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Old 19-02-2015, 01:18 AM   #12
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Lightbulb 41st Special Forces

Norris V Rattus Torture Scene - Missing in Action 2 ..
The Battle of Lima Site 85, also called Battle of Phou Pha Thi, was fought as part of a military campaign waged during the Vietnam War and Laotian Civil War by the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) (then known as NVA) and the Pathet Lao, against airmen of the United States Air Force 1st Combat Evaluation Group, elements of the Royal Laos Army, Royal Thai Border Patrol Police, and the Central Intelligence Agency-led Hmong Clandestine Army.. The battle was fought on Phou Pha Thi mountain in Houaphanh Province, Laos, on 10 March 1968, and derives its name from the mountaintop where it was fought or from the designation of a 700 feet (210 m) landing strip in the valley below, and was the largest single ground combat loss of United States Air Force members during the Vietnam War..Towards the end of 67, North Vietnamese units increased the tempo of their operations around Phou Pha Thi, and by 68 several attacks were launched against Lima Site 85.. In the final assault on 10 March 68, elements of the VPA 41st Special Forces Battalion attacked the facility, with support from the VPA 766th Regiment and one Pathet Lao battalion.. The Hmong and Thai forces that were defending the facility were overwhelmed by the combined North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao forces...

"An Air Combat First" – CIA painting of Air America helicopter engaging 2 VPAF An-2 biplanes..

On 18 February 1968, a North Vietnamese artillery survey team was ambushed near Lima Site 85 by Hmong reconnaissance teams, killing a North Vietnamese officer in the process.. The dead officer, who was a major, carried a notebook which revealed a plan to attack Phou Pha Thi by using three North Vietnamese battalions and one Pathet Lao battalion..Consequently, U.S. personnel at Lima Site 85 directed 342 air strikes within 30 meters (98 ft) of their own facility to disrupt their opponent's build-up during 20–29 February.. Unknown to the USAF, however, the Vietnam People’s Army had also drawn up a plan to capture Lima Site 85 by deploying its Special Forces. The task of capturing the U.S. facility was entrusted to a platoon from the VPA 41st Special Forces Battalion, led by First LT Truong Muc.. The platoon numbered 33 soldiers, and they were reinforced by a nine-man sapper squad and a communications and cryptography squad..Prior to the mission, Muc's soldiers had undergone nine months of special training, mainly focused on mountain fighting techniques and jungle operations..

To capture Lima Site 85, the North Vietnamese Special Forces were equipped with 3 Chinese-made K-54 pistols, 23 AK-47 assault rifles, four 7.62mm carbines and 3 RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade launchers..They carried 200 rounds of ammunition for each AK-47 rifle, 6 rounds for each RPG, 400 grams (14 oz) of explosives, and 6 hand grenades.. The weapons load, in addition to 15 days of rations and other personal items, required each North Vietnamese Special Force soldier to pack between 42 kilograms (93 lb) to 45 kilograms (99 lb)..Shortly after the North Vietnamese Special Forces arrived at the assembly point, they moved off to an undisclosed location for two days to test-fire all their weapons, and to ensure their explosives were in good working order.. On 9 March, elements of the VPA 41st Special Forces Battalion arrived in the vicinity of Phou Pha Thi, where they made final preparations for their assault...

Just before midday on 11 March, the USAF turned their attention from looking for their missing personnel to that of destroying the captured radar, along with all the documentation and operation information left behind at Lima Site 85.. Between 12–18 March, the USAF conducted a total of 95 strike sorties against the radar site, and on 19 March an A-1 fighter-bomber destroyed every building at the old facility. In addition to the destruction of their radar equipment, the USAF bombing of Lima Site 85 may also had the effect of obliterating the bodies of U.S. personnel left behind at the site..For the USAF, the loss at Phou Pha Thi was not a result of intelligence failure, because it had been provided with accurate information from the very start.. Instead, it was clearly a failure of command and control, as the U.S. personnel and their Hmong allies were not permitted to freely organize their own defense to hold the radar facility..The Battle of Lima Site 85 resulted in the largest ground combat loss of USAF personnel during the Vietnam War..A total of 12 U.S. personnel were missing or killed in the fighting on Phou Pha Thi; 11 were killed or missing on the ground and one was shot dead during the evacuation.. The single fatality occurring during the evacuation was Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Richard Etchberger who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in September 2010 for his role in helping 4 injured airmen into the evacuation helicopter lift sling..The total casualty figures for North Vietnamese, Pathet Lao, Hmong, and Thai units are unknown. According to official Vietnamese history, the VPA 41st Special Forces Battalion lost one soldier killed and two wounded in their fight for Lima Site 85. Against those losses, the Vietnamese claimed a total of 42 Hmong and Thai soldiers were killed, and a number of others were wounded...

11 of the twelve USAF personnel lost on the day of the battle were listed first as missing in action (MIA), then later as KIA/body not recovered.. Between 1994 and 2004, 11 investigations were conducted by both Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and unilaterally by Lao and Vietnamese investigators on both sides of the border.. In 2002 two of the former VPA soldiers who had taken part in the attack told investigators that they threw the bodies of the Americans off the mountain after the attack as they were unable to bury them on the rocky surface..A memorial to the USAF airmen killed and missing at Lima Site 85 and other Combat SkySpot airmen is co-located on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, with the memorial to Operation Arc Light airmen... did you expect?. Are you an assassin?..I'm a soldier..You're neither..You're an errand boy, sent by Grocery clerks, to collect a bill...

Last edited by lightgiver; 19-02-2015 at 01:36 AM.
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