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History Of The Ho Chi Minh Trail- Voices From The Trail

Veteran Voices from the Ho Chi Minh Trail – Staff Sergeant E5 Ed Wolcoff

Veteran Voices from the Ho Chi Minh Trail – Staff Sergeant E5 Ed Wolcoff
By Virginia Morris . 28 September 2023

Ed Wolcoff was part of Studies and Observations Group (SOG), a highly classified unit conducting covert unconventional warfare missions during the Vietnam War.

We had met Ed and several other American Special Forces veterans because in 2006, Clive and I had been invited to their annual Special Operations Association (SOAR) reunion held in Las Vegas. Members included combat veterans from all wars from WWII to Vietnam to more recent conflicts in the global war on terrorism.

This clip of Ed describes his mission into Target Area Tango-7 (T-7) and how one of his teammates was injured in what was seen as a large enemy camp. During the helicopter extraction, the pilot estimated enemy strength to be at least of battalion size and that as they lifted beyond the treetops, they came under fire from 22mm and 37mm anti-aircraft guns.

These Target Area code names covered a 6×6 kilometre grid map area and had alpha/numeric designations. When a unit was in the area no unauthorised air or artillery strikes were permitted.

T-7 was located on a section of Route 110, a road that ran through Attopeu, in the south of Laos, to South Vietnam and Cambodia and a major branch of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The most written about Target Area is Oscar-8 (O-8), which covered a zone around La Hap in mid-Laos and during the conflict was thought to be a communist army headquarters.

Today Ed believes that T-7 was the sanctuary location for the 66th Regiment, although stations connected with Corps 559 of the Trail also existed in the area. O-8 is now known to have been the site of Army Station 34 of Corps 559 and took responsibility for various roads such as ones leading from Laos into A Luoi Valley in Vietnam.

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