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had started after the 3d MEB landed on 7 May, 24 days earlier). Only 3,600 feet of the runway was complete on l June-therefore, the A-4s used jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) for launching and mobile arresting gear (MOREST) for landing. Four Skyhawks led by Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Baker, VMA-225, launched the first Chu Lai-based strike at 1329, flying sorties seven miles southwest of the Chu Lai TAOR in support of ARVN forces.

4 Jun-Major General Lewis W. Walt assumed command of III MAF and the 3d MarDiv (Fwd) at 0900, relieving Major General Collins in a formal indoor ceremony.

5 Jun-Brigadier General Keith B. McCutcheon relieved Major General Fontana as CG 1st MAW at Iwakuni, Japan. He returned to Da Nang on 7 June.

13 Jun-ComUSMACV directed III MAF to prepare an emergency contingency plan for the movement of two infantry battalions to Pleiku in II Corps area. The plan was completed and forwarded to ComUSMACV on 14 June.

15 Jun-At Da Nang VMFA-513, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Walter C. Stewart, Jr., relieved VMFA-531, which chopped to 1st MAW (Rear) marking the first in-country relief of a USMC jet squadron.

17 Jun-Lieutenant Colonel Verle E. Ludwig's 1st Battalion, 9th Marines relieved the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines at Da Nang and assumed the responsibility formerly held by 3/9 in the defense of the airbase; 3/9 was the first Marine battalion to be rotated from RVN.

18 Jun-Brigadier General Karch returned to Da Nang and assumed duties as Assistant Division Commander (ADC), 3d MarDiv (Fwd).

19 Jun-Approximately 350 inhabitants of Pho Nam Thuong and Nam Yen villages moved into the Le My area.

21 Jun-Lieutenant Mervin B. Porter's HMM-261 relieved Lieutenant Colonel Ewer's HMM-163 at Da Nang; HMM-163 became the SLF helicopter squadron.

27 Jun-Lieutenant Colonel Clement's 2d Battalion, 3d Marines received 12,000 pounds of clothing and food for distribution to the refugees at Le My. Three days later the 4th Marines at Chu Lai distributed over 800 pounds of clothing to local residents who had been relocated to clear real estate for the airfield.

30 Jun-III MAF strength in RVN not including Seabees was as follows:

 

 

Da Nang...................................9,618
Chu Lai....................................6,771
PhuBai....................................1,652
Other ........................................115
Total......................................18,156
Total arrived by area during June:
Da Nang .................................1,496
Chu Lai...................................2,002
PhuBai......................................204
Total.......................................3,702

l Jul-Viet Cong forces conducted a mortar/infantry attack on the Da Nang Airbase under cover of darkness, providing cover for demolition teams that broached the tactical wire surrounding the field and severely damaged six USAF aircraft. The one Viet Cong captured in the attack reported that he was from the 3d Battalion, 18th Regiment, 325th People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Division and that the attack force trained and rehearsed for 30 days before executing its mission. The SLF, composed of the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines (Lieutenant Colonel Charles H. Bodley) and HMM-163 (Lieutenant Colonel Norman G. Ewers), landed at Qui Nhon to protect an enclave at the seaward end of Route 19, the main highway from Pleiku.

3 Jul-The Chu Lai SATS runway (8,000 feet) and taxiway were completed.

6 Jul-RLT-9 (Colonel Frank E. Garretson) with BLT 2/9 (Lieutenant Colonel George R. Scharnberg) landed at Da Nang.

8 Jul-Lieutenant Colonel Leon N. Utter's BLT 2/7 relieved the SLF battalion, Bodley's BLT 3/7, which then re-embarked in ARG shipping.

10 Jul-Lieutenant Colonel Richard A. Savage's F-4B squadron, VMFA-542, arrived at Da Nang and commenced operations.

14 Jul-MAG-11 (Colonel Robert F. Conley) assumed operational control of VMFA-542 and VMFA-513 at Da Nang.

21 Jul-Written confirmation was received for expansion of the Da Nang TAOR and for the establishment of a reconnaissance zone for the Chu Lai TAOR.

29 Jul-Official sources announced plans to increase the U.S. active duty military force by about 300,000 men. The 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division arrived in RVN on this date.

31 Jul-III MAF strengths in RVN not including Seabees were as follows:

Da Nang ..................................15,204
Chu Lai......................................6,949
PhuBai......................................2,052
Qui Nhon ..................................1,644
Other ...........................................115
Total........................................25,964
Total arrived by area during July:
DaNang ....................................5,743
Chu Lai........................................395
PhuBai.........................................178
Qui Nhon...................................1,651
Total..........................................7,967

2 Aug-Operation BLAST OUT, a coordinated USMC/ ARVN operation involving 1/3 and elements of the 4th ARVN Regiment, was conducted 10 miles southwest of DaNang.

3 Aug-Company D, 1/9 conducted a one day operation in the vicinity of Cam Ne, south of Da Nang. A CBS television crew, accompanying the company, filmed a Marine setting fire to a Vietnamese hut. This film, which was shown on the evening news, led to a debate in the press about U.S. tactics in Vietnamese villages.

5 Aug-The Viet Cong attacked the Esso POL storage terminal at Lien Chieu, destroying two JP-4 storage tanks and inflicting extensive damage on three more. Operational control of 2/7 (at Qui Nhon in the II Corps area) passed to U.S. Army Task Force ALFA, the Army field command in RVN.

7 Aug-The CG III MAF was designated as the Senior Adviser (SA) for I Corps and assumed operational control of the I Corps Advisory Group.

11 Aug-The first tactical delivery of the cluster bomb unit (CBU) by USMC aircraft took place. The addition of this

 

 

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