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Khe Sanh

Two Presidential Unit Citations were awarded for actions surrounding the Siege of Khe Sanh in 1968. The first award was made to the 26th Marines and supporting units in April 1968 for the 77 day period of the Siege. The USAF 834th Air Division (including aerial port and maintenance squadrons) was awarded the second PUC in 1969. The CO of the 109th QM Co (AD) and the other Rigger units operating in RVN during the Siege assumed or understood that the Rigger units would be included in one or both of the nominations for the PUCs. That understanding and/or assumption proved in error creating one of the injustices to come out of the Vietnam conflict.

In 1996 members of the 109th Quartermaster Company (AD) began research to gather documentation with a view toward having the Rigger units supporting the USMC and the USAF awarded the PUC. This was to be either through a separate action or by adding the Rigger units to the task organization of the 26th Marine or the USAF 834th Air Division.

The results of the extensive research and subsequent documentation were presented to the Quartermaster General in 2002. Upon review, the QMG enthusiastically recommended action and forwarded the documentation and recommendation to Senator John Warner (per regulations for congressional approval) and the Awards Branch at HQ DA in June 2002. Senator Warner strongly endorsed and forwarded the packet to HQDA.

The attached documentation is the packet that was forwarded by the QMG with subsequent additions. The recommendation (as best known) has resided with the Awards Branch since December 2004. Thus the action to correct this injustice has and will apparently remain buried in the records of the Awards Branch at HQDA. The RISKS (Riggers in Support of Khe Sanh) will obviously go unrecognized as one of the key elements in the successful defense of Khe Sanh.

Links to the documents submitted and correspondence
are on either of the websites above.