Crimp

Written June 2017

Operation

Dates: 

8 Jan 1966 - 14 Jan 1966

Area of Operation:

Bình Dương Province, Hậu Nghĩa, III Corps. Particularly the HoBo Woods, west of the Iron Triangle

Allied Units:

US Army 1/16th, 1/28th, and 2/28th Infantry of 3d Brigade 1st Infantry Division, 1/503rd and 2/503rd Airborne of 173rd Airborne Brigade; 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR)

Allied Casualties:

Unclear. An after action report from the 173rd Abn Bde cites “friendly losses” at 6 KIA and 45 WIA. These numbers likely do not take into consideration the casualties of 3d Bde 1st Inf Div, or 1RAR.

Enemy Units:

Viet Cong 7th Cu Chi Battalion, D308 VC Company

Enemy Casualties:

107 KIA, 9 POW

Objective(s):

Search and destroy, with particular focus on locating and destroying the headquarters of Viet Cong Military Region IV.

Significance/Notes:

The Cu Chi Tunnels were discovered during Operation Crimp. This added a new dimension to the style of war being fought by the Communists, and necessitated a proper response from the US and its allies. Crimp was immediately followed by Operation Buckskin to clear the tunnels. (Note: Some sources combined the information from both operations.)
           The Cu Chi Tunnels can be visited today.

Sources:

Vietnam War Almanac by James H. Willbanks

The Vietnam Center And Archive (at Texas Tech University)

Further Reading:

"Viet Cong Tunnels" - Australia and the Vietnam War

Operation Crimp After Action Report - 173rd Airborne Brigade - US Army

“Why Were the Soil Tunnels of Cu Chi and Iron Triangle in Vietnam So Resilient?” by Kenneth R. Olson and Lois Wright Morton - Scientific article in the Open Journal of Soil Science, published February 2017

Tunnel Rat in Vietnam by Gordon L. Rottman

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