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Marines directed 5 airstrikes and over 700 rounds of artillery fire
onto enemy positions only 200 meters away, reporting as a result 25
Communists dead.46

General Youngdale remained convinced that the enemy intended to attack
Da Nang from the west and northwest.47 To counter this threat,
he ret]uesred that a B-52 mission be diverted from a previously scheduled
target to strike the valley of the Song Cu De (called Elephant Valley
by the Marines), 10 kilometers northwest of the city.48

The action, despite Youngdale's analysis, remained centered to the south, mainly in the Operation Sussex Bay area. Just after midnight on 30 August, Company H, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines ambushed a group of approximately 30 North Vietnamese fording the Song Ky Lam in an apparent effort to reach Go Noi Island. A search ot the area conducted at first light revealed 29 enemy dead. There were no Marine casualties.49 Later that morning, the ARVN Ranger battalions swept south once again, claiming to have killed 27 Viet Cong and 4 North Vietnamese."50

On 31 August, the units involved in Operation Sussex Bay closed the net around the escaping Communists. During the morning, both of the ARVN battalions pressed the enemy into a bend in the Song Ky Lam on the other side of which the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines waited in blocking positions. The encircled Communists fought desperately, but artillery and airstrikes flown by Marine helicopter gunships and RVNAF fixed-wing aircraft smashed them in the trap. The attack resulted in over SO North Vietnamese dead and netted l prisoner at a cost of 7 ARVN Rangers killed and 45 others wounded.51

The fighting of 31 August crushed the major Communist force attempting to flee south after the failed attack on Da Nang, but small units still slipped through the net and continued to work their way toward Go Noi Island. At 2000, 31 August, Company H, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines ambushed one of these groups, approximately 30 North Vietnamese attempting to cross the Song Ky Lam. Unlike the group engaged two nights earlier, these


Photo from Abel Collection

Marines from Company M, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines rush to a landing
zone to pick up supplies left by a Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter
from HMM-164, during Operation Sussex Bay near An Hoa and Go Noi Island

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