Item Number: 992AU0707 (Record 92101)
Marine Corps Interviews
Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images
2 Track Mono (3.75)
A discussion of the siege of Khe Sanh by several Marine officers and NCOs in January and February of 1968. The recording begins in the middle of a sentence so the first officer was not identified. He discussed the defense of Hill 950 including defensive measures taken and equipment that was used to protect the forward area. Limitations of certain equipment was also discussed as well as the use of fixed wing and other aircraft as well as artillery. He also discusses work with the 37th ARVN battalion. 1st Lt. Ernest Spencer was a S-2 in the 1st Battalion of the 26th Marines. He discusses the shortage of hard information so he was forced to rely on information that the enemy provided. His need was to know what the enemy was going to do, how well the enemy would use trench networks and discusses the difficulties adding defense mechanisms. Capt. Richard W. D'Ambrosio was the officer-in-charge of MATQ at Khe Sanh. He discussed the difficulties in the area and with aircraft and some of the problems at Khe Sanh, including the weather. He also mentions injuries, morale and living conditions. Major John Hamleck was the resident officer-in-charge at the Khe Sanh air base. He discusses changes he believe should be made, specifically he believed that a back-up unit should be kept at all times ready to take over if needed. He also mentions the responsibilities he had as officer-in-charge and a discussion of enemy tactics. He discusses changes he made from normal procedures and also that Khe Sanh was a battle of attrition. Sgt. Joseph Eshelman was the NCO-IC of maintenance for MATQ 62 at Khe Sanh. He discusses the need for equipment to be heavily revetted and the methods for doing that at Khe Sanh. He discusses the damaging effects of small shrapnel and the protection of equipment. He also mentions that he had difficulties grounding the equipment in Khe Sanh, similar to difficulties in the southern United States and makes a few suggestions on improvements in his job in this area. Sgt. Robert E. Powell was a radar air traffic controller at Khe Sanh. He outlines his duties and gives specific details of a few of them. He discusses his working conditions and the lack of replacement equipment. He also discusses the lack of replacement equipment and jury-rigging by the technicians. Cpl. Walter Frame was an air traffic controller. His primary job was aircraft coordination and discusses the difficulties this presents because the airfield was limited. He mentions coordination between the Marine Corps and the Air Force and some of the differences he encountered. He also discusses different types of aircraft and enemy fire when aircraft were coming in. Recording starts and ends in mid-sentence. This is a discussion of the coordination of the various agencies working on reconstruction and pacification in South Vietnam, and the formation of the Joint Coordination Council. It took about a month to organize the council after which they went to General Cy and said here are the resources we will use to help with reconstruction. Cy then devised a reconstruction plan and became a very enthusiastic supporter of the council, and appointed a few high members of his government to work with the council.
Marine Corps Interviews, No Date, Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 18 May. 2013. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=992AU0707>.