The following pictures were taken by Richard Hull at Phan Thiet in late 1967 and Bong Son, Hué and Khe Sanh in early 1968. Dick was in one of the rifle platoons and arrived shortly before the battalion was moved north from Phan Thiet. These photos show some of the areas of operation early in the move.
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RICHARD HULL'S PICTURES
|Photos 01-06 were taken when Co.
D moved from Phan Thiet to Bong Son. The Company had a pallet of beer that they had no way
to move, and as a result, everyone had a case of beer to consume during the trip. There
was a lot of partying from Phan Thiet to Bong Son.
Dick Hull, 1968
Photos 07-21 were at an LZ where the Company spent several weeks before moving into Bong Son.
Photos 22-39 show the Observation LZ that looked over a valley between two mountains near Bong Son. It was on top of a small mountain . When the unit moved off that post, mines were pulled in and big weapons like .50 caliber machine guns were sent back to base camp. The LZ was one of the safest ones that were set up during this period. Upon leaving the area, surplus 55 gallon barrels of napalm were ignited.
Photos 40-51 were taken when the unit left the hilltop observation camp and went on patrol in the mountains. After the patrol, it was on to Quang Tri for a short period of time and then to Hué. As can be seen in the pictures, the patrol was mostly in thick, jungle vegetation.
Photos 52-55 depict the French fort the unit was sent to secure. The fort was 11 miles from Hué and had an artillery battery of self-propelled 8" guns which were very loud. The artillery fire was very effective, even firing towards Hué to a distance of 11 miles or more. Like a magnet, it constantly attracted enemy mortar fire in hopes of silencing them.
Photos 56-69 were at a staging area at Khe Sanh. The unit camped in the field and prepared to enter Khe Sanh. Note the temporary shelters set up with ponchos and some of the curious local people checking out the area.
Photos 70-81 recall the few days the Company spent at Khe Sanh and the Khe Sanh Airfield in April 1968 before heading for the Ashau Valley. The evenings were relatively peaceful and not like the siege the Marines experienced in the short period before. During the stay, a pilot of a C-130 aircraft overshot the runway and crashed into some construction equipment. It was one of the first planes to land after the siege and probably contributed to the pilot's nervousness and misjudgement.
Pictures by permission
© Richard L. Hull, All Rights Reserved, 2005-2009.
Last Updated: 01/05/09
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