Hq Co 9th Marines
Semper Fi & Welcome Home
This website is dedicated to the
Marines and Corpsmen
that served in Vietnam with the
Headquarters Company 9th Marine Regiment 3rd Marine Division 
Republic of Vietnam 1964 ~ 1969, 1975
   Home      Final Mission 1975

In 1975 North Vietnam forces made the final push into South Vietnam
Headquarters Company 9th Marines would become a part of the effort to evacuate the remaining personnel during Operation Eagle Pull and Operation Frequent Wind as well as attaching Marines 
for the rescue of US Merchant Ship Mayaguez  at Koh Tang Island
This section will be dedicated to telling that part of our history
(Words or phrases that appear green contain links that can be clicked for additional information)

Headquarters Company 9th Marine Regiment 3rd Marine Division redeployed from the Republic of Vietnam to Camp Schwab Okinawa in August 1969, although this would not be their final chapter in history involving Vietnam.  Hq Co 9th Marines would depart from the sea port in Da Nang South Vietnam on board the attack class transport USS Paul Revere (LPA-248) along with 2nd Battalion 9th Marines to its new location on Okinawa where 9th Marine Regiment would soon become part of the 9th MAB (9th Marine Amphibious Brigade) and begin forming contingency plans and training for the possible combat re-entry to Vietnam.  The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973 between North Vietnam and the United States along with the 14 August 1973 congressional defunding all combat operations in Southeast Asia would eventually set the conditions that require the next mission involving Hq Co 9th Marines to that of rescue and evacuation of American and other foreign nationals from Southeast Asia.
9th Marines Departing Da Nang RVN 1969 aboard USS Paul Revere

The 9th Marines were part of the first Marine re-deployments from Vietnam in the summer of 1969. In July 1969 the regiment begins with 1/9 redeployment to Camp Schwab, Okinawa followed by Hq Co 9th Marines along with 2/9 in August 1969, finally by 3/9 later that month all were reassigned in August 1969 to the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. The 9th MAB was then reassigned during November 1969 to the 3rd Marine Division (3 MarDiv).

Timeline for April and May 1975

The evacuation from Southeast Asia 1975 involved every service, below is a snap-shot of HqCo 9th Marines’ role

12 April 1975 - Marines of the 9th MAB executed Operation Eagle Pull, the evacuation of American and other foreign nationals from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, just before the fall of the city to the Communist Cambodian Khmer Rouge.  Due to shortages of some critical MOS’ in 1/9 line companies, Bruce "Doc" Collison a FMF Corpsman with Hq Co 9th Marines along with other critical MOS’ such as radiomen were assigned TAD (Temporary Assigned Duty) to these companies and boarded the USS HANCOCK (CVA-19) out of Subic Bay, Philippines to become part of Operation Eagle Pull.  Marine “Doc” Collison would also participate in Operation Frequent Wind and was scheduled to again go TAD for rescue of SS Mayaguez crew from Koh Tang Island but at last minute he was pulled from that operation.  Two other Marine/Doc’s that served with him on Operation Eagle Pull and Operation Frequent Wind are remembered by “Doc” Collison, “…of paramount importance to me, is that the last Marines/docs killed in action during the war in Southeast Asia were from Golf and Echo 2/9.  They paid the ultimate sacrifice two weeks after Saigon fell during the SS MAYAGUEZ/Battle of Koh Tang Island 15 May 75.  "Doc" Collison recalls, two of those 41 lost were HN Ron Manning and HM1 Bernie Gause who were with me on EAGLE PULL & FREQUENT WIND, they were the last two Marine docs killed during the war and their names are among the last etched on "The Wall.”

29 April 1975 - Marines of the 9th MAB executed Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Americans, foreign nationals and various Vietnamese officials and citizens associated with Americans from Saigon to ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.  Matthew Phair (Matt's Timeline on SS Pioneer Contender) was a radio operator with Hq Co 9th Marines along with approximately 45 other comm. and 0300 for security had received TAD orders to become “Detachment Victor” being assigned to the merchant ship Pioneer Contender which was but one of many merchant ships that operated under the control of the CIA during the Vietnam War.  Major David A. Quinlan was selected as Commander of the 'Detachment Control Group' from Hq Co 9th Marines assigned TAD to AESF (Amphibious Evacuation Security Force).  Detachment Control Group and Detachment Victor deployments are recorded in Chapter 10 'The Final Days' beginning page 160 of the Marine Corps publication 'US Marines in Vietnam The Bitter End 1973 1975' by Major George R. Dunham and Colonel David A. Quinlan (Hq. Co. 9th Marines Detachment Control Group Commander).    Below is partial page from the 9th Marines Command Chronologies April 1975 dating the TAD assignments from Hq Co 9th Marines to Operation Frequent Wind.  Planning for the evacuation had commenced approximately one year prior to its execution according to the NEMVAC (Noncombatant Emergency and Evacuation) Survey Report 4-19 May 1975.
Excerpt Command Chronology July 1975
Merchant Ship SS Pioneer Contender

Significance: This ended U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The 9th MAB, in effect, conducted the last U.S. troop operation of the Vietnam War. The following day, Saigon fell to North Vietnamese troops and organized South Vietnamese resistance to the Communist forces of North Vietnam ended. The Communists unified Vietnam under their regime.

12-15 May 1975 - On 12 May, a Khmer Rouge gunboat seized an American ship, the SS Mayaguez, in the Gulf of Thailand and detained its crew. Two days later, USAF helicopters landed Marines of BLT 2/9 on Koh Tang Island off the Cambodian coast where the crew was believed to be held. Marines from Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines boarded the Mayaguez to find it deserted. The Khmer Rouge released the Mayaguez crew, who were picked up by a U.S. destroyer at sea. On 15 May, with the recovery of the ship and its crew, the Marines withdrew from Koh Tang Island. The American forces sustained total casualties of 15 killed, 3 missing in action (later declared dead), 49 wounded and 23 other personnel killed in a related helicopter crash. Khmer Rouge casualties were unknown.

Listed below are some internal links of this website to several of the 9th MAB Command Chronologies for April and May 1975 as well as other documents that detail events of that time.

(Many of these pdf. documents are large and may take a few minutes to download)

US Marines In Vietnam The Bitter End 1973-1975



Operation Frequent Wind Summary









Capt. DA Garcia Report, Hq Co 9th Marines Senior Officer “Detachment Victor”

The Last Battle American Legion article August 2012 concerning Merchant Ship Mayaguez

PFC. Matthew Phair with Hq Co 9th Marines Detachment Victor recalls timeline

Last Man Out: A Personal Account of the Vietnam War by James E Parker Jr. (excerpt about Pioneer Contender)

A special “Semper Fi and thank you” to Errol Steffy, Matt Phair and Bruce "Doc" Collison for their input gathering material for this part of Hq Co 9th Marines history in Vietnam.

9th Marines
RVN Operations
Apache Snow
Big Horn
Big Lodge
Cameron Falls   
Chinook II   
Con Thien
County Fair
Dawson River
Dawson River
Deckhouse V
Dewey Canyon I
Double Eagle   
Double Eagle II
Eagle Pull
Frequent Wind
Georgia Tar
Harvest Moon   
   Deckhouse II
   Beau Charger
Hickory II  
Khe Sanh
Lancaster I
Lancaster II
Montana Mauler
   Saline II
Neosho II
Prairie II
Prairie III
Prairie IV
Prairie V
Scotland II
Utah Mesa
Virginia Ridge
War Bonnet 

TAOR-Tactical Area of Responsibility

I Corps, Da Nang, Red Beach, China Beach, Hill 55, Hill 327, Hill 282, An Hoa, Leatherneck Square, Dong Ha, Camp Carroll, Con Thien, Gio Linh, Cua Viet River, Quang Tri, Khe Sanh, Rockpile, Vandergrift, Ashau Valley, Dai Loc