Chronology of Significant Events In 1966


4Jan The Special Forces camp at Khe Sanh reported 20 rounds of incoming 120mm mortar fire. This was the first confirmed enemy use of 120mm mortars in RVN.
18 Jan The 1st Marines Headquarters arrived at Chu Lai.
28Jan.19 Feb Operation Double Eagle I was conducted by Task Force Delta in southern Quang Ngai Province.
6-8 Feb President Johnson together with senior military and civilian advisors met with South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Gao Ky and Head of State Nguyen Van Thieu in Honolulu. The resulting "Declaration of Honolulu" outlined U.S. and South Vietnamese political and military policy.
19 Feb-1Mar Operation Double Eagle II was conducted 30 miles south of Da Nang.
23 Feb A detachment of the 3d FSR; HQ, 11th Marines; a detachment of HQ Bn, 1st Marine Division; and 4/11 arrived RVN.
1 Mar The 26th Marines was activated at Camp Pendleton, California, initiating the formation of the 5th Marine Division. The 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade was activated on Okinawa.
4-7 Mar Task Force Delta conducted Operation Utah south of Chu Lai.
7 Mar  Secretary of Defense McNamara requested authorization for 278,184 Marines on active duty by 30June 1967. This in crease made the Marine Corps the only service to have a strength larger than its peak during the Korean War.
9-12 Mar The NVA 95th Regiment overran the A Shau Special Forces Camp in western Thua Thien Province. HMM-163 assisted in the evacuation of the camp.
10 Mar Prime Minister Ky removed LtGen Nguyen Chanh Thi from his position as ARVN commander, I Corps. As a result of this, protest demonstrations and strikes began in the Hue-Da Nang area and slowly spread to Saigon.
15 Mar The Force Logistic Command (FLC) was established at Da Nang. The unit is made up of the 1st and 3d Service Battalions and the in-country elements of the 3d Force Service Regiment (FSR).
18 Mar MajGen Wood B. Kyle assumed command of the 3d Marine Division from General Walt. General Walt continued as CG III MAE
18 Mar 3d Battalion, 4th Marines arrived RVN.
20-25 Mar Operation Texas was conducted south of Chu Lai by Task Force Delta.
26 Mar-6 Apr The SLF Battalion, BLT 1/5, began Operation Jack Stay in the Rung Sat Special Zone about 27 miles SE of Saigon. This was the first operation by American troops in the Saigon River Delta.
29 Mar MajGen Lewis J. Fields established the 1st Marine Division Headquarters at Chu Lai.
1 Apr U. S. Naval Forces, MACV was established in Saigon and assumed control of the Naval Support Activity, Da Nang from III MM. The 2d Air Division was re-designated the Seventh Air Force.
12 Apr The 2d Battalion, 5th Marines arrived in RVN
7 May CG EMEPac assumed operational control of RLT-26.
8 May 1st Battalion, 5th Marines arrived RVN (formerly SLF).
15-31 May The political unrest in I Corps flared up as Prime Minister Ky sent ARVN units, loyal to the Saigon government, into Da Nang to reestablish his authority. After several days, the "Struggle Forces" in Da Nang backed down but in Hue the situation was out of control until the end of the month.
16 May MajGen Lewis B. Robertshaw relieved MajGen Keith B. McCutcheon as CG 1st MAW.
27 May The 5th Marines Headquarters arrived at Chu Lai from Okinawa
28 May The lst Military Police Battalion arrived at Da Nang from ConUS.
1-21 Jun

In Hue, militant Buddhist Thich Tn Quang began a hunger strike in protest against the government. The Buddhist leader was subsequently arrested and moved to Saigon where he was imprisoned. Forces loyal to the South Vietnamese government seized the Buddhist-controlled cities of Hue and Quang Tn and the Buddhist Secular Affairs Institute Headquarters in Saigon. Ten civilians, representing different religions and political factions, were added to South Vietnam's ruling junta on 6 June. In Saigon, the Unified Buddhist Church issued a manifesto disavowing Communism and recognizing the necessity of the temporary presence of American forces.

7 June-30 Jun The 3d Marine Division conducted Operation Liberty, an extensive pacification sweep and clear operation in the Da Nang TAOR.
18-27 Jun Deckhouse I was the first of a series of SLF amphibious attacks on Viet Cong coastal strongholds. This operation was in Phu Yen Province, 12 miles NW of Tuy Hoa in II CTZ. There were four operations in this series during 1966.
7 Jul-2 Aug

Operation Hastings, a search and destroy mission, 55 miles NW of Hue, was conducted under the command of Task Force Delta to counter the movement of the NVA 324B Division across the DMZ. In addition BLT 3/5 made an amphibious landing and conducted Deckhouse II in conjunction with Hastings.

1 Aug The advance echelon of the 2d Korean Marine Brigade arrived in I Corps approximately three miles south of Chu Lai.
3 Aug The Marines began Operation Prairie in the former Hastings Area of Operations. Prairie, which started as a one- battalion operation, soon expanded into a multi-battalion campaign and continued through the end of the year. The Marines encountered elements of two NVA divisions, the 324B and the 341st.
26 Aug The campaign for election to South Vietnam's Constituent Assembly officially opened with 540 candidates running.
28 Aug BLT 2/26 arrived at Da Nang.
11 Sep Of the 718,024 eligible voters in the I Corps area, 87.4 percent voted in South Vietnam's Constituent Assembly election. Over 80 percent of those registered voted throughout South Vietnam.
15-18 Sep  Deckhouse IV amphibious search and destroy operation was conducted in conjunction with Prairie I, eight miles NE of Dong Ha in I CTZ
19 Sep  The 2d Battalion of the 2d Brig, ROKMC arrived at Chu Lai from Cam Ranh Bay.
25 Sep MAG-13 arrived at Chu Lai from Iwakuni
27 Sep Elements of BLT 3/26 arrived at Okinawa
1 Oct MajGen Herman Nickerson Jr., relieved MajGen Lewis J. Fields as CG 1st Marine Division
2 Oct Battery C, 6th Bn (175mm guns), 27th Arty, USA, came under the operational control of Task Force Delta
8 Oct The 4th Battalion, 503rd Abn Inf, 173rd Abn Btig, USA, arrived at Da Nang.
10 Oct  The 3d Marine Division was ordered to displace to Thua Thien and Quang Tn Provinces to conduct offensive operations as directed and continue current offensive operations in the Phu Bai TAOR. Task Force Delta was ordered deactivated and Task Force X-Ray was activated at Chu Lai under the 1st Marine Division. The 1st Division assumed responsibility for all three southern provinces.
17-18 Oct The 1st Bn, 40th Field Arty Regt (105mm How [SPI), USA, arrived at Da Nang and the next day the 2d Bn, 94th Arty Regt (175mm gun), USA, arrived
24-25 Oct At a conference in Manila, President Johnson met with leaders of six other nations: South Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. The conferees issued a four-point "Declaration of Peace," calling for the peaceful settlement of the Vietnam War.
23 Nov The Office of Civil Operations was established in South Vietnam as a U.S. Embassy activity to direct U.S. civilian sup port of revolutionary development.
29 Nov Headquarters Btry, 1st Field Arty Grp (FAG), arrived at Chu Lai.
3 Dec The 4thBn, 503d Inf, USA, departed I CTZ for Ill CTZ. The battalion was relieved by 3/9.
6 Dec The administration disclosed that 9 to 10 billion dollars more is needed to pay for the war in Vietnam in the current fiscal year.
31 Dec Ill MAF strength at the end of the year was 65,789

Copied From U.S. Marines In Vietnam 1966 By Jack Shulimson