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Vol 3 No. 16          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          April 15, 1968



Unit                   Page Unit                  Page Unit                  Page Unit                  Page
1st Bde Photo         8 116 AHC                7 2/34 Armor            1 3/22 Photos             4
1/5                          1 2/12                        8 2/34 Armor Photo  1 4/9                          1
1/5                          1 2/14                        1 2/34 Armor            1 4/9                          8
1/5 Photo                7 2/14                        1 3/13 Arty               1 6/77 Arty                1
1/8 Arty                  1 2/14 Photos            1 3/17 Air Cav          6 65th Engr Photo       7
1/27                        7 2/14                        6 3/22                       4 8th Aerial Port         7



Arms Team Kills 340 Viet Cong

   1ST BDE - A combined arms team of 25th Inf Div armor and infantry killed more than 100 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in a third full day of heavy fighting 54 kms northwest of Saigon.
   The actions brought to 340 the total number of enemy dead since elements of the 2nd Bde came in contact with an estimated enemy regiment in rice paddies and hedgerows near the district capital of Trang Bang.
   The action began as Co B, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, touched down in open fields east of a small village four kms west of the scene of a 20 hour battle that cost enemy forces 87 dead.
   Repeating the first fight, the company came under heavy enemy small arms, automatic weapons and rocket fire as it approached the village.  Calling for reinforcements, two more companies joined the battle.  They also began to return fire with small arms, machine guns and grenade launchers against the entrenched enemy.
   Soon after the contact began helicopter gunships, artillery and Air Force fighter bombers were called in to aid the embattled battalion.
   In addition, a nearby armor task force, led by the 2nd Bn, 34th Armor, with Co C of the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, sped to the scene of the fight to block off the village to the south.
   Repeated assaults by the U.S. forces were stopped by the enemy.  At nightfall, the infantry-armor task force pulled back while 20 air strikes and 5000 rounds of artillery pounded the area throughout the night.
   An early morning assault again halted when the ground units received heavy fire upon approaching the village.  After a second series of artillery and air strikes, the U.S. forces encountered only light resistance, and swept through the village.
   According to LTC Alfred M. Bracy, task force commander, an estimated Viet Cong and North Vietnamese battalion had occupied the village.
   Bracy praised his men for their actions, stating that their morale was high despite the two around-the-clock battles in three days.
   "There's a job to do and we will do it," said Bracy of his unit's spirit.
   SP4 Jimmy J. Mathis of Cochran, Ga., repeated his commander's comments,  "We've had so much contact lately, doing the right thing is just becoming natural in a fight."
   A few of the men even expressed a certain sympathy for the enemy.  "When I get tired and worn out, I think about how much better off we are than Charlie, and I feel better," said SP4 Daniel R. Mitchell of Santa Maria, Calif., as he watched an air strike fall on the enemy.
   Captured enemy equipment in the action included 14 AK-47 assault rifles, 2 RPG-2 rocket launchers, 6 Chicom light machine guns and thousands of rounds of small arms ammunition.

VC Machine Gun VC MACHINE GUN- A captured Viet Cong heavy anti-aircraft machine gun receives close inspection by members of the 2nd Bn, 34th Armor, 25th Inf Div, who captured it in a battle 54 kms northwest of Saigon.  (Photo By SP5 Gary Johnson)





   CU CHI - Three 25th Inf Div companies battled a reinforced battalion of North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong killing 87 enemy and capturing one in a 20-hour battle.
   The action began when Co C of the 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, landed in a rice paddy near a small village 54 kms northwest of Saigon, and immediately came under heavy fire.
   The company, under operational control of the 2nd Bde, called for air and artillery support.  Within minutes, two more companies had airlifted into the area and began to battle the entrenched communist force.
   When it became apparent that all civilians had deserted the village, the area was declared a free-fire zone and all available support was called in, a battalion spokesman said.
   Air Force fighter bombers from Bien Hoa and Pham Rang struck at the village throughout the action.  The F-100 and A-37 jets flew virtually around-the-clock missions as forward air controllers directed a series of close-in bombing runs.
   Artillerymen from three locations surrounding the village fired more than 3,000 rounds of high explosives in support of the ground troops.  Batteries of the 1st Bn, 8th Arty, the 3rd Bn, 13th Arty, and the 6th Bn, 77th Arty pounded the enemy reinforced bunkers.
   By nightfall, a detachment of the 2nd Bn, 34th Armor, joined the assault after a rapid advance from its position 10 kms northeast of the battleground.  Consisting of the battalion's reconnaissance platoon, two tanks and four carriers, the detachment charged into the enemy bunker line.
   At nightfall, Air Force "Spooky" and "Moonglow", two AC-47 flareships, illuminated the area constantly until contact was broken at 2:30 a.m. the next morning.
   When asked how effective the illumination worked, SGT Edward J. White replied, "It was just like daytime till the battle came to an end.  If I hadn't been so sleepy, I wouldn't have hardly known the difference," added White of Barberton, Ohio.
   After a continuous 20-hour battle, the "Tropic Lightning" troopers overran the well fortified enemy bunkers.  "The suspense of what was behind that perimeter was enough to keep anybody awake," remarked SGT Daniel C. Hatmaker of Welch, West Virginia.
   In addition to the body count and detainee, four new model Russian-made flame throwers, eight AK-47 assault rifles, one Chinese Communist M6 rifle, numerous documents, one RPG-2 rocket launcher, various small arms ammunition, and clothing were also captured.

Examining enemy documents ENEMY DOCUMENTS - Troops of the 25th Inf Div's 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, sort enemy documents
captured in a 20-hour battle 54 kms northwest of Saigon that resulted in 87 Viet Cong killed.  (Photo By SP4 Marty Caldwell)
RPG-2 ROCKET - SGT Danny C. Hatmaker of Welch, W. Va., carefully examines a loaded RPG-2 rocket launcher he found in an enemy-held village the 25th Inf Div's 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, had overrun after a 20-hour battle.  The Operation Quyet Thong infantrymen killed 87 Viet Cong in bitter, close-in fighting.  (Photo By SP4 Marty Caldwell) Sgt. Danny Hatmaker



Rice to Orphanage
       'Bobcats' Find Base Camp, Cache

   2ND BDE - Operation Quyet Thang infantrymen of the 25th Inf Div uncovered and destroyed an enemy regimental base camp recently as they searched a wooded area near the Saigon River, 48 kms northwest of Saigon.
   The Viet Cong complex, located by two companies and the reconnaissance platoon of the 2nd Bde's 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, contained more than 80,000 pounds of rice and hundreds of pounds of explosives.
   According to LTC Thomas C. Lodge of Deland, Fla., his troops arrived at the enemy installation only hours after the Viet Cong had abandoned it.
   "We came here looking for a fight," Lodge said, "but we hurt Charlie without having to fight him."
   The complex contained more than 375 bunkers, mess halls, sleeping quarters, fighting positions and command posts. There was even a barber shop in the installation.
   In addition to the rice, Lodge said, his men found hundreds of pounds of canned goods, peanuts, beans, sugar, dried fish and cured meat.
   The battalion commander added that much of the rice was later evacuated for donation to an orphanage in Saigon.
   The "Bobcats", under the operational control of the 3rd Bde, destroyed thousands of booster charges for mortars and rocket launchers, 50 mortar high explosives and 16 mortar gas rounds, and several 122mm rockets.  The troops also captured a 75mm recoilless rifle, which they evacuated.
   Engineers later destroyed the bunker and tunnel complex.
   In ceremonies in Sagion, representatives of the battalion turned over virtually all of the captured rice to members of the Viet Hoa Orphanage.


Just A Friendly Visit

   1ST BDE - A night ambush patrol recently turned from a nightmare to a fairytale for one 25th Inf Div trooper when he was unwittingly introduced to three Viet Cong, 8 kms north of Saigon.
   PFC Charles Besser, a rifleman for Delta Co, 4th Bn, 9th Inf "Manchus", experienced his adventure while waiting for the point man to return from reconnoitering the ambush site.
   "I had a headache that night so I had my head down," Besser of Akron, Ohio, commented.  "When someone nudged me I thought it was the point man or the medic with some aspirins; that was until I looked and saw sandalled feet - then I knew it was Charlie paying a call.
   "They had the drop on me so there was nothing I could do but play out the hand dealt," Besser continued.  "They were speaking Vietnamese, and all the time inching down to look at my face.  When he started to raise his AK-47 I fell back yelling 'VC' as shots zipped past my head."
   "I opened up with my M-60 and blasted away," PFC Jamie Hernandez of Puerto Rico stated.  "When we checked the area we found three Viet Cong dead."
   "What saved me was the camouflage I was wearing on my helmet," Besser recalled.  "They thought I was one of them.  That was their last hunch."


Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 15, 1968



COL Edwin H. Marks Jr., HQ, 1st Brigade
LTC Glenn K. Otis, HHT, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
LTC Ernest F. Condina, HQ, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
CPT Jack R. Coyer, HHC, 2nd Bn, 22nd Inf
CPT Elliot G. Fishburne III, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
CPT Charles E. Tillson, HHB, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty
CPT Lance C. Warner, Co B, 1st On, (Mech), 5th Inf
1LT Erhard P. Opsahl, Co A, 2nd Bn (Mech), 22nd Inf
1LT John J. Day, Co A, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf
2LT Steven A. Wilder, HHC, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
2LT John P. Garrison, Co D, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
2LT James M. Schroeder, Co A, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf
SGM Walter L. Moser, Hq & Svc Btry, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty
1SG Paul F. Simmons, Co C, 2nd Bn, 22nd Inf
SSG Melvin J. Lewis, Co C, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SGT David H. Moran, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
SP5 Keith A. Lefever, Co C, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor
SP5 Arthur Ruibal, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SP4 Collis C. Holcombe, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SP4 Douglas G. Barr, Co C, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
SP4 Jerome S. Adkins, HHC, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

SP4 Thomas Volz, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
SP4 William R. Cole, C Btry, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty
PFC Charles T. Folkes, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Robert A. Longford, Co A, 2nd Bn, 22nd Inf
PFC James A. Waldron, Co B, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
PFC Dale S. Adams, HHS Btry, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty
PFC Loren G. Luth, Co C, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf
BG William T. Gleason, HHC, 25th Inf Div
LTC Carrell W. Smith Jr, HHD, 25th Avn Bn
LTC Walter E. Adams, HHC, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
CPT David B. Bradley, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty
1LT James E. Moore, D Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
WO1 Bruce F. Wood, D Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
WO1 Robert P. Hose, Co A, 25th Avn Bn
MAJ Douglas H. Farmer, HHC, 2nd Bn, 12th Inf
MAJ Robert M. Brumback, HHC, 2nd Bn, 22nd Inf
MAJ Richard K. Martin, HHC, 2nd Bde
CPT Gerald L. Weigand, HHC, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
CPT Joseph D. Szwarckop, C Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
CPT Dennis V. Christe, HHC, 3rd Bde
CPT David L. Whidden, 3rd Bn 22nd Inf
1LT Charles A. Bennett, Co D, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
1LT John J. Ricca, Btry C, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
1LT Phillip W. Childress, Btry C, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
1LT Robert H. Slaterback, HH&S Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Arty
1LT Jay L. Hickey, Co C, 2nd Bn, 12th Inf
2LT Allan A. Lobeck, Co C, 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf
SGM Gale L. Foutch, HHC, 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf
1SG Lawrence L. Williams, HHC 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
SSG William P. Hayes, Btry C, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
SSG John W. Steinbach, A Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
SSG Charles E. Howell, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SSG Noeldean Rhoten, Co B, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf
SGT Darrell G. Dyer, Co A, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf
SGT Joseph Green, Co ti, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf

SGT Darrell W. Griffin, Btry A, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty
SP5 Stanley J. Kjar, Co D, 65th Engr Bn
SP5 Gary W. Crawford, Co D, 65th Engr Bn
SP5 Edwin D. Dennis, Co D, 65th Engr Bn
SP4 Paul B. Francis, Co B, 65th Engr Bn
SP4 Roy L. Kennedy, C Btry, 7th Bn, Ilth Arty
SP4 Arthur A. Wechlo, HHC, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor
SP4 Timothy G. Campbell, Co A, 4th Bn 9th Inf
SP4 Raymond J. Eichman, C Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
SP4 Larry D. King, Co A, 2nd Bn, 22nd Inf
SP4 Arthur X. Tejeda, Co C, 4th Bn 23rd )nf
SP4 Michael Jamilkowski, HHC, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
SP4 Randal Bissenger, HHC, 4th Bn, 23rd Inf
SP4 William J. Lavin, Co B, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 Ernest Threadgill, Co C, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SP4 Thomas K. Chang, Trp A, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor
PFC Winford M. Whited, Co D, 65th Engr Bn
PFC Phillip T. Jurgins, Co D, 65th Engr Bn
PFC Terry L. Stoner, Co B, 65th Engr Bn
PFC Michael Croke, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf

PFC Kenneth E. Giesing, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
PFC Otis H. Bostic, Btry A, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty
PFC Glenn E. Dunlap, Co A, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor
PFC Jack E. Mosley, Co A, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor
PFC Harold J. Wallace, Co A, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
PFC Barney M. Wood, D Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
PFC Allen J. Wood, Co B, 25th Med Bn
PFC William R. Steiber III, Co C, 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
PFC John Jackson, Co B, 4th Bn, 9th Inf



Become A 'Mr'
      AG Section

   Have you been thinking about becoming a Warrant Officer?  Then you need to know that the Army today has a continuing need for qualified Warrant Officers.  Although the Department of the Army is very selective in appointing personnel to this grade, do not be discouraged if you think you qualify.
   First of all, there is the Army Aviation Program, which when completed, has commercial values if you do not remain in the Army beyond your obligated three years.  Prerequisites are outlined in AR 611-85.
   Secondly, if you have been in the Army for about six or more years, you may already be qualified to apply for a direct appointment to Warrant Officer within your field.   AR 135-100 is your guide for applying for this type of appointment.
   Department of the Army Circular 601-13, 22 Jun 67, contains a current list of fields open to direct appointment to Warrant Officer.  At the present time, these specialties are open:
   201A Meteorology Technician
   421A Armament Repair Technician
   441A Ordnance Shop Technician
   561A Master or Mate
   562A Marine Engineering Technician
   621A Engineer Equip Repair Tech
   062B Helicopter Pilot
   671B Aircraft Repair Tech
   771A Unit Personnel Tech
   632A Automotive Repair Tech
   741B Data Processing Tech, EAM
   972A Area Intelligence Tech
   And others in the guided missile field.
   Unlike the Commissioned Officer, the Warrant Officer need not serve ten years or more to be eligible to retire at his highest grade held.  If you otherwise qualify under the provisions of AR 635-130, you need only serve your initial three year obligation as a Warrant Officer before retiring, unless you attain the grade of CW4.  If you are promoted to WC4 you must serve an additional two years active duty after your promotion.
   For additional information concerning the Army Warrant Officer Program, see your Personnel Staff NCO, your adjutant, or contact the AG Personnel Actions Division at Cu Chi 5511 or 5533.


Recruiting Jobs Open Stateside

   • Numerous openings are now available for US Army Recruiters in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.  Locations include Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Waterloo, Mason City, Sioux City, Ottumwa, Fort Dodge, Council Bluffs, Spencer and West Des Moines in Iowa; Lincoln, Grand Island, North Platte and Omaha in Nebraska; and Aberdeen, Huron, Sioux Falls and Rapid City in South Dakota.
   • Returnees from overseas tours who are interested should see the US Army recruiting team at Oakland or Seattle when they arrive in the U.S., or if they miss the team contact the Sergeant Major, US Army Recruiting Main Station, Building 63, Gruber Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50315.  The advantages include a stabilized two-year tour, opportunity for advancement (since all vacancies are in grades E6 and E7), and a chance for the recruiter to show what he can do in "selling" the Army while operating mainly on his own, with minimum supervision.
   • Prerequisites for recruiting duty include:
   1. Be a volunteer for recruiting duty
   2. GT score of 110 or higher (may be waived)
   3. E-5 or above (NCO or specialist)
   4. Minimum six years service (may be waived)
   5. Have personal and financial affairs in good order
   6. Valid military or civilian drivers license
   7. Good moral character
   8. High school graduate (or GED equivalent)
   9. Must not be receiving proficiency pay (specialty)
   10. Favorable NAC check completed or possess security clearance of secret or higher.



   A new Army reenlistment option for overseas returnees, effective Oct 31, 1967, permits individuals completing a normal overseas tour to reenlist in the Regular Army for a 12-month stabilized tour for a CONUS station or area of choice provided a requirement exists within current priorities.
   Enlisted personnel in grades E-1 through E-6 serving in all overseas areas and senior enlisted personnel in grades E-7 through E-9 serving in Vietnam may select the new option.  All DOD Lists Quarters Available to Families Of Forces in Vietnam may select the new option.  All eligible individuals, regardless of pay grade, years of service, or time remaining on present enlistment may take a "short discharge" for immediate reenlistment for this option.
   The reenlistment term under the new option is a minimum of four years and the reenlistment must take place no earlier than 180 days before, nor later than 90 days before leaving Vietnam.
   For further information or assistance contact your Army Career Counselor or call CC 199.


DOD Lists Quarters Available to Families Of Forces in Vietnam

   Nearly 2,500 sets of family quarters at 18 Defense installations in 16 states are available to military families of eligible sponsors serving unaccompanied tours overseas.
   The largest number of quarters are at Schilling Manor Sub Post, Salina, Kan., where some 730 Capehart units in the two, three and four-bedroom categories are available.
   The Reno Housing Authority at the former Stead AFB, Nev., has 645 units, which include 257 officer duplex and field grade units.  In New Mexico, the Roswell Housing Authority at the former Walker AFB, has 490 sets of Wherry quarters, and the former Larson AFB, Wash., has 290 three-bedroom Capehart units available.


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 Hugh F. Orr . . . . . . . . .  Information Officer
1LT James R. Leman  . . . . . .  Officer-in-Charge
SP5 Terry Richard  . . . . . . . .  Editor
SP5 Dave Cushman . . . . . . .  Editorial Assistant


Page 3                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 15, 1968


Kuala Lumpur, Penang - Malaysia


Port scene
Sampans bring goods from local villages for the crewmen of ocean going vessels.
For those wishing a Malaysian R&R, there is a choice of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur or the beach city of Penang.  Both offer a wide variety of things to do and see.
Face of Orang Ulu tribesman of Malaysia.


Priest on palanquin
Priest carried on palanquin in Juala Lumpur during a Chinese festival.



Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 15, 1968


'We discovered a sleeping NVA with an RPG rocket launcher'

Photos By SP4 Earl

   3RD BDE - In a series of ambushes near the Saigon River, just 12 kms north of Saigon, a unit of the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div, has accounted for 35 Viet Cong killed.
   From their basecamp north of Saigon, Alpha Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, used five high-powered skiffs and a larger gun-boat to travel up the Saigon River where they landed and established a vise-like ambush at the mouth of a branch river, a known enemy supply route.
   "As we swept the immediate area prior to establishing our position, we discovered a sleeping NVA soldier with an RPG rocket launcher," explained 1LT Michael S. Root, 4th Plt leader.
   After detaining the enemy soldier, the platoon set up at the mouth of the tributary to act as lookout.
   "Shortly before midnight the first enemy sampan glided by our position," explained Root.
   Opening fire with small arms, grenade launchers, and LAWs, the company sank the sampan and killed all of the VC aboard.  During the course of the night, a total of four Viet Cong boats were destroyed by the deadly effective American ambush and 22 enemy bodies were discovered.
   A similar ambush on the opposite bank of the same river sent five enemy sampans to the bottom the following night and killed 13 VC.

Patrolling A patrol on a tributary of the Saigon River north of Saigon.
Regulars dock their Boston Whalers at an ambush site. Securing boat


Regulars prepare to board their Boston Whalers to move out on a sweep of the Saigon River.
The Regulars close off VC water supply routes north of Saigon on the Saigon River.



Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 15, 1968


Saves Chopper
     17th Cav Works Fast

   CU CHI - When a gunship of Trp B, 3rd Sqdn, 17th Air Cav, made a forced landing in a rice paddy 11 kms south of the 25th Inf Div's base camp at Dau Tieng the cavalrymen started rescue and recovery operations that resulted in a nearly letter perfect extraction.
   The gunship was flying cover for an OH-6A Cayuse when an electrical fire forced the pilot to make a precautionary landing in a rice paddy along the Saigon River.
   Unhurt, the four crew members managed to put out the fire while CPT Donald Jones, piloting the ship, radioed in the coordinates of the downed ship.
   Jones, of Vinegrove, Ky., landed his tiny craft to pick up the airmen when he found out that help would not arrive for several minutes.
   "The four of them came running up to my ship and started climbing aboard," said Jones.  "The Cayuse is only made to carry two passengers but I just couldn't leave anybody out there, I had to try to get them all out," explained Jones.
   Somehow everybody scrambled aboard, bringing with them two M-60 machine guns, and Jones managed to get the heavily loaded ship back to Bravo Trp's base camp at Tay Ninh.
   Minutes later two "Hunter-Killer" teams from B Trp arrived on the scene and dropped smoke grenades to guide the troop's infantry reaction force into the area.
   The "Rifles", as the troopers are called, quickly set up a defensive position and began their task of removing the rocket pods and dismantling the miniguns while gunships and the two Cayuses orbited over head.
   One of the observation helicopters, piloted by 1LT James "Pop" Ingraham of Madison, Ind., spotted three camouflaged sampans along the river bank.
   According to Ingraham, "My observer saw something in one of the sampans so I brought the ship around for another look.  I recognized the bags of two North Vietnamese Army field packs so my observer dropped smoke to mark the spot for our gunship," he continued.
   While this was going on a CH-47 Chinook was dispatched to recover the "C" model Huey.  The cavalrymen on the ground had just completed their tasks when the Chinook came into view.
   According to Ingraham, "Everything was perfect, the Chinook arrived and made the extraction without a hitch."
   After the CH-47 departed, Ingraham's "Hunter-Killer" team orbited the area for a few minutes looking for Viet Cong.
   "We kept an eye for any VC heading towards the recovery area and located two Viet Cong armed with AK-47's," said Ingraham.  "One of my observers fired a burst with his M-16 rifle and got one of them as I called the gunship in for a strike," he added.
   The gunship rolled in and strafed the area with rockets and mini-guns, killing the other VC and providing a fitting end to a highly successful operation.


'Bravo Bandidos' New Name For Co.

   1ST BDE - A 25th Inf Div rifle company proved their right to be called the "Bravo Bandidos" and killed one confirmed North Vietnamese soldier while evacuating enemy supplies.
   The action took place during a recent 2nd Bde reconnaissance in force operation in the HoBo Woods.  Bravo Co, 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, found the supplies in a Viet Cong base camp.
   "Half our company kept a lookout while the rest of us checked out the bunkers," said SP4 Bobby Lones of Lamar, Tenn.
   Evacuation of items found, included 30 North Vietnamese Army (NVA) arm bands and flags, medical pack with supplies, clothing, documents and some small arms ammunition.
   As Co B returned to their forward base camp, they were fired upon by an estimated half dozen communist soldiers.  After locating the enemy's position, 1LT Antonio F. Sanpere, company commander, led an assault which forced the enemy to flee leaving one dead communist behind.
   Bravo has been called "The Bandidos" since Sanpere was appointed as company commander.  Sanpere, originally from Barcelona, Spain, recalls, "The company was already known as the "Bandits" and some of the men just started the Spanish interpretation after I joined the company."
   "We like the name and wanted our CO to feel welcome," stated SSG John P. McCaffrey, "The nickname is a morale builder to the men and we are establishing quite a record by raiding "Charlies" hideout," added McCaffrey of Wyandotte, Mich.


Orders Needed In Bags

   SAIGON (MACV) - "Socks, shorts, toilet kit... I guess it's all there!"
   Don't close that bag yet, man.  You forgot something very important a - copy of your orders right on the top!
   In a move to cut down claims for lost baggage and speed up recovery of mishandled luggage, the joint services put out the word that all passengers on MAC or contract flights will insert a copy of pertinent orders or other authorization on the inside of each piece of baggage, on the top.  The order covers all checked and unchecked luggage.
   Labels and tags on the outside of the pieces tend to become torn off, ripped or illegible thus making it hard to identify and return to the proper owner.  The new system will eliminate the problem and help you get the luggage in a reasonable amount of time.
   Don't wait until you get to the check-in counter to put those orders in anymore.  The time to do it is when you pack.  This will speed up processing at the check-in counter and get you on your way with minimum delay.
   So when you take that last check before closing your luggage and moving out remember that the last piece in each item of baggage must be that travel authorization or copy of your orders.


Page 7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 15, 1968


Bobcat APCs Change Over To Diesel Fuel

Diesel-fuel Armored Personnel Carriers
DIESEL TRACKS IN ACTION - New diesel-powered tracks of the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, maneuver across an open area.  (Photo By Jake Southwick)


   2ND BDE -- "Bobcats" of the 25th Inf Div's 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, recently put new tigers in their tanks with a conversion to diesel-powered armored personnel carriers.
   So far, the 2nd Bde's "Mech" unit has had nothing but praise for the high-powered, long-reaching "tracks."
   "When you stop to think about it, there are no disadvantages to a diesel track," said SSG Joseph L. Hendricks, the battalion motor sergeant.  "There are fewer parts to malfunction, we get greater power for Vietnam terrain, and a diesel offers better mileage," the Bowling Green, Ky., sergeant noted.
   According to MAJ Charles H. Gregor Jr. of Versailles, Ky., the brigade S-4, the new personnel carriers have several major advantages over the older, gas-powered vehicles.
   "For one," he added, "the mileage is about doubled."
   "Two, it eliminates the multi-fuel resupply problem."  Gregor explained that armor-mechanized infantry task forces often encountered resupply problems because the tanks needed diesel fuel and the personnel carriers gasoline.
   "Now all we have to take out to them is diesel," he said.


Wolfhounds Kill VC LT

   2ND BDE - An attempt by a Viet Cong lieutenant to scrounge food was foiled when 25th Inf Div soldiers caught him in the act.
   The action occurred as a reconnaissance platoon of the 1st Bn, 27th Inf "Wolfhounds" conducted an operation through rice paddies 10 kms west of Saigon.
   According to 2LT Arthur T. Margrann III of Feasterville, Pa., the platoon had just moved into a small village dotted with piles of vegetables.
   The platoon's interpreter sensed enemy nearby, and warned Margrann.
   "We noticed a man talking to a girl, so I yelled for him to come over.  He glanced over his shoulder and pretended he didn't hear," Margrann recounted.  "He started to move away, so I yelled again.  Finally he hopped over a berm and started to run.  We fired, maneuvered toward him, and then he yelled in English to hold fire."
   As the Americans approached, PFC Joel Goodwin noticed the man was armed and drawing his weapon. The Texarkana, Tex., rifleman opened fire, killing the Viet Cong.
   Upon searching the body, the Wolfhounds discovered a cocked .45 caliber pistol and documents indicating he was an enemy platoon leader.
   Intelligence officers who questioned the girl learned the man had been demanding food from the villagers when the Wolfhounds moved into the other side of the village.



   CU CHI - The "Stingers" gunships of the 116th Aslt Heli Co, 269th Cbt Avn Bn, killed 15 Viet Cong while operating on combat assaults in support of the 25th Inf Div northwest of Trung Lap.
   Five of the enemy were killed when the Stingers, commanded by CPT Michael Atkinson, of Ozark, Ala., spotted several enemy in a position along the landing zone which the Stingers were securing for troop-carrying slicks.
   The slicks began to orbit the area while the Stingers rolled in and eliminated the enemy.  Several of the Viet Cong were armed with RPG rocket launchers.


8th Aerial Port
     Cu Chi Travel Bureau

SP4 Richard Patterson
   CU CHI - For most soldiers of the 25th Inf Div their first and last contact with the division base camp at Cu Chi is at the 8th Aerial Port Det.  This small outpost of the Air Force in the midst of a sprawling Army base is responsible for the air transportation of soldiers and mail from Cu Chi to Tay Ninh and Dau Tieng.
   Through the efforts of the five men at the aerial port an average of 300 people are processed each day.  To this work load is added approximately 6,000 pounds of mail and on some occasions emergency shipments of fuel and ammunition are carried.
   Airman First Class Carl S. Barnes recalls one load of fuel that came in during the Tet crisis, "The bladder had just been off-loaded from a C-130 Transport when a mortar round scored a direct hit on the fuel."
   According to Barnes, of Vicksburg, Miss., "burning fuel splashed all over the place but the pilot managed to make an emergency takeoff and make it out OK."
   "The biggest problem faced by the detachment and one of the most dangerous is making sure no grenades or loaded weapons are brought aboard aircraft," explained Air Force Technical Sergeant William Pierce, of Charles Town, W.Va.
   The main job of the team is processing passengers and mail.  This responsibility is met with the use of C-7A Caribou aircraft that is dispatched to the Aerial Port for its use.
   "Sometimes this plane has to be used for the R&R flights because the regularly scheduled aircraft doesn't arrive or is delayed for a long period of time," Pierce said.
   "Most of the delays can be attributed to maintenance or emergency flights, such as troop lifts, that have priority over everything else," added Barnes.
   Consequently, as most of air travelers know, there is a lot of waiting.
   Barnes described some of the efforts the airmen have tried to make the waiting easier, "We have put books in the waiting area and the Red Cross and Special Services have provided a variety every now and then.  We even scrounge fruit, apples and that sort of thing, from the mess hall when we can," Barnes continued.
   "We know it's hard waiting so we try to make it a little easier and get the people out as fast as possible," he added.

DEMOLITION CHARGES - SP4 Theodore Hiracheta of Co A, 65th Engrs, exits a tunnel with detonation cord after setting demolition charges.  A task force of the 2nd Bn, 34th Armor, and two mechanized infantry companies found the enemy fortifications in the northern HoBo Woods during an Operation Quyet Thong reconnaissance in force mission. SP4 Theodore Hiracheta



   Want to get a flight back to Tay Ninh or Dau Tieng from Cu Chi?  Going on Emergecy leave?
   Here are a few tips to save you time and aggravation.
   Travel through the Cu Chi air terminal, maintained by the 8th Aerial Port Det, is on a Priority-Space Available basis.  As stated in MACV directives, military personnel will be booked for flights out of Cu Chi according to the following priority:
   I Emergency Leave.
   II Emergency travel, EOD teams, PAC personnel, Graves Registration personnel, etc.
   III Troops moving in units, Military Couriers.
   IV R&R groups, Transient personnel.
   Most travelers fall under the last category and this is on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVED basis.  The terminal cannot reserve a seat and it cannot guarantee a seat to anyone.
   Best bet for Tropic Lightning troopers is to arrive at the terminal around 7 a.m., sign the flight manifest and wait for the plane to depart.



Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 15, 1968


Boy Scouts load supplies BOY SCOUT - Vietnamese Boy Scouts help soldiers from the 25th Inf Div's 1st Bde deliver 1,500 pounds of food, donated by American forces, for refugees of Long My hamlet at Dao Duc High School in Toy Ninh province.  (Photo By SP4 Richard Adams)



'This game is for keeps'

   1ST BDE - A 25th Inf Div rifleman and an enemy sniper recently engaged in a dangerous version of "Hot Potato" which proved deadly to the Viet Cong.
   The game occurred on a 4th Bn, 9th Inf "Manchus", reconnaissance in force operation near Saigon.
   SP4 James Kyzour, a rifleman for the Bravo Manchus who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, switched "potatoes" with the enemy soldier while he was pointman for his squad and received Viet Cong sniper fire.
   "As bullets zipped by me I began crawling towards the source of fire," Kyzour recalled.  "Crawling closer I could see the VC firing at the men.  Then he saw me and popped a few rounds at me.  I kept trying to get closer to get him.  He threw a grenade at me that hit a log about a foot away and rolled and hit my rifle.  I frantically grabbed at it and threw it back.  A few seconds later he threw it back hitting me in the leg.  At this point I felt like laughing, only this game is for keeps," Kyzour commented.
   "I threw it back and when nothing happened, I heaved one of my own.  This one exploded.  When I checked it out, the VC was dead.  They just don't make 'potatoes' like we do," Kyzour remarked.


River Inf Mobility Fatal To VC

   3RD BDE - During a recent reconnaissance in force mission, the "leg men" of the 2nd Bn, 12th Inf "White Warriors", turned amphibious as they used inflatable rubber rafts to search canals 15 kms north of Saigon.
   The mobility of the floating infantry has proved fatal to VC in the area as they killed ten of the enemy and detained five in a day long battle.
   The 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div, elements made contact with the enemy shortly after they had been "heli-lifted" into the area.  "We had just set down and began to move toward the canal when we uncovered several bunkers," stated CPT Lansing T. Hewitt, Alpha Co Commanding Officer.  "As we were checking out the first bunkers, four NVA soldiers appeared from a bunker nearby and offered little resistance as my men moved in."
   Moving down the canal on their rafts and dismounting near the suspected enemy location, Alpha and Bravo Cos came under heavy fire.  After pinpointing the enemy bunker locations, gunships were called in to strike the positions.
   When the gunships completed their runs the companies moved in and again encountered heavy fire.  This time Tactical Air Strikes were called in after which they advanced into the impact area.  Searching the nearest bunkers, the infantrymen detained one NVA soldier along with his AK-47 assault rifle.  Moving further into the enemy position, the infantrymen again came under intense fire.
   The battle raged on into the late evening with intermittent air and artillery strikes pounding the enemy positions.  Finally at darkness the companies dug in and set up a perimeter for the night.
   At daybreak, with little resistance, the companies moved back into the area uncovering ten NVA bodies, eight 122mm rockets and hundreds of rounds of small arms ammunition among the vacated bunkers.



Thanks to
Don Casteel, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for sharing this issue,
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.

This page last modified 8-12-2004

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