STARLITE lasts until August 24. Come nightfall, the Marines hunkered down into defensive positions. To the Americans, the battle was considered a great success for U.S. forces as they engaged a Main Force Vietcong unit and came out victorious. The developing engagement necessitated the deployment of Lima Company, 3/7 from the USS Iwo Jima to join India Company to assist the ambushed supply column. When they finally attacked they found the VC unit had already retreated from the encirclement during the night, though pockets of resistance continued from other Viet Cong fighters holed up in bunkers and caves. USS Vernon County (LST-1161)embarked elements of the 3d Battalion, 3d Marines (Battalion Landing Team) (BLT) 3, under Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Muir, USMC, at Chu Lai, and sailed south along the coast to An Thuong, where she put the troops ashore in one phase of "Starlite.". The Marine on the left carries a M-79 grenade launcher. 2/4th Marines and 3/3rd Marines returned to Chu Lai on the 20th and 1st Battalion, 7th Marinesmoved into the objective area and joined 3/7th Marines and units from the ARVN 2nd Division for the search. Fifty-three years ago on August 18, 1965, the United States Marine Corps launched “Operation Starlite” – also known as the Battle of Van Tuong (Vietnamese) or the Battle of Chu Lai (US)- the first major US ground offensive in the Vietnam War. US Marine Corps News. Significance/Notes: India Company, 3/3 attacked An Cuong after receiving heavy fire from the hamlet and losing their company commander in the engagement. DATE NAME RANK WALL PANEL AUG 20 1965 PETRICK, RONALD PAUL CPL 02E LINE 064 On Operation Starlite, in Binh Son District, Quang Ngai Province Cpl Petrick was killed in action as a result of multiple fragmentation wounds inflicted by errant U.S. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the commander of the South Vietnamese forces in northern I Corps area. On Operation Starlite, in Binh Son District, Quang Ngai Province while engaged in action with enemy forces. The operation was conducted as a combined arms assault involving ground, air and naval units. 37mm recoilless rifle fire from the VC positions tore into the 5 LVTs and 3 flame tanks, forcing the Marines to mount a rescue. The Battle of Van Tuong, also known as Operation Starlite, was the first major offensive action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. The Marines, partly supported by fire from U.S. Navy vessels near the coast, inflict heavy casualties on a large enemy force in heavy fighting around Van Tuong, approximately 12 miles south of Chu Lai. The body orifice’swere then filled with cotton, put in body bags, tagged and finally moved to arefrigeration area. It would be a very different battle for the Vietcong, accustomed to fighting with their backs to the sea, knowing that against South Vietnamese forces the water could always be used as an avenue of escape. 3/3 made an amphibious landing and were tasked with driving the Viet Cong towards the 2nd battalion 4th Marines who were to be lifted by helicopter into three landing zones west of Van Tuong. Secrecy was paramount, and no ARVN commander or units were informed of the impending operation. Hotel Company, 2/4 assaulted the 60th VC Battalion who put up a vicious fight, only being overwhelmed when attack helicopters swooped on their position, peppering it with rocket and machine gun fire. 45 KIA, 120 WIA. Operation Starlite was the first major offensive regimental size action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. Objective (s): To rid the Van Tuong peninsula of the Viet Cong 1st Regiment, as they were a significant threat to the Chu Lai base, with a hammer and anvil attack using amphibious and heliborne forces. The subtitle of the book is Operation Starlite and the Beginning of the Blood Debt in Vietnam. August 17, 1965: After a deserter from the 1st Vietcong regiment reveals that an attack is imminent against the U.S. Marine base at Chu Lai, the American army launches Operation Starlite. commanders. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) commander in northern I Corps area. Enemy Casualties: 614-700 KIA. [4][7] Corporal Robert E. O'Malley (3/3) and Lance Corporal Joe C. Paul (2/4) received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the operation. The United States Navy's USS Galveston (CLG-3) and USS Cabildo (LSD-16) were available for naval gunfire support and 3rd Battalion 12th Marines was the artillery unit in direct support. U.S. Marines were deployed by helicopter insertion into the designated landing zone while an amphibious landing was used to deploy other Marines. The total Viet Cong strength was around 1,500 men, and backed by several elite mortar units. Operation Starlite was the first major battle and regimental size clash between U.S. and enemy forces during the Vietnam War. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major general Nguyen Chanh Thi, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) I Corps commander. Starlite was the first step in Vietnam becoming America’s Tar Baby; the more she struggled to find a solution, the more difficult it became. The Marines admitted to have a total of 45 dead and 203 wounded. When it landed on the beach, it marched 4 miles (6.5 km) to establish their blocking positions. The operation was originally called Satellite, but a power blackout led to a clerical error and a clerk working by candlelight typed "Starlite" instead. Blood debt—in Vietnamese hantu—means revenge, debt of honor, or blood owed for blood spilled. It was August of 1965. Echo Company, 2/4 spotted Viet Cong in the open and called in artillery fire from 3rd Battalion 12th Marines. Operation Starlite Dates: 17AUG1965 - 24AUG1965 Area of Operations: Van Tuong Peninsula, 16 miles south of Chu Lai; I Corps Allied Units: USMC 3d Battalion 3d Marine Regiment, 2d Battalion 4th Marine Regiment, 3d Battalion 7th Marine Regiment Allied Casualties: 45 KIA; 120 WIA Enemy Units: VC 1st Regiment Enemy Casualties: 614-700 KIA III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF) … India Company was ordered to join Kilo and Hotel companies and clean up any opposition but was caught in a crossfire from Nam Yen Dan Hill 30. Hotel Company established a defensive perimeter and were told to await reinforcements. The Marines sustained 45 killed and 203 wounded. And they suffered and absorbed each loss and injury like the brothers they had become. The Marines met light resistance moving into the attack, using their M14 semi-automatic rifles to repulse occasional Viet Cong raiders. Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt … Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt devised a plan to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Viet Cong regiment to nullify the threat on the vital Chu Lai base and ensure its powerful communication tower remained intact. The operation was originally called Satellite, but a power blackout led to a clerical error and a clerk working by candlelight typed "Starlite" instead. Vietnam: Operation Starlite (Part 2) In my previous report on the Vietnam scenario, Operation Starlite, the US Marines had just uncovered and eliminated a VC political support section near Chu Lai. Naval gunfire round. The operation, code-named Starlite, would be a classic marine encounter, combining land and sea forces, including an amphibious landing and coordination with the navy. By Cpl. The US general Lew Walt planned a preemptive strike on the Viet Cong to protect the Chu Lai Air Base and its vital communication tower, and it involved ground, air, and naval units. Lessons learned from the battle include the knowledge that the daily allotment of 2 gallons of water per man was inadequate in the heat of Vietnam and that the M14 Rifle was too bulky for troops cramped into small personnel carriers. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the commander of the South Vietnamese forces in northern I Corps area. LCpl Barton was critically wounded by an errant U.S. Viet Cong forces comprised the 1st VC Regiment made up of the 60th and 80th VC Battalions, the 52nd VC Company, and a company of the 45th VC Weapons Battalion. Operation Starlite: Plus one for the Corps. [2] In fact, the VC 1st Regiment was not yet totally wiped out, and the VC still had control over some hamlets in the peninsula. Although the cordon phase of Starlite had been completed, Walt decided to continue the operation for five more days so that the entire area could be searched systematically. The total Viet Cong strength was around 1,500 men, and backed by several elite mortar units. Operation Starlite (also known in Vietnam as Battle of Van Tuong) was the first major offensive action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War from 18 to 24 August 1965. [5][6] Other sources cite U.S. loses as 54, comprising 52 Marines, a Navy Corpsman and a US Army Major who flew gunship support. 45 of them include images. Lessons learned from the battle include the knowledge that the daily allotment of 2 gallons of water per man was inadequate in the heat of Vietnam and that the M14 Rifle was too bulky for troops cramped into small personnel carriers. The Marines met light resistance moving into the attack, using their submachine guns to repulse occasional Viet Cong raiders. Operation Starlite (also known in Vietnam as Battle of Van Tuong) was the first major offensive regimental size action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. Mike Co., 3/3 was designated the blocking force and deployed on August 18, 1965 using LVT-5s to the operational area. : 242 Aftermath of victory On August 19, Starlite’s second day, sporadic and isolated fire came from enemy soldiers covering their main force’s retreat, but organized resistance had ended. The marine on the left is carrying an M–79 grenade launcher. Hotel Company established a defensive perimeter and were told to await reinforcements. Because of the number of dead they were being stackedoutside the preparation tent. They called in artillery and air support to suppress the mortar and automatic fire, F-4 fighter jets dropping cluster bombs, resulting in an avalanche on the hillside which wiped out many of the attacking rifle and mortar squads. [4] In fact, the VC 1st Regiment was not yet totally wiped out as expected by the U.S. Paris Capers | Marine Corps Base Quantico | August 13, 2013 . They were pushing the main operation, Operation Starlite, as a success, the first big engagement of the war, for the Vietcong had finally fled, the Americans had taken the objective, and the casualty rate was presumed to be roughly ten to one. [citation needed]. At a loss of 1 soldier killed and 6 wounded, the Americans claimed 100 VC dead, 7 prisoners and 38 captured weapons. Lieutenant general Lewis W. Walt devised a plan to … Operation Starlite was the United States' first regimental-size action of the Vietnam War, fought from 18 to 24 August 1965.. [citation needed]. The various Marine units reported killing 600+ enemy fighters. The operation was conducted as a combined arms assault involving ground, air and naval units. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the commander of the South Vietnamese forces in northern I Corps area. On 18 August the Marines launched Operation Starlite to secure the area around Chu Lai, the operation lasted until 24 August and resulted in 45 Marines and 614 Viet Cong killed. The artillery barrage was reported to have killed 90 Viet Cong, including crippling several of their mortar units. Over the course of six days, between Aug. 18-24, 1965, units from the 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Marine Amphibious Force, clashed with the 1st Viet Cong Regiment south of the newly established Marine base at Chu Lai in the I Corps area of responsibility. They fought for each other. Together the two companies had sustained casualties amounting to over 100 of their original 350 men, including 29 dead, but in return they claimed 281 VC dead. This is rather a small book that describes the hour by hour fighting that took place during the 18th-20th of August 1965 in the area of the Van Tuong Peninsular, near Danang. By the end of January 1968 the operation had resulted in 454 VC dead and 103 weapons captured at a cost of 25 US killed. Both aviation and ground personnel had managed to dig in … Come nightfall, the Marines hunkered down into defensive positions. Echo Company, 2/4 spotted Viet Cong in the open and called in artillery fire from 3rd Battalion 12th Marines. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. Despite this, the National Liberation Front also claimed victory, announcing that they had inflicted 900 American casualties, destroyed 22 tanks and APCs, and downed 13 choppers. Corporal Robert E. O'Malley (3/3) and Lance Corporal Joe C. Paul (2/4) received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the operation. Fightings ceased at nightfall. It is known as Operation STARLITE and is part of the Marines’ change in primary mission from base defense toward offensive action. One prisoner was taken and 40 weapons were captured. Naval gunfire while engaged in action against hostile forces. They came carefully stepping from the north, landing from the skies from on the west and splashing onto the beach near An Cuong(2). The artillery barrage was reported to have killed 90 Viet Cong, including crippling several of their mortar units. Operation Starlite (also known in Vietnam as Battle of Van Tuong) was the first major offensive regimental size action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. Secrecy was paramount, and no ARVN commander or units were informed of the impending operation. When the feces hit the oscillating blade in that battle, they fought not as separate, self-interested egos, but as Marine brothers. With 200 or so wounded, the Marines suffered 54 mortal casualties. Regimental 2nd Battalion 4th Marines (2/4), 1st Battalion, 7th Marines (1/7) and 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines (3/3), and 3rd Battalion 7th Marines (3/7) the SLF - permission was granted by Admiral Sharp to use Special Landing Force and originally a reserve component) in an assault on the Viet Cong base near Van Tuong. "The First Big … Mike Co., 3/3 was designated the blocking force and deployed on August 18, 1965 using LVTP-5s to the operational area. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the commander of the South Vietnamese forces in northern I Corps area. India Company was ordered to join Kilo and Hotel companies and clean up any opposition but was caught in a crossfire from Nam Yen Dan Hill 30. [2] It was launched on D-Day August 18, 1965, involving 5,500 Marines. He believed that some of the VC had remained behind in underground hiding places. Viet Cong forces comprised the 1st VC Regiment made up of the 60th and 80th VC Battalions, the 52nd VC Company, and a company of the 45th VC Weapons Battalion. Scout units of 3/7's Marines came ashore during the night and the battalion got ready for a morning assault on the Vietnamese positions. [4], The operation was launched on D-Day August 18, 1965, involving 5,500 Marines. Casualties and losses; 51 killed 203 wounded: US report: 614 confirmed killed 42 captured 40 weapons captured A MAG-16 helicopter evacuates casualties, while a Marine M48 Patton tank stands guard. Fightings ceased at nightfall. With that out of the way, the Americans now have bigger fish to fry as they attempt to hunt down and destroy an entire VC regiment. India Company, 3/3 attacked An Cuong after receiving heavy fire from the hamlet and losing their company commander in the engagement. The Marines were hit by intense mortar and rifle fire and suffered 5 dead and 17 wounded. The developing engagement necessitated the deployment of Lima Company, 3/7 from the USS Iwo Jima to join India Company to assist the ambushed supply column. Regimental 2nd Battalion 4th Marines (2/4), 1st Battalion, 7th Marines (1/7) and 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines (3/3), and 3rd Battalion 7th Marines (3/7) the SLF - permission was granted by Admiral Sharp to use Special Landing Force and originally a reserve component - in an assault on the Viet Cong base near Van Tuong. When it landed on the beach, it marched 4 miles (6.5 km) to establish their blocking positions. Enemy Units: VC 1st Regiment. Chu Lai Base Area - … From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core, "Van Tuong victory raises confidence in defeating US troops", https://infogalactic.com/w/index.php?title=Operation_Starlite&oldid=2025841, Articles lacking in-text citations from August 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2015, Vietnam articles missing geocoordinate data, Battles and operations of the Vietnam War, Battles and operations of the Vietnam War in 1965, United States Marine Corps in the Vietnam War, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, About Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core, 15 miles south of Chu Lai on the border of Quang Tin and Quang Ngai Provinces. The Marines were hit by intense mortar and rifle fire and suffered 5 dead and 17 wounded. Summers, Harry G. Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War. One prisoner was taken and 40 weapons were captured. Nevertheless, all their forces- ground, air, ship, and artillery- managed to cause almost 700 dead Vietcong, the better part of several battalions. When they finally attacked they found the VC unit had already retreated from the encirclement during the night, though pockets of resistance continued from other Viet Cong fighters holed up in bunkers and caves. [1] Despite this, the National Liberation Front also claimed victory, announcing that they had inflicted 900 American casualties, destroyed 22 tanks and APCs, and downed 13 choppers. Summers, Harry G. Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War. The expected reinforcements, were diverted to assist the supply column that was ambushed west of their position. Part of Lima Company was caught in a horseshoe ambush in their attempt to rescue a downed LVT (amtrac) personnel, 4 marines were killed and 10 wounded. Scout units of 3/7's Marines came ashore during the night and the battalion got ready for a morning assault on the Vietnamese positions. U.S. Marines in Viet Nam 1965, History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington D.C. It was summer and 110 degrees. Click to View Online Archive. A MAG-16 helicopter (below) evacuates casualties while a Marine M–48 tank stands guard during Operation Starlite. They called in artillery and air support to suppress the mortar and automatic fire, F-4 fighter jets dropping cluster bombs, resulting in an avalanche on the hillside which wiped out many of the attacking rifle and mortar squads. The next day the Marines denied the story. US Marine Corps teams were inserted by air and sea, and their initial attack was successful. Articles with Vietnamese-language external links, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2014, Vietnam articles missing geocoordinate data, Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Battles and operations of the Vietnam War, Battles and operations of the Vietnam War in 1965, United States Marine Corps in the Vietnam War, http://www.marzone.com/7thMarines/Hst0101.htm/, Vietnam War > Events >Operation Starlite Begins, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Operation_Starlite?oldid=4536910, 15 miles south of Chu Lai on the border of Quang Tin and Quang Ngai Provinces. The Marines killed 54 more VC in the Van Tuong complex … Hotel Company,2/4 assaulted the 60th VC Battalion who put up a vicious fight, only being overwhelmed when attack helicopters swooped on their position, peppering it with rocket and machine gun fire. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. Operation Starlite (also known in Vietnam as Battle of Van Tuong) was the first major offensive regimental size action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. U.S. Marines were deployed by helicopter insertion into the designated landing zone while an amphibious landing was used to deploy other Marines. There were shaky days and nights after RLT-7 started Operation Starlite. The expected reinforcements, were diverted to assist the supply column that was ambushed west of their position. A MAG-16 helicopter evacuates casualties, while a Marine M-48 tank stands guard. Evacuated to the LPH-2 Iwo Jima he died from multiple fragmentation wounds. Thefinal count of our dead and wounded was 46 KIA s and 204 WIAs. 3/3 made an amphibious landing and were tasked with driving the Viet Cong towards the 2nd battalion 4th Marines who were to be lifted by helicopter into three landing zones west of Van Tuong. 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