Item Number: 992AU0547 (Record 89864)
Lance Corporal Lance E. Tibbet Interview
Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images
2 Track Stereo (3.75)
Interviewee: LCpl. Lance E. Tibbet, USMC Interviewer GSgt. Bob Vanderwalker, USMC Location: El Toro Base, Santa Ana CA Subject: Time at Khe Sanh LCpl Tibbet was at Khe Sahn from 15 January to 29 February 1968 assigned to Echo Company that was moved to 861 and the other 3 companies to hill 881. They positioned themselves around Khe Sahn to protect the base. The Viet Cong and NVA would sneak up due to the weather. The Marines would call for air strikes and artillery regularly because they could see the Viet Cong moving around, probing to determine the strength of the Marines. Supplying Hill 861 was difficult resulting in rationing of food and other supplies, especially after Khe Sanh was isolated. Khe Sanh was heavily built up until attacked when the entire base went underground. A crew was prepared at all times to repair the airfield from mortar attacks. Tibbet views the enemy as fanatical and willing to do anything to try to capture the base. Lance Corporal Tibbet feels that the Marines fought very well. The new troops were called "boots" and they made some mistakes, but are overall good Marines. If the enemy could take Hill 861 then they could take Hill 881. The vegetation around Khe Sanh was so dense that tanks could move through without being observed. As soon as a resupply aircraft came in they would have mortars and small arms fire from NVA. They could only get men in through medivac. Some supply drops would land outside their reach and would have to call in air strikes so the NVA couldn't get the supplies at night. Lance Corporal Tibbet states Khe Sahn has enough soldiers and air support to hold the base.
Lance Corporal Lance E. Tibbet Interview, No Date, Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 23 May. 2013. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=992AU0547>.