Vol 4 No. 41 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 13, 1969
|Unit Page||Unit Page||Unit Page||Unit Page|
|1/8 Arty 1||2/12 1||25th Avn Bn Photo 6||4/23 2|
|1/8 Arty 1||2/12 3||25th Avn Bn 6||4/23 3|
|1/8 Arty Photo 7||2/12 Photo 8||25th Inf Div Photo 8||4/23 Photo 3|
|1/8 Arty 7||2/12 8||3/13 Arty 1||4/23 Photo 4|
|1/8 Arty Photos 7||2/14 1||3/13 Arty Photo 4||4/23 Photo 4|
|1/8 Arty 8||2/14 Photo 1||3/13 Arty 8||65th Engr Photo 6|
|1/27 Photo 4||2/14 Photo 4||3/22 Photo 4||65th Engr 6|
|1/27 Photo 7||2/14 8||3/22 Photo 4||65th Engr Photo 6|
|1/27 7||2/27 Photo 7||3/22 Photo 4||7th ARVN 3|
|1/27 Photos 7||2/27 7||4/9 1||Air Force Photo 4|
|187th AHC Photo 4||2/27 Photos 7||4/9 3||Hawaiian NG 6|
|2nd Bde Photo 8||2/77 Arty 3||4/9 Photo 3||PSYOPS 1|
|2/12 Photo 1|
Dragons, Arty 'Bush, Whack Foe
Shoot-out at Ho Bo Corral: NVA Lose
By PFC Greg Stanmar
PB HUNSLEY - A chase scene out of an old Western was re-enacted recently near here, and it cost the bad guys 25 dead.
The all-too-real script opened with the third platoon of Bravo Company, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry leaving this patrol base in the Ho Bo Woods on an ambush patrol. Near midnight, 10 to 15 enemy were spotted near the ambush site.
The batteries of the 1st Battalion, 8th Field Artillery opened up and killed five of the enemy. The patrol then started back to Hunsley.
AT THIS time an observer in the patrol base tower spotted a group of soldiers and reported they had the patrol in sight. Closer inspection showed the group they were watching was not the ambush patrol, but was instead about 40 North Vietnamese Army soldiers.
The 15-man Dragon AP started heading for the wire with the enemy force close behind.
Once the "gates were closed," however, the picture changed. The base opened up with rapid fire of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery and two 4.2-inch mortars. The bunker line troops fired their light weapons.
THE BARRAGE ended with 20 more enemy dead and no casualties for the Fire Brigade troopers.
|MIGHTY TWO - A Cobra gunship hovers protectively while Private First Class Clifford Guitbeault of Woonsocket, N.J., checks out a suspected enemy hootch as 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry soldiers pursue an NVA element they had encountered the night before. (PHOTO BY PFC GREG STANMAR)|
|It could definitely mar your memories of Vietnam to have your weapon misfire, or maybe blow up, when you need it. Dirty ammunition could make that happen. No season in the land of the cool water buffalo is kind to those helpful M-16 and M-60 rounds. Check them frequently, keep them clean and free from rust.|
Cool Manchu APs Put 14 Foes on Ice
By PFC RICHARD W. SEARS
TAY NINH - Quiet, patient and calmly keeping their cool, Manchus of the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry's Alpha Company sprung a series of classic night ambushes over a two-night period, killing 14 NVA soldiers without incurring any friendly casualties.
Working out of Fire Support Base Sedgwick II, the 1st Brigade soldiers set up their APs in swampy rice paddies nine miles south of Tay Ninh and only a half-mile from the Angel's Wing, a stretch of Cambodia-Vietnam border that has been crossed by countless NVA feet.
AFTER THE company's ambush elements had taken up their positions, they settled down, silent and alert. They didn't have long to wait.
Soon after dark movement was spotted along the border. The enemy was operating in small groups making their way along paddy dikes, avoiding the muck of the swollen rice paddies.
"They were walking right into our arms," recalled Private First Class Charles La Days of Houston, Tex. "I counted close to 30 of them coming right at me, but for some reason they stated to turn."
The same thing was happening at the other Manchu AP sites.
"WHEN WE saw them change direction, that's when we opened up on them," added Private First Class Ramon Estrada of El Paso, Tex.
The NVA, surprised and trapped, tried to run. But the fire from the Tropic Lightning infantrymen, backed up by artillery and gunships, forced them to seek cover.
Sporadic fire punctuated a long night, and at first light, the Manchus carefully moved into the hostile positions.
THEY FOUND 13 bodies spread over a wide area, one wounded hoi chanh waiting to give himself up, five medical kits, 28 RPG rounds, seven B-40 rounds, 16 B-40 boosters, 10 shirts, seven pair of trousers, 200 AK-47 rounds and two AK-47s. Another detainee was later picked up in the same area.
That night another ambush was blown on the enemy forces, costing the NVA one dead, one AK-47, four Chi-Com grenades and some more clothing - this time with a wounded man inside of it.
"Charlie sure walked right into it these last two nights," said Specialist 4 Robert Gonzales of Mesills Park, N.M.
|ROUGH GOING - Men of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry negotiate a steep incline in the Boi Loi Woods during a sweep in search of an NVA company. (PHOTO BY PFC JIM WILLIAMS)|
Warriors Use Something Old, New; NVA Is Something Blue
By PFC JIM WILLIAMS
CU CHI - Fire Brigade Warriors combined the oldest military tactic there is - the infantry assault - with modern firepower of artillery, helicopter gunships and air strikes to decimate an NVA company, killing 30 enemy entrenched in the Boi Loi Woods.
Airmobile to a landing zone in the northern part of the woods, the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry's A and B Companies had begun an on-line sweep, relying on reports that placed a large NVA force in the area.
AS ALPHA Company came out into a clearing, two RPGs roared directly toward the Warrior command group, which included Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Burton J. Walrath Jr.
"One went over and the other fell short," said Walrath. "They probably saw our radio antennas."
Company A laid down a base of fire as the enemy poured on more RPGs, AK-47 and light machinegun rounds. At the same time, Bravo moved up and also came under fire. Both companies were within 100 meters of the forward enemy element.
Artillery of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery and A Battery, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery, and then air strikes were called in. The enemy positions appeared to be well saturated, so both companies went into an assault.
ACCORDING TO one of the command group RTOs, Private First Class Fulton Cunningham of San Antonio, Tex., "the fire from the enemy was as heavy as before the air strikes."
Both companies drew back and 1800 more rounds of artillery, four light fire teams and several more air strikes tore up the positions of the entrenched NVA soldiers.
In Walrath's words, "We knew we were going back in."
When the support fire decreased, B Company moved around to the right flank with Alpha and gunships providing cover fire. Alpha than organized a third assault on the enemy.
Said Cunningham, "We were 200 meters into the enemy position, receiving sniper fire and we still couldn't see the bunkers in front of us."
IT WAS NEARLY four o'clock in the afternoon when a heavy storm moved in from the northwest. By this time, nearly 2000 pounds of ammunition had been flown in to the ground troops by slick and LOH helicopters.
In addition to the 30 enemy killed in action, 20 bunkers were destroyed along with 15 of the new AK-47s with the collapsible stock.
Walrath said: "The enemy was excellently disciplined, perfectly entrenched and organized in depth. We beat part of them down and then ran low on ammo and weather at the same time. This was one of the most violent actions I had ever seen; Charlie knew he had been in a fight when we finished with him that day."
It's Everywhere! It's Everywhere!: Second Brigade's 'Night Squawk'
By SP4 JOHN HAYDOCK
CU CHI - Chicken Man, move over; the 2d Brigade now has its own fabulous rotored week-long warrior, the Night Squawk.
In their battle to win the hearts and minds of the people, Army Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) sections have a nest of reliable tools that includes gifts, pamphlets, medical programs and construction projects.
"BUT SOMETIMES it pays to use a little old-fashioned fear and firepower, too," says First Lieutenant Anthony Faiia, 2d Brigade PSYOPS officer. "That's why we invented the Night Squawk, to back up our promises with force."
Night PSYOPS missions are being combined with the Fire Brigade's regular Night Hawk flights. The Night Squawk UH-1 helicopter equipped with powerful amplifiers and speakers plays frightening funeral music or eerie "spirit sounds" over a target area.
Any enemy who is worried enough about being haunted to vacate his cover or bunker is quickly spotted by the crew of the chopper, which carries a big stick - its miniguns - as well as speaking loudly.
"THIS IS AN offensive kind of operation," pointed out Faiia, a Charleston Heights, S.C., native. "We fly over areas where we know enemy headquarters are located. The combined program has been very effective."
The PSYOPS section's daylight flights tell of the benefits of the chieu hoi program, Faiia adds. The night missions demonstrate the consequences of not accepting them.
Page 2 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 13, 1969
CPT George A. Heneveld, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CPT Robert B. Connolly, Co A, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
CPT Richard H. Goldsmith, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
CPT Aubrey B. Stacy, Co A. 2d Bn, 22d Inf
1LT Joseph D. Carbone, A Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty
1LT John A. Seaquist, Co F, 75th Inf
1LT Robert D. Anderson, A Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty
1LT Patrick L. Smith, Co E, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
1LT John P. Higgins Jr., A Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty
1LT Wayne T. Armour, Co A, 2d Bn, 22d Inf
1LT Roger C. Schultz, HHC, 2d Bn, 22d Inf
1LT Kenneth M. Day, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
2LT Harold E. Riney, B Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty
2LT Michael P. Pate, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
2LT Ronald W. Hall, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
WOl Michael J. Finnegan, Co B, 25th Avn
CSM Charles M. Rutledge, HHC, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
PSG Richard J. Zagroba, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SFC Ronald A. Mull, Co E, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
SSG Jesus Salazar Jr., Co F, 75th Inf
SSG Dan L. Helms, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SSG James H. Barnard, Co C, 2d Bn, 27th Inf
SGT Lynn Miller, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT David L. Pollard, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SGT Gary P. Hershberger, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SP5 Otis L. Wilson, Co D, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP5 Bruce J. Rose, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SP4 Cecil S. Whitaker, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 Thomas E. Harris, Co C, 2d Bn. 22d Inf
SP4 Larry G. Forrest, HHS Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty
SP4 William Frickey, A Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SP4 Michael C. Paris, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SP4 Robert L. Naylor, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SP4 Roger K. Hollinger, Co A, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
PFC Fred Howard, A Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty
PFC Glenn R. Chapman, B Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty
PFC Robert V. Torres, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
PFC William T. Seaton, Co A, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
PFC Dale S. Butler, Co C, 2d Bn. 27th Inf
PFC Carl G. Edgar, A Btry, 2d Bn, 77th Arty
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
LTC Carl M. Mott Jr., HHS Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Arty
LTC Bruce F. Williams, HHC, 2d Bn, 22d Inf
LTC Robert A. Kurek, HHC, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
MAJ James Maharrey, HHC, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
MAJ Charles W. Addicott, Co A, 25th Avn Bn
CPT Thomas J. Sinclair, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
CPT William E. Malinovsky, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
How Much Do You Know About Drugs?
The field of narcotics and drug abuse is one of those areas where what you don't know can hurt you.
To test your knowledge, both formal and informal, of this problem - which can affect you, through your friends, even if you never use narcotics or abuse drugs yourself - see how many of the following questions you can answer. The quiz is based on information taken from a II Field Force fact sheet, "The Escape You Seek May Last for All Eternity."
1. A "hot load," in drug-user's slang, is: (a) an illegally obtained quantity of heroin; (b) a good-looking girl; (c) an overdose of narcotics or other drugs that may result in death.
2. Which of the following is an effect of using marijuana: (a) your judgment and memory falter; (b) your sex life improves: (c) you suddenly find yourself able to write prize-winning poems.
3. Which of the following is not true about barbituates (sleeping pills): (a) they are not habit forming; (b) they make you drowsy, slow-witted and sluggish; (c) they can lead to death by poisoning.
4. Pep pills (amphetamines) are: (a) harmless no matter how many you take; (b) likely to affect the heart and circulatory system; (c) something you can use to improve the flavor of ham and lima beans.
5. The following are symptoms of withdrawal among addicts who attempt to stop using heroin, opium or morphine: (a) your ears fall off; (b) you find yourself able to run very fast; (c) you experience sweating, cramps, itching, vomiting and diarrhea.
6. An addict hooked on heroin finds his habit costs him (a) 50 or 60 cents a week: (b) three dollars a month if he joins a narcotics club; (c) anywhere from $20 to $100 a day, every day.
7. Users sometimes call marijuana; (a) Billy Joe; (h) Bobby Sue; (c) Mary Jane.
8. Marijuana can be habit forming because: (a) you have to sign a long-term contract the first time you buy any: (b) it creates a mental need to use it as a crutch; (c) your mother will be sad if you stop using it.
9. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the penalty for the wrongful possession, sale, transfer or use of narcotics is (a) a severe warning; (b) 50 push-ups; (c) one to five years confinement at hard labor, dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
10. The few benefits offered by narcotic use and drug abuse are: (a) available if you re-up for six years: (b) all readily found through other means. without risking your life and future and those of your friends: (c) mentioned in the Bill of Rights.
The answers: 1-c; 2-a: 3-a; 4-b; 5-c; 6-c; 7-c; 8-b; 9-c; 10-b.
Don't Start Fires
Laxity Causes Most Fires
What causes the majority of destructive fires in the Republic of Vietnam? Enemy action? Accidents?
No, unfortunately, most fires started in Vietnam are caused by human carelessness.
Carelessness comes in several forms -
• Improper use of inflammable materials as cleaning agents;
• Improper storage of fuels and chemicals;
• Smoking in unauthorized areas;
• Improper vehicle maintenance;
• Frayed, defective, or overloaded electrical equipment.
Stop for a minute and ask yourself: Is it worth a cup of coffee, to overload a circuit and burn down a building, or take a life?
Is cleaning a weapon or vehicle engine with gasoline worth your eyesight?
Is a cigarette in bed worth going through life covered with scar tissue?
Be smart - don't be the reason a fire starts.
Combat Honor Roll
Specialist 5 Otis L. Wilson of Company B, 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry, has been added to the Tropic Lightning Combat Honor Roll.
While situated in a night laager position, the Tomahawk company came under heavy attack by a numerically superior enemy force.
During the ensuing battle, one of the Tomahawk platoon leaders was seriously wounded when the armored personnel carrier on which he was standing was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Wilson, a medic, rushed through the enemy kill zone to the side of his fallen officer. Although rocket-propelled grenades were still impacting in the area, Wilson exposed himself to the holocaust of exploding projectiles as he administered lifesaving first aid to the seriously wounded man.
Throughout the remainder of the contact, Wilson moved through the embattled area, many times going as near as ten meters to the enemy force, as he attended to the wounds of several of his injured comrades.
His valorous actions were responsible for saving several lives.
Get Honorable Discharge, DA Says
Nearly all soldiers separated from the Army with a less than honorable discharge are "unable to overcome a civilian life of failure and insecurity," Federal government studies show.
Those who receive a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge are not eligible for most benefits administered by the Army, the Veterans administration and other Federal agencies for the rest of their lives, according to the Department of the Army.
Only a small percentage of petitions to change less than honorable discharges is allowed by the Army Discharge Review Board, DA adds.
Tropic Lightning Tots
The Commanding General Welcomes
The Following Tropic Lightning Tots
To The 25th Infantry Division As
Reported By The American Red Cross.
SP4 Dennis R. Forand, 242d Avn, boy
SFC Robert E. Revell, 25th MP Co, girl
1LT Mack S. Gerhart, 242d Avn, girl
WO1 Gene Trask, A 25th Avn, girl
MAJ Louin L. Bear, HHD 86th Sig, girl
SP4 Charles M. Laird, C 1/7, boy
PFC Jay Hicks, A 2/12, boy
SSG Albrt Blount, C 725th Mnt, girl
PFC Michael E. Rankin, D 1/27, boy
PFC Joseph Sutton, B 1/8, girl
SP4 Gary L. Gray, B 3/13, girl
SP4 Whitman R. Morrow, HHC 1/27, boy
SP5 Daniel J. Buckley, HHC 2/12, girl
SP4 Harry G. Pratt, 125th Sig, boy
SP4 Johnny D. Creager, HHC Band, boy
SGT Michael Sample, HHC 65th Engrs, boy
SP4 Richard Van O'Linda, B 5/2, girl
PFC Richard J. Rushing, A 2/27, girl
SSG Ronald D. Riskus, HHC 2/34, girl
CPT John J. Doursey, HHC 25th Inf Div, boy
SP4 Winfield, Muffett, HHC 2/12, girl
SP4 Leon E. Wilson, C 725th Mnt, girl
SP4 James O. Kirker, D 3/4, girl
SP4 Wendell Seitzler, HHC 25th Inf Div, girl
PFC Larry C. Williamson, Adv Tm 99, girl
SGT Enguene R. John, HHC 65th Engrs, girl
SP4 James R. Tout, C 125th Sig, girl
MAJ Cullen E. Allen, HHC 3d Bde, girl
PFC Mark W. Miller, HHC 725th Mnt, girl
PFC Arland M. Loken, HHC 25 S&T, boy
SP4 Bobby Hammond, B 25th S&T, girl
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 Harris W. Hollis . . . . . . . Commanding General
MAJ Warren J Field . . . . . . Information Officer
1LT John C. Burns . . . . . . . . Officer-in-Charge
SP4 Ralph Novak . . . . . . . . . Editor
SGT John Genitti . . . . . . . . . Assistant Editor
SP4 David DeMauro. . . . . . . Production Supervisor
|SP4 Dennis Bries
SP4 Bill Frame
SP4 Sam Dixon
SP4 K.C. Cullen
SP4 Larry Goodson
PFC Tim Williams
SP4 Pete Freeman
PFC Richard Sears
SP4 Carl Detrick
|SP4 Frank Ditto
PFC Greg Stanmar
PFC Jim Stalmaker
SP4 Phil Jackson
PFC Craig Sampson
SP4 Pat Morrison
PFC Ken Barron
SP4 Ken Fairman
Page 3 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 13, 1969
1st Eagle Flight - No One Ever Forgets It
By SP4 SAM B. DIXON
TAY NINH - Anyone could tell the PFC was uneasy. It was early morning, but already his jungle fatigues were dark with sweat. He was loaded down with the usual tools of war. He held his M-16 upright, butt on the ground. His claymore bag bulged with magazines, his pockets with what could have been c-rations or hand grenades. Two belts of M-60 ammo were criss-crossed over his chest.
Someone offered him a cigarette and asked him where he was from back in the world, the inevitable question.
THE ANSWER, which nobody remembered, started a conversation, and everyone soon understood why the PFC was nervous. The soldiers were waiting to be picked up a by helicopter eagle flight; it was the PFC's first air assault. Despite all the briefings, he still felt a little uncertain.
Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry was scheduled to be dropped into the Crescent area east of Tay Ninh together with counterparts from the 7th ARVN Airborne, then move back toward Nui Ba Den. It was an operation plan that could well lead to contact.
THE CHOPPERS touched down with the usual stinging dust and wind, and in seconds Charlie Company was airborne, heading toward the objective.
The eagle flight rose like a formation of huge dragon flies through a morning overcast into the sunlight above the low clouds.
SMOKE WAS popped and the LZ was prepped with machinegun fire by the door gunners. The noise was deafening.
Everyone tensed, and with the next pass the choppers briefly touched down into the wind-whipped grass. Where the terrain kept the choppers from actually touching down, the soldiers jumped.
The squads immediately regrouped in the cover of tall grass. Two more flights were due and the first flight's paramount job was to provide cover for those to follow.
Within ten minutes all of Charlie Company and the ARVN soldiers had dropped into the area. The combined reconnaissance-in-force began.
DURING THE day, the allied troops experienced just about all the terrain Tay Ninh Province has to offer - jungle, rice paddies waist-deep in mud and water, steaming fields. Occasionally they would move through old bunker complexes, and discover a fresh enemy grave.
Even in the most isolated area, there were rusted Coke and c-ration cans. The allied soldiers had to make their way past trees riffled by artillery shrapnel, through fields and rice paddies pock-marked by mortars.
Everything stayed quiet during the morning. No contact was established, and the troopers made their way to their armored personnel carriers, laagered not far from Nui Ba Den, without incident.
AFTER REACHING the laager position, the Tomahawks had a quick chow break of c-rations, and refilled their canteens. But the day wasn't over; new developments had arisen.
The previous day a Viet Cong had rallied to a Kit Carson Scout in a small hamlet near Tay Ninh. The hoi chanh and an interpreter had been flown to the Tomahawk laager site by light observation helicopter to lead the two companies to a cache.
The allies moved out, along the Old French Fort road to the southwest base of the mountain. Artillery fire began softening up the area they were heading for.
LEAVING THEIR APCs, the infantrymen headed through the banana groves and up the side of the mountain, proceeding under cover of rocks and vegetation.
The cache the hoi chanh had led them to was gone, but there was ample evidence of recent enemy occupation. Alert and cautious, the Tomahawks and ARVNs descended the mountain.
There was no contact this day, and the allied troops climbed onto their APCs for the trip back to the laager site.
The green PFC's first operation had been relatively uneventful. But he was green no longer.
Warriors Pay Tunnel Call on Sick VC
By SP4 LARRY GOODSON
FSB PERSHING - Three "light duty" Viet Cong, a bushel of medical supplies and other enemy equipment were captured recently by searching Warriors.
Acting on intelligence gained from previous operations, the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry's A, C, and D Companies were eagleflighted into the area of Xom Lam Vo, a mile southeast of here.
THE WARRIOR companies combined forces to put the squeeze on enemy known to be in the region.
While Company C was busy destroying ten well-built VC bunkers, Delta Company detected seven green-uniformed bodies believed to have been killed by earlier artillery barrages.
At the same time, Alpha Company Warriors rounded out the successful day by discovering a well-concealed hospital complex, most of it underground.
Led to the complex by a VC nurse captured near the location, the infantrymen found three wounded Viet Cong, one of whom was a medic, hidden in the underground hospital.
THE BUNKER, which Staff Sergeant Francisco P. Creamer of Brooklyn, N.Y., described as having an almost perfectly hidden trap door entrance, also contained the body of one VC and various medical supplies.
The supplies included two large syringes, two bottles of vitamins, two ammo cans containing penicillin and one blood pressure bandage. Five pounds of documents were also extracted from the hiding place.
Further investigation led to the discovery of 14 sets of VC clothing, 11 pounds of documents, still more medical supplies. one AK-54 9mm sub-machinegun and 100 rounds of AK-47 ammunition.
|HERE THEY COME - Tomahawks of the 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry and 7th ARVN Airborne soldiers wait as their eagle flight choppers land. (PHOTO BY SP4 SAM DIXON)|
Up Tight Arty Gets Groovier Guns
By PFC DOUGLAS SAINSBURY
CU CHI - Six new M102 Howitzers, which have greater range and weigh nearly a ton less than their predecessors, are being installed in the batteries of the 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery.
Cannoneers are "going to school" to learn the operation and maintenance of the new guns.
Bravo Battery section chief Staff Sergeant John Rodriguez of Karnes City, Tex., said, "The greater range, lighter weight and many other new features make the M102 a much more efficient and accurate weapon than the 101."
The lightweight howitzers are more mobile and conducive to "fireball" helicopter airlifts that change battery locations.
The new howitzers have longer tubes with increasing right hand twists which account for their greater range. They use the same ammunition as the guns they are replacing.
The 102s have twice the traversing capability of the 101s, and can be emplaced in four minutes.
Wherever Manchus Go, Mortars Sure to Follow
By PFC RICHARD W. SEARS
TAY NINH - Wherever Manchus go, their mini-artillery is sure to follow.
The mini-artillery is the battalion's complement of 81mm mortars, and the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry soldiers are becoming accustomed to having them around, no matter where they are.
WORKING OUT of Fire Support Base St. Barbara - the old French Fort - the Manchus have been using night operations to eliminate enemy movement in the thick jungle north of Tay Ninh, and they have taken their veteran mortar platoons with them.
Bravo Company has long made a habit of using its mortar section as roving artillery. Corporal Larry 0. Whitt of Weston, Miss., who carries one of Bravo Company's tubes, says. "Some people seem to think that weapons platoons can't hump. Well, we can and we do."
THE BATTALION'S Alpha and Charlie Companies have also taken advantage of their weapons platoons in night laager positions, as the Manchus keep up their relentless pressure on the ever-present enemy.
Private First Class Dwight P. Eagle of Anniston, Ala., said: "It gives you a little better feeling to see the mortars out with you. At least you know that if Charlie drops some rounds in on you, you can throw something back at him."
Manchu mortarmen are not only good with their mortars, but are also trained as riflemen and are expected to be able to take over the M-16 if need be, as was clearly demonstrated recently when Alpha Company's weapons platoon was called upon to help bolster the bunker line at French Fort.
|MORTAR-FIELD INFANTRY - Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry soldiers hump mortar rounds for their mobile mini-artillery. (PHOTO BY PFC RICHARD SEARS)|
Special Leavers Still Need MTA
Special leave orders will not get you onto an airplane, the Division Adjutant General's office reminds you. Personnel traveling on special leave should stop at the division Port Call Section in Cu Chi to obtain a Military Transportation Authorization (DD Form 1482.)
MO Buyers Must Supply Envelope
If you buy a money order at an APO or military banking facility, you must supply an addressed envelope so the order can be immediately mailed to the payee under a new regulation.
The envelope must be addressed to a payee in the United States, its territories or possessions, at an APO or FPO outside Vietnam or in a country authorized domestic postal money order service.
No money orders will be sold to individuals not supplying a properly addressed envelope.
Page 4-5 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 13, 1969
Nui Ba Den - Black Virgin Mountain
It's a battleground, landmark,
look-out tower, scenic wonder
and religious shrine all in one:
WATCHING THE SHOW - From his perch on an observation tower at a patrol base, a member of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry watches an air strike hitting enemy positions on the slopes of Nui Ba Den, seven miles northeast of Tay Ninh City. (PHOTO BY MAJ. J. C. FAIRBANK)
|LOFTY PERCH - The peak of the mountain houses communications equipment for not only Tropic Lightning, but the 1st Infantry and 1st Cavalry Divisions and a host of other allied units. (PHOTO BY I LT JOHN BURNS)|
|DOWN THE HILL - Because of preparatory artillery fire, 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry soldiers find the footing loose as they descend Nui Cau, an auxiliary peak of Nui Ba Den. (PHOTO BY SP4 SAM B. DIXON)|
|A CRUSADER SLICK from the 187th Assault Helicopter Company passes by the cloud-covered mountain during an early morning eagle flight carrying soldiers of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry. (PHOTO BY SP4 K. C. CULLEN)|
|A PATROL of Regulars from the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry sweeps near the looming mountain as the Infantrymen search for signs of enemy activity. (PHOTO BY SP5 LEROY MARION)|
|TAY NINH BASE CAMP is within a stone's throw - or at least a rocket shot - of the mountain. Here a Cobra gunship hovers over the 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery's Charlie Battery sector of the camp. (PHOTO BY SP4 PAT MORRISON)|
|AIR FORCE JET PILOTS are getting to know the mountain almost as well as the infantrymen who patrol its base and sides. (PHOTO BY SGT ROGER WELT)|
|SUPPORTING TOMAHAWKS of the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry, this duster from 1st Battalion, 27th Artillery fires on enemy positions on the side of the mountain. (PHOTO BY SP4 JOHN FRAME)|
|LONG DISTANCE VIEW - Even units operating out of Cu Chi are usually within sight of the mountain. Soldiers of the 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry got this view recently during an eagle flight. (PHOTO BY SP4 FRANK DITTO)|
Page 6 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 13, 1969
Aloha Awaits Hawaiian NGs
By SP4 John Haydock
CU CHI - There are different ways a GI can learn he's going home from Vietnam - rumors, newspapers, orders, or the chain of command.
But how often will a man's new commander travel 3000 miles just to give him the good news that he's "Worldbound?"
That's what happened for several hundred members of the Hawaiian National Guard recently when Major General Benjamin J. Webster flew from the Islands to the Tropic Lightning Division with information on the new pullout.
MEMBERS OF the Guard who have been serving on active duty will leave Vietnam in November, and the former 96th Brigade will be reactivated at Scofield Barracks in mid-December.
General Webster came to give the particulars of the move and to answer any questions the fighting men might have.
Fire Brigade soldiers who were part of the NG unit met with the general in the bleachers at the Cu Chi Hilton stand-down area. A large sign, "Welcome Hawaiian Teammates," marked the occasion.
"We of course want all of you to stay in the Guard when you get home. We need you," General Webster said after explaining when and how the move would take place. "But if you put in to be transferred to the Reserves, it will be approved."
THE GENERAL spent about 20 minutes answering the men's questions about the redeployment to Hawaii, then visited with them informally.
He posed for snapshots, joked about life in The World, and wished the men a safe tour and trip home.
General Webster spent three days in the Division passing the good word to the troops who will soon be under his supervision. He is the Adjutant General for Hawaii's National Guard.
The Guardsmen will remain with their assigned units and be withdrawn from RVN on individual orders.
|MILK BUILDS STRONG BEARS - Spooky, mascot of A Company, 25th Aviation Battalion, who drinks anything from milk to beer, is seen here in one of her more sober moments. (PHOTO BY SP4 LEN SHAFFER)|
Bear-Faced Thief Is 25th Avn Mascot
CU CHI - If milk does build strong bodies maybe the 25th Aviation Battalion Little Bears have been feeding their mascot. a Malayan honey bear too much milk.
Several times recently the four-foot long, 110-pound "Spooky" escaped from her cyclone fence cage to go on midnight raids of hootches, refrigerators and garbage cans in search of sweets.
Spooky, given to the Little Bears by special forces from Tay Ninh when she was only 14 inches long, also likes beer, coke and, Specialist 5 Ken Creiger says, "She eats almost anything we do. We feed her a large can of fruit twice a day on top of all the hand outs she gets."
On one raid she visited an artillery unit, romping off with ten pounds of sugar.
This prompted the Little Bears to re-build the cage, this time using steel bars.
Ask Sgt. Certain
Dear Sarge: I have been having an argument with some of my buddies about who is the sexiest girl in the world, and we thought maybe you could settle it for us. We've narrowed the field down to Raquel Welch, Ann-Margret, Barbara McNair, Jill St. John, Nancy Sinatra, Stella Stevens and Sherry Alberoni. Can you help us?
Dear Rutting: Of course I can help, but I'm afraid you're in for a disappointment. According to the ARs, there is a tie: "The world's sexiest woman/women will be: Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Theda Bara and the ever-popular Mae Bush. (This replaces previous listing of Betsy Ross and Pocahontas.)"
Dear Sgt. C.: I'm an RA E-7 whose BPED for DA FO purposes is 6 June 39. My question as the indiv cone is, at my next PCS, which, according to my DEROS and the ARs, should put my EDCSA 0/A 11 Dec 69 NLT 1400 hrs, will I have tvl auth abrd mil aircraft to my new qtrs, will I have an ex bag allw and will my one ea nok be able to meet me at the airport when I arr. Also, will the MACV and/or USARV HQ ok a change in my TIMAA if the VOGG cfms?
Yours truly, SSAN 140-79-003
Ht 6-2, wt 205
Blood type OH-FS. RSVP
Dear 140: It depends. See your re-enlistment NCO.
Dear Sergeant Certain; As a long-suffering New York Mets fan, I have finally approached the fulfillment of my wildest dreams, but here I am in Vietnam. Do you think the Army would let me go home for the World Series to see the Mets?
Dear PFC: The Army would gladly give a special leave to go home for the World Series if you qualified, but unfortunately I have some bad news for you. The Mets didn't really win the Eastern Division championship in the National League. It was all a well-meaning plot by the Red Cross, which decided that since there are more men in the division AO from New York than from anywhere else, it would be good for morale to spread the news that the Mots had won. In reality, the Mets finished sixth, 97 games out of first place. Gil Hodges was fired as manager in July and replaced by Marv Throneberry. Tom Seaver finished the season with a 3-43 record and was traded to the Cubs for Al Spangler. And Al Weis set a league record for shortstops by getting only four hits in 512 times at bat. (Actually, Montreal led the East. There are, however, no men in the division AO from Montreal, so that wouldn't have done anyone any good.)
|TAKE THAT - Specialist 4 Wayne T. Wilson of Altus, Okla., breaks open a bag of lime.|
Your Highway Taxes At Work: 65th Engrs
FSB PERSHING - Making improvements on highways during the rainy season is a difficult job to undertake, but without constant maintenance, travel would be impossible.
At the home of the Fire Brigade's 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, here, the roads experienced the seasonal deterioration rapidly. The daily convoy traveling on the small arteries within the wire added to the problem.
Charlie company, 65th Engineer Battalion. tackled the problem with all they had.
The first step was to attempt to get rid of the mud. Since the rain was not likely to stop on command, large quantities of lime were spread over the road, especially where the mire was the thickest.
Once the mud had been dried some, a grader was brought in to crown the road for proper drainage. More dirt was dumped where needed and spread out by the grader.
Twelve-inch piping was laid into position along the edge of the road where vehicles were meant to exit. Finally, the road surface was covered with a tarlike substance called Penaprime.
The improvements were not expected to be permanent, because of the wet weather, but they allowed vehicles to operate efficiently.
|LITTLE HERE, LITTLE THERE - Engineers of C Company, 65th Engineer Battalion, spread lime over muddy road at Fire Support Base Pershing in hopes of drying the roadbed. (PHOTOS BY PFC JIM WILLIAMS)|
Page 7 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 13, 1969
|WOLFHOUNDS of the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry meet with some of their wards at the Holy Family Orphanage in Osaka, Japan, which the 1st and 2d Wolfhounds and 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery have supported since 1949.|
Wolfhounds, ARTY, Help Orphans
By SP4 PHIL JACKSON
CU CHI - Three 25th Infantry Division units have received citations from the Prime Minister of Japan, Eisaku Sato, for thir support of the Holy Family Orphanage in Osaka, Japan.
The 1st and 2d Battalions of the 27th Infantry along with the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery received the citations.
Dedication to the home started when members of the then 27th Infantry Regiment visited the old orphanage to plan a Christmas party in 1949.
From that day on Wolfhounds present and past have maintained a never-ending dedication to the home.
In 1950 three new buildings were constructed for the orphans. The facilities of the new home include modern dormitories, kitchens, dining rooms, an auditorium, a nursery, a modern hospital and a fully equipped playground.
Because of the years of sponsorship, this institution became a model of social welfare for all of Japan.. The generosity of the three battalions has led to donations of more than $500,000 in the past 20 years.
|A JAPANESE child and an American soldier share an international language: laughter.|
|A TRADITIONAL dance gives the children of the orphanage a way of saying "thank you" to their American visitors.|
|A LETTER from American friends is always a big event, even if it is a little difficult to decipher (left). But horseplay is universally understood (below).|
|THOSE PEOPLE with the funny-shaped eyes are nice, but they're awfully big and when they come and pick you up, well . . .|
Page 8 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 13, 1969
Ambushes Darken NVA Future
Nights Are for Slaying, Dragons Find
By SP4 FRANK DITTO
CU CHI - John! John! Watch out!
Crack! ... Crack!. . Crack! . .
Big John Herrin, alert, had opened up on a 30-man enemy force.
FOR THE FOURTH time in two nights Bravo Company, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry, had sprung an ambush.
Working out of Forward Patrol Base Hunsley in the southern portion of the Ho Bo Woods, a patrol from Bravo Company was moving south into So Noi I shortly after dusk.
The patrol's pointman, Special 4 John Herrin of Marquez, Tex., reached the trail on which the patrol was to set up its ambush. Sergeant Wayne Hort of Danville, Pa., moved back to alert the rest of the company that their ambush site was close by.
SUDDENLY, THE three men of the point element opened up with everything they had. Instantly the rest of the patrol reacted and moved up on line to provide supporting fire.
"As I swung my starlight scope around and looked up the trail, all I could see were NVA coming toward me," recalled Specialist 4 Charles Doyle of Scarsdale, N.Y. "They were humped over and moving out at double time. I hollered at John to alert him, but before I got the warning out of my mouth, he opened up with his M-16 and as soon as he started firing I opened up with mine."
Doyle added: "I was so scared all I could think about was, what am I doing walking with the point element with only 72 days left in country?"
DURING FIVE straight nights FPB Hunsley recorded 29 sightings of enemy movement, all of them within 1500 meters of the perimeter. Some of the enemy groups were as large as 80 men.
The NVA forces came out of the Ho Bo Woods and moved into So Noi I, always traveling the same road and usually first appearing about 7:30 p.m.
For three nights, the enemy movement was engaged by 81mm mortars from the Bravo Dragon's mortar platoon, the battalion's Echo Company 4.2-inch mortar section and two 105mm artillery pieces of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery, all located at Hunsley. In addition, artillery support was called in from 1/8 and 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery batteries at Fire Support Base Patton II and Fire Support Base Devin.
LIGHT FIRE teams plus other available air support came to aid the attacks on enemy forces. but after the third night a decision was made to send more infantrymen out to set up ambushes.
On the fourth night. Bravo Company sprang three ambushes, one of these on an estimated 20 man force.
The Bravo Bandits struck again the fifth night, getting help from flare ships and light fire teams after surprising a 30-man enemy element.
The confirmed body count of 23 probably didn't tell even half the story of the five nights.
Whitehead Takes 2d Brigade
CU CHI - After successfully leading the 2d Brigade for more than eight months, Colonel H.S. Long has turned over command to Colonel Ennis C. Whitehead Jr.
The passing of the brigade colors came in ceremonies in the 2d Brigade area October 4.
Long took charge of the Fire Brigade in February, and under his command the unit has achieved some of its most stunning victories, including defense of the three Wolfhound Diamond patrol bases.
Long, of Galatin, Mo., was reassigned to Washington to become Chief of Armor, U.S. Army.
Whitehead, of Arlington, Va.. came to the 25th Division from the NATO Policy Board, European Division J-5, USA Element, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, He is a West Point graduate and holds a master's degree in engineering.
During his previous tour in Vietnam, Whitehead served as MACV Sector Advisor to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam's 2d Infantry Division.
Also leaving the 2nd Brigade was Command Sergeant Major Donald O. Peroddy.
Taking the post Peroddy had held since November, 1967, was Command Sergeant Major James L. Haliford of Big Springs, Tex.
|PERSISTENT - 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry Warriors don't let rough terrain slop them from hounding the enemy. (PHOTO BY PFC JIM WILLIAMS)|
No Time Is Charlie's Time
By SP4 LARRY GOODSON
CU CHI - Infantrymen of the 2d Battalion 12th Infantry have again proved to Charlie that no time is the right time to be in the Warrior operations area.
Having rehearsed the mission, at 1:00 A.M. Companies A and D silently slipped from the wire at Fire Support Base Pershing to strike a crushing blow to VC and NVA elements known to be sleeping near the southern tip of the Bo Loi Woods.
THE ATTACK, which began at 3:30 A.M., was described by Specialist 4 Russet Wolfgram of Milwaukee, Wis.: "The operation turned out as smooth as any I've ever seen. Everything turned out just like we planned it."
The mission netted three detainees, 10 VC killed, four AK-47 rifles, one P 38 pistol, one quarter-pound of documents and two pounds of medical supplies.
During an artillery barrage, illumination revealed what the Warriors expected to see.
Specialist 4 Joseph L. Sellari of Nutley, N.J., described the scene. "As soon as the flares lit things up, we could see VC running in every direction."
THE INFANTRYMEN had only artillery and their own fire power.
Wolfram noted, "We carried 2000 rounds of ammo per machinegun, about 75 LAWs per Company, and everything else we could carry. We knew it would be up to us to do the job."
The devastating Warrior fire power was so intense that, as PFC William Gubser of Sossil, Ore., remarked, "Charlie was so surprised he didn't even return fire, even though he had plenty of weapons."
Tropic Lightning Fetes 28th Birthday
|THE MEN OF TROPIC LIGHTNING celebrated the 28th anniversary of the founding of the 25th Infantry Division in ceremonies at Cu Chi October 1, with all divisional units represented. Messages of congratulation were sent to the division's soldiers by Army Chief of Staff General William C. Westmoreland, MACV Commander General Creighton W. Abrams and II Field Force Commander Lieutenant General Julian J. Ewell. Deputy MACV Commander General William B. Rosson attended the ceremonies, and, in a speech, praised the division's performance in Vietnam. General Rosson also awarded Silver Stars to eight soldiers, Specialist 4 William T. Frickey and Sergeant Fred Ogas Jr., both 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, Specialist 4 Larry G. Forrest of the 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery, Private First Class Dennis M. Butler of the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, Private First Class William T. Seaton of the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, Private First Class Robert V. Torres of the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry and Platoon Sergeant Richard J. Zagroba of the 2d Battalion, 34th Armor. The Division, which was formed in Hawaii, October 1, 1941, has been represented in Vietnam since the first contingent of volunteer door gunners arrived here in January, 1963. The first large scale movement of Tropic Lightning soldiers to Vietnam came in December, 1965, and the division has been fighting here ever since. (PHOTO BY SP4 RALPH NOVAK)|
Sherrel Bees, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf., for sharing this issue,
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.
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