The battle of Ap Bau Bang II1 resulted in 227 (known) enemy dead, 3 prisoners taken, and the capture of much enemy equipment and weapons. Blood trails stood as mute evidence of the many bodies hauled away by the Viet Cong. Although more enemy than usual are killed by small arms when attacks are made on cavalry and armored units, the majority of enemy deaths in this battle, as in others, resulted from artillery and air strikes. In this instance, 29 air strikes delivered 29 tons of ordnance, and the artillery fired nearly 3,000 rounds. U.S. battle losses were 3 men killed and 63 wounded. Enemy prisoners identified the attackers as the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 273d Regiment of the 9th Viet Cong Division. Intelligence experts believed the whole regiment participated.
As a result of the battle, General Hay wrote a letter to the 9th Division commander. Printed in Vietnamese in leaflet form, it was dropped into the enemy area. Translated, the text of the letter read:
This is to advise you that during the battle of Ap Bau Bang on 20 March the Regimental Commander of Q763 (273d Regiment) and his Battalion Commanders disgraced themselves by performing in an un-soldierly manner. During this battle with elements of this Division and attached units your officers failed to accomplish their mission and left the battlefield covered with dead and wounded from their units. We have buried your dead and taken care of your wounded from this battle.
The letter bore the signature of General J. H. Hay.
The target for the helicopters was an egg-shaped clearing close to Suoi Tre, near the center of War Zone C and ninety kilometers northwest of Saigon. It was just three kilometers away from the area in which, during Operation ATTLEBORO four months earlier, the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry, of the U.S. 1st Division had defeated elements of the 272d Viet Cong and 101st North Vietnamese Regi-ments at the battle of AP Cha Do. Events would reveal that the 272d had returned.
On 19 March, in an area surrounded by a tree line of sparse woodland which had been blighted by defoliants, U.S. helicopters
1Ap Bau Bang was also the site of the first major Vietnam action in which the 1st Infantry Division participated on 12 November 1965. In Ap Bau Bang I the 272d and 273d Regiments of the 9th Viet Cong Division attacked the 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry (-), defensive perimeter and were repelled with the assistance of air strikes and direct fire artillery at the cost to the Viet Cong of 198 killed.