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22-24 Nov-On the late afternoon of 22 November, at the request of CG, I Corps, 3/7 began reinforcing an ARVN Ranger battalion which had come under attack by an estimated VC regiment about 20 miles south of Quang Ngai. At the same time, the Seventh Fleet SLF moved to a position off Quang Ngai, ready to land on two hours notice. Before the Marines arrived, 71 ARVN had been killed, 74 wounded, and 2 were missing. VC losses were 175 KIA by U.S. body count and 225 by ARVN estimate, not including those killed by air or naval gunfire beyond the immediate battle area. Three VC were captured, in addition to 5 recoilless rifles, 9 machine guns, 2 submachine guns, and 114 rifles. Six enemy 60mm mortars were destroyed. An undetermined number of enemy dead were credited to Marine strike aircraft, which flew 39 sorties in marginal weather against the initial assaults. When the Marines landed, they secured the landing zones, occupied night defensive positions, and early the next morning cleared the critical terrain, capturing 17 Viet Cong, killing 3, and seizing 2 rifles and 5 carbines. On the morning of the 24th the situation was stabilized and 3/7 returned to Chu Lai by helicopter. Marine losses in the encounter were two killed and one wounded.

23 Nov-By this date there were approximately 20 scout/sniper teams of four men each positioned throughout the III MAF area. On 23 November a team at Phu Bai killed two VC and wounded one at a range of 1,000 meters.

30 Nov-1 Dec-Operation DAGGER THRUST IV. On 30 November the SLF (BLT 2/1 and HMM-261) executed an amphibious raid at Lang Ke Ga, on the coast 17 miles southwest of Phan Thiet and about 70 miles east of Saigon. Immediately prior to the landing, leaflets were dropped along the routes of advance, giving brief warning to the villagers. Contact was negligible. Nov III MAF summary:

 

 

Patrols...............................................3,488
Ambushes..........................................2,576
Sniper posts..........................................175
Total offensive ground operations...........6,242
Enemy contacts.....................................226
Enemy KIA............................................126
Enemy WIA............................................33
Enemy captured......................................22
Fixed-wing strike sorties.......................2,551
Helicopter sorties...............................23,629
Rainfall..........................more than 30 inches
Most rain in one day......................7.8 inches

30 Nov-The III MAF strength in RVN not including Seabees and Naval Support Activity was as follows:

DaNang....................................21,948
Chu Lai.....................................14,452
Phu Bai......................................2,328
Qui Nhon.......................................254
Other..............................................89
Total.........................................39,071

Personnel strengths fluctuated by area during November due to reassignment between enclaves, replacement, attrition, and movement of battalions. Net strength change for November .................... 422

8-20 Dec-Operation HARVEST MOON was conducted approximately 25 miles northwest of Chu Lai. Units involved were Task Force DELTA, 2/7, 3/3, 2/1 (from SLF), and 3 ARVN battalions. These units were supported by USMC aircraft and artillery and by four B-52 strikes.

USMC: 51 KIA, 256 WIA, 1 MIA
VC: 407 KIA, 33 VCC, 231 VCS, 3 RALLIERS

22 Dec-The U.S. military command in Vietnam ordered a 30-hour Christmas cease-fire. A military spokesman said that similar instructions had been issued by South Vietnamese Government military leaders. No action would be taken by allied or RVNAF forces except in self-defense.

31 Dec-USMACV released the following figures to news media in Saigon:

U.S. Military Strength in RVN..............1Jan65 23,000
U.S. Military Strength in RVN......... 31Dec65 181,000
RVNAF Total Strength........................lJan65 559,500
RVNAF Total Strength....................31Dec65 679,000
Enemy Military Strength in RVN..........lJan65 103,000
Enemy Military Strength in RVN.......31Dec65 230,000
U.S. losses during the year..............................1,300
RVNAF losses during the year........................11,000
Enemy losses during the year(KIA)..................34,000
Enemv losses during the year(captured).............6,000

III MAF total arrived during December:

Da Nang................................188
Chu Lai..................................138
Phu Bai...................................81
Total......................................407

III MAF total departed during December

Chu Lai....................................452
Qui Nhon...................................25
Total........................................477

Net Change ...................................-70

31 Dec-III MAF strength in RVN not including Seabees and Naval Support Activity was as follows:

Da Nang...................................22,464
Chu Lai.....................................13,995
Phu Bai......................................2,354
Qui Nhon.......................................226
1st Anglico......................................53
Total.........................................39,092

31 Dec-III MAF ground operations for the week ending 31 December were as follows:

Patrols......................................1,169
Ambushes....................................633
Platoon Operations..........................40
Company Operations.........................6
Battalion Operations..........................3
VC KIA...........................................81
VC Captured.....................................6

31 Dec-Results of III MAF Operations since 8 March 1965:

USMC: 342 KIA and DOW, 2,047 WIA, 18 MIA
VC: 2,627 KIA, 314 WIA, 535 POW, 2,827 VCS

31 Dec-A total of 14,528 FMFPac personnel remained in Okinawa and Japan.

 

Page 240(1965: The Landing and the Buildup)