Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
One of the most blistering and bloody battles of the Vietnam War.
-- -- that I.
Thought I was -- kind of knew it was good.
Soldiers fighting for the lives cut off like 1000 Vietnamese hell bent on victory.
Enemy had never shown that kind of result in a remote jungle outpost it becomes.
OK so that's next on -- -- Evening and welcome the war story.
That's CH 46 in the helicopter was a life line.
Americans fighting -- Perhaps no place more -- the scene just in case on the scene of one of the most ferocious battles of that.
6000 Marines and soldiers were task of holding a remote combat things.
Against a fearsome determined north Vietnamese -- force.
Vastly outnumbered they accomplished that -- -- -- for 77 days.
And doing unrelenting enemy fire heavy casualties and it wouldn't -- of ammunition who want it's a story I know well.
I was like the commander on one of those killed around eight.
-- tonight we'll hear from those who live.
They all during this scene at face off.
US military action in Vietnam was -- its peak in early 1960.
American troop strength and past the half million mark and the number of Americans killed in action that soared to nearly 20000.
Protests against the war.
American helicopters are used to transport the south Vietnam -- the show of strength intimidate the -- whose specialty is harassing unarmed villagers and farmers.
US military involvement -- begun in earnest in 1961.
When president Kennedy Center 3000 military advisors and those helicopters.
To the little known South East Asian nation.
He aims to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Communist north Vietnamese there was much question.
-- -- -- Vietnam would.
Ten in total loss of 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 overwhelmingly a majority of the war was fall along the DMZ.
Closest to the enemy.
And north of route nine.
-- -- roughly -- 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 -- our premiums -- it would take up positions on the hills.
And the -- in the road.
There -- put land mines.
Personnel mines there was -- 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 what we're facing is as you were leading marine rifle company this part here -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- As an air field surrounded by a very dominating hills one could -- say -- Defending it would take a lot of Americans most people.
Tony we'll -- from New York City was one of he was a 28 year old captain when he arrived graduated normal.
Join them incorporate my uncle and hopeful during the battle of Okinawa in world war -- -- had his uniform and my closet as I was growing up.
It stayed there until -- -- my -- and I thought the -- would be the way I can get the Vietnam quickest Dennis menu was just 21 when he arrived at case on.
-- would serve with kilo company until age 61.
Beautiful in terms of the -- of the -- Hey son was beautiful.
15100 feet elevation is -- -- misty -- -- around they covered.
-- and twelve foot elephant grass coffee groves who attended by -- -- -- Some only inhabitants of this remote showing the wrong.
Controlling these hills was essential to protecting the case -- Built in the -- told the law.
Besides 861 that was 861 -- -- 81 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% ambush which is to say every man every vehicle was Walz this was the beginning looking to be known as the eagle flights.
They raged through April 25 made it.
-- saying was prepared for the ferocity.
Extraordinary commitment -- the enemy made.
Not just take pills with the hang on through.
It was say at several points -- war -- 168.
Marines were killed in action health fights.
Things quieted down in May the trouble was still brewing.
Those rugged -- it seemed peaceful.
But you knew that after that that it could erupt that in times 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 platoon would come back it was quiet.
And the whole company was there and and I.
The next play in the next morning to spill into the same thing 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.
You just -- almost impossible.
Westmoreland wanted to cut north Vietnam supply route the coaching and 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 case -- region you know some -- -- general Westmoreland became convinced -- -- could be beat turning point in the war.
And by December and a force of 6000 troops at the remote hard to supply outpost.
I teach in a public high school and there are days when.
Everybody comes to school knowing that two kids who might have had some words over the weekend -- -- -- have a flight school.
Principal most of the ministers almost teachers you know it's you know.
Sometimes they stop their into the Q and it was the -- there the whole world knew that there was this fight.
But it just wasn't to kids in school cafeteria.
Thousands and thousands of so heavily on people.
Despite of the factors that the Marines are nearly over war if you can chick -- world was the base of the north would.
We want to blistering attack on base that's next on war stories.
-- 46 to 1950 for the French sort of losing war in Vietnam -- -- -- -- -- -- the -- 3000 French troops lost little medicines will be 55.
Men who defeated the French the same general who's now fighting the Americans general full news -- this news.
-- right plume ready for -- from journalist's job standpoint.
All that Marshall -- -- the great hero the friendship nicknamed general -- volcano under the snow.
He's placid exterior in a fierce determination to win at any cost you and I've talked to north Vietnamese army officers.
The aftermath of this war.
It's clear to them that job saw this as a -- -- -- -- and in some type of opportunity.
Oh there's no question yes trapped in a me me.
Fair vote difficult to resupply.
The news but what he never counted on the course was in your strengths before -- -- tactical.
US -- overwhelming superiority in that.
Something the French -- -- General Westmoreland personally visit the base during the buildup.
He planned to use the basis -- to draw -- large numbers of north Vietnamese army to it then uses massive Apollo like a club to pummel them into submission.
Even -- Westmoreland.
Talking within the first.
-- said well we knew they were coming.
And what better place who engage them.
Then in -- -- populated area innovative new intelligence collection methods allow the American commander track enemy movements more closely than ever before.
Flying behind enemy lines plane struck.
Camouflaged sensors that look like -- plan sticking out of the ground.
Which were actually in tennis.
And these antennas to pick up obviously.
Voice and one case they can distinguish human presence -- urine.
-- Chemicals in the body.
Intelligence units could not only detect enemy movement and actually hear their conversations.
Errors -- recording.
Conversation being -- North Vietnamese lieutenant some of its troops.
Trying to get to one of these sensors hanging in a tree on her -- And the whole conversation is.
What is this thing and then they finally try to get their hands on it explodes.
Dennis menu was a forward observer and -- 61.
His job was to call in artillery strikes.
The first couple weeks that January he'd been on -- patrols off the hill.
And then on about the fifteenth -- the sixteenth we received word that we weren't what people outside the -- or -- -- -- and the others didn't know then.
Was that a defector had surrendered to face that morning and missed taken -- and then -- -- him.
In the whole battle plan.
He said that that night at midnight 61 was we get attacked it is oneself if -- -- effectively.
5 in the morning -- -- it.
The defector who's done the troops -- case on who were put on 100% alert it also rocketed up the chain of command and just hours all the way to the Pentagon.
In the early part of the easy way to generate.
You can hear them out -- -- -- outside -- Talking.
Yeah that ten K sound when -- -- Bob wire swung back in two different direction.
And we -- candidates out there that didn't stop its telephone from the -- on the wire.
It was eerie feeling to know that six -- seven feet out being on the Bob Dwyer in the dark and pretty soon.
There were people plan to come get.
Just after midnight north Vietnamese gunners unleashed a ferocious barrage of rockets mortars RPG.
Sixty -- Promised attack was -- Prepared for them and yet they were still able to put sports and sports people.
On the go through what Dennis in his radio operator removing along a trench line when they reached a marine Gunner said -- I have to get by.
That -- and true.
What it means there's.
Soldiers when it turns out before -- soldier was going to.
Darkness she -- and couldn't seem at all but thought he was probably wounded.
And I thought for a second maybe we can just get by him just -- -- but I couldn't take that you so.
Just 45 and they stuck it out in the darkness.
And I went left him up until it felt -- At the top of -- dad -- when I touched his head.
He's had lifted up as you would -- to.
Richard hopefully -- isn't -- it was.
And we -- by the machine Gunner.
On their way of troops were killed.
Still -- Played Dolan -- company had talked it out and driven the enemy from the hill.
There was no time for rest for celebration.
Just after 5:30 AM in the north Vietnamese could soon be attacked this time.
Targeting the combat.
Just -- right.
The one side of Charlie Meredith was would call me LSU logistics support.
Which had sandbags to rations.
Paula kind of stuff and it was point.
You can hear the big guns over and -- phone called -- rock over.
They started take.
Heavy and and also -- explosion.
We'll live with the -- And there wasn't one explosion.
The same time of the what took place and home to about 12100 south Vietnamese civilians came under attack yourself -- the -- assault it's.
Four miles all.
The Marines and soldiers didn't feel that with the growing 77 days each of his son had begun and from -- Everyone and everything that things would be apart from getting fresh troops and supplies.
Could only be accomplished the C 130s -- 120 -- choppers was the right rod.
One of those fresh troops.
Was -- And me.
Gallon bladders of fuel that were touching down -- side of the aircraft.
Victorious -- and one of the C 130s who supplied debates.
Finally this crew chief came over to me and yelled in my year.
He sounds under attack again we're not stopping would drop in the land grant.
-- quick touch.
Let's go the dog and changed the -- shot out of the rear of the aircraft.
I had -- -- -- of that.
What a protective bag with all my personal boards.
And my -- -- them out -- jumped out the back to roll.
And I was looking at it wouldn't sign that Marines had made it that we'll.
-- -- -- Living under constant bombardment the ruling won't underground.
-- from the bunkers and trenches at pace on his back on war stories here on Fox News.
General Westmoreland was kind of well of the -- side.
Troops there -- the cost of it well they didn't.
I have full complement.
You're going to win the battle occasional.
Because we had to me it wasn't that I.
Thought I was -- I kind of knew it was thought.
It -- happen.
-- -- Well our our mission had had been early on at any fire based just provide.
Particularly during the evening.
During the day normally we were out on the roads.
First lieutenant Bruce Geiger from New Jersey was -- 23 year old army platoon leader attached to the 26 Marines get the heaviest armor the base we had to dusters.
Which worth between forty millimeter cannons now it's an open territory like tank -- Workable thought.
And and in addition we had two quad fifty's -- -- 450 caliber machine guns dug into bunkers and hidden beneath the triple canopy foliage surrounding the base was the largest.
And best equipped force ever mustered by the enemy you're exposed if you are above ground you were -- target.
And coming was constant and that some days -- thousand rounds of warm rain down.
Home for a few seconds.
Rooms and if you seen -- TV show that radar would get on the loudspeaker announced move tonight.
Street setup but this system was used to save lives and typically do rounds were coming from a place called -- We would get on the board and starts.
Party party party -- rock she.
Everybody went into the first hole.
Why fight my troops -- -- -- should be about being beautiful resort which is there.
-- red clay all over the front of my uniform.
I dive on the ground and an architect I could go vertical.
-- counting in milliseconds.
Placed on the space was lived under cover that there was no safe place it's that we -- do it -- the times -- I mean.
-- the creators who could stand.
Below the surface right bunker which was covered aircraft aluminum and -- aircraft back.
So was pretty secure bunker probably could take -- direct hit from small artillery -- the troops spent hours and hours digging in deep deep.
Trenches bunkers some eighteen feet deep.
Every weapon had to be done good.
That they learned the hard way.
Position rifle that was built on the edge of a 2000 pound bomb.
Just sat up there like -- sore -- and tonight we got overrun in the 41 there where it was first one of the first north Vietnamese soldiers who survived the wire.
Randy gone public with dynamite on the back himself up we'll.
I don't himself but he blew up the entire don't use our.
The men fighting for their lives a case on the C 130 Hercules cargo planes -- their lifeline.
But it was getting harder and harder to keep that lifeline -- You could count on income picking up -- some of the aircraft for coach.
Just set your clock and February 10 Marines look.
The C 130 for its carrying fuel supplies used by mortar fire.
Burst into flames six aboard dive losing them afterward general Westmoreland being C 130 million.
The Marines would have to find other ways to do resupply route to a number of aircraft.
Lost -- case where there are CH 53 helicopters and third.
How did you put how to do with.
You can be used to working in a situation that is sometimes devoid of sense.
It's a little bit of survival.
But it's everybody working towards a common goal.
And it was just gripped.
-- fun -- but you put up with that -- dealt with.
How helicopters just like this wouldn't be Marines alive and Eagles surrounding.
-- up next on -- war.
Supply was a problem because the aircraft couldn't -- much time to stop points and third in the.
You can see -- 43.
You know -- getting in -- out.
Weren't able to commit none of his -- weapons can reach the long range artillery targeting -- Those guns were far away and she is stone flips on a mountain -- Wallace called rock.
-- even survive blistering -- bombard.
Under general Giap was north Vietnamese the drugs were real -- occasions when they weren't being used news.
I think it interdict the airfield there for all aerial resupply.
It could eventually achieve what -- The base commander colonel David lounge of the 26 Marines refused to let that happen.
I want my coach Tony look -- was parallels regimental adjutant -- line.
Not in the bunker every three day.
-- Visiting troops visiting Marines.
Being successful showing himself as a true leader.
They would love to agree on every day -- to be given hundreds of tons of food medicine and most important ammunition to keep his sixth hour.
So the Marines at the.
Find a way to get supplies.
Without me and the things they've developed a system called wage low altitude parachute extraction.
Supplies for power.
-- side won Virginia.
Think we're in the planes -- Come -- Extract a little we'll all of us the first week attached to -- up.
Supplies right out of -- back here.
And we drag this -- Whatever supplies.
Off the -- was right on.
You know 100 miles an hour.
And they slide down -- runway and -- days ago all the supplies safely.
On the airfield which -- great animation but it was hard to pull off every day so most of the supplies -- dropped by more traditional news.
Point C -- over the pace and dropping parachutes which was pretty successful.
And you know probably 50% -- seven farms what they dropped.
-- close up again yesterday C 130s would appear briefly out of the clouds quickly disgorge their loads and disappear again.
Breathing heavy -- troops would slip out of the face to recover the supplies were what survive the ball.
Follow us and we're just put it there.
Landon and terrible conditions of those deals.
-- was supplied.
It's clear that supplies to the hills including 8081 north and south and he 61 -- Dennison hundreds of -- Marines based it was toughest of war.
Only helicopters to make film -- the only reason they whatever -- was do.
Bring people on the origin or otherwise -- supplies and that's below the jobs they would just couldn't get a couple feet above the ground that.
-- I was down in the ground and off they -- still.
Food water work.
Anything but plentiful as the monsoon -- settle -- and got -- -- the reason why.
How did the -- just what -- -- Invasion.
Food became an interest -- exercise that we couldn't found and people throwing C rations together making them olympians do regardless -- -- -- they -- supposed to -- -- And -- and the -- of the calories -- spending we should probably do fine we never start.
We were on a pretty.
Small diet in terms of food we I went from something like 39230.
And -- went from 34.
Weeks and when -- can figure in my right arm I think some days for a cheeseburger and talk of an option which was the case -- water.
What it was a prize from.
And we -- Michael three days without water and mineral.
Well have a canteen and no you know.
You -- way they'll share and an even giveaways the last drops of water.
And then there -- the rats.
Everything about your bunker.
A twelve foot cube on the ground -- whites electricity.
No running water.
You with that with the rats I mean rats that were on average size of a large rabbit or -- good sized cat.
And it was is pretty they were always it always in the bunkers they live there.
Back in Washington president Johnson was so concerned about case on data model -- that and put in the White House situation he used the day of review the situation -- his aides.
Johnson who couldn't -- a disaster like the French loss at the Indian food.
To destroy the enemies surrounding Casey and general Westmoreland -- -- -- the that would.
-- -- Each capable and -- 6000.
It was called operation that.
-- -- Falling on the north Newton's performance and claims seven miles -- couple -- here.
-- -- -- He's been in this place.
All the corporate bond has been -- corporate.
-- -- -- Miles long and anything to ground.
At -- what was the effect of morale.
Is blu -- took place here the Marines -- on top of their bunkers.
To can be with their covers off look and scraggly looking beat up looking worn.
Looking on shaven look and unkempt -- -- Robert Duvall and Apocalypse Now felt like victory.
He talked about -- we talked about -- -- -- troops be sure to construct.
But the north Vietnamese refused to give up.
Coming up next propaganda films show how they plan their -- to kill Americans that's ahead on forceful.
In late January 16 -- -- -- was big news.
It was in the newspapers and on television and while the world was watching the battle -- case.
-- -- -- north Vietnamese army and the guerrilla fighters known as the Vietcong were slipping in the position elsewhere then all of a sudden it.
So then gently.
-- game he would call and simultaneous.
-- city after city.
Plus tell you more than a hundred -- all.
It became known as the head offense because it took place during -- Vietnam's New Year's holiday traditionally -- time troops.
What the south Vietnamese and American defenders completely by surprise.
Eventually beat it back -- good 7000.
Us troops but it was a hollow victory.
She came of -- 500 American -- it also seriously eroded public support for the war back home.
The same time in the north Vietnamese leaders -- vowing to fight to the death.
And keep up the pressure to lead Americans out of their country.
Squad and platoon leader where banners proclaiming their determination to a -- the bombings of the noise.
These films were captured by the 173.
Airborne brigade in Vietnam.
There were shown to American troops to help them better understand the indoctrination.
Of north Vietnamese troops as well as their -- -- get congress acted against an American armored personnel carrier the vehicle is destroyed and several members of the crew are killed.
You can feel if you.
That -- -- was scorching some.
-- -- -- Oftentimes -- close and high explosive bombs.
We throw dirt shrapnel.
Struck the north Vietnamese refused to -- -- the case on despite the losses during the Tet offensive.
Of course marine navy fighter bombers bombed in straight enemy just outside the -- of the -- -- that you.
-- -- -- -- -- There's something beautiful there have been times where it's true -- -- line.
Which is like standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon -- beauty and danger mix to be -- stepped -- punishing strikes.
Started toward long -- well.
Them away all the want more.
General Westmoreland was determined not to lose -- -- home after being caught by surprise during the Tet offensive.
It's still the case crews -- the case.
They -- and another track to -- a battery out there.
-- start off with the operation Pegasus 41 year old army sergeant Joseph blogger from New Jersey became part of operation Pegasus.
The massive 30000 men relief operation for case.
He drove the dust him 42 way like that commanded by Bruce -- at the -- they have to reopened -- -- to get to.
We've already been fears and questions along the way.
News -- all these Marines who were trying to get through blown.
Wolf the same type of truck it's funny you playing on the road every time they would get up to run -- the stuff -- ahead and personal mind.
In the months and flying fears.
-- arms please.
-- It was built.
-- You get emotionally and.
Operation Pegasus was a massive -- force they came with more.
-- third marine division it was amazing.
Military supplies personnel.
And the helicopters.
They massed near camp -- well to the east of -- -- meanwhile conditions around the base remains stark.
I took that shower on the last week -- November 6 seventh and the next time that I ever saw for ourselves or watched any part of my body.
What's the six we get anywhere from three to four hours and -- literally working eighteen point out it was just so much to do.
Your deal creates a special camaraderie.
Among the men were there it's a kind of bonding that just have under -- These are people.
I guess they were full of turns coming and rescue somebody -- wounded knowing that they could very well be.
And you want your friendships.
And you won't do anything for that as they would do for you get who have we're.
-- March 13.
The Marines spend a quiet but tense day we've been over 100% alert because it was right around the anniversary of the Indian food.
And -- all kinds of rumors that they were trying to make 1 march pushing torn over on the base but the NBA -- launched a long awaited attack.
March 22 in your beliefs that the single biggest day bombardment.
Of the place to anybody -- -- -- -- -- comes as -- no.
This is just one bad day.
Don't so self pride which at a new record today at 215100 rounds -- -- -- that kind of reaction.
But there were heavy casualties.
-- guy who was very nearly one of bracket.
Came in just right in front -- -- and and and we hit -- the Charlie.
Charlie company CP bunker just dead direct hit and blew -- -- There were hurt.
About twelve or fifteen guys in the bunker and get knocked off my feet and three times -- what's the primary night coming -- And I was just pretty much shocked myself but I -- it was rumored to court for some form they ended up getting.
Five guys and -- starts tonight.
-- -- been there one month.
I shall not see.
And I will not accept.
Denomination -- my party for another term as your -- what.
Student from a major turning point for the war more popular than ever back home president Johnson announces the pending his candidacy for reelection in the beginning.
US involvement in Vietnam.
Veteran of the guys won't get.
-- -- -- The basic things out of destroyed but not playing the report.
That's next on -- school.
-- -- Pegasus was named for the winged horse of the college.
Appropriate -- the relief operation itself was something that moment.
The show of force was from the Communists.
Mostly for the camps the majority of north Vietnamese army troops -- withdraw at what point were you aware that there was a good quote relief well.
That's always go back in the states we thought it was semi humorous this idea that the the relief columns and come to get -- I don't think there was any sense of being rescued.
None at all I mean there was a sense that we've gotten -- hold them -- Broke the back of this is pushed down route nine largely unopposed and on -- they reached the combat.
This guy was black.
Seems to me helicopters in the air at one time in my life to siege was declared officially -- And the numbers were stagnant.
Marine and army artillery fire 159000.
-- -- force navy and marine fighter bombers they.
When 1000 attacks and -- fifty.
150 million pounds of bombs and from 600 -- -- short and the.
Pegasus troops arrived based gates open for the first time in 77 day.
As he left the things Bruce -- was stunned to see the surreal landscape around you area for a solid.
Five miles it's pretty much obliterated -- no no vegetation this was jungle in the mountains was pretty heavily.
I have educated area before -- god.
Created this beautiful space.
-- -- remains shrouded in countries.
Troops were killed in action most of the moons but some counts are significantly higher.
The official number of NBA -- was 16100.
But some experts believe it was up to ten times that number.
In June just weeks after the siege was broken.
The base was quietly have been.
It was really for this day.
Hard pill to swallow from the day I heard that the case on combat base.
The war was over.
She's like all that -- smaller -- -- -- The troops were told to destroy the base leave nothing behind you and slowly took everything apart everything was file -- the bulldozers -- after.
Well there's it would.
Big to take apart.
Blown up so we -- Plastic explosive reports the fourth in the bunker.
And we all put our have a profitable quadrant -- who -- the bunker helicopters removed the damaged aircraft runway was torn.
And a few short weeks the base was entirely -- Then finally there was no place for us.
We start living.
That the dust -- we -- into -- personable.
That's called the graves.
The Marines did returned the case on later in the war I commanded a rifle platoon there until 950 in 1969.
It was never again mean it hasn't happened in 1960.
What marines' emotional -- back to the heels of case on three decades live just ahead.
-- -- More changes you forever.
Anyone who's ever on the one would -- -- to prove that.
Vietnam has -- -- back.
Perhaps because so many of the wounds this will open and never lose.
I returned in 1993.
To try to see this -- it taken so many American lives.
In a different way.
And last year.
Cable companies Dennis -- -- return to the hill where he thought his life might and 33 years ago.
I picked the exact same -- -- -- -- company had taken.
Back in 1967 to get on day 61 I stood right in the holy ground used in my book -- cut down all the bushes and plants that were growing in the bunker.
And it was really pretty incredible relative standing there think of what happened -- interest or it.
Was only person.
Total silence of sound except the win.
I brought with me pieces of west -- from my church.
I wrote the names of all the precious fuel companies have been killed and so I started operating from a bunker.
Together -- -- of -- homeowners and father homer in the red persons who.
-- go 128.
Of 29 to do.
Then down it.
Think it might actually put it on and then looked back up and -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Twenty.
And project with us and I looked away twice -- Fiddle with my packing every -- -- -- back governors toaster.
And I asked -- to my children -- it would take your reference.
And then I finished and they were still standing there in the miss them.
Rain was an assistant.
There ponchos were movement and we'll go.
-- download to my backpack and the and on and saluted one time like that in return.
-- crossing things and we'll back.
It's emulator configure.
The United States case -- was a turning point.
The Vietnam War.
All who serve there was a turning point in their lives those 77 days are indelibly etched in their minds.
As -- the images of their countrymen who gave their lives defending that remote patch of land.
In the Vietnamese.
-- the war story.
-- -- I'm Oliver North forceful.
Filter by section