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Vol 3 No. 9          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          February 26, 1968



Unit                   Page Unit                  Page Unit                  Page Unit                  Page
1/5                                   1 2/12                                 1 25th MP                          4 3/22                                  8
1/5                                   8 2/12                                 8 25th MP Photos            4 3/22                                  8
1/8 Arty                          1 2/22 Photo                     6 3/4 Cav                            1 38 Scout Dog Photo      7
1/8 Arty                          8 2/22                                 8 3/4 Cav                            1 4/9                                    1
1/27                                 1 2/27                                 1 3/4 Cav                            8 4/9                                    6
1/27 Photo                     1 2/27                                 1 3/4 Cav                            8 4/9                                    6
1/27                                 1 2/27                                 7 3/17 Air Cav                   7 4/23                                   1
1/27                                 1 2/27                                 8 3/22                                  1 4/23                                   8
2nd Bde Photo              7 2/27                                 8 3/22                                  6 Tet Battle Map                3
2nd Bde Photo              8 2/34 Armor                     8  


Div Kills 400 Around Cu Chi


By LT Bruce Burton
   In two weeks of continuous contact, elements of six 25th Inf Div battalions have killed more than 400 Viet Cong during the fighting in the Cu Chi area.
   Battles raged along Highway 1 from the outskirts of Saigon to the north of the division's base camp at Cu Chi.  Heavy fighting also broke out during the Tet period from the Ho Bo Woods to Duc Hoa in the northern and southern extremes of Hau Nghia Province.
   Soon after the Viet Cong shattered their declared Tet truce, the 1st and 2nd Bns, 27th Inf "Wolfhounds" airlifted into the Saigon area to reinforce American units defending the capital.  When it became apparent that more troops would be needed to handle the string of coordinated attacks along Hau Nghia Province's stretch of Highway 1, units were dispatched from the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div.
   Both the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf and the 2nd Bn, 12th Inf came in heavy contact within hours of arriving under 2nd Bde control at Cu Chi.
   The 1st Bde's 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf already under the operational control of the 2nd Bde on a land clearing operation in the Ho Bo Woods, also saw heavy action in the Viet Cong Tet offensive.
   The 2nd Bn, 27th Inf airlifted into Tan Son Nhut Air Base where the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav was repulsing a massive enemy assault.  The "Wolfhound" battalion set up a base nearby and began to battle enemy units poised to strike at the Tan Son Nhut military complex and at the capital.
   Also on January 31, an ambush patrol from the 1st Bn, 27th Inf killed 15 Viet Cong and captured a 75mm recoilless rifle.  Reinforcements from the battalion's forward base at Duc Hoa killed 22 more and captured a second 75mm recoilless rifle.
   Three companies made heliborne assaults into the Saigon suburb of Hoc Mon, which the Viet Cong had overrun the night before.  The American force immediately began clearing operations.
   In the early stages of the fighting around Cu Chi, the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf and the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf bore the brunt of the action.
   Within days, however, the 2nd Bn, 12th Inf also became fixed in a continuous struggle to push entrenched Viet Cong from two villages to the east of the Cu Chi base camp.
   Early on the morning of February 1, the ARVN Cu Chi subsector reported it was under attack by an estimated Viet Cong battalion.
   The reconnaissance platoon of the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf led a company of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf in a daring charge through heavy enemy automatic weapons and recoilless rifle fire to relieve the burning sub-sector compound.
(Continued on Back Page)

AFTERMATH OF THE BATTLE - A US Infantryman examines the remains of a hut which an hour before had been used by a Viet Cong sniper.  The action took place in the village of Hoc Mon where the 1st Bn, 27th Inf battled the VC who had occupied the village.  (Photo by SP4 B. Roessler) Checking for sniper



Manchus Help VC Hit Village

   1ST BDE - Ninh Than, a village of 4000 people five miles east of Tay Ninh City was mortared recently by the Viet Cong.
   Hours after the attack, the village chief requested aid from the 25th Div's 4th Bn, 9th Inf.
   "Fifteen families were burned out and many buildings partially destroyed," said 2LT Alfred Saxe, battalion civil affairs officers.  "The worst part of it was the people themselves.  They were badly shaken and in desperate need of help."
   Saxe stated that within hours, he and his section delivered 300 pounds of food and all available building materials to the stricken villagers.


Second Brigade Force Fights In, Around Saigon
By LT Bruce Burton

   A task force of three 2nd Bde, 25th Inf Div battalions reinforced by cavalry and artillery has killed more than 700 Viet Cong in the fighting around Saigon.
   The task force, under operational control of the 3rd Bde, has been engaged in heavy fighting near the capital since January 31.
   Viet Cong casualties were expected to rise as the U.S. units encountered almost daily enemy resistance in the area northwest of the capital.
   The task force is composed of the 1st and 2nd Bns, 27th Inf. "Wolfhounds," and elements of the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav and the 1st Bn, 8th Arty.
   Fierce battles erupted in metropolitan Saigon on January 31, when an estimated 20 battalions of Viet Cong occupied the capital and virtually every major community ringing it.
   The first 25th Div unit to react was the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, which charged down Highway 1 from Cu Chi early on the morning of January 31 to halt an attack on Tan Son Nhut Air Base.
   The cavalry unit counterattacked down the main runway at the huge American installation, overrunning the retreating enemy despite heavy automatic weapons, rocket and mortar fire.
   The Tropic Lightning unit was credited with killing 292 communists in the fight, which finally abated the next day.
   At the same time the cavalry was beginning to drive off the Viet Cong penetration, the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf airlifted into Tan Son Nhut.
(Continued on Back Page)


Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 26, 1968



SP4 Joseph T. Hurrigan  
CPT Donny L. Holland Co B, 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf CPT Carl M. Hirsch, HHC, 25th Inf Div
LTC Thomas U. Harrold, HHC, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
LTC Allen T. Lindholm, Hq, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty
LTC William L. Albright, HO, 25th Inf Div Arty
LTC John G. Pappageorge, HHC, 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div
MAJ Edward V. Kelly, HHC, 25th Inf Div
MAJ James F. Kelly, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
MAJ James A. Peterman, HHC, 1st Bde, 25th Inf Div
MAJ John Hamilton, HHC, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
MAJ Robert M. Brumback, HHC, 2nd Bn (Mech), 22nd Inf
MAJ Billy J. Hallmark, HHC, 25th Inf Div
MAJ Maxine Douglas, 12th Evac Hosp (SMBL)
MAJ Ethel B. La Rock, 12th Evac Hosp (SMBL)
MAJ Helen J. Senderowicz, 12th Evac Hosp (SMBL)
MAJ William B. Garland Jr., HO & Co A, 25th Med Bn
MAJ William H. Randolph, HO & Svc Btry, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty
MAJ Wilbur Farlow, HHC, 25th Inf Div
CPT Pattye M. Lawrence, 12th Evac Hosp (SMBL)
CPT Thomas H. Fickle, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CPT Douglas D. Humphries, HH&S Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
CPT Ray E. Mc Coy, HHC, 25th S&T BN
CPT Roger J. Sullivan, HHD, 125th Sig Bn
CPT Donald A. Tapscott, Co B, 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf
CPT Michael T. lodice, Co D, 25th Med Bn
CPT Claude J. Benner Jr., HHC, 1st Bde
CPT Francis J. Stephenson, Trp D, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
CPT Charles P. Watkins, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
CPT Lance Warner, Co B, 1st Bn, (Mech), 5th Inf
CPT William A. Wilde, D Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
1LT William M. Churchill, Co A, 65th Engr Bn
1LT Joseph M. Manna, Co E, 65th Engr Bn
1LT William H. Paulson, A Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
1LT David A. Tuckner, 25th Admin Co
1LT David A. Van Tesloc, Co A, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor
1LT Robert A. Blythe, HO, Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty
1LT Broadus E. Willingham, Svc Btry, 6th Bn, 77th Arty
1LT Sterling D. Hammond, HHT, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
1LT Chris H. Archer, HHC, 2nd Bde
1LT Gary J. Armstrong, Co D, 725th Maint Bn
1LT John C. Thompson, HHT, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
1LT Thomas L. Demakes, 25th S&T Co (Prov)
SGM Cecil F. Fors, HHB, 25th Inf Div Arty
SGM Victor A. Hansen, HHC, 3rd Bde
SGM James D. Vaughan, HHC & Band
1SG Arthur F. Lyman, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
1SG Russell S. Peterson, HQ & Co A, 725th Maint Co
MSG Lee L. Skowronek, HHC, 65th Engr Bn
MSG Billy J. Culp, HHD, 25th Avn Bn
MSG Billy Pierce, HHC, 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf
MSG Leonard Sprankle, HHT, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
SFC Robert L. Black, HHB, 25th Inf Div Arty
SFC Norman T. Skowronski, HQ & Co A, 25th Med Bn
SFC Felicisimo A. Camba, HHC, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf
SFC Raymond E. Levine, 25th Admin Co
SSG David G. Wilkinson, 25th Admin Co
SP6 Kerry K. Bradshaw, 25th Admin Co
SSG Charlie Collier Jr., Co B, 125th Sig Bn
SSG Ronald Podlas, Co A, 125th Sig Bn
SP5 Martin W. Czeider, HHC, 25th Inf Div
SP5 Arthur J. Haber, HHC, 25th Inf Div
SP5 Donald G. Martin, Trp B, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
SP5 Gerhard H. Pulver, Co C, 725th Maint Bn
SP5 Daniel E. Walsh, HHT, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
SP5 James H. Windham, HHT, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
SGT Thomas E. Fagen, LRRP Det, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
SGT George Peterson, B Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
SGT William Rhodes, Co B, 25th S&T Bn
SGT Ronald L. Ballesteros, HHC, 2nd Bde
SP5 Elliot L. Hoskins, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
SGT John O'Rourke, HHT, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
SP4 Eugene Daly, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SP4 Clarence P. Manning, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SP4 Steven A. Moore, HHC, 1st Bde
SP4 Jerry L. Baker, HHC, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
CPL Wilehaldo Covarrubias, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
CPL Jimmy N. Hicks, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
SP4 Jean M. Katzias, Svc Btry, 6th Bn, 77th Arty
SP4 John T. Tim, HQ, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
SP4 Antonio Stamborski, HQ Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
SP4 Robert E. Tyler, 25th Admin Co



   The AG Section


   The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) is designed to distinguish the infantryman from other soldiers and to recognize his service as our basic fighting man in combat.
   This badge is reserved strictly for the foot soldier; it proclaims that the wearer is a man who has trained, lived, and fought as an infantryman.  Officers below the grade of general, warrant officers, and enlisted men can win the CIB if they possess an infantry military occupational specialty (MOS), are actually working in that MOS, and are attached or assigned to a brigade or smaller size infantry unit which has experienced ground contact with hostile forces.
   A notable exception to this rule directs that men holding an 11E MOS (armor crewman) are not eligible nor are personnel who have received a Combat Medical Badge for the period.  The basic periods are World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the current Vietnam campaigns.  Only one award may be received for any basic period.
   It is important to note that being under fire does not in itself constitute grounds for receiving this award.  For example, members of a cavalry or pathfinder unit are ineligible except those with an infantry MOS who are assigned to a rifle squad and can fulfill the other requirements.  Similarly, members of long range reconnaissance patrols are eligible if they meet the other criteria.
   The requirements for officers and warrant officers having an infantry MOS are identical with those for enlisted men.  In the case of officers and warrant officers who do not possess an infantry MOS, the individual must have been assigned as the commander of an infantry brigade, or smaller size unit, for at least thirty consecutive days.  Again, the unit must have engaged in combat during the period involved.  A non-infantry officer serving with an infantry unit may request a branch transfer and if it is granted he may thus become eligible for the CIB.
   While most men are concerned with a first award of the CIB, some veterans have already received their first or even second one and are now earning another in Vietnam.  An additional, award is given for each war in which the individual has participated and successfully met the eligibility requirements.  This means that only one award can be earned for the Vietnam conflict regardless of the number of tours served here.
   Furthermore, if a CIB was previously awarded for service in Laos or the Dominican Republic, another award cannot be received for serving in Vietnam since these three conflicts are considered collectively.  The second award of the CIB is composed of the same basic badge with a single star centered between the tips of the oak wreath above the rifle plaque.  The third award is designated by two stars.
   Although this discussion should answer many of the questions concerning the CIB, there are additional situations that can best be clarified by carefully consulting the regulation itself (AR 672-5-1).
   The Combat Infantryman Badge represents all the proud traditions of the infantry and signifies that its bearer has actively contributed to the gallant heritage which gained the infantry the title "Queen of Battle."  In order to preserve its integrity and worth, it is most important that recipients be fully deserving of this cherished decoration.



Combined Federal Campaign

   This is a message from Secretary of Defense McNamara concerning this year's Combined Federal Campaign.
   "This single appeal gives all Department of Defense personnel, both military and civilian, located at DoD overseas activities, a unique opportunity to pledge through the payroll allotment system their individual citizen's share of contributions needed to support national and international health, welfare and social service agencies.  These agencies, among the many programs they conduct, contribute materially to military morale and welfare at home and overseas, better national health conditions through research and individual assistance and stronger bonds of international friendship through voluntary aid to many people in other countries who are hungry and destitute.  They merit personal support from us, both as citizens and as Department of Defense personnel.
   "It is requested that each addressee join with me to make this appeal a complete success by urging all military and civilian personnel in your department, agency or command who are located overseas to demonstrate that the basic needs of these voluntary agencies can be adequately fulfilled through a single solicitation by making a generous gift or pledge during the forthcoming campaign.  Through a successful combined campaign we will meet the needs of the voluntary agencies and the people who depend upon them for help, while at the same time, through a one-time campaign for all groups instead of separate campaigns, we will be supporting the President's program to achieve economy in Government operations.
   "An organized on-the-job solicitation will not be conducted during this campaign among U.S. DoD military and civilian personnel located in South Vietnam.  However, any unsolicited contributions these personnel may make voluntarily will be gratefully appreciated by the recipient voluntary agencies."


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.

MG F. K. Mearns  . . . . . . . . . Commanding General
MAJ Bernard S. Rhees . . . .  Information Officer
SP5 Terry Richard . . . . . . . . . Editor
SP4 Dave Cushman . . . . . . .  Editorial Assistant


Page 3                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 26, 1968


From Tet to Valentine's Day
See related stories on pages one and eight

Battle Map



Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 26, 1968


25th MPs - Check, Search, Guard, Befriend


   For any large number of people to work and live together harmoniously, it is understood that certain laws and regulations must be enforced.  In civilian life this job belongs to police departments.  In the Army, the law enforcing task is handled by military police units.
   In Vietnam, the law enforcing role of the military policeman is expanded somewhat beyond the type-cast duties normally associated with military police work.
   Serving the 25th Inf Div is the 25th Military Police Co Commanded by CPT Lewis B. Metts Jr., of Spencer, N.C.  The 25th MP Company is under the control of LTC William J. McClain, the division's Provost Marshal.  The company, consisting of four military police platoons and a security platoon, operates under the motto, "Of the troops - for the troops."
   Among the expanded duties of the MP's at Cu Chi base camp are providing road security along roads within the division, investigating black market operations in local towns, guarding the division Detainee Collecting Point, and controlling the flow of Vietnamese laborers entering and leaving the base camp.  On many operations the MPs work closely with the national police and Vietnamese Military Police.
   Also included within the daily duties of the MPs are controlling military traffic, supporting the combat and support command units, enforcing military laws and regulations, investigating crimes, and protecting the thousands of soldiers of the division.



Searching bus





Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 26, 1968


Whew - Close Calls

SP4 Is Can Fan

   1ST BDE - "That garbage can saved my life," said SP4 George Adkins of Delmar, Md.
   Adkins, a member of the 4th Bn, 9th Inf, was sitting in the back of a 2 1/2 ton truck filled with miscellaneous items, heading for Tay Ninh.
   Suddenly a Viet Cong sniper opened fire on the truck.  "I heard a crack and then felt a sting on my forehead," remarked Adkins.  "I reached up, felt my head, and my hand had blood on it.  It wasn't much of a wound, and a few minutes later I found out why."
   The sniper's bullet had travelled through a garbage can filled with soft drinks before striking the 25th Div soldier.
Sure Smith, Sure

   1ST BDE - "There's a nice bullet hole in my boot and my foot aches, but I'll take aspirins over a fracture any day," smiled SP4 Thomas Smith of Monterey, Calif.
   Smith was the machine gunner for Co B of the 4th Bn, 9th Inf "Manchus" on a mission in War Zone C during the 25th Div's Operation Yellowstone, when his squad ran across a large Viet Cong force.  "My squad leader called for me to put firepower out to the front," recalls Smith, "and as I moved forward, a VC opened up on me.  I felt something hit my boot hard, knocking me off balance."
   Contact was broken as quickly as it began and the Viet Cong withdrew.  "My foot was stinging so I took off the boot," says Smith. "My sock was singed, but the skin wasn't touched."  All Smith could say was, "Hey medic, w'da do for a footache?"


Returning Fire RETURNING ENEMY FIRE - Crewman of a 2nd Bn, 22nd Inf, APC pour 50-cal. and M-60 machine gun fire into a Viet Cong position in War Zone C, during Operation "Yellowstone."   (Photo by PFC Richard Davis)



$200 Limit Begins In Just Four Days

   LONG BINH, (USARV-IO) - A $200 limitation per month on personal currency transactions involving Military Payment Certificate (MPC) cash will go into effect throughout Vietnam starting March 1.
   After this date, it will no longer be possible to send postal money orders, Treasury checks, or Traveler's checks home in excess of $200 per month.  Nor will it be possible to conduct cash transactions involving MPC cash in excess of the $200 monthly limitation.
   In addition, purchase from the Vietnam Regional Exchange on cameras, TV's, tape recorders, tuner amplifiers, refrigerators, fans, radios, airline tickets and automobiles will be regulated.   MACV Form 385 will be required to make these purchases.  This form will be the means through which PX purchases on these items will be monitored.
   Once the entire plan has gone into effect, a computer will be keeping account of the cash transactions of every individual in Vietnam.  Each person will have a record kept, and when violations of the $200 limitation are discovered, that individual will be reported to his provost marshal.
   Why is this change being established?  The Vietnamese government and the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), have agreed that measures must be taken to limit black market activity in Vietnam.  A monthly limit on cash transactions, plus a close system of scrutiny of purchases will help achieve this goal.
   There will be exceptions to this new plan.  When you leave Vietnam for CONUS, R&R, or leave, you will be allowed to convert as much cash as you have, regardless of the $200 limitation.
   In addition, if your pay is deposited by your finance section into a checking account, the checks you write will not come under the $200 limitation.  Cash deposits into an account, however, will.
   Finally, in cases of personal emergency, your commander may authorize you to conduct cash transactions for more than $200.
   What should a person do to avoid being stuck with a bundle of cash he can no longer send home by personal money order?
   (1) He can utilize the Class "E" allotment, through which a portion of his pay is deducted and sent home.
   (2) He can have his pay sent to a checking account by his finance officer.
   (3) He can have his finance officer send a check for him.
   It is important that each individual take the necessary steps to avoid being caught with more cash on hand than he has use for.


Wandering Wallet

   3RD BDE - Finding a wallet in the jungle that had been lost two months ago and 35 kms away, sounds unbelievable.
   But just such an oddity happened to PFC John J. Foster.  The soldier from Charlie Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, had lost his billfold when wounded on an operation south of Dau Tieng.
   Two months later, as Charlie Co was sweeping through a Viet Cong base camp near Cu Chi, the wallet was discovered in a large bunker.


Malaria Memo

   Your weekly chloroquine-primaquine tablet is one of the surest ways to prevent malaria.  Don't forget it.


Page 7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 26, 1968


Around The Clock
           'Try Harder'
By SP4 Phillips

   TAY NINH - The helicopter plays one of the most vital roles of any single piece of equipment now in use in the Republic of Vietnam.  With the helicopter, men and supplies are moved in a matter of minutes as compared to the hours or even days which would otherwise be required.
          Full Time Job
   The job of keeping this important air arm operating is also one of the most demanding.  To the men of the maintenance section of the 3rd Sqdn, 17th Air Cav, this effort takes on the proportions of a full-time job.  Whether it be performing the regular, everyday functions required to keep the aircraft flyable or repairing battle-damaged ships, the men, under the supervision of MAJ Richard H. Seignious of San Diego, Calif, Squadron Maintenance Officer, work dutifully around-the-clock to keep the vital backbone of the unit in exceptional operating condition.
   This requires keeping thousands of dollars of aircraft and armament in top working order so the ships may be ready to lift into action at a moment's notice.  Every ship is checked to secure safety and reliability, as the craft spend many long hours in the air daily.  A great number of these flights are in support of 25th Inf Div units engaged in "Operation Yellowstone."
          Long Hours
   "It is a job that requires long hours and a lot of hard, dedicated work," remarked one member of the maintenance section.  "But we feel that we are a number one outfit, doing a number one job."
   While in their own minds the men feel they are number one, their attitude and working ability seems to indicate that they borrow a phrase from a famous advertising campaign: "we're trying harder."

Maj. Walter Kennett, Jr. ON DISPLAY - MAJ Walter Kennett Jr, intelligence officer for the 2nd Bde examines two 75mm recoilless rifles captured during an Operation "Saratoga" action 10 miles northwest of Saigon.  (Photo by LT Bruce Burton)



Help Strengthen The Dollar

   Recent national and international events have spotlighted the economic problems of the United States and the world.
   At home, according to the president and the leading economists of the nation, we face a potential spiral of inflation and further reduction of the dollar's purchasing power.
   From all indications, the U.S. and its citizens are going to experience a period of economic readjustment during which the people are going to have to decide what must be done to strengthen the dollar of an economy that has just, for the first time in history, achieved a Gross National Product (GNP) of more than $800 million annually.
   It is a meaningless event unless all America acts to halt inflation and to strengthen the dollar.  Those of us in Vietnam play a role.  The war here is costing us $30 billion a year.  Our dollar is linked to the piaster.  Regardless of which currency we use, piasters or dollars, we need to make sure we are spending them wisely.  We need to insure that we get full value for every dime spent.  We need to buy only what we need, to save in every way we can and to budget carefully in those areas that lend themselves to reckless spending.
   It is no easy task and there is no easy way to accomplish it, except by giving the subject of combating inflation our attention each and every day and in all areas of our operations here.  (MACV)


This Prescription Brings Big Smiles

   2ND BDE - Medics from the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf "Wolfhounds," are using a new type of medication that CPT Peter Elson feels will cure all ills.
   Nine-year-old Phan Van Chung showed up at a Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) in a little village in northern Hau Nghia Province, with a badly infected foot.
   Elson, the battalion civil affairs officer, took the boy to the 25th Div's base camp for treatment.  According to Elson, there was no room in the hospital for the boy, so he was taken to the battalion's aid station.
   The treatment was described as medication, a haircut, a new set of clothes, several games, four movies and a new bicycle.

SP4 David Weiss THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES - SP4 David Weiss of the 38th Sct Dog Plt lets his dog take a well earned drink during a lull in a mission in War Zone C, where the 25th Div is conducting Operation "Yellowstone."  (Photo by SP4 John Seymour)


DAWN ATTACK - Early morning ground mist partially obscures the target zone, as helicopters carry infantrymen from the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf, towards their landing zone on the Oriental River, during Operation "Saratoga."  (Photo by SP4 Joe Carey) Dawn attack



Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 26, 1968


MG F.K. Mearns, Col. George F. Hoge    COL George F. Hoge accepts the colors of the 25th Inf Div's 2nd Bde from MG F. K. Mearns, Commanding General of the 25th.
   Hoge took over from COL Edwin W. Emerson of DeLand, Fla., who has been assigned to the Advanced Study Group, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
   A 1945 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Hoge came to the 25th from the Combat Developments Command at Army headquarters, Long Binh.
   The airborne-qualified armor officer has served with a variety of armor and armored cavalry units in Korea, Germany and the United States.
   In addition, he has been a tactics instructor at the Artillery School and at West Point.



Second Brigade Task force...

Searching the next day through the enemy's staging area for the attack, the "Wolfhounds" uncovered two weapon caches containing a total of 70 small arms, 20 automatic weapons, a wheel-mounted .30-caliber machine gun, 12 cases of ammunition, three RPG rocket launchers and four radios.
   The 1st Bn, 27th Inf also moved into the capital district from their forward location at Duc Hoa.  The unit set up a base camp in the outskirts of Hoc Mon, a large suburb of Saigon which had been overrun the night before.  It was to be the scene of bloody fighting in the next two weeks.
  Bolstered by elements of the 1st Bn, 8th Arty, the Wolfhounds entered Hoc Mon the next day, but met only light resistance as they pushed the Viet Cong from the town.
  Although the fighting varied in intensity, contact occurred almost daily as the two Wolfhound battalions and the Cav swept through the heavily populated area northwest of the capital.
   On February 5, elements of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf skirmished an unknown size enemy force, killing 27 and capturing one heavy and three light machine guns, 10,000 rounds of small arms ammunition and 70 mortar rounds.
      Three days later, a security force guarding the Hoc Mon Bridge, a vital link between Hoc Mon and points north along Highway 1, discovered a Viet Cong demolition team swimming towards the bridge.
   The American and Vietnamese force opened fire, driving off the enemy.  They also destroyed a 50-lb. satchel charge which the enemy had attached to the bridge but failed to detonate.
   The same night, a 20-man patrol of the 2nd Wolfhounds set up a hasty ambush when they spotted a company of Viet Cong moving towards them across a cemetery.
   The Hounds opened fire with small arms, automatic weapons and grenades, killing 35 enemy in the three-minute action.  There were no American casualties.
   Some of the heaviest fighting of the two-week period erupted on February 9, as elements of both 27th Inf battalions and the 4th Cav fought entrenched Viet Cong around Hoc Mon.
   On the northern edge of the village, two companies of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf, a company from the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf and Delta Troop, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav fought a six-hour battle that lasted until nightfall.
   The combined units killed 176 Viet Cong, captured three .50-caliber machine guns, 20 automatic weapons, 15 RPG-2 rocket launchers and 50 RPG-2 rounds.
   Air strikes, artillery and armed helicopters blazed away at the enemy positions in support of the ground troops.
   Two kilometers to the east, two companies of the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf were locked in battle with a large enemy force.  Fighting until dark, the infantrymen killed 102 enemy, and were supported by tactical air strikes, artillery and gunships.
   The following day, Hoc Mon again became the scene of heavy fighting, when two troops of the 4th Cav and elements of the 1st Bn "Wolfhounds" cornered an enemy unit on the western edge of the village.
   Supported by gunships, artillery and tactical air strikes, the combined force killed at least 105 enemy and captured six automatic weapons, as well as four RPG rocket launchers.
   Late in the second week of the fighting, elements of the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf joined the task force.  The 2nd Bde unit which had moved into the Hoc Mon area after participating in Operation Yellowstone, encountered only light contact.


'Regulars' Are Really Regulars

   3RD BDE - Few units in the 25th Div can boast of having four enlisted men with a total time of over six years in country.  Even more unusual is the fact that one platoon attached to the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf "Regulars" has four such men.
   Among the NCO's of the 44th Sct Dog Plt, four are working on their second or third tour in Vietnam.  SSG James M. Selix from Colorado Springs, Colo., has been here for 21 months.  SSG Daniel D. Barnett from Crossville, Tenn., is the senior member with 25 months.  SSG Gary G. Coonrod from Manly, Iowa, has spent 18 months in country, and Sgt Roger C. Jones from Joplin, Mo., has spent 14.
   Even though three of the men have received purple hearts, all four have extended again.  Their main reason for staying with the Scout Dogs was the work.  "We just like the job we're doing," explained Selix.
   As the new teams of dog handlers arrive at the platoon in Dau Tieng, they will have the rare opportunity to find several veterans who can provide valuable instruction gained from many years of Vietnam experience.


From Cu Chi To Saigon
(Continued From Page 1)

   At daylight, three more companies of the 22nd Inf joined the fight in a three-pronged attack into the village of Cu Chi.  Street-fighting raged for five hours until the enemy force abandoned the village.  The enemy unit, identified as the 1st Bn, MR IV Main Force Regiment, suffered at least 12 killed, five weapons lost and 21 personnel detained.
   The fighting in Tan Phu Trung and Ap Cho, neighboring villages along Highway 1 less than 10 kilometers from Cu Chi, began January 31 when the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf moved in to clear two enemy companies blocking the road.
   In almost five hours of continuous contact, the infantrymen killed 17 enemy.  The Viet Cong unit, believed to be from the 272nd Regiment, appeared to withdraw from the village.
   Two days later, however, fighting again erupted in the two communities, this time as a truck convoy attempted to pass through from Saigon to Cu Chi.
   While the convoy waited three kilometers to the south, a company from the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf and elements of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf fought their way into the town.
   Although the 3rd Bde battalion has borne the majority of the action in Ap Cho and Tan Phu Trung, elements of the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, Alpha Co, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor; and the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf have assisted the 22nd Inf in its attempts to drive through the enemy fortifications.
   So far, at least 106 Viet Cong have died in the American assaults on their fortifications, lost six individual and two crew served weapons and several personnel detained.
   The 2nd Bn, 12th Inf killed at least 115 Viet Cong in the battle to clear Highway 8A at Tan Hoa, and in action between there and an Phu Trung, six kilometers to the south.
   Also faced with Viet Cong entrenched in reinforced concrete bunkers, the 3rd Bde unit fought against elements of an estimated two battalions of the 272nd Viet Cong Regiment.
   Although the American unit had faced sporadic contact shortly after it airlifted into the Cu Chi area, its first significant contact came on February 5, when it killed 33 Viet Cong who had dug in at the hamlet of Phuoc Hung.
   The following day, the infantrymen moved north in an attempt to drive through the village of Tan Hoa.  Like the action along Highway 1, the fighting has raged ever since.
   On February 6, a company of the battalion killed 22 Viet Cong who had opened fire with small arms, machine guns and rockets.  Artillery fire from Cu Chi and armed helicopters supported the troops in their assault.
   Air Force fighter bombers dumped thousands of pounds of explosives onto the enemy fortifications during the eight-day battle.
   Although the U.S. troops several times penetrated the enemy defenses and captured several automatic and crew-served weapons, the Viet Cong force has continued to resist with heavy fire all attempts to break through the town.
   In other actions throughout the province, the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf killed 24 Viet Cong and captured one RPG-2 rocket launcher in a five-hour fight in the Ho Bo Woods.
   Throughout the two-week period, tactical air strikes accounted for 35 Viet Cong killed, artillery 30, and helicopter gunships 25 enemy killed.
   Two kilometers to the east, two companies of the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf were locked in battle with a large enemy force.  Fighting until dark, the infantrymen killed 102 enemy, and were supported by tactical air strikes, artillery and gunships.


Thanks to:
Dan Tofflemire, 4th Bn. (Mech), 23rd Inf, for sharing this issue,
Gary Hartt, 2nd Bn. (Mech), 22nd Inf., for finding this issue
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.

This page last modified 12-27-2005

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