Operation Buffalo (1967)
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Operation Buffalo (July 2–15, 1967) was a major operation of the Vietnam War that took place in the southern half of the Demilitarized Zone, northeast of Con Thien. On July 2, Alpha and Bravo Companies, 1st Battalion 9th Marines were ambushed on highway 561, near a place called "The Market Place". Out of nearly 400 Marines, the two companies suffered 84 killed, 190 wounded and 9 missing (single worst day for Marines in Vietnam). Only 27 Marines from B/1/9 and about 90 from A/1/9 were fit for duty after the first day. It was the first time North Vietnamese Army used flamethrowers in combat against U.S. troops. B Company Headquarters was wiped out when a single NVA artillery round exploded within the command group. The company commander, two platoon leaders, the radio operator, forward observer and several others were killed. The operation ended on the 15 July with total casualties for the operation at 159 killed, 345 wounded and 9 missing for the Marines making it one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The Marine Corps claimed that the NVA suffered 1,290 known killed. 1st Lt Gatlin J. Howell and SSgt Leon R. Burns earned the Navy Cross for their actions during this battle.
Order of battle
- United States Marine Corps
- 1st Battalion 9th Marines
- 3rd Battalion 9th Marines
- 1st Battalion 3rd Marines
- 1st Battalion 12th Marines - "A" Battery
- 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines
- 3rd Battalion 12th Marines - "E" Battery
- 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion - detachment
- North Vietnamese Army (NVA)
- 90th NVA Regiment from the 324B Division
- Operation Buffalo
- Davis, Gerald (4). SRB.
- "Operation Buffalo". www.1stbattalion3rdmarines.com. Retrieved 2008-05-24.[dead link]
- "Operation Buffalo - Between the Hickories, July 1–14, 1967". 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
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