0130 Local Time
23 October 1965
Phu Gia Peninsula, RVN
Operation Red Snapper
Yesterday the boys kicked off Operation Red Snapper, attached to Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines (G/2/3). They came ashore via landing craft as the Marine driving enemy forces into the ARVN anvil. There were only ashore a few hours before they participated in their first firefight of the war, with each of them performing admirably. They had completed their missions of escorting a Forward Observer (FO) into an old French Colonial building atop Hill 65. They were relieved a few hours later and returned to their platoon, where they grabbed some chow and dug-in for the night. But it wasn't long before their squad leader, Corporal Rob Little, came running up, talking about a SNAFU...
Cpl Little briefed the squad: another screw up! As it began getting dark, the FO and Marines from G/2/3 fell back off of Hill 65 for the night, but now HQ has realized there is a gap in the US perimeter. The Platoon Commander, Lt Ward, has ordered Cpl Little to take 3rd Squad back up Hill 65 and to occupy the old French colonial building. "This is not good, Marines. We've got to hustle over there, and we won't get there until after dark, so we won't be able to dig in, string wire, throw out Claymores, nothing. Hell, let's hope Charlie ain't already occupying the damn place! The only good news is that they're sending a machine gun team with us."
The Marines quickly collected their gear and re-packed their packs, filled in their holes, then reported in to the Command Post (CP), where they met up with the attached MG team and set off for Hill 65 in the failing light.
The Marines are from Jimmi's Flashpoint Minis.
The Viet Cong are from Martin's Peter Pig.
Top row, left to right, is PFC Nelson (M-79 grenadier) and Corporal Little (Squad Leader)
Middle row, left to right, is Pvt Nikki Jacobs, PFC Griffin, and LCpl Devers
Bottom row, left to right, is Pvt Danny Thomas and PFC Marks
Team Leader (with binos): Cpl Irving
Gunner (with the Pig): LCpl Light
Assistant Gunner (with M-14): Pvt Peeks
"Sure, you bet Corporal. It's good to see some friendly faces. Where's Danny? Is he alright?"
So the squad got back to the Company area and was given 20 minutes to clean up and grab some chow before the Marines were saddled up and back out humping the bush, chasing phantoms. They walked for two more days but never had another contact. It seems the ARVN took heavy contact and the 1st Viet Cong Regiment was able to make its escape. Thus ended Operation Red Snapper for the boys.
They were trucked back to Da Nang, got a couple days off shower up, eat some real chow, even go down to the beach and have a couple beers. But it wasn't long before they were heading back out; on 2 November 1965, Cpl Little came strutting into the squadbay. "3rd Squad, on me! We got a Warning Order for Operation Black Ferret." "What the hell is a ferret?" "Doesn't matter." "When are we going out?" "Tomorrow morning."
The good news was that Devers, Masterson, Hendricks, and Ryder had all recovered from their injuries during Operation Red Snapper and had returned to the squad.
More to follow.