A report on Cửa Việt Base

Marine UH-34D at the base in October 1966
An LCU transports a 3rd Tank Battalion M48 up the Dong Ha River, 6 July 1967
2/4 Marines memorial service at Cua Viet Base in 1969
1/9 Marines enjoy the surf during 2 day rest and recreation at Cua Viet beach in 1969

Former U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) base north of Quảng Trị in central Vietnam.

- Cửa Việt Base
Marine UH-34D at the base in October 1966

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3rd Marine Division insignia

3rd Marine Division

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Division of the United States Marine Corps based at Camp Courtney, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler and Okinawa, Japan.

Division of the United States Marine Corps based at Camp Courtney, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler and Okinawa, Japan.

3rd Marine Division insignia
3rd Marine Division, 2nd Raider's sign on Bougainville - Seabee Museum
Da Nang, Vietnam. A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine landing, March 8, 1965.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Eric Kassow, a rifleman with 3d Marine Division, provides security during the 3d Marine Division Rifle Squad Competition at Camp Gonsalves, Okinawa, Japan, Jan. 12, 2021. The week-long competition tests jungle survival skills, basic infantry tactics, and excellence in weapons handling. The competition participants are currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment as a part of the Unit Deployment Program. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Aubuchon)
U.S. Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division conduct parachute operations by jumping out of a KC-130 Hercules Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 28-30, 2019. This combined training included Marines from 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, as well as support from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 and Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. This military training ensures the Marines from III Marine Expeditionary Force are constantly trained and ready to provide aerial delivery of personnel or equipment wherever needed, quickly and effectively. The U.S. military training conducted in the INDOPACIFIC area also provides security to the region, to include our Japanese Allies. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl. Josue Marquez)
Structure 3rd Marine Division 2022
U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, conduct a fire mission with a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System during an Expeditionary Advance Base Operation exercise at the Northern Training Area, Okinawa, Japan, June 18, 2020. This 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment-led exercise also features participation from 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and HIMARS from 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment. Training events like this strengthen 3rd Marine Division’s ability to control key terrain in a contested battlespace. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Donovan Massieperez)

BLT 3/l continued Operation Saline under operational control of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion with the mission of clearing the area adjacent to the Cua Viet River between Cua Viet and Đông Hà.

Marines return from patrol during Operation Napoleon/Saline

Operation Napoleon/Saline

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Multi-Battalion operation conducted by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army along the Cửa Việt River south of the DMZ in Quảng Trị Province.

Multi-Battalion operation conducted by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army along the Cửa Việt River south of the DMZ in Quảng Trị Province.

Marines return from patrol during Operation Napoleon/Saline
Marines return from patrol during Operation Napoleon/Saline
Company A, 1st Amtrac Battalion, operating north of the Cửa Việt River, 14 September 1967
2/4 Marines search Dai Do village, May 1968
Marines provide machine gun cover for a CH-46 near Đông Hà, 5 May 1968
2/4 Marines patrol the Cửa Việt River near Dong Ha, 8 May 1968

The Cửa Việt River served as a vital supply line for the 3rd Marine Division in northern Quảng Trị Province, running from the Cửa Việt Base to the Đông Hà Combat Base which in turn supported the Marine bases along the DMZ.

Combat Assault Battalion's Insignia

Combat Assault Battalion

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Mechanized battalion of the United States Marine Corps and subordinate element of the 3rd Marine Division and the III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Mechanized battalion of the United States Marine Corps and subordinate element of the 3rd Marine Division and the III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Combat Assault Battalion's Insignia

In April 1967 the battalion was moved to Cửa Việt Base and under the name Operation Napoleon together with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines was tasked with keeping waterways around the base open.

Marine helicopters at Đông Hà in 1967

Đông Hà Combat Base

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Former U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army base northwest of Quảng Trị in central Vietnam.

Former U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army base northwest of Quảng Trị in central Vietnam.

Marine helicopters at Đông Hà in 1967
VMGR-152 KC-130 at Đông Hà in 1967
2/4 Marines search Dai Do village, May 1968
Marines provide machine gun cover for a CH-46A Sea Knight near Đông Hà, 5 May 1968

In addition a LCU/YFU offloading facility operated by the Naval Support Activity Detachment, Dong Ha was developed to receive supplies ferried from the Cửa Việt Base.

3rd Battalion 1st Marines Insignia

3rd Battalion, 1st Marines

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Infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Horno on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

Infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Horno on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

3rd Battalion 1st Marines Insignia
3rd Battalion 1st Marines' standard.
Older insignia of the 3-1
3/1 training at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., Aug. 29, 2014. 3/1 will become the 15th MEU's ground combat element in October.

From January 1966 to May 1971, the battalion fought in the Vietnam War, operating from Chu Lai, Da Nang, Thang Binh, Thanh Thuy, Cửa Việt, Ca Lu, Vandegrift Combat Base, Route 9, An Hoa, and Hoa Vang.

Thạch Hãn River

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River in Quảng Trị province, Vietnam.

River in Quảng Trị province, Vietnam.

Map of Quang Tri province, showing Thach Han river.

The river enters the sea at Cửa Việt, east of Đông Hà city.

RVNMD shoulder sleeve insignia

Republic of Vietnam Marine Division

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Part of the armed forces of South Vietnam.

Part of the armed forces of South Vietnam.

RVNMD shoulder sleeve insignia
Organization of the Republic of Vietnam Marine Division
First Marine battalion marches through Saigon, October 1956
Vietnamese Marine Corps Headquarters, Saigon, March 1966
A U.S. CH-46 from MAG-36 drops off South Vietnamese marines into Hue on 23 February 1968

Besides ARVN firepower, twelve B-52 bombers from the US Air Force and naval gunfire of the United States Seventh Fleet was used to soften the PAVN-occupied Cửa Việt Base and hinder PAVN reinforcements.