Operation Taylor Common was a search and destroy operation conducted by Task Force Yankee, a task force of the 1st Marine Division supported by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), southwest of Hội An from 6 December 1968 to 8 March 1969.
Base Area 112 was a Viet Cong (VC) and People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) base area located in the mountains of Quảng Nam Province southwest of Da Nang near the area known to the Marines as the "Arizona Territory" The base was believed to support the PAVN 21st Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 68B Rocket Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 141st Regiment and command and support units.:437
The operational plan was for Task Force Yankee, an ad hoc unit based around the 5th Marine Regiment, to secure the An Hoa Basin together with the ARVN 1st Ranger Group, the Task Force would then construct a series of fire support bases to support operations west into the Base Area and finally destroy the Base Area.:438
The operation commenced on 7 December with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines being landed by helicopters from HMM-165 and HMM-364 into the Arizona Territory to act as a blocking force for the ARVN Rangers. The 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines which had just completed Operation Meade River had already moved southwest from the Liberty Bridge ( ) into the An Hoa area.:438
On 11 December following a preparatory air and artillery strike the engineers of Company B, 3rd Engineer Battalion supported by Company K, 5th Marines landed on Hill 575 8 km southwest of An Hoa Combat Base and established Firebase Lance ( ).:439 On 13 December the engineers supported by Company E, 2/5 Marines established Firebase Pike ( ):5–406 northwest of Firebase Lance.:439
On 15 December several M-121 Combat Trap bombs were dropped on Hill 558 in an experiment to blast helicopter landing zones in dense jungle. The Combat Trap was only a partial success and Company B, 3rd Engineer Battalion supported by 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines were landed by helicopters to establish Firebase Spear ( ):5–480 8 km west of Firebase Lance.:439–41
Having established their operating bases the Marines began patrolling west into the eastern part of Base Area 112, while they found numerous abandoned bunkers, barracks and support facilities no major encounters with the PAVN/Viet Cong occurred and Phase 2 of the operation ended on 31 December 1968:442
On 1 January 1969 3/5 Marines was landed at Combat Operations Base Javelin (:88 and proceeded to bombard Hill 508 ( ) however heavy PAVN fire prevented a landing there and the 3/3 Marines was landed on Hill 728 and fought their way to Hill 508 seizing it by 15 January and establishing Firebase Maxwell there.:88–9 The Marines then proceeded to search the western part of Base Area 112, establishing further firebases as they went and uncovering PAVN base camps and stores.:89)
On 29 January the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines on Go Noi Island observed a 300 strong PAVN force crossing the Song Ky Lam and artillery fire was directed against them, the PAVN tried to escape to the west but were engaged by Company D, 5th Marines. The fighting continued all night before the PAVN broke contact and the next morning the bodies of 72 PAVN were found.:91
On 10 February Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines joined the operation and was landed in the Arizona Territory where they engaged numerous small PAVN units. At the end of February Company L, 3/26 Marines killed 75 PAVN and destroyed two anti-aircraft machine-gun positions.:91
By mid-February Base Area 112 had been largely neutralized and the participating units were needed in the DMZ area, so the operation was progressively scaled back with the 3/3 Marines and the 3rd Marines command group being withdrawn on the 16th and redeployed to Đông Hà Combat Base, followed the next day by 1/3 Marines.:91–2
After midnight on 23 February PAVN mortars hit An Hoa Combat Base triggering explosions in the ammunition dumps, followed by a sapper attack which was repulsed with gunship and artillery fire. At the same time firebases Maxwell and Tomahawk (:93 On 3 March a patrol from Company M, 3/5 Marines was ambushed near Firebase Maxwell, 3 Marines were killed and 2 of the bodies were left behind as the Company withdrew. The next day the Marines recovered one of the bodies and the following day attempted to recover the other body but were ambushed again losing 2 Marines killed whose bodies also could not be recovered. On 6 March the Marines tried to recover the bodies again but were forced back by PAVN fire, the bodies were later recovered by a reconnaissance team. Firebase Tomahawk was evacuated and closed on 5 March while Maxwell was closed on 7 March.:93–4) were hit by mortar and sapper attacks. Due to the withdrawal of participating units from the operation it was decided to withdraw the Marines from the western firebases.
The operation ended on 8 March 1969. Marine losses were 183 killed and 1,487 wounded, ARVN losses were 100 killed and 378 wounded.:94 The Marines reported 1,398 PAVN were killed and took 29 prisoner. One Marine, Lance Corporal William R. Prom, was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry during Taylor Common.:371
The 13th Marine Regiment (13th Marines) is an inactivated United States Marine Corps infantry and later artillery regiment.1968 in the Vietnam War
The year 1968 saw major developments in the Vietnam War. The military operations started with an attack on a US base by the Vietnam People's Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong on January 1, ending a truce declared by the Pope and agreed upon by all sides. At the end of January, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive.
Hanoi erred monumentally in its certainty that the offensive would trigger a supportive uprising of the population. NVA and Viet Cong troops throughout the South, from Hue to the Mekong Delta, attacked in force for the first time in the war, but to devastating cost as ARVN and American troops killed close to 37,000 of the ill-supported enemy in less than a month for losses of 3700 and 7600 respectively. These reversals on the battlefield (the Viet Cong would never again fight effectively as a cohesive force) failed to register on the American home front, however, as shocking photos and television imagery, and statements such as Conkrite's, fueled what would ultimately prove to be a propaganda victory for Hanoi.
Peter Arnett quoting an unnamed US major as saying, "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it." Eddie Adams' iconic image of South Vietnamese General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan's execution of a Viet Cong operative was taken in 1968. The year also saw Walter Cronkite's call to honourably exit Vietnam because he thought the war was lost. This negative impression forced the US into the Paris peace talks with North Vietnam.
US troop numbers peaked in 1968 with President Johnson approving an increased maximum number of US troops in Vietnam at 549,500. The year was the most expensive in the Vietnam War with the American spending US$77.4 billion (US$ 557 billion in 2019) on the war. The year also became the deadliest of the Vietnam War for America and its allies with 27,915 South Vietnamese (ARVN) soldiers killed and the Americans suffering 16,592 killed compared to around two hundred thousand of the communist forces killed. The deadliest week of the Vietnam War for the USA was during the Tet Offensive specifically February 11–17, 1968, during which period 543 Americans were killed in action, and 2547 were wounded.3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines
3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, abbreviated as (3/3), is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps, based out of Kāne'ohe, Hawai'i. Known as either "Trinity" or "America's Battalion", the unit falls under the command of the 3rd Marine Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division. The unit consists of approximately 1124 U.S. Marines and United States Navy sailors.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.Carl A. Youngdale
Carl Albert Youngdale (June 23, 1912 - March 8, 1993) was a highly decorated officer of the United States Marine Corps with the rank of Major General. As an artillery officer, he took part in the three major conflicts of 20th Century and completed his 36 years career as Commanding general of Camp Lejeune.List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1968)
This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1968, 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 (T–Z and others)
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.Operation Oklahoma Hills
Operation Oklahoma Hills was a clear and search operation during the Vietnam War mounted by the 1st Marine Division and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 51st Regiment from 1 March to 29 May 1969.Ross T. Dwyer
Ross Thomas Dwyer (July 20, 1919 – October 8, 2001) was a United States Marine Corps major general who retired in 1974 after over 32 years of service. MajGen Dwyer served in combat in World War II, the Korean War, and in the Vietnam War. His commands included the 5th Marine Division and the 1st Marine Division.USS Tripoli (LPH-10)
USS Tripoli (LPH-10), an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship, was laid down on 15 June 1964 at Pascagoula, Mississippi, by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation; launched on 31 July 1965; sponsored by Mrs. Jane Cates, the wife of General Clifton B. Cates, former Commandant of the Marine Corps; and commissioned on 6 August 1966 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Capt. Henry Suerstedt, Jr., in command. Tripoli is the second U.S. Navy ship named for the Battle of Derna in 1805. It was the decisive victory of a mercenary army led by a detachment of United States Marines and soldiers against the forces of Tripoli during the First Barbary War. It was the first recorded land battle of the United States fought overseas.Following three months fitting out at Philadelphia, the amphibious assault ship put to sea on 6 November 1966, bound for the west coast. She transited the Panama Canal at mid-month and arrived at her home port, San Diego, on 22 November 1966. Final acceptance trials, shakedown training, and post-shakedown availability at Long Beach occupied the warship until she embarked Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron HMH-463, elements of Marine Observation Squadron VMO-6, and some members of the staff of the Commander, Amphibious Squadron (ComPhibRon) B on 1 May 1967 and departed San Diego, bound for the western Pacific.Vietnamese Rangers
The Vietnamese Rangers, properly known in Vietnamese as the Biệt Động Quân and commonly known as the ARVN Rangers, were the light infantry of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Trained and assisted by American Special Forces and Ranger advisers, the Vietnamese Rangers infiltrated beyond enemy lines in daring search and destroy missions. Initially trained as a counter-insurgency light infantry force by removing the fourth company each of the existing infantry battalions, they later expanded into a swing force capable of conventional as well as counter-insurgency operations, and were relied on to retake captured regions. Later during Vietnamization the Civilian Irregular Defense Group program was transferred from MACV and integrated as Border Battalions responsible for manning remote outposts in the Central Highlands.Rangers were often regarded as among the most effective units in the war, the most well-led ARVN unit and formed part of the highly-mobile response units operating in key areas. Part of this was due to the specialized role of these units, given that they had their origins in French-raised Commando Units, the GCMA which were drawn from Viet Minh defectors and Tai-Kadai groups, operating in interdiction and counter-intelligence roles, and were trained specifically for counter-insurgency and rough-terrain warfare in the region. Ranger Units often had a US Military Adviser attached to these units although operated independently. The foremost counterinsurgency expert Sir Robert Thompson remarked in 1974 that the ARVN as a whole were the third-best trained army in the free-world and second only to the Israelis in counter-insurgency, with the Rangers, ARVN Airborne and Marine Division forming the vanguard. With improvements in the ARVN from 1969 onward and the growing prestige of the Airborne and Marine Division, depredation had caused the Central Highlands-based Rangers to become manned by deserters, released convicts and Montagnards nevertheless the unit continued to perform critical roles in the Easter Offensive and frontier skirmishes in 1973 and 1974.
A total of 11 U.S Presidential Unit Citation (United States) were issued to the 22 original Ranger Battalions, including one unit whom earned three total citations from two different presidents. See List of Non-US Presidential Unit Citations in Vietnam.William R. Prom
William Raymond Prom (November 17, 1948 – February 9, 1969) was a United States Marine who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for heroism in February 1969 during the Vietnam War.
Easter Offensive (1972)
Post-Paris Peace Accords (1973–1974)