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This is the view from my bunker. If you enlarge the pictures you will notice some smoke and a flash. That
is a marine tank which was hit by a B-40. I saw all of the marines escape the tank before the ammo detonated.
Recon Team Bear. I don't know where the puppy ,"Pitard" came from. I do know we didn't keep him since rabis
was very endemic and no animals were allowed in the compound. He was too small to eat (I think) so I guess we just released
him back into the village.
We were constantly improving our positions. Here we are emplacing a CS grenade launcher.
Khe Sahn Combat Base was located at the Western end of the DMZ. The mountains you see in the background are actually
in the DMZ. It seems that almost every operational runway in Vietnam had a skeleton of a downed aircraft. The
picture on the right shows ours.
I believe that our fortifications were as strong as any similar positions could be. One RT covered about a 15
meter section of the wall. This was pretty close to shoulder to shoulder. We had two machine guns, two M-79 grenade
launchers and plenty of ammunition. In addition everyone the wall had some sort of automatic weapon. The perimeter
was cleared out to almost 300 meters. There were hundreds (if not thousands) of anti-tank mines on the ground.
There was no reason to bury them. We had three bariers of wire each backed up with claymore mines and CS gas cannisters.
The white dandbags you see in the pictures are supporting the claymores. We could see if the mines were reversed --
the NVA were industrious. We constantly made improvements as we could scrounge PSP , plywood or additional timbers and
sandbags. We almost wished for a ground attack. We were ready and I guess the NVA realized that.
SFC Ronnie Marr was the original Team Leader of RT Bear. He never led the team on the ground. While
boarding for an insertion we took incoming and the chopper lifted off without us. Ron jumped into the first hole he
could find. Unfortunately it was an ammo pit. He fell about 10 feet onto a pile of crates and fractured his leg
pretty bad. He was med-evaced to the Hospital ship "Repose" and eventially returned to the States. He was my radio
supervisor for a while on ODA-2 in Germany. People had a problem with losing valuables while in hospitals so I took
his watch and wedding ring and had it locked up in the S-2 safe. I went to visit when I got back to Ft. Bragg and the
first thing his wife asked me was where was his ring. It seems he never got it.
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A scenic view from our bunker.
Khe Sahn was not a Special Forces Base. We were part of it but the Marines were the primary tenants. We had
fire support from the marines as well as Army Artillary units. The vehicles you see are marine "Ontos" anti-tank weapons.
Each vehicle consisted of six 106 mm recoiless rifles. They were basically anti-tank weapons but also had anti-personnel
rounds. After the SF Camp at Lang Vei (just west) was over run by NVA armor, the "brass" was finally convinced that
the NVA had armor and would use it.
Practice makes perfect. Here we have set up a perimeter and are preparing to plant an anti-vehicle mine.
Not very glamorous but "on the ground" it's too late to get the bugs out.