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[Image 1: Photo
courtesy of LtCol
George E. Strickland,
USMC (Ret). In
front of the
369th Brigade
command bunker
inside the Citadel
at Quang Tri
City are LtCol
George E. Strickland
and brigade commander,
LtCol Luong.
Bunkers were
stockpiled with
14 days of ammunition.]

[Image 2: Photo
courtesy of LtCol
George E. Strickland,
USMC (Ret). Vietnamese
Marine Commandant
BGen But The Lan, right, and his chief of staff, Col Le Dinh
Que, discuss VNMC matters with LtCol Strickland,
chief of the

Page 18(The Bitter End)

that satisifed General Lan. The final product was remarkably simple, but effective.
The process of construction consisted of digging a hole, erecting within it
a pyramid of pierced steel planking, and then compacting four feet of earth
over the pyramid. The bunker, designed to accommodate three Marines-one standing
and two sitting, plus their two PRC-25 radios - adequately withstood the 130mm
detonation test. The unanswered question remained-could troops survive a similar
explosion and a direct hit? General Lan solicited volunteers to find out,
and three men agreed to enter the bunker and remain there during a second
detonation. When the smoke had cleared, the bunker was still there. How had
the troops fared? When asked for his comments on the experience, one of the
Marines replied, "Very loud." With these fortifications complete, General
Lan felt confident that he and his subordinates could exercise effective command
and control, even under the most intense attacks.69

Of all the weapons at his disposal. General Lan took particular, almost personal
care of his antitank missile launchers that fired the TOW (Tube-launched Optically-tracked
Wire-guided) missile. The Viet-

Page 18(The Bitter End)