Operation Deckhouse Five

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Two U.S. Marine Corps amphibious tractors are moving along the beach in the foreground, with a UH-1 helicopter approaching at right. USS Washtenaw County is in the background during Operation Deckhouse Five.

Operation Deckhouse Five occurred January 6–15, 1967. This operation was conducted by the United States Marine Corps and Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps forces in the Mekong Delta, as part of the Vietnam War. "The ten-day sweep," reported the AP from its daily military roundup from Saigon, "proved unproductive."[citation needed] For the USMC, the operation was notable for the following reasons: it was a sizable, combined U.S. Marine and Vietnamese Marine amphibious operation and it was the last Special Landing Force (SLF) amphibious landing to take place beyond the boundaries of I Corps. An SLF was the designation of the Marine battalion and medium helicopter squadron (HMM) assigned to the Seventh Fleet Amphibious Ready Group. The SLF regularly conducted amphibious operations across Vietnamese beaches into areas of suspected People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF) and People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) activity.[1]

The primary objective of the operation was to secure prisoners. One platoon of 720th MP Battalion MPs from A Company were supporting.

Their mission was to construct a POW cage at Vũng Tàu, escort and secure POWs from the area of operations to the cage, process POWs, and escort POWs to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam III Corps cage at Biên Hòa.

The POW capture rate was below that anticipated.[citation needed] The operation failed and resulted in the deaths of 21 People's Liberation Armed Forces and 7 US Marines.

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