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William Albracht transcript.pdf

William Albracht, Abandoned in Hell: The Fight for Vietnam's Firebase Kate

An unforgettable account of searing combat, sacrifice, and the drive to survive, Abandoned in Hell is a powerful self-portrait of an unsung hero. Albracht's dramatic memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence is a potent reminder of heroism during the Vietnam War—too often forgotten today. 

In October 1969, Captain William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Fire Base Kate, held by only 27 American soldiers and 150 local militiamen. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments—some 6,000 men—crossed the Cambodian border and attacked. Now, 45 years after the harrowing showdown, Albracht tells his story for the first time in Abandoned in Hell: The Fight For Vietnam’s Fire Base Kate.

Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht's men held off repeated ground assaults by communist forces. Albracht continually exposed himself to enemy fire to direct air strikes, guide resupply helicopters to safe landings, distribute ammunition and water to his men, and retrieve the dead and rescue the wounded, often shielding men with his own body. 

After five days, Kate's defenders were out of ammo and water. Aerial resupply was suicidal, and reinforcements were denied by military commanders who had written off Kate, unwilling to risk further defeat to save their own soldiers. Albracht refused to surrender or die in place. He led his troops, including many wounded, off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.

WILLIAM ALBRACHT is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and retired Secret Service officer. Over a White House career spanning 25 years, he served on the protection details of four American Presidents and of numerous foreign dignitaries. Following his retirement, Albracht managed Executive Security Operations for the Ford Motor Company before returning to his hometown to open a security consulting business.