1968: SIEGE OF KHE SANH. 35,000 Communist forces begin an extended siege of two Marine infantry battalions and an artillery battalion at Khe Sanh, Vietnam. Earlier, on 16 January, C-130s had airlifted another Marine infantry battalion to give the base 6,000 defenders. The siege prompts an extensive airlift: Thru April a C-123 and C-130 airlift give the Khe Sanh defenders a 30-day supply of food, fuel, and ammunition by delivering 12,430 tons of cargo in 1,128 sorties. Enemy fire destroys 3 C-123s and damaged at least 18 C-130s and 8 C-123s. The Marines later abandon Khe Sanh on 23 June.