This is the third segment of ALL MARINE RADIO’S “Battlefield Studies” series. The series is designed to give leaders who have led in combat a forum to voice the lessons that they learned while in contact with the enemy.
SITUATION: In September of 1968 the 2nd Battalion of the 26th Marine Regiment was operating as part of the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division in the northwest corner of South Vietnam. The battalion was was inserted into LZ MARGO in order to locate North Vietnamese Army units that were suspected of operating in the area and destroy them. 2/26 would themselves suffer approximately 200 casualties in an indirect fire attack after they were ordered to reoccupy LZ MARGO so that a B-52 Arclight strike could be executed adjacent to their positions. The operations officer of battalion was Major Jarvis Lynch who would retire as a Major General in 1991, he joined us to look at the operation and the lessons that can be learned from it. MajGen Lynch’s Marine Corps Gazette article about the operation is here: LZ MARGO… The Dead Went Last