North Vietnamese within the Horseshoe pounded the advancing Marines
with machine guns, rifles, and mortars, bur Company D advanced to within
300 meters of the Communist positions as casualties continued to mount.
Enemy fire struck down the radio operators for the forward air controller
and the battalion tactical radio net, greatly compounding communications
problems. Finally, with 2 Marines dead and 17 wounded. Company D withdrew
to the stream, but remained on the south bank, setting up an LZ to evacuate
the wounded. Medevac helicopters arrived, only to have the North Vietnamese
drive them away under heavy fire. Only after dark could Company D begin
to medevac its casualties, even then still under heavy fire. Another
night fell with the Horseshoe still in enemy hands.
During the morning hours of 23 November, while BLT 2/7 remained in
position, still evacuating casual ties from the previous day's action,
the 3d Battalion, 26th Marines advanced from the southwest corner of
the cordon into Dodge City. With its right flank anchored on the railroad
berm, the battalion attacked across Route 4, moving north. As the battalion
approached the Horseshoe, the NVA opened fire and the Marines took cover.54
BLT 2/7 joined the attack once again. Company G opened fire on the
Communist positions, and Company H, now on the left of the 3d Battalion,
26th Marines swept northward and overran one group of enemy positions.
BLT 2/7 recovered the bodies of the six Company G Marines missing from
the initial attack. To restore the integrity of the cordon, Company
H withdrew and linked up with the 3d Battalion, 26th Marines. Although
the attack had been partially successful, many enemy positions remained
within the Horseshoe.
is from the Col Robert G. Lauffer, USMC (Ret), Collection
In an aerial view of the "Horseshoe" sector of
Operation Meade River, looking east, from the bend of the stream it
is easy to see why the area was so named.