Bastion Hill/Medina/Liberty II / Fremont
10-19 Oct 1967 19-23 Oct 1967
STY Alpha, on board the ships of TG 79.4, engaged in an extensive rehabilitation effort, while SLF Bravo participated in Operation Kingfisher during the first nine days of October.
On 10 October, the 1st Marines, having displaced from Da Nang to Quang Tn Province, initiated Operation Medina in the rugged hills of the Hai Lang Forest south of Quang Tn City. Medina was part of a comprehensive plan to eliminate enemy base areas. The Hai Lang Forest contained the Communist's Base Area 101, and elements of the 5th and 6th NVA Regiments operated in and around the region.
SLF Alpha's mission in Medina was to serve as a blocking force for the 1st Marines on the eastern edge of the operational area. BLT 1 / 3 made its helicopter move to assigned blocking positions on the 10th under the operational code name Bastion Hill. The landing met no opposition. Except for one sharp action between Company C and a company of North Vietnamese regulars early on the morning 11 October, the battalions contact with the enemy during Medina involved scattered firefights, incoming mortar rounds, and many grenade mines and booby traps.
A major action related to Medina took place north of the SLF sector the day after the operation officially ened. There, the 6th NVA Regiment, moving eastward away from the SLF's former location, ran into the ARVN units participating in Operation Lam Son 138, an adjunct to Operation Medina. By the end of the day-long battle which followed, the ARVN reported 197 NVA troops killed.
Immediately after Medina, BLT 1 / 3 moved south to new blocking positions west of Route 1 and the railroad between Hai Lang and Phong Dien to participate in Operation Liberty LI/Fremont. Upon joining Liberty II / Fremont, operational control of BLT 1 / 3 passed from the 1st Marines to the 4th Marines. This operation sought to prevent the Communists from disrupting the South Vietnamese National Assembly elections. BLT1 /3 activity during the next five days involved squad and fire team patrols and encounters with the enemy. Liberty Fremont ended on 23 October, and 1/3 moved by trucks to Camp Evans to prepare for its next operation, Granite, which was only three days away. One of the most appreciated preparations was the issue of an extra poncho and poncho liner to the STY Marines. The cold winter rains had come to I Corps.
Neither Medina nor Liberty Il/Fremont produced any telling results, at least in the opinion of SLF Alpha. Two weeks in the field that accounted for only 9 confirmed enemy dead, 7 prisoners, and 11 suspects, while attrition gnawed at the battalion's rolls during both operations. The casualties totaled 10 Marines dead and 50 others wounded, 38 of whom required evacuation.
THE ABOVE OPERATIONS ARE CREDITED
TO 1/3 COMBAT HISTORY FILE AND THE BOOK, "SEMPER FI VIETNAM"