joint operation JAY/LAM SON 284 information

From date 660625 to 660702

3 MARINE DIV was a US Marine Corps unit
Operation JAY
Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam
Description: The objective of operations JAY and LAM SON 284 was to do battle with the NVA 806th and 812th battalions of the 6th NVA Regiment that had recently moved into the Quang Dien District of Thua Thien Province, between Highway 1 and the South China Sea about 13 miles north of Hue. It terminates on 2 July 1966.

Memories do fade fast from ages 18 to 63. I was an FMF Corpsman with I Co. 3rd Bn 4th Marines. Our unit had been sweeping along the Northeast coast above Hue for a few days, allegedly to interdict VC transporting two CH-46 POW pilots North to the DMZ. We were succesful in one night ambush. Aircraft and flair ships were over some beach villages, taking in and giving it out for long periods of the night. It was the first time I had seen one of the new revolving cannon in action. That should have been the 27-28th. We patroled those villages through th 28th. The night we sat in the dunes between the villes and Highway 1..

On the morning of 6-29-66 we were loaded up and heading South to Da Nang via Phu Bai. About five klicks North of Hue, a convoy of RVN Marines went by us North. It could have not been five minutes that we stopped at First Hue checkpoint on Highway 1. Almost concurrently, the sounds of small arms, mortar and recoil-less fire was heard to the North. I do remember a convoy of ARVN, half dismounted and seeming to walk in circles. It did take a bit to turn our unit around and pull canvas. In that amount of time the ARVN convoy could have been to scene of the firefight.

I am certain that I CO and K CO started out first followed by H CO and HQ CO. following up (For the record, Lima CO, was assigned to security on the South Phu Bai approach). We got there, but the firefight had trailed off. Still in the truck the view appeared to look like 'Custer's Last Stand'

We went in pursuit for a few km until the South flankers made contact with two VC (NOT NVA). One was killed and the other set a grenade off as marines and myself approached to give medical aid. Recovered were three small arms and a breech block to a recoiless rifle.

Our unit was relieved shortly thereafter.

Notes: I have often wondered about the enemy letting US Marines go by and waiting for RVN marines going north. The spider hole construction and the 'classic' road ambush was not hasty. This particular anbush was well planned and effective.

I hope that this statement has added a few additional details of the incident. I will, certainly be at your service in my recollection of this ambush.

My first observations were of burning trucks, especially fore and aft.

From: George 'Doc' Nottoli

The source for this information was Rand, USMC H 1966, P 150

Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

Please send additions or corrections to: Gary Roush Email address:

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021