The U-Tapao handlers of 1972 were asked to combine their memories of the attack for this website. Here is one version of the attack of 1972, by  Frank McKinley

"as you know I have total recall of very minute details of everything that has happened in my life since the age of 5...on the night of the attack...let me think back............here we go.

It was a dark stormy night with a horrendous thunderstorm brewing off to the north.... every time the lightening would flash, you could clearly see the outline of Buddha mountain.... My fearless attack dog Kriss and I were the only dog team working that night.... we were patrolling the entire base fence line, walking the whole 18-20 miles of fence every hour.

The rain was coming down in sheets, and the wind would whip thru you like a hot knife thru butter..... the later it got that night, the worse the weather got. It was now raining horizontally and the winds had gotten up to almost 70 miles per hour. I would have given anything for a smoke and a dry bed, but my duty kept me ever vigilant. On one of my many trips around the base that night, Kriss alerted on some movement in the grass. We were near the kennel area and I thought it was some of the other handlers coming out to beg me to come in out of the storm.

To my surprise 47 figures jumped from the tall grass and attempted to take on Kriss and I. Things happened so fast after that, the details would be fuzzy to a mortal man, but I remember everything as clearly as I can see this screen. I turned Kriss loose and she jumped right into the middle of the group of attackers. I quickly swung my weapon around and squeezed off round after round.

When I had emptied all three clips, I waded into the remaining sappers with my trusty K-Bar survival knife and my bare fist. Three of the sapper were able to get past my post and to the B-52 parking area, and they did cause minor damage to one engine pod. As soon as I could finish up with the remaining attackers, I ran to the B-52 area and chased off the 3 that had gotten thru.

As the storm subsided and the daylight was breaking in the east, the grueling task of body counting was started....totals for the night were confirmed, Kriss was credited with 23 kills and I had a confirmed 59, and then there were three that eluded me and were able to get back off the base...

Now that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!! 

 

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The following is Jim Mayer's answer to the E mail Traffic between the handlers.

I've heard just about enough of this criticism of a true hero by all of you wanna be's. It's time that we all come clean and admit that we are here today thanks only to Frank's selfless heroism on that long ago night in January. Frank spent all of his off time training his assigned dog to become the best our military would ever see. That dog was so good that, most nights, lesser dog teams would cower together on Frank's assigned post, while Kriss would keep the base safe. Many nights Frank did not even accompany the dog.

She was so well trained that Frank was only needed in cases of extreme emergency like Jan.10th.  I am including a picture ( photo below) to document this fact. Note that although Frank looks utterly relaxed, he is ready to spring into action at the first sign of aggression.

 

Above: Frank McKinley in the modified K-9 prone position.

 

                      

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