Operation Maine Crag

Operation Maine Crag
Part of Vietnam War
2.3 Marines pass a destroyed North Vietnamese truck south of Khe Sanh.jpg
2/3 Marines pass a destroyed PAVN truck
Date15 March – 2 May 1969
16°34′44″N 106°45′11″E / 16°34′44″N 106°45′11″E / 16.579; 106.753
ResultAllies claim operational success
 United States
South Vietnam South Vietnam
North Vietnam North Vietnam
Commanders and leaders
United States Paul D. Lafond
South Vietnam Hoàng Xuân Lãm
United States: 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines
1st Battalion 3rd Marines
1st Battalion 12th Marines
Company B, 1st Battalion, 61st Mechanized Infantry
1st Battalion, 77th Armor
1st Battalion, 44th Artillery
South Vietnam: 3rd Battalion, 2nd Regiment
Casualties and losses
UnknownUS body count: 207 killed

Operation Maine Crag was a US Marine Corps, United States Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) operation that took place in northwest Quảng Trị Province, lasting from 15 March – 2 May 1969.


Since early March 1969, U.S. reconnaissance detected an increase in People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) activity south of Route 9 in the area known as the "Vietnam Salient" where Vietnam protrudes into Laos as the PAVN sought alternative supply routes to avoid U.S. forces engaged on Operation Dewey Canyon against Base Area 611 and Operation Massachusetts Striker in the A Shau Valley[1] The plan for the operation called for the 1st Battalion 3rd Marines and 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines to launch a helicopter assault from Firebase Snapper (16°35′13″N 106°42′04″E / 16°35′13″N 106°42′04″E / 16.587; 106.701),[2] 4 km south of Lang Vei to establish fire support bases in the south of the salient and then conduct search operations along Route 616, supported by the ARVN 3rd Battalion, 2nd Regiment. Several days later an Army task force Task Force Remagen comprising Company B, 1st Battalion, 61st Mechanized Infantry, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor, 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery and Army and Marine bulldozer teams under operational control of the 3rd Marine Regiment would move west from Vandegrift Combat Base along Route 9 to Lang Vei and then south to join up with the Marines, deterring any PAVN armored threat. On 10 March 2/3 Marines deployed by helicopter to Landing Zone Hawk south of Route 9 and marched the 7 km to Landing Zone Snapper.[1]:64

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