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Department of Defense (USMC) Photo A801101

An aerial view in June 1968 shows a much more built-up Quang

Tri base and airfield than that seen in January during Operation Osceola. The

Thach Han River can be seen in the background and Route 1 and a secondary road

in the foreground.

Vietnamese Armed Propaganda Teams at the Quang Tri bridge spanning
the Thach Han River on Route 1. By 1830, the combined force had established
its base area and constructed its night defensive positions. The company
was to conduct "extensive operations in this area to destroy guerrilla
forces and the local infrastructure."9

On this same date, the battalion's Company B, under Captain Thomas
A. Scheib, in its sector about 2,000 meters to the west of Nhan Bieu,
came under heavy machine gun fire. The Marines returned the fire and
killed ar least one of the enemy. In the search for the enemy weapon,
the Americans found the VC body, some miscellaneous clothing, and an
AK-47 rifle. During the survey of the enemy effects, one Marine tripped
a wire and detonated an attached block of TNT. The explosion resulted
in one seriously wounded Marine, who was evacuated by helicopter to
Quang Tri.10

The continued occupation of Nhan Bieu and Nhu Le appeared to stabilize
the situation for Lieutenant Colonel Goodale in his base defense mission.
Together with the South Vietnamese village chiefs and district officials,
the Marines instituted an extensive civil affairs and psychological
operations campaign, which according to the 1st Marines, "showed
every sign of being a success."11

Yet, areas of ambiguity continued to exist. On the night of 10 January, Captain Hancock staked out two ambushes near Nhan Bieu. About 2315, one of them reported movement and requested illumination. The Marines saw six shadowy figures enter a tree line.




Page 75 (1968: The Defining Year)