Page 648

Page 648 (1968: The Defining Year)

casualties of 7 dead and 52 wounded and claimed to have killed 100 of the enemy.60

In the meantime, the JGS had brought Task Force Bravo headquarters and the 1st and 2d Battalions into Saigon. At 1500, the 1st Battalion began arriving in an improvised helicopter landing zone inside the Joint General Staff headquarters compound from Cai Lay in IV Corps. With the completion of the helilifr a hair-hour later, the battalion occupied the positions vacated by the 4th Battalion when it deployed north to relieve the armored base. U.S. C-130 transport aircraft brought the task force headquarters and the 2d Battalion into Tan Son Nhut Airport with the last elements landing at 1930. The task force headquarters and the 2d Battalion then joined the 1st Battalion near the Joint General Staff compound.6'

While making his overnight command post outside of the JGS compound, the Marine task force commander received new orders for the next day. He was to cum over operational control of his 2d Battalion to a nearby South Vietnamese airborne commander and then move with the 1st Battalion to the positions of the 4th Battalion near the armor base. After caking command of the 4th Battalion, the task force, once more, was to reassume the attack.''-'

On the morning of 1 February, however, the North Vietnamese launched a counterattack on the Vietnamese forces near the armored compound. The NVA overran a neighboring ARVN artillery base, but the Vietnamese Marine forces in defensive positions, supported by air repulsed the enemy in fighting which even involved "some hand to hand combat." The two battalions of Task Force Bravo then mounted their own offensive. In heavy seesaw fighting that lasted until 3 February, the Vietnamese Marines hnally cleared the sector. The costs, however, had been heavy on both sides. For the three days, the Vietnamese

Photo courtesy of Col John W. Ripley, USMC (Ret)

Vietnamese Marines are seen with a Viet Cong prisoner in the streets of Saigon during the Tet offensive. In one of the most memorable scenes of the u'ar, captured by Associated Press photographer Eddie Adams, a feu.' minutes after this scene South Vietnamese National Police Chiej BGen Nguyen Ngoc Loan, uould personally execute the prisoner.

Page 648 (1968: The Defining Year)