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Operation Dragon Fire was an operation conducted by the South Korean 2nd Marine Brigade on the Batangan Peninsula, Quảng Ngãi Province, lasting from 5 September to 31 October 1967.[2]:282 The event and much of Korean Marines activities in the region was described as part of a wide-scale depopulation of the region[3].

Operation Dragon Fire
Part of Vietnam War
Date5 September - 31 October 1967
Location
Result ROK claims operational success
Belligerents
 South Korea Viet Cong
Commanders and leaders
BG Kim Yun-sang
Strength
2nd Marine Brigade 48th Battalion
Casualties and losses
46 killed ROK body count: 412 killed
59 weapons recovered[1]

Contents

PreludeEdit

The Batangan Peninsula was a well-known Viet Cong (VC) stronghold and had been the scene of several previous Allied operations, including Operation Piranha in 1965. In 1966 the peninsula became part of the Tactical Area of Responsibility of the 2nd Marine Brigade. In response to significant losses of Korean forces to regular units of NVA/VC during ambushes, the Koreans begun attacking civilian areas in what was described as a "near-complete destruction of civilian life in the Quảng Ngãi region[3]. In early September 1967 intelligence indicated that the VC 48th Battalion had moved into the peninsula for recruitment and resupply.[2]

OperationEdit

On 5 September 2nd Marine Brigade commander, BG Kim Yun-sang deployed 3 Battalions to sweep the peninsula, while the fourth constructed a base at the south of the peninsula. This was described as By the end of September the Marines claimed to have killed 404 Viet Cong and captured 14 and 28 weapons (described as a "remarkably high ratio of kills to weapons captured"), while losing 39 killed.[2]

During October the Marines claimed to have killed 137 Viet Cong and captured 17 weapons for the loss of 7 killed.[2]:283

AftermathEdit

Operation Dragon Fire officially concluded on 31 October, with the ROK claiming that VC losses were 541 killed and 59 weapons recovered, ROK losses were 46 killed.[2]:283 An unknown number may have been civilians. The area would later revert to Viet Cong control, and many civilian casualties reported as "Viet Cong" in the region, would embolden more civilians to join the PAVN/Viet Cong[4].

ReferencesEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

  1. ^ https://books.google.ca/books?id=lsVjZI_t8dIC
  2. ^ a b c d e MacGarrigle, George (1998). Combat Operations: Taking the Offensive, October 1966 to October 1967. United States Army Center of Military History. ISBN 9780160495403.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b Kwon, Heonik; Kwŏn, Hŏn-ik (2006). After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai. University of California Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780520247963.
  4. ^ Kwon, Heonik; Kwŏn, Hŏn-ik (2006). After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai. University of California Press. pp. 83–86. ISBN 9780520247963.