59134 OPERATION GOLDEN FLEECE VIETNAM WAR CIVIC ACTION PROGRAM 1965 FILM

Made in 1966, this film report documents the “civic action program” adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam. This “hearts and minds” type of warfare (which also included Operation County Fair and the Combined Action Program — see our Youtube channel) was adopted in hopes of reversing gains by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam, but unfortunately its success was limited. The idea behind Full Blade was fairly simple: because the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army could not sustain themselves in the field without food from the local villages and hamlets, the Viet Cong entered the villages at night and “taxed” the villagers in rice. As long as they could do this with impunity, the Viet Cong could remain in the field or underground indefinitely. Rice became an element in a strategy in which the Marines could both deny food to the enemy, as well as help the villagers rebuild their own economy. While in the short term the Marines were able to make gains, long term they could not protect the villages. In one instance a Vietnamese official was tortured to a horrible death for cooperating with the Marines in a Golden Fleece operation, a sign of what was to come and the reason that the program failed.

“Operation Golden Fleece” shown in the film was carried out by the 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment United States Marine Corps in the Song Con Bien Valley. The operation began with the resources of the single Marine battalion from Operation FRESNO operating in the Mo Duc District. Allied intelligence indicated that two VC battalions with two local force companies would return to this area to take the rice harvest. All the Marine GOLDEN FLEECE operations were designed to protect the rice harvest. The Marines’ mission was to deny the Viet Cong a rice supply as well as winning support from the villagers. The Marines provided protection for the villagers during the rice harvest, transport and store the rice, protect the people by concentrating them in one location and provide a medical service. At 6:34, wounded villagers go aboard an aircraft carrier to receive urgent medical treatment. The villagers are shown a film at 12:00 and given pamphlets on further help the Government could provide.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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