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  A Shau Valley
    • Hué Cit Airfield
    • MACV Compound
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    • Hué Goose
  Battle of Hué (Tet 1968)
    • Trail FACs
The Missions
  Visual Recon
    • Sunken Sampan
  Close Air Support
    • Rules of Engagement
    • TACS
    • Battle at Hua Cu
    • McNamara Line
    • Choke Points
Ranch Hand
Arc Light
  Hammer 51 Rescue
  Search for Jolly 23
  Jungle Penetrator



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Trail FACs During Tet
Escape from the MACV Compound

Some of the Trail FACs under siege at the MACV compound during Tet 1968 made their escapes through the LCU ramp.   They found their way to Danang where they picked up new O-2s to join the fight at Hué.   Here are a few of their stories.

Tom Eigel, Trail 32

Major Tom Eigel This is from the diary of Tom Eigel, my predecessor as Trail 32:
  11 Feb 68:   Down to the LCU ramp to LCU #1614 for transport to Danang.   Can't go; weather too bad for air cover.   The Navy guys crying because they have no Coke.   They have beer, though;   Me and the intel Sgt steal some Coke for them so they give us some beer.   What a trade!  

12 Feb 68:   Leave Hue on the LCU at 1645.   Bad guys shoot 57mms [recoilless rifles] at us on the way down the river.   I'll remember that village and blow it away if I ever get the chance.   Those rounds are scary when you are hiding behind one inch steel on the side of a ship!   LCU Captain (a CPO) shoots at "VC" dog on the other side of the river because he says his Thompson won't hit anything in the village as it's too far.   Arrive at Danang at 0100 on the 13th.

Click here for more of Tom Eigel's story.

Bob Dubois, Trail 33

This is an extract from Bob Dubois' story of his experience during Tet 1968 at Hué.   Bob left the compound on February 1st.

  The Navy had a river patrol station about three city blocks from the compound.   The Army was able to get helo transports into that position to resupply ammo and food.   The second night was spent trying to secure a clear path between the river and the compound.   On the morning of the second day it was decided that we FACs could do more if we could get to Danang and get aircraft.   I went to every room and told people we were planning to get out of the compound and if they had any letters ready I would mail them in Danang.   I packed up my clothes and flight gear and along with four others loaded one of our jeeps for the dash.   I went back around to all the rooms and collected over 60 letters guys had written and headed for the jeep.   We had wounded that were placed on the bed of a two ton flatbed truck.   We followed behind in the jeep, driven by the ALO, and loaded with five FACs and what equipment we had.   During our run to the river we did have a couple rounds fired at us but no hits were scored.

At the landing we helped unload ammo from a banana chopper [CH-47] and then helped load the wounded.   Once loaded we closed the doors and lifted off flying down the river and after gaining altitude headed for Hué Phu Bai.   We landed on the Army side of the base (east) and after gathering our things walked to the edge of the runway.   We did not see any traffic so we crossed the runway and headed toward operations.   A C-123 was taxiing by and I waved it down.   The cockpit window opened and the pilot stuck his head out so I shouted "Danang, Danang".   The pilot nodded and then the back ramp came down.   We ran around behind the C-123 and jumped on board.

When we arrived at Danang we went to operations.   The other four guys went to get flying gear, and I asked for an available aircraft.   They had one so I left my clothes in ops and headed to the line to fly.   Within 15 minutes I was back in the air heading toward Hué to do what I could in support of the guys in the compound.  

Click here for Bob Dubois' full Tet '68 story.

Hué           Battle of Hué           LCU Ramp