Operation Prairie IV

Operation Prairie IV was an operation conducted by the United States Marine Corps in the area around Con Thien, South Vietnam known as Leatherneck Square from April 20, 1967 until May 17, 1967. During the course of the fighting Marine casualties were 164 killed 1,240 wounded while claiming the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) suffered 505 killed and 9 taken as prisoner of war.

Operation Prairie IV
Part of the Vietnam War
DateApril 20, 1967 – May 17, 1967
Location
Result US claims victory
Belligerents
 United States  North Vietnam
Commanders and leaders
Robert E. Cushman, Jr. Võ Nguyên Giáp
Strength
1st Battalion, 4th Marines
1st Battalion, 9th Marines
2nd Battalion, 9th Marines
2nd Battalion, 26th Marines
324B Division
Casualties and losses
164 killed US body count: 505 killed
9 captured

References

1st Battalion, 4th Marines

1st Battalion, 4th Marines (1/4) is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California consisting of approximately 800 Marines and sailors. They fall under the command of the 1st Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division.

2nd Battalion, 4th Marines

2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (2/4) is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. The battalion, nicknamed the Magnificent Bastards, is based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and is a part of the 4th Marine Regiment and 1st Marine Division.

324th Division (Vietnam)

The 324th Division (named as 324th-B Division during Vietnam War) is an infantry division of the 4th Military Region (Vietnam People's Army).

3rd Marine Division

The 3rd Marine Division is an infantry division of the United States Marine Corps based at Camp Courtney, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler and Okinawa, Japan. It is one of three active duty divisions in the Marine Corps and together with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1stMAW) and the 3rd Marine Logistics Group (3rd MLG) forms the III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF). The division was first formed during World War II and saw four years of continuous combat in the Vietnam War.

4th Marine Regiment

The 4th Marine Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. Based at Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan, it is part of the 3rd Marine Division of the III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Con Thien

Con Thien (Vietnamese: Cồn Tiên, meaning the "Hill of Angels") was a United States Marine Corps combat base located near the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) about 3 km from North Vietnam in Gio Linh District, Quảng Trị Province. It was the site of fierce fighting from February 1967 through February 1968.

James D. Beans

James Dale Beans (born December 21, 1934) is a retired highly decorated officer in the United States Marine Corps with the rank of Brigadier General. He is most noted for his service as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications, and Computer, Intelligence and Interoperability Department and as Director, Intelligence Division, Headquarters Marine Corps. He is the son of Brigadier general Fred D. Beans.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1967)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1967, 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 (A–F)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War, a war fought by America to try to stop communism in Southeast Asia, 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.

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 Prairie

Operation Prairie was a U.S. military operation in Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam that sought to eliminate People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) forces south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Over the course of late 1965 and early 1966 the Viet Cong (VC) and the PAVN intensified their military threat along the DMZ. The tactical goal of these incursions was to draw United States military forces away from cities and towns. Operation Hastings, a series of actions in defense of the DMZ, lasted from 15 July to 3 August 1966. It was considered a strategic success. Operation Prairie was conceived as a larger, longer mission covering the same areas along the DMZ.

It commenced on 3 August 1966 and lasted for six months. The majority of the activities were conducted by the 3rd Marine Division in the Con Thien and Gio Linh regions with the main objective of stopping the PAVN 324B Division from crossing the demilitarized zone and invading Quang Tri Province.

Various units engaged in fiercely fought actions during the operation, usually supported by a mixture of artillery, air and helicopter gunship support, sometimes including B52 strategic bombers. By November the 324B Division had been withdrawn after heavy losses. It was replaced by other PAVN units, but these remained inactive.

The operation was considered highly successful by the Americans. They had lost 226 Marines killed against estimated PAVN of over 1,700 dead or captured and suppressed PAVN activity. However, the PAVN strategy had tied down large numbers of US troops in the area south of the DMZ, leaving population centers under-protected.

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