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Photo is from the Abel Collection

Two Boeing Vertol CH-46 helicopters from HMM-165 have landed
troops from the 26th Marines in a landing zone in the An Hoa basin
densely covered with elephant grass. The Marines will be taking part
in Operation Mameluke Thrust.

Although it appeared that the NVA battalions once thought to be based
on Go Noi Island were gone, intelligence sources indicated that the
Communists would soon try to reoccupy the area.38 At the
request of the 1st Marine Division, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/7
(Seventh Fleet Special Landing Force "B") launched Operation Swift Play
on 23 July 1968, only 17 hours after having embarked on board amphibious
shipping at the close of Operation Eager Yankee in Thua Thien Province.

Designed to complement Operation Allen Brook, Operation Swift Play
was a surprise thrust into the Da The Mountain area, six kilometers
south of Go Noi Island. After landing by helicopter, BLT 2/7 swept north
toward the Song Chiem Son and the Allen Brook area of operations. During
the week-long sweep, the Marines of BLT 2/7 uncovered numerous enemy
caches and base areas, including what appeared to be a training center,
complete with lecture hall, carefully hidden in the steep, forested
mountains. On 31 July, BLT 2/7 crossed the Chiem Son to Go Noi Island
and relieved the 3d Battalion, 27th Marines of responsibility for Operation
Allen Brook. Three days later, the 27th Marines ended its participation
in the operation altogether, passing control of BLT 2/7 to the 5th Marines,
which had previously exchanged its area of operations near Phu Bai with
the 26th Marines.

Land-clearing operations continued until the Communists launched their
long-awaited "third offensive" on 23 August. With enemy activity on
Go Noi Island only minimal, the 1st Marine Division terminated Operation
Allen Brook so that the forces could be employed to battle the enemy
forces threatening Da Nang. Company E remained behind temporarily to
escort the engineers to Liberty Bridge while the remainder of BLT 2/7
departed by helicopter. On 24 August, as Company E and the engineer
convoy of trucks and earth-moving equipment headed westward the enemy
harassed them with sporadic sniper fire until they cleared Go Noi Island.

Operation Allen Brook lasted three and one half months and resulted
in 917 enemy killed. An additional 11 were captured, and 2 rallied to
the Government of Vietnam. The III MAF units which sought to bring Go
Noi Island under government control lost 170 Marines and 2 sailors killed
in action and a further 1,124 wounded. Even more fell to heat, disease,
snakebite, accidents, and a host of other hazards. All the while they
fought. Operation Mameluke Thrust continued in the west.

Mameluke Thrust Also Continues


On 3 June, General Robertson expanded the Mameluke Thrust area of operations eastward to include the Song Thu Bon-Song Tinh Yen valley.39







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