Re: 101st Airbourn
Same Army, different unit...I have never heard anyone, other than myself, speak of having been involved with OPERATION PEGASUS during TET and Khe Sanh....My Seabee battalion, NMCB FIVE, headquartered at Dong Ha was there providing landing strips for the choppers in and out....Chief
Operation Pegasus was launched by the 1st Air Cavalry Division to relieve the marines at Khe Sanh.
On 31 March, the 1st Cavalry Division took control of the 26th Marine Regiment, signaling the start of Pegasus, a fifteen-day air assault operation that ended the battle of Khe Sanh. The 1st Cavalry Division, along with the 1st Marine Regiment ad South Vietnamese 3 Airborne Task Force, began a push form Ca Lu, located east of Khe Sanh, to reopen Route 9 and relieve the pressure on Khe Sanh. The siege, in effect, was over.
The base plan of Operation Pegasus called for the 1st Marine Regiment, with two battalions to attack west toward Khe Sanh while the 1st Cavalry Division air assaulted onto the high ground on either side of Route 9 and moved constantly west toward the base.
On D plus 1 and D plus 2, all elements would continue to attack west toward Khe Sanh. Then on the following day the 2d Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division would land three battalions southwest of Khe Sanh and attack northwest. The 26th Marine Regiment, holding Khe Sanh would attack south to secure Hill 471. The linkup was planned for the end of the seventh day.
Fire support involved a multitude of units, requiring detailed planning and coordination for the two phases of the operation - reconnaissance and attack. The objective of the reconnaissance phase was the destruction of the enemy antiaircraft resources between Ca Lu and Khe Sanh and the selection of the landing zones for use by the advancing airmobile assault forces.
The 1st squadron, 9th Air Cavalry, assumed this mission and was supported by an abundance and artillery. Additional artillery was moved onto the area during the reconnaissance phase and automatically came under the control of a forward division artillery fire direction center located at Landing Zone Stud and manned by personnel of the 1st Battalion, 30th Artillery.
The additional artillery included one Marine 4.2 inch mortar battery at Ca Lu and two 105mm batteries (one Marine and one Army) at the Rockpile. On 25 March an 8 inch battery and a 105 battery moved from Quang Tri to Ca Lu and Stud respectively. This move brought the total to 15 firing batteries available to support the 1st Squadron, 9th Air Cavalry, in its reconnaissance. All batteries in the area began answering calls for fire form the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, on D minus 6 and commenced attacking planned targets that night.
Prior coordination between the 3rd Marine Division: the 108th Artillery Group (included the 175ís of the 2/94th at Carroll and the Rockpile); and the 1st Battalion, 13th Marines (Artillery), insured that all available target information would be in the hands of the forward fire direction center and lateral communication would be established. Throughout this phase, air and artillery fire destroyed enemy automatic weapon, mortars, and troop positions.