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*VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
7 APRIL 1968....This was my battalion that performed what some troops claimed to
be a 'damn miracle' prepping the besieged troops at Khe Sanh for evacuation during
Operation Pegasus....General Westmoreland and the Marine O-in-C of the Khe Sanh
troops made national news with their arguments of defending Khe Sanh and suffering
the same fate as the French forces had done years before at DienBein Phu ..Chief

NOTE:
French defeated at Dien Bien Phu - May 07, 1954 - HISTORY.com
www.history.com/this-day-in-history/french-defeated-at-dien-bien-phu
In northwest Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh forces decisively defeat the French at Dien Bien Phu, aFrench stronghold besieged by the Vietnamese communists for 57 days. The Viet Minh victory at Dien Bien Phu signaled the end of French colonial influence in Indochina and cleared the way for the division of Vietnam ...
…NMCB-5's Detail Romeo completed a C123 capable airstrip at Ca Lu. The propject, soon to become known as LZ Stud, was begun on 14 March 1968 and was utilized by U.S. and South Vietnamese Forces during Operation Pegasus in the relief operation of Khe Sanh.
 

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Been there many times, Chief. One of those places you can't leave behind. I was thinking about the road that ran along the river to the East - then climbed out 'on-top' after the waterfall and at the old French rubber tree plantation. This was just a couple days ago. Funny that you brought it up. We operated out of the airstrip at Khe Sanh in support of Lam San 719 into Laos in early '71. I was thinking about that road because of the number of times I'd seen convoys get hit along it.

My next older brother was Engineers, but often rode shotgun on convoys. He was heading East as I was heading West across the Pacific. Anyway - his first wife used to pooh-pooh his 'You just rode on trucks!'. I'd seen enough of those guys get ambushed to know better - and most of what I saw was along that valley road. One of the last ones I saw get hit was a 5,000 gallon tanker. Not pretty.

When they closed Khe Sanh for the very last time - we were one of the last 3 aircraft out. They were touching off underground ammo bunkers and fuel storage. Looked like a scene out of Dante's Inferno.

Just one of those things you think about from time to time.
 

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*VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Been there many times, Chief. One of those places you can't leave behind. I was thinking about the road that ran along the river to the East - then climbed out 'on-top' after the waterfall and at the old French rubber tree plantation. This was just a couple days ago. Funny that you brought it up. We operated out of the airstrip at Khe Sanh in support of Lam San 719 into Laos in early '71. I was thinking about that road because of the number of times I'd seen convoys get hit along it.

My next older brother was Engineers, but often rode shotgun on convoys. He was heading East as I was heading West across the Pacific. Anyway - his first wife used to pooh-pooh his 'You just rode on trucks!'. I'd seen enough of those guys get ambushed to know better - and most of what I saw was along that valley road. One of the last ones I saw get hit was a 5,000 gallon tanker. Not pretty.

When they closed Khe Sanh for the very last time - we were one of the last 3 aircraft out. They were touching off underground ammo bunkers and fuel storage. Looked like a scene out of Dante's Inferno.

Just one of those things you think about from time to time.
Good Morning Jim...Our Battalion Gunny was there with Pegasus...he'd seen much already and
coming back to the battalion for a brief with the Skipper, he broke down...I took his prepped
report and read it to the group as he'd described it....Gunny Johnson was a black who had
his time in and soon after this incident we got a new Gunny Gawne....fresh ideas and morals
who was still with the battalion when I checked out in late 69...Chief
 

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While waiting in line for a cup of coffee at the VA in Chicago, there were a bunch of guys chatting about where they fought. They were throwing out all manner of names I had never heard. So I just kept my mouth shut respectfully.
One turned to me and asked if I was in Da-nang. I said "no, at that time I was in dia-pers."
They all had a good laugh, and didn't hold my youth against me.
 

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My last tour was in Phu Bia with the 101st Avn Bn and my last flight was into Laos 3/25/71 the last days of Lam Son719.
 

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Deja vu...The survivors of the SF camp at Lang Vei (near Khe Sanh) were reassigned to my "A" detachment after their camp was over run by NVA and tanks in early 1968. Went "sight seeing" in that area '68-'70 working recon along the trail. It and the Ashau were two of the worst areas...NVA regulars supported by heavy artillery and even tanks.
 

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Good Morning Jim...Our Battalion Gunny was there with Pegasus...he'd seen much already and
coming back to the battalion for a brief with the Skipper, he broke down...I took his prepped
report and read it to the group as he'd described it....Gunny Johnson was a black who had
his time in and soon after this incident we got a new Gunny Gawne....fresh ideas and morals
who was still with the battalion when I checked out in late 69...Chief
Hey Everyone!
My name is Gina and I am “Gunny Gawne’s” daughter. I LOVE reading all the stories & comments about my Dad and his adventures while serving as a proud USMC during both Korea and Vietnam.
I wanted to let you know that my Dad just passed away a month ago on April 9, 2022! He was 87 years and was as sharp as a tack, strong & agile.(walked 2 miles early every morning and still lifted weights to keep his muscles strong!
keep those stories coming…they bring me alot of comfort!
I love and miss you Daddy!
Semper fi!
 
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