South Viet Nam: The Prospect of Action

Under slate-grey skies, U.S. Marine landing craft plowed through 5-ft. waves in the Bay of Danang, came to a halt with gravelly crunches, and dropped their ramps. Out poured hundreds of U.S. marines in full battle dress, with M-14 rifles held at high port. They were the vanguard of a 3,500-man force, the first marines since Korea to hit the beaches in a combat zone, and the first U.S. combat—as opposed to "advisory" —troops to arrive in South Viet Nam.

The U.S. decision to send in combat units had been weighed for weeks....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!