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assistant commander. First Lieutenant Justin M. Martin's Company F
adopted a similar force structure in Huong Hoa District.

While integrating at all levels, at the same time elements of the
two battalions launched a series of major cordon and search operations
throughout the area of operations. Their mission was to capture the
local Viet Cong and disrupt his organization as well as conduct an accurate
census of the population and civic action program. On 13 November, Companies
E, F, and L, 3d Marines; Company I, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines; Company
B, 3d Tank Battalion; and the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines joined the
5th Battalion, 2d ARVN Regiment in a cordon and search of the Xam Rao
Vinh Valley in the northeast portion of the Mai Loc TAOR, east of Cam
Lo. The rapid cordon and search of the valley, suspected to be populated
by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong whose mission was to harass the civilian
population and conduct guerrilla operations against Marine units in
the area, yielded little and the operation ended four days later.6

While the 2d and 3d Battalions blanketed the Kentucky area with cordons
and patrols, the remaining battalion of Colonel Michael M. Spark's 3d
Marines, the 1st Battalion, remained in the Lancaster II area and provided
security for Camp Carroll, Landing Zone Mack, the Dong Ha Mountain outpost,
Thon Sam Lam, and Khe Gio Bridge. Lieutenant Colonel Richard B. Twohey's
Marines also furnished escorts for Rough Rider truck convoys and details
for the daily road sweep of Route 9. Although there was a marked increase
in the use of mines and Camp Carroll received an occasional enemy mortar
attack, the majority of attacks by fire and encounters with enemy forces
took place around Landing Zone Mack and Landing Zone Sierra to the north.
While on patrol near Sierra on the afternoon of 15 November, Company
As point element came under fire from an estimated enemy platoon, which
initiated the contact by detonating several directional, or claymore
mines, and grenades. Supported by 60mm mortars, the enemy platoon then
opened fire with automatic weapons and small arms. Captain James L.
Shaw's Marines countered with direct artillery fire and 106mm recoilless
rifle and 81mm mortar fires, and reported as a result five enemy troops
killed. During the firefight, Company A lost 7 Marines killed and 23
wounded in addition to a scout dog.

On 21 November, as the western boundary of the Lancaster area of operations
again was shifted east, Twohey's battalion was helilifted from Landing
Zone Sierra to Mack and then to C-1. The departure of 1st Battalion,
3d Marines from the jungle-covered mountains northwest of Camp Carroll
coincided with the termination of the 10-month-long operation, codenamed
Lancaster II, and the absorption of the area into that of Scotland II
and Kentucky. According to Marine sources, Lancaster II, which began
in late January, accounted for more than 1,800 enemy troops killed and
913 weapons captured. Allied losses were placed at 359 killed and a
total of 2,101 wounded.

From C-1, on 22 November, Companies A, B, and C, 1st Battalion, 3d
Marines, and Company C, 3d Tank Battalion, in coordination with the
2d Battalion, 2d ARVN Regiment moved north along Route 1 and established
a tank and infantry cordon near Gio Linh.7 The three-day
cordon resulted in more than 3,900 Vietnamese being processed, of which
188 were detained. Of the 188, 147 were later classified as Viet Cong
suspects and 41 were found to be deserters or draft dodgers. Following
the Gio Linh-Ha Thanh cordon, Lieutenant Colonel Richard B. Twohey's
1st Battalion, 3d Marines moved to the southern portion of the 2d ARVN
Regiment's area of operation and began a cordon and search of the Thon
Nghia An, Thon Thanh Luong, and Thon Truong Xa village complex, north
and west of Dong Ha. Other than receiving a few sniper rounds, Twohey's
Marines found little evidence of recent enemy activity.

The last days of November witnessed the beginning of one more cordon
operation. On the 29th, Lieutenant Colonel Chen's 2d Battalion, 3d Marines
moved into the rice-growing area around Thon Vinh Dai, east of Cam Lo
and north of Route 9. In seven days, working with local Regional and
Popular Forces, Chen's Marines, assisted in the screening of 1,604 civilians,
85 of whom were classified as Viet Cong suspects.

Although heavily committed to the pacification effort, two battalions
of Colonel Sparks' 3d Marines were alerted for deployment to Quang Nam
Province in early December. The III MAF commander, General Cushman,
warned General Stilwell the commander of XXIV Corps that intelligence
indicated that the enemy planned, "to press his attacks on major cities
of Da Nang and Quang Ngai... to thwart our successes in the countryside."
He told Stilwell:

To counter
his plans, III MAF will embark on an intensified campaign ... to destroy
his major means for carrying out his aggression. To do this will require
the destruction of BA 112, which contains command and control headquarters
and support facilities. It also requires destruction of the 2d and 3d
NVA Divisions and prevention of their escape into Laos.

Page 448 (1968: The Defining Year)