results. On the 23d, in an effort to assist the 3d Battalion, Galbraith's
Marines assaulted into the Huong Phuc region, south of Route 9, approximately
17 kilometers southwest of Vandegrift. Once again the troops, except
for two short encounters with small groups of enemy soldiers as they
attacked to the northwest, found little of interest. The Dong Ca Lu
mountain complex west of Vandegrift, a favorite harboring site for the
North Vietnamese, became the battalion's chief interest during the last
days of August and first two weeks ot September. Although Galbraith's
Marines sighted several large groups ot enemy in the area and responded
with mortar, artillery, and airstrikes, no significant engagements took
Between these series of short operations, the battalion maintained responsibility for the defense of Vandegrift Combat Base and Ca Lu. Assigned the mission of planning a new perimeter defense, Galbraith's Marines, in coordination with the 11 th Engineers, cleared fields of fire, laid defensive wire, and assisted with the placement of tanks, Ontos, M-42 "Dusters", and searchlights at strategic points along the perimeter. On 17 September, the battalion was placed under the operational control of the 9th Marines and assaulted into the DMZ.
Further west. Lieutenant Colonel Louis A. Rann's 2d Battalion, 4th Marines maintained a continuous series of patrols from Fire Support Base Cares. The 2d Battalion also manned strategic hills overlooking the abandoned base at Khe Sanh. Enemy contact was light during August, consisting of small unit probes of all battalion defensive positions. September brought long periods of rain and overcast weather to the western mountains, hindering the battalion's long-range patrol effort and resulting in numerous accidents and several collapsed bunkers.
On 17 September, Rann's Marines observed enemy activity around the abandoned Khe Sanh Combat Base. Several artillery missions were called in on a possible enemy truck convoy, antiaircraft positions, and on the former helicopter revetments, but without success. Later, several patrols reported hearing and seeing an unidentified aircraft near the base, but no positive identification could be made due to heavy fog.
To the southeast of Rann's battalion, the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, under Lieutenant Colonel Frank L. Bourne, Jr., continued to defend Fire Support Base
Photo from the l 2th Mars ComdC, Dec-68
Shepherd, in this aerial view, overlooks Route 9 where two rivers, the
Song Ran Quan and Da Krong come together. Unfortunately neither the
road nor the rivers can be made out in this picture.