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Operation Medina

Operation Medina was a search and destroy operation conducted in the Hải Lăng Forest Reserve of South Vietnam in the autumn of 1967 during the Vietnam War. Conducted by the First and Second battalions of the First Marine Regiment, the First Battalion of the Third Marine Regiment, and two battalions of the First ARVN Division, the objective of the operation was to locate and annihilate any North Vietnamese (NVA) forces found in the forest reserve.

One specific enemy base that the Marines sought to eliminate was Base Area 101 an NVA staging area, where the NVA felt safe enough to build up personnel and supplies. The base was a launching point for possible attacks by the Fifth and Sixth NVA Regiments against the Marine bases at Con Thien, Khe Sanh Combat Base, Đông Hà and Phu Bai.

Operation Medina began on 10 October 1967 and ended on 20 October. The operation obtained partial success. Even though the NVA were not driven out of the Hai Lang Forest Reserve, significant losses were inflicted upon them by the Marine and ARVN forces. The American losses were 34 dead and over 143 injured. According to calculations by the American command, the NVA suffered the loss of 53 killed and 3 men captured. 26 weapons were captured.[1]

The Marines and Navy Corpsmen of Charlie Company 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division are the subject of Lions of Medina, an award winning and critically acclaimed book by historian Doyle Glass.

In the 1972 documentary Winter Soldier a marine sergeant testified that "on Operation Medina 200 of us went out and 47 made it back and they just ambushed us and wiped the hell out of us and I didn't see any gooks, man. They were sitting in the trees dropping grenades on us and they had machine-guns on the front and the side and the newspapers said we had all these kills, you know. I didn't know what the hell they were talking about. I never saw any kills. But they just didn't want to, like, to admit that all those men got killed for nothing."


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External links

  • Lions of Medina Website

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