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!


  • gary kenefick

    ROK Marines were merciless. They seemed to train endlessly and were fierce fighters. I trusted them and they lived their “Take No Prisoners” philosophy. They were tough. RVN 1968-69.

  • Jesse Griffin VSM CAR CIB

    The Hqs Tank Platoon of H&S Co. 1st Tank Bn. supported Blue Dragon units on several occasions. The Korean Marines had a love/hate relationship with us tankers. They regarded us as “big targets”, but they loved our firepower. As infantry units in the “bush” they were superb.

  • Gunny Jim Ogilvie (with Echo 2/5 RSVN 66-67) LCpl – Sgt then

    During the summer 0f 66, on hill 55 Chu Lai, we had a sqd of Korean Marines from the Blue Dragon Brigade assigned with us in 3rd Plt, Echo 2/5. Sgt Kim was the SqdLdr and we all went on quite a few Ops and patrols. One time, we had a captured VC, and Sgt Dix with an SVN Interpreter couldn’t get nada out of him – Sgt Kim asked Sgt Dix for his oversized Silver Bowie Knife and asked both Sgt Dix & Interpreter to step aside, he took the knife to the VCs throat and yelled in Korean (In which really got through to the VC), he babbled out so much info the interpreter had to keep telling the VC to slow down. Orientals understand each other we all surmised. Also, one of the Korean Marines back on hill 55 sort of lifted a U.S. Marine Ring from the small PX, was found out and we watched from a hill top as a high ranking officer came up from there main camp with a gigantic Korean Marine and lined them all up and beat them with a harden rod. Asked Sgt Kim what was going to happen to the poor fellow that took the ring – he just said “will never see him again” for bringing shame on the Brigade, They were great brothers in arms and I was sorry to see Sgt Kim leave after a few months with us.

  • Steve S

    I was in the CUPP units out of LZ Baldy 70-71. I remember seeing them wrestling in front of there hutches. We heard a lot of stories about those guys.

  • Sgt Robert L Sisson

    In reply to Jack McKeefery.
    I was at An Hoa in 1970 on my extension and our radio man was sent out with the ROC’s and we thought we would never see him again. A few months later he came through An Hoa and stopped to visit. He told us it was FANTASTIC duty the gooks never bothered them. When they went through a ville the gooks had already dedeed.

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