Monday, May 13, 2019

The List 4995 TGB




The List 4995 TGB

 
To All
I hope that you all had a great Mother’s Day weekend.
Regards,
 
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This day in Naval History May 13, 2019
 
1846 Congress declares war against Mexico. Commodore David Conner is responsible for the landing of the Army at Vera Cruz. In April 1847, Commodore Matthew C. Perry relieves Conner. On Feb. 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed ending hostilities.
1908 The Navy Nurse Corps is established by Public Law No. 115, though nurses have been volunteering onboard Navy ships prior to the Civil War.
1908 The Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, later called Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, is authorized for the enlargement and dredging of the Pearl Harbor channel and locks to admit the largest ships as it becomes a coaling station for the U.S. Navy.
1944 USS Francis M. Robinson (DE 220) sinks Japanese submarine RO 501 (ex-German U 1124) en route to Japan on her maiden voyage, 400 miles south-southwest of the Azores.
1964 The first all nuclear-powered task group, USS Enterprise (CVAN 65), USS Long Beach (CGN 9) and USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25), is organized and deploys to the Sixth Fleet. The task group departs in July and circumnavigates the globe without refueling, returning that October.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
 
Executive Summary:
Leading national news headlines today are multiple reports on the trade war between the U.S. and China.  The Press Trust of India states the CNO Adm. John Richardson is visiting India to meet his Indian counterpart and other senior officials to further strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and Indian navies. USNI News reports that the Navy will soon have a finalized plan for its proposed assistant secretary of the Navy for information management office. Additionally, the Virginian-Pilot state the Navy’s Career Intermission Program helps to retain talented sailors by being more accommodating to working parents. "The bottom line is that women can be wives, mothers and Sailors all at the same time," said Lt. Cmdr. Jessica McNulty.
 
 
Today in History: May 13
1607 English colonists land near the James River in Virginia.
1648 Margaret Jones of Plymouth is found guilty of witchcraft and is sentenced to be hanged.
1779 The War of Bavarian Succession ends.
1846 The United States declares war on Mexico after fighting has already begun.
1861 Britain declares its neutrality in the American Civil War.
1864 The Battle of Resaca commences as Union General William T. Sherman fights towards Atlanta.
1888 Slavery is abolished in Brazil.
1912 The Royal Flying Corps is established in England.
1913 Igor Sikorsky flies the first four-engine aircraft.
1944 Allied forces in Italy break through the German Gustav Line into the Liri Valley.
1958 French troops take control of Algiers.
1968 Peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam begin in Paris.
1981 Pope John Paul II survives an assassination attempt.
 
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Thanks to THE Bear 
COMMANDO HUNT and ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED…WEEK FIFTEEN of THE HUNT…17-23 FEBRUARY 1969…
May 12, 2019Bear Taylor
COMMANDO HUNT and ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED…WEEK FIFTEEN of THE HUNT…17-23 FEBRUARY 1969…
COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR…(1961-1973)…
DURING THE WEEK ENDING 16 FEBRUARY 1969 AMERICAN LOSSES, KILLED-IN-ACTION, TOTALED 197 AND ANOTHER 257 WERE WOUNDED ON THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA BRINGING THE TOTAL COST IN WARRIOR LIVES IN THE VIETNAM WAR TO 31,777… In 1961 General Douglas MacArthur warned: “Anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland of Asia should have his head examined.”… Philosopher George Santayana said for all time: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”… In 2011 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke: “Any defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia, or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.”… LEST WE FORGET…
Good Morning. It’s Monday, 13 May 2019. Humble Host remembers WEEK FIFTEEN of COMMANDO HUN T I– the hunt and kill operation over the expanding Ho Chi Minh Trail waged in the face of increasing opposition as the North Vietnamese move more and bigger guns south…
HEADLINES form THE NEW YORK TIMES (17-23 FEBRUARY 1969)… “All the news that’s fit to print,” reads the banner of “The Gray Lady” of news…
THE WAR: (17 Feb) BOTH SIDES MARK TET CEASE FIRE–Incidents Minor–Allied Troops Kept On Alert During Truce Ffor Lunar New Year–New Actions Are Few… 3 AMERICANS REPORTED DEAD IN 52 CLASHES– “…As the Year of the Rooster began, there was no indication that the Vietcong guerrillas and North Vietnamese troops were undertaking a major offensive…. The biggest enemy offensive of the war began during Tet last year and allied forces were on full alert this year in case there was a similar surprise attack. It was a fear that a defensice, idle posture encourages such offensives that led Allied leaders to limit their own holiday truce to one day.”… (18 Feb) ALLIES END 24-HOUR TRUCE–196 Incidents… “…compared with previous year…the incidents reported so far this year are miniscule.”… FROM TET TO TET: Year After Foes Drive, Washington Still Debates Strategy… (19 Feb) ENEMY CONTINUES VIETNAM ATTACKS–Strikes At Allied Positions Despite Own Tet Truce… “The heaviest attack…took place in Quangtri Province where an enemy force estimated at 200 to 400 men attacked a United States marine artillery base about 28 miles south-southwest of Quangtri City. The marines fired artillery at the enemy at point-blank range. They were supported by fighter-bombers… the bodies of 37 North Vietnamese were found on the battlefield.”… B-52s STRIKE BORDER AREA…”Four heavy raids by United States B-52s…poured more than two million pounds of bombs along the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon.”… {HUMBLE HOST NOTE: This is about the time the U.S. starts the “secret bombing ” of Cambodia… Which side of the border was the target on this day?.. Let the controversy begin}… (20 Feb) PACIFICATION UNIT TAKES HEAVY LOSSES–Team And Militia Attacked By Vietcong In The Delta– Sharp Battle in A Shau Valley… (21 Feb) U.S. MARINES PRESS SWEEP IN QUANGTRI PROVINCE–Americans Seek to Control Hills Along the  Laotian Border–A Marine Platoon –about 44 men–Kill 32 North Vietnamese in Drive Against Bunkers… (22 Feb) ACTION BY ENEMY DOWN DURING TET–Allied Officials Are Cautious About Explaining Decline…”…Enemy-initiated incidents have averaged about 30 a day for the last six weeks with 89 on Monday the most important day of the Tet national holiday.”… (23 Feb) ENEMY BOMBARDS CITIES AND BASES IN SOUTH VIETNAM–About 70 Targets Including Saigon And Danang Are Hit In Early Morning–28 G.I.’s Dead, 108 Wounded–Some Rifle Assaults Staged But U.S. Doubts They Have Wide Impact…
 
THE PEACE TALKS IN PARIS: (17 Feb) THIEU, IN A TET SPEECH, IS HOPEFUL OF A FAVORABLE ACCORD IN PARIS… “…President Nguyen Van Thieu sought to instill in his people hope for a favorable settlement in Paris. ‘We have not lost the battle and I see no reason why we should lose in Paris.’… ‘While you are turning the barrels of your guns toward the enemy, I will not permit anyone to knife you in the back. There can be no mercy for those who lend a hand to the Communists in clamoring for a so-calledl peace administration as a means to achieve the Communist political aims.’… (19 Feb) VIETNAMESE IN FRANCE URGED TO BACK ‘PEACE CABINET’ IN SAIGON… “Many Vietnamese residents here in France received leaflets in their language today urging them to support the establishment of a ‘peace cabinet’ in Paris. The leaflets purported to have been issued by a new nationalist Vietnamese group, known as Reconstruction, but were generally understood to reflect Vietcong policies.’… (21 Feb) U.S. AGAIN STRESSES DE-ESCALATION AT PARIS TALKS– Lodge Calls For a Common Ground In Negotiations–He Bids The Other Side Join In Withdrawal of Troops… (22 Feb) LAOS CONSIDERING TALKS TO END WAR–Souvanna Weighs Meeting With Pathet Lao Aide… (23 Feb) HINTS OF SHIFT BY HANOI AND NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT STIR HOPE FOR PULLOUT DISCUSSIONS… Paris… “Analysts here believe that North Vietnam and the NLF, or Vietcong, are inching toward conceding North Vietnamese involvement in the South and that the trend may eventually lead to productive talks on mutual troop withdrawals.”… “Hanoi and the Vietcong have consistently denied that large-scale infiltration from the north has kept the war in South Vietnam going. The war, they contend, is an uprising of the South Vietnamese population against the Saigon Regime and United States ‘aggression.’ Recently, however, they have not denied that Northern troops are in the south.”…
 
OTHER NYT HEADLINES from the week of 17-13 February 1969… (17 Feb) FOUNDATIONS FACE SWEEPING INQUIRY BY HOUSE PANEL–Hearings Start Tomorrow–Study First of Its Kind By Congress In 20-Years–46 Witnesses Called–Tax Exemptions An Issue…”…McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation, will be called upon to defend the sheer size of his organization–with $3.6billion in assets it is by far the largest of all foundations–and probably also to explain actions such as its recent grants for travel and study of the staff of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy.”… (18 Feb) PUEBLO OFFICER SAYS NORTH KOREANS BEAT HIM UN TIL HE CONFESSED– “A thin…Navy officer spoke quietly today of the hours that North Korea soldiers had beaten, kicked and tormented him into signing a false confession that the U.S.S. Pueblo was spying in North Korean territorial waters.”… LAIRD HINTS TEST OF DRAFT LOTTERY BEFORE WAR ENDS–Says Overhaul Of Military pay Is Also Part Of Drive to End ‘Inequities’–Plans Vietnam Tour–Deputy Secretary of Defense Asserts Services Starting Salaries Should Compete With Civilians… (19 Feb) UPSURGE IN SOVIET ARMS AID TO UAR INDICATED–But Egyptian Morale Is Depicted As Spotty–Defense Role Criticized… PEKING CANCELS TALKS WITH U.S. CITING DEFECTOR–Bars Warsaw Meeting On Ground Envoy In hague Was Subverted By C.I.A.–Rogers Denies Charge… HARVARD PRESIDENT WARNS OF STUDENTS ATTACKS ON FREEDOMS–Deplores Use Of Creative Method–Issues statement After Professors Protest Student Sitin… HARVARD STUDENTS SEIZE THE LAW SCHOOL–University May Seek Writ Ordering End of Seige… (20 Feb) IRELAND IS CALM IN ULSTER UNREST–Political Realities Limiting Talk Of Reunification– Bread Is Scarce… PRESIDENT OPENS SOVIET DIALOGUE–Continued Consultation May Lead to Eventual Trip By Nixon… ISRAEL SEEKING WORLD AID TO END AIRLINER ATTACKS–Official Tells Of International Aviation Unit–Note To U.N. Reported–Top Security Body Meets–Swiss Say Zurich Incident Was Armed Intervention… HUNGER IN AMERICA: Appalacia Ill-Fed Despite a Natioonal Effort…5 HURT AS MILITANTS THROW STONES AND BOTTLES AT POLICE IN BERKELEY… (21 Feb) LAIRD SEES RAPID SOVIET MISSILE GAIN… Britain Bids Nixon Affirm Atomic Defense of Europe… (22 Feb) DE GUALLE URGES A NEW TRADE BLOC INCLUDING BRITAIN–Proposal For A Wider Group In Place of Common Market Is Disclosed In London–NATO Role Is Challenged–But Paris Says Reports of Plan For Inner Directorate Are Semsationalized… Plan Is Troubling For U.S…. PENTAGON IS STUDYING CODE FOR PRISONERS… (23 Feb) U.S. CLOSER TO TWO SOCIETIES; NEW STUDY FINDS… Separation And Inequality of Race Found Increasing in Private Urban Report–Kerner Panel of March 1968 Upheld–Warning Given Last March Is Termed Accurate With More Disorders Feared… EISENHOWER HAS INTESTINAL BLOCK– Need For Surgery Studied… TRUMAN IN HOSPITAL–Talks With Humphrey By Phone… U.S. STUDENT GROUP MAPS NEW PROTEST TACTICS–Guerrilla Style Of Non-Violent Struggle To Back Negroes Is Envisioned By National Student Association… STRIFE ON CAMPUS TIED TO THE WAR–Study Finds Violence Embedded In U.S. Society… COUNTDOWN IS ON FOR NEXT APOLLO–Starting Friday to Test Lunar Module In Orbit…
 
COMMANDO HUNT I … NYT headline: “GENERAL CRITICAL OF WAR REPORTING–WALT CALLS FOR RESTRAINT IN POLITICAL CONFLICTS”…
   The New York Times, 19 February 1969, page 9…
(Humble Host awaits a response from the United States Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB to my request for the PACAF Southeast Asia Air Operations for the period 1969-1972, which are available in their incredible archives. I am informed that my standing in the queue is #13.  As I wait my turn for archivist time and assistance I am drawing material from other sources that are pertinent to the subject of these posts–COMMANDO HUNT. For this Week 15 post I have gone to General Lewis Walt, USMC, and a speech he gave as “ACMaC” in Washington on 18 February 1969)… I quote from The NYT article…
“Lieut. Gen. Lewis W. Walt, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, called in effect yesterday for a reappraisal of news coverage of political wars such as that in Vietnam. In a speech at the Edward R. Murrow World Affairs Forum of the Overseas Press Club, General Walt said the Vietnam fighting was ‘the most misunderstood war in our country’s history.‘ One of the reasons, he said, was ‘the difficulty of reporting the war in complete perspective.’ The general specifically mentioned television coverage and said it was the first political war with television coverage.
‘HEADLINE NEWS’ FAVORED
“General Walt, who commanded the marines in South Vietnam from 1965 to 1967, commented that more than half the fighting was done at night when there was no television coverage. Half the daylight fighting is in remote areas ‘where newsmen are not around,’ the general said, and the coverage of much of the rest of the fighting ‘concerns itself with dramatic occurrences which the newsmen know will make headlines in the United States.’ He rejected censorship of news coverage from Vietnam although he said that censorship in the Korean fighting and World War II had helped ‘to put things in context. ‘We are going to have to realize the extreme importance of the news media in fighting political wars in the future or we will be faced otherwise with unpopular wars wherever they are,’ General Walt said.
“He asserted that news coverage of antiwar demonstrators and speeches at schools and in Congress gave an erroneous impression of American opinion because such coverage implied, especially to the enemy, vast opposition to the war on the home front. The 50-year old general, who will visit Vietnam next month, said he would hold newsmen in Vietnam entirely responsible for the nature of the coverage. The business is highly competitive he said, and Americans tend to crave sensationalism.”… End NYT article…
General Walt’s book is STRANGE WAR, STRANGE STRATEGY: A General’s Report On Vietnam (1970)… abebooks.com has copies for about five bucks…
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abebooks.com
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There is an outstanding Monograph entitled GENERAL LEWIS WALT: OPERATIONAL ART IN VIETNAM, 1965-1967 by Major Jerem G. Swenddal, USA (104 pages) available on line that may interest old warriors who are fed up with watching current events on TV … read at
apps.dtic.mil
REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the

 
AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: 17-23 FEBRUARY 1969… References include Hobson’s VIETNAM: AIR LOSSES and Douglas E. Campbell’s U.S. NAVY and U.S. MARINE AIRCRAFT DAMAGED OR DESTROYED DURING THE VIETNAM WAR. Volume 2. A third reference for reporting aircraft losses is Rene Francillon’s TONKIN GULF YACHT CLUB. During the Fifteenth Week of COMMANDO HUNT I ten aircraft were destroyed and nine American aviators flew their last mission in the service of our country…
(1) On 17 February an F-4J of the VF-21 Freelancers embarked in USS Ranger piloted by LCDR D.J. WEAVER with RIO LTJG J.H. AKIN in the back seat launched on a CAP mission, suffered an airframe fire, lost hydraulic pressure and had to eject. They escaped the sea snakes in the Gulf of Tonkin and were rescued by helicopter to fly and fight again…
(2) On the night of 17 February a KA-3B Tanker of the VAH-10, Det 43 embarked in USS Coral Sea crewed by LCDR RODNEY MAX CHAPMAN, PO1 STANLEY MILTON JEROME and PO1 EDDIE RAY SCHIMMELS was lost at sea. The tanker completed its night tanking mission and after returning to the carrier was turned out by radar to obtain interval for landing. The controller directed LCDR CHAPMAN to turn back to the carrier final approach heading. The aircraft never responded and was lost off the carrier controller’s screen. A twenty-four hour search by air and sea failed to find any sign of the missing aircraft or the three man crew. Hobson wrote: “The probable cause of the accident was recorded as controlled flight into the sea probably due to pilot fatigue. The tankers often flew very long and tiring missions in their unceasing efforts to support the combat forces.”… Humble Host notes that this flight was in the hands of a single qualified Naval Aviator… very unusual from my experience… Three brave sailors remain lost at sea… but remembered here with respect and sorrow…
(3) On 18 February an F-105D of the 34th TFS and 388th TFW out of Korat piloted by CAPTAIN JOHN MARTIN BRUCHER was part of a two aircraft COMMANDO HUNT mission to strike a POL storage site near the Ban Karai Pass under FAC control. CAPTAIN BRUCHER’s Thunderchief was hit on the diving attack and the empennage broke from the aircraft as CAPTAIN BRUCHER dropped his bombs. He was able to eject however and was seen by his wingman to parachute into a tree. CAPTAIN BRUCHER reported that he was caught on a tree branch and incurred a shoulder injury in the ejection. A rescue attempt was driven away by intense enemy fire. A second attempt was made the following day and the parachute was empty. There were no further radio or beeper signals heard and the search was terminated. CAPTAIN BRUCHER was listed as missing in action and remains unaccounted for today. Left behind. A memorial stone in his honor is located at the Air Force Academy Cemetery. 869 of our fallen warriors originally “left behind” have been accounted for: CAPTAIN BRUCHER Is not one of them. He remains missing and his status is XX (“Presumptive Finding of Death”)…. IT IS BEYOND BELIEF THAT THE NORTH VIETNAMESE DO NOT KNOW THE FATE OF OUR WARRIOR…
(4) On 20 February an F-4J of the VF-21 Freelancers embarked in USS Ranger “spit the bridle” on the catapult launch and the aircraft nose dropped to the deck. The aircraft became airborne momentarily, then crashed into the Gulf ahead of the carrier. The pilot, LTJG DAVID PHILLIP NEISLAR, failed to escape the aircraft and went down in the Phantom. The second member of the pair of Freelancers, the RIO, was rescued and returned to the fight. LTJG NEISLAR rests in peace where he fell fifty years ago and is memorialized in the Fort Smith (Texas) National Cemetery … So young…
(5) On 22 February an F-4D of the 555th TFS and 432nd TRW out of Udorn was downed while attacking enemy positions on the Plain of Jars under control of a Raven FAC. The pilot CAPTAIN WAYNE EDWARD PEARSON ordered the backseater 1LT M.E.HEENAN to eject and he survived, although seriously injured in the high speed, unusual attiture ejection. CAPTAIN PEARSON failed to clear the aircraft and was killed in the crash. 1LT HEENAN followed the Raven FAC instructions to elude the searching North Vietnamese troops and an HH-53 from Udorn was able to rescue 1LT HEEDON ahead of the enemy ground troops… “…in the nick of time.” The rest of MAJOR PEARSON’s story is told below in RIPPLE SALVO II (Promoted to Major while MIA)…
(6) On 22 February an F-4C of the 558th TFS and 12th TFW was lost on a close air support mission in South Vietnam. MAJOR R.C. ROTH, pilot, and 1LT C.H. GRAY, WSO, were striking troops when hit by 12.7mm antiaircraft fire at 2,500-feet on their fourth attack. The Phantom burst into flames and became uncontrollable. The two aviators were able to eject a few miles south of the area and were rescued by an Army helicopter…
(7) On 22 February a B-57B of the 8th TBS and 35th TFW out of Phan Rang was lost on a night COMMANDO HUNT mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail 7 miles west of Ban Kat. LLCOL DONALD ELMER PAXTON and MAJOR CHARLES MACKO were striking a convoy of trucks when hit by AAA and the aircraft was observed to fly into a mountain slope before the two night fighters could eject. A search failed to locate either man and they were listed as missing in action. During the period they were carried as MIA both were promoted to Colonel. On 8 September 2000 the Department of Defense announced the recovery and positive identification of the remains of six airman lost in Laos, including both COLONEL PAXTON and COLONEL MACKO. Both were buried at Arlington National Cemetery where they rest in peace…
(8) On the night of 22 February an O-1E of the 504th TASG at Dau Tieng was destroyed by a Vietcong satchel charge.
(9) On the night of 22 February an F-100D of the 3rd TFW and a U-10B of the 14th SOW were destroyed on the ground at Bien Hoa in a thirty-nine rocket attack on the base by Vietcong raiders. Eight other aircraft were damaged. There were no fatalities…
 
RIPPLE SALVO I …THE BOMBING ALONG THE CAMBODIAN BORDER BECOMES THE BOMBING OF CAMBODIA…
The New York Times, 19 February 1969, page 1: “B-52s STRIKE BORDER AREA…Saigon, Wednesday, Feb. 19 (AP)…Four heavy raids by United States B-52s last night and this morning poured more than two million pounds of bombs along the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon.”…
THE SUSTAINED SECRET BOMBING OF CAMBODIA began on 18 March 1969. It would be years before the secret was fully known to congress and the American people. As a consequence, the bombing of Cambodia holds a special place in American history. The full story will not be told on this website–that is better left to Wikipedia–but readers are encouraged to take this opportunity to review the series of events of that led up to the campaign. Two links are recommended. The first is buried in Episodes 9-12 of the National Archives on-line exhibits “Remembering Vietnam.” The animation “U.S. Airstrikes in Southeast Asia (1965-1973)” at the tail end of Episode 9 provides the shocking truth that our B-52s pounded the hades out of Cambodia from South Vietnam to the Mekong River and into the heart of the country. Don’t miss it. Watch it twice or more. Runs 4:30 minutes. Address:
The 16-page Wikipedia telling of the bombing–OPERATION MENU–is athttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Menu
WHY DID PRESIDENT NIXON AUTHORIZE THE BOMBING OF CAMBODIA?… because he had had enough. He wanted to end the war honorably and counted on the peace talks in Paris to work toward this goal. The peace talks amounted to a sham. He inherited a deal with North Vietnam that called for the United States to stop bombing North Vietnam and in return the North Vietnamese would not violate the DMZ and lay off the shelling of South Vietnamese urban areas. North Vietnam moved into and across the DMZ at will and shelled the cities and bases in South Vietnam every night. In addition, the enemy continued to build up manpower and war fighting material in the sanctuaries of Laos and Cambodia in preparation for another major offensive. Within a month of his inauguration National Security Study Memorandum 1 provided him a dim picture on which to put together a strategy to achieve the end of the war he promised. By mid-February 1069 he and Kissinger had concluded the enemy’s use of Cambodia for launching attacks into South Vietnam had to be neutralized. The Wikipedia piece tells the story, but the following clips from General Creighton Abrams Weekly Intelligence Estimate Updates for 15 February and 1 March 1969 are equally informative.
15 FEB WIEU… Attending: General Abrams and 22 of his favorite generals and colonels. I quote…
BRIEFER: Reports the first concrete evidence of infiltrated groups being transported by barge. 1968 MACV Infiltration Estimate: There were 247 four-digit groups and 77 probable gaps…. Reports the arrival 9 January in Sihanoulville (Cambodia) of a CHICOM freighter carrying arms.’ The Le Ming, 4,800 tons of arms, plus foodstuffs. On 11 January 1969 ‘offloaded by approximately 120 Cambodian Army personnel… approximately 130 trucks belonging to the Hak Ly and Machine trucking firms were used to transport the cargo to FARK ammunition depots near Kompong Speu. A total of 467 trucks and 127 trailer loads of arms were transported to the depot for eventual transfer to frontier regions… (North Vietnamese sanctuaries along the South Vietnam border?)… Sir, the purpose of this briefing is to assess the possibility of a major enemy offensive–it’s timing, form, and the factors which might influence both. First, the evidence. Right now we probably have more hard indications of an imminent offensive than we’ve had before…But many are vague as to the scope of the attack and the date of initiation…They suggest D-Day’s anywhere from mid-January to early April…Ambiguity. You are familiar with the reports from Paris which indicate that at this time the NLF does not wish to initiate large-scale attacks which have proven so costly in the past. ‘An officer from Kien Tuang Province quoted the provincial communist party chief as saying there would be no strong attack like the last general offensive. Otherwise, the allies would not withdraw from South Vietnam and the NLF would lose the opportunity to form a coalition government….’…Right now notes ‘the absnece of the classic indicatiors we should see within a week or two prior to a period of major activity…Movements of units to staging areas (close to the border), the clustering of units near the target areas (in base camps along both sides of the border), and the increased tactical posture of the enemy (crowding into the jumping off points in the sanctuaries). …The weight of evidence suggests that…any major offensive, if it should occur at all, is probably at least still a week away, and 10 to 20 days would seem more likely.” Open discussion followed… General Brown comment… “…the people at back home have the impression that the enemy has the initiative. And I really think that we ought to give some thought to how to change that impression.”… General Brown contributed another comment referring to PAVEWAY weapons… “This is the most cost effective development that has come along. The fighter bombing system, as it is built, will give you an expected accuracy–of about 230-250 feet. That’s with the average guy and a good pattern and all. This thing lets you hit with one bomb. and you put that baby on the front of a 2,000-pound or 750-pound bomb and you’ll so the work with one airplane. And before we used to have to send 10 or 12 to have any probability of hitting. It’s just great.”…
Toward the end of the WIEU of 1 March there was this exchange…
GENERAL GOODPASTER: “These border enclaves (sanctuaries), that have been detached in all practical purposes from Cambodia–his writ doesn’t run (i.e. Sihanouk could care less)– we could do this, just drop the enemy’s capability down by some significant amount, and then you’ve got all kinds of things, all kinds of elbow room. You want to take some of our forces out (of South Vietnam to home)? We could talk about it (bombing the sanctuaries)… GENERAL DAVISON: “You’ve got to offer them (Washington) something more than just what has been offered them time and time and time again (as justification for bombing across the border). I remember when General Westmoreland would come in for {authority to attack} some of the base area. And we couldn’t find a way to sell that. The Chiefs supported him a thousand and one percent, but it was a dull thud on the Third Floor {of the Pentagon} and worse across the river {in the White House and State Department}. Now if you can show where this might really get you down the road, a change in the balance of power where you might reach the point on force withdrawal, of reduction, this might just do it. You might get somewhere. But without some evidence of a real payoff that those politicians can grab a hold of, I don’t think that—.” GOODPASTER: “But there are some things of that kind. It does have that much strategic significance. And out of that, if we can exploit it, do this (bomb Cambodia), get some elbow room here for things that these people are–…I wouldn’t do it out of necessity. I would do it out of opportunity.”… ABRAMS: “That’s right. And the thought that he has in fact put himself in a position of great strategic risk {as argued by Goodpaster}, and that this could be dramatically unbalanced.”… DAVISON: “General, I go back to this call you made on the president (Nixon). You remember he was the only one I saw back there who ever mentioned the force reduction. And he was the one who said, who sent the message, ‘If you’ve got any dirty tricks, use them. I’ll back you up.’ Of course, Kissinger was almost lost at that point. It really hit him in the gut. But the basic point is if we got some leverage that’ll get us through the secretary of defense and the secretary of state, if we ever get this before the president, I think you’ve got an even money bet that you’ll get your way. If the case is presented right, and if the request is reasonable one…the objectives are definite and limited, and the benefits look pretty darn attractive–. And they must be suffering, you know, some chagrin that we didn’t retaliate, that we took this, just like we took the Pueblo. There’s a little national pride involved. We said we would not stop bombing unless these guarantees (“the understanding”), and they are violating both of them! I’d just–I’d be embarrassed. I think we all should be a little ashamed of this. So I think maybe we’re offering them (the guys in Washington) something they might find very attractive (to give the go-ahead with the bombing of the North Vietnamese in their base camps in Cambodia)”…
 
RIPPLE SALVO II… THE REST OF THE MAJOR WAYNE PEARSON STORY… From the pages of the Chicago Tribune, 20 October 1993… I quote…
“FAMILY’S 2-YEAR ORDEAL ENDING WITH BURIAL OF MIA PILOT” by William Presecky… I quote…
“It has taken more than 24 years to finish his obituary–nearly a quarter century to say, finally, that Air Force MAJOR WAYNE EDWARD PEARSON of Western Springs will be buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. The burial is scheduled to follow an 11 a.m. service in the historic cemetery’s Ft. Myers Chapel
“For Greg Pearson, who was nine when his father was listed as missing in action, Friday’s funeral ceremonies ‘are going to bring up a lot of pain and memories,’ he said. ‘But it also is a final conclusion to all the unanswered questions that have gone on since my father was shot down, so in that sense it’s a relief. It’s going to be a blessing more than anything else. For Eleanor Seegers, Wayne Pearson’s mother, the uncertainty about her son’s fate was emotionally draining. ‘The first five years were a nightmare,’ Seegers said. ‘You really didn’t know where he was, whether he was still out there in the jungle or whatever. After five years of that, I made up my mind that I could not go along like that.’ So in 1974 she organized what turned out to be a packed memorial service for her son at West Springs’ Grace Lutheran Church. ‘In my mind, I had to come to some kind of conclusion that he was not going to come back, certainly not the person he was when he left,’ said Seegers, who described her only son as ‘very much macho.’
“Following the memorial service, Seegers overcame resistance from officials at an Elmhurst cemetery and ordered the placement of a headstone for her son to join the headstone of his father, Paul, on the father’s grave. ‘I think it’s the only one in the entire cemetery that has two markers on one grave, but that’s the way it is. I stuck to my guns on it, and every time I go out there I think what a nice thing that was to have done. It just means something to me,’ she said.
“As painful are her memories of 1969 and the years of uncertainty and government red tape that followed that Julie Pearson is declining to talk publicly about, the much delayed but final chapter in her husband’s life, her sons said. That final chapter began unfolding this past summer (1993), when the family accepted the findings of forensic pathologists at the U.S. government’s Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii. The pathologists said that human remains recovered from a crash site in Xieng Khoang province, a remote highland area in northern Laos, and repatriated in 1992 were those of the downed fighter pilot, whose F-4 Phantom jet was lost on Feb. 22, 1969. The repatriation of Pearson’s remains are part of a massive, multi-million dollar effort by the U.S. government to account for more than 2,500 missing Americans from the Vietnam War.
“When he died, Wayne Pearson was 29, Julie had been his sweetheart at Lyons Township High School, and they married while he was a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. By 1969, the couple had two sons, 9-year-old Greg and 7-year-old Jon Eric. A pilot training instructor, Pearson volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia in 1068.
“Julie Pearson was sewing new clothes when an Air Force car pulled up in front of the family home in La Grange in 1969. She was preparing for a trip to Hawaii coming up in two weeks to rendezvous with her husband, who was scheduled for rest and relaxation leave in the island. She was told at the time that her husband was ‘missing.’ four years later, it was changed to ‘killed in action.’ But how? Where? What of his remains? It wasn’t until a U.S. survey team, along with a Laotian team, was allowed into Laos in 1992 to examine crash sites that the facts surrounding Pearson’s death were known. It was in Xieng Khoang, the so-called Plain of Jars, that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, later identified as Pearson, were discovered. According to Greg Pearson, now 33, of Brookfield, and 31-year-old Jon Eric Pearson, of Aurora, based on information gleaned from their father’s personnel file, Wayne was escorting a B-52 bombing raid, one of countless, covert sorties that from 1964 to 1973 dropped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos, when his aircraft was downed.
“For the Pearson family, Friday’s burial will mark the formal end to an ordeal that spanned parts of four decades. For Pearson’s former co-pilot, retired Air Force Colonel MICHAEL E. HEENAN of Colorado Springs, it will mark the conclusion of a mission he has waited 24 years to complete. The pain of the memories was evident in the halting cadence Heenan used in recalling Pearson and in expressing his gratitude at being able to have a role in the two men’s final mission. Heenan, who presumably was the last American to see Pearson alive, asked and received permission to escort his comrade’s remains to Washington on Thursday from Travis Air Force Base in California.
“‘On Feb. 22,1969, we took off together in the same aircraft. We didn’t land together. And they’re going to be kind enough to let me make the final landing with him.’ Although portions of the events of that day in 1969 are clear in Heenan’s mind, he said much of what transpired between the time their plane was hit and he woke up hanging in a tree is spotty. But he does remember struggling for control of the aircraft. ‘We were traveling very low and very fast,’ when they were hit ‘and through my mind passed ‘there’s no way’ in terms of a safe ejection or getting the aircraft not to hit the ground,’ Heenan said. Heenan said he believes Pearson hit the ejection handle releasing the back seat in which he was riding. The aircraft crashed, with Pearson, in the 1.2 seconds it took before the front seat could eject. ‘This guy gave his life for his country, and in so doing he saved the life of a fellow aviator,’ Heenan said.
“Joining Heenan in Washington on Friday will be retired Air Force Major General and CNN military analyst Perry M. Smith, who was the wingman who witnessed Pearson’s crash in 1969. Greg Pearson said the family opted for burial in Arlington National Cemetery because ‘basically we thought my father deserved as much a military honor funeral as we could give him.’ In addition to his wife, his two sons and his mother, Pearson is survived by three sisters, all from outside the Chicago area, who are expected to attend the funeral. ‘It’s going to be a very heartwarming affair for all of us as a family, Seegers said. ‘Now there is a finality about this, and that is exactly what I think we all needed–to have it final.’ “… End quote…
HUMBLE HOST End Note… For all who go forward to “see the elephant”–intense combat– and experience the loss of a comrade in the fight, to a man, there is the belief that “there but for the grace of God, go I.” There is also the companion belief: “I will remember my fallen comrade forever.”… Just as COLONEL HEENAN demonstrated for his brother-in-arms MAJOR WAYNE PEARSON in this real Vietnam remembrance…
Lest we forget…   Bear
 
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“This Day in Aviation History” brought to you by the Daedalians Airpower Blog Update. To subscribe to this weekly email, go to https://daedalians.org/airpower-blog/.
 
This Week in Aviation Heritage
 
May 12, 1938
Three Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine bombers of the 49th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, departed Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York, in heavy rain and headed eastward over the Atlantic Ocean. Their mission, assigned by Maj. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, commanding general, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Corps, was to locate and photograph the Italian passenger liner, S.S. Rex, then on a transatlantic voyage to New York City. The purpose was to demonstrate the capabilities and effectiveness of long-range bombers. Read the full story HERE. Andrews was Daedalian Founder Member #2129.
 
May 13, 1916
The Lafayette Escadrille flew French Nieuport 11s on their first patrol over Mulhouse on the Verdun Front, led by Cpl. Kiffin Rockwell. Five days later, Rockwell attacked and shot down a German aircraft, a two-man observational plane, over the Alsace battlefield despite having troubles with the motor. Thus, he became the first American pilot to shoot down an enemy plane during World War I. For this action he was awarded the Médaille militaire and the Croix de guerre. On Sept. 23, 1916, during a fight with a German two-man reconnaissance plane, Rockwell was shot through the chest by an explosive bullet and killed instantly. He became the second American airman to die in combat in France, and was buried with military honors.
 
May 14, 1908
Charles Furnas became the first airplane passenger when he rode aboard an aircraft flown by Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
 
May 15, 1963
At 8:04:13.106 a.m., Mercury-Atlas 9, carrying NASA astronaut, L. Gordon Cooper aboard Faith 7, lifted off from Launch Complex 14, Cape Canaveral AFB, Florida. Cooper reported, “The liftoff was smooth, but very definite, the acceleration was very pleasant. The booster had a very good feel to it and it felt like we were real on the go, there.” The maximum acceleration experienced during launch was 7.6 Gs. Read more about this mission HERE. Cooper, who would retire from the Air Force as a colonel, was a Daedalian Life Member.
 
May 16, 1927
“Wings,” a Paramount Pictures silent motion picture directed by William A. Wellman, won the first Academy Award for Best Picture at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood, California. The silent movie about combat pilots of World War I was filmed on location at Kelly Field, Texas, at a cost of $2 million. More than 300 pilots were involved, and 3,500 extras in the land battle scenes.
 
May 17, 1943
The flight crew of the B-17 Memphis Belle completed their combat tour of 25 bombing missions over Western Europe with an attack on the massive Kéroman Submarine Base at Lorient, France. The bomber was a U.S. Army Air Force B-17F-10-BO Flying Fortress, serial number 41-24485, assigned to the 324th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy), VIII Bomber Command, based at Air Force Station 121 (RAF Bassingbourne, Cambridgeshire, England). The aircraft commander was Capt. Robert Knight Morgan, Air Corps, United States Army. The Memphis Belle is now on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Learn more HERE.
 
May 18, 1953
On his last day of combat, Capt. Joseph C. McConnell, Jr., a fighter pilot with the 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, flew 2 sorties in which he shot down 3 enemy MiG-15 fighters, bringing his total to 16 aerial victories. He was credited with damaging 5 more enemy aircraft. McConnell was the leading American ace of the Korean War. He had scored all of his victories between Jan. 14 and May 18, 1953. For his actions on this date, Captain McConnell was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
 
 
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Some news from around the world
 
USA—Air Force Adds F-35 Aggressor Squadron Air Force News Service | 05/13/2019 The U.S. Air Force is reactivating the 65th Aggressor Squadron and transferring 11 F-35A Lightning II fighters to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as part of efforts to improve training for fifth-generation jets, reports the Air Force News Service. Gen. Mike Holmes, the head of Air Combat Command, had recommended enhancing training and the development of fifth-generation fighter tactics and close air support by adding F-35s to the fourth-generation aircraft currently used as adversaries. The service has decided to create a fifth-generation aggressor squadron at Nellis AFB and will move nine non-combat capable F-35As from Eglin AFB, Fla., to the squadron. The new squadron will employ early production F-35s to help train pilots for high-intensity warfare, said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. The older F-35s will not move from Eglin AFB until they are replaced by new aircraft, the Air Force said.  Two F-35As from Edwards AFB, Calif., will also join the 24th Tactical Air Support Squadron at Nellis, an F-16 unit that is focused on supporting and performing close air support training.  
 
USA—Aircraft Carrier To Join Northern Edge Drills Air Force Times | 05/13/2019 For the first time in a decade, the U.S. Navy is sending an aircraft carrier to the Air Force-led Northern Edge joint exercise in Alaska, reports the Air Force Times. The biennial drills, scheduled to run from May 13-24, will involve around 10,000 personnel and 250 aircraft from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as five naval vessels, according to a Pacific Air Forces release last week. Participating in the exercise are units from the continental U.S., the Asia-Pacific region and some that will take part from elsewhere in the U.S., the newspaper said. The drills are designed to prepare joint forces to respond to crises in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It covers tactical combat skills, command, control and communications and joint planning, said PACAF.  
 
USA—Rolls-Royce Touts New Power System For Laser Weapons Defense News | 05/13/2019 Rolls-Royce's LibertyWorks division in Indianapolis, Ind., has successfully developed a new power system designed for laser weapons, reports Defense News. The integrated power and thermal management system, developed and tested over the last decade, can power a 100-kW-class laser weapon, according to LibertyWorks officials. The system uses the company's M250 helicopter engine, which supplies about 300 kW of electrical power and 200 kW of thermal management capacity. A battery is fitted so that the engine does not have to run all the time. The user can begin operations on the battery and then switch over to the turbine engine once its running, said Mark Wilson, the chief operating officer of LibertyWorks. The engine then recharges the battery. The engine supports continuous operations so long as it has fuel, enabling "an endless magazine of laser shots," Wilson told the newspaper in an interview last week. The power system is designed to fit inside the same vehicle as the laser weapon. Current laser demonstrators use off-the-shelf diesel generators that require a separate trailer. Rolls-Royce plans to complete another round of testing before supplying the system to Lockheed Martin for field-testing with its laser weapon.   
 
South Korea—Missile Defenses To Be Strengthened In Response To Latest N. Korean Tests Yonhap | 05/13/2019 South Korea will continue to enhance its missile defense capabilities following recent missile tests by North Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).  The defense ministry is developing its missile defenses based on the Patriot system, a spokeswoman said on Monday.  Seoul is looking at solutions to counter North Korea's short-range cruise missiles as well as any other threats that could arise, she said. Officials said on Sunday that they were working to identify the systems used in last week's launches.  Initial analysis suggested a resemblance to Russia's Iskander ballistic missile but some have cautioned that these similarities may be cosmetic.  Pyongyang also launched unidentified projectiles on May 4 into the Sea of Japan.  U.N. Security Council resolutions bar North Korea from test-firing ballistic missiles.    
 
Philippines—Four Explosions Strike Maguindanao Province Ahead Of Polls Manila Bulletin | 05/13/2019 A series of explosions have struck cities in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao ahead of midterm elections on Monday, reports the Manila Bulletin.  On Sunday, an explosion took place near Datu Odin Sinsuat, said Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the commander of the army's 6th Infantry Division.  Two more blasts were reported near the city hall in Cotabato on Sunday night.  A fourth explosion was reported on Monday morning near Datu Odin Sinsuat.  The blasts occurred in open areas that are not known gathering points and no casualties were reported. Sobejana said troops were dispatched following the explosions, reported the official Philippine News Agency.  The explosions may have been intended to scare voters from participating in the midterm elections, said military officials. Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde denied that there was any link to the elections, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.     
 
 
India—ISIS Declares New Province In India After Fighting In Kashmir Press Trust Of India | 05/13/2019 The Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) claims to have set up a new branch in India, reports the Press Trust of India. On Friday, the terrorist group's Amaq news agency announced the "India province" (Wilayat Hind) following clashes between militants and security forces in Kashmir.  A senior police officer in Jammu and Kashmir rejected the claim. ISIS said its fighters fought with security personnel in Amshipora in the Shopian district, resulting in one dead ISIS fighter and undisclosed casualties among government troops, reported Reuters. The statement did not indicate when the fighting occurred.  The slain militant identified by ISIS was known to police and had a history of attacks on security forces. He may have been the lone individual with ISIS sympathies in the area, said one military official.  ISIS has lost its primary territorial holdings in Syria and Iraq and is looking to claim disparate provinces to maintain credibility, said analysts.  The militant group began claiming attacks against Indian security forces in 2017, which were linked to its Khorasan Province branch that covers Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nearby countries.   
 
Pakistan—Baluch Separatists Claim Deadly Hotel Attack Dawn | 05/13/2019 Separatist militants in Pakistan's Baluchistan province have taken responsibility for an assault on a hotel in the port city of Gwadar that killed five people, reports the Dawn (Pakistan).  On Saturday, three gunmen attacked the Pearl Continental hotel, shooting and killing a security guard before entering the building, officials told the newspapers.  The attackers, who were heavily armed and wore military uniforms, moved to the upper floors, killing three hotel employees and wounding two more with indiscriminate fire, said Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing for Pakistan's military. Police and military units were dispatched to the site and launched an operation to clear the militants.  Security forces were able to defuse explosives planted by the terrorists and kill all three militants in the rescue operation.  One navy sailor was killed, while two army and two navy personnel were wounded in the operation.  The Baluchistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack. It is the fifth attack in the southwestern province in the last month.     
 
Yemen—Houthis Withdrawing From Ports, Says U.N. Agence France-Presse | 05/13/2019 The United Nations says that the withdrawal of Houthi rebels from several Yemeni ports is proceeding as planned after months of delays, reports Agence France-Presse.  On Saturday, the rebels began unilaterally handing over facilities in Saleef, Ras Issa and Hodeidah, and called on the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to take similar steps as required under last year's cease-fire agreement.  Officials from Yemen's internationally-recognized government accused the rebels of simply reshuffling its forces in the ports.  Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, the head of the U.N. Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), confirmed the withdrawal and handover to professional coast guard personnel, reported BBC News.  The coast guardsmen were responsible for administering the facilities before the Houthis overran much of the country five years ago.  All Houthi fighters are expected to be withdrawn by Tuesday. The Security Council is set to be briefed on the situation on Wednesday.  The three ports, all of which were controlled by the rebels, were supposed to be handed over under a deal agreed to in December. Efforts to implement that agreement stalled due to disputes over the administration of the ports and accusations of cease-fire violations.   
 
United Arab Emirates—Commercial Ships Sabotaged Outside Fujairah Emirates News Agency | 05/13/2019 Four merchant ships have been damaged in sabotage operations near Emirati territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, reports the Emirates News Agency (WAM).  Two Saudi ships were "sabotaged" on Sunday in the waters off of Fujairah, including a tanker that was headed to Ras Tanura to be loaded with oil, said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih as reported by the Saudi Press Agency. There were no reports of casualties but the Saudi ships were said to be significantly damaged.  Abu Dhabi denied reports in Iranian and Lebanese media that the port of Fujairah was targeted with explosives, reported the National (U.A.E.). There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Iran has repeatedly threatened to stop oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in response to U.S. sanctions.  While acknowledging that the events had not been confirmed, the U.S. Maritime Administration urged shipping firms to exercise caution near Fujairah.    
 
Nigeria—Nearly 900 Children Released From Militia In Northeast UNICEF | 05/13/2019 The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) militia in northeastern Nigeria has released another 894 children from its ranks as part of its commitment to stop the recruitment and use of children, reports the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF). The CJTF was formed in 2013 to assist government security forces in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group. The just-released youths will participate in reintegration programs to help them return to civilian life. Children in northeastern Nigeria have been used by armed groups in combatant and non-combatant roles, said UNICEF officials. More than 3,500 children were recruited and employed by non-state armed groups in the region between 2013 and 2017. A total of 1,727 children and youths have been released since the CJTF signed an agreement to end the use and prevent the recruitment of children in September 2017. The militia has not recruited any children since, according to the U.N. agency.   
 
Burkina Faso—2 French Commandos Killed In Rescue Op Cable News Network | 05/13/2019 Two French special operations soldiers have been killed in a raid that rescued four hostages in Burkina Faso, reports CNN.  On May 10, troops from the Hubert naval special divers unit led a rescue operation, with Beninese, Burkinabe and U.S. support, reported France 24.  Two French commandos and four militants were killed in the operation.  The captives included two Frenchmen, a South Korean and an American.  On May 1, the Frenchmen were kidnapped in Pendjari National Park in neighboring Benin. Their guide was killed in the attack.  Authorities believed that the kidnappers would hand the abductees to the Macina Liberation Front, a member of the Al-Qaida-linked Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) that is based in Mali.  The U.S. provided overhead intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support for the mission, said American officials.  
 
Burkina Faso—6 Killed In Attack On Church In North Agence France-Presse | 05/13/2019 At least six people have been killed in a militant assault on a church in northern Burkina Faso, reports Agence France-Presse.  On Sunday, gunmen entered a Catholic church in the town of Dablo during worship, reported the official Burkina Information Agency.  The attackers ordered the women and children to leave and killed five male parishioners and the priest, said the mayor. The militants burned the church as well as nearby shops and a cafe and looted a health center.  Security sources said between 20 and 30 gunmen were involved in the assault.  This was the second attack on a church in Burkina Faso in less than a month.  Attacks against civilians and security personnel have been increasing. Security forces are in the midst of Operation Ndofou, which targets Islamist militants, some of whom are affiliated with Al-Qaida and ISIS.                                                                                                                                          



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