Item Number: 992AU0700 (Record 92079)
Interview with GSgt. Billy D. Martin, USMC
Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images
2 Track Stereo (3.75)
Marine Taped Historical Interview Interviewee: GSgt Billy D. Martin, USMC Interviewer: SSgt. William R. Enox, USMC Subject: Headquarters Battalion 13th Marines Date 12 September 1968 Location: 29 Palms, CA Classification: secret Sgt. Barton was at Khe Sanh from July 1967 to May 1968. He begins discussing the differences between the NVA and the VC, concluding that the NVA were equipped and behaved more like a conventional army. They discuss Martin's entrance into Khe Sanh in a large motor convey prior to the siege, and the importance of Khe Sanh to the enemy. They discuss the beginning of the siege, during which time Sgt. Martin was on R & R and the changes he found when he returned. He said that most men's personal feelings were just efforts to stay alive, the men disliked the defensive posture they were forced into. There is a short discussion of the sensors used to monitor the area around the hills protected by the battalion in Khe Sanh and Martin's opinion of the sensors. They also discuss the danger of NVA tanks, specifically to Khe Sanh and the shortages at Khe Sanh. Barton noted that the initial attack destroyed a number of supplies, though they were short of supplies they were never in dire need of anything due to the aerial resupply flights. Sgt. Enox questions Martin about the medical support and also the ARVN Unit cooperation with the Marines. The 37th Ranger Battalion was an ARVN unit that participated in offensive operations during the siege. Air support at Khe Sanh was plentiful and useful, several hundred sorties were flown daily in support of the base. They then move to the discussion of artillery and its use at Khe Sanh. The NVA had greater range on their guns, and this caused some irritation within the artillery. Overall Sgt. Martin thought morale was good, the artillerymen probably had higher morale because they were working, unlike the infantry who were in a defensive posture. He also discussed the concept of using artillery in conjunction with aircraft and the effect that action had on the enemy. He discussed the use of aerial observers and his personal disappointment when Khe Sanh was surrendered.
Interview with GSgt. Billy D. Martin, USMC, No Date, Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 18 Jun. 2013. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=992AU0700>.