The Battle for Ap Cho was fought between 1-18 February, 1968. Large concentrations of Viet Cong soldiers had massed around Cu Chi
and were well dug in around the village of Ap Cho. It was a medium sized cluster of perhaps 100 buildings, hootches of thatch roofs
and sandy mortar walls. The hamlet was just a few kilometers south of Cu Chi and lay astride the main supply route. The 3rd Battalion,
22nd Infantry Regiment, under the command of LTC. Thomas U. Harrold, was called upon to engage the enemy and drive them from their
locations. The Battalion was forced to attack it daily until all the enemy were killed.
For a period of thirteen days, the 3Bn, 22nd
Infantry, supported by other units, moved against the enemy in continual attacks against these fortified positions. Inch by inch they
fought their way through the village, hacking away at the bunkers and routing the enemy in close quarter combat.
It was obvious the
North Vietnamese soldiers who had dug in there had no intentions of giving up or fleeing. They were determined to fight to the end,
and that is exactly what they did, that is--they all died before the hands of the Infantry and the supporting fires.
the 3-22 units would pass the line of departure, fix bayonets, and attack the enemy positions, often without any fire support or promise
of success. Little by little, they gained ground destroying the enemy positions and their occupants. Often they evacuated their own
dead and wounded by oxcart.
The battle was long and fierce. The 3-22 worked beside the mechanized 4-23 Infantry; units of the 17th
and 4th Cavalry; numerous batteries of artillery from the 5th, 8th,77th, and 13th Artillery Battalions: the 116th, 187th, 125th, 205th,
269th, and 242nd Assault Helicopter Companies. Thirty airstrikes initiated the final assault, laying waste to the battle zone as the
combined arms team attacked.
After an extraordinary fighting effort by the infantry and tanks, coupled with immense support from the
air and artillery, the battle was won. Although the struggle received little notice and was anti-climatic considering that the Tet
Offensive was in full swing, the victory marked a major upset to the enemy's plans to sever the main supply route to 25th Division
Enemy KIA from the action exceeded 253. Six POW's were taken along with tons of enemy weapons and supplies. American losses
were 44 KIA, six more died, not from hostile action, and more than 134 were wounded. For the men of the 22nd Infantry, "The Battle
Of Ap Cho" represents another splendid episode in our gallant history.
Jim Asher, a gallant Charlie Company fighting man
took these pictures over several days during the battle for Ap Cho.