The Mayaguez incident involving the Khmer Rouge government in Cambodia on May 12–15, 1975, marked the last official battle of the United States (U.S.) involvement in the Vietnam War. The names of the Americans killed are the last names on theVietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as those of three Marines who were left behind on the island of Koh Tang after the battle and who were subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge while in captivity. The merchant ship's crew, whose seizure at sea had prompted the U.S. attack, had been released in good health, unknown to the U.S. Marines or the U.S. command of the operation, before the Marines attacked. To this day, it is the only known engagement which involves the U.S. military and the Khmer Rouge.
Khmer Rouge seize the Mayaguez
The crisis began on May 12, 1975, when Khmer Rouge naval forces operating former U.S. Navy "Swift Boats" seized the American container ship SS Mayaguez in recognized international sea lanes claimed as territorial waters by Cambodia and removed its crew for questioning. Surveillance by P-3 Orion aircraft indicated that the ship was then moved to and anchored at Koh Tang, an island approximately fifty miles off the southern coast of Cambodia near that country's shared border withVietnam.
U.S. rescue preparations
U.S. President Gerald Ford was determined to end the crisis decisively, believing that the fall of South Vietnam less than two weeks before and the forced withdrawal of the United States from the country (Operation Frequent Wind) had severely damaged the U.S.'s reputation. Ford also wished to avoid comparisons to both the Tonkin Gulf Incident and the incident involving the USSPueblo, a U.S. Navy intelligence ship captured by North Korea in 1968.
Negotiations were not feasible, as the United States had no diplomatic contact with the newly installed Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, then known as Democratic Kampuchea. Calling the seizure "piracy", President Ford ordered a military response to retake the ship and its 40-man crew, thought to be on Koh Tang. Ford ordered the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) into the area, and moved a substantial number of Marines from Okinawa and Subic Bay in the Philippines to U Tapao Air Force Base in Thailand on May 14.
The main body of the "air contingency" reaction force was from 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines (BLT 2/9) (commanded by Lieutenant ColonelRandall W. Austin), was then in a training exercise on Okinawa. BLT 2/9 was chosen because most of the men of the designated reaction force, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines (BLT 1/9), were ending their tours of duty in the Far East and were not subject to further extension of their tours. BLT 3/9, which had just finished their participation in Operation Frequent Wind, was scattered in several ships across the Western Pacific, and could not be assembled in time. Coincidentally, the 9th Marine Regiment had also been the first U.S. ground combat force committed to Vietnam in 1965.
Nine USAF HH-53 Jolly Greens of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron and 10 CH-53 Knifes of the 21st Special Operations Squadron were available in Thailand for the rescue operation. There were differences between the two types which would become relevant during the battle, the HH-53 is air refuelable, has 450 gallon foam-filled tip tanks, a tail Minigun with armor plating, and two waist Miniguns. The CH-53 is not air refuelable, but has 650-gallon non-foam-filled tip tanks and two Miniguns, although no tail gun. Thus the HH-53's fuel tanks were less vulnerable to ground fire and with its refueling capability, could remain in the battle area indefinitely as long as it had access to a HC-130. On May 13, before the Marine forces had been alerted, the Air Force moved approximately 125 Security Forces to U Tapao as the main special operations assault force; one of the 21st SOS CH-53s Knife 13 crashed, killing 18 air police and the five man crew.
The Seventh Air Force was ordered to maintain surveillance on the Mayaguez in an attempt to keep the Khmer Rouge from moving the crew to the port of Kampong Som. F-111A fighter-bombers from the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailandlocated the Mayaguez, and on May 14, the F-111As sank one of the gunboats escorting the Mayaguez. Early on the morning of May 14, four Khmer gunboats left Koh Tang for the Cambodian mainland. An AC-130H Spectre gunship on the scene was directed to fire across their bows and prevent them from reaching the coast. The gunship's 40 mm cannon and 105 mm howitzer turned three of the gunboats back. Flights of F-111A, F-4D, and A-7D fighter-bombers attacked in front of the remaining gunboat with 2,000 pound bombs, 2.75 rockets and riot-control gas, but the boat refused to turn back. An A-7D sank the boat using 20 mm cannon fire and 2.75 inch rockets.
A few minutes later, at approximately 07:15, a Thai wooden fishing boat was observed leaving the island for the mainland. The crews of the U.S. aircraft suspected that the boat might be carrying the crew of the Mayaguez, so they did not fire directly on the vessel. During the four hours it took this boat to reach Kampong Som in Cambodia, A-7s and flights of F-4Ds employed rockets, strafing and riot-control agent in front of the vessel in an attempt to make it turn back to Koh Tang. It later turned out that the crew of the Mayaguez was on the small craft; however, since this could not be confirmed at the time, military planners proceeded as though the crew were still on the island.
Upon its arrival at U Tapao, the commander of BLT 2/9 and his staff undertook a surveillance of Koh Tang by helicopter during that same afternoon. They were prevented from closely approaching the island in order not to compromise the secrecy of the mission, but determined that the island was so covered in jungle growth that the only two viable landing zones available were beaches on the west and east shores of the northern portion of Koh Tang.
The rescue mission was organized into several groups. A unit of 57 Marines from Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines was to be transferred by three HH-53 Jolly Greens to thedestroyer escort USS Harold E. Holt (DE-1074) for boarding the Mayaguez. A larger force of 600 Marines from BLT 2/9 — composed of Golf and Echo Companies — were assigned to conduct a combat assault in 5 CH-53 Knifes and 3 HH-53 Jolly Greens to seize and hold Koh Tang. Two additional CH-53s (because of their superior firepower, all the HH-53s were used for troop lift) were tasked as Search and Rescue helicopters, supported by an HC-130 "King" command-and-control aircraft. The flight from U Tapao to Koh Tang was a four-hour round trip.
The guided missile destroyer USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) was assigned to support the Koh Tang operation, and the Harold E. Holt was deployed in a blocking position between U.S. forces and the Cambodian mainland with the mission of intercepting and engaging any Khmer reaction forces. Navy aircraft from the Coral Sea were given the mission of striking targets on the Cambodian mainland to prevent interference with the rescue.
At 06:00 on May 15, the first phase of the operation began with the transfer of D/1/4th Marines to the Holt. As the destroyer escort slowly came alongside, USAF A-7 aircraft "saturated" the Mayaguez with tear gas munitions. Equipped with gas masks, the Marines at 07:20 hours then conducted the first hostile ship-to-ship boarding by the U.S. Navy since 1826, securing the vessel after an hour-long assault, finding it empty.
Simultaneously, the eight helicopters (five CH-53 Knifes and three HH-53 Jolly Greens) of the Koh Tang assault force approached the two LZs on Koh Tang. At 06:00, the CH-53s approaching the eastern LZ encountered intense automatic weapons and RPG fire from entrenched Khmer Rouges. Knife 23 crash-landed on the east beach, but successfully offloaded its 20 Marines and crew of five. They set up a defensive perimeter but remained cut off from both reinforcements and rescue for twelve hours. The second CH-53, Knife 31 was hit by two RPGs, exploding and crashing fifty meters offshore. A pilot, five Marines, and two Navy corpsmen were killed in the crash, another Marine drowned swimming from the wreck, and three Marines were killed by gunfire trying to reach the beach. A tenth Marine died of his wounds while clinging to the burning wreckage. The surviving ten Marines and three Air Force crewmen were forced to swim for four hours before being picked up by the gig of the arriving Henry B. Wilson. Among the Marine survivors was the battalion's Forward Air Controller, who used an Air Force survival radio while swimming to direct air strikes against the island.
On the western beach of the island, the first section of two CH-53 helicopters came in at 06:30 hours. The first helicopter; Knife 21, landed safely but while offloading its Marines came under heavy automatic weapons fire, destroying an engine. It managed to take off, protected by suppressive fire from the second CH-53, Knife 22, and ditched a mile offshore where all but one of its crew was picked up by Knife 32. Knife 22 was damaged so severely that it turned back with its Marines (including the Golf Company commander) still aboard, and crash-landed on the Thai coast, where its passengers were picked up and returned to U Tapao.
Two other sections of the first wave, consisting of the remaining four helicopters, eventually landed all of their Marines between 06:30 and 09:30 hours, although the final insertion by Jolly Green 41 required support from an AC-130 Spectre gunship in order to penetrate the Khmer Rouge fire on its fifth attempt. Knife 32, Jolly Green 41 and Jolly Green 42 eventually landed 81 Marines on the west beach under the command of the company Executive Officer, and Jolly Green 43 landed 29 Marines of the battalion command post and mortar platoon a kilometer to the southwest. 130 Marines had reached Koh Tang, but in three isolated beach areas and in close contact with Khmer Rouge troops. Unknown to U.S. commanders, the Khmer Rouge were well entrenched in anticipation of a Vietnamese attack over an ongoing territorial dispute. While isolated, the Marines were able to use their 81 mm mortars as fire support for their contingents and devised a makeshift communications network for controlling supporting air strikes by USAF A-7 and F-4 aircraft.
Of the eight helicopters assaulting Koh Tang, three had been destroyed (Knife 21, Knife 23 and Knife 31) and four others damaged too severely to continue operations (Knife 22, Knife 32, Jolly Green 41 and Jolly Green 42). One of the three helicopters used on the Holt portion of the operation, Jolly Green 13 had also been severely damaged attempting to pick up the platoon isolated on the east beach at 08:15 and had made an emergency landing in Rayong, Thailand. This left only three helicopters (all HH-53s - Jolly Greens 11, 12 and 43) of the original eleven available to bring in the followup forces of BLT 2/9, so the 2 CH-53s (Knife 51 and 52) whose mission had been search and rescue — the last available helicopters — were reassigned to carry troops. The five helicopters picked up 127 Marines of the second wave at U Tapao between 09:00 and 10:00 hours.
Release of the Mayaguez crew
The Mayaguez crew had been removed from Koh Tang and released before the Marines began their attack on the island. The men — all alive and in good health — were found on a fishing boat and subsequently transferred to the Holt.
The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff decided that, with the ship recaptured and the crew released, further reinforcement of Koh Tang was unnecessary and recalled the second wave. The helicopters with the second wave reversed course until the recall was canceled when Lt. Col. Austin, on the ground on Koh Tang, convinced the commander of the Seventh Air Force that the reinforcements were necessary to prevent his units from being overrun.
The second wave carrying the Marines from Knife 22 and a platoon from Company E had originally taken off at staggered times between 09:00 and 10:00, but with the reversal of course its arrival on Koh Tang was seriously delayed. Eventually Jolly Greens 11, 12 and 43 and Knife 51 successfully landed 100 additional Marines and evacuated 9 wounded on the west beach, making a total of 222 Marines - 202 on the west beach and 20 Marines and 5 Airmen on the east beach. Knife 52 which attempted to land its Marines on the east beach came under heavy fire and was forced to make an emergency landing in Thailand. At midday the command post planned a linkup of its small contingent with the bulk of Golf Company on the west beach LZ. Using mortar fire and A-7 airstrikes to clear the jungle between the two forces, it reached the west beach perimeter at 12:45.
Extraction of Marine elements
Another attempt to extricate the Marines on the east beach was made Jolly Greens 11 and 43 at 14:15 hours, but was repulsed by heavy fire. Jolly Green 43 had a fuel line damaged, but made an emergency landing on the Coral Sea at 14:36, where it was repaired and returned to service by 17:00 hours. At 16:00 hours, Nail 68, an Air Force OV-10 Forward air control(FAC) aircraft, arrived and took over the direction of air support. This change in controllers marked a turning point in the quality of airborne firepower available to the Marines, because for the first time that day they had an airborne observer exclusively dedicated to providing accurate and timely close air support. Between 17:30 and 18:00 hours, a third attempt to rescue the east beach force was successful, using Jolly Green 11 as the rescue ship and with gunfire support from Jolly Green 12, Knife 51 and the gig from the Henry B. Wilson mounting 4 M-60s. JG11 did not actually sit on the ground because the hulk of Knife 23 was sitting on the beach, instead, the pilot (1LT Donald Backlund) skilfully hovered the helicopter several feet off the ground just north of the original beach LZ. It made the extraction difficult because the helicopter would see-saw up and down, only a few Marines at a time could board the helicopter's rear ramp in this fashion as they timed their jumps to coincide with the downward motion of the aircraft.JG11 was hit numerous times, but managed to transport its cargo of 20 Marines and 5 Airmen to the Coral Sea. Jolly Green 12 also suffered extensive battle damage while searching for a Marine reported to be clinging to the wreckage of Knife 31, no Marine was recovered and JG12 flew to the Coral Sea.
The remaining three helicopters (Jolly Greens 43 and 44 and Knife 51) were then joined by Jolly Green 44 that had been out of service at its Nakhon Phanom base but had been repaired and flown to the area. This force immediately began to withdraw the remaining 202 Marines from Koh Tang, protected by AC-130 fire and naval gunfire support from the Henry B. Wilsonand its gig. The first load of 41 Marines was lifted out at 18:30 hours by Knife 51 and flown to the Coral Sea, followed by 53 taken aboard Jolly Green 43. As Jolly Green 44 picked up a load of 34 Marines, the remaining Marines on Koh Tang came under intense attack and were in danger of being overrun. The trip to the Coral Sea was a thirty minute round trip, so the pilot (1LT Bob Blough) decided to deliver his Marines to the Harold E. Holt, the nearest ship to Koh Tang, made in complete darkness while hovering over the ship with only its front wheels touching down. Within 5 minutes JG44 returned and picked up 40 more Marines, leaving 32 still on the island.
Finally Knife 51 landed and began loading in the dark and under fire. Having loaded everyone save for themselves, Captain Davis, Gunnery Sergeant McNemar, and K51 Pararescueman TSGT Wayne Fisk, combed the beach one last time for stragglers, finding none, they leaped onto the hovering CH-53 and at 20:10 left Koh Tang for the Coral Sea.
The final action on Koh Tang included the dropping of a BLU-82 bomb--a 15,000-pound device and the largest conventional explosive weapon in the U.S. arsenal at the time--from a C-130.
Marines left behind and subsequent controversy
Because of intense direct and indirect fire during the operation, the bodies of Marines who were killed were left where they died. Such is the case of LCpl Ashton Loney, who had been killed by enemy fire early in the battle. As a result, extraction of the forces was also extremely chaotic.
With each withdrawal, the Marines contracted their perimeter on the west beach of Koh Tang. Lance Corporal John S. Standfast, squad leader, 3d Squad, 3d Platoon, Company E and his squad covered Company G's withdrawal during the reduction of the perimeter, and he then singlehandedly directed the pullback of his own squad. Before withdrawing to the safety of the new perimeter, Standfast and his platoon guide, Sergeant Andersen would move forward to the old perimeter to ensure that no member of the company inadvertently had been left behind, each time checking every foxhole. However despite such precautions, three Marines of an M60 machine gun team were mistakenly left behind.
Hours after the evacuation was completed, with the Koh Tang Marines dispersed among three Navy ships, the Company E commander, Captain Mykle K. Stahl, discovered that three of his Marines were missing. The Marines checked all of the Navy ships, but could not locate LCpl Joseph N. Hargrove , PFC Gary L. Hall, and Pvt Danny G. Marshall, members of a three man machine gun team which had been assigned to protect the right flank of the constantly shrinking perimeter during the final evacuation. Sergeant Andersen was the last member of the Marine force to see Hall, Hargrove, and Marshall alive at about 20:00 when he ordered them to move back to a new position which was located to the left of the position occupied by Captain James H. Davis.
A rescue operation was proposed, but was turned down because it was considered too dangerous, and there was a lack of evidence that the men were still alive. The Holt continued to patrol the shore of Koh Tang for the next 2 days in case any of the missing men emerged from the jungle and tried to swim from the island, but Hargrove, Hall, and Marshall were subsequently declared Missing in Action and presumed dead.
In 1995, eyewitness reports reported that the three Marines survived for several weeks on the island without food, water, or supplies, and were out of ammunition before they were captured, tortured and executed. One of the Marines (believed but not confirmed to be Hargrove) allegedly put up a fight before being captured, and under the order of Khmer Rouge commander on the island Em Son, the Marine was said to have been executed on the spot. The other two Marines were allegedly ambushed and captured while scavenging for supplies, and were transported to the port of Kompong Som for interrogation where they were stripped naked, brutally tortured, and eventually executed.
Recovery efforts between 1995 and 2001 by Joint Task Force-Full Accounting later found bone fragments that might have belonged to the three abandoned Marines, but DNA tests have proven inconclusive due to the small size of the fragments. Hargrove, Hall, and Marshall all received obligatory Purple Hearts from the Marine Corps. However, Hargrove's family did not receive the award until 1999, after investigative journalist and author Ralph Wetterhahn published several articles in popular magazines about his findings.
In 2007, Duplin County Commissioner Cary Turner decided to take on the task to search for the Marines, and in 2009, in collaboration with JPAC, reported to have found four of the remains around where one of the missing Marines were reportedly executed and buried. One of the remains was said to be Caucasian in nature.
1st Lt Bob Blough, pilot of Jolly Green 44 was awarded the Silver Star
Four Airmen were awarded the Air Force Cross:
- Capt Rowland Purser, pilot of Jolly Green 43
- 1st Lt Donald Backlund, pilot of Jolly Green 11
- 1st Lt Richard C Brims, pilot of Knife 51
- SSgt Jon Harston, flight mechanic of Knife 31
Estimates of Khmer Rouge casualties were 60 killed out of a land and sea force of about 300.
Casualties during the operation were 14 Marines killed or missing (ten in the Knife 31 shootdown and four at the west beach), two Navy corpsmen killed, and two Air Force crewmen killed. Thirty-five Marines and 6 airmen were wounded.
List of Marines who perished on Koh Tang island:
- Lcpl. Ashton N. Loney, 20, of Albany, New York, Remains not recovered
Marines listed as MIA, presumed KIA:
- Lcpl. Joseph N. Hargrove, 24 (DOB: May 15), of Mount Olive, North Carolina, remains not recovered
- PFC Gary L. Hall, 18, of Covington, Kentucky, remains not recovered
- Pvt. Danny G. Marshall, 18, of Waverly, West Virginia, remains not recovered
Personnel who perished in shot down CH-53A Knife 31:
- 2d Lt Richard Vandegeer, 27, of Columbus Ohio. Vandegeer's is the last name to appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
- Lcpl. Gregory S. Copenhaver, 28, of Port Deposit, Maryland
- Lcpl. Andres Garcia, 20, of Carlsbad, New Mexico
- PFC Richard W. Rivenburgh, 21, of San Diego, California, Remains not recovered
- PFC Walter Boyd, 19, of Norfolk, Virginia
- PFC Antonio R. Sandoval, 19, of San Antonio, Texas
- PFC Daniel A. Benedett, 19, of Auburn King, Washington, Remains not recovered
- PFC James J. Jacques, 18, of Denver, Colorado, Remains not recovered
- PFC James R. Maxwell, 18, of Center Ridge, Arkansas, Remains not recovered
- PFC Kelton R. Turner, 18, of Los Angeles, California
- PFC Lynn Blessing, 18, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- HM1 Bernard Gause, Jr., 34, of Birmingham, Alabama
- HN Ronald J.Manning, 21, of Steubenville, Ohio
Another serviceman unaccounted for from crashed CH-53A Knife 21, which crashed a mile offshore:
- SSgt Elwood E. Rumbaugh, 31, of Spangler, Pennsylvania, remains not recovered.
Between 1991–99, U.S. and Cambodian investigators conducted seven joint investigations, led by the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting. On three occasions Cambodian authorities unilaterally turned over remains believed to be those of American servicemen. In October and November 1995, U.S. and Cambodian specialists conducted an underwater recovery of theKnife 31 crash site where they located numerous remains, personal effects and aircraft debris associated with the loss. The USS Brunswick (ATS-3), a Navy salvage vessel, enabled the specialists to conduct their excavation offshore. In addition to the support provided by the Cambodian government, the Government of Vietnam also interviewed two Vietnamese informants in Ho Chi Minh City who turned over remains that were later positively identified. As a result of these investigations the remains of 2LT Richard Vandegeer, LCPL Gregory S Copenhaver, LCPL Andres Garcia, PFC Lynn Blessing, PFC Walter Boyd, PFC Antonio R Sandoval and PFC Kelton R. Turner were identified.
Impact on Thailand
The Mayaguez incident had a direct effect on the political situation in Thailand. The U Tapao air base had been used by U.S. rescue forces despite an explicit refusal of permission by the relatively new civilian Thai government (after being refused by the Thai government, the US sought and obtained permission from the Thai military to proceed), resulting in considerable anger towards the United States. The Thai government called the act a violation of Thailand's sovereignty, and as soon as they returned to base, all the Marines were immediately flown to the Philippines. Many Thai groups called for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from the country and exhibited an increased distrust of their own military, which they presumed to be complicit in the communications delay permitting the use of its air base.
Impact on U.S. military rescue planning
The U.S. military received much criticism for its handling of the incident. In addition to the failure of intelligence to determine the whereabouts of the crew of the Mayaguez and the presence of a sizable hostile force on Koh Tang, the timing of the operation was questioned until it became clear that combat had been underway four hours before the crew was released. Within the services the Marines in particular were critical of the ad hoc nature of the joint operation and the perceived pressure from the Administration for hasty action, although the success of Operation Frequent Wind had been the basis for many decisions made during the crisis. Vice Admiral George P. Steele, the Seventh Fleet commander later stated that: "The sad part of the Mayaguez is that we had sufficient force coming up with the Seventh Fleet, after it had been turned around from the evacuation of Vietnam stand down, to seize Southern Cambodia. I begged for another day or two, rather than commit forces piecemeal as we did .... The idea that we could use U.S. Air Force air police and Air Force helicopters as an assault force appears to me as ridiculous today as it did then."
When many of the coordination and communications problems arose again during Operation Eagle Claw, the hostage rescue mission in Iran in 1980, significant changes in joint and special operations were brought about.
- List of hostage crises
- USS Liberty incident
- Sinking of the USS Maine
- Wayne Fisk
- John Dawson Dewhirst
- Tuol Sleng
- ^ Dunham, George R (1990). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Bitter End, 1973-1975 (Marine Corps Vietnam Operational Historical Series). Marine Corps Association. p. 239. ISBN 978-0160264559.
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- ^ Dunham, p. 240
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- ^ Dunham, p. 248
- ^ Dunham, p. 250
- ^ a b Dunham, p. 251
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- ^ a b Dunham, p. 257
- ^ a b Dunham, p. 258
- ^ Dunham, p. 259
- ^ a b Dunham, p. 262
- ^ Dunham, p. 263
- ^ Boston Globe: A mystery may be solved in Cambodia
- ^ http://www.jdnews.com/news/hargrove-63609-left-spent.html
- ^ http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=23469
- ^ http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=23283
- ^ http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=3618
- ^ http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=3447
- ^ http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=3504
- ^ http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=3569
- ^ "LCPL Ashton N Loney". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "LCPL Joseph N Hargrove". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC Gary L Hall". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PVT Danny G Marshall". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "2LT Richard Vandegeer". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "Richard Vandegeer, Second Lieutenant USAF". Arlington National Cemetery unofficial website.
- ^ "LCPL Gregory S Copenhaver". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "LCPL Andres Garcia". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC Richard W Rivenburgh". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC Walter Boyd". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC Antonio R Sandoval". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC Daniel A Benedett". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC James J Jacques". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC James R Maxwell". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC Kelton R Turner". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "PFC Lynn Blessing". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "HM1 Bernard Gause". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "HN Ronald J Manning". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "SSgt Elwood E Rumbaugh". The Virtual Wall.
- ^ "MIA Marines identified from Mayaguez Incident". Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs). 18 May 2000.
- ^ Dunham, p. 239
- Dunham, George R. (Major USMC), and Quinlan, David A. (Colonel USMC), U.S. Marines In Vietnam: The Bitter End 1973-1975, Headquarters USMC, Washington D.C. (1990)
- Frisbee, John L., "The Mayaguez Incident", Air Force Magazine, Vol. 74, No. 9 (September 1991)
- Hunter, Ric, "The Last Battle of Vietnam", Flight Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2 (April 2000)
- Kissinger, Henry A., "Years of Renewal", ch. 18 ("Anatomy of a Crisis: The Mayaguez").
- Wetterhahn, Ralph, "The Last Battle: The Mayaguez Incident And The End Of The Vietnam War", Plume Publishers (2002)
- Koh Tang Beach Vets/Mayaguez Recovery Website
- Capture and Release of SS Mayaguez by Khmer Rouge forces in May 1975
- 56th Security Police Squadron, Nakhom Phanom RTAFB, USS Mayaguez rescue operation
- CBS news reports of the Mayaguez incident and the search for the 3 missing Marines
- Left Behind but not Forgotten
- USAF Southeast Asia Monograph Series Volume III Fourteen Hours at Koh Tang]