Battle of Dong Xoai (1965)



Dong Xoai was a district capital in Phuc Long Province of III Corps. An American Special Forces Camp at Dong Xoai was manned by 400 Montagnard Civilian Irregular Defense Group troops and 24 U.S. Seebees and soldiers. Approximately 1,500 Vietcong guerrillas, armed with AK-47 rifles, grenades, and flamethrowers, attacked the camp early in the morning of June 10, 1965. The defenders swiftly retreated to one area of the installation, and American and South Vietnamese aircraft attacked the Vietcong with napalm and phosphorus bombs. Soldiers from ARVN's 42nd Ranger Battalion were flown in by helicopter in and the Vietcong retreated. At the end of the first day's fighting, 20 Americans were killed or wounded, along with 200 Vietnamese civilians and soldiers. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) reported 700 dead Vietcong. On June 11 and 12, ARVN Rangers searched for the Vietcong, but late on June 12 the Vietcong attacked the Rangers. ARVN soldiers quickly deserted their positions and rushed into the surrounding jungles, and the American advisers were airlifted out. The Battle of Dong Xoai affected American policy by undermining confidence in the stability of ARVN troops and making the commitment of large numbers of American ground forces inevitable.


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