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The Battle of Hill 881
USMC attack VS PAVN defend
Part of The Hill Fights north of Khe Sanh Combat Base, Hill 881 housed a dug-in PAVN platoon. USMC then sought out entry via napalming the slope to the Southern Hill’s summit. Soon after they were met with an intense rainstorm.
Hill 881 Changelog v3
-Removed the two pillboxes facing VC spawns on OBJ F.
-Lowered a bunker at OBJ E.
-Removed lens flare on downed helicopters.
-Pushed up the spawn protection a little on OBJ D & E and OBJ F for VC.
On 29 April with 2/3 Marines having secured Hill 861, 3/3 Marines advanced from Khe Sanh towards a hill 750m northeast of Hill 881S that was to be used as an intermediate position for the attack on Hill 881S. Company M, 9th Marines engaged a PAVN platoon, while Company M, 3rd Marines secured the intermediate position and dug in.: 40
On 30 April 2/3 Marines moved from Hill 861 to support 3/3 Marines and walked into a PAVN bunker complex suffering nine killed and 43 wounded, the Marines backed off to let artillery and air support hit the bunkers and then overran them.: 40 Company M, 3rd Marines and Company K, 9th Marines began their assault on Hill 881S encountering minimal resistance until 10:25 when they were hit by mortar fire and then heavy fire from numerous PAVN bunkers. The Marines were pinned down and only able to disengage after several hours with gunship and air support, the Marines suffered 43 killed and 109 wounded in the engagement while PAVN losses were 163 killed. Company M, 3rd Marines was rendered combat ineffective and was replaced by Company F 2/3 Marines and Company E, 9th Marines was deployed to Khe Sanh on the afternoon of 1 May.: 41
The Marines withdrew from Hill 881S to allow for an intense air bombardment, on 1 May 166 Marine sorties were flown against Hills 881 North and South and over 650,000 lbs of bombs were dropped on them resulting in over 140 PAVN killed.: 41
On 2 May Companies K and M, 9th Marines assaulted Hill 881S capturing it with minimal resistance by 14:20. The Marines discovered over 250 bunkers protected by anywhere between two and eight layers of logs and then 4–5 ft of earth, only 50 bunkers remained intact after the bombing.: 42
At 10:15 on 2 May Companies E and G, 2/3 Marines assaulted Hill 881N from the south and east. Company G encountered a PAVN position and pulled back to allow for artillery support. Company E almost reached the summit of the hill when it was hit by an intense rainstorm and the Battalion was pulled back into night defensive positions.: 43
At 04:15 on 3 May a PAVN force attacked Company E’s night defensive position, penetrating the east of the position and reoccupying some bunkers. A Marine squad sent to drive out the PAVN was hit by machine gun fire and a scratch squad of engineers was sent to support them while air and artillery strikes were called in on the PAVN. A flare ship arrived overhead and the Marines on Hill 881S could see approximately 200 PAVN forming up to attack Company E from the west and fired over 100 rounds of recoilless rifle fire to break up this fresh assault. At dawn reinforcements were flown in to support Company E while Company H, 2/3 Marines attacked the PAVN from the rear. The last bunker was cleared at 15:00, 27 Marines were killed and 84 wounded in the attack, while claiming the PAVN had lost 137 killed and three captured. Prisoner interrogations revealed plans for another attack on the Marine positions that night but this did not occur.
At 08:50 on 5 May Companies E and F, 2/3 Marines began their assault on Hill 881N, PAVN fire increased as they neared the summit and both companies pulled back to allow for air and artillery strikes. The assault resumed at 13:00 and by 14:45 the hilltop had been captured.
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CAMBODIAN INCURSION NEW RELEASE
Original Author: Para94
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