TLN.JPG (37996 bytes)

Vol 5 No. 40                TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                October 19, 1970



Unit                   Page Unit                  Page Unit                  Page Unit                  Page
1st Bde                          8 2nd Bde                       8 2/27 Photo                   2 3/22                               2
1/5                                  6 2/12 Photo                   1 2/27                               2 3/22                               3
1/5                                  7 2/12 Photo                   8 2/27 Photos                 4 3/22                               8
1/5 Photos                    7 2/14 Photo                   3 2/27                               4 4/23                               2
1/8 Arty                        3 2/14                               3 2/27 Photos                 4 4/23 Photo                   8
11th Cav                       4 2/27 Photo                   1 2/60                               8 65th Engr                     6
11th Cav Photos         4 2/27                               1 25th Admin                 3 7/11 Arty                     3
125th Signal                 3 2/27                               1 3/22                               1  


Regulars React Quickly
        Charlie Mistakes Americans For His Buddies

   FSB LYNCH - While working south of Xuan Loc near the Be Bac Mountain, elements of the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, recently killed one VC and captured another.
   As Charlie Company began setting up in an NOP (night operations position), one element heard noises of movement on the trail nearby.
     Pour Lead
   "All of a sudden five VC popped out of the bush about 15 feet behind us," said Private First Class Sammy Flynt of Winston-Salem, N.C.  "We turned and poured M-16 lead on them."
   As a result of the hasty contact one enemy was killed and another left a heavy blood trail.
   "The company was then re-gathered and we followed the blood trail," said Sergeant John Wilson of Levitown, Penn.
   One small unit was left to snare any enemy who might return.  That evening several of the men heard loud moaning in the surrounding vegetation.
   A thorough search of the area, led by senior Kit Carson Scout Sergeant Kaye revealed the wounded VC who had been shot earlier.
   "Apparently, he thought we were his VC buddies," said Specialist 4 Philip Sherk of Seattle.  "So he moaned as loud as he could for attention and aid."
   "With our Kit Carson Scout as an interpreter, we persuaded the VC to surrender and take our aid," said Sherk.

SP4 Stanley Robinson in the water SWIFT AND COLD -- SP4 Stanley Robinson of Noblesville, Ind., a member of the 2nd of the 27th, fords a monsoon-flooded stream.  (Photo by SP4 Philip Maslin)



Hounds Get Four with Three
     VC Meet Mechanical Match

   CU CHI - Wolfhounds of the 25th Division's Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, killed four NVA soldiers who had walked into their mechanical ambush site recently 12 miles northwest of here.
   "Enroute to our ambush patrol site we discovered what appeared to be a well-used enemy trail and decided to place a few mechanical ambushes there," said Specialist 4 Donald Morrissey of Longview, Tex. "
   At 11 p.m. everyone was awakened to the roar of one of the mechanicals going off."
   "We settled back after changing guards and no more than 30 minutes later a second explosion had everyone up again," Morrissey continued.
   "We had set up only the three mechanicals and were all a little excited by our success already.  We had some trouble getting to sleep again that night."
   At sunrise the Hounds headed for the mechanical ambush site.  With the claymores set up two hundred yards apart, the squad decided to split up to sweep the area.  Upon reaching the ambush site both elements each found one dead NVA.
   "After finding the two bodies we decided to look around for any possibly wounded enemy in the area," said Sergeant Calvin Granteon of Springfield, Ore.
   "We hadn't gone far before we found a third dead NVA lying on his AK-47.
   Continuing on, a fourth NVA body was found about 25 yards away.


Hounds Capture NVA While Sitting Down

   CU CHI - On a recent operation eight miles northwest of here, members of the 25th Division's 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, captured an NVA soldier whom they had been sitting on for several minutes.
   The Bravo Company platoon's mission had been to search for a reported enemy base camp.
   "While enroute, we decided to take five for a break," explained Specialist 4 William Turner of Valentine, Neb.
   "As I started to get comfortable I noticed a couple of intersecting trails not far from our position, so me and a buddy decided to investigate."
   Upon reaching the trail the two Wolthounds found a boobytrapped 82mm mortar round hanging from a nearby tree.  After blowing the booby-trap, the two sat down on a couple of mounds of dirt for a quick cigarette.
   "We didn't know it at the time but the two dirt mounds were actually trap doors," said Private First Class Tagipo Taula of Seattle.
   "We both noticed that the mounds felt weak and hollow, so we decided to inspect them."
   After brushing off the top layer of dirt, a thick wooden door appeared.
   "Carefully we pulled the door up and there stood an NVA," Turner recalled.
   The two men turned their captive over to the rest of the platoon and took another short break - on their feet this time.

TIGHT FIT - A Warrior of the 2nd of the 12th guides a chopper down to a landing zone tucked snugly into a thickly wooded area south of Dau Tieng.  (Photo by SP4 Ed Toulouse) Light Observation Helicopter landing



Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           October 19, 1970



CPT George D. Baxter, Co B, 3rd Bn, 22d Inf
1LT Ralph V. Ainger, Co E, 2d Bn, 27th Inf
SSG Charles W. Long, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT Gary W. Johnson, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SGT Donald E. Hellrung, HHB, 7th Bn, 11th Fld Arty
SGT Kenneth E. Kent, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT Mikel G. Schow, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Allen M. Holmes, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Dwight W. Jessup, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 Edgar Lunsford, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 George F. Williams, Co A, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
PFC John J. Cappello, Co A, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Larry Eason, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Billy P. Harris, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Robert Johnson, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Standord Nance Jr, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Doyle Poe, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Herbert L. Pruitt, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Thomas Romeo, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Larry R. Schultze, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC James Thournir, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Donald Toohey, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
CPT George D. Baxter, Co B, 3rd Bn, 22d Inf
1LT Ralph V. Ainger, Co E, 2d Bn, 27th Inf
SSG Charles W. Long, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT Gary W. Johnson, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SGT Donald E. Hellrung, HHB, 7th Bn, 11th Fld Arty
SGT Kenneth E. Kent, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SGT Mikel G. Schow, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Allen M. Holmes, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 Dwight W. Jessup, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
SP4 Edgar Lunsford, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
SP4 George F. Williams, Co A, 1st Bn, 27th Inf
PFC John J. Cappello, Co A, 1st Bn, 5th Inf
PFC Larry Eason, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Billy P. Harris, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Robert Johnson, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Standord Nance Jr, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC Doyle Poe, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Herbert L. Pruitt, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Thomas Romeo, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Larry R. Schultze, Co D, 2d Bn, 12th Inf
PFC James Thournir, Co B, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Donald Toohey, Co E, 2d Bn, 12th Inf



Field Real 'Laugh-In' For Tomahawk Troops

   FSB LYNCH - Tape recorders and radios are common entertainment devices of the infantrymen.
   But recently, members of the 25th Division's 4th Battalion (Mech), 23rd Infantry came up with something new -- a television set in the field.
   The set, which has an eight-inch screen and is battery powered, is operated inside an Alfa Company armored personnel carrier at night.  A poncho is draped over the track's ramp entrance to seal off the set's light, and volume is set low, so that it is hardly audible outside.
   "Everybody in the first platoon watches the set," said Sergeant Joe Douchette of Haverhill, Mass the TV's owner.  "The only time that anybody gets a seat is when somebody goes on the track for guard."
   Douchette said the set was purchased at Tay Ninh Post Exchange.
   Since then, the set has been carried on every mission.  After Buell, the TV traveled to Cu Chi, the Ho Bo Woods, back to Tay Ninh, to Katum, Cambodia, and Xuan Loc.
   The set is kept carefully packed inside its original styrofoam container, and is strapped inside the APC when not in use to keep it from being damaged.
   "When the guys come in from a RIF (reconnaissance in force), they look forward to a show at night," said Sergeant Ken Kragenke, a squad leader, from Detroit.  "It helps pass time and brings the guys closer to home."
   "The TV relaxes the tension of the troops." added Specialist 4 Walter Bryan, of Kalamazoo, Mich.  "It's a real morale booster."

TEN HUT -- Lt. Ralph Driggers of the 2nd of the 27th and Lieutenant General Fred Weyand, former commander of the 25th Division, salute the colors during ceremonies marking the anniversary of the division's 29th year. Lt. Ralph Driggers, Lt Gen Fred Weyand



Hounds Receive Presidential Award
                  Division Unit Cited For Valor

   CU CHI - The nation's highest unit award for valor was presented to a platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry by a former 25th Division commander at this base camp recently.
   Lieutenant General Fred C. Weyand, now deputy commander of U.S. forces, military assistance command Vietnam, awarded the Presidential Unit Citation to 3rd Platoon, Alfa Company, 2nd of the 27th for valorous action in combat near Tay Ninh City on August 20, 1968.
          Engage Force
   On that date, the platoon engaged an enemy force of great size from their night position.  Despite the wounding of their commanding officer and a dwindling ammunition supply, the unit was able to withstand the enemy's assaults for more than five hours until relief arrived.
   The platoon's heroic actions inflicted heavy losses of life on the Communist force and turned potential defeat into overwhelming victory.
          Organization Day
   The award was presented in ceremonies marking the 29th anniversary of the 25th Infantry Division.  During the day, the Tropic Lightning band toured support bases, assisting the units in celebrating the Division's organization day.

LTC Hubert K. Barton CHANGE OF COMMAND - In a recent ceremony, Lieutenant Colonel Hubert K. Barton of Carmel, Calif., assumed command of the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry. Barton, formerly executive officer of the 3rd Brigade, succeeded Lieutenant Colonel John E. Hazelwood.



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:

September 29
SGT Paul J. Faulkner, HHC 25th S & T, boy

September 30
SGT Gardner L. Chamness, HHT 3/4 Cav, girl

October 3
SP4 Joseph Lanzo, 25th MP Co., 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 Robert E. Kelso . . .  Information Officer
1LT Martin E. Webb . . . . Officer-in-Charge
SP4 William M. Lane . . . . Editor
SP4 Scott Watson . . . . . . Assistant Editor
SP4 Joseph V. Kocian . . . Production Supervisor


SGT Mike Keyster
SP4 Tom Benn
SP4 Frank Salerno
PFC Dan Lowry
SP4 Greg Duncan
SP4 Rich Erickson
SP4 Ed Toulouse
SGT Mark Rockney
SGT Mike Conroy
SGT William Zarrett
SGT Daniel House
SP5 Tom Watson
3/4 Cav
SP4 William McGown
PFC James Stoup
SGT Derr Steadman
SP5 Doug Sainsbury
SP4 James Duran
SGT Jack Strickland
SP4 Kris Peterson
SP4 Frank Morris
SGT Bob Lodi
SGT Dan Davis
SP4 Phillip Maslin
PFC Doc Polis
65th Eng



Page 3                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           October 19, 1970


Bath in a bomb crater
BOMB CRATER BATH - This may not be China Beach, but for these Warriors of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, a swim is where you find it.  (Photo by SP4 Ed Toulouse)



Fight to Keep Clean
     GIs Mount Vapor Offensive

   DAU TIENG - Being on the offensive may be thought of as a tactical phrase, but to GIs in the field the term aptly describes the vapors from an eight-day old set of fatigues.
   Personal hygiene for the 25th Division grunt of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, at times necessitates the use of his natural surroundings for cleanliness and comfort.
          Bomb Crater Bath
   The bomb crater bath for example is a welcome relief after a long march in the broiling sun.  The rain-filled craters, some being 50-feet wide, initially greet the first bather with clear blue-green water.  A few cannonballs and mud fights later, however, the water looks more like a chocolate milk shake.
   Although it is questionable whether one emerges any cleaner, a grunt armed with a bar of soap can at least "get the big pieces off," as one veteran trooper so aptly put it.
   Wet feet, embraced by soggy jungle boots, are not happy feet.  For some reason unknown to military science, the water always seems to enter those two boot vents much faster than it exits.
   To combat the threat of jungle rot, a distant cousin to "Mr. Tooth Decay," many GIs in a day-holding area set their fermenting footware and socks in the sun to dry.
          Stale Bread
   After such treatment, one finds his socks have all the flexibility of stale bread and the boots fit fine for someone with a size or two smaller feet.
   Leaving the holding area, the stiffness ends abruptly as the foul marsh water enters those two little holes once again.
   Drinking water is obtained in the field from bomb craters or an occasional stream.  Upon adding the two necessary purification tablets, the water takes on all the flavor and aroma of sore throat gargle.  Oh well, at least it's wet.
          Coffee in the Morning
   Tooth brushing usually takes a back seat to having enough water for coffee or hot chocolate in the morning.
   When nature calls, the infantryman has only to grab his C-ration packet and head downwind, the latter being of particular importance if friendships are to endure.  It is also advised to bring a weapon as Sergeant First Class Harry Fields of Bravo Company 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry can readily testify.
    "I was about 50 meters away from the main element, minding my own business, when two VC walked out of the bushes," he recalled.  "I yelled 'VC' and took off for my position while they fled in the opposite direction.
   Luckily they didn't have weapons either."



HONESTY IS DEFINITELY NOT THE BEST POLICY - A sergeant burst into the reactionary guard hootch for 25th Admin Company one night recently and asked for two volunteers to go out to the bunker line for a night of fun and frolic.  "Come on now," he said, "gimme two."  All he got was silence.  "All right. I'm going to be fair about the whole thing.  Everybody pick a number between one and a hundred and tell this man over here," he said pointing at a soldier standing nearby.  Reluctantly, each man filed by and whispered a number in the soldier's ear.  When everybody had done so, the sarge announced that the two lucky numbers were 81 and 62.  "Did we have an 81 and a 62?" he asked the soldier.  "Yep," the soldier answered.  "Who were they?" sarge asked.  The soldier gave him a rather blank stare.  "I really don't know," he finally answered.  "You didn't ask me to get their names."
   The sergeant, summoning every bit of command presence in him, turned to the assembled group and asked the two men who had uttered the fateful numbers to step forward.  "It's the honest thing to do," he bellowed.  No one made the move.  "All right," he said, raising his right arm, extending his index finger and resorting to the tried and true method of Army justice.  "You and you come with me."  You and you dutifully followed.


NEITHER RAIN, NOR SLEET, NOR THE NATIONAL POLICE . . . A group of mama-sans who work for the 1st Battalion, 8th Field Artillery have demonstrated a pot and pan loyalty to their men far above and way beyond the call of duty.  PFC Richard Haley tells us that the mama-sans have followed the unit from Dau Tieng to Bearcat to Cambodia and finally to Fire Support Base Lynch.  Actually, the KPs didn't enter Cambodia, but only because they were told they couldn't.  "They were every bit as eager as the troops," said 1st Lieutenant Thomas Bush, survey officer for the 1st of the 8th.  "They had their bags packed and they were all ready to move out."

   When the battalion came out of Cambodia and moved back into Bearcat, the pot washers were back at their work almost before the entire unit had arrived.  As proof of the loyalty of these Vietnamese, they were recently thrown in jail during their pursuit of the battalion across Vietnam.  While on their way to find the men of the 1st of the 8th, they were stopped by the National Police and held overnight in jail.  The police just couldn't believe the women would travel so far merely to wash pots and pans.


COMPASSIONATE REASSIGNMENT IN REVERSE . . .When 1st Lieutenant Van Barnes was at Ft. Gordon, Ga., he fell in love with and eventually became engaged to Miss Carol Gelling who also happened to be a 1st Lieutenant working as a nurse at the Ft. Gordon Hospital and Specialized Treatment Center.  When orders came down assigning Barnes to the 125th Signal Battalion in Vietnam, his young lady volunteered to go too so she could be with her future husband.  After considerable effort, which included a wedding ceremony, the newlyweds were both assigned to the 25th Division.  Pulling rank has apparently never been an issue for the pair, although Mrs. Barnes is due for promotion soon to captain.  They usually agree on most points.  "We plan to take our R & R in Hawaii," said the lady lieutenant.  "The couple that plays together, stays together."


Regulars Get Stung In Great Wasp War

   FSB LYNCH - The 25th Division's 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry recently learned something about Vietnamese wasps, the hard way.
   It started out as a calm and peaceful late afternoon around the tactical operations center of the Regulars' Headquarters Company here.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, appeared a swarm of wasps on the horizon.
   They descended on the men without warning.  Naturally enough, almost everyone scattered in different directions. However, not everyone was quick enough and those caught in the swarm had to use a few rays of genius to escape from the "sting-bringers."
   "I popped two smoke grenades on them, but the only effect it appeared to have on them was to make them angrier," said Specialist 5 Phillip G. Lavell, of New York City, a legal clerk.  "And worse, the thick columns of purple and yellow smoke settling all around us didn't aid our breathing either."
   After a series of other futile attempts to get rid of the angry insects, the swarm landed on top of one of the large office tents for the night.
   "It was decided that the only way to get rid of them was to burn the tent down," chuckled Specialist 4 David Poole, of Springfield, Mass., "but we didn't."
   The next day a heavy, welcome rain chased the wasps away.

RINGSIDE SEAT -- Well, not exactly.  But this artilleryman from Alfa Battery, 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery does have an unobstructed view of the volleyball game.  (Photo by SP4 Tom Benn) Throne room without walls



Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           October 19, 1970


Second Wolfhounds Hump the Jungle


FOOD FROM HEAVEN -- When Alfa Comapny, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry was moving in the dense jungle 25 miles east of Bien Hoa, they found resupply to be a major problem.  Food had to be dropped out of choppers.  Anyone for catch? Air drop
Sgt. William Brunner KNOCK, KNOCK - Sergeant William Brunner of Paramount, Calif., checks out a bunker during a recent 2nd Hound operation 25 miles east of Bien Hoa.



   XUAN LOC PROVINCE - Oftentimes terrain has a direct effect on tactical operations.  A 25th Division infantry unit, teaming with a unit of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, recently found out the truth of this axiom.
   While on a search and clear mission in dense jungle and marshland 25 miles east of Bien Hoa, Alfa Company Wolfhounds of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, became adept at adaptability.
   "Noise discipline was of major importance at all times because we were more likely to see the enemy during the day," said Sergeant Dennis Stoultz of Hagertown, Md.  "He (the enemy) could get pretty close to us in such terrain before we spotted him."
          Hump the Jungle
   Resupply and medevac (helicopter evacuation) operations were a problem too.  The Hounds found themselves going without a lot of things because the choppers weren't able to land.
   "At times resupply had to be dropped to us," said one Wolfhound, "and cans just didn't make out too well after a hundred-foot drop."
   "We also found that certain of our equipment wasn't of much use because of the thick foliage," Stoultz commented.
   Aside from the enemy, terrain was of paramount concern to each of the men.
   "We found the jungle a fight in itself and no small test of endurance," remarked one weary Wolfhound.

TOPPING 'EM OFF - The men of Alfa Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry found water resupply at the nearest stream while working the jungle 25 miles east of Bien Hoa. Water hole
SP4 Francis Crowe CHOWING DOWN - Specialist 4 Francis Crowe of Glendora, Calif., a member of Alfa Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, takes a welcome chow break after a rigorous workout 25 miles east of Bien Hoa.
CONTACT - As the men of his unit move into position aboard tracks of the 11th Armored Cav, Second Hound PFC Marvin Marbles of Battle Creek, Mich., maintains radio contact with Alfa Company. PFC Marvin Marbles



Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           October 19, 1970


Bunker Line Costume Party
        Charlie Interrupts Cat Naps

   XUAN LOC - Guard duty in a secured, pacified area is usually tedious work.  It's tough to keep the eyes open and your mind from drifting back to the world.
   Once in a while, however, Charlie will make staying awake much easier and snap Yankee minds back to the business at hand.
   The eye opener is called "incoming."  And at Husky Compound here, home of the 1st Battalion (Mech), 5th Infantry, some eyes were opened one recent night.
          Rude Awakening
   "I mean when you see some of the guys coming to the bunker line wearing jungle boots, baby blue bermudas, flak jackets with bandoliers and flashlights attached, no shirts and steel pots, you know that someone's sleep has been rudely interrupted," said Specialist 4 Robert Fedeler of Tacoma, Wash., in a generous dose of understatement.
   Incoming doesn't always in come at the most propitious moments.  When Charlie lobbed his little package into Husky this night, he caught a few GIs sudsing up and soaking off in the shower.  What's a body to do?
          No Towel
   "I had just enough time to put on my boots and run to the nearest bunker," said Staff Sergeant Peter Klaus of Pleasant Valley, N.Y.  "But, when I got there, I discovered I had forgotten my towel."  Talk about blushing from head to, well toe.
   Specialist 5 Roger McDonald of Pratt, Kan., was on the bunker line in a flash.
   "When things finally settled down, I looked at my brown, muddy boots and found that they were my mud-encased feet," said McDonald.
   Normally, Private First Class Larry Ashly of Farwell, Mich., night switchboard operator, goes a little stir crazy in his cubicle.  It's not exactly as busy as New York City in there.
   "But, once the incoming starts, my switchboards light up like Christmas trees and I wish I had four hands," said Ashly.
          Like a Babe
   Of course, every unit has its hard core rack man.  He's the guy who sleeps through all the activity, the yelling and the explosions.  The next morning, he rises as always, notices all the blood shot eyes and asks his buddies what when on last night.  All he receives in return are cold, very cold stares.
   The most important thing about incoming is one's reaction to it.
   "Overall, despite the wide array of costumes the reactionary forces manned the bunker line very quickly, and if the enemy had launched a ground attack, we'd have been ready," said Captain Edwin Jordan of Syracuse, N.Y.
   Charlie would have probably laughed himself silly.


Division Yearbooks For Sale

   CU CHI, Vietnam - The Tropic Lightning Association announces that orders for the new Division Yearbook, VIETNAM: 1970, can be made by contacting your Battalion S-1 or Brigade HHC.
   The yearbook is now in its production stage with a tentative mailing date of early January.  Copies will sell for $5 each.  Advance sale orders will be sent to the states at no extra charge. Over the counter sales, if copies are available, will begin in February.
   Other Tropic Lightning souvenir items are still available through the Division Information Office here.


Division Soldiers Are Friday Night Fighters

   CU CHI - More than 1,200 spectators gathered at Cu Chi's Olympic Village on September 25 to witness the first of the Special Services Friday night boxing programs.
   The Friday night fights with beer, band and bouts will become a regular fixture at the village, located near the Tropic Lightning Bowl.  The first fight will begin at 7 p.m. each week.
          Assistance and Instruction
   Any 25th Division soldier can participate in the program.  Applications can be obtained at the Special Services supply room.  Training assistance and instruction will be provided on request.
   Weigh-ins for the Friday night fights take place at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the bouts at 25th Med.  After being classified, boxers are to report to the Olympic Village area no later than 6:15 p.m.
   The village is an expansive set-up of sports facilities being constructed by the 65th Engineer Battalion near the Tropic Lightning Bowl.  The boxing ring is the first of the facilities to open for active participation.
   Specialist 4 Jeffrey R. Moore of Wheat Ridge, Colo., a member of the 65th, serves as the referee.  He also trains and instructs those interested in learning the techniques of boxing.
   Moore was the middle-weight champion at Ft. Lewis, Wash., in 1969-70.  He was the Golden Gloves runner-up in Portland, Ore., that same year.  He was also a finalist in the Pacific Northwest A.A.U. Golden Gloves Tournament and represented the Pacific A.A.U. when he won the Canadian Golden Gloves middle-weight championship at Vancouver, B.C., in 1970.
   Moore hopes to fight at Cu Chi in a month or so, as soon as he can find a replacement as coordinator of. the boxing program.  He has his sights set on the 1972 Summer Olympics.
   The Friday night smokers are the brainchild of Colonel T.J. Hanifen, the 25th Division's chief-of-staff.  The colonel attended the first evening of the program and cut a ribbon on the ring in ceremonies prior to the first bout.
   There are plans now for a division boxing tournament, winners going on to challenge champions from other units in Vietnam.
   First Lieutenant Ernie Gilkerson of Special Services says that any soldier out in the field who wishes to participate will have the opportunity.  If he lets Special Services know of his desire, they will make arrangements for him to get to Cu Chi for his fight.
   So, if you have been suffering from the Friday night blahs, stop by the Olympic Village at 7 and watch your buddies duke it out with each other.

SLUGFEST - Here is the first flurry of punches in the opening bout of Cu Chi's Friday night fights. Fights will be held every week from now on.  (Photo by SP5 Jay Hall)



Ask SGT Certain

DEAR SERGEANT CERTAINLY: I understand that the division has a new policy requiring staff sergeants to live in hooches with the lower ranking enlisted men.  Don't they like their own company?
                                                                                                                         Low ranking EM

DEAR LOW: The reason for housing the NCOs with the EM is to try to reduce the number of muggings the enlisted men have been receiving.  By placing an NCO in every hooch, it gives the mugger a new and better target for his attacks.  We understand that when too many NCOs start getting mugged, the division is going to put a second lieutenant in very hooch.

DEAR SARGE: A most unfortunate mishap mishappened to me the other night while I was on company duty.  My buddy and I decided that it would be nice if we had some ice for our sodas.  I flew over to the mess hail and was returning with two glasses and a large hunk of ice when it happened.  I fell into that icky, smelly grease pit.  It wasn't at all my fault but the company is giving me an Article 15.  Can they do this?
                                                                                                                          SP4 Slick

DEAR SLICK: It was an unfortunate mishap, but the Article 15 may be justified by the fact that you illegally entered the food storage area.


Page 7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           October 19, 1970


Mech Men Move and Move and Move
       Anyplace they Park Their Tracks Is Home

   BEARCAT - Judging by their 1970 record, the Bobcats of the 1st Battalion (Mech), 5th Infantry, may have to change their official mascot to the Beep! Beep! Roadrunner.
   Recently, the battalion headquarters changed location from Xuan Loc in Long Khanh Province to Bearcat in Long Thanh Province.
   For the restless Bobcats this was the fifth move of the year.
   "And the year isn't even over yet," said Specialist 4 Richard Nix, an Alfa Company clerk, from Ischua, N.Y.  "We've been just about everywhere."  Previous permanently temporary locations have been Cu Chi, Dau Tieng, Tay Ninh, somewhere in Cambodia, Xuan Loc and, now, Bearcat.
   The attitude of the men was best summed up by Charlie Company's Sergeant Thomas Gual of Buffalo.
   "I think the 'M' in mech actually stands for move!"

SP4 John Williams HIGH THERE -- Sp4 John Williams of Detroit works on establishing a battalion network of communications at Bearcat.
SIGN OF THE TIMES - The Bobcat move completed, Sp4 Jim Johnson of Atlanta and Sp4 Ed Ashley of Cliffton, N.J., add a finishing touch. SP4 Jim Johnson and Ed Ashley
SP4 Jim Johnson PEEK A BOO - Sp4 Jim Johnson makes like a kangaroo and carries around a friend in his pouch during Bobcat move to Bearcat.



Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           October 19, 1970


Go Devils Go Home
           Battalion Deactivated at Di An

   DAU TIENG - The 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Go Devils, the last unit of the 9th Infantry Division to leave Vietnam, was deactivated September 28, at Di An, 10 miles northeast of Saigon.
2/60th Inf Go Devils   During much of the past year, units of the 9th Infantry Division have fallen under the operational control of the 25th Infantry Division.
   Throughout May and for part of July, the 5th Battalion 60th Infantry shared base camps and missions with Tropic Lightning.
   And during the Cambodia operation, the 2nd Battalion (Mech), 47th Infantry worked in conjunction with the 25th's 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor.
   Since May, the 2nd of the 60th has been attached to the 1st Brigade.  The Go Devils' most recent home was Fire Support Base Eloise, north of Dau Tieng.  Eloise was dismantled when the unit moved to Di An for standdown on September 19.
          Honor Guard
   A color-bearing honor guard departed for Fort Lewis, Washington, on October 12, where formal deactivation ceremonies will be held on October 25.  The honor guard consists of 14 enlisted men and the guard commander Captain William Blankenship of Atoka, Okla.


Aided by Royal Thai Force
           Regulars Destroy Bunkers

   XUAN LOC - Troops of the 25th Division's 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, working with elements of the Royal Thai Army Volunteer Force, recently destroyed a large bunker complex south of Fire Support Base Black Horse.
   "We were moving down a trail we had just discovered when I noticed a lot of freshly cut trees," said Staff Sergeant Thomas Klisz of Chicago, a platoon sergeant with Charlie Company.
   "So we secured the trail and spread out to sweep the area."
   The first sign of the enemy in the area was a newly built bunker, "probably used as an OP (observation post)," said a Regular.
   The men continued to search the area when they noticed four individuals to their front.
   "At first we didn't pay much attention because the guys looked and dressed like ARVNs," noted Specialist 4 Wayne Hoover of Tiffen, Ohio.
   "But when we spied SKSs and AKs slung over their shoulders we knew who they were."
   The Regulars quickly took cover and opened up on the absconding enemy.
   "On a sweep we found and followed two heavy blood trails, but lost them in the jungle," said Private First Class Frederick Konig of West Haven, Conn.
   The sweep did have some unexpected results however.  A complex of 40 bunkers was uncovered and subsequently destroyed.

GREEN BARRIER -- Penetrating vegetation like this takes beaucoup sweat as Warriors of the 2nd of the 12th can attest.  (Photo by SP4 Ed Toulouse) In the jungle



Sir Orville, Where Are You?
                 Rare Thumping Lynx Sighted

   FSB LYNCH - For the second time in less than six months, troopers of the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division have sighted the rare Southeast Asian Thumping Lynx.
   "I was out on the bunkerline rebuilding a bunker when I heard this strange thumping on the other side of the berm," said Private First Class Chester G. Montange of Cleveland, N.C.
   Montange, a rifleman with Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade let curiosity get the best of him.  "I climbed to the top of the berm and looked over.  Sure enough, there was the Thumping Lynx."
   Montange said he recognized the rare animal from a description of it in the "Sergeant Certain" column in the Tropic Lightning News.
   "He was just sitting on a tree stump thumping his tail," Montange continued.  "I swear he smiled at me."
   Sightings of the Southeast Asian Thumping Lynx have been extremely rare.  Earlier this year, two members of a unit attached to the 2nd Brigade reported seeing the animal near Fire Support Base Colorado.
   The first recorded sighting took place in 1893 during an expedition headed by famed British ornithologist Sir Orville Nefter.
          No Teeth
   Sir Orville described the beast "as about 36 inches long with a four-foot tail."  He said the Lynx had a knot about five inches in diameter at the end of the tail and no teeth.
   Unfortunately for Sir Orville, that was the last description he ever made.  He had apparently cornered the beast during its rare mating season, the only time the Lynx is known to be dangerous to humans, and was mortally thumped by it.
   Asked if he planned to be on the lookout for the Lynx in the near future, Montange nodded. "I sure am.  I want to take a picture of him and submit it to the Tropic Lightning News.  It'll make me famous."

COMMO CHECK - An infantryman from Bravo Company, 4th of the 23rd Mech, checks his radio communications while traveling aboard an APC to an ambush drop-off point.  (Photo by SGT Mike Keyster)



Children Honored In Mid-Autumn Festival

   DAU TIENG - Despite the long years of war and suffering, Vietnam is still a land of festive people.
   Vietnam is also a land of children, as any GI who has visited a village can testify.  The kids seem to come from nowhere until they swell into a mob of giggling imps, eager to learn a new word or beg some chocolate from the American soldier.
   Quite naturally, children and holidays go together.  So the Vietnamese government set aside a day in September as the "Mid-Autumn Children's Festival," honoring the country's younger generation.
   Through the cooperation of the 25th Division's 1st Brigade S-5 and the Dau Tieng District Headquarters, almost two tons of candy and fruit were distributed among the children of Dau Tieng.
   "The children's festival is much like Halloween minus the tricks," said Major William Sellen of Los Angeles, the district senior advisor.  "Sometimes the Vietnamese call it the 'Children's Tet,' it is so important to the kids."
   Even an afternoon thunder shower did not dampen the gala affair, as some 500 children anxiously awaited their goodie packages of assorted Hershey bars, Chuckles and big California oranges.
   And the fun was just beginning, for later that night there was a candlelight parade followed by a cowboy movie supplied by the brigade S-5.
   First Lieutenant John Simmons of St. Louis, jokingly commented about the day's festivities.
   "With all the sweets the kids have eaten today, I just know our next operation is going to be a DENTCAP!"


Thanks to:
Karl Karlgaard, 2nd Bn., 27th 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 02-27-2005

©2005 25th Infantry Division Association. All rights reserved.