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The NVA had apparently gotten wind of Operation Pegasus, the counter offensive launched to lift the siege of Khe Sanh, and decided to cut their losses by moving the bulk of their troops out of the area, by the time the forward elements of the 1st Air Cavalry and 3rd Marine Divisions reached the combat base, the NVA resistance had become light, and the main forces had no major difficulty routing the remaining elements from the surrounding hills. The base bustled with activity during the first days of April as a crack ARVN Ranger battalion moved onto the base with support aircraft and equipment. This was the first time since I arrived that helicopters, which had been unable to operate over Khe Sanh because of the intense antiaircraft fire, landed and parked in the bays alongside the runway.

Khe Sanh - ARVN
A crack ARVN Ranger battalion moved onto the combat base with support aircraft and equipment.

For a few days the ARVN troops shared our bunkers during the evening hours before moving out with several Marine units to "break out" and link up with the approaching elements moving up Route 9 from the east. It was quite a show, and my men and I took the opportunity to get a well-earned rest after we prepared our equipment for departure. All but one of our vehicles were up and running by the time our replacements arrived from Camp Carroll on April 14th.

Charlie Company, 1-26 Marines, had pulled out before dawn, and we were the only personnel remaining in the sector when my battery commander, Captain James Bonds arrived around mid morning. We wasted no time hooking up the disabled "deuce-and-a-half" truck to a tow bar, and anxiously rolled out the gate onto the approach road to Route 9.


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