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  • Dac Cong Sappers

    I'm working on studies about Dac Cong. I need to know what happened to the 41st Dac Cong team after the 10-11 March 1968 raid on Lima Site 85 atop Phou Pha Thi in NE Laos when they attacked the covert Commando Club installation.

    (1) Were they reassigned to other missions? If so, where and when?

    (2) Was there a combining of multiple Dac Cong units into a Dac Cong Command? If so, what are the details?

    This is very important and I have a deadline to meet. Any help will be appreciated.

    Willi Pete
    RVN, Thailand, Laos 1967-1968

  • #2
    re my DAC CONG post at LS 85

    I had a lead that suggested the 41st (the Sappers who attacked Commando Club technicians atop Phou Pha Thi on 11 March 1968 @ 0315) were later merged into the 316th Regiment of PAVN Infantry.

    Can anybody confirm that?

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    • #3
      Willipete, you'd probably do better on facebook Vietnam history page @ VietnamWarHistoryOrg
      dit: Lirelou

      Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

      Comment


      • #4
        Dac Cong Sappers

        I've uncovered quite a bit of information on the 41st Sappers attack on Phou Pha Thi, and am now merging it with the US actions that night to produce a better understanding of what happened that night (0300-0900 11 March 1968).

        My original question "What happened to the 41st Sappers after the attack?" is still unanswered.

        I have one source who said the unit was reassigned to northern DRV, and the unit commander was subjected to a court-martial.

        Considering the fact that the raid itself was a total success, the result of political and military planning and refinement since 1966, it seems very strange that the commander and unit were not made national heroes in North Vietnam. Not only that, but the successful integration of Sappers as a major component of a Combined Arms (infantry, artillery and Sappers) offensive, in this new configuration, was celebrated in later DRV military history documents.

        Does the "crime" fit the punishment?

        After the Commando Club site was secure by the Sappers and the USAF/RLG subsequent air attacks had ended, command and control of the mountain top was turned over to the PAVN 316th Division (923rd Bn, and 927th Bn).

        At that moment the question by the new commander should be: "Where are the US KIA bodies?"

        Of the 16 US technicians present for duty (1 Lt Col, 1 Capt, 1 CMSgt, and 13 EM of various grades) 5 were rescued (Air America - 4, one of which was KIA; and Jolly Green 67 - 1) and 11 were left behind.

        If the Sapper commander was subjected to court martial, what was his offense and who reported it?

        My belief at this time is that there was some action akin to a war crime, and it was reported as such by the 316th commander through channels (Northwest MR in Son La Province, DRV; Vieng Xai cave complex for Xam Neua Province, Laos; and Hanoi).

        Phou Pha Thi is still off limits today, 48 years after the event. That can't be due to Lao desires to make it a nature park tourist attraction. It seems to be a whole lot more like a Crime Scene Investigation site minus the yellow tape.

        Aside from the possibility of some major secret event occurring with Commando Club personnel, there is also the question of what happened to the approximately 150 tons of high tech USAF command & control precision guided bombing equipment owned and operated by (sheep dipped) USAF Strategic Air Command. And, the parallel question is what happened to the codes, code book, tech documents and manuals, etc is of equal importance. The third question is what about possible escapees from the battle who most likely eventually became KIA or POW's? Of the 11 unaccounted for MIA on 11 March 1968 we can say with some accuracy that all but three are accounted for as of this writing.

        If readers have any facts, or keen analytical thoughts about the answers to these questions, please contact me.
        Thank you!
        WP

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WilliPete View Post
          "Where are the US KIA bodies?"
          You put everyone here at quite the disadvantage by saying you've uncovered a lot of detail, but then not presenting it. It dissuades anyone from presenting anything they may know lest you come back with a "No, you're wrong, I already know about that." If you want the best answers, you have to choose to provide the best info available. That's just my two pfennings.

          However, as to the location of the American remains, there is a thread on this forum which told the tale of the bodies having been tossed over the side of the mountain. Apparently the area has been searched by the MIA teams from Hawaii and bits of American uniform were found. Lima Site 85 has been discussed quite a bit on here.

          Cheers,
          Dan.
          So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

          Aldous Huxley: Ends and Means (1937)

          Comment


          • #6
            I understand your point and I wouldn't argue against it. I have no intention of debating. I have no desire or need to point out a person's error (even if it is an error). I've been involved in Commando Club personally since October 1967.

            I have narrowed the "unaccounted for" down to three. Their names are Hall, Worley and Price.

            I can't divulge my sources at this point.

            I'm looking for new leads... paths to facts.

            I appreciate anything that can advance our understanding.

            Thank you.
            WP

            Comment


            • #7
              I spent 3 hours on the telephone with a Branch Chief/Senior Analyst and Linguist yesterday at the Vietnam War section of the US Defense POW/MIA Accountability Agency in Hawaii. That also involved several days research. We expect to continue our work all afternoon today. I am discovering that they have many crates of information which is 4 decades old and mostly forgotten. We are opening some of those crates.

              Again, if anybody has information regarding 41st Sappers after the attack on Lima Site 85, Phou Pha Thi, Laos would you please just drop me a line.

              We have a lot of POW/MIA and KIA family members hoping for closure.

              Thank you,
              WP

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WilliPete View Post
                I've uncovered quite a bit of information on the 41st Sappers attack on Phou Pha Thi, and am now merging it with the US actions that night to produce a better understanding of what happened that night (0300-0900 11 March 1968).

                My original question "What happened to the 41st Sappers after the attack?" is still unanswered.

                I have one source who said the unit was reassigned to northern DRV, and the unit commander was subjected to a court-martial.
                I have one source who said the unit was reassigned to northern DRV, and the unit commander was subjected to a court-martial.
                ==> I think it never happenning!

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is After action report of PAVN about this battle!

                  http://www.vnmilitaryhistory.net/ind...9304#msg289304

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Reply to your suggested reading

                    Thank you for posting.

                    I don't read Vietnamese.

                    Is the document you provided the same as the Military History published in Hanoi, Volume III. I refer to Major Do Chi Ben:

                    Translation of Chapter 11, entitled "Tran Tap Kich Vao Khu 'TACAN' tren Nui Pa-thi cuar Phan doi Dac Cong Quan Khu, ngay 11 thang 3 nam 1968"[Raid On the "TACAN" Site Atop Pha-Thi Mountain By A Military Region Sapper aTeam On 11 March 1968], pp. 181-205 (plus map), in book entitled, "Quan Khu 2, Mot so Tran danh trong Chien tranh Giai phong 1945-1975 (tap III)" [Military Region 2, Several Battles During the War of Liberation 1945-1975 (vol. III)], Nha Xuat Ban Quan Doi Nhan Dan Viet Nam [People's Army of Vietnam Publishing House], Hanoi, 1996. Translated and edited by Robert J. Destatte, 11 May 1997 and 7 April 1998.

                    I have read this, studied this, and found it useful. Thank you.

                    WP

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'll be meeting with Lt.Gen. Linnington, USA (Ret.) who is the new Director, Defense POW/MIA Accountability Agency during the 4 day 47th Annual National League of Families meeting in Washington on 22-25 June.
                      Our focus will be on Lima Site 85 and Commando Club. I have put together a ~ 90 page document for him. I'm hoping for some new developments as a result of our discussions.

                      Does anybody have any new information? And, especially any new or additional information relating to 41st Sappers?

                      Thank you!

                      WP

                      Comment

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