his forces had not yet gotten to their battlefield and we dealt his
forces a blow.60
During three months of fighting, the Marine command estimated that
the 320th NVA Division lost more than 1,500 killed as well as large
numbers of individual and crew-served weapons. The Marines, in addition,
destroyed hundreds of prepared positions and huge stockpiles of munitions.
In contrast to the heavy losses of the enemy. Marine casualties were
less than 200, many from indirect artillery and mortar fire.
When the 9th Marines left the battle with the 320th Division,
they turned their efforts toward the expanding pacification program.
At 1000 on the morning of 1 October, as the regimental headquarters
prepared to depart Fire Support Base Winchester, it received an order
from Task Force Hotel to place a three battalion cordon that night around
the Beng Son-Doc Kinh or Mai Loc village complex, a known Viet Cong
haven in the Cua Valley. Throughout the day. Army helicopters made a
visual reconnaissance of the area, battalions briefed down to the squad
level, and the regiment carried out coordination with South Vietnamese
officials and the U.S. Army district advisor. At dusk the 2d Battalion,
9th Marines and 3d Battalion, 4th Marines arrived bv truck at Camp Carroll,
and shortly after dark, the two battalions began their overland movement.
Lieutenant Colonel Bourne's 3d Battalion travelled in a easterly direction,
while Major Sisley's 2d Battalion headed south and then turned east.
According to Colonel Barrow:
movements were sort of like the pincers of a crab, moving out into the
night, getting around the village and the open side of the cordon was
then to be filled in by the 3d Battalion, 9th, landing at night into
two landing zones, one up near where the 3d Battalion, 4th would have
the head of its column and one not too far from where the 2d Battalion,
9th would have the head of its column.61
Lieutenant Colonel LaMonragne's 3d Battalion, 9th Marines lifted out
ot Vandegrift and couched down in the area two hours before midnight.
Within 30 minutes his lead elements made contact with Bourne's and Sisley's
Marines, closing the cordon. Early the following morning. Colonel Barrow
made a helicopter reconnaissance of the area: "It was a very dramatic
sight to see the next morning an entire infantry regiment wrapped around
this large village complex with a Marine every 5 to 10 meters in physical
contact all the way around the cordon."62 During the next several
days, the regiment tightened the cordon and completely searched the
of Defense (USMC) Photo A801136
1stLt James Luker, Jr., a member of the fire support group with the
2d Battalion. 4th Marines, pauses for a moment near LZ Gates in Operation
Scotland to fill a canteen with water. He apparently has the water duty
as three more canteens are on the rocks waiting to be filled as well.
While detaining only 40 individuals, who were later identified as
prominent members of the local Viet Cong infrastructure, Barrow considered
the cordon a success. "We were particularly proud of it," he stated,
"because ir showed the versatility of this regiment and our capability
to respond rapidly, having come out of a month-long mountain jungle
operation and that very same night of the same day we came out we conducted
a very successful cordon operation, which was, of course, entirely different
and involved operating with other forces and involved working in an
area that was heavily populated."63
While the 3d Marines, and later 9th Marines, were pursuing the regiments
of the 320th NVA Division, Colonel Edward J. Miller's 4th Marines
continued to conduct mobile defensive operations within the Scotland
area of operations. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H. Galbraith's 1st Battalion,
4rh Marines conducted extensive company patrols, searching for enemy
troops, caches, and constructing landing zones for future heliborne
assaults throughout August and into September. On 7 August, the battalion
command group and three companies were helilifted to Hills 679 and 505
in the Huong Vinh region, approximately 10 kilometers west of Vandegrift.
The Marines cut landing zones and conducted numerous patrols throughout
the area without
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