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Item Number
992AU0753
Record Number
92282
Title
Marine Corps Historical Interviews
Language
English
# of Media
1
Creation Date
19 March 1968
Collection
Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images
Media Type
Audio (Reel-to-Reel - 2 Track Mono [3.75])
Length
37:11 min/sec
Physical Location
CS69.5
Description
This recording contains several interviews regarding aerial support in the Khe Sanh area. First Marine Air Wing Taped Historical Interview Interviewee: LtCol. Richard Taber, USMC VMA 311 MAG 12 Interviewer: Cpl. Kenneth Smith, USMC Date: 22 January 1968 Location: Chu Lai Air Base On December 28, 1968 while on alert VMA 311, the unit set a record for the number of sorties flown during a single alert. The first scramble call was received at 0700, just as the unit was coming onto alert. A majority of calls were in support of the 3rd Marine Division in the Con Tien area, but operated throughout I Corp area. At midday calls were awaiting aircraft availability, as the first standing team could not fly any longer, they had flown the max. number of sorties for the day, pilots from other units volunteered to aid in the effort. During the alert, a shortage of ground crew and pilots required administration personnel to aid in refueling and rearming the aircraft. The pace did not lower until dark when the weather at the airfield and in the operating area deteriorated badly. Even in the hectic pace the success rate was extremely high, as all safety and quality control checks were still enforced. First Marine Air Wing Taped Historical Interview Interviewee: undeterminable, USMC VMA 311 MAG 12 Interviewer: Cpl. Kenneth Smith, USMC Date: 22 January 1968 Location: Chu Lai Air Base. This pilot described scramble missions in support of Khe Sanh on January 21, 1968 in which air support dropped chemical fused bombs with fuses delayed for 12 to 36 hours on enemy infiltrating the base. During this mission, one plane was lost to ground fire, the pilot was recovered with a sprained ankle. During this one day the unit launched 54 sorties within eighteen hours. The pilot gives the ground personnel high praise for their dedication, allowing rapid turnaround of aircraft. First Marine Air Wing Taped Historical Interview Interviewee: Captain Robert M. DeaMorie, USMC VMA 311 MAG 12 Interviewer: Cpl. Kenneth Smith, USMC Date: 23 January 1968 Location: Chu Lai Air Base. This pilot speaks about priority mission at Khe Sanh. Due to unfamiliarity with the area the pilot could not locate the target easily, and ultimately had another aircraft lead him into the target. The aerial commander had about eight aircraft operating in a close area. First Marine Air Wing Taped Historical Interview Interviewee: Captain David B. Williams, USMC VMA AW 533, MAG 12 Interviewer: Cpl. Kenneth Smith, USMC Date: 23 January 1968 Location: Chu Lai Air Base This interview discuss a A-6 mission during Operation Rolling Thunder on an airstrip near Haiphong. The airstrip was regarded as important because it was able to support MIGs. The target is heavily defended. The bombardier/navigator stated that at the 500-foot attack altitude, the enemy radar was unable to locate the aircraft and ground fire as directed at the sound of the aircraft. The mission was successful because of the detailed planning. First Marine Air Wing Taped Historical Interview Interviewee: Major William E. Loftess, USMC VMA 311, MAG 12 Interviewer: Cpl. Kenneth Smith, USMC Date: 24 January 1968 Location: Chu Lai Air Base The last pilot told of his role in close air support over Khe Sanh during which his aircraft was shot down by .50 caliber ground fire. Prior to ejecting, the pilot guided the aircraft away from American soldiers. He ejected and was immediately rescued just inside the Khe Sanh wire by a Huey and flown back to Chu Lai, where he was checked out and released.
Citation
Marine Corps Historical Interviews,  19 March 1968, Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 23 Oct. 2014. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=992AU0753>.
Pub. Credit Line
992AU0753, Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University
 
Added: 16 Aug 2002[Updated: 27 Nov 2013]

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