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Domican Republic Intervention, 1965: Online Documentation

Annual Report of the Secretary of Defense: 1 July 1964 to 30 June 1965, extract.

On April 24, 1965, dissident elements of the Dominican armed forces seized the Government radio stations in Santo Domingo and attempted to overthrow the ruling civilian junta in favor of deposed former president Juan Bosch. Although the Government fell on the following day and the rebels announced creation of a constitutional government with an acting president, other military elements led by senior officers of the armed forces initiated a counter-revolution and established a competing government. In riposte, the dissidents passed out rifles and machineguns to several thousand civilian sympathizers and adherents, including juveniles. The ensuing street fighting between the opposing forces endangered the lives of noncombatants, including the sizable foreign colony. Accordingly, the U.S. Government, while trying to arrange for a cease-fire locally and through the OAS [Organization of American States] in Washington, also began immediate preparations for the evacuation of its citizens and other foreign nationals who might wish to leave the Dominican Republic.

The Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic (CINCLANT), was directed to deploy an amphibious squadron off the Dominican coast. As the situation ashore continued to deteriorate despite the efforts through diplomatic channels to restore peace, the order was given to evacuate U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals. On Tuesday afternoon, April 27, loading began on board the [USS] Boxer and other ships of the naval squadron. Meanwhile, the bloody fighting in Santo Domingo intensified and spread to the western sector of the city, where many foreign embassies were located and where civilians had collected awaiting evacuation. Neither of the contending parties was willing or able to guarantee the safety of these people, since neither was really in control of the situation. Under these circumstances, the American Ambassador on Wednesday afternoon, April 28, urgently recommended to the President that U.S. Marines be landed to protect the American Embassy and help evacuate innocent bystanders caught in the cross-fire of civil war The President responded at once, and some 400 Marines were put ashore in western Santo Domingo. In the face of continued attacks, they were reinforced the next day, and early on April 30 Army airborne elements were airlifted from the United States to the San Isidro airfield to the east of the city. Supporting Air Force tactical units were moved to the Caribbean area and the naval task force was strengthened.

Although the Papal Nuncio in Santo Domingo on April 30 secured the agreement of both sides for a cease-fire, fighting continued. On the same date the Organization of American States, which had previously been advised of U.S. actions, convoked a meeting of consultation of foreign ministers and adopted a resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities and for the establishment of an international safety zone in the western section of Santo Domingo. U.S. Marines were deployed in positions to give effect to this resolution. The OAS Meeting of Consultation on May 1 then appointed a five-nation committee charged with proceeding to Santo Domingo and arranging for a cease-fire. By this time, although the situation was shifting and confused, it had become increasingly clear that elements of the extreme left were exercising an ever more predominant role within the rebel ranks. As Communists, including some trained in Cuba and other Communist countries, assumed positions of leadership, most of the original rebel leaders took refuge in foreign embassies.

This shift in rebel leadership, the continuing assaults on foreign embassies, and harassment of persons awaiting evacuation required the United States to reinforce its troops ashore. At the recommendation of the U.S. Ambassador, the Marines in western Santo Domingo and the Army airborne units at San Isidro extended their lines on May 2-3 to establish a neutral corridor 16 miles long. This international corridor also had the effect of separating rebel elements, which were largely concentrated in southern Santo Domingo, from the regular military units in the northern part of the city. American troops, in addition to defending themselves against snipers and assisting in evacuation, began to distribute medical supplies and food to the innocent victims of the uprising in all parts of the city.

Through the good offices of the OAS ad hoc committee, the opposing sides accepted a new cease-fire on May 5 and recognized the international safety zone. Taking note of these arrangements, the OAS on May 6 resolved to establish an Inter-American Peace Force in the Dominican Republic, charged with maintaining security and establishing an atmosphere of peace and conciliation. Pending arrival of Latin American contingents, U.S. troop strength was further reinforced in order to carry out OAS objectives, evacuate the remaining foreign residents who wished to leave, and distribute necessary relief supplies and food. By mid-May, a peak strength of 23,850 U.S. soldiers, Marines, and airmen were in the Dominican Republic, some 38 naval ships were positioned offshore, and other Navy and Air Force units were deployed close at hand in the Caribbean. These forces assisted in the evacuation of nearly 6,500 men, women, and children of 46 nations, and in the distribution of more than 8 million tons of food to Dominican citizens of all political beliefs.

The Inter-American Peace Force (IAPF) was formally established on May 23. Gen. Hugo Pansco Alvim of Brazil was named Commander; his deputy was Lt. Gen. Bruce Palmer, Jr., U.S. Army, Commander, U.S. Forces in the .Dominican Republic. In addition to Brazil and the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and, later, Paraguay contributed troops or special police to the force. As these contingents arrived and as the situation stabilized, the United States began withdrawing some of its forces late in May. By the end of the fiscal year, U.S. troop strength ashore had been cut nearly in half.

With the lines more or less stabilized. U.S. and OAS diplomats labored to restore normal conditions and establish the "atmosphere of peace and conciliation" called for by the OAS resolution - but this task proved no easy one in a country so rent by political divisions. Sporadic small-arms fire and even occasional concerted attacks constantly disrupted the search for a peaceful solution. Throughout the summer of 1965, the IAPF continued to play a neutral role, separating the combatants and at times fending off attack on its personnel. Not until August 31 was an OAS special three-man commission successful in obtaining the agreement of both side to an "Act of Reconciliation" that provided for a provisional government to succeed both the military junta and the rebel regime. Pending the full restoration of peace and stability and a more permanent government, the OAS determined that the IAPF should remain on the island; the United States indicated its willingness to contribute a share of the necessary troop strength.

The U.S. defense establishment met the test in the Dominican Republic with great speed and efficiency, but not without cost. By the close of fiscal year 1965 a total of 24 American servicemen had given their lives and another 156 were wounded in helping the Dominican people to obtain a government of their own choice.

Source: Department of Defense. Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1965. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1967): 9-11,

Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy: 1 July 1964 to 30 June 1965, extract.

In the Dominican Republic, an armed coup on April 24, 1965, brought about a deteriorating situation. Street fighting broke out in Santo Domingo, causing many deaths and property damage. When danger to U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals became apparent, the Navy ready amphibious squadron with [USS] Boxer began an evacuation. On the 28th, the American Ambassador requested additional Marine protection for the evacuation area. A small force was provided immediately and these men were reinforced in the ensuing days of unrest. At the height of United States participation in the crisis, forces ashore included 6,000 Marines as well as units from U.S. Army airborne divisions. Approximately 38 ships of the Atlantic Fleet were used in support and surveillance operations.

During their tenure in the Dominican Republic, Marine forces established an International Security Zone by linking up with U.S. Army units and maintained a corridor around the rebel-dominated section of Santo Domingo. Despite sniping and sporadic fire fighting, U.S. troops ashore succeeded in moving over 4,000 native men, women, and children to safety and evacuated approximately 2,400 U.S. citizens.

U.S. forces were replaced by an Organization of American States peace-keeping force in early June.

Source: Department of Defense. Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1965. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1967): 260-61.[Reproduced above are pages 260-61, for the portion of the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy relating to the Dominican Republic].

Command History of USS Boxer (LPH-4), 1 January 1965 to 31 December 1965, extract.

Boxer began calendar year 1965 moored alongside pier 12 at the Norfolk Naval Base. This period, which began on 28 November 1964, was used for much needed upkeep following a year of heavy operational activity. It was during this period on 8 January when Captain W. M. Sessums relieved Captain C. S. Walline as Commanding Officer in ceremonies on board. Boxer remained in port through 8 February.

The seven weeks from 9 February until 1 April were marked by short periods at sea. These periods were 9-12 February, 15-19 February and 15-19 March.

Boxer departed Norfolk on 1 April for a routine Caribbean deployment. As events developed in the Dominican Revolutionary crisis the routine nature of the cruise was greatly altered. Action began for Boxer just as she was about to begin normal operations as flagship of the "ready squadron." She had participated in the joint services operation QUICK KICK VII during the period 9-11 April and a practice landing exercise on 19-20 April. Both operations were conducted off the island of Vieques. On 25 April while refueling at Roosevelt Roads, Boxer was alerted to Proceed at best speed to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for possible evacuation of U.S. citizens. Less than twelve hours later Boxer was on station, ready and waiting, as the situation steadily worsened. On 27 April the decision was made to land the embarked troops immediately in order to protect American lives and property and to prevent further deterioration of the military situation.

During the landing, as the helicopters returned to the ship to load more marines and equipment, they were carrying evacuees. Their number eventually totaled almost 1,000, most of whom were women and children. The major portion of this operation was carried out at night in marginal weather conditions. During the first week of the DOMREP operation, Boxer was the command ship for the entire force. After 46 days on station, during which time daily flight operations were conducted in order to provide continuous logistics resupply and battle casualty processing, Boxer proceeded to St. Thomas for liberty. Another practice landing exercise was conducted on 17 June. The ship concluded this Caribbean deployment and was underway for CONUS [Continental United States] on 23 June, arriving at Norfolk on 29 June.

Upon completion of the deployment Boxer was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and her Commanding Officer received the Bronze Star. Several records were set by Boxer during the deployment. She was the first amphibious assault ship to conduct a helicopter landing at night in a combat situation. Boxer also recorded her 65,000th helicopter landing, a record for all LPHs [Amphibious Assault Ship]. 

Source: Ships History Branch files, Naval Historical Center.[This extract from Boxer's 1965 command history includes the entire section relating to the Dominican Republic.].

Command History of USS Raleigh (LPD-1), 1 January 1965 to 31 December 1965, extract.

1 April 1965, RALEIGH deployed to the Caribbean as part of the Caribbean Amphibious Ready Squadron TEN. From 25 April - 6 June RALEIGH was engaged in operations off Dominican Republic including the evacuation of 558 civilian refugees who were later transferred to the USS YANCEY (AKA-93) for delivery to San Juan, P. R. [Puerto Rico]. For her part in the action, RALEIGH and her crew were awarded the U.S. Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. During this period, RALEIGH enjoyed liberty at San Juan on two occasions and once at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. RALEIGH returned to Norfolk on 29 June 1965.

Source: Ships History Branch files, Naval Historical Center. [This extract from Raleigh's 1965 command history includes the entire section relating to the Dominican Republic.].

Command History of USS Ruchamkin (APD-89), 1 January 1965 to 31 December 1965, extract.

On 1 April, RUCHAMKIN was enroute to the Caribbean for a three month deployment with the first event on the schedule being a large combined amphibious exercise, Operation Quick Kick VII.

On 25 April, RUCHAMKIN, in Task Group 44.9 was involved with the incident in the Dominican Republic. 27 April found RUCHAMKIN entering Puerto de Haina, about 10 miles from riot and strife-torn Santo Domingo, in an atmosphere charged with tension and uncertainty, RUCHAMKIN evacuated and transported 205 civilians from Santo Domingo to San Juan. RRUCHAMKIN was underway again the following morning after resupplying food, fuel, and water on 1 May, loaded 397 evacuees for another trip to San Juan and arrived on 2 May. Twelve days later, she returned to the Dominican Republic for a month of steaming on patrol and survey operations. The middle of June brought a rest period in San Juan and St. Thomas prior to returning to Little Creek on 28 June.

Source: Ships History Branch files, Naval Historical Center. [This extract from Ruchamkin's 1965 command history includes the entire section relating to the Dominican Republic.].

Command History of USS Yancey (AKA-93), 1967; extract.

YANCEY departed Norfolk, Virginia on April 23rd [1965]. The ship was on a routine mission to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico with a load of Marines cargo and personnel when the Dominican civil war erupted. Orders were received from the Commander, Caribbean Sea Frontier directing YANCEY to proceed at full speed to the Dominican Republic, just as the ship was entering San Juan for liberty.

The ship arrived off Santo Domingo the next day, Friday, April 30th, the sixth day of the crisis, and was incorporated into the Caribbean force already there. That day the ship loaded 593 evacuees from 21 nations. Included in the huge group were the daughter of the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, the wife of the U.S. Naval Attache, the Belgian Ambassador, 16 nuns from (ironically) the Dominican Order; and several families of seven or eight. Among the 21 countries represented by the evacuees were Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Columbia, Mexico, Chile, Switzerland, Canada, Lebanon, and of course the United States.

Upon arrival aboard, the evacuees received several information folders in both Spanish and English, blankets, fresh fruit and milk, and other items of use. Nurseries, infirmaries, rest areas, information booths, and various other make-shift arrangements were made. Everything from baby bottles, diapers, and nipples to canes and crutches were provided. 

Women and children slept in the officers' and crew's quarters, while YANCEY personnel and male evacuees slept under the stars. All men had to use special "heads" (lavatories) constructed on the stern of the ship. Other sacrifices included voluntary abstinence from meals in order that evacuees could be fed and from showers in order to conserve water. In fact, during a one week period in almost constant 100 [degree] weather, the crew was able to take only one shower. The crew of the YANCEY worked virtually around the clock to care for the sick, injured, elderly, and the children.

One of the highlights of the voyage back to San Juan between April 30th and May 1st was the birth of Stephen Yancey Paez, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rodolfo Paez, at sea on May 1st. The baby was delivered by the ship's doctor. The birth was the occasion of a ship-wide ceremony wiuth cake- cutting and the traditional passing out of cigars. Another event of note was an informal concert by the foremost Puerto Rican female singer.

Among the evacuees was a life-long resident of Yancey County, North Carolina, for which the ship was named.

Conditions were made as good as possible, but with nearly 600 extra passengers on a ship designed for only 225 sailors, inconvenience were encountered. Due to speedy action of the ship, these were held to a minimum. Considering that the ship arrived at the Dominican Republic with only 15 hours notice, the results were fantastic.

The YANCEY arrived in San Juan May 1st, and was met by the Red Cross, Commander of the Caribbean Sea Frontier, and several thousand relatives, friends, and visitors. No sooner were the 594 evacuees (including the new arrival) unloaded than the ship prepared to return to the Dominican Republic.

The YANCEY departed that evening and arrived back the next day, Sunday May 2nd. In response to urgent Marine requests, the ship's crew worked around the clock for the next three days unloading hundreds of tons of gasoline, oil, and ammunition for the troops on the beach. Meanwhile on May 3rd the YANCEY received over 150 more evacuees and on May 4th and 5th over 300 more were received.

Once again the crew responded magnificently to the occasion, and once again nurseries, infirmaries, "kiddie" watches, and other special arrangements were inaugurated. Newspapers were printed in English and Spanish, and interpreters were on constant duty. Although most of the crew had little or no sleep for many days, the same helpfulness and friendliness was exhibited as for the first evacuation. 

The YANCEY returned to Norfolk shortly thereafter, having evacuated over 1,000 persons from Santo Domingo, well over one-fourth of all the people evacuated.

Source:Ships History Branch files, Naval Historical Center. [This excerpt from Yancey's 1967 command history includes the entire section relating to the Dominican Republic in 1965. Yancey's 1965 command history was not located. Command histories for the remaining ships listed in the Navy Unit Commendation citation, but not provided above, were either not located or provided no significant details other than that the ship participated in the intervention.]

6th Marine Expeditionary Unit Command Diary, 2 April 1965 to 1 July 1965.

On 25 April, as a result of information received from CINCLANT [Commander in Chief, Atlantic] and the American Embassy in Santo Domingo, CTG [Commander, Task Group] 44.9 with 6th MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit] embarked was alerted to prepare for possible evacuation of approximately 1200 U. S. Nationals from the Dominican Republic.

As a result of the continued deterioration of the Dominican Republic situation, the 6th MEU assumed a two hour alert at 261115Q to provide assistance to the U. S. Department of State in the evacuation of designated personnel. 6th MEU operation order 1-65D was issued assigning the 6th MEU the mission of supporting the evacuation of designated personnel from the Dominican Republic by helicopter and surface means from JAINA, the EMBAJADOR Hotel, and other points as directed by U. S. Department of State Officials.

Commencing at 270530Q the 6th MEU assumed a fifteen minute alert for evacuation operations and other military operations as directed. At 271130Q, the Commanding Officer 6th MEU escorted U. S. Ambassador BENNETT, in landing force aircraft, from PUNTA CAUCEDO to the BOXER and thence to the port of JAINA.

The following sequence of events transpired upon the invitation of the evacuation order on 27 April by CTG 44.9.

271230Q - Reconnaissance of JAINA by the 6th MEU Command Group.

271330Q - The Logistic Support Beach Control Unit established on the beach to coordinate evacuee loading of the WOOD COUNTY and the RUCHAMKIN which came along the pier at JAINA.

271410Q - Pathfinders established the Landing Zone JAINA.

271500Q - Two squads of unarmed U.S. Marines of BLT 3/6 acting as MP's were landed to assist in the control of the Landing Zone at JAINA.

271500Q - First evacuees brought aboard BOXER by helicopters of HMM-264.

271555Q - A medical team (1 doctor and 7 corpsmen) of BLT 3/6 dispatched to JAINA to provide medical assistance to the evacuees.

271650Q - "Over the Beach" evacuation completed for 620 evacuees, by WOOD COUNTY and RUCHAMKIN.

271815Q - Helo evacuation from JAINA completed and 6th MEU elements reembarked aboard CTG 44.9 shipping.

271930Q - Reconnaissance of JAINA area completed by 6th MEU Command Group for possible evacuee stragglers. None observed. Total number of evacuees processed and/or lifted by 6th MEU to date, 1170.

Shortly after noon on the 28th of April indications of further deterioration of the situation in SANTO DOMINGO began to increase. Finally, at 281740R the U. S. Ambassador requested that a large number of evacuees be picked up and that a platoon of armed Marines be provided the U. S. Embassy as guards. While the group was enroute to the Landing Zone, COMPHIBRON [Commander, Amphibious Squadron] TEN was told to land the Marines if requested by the Ambassador. In a consultation between the U. S. Ambassador and the CO, 6th MEU it became apparent that it was necessary to land the Marines to protect American lives and property; accordingly, BLT 3/6 was landed under combat conditions in the Landing Zone adjacent to the Embajador Hotel at night, establishing their C.P. at 281955Q. One platoon was placed in position around the U. S. Embassy and the BLT (-) was put in a perimeter defense around the Embajador Hotel. When HMM-264 transported the BLT to the Landing Zone its helicopters picked up evacuees on the return trip to the BOXER, thus, that night 536 Marines were lifted into the Landing Zone and 684 civilians were lifted to safety on the BOXER.

The 6th MEU Command Group landed by helicopter in the grounds of the U.S. Embassy at 290645Q for an extensive conference with Embassy Officials. During the day coordinated planning was conducted prior to the surface landing of the remainder of BLT 3/6 over RED BEACH. At the direction of the American Embassy, 4000 MCI rations were delivered to the Dominican Republic Air Force at SAN ISIDRO. In the early evening the CO, 6th MEU issued his OPORD [Operational Order] 1-65f, a plan to secure a containment line around "OLD TOWN" portion of SANTO DOMINGO.

BLT 3/6 moved out at 301130Q to seize Phase Line CAIRO as part of a containment line on the western edge of "OLD TOWN" SANTO DOMINGO. The surface landing continued without personnel or equipment damage. On request from the 82nd Airborne Division, two UH-34 helicopter were loaned by the 6th MEU for Army use. 4000 MCI rations were delivered to the Dominican Navy at JAINA at the direction of Embassy Officials.

On the 1st of May BLT 3/6 consolidated its position on the western edge of rebel held "OLD TOWN" and the sniper fire continued to be heavy. At 012045R the 1st Bn, 6th Marines arrived at SAN ISIDRO and reported OPCON [Operational Control] to the 6th MEU. The advance party of the 4th MEB [Marine Expeditionary Brigade] also arrive at SAN ISIDRO on the night of the 1st.

By the morning of 2 May 1965 the 6th MEU had successfully established a containment line on the west edge of "OLD TOWN" SANTO DOMINGO and had also established an International Safety Zone to protect Americans and their property. PROVMAG [Provisional Marine Aircraft Group]-60 had virtually completed the evacuation phase of the Dominican Republic Operation and the Logistic Support Unit had effectively established a Beach Support Area at JAINA.

The 1st Bn, 6th Marines was helo-lifted at 020800R from SAN ISIDRO to Landing Zone 4 and placed in assembly prior to assuming a portion of the ISZ perimeter defense. Effective 021100R the 6th MEU was redesignated RLT-6 (Regimental Landing Team) and reported OPCON to CG, 4th MEB.

During the early hours of 3 May the 3rd Bn, 6th Marines effected a linkup with U. S. Army at Check Point CHIPPER. (DUARTE AVE and SAN JUAN BOSCO AVE). This linkup enabled the U. S. Forces to open a corridor from the PUENTE JUAN PABLO DUARTE Bridge to the International Safety Zone. In consolidating this position, the northern portion of the containment line was moved forward of the U. S. Embassy to LLUBERES AVE. With the 1st Bn, 8th Marines reporting for OPCON (Operational Control) at 030800R, RLT-6 now had three infantry battalions within its command.

On the 4th of May RLT-6 shifted its command post ashore. The 1st Bn, 6th Marines was given the responsibility for the center portion of the ISZ [International Safety Zone] bounded by Avenue ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Avenue HENRIQUEZ URENA, Avenue MAXIMO GOMEZ and the sea to the south. The 3rd Bn, 6th Marines advanced the southern portion of the containment line to Avenue PASTEUR, thus they were bounded by PASTEUR and LLUBERES in the east, MAXIMO GOMEZ in the west, and SAN JUAN BOSCO in the north with the sea to the south.

The following day, 5 May, RLT-6 commenced moving the 1st Bn, 8th Marines by helicopter from SAN ISIDRO to Landing Zone 4 and an assembly area near the Hotel EMBAJADOR. In order to maximize the capabilities of the available artillery, Battery Group ECHO compromising "E" Battery, 2d Bn, 10th Marines and Howtar Battery, 1st Bn, 10th Marines was formed and put into position.

In view of many reports of pending attack on the U.S. Embassy a rapid reaction force of one company and ten trucks was established on 6 May to meet any such threat. Also during the night of 6 May RLT-6 established a security detachment At the CAROL MORGAN SCHOOL to guard Red Cross medical supplies located there.

During the period 7-14 May, RLT-6 was assigned the following additional assignments:
(1) Armed escort of political asylees from U. S. Embassy to Landing Zone 4.
(2) Security of GUATEMALAN Embassy.
(3) Security of CARE warehouses.
(4) Security of the residence of the Italian Ambassador.
(5) Security of U. S. AID Office.
(7) Security of MSR (Main Supply Route) and Port JAINA (one company OPCON Logistics Support Group).
(8) Security of the residence of the Deputy American Ambassador.
(9) Provide one NCO and 13 enlisted men as a reaction force to MEB Provost Marshal.

On 8 May RLT-6 received more reinforcements including Headquarters Co (-) 6th Marines; 2d Bn (-), 10th Marines; Co "B" (-), 2d Tank Bn; Co "B" (-), 2d Engr Bn; Co "E" (-), 2d Anti-Tank Bn; and Co "C" (-), 2d Reconnaissance Bn.

On Sunday the 9th of May the 1st Bn, 8th Marines was ordered to relieve the 3d Bn, 6th Marines on line. The 3d Bn, 6th Marines now assumed the western portion of the ISZ while the 1st Bn, 8th Marines maintained the containment line in front of the rebel territory.

In order to maintain security of the ISZ a system of road blocks and check points were instituted on 10 May to seal off the routes of entrance into the ISZ if necessary.

In order to demonstrate RLT-6's adherence to neutrality, all the check points were ordered to cease use of Dominican soldiers on 16 May 1965.

During the period 17-20 May a system of closer surveillance of traffic was established on the eastern check points (COLUMBIA, DALLAS and MITZI) by closing down the check points for 30 minute periods at a time. The first Latin American troops, a contingent of Honduran and Nicaraguan troops were bivouacked in the ISZ on 20 May.

Commencing at 211200R a cease fire was observed by all parties for 24 hours. During this period a group of 50 women demonstrators were allowed to march thru the ISZ to the Hotel EMBAJADOR.

On the 22nd of May, RLT-6 was informed that they would have to move Marines out of the UNIVERSITY of SANTO DOMINGO grounds by 27 May.

On the 26th of May the 1st Bn, 6th Marines commenced moving from the University grounds to a position in the vicinity of Landing Zone 4. This move enabled the 1st Bn, 6th Marines to relieve the 3d Bn, 6th Marines who began reembarkation aboard PHIBRON 10 (Amphibious Squadron) shipping at 0800R. At 1100R an inspection party consisting of representatives of RLT-6, 4th MEB, the U. S. Embassy and the University held a complete inspection of the University.

By issuance of new task organization effective 271200R, CG (Commanding General), 4th MEB assumed OPCON of all RLT-6 forces except those who were part of the original 6th MEU (CARIB 2-65). At 1400R the Commanding Officer of the 6th MEU commenced moving his Headquarters to the USS BOXER and established his Command Post afloat at 271430R.

The Logisitic Support Unit of the 6th MEU which had been absorbed by the 4th MEB Logistic Support Group reported OPCON to RLT-6 effective 291247Z.

On 30 May RLT-6 was redesignated as the 6th MEU and PROVMAG-60 which had been OPCON to the 4th MEB reported for OPCON to 6th MEU effective 301715Z.

During 1-7 June the 6th MEU, embarked on TG (Task Group) 44.9 shipping, remained in a four hour alert off the coast of the Dominican Republic to assist forces ashore. On the 7th of June the 6th MEU was relieved of the four hour alert and placed on a seventy-two hour alert in accordance with CINCLANT instructions.

On 8 June ships of TG 44.9 got underway for San Juan, P. R. and St.Thomas, V. I. During the movement 289 personnel of BLT 3/6 were lifted by helo to the USS RALEIGH from USS BOXER in forty minutes. This lift further demonstrated the advantage of multi-deck operations.

The period 9-16 June provided 6th MEU with an opportunity to conduct extensive equipment and vehicle maintenance as well as granting liberty.

On 17 June BLT 3/6 landed an Exercise Control Unit and three rifle companies on Vieques Island to conduct company sized operations. PROVMAG-60 lifted "K" Co from USS RALEIGH to USS BOXER and then landed two companies from USS BOXER and one from USS RALEIGH into designated landing zones on Vieques in total time of ninety-three minutes. All forces ashore were reembarked on 20 June. During the period 20-22 June the 6th MEU continued its preparations for returning to CONUS and granted liberty.

On 23 June CTF (Commander, Task Force) 44.9 with 6th MEU embarked sailed for CONUS being relieved of the CARIB Ready Force on 26 June by CARIB 3-65.

On 28 June the 6th MEU landed over Onslow Beach and into designated landing zones at Camp Lejeune, N. C. After being greeted by the Commanding General, 2d Marine Division and other dignitaries, elements of the MEU returned to parent units to complete final maintenance of equipment and vehicles prior to the formal dissolution of the 6th MEU.

Source: Archives Section, Headquarters, US Marine Corps Historical Division, Washington DC.


Published: Wed Nov 18 08:19:53 EST 2020