Vol 5 No. 27 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS July 6, 1970
|Unit Page||Unit Page||Unit Page||Unit Page|
|1/5 2||2/22 Photo 1||25th MPs 4||4/23 4|
|1/5 3||2/22 3||269th Avn Bn Photo 7||4/23 Photo 4|
|1/5 Photo 3||2/22 Photo 3||3/4 Cav 1||4/23 Photo 4|
|1/8 Arty 6||2/22 6||3/4 Cav 7||65th Engr 1|
|1/27 7||2/22 8||3/4 Cav Photo 7||65th Engr Photo 3|
|12th Evac 8||2/27 7||3/22 3||Bold Lancer 3|
|2/2 Civic Action 4||2/27 Photo 7||3/22 Photo 3||Cu Chi Ed Center 2|
|2/12 8||2/47 7||3/22 6||In Cambodia 4|
|2/14 1||2/60 4||4/9 1||MARS 8|
|2/14 Photo 1||2/60 Photo 4||4/9 Photo 7||Toan Thang 43 7|
|2/14 3||2/60 8||4/9 Photo 8|
Last Unit Returns
25th Back in Vietnam
CU CHI - After almost eight weeks of routing through hoarded enemy supplies, the 25th Division is back from Cambodia.
The last unit to return was the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, which had been under the operational control of the 1st ARVN Airborne Division. All other units had returned in mid June.
Cambodian operations began for the 25th Division with Operation Bold Lancer when the 1st Brigade slashed into Communist sanctuaries with air assaults and fast-moving mechanized units.
The surprised enemy fled. He offered almost no resistance, fighting only when he couldn't avoid the US troops sweeping through areas formerly safe for the NVA.
On May 10, the 2nd Brigade stabbed into Cambodia with Operation Toan Thang 43 north of the Dog's Face cutting off enemy escape routes from the Fish Hook region and ripping into enemy training and resupply areas.
The next day, four battalions surrounded what was believed to be part of the Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN) headquarters. As the US units tightened their grip on the area, they squeezed out the largest numbers of caches during the operation to that point.
The 1st Brigade withdrew from the area below the Dog's Face and units were rotated in the more productive area to the north. For weeks the laborious search went on as US forces conducted a grid square by grid square search of the plentiful cache sites.
As the operation drew to a close, the enemy became active, but, as one commander pointed out, it was a little late. So much materiel had been captured that the figures had become almost meaningless.
Shortly before the 3/4 Cav came back, the list ran something like this: more than 700 small arms captured, 130 crew served weapons, 45 tons of ammunition, 1,700 tons of rice, 58 vehicles, 5,760 pounds of communications equipment, 13,900 pounds of medical supplies and 1,500 pounds of documents.
Photos on pages 3,4,5 and 7
|MISSION ALMOST DONE -- Shortly before coming back to Vietnam, an Armored personnel carrier of the 2nd Battalion (Mech) 22nd Infantry, searched for enemy arms and supplies near Krek.|
Manchus Upset Staging System
By SGT WILLIAM E. ZARRETT
THIEN NGON - A recent search by a 25th Division Infantry company northwest of the Dog's Face in Cambodia led to the discovery and destruction of a vital enemy staging area.
While on a routine search and destroy operation, the 2nd Platoon of Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, moved into and secured an area three hundred meters square, allowing a detailed search of the more than sixty bunkers and buildings the men had found there. Among the buildings were a shrine, a mess hall with six earthen stoves and a separate area for dish washing, two grain huts - one for grinding and one for storage -and one classroom.
Numerous wooden training aids found in the classroom gave the soldiers a better idea of enemy instruction. The models included mock-ups of most of the enemy's weapons, plus carvings of American aircraft and straw versions of allied tanks.
Taking more than two days to destroy the entire training complex, "Manchus" upset what is thought by the American Command to have been one of the major staging areas for enemy actions in Vietnam's Tay Ninh Province.
"The way the whole place was built and camouflaged, they (the enemy) must have been there for quite some time, and must have been planning to stay," said Private First Class Johnny Williams, of Youngstown, Ohio.
Engineers Build Civilian Bridge
MEMOT, Cambodia - One of the first casualties of operations in Cambodia was a light, French-built bridge over a stream that bisects this prosperous city.
But when U.S. troops withdrew, they left the business community a new bridge built especially for commercial use.
After the first bridge was destroyed, Alfa Company of the 65th Engineer Battalion quickly replaced the span with a tactical bridge to permit military traffic to pass.
Later, as the deadline for American troop withdrawal drew near, it became apparent that the tactical bridge would have to be removed for future use. An order quickly went out stating that some provision would have to be made to bridge the stream so that normal civilian commerce could continue.
The Engineers' answer was to replace the tactical span with a Bailey Bridge. Alfa Company removed the old span while Bravo Company constructed the new.
The villagers took in the event with all the excitement of a national holiday. The bridge site was constantly surrounded with hundreds of onlookers, while other villagers prepared native dishes and peddled their wares as if the Engineers' presence was cause for a village-wide celebration.
Bravo Company, under the leadership of Captain Lawrence Oliver, and well-organized from previous experiences, completed its mission in less than six hours.
When asked their reaction to the bridge building by the engineers, a group of elders bowed vigorously and repeated, "Thank you, Thank you."
Dragons Move into Enemy's Home
By SP4 RICH ERICKSON
TASUOS, Cambodia -Airlifting Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry "Golden Dragons" south of the Dog's Face area of Cambodia recently proved to be a profitable operation.
Drawing no resistance, the Dragons quickly located three hootches containing North Vietnamese military uniforms, a small machine shop, two tons of rice, numerous medical supplies and four motor launches.
The company then moved north through 200 yards of dense jungle and found themselves in the midst of a 30 hootch complex. A systematic search of the numerous bunkers and hootches uncovered another two tons of rice, medical supplies, an SKS rifle and six RPG rounds.
Over the company radio a platoon leader exclaimed, "Hey, we found the motor pool." The NVA motor pool consisted of a hootch containing four motorcycles and parts for about 50 bicycles.
As the company moved out of the area one man remarked, "It looks like we put a sizable dent in Charlie's travel accommodations."
|SETTING UP C-4 -- Captain Bennet S. Jones of Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, readies C-4 to be used to destroy an enemy bunker in Cambodia. The bunker was found in a 30-hootch complex south of the Dog's Face. (Photo by SP4 Rich Erickson)|
Page 2 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS July 6, 1970
|BRONZE STAR (VALOR)|
|CPT CarrolI J. Alvarez, Co C, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
CPT Charles E. Criswell, Co B, 2d Bn 27th Inf
CPT Gary A. Franklin, Co A, 2 d Bn, 12th Inf
CPT Melvin A. Greenroad, HHC, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
CPT Oleh B. Koropey, B Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
CPT Thomas H. Pardue, Co B, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
CPT Lynn Tew, HHSB, 7th Bn, 11 th Fld Arty
1 LT Bruce S. Brooks, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
1 LT Thomas L. Bush, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
1 LT Lawrence P. Forster, Co A, 2 d Bn, 34th Armor
1 LT Albert C. Flagg Jr, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
1 LT Thomas G. Harris, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
1 LT Richard T. Hirsch, Co A, 4th Bn 9th Inf
1 LT John T. Ligon C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
1 LT Harold R. McCoy, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
1 LT Gary G. Meyer, Co C, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
1 LT Melvin A. Miller, Co E 2d Bn., 12th Inf
1 LT Ben Litz Read, Co A, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
1 LT Juan Rivera, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
1 LT Hector Saenz, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
1 LT William B. Speer, Co E, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
1 LT Less P. Wright, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
2 LT Dick F. Dent, Co D, 3d Bn,22d Inf
2 LT Theodore P. Pytash, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
2 LT James A. Smith, Co C, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
2 LT Charles A. Thomas, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
CSM August Myszka, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
1 SG Rudolph V. Chandler, B Trp, 3 d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SFC Alex Blackburn, Co C, 2d Bn, 27th Inf
SFC Joseph L. Cameron, Co B, 2 d Bn, 34th Armor
SFC Harry C. Coons, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SFC Bernard J. Lloyd, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SFC Marion D. Masterson Co E, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SFC Floyd Shick, B Trp, Jd Sgdn, 4th Cav
SSG John C. Binger, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SSG Charles L. Coffman, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SSG Lowell H. Coomes, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SSG Seba E. Gaston, F Co, 75th Inf
SSG Charles R. Power, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SSG Joseph J. Turner, D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SSG Jack A. Weiss, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th inf
SGT Michael D. Andrianse, B Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SGT Dennis Avery, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th t of
SGT Robert W. Bodley, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SGT Charles Bryson, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SGT Joseph P. Cairo, Co A 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SGT William S. Chriswell, tz Co, 75th Inf
SGT Kerry W. Dickson, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT Carl R. George, Co E, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT Edgar L. Hannah, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SGT Lewis Hyde, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SGT R. W. Lowe, Co D, 2 d Bn, 12th Inf
SGT Lacy McCarty Jr, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SGT Larry D. Melton, C Btry, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SGT William R. Morres, B Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SGT Rudy S. Nieto, Co B, 1st Bn, 6th Inf
SGT Anthony Piggott, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SGT Carey J. Pratt, Co D, 2 d Bn, 14th Inf
SGT Cleman Quade, HHC, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SGT FarrelI D. Sanders, Co B, 1st Bn 5th Inf
SGT John L. Schafer, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT John W. Stubbs, Co E, 2d Bn, 1ith Inf
SGT John E. Sumpter, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT Richard V. Taylor, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th lnf
SP5 Paul S. Gaffney, HHSB 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SP5 William McMillian, HHSrB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SP5 Bruce Scheff, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SP5 Henry Thompson, HHC, 2 d Bn, 34th Armor
SP4 Terry Barnes, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SP4 William Barnes, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Richard Blackwell, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SP4 Daniel J. Bruce, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SP4 Dwight Buechler, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SP4 John A.Connolly, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SP4 Gregory T. Cook, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SP4 Rick DeArmond, Co E, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 Dennis Depottey, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SP4 David Donohue, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SP4 Arner C. Ellis, Co A, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 William 0. Evans, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SP4 Carol A, Haverkamp, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 Louie M. Huerta, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SP4 Carl Jackson, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Louis E. Jurado, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SP4 Richard D. King, HHC, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 Ronald J. Lewis, Co E, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 William Linsey, Co A, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Alfredo A. Longora, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SP4 Manuel S. Lugo, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SP4 Bobby L. Marten, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
SP4 Roger D. McConnachie, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th lnf
SP4 Gary Moreau, Co C, 4th Bn.9th Inf
SP4 Ralph Perez, HHSB, 1st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
SP4 Gary L. Peveler, Co A, 25th S&T
SP4 Dwight E. Podoll, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th lnf
SP4 Christopher Sharpe, Co D, 1st Bn, 5th lnf
SP4 Patrick J. Slattery, F Co, 75th Inf
SP4 Fred J. Staffhorst, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SP4 Dennis Truscott, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Gary W. Watson, HHSB, I st Bn, 8th Fld Arty
|SP4 John C. Ziobro, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th lnf
SP4 Gary S. Adams, HHC, 65th Eng Bn
SP4 Charles W. Campbell, HQ and Co A, 725th Maint Bn
SP4 John W. Campbell, Co A, 2d Bn, 27th Inf
SP4 Paul S. Christensen, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 Larry Cix, HHC, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SP4 Terry J. Flagg, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SP4 Bernard J. Foglesong, 66th Inf Pit
SP4 Martin B. Freighner, Co D, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
SP4 David Garland, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 Larry R. Gehring, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 James L. Godtland, Co A, 2d Bn, 22d lnf
SP4 James Gramling, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 Walter L. Greenhowe, 66th Inf Pit
SP4 Larry W. Greene, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 David W. Harris, HHC, 65th Engr Bn
SP4 Joseph Kaman, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 John M. Klipfel, HQ and Co A, 725th Maint Bn
SP4 Tom C. Langmesser, Co C, 2d Bn 14th Inf
SP4 Ronald L. Mobley, Co A, 2d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 Jimmie F. Moore, Co D, 2d Bn, 14th lnf
SP4 Ronnie O'Daffer, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th lnf
SP4 Gerald G. Pitell, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 James B. Price, B Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav
SP4 Ernest C. Quick, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 John Ross, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 Stanley L. Schafer, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 Frank A. Shea, HQ and Co A, 725th Maint Bn
SP4 John C. Sheeron, HHC, 4th Bn, 23d Inf
SP4 Benny J. Shields, Co E, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
SP4 Oree B. Spradley, Co D, 2d Bn, 22nd Inf
SP4 Gary D. Tanner, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Eric H. Warsin, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
SP4 Daniel Watwood, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Raymond C. Wheeler, Co C, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC David S. Bauschke, Co A, 4th Bn,9th Inf
PFC Frank A. Bayly, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Michael L. Casteel, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Daniel W. Conforti, HHC, 2d Bn, 34th Armor
PFC Louis J. Corso, Co C, 2d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Phillip M. Davies, Co B, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Jerry Franklin, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Emanuel Gangloff, Co B, 65th Engr Bn
PFC James Garrett Jr, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Tommy T. Halton, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Larry L. Hayes, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Paul V. Arriola, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Terry B. Barnes, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC James Bland, Co A, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Thomas W. Bult, Co B, 1st Bn,.5th Inf
PFC Joseph B. Cabanas, Co B, I st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Ronald Campbell, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Michael Casey, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Dennis Depottey, Co D, 1st Bn 5th Inf
PFC Grankie Hamilton, F Co. 75th Inf
PFC Milton Harper, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Raymond Hartness, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Henry W. Hayes, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Daniel G. Jacobs, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Walter Johnson, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Glenn E. Jones, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Paul L. Krizinauskas, F Co. 75th Inf
PFC Gerald Larkin, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Jeffrey W. Littleton, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Frederick LoBue, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Paul A. Lorentz, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Michael Math is, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Danny R. Meeks, Co D, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Johnny L. Ollison, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Delbert G. Pangle, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Oliver Perez, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Alval Priest, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Richard Piergrossi, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Richard L. Roberts, Co B 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC John L. Robinson, Co B, I st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Robert Saville, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC David A. Sheriff, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC William G. Silva, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Charles E. Smith, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC George E. Smith Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC John A. Smith, Cro B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Howard J. Turner, Co E, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Earle F. Weeks, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Henry G. Wilbanks, Co B 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Harold D. Wilson, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Michael G. Zamjahn, F Co, 75th Inf
PFC Jerry E. Hodges, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
PFC Michael R. Janning, Co D, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Leland Jones, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
PFC Elmer L. Keasling, B Trp, 3d Sgdn, 4th Cav
PFC Ralph L. Kelley, Co D, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Ken McLaughlin, Co B, 2d Bn 12th Inf
PFC Ronald L. Noll, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC David J. Orth, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th I of
PFC Jesse Owens, Co C, 2d Bn, 14th Inf
PFC Alexander P. Ott, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Anthony J. Paolisso, B Trp, 3d Sgdn, 4th Cav
PFC James E. Payne, Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf
PFC Dwayne G. Rice, Co A, 2d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Gerald G. Rising. Co D. 3d Bn.22d Inf
Wet Road Is Slick
By SP4 DAVE MACLARY
Once again it is that rainy time of the year in Vietnam, when vehicle operators should be reminded of the slippery road conditions that come with the monsoons.
All will agree that accidents caused by a drifting vehicle on wet pavement may prove to be of no benefit. So drive with extra caution when adverse weather prevails.
The following incident occurred last rainy season on wet, muddy pavement.
A private first class was driving a US 5-ton truck from Cu Chi to Tan Son Nhut to pick up aircraft repair parts for his unit. In the village near the Tan Nhut entrance, a Vietnamese traffic director summoned him to proceed along with several other vehicles, of which he was the last.
About 20 to 30 feet past the traffic director a motor scooter pulled away from the side of the road going North and attempted to make a U-turn. The PFC was traveling South at the time.
The PFC blew his horn, applied his brakes, and tried to avoid the scooter by swerving in one direction and then in another direction. But each time, the driver of the scooter swerved in the same direction, and the two vehicles collided.
The PFC then attempted to swerve away to the side of the road. This caused him to skid and strike a patio wall of a civilian home. The truck eventually came to a halt 200 feet from the point of impact..
Readin', `ritin' and More
By PFC PATRICK F. MURPHY
CU CHI -- Just about everyone who listens to American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN) radio has heard the disc jockey talk about United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) courses.
Specialist 5 Bruce Hodgson from Sigourney, Iowa., of Delta Company, 1st Battalion (Mech.), 5th Infantry, did and promptly enrolled at the Cu Chi Education Center. Hodgson had a fifth grade education when he started the course on March 15. On July 12, he will graduate from high school.
Under the direction of Olin R. McGill of Columbia, S.C., a civilian employee of the Department of the Army, the center offers both high school and college courses. The center is manned by 1st Lieutenant James A. Davies of St. Paul, Minn., Specialist 4 Robert Marasa from Riverside, N.J., and Private First Class Walter Bishop of Duquoin, Ill.
It is equipped with the latest texts and audio-visual aids. "All of our instructors have a minimum of a Bachelor of Arts degree and many have their Master's degree," said Marasa. All have teaching backgrounds.
The instructors, all servicemen stationed at Cu Chi, range from Private First Class to Lieutenant Colonel "...and it's not uncommon to have a PFC teaching a Lieutenant Colonel," added Marasa.
For GIs who want to finish high school, there is a special USAFI program by which the student is tutored in the subjects he needs for graduation. It is in this program that Hodgson has made such dramatic progress.
A General Educational Development (GED) test is given at the conclusion of the program. Elapsed time is determined by the individual's capabilities.
Davies stressed that "the GED is accepted as the equivalent of a high school diploma." The program may be started at any time and there is no charge.
Currently, the center is offering six college-level courses worth three semester (credit) hours each. These include: Statistics, U.S. History II, Personnel Management, English Composition II, Psychology II and Mechanical Drawing. Also available is one high school course in Algebra I.
Marasa emphasized that most colleges in the U.S. will accept credits for transfer. These subjects are offered approximately four times a year. "There's no charge for this either," he said.
A college-level examination program is another feature of the center. It is described as a reliable method of assessing a person's educational level and earns a total of 30 credit hours, applicable towards a college degree. This program consists of a series of five tests and may be taken at any time.
Personnel from the center also administer the GED and college-level exam and GED exam at the various fire support bases for those unable to get to Cu Chi. Requests for these exams may be made through any unit orderly room.
Tropic Lightning Tots
The Commanding General Welcomes
The Following Tropic Lightning Tots
To The 25th Infantry Division As
Reported By The American Red Cross.
SGT Jesse W. Taylor, B Btry, 2nd Bn, 32nd Arty, girl
SGT Anthony Walker, Co A, 2nd Bn, 22nd Inf, boy
SFC Thomas L. Dixon, C Btry, 2nd Bn, 32nd Arty, boy
SP4 Skid C. Thomason, HQ & Co A, 725th Maint Bn, boy
1 LT Michael McLaughlin, 372nd RR Co, girl
SGT Darrell N. Green, Co B, 1st Bn, 5th Inf, girl
SP4 Cecil Henson, HHC, 4th Bn, 9th Inf, boy
SP4 Ronald Silosky, B Btry, 7th Bn, 1 I th Arty, 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. American Forces Press Service and Army News Feature materials 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
SP4 Charles C. Self . . Editor
SP5 Gary D. Sciortino . . . Assistant Editor
SP4 Joseph V. Kocian . . . Production Supervisor
SGT Bill Oberholzer
SP4 Robert Caplan
SGT Mike Keyster
SP4 Tom Benn
SP4 Brad Yaeger
SP4 Frank Rezzonico
SP4 Frank Salerno
SP4 Henry Zukowski, Jr
SP4 Brian Flaherty
PFC Rob Lato
SP4 Greg Duncan
SP4 Ray Byrne
|SP4 Rich Erickson
SP4 Ed Toulouse
SP4 Doug Sainsbury
SGT Mike Conroy
SGT William E. Zarrett
SP4 Lawrence Merritt
SP4 Rich Fitzpatrick
SP4 Ken Barron
SP4 George Graham
SP5 Tom Watson
SP4 Willaim McGown
PFC James B. Stoup
Page 3 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS July 6, 1970
Operation Bold Lancer took 25th Division troops into Cambodia for the first time as part of the thrust into Communist sanctuaries ordered by President Nixon.
The initial assault was carried out by the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, followed by two mechanized units, the 1st Battalion (Mech), 5th Infantry, and the 2nd Battalion (Mech), 22nd Infantry.
A short time later the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, was airlifted in to help explore enemy training areas and destroy some of the many enemy caches found in the area.
Above ground structures containing classrooms for training and indoctrination, bunker complexes and large caches of supplies were found and evacuated or destroyed.
|A mass of Armored Personnel Carriers rumbles over felled trees in Cambodia searching for enemy equipment and supplies. These APCs of the 2nd Battalion (Mech), 22nd Infantry, and others of the 1st Battalion (Mech), 5th Infantry, were part of Operation Bold Lancer operating below the Dog's Face section of the border region. (Photo by SP4 Henry Zukowski)|
|This procession of 65th Engineer Battalion trucks slashed through War Zone C to the Rach Cai Bac River where the pontoons shown above were used to construct a bridge that carried 25th Division mechanized units into Cambodia. (Photo by SP5 Steve Kroft)|
|Bunkers like this one had to be laboriously and carefully checked for signs of the enemy before they could be evacuated of rice and other enemy supplies in Cambodia. (Photo by SP4 Charles C. Self)|
|Elements of the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, move toward the woodline of their LZ after they were airlifted into Cambodia during Operation Bold Lancer. The 3/22nd was the first 25th Division unit into Cambodia. (Photo by SP4 Charles C. Self)|
Page 4-5 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS July 6, 1970
|A Cambodian woman collects rice at a food distribution point set up in the city square while US troops carry out a cordon and search of Memot.|
|Villagers at Memot gather outside the aid station in their town square. A MEDCAP was being conducted in the tent during a cordon and search of the village. More medical aid was available in a nearby school.|
|As US troops searched the city of Memot, civic actions troops conducted games for the children in the city square. Here the children play drop the hankerchief.|
Civic Actions Pay
MEMOT - One of the most important parts of US operations in Cambodia was civic action projects.
The care taken to not harm the civilians and their property led to a casual rapport with villagers that helped in the tactical operations against the NVA.
One operation called for troops of the 4th Battalion (Mech), 23rd Infantry (Tomahawks), and the 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, to cordon and search the city of Memot.
The primary objective was to uncover enemy weapons, equipment and food believed to be hidden in the city of 8,000 people.
In order to achieve maximum benefit during the operation, it was decided to conduct a MEDCAP, give out food and conduct other civic action projects while the search was underway.
First Lieutenant Michael Wiggins, of White Bear Lake, Minn., the Tomahawk PSYOPS (Psychological Operations) Officer coordinated the efforts of the various units attached to the battalion for the operation.
In addition to the MEDCAP facilities there was also an Interrogation of Prisoners of War (IPW) team, a Civic Action Team (CA), and the 25th Military Police Company.
The center of activity was the town square where the MEDCAP and food distribution centers were set up and the movies and games for the children were held. It was there also, in the post office, that suspected VC/NVA or Communist sympathizers were brought for questioning.
Regarding the MEDCAP, 1st Lieutenant Robert Anderson, of Youngstown, Ohio, the Tomahawk Medical Officer, remarked, "This was the biggest combined MEDCAP I've seen in either Vietnam or Cambodia. We had both a doctor and a dentist in addition to my medics." Anderson estimated that more than 600 people were treated during the day.
The food distribution was handled by Captain Chuck Gilmer, of Lancaster, Tex., who is in charge of the 2nd Platoon, 2nd Civic Action Company. He and his men brought Corn-soya milk, rolled oats, corn meal and Bulgar wheat to hand out to the people, in addition to rice captured by the Tomahawks earlier that week.
The residents of Memot had been told by loud speaker that, with the exception of one person per family, they were all to gather in the town square. While the families were being entertained and given medical treatment, the Tomahawks were making a thorough search of the Cambodian houses and yards.
At each home, the one person who remained behind escorted the US troops through his house, ensuring that his property was handled safely. Where enemy weapons or materiel were found, suspicious persons were taken for interviews with the IPW team.
"The people showed us everything they had," said Specialist 4 Larry Glotfelty, of Grantsville, Md., a rifleman with C Company Tomahawks. "One man even showed us a bag full of money - his life savings."
Specialist 4 Stephen Lee, of Kenyon, Minn., also a Charlie company rifleman, recalled, "They sat us down, brought out chairs under the shade trees and offered us tea and fresh pineapple."
The search of Memot uncovered many small enemy caches. Among the many items found were two 57mm Recoilless Rifles, five 20mm magazines loaded with ammunition, a Remington Springfield .30 caliber rifle, three British rifles, 25 anti-tank mines, 188 rifle grenades and 125 pounds of medical supplies.
|These Ho Chi Minh sandles were among the evidences of the enemy uncovered during the search of Memot.|
|Men of the 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, and the 4th Battalion (Mech), 23rd Infantry, use a mine detector in the search for enemy weapons during a cordon and search of Memot.|
|An APC of the 4th Battalion (Mech), 23rd Infantry, stands guard outside buildings in the city of Memot. While 4/23rd conducted a cordon and search of the village, civic action units entertained the people and gave them medical aid in the city square.|
Page 6 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS July 6, 1970
Troops Work Well Despite Confusions
By SP5 STEVE KROFT
Armored personnel carriers of the 2d Battalion (Mech), 22d Infantry, rumbled down the dirt road towards the village of Tasek like a welcome wagon from the twentieth century.
Handsome villagers lined the road waving and offering the traditional Buddhist greeting with elbows out and palms pressed together. It was to become the Cambodian translation for the peace sign.
Even the most callous GI had to be impressed with the moment. These two distinct cultures rubbing together for the first time gave a profound sense of history to the early stages of the Cambodian operation. Americans who had been avoiding booby traps and fighting an invisible enemy near nameless villages, seemingly unnoticed, were suddenly on the front pages of every newspaper in the world.
While the operation brought a fear of the unknown, only a few could deny that there was purpose in this mission. If nothing else, this pleased the grunt.
The operation began amid confusion in a clearing a few miles east of the Cambodian border. On the morning of May 6, Thien Ngon was little more than an airstrip with a few scattered tents. Three weeks later it would have refrigerators, tape decks and barbers in residence, but this day it was merely a hole in the woods.
For most of the people there, this was their first trip into War Zone C. The imposing treeline was unnerving, but there was security in knowing that somewhere between Thien Ngon and the Rach Cai Bac River there was an entire infantry brigade.
People were running around trying to find their units. Yet, while confusion was disconcerting, it was only a by product of what the Army does best - moving lots of people and things quickly. Not many people knew where they were, but everyone knew what he was supposed to do.
Television crews from major networks were there to package the whole episode up for people back in Des Moines and Cleveland. But by the time the taxpayers saw it, the troops would be off somewhere to the West.
The villagers were terrified at first, and with good reason. The NVA had told the people that we would kill them or worse. Many GIs felt an almost desperate urgency to make the Cambodians understand that we would not harm them. Trying to reassure the people was not always easy, as one intelligence officer found out. He found himself saddled with the task of explaining the presence of his mechanized battalion across the road from the Cambodians' village. He ended up by trying to explain U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia through two Vietnamese interpreters, with uncertain results.
It was frustrating at times trying to convince the Cambodians that we were their friends and at the same time fighting the war around them. But the soldiers won their confidence as time went on. And by the time U.S. troops abandoned Fire Support Base Sharron, the official rate of exchange was eight American cigarettes for one Cambodian pineapple.
The most significant aspect of the operation was the large cache finds. Besides providing an unprecedented wealth of war souvenirs, they were tangible evidence of success. But the GIs soon found that uncovering caches was much easier than evacuating them to rear areas.
After the novelty wore off, weapons and ammunition discoveries seemed commonplace. The items that really caused excitement were things like land rovers, typewriters and IBM printouts.
Days turned to weeks and became a month. The caches were harder to find, and some of the early luster began to fade. Weeks in the field began to take their toll. Cambodia was off the front pages and all of a sudden the entire affair seemed like a lot of hard work. Comfortable rear areas became more remote and people began to refer to Tay Ninh as the "world."
If the first thrusts into Cambodia were historic, the withdrawal was anticlimatic. We went in with full brigades and came out a battalion at a time. The division formulated plans to make the return trip as memorable as those first few days had been.
The 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, had been one of the first units to assault the Communist sanctuaries. On return to Dau Tieng they were greeted with cold drinks, music provided by the 25th Division Band, and best, service club girls.
One tired trooper straggled off the plane, grabbed a cup of colored water, and plopped himself down under a large tree. A Red Cross girl sat down beside him and asked how the operation had gone.
He paused deliberately and then answered. "Great. We did real well."
"Are you glad to be back?" she asked.
A blank stare came over his face as he surveyed the perimeter of Dau Tieng.
"You know something," he said, "I never thought this place could look so good."
THIEN NGON - They called him "Monster" Mongoose, and they named a fire support base after him.
The men of the 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery, explained that he had been wounded by accident and since their mascot wouldn't qualify for a purple heart, the namesake Brigade patch now adorns the helipad here.
Monster had been in a box when the unit moved from one location to another.
"We were the first load in," explained Private First Class Jeff Madonna of Philadelphia. "They set the gun down, then landed so we could get off.
"We set Monster's box near the gun. Before we knew it, here comes the next load in. We ran for cover and when we came back Monster's box was gone."
The second helicopter had blown Monster and his box nearly 15 yards. Madonna said they located the box but the Mongoose was nowhere to be found.
But during a mad minute the next night, he recalled "here comes Monster limping into the FDC (Fire Direction Center) with an M-16 round through his leg.
"One of our section chiefs wants to put Monster in for a purple heart, but our CO told us he wouldn't qualify," he said.
Instead, the new fire support base, until then without a name, became Fire Support Base Mongoose.
ILIKAI EAST BY NIGHT:
Ask SGT Certain
Dear SGT Certain: Do you have any hints about how to avoid being chased by water buffaloes?
LANCE T. "HOOF" MARKS
DEAR HOOF: Water buffaloes, of course, are more afraid of you than you are of them, unless they are in a rotten mood. Unfortunalely, water buffaloes usually are in a rotten mood. (This is understandable. What, after all, does a water buffalo have to be happy about?) So it's up to you to put him at ease. One way to do this is offer him a handful of water buffalo food. (The new, improved, "SGT Certain's combination Water Buffalo Food and Mosquito Repellent should be available soon at your local PX and EM clubs.) Or you can walk over to him and scratch him behind the ears (although it may be difficult to get that close).
Page 7 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS July 6, 1970
Toan Thang 43
Operation Toan Thanh 43 began May 10 when the 25th Division's 2nd Brigade swept north from War Zone C into an area believed to shelter elements of a major headquarters controlling NVA operations in South Vietnam.
The 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, rumbled across the border to secure main routes in the area as the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, air assaulted into enemy strongholds.
Next, the 3/4 Cav set up on the southern and western sides of a major stronghold believed to contain the enemy headquarters. The 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, and the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, attacked from the north.
The 2nd Battalion (Mech), 47th Infantry (under operational control of the 25th Division), moved in from the east.
As the trap closed, the units found vast supplies and evidence that they had destroyed what was once part of a major enemy headquarters.
|As the operations continued, the enemy struck back, usually from small, hit and run ambushes. But he had been hurt badly and his attempts at retaliation met only isolated success. (Photo by SP4 Charles C. Self)|
|Mobility was a key factor in Cambodian operations. Airlifts like this one taking the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, into Cambodia, gave leg units the power to take the enemy by surprise. Lifts were provided by helicopters from the 269th Aviation Battalion. (Photo by SP4 Charles C. Self)|
|A "Wolfhound" of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, takes a break during operations in Cambodia. The unit was one of those helping to dig up supplies in a major headquarters area. (Photo by SP4 Henry G. Zukowski Jr.)|
|This is how it looked during fast-moving operations in Cambodia as tracks of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Cavalry, swept into Communist sanctuaries north of the Dog's Face. Initial operations were swift, bold strikes that took the enemy by surprise. Later the laborious, block by block search began. (Photo by SP4 Joe O'Rourke)|
Page 8 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS July 6, 1970
Courtesy of Jo
E.M. Call Home Free
By SP4 RICH DOMBROWICKI
CU CHI - "Hello, Sweetheart. Guess what? I'm calling you for free! How about that? Over."
Thanks to the efforts of a gracious lady in Michigan, 25th Infantry Division personnel may enjoy a free telephone call to "the world."
All enlisted men in grades E-6 and below are eligible to participate in the Jo's Operation Telephone Home -- Tropic Lightning Division" program in connection with the division's Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) stations.
The program is designed to enable Tropic Lightning GIs to make a collect call to their loved ones at home without the usual cost to the recipient. The usual MARS call involves a cost to the party called from wherever the connection is made in CONUS.
After completion of a "Jo call," the GI' fills out a form giving the name and address of the party he called and the date. The form goes to the G-1 office at division headquarters, is processed there, and a check for $3.00 is sent to the called party. The $3.00 is usually more than enough to cover the charges for the three-minute call.
"The funds for the program come from Miss Josephine McDonell, not from the 25th Division," emphasized First Lieutenant Thomas Willoughby, Rochester, N.Y., fund custodian and assistant G-l. "Our office merely administers the fund."
Miss McDonell, of Owosso, Mich., has sponsored "Operation Jo" for the last 22 years to benefit men of all the services. "She's a woman with a great big heart," Willoughby added, "and her program is a solid morale builder, both here and at home."
The G-1 office receives letters of thanks everyday from grateful parents, wives and sweethearts who have been helped through Miss McDonell's kindness.
"One woman even returned the check because the cost of the call was low and she wanted someone else to benefit from `Operation Jo'," said Private First Class John C. Eaton of G-1.
"Jo calls" are also being used as incentive by many unit commanders. If a soldier has given distinguished service to his unit, his CO contacts a MARS station and sets up an appointment for that man to make a "Jo call."
" 'Jo calls' can be made from the MARS stations at Cu Chi and Tay Ninh, and from mobile MARS stations that tour the support bases," Eaton, of Mocksville, N.C., went on. "Calls can also be made from the Waikiki East (Cu Chi) and Holiday Inn (Tay Ninh) stand-down areas."
"Operation Jo" has been in effect for Tropic Lightning troops since December, 1969. "Since then, we have put through more than 600 free calls," Eaton added, "and the program will continue indefinitely."
Holiday Inn Warriors
Standdowns Uwind GI's
By SP4 ED TOULOUSE
TAY NINH - The 25th Division "Warriors" of Charlie Company, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, returned from successful operations in Cambodia recently to receive a well-earned taste of the "good life" at the Holiday Inn -- the First Brigade's standdown area here.
A few beers, new fatigues and boots, visits to the snack bar, PX, and steam bath, and a floor show spiced by the typical responses of GIs fresh from the field - these were the ingredients that outlined the Warriors' three-day standdown.
Arriving by convoy from 24 days of existence in makeshift shelters at Katum, the Warriors were in typical field attire - worn clothing and weary bodies colored red by Cambodian clay.
Once settled at the "Inn," however, any semblance of their former selves soon vanished. Light-hearted GIs, perhaps a bit self-conscious in their new fatigues and boots, quickly made their way to Tay Ninh's PX complex to purchase things which they had anticipated buying for about 105 days.
The typical Warrior has learned to appreciate the little things in life-sleeping on a mattress, not pulling guard duty, forgetting about his rucksack for a few adays. These, as well as floor shows, movies, and steam baths are an important part of a standdown.
But for each Warrior, the standdown has its particular purpose. For Staff Sergeant Jeff Szabo of Bowling Green, Ohio, it was the opportunity to make a "Mars Station" call to his wife in America.
"Standdowns are almost a necessity for the guys in the field," said Belden, who had 25 days left in the Army.
Dud Hits Head
KATUM - Enemy mortars can be a real headache.
Take Chuck Cooper, for instance. The private first class was out looking for enemy caches with Charlie Company, 2d Battalion, 60th Infantry, when the men ran into an immense NVA bunker complex complete with defenders.
The NVA opened up with Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and mortars wounding Cooper - sort of.
"Somebody said he was hit with a mortar round," said Cooper's platoon leader. "I asked if he was dead and the guy said no...only hit."
The round had hit Cooper in his helmet, producing a large dent and a bad headache, but the round didn't explode.
"I don't know if he will get a purple heart or not, since it did not break the skin," explained the officer.
Cooper was unavailable for comment. He was in the hospital with a very swollen head.
Trzeciakiewicz - No Snake's Bait
NEAR KREK AIR FIELD, CAMBODIA - Not many men of the 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry, had encountered snakes while in Vietnam.
When "Triple Deuce" Regulars began operations in Cambodia however, it wasn't long before crawly creatures came creeping along.
"I had never seen a snake back in Vietnam," said Specialist 5 Dennis Trzeciakiewicz, of Delta Company, from Brooklyn, N.Y. "But one night as we were setting up at a new night laager site, it looked like it would rain. So I got a wooden pallet to sleep on and put it next to my armored personnel carrier so that with overhead cover I could stay dry."
The next morning, when Trzeciakiewicz picked up the pallet, Specialist 4 Clifford Skow called over, "Don't move, Denny," and pointed at a three-foot long snake that had been sleeping under the pallet.
"I jumped about four feet backwards," Trzeciakiewicz recalled. "The snake then coiled up and drew a bead on me."
Meanwhile, Specialist 5 Earl McKinney, of Headquarters Company, from Atwater, Ohio, grabbed a pick-axe and circled around the carrier to get behind the reptile. As the snake was about to strike, Mc Kinney struck first. In seconds, the snake was in thirds.
Several days later a similar encounter took place. Several men from Headquarters Company noticed two snakes wrapped around a banana tree at another night laager position. When it was decided that these snakes were determined Cobras, a Triple Deuce Flame track was called in. Within seconds the snakes became "crispy critters."
Among the many comments of the Triple Deuce grunts, the main one was, "We're glad we found these snakes before they did a job on us. It's bad enough coping with the NVA without getting messed up by a snake."
|ALL THAT FOOD - A young Cambodian scoops up some of the captured enemy rice collected by the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry. The rice was distributed to Cambodian refugees. (Photo by SP4 Lawrence C. Merritt)|
Nurse Rouses Early Christmas Cheer
By SP4 GEORGE GRAHAM
CU CHI - Christmas arrived at the 25th Division's 12th Evacuation Hospital a full six months early this year.
On June 25th, more than 75 patients at the hospital received gifts, letters and baked goods as the result of "Operation Santa: Christmas in June."
The project was the brainchild of Mrs. Pat Beyersdorf, of Omaha, Neb., a woman of apparently boundless organizational energy when it comes, to helping fellow Americans bedridden in a foreign land.
"Operation Santa: Christmas in June" is in its second year in military hospitals. In June 1969, it was organized by the Far East Nurses Club in Japan. Working with gifts received from all over America, parties were held in three Army and Air Force hospitals in that country.
Stationed at the time in Japan with her husband, Warrant Officer Charles Beyersdorf, Mrs. Beyersdorf was enthused by the idea of bringing Christmas cheer to the bedridden in June; so enthused, in fact, that this year she is helping to guide the project from Omaha.
Through her work as a Red Cross bloodmobile nurse, she organized two towns, Beatrice, Neb. and Underwood, Iowa, through the towns' civic leaders.
"The response," she said, "to a summer Christmas in Vietnam was overwhelming. Although the entire project is geared along the lines of several Pacific military hospitals, the two towns elected to adopt the Cu Chi hospital on more personal terms."
Mrs. Beyersdorf thought of Cu Chi immediately because her husband's best friend, Warrant Officer George Northrup, of Bristol, R.I., is assigned to the 269th Aviation Battalion (Combat), headquartered at Cu Chi.
Working through the Chaplain's office of the 269th, schools, churches and clubs of Beatrice and Underwood shuttled enough packages so that each patient at "12th Evac" would have more than two gifts, plus baked goods and letters.
Because the 269th is now without a chaplain, the assistant, Sergeant Ron Applegate, of Cincinnati, coordinated the battalion's efforts with Chaplain Patrick Adkins of 12th Evac.
Mrs. Beyersdorf said, "The patients at Cu Chi's hospital are not the only ones who are getting a great feeling from being Americans working for Americans. We, at home, are given a boost because we finally feel we are able to do something to help the men who do so much for us."
She also said one of the volunteer workers in Beatrice, Mrs. Delmar Bell, had told her the town had a holiday spirit while preparing Christmas packages for the men. Grammar schools and Sunday school classes worked along with adult organizations.
The response from the men, most of them assigned to the 25th, as they saw the gaily decorated wagons bearing out-of-season Christmas packages was that of bemused disbelief.
"What, Christmas in the summer? You've gotta be kidding."
"Impossible, but I'll buy it!"
So each wounded man at the hospital now has a midseason pick-me-up in the form of gifts and letters.
Harold Reed, 187th Crusaders, for sharing this issue,
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.
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