Khe Sanh....which the Americans set up as the major supply point for the South Vietnamese?
LS khe sanh base
ARVN trucks on highway
hole in runway
blown up choppers
c-13 takes off
tern down bunkers
map pan shot.... empty runway
shots base...mountains in BG
lewis standup closer
orig of 3356/71
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Background: Khe Sanh....which the Americans set up as the major supply point for the South Vietnamese drive into Laos is rapidly becoming deserted.
As the South Vietnamese retreat eastward on Highway nine....the North vietnamese are pushing in behind them and Khe Sanh as become a principal target of communist gunners.
In less than a week...the enemy has poured hundreds of rounds of rocket and artillery fire into the Khe Sanh area.... cratering the ground and portions of the airstrip.
Although most of the rounds did no damage...some US bunkers were hit... two helicopters were destroyed and three others damaged. Enemy commandos have penetrated the perimeter of the base once...and some GI's here think they'll try again.
American casualties so far have been light....and the Army wants to keep it that way. As the North Vietnamese continue pounding Khe Sanh....the Americans seem determined to give them fewer targets to hit.
Unofficial sources say all the Americans will probably be out of here in two more weeks.
The Big C-130 transports that brought in tons of supplies are now taking them out.
Bunkers which housed the headquarters of the various American units here are being disassembled.
Helicopters which once were parked in a long line on the airport runway are mostly gone.
One of the last helicopter outfits to leave will be the Army's second squadron, 17th Air cavalry. Some of the men don't like the idea of being last to go from Khe Sanh.
(see prod. note)
The factors that made Khe Sanh a trouble spot for US Marines in 1968 are still present. The base is surrounded by high mountains which are ideal spots for enemy gunners. It's rumoured the Americans want to turn the base over to the South Vietnamese...but the South Vietnamese don't want it.
Everyone remembers what happened heroin 1968. And with Khe Sanh currently under attack...it's evident neither the Americans nor the South Vietnamese want a long-term lease on this place. George Lewis....NBC News....Khe Sanh.