Operation Piranha

Operation Piranha was a US Marine Corps operation that took place on the Batangan Peninsula southeast of Chu Lai, lasting from 7 to 10 September 1965.


Following the conclusion of Operation Starlite, on 24 August 1965, Marine intelligence concluded that the 1st VC Regiment had withdrawn into the Batangan Peninsula. Reconnaissance photos of the Peninsula showed a V of older field fortifications pointing inland with the open end to the sea and a new second V further inland under construction.[1]

The plan of operations was for a Battalion Landing Team (BLT) of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines to land across White Beach north of the Peninsula and push south, while 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, would be helilifted in by MAG-16 to set up blocking positions 4 km inland. 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines would remain available as a floating reserve. The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment and the 3rd Vietnamese Marine Battalion would be helilifted into the south of 3/7 Marines to clear and search the An Ky Peninsula.[1]:84


LCU with M48 tanks leaves USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) 1965
An LCU loaded with M48s leaves USS Belle Grove

The operation was launched on 7 September 1965, the amphibious landing was unopposed, while the landing of the ARVN force received some minor ground fire.

On 8 September, Company B 1/7 Marines discovered a VC field hospital in a large cave near the center of the Peninsula. The Marines captured four prisoners, but then came under fire from other VC in the cave. The Marines returned the fire and attempted to convince the VC to surrender. Marine engineers then placed explosives in the cave. After the detonation, the Marines counted 66 VC dead inside.


Operation Piranha concluded on 10 September, the US claimed that 178 VC had been killed and 360 enemy and suspected enemy had been captured. Allied losses were two Marines and five South Vietnamese killed.[1]:87

The operation failed to wipe out the 1st VC Regiment, villagers told the Marines that Vietcong units had been in the area but had left, some less than 24 hours before Operation Piranha had commenced. Intelligence reports later indicated that the 1st VC Regiment began leaving the peninsula on 4 September, coinciding with the increased movement of the amphibious ships at Chu Lai Base Area.[1]:88


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

  1. ^ a b c d Johnson, Charles (1978). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Landing and the Buildup, 1965 (Marine Corps Vietnam Operational Historical Series). Marine Corps Association. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-89839-259-3.

1965 (MCMLXV)

was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1965th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 965th year of the 2nd millennium, the 65th year of the 20th century, and the 6th year of the 1960s decade.

1965 in the United States

Events from the year 1965 in the United States.

1st Marine Division

The 1st Marine Division (1st MARDIV) is a Marine infantry division of the United States Marine Corps headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. It is the ground combat element of the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF).

It is the oldest and largest active duty division in the United States Marine Corps, representing a combat-ready force of more than 19,000 men and women. It is one of three active duty divisions in the Marine Corps today and is a multi-role, expeditionary ground combat force. It is nicknamed "The Old Breed".

7th Marine Regiment

The 7th Marine Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps based at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. Nicknamed the "Magnificent Seventh", they fall under the command of the 1st Marine Division and the I Marine Expeditionary Force.

Batangan Peninsula

The Ba Làng An Peninsula (Vietnamese: mũi Ba Làng An, literally "land nose of Three Villages called An") is a peninsula in Vietnam. Ba Làng An is located in Quảng Ngãi Province, northeast of Quảng Ngãi and 32 km south of Chu Lai. The name was often mispronounced as "Ba Tang An" and known as Batangan during the Vietnam War, although Far Eastern Economic Review and other sources continued to refer to the "Ba Lang An peninsula."

Clinton A. Puckett

Sergeant Major Clinton A. Puckett (March 6, 1926 – September 3, 2002) served as the sixth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from 1 February 1973, until he retired from active duty on 31 May 1975. He served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam; receiving the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism for actions during the Korean War. He was the last Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps to have served in World War II.

John Laurence

John Laurence (also known as Jack Laurence) is an American television correspondent, author, and documentary filmmaker. He is known for his work on the air at CBS News, London correspondent for ABC News, documentary work for PBS and CBS, and his book and magazine writing. He won the George Polk Memorial Award of the Overseas Press Club of America for "best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and enterprise abroad" for his coverage of the Vietnam War in 1970.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1965)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1965, 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 (M–S)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War, a war fought by the United States to try to stop communism in Southeast Asia, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and allies consisting of Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, and the Philippines. This is not a complete list. Operations are currently listed alphabetically, but are being progressively reorganised as a chronology.

Operation Dragon Fire (Vietnam)

Operation Dragon Fire was an operation conducted by the South Korean 2nd Marine Brigade on the Batangan Peninsula, Quảng Ngãi Province, lasting from 5 September to 31 October 1967. The event and much of Korean Marines activities in the region was described as part of a wide-scale depopulation of the region.

Oscar F. Peatross

Oscar Franklin Peatross (March 2, 1916 – May 26, 1993) was a highly decorated officer of the United States Marine Corps with the rank of major general who served as Marine Raider in World War II and was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism on August 17–18, 1942. He also served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.In 1993, the parade deck at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island was named for Peatross.

Quảng Ngãi Airfield

Quảng Ngãi Airfield was a military and civilian airfield, and army base located approximately 4 km west of Quảng Ngãi.

September 7

September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 115 days remain until the end of the year.

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