2nd Marine Division (South Korea)

The 2nd Marine Division (Korean: 제2해병사단; Hanja: 第2海兵師團), also known as Blue Dragon Division (Korean: 청룡부대; Hanja: 青龍部隊), is an infantry division of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps.

2nd Marine Division
Active20 September 1965 – 16 April 1981 (brigade)
16 April 1981 – present (division)
Country South Korea
Branch Republic of Korea Marine Corps
TypeInfantry division
Nickname(s)Cheongryong (English: Blue Dragon)
DecorationsU.S. Presidential Unit Citation
ROK Presidential Unit Citation


On June 1, 1965, Prime Minister of South Vietnam Nguyễn Cao Kỳ requested military aid from South Korea. To support South Vietnam from communist North Vietnam, Korea State Council agreed to send a Division and its supporting units on July 2, and National Assembly of South Korea made final decision to send troops on August 13.

On August 17, the Republic of Korea Marine Corps attached various battalions, companies, and platoons to the 2nd Marine Regiment to increase its size to a brigade. The Marine Corps originally planned battalion to regiment size unit, but reports from Vietnam said that separating army and Marines was more appropriate to operate.

With President Park Chung-hee in attendance, the 2nd Marine Brigade was formally activated at the ROK Marine Corps training camp at Pohang on September 20, 1965.

Vietnam WarEdit

Brigade Color Guard during the first anniversary of the arrival of the 2nd Republic of Korea Marine Brigade in South Vietnam
2nd Brigade gunners fire a 105mm from their base near Hoi An, 10 July 1968

The Blue Dragons were initially deployed to Cam Ranh Bay in September 1965, but in December moved to Tuy Hòa to provide security against the NVA 95th Regiment.[1]

In August 1966, the Blue Dragons moved to Chu Lai and was placed under the operational control of the III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF).[2] Under an arrangement with the USMC, air assets would be provided to the brigade and assigned the same priority for available aircraft as American units. A team from Subunit One, 1st ANGLICO was dispatched and charged with the mission of keeping an air umbrella over the Blue Dragon Brigade in and out of the field. A two-man fire control team was assigned to each ROKMC infantry company at all times.

Initially, the AK-47-equipped Vietcong (VC) and People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) had somewhat superior small-arms to South Korean soldiers, since they were armed with World War II-era weaponry (M1 Garand and M1 carbine), although ROK forces like others relied on overwhelming use of heavy artillery and air support against small-arms and mortar units. They later received more modern weapons from the United States military such as the M16 rifle.[1]:143

Significant operations and actions involving the Brigade include:

The conduct of ROK forces is praised by some South Korean participation in Vietnam states that "the Koreans were thorough in their planning and deliberate in their execution of a plan. They usually surrounded an area by stealth and quick movement. While the count of enemy killed was probably no greater proportionately than that of similar American combat units, the thoroughness with which the Koreans searched any area they fought in was attested to by the fact that the Koreans usually came out with a much higher weaponry count than American forces engaged in similar actions." [1]

A total of 320,000 South Koreans served in the Vietnam War, with a peak strength (of any given time) at around 48,000.[1]:131 About 4,000 were killed.

Commanders during Vietnam WarEdit

Order of battle during Vietnam WarEdit

2nd Marine Brigade

Direct Control Company
1st Marine Battalion
2nd Marine Battalion
3rd Marine Battalion
5th Marine Battalion
2nd Field Artillery Battalion
628th Field Artillery A Unit (Army)

Unit statistics for the Vietnam WarEdit

Start Date End Date Deployed Combat KIA WIA
Officer Non-officer Total Large Small Total Officer Non-officer Total Officer Non-officer Total
October 9, 1965 February 24, 1972 2,166 35,174 37,340 175 151,347 151,522 42 1,160 1,202 99 2,805 2,904

After the Vietnam WarEdit

After returning from the Vietnam War, the 2nd Marine Brigade was expanded and restructured as 2nd Marine Division.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Larsen, Stanley; Collins, Lawton (1985). Allied Participation in Vietnam. Department of the Army. p. 130. ISBN 9781410225016.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "dcbsoftware.com". www.dcbsoftware.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  3. ^ a b c d e f http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/resources/operations/operations.txt
  4. ^ a b "Review of the events of February 1967" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-02-23. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
  5. ^ "flyarmy.org". www.flyarmy.org.
  6. ^ "History of the USS White River (LSMR-536)". Archived from the original on 2011-02-26. Retrieved 2010-04-12.
  7. ^ "Marines in Vietnam: Vietmanization and Redeployment" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2010-07-31.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.