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Page 454 (1968: The Defining Year)





early November had moved around the hom and was patrolling in the
northern portion of the area between the I>a Krong and the Laotian border.
Lieutenant Colonel Elliott R. Laine's 3d Battalion, located at Vandegrift
Combat Base, secured the base and surrounding Marine installations at
Ca Lu and Signal Hill. On 8 November, Company L assaulted into landing
zones near Hill 512, 15 kilometers southeast of Vandegrift and began
construction of Fire Support Base Tun Tavern. Upon completion of Tun
Tavern several days later, the remaining three companies of Laine's
battalion moved into the area and began patrol operations in the Da
Krong Valley and the ridgeline to the east, between the Da Krong and
Ba Long Valleys.

Despite the rugged, mountainous terrain and the physical problems
it caused the individual Marine, the two battalions conducted a methodical
search of their assigned areas, as Colonel Barrow later described:

Each
battalion has four companies operating out of company operating bases,
each separated from the other by about 2 to 5,000 meters. A company
will spend, characteristically, two, three, or tour days in one of these
operating bases and conduct extensive patrolling by platoon or squads
in all directions. So that after three or four days the area extending
in a radius of a couple of thousand meters our from the operating base
has been covered. The operating base represents a place of resupply
and for a patrol that has been out perhaps for two days to rest for
a day, preparatory for renewing its patrolling activities.14

According to Barrow, when the companies had worked over one area completely.
Marine helicopters would then helilift the battalion into a new adjoining
or nearby sector. In leapfrog fashion, the aircraft would bring the
two companies ot the battalion that were the farthest away into the
new area. In rum, the remaining two companies would be "leapfrogged
over them." Barrow explained there was, therefore "a constant heliborne
move of companies to new areas, but no company passes overland, covering
an area that has already been covered by another company." The methodical


Photocopy
of Northern l Corp's Briefing Map (Nov-Dec 1968) From Gen E. E. Anderson
Collection











Page 454 (1968: The Defining Year)