James Albert SmithStaff Sergeant
H CO, 2ND BN, 4TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
18 November 1934 - 18 August 1965
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The database page for James Albert Smith
A Note from The Virtual WallThe 2nd Bn, 4th Marines (2/4) arrived in Chu Lai in May 1965, but initial contacts with the enemy were minimal. OPERATION STARLITE, the first regimental-sized battle for American forces since the Korean War and the first major engagement for 2/4, was an assault against the 1st Viet Cong Regiment's positions on the Van Tuong Peninsula, 15 miles south of the Chu Lai airstrip. Three Marine battalions (2nd Bn 4th Marines, 3rd Bn 3rd Marines, and 3rd Bn 7th Marines) and supporting units were involved.
On 18 August 1965 Mike 3/3 approached the area on foot, while the remaining forces were landed by amphibious and heliborne assault. Hotel 2/4 was landed in the middle of the Vietcong 60th Battalion's position and immediately surrounded. Two miles north India 3/3 was heavily engaged by another VC battalion. 18 August cost the lives of 50 sailors and Marines, but set the stage for decisively defeating the 1st VC Regiment, killing 614 Viet Cong.
Hotel 2/4 lost 16 men as a result of the day's fighting:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009