Operation Upshur Stream
December 1970- 29 March 1971
Supplementing regular anti-rocket measures , the 1st Marines began a preemptive search and destroy operation on western Charlie Ridge . In this operation, patterned on Imperial Lake, the 1st Marines employed continuous reconnaissance and infantry patrolling and concentrated air and artillery attacks in an effort to locate elements of the 575th NVA Artillery/Rocket Battalion and to prevent the NVA and VC from using the Charlie Ridge base area to prepare for attacks against Da Nang .
The operation, codenamed Upshur Stream, officially began on 11 January under the control of Lieutenant Colonel Robert P. Rose's 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. In mid December 1970 1st platoon of Company D was inserted by helicopter on Hill 383, about five miles northeast of Thuong Duc . The platoon enlarged the LZ and secured the hill as a patrol base for teams from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion which were searching the surrounding rough, jungle covered terrain. On 13 January, at 1300, a 1st Battalion command group, with Bravo 1/1, and Mike 3/1, landed from helicopters on Hill 383 . The infantry took over the search of the area, relieving the reconnaissance teams . On the 15th, two 4 .2-inch mortars and crews from the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines were lifted to Hill 383 by helicopter to furnish fire support . The Marines systematically patrolled the hills until 23 January. They found a few abandoned base camps and small caches of weapons, ammunition, food, and equipment. Many of the weapons they captured were rusty and long unused. The Marines found no major rocket storage areas or enemy troops.
On 21 January 1971 a CH-46D #153364 from HMM-364 went down as it left the Hill 383 LZ resulting in the loss of 6 Marines including four from our sister Bravo Company:
Lcpl Merrell Brumley DOW 01/25/1971
PFC Gregory Karger 01/21/1971
PFC Bartow Potts 01/21/1971
Cpl Steven Moll 01/21/1971
Sgt Robert Hrisoulis, OPS Company, 1st Radio Battalion 01/21/1971
HM3 Eugene Levickis, H&S 1/1 01/21/1971
Photo submitted by Larry Cantrell (of
Bravo 1/1.) Picture taken of chopper crashed as it left the Hill 383 LZ killing 6 Marines