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10:00 Battlefield Vietnam: Ep 10 "Rolling Thunder"...
Vietnam War: The Battle of Con Thien (Part 2)

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Title Vietnam War: The Battle of Con Thien (Part 2)
Category Wars Rating
Date 03-26-2010, 12:26 AM Time 9:33
by Arrow Views 696
Hoster YouTube Comments 0
Description 8 May 1967, at 03:00 some 300 rounds of mortar and artillery fire hit the base, while NVA sappers with Bangalore torpedoes breached the perimeter wire. At 04:00 two battalions of the 812th NVA Regiment armed with flamethrowers attempted to overrun the base. At the time of the attack the base was defended by the command element and Companies A and D of 1/4 Marines and a CIDG unit. The attack fell primarily on Company D. A relief column from Company A was sent with an M42 Duster, 2 LVT-5s and 2 1/4 ton trucks. The M42 was hit by an RPG-7 and an LVT-5 and one truck were destroyed by satchel charges. By 09:00 the NVA had withdrawn leaving 197 KIA and 8 prisoners. The Marines had suffered 44 KIA and 110 wounded.

After the 8 May attack, recognizing that the NVA were using the DMZ as a sanctuary for attacks into I Corps, Washington lifted the prohibition on US forces entering the DMZ and MACV authorized the III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF) to conduct combat operations into the southern half of the DMZ.

From 13 - 16 May, 1/9 Marines cleared Route 561 from Cam Lo to Con Thien fought a well-entrenched NVA force south of the base. The NVA subsequently withdrew into the DMZ.

III MAF proceeded to plan a series of combined operations with ARVN forces that occurred from 18 to 26 May. Under Operation Hickory 3rd Marines' advanced to the Ben Hai River. Under Operation Lam Son 54 the 1st ARVN Division advanced parallel to 3rd Marines while the amphibious Special Landing Force Alpha secured the coastline south of the Ben Hai River under Operation Beau Charger and Special Landing Force Bravo linked up with 3rd Marines under Operation Belt Tight. Once at the Ben Hai River, the forces swept south on a broad front to Route 9.

From 19 to 27 May when Lam Son 54 ended the ARVN were in constant contact with the NVA. The ARVN suffered 22 KIA and 122 wounded, while the NVA suffered 342 KIA and 30 captured.

The amphibious element of Operation Beau Charger met no opposition while the heliborne assault dropped into a hot LZ. Only one platoon was landed and it remained isolated until rescued several hours later. Beau Charger continued until 26 May with minimal contact. 85 NVA were killed.

In Operation Hickory the 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines and 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines advanced north from Con Thien on the morning of 18 May to press any NVA against a blocking force from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines on the Ben Hai River.

At the conclusion of Operation Hickory, all participating units joined Operation Prairie IV sweeping the area southwest of Con Thien. On 28 May 3/4 Marines ran into a bunker complex on Hill 174, 6km southwest of Con Thien. Companies M and L attacked the complex but were forced back by small arms, machine guns, 57mm recoilless rifle and 82mm mortars for the loss of 2 Marines KIA and 21 wounded. Artillery hit the hill throughout the night and the next day Companies M and I attacked the hill, suffering 5 KIA and 33 wounded without driving the NVA from the crest of the hill. Companies M and I attacked unsuccessfully again on 30 May suffering 1 KIA and 45 wounded. The NVA abandoned the hill during the night of 30/31 May. Operation Prairie IV resulted in 505 NVA killed and 8 captured for 164 Marines KIA and 1240 wounded.

Operation Cimarron began on 1 June in the same area with the same units. There was limited contact with the NVA but many enemy bunkers and supply caches were found and destroyed and several NVA graves located. Cimarron ended on 2 July. On 1 July the land-clearing project from Con Thien to Gio Linh was completed, with the clear strip widened to 600m.

On 2 July Companies A and B from 1/9 launched Operation Buffalo, a sweep of the area north of Con Thien. As the infantrymen moved along Route 561 in an area called the Marketplace, the NVA attacked inflicting severe casualties on Company B. Operation Buffalo concludes on 14 July at a cost of 159 Marines KIA and 345 WIA. The NVA suffered 1290 KIA.
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