Operation Jackstay

Operation Jackstay was a U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Vietnam Marine Division operation in the Rung Sat Special Zone, South Vietnam that took place from 26 March to 6 April 1966.


On 26 February 1966, the Viet Cong (VC) ambushed SS Lorinda, a Panamanian coastal freighter, on the Lòng Tàu River 18 miles (29 km) south of Saigon, wounding six of the crew and causing the freighter to run aground. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) decided that a large-scale amphibious raid in the area would be necessary to ease VC pressure on the shipping channel.[1]

Phase 1 of the operation plan called for an amphibious assault on the Long Thanh Peninsula (where much of the Rung Sat’s population lived) by the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines deployed by USS Princeton, USS Pickaway, USS Alamo, USS Belle Grove and USS Merrick.[2] Naval gunfire support would be provide by USS Robison and PCFs and WPBs of Operation Market Time, while air support would be provided by the USS Hancock air group. Phase 2 would see the Marines moved deeper into the zone. The planners realized that such a small assault force could not eradicate the VC in the zone and the operation was only intended to disrupt VC operations and demonstrate that the Allies could penetrate their safe havens.[1]:98–9


The operation began on the morning of 26 March with a preliminary bombardment by Robison and aircraft from Hancock. A Marine company then landed from surface craft near Dong Hoa on the western end of the peninsula. Two companies were then landed on the center and eastern end of the peninsula by helicopter encountering only scattered sniper fire. During the first night 21 four–man night observation posts were established. The VC attacked one position with grenades killing 2 Marines and starting a brief firefight that resulted in 3 VC killed.[1]:100

That same night the VC ambushed PCF-31 1 mile (1.6 km) inland from Cần Giờ on the Long Thanh Peninsula, seriously wounding one crewman and severely damaging the PCF.[1]:100–1

On 28 March the Marines landed unopposed on the Soài Rạp River. On 31 March following airstrikes from the Hancock air group, gunfire from USS Henry County and USS Washoe County and Ontos fire from the deck of Henry County the Marines assaulted the banks of the Vam Sat River, a major VC logistical area linking a VC headquarters with the Soài Rạp. The landing was unopposed and the Marines discovered a VC weapons cache with 18 carbines and 1,000 grenades.[1]:101

Over the following days the US Marines and South Vietnamese Marines conducted three further amphibious assaults into the zone uncovering VC base areas and supplies, but without meeting any serious resistance.[1]:102


Operation Jackstay concluded on 6 April. 63 VC and 5 US were killed in the operation. The Marines discovered and destroyed VC arms factories, training camps, a headquarters complex, and a hospital. Large amounts of rice and supplies were captured, including 60,000 rounds of ammunition and 300 pounds of gunpowder.[1]:102–3

The operation was regarded as a success in that it disrupted the VC infrastructure in the area and there was a noticeable decline in VC activity throughout the zone following the operation.[1]:102


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Sherwood, John (2015). War in the shallows: U.S. Navy coastal and riverine warfare in Vietnam 1965–68 (PDF). Naval History and Heritage Command. p. 98. ISBN 9780945274766.
  2. ^ "Help ProPublica Research More Than 700 Navy Ships That Served in ..." Pro Publica. Pro Publica. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
Coast Guard Squadron One

Coast Guard Squadron One, also known in official message traffic as COGARDRON ONE or RONONE, was a combat unit formed by the United States Coast Guard in 1965 for service during the Vietnam War. Placed under the operational control of the United States Navy, it was assigned duties in Operation Market Time. Its formation marked the first time since World War II that Coast Guard personnel were used extensively in a combat environment.

The squadron operated divisions in three separate areas during the period of 1965 to 1970. Twenty-six Point-class cutters with their crews and a squadron support staff were assigned to the U.S. Navy with the mission of interdicting the movement of arms and supplies from the South China Sea into South Vietnam by Viet Cong and North Vietnam junk and trawler operators. The squadron also provided naval gunfire support to nearby friendly units operating along the South Vietnamese coastline and assisted the U.S. Navy during Operation Sealords. As the United States' direct involvement in combat operations wound down during 1969, squadron crews began training Republic of Vietnam Navy (RVN) sailors in the operation and deployment of the cutters. The cutters were later turned over to the RVN as part of the Vietnamization of the war effort. Turnover of the cutters to RVN crews began in May 1969 and was completed by August 1970. Squadron One was disestablished with the decommissioning of the last cutter.

The squadron was awarded several unit citations for its service to the U.S. Navy and the South Vietnamese government during the six years the unit was active with over 3,000 Coast Guardsmen serving aboard cutters and on the squadron support staff. Six squadron members were killed in action during the time the unit was commissioned.

Squadron One, along with American and South Vietnamese naval units assigned to the task force that assumed the Market Time mission, were successful interdicting seaborne North Vietnamese personnel and equipment from entering South Vietnamese waters. The success of the blockade served to change the dynamics of the Vietnam War, forcing the North Vietnamese to use a more costly and time-consuming route down the Ho Chi Minh trail to supply their forces in the south.


HA(L)-3, (Helicopter Attack Squadron (Light) 3), nicknamed the "Seawolves", was an all-volunteer US Navy squadron formed in support of Naval Special Warfare operations and Mobile Riverine Forces during the Vietnam War.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1966)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1966, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their allies.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (G–L)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their assorted allies. This is not a complete list. Operations are currently listed alphabetically, but are being progressively reorganised as a chronology.

Rung Sat Special Zone

Rung Sat Special Zone (Vietnamese: Đặc khu Rừng Sác) was the name given during the Vietnam War by the South Vietnam Government and American forces to a large area of the Sác Forest (Vietnamese Rừng Sác), which is today known as the Cần Giờ Mangrove Forest. It was also known as the "Forest of Assassins." The name was derived from a misinterpretation of the Vietnamese word Sát to mean "assassin". The actual name, Rừng Sác, is a Sino-Vietnamese word that roughly translated to "salty forest," a reference to its proximity to the saltwater marshes of the delta.

USCGC Point Partridge (WPB-82305)

USCGC Point Partridge (WPB-82305) was an 82-foot (25 m) Point-class cutter constructed at the Coast Guard Yard at Curtis Bay, Maryland in 1960 for use as a law enforcement and search and rescue patrol boat. Since the Coast Guard policy in 1960 was not to name cutters under 100-foot (30 m) in length, it was designated as WPB-82305 when commissioned and acquired the name Point Partridge in January 1964 when the Coast Guard started naming all cutters longer than 65-foot (20 m) .

USS Belle Grove (LSD-2)

USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) was a Ashland-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy, named in honor of Belle Grove Plantation, the birthplace of President James Madison (1751–1836) in Port Conway, Virginia.

Belle Grove was laid down on 27 October 1942 by the Moore Dry Dock Company, Oakland, California; launched on 17 February 1943, sponsored by Mrs. George M. Lowry; and commissioned at Oakland on 9 August 1943, Lieutenant Commander Morris Seavey, USNR, in command.

USS Reclaimer (ARS-42)

USS Reclaimer (ARS-42), was a Bolster-class rescue and salvage ship of the United States Navy. It was the only ship of the US Navy to be named Reclaimer.

USS Washoe County (LST-1165)

USS Washoe County (LST-1165), previously USS LST-1165, was a United States Navy landing ship tank (LST) in commission from 1953 to 1971, and which then saw non-commissioned Military Sealift Command service as USNS Washoe County (T-LST-1165) in 1973.

USS Weiss (APD-135)

The USS Weiss (APD-135/LPR-135) was a Crosley-class high speed transport in service with the United States Navy from 1945 to 1970, with two short periods spent in reserve. She was finally scrapped in 1976.

VA-212 (U.S. Navy)

Attack Squadron 212 (VA-212), nicknamed the Rampant Raiders, was an aviation unit of the United States Navy. It was established as Fighter Squadron 212 (VF-212) on 20 June 1955, and redesignated as VA-212 on 1 April 1956. The squadron was disestablished on 12 December 1975.

VA-215 (U.S. Navy)

VA-215, nicknamed the Barn Owls, was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. It was established 22 June 1955, and disestablished on 31 August 1967.

A second VA-215 was established on 1 March 1968 and disestablished on 30 September 1977.

VA-216 (U.S. Navy)

VA-216, nicknamed the Black Diamonds, was an Attack Squadron of the US Navy. It was established on 30 March 1955, and disestablished 15 years later on 1 August 1970.

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