Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Fw: TheList 4722

The List 4722

To All,
I hope that your week has started well.
This day in Naval History
May 15
1800—The frigate Essex, commanded by Capt. Edward Preble, arrives in Batavia, Java, to escort United States merchant ships. During her journey, she is the first U.S. Navy warship to cross the Equator.
1930—The streamlined submarine (V 5) is commissioned, then named Narwhal in Feb. 1931, and receives the hull number (SS 167) that July. During World War II, Narwhal participates in 15 war patrols, serving in the Pacific Theatre, earning 15 battle stars.
1939—A contract is issued to Curtiss-Wright for the XSB2C-1 dive bomber, thereby completing action on a 1938 design competition. Retired from the active Navy in 1947, SB2Cs continue to serve in the reserves until 1950.
1942—The first Naval Air Transport Service flight across the Pacific takes place.
1944—PBY-5 "Catalina" aircraft from (VP 63) and British escort vessels HMS Kilmarnock and HMS Blackfly sink German submarine U 731 off Tangiers. 
1969—The pre-commissioned submarine Guitarro (SSN 665) accidentally sinks while moored at U.S. Mare Island Naval Shipyard, CA.
1991 - Amphibious Task Force arrives at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for relief operations after Cyclone Marian
2007—Military Sealift Command's USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) is christened and launched at San Diego, CA.
Today in History May 15
Abd-al-Rahman is proclaimed emir of Cordoba, Spain.
King John submits to the Pope, offering to make England and Ireland papal fiefs. Pope Innocent III lifts the interdict of 1208.
English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold discovers Cape Cod.
An aristocratic uprising in France ends with the Treaty of St. Menehould.
Johannes Kepler discovers his harmonics law.
The War of Spanish Succession begins.
Following the resignation of Lord Townshend, Robert Walpole becomes the sole minister in the English cabinet.
By the Treaty of Versailles, France purchases Corsica from Genoa.
Napoleon enters the Lombardian capital of Milan in triumph.
The U.S. Congress designates the slave trade a form of piracy.
Neapolitan troops enter Palermo, Sicily.
The Union ironclad Monitor and the gunboat Galena fire on Confederate troops at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, Virginia.
At the Battle of New Market, Virginia Military Institute cadets repel a Union attack.
Emily Dickinson dies in Amherst, Mass., where she had lived in seclusion for the previous 24 years.
U.S. Marines land in Santo Domingo to quell civil disorder.
Pfc. Henry Johnson and Pfc. Needham Roberts receive the Croix de Guerre for their services in World War I. They are the first Americans to win France's highest military medal.
Ellen Church becomes the first airline stewardess.
The United States begins rationing gasoline.
Sputnik III is launched by the Soviet Union.
The last Project Mercury space flight, carrying Gordon Cooper, is launched.
U.S. Marines relieve army troops in Nhi Ha, South Vietnam after a fourteen-day battle.
Gov. George Wallace is shot by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland.
The merchant ship Mayaguez is recaptured from Cambodia's Khmer Rouge.
Soviets forces begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Passing of RADM Lyle Bull, USN (Ret.) - Supplement
Hand Salute!
More Information, thanks to THE Bear -

In follow up to my previous note, I would like to expand upon Rear Admiral Lyle Bull's extraordinary career, which included 237 combat missions  in Vietnam in three deployments (two on USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) and one on USS RANGER (CVA-61.)  He and his pilot (Rear Admiral  Charles Bryan "Charlie" Hunter (who passed away 24 Feb last year before I started doing these)) were the first of five A-6 Intruder aircrews to be awarded the Navy Cross, and the citation explains it very well;

"The President of the United States of American takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Lyle Franklin Bull, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 30 Oct 1967 as Bombardier/Navigator in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED NINETY-SIX, embarked in USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64.)  Exercising exceptional professional skill and sound judgement, Lieutenant Bull assisted in the planning and execution of an extremely dangerous, single-plane, night, radar bombing attack on the strategically located and heavily defended Hanoi railroad ferry slip in North Vietnam.  Although the entire Hanoi defensive effort was concentrated upon his lone bomber, he flawlessly assisted his pilot in navigating the aircraft to the target area and commencing an attack.  Seconds before bomb release, six enemy surface-to-air missile were observed tracking on his plane.  Undaunted by this threat to his personal safety  Lieutenant Bull assisted his pilot in taking swift and effective action to avoid the missiles and complete the attack, releasing all weapons in the target area with extreme accuracy.  After release, four more missiles were fired at his aircraft in addition to the intense anti-aircraft fire.  In spite of this intense enemy opposition, Lieutenant Bull completed his mission and was directly responsible for dealing a significant blow to North Vietnamese logistics efforts.  His indomitable perseverance and conspicuous gallantry were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Born 8 Apr 1938, Lyle first enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve while still in high school, on 26 Apr 1956.  After earning his degree in Horticulture from Iowa State University in 1960, Lyle reported for active duty and was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve in August 1960, and pursued flight training.  However, his eyesight prevented him from becoming a pilot, and on 22 May 61 he was designated as a Naval Aviation Observer (which later became Naval Flight Officer.)  Following training at Pensacola and Corpus Christi, he reported to Whidbey Island for further training as a Bombardier/Navigator in the A-3D heavy attack bomber, which had a carrier-based nuclear strike mission.  He served in both Heavy Attack Squadron ONE TWO THREE (the Replacement Air Group) and Heavy Attack Squadron Four (VAH 4)  in which Lyle flew in A-3D's from USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31) during a Western Pacific deployment.  When his reserve commitment was up in 1964, Lyle got out of the Navy, but not for long.

With the escalation of the Vietnam War, Lyle was actively recruited to return to active duty and in January 1965 he did so.  He was selected as one of the first six A-3D B/N's to transition to the new A-6A Intruder at NAS Oceana, and on 13 May 65 was designated a Naval Flight Officer.  He returned to Whidbey Island with VA-128, the first West Coast A-6 squadron.  In Sep 1967 he reported to VA-196, embarked in CONSTELLATION, by flying in a replacement aircraft after three VA-196 A-6's had been lost.  He shortly thereafter flew on the mission against the Red River ferry slips, which had just been taken off the restricted target list, as the war (and casualties) continued to escalate.  (The painting on the cover of the book "A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War" by Rick Morgan (2013) depicts this attack, and the movie "Flight of the Intruder" was inspired by this mission.)  During Lyle's deployments, approximately one third of the A-6's in his squadrons were lost as they took on targets in the heavily defended areas around Hanoi.  Following his Vietnam deployments, Lyle was sent to Washington DC in May 1970 as Attack Weapons Systems Program Coordinator in the Office of CNO.  On Jan 73 he returned to VA-128 as Maintenance and Admin Officer, before becoming XO of VA-196 in Jun 1974.  He then served on USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) as Air Operations Officer.

In Dec 77, Lyle assumed command of A-6 Squadron VA-196.  In Jun 1979 he reported to Carrier Group SEVEN as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations.  He was promoted to Captain at the end of that tour and commenced training for deep draft and carrier command.  He commanded USS SAN JOSE (AFS 7) from Dec 1980 until assuming command of USS CONSTELLATION in Aug 1982 to Jun 1984.  I received a couple e-mails describing his extraordinarily inspirational leadership during this tour (not easy to do since much of it was in complex overhaul.)  He then was selected to be the Executive Assistant and Naval Aide to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research and Development,) which counted as a joint tour.  Selected for flag, he reported as Commander, Carrier Group SEVEN in Apr 86, was designated Rear Admiral (Lower Half) in Jun 86 and actually promoted in November 1986.  From July 1988 to November 1990 he served as Commander Battle Force SEVENTH Fleet/Carrier Strike Force SEVENTH Fleet/Commander Carrier Group FIVE, a particularly challenging period that included a fatal fire aboard USS MIDWAY and the subsequent short-notice deployment of MIDWAY to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.  During this period we received his second star.  Beginning in Nov 1990, Lyle served as Deputy and Chief of Staff Command-in-Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet, before finishing his career in the Pentagon as Assistant Deputy CNO for Naval Warfare OP-07B from Jan 1992 until April 1993.

Lyle's numerous awards included the Navy Cross, Legion of Merit (three gold stars,) Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Numeral "19," Navy Commendation medal with Combat "V" and one Gold Star and one Silver Star, Navy  Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation with four bronze stars, and various other campaign and Vietnam Service medals/ribbons.
I do not have much information about what he did after his retirement other than that he was extremely devoted to his very large extended family.   This link covers that much better than I can https://obittree.com/obituary/us/washington/oak-harbor/wallin-funeral-home--cremation-llc/radm-lyle-bull-usn-ret/3499664/

I hope RADM(ret) David Crocker won't mind me using his words, but I couldn't say it better, "It is often said that leadership lasts an eternity.  To this day, I use leadership lessons that I learned from this Warrior, Hard Charger and Patriot.  We shall all miss him.  But for those who had the privilege to serve with this great man, we carry on each day striving to live up to his expectations of all of us.  And, using the leadership tools he provided, we continue to strive to make the next generation the 'greatest' yet."

Rest in Peace Admiral Bull.

Very respectfully,


-----Original Message-----

It is with deep regret that I inform you of the passing of Rear Admiral Lyle Franklin Bull, U.S. Navy (Retired) on 4 May.  Lyle served from April 1956 when he first enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve until he retired in April 1993 as Assistant Deputy CNO Naval Warfare (OP-07B.)  During his distinguished career as a Naval Flight Officer, he was awarded the Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Numeral "19," and a Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V," among many other individual and unit awards.  His commands included, Attack Squadron 128, USS SAN JOSE (AFS 7,) USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64,) Carrier Group SEVEN, and Battle Force SEVENTH Fleet/Carrier Strike Force SEVENTH Fleet/Carrier Group FIVE.

I regret that I have to run to catch a plane so will not be able to finish a full write-up until Wednesday, but I wanted to get the word out.  Services to be held Saturday, 12 May 2018 at 1400, NAS Whidbey Chapel, followed by Reception at the Club.

I would also like to express my deepest condolences to Rear Admiral Dell Bull.

Very respectfully,

Thanks to Naval History and Heritage Command
USS Winston Churchill: Why the Navy named a Ship after a British Prime Minister
The Navy commissioned USS Winston Churchill (DDG-81) on March 10, 2001, at Naval Station Norfolk, VA. The 18th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is the only vessel in the current fleet that honors a foreigner. There are a few reasons why. Churchill, the child of a British Lord and an American heiress, was a famous war hero before becoming the British prime minister. During World War II, Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin of the USSR were known as the "Big Three" who led their countries to the ultimate victory of WWII. At the end of the war, Roosevelt and Churchill collaborated to secretly develop the atomic bomb that would later end the war. Although the Russians were allies at the time, the development of the bomb was kept a secret from Stalin. Churchill always had a special relationship with America throughout his life, and the ship honors that relationship. To learn more, read the article at All Hands
Thanks to Denny
Blinded by a North Korean anti-aircraft trap, VF-112 Ens. Edward D. Jackson Jr. brings his damaged F9F Panther back aboard the USS Philippine Sea.
For the men who shipped out on the first U.S. Navy aircraft carriers hastily dispatched to the Korean War, the summer of 1950 brought rapid adjustment to combat conditions, marred by flight deck mishaps and mounting casualties. It was an especially trying time for jet pilots learning to operate from straight-deck carriers that had been designed for prop planes. Amid these daily travails, a few feats of bravery and perseverance under the direst circumstances stood out, providing a measure of redemption for carrier crews. A remarkable example of this occurred that September, when VF- 112 Ensign Edward D. Jackson Jr., flying from Philippine Sea, was injured during a mission near Seoul.
Jackson, 25, was a graduate of the Naval Aviation College Program (NACP) at the University of South Carolina. A strapping 6 feet tall and 195 pounds, he'd played tight end for the Gamecocks and later, during preflight instruction in Chapel Hill, N.C., joined an undefeated Navy football squad coached by Lt. Cmdr. Paul "Bear" Bryant. After advanced training in F4U-4 Corsairs, Jackson transitioned to F8F-2 Bearcats and eventually to F9F-2 Panthers with VF-112.
The inexperienced 25 year old Jackson was the squadron's "Nugget" having joined the squadron eight months earlier. (via Author)
On September 17, 1950, Jackson was leading a section dispatched to strafe an airfield near North Korea's capital, Pyongyang. Flying on his wing that day was Ensign Dayl E. Crow, another NACP aviator, who'd just turned 22. Newly graduated from advanced jet training, Crow had joined VF-112 in January 1950 and was the squadron's "Nugget"— inexperienced and learning under very high-stakes conditions.
The Pyongyang airfield turned out to be little more than a grassy strip littered with burned and shattered Soviet-built aircraft. For Jackson and Crow the hunting was somewhat better back along the rail line to Seoul, where they strafed a locomotive, setting it afire. But as the two Panthers swung north around Seoul's outskirts and started down the Han River toward the Yellow Sea, Jackson spotted something promising. A string of small boats—perhaps 75 in all—was crossing the Han, south to north. Concerned they might hold refugees, Jackson dipped to 200 feet to have a look. Almost at once he heard the distinct pop of small-arms volleys; many of the "passengers" were aiming rifles skyward while others dived overboard.
Crow followed Jackson as he strafed, and their 20mm cannon rounds splintered the boats. They were met with only small-arms fire, but while the North Koreans lacked effective anti-aircraft defenses, they didn't lack ingenuity. As he reached the last line of boats, flying barely 50 feet off the deck, Jackson caught sight of a man kneeling on the river's south bank and aiming a rifle. Jackson decided to ignore him, but as he looked forward he caught "just a whisker" of something dead ahead in the sky. There was a roar, a flash and then oblivion.
Jackson had hit an aerial booby trap—steel cables strung across the Han to "clothesline" low-flying planes. The nose of his Panther snapped the cables like twine, but the whipsawing cable strands caught his starboard wing, shredded the wingtip tank and snapped across the canopy, punching out the windscreen and side panels. The impact dislodged Jackson's goggles (he wasn't wearing his oxygen mask), and shards of Plexiglas cut deeply into his face. His nose and eyebrows were split open, and his left cheek was torn to the bone almost to the ear. Worse, he was knocked unconscious
Still flying astern of Jackson, Crow first noticed something was wrong when he started gaining on his section leader. That shouldn't be. Now that they had completed their strafing run, he knew Jackson should be "balls to the walls," gaining speed and altitude. Then Crow saw gas streaming from Jackson's plane.
Once Crow drew even with the crippled jet, he could see the problem, if not the cause: a ripped starboard wingtip tank, now apparently drained of gas, and a partially shattered canopy, its inner surface misted with blood. Crow screamed into his radio: "Power, Jack! Power!"
Jackson remained unconscious for nearly 20 seconds as his plane faltered. Fortunately, before beginning the strafing run, he'd put back trim tab on his elevators so that when the nose dipped the Panther automatically began climbing. It was the jolt from one of these recovery climbs that brought him around, but he was still disoriented and blinded by blood. Mustering his concentration and muscle memory, Jackson managed to cut his speed enough to ease the rushing wind. Then he at last began responding to Crow's frantic radio calls.
Crow had been shouting at Jackson, detailing the damage to his airplane and urging him to line up on his wing—until he heard Jackson scream, "For God's sake, Dayl, I'm blind!"
"I'll fly wing on you," a chastened Crow responded, realizing he had to regain control of himself and the situation. First he coaxed Jackson to climb with him to about 2,000 feet. Next he got the wounded pilot to point his aircraft toward Philippine Sea, telling him: "OK, Ed, I'm taking you home. Ease to your right."
As Crow and Jackson reached the Yellow Sea, Lt. Cmdr. John L. Butts, VF-112's commanding officer, picked up their cross talk. Jack Butts' faint but familiar voice came through to both aviators: "Magnetic heading to ship is two-three-zero."
Crow coached Jackson onto the correct heading, but by that time the blinded flier was slipping in and out of consciousness. Each time he drifted off, his squadron mate's voice knifed in: "Add power, Ed. Pull up! Pull up!" Crow's distant badgering angered Jackson—but it kept him going.
Jackson dismissed the idea of punching out. During a catapult launch (his first in a jet) off Hawaii, his ejection seat had malfunctioned, nearly killing him. The locking mechanism securing the seat to the cockpit deck had failed as he took off. The seat slid up its vertical rails, yanking his hands from the controls and leaving him half in and half out of the plane. Jackson managed to lower the seat, grab the controls and stabilize the jet. Then, still shaking, he flew back to land on shore. He realized that now, even if his seat performed flawlessly, he lacked the endurance to survive a water landing.
As the pair finally neared Philippine Sea's flight pattern, another voice came on the circuit: "Keep talking to him, Dayl." It was division leader Lieutenant Douglas R. Hagood.
June 2017 Page 3
Ensign Dayl E. Crow (upper left) escorts Jackson and is damaged Panther onto the deck of their carrier. (National Archives)
Crow coaxed Jackson, by now fading, through their descent. "Put your wheels and tail hook down. You're doing fine." For a moment Crow thought he had Jackson positioned for an approach, only to have him turn downwind instead of up. Below them the flight deck had been cleared as much as possible, with the aircraft stack moved forward and barriers in position.
"Flaps down now," Crow radioed once he had finally talked the wounded man—flying purely on reflexes now—back into the groove. Then, to his great relief, Crow heard yet another voice: "Ed, this is Les. Ed, I got you." It was Lt. j.g. L.K. "Les" Bruestle, one of the carrier's landing signal officers. Perched atop a tiny platform jutting over the flight deck's port quarter, Bruestle wielded two paddles framed in reflective fabric to visually guide pilots through approach and touchdown. Implicit in the visual signals was the pilot's absolute reliance on the LSO's judgment. The paddles, of course, were of little use now.
"Ed, this is the LSO," Bruestle radioed. "Don't answer. Just listen. Take it easy." Bruestle's challenge was to substitute voice instructions for paddle commands. Jackson's ability to follow that guidance, despite his extensive injuries, required unflinching confidence in his flying skills, as well as the instincts to operate his cockpit controls by feel.
Crow circled and watched, praying the landing would succeed—for Jackson's sake and his own. He now had less than 600 pounds of fuel left, about enough to make just one landing approach before ditching.
"Too fast," Jackson heard Bruestle say, and he cut his speed. Bruestle's voice seemed to run like a current through his muscles. "You're angling in too steep. Roll it out a bit." Jackson tried. "You're in the slot now," Bruestle said calmly, but then with urgency added, "High and to the right!" Jackson adjusted.
There was silence—enough to make Jackson think he had overshot the deck—and then: "Cut it." Without a thought, the pilot dipped his jet's nose and pulled back on the stick to flare. He felt the arresting hook grab a wire. The Panther lurched and stopped. He was down.
Jackson had come in a little high and off centerline with only one flap down—the other had been damaged. His tail hook had trapped the number five wire. Emergency personnel, including the flight surgeon, raced to lift him out of the cockpit. "I can walk," Jackson insisted, only to collapse before he took a step. Strapped to a stretcher, he was hurried below to sick bay.
Jackson's landing was soon followed by the somewhat more routine recovery of Crow's aircraft. After he caught the third wire, his bone-dry Panther flamed out.
June 2017 Page 4
Following 36 stitches and an emergency transfusion, Jackson spent several days in the sick bay. Although the blood loss had been nearly fatal and his wounds were ugly—his left cheek was scarred for life—miraculously he suffered no permanent damage to either of his eyes. He was back on his feet within days, as was his plane; a shortage of serviceable jets earned the maimed Panther a reprieve. Within the week it was back on the flight line, and so was Jackson.
Crewmembers lift a bloody Jackson out of the cockpit of his jet. (National Archives)
Jackson's remarkable blind landing, and the equally remarkable photos that chronicled it, went largely unnoticed in the U.S. media. At that point war news coverage was mostly devoted to the September 15 invasion of Inchon. The North Koreans were beating a hasty retreat, completely reversing—at least for a time—the fortunes of combatants in the "Forgotten War." Most correspondents filed their dispatches from the front lines, with few reporting from the sea lanes. The carrier action went largely unreported until the following year, when journalists such as James Michener went to sea.
Jackson's miracle landing did get some attention thanks to an October 1952 Esquire article, but it was largely overshadowed by a November 29, 1952, Saturday Evening Post article written by Navy Commander Harry A. Burns. In "The Case of the Blind Pilot," Burns told the dramatic story of VF-194 AD-4 Skyraider pilots Ensign Kenneth A. Schechter and LT.j.g. Howard Thayer. During a March 22, 1952, strike on train yards near Wonsan, Schechter's cockpit had been shattered by flak. Thayer, Schechter's roommate aboard the carrier Valley Forge, took charge, coaxing his blinded, bleeding squadron mate away from enemy territory to a wheels-up crash landing on an abandoned airstrip in friendly territory.
The Thayer-Schechter tale became the dramatic centerpiece for the 1954 film The Men of the Fighting Lady, based on Burns' article and related accounts by Michener. Not surprisingly, the movie morphed Schechter's and Thayer's decidedly unglamorous prop-driven ADs into F9Fs and relocated the blind landing to a carrier deck. But the producers did retain the real-life names, with actors Van Johnson and Dewey Martin portraying Thayer and Schechter.
The two Skyraider pilots and others involved in that incident deserved every scrap of the news coverage and accolades they received. Schechter, who later regained sight in one eye, finally received a Distinguished Flying Cross in a 1995 ceremony. Thayer, who died in 1961 while trying to assist another aviator, received a posthumous DFC in 2009.
Still, Ed Jackson can be forgiven for the assumption he made after watching The Men of the Fighting Lady—that the "blind pilot" story was about Crow and him. By the time Jackson died in September 2010, however, neither he nor Crow had received formal recognition for their own death-defying exploit.
David Sears is the author of "Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies Over Korea", which is recommended for further reading.
June 2017 Page 5
With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
May 15, 2018  Bear Taylor    
RIPPLE SALVO… #801… HUMBLE HOST CALLS IT FORTUITOUS THAT THIS REVIEW OF THE PEACE TALKS WHILE FIGHTING OF MAY 1968 NOW COINCIDES WITH THE HISTORIC TALKS BETWEEN NORTH KOREA AND THE UNITED STATES THAT ARE UNFOLDING OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. Peace talks–conversations–are waged like a high stakes, no time limit chess match. Every move is deliberate and nobody is in a hurry. The Vietnam conversations began in May 1968 and got nowhere until October 1968 when the President finally made a move to put some movement in the conversations–he terminated Rolling Thunder and halted the bombing of North Vietnam. And got nothing for it. "Negotiating while fighting" continued with little change in the fighting and dying. American Mothers would lose 35,000 more sons while waiting for the fighting and to stop.
The initiation of talks with North Korea in June will be at least as complex as the 1968 Vietnam peace talks, and the 2018 participants are even more cemented in positions hardened over decades of name calling, threats, incidents that included shooting and killing, and other serious sword rattling. The conversations with North Korea will be exceedingly difficult. The daily posts of RTR and Ripple Salvo will report the 1968 "conversations while fighting," including public releases published in The New York Times and the now declassified CIA source President's Daily Briefs and the Historical Documents that make the most sensitive conversations of 1968 available to the public fifty years after the fact. It is postulated that the lessons of 1968 will provide insight and understanding of the 2018 talks with North Korea. Or not… Humble Host will enjoy the digging… Ripple Salvo below provides a NYT opinion piece that provides an opener to the RTR coverage…  but first…
GOOD MORNING… Day EIGHT HUNDRED AND ONE of a return to the air war with North Vietnam that was fought with uncommon courage by America's military aviators fifty years ago…
HEAD LINES from The New York Times on 15 May 1968, a cloudy Wednesday in New York City fifty years ago…
THE WAR: Page 1: "MORTAR ATTACK KILLS 5 IN SAIGON–27 ALSO HURT AS 50 ROUNDS STRIKE CHOLON DISTRICT"… "The attack began shortly after midnight and lasted about half an hour… The attack in Cholon was one of several at various points. Bienhoa air base 15 miles northeast of Saigon was struck by several 122-mm rockets last night. Casualties and damage were described as light… The military command disclosed that an American-led militia camp at Nuihaden, 55 miles northwest of Saigon was attacked on Monday by an enemy force. After a heavy exchange of small-arms and automatic weapon fire, enemy troops took over part of the camp. The enemy destroyed several buildings before withdrawing. The command said that 25 of the enemy were killed. United States losses were 19 killed and 24 wounded….PLANE WITH 156 DOWNED… Saigon: An American military official reported today that North Vietnamese troops, overrunning an antiguerrilla camp at Kham Duc on Sunday shot down nine aircraft including a C-130 transport with 6 Americans and possibly 150 South Vietnamese aboard. The official said that so far as was known there were no survivors."…. Page 1: "4 MEN AWARDED MEDALS OF HONOR–President Honors Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Airman–Voices Hope For Peace"… "He spoke at a rare ceremony at the Pentagon–the first in which the century-old Medal of Honor was given at one time to four men, one from each of the military services…. After conferring the nation's highest military award on the four heroes he dedicated the Pentagon's new "hall of Heroes." The names of 3,210 Medal of Honor awardees are displayed in the new addition to the historic Pentagon."…
PEACE TALKS: Page 1: "HANOI DELEGATES RULE OUT 'RANSOM' FOR HALT IN RAIDS"… "The North Vietnamese and American delegates sparred at a distance today, through the medium of the press, as they took a day off from their 'official conversations' on the war. At the Hotel Lutetia, on the Left Bank, where the Vietnamese are staying, a spokesman said: 'No ransom will be paid to the American aggressor.' He was restating Hanoi's objection to the United States' call for 'restraint' in return for ending the now-curtailed bombing of North Vietnam. A mile away, across the Seine, W. Averell Harriman talked informally with reporters outside the United States Embassy, off the Champs Elysees. The chief American delegate said 'the North Vietnamese have been the aggressor, and they seemed determined to hang on.' SOUTH VIETNAMESE STATEMENT… As the two principals exchanged views by way of reporters, the South Vietnamese, anxious not to be overlooked, issued a statement asserting that the United States should not halt the bombing until Hanoi had actually curtailed infiltration of the South, subject to effective control. The stand was stiffer than that adopted by the United States."…The United States position holds that 'normal amounts' of infiltration would be tolerated 'so long as Hanoi did not take advantage of a bombing suspension.' On another key point, the South Vietnamese statement welcomed American initiatives in starting preliminary talks with Hanoi."… Page 10: "JOHNSON MEETS CABINET TO REVIEW PARIS TALKS"…"…and to discuss nation's economic problems. White House press secretary George Christian announced the meeting and said the Cabinet had engaged in a 'general roundtable discussion of the fiscal situation."…
Page 1: "NEBRASKA GIVES 53% TO KENNEDY–NIXON FAR AHEAD–Reagan Runs Well–McCarthy Calls Foes Victory Significant But Won't Join Him"… Page 31: "Humphrey Leads Rivals In Survey By Gallup"… Page 32: "West Virginia Voting Is Close–John Rockefeller 4th Is Victor"… Page 32: "Kennedy Solicits McCarthy As An Ally–Proposes A Joint Primary Effort Against Humphrey–McCarthy Says He'll Fight On"…  Page 32: "STANDING OF CANDIDATES IN VOTES AT CONVENTIONS"… "Before the primaries today, the standing of the Democratic and Republican Presidential contenders in states that have selected national convention delegates, the votes committed or 'leaning,' was as follows: DEMOCRAT: Humphrey, 177; McCarthy, 169 1/2; Kennedy, 91 1/2; Uninstructed votes 173 1/2… The Democratic nomination requires 1,312 delegate votes. REPUBLICAN: Nixon, 237; Rockefeller, 59: Reagan, 16; Uninstructed, 21; favorite Sons, 235. The Republican nomination requires 667 delegate votes…"…
15 MAY 1968… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER… New York Times… No coverage of air operations north of the DMZ…"Vietnam: Air Losses" (Chris Hobson) There was one fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 15 May 1968…
(1) A C-130E of the 779th TAS and 464th TAW out of Pope AFB was crash landed at Song Be in South Vietnam due to engine failure and was declared destroyed (beyond economical repair)… Seven crew members are still telling the story…
1968… NONE…
Humble Host flew #163 led section of A4-Fs with two AGM12Cs (Big Bullpups) each for an armed recce south of Vinh… Route segment 1A… We were looking for anything that moved with two small bridges on 1A as secondary. Nothing moving (Hiding in Ha Tinh). Four Bullpups on the two bridges, both downed. No opposition noted. 45-minutes over the beach cruising and shooting… My 24th and 25th Bullpups dating back to 1962 in VA-12…
Item Number:1 Date: 05/15/2018 AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN LAUNCHES ATTACK IN WESTERN FARAH PROVINCE (MAY 15/CBS)  CBS NEWS -- At least 10 Taliban fighters and six Afghan troops have been killed in fighting for control of the western Farah province, which borders Iran, reports CBS News.   At least 12 security personnel, including the deputy provincial police chief, have been wounded, according to an Interior Ministry spokesman.   On Tuesday morning, Taliban fighters launched attacks on the province's capital city, also called Farah, reported Tolo News (Kabul).   The Taliban overran several checkpoints in the city and captured two districts, said a local representative.   In response, special operations forces from the Kandahar police and commandos from Herat province have been deployed to the city, said Afghan officials.   U.S. A-10 attack aircraft launched missions to support Afghan forces, according to a statement from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.   The Afghan Defense Ministry said that security forces were able to repel the Taliban attacks.   The Taliban presence in the city has persisted over several weeks despite operations by Afghan troops to oust them, said residents.   The Taliban has carried out more than 2,700 attacks since announcing the resumption of its annual spring offensive over two weeks ago.   
  Item Number:2 Date: 05/15/2018 BURMA - 19 DIE AS REBELS CLASH WITH SECURITY FORCES IN NORTHEAST (MAY 15/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- At least 19 people have been killed in a rebel attack on Burmese security forces near the Chinese border, reports the Voice of America News.   The Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) claimed responsibility for the attack on May 12 at security posts and a casino in Muse in Shan state, reported Agence France-Presse.   Fifteen civilians, three soldiers, and one police officer were killed and around two dozen were injured, according to Burmese officials.   A TNLA statement said the attack was motivated by the Burmese military's offensive against a different ethnic insurgent group in the area, reported the New York Times.   The TNLA is one of several groups fighting for more autonomy in northern Burma
Item Number:4 Date: 05/15/2018 CHINA - IMAGERY SHOWS CONSTRUCTION AT AIRBASE IN SOUTHEAST (MAY 15/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- China is expanding an airbase near its southeastern coast, suggesting preparations for a potential faceoff with Taiwan and Japan, reports Defense News.   Satellite photos from April show dozens of new structures that are nearly complete at the base in Xiapu, Fujian province.   Among the new buildings constructed on the site are 24 aircraft shelters, each about 100 feet (30 m) long and 60 feet (18 m) wide. Departing the usual practice, the shelters are not built in straight lines but dispersed in six clusters of four.   Eight of the shelters have been built along a 1.7-mile-long (2.7-km) runway, while the others have been erected in an aircraft dispersal area with multiple hardened and camouflaged aircraft shelters.   Other buildings include five new barracks, parking garages and testing and inspection facilities for vehicles, according to a former satellite imagery analyst with the Indian army.   At 160 miles (200 km) from Taipei and 225 miles (360 km) from the disputed Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, the facility would make it easier for China to launch operations against rival powers in the region.   Construction could suggest the stationing of a permanent unit at the base, which has only hosted deployed aircraft since it was completed in 2012.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 05/15/2018 USA - PENTAGON MODIFIES MISSIONS TO IMPROVE FORCE PROTECTION IN WAKE OF NIGER AMBUSH (MAY 15/AFT)  AIR FORCE TIMES -- The Pentagon has decided to step up protection for troops operating in Niger, reports the Air Force Times.   Defense officials last week briefed reporters on the results of the inquiry in the ambush on Oct. 4 that killed four American troops. Forces in Niger will have more U.S. Air Force cover and the frequency of group missions will decrease.   It took over an hour and a half for U.S. aircraft to arrive in support of the U.S. troops that were ambushed, the newspaper noted.   "We have increased the firepower, we've increased the ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capacity and we've increased various response times," said Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the U.S. Africa Command chief.   The U.S. Air Force is building facilities at Niger Air Base 201 in Agadez, which will help support the increased ISR requirements, officials said
  Item Number:15 Date: 05/15/2018 USA - SOCOM PLANS TO BUY HUNDREDS OF SMALL GLIDE MUNITIONS (MAY 15/BREAKDEF)  BREAKING DEFENSE -- U.S. Special Operations Command has decided to procure a lightweight replacement for the Hellfire missile, reports Breaking Defense.   Dynetics, Huntsville, Ala., will produce more than 4,000 small glide munitions (SGM) for the command under the anticipated contract.   SOCOM purchased dozens of SGMs last year for testing.   The munition will initially be fielded on AC-130 platforms and is being considered for a variety of other special operations platforms.   The SGM is unpowered, carries a 36-pound (16-kg) warhead and can hit targets moving at speeds of up to 70 mph (110 km) at ranges of more than 20 miles (32 km).   SOCOM is expected to purchase 700 SGMs in both 2018 and 2019; 900 in 2020; and 1,000 each in 2021 and 2022
  Item Number:16 Date: 05/15/2018 YEMEN - MAJOR RAID FREES PARTS OF HODEIDA, COALITION SAYS (MAY 15/WAM)  EMIRATES NEWS AGENCY -- Troops from the United Arab Emirates have carried out an amphibious assault to dislodge Houthi rebels from a major base in Yemen's western Hodeida province, reports the Emirates News Agency.   On Sunday, troops carried out Operation Red Thunder, which successfully destroyed a Houthi command center in the al Faza region.   An undisclosed number of Houthi fighters were killed in the clash, said the state news agency.   Yemeni government troops and their supporters in the Saudi-led coalition have been working to encircle the city of Hodeida, a major port city in the province of the same name.   Military leaders worry that control of the port has allowed the rebels to receive supplies and mine the waters in the critical Red Sea waterway.   On May 11, the coalition advanced into the province's south, after gaining control of major roads and cities between Taiz and Hodeida provinces.   Large-scale operations toward Hodeidah city began on Monday, said Brig. Gen. Abdul Salaam al Shehi, the commander of coalition forces on Yemen's Red Sea coast. Yemeni forces are taking part in the operation along with Sudanese and Emirati forces, he said.

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