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ed a battalion of the
196th Light Infantry Brigade, the Prov Corps reserve, from Lieutenant
General William B. Rosson, the corps commander, to fill any gaps in
the division's defenses. General Rosson remembered Tompkins telling
him "that the 320th NVA Division had Dong Ha in its sights."28
At 0900, 1 May, the 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry arrived by helicopter
in a landing zone just north of Dong Ha. Later that day. General Tompkins
turned over operational control of the Army battalion to the 3d Marines
to insert into the Nhi Ha and Lam Xuan area.29

The Continuing
Fight for Dai Do

The fighting in the
Dai Do area, however, was far from over. Just before daybreak on 1 May,
a reconnaissance patrol from Company B in An Loc noticed that the North
Vietnamese had slipped out of the hamlet. Ac that point, on order of
Lieutenant Colonel Weise, who had come ashore by skimmer boat, the company
took over all of An Loc. At daybreak, Company H in Dong Huan noticed
about 60 enemy soldiers moving across an open field rice paddy west
of Dai Do and north of An Loc. Calling in supporting arms as well as
employing their own rifle and automatic weapons, the Marines of both
Companies H and B participated in what amounted to a "turkey shoot."
Lieutenant Colonel Weise later speculated that the North Vietnamese
may have been "a reinforcing unit looking for the village of Dai Do"
or possibly "stragglers . . . from An Loc."30


After this initial action, there was a relative lull in the fighting largely confined to the continuous artillery shelling of Dai Do, as both sides attempted to marshal and reinforce their forces. At first, Lieutenant Colonel Weise had planned to have Captain Vargas' Company G make a night landing at An Loc and then launch a predawn attack on Dai Do. The Navy landing craft that were to carry the Marine company from Mai Xa Chanh to An Loc, however, were not available. Instead Company G, reinforced by the BLT's two ranks, waited at Mai Xa Chanh until about 0830 to board two

 

Department of Defense (USMC) Photo A19149H

Tuo Marines from BLT 2/4 survey the ruins of the hamlet of Dai Do after several days of heavy fighting. The Marine on the left is carrying three LAAWs (light antiarmor weapons) strapped to his back.








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