February 6, 1967 The 196th Brigade's mission in Operation Gadsden was to block infiltration
routes across the border during the Tet truce period.
The area of operation was characterized by flat terrain and single-canopied jungle. In general it favored the use of mechanized units. The major obstacle in the area was the Rach Ben Da River. This was overcome by the brigade's 175th Engineer Company which for the first time in
the Vietnam War, emplaced a light tactical bridge in a combat situation.
Army aviation played a key roll in the success of this operation as Chinook helicopters ferried the engineers and their equipment to the bridge site.
This sequence of pictures is how the 175th 3rd platoon constructed this vital bridge for Operation Gadsden.
The first to make contact with the enemy was the attached 1/5 Mech. Unit "BOBCATS". after crossing the bridge the battalion found itself opposing an enemy force armed with recoilles
rifles. At one point the APC's of the reconnaissance platoon was surrounded and temporararily overrun by the Viet Cong. Two APC's were hit by rocket fire and one hit a mine. The battle lasted for 4 hours. Two American suffered injuries and two were killed.
The 1/5 Mechanized Unit crossing