Dang Xuan Teo:
On January 8, 1966 [sic] the Americans started to land in Cu Chi. For several days before their arrival in Cu Chi the Americans used all war making means such as B-52s, fighter bombers and artillery to bomb and shell the liberated areas of Cu Chi almost continuously. The operation officially started on January 8.
During this operation the tanks rolled in first, followed by the infantry. In the air the fighter bombers coordinated with the helicopters to pour in troops. On our side, at that time I was a member of a reconnaissance company of the Saigon
Gia Dinh Military Command. My job was to cling to the enemy in order to help the Regional Military Command in its deployment of the various regular units in the fighting.
At the same time, I participated with the guerrilla fighters of Hien Duc village to fight against the mop up operations on the front line, which was only a field away from the paratrooper headquarters. On this side of the field were Nhuan Duc, Bo Cap, Bo Chua villages which led successively to Cu Chi. Therefore many forms of combat. First of all, there was combat on the ground along trenches. Secondly, there was combat from under the tunnels.
Thirdly, we employed explosives to defend ourselves against the tanks and infantry. As far as the Americans were concerned, every time a battle took place they used all the bombs and shells they had in their arsenal in order to destroy the area of the battle until not a tree or a blade of grass was still left standing on the ground. After the battle, we would have to move to another area. The Americans then came after us in that new area.
And again, we had to fight them. During this search and destroy operation, in the battle in Bo cap alone we were able to destroy over thirty tanks and kill about 100 American troops by coordinating the fighting from under the tunnels with the fighting on the ground. The 100 Americans killed were still left on the spot. But there were other dead and wounded which they were able to take away.
During that 1966 [sic] search and destroy operation they removed the population of Cu Chi, especially from the areas of Nhuan Duc, Phu Minh Hung, An Nhon Tay and other liberated areas of Cu Chi, to the urban areas. From 1966 on, this liberated area of Cu Chi became very desolated.
This was because the destruction by bombs and shells was just really terrible. During daytime, there were at least 18 attacks by bombers. And they did not just drop bombs on particular areas. For example, when we arrived in the An Phu
and Xom Chua area, the Americans went after us and bombed one end to the area to the other, flattening the entire area. They also used bulldozers to scrape the whole place clean.
So during the day we stayed in the tunnels and in the late afternoon, after 5:30 or 6 p.m., we would climb out of our tunnels and follow, them to find out where they were stationing their troops. Then we would organize our forces in order to attack them at night. During the day we had to fight from the tunnels. But at night we attacked them directly at encampments.