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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Moline Viet Nam Hero To Appear on Fox

Author Bill Albracht earned three Silver Stars.

Moline's Bill Albracht and the book circuit are about to get close.
Mr. Albracht has co-authored "Abandoned in Hell: The Fight for Vietnam's Fire Base Kate,'' with Marvin Wolf. It details his days at Vietnam's Fire Base Kate and is scheduled for release by Penguin Press on Feb. 3.
Mr. Albracht will discuss the book and his experiences in Vietnam during a Feb. 4 appearance on "Fox & Friends," a talk show that appears locally on Fox News Live at 5 a.m. and is the top-rated cable morning show nationally.
It features Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck,  Brian Kilmeade, Tucker Carlson. Anna Kooiman and Clayton Morris. Mr. Albracht has yet to learn his interview time slot.
"I am excited on many fronts,'' he said. "First, that a show of this caliber feels I am worthy enough to come in and sit down is amazing. The other is the exposure for the book.''
Transcripts say that in October 1969, Mr. Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Fire Base Kate, held by 27 American soldiers and 150 Montagnard militiamen.
At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments -- some 6,000 men -- crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.
Outnumbered three dozen to one, Mr. Albracht's men held off repeated ground assaults by communist forces with hand-to-hand fighting, air support and a dangerously close B-52 strike.
For days, the North Vietnamese blanketed Kate in a rain of fire from rockets, mortars, artillery, machine guns and small arms, blocking efforts to supply, reinforce or evacuate the outpost.
Mr. Albracht exposed himself to enemy fire to direct air strikes and guide supply helicopters, hoping to distribute ammunition and water to his men. Wounded by rocket shrapnel, he refused medical attention or evacuation. Exhausted from days without sleep, he continued to rally his men to fend off each new enemy attack.
After five days, Kate's defenders were out of ammo and water. Aerial supply failed, and reinforcements were denied by military commanders who had written off Kate.
Mr. Albracht refused to surrender or die where he stood, leading his troops, including many wounded, off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.
Mr. Albracht, later received a Purple Heart and two Silver Stars for his leadership at Kate.