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USMC Photo A186280


Marines from the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines move along a dike across a flooded rice paddy during HARVEST MOON. The battalion suffered several cases of immersion foot during the operation.

battlefield, 76 of them killed by the artillery fire.* Lieutenant Colonel Utter's command had sustained 11 killed and 71 wounded.

The Wrap-Up

The next day, the 19th, all three of the Marine battalions completed their movement out of the operation area. For all practical purposes the operation was over, but Operation HARVEST MOON/LIEN KET 18 ended officially on the 20th when all allied forces returned to their enclaves. The combined USMC-ARVN operation had accounted for 407 enemy killed, 33 captured, and 13 crew-served and 95 individual weapons seized. In addition, 60 tons of food and ammunition were taken in the Phouc Ha Valley. Marine casualties were 45 killed and 218 wounded. General Lam's forces suffered 90 killed, 91 missing, and 141 wounded, most occurring during the first two days of the operation.

Despite the poor flying conditions, airpower played a major role in the outcome of the battle for the Nui Loc Son Basin. The F-4 Phantom pilots from Colonel Emmett O. Anglin, Jr.'s MAG-11 at Da Nang and A-4 Skyhawk pilots of Colonel Brown's Chu Lai-based MAG-12 flew numerous tactical support missions under marginal flying conditions.** During the 12-day operation, Marine F-4 pilots (Lieutenant Colonel Clyde R. Jarrett's VMFA-115 and Lieutenant Colonel Andrew W. O'Donnell's VMFA-323) logged 227 flight hours on 205 sorties, striking enemy targets with 215 tons of bombs and 628 rockets. The A-4 pilots from Lieutenant Colonel William E. Garman's VMA-211, Lieutenant Colonel Keith O'Keefe's VMA-214, and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas E. Mulvihill's VMA-224 delivered another 235 tons of ordnance in support of HARVEST MOON/LIEN KET-18. During the operation, Marine attack aircraft were credited with killing 95 of the enemy.



* Lieutenant Grosz observed that, 'we counted 76 enemy KIA in the arty impact area to the H&S right flank (south)' but believes that a portion of the number must be credited to the Marine ground attack. Maj Nicholas H. Grosz, Jr., Comments on draft MS, dtd Dec76 (Vietnam Comment File).

** Colonel Anglin had replaced Colonel Conley as CO, MAG-11 on 3 November.




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