Warrior Wednesday

Remembers the Siege at Khe Sanh…

Whenever there is an anniversary coming up, I prefer to observe it before the date instead of after, so even though the actual anniversary for the start of the siege at Khe Sanh, Vietnam isn’t until January 21, I’d like to highlight today’s Warrior Wednesday with a salute to those who were there.

Khe Sanh, which lay south of the DMZ and a few miles from the Laotian border was one of the most publicized and controversial battles of the Vietnam War.

The base had been an old French outpost. In 1967 the U.S. Marines took the outpost and since used it to add security to the U.S. Navy (SeaBees) who were working on the old airstrip, and as a staging area for forward patrols.

The battle began on January, 21, 1968, with a firefight involving the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines and a North Vietnamese battalion which was entrenched northwest of the base. On January 22, the Viet Cong overran the village of Khe Sanh and North Vietnamese long-range artillery opened fire on the base. The main ammunition dump was hit and 1,500 tons of explosives was detonated.

The Marines were pinned down at the base by a relentless barrage of firepower so the American Command began preparing for airstrikes and massive artillery strikes, while also relying on air transport to drop in much needed supplies to the Marines.

The siege lasted 66 days with U.S. planes, dropping 5,000 bombs daily. In early April Operation Pegasus began, with the 1st Cavalry and a South Vietnamese battalion approached the base from the east and south, while the Marines pushed west, reopening the route to Khe Sanh.

On April 6 the 1st Cav met the 9th Marines south of the Khe Sanh airstrip and a week later one final battle involving the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines drove enemy forces from their position they had held at Hill 881.

All in all, about 6,ooo Marines held off over 15,000 VC troops for over 70 days. By the time the siege was broken, 205 U.S. troops had been killed and another 1,668 had been wounded. More than 1,600 enemy bodies were found along the base’s perimeter after the fighting in an incredible clash which once again proved the will and courage of our U.S forces.

I highly suggest reading this detailed article about the build up to the siege and how it unfolded. This article about little known facts about the siege is interesting too.

I haven’t had time to watch this whole video yet, but it looks good, and I’ll be watching it as soon as time allows, but for those who prefer watching to reading or have time for both,

God bless all our troops, keep them safe Lord please. Thank you to all those who have and still serve, and thank you to the families and friends who sacrifice in ways most people don’t consider.

Have a blessed day all.