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Site Notices
4/25/2017 7:42:44 PM
Posted: 4/28/2001 5:42:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2001 6:12:09 AM EDT by satcong]
Site 85's location in northern Laos -- Phou Pha Thi, Laos was roughly 120 Miles from Hanoi, or the distance between San Diego and Los Angeles, CA. It provided very important intel for all bombing of Hanoi. In On March 11, 1968, An estimated 6-7 Battalions of PAVN/PL troops were assembled at the base of Site 85. This was the largest North Vietnamese offensive ever conducted in Laos. Considering the sizable enemy force assembled, Helicopters should have been assigned and sitting on the ground at Site 85 for possible evacuation. On March 11, 1968, the inevitable happened... three teams of PAVN commandos... under cover of darkness, scaled the cliffs of Phou Pha Thi. "Honored and Betrayed", Chapter 6 concerns Lima Site 85) provided M-16's, Grenades and a few hand weapons to the Site 85 personnel. The non-combat technicians were no match for the trained PAVN commandos. To this day, eleven U.S. Air Force personnel are still listed as MIA/Laos. On that fatal day in March 1968; LtCol. Clarence Finlay Blanton MSGT. James Henry Calfee SSGT. James Wooden Davis SSGT. Henry Gerald Gish TSGT Willis Rozelle Hall TSGT Melvin Arnold Holland TSGT Herbert Arthur Kirk SGT David Stanley Price TSGT Patrick Lee Shannon TSGT Donald Kenneth Springsteadah SSGT Don Franklin Worley could these men possibly be the men of LIMA SITE-85. The story of LIMA SITE-85 leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Jerry Mooney (a cryptanalyst for the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Vietnam War), has stated that the North Vietnamese made every effort to capture (alive) certain air-crewmen [those of special talents]. If indeed this was true, then the technicians of Site-85 would have been a prize package for the Communists. There have been several accounts of the communists leading some of the Americans from Lima Site 85, byt the US Government refuse to acknowledge those accounts. Jerry Mooney (a cryptanalyst for the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Vietnam War), has stated that the North Vietnamese made every effort to capture (alive) certain air-crewmen [those of special talents]. If indeed this was true, then the technicians of Site-85 would have been a prize package for the Communists. There have been several accounts of the communists leading some of the Americans from Lima Site 85, byt the US Government refuse to acknowledge those accounts. In 1990 a Captain in the U.S. Air Force interviewed a former high level Laotian commander, General Singkapo. According to William Sullivan, former Ambassador in Laos during the fall of Site 85, Singkapo was the man most knowledgeable about American prisoners of war. General Singkapo, when asked about the battle at Phou Pha Thi stated that "two or three wounded Americans had been captured and sent North". The Laotian government later stated that he was old and senile and didn't know what he was saying. They have since refused to let him be re-interviewed by any American. Was he senile and didn't know what he was saying? In June of 1992, Boris Yeltsin came to the United States with a list with forty-one names on it ---and "good news about your missing men from World War II, Korea and even Vietnam who could be alive in our country today"! President George Bush promptly rebuffed him and said he had been drinking too much vodka when President Yeltsin tried to hand him the list.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 5:53:18 AM EDT
341. Telegram From the Embassy in Laos to the Department of State/1/ Vientiane, March 11, 1968, 0532Z. /1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 LAOS. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Repeated to JCS, CINCPAC, CINCPACAF, 7th AF, and 7/13 AF. 5038. 1. As Dept has probably learned from military sources, enemy has effectively eliminated air navigation facilities at Site 85. Action began yesterday evening with artillery and mortar shelling. Decision to destroy facilities by self-destruction was taken in small hours of morning. Helicopter evacuation was arranged for first light this morning. 2. Evacuation plans have been seriously disrupted by enemy activity and several [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] personnel have apparently been dispersed from pre-planned evacuation sites. Although seven of them have been accounted for as of this time, eleven are yet to be located. Of those seven accounted for, three are dead on the site, one died in the helicopter en route and three are at Udorn. 3. In addition to these personnel, two CAS and one AIRA forward air controller have been withdrawn from their evacuation sites. Other local personnel (wounded, etc.) have also been extracted. 4. Fighting and shelling continues, as well as helicopter and ground evacuation efforts. Because of confused situation at site and withdrawal our CAS personnel (one of whom was wounded) it will doubtless be some time before we have clear picture or further significant reports. 5. We will, of course, continue reports as information comes in. At first glance, however, it appears we may have pushed our luck one day too long in attempting to keep this facility in operation.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 5:55:10 AM EDT
342. Telegram From the Embassy in Laos to the Department of State/1/ Vientiane, March 13, 1968, 0558Z. /1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 LAOS. Secret; Priority; Limdis. Repeated to JCS, CINCPAC, CINCPACAF, COMUSMACV, 7AF, and 7/13 AF. 1. Evacuation operations at Site 85 have been completed and site is currently in enemy hands. Personnel from mountain-top positions have been extracted by helicopter with exception relatively small group SGU local troops who have descended to base camp positions, joined other units there, and are withdrawing overland to previously agreed safe havens. Since we may assume that these safe havens will also come under enemy pressure soon, there may be required a second phase of withdrawals for these latter personnel. 2. Final count on [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] personnel accounts for all but three. One of these may subsequently be listed as dead if and when we can get more coherent information from survivors, some of whom in state of considerable shock./3/ /3/In telegram 5103 from Vientiane, March 12, Sullivan reported that there would be a search and rescue operation for personnel still unaccounted for, the remaining structures at Site 85 would be destroyed by napalm bombs dropped from U.S. aircraft, no publicity would be given to the battle, Souvanna would be informed, and the next of kin would be notified in the United States. (Ibid.) In telegrams 5119 from Vientiane, March 13, Sullivan reported that he informed Souvanna of the capture of Site 85. Sullivan also reported that 11 U.S. personnel were killed; the 3 previously unaccounted for were killed according to the survivors. (Ibid.) 3. Contrary to figures cited reftel, there was total of 16 of these personnel at communications site, rather than 18 as we had earlier understood. Of these 16, five were extracted alive but one was killed in helicopter when he was hit by ground fire. Eight others are known dead. Three are unaccounted for, although one of these, as stated above, may be presumed dead. 4. Confusion surrounding extraction these personnel stems from two factors not yet fully explained. First was fact that these personnel, instead of assembling at pre-arranged evacuation site, decide to climb down over face of sheer cliffs to a narrow ledge, using some sort of cargo harness system which they devised for this purpose. It is not known why or when they decided to take this action. But it is presumed that they must have thought, contrary to fact, that trail to evacuation site was blocked. 5. Second was fact that small enemy "suicide squad", which seems to have made improbable ascent up these same cliffs, surprised and caught these [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] personnel on their narrow ledge, gunning and grenading them while they were trapped in this inescapable position. It was here that these men suffered such heavy casualties and where most of them are reported to have died. Three bodies were subsequently seen on this ledge, but remainder are assumed to have fallen off sheer 2000 foot drop. 6. We and Air Force personnel at Udorn will attempt reconstruct story further from survivors when latter have recovered from sedation and shock. Conclusion, however, seems quite definitive that none of missing personnel are likely to be alive.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 5:55:49 AM EDT
7. For this reason, USAF late yesterday afternoon flew several missions against remains of navigation and communications equipment on mountain top, as well as abandoned artillery position, in order destroy materiel left behind. Photo missions are being run today to determine whether further strikes are necessary. 8. Several follow-up actions remain to be accomplished, and will be subject of meeting this afternoon between Ambassador and DEPCOM 7/13 AF. A. We must discuss with RLG and determine what, if anything, needs to be said about this action. It remains to be seen whether Hanoi or Pathet Lao radios will announce their victory. B. We must decide how to handle next of kin notification, casualty announcements, etc. C. We must expedite action for replacement site, at least for TACAN. D. We should discuss possibility that Site 36 will be next on enemy list and what contingencies we should consider there. Sullivan
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 3:07:41 PM EDT
Doesn't fucking surprise me Satcong. Not at all. We were all sold out in that clusterfuck, some worse than others.
Link Posted: 4/30/2001 10:02:35 AM EDT
I remember reading about that. What a clusterfuck.
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