Commander William Earl Fannin, Class of 1945, Capstone Essay Contest
In 1968 the North Vietnamese Communists launched their largest operation of the Vietnam War—the Tet Offensive, which included a battle unlike anything the U.S. military had seen up to that point in Vietnam: the fight for Hue City. In this month-long battle, U.S. Marines fought house to house through the streets of Vietnam's ancient capital, suffering many casualties while inflicting even more. In South Vietnam, the Marines had become used to fighting across open fields and paddies near the coast and in the mountains and jungles of the interior. The Battle for Hue City, however, thrust the Marines into an urban operation vastly different from anything they had previously encountered.