Screaming Eagles terminated Operation Carentan II on May 17. The
paratrooper forces killed 2,100 NVA, captured 157 prisoners and 581
enemy weapons during the 47 day operation around Hue." Relieve the
pressure from the area around Hue," was their standing order and the
Airborne Infantrymen did just that as their highly mobile fighting
units continually maintained pressure on the enemy and discouraged any
future attack of the old Imperial City.
As a prelude to Phuoc Yen, the classic cordon operation of the
Vietnam war, paratroopers from the 2nd Bn., 501st Abn. Inf. followed
two Viet Cong into the village of Thon Kim D
Immediately the village was sealed off allowing artillery and
airstrikes to pound the enemy force.
The first day yielded 21 enemy
bodies. Illumination continued through the night as the trapped enemy
unit tried to exfiltrate the village. The following day found
airborne riflemen firing into the village while air strikes and
artillery continued to batter the remaining NVA. The day's results
were 47 NVA killed. The final day saw the 2nd Brigade troopers
sweeping the village and raising the total body count to 95.
The tactic of cordoning a village continued to develop through
the 2nd Brigade and the coastal plains operations. The concept
consists of keeping the companies in constant sweeping motions and
still within striking distance of each other. Then when a lucrative
target is found artillery and air strikes contain the enemy until
additional airborne units are airlifted to the area sealing off any
possible escape routes.
The classic cordon of the Vietnam war
occurred on April 28, around the village of Phuoc Yen.
The Phuoc Yen battle began with units from the 2nd Brigade
trapping the 8th Bn, 90th NVA Reg in the stocking area of the Song Bo
River, 2 miles northwest of Hue. For four days, companies from three
2nd Brigade battalions, plus local Popular Forces (PF's), and the
"Black Panther" Company of the 1st ARVN Division, lay siege to the
stocking shaped village complex that intelligence sources said was
harboring an NVA battalion.
The paratroopers were joined by the batteries of the 21st
Artillery, helicopter gunships, and Air Force fighter-bombers. By
morning of the fifth day, the NVA body count reached 419, and another
107 became the NVA force to surrender en masse to an American unit in
the history of the war..