Operation Virginia Ridge

Operation Virginia Ridge was a US Marine Corps operation that took place in northwest Quảng Trị Province, lasting from 2 May to 16 July 1969.


In early May 1969, U.S. reconnaissance detected that 2 People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Regiments, the 27th and 36th were infiltrating through the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) into the central section of Quảng Trị Province. The 3rd Marine Regiment was given the mission of engaging both Regiments, preventing any threat to Route 9 and protecting the rice harvest.[1]


The operation began on 2 May 1969 with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines landed by helicopter at Landing Zone Sparrow (16°52′05″N 106°55′59″E / 16.868°N 106.933°E),[2] 8 km northwest of Cam Lộ Combat Base meeting light resistance. The 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines secured Firebase Fuller and Firebase Pete (16°48′04″N 106°51′18″E / 16.801°N 106.855°E) north of Elliot Combat Base and then swept towards the DMZ.[2]:5-390 The 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines secured Con Thien and the surrounding area. By 6 May 1/3 Marines had swept 3 km west of LZ Sparrow along Mutter's Ridge. On the early morning of 10 May an estimated PAVN Platoon attacked Company D, 1/4 Marines' night defensive position killing 8 Marines and wounding 10 in just 10 minutes.[1]:73

On 16 May Company M encountered a small entrenched PAVN force killing 4 and capturing 1. For the remainder of May the 1/3 and 3/3 Marines swept east towards the A-4 Strongpoint (16°54′24″N 106°59′02″E / 16.9067°N 106.984°E) meeting limited resistance.[2]:5-1 On 20 May an estimated force of 20 PAVN attacked Company C's night defensive position losing 15 killed for the loss of 3 Marine dead and 8 wounded. On 22 May Company B ambushed a 30-man PAVN force killing 19 and capturing 2.[1]:74

On 6–7 June several B-52 Arclight strikes were made against Mutter's Ridge, Foxtrot Ridge and Helicopter Valley with 2/3 Marines deployed soon after by helicopter to conduct bomb damage assessment. The Marines found numerous destroyed bunkers but few enemy dead.[1]:74

In mid-June the 3rd Marines received intelligence that a PAVN force was infiltrating from the DMZ near Gio Linh District. On 16 June the 3/3 Marines loaded onto trucks and were driven up Route 1 towards the DMZ at night, as they did so they encountered the PAVN 27th Regiment and 33rd Sapper Battalion moving south along the roadside. The Marines engaged the PAVN force, pushing them into the defenses at the Charlie-1 (16°52′37″N 107°04′37″E / 16.877°N 107.077°E) position, where 56 PAVN dead were found the following morning.[2]:5-78 3/3 Marines swept south from Gio Linh towards Con Thien killing 20 PAVN in 2 separate engagements before midday on 17 June.[1]:74–5 At 14:00 an estimated PAVN Company attacked the 3/3 Marines' command position but were forced back with the loss of 37 dead and 3 captured. Company L moving to support the command group engaged an entrenched PAVN position killing 8. Aerial observers called in artillery and airstrikes against PAVN forces throughout the day with the final tally being 193 PAVN killed and 9 captured for the loss of 19 Marines killed and 28 wounded.[1]:75


Operation Virginia Ridge concluded on 16 July and was followed by Operation Idaho Canyon.[1]:75


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

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Smith, Charles (1988). U.S. Marines In Vietnam: High Mobility And Standdown, 1969. History and Museums Division, Headquarters US Marine Corps. p. 73. ISBN 9781494287627.
  2. ^ a b c d Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. pp. 5–479. ISBN 978-1555716257.
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.

Firebase Fuller

Firebase Fuller (also known as Dong Ha Mountain or Hill 549) is a former U.S. Marine Corps, Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) firebase in central Vietnam.

HMAS Brisbane (D 41)

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During her career, Brisbane made two deployments to the Vietnam War, was involved in the post-Cyclone Tracy disaster relief operation Navy Help Darwin, and deployed to the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War. Brisbane was decommissioned in 2001, and was sunk as a dive wreck off the Queensland coast in 2005.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1969)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1969, 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.

Oliver North

Oliver Laurence North (born October 7, 1943) is an American political commentator, television host, military historian, author, and retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel. He was convicted in the Iran–Contra affair of the late 1980s, but his convictions were vacated and reversed, and all charges against him dismissed in 1991.

North is primarily remembered for his term as a National Security Council staff member during the Iran-Contra affair, a political scandal of the late 1980s. The scandal involved the illegal sale of weapons to Iran to encourage the release of U.S. hostages then held in Lebanon. North formulated the second part of the plan, which was to divert proceeds from the arms sales to support the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua, which had been specifically prohibited under the Boland Amendment. North was granted limited immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying before Congress about the scheme.

From 2001 to 2016, North hosted War Stories with Oliver North on Fox News.

In May 2018, North was chosen as president of the National Rifle Association; he began his term in September. On April 27, 2019, he resigned. North was succeeded by Carolyn D. Meadows.

Operation Idaho Canyon

Operation Idaho Canyon was a United States Marine Corps operation in north-central Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam from 21 July to 25 September 1969.

Operation Maine Crag

Operation Maine Crag was a US Marine Corps, United States Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) operation that took place in northwest Quảng Trị Province, lasting from 15 March – 2 May 1969.

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