resulted in 102 VC killed, 88 prisoners of war, 13 VC suspects, and
70 laborers. Apparently the enemy forces were a mixed group from several
different units interspersed together. Allied intelligence officers
identified members from the V-25th, R-20th, C-130th
Battalions, and the Q-15th and Q-16th Local Force
Companies. The Marines failed to determine whether this mixed force
had a specific mission or consisted of remnants from units that had
participated in the earlier attack on the I Corps headquarters.43
The rest of the enemy efforts in the Da Nang area and TAOR were about as haphazard and relatively ineffective as the fight on the unnamed island. In the northeast, near the Force Logistic Command sector, villagers from Nam O just south of the strategic Nam O Bridge, told Popular Force troops, members of the Q-4 Combined Action platoon, that the VC planned to attack the CAP compound. At 0735, enemy gunners fired two rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at the compound tower and a VC infantry platoon opened up upon the Combined Action unit. The RPGs missed the apertures in the tower and fell to the ground. After a brief firefight, the VC troops withdrew taking any casualties with them. In a sweep of the area, the defenders found ammunition clips and bloodstains. Local villagers told the Marines that at least one VC had been killed in the brief skirmish. Two Marines sustained wounds.44
The most serious ground attack against a Marine unit occurred in the
western portion of the Da Nang TAOR just below the Tuy Loan and Cau
Do Rivers near the eastern bank of the Yen River. About 0745, approximately
two companies or a reinforced company from the 31st NVA Regiment
ambushed a Marine platoon from Company G, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines.
At this point. Company G was under the operational control of the 1st
Battalion, 7th Marines, which had the responsibility of protecting the
western approaches to the Marine base. As the Marine platoon patrolled
along the banks of the Yen, a heavy machine gun suddenly opened up.
Firing from well-concealed and dug-in firing positions, the enemy machine
gunners and infantry took a heavy toll of the Marines. With the enemy
too close to call in artillery or fixed-wing air, the Marines radioed
for reinforcements. A second platoon from Company G arrived at the site
and attempted to maneuver to the NVA flank. The enemy then attacked
forcing the Marine platoons to fall back to more defensive positions.
By 1100, Marine helicopters evacuated the most seriously wounded and
brought in the rest of Company G into blocking positions on the western
bank of the Yen.45
The Marines now counterattacked supported by artillery and Marine gunships and fixed-wing air. The North Vietnamese fought a delaying action as they began to withdraw. Later that afternoon, the 1st Marine Division helilifted a "Bald Eagle" reaction force from Company E, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines east of the river in an attempt to close the circle around the NVA. Linking up, under artillery and air cover, the two Marine companies continued their advance until forced to halt because of darkness and then took up night defensive positions. Shortly after 1800, an air observer reported seeing 25-30 enemy troops in trenchlines, bunkers, and fighting holes. In the morning when searching the battle area, the Marines would find "ample evidence of enemy casualties, but only two enemy bodies . . . ." Total Marine casualties of this incident on the 30th were 10 Marines killed and 15 wounded. Most of the dead and wounded were from the platoon of Company G that fell victim to the enemy ambush.
The attack on the western perimeter was probably the most serious thrust against Marine positions on the day and evening of 30 January. Throughout the day, however, Marine units throughout the TAOR reported incidents. A Company E, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines squad patrol in its regular area of operations just east of the confluence of the Thanh Quit and Vinh Dien River came under attack from an estimated squad of enemy. A detachment of four LVTs from the 3d AmTrac Battalion quickly arrived, but the enemy had already departed. The Marine squad sustained casualties of one man killed and one nonbattle casualty. Apparently one Marine at the death of his comrade became so distraught that he was unable to function.46
In Da Nang City itself, about 1050 in the morning, approximately 500 people gathered at a Buddhist pagoda and attempted to hold a march. The National Police arrested 25 of the crowd and quickly dispersed the would-be demonstrators. This demonstration may have been planned to coincide with an attack on the city which never developed.47
South of the Hai Van Pass, in the northern portion of the Da Nang TAOR, in the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines sector, the North Vietnamese were able to close Route 1 temporarily, but failed to penetrate allied defenses. At 0915, a squad from Company G, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines providing road security for a Marine engineer mine-sweeping team on Route 1 just below the pass, encountered a small enemy sapper detachment. Reinforced by another squad, the