Viet Nam

Khe Sanh Combat Base

Khe Sanh Combat Base

Khe Sanh Combat Base was a precursor to the United States Marine Corps outpost in South Vietnam used during the Vietnam War. The base's airstrip was constructed in September 1962. The clashes commenced in late April 1967 with hill skirmishes, subsequently escalating into the Battle of Khe Sanh in 1968. U.S. commanders hoped that the North Vietnamese Army would attempt to replicate their renowned victory at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, yet the Khe Sanh battle culminated in defeat for the North Vietnamese Army. The defense of Khe Sanh emerged as one of the war's most massive sieges, drawing significant international media attention, marking a pivotal phase of the Tet Offensive. On July 5, 1968, Khe Sanh was deserted, with the U.S. Army citing the base's susceptibility to enemy artillery. Nonetheless, the base's closure facilitated the 3rd Marine Division in constructing mobile command post operations along the northern border region.

In 1971, Khe Sanh was reactivated by the U.S. Army (Operation Dewey Canyon II) to bolster Operation Lam Son 719, the South Vietnamese military's incursion into Laos. The base was once again abandoned around 1972. In March 1973, American officials in Saigon reported that the North Vietnamese troops had reconstructed the old airstrip at Khe Sanh and were utilizing it for courier flights into the south. As of 2009, Khe Sanh Combat Base is a museum exhibiting war relics. Much of the former base's area is now reclaimed by nature, coffee, and banana plants.

Today's tourists can visit Khe Sanh Combat Base as part of tours through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), departing daily from Hue. Within a small museum on the former combat base's grounds, historical photographs and weapons are on display. Additionally, abandoned helicopters and restored bunkers are part of the site. A portion of the old airstrip remains visible

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