2. Mission. To destroy enemy force, enemy installations, and to obtain information about the enemy in the vicinity of Snoul.
4. Execution: Operation Total Victory 8/B/5 was composed of 3 phases. Phase I: movement to contact and contact in vicinity of Snoul. Phase II: movement north of Snoul. Phase III is the withdrawal phase.
(1) On 23 October (D-2) at 0800 hours, the task force elements began their initial moves to rear assembly areas between An Loc and Loc Ninh along Highway QL13. On 24 October (D-1), all task forces moved to their assembly areas just south of the Cambodian border. TF 1 was situated along QL13, 5km northwest of Loc Ninh, the remaining two task forces were assembled 7-10 km northwest of Loc Ninh. At the same time, the 5th Division forward CP was established at the 74th Ranger Battalion Compound in Loc Ninh.
(2) The movement to contact began on 25 October (D-Day) with the three task forces crossing the border into Cambodia between 0630-1105 hours. TF1, the lead task force, encountered many enemy mines implanted on QL13. At 0935 hours, 3km northwest of the border, 2/9th Battalion made the initial enemy contact by receiving flanking fire from an estimated enemy platoon. Contact was broken at 1000 hours with the enemy withdrawing to the east. Each task force had several assigned objectives of suspected enemy bases. Each objective was secured as rapidly as possible, quickly swept, and then the task force moved to the next objective. At 1645 hours, 10km south of Snoul, 4/9th Battalion made contact with an estimated enemy company. ARVN artillery fired in support of the contact. The enemy broke contact at 1710 hours and withdrew to the northwest. The 4/9th Battalion suffered one WIA while accounting for three enemyies killed and three individual weapons captured.
(3) During D+1 (26 October) TF1, encountering only enemy mines, swept to the northwest along QL13 with lead elements securing Snoul at 1430 hours. TF9 was assigned as the primary security force for QL13 from the border to 5km south of Snoul. QL13 remained the Main Supply Route during the entire operation. At 1420 hours, the 2/9th Recon Platoon made contact with an enemy squad. Contact broke off at 1425 hours with the enemy withdrawing to the east. The unit accounted for two enemy KIA and one individual weapon captured, while suffering negative casualties. Captured documents on one of the enemy bodies identified the Z27 Recon Battalion, 5th NVA Division. At 1535 hours 1/7th Battalion received one friendly KIA from enemy sniper fire in Snoul. Tactical air support could not be provided during the early stage of Phase I due to existing weather conditions. Wounded personnel had to be evacuated by wheeled vehicles.
(4)On 27 October TF1 conducted search operations east of Snoul, while TF333 conducted operations southwest of the city. At 1700 hours, 5 km southeast of Snoul, 4/9th Battalion (-) made contact with an estimated enemy company. The TF9 Commander reinforced with 1/9th Battalion Headquarters elements and the 2nd Company from that battalion. The 5th Division Commanding General ordered the commander of TF1 to commit 1/1st ACR to the area. TF 333 had one Ranger Battalion and an element of 18th ACR alerted, but they were not committed. A/53rd Artillery supported the contact with artillery fires. The enemy broke contact at 1800, and fled to the east. The 4/9th Battalion suffered seven KIA and nine WIA while accounting for two enemy KIA and one individual weapon captured.
(5) The period 28-29 October was characterized by heavy fighting in the TF1 area, 33-4km east of Snoul in the rubber plantation. At 0800 hours the 2/1st ACR and elements of 1/7th Battalion made contact with an estimated enemy company. They were supported by ARVN artillery and air strikes. Contact lasted until 1300 hours, at which time the enemy broke contact and withdrew to the northeast. When the contact terminated the enemy had suffered eleven KIA, while friendly losses totaled sixteen WIA. In addition, two CHICOM machine guns, one individual weapon, assorted ammunition, and documents were captured. At 1240 hours, 4km northeast of Snoul, 1/1st ACR and elements of 1/7th Battalion made contact with an unknown size enemy force. ARVN artillery supported the contact. Contact terminated at 1315 hours with three friendly WIA and twelve enemies KIA. At 1530 hours, contact with an estimated enemy company in bunkers. ARVN artillery supported the contact along with VNAF airstrikes at 1800 and 1810 hours. Contact terminated at 1815 hours with the friendlies suffering three KIA, sixteen WIA while accounting for twenty-one enemy KIA, one enemy captured, and one CHICOM machine gun, one B-40 launcher, and three individual weapons CIA. On 29 October at 0750 hours, 3km southwest of Snoul on QL7, an element of the 31st Ranger Battalion of TF333 made contact with an estimated enemy squad. Contact terminated at 0805 hours, resulting in negative friendly casualties, four enemy KIA, and one CHICOM machine gun plus two individual weapons captured. At 1500 hours 1/1st ACR and elements of 1/7th Battalion made contact with an estimated enemy company. Contact terminated at 1310 hours resulting in one friendly KIA.
(6) During the period 29-30 October tactical air support was again hampered by adverse flying conditions. TF1 continued search operations northeast and east of Snoul. TF333 continued search operation southeast and northeast of Snoul. Sporadic contact continued in the area of operation with six enemy KIA.
(7) The period 31 October - 3 November was characterized by sporadic contact. VNAF flew 27 air strikes in the area east and northeast of Snoul, accounting for 67 enemy KIA. On 3 November TF333 conducted a stand down and realignment of forces in preparation for expansion of the operational area to the north of Snoul. The 4/7 Battalion was airlifted by CH-47 into rear support area 901, then moved by truck to link up with TF1.