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Photo courtesy of Col John H. Hansen, USMC (Ret)

MajGen Norman J. Anderson, CG, 1st MAW, hands colors
of new Provisional MAG-39 to its commander, Col John E. Hansen. The
new MAG was formed at Quang Tri to provide helicopter Support for the
3d MarDiv.

what you want and schedule it." Davis declared: "There's no way a
ground commander can work our a precise plan for the next day's operations
unless the enemy is going to hold still . . . ."30*


As could be expected this attitude caused immediate problems with both the wing and III MAF. A then-junior member of the 3d Marine Division staff. Major William H. Dabney remembered General Davis telling III MAF: "Look, if I don't get this helicopter support that I'm asking for ... from you, I'm going to get it from the Army. The devil take the hindmost." According to Dabney, Davis argued against dividing the helicopter support evenly between the two divisions. The support should depend on the actual situation and requirement, not an attempt to distribute the same number of sorties to each command: "Hey, we need 22 sorties, CH-46s because I got an enemy that I can use them against, not because I'm one division and he's another."31


In personal letters to Washington, the 1st MAW commander. General Anderson, described his perception of wing-division relations. He declared that he had "tried at every cum to get the Marine doctrine of air-ground command structure accepted in III MAF." Anderson believed that "many of our problems have resulted from failure to inject sound air thinking into ground plans in a timely fashion." The wing commander mentioned, however, that he had opened at the Quang Tri Airfield what he called the 1st MAW Aux-


* Major General Norman Anderson commented: "Twenty-five years later
the crux of this disagreement still is numbers and types of helos, a
fact of life exacerbated then by the proximity of helo-rich Army units.
General Davis could not make a valid case at that time because a decision
to let him have all the helo support he wanted had to be made at the
III MAF level it not higher. At those levels the broader and deeper
problems were dominant and they, of course, prevailed therefore at the
Wing." He observed, "The Marine Corps remains structured primarily for
assault from the sea, which is as it must be." Norman Anderson Comments.







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