A request was sent, to the VNA (Vietnam News Agency), for permission to post these photos on this Website.  An answer was not returned, therefore I consider their lack of interest as an affirmative reply.

The VNA's file-photo collection contains a series of eight photos depicting scenes at the TACAN/TSQ site on Phou Pha Thi and the surrounding area.  Those eight photos are posted in VNA file photo album "QS III Lao, Quan Su 3, Tap III, 1968-1969" [Military III Lao, Military 3, Volume III, 196801969], pages 3-5, under the following introductory statement:

"Ngay 11-3-68, Quan Giai Phong Nhan Dan Lao da chien thang oanh liet o Pa Thi (Sam Nua), diet 250 trong do co 18 ten My va ten chi huy Pa Thi, pha huy toan bo co so chi huy cua My giai phong hon I van dan.  N. A. Neo Lao hac Xat" [On 11 March 1968, the Lao People's Liberation Army triumphed gloriously at [Phou] Pa Thi (Sam Neua), killed 250 including 18 Americans and the Pa Thi commander, completely destroyed the American command facility, and liberated more than 10,000 people.]

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VNA file photo No. L7946

Mr. Robert J. Destatte comments on this picture:

"Depicts a group of Pathet Lao soldiers sitting on the ground around another soldier who is reading from a document.  The caption reads:

Unit 'X' of the Lao People's Liberation Army fought valiantly in the battle for Pha Thi and now is reading the letter of commendation that the Lao People's Liberation Army Supreme Command sent to the unit. Photo courtesy Lao Patriotic Front."

VNA file photo No. L7948

Mr. Robert J. Destatte comments on this picture:

"Depicts a damaged and abandoned fortified postition with thatch living quarters and trenches on a knoll.  This photo depicts one of the Hmong guerrilla postions that guarded the approach to the steep footpath that climbed the southeast face of Pha Thi Mountain--the only footpath that lead to the top of the mountain. This position is located approximately at 48QUH672607, 20Eo 26' 24"N 103Eo 43' 37"E.  I base this correlation on my comparison of VNA photo L7948 with unclassified aerial imagery dated 23 March 1968 and personal observation in December 1994 and July-August 1998.  I observed this position from a helicopter several times in December 1994 and July-August 1998.  Pathet Lao troops who provided security for our excavation teams on Phou Pha Thi were based at this post.  The VNA caption for photo number L7948 filed in VNA file-photo album 'QS III Lao, Quan Su 3, Tap III, 1968-1969' [Military III Lao, Military 3, Volume III, 1968-1969], page 3, reads: 

"Nhung lo cot, ham ngam cua dich o Pa Thi bi Quan Giai Phong Nhan Dan Lao pha huy. N.A. Neo Lao Hac Xat." [Enemy bunkers and trenches at Pha Thi that the Lao People's Liberation Army destroyed. Photo courtesy Lao Patriotic Front.]"

 

VNA file photo No. L7949

Mr. Robert J. Destatte comments on this picture:

"Depicts damaged American equipment, including a prefab metal building or van and the base of the TSQ-81 antenna at the TACAN/TSQ station.  Note the galvanized metal garbage can in the debris on the right side of the operations facility.  The photographer was standing near the rear door to the operations van and facing south when he snapped this photo.  The VNA caption reads: 'Tram ra da cua dich o Pa Thi bi Quan Giai Phong Nhan Dan Lao pha huy. TTXKPL.' [Enemy radar station a Pha Thi destroyed by the Lao People's Liberation Army]."

 

VNA file photo No. L7950

Mr. Robert J. Destatte comments on this picture:

"Depicts another view of the damaged TACAN/TSQ site, including the severely damaged prefab metal operations building and the base of the TSQ antenna.  The photographer was facing north when he took this photo.  Note the aluminum step ladder lying on the ground on the left (west or cliff) side of the operations facility. The caption for the copy of this photo labeled VNA No. L7950 is the same as the caption for photo number L7949 (above)"

 

VNA file photo No. L7952

Mr. Robert J. Destatte comments on this picture:

"Depicts communication equipment (field telephones and tactical radios) and two Claymore mines.  The caption reads: 'Quan Giai Phong Nhan Dan Lao thu toan bo phuong tien lien lac bang dien dai cuar dich o Pa Thi. TTXKPL.' [The Lao People's Liberation Army siezed all of the enemy's radio communication equipment at Pha Thi. Photo by Pathet Lao News Agency.] Note the annotation '506 TCMS' stenciled on one item.  This annotation possibly is the designation of a USAF squadron or section.  Note the annotation 'Pha Thy, BV26, CV [unknown Lao character] 1, LS85' hand lettered on a tactical radio.  This annotation identifies the radio as belonging to General Vang Pao's 'Volunteer Batalion 26, Volunteer Company 1, Lima Site 85, at Pha Thi.'  Captain Gia Too's Company 1 of BV26 manned the fortified postions depicted in VNA photos L7948 (described above), defending the southeastern approach to Phou Pha Thi, when Communist forces overran it on 11 March 1968.  Elements of BV26 also played a support role in the failed campaign to retake Phou Pha Thi at the end of 1968. (See Conboy's book, pp. 188,202.) Note also the partially obscured marking '718-[?], VTN, LA[?]' on a third item; possibly a designation for an American unit or office located in Vientiane, Laos.  Of the six photos described here, this is the one most likely to have been taken shortly after Lima Site 85 was overrun in March 1968."

 

VNA file photo No. L7953

Mr. Robert J. Destatte comments on this picture:

"Depicts the interior of what appears to be an American communications equipment van. (Webmaster note: This photo shows the interior of the TRN-17/TACAN van at Lima Site 85. Note the American style tool box on the floor of the van.) The VNA file-photo album did not contain a caption for this photo."

 

VNA file photos L7947 and L7951 are not currently available in this series of eight, however L7947 depicts a group of Pathet Lao soldiers examining rifles. The VNA file-photo caption reads: "Lao Peoples Liberation Army Unit X inspects weapons after returning from the victorious battle for Pha Thi Photo courtesy Lao Patriotic Front." L7951 depicts captured weapons.  The VNA caption reads: "Enemy weapons and ammunition that the Lao People's Liberation Army seized after the victory at Pha Thi. Photo by Pathet Lao News Agency."

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