Wednesday, May 1, 2019

TheList 4984

The List 4984 TGB

To All,
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
This day in Naval History April 29, 2019
1814 American sloop USS Peacock and HMS Epervier engage in battle. Peacock takes two 32-pound shots in her fore-yard with the first exchange, but her return broadside smashes most of Eperviers rigging and guns. After 45 minutes, Epervier is captured. The battle is hailed as a tribute of American gunnery as Epervier has 45 shot holes in her port side.
1944 Task Force 58 begins a two-day attack on Japanese shipping, oil and ammunition dumps, aircraft facilities, and other installations at Truk following the support of the Hollandia landings in the Pacific.
1944 USS Pogy (SS 266) sinks the Japanese submarine I 183, 30 miles south of Ashizuri Saki, Japan.
1945 USS Comfort (AH 6) is hit by a kamikaze plane off Okinawa, which kills 28 persons (including six nurses), wounds48 others, and causes considerable damage.
1961 USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63), an oil-fired aircraft carrier, is commissioned at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
1975 Commander Task Force 76 receives the order to execute Operation Frequent Wind (initially Talon Vise), the evacuation of U.S. personnel and Vietnamese who might suffer as a result of their past service to the allied effort.
2009 A destroyer formerly known as USS Conolly (DD 979) is sunk during the UNITAS Gold sinking exercise in the Atlantic Ocean.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
National headlines today include coverage on the deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue on the last day of Passover, and Walt Disney Co.'s superhero epic "Avengers: Endgame" became the first movie to gross more than $1 billion in its debut at the world-wide box office. CBS's 60 Minutes reported on last year's Trident Juncture exercise as it detailed Norway's role as a key NATO ally in the face of increased Russian aggression. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the latest cadre of warfare tactics instructors that graduated at Naval Base Coronado on Friday. "We're taking the very best from our community and we're putting them through the 'Top Gun' school, giving them a higher level of training so that they can return to the fleet and train their peers," said Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown. Additionally, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and USS Stethem (DDG 63) transited the Taiwan Strait on Sunday reports Reuters.
Today in History: April 29
1289 Qalawun, the Sultan of Egypt, captures Tripoli.
1429 Joan of Arc leads French forces to victory over English at Orleans.
1624 Louis XIII appoints Cardinal Richelieu chief minister of the Royal Council of France.
1661 The Chinese Ming dynasty occupies Taiwan.
1672 King Louis XIV of France invades the Netherlands.
1813 Rubber is patented.
1852 The first edition of Peter Roget's Thesaurus is published.
1856 Yokut Indians repel a second attack by the 'Petticoat Rangers,' a band of civilian Indian fighters at Four Creeks, California.
1858 Austrian troops invade Piedmont.
1859 As the French army races to support them and the Austrian army mobilizes to oppose them, 150,000 Piedmontese troops invade Piedmontese territory.
1861 The Maryland House of Delegates votes against seceding from Union.
1862 Forts Philip and Jackson surrender to Admiral David Farragut outside New Orleans.
1913 Gideon Sundback of Hoboken patents the all-purpose zipper.
1916 Irish nationalists surrender to the British in Dublin.
1918 America's WWI Ace of Aces, Eddie Rickenbacker, scores his first victory with the help of Captain James Norman Hall.
1924 Open revolt breaks out in Santa Clara, Cuba.
1927 Construction of the Spirit of St. Louis is completed.
1930 The film All Quiet on the Western Front, based on Erich Maria Remarque's novel Im Western Nichts Neues, premiers.
1945 The Nazi concentration camp of Dachau is liberated by Allied troops.
1945 The German Army in Italy surrenders unconditionally to the Allies.
1946 Former Japanese leaders are indicted in Tokyo as war criminals.
1975 The U.S. embassy in Vietnam is evacuated as North Vietnamese forces fight their way into Saigon.
1983 Harold Washington is sworn in as Chicago's first black mayor.
1992 Four Los Angeles police offices are acquitted of charges stemming from the beating of Rodney King. Rioting ensues.
April 28, 2019Bear Taylor

DURING THE WEEK ENDING 1 FEBRUARY 1969 ONE HUNDRED NINETY-EIGHT AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN WERE SLAIN ON THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA BRINGING THE WAR TOTAL TO 31,397 KIA … John Rodman Drake: "And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb, and beauty weeps the brave."… LEST WE FORGET…
Good Morning. It's Monday, 29 April 2019. Humble Host remembers the Vietnam war and WEEK THIRTEEN  of  COMMANDO HUNT I — 3-9 FEBRUARY 1969…
HEADLINES from The New York Times (3-9 February)…
THE WAR… (3 Feb) MEKONG DELTA TOWN SLOWLY REBORN–Made Secure With U.S. Teams Aid… (4 Feb) ALLIED COMPANIES BATTERED BY FOE–34 Men In Three Units Are Killed In Three Clashes Near Saigon… "Enemy troops, apparently fighting from ambush positions, battered three allied units near Saigon yesterday. In the worst of two incidents, two South Vietnamese companies, each of about 150 men, reported 28 men killed and 15 wounded…. At about the same time, 22 miles northwest of Saigon, enemy soldiers attacked an American company with rifle and machinegun fire. Six Americans were killed and 20 were wounded."… BROWN WATER NAVY SEEKS OUT ENEMY IN VIETNAM… "…Enemy base camps that once were safe from attack because they were deep in swamp areas now are assaulted almost at will by speedy boats and allied troops brought in on special landing craft. The movement of enemy supplies in canals and rivers and along the coast has been severely curtailed. But the cost has been high. Dozens of the fragile patrol boats have been sunk by enemy rockets and mines and several thousand sailors have been killed, including almost 1,000 Americans."… (5 Feb) VIETCONG TERRORISM UP 30% IN JANUARY–Allied Forces Prepare For All Possibilities At Tet Holiday… "…A spokesman said that 981 incidents were recorded in January. There were 703 in December. Terrorists killed 501 South Vietnamese civilians and wounded 1,377 in January…On the battlefield, South Vietnamese troops reported finding the bodies of 200 enemy soldiers as they swept through a part of the Cental Highlands that had recently been pounded by B-52 bombers."… (6 Feb) 36 ENEMY SOLDIERS KILLED IN VIETNAM…"In a 24-hour period of light combat activity, 36 enemy soldiers  were killed in two engagements. There were no U.S. casualties."… TOUR OF HUE AREA DRAWS NOT A SHOT FROM FOE–Security Is Vastly Improved In Province Since Enemy Offensive Last Year… (7 Feb) FOES DEATHS PUT AT 3,190 IN WEEK–Rise Is 25%–U.S. Losses 198–South Vietnam 242…"Enemy battle deaths increased almost 25 per cent last week over the week before, but allied losses remained essentially unchanged."… THE TOTAL UNITED STATES BATTLE DEATHS FROM JAN. 1, 1969 THROUGH THE END OF LAST WEEK WAS LISTED AS 31,397… The total number of American soldiers in Vietnam was 537,500 as of Feb. 1…. The pace of the war remained slow during the last 24-hours."… (8 Feb) BATTLES IN VIETNAM CONTINUE TO BE SMALL AND BRIEF… (9 Feb) TWO U.S. CIVILIANS KILLED IN AMBUSH EAST OF SAIGON…
PEACE TALKS IN PARIS… (3 Feb) U.S. STYLE IN PARIS CHANGED BY LODGE–New Chief Is Expected To Be Active In Private Talks…(4 Feb) MORE CONCESSIONS HINTED BY KY–He Proposes Private Talks and Indicates New Moves If They Prove Fruitful… "Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky said today that the South Vietnamese regime was willing to 'hold private talks now' with representatives of the North Vietnamese Government….'I am ready to make more concessions, in any field, if we are sure to reach some result.' "… (5 Feb) U.S. AIDE REPORTS COMMON GROUND AT TALKS IN PARIS–Notes That Hanoi And National Liberation Front Spoke On Issue Raised By Lodge At Negotiations–Officials Declares Discussion of Political Matters Soon Is Mainly Up To Saigon… (6 Feb) PEACE TALKS WILL RESUME TODAY… (7 Feb) FOE AGAIN SPURNS LODGE PROPOSALS–Thieu Vows To See Talks Through To A Settlement–Says Regime Won't Quit Paris Talks Before Get An Agreement… (8 Feb) SECRET CONTACTS IN PARIS REPORTED–Low-Level Talks On Vietnam Issues Said To Begin.. (9 Feb) THIEU STRESSING REGIME'S SAFETY–He Sees Periods of Talks As Most Dangerous To Nation–Ky Leaves Paris For Saigon Consultations…
THE REST OF THE NEWS (NYT)… (3 Feb) U.S. WILL ACCEPT FRENCH PROPOSALS ON MIDEAST TALKS–Reply To Be Sent This Week To Paris On Four-Power Discussion At U.N.–New Initiatives Is Goal–Nixon To Ask Ratification Of Pact Barring Spread of Nuclear Weapons… NASSER PROPOSES A 5-P0INT PEACE PLAN–In Interview He Hints At Meeting Israelis If They Quit Occupied Areas… (4 Feb) U.S. DEFERRING ACTION FOR TALKS ON MISSILE CURBS–Decides To Wait 4-Point Mideast Parley And Senate Vote On Nuclear Treaty–Aim Is Test Of Climate–Nixon Wants Signs Moscow And American Public Are Ready For Agreement… U.S. FINDS NASSER'S PLAN POSTIVE AND ENCOURAGING–But Israeli Sources In Washington Call Egyptian Leaders Statements 'Cobweb of Half-Truths and Inconsistencies' … LATIN ECONOMY ADVANCES IN ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS… ADMIRAL SAYS DESTROYER WAS ALERTED TO RETALIATE AFTER ATTACK ON PUEBLO… 4 CUBANS HIJACK JETLINER WITH 93 TO HAVANA… SECRETARY OF INTERIOR HICKEL STOPS OIL DRILLING OFF SANTA BARBARA–Inspects Slick–Clean Water Bill Pushed… Sirhan jurors await long seclusion… (5 Feb) U.S. GIVING SAIGON 60 JET AIRCRAFT–Also To Send 300 Helicopters–Move Linked To Effort To De-Americanize War… KISSINGER GAINS AS KEY AUTHORITY IN FOREIGN POLICY–As Coordinator Of Planning He Takes Role Secretary of State Has Played… HARVARD FACULTY VOTES TO WITHDRAW ACADEMIC STATUS FROM ROTC UNITS… PUEBLO INTELLIGENCE OFFICER SAYS 10 BAGS OF SECRET PAPERS WERE LOST WHEN THE NORTH KOREANS TOOK SHIP… JOHN MADDEN BECOMES COACH OF RAIDERS… (6 Feb) ELEVEN MISSING AS PLANE CRASHED NEAR TAIWAN… SANTA BARBARA HARBOR CLOSED–Beaches Are Fouled By Slick… 3 KEY PUEBLO OFFICERS BACK BUCHER'S DECISION TO SURRENDER VESSEL TO NORTH KOREA WITHOUT A FIGHT… (7 Feb) PRESIDENT MAY CALL G.I.'S TO COMBAT COAST OIL SLICKS… PERU SEIZING ALL INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM ASSETS… NIXON HOPES TO OVERCOME NEGRO DISTRUST–He Indicates That Administration Will Take A Less Stringent Approach In Moves To End School Desegregation… (8 Feb) PRESIDENT REPIES TO NASSER'S PLEA–Stresses Peace in Mideast–Nixon's Message Is Viewed As Not Going Beyond The Johnson Position–Note Is Noncommittal–Diplomatic Sources Say U.S. Falls Short Of The Changes Expected By Egyptians… TURKS SAID TO LIFT BOSPORUS CURB ON SOVIETS–Greeks Call Mediterranean Fleet of Soviet A Peril… EXPERT SAYS PUEBLO HAD TIME TO DESTROY SECRETS… (9 Feb) COAST OIL LEAK IS PLUGGED–Beach Cleaning Begins–Drilling Decision Blamed–Udall Criticizes Own Role… HALT OF SENTINEL MISSILE TRACED TO A 10-MONTH OLD MEMO–Note to Senator Cooper By Aide Raised Doubts And Battle Began–Army Officials Press To Continue The System For Missile Defense…
COMMANDO HUNT I — The War on Trucks in Southern Laos… The following snippets have been extracted from Thomas Sorley's VIETNAM CHRONICLES: The Abrams Tapes–1968-1972. The first is from a 22 January 1969 briefing for a visiting Army general (LGEN F. CHESAREK). The second set are from GENERAL ABRAMS Weekly Intelligence Estimate Update (WIEU) of 1 February 1969, attended by 17 flag officers (including VADM ZUMWALT) and 3 colonels…
(1) Brief on 22 Jan…. BRIEFER: "Since 1 January 1969 7,900 men have entered the infiltration pipeline (Ho Chi Minh Trail). Four large 4000-series groups totaling 9,700 men are believed to be associated with the 304th NVA Division. Infiltration apparently began again on 23 November 1968. We estimate that 182 tons of supplies were transported each day by truck along Routes 1AC and 101C from Dong Hoi toward the DMZ. Over 500 trucks were detected on 19 and 20 January." … ABRAMS: "Whatever interdiction effort we put in there last week didn't seem to reduce it over the previous week."… BRIEFER: "A computerized program known as TRAP (traffic reporting and analysis program) shows 'just about half of this' estimate on traffic getting through was produced by conventional means.  (Including the EC-47Q… see below in lost aircraft)."… ABRAMS: "Well, I just urge you to get together. I'm getting a little disturbed here. This road watch team, and the evidence that Mr. Shackley (Theodore Shakley was CIA's chief of station, Saigon, during the period December 1968-February 1972–the period of COMMANDO HUNT) is conducting a private intelligence thing. And we've got Ambassador Sullivan (Laos), he's got a private intelligence system. Who is responsible?…I think I'm responsible for this thing over here, the flow of stuff into South Vietnam. I believe that is very clear. If I am, then I have to be served by all intelligence, and the best intelligence that there is! It's just sound fundamental principle. And we can't have a lot of g-damn private intelligence games going on! You're not responsible. Shackley's not responsible, and Sullivan's not responsible. I am! That's where the –you don't pass the buck past here. So I want this straightened out, and right now! I don't know why that road watch team's down there. Who's it serving?'… MAJOR GENERAL DAVISON: "Well, it's serving all of us to some extent, sir. It's directed, however, by the chief CIA man in Ambassador Sullivan's office. But as far as I know, we get all the reports from them, for what they're worth–which incidentally I don't think is very much." … ABRAMS: "Are those (road watch teams) more reliable than the sensors (Task Force Alpha/IGLOO WHITE)?… DAVIDSON: "No, sir. I think it's a good deal less reliable."… ABRAMS: You get in the intelligence business and you take unreliable stuff and reliable stuff, add it up, and take a mean–see, it's not good. What you should be served is the best intelligence, and not take a mean of all the crap that's thrown into the system…. We've also been prevented from hitting targets (with B-52s) because of the presence of road watch teams…. I spoke out about your computer program. I don't mean I'm against it, because we've recognized here every Saturday that we've got trouble estimating this tonnage. There's an awful lot we don't know–about trucks that get knocked out or that sort of thing. But we do–we need to pull together… and most of all we don't want to kid ourselves…. All of our people have got to realize what this war is all about. It isn't that you…lay around in your base camp waiting for somebody to sight a division marching down the road, and then you sally forth and you know, take the (enemy) division on. This war is far more complex than that…. We don't want anybody to be–this idea of, 'Well, the people, that's NVA if we can find them.' That's no good. It won't work. And that applies to every U.S. commander."… ALSO, THIS EXCHANGE: General ABRAMS explains the Saturday WIEU conferences to the visiting LGEN… ABRAMS: "We  devote Saturdays to wrestling with this thing (running the war). We try to generally have one or two things that have been done in depth over a period of time, trying to challenge what we think. The intelligence is the most important part of this whole damn thing. And if that's good, then you can–. We've got–we keep saying here we got enough stuff (to fight the war). We can handle anything. I think we can handle anything he wants to do–if our intelligence is good. But if we've got resources in the wrong place, if we've plumped them into a– I'm talking about getting a division somewhere, or getting a bunch of B-52s or tac air and all that stuff, or moving artillery or throwing the mobile marine force around in the wrong place and so on. You do a lot of that and when you–that's no good. We haven't got enough (stuff) to do that."…
(2) A few snips from the 1 Feb 1969 WIEU… ABRAMS: (Discussing estimates of enemy logistical throughput)… "We don't want to kid ourselves on this. He's got a few more cards to play. And what we said before is still right–we've got the tickets, but we 've got to play them right–and not, you know–throw them in the air."… GENERAL DAVIDSON: "Nobody has any idea what the enemy was able to stockpile previous to this campaign in the A Shau Valley and Laos."…  ABRAMS: "It's a little unsettling these caches that they got south of the DMZ. It looks like there's more going on there than we thought."… BGEN CLAY: "Comparing last season–January 1968–he's about two and one-half months behind the logistics delivery schedule that he achieved for the Tet Offensive. The significance of the campaign this year is that we dried out his stockpiles in I and II Corps, which is why he withdrew. This year, the difference between last year's campaign and the current one is that, in addition to killing about 15 percent of the trucks, in the past two months you have stopped or blocked or checked between 50 and 75 percent of his supply flow. And at this point last season, for the Tet Offensive, his stocks were built up and he was ready to go. And he is roughly two and a half months behind that schedule this year. And starting next week, it's going to be very unpleasant around here. The floodgates are opening, and this stuff is going to start coming in a torrent. We're going to be competing for B-52 sorties, as we predicted we would be, at the point where that logistic wave reaches a crest. And I would guess from the rate of the flow that he's now achieving that it will be March before he achieves what he achieved by the 30th of January last season. The essential difference between the campaigns–you're killing the same percentage of trucks killed last season, but you're blocking much more of the traffic." … ABRAMS: "Well, the other thing about last year–you know we've got this theory that it was supposed to go in March (the offensive) and instead of that he decided he'd kick it off at the end of January…. He seemed to have plenty of stuff around."…  And the final comment of the 1 February WIEU: ABRAMS: "Incidentally, last week I went over to U Tapao and visited the operation there. The real purpose was to let them know over there how much their work was appreciated, and also the skill with which we think it's being executed. You know, half of all B-52 strikes are run out of U Tapao. And I suppose I should have known it, but didn't, that the entire refueling operation for this part of the world is run out of there–the whole tanker thing. ..forty KC-135s. Professionally, I found it quite an exhilarating experience. That is a real professional outfit over there. It's up tight and it's really impressive. If an aircraft goes down over Laos, for example: whatever anybody wants to get these pilots out, they throw it in there. And here comes the refueling to guarantee that it'll be sustained. It's really impressive. 3,300 SAC people there. The thoroughness and the precision with which it all moves along, and quite a few things have to be done."…  END ABRAMS TAPE snips…
FIXED WING AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA DURING WEEK THIRTEEN OF COMMANDO HUNT I (Sources include Chris Hobson's VIETNAM: AIR LOSSES)…Six aircraft and fourteen American warriors were killed during the week… They are remembered here…
(1) On 4 February an F-8H of the VF-24 Checkertails embarked in USS Hancock and piloted by LTJG PAUL EUGENE SWIGART hit the ramp and went over the side of the carrier after returning from a CAP mission. LTJG SWIGART was killed in the accident and went down with the Crusader. As with most crashes at sea bodies of the dead are rarely recovered and LTJG SWIGART, a brave MiG fighter rests in peace in the Gulf of Tonkin. He is memorialized with thousands of other fallen warriors who remain missing-at-sea at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego… LTJG SWIGART had survived an earlier ejection from an F-8 in September 1968…
(2) On 5 February an EC-47Q of the 362nd TEWS and 460th TRW was lost on a COMMANDO HUNT mission while searching for enemy troops on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Southern Laos. The aircraft was downed by enemy ground fire and a six day search for the aircraft and her crew failed to find the wreckage or the ten men in her crew. Eight months later the wreckage was found near Ban Phan and a team was inserted into the hostile area to recover the human remains found at the site. They were returned to the United States for burial in a communal grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis since positive identification could not be made for all members of the crew. Resting in peace, as they died, together–they are: MAJOR HOMER MORGAN LYNN; CAPTAIN WALTER FRANCIS BURKE; MAJOR HARRY TILMAN NIGGLE; MAJOR ROBERT EUGENE OLSON; MSGT WILTON NEIL HATTON; SSGT JAMES VERNON DORSEY; SSGT RODNEY HERSCHEL GOTT; SSGT HUGH LESLIE SHERMAN; SSGT HUGH LESLIE SHERBURN; TSGT LOUIS JOHN CLEVER and SGT CLARENCE LEON McNEILL… They are remembered fifty years later with respect and admiration and thoughts of the families they left behind.
(And here's a Humble Host Ripple Salvo (arm-up and fire away) note: In the Vietnam War era there was a $10,000 government provided insurance policy on each of our warriors (increased to $12,000 after the war) –not exactly the hundreds of thousands (and now, paid-off home mortgages) available to the warriors of today. In addition, so many of our servicemen were KIA that American insurance companies were forced to run life insurance premiums into the unaffordable category. In my case, I found Rio Grande Insurance Services would cover tailhookers who were being shot at for $25,000 for a premium that exceeded my combat pay. As a consequence of their noble decision to insure warriors, Rio Grande went broke and my policy was assumed by another insurance company willing to take a risk on a customer who was flying combat on a regular basis. "Gold Star" families and kids of the Vietnam War were on their own. So it was in those days. I thought you ought to know that the Vietnam warriors, like the Korean "police action" warriors before them, were pretty much uninsurable and out-of-sight, out-of-mind of the American people, including their Presidents and congressional representatives. And since most of the surviving Vietnam and Korean veterans served and retired before "9/11" they have been specifically excluded from the expansive benefits bestowed by a grateful nation on the "post 9/11" veterans. Go figure…. "The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten."…Calvin Coolidge… )… Ammo minus, swiches safe… Comment?…
(3) On 5 February an F-105D of the 355th TFS was damaged beyond repair in a ground accident at Takhli.
(4) On 7 February an F-4J of the VFMA-334 Falcons and MAG-13 out of Chu Lai crewed by CAPTAIN RICHARD AUGUSTINE DELEIDI, USMC, and 1LT J.W. MAXWELL, USMC, was hit by ground fire on a second attack on a close air support mission a few miles west of Danang. CAPTAIN DELEIDI was able to fly the burning Phantom east over the Gulf where the two aviators were to eject. 1LT MAXWELL was severely injured in the process but was rescued by a Marine helo. CAPTAIN MAXWELL, unable to eject, was killed as the aircraft crashed at sea. His remains were not recovered and rest where he fell fifty years ago…
(5) On 7 February an F-100D Super Sabre of the 416th TFS and 37th TFW out of Phu Cat piloted by CAPTAIN THOMAS EDWARD CLARK was downed on a COMMANDO HUNT mission while attacking an enemy anti-aircraft site 25 miles west of the DMZ on the Ho Chi Minh Trail at Ban Kapay. CAPTAIN CLARK did not eject and was killed in  the crash. He was listed as Missing-in-Action until 1973 when the POWs came home and CAPTAIN CLARK was not among them. His remains were recovered in November 2005 and identified in June 2011. MAJOR CLARK, promoted while MIA, was buried in a family plot with his mother and father at the St. Mark Catholic Cemetery in his home town of Emporium, Pennsylvania. He is remembered in this fiftieth year anniversary of his last flight in the service of our country…
(6) On 8 February and A-4E of the VA-164 Ghost Riders embarked in USS Hancock flown by LCDR ROGER ALLEN MEYERS was launched on a night COMMANDO HUNT mision but was seen to settle off the catapult, crash into the sea and explode. There was no ejection and subsequent searches failed to recovery the body of LCR MEYERS. He rests where he fell fifty years ago on the last day of combat for the deployment. The Hancock completed her fifth combat cruise and arrived back in North Island on 3 March having lost 3 A-4s and an F-8 in combat operations and six F-8s and an A-4 in accidents. There are no easy days… or night cat shots…
President Nixon was elected on his promise to end the war in Vietnam. He said he had a plan to end the war. He got elected. Now he needed a plan. On 21 January 1969 his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger issued National Security Study Memoranda #1 to determine the status of the war in Vietnam. Responses from CIA, State and Defense led to the initial meeting of the Nixon National Security Council at the White House on 25 January. Mr. Philip Habib, member of the U.S. Paris negotiating team provided an up-to-date on the status of the Paris peace negotiations President Nixon inherited from the Johnson Administration. He made the following points (Ref: FRUS, Vietnam, Jan 1969-July 1970, p. 33)… I quote…
–U.S. kicked off (peace talks in May 1968) with a limited bombing pause.
–Hanoi insisted on total halt and was noncommital on what would follow.
–U.S. insisted that while we were willing to stop bombing we wanted assurances that serious negotiations would follow.
–Negotiations started slowly with typical propaganda theme. Hanoi would not engage in discussion of gut issues.
–Hanoi continued to demur until private talks with Vance and Habib indicated they might be willing to do something.
–In two months, U.S. got "a basic understanding," (or thought they did) which included: (1) cessation of U.S. bombing and all acts involving the use of force against the Territory of North Vietnam. At this point, Mr. Habib implied that the North Vietnamese understood that we would continue reconnaissance operations over North Vietnam. In response to the above, North Vietnam assured us that (1) they would respect the DMZ by not moving through it or massing north of it, (2) discontinue indiscriminate attacks on major cities, such as Saigon, Danang and Hue. Attacks included not only ground attacks but shelling and mortaring.
— While the North Vietnamese never subscribed to the above agreement, they "understood that if it were broken, talks could not be conducted." While there was no written agreement to this "understanding," the North Vietnamese understood what we expected.
–U.S. side believes the Soviets moved in and applied some moderate pressure at this point and also felt that the approaching election also exerted pressure on the North
–Initially, Hanoi did not want the GVN (South Vietnam) in the picture. This was the genesis of "our side-your side" formula which was to permit a "four-sided solution." As talks became more specific GVN became increasingly fearful and it was obvious that Thieu was under pressure.
–"Our side-your side"formula (U.S. & GVN-NVN & NLF) confirmed NLF participation and raised BVN fears. … End of quote…
At the conclusion of the Habib brief President Nixon asked what was Mr. Habib's main concern with peace prospects? Mr. Habib identified two concerns. One, the "understanding" was the equivalent of a non-agreement. The recce missions were opposed every day (General Wheeler interrupted to say: '…yesterday they fired five times on our reconnaissance aircraft.'), the DMZ was full of NVA traffic, and the rockets and mortars were falling on Saigon and Danang on a regular schedule. What understanding? Two, he had no idea what the specific role of the Vietcong/NLF would be under the "our team-your team" formula. After a lengthy discussion on the strategy for proceeding with the peace negotiations, the President said: "Obviously the questions that have been circulated (NSSM-1) will provide us a factual basis for proceeding with our investigation and we need the answers soon. We want to approach this problem without inhibitions as to where we have been. I want you to think of the problem as a new one. Seek ways in which we can change the game. We must know what we want. The gain could take many turns. I visualize that it could take two years to settle this thing. Give me your ideas."…
Subsequent to the NSC meeting on the 21st, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird hosted a luncheon on 27 January at the Pentagon attended by the President, Kissinger and General Wheeler. The discussion included a proposal by Laird to work out "a program of potential military actions which might jar the North Vietnamese into being more forthcoming at the Paris talks." On 21 February Dr. Kissinger requested Secretary Laird to provide a progress report on the resultant ideas for jarring North Vietnam into increased interest in the peace negotiations. Secretary Laird sent several possible military actions to meet the goal in a memo to Dr. Kissinger that day. The ideas were received by Kissinger's assistant General Al haig who added a "buck slip" to the Laird memo and the Pentagon ideas for pressuring North Vietnam. The five plans provided: (1) An actual or feigned airborne or amphibious operation against several objectives in North Vietnam: (2) An actual or feigned airborne or airmobile expedition in force against enemy LOCs in Laos and Cambodia; (3) actual or feigned renewed and expanded air and naval operations against NVN; (4) Actual or feigned subversion of the population and preparation for active resistance by the people against the North Vietnam regime; and, (5) a plan for actual or feigned technical escalation of war against the North (Nuclear)… The entire package of documents (TS/SI declas 2002) is at:
Created Date: 12/23/2002 10:53:19 AM

Of special interest to the Red River Rats and Yankee Air Pirates who read this blog is Appendix C, "Scenario: Renewed and expanded air and naval operations" consisting of the concept and the implementing instructions. The Concept: "U.S. officials indicate increased impatience with communist intransigence and hint that the bombing might be resumed. A high level military conference is followed by increased air and naval reconnaissance of North Vietnam. Stockpiles of air munitions are built up, additional naval units move into the Tonkin Gulf and additional aircraft move into the airfields in Thailand. Leaks hint of a resumption of air and naval operations against NVN. Extensive pyschological operations indicate increased U.S. determination and irritation with Hanoi's delays." Implementing actions? Reads like LINEBACKER…
In other words, the Joint Chiefs reaffirmed that they were ready in February 1969 to execute "a plan to change the game," a plan that sat on a shelf for three years… And President Nixon, who promised to end the war, and challenged his chiefs to "seek ways in which we can change the game," knew the plan to change the game was there in his first month in office…  Seymour Hersh in The Price of Power wrote: "By the early summer of 1969, Nixon and Kissinger had reached agreement in secret on a Gotterdammering solution to the Vietnam War: North Vietnam would be threatened with a 'savage, decisive blow'–a phrase Kissinger now used openly and repeatedly in meetings with the NSC staff that summer and fall–if it did not begin serious negotiations in Paris."
Lest we forget…. Bear
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This Week in Aviation Heritage
April 28, 1927
From "The Spirit of St. Louis," by Charles A. Lindbergh, Charles Scribner's and Sons, 1953, Chapter 35: "This morning I'm going to test the Spirit of St. Louis. It's the 28th of April — just over two months since I placed our order with the Ryan Company. . . Today, reality will check the claims of formula and theory on a scale which hope can't stretch a single hair. Today, the reputation of the designing engineer, of the mechanics, in fact of every man who's had a hand in building the Spirit of St. Louis, is at stake. And I'm on trial too, for quick action on my part may counteract an error by someone else, or a faulty move may bring a washout crash."
April 29, 1918
Lt. Eddie Rickenbacker, Daedalian Founder Member #169, downed his first enemy aircraft in France.
April 30, 1908
Aviation enthusiasts in the 1st Company, Signal Corps, New York National Guard, organized an "aeronautical corps" to learn ballooning — the earliest known involvement of guardsmen in aviation.
May 1, 1918
Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick replaces Brig. Gen. Benjamin Foulois (Daedalian Founder Member #321) as Chief of the Air Service, American Expeditionary Force. Patrick, who graduated second in his class from the U.S. Military Academy in 1886, returned home after the war and became chief of the Air Service on Oct. 5, 1921. Although 60 years old, he learned to fly under instruction of Maj. Herbert A. Dargue (Daedalian Founder Member #1738), who later became a major general. As early as 1923 the visionary Patrick stated in a public speech: "Undoubtedly the next war will be decided in the air." Patrick died at the age of 78 at Walter Reed General Hospital on Jan. 29, 1942. On Aug. 26, 1950, the Air Force's long-range proving ground base at Cocoa, Florida, was named Patrick AFB in his honor.
May 2, 1977
First Lt. Christine E. Schott became the first woman in the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program to solo in the Northrop T-38A Talon at Williams AFB, Arizona. She was a member of Class 77-08, which entered on Sept. 19, 1976. As a captain, Schott would later be the first woman in the Air Force to qualify and serve as an aircraft commander on the C-9A Nightingale medical transport.
May 3, 1952
A ski-equipped U.S. Air Force C-47A Skytrain, piloted by Lt. Col. William P. Benedict and Lt. Col. Joseph O. Fletcher, was the first airplane to land at the North Pole. The navigator was 1st Lt. Herbert Thompson. Staff Sgt. Harold Turner was the flight engineer and Airman 1st Class Robert L. Wishard, the radio operator. Colonel Fletcher was commanding officer of the 58th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Eielson AFB, Alaska. He was responsible for establishing Drift Ice Stations within the polar ice cap for remote weather observation bases. Ice Island T-3 was renamed Fletcher's Ice Island in his honor. He became a world authority on Arctic weather and climate. Various geographic features, such as the Fletcher Abyssal Plain in the Arctic Ocean, and the Fletcher Ice Rise in the Antarctic are also named for him.
May 4, 1968
Retired Air Force Gen. Carl Spaatz received the Thomas D. White National Defense Award for 1968. Spaatz, nicknamed "Tooey," was the first Air Force chief of staff, serving from September 1947 through April 1948. He was Daedalian Founder Member #309.
Sweden—Global Defense Spending Reaches 30-Year High Stockholm International Peace Research Institute | 04/29/2019 Global military spending has reached its highest level since 1988, the first year consistent worldwide data are available, reports the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).  Total military expenditures reached US$1.8 trillion in 2018, a 2.6 percent increase from 2017, according to a SIPRI report released on Monday.  The spending growth was largely attributed to increases by the two largest spenders, the U.S. and China, said a SIPRI researcher. The remaining top spenders were Saudi Arabia, India and France.  For the first time since 2010, U.S. defense spending rose by 4.6 percent to reach $469 billion.  Chinese spending rose by 5 percent, totaling US$507 billion, according to the SIPRI report. China's spending is likely higher. Experts have warned for years that Beijing is hiding its defense spending in other budgets.  The numbers represent the second year of consecutive growth, after a 1.1 percent increase in 2017.   
USA—SOUTHCOM Chief Relieves Guantanamo Commander Of His Duties New York Times | 04/29/2019 The commander of the U.S. Navy facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been relieved of command, reports the New York Times.  Rear Adm. John Ring was removed from his post on Saturday due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead, a spokeswoman for U.S. Southern Command told the newspaper.  The announcement came weeks before his scheduled rotation out of the post on June 11. He assumed command in April 2018. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. John Hussey, Ring's deputy, is now acting commander.  His firing was the result of a month-long investigation that began in March and is unrelated to a recent media visit that he hosted, said the spokeswoman. He was reassigned to other duties within the command.  The admiral has been an advocate for renovating the facility, which he said would become inadequate as the 40 prisoners held there aged.     
USA—Destroyers Again Sail Through Taiwan Strait Central News Agency (Taiwan) | 04/29/2019 Two U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers have transited the Taiwan Strait, reports the official Central News Agency (Taipei).  On Sunday, the USS William P. Lawrence and USS Stethem sailed through the 112-mile (180-km) waterway, reported Reuters. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry confirmed the passage on Sunday, without naming the ships. The maneuver demonstrated the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, said a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet.  This was the seventh such passage of the contested waterway by U.S. warships since July 2018.  Separately, U.S. Adm. John Richardson told the Financial Times (U.K.). that the U.S. would not differentiate between Chinese coast guard and naval vessels in the South China Sea, where Beijing claims significant stretches of contested waters.    
USA—Lockheed Wins $723 Million Order For Hellfire Anti-Tank Missiles U.S. Department Of Defense | 04/29/2019 The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract modification for AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles, reports the Dept. of Defense. The $723.5 million deal covers several Hellfire II missile variants for the U.S., as well as France, Lebanon and the Netherlands under the Foreign Military Sales program, said a Pentagon release on April 25. The Hellfire II comes in five variants: the AGM-114K, a high-explosive anti-tank missile equipped with a tandem shaped-charge warhead; AGM-114L or Longbow, providing fire-and-forget capability; AGM-114M, a blast-fragmentation missile designed for soft targets; AGM-114N, a metal-augmented charge variant deployed against enclosed structures; and the multipurpose AGM-114R or Hellfire Romeo, noted Army Technology. The family of missiles has been used successfully in Operation Iraqi Freedom, with more than 1,000 rounds fired to date, noted Defence Blog. Work under the contract is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2022.     
Italy—Government Decides To Purchase Piaggio Drones In Bid To Save Company Defense News | 04/29/2019 The Italian government has said it will purchase unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Piaggio Aerospace, reports Defense News.  On April 24, the Italian Economic Development Ministry said that it would acquire four P.1HH drones, the unmanned version of the P180 business aircraft. Another four air vehicles are likely to be purchased, said an industry source. Officials defended the move, saying it would serve the needs of the military while protecting the "strategic value" of the struggling firm.  The acquisition could strengthen Italy's position in the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS) program, said officials.  The Defense Ministry plans to spend 70 million euros (US$78 million) to obtain flight certification for the drones, which is expected to take 12-18 months.  Mubadala, an Emirati investment fund that owned Piaggio, placed the Italian firm in receivership late last year, leading the United Arab Emirates to cancel its order for eight P.1HH systems.   In March, Italian air force chief Gen. Alberto Rosso told Parliament that the service was not interested in the platform.    
Canada—Airbus Rolls Out 1st C-295 SAR Aircraft Airbus Defence and Space | 04/29/2019 The first C-295 search-and-rescue aircraft being built for the Royal Canadian Air Force has been rolled out, reports Airbus Defence & Space. The aircraft was rolled out following the successful completion of functional testing, the company announced on April 25. The C-295 is in the final stage of assembly and is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019. The final assembly process at the Airbus facility in Seville, Spain, involves six phases, each lasting approximately 14 days, Airbus said. The Canadian C-295 is equipped with an advanced avionics package; night-vision and communication systems; reinforcements in the fuselage to improve ditching operations; and a hatch to allow for rapid aircraft evacuation. The aircraft has a reduced aerodynamic drag, increased payload and greater range, resulting in fuel savings, as well as increase safety margins in mountainous regions, according to the manufacturer.    
United Kingdom—HMS Duncan Wraps Up Joint Mission With French Carrier Group In Med Royal Navy Press Release | 04/29/2019 The British destroyer HMS Duncan has completed a deployment in support of a French carrier strike group in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, reports the British Royal Navy. The Duncan provided air defense and escort duties to the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and her accompanying ships over the past several weeks, said a navy release on April 25. The destroyer's fighter controllers have also been working on airspace battle management in cooperation with French Rafale fighter jets and provided tactical control and safety assurances. The French carrier strike group has been supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The Duncan will continue her deployment in the region until the late summer, supporting other NATO operations, as well as foreign engagements during port visits, the navy said.     
Turkey—Authorities Order More Arrests Of Journalists, Security Personnel Bloomberg News | 04/29/2019 The Turkish government has ordered the arrest of hundreds of people in the latest crackdown on dissent following the attempted coup in 2016, reports Bloomberg News. On April 25, a court ordered eight former employees of the Cumhuriyet opposition newspaper to return to prison to serve the remainder of their more than three-year sentences for terrorism-related offenses. Six were returned to prison to complete their sentences, while two had not yet received a summons ordering them back to jail, said Reporters Without Borders, an international organization that defends the freedom of press. The journalists are accused of aiding terrorist organizations linked to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric blamed for the 2016 coup. All eight deny the accusations. On April 26, authorities also issued arrest warrants for 210 military officers and more than 40 police officers for similar offenses. Sabri Uzun, the former head of police intelligence, was arrested on charges of terrorism and insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara has arrested tens of thousands of security personnel and shut down more than 100 largely Kurdish news outlets since the attempted coup in 2016 as part of Erdogan's efforts to eliminate dissent.      
South Korea—Multinational Maritime Security Exercise Kicks Off In Busan Yonhap | 04/29/2019 South Korea is co-hosting with Singapore large-scale maritime exercises this week in Busan, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).  The drills kicked off on Monday in the waters off the port city in southern South Korea. The four-day exercise brings together the 18 countries, including 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, that form the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) maritime security group and focuses on countering maritime crime, including weapons smuggling.  Twelve countries are sending 16 warships and six aircraft to the training, with the remainder deploying only military personnel. South Korea will host the first leg of the exercise, which will focus on rescuing ships hijacked at sea and other maritime security operations. Brunei, China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and the United States are taking part.  A second round of training will be held in Singapore from May 9-13 and involve forces from Australia, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries and cover stop and search operations.  Founded in 2012, the ADMM-Plus includes Australia, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S. and Vietnam, noted the Korea Times.     
Sri Lanka—15 Killed In Raid Linked To Easter Terror Attack New York Times | 04/29/2019 At least 15 people have been killed in a raid on a home on Sri Lanka's east coast believed to be connected to the deadly Easter terror attacks, reports the New York Times.  On Friday, residents in the eastern town of Sainthamaruthu alerted police to suspicious activity at the house.  When members of a local mosque approached the house to identify the occupants, the people inside began firing and detonating explosives. Security forces soon arrived. During the raid, at least three people inside detonated suicide vests, reported Reuters.  Six children and four other civilians were reportedly killed in the clashes.  The wife and daughter of Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Zaharan, the alleged mastermind of the Easter bombings, were among the wounded.  Separately, President Maithripala Sirisena banned the National Thawheedh Jamaath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim, which have been implicated in the deadly attacks. Zaharan founded the NTJ.   
India—Officer Loses Life Battling Blaze On Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier The Hindu | 04/29/2019 An Indian naval officer has been killed fighting a fire onboard the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, reports the Hindu. A fire broke out on the carrier on Friday as it entered Karwar harbor in India's southern Karnataka state, the navy said. Lt. Cdr. D.S. Chauhan led the firefighting efforts in the affected compartment, but was overcome by the smoke and fumes. He was evacuated to the naval hospital at Karwar, but could not be revived, reported the Times of India. The crew swiftly brought the blaze under control, preventing any serious damage to the vessel, according to the service. An investigation has been launched into the incident.     
Iran—New Short-Range Missiles Being Developed For Helicopters Mehr News Agency | 04/29/2019 The Iranian armed forces have unveiled three new domestically developed short-range missiles for its attack helicopters, reports the Mehr News Agency (Tehran). The new missiles, designated the Heidar, Qamar-e Bani Hashem and Dehlaviyeh, were first showcased at an event earlier this month, the news agency said on Friday. The Heidar air-to-ground missile, with a range of more than 5 miles (8 km), is designed to strike armored and ground-based targets and has the ability to punch through more than 3 feet (1 m) of armor. The missile is fitted with various seekers, allowing it to be used in a variety of weather conditions, reported Press TV (Iran). The Qamar-e Bani Hashem is an air-to-air missile with a similar range and combat capabilities. It is capable of locking onto its target upon release and can be used at night. The lightweight Dehlaviyeh laser-guided air-to-ground missile can penetrate up to 4 feet (1.2 m) of armor. The missiles are currently in testing and are expected to enter serial production in the near future     
Lebanon—Peacekeepers Reportedly Expand Operations To Hunt Hezbollah Weapons Times of Israel | 04/29/2019 U.N. forces in southern Lebanon have reportedly been ordered to expand operations near the Israeli border, according to a Lebanese newspaper cited by the Times of Israel. Peacekeepers received instructions over the past two weeks to "add new routes to their patrols and enter areas they had not previously entered south of the Litani River," according to unnamed sources cited by Lebanon's al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday. The publication has ties to Hezbollah. The paper said that the UNIFIL mission had been instructed to add 15 new patrols -- 10 in its eastern sector and five in the west -- to investigate areas where Israel says Hezbollah is hiding rocket and missile launchers, reported Haaretz (Israel). The move would allow peacekeepers to more closely monitor the terrorist group and look into possible weapons stockpiles in the region, the sources said. Following fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, the U.N. adopted a resolution calling for the militant group to completely disarm in the region between the Litani River and the Israeli border. Israel has repeatedly accused the terrorist organization of stockpiling numerous short- and medium-range missiles in the restricted area. Meanwhile, on Friday UNIFIL confirmed the existence of a third tunnel crossing the Lebanon-Israel border. Late last year, Israel accused Hezbollah of building cross-border tunnels to launch operations to kidnap or kill Israelis and conducted a mission to destroy them.    
Libya—At Least 4 Die In Tripoli Airstrike Agence France-Presse | 04/29/2019 At least four people have been killed and 20 injured in airstrikes on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, reports Agence France-Presse.  On Saturday, jets struck the southern Abu Slim suburb, according to a source close to the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in Tripoli.  Most of the victims were civilians, said the source. None of the strikes hit military targets.  The attack was launched by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, who backs a rival government in the east.  GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said his government had evidence that foreign aircraft were involved in the attack, reported the Libya Observer. Witnesses said the aircraft involved in the strikes were flying too high to be operated by Haftar's forces.  More than 278 people have been killed since Haftar launched a bid to take Tripoli on April 4.     
Sudan—Military, Opposition Agree To Joint Council To Lead Political Transition Guardian | 04/29/2019 Sudanese military officials and civilian opposition leaders have agreed to form a joint transition council, reports the Guardian (U.K.).  The parties have yet to agree on the size and apportionment of seats on the council or how long it should exist, following the breakthrough on Saturday.  Military officials prefer a 10-member council, with three civilians and seven officers, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). Opposition groups have asked for a 15-member body, with eight civilians.  The military is sticking to its previously announced two-year term, while the opposition wants a four-year transition. The military council led by Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan has overseen the country since the April 11 ouster of President Omar Bashir. Demonstrations calling for an immediate transition to civilian rule continue. 
Source: Agence France-Presse
At least four people have been killed and 20 injured in airstrikes on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, reports Agence France-Presse.
  Sudan—3 Generals Announce Resignations In Response To Protester Demands British Broadcasting Corp. | 04/29/2019 Three senior military officers have offered to resign from Sudan's Transitional Military Council in response to demands by the protest movement, reports BBC News. The resignations of Lt. Gen. Omar Zain al-Abideen, Police Lt. Gen. Al-Tayeb Babkr Ali Fadeel and Lt. Gen. Lalal al-Deen al-Sheikh were announced on April 24 following talks between the council and protest leaders. The generals are seen as ardent Islamists and allies of former President Omar Bashir, who was overthrown by the military on April 11 after months of protests. Al-Abideen, who heads the council's political committee, served under the head of the national intelligence security service in the 1990s. The agency has been accused of torturing dissidents, activists and civilians. Fadeel helped establish the public order police, which has arrested around 50,000 women annually for "indecency," such as not wearing a headscarf or drinking alcohol. Al-Sheikh is the former deputy director of security. Other controversial figures remain on the transitional council, including deputy leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the former commander of the Janjaweed militia accused of genocide in Darfur. The two parties have also reached agreement on most of the protester's demands and have decided to set up a joint committee to oversee peace efforts, said a military spokesman. On Thursday, the council said that it would only retain "sovereign authority," while civilians would take the prime minister post and lead all government ministries, reported Reuters. 

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