operation report information
for BLT 2/7
USS TRIPOLI

For date 681120


BLT 2/7 was a US Marine Corps unit
USS TRIPOLI was a US Navy unit
Primary service involved, US Marine Corps
Operation MEADE RIVER
Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Dodge City area
Description: I was with BLT2/7. I originally was in H&S Co 2/7 and the day before Operation Meade River they put me in Hotel 2/7, 2nd platoon. We were choppered in from the USS Tripoli about 0600 and landed in an area called "Ambush Road." There were power lines and the chopper I was on hit one of them and crashed. We then went to the side of the road and watched as an artillery barrage came in and lasted until approximately 1100. I was on point and we had a cisco kid scout and a dog with us. We were walking through a paddy towards a vill when the dog started going nuts. I called back to the LT and said we have Victor Charlie here. He responded that G2 said it was cleared. We then reconed the vill by fire and continued forward. At approximately 1200 I was standing on a hill near a bombed out hooch when all hell broke loose. We were in a major fire-fight for the next four hours and were pinned down. I was wounded at 1730 hours and I knew we were taking heavy casualties. I caught an AK47 through the bladder and came out my rectum. As my fellow marines tried to save me we were hit with a Chi Com grenade. I knew we were close to them. I lay there for approximately another four hours without morphine when I heard the sound of a Chinook (believed to be a USMC CH-46) coming in. They guided him with what looked like a hand held strobe light. As he came in he took tremendous small arms fire and crashed. At that point I lost all hope of getting out of that paddy alive. To my surprise about 15 minutes later I heard another Chinook coming in. This time he made it and we came under another barrage of small arms fire He stayed on the ground until most of the severely wounded were on board and (with 50 caliber's blasting) he medevaced us to Da Nang. I then spent the next year in Bethesda Naval Hospital and was discharged at Henderson hall headquarters Marine corps, Arlington VA. If it had not been for the gallantry of my fellow Marines and that chopper pilot I would not be here telling this story. To them I will always be eternally grateful. Submitted to the VHPA website by Cpl. Russ Artuso 2207600, BLT 2/7 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade.

The source for this information was Personnel input from USMC CPL Artuso


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 12/26/1999

Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021