USMC Divers Da Nang River 1968!

The forgotten USMC Divers of Song Han River Vietnam,
also called the Da Nang River in 1968!



You Know You Are from USMC, 3d Military Police Battalion, FLC,FMF PAC
if you remember this -

Han River Pipe Truss Bridge at Da Nang Vietman 1968
between Da Nang and Marble Mountains.


The 3d Military Police Battalion, fell under Force Logistics Command, Fleet marine force pacific, and was located
in San Francisco, California. In over 3 years of continuous operations in the Republic of Vietnam,
enemy fire claimed the lives of 26 Marines and sailors, and over 150 additional Marines were wounded.
Da Nang Bridge, the bridge was renamed to Nguyen Van Troi
Bridge across the Da Nang River viewed looking toward Da Nang, 1,680-foot 14 - span Da Nang river bridge, nearly 2,500 ton of steel pipe were pre-fabricated at Poro Point Philippines and barged to Da Nang for the $7.5 million structure, was opened in July,1967 and " C " Company 3rd Military Police Battalion, is responsible for it protection. The Bridge is on an important supply route and is a vital road link between the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force headquarters and field units throughout I Corps and it was still in use in1998, the old French bridge nearby, It is no longer there. The bridges were protected by elevated observation towers that were positioned at each end of the bridges and sandbag pillboxes and other defensive positions were situated at either end of the bridges with divers in the river, the Han River was big and deep with some marshy areas, and sandy sites near the banks and Sentries walking the bridges 24 hours a day with the order to fire at anything floating in the river.


Helicopters at the Twin Bridges between
Da Nang and Marble Mountains Vietnam!


Helicopters heading to the Da Nang Air Base (also known as Da Nang Airfield) During the Vietnam War (1959 to 1975), it was a major base with United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps units stationed there. Air Vietnam also used the facility from 1951 to 1975 for civilian domestic and international flights within Southeast Asia.
I saw choppers engaged Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army ( NVA ) force around DaNang and help defeat the enemy during the TET Offensive of 1968 in I Corps. Armed with 2.75-inch rockets; .50 - caliber, 60 - millimeters, and 7.62 - millimeter machine guns were a powerful force in Vietnam.


You Know You Are from USMC scuba squad at Han River
Vietnam, 3d Military Police Battalion, FLC,FMF PAC -
if You Remember the forty lbs package.!

We had 6 seconds to get our skimmer boat out of the area when we pull the fuse on the 40lbs of TNT.
Which was forty one lbs block of TNT stuff in a sand bag.
Before the Marine scuba divers descend into the 50-foot depths of the river and inspect the pilings of the
Da Nang Han River span and a nearby old French bridge to ensure that no explosive charges have been set by the Viet Cong ( Charlie ). We would set off TNT explosives, we just wanted to make sure there weren't any problems with the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong ( Charlie ) divers in the area..


Da Nang Air Base 1968




The details are a bit sketchy now, almost 52 years later, I hope I got it right.

Notes!
(1) USMC scuba squad at Han River fell under, The 3d Military Police Battalion, Force Logistics Command, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, and was located in San Francisco, California.
(2)"C" Company Third Military Police Battalion, Force Logistic Command, Fleet Marine Force Pacific (USMC, "C" Co, 3d MP Bn, FLC,FMF PAC) (Was responsible for Da Nang Bridge Security) the bridge was renamed to Nguyen Van Troi and will be kept as a memento of the city.
(3)"D" Company First Military Police Battalion, Force Logistics Command, THIRD Marine Amphibious Force was responsible for Security at the Cam Le Bridge ("D" Co, 1ST MP BN, FLC, 3rd MAF)
(4) The Han River (also Da Nang River) is a river located in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. It originates in Quang Nam Province and empties into the South China Sea at Da Nang.
(5) Marble Mountain Air Facility (MMAF), U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft Group 16 used this airfield between August 1965 and May 1971 during the Vietnam War.
(6) The Song Cau Do river which flows along the southern boundary of Da Nang has two bridges, Cam Le Bridge on Highway 1 and Song Cau Do Bridge where Highway 541 crossed the river.
(7) The 3rd Marine Division was the first major U.S. ground force in Vietnam. When its advance units landed at Red Beach in DaNang in March 1965, its original mission was to protect the DaNang Air Base. As it moved from a defensive to an offensive role, however, it eventually relocated to northern I Corps, operating in the area just south of the DMZ.




L/Cpl. Larry Richards making up TNT Charges
L/Cpl. Husher reading a magazine



Not a safe way of handling blasting caps and TNT materials. That how "C" Company SCUBA DIVERS did it in Nam, a everyday thing we did 52 Years Ago That Now Seem Really unsafe and Dangerous.

Some of my experience with "TNT"!
The skimmer was down so I was delivering the TNT charges by jeep. I remember I threw a charge from the jeep and it hit one of the bridge pilings and got stuck and the unexpected happened, the TNT charge went off, they thought the old French bridge got hit with a mortar. That the night the Gunnery Sergeant and I was getting ready to duked it out, I am glad that the Lieutenant was there to stop it, I did wake everyone up that night, I would be mad too, we wasn't getting much sleep.....I still got a persistent ringing of the ears after that accident. I remember one time I threw a charge from the skimmer and the fuse and cap came out and landed on the floor of the skimmer, I pick it up and threw it out quickly. Every hour on the hour we threw many blocks of TNT out of the skimmer. I remember blown up tunnels near the bridges, it was more of a snake den then a Viet Cong Tunnel.


Cpl. Ignatious diving the Han River,
located in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam 1968.



By donning scuba gear, you can get the U.S. Marine Corps divers into the water quickly.
The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten "C" Company SCUBA DIVERS (SEMPER FI) Always Faithful.
Sergeant Ellis
Corporal William Ignatious
Lance Corporal Gregg Morrow
Lance Corporal Larry Richards
and all the other divers Ski,Sid, and Mike in "C" Company.
The names are a bit sketchy now, almost 52 years later I hope I got these names right.





Cpl. Ignatious with the camp dog and facing the artillery/mortar (1968).

Corporal William Ignatious with Sgt.Pepper's
Corporal William Ignatious with Sgt.Pepper's "camp dog" and facing the artillery/mortar 1968. You "old timers" will remember
Sgt. Pepper from the Beatles Album: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. That's how "camp dog" got his name Sgt. Pepper
The artillery/mortar provide good illumination and limited indirect-fire support for the bridges. Out from the camp was emplacement of concertina wire, trip flares, anti-intrusion devices, and demolitions to assist in preventing the enemy from penetrating the perimeter of the camp. After dusk, listening posts was set up outside of camp ( 100 -300 meters) so as to be able to provide the commander of the camp with early warning of enemy approach, they don't engage the enemy and they use the starlight scope for night vision.



L/Cpl Gregg Morrow and Corporal William Ignatious.



Han River Da Nang Vietnam 1968.
Getting ready to dive into action, by donning wetsuits and simple open-circuit SCUBA gear, we can get into the water quickly.



Here's is a family of Vietnamese boat People on the Han River Vietnam 1968!


Vietnamese boat People Vietnam
The Song Han (also called the Da Nang River in 1968)
You will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the country's natural setting and by the warm of the Vietnamese River People who were smiling and waved friendly welcomes. I met some of these groups of shy, giggling Vietnamese River People in 1968. The Song Han (also called the Da Nang River in 1968) flows into Nang Harbor, a harbor in Vietnam that is surrounded by land on three sides, the Song Cau Do River which is the main tributary of the Da Nang River replace roads for the Vietnamese River People. The river divides into a network of rivers and canals through which one can go anywhere by boat south and west of the city. The boat people practically live on the water it is therefore normal that they be so nimble with those long oars. The population density is high in the Han River fishing village swarms with activity and hundreds of sandspans and boats in the river but the people seem to like being close to each other



Starlight Scope on the Han River Vietnam 1968!


starlight Scope
Song Han River Da Nang Vietnam 1968.

The only experience I had with the starlight scope was with the U.S. Marine Corp's "starlight scope"
( AN/PVS ) back in 1968 in Vietnam. Often were used to spot enemy Viet Cong force trying to infiltrate the defensive perimeter of Da Nang River Bridges and each ambush patrol carried a starlight scope when they went out at night. The starlight scope, a relatively new night-vision scope in 68, amplified the existing light at night and allowed you to see an dread green picture of the surrounding area, I thought it was generally a very effective night-vision device. Enables you to see objects clearly at night at distances of up to several hundred yards in the absence of any artificial light. The same objects viewed with a naked eye wouldn't be visible at all. The biggest problem with the first generation "starlight scope" these first models were big and heavy, people wouldn't put the lens covers on them so when daylight came they would get fried,not to mention the user's eyeball and leaving them on and killing the batteries. The other glitch was cloud cover could have some adverse effect on the capabilities of the "starlight" scope and its not an aid to the Marine night vision to move about it was only good for a stationary observation post. The "Starlight" scope used in the Vietnam War was a generation 1 scope. Generation 2 was introduced in the 70s for military use. In the mid 1980's and early 1990's, the state-of-the-art Generation 3 products were developed and are considered current U.S. military technology. Most of the very inexpensive consumer products today use generation 1 technology developed over 52 years ago.




Vietnamese Boy Riding Water Buffalo 1968!

Water Buffalo: Vietnam's National Animal A source of food for people, but also a source of power, a great asset in plowing the rice fields and transporting people and crops.
"Did you know" Buffalo fighting was halted during the Vietnam War and resumed in the late 1980s. Held in September at the stadium of Do Son Town in Hai Phong City.

Vietnamese Gun Boat



We have two USMC, "C" Co, 3d MP Bn, FLC,FMF PAC on one of those Vietnamese gun boat at the early stages of the Tet offensive, they capture a North Vietnamese Army (NVA).



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