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northwest of Nhi Ha. Before the Army unit could disengage under cover
of air and artillery support and return to Nhi Ha, it lost 5 men dead
and 17 wounded. Company A reported another 14 soldiers missing. Two
of the missing returned to the company's lines that evening, and the
battalion recovered the bodies of 11 of the others. One soldier remained
on the rolls as missing in action.59


With the continuing contact with elements of the 320th by the Army battalion in the Nhi Ha area and by the ARVN 2d Regiment, whose 4th Battalion on the 6th engaged a North Vietnamese unit just east of Route 1, Major General Tompkins decided to insert the two-battalion 2d Brigade of the 1st Air Cavalry Division into the fight to exploit the situation. Earlier he had asked General Rosson for and received permission to redeploy the brigade if needed from the Scotland II area of operations near Khe Sanh into the Dong Ha sector. With few other reserves available to him, the Air Cavalry brigade provided Tompkins, not only additional troops, but a force, with sufficient helicopters, "ideally configured for operations against a retreating enemy force operating in small formations" and to "patrol large areas effectively and move forces quickly to exploit sightings and contacts."60


At 1715 on 6 May, the first battalion of the brigade, the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel C. E. Jordan, landed in a landing zone about 3,000 meters east of the 1st Battalion, 3d Marines in True Kinh. Temporarily, General Tompkins placed the Cavalry battalion under the operational control of Colonel Hull of the 3d Marines. From 7-8 May, the 1st Cavalry battalion made a careful sweep northwest toward the Marine battalion. At True Kinh, Lieutenant Colonel Jarman's Marines continued to patrol, finding a few more enemy dead and capturing three more prisoners. On the morning of the 9th, the 2d Brigade of the Air Cavalry under Army Colonel Robert N. McKinnon, with the 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, arrived and took over the sector. The 3d Marines relinquished operational control of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, and Lieutenant Colonel Jarman's battalion returned to its former operational area south of the Cua Viet River.61


On the morning of the 9th, the 2d Brigade then began Operation Concordia Square in an area of operations carved out of that of the 2d ARVN Regiment, sandwiched between the ARVN on the west and the 3d Marines in Operation Napoleon/Saline to the east. Its heaviest action of the operation actually occurred on that very day. About 5,000 meters southeast of Gio Linh, about 0800, a North Vietnamese force heavily engaged two companies of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, cutting off one and preventing the other from coming to its assistance. The brigade quickly deployed units of its 2d Battalion into blocking positions north of the action and ordered the remaining two companies of the 1st Battalion to relieve the embattled companies. In the fast-moving action supported by Marine fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter gunships, enemy gunners shot down one UH-1H helicopter, the Army version of the Bell "Huey," and hit eight others. By 1300, the North Vietnamese had disengaged leaving behind an estimated 80 enemy dead. The Army troopers sustained casualties of 16 dead and 52 wounded.62

Except for scattered action in Concordia Square, and one large engagement
on 10 May north of Nhi Ha involving the 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry,
the 320th Division was no longer engaging the allied forces.
In the action on the 10th, Company C, 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry in
predawn darkness spotted about 300 enemy troops moving toward its positions.
The company pulled back all of its night patrols and called in continuous
illumination and artillery upon the NVA. The enemy answered with artillery
from north of the DMZ and mortars, and then about 0600 launched a ground
assault against the entire battalion front. With the support of fixed-wing
aircraft, helicopter gunships, artillery, and naval gunfire, the Army
troops broke the back of the enemy attack in a one-sided battle. By
1500, all enemy resistance had ended. The 3d Battalion suffered only
1 soldier dead and 16 wounded. It reported killing 159 of the enemy,
took 2 prisoners, and recovered 55 rifles and 18 crew-served weapons.63

After the one assault on Nhi Ha on the 10th, rather than attempting
to infiltrate south to close the Cua Viet and possibly attack Dong Ha,
the 320th was now breaking into small groups who were trying
their best to make their way north into the Demilitarized Zone. Operation
Concordia Square ended on 17 May. From 9-17 May, the 2d Air Cavalry
Brigade reported enemy casualties of 349 dead while sustaining 28 killed
and 117 wounded. Both the Air Cavalry Brigade and the Americal's 3d
Battalion, 21st Infantry returned to their base camp at Camp Evans.
The enemy offensive had petered out.64


With what appeared to be the end of the "most awesome battle by the standards of the Vietnamese War," General Tompkins asked his operations staff to






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