(2-5 June, 7-11June,12 - 23 June, 23-27 June 1967)
Bear Bite, a conventional LVT and helicopter assault, was the first of SLF Alpha's June operations. It targeted the Viet Cong operating along the coast 40 kilometers southeast of the DMZ in the "The Street Without Joy" region. Starting at 0730 on 2 June, BLT 1 / 3 spent the next 72 hours probing and destroying unoccupied enemy positions. Enemy snipers and a troublesome Marine tank stuck in a paddy were the only hindrances to the operation. There were no STY casualties, but the Marines killed only two of the enemy and picked up nine suspects. On 5 June the BLT returned to the 4th Marines' perimeter by helicopter.
Two days later, the battalion moved out again on the uneventful Operation Colgate. During the intervening day the new STY Alpha commander, Colonel John A. Conway, assumed command. The subsequent Operation Choctaw, southwest of the Bear Bite AOA, involved 11 days of tedious sweeps west of Route 1 along the Thac Ma River. About as productive as Bear Bite, Choctaw netted only 15 more detainees and nine enemy killed. Nineteen Marines suffered wounds. At 1300 on 23 June the last elements of the battalion returned from the field to the 4th Marines' Camp Evans, 23 kilometers northwest of Hue.
When it started Operation Maryland on 25 June, BLT 1 / 3 moved by helicopters into the same general area where it had been for Colgate. The battalion's zone of action included the southwestern edge of the grave-covered Maryland area. Elements of a VC battalion operated in the region. The Marine battalion did not find them, but ARVN units advancing from the north encountered what probably were two VC companies. The ARVN units killed 114 Communists. In its own zone, the BLT killed seven Communists, took 35 prisoners, and salvaged almost nine tons of rice at the cost of three Marines wounded. By mid-morning on the 27th, the BLT departed the area in helicopters as Maryland ended after four weeks of probing graves and tunnels. On 28 June,
HMM- 362, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Nick J. Kapetan, relieved HMM-263 as the SLF Alpha helicopter squadron, and the next day the BLT re-embarked.
June was a trying time for SLF Alpha. Four separate operations, none of which achieved significant results, could only be called "good experience." For the Marines of the SLF, the loss of three men and the wounding of 51 others served as a terse reminder of the price of experience. The STY Alpha BLT now had six operations to its credit, and, since its first landing on 28 April, it had killed 307 Communists
THE ABOVE OPERATIONS ARE CREDITED
TO 1/3 COMBAT HISTORY FILE AND THE BOOK, "SEMPER FI VIETNAM"