-Volume 10, 15 February, 1998 -


The Vietnam War, which raged from the late 1960s to early 1970s, saw as many as 400 000 US troops serving in Vietnam by 1967. Even the heavy use of US airpower failed to stem the growing communist strength, and in 1976 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was proclaimed. Till today, the legacy of the military fiasco is still remembered, living in names etched on stone, or perhaps in the picture of a running Vietnamese girl, her skin burnt by napalm.

Kingfisher has kindly shared with us some comments and anecdotes on the Marines serving in the War, presented below in a slightly edited form:

The Tet Offensive
During the Tet offensive, the US embassy was targeted first by Vietcong sappers. Charlie killed most of the guards outside the embassy but failed to secure the building as the Marines inside, with overwhelming odds against them kept out the attackers until reinforcements could arrive

Hue City
This was during the Vietnam War. The NVA staged an offensive against the 'American Aggressors' while the Chinese New Year of 1968 was being celebrated and this one little city called Hue was in the middle of Charlie's offensive. The Marines got dugged in and took the fight to the enemy. To lose the city means more than defeat. To surrender was to never go home. So they rose to the call...and took back the city.

Khe Sanh
For the first time in 20 years, all Marine Battalions: 1, 2 and 3 Marines were deployed. Same timeline but this time it took place on top of a plateau called Khe Sanh. For 66 days and night 6000 Marines defended the remote plateau of Khe Sanh against 10000 NVA regulars. They endured heavy shelling by the enemy, while low on ammunition and supplies. They later staged a counter attack and ended the siege.

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