by Dan Pope
The Tet offensive of 1968 was legendary. We’d all heard the horror stories and believe me they weren’t pretty. I’d been in-country for nine months and had dreaded Tet ’69 the whole time. It was the end of January 1969 and Tet was upon us. Just thinking about it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
The entire company was in our new base camp in An Khe, together for the first time, since each platoon had always worked independently. Usually, we only saw the guys from the other platoons in passing, but this was a special occasion. We were about to make the official transition form Company E (LRP), 20th Infantry (Airborne), to C Company (Ranger), 75th Infantry.
We were all enjoying the camaraderie when the word came down, “All available team leaders to the briefing room”. ALL the team leaders had never been summoned before, so we knew that something “BIG” was coming. The short and skinny was the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s S-2 had just gotten intel indicating that there was to be a major Tet offensive directed at An Khe. I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, “Oh shit, this is it, steel yourself, man. Here it comes!” The 173rd, who we were op con to, wanted to blanket An Khe with Ops as far out as possible as an early warning system against the attack. Continue reading