BLT 2/3 USS VALLEY FORGE (LPH-8)
250800H January 1966
Ref: (a) Maps: Vietnam 1:50,000, Quang Ngaj, Song Tra Khue, Quang Hien, Song Re, My Trang, Ba To, Bien Troung, Series L701, Sheets 6755 I, II, III, IV, 6756 II, III, Sheets 6855 III.
(b) BLT OpOrder 201-65
Time Zone: Hotel (-8)
Task Organization -See Annex A (Tank Organization) to Operation Order 324-66
a. Enemy Forces
(1) See Annex B (Intelligence) to Operation Order 324-66
(2) See Current INTSUMS
b. Friendly Forces
(1) Landing Force, commencing at H-Hour on D-Day lands over Blue Beach vicinity BS 844419 to seize beachhead and secure area suitable for BSA. Prepares to conduct search and destroy operations to Phase Line Orange; prepares to conduct search and destroy operations inland when directed when control has passed to Task Force Delta.
(2) BLT 3/1 lands at H-Hour over Blue Beach by surface means seized LF objective 1.
(3) BLT 2/4 lands over Blue Beach, passes through BLT 3/1 and conducts operations in assigned zone of action to Phase Line Orange.
(4) HMM 362 provides helicopter support for Landing Force.
(5) CG 1st MAW, provides CAS and helo-escort.
BLT 2/3 as the Landing Force Reserve, prepares to conduct helicopter or surface landed operations as directed by Commander Landing Force or when Chop to Task Force Delta as directed by that headquarters. Prepares to conduct a tactical withdrawal.
a. Concept of Operations. Annex G (Concept of Operations) to Operation Order 324-66.
b. Coordinating Instructions.
(1) D-Day - 28 January 1966
(2) H-Hour - 0700
(3) Annex E (Landing Plan)
(4) Annex D (Operations Overlay)
(5) Annex G (Air Support)
(6) Annex L (Rules of Engagement)
(7) Each squad have front line markers (Annex F (Comm-Elect))
(8) All units have unit identification panel markers.
(9) Code name Double Eagle
(10) Detailed missions to be issued by Frag Order.
4. ADMINISTRATION AND LOGISTICS. (Annex C (Logistics)
5. COMMAND AND COMMUNICATION-ELECTRONICS
(a) Annex F (Communication-Electronics)
(b) Command Posts
(a) CLF - APA 248
(b) BLT 2/3 - LPH-8
(a) Units report CP locations and unit dispositions when established.
BY COMMAND OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL HORN
C. L. HARRISON
MAJOR, U.S. MARINE CORPS
A - Task Organization
B - Intelligence
C - Concept of Operations
D - Operations Overlay (to be issued)
E - Landing Plan
F - Communication-Electronics (to be issued seperately)
G - Air Support
H - Naval Gunfire Support
I - Fire Support Coordination
J - Logistics
K - Withdrawal Plan
L - Rules of Engagement
M - Reports
N - Personnel
Z - Distribution
DISTRIBUTION: Annex Z (Distribution) to Operation Order 324-66
COMMAND CHRONOLOGY (PART 1)
a. DESIGNATION: Battalion Landing Team, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines.
2 January 8 January 66 USS Valley Forge (LPH-8)
8 January 18 January 66 Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Phillipine Islands
18January 29 January 66 USS Valley Forge (LPH-8)
30January 17 February 66 Quang Ngai Province, RVN, Operation Double Eagle, Phase I
18 February 66 USS Valley Forge (LPH-8)
19-26 February 66 Binh Dinh Province, RVN Operation, Double Eagle Phase II
27 February 66 Da Nang, RVN
c. PERIOD COVERED: 2 January 66 - 27 February 66
d. COMMANDERS AND STAFF:
Battalion CO Lt. Col W. K. Horn USMC
Battalion XO Major C. L. Harrison USMC
CO H&S CO Capt. F. J. Kelly USMC
CO "E" CO 1stLt R. E. Schwartz USMC
CO "F" CO Capt. J. R. Hardin USMCR
CO "G" CO Capt. R. L. Woodward USMC
CO "H" CO1stLt F. X. Egan USMC
S-11st Lt B. B. Conatser Jr. USMC
S-2Capt. J. T. Guggino USMC
S-3 Major A. J. Castellana USMCR
S-4 Capt M. J. Mulrooney USMC
CommO Capt A. D. N. Breckenridge USMC
107 mm Mortar Btry,
3/12 1stLt McKinney USMC
Btry "B", 1/12 Capt. Molsbee USMC
2ndPlt, Co "A"
3rd AT Bn 1stLt Kingston USMC
2ndPlt. Co. "A"
3rd Tk Bn 1stLt. Warner USMC
2ndPlt. Co "A"
3rd MT Bn 1stLt. Gyore USMC
2ndPlt. Co "A"
3rd Engr Bn1stLt. Wilson USMC
2ndPlt. Co "A"
3rd Recon Bn1stLt McCaskillUSMC
Dot, 1st ForRecon
e. AVERAGE MONTHLY STRENGTH
OFF ENL OFF ENL
38 985 3 56
2. SEQUENTIAL LISTING OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS:
(1) During the period a total of five (5) USMC Officers were transferred. There were no enlisted transferred. During this period four (4) USMC Officers were joined.
(2) A total of five (5) personnel were granted emergency leave during this period.
(3) Total casualties for the period
(a) Non-battle injuries 76 39 returned to duty
(b) Non-battle deaths 2
(c) WIA 51 14 returned to duty
(d) KIA 3
During the period problems concerning administration were few. During the training at Subic Bay, Phillipine Islands, administration was carried on the company level. During Double Eagle, one (1) officer from the Battalion and an enlisted man from each company were sent ashore at Chu Lai with all record books and a Unit Diary capability for the Battalion. The largest problem was communication with the forward position of the Battalion. Upon returning to a permanent status the Battalion again reverted to company administration.
(1) During the planning phase of the operation much intelligence was received in regards to enemy strength, disposition and situation as found in Task Force Delta's OpO 1-66. However, this battalion, as TFD reserve, was not assigned an objective area until immediately before being committed. When committed initially, no specific intelligence information was available concerning the objective area.
(2) Resistance encountered during Phase I was limited to engagements with local guerrilla forces. Main force units per se, were not encountered but in three instances individuals from main force units were engaged and/or captured.
(3) On 31 January, six (6) VCS were apprehended. Upon initial search one (1) was found to have a green uniform in a bag. He was sent to ITT at the BSA.
(4) Approximately four-six (4-6) VC in khaki uniforms with packs and related equipment were engaged on 2 February resulting in two (2) enemy KIA and one (1) WIA (WIA was seen being dragged away). Another was captured on 15 February in green uniform, black helmet, pack and U.S. .30 Caliber carbine. He was sent to ITT at the BSA.
(5) Estimates of forces expected to be encountered were once again found in Task Force Delta's OpO 1-66. The enemy was also expected to be able to reinforce within 12-24 hours with the following:
(a) One (1) confirmed battalion
(b) Three (3) probable battalions
(c) One (1) confirmed company
(6) During this phase no main force units or individuals were encountered. Resistance once again was limited to harassing fire from guerrillas. In most instances, encounters were with and at the most five (5) guerrillas. Mines, booby traps, punjii pits, stakes and tunnel systems were encountered extensively throughout both phases of the operation.
(1) Shipboard training was conducted daily as space limitation permitted. The training syllabus for the afloat phase was designed so that each element would train in their respective field in addition to GMS pertaining to deployment in RVN.
(2) During the period of 8-18 January 1966, all letter companies conducted extensive small unit type training with emphasis on Guerrilla/Counter-Guerrilla Operations. All supporting arms and crew served weapons, organic to the BLT conducted a firex on Green Beach. Small arms marksmanship training for the purpose of FAM firing and zeroing of weapons was conducted for M-14 rifles and .45 caliber pistols.
All machine gun personnel in the battalion fired their weapons on a improvised machine gun range at Cubi Point, that was set up by battalion S-3 personnel. Night training and Land Navigation were stressed at all levels. Maintenance of equipment and resupply of clothing and equipment was accomplished as concurrent training. The climax of this training period was a two day counter-guerrilla operation utilizing negrito guides.
Upon completion of back loading the BLT conducted a rehearsal landing on Green Beach in preparation for Operation Hill Top III.
Operation Hill Top III was conducted in accordance with BLT OpO 2-66 attached as a supporting document. The After Action Report for this operation is appended hereto.
Final preparation for Operation Double Eagle was conducted during the period 25-27 January.
e. SPECIAL OPERATIONS
(1) BLT 2/3 participated in Operation Double Eagle in the Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh Province, RVN. BLT 2/3 was designated Task Force Delta reserve by Task Force Delta's OpO 1-66.
(2) Sequential listing of events during this operation are as follows:
(a) 24 Jan 66
BLT 2/3 received Special Landing Force Operation order 324-66 (Operation Double Eagle).
(b) 25 Jan 66
Preparations were made to issue Operation Order 324-66.
(c) 26 Jan 66
Commanding Officer, BLT 2/3 issued Operation Order 324-66 to subordinate units.
(d) 27 Jan 66
Preparations were made to execute Operation Order 324-66.
(e) 28 Jan 66
Transferred Companies "G" (Rein) and "H" (Rein) from the USS Montrose (APA-212) to the USS Valley Forge (LPH-8).
(f) 29 Jan 66
Received an order from Cg, Task Force Delta, at 291450H to send one (1) company (Rein), by helicopter, to seize objective C. Co. "E" (Rein) was made ready. The first wave lifted off at 291545H. 38 helicopters were used to lift the company into the area.
Co. "E" (Rein) was under OpCon of Task Force Delta. At 29165H a warning order from CTG 79.5 alerted one (1) rifle company to be on a one hour alert. Co "F" (Rein) was designated and began to issue ammo and supplies. At 291705H an order was received relaxing this units alert status. Objective C was secured by co "E" (Rein) at 291900H. A warning issued by CO, BLT 2/3 to the provisional Rifle Company.
(g) 30 Jan 66
The remainder of the BLT was lifted into the objective area commencing 301500H. 38 aircraft were used to complete the lift. One (1) Marine was KIA by enemy sniper in LZ at GS BS 7142. CAS was provided by F-4's, F-8's and UH-1E's. Battalion CP was established at BS 723424 and companies "F", "G", "H" and elements of H&S established a 360 degree perimeter defense. Three squad (Rein) ambushes were established during the night. Each platoon established two listening posts. Before dark, CG, Task Force Delta, visited the CP. The 81mm Morter Plt (-) conducted registration firing. During the night there were three reports of incoming sniper fire. There were no casualties and no estimated VC casualties. UH-1E's flying cover for landing zone received fire from village in CS BS 7341. UH-1E's returned fire with M-60 MG and rockets. Results could not be determined by this battalion.
(h) 31 Jan 66
Received Frag Order from CTG 79.5 to conduct fan patrols up to 2000 meters to the front of the battalion perimeter. Five patrols were planned each to be of platoon (Rein) size. A warning order and patrol order was issued to Co Cmdrs and the patrols began preparations to depart. The five patrols departed at 310800H. Patrol A from Co "F" (Rein) returned after killing one (1) VC, finding rice and uniforms. Patrol B from 2nd Plt, Co "A" , 3rd Recon Bn returned after capturing one (1) VC, four (4) VCS and finding twenty (20) bags of rice and nine (9) bicycles. Patrol C from Co "H" (Rein) found two-thousand (2000) pounds of rice. This patrol encountered ten (10) VC and a short fire fight ensued. They estimated killing one (1) VC and wounding two (2) . There were two (2) friendly WIA's. Patrol D from Co "G" (Rein) received sniper fire from an unknown number of VC. Fire was returned. It was estimated that one (1) VC was killed and one (1) was wounded. Patrol E from Co "H" (Rein) returned with negative contact. CG, Task Force Delta, visited the CP and issued an oral frag order to attack on axis from present position to an objective at coordinated BS 650410, utilizing two reinforced rifle companies with Command Group Alpha. LOD to be crossed at 010730H. Companies "F" and "G" were issued warning orders and preparation was made to execute instructions by CG, Task Force Delta. H&S (-) and Co "H" (Rein) remained as security for "H" Btry, 3/11 who occupied an adjacent position. The Provisional Rifle Co formed from Try "B" , 1/12 lifted into this area to augment Co "H" (Rein) and the remainder of H&S (-) in the defense of this position. A message from CG, Task Force Delta detached 2nd Plt, Co "A", 3rd Recon Bn, and Det, Force Recon at 010800H. During the evening there were five (5) ambushes established, four (4) combat outpost and listening posts. No contacts were reported.
(i) 1 Feb 66
At 9730 the Bn (-) with Command Group Alpha began the attack and moved west to the objective area along the prescribed route. An AO and two (2) A-4's were on station throughout the move. There was no resistance met along the route. Three (3) heat casualties and two (2) non-battle casualties were evacuated. At the objective area a perimeter defense was established, CG, Task Force Delta visited the objective area and issued an oral order to continue on the attack at 020730H, to an objective at BS 652374. An order was issued to the Company Commanders and special preparations were made to execute it. There we no incidents during the night.
(j) 2 Feb 66
The move south to the Battalion objective area at BS 652374 began at 0730 with Co "G" (Rein) deployed as the lead element. One(1) VCS was apprehended on the trail and retained for interrogation. Bicycle repair parts, rope and kerosene were found in a cave in vicinity BS 654404. All items were destroyed. As the forward elements of Co "G" approached the objective area Command Group Alpha moved across the LOD. Co "G" (Rein) moved into the objective area and encountered an estimated force of ten (10) VC. Three (3) USMC WIA's were sustained by an initial burst of fire. During the fire fight two (2) VC were killed and one (1) VC wounded. 60mm mortars CAS (provided by UH-1E's) were directed on the enemy who were driven off in a southeasterly direction. The Army UH-1E's conducted the necessary med-evac for the three (3) WIA's. The fire fight lasted about 30 minutes. Command Group Alpha and Co "F" (Rein) arrived and moved into the position without further incidents. Battalion received CG, Task Force Delta Frag Order 17-66 to move along assigned route to return to BS 723424, Battalion rear. 1st Plt (Rein) Co "G" began to move at 022100H. The remainder of the Bn (-) followed at 022300H. The march through the jungle terrain was completed under the cover of darkness.
(k) 3 Feb 66
At about 0730 as the column approached the objective, Co "F" (Rein) the columns rear element received fire from a sniper. Fire was returned. There were no casualties and no estimated number of VC killed. The rear element arrived at the objective area at 030900H. Battalion received Frag Order 22-66 to be helilifted into an objective area at BS 9226. At 031500H the lift of Co "F" (Rein), Co "H" and (Rein) and Command Group Alpha began, 38 helicopters were used in the lift. During the lift fire was received in LZ Sparrow (Rear OP BS 723424), causing two (2) helos to go down and causing one (1) friendly KIA and three WIA's. There were two (2) VC estimated killed. As the helicopter approached the LZ in the objective, sporadic small arms fire was received. F-8's, F-4's, A-4's and UH-1E's flew CAS missions. There was one (1) friendly WIA and one (1) VC killed. Due to the fire in LZ Sparrow, the lift was not entirely completed until 031800H. The battalion established its CP at BS 917267 with Companies "F" (Rein) and "H" (Rein) in a perimeter defense. Ambushes and listening posts were established. No contact was reported during the night.
(l) 4 Feb 66
Company "F" (Rein) conducted search and destroy operations from GS 9126 south along route 1 to Thach By in GS 9221. Co "H" (Rein) moved out to conduct search and destroy missions south along the coast from GS 9226 to Thach By. Co "H" (Rein) encountered no VC but destroyed caves and tunnels. Co "F" (Rein) encountered ten (10) BC at 912252 and sustained one (1) WIA. Artillery and 81's were fired in support. The enemy was driven off in northern and southern directions. Command Group Alpha moved by LVTP's to BS 925218. At that point Co "H" (Rein) was moved from BS 927220 to BS 925218 by the LVTP's. The battalion established a defensive position at BS 922212 with Companies "F" (Rein) and "H" (Rein) in perimeter defense. Naval Gunfire, Artillery and 81mm Mortar preparations were fired in the surrounding hills. No incidents were reported during the night.
(m) 5 Feb 66
At 050600H Co "F" (Rein) moved south to conduct search and destroy operation of its assigned area along national highway No 1 to Chu'O'ng (2) in GS 9113. Co "H" (Rein) began its search and destroy mission at 050700H. South generally along NS grid line 92 to Ch'O'ng (2). Command Group Alpha moved along highway 1 at 0730. There were no contacts reported during the move. Battalion CP was established at BS 914139. Patrols were conducted with negative results and night ambushes established. Prior to moving into position, the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines executed a linkup with a RVN Engineer Battalion from II Corps at BS 903130.
(n) 6 Feb 66
Co "F" (Rein) and "H" (Rein) swept their assigned areas. No VC contacts were made but tunnels, an aid station, and rice caches were found. Tunnels and rice were destroyed. The aid station was in a culvert and contained old beds, used morphine syrettes, none of which were of any significant value. Ambushes were established. No contacts were reported. Liaison with special forces elements in II Corps area at BS 903130.
(o) 7-8 Feb 66
Co "F" (Rein) and "H" (Rein) sent out Plt (Rein) patrols to sweep their assigned areas. A civic action team (doctor, corpsmen, S-3, S-2 and interpreters) and security element moved into village at BS 908136 and BS 903128 distributed soap, cigarettes, food and treated minor ailments. Patrols reported a noticeable lack of VC activity. On 8 February, an Army Captain from II Corps Civil Action Team brought a VC rallier to the BattalionCP. A patrol was conducted to confirm the information offered by the rallier. A cave with small cache of weapons was found at BS 901146, which contained one (1) Russian rifle and three (3) grenades. These were turned over to the U.S. Army advisor.
(p) 9 Feb 66
Co "F" and Co "H" sent out patrols to maintain security and to conduct search and destroy operations along route 1. Received oral Frag Order alerting the Battalion to prepare to assume mission of security for engineer unit working on route No. 1, from II Corps Northern boundry to Thach By in GS 9221 to repair highway damaged by VC. Ambushes were established. No contact was reported .
(q) 10 Feb 66
At about 1200 a patrol from Co "H" received three (3) rounds of carbine fire while moving up hill 65 in BS 885160. One (1) VC was seen armed with a grenade. One (1) VC was killed, but the VC firing a carbine escaped to the North. A patrol from Co "F" picked up two (2) VCS at coordinates BS 915666. Both had safe conduct passes and were evacuated to ITT at BSA. A Civil Action Team passed out one (1) wood working kit, soap and fifty (50) lbs of rations while a medical team treated twenty-five (25) persons in the village located at coordinates BS 906139.
(r) 11 Feb 66
A patrol from Co "H" located banners, gas masks filters, a carbine and .45 ammo in small amounts at BS 858198. The same patrol found paintings of American weapons on the wall of a hut at BS 854199. It appeared to be a VC training area. The building was destroyed by burning. The patrol received two (2) rounds of carbine fire at BS 857202 at about 1215. The area was searched and one (1) Vietnamese about 15 years old was found. No weapons was recovered but expended cartridges were found in the area. Vietnamese boy was detained as VCS, and evacuated to BSA. Two (2) VC in black uniforms and one (1) VC in khaki were seen running north from BS 855202. Patrol fired and two (2) were seen to fall. Search of area produced negative results. A patrol from Co "F" found four-hundred (400) pounds of rice, twenty (20) pounds of salt and two-hundred (200) pounds of dried coconuts in a concealed hut at BS 852163. Items were evacuated by helicopter to BSA. A patrol from Co "F" found two (2) Vietnamese women and four (4) children drying medicine at BS 864169 about 1630. There was estimated to be one-hundred-twenty-five (125) assorted bottles of aspirin and other pill medicine. One (1) bottle of penicillin, and one-hundred-fifty envelopes containing a white powder. The Battalion Medical Team treated approximately seventy-five persons at village in BS 907140.
(s) 12 Feb 66
2d Battalion, 3d Marines assumed operational control of Companies "F" and "H" of 2d Battalion, 4th Marines. A patrol from Co "F" found a map with sheet number 6754I in an abandoned hut at BS 878163. No markings on the map and no signs of friendly troops in area. The Battalion medical team treated twenty (20) persons in the village of Chu'O'ng (1) at BS 915140. Approximately fifty (50) pounds of rations were also distributed. Lt. General Thi, I Corps Commander and party visited area to see improvements on route 1 in Battalion TAOR.
(t) 13 Feb 66
OpCon of Companies "F" and "H" of 2/4 and "H" 2/3 was chopped to 3/1 rear and 3/1 rear moved into BS 914139 to assume control of 2/3's TAOR. Co "E" , Co "F" and Command Group Alpha were helilifted into a landing zone in GS BS 5644 at 1500. Lift was completed at 1600, the LZ and surrounding area was secured.
One (1) main force VC was captured about 1640 at BS 560448. VC had U.S. carbine, ammo, pack and documents. He was sent to ITT at BSA. Battalion CP was established at BS 589436 with Co. "E" in perimeter defense and Co "F" CP established at BS 552443.
(u) 14 Feb 66
Co "E" and Co "F" searched the area within grid square BS 5542 to 5543 for suspected POW camp with negative results. Link up with 2d Battalion, 9th Marines was made at BS 559420. Received Frag Order 117-66 and prepared to execute withdrawal in coordination with 2d Battalion, 9th Marines.
(v) 15 Feb 66
Battalion (-) prepared to execute order 117-66. Companies "E", "F" and Command Group Alpha moved to GS BS 5639 and prepared for helilift to the LPH-8. Lift off began at approximately 1200 with one (1) Plt (Rein) being helilifted to hill 163 at 849391 to provide security for the withdrawal of the BSA from the beach. The remainder of the battalion was helilifted to the USS Valley Forge (LPH-8).
(w) 19 Feb 66
Co "E" and Co "F" with Command Group Alpha were landed in LZ's Thrush and Swallow by 1110, in GS BT 1914. Co "E" and Co "F" conducted search and destroy missions in vicinity of LZ"s. Command Group Alpha recovered ten (10) pounds of rice, in a cloth roll, several small VC entrenching tools, clothes and sleeping mats in a cave at BT 200143. Co "F" found a VCS crawling through rocks with a serious leg wound at BT 198145. He was evacuated to BSA at 1400. Co "F" had one (1) confirmed VC KIA in vicinity BT 203145. Also recovered were VC literature and propaganda at coordinates BT 203146. There were no friendly casualties. Co "F" located a VC arsenal in vicinity of BT 198143. They recovered seventeen (17) shotguns, four (4) MG (M-60) barrels, three M-1 barrels, one (1) M-14 w/magazine, seven (7) sound power phones, five (5) rounds 2.75mm ammo, one-hundred (100) rounds .50 caliber ammo, eleven (11) rifles of unknown make, three (3) chinese hand grenades, four (4) 81mm mortar rounds, three-hundred (300) 7.62 rounds. At about 1650 Co "F" received nine (9) small arms fire from one (1) VC in vicinity of BT 201155. Fire was returned. VC pursued into hut. VC would not surrender so hut was burned. Three (3) secondary explosions and small arms detonations were witnessed. Co "F" killed a total of four (4) VC and wounded two (2) in vicinity BS 261155. The villagers indicated that one (1) VC company of approximately one-hundred-fifty (150) persons entered village in vicinity of LZ Thrush GS BT 1914 to collect rice taxes and other equipment in the area. They departed on the 16th of February and moved to the west. The VC had a caucasian advisor. The VC were armed with modern weapons believed to be Russian.
(x) 20 Feb 66
At 0140 an ambush from Co "F" at BT 211-154 received four (4) 60mm mortar rounds and small arms fire. An 81mm mortar concentration was fired with unknown results. Seven (7) Marines were wounded and five (5) were evacuated. Co "F" destroyed tunnel complexes and seven (7) caves in GS BT 2116. One (1) confirmed wounded VC at BT 215155. Blood stains found following the air strike. Co "E" killed one (1) VC at BT 196155. VC was armed with a chi-com 7.62 K-50 sub-MG. Weapon and ammo captured. At 1000 the CP began moving to BT 218169. At 1130 Co "F" found a VC training area at BT 209152. They found numerous dummy grenades carved out of wood with wire for simulated spoon, one (1) VC gas mask and one (1) K-44 mine or rocket. All the items were evacuated to G-2 Task Force Delta. The Battalion Medical Officer activated a concusion mine attached to a bush approximately three (3) feet off the ground. He received leg wounds and the Battalion Commander received missile wounds in the face. Both were evacuated to the BSA at approximately 1330. The Battalion Commander returned to the CP at approximately 1830.
(y) 21 Feb 66
Companies "E", "F" and Command Group Alpha prepared for helilift from LZ location at BT 217168. Lift was delayed until 1600. Local fan patrols were conducted in GS BT 2116 until time for lift off. Three (3) wounded VN children were treated for missile wounds and were evacuated to BSA on TFD-6 aircraft. One (1) parent accompanied the children as guardian. Approximately thirty (30) lbs of rations were distributed to villagers at BT 215169. The battalion medical team treated twelve (12) children for skin sores at the same location. Lift of companies commenced at 1600. At 1630 the LZ came under small arms fire and received four (4) rounds of 60mm mortar rounds. Fire was returned with small arms and air cover by Army UH-1E's. No friendly casualties were received and no results of returned fire could be determined as all elements were lifted out. All elements were in LZ located in GS BT 0226 by 1730. Battalion CP was established at BT 033266 with Companies "E" and "F" in perimeter defense.
(z) 22 Feb 66
At 1000 Co "F" received fire from two (2) snipers at BT 036266 killing one (1) sniper, but no weapons were recovered. A cave was discovered during the engagement. It contained tools, VC flag, and VC supply list. All items except the supply list were destroyed. Co "F" destroyed four (4) houses in vicinity of 041262 by burning them. Secondary explosions believed to be grenades and small arms ammo were heard in each case. The villagers indicated that the area had been mined, but the VC had returned earlier and removed them. At 1000 Command Group Alpha came under small arms fire from an estimated four (4) VC snipers at BT 037265. Exchange of fire lasted approximately thirty (30) minutes. Flank security was established in the area of the sniper fire and no further incidents occured. Battalion CP was established at BT 055274. Seven (7) males, three (3) females and six (6) Vietnamese children requested that our OP assist them in getting to Tam Ky. They had been forced to dig tunnels by the VC and were afraid they would eventually kill them. They were evacuated by the Re-supply helicopter to LSA. At 2230 Co "F" received one (1) WIA from VC grenade at 048266. WIA evacuated on Task Force Delta's helicopter.
(aa) 23 Feb 66
Co "F" and Co "E" conducted detailed search and clear operations in GS BT 0527, 0627, 0526 and 0626. No enemy contact. Battalion CP was established at BT 060252.
(bb) 24 Feb 66
Received Frag Order 144-66 at 0935 to continue search and clear operations. At 1445 we received twelve (12) WIA from mine explosion at 075240. Nine (9) personnel were evacuated by helicopter, those wounded by the VC mine, included was the battalion S-3. Command Group Alpha, Co "E" and Co "F" proceeded to the new CP location at BT 080244. Co "F" encountered three (3) snipers who withdrew to the South. One (1) friendly WIA from Panjii stake during pursuit. The mine was possibly an 81mm mortar due to the loudness of detonation and the twelve-fifteen (12-15) meter burst radius. All WIA's received fragmentation wounds.
(cc) 25 Feb 66
Command Group Alpha, Co "E" and Co "F" returned to BT 060252 and conducted search and destroy missions throughout the day. Co "F" received two (2) WIA at BT 076239 from faulty grenade that blew up in one (1) Marines hand before he could throw it. They were in the process of blowing caves and booby trapped fences. Frag Order 153-66 was received directing us to be prepared to move to the USS Valley Forge by helicopter on 26 February 1966.
(dd) 26 Feb 66
Fog delayed helilift of Command Group Alpha, Co "E", Co "F" and Co "G" until 1130. The lift was completed at 1300 and CP was established aboard the USS Valley Forge. One (1) platoon from Co "G" remained in area to check on possible cave with arms and ammo.
f. NBC Warfare
No NBC or special type of warfare was conducted during this period.
g. Command and control
(1) Command and Control of the BLT as Task Force Delta reserve was exercised at all times during the employment of Double Eagle by the Commanding General, Task Force Delta. The BLT was split in several groups with elements operating under operational control of various commands within Task Force Delta.
(2) Command and Control of elements under command of BLT 2/3 was exercised by media organic to the BLT. Radios, PRC-25, PRC-10 and 292 antennas were the prime means of control. The PRC-25 proved to be an exceptional asset to the BLT.
(3) The BLT functioned with two (2) commands during the entire period of Operation Double Eagle. Command Group Bravo was commanded by LtCol Horn, BLT Commander and Command Group Bravo was commanded by Major Harrison, BLT Executive Officer.
h. Close Combat
(1) The BLT spent the entire period searching for the Viet Cong during Operation Double Eagle. Only sporadic sniper fire and small groups of Viet Cong were encountered. At no time did the enemy choose to stand and fight.
(2) Contact was made on several occasions as indicated in the sequential listings of events in section e, Special Operations.
i. Fire Support
Battery "H" (-), 3d Battalion, 12 Marines, stationed at Bato was in support of Task Force Delta during the linkup with 2/9. Battery "H" (Rein), 3d Battalion, 11th Marines was in general support of Task Force Delta, during initial landing of 2d Battalion, 3d Marines (-) at the airstrip in GS BS 7142. 107mm Mortar Battery, 3d Battalion, 12th Marines during second phase of the Operation from 19 February through 26 February. Battery "M", 4th Battalion, 12th Marines was in general support of Task Force Delta throughout the operation. The artillery batteries were used only for on-call missions. Most of the fire was pre-scheduled H&I fires.
(2) Naval Gunfire
The USS Barry (DD 933), US Topeka (CLG-8) and the USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) were used for H&I fires when available. Naval Gunfire was used to destroy a village containing fifteen (15) known VC from which heavy small arms fire was received. This occurred while the battalion was at the air strip in GS BS 7243.
(a) This battalion assumed the duties as Special Landing Force on 2 January 1966. At that time, the battalion embarked aboard SLF shipping with all supplies (30 Day Mount-Out Block) except in communication spare parts and batteries. These items were received at NSB, Subic. Also received at Subic was a training allocation of ammunition.
(b) During the period 8-18 January 1966, this command conducted training and established an SLF camp at Subic Bay, PI. All class II and IV resupply remained aboard ship and classed I, III and V were issued to NSD, NS, Subic Bay, PI.
(c) During Excercise Hilltop on Mandaro PI., this command was supplied by helicopters out of assets aboard SLF shipping. No problems were encountered of a significant nature.
(d) During Operation Double Eagle this command was resupplied from assets the BSA delivered by helicopter. There were only two (2) problems encountered i.e.,
1. Resupply of BA-451 on an exchange basis was inadequate because the BSA charger section did not have enough extra batteries in stock and could not charge an adequate number at one time.
2. The shortages of radios on an exchange basis was not satisfactory. The usage was greater than anticipated, especially on AN/PRC-10's and AN/PRC-25's.
(a) This command utilized Navy trucks (4) while at Subic Bay (8-18 January). This augmentation was adequate for resupply and administrative runs.
(b) Troop movements above the platoon level were handled very efficiently utilizing Navy vehicles and the truck platoon attached from 3d MT Bn.
(3) Camp Facilities and Cantonments
(a) The basic camp facilities were ready for occupancy upon arrival at Subic. These facilities consisted of showers, heads, and a shower unit. Storage space was limited, but satisfactory for a short duration. The office spaces were created under tentage and troop billeting was under shelter halves.
Embarkation and debarkation of this command while SLF were satisfactory.
(5) Medical and Evacuation
(a) BATTLE WIA 51 KIA 5 RETURN TO DUTY 14
NON BATTLE WIA 76 KIA 2 RETURN TO DUTY 39
(b) Support and service by U.S. Naval Hospital Cubi Point was excellent. The professionalism and spirit of the Battalion Doctors and corpsmen was outstanding during the entire phase while on SLF.
k. Air Defense See Air Support paragraph 2.1
1. Air Support
Both helicopter and fixed wing, were used extensively during the operation. The First Marine Aircraft Wing provided CAS and helo support for Task Force Delta. Helicopters were used numerous times to lift the battalion or sections of it to various LZ's in pursuit of the VC. CAS aircraft were used provided LZ preparatory fire along with the UH-1E helicopters. In addition they provided on-call close air support, med-evacs, artillery observers and psychological warfare missions. Close air support aircraft were used during almost every helilift for fire suppression. Helicopter resupply was used almost on a daily basis. Med-evacs, resupply and close air support was most effective and timely, in that respective order.
m. Civil Affairs
Civil Affairs during this period was handled on the individual unit basis. BLT elements treated numerous personnel for minor skin sores. "C" rations were distributed and the Battalion Medical Team held sick call in areas of operation. Numerous refugees were evacuated to the Landing Support Area (Tam Ky). These Vietnamese civilians requested transportation to escape the VC controlled area.