|   home
 Jan.68   |   Feb. 68   |   Mar. 68   |    April 68   |   May 68   |   June 68   |   July 68   |   Aug. 68   |   Sept 68   |   Oct. 68   |   Nov. 68   |   Dec. 68
 April 68
Bank To Index
Pacific Stars and Stripes

An authorized publication of the U.S. Armed forces in the far east.

Price 10 cents.


EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT

AND NEWS BUREAUS

TOKYO: ALL Offices: 402-4101

City Desk and Reporters

           402-4101 Ext. 51, 53, 41

South Vietnam: Saigon

ARVN 31952, MACV 2202, MACV 3604

Washington:           Room 2E756,

Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301

   CIRCULATION

   DEPARTMENT

 DISTRICT OFFICES

    Hong Kong

Swindon Book Co.

  13-15, Lock Rd., Kowloon 6-2010

   THAILAND

Bangkok....... Capital Hotel 70070

    SOUTH VIETNAM

Saigon ......           Lynx  331

Nha Trang ...     Goldfinch   778

Cam Ranh Bay .......         4255

Long Binh ..........      LB 3894

Da Nang ............ Motley   226



02Apr68-3 Pink Elephants Were Red

   DA NANG, Vietnam (UPI) - This is no April fooling or tall Texas story.  Houston's All Barr did kill a pink elephant.

   Barr, 26, stopped the three elephants from his helicopter gunship while patrolling 20 miles northwest of Da Nang--an area known appropriately as "Elephant Valley."

   Because the trails are too narrow for trucks, the Viet Cong use elephants as freight carriers.  The three Barr spotted were laden with VC weapons and ammunition and all were a pink hue from the pink dirt of the area, which the elephants love to roll in.

   The Marine captain reluctantly attacked the three giant beasts and downed all three with his heavy guns.  He is credited with at least one elephant kill and has a pink elephant painted on his helicopter signifying the mission.



05Apr68-High Wire Act Was Petrifying

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (OI [sic->IO]) - "I don't think I ever stood as still in my life as when someone yelled that my antenna had hit a booby trap wire," said a radio operator with Americal Division's 196th Light Inf. Brigade.

    Pfc. Neil Amalfitano, of Wilmington, Del., of the 2nd Bn., 1st Inf., was speaking of when his radio antenna caught in a trip wire while on a sweep during Operation Wheeler Wallowa.

   "We were moving through some pretty thick brush when I saw Neil's antenna catch the high trip wire."  Said Spec. 4 Earl Thorn, of Colbert Okla., who was walking behind Amalfitano.

   "The wire went forward, but didn't snap," said Thorn, "so I yelled for him to freeze.  While the antenna continued to hold the wire taut two other Company C members began carefully tracing the wire," Thorn said.

   Everyone else had taken cover when the wire led them to two grenades strapped to a nearby tree.  The grenades were blown harmlessly.  "I didn't think I could move after it was over," said the radio operator.  "I had really frozen in place."

   "All I can remember is staring up at that thin wire and hoping it wouldn't break."



06Apr68-Squad Braves Heavy Fire To Rescue Wounded GIs

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (IO) - A platoon sergeant with the Americal Div.'s 196th Light Inf. Brigade recently led a party of 12 volunteers through heavy enemy automatic weapons fire to help evacuate wounded members of a pinned-down platoon.

   Sgt. 1.C. George L. Fritz, of St. Joseph, Mo., and his rescue squad also killed eight NVA regulars while extracting the 17 soldiers.

   The action occurred when B Co., 3rd Bn., 21st Inf., came in contact with a NVA battalion nine miles northwest of Tam Ky.  After 10 hours of heavy fighting, the NVA broke contact, leaving 78 of their dead on the battlefield.

   Shortly afterwards, the company began receiving small arms and automatic weapons fire from an island.

   Capt. Robert E. Corrigan, Jr., of Arlington, Va., asked Fritz to take an element to help the pinned down platoon.  "I asked for volunteers and the whole platoon stepped forward," said Fritz.  "I picked 12 men and we set up a creek towards the embattled platoon.  The water was about shoulder deep and afforced real good cover," he added.

   Fritz placed six of his men on some high ground to lay down covering fire while the other six began pulling out the wounded.

   "Some of my men were hit while carrying out the wounded, but we got quite a number of NVA too," he added.  "We pulled out 17 men in all."  At one point Fritz came across four NVA soldiers in a hedgerow about five meters above several U.S. troops.

   "The GI's didn't know they were there and the NVA were about to open up on them," said Fritz.  "The men were between me and the NVA.  I was going to have to hoot over the heads of my men, so I yelled for them to get down," he continued.

   "My shouting seemed to startle and confuse the NVA.  We dropped all four of them before they could ever get off a shot." Fritz said.  "The men still didn't realize the NVA had been so close ," Fritz added.  They asked me what I was shooting at."



06Apr68-100,000th Round

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (IO)-The 100,000th artillery round fired in the Vietnam war by A Battery, 3rd Bn., 82nd Arty of Americal Div.'s 196th Inf. Brigade was recently fired by Col. Louis Gelling brigade commander.



13Apr68-Aero-Scouts Get Hot Indoctrination

   By SPEC. 5 BRUCE MCILHANEY

     S&S Staff Correspondent

   CHU LAI, Vietnam - "My platoon was split into three groups with at least two platoons of charlies after us," said S. Sgt. Richard Fapka, describing the situation facing his newly formed aero-scout platoon of the Americal Div.'s 123rd Aviation Bn (B/123rd Warlords).

   The platoon, which works with a spotter helicopter and two gunships at its call, was searching a VC haven in Quang Ngai province called the "Rock Pile."  Two Viet Cong were spotted and one shot.

   Bunkers scattered throughout the bolder-strewn hill yielded a large pile of Communist uniforms and documents.  Then Fapka called for a demolitions team to destroy the bunkers.

   The demo team blew one escape route but could not get up a narrow crevice leading to a cave on the top of the hill where I thought the two VC were hiding," he said.

   One of the scouts armed with only a pistol started up the crevice.

   "He was just an arm's distance from the top when they started sniping at him and the two squads I left at the bottom of the hill came under machine-gun fire," said Fapka, of Detroit.

   The demolition team and Fapka's scouts took cover behind a pagoda on the side of the hill.  A machine gun began firing from just above them, the round landing close.

   "I think the unwounded VC ran and brought back the rest of this force.  The fire came closer and I decided we'd try to break through the thicket below us and rejoin the other squads to come back up for the man on top."

   Running through the thicket with enemy fire all around, six scouts became entangled and were forced to go back to the pagoda.

   At the bottom of the hill Fapka's men beat off a group of pursuing enemy, killing one.

   "I spotted 20 to 30 charlies going straight for our LZ but with just four men I couldn't take them on.  Then our gunships arrived and the VC fire slacked off."

   After linking with the remaining two squads, the seven men on the hill were found to be alive and safe.

   "It's our job to go in and investigate trouble spots; but those charlies were too strong for us to handle," said Fapka.  "For the first contact it was a tough one to break in on, but we didn't loose a man."



18Apr68-Casualties in Vietnam

   WASHINGTON (S&S) - The Defense Department has announced the following casualties in connection with the conflict in Vietnam.

   KILLED IN ACTION

      Army

...........

SP5 Charles M. Dutton, Wellsville, N.Y. (B/123rd Avn Bn).

..........

     Navy

     ....

     Marine Corps

     ....

     DIED OF WOUNDS

     Army

     ....

     Marine Corps

     ............

     MISSING TO DEAD-HOSTILE

     Army

     ....

     Navy

     ....

     MISSING IN ACTION

     Army

     ....

     Marine Corps

     ............

     DIED NOT AS A RESULT OF

          HOSTILE ACTION

     Army

     ....

     Navy

     ....

     Marine Corps

     CORRECTION

   Cpl. Hans W. Brunner, USA, Change Status from died not as a result of hostile action to killed in action.



20Apr68-Casualties in Vietnam

   WASHINGTON (S&S) - The Defense Department has announced the following casualties in connection with the conflict in Vietnam.

   KILLED IN ACTION

      Army

...........

SP4 Glenn U. Andreottta, Overland, Mo. (B/123rd Avn Bn was one of the gunners with Hugh Thompson who helped save babies from the massacre at  My Lai)

..........

     Navy

     ....

     Marine Corps

     ....

     DIED OF WOUNDS

     Army

     ....

     Marine Corps

     ............

     MISSING TO DEAD-HOSTILE

     Army

     ....

     Navy

     ....

     MISSING IN ACTION

     Army

     ....

     Marine Corps

     ............

     DIED NOT AS A RESULT OF

          HOSTILE ACTION

     Army

     ....

     Navy

     ....

     Marine Corps

     CORRECTION

   Cpt. Raymond O. Kincannon, USA, Change Status from died not as a result of hostile action to killed in action.



21Apr68-Brothers' Best Laid Plans Fail

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (IO) - Sometimes brotherly love backfires as Army S. Sgt. Cleve Watson of Sikeston, Mo., discovered,

   "What are you doing here?" he roared at his younger brother Floyd, a Marine, when the two met in Da Nang.

  "I volunteered to keep you from being sent," came the answer.  Each had volunteered last summer to keep the other from having to serve again in Vietnam--but kept the secret from the other.  So secret in fact that neither knew the other was in the war zone until a sister-in-law casually mentioned it in a letter to Cleve.

   "It's pretty funny now." laughs Cleve, a signalman with Americal Div.'s 198th Inf. Brigade.  "But I was furious at Floyd for awhile.  He was kind of mad at me, too."

   Each had served a previous tour in the war zone only a year ago.



22Apr68-Fighting Near Khe Sanh Kills 4 Marines

   .......To the west along the South China Sea coast elemetns of the 198th Light Inf. Brigade, operating with the Americal Div., reported killing 25 Resds friday eight miles southwest of Tam Ky.  The u.S. troops overran the enemy positions and lost only one man wounded. headquarters said.

    ....Farther south,



23Apr68-Villagers Join Forces

   Crops Saved as 'Enemy' Falls for Trap

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (IO)-The Vietnamese household of Nguyen Chi sat astride the well worn infiltration route, and every night the enemy would come through, destroying gardens, crops and newly planted rice.

   Something had to be done, and Nguyen called upon the 198th Inf. Brigade's civic action officer, Maj. Frederick W. Tonsing.

   "We met with Nguyen and immediately drew up a battle plan," Tonsing said.

   The next night the trap was set in a small open field a short distance from Nguyen's hut.  At a nearby observation post Nguyen waited.  His small force of 40 villagers and three dogs lay at opposite ends of the field poised for the eventual attack.

   Silently they waited.  Nguyen wondered if his enemies would come again.

   They came.   First a rustling in the brush, then loud noises and grunts.  They were falling for the trap.  Nguyen counted them-more than 10 of them in all and two big ones.  Could his lightly armed force handle them?   They were determined to try.

  He signaled the attack by beating two sticks together.  From the left stormed the dogs.  From the right came the villagers armed only with spears and clubs.

   The battle was on.  Screams, yells, grunts and barks shattered the night.

   The villagers gained the initiative and the battle soon quieted down.

   Dead on the battlefield lay five wild boars and Nguyen's crops were saved from another night of destruction in the Americal Div. area.


(A very similar article was printed April 25, 1968.  It was entitled "Viets' Trap Stifles Infiltrating Grunts"



24Apr68-8 Fliers Hoisted From Red Nest

   DA NANG, Vietnam (UPI)- Eight American airmen downed 19 hours in the midst of a Viet Cong stronghold were rescued Sunday in a dramatic, two-hour mission with U.S. planes firing on Communists within 10 yards of their position.

   The Americans were aboard to Army "Huey" helicopters shot down Saturday in the "Happy Valley," about 20 miles south-southwest of Da Nang.

   Both choppers went down several miles from the point where they were hit, and the four-man crew of the aircraft were not located until the following day.  None of the crewmen was hurt.

   Two Air Force A1E Skyraiders were first to reach the area.  Piloted by Capt. Tommy Stroud, 26, of Waco, Tex., and Capt. Lyn Oberdier, 30, Toledo, Ohio, the planes began firing on Viet Cong positions.

   A "Jolly Green Giant" rescue helicopter arrived within a short time.  "He started drawing ground fire and he had to pull out while we worked the area over again," Stroud said.

   The helicopter returned in about 10 minutes later, but again was unable to take a hovering position because of heavy Communist fire.  Then it had to return to Da Nang for refueling.

   Army helicopter gunships soon ....continued on back page



24Apr68-Hot Shower for the Enemy

   Photo Caption - Paratroopers of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Div., pour hot lead on dug-in North Vietnamese troops north of Phu Bai during Operation Carentan II.  The GIs are from the ???? 327th Inf.  



24Apr68-Villagers Keeping Roads Safe

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (IO) - "it's one thing to clear a stretch of road of mines and booby traps, but it's another to get local people to chip in and help find them," said a civil affairs officer from Americal Div.'s 196th Inf. Brigade.

   Capt. George Hamm of Daniels, W. Va., was obviously proud of the progress being made since he teamed up with a psychological operations team to clear the road.

   The plan was simple enough.  Through leaflets, loudspeakers and informal gab sessions, the word was spread that dud rounds, enemy mines or booby traps and weapons were worth money to the villagers.

   "At first it all seemed useless since it was once a heavily VC controlled area." said Hamm. "Then one day, a little boy came to the gate and led us to two camouflaged mortar rounds."

   Although the piaster payment isn't a large amount, it is a nice amount which can add up for a big find.



26Apr68-Wounded Marine Saved by Bravery Of Viet Soldier

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (ISO) - Vietnamese Popular Force Pvt. Phan Xuan quickly became a prized member of Combined Action Platoon (CAP India-4 after standing off a Viet Cong attack to cover the evacuation of a wounded U.S. Marine.

   Phan's two-gun rampage occurred the third night after the CAP unit's formation.  With only limited barbed wire and bunker defenses installed, an attack was expected from the Viet Cong whose local main line of supply across Highway 1 had been cut by the new CAP just north of Tam Ky.

   A listening post manned by two Marines and two PFs was set up to give warning of VC attack.  Just before midnight the attack came.  Five Viet Cong moved out of the woods on the listening post's right flank.  Three were shot before a blast of rifle and automatic weapons fire from the front and both flanks force d the outpost defenders back toward the CAP compound's barbed wire.

   One injured Marine, Pfc. Harvey L. Ames, 19 of Miami Beach, assisted another wounded Marine to cover across the road where a PF was holding back the onrushing VC.  The Marines and PF, within the compound were blocked from firing at most of the position of the returning Marines.

   The Viet Cong lost their chance to attack when Phan moved quickly to cover the Marines with accurate rifle fire.  Firing his carbine and rifle he raced back and forth between the wounded Marines and an estimated Viet Cong platoon until the injured men crossed the road to safety.

   "I could see his weapons flash as he ran up and down the field," said Ames,  "He sure kept them off our backs."





30Apr68-Ammo for the Chase

   A helicopter hovers over a rough clearing as boxes of ammo are thrown out for men of the 4th Inf. Div. operating west of Kontum in the central highlands.  A North Vietnamese unit had been caught in the area and was fleeing toward the Cambodian border, about six miles away.  The hill has been scarred by continuous artillery and air strikes.