The List 5086 TGB
I hope that you all had a great long weekend and your week is off to a good start.
Today in Naval History September 3
1782 The man-of-warship America is given to France to replace the French ship, Magnifique, which ran aground and was destroyed Aug. 11 while attempting to enter Boston harbor. The ship symbolizes the appreciation for France's service to America and her sacrifices during the American Revolution.
1783 The Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the American Revolution. The United States is acknowledged as a sovereign and independent nation.
1925 The rigid airship, USS Shenandoah (ZR 1), crashes near Byesville, Ohio. There were fourteen casualties including the Commanding Officer, Lt. Zachary Lansdowne. Twenty-nine crew members survive.
1944 A PB4Y-1 Liberator plane launches to attack German submarine pens on Helgoland Island. The pilot, Lt. Ralph Spading, sets the radio controls and parachutes out of the Liberator, which is then controlled as a drone by Ensign J.M. Simpson in a PV-1.
1945 The surrender of the Bonin Islands takes place on board USS Dunlap (DD 384) off Chichi Jima. Lt. Gen. Yoshio Tachibana, the local commander, signs the surrender documents. He is later convicted and executed for a particularly gruesome series of war crimes perpetuated against U.S. aviators who had been captured in the area during 1944-45.
• Multiple outlets continue to provide updates on Hurricane Dorian's expected path, the damage left in its wake, and the U.S. military's preparations to avoid the storm.
• The Associated Press reported on the first ever joint maritime drills between ASEAN members and the U.S. Navy.
• According to the U.S. special envoy, the U.S. would remove 5,400 troops from Afghanistan within 135 days of signing an agreement with the Taliban, reports the New York Times.
Today in History
After the death of Henry II, Richard Lionheart is crowned king of England.
Mamelukes under Sultan Qutuz defeat Mongols and Crusaders at Ain Jalut.
Edward III of England begins the siege of Calais, along the coast of France.
The English under Cromwell defeat a superior Scottish army under David Leslie at the Battle of Dunbar.
The American flag (stars & stripes), approved by Congress on June 14th, is carried into battle for the first time by a force under General William Maxwell.
The Treaty of Paris is signed by Great Britain and the new United States, formally bringing the American Revolution to an end.
Frederick Douglass escapes slavery disguised as a sailor. He would later write The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, his memoirs about slave life.
General William Harney defeats Little Thunder's Brule Sioux at the Battle of Blue Water in Nebraska.
The first professional American football game is played in Latrobe, Pennsylvania between the Latrobe Young Men's Christian Association and the Jeannette Athletic Club. Latrobe wins 12-0.
The French capital is moved from Paris to Bordeaux as the Battle of the Marne begins.
The German Somme front is broken by an Allied offensive.
The United States recognizes the nation of Czechoslovakia.
After Germany ignores Great Britain's ultimatum to stop the invasion of Poland, Great Britain declares war on Germany, marking the beginning of World War II in Europe.
The British passenger ship Athenia is sunk by a German submarine in the Atlantic, with 30 Americans among those killed. American Secretary of State Cordell Hull warns Americans to avoid travel to Europe unless absolutely necessary.
British troops invade Italy, landing at Calabria.
The U.S. Seventh Army captures Lyons, France.
General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese commander of the Philippines, surrenders to Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright at Baguio.
Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Thieu is elected president of South Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh, the leader of North Vietnam, dies.
The unmanned US spacecraft Viking 2 lands on Mars, takes first close-up, color photos of the planet's surface.
Egypt arrests some 1,500 opponents of the government.
US begins shipping military aircraft and weapons to Columbia for use against that country's drug lords.
Russia and China sign a demarcation agreement to end dispute over a stretch of their border and agree they will no longer target each other with nuclear weapons.
Protestant loyalists in Belfast, Ireland, begin an 11-week picket of the Holy Cross Catholic school for girls, sparking rioting.
Thanks to Dr. Rich
Correction .. the F-35B is the VTOL USMC version … it DOES have a hook, but not for routine arrested landings … only for emergency use … like landing at an air base w. arresting gear and brake or landing gear problems … Clicked 'Send' before thinking!!
Thanks to Mo …
[Actually, it does have a hook, and that was one of the early problems w. the F-35B … "hook skip" … that required a redesign.]
F-35 SEA Trials ...
This video link is fresh (for the public). It was made just weeks ago in the Atlantic, off Newport News, Virginia.
These are the latest sea trials of the F-35B "V / STOL" Fighters on the USS Wasp. They were very successful, with 74 VLs and STOs in a 3-week period. The aircraft is also stealth, and super-sonic. You will notice a sailor standing on the bow of the ship as the jet rotates. That was an intentional part of the sea trials.
No catapult...no hook. It's a new world out there!
Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ki86x1WKPmE
COMMANDO HUNT and ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… WEEK THIRTY-ONE of The Hunt… 9-15 JUNE 1969…
September 1, 2019Bear Taylor
COMMEMORATING THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR (1961-1973)…
LEST WE FORGET… NYT, Friday, 13 June 1969… "…The United States command reported that 252 Americans were killed in action during the week ended last Saturday… The report raised to 36,043 the number of Americans killed in combat in Vietnam since January 1, 1961. Enemy losses since that time have been put at 511,622 by United States officials."… On 27 June 1969 the cover of LIFE magazine featured the face of one of the 242 American troops killed in one week in May 1969. Inside the publication was the story: "The Faces of the American Dead in Vietnam: One Week Toll." The 242 pictures at 24 per page shocked the American public… The truth hit home… (See Humble Host End Note below)…
Good Morning. It is Monday, 2 September 2019. Humble Host looks back fifty years to Week Thirty-One of the air campaign to interdict the enemy life-line of men and material that supported their relentless fight to defeat South Vietnam. It was called COMMANDO HUNT (1968-1972)…
I. THE HEAD LINES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES for 9 through 15 JUNE 1969…
A. THE WAR… (9 June) US TROOPS REPEL THREE ATTACKS ON BASE KILLING 399 OF FOE… "For three consecutive nights, enemy troops have tried to overrun a United States artillery base five miles from the Cambodian border in Tayninh Province… Enemy soldiers shelled and then charged the base, a small sandbagged fortress. Military spokesmen said that the bodies of 399 soldiers had been found beyond the outer ring of wire at the base. American losses were one dead and eight wounded."… (10 June) SHARP CLASHES END BRIEF LULL IN WAR…"Sharp fighting broke out in South Vietnam yesterday after a one day lull. Many enemy soldiers were reported killed in actions ranging from the northern areas around Danang to sectors northwest of Saigon… a long fight for Apbia mountain (Hamburger Hill) near the Laotian border has ended."… FIRST U.S. ARMY NURSE KILLED BY FOE IN VIETNAM… "…killed when a rocket struck a ward of the 312 Evacuation Hospital in Chu Lai… 25 wounded."… (11 June) TEN B-52 MISSIONS STRIKE AT ENEMY–Seven Are Near Recent Action North of Saigon…"The air war over South Vietnam was intensified yesterday as United States B-52 bombers struck at enemy positions in the Central Highlands and northwest of Saigon. Five missions were flown in Tayninh province on the Cambodian border (Operation Menu?)…"…four battles were fought on familiar battlegrounds ranging from 32 to 65 miles from Saigon that resulted in 137 enemy dead. The United States command said that American losses were 12 killed and 57 wounded."… HANOI INSISTS CAPTURED PILOTS ARE WAR CRIMINALS… "Hanoi today reaffirmed its stand that American pilots held in North Vietnam were war criminals…. and have the right to put the pilots on trial for taking part in bombing missions against North Vietnam…. The paper said that, although the pilots were war criminals, they had received 'humanitarian treatment' in North Vietnam since their capture."… (12 June) ENEMY STAGES HEAVY ASSAULTS ON TWO BASES IN COASTAL REGION–16 Americans Killed in Raids South of Danang–Vietcong Breach A Post's Defenses… (13 June) U.S. WAR DEATHS FALL SLIGHTLY–Losses of South Vietnamese and Foe Rise–Increase Laid To A Wave of Enemy Attacks Last Week… (14 June) A COASTAL SWEEP… "Seven thousand allied troops are sweeping through the coastal plains of Central Vietnam in a drive to smash an enemy fortress ten miles south of the city of Danang… In the three weeks since the sweep began 322 North Vietnamese and Vietcong have been killed and 51 taken prisoner… 152 weapons have been captured….Marine losses were put at 31 killed and 240 wounded….Marines of the First and Fifth Regiments have done most of the fighting and most of the killing."… (15 June) FOE KILLS 18 G.I.s IN ATTACK ON BASE NEAR ASHAU VALLEY–NINE SITES SHELLED… "North Vietnamese troops throwing dynamite and grenades fought their way to the edge of a United States brigade headquarters near the Ashau Valley today. Striking before dawn, 40 to 50 enemy soldiers crawled up a jungle slope and attacked an advance base of the Third Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division killing 18 American paratroopers and wounding 47. Thirty-one North Vietnamese were killed in the skirmish."… MANY CASUALTIES ON APBIA PEAK ARE ATTRIBUTED TO U.S. MISTAKES… (artillery short rounds and helicopter accidents)…
STATE DEPARTMENT DOCUMENT (FRUS, 1969-1976, Volume VI, Vietnam, January 1969-July 1970) 85. Intelligence Memorandum No. 05730/69 of June 12, 1969… STRESSES IN NORTH VIETNAM… "As the leaders of North Vietnam enter the eleventh year of their attempt to seize control of the South by force, they face a rising level of war-weariness among their people. In addition, as a result of the cessation of the bombing last year, the regime is having to combat a relaxation on the part of the North Vietnamese generally. Once the bombing stopped, many North Vietnamese, even the armed services and the vital areas of transportation, appear to have suffered an emotional letdown in the belief that the war was over as far as they were concerned. Now, the regime is having difficulty convincing the people that they must continue to endure deprivation and that many must continue to go South to fight what by now must seem to them to be an interminable war. Although these problems do not appear to be so grave as to impair significantly the regime's ability to prosecute the war, they are causing the politboro concern and it is reacting."…
B. PEACE TALKS IN PARIS… (9 June) NIXON TO REDUCE VIETNAM FORCE–Pulling Out 25,000 G.I.'s By August 31–He and Thieu Stress Their Unity–Sign a Midway Accord–Leaders Agree A Cutback Will Begin In 30 Days… Dateline MIDWAY ISLAND… "President Nixon met with President Nguyen Van Thieu today (June 8) and announced that 25,000 American soldiers would be withdrawn from Vietnam before the end of August. And with Mr. Thieu standing at his side, Mr. Nixon held out the hope of further reductions in the 540,000-man American force when this first phase was completed."… (10 June) VIETCONG SCORN MIDWAY ACCORD–Hanoi Team In Paris Also Critical–Raises Doubt on Early Progress on Talks… AFTER THE MIDWAY TALKS–Key To Troops Reduction Tactics Lies In Hanoi's Response To Offers in Paris… (11 June) NIXON SAYS TALKS AT MIDWAY OPEN 'DOOR TO PEACE'–He Returns to Capital After Conference With Thieu–North Vietnam Urged to Act–Cites Troop Cut Plan–Hanoi Urged To Reciprocate on Battlefield or At Peace Table in Paris… TWO PATHS FOR NIXON–He May Face Choice Between Stronger Thieu Regime Or Bigger Vietcong Role… (12 June) NEW GOVERNMENT IS REPLACING NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT AT TALKS IN PARIS–Front's Delegate Says Group Formed By Vietcong Has Assumed All Functions–Little Policy Change–U.S. Sees Move as 'Same Old Wine In New Bottle'– Thieu Discounts NLF Actions… (13 June) NEW VIETCONG GROUP IN PARIS CALLS FOR COMPLETE VICTORY AS BASIS OF PEACE… (14 June) VIETCONG'S MOVE EXPECTED TO STALL PEACE TALKS–Soviet Recognizes New Vietcong Group–Red China Remains Silent… (15 June) VIETCONG OFFICIAL REAFFIRMS DESIRE FOR TALKS IN PARIS–Delegate Denies Naming of Regime Means Emphasis on Military Solution… "An offical of the provisional revolutionary government proclaimed by the Vietcong said yesterday that its formation did not signify a turn away from the Paris peace talks toward a military solution. Tran Buu Kiem, minister of the presidency in the new organization, foresaw the possibility of political contacts between a 'peace cabinet' in Saigon and his government. He said they could begin before the total withdrawal of American troops that the Vietcong have demanded."…
C. THE REST OF THE NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINES… (9 June) PRESIDENT MEETS THIEU AT MIDWAY… "…The principal purpose of the meeting was to permit the two presidents to review a broad range of matters of mutual interest. These included developments in Vietnam–political, economic and military–the Paris talks, and the general situation in Southeast Asis… The two Presidents confirmed their conviction that the form of government under which the people of South Vietnam will live should be decided by the people themselves. They reiterated their common resolve to reject any attempt to impose upon the Republic of Vietnam any system or any particular form of government, such as a coalition, without regard to the will of the people of South Vietnam."… SOVIET GAIN IN M.I.R.V. PROGRAM–Pentagon Analysis of Test Bolsters U.S. Advocates of Further Testing… POLICE SEEK TO EASE HOSTILITY–Survey Finds That A Rise In Efforts To Reduce Racial Tension Sometimes Fails…ISRAEL WEIGHS A REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PLAN… INDIA-PAKISTAN BORDER CROSSING REFLECTS HOSTILITY OF TWO NATIONS… PLAN FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY GAINS… (10 June) SENATE CONFIRMS BURGER AS CHIEF JUSTICE by 74-3–Vietnam War Critics Delay Vote… SIXTEEN STUDENTS OUSTED FROM HARVARD FOR SEIZURE OF BUILDING… VIOLENCE PANEL OPPOSED TO NEW STUDENT PENALTIES–Such Laws Would 'Spread the Difficulty', Group Says As It Urges Legislation to Strengthen Their First Amendment Rights… PRIME RATE RISES TO A RECORD 8 1/2% FOR BANK LOANS–Minimum Interest Charged–Economy Slowdown Seen Following a Steady Job Rate During Month… APOLLO OFFICIALS TO GIVE DECISION THURSDAY ON MOON SHOT DATE… (11 June) GROMYKO IN CAIRO FOR URGENT TALKS–Discussions Focus On Big 4 Negotiations Ongoing at U.N. in New York… PRAVDA VOICES SOVIET DISPLEASURE WITH U.S. ON MISSILE POLICIES–Also U.S. Delay of Arms Talks… (12 June) SOVIET DOCTRINE SCORED BY ITALIANS–Italy's Red Leader In the Kremlin Says Individual Parties Must Be Autonomous… LATIN GRIEVANCES AGAINST THE U.S. HANDED TO NIXON–Chilean Presents Report For 21 Countries–President Pledges Serious Study… GROMYKO REPORTED TO GIVE NASSER A PEACE PLAN–Formula Said To Allow Israel To Retain Jerusalem And Golan Heights In Syria… (13 June) TALKS ON MIDEAST AT CRITICAL STAGE–U.S. Awaits Soviet Assent To Its Package Plan For Arab-Israeli Accord… EIGHT ARABS, THREE ISRAELIS REPORTED KILLED IN FIERCE ATTACK… U.S. OFFICIALS MEET IN HAWAII TO PLAN TROOPS PULLOUT… JULY APOLLO 11 TO MOON–SHOT APPROVED BY N.A.S.A.–Touch Down on Moon Set For 20 July… (14 June) NIXON INDICATES NEW POLICY ON LATIN AMERICA IS NEAR… MOSCOW MAY SEEK ASIA DEFENSE PLAN–Move Expected On System to Include Nations Along The Frontiers of China… 20,000 CHRISTIANS FILL MADISON SQUARE GARDEN–Billy Graham Opens Crusade... LAOTIAN PREMIER CONCEDES U.S. PLANES FLY RAIDS IN LAOS… GROMYKO ENDS TALKS WITH NASSER–Joint Statement Stresses 1967 U.N. Resolution–Eban Scores Communique… (15 June) FRENCH VOTERS TO DECIDE TODAY— Poher or Pomidou… PALESTINIAN ARABS GUERRILLA MOVEMENT UNDERGOING FRAGMENTATION INTO SPLINTER GROUPS…
II. COMMANDO HUNT II (May to Nov 1969)… The following is snipped from my signed copy of General Merrill A. McPeak's excellent autobiography HANGAR FLYING… I have selected just one short paragraph from his testimonial of his tour as a MISTY– a Fast FAC. I wish I could quote the whole Misty chapter. It is the story of ops in southern Laos. Humble Host most strongly suggests RTR readers peruse the MISTY website and take a few minutes to watch General McPeak in company with his two sons return to tour a bit of the Ho Chi Minh Trail on bikes. Their day on the trail was spent in the center of COMMANDO HUNT country… Watch and peruse at…
Quote from HANGAR FLYING, page 279… General McPeak wrote:
"Honor is a gift we make to ourselves, and Misty was nothing if not generous. In all, 35 of the 157 Mistys were shot down during their stay with the squadron, two of them twice. Seven were killed, three captured. Fully a third of all Misty sorties into the panhandle (of North Vietnam) ended up in rescue efforts, often one Misty capping another, downed by ground fire. For some reason, the loss rate did not much abate when in October 1968, President Johnson stopped all bombing in the North, a 'pause' that lasted four years. As I joined the outfit, at the beginning of February 1969, Misty was flying seven sorties a day, all of them into southern Laos (COMMANDO HUNT), site of the Ho Chi Minh Trail."
III. AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: 9-15 JUNE 1969… References include Chris Hobson's monumental study VIETNAM AIR LOSSES, now available on line in it's entirety (Thanks Micro!!!)…During the week ended Sunday, 15 June five fixed wing aircraft and 3 American aviators flew their last flight…
(1) On 11 June an F-4D of the 390th TFS and 366th TFW out of Danang crewed by MAJOR W.R. DEANS and MAJOR C.A. THOMAS was downed by small arms fire while attacking an automatic weapons site 17 miles west of Tam Ky. The pair of aviators was forced to eject a few miles from their target, where an Air Force SAR unit plucked them from the hostile territory…
(2) On 11 June a YQU-22A of the 553rd Recon Wing out of Nakhon Phanom was destroyed in a crash following an engine failure on a non-combat flight. The unnamed pilot survived to fly again. This was the first QU-22 lost in SEAsia. The Air Force would add 33 QU-22 aircraft, a version of the A-36 Beech Bonanza, to the recce force in the theater to support the IGLOO WHITE sensor operations in the COMMANDO HUNT area of southern Laos.
(3) On 12 June an A-1H of the 602nd SOS and 56th SOW piloted by 1LT NEAL CLINTON "Cliff" WARD, call sign "Firefly 20," was downed while attacking a convoy of trucks east of Ban Ban in the northern Barrel Roll area of Laos. 1LT WARD was not seen to eject from his Spad as it crashed in the immediate area of the convoy under attack. On his initial strafing attack on the lead truck he effectively stopped the convoy. He was hit on his second and last strafing run on the convoy. His heroic flight is detailed in George J. Marrett's book CHEATING DEATH. MAJOR WARD was declared Missing in Action when a SAR effort was precluded by the presence of enemy troops at the crash site. He was subsequently judged "Preumptive Finding of Death, which is his status today, 50-years after he gave "the last full measure" for our country. MAJOR WARD is memorialized with a stone marker at Arlington National Cemetery and on the Memorial Plaza at Texas A&M. Glory gained, duty done bravely… Left behind! Active pursuit by DPAA?… Hope So!…
(4) On 14 June an F-105D of the 354th TFS and 355th TFW out of Takhli piloted by MAJOR HAROLD "Pappy" KAHLER was lost while executing a strike mission in the Barrel Roll area. Hobson, TASK FORCE OMEGA and POW NETWORK tell the story: Two Thuds, Mantis One and Two, were searching for twenty trucks reported to be on a road in northwestern Laos but failed to find them. However, they did find a bridge and ford near Ban Na Muang about 18 miles south southeast of Sam Neua and requested permission to attack this new target (Humble Host note: Targeting in Laos was closely controlled by the American Ambassador to Laos… permission was a Rule of Engagement–one of many). The lead aircraft rolled in to drop its bombs followed by MAJOR KAHLER. The leader, Mantis One, saw a flash of light in his rear view mirror and tried to contact MAJOR KAHLER without success. Assuming that MAJOR KAHLER had been shot down by AAA, the leader quickly searched the area before he was forced to depart due to lack of fuel. A ground search team later located the wreckage of MAJOR KAHLER's F-105, but found no sign of the pilot. On the same day, the Pathet Lao claimed to have shot down an American aircraft and that the pilot had been 'suitably punished'! Whatever the punishment was, HAROLD KAHLER, a Second World War veteran, was never seen again. At one point the family was told that the military "believed MAJOR KAHLER had ejected from the aircraft and was probably working his way to a safer area."… MAJOR KAHLER earned his Silver Wings in 1943 and was a flight instructor during World War II. After the war he was a Nebraska National Guard aviator and was recalled to active duty for the Korean War. He remained on active duty for the fight in Vietnam. Today, he remains missing in the category of "Presumptive Finding of Death."… His fate is unknown. He is remembered here with respect, admiration and appreciation, with the hope that DPAA never gives up looking for his remains…
(5) On 14 June an F-4D Wolf Fast FAC of the 497th TFS and 8th TFW out of Ubon piloted by CAPTAIN JAMES WILLIAM GRACE, with WSO 1LT WAYNE J. KARAS in the rear cockpit, was downed on a COMMANDO HUNT bomb damage assessment mission in the area west of Tchepone. The Phantom was fatally damaged by ZPU anti-aircraft fire and the crew was forced to eject near Ban Kapay. SAR forces were on scene immediately and a Bell UH-1F Huey "Pony Express" helicopter from the 20th SOS quickly rescued 1LT KARAS. The unsuccessful attempt to rescue CAPTAIN GRACE followed. The most complete story of what happened next is a tale unto itself and is available online at:
MAJOR GRACE was initially listed as missing after a ground search team could not find his body. In June 1976 he was officially declared killed in action. In 1997 the canopy of the aircraft was found but no further evidence of MAJOR GRACE found (Or was there?? See the next link and the saga of a loyal wife). He is memorialized with a memorial stone at Arlington National Cemetery. His fate remains unknown. He is remembered here 50 years after his last flight with respect, admiration and appreciation for his heroic service for our country. I join DPAA in their desire for a lead that will refresh the search for MAJOR GRACE. The story of his wife's untiring effort to find her husband is detailed at…
Or Google: "pow network bios" home page. Then scroll to list of last name initials, hit "G". Scroll down to Grace.
IV. HUMBLE HOST END NOTE… LIFE magazine was on the scene in Vietnam to record in award winning photography the story of death and destruction on the battlefields and in the cities of Southeast Asia. The impact of those pictures and the nightly television news programs seared into the minds and hearts of all Americans. The June 27, 1969 cover story and TEN consecutive pages of pictures of fallen warriors made history. The impact was overwhelming and a crushing blow to what little remained of American fighting spirit on the homefront. Humble Host goes to a 15 May 2014 TIME pictorial essay to record the historic event for the RTR archives… I quote…
FACES OF THE AMERICAN DEAD IN VIETNAM: ONE WEEK's TOLL, JUNE 1969… By Ben Cosgrove…
"In June 1969, LIFE magazine published a feature that remains as moving and, in some quarters, as controversial as it was when it intensified a nation's soul-searching 45 years ago (now 50). On the cover, a young man's face–the very model of middle-America's 'boy next door'–along with 11 stark words: 'The Faces of the American Dead in Vietnam: One Week's Toll.' Inside, across ten funereal pages, LIFE published picture after picture and name after name of 242 young men killed in seven days halfway around the world 'in connection with the conflict in Vietnam.'
"To no one's surprise, the public's response was immediate, and visceral. Some readers expressed amazement, in light of the thousands of American deaths suffered in a war with no end in sight, that it took so long for LIFE to produce something as dramatic and pointed as 'One Week's Toll.' Others were outraged that the magazine was, as one reader saw it, 'supporting the antiwar demonstrators who are traitors to this country.' Still others–perhaps the vast majority–were quietly and disconsolately devasted.
"… Below is the text, in full, that not only accompanied portraits of those killed, but also explained why LIFE chose to publish 'One Week's Dead' when it did–and in the manner it did."
"From the June 27, 1969, issue of LIFE:
'The faces shown on the next pages are the faces of American men killed–in the words of the official announcement of their deaths–'in connection with the conflict in Vietnam.' The names, 242 of them, were released on May 28 through June 3 (1969), a span of no special significance except that it includes Memorial Day. The numbers of the dead are average for any seven-day period during this stage of the war.
'It is not the intention of this article to speak for the dead. We cannot tell with any precision what they thought of the political currents which drew them across the world. From the letters of some, it is possible to tell they felt strongly that they should be in Vietnam, that they had great sympathy for the Vietnamese people and were appalled at their enormous suffering. Some had voluntarily extended their tours of combat duty; some were desperate to come home. Their families provided most of these photographs, and many expressed their own feelings that their sons and husbands died in a necessary cause. Yet in a time when the numbers of Americans killed in this war–36,000–though far less than the Vietnamese losses, have exceeded the dead in the Korean War, when the nation continues week after week to be numbed by a three-digit statistic which is translated to direct anguish in hundreds of homes all over the country, we must pause to look into the faces. More than we must know how many, we must know who. The faces of one week's dead, unknown to but the families and friends, are suddenly recognized by all in this gallery of young American eyes.'"…. End quote…
Lest we forget… Bear
Daily news from Military Periscope 3 September
USA—Draft Agreement Reached With Taliban, Says Khalilzad TOLONews | 09/03/2019 U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad says that the U.S. and the Taliban have reached an agreement in principle, including the withdrawal of American forces, reports the Tolo News. The draft agreement calls for the withdrawal of about 5,000 U.S. military personnel in 135 days, if the Taliban meets the conditions outlined in the accord, Khalilzad told the television channel on Monday. These include security guarantees in Kabul and Parwan provinces, the latter of which houses Bagram air field, he said. The return of the Taliban's "Islamic Emirate," its title when in was in power in the 1990s, by force would not be acceptable. Attempts to reimpose that government would result in war, said Khalilzad. The draft agreement must still be approved by President Trump. A spokesman said that President Ashraf Ghani has seen the draft.
USA—Army Awards Contracts For Hypersonic Weapon Defense News | 09/03/2019 The U.S. Army has awarded a pair of contracts to manufacture and integrate its first hypersonic weapons, reports Defense News. Under the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) program, Dynetics Technical Solutions, Huntsville, Ala., will build 20 Common Hypersonic Glide Vehicles (C-HGVs) prototypes for $356.1 million, with an option for additional bodies, the company said in a release. The deal includes components for the Air Force as part of the development of a separate glide body intended for integration on aircraft. The Air Force variant is expected to share 70 percent of its components with the C-HGB. A Lockheed Martin-led team, including Dynetics; i3; Verity Integrated Systems; Martinez & Turek; and Penta Research, received a $347 million contract to "integrate a land-based hypersonic strike prototype," said Lockheed. This will involve integrating eight of the C-HGBs with boosters and other associated equipment to equip the Army's first planned battery of land-based hypersonic weapons in 2023, reported Breaking Defense. The Army plans to deliver a hypersonic missile and launcher to a unit in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021. The unit will train for a year without live rounds, with the initial live-firing slated for fiscal 2022.
USA—Marines Evacuated Yemeni President As Crisis Escalated In 2015, Documents Show Marine Corps Times | 09/03/2019 A recently released command chronology has detailed the role of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in evacuating U.S. personnel and the Yemeni president during the country's collapse in 2015, reports the Marine Corps Times. According to the document, the MEU supported the evacuation of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi on March 26, 2015, although it did not indicate where he was moved from or to. Hadi fled the presidential palace on March 20, 2015, Al Jazeera (Qatar) reported at the time. In addition to supporting Hadi's evacuation, the MEU supported the evacuation of special operations forces and U.S. government personnel still in Yemen. The evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa was supported by Marines deploying from the USS Iwo Jima in February 2015. The Iwo Jima and USS New York supported the evacuation of special operations personnel in March 2015. The special operations personnel were likely Navy SEALS and Army Delta Force operators withdrawn from Al Anad air base north of Aden, as reported at the time by CNN.
Bulgaria—Defense Ministry Sends Su-25 Strike Jet To Belarus For Modernization Sofia Globe | 09/03/2019 The Bulgarian Defense Ministry has just sent the first of eight Su-25 attack aircraft to Belarus for upgrading, reports the Sofia Globe. The jet arrived in Belarus on Aug. 28 as part of a modernization program first announced in November 2018. The project to repair and upgrade eight aircraft is estimated to cost US$57 million. The Soviet-era attack aircraft will be upgraded at the 558th Aircraft Repair Plant in Baranovichi, Belarus, said the defense ministry. The upgrade program was previously delayed several years over European Union sanctions against Belarus. The issue was resolved earlier this month when the Parliament passed an amendment removing the Economy Ministry's control over the transaction, reported Belsat TV at the time. The project will restore the airworthiness of the aircraft and keep them operational until replacements can be acquired, reported the Sofia News Agency.
Mongolia—New Cooperation Deals Inked With Russia Tass | 09/03/2019 Mongolia has signed several agreements to strengthen bilateral relations with Russia, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow). In a ceremony on Tuesday in Ulan Bator, Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed 10 agreements known collectively as the Treaty on Friendship and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Putin told the Udriin Sonin (Mongolia) prior to the ceremony that the pact would build on the 1993 Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation between the two countries. The 10 agreements covered issues including counterterrorism, regional affairs and border security. The agreements also restored a 2004 pact that provided free military and technical assistance to Mongolia. Putin said the two countries intended to continue to hold joint military drills. The leaders also agreed to create a joint investment fund and possibly cooperate on a nuclear science center in Mongolia.
North Korea—Legislature Revises Constitution To Give Kim More Power Korea Times | 09/03/2019 The North Korean rubber-stamp Parliament has shifted greater decision-making power to the Supreme Affairs Commission (SAC) chairman and the position, held by Kim Jong Un, has been made the formal head of state, reports the Korea Times. Under the constitutional changes made public on Aug. 30, Kim now has the power to issue Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) ordinances, decrees and decisions and to appoint and recall diplomatic envoys, reported the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The powers had previously been constitutionally vested in the president of the Presidium of the SPA, who is the official head of North Korea. Other new amendments serve to officially shift that role to the chairman of the SAC, including declaring the position to be the "supreme leader of the party, state and armed forces." In a move experts called an effort to portray Kim as a regular head of state, the SAC chairman will also no longer be elected as a deputy to the SPA. The shift in diplomatic authority could increase the leeway of North Korean negotiators in nuclear talks, since the envoys would be speaking more directly for Kim, said experts.
Japan—Tokyo Considering Independent Middle East Naval Mission Reuters | 09/03/2019 Japan will not join a U.S.-led maritime security mission in the Middle East, reports Reuters. Instead, Tokyo is considering sending Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessels to the region on information -athering missions, government sources told the Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo). Under the proposal, Japanese ships would deploy in the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman and the Bab Al-Mandab strait, between Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen. The Strait of Hormuz could be included if Iran agreed to it, said the sources.
Australia—Airbus Offers Tiger Upgrade For Army's Attack Helicopter Program Airbus Helicopters | 09/03/2019 Airbus Helicopters has announced that it offered a modernization program for the Australian army's existing Tiger attack helicopters in response to the army's request for information for a potential replacement. The Armed Reconnaissance Capability program calls for a total of 29 helicopters, 24 for operational units and five for training, to replace the current fleet of 22 Tiger helicopters, noted AIN Online. The Tigers have faced significant issues since their introduction beginning in 2004. The fleet did not achieve full operational capability until 2016, nine years later than originally scheduled. Since then, performance has significantly improved including a 30 percent reduction in operating costs, Airbus said in a release on Aug. 30. Airbus says its offer would save Canberra Aus$3 billion (US$2 billion) over a new procurement The announcement did not provide details of potential upgrades or if its offer included additional Tigers to meet the service's increased requirement.
India—Army, Air Force Lose Interest In Predator Buy; Navy Drone Program Scaled Back Economic Times | 09/03/2019 The Indian armed forces look increasingly unlikely to make a major drone purchase from the U.S., reports the Economic Times (India). New Delhi and Washington have been discussing a potential US$2 billion deal for uncrewed combat aerial vehicles. However, the air force has lost interest and the army is committed to a domestic drone program, said unnamed sources. The vulnerability of Predator-type drones to modern air defense systems in the area the air force would likely operate has led the service to prefer boosting its fighter fleet. The Indian navy is considering purchasing up to 10 MQ-9B Sea Guardians to bolster its maritime surveillance capability. This is a reduction from the 22 Sea Guardians previously requested by the Indian navy in 2016, noted Breaking Defense. Finally; the army is focused on buying 80 armed Rustom 2 drones developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
Afghanistan—Scores Of Casualties In Taliban Bombing In Kabul Khaama Press | 09/03/2019 At least 16 people have been killed and 119 injured in an attack against a compound housing international organizations in Kabul, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan). On Monday night, a truck bomb exploded outside of the Green Village east of the city, said the interior ministry. The Green Village is a residential area for foreign nationals and offices, the ministry said. At least five gunmen involved in the attack were later killed by Afghan special operators, reported the Tolo News (Afghanistan). The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). Interior ministry officials said that as many as 30 people may have been killed in the bombing. Monday's attack followed two assaults over the weekend targeting the capitals of Baghlan and Kunduz provinces, noted Agence France-Presse. At least 25 people were killed in the fight to retake Kunduz on Saturday. Four civilians, two security personnel and 21 Taliban were killed in the fighting in Puli Khumri, officials said.
Iran—Satellite Photos Show Rocket Exploded On Launch Pad National Public Radio | 09/03/2019 Iran's latest attempt to launch a satellite into space has failed, reports NPR News. Imagery obtained by the Planet commercial firm shows smoke actively drifting away from the pad at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in northern Iran. Additionally, half of the newly painted pad shows severe damage, with the paint either burned away or covered with debris. The rocket exploded on its launch pad after experiencing unspecified technical problems, an unnamed Iranian official told Reuters. The failed rocket was likely a Safir, a two-stage, liquid-fuel vehicle. Possible causes for the explosion include a failure during the fueling process or an electrical short, said experts. Despite the damage to the pad, imagery showing preparations at a second nearby pad indicate that another launch attempt may be likely in the near future.
Yemen—Saudi-Led Coalition Hits Prison Near Sanaa, Killing Scores Anadolu News Agency | 09/03/2019 At least 123 people have been killed in an airstrike on a prison outside of the Yemeni city of Sanaa, reports the Anadolu Agency. On Sunday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked the facility in Dhamar. Houthi medical officials said on Tuesday that 123 bodies had been recovered from the site so far. Search efforts were continuing. The site was formerly a college building but has been used by the Iran-backed rebels as a detention facility, the International Committee of the Red Cross's Yemen chief told Agence France-Presse. Houthi sources said that many at the prison were awaiting release as part of a prisoner swap agreement. A coalition spokesman accused the Houthis of storing drones and missiles at the site. The prison was not registered with the U.N. on its no-strike list, the spokesman said.
Israel—IDF Strikes Back After Hezbollah Attack Across Lebanese Border Washington Post | 09/03/2019 The Israeli military fired scores of artillery shells into Lebanon following a Hezbollah missile attack across the border with Lebanon, reports the Washington Post. On Sunday, Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at a military vehicle in northern Israel, reported the Hezbollah-run Al Manar television. The Iran-backed militant group said the attack resulted in multiple casualties. Video footage showed a Kornet guided missile striking an armored personnel carrier, reported the Times of Israel. Israeli officials said that the missiles were launched at an unmarked ambulance and resulted in no casualties. In response, Israel launched about 100 shells at Maroun al-Ras, the area where the rocket fire was initially detected, military officials said. Video suggested that the shells mostly hit empty land. Fighting lasted for about an hour. Hezbollah said the attack was in retaliation for an Aug. 24 airstrike that killed two Hezbollah operatives in Syria.
Israel—Long-Term Cease-Fire Sought With Hamas Times of Israel | 09/03/2019 Israel is seeking a long-term cease-fire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip following a series of rocket and mortar attacks, reports the Times of Israel. Israel offered to ease its blockade of the Gaza Strip among other humanitarian and economic improvements, reported Al-Akhbar (Lebanon). The proposal was made by an Egyptian delegation during talks with top Hamas members. The Egyptians also warned that Israel's threats to launch a military campaign in Gaza if the attacks do not stop were serious. Hamas said it was not responsible for recent rocket attacks and blamed "rogue elements." Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks coming from Gaza, although officials believe the current unrest is being caused by Islamic Jihad. As part of the negotiations, Hamas leadership reportedly agreed to restrain upcoming protests in exchange for the restoration of fuel supplies that Israel cut in half earlier this week.
South Africa—Naval Drills With European Partners Postponed Defence Web | 09/03/2019 The South African navy has postponed a pair of exercises with European partners, reports Defence Web (South Africa). Exercise Oxide with the French navy has been pushed back to 2020, the navy told the website. Exercise Good Hope with Germany was postponed until 2022, it said. The decision was mutually consented to by both parties, it said. No reason for the move was given. Both exercises were last held in 2017. The navy is scheduled to participate in Exercise Deep Sea with Brazil, China and Russia next year.
Colombia—Attack Targets Mayoral Candidate In Southwest Colombia Reports | 09/03/2019 At least six people, including two political candidates, have been killed in a suspected militant attack in Colombia, reports Colombia Reports. On Sunday, an armored car carrying Karina Garcia, who was running for mayor in Suarez, and five others was hit by long-range fire while traveling in the southwest Cauca department, a regional official told Agence France-Presse. The attackers then set the vehicle on fire. Garcia's mother, another local candidate and three activists were killed in the attack, reported Reuters. Only her bodyguard survived. Officials blamed a dissident splinter group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) led by Mayimbu. Most of the FARC demobilized in 2017 but some have remained active, particularly in Cauca and other rural constituencies. Garcia is the sixth mayoral candidate assassinated ahead of elections scheduled for Oct. 27. Dissident FARC groups announced a new offensive last week, citing what they said was the government's failure to implement a 2016 peace deal.