Wards, #1-10, #2-8, #3-11, #4-19, #5-6, #7-20, #8-20.

2400 hours, Log Closed.

2 February

Xuan Loc Detachment 0130 hours, The Viet Cong reinitiated four new attacks on Xuan Loc City and ARVN bases.

0505 hours, SGT Jones, 89th MP Group requested two gun jeeps to escort COL Durue to Newport Bridge at 0600 hours. B Company notified.

0625 hours, received a report from Long Binh Post Provost Marshals Office that the road conditions were “Red” [Enemy Activity], on Highway 1A, 15, and 317. No vehicles will be allowed to leave Long Binh Post. All units were notified.

0640 hours, notified by Hospital Guard Detail, 50th Medical Company, that POW Mai Van Quang #2094, an NVA Private, 1st. Battalion, 4th Regiment, 5th NVA Division, was captured at Bien Hoa Air Base by A Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, and was admitted to Ward #3 at 0615 hours for gunshot wound in ankle, condition good.

0700 hours, the Tay Ninh Convoy, B Company, departed Long Binh Post.

0905 hours, CPT Wilder, 2nd Field Forces, Provost Marshals Office, notified this office to have POW, Le Van Thiet moved from Bear Cat Base, 9th Infantry Division, to II Corps POW Cage.

0915 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guards, notified this office that 2 POW’s, #2095 and #2096, were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 0840 hours this date.

1100 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guards, notified this office that two POW’s captured by the 4/12th, 199th Light Infantry Brigade were admitted to the 50th Medical Company, their registration numbers are, #2099 and #2100. CPL Denton also stated that he has two female detainees there that are not wounded and the hospital personnel want them moved out. They were brought in by the 101st Airborne Division MP’s. POW count changed to 128, SFC Roger F. Ruggles, Battalion Operations NCO will notify 101st MP’s to pick up the female detainees.

1230 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guard, informed this office that one POW, #2101, was admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1140 hours. POW count changed to 129.

1355 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guards, notified this office that a female POW, Nguyen Thi Houng #9303, who is NVA, was admitted to Ward #12, 24th Evacuation Hospital at 1335 hours. POW count changed to 130.

615th MP Company  1530 hours, SFC Roger F. Ruggles Battalion Operations, contacted Gate #3, 9th Infantry Division for a report on the Xuan Loc Convoy. Gate #3 informed him there would be no convoy tonight. 615th MP Company notified.

1605 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton, Hospital Guards, notified this office that 2 POW’s, #2104 and #2105, were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1545 hours.

1630 hours, SFC Richard DeHart, B Company, reported for duty as Staff Duty Noncommissioned Officer.

1700 hours, CPL Jerry W. Denton reported 2 additional POW’s, were admitted to the 50th Medical Company, Nguyen Van Vien #2109, and Phan Van Than #2108. They were captured by B Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, and A Company, 2nd Battalion 506th Infantry, respectively.

1730 hours, the POW count was sent to SP/4 Denkers, 89th MP Group Operations, total of 132.

1915 hours, Hospital Guards, notified this office that 2 POW’s, both VC, unidentified #2113, and Ngo Van Pjung #2114, captured by B Company, 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, were admitted to the 50th Medical Company.

1930 hours, The 95th MP Battalion requested an escort for one 2&1/2 ton truck of RFPF (Regional Forces Popular Forces), from Cogido to Duc Tu. C Company notified.

2025 hours, B Company was requested to provide a three gun-jeep escort for the Popular Forces from Duc To to Cogido. Departure time at 2130 hours.

615th MP Company  2030 hours, the 615th MP Company was assigned to provide a three gun-jeep escort for trucks from the 3rd Ordinance Ammunition Depot to Bien Hoa Air Base. Escort to depart Long Binh Post at 2130 hours.

2040 hours, the 1930 hours request for C Company escorts for PF’s from Cogido to Duc Tu was canceled by CPT Steven Vass, Jr., Battalion Operations.

615th MP Company  2045 hours, the 615th was requested to assign four gun-jeeps and eight men for Long Binh Post gate security.

615th MP Company, Tan An Detachment  2125 hours, the 615th MP Company, Charge of Quarters, reported a negative Sit-Rep [situation report] for the Tan An Detachment.

2130 hours, Three armored gun-jeeps and one Armored Personnel Carrier were assigned from C Company to the Operation SHOTGUN escort scheduled to depart Long Binh Post at 2145 hours.

2210 hours, CPT Childs contacted this office and canceled the Operation SHOTGUN escort. C Company notified.

     Informed by the Desk Sergeant of the Long Binh Post, Provost Marshals Office that an A Company jeep, A-23, ran into a barrier in the 208th area, denting a fender and breaking a head light. No injuries were reported, no Serious Incident Report needed.

     The following personnel of the 615th MP Company were lightly wounded during the day and required no hospitalization: SGT’s Donald R. Deliecese and Thomas E. Fink, Jr., and PFC’s Alan J. Harrell and Ronnie I. McMeekin.

Editors Note: There was no information listed in available records as to the time, place or circumstances of the actions in which the members of the 615th were involved. If you can provide any information, please contact the History Project Manager via he Email Link at the top of this page.

2400 hours, Log Closed.

3 February

Xuan Loc Detachment  0700 hours, U.S. and ARVN defenders finally cleared the city of Xuan Loc of enemy forces.

Tay Ninh Convoy  During the opening days of the Tet Offensive the 25th Infantry Division was fully engaged in the Tay Ninh area cleaning out the remaining elements of enemy forces that tried to overrun the city. With the temporary disruption of the daily convoy critically needed supplies were running low.

     The Battalion was tasked with providing thirty enlisted men, one officer, seven gun jeeps and two Armored Personnel Carriers for escort duty. The highways were deemed clear enough to restart the daily run. They progressed through Saigon without incident and the run was uneventful until they approached Cu Chi.

     The 25th Division Reaction Force accompanying them met heavy enemy resistance, and the convoy was forced to remain at the Cu Chi Base Camp until the next morning. Two members of the B Company escort team, PFC George D. Langston and SP/4 Coleman W. Heathington, were slightly wounded during the run.

Weekly TV Schedule
4 February

Tay Ninh Convoy  The Tay Ninh Convoy ambushed on 3 February continued its move from Cu Chi to Tay Ninh arriving without further incident.

     The remaining six Armored Personnel Carriers of the new allotment arrived at the Battalion and were immediately put into use.

5 February

Operation OVERTAKE,  0100 hours  The 273d Viet Cong Main Force Regiment, 9th North Vietnamese Army (NVA) Division already battered from an unsuccessful attack on Thu Duc the previous day, attempted to destroy the Newport Bridge over the Saigon River on Highway-1A (#316) in Gia Dinh Province that linked Saigon and Bien Hoa.

     Several A Company gun jeeps that were escorting an Operation OVERTAKE Night convoy were on the south (U.S. Army Newport Military Terminal and Docks) side of the bridge when the VC attack started. It was something they had not planned for.


     The bridge was a critical artery for military logistical and support traffic from the Newport and Saigon Docks as well as Vietnamese civilian commerce from the rice bowl Mekong Delta region of IV Corps Tactical Zone.


     The Viet Cong attack was directed at the small Regional Forces-Popular Forces (RF-PF) bridge security compound located on the southeast side of the bridge. It began with a barrage of mortar rounds then a fierce ground assault against the compound. The VC were able to quickly overrun a number of the RF/PF bunkers and took control of the southern end of the bridge.

     Just prior to the attack an A Company, 720th MP Battalion Operation OVERTAKE convoy escort unit had just completed their return run of the third or fourth convoy operation of the night. The unit supervised by Noncommissioned Officer In Charge [NCOIC] SSG Michael J. Maratea consisted of four MP gun- jeeps manned by nine MP’s.

     Their returning convoy crossed the bridge over the Saigon River to the south side and turned left [east] into the convoy holding area of the U.S. Army Newport Terminal and Docks Complex just outside the main gate. As they waited for the previous serial of trucks that were being loaded for the last escort run of the night back to Long Binh Post, the VC mortars started falling immediately followed by the ground attack of small arms and automatic weapons fire on the RF/PF compound directly across the roadway from their location.

     SSG Maratea immediately notified their OVERTAKE headquarters of the attack, and ordered the gun-jeeps to scatter and take up positions along the roadway to defend against a possible ground assault on the convoy holding yard and main gate of the terminal.


     Within minutes several helicopters gun ships arrived on the scene and started directing fire in support of the RF/PF defensive positions. Fire from a VC heavy machine gun struck one of the helicopters disabling it. The chopper left the area trailing black smoke.

     With the VC in control of the bridge deck their Sapper Teams gained access to the bridge pilings below and managed to destroy one section of the northbound lane.

     The MP gun-jeep positions in the holding yard were below the bridge's deck level so their fire was limited to the roadway area between the RF-PF compound and approach to the southern end of the bridge. They remained at their defensive positions during the hour long fire fight with several of the gun-jeeps directing sporadic M-60 machine gun fire towards movement on the south end of the bridge preventing the enemy the ability to provide further access for their elements to the bridge deck. None of the VC force made it beyond the roadway to the MP positions.

     A relief force of the 1st Battalion, 5th ARVN Cavalry Squadron arrived and counterattacked the Viet Cong positions recapturing the bridge deck and ending the attack. After the battle eleven Viet Cong bodies were found on the bridge deck, and additional enemy bodies were also recovered from the approaches.

     The Overtake escort gun-jeeps were ordered to remain at the terminal holding yard until proper damage assessment of the bridge deck could be conducted in daylight. The bridge main structure was still intact and only one section of deck on the north bound lane was collapsed.

     The remaining escort run was canceled for the day and the Overtake Night escort unit was released to return back to Long Binh Post.

Photograph courtesy of SGT Allan Furtado, 154th Transportation Company,  June 1967-June 1968
Photograph courtesy of Wayne Ferguson, 154th Transportation Company, 1968
5 February 1968 U.S. Army video (without audio) of the damage to the Newport Bridge.
If you were part of the 720th Overtake Night escort that participated in the defense of the bridge, please contact the History Project Manager via the Email Link on the top of this page.
10 February

615th MP Company - Tan An Detachment  During the early morning hours a Battalion sized force of Viet Cong attacked the base camp at Tan An. The Battalion Detachment of the 615th MP Company were kept busy defending their compound.


     Battalion Commander, LTC Robert Reinke, was designated the Provost Marshal of Area 3 (including area 2) and became responsible for providing military police support.

     The principal advantage of the concept of the battalion commander also being the Provost Marshal of the area in which his battalion normally operates is that the commander can rapidly employ his battalion resources to meet area military police requirements in the most economical and responsive manner.

615th MP Company Transferred To The 95th MP Battalion

615th MP Company  Under 18th MP Brigade instructions issued on 24 April 1967, a military police needs survey for Long Binh Post was conducted by the III CTZ Provost Marshal. With the programmed increase of troops strength from 19,000 to 42,000 expected by August 1967 and a projected increase to 80,000 by early 1968, it was recommended that provost marshal and military police operations needed a PMO section (4 officers and 13 enlisted men) and one MP Company (4 officers and 151 enlisted men) dedicated to the mission.

     As a direct result of this survey B Company's transition of its discipline, law and order mission in Bien Hoa and on Long Binh Post over the past year was slowly assimilated by the 615th MP Company, and on 10 February the 615th MP Company was finally detached from the Battalion and reassigned to the 95th MP Battalion (89th MP Group) on Long Binh Post with its primary duties changed from direct combat support to a discipline, law and order mission. Responsibilities for their AO in the new Tactical Area Of Responsibility was assimilated by the 720th MP Battalion ambush teams.

212th MP Company (Sentry Dog) Transferred To The 720th MP Battalion
212th MP Company  The 212th MP Company (Sentry Dog) was reassigned from the 95th MP Battalion and attached to the 720th MP Battalion for administration and logistics support. The 89th MP Group still retained operational control of the company.
95th MP
15 February

     The 18th MP Brigade issued a letter and attached addendum to Headquarters, USARV titled Lessons Learned During VC/NVA Tet Offensive. It advised USARV to add their 18 page special addendum (separate) to the Brigade’s quarterly report of Operations Report-Lessons Learned for the period 1 February-30 April.

     The addendum covered many issues relative to military police operations of all types throughout its command. Of specific reference to the 720th MP Battalion mission, it offered a recommendation as to the availability of contracted civilian and Popular Forces personnel used as battalion interpreters. The problem was not found to be specific to the battalion’s headquarters or operations SOP in use at the time, but was directed towards the higher commands responsible for the established protocol on hiring local Vietnamese Nationals, arranging mutual protocol’s with local village Popular Forces, National Police, ARVN Quan Canh commands and enforcing security at the military and employee’s gates on Long Binh Post.

Discussion: Since 20 October 1967, the 720th MP Battalion has been assigned a TAOR. During the course of operations in the TAOR, Vietnamese personnel have been used as interpreters. They assist in evaluating intelligence, translate for detainees being interrogated by the S-2, assist at checkpoint operations when Vietnamese are detained, and provide a means of communication with village personnel in all phases of operations. This situation also existed at all Provost Marshal Offices, Criminal Investigation Field Offices and Military Police Stations.

Lessons Learned: During holiday periods and during operational alerts, interpreters either failed to arrive for work or were restricted from the post, leaving a definite gap in communications between U.S. and the Vietnamese. Therefore, a need exists for permanently assigned interpreters within military police units and activities.

Recommendations: That interpreters be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to those units, which require contact with Vietnamese.

17 February

     Captured documents show that COSVN (North Vietnam’s Central Office for South Vietnam command and control) ordered a second wave of attacks to be launched, which were to be stronger than the first attacks on 31 January. These attacks occurred on the night of 17-18 February. The "wave" was feeble by comparison with the earlier TET assaults. There were 10 ground attacks and 57 attacks by fire. The VC lost 446 killed, at an Allied Forces cost of 28 U.S. and 82 ARVN KIA.

18 February

212th MP Company (Sentry Dog) At approximately 0300 hours an attempted penetration of the 3rd Ordnance Ammunition Supply Depot was perpetuated by a Viet Cong sapper team. The attack was preceded by sniper fire received in several places around the depot plus a rocket and mortar attack. The enemy was hiding around an unused power line pylon and blew the first of three strands of triple concertina wire with bangalore torpedoes. Elements of D Company, 87th Infantry (Rifle Security) manning Tower #15, which was the object of the attack on the Southeast corner of the depot, called for helicopter gunship's and reaction forces.

     A withering field of fire was put out by the personnel in tower #15 temporarily delayed the enemy's breach attempt. As reaction forces and an Armored Personnel Carrier mounting a .50 caliber machine gun were deployed, the enemy partially blew the center strand of wire but was forced back before they could take advantage of it. By this time helicopter gunship's were in the area and proceeded to engage the enemy with rockets and machine guns. The enemy then broke contact and withdrew.

     At dawn three enemy bodies were discovered and one prisoner was captured who was severely wounded. The enemy left two individual and three crew served weapons plus numerous other articles, medical supplies, rice, clothing, and ammunition. A sweep conducted later that morning showed that the enemy had withdrawn to the east and many blood trails were observed leading away through the jungle.

     The 122mm Katyusha rocket attack that preceded the attempted penetration caused considerable damage. Pad I-8 containing demolition materials received a direct hit and exploded with a tremendous concussion. Many fires were started and several other pads started burning. Pad G-7 exploded approximately an hour and a half following the initial attack and caused considerable damage to two fire fighting vehicles, a fork lift, and the enlisted club. A total of seven pads were destroyed. Pad G-4 $236,324.97, Pad I-8   $163,124.22, Pad F-5  $326,030.99, Pad G-5  $869,156.88, Pad F-4  $400,535.10, Pad G-6  $412,517.04, Pad G-7  $366,692.54.


     As action subsided from the second wave of attacks ordered by COSVN for the 17th & 18th, it was clear that the enemy lacked the strength to mount serious new attacks against the key areas in III CTZ. The essential defensive battle of TET around Long Binh Post was over.

19 February

     CPT Maurice T. Fitzgerald former platoon leader of the 615th MP Company, assumed duties as the new Battalion Intelligence and Security Officer (S2).

     From 29 Jan through 19 February: U.S. forces lost 453 killed and 3,625 wounded. ARVN (III Corps) lost 471 killed and 1290 wounded. Australian, New Zealand and Thailand forces lost 20 killed and 83 wounded. No US/FWF/ARVN maneuver units from company size were destroyed or rendered combat ineffective during the offensive. VC/NVA forces lost 12,614 killed, 864 personnel and 3,089 weapons captured in the offensive.

     Captured documents as well as interrogations of POWs and ralliers, clearly indicate that the enemy undertook the Tet Offensive for the purpose of capturing and holding key installations in Saigon as well as provincial capitals’ and for the subsidiary purpose of overrunning key RVN and U.S. military headquarters and airbases, i.e., Ill Corps HQ, II Field Forces HQ, Bien Hoa and Tan Son Nhut Airfield. Had the offensive succeeded, the VC intended to establish a revolutionary government or at least be in a position of strength from which to call for peace negotiations on their terms.

21 February

Operation OVERTAKE  0154 hours, the VC ambushed a small Operation OVERTAKE Night convoy of U.S. civilian contractor vehicles with multiple RPG fire damaging four of them. Three of the trucks belonged to Equipment Incorporated and one to Philco Ford. The convoy sustained four casualties, three civilian contractor employees were wounded and one U.S. soldier was killed.


Personal Reflections

     “The one U.S. solider that was killed was John Wade Kinney SP/4 of the 1st Logistics Command (Long Binh Post). I never new him personally because they pulled troops from where-ever to fill the truck diving that the Vietnamese civilians refused to do because of too many ambushes.

     My trucks brakes failed at the checkpoint, and we were second in line. Rather than hold up the convoy, the rest of the trucks went around and ahead of us. If it was not for brake failure, who knows, I might not be alive today.

     The sky on the ride ahead up Highway-1A lit up, and the sound of the explosions was heard. I prayed, as the MPs and I rode down the valley of shadow of death with our lights off, and only a half moon to see with. I thought that we were all dead men when we got to the ambush site. Several trucks were off the road to the right, and had steam pouring out of their radiator. As I pulled one man out of a truck, my hand entered his stomach and the feeling from the warm blood made me vomit. I never new a lifeless body could be so difficult to move. The Dust-Off came in, and now you know the rest of the story.”   SP/4 Michael A. Pesuit, 1st Logistical Command, Long Binh Post, 1967-1968. 

22 February

Personal Reflections

     “Today about 1 o'clock we got called out because someone spotted some VC in our area [Battalion TAOR]. We went down there but couldn’t find anything, so they called us back in. On the way back we were riding in an APC (armored personnel carrier) it looks like a tank, and we ran over a mine that the VC had had planted in the road. It blew up and did considerable damage to the APC. There were 8 of us inside of it at the time. However, no one was hurt very seriously.

     The worst was a concussion that one fellow got. All the rest of us got some bumps and bruises. After the mine went off we moved out of the vehicle in a hurry because everyone was afraid it might catch on fire. After that we started a sweep of the area but didn’t find anyone in the vicinity. After that they sent out another vehicle to pick us up and brought us in.”   Edited from a letter home of SP/4 James H. Ahlfeld, A Company, 1967-1968.

SP/4 Ahlfeld
27 February

TAOR The first boats obtained to start the River Patrol Unit were replaced with six sleeker Boston Whalers, called "Skimmers,” and the older 25 and 55 hp outboards were upgraded to newer 85 hp. Johnson’s.

Stateside  Walter Cronkite’s report on the CBS Evening News program, Who, What, When, Why on 27 February 1968, is believed to be a major reason the majority of the American public changed their opinion from support of the Vietnam War, to it’s opposition. He interpreted the Tet Offensive as a Viet Cong victory instead of the crushing loss it was. Link includes wav. audio > We Are Mired In Stalemate

     At the time, Cronkite was considered by the American public as the “most respected and influential newsman in America.”


     Battalion strength for the month was 603 personnel (organic units), and 218 for the 212th MP Company (Sentry Dog).

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