operation MEADE RIVER information

From date 681120 to 681209

1 MARINES was a US Marine Corps unit
Primary service involved, US Marine Corps
Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Dodge City area
Description: The 1st Marine Division planned MEADE RIVER to support the Le Loi or "accelerated pacification campaign" since 141 of its targeted hamlets were in I Corps. The 1st Marines conducted this cordon and search operation which was the largest "County Fair" operation up to that time. Rather than surround and search single hamlets or villages, the division planned a cordon around 36 square kilometers in the Dodge City area, south of Da Nang. Intelligence estimated that the enemy forces in Dodge City numbered between 100 and 150 VC infrastructure and could include up to 900 NVA and VC regular forces that consisted mainly of the 1/36 NVA Regiment. Over seven Marine battalions (1/1st, 2/5th, 3/5th, 1/7th, BLT 2/7th, BLT 2/26th, and 3/26th Marines) would be involved. Near the end, SWIFT MOVE was combined with MEADE RIVER. Casualties: US 107 KIA, 385 WIA; enemy 841 KIA, 182 POW. Page 425 of the 1968 USMC official history contains a good map of the MEADE RIVER AO.

Bravo Company 1st Battalion 5th Marines was also part of the operation. This company was temporary assigned to 2/5 or 3/5 but they were part of it. I was assigned to B-1/5 for this operation. I was in the 3rd wave of Marines aboard the choppers and took fire coming down. It was my understanding that 3 Marines in our chopper were hit. I know 2 were because one was on the bench opposite me, and then I saw the machine gunner on the starboard side take a hit. I thought I heard the co-pilot got hit, but that's unconfirmed.

I was a TAC (Tactical Air Control) supporting B-1/5 (Cpl. Steve Morris).

By the way, B-1/5 was the only unit of Thanksgiving Day that did not get Turkey, dressing, Gravy. Choppers brought out this meal to all the 2/5 and 3/5 units. Bummer at the time. Amazing what we remember.

From: Steve Morris

The source for this information was Chron P:83; 1968 USMC History P:425+

Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

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

Return to panel index

Return to Helicopter Pilot KIA index

Return to VHPA Home Page

Copyright © 1998 - 2021 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association

Last updated 10/24/2014

Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021