Comment: “Australian Army Intelligence Operations Vietnam War 1968”
Author: Ernie Chamberlain
ED: In addition to Ernie’s previous comment,
Recently, a US Vietnam veteran colleague (intelligence officer, linguist, two-plus years in-country) offered his analysis of a seeming “geographic disparity” in US combat frequency/intensity across South Vietnam’s 44 provinces: “No place was safe in Viet Nam?
This is often heard and read and essentially reflects ignorance. 65% of American combat fatalities took place in the 12 provinces, from Hau Nghia ((MR3 – bordering Cambodian border/Parrot’s Beak)) north to Quang Tri ((northernmost province in MR 1)), bordering either Cambodia, or Laos, or Laos and North Viet Nam. 35% of the remaining combat fatalities occurred in the remaining 32 provinces of Viet Nam.
Clearly, some provinces were far more lethal than others. 8,099 Americans were killed in Quang Nam province (MR 1), while 32 died in Phu Bon (central MR2 – bounded by coastal Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces; and to the west by Pleiku and Darlac provinces – ie that bordered Cambodia).”
Similarly, several of 1 ATF’s major engagements took place outside the boundaries of Phuoc Tuy Province – eg: The Battle of Coral (Bien Hoa Province, 12 May – 6 June 1968); The Battle of Balmoral (southern Binh Duong Province), 26 & 28 May 1968); and The Battle of FSPB Andersen (Bien Hoa Province, 17-28 February 1968; Operation Coburg).