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Recalling KheSanh


Here's what I remember about Khe Sanh -

We were airlifted from Utah Beach (Wunder Beach) to the Rock Pile, a marine base near Khe Sanh, spent the night and the air lifted by helicopter again to a hill close to Khe Sanh. We moved out as a company and ended up on a small hill between Khe Sanh marine base and the Laotian border. We were closer to the marine base than Laos. The area had been heavily bombed, was no vegetation on the hill and body parts were every where. The stench of death hung heavy in the air. The North Vietnamese Army Regulars (NVA) were firing rockets at Khe Sahn and they were coming right over our heads. You could heard their scream or whistle. We were waiting for one to come in on us with our shallow fox holes. That whole mess was terrible. We pulled pulled patrols, found and destroyed munitions and engaged the enemy for several days from this position (the hill). We then made a combat assault onto another hill overlooking Laos. Our squad was on the 1st or 2nd helicopter. We recieved enemy fire coming in, but we all got down safely. Fowler was pissed because he wasn't there at the hot landing zone (LZ). He liked action, but took care of the company. The hill had only a few trees near the top and over the sides about 100 ft down and was L shaped with the bottom of the L pointing towards Laos, the bottom of the L being a small lower ridge running off the main ridge.
As we were pushed the NVA off the hill I ended up down on the lower ridge with only one other man. I heard what I thought was some movement in the tree line below. I froze for a couple of minutes before I started firing again. I let them get away to cover. This is where the attack came from that night. We dug in on the main ridge with a couple of positions (3 to 4 men each) out on the smaller ridge. For the operation at Khe Sanh, to bring the company nearer company strength, they brought people back from the rear with only NINE days left in country. With the luck of the draw or whatever some of those guys were out on that ridge (that is what I heard). That night we were hit hard by an unknown size force of NVA, first with sappers (NVA with explosives strapped to their bodies who would blow themselves up after getting into your position) and then by ground forces. They did break through our perimeter but were eventually repelled. I was 100 ft to the left of those positions while facing Laos. Someone (either a wounded American soldier or a NVA) was outside the perimeter yelling "medic" "medic". It was hard to hold your position and not go out to help not really knowing whether if it was one of your buddies or not. It was one hell of a long night. I feel some guilt about those that were killed that night.....

The links below do not show the daily records, however "some" of the information is pulled from them.

This page is dedicated to those men that served with Company  C, 1st Battlion, 5th Cavalry and especially those who lost there lives.

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Copyright © October 2001