War & Peace 2011: Dak To Launch Site: History
A history of the SOG Launch site at Dak To
This year our display was a recreation of the Dak To launch site, our biggest display yet. Next year we plan to build the rest of blast wall and the control tower. This is a brief history of the SOG launch site at Dak To that will give some context to the pictures in our photo-shoots.
The camp at the Dak To airstrip was built on a rise and slightly higher than the airstrip. It was occupied by the 5th Special Forces Detachment "A-244" and its mailing address was APO San Francisco 96499.
Summer 1966: DAK TO was proposed as a launch site for "Shining Brass" as KHAM DUC was being phased out. There were two airstrips in the area, the larger being used by SOG. The "A" Team area was used as the control area for the launch site. The waiting area for launching, helicopter landing and team loading was on the grassy area behind a small building on the runway. If bad weather delayed the team's insertion, the tea
stayed overnight in the "A" Teams visitors quarters.
1.Gate Guard Shack
2.Visiting Officers Housing
3.Visiting Sergeants Housing
4.Special Forces Team House
5."A" Team Operations & Radio Room
Spring 1967: The area was used by FOB 2 (Kontum) and Project OMEGA (Nha Trang) and only had launch site personal present when a team was being launched.
Fall 1967: To improve the grassy knoll area a tent was erected and a CONEX container was brought up and used as a radio room. Barbed Wire was strung around the small area, mainly to keep area curious onlookers.
Beginning in October 1967 the NVA began a major battle campaign and besieged Dak To. During the siege the launch sites "radio room" was destroyed by enemy fire. The entire site underwent major renovation.
The real Dak To blast wall
Our recreated Dak To blast wall
1968-69: The basic configuration of the site remained the same but Detachment "A-244" 5th SFGA moved out and the US Army's 4th Infantry Division moved in.
The real Dak To bridge
Our recreated Dak To bridge
1970-71: Accompanying the 4th Infantry Division was its curiosity, their undue attentions finally necessitated numerous "warning signs" as seen in our recreation.
Our recreated signs and Dak To bridge
Late 1971: During 1971 the DAK TO launch site was closed. Its launch site equipment and radios were relocated to a newly established launch area at PLEI DJERENG which then resumed the DAK TO launch site mission.
Source: Harve Sal: SOG History Vol 3 Locations
Some shots of our recreated Dak To launch site