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The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landing at Da Nang, March 8, 1965. Brigadier General F. J. Karch, brigade commander, talks with Vietnamese generals Thi and Lam on the beach just prior to the landing.

The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landing at Da Nang, March 8, 1965. Brigadier General F. J. Karch, brigade commander, talks with Vietnamese generals Thi and Lam on the beach just prior to the landing. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landing at Da Nang, March 8, 1965. Brigadier General F. J. Karch, brigade commander, talks with Vietnamese generals Thi and Lam on the beach just prior to the landing.

The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landing at Da Nang, March 8, 1965. Brigadier General F. J. Karch, brigade commander, talks with Vietnamese generals Thi and Lam on the beach just prior to the landing. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The shoreline at Red Beach, looking north toward the Hai Van pass, on Sept. 25, 2015.

The shoreline at Red Beach, looking north toward the Hai Van pass, on Sept. 25, 2015. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Marines landing at Da Nang area beach.

Marines landing at Da Nang area beach. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The shoreline at Red Beach, looking south toward the city center of Da Nang, on Sept. 25, 2015.

The shoreline at Red Beach, looking south toward the city center of Da Nang, on Sept. 25, 2015. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Marines wade ashore at Da Nang from landing craft.

Marines wade ashore at Da Nang from landing craft. (U.S. Navy)

The shoreline at Red Beach, where U.S. Marines landed in Vietnam on March 8, 1965. The beach today remains relatively quiet, with a small resort nearby.

The shoreline at Red Beach, where U.S. Marines landed in Vietnam on March 8, 1965. The beach today remains relatively quiet, with a small resort nearby. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Beach activity at Da Nang, Vietnam, during landing of Marines of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade in March 1965.

Beach activity at Da Nang, Vietnam, during landing of Marines of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade in March 1965. (U.S. Marine Corps)

Red Beach, where U.S. Marines first landed in March 1965, now includes a small vacation resort, seen on the left.

Red Beach, where U.S. Marines first landed in March 1965, now includes a small vacation resort, seen on the left. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Marines landing tanks from the USS Vancouver at Da Nang beach area.

Marines landing tanks from the USS Vancouver at Da Nang beach area. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The grounds of the Red Beach Resort, which lies just offshore of Red Beach in Da Nang, where U.S. Marines first landed in March 1965.

The grounds of the Red Beach Resort, which lies just offshore of Red Beach in Da Nang, where U.S. Marines first landed in March 1965. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

The grounds of the Red Beach Resort, which lies just offshore of Red Beach in Da Nang, where U.S. Marines first landed in March 1965.

The grounds of the Red Beach Resort, which lies just offshore of Red Beach in Da Nang, where U.S. Marines first landed in March 1965. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Highway 1 and a section of the Hai Van Pass overlook what was known in 1965 as the Lien Chieu Esso Depot and Red Beach.

Highway 1 and a section of the Hai Van Pass overlook what was known in 1965 as the Lien Chieu Esso Depot and Red Beach. ( Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Red Beach in Da Nang, as seen on Sept. 25, 2015. In March 1965, Marines landed along the beach, marking the United States' commitment to ground combat troops in South Vietnam.

Red Beach in Da Nang, as seen on Sept. 25, 2015. In March 1965, Marines landed along the beach, marking the United States' commitment to ground combat troops in South Vietnam. (Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Marines landing tanks from the USS Vancouver at Da Nang beach area.

Marines landing tanks from the USS Vancouver at Da Nang beach area. (U.S. Marine Corps)

Red Beach U.S. Marine Corps Force Logistics Command supply base in 1966, one year after the Marines landed there in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Red Beach U.S. Marine Corps Force Logistics Command supply base in 1966, one year after the Marines landed there in Da Nang, Vietnam. (Courtesy of Larry Vetter)

Four U.S. ships of Amphibious Task Force 76 appeared off Da Nang, Vietnam, on March 8, 1965. Intermittent rain and up to 4-foot waves delayed the landing at Red Beach 2 for about an hour. With the arrival of the Marines and the escalation of the air campaign, America’s military role in Vietnam crossed the line from advise and assist to offensive warfare.

Called Red Beach because of the colors reflected over the water at dawn and sunset, it is now considered a clean, peaceful tourist attraction, about 9 miles from Da Nang’s city center.

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