Khe Sanh Hill Fights of ‘67
Compiled by Ray Stubbe
All Rights Reserved by the Author
The official Joint Casualty Resolution Center report (Case 06750-01) states that on 09 May 1967, PVT Robert J. Todd of F/2/3 was "..struck in the head and back by small arms fire while near Huong Hoa Village, in the vicinity of coordinates SC 860375.. The tactical situation prevented other members of his unit from reaching him." An attached map correctly identifies these coordinates as approx. 1000 meters ESE of KS Ville. Was he at this location - in Khe Sanh village? Obviously he was more probably involved with the action of F/2/3, as reflected in the message to his parents: "He sustained missile wounds to the head and back from rifle fire while on an operation... On 9 May 1967, Robert's unit became engaged in heavy contact with hostile forces. His unit broke contact and due to the tactical situation was forced to leave the area." Subsequent attempts by MIA investigators to determine graves near Khe Sanh village in an attempt to locate Todd's remains might possibly be "misdirected!"
P 1203 IOZ MAY 67 FM CO THIRD MARINES BATTLE OF KHE SANH
1. THE BATTLE OF THE KHE SANH WILL CERTAINLY GO DOWN IN ANNALS AS ONE OF THE MOST FIERCE IN MARINE HISTORY. OVER THE PAST SIXTEEN DAYS I HAVE MARVELLED AT AND ADMIRED THE COURAGE OF OUR INDIVIDUAL MARINES AND THE TEAM WORK AND DETERMINATION OF OUR UNITS FROM FIRE TEAMS TO BATTALIONS.
2. A VERY DETERMINED AND WELL-DISCIPLINED ENEMY FORCE HAS BEEN DEFEATED BY THE ACTIONS OF EVERY MARINE AND OTHER MEMBERS OF OUR ARMED FORCES WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS ACTION. THIS VICTORY WAS GAINED BY THE TEAM WORK OF ALL THE SERVICES AND THE MOST COMPLETELY INTEGRATED INTER-SERVICE AIRGROUND CLOSE SUPPORT TEAM I HAVE EVER WITNESSED. WE CAN ALL BE THANKFUL WE ARE MEMBERS OF SUCH A FINE TEAM.
3. IF THERE IS ONE CONSOLATION IN FIGHTING A BATTLE, IT IS KNOWING THAT THE MARINE IN THE FRONT LINES IS BEING PROPERLY LED. NO COMMANDER COULD ASK FOR FINER LEADERSHIP THAN HAS BEEN EXHIBITED BY THE SECOND BN THIRD MARINES AND THE THIRD BN THIRD MARINES.
4. MAY GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU AND MAY HE WATCH OVER OUR COMRADES WHO DIED OR WERE WOUNDED IN GAINING THIS VICTORY. GOD SPEED.
COL J. P. LANIGAN, COMMANDING OFFICER, THIRD MARINE REGIMENT
USMC: 168 KIA, 443 WIA, 2 MIA;
NVA: 807 KIA (confirmed), 611 KIA (probable), 6 POW, 1 returnee.
Support: 23472 artillery rounds, 1915 tons of air-delivered ordnance in 1170 Sorties, and 23 Arc Lights in support of the battle. (The aerial ordnance broke down into: 611,500 pounds napalm, 3,218,500 pounds explosives, 1230 250-pound bombs, 3318 500 pound-bombs, 380 750pound bombs, 247 1000-pound bombs, 387 2000-pound bombs).
During the battle, there were 35 planes per day using the airstrip. Aprox. 200,000 pounds of supplies were delivered per day, moved by Sgt. James T. Yuspa and his two forklift drivers-actually the figure of 200,000 is misleading since the same cargo was handled 4 or 5 times before it was passed on to someone else.
end of article