U. S. MARINE CORPS

                        CIVIC ACTION EFFORTS IN VIETNAM

                            MARCH 1965 - MARCH 1966



                                       by


                        Captain Russel H. Stolfi, USMCR


                               Historical Branch

                                  G-3 Division

                        Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps

                                     1968





                                

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     A young boy, hopelessly crippled as well as orphaned, receives a ray of 
happiness from an unusual source.  The Marine Corps, a professional combat 
force, moves in to win the rural population in the ancient game of guerrilla 
warfare. (photograph courtesy of GySgt Russell W. Savatt)





 
                                    FOREWORD

     The origin of this pamphlet lies in the continuing program at all levels 
of command to keep Marines informed of the ways of combat and civic action in 
Vietnam.  Not limited in any way to set methods and means, this informational 
effort spreads across a wide variety of projects, all aimed at making the 
lessons learned in Vietnam available to the Marine who is fighting there and 
the Marine who is soon due to take his turn in combat.

     Our officers and men in Vietnam are deeply involved in efforts to improve 
the situation of the Vietnamese people. This pamphlet tells the story of the 
first formative year of civilian-aid policies, programs, and actions of the 
III Marine Amphibious Force.  To write the study and to perform the extensive 
and involved research necessary to document its text, the Marine Corps was 
able to call upon a particularly well-qualified reserve officer, Captain 
Russel H. Stolfi, who volunteered for several months of active duty in the 
spring of 1967 for this purpose.  In civilian life, Captain Stolfi, who holds 
a doctor of philosophy degree in history from Stanford University, is 
Assistant Professor of History at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, 
California.

     The pamphlet is based largely on sources available in the Washington 
area, including the records of various activities of the Departments of 
Defense and State, of the CARE organization, and of the Office of the 
Administrative Assistant to the President.  Other sources include 
correspondence and interviews with participants in the actions described.  In 
some cases documents from which information was taken are still classified, 
however, the information used in the text is unclassified.

                                         H. NICKERSON, JR.
                                Major General, U. S. Marine Corps
                                  Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3


REVIEWED AND APPROVED: 9 January 1968



                                    CONTENTS


                                                           Original    On-Line
                                                             Page       Page


Foreword                                                       i           5

Chapter  I:       The Changing Pattern of War:  Marine         1           7
                    Corps Civic Action

Chapter  II:      The Governing Institutions of the            4          12
                    Republic of Vietnam:  March 1965-
                    March 1966

Chapter  III:     Military Civic Action in Vietnam            11          19

Chapter  IV:      The Landing of Major Marine Corps Air       15          25
                    and Ground Forces in South Vietnam
                    and the Early Development of Civic
                    Action:  March-July 1965

Chapter  V:       The Turning Point in Civic Action:          34          46
                    August 1965

Chapter VI:       Accelerating the Pace of Civic Action:      42          56
                    The Challenge of support for Rural
                    Construction (September-December 1965)

Chapter VII:      A New Calendar Year:  Patterns of Civic     61          77
                    Action in January-March 1966

Notes                                                         82         102

Appendix          Contents of CARE kits provided through      96         116
                    Reserve Civic Actions Fund for Vietnam





 
                                   Chapter I

                          The Changing Pattern of War:
                           Marine Corps Civic Action


     It was early evening and the Viet Cong platoon made its way towards the 
bridge over the River Phu Bai a few miles southeast of Hue, the former royal 
capital of Vietnam.  Pham Van Thuong, card carrying communist party member and 
commander of the platoon, could only have felt comfortably at home.  He had 
been born a few miles from his present location.  Most of Thuong's short life 
had been spent close to his birthplace near Hue/Phu Bai where the Marine Corps 
was now located.  Thuong had played, gone to school, and helped his parents in 
household chores like myriad other children in Vietnam.  He had also seen the 
war against the French, travelled briefly in North Vietnam, and now was 
participating in a war against a government of his own people in Saigon.  
Thuong was tough physically and at ease in his early evening environment and 
revolutionary task.  The Viet Cong were rulers of the night.  Thuong probably 
felt little anxiety about the presence of the Popular Forces which had been 
organized by the local, government to resist the Viet Cong.  This euphoria was 
merciful.  Pham Van Thuong had only a few more minutes to live.<1>

     The Combined Action Company (CAC) ambush had been set carefully and 
professionally.  Marines and Popular Forces had worked together for almost 
four months in the Hue/Phu Bai area, and the combination of Marine Corps 
firepower and discipline and Vietnamese familiarity with the terrain had 
become literally a killing one.  At about 2030 on the evening of 29 November 
1965, the handful of hunters sensed the presence of the Viet Cong.<2>

     Pham Van Thuong possibly never heard the rifle fire which struck him 
down.  No warning had been given.  Thuong's final thoughts will never be 
known.  Probably they were the mundane military ones concerning the soundest 
way to cross the bridge into the hamlet of Phu Bai (VI).<3>  Small arms fire 
from the CAC-3 ambush at the bridge shattered the Viet Cong platoon.  Fortune 
was not with either Thuong or his men.  The latter fled southward where they 
were hit by CAC-4.  Then they headed westward into the hills passing through 
blocking artillery fires on the way.  (See Sketch Map).

     Since the Marine Corps had formally arrived in Vietnam in March 1965, it 
had learned a lot about the other war, i.e., the struggle against the 
clandestine apparatus of the Viet Cong (the Viet Cong infrastructure).  This 
was no surprise because the Marine Corps was a professional military 
organization which existed to learn swiftly from the shock of combat.


                                     1



Vietnam was a combat experience that differed little in many of its lessons 
from other parts of the world; and, Marines had fought and operated in 
practically all of them.  In Vietnam in November 1965, as Thuong's platoon 
advanced towards the Phu Bai River, the Marine Corps was as confident of 
producing a professional effort as it had been in Korea during the winter and 
Guadalcanal in the summer.

     But Vietnam offered special frustrations.  The original mission, to 
secure enclaves in the northern region of Vietnam containing air and 
communications installations, was simplicity itself.<4>  The Marine air-ground 
team promptly occupied those areas and secured them.  Equally promptly the 
Marine Corps leaders sensed the futility of defending a few bits of level 
terrain to support long-range air bombardment.  Under Marine Corps noses the 
Viet Cong controlled much of the countryside. They had capitalized on the 
instability of the Vietnamese government from 1963-1965 to push deeply into 
the lowland and coastal parts of the northern region.<5>  Outside of the major 
cities movement was possible only during daylight, and a sullen, fearful 
peasantry became omnipresent.  When night fell, the forces of the Vietnamese 
government retracted into various brittle defensive points and the small 
numbers of hard, well-armed Viet Cong roamed at will.<6>

     Targets were available for Marine Corps units in the form of Viet Cong 
main forces; these were conventionally organized military formations.  At 
carefully selected times the main forces engaged units of both the Army of the 
Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and the Marine Corps.  But the precious main forces 
made it a rule to initiate only battles in which success was mathematically 
predictable.  Normally they were beyond knowledge and reach.  Furthermore, the 
destruction of main force units of the Viet Cong yielded little result.  
Phoenix-like, new forces arose from the ashes of the old.  The Viet Cong 
infrastructure was the life-giver to destroyed units through its ability to 
recruit from among the peasant masses.  At the same time the terroristic 
apparatus of the infrastructure ensured the neutrality of the Vietnamese 
peasant.  The ultimate enemy of the Vietnamese government and the Marine Corps 
was everywhere, yet nowhere.  The key to the detection of the Viet Cong 
infrastructure lay in the Vietnamese peasantry, comprising approximately 80 
percent of the total population.  The peasants alone could eradicate the Viet 
Cong by exposing their presence and movements to the allied forces.  Properly 
armed and supported, the peasants themselves could destroy the Viet Cong in 
personal vendettas engendered by the all-pervading form of Viet Cong 
discipline, terror--the threat and consummation of death sentences against 
recalcitrant peasants.

     Positive security against Viet Cong violence was needed to extract the 
presence and movements of the rural communist revolutionaries from the 
uncommitted peasantry.  Security in


                                     2




 

                                

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     The concept of the Combined Action Company (CAC) was originated in the 
Hue/Phu Bai TAOR in August 1965.  In this photograph taken on 21 September 
1965, 1stLt Paul R. Ek, commander of the original CAC, makes a point with two 
members of his newly-formed company.  (USMC A185800)


                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Summit conference: the basic unit of the Combined Action Company was the 
CAC squad.  In this photograph, Sgt David W. Sommers (second from right), 
squad leader and the Marine responsible for the protection of Thuy Tan village 
in the Hue/Phu Bai TAOR, talks over the report of one of his lance corporals.  
(USMC A185759)


                                     2a



                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Sketch Map of Combined Action Company Ambush at the Phu Bai Bridge.


                                       2b




 
conjunction with an aggressive program of rural development, revolutionary in 
the sense of its far-reaching and rapid benefits for the peasantry, were the 
keys to success.  Obviously the Marine Corps could not provide security in 
every village and hamlet.  Security and development would rest upon the 
peasants themselves in conjunction with effective local governing officials.  
But the Marine Corps could assist in many ways in the reestablishment of 
security by the Vietnamese government.  In one experiment Marine Corps and 
local rural defense forces, i.e., Popular Forces, recruited and controlled at 
the village and hamlet level, were formed into CACs whose platoons were to be 
trained by the Marine Corps to provide 24-hour local security.  The CACs were 
one of many Marine Corps responses to the ultimate problem of reestablishing 
local government in the hands of the Government of Vietnam (GVN) and freeing 
the peasants from the Viet Cong terror.<7>

     The CAC under the command of First Lieutenant Paul R. Ek was the first of 
the integrated Vietnamese and Marine Corps defense and training units.  The 
CAC was under the supervision of the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, and operated 
in the Hue/Phu Bai enclave southeast of Hue, a city rich in the trappings of 
Vietnam's historical heritage.<8>  Each of its platoons included one Marine 
Corps rifle squad, and the mission of the Marines was to train the Popular 
Forces to fight successfully against the Viet Cong anywhere, anytime.  In one 
small way a new wind was blowing through Vietnam.

     One of First Lieutenant Ek's squads had been responsible for the 
successful ambush on 29 November 1965 with its professional request for 
artillery fire, subsequent coordination with another ambush squad, and the 
calling of blocking artillery fires (see Sketch Map).  The new wind passing 
through Vietnam carried with it a hardness of will and expertise of operation 
that would destroy the enemy on his chosen ground--among the peasantry.  
Popular Forces would be trained which would be capable of dominating the 
countryside not only during familiar day but especially during the dreaded 
night.  Behind the screen of effective Popular Forces, expert cadres, i.e., 
core or nucleus personnel, trained by experts at the national level would 
destroy the Viet Cong infrastructure.  Large units of the Marine Corps and the 
ARVN would keep at bay and destroy the Viet Cong main force and the Army of 
North Vietnam.  The death of Pham Van Thuong represented something more than 
an isolated incident.  The first fully coordinated effort to defeat the Viet 
Cong was emerging.  Military civic action, expressed in security measures like 
the CAC concept would provide the link between the war against the enemy main 
forces and the reestablishment of political control by the GVN at the grass 
roots level.


                                     3



                                  Chapter II

             The Governing Institutions of the Republic of Vietnam
                            March 1965 - March 1966


                                   Background


     Late in 1955, a national referendum in South Vietnam deposed the head of 
state, Bao Dai, and chose Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem as President of the 
Republic of Vietnam.  By 26 October 1956 a constitution had been promulgated 
providing for a strong executive, a unicameral national assembly, and a 
judicial system with safeguards for individual rights.  Diem proved to be an 
effective leader; he was able to consolidate his political position and 
eliminate the private armies of the religious sects.  With U. S. aid he built 
a formidable national army, established a system of administration, and made 
progress towards reconstructing the national economy.  But Diem's progress 
threatened North Vietnamese hopes for a unification of the Vietnamese people 
under northern domination.  Simultaneously, Diem's lack of progress in 
bringing about more rapid social, economic, religious, and political 
readjustments supported indigenous unrest in the south.  Between 1956-1960 the 
Viet Cong, a melange of northern and southern communists, began and then 
expanded a campaign to destroy the stability of the southern government and 
move into the resulting vacuum.  By 1960 the control of the movement had 
slipped decisively into the hands of the Hanoi government because of the 
stubborn resistance of Diem and his American-supported army and 
administration.<1>

     Between 1960-1963 the Viet Cong movement made crucial gains in South 
Vietnam.  The violent communist tactics of murder and intimidation of the 
personnel of the Republican government destroyed the government's political 
apparatus over large parts of rural Vietnam.  The Viet Cong occupied the void 
and using techniques dating back to 1917 established an ominous shadow 
government which in many rural areas possessed more substance than anything 
which slain Republican officials could provide.  By late 1963, the Diem 
government, was no longer able to cope with the armed, disciplined, and 
intellectually coherent movement which threatened its existence.  The 
Vietnamese Army moved inexorably into the position of political power.

     During several violent days, 1-4 November 1963, a military coup overthrew 
the Diem regime, suspended the constitution of 1956, and dissolved the 
national assembly.  The success of the Viet Cong and the agitation of the 
Buddhists against the Diem Republic had forced a change of government by the 
armed forces.<2>  The revolutionary leaders centralized power in a 
Revolutionary


                                     4




 
Military Council which announced its intention to reinstall civilian 
leadership as soon as possible.  Between November 1963-November 1964 the 
Vietnamese armed forces split their efforts between political and military 
operations.  The Viet Cong made enormous gains during this period.  The 
temporary nature of the national government weakened the resolve of the 
governing officials.  Simultaneously, the enforced participation of the 
military leadership in politics restricted effective military operations.  By 
4 November 1964, civilian leadership had been reintroduced into the 
government:  Tran Van Hung became prime minister and Phan Khac Suu became 
chief of state.  By the turn of 1965, however, Viet Cong gains during the 
continual progression of temporary national governments ruled out the survival 
of any democratic, civilian government.  The armed forces remained the 
critical element of stability early in 1965 and forced a readjustment of the 
civilian government during the period 27 January-16 February 1965.<3>  The 
continuing instability of the government and the concomitant Viet Cong gains 
forced the intervention of ground combat forces of the United States in March 
1965.


                      The Critical Situation of Early 1965

     The U. S. intervention of early 1965 required time for the buildup of 
significant physical force and even more time for the formulation of an 
effective program of support for the Government of Vietnam.  The Vietnamese 
political situation continued to deteriorate, and on 11 June 1965 the civilian 
government, which was unable either to resolve the problem of a new 
constitution or to cope with the accelerating scale of Viet Cong operations, 
asked the armed forces to assume the responsibilities of the national 
government.  The armed forces responded by 19 June 1965 with the creation of a 
Provisional Convention (preliminary constitution) which vested supreme power 
in a Congress of the Armed Forces.  This military government has been called 
the Ky government because of the position of Air Vice Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky 
both as prime minister and de facto leader of the state.<4>

     The Marine Corps arrived in Vietnam under frustrating circumstances.  No 
clear-cut case of foreign aggression was in evidence and the Government of 
Vietnam in March 1965 was a temporary one which was obviously unable to deal 
with the revolutionary situation.  The Marine Corps found itself in the 
position of defending an airbase in the Da Nang area in support of an 
authoritarian civilian government which was soon to be changed to a more 
authoritarian military government.  The enemy, the Viet Cong, was a band of 
North Vietnamese-influenced communists characterized by an appealing program 
for change.  But the Ky government, the authoritarian military one, made 
persistent claims that it had no interest in permanent power and the 
communists proved to be so closely associated with the


                                     5



Hanoi government that little doubt was left about the unification of the two 
Vietnams under northern domination in the event of the triumph of the Viet 
Cong.  If the South Vietnamese people had wanted that unification the United 
States would have had little justification for its intervention in early 1965.  
But the deliberate attempted murder of the Government of South Vietnam during 
the period 1959-1965 represented a method of change which was intolerable 
morally.  Finally, the Viet Cong movement was too well organized to pass as a 
spontaneous rural uprising.  Viet Cong brutality and organization were coldly 
efficient.  So much efficiency so close to North Vietnam revealed the threat 
of the introduction of an ideology detrimental to U. S. interests.


                 The Formation of a Durable Military Government

     The Ky government of June 1965 bore the load of almost ten years of 
Vietnamese struggle against a calculated attempt to destroy the governments of 
Vietnam.  The government was a last-ditch military one based on the unity of 
the officer corps of the armed forces.  The officer corps provisionally vested 
the sovereignty of the Vietnamese state in the Congress of the Armed Forces.  
The executive arm of the Congress was the National Leadership Committee which 
exercised the powers of the Congress and directed governmental affairs.  The 
Chairman of the National Leadership Committee, who was in effect the head of 
state, was Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Thieu.  Directly below the Leadership 
Committee was the Central Executive Committee whose chairman was Marshal Ky.  
He was the central figure in the government and acted as prime minister.  Ky 
had the authority to organize the executive branch of the government and to 
propose to the Chairman of the National Leadership Committee all cabinet 
appointments.  The center of national power lay ultimately in the National 
Leadership Committee which was comprised on 19 June 1965 of nine members of 
the armed forces including Ky as Commissioner for the Executive.  Each Corps 
Commander was represented on the committee also; and, because of the presence 
of combat soldiers under the Corps Commanders, each commander was a center of  
armed influence in he state.<5>

     The prime minister controlled Vietnam through a cabinet of several 
ministers and numerous secretaries of state.  He appointed and replaced all 
public officials; approval by the National Leadership Committee was required 
only in the case of Province Chief, Director General,or higher.  Mayors of the 
autonomous cities and the Prefecture of Saigon were also appointed by the 
prime minister.  Below the national level a vast hierarchy of local government 
existed.  Four Corps Areas or Regions existed in which the senior governmental 
delegate has the military commander.  The Commanding General, III Marine 
Amphibious Force, became the senior military advisor to the


                                     6




 
Vietnamese general commanding I Corps ( the First Region) in August 1965.  
Subordinate to the Vietnamese Corps Commanders were the Provincial Chiefs who 
directed the efforts of the District Chiefs and carried out the functions of 
government at the provincial level.  The Province Chiefs, who were advised by 
elected Provincial Councils, provided extensive services for the Vietnamese 
people and were supported by technical assistants from the national 
ministeries.  Below the provinces (43 in number) were ranged districts (234), 
grouped villages (2558), and hamlets (13,211).  Most of the population of 
Vietnam was rural and resided in the hamlets.  The national government 
ultimately contacted most of the population at the hamlet level, i.e., the 
grouped villages were units of administrative convenience and were comprised 
of a certain number of hamlets, usually four to six.<6>


                                 The Viet Cong

     The Viet Cong had concentrated their attack on the Government of Vietnam 
by destroying the governing officials at the hamlet and village levels.  The 
Viet Cong emphasized the political aspects of the struggle and replaced slain, 
kidnapped, and terrorized officials with communist or communist-appointed 
officials.  The communists formed a government within a government and 
literally stole the bodies and minds of the peasants by a combination of armed 
force and astute rural propaganda.  But the appeal to force is central in the 
Viet Cong movement and has remained, in combination with superlative 
organization, the main strength of the movement.  The following comment 
illustrated the strength of the Viet Cong appeal to the peasantry but also 
revealed striking weaknesses.  A village elder characterized their rule by 
saying:

     If you do as the Viet Cong say they are very correct.
     They never steal.  They tax.
     If they take a chicken they pay.
     If you do not cooperate, they shoot you in the stomach.<7>

     The Viet Cong generated much fear amongst the rural population of South 
Vietnam by their policy of balanced ruthlessness.  In areas where the 
Government of Vietnam was unable to provide security for its citizens, the 
Viet Cong were able to swim undetected in a sea of terrorized humanity.  
Simultaneously, the Viet Cong made exaggerated promises of a better life for 
the Vietnamese peasant.  Government projects were ridiculed, harassed, and 
destroyed by the rural Robin Hoods who had to produce no results until they 
were in power.  The Viet Cong used promises of a better future with the 
reality of present violence to erode the influence of the Republican 
government.  The Republic could succeed against the movement only by the 
implementation of a more effective program designed to win back the fearful 
rural masses.  The harsh geographical reality of a


                                     7



hostile border abutting on Vietnam in the North made the chances of 
unsupported government success against the Viet Cong problematical.<8>


                      Vietnamese Rural Construction (1965)
                      and Revolutionary Development (1966)

     In 1965 with disaster staring it in the face, the Vietnamese government, 
with the urging of the U. S. Mission Council in Vietnam, executed a 
well-conceived rural pacification plan.  Improved civil/military coordination 
was achieved and significant changes in terminology were made during the year.  
For example, on 5 April 1965 the government supplanted the term pacification 
with the new one, rural construction.  But the instability of the government 
during the first half of 1965 slowed the release of funds for the rural 
construction program.  The national government did not release monies until 
April 1965, and the program was further slowed by changes in the national 
organization for rural construction and finally the death of the Minister of 
Rural Construction in August 1965.  As a result, the government's  
accomplishments in rural construction in 1965 were slight.  But the 
combination of the Ky military government and massive U. S. ground and air 
forces prevented decisive Viet Cong success even though the allies produced no 
forward momentum of their own.<9>

     Prime Minister Ky initiated planning for 1966 rural construction in 
September 1965 when he requested that the U. S. Mission Liaison Group help to 
determine the National Priority Areas for Rural Construction in 1966.  The 
reason for the establishment of those areas was to ensure the concentration of 
national resources in vital areas of the country.  The government established 
four priority areas for the calendar year 1966.  The area around Da Nang, 
Quang Nam Province, became one of them.<10>

     Planning continued in November and December 1965 and on 15 December 1965, 
the Vietnamese Joint General Staff published Directive AB 140 as the basic 
military plan for support of rural construction in 1966.  The directive 
assigned Corps Priority Areas in addition to the national areas and directed 
the holders of real power in Vietnam, the Corps Commanders, to support rural 
construction in their areas.  The combined campaign for 1966 was published by 
the U. S. Military Assistance Command and the Vietnamese Joint General Staff 
on 31 December 1965 and linked the U. S. and Vietnamese military plans with 
rural construction.  But progress was slow in 1966.  Civilian rural 
construction activities suffered from the lack of trained cadres, i.e., 
organizing personnel, to provide the leadership at the hamlet level for the 
reestablishment of government control.  But the government continued to press 
for rural improvement and its determination was revealed in the change of the


                                     8




 
term rural construction to the more forceful expression, revolutionary 
development. With the graduation of the first revolutionary development cadres 
in May 1966, and the aggressive leadership of the Minister of Revolutionary 
Development, the government's program began to edge forward after the middle 
of 1966.  Military activities proved to be the vital flaw in the revolutionary 
development program.  The government planners bad not given enough firm and 
precise direction to the armed forces regarding their role.  The Vietnamese 
armed forces continued to carry out the task of combatting the main force of 
the Viet Cong and failed to provide the security required to ensure the 
success of the revolutionary development groups.  Security devolved on the 
Regional and Popular Forces; but, they remained too weak to provide adequate 
security without substantial reinforcement by the Vietnamese army.

     Rural construction had become by December 1965 the thread which 
productively held together the military and the civil efforts of the Republic.  
The plans for rural construction not only coordinated the Republican military 
and civil activities but also related them to the U. S. and Free World 
military, political, and humanitarian aid programs.  Rural construction became 
the government's coordinated plan for survival.  No Ministry of Rural 
Construction existed in Vietnam throughout 1965.  By 12 October 1965, however, 
a Secretary of State for Rural Construction had been created and Aspirant 
General Nguyen Duc Thang became first holder of the position.  Later, in the 
national government's reorganization of 21 February 1966, General Thang became 
Secretary of State for Revolutionary Development within the Ministry of War 
and Construction.  By July 1966, however, Thang had become Minister of 
Revolutionary Development with two secretaries of state operating under his 
direction.<11>

     Rural construction evolved from late 1965 onwards as the attempt of the 
national government to reestablish its control over the basic, traditional 
Vietnamese political groupment--the hamlet.  Hamlets had been part of 
Vietnamese peasant life for over two millenniums; they were political bedrock 
for the Vietnamese nation.  The importance of the hamlet was shown in the late 
1940's when the Viet Minh, rural revolutionaries extraordinary, were forced to 
create the grouped village, an administrative superstructure used to control 
the hamlets.  But the grouped village existed in Vietnam only insofar as it 
was comprised of a certain number of hamlets.  The war has been fought around 
the latter which have borne the brunt of destruction.  General Thang, with a 
keen sense of historical reality, recognized their importance for both sides 
in the present struggle.  He designed the revolutionary development program to 
rebuild the basic structure of traditional Vietnamese life and at the same 
time bring about beneficial change in the life of the Vietnamese peasant.<12>


                                     9



     The spearhead of the rural construction program had been the People's 
Action Teams (PATs), 40-man groups which began the process of political and 
social change in secured areas.  At the end of 1965 the Vietnamese began to 
train more effective personnel called Revolutionary Development Cadre (RD 
Cadre) who were organized into 59-man Revolutionary Development Groups (RD 
Groups).  General Thang's most important task, outside of coordinating the 
support of the Vietnamese and the U. S. governments behind revolutionary 
development, has been the training of the young men who would drive the 
program into the political and social foundation of Vietnam.  The battlefield 
of the struggle for change in 1965 and 1966 was in the areas where the PATs 
and later the RD Groups were committed.  The Marine Corps quickly sensed the 
importance of revolutionary development and by the turn of 1966 emphasized 
civic action and psychological warfare in direct support of revolutionary 
development.


                                     10




 
                                  Chapter III


                        Military Civic Action in Vietnam

     Military civic action is something which used the formidable potential of 
armed and disciplined military organizations to accomplish difficult civil 
tasks.  History had shown that men could do anything with bayonets except sit 
on them, and this general notice was well taken in the case of Vietnam.<1>  In 
Vietnam, sitting on bayonets in the 1960s would have been using the Allied 
armed forces only for large unit actions against the elusive main forces of 
the Viet Cong.  But had the Allies followed that course of action, the 
struggle for control of the Vietnamese peasantry by the GVN would have 
remained unaffected because the Viet Cong infrastructure would have been more 
than a match for the local Vietnamese government.  The Allied armed forces 
were the most effective organizations for the supression of the guerrilla 
terror and had to be used in a concept which was balanced between combat 
against the main forces of the Viet Cong and security for local government. 

     Well before intervening with major ground forces at the request of the 
GVN in 1965, the U. S Government had realized the importance of military 
organizations in accomplishing beneficial change in countries which were 
modernizing themselves. By 1962, "U. S. military and assistance legislation 
and directives provide [d] that military assistance programs should encourage 
the use of local military and paramilitary forces in developing countries on 
projects helpful to social and economic development."<2>  The U. S. Government 
encouraged the use of the ARVN for operations in support of pacification.  But 
the ARVN operations were weakly developed because of the expressed view that 
economic and social aid by the armed forces should not "detract from 
capabilities to perform primary military missions."<3>

     Operations against the main force of the Viet Cong, however, were only 
one part of the ARVN struggle to support the central objective of the war in 
Vietnam.  That objective--the creation of a Government of the Republic of 
Vietnam viable enough to crush the insurgency and to resist future aggression 
--was too difficult to tie up the ARVN simply in the defense of fixed 
installations and actions against the main force of the Viet Cong.  In the 
existing war the immediate objective was to create a civilian population 
confident enough of the protection of the GVN to expose the presence and 
movements of the insurgents.  The central reality of the war was a Vietnamese 
population which was overwhelmingly rural.  As a result, both the ARVN and the 
Marine Corps had to support local, rural government scattered through myriad 
hamlets and connected by a primitive communications


                                     11



network.  Marine Corps support, for example, had to range far beyond the 
static defense of air installations.


                               Rural Construction

     The Marine Corps, however, was an organization which did not exist to 
create a program for viable government in a foreign state.  That program lay 
with the GVN, and existed in spite of the dislocation of 1963-1965.  In 1965, 
rural construction was the term describing the government's program to secure 
the central objective of the war.<4>  The government's plan was a sound one 
which concentrated on the central reality of life in the new state--a 
primitive, rural way of existence.<5>  The program was of paramount importance 
to the Marine Corps.  Success of the program promised victory over the Viet  
Cong, stability for the Republic, and the release of U. S. military forces.  
The rural construction program was comprised of:

        The integrated military and civil process to restore, consolidate,
     and expand governmental control so that nation building [could] 
     progress throughout the Republic of Vietnam.  It consist[ed] of those
     coordinated military and civil actions to liberate the people from VC
     control, restore public security, initiate political and economic
     development, extend effective government authority and win the willing
     support of the people towards those ends.<6>

     The definition was dry but the program was important.  How was military 
civic action related to rural construction?  Civic action was largely the 
friendly military plan of support for rural construction.  It existed in close 
coordination with large and small unit combat operations against the Viet 
Cong. Military civic action in March 1965 was by theoretical definition 
primarily a function of the ARVN.  But no directives existed discouraging  
U. S. military participation in civic action; to the contrary, U. S. military 
forces were encouraged to participate.  The following Marine Corps definition 
of military civic action concentrates on the role of the indigenous armed 
forces in the support of government but it also ties in the efforts of U. S. 
forces:

        The use of preponderantly indigenous military forces on projects
     useful to the local population at all levels in fields such as 
     education, training, public works, agriculture, transportation,
     communications, health, sanitation, and other contributing to 
     economic and social development, which would also serve to improve 
     the standing of the military forces with the population (U. S. forces
     may at [any time] advise or engage in military civic actions in 
     overseas areas).<7>


                                     12




 
                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Combined Action Companies had two missions.  The first was that of 
providing security for Vietnamese peasants.  The second, shown here, was the 
encouraging of self-help projects among the villagers.  In this scene Cpl Earl 
J. Suter helps to build a shelter for his CAC squad at Thuy Luong two miles 
south of Hue/Phu Bai on 25 September 1965.  (USMC A185707)

                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Food for the needy: the Distribution of food began to reach major 
proportions by the end of 1965.  In this photograph taken at Tra Kieu near Da 
Nang on 17 August 1965, two officers of MAG-16 present supplies received from 
the U.S. Agency for International Development to the village priest for 
distribution to the local orphanage and old people's home. (USMC A184979)


                                     12a



     This general definition was valid for the military organizations of 
states throughout the world in the process of peaceful technical change.  But 
the definition was not precise enough for the Vietnamese situation.  In 
Vietnam, military civic action served to link together the formal combat 
effort of the military forces with the political, social, and economic 
reconstruction efforts of the GVN.  Civic action harnessed energies of both 
the ARVN and the Marine Corps, which remained after the formal combat 
commitments, to the tasks of rural construction.


                     The Place of Marine Corps Civic Action
                             in the Vietnamese War

     The question then arose:  where did Marine Corps civic action fit in with 
the overall struggle in Vietnam?  This question had to be answered before the 
civic actions of the Marine Corps could have real meaning.  Chart Number One 
presents the situation graphically.  The total Marine Corps effort in the 
triple sense of large unit, counterguerrilla, and civic actions was part of a 
larger effort to control and reconstruct Vietnam and to defeat the Viet Cong.  
The Commanding General, III Marine Amphibious Force (CG, III MAF) was highly 
placed in the U. S. chain of military command and after August 1965, he 
functioned as Senior Military, Advisor to the Vietnamese general commanding 
the First Military Region.  Additionally, the CG, III MAF, coordinated his 
operations with the programs of the  various U. S. Government agencies and 
departments.  The Vietnamese political effort was controlled by the general 
commanding the First Military Region; but that effort functioned largely 
through the local civilian officials who were supported technically by the 
national ministeries.<8>

     Marine Corps civic action also had to be set in the political context of 
U. S. involvement in a revolutionary situation in a sovereign state.<9>  The 
basic premise of U. S. involvement was the protection of U. S. and Free World 
interests in SE Asia.  These interests were best served by the support of the 
existing Government of Vietnam.  But because of the political sovereignty of 
Vietnam, U. S. support for the Vietnamese government had to take the form of 
support for that government's chosen plan for survival.  For example, large 
unit ground actions by the Marine Corps were ultimately effective only if they 
reinforced the stability of the South Vietnamese government and advanced its 
survival plan.


                                     13




 
                      The Coordination of Civic Action and
                         Vietnamese Plans for Survival

     Marine Corps civic action had to be coordinated with all of the 
activities supporting Vietnamese revolutionary development and had to take 
into account the total availability of resources to be really effective.<10>  
For example, Marine assistance in the construction of a hamlet schoolhouse was 
a frustrating event for the local population and the Marine Corps alike if no 
teachers were available to grace the school.  The Marine Corps was unable to 
create Vietnamese teachers, and the local hamlet or village government was 
also unable to manufacture them.  Coordination with the higher levels of 
government concerning the availability of both human and material resources 
was one of the keys to success.  Generally the Marine Corps had to coordinate 
with the following general entities: (1) the Vietnamese government (district, 
provincials regional levels), (2) U. S. Government agencies and departments 
and (3) private U. S. relief organizations.  Coordination was mandatory if any 
lasting effect were to be obtained from civic action.  It was probably 
accurate to say that effective Marine Corps civic action began with Major 
General Lewis W. Walt's formation in August 1965 of a Joint Coordinating 
Council for the I Corps Tactical Zone (ICTZ).  General Walt, who had become 
commanding general of the III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF) in June 1965, 
was aware of the immense process of historical change taking place in Vietnam 
and was determined to join that process and reinforce in a direction favorable 
to the Vietnamese government.<11>

     The direction which was sensed by him as being decisive in midsummer 1965 
was support of Vietnamese rural construction. By August 1965, with his 
appointment as Senior Military Advisor to the Commanding General, I Corps, 
General Walt began to implement a coordinated civic action program with the 
formation of a council which would include representatives of all of the 
organizations in the I Corps Tactical Zone supporting rural construction.  The 
purpose of the council was to coordinate the services and resources of all 
organizations military, civilian and private, in support of rural 
construction. The thread which began to run through Marine Corps civic action 
after August 1965 was that of self-effacing support for Vietnamese rural 
construction.


                                      14



                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

                                CHART NUMBER ONE
            US/GVN REVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT STRUCTURE - MARCH 1956


                                     14a




 
                                   Chapter IV

            The Landing of Major Marine Corps Air and Ground Forces
                   in South Vietnam and the Early Development
                       of Civic Action:  March-July 1965


                                   Background

     By March 1964, the United States Government realized that its hopes of an 
early ending to the conflict in South Vietnam were premature.  General Maxwell 
D. Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the Viet Cong 
had taken advantage of the instability of the Vietnamese Government and the 
lack of coordination and diffusion in the strategic hamlet program (the 
forerunner of revolutionary development) to make vast gains.<1>  The Viet Cong 
had negated the strategic hamlet operations and had passed over to the 
offensive, launching major daylight attacks against the ARVN.  The situation 
was plainly deteriorating and by the end of 1964 the U. S. advisory effort was 
built up to a total of 20,000 personnel.  The situation in Southeast Asia had 
deteriorated in other ways also.  Various ties had existed between the Viet 
Cong and the Democratic Republic of North Vietnam since the beginning of the 
struggle in 1956; but, in 1964 North Vietnamese assistance had become concrete 
in the form of massive infiltration by the North Vietnamese Army into the 
south.  A precarious balance, at best, had existed in South Vietnam late in 
1963.  By late 1964, North Vietnamese intervention and the gains of the Viet 
Cong in combination with the internal instability in the south, threatened to 
destroy the balance.<2>

     At the turn of 1965, the Viet Cong supported by elements of the North 
Vietnamese Army including the major part of the 325TH DIVISION maintained 
heavy military pressure against the GVN.  The full measure of Viet Cong 
confidence was revealed in the impolitic attack on the U. S. military compound 
at Pleiku.  The Viet Cong, for whom the essence of the struggle was political, 
took leave of sound political judgement in creating the incident.  President 
Lyndon B. Johnson had made it clear that the communist tactics of force and 
intimidation against the GVN were not an acceptable means of social and 
economic change even though change was the common goal of both the United 
States and the two Vietnams.  The attack at Pleiku focused violence against 
the U. S. Government, furnished stark evidence of the method of advance by 
force, and resulted in a reaction so powerful that the heady smell of 
communist victory turned to one of aid-station antiseptic.  Roses turned to 
iodine as the Viet Cong realized that force indeed was the ultimate arbitor in 
the world of competing sovereign states.


                                      15



                   The Landing of Major Marine Combat Forces

     The United States began to bomb "selected" targets in North Vietnam in 
February 1965, and under the pressure of bold Viet Cong advances, sent the 
first major ground combatant forces into the Republic.  Early on Monday 
morning 8 March 1965, Marines under the direction of the Headquarters, 9th 
Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) landed by sea and air close to Da Nang, 
Quang Nam province, Republic of Vietnam.  Although the intervention of ground 
forces ultimately ensured the survival of the Republic, the immediate physical 
effect on military operations in Vietnam was negligible.  Brigadier General 
Frederick C. Karch, Commanding General, 9th MEB had only two battalion landing 
teams (BLTs) under his command with supporting and reinforcing air, artillery, 
antiaircraft, engineer, and logistics organizations.  The most significant 
factor, though, which restricted Marine Corps operations was the Vietnamese 
government's fear concerning its own sovereignty.  The 9th MEB was originally 
restricted to a few square miles of territory in several different locations.  
The locations became known as Tactical Areas of Responsibility (TAORs) and the 
Vietnamese restricted Marine Corps operations to those areas.  The mission of 
the 9th MEB was strictly defensive--to secure the Da Nang Airbase.  And the 
defense, in deference to the wishes of the Vietnamese government was to extend 
no farther than the tight limits of the assigned TAORs.<3>

     Neither the national nor the local Vietnamese government was able to 
predict the reaction of the populace to the Marine corps--a foreign ground 
combat force.  The inpredictability of the civilian reaction forced a 
gradualist approach on the GVN.  The government isolated the Marines first 
within the perimeter of the uninhabited air base and then to Hills 327 and 268 
(heights in meters) immediately west of the base.  The hills were also 
practically uninhabited.<4>  The TAOR, which was physically divided into two 
parts, had an area of only eight square miles and included the sparse 
population of 1,930 civilians.  The Marines outnumbered the civilian 
population within the TAOR and remained sealed off from the rest of the 
people.  The Marines were separated psychologically from the people by the 
limited defensive mission and physically by wire obstacles and cleared fields 
of fire.<5>


                  The Beginnings of Marine Corps Civic Action

     Marine Corps civic action during the period 8 March-20 April 1965 was 
sharply restricted by the Marine Corps isolation.  Civic action consisted 
primarily of spontaneous acts of commiseration and charity by individual 
Marines towards a small population whose pacification was largely extraneous 
to the tightly circumscribed Marine Corps mission.  The concept of purposeful 
Marine Corps civic action to support the GVN was absent during March 1965 and 
most of April.  The 9th MEB was


                                     16




 
keenly aware of the importance of popularizing the presence of Marines in 
Vietnam but with the continuing buildup and the emphasis on static positions 
in the absence of room for maneuver, neither the need nor the opportunity for 
civic action arose.  Marine Corps efforts to popularize the presence of the 
9th MEB could be characterized by the words limited people-to-people contact.  
No full-time Civil Affairs Officers existed at battalion or squadron level.  
And the Civil Affairs Officers at brigade level, and after 15 April 1965, with 
the 3d Marines, were simply not in the mainstream of concern in March and 
April 1965.  The Marine Corps was busy getting ashore.  And during the first 
two months, "ashore" was a humble area divorced from the great struggle for 
the loyalty of the Vietnamese people.<6>

     The Vietnamese government was only gradually relieved of its nervousness 
about the presence of Marines.  By early April 1965, however, the general 
indifference of the civilian population to the Marine Corps landing was 
apparent.  The care taken by the Marine Corps to reduce friction between 
Marines and Vietnamese civilians made a favorable impression which was 
reinforced by the embryonic but positive and sincere efforts of the individual 
Marine to relieve misery wherever it was present.  At the same time it became 
apparent that the Marine Corps needed to establish control over areas well 
beyond the fixed perimeter of the Da Nang Airbase to ensure its security.  On 
20 April 1965, after discussion and coordination between the CG, 9th MEB and 
the CG, ICTZ, the Marine Corps began to patrol forward in its TAORs beyond the 
wire and other obstacles of the static positions.  Soldiers and civil affairs 
personnel of the ARVN accompanied the Marine patrols which were intended to 
make the local villagers aware of the presence of the Marine Corps and to 
allow the Marines to meet the local governing officials on a face-to-face 
basis.<7>

     On 10 April 1965, several days prior to the time that units of the 9th 
MEB began to patrol forward in their TAORs, the Da Nang area of responsibility 
was expanded from eight to twelve square miles.  Although the total area of 
responsibility remained small, the population jumped several hundred percent 
to the substantial total of 11,441 civilians.  On the same day, the number of 
BLTs in Vietnam rose from two to three with the arrival of BLT 2/3, i.e., the 
BLT formed around the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines.  One day later, elements of 
that organization were lifted by helicopter to the village of Hue/Phu Bai (see 
Map Number Three) with the mission of temporarily securing the airfield and 
the radio station located there.  On 14-15 April 1965, the strength of the 9th 
MEB rose to a total of four BLTs with the arrival of BLT 3/4.  This combat 
organization was committed in the Hue/Bhu Bai area and relieved the units 
which had temporarily secured the air and radio installations.  The two 
additional battalions accentuated the lack of room for maneuver for the Marine 
Corps units within the enlarged but


                                      17



still sharply restricted TAORs.<8>


                           Summary: March-April 1965

     The Marine Corps carried out a combat mission in March 1965 which 
entailed an extensive buildup of strength and the simultaneous orientation to 
the realities of war in Vietnam.  The initial problems of building from a void 
in ground combat strength at the water's (and airfield's) edge to strength 
capable of carrying out the assigned mission were those simply of getting 
ashore.  Although the landing was unopposed and several hundred Marines had 
been ashore in various missions prior to the landing of the 9th MEB, the task 
demanded the full concentration of the Headquarters, 9th MEB, and the maneuver 
and supporting elements.

     The strictly circumscribed mission of the Marine Corps and the low 
population of the operating areas limited contact with the civilian 
population.  Both the mission and the operating areas permitted by the 
sovereign Republic of Vietnam reflected profound fear of U. S. military 
strength.  The Republic had no way of gauging the reaction of a restless, war-
weary peasantry to the intrusion of an obviously foreign, e.g., 
caucasian/negro ground force.  The ARVN, which had become partly separated 
from the population through its emphasis on operations against the main force 
of the Viet Cong, did not offer a comforting precedent for the arrival of a 
new military force in the country. The Republican government and the ARVN 
expected and were prepared for difficulty and reduced the contact between 
Marines and the peasantry to a minimum.  The Marine Corps preoccupation with 
the buildup of strength and the Vietnamese concern over protecting the 
sovereignty of the Republic permitted only a moderate amount of spontaneous 
civic action and practically no well-organized activity in March-April 1965.


                       The Expanding Marine Corps Effort:
                  Formation of the III Marine Amphibious Force

     Late in April 1965 the decision was made to establish a new TAOR for the 
Marine Corps which would include the area eventually known as Chu Lai, a sandy 
uncultivated waste near An Tan, Quang Tin Province, lying approximately 75 
miles south east of Da Nang by road.  The Marine Corps chose this uninhabited 
area for use as an airbase for Marine Corps fighter and attack aircraft and a 
center for the support of the GVN in the nearby heavily populated coastal 
areas of Northern Quang Ngai Province and Central Quang Tin.<9>  To secure the 
Chu Lai area the Marine Corps had to commit a force substantial enough to move 
the center of gravity of the 3d Marine Division from Okinawa to the Republic 
of Vietnam.  The results of the commitment of the 3d Marine Expeditionary 
Brigade at Chu Lai on 7 May 1965 were


                                      18




 
far-reaching.  The place of the division commander was in Vietnam with the 
bulk of his division.  The Marine Corps concept of the air-ground team also 
required the presence of an equivalent air element.  In a swift rush of 
events, the HQ, III MEF a command element senior enough to control a division-
wing organization, established itself ashore at Da Nang at 0800, 6 May 1965.  
Almost simultaneously the Headquarters, 3d Marine Division (-) (Reinforced) 
(Forward) arrived and was activated at Da Nang.  One day later on 7 May 1965, 
III Marine Expeditionary Force was redesignated III Marine Amphibious Force 
(III MAF) for political reasons.  The word, expeditionary, smacked too much of 
the gunboat imperialism of a bygone era and had been used by the French forces 
which entered Vietnam at the end of the Second World War.  Less than one week 
later the Headquarters, 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW) (Advanced) was established 
at the Da Nang Airbase.  On 12 May 1965, when the Chu Lai amphibious operation 
terminated, command of all of the Marine Corps landing force elements in 
Vietnam passed to the CG, III MAF.<10>

     The massive buildup of early May shifted the Marine Corps mission away 
from a tightly circumscribed defensive one.  By 12 May 1965, seven battalions 
stood in Vietnam and were deployed within three TAORs totalling the modest 
area of 15 square miles.  The battalions were more than capable of defending 
their assigned areas.  Therein lay the inefficiency of the situation.  They 
had the mobility, firepower, and numbers to keep the Viet Cong at far greater 
distances than those involved in holding 15 square miles.  Additionally, the 
presence of the Viet Cong infrastructure became familiar to Marines as an 
enemy closer and more real than the main force of the Viet Cong.  III MAF 
required room for offensive maneuver forward of the tight perimeters which had 
been established around the airfields and radio installations.  And the GVN 
needed the security that the Marine Corps combat units could provide in 
support of rural construction and the offensive strength which could be used 
against the main force of the Viet Cong.  The situation in which more than 
14,000 Marines were defending several square miles containing approximately 
14,000 civilians was untenable in the light of the desperate situation of the 
GVN.

     In May 1965, a civic action effort began which was advanced beyond the 
stage of spontaneous people-to-people contact between Marines and Vietnamese 
civilians.  Between 4-10 May 1965, BLT 2/3, which was assigned the TAOR 
northwest of Da Nang, cleared the village of Le My (also known as Hoa Loc) 
(see Map Number One).  For the following reason, however, the experience was a 
frustrating one which served to introduce more advanced Marine Corps civic 
action into Vietnam.  Lieutenant Colonel David A. Clement, Commanding Officer, 
2d Battalion, 3d Marines, who had cooperated closely with the Chief of the Hoa 
Vang District during the clearing operation, realized almost instinctively 
that his strenuous efforts would be negated unless continuing pressure was 
brought to bear on the remnants of the Viet Cong


                                     19



infrastructure in Le My village.  Accordingly, the first complete pacification 
in which Marines were involved began in earnest on 11 May 1965 after the 
elimination of most of the Viet Cong from The My.<11> 

     Farther south in the TAOR located at Chu Thai, the arrival of a third BLT 
on 12 May 1965 gave the Marine Corps a chance to conduct offensive action in 
support of Vietnamese rural construction.  The airfield which was being 
constructed at Chu Lai from Airfield Matting, AM2 (aluminum alloy material), 
was located only a few hundred meters from the South China Sea.  The perimeter 
was unusually easy to defend with one side being close to the sea, the 
immediate area uninhabited, and the general area sparsely peopled.  As a 
result, the three BLTs were more than adequate for the defense and were able 
to conduct offensive operations both along the coast and inland.

     Effective 25 May 1965, the GVN authorized the first major expansion of 
the Marine Corps TAORs.  Until that date the Marine Corps landing force had 
been literally bulging out of its operating areas especially in the Chu Thai 
area.  The Da Nang TAOR was expanded to the impressive total of 156 square 
miles and included a civilian population of 46,146 persons.  The GVN also 
expanded the Chu Thai and the Hue/Phu Bai TAORs, and the Marine Corps became 
responsible for the protection of a total area of 239 square miles with a 
civilian population of approximately 77,000 persons.<12>  In the Chu Thai 
area, favorable opportunities arose for civic action, and the 4th Regimental 
Landing Team (redesignated on 12 May 1965 as 4th Marines) produced results on 
the basis of local initiative.  The 4th Marines directed its efforts towards 
building civilian confidence in the Marine Corps and acquiring intelligence 
about the Viet Cong.


                Advancing Concepts of Civic Action: May-June 1965

     Early in May 1965, the Civil Affairs Officer of III MAF, Major Charles J.  
Keever, had arrived in Vietnam and had proposed a concept for civic action.  
Additionally, he began to write instructions for the reporting of civic action 
activities.  But coordination with the U. S. and Vietnamese government 
agencies and the U. S. private relief organizations in order to formulate an 
effective civic action program was a time consuming task.  The Civil Affairs 
Officer made staff visits in the Chu Thai and Da Nang areas to get information 
about the Vietnamese people and the details of their home life as well as the 
civic action activities of the Marine Corps combat and supporting units.  HQ, 
III MAF greatly expanded its functions of coordination within its TAORs as a 
result of the Letter of Instruction of 29 May 1965 from the Commander, U. S. 
Military Advisory Command, Vietnam (ComUSMACV), appointing the CG, III MAF, as 
Special Area Coordinator for the Da Nang area.  The CG,


                                     20




 
III MAF, became responsible for liaison with local military and civilian 
leaders concerning matters involving U. S. military personnel.<13>  By the end 
of May, the Civil Affairs Officer of III MAF was functioning within a large 
area permeated by the clandestine Viet Cong political apparatus.  The Marine 
Corps began to rub shoulders with the Viet Cong infrastructure and the 
friction which was created helped to impress on HQ, III MAF, the importance of 
Vietnamese rural construction.  The CG, III MAF, and his Civil Affairs Officer 
(CAO) began to realize the importance of directing Marine Corps civic action 
towards support of the governing officials of the Republic and the Vietnamese 
program of rural construction.

     On 7 June 1965, HQ, III MAF, now under the leadership of Major General 
Lewis W. Walt, promulgated concepts of civic action for the Republic of 
Vietnam.<14>  General Walt had arrived in Vietnam on 30 May 1965 and had 
assumed command of III MAF on 4 June 1965 from Major General William R. 
Collins. As events would show, he was extraordinarily interested in supporting 
Vietnamese plans for rural construction.  The instructions issued under his 
authority proved unusually durable.  HQ, III MAF, correctly identified the 
government's rural problems and began to establish the mission and the concept 
of operations to assist the Republic in overcoming the attack on its 
authority.<15>  The order of III MAF left little doubt that civic action in 
support of the hard pressed local government and not "civil affairs/military 
government operations as that term is normally understood" would be the basis 
of Marine Corps action.<16>  The spirit came out strongly in the following 
part of the concept of operations:

          Civic action will be conducted as needed and/or requested
     in a guest-host relationship with the government of the Republic
     of Vietnam.  Reliance will be placed upon agreement and cooperation
     for the achievement of mutually advantageous objectives of the two
     governments.<17>


                            Civic Action in Vietnam:
                      the Picture at the End of June 1965

     In June 1965, however, civic action in Vietnam at the battalion level 
remained in the advanced stages of a people-to-people program.  The complete 
cycle of rural construction was being carried out only in Le My where 
unusually favorably circumstances had permitted the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, 
to occupy the village and to cooperate with the district and village governing 
authorities.  Elsewhere in June in the ICTZ, the Vietnamese government 
approved a massive expansion of the Marine Corps TAORs.  As a direct result, 
the Marine Corps began an aggressive program of counterguerrilla operations in 
the midst of a moderately dense civilian population.<18>  As the Marine


                                     21



Corps began to contact the Viet Cong infrastructure through its operation at 
Le My and as a result of the counterguerrilla effort, it also began to 
coordinate its assistance to the rural population with the numerous U. S. 
government agencies in ICTZ. Simultaneously, various private U. S. assistance 
and relief organizations both in Vietnam and in the United States began to be 
synchronized with Marine Corps civic action.  Finally, the first attack 
aircraft arrived at the Chu Lai airfield on 1 June 1965 and encouraged deeper 
moves against the main force of the Viet Cong, further expansion of the TAORs, 
and more sophisticated civic action.

     III MAF had established an effective program of medical support for the 
rural population by June 1965.  Permanent programs were set up in several 
fixed locations as contrasted with the numerous but irregular contacts made by 
individual Navy medical corpsmen operating with the daylight patrols.  On 15 
May 1965 at Le My, the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, had begun to support a daily 
medical service.  Corpsmen assisted local health workers there in providing 
medical treatment to the local people and helped to instruct the government 
medical trainees.  The situation at Le My was ideal.  The battalion was 
committed to the support of the Vietnamese rural construction cycle hereby the 
village would be returned to the control of local officials of the Republican 
government.  Lieutenant Colonel Clement's battalion ensured the immediate 
physical security of the village and encouraged a self-help attitude amongst 
the officials and the citizens which would free the battalion as soon as 
possible from its support and security functions.  The Marine Corps treated 
approximately 3,000 villagers each week at Le My; and, often the people 
required immediate evacuation to hospital facilities.<19>

     Late in June and farther north in the Hue/Phu Bai TAOR, Lieutenant 
Colonel William W. Taylor's 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, established a weekly 
medical service in the villages of Thuy Phu, Thuy Long, and Thuy Than.<20>  
Civic action had developed slowly at Hue/Phu Bai because of the military and 
the demographic situations.  There the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines was in an 
unusual tactical position.  It was a single battalion defending an airfield 
and radio station isolated from the two large Marine Corps TAORs at Da Nang 
and Chu Lai.  The defensive situation at Hue/Phu Bai was inherently more 
difficult than in the other Marine Corps areas; for example, no part of the 
TAOR at Hue/Phu Bai lay on the sea.  The isolated and land-bound position of 
the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines was responsible for the battalion's emphasis on 
tactics and eventually the hard type of civic action, i.e., civic action which 
stressed security measures.  The battalion's TAOR was also sparsely populated 
with most of the area hilly, covered with clear forest, and totally 
uninhabited.


                                     22




 
     During the first half of June 1965, the battalion had concentrated on 
visits by medical teams supported by powerful security detachments.  The 
visits were important because of their immediate impact and their 
effectiveness in meeting a basic need of the peasantry.  But the visits were 
irregular and had the nature of a warm, humanitarian gift rather than 
impersonal direct support for the local Vietnamese government.  The battalion 
described its medical civic action as people-to-people medical assistance 
visits; the description illustrated the almost private nature of civic action 
as late as mid-June 1965.<21>  But with the expansion of the TAOR on 15 June 
1965 from 38 to 61 square miles, the civilian population increased from 8,000 
to roughly 18,000 persons.<22>  This latest expansion combined with the 
precise yet flexible instructions from HQ, III MAF helped to transform civic 
action into a regular program which would support the expanding 
counterguerrilla operations in the area and ultimately buttress Vietnamese 
rural construction.

     In the Chu Lai area, two of the infantry battalions had established 
regular medical service by June 1965 while the 3d Battalion, 12th Marines, a 
more centrally located artillery battalion, provided a daily dispensary 
service in conjunction with Company B, 3d Medical Battalion.  The Marine Corps 
TAOR around Chu Lai was expanded during June, and by the latter half of the 
month the Vietnamese government had given the Marine Corps the authority to 
conduct unilateral offensive operations within its limits.  The Marine Corps 
began to place greater emphasis on patrolling and ambushing far out in the 
TAOR.  The Marines developed a coherent system of defensive positions to stop 
enemy attacks which was known as the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA).  
The Marine Corps intended to protect the Chu Lai airfield by vigorous 
offensive action far from the field and anchored on the fixed positions of the 
FEBA.  The rise in patrolling activity increased the necessity for a regular 
civic action program coordinated with the local Vietnamese officials.  The 2d 
Battalion, 4th Marines began to operate a medical aid station at Ky Lien 
village every other day.  Corpsmen provided medical treatment for 100-200 
people during each visit of the medical team.  The 3d Battalion, 3d Marines 
also provided medical assistance on a regular basis in its area of 
responsibility in the southern part of the Chu Lai TAOR in the District of 
Binh Son, Quang Ngai Province.<23>  Between 25 May-15 June 1965, the TAOR was 
expanded from 55 to 101 square miles and the population increased from 23,000 
to almost 56,000 civilians.<24>  These changes in area and population 
initially interfered with the development and the continuity of Marine Corps 
civic action by focusing Marine Corps energies on the construction of new 
defensive positions as the FEBA expanded inland from the South China Sea.

     The rough edges of Marine Corps civic action were still apparent in June 
1965.  First Lieutenant William F. B. Francis,


                                     23



who had become Civil Affairs Officer of the 3d Marines on 15 April 1965, 
presented a picture of civic action which substantiated the preoccupation of 
the infantry battalions with tactical missions and the association of civic 
action with superficial people-to-people contact.  Francis also made it clear 
that the other U. S. military units in Vietnam in April 1965 had little to 
offer in the way of useful precedents.  He met a problem of obtaining basic 
supplies, e.g., medicine, food, and clothing, for a civic action program and 
was forced to obtain them largely as gifts.  Clear, legitimate channels of 
requisitioning and funding for civic action supplies took time to establish.  
Coordination between the Marine Corps and the various relief agencies 
including the U. S. Agency for International Development and the Catholic 
Relief Society (USAID and CRS) was slow in developing.  Only a gratuitous 
trickle of supplies for civic action was received until late June 1965.<25>

     Lieutenant Francis believed that the medical program in 1965 was the most 
important one in civic action.  He emphasized the necessity for continuity in 
medical civic action and stated that "to treat [the people] once and let them 
go did absolutely nothing... They felt better for a little while, but really 
it was ineffective unless continued treatment were available."<26>  Francis 
was critical of "pill patrols" amongst the Special Forces, or small patrols 
accompanied by medical personnel who would provide simple first aid.  He 
emphasized that the irregular approach represented by the small combat or 
reconnaissance patrol "was almost a gimmick to win the favor and attention of 
the people [in order] to gain their confidence."<27>  A medical facility 
operating at a fixed well-known location in conjunction with a training 
program for Vietnamese health workers was the best approach.  Francis' basic 
opinion of the civil affairs effort in Vietnam during the early summer of 1965 
was that the action "was enthusiastic but it was disorganized....just sort of 
groping and feeling with inadequate supplies and personnel."<28>

     Captain Lionel V. Silva, the Civil Affairs Officer of the 2d Battalion, 
3d Marines painted a somewhat different picture. His battalion engaged in an 
operation in the Le My area designed to clear the Viet Cong from the village 
complex and to secure the area for the GVN.  The battalion commander and 
Captain Silva soon learned that the temporary clearing of the Viet Cong was 
relatively simple; for example, after one week of shooting there were no more 
rifle-carrying Viet Cong within the village complex.  But the card-carrying 
Viet Cong of the infrastructure remained and the population had not changed 
from its apathetic attitude towards the government.  Lieutenant Colonel 
Clement, the battalion commander, thereupon decided to make his stand in the 
village itself.  Clement was fortunate in the location of his TAOR.  The 
larger Da Nang TAOR was expanded several times during the pacification 
campaign, but the 2d Battalion, 3d Marine


                                      24




 
                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Toys for little girls: two small waifs receive presents furnished through 
the U. S. Navy's Project Handclasp.  1stLt Brendan E. Cavanaugh makes the 
presentation in the village of Noa Thanh near Da Nang on 27 August 1965. (USMC 
A185025)

                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Candy was one of the basic commodities distributed during the early 
spontaneous days of civic action.  In this picture taken on 10 September 1965 
LtCol William F. Donahue, CO, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines passes out candy to 
the children of Cam Ne (VI).  This hamlet was located in the middle of a hard-
core VC area only four miles southwest of Da Nang. (USMC A185697)


                                      24a



was able to secure its area of responsibility without a radical shift of its 
tactical positions.  Continuity proved to be the keynote of success.  The 
battalion established a dispensary which proved to be permanent because 
Vietnamese health workers were trained to staff it and were kept alive by 
Marine Corps rifles.  Finally, and probably most important, local security 
forces were reestablished and were aggressively supported by the people.<29>  
Captain Silva, who was running the civic action program, showed insight into 
the problems of successful civic action when he said "it was obvious that we 
[would] not always be in the Le My area.  Even though we occupied it today, we 
knew that eventually our operations would necessitate our moving out."<30>  
Lieutenant Colonel Clement emphasized the same point.  To him the essence of 
success was to create an administration supported by the people and capable of 
leading, treating, feeding, and protecting them by the time that the battalion 
was forced to leave.

     But notwithstanding the individual success at Le My, the general picture 
of Marine Corps civic action was less a calculated effort at supporting local 
government and more an enthusiastic, irregular effort at medical assistance, 
support for local orphanages, efforts to improve communications, and various 
other activities.  Lieutenant Francis painted the most accurate, general 
picture of civic action for the period March-May 1965. In June, however, HQ, 
III MAF provided central direction for the civic action effort in the form of 
concepts of civic action and the general picture began to change.


              A Stormy Month and an Expanding Mission for III MAF

     The transition from June to July 1965 in Vietnam was sharp and stormy for 
the Marine Corps.  Early in the morning on 1 July 1965, Viet Cong forces 
attacked the southern end of the Da Nang Airbase between two fortified static 
posts.  The attack was a raid conducted by small forces supported by 81mm 
mortars and probably one 57mm recoilless rifle.  The Viet Cong in a stealthy, 
time-consuming operation cut their way through the wire obstacles at the 
southeast end of the runway.  The cutting probably took more than 1-1/2 hours 
at the end of which time a coordinated attack took place.  The mortars and the 
recoilless rifle fired for a period of four or five minutes.  The fire was 
probably intended to inflict as much damage as possible while simultaneously 
suppressing resistance in the immediate area of the penetration so that Viet 
Cong with demolition charges could destroy the closest aircraft.  The Viet 
Cong inflicted moderate damage during the attack and quickly retired after the 
demolitions thrust.  Empty 81mm mortar cases found approximately 300 meters 
east of the runway testified to the boldness of the raid and the 
ineffectiveness of the boundaries of the Marine Corps TAOR.  The Viet Cong had 
launched their raid from an area which was not part of the Marine Corps 
TAOR.<31>


                                     25




 
     HQ, III MAF reacted swiftly to the anomalies in the defensive situation 
to the east and south of the airbase.  To ensure the defense of the airbase, 
the infantry battalion banning the defensive perimeter needed room to patrol, 
ambush, and maneuver several thousand meters forward of the perimeter.  On 5 
July 1965, CG, III MAF requested from CG, I Corps permission to enlarge the 
Marine Corps TAOR by moving eight kilometers into the densely populated rice 
growing region south of Da Nang to ensure adequate depth for the defense of 
the airbase.  CG, I Corps sanctioned the expansion of the Marine Corps into 
the critical area south of Da Nang on 13 July 1965.  Two days later, on 15 
July 1965, CG, III MAF assumed responsibility for the area.  The number of 
civilians under the control of the Marine Corps in the Da Nang area now 
totalled approximately 126,000 persons.<32>  The raid on the Da Nang Airbase 
and its aftermath had deep repercussions in Marine Corps civic action.  After 
15 July 1965,  III MAF came into direct competition with the Viet Cong for the 
loyalties and the support of the Vietnamese peasantry in a critical rice 
growing region immediately adjacent to a major city.

     Nevertheless, Marine Corps civic action continued to have a 
people-to-people, or charitable ring to it.  HQ, III MAF declared the 
objectives of Marine Corps civic action to be to gain support for the GVN and 
to win the confidence and cooperation of the Vietnamese civilians in the 
TAORS.<33>  The Marine Corps, however, was not aware of the depth of 
Vietnamese efforts to win the struggle politically by means of rural 
construction.  The Vietnamese government had placed heavy restrictions on the 
size of the Marine Corps TAORs and the missions to be performed inside of them 
because it doubted the ability of the Marine Corps to operate effectively in 
any of the densely populated areas of I Corps Tactical Zone.  These 
restrictions and doubts were important reasons for the initial Marine Corps 
lack of concentration on the support of rural construction.  For example, 
prior to 15 July 1965, the boundary of the Da Nang TAOR and the eastern 
defensive wire of the airbase coincided.  The Marines were literally fenced in 
and physically cut off from the population to the east and south of the 
airbase.  And they carried out little civic action on the uninhabited runway.

     From March-July 1965, medical treatment was the most important civic 
action project of the Marine Corps.  Teams of Marines, Navy medical corpsmen, 
and interpreters visited hamlets throughout the TAORs in a more advanced 
program than the original spontaneous efforts by combat patrols.  In July 
alone approximately 29,000 civilians were treated for various minor ailments 
and a substantial number of people were evacuated for treatment of major 
afflictions.  The number of treatments was impressive, but the real importance 
would be difficult to gauge.  Medical teams made numerous treatments in 
unsecured areas where an appreciative but terrorized populace was simply 
unable to respond in any way beneficial to the Vietnamese cause.  Probably the 
most important effort by July 1965 had been made at the


                                      26



permanent dispensary at Le My which operated on a daily schedule.  The 
dispensary attracted a large number of Vietnamese peasants from miles around 
the village.  The provision of regular service at central locations pointed 
the way to increased numbers of treatments for Vietnamese peasants and greater 
numbers of intelligence contacts for the Marine Corps.  Probably most  
important though, regular treatment at fixed locations enabled the Marine 
Corps to train Vietnamese personnel to assist and eventually run the health 
centers which the people had come to appreciate.  Short-term, high-impact 
medical visits at irregular times and in varying locations continued to be 
made effectively after July 1965.<34>  But after that month a gradual shift 
began towards more direct support of the Vietnamese government in the form of 
regular service and the training of Vietnamese rural health workers.

     Other civic action programs ranked below medical assistance in both 
general importance and immediate impact in the period March-July 1965.  But 
some of the other programs were unusually simple and effective.  A thing so 
humble in the United States as soap highlighted an important reality of 
disease and infection in Vietnam.  Approximately 75 percent of the ailments 
treated by the medical teams were skin infections caused largely by the lack 
of knowledge of basic hygiene among mothers and persons who were responsible 
for the care of small children.  The Vietnamese peasant quickly accepted soap 
as a beneficial addition to his existence.  The transfer of soap between 
Marines and Vietnamese civilians became an important part of civic action from 
the lowest through the highest levels in III MAF.  And the CG, Fleet Marine 
Force, Pacific (FMFPac) supported a campaign in the United States to collect 
soap for civic action.<35>

     Units of III MAF distributed food and clothing in large quantities in 
South Vietnam.  Sources of these basic commodities varied enormously and 
helped to direct Marine Corps attention to the problems of coordination among 
the numerous agencies and organizations competing to assist the rural 
population.  Unused military rations, e.g., types C, B, and A, were passed on 
to especially needy Vietnamese individuals and families by Marine Corps units.  
In contrast with this spontaneous activity, III MAF received substantial 
quantities of wheat from the Catholic Relief Services, a powerful U.S. private 
relief organization which donated over 6,000 pounds of bulgur (a type of 
parched, crushed wheat) and delivered it to units of III MAF in Vietnam.<36>  
Clothing was a critical need for the Vietnamese people also, especially among 
the younger children.  Parents and elders were often well-clothed because of 
their productive functions in a primitive rural society, but they neglected 
the satisfactory clothing of their younger children.  The hot and humid 
climate of Vietnam was the reason for the physical neglect.  The parents, who 
were certainly not apathetic towards their children, saw little reason for 
concern over clothing


                                     27




 
of the younger ones.  But footwear, light clothes, and hats were necessary to 
counteract the hazards of infections from punctures, infestation by worms, and 
the effects of the sun.  The July temperature variation was a hazard also; 
scantily clad or naked children were apt to have common colds turn into 
serious upper respiratory infections and pneumonia.  The Commanding Officer, 
4th Marines was prompted by the needs of the peasants in the Chu Lai area to 
request his wife on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, to organize a drive for 
clothing and send the collected material to his regiment.  Marine Corps wives 
on Oahu collected over 1,000 pounds of clothing for this humanitarian purpose, 
and the Marines in the Chu Lai TAOR distributed it to the most needy 
individuals and families that they were able to find through coordination with 
the local authorities.<37>

     The Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere (CARE> and Project  
HANDCLASP were additional sources of civic action materials.  CARE was a 
nonprofit, joint organization of 26 accredited American service agencies which 
had been formed in 1945 to help Americans overseas.  Since that time, CARE has 
changed its emphasis to help human beings everywhere and has delivered almost 
one billion dollars worth of supplies overseas.<38>  Project HANDCLASP was an 
official Navy program which had been formed in 1962 to promote mutual 
understanding between Americans and citizens of other lands.  In June 1965, 
the Marine Corps units in Vietnam were brought into the program and shortly 
after that month began to receive HANDCLASP supplies for their civic action 
programs.<39>

     On 5 July 1965, the first CARE supplies for III MAF arrive in Vietnam; 
the shipment was a humble beginning for a program with important possibilities 
for expansion by the Marine Corps.  Two barrels of soap and two boxes of 
medical supplies comprised the first shipment.  The directors of HANDCLASP 
delivered a substantial amount or supplies during July 1965 to Vietnam for 
distribution by III MAF.  The relief and humanitarian nature of HANDCLASP as 
it applied to Vietnam was revealed in the shipping list of the thirst group of 
supplies.  The first shipment, approximately 9,000 pounds of supplies, was 
comprised mainly of soap, buttons, thread, medicine, nutribio (a food 
supplement), and toys.  Both CARE and HANDCLASP after humble beginnings, would 
become important sources of aid for Marine Corps civic action as III MAF 
expanded its TAORs and began to support Vietnamese local government and rural 
construction.  The provision of Marine Corps engineering and general 
construction assistance to Vietnamese in July 1965 highlighted the enforced 
limits of civic action during the first five months in Vietnam.  Operational 
commitments minimized engineer work in support of civic action.  The Marine 
Corps spent several months on the defensive in TAORs which were only gradually 
expanded.  Construction of Main Lines of Resistance (later termed Forward


                                      28



Edges of the Battle Area) took precedence over all building activity in the 
infantry battalions.  And the engineer effort was split amongst airfield 
construction and engineer assistance for clearing new campsites, providing for 
area drainage, and constructing and repairing routes of communication within 
the expanding TAORs.<40>  The continuous buildup of forces and the gradual 
movement inland and along the coast inhibited civic action construction 
projects.

     The development of new life hamlets and the integration of refugees back 
into Vietnamese life were vital issues in the war and were affected by the 
initial defensive posture of the Marine Corps.  III MAF units relocated 
civilian homes lying in fields of fire on the defensive perimeters surrounding 
the Da Nang Airbase and the Chu Lai Airfield.  The movement of civilians under 
these circumstances was not the usual spontaneous and humanitarian thing on 
which the Marine Corps had concentrated.  Coordination with the local 
governing officials proved difficult; this problem was reflected in the 
persistent return of displaced civilians to their cultivated plots.  
Additionally, the Marine Corps did not succeed in solving the problem of fair 
and timely payment of claims by the GVN.<41>


                     The First Five Months of Civic Action:
                Rising Emphasis on Support for Local Government

     Nevertheless, the Marine Corps achieved substantial results in civic 
action during the first five months (March-July 1965) in Vietnam in the face 
of difficulties in emphasis, coordination, and adjustment.  Command emphasis 
was primarily on the tactical integrity of the TAORs and secondarily on things 
like civic action.  HQ, III MAF only gradually established coordination 
between its activities and those of HQ, I Corps Tactical Zone.  The CG, I 
Corps remained suspicious of the intentions and the effectiveness of the 
Marine Corps and this fact interfered with coordination.  But once General 
Walt had assured the tactical integrity of his TAORs, he proceeded to the long 
final step of determining what assistance the GVN required to win the rural 
struggle.  The Marine Corps had required time to adjust to the movements of 
infantry battalions which were required to secure the expanding TAORs.  III 
MAF also required time to develop and apply a sound theory of operations which 
took into account the necessity for security for the officials of the GVN who 
were executing the Republic's plan for rural construction.  By the end of 
July, General Walt began to sense that civic action was the link between the 
Marine Corps tactical mission and Vietnamese rural construction.

     Various factors by June and July 1965 pointed out the importance of 
purposeful civic action in support of the GVN.  Continuous and regular medical 
support for the local population, 


                                     29




 
either at fixed locations or at different locations on a fixed schedule, had 
proven to be extraordinarily effective.  The increasing emphasis on regular 
service implied the integration of Marine Corps medical treatments with the 
struggling Vietnamese Rural Health Service.  A vital link with the Vietnamese 
health program began to be forged by the training of rural health workers by 
corpsmen both in the Da Nang and Chu Lai areas.<42>  The Commanding Officer, 
4th Marines, Colonel Edward P. Dupras, Jr., set up a medical training program 
for Vietnamese health workers in his area on 23 June 1965.  Colonel Dupras' 
effort was a pioneering one in the Chu Lai TAOR and revealed the trend towards 
civic action in direct support of the GVN.<43>

     But coordination between HQ, III MAF and the U. S. Operations Mission in 
Vietnam, the civilian side of the American effort in the Republic was slow in 
developing.  Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) supplies were distributed 
by the U. S. Operations Mission to the U. S. agencies and forces in Vietnam. 
The Marine Corps received no MEDCAP supplies through regular channels in 
March-April 1965 and not until June were appreciable quantities received.  For 
example, on 30 June 1965, the Marine Corps received 1,500 pounds (value 
$2,355.25) of medical supplies to be used during the month of July.<44>  
Coordination between the U. S. Operations Mission and III MAF was critical for 
both organizations.  The mission had funds for medical supplies for support of 
rural construction but no operating personnel at the hamlet-village level.<45>  
The Marine Corps, on the other band, had thousands of Marines and scores of 
doctors and corpsmen who were available as a concrete link between the U. S. 
government and the people of Vietnam at the hamlet level.

     Throughout the first five months in Vietnam as Marine Corps support for 
Vietnamese rural construction began to coalesce, individual Marines launched 
spontaneous "programs" of their own which served as a powerful antidote to the 
Viet Cong propaganda which emphasized the brutality and ruthlessness of a 
foreign, professional, combat force.  Sergeant John D. Moss of Marine 
Composite Reconnaissance Squadron (VMCJ) 1 bought a small horse in mid-June 
1965 near the Da Nang Airbase.<46>  Sergeant Moss then went into the free pony 
ride business and brought brief happiness and lasting memories into the lives 
of many innocents.  Less well known was the anonymous Marine who impressed Mr. 
Nguyen Dinh Nam, Village Chief of Hoa Than (directly west of Da Nang).  After 
observing Marine Corps operations for three months, Mr. Nam wrote a letter 
expressing the emotions of the people in Northwest Hoa Vang towards the Marine 
Corps.  Both he and the rural population were especially impressed by the 
spontaneous humanity of the combat Marines.  Mr. Nam noted the following:


                                     30



                                

                              FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Medical evacuation: a Vietnamese farmer waits for helicopter evacuation 
on 5 May 1965 northwest of Da Nang.  Sgt Dubry, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 3rd 
Marines, is in immediate command of the move.  Evacuation of seriously sick or 
injured civilians was an important part of the Medical Civic Action Program. 
(USMC A184126)

                                

                              FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

    Eye ailments:  infections of the eyes were notoriously common in Vietnam 
and were the result largely of missing emphasis on the use of soap and water.  
In this scene HM-2 M.E.  Prigmore assists an old grey-beard while a probable 
father and small daughter wait their turn.  Note the curious but apprehensive 
spectator at lower right.  (USMC A184659)


                                      30a




 
           They [the Marines] have all the favorable attitudes towards the
        people of this area.  For example, it was noted that one officer of
        the rank of Major while walking saw a child whose foot was bleeding. 
        He stopped and was happy to dress the boy's foot.<47>

     Various Marine Corps combat and supporting organizations carried out 
humanitarian civic action which was imaginative and resourceful.  On Monday 19 
July 1965, Company D, 1st Battalion, 3d Marines purchased a young water 
buffalo for 4,000 piasters ("tourist" rate of exchange approximately 75 
piasters to one dollar) at Hoa Thinh,a village complex located a few miles 
southwest of the Da Nang Airbase.  The company planned to raise the buffalo 
and then give it to an especially needy family.<48>  Closer to the center of 
the TAOR, the Force Logistics Support Group (FLSG) after its formation in the 
Da Nang area, began to support local charitable organizations.  Members of the 
FLSG discovered that in the Sacred Heart Orphanage, a struggling religious 
charity, flour for bread was being provided in moderate quantities from 
Vietnamese government sources.  But the Catholic sisters operating the charity 
seemed less pleased than they should have been with the generosity of the 
government.  The FLSG soon found the answer to the paradox.  The orphanage had 
no facilities for baking bread and the sisters had to deal with a city bakery 
which took half of the flour as the charge for preparing the remainder as 
bread.  The HQ, FLSG, put available Marine Corps ovens to work in support of 
the handful of sisters and their brood of helpless and unwanted youngsters.  
One thousand pounds of bread were soon baked for the cause of the Sacred 
Heart.

     The efforts of Marine Corps civic action were difficult to measure in 
terms of advances in the struggle against the Viet Cong.  HQ, III MAF began to 
collect statistics on the number of medical treatments rendered, pounds of 
food and clothing distributed, etc.  But the correlation between medical 
treatments and the erosion of the Viet Cong political and military effort was 
too complex for definition.  For example, how many civic action medical 
treatments advanced the Republican cause a certain percent towards final 
victory in the war?  Questions of this sort were possible to broach; however, 
they were impossible to answer.  Probably the most effective correlation 
between civic action and the struggle against the Viet Cong was information 
received from the peasants about the movements, activities, and plans of the 
rural communists.  But the receipt of information of intelligence value was 
more dependent on calculated and effective security than warm, spontaneous, 
and humanitarian civic action.  Nevertheless, there was a close relationship 
between security and civic action.  Whenever Marine Corps civic action took 
place, Marine Corps rifles provided security, unwittingly at first in many 
cases but eventually on purpose.  And in spite of the lack of a precise 
mathematical correlation between medical treatments for Vietnamese civilians 
and progress


                                     31



against the Viet Cong, there was an indisputable increase in hard information 
about the enemy.<49>

     Why was this information important?  The Viet Cong existed only with the 
silence of the rural population.  Viet Cong movement and functioning was 
impossible in the event of general disclosure by the peasantry.  Lawrence of 
Arabia, two generations ago spelled out the reality of a successful guerrilla 
movement in a brief thought--a civilian population unwilling to disclose the 
presence and movements of the guerrilla functionaries.  Lawrence's thought was 
a function of his experience in the sparsely populated Northwestern Arabian 
Peninsula.  In the densely populated areas around Da Nang, guerrillas were 
even less able to move without the knowledge of the peasantry.  Viet Cong 
success depended on muting the local people and this was done by a combination 
of physical terror and hope for a better future life.  The emphasis was on 
terror, however, and any successful counteraction by the Marine Corps and the 
Vietnamese government would have to take the form of either more effective 
terror or decisive security against the Viet Cong atrocities.<50>  The Viet 
Cong promise of a brighter future would have to be undercut by an effective 
program of rural construction on the part of the Republic and civic action by 
the Marine Corps.

     The success of Marine Corps civic action could be measured by the receipt 
of intelligence information from the peasantry. And because the peasants 
provided information only with adequate security, the providing of 
intelligence information became one of the best indicators of progress in the 
war.  Reliable information began to increase by mid-June 1965, and by July, 
peasants were providing information in a large number of exchanges.  For 
example, on 10 July 1965, the peasants at Le My reported that route 545 (see 
Map Number One) was mined just north of Hill 282.  Two days later, the 1st 
Battalion, 3d Marines reported that civilians from Thinh Tay had exposed the 
presence of a Viet Cone company located approximately 1,200 meters southwest 
of the district headquarters at Hieu Duc in notorious "Happy Valley" (see Map 
Number One).  Marine Corps infantry battalions which had won the confidence of 
the people by careful attention to their feelings and needs were sometimes 
rewarded with remarkably precise and valuable information.  On 24 July 1965, a 
woman living in Kinh Than reported that two days earlier, 100 Viet Cong 
carrying small arms including one automatic rifle and each carrying one 
grenade passed by her home.  She also noted that the Viet Cong were wearing 
black uniforms and carrying rice in long cloth rolls.<51>

     Civilians like the woman of Kinh Thanh repaid heavy investments in civic 
action.  The Viet Cong insurgency was simply not possible with a population of 
similar people Civic action aimed to create peasants who recognized the Marine 
Corps as a benevolent protector and who were willing to work hand in hand with 
the Republican government for the advancement of the rural


                                     32




 
areas.  And the concept began to emerge that Marine Corps combat operations 
against the main and guerrilla forces of the Viet Cong were not solely for the 
purpose of inflicting casualties.  The higher Marine Corps leadership began to 
visualize the combat operations as the screen behind which Vietnamese rural 
construction could progress and "the other war" could finally be won.


                                     33



                                   Chapter V

                                A Turning Point
                                  August 1965

     August 1965 ushered in a fresh realization of the importance of civic 
action.  HQ III MAF and the infantry battalions had learned that successful 
engagements against main force enemy units and interference with the movements 
of guerrillas were of little importance if the GVN was unable either to 
execute an effective program of rural construction or to reconstruct 
Republican government, and the 9th Marines were obliged to carry out 
operations behind its frontline positions because of the presence of a Viet 
Cong dominated peasantry in Cam Ne village.<1>  These operations called 
attention to the need for much greater coordination between HQ, III MAF and 
the Vietnamese government in the northern region.  The Vietnamese government 
was meeting heavy weather south of Da Nang and the Marine Corps had to trim 
its combat sails in order to assist Vietnamese rural construction behind the 
Marine Corps FEBA.  On 7 August 1965, General Walt assumed operational control 
of the I Corps Advisory Group, a task which carried with is the necessity for 
increased knowledge of Vietnamese plans and capabilities.<2>

     The general situation in August demanded more effective coordination 
between the commanders, politicians, and functionaries who disposed of the 
resources of combatting the Viet Cong.  HQ, III MAF had coordinated 
extensively with the Vietnamese authorities prior to August 1965, but the most 
effective aims for Marine Corps civic action had not yet been determined.  At 
the battalion level, civic action continued to have the spirit of an 
enthusiastic people-to-people effort rather than a program synchronized 
towards a single decisive goal.<3>  For example, the diffuse idea of winning 
the people was simply not enough to direct a useful program of civic action.  
The GVN, the U. S. Operations Mission, and the Marine Corps were winning the 
people; but, the Vietnamese Government was unable to secure areas cleared by 
the Marine Corps and ARVN combat units.  General Walt needed a firmer target 
for civic action.  He had to know two things: first, the Republic's rural 
construction plans, and second, the resources available in ICTZ to support 
those plans.  To discover those things he needed a better system of 
coordination between himself and the authorities of the Vietnamese state.


                                     34




 
            The Formation of the I Corps Joint Coordinating Council:
                                late August 1965

     But the complexities of fighting in a foreign, sovereign state presented 
problems.  Neither the United States nor South Vietnam would accept a single 
military commander and staff.  Yet the Republican Government required the 
efficient use of all of the resources available for the struggle if it were 
ever to reestablish control over its Northern Region.  The situation called 
for great tact; both the United States and Vietnamese authorities required a 
coordinating body to ensure the use of available resources in support of an 
effective plan for the survival of the Vietnamese government.  "Pursuant to 
the August 25, 1965, conversation between General L. W  Walt...and Mr. Marcus 
J. Gordon, Regional Director USOM [United States Operations Mission], I Corps, 
the first meeting of a permanent regional working group was convened on August 
30, 1965."<4>  The Civil Affairs Officer of III MAF had suggested on 29 August 
1965 that the coordinating council which had been created several days earlier 
by the meeting between Walt and Gordon be called the I Corps Joint 
Coordinating Council (I Corps JCC).  The term, council, had no connotation in 
the Republic of Vietnam which precluded its use.  The term, joint, was used 
because General Walt and Mr. Gordon intended that the Vietnamese as well as 
the Americans be represented.

     The establishment of the I Corps JCC was a milestone in the development 
of Marine Corps civic action in Vietnam.  The mission of the council spelled 
out the importance of Vietnamese rural construction and was intended to ensure 
maximum support for it.  The I Corps JCC was to become familiar with the GVN's 
rural construction program in the ICTZ.  Having become familiar with the plan, 
the I Corps JCC was to determine the requirements for cooperation and support 
between agencies and to recommend methods or procedures to meet the 
requirements.<5>

     General Walt, who had been designated as Senior U. S. Military Advisor to 
the CG, I Corps, earlier in August 1965, intended that the I Corps JCC focus 
Marine Corps civic action on a concrete central mission, essentially that of 
supporting Vietnamese rural construction.  General Walt also intended that all 
of the U. S. agencies and private organizations operating in ICTZ be 
synchronized in support of rural construction by a regional-level coordinating 
body.  The Senior (Vietnamese) Government Delegate in the First Region was 
immediately aware of the importance of the council.  General Thi met with 
General Walt on 28 September 1965 and agreed to the formation and purposes of 
the I Corps JCC and appointed Lieutenant Colonel Cach, I Corps Rural 
Construction Officer, as the government liaison officer to the council.

     The I Corps JCC rapidly became the coordinating hub for the civil 
activities of most of the U. S. governmental agencies in


                                     35



the Northern Region of Vietnam.  In addition to the representatives of the 
Vietnamese government and HQ, III MAF, membership on the council included 
members of the following U. S. military, naval, and civilian agencies:

        a.  I Corps Advisory Group, MACV.
        b.  MACV Combined Studies Division.
        c   Naval Support Activity, Da Nang.
        d.  U. S. Embassy, Political Advisor on Staff, III MAF.
        e.  U. S. Agency for International Development, 1st Region.
        f.  Joint U. S. Public Affairs Office, 1st Region.

     The formation of the council under the auspices of the CG, III MAF 
focused Marine Corps attention on the importance of the other war in Vietnam 
and was a powerful boost for organized civic action.<6>  But rural 
construction was a complex thing and the members of the council had to 
establish several working committees to assist them in accomplishing their 
mission.  The committees, within their assigned fields, monitored the 
development of U. S. and Vietnamese plans for future action and determined the 
capabilities of the U. S. and Vietnamese military organizations and civilian 
agencies to support the plans.  The committees which were formed by the I 
Corps JCC read like a list of civic action programs.  The following were in 
operation by January 1966:<7>

        a.  Public Health        d.  Commodities Distribution
        b.  Education            e.  Psychological Warfare
        c.  Roads                f   Port of Da Nang

     General Walt realized, and his feelings were shared by the Commanding 
General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, 
that the central issue of the struggle was the reinstitution of Republican 
political control over the rural areas.  But Walt knew that the lasting 
control, which had eluded the Marine Corps in its embryonic efforts against 
the Viet Cong from March August 1965, would result only from an indigenous 
political effort.  In turn, Marine Corps civic action could provide vital 
support for the government's effort only if HQ, III MAF, knew the government's 
plans, both political and military.  In the Marine Corps scheme of things, 
civic action linked Vietnamese rural construction with the combat operations 
of the Marine air-ground team.  To underscore the importance of the I Corps 
JCC, General Walt designated Brigadier Generals Keith B. McCutcheon and Melvin 
D. Henderson to sit on the council replacing the former colonel "to ensure 
that the III MAF [was] giving the council the best possible support in its 
program of assisting the government of Vietnam in the execution of its rural 
construction program in the ICTZ."<8>  The two generals began to represent the 
Marine Corps on 15 November 1965.


                                     36




 
                                 Golden Fleece

     At the highest level the month of August 1965 was a milestone in the 
synchronization of Marine Corps civic action with Vietnamese rural 
construction.  But farther down the chain of command, Marines developed 
several projects which proved to be of lasting importance.  Lieutenant Colonel 
Verle E. Ludwig, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, controlled a 
sector which included four villages and numerous hamlets.  Ludwig took a deep 
interest in the village chiefs and made effective efforts to support their 
authority and to provide for the real needs of their people.  As the price for 
Marine Corps efforts, Ludwig sought information of intelligence value about 
the Viet Cong.  The battalion formed a joint "Area Security Council" and 
conducted a vigorous and effective counter-guerrilla campaign which totally 
changed the balance of power in its TAOR.  The peasants, like those at Le My, 
soon were convinced that the battalion was able to protect them from the Viet 
Cong.  After a particularly aggressive Marine Corps sweep through the 
battalion TAOR on 29 August 1965, Huynh Ba Trinh, Village Chief of Hoa Hai, 
"said that the villagers were impressed by the U. S. Marines and wanted to 
know if [they] would help them protect their rice crop from the Viet Cong 
tax."<9>  The chain of events was ideal.  The peasants needed assistance and 
had requested it through their government leader.  The Marine Corps was 
presented with a golden opportunity to support a representative of the local 
government and to fulfill a basic need of a large number of people.  
Lieutenant Colonel Ludwig's efforts at coordination, and demonstrations of 
Marine Corps superiority over the Viet Cong, were fused with the basic needs 
of a terrorized and partly starved population.  Lieutenant Colonel Ludwig 
accepted the invitation to protect the rice crop and Operation GOLDEN FLEECE 
was born.

     HQ, III MAF seized the opportunity offered in the area of the 1st 
Battalion, 9th Marines, and by mid-September 1965, GOLDEN FLEECE operations 
were absorbing the energies of a full Marine regiment and were taking place 
both in the Da Nang and Chu Lai areas.  The Marine Corps took the initiative 
from the Viet Cong in the critical field of food supply.  Marine Corps 
infantry battalions forced the Viet Cong to fight for rice which had been 
uncontested for the last two years of Republican weakness.

     A major strength of the Viet Cong had been its lack of dependence on 
fixed supporting installations.  Conversely, in order to maintain the image 
and the reality of political control, the Republican government had to protect 
fixed installations and areas.  The Viet Cong could be likened to bank robbers 
in a city who had the practical advantages of surprise in point and place of 
robbery, and the psychological advantages of being daring, resourceful 
individuals aligned against the


                                     37



police forces of an existing regime.  The government and Viet Cong roles were 
not completely reversed during the GOLDEN FLEECE operations, but only one rice 
bank could be robbed during the harvest of autumn 1965.  Finally, the Robin  
Hood diguise of the Viet Cong was wearing thin by 1965.  The Vietnamese 
peasantry, in spite of the heady Viet Cong promises for the future and the 
enforcement of terror in the present, had requested assistance from the Marine 
Corps.  The request of the people for protection against the Viet Cong was the 
most important fact about GOLDEN FLEECE.

       The GOLDEN FLEECE operations in autumn 1965 effectively harassed the 
Viet Cong.  The latter had been so successful curing 1963-1964 that they 
controlled large areas of the rich ice lands in the ICTZ, i.e., the bank 
robbers had done so well that they owned and occupied the northern rice bank 
by 1965.  But vested interests were anathema to guerrilla movements.  The 
strength of the Viet Cong lay in the ability to choose the weakest of a 
multitude of opposing installations and launch well-planned attacks against 
them in overwhelming strength.<10>  Operation GOLDEN FLEECE forced the Viet 
Cong either to give up an installation on which they had come to depend after 
two years of exploitation, or fight on Marine Corps terms.  Discretion was the 
better part of Viet Cong valor.  The Viet Cong lost probably 90 percent of the 
unrefined rice that they could reasonably have expected to collect based on 
their "tax receipts" during the preceding harvest.<11>


                       The Importance of Local Security:
               Development of the Combined Action Company Concept

     The Marine Corps developed another scheme in August 1965 which provided 
hard security for the peasants and supported rural construction.  Security for 
the Republic's hamlet dwellers was the beginning and the end of rural 
construction, and already by August, the Marine Corps was providing it against  
main force Viet Cong units.  For example, on 18 August 1965, the 7th Marines 
launched Operation STARLITE (18-21 August) against a main force regiment and 
obliterated it.  Reliable body count set the Viet Cong dead at 699 and 
intelligence follow-up revealed probable losses of 1,400 dead including a  
general officer.<12>  And equally as important as success in large unit 
operations, III MAF launched a program of saturation patrolling and ambushing 
during the hours of both daylight and darkness.  Marines moved freely in "Viet 
Cong country" 24 hours a day and this professional effort became the shield 
behind  which the Vietnamese government could reestablish control over the 
countryside.  For any lasting effort, however, the government and not the 
Marine Corps would have to protect the rural population; but, government was 
something which had its foundation in the people.  The government officials 
and the people ultimately had to protect themselves; and, the best


                                      38




 
                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Golden Fleece:  the operations which were called Golden Fleece began in 
August 1965 in the Da Nang TAOR and rapidly spread to other Marine areas.  In 
this picture taken in September, Marine rifles protect peasants carrying rice 
to amphibious tracked vehicles (LVTP-5) for transport to a secure area. Golden 
Fleece was a response to local calls for aid. (MCA185781)

     Soap and water:  lack of personal hygiene was responsible for the high 
incidence of skin disease among children and adults in Vietnam.  In this scene 
Marines wash a little boy as a lesson for the mothers of Thuy Tan village west 
of Hue/Phu Bai in Sep 65.  LtCol Khoa, Province Chief of Thua Thien, evidently 
approves of this joint operation.  (USMC A185541)


                                     38a



form of self-help for the people was participation in the security effort 
against the Viet Cong terror.

     The Vietnamese people helped to protect themselves locally by forming 
Popular Force platoons which were used at the hamlet and village level.<13>  
Some of the better trained and motivated platoons produced remarkable results.  
But in general, the equipment and training of the platoons and their 
unimaginative use in static defensive positions made them a slender reed in 
the fight against the Viet Cong.  The latter were able to concentrate 
themselves at leisure against the fixed posts of the Popular Forces and by 
launching attacks with a predetermined crushing superiority in numbers and 
firepower were able to overwhelm them with ominous regularity. 

     During August 1965, however, in the Hue/Phu Bai area, the Marine Corps 
with the cooperation of several village chiefs formed a Joint Action Company 
to meet the problem of local security.  Both the Marines and Vietnamese knew 
the limitations of the Popular Forces but wanted to place local security on 
Vietnamese shoulders.  Several village chiefs agreed to allow four Popular 
Force platoons to work directly with four Marine rifle squads.  The resultant 
force was called a Joint Action Company and was commanded by a Marine Corps 
officer who used the Marines to train the Popular Forces in small unit 
tactics, marksmanship, etc., and to serve as the nucleus for patrols and 
ambushes throughout the village area assigned to each platoon.  The joint 
platoons would also conduct vigorous civic action programs in support of the 
local governing officials.  The program would emphasize self-help by the 
peasants in the civic action projects while security would be provided by the 
joint platoons.<14> 

     By 14 August 1965 the CG, 1st Vietnamese Army Division, had assigned six 
Popular Force platoons in the Hue/Phu Bai area to the operational control of 
the CO, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines.  The latter ensured the coordination of 
operations within the battalion TAOR by providing communications between the 
Joint Action Company and the battalion's combat operations center. 
Additionally, a Marine Corps officer with a knowledge of the Vietnamese 
language commanded the company and a Vietnamese officer acted as executive 
officer facilitating cooperation in both directions--Vietnamese and Marine 
Corps.  The Joint Action Company immediately freed one Marine Corps rifle 
company from security duty within the perimeter.  The concept promised to free 
the attached Marine rifle squads as soon as the Popular Forces had received 
the training and gained the confidence to defeat the Viet Cong alone. 

     The integration of Marines into Popular Force platoons was successful 
from the beginning.  In an "exclusive interview" with a reporter of the Los 
Angeles Times, General Walt revealed on 21 September 1965, that the concept 
was being tested and


                                     39




 
emphasized that the integration did not involve first line Vietnamese 
soldiers.<15>  General Walt cautiously revealed the integration because of the 
implications of foreign military control over Vietnamese forces.  Walt's 
caution was also justified in order to reduce the impact of any unforeseen 
setback in the program.  By the end of September, though, it was evident chat 
the program was developing successfully and General Walt publically announced 
a new and successful program in civic action.

     The ultimate importance of the integration program or Combined Action 
Companies--the present term for the former Joint Action Companies--was the 
support provided for Vietnamese revolutionary development.  Captain Francis J. 
West, Jr., writing at first band about the Combined Action Companies, had the 
following to say concerning their broader implications:

          Properly used and supervised, the CAC can become a catalyst
     for development at the village level.  Where there are Revolutionary
     Development Teams it can aid and support them.  Where there are no
     Revolutionary Development Teams it can work to help the Popular
     Forces and hamlet chiefs and elders bring about change and progress.
     CAC is an interim program designed to assist the Vietnamese.  It is
     not designed to displace the village leadership or replace the
     Revolutionary Development Program.  Quite the contrary...village
     chiefs and Revolutionary Development Team Leaders have been quick
     to use the CAC units in their support.<16>


                Support for Civic Action from the United States:
                         the Reserve Civic Action Fund

     While the development of civic action was accelerating in August 1965 
with the appearance of the GOLDEN FLEECE and the CAC concepts, the Marine 
Corps began a notable program of support for civic action on a nation-wide 
scale in the United States.  Captain Rodgers T. Smith, who was stationed at 
HQ, U. S. Marine Corps, Division of Reserve, and several other officers knew 
that tools, food, medicine, and other necessities were in short supply for 
Vietnamese civilians within the Marine TAORs despite government and private 
assistance efforts.  Yet thousands of Marines were in close, daily contact 
with Vietnamese civilians at the hamlet level and were available to distribute 
additional supplies.  At the same time thousands of Marine Corps reservists 
were anxious to assist their regular comrades by contributions of their own.  
An effective system would have been to purchase supplies in the United States 
and ship them overseas to III MAF which had the Marines and the machines to 
distribute them.  But shipping space was at a premium as a result of the 
buildup in Vietnam, and the purchase of commodities directly by Marines was 
prohibited by Marine Corps policy.<17> 


                                     40



                                 

                             FIGURES NOT AVAILABLE

     Claims against the Marine Corps:  damage to crops and homes and injuries 
to civilians were the inevitable result of a war amongst the people.  In this 
picture taken south of Da Nang on 13 Aug 65 the CG, III MAF himself presents a 
new motor-bike to a claimant.  The civilian (right) was struck by a Marine 
truck which destroyed his former bike.  (USMC A184977)

     Clothes for old men:  the warm scarf was contributed from the United 
States to Marines of III MAF who in turn arranged for its presentation to a 
citizen of Vietnam through officials of the government.  In this scene an ARVN 
soldier contributes the scarf in June 1965 to a needy farmer under pleasant 
and effective circumstances.  Note the waif lower right. (USMC A184687)


                                     40a




 
     With these problems in mind, Major Glenn B. Stevens and Captain Smith 
visited the Washington office of CARE on 24 August 1965 and discussed ways 
that the Marine Corps Reserve and CARE could alleviate the suffering of human 
beings in Vietnam and further the cause of Marine Corps civic action.<18>  The 
Marine Corps officers and the Director of the Washington CARE Office, Mrs. 
Ruth M. Hamilton, rapidly worked out a mutually agreeable plan.  Marines would 
collect no monies; instead, each Marine in the reserve would contribute 
directly to CARE offices throughout the United States in envelopes marked 
specifically for the "Marine Corps Reserve Civic Action for Vietnam."  CARE 
would then purchase the needed supplies and deliver them to the III MAF.  To 
avoid the bottleneck in shipping space from the United States and to assist 
the Vietnamese economy, CARE would purchase as much of the supplies as 
possible within Vietnam itself.  The Commandant of the Marine Corps launched 
the program officially on 13 September 1965 and emphasized that the conduct of 
a joint Marine Corps Reserve/CARE Program was a task short of mobilization for 
which the Reserve was singularly well-qualified.<19>  The Reserve did not 
disappoint the Commandant; by 3 January 1966 it had contributed over $100,000 
and simultaneously had carried out a bit of civic action in the United States   
--the annual Toys for Tots Program.<20>


                                      41



                                   Chapter VI

                     Accelerating the Pace of Civic Action
                 The Challenge of Support of Rural Construction
                           (September-December 1965)

     For the Marines in Vietnam, the month of September 1965 was one of 
expanding civic action programs and increasing emphasis on patrolling and 
ambushing.  Patrols and ambushes began to mesh more closely with civic action 
and rural construction.  Both of the latter were possible only with the 
security or the operators of the civic action medical teams, Vietnamese 
People's Action Teams, etc.  Operations like STARLITE and PIRANHA (7-10 
September 1965) against main force Viet Cong units reduced the chances of 
overt action against the air facilities in the Marine Corps TAORs.<1>  But 
these operations took place in peripheral population areas and had no direct 
effect on the people.  The Viet Cong defeats, however, affected the enemy's 
tactics in all of the Marine Corps TAORs.  The defeats convinced the Viet Cong 
that the best way to maintain their influence was to intensify guerrilla 
warfare aimed at positive control over an expanding number of hamlets.  
Expensive large scale victories or more probable defeats at the hands of a 
flexibly maneuvered Marine Corps with superior firepower are to be avoided.  
By early October 1965, the joint Marine Corps and ARVN effort to win in the 
northern region had forced the Viet Cong into the tactics of small unit 
guerrilla warfare.  But the deeply intrenched Viet Cong infrastructure and 
associated guerrilla bands were an enemy which in turn required changes in 
tactics on the part of the Marine Corps.<2>

     To defeat the Viet Cong at the enduring grass roots level, a dramatic 
increase in Marine Corps civic and small unit counter-guerrilla action took 
place between October-December 1965.  Patrols and ambushes in October totalled 
5,327 separate actions; by December the total was 7,206.  Marine Corps 
personnel strength remained almost stationary during the period<3> thus 
supporting the view that III MAF had partly shifted its emphasis to small unit 
action in support of civic action and rural construction.  Within the civic 
action program proper, medical treatment was probably the best indicator of 
trends towards either the expansion or contraction of the program.  Medical 
treatment was largely the result of command emphasis within III MAF and was 
not so dependent on outside sources of transportation and similar factors, as 
for example the receipt and distribution of food and clothing.  III MAF, 
working through practically stable number of Marines, raised the number of 
Vietnamese civilians treated medically from approximately 43,000 in October 
1965 to almost 61,000 in December 1965.<4> 


                                     42




 
     After August 1965, Marine Corps civic action began to pass out of the 
stage of people-to-people activity and into the stage of linking Marine Corps 
civic action with Vietnamese rural construction.  The I Corps Joint 
Coordinating Council, with its plainly announced purpose of supporting 
Vietnamese political activity in the countryside, forced the synchronization 
of civic action with Vietnamese plans for political, social, and economic 
change.  Changes in Marine Corps organization reflected the increased emphasis 
on civic action.  Until October 1965, many battalion, regimental, and 
divisional civil affairs billets had been additional duty assignments.  For 
example, the Civil Affairs Officer of the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines during the 
Le My pacification program had been primarily the Intelligence Officer of the 
battalion.  Late in October 1965, the Civil Affairs Section of the special 
staff at HQ, III MAF was changed to a fifth general staff section.  The Civil 
Affairs Officer became the G-5 of III MAF and plans were made to transfer the 
Psychological Warfare Section from the G-3 Section to the G-5.  The G-5 
officer became responsible for civic action and psychological warfare and had 
as primary assistants a Civic Action Officer and a Psychological Warfare 
Officer.<5>

     The formation of a G-5 Section at HQ, III MAF led to the formation of 
similar general staff sections within many of the headquarters elements of the 
3d Marine Division and the 1st Marine Air Wing.  However, all of the 
appropriate subordinate units of III MAF were not able to form G- or S-5 
sections.  Regiments and battalions were generally involved monthly in 
operations against the main force of the Viet Cong and these combat efforts in 
addition to the counter-guerrilla operations necessitated the use of most 
officers in combat billets.  Most commanders were aware of the importance of 
civic action, especially when they began to realize that their combat efforts 
were reduced in value by ineffective Vietnamese rural construction and poorly 
coordinated Marine Corps civic action.  But the large unit combat missions and 
the burgeoning counter-guerrilla actions took most of the energies of the 
battalions and practically all of the available personnel.  Nevertheless, the 
regiments and air groups soon had either full-time Civil Affairs Officers or 
S-5 Officers and the battalions and squadrons attempted to follow suit.  As 
early as October 1965 the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines established an S-5 Section 
which was responsible for the civic action and the psychological warfare 
effort of the battalion.  HQ, III MAF remained flexible in the matter of 
organization and promulgated no directives which enforced a standard 
organization for civic action throughout III MAF.

     The formation of the I Corps Joint Coordinating Council and the 
establishment of G-5 and 5-5 sections began the decisive coordination of civic 
action with rural construction and gave III MAF the interal organization to 
ensure the support of the latter.  The Viet Cong ran afoul of the increasingly


                                     43



effective Marine Corps civic action in October 1965 during the dramatic attack 
against the Marble Mountain air facility near Da Nang.  The action was a 
typical well-planned but rigidly executed Viet Cong raid.  Numerous enemy 
units were involved in the action.  A main force battalion moved out of Happy 
Valley ten miles southwest of the Da Nang Airbase with the apparent intention 
of attacking the base from the west and creating a diversion for the 
demolitions experts at Marble Mountain.<6>  On the same night, 27/28 October 
1965, Company I, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines acting on information gleaned 
through civic action rapport with the local civilians set up an ambush 
approximately 1,100 meters south of Bo Mung (see Map Number One) on a trail 
known to the Marines as Henderson Road.  The reinforced squad comprising the 
patrol waited only 30 minutes before elements of a heavily armed force of 
approximately company strength heading east blundered into the ambush.  
Captain Thomas F. McGowan, Executive Officer of the company, who debriefed the 
patrol leader, was not certain that the ambush had struck the advanced 
elements of a company.  But he noted that the ambush contacted a large group, 
probably 70-100 men.  Fifteen Viet Cong were killed in the action and the 
large number of dead supported a view that the group had a mission which 
involved a determined thrust past any resistance which it might encounter in 
the vicinity of Bo Mung.<7>

     By October 1965, civic action had become an efficient program in most of 
the Marine Corps battalions and squadrons. The stabilization of the TAORs and 
the presence of a large civilian population had placed the Marine Corps in 
close contact with the peasants.  The 3d Battalion, 9th Marines had checked a 
Viet Cong thrust through its area on 27 October 1965 largely as a result of 
information received from civilians who had come to respect Marine Corps 
humanity more than they feared Viet Cong terror.  The battalion had a civic 
action program in October which was transitional between the people-to-people 
idea and the concept of deliberate support for Vietnamese rural construction.  
Its program was representative of Marine Corps civic action towards the end of 
1965.

     HQ, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines connected psychological warfare with civic 
action within an S-5 Section and in October employed the Vietnamese I Corps 
Psychological Warfare Battalion Audio Team on seven different occasions 
amongst its "frontline companies."  The battalion originated several leaflets 
as reactions to specific incidents, e.g., Vietnamese children wounded by Viet 
Cong mortars, civilian casualties from Marine Corps fire, movement of the 
battalion dispensary, etc.  The psychological warfare program was designed to 
react to predictable incidents, to prepare the local population for initial 
contacts with the Marine Corps, and to condition the civilians of any 
operational area towards responses favorable to the battalion.  Four 
helicopter broadcasts were made in October 1965


                                     44




 
warning the people to take cover when the Viet Cong were in their area, and a 
total of 125,000 pieces of propaganda material were dropped in five additional 
helicopter missions.<8>

     The HQ, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines ensured effective liaison with the 
Vietnamese government and representatives of the U. S. Operations Mission in 
its TAOR.  The battalion made special efforts at the District/Sub Sector level 
to coordinate support for the Nine-Village Hoa Vang Pacification Plan and to 
avoid duplication of effort.  The medical program continued to be the most 
important for civic action.  Battalion medical personnel treated 1,842 
Vietnamese civilians; approximately 80 percent of the people treated were 
children under 18 years of age.  The battalion clearly delineated its 
short-range projects which were similar to those in most battalion-level 
units.  The projects included the following:<9>

     a.  Medical assistance including evacuation
     b.  Soap distribution
     c.  Food distribution
     d.  Market Areas
     e.  Damage claims
     f.  Civic action orientation for Marines
     g.  Civilian collection points during tactical operations

     The 3d Battalion, 9th Marines was not a completely representative 
battalion, however, and its programs were unusual in their emphasis on 
psychological warfare and their opportunity for support of the Republic's 
rural construction in the nine villages south of the Cau Do River in Hoa Vang 
district.<10>  The battalion cleared that area in cooperation with other 
Marine Corps units and the Vietnamese Army.  Following the clearing action, 
the Chief of Quang Nam province sent survey teams into the area to take a 
census, to determine the needs of the villagers, to identify the Viet Cong 
infrastructure, and to prepare plans for rural construction.  Training of 
Vietnamese personnel to carry out the tasks of rural construction went on 
concurrently, and by the end of October 1965, People's Action Teams were ready 
to bring a new life to Hoa Vang with the critical support of one Regional 
Force battalion.  In this area III MAF rubbed shoulders with a major 
Vietnamese rural construction project for the first time.  But with the 
orientation of the Marine Corps forward in the TAOR, the responsibility for 
the security of the rural construction project fell on the shoulders of the 
Regional and Popular Forces whose training and equipment were not fully 
effective.<11>


                        Civic Action in November 1965:
             First Contact with a Major Rural Construction Project

     On 1 November 1965 the intensive rural construction effort began in Hoa 
Vang district.  The 59th Regional Force Battalion


                                     45



was committed alongside of a Rural Construction organization of 350 trained 
Rural Construction personnel who received salaries from the Vietnamese 
government.  The 3d Battalion, 9th Marines coordinated closely with the 
Regional and Popular forces and the rural construction workers and provided 
nighttime security for the People's Action Teams within the tactical areas of 
Companies I and L.  The Vietnamese conducted patrols, initiated a census, and 
began political and psychological warfare operations in the hamlets.  As 
November 1965 drew to a close, the census had been completed, schools were 
reopening, and local government was budding into life.  But security for the 
rural construction effort depended on local Popular Forces and these had not 
been brought under the control of the Marine Corps for training and tactical 
direction.  The Popular Forces here ignored by the ARVN, unpaid by the GVN, 
poorly armed, and defensively oriented.  Nevertheless, the Popular Forces were  
the main target of Viet Cong attacks.  And without them, the well-trained 
rural construction cadre were forced to defend themselves rather than provide 
direction for a new life in the nine villages.<12>

     The campaign made its greatest progress in Hoa Thai village where III MAF 
forces provided security for the young paramilitary and political shock 
troops.  But within the village complex the two hamlets of Cam Ne and Yen Ne 
proved especially difficult to dominate and the rural construction workers 
were unable to finish the securing stages of rural construction before the 
defending Marine battalion moved its security forces outward towards the FEBA.  
On 21 December 1965, elements of the 59th Regional Forces Battalion, which had 
taken over the security of the hamlets, were attacked by a force of 50-60 Viet 
Cong.  The peasants of Cam Ne and Yen Ne had probably sheltered the Viet Cong 
for two days prior to the attack.  Rural construction came to a halt; the 
rural construction workers were withdrawn from the hamlets and a reinforced 
rifle company of the 3d Battalion, 3d Marines began a methodical sweep of the 
area.  Rural construction cadre were not reintroduced until January 1966.<13>

     The Corps JCC, assured of the full support of Generals Walt and Thi, 
assisted in the coordination of the Quang Nam Pacification Project.  During 
November 1965, membership on all of the committees of the council was expanded 
to include representatives of I Corps and the GVN as working members. The I 
Corps JCC started an Institutional Program which illustrated the importance of 
coordination.  As the first step in the program, orphanages, schools, 
hospitals, sanitariums, ARVN dependents, and survivors of members of the 
Popular and regional Forces were contacted to determine their requirements for 
living.  The next step of the council was to discover the resources available 
within ICTZ and from outside to support the institutions, dependents, and 
survivors.  The political and military organizations within I Corps Tactical 
Zone would


                                     46




 
use their resources and those available from outside the zone to fill the 
requirements.  Coordination of this sort reduced overlapping efforts of 
support and brought relief to those whose needs had been overlooked.<14>

     On 22 November 1965, the I Corps JCC took another forward step to assure 
coordinated programs of civic action and rural construction.  The council 
formed a Joint Psychological Warfare/Civil Affairs Center whose mission was to 
develop themes and material of propaganda value, to prepare joint plans for 
psychological operations, and to organize audio-visual and civic action teams.  
The officer commanding the 3d Psychological Warfare Battalion of the ARVN was 
designated as the director of the center and the G-5, III MAF, was made the 
operations officer.

     By November 1965, Marine Corps civic action was being synchronized with 
the Vietnamese struggle for survival through the medium of the I Corps JCC.  
HQ, III MAF became aware of the important 1966 plan for rural construction 
through the close liaison developed by the I Corps JCC and the directives 
received from ComUSMACV.  Various younger Vietnamese leaders exemplified by 
Aspirant General Nguyen Duc Thang, Secretary of State for Rural Construction 
in October 1965, saw victory in the efforts of shock groups of young people 
trained at the national level in the paramilitary and political arts of 
bringing revolutionary change to the countryside.  The groups would carry the 
war to the Viet Cong at the grass roots level in areas chosen as decisive by 
the government.  One of the four priority, i.e., decisive, areas for rural 
construction in 1966, lay in the Da Nang area of Quang Nam Province.  Marine 
Corps civic action to be most effective in the future would have to support 
Vietnamese rural construction in its latest form.

     Against a background of improving coordination at the highest level, the 
Marine Corps battalions and squadrons carried out an imaginative program of 
civic action which remained enthusiastic but became more effective.  In spite 
of a natural reticence on the part of the CG, I Corps, to place armed 
Vietnamese under the operational control of HQ, III MAF, the integration of 
Popular Forces in Marine Corps operations continued in November 1965.  At the 
beginning of that month, the CG, I Corps, placed eight Popular Force platoons 
under Marine Corps direction in the Da Nang TAOR.<15>  The Marine Corps began 
to train those platoons in small unit tactics and to integrate the units into 
the massive scheme of Marine Corps patrolling and ambushing.<16>  Companies A 
and B, 1st Battalion, 3d Marines established training specifically in rifle 
marksmanship and scouting and patrolling in their areas, northwest of Da Nang.  
A Regional Forces platoon was also assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3d Marines 
and the battalion established a two week basic training camp for the Regional 
Forces in which personal hygiene, first aid, close order drill, rifle 
marksman-


                                     47



ship, Vietnamese history, and English were stressed.  The subjects taught 
revealed the qualitative weaknesses of both the Popular and Regional Forces.  
Personal hygiene, close order drill, and rifle marksmanship although requiring 
continuing stress were among the most basic military subjects.

     In the Hue/Phu Bai area the tight integration of Marine Corps rifle 
squads within Popular Force platoons and the resulting Combined Action 
Companies was effective in expanding medical treatment, distribution of 
commodities, and other types of conventional and humanitarian civic action.  
The changing complexion of civic action, however, was shown on 29 November 
1965 when a CAC squad ambushed a Viet Cong platoon and killed about 25 of its 
members.<17>  The success of the CAC in furthering self-help projects among 
the villagers and providing security, led to the formation of additional CACs 
in the Da Nang and the Chu Lai TAORs.  The importance of increasing the 
quality and encouraging the growth of the Popular Forces was difficult to 
exaggerate.  The ARVN concentrated its attention in 1965 and 1966 on 
operations against the main forces of the Viet Cong; hence, security devolved 
on the Popular and the Regional Forces.  Between main force operations and 
rural construction a security gap appeared which became the single most 
important factor in the slow progress of the war against the Viet Cong in 
1966.<18>  The importance of Marine Corps civic action and its dramatic 
expansion beyond the people-to-people concepts of spring 1965, was shown by 
the Combined Action Companies which were an attempt to close that gap.


                    Medical Assistance:  Varying Techniques
                               by November 1965

     Medical treatments continued to be the mainstay of civic action towards 
the end of the year.  The 1st Battalion, 3d Marines which had entered Vietnam 
in November 1965, took over the responsibility for the northwestern part of 
the Da Nang TAOR including the dispensary at Le My.  In an effort to improve 
medical service by expanding it, the battalion changed the permanent 
dispensary at Le My to a mobile aid station which visited Il different hamlets 
during each week.  The mobile station remained in each hamlet for half a day.  
In the last few days of November 1965, using the mobile technique, the 
battalion medical team treated almost 500 civilians daily compared with 
approximately 250-300 daily at the permanent dispensary.  The effort 
highlighted the complexities of civic action.  For example, if the battalion 
were ordered to reinforce an operation against the main forces of the Viet 
Cong, the battalion medical team would be unable to provide so extensive a 
service.  It was questionable, also, that the local Vietnamese authorities 
would ever have the transportation, personnel, or medical supplies to emulate 
the Marine Corps mobile teams.<19>


                                     48




 
     Farther south in the Da Nang TAOR, the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines operated 
in direct competition with a well developed Viet Cong infrastructure in a 
heavily populated area.  The medical effort was a mobile one by necessity, but 
the peasants were reticent about receiving aid because of threats from the 
omnipresent Viet Cong.  Whereas the battalion operating in the more securely 
pacified area around Le My treated approximately 5,000 Vietnamese civilians 
the harder pressed 3d Battalion, 9th Marines treated only 1,544 and most of 
these were children.<20>  But the challenge in the south generated vigorous 
techniques for influencing an uncommitted population.  On 19 November 1965, 
Company L coordinated the presentation of clothing and foodstuffs to 20 needy 
families in An Trach (1).  The People's Action Team which operated in the 
hamlet area selected the families and Major Gia, the ARVN officer in charge of 
the Ngu Hanh Son Rural Construction Project, attended the presentation.  Prior 
to the presentation an ARVN Psychological Warfare and Drama Team presented 
information and entertainment.  Using techniques developed for the An Trach 
(1) presentation, i.e. Vietnamese determination of need, and the presence of 
Marines with local government officials, Company I of the same battalion 
coordinated the presentation of civic action supplies to needy peasants in 
Nhan Tho.<21>


                            Face-to-Face Persuasion

     By the end of November 1965, Company K had developed a Civic 
Action/Psychological Warfare Team and employed it forward of the battalion's 
Forward Edge of the Battle Area on seven occasions.  The company executive 
officer or the first sergeant acted as team leader.  The composition of the 
team varied with the particular mission, but the team leader generally 
employed S-2 Section scouts, company and Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) 
corpsmen, the battalion chaplain, several Marines especially interested in 
civic action, and possibly most important, an effective interpreter.  The team 
would be transported by tank to a meeting place with a platoon patrol.  Then, 
operating from a secure patrol base, the team would contact the local 
governing authority in a chosen area and arrange for medical assistance for 
the people.  Simultaneously, Marines passed through the hamlet distributing 
psychological warfare material, searching homes, and distributing candy and/or 
other inexpensive supplies.  The hamlet chief and the peasants who were felt 
to have information of intelligence value were separated from the rest of the 
villagers and interviewed privately. 

     The Commanding Officer, Company K described the technique as face-to-face 
persuasion; the vigorous program soon paid dividends.  All members of the 
company were aware of the importance of correct and effective dealings with 
the rural population.  On 15 November 1965, a patrol leader who had


                                     49



entered the hamlet of Bich Bac, nine miles south of Da Nang, interrogated a 
civilian who revealed the presence of several Viet Cong in the hamlet.  The 
local resident explained that the Viet Cong were part of a larger force which 
operated west of Bich Bac.  He elaborated that when Marine Corps patrols 
passed through the hamlets of Bich Bac and its western neighbor Thai Cam, the 
Viet Cong always fled on the trails leading southward from the hamlets.<22>

     Using the information obtained from the face-to-face discussion of a well 
instructed patrol leader with a civilian who had decided to support the allies 
of his government, HQ, Company K spent several days planning an operation 
against the hamlets.  Following careful planning, the company sent into the 
area a large patrol which purposely rested south of the hamlets and operated 
from there for the rest of the day.  The patrol departed late in the afternoon 
but left behind south of the hamlets an ambush group which methodically and 
quietly moved into positions covering the southern trails from the hamlets.  
One small team spent approximately 18 hours within a few meters of a 
Vietnamese home without being detected.  The next day the company sent another 
patrol into the hamlets from the east.  Precisely as described by the friendly 
civilian the Viet Cong moved out towards the south.  Walking swiftly and 
remaining extraordinarily well spaced, the Viet Cong blundered into the 
various ambush teams.  Surprise was complete.  The teams captured ten persons 
without a single shot being fired.  The company commander had combined civic 
action and careful tactical planning to consummate an unusually successful 
ambush south of Bich Bac.<23> 


                       A Growing Humanitarian Tradition

     Throughout the Marine Corps TAORs individual efforts at civic action 
continued in what was becoming a growing Marine Corps tradition of 
humanitarianism.  It would be unreasonable to say all or even most Marines 
were innately, positively oriented towards the individual type of civic 
action.  A careful study by psychologists military officers, statisticians, 
etc., would be required to establish the generality that all or most Marines 
were inherently compassionate ambassadors of good will.  But, enough Marines 
were contributing special efforts on an individual basis to lend reality to 
the propaganda which proclaimed the beneficent purposes of the allies.  
Simultaneously the hard, purposeful civic action in support of security and 
rural construction was made more effective by the gentleness and commiseration 
of a substantial number of Marines.  For example, in Company K alone of the 3d 
Battalion, 9th Marines more than 150 dollars had been spent by Marines on 
clothing for children in the area of Yen Ne (1) by the end of November 1965.   
The purchases had been an individual effort and they supported the well 
developed propaganda which emphasized that


                                     50




 
Marines were friends of the Vietnamese people.  In addition, a medical 
corpsman from the company paid the annual tuition fee enabling an 11-year old 
child to attend a Catholic girls' school in Da Nang.<24>  Examples of 
individual efforts similar to those in Company K could be multiplied by the 
number of Marine Corps companies throughout ICTZ.

     The 3d Battalion, 9th Marines distributed representative quantities and 
types of civic action materials also.  Various sources, including U. S. 
private and governmental organizations provided the basic materials in most 
cases.  The battalion distributed several hundred pounds of liquid and bar 
soap and approximately 1,800 pounds of cornmeal and bulgar.  The battalion 
also contributed in support of its civic action program 42 gallons of cooking 
oil and small quantities of salt, sugar, candy, soft drink mix, and assorted 
toys.  A private source in the United States contributed a particularly humble 
offering--50 rubber balls for children.  Company I gave 25 pounds of garbage 
daily during the month of November 1965 to the peasants of Bo Mung for animal 
feed.  The material distributed by the battalion was moderate in quantity and 
disparate in usefulness, e.g., rubber balls, garbage, wheat, and soft drink 
mix, but it effectively supported medical assistance, psychological warfare, 
face-to-face persuasion, and several hundred patrols and ambushes.  During 
November 1965, the battalion received an increased amount of intelligence from 
the Vietnamese peasants including that which led to the Bich Bac ambush and 
the identification or destruction of booby traps on five separate occasions by 
the villagers at An Trach (1).<25>  Finally, on 18 November 1965, a Viet Cong 
defected to the Regional Forces 703d Company, located within the battalion's 
TAOR, and explained that a psychological warfare leaflet had been instrumental 
in his defection.  The leaflet was one of several hundred thousand laboriously 
produced by the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines.


                      The End of the Year:  December 1965

     By December 1965, III MAF and its predecessor the 9th MEB had operated 
for almost one year in Vietnam.  Civic action had initially been a weakly 
developed effort with limited command emphasis.  The complex process of 
landing and building up strength had taken most of the Marine Corps time and 
effort.  Once the landing areas had been secured and logistics support 
ensured, HQ, III MAF began to stress the expansion of its TAORs in order to 
carry out its combat missions more effectively.  Each of the numerous 
expansions involved a change of positions and a reconstruction of the FEBAs.  
General Walt placed heavy emphasis on a well developed FEBA and a supporting 
Combat Outpost Line.  When the Marine Corps mission was expanded to one of 
unilateral offensive action within its TAORs, the concentration of effort was 
on the detection and destruction of


                                     51



main force Viet Cong units.  The physical expansion of the TAORs in July 1965 
also marked the beginning of more effective civic action.  With the move into 
the more densely populated areas, competition began with the Viet Cong 
infrastructure in areas which neither side could afford to lose.  The 
Headquarters of both FMFPac and III MAF became aware of the frustrating 
reality that successful actions against the main force of the Viet Cong would 
prevent the Republic's fall but victory would be achieved only with the 
success of the government's rural construction plan.


                           A Pattern of Civic Action

     The following pattern of civic action supported the view that progress 
was slow at first, but as the importance of the struggle for the people was 
revealed, an increase in civic action began which only tapered off as III MAF 
reached the limits imposed by the necessary balance between military and civic 
action:

Activity                  Time Periods and Approximate Strengths <26>

                  7-30May65   14Aug-30Sep65   1-31Oct65  1-31Dec65
                   (13,000)      (38,000)      (42,000)   (44,000)

Medical Aid
(Civilians) ------- 4,500        28,465         43,092     60,814
Food Distributed
(pounds) -----------------       59,975         28,168     13,759
Clothing Distributed
(pounds) -----------------        7,820        108,717     13,299
Small Unit
Operations ----------------------------          5,662      7,208
Large Unit
Operations ----------------------------              7          4
Enemy
(KIA) ---------        37           915            253        678


     The most important gauges of activity were the numbers of civilians 
treated medically and small unit operations.  These actions were dependent on 
the emphasis which commanders placed on them.  The numbers of civilians 
treated and the number of small unit operations increased (44 and 28 percent 
respectively) even during the periods of October and December 1965 when the 
strength of III MAF remained almost stationary.  In contrast, the distribution 
of food and clothing depended largely upon the receipt of the material from 
sources outside ICTZ and many cases within the continental limits of the 
United States.  The uneven flow of material from the United States resulted in 
the uneven receipt and distribution in ICTZ.  For example, the large quantity 
of 54.3 tons of clothing was received during October 1965, while two months 
later in December only 6.5 tons


                                     52




 
were received.<27>

     By December 1965, III MAF had developed patterns of civic action which 
would continue through the following year.  The I Corps JCC ensured 
coordination between the headquarters and directors of III MAF, I Corps, U. S. 
Operations Mission, and the U. S. private relief agencies.  High level 
coordination remained effective although it was sensitive to political unrest 
within Vietnam.  The working committees of the I Corps JCC focused the 
attention of the highest leadership on the problems of coordination at the 
hamlet/village level.  But for numerous reasons coordination remained less 
effective at the lower levels.  Coordination at the battalion level with the 
local government should have been all-encompassing.  But the Marine Corps 
emphasized a coherent FEBA and a supporting Combat Outpost Line of Resistance 
to keep the main force of the Viet Cong at bay.  In conjunction with the FEBA 
and the large unit operations conducted forward of it, HQ, III-MAF placed 
emphasis on patrols and ambushes forward in the TAORs to suppress the 
guerrilla activity of the VC infrastructure.  The heavy patrolling and the 
ubiquitous pressures of maintaining a cohesive FEBA/COPL and launching large 
unit operations gave the Marine Corps battalions little time for civic action 
in direct support of local government in the great area between the air 
installations and the forward combat positions.<28>


                     The Overriding Importance of Security
                          for Effective Civic Action

     Lieutenant Colonel Ludwig of the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines had formed a 
joint security council for his battalion's TAOR in the summer of 1965, but 
this worthwhile experiment was not emulated by other battalions.  Marine Corps 
civic action functioned as an effective services and supply effort in support 
of Vietnamese villagers who continued to be heavily influenced by the Viet 
Cong throughout the Marine Corps TAORs.  In addition to the purely 
humanitarian motives, Marine Corps civic action had become a purposeful 
attempt to extract information from the rural population about the presence 
and movements of the Viet Cong.  But in spite of an extraordinarily well 
developed medical aid program, a massive program of food supply, and the 
general tone of compassion and benevolence in Marine Corps operations, civic 
action remained defective in the most important particular--security.<29>

     The Vietnamese peasant would not commit himself to the support of the GVN 
unless he and his family were adequately protected.  Rural security had to 
take two forms.  First the peasant had to be assured psychologically that the 
GVN and its powerful ally, the Marine Corps, were committed to a fight to a 
victorious conclusion.  Second, the peasant had to be assured by the presence 
and execution of superior physical force that


                                     53



his chances of survival after exposing the presence of the Viet Cong or 
supporting the GVN/USMC were reasonable.  Without giving these assurances to 
the peasantry, the Marine Corps could expect meager returns from its efforts 
in services and supply because of the continuing fear of retribution.  Without 
security, the peasantry would remain an uncommitted mass of humanity among 
which the Viet Cong could continue to operate.

     The importance of security was highlighted by the civic action program of 
the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines in the Chu Lai TAOR.  This battalion had a 
particularly effective program of might be defined as "soft" civic action 
consisting largely of medical action and face-to-face contact with the people 
with extensive distribution of commodities.<30>  Within the TAOR of the 
battalion, an outstanding hamlet chief came to light.  Mr. Truong, the chief 
of Tri Binh (1) (see Map Number Two) was a fearless man who committed himself 
unequivocally to the Republican cause.  Here was a man who was capable of 
winning the active support of his large hamlet and neighboring area close to 
Highway One in the southern part of the Chu Lai TAOR for the same Republican 
cause.  He was a potential catalyst for a devasting reaction against Viet Cong 
influence in the Quang Tin district.  On 3 December 1965, the medical aid team 
which visited Tri Binh (1) noted that he had posted several anti-Viet Cong 
signs in conspicuous locations in the hamlet.  Near the entrance was a sign 
which stated, "Civilians and Soldiers Unite to Fight the Viet Cong."  Another 
unusually provocative one stated, "What Have the Viet Cong Done for 
You--Nothing." The 3d Battalion, 7th Marines supported the chief with numerous 
medical visits and at the end of December helped in the construction of a pole 
for the Republican flag.  The Marine Corps was pleased with the progress in 
Tri Binh (1).  The people were happier and somewhat cleaner than in the 
neighboring areas, and sickness was decreasing.  A patrol leader from Company 
L, remarked spontaneously to his gunnery sergeant after an initial visit to 
Mr. Truong's area:  "You know, gunny, this is the first village we came into 
and found the people laughing and happy."  It would be difficult to exaggerate 
the beneficial effects of a committed leader at the hamlet level; a way was 
opening up before the battalion which led to real control over part of 
Vietnam.

     Unfortunately, the battalion report of 1 January 1966 read as follows:

          Mr. Truong, the hamlet chief of Tri Binh (1) was killed at
     approximately 310800 H [8 A.M. 31 December 1965 local time] on the
     trail leading into Tri Binh (1).  Four shots had been fired at him
     and one hit in the back of the head according to the assistant
     chief...footprints at 565985 showed that at least two murderers
     waited by the drainage ditch at 565985 to ambush the chief.  The ID
     card had been removed from the...body...The villagers buried their
     chief at 311400 H.<31>


                                     54




 
                                 

                             FIGURES NOT AVAILABLE

     Fun and games I:  This lad enjoys himself near DaNang on 2Dec65 while 
waiting for medical aid.  Lt W.F.Space is providing the irregular basketball 
assistance.  (USMC A421636)



     Fun and games II:  here the boy of the photo at left is playing 
hopscotch.  Lt Space instigated this affair and is effectively combatting VC 
propaganda which portrays Marines as ruthless mercenaries.  The young lad may 
soon have to be treated for exhaustion.  (USMC A421637)


                                     54a



     With this brief passage the brave Mr. Truong passed into oblivion, but so 
did the chances of an effective civic action program for the 3d Battalion, 7th 
Marines.  The chances of creating a rural population committed to the Republic 
in the battalion's TAOR receded into the distant future.  Civic action in Tri 
Binh (1) again became the furnishing of medical assistance, food, clothing, 
candy, charms, all for a few bits of information snatched from terrified 
mouths.  The flag continued to fly but without Mr. Truong it was a symbol of 
frustration instead of a rallying point for resistance against the terror.

     What might have been done to protect the lion of Tri Binh (1) so that he 
could have led the peasants to a decisive annihilation of the Viet Cong in his 
area?  A joint security council for the area probably would have revealed the 
isolated aspect of each hamlet and led to a communications network between the 
hamlets and between the local leaders and battalion headquarters.  The joint 
security council could have dictated and enforced basic security measures by 
mutual agreement.  For example, Mr. Truong was alone and unarmed when he was 
assassinated.  As a committed hamlet chief, he should have been protected by a 
24-hour guard of trusted men, preferably blood relations.  This guard would 
have served almost naturally as the nucleus for a hamlet self-defense force.  
None of these measures would have guaranteed Mr. Truong's life.  But the Viet 
Cong would have had an immensely more difficult task of assassination than 
having a few political killers loll along the trail into Tri Binh (1) and 
almost casually dispatch the unarmed and unaccompanied hamlet chief.<32>


               Security and the Quang Nam Pacification Project:
                                 December 1965

     In the Da Nang area, the Quang Nam Pacification Project took a dramatic 
turn for the worse.  The effort was designed to reestablish government control 
in the densely populated area south of Da Nang and was the major rural 
construction effort in the ICTZ.  The importance of the effort was based on 
the following factor:  Da Nang, with its extensive resources in port and 
communications facilities, repair shops, machine tools, etc., and surrounding 
air installations was the hub of Republican activity in the north.  But the 
Viet Cong infrastructure was entrenched from the southern outskirts of the 
port outward into the countryside and served as an opposing axis for insurgent 
operations in ICTZ.  The powerful Viet Cong influence also carried with it the 
danger of serving as a springboard for a successful raid against Da Nang in 
the event of any shift of Allied strength out of the area.  As a result, the 
nine villages south of Da Nang had been designated as one of four national 
priority areas for rural construction.  The program had begun in November and 
immediately ran into stiff Viet Cong resistance.  The Viet Cong were forced to 
react


                                      55




 
because the center of their strength lay not in the main force units in the 
uninhabited hills but in the political infrastructure and supporting guerrilla 
fighters of the rich lowlands. The Viet Cong recognized the Quang Nam 
Pacification Project as a crucial development.  Years of patient, bedrock 
organizing were threatened by the government campaign.

     Marine Corps civic action was clustered rather closely around Da Nang 
(see Map Number One for a representative day of Marine Corps activity in the 
Da Nang TAOR) and served as a natural adjunct to the activities of the 
Vietnamese Rural Construction Cadres of the People's Action Teams.  Marine 
Corps medical assistance and the distribution of food and clothing were a form 
of rural construction themselves.  A calculated blending of civic action and 
the formal Vietnamese program of rural construction might have had decisive 
results.  But from the beginning the Vietnamese effort lacked satisfactory 
security forces; and the orientation of the Marine Corps towards combat 
forward in the TAORs prevented a conclusive reinforcing of the rural 
construction program by III MAF.  The ARVN provided only a penny packet 
security force; and the end result was that the program foundered on the rocks 
of inadequate security.<33>

     The Viet Cong broke the back of the campaign during the period 21-28 
December 1965.  Marine Corps civic action was especially active during this 
time, and the campaign area lay completely within the Marine Corps TAOR.  But 
the activity was in the soft form of the distribution of commodities and the 
provision of services rather than in the hard form of a security program 
wherein services and commodities were supporting appendages rather than the 
central issue.  The Vietnamese operators of the rural construction program 
were largely members of the People's Action Teams sent into the area.  These 
political units had only a limited capability of self-defense although they 
could be called paramilitary organizations as well as political.  They existed 
primarily, however, to lead the rural population in self-help projects of a 
peaceful political and economic nature in areas where the Viet Cong guerrilla 
fighters had been eliminated.<34>  The campaign began with difficulties in 
supply, coordination, and changes of leadership, and progress during the first 
two months was only moderate.  But the Viet Cong feared any progress and was 
painfully aware of the importance of its infrastructure in the Da Nang area.

     On 21 December 1965, the Viet Cong launched several attacks specifically 
against the rural construction program and ominously maneuvered through the 
area.  At 0300, the People's Action Team at 016660 (see Map Number One which 
has a 10,000 meter grid square on it and read to the right 016, and upwards 
660) was hit by a Viet Cong guerrilla force which killed four PAT members and 
carried off two automatic weapons.


                                      56



Fifteen minutes prior to this strike, the Communists had launched a mortar 
attack against campaign headquarters at 011661.  Then, at 0315 a contact was 
made by the 594th Regional Forces Company with a group of Viet Cong 
maneuvering through the campaign area; the Regional Forces killed three of the 
enemy.  On the afternoon of the same day, the Viet Cong launched a sharp 
attack against the 593d Regional Forces Company, a unit whose specific mission 
was to protect the PATs.  The Viet Cong killed seven of the Regional Forces as 
well as capturing three automatic weapons and two AN/PRC-10 radios (medium 
range radios carried on packs).<35> 

     Instead of reinforcing the campaign area with adequate security forces, 
the GVN replaced the campaign chief on 24 December 1965 with an ARVN 
regimental commander who moved the campaign headquarters and required precious 
days to become an effective leader in the new assignment.  Even more 
important, the direct leadership of the PATs devolved on no single assistant 
to the new chief, and rural construction began to grind to a halt because of 
the lack of security and leadership.  The Viet Cong, however, were far from 
finished with their activity.  At 1700 on 28 December 1965, at 037704, a 
sniper deliberately picked out and killed a member of a PAT. Later on the same 
day, at 1930, the People's Action Team at 041721 was attacked by the Viet Cong 
who killed two team members and wounded a third.  Approximately two weeks 
after these events, Lieutenant Colonel Loc, the new rural construction chief, 
was replaced by yet another man.  The Viet Cong in a series of purposeful 
attacks had set back progress in the Quang Nam Pacification Project to an 
indeterminate future date.<36>


                             Marine Corps "Power"

     Security was the most important part of any civic action program carried 
out by the Marine Corps which was intended either to support rural 
construction or to gain the willing support of the populace.  It was so basic 
a part of successful civic action that in many cases it was overlooked as the 
indispensable factor in progress towards a committed Vietnamese population.  
As far in the past as May 1965, Lieutenant Colonel Clement had seen that in 
order to be in control of his TAOR, he would have to fight his battle within 
the hardcore Viet Cong village complex of Le My.  He was fortunate in his 
location.  His battalion's TAOR and mission coincided in such a way that the 
rifle companies were available for security throughout the village complex.  
Faced with an effective effort to destroy its infrastructure, the Viet Cong 
was forced to fight to maintain its influence within Le My.  But the rifle 
companies and a reviving Popular Force organization were too strong for the 
Viet Cong and Le My village fell under the control of the Republican 
government.  The neighboring village


                                      57




 
chief, Mr. Tac-Bac of Hoa Thanh, expressed his feelings about the civic action 
of the 2d Battalion, 3d Marines in a manner which stood out like a beacon in 
expressing what was important about the battalion's activities:

          We the people of Northwest Hoa Vang District wish to express
     our feelings toward...the 2d Battalion, 3rd Marines who...are now
     acting in our Northwest Zone....We are very pleased with the battalion.
     We believe in US Marine Corps power.  [The Marine Corps] came to our
     country, landed, and cleared our zone of Viet Cong.  Then with its
     power it defended and held our zone, keeping the Viet Cong from
     invading us...To present an example of the fighting power and will
     of the American Government, the Viet Cong in Hoa Lac [Le My] village
     have all been flushed out...the Viet Cong have not dared come back
     to harrass us any more...Also we are very happy because you helped
     us rebuild our bridges in Hoa Lac...And we are very thankful towards
     your doctors.<37>

     Mr. Tac-Bac's letter was a guide to successful civic action in Vietnam.  
The guide emphasized two vital points.  First, ensure the security of any area 
in which successful civic action was contemplated.  Then, support the reviving 
local government in projects chosen by that government.  By December 1965, the 
Combined Action Company of the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines in the Hue/Phu Bai 
area struck an ideal balance between hard and soft civic action, or effective 
security and distribution of services and supplies.  Marine rifle squads 
actually lived with the Popular Force platoons in Vietnamese hamlets and 
ensured the domination of the countryside by fire and physical presence.  
Communications between the CAC and the battalion Combat Operations Center 
ensured the use of most of the weapons in the Marine Corps armory against the 
Viet Cong.  The closeness of the Marine rifle squad to the villagers resulted 
in an unusually effective medical program and the provision of various bits of 
assistance to the local government officials.  Probably though, the rapport 
which developed between the Marine rifle squads and the Popular Forces and 
villagers was based on the supreme camarderie of sharing real danger and 
overcoming it.  By the time the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines left Hue/Phu Bai, on 
22 December 1965, a close bond had been forged between the Marines and the 
Vietnamese villagers.  "The people were sad and heartbroken" and they lined 
"the road for three hundred meters watching...the Marines leave.  The Marines 
noted that many of the people were crying..."<38> 

     By the end of the first calendar year for major Marine Corps forces in 
Vietnam, other shreds of evidence supported the importance of security for 
civic action.  Early in December 1965, several Marine Corps units contributed 
to a sweep of the Phong Bac area located only a few thousand meters south of 
the


                                     58



Da Nang Airbase and close to Route One.  Phong Bac had been well within the 
Marine Corps TAOR for many months and had been the object of civic action 
efforts by several Marine Corps units.  The 3d Motor Transport, 3d Tank, and 
1st Amphibian Tractor Battalions had carried on civic action programs in the 
hamlet which had become a saturated area for medical service and the 
distribution of commodities (see Map Number One for a representative day of 
civic action in the Da Nang TAOR).  During the sweep, about 160 villagers were 
interrogated concerning Viet Cong activities in the area.  The peasants' 
lingering fear of the Viet Cong was sharply etched in the report of the 
questioning.  The 3d Tank Battalion's report noted that the "villagers seemed 
to be grateful for our concern over their safety."<39>

     The villagers had good reason for concern over their safety.  Although 
retribution took a while, the Viet Cong managed to extract it from people who 
had consorted with their own government and its allies.  The report of the 3d 
Tank Battalion on 2 December 1965 took on an ominous cast when set next to the 
following:  "25 January 1966.  The Battalion CAO talked to the various people 
of Phong Bac concerning the assassination of Nguyen Tang, youth director of 
Hoa Tho Village [which included Phong Bac]."  From the information received, 
the Youth Director was evidently taken from his home near Phong Bac by a Viet 
Cong assassination squad which led him to Route One, several hundred meters 
above the Hoa Tho Village headquarters and shot him.  The 3d Tank Battalion 
report concluded with the masterful understatement that "this [murder] will 
create serious difficulties in the village."<40>

     Farther south, in the Chu Lai TAOR, the Vietnamese also sought protection 
from the Viet Cong and were grateful for Marine Corps security.  The peasants 
of Nuoc Man hamlet in the area of responsibility of the 3d Battalion, 7th 
Marines spontaneously carried out a people-to-people project of their own.  In 
order to provide shelter for Marines located near the hamlet, they built a 
grass and bamboo building which was completed on 2 December 1965.  The 
villagers then donated the building specifically to the Marines who were 
manning the nearby security outpost.  One month later in the TAOR of the 1st 
Battalion, 4th Marines, Company D conducted a survey in the Ky Xuan village 
complex (487103) to gather information on the people's reaction to the Marine 
Corps civic action program.  The sweep was similar to the one conducted by the 
3d Tank Battalion at Phong Bac in the Da Nang TAOR and revealed the same 
ominous concern of the peasants for their lives.  "The villagers of Ky Xuan 
felt that they were safe from the Viet Cong during the day but still not at 
night.  They wanted Marines or some troops to stay in the village at all 
times."<41>  The peasants also wanted their children to go to school and felt 
that the Marine Corps medical assistance was helpful.  But the primary concern 
of the peasants was security.


                                      59




 
Christmas 1965:  "Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Man"

     The Christmas season presented opportunities for increased contact 
between Marines and the local population.  Christmas parties for children of 
neighboring hamlets, refugee centers, orphanages, and hospitals burgeoned and 
reinforced the normal medical assistance and distribution of commodities.  The 
1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion originated an imaginative program using its 
enormous LVTP-5s (Landing Vehicle Tracked, Personnel, Model Number 5).  The 
battalion painted one of the vehicles white, placed a Santa Claus, sled, 
reindeer, and a Christmas tree on top and painted various Christmas designs 
around the LVTP-5.  The slogan, "Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Man," was 
painted on both sides of the vehicle in Vietnamese, and the LVT was outfitted 
with a sound system that played Christmans carols continuously while the 
vehicle was on the move.<42>

     On 23 December 1965, the white LVT went to the Sampan Community of Khue 
Trung (036757) where Santa Claus distributed candy and toys to approximately 
200 children of that unusual floating community.  During the next two days, 
Santa continued his benevolent rounds, making one trip through downtown Da 
Nang to Marble Mountain on 24 December, and another trip through Hoa Yen 
(990770) and the Hoa Cam Training Center for Popular Forces (985718) on 
Christmas Day.  During the three days of his travels, the hard-working Santa 
Claus distributed about 500 pounds of candy to approximately 2,500 children.  
Adults as well as children "were overjoyed at seeing Santa and his sleigh and 
reindeer."  The inscription on the sides of the LVT --Peace on Earth, Good 
Will Toward Man--was also well received by a violence-weary population.<43>


                                     60



                                 

                             FIGURES NOT AVAILABLE


     Clothes for little boys:  Vietnamese children were generally poorly 
protected from ground and weather.  Punctures of the feet and infestation by 
worms were by-products of missing foot wear.  The danger of overexposure to 
the sun was great and the early morning chill turned colds into pneumonia 
amongst scantily-clad children.  (USMC A184605)



     Clothes for little girls (and boys):  lightweight clothes were welcomed 
by the needy in Vietnam.  These were received from U.S. charity and are being 
presented by Sgt Kurt L. Cordes to two relaxed youngsters.  In a parallel 
program the Marine Reserve and CARE contributed sewing kits and cloth which 
helped to balance charity with self-help.  1966 (USMC A421367)


                                     60a




 
                                  Chapter VII

                             A New Calendar Year:
                Patterns of Civic Action in January-March 1966

     The new year, 1966, opened with the rural construction campaign of the 
GVN stalled in the Ngu Hanh Son area, south of Da Nang.  The Viet Cong attacks 
of 21-28 December 1965 had forced a reorganization of the program.  The GVN 
had originally scheduled the campaign to be completed by 31 December 1965, but 
early in January 1966, Major Nhat, the "current pacification chief," who had 
replaced Lieutenant Colonel Loc, noted that a new three-phase concept was in 
effect for rural construction in the area of the nine villages.  The GVN 
scheduled five of the villages in the area for pacification during April 1966.  
Major Nhat prepared for the future effort by reorganizing the civilian teams 
which lacked a clear-cut chain of command.  But he was unable to reinforce the 
security forces enough to assure the safety of the People's Action Teams.  
Security forces comprised an under strength battalion of the Regional Forces, 
four platoons of Popular Forces, and a single company of the ARVN.  The 2d 
Battalion, 9th Marines was to assist in providing security in the forward 
fringe of the rural construction area.  But the Marine Corps and the ARVN 
continued to focus most of their attention on the main force of the Viet 
Cong.<1>

     Security within the Marine Corps TAOR and behind the FEBA remained 
inadequate to support the Vietnamese rural construction effort.  The 
Vietnamese government lost its initial, driving interest in the campaign and 
the ARVN continued to neglect the effort in any calculations of the allotment 
of resources.  For example, the single ARVN company supporting the campaign 
was no more than a token force and was hard-pressed to provide for the 
security of the campaign headquarters.  In the meantime, during the last four 
months of 1965, the national government at Saigon had begun to plan for rural 
construction in 1966.  The failures of 1965 and the gains of the Viet Cong 
from 1963-1965 dictated more emphasis on winning the peasantry at the hamlet 
level and changing the bland term rural construction.  The words revolutionary 
development (RD) began to be used for the better-coordinated 1966 program in 
place of the former uninspired terminology.<2>  In February 1966, the national 
government revived its interest in winning the Quang Nam peasantry by 
political, social, and economic action, and renamed the Quang Nam Pacification 
Project area the Revolutionary Development National Priority Area of I Corps.  
But the GVN decided to complete Phase I of the new program during April 1966, 
i.e., in the indeterminate future.  Civil strife, however, wracked the ICTZ 
during the months of March-May 1966


                                     61



and cancelled any efforts at revolutionary development in the Ngu Hanh Son 
area.  A policy of drift had set in after the Viet Cong attacks of late 
December 1965.  The policy resulted from the lack of resources to protect the 
political teams and set back progress in the campaign beyond the middle of 
1966.

     Nevertheless, HQ, III MAF cooperated with the GVN on certain lesser 
projects around Da Nang short of an area campaign.  Planning began on 19 
January 1966 for the construction of the Cam Ne/Yen Ne New Life Hamlet.  The 
plans for the hamlet were well coordinated; planners included the Quang Nam 
Province Chief, Commanding Officer, Ninth Marines, G-5, III MAF, and the 
Provincial Representative of USAID.  The Vietnamese government was firmly in 
control of the project but needed bits and pieces of Marine Corps assistance.  
The Vietnamese required a TD-18 type earth moving tractor for leveling the 
proposed site.  After the original coordinating meeting the G-5, 3d Marine 
Division and the Division Engineer took up the precise details of support.<3>  
This important project, which actually formed one small part of the Quang Nam 
Pacification Project, went forward in fits and starts.  The Vietnamese 
officials had a difficult time in choosing a location for the hamlet; the 
original site which included part of a cemetery proved unacceptable to the 
future inhabitants.  They had come to believe that the past death of so many 
people near the site was an unfavorable omen for the future.  The Marine Corps 
played its proper civic action role in this affair.  It faithfully supported 
the GVN with engineer equipment and patiently relocated its equipment after 
the tractor operators had begun work on the superstition-laden first site.


                              Operation MALLARD:
                Civic Action in Support of Large Unit Operations

     Southwest of the Da Nang TAOR, and early in January 1966, the 3d Marines 
conducted Operation MALLARD, a search and destroy mission in an area which 
provided an ideal testing ground for civic action during a large unit tactical 
operation.  The area was densely populated and had been under Viet Cong 
control for two years.  Several challenges to civic action existed.  The 
Marine Corps would have to subject a large population to an intense, 
short-term civic action program; and, voluntary refugees would have to be 
retrieved.  The 3d Marines gathered a vast quantity of food, MEDCAP supplies, 
clothing, soap, and candy.  The supplies were placed in the Logistics Support 
Area (LSA) for the operation and were available at the call of the commander.  
HQ, 3d Marines directed its subordinate units to establish civilian collection 
points.  These were locations where the civilians would be relatively safe 
from the hazards of formal combat and where they would not interfere with the 
tactical maneuver.  The supplies available on call at the LSA were used to 
care for the civilians who were temporarily 


                                     62




 
separated from their homes, food supplies, cooking facilities, etc., and to 
support a combined civic action and psychological warfare effort which would 
influence the population favorably towards the GVN.  Civilians at the 
collection points who requested to leave the areas controlled by the Viet Cong 
were transported to the GVN district headquarters to begin a new life.<4> 

     The Vietnamese peasants responded in the usual favorable way to relief 
from the harsh control of the Viet Cong.  Significant numbers stated that they 
were tired of the war and wished to escape the rigors of Viet Cong domination.  
The 3d Marines exploited the anticipated unrest with aerial broadcasts urging 
the people to leave their homes for resettlement in government-controlled 
areas.  Approximately 1,000 civilians responded to the call in spite of the 
challenge of resettlement.<5>

     The operation revealed another reason for the dissatisfaction of the 
peasantry besides ruthless administration.  The Viet Cong were exploiting the 
entire area as a food supply and storage area.  Enormous quantities of rice 
had been taken from the peasantry to support the Viet Cong apparatus not only 
for local guerrillas, but also for larger units operating in distant areas.  
The 3d Marines uncovered more than 35 tons of hidden rice and transported it 
to the Dai Loc district headquarters for government use.  The favorable 
psychological impact of 35 tons of rice arriving at the district headquarters 
for distribution by the local government was a major victory for Marine Corps 
civic action.<6> 


                         Operations of the I Corps JCC

     During and after Operation MALLARD, at the highest level of civic action 
coordination, the I Corps JCC concentrated on plans for the distribution of 
the supplies received through the Christmas collection campaign in the United 
States.  Americans contributed supplies through the American Christmas Trucks 
and Trains program (ACTT) for the needy in Vietnam.  The material had to be 
distributed efficiently and fairly throughout the ICTZ.  The I Corps Joint 
Coordinating Council was ideally suited to coordinate the distribution, and 
the Commodities Distribution Committee handled the manifold details.  Those 
details provided an insight into the complexities of the Vietnamese situation 
and the problems of inertia at the various levels of government.  Upon the 
recommendation of the committee, the I Corps JCC set up province-level 
Commodities Distribution Committees to estimate province needs in accordance 
with the following priorities system:<7>

     1.  Needy families in newly pacified hamlets.
     2.  Refugees and ralliers (VC defectors) in resettlement centers.


                                     63



     3.  Popular Force members and their families.
     4.  Widows and survivors of armed forces personnel.
     5.  Orphanages and hospitals.

     These priorities also served as a guide for concentration of effort in 
the provision of services and the distribution of commodities for civic action 
programs at any level of command in Vietnam throughout the year.

     United States and Vietnamese personnel who were assigned the task of 
inventorying the ACTT commodities did not complete it until March 1966.  By 
that time the tactical units and the provincial committee had made known their 
requirements and the I Corps JCC Commodities Distribution Committee 
coordinated the issue of the Christmas donations using transportation 
contributed by the military units and civilian agencies.  The military 
commanders in ICTZ agreed through the JCC to give 20 percent of the 
commodities to the tactical units and to divide the remainder among the 
Vietnamese civilian authorities in the five provinces.<8>


                       Civic Action Pattern of Activity:
                                 January 1966

     By January 1966, Marine Corps civic action had settled into an effective 
and well defined pattern.  Important but unusual projects like the receipt of 
ACTT supplies were coordinated by the I Corps JCC.  In the more characteristic 
day-to-day civic action, the medical assistance program was extraordinarily 
well-developed and the tendency was towards either permanent fixed 
dispensaries or mobile service operating on a regular schedule.  Marines 
distributed the following types of supplies in large quantities and often in 
conjunction with medical services:  food, clothing, soap, CARE school kits 
(see Appendix One), and candy.  Marines assisted Vietnamese in construction 
projects which fell into the pattern of repairs on bridges and culverts and 
the construction of schoolrooms and dispensaries.  The construction projects 
were simple, restrained, and oriented toward self-help on the part of the 
Vietnamese.  Psychological warfare had been combined with civic action in many 
Marine Corps units by January 1966 under the direction of either a G-5 or a 
Civil Affairs Officer.  Civic action visits were commonly combined with the 
distribution of propaganda leaflets, drama and cinema presentations, and 
loudspeaker broadcasts.<9> 


                    The Growing Bond Between Civic Action
                           and Psychological Warfare

     The Vietnamese Open Arms Amnesty Program (its Vietnamese Designation, 
Chieu Hoi) helped to focus Marine Corps civic


                                     64




 
action and psychological  warfare on an important part of Vietnamese 
revolutionary development--the encouragement of Viet Cong to defect to the 
government side.  The Diem government had introduced Chieu Hoi in March 1963 
as an effort parallel with the strategic hamlet concept of the time.  The open 
arms campaign was based on the successful policy of the Philippines' Defense 
Minister Magsaysay in encouraging the defection of Huks.  Magsaysay resettled 
them on land of their own with equipment and supplies for farming.  "In effect 
he made it both easy and attractive to become loyal to the government."<10>

     The Vietnamese government had made elaborate plans for Chieu Hoi late in 
1963, but the coup in November 1963, which overthrew Diem, dislocated the 
program.  Without firm direction, the program drifted throughout 1964.  In 
1965, however, with the arrival of major U. S. ground forces and the increase 
in government morale, the program became effective.  Problems remained in the 
indoctrination of officials and infantrymen who received ralliers and in the 
provisions for resettlement; but, the rising numbers of defectors signalled 
important successes. "After mid-1965, an average of 1,000 returnees each month 
[came] to the government side; and the numbers for January (1,672) and 
February (2,011> of 1966 broke previous monthly records."<11>

     Psychological warfare themes by the turn of 1966 were closely tied to 
Vietnamese revolutionary development.<12>  The following themes were the key 
ones in mid-January 1966 and illustrated the importance of Marine Corps civic 
action and Vietnamese revolutionary development in the war: (1) the Viet Cong 
are losing the war,(2) the GVN has the resources to govern the people best,(3) 
the GVN can provide a more abundant life than the Viet Cong,(4) the Viet Cong 
are the real enemies of the people, and (5) surrender and be received with 
open arms.<13>  The themes supported the allied war effort yet they were more 
closely associated with revolutionary development and civic action than formal 
combat.

     The Marine Corps emphasized the five themes during Operation MALLARD (11-
17 January 1966) but towards the end of the month introduced two others to 
support an effort of indoctrination during the celebration of the lunar new 
year by the Vietnamese.  The celebration, known as Tet Nguyen Dan (TET) 
formally extended from 21-23 January 1966 but actually included about 12 days 
of activity.<14>  During TET, in accordance with social custom, the Vietnamese 
reduced business activity and in some areas even raised prohibitions against 
receiving medical attention.  The Vietnamese envisioned TET as a time of 
joyous family gatherings with games and feasting as well as the ritual 
associated with the veneration of the family ancestors.<15>  Marine Corps 
psychological warfare concentrated on the burden placed on the people by the 
Viet Cong and especially the


                                     65



separation of family members and the taxes and physical terror.  Finally, the 
second fresh theme reminded the Viet Cong themselves of their own hardships 
during TET with particular emphasis on broken family ties.<16> 


                        Emphasis on Medical Assistance

     During January 1966, medical assistance continued to be the most 
important part of civic action.  Marines and Navy corpsmen treated a sharply 
reduced number of civilians as a result of the TET celebrations, but in spite 
of the four-day suspension of medical assistance, Marine Corps units treated 
56,000 people for medical and dental ailments.  A total of 40 MEDCAP teams 
provided the assistance at 120 different locations. The most common ailment 
treated was skin infection especially in the scalp area.  Headaches and 
complaints of the upper respiratory tract were the next most common ailments.  
Fifty-four percent of the Vietnamese assisted medically were treated for these 
three general afflictions.<17>  The afflictions revealed the unsophisticated 
nature of the medical service in which children received most of the 
treatments with adult females and males following in that order.  The bulk of 
the MEDCAP program consisted of quick and simple treatment for a multitude of 
scantily-clad and poorly attended children.<18>

     The distribution of treatments revealed the following pattern.  The 3d 
Marine Division with most of the Marines carried out the bulk of the medical 
assistance, treating more than 38,000 civilians.  The 1st Marine Air Wing 
assisted approximately 2,000 civilians and the Force Logistics Support Group 
treated most of the remaining 16,000 citizens.<19>  The thin effort of the air 
wing deserved examination because the static nature of the air installations 
favored a well-developed program.  For example, a fixed operating area gas 
important for the continuity of medical treatment and favored the build up of 
a large clientele.  Part of the explanation for the paucity of medical 
treatment in the air wing lay in the general coincidence of civic action areas 
of responsibilities with TAORs.  The TAORs of the battalions of the 3d Marine 
Division abutted on the perimeters of the air installations; and, the 
battalions carried out civic as well as combat action within their TAORs.  The 
result was that little territory remained for the air wing in which to carry 
on civic action programs except on a shared basis with a neighboring 
battalion.  The enormous maintenance and air control effort required to keep 
both the fixed wing and helicopter aircraft flying was another factor which 
drastically reduced civic action in the air wing.


                                     66




 
                        Civic Action Programs Rivaling
                      Medical Assistance by January 1966

     Although medical assistance remained the single most important part of 
civic action, several other programs were beginning to rival it in importance.  
The Catholic Relief Service, a private relief society, made an impressive 
effort in January 1966, delivering the huge quantity of 430,000 pounds of 
rolled wheat to units of III MAF.  Project HANDCLASP, a combined effort of the 
naval service and a multitude of private relief donors in the United States, 
delivered through Navy and Marine Corps transportation approximately 63,000 
pounds of miscellaneous basic commodities e.g., clothing, food, drugs, etc.   
The special Christmas program carried on in the United States for Vietnamese 
relief and called American Christmas Trains and Trucks delivered 300 
measurement tons (one measurement ton was the equivalent of 40 cubic feet of 
cargo space) of commodities to Vietnam in January.  The Marine Corps Reserve 
Civic Action Fund for Vietnam operating through CARE channels delivered 3,666 
school kits to III MAF as well as large quantities of other kinds of self-help 
kits, e.g., textile woodworking, and midwifery (see Appendix One).<20>  The 
reserve fund concentrated on improving rural education while the CRS was the 
major contributor of food.

     Early in January 1966, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, in the Chu Lai 
area launched an intensive civic action program in the Vinh An-Hai Ninh 
complex of hamlets (see Map Number Two) at the mouth of the Tra Bong River.  
The three hamlets, which were scheduled for revolutionary development by the 
Vietnamese with Marine Corps assistance, were a scant 6,000 meters from the 
southern edge of the air installation at Chu Lai.  But no Vietnamese 
government had existed in them for the two years since the overthrow of the 
Diem regime late in 1963.  No schools functioned and no medical assistance was 
available to the villagers.  The hamlets served the Viet Cong as a convenient 
way station for movements into the Chu Lai area from the south and east.  On 
29 December 1965, Company A moved into the hamlets, established a permanent 
patrol base, and began to work closely with a 25-man People's Action Team.

     While the People's Action Team ferreted out the Viet Cong infrastructure 
and established local government, Company A concentrated on medical assistance 
and the improvement of hygiene.  The Marine rifle company provided saturation 
security for both its own civic action and Vietnamese revolutionary 
development, and as a result, progress was rapid.  After a few days, the PAT 
discovered a former school teacher and soon after reopened a primary school.  
The people of the hamlets selected officials in elections organized by the 
PAT.  Company A in close coordination with the political team began to 
organize a Popular Force unit.  The people of the hamlets responded warmly to 
the program and were relieved at being withdrawn from Viet Cong 


                                     67



control.  The village chief of the three hamlets proved to be an aggressive 
leader who concentrated on developing an effective Popular Force unit for the 
defense of his flock.<21>

     What were the lessons of the rapid progress in Vinh AnHai Ninh?  Probably 
most important was the hard fact that the people feared and hated the Viet 
Cong.  Once the people were assured of protection and were reorganized by the 
Republican Vietnamese they eagerly, almost pathetically, clutched at the 
opportunity to live productive lives in the Republic.  The swiftness and ease 
with which the Vietnamese in the Vinh AnHai Ninh area were returned to the 
government camp, proved the hatred of the villagers for the Viet Cong.  
Additionally, Company A provided blanket-like security in the limited area of 
the three hamlets and the combination of Marine Corps "power" and Vietnamese 
revolutionary development quickly reestablished a community responsive to the 
Republican will.  The hold of the Viet Cong over the villagers had been based 
on psychological and physical fear and an enormous hostage system.  The main 
force of the Viet Cong held the young fighters as hostages from their families 
while simultaneously the clandestine infrastructure held families as hostages 
from the fighters in the main force.  But the Viet Cong hold over the 
countryside lapsed with the institution of security and the destruction of the 
infrastructure.  Conversely, however, a loyal Republican peasantry could be 
terrorized back into submission to the Viet Cong practically overnight.<22>


                    Vietnamese New Year:  20-23 January 1966

     On 19 January 1966, the Civil Affairs Officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th 
Marines, returned the PAT operating with Company A to Vinh Son for the 
celebration of TET.  Civic action was a never-ending task and while in Binh 
Son the CAO turned over 16,000 dollars (VN) to Father Diek of the Catholic 
Refugee Center for the care of 40 orphans.  TET officially began at 1200 20 
January 1966 and III MAF carried out a drastic reduction of civic action on 
that day.  But while III MAF reduced medical assistance to negligible 
proportions and restricted the distribution of the normal commodities, it 
increased face-to-face ace contacts with the Vietnamese people.  The Marine 
Corps emphasized small cash gifts in envelopes for children; and numerous 
Marines and Vietnamese civilians met for the first time during the general 
distribution of the envelopes to the children.<23>  Additionally, many local 
government officials and private citizens extended invitations to Marines to 
participate in the holiday festivities. 

     Early on the morning of 21 January 1966, Mr. Dien, the hamlet chief of 
Tri Binh (1) (see Map Number Two) and the man who had replaced the ill-fated 
Mr. Truong, extended a general invitation to the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, to 
celebrate TET


                                     68




 
                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

    English classes:  by the end of 1965, English classes burgeoned in the 
Marine TAORs.  The Vietnamese people showed deep interest, and adults as well 
as children enrolled in large numbers.  PFC Patrick Moore instructs in this 
scene in January 1966.  (USMC A186596)


                                     68a



in his hamlet.  Five officers and 46 men represented the Marine Corps in what 
turned out to be an extraordinarily successful affair.  Mr. Dien initiated the 
celebration with sound political sense by reading messages from the Province 
and District Chiefs wishing the villagers a prosperous and happy new year.  
After the messages has been read, Mr. Dien raised the Republican flag over the 
hamlet.  Then he explained to the villagers that five months ago Tri-Binh (1) 
had been poor, but since that time the Marine Corps had come--to the 
assistance of the hamlet with medical treatment, food, and clothing.  The 
chief emphasized that the Marines had helped the villagers to improve 
themselves.  Finally, he picked up the ubiquitous theme of security and stated 
that he was not afraid and would work to improve Tri-Binh (1) even though the 
Viet Cong had killed the former chief, Mr. Truong.<24> 

     The villagers and Marines enjoyed each other's company so much on 21 
January 1966, that the villagers extended an invitation for the following day.  
The visiting Marines enjoyed themselves even more on 22 January and at 2230 
were still in the hamlet playing the Vietnamese version of bingo.  At that 
time the village elders divided the Marines into groups of twos and threes and 
then took them to their respective homes where Marines and Vietnamese 
participated in an extensive banquet. "The villagers were excited and happy 
that the Marines were able to participate in TET" and requested that the 
Marines return for a third day of holiday revelry.  The success of the 
face-to-face social activity at Tri-Binh (1) was based on several factors.  
The hamlet chief vigorously courted the Marine Corps for his hamlet.  The 
Civil Affairs Officers of the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, realized the 
privilege of social interaction with the villagers on their New Year's holiday 
and the beneficial impact of about 50 well-instructed Marines on the peasants.  
Finally, Chief Dien was a paragon of earthy peasant guile--50 Marines alert 
for a possible Viet Cong incident made Tri Binh (1) the most secure hamlet in 
the Chu Lai area during TET.<25>

     In the TAOR of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, the villagers of the Vinh 
An-Hai Ninh area celebrated TET with two significant ceremonies.  First, they 
planned and carried out an elaborate symbolic ambush of the Viet Cong.  
Apparently using the principles of homeopathic magic, the villagers sought to 
ensure a successful defense against their former harsh masters.  In addition 
to the ambush, the villagers conducted a flag raising ceremony and committed 
themselves overtly to the Republican cause.  These activities originated with 
the villagers; the People's Action Teams assigned to the village for 
Revolutionary Development had departed to celebrate TET in its own area around 
Binh Son.<26>  Farther north, in the Da Nang TAOR, the 2d Battalion, 9th 
Marines carried on an active Civic Action Program concentrating on the local 
school at Duong Son (3) (999670).  The villagers were anxious to get


                                     69




 
their school in operation notwithstanding TET.  As a result, the Marines 
presented CARE school and woodworking kits, and desks of their own making to 
the people and also treated patients at the battalion aid station.<27>  At 
Hue/Phu Bai, the Vietnamese registered complete acceptance of the Marine Corps 
members of the CAC during TET.  In one of the villages, the peasants invited 
members of the Marine rifle squad of the combined action platoon into more 
than fifty different homes for games and banquets.<28> 


                     A Representative Day of Civic Action

     January 1966 was a reasonable month to take stock of Marine Corps Civic 
Action in Vietnam in the general sense, for example, of representative 
activity on a particular day.  The Marine Corps had been ashore in strength 
for almost a year and civic action had developed patterns which would be 
reflected on a carefully chosen day.  On 15 January 1966, the Marine Corps 
operated in a representative way for the Vietnamese war, and civic action was 
not affected by unusual events like Christmas, TET, etc.  Maps One, Two, and 
Three show Marine Corps civic action at work in the three TAORs.  The Marine 
Corps units concentrated on medical assistance (red circles) but distributed 
commodities (blue, circles) in significant quantities at numerous locations.  
Marines also assisted the Vietnamese in construction projects (green circles) 
which varied in complexity from the building of a schoolroom or a children's 
hospital to the repair of a culvert on a primitive road.<29>  Dr. A. R. 
Frankle, Assistant Civil Affairs Officer, 3d Engineer Battalion pressed hard 
for a dispensary at Da Son and the Battalion technical personnel pooled their 
talents to produce a complex civil engineering effort in his support.<30> 

     The units of III MAF carried out most of their civic action close to the 
defensive centers of the TAOR, i.e., the air installations.  Most of the 
ground units which supported the infantry battalions were located near the air 
installations.  The air units themselves and the infantry battalions which 
manned the immediate perimeters were clustered in and around the bases.  In 
the Da Nang area in particular, a pattern of saturation in civic action had 
grown up by the middle of January 1966.  The battalions close to the base 
concentrated vigorously on the two hamlets of Phong Bac and Da Son.  These 
hamlets became saturated with civic action while farther out in the TAOR in 
the vast areas controlled by the infantry battalions civic action was spread 
more thinly.  The pattern of action on the maps pointed to an enlargement of 
the civic action areas of responsibility of the supporting battalions and the 
air units to prevent an unfair distribution of services and commodities.  The 
units of the 1st Marine Air Wing were especially restricted in their civic 
action programs by both the protecting and the neighboring ground units.

                                      70



                           Unexpected Reinforcements

     In February 1966, III MAF discovered unexpected reinforcements for civic 
action.  The 3d Marine Division Band and Drum and Bugle Corps played at a 
series of public events and excited enthusiastic, favorable response.  Warrant 
Officer William E. Black, director of the band (and the drum and bugle corps), 
presented one of the highlights of civic action in the TAOR of the 7th 
Marines.  On 17 February 1966, the band gave concerts in several key areas for 
civic action.  The band treated the hamlet of Vinh An, where Company A, 1st 
Battalion, 7th Marines had furnished unusually effective support for 
revolutionary development, to an impressive performance of western music and 
precision marching.  The band also played at Tri Binh (1) and Nuoc Man and was 
applauded enthusiastically by the villagers. Two days later, at the Da Nang 
Catholic cathedral, in an area neatly cordoned off with white nylon line and 
with Vietnamese and U. S. flags flying, the drum and bugle corps performed 
before a huge curious crowd.  Drum head designs set the theme of the 
presentation with flags of both states combined with a handshake symbol.  The 
words, "Friendship Through Music," in Vietnamese tied together the theme.  The 
Vietnamese responded ecstatically.<31>  From that time onward, both the band 
and the drum and bugle corps became purposeful weapons in the campaign to 
place the Vietnamese people behind the government.  Marines also began to 
include music appreciation periods along with English classes in order to 
appeal to the Vietnamese interested in music and drama. 


                            Operation DOUBLE EAGLE:
              the Team of Civic Action and Psychological Warfare
                        in Support of a Major Operation

     By late January 1966, civic action was becoming more closely integrated 
into large unit operations of the Marine Corps, especially with the successful 
precedent of Operation MALLARD and various lesser cordon and search operations 
of 1965.  On 28 January 1966, III MAF conducted the largest amphibious 
operation since the Korean War.  The Marines of several battalions landed from 
shipping of the Amphibious Task Group of the Seventh Fleet near Thach Tru 
south of Chu Lai.  The landing was part of a month-long joint ARVN/U. S. 
Marine Corps operation called DOUBLE EAGLE.<32>  The operation showed the 
advances in Marine Corps thoughts about the team of civic action and 
psychological warfare in Vietnam.  HQ, III MAF ensured that a civic action 
organization was included in the Marine Corps task organization.  Two U. S. 
Army Civil Affairs Teams also came under Marine Corps control and were used to 
handle refugees and to assist the Vietnamese District Chief of Duc Pho 
(located approximately 50 miles south of Chu Lai on Highway One) in processing 
and caring for the expected influx of people.  The civic action group brought 
ashore large   


                                     71




 
quantities of basic supplies to support civilians separated from their homes 
and to care for the expected refugees.  The Marine Corps supported Operation 
DOUBLE EAGLE with more than 27 tons of food specifically for the care of 
civilians in the operating area.  Claims against the Marine Corps for damage 
to crops, homes, etc., had been a persistent problem in Vietnam also.  But the 
Civic Action Officer for DOUBLE EAGLE carried with him a special fund of 3,665 
piasters to deal on the spot with small claims.<33>

     The lessons learned about civic action in Operations MALLARD and DOUBLE 
EAGLE reinforced each other.  To be effective, Marine Corps civic action had 
to be coordinated through the Vietnamese district government.  The Marine 
Corps depended on the district headquarters to collect, classify, and clear 
all refugees and displaced persons once they had been transported to the 
general area of the district headquarters by Marine Corps helicopter or truck.  
The processes carried out by the Vietnamese with the exception of collection, 
were political and administrative and were a function of local government.  
The Marine Corps learned that the large quantities of captured foodstuffs and 
similar materials were best processed through the closest district 
headquarters.  The Vietnamese officials were best equipped by language and 
local knowledge to effect redistribution.  The major civic action lesson of 
both MALLARD and DOUBLE EAGLE was that coordination between the Marine Corps 
and local Vietnamese government ensured the greatest and most lasting effect 
on the local population.<34>

     Marines carried out a major psychological warfare effort in support of 
DOUBLE EAGLE.  Propaganda themes directed at the Viet Cong fighter 
predominated in the written and oral attacks against the enemy.  The themes 
were both short and long-range and were capable of being used against 
civilians also.  The Psychological Section coordinated the dropping of almost 
three million leaflets in the objective area during the first part of the 
operation.  The Marine Corps received nine ralliers during the first phase of 
DOUBLE EAGLE largely as a result of emphasizing Viet Cong hardships and making 
it easy for the enemy to defect.  Aerial loudspeaker systems proved especially 
effective and they broadcast the same effective themes found on the leaflets:  
Viet Cong lack of food, poor medical care, separation from home and family; as 
well as the strength of the GVN and its allies, surrender appeals, and 
explanations of how to surrender.<35>


               Medical Assistance Twelve Months after the Landing

     During February 1966, III MAF recovered handily from the adverse effects 
of TET on medical assistance.  Units of III MAF using 40 MEDCAP teams treated 
either medically or dentally almost 67,000 Vietnamese citizens in 122 
locations.  The most


                                     72



                                 

                             FIGURES NOT AVAILABLE

     Medical assistance was the mainstay of civic action.  The more advanced 
type is shown in this scene where two girls are being trained as rural health 
workers.  The reinforcement of the Vietnamese rural health program was the 
goal of Marine assistance.  Lt G.L. Williams MC, USN, supervises one of the 
girls who is treating a case of skin infection.  18Sep65 (USMC A185695)


     Medical assistance even at the end of March 1966 was not an elaborate 
thing.  In this photograph taken in March in the Chu Lai TAOR, a corpsman of 
the 7th Marines begins to treat a moderate-sized gathering consisting largely 
of children. (USMC A369926) 


                                      72a




 
numerous ailments continued to be skin diseases, headaches, and respiratory 
infections which formed well over half of the ailments of individual citizens.  
In addition to medical treatment, and probably more important from the 
long-range viewpoint, Navy corpsmen trained 16 health workers, two volunteer 
nurses, and four volunteer medical assistants.  By February, the medical 
training programs had taken on special importance as a source of Vietnamese 
medical personnel.  Prior to December 1965, the GVN had insisted on giving the 
trainees the normal examination for hiring as health workers.  The scheduling, 
testing, and correcting process was time consuming and affected the morale of 
the trainees.  Additionally, the process did little to further the prestige of 
the U. S. military force which had conducted the training.  The Vietnamese 
Minister of Health decided, therefore, on 4 December 1965, to hire 
automatically Vietnamese citizens trained by U. S. military/naval medical 
teams if the programs were approved in advance.  As a result, by February 
1966, appreciable numbers of Vietnamese medical trainees were flowing through 
III MAF medical training programs directly into the Public Health Service.<36>

     The Marine Corps Reserve Civic Action Fund for Vietnam was used by CARE 
to provide major quantities of food as well as blacksmith kits, carpenter 
kits, and more than 2,000 textile kits.  CARE delivered over 37 tons of rice 
to III MAF and this rice and the large number of textile kits represented a 
change in emphasis from previous months.  Formerly, CARE had used the reserve 
fund primarily for school supplies.  HQ, III MAF ensured that all of the 
material received during February was delivered to local government officials 
who actually distributed the supplies to the Vietnamese people.  In the 
immediate vicinity of Da Nang, the powerful Buddhist faction of the population 
controlled an important system of schools and orphanages. Here, the CG, III 
MAF, supported the Buddhist program with large outlays from his reserve civic 
action contingency fund. General Walt had contributed over 9,000 dollars 
(U.S.) in support by February 1966.<37>

                               Project HANDCLASP

     Project HANDCLASP, an official Navy program since 1962, shipped 63,000 
pounds of miscellaneous, basic commodities to III  MAF in February 1966.  
HANDCLASP was part of the Navy's people-to-people effort and overseas 
community relations program; and, since 1963, the Navy had been shipping 
HANDCLASP materials to Vietnam.  Individuals and organizations within the 
United States donated material to the naval service and shipped it to 
warehouses at San Diego for further delivery by the Navy overseas.  With the 
buildup of Navy and Marine Corps forces in Vietnam in 1965, the Navy began to 
emphasize civic action programs within Vietnam for both Navy and Marine Corps 
forces.  Prior to 1965, HANDCLASP had been a Navy program only,



                                      73



but in June 1965, the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, notified the CG, III 
MAF that HANDCLASP supplies were available for use by the Marine Corps.  The 
materials which were available were basic and included, clothing, food 
supplements, medical supplies, and books.  The CG, III MAF accepted the 
support and requested in particular the following items:  pens, soap, vitamin 
and worm pills, sewing needles, thread, and salt.  The CG's request reflected 
in microcosm the whole Marine Corps civic action program.  Pens reflected 
education; soap, and vitamin and worm pills reflected pressing necessities in 
medical aid; sewing needles and thread represented self-help for clothing; and 
salt was the most basic of food necessities.<38> 

     Project HANDCLASP became one of the major sources of supplies for Marine 
Corps civic action, but the project operated on a tenuous basis.  Handclasp 
was a nonfunded activity of the Navy which meant that the Navy was able to 
move material only on a space available basis in naval shipping and aircraft. 
For example, Military Sea Transport Service ships and Military Air Transport 
service aircraft could not be used to deliver Handclasp material.  As a 
result, the shipment of material depended on naval operational requirements 
for space and the flow was uneven.  After early 1965 naval operational 
commitments Increased and threatened the effectiveness of the program in the 
Western Pacific.  Simultaneously, however, the Navy realized the importance of 
civic action in the Vietnamese war and the end result was that space was made 
available.  The shipment of Handclasp supplies rose sharply in 1966.  
Nevertheless, American charity seemed to be practically limitless and the 
final check on the program was limitations in shipping space.<39>


                   The Breadth of Civic Action by March 1966:
                           From Candy to County Fair

     By March 1966, after one year of operations in Vietnam, Marine Corps 
units were carrying out a broad range of civic action.  Contrast, for example, 
the receipt of private U. S. charity commodities via naval operational 
shipping for use in soft and indirect civic action, i.e., the distribution of 
commodities through local governing officials, with the followIng technique.  
The 3d Marine Division originally tested something called the County Fair 
concept on a pilot basis in February  1966.  The concept was a variant of 
Marine Corps cordon and search operations which had been used as early as 
August 1965 in the Da Nang TAOR by the 9th Marines.<40>  The concept was 
further refined after February and established by March 1966 as a standard 
type of operation for division units. 

     County Fair was a joint Marine Corps/ARVN operation design (to destroy 
Viet Cong influence in chosen hamlets and to re-establish the authority of the 
GVN.  Marine Corps units provided security during the County Fair operations 
by cordoning


                                      74




 
off chosen hamlets with riflemen alert for a possible breakout by Viet Cong 
guerrilla fighters.  Surprise was the vital necessity during the positioning 
of the cordon; if surprise were complete, members of the Viet Cong 
infrastructure would be trapped within the cordon.  ARVN forces and GVN 
political workers then entered the cordoned area and moved all of the 
villagers to a central area where they were interrogated, processed for 
identification, fed, and exposed to propaganda lectures, drama presentations, 
and movies.  While this combined military and civic action was being carried 
out, ARVN forces conducted a detailed search of the hamlet for hidden tunnels, 
food, munitions, and hiding Viet Cong.<41>

     County Fair was designed to destroy the laboriously established Viet Cong 
infrastructure within a hamlet or village by trapping the Viet Cong within the 
inhabited complex and then methodically using police and intelligence 
techniques to isolate the Viet Cong from the villagers.  Well conducted County 
Fair operations impressed the villagers with the power, efficiency, and 
benevolence of the GVN.<42>  The operations in their refined form were a 
traumatic surprise to the Viet Cong, who emphasized in captured documents the 
necessity to take immediate countermeasures against the new technique.  The 
Viet Cong concentrated on two defenses against County Fair: first, if surprise 
were not complete, every effort had to be bent towards breaking through the 
incomplete cordon; second, acknowledging that surprise might be complete, the 
Viet Cong ordered the preparation of stocks of food and water to support 
passive hiding for periods of three to five days.<43>

     County Fair operations emphasized Marine Corps support for hard civic 
action, i.e., security and direct support for Vietnamese revolutionary 
development.  They were a far cry from the candy and pill patrols of April 
1965.  They were also different from the distribution of Handclasp commodities 
in secure areas in March 1966.  County Fair operations and Combined Action 
Companies represented Marine Corps civic action in its hardest and most 
aggressive state by March.  Both concepts had been proven successful by the 
anniversary of the first year of major Marine Corps forces in Vietnam.  In 
February 1966, the first CAC had been formed in the Da Nang TAOR in emulation 
of the successful company at Hue/Phu Bai.  And shortly thereafter, III MAF 
introduced the CAC concept at Chu Lai.  County Fair operations began to expand 
rapidly also.  In March 1966, III MAF conducted a total of four County Fair 
operations under the immediate direction of HQ, 9th Marines.  Several months 
later, in July 1966, operations numbered in the twenties and were taking place 
in all of the TAORs.<44>


                                      75



                        The Importance of Civic Action:
                             Indicators of Progress

     At the end of the first year in Vietnam, Marine Corps civic action with 
its many ramifications had become so important that it ranked almost equally 
with the formal combat effort. General Walt specifically emphasized the 
operational concept of two powerful hands, one a clenched fist used to smash 
the enemy main force and guerrilla fighters, and the other open and extended 
to the Vietnamese people to shield them from the terror and to assist their 
government.  But HQ, III MAF found it difficult to describe or present civic 
action progress.  Combat actions were measurable in terms of the numbers of 
actions fought, patrols run, and ambushes laid as well as the number of 
casualties inflicted on the enemy.  But HQ, III MAF for the first year had no 
satisfactory system of quantifying the results of civic action in support of 
revolutionary development.  Assuredly, HQ, III MAF had collected statistics on 
civic action including number of medical treatments, number of persons treated 
(uniformly a lower figure), pounds of food and clothing distributed, etc..  
But the statistics were not satisfactorily correlated with progress in the war 
until February 1966. 

     Progress in the war largely depended on the advancement of Vietnamese 
revolutionary development.  In February 1966, in an attempt to relate civic 
action to that progress, HQ, III MAF adopted a system of rating the progress 
of Vietnamese revolutionary development in the Marine Corps TAORs in ICTZ. The 
system was important because it not only related civic action and 
revolutionary development but also tied in Marine Corps combat operations with 
the latter.  For the first time the Marine Corps had a system which allowed it 
to estimate its general progress in the Vietnamese struggle.  The system 
essentially equated progress in revolutionary development to progress in the 
war in general and included certain indicators of progress which could only be 
accomplished by the Marine Corps or a similar military organization, e.g., 
ARVN.  The system included the following general indicators of progress:* 

     1.  Destruction of enemy units--------------------20 Points
     2.  Destruction of enemy  infrastructure----------20 Points
     3.  GVN establishment of security-----------------20 Points
     4.  GVN establishment of local government---------20 Points
     5.  Degree of development, new life program-------20 Points
                                                     -------------
                                Total                 100 Points

     (Equivalent to accomplishment of revolutionary development) <45>


----------
*  See Chart Number Two for a detailed breakdown of these indicators.


                                      76




 
                                Chart Number Two

              Detailed Breakdown of the Revolutionary Development
                             Indicators of Progress

                                                             POINTS
1.  Destruction of Enemy Units
    a.  VC units destroyed or expelled                           15
    b.  Local defensive force established                         5
                                                     TOTAL       20

2.  Destruction of Enemy Infrastructure
    a.  Village census completed                                  2
    b.  VC infrastructure destroyed                               8
    c.  Local intelligence net established                        5
    d.  Census, grievance interviews completed                    2
    e.  Action completed on grievances
                                                     TOTAL       20

3.  Vietnamese Establishment of Security
    a.  Defensive plan completed                                  2
    b.  Defensive installations completed                         3
    c.  Security forces trained and in place                     12
    d.  Communications net established                            3
                                                     TOTAL       20

4.  Establishment of Local Governments
    a.  Village chief and council in office                       4
    b.  Village chief residing in village                         3
    c.  Hamlet chiefs and councils in office                      4
    d.  Hamlet chiefs residing in hamlet                          4
    e.  Psychological operations and information
        program established                                       3
    f.  Minimum social and administrative organization            2
                                                     TOTAL       20

5.  Degree of New Life Program Development
    a.  Adequate public health program                            4
    b.  Adequate education facilities                             4
    c.  Adequate agricultural development                         4
    d.  Adequate transportation facilities                        4
    e.  Necessary markets established                             4
                                                     TOTAL       20


                                      76a



     III MAF had the mission within its TAOR of destroying the main force of 
the Viet Cong and the guerrilla forces.  This combat mission was closely 
linked with Vietnamese revolutionary development because the indispensable 
factor for the beginning of RD in the Marine Corps TAORs was successful combat 
against the overt fighting elements of the Viet Cong.  But III MAF, with 
remarkable candidness, rated the destruction or expulsion of Viet Cong combat 
units at only 15 percent of the accomplishment of RD.  The Marine Corps combat 
effort provided the shield behind which the complex, political, economic, 
social, and paramilitary action could take place which formed the remaining 85 
percent of revolutionary development.<46> 

     Marine Corps civic action meshed with revolutionary development in a 
broader range of the RD indicators than combat operations.  For example, 25 
percent of the "destruction of enemy units" involved the establishment of a 
local defense force.  By February 1966, HQ, III MAF had established two 
Combined Action Companies and had conducted systematic training for large 
numbers of Popular Forces, thus making an important contribution to RD by 
means of the hard or security type of civic action.  Eighty-five percent of 
the "Vietnamese establishment of security" comprised the training of Popular 
Forces, planning for defense, and the construction of defensive installations.  
Again, Marine Corps civic action directly supported adequate public health 
programs, education facilities, transportation facilities, agricultural 
development, and the establishment of markets.  Considering the support of 
public health programs alone in March 1966, III MAF gave medical treatment to 
more than 84,000 Vietnamese citizens and was in the process of training 77 
persons as medical assistants of various types.  The RD indicators placed the 
medical effort of III MAF in a meaningful relationship with the general 
progress of the war.  The establishment of an adequate public health program 
was rated at only four percent of the total accomplishment of revolutionary 
development.<47>


               Principles of Effective Civic Action for Vietnam

     By March 1966, the Marine Corps had formulated effective principles of 
civic action.  The Marine Corps had advanced beyond its initial defensive 
military mission and had become part of a full-blooded effort to establish a 
viable South Vietnamese government.  The broader outlook of the Marine Corps 
in its new role in revolutionary war was strongly etched in the new principles 
which included purposeful support for local government at the expense, if 
necessary, of the acknowledgement of Marine Corps assistance.  The Marine 
Corps had faced revolutionary movements in the past in the Central American 
and the Caribbean areas.  But the disciplined insurgent organization in 
Vietnam and the international complications rendered the Vietnamese situation 
so much more intense that it had to be


                                      77




 
ranked as something different in Marine Corps experience.<48>

     The principles of effective civic action for Vietnam comprised more than 
a dry-as-dust list of etiquette for relations between Marines and officials 
and citizens of the Republic of Vietnam.  The principles represented a new 
form of warfare, a concept balanced between sophisticated modern combat and 
direct support for indigenous political, social, and economic action.  Six 
points could be differentiated; together they formed a pronouncement of the 
Marine Corps response to "the struggle to rescue the people"<49> from a 
subtle, intellectually brilliant form of warfare.

     First, Marine Corps civic action programs had to be continuous.  
Discontinuity and in completion were synonymous with failure.  Civic action 
programs were responsible acts which were promises of benefits to a seriously 
demoralized population. Failure to produce the promised benefits allowed the 
irresponsible Viet Cong to outbid the government in power by promising 
superior results at an undefined future time.  Ultimately, no Marine Corps 
civic action could be lasting unless it were part of a program requested and 
needed by the local Vietnamese population and allocated the resources required 
for completion nd continuation by the national government.  To provide real 
continuity the Marine Corps had to support Vietnamese projects rather than, 
with misplaced zeal, create Marine Corps projects.

     Second, civic action had to function through local Vietnamese officials.  
Again, the tendency to produce Marine Corps programs or to work through 
individuals had to be strictly controlled.<50>  Only Vietnamese programs could 
be tolerated and support of those programs had to take place through 
Vietnamese governing officials.  However, spontaneous humanitarian acts and 
contacts between individual Marines and Vietnamese citizens were exceptions to 
functioning within the Vietnamese chain of governmental command.  These acts 
and contacts were important adjuncts to the Vietnamese programs encompassing 
evolutionary development and the programs of rural health, agricultural 
assistance, etc..  The spontaneous Marine Corps acts served to popularize the 
Marine Corps and the government which it had come to support.  But Marine 
Corps civic action was not a popularity contest between Marines and the local 
population.  Even though the spontaneous acts and individual contacts were 
important, they had to fit within the framework or a disciplined, 
single-minded program of support for the Vietnamese government.  An enemy so 
ruthless and well-entrenched as the Vietnamese communist of the mid-1960s 
could be successfully overcome only by the discipline, purpose, and control 
possible  within a first-class military organization.<51>

     Third, civic action programs had to be related to the basic needs of the 
rural population.  The production of food was the central issue of life for 
most of the Vietnamese people.  Concentration of effort, one of the principles 
of war and a


                                      78



                                 

                             FIGURES NOT AVAILABLE

   Support for education:  a winsome young orphan at Trung Phu Orphanage south 
of Da Nang receives booklets from a Marine visitor early in 1966.  By this 
time support for education had become a vital part of civic action.  The 
Marine Corps Reserve Civic Action Fund which had been announced in Sep 65 
concentrated initially on the buying of CARE school kits. (MCA187646) 



     Support for the rural school system:  in a well organized program at Le 
Tinh village near Chu Lai, LtCol Paul X. Kelley, CO, 2nd Battalion, 4th 
Marines presents precious school supplies to a child.  Note the schoolmaster 
(raised hands) prompting the children, ARVN soldier (beret), loudspeaker 
system (upper right), and the Vietnamese flag.  (USMC A369053)


                                      78a




 
sound principle of business management, ruled the field in the case of basic 
needs.  Marine Corps civic action had neither the resources nor the time to 
support frivolous activities. The Viet Cong and predecessor Viet Minh had 
operated in parts of the South Vietnamese countryside for a quarter of a 
century. In the I Corps Tactical Zone, the Viet Cong had made important 
advances in 1964 and these were characterized by meticulous attention to 
honesty in dealings with farmers and fishermen.  In both its earlier 
operations and the more recent ones, the Viet Cong had displayed a masterful 
grasp of what was real to the peasant and the fisherman.  The Marine Corps had 
to reveal to the rural population the same benevolent realism.  But the 
pressing, basic needs of the countryside could be most effectively determined 
by the people themselves.  And even though the Marine Corps could determine by 
pure reason that support for food production was the basic need of the people, 
the precise programs for implementation were so complex as to require playing 
the subtle game of waiting for the request of the local peasant for 
assistance.<52>

     Fourth, once civic action programs had begun which were requested by the 
people, were coordinated with Vietnamese revolutionary development, and had 
been assured of the resources necessary for completion and continuation, the 
Marine Corps had to bend every effort to enhance the prestige of the local 
officials who were directing the programs.  The assassination of effective 
governing officials was one of the mainstays of Viet Cong political action.  
Marine Corps civic action projects had to enhance the reputation of Vietnamese 
officials who were able to produce concrete gains for the peasants and provide 
justice.  Support and protection for honest officials was the foundation for 
Marine Corps civic action.  Even the Southeast Asian form of the Marxist 
dialectic would find it a tortuous path to justify assassination of effective 
and honest men. Marine Corps civic action had to help to create those men and 
support their actions.  Marine Corps rifles would make the Viet Cong form of 
public "execution" a greater challenge than the cheap exercise in deliberate 
terror which it had been in the past. 

     Fifth in the cases where choices existed, Marines had to choose civic 
action projects with the shortest time of completion.  The mobility of the 
Marine Corps and its preoccupation with combat against the main forces and the 
guerrillas of the Viet Cong movement emphasized the reality that long-term 
projects and ultimately revolutionary development were the responsibility of 
the people and the Government of Vietnam.  Assuredly, the Marine Corps would 
support both individual long-term projects and revolutionary development: but 
Marine Corps support was forced to take the form of short-term projects within 
the framework of the larger, longer ones.  For example, medical assistance was 
one of the keystones of Marine Corps civic action and was probably the essence 
of short-term, high


                                      79



impact civic action.  But the most effective medical assistance was that which 
reinforced the existing Vietnamese rural health service and that carried out 
as part of revolutionary development.  It was generally true that the words, 
short-term and high-impact, best described Marine Corps civic action.  But the 
levels of service established in programs involving Marine Corps support had 
to be delicately curtailed in many cases to ensure the same level of service 
after the departure of the Marine units. 

     Sixth, civic action encouraged and supported projects "which used 
Vietnamese talent and materials to the maximum tactical extent.  A guiding 
principle in civic action projects proved to be self-help on the part of the 
peasantry.  Self-help projects meant more to the peasants than gifts; and the  
Viet Cong, who were barometers of the effectiveness of Marine Corps actions, 
normally avoided damage to projects which were the result of peasant labor.  
On the other hand, government or Marine Corps projects were fair game for 
criticism and destruction.  The peasants had to have a predominating influence 
in  projects which were, after all, aimed at beneficial change for them. 
Marine Corps ingenuity could never be allowed to  predominate if civic action 
programs were going to have lasting significance for the Vietnamese people and 
be a source of lasting influence for their governing officials.<53>


                                      80




 
                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

     Clothes for old women:  clothes along with food and medicine were the 
most important commodities distributed by Marines. The essence of this view 
seems to be that happiness is a bundle of old clothes.  The youngster looks 
pleased also.  The distribution was made late in 1966 at Ly Son island off the 
coast near Chu Lai by MAG-26.  (USMC A421460)


                                      80a



                                     NOTES

                                   Chapter I

 1.  Based on 1stLt Kenneth W. Clem, Ltr. BACKGROUND DATA ON KILLED OR 
CAPTURED VIET CONG, dtd 17 April 1967, presently on file in Historical Branch, 
G-3 Division, HQ, U. S. Marine Corps.

 2.  Clem, Ltr., BACKGROUND DATA, 17Apr67.

 3.  Vietnamese villages often include hamlets with identical names 
differentiated only by a following numeral.

 4.  NEW YORK TIMES, 8 March 1965, p. A-3.

 5.  Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, LTR 6/DAC/KL, 5700 16 JUNE 
1965 to Commanding General, III MAF, paras 1-4.

 6.  William A. Nighswonger, RURAL PACIFICATION IN VIETNAM: 1962-1965 
(Advanced Research Projects Agency, Office of the Secretary of Defense; May 
1966), pp. 138-154.  See also HQ (G-2), FMFPac, A MARINE'S GUIDE TO THE 
REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM, 11 May 1966.

 7.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, December 1966 (S), pp. 30, 31.

 8.  2d Battalion, 1st Marines, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, FEBRUARY 1966 (S).  The 2d 
Battalion, 1st Marines was the successor to the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines at 
Hue/Phu Bai and continued the CAC operations of the former unit.


                                   Chapter II

 1.  U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of Media 
Services, VIETNAM INFORMATION NOTES, Number 1, February 1967, pp. 2, 3.

 2.  Bernard B. Fall, THE TWO VIET-NAMS:  A POLITICAL AND MILITARY ANALYSIS, 
Revised Edition (New York: 1965), pp. 252- 253. 336.

 3.  See the NEW YORK TIMES, 13 June 1965, for a concise summary of the 
political shifts in Vietnam from November 1963 - June 1965.

 4.  WASHINGTON POST, 19 June 1965  p. 1.  See also Ky's description of the 
critical nature of the Vietnamese situation in the WASHINGTON POST, 20 June 
1965, p. 1.


                                      81




 
 5.  "Charts" and "Summaries" provided by Mr. J. J. Helble, Office of South 
Vietnamese Affairs, Department of State, dtd 1 March 1965, 19 June 1965, 12 
October 1965, 21 February 1966, 13 July 1966, 18 November 1966, and 28 January 
1967 (hereinafter referred to as Helble, "Charts" and "Summaries").

 6. Single Sheet entitled THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM, FIELD 
ADMINISTRATION AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, UNOFFICIAL AS OF JANUARY 1966, and 
Produced by the U. S. Agency for International Development, Public 
Administration Division.  See also, Department of State, Agency for 
International Development, A VIETNAMESE DISTRICT CHIEF IN ACTION, pp. 19, 31.  
The term, HAMLET, is used in this paper to include the traditional "thon" or 
small village (hamlet) and the "xa" or village of normal size.  The term, 
VILLAGE, is used to refer to the grouped village or unit of administrative 
convenience.

 7.  Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, G-3 Division, Civic Action Branch, 
NOTES FOR PUBLIC APPEARANCES (effective March 1967), p. 2.  The quotation has 
a certain poetical meter and was quoted in its most effective form. 

 8.  George A. Carver, Jr. "The Faceless Viet Cong," FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Vol. 44, 
No. 3, April 1966, pp. 347-372.  Carver's work is a detailed analysis of the 
organization of the Viet Cong movement.  Carver emphasizes the use of terror 
by the Viet Cong and notes that the main strength of the movement is in the 
countryside.

 9.  Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Military 
Operations, Civil Affairs, Plans and Policies Division, Civic Action Branch, 
REVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT PLANNING, p. 2.

10.  Headquarters, U. S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, MACJ332, dtd 23 
November 1965, ESTABLISHMENT OF THE 1966 RURAL CONSTRUCTION (PACIFICATION) 
PLAN, pp. 1, 2.

11.  Helble, "Charts" and "Summaries".

12.  Richard C. Kriegel, Jr., REVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT:  LAST CHANCE FOR 
VICTORY IN VIETNAM, pp. 1-12.  This document is a pamphlet presently on file 
in the Historical Branch, G-3 Division, HQ, U. S. Marine Corps.  Kriegel was 
one of the U. S. advisors to General Thang at the National Training Center, 
Vung Tau, in 1966.  General Thang carried out the training of the 
revolutionary development cadres at Vung Tau.


                                      82



                                   Chapter III

 1.  Jerome of Westphalia originated the remark that "man could do anything 
with bayonets but sit on them."  He made the remark during a conversation with 
his redoubtable relative, Napoleon I.

 2.  Headquarters, Department of the Army, CIVIL AFFAIRS OPERATIONS, Field 
Manual No. 41-10, p. 88.

 3.  IBID.

 4.  In 1965 the government's plan to secure the countryside, and hence, the 
state was called rural construction.  The term revolutionary development 
appeared at the turn of 1966 and replaced the words, rural construction, as 
the general description of the government's plan for survival.

 5.  Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Military 
Operations, Civil Affairs, Civic Action Branch, REVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT 
PLANNING, pp. 1-4.

 6.  HQ, U. S. Marine Corps, G-3 Division, Civic Action Branch, NOTES FOR 
PUBLIC APPEARANCES, p. 5.  The definition was a general one.  A definition 
applying more directly to the situation in Vietnam was found in III MAF ORDER 
1750.1, 7 JUNE 1965, p. 1.

 7.   IBID., p. 4.  The definition was based on, Departments of the Army, 
Navy, and the Air Force, JOINT MANUAL FOR CIVIL AFFAIRS, NOVEMBER 1966, para. 
4-5.

 8.   Nighswonger, RURAL PACIFICATION, pp. 161-166.

 9.   Chief of Staff, U  S. Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Military 
Operations, Civil Affairs, Civic Action Branch, CHART: US/GVN ORGANIZATION FOR 
REVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT, SVN.

10.  Nighswonger, RURAL PACIFICATION, p. 287.  The author emphasizes the 
central importance of security for any progress in revolutionary development.

11.  Major Charles J. Keever, III MAF CIVIC ACTION SUMMARY, pp. 7-13.  This 
document is a 16-page authoritative description of Marine Corps civic action 
by the first Civic Action Officer of III MAF.


                                      83




 
                                   Chapter IV

 1.  HQ, U. S. Marine Corps, G-3 Division, Historical Branch, Manuscript, 
MARINE CORPS OPERATIONS IN VIETNAM, JANUARY 1965-JUNE 1965 (S) p. 8.

 2.  U. S. Department of State, White Paper, "Aggression from the North," 
excerpts in THE VIET-NAM READER:  ARTICLES AND DOCUMENTS ON AMERICAN FOREIGN 
POLICY IN THE VIET-NAM CRISIS, ed. by Marcus G. Raskin and Bernard B. Fall 
(New York: 1965), pp. 143-154.

 3.  WASHINGTON POST, 8 March 1965, p. 1.  See also the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,  
8 March 1965, p. 1 and the editorial page.

 4.  9th MEB, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, March 1965 (S), pp. 1, 2.

 5.  Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, Operations of the III MARINE AMPHIBIOUS 
FORCE, VIETNAM, MARCH-SEPTEMBER 1965 (S), pp. 1, 5, 18.

 6.  9th MEB, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, March 1965 (S).  The whole chronology exudes 
concern over the problems of the buildup.

 7.  9th MEB, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, April 1965 (S), p. 4.

 8.  FMFPac, OPERATIONS OF THE III MARINE AMPHIBIOUS FORCE, VIETNAM, 
MARCH-SEPTEMBER 1965 (S), pp. 17-24.

 9.  WASHINGTON POST, 7 May 1965.

10.  3d MAB COMMAND DIARY, April/May 1965, p. 23.

11.  LtCol David A. Clement, TAPED INTERVIEW #189:  CIVIC ACTION PROGRAM OF 
THE 2D BATTALION, 3D MARINES, pp. 63-77.

12.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, MARCH-SEPTEMBER 1965, (S), pp. 26-31.

13.  HQ, USMACV, Letter of Instruction, DA NANG ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATION, 
29 May 1965, pp. 1-3.

14.  Force Order 1750.1, CONCEPTS OF CIVIC ACTION IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM, 
I June 1965.

15.  IBID., p. 1.  The problems were described succinctly under the beading, 
"Background."

16.  IBID., p. 2, para. 2.

17.  IBID., p. 2, para. 6.


                                      84



18.  See the Howard Margolis column in THE WASHINGTON POST, 11 June 1965.

19.  HQ, III MAF, CIVIC ACTION REPORT, 8 MARCH-15 JULY 1965, dtd 18 July 1965, 
Enclosures (4), (5), (6), (10), (13), (14), (16).

20.  IBID., Enclosure (13).

21.  3d Battalion, 4th Marines, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, JUNE 1965 (S), pp. 1-3 of 
the Narrative.

22.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, March-September 1965, (S), pp. 27, 35.  The 
exact figures were 8,204 (25May65) and 17,601 (15Jun65).

23.  HQ, III MAF, CIVIC ACTION REPORT, 8 MARCH-15 JULY 1965, Enclosure (13).

24.  IBID.

25.  1stLt William F. B. Francis, TAPED INTERVIEW #120:  WORK AS CIVIL AFFAIRS 
OFFICER, 3D MARINES, 15 APRIL-15 JULY 1965, pp. 38-51.

26.  IBID., p. 49.

27.  IBID., p. 40.

28.  IBID., pp. 50, 51.

29.  Capt Lionel V. Silva, TAPED INTERVIEW #37: CIVIC ACTION IN THE LE MY 
AREA, pp. 1-18. 

30.  IBID., pp. 6-7.

31.  See the remarkably detailed account of the action in the BALTIMORE SUN, 1 
July 1965, p. 1.  See also, HQ, U. S. Marine Corps, Division of Information, 
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL CLIPS, 1600 (local time) 1 July 1965.

32.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, MARCH-SEPTEMBER 1965 (S) pp. 33, 34.

33.  III MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, July 1965 (S), p. 6.

34.  III MAF Order 5800.3, 17 June 1965, CIVIC ACTION MEDICAL TEAMS, p. 3.

35.  III MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, July 1965 (S), p. 6.

36.  HQ, III MAF, CIVIC ACTION REPORTS, 8 March-15 July 1965, p. 2.


                                      85




 
37.  IBID., Enclosure (3), p. 2.

38.  CARE FACT SHEET, effective May 1967, pp. 1, 3.

39.  See OPNAV INSTRUCTION 5726.3A, dtd 28 August 1964, and the information 
sheet, Commander J. F. Dow, PROJECT HANDCLASP/CIVIC ACTION, dtd 10 November 
1965.

40.  3d Engineer Battalion (Reinf) (Forward), COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, 1-31 JULY 
1965 (S), Part II, third and fourth pages (pages not numbered).

41.  The problem of payment of claims was especially important in both the Da 
Nang and Chu Thai TAORs because of the problems of airfield construction, 
maintenance, and defense.

42.  Keever, III MAF CIVIC ACTION SUMMARY, pp. 3-4.

43.  HQ, 4th Marines, REGIMENTAL ORDER 6000.1, dtd 23 June 1965, pp. 1-2.

44.  HQ, III MAF, CIVIC ACTION REPORT, 8 MARCH-15 JULY 1965, Encl. (14).

45.  In 1965 and 1966 civilian personnel of the U. S. Operations Mission were 
established no lower than province level.  The situation was only beginning to 
change by April 1967.  See the chart entitled, US/GVN ORGANIZATION FOR 
REVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT and held by U. S. Army, Office of the Chief of 
Operations, Civil Affairs Division, Civic Action Branch.

46.  III MAF, COMBAT INFORMATION BUREAU, RELEASE NO. 247-65, 16 July 1965.  
See also PACIFIC STARS AND STRIPES, 26 July 1965.

47.  CO, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, Ltr 6/DAC/klj, 5700, 16Jun65, 
Reconstruction of LE MY (known to local people as Hoa Loc village, district of 
Hoa Vang, province of Quang Nam), Encl:  (9).

48.  1st Battalion, 3d Marines, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, JULY 1965 (S), Situation 
Report 104, 19 July 1965.

49.  See, for example, Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, LTR 
6/DAC/KL, 5700 16 June 1965, para. 3.

50.  Special Operations Research Office, American University, HUMAN FACTORS 
CONSIDERATIONS OF UNDERGROUND IN INSURGENCIES, 1 December 1965, pp. 182, 183.  
This document appeared in September 1966 as Department of the Army Pamphlet 
No. 550-104.

51.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, MARCH-SEPTEMBER 1965 (S), pp. 11-14.  See 
also, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORT, 2 DECEMBER 
1965.


                                      86



                                   Chapter V

 1.  Interview with Col Don P. Wyckoff, dtd 5 June 1967.  Cal Wyckoff was the 
Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, 3d MarDiv in August 1965.

 2.  Keever, III MAF CIVIC ACTION SUMMARY, pp. 6-8, 10.

 3.  See the description of the various civic action programs in HQ, III MAF, 
CIVIC ACTION REPORT, 8 MARCH-15 JULY 1965, Enclosures (1), (2), (3), for a 
brief, general description of civic action through the middle of July.

 4.  HQ, III MAF, MINUTES OF PLANNING MEETING [for a Regional Working Group],  
30 AUGUST 1965.

 5.  HQ, III MAF, Civil Affairs Officer, MEMO TO DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, 29 
AUGUST 1965.  This document contained a suggested mission which was accepted 
by the planning meeting of the I Corps JCC on 30 August 1965.

 6.  HQ, U. S. Marine Corps, G-3 Division, Civic Action Branch, I CORPS JOINT 
COORDINATING COUNCIL, SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES DURING CY 1966.

 7.  HQ, III MAF, Minutes of the Meeting of the I Corps Joint Coordinating 
Council, STATEMENT OF MISSION, COMPOSITION, and FUNCTIONS I CORPS JOINT 
COORDINATING COUNCIL.

 8.  HQ, III MAF, MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE I CORPS JOINT COORDINATING 
COUNCIL, 15 NOVEMBER 1965, para. 3.

 9.  LtCol Verle E. Ludwig, "Bus to Tra Khe," MARINE CORPS GAZETTE, vol. 50, 
no. 10, October 1966, p. 34.

10.  Col Bryce F. Denno USA, "Viet Cong Defeat at Phuoc Chau," MARINE CORPS 
GAZETTE, Vol. 49, No. 3, March 1965, p. 35.

11.  Recall the quotation of the village elder from, NOTES FOR PUBLIC 
APPEARANCES, Civic Action Branch, G-3 Division, HQ, U. S. Marine Corps:  
"...the Viet Cong never take anything, they tax..."

12.  NEW YORK TIMES, 20 August 1965.

13.  Nighswonger, RURAL PACIFICATION, pp. 177-179.

14.  MSgt George Wilson, "Combined Action," MARINE CORPS GAZETTE, Vol. 50, No. 
10, October 1966, pp. 28-31.

15.  See the article in the WASHINGTON POST, 22 September 1965, entitled "Viet 
Militiamen are Attached to U. S. Marines," by Mr. Jack Foisie, reporter for 
the LOS ANGELES TIMES.


                                      87




 
16.  Captain Francis J. West, Jr., THE CAC AS A CATALYST, mimeographed sheet 
recounting the Impressions of Captain West after duty with the CACs in Vietnam 
in late 1966.

17.  HQ, U. S. Marine Corps, Division of Reserve, Mimeographed Sheets 
Entitled, MARINE CORPS CIVIC ACTION FUND FOR VIETNAM-SUMMARY, two pages.

18.  Ronwyn M. Ingraham, Assistant Director, Washington, D. C. Office CARE, 
Inc., Letter addressed to Major Stevens and Captain Smith, dated 26 August 
1965.

19.  MARINE CORPS ORDER 5710.4, dtd 13 September 1965.

20.  HQ, U. S. Marine Corps, Division of Reserve, RESERVE CIVIC ACTION 
FUND-SUMMARY, two pages.


                                   Chapter VI

 1.  See THE NEW YORK TIMES, 8 September 1965, p. 1, and THE WASHINGTON POST, 
9 September 1965, p. 12, for details about PIRANHA.

 2.  WASHINGTON NEWS, 7 September 1965, p. 8.

 3.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, OCTOBER 1965 (S), p. 24.  See also, FMFPac, 
III MAF Operations, DECEMBER 1965 (s), p. 51.

 4.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, OCTOBER 1965 (S), p.23, and FMFPac, III MAF 
OPERATIONS, DECEMBER 1965 (S), p. 50.

 5.  III MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, OCTOBER 1965 (S), Part Three, p. 10.

 6.  HQ, III MAF, PRESS RELEASE, 29 October 1965.

 7.  Interview with Capt Thomas J. McGowan, USMC, on 19 April 1967 at HQ, U. 
S. Marine Corps.  Capt McGowan was Executive Officer, Company I, 3d Battalion, 
9th Marines at the time of the action.

 8.  3d Battalion, 9th Marines, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, OCTOBER 1965 (s), p. 12.

 9.  3d Battalion, 9th Marines, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, OCTOBER 1965 (S), p. 10.

10.  This rural construction effort had several names including the following:  
(1) Quang Nam Pacification Project, (2) Ngu Hanh Son (FIVE MOUNTAINS) 
Pacification Campaign.

11.  Nighswonger, RURAL PACIFICATION, pp. 150-154.  This account is thin on 
detail but does emphasize the importance of security 


                                      86



and the challenge of rural construction after two years of Viet Cong gains.

12.  3d Battalion, 3d Marines, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORTS, Reports Nos. 1-
7, Operation FIVE MOUNTAINS.

13.  3d Battalion, 3d Marines, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORT, 3 JANUARY 1966, 
Report No. 7, Operation FIVE MOUNTAINS

14.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, NOVEMBER 1965 (S), p. 16.

15.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, NOVEMBER 1965 (5), p. 2.

16.  A small unit was defined as a company or smaller organization.

17.  Clem, Ltr, BACKGROUND DATA, 17 April 1967.

18.  Nighswonger, RURAL PACIFICATION, pp. 95, 285-288, 291-292. See also, 3d 
Battalion, 3d Marines, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORT, 21 DECEMBER 1965, Report 
No. 6, Operation FIVE MOUNTAINS.

19.  1st Battalion, 3d Marines, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORT 15 DECEMBER 
1965.  The Report shows the medical activity of the battalion on 13 December 
1965 and gives a lucid picture of the effectiveness of the mobile concept.  A 
total of 655 persons were assisted on 13 December 1965.

20.  3d Battalion, 9th Marines, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, NOVEMBER 1965 (S), p. 7.

21.  IBID., p. 8.

22.  3d Battalion, 9th Marines, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, NOVEMBER 1965 (S), 
Enclosure (8), After Action Report No. 8-65.

23.  IBID.

24.  IBID., p. 9.

25.  3d Battalion, 9th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORT, 2 DECEMBER 
1965.  The report of 2 December 1965 included part of the civic action summary 
for November 1965.

26.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, DECEMBER 1965 (S), pp. 50-51. FMFPac, III MAF 
OPERATIONS, OCTOBER 1965 (S), pp. 23-24. FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, 
MARCH-SEPTEMBER 1965 (S), pp. 32,48.

27.  IBID.  (The material in this paragraph is based on the data in the 
listing preceding it in the text).


                                      89




 
28.  See the material contained in 3d Marine Division, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION 
REPORTS, 1-31 December 1965.  The information in this massive source supports 
a view that Marine Corps civic action was not yet fully coordinated with 
either Vietnamese local government or rural construction.

29. Compare, LtCol Clement, TAPED INTERVIEW #189, pp. 67-69, with 3d 
Battalion, 7th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORT, 1 JANUARY 1966, to see 
the unchanged problem of security between June 1965-December 1965.

30.  See 3d Marine Division, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORTS, for the months of 
December and January 1965/1966.  They form a voluminous account largely of the 
soft type of civic action.

31.  3d Battalion, 7th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SITUATION REPORT [hereinafter 
abbreviated to SitReps], 1 January 1966.

32.  The shot in the back of Mr. Truong's head was probably fired from close 
range by unhurried gunmen who had downed the chief with three previous shots.

33.  See the brief analysis of security in, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, CIVIC 
ACTION SITUATION REPORT, 21 DECEMBER 1965, Report No. 6, Operation FIVE 
MOUNTAINS.

34.  Nighswonger, RURAL PACIFICATION, pp. 161-163.

35.  3d Battalion, 3d Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 1-7 JANUARY 1966, Report 
Number 7, Operation FIVE MOUNTAINS.

36.  IBID.

37.  The Republic of Vietnam, Quang Nam Province, Hoa Vang District, the 
Northwest Zone, IMPRESSIONS OF THE PEOPLE OF NORTHWEST HOA VANG DISTRICT, 12 
JUNE 1965.  This letter was also included as Enclosure (1) to HQ, III MAF, 
Ltr. 1/drw 5720 29 June 1965.

38.  3d Battalion, 4th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 1700, 22 DECEMBER 1965.  
The italics were included in the report.

39.  3d Marine Division, CIVIC ACTION SIT REPS, 1-7 DECEMBER 1965.  For the 
quotation see 3d Tank Battalion, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 2 DECEMBER 1965.

40.  3d Tank Battalion, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 25 January 1966.

41.  1st Battalion, 4th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 2 January 1966.

42.  1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP 25 December 1965.


                                      90



43.  IBID.


                                  Chapter VII

 1.  3d Battalion, 3d Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 3 JANUARY 1966, Report 
No. 7, Operation FIVE MOUNTAINS.

 2.  Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Military 
Operations, Civil Affairs, Plans and Policies Division, CIVIC ACTION BRANCH, 
REVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT PLANNING, pp. 1-4.

 3.  3d Marine Division, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, JANUARY 1966, p. 22.

 4.  3d Battalion, 7th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 25 JANUARY 1966 After 
Action Report Operation MALLARD.

 5.  IBID.

 6.  IBID.

 7.  I Corps Joint Coordinating Council, Weekly Meetings, MINUTES, 27 JANUARY 
1966, p. 1.

 8.  I Corps Joint Coordinating Council, Weekly Meetings, MINUTES, 22 FEBRUARY 
1966, p. 1.

 9.  Based on 3d Marine Division, CIVIC ACTION SIT REPS, 1 December 1965-31 
January 1966.

10.  Nighswonger, RURAL PACIFICATION, p. 207.

11.  IBID., p. 208.

12.  By the turn of 1966, it was more accurate to speak of Vietnamese plans 
for change in the countryside as revolutionary development rather than the 
older term, rural construction.

13.  III MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, JANUARY 1966 (S), p. 14.

14.  See FMFPac, PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE GAINED FROM OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN 
VIETNAM, OCTOBER 1966, pp. 57-58.

15.  IBID.

16.  FMFPac, III MAF OPERATIONS, JANUARY 1966 (S), p. 2.

17.  III MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, JANUARY 1966 (S), p. 14.

18.  Definition of a child:  a human younger than 18 years of age.


                                      91




 
19.  3d Marine Division, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, JANUARY 1966 (S), p. 2, and 1st 
Marine Air Wing, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, JANUARY 1966 (Unclassified), pp. 3, 4.

20.  III MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, JANUARY 1966 (S), p. 14.

21.  1st Battalion, 7th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 10 JANUARY 1966, 
Special Civil Affairs Program of Company A, 1-9 January 1966.

22.  Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, LTR 6/DAC/KL, 5700 16 JUNE 
1965, para. 4.  The letter was addressed to CG, III  MAF.

23.  3d Marine Division, Civic Action Situation Reports, 22-31 January 1965.

24.  3d Battalion, 7th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 22 JANUARY 1966.

25.  3d Battalion, 7th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REPS, 22-23 JANUARY 1966.

26.  1st Battalion, 7th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 24 JANUARY 1966.

27.  2d Battalion, 9th Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 22 JANUARY 1966.

28.  2d Battalion, 1st Marines, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 21 JANUARY 1966.

29.  The civic action data presented on the maps was taken from the following 
source:  3d Marine Division, CIVIC ACTION SIT REPS, 13-17 DECEMBER 1966.  
Hence, the data represented the civic action of the most numerous part of III 
MAF and the part which carried out the majority of civic action projects 
between May 1965-March 1966.

30.  3d Engineer Battalion, CIVIC ACTION SIT REP, 12 JANUARY 1966.

31.  Telephone Interview with First Lieutenant William E. Black, on Friday 19 
May 1967.

32.  DA NANG PRESS BRIEFING, 1100, 28 JANUARY 1966 pp. 4, 5, covering the 
period of Marine Corps action from 0600, 27 January-0600, 28 January 1966.

33.  For details about Operation DOUBLE EAGLE see, Sgt Bob Bowen, "Operation 
Double Eagle I," LEATHERNECK, Vol. XLIX, No. 6, June 1966, pp. 26-29, and Sgt 
Bob Bowen, "Operation DOUBLE EAGLE II." LEATHERNECK, Vol. XLIX, No. 6, pp. 30-
33, 81.


                                      92



34.  3d Marine Division, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, FEBRUARY 1966 (S), p. 29.

35.  III  MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, FEBRUARY 1966 (S), p. 20.

36.  III  MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, FEBRUARY 1966 (S), p. 18.

37.  III  MAF, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, FEBRUARY 1966 (S), p. 20.

38.  Cdr J. F. Dow, Letter, OP-345F, X57725, 10 November 1965, Project 
HANDCLASP/CIVIC ACTION.  Commander Dow was the Naval Operations Coordinator 
for Project HANDCLASP in 1965.

39.  Telephone Conversation with the Director, Project Handclasp, Cdr Arthur 
P. Ismay, U. S. Navy, on Monday 5 June 1967.

40.  Interview with Col Don P. Wyckoff on Thursday 8 June 1967. Col Wyckoff 
was the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, 3d Marine Division in August 1965.

41.  FMFPac, PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE GAINED FROM OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN 
VIETNAM, JANUARY 1967, pp. 42, 43.  See also, FMFPac, PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 
GAINED FROM OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN VIETNAM, OCTOBER 1966, pp. 1-3.

42.  IBID., p. 42.

43.  3d Marine Division, COMMAND CHRONOLOGY, MARCH 1966 (S), p. 19.

44.  CG, III MAF, COUNTY FAIR OPERATIONS, 7 August 1966.  This document is a 
message addressed to CG, FMFPac (070332Z August 1966) and includes the 
pamphlet entitled, 9th Marines, OPERATION COUNTY Fair.  The pamphlet states 
that "over twenty county fairs were held during July in villages throughout 
the three tactical areas" of III MAF.

45.  FMFPac, PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE GAINED FROM OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN 
VIETNAM, OCTOBER 1966, pp. 53, 54.

46.  IBID., p. 53.

47.  IBID., P. 54.

48.  Comparison of the material contained in Marine Corps Historical Reference 
Series, Number 21, THE UNITED STATES MARINES IN NICARAGUA, Revised 1962, with 
the details of the intervention in Vietnam supported the view that the 
intensity and pervasiveness of the Vietnamese struggle rated it as a 
"different" experience.

49.  See John Mecklin, "The Struggle to Rescue the People, FORTUNE, April 
1967, pp. 126-139, 238-247, for an imaginative


                                      93




 
yet sound analysis of the Viet Cong's method of "advance."

50.  FMFPac, PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE GAINED FROM OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN THE 
REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM, AUGUST 1966, p. 39.

51.  FMFPac, TACTICAL TRENDS AND TRAINING TIPS, JANUARY 1966, pp. 2, 3.

52.  Marine Corps Bulletin 3480, 1 August 1966, Encl (2) CIVIC ACTION LESSONS 
LEARNED, p. 4.

53.  IBID., p. 5.


                                      94



                                    APPENDIX

                     Contents of CARE kits provided through
                     Reserve Civic Actions Fund for Vietnam


   Elementary School Kit                    Classroom Supply Kit
   ---------------------                    --------------------

 Quantity     Item                       Quantity       Item

     2      Pen Points                      2       Notebook
     1      Pen Holder                      24      Ink Pellets
     1      Ink Holder                      2       Erasers
    *2      Notebooks (100 pages)           4       Blotting Paper
     1      Ruler                           2       Pencils
    *24     Ink Pellets                     1       Plastic Bag
     1      Slate                           1       Piece of Chalk 
    *2      Erasers
    *4      Blotting Paper
    *2      Pencils
    *4      Pieces of Chalk
    *1      Plastic bag to contain the kit


*Classroom Supply Kit Items
----------------------------
     For those students who need
 only the replacement components



           Sewing Kit                    Physical Education Kit
           ----------                    ----------------------

  Quantity     Item                 Quantity      Item

     1       Scissors                   1     Soccer Ball
     1       Packet of Needles          1     Volley Ball
     1       Spool of Black Thread      1     Volley Ball Net


                        Textile Package
                        ---------------

                Quantity       Item

                  12 m     Black Rayon
                1,600 m    Black Sewing Thread
                  75       Needles
                0.75 kg    Laundry soap
                 144       Black Plastic Buttons
                  1        Scissors


                                      95




 
          Midwifery Kit                   Blacksmith Kit
          -------------                   --------------

  Quantity      Item                 Quantity      Item

     1     Sponge Bowl                   1     Bellow
     1     Stainless Steel Tray          1     Hacksaw frame
     1     Surgical Scissors             12    12" Hacksaw Blades
     2     Forceps                       1     Aluminum Ruler
     2     Plastic Bottles               1     Steel Tin Snip
     1     Packet of Safety Pins         1     Sledge Hammer
     18    Sterile Packets               1     Square Hammer
     1     Plastic Soap container        1     Vice
     2     Toilet Soap                   1     12" Bastard File
     1     Plastic Nail Brush            1     12" 2nd Cut File
     2     Hand Towel                    1     Half Round 2nd Cut File
     1     Plastic Apron                 1     Ballpeen Hammer
     1     Clear Vinyl Sheeting          1     32" Tongs
     1     Waterproof Bag                1     Cold Chisel



        Midwifery Replacement Kit              Woodworking Kit
        -------------------------              ---------------

      Quantity        Item                 Quantity        Item

      8 cakes    Soap                           1      Ripsaw  Blade
      2 each     Hand Towels                    1      Crosscut Saw Blade
      2 each     Nail Brushes                   1      Claw Hammer
      2 each     Vinyl Plastic Aprons           1      Steel Plane
      18 each    Sterile Packets, each          1      Triangle File
                 containing 2 umbilical         1      5 Piece Chisel Set
                 tapes, 16" strand, one         1      12mm Drill Bit
                 muslin binder 18" x            1      16mm Drill Bit
                 40", and one gauze pad,        1      Aluminum Ruler
                 3", 12 ply


         SOURCE:  Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere,
         Inc.   34 Ngo Nhiem, Saigon, GUIDELINES AND INSTRUCTIONS,
         pp. 2-3.


                                      96



                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

                                 MAP NUMBER ONE

                 DANANG AND VICINITY REPUBLIC OF SOUTH VIETNAM






 
                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

                                 MAP NUMBER TWO

                             CHU LAI AND VICINITY





                                 

                             FIGURE NOT AVAILABLE

                                MAP NUMBER THREE

                            HUE PHU BAI AND VICINITY



These items and much more can be found at The Marine Corps Research Center (MCRC)


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