1st Battalion 22nd Infantry


The Battle of Kontum


Background, Operational Planning & Deployment


On January 10, 1968 VC sappers attacked the airfield at Kontum, destroying 4 helicopters
and damaging 11 others. A couple of weeks later the 4th Infantry Division's intelligence assets
determined that the 24th Regiment of the North Vietnamese Army was moving in the direction
of the city of Kontum. On January 27 aerial reconnaissance detected large enemy formations
moving toward Kontum.

Using these and other warnings, the senior US military advisor at Kontum, Colonel James P. Cahill,
along with the South Vietnamese Province Chief, LTC Nguyen Hop Doan, made improvements
to the defense of the area and waited for the enemy attack to come.

At around 2 am on January 30, various units of the communist B-3 front launched attacks
first on the airfield and then the city itself. At the airfield they were repulsed by US and South Vietnamese forces,
with the 57th Assault Helicopter Company getting their gunships in the air to help in breaking the attack.
In the military area of the city elements of the South Vietnamese 4/42 Infantry Battalion,
along with a battery of South Vietnamese 105mm howitzers, managed to stop the enemy's attack
and held a defensive perimeter around several of the headquarters buildings.
A renewed attack on the airfield just before daylight was held off by APC's and tanks of the US 2/1 Cavalry,
which at the time was under command of the 4th Infantry Division.



The following diagram shows the initial Viet Cong and NVA attack on the South Vietnamese military area of Kontum.



The communist forces attacked and occupied all of the above buildings
except for the Provincial Headquarters, the US Advisors' commo shack and the Province Chief's residence,
numbered 1, 1A and 2 in the diagram above. These locations held out until Task Force 1-22
drove out the enemy and gained control of the city.






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