operation report information
1/9 MARINES was a US Marine Corps unit
for 1/9 MARINES
For date 670702
Primary service involved, US Marine Corps
Quang Tri Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Con Thien
Description: The 1/9th Marines had been headquarters at Con Thien since about 20 June. They occupied two of the three small hills that made up Con Thien, the two that sat side by side east to west with a low saddle between them. A detachment of Green Berets and their Nungs occupied the third knob directly south of the eastern of the two northern hills. The Marines had so little faith in the Nung's loyalties and abilities that they erected a barbed-wire barrier between their positions. More coils of concertina ran all around the three hills and a ring two hundred meters wide had been cleared by bulldozing around the perimeter. There were mines and phougas as well as seismic devices and ground radar that increased the defenses.
The two-hill front required only two rifle companies to defend. By 1967 the NVA constant rocket, artillery and mortar fire made it so that the Marine battalions could not have their other two companies based on Con Thien without creating targets of opportunity. Any infantry units larger than two companies would be on patrol outside the perimeter. As part of BUFFALO, A/1/9th and B/1/9th were on patrol northwest of Con Thien.
While the Marines especially hated having to defend hard points, Con Thien was clearly visible from the 9th Marines HQ on the high ground at Dong Ha ten miles away. Although Con Thien was only 160 meters high, its tenants had dominant observation over the entire area. Visitors to Con Thien could look back at the vast logistics complex of Dong Ha and know exactly why it had to be defended.
The source for this information was Op BUFFALO by Nolan P:55
Additional information is available on CD-ROM.
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