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Section 4: 1968 - Dong Ha, Allen Brook, Mameluke Thrust & Hill 190
Dong Ha, Allen Brook, Mameluke Thrust, south of Phu Bai, Hai Van Pass, and northwest Da Nang TAOR
April 18 - May 6, 1968
After the siege of Khe Sanh and the fighting during the breakout, Delta Co. is under strength. Some replacements begin to arrive soon after battalion comes to Wonder Beach.
The battalion is assigned perimeter security and convoy escort duty. Also, many small unit operations are conducted in the vicinity of Wonder Beach and the access road to Route 1 to provide local security and hinder enemy efforts to collect rice from the villages in the area (Operation Rice). The battalion also provides road sweep security for the USA 14th Engineers for the road from Wonder Beach to Route 1.
The 1st Platoon of Delta Co. is detached from the company to provide security for the movements of tanks to Camp Carroll. The Marines riding the tanks feel like inviting targets. The 1st Platoon remains at Camp Carroll a few days before convoy back to Wonder Beach.
The war in Quang Tri Province continues to heat up, and the combat action shifts towards Dong Ha.
April 24, 1968
The Navy accidentally shells the Wonder Beach complex.
April 25, 1968
Delta Co. is helifted to the crash site of a downed UH-IE helicopter to search the area and provide security. Six bodies are recovered.
April 29, 1968
The 320th NVA Division has advanced south to within four miles of Dong Ha and some of its unitís clash with D/1/9 and the 2nd ARVN Regiment a few miles northwest of Dong Ha.
April 30, 1968
The units of the 320th NVA Division shell cargo shipments on the Cua Viet River with artillery, rockets and mortars. This action blocks river shipments and concerns military planners; the Cua Viet River is the major corridor for war goods flowing into Quang Tri Province.
Early May 1968
During the first week of May, the battalion continues operations from the Wonder Beach Complex. The fighting North of Dong Ha continues to get hotter as the NVA begin a series of bloody and costly battles along an east to west corridor north of Dong Ha (Thon Cam Vu to Nhi Ha). This action becomes known as the battle for Dong Ha (it is also known as the battle for Dai Do).
May 4-17, 1968
From 7 May until 17 May the 1/26 Marines conducted
operations north of Dong Ha and Cam Lo in conjunction with Operation KENTUCKY.
During the operation the battalion destroyed several enemy bunker
complexes, captured large amounts of enemy supplies, weapons and munitions.
East of the Kentucky AO, the 320th fights at least one major engagement a day against half a dozen Marine, ARVN and Army Battalions.
May 6, 1968
The fight between the BLT 2/4 and the NVA at Do Dai (northeast of Dong Ha) has developed into a multi-battalion action.
May 7, 1968
The battalion and Delta Co. are trucked from Wonder Beach to Dong Ha to begin a sweep of the area north and west towards Thon Cam Vu. This operation is a sweep of a portion of the 9th Marines Kentucky AO. The battalion makes slow progress with a tactical movement north along Route 1. At the end of the day, 1/26 reaches the area where the ARVN has been hit by units of the 320th NVA Division days before and takes night defensive positions.
May 8, 1968
The battalion moves in a westerly direction. Between the villages, the rice paddy fields spread out -- some are very large. The battalion uses prep fire by artillery and tanks on the tree line before advancing on the targeted area of this operation. The battalion moves towards the ville and is hit by 130-mm artillery rounds. The counter-battery fire from Dong Ha immediately responds. The ville has been extensively fortified. However, the NVA abandon their positions in haste, leaving some ammunition and fresh food behind. The battalion and Delta Co. take night defensive positions in this area. the following Delta Co. Marine was killed:
Pfc. James Chambers, 5/8/68 - Killed by friendly fire west of Dong Ha
May 9, 1968
Delta Co. is the point company for the battalion in the morning advance and moves out along the center of a low gully in a westerly direction. As the company pushes forward, a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire opens up from NVA units fighting from fortified positions. In addition to their many machine gun bunkers, the NVA uses both rockets and mortars to harass the movement of the Marines returning fire. Delta Co. was reinforced by Charlie Co. in the assault and Bravo Co. with tanks providing a base of fire.
The attack continues. With the help of tanks, the NVA are pushed out of the ville. The battalion and Delta Co. recover casualties and take night defensive positions around the ville. The night is long with the crying of the village women and the silhouette of the dead Marines gathered together waiting for daybreak and their helicopter flight back to Dong Ha.
During the attack, the battalion suffers about 50 killed and wounded. Delta Company sustains the most casualties, including the Company Commander, who is killed. The following Delta Co. Marines are KIA:
LCpl. Kurtis Chapman, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
Pfc. Eugenio Fernandez, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
Pfc. Edward Gillaspy, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
Capt. Edward Hughes, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
LCpl. Homer Mitchell, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
HM3 Winston Parker, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
LCpl. Jack Porter, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
LCpl. Robert Sickles, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
Pfc. Billy Stewart, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
HN Melvin Windham, 5/9/68 - Killed by gunshot wound west of Dong Ha
May 10, 1968
The sweep continues toward the river to the south. The battalion uses prep fire by artillery on the tree line before advancing on the targeted area.
During the battalion's sweep in the Kentucky AO, they encounter many enemy bunker complexes, resulting in the capture of large amounts of enemy supplies, weapons, and munitions. The number of the bunkers and the large amount of captured material indicate that these small units are covering the withdrawal of a larger NVA force. NVA casualties for the operation are 11 KIA and two captured.
1stLt R. E. Simpson becomes acting Delta Co. Commander.
May 11-16, 1968
The battalion continues a series of company-sized operations. Due to heavy casualties during the proceeding days, Delta Co. is very under strength and is relocated to the Cua Viet area. On a patrol in the vicinity of Cua Vet, one Delta Co. Marine is mortally wounded and later dies; two other Marines are wounded.
East of the Kentucky AO, the fighting intensifies. As the battle grows, many American units besides 2/4 are committed. These include 1/3, 3/9, 1/26, 196th Light Infantry Brigade (2/21 Infantry Battalion), and the 2nd Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry.
The defense of Dong Ha grows into one of the major fights of the Vietnam War, costing the Americans 327 killed with more than 1,500 casualties. The NVA are estimated to have lost almost 3,600 killed.
May 14, 1968
Capt J. N. Daniel replaces 1stLt R. E. Simpson as Delta Co. Commander.
May 17, 1968
The battalion is flown from Cam Lo to Da Nang and OpCon to 1st MarDiv as division reserve until May 26, 1968. During this time, the battalion is located at Dai La Pass, Da Nang.
May 21, 1968
Delta Co. is helilifted to the hills west of An Hoa to support a recon team.
May 22, 1968
Delta Co. discovers 2,000 lbs. of rice.
May 26, 1968
The presence of the NVA in the Go Noi Island area increases the threat of attack against Da Nang's civilian and military installations. In mid-May to meet this challenge, Gen. Cushman, III MAF Commander, deployed elements of the 5th, 7th, and 27th Marines in the broad valley of the Thu Bon River, which flowed into the sea near Hoi An, about 20 miles south of Da Nang.
The purpose of Operation Allen Brook is to clear the elements of the NVA 308th Division's 36th and 38th Regiments from this area. The target was Go Noi Island, an island formed by the Thu Bon River in Dien Ban district near Route 1, the main north-south highway of South Vietnam. In Dien Ban district the coastal rice patties gave way to flat, open fields covered by grass and scrub, broken by the occasional stand of trees.
Alan Brook became the pattern of warfare in the river basins and coastal
lowlands of Quang Nam. Contact followed the standard NVA tactic, which was to engage the Marines
at close range from prepared positions to minimize help from U.S. artillery and
aircraft. These NVA tactics were
never wholly successful as combined arms inflicted heavy casualties on the
On May 26 the 1/26 Marines are OpCon to the 27th Marines to join in Operation Allen Brook. The battalion's command post is moved to the vicinity of Liberty Bridge on the north bank of the Thu Bon River. During the Allen Brook operation the daily temperature were above 110 degrees each day, which was both, draining and frustrating.
May 27-31, 1968
The battalion makes contact with a large enemy force and captures large amounts of supplies during this period. 33 NVA are KIA.
Cpl. Charles Coleman, 5/31/68 - Died of wounds suffered by gunshot on May 27, 1968
On May 29, Delta Co. has 15 wounded in the vicinity of Cu Ban.
Cpl. Charles Coleman (WIA-5/27/68 and DOW-5/31/68) was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal (Posthumously) for his actions and valor on May 27, 1968.
June 1-6, 1968
The battalion remains OpCon to the 27th Marines and continues operations in the Allen Brook AO. During this period, the battalion makes contact with a large enemy force, capturing large amounts of enemy equipment, rice, and documents. 23 NVA are KIA. Delta Co. had five wounded on June 5 in the vicinity of Cu Ban including Cpl. Corbett and Pfc. Gallagher. A medevac helicopter is shot down also. HM3 Aucoin is mortally wounded this day dies of his wounds several weeks later.
The Cu Ban hamlets were located southeast of Liberty Bridge.
June 7-16, 1968
The battalion is OpCon to the 7th Marines and conducts operations south and west of Hill 55 in conjunction with Operation Mameluke Thrust. The objectives of this operation was to preempt another enemy offensive against Da Nang. The Mameluke Thrust AO extended south to the An Hoa area.
June 7, 1968
The 1/26 Marines meets an NVA battalion at My Loc (2), three miles northeast of An Hoa. Alpha Company was on the right, Delta Company on the left, and Charlie Company in the middle, about 200 yards back. The hot weather continued and was exhausting. During fighting on 7 June, both Alpha and Delta Companies are hit hard.
The Delta Company advance had the 2nd Platoon on the left flank, 3rd Platoon advancing up a small ridge line and 1st Platoon was sweeping a village on the right. The company command post was behind 3rd platoon.
About 10 AM that morning the NVA opened up on the 3rd Platoon's lead squad which had gotten inside the enemy's camouflaged positions. The enemy opened up with automatic weapons at close range from a trench line. Elements of 3rd Platoon counter attacked the enemy killing all five NVA in the trench. Delta Company sustained casualties including two Marines KIA.
The following Marines were killed during this fight:
2nd Lt. Samuel Hannah, 6/7/68 -- Killed by gunshot wound near My Loc
LCpl. David Auen, 6/7/68 -- Killed by gunshot wound near My Loc
The fighting became widespread. Alpha Company was to the right and ahead of Delta and they took fire when they entered a tree line and became heavily engaged. All of Delta Company platoons came under fire. 2nd Platoon assaulted through the tree line and relieved the pressure on third platoon.
The Company regrouped while casualties were medevaced. Charlie Company had moved up to support Delta sent one platoons by helicopter over to help Alpha Company in its actions. Charlie Company was ordered to secure around the LZ.
About noon as Delta Company got ready to move out again, snipers opened up from the direction away from the tree line. The company held its position and a fire mission was called. Then, the NVA opened up on the company with heavy automatic weapons fire from positions in the tree line. Third Platoon was hit hard again and the attack resulted in many Marine casualties.
Delta Company with attached units engaged the NVA and the enemy was forced to pull back as sustained artillery and air strikes were called in. That evening the 1st Platoon was pulled up on the ridge with 2nd and 3rd Platoons.
The following Marines were killed during this fight:
Cpl. Normand Deschaine, 6/7/68 - Died of wounds suffered during fighting near My Loc
Cpl. Johnnie Espy, 6/7/68 - Killed by gunshot wound near My Loc
LCpl. John Scarpinato, 6/7/68 - Killed by gunshot wound near My Loc
HN Ronald Rockefeller, 6/7/68 - Killed by gunshot wound near My Loc
Elements of Alpha and Charlie Companies were attached to
Delta Company during this fight. The following Marines were killed:
Pfc. Alton Staples III, 6/7/68 - A/1/26 Marine
Cpl. David Dixon, 6/7/58 - C/1/26 Marine
2nd Lt. Samuel Hannah was awarded the Silver Star (Posthumously) for his actions and valor on June 7, 1968.
Sgt. Clark Henson (KIA-6/16/68) was awarded the Silver Star (Posthumously) for his actions and valor on June 7, 1968.
The My Loc (2) fight was costly with many Delta and Alpha Company casualties reported. Delta Company casualties were 8 KIA and 22 WIA. Alpha Company had 14 KIA and 18 WIA.
Enemy casualties were heavy and his objective of gaining close approach to Da Nang was once again denied.
June 8, 1968
The 1/26 Marines sweep north to An Hoa.
LCpl. David Knox, 6/8/68 - Died of wounds suffered during fighting on June 7
1stLt D. L. McGravey replaces Capt J. N. Daniel as Delta Co. Commander.
June 11, 1968
The battalion moves north of the Thu Bon River into "Dodge City" to cover the 7th Marines command post on Hill 55. Dodge City is south and east of Hill 55 and is bordered on the west by the south fork of the Song Vu Gia; on the north by the Song Ai Nghi, Song Lo Tho, and Song Than Quit; on the east by Route 1; and on the south by the Song Thu Bon, Song Ba Ren, and Song Chiem Son. A north-south railroad Berm bisects the area. More than two dozen villages and hamlets dot the region. Delta Co. had previously operated in this area during 1966 and 1967.
June 13, 1968
Delta Co. clashes with the NVA and main-force VC south of Hill 55 TAOR in the vicinity of Ngoc An (1) and (2), which are next to the Thu Bob River, and sustains many casualties. The following Delta Co. Marines are killed in this fight:
LCpl. Duane Cottingham, 6/13/68 - Killed by gunshot wound near Hill 55
LCpl. Paul Loya, 6/13/68 - Killed by gunshot wound near Hill 55
Pfc. James Richmond, 6/13/68 - Killed by gunshot wound near Hill 55
LCpl. Donnie Geerdes, 6/13/68 - Killed by gunshot wounds near Hill 55
June 15-16, 1968
There is a sharp fight between units of 1/26 and the NVA and main-force VC south of the Hill 55 in the vicinity of Thuy Bo. Two Delta Company Marines are killed:
Sgt. Carl Ward, 6/15/68 - Killed by gunshot wound near Hill 55
Sgt. Clark Henson, 6/16/68 - Killed by gunshot wound near Hill 55
During Mameluke Thrust operations, the 1/26 Marines made heavy contact with the enemy. the battalion killed 158 NVA and captured one. Numerous bunkers and caves were uncovered, particularly on operations in the Happy Valley area. Many of those sites were Regimental size and showed evidence of recent occupation. Large amounts of ordinance, food, weapons and documents were found.
June 17 - 19, 1968
SSgt. Clarence Tolentino, 6/17/68 - Died of wounds received by a mine on 6/4/68 in the vicinity of Go Noi Island.
The battalion was held as Division Reserve and located at Dai La Pass, Da Nang.
June 20, 1968
The battalion is OpCon to the 26th Marines and is helilifted to the Thuong Duc corridor to conduct operations in the Happy Valley area in support of Operation Mameluke Thrust, Phase II.
June 21, 1968
1stLt. J. M. Kaheny replaces 1stLt D. L. McGravey as Delta Co. Commander.
June 21 to June 27, 1968
Delta Co. moved northwest from Thuong Duc along the Song Con for about 12,000 meters. Then the company moved north along the Song Yang for about another 10,000 meters until reaching Elephant Valley. On June 27th, Delta Co. linked up with the 3/26 Marines.
.June 28, 1968
Delta Co. was helilifted to the top of Charlie Ridge near Tho Thenon.
June 29, 1968
The next morning, a lone NVA sniper killed a Marine. A scout dog is used to track the NVA and eventually a harbor site is found. Delta Co. attacks and kills several NVA. One Marine is killed and another wounded by an NVA machine gun. A jungle penetrator is used to assist the medevac.
The following Delta Co. Marines were killed:
LCpl. Larry Adams, 6/29/68 - Killed by gunshot on Charlie Ridge
Pfc. Robert Young, 6/29/68 - Killed by machine gun fire on Charlie Ridge
June 30 to July 2, 1968
Delta Co. continues its sweep of Charlie Ridge finding a hastily evacuated NVA hospital. The company worked its way down the ridge to Ambush Valley and the road to Thuong Duc. The company was mortared but took no casualties.
July 3-7, 1968
The battalion is helilifted from Thuong Duc to An Hoa to prepare for operations in the area southwest of An Hoa. The battalion is resupplied and stays at An Hoa through July 7, 1968.
LCpl. Kenneth Watson, 7/07/68 - Died of wounds suffered in May or June
July 8-20, 1968
Several battalion and company-size search and destroy missions are conducted in the area southwest of An Hoa. The enemy avoids contact with several instances of sniper fire and no sustained attack. Only small arms fire is received.
July 8-20, 1968
Several battalion and company-size search and destroy missions are conducted in the area southwest of An Hoa. The enemy avoids contact with several instances of sniper fire and no sustained attack. Only small arms fire is received.
July 20, 1968
The battalion is helilifted to An Hoa to make preparations for relocation by fixed wing airlift to Phu Bai to assume responsibility for the Northern Task Force X- Ray AO and participation in Operation Houston, Phase IV.
Operation Houston is conducted by the Marines in the Hai Van Pass area and the Phu Loc district lowlands. The purpose of this operation is to keep Highway One open and permit rehabilitation of the railroad. Operation Houston is initiated on February 27, 1968 and terminated on September 12, 1968. At that time, military supplies and vehicles are moving freely from Da Nang to Hue via both rail and truck routes.
July 21, 1968
1stLt D. L. McGravey becomes acting Delta Co. Commander.
July 22, 1968
1stLt R. D. Browne replaces 1stLt J. M. Kaheny as Delta Co. Commander.
July 22 - September 2, 1968
The battalion conducts aggressive small-unit security patrols and ambushes and occupies road and bridge defensive positions along Route One. Throughout the month, an extensive number of patrols are conducted to interdict NVA/VC movements from the Troui river Mountain Range to the low land farm areas to gather food. Friendly units make contact with the enemy nightly. The enemy contacts range from small 3 to 9 man NVA/VC squads to larger units.
July 27, 1968
HM3 Robert Aucoin, 7/27/68 - DOW suffered on June 5, 1968 at Cu Ban
Maj. W. T. Cook replaces LtCol. F. J. McEwan as 1/26 Battalion Commander.
Delta Company is assigned to an area south of Phu Bai. One platoon is stationed at the ville by the first bridge south of Phu Bia. Another platoon is stationed in the ville at the second bridge south of Phu Bai. A third platoon operates in area around the bridges. Platoons rotate between the bridges and the field.
Enemy forces assault elements of Delta Co. guarding the second bridge south of Phu Bai, grid YD920103. The enemy infiltrates into a schoolhouse outside of the wire that is flattened by an Ontos stationed at the bridge.
August 18, 1968
Whisky Battery, 1/13 is attacked and partially overrun.
August 26, 1968
The following Delta Co. Marine was killed south of Phu Bai:
Cpl. Ronald Noble, 8/26/68 - Killed by a mine
September 3, 1968
The 1/26 Marines are relocated south from the Phu Bai area to the Northwestern Da Nang TAOR. This move is part of the regimental shuffle caused by the redeployment of the 27th Marines during September. The 26th Marines are assigned to the 1st MarDiv as a fourth regiment. The 1/26 headquarters is located next to the 7th Engineers (USMC).
The battalion's mission northwest of Da Nang is to provide security for the Esso Plant near Ga Lien Chieu (Bravo Co.), the Namo Bridge near the mouth of the Son Cue De (Charlie Co.), and Rocket Belt patrols. Also, the battalion conducts Operation Denial, which involves the formation of Killer Ambush Teams (KAT) to deny the enemy entrance and egress from the populated lowland areas and access to the rice harvest. Combined LTV operations of squad and platoon sized patrols are conducted astride the Cue De River for surveillance and interdiction. However, contact in September for the 1/26 Marines is negligible.
Early September 1968
Delta Co. is helilifted to a company outpost on Hill 180, which appears to be in the middle of nowhere. This combat base is situated at the mouth of the Elephant Valley and overlooks most of the valley floor. The heights of the surrounding hills and ridges are much higher than Hill 180. Ambushes and patrols are run from this position to guard the approach from Elephant Valley to the Dan Nang Vital Area. The company outpost is a cleared hilltop and is very remote. Water has to be carried up from streams at the bottom of the hill, and re-supply can only be conducted by helicopter.Hill 180 was an important observation point. Because of the rugged terrain and cover, the NVA had easy access to launching sites in the vicinity of Elephant Valley. The frequency of launches caused a serious threat to the Da Nang vital Area. The defense of the Da Nang Rocket Belt included keeping the Elephant Valley area clear of NVA rocket teams and making rapid response by subjecting the NVA to artillery and mortar fire.
Delta Co. is brought back to the rear for a short time and then sent to Hill 60, which overlooked a ville with a large stone Catholic church. After a short stay, the company is moved to the battalion CP as reserve.
September 21, 1968
The Esso Plant is hit by a small group of sappers. The initial flash and the following fire light up the night sky.
Delta Co. is deployed to Hill 190, which becomes its base of operations.
The 1/26 Marines continue in the mission of defending the Rocket Belt by saturation patrols. An arc is drawn around Da Nang to indicate the maximum range of NVA 122mm and 140mm rockets.
Aggressive night patrols by Killer Ambush Teams (KAT) are also conducted to interdict the enemy. KAT teams are small-sized patrols (six Marines) intended to seek out the enemy at night and ambush where possible.
The Communists are confident that they can successfully attack Da Nang Vital Area with 122mm rockets. There are many targets - Da Nang City, the air base, Force Logistics Command, port facilities, and the Marble Mountain Air Facility. The 122mm rocket is a high trajectory weapon, capable of being placed virtually anywhere in a 200 square belt surrounding Da Nang. A trained crew can prepare a 122mm rocket for firing in less than 30 minutes. Its range of 12,000 meters allows it to be placed in unobserved positions. These rocket teams are highly mobile; each firing position typically contains six launching sites.
Five thousand Marines participate in the defense of this TAOR. For the Marines working in the rocket belt, the war is particularly frustrating. These patrols are exposed to snipers, booby traps and mines. There is no easy solution; despite the Marines' efforts, these rocket attacks continue.
October 18, 1968
LtCol. C. H. Knowles replaces Maj. W. T. Cook as the 1/26 Battalion Commander.
October 24, 1969
Delta Co. establishes an ambush site near Quan Nam (5). The enemy, hiding in a house, comes out and surrounds the ambush site. The enemy throws grenades and fires small arms before retreating under superior fire.
Flooding monsoon rains make the area generally inaccessible for friendly operations, contributing to increased enemy activity in Quan Nam (5). The enemy uses boats to move into and out of the area. The enemy seems to belong to the 31st NVA Regiment and is well organized, traveling in well-dispersed units. The following Delta Co. Marine was killed:
Pfc. Clarence Cunnigham, 10/24/68 - Killed by a mine
October 25-26, 1968
Delta Co. conducts a cordon and sweep operation of Quan Nam (5). The CIT Team and 150 National Police search the area to interrogate indigenous personnel for information. No negative contact or detentions are made.
October 27, 1968
Capt. W. W. Morehead, Jr. replaces 1stLt R. D. Browne as Delta Co. Commander.
The enemy starts moving in larger groups, and many more sightings are made. Marine activities continue with the goal of denying the enemy freedom of movement and interdicting enemy infiltration routes. During this month, the enemy overwhelms two KAT teams, with heavy Marine casualties. To counter this increased enemy strength, subsequent night activities involve larger sized ambushes and patrols so that enemy force can be destroyed when engaged.
A Revolutionary Development (RD) team is established at Ho Vinh Village south of the Delta Co. CP on Hill 190. The RD team works in conjunction with Regional Force or National Police Field Force platoons. The RD's mission is to politically orient the village and provide protection and general education with the goal of establishing a credible GVN presence.
November 3-4, 1968
In the vicinity of the company position on Hill 190, a Delta Co. KAT team detonates a booby trap with 2 wounded on November 3. Another KAT team springs an ambush, killing one NVA. A Delta Co. Marine is wounded on November 4.
November 7-14, 1968
The 1/26 Marines conduct Operation Nicollet Bay, which is a sweep of the Cu De valley floor and ridgelines from Hill 190 west to the Dong Den area. The other target area is the area north of the Cu De River called Banana Valley. The NVA avoids significant contact. Three Delta Co. Marines are wounded on November 11 and another on November 12.
November 13-30, 1968
Nineteen rockets are fired from the 1/26 Marine TAOR despite counter measures. The Marines have established a centralized control system for all aspects of the counter rocket effort including artillery, air strikes, and increased patrols. Observation aircraft fly constant patrols over the rocket belt. Additionally, artillery Marines man strategically located observation posts throughout the belt. Deep reconnaissance patrols work the areas of likely penetration by these rocket teams.
November 17, 1968
During a daytime patrol, the 1st Platoon of Delta Co. reaction force engaged the enemy north of the Cu De River and suffers four WIA. The following Delta Co. Marine was killed:
Cpl. Robert S. Markum, 11/17/68 - Killed north of the Cu De River in the vicinity of Hill 190
A Killer Attack Team from the 2nd Platoon of Delta Co. is overrun south of Hill 190. The enemy was the point element of an NVA company moving towards Da Nang. Seven Marines of the squad were killed. Shrapnel from grenades hits all the Marines; five are shot in the head at close range. Pfc. Nyroon Chadee survived the fighting by crawling into another rice paddy but later died of wounds. The following Delta Co. Marines are killed:
Pfc. Jack A. Bowman, 11/17/68 - Killed in the vicinity of Hill 190
Pvt. Timothy A. Crandel, 11/17/68 - Killed in the vicinity of Hill 190
Pfc. Ryan J. Gallow, 11/17/68 - Killed in the vicinity of Hill 190
Pfc. Robert E. Green, 11/17/68 - Killed in the vicinity of Hill 190
Pfc. Thomas J. Killion Jr., 11/17/68 - Killed in the vicinity of Hill 190
Pfc. Martin D. Shields, 11/17/68 - Killed in the vicinity of Hill 190
LCpl. David Vollmer, 11/17/68 - Killed in the vicinity of Hill 190
The 3rd Platoon of Delta Co. observes an estimated 30 enemy and directs a successful attack by artillery and 81 mortars. A sweep of the area finds one enemy body and two weapons.
November 19, 1968
The FLC compound receives thirteen rockets, with six hitting inside their base area.
November 25, 1968
A Delta Co. Marine is wounded.
November 27, 1968
Delta Co. springs an ambush on three NVA in a small boat and kills three of the enemy.
November 29, 1968
Delta Company ambushes a small enemy group and sweeps the area, finding one enemy KIA.
The Delta Co. CP continues to be located on Hill 190. The enemy keeps constant pressure on all 1/26 units during the month. The TAOR experiences a significant increase in enemy terrorism including two kidnappings, an assassination, destruction of a settlement, a mining incident, and an increase in booby traps. The NVA are using the VC forces to provide food. The VC uses these terrorist activities to coerce the local people to provide more food and intelligence.
Joint Marine and South Vietnamese joint operations continue to be emphasized. Due to harassment of convoys over the Hai Van Pass, long-range patrols into the overlooking canopied mountains are initiated.
December 1, 1968
Delta Co. sights 20 enemy moving towards an ambush site and springs an ambush, killing three of the enemy.
December 5, 1968
Delta Co. detects an enemy force of unknown size and initiates an ambush north of the Cu De River with Claymore mines and small arms. The fight kills 15 NVA. Three Marines are WIA.
Pfc. Nyroon Chadee, 12/5/68 - Died of wounds suffered in November 17, 1968 fighting.
December 16, 1968
A group of 10-15 VC kidnap a Kit Carson Scout from his home near Hill 190.
December 20, 1968
Delta Co. serving as a blocking force for Operation Clean Sweep makes contact with two enemy in a boat and capture one NVA POW.
December 23, 1968
Delta Co. spots five enemy pushing a raft along the Cue De River. When the
enemy approaches, the company opens fire and kills five NVA.
December 25, 1968
Christmas cease-fire. Delta Co. fires warning shots at 20 enemy starting to cross the river. The enemy stops and turns around.
December 31, 1968
Delta Co. ambushes one enemy pushing a boat across the Cu De River north of their ambush site. The attack kills one VC.