Stars & Stripes Article 1969

(Article from Stars & Stripes 1969)

MARINE RIFLE CO MIXES IT UP WITH REDS
By Sgt. Bill Dahl

DA NANG, Vietnam (Special) – Headquartered at Red Beach, eight miles north of Da Nang, the Force Logistic Command (FLC) provides supply and maintenance support for Marine air and ground units throughout Vietnam’s northern I Corps area. Providing the main security for the sprawling headquarters complex at Camp Jay K. Books is the job of the Provisional Rifle Co. The company is composed of volunteers from units within FLC. The Marines who volunteer for the four-to-six month stint may be an office clerk or a forklift operator, but regardless of their jobs, these Leathernecks live up to the old adage that all Marines are basically riflemen. Men of the Provisional Rifle Co. conduct patrols and set up ambush sites. Often accompanying the Marines are Vietnamese scouts and Rangers. The “Kit Carson” scouts are former Viet Cong who have rallied to the government. Both the scouts and the Rangers have extensive knowledge of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army tactics and have proven invaluable in aiding FLC Marines on patrol. The many villages surrounding the FLC compound pose special prolems for base security. Communists try to infiltrate these villages, posing as civilians. Marines and their South Vietnamese counterparts check identification cards of villagers who do not have the proper identification.

Semper Fi!!! Top Pro

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12 thoughts on “Stars & Stripes Article 1969”

  1. As soon as I read this story I was reminded of an incident that happened one night soon after I arrived in country. I was assigned to the 7th Engr. Battalion at Camp Love. Camp Love was located about 4 klicks (about 2and a half miles for the civilians out there) west of FLC, and a few weeks after arriving was placed on guard duty. I was posted at the East entrance road post facing FLC. one night around 0100 a fire fight broke out about 1 klick east of our perimeter. Long story short the fire fight was between a patrol from FLC and a patrol from Camp Love. After a few days of investigation it was learned that the squad leader of the FLC patrol moved off his assigned route and wandered into the Camp Love area of operation and ran into the Camp Love patrol. Did not turn out well for either patrol. No one was killed but,a few were wounded . This happened early Apr 68 and everyone was still a little jumpy after the TET . This is the way I remember it but, it’s been a while! Harry 1371

    1. Hey Harry – I’m amazed that we never ran into each other, seems like from our tales we were very often at or near the same location, but never exactly, nor at the same time. Does that make sense? I’m sure the incident of friendlies ambushing each other was not the first time, and I know for sure it wasn’t the last. I was Plt. Sgt for the H&S Bn contribution to the Prov Rifles Aug-Dec ’69, and we had a similar incident during that time. Most of our ambushes were squad size, 7 to 13 Marines, and sometimes the leaders were not the most well versed in land navigation. So, often they were not exactly where they should have been. Our XO, who ran Company Ops, was a Mustang 2nd Lt with about 13 years active duty and a former DI. He was thin and wiry, about 150#s, and was the best ass chewer that I ever heard. When we had two teams run into each other while setting up (neither in the right location) he later gnawed on the leaders for about 20 minutes saying, “It’s a damn shame when you idiots ambush each other and can’t even kill one another!” I’m glad it wasn’t me. Semper Fi!!! Top Pro

      1. Hey M/Sgt Edd, Who knows, we may have crossed paths at some point. I think of that a lot especially during my time at the ferry crossing at “Liberty Bridge”. All of the Motor-T , Tank Crews, Arty, and of coarse the Grunts that we ferried across the river on a daily basis. I have run across Vets that remember crossing the river on the ferry around the same time I was there. We would really pack the “Grunts” on there ( Asshole to belly button) Still can remember the looks on some of the faces. Could always spot the new guys. Wonder how many did not make it. Semper Fi Harry

    2. Interesting reply Harry, I have heard similar stories in areas such as that where AOs are not real clear.Good to hear the term “Klik” used properly. Over the years have gotten into disagreements over it . Some Vets ,even Marines, thinks a klik is a mile! tried to convince them over and over that a Klik is a “Kliometer!”a little over half mile. Not sure when or why that we started using it. We used it a lot to measure short distance. Paul S.

      1. Paul, just throwing my 2 cents in and my opinion. Kilometer, I think, is 1000 meters, and as far as we did all the fighting in other countries( WW1 and WW2) that use the metric system, and it is in the base ten so adjusting the big guns is easier then using feet or yards. Just my guess. Murray 1371

        1. Klic is in fact 1000 meters, just a little over half mile, .6 to be exact. Not to be confused with a click on elevation adjustments Nick 0311

      2. I’ve gotten into same argument over the years, usually with Army guys. some still insist klick equal miles. Bill 0331

  2. Yeah, we figured a click to be 1000 yds, or 3000 ft. With a mile being 5280 ft a click would be a little over half a mile. Semper Fi

  3. Couldn’t get any closer Murray; a km is 1,093.++ yards, and it is “klick” (informal noun/slang) in Merriam Webster and the Free Dictionary, and when we learned mapping in Recon, and calling in strikes.
    Good stuff from all of you, memories, memories.
    Semper Fi

  4. Read a lot of military fiction, sci-fi and alternative hist, love it when a wannabe author talks about firefights, etc being in the next “ville”, town, AO 100 klicks to the left!? Great hearing or what…..?

  5. I served in the Marine Corps from Feb 12,1964 through Jan 15, 1968. Vietnam 1965-1966. I enjoy reading these articles about Real American patriots instead of all this so called news about these far left wing fools of 2020 that want to tear down our Nation. Thank you fellow Marines.

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