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Vol 3 No. 01            TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS            January 1, 1968



Unit                   Page Unit                  Page Unit                  Page Unit                  Page
1st Bde                     1 2/12                         7 25th Med Bn            3 4/9                           7
1/5                           6 2/14                         1 25th Med Bn Photo  3 4/9                           7
1/5 Photo                 7 2/14 Photo               4 3rd Bde                    6 554th Engr               6
1/5                           7 2/14                         7 3/22 Photo               1 588th Engr Photo     4
1/8 Arty Photo         7 2/27 Photo               6 3/22                         6 7/11 Arty Photo       4
1/14                         2 2/27                         7 3/22                         7 725th Maint Photos  8
1/27                         6 2/34 Armor Photo    4 38th Scout Photo      4 Opn Yellowstone      4
187th AHC              1      


Entire 1st Bde Moves North To Tay Ninh

   1ST BDE - Tay Ninh base camp, some 48 kms northwest of Cu Chi - and only 16 kms northeast of the Cambodian border - is the new home of the 25th Div's 1st Bde.
   The move from their old headquarters in Cu Chi began on Nov. 1 and was completed on Nov. 8.  Most of the unit's material was transported in giant convoys along the MSR and Highway 22.
   The brigade moved into quarters built by the 196th Lt Inf Bde - originally part of the 25th Div - and vacated when the 196th moved to Chu Lai last April.
   A massive construction campaign is in progress to enlarge and repair these quarters, and erect new ones.
   Except for a brief period when the 3rd Bde occupied it, Tay Ninh base camp has housed artillery elements, a helicopter and reconnaissance aircraft company, and several light housekeeping units.  Also, a portion of the camp is occupied by the Philippine Civic Action Group.
   Just outside the camp lies Tay Ninh, a city of some 65,000 - one of the largest in the south.  With paved streets and fluorescent lighting in its downtown area, the city represents a considerable change from the dust and ruts of Cu Chi.
   One man's comments summed up the brigade's feelings about the move: "You come into an area and build it up so you can do the job," said 2LT Jerry Nations from Olympia, Wash., "then when the job is done, you tear it all down and move on to the next job.  It's the story of the Army."


This Tail Makes A Tall Tale

   1ST BDE - The case of the lizard that wasn't a lizard still has the men of the 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, a little leery of picking things up off the ground.
   SP4 Darryl Fullum of Ravenna, Ohio, and PFC Dale Burmeister of Carmichael, Calif., were in the underground room in War Zone C where a VC cache was hidden, when Fullum suddenly called out to Burmeister, "Hey, look at the size of this lizard."
   As Fullum slowly pulled the lizard's tail from under a sheet of roofing tin, it appeared that most of the creature was tail. Two feet grew to four and finally at the eight-foot mark the head of a highly indignant cobra appeared.
   Dropping his prize, Fullum sought a better vantage point outside the hole to view the snake, only to be passed by Burmeister.
   The cobra wasn't pleased with his surroundings either and it slithered from the hole, passing a scout dog who came as close to having a heart attack as a dog can - and headed for freedom.
   The men couldn't use a rifle on the snake because snipers had been active and the unit was on the alert.  The contest came to an abrupt end when the cobra wheeled and rose to face the intruders.
   "I threw an entrenching tool at it and we left the scene," said Burmeister.  "We were satisfied to call it a draw."


Viet Cong Kidnap 10 From Ben Cui

   DAU TIENG - Coming into the village in the middle of the night, a band of Viet Cong kidnapped ten workers living in the Ben Cui Rubber Plantation just west of here recently.
   As the Viet Cong went from house to house pulling the people from their beds, the rest of the village was alerted and many of the people fled into the jungle surrounding the area.
   "For the past month," said MAJ Peter Gunn, intelligence officer for the 3rd Bde, 25th Div, "many of the young, single workers in the plantation have been warned that this might happen."
   Several months ago, an armed band of Viet Cong approached a group of rubber workers and carried off 27.  The kidnapped workers have since been returned to their homes and have indicated that they were used to carry Viet Cong supplies.
   The kidnappers took seven people, four men and three women, from Village 2 of the Ben Cui, but by the time they arrived at Village 3 only two unmarried workers were there - the rest had fled.  One boy was taken from the remaining village.
   Of the 10 taken, five were men and five women, all unmarried between the ages of 15 and 22.


187th Hel Co Supports 1st Bde

   TAY NINH - The 187th Aslt Hel Co supported the 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div, recently in a combat assault operation 16 kms southwest of Tay Ninh.
   The operation was conducted in a heavily wooded area less than a half mile from the Cambodian border.  The 187th and their gunships, "Rat Pack," exercised full suppression over the area.  Civilian Irregular Defense Groups from Ben Soui and Tay Ninh were also air-lifted into a nearby area to establish a blocking force in another position.

Landing Zone SINGLE FILE - As men of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, move out, more 25th Div soldiers are brought into a landing zone during a recent operation south of Dau Tieng.  (Photo by SP4 Pete Earl)



Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           January 1, 1968



Silver Star
LTC Chandler Goodnow, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
CPT Michael W. Dundy, Co A, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
2LT Alan R. Terrell, Co B, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf
SGM Donald Peroddy, HHC, 2nd Bde
SGT Bobbie L. Mitchell, Ce A, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SP4 Marion L. Fisher, HHC, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf
PFC Eddie B. Spurgin, Co D, 4th Bn, 9th Inf

Bronze Star Medal  (Valor)
CPT Peter M. Elson, Co D, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
CPT Charles E. Smith, Co A, 2nd Bn, 12th Inf
CPT Donald A. Tapscott, Co B, 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf
1SG Dalton Leonard, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf
SSG Ray Adams, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th inf
SSG Francis G. Frailey, Co D, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SP5 Donald R. Green, HHC, 2nd Bde
PFC James R. Mallard, HHC, 4th Sn, 23rd Inf

Bronze Star Medal
LTC Harold E. Hutchinson, HHD, 125th Sig Bn
LTC Louis G. Mathern Jr., HHD, 125th Sig Bn
MAJ Harold R. Fisher, D Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
MAJ Herman L. Sexton, HHD, 125th Sig Bn
MAJ Charles K. Sink, 25th Admin Co
MAJ Robert B. Stallings, HHC, 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf
CPT John Adams, HH&S Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
CPT James R. Dayton, Co A, 25th Avn Bn
CPT Joseph L. Byrd, Co A, 25th Avn Bn
CPT William A. Coleman, 25th Ml Det
CPT David C. Cumming, 25th MP Co
CPT Bobby Whitley, Co A, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
CPT James H. Bryant, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
CPT Gary R. Martin, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CPT Alton D. Morris, HHB, 25th Inf Div Arty
1LT Victor P. Yates Jr. A Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty
1LT Ralph F. Campbell, HHC, 3rd Bde
1LT George C. Farnbach, C Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty
1LT Clayton M. Gregory, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
1LT John G. Kulhavi, Co A, 25th Avn Bn
1LT Richard A. Pomager Jr., 25th MP Co
1LT Jon A. Pomager, 25th MP Co
1LT Jerry D. Wright, Co D, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
1LT Richard L. Campbell, HHC, 3rd Bde
1LT Stuart W. Gerald, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
1LT Malcolm G. Fletcher Jr., Co B, 65th Engr Bn
1LT Richard C. Jackson, HHC, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
1LT Gary C. Pipkin, A Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
1LT Charles J. Slimowicz, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
1LT John A. Barrett, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
1LT Ben K. Brummett, HHC, 25th S&T Bn
1LT Thomas S. Mc Davitt, HHC, 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf
1LT George R. Potter, HHC, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
1LT Gary C. Strohm, HHC, 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf
1LT William J. Wells, Co A, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
CWO Howard O. Griggs, HO & Co A, 725th Maint
CWO Robert L. Leming, HH&S Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
WO1 Harold L. Dalton, HO & Co A, 725th Maint Bn
1SG Walter Jackson, HHC, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
1SG Ignacio Medina, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
SFC Carl Forney, Co B, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
SFC Tony F. Geniotto, HH&S Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
PSG Clarence Bunyan, Co C, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
SFC Julio Colon-Colon, HO & Co A, 25th Med Bn
SP7 Rex B. Eubanks, 25th Admin Co
SFC Marvin E. Fielden, Co C, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th laf
PSG James Francis, Co A, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
SFC Lewis B. Hutcherson, 25th Admin Co
SFC Samuel E. Jenkins, Co C, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
PSG Isareal J. Lindo, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
PSG Alan P. Stevens, Co B, 2nd Bn, 12th Inf
SFC Jimmy G. Wilson, HHC, 65th Engr Bn
SSG Enrique G. Ponce, C Btry 1st Bn, 8th Arty
SP5 Robert E. Cook, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
SGT Harvey D. Dressen, B Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
SGT Donald G. Ellis, Co D, 2nd Bn, 12th Inf
SGT Homer L. Evans, Co C, 2nd Bn, 12th Inf
SGT Ronald N. Gebel, Co D, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SGT Tim R. Kirby, Co A, 2nd Bn (Mech), 22nd Inf
SGT Jimmy Kolecek, Co D, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SP5 Michael L. Mills, Co A, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
SGT Paul E. Packham, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
SGT Jose A. Casas, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
SGT William Clark, Co D, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
SGT Louis W. Gohr, Co C, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
SP5 Mitchell I. Jameson, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
SP5 James F. Scheirer, HHC, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
SP5 Michael Wells, Co B, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SP5 Stanley L. Baker, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
SGT John P. Ellman, Co C, 65th Engr Bn
SGT Leonard J. Rush, Co E, 65th Engr Bn
SP4 James D. Mc Master, HHC, 25th Inf Div



CPT Joseph Grant
     MOH To 25th Soldier

   WASHINGTON (ANF) - Secretary of the Army Stanley R. Resor presented the Medal of Honor posthumously Nov. 20 to the widow of U.S. Army CPT Joseph X. Grant for his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action in Vietnam" at the cost of his life.
   Secretary Resor, acting for the President, and in the name of Congress, presented the Nation's highest award for valor to Mrs. Bok Soon Grant of Brooklyn, N.Y., during ceremonies at the Pentagon.
   Grant was cited for distinguishing himself Nov. 13, 1966, against the enemy in the vicinity of Plei Djereng, Vietnam, while leading a platoon of Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, engaged in Operation PAUL REVERE IV.
   A first lieutenant at the time of his heroic acts, Grant's unit was on a search-and-clear operation when a fierce firefight began.
   The enemy attacked using "human wave" assaults, in an attempt to overwhelm Grant's force.  Seeing a platoon leader wounded, Grant went to his aid, in the face of massive fire, and moved him to a more secure position.
   During this action, even though Grant was wounded himself, he charged an enemy machinegun to destroy the weapon and its crew and rescued another soldier.
   Later, while leading a rescue party to save four other wounded, Grant was killed by an enemy mortar round.
   Grant, the 14th U.S. Army serviceman to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam, was born in Cambridge, Mass., in March 1940.
   He enlisted in the U.S. Army in April 1958, and received a commission after completing the Officer Candidate Course, at the U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga., in April 1964.


    The Magic Word

   Gold! Gold! That is a word that has fired the imagination of mankind through the ages.  It has played an important part in the legends, folk tales and writings of man.
   Even in our highly specialized and technologically advanced modern world, gold still plays a major role.  In international finance, gold is the means of ultimate settlement among monetary authorities.
   Because of the economic strength of the United States and the stability of the U. S. dollar in international trade, the U. S. gold price serves as an anchor for the world's currencies.
   The continuing value of U. S. currency depends upon a sufficient gold reserve to meet demands for exchange of U. S. dollars for gold by foreign countries. In recent years,  these demands for dollar-gold exchange have increased.  We must meet these demands inasmuch as the U. S. Treasury has given its word to do so and the continuing value of U. S. currency depends on the validity of this promise.
   These increased demands for exchange of U. S. dollars received in world trade for payment in gold have resulted in the "gold flow" we have heard so much about.
   Since 1949, our gold supply has dropped from $25 billion to $15 billion as a result of foreign claims.
   How do we stop the dollar drain that contributes to the gold flow?  We must reduce the outflow of U.S. dollars to foreign countries.
   As individuals, we don't have much to say about dealings in the upper financial strata.  But we can control our own spending.  For example, we can buy American-made products and, of course, we can invest our money in U. S. Savings Bonds or the Uniformed Services Savings Deposit Program.  In doing this you not only cut down on foreign spending, but help build individual financial security as well. (AFPS)


Soldiers Sought For Police Work

   WASHINGTON (ANF) - A new program has been approved by the Department of Defense to help fill some of the 15,000 vacancies in state, county, and city police forces throughout the United States.
   According to the plan, military personnel interested in civilian police work may now be interviewed and tested by law enforcement agencies before their discharge date.
   The program is directed at servicemen who have less than 90 days remaining in the military and who have indicated their intent to return to civilian life.
   The program has been initiated with Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department officials who are interviewing men at eight Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps installations.
   It is anticipated that other law enforcement agencies will participate in the police recruiting program.



Postal Rates Are Going Up

   New postal rates are scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 7.  Although this will not effect most of you here in Vietnam, it will make a difference to those on the receiving end of your letters.  Rates will also affect the mailing home of your Tropic Lightning News beginning next week.
   The heaviest impact on your friends, relatives and dependents, will be the penny increase in mailing a letter.  The five-cent stamp, which had a short five-year life since the last major postal increase in January 1963, will go to six cents.
   Airmail and greeting card stamps will each be increased by two cents.


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 San Francisco 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 Tokyo, Japan, by Pacific Stars and Stripes.

Maj.Gen. F. K. Mearns . . . . . . . . . . . Commanding General
Maj. Bernard S. Rhees . . . . . . . . . . . Information Officer
1Lt. Larry Rottmann . . . . . . . . . . . . . Officer-in-Charge
SSG Dave Wilkinson  . . . . . . . . . . .  Editor
SP4 Dave Cushman . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Editorial Assistant


Page 3                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           January 1, 1968


"Kim" Is Now A Nurse For 3rd Brigade Hospital
Story & Photos by 1LT Ralph Campbell

   DAU TIENG - She couldn't walk when the young Vietnamese girl was first brought to the hospital - most people couldn't with a six-inch mortar fragment in their hip.  Today, she is not only walking but is the "chief" - and only - female nurse in that same hospital.
   Dao Thi Gai, known to all the medics and doctors who work at the 25th Div field hospital in Dau Tieng as "Kim," was asleep in her home in the village one night about three months ago, when the blast of a Viet Cong mortar round tore through the roof of the small house miraculously injuring but one of the nine living there.
   "Kim," her hip gashed by shrapnel was taken to a Vietnamese hospital where the wound was treated and the vicious tear mended.  Unknown at the time was that a six-inch piece of jagged metal had lodged in her hipbone.
   The wound became infected.  Seeing that their daughter was not getting better, "Kim's" family brought her to the Co B, 25th Med Bn hospital at the 3rd Bde, 25th Div's base camp just outside the village.
   The decision was made to operate by CPT Eli Wayne and CPT Elmo Ozment.  For an hour and thirty minutes the two surgeons worked on the 17-year-old girl pulling the fragment from her hip.
   During the three weeks "Kim" stayed at the hospital recuperating, she charmed the medics working there.  SP4 Richard Robinson took special interest in the girl and soon she had picked up more than enough English to speak freely with the hospital staff.
   Robinson was the man to recommend to Wayne that "Kim" be allowed to work in the hospital and be trained as a nurse.  With some hesitation, the commanding officer agreed.
   "She scrubs for the operating room, gives shots, takes temperatures, changes bandages, and assists in the operating room.  "Kim" is proficient in sterile techniques and her judgment is more than excellent," the doctor said.
   Where the Vietnamese girl really adds to the effectiveness of the hospital is when other Vietnamese patients are treated.
   A small boy, his body burned by a gasoline fire, was admitted recently.  The doctors worked for hours to save his life and now he is nursed by the Vietnamese girl whose life was saved several months earlier.  His requests are immediately understood by his nurse when in the past an interpreter had to be summoned, wasting valuable time.
   A young Viet Cong suspect shot in the leg cannot be moved from her bed.  When patients such as these, who need round-the-clock care are in the hospital, "Kim" sleeps in the ward with them - ready to respond in emergencies.
   "She is a very valuable addition to the hospital," commented CPT Richard Strate, one of the men responsible for training "Kim."  "When she cares for the Vietnamese patients, her bedside manner tends to calm their fears of what might happen to them."
   When at work, "Kim's" calm, professional manner shows the excellent training she has received.  Dressing the badly burnt legs of the little boy, she offers a hand to quiet his cries of pain.  Having been in the same situation as many of her patients, she understands.  Her smile cheers both patient and doctor alike.
   "Kim" is a nurse in every sense of the word," concluded Wayne.

Kim fills the needle Kim giving shot Helping child





Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           January 1, 1968


Beginning of Operation Yellowstone


Operation 'Yellowstone' In Progress


Scout dog and handler MEMBER OF 38TH SCOUT DOG PLT TAKES A SIP.
Mortar fire CO C, 2ND BN, 14TH INF, FIRES AN 81MM MORTAR.


Mine Sweeping



Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           January 1, 1968


Two Chaplains Go Below;  Earth's Surface, That Is

   2ND BDE - Two chaplains hoping to conduct church services deep in the Boi Loi Woods wound up exploring tunnels and wells recently before they could round up their congregations.
   Chaplain (MAJ) Thomas J. McInnes, 2nd Bde chaplain, and Father (CPT) Robert J. Falabella, of the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, had departed the 25th Inf Div base camp at Cu Chi to conduct services in the field.
   Arriving at the mechanized infantry's battalion perimeter, after an early morning helicopter flight, they discovered Bravo Co preparing to sweep into a Viet Cong base camp discovered the night before.
   "We waited long enough to get our land legs after the chopper flight," McInnes said, "then we followed along with the company to be with the men."
   When they reached the communist base camp's outer perimeter, the pair went separate ways.  Falabella stayed with the platoon searching the first line of bunkers.  "I helped the men search in the hopes of finding a weapon or ammunition.  We found a well that had footholds cut in the side, so the platoon leader used a long bamboo pole to probe the bottom."
   When the lieutenant hit a metallic object, Falabella volunteered to search the well.  "Since I was the smallest man there, I decided to go down."
   The Washington, D.C., priest slid down the bamboo pole and waded through about two feet of water, but found nothing.
   Meanwhile, McInnes had begun to crawl through tunnels and bunkers with the platoon that had gone into the center of the base camp.
   "I didn't find a lot, but I discovered a lot of rice which had been hidden," he said.
   At the end of the day, the two mud-covered chaplains returned to the battalion base camp with the company, then waited until morning to conduct the church services.
   "I wish I had found more, even just one round of ammunition or one rifle, but it was worth it anyway," Falabella said.


22nd Inf "Regulars" Provide Scholarships

   DAU TIENG - Four future Vietnamese teachers are well on their way toward college degrees as the result of a farsighted civic action project sponsored by the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf "Regulars."
   In a recent ceremony at the Vietnamese District Headquarters, LTC Thomas U. Harrold, battalion commander, presented cheeks to the four local high school students, each of whom had been selected for high academic achievement and the desire to become a teacher.  Harrold expressed the good wishes and pride of his battalion at being able to contribute to the educational future of the Tri Tam District.
   Vietnamese District Chief Pham Manh Tuan opened the ceremony with a speech of appreciation on behalf of the entire village of Dau Tieng.  One of the two girl recipients then read her own poem of thanks to the audience of parents and "Regular" officers.
   "The Regulars Scholarship," a pioneer project for the area, is the result of extensive research and planning by the battalion staff and the S-5, CPT Wilmer A. Arroyo.  The grant to each student consists of funds for monthly expenses during two years of preparatory schooling in Saigon followed by four years of college studies aimed at a degree in education.  In turn, the students are required to return to the Tri Tam District upon graduation and teach for at least two years.
   Financing has been provided by voluntary contributions from the battalion's four line companies with a backup fund being donated by Hqs Co.  Despite the cost, the battalion is strongly behind the long.term project.
   "It's definitely one of the most influential projects ever undertaken in this district," commented Harrold.


New 3rd Bde Commander

   DAU TIENG - COL Leonard R. Daems Jr. has assumed command of the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div, in a ceremony held here recently.  He replaces COL Kenneth E. Buell who has commanded the brigade for the past seven months.
   In his remarks to the assembled troops, Buell spoke of the Boi Loi Woods, the Iron Triangle, and War Zone C.  "You've taken your training against the VC with flying colors," he commented.
   Buell was awarded the Bronze Star with 2nd oak leaf cluster and the Air Medal with eleven clusters by MG F. K. Mearns, commander of the "Tropic Lightning" Div.
   Coming to the 3rd Bde from the division's Support Command, Daems has served in World War II and Korea and has received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal and Combat Infantryman's Badge.  Both Daems and Buell served in the same paratroop regiment as lieutenants during World War II.
   The new brigade commander received his bachelor's degree from the University of Montana.


Thirteen His Lucky Number

   Most Americans know that the original American flag contained 13 stars and 13 stripes, as does the official U.S. Army Seal, and that there are 13 letters in the phrase, E PLURIBUS UNUM.  But CWO Hollingsworth of the 554th Engr Bn (Const) has a few more coincidentals of his own concerning the number 13.
   He was born Oct. 13, 1930; christened Chester Donald (13 letters) Hollingsworth (13 letters).  There are 13 members in his family.  His mother was born on Sept. 13 - his brother on July 13.  His children, twin boys, were born on Feb. 13.
   On July 13, 1949, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and spent the ensuing 13 years as an enlisted man before receiving his warrant serial number 22(13)708.  Upon receiving orders for duty in Vietnam, he boarded the ship as number 13 on the manifest and arrived in-country on April 13.  He's been issued meal card No. 13 and can be reached in his quarters by dialing 13.
   Hollingsworth is the adjutant for the battalion and is in charge of a 13 man personnel section.
   Asked what he thought about the old "Friday the 13th" superstition, he replied, "It's always been a lucky day for me."
   "I'll bet you can't guess what day I got married," he quipped.  "The 13th," replied the reporter.  "Nope . .. the 12th . . . I just couldn't wait."


Butter Ban Lifted

   The restriction on the use of butter in the Army and Air Force has been temporarily suspended and those services will have butter beginning April 1.     The ban is being lifted to take advantage of surplus dairy products made available to the Defense Department.
   The Department of Agriculture has made available 30 million pounds of cheese and 300,000 pounds of non-fat dry milk.  The products were acquired while supporting milk and butter fat prices for dairy farmers.


LTC Condina Assumes Cmd Of 1st/27th "Wolfhounds"

   LTC Ernest F. Condina assumed command of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf "Wolfhounds," in recent ceremonies at the battalion's headquarters.
   Condina succeeds LTC David Hughes, who has been assigned to G-3, United States Army Vietnam.  Before taking command of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf, Condina was assignment officer, Senior Enlisted Control Branch, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C.
   He graduated from the United States Millitary Academy in 1952 and was commissioned a second lieutenant.  He has attended the Infantry Advanced Course, Ft. Benning, Ga., the Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, and the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, Calif.
   The new Wolfhound commander has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal with 4th oak leaf cluster, United Nations Service Ribbon, WW II Victory Medal and the European Occupation Medal.

EAGLE FLIGHT - Stalking through the tall grass of a rice paddy, "Wolfhounds" from the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, prepare to enter a treeline in search of Viet Cong.  The flights are designed to catch the enemy off guard.  (Photo by SP4 Joseph Carey) Wolfhounds move through tall grass



Page 7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           January 1, 1968


Memory Workout Saves PFC's Life

   1ST BDE - PFC Willie Ware owes a lot to his memory - quite possibly it saved his life.
   While with a platoon-sized ambush patrol from Alpha Co, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, Ware was placed on the main element's flank as security.
   "We were about a thousand meters into the jungle," Ware recalled, "when flares started popping off everywhere."
   The patrol dropped to the ground to wait until darkness returned - but Ware waited a little longer than everyone else.  When he rose to move out, he was alone.
   "I was pretty shook," Ware said, "and for a moment I almost panicked and ran off in any direction."
   Then he recalled the patrol's instructions on what to do if separated from the main body:  stay in the same general area and move out short distances in all directions, always returning to your starting point.  Above all, keep cool.
   "I calmed down then, and began working about ten meters in each direction, checking things out," the Washington, D.C. native said.
   Searching in this manner, he discovered his patrol about twenty minutes later, backtracking to find him.
   "I hate to think what could have happened if I hadn't remembered and just gone running off into the jungle," Ware shuddered.

Taking cover HIT IT! - A soldier under fire for the first time takes cover near his armored personnel carrier.  His unit, the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, was conducting a search and destroy mission deep in the Boi Loi Woods when it came under heavy Viet Cong attack.  (Photo by SGT Roger Smith)



Mech Troops Demolish Big Enemy Base Camp Complex

   2ND BDE - Infantrymen probing the heart of the Boi Loi Woods recently discovered a massive Viet Cong base camp complex, then used more than three tons of explosives to demolish it.
   Troops of the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, uncovered the first of a series of five base camps after they received heavy enemy fire from a treeline during the first day of their drive into the communist stronghold.
   Due to approaching darkness, the 2nd Bde troops pulled back, calling in artillery and air strikes on the area.
   The next day, they began to search out the woods, finding one camp after another.  A second group of camps was found when a patrol moving out at dawn discovered a communist bunker 15 meters from its ambush site.
   "We just followed paths and tunnels and kept coming onto more and more camps," said 2LT Joe Sample of Alpha Co.  "This is the biggest base camp I've ever seen or even heard of."
   In all, the infantrymen destroyed more than 151 bunkers, nine mess halls and thousands of meters of trench line and tunnels.
   Throughout the base camp system, the troops captured 79 grenades, 700 pounds of rice and five cratering charges.  The battalion reported using more than 7,000 pounds of explosives to destroy the camps.


Same Unit, Different 'Triangle'

   2ND BDE - A 25th Inf Div sergeant major who entered the Iron Triangle in Korea during the spring offensive of 1951 is back in another Iron Triangle with the same unit.
   SGM Reuben J. Fuller of Lamar, Colo., recently assigned as top non-commissioned officer for the 1st Bn, 27th Inf "Wolfhounds," has served with the regiment in three wars.
   He arrived in Vietnam just in time to participate in the 2nd Bde's Operation Atlanta in this war's Iron Triangle, 40 kms northwest of Saigon.
   Beginning his career in 1943, Fuller joined Co C, 1st Bn, 27th Inf, in New Zealand, where they were resting after months of hard fighting in the Solomon Islands.
   In January 1945, Fuller led a squad with the unit in nine major battles in the Philippines, including the allied drive through the central plains of Luzon.
   By 1950, he became first sergeant of Co E, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, and helped lead the company during the winter offensive of 1950-1951 in Korea.
   The following spring, the Wolfhounds moved across the Han River into the first of the sergeant major's Iron Triangles.
   After 17 years of various assignments, Fuller has returned to help the Wolfhounds assault still another communist-held Triangle.


Ready Reserve
     They Outfox VC

   1ST BDE - The name of the game - outfox the wily Viet Cong.  The players - radiomen, reporters, cooks and clerks acting as the 4th Bn, 9th Inf "Fox Force."
   Formed to act as a reactionary reserve, the force consists of headquarters and letter company personnel normally working in the rear areas.
   Only four days after being organized, the ace in the hole was brought into play.  A large Viet Cong force had moved into the battalion's territory, about 12 kms northwest of Tay Ninh.  All four of the regular companies were needed to meet the enemy.
   The "Fox Force" was called out and mounted a heliborne assault.  The troopers landed 3 kms south of the forward base camp, swept in and took over the perimeter, freeing the fourth letter company for the night.
   "The force is like D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers," said LTC John M. Henchman, the battalion commander from Bremerton, Wash.  "Whenever the others have their backs to the wall, that last member of the team pops up unexpectedly and draws his sword bringing the strength of the whole group to bear at the critical point and time."


SGT Saves His Platoon

   DAU TIENG - Saving the men in his platoon from the blast of a VC claymore mine, a 25th Div sergeant singlehandedly silenced a Viet Cong bunker during intense fighting southeast of Dau Tieng.
   SGT David H. Moran, a member of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, was with Co C when a machine gun opened up from a hidden bunker inside a fortified VC base camp.  Hearing the cries for medic, Moran signaled SP4 Michael V. Jamilkowski, 4th Plt Medic, and they headed forward.
   The young sergeant helped treat the most seriously wounded and then grabbed a grenade and his M-16 and crept toward the enemy bunker.
   "Suddenly, I saw a green wire leading out from the bunker to another claymore aimed at our platoon," said Moran. Cutting the wire, Moran rushed the bunker and tossed in his grenade.


'Charlie' Had First Shot

   DAU TIENG - It was just like a scene from a western show down when a Viet Cong sniper recently shot the M-79 grenade launcher out of the hands of a 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div soldier.
   PFC Charles Tanner, Bristo, Fla., a member of the Reconnaissance Plt, 2nd Bn, 12th Inf, had just started to move out with the platoon when the sniper opened up.
   "The next thing I knew the weapon was on the ground and shortly after that I was down with it," said Tanner.
   While laying on the ground Tanner retrieved the weapon and like the downed gunman of the old west, fired five rounds in the direction of the enemy fire, silencing the opposition.


Fast Action Nets 2 VC

   1ST BDE - A company's quick response to reports of Viet Cong activity in its area netted two enemy killed for the 4th Bn, 9th Inf, in Tay Ninh Province recently.
   SSG Roger A. Moore of La Grange, Tex., received word that gunships had spotted three armed Viet Cong near his position.  Moore put his squad, from Bravo Co's 3rd Plt, on line and began to move across a field towards a hedgerow.
   Rounding the edge of the hedgerow, Moore discovered a Viet Cong squatting near a spider hole calmly eating from a C-ration can.  The suspect became aware of Moore about the same time and jumped for his hole as the sergeant fired a round.  Moore then ran over and dropped a grenade in the hole, killing the Viet Cong.
   Meanwhile 2nd Plt Ldr 1LT Craig B. Greaves of Bethlehem, Pa., had spotted another armed Viet Cong peering through the brush.  The man attempted to flee but was killed by Greaves.
   The 25th Div soldiers recovered a Chicom carbine and a Bulova wristwatch from the bodies.

Artillery support INFANTRY SUPPORT - A howitzer from the 1st Bn, 8th Arty, fires a mission in support of the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, just north of Bien Hoa during a 199th Lt Inf Bde operation.  (Photo by 2LT Bruce Burton)



Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           January 1, 1968


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Thanks to:
Joe Carey, 25th Admin. Co., for sharing this issue,
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.

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