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Further to the west, in the 4th Marines' Lancaster II operation, the
tempo of enemy activity remained relatively low. For the month of March,
the regiment reported killing nearly 60 enemy dead and capturing 2 prisoners
while sustaining 13 killed and over 140 wounded. An enemy ambush of
Company K, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines in the hills 3,000 meters west
of Ca Lu caused most of the Marine casualties for the month, accounting
for all of the dead and nearly half of the wounded. After completing
an unsuccessful search for suspected enemy mortars on the high ground,
the Marine company had starred down towards Route 9. Enemy 60mm mortars
caught the company in the open resulting in 13 killed, and over 40 wounded.
Among the more seriously wounded was the company commander, Captain
Alexander K. Ward. While evacuating all ot the wounded, the Marines
had to leave behind eight of the dead. A reconnaissance team finally
retrieved the bodies four days later.58


In northern I Corps, nevertheless, by the end of the month, especially along the DMZ front, the situation for the allies had improved dramatically. For the most part, with the notable exception of that portion of Route 9 from Ca Lu to Khe Sanh, the supply lines were now open. With the opening of Route 1. Brigadier General Glick moved the rest of the 3d Marine Division (Rear) from Phu Bai to the Quang Tri base. During the month, Marine and allied trucks made over 2,000 resupply runs between Phu Bai and Quang Tri. In the last week of the month. III MAF moved over 3,866 short tons of supply from Dong Ha to Ca Lu. All told for March, 162 American truck convoys carried over 12,690 short tons of cargo in northern I Corps. The sea lanes and river routes also remained active. With the opening ofWunder Beach and the installation of the pontoon causeway there on 17 March, the allies landed more than 10,000 short tons. All of the ports in the north during the month registered record tonnage unloaded. The logistic situation had improved to the extent that III MAF lifted the limitation on equipment and material beyond just the combat essential. In fact, while not bringing in additional construc-

Photo is from the Abel Collection

A
Marine Sikorsky UH-34D Sea Horse helicopter is about to land with supplies
as U.S. Amiy troopers from the 5th Armored Cavalry Regiment watch from
their armored personnel carrier. The Army unit was under the operational
control of the 3d Marine Division for a joint operation with BLT 2/4.









Page 245 (1968: The Defining Year)