Friday, March 06, 2015
March 1-8, 1965: US sending Marines to South Vietnam
Retrieved March 6, 2015 from This Day in History on the History.com website: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-is-sending-marines-to-south-vietnam?et_cid=72414715&et_rid=704749232&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.history.com%2fthis-day-in-history%2fu-s-is-sending-marines-to-south-vietnam
Article Details: U.S. IS SENDING MARINES TO SOUTH VIETNAM
Author History.com Staff Website Name History.com Year Published 2009
Title U.S. is sending Marines to South Vietnam URL http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-is-sending-marines-to-south-vietnam Access Date March 06, 2015 Publisher A+E Networks
According to March 6, 2015 article, “US sending Marines to South Vietnam,” in the “This Day in History” series on the History.com website; on this day, “The White House confirms reports that, at the request of South Vietnam, the United States is sending two battalions of U.S. Marines for security work at the Da Nang air base, which will hopefully free South Vietnamese troops for combat.
“On March 1, Ambassador Maxwell Taylor informed South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat that the United States was preparing to send 3,500 U.S. Marines to Vietnam.
“Three days later, a formal request was submitted by the U.S. Embassy, asking the South Vietnamese government to “invite” the United States to send the Marines. Premier Quat, a mere figurehead, had to obtain approval from the real power, Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, chief of the Armed Forces Council.
“Thieu approved, but asked that the Marines be “brought ashore in the most inconspicuous way feasible.”
“The Marines began landing near Da Nang on March 8,” 1965.
It did not take long before it was apparent that the Marines were not going to stay confined to “for security work at the Da Nang air base, which will hopefully free South Vietnamese troops for combat.”
And by November 1965 it was painfully apparent we were in over our heads and really did not know what we doing. In the middle of the 34-day Ia Drang campaign, (Operation Silver Bayonet, Pleiku Campaign 1965) from November 14-18, 1965, elements of the 5th and 7th U.S. Calvary Regiment went deep into enemy territory in the Ia Drang Valley and met up with units of the North Vietnamese 33rd and 66th Regiments essentially commanded by the renown Lt. Colonel Nguyễn An that had just arrived off the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Nguyễn, a favorite battle commander of North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, had been fighting since September 1945 in the First Indochina War and was to go on to fight continuously through the end of the 2nd Indochina War in the 1975 ‘Spring Offensive,’ ‘Ho Chi Minh Campaign,’ and the final assault on Saigon which ended when he is reported, according to folklore, to have personally planted the North Vietnamese battle flag on the top of Independence Palace at 11:30 a.m. on April 30, 1975.
Up until November 1965 about 1,100 American military personnel had died in Vietnam. By the end of that November another 545 were killed. 305 from the Ia Drang campaign alone…
I think that this is where I will leave it for now. I think that I will work on this and develop it into a future column for my Eagle Archives series in the Baltimore Sun - http://www.baltimoresun.com/search/dispatcher.front?Query=Kevin+Dayhoff&target=all.
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