|   home
 Jan.70   |   Feb. 70   |   Mar. 70   |    April 70   |   May 70   |   June 70   |   July 70   |   Aug. 70   |   Sept 70   |   Oct. 70   |   Nov. 70   |   Dec. 70
Feb. 70
Back 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: 402-4104

Japan news Bureau

           402-4101 Ext. 51, 53, 41

South Vietnam: Saigon

MACV 3604, ARVN 31952

Thailand:  BKK 70070 ext. 902

Washington:               Room 2E756,

Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301

   CIRCULATION

   DEPARTMENT

 DISTRICT OFFICES

    Hong Kong

Swindon Book Co.

  13-15, Lock Rd., Kowloon 6-2040

   THAILAND

Bangkok....... BKK 70070 Ext. 901

Korat ....                   4420

    SOUTH VIETNAM

Saigon MACV ........         2202

Nha Trang ..........         2708

Cam Ranh Bay .......         4255

Long Binh ..........      LB 3894

Da Nang ............ Motley   226


   All free distribution handled

though USARV Command In-

formation Division - Long Binh 4819.  APO 9637

   Due to copyright restrictions

subscriptions cannot be accepted

for delivery to addresses in the

 United States.



02Feb70-Near Da Nang  S&S Vietnam Bureau

   SAIGON-Vietnamese 2nd Div. troops, aided by artillery salvos and jet strikes, killed 28 Communists and took nine prisoners in sharp midday fighting Friday 31 miles southeast of Da Nang, an ARVN spokesman said.

   ARVN losses in the battle action were given as one killed and three wounded.

   Meanwhile, 15 miles to the south, Americal Div. armored cavalrymen aided by artillery, armed helicopters and U.S. Air Force F4 Phantom Jets, slugged it out for two hours Friday with Communist  riflemen, machine gunners and rocket-grenadiers six miles southwest of Tam Ky, the capital of Quang Tin Province.

   The midday engagement cost the enemy five dead.  U.S. spokesmen said.  U.S. losses were put at six wounded, with not fatalities.

   Early Saturday morning, Americal Div. infantrymen and Vietnamese militiamen beat back an attack by a Communist platoon on their temporary night encampment near Duc Pho 106 miles Southeast of Da Nang, spokesmen said.  The enemy assault lasted less than an hour and left five Reds dead.  Vietnamese casualties were said to be light.  There were no U.S. casualties.

    Farther north........



03Feb70-200 Reds Die as Ground Fighting Flares

    (Continued from Page 1) .........

   Elsewhere, Red mortarmen and grenadiers worked over an Americal Div. night encampment 70 miles south-southeast of Da Nang early Friday, lobbing 120 mixed 60mm and 82mm mortar, rocket-grenade and grenade rounds into the outpost, and following with heavy rifle and machine gun fire.  No enemy soldiers were reported to have penetrated the perimeter in three hours of fighting that left 11 Communists dead.  U.S. losses were put at two killed and 19 wounded.

   Communist fire also killed two Vietnamese civilians in a nearby hamlet.

   At the same time, two miles away, Communist gunners fired about 40-50 rounds of 60mm and 82mm mortar fire into an Americal Div. firebase causing "light" casualties and "light" damage.

   Another 15 Reds died in a one-hour combined mortar and ground attack early Sunday on a temporary night outpost manned by ARVN infantrymen 96 miles southeast of Da Nang.  Friendly casualties were described as "light.

    ...........



05Feb70- 26 Killed In Acts Of Terror

   S&S Vietnam Bureau

   SAIGON - Twenty-six civilians were killed, 49 others wounded and 15 kidnaped in an upsurge of terrorist violence in two provinces of I Corps, the National Police reported.

   Of 17 reports of Viet Cong activity reaching the police in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday, 14 incidents were in Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces........

   In four attacks on villages in the Que Song Valley, 25 miles south of Da Nang, the VC killed 16 civilians and wounded 30 others.  Three were killed and one wounded in three attacks in or near Hoi An, 15 miles southeast of Da Nang.

   ........

   Also in Quang Ngai, the VC kidnaped 15 civilians on Jan. 28 from An Truong hamlet in Duc Pho District, 100 miles southeast of Da Nang, the police said.

   THe upsurge in I Corps was part of a sharp upswing throughout Vietnam in the week ending Jan. 28.  In 176 incidents reported - up from 123 the previous week -107 civilians were killed, compared with 57 killed the week before ...........



06Feb70-1st Cav. Beats Back Fierce NVA Assaults.

    (Continued from Page 1).........

    In other ground action reported by the U.S. Command in Vietnam:

   Soldiers of the 196th INf. Brigade, Americal Div., engaged an enemy force 30 miles southeast of Da Nang, killing 10 enemy.  Another 10 were killed in scattered contacts, while the 11th Brigade killed seven.

   -  Late Tuesday two Popular Force platoons 20 miles away from the Americal troops ambushed an enemy force and killed 12.

   -  To the north in Quang Nam Province Monday morning, U.S. Marines observed 30 to 40 enemy in an area just south of D Nang's marble mountain, 1st Marine Div. artillery was called in, killing 13.



??Feb70-300 Enemy Surrounded

  Air Strikes Blast Trapped Reds

   S&S Vietnam Bureau

   SAIGON --.............

   -Troopers from the 16th Combat Aviation Group air assaulting near where helicopters spotted an enemy soldier, reported killing five Reds and detaining five suspects 85 miles south-southwest of Da Nang...........



12Feb70-Helo Crash Kills 12

        On Da Nang Run

       S&S Vietnam Bureau

   DA NANG, Vietnam - An Americal Div. UH1 helicopter enroute from Chu Lai to Da Nang crashed Tuesday in a suburb just west of this port city, killing all 12 persons aboard.  It was the second fatal air crash in two days in the Da Nang area.

   Monday the pilot of an A4 jet bomber was killed after his plane's nose wheel collapsed after landing at the Da Nang airbase.

   The helicopter plunged into a vegetable patch eight feet from a Vietnamese home in a densely populated area of tin-roofed shacks.  There were no civilian casualties.  Military spokesmen said the crash was not caused by enemy fire, but that the exact cause could not be determined until after an investigation.

   Armed forces police cordoned off the site while ordnance disposal teams removed grenades from the charred wreckage.

   The aircraft had picked up two soldiers, five sailors and a marine at Chu Lai and was bound for "Freedom Hill" to pick up spare maintenance parts for the division.  The chopper had a four-man crew.



17Feb70-ARVN Armored Brigade Shatters Red Sapper Bn.

   LANDING ZONE BALDY, Vietnam (AP) - A Viet Cong sapper battalion that had planned to attack Da Nang early this month was virtually wiped out  Sunday by a government armored brigade formed only last September.  Allied military spokesmen said.

   By nightfall, spokesmen reported a total of 99 Viet Cong soldiers confirmed killed and another 20 captured, most of them wounded when South Vietnamese armor overran their spider holes and bunkers in rice paddy dikes 18 miles south of Da Nang.

   Among the enemy dead were the battalion commander, his executive officer and a company commander.

   Another company commander and a political officer were captured, spokesmen said.

   "This day we are certain we destroyed that battalion," said Col. Than Hoa Hiep, commander of the South Vietnamese 1st Armored Brigade.

   Government losses were put at four killed and 26 wounded in the day's bitter fighting in a two mile area near the banks of the shallow Ly Ly River just east of National Highway 1.

   Hiep said that according to his information, the battalion of 150 to 200 men - most of them North Vietnamese - had planned to attack Da Nang, the nation's second largest city, either before or during the Tet holidays early this month.

   But he said it pulled back because it was understrength and apparently was waiting for replacements when it was trapped along the Ly Ly River by Hiep's troops

and  artillery and U.S.gunships and offshore naval guns.

   The reported destruction of the Viet Cong battalion came four days after Hiep's 1,200-man force swung east from Highway 1 to push north toward the Cua Dai River below Hoi An.

   The attacking armored cavalrymen and two ranger battalions had lost a total of 23 killed and 70 wounded as of Sunday, compared to 197 enemy reported killed and 44 captured since Wednesday.  No U.S. casualties have been reported.

   Hiep said the captured prisoners identified the battalion as the T89 Viet Cong battalion, made up primarily of North Vietnamese sappers.

   ............



17Feb70-Other Viet War:

Fighting Disease

   By SN. TIM LEDERLE

   DA NANG, Vietnam (Special)

  - Mid-summer 1969 found the war-scarred provincial capital of Hue locked in a life-and-death struggle, the likes of which the ancient city had never known.

   An unknown disease of epidemic proportion confronted local authorities.  Although the symptoms were similar to hose of the disease known as hemorrhagic fever, Vietnamese medical men couldn't confirm the suspicion.

   The disease normally occurs only in areas where it has previously been experienced, and hemorrhagic fever had never struck Hue.  Only 12 epidemics had been confirmed in Southeast Asia.

   Beginning with a few cases reported about June 23, the disease struck more than 150 victims by the third week in July.

   Authorities in Hue reported the outbreak, and the Preventive Medicine Unit (PMU) mobile reactionary teams of the U.S. Naval Support Activity, Da Nang went into operation.

   Cmdr. W.F. Miner, officer-in-charge of the PMU (a specialist in epidemiology - the study of the transmission of disease), said later of the epidemic, "When we arrived in Hue, we found that local authorities had carefully kept track of the progress of the disease by sticking pins, one for each reported case, in a map of the city.  This allowed us to consider the speed and direction in which the disease spread, as well as the symptoms.  We also thought we could see classic hemorrhagic fever.  the question was, could we be sure enough to advise channelling all efforts against that one disease?

   Lt. Roger Grothaus, PMU entomologist (zoologist specializing in this study of insects), explained, "We immediately set-up a mosquito trapping program in Hue.  Since we knew two particular species of Aedes mosquitos to be primary carriers of hemorrhagic fever, finding these mosquitos in Hue would substantiate the initial finding of the epidemiologist.  This would make a case sufficient to justify an all-out control program."

   Three days later Miner received a phone call.  "Yes Aedes mosquitos are present in Hue," came the entomologist's discovery.  "What's more, there are great numbers of both species of the hemorrhagic fever carriers!"

   Now every facility of the PMU was put to work to destroy the disease carriers.

   Within days the breeding areas were on the way to extinction.  The carriers would complete their life-cycles; and no offspring would exist to follow in their deadly path.

   The first week, the epidemic which had been zooming toward a peak leveled off.

   Two weeks after the control program began, the number of victims was clearly declining.

   The PMU works directly with civilian health authorities on a number of projects.  A Vietnamese health official from the Da Nang area recently requested and is receiving regular PMU laboratory analysis of water, ice and milk produced and consumed in the area.

   The PMU has designed training programs to help the Vietnamese secure a more healthy environment.  These education courses are administered through CORDS and UNSAID, U.S. civilian organizations which work directly with the Vietnamese.



18Feb70-Viet Armor, Rangers Belt 2 NVA Battalions

   S&S Vietnam Bureau

   SAIGON - Vietnamese armored cavalry and regional force soldiers killed 182 enemy soldiers and captured 16 others in two fierce battles Sunday near Hoi An, 15 miles southeast of Da Nang, according to Allied spokesmen.

   The first contact began Sunday morning when two ARVN armored cavalry units contacted an estimated two battalions of NVA regulars seven miles south of Hoi An.  Two battalions of ARVN rangers which moved in to reinforce the armor also made contact.  U.S. and VNAF jets bombed and strafed the area while ARVN artillery fired in support of the ground troops.

   The battle continued into the afternoon when the NVA forces withdrew, U.S. officials said.

   Final figures showed 145 enemy soldiers killed including one battalion commander, one assistant battalion commander, one company commander and one assistant company commander.  Another 12 enemy soldiers were taken prisoner, including one company commander.  ARVN forces reportedly suffered eight men killed and 21 wounded.

   Five miles southwest of the first battles, several RF companies fought for five hours with an unknown size enemy force.  The contact ended near dark with enemy losses reported as 37 dead and four captured.  ARVN spokesmen said the regional forces lost four men killed and ten wounded.

    Enemy gunners destroyed two U.S. helicopters Sunday, bringing to 1,476 the number of American helicopters shot down over South Vietnam.  One man was killed and one injured when an OH6 light observation helicopter fell to enemy fire 20 miles east of Saigon.  Two crewmen were injured when their Cobra gunship was shot down 70 miles south of Da Nang, U.S. spokesmen said................



20Feb70-Red-Damaged Bridge Rebuilt in Record-Setting 50 Hours

   By JO2 J. R. STEVENS

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (Special)

-It took elements of U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Bn. 7's Detail Juliet only 50 hours to re-open the Ba Ren Bridge after enemy swimmers destroyed two 35-foot sections.

   Using portable light plants, a 40-man crew of builders, steel-workers, divers, crane operators and surveyors, with piledriving and crane support from MCB 74, rebuilt damaged sections of the 750-foot long, two lane structure in record-breaking time - 45 minutes ahead of their "impossible" deadline.  Enemy explosive charges sheared three timber piles supporting two sections and it took the bridge builders nine hours to clear debris and begin actual construction.

   Working under an umbrella of helicopter security and behind a cordon of Marine ground security, Seabees drove seven timber piles, set 10 steel I-beam stringers, and laid cross timber planking and decking to open the vital supply and communications line between Chu Lai and Da Nang with minimum interruption.

   Construction work was done to the sound of small arms fire as security elements on the bridge itself fired into the water at any floating object to eliminate the possibility of floating explosives that might injure workers or further damage the bridge.  In addition, Marine planes flew air strikes against enemy concentrations as close as 2,500 meters from the bridge.



21Feb70-Captain Quoted by Press

   'My Lai' Letter Makes News

   S&S Vietnam Bureau

   SAIGON -An Army infantry captain quoted by his hometown newspaper as saying he had participated in My Lai-type operations said Thursday he had been speaking in generalities and that he had never witnessed a massacre.

   Capt. William H. MIller, company commander of Hq. Co., 1st Brigade, 25th Inf. Div., in Tay Ninh was quoted by the Bridgeport (Conn.) Post from one of Miller's letters to his mother.  United Press International put the story on its wires.

   "I was just using My Lai as an example of what happens in war," Miller told Stars and Stripes in a telephone interview.  

   "I've participated in combat operations similar to the operations in My Lai.  Call them what you want.  It's a war and people get killed."  He said that he had never seen nor taken part  in a massacre.

    Miller said he had never been assigned to an American unit in combat.  During his first tour in Vietnam, he served as an adviser to the 1st ARVN Div., and he is scheduled to become a MACV adviser again later this month.  He has served about eight months of his current tour.

   "When I wrote that letter I was just talking in generalities about the consequences of war," the 19-year Army veteran said.  "As long as there is war, there are going to be people hurt.

   "When it happens, you feel bad about it.  I felt bad about My Lai, and I wasn't even in-country at the time."

   He said he stood by a line in his letter that said, "I feel guilty certainly, but I can tell you without reservation that 'My Lais' will continue to occur as long as our government pursues the course of action it has the past 25 years."

   He said he did not know before Thursday the letter had appeared in his hometown newspaper or on the UPI wire.



21Feb70-All 11 Aboard Killed in Fiery Copter Crash

   S&S Vietnam Bureau

   SAIGON - The crash of a U.S. Army helicopter caused Tuesday by mechanical failure killed all 11 serviceman aboard, military spokesmen said in a delayed report Thursday.

   ..........

   Tuesday's crash involved a copter on an aerial reconnaissance mission between Duc Pho and Quang Ngai City along the coast of the South China Sea.  A four-man crew and seven infantrymen from the Aeroscout Company were aboard when the craft crashed and burned in an open area seven miles west of Quang Ngai City, according to official U.S. sources.

   ................

   During two separate fire mission, Americal Division artillery batteries killed 23 enemy soldiers spotted by forward observers near Quang Ngai and Tam Ky, both on the coast south of Da Nang in I Corps, U.S. officials reported.


     (Personal Notes by Leslie Hines (ADVA Vietnam era historian), - this article refers to the loss of a B/123rd Avn Bn. Aeroscout UH-1 Slick with a platoon of "Warlord" Infantry Aeroscouts onboard.  The incident is a sore point to men from the Warlords I spoke with at the 1997 "Warlord" reunion in Dallas, TX.  It was claimed that the helicopter had been "Red X'd" (grounded/not safe to fly) by the crewchief, Jack Drye.  The transmission clattered badly.  A non-aviation MOS sergeant overrode the "Red X" and ordered the crewchief to rescind the "Red X".  To my thinking, a new crewchief from a specialized maintenance team (not a Periodic Inspection Team) might have allowed the helicopter to be flown.  But if it clattered so badly the pilots should have "Red X'd" the helicopter and they wouldn't have been cowed by a hard-nosed sergeant.

   I personally knew Jack Drye who was the new crewchief who had just transferred from a 406 TC maintenance section.  I was his hootch commander as we lived together in the same hootch.  Jack had been upset about a "Dear John" letter.  It seemed like he got the letter after he had transferred.  However, this may have been foreseen and  may have been the reason he transferred into a dangerous job with the "Warlords".

   After the crash a personal friend of mine and AIT classmate, who at the time was a LOH scout gunner in the "Warlords", threatened to kill the sergeant that had overridden the "Red X" if he ever saw him.

   This sergeant avoided being seen by my friend even though the sergeant remained in the same company until his tour ended.  I am not really certain if my friend would have acted on this after he had a few days to cool off, but I wouldn't want to bet my life on it either.)




21Feb70-Near Perfect Operation

   9 Reds 'Brought Back Alive'

  FSB BRONCO, Vietnam (Special) - An 11th Inf. Brigade task force composed of elements fo the 4th Bn., 21st Inf. and E Troop, 1st Cav. recently executed what may be termed a "perfect operation."

   The speed and precision resulted in not only a successfully completed mission, but a combat operation with no Allied casualties.

   The plan of action was conceived and carried out in a matter of hours.  Intelligence reports indicated a concentration of Viet Cong in the area of Dam Lam Binh Lake, one mile southeast of Duc Pho.

   The intelligence reports were received one evening and by dawn the next morning Capt. John W. Yarborough commanding officer of Co, A led a combat assault composed of the Recon. Platoon; 2d Platoon, A Co.; 2d Platoon, D Co.; a military intelligence element; some Vietnamese Popular Forces and National Police and a village chief from the nearby village of Pho Hiep.

   Yarborough said, "We were working on indications from intelligence sources which had earlier given us successful results.

   While the infantrymen assumed a line formation which stretched for 400 meters, 3rd Platoon, E Troop, 1st Cav., had moved in three Sheridan combat assault vehicles and four armored personnel carriers to form a blocking force to the east.

   The troopers swept through swamps, sand dunes, canals, rice paddies, and over and around hedgerows to flush out or engage the enemy.  THe water barriers served as welcome relief from the sun.

   Said Yarborough: "Searching the canals we found four tunnels.  Their entrances were both above and below the water.  The first tunnel was empty.  In the second, after  a lot of coaxing with no results, we tossed in a hand grenade."

   Finally, two dirty, scared VC emerged from their muddy hiding place.  One had been sounded.  A medical evacuation helicopter was called in, but before it could arrive the patient's heart stopped.  A quick-thinking American medic administered heart massage to bring the VC back to consciousness.  He was then "dusted-off" to firebase Bronco, where he died.

   "We cleaned the other VC up, gave him cigarets and talked with him.  After he got over his initial fear, he told us of another tunnel hiding three armed VC," said Yarborough.  "We again tried coaxing the VC, and once more had to resort to hand grenades."

   The combination produced similar results - three shaken enemy soldiers turned over two AK44's and some "Chicom" grenades as they scurried out of their tunnel.  One required a "dust-off" for minor wounds.  A fourth tunnel, also empty was destroyed with a cratering charge.

   "The village chief did a superb job.  He went into all the tunnels.  He always goes with us to show the people we are working together and in their interest," Yarborough said.

   The armored cavalrymen moving into their eastern position "encountered numerous "spider holes" and tunnels," said Platoon Sgt. William J. White.

   Spec. 4 David M. Doxtad, a right gunner on an armored personnel carrier, said, "We had just pulled a vehicle out which had gotten stuck, and I was sitting on the back of the APC when a buddy tapped me on the shoulder and said he had spotted a movement in a hedgerow.

   "A group of tankers dismounted and searched the area.  Two VC climbed out of a spider hole and gave up.  One had jumped into the pond, but came out of the water and surrendered.  I was searching the pond and spotted some ripples and an impression in the bank.  I fired a few shots into the bank.  Then we threw a concussion grenade into the water.  A VC came out of the tunnel.  We suspected more and threw another concussion grenade.  Then another came out," Doxtad said.

   By the day's end, the 11th Brigade soldiers had captured nine and killed one VC, confiscated four weapons, numerous hand grenades and other pieces of enemy equipment.



23Feb70-Enemy Battalion, U.S. Unit Locked In Battle 5 Hrs.

   S&S Vietnam Bureau

   SAIGON - An estimated North Vietnamese battalion firing rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons took on an armored cavalry unit of the Americal Div. Thursday after noon and in the five-hour fight that followed 14 Americans died and 29 were wounded, according to official spokesmen.

   The fight - in the hedge row and paddy land 10 miles northwest of Tam Ky in I Corps - resulted in only four enemy bodies left on the battlefield, according to the spokesmen.

   The battle went on into darkness as infantrymen from the 2nd Bn., 1st Inf., 196th Inf. Brigade, were sent as reinforcement, the command said.  Two M551 Sheridan armored reconnaissance vehicles and two armored personnel carriers were damaged in the fight, spokesmen said.

   Earlier in the day, 29 enemy soldiers were killed eight miles northwest of Quang Ngai City, near the Americal Div.'s fire support base Stinson, the U.S. Command reported.  A forward observation element spotted an estimated company of Viet Cong moving across an open area they said.  Gunners from 1st Bn., 82nd Arty. at surrounding fire bases hit the enemy wit an hour-long barrage from eight inch guns and 155mm howitzers, it was reported.

.......

    And Regional Force troops accounted for eight enemy soldiers in I Corps when the enemy walked into the killing zone of the miliitamen's ambush set up near Tam Ky City late Friday night, the Saigon governmetn ...........



23Feb70-Sergeant Fills 2 Hot Spots In Bitter 8-Hour Fire Fight

    LZ CENTER, Vietnam (Special) -

   When his unit accidentally stopped to rest in an NVA basecamp, a 19-year-old Americal Division soldier found himself busy as both radio telephone operator (RTO) and forward observer (FO) in a battle that lasted eight hours and cost the enemy 40 killed.

   Spec. 4 Richard Fosler, a member of C Battery, 3rd Bn., 82nd Arty., was acting as both FO and RTO with F Troop, 17th Cav., on a recent operation west of LZ Hawk Hill (A.K.A-"Hill two-niner").

   The two platoons of F Troop had been joined by a part of D Co., 3rd Bn., 21st Inf., 196th Inf. Brigade on their operation to flush the enemy out of the area.

   They had met little resistance during the early morning hours, but when they decided to take a break under some trees, they triggered a fire fight that would mean the success or failure of their mission.

   An NVA soldier was spotted sneaking from behind a tree only 30 meters from the resting Americans.  The NVA ran into a hooch neatly concealed by thick underbrush.

   Within seconds, the troop was warned.  Backed by four Sheridan tanks, they opened up with .50 caliber and M60 machine guns.

   After almost an hour of heavy fighting, a brief lull enabled a platoon from the 21st Inf. to move into the tree line and investigate.

   They immediately discovered three dead NVA and a 60mm mortar tube.  Moments later they found a .30 caliber machine gun.

   Again they came under heavy AK47 fire, this time, from both the tree line and the trench network behind them.  One of the RTOs from the 21st Inf. was wounded as the enemy began to hit the American position with grenades.

   Receiving directions from the commander of F Troop, Capt. Klein Harris, the platoon reversed its attack and retaliated with small arms and hand grenades while moving behind trees and high grass for cover.  Fosler grabbed his radio and began calling to B Battery, 3rd Bn., 82 Arty. on LZ Center for artillery support.

   The big-gun firepower was used to protect the rear of the American forces and also to cut off any means of escape for the now pinned-down enemy.

   The enemy had been caught completely off guard and had not had time to use their mortar tubes.  With the artillery support, their fortified bunkers could not protect them.

   When the battle was over, the Americans found 15 AK47 rifles, four Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers and countless Chicom grenades.

   The net result of the battle was one NVA base camp destroyed and one RTO/FO very aware of what an officer goes through as a regular FO.






23Feb70-Led by Kids To New Life

CHU LAI, Vietnam (Special) -

The unexpected is often found by the mine sweep team of Co. B, 39th Eng Bn., 18th Engineer Brigade, and the situation was not any different on a recent routine mission.

   The sweep team was performing its early morning activities on National Highway QL1 near here, when it met a group of children huddled along the roadside.  Calling a halt to the sweep the men advanced cautiously.

   Immediately, the children ran to meet them.  After informing the engineers what was on their minds the children returned to the side of the road.  Shortly a Vietnamese man started approaching the waiting American soldiers.

   He was a Viet Cong, who had decided to give in and Chieu Hoi to Republic of Vietnam, and he had used the children as an intermediary.



24Feb70-GIs in Tanks Hit Dug-In Reds

   By SPEC. 4 STEVE WARSH

    S&S Staff Correspondent

   HAWK HILL, Vietnam -

   Twenty-three North Vietnamese were killed in a series of fights Sunday 25 miles south-southeast of Da Nang as troopers of the Americal Div. continued to fight through hedgerowed, dried up, paddy land.

   This is the same area where Americal armor units lost 14 killed Friday, according to official spokesmen.  U.S. casualties Sunday were two killed and 11 wounded.

   Friday's action was called sharp, close-in fighting by 196th Inf. Brigade commander Col. James M. Lee.  Lee quoted one sergeant as saying, "I'm going to go out there and get those NVA - I"ve got something to settle with them."  Lee said the sergeant was killed Friday.

   Lee described the terrain as dried-up paddies with island-like mounds of ground rising above the paddies.  These islands, Lee said, are surrounded by trees and spider holes.  In the islands, he continued, are bunkers.  It is at these little island forts that the fighting has been taking place.

   Sunday's fighting involved armor units from the Americal Div. and infantry from the 196th Inf. Brigade.

   In the fight Friday, Lee said first contact was a Sheridan tank hitting a mine, which killed two GIs.  As the armor unit continued the sweep, rocket-propelled grenade fire hit a second tank killing six Americans as ammunition in it continued to explode.

   Very sharp fighting, including what Lee called hand-to-hand combat.  "If we had had two more hours of daylight we could have really racked them up," Lee said.  Only four enemy bodies were found on the battlefield, but Lee was confident that more than that were killed.




25Feb70-Americal GIs Kill 23 Reds; Nighthawk Adds 17 More

    S&S Vietnam Bureau

   SAIGON - Americal Div. infantrymen and gunships accounted for 40 enemy dead south of Da Nang Sunday, and to the north, one AH1 Cobra gunship was shot down just three miles from the Demilitarized Zone, according to official U.S. reports.

   U.S. spokesmen reported 17 enemy were killed before dawn Sunday 70 miles southwest of Da Nang when enemy gunners opened up on a "nighthawk" reconnaissance helicopter gunship 14 miles west of the coastal city of Quang Ngai.   The nighthawk illuminated the  area and opened up with miniguns on the enemy position, killing nine enemy soldiers according to U.S. officials.  Spokesmen said the gunship returned a short time later and killed a second group of eight enemy soldiers working to remove the bodies of the nine killed earlier.

   Twenty-three North Vietnamese were killed Sunday in a series of clashes reported earlier between Americal Div. armor and ground troops and well-entrenched NVA regulars.

   ........

   Korean military officials reported 56 enemy soldiers killed Saturday and Sunday in scattered skirmishes in the northern provinces of Binh Dinh and Quang Nam.

   ........



25Feb70-Flare Foils Sappers

   By SPEC. 4 RON ADAMS

   FSB DEBBIE, Vietnam (Special - As Spec. 4 Richard Weeder of the 11th Inf. Brigade sat patiently at his guard post, he decided that it was about time to fire a hand flare.  He reached over to the ammo can, pulled out a parachute flare, and ejected the instant light into the sky.

   This single incident thwarted a sapper attack on a n Americal Div. position and resulted in the deaths of nine NOrth Vietnamese soldiers.  The lone flare alerted D Co., 4th Bn., 21st Inf., and a platoon of Popular Force soldiers who jointly provide security for a village three miles south of Duc Pho.

   Pfc. Lawrence Rooks had his first taste of combat by the light of Weeder's flare.  "I heard the flare go up," said Rooks, "and as the light illuminated the entire area, I saw three figures standing only a few meters away, looking directly into my face."  Rooks warned the other men to get into their fighting positions, They did, and opened up immediately, dropping all three enemy before they had a chance to advance.

   Spec. 4 Al Peterson, speaking of M-60 machinegunner Pfc Gary Turner said, "He jumped up to the gun and sprayed the entire area to our front from a corner bunker.  He put out a base of fire that a fire-fly couldn't have crawled through."

   Several NVA attempted to penetrate the other side of the perimeter, which was secured by the Vietnamese Popular Forces (PFs).  The PFs repulsed the attack, killing three NVA, one of whom was believed to be an NVA officer.

   This combination of U.S. and Vietnamese troops captured two AK-47 rifles, one RPG launcher with three rounds, eight Chicom grenades, fifteen satchel charges and one pistol.

   "When we moved into this village a few months ago to work alongside these Vietnamese Popular Forces," said Peterson, "we weren't complete convinced in the ability of the PFs, but now that they have been through a major contact like this, these Vietnamese soldiers have gained our full respect."



25Feb70- Course Has Nurses Rough It

   CHU LAI, Vietnam (Special)

-  "By attending the same course as the men, we get a better understanding of what they are up against," said two Army nurses attending the Americal Div.'s Combat Center's in-country orientation course.

   Capt. Sandra Genthner and 2nd Lt. Elaine Lankheet of the 91st Evac. Hospital underwent three days of intensive training.

   Army nurses from both the 91st Evacuation and 27th Surgical hospitals in Chu Lai attend either a one or three-day course in order to familiarize themselves with the latest enemy tactics.  The two nurses attended classes with 60 newly-assigned Americal Div. soldiers.

   Capt. Genthner is on her second tour.  She was assigned to the 93rd Evac. Hospital in 1968.  Both nurses volunteered for duty in Vietnam.

   Lt. Lankheet, like most of her colleagues, never dreamed she would ever be in a combat zone.

   "You learn a lot about life and about men by being an Army nurse in Vietnam and the extra training we're getting at the Combat Center will help us re-dedicate ourselves to our profession."



27Feb70-Troops Play Cache in All 4 Zones

SAIGON (S&S) - Tuesday was cache day, as allied military spokesmen reported caches being found in all four corps tactical zones.

    ....

    And near Quang Ngai 75 miles southwest of Da Nang, South Vietnamese military spokesmen report that a 2nd Inf. Div. company discovered a food cache containing a ton of potatoes, 55 tons of rice, 3/4 of a ton of corn, 100 vials of antibiotics, 15, cans of fish sauce as well as salt and cotton.