Blue Dragons

Blue Dragons

Sgt. Grit,

While in the Nam at LZ Baldy, I got to know some Korean Marines fairly well. Marine choppers flew them from our LZ on their missions for a time. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong in remembering that ROK’s in Vietnam were with the Blue Dragons. I traded menthol cigarettes with a captain who gave me in return, packages of Korean cigs that featured a blue dragon on them. I seem to recall that these were special cigarettes that were sent to only the Korean Marines in Nam. They were not bad smokes either. The captain would relate to me the results of their patrols and told me they were especially fond of “chasing down the bad guys”. They took no prisoners.

One particular enlisted ROK was very burly and we found that he wrestled back in Korea. One day he and Cpl. John Lytle wrestled to a draw on the LZ matting. John was from Florida and I think he must have “rassled” alligators there. The Korean was much impressed by John’s performance and we all got along better as a result.

After leaving Baldy in the spring of 1971, we relocated to FLC near Danang. To the north of our compound was a small body of water that separated us from a ROK compound. I do not know if it was the same outfit that was at Baldy with us. One day a small boat with civilians on board made the mistake of encroaching on the ROK’s shoreline. One burst of M60 rounds and the boat was making a large wake with only a couple of paddles for power!

Thanks for letting me share my memories with you.

L/Cpl Dan Buchanan
The University of Rice 1970-71

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Lester Utley

    LT Freeze in charge of ICT at 2dTraRegt, MB, Camp Pen. June- July 1953. Would like to locate Lt Freeze. He MOTIVATED Several Marines after his training we went to Korea for 18 months survived and came back to train other Marines than back to Korea, Camp Fugie , than Nom And several other stations. Would LIKE to Personaly thank Mr Freeze for his leadership, and Training.

  • ralph fernandez

    LZ BADLY was call hill 63 past the gate make a left and off to danang. make a right on rte 1 off to tamky and down the road futher 9th engineer bn chu- lai. across the road from the base was army air force and engineers

  • ralph fernandez

    In reply to Ken.
    Your right ken we pull out delta co in 1970. be fore that I was in service co. in chu-lai in 1969 and then went to lz baldy in late march of 1970.left nam in aug, 70 back to the usa.I still hv pictures of service co.

  • James Taylor

    While serving as a Line Corpsman at LZ Ross in Febuary of 1970, we had experience with a ROK marine at the BAS. He came in with a “Drippy Discharge” from an appendage. In order to diagnose his “disease”, the doctor had to do a “finger wave” several times to get the required specimen. He bent over 6 times and endured the process without a sound. These guys are tough!

  • Greg Coleman

    I was with 2/5 at An Hoa in ’70, and we had a ROK Marine unit “right down the road.” They had a pretty consistent convoy schedule going from the base to Danang, and we always tried to tag on to the end of their convoys. Why, you ask? Because their lead 6X6 truck had a homemade ‘cowcatcher’ welded to the front, so that once they started they stopped (or slowed down) for NOTHING! Anything in their way on Highway 1 was literally pushed aside or rolled over…even big old waterbulls were no match for that!

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