The Old Reliable
Sept. 27, 1967
Viet Cong attack Xom Cau after 5-60 joins Coronado V
By SP5 Mike Renshaw – Staff Writer
XOM CAU – The Viet Cong returned.
It was a brief encounter and the enemy was beaten back, but the attack proved to the villagers here that the VC have not conceded defeat in the fight for control of this hamlet.
Soldiers from the 5th Mechanized Battalion, 60th Infantry had wrested the village of Thanh Phu Long from a Viet Cong stranglehold and two months ago elements of the battalion moved right into the hamlet of Xom Cau to provide security so residents could live and work without the continual threat of enemy terrorism.
Villagers returned. The market reopened. Commerce increased.
The mechanized infantrymen moved out temporally to take part in Operation CORONADO V.
Two days later (Sept. 15), the VC attacked the village. Hamlet securtiy during the absence of the Americans had been left to the Vietnamese 848th Regional Forces Company.
When the enemy probed the small outpost on the outskirts of the village at sundown Friday, the Regional Forces soldiers returned a heavy volume of fire. After 30 minutes, the enemy withdrew.
One RF soldier died in the encounter and another was seriously wounded. Enemy losses are unknown.
Army of the Republic of Vietnam officials estimated the enemy force at platoon size.
Captain Richard L. Weber of Sharon, Pa., Intelligence officer for the 5th-60th, speculated that the platoon was part of the 313th Viet Cong Company which has been reported working in the Xom Cau area.
Analyzing the action, Captain Tommie G. Copeland, battalion Civil Affairs officer, said, "I'm sure the VC realize that even though we wern't physically in Xom Cau, we certainly don't plan to let them take it back. The RF soldiers sure gave the VC a fight they weren't expecting."
Copeland said the 5th-60th will return to the hamlet as soon as CORONADO V mop up operations are completed.
"Sure, the VC have more sabotage and harassment plans," he continued. "We're finding various types of enemy propaganda leaflets on the road to Xom Cau and even in the hamlet; but whenever they try again, we'll be ready for them."