23rd Infantry Division (United States)
The 23rd Infantry Division and more known as, the Americal Division, of the United States Army was activated 27 May 1942 on the island of New Caledonia. In the immediate emergency following Pearl Harbor, the United States had hurriedly sent three individual regiments to defend New Caledonia against a feared Japanese attack; this division was the only division formed outside of United States territory during World War II. At the suggestion of a subordinate, the division's commander, Major General Alexander Patch, requested that the new unit be known as the Americal Division—the name being a contraction of "American, New Caledonian Division"; this was unusual, as most U. S. divisions are known by a number. After World War II the Americal Division was re-designated as the 23rd Infantry Division. However, it was referred to as such on official orders. During the Vietnam War the division had a mixed record, it combined solid service in numerous battles and campaigns with the My Lai massacre, committed by a platoon of the division's subordinate 11th Infantry Brigade, led by Lieutenant William Calley.
The Division had another setback on the early morning of 28 March 1971, Vietcong sapper commandos sneaked into FSB Mary Ann, proceeded to throw explosives and tear gas, knife sleeping soldiers and blowing up key infrastructure delaying rescue. This attack caused 116 casualties leaving 83 wounded; the division was inactivated following its withdrawal from Vietnam in November 1971. The 164th Infantry Regiment of the Americal Division went into action on Guadalcanal on 13 October 1942 alongside the 1st Marine Division as the first United States Army unit to conduct an offensive operation against the enemy in either the Pacific or European Theater of Operations during World War II. Eight other U. S. Army divisions began offensive combat operations in late 1942: the 32nd and the 41st Infantry Divisions in the Pacific on New Guinea; as the "square" divisions of the National Guard were being transitioned to the triangular division TO&E in 1942, they each "shed" an infantry regiment, leaving several trained and operational "orphan" regiments available for independent service.
The "line" regiments selected to form the Americal Division were the 132nd Infantry Regiment from Illinois part of the 33rd Infantry Division, the 164th Infantry Regiment from North Dakota part of the 34th Infantry Division, the 182nd Infantry Regiment from Massachusetts part of the 26th Infantry Division. New Caledonia, a target for the Japanese for its critical strategic position on the lines of communication with New Zealand and Australia and its nickel and chromium mines, was now under the control of the Free French with a poorly equipped and trained native force and a company of Australian commandos; the United States Army was building airfields with Australian labor on the island which according to early agreements fell into the British sphere and delegated to the Australians for defense. The French objected to the arrangement and worried about Japanese invasion being attracted by the airfield, demanded additional American forces. With pressing needs to build up defenses in Hawaii and Australia, Army planners decided to put together a force rather than commit an organized division.
The regiments available through the reorganization of divisions along with other elements made available a force of about 15,000 men. This force, designated Task Force 6184 and mentioned as Poppy Force, under Brigadier General Alexander M. Patch, Jr. had the elements of a division and more in its composition. For example, there was a brigade headquarters from the 26th Division, two infantry regiments and a field artillery regiment along with support elements augmented by a battalion of light tanks and coast artillery regiments and a pursuit squadron; the force's mission was to hold New Caledonia. It was an independent command, directly under the War Department in Washington. Within two weeks, despite an urgent need of shipping elsewhere and at the cost of delaying and rearranging schedules elsewhere and consultations at the head of state level, Task Force 6184 along with some 4,000 troops destined for Australia were assembled in the largest single troop convoy up until that time, designated BT-200 and totaling over 20,000 troops aboard seven transports.
The convoy sailed from the New York Port of Embarkation on 23 January 1942 and reached Melbourne on 26 February. This large and critical convoy was covered by a striking group and long range air between its intended position and Japanese forces arranged by Admiral King with Admiral Nimitz. Despite some desire locally to use the force to reinforce Australia or the Netherlands East Indies, under direct orders from Washington the force moved secretly, not informing the French, to New Caledonia. Transshipment of troops and equipment was completed in Melbourne and the seven transports departed on 7 March for New Caledonia as convoy ZK-7, arriving six days later. General Patch, preceding the force by air, had arrived on 5 March with news for the French that American forces were underway. Despite having no early prospect of reinforcements, another infantry regiment arrived in April, along with the authority to organize an infantry division from elements of the overall force and, in May, the Americal Division was organized.
On 14 March 1942, two days after the task force to be known as the Americal Division landed in Nouméa, New Caledonia, the 182nd Infantry was detailed to provide a speci
Fall of Saigon
The Fall of Saigon, or the Liberation of Saigon, was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong on 30 April 1975. The event marked the end of the Vietnam War and the start of a transition period to the formal reunification of Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the PAVN, under the command of General Văn Tiến Dũng, began their final attack on Saigon on April 29, 1975, with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam forces commanded by General Nguyễn Văn Toàn suffering a heavy artillery bombardment. This bombardment at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport killed the last two American servicemen killed in combat in Vietnam, Charles McMahon and Darwin Judge. By the afternoon of the next day, the PAVN had occupied the important points of the city and raised their flag over the South Vietnamese presidential palace; the city was renamed Hồ Chí Minh City, after the late North Vietnamese President Hồ Chí Minh. The capture of the city was preceded by Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of all the American civilian and military personnel in Saigon, along with tens of thousands of South Vietnamese civilians, associated with the southern regime.
The evacuation was the largest helicopter evacuation in history. In addition to the flight of refugees, the end of the war and the institution of new rules by the communists contributed to a decline in the city's population. Various names have been applied to these events; the Vietnamese government calls it the "Day of liberating the South for national reunification" or "Liberation Day", but the term "Fall of Saigon" is used in Western accounts. It is called the "Ngày mất nước", "Tháng Tư Đen", "National Day of Shame" or "National Day of Resentment". by many Overseas Vietnamese who were refugees from communism. The rapidity with which the South Vietnamese position collapsed in 1975 was surprising to most American and South Vietnamese observers, to the North Vietnamese and their allies as well. For instance, a memo prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and U. S. Army Intelligence and published on March 5 indicated that South Vietnam could hold out through the current dry season—i.e. At least until 1976.
These predictions proved to be grievously in error. As that memo was being released, General Dũng was preparing a major offensive in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, which began on 10 March and led to the capture of Buôn Ma Thuột; the ARVN began a disorderly and costly retreat, hoping to redeploy its forces and hold the southern part of South Vietnam an enclave south of the 13th parallel. Supported by artillery and armor, the PAVN continued to march towards Saigon, capturing the major cities of northern South Vietnam at the end of March—Huế on the 25th and Đà Nẵng on the 28th. Along the way, disorderly South Vietnamese retreats and the flight of refugees—there were more than 300,000 in Đà Nẵng—damaged South Vietnamese prospects for a turnaround. After the loss of Đà Nẵng, those prospects had been dismissed as nonexistent by American CIA officers in Vietnam, who believed that nothing short of B-52 strikes against Hanoi could stop the North Vietnamese. By April 8, the North Vietnamese Politburo, which in March had recommended caution to Dũng, cabled him to demand "unremitting vigor in the attack all the way to the heart of Saigon."
On April 14, they renamed the campaign the "Hồ Chí Minh campaign", after revolutionary leader Hồ Chí Minh, in hopes of wrapping it up before his birthday on May 19. Meanwhile, South Vietnam failed to garner any significant increase in military aid from the United States, snuffing out President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu’s hopes for renewed American support. On April 9, PAVN forces reached Xuân Lộc, the last line of defense before Saigon, where the ARVN 18th Division made a last stand and held the city through fierce fighting for 11 days; the PAVN overran Xuân Lộc on April 20 despite heavy losses, on April 21 President Thiệu resigned in a tearful televised announcement in which he denounced the United States for failing to come to the aid of the South. The North Vietnamese front line was now just 26 miles from downtown Saigon; the victory at Xuân Lộc, which had drawn many South Vietnamese troops away from the Mekong Delta area, opened the way for PAVN to encircle Saigon, they soon did so, moving 100,000 troops in position around the city by April 27.
With the ARVN having few defenders, the fate of the city was sealed. The ARVN III Corps commander, General Toàn, had organized five centers of resistance to defend the city; these fronts were so connected as to form an arc enveloping the entire area west and east of the capital. The Cu Chi front, to the northwest, was defended by the 25th Division. South Vietnamese defensive forces around Saigon totaled 60,000 troops. However, as the exodus made it into Saigon, along with them were many ARVN soldiers, which swelled the "men under arms" in the city to over 250,000; these units were battered and leaderless, which threw the city into further anarchy. The rapid PAVN advances of March and early April led to increased concern in Saigon that the city, peaceful throughout the war and wh
The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
II Corps (South Vietnam)
The II Corps was a corps of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the army of the nation state of South Vietnam that existed from 1955 to 1975. It was one of four corps in the ARVN, it oversaw the region of the central highlands region, north of the capital Saigon, its corps headquarters was in the mountain town of Pleiku. One notable ARVN unit of II Corps, the 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron, earned the Presidential Unit Citation; the 21st Tank Regiment was formed at Pleiku in 1972. The objective of the North Vietnamese forces during the third phase of the Nguyen Hue Offensive was to seize the cities of Kon Tum and Pleiku, thereby overrunning the Central Highlands; this would open the possibility of proceeding east to the coastal plains, splitting South Vietnam in two. The highlands offensive was preceded by NLF diversionary operations that opened on 5 April in coastal Bình Định Province, which aimed at closing Highway 1, seizing several ARVN firebases, diverting South Vietnamese forces from operations further west.
The North Vietnamese were under the command of Lieutenant General Hoang Minh Thao, commander of the B-3 Front. The Front included the 320th and 2nd PAVN Divisions in the highlands and the 3rd PAVN Division in the lowlands – 50,000 men. Arrayed against them in II Corps were the South Vietnamese 22nd and 23rd Divisions, two armored cavalry squadrons, the 2nd Airborne Brigade, all under the command of Lieutenant General Ngo Du, it had become evident as early as January that the North Vietnamese were building up for offensive operations in the tri-border region and numerous B-52 strikes had been conducted in the area in hopes of slowing the build-up. ARVN forces had been deployed forward toward the border in order to slow the PAVN advance and allow the application of airpower to deplete North Vietnamese manpower and logistics; the Bình Định offensive, threw General Du into a panic and convinced him to fall for the North Vietnamese ploy and divert his forces from the highlands. Tucker, Spencer C..
Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. Pp. 526–533. ISBN 1-57607-040-9
A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags, uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible. In European military tradition, military units may be acknowledged for their achievements in specific wars or operations of a military campaign. In Great Britain and those countries of the Commonwealth which share a common military legacy with the British, battle honours are awarded to selected military units as official acknowledgement for their achievements in specific wars or operations of a military campaign; these honours take the form of a place and a date. Theatre honours, a type of recognition in the British tradition allied to battle honours, were introduced to honour units which provided sterling service in a campaign but were not part of specific battles for which separate battle honours were awarded. Theatre honours could be listed and displayed on regimental property but not emblazoned on the colours.
Since battle honours are emblazoned on colours, artillery units, which do not have colours in the British military tradition, were awarded honour titles instead. These honour titles were permitted to be used as part of their official nomenclature, for example 13 Field Regiment. Similar honours in the same tenor include unit citations. Battle honours, theatre honours, honour titles and their ilk form a part of the wider variety of distinctions which serve to distinguish military units from each other. For the British Army, the need to adopt a system to recognise military units' battlefield accomplishments was apparent since its formation as a standing army in the part of the 17th century. Although the granting of battle honours had been in place at the time, it was not until 1784 that infantry units were authorised to bear battle honours on their colours. Before a regiment's colours were practical tools for rallying troops in the battlefield and not quite something for displaying the unit's past distinctions.
The first battle honour to be awarded in the British Army was granted to the 15th Hussars for the Battle of Emsdorf in 1760. Thereafter, other regiments received battle honours for some of their previous engagements; the earliest battle honour in the British Army is Tangier 1662–80, granted to the Tangier Horse, the oldest line cavalry regiment of the British army, who in 1969 amalgamated with the Royal Horse Guards to become The Blues and Royals. Awarded the honour was the 2nd Regiment of Foot, or the Tangier Regiment now The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, the senior English regiment in the Union, for their protracted 23-year defence of the Colony of Tangier; the battle honour is still held by the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. During these early years of the British standing army, a regiment needed only to engage the enemy with musketry before it was eligible for a battle honour. However, older battle honours are carried on the standards of the Yeomen of the Guard and the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, neither of which are part of the army, but are instead the Sovereign's Bodyguard, in the personal service of the sovereign.
The need to develop a centralised system to oversee the selection and granting of battle honours arose in the 19th century following the increase of British military engagements during the expansion of the Empire. Thus in 1882, a committee was formed to adjudicate applications of battle honour claims; this committee called the Battles Nomenclature Committee, still maintains its function in the British Army today. A battle honour may be granted to infantry/cavalry regiments or battalions, as well as ships and squadrons. Battle honours are presented in the form of a name of a country, region, or city where the unit's distinguished act took place together with the year when it occurred. Not every battle fought will automatically result in the granting of a battle honour. Conversely, a regiment or a battalion might obtain more than one battle honour over the course of a larger operation. For example, the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards were awarded two battle honours for their role in the Falklands War.
While in Korea, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry earned both "Kapyong" and "Korea 1951–1953". A unit does not have to defeat their adversary to earn a battle honour: the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps received the battle honour "Hong Kong" despite the defeat and capture of most of the force during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, while the cruiser HMAS Sydney was awarded the naval engagement honour "Kormoran 1941" after being sunk with all aboard by the German raider Kormoran. Supporting corps/branches such as medical, ordnance, or transport do not receive battle honours; however and uniquely the Royal Logistic Corps has five battle honours inherited from its previous transport elements, such as the Royal Waggon Train. Commonwealth artillery does not maintain battle honours as they carry neither colours nor guidons—though their guns by tradition are afforded many of the same respects and courtesies. However, both the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers were in 1832 granted by King William IV the right to use the Latin "Ubique", meaning everywhere, as a battle honour.
This is worn on the cap badge of both the Corps of Royal Enginee
1st Marine Division (United States)
The 1st Marine Division is a Marine infantry division of the United States Marine Corps headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. It is the ground combat element of the I Marine Expeditionary Force, it is the oldest and largest active duty division in the United States Marine Corps, representing a combat-ready force of more than 19,000 men and women. It is one of three active duty divisions in the Marine Corps today and is a multi-role, expeditionary ground combat force, it is nicknamed "The Old Breed". The division is employed as the ground combat element of the I Marine Expeditionary Force or may provide task-organized forces for assault operations and such operations as may be directed; the 1st Marine Division must be able to provide the ground amphibious forcible entry capability to the naval expeditionary force and to conduct subsequent land operations in any operational environment. The 1st Marine Division is organized around four regiments and several Battalions which includes the following: Headquarters Battalion 1st Marine Regiment 5th Marine Regiment 7th Marine Regiment 11th Marine Regiment 1st Tank Battalion 1st Reconnaissance Battalion 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion 1st Combat Engineer Battalion 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion The lineal forebear of the 1st Marine Division is the 1st Advance Base Brigade, activated on 23 December 1913 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania..
The brigade consisted of the Fixed Defense Regiment and the Mobile Defense Regiment designated as the 1st and 2nd Regiments, 1st Brigade, respectively. In 1916, while deployed in Haiti, the two regiments were again redesignated, exchanging numerals, to become the 2nd and 1st Regiments, 1st Brigade. Between April 1914 and August 1934, elements of the 1st Brigade participated in operations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, receiving campaign credit for service in each nation. While the 1st Brigade did not serve ashore in the European theater during the First World War, the brigade was awarded the World War I Victory Medal Streamer, with one bronze star, in recognition of the brigade's service during that conflict. On 16 September 1935, the brigade was redesignated as the 1st Marine Brigade and deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in October 1940; the 1st Marine Division was activated aboard the USS Texas on 1 February 1941. In May 1941, the 1st MARDIV relocated to Quantico and Parris Island, South Carolina and in April 1942, the division began deploying to Samoa and Wellington, New Zealand.
The division's units were scattered over the Pacific with the support elements and the 1st Marine Regiment transported en route to New Zealand on three ships, the USATs Ericsson and Elliott from Naval Reserve Air Base Oakland to New Zealand, were landed on the island of Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands, on 7 August 1942. Only the 7th Marine Regiment was in garrison on British Samoa, with the 5th Marine Regiment having just encamped at Wellington, New Zealand after disembarking from USAT Wakefield, the 1st Marine Regiment not scheduled to arrive in New Zealand until 11 July; the 1st Raider Battalion was on New Caledonia, the 3rd Defense Battalion was in Pearl Harbor. All of the division's units, with the 11th Marines and 75mm howitzer armed 10th Marines battalion would rendezvous at Fiji. Due to the change in orders and shortage of attack and combat cargo vessels, all of the division's 2.5 ton trucks, M1918 155-mm howitzers and the sound and flash-ranging equipment needed for counter-battery fire had to be left in Wellington.
Because the Wellington dock workers were on strike at the time, the Marines had to do all the load reconfiguration from administrative to combat configuration. After 11 days of logistical challenges, the division, with 16,000 Marines, departed Wellington in eighty-nine ships embarked for the Solomon Islands with a 60-day combat load which did not include tents, spare clothing or bed rolls, office equipment, unit muster rolls or pay clerks. Other things not yet available to this first wave of Marine deployments were insect repellent and mosquito netting. Attached to the division was the 1st Parachute Battalion, which along with the rest of the division, conducted landing rehearsals from 28 to 30 July on Koro Island, which Major General Alexander Vandegrift described as a "disaster". On 31 July the entire Marine task force was placed under the command of Vice Admiral Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61; the division as a whole would fight in the Guadalcanal Campaign until relieved at 1400 on 9 December 1942 by Alexander Patch's Americal Division.
This operation won the Division its first of three World War II Presidential Unit Citations. The battle would cost the division 650 killed in action, 1,278 wounded in action with a further 8,580 contracting malaria and 31 missing in action. Others were awarded for the battles of Okinawa. Following the Guadalcanal Campaign, the division's Marines were sent to Melbourne, Australia for rest and refit, it was during this time that the division took the traditional Australian folk song "Waltzing Matilda" as its battle hymn. To this day, 1st Division Marines still ship out to this song being played; the division would next see action during Operation Cartwheel, the codename for the campaigns in Eastern New Guinea and New Britain. They came ashore at the Battle of Cape Gloucester on 26 December 1943 and fought on New Britain until March 1944 at such places as Suicide Creek and Ajar Ridge. During the course of the battle the division had 310 killed and 1,08
9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States)
The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade was a United States Marine Corps unit. 5th Tank Battalion, 5th Marine Division deployed with 9th MEB assigned to 1st Marine Division as a reinforcement Battalion. Following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in August 1964, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade was activated by United States Pacific Command under Admiral Ulysses S. Grant Sharp; the 3rd Marine Division Assistant Commander and Medal of Honor recipient, Brigadier general Raymond G. Davis, was appointed its first commander, it consisted of three battalion landing teams. 6,000 men were transformed into an effective force in readiness. When the Gulf of Tonkin crisis faded, one BLT was sent to Okinawa, another to the Philippines and a third one was served afloat as Special Landing Force of the Seventh Fleet under Admiral Roy L. Johnson; the skeleton headquarters of the brigade under Brigadier general Davis remained at U. S. Naval Base Subic Bay for case of emergency and Brigadier general John P. Coursey relieved Davis on October 16, 1964.
Meanwhile the situation in South Vietnam became critical, when Viet Cong forces defeated at Binh Gia at the beginning of January 1965. They have virtualy destroyed three battalions of South Vietnamese troops and it became obvious that this is the beginning of an intensive military challenge which the South Vietnamese government could not meet with its own resources. Brigadier general Frederick J. Karch assumed command of the brigade on January 22, 1965 and 1st and 3rd Battalions of 9th Marines took part in the amphibious landing exercise. On 7 February 1965, the Viet Cong attacked the U. S. Compound at Pleiku Air Base and killed 9 Americans, wounding 128 others and damaging or destroying 122 aircraft. President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the deployment of 9th MEB to Da Nang by the end of February 1965 with the mission of protecting the Da Nang Air Base from enemy incursion. After initial delay because of negotiations with South Vietnamese government, Karch led his brigade ashore on March 7, 1965 on Nam O Beach.
The 9th MEB was subsequently reinforces by the last battalion of 9th Marines. The President Johnson permitted a change of mission for the 9th MEB which would allow the use of Marines "in active combat under conditions to be established and approved by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Secretary of State." The Brigade absorbed the Marine Aircraft Group 16 and conducted defense duty at Da Nang for next two months. However with the increasing number of Marine forces in South Vietnam, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade was deactivated on May 6, 1965 and reorganized as the III Marine Amphibious Force under Major general William R. Collins; the unit was reactivated on March 1, 1966 as 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade on Okinawa, Japan with Colonel Herman Hansen Jr. as temporary commander. The brigade was designated Special Landing Force of the Seventh Fleet. Brigadier general William A. Stiles assumed command of the brigade. Colonel Hansen Jr. was appointed brigade's chief of staff. The Brigade was composed of Headquarters and the Headquarters Company, Regimental Landing Team 5, Battalion Landing Team 2/5 and Sub Unit Two, Headquarters&Service Company, 1st Service Battalion.
The Brigade received its air unit, Marine Aircraft Group 13 on April 15, 1966 and now was responsible for most Marine air and ground units in the Western Pacific outside of Vietnam. Brigadier general Michael P. Ryan relieved general Stiles as Commanding general on that date; the Regimental Landing Team 5 was relieved by newly organized 26th Marine Regiment and the 9th MAB participated in Operation Osage between April 27 and May 3, 1966. The 9th MAB was assigned to the mission of destroying a Viet Cong battalion and elements of a North Vietnamese Army regiment reported to be operating in the Thừa Thiên-Huế Province; the results were unconvincing despite the fact of killed eight enemy while suffering casualties of eight dead and nine wounded. The 9th MAB provided Battalion Landing Team of 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment for Operation Deckhouse IV on 15-18 September 1966; the 9th MAB's Marines killed over 200 NVA soldiers from 90th Regiment with the lost of 36 Marines. During the rest of the year, the 9th MAB and its units were stationed off the northern coast of South Vietnam in order to provide force for the defense of Vietnam Demilitarized Zone in case of emergency.
Brigadier general Louis Metzger assumed command of the 9th MAB on January 4, 1967 and led it during Operation Deckhouse V in Bến Tre Province few days later. The Battalion Landing Team 1/9, now assigned to the 9th MAB, took part in the operation, but due to forewarning, Viet Cong left the area before the attack; the units of 9th MAB lost 7 Marines. Following the partial success of Deckhouse V, III Marine Amphibious Force launched the Search and destroy operation Codename Desoto on January 27, 1967 against known Communist strongholds in the region; the 9th MAB launched the Operation Deckhouse VI on February 16th in order to disrupt enemy movement in the vicinity of Sa Huynh salt flats, search northward in the Nui Dat area, link up with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines operating around Nui Dat in Operation Desoto. The BLT 1/4 confirmed the presence of Viet Cong in the area, but enemy concentrated only on delaying and harassing tactics. BLT 1/4 destroyed 167 fortifications and capturing 20 tons of assorted supplies during the 32 days of Phase I of Operation Deckhouse VI.
Though there never were any major contacts, the BLT claimed 201 Viet Congs killed during this period. On February 27, Phase II of Deckhouse VI started, but there was only occasional contact with the enemy and intermittent sniper fire