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Photo
courresy ot Col Francis l. Fenton, USMC (Ret)

U.S.
Army LtGen William B. Rosson, CG Prov Corps, officiates at a 3d Marine
Division change of command ceremony. Standing behind Rosson is MajGen
Raymond G. Davis, left, who is relieving MajGen Rathvon McC. Tompkins,
right, as the commanding general of the division.

come up with a statistical summary of the action since 30 April. According
to the division account, in an 18-day period, the allies killed over
2,100 ot the enemy (including 221 by air). Perhaps more reliable and
indicative figures were the 41 prisoners captured by the allies and
the recovery of more than 500 enemy weapons including 132 crew-served
weapons. The cost, however, had been high. In the fighting, the Army
and Marine units under the operational control of the 3d Marine Division
suffered losses of 233 killed, over 800 wounded, and 1 missing soldier
from the 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry. Task Force Clearwater took casualties
of 15 dead and 22 wounded, while the ARVN lost 42 dead and 124 wounded.
With the extensive bloodletting, Major General Tompkins "had good reason
to believe . . . that the 320th NVA Division would not pose
a serious threat to the allied positions along the DMZ for some time
to come." General Tompkins also had received word that he was about
to relinquish his command.65

The Second Offensive

Contrary to General Tompkins' expectations, the 320th was
to come south again and the results were to be much the same, but even
more one-sided then the previous attempt. Within the brief interlude
between the two enemy thrusts, the enemy had been relatively quiescent
except for an artillery attack on the 3d Marine Division base area at
Dong Ha. On 14 May, a North Vietnamese artillery barrage exploded there
about 110 tons of ammunition, killing 1l Marine and wounding 15. The
division's Kentucky and Napoleon/Saline sectors, however, remained relatively
inactive through 21 May.66


On 21 May, there was a sort of a musical chairs shift throughout the Marine Corps Vietnam command structure. Major General William J. Van Ryzin, the III MAF Deputy Commander, received a promotion to lieutenant general and became the Chief of Staff to the Commandant at Headquarters, Marine Corps in






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