Poncy, Ronald, Sgt

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Current Service Status
USMC Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Current/Last Primary MOS
8654-Reconnaissance Man, Parachute & Scuba Qualified
Current/Last MOSGroup
Miscellaneous Requirements
Previously Held MOS
8651-Reconnaissance Man
8652-Reconnaissance Man Parachutist Qualified
Primary Unit
1967-1968, 8651, 3rd Force Reconnaissance Co
Service Years
1966 - 1969



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Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)/Operation Hickory
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End Year

In May 1967, U.S. Marines were ordered to cross into the DMZ and destroy the NVA. Several days of frontal assaults killed lots of NVA lodged in fortifications, but also killed 142 Marines and wounded 896 until the marines withdrew after ten days of pointless attacks.

n 18 May the Marines began Operation HICKORY.   Their mission, "To remove enemy forces and installations from the southern half of the DMZ.   Under control of the 9th Marines, this was the first time the Marines had ventured into the DMZ in force.   Their attack was supported by a massive Navy-Marine-Air Force effort, the landing of SLF Alpha, and a parallel sweep by the 1st ARVN Division,

Two Marine battalions -- the 2dBn 9th Marines and 2dBn 26th Marines -- led off by moving northward from their attack positions near Con Thien.   The 3dBn 4thMarines, which had just arrived at DONG HA by KC-130s from Okinawa -- was brought in by helicopter to positions northwest of Con Thien close against the Ben Hai River.   The Marine thrusts precipitated heavy fighting that lasted 48 hours and killed 61 enemy.

Before daybreak, five battalions of the 1st ARVN Division in Opn Lam Son 54 moved north from Gio Linh along the axis of Route 1 to just below where Freedom Bridge crosses the Ben Hai, then peeled off the road to the right and left, and began sweeping southward.

Special Landing Force Alpha -- 1stBn 3dMarines -- made a co-ordinated amphibious assault, using helicopters and surface craft, into the northeasternmost corner of the DMZ, just below the mouth of the Ben Hai.   The assault followed a tight time schedule to take advantage of the preparatory fires being delivered by five destroyers and two cruisers.   Attacking westward along the river bank, they killed 61 enemy.   The SLF then faced left and swept southward parallel to the ARVN sweep.

On 20 May SLF Bravo -- 2dBn 3dMarines -- joined HICKORY in Operation BELT TIGHT, moving directly into the DMZ just south of the Ben Hai.  The battalion took some fire in the initial landing zones, but by moving a few hundred meters south found smoother going.

The operation was over on 28 May.   As complicated as it was, it seemed to have completely surprised the enemy.   Half a dozen enemy battalions were caught off guard south of the DMZ.   At least 815 of the enemy were dead; 445 killed by the Marines, 370 by the ARVN.  The NVA had been served notice that the southern half of the DMZ would no longer be a sanctuary.  Their command and control arrangements had been disrupted, they had lost much in supplies and ammunition, and their fortifications had been dismantled.   But the Marines were under no illusion that the results of this operation were permanent.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
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Personal Memories
Units Participated in Operation

3rd Bn, 4th Marine Regiment (3/4), 4th Marine Regiment

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  395 Also There at This Battle:
  • Ambos, Richard, 1stSgt, (1964-1995)
  • Arcand, Paul, Cpl, (1963-1967)
  • Avalos, Prisciliano, Sgt
  • Baker, Charlie, Cpl, (1965-1969)
  • Barclay, Robert, Capt, (1966-1969)
  • Batkins, John, Sgt, (1966-1968)
  • Bauer, Jon, Sgt, (1965-1969)
  • Benton, Phillip, SSgt, (1961-1968)
  • Bickerton, John, Sgt, (1965-1974)
  • Bohannon, Jeff, 1stSgt, (1965-1989)
  • Boyd, Richard, Cpl, (1966-1969)
  • Bradley, Mark, Cpl, (1966-1968)
  • Brown, Thomas, Cpl, (1964-1968)
  • Burford, Ronald, Cpl, (1964-1970)
  • Camacho, Richard, Cpl, (1966-1968)
  • Christy, Charles, LtCol, (1964-1991)
  • Clapp, James, LCpl, (1966-1968)
  • Clark, Jim, PFC, (1966-1968)
  • Conlon, Charles, Capt, (1961-1976)
  • Connelly, Joseph, LCpl, (1966-1969)
  • Cotton, Tom, Sgt, (1966-1970)
  • Crawley, CJ, Cpl, (1964-1970)
  • Dalton, Robert, Sgt, (1965-1969)
  • Davis, Edward, SSgt, (1966-1971)
  • DeMers, Jim, Sgt, (1964-1968)
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