For the first time in the Vietnamese war on Friday, November 10, South Vietnamese Marines went on an operation in the Mekong River Delta with a force of U.
For the first time in the Vietnamese war on Friday, November 10, South Vietnamese Marines went on an operation in the Mekong River Delta with a force of U.S. troops on operation Riverring. It was an important event for US military officials in Viet Nam because the South Vietnamese Marines are considered one of the best fighting unites the South Vietnamese have produced since the conflict began.
In this operation, members of the Fifth South Vietnamese Marine Battalion were working with units of the US 9th Infantry Division, which has been fighting in the Delta for many months.
The Marines go into battle in armed river boats, 60 men to a boat. US troops ride 40 men to a boat. The boats sail up the many rivers and canals that lace the Delta, proceeded by gunboats called Monitors after ???famous US gunboat of the US Civil War.
The troops are volunteers, and well disciplined. All their officers above the rank of second lieutenant have been trained in the United States, On the average, South Vietnamese Marines weigh 90 pounds. The Marines carry as much as 80 pounds of equipment including ammunition and food for at least five days.
A United State Marine officer and a forward artillery observer is teamed with each South Vietnamese Battalion of about 600 men.
On the patrol shown in this film, no contact was made with forces of the Viet Cong. It turned out to be only a long difficult search through streams and rice paddies with much slogging through thick mud.
US military men in Vietnam are heartened by the fact that Marines are now allowed to go into the field and help search for the Viet Cong. Until a few months ago, their main job was to be in and around Saigon, reportedly serving an elite and loyal unit to help prevent coups and counter coups within the South Vietnamese government.