Page 229

Page 229 (1968: The Defining Year)

Department ol Defense (USMC) Photo A708081

Mines and explosive devices were among the greatest dangers to Marines at Da Nang. Two members of Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines administer to a fallen comrade who had just tripped a "surprise explosive device."

lieutenant colonel from III MAF who took him to headquarters, "where I was given orders to report to the 1st Marine Division." At the same time, "troops and equipment of 2121 were being trucked southwest of Da Nang to the CP [command post] of the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines." After about three or tour days, the 3d Battalion departed for Phu Bai and "2/27 assumed the mission and TAOR" of the latter battalion. The 3d Battalion, 27th Marines relieved the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines which also left for Phu Bai. Lieutenant Colonel Woodham, the 3d Battalion commander, recalled that his unit's main responsibility was the patrolling of the Rocket Belt.14

The 7th Marines and the Korean Marine Brigade remained responsible for the southern and western area of operations, including An Hoa. At An Hoa, Colonel Ross R. Miner, the 7th Marines commander, later remarked that his 3d Battalion there was "barely keeping its head above water." The enemy had closed the land lines of communication and resupply could be carried our only by air.15

Indicative of the demoralizing characteristic of the 1st Division
war in the Da Nang TAOR, nearly 54 percent of all division casualties
in February were as a result of mines and explosive devices. Lieutenant
Colonel Woodham later observed his area of operations contained "the
highest saturation of mines and booby traps in the history of land warfare."16*

* It must be remembered that the percentage figure above relates ro
all 1st Marine Division casualties, not only those at Da Nang. For February
1968, the 1st Marine Division suffered a total of 369 KIA and 2,400
wounded. Of that total, 1-12 of the dead and 1,100 of the wounded were
sustained by TF X-Ray in the battle for Hue City. Mine warfare and explosive
devices played only a small role in that battle. It would be safe to
assume then that the percentage of 1st Marine Division casualties at
Da Nang as a result of enemy mines would be even higher than the 54
percent quoted above. 1st MarDiv ComdC, Feb68, p. 7. See also Chapter

Page 229 (1968: The Defining Year)