SOG Outpost Leghorn, Attapeu Province, Laos


The picture above is pretty special and not one you will see often. This is a 1968 picture from a POV view of “The Bra” area in Laos, a very heavily used area of the Ho Chi Minh trail. “The Bra” was subject to constant SOG recon missions and B-52 Arc Light strikes. The photo was taken by one of the SOG recon men who shared it in the SOG vet group today.

The photo was taken from Outpost Leghorn. Or, Mission Support Site Leghorn.

SOG maintained a constant presence on Leghorn from January 1967 onward. First occupied by a recon team ( the 1-0 of which later was awarded the MOH) to observe the trail and to relay radio traffic for teams and downed aircraft crews, it went on to be fully manned. Above is a photo of leghorn from a helicopter flying buy. Leghorn was a big morale boost for aircraft crew who flew missions over Laos. Once they saw it, they know some one was there to help if they got shot down and could send help. The site also resulted in a lot of successful airstrikes early on until the PAVN figured out what could be seen from Leghorn and hid it.

The hillside jutted up high above everything around so much that it was nearly vertical which made it impossible to attack with ground forces, small arms fire or indirect fire from mortars. SOG maintained use of the site for 5 years.

Photo above was taken by the same SOG Green Beret as the first image. It’s a napalm strike on NVA who had been trying to make a ground assault on Leghorn. Two A1 Skyraiders dumped their full load on the troops in the open.

Photo below is a wounded SOG recon man who was extracted by rope being lowered by helicopter on to the Leghorn LZ. Photo once again from same Special Forces SOG man.


  1. I had an opportunity to chat with a A-1E USAF pilot here in Wyoming a couple years back. I had no idea that a single-seat, single-engine prop plane could carry that much – over 4 tons of hate and discontent slung under the wings, and with a range that made the fuel-slurping jets of the day envious.


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