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Page 584 (1968: The Defining Year)

Department ut Detense (USMC) unnumbered photo

An overview of the FLC compound near Red Beach at Da Nang, The sprawling FLC iiiiu' supported a III MAF command that niimhvred mure than 100,000 soldiers, sailors, and Marines in January 1968 and would soon expand further.

provide both logistical support and direction for Army units. This command sent our subordinate logistic task forces to both die l O l st Airborne and l sc Cavalry' Divisions. The FLC logistic field units, FLSG A and FLSG B, at Phu Bai and Dong Ha, respectively, continued to provide rations to the Army units in the northern two provinces, however, until the Army logistic units became self-sustaining.8*

Through heroic efforts, III MAF was able to maintain a satisfactory logistic stock level. For example in February, Marine helicopters alone lifted 7,724 tons of cargo, attaining their highest monthly tonnage, despite low ceilings, rain, fog, and basically miserable flying conditions.'' The following random statistics for the period January through April illustrate in part the massive effort by the Marine logisticians of the FLC: In January, FLSG Bravo issued 362,100 C-Rations,

brought 1,747,504 pounds of ic-e, transported 11,213

tons of supplies over a total of 58,161 truck miles and

issued 4,227.3 tons of ammunition.'" During February, FLC processed 23,442 transients,

processed W. ()()() requisitions, baked 860,692 pounds ot bread, and air delivered a daily average ut 143 cons of supplies to Khe Sanh Combat Base." During March, FLSG Alpha issued more than 1,743,000 gallons ot various types ot fuel.1-'

The FLC laundry units processed 201,000 pounds of laundry in the month of April, and its ammunition company handled 55,415 tons ut ammunition, a daily average of more than 1,800 tons.13

Specifically during this period, the Marine command arranged for the helicopter delivery under extreme weather conditions of 3(X) short tons daily from ships off the coast to U.S. shore facilities, as well as the air drop ot 200 short tons daily to 1st Air Cavalry units in the Camp Evans sector. "Rough Rider" truck convoys from Da Nang north through the Hai Van Pass involved 1U,471 Marine and U.S. Army vehicles.14

*Coloncl Dillow, the III MAF G-4. praised the efforts of rwo Army generals in assisting the Marine logisticians to cope with the situation. These were Brigadier General Henry A. Rasmussen, USA, the USMACV J-\. and Brigadier General George H. McBride, USA, the Commanding General, U.S. Armv Support Command, Da Nan^:. According to Dillow, "here we had the largest field force ever commanded by a Marine Corps headquarters, with multi-division Army and Marine Corps forces depending upon support from U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine and Army units. Despite the rapid buildup, difficulties trom lon^ and tenuous lines of communication and adverse weather, logistic support was steady throughout." Dillow Comments. In letters of appreciation to the two Army generals, General Cushman, the III MAF commander, recognized their efforts. He credited Rasmussen with providing "guidance and impetus" to logistic planning which made it "possible to promptly deploy support forces and commence operations in support of much larger reinforcements than had been expected, but which were moved to Northern l Corps on very short notice and committed to action immediately upon arrival." Copy ofCGIIIMAl-' Irr to ComUSMACV. Subj: Contributions to III MAF by ... BGen Henry A. Rasmussen. n.d. lJul6H], Encl. Dillow Comments. In his letter to General McBride, Cushman observed that the Army general directed the "phasing in" ot some ')2 U.S. Army logistical support units of about ".(MX) total personnel. CG11IMAF Itr to ComUSMACV, Subj: Performance of duty by BGen George H. McBride . .. [USA], n.d. lJulHH], End, Dillow Comments.

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