Second enclave established at Phu Bai information
3 MARINES was a US Marine Corps unit
for 3 MARINES
For date 650410
8 RRU was a US Army unit
Primary service involved, US Marine Corps
Thua Thien Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Phu Bai
Description: Not long after their landing, elements of the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines were flown to Phu Bai to establish the second Marine enclave in Vietnam. For some time the Army's 8th Radio Research Unit was based at the Phu Bai airfield. USMC LTG Krulak, then CG of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, later commented: "Here is an example of where dollar economics wagged the tail of military deployment. Phu Bai is as tactically indefensible as anyone can imagine. General Westmoreland was determined, however, that we should go there because of the existance of the 8th RRU. There was an investment of probably five million dollars in the unit. It was firmly locked into the Phu Bai plain and he was determined not to see it moved. He was reinforced by technical papers that said this location was good though our own people questioned this. He insisted we go to Phu Bai despite the tremendous land barrier between Da Nang and Phu Bai, difficulty of providing logistical support, and the many better use we could put a Marine BLT."
I served with the 8th RRU prior to the Marines deployment and take exception to LTG Krulak's remarks. Phu Bai was successfully defended for years prior to any Marine deployment in the area by the US Army cooks, clerks and administrative personnel of the 8th RRU. There is no doubt in my mind as to the tactical importance of the 8th RRU at Phu Bai. Submitted by Dave Strand, March 1999.
I was there from almost the beginning. We didn't ask for the Marines to come north. We were taxed defending the greater Phu Bai area. We had set up an inner defendable base at an old French post. We had over a million land mines, trenches, pill boxes and cross fields of fire. We would have taken out a lot of NVA/Cong with us. On the lighter side, many a later afternoons softball was played while the VC where heading out for they training. We weren't looking for a fight in the early days. We never came under attack until the Marines arrived. Before the Marines arrived, Phu Bai had a great night life. During later tours of duty, I credit the Marines with saving me and my men - February of 68 in Hue to name one. Thank you 3rd Marines!! When the Marines moved in late 67, we could finally relax on guard duty. Submitted to the VHPA by Guy H. Hillman October 2001.
The source for this information was USMC H 1965 P:22
Additional information is available on CD-ROM.
Please send additions or corrections to: Gary Roush Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to panel index
Return to Helicopter Pilot KIA index
Return to VHPA Home Page
Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association
Date posted on this site: