operation PIRANHA information

From date 650907 to 650910

7 MARINES was a US Marine Corps unit
3 MARINES was a US Marine Corps unit
4 ARVN REG was a Vietnamese Army unit
MAG-16 was a US Marine Corps unit
Primary service involved, US Marine Corps
Operation PIRANHA
Quang Ngai Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Batangan Peninsula
Description: A search and destroy follow-up to operation STARLITE aimed at the remnants of the 1st VC Regiment. Its secondary purpose was to shut down reported places of entry for a VC network of seaborne infiltration. MAG-16 used 40 UH-34D's to assault the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines into LZ OAK, four miles inland from the amphibious landing of another battalion. This assault took three hours. Then 16 UH-34D's went to Quang Ngai and began shuttling two South Vietnamese battalions into LZ BIRCH and PINE escorted by four Army gunships. At these LZs, the Marine helicopters received fire but it was not serious. The next day, the Marines found a large VC force in a cave which they flew after attempting to convince the enemy to surrender. They counted 66 VC bodies in the cave. Sadly two Marines died of oxygen starvation in the same cave. The SLF was off shore as the reserve. Casualties: US 2 KIA, 14 WIA; ARVN 5 KIA, 33 WIA; VC 183 KIA and 360 POWs.

The source for this information was Vietnam Battle Chronology P:4; USMC 1965 H P:85+

Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

Please send additions or corrections to: Gary Roush Email address: webmaster@vhpa.org

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Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023