March 1965: Vietnam

Tuesday, March 2: Rolling Thunder
     Operation Rolling Thunder was a 44-month-long aerial bombardment campaign carried out against North Vietnam by the U.S. Air Force and Navy and the South Vietnamese air force. The operation was initiated by President Johnson on 2 March 1965 as a continuation of Operation Flaming Dart. The principal aims, the relative significance of which shifted over time, were to improve the morale of the South Vietnamese, persuade North Vietnam to end its aid to the Viet Cong, destroy North Vietnam's industry and transportation, and cut off the flow of men and supplies from North to South.
     -- From "Historical Dictionary of U.S. Diplomacy during the Cold War" (Martin Folly, 2014): @

* The Air War in North Vietnam: Rolling Thunder Begins, February-June 1965" (The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, 1971): @
* "The Air War Against North Vietnam" (U.S. Air Force, 1984): @
* "Rolling Thunder 1965: Anatomy of a Failure" (Col Dennis M. Drew, Air University, 1986): @
* "An Uncommon War: The U.S. Air Force in Southeast Asia" (Bernard C. Nalty, Air Force Historical Studies Office, 2015): @

Monday, March 8: Combat troops
     DA NANG, South Viet Nam, Monday -- Two combat-trained battalions of U.S. Marines began moving ashore today to defend vital U.S. jet air bases at this strategic seaport 80 miles from Communist North Viet Nam. The force of 3,500 Marines began debarking from ships lying off the coast under strict security measures to discourage any Viet Cong interference. They came ashore through pounding surf 10 miles north of Da Nang. ... The landing operation began at 9 a.m. (8 p.m. EST) after a delay of about an hour because of rough seas offshore. The air was hot and humid. ... The Marines are the first American ground troops to be ordered into potential direct combat positions against Viet Cong guerrillas and troops infiltrating from North Viet Nam.
     -- From United Press International: @
     -- Photo from "U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Landing and the Buildup" (History and Museums Division, U.S. Marine Corps, 1978): @

* "Marines Land in Vietnam" (The Age; Melbourne, Australia): @
* "American Troops Enter the Ground War, March-July 1965" (The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, 1971): @
* "The Third Division in Vietnam" (Third Marine Division Association): @
* "50 Years Ago: Boots on the Ground in Vietnam" (The Saturday Evening Post, 2015): @

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