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Article About Montagnard Hoi Chanhs

Copy of article provided by Dave Eckberg

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Montagnard Hoi Chanhs create problems for VC

23RD INF DIV (AMERICAL) - Disgusted with VC objectives and eager to begin a new life, 55 local force VC Montagnards and approximately 350 refugees turned to the Government of Vietnam for help recently in the 11th Infantry Brigade area of operations.

"The large number of people who came over to the GVN is a sign that these people are not being treated well by the VC and are finding out that treatment is excellent with the GVN," explained Captain Rial V. Coleman, 11th Inf. Bde. S-5.

The significant exodus of former VC sympathizers occured west of Quang Ngai city at Ha Thanh.  Several of the psychological operations ralliers carried Hoi Chanh leaflets dropped by the 11th Bde. psyops personnel and many offered assistance in encouraging their comrades to rally.

For two hamlet guerrillas who secured an NVA basecamp, pinpointing the location of the camp was a token of their appreciation and desire to encourage others to follow them in rallying.

With the aid of the two enthusiastic Hoi Chanhs, Alpha Co. of the 3rd Bn., 1st Inf., and Popular Forces platoons from the Son Ha District planned a joint operation to penetrate the enemy sanctuary deep in the rugged mountains south of Ha Thanh.

"We quickly searched the area after our insertion and found a container with hot food which indicated the recent departure of whoever had been securing the camp," related Alpha Company commander Captain William Ferguson.

The swiftly executed raid resulted in the capture of three Chinese Communist carbines, two 60mm mortar rounds, seven rusksacks (sic), and 1,000 pounds of rice along with miscellaneous clothing and medical supplies.  All captured items were evacuated.

While on the ground, one of the Hoi Chanhs used a megaphone to persuade any enemy in the area to hold their fire and consider rallying.  There were no ralliers at the camp site, but within a four-day period 46 rallied at Ha Thanh.

Reacting to such a large response, a special cadre from the Quang Ngai Hoi Chanh center was sent to Ha Thanh to help rehabilitate the refugees in the way of life they seek.

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