No not the effort to make a dud of a pistol, but one of the last true amphibious operations to take place. 56 years ago today, January 28th 1966, Operation Eagle commenced. It was a joint operation with the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force and the South Vietnamese 2nd Division. It was also launched in conjunction with Operation Masher to the South (essentially a mirror of Double Eagle but involving the Army). One interesting point is the USMC unit make up of forces involved. It was essentially a reinforced regiment. But all of the battalions were from different regiments. The infantry battalions involved were 3/1, 2/3, 2/4, and 2/9 plus two artillery battalions and two companies of reconnaissance. Just strikes me as unusual to have a such a mix.

The goal was to have the Marines and ARVN 2nd Division engage the NVA and VC in the area while Operation Masher’s forces attached the base areas. The plan called for the artillery to be set up at hill tome Special Forces camps followed by a beach landing. After securing the area the marines would move by helicopter to cut off any retreating NVA/VC.

Headquarters & Service Company, 3/1/1, moves ashore at the beginning of Operation Double Eagle — Bob Ingraham Photo
A186719.jpg
Company F, 2/4 Marines pass an LVT-5
Sgt Gary Carlson on the beach

Not counting the previous reconnaissance work D-Day of the operation began on the 28th and the following patrols went on until February 17th. There was little Heavy fighting though as most encounters would break contact after hitting the marine units. While there were some delays due to weather the operation went according to plan for the most part. However it turned out that most of the enemy forces had left the area the week prior to the start of the operation. In response Operation Double Eagle II was launched two days after concluding the first operation in an attempt to destroy the NVA forces that had been missed.

Company F, 2/4 Marines pass through a punji-staked gulley. DEFENSE DEPT PHOTO (MARINE CORPS) A186718
DEFENSE DEPT PHOTO (MARINE CORPS) A186576
DEFENSE DEPT PHOTO (MARINE CORPS) A186711
Company H, 2/4 Marines pass punji stakes during Operation Double Eagle. DEFENSE DEPT PHOTO (MARINE CORPS) A186576
Marines pass a tank trap
Captured Viet Cong. A Viet Cong prisoner captured during Operation Double Eagle, 20 miles south of Quang Ngai, Vietnam is brought into the collection area by Marines. Prisoners are blindfolded and tied to prevent escape attempts. The card on the prisoner’s black pajama shirt relates to circumstances of his capture. 1 FEB 1966

If you want to see more details on the uniforms I have the same article but with the uniform part up over at Geared Up

Here are links to the PDF version of the official USMC publication. The first was directly from the USMC but when I went back a day later its was a dead link so here is a second one to archive.org.

https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/US%20Marines%20in%20Vietnam%20An%20Expanding%20War%201966%20%20PCN%2019000308600_1.pdf?ver=2012-10-11-164136-230

https://archive.org/details/usmarinesinvietn00jack_0/mode/1up

Here are some other links I used.
http://www.laguerreduvietnam.com/pages/operations/double-eagle.html

https://www.ephemeraltreasures.net/doc-larry-skonetski-part-3.html

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s