Thursday, May 18, 2017

Blast from the past...The Mayaguez Incident.

Above you see photos of the "Mayaguez Incident"...the final battle of the Vietnam War (for US forces).  The fight occurred between May 12th thru 15th, 1975.  A little primer from Wikipedia.
On the afternoon of 14 May, General Burns received the order to proceed with a simultaneous assault on Koh Tang and the Mayaguez timed to begin just before sunrise (05:42) on 15 May.[1]:112 D Company 1/4 Marines would retake the Mayaguez while BLT 2/9 Marines would rescue the crew on Koh Tang.[1]:113 With minimal intelligence available regarding the geography of Koh Tang, the commander of BLT 2/9 and his staff took off in a U-21 to make an aerial reconnaissance of the island. Arriving over Koh Tang at 16:00, they were prevented from closely approaching the island in order not to compromise the secrecy of the mission or draw ground fire, but they determined that the island was so covered in jungle that the only two viable landing zones available were beaches on the west and east shores of the northern portion of Koh Tang.[1]:114
Read more here.

Ya know what I find strange?  I went on Amazon to find a book covering the fight from the perspective of Marines on the ground (along with Air Force
Security Forces) but they're somewhat rare.

Most focus on the fight from the view of the captured crew or the pilots involved. The book to the right is the only one I found that seems to fit the bill of giving us a view from the ground fighters perspective.

I wonder though.

Considering the time that this fight took place and the current "age" of now serving generals is this the incident that shaped them?

Are the concepts that we're seeing pushed forward based on what they saw here?  Consider.  BLT 2/9 landed understrength.  In essence you could say that two Company Landing Teams participated.

The force was "aviation centric" with support being provided by the USAF's 21st Special Operations Squadron.  The only thing that went off "script" was the use of another company to conduct a retaking of the captured merchant ship.

I can't begin to cover this incident properly here but I believe its worthy of further reading.  Still looking for the official Marine Corps History and when I find it I'll post a link.

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