LZ Margo and the DMZ (conclusion)
Cua Viet and Back to the Ships
On October 17, the BLT was heli-lifted to the Cua Viet area to participate in two separate operations the next day in which two companies cordoned a resettlement village on the north bank of the Cua Viet river, while two other companies performed a search-and-destroy operation along the coastal area from Ocean View to the DMZ.
Unlike the slog in the higher elevations of the DMZ, this end of the operation was a walk on the beach.
On October 19 after a six-week operation that began with a deadly mortar attack on LZ Margo and continued for another long month in a grueling slog across dangerous stretches of the DMZ, the weary Marines and Corpsmen of Battalion Landing Team 2/26 finally returned to their ships.
October 19, 1968: After a long slog across the DMZ, the men of BLT 2/26 returned to their ships (USS Okinawa, LPH-3, shown here) to clean up and prepare for the next operation. Photo courtesy of MilitaryFactory.com.
And those of us who landed on the USS Okinawa were met with typical Navy fussiness: at their behest, one by one we walked to the side, stripped off our nasty, shredded utilities and threw them into the South China Sea.