1st Marines 1975 Refugee Activity
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  1. #1

    1st Marines 1975 Refugee Activity

    Looking for info on the 1st Marines company that was at the live-fire range when Saigon fell. This company then was trucked to an area on Pendleton to set up tents for the refugees for a week. Any info is appreciated S/F

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  2. #2
    OP, you need to clarify this query a bit, 1st Marines were involved with this operation as were others...

  3. #3
    More detail .. I was attached to the 1st RMST, an FMF Corpsman, and was assigned to a rifle company at Camp Horno. At the time there were only 2 battalions at Horno, now I understand the whole regiment is there.
    The rifle company I am looking for info on hiked ~17 miles to a live-fire range that was in a valley. This was not a rifle range where qualifications occurred, rather a combat training course. Each squad took turns on the course. In a couple of days, after completing the training, the company was scheduled to hike back to Horno.
    When Saigon fell, the Captain received a radio call and told the Gunny to organize and account for the Marines.
    Soon, trucks pulled up, the company loaded up and they took us to a part of Pendleton where no training occurred. The Captain had to wait for MP’s

  4. #4
    Continued .. wait for MP's to open a locked gate and when the gate was opened the company set up in this unused area of Pendleton.
    Soon trucks and trailers arrived with tents that the Marines set-up. The next day, the first bus loads of refugees began arriving from El Toro and were processed in an immigration and customs tent.
    The company remained there a week and were relieved by another and returned to normal duty at Horno.
    Since I was not directly attached to this company I'm trying to ID it. Any info would be appreciated. S/F

  5. #5
    That would have been 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines for this Operation New Arrival, the camp was near Tulagai if I remember correctly...

    Operation New Arrivals (April 29 – September 16, 1975) was the relocation of 130,000 Vietnamese refugees from Pacific island staging areas to the United States.
    Following the South-Vietnamese evacuation during the Fall of Saigon, Operation New Life, and Babylift at the end of the Vietnam War, refugees were relocated to the United States to begin assimilation and resettlement into American society. 251 C-141 and C-130 flights and 349 commercial flights airlifted the refugees to camps around the United States.[1] These camps consisted of Camp Pendleton, California (opened April 29)

  6. #6
    Thanks FoxtrotOscar, that narrows the search ... I'm also reasonably sure it was 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines just want to get to what company I was assigned to for the year. I have read/researched all I can find on Operation New Arrivals but the stories don't get into unit detail. S/F

  7. #7
    I was with 2/1 during that time, but was TAD to the MWTC...

  8. #8
    Please, if possible, direct any Marines that you may be in contact with that were with 2/1 in April May 1975 so they may be able to remember ...

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