TET 1968 - Đà Nàng AB

366th SPS, Đà Nàng AB 1968

by Danny Williams
© 1997

Photo: TET 1968 Rocket Attack on Đà Nàng Air Base, January 29, 1968

While stationed at Đà Nàng AB , RVN, early 1968 (the TET offensive had just kicked off that day) I was on the roving Security Alert Team (SAT) responding to every incident that took place on the flight line and the old and new bomb dumps plus the Security Police armory. We had to stop by the hospital to get my knee patched up where I had injured it earlier that morning diving on rocks to get out of the way of sniper fire (6 or 7 of us, on the blocking force team, hit the perimeter and bunched up together and needed to spread out and our timing wasn't very good, but Charlie's was, only his aim was bad). I had just busted it open thus all the treatment was to have it cleaned out and wrapped up. This did not stop us from climbing hills at the bomb dumps or running along the perimeter jumping into slit trenches. Everyone of you get the picture but what is about to come funny but typical considering all the confusion.

Photo: TET 1968 Rocket Attack on Đà Nàng Air Base, morning of January 29, 1968

One of my buddies kept calling  in to Defense Control (CSC) with the following: 'Bravo Nine to Defense Control, be advised I'm receiving incoming small arms fire.' This transmission was sent several times before defense control answered but when they did (it was not humorous at the time) they answered, 'Be advised it is friendly fire.'  We were on our way to Bravo Nine and Jim's transmission was garbled thus we did not hear the whole text but once we arrived on the scene poor Jim was fit to be tied. I often tell this story for I enjoy reminiscing about the humorous times. We all have many stories but many should probably be shared only amongst ourselves because no one else would understand our senses of humor. As I look back on the first days of the 1968 TET offensive, I was not the only young SP confused. In fact, I believe that w all were a little confused.

I'll never forget using my C-Ration box to heat up the turkey loaf in the corner of the trench. I hope to read more stories from other Vietvets. Take care and God Bless y'all.

Courtesy of Jim's Excellent Vacation: About 0330, January 30, 1968, NVA rocketeers let go with a fusillade of 122mm rockets aimed at the main Air Base. Some 36 of the large missiles landed on the main base, On January 31, 1968, the base again sustained a 122mm rockets attack, but none fell on the main base.

During the Đà Nàng Tet offensive, both sides experienced heavy casualties, but the Communist forces proved to be no match for the allied forces. According to III MAF figures, from 29 January through 14 February at Đà Nàng, Marines sustained 124 killed and more than 480 wounded. Army forces in the Đà Nàng area including the troops from Task Force Miracle suffered 18 dead and 59 wounded. South Vietnamese and Korean casualties probably equalled or slightly exceeded the American. U.S. estimates of enemy casualties ranged between 1,200 and 1,400 dead.

Reprinted from VSPA Guardmount - Oct 1995

Music & © 1998, by J. Eshleman, ll BMI
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