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Page 722 (Appendix B )

Appendix B

Chronology of

Significant Events January-December 1968

l January Allied and Communist forces

in Vietnam begin the new year with a cease-fire. The allies report 63 violations

of the truce.

l January The Marine Corps troop level

in Vietnam reaches 81,249. The III Marine Amphibious Force, which is responsible

for I CTZ, begins the year with a total strength of 114,158 troops, composed of

76,616 Marines divided among the 1st Marine Division, the 3d Marine Division,

the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, and Force Logistic Command; 3,538 Navy personnel;

and 36,816 Army personnel, including the Americal Division and one brigade of

the 1st Air Cavalry Division, and 88 Air Force personnel.

3 January The 5th Marines concludes

Operation Auburn south of Da Nang (28Dec67-3Jan68). The operation results in 37

reported enemy casualties with 24 Marines killed and 62 wounded.

11 January As part of Operation

Checkers, in an effort to rotate units of the 1st Marine Division north to

relieve the 3d Marine Division, Task Force X-Ray headquarters is activated at

Phu Bai. Task Force X-Ray subsequently relieved the 3d Marine Division

headquarters at Phu Bai, which moved to Dong Ha in Quang Tri Province.

16 January The 2d Battalion, 26th

Marines reinforces the Marine base at Khe Sanh.

16 January A North Vietnamese

representative states that North Vietnam will not begin peace talks until the

United States halts bombing of the North.

20 January Operation Lancaster I

(lNov67- 20Jan68), a 3d Marines operation to safeguard Route 9 between Cam Lo

and Ca Lu, ends with a reported 46 enemy casualties and 27 Marines killed and

141 wounded.

20 January The 1st Marines concludes

Operation Osceola I (20Oct67-20Jan68) in the Quang Tri City region. The

operation resulted in a reported 76 enemy casualties with 17 Marines killed and

199 wounded.

20 January The 4th Marines concludes

Operation Neosho I (lNov67-20Jan68) northwest of Hue. The operation resulted in

77 reported enemy casualties with 12 Marines killed and 100 wounded.

20 January A Marine patrol

participating in Operation Scotland makes contact with a heavy concentration of

North Vietnamese troops around Hill 881 South near Khe Sanh. The ensuing battle

signaled the beginning of the siege of Khe Sanh.

21 January The 1st Air Cavalry

Division, USA, is placed under the operational control of III MAF commander.

Marine Lieutenant General Robert E. Cushman, Jr.

21 January The 4th Marines begin

Operation Lancaster II in the same area as Operation Lancaster I.

21 January The 3d Marines begin

Operation Osceola II in the same area as Osceola I.

21 January General Westmoreland,

Commander USMACV, orders a temporary halt to work on the 'McNamara Line,' the

barrier and antiinflkration system south of the DMZ.

21 January The NVA begins the

bombardment of the base at Khe Sanh and the Marine outposts in the surrounding

hills. This rocket, mortar, and artillery barrage will continue for the next 77


Page 722 (Appendix B )