Operation Lejeune

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Operation Lejeune
Part of Vietnam War
Date7-22 April 1967
LocationĐức Phổ District, Quảng Ngãi Province, South Vietnam
14°48′54″N 108°57′36″E / 14.815°N 108.96°E / 14.815; 108.96
Result US operational success
Belligerents
 United States Viet Cong
Commanders and leaders
MGen John J. Tolson
Lt. Col. Karhohs
Strength
2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
Casualties and losses
US body count: 176 killed
127 captured

Operation Lejeune was an operation conducted by the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Đức Phổ District, Quảng Ngãi Province, lasting from 7 to 22 April 1967.[1]

Background[edit]

The south of Quảng Ngãi Province formed the boundary between I Corps which was the responsibility of the III Marine Expeditionary Force and II Corps which was the responsibility of the U.S. Army. Đức Phổ District, located in the south of Quảng Ngãi Province had been under the control of the Viet Cong (VC) since the beginning of the war. On 28 January the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines began an operation in the Đức Phổ District, joined in late February by the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines and 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. By early March only the 3/7th Marines remained in Đức Phổ and it was needed further north in I Corps, on 6 April the 1st Cavalry Division was ordered to move a Battalion and then a Brigade into Đức Phổ to take over from the 3/7th Marines.[1]:130-1

The operation, code-named Lejeune after Marine General John A. Lejeune, first required the 11th Aviation Brigade at Landing Zone Two Bits to deploy the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment into Đức Phổ.[1]:131-2

Operation[edit]

The operation began at 09:30 on 7 April with the deployment of 2/5 Cavalry at Landing Zone Montezuma. Company B, 8th Engineer Battalion landed shortly afterwards and began to develop the landing zone into an airfield capable of accommodating C-7 Caribou aircraft. 29 CH-54 and 15 CH-47 sorties brought in the heavy equipment required for airfield construction.[1]:132

By 8 April the remainder of the 2nd Brigade had deployed to LZ Montezuma and Lt. Col. Karhohs assumed operational control.[1]:132

By 16:30 on 8 April the 1,500-foot (460 m) C-7 strip was operational and work was continuing on extending the strip to make it capable of handling C-123 aircraft.[1]:133 A 3-man team from the Pathfinder Platoon of the 11th General Support Aviation Company was soon handling over 1000 aircraft movements per day.[1]:133

To supplement the aerial resupply, an over the beach supply line was established on the nearby coast named Razor Back Beach with supplies being brought in by LSTs and LCMs.[1]:134

The VC generally avoided the US forces with only one major engagement on 16 April.[1]:134

Aftermath[edit]

Operation Lejeune officially concluded on 22 April. US forces claimed VC losses were 176 killed and 127 captured. 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division was relieved at the end of April by the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, part of the newly-activated Task Force Oregon.[1]:134[2]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Tolson, John (1973). Vietnam Studies: Airmobilty 1961–1971. Department of the Army. p. 132. ISBN 9781494721848. 
  2. ^ MacGarrigle, George (1998). Combat Operations: Taking the Offensive, October 1966 to October 1967. Government Printing Office. p. 213. ISBN 9780160495403.