digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Operation Swift
Part of the Vietnam War
Date September 4–15, 1967
Location Que Son Valley, South Vietnam
Result North Vietnamese strategic victory[1]
United States tactical victory
United States United States Vietnam North Vietnam
FNL Flag.svg Viet Cong
Commanders and leaders
Lt. Col. Peter Hilgartner Unknown
1st Battalion 5th Marines
Air forces support
U.S. estimate: 2,500 NVA and VC
Casualties and losses
127 killed
362 wounded
(U.S. reported 564 killed, but only 85 weapons were captured[2])

Operation Swift was a military operation that took place in the Vietnam War. The mission, involving forces of the 1st Marine Division, was carried out to rescue two Marine companies which had been previously ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). Launched on September 4, 1967 the ensuing battles killed 127 Americans and an estimated 564 North Vietnamese. Despite their withdrawal after having suffered much higher losses, the NVA had accomplished their objective of intercepting an American offensive operation and inflicting heavy casualties.


The Quế Sơn Valley is located along the border of Quang Nam and Quang Tin provinces. During the Vietnam War it lay in the southern part of South Vietnam's I Corps Military Region.

Populous and rice-rich, the valley was viewed as one of the keys to controlling South Vietnam's five northern provinces by the communists and by early 1967 at least two regiments of the NVA 2nd Division had been infiltrated into the area. The Que Son Valley was also recognized as strategically important by the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV). The 5th Marine Regiment was assigned to the valley in 1967 to support the outnumbered South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) forces there.

In the spring and summer of 1967 MACV launched Operations Union and Union II with the goal of sweeping the NVA from the southern rim of the Que Son Valley. Several bitter and costly battles forced the NVA 2nd Division to cede control of area to the 5th Marines. Two Battalions of the 5th Marines continued to operate in the valley throughout rest of the summer but did not patrol aggressively and were not molested by the communist forces, who were regrouping. During the lull the NVA 2nd Division rebuilt its strength to a force of three regular regiments and was reinforced by the Viet Cong (VC, or more properly National Liberation Front or NLF) 1st Regiment, a full-time main force unit.

In early August Major General Don Robertson, commanding the 1st Marine Division, turned his attention to the Que Son Valley following several major operations around Da Nang. In an attempt to draw the NVA into another destructive confrontation Robertson launched Operation Cochise on August 11. However the NVA largely managed to avoid contact with the three Marine battalions tasked with the operation which ended on August 28 with only modest results.


Sweep operations were then initiated to shield the local populace from intimidation during upcoming elections. Operation Swift, intended to be the fourth and the last of the 1967 operations in the Que Son Valley, began unofficially on the morning of September 4 when Delta Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines (1/5) was attacked before dawn by a superior NVA force while setup in a night-time defensive perimeter next to the village of Dong Son.

The local Battalion Commander was Lt.Colonel Peter Hilgartner who sent 1/5's Bravo Company to Delta’s relief, which was all he had at the time. With Bravo and Delta companies heavily engaged, Mike and Kilo companies from the adjacent 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5) were sent to relieve them. Ambushed and aggressively attacked, these two companies were also pinned down in separate enclaves by the early afternoon. During the fighting Corporal Larry Benjamin Nunez earned the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Squad Leader. Sergeant Lawrence Peters earned a posthumous Medal of Honor for leading his men in repulsing repeated attempts to overrun his position. Navy Chaplain Lieutenant Vincent Capodanno was also awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for his efforts in pulling wounded men to safety in face of overwhelming enemy fire. Sergeant Thomas C. Panian was also awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism for organizing the defense of India Company, 3/5 Marines; and holding off subsequent attacks over 8 hours of combat.

Marine artillery fire and Marine jet fighter-bombers prevented the Marine infantry companies from being overrun. A Marine A-6 silenced an anti-aircraft gun emplacement, allowing more air support against NVA positions, and a fresh Marine company launched a dawn counterattack September 5 forcing the NVA to break contact. With all engaged companies now relieved Colonel Stanley Davis, commanding the 5th Marines, ordered 1/5 and 3/5 to pursue the withdrawing NVA, this officially began Operation Swift.

In the early afternoon of September 6 two battalions of the NLF 1st Regiment attacked Bravo Company, the lead company of the 1st Battalion. Bravo 1/5 was isolated and nearly overrun but held when Marine artillery rained tear gas around their position. Sergeant Rodney M. Davis, Platoon Guide of 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, purposely absorbed the force of an NVA grenade to protect the lives of other Marines during that fight. Sergeant Davis was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for this action.

The nearby 3rd Battalion was also heavily engaged a few hours later. India Company, dispatched to attack a hill held by the enemy, was isolated and nearly overrun by the NLF 1st Regiment's previously uncommitted 3rd Battalion. Kilo Company fought through the NLF and relieved India but the two companies were then found to have too many casualties to move. Two determined night assaults by the NLF were repulsed, and Mike Company eventually fought through against weakening opposition as the NLF withdrew.


As the enemy withdrew, the Marine battalions continued to press them in a series of bitter engagements. By September 15, the NVA 2nd Division and NLF 1st Regiment had largely given up contesting the southern half of the Que Son Valley. The area remained quiet from then until the Marines turned all of southern I Corps over to the U.S. Army at the beginning of 1968. U.S. intelligence agencies later determined that the two enemy regiments that had been most active during Operation Swift were subsequently unfit for combat.

As Operation Swift concluded large U.S. Army units arrived in southern I Corps, allowing the 1st Marine Division to base a substantial force in the Que Son Valley on a permanent basis.


  1. ^ Lost Battles of the Vietnam War
  2. ^ http://www.virtual.vietnam.ttu.edu/cgi-bin/starfetch.exe?oCHhnql8CAIboUkXqRXXwjJND4WGiUm9OzsXimE6CkxUx.7JB1DYgGfiPBK8x4MNYJBTyElZzrVROa3T0zKrrJFC2cHpwVc4jOM@gw4ZV6KSuY9znK9COA/1201064083.pdf

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Swift — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
714910 videos foundNext > 

Operation Swift Justice

Black Ops Airsoft South and Black Ops Airsoft North at Lion Claws' Operation Swift Justice in Graniteville, SC. Had lots of fun; great sportsmanship from bot...

Operation Swift Justice - Lion Claws Oct, 2014 Compilation

Action footage of Airsoft Atlanta Matt playing at the Operation Swift Justice (Lion Claws) event in Graniteville, SC October 3-5th weekend!

Xcom: Enemy Within :: Let's Play (Episode #16 - Part 1) 'Operation Swift Scepter'

We finally come face to face with Exalt, imagine PETA for aliens. Po Box Adress: Millbee/Millbeeful po box 105 Porthcawl CF36 9DP ------------ Twitter: http:...

Operation Swift Justice 2014 (Part 1)

The battle for building 1 during the first game of the day.

Operation Swift Justice - Amped Airsoft Gameplay Footage

A little bit of game play footage from OLCMSS Swift Justice in South Carolina a couple weekend ago. Enjoy! Song Information: Deluge by Stabby https://soundcl...

Xcom: Enemy Within :: Let's Play (Episode #32) 'Operation Swift Dream'

After some issues finally got this episode out. Po Box Adress: Millbee/Millbeeful po box 105 Porthcawl CF36 9DP ------------ Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/M...

VoV Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Part 20: Operation Swift Hawk

Welcome to another attempt at playing a more AAA-style title! This time we do our best to protect mankind from the depredations of a mysterious enemy from be...

REFERENDA PREPARATION - "Operation Swift Shield"

Peacekeepers from the UN Mission in Sudan carry out "Operation Swift Shield" intended to protect civilians and deploy military support for emergencies during...

Operation Swift Hammer

Airsoft gameplay footage from Operation Swift Hammer held at Ballahack Airsoft in Chesapeake Virginia on June 18th 2011. This video shows some training, prop...

Xcom: Enemy Within :: Let's Play (Episode #16 - Part 2) 'Operation Swift Scepter'

The thrilling conclusion! Po Box Adress: Millbee/Millbeeful po box 105 Porthcawl CF36 9DP ------------ Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Millbeeful Live stream:...

714910 videos foundNext > 

43 news items

Penn State News

Penn State News
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:33:45 -0800

In 10 years of operation, Swift has made 315,000 individual observations of 26,000 separate targets, supporting nearly 6,200 target-of-opportunity requests by more than 1,500 scientists. Swift's observations range from optical and ultraviolet studies ...

Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base

Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base
Mon, 07 Oct 2013 06:49:12 -0700

10/4/2013 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron and the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center collaborated to make history Sept. 16 through 20 during Operation Swift Savior, a patient evacuation exercise, at Luke Air ...
Buffalo News
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:37:52 -0700

“One of the silos will be used to store the grain needed for the brewery operation,” Swift said. “We're using a silo as a silo. Go figure.” The vinyl being used on the silos should last 10 to 15 years, Swift said, and won't do lasting harm. “The whole ...


Fri, 27 Sep 2013 05:31:20 -0700

9/26/2013 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron and the Carl Hayden Veterans Administration Medical Center took part in Operation Swift Savior, one of the most extensive patient evacuation exercises in the Southwest, ...
Indian Express
Fri, 24 Jan 2014 11:39:39 -0800

It is falsely claimed by the accused that the information given by Wagey (a local milkman) was shared by the SSP with them at 11 pm on 24.03.2000 and immediately 'Operation Swift' was planned. The investigation has disclosed that all the 5 killed ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 05 Dec 2013 02:56:48 -0800

He quickly impressed and by the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, Blackman – known as Al – had been promoted to lance corporal and was in Oman taking part in Operation Swift Sword II, the largest single deployment of UK forces since ...

Fox 31 KDVR.com

Fri, 09 Nov 2012 15:30:19 -0800

About 90 Marines, including another Medal of Honor recipient, died in Operation SWIFT. Enemy dead was estimated at 600. All the men Davis saved were white. But race was not an issue for Davis' family or fellow Marines. "There is not white, black, red ...

National Catholic Reporter

National Catholic Reporter
Thu, 05 Sep 2013 08:45:00 -0700

Capodanno, a Maryknoll priest and Navy chaplain, died in Operation Swift in the Thang Binh district of the Que Son Valley. He went among the wounded and dying, giving last rites. Wounded in the face and hand, he went to help a wounded corpsman only ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight