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Operation Starlite

Trivia powered by Prof. WalterOperation Starlite was the first offensive military action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the commander of the South Vietnamese forces in northern I Corps area. Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt devised a plan to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Viet Cong regiment to nullify the threat on the Chu Lai base.

What do you know about Operation Starlite? Take this Vietnam War History Made Easy Trivia quiz.  You'll find answers at the bottom of the page.

1. The operation was launched on , involving Marines of the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. The brigade comprised 2nd Battalion 4th Marines (2/4), 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines (3/3), and 3rd Battalion 7th Marines (3/7) - from the Special Landing Force and originally a reserve component) in an assault on the Viet Cong base near Van Tuong. When was the operation launched?

  • June 17, 1965
  • July 17, 1965
  • August 17, 1965

2. Viet Cong forces comprised the 1st VC Regiment made up of the 60th and 80th VC Battalions, the 52nd VC Company, and a Company of the 45th VC Weapons Battalion. The total Viet Cong strength was around 1,500 men. What was the U.S. Marine's strength?

  • 1,500
  • 2,500
  • 5,500

3. Mike Co. (3/3) was designated the blocking force and deployed on using LVTs to the operational area. When it landed on the beach, it marched 4 miles to establish their blocking positions. 3/3 made an amphibious landing and were tasked with driving the Viet Cong towards the 2nd battalion 4th Marines who were to be lifted by helicopter into three landing zones west of Van Tuong. Secrecy was paramount, and no ARVN commander or units were informed of the impending operation.

  • True or False?

4. Echo Company, A (2/4) company spotted Viet Cong in the open and called in artillery fire from 3rd Battalion 12th Marines. The artillery barrage was reported to have killed 90 Viet Cong. What was the company?

  • Alpha
  • Echo
  • Delta

5. Hotel Company (2/4) assaulted a VC Battalion who put up a vicious fight. One prisoner was taken and 40 weapons were captured. What was the VC Battalion?

  • 50th VC Battalion
  • 60th VC Battalion
  • 70th VC Battalion

6. India Company (3/3) attacked An Cuong after receiving heavy fire from the hamlet and losing their company commander in the engagement. They were ordered to join Kilo and Hotel companies and clean up any opposition but was caught in a crossfire from Nam Yen Dan Hill 30.

  • True or False?

7. Hotel Company established a defensive perimeter and were told to await reinforcements. The expected reinforcements were diverted to assist the supply column that was ambushed west of their position. Recoilless rifle fire from the VC positions tore into the 5 LVTs and 3 flame tanks, forcing the Marines to mount a rescue. The Marines were hit by intense mortar and rifle fire. The Marines suffered 17 wounded. How many were killed in action?

  • 5
  • 10
  • 15

8. The developing engagement necessitated the deployment of Lima Company (3/7) from the to join India company to assist the ambushed supply column. What ship did they come from?

  • USS Maui
  • USS Arizona
  • USS Iwo Jima

9. The balance of (3/7)'s Marines came ashore during the night and the battalion got ready for a morning assault on the Vietnamese positions. When they finally attacked they found the VC unit had fled during the night, though pockets of resistance continued from other Viet Cong soldiers holed up in bunkers and caves. Resistance ceased at nightfall.

  • True or False?

10. How many Marines received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the operation?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 4

Operation Starlite Answers

  1. August 17, 1965
  2. 5,500
  3. True
  4. Echo
  5. 60th VC Battalion
  6. True
  7. 5
  8. USS Iwo Jima
  9. True
  10. 2

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