Operation Hastings took place from 15 July to 3 August 1966, when Marines engaged increased numbers of uniformed regular NVA soldiers. The author sums up the intense battles and includes commentary from those who participated in the fight in a podcast that is included with this article.
By Mack Payne
The Vietnam Veteran News podcast continues its look at the US Marines in Vietnam in this episode where the US Marine Operation Hastings will be featured. First we will take a look at the events that led up to the operation and how it got started and ended and then listen to the poignant comments by a young (at the time) Marine Second Lieutenant who took part in the battle at Hill 362 portion of Operation Hastings. Another inspiration to look at this particular action was the fact that one of the heroes highlighted in my book “Conversations with Vietnam Heroes”
Wilbur Little who served with A Company, 2/3rd Marines also participated in the battle. In addition to the official description of Operation Hastings the personal comments and observations of Edward P. Conti a former Lima Company, 3/5 Marines XO in Vietnam during 1966 help complete the picture of this hard fought battle.
Operation Hastings took place from 15 July to 3 August 1966. During late June and early July 1966, Marine reconnaissance units operating south of the DMZ between North and South Vietnam observed and engaged increased numbers of uniformed regular NVA troops. Overall commander in Vietnam, General Westmoreland approved a Marine effort to run the NVA intruders back across the DMZ. Immediately Task Force Delta was set up and On the morning of 15 July the battle began with aerial bombardment of LZ Crow and Dove.
Nineteen days later Operation Hastings officially ended on 3 August 1966. During the operation the Marines suffered 126 killed, 448 wounded. It is reported the NVA lost over 700 personnel but no one really knows the true number.
Marine group photo after the operation
Conti said this about the operation: “No single event in my life has had as much of an effect on me as Operation Hastings and Hill 362” and “We, as survivors, must do everything in our power to keep the memory of their courage and supreme sacrifice in the forefront.”
Mack Payne operates a website called, “Vietnam Veteran News – A Podcast for and about Vietnam Veterans.” With each story, he includes podcasts about the event he wrote about. In this case, Operation Hastings. He comes across as a good ‘ol boy and is very easy to listen to. I’ve included his 12 minute commentary within this post.
Mr. Payne has a wealth of information on his website and I encourage everyone to visit. Here is his direct link: http://vietnamveterannews.com/7-2/
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