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Rons Toys
Posts: 74
(4/26/01 3:42:06 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del All Khe Sanh links & pics
Khe Sanh Veterans Home Page (links and pics)
The Hill Battles at Khe Sanh, compiled from records and personal naratives of
those involved.

The importance of Khe Sanh relates to an opening in the rugged mountain chain
that forms a natural boundary between Laos and South Vietnam known as the D'Ai
Lao. Two other passes to the north, Mu Gia (WE 8153) and Ban Karai (XE
262117) provided access to NVA units moving south relatively unimpeded along
what came to be known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The D'Ai Lao (the pass
through which Route 9 passes to and from Laos) had been an ancient invasion
route, used in 1282 when the warrior Chams in Vietnam moved westward. (Note:
the tactical maps show KSCB as "Xom Cham," or "village of Chams"), in 1666,
when Vietnamese extended their influence into Laos, in 1827 by Siamese moving
east, pushing the Vietnamese to Cam Lo. Road construction beginning in 1904
under Capt. Odend'Hall made it into Route 9. As development of the Ho Chi
Minh trail progressed, the Laotian town of Tchepone on Route 9 was overrun in
May, 1961, and, being concerned over a "porous border," the Americans placed a
Special Forces "A" team in Khe Sanh ville on 8 July 1962, lest penetrating NVA
troops and supplies have free access into Vietnam. The Bru tribe, covering
both sides of the border, became a natural source of information for Americans
on what was happening on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, as did the local French coffee
plantation owners who traveled westward on Route 9 to Savannakhet in Laos. An
airstrip (later KSCB) was developed by ARVN engineers in Nov-Dec of '62.
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