MACV Advisory Team 4 provided advice and assistance to the 1st Regiment, 1st ARVN Division, elements of the ARVN 7th Cavalry, Regional and Local Forces and other Vietnamese military elements in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. The Team with attached elements included US Army, US Navy, US Marine, US Air Force, and Australian Army personnel. Included in the MACV Team 4 structure was a forward operating unit of the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron (20th TASS) headquartered at Danang AB. The detachment flew 0-1 Bird Dogs out of La Vang airfield, about 4 kilometers south of Quang Tri City. (All photos by David Andrew Sciacchitano unless otherwise noted.)
Silver Star Award of Sgt. Edward A. McKim
Quang Tri City was a major objective of the North Vietnamese in the Tet Offensive of 1968. The city was overrun, with the exception of the two MACV compounds, and several strong points held by VN Police, the handful of ARVN 1st Division troops within the City and Citadel and ARVN Airborne elements north of the city. Losses at MACV included Marine Sgt. Edward Alton McKim, NCOIC of the MACV Team 4 Marine Security Detachment at Kilroy Compound, and a number of other killed and wounded. Sgt. McKim was awarded the Silver Star posthumously for his actions during the attack. Following is Sgt. McKim's Silver Star citation.
McKIM, EDWARD A. (KIA)
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Edward A. McKim (2058209), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company D, Third Military Police Battalion, Force Logistic Command, THIRD Marine Amphibious Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. During early morning hours of 31 January 1968, a military compound in Quang Tri City suddenly came under heavy mortar, recoilless rifle, small arms, and automatic weapons fire from two battalions of North Vietnamese Army regulars. As the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the compound's Marine Security Detachment, Sergeant McKim responded immediately and completely disregarded his own safety as he exposed himself to intense hostile fire to direct and adjust accurate 81-mm. mortar fire against enemy positions approximately 100 meters from the compound. During the attack he was wounded by hostile mortar fragments but continued to direct return fire against the North Vietnamese. Upon hearing cries for assistance from the injured, he ignored the enemy fire around him and unhesitatingly moved to the side of the casualties where he assisted in evacuating them from the hazardous area. Anticipating the possibility of a ground assault by the North Vietnamese Army force, he directed his mortar crews to continue their fire and maneuvered across the hazardous terrain to the sector of the perimeter which had suffered the most casualties. Displaying exceptional leadership and calm composure under fire, he reorganized the defensive positions and moved among his men, encouraging them and ensuring that adequate ammunition was available. Subsequently, he was mortally wounded when a North Vietnamese mortar round exploded within five meters of his position. By his courageous leadership, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Sergeant McKim inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
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