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And welcome to war story.
This CH 46 -- -- helicopter was a lifeline to Americans fighting in the perhaps no place more for the scene just case on the scene of one of the most ferocious battles of that.
6000 Marines and soldiers -- task of holding a remote combat things.
Against the fearsome determined north Vietnamese on force.
Vastly outnumbered they accomplished that mission is where -- 77 -- One story unrelenting enemy fire heavy casualties.
And it wouldn't -- of ammunition food and water that's a story I know well.
I was right to the commander on one of those -- six -- Not.
Tonight we'll hear from those who live.
I'll bring the scene at face off.
US military action in Vietnam was -- its peak in early 1960.
American troop strength that passed the half million mark in the number of Americans killed in action had soared to nearly 20000.
Protests against the war.
-- American helicopters are used to transport the south Vietnam -- -- show of strength intimidate the -- whose specialty is harassing unarmed villagers and farmers.
US military involvement had begun in earnest in 1961.
When president Kennedy Center 3000 military advisors and those helicopters.
To the little known South East Asian nation.
He -- prevent it from falling into the hands of the Communist north Vietnamese there was much question.
But also -- and would.
Or ten in total also southeast Asia colonel John recruiter in the navy cross for now legendary act of heroism in Vietnam.
He singlehandedly destroy the key bridge and helped stop dead a major Communist invasion.
But in 1967.
Who's a marine rifle company commander.
Just south of the demilitarized zone over Wyoming -- a majority of the war was fall along the DMZ.
Closest to the enemy.
And north of -- nine.
Which are roughly girl names and then on all the way over to the border -- most of the action for the entire war was in this part of Vietnam.
And control of route nine was critical.
-- -- there was army would take up positions on the hills.
And down at the -- in the road.
There were put land mines.
Personnel mines -- was sugar RPG's.
Near the western end of route nine not far from the Laotian border was the base the case on.
Describe the geography topography of what we are facing is as you were leading marine rifle company as part you know.
It's during known is the as an air field surrounded by a very dominating hills one could even say -- Defending it would take a lot of Americans most people.
Tony -- -- from New York City was one of he was a 28 year old captain when he arrived graduate normal.
Join them incorporate my uncle and corporal.
In the battle of Okinawa in world war -- I had his uniform in my closet I was growing up and stayed there.
Until I joined the Marine Corps and I thought the -- would be the way I think it did on the quickest Dennis Mahan was just 21 when he arrived -- case on.
-- would serve with kilo company until age 61.
Beautiful in terms of the -- -- this.
-- son was beautiful.
15100 feet elevation is often and misty cloud fills out covered.
-- and twelve foot elephant grass coffee groves who attended by -- enormous.
Only inhabitants of this remote showing the wrong.
Controlling these hills was essential to protecting the case -- Built in the -- told the -- Besides 861 there was 861 -- 8081 north and -- 950 and ten or fifteen.
The north Vietnamese showed how much they wanted them by launching a blistering attack in late April 67.
It started when engineers assigned to -- company.
We're trying to secure route nine.
They had a 100% and which which is to say every man every vehicle was Walsh this was the beginning looking to be known as the eagle -- They -- through April 25 made it.
Certain saying was prepared for the ferocity.
Extraordinary commitment that the enemy made.
Not just take the hills -- There was a -- point.
Marines were killed in action -- fights things quieted down in May the trouble is still brewing.
Those rugged highlands it seemed peaceful but you knew that after that.
That it could erupt have been times when there's always this effort and.
Race to -- was a 29 year old minister from Milwaukee -- signed up as a navy chaplain.
He arrived at the case on combat -- just after the -- fights ended.
I'd have a little church service -- the -- would come back it was quiet.
And the whole company was there and and I.
It's the next play in the next morning to spill into the same -- general William Westmoreland the supreme commander in Vietnam had big plans for -- It was very busy in the sense that they were bringing in people and supplies.
Westmoreland wanted to cut north Vietnam supply route the ho chi min trail which ran through -- in the south Vietnam.
For years -- enemy had used this -- as an end run around the DMZ in the fall of 67 intelligence reports indicated that the north Vietnamese army.
Commanded by general -- millions yeah.
Was moving massive forces into the -- sound region you know some -- -- general Westmoreland became convinced k.'s son could be beat turning point in the war.
And by December and a force of 6000 troops at the remote hard to supply out forms.
I teach in a public high school there are days when.
Everybody comes to school knowing that two kids who might have had some words over the weekend I don't have a flight school.
Principal mostly ministers almost teachers you know it's too.
But sometimes they stop -- into the Q and what's the saying there the whole world knew that there was -- fight.
But it just wasn't -- kids in the school cafeteria.
Thousands and thousands of so heavily on people.
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