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Pacific Stars And Stripes
This newspaper is an authorized unofficial publication for U.S. Armed Forces assigned to the Pacific Command. Contents of Pacific Stars and Stripes are not necessarily the offical view of the U.S. Government or the Department of Defense.
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Pacific Stars and Stripes is published in four editions daily at Tokyo, Japan, APO San Francisco, 96503. It is distributed to authorized personnel for 10 cents daily, $2.50 monthly or $30.00 yearly, payable in advance per AR 230-1 and AFR 176-1. Second class postage paid at Post Office, San Francisco, Calif.
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Col. William V. Koch, USA..................Editor-in-Chief
Lt. Col. J. F. Townshend, Jr., USAF Deputy Editor-in-Chief
1st Lt. Herman G. Linnartz, Jr., USA.............Hq. Cmdt.
Capt. R. H. W. Grunwald, USMC ...........Asst. EIC/Vietnam
Gordon Skean ..............................General Manager
Richard T. Owen .......................Circulation Manager
Paul J. Brumbaugh ......................Production Manager
Malcolm M. Silles ........................Business Manager
John K. Baker .............................Managing Editor
Howard C. Peterson ........................News Editor
Lee J. Kavetski .........................Sports Editor
Thomas A. Scully ...........................Copy Chief
Frederick G. Braitsch, Jr. ................Photo Chief
Pacific Stars and Stripes
An authorized publication of the U.S. Armed forces in the far east.
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MAG-13 Marks 80,000th Sortie
CHU LAI, Vietnam (Special) - Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13 recently scored its 80,000th combat sortie.
Col. Thomas E. Murphree, MAG-13 commanding officer, flew the 80,000th sortie in his F4B Phantom fighter-attack bomber.
02Apr70-Cpt. Charged as 'Responsible'
Medina Tied to 102 My Lai Deaths
ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) -The Army charged Capt. Ernest L. Medina Wednesday with murder in the 1968 attack on My Lai, and said the charge makes him responsible for the 102 alleged slayings for which Lt. William L. Calley Jr., will be tried next month.
The announcement from 3rd Army at Ft. McPherson here said the charge was based on evidence obtained by U.S. Army Criminal Intelligence Division agents.
A spokesman said the Medina was charged as a principal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and did not have to be present during the alleged killings to be held responsible.
The Army said, "The new charge alleges violation of Article 118, UCMJ, in that Capt. Medina was responsible for the alleged murder of Vietnamese noncombatant persons allegedly committed by members of his company in the village of Song My (My Lai) on 16 March 1968."
Medina, 33, of Pico Rivera, Calif., earlier was charged with murdering four persons, maiming one and assault with a deadly weapon. The earlier charge, filed March 10, accused Medina of the "murder of two persons on or about 16 March 1968, maiming and murder of one suspected enemy person, and murder of another, during their interrogation, late in the day of about 16 March 1968, and assault with a deadly weapon on a third individual while interrogating him on or about 17 March 1968." However, the charge filed today was substituted for one filed March 17, accusing him of concealing knowledge of a felony.
The Army announcement gave no figures but Medina in an interview with CBS News at Ft. Benning, Ga., said that the Army is charging him with responsibility for the deaths of 175 civilians at My Lai.
Medina commanded Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Brigade of the Americal Division in Vietnam.
Company C joined two other infantry companies early in 1968 to form Task Force Baker, which conducted the raid on My Lai.
Calley, charged Sept. 5, 1969, was the first to be accused. Subsequent investigations for the most part have involved members of Medina's company.
Medina has specifically denied that he ordered any massacre, but admitted that he shot a Viet Cong woman who was wounded.
"I did not see any slaughter at My Lai 4 that day," he said during a news conference in Washington after appearing before a committee investigating reports of the massacre.
"None was reported to me. I did not order any massacre at My Lai 4," he declared.
Medina said he shot a woman he believed had a gun or a grenade after a helicopter pilot reported seeing a Viet Cong with a weapon.
The latest charge against Medina was preferred by Lt. Col. Herman L. West, commanding officer of the Ft. McPherson Troop Command.
04Apr70-Red Drive Slows; 800 Enemy Slain
Compiled from UPI and S&S Vietnam Bureau
American armored cavalrymen and Vietnamese Army infantrymen reportedly killed 111 Reds Wednesday along the South China Sea coast 125 miles east-northeast of Saigon, official spokesmen said. Sixty-four more Communists died in sharp fighting with Vietnamese troops near the provincial capital of Tra Vinh in the Mekong Delta.
06Apr70-Enemy Drive Fading
3 U.S. Copters Fall to Red Guns
S&S Vietnam Bureau
Twenty-seven NVA died in the day-long fighting that also left six GIs dead and 40 wounded, military officials in Saigon said.
Meanwhile a band of enemy infiltrators captured two Vietnamese Popular Force outposts about 29 miles southeast of Da Nang two hours after midnight Friday while the militiamen were out running ambush patrols, an ARVN spokesman said. Nine hours later after artillery salvos and bomb strikes peppered the outposts, PF troopers recaptured the bases and found 15 enemy bodies. There were no friendly losses in the capture and recapture of the two outposts, an official spokesman said.
Nineteen Communists were killed in more than three hours of scattered mid-day battling Friday with ARVN 2nd Div. infantrymen in the coastal lowlands north of Quang Ngai City 66 miles southeast of Da Nang, an ARVN spokesman said. Two ARVN soldiers were injured in the fighting, the spokesman said.
08Apr70-Viets Kill 70 in 2 Battles
S&S Vietnam Bureau
Enemy gunners Sunday downed an OH6 light observation helicopter, killing one man and wounding two others 35 miles southeast of Da nang and shot down a C7 Caribou killing three crewmen Monday in the Central Highlands province of Kontum, according to U.S. military officials. On Saturday, another C7 Caribou was shot down, also in Kontum Province, killing three men aboard.
11Apr70-Idea Makes Waifs 500 Lb. Warmer
FIRE SUPPORT BASE 4-11, Vietnam (Special)- A gift of 500 pounds of clothing from an Americal Div. soldier has brightened the lives of 385 orphans in Quang Ngai City.
The gifts were the result of an idea of Spec. 4 Kelly Drabus, a supply clerk with the 3d Bn., 1st Inf., 11th Brigade. He wrote to civic organizations in his home town of Harvey, N>D., describing the orphanage's need for clothing and they responded generously.
Boy Scouts in Harvey collected the clothes through a door to door program. The wives of Jaycees packaged the clothes and collected money for the postage.
When the clothes arrived, Drabus, accompanied by 1st Lt. David Smith, 3d Bn., 1st Inf. civil affairs officer, and interpreter S. Sgt Nguyen Ly made the trip to the orphanage.
Children of all ages met the trio as they climbed from the two gift-laden jeeps. They helped the men as they carried the 31 packages to the courtyard, encircled by the buildings which house the orphans. After the children had gathered, the packages were opened.
The bright eyes and smiling faces of the children were outward signs of what the clothing meant to them. Many walked around modeling the brightly colored dresses or blue jeans.
When asked what his main reason was for seeking the clothing, Drabus responded, "I had always wanted to help the children out in some way. It is my way of making life a little better for orphans."
According to Smith, "Our battalion has been very close to the orphanage since we began working in the area. We are able to give them almost 80 per cent of the support they require. The orphanage is also helping us out," he continued. "They make ammunition vests for us and launder our fatigues."
Ly added, "This is a way of showing us that they can help us, too."
Sister Martha, who moderates the Catholic orphanage, said, "These gifts and those which you have given before are greatly appreciated. Your help makes caring for the orphans much easier."
13Apr70-Battle Action Scattered
S&S Vietnam Bureau
To the north in Quang Nam Province, seven miles south-southeast of Da Nang, enemy gunners struck Ngan Cau hamlet with 20 rounds of 82mm mortar fire, then entered a nearby refugee camp and demolished 120 homes, according to aRVN officials.
16Apr70-VC Market Racked Up
FSB BRONCO, Vietnam (Special) - A National Police Field Force (NPFF) platoon recently raided a VC market place 17 miles northwest of Duc Pho, confiscating a food supply large enough to feed an enemy company for a week. The unit also killed on VC and captured four during the raid.
Americal Div. advisor S. Sgt. Tom Martin of the 29th Civil Affairs Company explained, "the whole show was NPFF. The initial report came from an NPFF agent, revealing that the VC were buying medicine, food, batteries and other supplies at the market place."
Martin, who works with the 11th Inf. Brigade, supervises NPFF operations in the Mo Duc-Duc Pho area and is also responsible for the districts' safety programs.
As the Vietnamese combat assaulted into the VC location, more than 60 people were seen fleeing from the area.
The platoon rapidly disembarked and fanned out to snare those trying to flee. Those caught were questioned by the NPFF detectives. Information received pinpointed five VC in a nearby hut. As the hut was being encircled, one VC leader burst through the door, but gunfire sopped his escape.
The four VC detainees later revealed that the market place had only been open for two weeks.
17Apr70-Milloy Heads Americal Div.
SAIGON (S&S) - Maj. Gen A. E. Milloy has assumed command of the Americal Div. in a change of command ceremony at Chu Lai, the division's base camp, the U.S. Command announced.
A pas commander of the recently withdrawn 1st Inf. Div., Milloy accepted the colors from outgoing commander Maj. Gen. Lloyd B. Ramsey, becoming the sixth commanding general of the Americal Div. since its arrival in Vietnam in 1967.
20Apr70-ROKs Kill 65 Enemy
S&S Vietnam Bureau
HOI AN, Vietnam - Leathernecks from the Republic of Korea Blue Dragon Marine brigade have killed 65 enemy soldiers and captured 28 high-ranking VC, including the guerrilla commander of the Hoi An district, 14 miles south-southeast of Da Nang in their latest operation, a Korean Marine spokesman said.
They also captured 49 individual and four crew-served weapons.
Korean casualties were described as extremely light.
Battalions of the Marine brigade began a search operations, Whang Ryong 2, meaning yellow dragon, on April 1 to root out remaining VC in their tactical zone, 13 miles in diameter, which they had cleared before. They were supported by artillery and U.S. flare ships.
20Apr70- Photo Caption - Silhouette in War Drama
Tank crewmen from F Troop, 17th Cav., are silhouetted atop their vehicle during an operation 25 miles north of Tam Ky, near the coast in northern South Vietnam. (USA).
20Apr70-Pistol Belt, Grenade Save PFC
CHU LAI, Vietnam (Special) - It is not every day that an Americal Div. soldier is shot at and hit without experiencing some pain.
But, it happened recently to PFC James A. Renze, a 198th Inf. Brigade rifleman while walking point for his platoon.
While maneuvering on a search and clear operation seven miles south of Chu Lai, A Co. of the 5th Bn., 46th Inf., suddenly encountered four North Vietnamese with AK47s and a .30 caliber machine gun moving down a trail toward them.
Renze spotted the enemy first and managed to spray them with a short burst from his rifle before leaping off the trail to safety. However, he was not fast enough to avoid being hit.
He had taken a round which almost relieved him of his belt-if not his life. The AK47 round had partially severed his pistol belt to become lodged in an M26 fragmentation grenade secured on his ammo pouch.
The grenade did not explode and neither did Renze - he simply grew a bit faint when he realized what had happened.
22Apr70-Viets Kill 23 Reds Near Dak Seang Camp
S&S Vietnam Bureau
Shortly before noon Sunday, an enemy prisoner led a reconnaissance company from the 2nd ARVN Inf. Div. to an area 27 miles west of Quang Ngai, 70 miles south southeast of Da Nang. The ARVN soldiers uncovered 117 Russian-made rifles, 50 122mm rockets, one ton of rocket propelled grenades and 170 mortar rounds, according to ARVN officials.
22Apr70-Red Gunners Bag 5 Helos in 1 Day
S&S Vietnam Bureau
A fourth UH1 fell to enemy fire in Quang Tin province 59 miles southeast of Da Nang, but resulted in no casualties, officials reported.
An OH6 light observation helicopter was destroyed early Sunday morning in Quang Ngai Province 50 miles south-southeast of Da Nang, according to American officials who said those aboard escaped safely.
22Apr70-The Grunt's Simple Needs Come First
Happiness Is Good Chow and a Hot Shower
LANDING ZONE BALDY, Vietnam (Special) - For Marines in war everything is geared to the man with the rifle in the bush - the grunt - who bears the burdens and often doesn't get much chance to reap some of the benefits of the most modern effort of war in American History. His acquaintance with air-conditioned movies, recreational facilities and other "rear area" attractions is often infrequent.
As simple as his needs and pleasures are - hot showers, food, mail, ammunition and bandages - Marines of the logistical and support commands here, such as 1st Lt. Robert Barber, division food services officer, are giving the "grunt" their best.
Barber, who works out of division headquarters in Da Nang can often be found at one of the 47 field messhalls throughout the 1st Marine Division Tactical Area of Responsibility on the inspection tours insuring that even the most outlying areas are operating smoothly.
"Our Marines are the best fed fighting men in the history of war," states Barber, obviously proud of his men in the food services field who are making such a statement possible.
"Eighty per cent of the work in a messhall is done by our personnel, with about 20 per cent of the help coming from men on mess duty. This helps keep more men behind a rifle and that's our mission here," he added.
Due to the climate and limited refrigeration, spoilage is a big problem for messhalls here and it takes a lot to stay on top of the problem.
Barber's main interests on his tours are preparation, sanitation, equipment, operational capabilities, administrative details and offering help and advice to keep the messhalls functioning at their present rate, which he termed "outstanding."
In determining credit for such a top notch operation, Barber stated that command interest and planning play a large part in the success of the messhalls.
"This was a well planned effort from the beginning. As soon as it was determined that Marines would be ere for a while, plans were formulated and effected to give the division the best mess capabilities possible.
"However, all the planning the world alone couldn't give us our end results. Much of the credit has to go to the Mess Sergeant. His role is very important to the smooth operation of the facilities and the resultant high quality production. He's also important to his unit commander when morale is taken into account.
"Next to hot showers, mail, an occasional movie and cold beer, good hot chow stands pretty high up on the grunt's priority list when he gets back from the bush."
Almost as if to punctuate Barber's commendation of the 1st Marine Div.'s messhall system, as soon as noon chow was sounded, men from a line company, recently returned from the field, raced to the messhall and their heaping plates and content stomach patting afterwards were all the substantiation Barber's "outstanding" needed.
23Apr70-Allied Troops Kill 46
-Without a Casualty
S&S Vietnam Bureau
SAIGON - Americal Div. troops teamed up with helicopter gunships to kill 24 enemy soldiers Monday, U.S. spokesmen reported.
The U.S. troops suffered no casualties as they pounded an estimated enemy company near Quang Ngai, about 75 miles southeast of Da Nang, spokesmen said.
Elsewhere, only scattered action was reported.
About 15 miles south of Da Nang in Quang Nam province, leathernecks of the
1st Marine Div. trounced a 16-man enemy group and killed 11 of them without
taking any casualties.
27Apr70-Reds Down Copter In Dak Poko Valley
S&S Vietnam Bureau
--Helicopter gunships from the Americal Div., reconnoitering and area 82 miles southeast of Da Nang, killed nine enemy soldiers.
28Apr70-Korean Troops-Aggressive, Polite and Reliable
By PFC YUNG KEUM KIM
S&S Staff Correspondent
SAIGON-"The pioneers' road is rugged and painful, but in our overcoming and pushing forward, delight and new hope is burgeoning."
That is how Gen. Lee Sae Ho, commanding general of the Republic of Korea forces in Vietnam, describes that nation's first deployment of troops to foreign soil.
Lee said it in a speech in August 1969, but when he said it he was summing up five years of combat put in on Vietnamese soil by Korean forces. And that vital experience for ROK troops is not finished. At the moment 50,000 Korean combat troops are battling the NVA and VC from as far north as Da Nang in I Corps to as far south as Saigon.
The first combat Koreans hit the beach in Vietnam on Oct. 9, 1964. They were the Blue Dragons of the 2nd ROK Marine Brigade, and they landed at Cam Ranh Bay only three weeks after they were activated back in Seoul.
The Blue Dragons' current commander, Brig. Gen. Lee Dong Yong, sums up a philosophy of fighting here that may be shared by all other Korean forces. "This brigade," the handsome, stocky general said recently, sitting in his headquarters at Hoi An, "should be aggressive like a lion, polite like a sheep for the friendly Vietnamese people and reliable among the Allies."
To date, it is fair to say, the Koreans have been just that.
The Koreans killing ratio, it has been reported, has been 15 to one. ROK's drove the enemy out of the swamp area of Binh Dinh Province in II Corps, something the French and Vietnamese could not do for 20 years of trying. To date the ROKs have killed more than 30,000 enemy troops, captured more than half as many weapons, and about 8,000 prisoners.
But as with other troops here and as with the general's philosophy, it is not all fighting with the ROKs. The have an active civic action program which takes high priority.
The Koreans teach farming, distribute farming tools and domestic animals from their units and help in the rice harvest.
The ROK's also have a sisterhood and brotherhood relationship with Vietnamese schools. Among other things, they furnish scholarships.
"Don't hesitate to save one innocent villager even if you lose a hundred enemy," is the policy to which the Koreans say they are holding.
In holding to it, the Koreans have built more than 1,500 houses and repaired some 640. They have built 137 bridges and repaired 166, built 2,825 miles of road and repaired 2,840. They have built and repaired offices, gymnasiums, churches and markets. And they have provided nearly five million Vietnamese with medical treatment.
At least part of the reason for the Koreans' sensitivity in this area is because of their own poignant memories of what war on home soil can feel like. On a recent evening, one Korean private spent an hour explaining the special feeling Koreans have for the way civilian women are treated by soldiers.
He said he felt special pangs for a Vietnamese woman he met in a village one day who told him that the child she was holding had a Korean father.
29Apr70-4GIs Killed, 12 Injured
Red Sappers, Raid U.S. Base
To the north, 2nd ARVN Inf. Div. troopers reported killing five enemy soldiers near Quang Ngai, according to a Vietnamese army spokesman.