Khe Sanh and Lang Vei
08 March 1968
Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images
Audio (Reel-to-Reel - 2 Track Mono [3.75])
This is a recording of a debriefing of several Marines documenting attacks on Lang Vei and Khe Sanh bases on 6-7 February 1968. This recording begins with a report by a Lt. Col. Camp Carrolton was supporting both of these bases with artillery support including firecracker missions, and other aerial missions. The Marines at Khe Sanh called in artillery and air support reporting that "everyone above ground is enemy" because the rest of the Marines were in bunkers. The artillery fired HE, VT, and firecracker rounds followed by fixed wing air strikes. After several series of shelling and air strikes, the enemy retreated from the immediate area. Lang Vei was infiltrated by enemy troops and tanks during the evening and were refused reinforcements for the following morning. Khe Sanh received attacks the entire evening to keep them from aiding Lang Vei. An interview with Major General Tomkins follows, discussing the same attack. The initial attacks on Khe Sanh and the surrounding hills were a diversion for the main attack at Lang Vei. The next interviewee is unidentified, who was at Dong Ha the headquarters of 3rd Marine Division. Reinforcements were not sent from Khe Sanh because of the belief that the enemy had planned an ambush. A fourth interview repeats the same informational timeline. Due to the concern of Viet Cong being mixed in with the Laotians and Vietnamese, they are no longer allowing these people into their compounds. The last interview is with Captain O'Conner who is assigned to an artillery battery on Hill 881 in support of Khe Sanh. These artillery pieces were used in support of the Special Forces camp at Lang Vei. Firecracker rounds were necessary to sustain the base. Casualties are at a minimum because the men are living underground, and wear full body protection. Additionally the batteries receive all information for a fire mission prior to exiting their holes to fire. Captain O'Conner discusses what each artillery piece maintains at its location, to prevent massive loss if an ammo dump is hit and the composition of a bunker construction.
Khe Sanh and Lang Vei, 08 March 1968, Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 31 Jan. 2015. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=992AU0756>.
Pub. Credit Line
992AU0756, Douglas Pike Collection: Audio / Moving Images, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University
Added: 16 Aug 2002[Updated: 27 Nov 2013]