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