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Army Reporter Articles 3
THE ARMY REPORTER is an authorized weekly publication of the Army, published by the information Office, U.S. Army Vietnam, APO 96375 (telephone Long Binh 4204(4819), The command newspaper circulates 85,000 copies and is printed by PACIFIC STARS AND STRIPES, Tokyo, Japan. Opinions expressed in the Army Reporter are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army. Services of the Armed Forces News Bureau and Army News Features are used.
Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, Commanding General
Lt. Gen. William J. McCaffrey, Deputy Commanding General
Col. Alfred J. Mock, Information Officer
Lt. Col. William B. Stallings, Deputy Information Officer
Capt. Karen K. Psimadis, Officer in Charge
M. Sgt. Arlan E. Wilson, NCOIC
EDITORIAL STAFF: Staff Sgt. David Wesley, Editor: Spec. 5 Charles Hanley,
Associate Editor; Spec. 5 Steve Brennan; Spec. 4 Stephan Conaway; Spec. 4
Mike Goldman; Spec. 4 Larry McQuillan, Production Staff: Spec. 5 Dale
Schriever, Chief; Spec. 4 John Hoober. Illustrator: Spec. 4 David K.
Rasweiler. Photos contributed by unit photographers and USARV
05 Oct 70- Vietnam Communiqué Oct. 12-18
Copters kill 27 near Quang Ngai
Action involving U.S. forces dropped off slightly during the week ending Oct. 18. Gunship crews from the 174th Assault Helicopter Co., supporting elements of the Americal Division nine miles south of Quang Ngai in southern Military Region I Oct. 13, killed 27 enemy soldiers in the largest engagement of the week.
In Military Region 3's Run Sat Special Zone that same day, Maddogs of the 240th Avn. Co., 22nd Combat Support Avn. Bn., were credited with the deaths of 22 Viet Cong while on a routine insertion of ARVN troops 16 miles northwest of Vung Tau. The crews also destroyed 12 structures and one sampan.
4th Inf Div
In their Military Region 2 area of operations, soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division engaged one enemy 19 miles northeast of An Khe Oct. 12. The enemy soldier was killed and one individual weapon captured.
25th Inf Div
Tropic Lightning troopers of the 25th Infantry Division killed five enemy soldiers and destroyed eight bunkers and numerous pieces of enemy supplies and materiel north and east of Cu Chi Oct. 13.
Division elements killed two enemy soldiers, detained one and found five bunkers Oct. 12.
Men from Co. C, 3rd Bn., 22nd Inf., engaged a small enemy force near Xuan Loc and killed two with small arms fire. One person was detained and two AK47 rifles were evacuated.
In another Tropic Lightning operation that day, Co. C, 2nd Bn., 12th Inf.,located and searched five bunkers north of FSB Wood, north of Cu Chi.
Golden Dragons of Co. A, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf., destroyed 15 enemy bunkers Oct.15 north of the division base camp at Cu Chi.
Americal Division soldiers of the Co. C, 1st Bn., 52nd Inf., Ready Rifles engaged an estimated enemy platoon resulting in eight enemy killed and two crew-served weapons captured Oct. 13. Helicopter gunships supporting the action were credited with three additional enemy deaths.
Division soldiers operating in Military Region 1's Quang Ngai Province uncovered two rice caches Oct. 15. Ready Rifles of Co. D, 1st Bn., 52nd Inf.,uncovered 10.8 tones of rice nine miles northwest of Quang Ngai City. Eleven miles southeast of the city, a tone of rice was found by Syke's Regulars of Co. B, 1st Bn., 20th Inf.
Division soldiers found a rice cache 10 miles southwest of Quang Ngai City Oct 18. Men of Co. B, 1st Bn., 20th Inf., uncovered the four tons of rice.
1st Avn Bde
Air crews from the 1st Aviation Brigade's 16th Air Cav., 13th Combat Avn. Bn., killed eight enemy soldiers in action Oct. 15 in Military Region 4's An Xuyen Province.
Elsewhere in the Delta region that day, D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 5th Air Cav., assigned to the 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cav., killed two enemy soldiers in actions near Vinh Long and Ben Tre.
Crews of the 16th Air Cav. killed six VC soldiers and destroyed four bunkers Oct. 14 in action in the Hatchet area of An Xuyen Province at the southern tip of the Republic. The Darkhorse pilots were pursuing one VC when he led them to the bunker and to the other five enemy.
Elements of the 16th Air Cav. killed three enemy soldiers approximately 15 miles southwest of Cau Mau Oct. 13.
In another action that day, alert gunship crews of A Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cav., killed one enemy soldier six miles southeast of Sadec.
In two separate morning encounters Oct. 17, elements of the 13th Combat Avn. Bn. made enemy contact in An Xuyen Province.
Single enemy kills were reported by air crews of the 16th Air Cav. and the 162nd Assault Helicopter Co.
1st Cav Div
Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) A Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Air Cav., engaged an enemy force of undetermined size Oct. 18. Fourteen enemy soldiers were killed and 10 bunkers and four structures were destroyed.
Men of the same unit engaged 10 enemy and killed eight Oct. 13 in an area 25 miles northwest of Bao Loc within Military Region 2. Helicopter gunships supported.
Division units killed six enemy soldiers Oct. 16 and uncovered enemy materiel and supplies Oct. 15 in a continuing cache exploitation 22 miles northeast of Phuoc Vinh in Military Region 3.
Crews from B Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cav., killed three NVA soldiers with organic helicopter fire in the morning 17 miles southeast of Song Be. Members of the Blue platoon, an airmobile rifle team, upon insertion at the contact site, detained one wounded enemy soldier and captured two AK47 rifles, one AK50 assault rifle and one K54 pistol.
Elements of the 2nd Bn., 5th Cav., Black Knights killed three VC that day in a contact with an enemy force of undetermined size 40 miles southeast of Phuoc Vinh. The initial contact was made at 10:20 a.m. and continued on and off throughout the afternoon. Black Knights countered enemy small arms fire and RPGs with artillery fire and Cobra gunships.
Probing a promising cache area 22 miles northeast of Phuoc Vinh Oct. 15, soldiers of Co. C, 1st Bn., 7th Cav., found 14 120mm mortar rounds, 140 60mm mortar rounds, 16 75mm recoilless rifle rounds, 42 82mm mortar fuses and five 120mm mortar fuses. All were destroyed.
The same Skytrooper unit--Co. A, 1st Bn., 7th Cav.--uncovered a large enemy weapons cache 24 miles northwest of Tuc Trung in Long Khanh Province, Military Region 3, Oct. 14.
02 Nov 70- VC find Professionals just like name Page 3
LZ BAYONET - In an all-night action, infantrymen from the Americal's 198th Inf. Bde., teaming up with gunships and artillery, turned back an enemy attack on their night defensive position, killed six enemy and destroyed a bunker complex northwest of Chu Lai.
Moving through heavily vegetated area, Co. D, 5th Bn., 46th Inf., came upon a group of well-constructed bunkers on a small hill overlooking to rice paddies below. Members of the company carefully began checking the area for booby traps and signs of enemy activity. Inside the structures, the Professionals found rice, other food items and clothing, and plenty of room for shelter from allied artillery attacks.
"The bunkers were capable of housing about 20 enemy soldiers during an artillery attack," said Capt. Gary Watson, company commander of Delta. "They could also take a direct hit from a 105mm round without causing much damage."
The Professionals planted explosives in each of the bunkers and after detonating the devices, it was found that another charge was needed to destroy the bunkers.
After finally destroying the bunker complex, the company moved to lower ground to set up its night defensive position. The infantrymen set up their mortars and adjusted their positions.
Then, about dark movement was detected in the woodline. The mortar platoon was instructed to place several rounds in the area.
A short time later, Pfc. Larry Stevenson and Pfc. Michael Kruse noticed two enemy soldiers crawling toward their positions. As one enemy tried to remove and emplaced claymore mine, Stevenson detonated the triggering device, killing the enemy. At the same time, the other enemy got up and attempted to escape but Kruse brought him down.
A few minutes later more movement was detected and mortars were again called on to provide explosive rounds and illumination. When the illumination rounds went up, the presence of two more enemy soldiers was revealed a short distance from the perimeter. The enemy, realizing their positions had been compromised,
attempted to evade but were killed by a barrage of small arms fire from Delta's position.
"They both ran into a clearing and they made easy targets," recalled Pfc. Richard McCall, a rifleman with the Professionals. "Our entire perimeter opened up on them."
During the remainder of the night, the enemy tried several more times to penetrate the perimeter of Co. D. Watson requested gunship support from F Troop, 9th Cav., and illumination from Btry. C, 1st Bn., 14th Arty. The illumination lit up the area while the gunships pounded the enemy position with rockets and miniguns.
"Each time the gunships left station to reload and refuel, the enemy would come in closer to the perimeter and pick up the dead bodies," recalled Lt. William Kotas a platoon leader with Delta.
The gunships stayed on station with the Professionals the remainder of the night, placing suppressive fire around the perimeter and soon began to take machine gun fire from the site of the destroyed bunker complex. The gunships returned fire on the enemy killing two and bringing the total to six enemy killed.
02 Nov 70- Photo Caption Page 5
BENEATH THE SWIRLING wash of a CH47 Chinook helicopter, men of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) wrestle a 105mm howitzer prior to an artillery raid at FSB Normandy in northern Military Region 1.
02Nov70- Photo Caption Page 12
CHINOOK BLAST turns the heads of members of the 1st Bn., 321st Arty., 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), as the CH47 from Co. C, 159th Assault Helicopter Bn., supports the operation.
02 Nov 70- Infantrymen and gunships Join, clean out NVA nest (3/21st Inf & 116th AHC) Page 12
LZ CENTER - Thirty enemy were killed in a lightning-swift air-ground assault staged by a 196th Inf. Bde. rifle company and gunships of a 16th Avn Gp. company on the homeland of the 72nd Local Forces Bn. near Ky Que Village, eight miles west-southwest of Tam Ky.
First indications of new large-scale enemy activity in the area, long a hotbed of Communist insurgency in Quang Tin Province, came at approximately 10:30 in the morning. A Stinger (116th AHC) gunship cruising over the rolling terrain studded with hedgerow-covered knolls took small arms fire from the vicinity of a large rice paddy.
The chopper crew radioed in a report of an estimated 100 enemy positioned all along the woodlines.
Co. A, under the command of Capt. Harmon E. Heed, had been sitting on LZ Center waiting to make a combat assault into another location when the order came for the company to be airlifted into the LZ without carrying their rucksacks, a new wrinkle in Gimlet tactics.
"The original plans had also called for the company to leave their rucksacks, a new wrinkle in Gimlet tactics.
"The original plans had also called for the company to leave their rucksacks on our supply pad to be hauled out to them at a later time to give our air-assaulting troops greater maneuverability immediately upon disembarking," commented Capt. John A. Cope, battalion operations officer.
As five helicopters set the company's 1st platoon down on the rice paddy shortly after 12:30 p.m., gunships cruising overhead spotted and engaged 15 enemy soldiers who had fired on the first wave of Americal Division soldiers.
As the airlift took place, Co. B, operating a mile northwest of the hot LZ, moved south to serve as a blocking force in an effort to cut off the enemy's escape routes.
The ground forces killed 15 enemy on the initial sweep up the knoll and found nine others killed by the gunships.
"After moving up the knoll about 50 yards, two guys some 20 yards to my right yelled over to me after they took fire from a patch of leafy bushes four or five feet high right next to my position," Platoon Sgt. Ronald
With his M16 on automatic, the young platoon sergeant sprayed the bushes killing four NVA soldiers. An 18-year-old female Viet Cong suspect was later captured near the would-be ambush site.
Shortly before 5 p.m. a patrol moving back to the company command post near the LZ heard voices coming from a hootch area. Raiding the hootch complex, the Gimlet troops engaged and killed 10 NVA as the enemy force attempted to flee.
Moments later, another patrol operating nearby killed one VC moving on a trail. Captured during the initial assault were two AK47s, 24 Chinese Communist grenades, two pistols, five rucksacks and an assortment of ammunition, food,medical supplies, and personal items.
The next day, while continuing their search and clear mission, a Co. A patrol spotted two enemy soldiers fleeing into a hillside bunker. After a short fire fight the enemy troops were seen leaving through an exit hole at
the rear of the structure.
02Nov70-New classes to offer hope Page 12
LAP DION - Until recently nearly 400 children of this hamlet attended elementary school irregularly as they had only one cramped classroom.
But today because of a civic actions project of the 269th Combat Avn. Bn. the children have two additional classrooms. The project was so successful that the province government decided to provide the materials for the construction of two more classrooms.
"The people of the village owe much to Col. (John) Hughes (commander of the 269th) and the men of the 269th," said Mr. Long. Tan My Village elder at the dedication ceremony. "They will never be forgotten."
The 269th provided the funds for the materials needed to build the two classrooms. The labor was provided by the villagers.
The 58th Regional Forces Gp., which is responsible for the defense of the hamlet, is providing the labor for the construction of the second two classrooms.
09 Nov 70- Vietnam communiqué Oct. 19-25 Page 2
23rd Inf Div blasts enemy platoon (Americal)
As the rainy season pounded the northern quarter of the Republic during the third week in October, contact with the enemy-concentrated in Military Regions 1 and 4-dropped off slightly.
The largest action of the week involved forces of the 23rd Infantry Division in an area nine miles northwest of Quang Ngai City in southern Military Region 1 Oct. 19.
Division troopers engaged an estimated enemy platoon, killing 26 Communist soldiers, detaining 10 suspects and capturing 10 individual weapons. Men of Co. D and the recon platoon, 1st Bn., 52nd Inf., were supported during the battle by elements of the 174th Assault Helicopter Co.
1st Cav Div
Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) E Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Air Cav., engaged and killed 12 enemy soldiers nine miles south of Dong Xoa Oct. 21 in Military Region 3.
One platoon of Skytroopers was inserted into the area, where they engaged two enemy in a bunker, killing both. Gunships of the 9th Air Cav. supporting the ground troops killed the additional 10 enemy soldiers. Two individual weapons were captured.
23rd Inf Div
Gunners of the 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division's Btry. C, 3rd Bn., 16th Arty., supported by ARVN artillery, engaged an enemy force of undetermined size Oct. 21 and killed 10 enemy soldiers. The action took place 19 miles southwest of Tam Ky in southern Military Region 1.
Americal troopers discovered a large enemy rice cache at dusk Oct. 25. Five tons of rice were found two miles south-southeast of Duc Pho in Quang Ngai Province by soldiers from Co. B, 4th Bn., 21st Inf. The locally grown, unpolished rice was in good condition and was extracted.
173rd Abn Bde
During the third week of October, paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade killed 14 enemy soldiers in scattered action throughout Binh Dinh Province.
The Sky Soldiers detained one VC suspect and three arms during the actions.
The most significant actions of the week was a combined 173rd, MACV and Regional Forces contact in Phu My District, about 20 miles north of Qui Nhon. The combined force spotted 25 enemy soldiers on the move. The RF unit was credited with five enemy dead, while the MACV element and a 173rd Hawk team accounted for five more. One of the dead enemy soldiers was identified as a member of the hard-core VC cadre in Phu My District.
1st Avn Bde
Air crews from the 1st Aviation Brigade's D Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Air Cav., engaged an enemy force of undetermined size late on the night of Oct. 23 and killed 15 of the enemy. The action occurred nine miles southwest of Hue in Military Region 1.
That same day, crews from the 173rd Assault Helicopter Co., 11th Combat Avn. Bn., killed four enemy soldiers while flying a fire support mission in Military Region 3. The gunships were supporting Regional and Popular Forces operating north of Tay Ninh.
In swift, precise maneuvers over Military Region 4 Oct. 19, elements of the 162nd Assault Helicopter Co., 13th Combat Avn. Bn., accounted for five enemy dead in a half-hour period. The Copperheads were working in an area approximately 15 miles southwest of Ca Mau.
Elements of the 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cav., reported action in their Delta area of operations Oct. 20, as Cobra gunships of D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 5th Air Cav., were credited with killing four enemy soldiers approximately three miles west of Vinh Long.
In an extended operation which carried over into the early hours of Oct. 23, elements of the 16th Air Cav., 13th Combat Avn., Bn., killed two enemy soldiers and uncovered a hidden 40-bed hospital during maneuvers in An Xuyen Province of Military Region 4.
While working in an area of the U Minh Forest just north of Thoi Binh, the Dark Horses came upon their find. It was shortly after that, in the same area, that the first enemy soldier was killed.
Later in the operation, in an area west of Ca Mau, the Darkhorses spotted a small element of enemy troops trying to evade detection. The gunships expended their ordinance, killing one VC.
Men of the 13th Combat Avn. Bn.'s 162nd Assault Helicopter Co. killed two enemy soldiers in separate encounters south of Vi Thanh in Military Region 4Oct. 21.
Air crews from the 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cav., accounted for four enemy deaths Oct. 25. Cobra strikes by A Troop five miles north of Soc Trang killed one enemy soldier. Gunship crews from C Troop discovered an enemy concentration two miles west of Vi Thanh, destroyed two bunkers and two huts and killed two VC.
While conducting a visual reconnaissance mission five miles east of Can Tho that day, crews of D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 5th Air Cav., killed one enemy soldier.
25th Inf Div
In action within their Military Region 3 area of operations Oct. 21, Tropic Lightning troopers of the 25th Infantry Division killed two enemy soldiers, found the body of another enemy soldier and uncovered a small bunker complex.
The two enemy soldiers were killed on the northern side of Nui Ba Den mountain by troopers of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Armored Cav. The other body was found by the same unit west of Dau Tieng.
Six bunkers and fighting positions were discovered near Xuan Loc by men of Co. A, 4th Bn., 23rd Inf., that day. Two bicycles were discovered in one of the bunkers.
Division units killed two enemy soldiers and found eight bunkers during operations Oct. 22.
Men of Co. B, 2nd Bn., 22nd Inf., were credited with the two enemy killed in action north of Cu Chi. One Ak47 rifle was captured in the encounter.
The bunkers were found east of FSB Kien by Co. C Wolfhounds of the 1st Bn.,27th Inf. In a thickly wooded area northeast of the Boi Loi Woods, Co. C, 2nd Bn., 22nd Inf., uncovered and destroyed eight bunkers in two separate actions. The other two bunkers were found northwest of FSB Jamie by Co. A Golden Dragons
of the 2nd Bn., 14th Inf.
Tropic Lightning units uncovered 12 bunkers and 16 fighting positions Oct. 19. The bunkers were found just east of a rubber plantation north of Cu Chi. Soldiers of A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Armored Cav., located 10 of the bunkers while the Co. C, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf., Golden Dragons found two others about a mile away.
The 16 fighting positions were found by men of Co. A of the 4th Bn., 23rd Inf. A search of a nearby bunker resulted in the uncovering of 25 pounds of medical supplies and a small assortment of ammunition and other supplies.
09 Nov 70- On former home Troops spring ambush
FSB BUTTONS - From beneath three large trees on a densely vegetated hill, Lt. John Lucas watched the abandoned FSB Betty through his field glasses.
The object of his scrutiny lay 450 yards below. Around him the 32 other members of hi unit, Echo Recon Platoon, 1st Bn., 8th Cav., 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), sat and watched the silent, stripped mound of red earth that was once the home of their battalion.
Beneath Lucas' gaze six NVA soldiers abruptly appeared and walked into the base, searching the torn bunkers and deep ditches for items left behind by American troops when the Cav had pulled out just three days earlier.
The vigil was over. Lucas called FSB Snuffy, a few miles away, for Cobra gunships and fed instructions to the 155mm howitzers there.
While Lucas planned, the NVA roamed the base apparently unconcerned about being in the open under a bright sun. One soldier wearing a white T-shirt stood on an oil drum gesticulating like a traffic cop to his subordinates as he indicated the spots he wanted searched.
He was still giving orders when Cobras appeared in the sky. Seemingly, the NVA ignored the helicopters until the sleek ships rolled in on a rocket run.
When the shooting was over, a platoon from Co. B, 5th Bn., 7th Cav., was inserted in support of Echo Recon. They found one enemy soldier, an AK47 lying beside him, but there were no signs of the others.
Late in the afternoon, the two platoons swept over the area, dropping fragmentation grenades into the underground bunkers. Then the two platoons secured the base for the night.
The following morning Lucas sent his men out once more to patrol the interior of the installation. He told them to search inside the bunkers.
As Sgt. Bill Arnold passed a long deep trench in the center of the base, he spotted a figure beneath a pile of wooden planks and other debris. As he moved down to investigate, an unarmed NVA soldier jumped up.
Arnold, his finger tight against the trigger of his M16 yelled, "Chieu Hoi," at the man, practically ordering him to surrender. However, the soldier had his hands up, and was yelling, "Chieu Hoi," too, so he apparently had no intention of arguing.
The NVA was detained, and in the ditch was found his almost-new rifle. The detainee, his green fatigues covered in a layer of grayish mud, had only a few pounds of rice and boxes of candy to eat.
That afternoon he was brought here to FSB Buttons for interrogation and Co. B returned to Snuffy. Echo Recon returned to its silent vigil on the hill to wait for another group of curious enemy soldiers.
09Nov70- Photo Caption Page 5
STRAINING FOR ALL they're worth, Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) shove a heavy load into a CH47 Chinook helicopter duringa recent operation in northern Military Region 1, their area of operations.
09Nov70- Photo Caption Page 11
LOOKING LIKE DANCERS in a mechanized ballet, UH1 (Huey) helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division (Airbmobile), lift off from Camp Sally during an operation in the Republic of Vietnam's northern Military Region 1.
09Nov70- 101st 'Outstanding Aviation Unit' Page 11
CAMP EAGLE - The 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) has been named the Outstanding Aviation Unit of the Year for 1969 and 1970.
The trophy was presented at the Army Aviation Association of America
convention in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 16.
The division was selected as the top aviation unit for its achievements from April 1, 1969, to March 31, 1970.
The award, sponsored by the Aircraft Division of Hughes Tool Co., Culver City, Calif., is presented annually to a selected aviation unit for outstanding contribution to, or innovation in, the employment of Army aviation over and above the normal mission assigned to the unit.
The five criteria established as a basis for selection of the outstanding unit are tactics, training, doctrine, technology and safety.
Several examples of the division's "over and above" normal mission requirements and innovations in aircraft employment highlight the period for which the award was made.
During that year, Screaming Eagles provided tactical, operational and logistical support to the Americal Division; 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (ARVN); and numerous local Regional and Popular Force units.
In September 1969, the division initiated Operation Lifesaver. The basic plan was to create suitable emergency landing zones throughout the division's area of operation. In seven months, 140 Lifesaver landing zones were constructed, which provided readily accessible area for medical evacuation and emergency landings.
In November 1969, Co. A, 101st Avn. Bn., was redesignated F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cav. It was necessary to retrain all pilots in different aircraft and in air cavalry tactical concepts. Within one month, new aircraft were received, the training was completed and the troop operational.
A high state of flexibility was again demonstrated in March 1970 when the same troop was reconverted to Co. A, 101st Avn Bn. The reconversion was completed in just two weeks.
An airmobility school, including instruction in aerial rocket artillery, tactical air support and aeromedical evacuation, was established to familiarize commanders and staff officers with the policies, procedures and techniques of airmobility. From April 1969 to March 1970, 320 officers and NCOs from the division and attached units attended the course. In addition more than 200 ARVN soldiers attended a similar course.
Two other schools were also established during the year by ..missing line..the 101st flight standardization board: an OH6A pilot transition course and a UH1 instructor pilot course. The courses lifted the burden of pilot training from unit commanders and gave the division a standardized course of instruction for pilots.
Further testimony of the outstanding air year of the Screaming Eagles was the fact that the division's air traffic control platoon, which controls all air traffic in the 101st area of operations, and which handled more than
760,000 takeoffs and landings at one location (the division headquarters base,Camp Eagle), was credited with the safe return of 11 aircraft during poor weather conditions.
The Outstanding Aviation Unit of the Year award was initiated in 1960. In its 10-year history, this is the third time a division-size unit has won the award.
09Nov70- Safety officer aids aviators Page 11
CHU LAI - The last thing 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division aviators need is their own carelessness or thoughtlessness working against them. It's the job of the division aviation safety officer to make sure the aviators don't terminate their careers early.
Capt. Edward L. Conner, the division's safety officer, is a professional Army aviator with six years experience.
Conner and CWO James Sims begin their day at 5:30 a.m., checking flightlines of some of the aviation companies at Chu Lai. They look for safety hazards in the hangars and aircraft revetments and make sure that aviators are performing thorough preflight inspections on their aircraft.
"Some of our young aviators tend to become lax in their preflights, forgetting how important they can be," Sims said.
"If we have a series of mishaps caused by poor preflights, we start seeing aviators performing thorough inspections of their aircraft before cranking up," Conner said.
After a tour of one or two flightlines, the rest of the day may be spent with briefing new flyers, inspecting LZs and refueling points in the division, or flying around the area of operations looking for aviators operating their
While riding up to 16th Combat Avn. Gp. headquarters, Conner cast a critical eye at an aircraft overhead. The pilot was making a tight 90-degree turn, slipping at low altitude. A moment later he recovered and leveled out again.
If he had continued, he might have received a nasty phone call.
Conner is one of two officers in the 16th Group who can ground a flyer on the spot. The other is Col. B. S. Silver, 16th commander.
"The man we have to watch out for has about 1,000 flying hours and about 10 months in-country. He figures he has it made and sits back-he's complacent," Sims said.
"For the first two or three months, he's still striving for complete mastery of the aircraft," Conner pointed out.
"After he's proficient with the aircraft, he can start looking out the window and reading a map. He has to learn to area of operations-terrain features, LZs, known 'hot' spots and safe areas for emergency or precautionary landings," Conner explained.
By his fifth month, the aviator is qualified as an aircraft commander, and may figure he has it made.
"That's his most vulnerable time. He tends to get careless and lax," Conner said.
So the safety officers talk to each aviator every 90 days, hoping to make the fliers aware of their own changing attitudes. They also use the opportunity to dispel "myths" that crop up about aircraft and flying
techniques, and review air and ground safety procedures to be sure they're being practiced.
In addition to investigating accidents and incidents, the safety officers coordinate closely with the standardization officer for the 16th Capt. William J. Edwards. His job is to be sure that all aviators in the unit
have attained and maintain a degree of proficiency.
16 Nov 70- In Military Region 1 Page 1
ARA unit supports ARVN
CAMP EVANS - During a summer of extensive enemy conflict in northern Military Region 1, the 3rd Bde., 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), area of operations was guarded from the air by the watchful eyes of a battery of Cobra helicopters.
Btry. C, 4th Bn., 77th Aerial Rocket Arty., is on constant call to all allied units working in the brigade's tactical area.
During the summer, the ARA battery is worked closely with the 1st ARVN Infantry Division in and around the Fire Support Base O'Reilly area. In the months of August and September, when the fighting near O'Reilly was the heaviest, Charlie Battery flew more than 140 fire missions for the ARVNs,killing an estimated 300 North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers.
The ARA unit is one of the first in the 101st to work so closely with the South Vietnamese soldiers.
The mission of Charlie Battery is to provide artillery support to ground units in close contact with the enemy. They also assist in the preparation of landing zones.
"We really enjoy flying missions for the ARVNs," said Lt. Donald L. Scott, the battery operations officer. "They appreciate in a big way the support we give them."
"To eliminate the language barrier, the ARVNs are usually accompanied by an Australian or American adviser who acts as the radio telephone operator," said Scott.
"Once our own RTO receives a request for artillery support, the Cobra pilot has two minutes to get his bird in the air," added the operations officer.
"Once airborne, he is briefed on the location and details."
In July, the Griffins, flying a combined mission with two other batteries,killed more than 100 enemy soldiers in actions west of Khe Sanh.
"To the troops on the ground we're known as Sweet Griffin," said Scott. I guess it's because of our record." Since the beginning of 1970, Btry. C has been credited with more than 830 enemy kills with aerial rocket artillery.
"Being a good ARA unit requires the combined effort of the pilots, crew chiefs, the mechanics and RTOs," said Capt. Stephan L. Proctor, battery executive officer, "and we think we are the best ARA battery around."
16 Nov 70-Photo Caption Page 1
UPON INSERTION, Bobcats of the 25th Infantry Division's 1st Bn., 5th Inf., scurry for cover after leaving their ship on an operation near Bearcat.
16Nov70- Vietnam communiqué Oct. 26-Nov. 1 Page 2
Artymen allies repel LZ attack
Battle action involving U.S. forces continued light through the week ending Nov. 1, with the largest contact occurring in Military Region 2 Pleiku Province Oct. 29.
In that action, an element of the 52nd Arty. Gp. and ARVN and Regional Forces units, located at LZ Oasis, 16 miles southwest of Pleiku City, received approximately 40 rounds of 82mm mortar fire and rocket grenades. The indirect fire attack was followed by a ground probe by an enemy force of undetermined size.
Helicopter gunships supported the allies during the contact, which continued for almost five hours. Enemy losses were 14 killed and the allies captured eight crew-served weapons and seven individual weapons.
1st Avn Bde
Air crews of the 1st Aviation Brigade's 16th Air Cav., 13th Combat Avn. Bn., killed five VC Oct. 27 in southern Military Region 4.
In a late afternoon action, the Darkhorses spotted enemy troops in an area south of Viet Cong Lake within An Xuyen Province. The light observation helicopter crews fired upon the enemy, killing five. In addition, 18
structures were destroyed during the day's operations.
In an all-day operation within the southern Delta area Oct. 28, gunship crews of the 16th Air Cav. accounted for four enemy killed. The Darkhorses also destroyed 15 enemy structures.
Aviators of the 16th killed one enemy soldier in Phong Dinh Province Oct. 31.
Light observation helicopters from the 16th Air Cav. killed one VC Nov. 1.
Elements of K Troop of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment received approximately 30 mixed RPGs and 60mm mortar and 75mm recoilless rifle rounds five miles southeast of Military Region 3's Lai Khe Oct. 30.
Artillery was called in for support, and two enemy soldiers were killed, while one individual weapon and one crew-served weapon were captured.
25th Inf. Div
Tropic Lightning troopers of the 25th Infantry Division killed three enemy soldiers and uncovered 35 enemy bunkers Oct. 27 north of Cu Chi in Military Region 3.
Two enemy soldiers were killed by men of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Armored Cav.,in the Crescent area. One AK47 rifle, three rucksacks and 30 pounds of rice were taken in that action. In an area nearby, five bunkers were found by Co. B Warriors of the 2nd Bn., 12th Inf.
In other action that day, 30 bunkers were found north of FSB Kien by Co. D Wolfhounds of the 1st Bn., 27th Inf., in the Hobo Woods.
Division elements killed two enemy soldiers and captured their weapons Oct. 28.
One enemy soldier was killed by men of the 3rd Bn., 22nd Inf., during a brief skirmish northwest of FSB Schwartz near Xuan Loc. The other was killed by men of the 2nd Bn., 22nd Inf., southeast of FSB Redleg.
Tropic Lightning soldiers killed one enemy and destroyed 20 bunkers in continued light action near Xuan Loc Oct. 29.
1st Cav Div
Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) found a cache containing enemy weapons 22 miles northwest of Tuc Trung in Military Region 3 Oct. 28.
The find by men of the 1st Bn., 7th Cav., included 49 individual weapons, 56 individual weapon barrels, three crew-served weapons, three complete wheel mounts for heavy machine guns, five M60 machine gun bipods, one 20-pound mine, two mine detectors, 13 mortar rounds, 12 75mm recoilless rifle rounds, 30 60mm mortar bipods and 120 60mm fuzes.
A Skytrooper element found a cache containing ammunition nine miles northwest of Dong Bo Oct. 29.
Men from a reconnaissance element of the 1st Bn., 7th Cav., reported finding 309 82mm mortar rounds, 108 120mm mortar rounds, 21,600 rounds of small arms ammunition, 20,635 .51-caliber rounds, two boxes of antipersonnel mines and eight hand grenades. The cache was evacuated.
The Cavmen reported finding: 2.2 tons of C4 explosive, 600 blocks of TNT, 105 82mm mortar rounds, 1,200 hand grenades, nine 75mm howitzer rounds, two 75mm recoilless rifle rounds and 2,200 small arms rounds.
23rd Inf Div (Americal)
An element of the 23rd Infantry Division's 196th Inf. Bde. exchanged small arms and automatic weapons fire with an enemy force of undetermined size six miles southwest of Tam Ky in Quang Tin Province Oct. 26. Four enemy soldiers were killed in the action and a fifth was detained.
101st Abn Div
In their Military Region 1 Region of operations Nov. 1, elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) uncovered a well-stocked enemy munitions cache 14 miles northeast of A Shau. The cache contained 132 60mm rounds, 11 82mm mortar rounds, 5,000 small arms rounds, five RPGs, 500 pounds of C3 explosive and 1,430 undetermined-type firing devices.
16 Nov 70-Photo Caption - Page 8
ENEMY BOOBY TRAPS hidden in thick brush cause combined-force casualties for these troops working about one mile east of Trung Lap village. A 25th ARVN Division Soldier is being placed on the chopper (left) while a member of the 2nd Bn., 22nd Inf., 25th Infantry Division, prepares to board on the right side.
16 Nov 70-Photo Caption - Page 12
A FAMILIAR SIGHT to nearly every infantryman in Vietnam is the log bird, such as this 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) chopper seen settling into a clearing with fresh supplies.
16 Nov 70-Army aviation assets proficiently aid Vietnamese - Page 12
BIEN HOA - Several events in the past few weeks have clearly exhibited Army participation in President Nixon's announced policy of Vietnamization.
Most evident of these events has been the transfer of aviation assets from three U.S. Army helicopter companies to the Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF).
However, many other Army aviation units are doing their part to insure that the VNAF will soon possess the aviation capability to defend themselves against aggression.
One such unit is the 68th Avn. Co. (assault Helicopter) at Bien Hoa. There are 18 VNAF pilots currently training with the 68th Top Tigers.
Explaining the training program, Maj. Bobbie G. Pedigo says the VNAF pilots came to his unit after completing pilot training courses in the United States.
"They took the same training as our Army pilots in their stateside program," he continued. "And when they arrived here they got the same in-country orientation ride that our pilots receive.
"After the orientation ride they flew with an IP (instructor pilot) to get the feel of the aircraft following the layoff after flight school Following a few days of flight with an IP, the length depends on the individual, they
began flying direct combat support (DCS) with an IP."
After flying with an IP for three or four days, the VNAF pilots were then released to fly with an aircraft commander on DCS missions. With several such missions completed, they began flying combat assault missions, first with an instructor pilot and then with one of the aircraft commanders.
Pedigo says that the training program is designed to last about 60 days.
"This will take them up to about 250 hours' flight time. At this point they should be completely capable of flying their own missions," he adds.
Army officials explain that the VNAF pilots training with them are all second lieutenants; most of them have less than two years' service. Like their American counterparts, a majority of their service time has been spent
Pedigo says that the Vietnamese pilots receive no favoritism or special consideration when they are flying with American aircraft commanders.
"They are given a job and expected to fulfill it. Whether they are actually flying the aircraft or serving as copilot, they are required to utilize all their flight skills in a professional manner."
The instructor pilots of the 68th have expressed high praise for the Vietnamese students. "They are mastering the complex task of piloting the utility (UH1H Huey) helicopter one Army pilot proudly stated.
Aviation skills are not the only areas in which the VNAF pilots have surprised and impressed their American counterparts.
Pedigo points out that a language barrier was anticipated when the Vietnamese pilot joined his unit. No such problem arose, however.
"As a matter of fact, all the Vietnamese pilots speak fluent English," he admitted. "To preclude any sort of language barrier, which could be a serious problem in the aircraft, the Vietnamese pilots attended an English course before they were released to attend flight school."
From all reports, the American and Vietnamese pilots quickly developed a friendly working rapport in the aircraft.
One American pilot relates that between missions conversations in the cockpit differ little from those of two pilots anywhere. Such exchanges tend to bridge the cultural gap and range from daily life to the armed forces.
The working rapport goes hand-in-hand with an "esprit de corps" of the VNAF pilots, according to Pedigo.
"Those men are proud to be pilots and they are proud to fly with our company," he says. "When they first arrived here, a pilot was kidding a couple of them about putting Top Tiger patches on their flight suits. To
everyone's surprise, they unzippered their pockets and revealed several patches ready to be sewn on."
He further commented that there is a definite enthusiasm from both parties involved.
23 Nov 70-Chopper jockeys save thousands
QUI NHON - Thousands were saved the first of this month from rising flood waters in the stricken Binh Dinh Province by helicopters of the 17th Combat Aviation Gp.'s 223rd Aviation Bn.
A battalion spokesman said the effort was the largest search and rescue operation ever conducted in Vietnam.
Pilots and crewmen of the unit's 61st and 129th Assault Helicopter Companies rescued a total of 2,949 people and 53.5 tons of their belongingsOct. 31 and Nov. 1.
The flooding came as more than 20 inches of rain fell in a six-day period, half of it coming in nine hours Friday night and Saturday morning.
Streams overflowed and people fled to rooftops or the nearest high ground.
The helicopters, alerted Saturday by MACV advisers, began evacuations of civilians in trouble. Pilots of the two companies, sent out to villages, often found people in need of help even before reaching the intended
destination, and worked long hours in near-impossible conditions of wind and rain.
To rescue those perched on rooftops, two methods were used. Where possible, the crew chief got out and helped the flood victims.
Where this was not possible, people were virtually thrown into the wide doorway so the UH1H. For adults, two or three men swung them like sacks of wheat to safety.
A 61st Helicopter piloted by WOs Robert T. Ford and Gerald E. Gray found a truck carrying soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division washed off the road and floundering.
The two hovered the helicopter so that its bell sat in the water, and the crewmen, Spec. 4 Steven R, Landaker and Pfc. Danny H. Furr began hauling in the troopers.
23 Nov70 -Ready Rifles kill 6, detain one VC
LZ BAYONET - Infantrymen from the 23rd Infantry Division's 198th Inf. Bde. working with Cobra gunships from the 176th Avn. Co., overcame heavy enemy resistance and then trapped a Viet Cong element to kill six enemy, detain one and capture two individual weapons in the Vin Tuy Valley northwest of Quang Ngai.
Co. C, 1st Bn., 52nd Inf., had just completed a helicopter assault into the area when the unit began taking heavy enemy fire from a nearby treeline to the north. The Ready Rifles returned fire and quickly dispersed the enemy element.
"We saw one VC in a tree when the firing started, but when we returned fire in that direction, he leaped down and started running," said Spec. 4 Floyd W. Gibbs, a radio operator for Charlie Company. "I didn't see any others but we were also taking pretty heavy fire from the woodline."
The Ready Rifles started sweeping the area of contact in pursuit of the enemy soldiers, but an aerial observer spotted several Viet Cong moving onto a bunker in a different direction. The observer contacted Co. C and gave the location of the bunker site. The ground element then shifted its route of travel and closed in on the enemy location.
"When we got to the bunker we began receiving fire again. So we assaulted their position," Gibbs said.
When the Ready Rifles approached a small hootch adjacent to the bunker, a Viet Cong inside the hootch began firing through a small window. Pfc James McDuffie opened up with his machine gun, killing the enemy.
When we got close enough we started throwing hand grenades and firing M79 grenade rounds into the opening of the bunker until all the enemy firing had stopped," said Gibbs.
Meanwhile, gunships from the 176th Avn. Co. were blasting the area to the immediate north with grenade, rocket and minigun fire.
A total of six enemy had been killed in the fighting, and one enemy detained. Two individual weapons were confiscated.
23 Nov 70-South of Quang Ngai Monsoon's floods endanger outpost
NGHIA HANH - Engineers and aviators of the 23rd Infantry Division teamed up with MACV advisory personnel to bring needed supplies to a flood surrounded outpost five miles south of Quang Ngai early this month.
They evacuated Montagnard families from their isolated positions to feed and shelter them at the district headquarters on higher ground, using the flood that caused the problem as the avenue of approach to the stranded families.
The Phuoc Giang River rose during the night after torrential rains. The mountains ringing the "rice bowl" west of Nghia Hanh District headquarters shook off the rain and the water began its flooding run to the sea, 10 miles away.
Normally, the river runs through Nghia Hanh in one large channel, but because of the heavy rains, the Phuoc Giang left its banks far upstream. It covered miles of rice fields and villages, sweeping away many of the bamboo, straw and mud homes of the rice bowl farmers.
The small Montagnard outpost near An Phuoc hamlet was surrounded by deep water. The wives and children of the strongpoint's defenders huddled together atop bunkers and fortifications. They had climbed above the protective cover, leaving them exposed to the elements - and any Viet Cong in the area.
Enemy attacks on the small outpost are frequent, but the hardy Montagnard tribesmen fend off the Viet Cong. Their families in the bunkers inspire them to hold their position, but with the floods, their families had no protection if the Viet Cong should strike.
The high water kept the soldier's families trapped, unable to reach a nearby village where they might find food and shelter.
The flooded resupply road that parallels the road was impassable. Men of the 26th Engr. Bn. gathered their gear together and left a field position near the mouth of the Tra Khuc River to the west.
They were to be airlifted by the 176th Assault Helicopter Co. "We got the word that it was a tactical emergency, which is a voluntary mission," said Lt. Joseph C. Gross, aircraft commander of one of the two
ships on the mission. "To get to the engineers, we had to hover down Highway 1 at about 30 knots air speed. Visibility was about a mile, but the ceiling was only about 200 feet."
In spite of the adverse conditions, they reached the engineer compound by the sea.
Once their ship was loaded with engineers and their equipment, Gross and the pilot, Lt. Clifford Brock, turned their ship toward Nghia Hanh District headquarters, where they and another ship unloaded the engineers, equipment and 1,000 pounds of rice. The pilots carefully set their aircraft down on the submerged helipad at the headquarters compound.
"There were four or five inches of water on the chopper pad where we landed. It was the only place we could land around there," said Sgt. Jerry Furlong of Co. E, 26th Engr. Bn.
The engineers transferred their equipment to a truck and moved out toward the bank of the river. "We rolled as far as we could, then inflated and launched our boat," said Furlong.
The party of five engineers then began their hour-long fight against the strong current. Spec. 4 John W. Watkins and Pfc. Wells J. Caster helped maneuver the small craft as Capt. Mark E. Bacon kept track of the party's position.
The banks of the 40-foot-wide river. screened by thick trees and brush, made flank security a problem. Large trees and clumps of bamboo overhung the river in some places. "It's a spooky place to be," said Spec. 4 Gary M. Suits.
The engineers beached their craft at the outpost and began unloading bread to give the defenders something to eat immediately, then returned downstream for another load. Toward later afternoon, they prepared to evacuate the dependents to the district headquarters compound.
By that time, the helicopters were running low on fuel, and night was falling quickly in the shadow of the mountains. Because of the time,the pilots decided not to make the refueling run and safely evacuated the
80 dependents in just three trips.
The engineers and dependents remained at the headquarters compound until the waterreceded three days later. During the first night, the Americans passed out food and blankets to the women and children.
Many of the soldiers of MACV Team 17 slept without blankets so the Montagnard families could have them.
23 Nov 70- Vietnam communiqué Nov. 2-Nov. 8 Page 2
Delta crews rip Hatchet Head VC
Battle action involving Army units jumped slightly during the first week in November, a week marked also by rescue, evacuation and clean-up operations in the flooded northern half of the Republic.
The largest contact with the enemy occurred Nov. 5 within Military Region 4, when elements of the 13th Combat Avn. Bn., in support of ARVN forces, accounted for a total of 19 enemy soldiers killed in sporadic encounters.
In the Hatchet Head area south of the U Minh Forest, Darkhorses of the 16th Air Cav. killed 11 VC in an afternoon contact.
After light observation helicopters spotted one VC in a hole and closer investigation turned up a string of bunkers, Cobra gunships were called in. The gunships made three air strikes into the area, killing the 11 enemy soldiers.
Earlier that morning, LOHs from the same unit spotted movement near the mouth of a river approximately five miles southwest of the Hatchet Head area.The helicopter crews fired on the enemy and killed four of them.
The last contact of the day involving the Darkhorses came in the evening south of Can Tho. LOH crews killed one VC in a woodline.
Elsewhere in southern Military Region 4 that day, the Vultures of the 162nd Assault Helicopter Co., 13th Combat Avn. Bn., saw morning action northeast of Thoi Dinh. The Vulture gunships were credited with killing three enemy soldiers.
1st Avn Bde
Prowling aircraft of the 1st Aviation Brigade accounted for a total of 16 enemy soldiers killed Nov. 3.
In a morning action that day, while flying along a river west of Long Thanh in Military Region 4, gunship crews of the 240th Assault Helicopter Co., 222nd Combat Avn. B., spotted a suspected enemy sampan floating close to shore. Five VC suddenly jumped from the sampan, ran into heavy brush nearby and fired upon
the hovering helicopters. The crews of the aircraft responded with retaliatory fire, killing four of the soldiers. Shortly afterward, the fifth VC was fired upon and killed while attempting to cross the river camouflaged beneath a floating bush.
One additional VC was killed that day in An Xuyen Province by the Darkhorses of the 16th Air Cav., 13th Combat Avn. Bn.
In Military Region 2 that day, a light observation helicopter from A Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Air Cav., received ground-to-air fire from an enemy force of undetermined size in Pleiku Province. An air strike was directed on the enemy location, killing 10 enemy soldiers.
Men of the 164th Combat Avn. Gp.'s C Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cav., killed nine enemy soldiers 14 miles southwest of Can Tho Nov. 6. Another group element, C Troop, 16th Air Cav., 13th Combat Avn. Bn., killed two enemy soldiers Nov. 5, while supporting elements of the 2nd Bn., 33rd ARVN Inf., 18 miles southwest of Ca Mau in southern Military Region 4.
Elements of the 240th Avn. Co., 222nd Combat Avn. Bn., killed five VC Nov. 7 in an area 15 miles southeast of Nha Be in Military Region 3. The gunships were flying in support of the Rung Sat Special A Zone.
In two separate encounters within Military Region 4 that day, the Darkhorses of the 16th Air Cav. accounted for four enemy dead while operating in An Xuyen Province.
In the morning's first action, the Darkhorse's lead gunships spotted enemy troops trying to evade detection while operating northwest of Kien Long. LOHs descended on the area, killing two enemy soldiers.
Later in the morning, 16th Air Cav. gun crews were flying southeast of Viet Cong Lake when they detected movement on the ground. Taking a closer look, they found and killed two VC in a bunker.
In Delta region action Nov. 2, Cobra gun crews from the 162nd Assault Helicopter Co., 13th Combat Avn. Bn., killed one enemy soldier in An Xuyen Province.
Two days later, crews from the same unit killed another enemy soldier in the province.
Darkhorses of the 16th Air Cav. killed another VC soldier Nov. 8 in An Xuyen Province.
101st Abn Div
Units of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) were inserted into mountainous jungles about 18 miles southwest of Hue in northern Military Region 1 Nov. 5. While moving through the jungles, men of the 1st Bn.,
327th Inf., came upon an enemy machine gun position manned by four NVA soldiers. Cobra gunships called in from B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Air Cav., destroyed the position and killed all four enemy. Troops on the ground killed all three additional enemy soldiers during the day.
Screaming Eagles found an enemy bunker complex and cache site consisting of 18 60mm mortar rounds, three 82mm mortar rounds and undetermined amount of 7.62mm ammunition Nov. 8.
Elements of Co. C, 2nd Bn., 506th Inf., discovered the 80-bunker complex while on a reconnaissance mission about 20 miles west of Hue. The bunkers contained medical supplies, cooking utensils and clothing. The munitions were found in a hut booby-trapped with a quarter-pound explosive. Fresh trails indicated recent enemy activity but search and clear operations by men of the 506th Inf. brought no contact with enemy forces.
23rd Inf Div
In Military Region 1's Quang Tin Province, an element of the 196th Inf. Bde., 23rd Infantry Division, engaged an enemy force of undetermined size Nov. 2. helicopter gunships supported the brief action, which occurred 27 miles southwest of Tam Ky. Enemy losses were four killed and three individual weapons were captured.
Division elements discovered two caches totaling 4.8 tons of rice Nov. 5 and 6.
Men of Co. C, 1st Bn., 20th Inf., found 2.8 tons of rice Nov. 5 while operating 11 miles south of Quang Ngai. The second cache, weighing two tons, was uncovered Nov. 6, two miles southeast of Duc Pho by soldiers of
the 4th Bn., 21st Inf. Both caches were evacuated.
Elements of the 1st Bn., 20th Inf., found 11 enemy bodies in graves six miles northwest of Duc Pho Nov. 8. They were believed to have been killed during a ground contact the previous day.
25th Inf Div
One enemy soldier was killed and 13 bunkers were destroyed by the 25th Infantry Division soldiers near FSB Kien north of the Boi Loi Woods Nov. 5.The enemy soldier was killed in a brief contact by Co. C Wolfhounds of the 1st Bn., 27th Inf. One AK47 rifle and a VC rucksack were captured.
In other Tropic Lightning action that day, five bunkers were destroyed by men of D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cav., and an additional eight bunkers were destroyed by soldiers of Co. D, 1st Bn., 27th Inf.
An element of the division's 2nd Bde. received small arms and automatic weapons fire from an enemy force of undetermined size five miles southwest of Xuan Loc in Military Region 3's Long Khanh Province Nov. 2. Artillery and helicopter gunships supported the 10-minute action, in which enemy losses were not determined immediately.
4th Inf Div
In their Military Region 2 area of operations Nov. 5, an element of the 4th Infantry Division uncovered a rice cache 23 miles northwest of Cheo Reo. A Troop soldiers of the 7th Squadron, 17th Air Cav., found 1.5 tons of rice,which was extracted.
1st Cav Div
Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) uncovered a rice cache Nov. 2 in Military Region 3s Binh Tuy Province.
Men of Co. B, 2nd Bn., 5th Cav., found a structure containing approximately three tons of rice 16 miles north of Tanh Linh.
23 Nov 70- Photo Caption Page 2
A QUICK EXIT from a 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) chopper means a quick entrance into combat.
23 Nov 70- Large cache uncovered by Cav's 1/7th Page 3
FIRE SUPPORT BASE GREEN - Six miles from this fire base in Long Kanh Province, the 1st Air Cavalry Division (Airmobile) has uncovered one of the largest enemy caches ever found in western War Zone D.
The items were found at several locations in the same area over a period of several days. The first day's find was by Co. A, 1st Bn., 7th Cav., and the 1st platoon of Co. C. Alpha's 2nd platoon and the Charlie Company platoon had been brought in to temporarily replace the 1st platoon of Alpha after it had run into an ambush early in the morning.
Traveling up a hill, the Skytroopers found fresh sandal prints in the mud.
Pfc. Wayne Hadley was walking point for the 2nd platoon when he heard movement to the left of the trail. "We moved behind a cluster of bamboo. We didn't see any enemy, but there was a hootch in a small clearing," said Hadley.
No sooner had the cavalrymen found the hootch when an enemy soldier ran out in front of them. Both Hadley and his back-up man emptied their clips into the running man and prepared for contact. "Everybody in our platoon got on line and popped smoke for the Cobras that rolled to help us out," said Hadley.
When the firing had ceased, the men moved forward to find a small amount of equipment inside the hootch. Moving on, it wasn't long before the cavalrymen found another hootch just to the right of the trail.
"We were amazed when we went inside to find it crammed with more weapons and ammunition than most of us had ever seen before," said Spec. 4 Barry Conte, the man who had first spotted the small building.
Inside the building was one 12.7mm heavy machine gun, two 107mm rockets, 42 82mm mortar rounds, more than 200 rifle grenades, 117 B41 rocket boosters,and 100 pounds of explosive.
On the same day, at a location several miles away, Co. D found more than 500 mortar rounds ranging in size from 60mm to 120mm.
At the hootch site, an LZ was cut and, with darkness approaching, a perimeter guard established to protect the booty until a bird could come and pick it up in the morning.
The following morning Co. A's 1st platoon linked up with the other two platoons at the cache and patrol around the area was made. It was a valuable sweep, for another cache was discovered, this one in an underground tunnel complex.
Inside, the men were staggered to find five of the deadly 12.7mm heavy machine guns, type 54, that have proven to be the weapons most feared by Army aviators. A huge stack of 60mm mortar tubes, 47 in all, was also inside the cache, along with 11 .30-cal. machine guns, 36 assault machine guns, 13 AK-47 rifles, 100 SKS rifles and 77 CKC rifles. Co C, continuing to excavate the cache they'd found seven kilometers away along the Song Mada river, discovered an additional 100 mortar rounds.
The search through the huge cache complex continued. Four days after the initial find, Alpha found 185 82 mortar rounds, 56 B41 rounds, more than 500 rifle grenades, and 100 pounds of plastic explosives. At the location of Delta's earlier caches, Co. C came up with 73 more 120mm mortar rounds, 41 82mm rounds, 23 60mm rounds and 16 75mm recoilless rifle rounds.
Apparently into a vital cache complex, the 1st Cav units continued to scour the jungle for further finds, but already the discovery had proven to be one of the most damaging material losses the enemy had ever suffered in the region.
23Nov70- Amateur air enthusiasts flip over model fly-in
PHU HIEP - When the local Sand Pebbles Service Club sponsored a model airplane fly-in, Phantomhawks from the 225th Avn. Co. turned out in strength.
The phantomhawks of the 17th Combat Avn. Gp.'s 223rd Avn. Bn. entered model aircraft of every description. There were sporty control-line "profiles," scale planes, and even a big control-line B29 with four engines.
A large biplane was the lone radio-control entry. Capt. Joel A. Koch began the event with a display of model aerobatics. His skill was evident not only in the performance of rapid and complex maneuver,s but also in his never-failing ability to land this aircraft, empty of fuel, on its back without damage.
Sgt. Steven J. Anders was not so lucky. His radio-controlled Sopwith Camel taxied gracefully onto the runway, but a gust of wind stalled the plane at liftoff, inverted it and dashed it into three pieces.
The next flight scheduled was the maiden trial of the "Enola Gay," a huge B-29 bomber model belonging to Capt. Terry R. Brown.
The eyes of the crowd riveted on Koch, the test pilot at the controls. The four engines started, roared loudly, and the huge model leaped from the launcher's hands, climbing into the air before it had covered 60 feet of
The crowd held its breath as the model gained altitude, then gasped. The bomber crashed into a jeep which had been parked on the runway between flights. The crash, which had occurred despite Koch's fast reflexes, totally destroyed the plane.
A small-scale Corsair, finished by WO David C. Wiggins, carried off appearance awards, but the owner, perhaps influenced by the previously ill-fated flights vowed never to fly his plane again.
The overall effect of the afternoon was a colorful - if heartrending - display of model aviation skills by the Phantomhawks of Phu Hiep.
23 Nov 70- Copters scoop ROKs from floodwaters Page 12
QUI NHON - The recent torrential rains of tropical storm Katy caused many people in Vietnam inconvenience. Rooms were flooded, electricity often failed and flights were postponed.
But to 33 soldiers of the Republic of Korea (ROK) forces, the storm was more than an inconvenience. To them, it would have been a tragedy had it not been for some timely help from the 17th Combat Avn. Gp.'s 129th Assault Helicopter Co., 223rd Combat Avn. Bn.
A 12-man patrol had been out 10 miles west of Qui Nhon overnight in the storm. They put up with the problems of monsoon operations, but in the early morning hours a nearby stream started to overflow its banks, cutting them off.
A call went out to the 129th headquarters for a flare ship to light the way out, but the dark, wind and rain ruled out any flights at the time.
The ROK base command launched a rescue party of five men in two rubber rafts. However, before they could reach the trapped men, the rafts bogged down in reeds and one raft was lost.
Another call was made to the 129th, this time requesting that the men be evacuated by helicopter. By now it was light, and flying was difficult but possible.
Despite the weather, two Hueys were launched. The weather was so bad, the pilots said they could hardly see, but finally found the 12 men. By then, the raging river was up to the ROKs's necks and their combat packs and weapons were weighing them down.
The slicks hovered low over the water and, with the aid of one of the crew chiefs, Spec. 5 Charles G. Soloman, who jumped into the water to help them aboard, the ROKs were able to climb in.
As the two crafts started back, they spotted the stalled rescue team. The Hueys hovered low again, and once again Soloman went into the water to assist in the rescue.
The visibility was so bad the Hueys had to hover over the road and follow it back to let the dripping passengers off at the nearby Korean Special Forces camp.
No sooner had the choppers unloaded the men than an ROK Special Forces major ran over to tell the pilots that 16 more men had been cut off by the flood.
Out once again, this time the pilots had the luxury of a place to land, for this patrol had been stranded on a sand bar.
Reflecting on the triple rescue mission, CWO Joe Priebe, pilot of the first chopper, estimated that "as far as I could see, the trapped men would have drowned" if they had not been pulled out.
30 Nov 70 - 101st saves flood victims
CAMP EAGLE - Yearly monsoon rains always cause a threat to operations in northern Military Region 1. With the arrival of Typhoon Joan, Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) gave assistance to thousands of flood victims in the Republic of Vietnam's two northern provinces, Quang Tri
and Thua Thien.
Although Typhoon Joan failed to strike with full force, five days of torrential rains and winds caused extreme flooding in the lowlands of the two provinces.
The first call for emergency evacuation came while floodwaters threatened Phong Dien District in Thua Thien Province. The 3rd Bde. disaster relief control center (DRCC) learned of the circumstances and immediately began coordinating with the district chief.
"We had not received a formal request for assistance from the Government of Vietnam but in this case, with many villagers needing help, it was apparent that only the airmobility of the 10st could accomplish the evacuation," remarked Lt. Philip Thiac, brigade S5(civil affairs) officer.
All tactical elements of the 3rd Bde. were assigned to assist the Vietnamese in any way possible. A contingent of CH47 Chinook helicopters from the 159th Avn. Bn. traveled immediately to the scene while tents and food were delivered to the district headquarters, the emergency relief point. The Chinooks made
trip after trip in the rains, evacuating villagers who had taken refuge on rooftops and other high points, with all the personal belongings they could carry.
As the rainfall lessened on the third day, the overall situation improved and floodwaters began to recede. But the plight of still-isolated villagers in remote areas required the assistance of 19 Boston Whaler boats, 18 rubber assault craft and 39 UH1 Huey helicopters. The number of evacuees increased to more than 2,000 while more than 120 tons of supplies were delivered to the homeless.
After five days of intense rain, the skies cleared over Military Region 1 and the 7,768 Vietnamese evacuated by the 101st pilots during the disaster began returning to their homes. Meanwhile, the Screaming Eagle aviators began relaxing after having flown 482 missions totaling more than 215 hours, distributing over 140 tons of food and supplies to the homeless.
Photo Caption: FLOOD VICTIMS await helicopters from the 101st Airborne
Division (Airmobile) to airlift them to safety. (flooded village with
a Vietnamese family sitting on the roof of their house.)
30 Nov 70- Vietnam communiqué Nov. 9-Nov. 15 Page 2
Gunship probes kill 16 in Delta
Battle action remained light during the seven-day period ending Nov. 15, with the largest single day's action occurring in the Delta Nov. 10.
Probing gunships of the 1st Aviation Brigade's 13th Combat Avn. Bn. killed 16 Viet Cong in Military Region 4 that day.
In a morning action five miles south of Viet Cong Lake in An Xuyen Province, light observation helicopters of C Troop, 16th Air Cav., skimmed over an area of suspected Viet Cong mortar implacements. Enemy soldiers were spotted running from a Viet Cong supply point. Three of them were killed at the edge of a treeline.
In the afternoon, the same unit, while investigating the edge of a forest in An Xuyen Province, began to take fire. The gun crews returned the fire, killing seven enemy soldiers.
In other action, Vultures of the 162nd Assault Helicopter Co., while flying 10 miles south of Rach Soi in Kien Giang Province, spotted and killed two Viet Cong seeking safety in a camouflaged structure.
In a later contact occurring near Phung Hiep in Phong Dinh Province, the 162nd Vultures were conducting a reconnaissance over barren marshland when one of their ships was fired upon. The gunship crews responded with rockets, killing four enemy soldiers.
23rd Inf Div
Elements of the 3rd Bn., 1st Inf., 23rd Infantry Division found a cache containing 1.5 tons of rice 11 miles northwest of Quang Ngai Nov. 11. The spoiled rice was destroyed in place.
Ten miles southeast of Quang Ngai Nov. 15, men of Co. A, 1st Bn., 20th Inf.,found a cache containing two tons of rice, which was to be evacuated.
An element of the division's 198th Inf. Bde. received fewer than 15 rounds of 82mm mortar fire Nov. 13. The unit was in a night defensive position eight miles southwest of Tam Ky, Quang Tin Province, at the time of the attack.
1st Avn Bde
In their Delta area of operations Nov. 14, Darkhorses of the 16th Air Cav. swept into Kien Giang Province, killing five enemy soldiers in the northeastern corner of the U Minh Forest.
Elsewhere in Military Region 4 that day, soldiers of B Troop, 7th Squadron,1st Air Cav., were credited with killing three enemy soldiers while supporting the 7th ARVN Division in Dinh Tuong Province 15 miles south of Bien Hoa.
In other action, A Troop soldiers from the same unit killed three VC while on operations in Kien Phong Province 15 miles northwest of Vinh Long.
Crews of the 16th Air Cav. struck deep into An Xuyen Province Nov. 12, killing a total of 4 enemy soldiers.
In a area southeast of VC Lake, the Darkhorses' light observation helicopters spotted a camouflaged hootch and bunker complex. Cobra gunships were called in to bring fire on the area. This resulted in three enemy dead.
During the afternoon, south of the Hatchet Head area, LOHs sighted another camouflaged complex and killed one VC as he tried to escape into the bunkers.
Light observation helicopters sighted another 12 enemy sampans covered with grass in the area. They were destroyed.
1st Cav Div
In Military Region 3's Long Kien Province shortly before midnight Nov. 12, an element of the 1st Bde., 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), received small arms fire from an enemy force of undetermined size while operating seven miles southwest of Rang Rang. Helicopter gunships, a flare ship and an AC119 gunship supported the contact, which continued for almost four hours. Enemy losses were two killed.
An element of the division's 2nd Bde. discovered a rice cache 18 miles north-northeast of Phuoc Binh Nov. 13.
That day's cache totaled more than 11 tons in 100-kilogram bags. The Skytroopers uncovered more than 44 tons of rice in the same general area during a one-week period. The rice in the Nov. 13 find was in poor condition and was destroyed.
Sixteen miles north of Tanh Linh Nov. 12, Co. C, 2nd Bn., 5th Cav., found a cache containing 1.1 tons of rice in poor condition. It was destroyed.
A Skytrooper element discovered a large rice cache 13 miles northwest of Bu Dop Nov. 11. Troopers from the 5th Bn., 7th Cav., were operating 15 miles northeast of Bu Dop when they came upon the complex. The structures and bunkers were destroyed and the rice was evacuated.
101st Abn Div
Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) found a bunker complex 15 miles west of Hue in Military Region 1 Nov. 11. Elements of the 1st Bn., 506th Inf., discovered 540 pounds of TNT, two crew-served weapons, 26 individual weapons, one mine and eight telescopic sights.
Enemy materiel continued to be recovered from the bunker complex Nov. 12. New discoveries included 285 pounds of TNT, 16 individual weapons, one crew-served weapon, three large Chicom mines, 38 small Chicom mines, one 60mm mortar rounds, 271 82mm mortar rounds, two RPG rounds, 24 122mm fuses, two
cans of 82mm fuses and one can of fuses of an undetermined type. The total weight of the cache was 2.4 tons.
Screaming Eagle troopers uncovered more than 400 pounds of rice along with some munitions in Thua Thien Province Nov. 10.
Both caches were found by elements of the 2nd Bn., 501st Inf., near FSB Brick in mountainous jungles 24 miles southwest of Hue. Soldiers of Co. A discovered a cache containing 22 82mm mortar rounds, eight 82mm mortar fuses and 14 cans of powder charges. Meanwhile, Co. B found four 100-pound bags of rice, 17 sandbags containing rice and 13 rocket-propelled boosters.
Elements of the 2nd Bn., 506th Inf., were engaged by the enemy 23 miles west of Hue Nov. 13.
25th Inf Div
Elements of the 3rd Bn., 22nd Inf., 25th Infantry Division, received ground fire from an enemy force seven miles southwest of Xuan Loc Nov. 13. The Tropic Lightning unit was reinforced by other elements of the battalion and was provided air and artillery support. Four enemy soldiers were killed, six RPG rounds were captured and eight bunkers damaged.
In Bien Hoa Province Nov. 9, an element of the division's 2nd Bde. and a Regional Forces unit received small arms and automatic weapons fire from an enemy force of undetermined size four miles east of Nhon Trach. Enemy losses in the 10-minute exchange of fire were undetermined.
30 Nov 70- Quick incision saves life Page 3
LZ STINSON - A field expedient operation, the skilled hands of a battalion surgeon, and a hair-raising flight for life all combined recently to save the life of an infantryman in the 23rd Infantry Division's 198th Inf. Bde.
Co. C, 1st Bn., 52nd Inf., working south of Chu Lai, came under heavy small arms fire from a group of Viet Cong, and a soldier of the Ready Rifles received a severe wound in the neck. From the first cry of "Medic," an
unbelievable series of events were put together to save the man's life.
Pfc. Dennis Johnson, the company medic, crossed an open area under intense fire to see what he could do for the wounded soldier. He found that a bullet had entered through the left side of the neck and had gone through the left side of the neck and had gone through the back side of the tongue and larynx. The patient was bleeding badly from the mouth and, more importantly, he could not breathe.
Taking a surgical knife from his medic's bag, Johnson made a small incision in the throat of his gasping victim in order to clear an airway for the oxygen he so desperately needed.
"The tracheotomy did more for saving the man's life than anything else," said Capt. Randolph G. Emerson, the battalion surgeon of the 52nd Inf. "It was done just right, and we knew if we could just get him to a hospital, he could make it as long as he was getting air."
A call for a medical evacuation helicopter was made by the company and was intercepted by Lt. Marcelle Medina, an aerial observer for 1st Bn., 14th Arty. He and Emerson jumped into a waiting helicopter at LZ Stinson and decided to make it into a makeshift dustoff.
Meanwhile, Johnson was keeping the incision he had made open with his fingers while waiting for the aerial aid. His patient was now getting air,but was still bleeding heavily.
The flight for life got off to a shaky start. The helicopter took several rounds of AK47 rifle fire, and the pilot skillfully maneuvered his aircraft to miss one tree, but the tail section grazed another tree on the left. The bird
continued to rise, however, and continued its mission. However, the craft's radio had been knocked out by one of the rifle rounds.
While streaking toward Chu Lai at a speed of 120 knots, Emerson continued holding the surgical incision open with his fingers so that air could enter the body. The bleeding had not completely stopped, but the patient was still breathing.
The pilot was taking a direct route to the hospital, but when he arrived
over Chu Lai, he encountered one more obstacle -- the airport.
The flight for life was unable to contact the ground control center because of the loss in radio communications, but the pilot decided to cross the airfield to save precious minutes of flying time. A light fixed-wing spotter plane appeared out of nowhere, and the pilot of mercy flight dipped straight down, missing a collision by only a few feet. Within seconds the makeshift medevac reached the hospital.
"The few minutes we saved by going across the airfield gave the doctors at the hospital some pretty precious minutes to work with on our patient," said Emerson. "The flight was a little nerve-wracking, but I'm glad it turned out the way it did."
When the helicopter landed, Emerson accompanied his patient until a metal tube could be inserted into the small hole in the throat. Doctors operated almost immediately and the patient was sent back to the States in good condition.
30 Nov 70- Hustler imports pool table Page 5
CAMP EVANS - "We haven't got a 'Boston Shorty' or a 'Minnesota Fats' here, but now that we have our own pool table we definitely have our own pool sharks."
That's what Spec. 5 Douglas Boostrom, a Screaming Eagle of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), had to say about the pool table that he carried halfway around the world to make it a permanent fixture at this
camp about 12 miles northwest of Hue.
Boostrom, of Btry. C, 4th Bn., 77th Aerial Rocket Arty., is the manager of the battery's club, "Griffin 55's Den," where the men of the Cobra helicopter unit come to relax after the day's work.
Having come to the Republic of Vietnam in early 1969, Boostrom extended an additional eight months to stay with the ARA battery. Just before leaving on his 30-day stateside leave, he surveyed his club in search of the "something" that would add to the atmosphere of his place.
"That's when the idea of a pool table struck me, so I told my commanding officer that when I came back from the States, I'd have a pool table with me."
As soon as Boostrom returned to his West Coast home, he put want ads in four different newspapers, requesting the donation of a used pool table. "The very next day I had four offers," recalled the Screaming Eagle. "I looked them over and went along with the one that made me the best deal. It was a pool
table sales shop in San Francisco, and they told me that in addition to the table, the would pay for the crating and shipping."
Providing transportation for the table from the United States to Vietnam proved more difficult than Boostrom had anticipated. But after 28 days of no success, he finally went to the U.S. Navy at Oakland. "I finally got
shipping authorization from a lieutenant commander there. After I had been back in Vietnam for a month, I received word that I had a 732-pound package waiting for me in Da Nang."
Arriving at Da Nang, the club manager tried without luck to get the crated pool table shipped north to Camp Evans by CH47 Chinook helicopter. Sitting on the Marble Mountain helipad at Da Nang, all alone with his well-traveled cargo, Boostrom curled up and spent the night sleeping on top of his pool table.
"The next day, when a Chinook landed at the pad, I told the pilot of my plight," said Boostrom. "He understood and asked about 20 of his passengers to help me load it in the tail end of his chopper, and away we went."
"Now our establishment is complete," said Boostrom, "and the men of Griffin finally have a place of their own. But even with all of the pool sharks we have, I'm still the best player," smiled the "hustler." "It's a privilege I
think I've earned."
30 Nov 70- Photo Caption Page 11
AFTER A MISSION, Spec. 4 Randy Krager reloads a minigun on an AH1 Cobra gunship from Btry. A, 4th Bn., 77th Aerial Rocket Arty., 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile).
30 Nov 70- Aviation group received civic actions citation Page 11
(There are some sections of text missing from the original printing, as this is a good copy of the article).
PLANTATION - Citing the 12th Avn. Gp. for its successful civic actions program, Lt. Gen. Nguyen Van Minh, commanding general of the Capital Military District, presented the unit with the Civil Action Honor Medal with Oak Leaf in a ceremony here Nov. 12.
Minh attached an award streamer to the unit colors, symbolizing the presentation of the award to each member of the group and its attached units.
Col. Albart J. Fern Jr., 12th commander, explained that the award was given to recognize civic action from May 1, 1969, to May 15, 1970.
Following the ceremony he voiced appreciation of the group for the recognition.
"It is indeed an honor for our unit to receive this recognition.
More than 130 schools, hospitals, churches, orphanages and market places were .............outstanding program.
"Even though the group was presented this award today, our program was not designed to gain recognition for our unit; it was designed to aid the Vietnamese people with whom we come in contact and to increase mutual understanding between efficient and professional public health services through direct medical attention.
"At our initial meeting we set our goal to utilize available military resources, both manpower and material, to improve the life, security and future of the Vietnamese citizens.
"In addition, we believe that such effort will strengthen the popular support of, and identification with the government of the Republic of Vietnam.
More than 75,000 manhours and over $600,000 (materials and direct monetary assistance) were expended in support of civic actions activities during the cited period.
The program involved many individual projects, including medical civic actions program (MEDCAP), agrarian projects, school and market construction,repair of and putting programs into action that will benefit every school-age child in the......missing.....
Realizing from the start that a centralized, coordinated effort would be needed.
Fern also stated that only one phase of the preventative dentistry program......has the six provinces of Phuoc Long, Bien Hoa, Long Khanh, Phuoc Tuy, Hau Nghia and Tay Ninh.
The overall program was then divided into main areas of social welfare, education, economic development and medical assistance.
Each area was designed to have separate goals, yet be interlocked with the others to form a unified civic action effort.
The mission of the social welfare phase was to provide needed clothing,foodstuffs and dwellings for war victims.
During the cited period, the combined allied efforts enabled the civic actions team to visit hundreds of villages and hamlets, distributing more than 34,000 pounds of usable clothing to needy inhabitants.
Concurrently, more than 410,000 pounds of food was collected and distributed.
More than 130 school hospitals, churches, orphanages and market places were constructed, repaired or painted; 1,130 private residences were either built or renovated.
Anchoring the other programs was the 12th Gp. medical assistance program.Divided into three types of operations, the program provided the local populace with efficient and professional public health services through direct medical attention, supplies, sanitation consultation, medical testing and immunizations.
The first operation involved visits to neighboring villages, schools and orphanages by teams of doctors (Medcap) and dentists (Dentcap).
The second operation provided for medical attention of the seriously ill at battalion dispensaries and hospitals.
The third operation involved surgeon and medic visits to Vietnamese hospitals, leprosariums and sanitariums.
Evaluating the program to date, Fern is satisfied with past accomplishments but, added that, in a sense, the program is just beginning.
"In the area of preventative dentistry, for example, we are currently developing and putting programs into action that will benefit every school-age child in the area, and hopefully, all of Vietnam.
30 Nov 70- Psyops operations pay off for allies
LZ BAYONET - Thuan Yen, a leader of a group of local Viet Cong guerrillas, looked closely at the things that were happening around him.
The rains had begun with the early violence of the monsoons, and soon food would be difficult to come by for his family. His 15-day old child was ill and there was no possibility of medical aid.
Thuan's cause no longer seemed important in the wake of a family disaster,and, because he had heard the words from one of his former enemies, a helicopter, that a better life awaited him, he decided to return to the "open arms" of the Government of Vietnam.
The example of Thuan Yen is not an isolated one. Over 20 beleaguered Viet Cong and disillusioned NVA cry the words "Chieu Hoi" (which literally mean "open arms") in the 23rd Infantry Division's 198th Inf. Bde.'s area of
operations each month. Almost all of them do it because they have heard the messages of the brigade's psychological operations program (psyops) which promises a better life.
"We try to emphasize that we can take care of the things they are missing from their units," said Lt. Roderick A. Bayless, brigade civil affairs officer.
"We act on intelligence information and, for example, if we know they are lacking food we can promise to feed them. Or if they are suffering from disease, we can tell them they will be treated."
The mission of psyops in the Chieu Hoi program is to deliver a pitch intended to appeal to enemy soldiers and service personnel to rally to GVN.Potential ralliers are reached through two methods-leaflet drops and broadcasts.
In the last six months, almost 2,000 leaflet drops have been made in the brigade area with over 25,000 leaflets in each drop. A 10-minute tape broadcast accompanied each drop.
The figures are impressive, but are not in itself the reason for the great successes in the program. The manner in which the program is presented plays a large part in the effectiveness of winning ralliers.
There are two types of messages, both of which have been proved effective. The general message is directed to Viet Cong and NVA in the area, while the special message is presented to a specific unit, person or group of people. These latter messages are taped messages made by former Viet Cong or NVA who
have previously rallied.
In fact, Thuan Yen has taped several messages urging his former guerilla band to rally. He tells them that he was treated well and that he received food and medical attention for his family.
The 198th Inf. Bde. has recently inaugurated a new project, the "family reunion program," which urges the families of Viet Cong to make appeals for their relatives to rally.
30 Nov 70- VNAF takes over Soc Trang Air Base Page 12
SOC TRANG - Another step was taken by the allied forces to further Vietnamization in the Delta region, as Soc Trang Army Airfield became Soc Trang Air Base and the U.S. Army 1st Aviation Brigade's 336th Assault
Helicopter Co. was inactivated. The Vietnamese Air Force 227th Tactical Helicopter Squadron was activated from the 336th resources.
The dual ceremony included dignitaries from different branches of the service. After honors were played by the band for the dignitaries and the reviewing party inspected the troops, the Vietnamese Air Force and the
American helicopter crews exchanged salutes symbolizing the transfer of the brigade aircraft to the Vietnamese.
As the U.S. national anthem was played, Old Glory was lowered from the flagpole from shish it had flown since 1964. Immediately following the lowering of the U.S. colors, the Vietnamese national anthem was played, the Soc Trang Army Airfield sign was lowered and the Soc Trang Air Base sign was uncovered.
The history of the airfield dates back to 1944 when the Japanese built it. In the latter years of the World War II it was used as a staging field for Japanese aircraft operating in the Pacific theater. When the war was over and the Japanese had returned to their homeland, the airfield was controlled by the French colonial administration for the next nine years. After the French withdrawal, the airfield was taken over by the Vietnamese until 1964. At that time the 121st Assault Helicopter Co. arrived at the airfield. The airfield has recently been expanded to accommodate larger aircraft of the cargo type and jet aircraft in an emergency situation.
In May of this year the first turnover of an Army Airfield entered implementation with the arrival of 20 volunteer pilots. Crews and support personnel came shortly after. For the next months each member received practical experience through on-the-job training with the U.S. personnel they were to replace. Since the Vietnamese received English tutoring in the United States, the language barrier was minimized.