Battle of Trà Bình
The Battle of Trà Bình (Vietnamese: Trận Quang Thạnh;[unreliable source?] Korean: 짜빈동 전투 Tjabin-dong) was fought in the Trà Bình village, Trà Bồng District, on February 14–15, 1967. Tra Bihn Dong was fought during the Vietnam War. The 11th Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd ROKMC Brigade defeated a regimental-sized attack in four hours of close quarters combat. The NVA and Viet Cong penetrated the company's perimeter on two occasions. The 11th Company Marines fought using every weapon available; much of the fighting was hand-to-hand. Two U.S. Marines assigned to Sub Unit One, 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), Lance Corporals Jim Porta and Dave Long, were instrumental to the company's success, killing enemy infiltrators, coordinating air support, joining a counterattack to restore the perimeter, and aiding the wounded.
The battle took place after a Viet Cong defector, a former commander of a training camp, revealed that the North Vietnamese Army was planning an attack on the ROKMC's 11th Company. On February 14, the North Vietnamese 40th and 60th Battalions moved into their positions in the forest surrounding the perimeter of the South Korean 11th Company. The regular VPA battalions were also supported by one VC local force battalion from Quang Ngai. With their troops built up around the area, the Communist forces planned to cut all communication lines and wipe out the South Korean forces in the area.
At dawn on February 15, the battle began with the Viet Cong attempting to cut through the wires of the South Korean base. The South Korean Marines were dug in and waiting with requests for air-support. Due to foggy weather, the supporting AC-47s could not engage the Viet Cong, so the South Koreans only had artillery support. When the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had penetrated Korean positions, heavy fighting followed. Initially, the outnumbered South Koreans, though vastly superior in firepower, were pinned down, but the ranks of the Communist forces soon started to break up as the South Koreans counterattacked.
When the fighting ended, South Korean claimed that 243 PAVN/VC were killed.[unreliable source?] In addition, they reported retrieving three flamethrowers, five anti-tank rocket launchers, two machine guns, 29 rifles, 100 pieces of dynamite, and over 6,000 rounds of ammunition. ROK forces claim victory for having defended the base and preventing its capture. In the morning following the battle, the III MAF Commander visited the scene of the fighting, followed by the Commanders of I Corps, MAC-V, the ROK Minister of National Defense, and the South Korean Prime Minister. The South Korean Government awarded more decorations for the battle than any other action during the Vietnam War, including the first unit-wide promotion of enlisted Marines since the Korean War. Captain Jeong Kyung-jin and Second Lieutenant Shin Won-bae each received the Taeguk Medal, the only instance in which Korea's highest honor was awarded to two individuals.
The New York Times reported the battle as the "South Koreans' greatest victory in their 15 months in South Vietnam." Following a briefing to foreign journalists, the phrase "Myth-Making Marines" began to appear in the press, continuing the legacy of the "Ghost-Catching Marines" and "Invincible Marines" of the Korean War."
- Military history of South Korea during the Vietnam War
- Vietnam War
- 2nd Marine Division (Republic of Korea)
- 파월한국군전사 (Volume II ed.). Republic of Korea: 국방부.
- Vietvet. Vietvet.co.kr http://www.vietvet.co.kr/sugy/trabin/trabin.htm. Retrieved 6 May 2015. Missing or empty
- . Multiple Korean articles state losses of 15 killed quoting a book titled "파월한국군전사" (translated as Battle History of Korean Army sent to Vietnam), which was published by Ministry of National Defense of Korea.
- Trận Quang Thạnh - Battle of Tra Binh Dong, 15/2/1967(in Vietnamese)
- Durand, James (May 2005). "The Battle of Tra Bihn Dong and the Korean Origins of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program". Marine Corps Gazette.
- Durand, James (February 2016). "ANGLICO Marines at Tra Bihn Dong". Leatherneck. 100.
- The Blue Dragon heroes who won a brilliant victory at Tra Binh Dong operation
- Archived October 28, 2003, at the Wayback Machine.