879 – Operation Buffalo, a stiff challenge for the Marines in Vietnam

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Operation Buffalo, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

US Marines at Con Thien after Operation Buffalo, 1967.

Operation Buffalo was a bloody twelve day battle fought by the US Marines against NVA regulars of the 90th NVA Regiment. It took place between Con Thien and the DMZ. It began on July 2, 1967 and ended on 14 July with total Marine casualties for the operation amounting to 159 killed, 845 wounded and 1 missing. U.S forces reported that the NVA suffered 1,290 confirmed killed and a further 513 probably killed. 164 bunkers and 15 artillery and rocket positions were destroyed. 100 NVA weapons were captured.

Although it was called an operation it was in fact a brutal battle where on the first day of the operation the Marines suffered their worst one-day loss in the Vietnam War where two companies from the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines suffered 84 killed, 190 wounded and 9 missing.

The complete story of Operation Buffalo was presented in an article on the Wow website titled: Operation Buffalo (1967) that was sourced from Wikipedia. The article pointed how the Marines faced up to a savage attack by the NVA near the DMZ and they prevailed. Elements from the following units participated in the battle:

1st Battalion 9th Marines

3rd Battalion 9th Marines

1st Battalion 3rd Marines

2nd Battalion 3rd Marines

1st Battalion 12th Marines – “A” Battery

3rd Battalion 12th Marines – “E” Battery

3rd Reconnaissance Battalion – detachment

Keith William Nolan wrote an excellent book on Operation Buffalo and it is recommended by anyone wanting to know about one of the Marines most challenging battle in Vietnam.

It is his fifth book on the Vietnam War and it presents the definitive account of one of the Marine Corps’ most blood – soaked battles: a tale of snipers and ambushes in the blinding elephant grass; of tanks firing point-blank into tree lines swarming with enemy troops; of air strikes called in within yards of friendly positions, and of individual Marines fighting isolated and outnumbered.

His other books include: Into Laos; The story of Dewey Canyon II/Lam Son719, Vietnam 1971, Death Valley: The Summer Offensive, I Corps, August 1969, Battle for Hue: TET 1968, and Into Cambodia: Spring Campaign, Summer Offensive,1970.

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Operation Buffalo, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

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