During the period of 21 June 1967 to 3 February 1968, the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23rd Infantry Regiment was
again engaged in security detail for yet another series of Land Clearing Operations (Operation BARKING SANDS), this
time in the Filhol Plantation, Hobo Woods and the Iron Triangle. The purpose of this clearing operation was to eliminate
the dense, existing vegetation so as to deny cover to VC/NVA units operating in those historic strongholds.
Clearing operations intensified when Operation KUNIA was opened on 16 September 1967. The 1st Brigade of the 25th
Infantry Division, moved with four battalions, (2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry; 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry; 4th
Battalion (Mech), 23rd Infantry; and 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry into the HO BO Woods by land and airmobile combat
assaults. Search and Destroy operations were conducted in preparation for the arrival of a land clearing team of 30
Rome Plows (a bulldozer with a sharpened blade set at an angle for jungle clearing operations), the 27th Land Clearing
Team, 168th Engineer Battalion, placed in direct support of the 25th Infantry Division to clear the HO BO Woods on 19
September 1967. It remained with the Battalion until 3 February 1968.
Land clearing began on the 20th of September. The objective of Operation KUNIA was to eliminate the HO BO Woods as a safe
haven for the Viet Cong through extensive clearing operations and the destruction of VC base camps and forces. The Operation
continued through October 1967 and Operation Barking Sands was continued as a Search and Destroy Operation and security for
jungle clearing operations. By the end of October, 9,645 acres of land was cleared by using the Rome Plows and Bangalore
torpedoes in areas inaccessible to the plows.
During this period, the 25th had three clearing operations: "Barking Sands" - the cutting of the area of the Hobo Woods
generally north of Trang Bang; "Atlanta" - which leveled the once impregnable Iron Triangle; and finally "Saratoga" - which
encompassed the Filhol Rubber Plantation and additional portions of the Hobo Woods.
At the end of October, although not specifically mentioned in the 25th Infantry Division Lessons Learned report, from other
information, it appears 3 men from C Company, were killed in the same firefight with the enemy during these land clearing operations.
The 3 men from C Company who were KIA on October 25, 1967 day were: