El Paso II
Written January 2021
2 Jun 1966 – 13 Jul 1966
Area of Operation:
Bình Long and Phước Long Provinces, War Zone C, III Corps
USA 1st and 2d Battalions 28th Infantry, 1st and 2d Battalions 18th Infantry, 1st Squadron 4th Cavalry; ARVN 5th Infantry Division
US 200 KIA, 424+ WIA; ARVN 22 KIA, 71 WIA, 16 MIA
VC 271st Regiment, 272d Regiment, 273d Regiment, 9th VC Division
855 KIA, 167+ WIA, 8-37 POW
To determine 9th VC Division strength and locations along Route 13 and to destroy said forces and installations, particularly around Lộc Ninh and An Lộc.
The second portion of the El Paso operations lasted just over a month US and ARVN forces fought in three major encounters. The first occurred on June 8 when the VC 272d Regiment ambushed an armored column of 1/4 Cavalry just outside the village of Ap Tau O. The second major engagement occurred on June 30 when the VC 271stRegiment ambushed elements of the 1/4 Cavalry and 2/18th Infantry along Route 13 near Srok Dong.
The third major engagement was a counterambush by US forces on July 9 on Minh Thanh Road. Drawing on the experiences of the first two encounters, 1/4 Cavalry successfully lured VC forces into a battle. This encounter in particular has been studied by armored commanders since as an example of learning and adapting to enemy actions.