Monday, November 10, 2006This is an unofficial 3/1 websiteLogan, WV USA
Mike Company 3RD Battalion, 1ST Marines 1ST Marine Division History
February 1942 through May 1971.
written by:Brian (Snooks) Strasser, Mike Co.3/1, 67-68
Mike Company, 3RD Battalion of the 1ST Marine Division was formed in February 1942 and participated in the following World War II campaigns,
After World War II was over, Mike Company was de-activated in April 1946.
Mike 3/1 was re-activated for the Korean War in August 1950 and deployed in September 1950 and participated in;
Mike 3/1 was once again re-activated in September 1965 to Camp Schwab, Okinawa and participated in the Vietnam War from January 1966 until May 1971.
Tactical area of operations;
Ca Lu combat base
Mike Company, 3RD Battalion, 1ST. Marines earned the following awards during their deployment in Vietnam between the years of 1966 and 1971.
Four Presidential Unit Citations
One Naval Unit Citation
One National Defense Service Citation with One Bronze Star
One Vietnamese Service Citation with Two Silver Stars and Two Bronze Stars
One Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with One Palm.
One Vietnamese Meritorious Unit Citation
One Vietnamese Civil Action Award
Mike Company moved north from Chu Lai to just south of Da Nang, and was given the duty of protecting the huge air born base at Da Nang in late 1966.
Late in the evening of January 14, 1967, the first platoon of Mike Company was sent to relieve the first platoon of Kilo Company at a position known s the “Desert” or “Dunes”.
Because of the late evening hour, both platoons decided to stay until morning when Kilo would leave.
This decision would be one of great consequences and probably saved many lives.
At 2400 hours, their position was hit by over 300 V.C. regulars, Sappers and the North Vietnamese. They attacked with such a great veracity, second to none, the Marines positions where breached and after many hours of fighting, some hand to hand, the two platoons, one from Kilo and the other Mike, repelled the enemy. Enemy loses where set at 60 killed and 60 probable, Mike Company once again distinguished itself in the field.
April 21, 1967, Mike Company was sent by choppers to the Qua Shan Valley to help the beleaguered Fox Company, 2ND Battalion, 1ST Marines. After fighting well into the darkness, the enemy left and Mike Company began the process of evacuating it’s dead and wounded, which where many, and those that where there will never forget that day.
Mike Companies tactical area of responsibilities head quarters was located approximately 14 miles south of Da Nang until November 1967 when it was told that they where to be designated as “Special Landing Force-Bravo” and was going to be shipped off to the Philippine Islands to be “retrained and refit”.
Those of us that where in country for awhile knew what was meant by “Special Landing Force”, yet others thought this was going to be great, three hot meals a day, hot showers and a bunk to sleep in while aboard ship. But the truth was, we of Mike Company where retrained, re-supplied and brought up to full strength to re-enter Vietnam similar to the turkey being fatted for the Thanksgiving feast.
Mike Company hit the Philippines in December, 1967 and left on December 15, 1967 aboard the U.S.S. Navaro (troop transport) and the U.S.S. Valley Forge (air craft carrier).
Mike Company made an amphibious landing at the D.M.Z. near Quang Tri Province early in the morning of December 21, 1967 and for days engaged the enemy, suffering many, many casualties, returning to the ships on December 24, 1967 in preparation for another landing.
December 27, 1967, Kilo Company was hit very hard be the N.V.A., Mike Company was working a village north of Kilo Company and was told to go and help Kilo because a sniper had them pined down, little did we know that Kilo had taken huge casualties, when Mike Company arrived late in the afternoon, we saw Marines littered all over the hill side, Mike lost many men that day also and gained a high respect for the N.V.A.
January 31, 1968, Mike Company was the lead element into Mai Xa Thi; the second platoon bore the brunt of the N.V.A.’s fury.
Again on March 1, 1968 Mike Company was sent into Mai Xa Thi and faced a determined foe. After an all day battle, Mike forced the N.V.A. out and forged on.
April 20, 1968, Mike Company was called upon to help Golf Company, 2ND. Battalion, 9TH Marines on route 9, bridge 28, between Ca Lu and Khe Sanh, for the next two days Mike struggled with a heavily entrenched and bunkered enemy. Finally on April 22, 1968 the fighting was over and Golf Company was eternally greatful to Mike 3/1.
May 31, 1968, Mike Company was on patrol at Hill 512, near Route 9, when the enemy unleashed an ambush that took its toll on Mike.
Mike Company, 3RD. Battalion of the 1ST. Marines was now below platoon strength.
Finally, on June 2ND. 1968, Mike Company was relieved as “Special Landing Force Bravo” and was shipped back to the old battalion area 14 miles south of Da Nang and stayed there until May 1971 when Mike Company was sent back home to America.
Mike Company spent 5 years and 4 months in Vietnam and was distinguished as one of the most HIGHLY DECORATED COMBAT UNITS IN THE VIETNAM THEATOR.