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Department of Defense (USMC) Photo A194565

A Marine M48 tank in support of the 1st Battalion,
5th Marines enters the Citadel. On the front turret is an ironic commentary
on the war and the anti-war movement reading, 'The Original Flower Children.'

what the actual situation was in the Citadel. I can remember General LaHue commenting that it shouldn't take more than a few days to clean up the Citadel affair.'27

After concluding his conversation with General LaHue, Major Thompson and his command group, together with the 3d Platoon of Company B, departed Phu Bai by 'Rough Rider' convoy to Hue. Like the other 5th Marines battalions, the 1st Battalion came under the operational control of the 1st Marines. Upon his arrival at the 1st Marines command post in the former MACV compound in the new city, the battalion commander immediately discussed the situation with Colonel Stanley S. Hughes, the 1st Marines commander. According to Thompson, Hughes ordered him to 'move up the Perfume River in LCUs, land and enter the Citadel from the north.' He then was 'to seek out General Truong and advise him of my intentions.' Thompson recalled that he was to launch a three-company attack southward 'within a zone of action that extended from the inner palace wall on the west to the Citadel Wall on the east.'28

Major Thompson and his advance group spent the night of 11-12 February in some damaged Hue University buildings. Just before he retired for the night, the battalion commander remembered that 'an Army major appeared before me in full battle dress, including a .45-caliber pistol.' The man identified himself as Father Aloysius S. McGonigal, a Catholic chaplain assigned to the MACV advisory group. He understood chat 'my chaplain had nor accompanied us and asked that he be allowed to accompany us to the Citadel.' According to Thompson, he gladly accepted the offer.29

The following afterncxm Companies C and D from Phu Bai joined Thompson and his small advance parry at the LCU ramp in the new city. He transferred Company D to the operational control of the 2d Battalion, 5ch Marines. Thompson then completed his preparations for the crossing of the river to the Citadel side. After some delays because of enemy mortar and sniper fire on river traffic. Major Thompson's headquarters group, the Company B 3d Platoon, and Company C embarked on board a Navy LCU for the river passage. Although encountering an occasional RPG round or enemy sniper fire from both banks of the Perfume




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