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The Da Nang TAOR

In January 1968 at Da Nang, the 1st Marine Division commander, Major
General Donn J. Robertson, had only two of his three infantry regiments,
the 5th and 7th Marines, under his operational control. A tall, courtly
officer who had a varied Marine Corps career ranging from an infantry
battalion commander on Iwo Jima, where he earned the Navy Cross, to
Deputy for Fiscal Matters at Marine Corps Headquarters, General Robertson
took over the division the previous June. Now, with the pending additional
responsibility tor the Phu Bai sector and the anticipated departure
of the 5th Marines from Da Nang to Phu Bai, Robertson assumed an even
more onerous burden. The previous record of the Korean brigade provided
little promise that it would fill the holes in the Da Nang defenses
when the 5th Marines relocated to Phu Bai. Thus, at Da Nang, the division
entered the new year with an expanding mission and diminishing forces
with the probability of encountering an even stronger enemy.12

The Da Nang tactical area of responsibility (TAOR) stretched from
the Hai Van Pass in the north to the Quang Nam-Quang Tin border to the
south. From east to west the TAOR extended from the coast to the Annamite
Mountain chain. Consisting of 1,048 square miles, the area contained
a population of some 812,000 persons, not including the city of Da Nang.
Several large waterways, the Cau Do, the Vinh Dien, the Yen, the Thu
Bon, the Thanh Quit, the Ky Lam, the Dien Ban among them, traversed
the coastal plain south ot Da Nang and spilled into the South China
Sea, often changing their name along the way. With the resulting rich
soil deposits, the Da Nang region was one of the major rice producing
areas in South Vietnam, second only to the Mekong Delta.




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