Monday, June 10, 2019

TheList 5019

The List 5019 TGB 

I hope that you all had a great weekend.

Today in Naval History
June 10
The first formal graduation exercises are held at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Previous classes graduated without a ceremony. Rear Adm. Thomas O. Selfridge and Rear Adm. Joseph N. Miller are two of the six graduates that year.
USS Glennon (DD 620) capsizes and sinks that evening off the Normandy coast, killing 25 crew members, while USS Rich (DE 695), while rescuing USS Glennons crew, loses 90 crew members after striking two mines.
Authorization is given for the first experimental ship model basin, which was under the supervision of Chief Constructor of the Navy, Capt. David W. Taylor. The basin, in Building 70 at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., is used by the Navy to monitor new hull designs.
USS Bangust (DE 739) sinks the Japanese submarine (RO 42), 70 miles northeast of Kwajalein, while USS Taylor (DD 468) sinks Japanese submarine RO 111, 210 miles north-northwest of Kavieng, New Ireland.
USS Skate (SS 305) sinks Japanese submarine (I 122) in the Sea of Japan.
USS Evansville (PF 70) is fired on by shore batteries in Songjin Harbor. She avoids damage by maneuvering while USS Endicott (DMS 35) and USS Thomason (DE 203) fire on and silence enemy guns.
Helicopters from USS Yorktown (CVS 10) rescue 54 crewmen of British SS Shunlee, grounded on Pratus Reef in South China Sea.
USS Firebolt (PC 10) is commissioned. The coastal patrol boat is the 10th of the Cyclone-class.
USS Farragut (DDG 99) is commissioned at Mayport, Fla. The 49th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is the fifth Navy ship named for Adm. David Farragut.
Littoral Combat Ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) is commissioned in a ceremony attended by nearly 2,500 guests at Pier 21 at the Port of Galveston, Texas. The ship is named after former United States Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona's 8th district.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
•             Massive crowds, estimated at over 1 million people, took to the streets in Hong Kong Sunday to challenge to Beijing's extradition laws.
•             BALTOPS 2019 kicked off Friday led by the reestablished 2nd Fleet reports USNI News.
•             The Associated Press reported from aboard USS Abraham Lincoln as the carrier operates in the Arabian Sea amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
•             The Wall Street Journal reports that the Pentagon outlined a plan to eject Turkey from the F-35 program if Ankara goes through with its planned purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system.
This day in History June 10

1190 Frederick Barbarossa drowns in a river while leading an army of the Third Crusade.

1692 Bridget Bishop is hanged in Salem, Mass., for witchcraft.

1776 The Continental Congress appoints a committee to write a Declaration of Independence.

1801 Tripoli declares war on the U.S. for refusing to pay tribute.
1854 The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, holds its first graduation.
1861 Dorothea Dix is appointed superintendent of female nurses for the Union army.
1864 At the Battle of Brice's Crossroads in Mississippi, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats the numerically superior Union troops.
1898 U.S. Marines land in Cuba.
1905 Japan and Russia agree to peace talks brokered by President Theodore Roosevelt.
1909 An SOS signal is transmitted for the first time in an emergency when the Cunard liner SS Slavonia is wrecked off the Azores.
1916 Mecca, under control of the Turks, falls to the Arabs during the Great Arab Revolt.
1920 The Republican convention in Chicago endorses women's suffrage.
1924 The Italian socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti is kidnapped and assassinated by Fascists in Rome.
1925 Tennessee adopts a new biology text book denying the theory of evolution.
1940 The Norwegian army capitulates to the Germans.
1942 Germany razes the town of Lidice, Czechoslovakia and kills more than 1,300 citizens in retribution of the murder of Reinhard Heydrich.
1943 The Allies begin bombing Germany around the clock.
1944 The U.S. VII and V corps, advancing from Normandy's beaches, link up and begin moving inland.
1948 The news that the sound barrier has been broken is finally released to the public by the U.S. Air Force. Chuck Yeager, piloting the rocket airplane X-1, exceeded the speed of sound on October 14, 1947.
·         1963 Buddhist monk Ngo Quang Duc dies by self immolation in Saigon to protest persecution by the Diem government.
1970 A 15-man group of special forces troops begin training for Operation Kingpin, a POW rescue mission in North Vietnam.
1985 The Israeli army pulls out of Lebanon after 1,099 days of occupation.
1999 Serb forces begin their withdrawal from Kosovo after signing an agreement with the NATO powers.
"This Day in Aviation History" brought to you by the Daedalians Airpower Blog Update. To subscribe to this weekly email, go to
June 9, 1916
During an endurance flight over Santa Rosa Island off Pensacola, Florida, Lt. Richard C. Saufley crashed in an AH-9 from a height of about 700 feet, killing him. The aircraft had been in the air for 8 hours, 52 minutes. Investigators attributed the loss to a structural defect in the plane's tail surfaces. The destroyer Saufley (DD 465) and Saufley Field at NAS Pensacola were named in his honor. Saufley was Daedalian Founder Member #13307.
June 10, 1943
The Royal Air Force and the Army Air Forces launched the Combined Bomber Offensive against Germany. Eighth Air Force struck enemy industrial targets by day, while the Royal Air Force attacked enemy cities by night. The around-the-clock bombing was designed to cripple and then destroy the Germans' ability and will to continue the war.
June 11, 1943
After weeks of Allied bombings during Operation Corkscrew, the Italian garrison on Pantelleria Island surrenders without firing a shot. It was the first large defended area to fall to purely to air power.
June 12, 1923
Lt. j.g. Meinrad A. Schur set three world records for Class C seaplanes in a DT-2 torpedo bomber powered by a Liberty engine at San Diego, Calif.: a duration mark of 11 hours, 16 minutes, 59 seconds; distance mark of 792.25 miles; and speed of 70.49 mph for 1,000 km.
June 13, 1913
Lt. j.g. Patrick N. L. Bellinger set an American altitude record for seaplanes when he reached 6,200 feet in A-3 (later AH-3) over Annapolis, Maryland. Bellinger was Daedalian Founder Member #2101 and Naval Aviator No. 8. Bellinger, a member of the Class of 1907 at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, advanced to the rank of rear admiral by 1940, and was in command of Patrol Wing 2 based in Honolulu. He was the senior air officer present during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and himself sent out the first radio alert: "Air raid. Pearl Harbor - this is no drill." He retired as a U.S. Navy vice admiral.
June 14, 1912
After training at the Army Air School in the Philippines, Cpl. Vernon Burge became the Army's first enlisted pilot. After 10 years as enlisted, Burge was commissioned during World War I and served the next 25 years as an officer. He is Daedalian Founder Member #345.
June 15, 1917
The U.S. Marine Corps bases aircraft at Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, for the first time, beginning a presence which eventually will lead to the establishment of Marine Corps Air Station Quantico.
June 9, 2019   Bear Taylor
LEST WE FORGET…  THE NEW YORK TIMES… FRIDAY, 21 MARCH 1969…Page 1…U.S. WAR DEATHS AT 351 IN 3d WEEK OF ENEMY'S DRIVE–Toll in Offensive Now 1,140… by Terrence Smith…Saigon, South Vietnam, March 20– "The United States command reported today that American battle deaths were 351 last week, the third week of the enemy's current offensive. The figure the week before was 336. The latest figures bring to 1,140 the number of United States soldiers killed in combat. Since the attacks began last week 1,401 soldiers were wounded, compared with 1,694 the week before. The continuing offensive began Feb. 23 when the enemy shelled about 115 targets throughout the country. A total of 453 Americans were killed and 2,593 were wounded in the first week… THOMAS JEFFERSON, May, 1794: "War is as much a punishment to the punisher as to the sufferer."… WE REMEMBER…
Good Morning. It's Monday, 10 June 2019. Humble Host remembers the Vietnam war and WEEK NINETEEN of COMMANDO HUNT I — 17-23 March 1969…
I.   HEADLINES from The New York Times (17-23 March)…
A.   THE WAR… (17 Mar) U.S. ARMOR FIGHTS ENEMY IN THE DMZ FOR THREE HOURS–Amphibious Vehicles Enter Sector For the First Time Since Last November–Support For Marines–Rocket Position is Hunted–Allies Lose 11 Men As Patrol is Ambushed… HANOI DENOUNCES CLASH IN DMZ… "North Vietnam today accused the United States of bombing its territory and mounting a tank supported infantry raid in the demilitarized zone… A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry demanded that the United States 'give up for good all acts of war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam'"... (18 Mar) U.S. UNIT BATTERED IN ASSAULT BY FOE– Thais Report Four Hour Battle… "…suffered severe losses today in an enemy attack on its overnight field camp 25 miles northeast of Saigon… The attackers, numbering about 60 men, struck with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades…10 soldiers were killed and 14 wounded in the attack."… "Troops of Thailand's Black Panther Division operating in South Vietnam killed at least 109 Vietcong and captured 4…battle took place 35 miles southeast of Saigon"… (19 Mar) ENEMY FIRES ROCKETS INTO DANANG KILLING 11 CIVILIANS–Fighting Sharper Near Saigon… U.S. STILL LIMITS RESPONSE TO FOE–But White House Asserts Allied Counter-Offensive Is Part Of Reply To Enemy– Abrams Says Drive Halted (Humble Host Note: At this point the first day of BREAKFAST PLAN–the secret bombing of NVN sanctuaries in Cambodia–had been executed and Nixon "was ecstatic," wrote Bob Haldeman, the President's Chief of Staff)… (20 Mar) ALLIES SEEK TO CLEAR VIETNAM PLANTATION–Danang Shelled Again…"Allied forces cleared the French-owned Michelin rubber plantation of enemy troops, reported having killed 114 of the enemy today. The allied force of about 2,400 using tanks is sweeping through an area described as a rest and refitting camp used by guerrilla forces for the last 20 years."… VIETCONG LEADERS URGE FINAL, ALL-OUT WAR EFFORT… "…strike 'harder and more painful' blows with the aim of inflicting maximum casualties on …allied forces in a final, all-out war."… "…appealed to the people of South Vietnam in all big cities to join in national uprising to force the evacuation of all American forces and bring down the Government of President Nguyen Van Thieu."… (21 Mar) FIGHTING WIDENS NEAR BORDER–Four Battles Are Reported In Area… "South Vietnamese forces fought three battles with Vietcong troops south of Danang yesterday…at the same time an American infantry unit's overnight camp was attacked 13 miles to the west of Danang…the enemy charge was repelled by 250 troops but 18 Americans were killed and 12 wounded in the fierce battle….  a total of 116 Vietcong were killed in the three battles with the South Vietnamese, who lost 10 killed and 74 wounded… (22 Mar) ENEMY GUNNERS ATTACK 25 POSTS IN SOUTH VIETNAM–Some Cities Also Shelled As Foe's Spring Offensive Ends Its Fourth Week–Casualties Are Light–34 of 65 Earlier Mortar and Rocket Assaults Focused On U.S. Installations… (23 Mar) BIG HANOI FORCES MASSING–U.S. SAYS 10 REGIMENTS ARE REPORTED JUST NORTH OF THE DMZ–Sudden Thrust Feared… "… military men say they fear that the regiments could overrun American and South Vietnamese strongpoints in a quick thrust across the demilitarized zone that straddles North and South Vietnam."…
B.   THE PURSUIT OF PEACE in PARIS… (20 Mar) LODGE MAY FLY HOME…"The chief United States negotiator at the Paris peace talks, Henry Cabot Lodge, may fly home later this week to join conversations on Vietnam… Mr. Lodge will attend tomorrow's ninth plenary session of the Paris meetings, but a trip home after the meeting is not ruled out… If he flies home, he will meet with the U.S. Ambassadors to Saigon, Ellsworth Bunker, and to Laos, William Sullivan, whom President Nixon has summoned home for consultations."… (21 Mar) SOME PROGRESS FOUND BY LODGE–Foe's Tone At Paris Talks Termed 'More Serene'… "…Lodge said today that there had been 'some progress' at the ninth plenary meeting of the Vietnam peace talks here (Paris)…"… "If you define progress as meaning, we're swapping firm offers with each other–no, we we're not.' But, he added, the meeting had resulted in a 'better understanding of each other's positions and the facts.'"… (22 Mar) LAIRD HINTS MOVES FOR VIETNAM ACCORD BY SECRET CHANNELS… "Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird indicated today that the Nixon Administration was working for a Vietnam settlement privately through diplomatic channels as well as through the Paris peace talks….'I can assure you that every effort is being made not only through formal diplomatic channels, formally in the Paris peace talks, but privately as well.'"… (23 Mar) U.S. AIDES IN PARIS EXPECT 'TEA BREAK' VIETNAM TALKS… "United States officials here expect the Vietnam peace talks to move toward 'tea break' conversations, involving delegates from the Saigon Government and the Vietcong also, preliminary to secret hard bargaining."…
C.   OTHER HEADLINES FROM THE NYT from the week of 17-23 MARCH 1969…  (17 Mar) SOVIET SAYS CHINA USED 3,000 TROOPS IN USSURI RIVER ATTACK–Accuses Foe Of An Invasion Aimed At Seizing Territory–Peking Claims Victory… "… Chinese say their forces repulsed an attack across the island and toward the Chinese bank of the Ussuri River by Soviet troops using tanks, armored vehicles and artillery. The Ussuri forms the boundary between Manchuria and the Soviet maritime provinces north of Vladivostok."… AT LEAST 150 DIE AND 100 ARE INJURED AS JET FALLS INTO A VENEZUALAN SUBURBSOVIET LEADERS REACH BUDAPEST FOR BLOC TALKS–Brezhnev and Kosygin Attend Warsaw Pact Conference–First Full Parley In Year… KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN IN CAIRO TO CONFER WITH NASSER FOR TWO DAYS… "…flew here today, amid quickening military and diplomatic activity in the Arab-Israeli dispute, for two days of consultations… King arrived at the reception area of the Cairo airport at the controls of a Caravelle jet…an hour late, possibly because Israeli aircraft were over Jordan early in the day striking targets near Amman."… (18 Mar) McGOVERN SCORES NIXON ON VIETNAM–Says He Holds To Johnson's Tragic Course–But Other Doves Call For Patience… GOLDA MEIR SWORN IN AS ISRAELI PREMIER… (19 Mar) RUSSIANS SUBMIT PACT TO BAN ARMS FROM OCEAN BED–It Would Prohibit Nuclear Weapons and All Military Devices On The Bottom–U.S. Hints Opposition… RUSSIANS REPORT NEW ATTACK ON USSURI RIVER–Replace Aide At China Border… MILLION VEHICLES RECALLED BY G.M.–Defects in Braking Possible–All Full-Size Pontiacs For 65 and 66 Included… (20 Mar) LAIRD DISCOUNTS IDEA OF CUT NOW IN VIETNAM FORCE–But Tells Senators He'll Push Moves to Train Saigon's Forces As Replacements–Cites New Objective–Says We Shifted From the Policies of the Johnson Administration… NINETY-ONE KILLED IN CRASH OF U.A.R. AIR LINER–IL-18 Carrying 94 Pilgrims Burns At Aswan Airport… (21 Mar) KENNEDY BIDS U.S. END TAIWAN BASES–In Speech In NYC He Urges Withdrawal As a Part of New China Policy… SOVIET NO 'PAPER TIGER' MOSCOW RADIO TELLS CHINA–Russian Broadcast Says Their Nuclear Missiles Have High Accuracy… PHILIPPINES TO PULL OUT TROOPS IN VIETNAM… GENERAL REPORTS ON AID AVAILABLE TO PUEBLO–Tells Congressional Committee Air Force Attempted To Save Ship… (22 Mar) FULLBRIGHT USES FEAR TO PROMOTE ABM–Scores Secretary of Defense Stress On Soviet Missile Build-up To Justify Safeguard–Gore Attacks System–But Pentagon Chief Warns Russians Are Going For a First Strike Capability… JORDANIANS DOWN ISRAELI FIGHTER–Pilot Killed As Ground Fire Fells Jet On Border Clash… EISENHOWER RESTS COMFORTABLY AFTER SETBACK… (23 Mar) WORLD RED TALKS PLANNED TO OPEN IN MOSCOW 5 JUNE–At Least 6 of 66 Parties Are Said to Have Called For Delay In Conference–Preliminary Session Set For May 23… NIXON CONDEMNS STUDENT TURMOIL–Says Government Must Not Enforce Campus Peace–Asks New Initiatives–He Tells Colleges They Have Responsibility to Impose Fund Curbs on Dissenters… EISENHOWER RESTING BUT DOCTORS FEAR SAPPING OF STRENGTH… "…after suffering congestive heart failure last weekend…" GALLUP POLL: ACTIONS TO FINISH WAR ARE FAVORED–Nationwide Poll Finds Growing Desire To End Conflict… Discouragement over the recent hard fighting in Vietnam, as well as the apparently unproductive Paris talks on the war, has led many Americans to favor more extreme measures to end the conflict in Southeast Asia…The first question asked was: What do you think the United States should do next in regard to the Vietnam situation. Twenty-one per cent of those questioned were unable to express an opinion. Of the remainder, 32 per cent said they were in favor of greatly escalating the war or 'going all-out.' Twenty-six per cent said they favored pulling out. Nineteen per cent said they favored a continuation of the present policy–working for a cease fire at Paris and staying in Vietnam as long as necessary. Another 19 per cent said they were in favor of an end to the war 'as soon as possible.'"…
OPERATIONS IN LAOS IN FEBRUARY, 1969… "During February, air operations in Laos were concerned primarily with the interdiction of enemy supply movement and the defense of Laotian government positions in Military Regions II and IV. Operationally poor weather throughout the country caused a decline in the total number of sorties flown (down 10% from January) as well as heavier reliance on radar controlled strikes in the panhandle area (COMMANDO HUNT). In Barrel Roll (Northern Laos) low stratus and fog hampered strikes during the early morning hours. On several days, weather conditions resulted in diversion of aircraft to other areas. Strikes in Steel Tiger were hampered by haze that often restricted flight visibility to less than 4 miles. Arc Light sorties in Laos decreased 425 to a total of 618 as emphasis was placed on South Vietnam III CTZ (the area of Ashau Valley) attacks to spoil NVN/VC Tet offensive. Arc Light sortie concentration in Steel Tiger included the Ban Pha Nap and Ban Laboy traffic control areas and interdiction points along routes 92D and 922 (west of DMZ)… Recce aircraft flew 1,083 successful sorties in Laos. 64 were unsuccessful due to weather. EB-66 and EC-47 aircraft flew 541 ECM/ELINT/ARDF sorties supporting operations in Laos. CAP 72, an EC-47 Sentinel Eagle ARDF aircraft was reported missing over Laos since 65 February. SAR efforts conducted from 6 to 11 February with O-2, OV-10, Nail FAC, photo recce, and Giant Dragon aircraft were unsuccessful in locating the missing aircraft."…(CAP 72 was found in October 1969 and the remains of the ten warriors in the crew were returned to the United States for burial with full honors in a common grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis)…
"Pilots and Roadwatch Teams (RWT) sighted 13,808 vehicles (8,755 and 5,053 respectively). Average daily sightings for the reporting period are 493 or 6% greater than during the previous month. …. Since 1 November 1968 the enemy defensive gun count in Laos has increased 2 1/2 times. The majority of this increase has been in light AAA, although 57mm coverage has been extended and 3 85mm sites have been discovered. The present AAA threat in Laos includes 2 100mm gun positions just north of the Ban Karai pass in NVN. No fire control directed radar equipment associated with these guns has as yet been detected."…
"Commando Hunt… 60% of Steel Tiger sorties were flown in the Commando Hunt area…USAF attack sorties totaled 5,327; USN/USMC 1,656. The effort against various targets was distributed in the following approximate manner: 45% against Transportation Control Points, 29% against truck park/storage areas, 17% against vehicles, 5% against defenses and 4% against other targets. Estimated average daily input to the Commando Hunt area was 88% trucks, an approximate increase of 42% over January's estimated input. Sensor detections of traffic reached the highest levels ever recorded."…. End PACAF Ops Clips…
III.   AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: 17-23 MARCH 1969… References include Chris Hobson's VIETNAM AIR LOSSES. During the week ending 23 March the United States lost twelve fixed wing aircraft and five intrepid aviators…
(1) On 17 March an F-105D of the 34th TFS and 388th TFW was downed in northern Laos (Barrel Roll) while attacking an antiaircraft position. 1LT DAVID THOMJAS DINAN III was part of a section of Thunderchiefs attacking the site. LT DINAN was on his second strafing pass when hit by return fire from the site. He was able to fly clear of the target area beofre having to eject from the F-105. His parachute was destroyed by trees in the multiple canopied jungle, he fell hundreds of feet, and rolled down a steep karst hillside. Search and rescue aircraft conducted an aerial search and located the parachute and confirmed the death of LT DINAN. Pararescueman LELAND SORENSEN made the call after being lowered into the jungle from an Air Force Jolly Green Giant helo. SORENSEN found the body tangled in parachute cord and jungle bush as enemy troops in the area closed on the scene, precluding the recovery of the body at that time. LT DINAN was declared killed in action, body not recovered. It would be 45 years before the Defense Joint POW/MIA recovery team would return to the hillside in Laos and find and return LT DINAN for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. But that is just part of the story… Take a minute to read how LELAND SORENSEN, Silver Star and four DFCs on his chest, maroon beret on his head, would be called to return to Laos to participate in the recovery of LT DINAN. Read the SORENSEN and DINAN story at…
(2) On 17 March an A-6A of Marine squadron VMA(AW)-533 and MAG-12 out of Chu Lai was downed by AAA on a night COMMANDO HUNT mission in southern Laos about 25 miles northwest of the Ashau Valley near the junction of Routes 92 and 922 on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. 1LT STEVEN RAY ARMISTEAD, USMC and his BN, CAPTAIN CHARLES ELBERT FINNEY were attacking enemy positions when hit. There were no radio or beeper calls and ensuing searches failed to find any sign of the aircraft wreckage or the crew of young warriors. Both 1LT ARMISTEAD and CAPTAIN FINNEY were listed as MIA and the war went on… There was no opportunity to look for them until 1995 when Joint US/Lao teams interviewed local villagers and developed a crash site for exploitation. The search found an ARMISTEAD name tag and bone fragments later identified as those of MAJOR FINNEY, who was subsequently buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The search for CAPTAIN ARMISTEAD goes on….
MORE ON THE TARGET AREA FOR THIS A-6 MISSION… More American aircraft were downed in the vicinity of the junction of Highways 92 and 922 than any other place in Laos. The location was in the center of the COMMANDO HUNT area. This was because burrowed deep in the hills at the location was North Vietnamese General Vo Bam's 559th Transportation Group's forward headquarters. (Vo Bam was revered as the creator, maintainer, operator and expander of the Ho Chi Minh Trail). It was also the control center for the trail as well as siting the largest NVA storage facility outside of North Vietnam. It was defended by belts of antiaircraft artillery guns of all sizes that were not only stationed on the ground, but mounted on platforms in trees. All facilities and guns were camouflaged…. Clipped from POW Network.
(3) On 18 March an F-100D of the 308th TFS and 31st TFW out of Tuy Hoa was downed by small arms fire attacking a Vietcong encampment at the southern tip of South Vietnam. 1LT T.J. EBDON was executing a dive on the target from 900-feet when hit. He was able to maneuver his doomed Super Sabre away from the area before ejecting to be rescued by an Army helo.
(4) On 18 March an A-1E of the 22nd SOS and 56th SOW out of Nakhon Phanom was lost on a BARREL ROLL mission in northern Laos on the Plain of Jars. 1LT M.A. RIOPELLE was attacking military structures and was pulling up from his third pass when hit by automatic weapons fire in his starboard wing. His Spad began to burn and he ejected near the target. He was able to evade capture until rescued by a JOLLY GREEN GIANT of the 40th ARRS commanded by Captain Rieddle….
(5) On 20 March an A-4E of the VMA-211 Avengers and MAG-12 was downed while attacking an enemy gun site about 5 miles north of the DMZ. MAJOR A.D. MILLER, USMC, was on his third run when hit and was forced to eject immediately–in North Vietnam. A USAF SAR helo made the rescue before the North Vietnamese troops in the area could locate and capture MAJOR MILLER…
(6) thru (11) On 21 March an six (6) A-4Es of MAG-12 were destroyed on deck at Chu Lai in a night Vietcong attack that also hit bases at Cam Ranh Bay, Danang, Phan Rang and Pleiku. There were no aircraft losses at the other bases. Four of the A-4s were in the custody of VMA-311…
(12) On 22 March an A-26A of the 609th SOS and 56th SOW out of Nakhon Phanom went down during an night COMMANDO HUNT interdiction mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail while attacking trucks on Route 911 about 25 miles west of the Ban Karai Pass. CAPTAIN JAMES WESLEY WIDDIS and CAPTAIN ROBERT CHARLES DAVIS were hit by 37mm antiaircraft fire and the aircraft was seen to explode in a fireball by the FAC on scene. There was nothing heard or seen in a subsequent search operation and both were listerd as MIA. The joint recovery team located the wreckage and the remains of both aviators were positively identified in October 1996. Both LCOL WIDDIS and MAJOR DAVIS are buried at the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs…
IV.   FROM THE ARCHIVES…State Department, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, Vietnam, Volume VI. (Page 160 of 1179) Document 41. Editorial Note…
Humble Host continues the inclusion of the SECRET BOMBING OF CAMBODIA as a vital history lesson to be taken from the era covered by the war in Vietnam. Our war included Laos from the outset and in March 1969 became inclusive of Cambodia with the commencement of OPERATION MENU and the first series of B-52 attacks under the code name BREAKFAST. Several courses on "the menu" were to follow, all without the knowledge of any member of Congress. The following Editorial Note summarizes what was going on in the White House during the first days of the decision to execute the operation and the first raids on Cambodia… From Document 41…
…..Although there is no record of the meeting in the President's Daily Diary, merely a reference that President Nixon went to the Oval Office on Saturday March 16, 1969, at 4:30 p.m. and returned to the residence at 6:51 p.m., both Henry Kissinger and President Nixon describe in their memoirs an afternoon meeting lasting two hours on March 16 in the Oval Office among the President, Secretary of State Rogers, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General, Wheeler, and Kissinger.
…..Kissinger's account stresses that the decision to bomb Cambodian sanctuaries had already been made. Kissinger states that the President "felt it necessary to pretend that the decision was still open. This led to hours of the very discussion that he found so distasteful and reinforced his tendency to exclude the recalcitrants from further deliberations." According to Kissinger, the discussion "followed predictable lines. Laird and Wheeler strongly advocated attacks and Rogers objected not on foreign policy but on domestic grounds." Kissinger recalls that Nixon 'permitted himself to be persuaded by Laird and Wheeler to do what he had already ordered." Nixon's own recollections stress his decision to bomb Cambodia sanctuaries. Nixon recalls that he said: "The state of play in Paris is completely sterile. I am convinced that the only way to move the negotiations off dead center is to do something on the military front. That is something they will understand." No other record of this March 16 meeting has been found.
…..The day before the meeting, Kissinger called Secretary of Defense Laird at 5:40 p.m. that "he just talked to the President and he would like to order this thing (OPERATION MENU/BREAKFAST). L said fine. K said when he had talked to Buzz (Wheeler) earlier there were two possibilities: one, only a BREAKFAST PLAN (B-52 bombing of Cambodian sanctuaries) and the other one to split forces for target (and also bomb North Vietnamese troop concentrations in the DMZ). K said to lay on both and we will decide tomorrow which to execute. L said they could do it. K said the President may want to have a meeting between L., K. and Bill (Rogers) and the President is counting on L to be firm at the meeting. L said he does not have to worry about that, he will be firm." Laird and Kissinger discussed the meeting in two telephone conversations at 9 and 9:30 (apparently p.m.) on March 16. In the first conversation, Kissinger told Laird that the President had approved the Cambodian bombing, "something he cannot ever avow" and was willing to do the other attack, but asked Laird's political advice. Laird responded that in view of Rogers' opposition, presumably at the meeting on March 16, "it would be better to do what we agreed upon. Laird didn't see enough advantage in pushing what Bill doesn't want. It is important to maintain a good relationship. HAK agreed. HAK said he was concerned from the domestic political viewpoint." During the second conversation, Kissinger told Laird that the President agreed with his recommendation especially in view of Rogers' opp0osition. Kissinger told Laird that Nixon knew that "Laird has the best interests of the Administration at heart and it was better to keep the team together."
…..On March 17 at 1:20 p.m. the President called Kissinger to ask when the BREAKFAST bombings would begin and Kissinger responded they would commence in 1 hour. The transcript notes indicate that: "President said what pleases him is that he is glad that fellow (Thieu on March 17) agreed to private talks (in Paris). President thinks the two are closely related. K agreed. Pres said this was token of our intent and they think we really mean business. Otherwise, they were about to conclude that we were being pressured and starting again on the same cycle that we had gone through before. K said we were getting ready for some arm twisting and it was not necessary at all. Pres said good deal–pretty hard for them not to talk."
….. On March 18 at 8 p.m. Kissinger and Wheeler discussed the results of the BREAKFAST bombing. Wheeler was enthusiastic about the results–"secondaries (secondary explosions) were about 4 to 7 times the normal bomb burst, this was significant." Kissinger suggested that "if they (the North Vietnamese) retaliate without any diplomatic screaming, we are in the driver's seat. Psychologically the impact must have been something." Wheeler mentioned that North Vietnamese MiGs were recalled to China," and they were in a high state of alarm." Kissinger responded that now they have to go back to the drawing board since they didn't expect it to happen. Kissinger congratulated Wheeler on the idea and told him the President thought he had done a good job. Wheeler responded it was mostly Abrams' idea….   End clips from FRUS, Doc 41.
THE SECRET BOMBING OF CAMBODIA …How it was concealed for 14 months…
"Keeping the bombing surreptitious, Nixon hoped, would allow Sihanouk to remain silent. The president believed the Cambodian leader objected to the presence of North Vietnamese troops in his country but dared not protest because he was too weak to force them to leave. By the administration's reasoning, if the bombing became publicly known, Sihanouk would be forced to make the outcry. North Vietnam would not object because it had officially denied the presence of troops or installations in Cambodia, making it politically infeasible for Hanoi to disclose casualties or damage there. Thus the administration felt confident it could bomb without adverse international or domestic reaction.
"Laird was fully involved in planning the Breakfast bombing but disagreed with Nixon and Kissinger about doing it clandestinely. He later explained, 'I told Nixon you couldn't keep the bombing in Cambodia secret….I was all for hitting those targets in Cambodia, but I wanted it public, because I could justify before Congress and the American people that these were occupied territories of the North Vietnamese no longer Cambodian territory. I could have made the case, but they (Nixon and Kissinger) thought it was important to keep it secret.
"The initial solitary Breakfast strike on 17 March 1969 started a secret 14-month-long nightime bombing campaign, known as Operation Menu, which repeatedly attacked six base areas in Cambodia close to the border until 26 May 1970. To maintain secrecy, MACV and the Pentagon employed an elaborate dual reporting system for subsequent B-52 attacks on
Cambodia. The JCS history of this period described how the system worked. Abrams would submit a limited-distribution back-channel message to the JCS requesting approval to bomb a target in Cambodia. The JCS then passed the request to Laird for approval. At the same time Abrams would make a separate routine request to bomb 'a target in South Vietnam as cover for the Menu strike. Both strikes were approved, but normally only the Menu strike was carried out.' Of the B-52 crewmembers, only the pilots and navigators knew their aircraft were being directed by ground control sites to release ordnance in Cambodia. Target coordinates were hand-carried to the control sites just before the strikes occurred. 'Routine reports were filed as though the strikes had been carried out on Vietnamese targets; separate reports on a strict need-to-know basis, were submitted by special channel for the MENU strikes.' The Menu sorties appeared in the overall statistical tallies but were in no way linked to Cambodia. During the course of the operation B-52s dropped 108,823 tons of ordnance and flew 3,875 sorties…. Laird noted that between March 1969 and March 1970 the Menu bombing amounted to 'nearly one-fifth the tonnage dropped by U.S. forces in the Pacific theater during World War II.' "…. End clip from Hunt…
OPERATION MENU from start to finish… A clip from JCS AND THE WAR IN VIETNAM, 1969-1970, page 137…
"During the MENU OPERATIONS, U.S. B-52s struck six enemy base areas along the Cambodia and South Vietnam border. These areas were named BREAKFAST, DINNER, DESSERT, SNACK, SUPPER and LUNCH. The MENU strikes continued for fourteen months, through 26 May 1970. A total of 3,875 sorties were flown, expending 180,823 tons of ammunitions as follows:
BASE AREAS        SORTIES            TONS
350 DESSERT        706                   20,157
351 SNACK             885                   25,336
352 DINNER         817                    23,391
353 BREAKFAST 228                    6,529
609 LUNCH         992                   26,630
740 SUPPER       247                    6,780
TOTALS             3,875              108,823

V.   HUMBLE HOST END NOTE… "THE UNWILLING OR UNABLE DOCTRINE"… holds that the use of force in self-defense against a non-state actor on the territory of a third State, without the consent of that third State, may be lawful under international law if the non-state actor has undertaken an armed attack against the State and the third State is itself unwilling or unable to address the threat posed by the non-state actor. The right of self-defense is solid international law. The extension of that right to justify the "unwilling or unable doctrine" remains a widely debated issue among the world's international law scholars. The American pursuit of Osama bin Laden into Pakistan is cited in these debates as a case in point. Legal or not? The American bombing of Cambodia is another. The New York Times ran an opinion piece in 2017 headlined "Was It Legal for the U.S. to Bomb Cambodia?"  The NYT editor's conclusion was: "Nixon said yes, and his decision has warped American foreign policy ever since." The piece by historian Brian Cuddy, a lecturer in Australia is at…
South Vietnamese marines rushed to the American Army helicopter after a sweep east of the Cambodian town of Prey-Veng during the Vietnam War.CreditCreditNick Ut/Associated Press Is it acceptable ...
Humble Host includes the lead and final two paragraph's for the record… BRIAN CUDDY wrote…
HIS OPENER… "Is it acceptable to engage an enemy on the territory of a third country? It's a question that has confronted Washington policymakers in recent years over ISIS forces in Syria and Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But in 1967, it was asked urgently over the use of Cambodian territory by Vietnamese communists. What Washington policymakers decided then, and the way they continued to address the question over the following years, has had a significant impact on the shape of American foreign policy ever since."…
AND HIS CLOSER… "The legal significance of Nixon's action in Cambodia was more subtle, yet not inconsequential. A post-facto legal justification for the incursion was slow in coming, but on May 28 (1970), Nixon's State Department legal advisor laid out a novel extension to the right of self-defense, arguing that the incursion was justified because the Cambodian government could not or would not defend its neutral status and preventing Vietnamese communists from using its territory.
"Across a half-decade of earlier legal advice concerning Cambodia's role in the Vietnam War, lawyers in the Johnson administration do not appear to have acknowledged the existence of such a standard, now known as the 'unwilling or unable' doctrine. But since its articulation in 1970, the 'unwilling or unable' doctrine has played an increasing important role in justifying American interventions abroad. How American leaders grappled with the Cambodian problem during the Vietnam War has important implications for the use of military  force by the United States."…    End Cuddy clip….
For further reading Humble Host recommends a 34 page treatment of the subject posted by LAWFARE titled "Which States Support the 'Unwilling and Unable' Test?"… at
As readers of Lawfare know, a growing number of States believe that use of force in self-defense against a non-state actor on the territory of a third State, without the consent of that third State, may be lawful under international law if the non-state actor has undertaken an armed attack against the State and the third State is itself unwilling or unable to address the threat posed by the ...
Here endeth the "Vietnam War History Lesson of the Month"… there will be a question on the "unwilling or unable doctrine" on the final exam…
Lest we forget…     Bear

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Post

THE MYSTERIOUS PHONE CALL Jack Blanchard's Column February 13, 2021

        Thousands of readers around the world ...