2018 Symposium

Members and friends, registration is now open for this year’s symposium titled “In Country: The War in Vietnam – 1968.” This will be a follow-on to the widely acclaimed 2015 Symposium “Violent Skies: The Air War in Vietnam” and will focus, as the title says, on perhaps the pivotal year of the war. The Tet Offensive, Khe Sanh, Kham Duc, the bombing halt ordered by President Johnson, and other important events will be covered. Please register at: https://armyhistory.regfox.com/vietnam-war-symposium 

Here is a 95% complete event program for your perusal. Please join us at this important gathering!


National Museum of the United States Marine Corps

DAY ONE: Weds 14 November 2018

0800-0900: Registration – Coffee

0900-1000: Welcome – Opening Roundtable with senior leaders of sponsoring foundations who served in Vietnam in 1968.

Lt. Gen. Ronald Christmas, USMC (Ret.); Lt. Gen. Nicholas B. Kehoe, USAF (Ret.); Gen. William Hartzog, USA (Ret). Navy and CG Rep TBD

1015-1145: Panel – In the Air, On Land, and at Sea – Marine Operations in Vietnam, 1968

Chair: Col. Douglas Nash, USA (Ret.)

Commentator: Charles D. Melson, Former Chief Historian, History Div. MCU.


“In the air, on land, and sea: Marine Operations in Vietnam, 1968”

–         Paul Westermeyer, History Division, MCU


“U.S. Marine Corps Combined Action Platoons (CAPs) Importance as a Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN) Strategic Objective during the Vietnamese Communist Offensives in 1968”

–         Michael Westermeier


“Reconsidering the Marine Corps Position on Khe Sanh Fifty Years Later”

–         Lt. Col. Edward T. Nevgloski, USMC (Ret.)


1145-1245: Lunch


1245-1415: Khe Sanh Related Operations


“Ringed By Fire: The Siege of Khe Sanh”

–         Col. Richard Camp, USMC (Ret.)


“Fire from the Sky:  Khe Sanh and Operation NIAGARA, 1968”

–         James H. Willbanks, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, U.S. Army Command and Staff College


Khe Sanh from the Perspective of a NGLO

–         Bernard D. Cole, Ph.D. Captain, USN (Ret.) Professor Emeritus, National War College


1430 – 1600: TET

“The 1968 Attack on the American Embassy in Saigon: How a Non-Tactical Unit Prevailed, Despite the Odds”

–         Betty M. Mayfield, oral history intern, USMC History Div. MCU.


“A Time of Testing: The Battle for Hue”

–         Lt. Cdr. Larry Parker, USN (Ret.)


“The Evacuation of Kham Duc”

–         Alan Gropman Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, National Defense University


1615 – 1745: Air Operations I


“Sinews of Sullivan’s War, Air America, Hmong, and USAF Ravens in Laos”

–         Jeffrey Schultz, Ph.D. Luzerne County Community College


Fighting in a Strategic Vacuum: USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63) in 1968”

–         Cdr. Peter Fey, USN (Ret.)


“Dealing With the Enemy Below: The Development and Operations of Marine Corps Fast Forward Air Controllers (FastFACs) in Vietnam”

–         Fred Allison, Ph.D. USMC History Division, MCU


Reception at USMC Museum — tours of Vietnam Exhibits



DAY TWO: Thurs 15 November 2018


0900-1030: The Tet Offensive and the Fight for the Mekong Delta”


“Into the Heart of the Delta: The Mobile Riverine Force in Phong Dinh Province during CORONADO XI

–         Eric B. Villard, Ph.D. US Army Career of Military History


“Inshore Amphibious Operations in Vietnam: The Story of the Mobile Riverine Force”

–         John D. Sherwood, Ph.D. Naval History and Heritage Command


“The Navy’s Response to the Tet Offensive: The Pros and Cons of the SEALORDS Campaign

–         Edward J. Marolda, Ph.D. Former Senior Historian (retired), Naval History and Heritage Command.


1045-1200: Air Operations II


“The OV-10 Broncos: Introduced to Combat in 1968”

–         Roundtable presentation by the OV-10 Bronco Association


1200 – 1300: Lunch


1300 – 1430: “Transformed by War: The American Soldier, Vietnam and 1968”


“The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Need for Junior Officers”

–         Ron Milam, Ph.D. Associate Prof. Texas Tech University


“Charlie Company Comes Home”

–         Andrew Wiest, Ph.D. Distinguished Prof. of History, University of Southern Mississppi


“From Soldier to Activist: Max Cleland and the Meaning of the Tet Offensive”

–         Glenn Robins, Ph.D.  Professor of History, Georgia Southwestern State University


1445 – 1615: Legacy


“Seeds of Discontent, the Birth of the Maneuver Warfare movement in Vietnam

–         Shawn Callahan, MCU College of Distance Learning and Training.


“War Against the Jungle:  Agent Orange in Vietnam -1968”

–         Daniel E. Spector, Ph.D., US Army Chemical Corps Historian, Retired