1330 Local Time
4 November 1965
Tra Bong River, 10 miles south of Chu Lai, RVN
Operation Black Ferret
Yesterday the boys were trucked down Route 1 and dropped about ten miles south of Chu Lai Airbase, near the Song Tra Bong (Tra Bong River). There they were attached to 1st Bn, 7th Marines (1/7), for the duration of the operation, pushing southwest along the river with 3/7 on their right and the ARVN 4th Infantry Regiment on their left, across the river. Intel had said a Viet Cong battalion-sized base camp was located in the area, but the boys had walked all day long and hadn't seen anything. As usual, about an hour before sunset the sweep halted and the Marines dug in to their night defensive positions and ate their evening chow. The boys spent a long, uneventful night, including being out together for a couple hours on OP/LP. The next morning the Marines got up, pissed and brushed their teeth, ate morning chow, stomped in their holes, and set off in search of the Viet Cong again.
They've been walking all day so far, lots of stopping to search for VC/munitions, but so far nothing and no contact. They've crossed numerous tributaries of the Tra Bong River, and now they find themselves coming to another, with a village nestled against. Lt Ward called a halt and for his squad leaders. He explained that 1st Squad was going to circle around to the south of the village to isolate it, 2nd Squad was going to head straight in to search it, and 3rd Squad was going to cut north to search some sampans beached nearby, make sure they're not hiding any enemy soldiers or contraband.
The Marines are from Jimmi's Flashpoint Minis.
The Viet Cong are from Martin's Peter Pig.
Middle (left to right): Pvt "Nikki" Jacobs (sporting his new M-60), PFC Masterson, PFC Griffin, and LCpl Devers
Bottom (left to right): Pvt "Danny" Thomas, Pvt Hendricks, Pvt Ryder, and PFC Marks
"That's great news brother, but I got bad news: Masterson and Ryder are both hit bad, we gotta get them medevacked the hell outta here or they both might die." And they did, Griffin had a helo inbound to scoop up the wounded and get them back to civilization.
The squad then pushed south and linked up with the rest of the platoon, which was policing itself up following its own firefight. The they humped on for a couple hours then, as usual, about an hour before sunset the sweep halted and the Marines dug in to their night defensive positions and ate their evening chow. The boys spent a long, uneventful night, including being out together for a couple hours on OP/LP. The next morning the Marines got up, pissed and brushed their teeth, ate morning chow, stomped in their holes, and set off in search of the Viet Cong again. They humped all day, ended up at Route 1, where they were met by trucks and driven back to Da Nang, thus concluding Operation Black Ferret.
As was becoming the norm, they got a few days to rest, relax, and clean up gear, head to the beach, and drink a couple beers before receiving their next Warning Order. When Corporal Little walked in all business like everyone knew what it meant and simply asked, "where to next, Boss, and when are we leaving?" "Good news boys, we're linking up with 3/7 and going for a boat ride. They're calling it Operation Blue Marlin, and we leave on the 10th."
"The 10th??? But that's the birthday of our beloved Corps!!! But what about cake, and alcohol???"