Dates: 17AUG1965 – 24AUG1965
Area of Operations: Van Tuong Peninsula, 16 miles south of Chu Lai; I Corps
Allied Units: USMC 3d Battalion 3d Marine Regiment, 2d Battalion 4th Marine Regiment, 3d Battalion 7th Marine Regiment
Allied Casualties: 45 KIA; 120 WIA
Enemy Units: VC 1st Regiment
Enemy Casualties: 614-700 KIA
Objective: To rid the Van Tuong peninsula of the Viet Cong 1st Regiment, as they were a significant threat to the Chu Lai base, with a hammer and anvil attack using amphibious and heliborne forces.
Significance/Notes: Starlite was the first decisive action between American and Viet Cong forces. The operation was prompted when a Viet Cong prisoner said that there was a planned attack on the Chu Lai airfield. Because Starlite was the first large action against the enemy and ended successfully, it served at a huge confidence and morale boost for the troops.
- The Vietnam Center and Archive (at Texas Tech Univ)
- Vietnam War Almanac by James H. Willbanks
- Operation Starlite OP File
- Operation Starlite Revisited
- “Operation Starlite: The First Battle of the Vietnam War” (article in Leatherneck magazine)
- The First Battle by Otto J. Lehrack
- The First Fight: U.S. Marines in Operation Starlite August 1965 by Col. Rod Andrew Jr