Once the heavy Army logistic units arrived they were able ro ease the burden on rhe Marines. Representatives of III MAF; the FLC:; MACV; U.S. Army Vietnam; 1st Logistical Command; U.S. Army Support Command, Da Nang (Provisional); and Naval Support Activity, Da Nang, mutually agreed on the division ot support. Marine Corps and Army dumps would provide common item support. Class I (Rations), Class III (Petroleum), and Class V (Ammunition) to both Army and Marine units. The respective Service logistic facility would furnish Class II (General Supply items) and Class IV (Special Items). With this understanding, FLSG Alpha became responsible tor common item support tor all III MAF units, both Marine and Army in the Phu Bai sector. The Army's new Prov Corps 26th General Support Group at Quang Tri assumed the same responsibility for those units located south of Quang Tri and north of Hue. FLSG Bravo continued to provide support for those units in the Dong Ha and DMZ sector. By March 1968, the supply requirements for U.S. forces in northern I Corps had reached 5,000 short tons per day. Colonel Rex O. Dillow, the III MAF G-1, later observed, "the rapid buildup in requirements, and the effects of enemy action and adverse weather, presented perhaps the biggest threat of curtailing tactical operations during the Tet offensive."'15
Photo is from the Abel Collection
LCpl John /U. Martin pulls d pan of freshly baked loaves of bread from the oven. The FLC held the responsibility uj providing III MAF everything/row bread to ammunition.
During this critical period, the Naval Support Activity, Da Nang; the Army's 1st Logistical Command; Army Support Command, Da Nang; and the FLC cooperated to move die supplies where they were most needed. In March, they opened a LOTS (Logistics Over the Shore) Facility at Then My Thuy. The Army positioned a task force of over 1,000 men from its 159ch Transportation Battalion, with six attached companies, at this site (Wunder Beach) to facilitate the movement of supplies." A Seabee-built S. 6-mile road from Route 1 near Hai Lang, tied this installation into the major road network in northern I Corps. As an Army historian commented, "even then Wunder Beach was no rose garden: The Hai Lang Road remained subject to heavy mining, and was sometimes seeded with metal objects to impede clearance." The
*Colonel Dillow. the III MAF G-1, remembered chat in February 196H, General Cushman directed him to ask che Sevench Fleet for a Navy pontoon causeway unit then Stationed in Japan to "be brought to l>a Nan^ Harbor. This required considerable extort by rhe Navy; several ships were required to move the causeway sections. They objected, pointing out that in all probability a causeway, if installed could not be kept in place tur any appreciable rime due to the winds and tides during rhe monsoon season. However, General Cushman insisted, stating that we may have to take a calculated risk and install it despite the odds. It was therefore available when the drawdown ot supplies in N1CTZ [Northern l Corps Tactical Zone] necessitated its installation." Dillow Comments. Army historian Joel Meyerson quoted the Following trom a 1st Logistical Command Operational Report, Lessons Learned tor the period: "The Navy was asked to find the tx-st location for the establishment of a LOTS site. After studying the problem, the Navy concluded that it was impractical to establish such an operation and that the results would be minimal. ... In spice of this conclusion, the Army, faced with the need (o support two divisions, proceeded to establish Wunder beach . . . ." Meverson Comments. Colonel Dillow recalled that "installing the causeway in the hi^h winds and heavy seas of the monsoon season was no small task, although it was kept in place once installed. Installation was often interrupted." According to Dillow. the Army unit operating the facility "had been commanded by an officer named Wunder. They referred to themselves as "Wunder's Wonders.' They asked us if they could name the facility Wunder Beach, which was readily approved (although to the consternation ot a few Marine Corps officers')." Oillow Comments. The U.S. Army 159th Transi'xirr.ition battalion was actually commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles H. Sunder. The men of [he battalion called themselves Sunders Wonders and with a slight play of words, the LOTS facility was named Wunder Beach. LtGen Willard Pearson, USA, The War ill //>f ^'irt/H-rn Pri/i rnics, /966-/y6>S, Vietnam Studies (Washington, D.C. Dept of the Army, 1975), p. 61.