Ben Het, was a U.S. Special Forces camp located 288 miles northeast of Saigon and six miles from the junction of the Cambodian, Laotian, and South Vietnamese borders, and on June 23, 1969, it was besieged and cut off by 3,000 North Vietnamese troops using artillery and mortars.

The base was defended by 250 U.S. soldiers and 450 South Vietnamese Montagnard (CIDG) Civilian Irregular Defense Group tribesmen. The siege lasted until July 2 when the defenders were reinforced by a South Vietnamese relief column and assisted by heavy B-52 strikes.

During the final years of the US involvement in Vietnam, the Special Forces held onto six A-Camps along South Vietnam’s mountainous western border in the Central Highlands.  Bu Prang, Duc Lap, Duc Co, Dak Pek, Dak Seang and Ben Het. All of them would see intense action as each was besieged by the NVA, who did little to hide their intentions for the camps.

Ben Het, was situated with an airstrip on a barren mountaintop in the Central Highlands and was the westernmost of the camps. It was strategically important because it was located 7 miles east of the point where Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam conjoined. Ben Het was manned by a 12-man Special Forces A-team (A-244, Commanded by CPT Louis Kingsley) and some 200 Montagnard tribesmen forming a Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG), along with their families.

In late February and early March, the camp placed anti-tank mines in the roads surrounding the camp in preparation for NVA armor. They were right. On March 3, the NVA launched almost 650 rounds of artillery on the camp. An NVA battalion from the 66th NVA Regiment supported by 10 PT-76 tanks launched an attack on the west side of the base.

There was a CIDG company dug in with several US M-48 Patton tanks. The defense was organized by the A-team’s XO 1LT Michael D. Linnane, two other Green Berets and two other CIDG companies from Dak Pek (A-242) and Mang Buk (A-246).

The NVA tanks drove into the minefield and two were knocked out. Later during the battle, an American tank was hit and two crewmen killed. But the camp help and the NVA retreated with a MIKE Force unit (1st Bn. 2nd Mobile Strike Force) came in to relieve the troops.

As the monsoon season of May and June fell upon the area, the camps at Ben Het and Dak To were again besieged by the 28th and 66th NVA Regiments from late May until 29 June. Mountain tops were often obscured under cloud cover and the terrain in the mountains surrounding Ben Het was very rugged with triple canopy jungle.