Military History/Dai Do
QUESTION: At the Battle of Dai Do in Viet Nam (Apr 30-May 2, 1968), Prov Corps committed an Army Co/Bn ~ May 1, 68 to the Nhi Ha area vacated by G 2/4 so G Company could be used in the main assault. Why weren't additional Prov Corps assets committed to support 2/4 at Dai Do on May 1 and 2? Air Mobile units of the Army were not deployed to assist 2/4 until May 3, 68 which by that time had the NVA licking their wounds and heading back home to the north albeit at a great loss of treasure on our part. What was the disposition of Corps assets during Dai Do and was there ever any investigation as to why no additional support was forthcoming when most needed? Was intel available to the Corps and 3rd Mar Div re the deployment of NVA 320th troops to the Dai Do area prior to or during the Battle?
I was the XO of G 2/4 during this Battle and became the acting CO when JR Vargas (MOH) was wounded and evacuated. It remains very troubling that 2/4 was told to attack and get "belly to belly" with a much superior force (652 Marines vs about 10,000 enemy NVA) w/o any additional assistance on all 3 days of the battle.
ANSWER: Dear Jack,
You can contact the following organizations:
*U.S. Marine Corps History and Reference Center located on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
*U.S. Army Center of Military History.
*The Modern Military History Reference Section of the National Archives.
May God Bless-Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard
Follow-up to your response-I first attempted to find it on the Internet through their own site for each one of these agencies I listed above. I found so much information that my next step was to actually call them up and ask your specific question in regard to Dai Do. I know a number of these historians who deal with this everyday and they know me but I was told by each one of them that the information covers hundreds of pages and that they neither have the time nor money to actually provide an answer in so short a period of time. Short of actually going there (which I do when I do long term projects), it would take weeks if not months to pull this information and you would have to pay for the copying and mailing of these documents. You aren't just asking a simple question but one that would require U.S. Marine Corps historians and their counterparts in the U.S. Army and National Archives to drop what ever they are doing and immediately meet your request. Your question is very specific and needs to be answered but you would have to go through hundreds if not thousands of pages of official reports and other data just to get the answer if you can. I hope this was helpful-Robert
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QUESTION: Robert- Thanks for your response. I am trying to get BLT 2/4 a PUC for their Dai Do actions through 10 USC 1130. Their NUC for same doesn't come close in describing the ferocity and significance of the battle nor the disposition of other forces. The only thing that stood between the NVA 320th and the outright attack on Dong Ha were the 652 Marines of 2/4. They deserve the recognition and it needs to happen before that generation all passes on. I have been working with the Historical Branch at Quantico but they do not have the manpower to take on a task like this nor the charter, according to them. I am limited due to my total disability. I would be willing to pay for such an undertaking if it doesn't break the bank. It should be noted that the Bn CO for 2/4 had gone to Viet Nam back in the late 90's and met with the NVA General who commanded the enemy forces at Dai Do. He verified that the NVA had committed the entire 320th there and suffered bwtn 1500-2000 kia's in the battle plus a much greater number wounded. These facts never made it into the unit award nor did Dai Do get the requisite publicity it was due probably because of the Khe Sanh and Que City ongoing events. The Bn CO is a Navy Cross awardee from that battle, is now 85 and about out of gas to fight this any longer. Anything you can do to help would be appreciated. Thanks. Jack
I will be more than happy to help you in your quest. Complicating matters is the current rush to give the new batch of "heroes" from Afghanistan and Iraq all the medals and unit citations while the units and veterans from Vietnam and other conflicts are left in a holding pattern. As a U.S. Marine who was in Vietnam, I can attest to the U.S. Marine Corps' tight policy on personal and unit decorations at that time. May God Bless and Semper Fidelis-Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard