Forward Air Controller
2-68 Rushforth - 1
Toby Rushforth (Charles P. Rushforth III)Unit and Year:
20th TASS, 1967-1968Submittal Date:
22 June, 2003Author's Title of Submittal:
FAC Support 1968: Battle for Lang Vei - Khe Sanh Hill 64!
My FAC perspective of the Battle for Lang Vei:
I had been in country and at Danang AB for a few months and by that time, was feeling pretty confident about myself as a Forward Air Controller. By that I mean I had not only survived getting shot at pretty regularly, but managed to live through some episodes of "the stupids" in which I was lucky not to have killed myself. Early in the tour, I sometimes even wondered if I wasn't as much a threat to friend as to foe. In any event, at this point, Captain Rushforth was more of a steely-eyed predator (in his own mind).
7 February, 1968: Lang Vei.
This account of happenings on 7 and 8 February, 1968 is from my diary and reflects the facts as I knew them and my feelings at the moment.
Well! Gerry Harrington and John Buckles had their work cut out for them last night. Lang Vei was being overrun by a large enemy force supported by at least 9 tanks. They said it was an unbelievable sight, walls of tracers, explosions, what looked like flame throwers, yelling on the radios and tanks rolling right over the tops of friendly bunkers. They had difficulty sorting out targets on the ground, but said they did have a B-57 drop some what we called "funny bombs" (a frag and hot chemical explosive pattern) on tanks breaching the Camp's Southwestern perimeter. They thought the tanks were disabled by that strike?
8 February, 1968: Hill 64, Alpha 1 Firefight and day after Lang Vei:
These are the thoughts and experiences recorded on 8 February, the day after the Lang Vei Battle. Back in my quarters at 2200, after a full day at Khe Sanh, then debriefings and planning.
0550: It was hard getting up. The bed (eat your heart out guys) really felt good. Got mission briefing for the KS area and things had apparently gotten quiet. The expectation was that the NVA were repositioning for another direct assault in strength, on Khe Sanh. The weather at Danang, enroute and on the Khe Sanh plateau was poor. At Personal Equipment, Scottie, was in rough shape, really bleary eyed. He'd been up for about 24 hours. I had some maintenance problems, but pressed on. Aircraft #331 was really in pretty good shape. (Note: this is the O-2 currently on display at the USAF Air Museum at Wright Patterson AFB.)