US Marines in Vietnam
1965: The American ground war in South East Asia, to protect US air bases in South Vietnam, leads to what will become the longest war for U.S. Marines.
S01:E01 - Semper Fi
This is the story of how the US Marines became this country's policemen. It is also how the Corps became America's expert jungle fighters.
S01:E02 - The Marines Have Landed
The 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines wading ashore 10 miles west of Da Nang in March 1965 marked the beginning of the Corps commitment to the war in Vietnam. This is the story of why they were called in and their first actions against the Viet Cong. The Battalions initial orders read in part - to conduct security missions, reconnaissance operations, and offensive operations as directed. The Battalion's first assigned mission was defense of the Da Nang Airfield.
S01:E03 - In Country
Threatened by numerous attacks by enemy troops in the Cam Lo area, 8,500 Marines and 3,000 ARVN troops strike along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on July 7, 1966. The battle, known as Operation Hastings, lasted until August 3rd. The Marines pushed the NVA forces back across the DMZ. General Lew Walt, Commanding General, III Marine Amphibious Force, described the NVA troops encountered during Operation Hastings as follows: "We found them well-equipped, well-trained and aggressive to the point of fanaticism...
S01:E04 - Cherry
On May 9-10, 1967, seven men from Reconnaissance Team Breaker, Alpha Company, 3rd Marine Recon, ran into one tough fight on Hill 665 near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam.
S01:E05 - Marines With Wings
U.S. and ARVN forces conducted a series of operations along the Mekong River Delta. "Deckhouse Five" was notable in that it was a sizable amphibious operation; with both U.S. Marines and Vietnamese Marines, and it was the last Special Landing Force (SLF) amphibious landing to take place beyond the boundaries of I Corps. An SLF was the designation of the Marine battalion and medium helicopter squadron (HMM) assigned to the Seventh Fleet Amphibious Ready Group.
S01:E06 - Dustoff
Operation Union was a search and destroy mission in the Que Son Valley. Ordered to leave its base Foxtrot Company sweeps toward Binh Son, the nearest enemy-held village complex. The Marine Company was soon pinned down in a tree line near Binh Son, thereby fixing the NVA forces who were soon subjected to a withering air and artillery bombardment. This allowed Foxtrot Company to attack into Binh Son.
S01:E07 - NVA Moves South
"Operation Medina" was a search and destroy operation conducted in the fall of 1967 in the Hai Lang Forest Reserve where the NVA had established an operating base. In October, the Marines engaged the NVA forces and severely disrupted their operations.
S01:E08 - Snuffies
Hill 881 was one of the bloodiest battles of the war. During April-May 1967, two Marine battalions faced a large NVA force intent on destroying the Khe Sanh compound. The Marines stormed and took the hills overlooking Khe Sahn. Included are accounts by Dale Dye (whose films include Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers) who fought as a Marine in Vietnam.
S01:E09 - Hell in the Hills
U.S. forces began "Operation Meade River" on November 20, 1968. This engagement targeted an area 10 miles south of Da Nang called "Dodge City" by the troops because of its shoot-em-up characteristics. Intelligence had determined that remaining elements of the decimated VC Doc Lap Battalion, along with other under strength VC units and several hundred NVA (North Vietnamese Army) troops, were again massing in the area.
S01:E10 - First Battle of Saigon
The "First Battle of Saigon" was fought during the Tet Offensive launched in January 1968. The Vietcong launched 35 battalions at Saigon. The objective was not to take the entire city, which while a major force was not strong enough to take and control the entire city, but rather concentrated on six main targets in the city: The ARVN Joint General Staff compound, the Independence Palace, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Naval Headquarters, the National Radio Station and the U.S. Embassy.
S01:E11 - The Battle for Hue
The Battle for Hue was a major engagement during the 1968 Tet Offensive between the U.S. Marines, two U.S. Army battalions and South Vietnam forces against the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong lasting from January 31st to March 3rd. It was an outright military victory for the Marines and South Vietnamese units as they totally recovered the city of Hue, virtually annihilating the enemy forces.
S01:E12 - Siege of Khe Sanh
The strategic Marine Corps base at Khe Sanh was located a few miles from the borders of North Vietnam and Laos. Khe Sanh was heavily fortified in late '67 and designed to carry out reconnaissance attacks on the Ho Chi Minh trail and enemy supply lines from the north. Three divisions of the North Vietnamese Army attacked on January 21st and the siege lasted for 77 days with relief forces breaking through on April 6th.
S01:E13 - Last Operation
Operation Dewey Canyon, from January 22 through March 18, 1969, was the last major offensive by the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. The 9th Marine Regiment reinforced by elements of the 3rd Marine Regiment swept through the A Shau Valley engaging in 56 days of combat mainly against the North Vietnamese Army. During the operation the Marines captured or destroyed over 500 tons of arms and munitions and denied the valley as an NVA staging area.
S01:E14 - Homecoming
Marine pilots fly air support for ARVN and hit targets in the north as President Nixon tries to bring the Communists back to the Paris peace table. Overviews of the last Corps counterinsurgency operations, the last combat missions and last combat troops out.
S01:E15 - Good Bye Vietnam
The Fall of Saigon occurred on April 30, 1975 when the South Vietnamese government announced its unconditional surrender to North Vietnam. As a line of tanks smashed through the gates of the presidential palace Vietcong troops rounded up government soldiers, and raised their red and blue flags. The United States Embassy remained under control of the U.S. Marines. This is the story of those last hours.