TLN.JPG (37996 bytes)

Vol 1 No. 45                TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                December 30, 1966



Unit                     Page Unit                    Page Unit                    Page Unit                      Page
1st Bde Photos     6 2/1               11 25th Ed Center    11 4/23              11
1st Bde Photos     8 2/14              10 25th Inf Div       1 48th Scout Dog    10
1/14 Photo        11 2/27 Photo         3 25th Med Bn       11 65th Engr         10
1/27               3 2/35              10 3rd Bde Photos     4 65th Engr         11
196th Photos       9 25th DivArty      10 3rd Bde Photos     5 7th Surg Photo     2
196th             10 25th DivArty      10 3/4 Cav           10 Bob Hope Photos    1
2nd Bde            1 25th DivArty      10 3/13 Arty          3 Bob Hope Photo    12
2nd Bde Photos     6 25th DivArty      12 4/9                3 Bob Hope          12
2nd Bde Photos     8 25th DivArty      12 4/9                3  


13,000 Watching the show Bob Hope and Miss World, Reita Faria Joey Heatherton
The Bob Hope show, presented Christmas day at the "Lightning Bowl," was a big treat for 13,000 soldiers, shown laughing above.  Center - Hope tries to charm Miss World, India's Reita Faria.  Right, Joey Heatherton sings a song.  (Photos by SP4 Adrian E. Wecer)


Hope Slays Them At 'Zap City'
By PFC Doug Kearney

   Bob Hope marked his 25th year of Christmas entertainment for soldiers on the 25th of December before the men of the 25th Infantry Division.
   He left them rolling in the aisles at Cu Chi, or as he called it, "Zap City."
   Hope's show included the now-standard bevy of enchantingly beautiful girls, his characteristically caustic monolog dealing with politics, the military life and sex with equal impunity, and eight of the most professional, entertaining acts on any stage.
          The Show
   His show included baton twirler Diana Shelton, a trio of cuties called the Korean Kittens, singer Vic Damone, Miss Word Beauty Contest winner Reita Faria, actress Joey Heatherton, comedienne Phyllis Diller, singer Anita Bryant and Armed Forces Radio disc jockeyette Chris Noel.  The show was backed up by Les Brown and his Band of Renown.
   Maj. Gen. Fred C. Weyand, division commander, did a dialog with Bob, and another surprise came from Hope's wife, Dolores, who sang "White Christmas" in the old standard way and then with a beat.
   At times Anita Bryant seemed to steal the show, and at others it was Phyllis Diller.  Miss Bryant, former Miss Oklahoma, sang a sensual version of "Mame" before addressing a few remarks to the men.  She said, "It makes us feel like better Americans for having been here."  Then she invited the audience to sing along with her in "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," commenting "I think you understand what the words mean."
   An enthusiastic audience of more than 13,000, including three ambulance loads of sick and wounded roared their approval as Hope alternately quipped with guests and cracked jokes.
   In his opening monolog Hope called Cu Chi "Zap City" and said the mission of the 25th was to "find out where they are."  He went on by saying, "They assigned 50 MPs with machine guns to guard all the girls but there was only a pygmy with a blowgun for me and Phyllis Diller."
   Hope stuck to military subjects at first with such jokes as "I almost didn't come this year; the guy who takes my shots for me got sick."  He then he switched to political jokes.
   At one point Reita Faria asked Bob, "I understand one of your states is governed by a woman?"  Hope replied, "That's right.  Two counting Texas."
   Joey Heatherton looked out at the vast crowd of soldiers and said, "Bob, what were they in civilian life?" and he said, "Happy."
   Bob introduced Phyllis Diller as the woman who had parlayed a Don Knotts shape and an Everett Dirksen voice into a million dollars.  Referring to the other girls in the troupe, she said, "What do they have that I don't have?" Hope said, "Their figures are luscious, provocative, a feast for the eyes."
   "And mine?"
   "C rations."
   At the close of the show Gen. Weyand presented Bob with a plaque honoring his service to the morale of the troops and gave him another plaque for Jerry Collona who was not along due to poor health.  Anita Bryant then led the audience in singing "Silent Night."
   As the ambulance attendant. carried out the wounded on stretchers Hope said, "There goes a guy who knows what it's all about.  So long hero."

Gen. Fred C. Weyand Bob Hope Phyllis Diller Chris Noel

Gen. Fred C. Weyand

Bob Hope Arrives

Phyllis Diller

Chris Noel



Col. Fuller Assumes Command of 2nd Bde

   Col. Marvin D. Fuller, 45, of Aberdeen, S,D., has assumed command of the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade.  He replaces Col. Thomas M. Tarpley, who has become operations officer at II Field Force, Vietnam.
   Col. Fuller, formerly deputy commander of the 3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div, is a veteran of some 24 years in the service.
   Col. Fuller has attended the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses at Fort Benning. Ga., the U.S. Air Force Command and General Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the U.S. Naval War College at Newport, R.I.
   In addition to his military schooling, Col. Fuller has attended Sioux Falls College, Dakota Wesleyan University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of North Dakota.
   At the change-of-command ceremony Col. Tarpley said, "People come and people go, but the important thing is the continuity of the combat unit.  It has been a real pleasure to work with the glorious fighting men of the Wolfhounds, the Bobcats and the 8th Artillery.  Good luck and good hunting."
   Col. Fuller said, "l am overjoyed at the prospect of joining the 2nd Brigade.  I promise you the best professional leadership of which I am capable.  Together we will get the job done."


Viet Generals Honor Americans at Cu Chi

   Members of four Army units were recently assembled at the 25th Infantry Division Headquarters for a Vietnamese awards ceremony.
   Honored were 97 officers and enlisted men, ranging in rank from Brig. Gen. to PFC.  They represented the 25th Inf. Div, 196th Lt Inf. Bde., the 173rd Inf Bde (Airborne) and the 3rd Bde, 4th Inf. Div.
   The awards were conferred upon the men for action during Operation "Attleboro."  Lt. Gen. Le Nguyen Khanh, Vietnamese III Corps commander, accompanied by Maj. Gen. Fred C. Weyand, 25th commander, made the award of the Cross of Gallantry with Palm to Maj. Guy S. Meloy III, commanding officer, 1st Bn, 27th Inf., "Wolfhounds."
   The generals then made presentations of the Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star to nine officers of various units including Brig. Gen. George C. O'Connor, assistant division commander.
   Gen. Khanh and Gen Weyand then decorated 47 other officers and enlisted men with the Cross of Gallantry, with Silver Star.
   Maj. Gen. Phan Trong Chinh, 25th Army of Vietnam division commander, and Brig. Gen. O'Connor officiated in the presentation of Crosses of Gallantry with Bronze Star to 40 other officers and men.


Latest Reports
Through December 27

Operation Province Began FC KIA VCC VCS
Lanikai Long An Sept. 15 L 50 9 41
Paul Rev. IV Pleiku Oct. 18 L 977 95 294
Ala Moana Hau Nghia Dec. 1 L 32 2 114



Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966



Maj. Guy S. Meloy III, HHC. 1st Bn, 27th Inf.  
Lt. Col. William C. Barott, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf. (Posthumously)
Capt. Frederick H. Henderson, Co C, 1st Bn, 27th lnf. (Posthumously)
Capt. Michael D. Isacco, HHC, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf.
MSgt. Samuel O. Holbrook III, Co B, 2nd Bn. 27th Inf.
SSgt. James C. Bishop III, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.
SSgt. Angel Reyes, Co A. 1st Bn, 5th Inf.
Sgt. Robert L. Vest, Co A, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf. (Posthumously)
Sp5 Marlin Bembenek, HHC, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf. (Posthumously)
Sp4 Rodney E. Althoff, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf. (Posthumously)
Sp4 John R. Caniff, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf. (Posthumously)
Sp4 Larry D. Manifold, Co C, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.
Sp4 Kendall Schyhart, Co C, 1st Bn, 27th lnf.
Sp4 John J. Vindish, Co A, 1st Bn, 27th lnf.
PFC Eliseo G. Cruz, Co A, 1st Bn, 27th Inf.
PFC .Jose Fontanez, Co C, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf. (Posthumously)
PFC Peter Lewis, Co C, 1st Bn, 5th Inf.
PFC James Wright, Co C, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf. (Posthumously)
Capt. Jeffrey Brown, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
Capt, Robert G. Vaneman, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf.
2nd Lt. Clarence D. Stamper, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf.
PSgt. Leslie Crawford, Co B, 1st Bn, 27th Inf.
PSgt. Donald H. Heskett, Co B, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.
PSgt. Charles A. McAngus, Co B, 1st Bn, 27th Inf.
SSgt. Paul W. Fabre, Trp B, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav.
SSgt. Mirabal Maestas, Co B, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf.
Sp4 Kenneth E. Stewart, Co B, 1st Bn., 5th Inf.
PFC Angel L. Pinero, Co C, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf.
1st Lt. Joe A. Lewis, Co C, 725th Maint Bn.
1st Lt. Robert V. Moss, Trp B, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav.
Sgt. Claude H. Hagan, Trp B, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav.. .
Sp4 Thomas E. Fagan, Trp B, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav.
Sp4 Roy E., Ingram, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf.
Sgt. Paul 0. Lawrence, Co B, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. Pvt Robert D. Stith, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf.



Customs Law Helps GI Bring Back What He Bargained For

   (Editor's Note: The following article, the second in a series of three, is reprinted from the November 1966 issue of the Army Digest.  It was authorized by Capt. F. W. Keenan, JAGC, U.S. Army.  Capt. Keenan is assigned to the Legal Assistance Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Department of the Army.)

   Generally you are considered to be returning from extended duty overseas following an assignment abroad of at least 110 days of continuous duration.  Goods, including gifts for relatives, friends, and foreign-made automobiles, may be considered "personal and house-hold  effects" provided they were physically in your possession while on active duty outside the United States.
   Foreign-made automobiles purchased abroad and sent home before Government orders are issued, or a car purchased and not in your possession before you leave (merely ordered but not delivered) will not be entitled to free entry as a household or personal effect under the law.  A copy of Government orders along with a statement claiming free entry should be enclosed with effects sent by mail.
   Note especially that there are special rules concerning the importation of liquor.  The serviceman and members of his family who resided with him abroad may each import one wine gallon of alcoholic beverages provided: (1) the beverages physically accompany the service man or the member of his family at the time of arrival in the United States; (2) the member of the serviceman's family is 21 years or over (the serviceman is exempt from this age requirement); (3) three quarts of the gallon were distilled or manufactured and bottled in the United States or its possessions; (4) the person requesting free entry does not claim the customs exemption for alcoholic beverages as a "returning resident."
   A "tourist" exemption as a "returning resident" may be claimed for items acquired abroad which do not meet the foregoing requirements.  Articles totaling $100 in value may be entered free of duty, subject to limitations on liquors and cigars, if: (a) they physically accompany you at the time of return; (b) they were acquired as an incident of your trip; (c) they are for your personal or household use; and (d) they are properly declared to customs.  Gifts that you intend to give to others are considered for your personal or household use" and may be included in this exemption.
   Merchandise acquired may be sent home but cannot be included in your customs exemption as a "returning resident" since they do not accompany you.  Freight and express packages delivered prior to your return without prior arrangements for acceptance will be placed in storage by Customs after five days at the expense and risk of the owner.  Moreover, duty is charged on a percentage basis of the purchase price of such items.  If in doubt, check with the U.S. Consulate before making purchases, particularly in Far Eastern countries.




   We Firmly Resolve

   Did you make any New Year resolutions?  You probably did.  Most of us do, openly or quietly.
   Some of these resolutions are made in jest.  Others are taken seriously.  There is no unity in the majority of these.  To each his own is usually the rule.
   It's too bad all men everywhere cannot, in unison, make a New Year resolution pledging whole-hearted effort towards solving the ills that plague the world.
   Chances are this won't happen.  Not in the immediate future, anyway.  So, there is one course open.  We must, staunchly follow the course we know is right.  We must look forward to a better world, but always remember our precious heritage.
   We're all aware of the great conflicts that have engulfed our nation since its birth.  We understand what brought them about and why they are fought.  We are keenly aware that no nation can effectively deal with her enemies from a position of weakness without sacrificing freedom.
   With this understanding and background, plus love of our homeland, we firmly resolve to carry on the fight for freedom as our forefathers did before us.
   We are no different than they.  We are made of the same stuff.  We have the same burning desire for freedom, and we are proud to be Americans.
   Fortitude was not an idle byword used by our ancestors.  They had it.  Sometimes they called it courage.  We are endowed with the same ingredients.
   So, in 1967 we will work, and fight, with fortitude and courage - always remembering our heritage.  Moreover, we will rededicate ourselves to our nation and its goal of containing those who would deny us - and others in the world - freedom.  (AFNB)

Lt. Col. Neil Baker, LG Leonard Heaton TOURING - Lt. Gen. Leonard D. Heaton, U.S. Army Surgeon General, and Lt. Col. Neil H. Baker, commanding officer of the 7th Surgical Hospital, pause outside hospital headquarters during a recent tour of hospital facilities at the division's base camp in Cu Chi.



The TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS is an authorized publication of the 25th Infantry Division.  It is published weekly for all division units in the Republic of Vietnam by the Information Office, 25th Infantry Division, APO U.S. Forces 96225.  Army News Features, Army Photo Features, Armed Forces Press Service and Armed Forces News Bureau material are used.  Views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army.  Printed in Saigon, Vietnam, by The Vietnam Guardian.

Maj. Gen. Fred C. Weyand . . . . Commanding General
Maj. William C. Shepard . . . . . . Information Officer
1st Lt. William H. Seely III  . . . . Officer-in-Charge
Sp4 David L. Kleinberg . . . . . . . Editor
Sp4 Adrian E. Wecer  . . . . . . . . Editorial Assistant



Page 3                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966


Ready to Return

Wolfhounds heading home
IN THE FIELD - But not for long.  Men of the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf., "Wolfhounds" pause during a sweep to search for mines.  It was one of the Wolfhounds final sweeps before returning to base camp for Christmas.



4/9th Hunts VC, Day and Night

   "The 4th Bn, 9th Inf., "Manchu," working in operations south of Saigon, have got the Viet Cong on the run by day and by night.
   Two patrols from Co B killed four of the enemy in two night ambush actions.  One of the VC was killed in the same area where a cache of seven carbine magazines, seven Browning Automatic Rifle magazines and two grenades were found the previous day.
   During day operations Co C also discovered a Viet Cong cache of two grenades, 24 rounds of small arms ammunition, one carbine magazine and several pounds of documents.
   The two companies of Manchumen allow the VC no rest day or night, with their far-reaching and ever-watchful sweeps and ambush patrols.



   GENESIS OF THE C-RATION: According to a source authenticized by world famous organic chemist Paul Jeffery Astrothenberg, today's C-rations came into a rather dubious beginning early in the history of American warfare.
   "During the American Revolution." the book says, "a field-grade officer in the Continental Army who was renowned for his refined epicurean tastes came into a mild dispute with his unit's mess sergeant."
          Major No Name
   HERE THE AUTHOR launches into an untimely description of the officer.  Briefly, his name was Major de Convertly, he was equally renowned for his taciturnity and no one knew his first name because no one had enough courage to ask him.  He was stately, dignified, terrifying and had no friends.  Then, the author author goes on.
   "Drawing from a meager store of supplies during a winter campaign, the mess sergeant placed an offering of Ham and Lima Beans on Major de Convertly's dinner table one evening.  One look from the Major's keen eye determined the fate of the food.
   "Can it," he said.
   "The sergeant retired to his mess tent.  Minutes, later he came back with a plate of Meatballs with Beans in Tomato Sauce.
          2nd Can
   "CAN IT," the Major repeated.
   "The sergeant was perplexed.  He dug through his mess tent and returned with a long line of nearly spoiled remnants from the summer's menu.
   "He tried plates of Frankfurter Chunks, Pork and Beefsteak.  He tried baskets of White Bread and Crackers.  He tried jars of Cheddar Cheese and assorted Spreads.  In desperation, he turned to Chocolate Candy, stale Pound Cakes, Fruit Cakes, Pecan Cake-Rolls, Cocoa Beverage Powder and Instant Coffee.
          Can It! Can It! Can It!
   "ALL TO NO AVAIL.  As each item was placed before the Major, he bellowed his simple retort.  Before long, the sergeant couldn't even make it to the mess tent door.  The Major stood on the table and roared 'Can it' at five-second intervals.
   Eventually, just as the sergeant started emptying a box of tenderloin steaks, the Major jumped from the table and stomped away muttering two-syllable sentences."
   The rest was simple.  The mess sergeant called a subordinate corporal, pointed to the pile of rejected food, mumbled "can it!" and went to bed.
   THE CORPORAL, a simple boy who took everything anybody said literally, mustered up a detail and had the food packed into shell casings of expended rounds.  By morning, the improvised cans were stacked neatly outside the mess tent.
   The sergeant, who had slipped back to coherency during sleep, had second thoughts about wasting the food and discreetly handed rations out to the soldiers during mealtimes.
   "No one ever knew what happened to Major de Convertly," concludes, the author, but he was reported to have joined the Red Coats and established himself after the war as a culinary artist in one of England's finest restaurants".



Supply Clerk Becomes Mid-Wife on Viet Road

   "The Army trained me well but it didn't exactly give me any classes on that," said PFC Charles R. Thomas in describing his mid-wife experiences near the 25th Infantry Division's base camp.
   The Memphis, Tenn., supply clerk, a member of Hq Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty, was riding guard on a gasoline tanker from Trung Lap to the "Tropic Lightning's" Cu Chi base camp.
   When the convoy made an unexpected stop, PFC Thomas dismounted to see what was causing the delay.  He noticed a group of Vietnamese gathered around a person on the ground.
   Approaching cautiously, PFC Thomas saw the person was a young woman, in labor.  He rushed to her aid.
   With an almost complete lack of conversational Vietnamese, PFC Thomas used sign language to indicate he wanted to help.  The young woman smiled back weakly and proceeded to have a boy right there along the roadside.
   PFC Thomas says he really didn't know how to go about delivering a child.  He soon found out.
   "I cut the cord with a razor blade and tied it off with some string from my flak jacket and washed the baby off with warm water.  I wrapped it up in some silk blouses handed me by an older woman and gave the child to one of the women to hold while I took care of the mother.  I helped her the best I could and covered her up to keep her warm.  Then I took the child and presented it to her.  She seemed happy!"


Trang Bang Official Gives Turkey to 1/27

   The 1st Bn, 27th Inf. "Wolfhounds" had a bonus turkey for last Sunday's Christmas dinner, compliments of Capt. Nghiep, the district chief from Trang Bang.
   Capt. Nghiep presented a 30-pound turkey as a symbol of his appreciation for the battalion's military and civil affairs operation in his district.
   Since early August, when the battalion started working with the Trang Bang officials, the civil affairs section has helped the Vietnamese officials conduct medical action programs which have treated more than 4000.
   Nearly 5000 people have received food and clothing through the Helping Hand program and hundreds of school children now have school supplies.  The 1/27 has also helped district crews to repair many roads in the area.
   Altogether the 1/27 has held more than 60 civic action projects in the district in the last five months.


You VC!
You GI!

   An ambush patrol from the 4th Bn., 9th Inf., "Manchu" and a Viet Cong ambush patrol shared a common surprise recently.
   The Manchu patrol unknowingly walked up on the VC left flank as the VC unknowingly were moving toward their planned ambush site.  The Yanks ran into Charlie.  Charlie ran into the Yanks.
   The 4th Bn took the VC under fire and moved in on the surprised enemy.  As darkness fell, the Viet Cong beat a hasty retreat leaving two dead and three weapons behind.


Twice-A-Month Pay by 1969

   The Office of the Chief of Finance reports that paychecks will be handed out twice a month to all Army personnel by the first of 1969.
   The announcement followed the release of a Defense directive that all Armed Services adopt the twice-a-month pay policy by July 1, 1969.  The DoD program, called the Joint Uniform Military Pay System (JUMPS), would establish equal pay periods ending on the 15th, and on the last working day of each month.
   Other Armed Services currently have pay programs whereby personnel are paid equal amounts twice a month.


Page 4                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966


3rd Brigade Accomplishes Mission...

   On December 10, 1965, the 25th Infantry Division, then stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, received the order to deploy to Vietnam.
   On December 24, while the main force of the division prepared to move out by sea, Air Force Military Airlift Command planes began transporting tie 3rd Bde's more than 2000 tons of men and equipment to the northern province of Pleiku located in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
   Commanded by Col. Everette A. Stoutner, the 3rd Bde. established a foothold in this unfriendly terrain and created a blocking force against Viet Cong personnel and supplies infiltrating south along the Ho Cut Minh Trail and the Cambodian border.  Their primary mission was to destroy any possible crossing sites along the frontier and disrupt any attempts by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) to conduct major combat efforts in the Central Highlands.
   During the next two months, the 3rd Bde began to open supply routes to its base camp of operations.  Their objective was accomplished through Operations "Kamehameha" and "Taylor," which opened up the communist controlled Highway 19 allowing the much-needed supplies and equipment to reach them from the coastal port city of Qui Nhon.
   Continuous clashes with Viet Cong and NVA units marked the passing of the next few months.  Operation "Garfield," which began on February 25, netted 111 dead communists, 12 captured and a total of 78 suspects detained before it was terminated on March 24.
   "Helping Hand" Civic Action programs were begun by the division in connection with their combat operations.  In Pleiku, the 3rd Bde brought aid and relief to the primitive and war impoverished Montagnard tribesmen in the form of food, clothing, tools, medicine and the best available medical care that the Army could offer.
   The Montagnard people were introduced to modern weapons and were given instructions in their use so as to be able to protect their lands and their families against the invaders from the north.
   Brig. Gen. Glenn D. Walker took command of the brigade in April.
   On May 10, the 3rd Bde launched the first phase of what was to become the longest sustained combat action in the Vietnam war and in the history of the U.S. Army - Operation "Paul Revere."
   The brigade commenced sweeping the Ia Drang Valley receiving only light resistance during the first few weeks of Paul Revere I.  However, several clashes with units of the NVA in the later part of July began building an enemy death toll that climbed to a total of 56 dead and 68 captured when Phase I ended on July 31.
   (Please See Page 5)

Given A Mission

Searching for Charlie

Awaiting the Enemy

Suspects Detained

The Victims of War

Evacuating the Wounded

A Letter From Home




Page 5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966


...Locate and Destroy the Viet Cong

(From page 4)
   Not limited to its own resources, the 3rd Bde Task Force teamed up with the 1st Cav Div., (Airmobile) and on August 1, the second phase of Operation Paul Revere began.
   Repeated and fierce encounters with NVA units marked this phase of the operation.  Fighting raged through various areas of the Central Highland region.  Hundreds of the enemy were killed, countless small arms, automatic weapons and crew served weapons and ammunition were captured.  Tons of rice and other food products as well as medical supplies were denied the enemy.
   Operation Paul Revere II, phased into Paul Revere III and in mid-September as Phase III came to an end, the Viet Cong's monsoon offensive had been deterred with a great loss of men, equipment and morale in their ranks.
   On October 20 as Phase IV of Paul Revere swung into full gear, Col. James G. Shanahan assumed command of the 3rd Bde from Gen Walker who became the assistant division commander of the 4th Inf. Div.  Under the guidance of a new commander the "Broncos" continued to battle with the communist forces attempting to filter into the the south.  Now in its 73 day, Phase IV has accounted for more than 964 enemy dead, 87 captured and 104 suspects detained.
   Paul Revere goes into its 234th day today.

Search for and Destroy the V.C.


A Pause in the Jungle

Battlefield Rescue

Receiving Medical Help

VC Rice Cache


A Captured Viet Cong

The Bonds of Friendship

The Search Never Ends



Page 6-7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966


[This issue of Tropic Lightning News was scanned from a bound library volume provided by the 25th Infantry Division Museum.  Some of the photographs and captions on pages 6 and 7 were printed across the center of the 2-page-wide sheet and partially hidden from sight - the book could not be safely opened wide enough to see that part of the page.]




   In the latter days of 1965, the National Liberation Front openly marched down the streets of Cu Chi.  Hau Nghia Province was a Viet Cong sanctuary.  Tay Ninh Province was a Viet Cong sanctuary.
   Now, one year later, the Viet Cong have suffered decisive defeats throughout the region and their prospects for 1967 look dim indeed.
   With the 196th at Tay Ninh, the 3rd Bde, 4th Inf., at Dau Tieng and the 1st and 2nd Bdes of the 25th at Cu Chi, the Viet Cong are caught in a triangle, a triangle that started January 27, 1966 when the 2nd Bde took Cu Chi.
   In the weeks that followed, elements of the 1st Bn, 5th Inf, and the two 27th Inf. "Wolfhounds" manned the perimeter against vicious Viet Cong sniper attacks and moved out to take Charlie's stomping ground away from him.
          Medal of Honor
   During one of these early engagements a 1st Bn, 5th Mech, night ambush patrol ran into a squad of Viet Cong.  Five men were pinned down when a VC rifle grenade landed in their midst.  A 21-year-old specialist, Daniel Fernandez, without hesitation jumped on the grenade.
   He saved the life of his comrades but paid for it with his own.  Nine months later President Johnson announced that Specialist Fernandez had been awarded the nation's highest honor, the Medal of Honor.
   The 2nd Bde went into Ho Bo Woods for the first time in Operation "Circle Pines" from March 20 to April 5.  There was sporadic contact until the last day when the VC unloaded barrages of 60mm mortars, 57mm recoilless rifle and small arms on Co A., 1st Bn., 27th Inf.
   Artillery and air strikes softened up VC positions.  Wolfhounds moved in to add 56 VC to the total of 171 dead for the operation.
   Meanwhile the division was going full steam ahead on it's pacification program.   Operation "Koko Head" fou [several words missing] "Helping Hand" distributing more than 1100 items in Hau Nghia Province, while many more were treated by the Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP).
   In May 1st Bde joined the 2nd Bde at Cu Chi.
   VC enclaves in the jungles of Boi Loi Woods, a place repo [several words missing] ing with Viet Cong.  "Wahiawa," the first [several words missing] operation for the division, resulted in ten days of hard fighting and 847 tons of rice and two tons of medical supplies were captured.
   On the night of July 26, the Viet Cong, for the first time, mortared the division base camp.  More than 200 rounds were fired by the enemy early in the evening and in another barrage the next morning.  Many of the rounds were duds and casualties were extremely light.
   The division moved on, past Filhol, past Ho Bo, past Boi Loi to a dense jungle region between Tay Ninh and Dau Tieng, a spot apparently so insignificant that no one even bothered to give it a name.
   The 196th began finding huge rice caches in the area.  It was part of Operation "Attleboro."  It had been going for a month and not much was happening until the rice was discovered.
   When the smoke cleared, elements of the 25th, 1st and 4th Inf. Divs and the 196th and 173rd Bdes had killed more than 1100 Viet Cong and captured 3,000,000 pounds of rice.
   The division has written a distinguished record in 1966.  As the New year begins we look forward to continued outstanding performances on the battlefield and pray that 1967 will see peace come to Vietnam.

More Pictures, Page 8


1st Bn., 27th Inf. "Wolfhounds" And General Westmoreland


1/5th Mech on Operation "Kawuka"

Daniel Fernandez
Medal of Honor

Checking Out During Operation "Circle Pines"

Brig. Gen. Fred C. Weyand

VC House Checked in Operation "Makaha"

MEDCAP at Bac Ha

Discovering of Rice Kicks Off Operation "Attleboro"

Guard on "Ft. Smith"

Vietnamese Meet American Nurse

25th Admin. Club

"Little Bears" Drop Troops in "Attleboro"

Mech Man Lifted from "Sunset Beach"


Division Men Wait in Line for Opening of New Post Exchange


27th Infantry Medics Rush Wounded out of Boi Loi Woods



Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966



Mortar Rounds Pound Away at Charlie


Getting Pushy in Attleboro
Ace in the Hole
Helping Hand Center
Attleboro Rice
Luau After Luau After Luau


Angry Shark?  No, Just a Shower


Pause for a Prayer in the Field


Danny Kaye Ice Cream Westy at Attleboro Hot Dog Time Searching



Page 9                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966


196th in Review: Attleboro Tops Year


Bde. Arrives Late, Sparks Big Action
By Lt. Ambrosio Sarmiento

   A little more than five months have passed since the 196th Lt Bde made its appearance in Vietnam.  Short months which have seen much accomplished.
   The brigade had undergone a year of intensive training at Fort Devens, Mass., before being ordered to Vietnam.  When it landed at Vung Tau on August 14-15, the brigade was given a hero's welcome.  The bands played, dignitaries spoke, and pretty girls presented flowers and leis.
   It felt good to stand on solid ground after nearly a month's voyage at sea.  But the men were stunned at seeing what was to be their home for the next 12 months.  It was a patch of land outside of Tay Ninh city.  The ant hills appeared the size of Nui Ba Den Mountain and the thick brush offered no consolation to sore muscles.
   The men worked day and night, forging a semblance of civilization.  Long into the night the familiar strains of bulldozers, graders, and demolitions blended with the curses of the men and the cries of the insects.
   But combat is the brigade's primary mission.  In five months, the brigade destroyed thousands  of VC structures, including bunkers, tunnels, and supplies.  It chased the VC in the Boi Loi Woods, the Michelin Plantation, and Nui Ba Den Mountain.  Everywhere it went, it spilled VC blood, captured his weapons and supplies, and destroyed his base camps.
   Most significant of all places in which the brigade has fought was a place called Dau Tieng, which had been the nerve center of Operation "Attleboro".  Its results are history.  More than a thousand tons of rice captured and nearly 200 Viet Cong killed by the brigade alone.
   In civic action, the brigade provided medical treatment in nearly 5000 Vietnamese civilians in MEDCAP operations, distributed to the Vietnamese 184,800 pounds of clothing and 680 school kits.
   In the way of construction the brigade counted seven major projects and 26 miles of roadway.  It also built and repaired bridges, keeping the life lines open among Vietnamese villages and military outposts.

Arrival at Vung Tau
Building a Home at Tay Ninh
A Continuous Fight
Biggest Rice Cache Found


The Battle for Tay Ninh

In Search of Charlie



Page 10                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966




2nd Bn, 14th Inf
Lt. Col. Charles A. Gillis, CO
Capt. D. Moore, IO
'Golden Dragons'

   The officers and NCO's gave Lt. Col. William E. Davis a surprise farewell party.  After the cocktail hour all the guests enjoyed a scrumptious Hawaiian Luau prepared by Co B's cooks.
   Everyone wished him a safe journey and much success on his new assignment.  The party was topped by a dance which featured a live band.
   Promotions were also making news in the Dragon's den.
   Capt. Gary K. Balzer of HHC received his railroad tracks from Col. Davis.
   There are 13 new E-6s.  Taking the big step to staff sergeant are Robert Brown, Francisco Rodriguez, Richard Trevino, Willie J. Williams, James L. Taylor, David Armenta, Thomas L. Davis, Jackie J. Guill, Lonnie D. Grice, David S. Collins, Mathew Williams, George G. Santos Jr., and Arthur Boddie Jr.
   PFC William C. Hugmeyer, a rifleman in 1st platoon, Co. C, reenlisted for four years.

196th Lt Inf Bde
Brig. Gen. R. Knowles, CG
Capt. M. Randall, IO

   Sp4 Paul C. Heffner of Shickshinny, Pa., a light truck driver with the S-1 section, and Sgt. Richard G. Campbell of Louisville, Ky., are almost like brothers, at least that's what Specialist Heffner says.
   Sgt. Campbell had been Specialist Heffner's drill instructor in basic training at Ft. Knox, Ky.  The two men recently met again when Sgt. Campbell was assigned to the S-1 office as administrative supervisor.
   Sgt. Campbell recalled how Heffner was a little slow learning hand to hand combat.  "I kept having to teach him how to throw a person."
   Says Specialist Heffner, "I learned it fast after Sgt. Campbell kept throwing me."
   Almost a year passed before they met again.

Scout Dog Platoon

   SSgt. Thomas G. Valadez Jr. of Owensboro, Ky., a squad leader of the platoon, has re-enlisted for six more years.
   Sgt. Valadez takes pride in being the first member of his unit to re-enlist since it's arrival in Vietnam.
   He was sworn in by his commanding officer, Lt. R. W. Thackeray, at a brief ceremony held at the re-enlistment office.  The ceremony was witnessed by Sgt. Valade's scout dog, a German Shepherd named Rev.

2nd Bn, 35th lnf
Lt. Col. P. Feir, CO
'Cacti Green'

   Members of the 4.2 mortar platoon wanted to be sure that they had some holiday foods to celebrate the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  So, the men saved turkey loaf and fruit cake from their C-rations for the past month.
   Their stockpile of turkey loaf proved to be unnecessary on Thanksgiving as they received a complete turkey dinner in the field.  They took no chances on Christmas, however.  Their platoon leader, 1st Lt. Ray Pollard, 23, of Huntington, W. Va., saved the fruit cakes "just in case."


The 'Golden Gate' at Cu Chi

Div Arty

Col. D. Williams, CO
Maj. F. Standeven, IO

   Eight men from Div Arty's aviation section teamed up to move the Golden Gate Bridge.
   It wasn't the real Golden Gate of San Francisco, but moving it still proved quite a task.
   The official title for the bridge, built to span a large drainage ditch, is "The Lil' Golden Gate."  The move became necessary after a new operations building was constructed 75 yards from the original site of teh bridge at Cu Chi.  The big problem was not moving the structure but keeping it intact during the move.
   The bridge, made of wood and ropes made the trip with hardly a nail out of place.
   Meanwhile, DivArty's Sergeant Major, Lewis W. Colemand, crossed a bridge himself by re-enlisting for three more years.  Maj. Gen. Fred C. Weyand, division commander, administered the oath.
   SMaj. Coleman has been with the 25th since August, 1962 and served with the 41st Artillery Group, Ft. Sill, Okla.. before that.
   The 23-year service veteran participated in World War II and Korea.

DivArty moves bridge
GOLDEN BRIDGE GOING UP - Members of Div Arty finish the job of lifting the 'Lil Golden Gate Bridge' down the road and onto its setting at the aviation section.  (Photo by SFC Joe Hawkins)



Yule With Viets

   At least 120 men of the 25th spent Christmas Eve at Vietnamese homes in Cu Chi.
   The men chosen by civil affairs officers within their units were honored guests of Vietnamese families.  Thirty men each from the 3rd Sqdn 4th Cav, Div Arty, 2nd Bde and 65th Engr Bn participated.
   The Vietnamese families included district, hamlet and village officials as well as ordinary individuals.


Uta Stone ABOVE AND BEYOND - There are at least seven steps on this ladder but the only figures anyone should really worry about are the 36-22-35 which wrap rather tightly around 21-year-old Berlin-born Uta Stone.





Page 11                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966


Changes of Command
Lt. Col. Jose Salcedo Takes 25th Med Bn

   The 25th Infantry Division's 25th Medical Battalion received a new commander recently at a ceremony held in the battalion area.
   The unit color changed hands between Lt. Col. Jack Eskridge, 48, of Oakland, Calif., and Lt. Col. Jose R. Salcedo of New Orleans, La.
   Col. Eskridge, who served as commander of the battalion since March 31, 1966, will move to the position of Post Surgeon of the Presidio of San Francisco.
   Prior to joining the "Tropic Lightning" Division medical staff, Col. Salcedo served with the 1st Cavalry Division at An Khe.
   Among those attending the change of command ceremony were Maj, Gen. Fred C. Weyand, division commander, and Col. Herbert S. Lowe, Support Command commander.


Candy Wins At MEDCAP

   The MEDCAP team of the 2d Bn, 1st Inf, 196th Lt Inf Bde, while on an operation in the village of Ben Roong, proved that it takes more than medicine and shots to do their job.
   While the medics were treating the mothers, children started to cry.  They wanted to be with their mothers.  Remembering that some had brought candy, 1st Lt. Howard Wiley, battalion's civil affairs officer suggested to the men that they try it.
   They did and it worked.

CHANGE - Capt. Ora L. Boss (l) presents colors to Capt. John A. Dennis. Capt. Ora Ross and Capt. John Dennis



Capt. Boss Leaves A/1/14 at Pleiku

   Capt. John A. Dennis of Ft. Worth, Texas, assumed command of Co A, 1st Bn, 14th Inf, in a change-of-command ceremony recently at Pleiku.
   Outgoing commander, Capt. Ora L. Boss, of Greenforest. Ark., presented the company color to Capt. Dennis.  Capt. Boss had commanded the company for the last eight months.


Capt. Hill Cmdr. At D/65th Engr.

   Capt. John R. Hill Jr., of Milwaukee, Wis., assumed command of Co. D, 65th Engr Bn, at a recent change-of-command ceremony.
   Outgoing commander, Capt. John E. Stetzinger, of Portsmouth, Ohio, had commanded the engineer company since July 1966.


4/23 Led By Lt. Col. Williams

   Lt. Col. Walworth F. Williams accepted the colors of the 4th Bn, 23rd Inf. in a recent change-of-command ceremony in the battalion area.
   Col. Williams will be replacing Lt. Col. Louis J. North, the new Division G-2 (intelligence officer).
   Col. Williams graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1948.  He recently served in Washington, D.C., in the Office, Chief of the Research and Development Branch of the Department of the Army.  He served with the 25th Infantry Division from 1959 to 1960 in Hawaii.
   In his first talk with the men of his new command, the colonel expressed his pride in serving once again with the "Tropic Lightning" Division.
   "I am proud," the colonel said, "to be in Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division, and with the men of the Tomahawks".




Know Your Div. - Part 5
   Education Center Open to All
By Sp4 Lou Cullen

   "Ever wish, for one reason or another, that you would have stayed in school?  Do you watch enviously as others obtain better positions and higher promotions?  Wish you could do something about it while you're serving your tour in Vietnam?  You can.
   Through the 25th Infantry Division Education Center you can obtain a high school equivalency diploma, enroll in any one of 6000 correspondence courses offered by 45 colleges through the U. S. Armed Forces Institute (USAFI), or improve your knowledge and proficiency in many skills which will qualify you for a higher position in military or civilian life.
   The education center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m.  The center is located behind the Special Services adjacent to the llikai East Club.
   Individuals seeking an equivalency diploma are given achievement tests to discover the areas in which they are weak and then advised of courses to strengthen these areas upon completion.  The high school level General Educational Development (GED) test may be taken.
   Of course, not every individual is required to take courses as a prerequisite for the GED test.  If the student displays sufficient knowledge in the achievement test scores or has enough formal education, he is qualified to take the GED examination.
          Five Parts
   The GED test consists of five parts: English Usage, Social Studies, Science, Literature and Mathematics.
   For personnel who have already completed high school, the education center offers the Comprehensive Test, which measures achievement in the five basic areas covered in the GED test but at a college undergraduate level.
   While satisfactory completion of all tests allows for one year of college on all Army records, civilian recognition and acceptancy remain a prerogative of the school to which he student applies.
   USAFI courses are a convenient method by which one can maintain study habits and pick up valuable college credits should the individual have completed more than one year of college.
   This service is not however limited to those with previous college experience.  Many of the courses offered through the USAFI plan are designed to prepare the individual for a trade or just to improve his general knowledge in any one of several thousand subjects.
   All in all, the Tropic Lightning Division Education Center offers educational opportunities for anyone who seeks them.
   Samuel Johnson once said, "Knowledge is of two kinds.  We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it."


Radio And TV
FRIDAY - Dec. 30

6:30 News Headlines
Information Please
8:00 Gunsmoke
7:00 Addams Family 9:00 Danny Kaye
7:30 News 10:00 The Tonight Show


1:30 News Headlines
Social Security
Sport Event
2:00 M-Squad 8:00 Jackie Gleason
2:30 Harrigan and Son 9:00 Hollywood Palace
3:00 Town and Country 10:00 A Funny Thing
  Swingin' Country 11:00 Andy Williams Special
  Beverly Hillbillies    
  Andy Griffith    

SUNDAY - Jan 1

1:30 News Headlines 4:30 Sports
  The Christophers 7:00 20th Century
  Sacred Heart 7:30 News
2:00 Silver Wings 8:00 Dick Van Dyke
2:30 Roger Miller 9:00 Bonanza
3:00 Movie: Kentucky Moonshine 10:00 John Gary
    11:00 Color Me Barbara

MONDAY - Jan 2

6:30 News - Headlines 8:00 Combat
  National Education 9:00 Bewitched
7:00 The Flintstones 9:30 Third Man
7:30 News 10:00 Dean Martin


6:30 News - Headlines 7:30 News
  What's My Line 8:00 Rawhide
7:00 My Favorite Martial 9:00 12 O'Clock High
    10:00 Class of '67


6:30 News - Headlines 8:00 Perry Mason
  Information Feature 9:00 Micky Finn's
7:00 Batman (Part 1) 9:30 Channel 11 (Movie)
7:30 News    


6:30 News - Headlines 8:00 The F.B.I.
  G.E. Bowl 9:00 Joey Bishop
7:00 Batman (Part 2) 9:30 Have Gun Will Travel
7:30 News 10:00 Milton Berle

Saigon 540ke                          1330ke Cu Chi

0005 Be Still and Know 1220 USO Show
0007 Sign Off/On 1305 Feature Report
0015 Night Train 1330 Cu Chi Special
0305 Small World 1405 Country Music
0405 Bill Stewart Show 1505 Afternoon Break
0505 Country Corner 1705 Monitor
0600 Expanded News (10) 1800 News and Sports (30)
0610 Meditations 1830 Music By Candlelight
0615 Dawnbuster 1905 Swinging 60's
0705 Morning Meditations 2005 Jazz Concert
0710 Dawnbuster 2030 Night Beat
0830 Cu Chi Special 2105 Aussie News
0905 Bill Stewart Show 2110 Night Beat
1005 Destination Noon 2200 News and Sports (30)
1200 News & Sports 2230 Night Beat


0005 Be Still and Know 1330 Cu Chi Special
0007 Sign Off/On 1355 Point of Law
0015 Jazz Show Case 1400 Country Music
0105 Night Train 1455 News (5)
0505 Jim Peters 1500 Football
0600 News (10) 1705 Bolero Time
0610 Meditations 1800 News
0615 Dawnbuster 1839 Candlelight Music
0705 Mediatations 1905 Sammy Davis Show
0710 Dawnbuster 2005 Grand Ole Opry
0905 Polka Party 2105 Aussie News
1005 Saturday Swing 2110 Night Beat
1200 News and Sports (30) 2200 News and Sports (30)
1230 Navy Hour 2230 Night Beat
1255 World of Money 2305 Patty Show
1305 Feature Report    


0005 Be Still and Know 1305 Panorama
0007 Sign Off/On 1455 News (5)
0015 Night Train 1500 Football
0505 Jim Ameche 1705 Afternoon Music
0600 News (10) 1800 News & Sports (30)
0610 Morning Music 1830 Candlelight Music
0805 Tabernacle 1905 Roger Carroll
0830 Protestant Hour 2005 Footlights, Soundtracks
0905 Message of Israel 2105 Aussie News
0930 Hour of the Crucified 2115 Night Beat
1005 Morning Music 2200 News & Sports (30)
1200 News and Sports (30) 2230 Night Beat
1230 Army Hour 2305 Night Life
1255 World of Money    



Page 12                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1966


Bob Hope HOPE IS HERE - Bob Hope chats with a Vietnamese lad Sunday during a visit to Tan Phu Trung, 15 miles northwest of Saigon.  Hope visits the village after completing his show at Cu Chi.  Tan Phu Trung is aided by the 1st Bn. (Mech), 5th Inf, Civil Affairs Office.  (Photo by 1st Lt. William H. Seely III)



Ammo Boxes Save Day at Lightning Bowl

   Wide the arrival of the Bob Hope troupe and an estimated 13,000 25th Division troops eagerly awaiting the much announced show, logistical problems at the "Lightning Bowl" had to be coped with.
   "Modification of the stage, enlargement of the dressing rooms and the installation of more speakers and lights were some of the problems we were faced with," reported MSgt. Duke C. Ellington, the Special Services noncommissioned officer-in-charge.
   Seating was one of the biggest problems, the sergeant said.
   There were slightly more than a 1000 seats and they knew that the crowd would exceed 10,000.
   Division headquarters issued a call for help to Division Artillery which in turn passed the word down to the battalion and batteries to gather any and all empty ammunition cases in sight.  The artillery responded and soon hundreds of 105mm cases began to arrive at the stage area where a Special Services crew and Vietnamese employees installed them in curved rows about the stage.
   As it turned out 12,000 scats were filled by soldiers during the show.  An additional 1000 soldiers had to be content with "standing room only."


Xom Hue Party
   Santas Come Town

   "The highlight of the party was when the two Santa Clauses arrived with their toys by OH-23 helicopter.  The children cheered, pushed, yelled and screamed.  Two Santas seemed to double their joy rather than confuse them."
   Maj. W. Glenn Emery, 33, of Valparaiso, Ind., was describing the scene of the 25th Division Artillery's Christmas party held recently in the hamlet of Xom Hue near here.
   The parade of 500 was all the more colorful for the 500 home-made star lanterns that were carried by the children.  After the parade came a Vietnamese cultural show featuring jazz and twist music.  In an international spirit, the Division Artillery choir, under the direction of Chaplain (Capt.) John DeSaegher, toasted listeners to a medley of Christmas carols.
   According to Maj. Emery, more than 100 children took part in the party. "it was very colorful with all the stars, flags and pennants.  The stars from the 560 children in the parade helped contribute to the impression of overwhelming, almost stifling, color".
   Presents distributed at the party included masks, balloons, plastic animals, plastic toy soldiers, candy, cookies and Kool-aid.  The two Santas were a bi-national team with one coming from Division Artillery and the other a seminary student in Saigon.
   Maj. Emery said, "We asked them to share our holiday with us and they joyfully accepted."

VIP - "Santa Claus" of 25th Div Arty reaches for a young Vietnamese lad held by one of the "Tropic Lightning" artillerymen to give him a present.  (Photo by SFC Joe Hawkins) Santa



PO Extends 'Free Mail'

   The Post Office Department has approved free letter mail service from Vietnam to all foreign countries.
   Free letters to foreign countries should be addressed in the normal manner and should bear the sender's complete return address as is presently required.
   The letters will not be marked "free".  Letters will be mailed leaving the upper right hand corner of the envelope completely blank.
   APO personnel will apply the proper marking.
   Air mail service is authorized if envelope is of distinctive air mail design and if plain white envelope is used sender may write the words "Air Mail" on the envelope.


ON HIS FEET - Huynh Van Phua, an 11-year-old Phuoc Hiep boy, is carried around by a beaming neighbor, overjoyed to see the boy home again.  Huynh was given an artificial leg by the division's 2nd Bde Civil Affairs section, after he lost his lower left leg in an explosion.  Phuoc Hiep is on Highway 1, 35 miles northwest of Saigon.  (Photo by PFC Doug Kearney) Huynh Van Phua



Thanks to:
The 25th Infantry Division Museum for providing the volume of 1966 Tropic Lightning News,
Ron Leonard, 25th Aviation Battalion for finding and mailing them,
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.

This page last modified 01-19-2008

©2008 25th Infantry Division Association. All rights reserved