In June of 1967 Bravo Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion was assigned to patrol the areas around Khe Sanh Combat Base and moved to Khe Sanh. Bravo set up shop along the main road just east of the PX and Post Office. The air strip was just north of the recon area and the Scout/Sniper area was between recon and the main ammo dump. Across the road was the Regimental Command bunker and CP complex. At the time, the area was in a great location; it was a short walk to the club for a couple beers in the evening and the mess hall was just down the road to the west.
After the Hill Battles in early 1967 the area seemed to be fairly quiet. When I joined Bravo company in December of 1967 the area had electricity and some of the tents had small refrigerators. Living conditions weren't too bad if you didn't mind a few rats joining you in your bunk at night. When we weren't out on patrol we were assigned to work details or we might accompany re-supply runs out to Lang Vei. We went into Khe Sanh village and roamed around the area buying crossbows from the Bru or getting noodles at "Howard Johnsons". Our teams were making contact on patrol, but between June and December, the company only had two fatalities. Garry Tallent was KIA on a patrol in August and Marion Meggs drowned while his team was crossing a river.
In mid-December our teams were sighting more and more large groups of NVA troops moving into the area around the base. Patrols were reporting enemy "highways" in the hills west of the base and 122mm rocket sights were located and destroyed west of Hill 881 South. Contact with the enemy became more frequent and three more men were KIA in the last two weeks of December. On January 14th recon team "Dockleaf" was patrolling in the area of Hill 881 North when they were ambushed and suffered two KIAs. Another team,"Barkwood", was sent to the same area on January 20th with elements from India Company, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines. That patrol was ambushed as well and two more recon men were killed in that encounter. The next day, January 21st, the NVA launched a rocket and mortar attack on the base, starting the "Siege of Khe Sanh". Before Bravo Company left Khe Sanh to re-join the Battalion at Quang Tri, ten more men from Bravo Company died at Khe Sanh.
Life in the V-ring
photo courtesy of Dick Swanson
|Last Name||First/Middle Name|
|Mc Cann||James Kevin|
|Reather||Wallace Lee Jr.|
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