The Mobile Riverine Force worked jointly with the Vietnamese Marine Corps in ferreting the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army from their prized sanctuaries in the Mekong Delta Region of Vietnam.  For their efforts they were awarded the highest Military Medals of honor given by their government as well as the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation and U.S. Valorous Unit Award.





These brave fighting men will always have a special place in my heart. The Mobile Riverine Force was initially designed to have U.S. Naval and U.S. Army forces working jointly against the communist oppressors. River Assault Squadrons 9, 11 and 13 had arrived in-country Vietnam before our River Assault Squadron 15. Those squadrons were assigned to transport U.S. 9th Infantry Division troops around in the Mekong Delta. I can only remember having 9th Division grunts onboard my boat on approximately 6 occasions. The rest of the time we moved Vietnamese Marines, Army Vietnam (ARVN) and Regional/Popular Forces (RF/PF or Ruff Puffs). So most of us who were assigned to RAS 15 worked directly with our Vietnamese counterparts throughout our tour.

The Vietnamese Marines were generally a step above the rest in my eyes. When our boats were ambushed they were often ready and willing to be inserted so that they could assault the enemy forces. The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers did not like to tangle with them.

When the Viet Minh succeeded in thwarting the French occupation of Vietnam in the early 50's many Catholic families moved from the north down into the Mekong Delta region in the south. They set up strongholds there in order to protect and preserve their religious views. Many of them joined the Vietnamese Marines in an attempt to secure the region. These units virtually fought until the communists took over the south on April 30, 1975. Many languished in "Re-education Camps" for years following the war.

These brave fighting men won many individual and unit awards from their own government. Here are a few awards given them by the United States government:


Vietnamese Marine Corps

Marine Division

Valorous Unit Award ~ 26 to 31 January 1973

Task Force

Valorous Unit Award ~ 26 to 31 January 1973

Vietnamese Marine Task Force

Presidential Unit Citation13 to 25 February 1968

1st Vietnamese Marine Corps

Presidential Unit Citation13 to 25 February 1968

2d Marine Infantry Battalion, Vietnamese Corps

Valorous Unit Award ~ 26 to 31 January 1973

4th Marine Infantry Battalion, Vietnamese Marine Corps

Valorous Unit Award ~ 26 to 31 January 1973

4th Vietnamese Marine Corps

Presidential Unit Citation ~ 13 to 25 February 1968

5th Vietnamese Marine Corps

Valorous Unit Award13 to 25 February 1968

9th Marine Infantry Battalion, Vietnamese Marine Corps

Valorous Unit Award ~ 26 to 31 January 1973


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When we were in transit we would offload the Vietnamese Marines in the afternoon so that they could set up a perimeter in front of our boats to protect us from frontal assault. This afforded the Marines the opportunity to prepare meals and stretch out for the night.



Patrick Denny (L) and Royce Lengele (T-152-3) spending some time with a few Marines. The Marine next to the guy in the blue shirt could speak 9 different languages.



Here I am with the same group of Marines.



We are offloading a group of Marines near Rach Gia following another successful operation.



Here are a bunch of Marines preparing for an operation adjacent to the Cambodian border.


I acquired this photo under unique circumstances while on a return trip to Vietnam in August 1994. God only knows what happened to these men.

~ We Joined their Dream ~ We Fought Side by Side ~ We Deserted Them ~

Thousands upon thousands of our Allies were tortured and died in communist "Re-education Camps" after the fall of the South on April 30, 1975. Multitudes of others have been scarred for life. During my (5) trips back to Vietnam in the 1990's I have found that most of the former soldiers that I encountered still welcome the American veteran back with open arms. As strange as it may seem, the camaraderie of a shared experience is what continues to bind us veterans together. I have also conversed with former Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers who are still trying to come to terms with the war. One retired Viet Cong colonel told me that, if he had to do it all over again, he would join the fight against the North. For his years of servitude to the communist regime all he has to show for it is a $5 a month retirement check. There are no other benefits to living under communist rule.

Click HERE to read an Article written By:

H. Bruce "MAC" McIver
T-131-7, RAD131
MACV Naval Advisory Group / RAID72 (ATF-211)

RAID Uuits: U.S. Naval Advisors in Vietnam

RAID: River Assault Interdiction Division

The Battle of Dong Hung - U Minh Forest - November 6, 1969

If you would like to read more about the Vietnamese Marines today then please follow this Link: