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Marine Operations
 
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arrow link Operation Starlite
On August 15 the marines received their first break. A deserter from the Vietcong 1st Regiment in-formed General Thi of a major build-up of enemy Maine Force units in the Van Tuong village complex, twelve miles southeast of Chu Lai along the coast. The VC goal was to achieve a great psychological victory by surprising the isolated marine base at Chu Lai in the first major engagement between American and enemy forces.

arrow link Harvest Moon
In-country for just two weeks, artillery forward observer Harvey Barnum assumed command of Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, during a Viet Cong ambush.

 

arrow link Operation Hastings
In 1964 during his election campaign, Lyndon Johnson had affirmed his conviction that "American boys" should not "do the fighting for Asian boys." By June 1966 two hundred eighty-five thousand American troops were on combat duty in South VietNam, and another hundred thousand would be pouring in by the end of the year. With draft calls rapidly approaching forty-five thousand men per month, the largest quota since the Korean War, there seemed to be no end in sight.

 

arrow link Operation Prairie
During Operation Hastings in July 1966, the U.S. Marines repelled NVA Division 324B's invasion of Quang Tri Province and forced the division to withdraw into the DMZ. But in the first week of August American intelligence discovered that 324B was moving back into Quang Tri and establishing fortified positions in the jungle-covered western mountains. The enemy's goal was to capture the Rockpile and launch an assault on Quang Tri's populous coastal region.

 
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