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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.

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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

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.

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