March 9

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Mar 9, 1965:

Marines continue to land at Da Nang

The 3,500 Marines of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade under Brig. Gen. Frederick J. Karch continue to land at Da Nang. The Marines had begun disembarking from the USS Henrico, Union, and Vancouver on March 8 and were the first U.S. combat troops in South Vietnam. Among the arrivals on this day were the first U.S. armor in Vietnam—a tank of the 3rd Marine Tank Battalion. More tanks, including those with flame-throwing capability, followed in a few days. There was scattered firing from Viet Cong soldiers hidden ashore as the Marines landed, but no Marines were hit. The Marines were at once assigned to protect the U.S. base at Da Nang, both from the immediate perimeter and from the high ground along a ridge to the west.

Many others eventually joined this initial contingent of Marines. During the course of the war, the Marine Corps deployed one corps-level headquarters, two Marine divisions, two additional Marine regimental landing teams and a reinforced Marine aircraft wing, plus a number of battalion-size Marine special landing forces afloat with the 7th Fleet. Present at the beginning of U.S. commitment to the Vietnam War, the Marine Corps was also there at the end. In 1975, Marine Corps elements took part in the final evacuation of South Vietnam as the country fell to the North Vietnamese.

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