Battle of Lo Giang

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Battle of Lo Giang was a battle during the Vietnam War. It took place from 8-9 February 1968, when the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN)'s 2nd Division attacked the Da Nang Air Base as part of the Tet Offensive. The attack was repelled by U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army units.

Background[edit]

On 7 February 1968, the 1st Marine Division commander MG Donn J. Robertson informed III Marine Amphibious Force commander LG Robert E. Cushman Jr. that the PAVN 2nd Division had evaded Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and Republic of Korea Marine Corps positions south of Da Nang and threatened 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines and 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines positions immediately south of Da Nang Air Base.

After sharing these concerns at a meeting that day with COMUSMACV General William Westmoreland, Westmoreland ordered 23rd Infantry Division commander MG Samuel W. Koster to make some of his battalions available to the Marines to bolster their defense. It was decided to deploy 2 battalions from the 23rd Division to support the 3/5 Marines near Cau Do on Highway 1. One battalion was to deploy immediately, with the other to deploy the next day. Both battalions would be under the operational control of the 1st Marine Division. On the afternoon of 7 February Marine helicopters deployed the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment into the hamlet of Duong Son (1) (15°58′52″N 108°11′24″E / 15.981°N 108.190°E / 15.981; 108.190) 2km south of Cau Do.[1]:160-2

Battle[edit]

At 03:45 on 8 February, the PAVN began mortaring the Combined Action Program (CAP) E-4 compound in the hamlet of Lo Giang (1) (16°00′00″N 108°12′07″E / 16.0°N 108.202°E / 16.0; 108.202), 4 kilometers northeast of Duong Son (1) and by daybreak had surrounded the hamlet. At 07:00, MG Robertson moved the 1/6th Infantry to Lo Giang (5) (16°00′29″N 108°13′01″E / 16.008°N 108.217°E / 16.008; 108.217), 1 km northeast of Lo Giang (1) where they were quickly engaged by another enemy force. MG Robertson then deployed the 2/3 Marines and 3/5 Marines to support the 1/6th Infantry and they were engaged in battle until late afternoon. Meanwhile, a 15-man Marine detachment attempted to move south from Hoa Vang (16°00′47″N 108°12′18″E / 16.013°N 108.205°E / 16.013; 108.205) to relieve Lo Giang (1), but all but 1 were killed. At 15:50, the CAP platoon in Lo Giang (1) was evacuated by Marine helicopters with gunship and air support. PAVN losses were over 150 killed.[1]:162

On the evening of 8 February, the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment was deployed and the Army task force named Task Force Miracle under the command of Col. Louis Gelling established its command near Duong Son. Col Gelling deployed the 2/1st Infantry in blocking positions south of Lo Giang (1).[1]:162

On the morning of 9 February the 2/1st Infantry attacked north, engaging a PAVN force in a 9 hour battle, later finding 46 PAVN bodies and taking one prisoner who revealed that he was from the 3rd Battalion, 31st Regiment, while the forces in Lo Giang (5) were from the Vietcong (VC) 1st Regiment. West of Lo Giang the 2/3 Marines engaged two companies from the 1st Regiment killing 90.[1]:163

Aftermath[edit]

Marine intelligence reported on 9 February that the PAVN 2nd Division was moving its headquarters back to its usual positions in the Go Noi Island area (15°51′04″N 108°11′10″E / 15.851°N 108.186°E / 15.851; 108.186). Task Force Miracle continued to patrol the Lo Giang area for 2 days, but on 11 February LG Cushman released control of Task Force Miracle back to the 23rd Infantry Division.[1]:163

U.S. Marine losses were 14 killed. Army losses were 18 killed, while claiming PAVN/VC losses were in excess of 286.[1]:163

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  1. ^ a b c d e f Shulimson, Jack; LtCol. Leonard Blasiol; Charles R. Smith; Capt. David A. Dawson (1997). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: 1968, the Defining Year. History and Museums Division, USMC. ISBN 0-16-049125-8. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.