TLN.JPG (37996 bytes)

Vol 5 No. 18          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          May 11, 1970



Unit                   Page Unit                  Page Unit                   Page Unit                  Page
1/5                                     1 2/12 Photo                        1 2/22 Photo                       8 4/23                                 4
1/8 Arty                           3 2/12                                   8 2/27                                   8 4/23 Photos                   4
1/27                                  3 2/14                                   2 3/22                                   1 65th Engr                       3
1/27 Photo                       8 2/22                                   6 3/22 Photo                       2 75th Ranger                   1
116 AHC                          1 2/22 Photo                       7 3/22                                   8 75th Ranger                   2
125th Signal                    8 2/22                                   7 4/9                                     6 725th Maint                   2
187 AHC                          1 2/22 Photos                     7 4/23 Photo                       3 Pay Scale                        3
2/12                                   1 2/22                                   8 4/23                                   3  


'Encircled' GIs Overrun Charlie

   WAR ZONE C - 25th Infantry Division soldiers killed 26 enemy soldiers in a vicious battle recently during which they were briefly surrounded.
   The "Bobcats" of Alfa Company, 1st Battalion (Mech.), 5th Infantry, were proceeding on a morning reconnaissance when they noticed a trail.  Unlike the other paths in the area that were overgrown with weeds, this was a well-beaten trail with numerous footprints less than 12 hours old.
   Leaving a small security element behind, the company's third platoon followed the enemy signs north as the first platoon headed south down the path.
   After traveling about 200 yards, the third platoon entered a clearing and spotted five enemy.  As the Bobcats engaged the enemy, they received heavy small arms fire.
   The other platoon returned to their APCs and moved out to help.  With .50 caliber machine guns blazing, the tracks laid down a wall of fire as the men swept through a heavily-entrenched enemy bunker complex.
   As the Americans began to take casualties, two APCs transported the wounded to a secure area where a dust-off chopper picked them up.  But as they started to return to the rest of the platoon, they received rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fire.
   The company commander, Captain Gerald M. Bonti, of Charlotte, N.C., was asked by the C & C ship above the contact area what direction the fire was coming from.
   "From the north, west, south, and east," he replied laconically.
   Bonti then regrouped his forces and called in artillery and a light fire team.  After a half hour of indirect fire, the Bobcats once again moved into the area.
   They slowly moved through the bunker line only to find another one ahead of them.  The heavily-entrenched enemy force continued to fight off the Bobcats with heavy machine gun, small arms and RPG fire.
   Lieutenant Gail Keller, of Baltimore, Md., recalled an RPG round hitting his track and said, "All I can remember is a big explosion and shrapnel bouncing off my flack jacket."
   Soon the Bobcats pulled back to the original position and called in an air strike.  After an hour-long strike, the men returned to the scene of the battle.  This time there was little opposition.  The Tropic Lightning troopers swept quickly through the bunkers before sundown, finding five AK-47 rifles, an RPG launcher, two machine guns, and numerous pieces of individual equipment and ammunition.
   Reflecting on the contact a few days later in Dau Tieng, Staff Sergeant Pat Cardona, of Winfield, Kan., commented, "Not even half the men had ever been in a firefight before, but they fought like experienced veterans.


Enemy Trapped Despite Detour

   TAY NINH - Twelve Rangers from the 25th Division's Company F, 75th Rangers, recently killed seven enemy soldiers in the Crescent woods area.
   Claymores and other explosives were rigged to detonate into a kill zone.
   "We spent over two hours setting everything up along a well-used trail," said Sergeant Joe Hard, of Austin, Tex., the team leader.  "When they (the enemy) came along, they took an old APC track trail that led them nearly 30 meters from our ambush site, but we were able to blow the ambush on them anyway."
   Shrapnel and claymore fragments ripped through the kill zone.
   "It took ten minutes or more for the smoke and dust to clear away enough to see anything," said Private First Class Kenneth Palmer, of Idabell, Okla.
   Two dead enemy soldiers were found on the track trail initially while blood trails led the Rangers to five additional enemy bodies.
   "They must have been a resupply group," said Hard, "as there were several straw or bamboo bushels of rice and mangoes scattered all over the place."


Nine Enemy Killed
   Warriors Capture Cache

   FSB KIEN - 25th Infantry Division soldiers killed nine enemy recently, while confiscating a small cache south of here.
   "It started out like any other day. We were to go on a short RIF (reconnaissance in force) and then head back to Kien," said Specialist 4 Joe O'Connor, of Boston, the senior medic of Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry.
   But what began as a routine mission ended as the last battle for the slain enemy.  Seven AK-47 rifles, along with an RPG-2 launcher, were captured.
   Inserted south of Kien, the "Warriors" of Company C formed two columns and started into extremely dense brush.
   "The going was rough and slow for awhile," said 1st platoon Sergeant Howard Williams, of Atlanta.  "But we finally reached a clearing."
   After breaking for chow, the 1st platoon set up as a blocking force while the other two platoons began a series of sweeps.  As the third platoon came upon another clearing, things began to jump.
   "We could hear voices and saw what appeared to be a VC sitting on a bunker near the woodline," said O'Connor.
   "When an attempt to get the VC to rally failed, and we began receiving small arms fire, we pulled back and called for some help," said 3rd platoon Sergeant James Ross, of Sturdevant, Wis.
   Help soon arrived in the form of a Cobra gunship from the 187th Assault Helicopter Company and a Huey gunship from the 116th Assault Helicopter Company.
   Two volunteers from the 3rd platoon crept near the bunker from which the fire was coming and tossed fragmentation grenades into the entrance.  The enemy appeared silenced, but as the men of Company C moved in for a closer look, a light machine gun opened up from another position.
   The Tropic Lightning troopers again pulled back and called for Sergeant John Nash, of Fayetterville, N.C., whose accuracy with the Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW) was well known throughout the company.  As one of the gunship's doorgunners tossed more hand grenades onto the enemy, Nash pounded the enemy positions.
   "By then it was getting late," said Williams, "so we withdrew and set up several ambushes around the contact area."
   The night remained quiet.
   In the morning, the Warriors swept the area, finding nine enemy bodies in the bunker where the first enemy firing came from the day before.  Also in the same bunker were seven AK-47 rifles and the RPG-2 launcher.


To Win a War:
Go to the Movies


   TAY NINH - An American institution - the drive-in movie - is winning new friends for the 25th Division among the citizens of Tay Ninh.
   Periodically, a PSYOPS (Psychological Operations) team from the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry "Regulars," sets up an outdoor movie.
   The film themes vary.  But knowing that a point can be made as easily with a grin as a frown, the Regulars frequently show a movie in which two Vietnamese actors portray bumbling Viet Cong in an Asian take-off on Laurel and Hardy.
   Another film that Vietnamese viewers seem to appreciate is a more serious portrayal of an average Vietnamese family.  While the mother and father are trying desperately to raise their sons properly, they find themselves competing against Communist influence.  One boy leaves his parents' home to become a Viet Cong, and tragedy follows.
   Latest attendance figures show an average of 1,200 people attend each show.  Delighted children eat candy, guzzle soda and make plenty of noise while the adults take a more serious look at the shows.
   One "theater manager" noted that Vietnamese teenagers enjoy drive-ins as much as their American contemporaries.  Is there any of the "hanky-panky" that one finds at drive-ins in "the world"?  Apparently not.  "After all," he said, "they're using Hondas, not Chevys."

DROPPING IN ON CHARLIE -- A five-ship lift circles over the Saigon River carrying C Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry troops to their LZ in the Trapezoid.  (Photo by SP4 Jim Williams) Heading for the Trapezoid



   SAIGON -- Clever these Charlies.  Be wary GI.  The enemy can kill you a lot of ways.
   Military intelligence indicates that the enemy has constructed a large number of cigarette lighter bombs that he plans to distribute in places frequented by U.S. personnel in the III Corps area.
   Charlie hopes you will find the Zippo-type lighter, pick it up thinking some guy lost his fire and that you have a new souvenir.  It will explode when the flint wheel is turned and can kill the user and anyone standing near him.
   If you find a lighter that looks suspicious or is unattended, do not pick it up.  Alert others and call the E.O.D. team.  DEROS.  Do it the safe way.



Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           May 11, 1970



LTC George A. Custer, HHC, 2d Bn, 27th Inf SP4 Kenneth E. Laswell, Co D, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
MAJ Ronald C. Crowl, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CPT Richard L. Campbell, Co A, 25th Avn Bn
CPT Bruce J. Fullerton, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CPT William C. Melvin, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CPT Philip A. Tocco, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
1LT Charles L. Gant, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
1LT Steve Hickman, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
1LT Gary Manso, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CW3 Marvin H. Spitzer, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CW2 Michael Finnigan, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
CW2 John A. Riley, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
WO1 James F. Carnathan, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
WO1 Rog Johnson, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
WO1 Dan Lohwasser, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
WO1 Robert V. Rector, Co B, 25th Avn Bn
WO1 Kenneth L. Strand, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
WO1 Michael B. Wilson, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SP5 Steven L. Dobry, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SP4 Michael R. Bagley, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
LTC Thomas E. Hendricks, HHC, 1st Bde
MAJ James F. Norman Jr, HHC, 1st Bde
2LT Earnest Hardimon, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
2LT Kenneth Sparks, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
WO1 Kenneth E. Thiem, HHC, 3d Bde
PSG David Jones, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
PSG Freddie E. Wood, A Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SSG Alexander J. Alcontera, B Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SSG James M. Barnes, B Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SSG James Chavis, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SSG Francis J. Hoyer, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SSG John W. Kopp, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SSG Lonnie W. Prosser, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SSG Harold E. Reid, Co A, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SSG Michael A. Van Houten, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Robert W. Besaw, Co B, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SGT Kelly F. Coleman, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Joseph F. Doucette, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Frederick Fisher, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Michael Keyster, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Perry Lynch, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Ronald A. Milford, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SGT John E. Mohler, C Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Fld Arty
SGT John E. Nash, Co C, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Robert L. Pyle, Co A, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
PFC George A. Reischling, Co A, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Jerald G. Rising, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Craig Sawmiller, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Craig Scroggs, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Harry G. Taylor, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Billy S. Walters, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Horace P. Wembish, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Raymond G. White, Co D. 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT Charles M. Perry, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Stephen Rapata, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Richard E. Schline Jr, Co B, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SGT Jack Taylor, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT John Taylor, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT Richard F. Zeh, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 William H. Allen, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 James R. Anderson Co A, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 Ferman L. Bennett, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 Robert M. Braun, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Salvador Castillo, HHC, 1st Bde
SP4 William Chang, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Ross Ciccarello, C Btry, 7th Bn, 11th Fld Arty
SP4 L. C. Clemons, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 Edward J. Cooper, HHC, 1st Bde
SP4 Donald Epling, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 John T. Farone, Co B, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 George Fell, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 George Fell, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 David B. Grey, Co B, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 Robert Hamilton, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 Carol G. Haverkamp, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 John H. Hyatt, Co C, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 Patrick MacDonald, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 Pedro D. Martinez, Co A, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 Charles Mayzlik, HHC 2d Bn, 22d Inf



Trouble Afoot
   Giving Your Toes a Break

   Foot care sometimes means more than just keeping your feet dry. It also means giving them protection.
   In one recent incident, a private was helping unload 55-gallon drums full of MOGAS from a two and one-half ton truck.  One of the drums slipped from the grasp of another man, rolled off the truck, landed on the private's foot and fractured it.
   Another man, an artillery sergeant at Fire Support Base Devins, was inspecting his gun section's ammunition supply when the section received an alert for a fire mission.  He decided to help with the mission by carrying a projectile to the gun.  In the dark, he stumbled and dropped the 95-pound projectile on his foot.  Unfortunately, he was wearing only shower shoes.
   The first accident easily could have been prevented if a little common sense had been used - like not standing too close to a heavy object which might fall at any moment.
   The second foot injury might never have happened had the sergeant been wearing his combat boots.  In the first place, shower shoes do not lend themselves to sure-footedness.  And, of course, they don't provide much protection.
   You only get one set of feet.  Give them the protection they deserve.


Units Surpass Re-Up Goals

   Three 25th Infantry Division units recently won Tropic Lightning Quarterly Reenlistment Awards.  The winners were chosen from separate categories for the third quarter of the 1970 fiscal year.
   The winner in the "Maneuver Battalion" category was 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry.  The battalion reenlisted 141 per cent of its assigned objective for the third quarter.  It is the only unit in the Division which has attained or exceeded its reenlistment objectives every month since July 1969.
   The 725th Maintenance Battalion rated first for "Combat Support Battalion."  The "Service to the Line" battalion reenlisted 80 per cent of its assigned objective, setting a Division record for a combat support unit.
   In the "Separate Companies" section, Company F, 75th Infantry (Rangers), was the winner.  The company, which is comprised only of volunteers in the first place, reenlisted 100 per cent of its assigned objective for the quarter.  All those who reenlisted asked to remain in their present duty assignments.
   Each of the winning units received a plaque which rotates to new winners quarterly.


Lt. Col. John E. Hazelwood Lieutenant Colonel John E. Hazelwood recently assumed command of 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry.  He arrived from the 199th Light Infantry Brigade where he served as brigade executive officer.  LTC Hazelwood replaces LTC Warren A. Jones.



vStork.jpg (2787 bytes)Tropic Lightning Tots
The Commanding General Welcomes
The Following Tropic Lightning Tots
To The 25th Infantry Division – As
Reported By The American Red Cross.
Born To:

Apr 15
SSG Rhett Daverio, Adv. Tm. 90, girl

Apr 16
PFC Larry R. Abel, HHB 2/32 Arty, boy
PVT Gerald Novak, B Co. 125th Sig. Bn.. boy

Apr 17
SP4 Roger M. Ferguson, A Bty 2/77 Arty, boy
SP4 Aime P. Brisson, A. Co. 25th S & T Bn., girl
PFC Paul E. Hutton, Trp. A, 3/4 Cav., girl
SFC Charles Hadley, 187th Avn. Co., boy

Apr 18
CPT Louis E. Skeader, HHC 25th Inf. Discom, girl
PFC Robert Lave, B Co. 2/22, boy
LT Gary J. Lyons, 269 Avn. Bn., boy
SP4 Donnie Story, A Co. 125th Sig, boy

Apr 19
PFC Gary Jacobs, HHC 2/27, boy
2LT Leroy Werkhoven, B Co. 1/5, boy

Apr 19
SP4 Jeffrey K. Hale, B Co. 3/22, girl

Apr 20
CPT Michael C. Toyer, B. Co. 3/22, girl
SP4 Terry Robbins, C Co. 1 /21, girl
LT William A. Pascal, HHB Divarty, girl
SSG Roy D. Collins, D Co. 2/27, boy
SP4 Michael L. Barlow, 116 AHC, boy
SP5 Paul F. Moore, B Co. 25th Med Bn., boy
CPT Johnny D. Garrard, HHB 2/77 FA, girl
PVT Donald E. Cowan, E. Co. 4/49, girl
PFC Robert E. Kenney, A Co. 65th Engr. Bn., girl

Apr 21
SSG Dennis Stultz, C. Co. 2/27, girl
PFC Frank Friendshun, B Co. 3/22, boy
1 LT Gregory Pigram, C. Co. 2/23rd Arty, boy

Apr 23
SP5 Dennis D. Cormier, 25th Admin Co., girl
PFC Randy J. Bowersock, B Trp., 3/4 Cav., boy


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 Edward Bautz, Jr . . . . . .  Commanding General
MAJ Warren J. Field . . . . . .  Information Officer
1LT John Caspari . . . . . . . . .  Officer-in-Charge
SSG Stephen F. Veroczi . . . .  NCOIC
SP4 Charles C. Self . . . . . . . .  Editor
SP5 Gary D. Sciortino  . . . . .  Assistant Editor
PFC Joseph V. Kocian . . . . . Production Supervisor


SGT Bill Obelholzer
SP4 Jim Williams
SGT Wally Baker
SP4 Greg Stanmar
SP4 Doug Sainsbury
SP4 Ken Barron
SP4 Greg Duncan
SP4 Brad Yaeger
SP4 Frank Rezzonico
SP4 Dan Neff
SP4 Henry Zukowski, Jr
SP4 Joe O'Rourke
PFC Ray Byrne
SGT William E. Zarrett
SP4 Robert Caplan
SP4 Brian Flaherty
SP4 Rich Fitzpatrick
PFC Rob Lato
SP4 Frank Salerno
SP4 Lawrence Merritt
SP4 William McGown



Page 3                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           May 11, 1970


Chopper Survey

   BEARCAT -- After moving into a new area of operations south of here, the 25th Division's 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery was faced with the task of surveying artillery target areas located in dense jungle areas and roamed by enemy patrols.
   The heavy undergrowth and triple-canopied foliage, not to mention possible enemy ambushes and booby traps, made the use of conventional survey methods impossible.
   Rising to the challenge, the "Automatic Eighth's" survey section went "sky-high" hurdling the problem.  Major Frank Serpice of Colorado Springs, Colo., the battalion's executive officer, and Captain Ronald Kendis from Los Angeles, the battalion's intelligence officer, introduced a system never used by the 25th Infantry Division Artillery and only rarely used by other Army artillery units.
   Using a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) to hover over inaccessible geographical points, two survey teams shot azimuths using the LOH as the corresponding point, and then computed the exact location of the geographical feature, thereby acquiring surveyed artillery targets accurate to fourteen-place grids.
   While two platoons from the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry "Wolfhounds," provided physical security during the three day operation, the two Headquarters Battery survey teams were positioned atop the peaks of two 1500-foot mountains in the area.  By using the two mountain tops, the survey will be classified, according to National Geodetic standards, as a "first order survey," which is the best survey possible.
   The procedure, once the surveyors had oriented themselves, called for Kendis to fly over a predetermined geographical feature and hover, at least for a few seconds, perpendicular to the specified feature.  The pilot and Kendis could only "eyeball" the feature, and estimate when they were perpendicular to it.
   Once Kendis decided they were at the exact spot, he radioed the survey teams and gave the command, "Mark!"  Both teams shot azimuths to the hovering aircraft.  Using this method, the two azimuths intersected and the exact location was known.
   The LOH flew at an altitude of 1,500 feet, placing them at eyelevel with the surveyors on the mountains, thus eliminating any vertical angle to be considered in the computations.
   Commending the Division Artillery LOH pilots on their flying, Kendis said, "The pilots did an excellent job hovering over the targets and then holding for the few necessary seconds.  They also made excellent landings on the hilltops, considering they had to fight the swirling winds and up-and-down drafts."
   The survey proved accurate when the Automatic Eighth's B and C Batteries fired numerous valid night registrations using the surveyed targets.


A NEW THING TO SEE -- A Vietnamese boy watches a Bravo Company, 4th Battalion (Mech.), 23rd Infantry, track cross a new bridge built just outside his village of Ben Cau, south of Tay Ninh City.  (Photo by SP4 Robert C. Caplan) Crossing the bridge



Strengthened for APCs
    Engineers Replace Bridge

   BEN CAU -- The bridge that crossed the Rach Bao River outside this village, nine miles south of Tay Ninh City, was well-suited for oxcart and Honda traffic.
   But when the 25th Division "Tomahawks" of the 4th Battalion, (Mech.), 23rd Infantry, wanted to use the road as a route to the Straight Edge Woods -- the site of recent heavy border fighting -- they realized an oxcart bridge wouldn't hold up under the weight of a company of armored personnel carriers (APCs).
   The problem was quickly solved by elements of the Tropic Lightning's 65th Engineer Battalion.  As a Chinook carried the bridge builders and a "Super Hook" (Sky Crane, CH-54) transported a 45 foot, 14,000 pound dry-span skeleton, the First Platoon of Alfa Engineers, led by First Lieutenant L.V. Everson disassembled the old wooden trestle bridge.
   Within an hour of the bridge's arrival, the first 12-ton APC was on its way across.

New Pay Scale goes into Effect

   A monthly pay raise retroactive to Jan. 1 for all military personnel has been passed by the Congress and approved by the President.  It pays soldiers an extra 8.1 percent of their present base pay.
   Division Finance Officer Lieutenant Colonel J.A. Enloe said the pay raise and back pay will be included for 25th Division soldiers with the May pay.
   The back pay can be paid earlier to personnel who outprocess before the end of May for R&R, emergency or special leave or DEROS.  Those who have valid financial hardships which early payment will help ease also may receive early payment.
   The chart below shows the new rates for each military pay grade.

Commissioned Officers

  2 or less Over 2 Over 3 Over 4 Over 6 Over 8 Over 10 Over 12 Over 14 Over 16 Over 18 Over 20 Over 22 Over 24 Over 26
O-10 1,956.90 2,025.90 2,025.90 2,025.90 2,025.90 2,103.30 2,103.30 2,264.70 2,264.70 2,426.70 2,426.70 2,588.70 2,588.70 2,588.70 2,750.40
O-9 1,734.30 1,779.90 1,818.00 1,818.00 1,818.00 1,863.90 1,863.90 1,941.30 1,941.30 2,103.30 2,103.30 2,264.70 2,264.70 2,264.70 2,426.70
O-8 1,570.80 1,617.90 1,656.60 1,656.60 1,656.60 1,779.90 1,779.90 1,863.90 1,863.90 1,941.30 2,025.90 2,103.30 2,188.20    
O-7 1,305.00 1,394.10 1,394.10 1,394.10 1,456.20 1,456.20 1,540.80 1,540.80 1,617.90 1,779.90 1,902.30        
O-6 967.20 1,063.20 1,132.50 1,132.50 1,132.50 1,132.50 1,132.50 1,132.50 1,170.90 1,356.00 1,425.30 1,456.20 1,540.80 1,540.80 1,671.30
O-5 773.40 909.00 971.10 971.10 971.10 971.10 1,001.10 1,054.50 1,125.00 1,209.30 1,278.60 1,317.00 1,363.50    
O-4 652.50 793.80 847.50 847.50 862.50 901.20 962.40 1,016.70 1,063.23 1,109.40 1,140.30        
O-3 606.30 677.70 723.90 801.60 839.70 870.00 916.80 962.40 985.80            
O-2 486.00 533.20 693.30 716.40 731.40                    
O-1 417.60 462.60 577.20                        

Commissioned Officers (with 4 yr. Enlisted)

  2 or less Over 2 Over 3 Over 4 Over 6 Over 8 Over 10 Over 12 Over 14 Over 16 Over 18 Over 20 Over 22 Over 24 Over 26
O-3       801.60 839.70 870.00 915.80 962.40 1,001.10            
O-2       716.40 731.40 754.50 793.80 824.70 847.50            
O-1       577.20 616.50 639.60 662.40 685.50 716.40            

Warrant Officers

  2 or less Over 2 Over 3 Over 4 Over 6 Over 8 Over 10 Over 12 Over 14 Over 16 Over 18 Over 20 Over 22 Over 24 Over 26
W-4 617.40 662.40 662.40 677.70 708.30 739.50 770.10 824.70 862.50 893.40 916.80 947.40 978.60 978.60 1,054.50
W-3 561.30 609.00 609.00 616.50 624.00 669.60 708.30 731.40 754.50 777.30 801.60 832.20 862.50 862.50 893.40
W-2 491.70 531.60 531.60 547.20 577.20 609.00 632.10 654.90 677.70 701.10 723.90 747.00 777.30    
W-1 409.50 469.80 469.80 508.80 531.60 554.70 577.20 600.90 647.10 669.60 693.30        

Enlisted Men

  2 or less Over 2 Over 3 Over 4 Over 6 Over 8 Over 10 Over 12 Over 14 Over 16 Over 18 Over 20 Over 22 Over 24 Over 26
E-9             701.40 717.60 734.10 750.30 767.10 782.10 823.50 823.50 903.60
E-8           588.60 605.10 621.00 637.50 653.70 669.30 685.80 726.30 726.30 807.00
E-7 369.90 443.40 459.90 476.10 492.30 507.90 524.10 540.90 564.90 580.80 597.00 605.10 645.60 645.60 726.30
E-6 318.90 387.30 403.20 419.70 435.90 451.80 468.30 492.30 507.90 524.10 532.50        
E-5 275.40 339.30 355.50 371.10 395.40 411.60 427.80 443.40 451.80            
E-4 231.60 290.10 306.60 330.60 347.10                    
E-3 167.70 233.70 249.90 266.40                      
E-2 138.30 193.50                          
E-1 133.20 177.00                          
E-1 124.50                            



Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           May 11, 1970


Treat and Treatment
     Medicine Show

   TAY NINH - The 25th Infantry Division pacification program is serving a dual purpose - to heal and entertain.
   Operating in the various hamlets throughout the Phu Khuong District, which includes Tay Ninh City, the "Tomahawks" of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, conduct Medcaps while the Vietnamese Information Service (VIS) entertains the villagers with songs and jokes.
   Captain Thomas Mallison, of Bear Lake, Mich., the officer in charge of 4/23 Psyops, explained, "It is an excellent chance to work directly with the people.  They realize that we're trying to help them, so in turn they help us."
   As the performers entertain on the back of a flat bed truck, villagers who need medical care line up at the back ramp of "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," the Medcap truck of Delta Company 4/23rd.
   First Lieutenant Robert Anderson, of Youngstown, Ohio, the Medical Services Officer for the Tomahawks, is in charge of this part of the pacification program.
   "We have treated over 300 people in one day at some of the villages," he said.  "Tuberculosis is a disease we especially look for.  If they need minor surgery, we suggest they come to our aid station.  If major surgery is required, we refer them to Tay Ninh's hospital."
   Mallison added, "The program has been very successful.  I've seen definite beneficial change in the villager's attitude towards us in the last six months."
   As the show ends, and the Medcap truck raises its ramp, the villagers return to their homes, hopefully to tell their friends of the program.

Story and Photos
SGT Bill Oberholzer


  Doctors at work
The show  
  Avid watcher
Enjoying the show  
  Brother Love's...
Inside the track  
  Seeing the doctors



Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           May 11, 1970


And Never Leave Camp
    How to Feed a Field Army Hot Meals

   BEARCAT - It was Napoleon who once said, "An army travels on its stomach."  And for well-fed soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division, it still is true.  At Bearcat Base Camp, home of the Division's 2d Brigade, the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry "Manchu" mess hall feeds the troops.
   "We feed about 1,300 per meal," said Sergeant First Class Jackson Creetch of Stanton, Ky., the Manchu mess sergeant, "about 300 per meal here in Bearcat and about a thousand out in the field."
   According to Creetch, the meals served to the men in field include "A" meals, or hot meals, as well as the familiar C-rations and LRRPs (food designed for Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols).  Creetch added that field troops get hot meals at least once a day and usually more often.
   Serving as many meals a day, as the Manchu's mess hall does, takes a tremendous amount of food.
   "If we happen to be serving pork chops, it takes about 350 pounds of meat to feed everyone," stated Creetch.
   Feeding hungry soldiers doesn't involve just meat and potatoes.  It means getting fresh milk, pastries twice a day and hot soup for the movie-watchers at Manchu Fire Support Base (FSB) Le Loi.  To get the job done, Creetch must count upon helicopters, convoys and his second field mess hall at the fire support base.
   Running two mess halls is not too difficult for Creetch.
   "I ran five and six mess halls when we were stationed at Tay Ninh," he grinned.
   Creetch said that the mess system has come a long way since his first association with Tropic Lightning.
   "I was with the 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry, in Korea in 1952 and we were lucky to get one hot meal a day then," he said.
   Operating a mess hall at a fire support base in Vietnam is surprisingly like operating one in a base camp, though there are additional problems.
   "We have a mess bunker with gas-fed ranges," said Sergeant First Class Jimmie Johnson from Los Angeles, Calif., a mess sergeant for the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, at FSB Colorado, "and we use the same master menu as a base camp mess."
   The master menu is a schedule of meals on a 28-day basis.  It is used, with variations, at all military posts all over the world.
   But in terms of problems, the constant wind and inevitable dust mean that mess hall personnel must wage a constant battle against the elements.
   "My biggest problem out here," said Johnson, "is ordering rations.  I have to order them eight to 11 days in advance, and since I never know what kind of operations the battalion will be running, I have to almost guess at the amounts of fresh food and C's to order."
   But somehow, Johnson comes up with the solution, as do the other mess sergeants in the 25th Division who are dedicated to feeding the troops.


Ambushers Are Ambushed

   CU CHI - Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division slammed the door on a nighttime enemy ambush recently, raking the enemy with track-mounted machine guns.  Six Communists died in the action.
   "Things went rountinely until around midnight when we neared a village north of Cu Chi," said Specialist 4 James Godtland of Albert Lea, Minn.  Godtland's unit, Alfa Company, 2d Battalion (Mech.), 22d Infantry, was hit by semi-automatic and automatic weapons fire, along with rocket-propelled grenades, from both sides of the highway.
   "The enemy was 25 meters off each side of the road, so we quickly scrambled from the tracks and got into nearby ditches," Godtland added.
   As they began to return fire, the accompanying APC's formed a tight perimeter, .50 caliber and M-60 machine guns blazing.
   Several enemy weapons were captured as the Communists learned another lesson - the hard way.


Ilikai East by Night

WED-Floor Show (8 p.m.) 
THU-Contract Bridge Tourney (7:30 p.m.)   
          Pool and Ping Pong Tourney (2 p.m.)
FRI-Cookout (8 p.m.)   
         Lucky Number Bingo (8 p.m.)
SAT-Ping Pong and Pool Tourney (2 p.m.)
SUN-Coffee Call (10 a.m.)
MON-Challenge the Staff (8 p.m.)
           Films and Popcorn (7:30 p.m.)       
TUE-Handwriting Analysis (8 p.m.)



Ask Sgt. Certain

DEAR SGT CERTAIN:  I am a First Sergeant.  On Mother's Day I received a package from the guys.  It was addressed "To a Mother."  Inside was a plain, unadorned peanut.  How should I take this?
                                                                             --Wrinkled Shirt

DEAR WRINKLED:  With a grain of salt.

DEAR SGT CERTAIN:  I have a mad crush on one of the girls at the service club.  Last Sunday I swore to her my undying love.  I promised her all the things she could ever want.  She asked me if I had two bingo cards.  How can I at least get her attention.
                                                                             --A Free Square

DEAR FREE:  Everyone goes on bingo night, so try showing up on an evening when there is a lichee nut eating contest or a birthday party for John Glenn.  Offer to clean up afterwards or to pour the Kool-aid.  Start small; get her in a corner and tell her you think she's sincere.  Find out her name.  Tell her that you, too, have an overwhelming desire to serve mankind.  Finish up all the Kool-aid.


Page 7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           May 11, 1970


Heading for base
HEADING FOR HOME BASE -- Members of 2nd Battalion (Mech.), 22nd Infantry, head back to Cu Chi after search and clear operations near there.



Stopping Charlie

   For the troops of 3rd Brigade's 2nd Battalion (Mech.), 22nd Infantry, operations often mean the lonely vigil of a night laager and the exhausting effort of fast-moving actions against the enemy.
   But the efforts have paid off.  With line companies searching and destroying enemy tunnels, bunkers and fighting positions and armored personnel carriers serving as blocking forces, the enemy has been caught in a deadly pincher.
   The operations have denied the enemy opportunities to obtain and maintain arms, munitions, food and clothing necessary for successful battle against U.S. forces.

Story and Photos by
SP4 Henry G. Zukowski Jr


On the lookout LAAGER VIGIL - A gunner stands ready with a 50 caliber machine gun mounted on a Triple Deuce armored personnel carrier at a night defensive laager position near Cu Chi.
RECON THE AREA - Armored personnel carriers of the 2nd Battalion (Mech.), 22nd Infantry, move from a laager position in order to recon a night ambush position for troops. Leaving on patrol


On patrol
BLOCKING FORCE -- Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion (Mech.), 22nd Infantry search an area surrounding Phu Hoa Dong village during a recent combined forces operation.



Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           May 11, 1970


Fighting Near Cambodia
     Regulars Battalion Overpowers Enemy

   TAY NINH - The entire 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, "Regulars" of the 25th Infantry Division, slashed through a jungle area near the Cambodian border recently, killing 12 communists and driving through the enemy stronghold.
   The week-long operation, approximately eight miles southwest of Tay Ninh City, began on the southern edge of the jungle area when enemy fire exploded from the woodline.  With the aid of gunships and air strikes, C Company, 3/22nd, exchanged an awesome volume of fire with the enemy.
   "I have never witnessed such fierce contact.  We were fighting toe to toe with the enemy," said Captain Lawson R. Pride, of Detroit.
   While Charlie Company, which had sustained light casualties, was preparing to be air-lifted, Bravo Company swept toward the contact area.  Six enemy bodies and assorted enemy field gear were uncovered while moving through the enemy positions; most of which were fortified with three feet of overhead cover.


Sgt. David Moore BED OF NAILS? -- No he isn't doing penance, Sergeant David Moore of Republic, Mo., a member of the 25th Division's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry "Wolfhounds," simply could find no better place to take a break from details at Fire Support Base Colorado.  (Photo by SP4 Frank Rezzonico)



125th Signal Bn. Makes It Work

   BEARCAT - One of the elements behind a successful military operation is effective communication.  For the 2nd Brigade at Bearcat Base Camp, effective communication means Charlie Company, 125th Signal Battalion.
   Charlie Company is responsible for the communication network running between the Fire Brigade's rear element at Bearcat Base Camp to the Forward Command Post at Fire Support Base Colorado, to the rest of the Brigade's Fire Support Bases, and 25th Infantry Division Headquarters in Cu Chi Base Camp.
   It is not difficult to understand Charlie Company's mission, but understanding how it is accomplished is another matter.  If you don't believe that statement, try asking Staff Sergeant Joe Norwille of Center Valley, Pa., NCOIC of Charlie Company.  You are liable to get an answer sounding like it came word-for-word from an Army Training Manual.
   According to Norwille, the Fire Brigade's communication network contains something called a TRG-24, a radio, and a carrier called a TECC-7.  Or was the TECC-7 the radio and TRC-24 the carrier?  Then there was something about VHF, wave lengths and channels.  Anyway the whole thing comes out sounding rather technical.
   One of the problems with such a complicated system is that there are a lot of things that can go wrong.  Norwille explained, "There are transformers, tubes, circuits, and a lot of other things that can go out anytime.  We have to wait until they go out to be able to do anything about a bad unit."
   Charlie Company also handles several other important functions.  It handles all the calls that come through the 2nd Brigade's Loyal phone line, and on a slow day this means handling several hundred.  The signalmen also operate the Military Affiliate Radio System, better known as MARS radio.  This mobile unit, the only one in the 25th Infantry Division, allows Fire Brigade personnel to make calls to their families back in the World.
   Norwille probably summed up the Function of Charlie Company, 125th signal Battalion best by saying, "We take a lot of complicated equipment and make it work."


Barber Has Right Price

   FSB KIEN -- A most unusual sight at a fire support base in the boonies is a barber shop complete with the traditional candy striped pole at the doorway.
   This fire support base, a mile and a half north of Dau Tieng is the home of the 25th Division's 2nd Brigade, 12th Infantry, and claims there is such an establishment.
   The man who does the trimming is Private First Class Charles Barton from Chicago.  Barton was a part-time barber before coming into the Army.
   When asked what he would have said if someone told him that he was going to be a barber when he got to Vietnam, Barton replied, "I would have told them they were crazy."
   And the cost of a haircut?  "Whatever price you think is right." says the Warrior barber.  You can't beat that.


Giving Charlie High Hell
   4 Deuce Has Got a Light

   CU CHI - The famous author and poet, Rudyard Kipling, once wrote a novel about men in war called, "The Light That Failed."  For the 25th Division's 2nd Battalion (Mech.), 22nd Infantry's night patrols however, "High Angle Hell" provides "The Light That's Never Failed."
   High Angle Hell is a mortar platoon in Headquarters Company of the "Triple Deuce," responsible for supporting night operations with illumination.  It is divided into three sections which work both in Cu Chi and in the field.
   "A team is on call round the clock," said Specialist 5 Bob Cummings, a squad leader from Troy, Mont. "During the night the men sleep by their mortars so that within seconds "lum" can be placed anywhere needed."
   Though providing illumination is its primary function, High Angle Hell also fires high explosives when necessary.
   The mortar section in Cu Chi is currently constructing new gun positions and a fire direction center.  To insure the accuracy of each gun, a cement base has been laid to prevent base plate movement when firing.  The direction center contains radios, maps and plotting charts to calculate adjustments to the mortar tubes.
   The job of High Angle Hell never ceases.  When not firing, the team members are busy inspecting and cleaning tubes and radio systems while making sure they have enough ammo on hand at all times.
   "Without quick illumination our patrols wouldn't be nearly as effective as they are in blocking the enemy," said Private First Class Dennis Le Blanc, Bravo Company machine gunner from Sacremento, Calif.  "It's always there when we need it."
   For the men of High Angle Hell, "The Light That's Never Failed" is a story they're proud to tell.

GETTING READY -- Sergeant Larry Watson of Memphis adjusts a mortar tube while Private First Class Rich Trujillo of Salida, Colo., prepares to load.  They are members of the 25th Division's "High Angle Hell" platoon.  (Photo by PFC Frank Salerno) PFC Rich Trujillo, Sgt. Larry Watson



Hounding' Charlie Slows Infiltration

   PHUOC LUU - The 25th Division's Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry "Wolfhounds," has tackled the task of practicing "preventive medicine" on the disease of enemy infiltration.
   The key to this medicine is spelled c-h-e-c-k-p-o-i-n-t.
   Captain Paul Evans of Columbus, Ga., Delta Company's commander, explained that the purpose of several checkpoints in this small border village was to prevent enemy infiltrators from crossing into Vietnam.
   "But after a few days in the area," Evans said, "The number of our objectives increased."
   One of the major problems the "Hounds" had was persuading the village officials to convince the people to stay away from the border.
   "We expected a lot of action because we were so close to the border," said Platoon Sergeant Leroy Garrington of Seattle.  "But aside from isolated sniper fire one day, most of our work involved checking civilians."


Thanks to:
Roger Welt, 4th Bn., 23rd Inf., and a Tropic Lightning News correspondent, for sharing this issue,
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.

This page last modified 04-30-2006

©2006 25th Infantry Division Association. All rights reserved