Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

This is coolbert. Reading those classified documents about Khe Sanh, the term COFRAM comes up from time to time. Now, this was the new improved conventional munition (ICM), called COntrolled FRAgmentation Munition. An artillery shell, fired from conventional artillery, but detonating over the target and showering the target with large numbers of sub-munition bomblets. These would hit the ground, and detonate, spewing out hundreds or thousands of steel balls from the bomblet. This ICM was a secret at the time and had not been used in combat. Such was the concern of U.S. commanders about Khe Sanh that release to use COFRAM was authorized by the President himself for the battle of Khe Sanh. Chairman of JCS at the time, General Wheeler also mentions the possible use of atomic munitions or chemical agents at Khe Sanh, if required in defense of the base. If the concern for the garrison was not so great, they would not have considered the use of such weaponry. Chemicals in the form of CS gas was used in the defense of the key terrain overlooking Khe Sanh. Now, atomic munitions were present in Vietnam during the war. Were considered for use against the Ho Chi Minh trail to crater and deny the enemy use of the trail for infiltration in South Vietnam. These weapons, according to an issue of Vietnam magazine, were stored at the Long Binh Junction depot, and were under command of an army Captain and a senior Warrant Officer. Of course, atomic weaponry was undoubtedly being carried by aircraft carriers off the coast of North Vietnam during the war [Yankee Station]. To be used in certain specific, desperation circumstances, I would guess. This army Captain, while on an unauthorized mission with Special Forces, was almost captured by determined communist forces. Seems they were after this guy in the first place. Perhaps the commies had good intelligence on the presence of these atomic munitions and wanted to capture the guy to find out what was what.



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