Company H

2d Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment

Vietnam

1966 - 1970


DaNang (3dMarDiv)

1. Camp Connor -- TuyLoan Marketplace --"Booby-Trap Alley"
  
2dBn 26thMarines replaced 3dBn 3dMarines on positions 10 miles Southwest of DaNang.  Viet Cong activity had been strong in the area, as they attempted to infiltrate and launch rocket attacks against the airbase.  Companies E, F and G manned defensive positions on hills to the South of TuyLoan.  Co. H served as a "mobile force," and was located with the Bn CP at Camp Connor.
   Co. H's initial operations took place South and East of TuyLoan.  In our first Company operation, a Navy Corpsmen demonstrated bravery and skill that would become commonplace.  He pulled a Marine with heatstroke into a river and resuscitated him while bullets were passing overhead.  The Marine lived: I think our Corpsman was the first 2/26'er to be decorated in action. 
   Here also, were the infamous hamlets of Doung Lam, Bo Ban and La Chau with their "booby-traps."  It was here -- while carrying out the Bn's first Combat OpOrder -- that we lost PFC Michael Gordon Tandy to a landmine.
   TuyLoan?  It's the place where we became friends with CAC Marines, and the PFs.   It's the place, perhaps beginning with PFC Jack R Roe, where we saw too many good friends get hurt.  It's the place where we learned that life is precious, and that the next step may be our last.  And, it's the place where we experienced the frustration of knowing that one step didn't guarantee the next!

2. RoughRider Convoy -- DongHa and the DMZ
  
By the third week of September, things were heating up in the DMZ.   Co. H was tasked to protect a RoughRider Convoy that carried supplies and equipment from DaNang to DongHa in support of Operation Prairie.  The convoy was over 100 trucks, stretching for miles.   We were responsible to move them, safely, thru "Indian Country."  Here we saw the support of our Navy/Marine Corps team -- wreckers and bridging equipment on-board; artillery cover from firebases along the route; a Navy destroyer offshore; aerial observers, gunships and fixed wing aircraft on-station overhead, and a supporting Rifle Company and helicopter squadron ready to lend a hand, if needed.
   Our trip was peaceful: a good chance to practice map reading skills and see beautiful scenery along the way -- PhuBai, Hue, QuangTri and DongHa.  We were at DongHa when chopper squadrons lived in pup-tents and refueled from 55-gal drums.  We were there before the runway, when C-130's landed on a clay strip.  But we were also there to see the forklift trucks loading "body bags" aboard the tailgate of a C-130.  Each of us grew a little older that day, and we knew that, for the Marines who fought in the DMZ, the Vietnam War was different.   Only later would we fully understand, "How different."

3. LeMy -- NamO Bridge -- The Good Life.
  
Shortly after our return from DongHa, the Battalion moved to DaNang's Northern sector.  This time, all Rifle Companies took up positions on the perimeter.  In Company H:
   -3dPlatoon (with a section of Co.H's guns, rockets & mortars, and a section of AmTracs attached) was tasked to defend NamO bridge.  NamO was a five-span steel structure that crossed the Song Ca De between the airfield and Hai Van Pass. It was an important supply route to the North, and a much threatened target of the Viet Cong.
   -2dPlatoon, WpnsPlatoon(-), and the Co.H Command Post (reinforced with 81mm Mortars and a section of Tanks) were on a Hill position, 1-1/2 to 2 miles upstream of the bridge, overlooking the Village of LeMy and the entrance to "Elephant Valley."
   -1stPlatoon (with a section of Co.H's guns, rockets & mortars, and a section of Ontos attached) was located on a Hill just Northeast of the Rte.540 & Rte.545 road junction (about 1-1/2 miles South of LeMy).  1stPlt also maintained a Squad(Reinf) position on a Hill about halfway between Company H and the 1stPlt CP.
   Though we had our share of special tasks --protecting radio-relay teams on the mountaintops, and being the "SparrowHawk" to help downed helicopter crews-- "Life was good!"  The Villagers were anti-VC and strongly supported our efforts.  In contrast to BoBan-LaChau, there was not much of a booby-trap problem.  And, despite the night after night patrols, ambushes and perimeter security watches -- we had a nice warm bunker to come home to.  These days, when folks say that "I don't need much sleep," I should smile-- How little they know!

   I was about to write home and say that I liked this place, but the Skipper said "Saddle Up!" -- we were on our way to earning the title, "Nomads."


TuyLoan.  Along the bottom row, find the N-S road that splits "Khuon" &"My(1)."
TuyLoan Marketplace: South bank as road crosses river at top of the bottom grid.
BoBan-LaChau: All the area between the road & the river on the East, esp. "My(1)".
Camp Connor: Northeast of Tuy Loan where roads fork in leading to DaNang.
NamO Bridge: Top row, 2d grid from left. Co.H CP south of river at LeMy (shown as Ap Quan Nam).

Click on Map to enlarge.
 27 AUG 1966 -
11 OCT 1966

 Memories to Share
TuyLoan

 
RoughRider

 
Hill 190

 
 Command Chronology

Updated: 18 Oct 2000
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 Resource Center 

                           Camp Connor -- TuyLoan MarketPlace -- Booby-Trap Alley
OpOrder
5-66
 
TuyLoan
Map
1:50,000
 

                           RoughRider Convoy -- DaNang to DongHa & Camp Carroll
Sketch Map
RoughRider Convoy
 

                           LeMy (Hill 190) - NamO Bridge
  LeMy: towards NamO Bridge    LeMy: towards DaNang AirField 

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