Tuesday, September 24, 2019

TheList 5102

The List 5102

To All,

I hope that you all had a great weekend..


Today in Naval History

September 23

1779 The frigate, Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, engages HMS Serapis. During the battle, with his ship nearly destroyed, he refuses to surrender, shouting I have not yet begun to fight. With assistance from the Continental frigate Alliance, John Paul Jones captures Serapis. Two days later, Bonhomme Richard sinks under the sea.

1813 During the War of 1812, the frigate President, commanded by Commodore John Rodgers, captures the British HMS High Flyer off Nantucket Sound.

1861 Rear Adm. Louis M. Goldsborough assumes command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron including operations in the Chesapeake during the Civil War.

1931 The first landing of an autogiro on board an aircraft carrier is made by Lt. Alfred M. Pride, USN, in a (XOP 1), onboard USS Langley (CV 1) while underway.

1944 USS West Virginia (BB 48) reaches Pearl Harbor and rejoins the Pacific Fleet, marking the end of the salvage and reconstruction of 18 ships damaged Dec. 7, 1941.

1989 USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) is christened and launched at the Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans, La. The Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler provides underway replenishment of fuel, fleet cargo and stores to the Navy through the Military Sealift Command.

1990 During Operation Desert Shield, the two hospital ships, USNS Mercy (T AH 19) and USNS Comfort (T AH 20), steam together for first time in the Persian Gulf.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• The Wall Street Journal reports the Trump administration faces major challenges in securing further U.N. action against Iran.

• CNO Adm. Mike Gilday is scheduled to visit Japan and Republic of Korea, Sept. 22-25.

• USNI News reports both the Navy and Marine Corps are considering Offshore Support Vessels to supplement amphibious ships in littoral environments.

Today in History September 23
1553 The Sadians defeat the last of their enemies and establish themselves as rulers of Morocco.

1561 Philip II of Spain gives orders to halt colonizing efforts in Florida.

1577 William of Orange makes his triumphant entry into Brussels, Belgium.

1667 Slaves in Virginia are banned from obtaining their freedom by converting to Christianity.

1739 The Austrians sign the Treaty of Belgrade after having lost the city to the Turks.

1779 The American navy under John Paul Jones, commanding from Bonhomme Richard, defeats and captures the British man-of-war Serapis.

1788 Louis XVI of France declares the Parliament restored.

1795 A national plebiscite approves the new French constitution, but so many voters sustain that the results are suspect.

1803 British Major General Sir Arthur Wellesley defeats the Marathas at Assaye, India.

1805 Lieutenant Zebulon Pike pays $2,000 to buy from the Sioux a 9-square-mile tract at the mouth of the Minnesota River that will be used to establish a military post, Fort Snelling.

1806 The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrives back in St. Louis just over three years after its departure.

1864 Confederate and Union forces clash at Mount Jackson, Front Royal and Woodstock in Virginia during the Valley campaign.

1911The Second International Aviation Meet opens in New York.

1912 Mack Sennett's first "Keystone Cop" film debuts, Cohen Collects a Debt.

1945 The first American dies in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon to French forces.

1952 Richard Nixon responds to charges of a secret slush fund during his 'Checkers Speech.'


· 1954 East German police arrest 400 citizens as U.S. spies.

1967 Soviets sign a pact to send more aid to Hanoi.

1973 Juan Peron is re-elected president of Argentina after being overthrown in 1955.

1983 Gerrie Coetzee (Gerhardus Coetzee), boxer from South Africa; becomes the first boxer from the African continent to win a world heavyweight tittle (World Boxing Association).

1983 Gulf Air Flight 771 from Karachi, Pakistan, to Abu Dhabi, UAE, bombed; all 117 aboard die.

1992 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonates 3,700-lb. bomb in Belfast, completely destroying the Northern Ireland forensic laboratory, injuring 20 people and damaging 700 houses.

2002 The first public version of Mozilla Firefox browser released; originally called Phoenix 0.1 its name was changed due to trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies.

2004 Hurricane Jeanne causes severe flooding in Haiti; over 1,000 reported dead.


This Day in Military History

1779 – During the American Revolution, the U.S. ship Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, wins a hard-fought engagement against the British ships of war Serapis and Countess of Scarborough off the east coast of England. Scottish-born John Paul Jones first sailed to America as a cabin boy and lived for a time in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where his brother had a business. He later served on slave and merchant ships and proved an able seaman. After he killed a sailor while suppressing a mutiny, he went to the American colonies to escape possible British prosecution. With the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775, he traveled to Philadelphia and was commissioned a senior lieutenant in the new Continental Navy. He soon distinguished himself in actions against British ships in the Bahamas, the Atlantic, and the English Channel. In August 1779, Jones took command of the Bonhomme Richard and sailed around the British Isles. On September 23, the Bonhomme Richard engaged the Serapis and the smaller Countess of Scarborough, which were escorting the Baltic merchant fleet. After inflicting considerable damage to the Bonhomme Richard, Richard Pearson, the captain of the Serapis, asked Jones if he had struck his colors, the naval sign indicating surrender. From his disabled ship, Jones replied, "I have not yet begun to fight," and after three more hours of furious fighting the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough surrendered to him. After the victory, the Americans transferred to the Serapis from the Bonhomme Richard, which sunk the following day. Jones was hailed as a great hero in France, but recognition in the United States was somewhat belated. He continued to serve the United States until 1787 and then served briefly in the Russian navy before moving to France, where he died in 1792 at the age of 45, amid the chaos of the French Revolution. He was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1905, his remains were located under the direction of the U.S. ambassador to France and then escorted back to America by U.S. warships. His body was later enshrined in a crypt at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
1780 – British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold's plot to surrender West Point to the British.tHI

1806 – Amid much public excitement, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark return to St. Louis, Missouri, from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast and back. The Lewis and Clark Expedition had set off more than two years before to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase. Even before the U.S. government concluded purchase negotiations with France, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned his private secretary Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, an army captain, to lead an expedition into what is now the U.S. Northwest. On May 14, the "Corps of Discovery," featuring 28 men and one woman–a Native American named Sacagawea–left St. Louis for the American interior. The expedition traveled up the Missouri River in six canoes and two longboats and wintered in Dakota before crossing into Montana, where they first saw the Rocky Mountains. On the other side of the Continental Divide, they were met by Sacagawea's tribe, the Shoshone Indians, who sold them horses for their journey down through the Bitterroot Mountains. After passing through the dangerous rapids of the Clearwater and Snake rivers in canoes, the explorers reached the calm of the Columbia River, which led them to the sea. On November 8, 1805, the expedition arrived at the Pacific Ocean, the first European explorers to do so by an overland route from the east. After pausing there for winter, the explorers began their long journey back to St. Louis. After two and a half years, the expedition returned to the city, bringing back a wealth of information about the largely unexplored region, as well as valuable U.S. claims to Oregon Territory.


This Day in Aviation History" brought to you by the Daedalians Airpower Blog Update. To subscribe to this weekly email, go to https://daedalians.org/airpower-blog/

Sept. 22, 1979

In one of the largest aerial fire-fighting operations on record, 8 C–130s from the Air Force Reserve and from Air National Guard units in California and Wyoming flew 254 sorties to drop 732,000 gallons of fire-suppressant liquid over fires in southern California from Sept. 15-22, 1979.

Sept. 23, 1967

Col. Robin Olds, wing commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Ubon-Rachitani Royal Thai Air Force Base, flew the final combat mission of his military career. On this last mission, Colonel Olds flew a McDonnell F-4C-21-MC Phantom II, serial number 63-7668. Olds, a Daedalian Hereditary Life Member, had flown this Phantom when he and Lt. William D. Lafever shot down a MiG-21 near Hanoi on May 4, 1967.

Sept. 24, 1918

While on a test flight in a Sopwith Camel, Lt. j.g. David S. Ingalls, USNRF (Naval Aviator No. 85), sighted a German two-seat Rumpler over Nieuport, Belgium. In company with another Camel, Ingalls attacked and scored his fifth aerial victory in six weeks to become the Navy's first ace. Ingalls also shot down at least one enemy observation balloon while serving with No. 213 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force. For these and other meritorious acts the British awarded Ingalls the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the United States conferred upon him the Distinguished Service Medal. The British evaluated his service: "He is one of the finest men No. 213 Squadron ever had." Ingalls was Daedalian Founder Member #3603.

Sept. 25, 1918

During a flight, Ens. John A. Jova and Machinist's Mate Francis E. Ormsbee Jr. observed a two-seat plane go into a tailspin and crash about three-quarters of a mile away in Pensacola Bay, Florida. Ormsbee landed his plane nearby, dove overboard, and swam for the wreck as the stricken aircraft sank. He pulled out the gunner and held his head above water until other men arrived in a speedboat, then made repeated dives into the tangled wreckage in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the pilot. Jova, the pilot, was Daedalian Founder Member #11984. Ormsbee was trained as a gunner and became an enlisted naval air crewman. He was in the air as a crewman when he saw the plane crash. He was awarded the Navy Cross which was later raised to the Medal of Honor. In 1919, Ormsbee was selected as one of 25 enlisted men to be in the first group to take the heavier-than-air course at Pensacola. He graduated third in his class and was appointed Naval Aviation Pilot #25. He had 2,642 flight hours when he left the Navy in 1929.

Sept. 26, 1911

At the Aero Club of America Meet at the Nassau Boulevard Aerodrome on Long Island, New York, Lt. Thomas DeWitt Milling set a world endurance record of 1 hour, 54 minutes, 42.6 seconds with two passengers, for which he was awarded the Rodman Wanamaker Endurance Trophy. The trophy is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Milling was Daedalian Founder Member #133.

Sept. 27, 1991

The Navy retired A-3s from active duty during ceremonies hosted by VAQ-33 at NAS Key West, Florida. The attendees included Ed Heinemann, who had designed the Skywarrior. The EA-3Bs of VQ-2 became the last operational "Whales."

Sept. 28, 1918

Pilot Lt. Everett R. Brewer, USMC, and observer Sgt. Harry Wershiner, USMC, flying a plane with No. 218 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force, shot down a German Fokker aircraft to score the first Marine Corps victory in aerial combat. Brewer was Daedalian Founder Member #6769.


Thanks to Gbox

I believe night recoveries with pitching decks may be better than a flight like this….

Inside the Deadly Heart of 1964's Hurricane Cleo
In 1964, a crew of intrepid hurricane hunters flew into one of the worst storms in history

The plane lurched through the cloud and came to an area where radar had shown the eye. But as they left the wall behind, pilots and crew stared in astonishment: This storm had no calm eye. It should have been a big, cloud-domed room about 15 miles across in which the plane could circle while metereologists took the pulse of the storm. But this eye was a socket full of fury—with wild racing clouds and great winds.

Thanks to THE Bear -

September 22, 2019Bear Taylor


LEST WE FORGET… NYT, Friday, 4 July 1969, Page 2: U.S. DEAD IN WAR 241 DESPITE LULL–Enemy Contacts in Week at One of the Lowest Levels…"Despite a 12-day lull in fighting in which contacts with the enemy are reported to have dropped to one of the lowest levels of the year, 241 Americans were killed in combat last week, military spokesmen reported today." By Humble Host's unofficial tally in the four weeks of June 1969, 1,075 Americans died on the battlefields of Southeast Asia–252+335+247+241= 1,075. Lull? What Lull?…. Meanwhile, here is what General Vo Nguyen Giap, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Viet-Nam was telling the people of Vietnam on 6 July 1969…"Our people are determined to frustrate all new (American) plots and pursue the resistance until final victory. The anti-U.S. national salvation resistance–the greatest resistance against foreign aggression in our people's history–will put an end to the legend about the U.S. imperialists' invincible military and economic might. The people's war of the Vietnamese nation is defeating, and will surely and completely defeat, the neocolonialist war of aggression of the U.S. imperialists."…

Good Morning. It is Monday, 23 September 2019. Humble Host continues this remembrance of the tragic Vietnam War with a summary of the war in the Thirty- Fourth week of the three years (Nov 1968- April 1972) of OPERATION COMMANDO HUNT–"The Truck War" on "The Bloody Road"– the interdiction campaign against the North Vietnamese on the Ho Chi Minh Trail…

I. HEAD LINES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES for 30 June through 6 July 1969…

A. THE WAR… (30 June) INFLUENCE OF JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF IS REPORTED RISING…by Neil Sheehan… "Although the lines of power within the Nixon Administration's Defense Department have not yet been definitively drawn, the influence of the Joint Chiefs of Staff appears to have grown appreciatively. The new Secretary of Defense, Melvin R. Laird, has substantially vitiated the effect of the elaborate machinery constructed by former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara to impose aggressive civilian management and control over the military from the top…. The counsel of the Joint Chiefs is being heard and considered as it has not been since the end of the Eisenhower era…"… GENERAL FLIES TO BENHET AND FINDS MORALE 'HIGH'… "General William B. Rosson, deputy commander of American forces in South Vietnam, flew 280 miles north from the headquarters in Saigon today to visit the camp–Benhet–that has been under attack for 50 days. 'I think the situation is exceedingly favorable… We've punished the enemy severely. The camp is intact, fully manned, well supplied, and the morale of forces very high.'"…(1 July) SOUTH VIETNAMESE COMMANDER TERMS BENHET AS 'BAIT' FOR ENEMY– Two MPs Are Slain in Saigon… "…the top allied commander in the Benhet battle said at a news conference that the enemy had taken the bait and was being 'smashed.' He predicted that the siege would be lifted within the week.".. ENEMY RADIO WARNS OF P.O.W. REVENGE… "The Vietcong warned today that they are holding Americans as prisoners of war and threatened 'certain and inescapable revenge' for what they termed the murder of more than 100 Vietcong prisoners by American and South Vietnamese in three different incidents."… (2 July) ROAD INTO BENHET OPENED BY CONVOY–Armored Unit Reaches Post As Shelling Ebbs–Bait Statement Discounted… "A convoy of South Vietnamese armored carriers rumbled into the Benhet outpost late today that had been closed by North Vietnamese troops for a week… The tank-like troop carriers, flanked by South Vietnamese soldiers securing the 10-mile road, reached the Central Highlands Special Forces outpost, seven miles from the Cambodian and Laotian borders, at about 7 P.M."... U.S. BLAMES FOE IN PRISON MISHAP–Says Enemy Rocket Hit Jail Holding War Captives… (3 July) ROGERS SAYS FOE IS CURBING COMBAT AND INFILTRATION–Since Lull is Only Week Old, He is Unwilling to Assess Its Significance Now–Could Affect Pullout–Secretary Says at News Parley, Asserts Pace May Speed If Conditions Persist… "…enemy forces only mounted about 25 attacks and ambushes in South Vietnam, a new low reached previously one week in February and in late April. In March and May, enemy attack levels rose as high as 200 a week…"… HANOI PULLS 3 REGIMENTS BACK ACROSS BUFFER ZONE… "Three North Vietnamese regiments–about 7,500 men–have pulled back across the demilitarized zone into North Vietnam during the last three weeks…"… ALLIES SAY SIEGE OF BENHET IS OVER–Enemy Forces Are Hunted as Bombardment Halts… (4 July) U.S. DEAD IN WAR 241 DESPITE THE LULL–Enemy Contacts In Week At One of the Lowest Levels... (5 July) FIGHTING LULL IN 13TH DAY–G.I.'s Find An Enemy Base.. (6 July) ROCKET ATTACKS INCREASE IN VIETNAM… "Enemy gunners stepped up their rocket and mortar attacks overnight across South Vietnam..44 allied installations and towns were shelled half of them sustaining casualties or damage…In its only account of ground fighting, South Vietnamese headquarters said 35 enemy soldiers were killed after Government troops made a helicopter assault into a Mekong Delta area southwest of Saigon… no South Vietnamese casualties were reported."…

B. PARIS PEACE TALKS… (3 July) HANOI PROMISES TO FREE 3 AMERICAN PRISONERS… "Hanoi radio said today North Vietnam would release three American prisoners of war, apparently pilots, and would permit others to receive mail on the fourth of July. The brief announcement monitored here, gave no details but came at a time when allied negotiators in Paris were pushing for separate negotiations on release of prisoners by both sides. At least 1,350 United States servicemen are listed as missing in action in the Vietnam war, but only 340 are known to be prisoners of the enemy. North Vietnam previously had released six captured American pilots, in two groups of three…"… (4 July) FOE IN PARIS SAYS U.S. STEPS UP THE WAR–Refuses To Discuss Cutback Reported By Rogers… Drew Middleton… "Spokesmen for North Vietnam and the provisional revolutionary government proclaimed by the National Liberation Front charged today that the United States was intensifying the war in Vietnam. These charges were made at a news conference after the 24th session of the peace talks here. The formal statements during the session produced no signs of movement toward negotiations…. Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, head of the American delegation replied to the charges that the United States was blocking progress. Starting with the decision to limit the bombing of North Vietnam, he took the conference through subsequent 'concrete actions' by the Johnson and Nixon administrations to bring peace."… (6 July) HANOI AIDE MINIMIZES U.S. TROOP EXIT… "Xuan Thuy, North Vietnam's chief negotiator at the Paris peace talks, said today that the withdrawal of 25,000 United States troops was 'menaingless' when compared with the total number of 538,000 Americans in Vietnam."…

C. THE REST OF THE NEW YORK TIMES HEAD LINES… (30 June) NIXON AIDES TERM PRESIDENT'S MEETINGS IN ASIA KEY PART OF TRIP–They Hope He Can Further Defense Planning With a Lesser Role for U.S.–Regionalism Stressed–Full Support to be Pledged–Journey to Rumania is Considered Secondary… TSHOMBE IS DEAD–Ex-Congolese Leader In Jail 2-Years Victim of Heart Attack… (1 July) PRESIDENT SETS UP PANEL TO EXPLORE PENTAGON REFORM–Fitzhugh, Met Life Head, Will Be Chair of Outside Group–Waste Is Under Fire–Year Long Review Will Take Up Managing, Research, Buying and Decision… ISRAEL'S GOLDA MEIR WARNS OF NEW REPRISALS–She Says Arab Attacks Get Seven-Fold Reply–Firing On Jordan's Water Canal Ends… SENATE UNIT BARS FOOD STAMPS–Rejects 7-5 Plan to Aid Families With Incomes Less Than $40 a Month… HUSSEIN OF JORDAN TIGHTENS GRIP ON MILITARY–Appoints Uncle to be Chief of Armed Forces… APOLLO 11 REHEARSAL FOR SHOT TO MOON SMOOTH…. NAACP's CHAIRMAN ASSAILS BLACK DEMAND FOR REPARATIONS… (2 July) VICE PRESIDENT AGNEW SAYS A RISE IN STATE AID DEPENDS ON END TO VIETNAM WAR… NIXON RIGHTS BILL APPEARS DOOMED BY A G.O.P. ATTACK–Mitchell Defense Of Plan To Revise Voting Law Meets House Panel Hostility–Both Parties Critical–Fight Is For Compliance With Present Act And Not Repeal… ARMY DROPS SERIAL NUMBERS–Will Follow Air Force and Use Social Security Numbers… BIG FOUR LEAVE MIDEAST TALKS UP TO U.S. AND U.S.S.R… (3 July) A DRAFT CENTER IN NEW YORK VANDALIZED–Anti-War Group Dumps Files And Cuts Record Books… ISRAELIS REPORT JETS SHOT DOWN 4 EGYPTIAN MIGS… McGOVERN URGES A TOTAL PULLOUT–Says All U.S. Forces Should Quit Vietnam Within Year… (4 July) 6 WAR PROTESTERS SIEZED ON FIFTH AVENUE–Melee In Rockefeller Center Follows–Arrests Of Women Scattering Draft Records… PRESIDENT EASES SCHOOL DEADLINE ON DESEGREGATION–Administration Says It Will Uphold September Target But Permit Exceptions–Statement On Policy is Less Conciliatory to the South Than Was Expected… PENTAGON DENIED FUNDS TO DEVELOP CHEMICAL ARMS–Stennis Committee Votes For Restricting Research On Defensive Actions… SCHOOL DECISIONS BRING DISMAY TO RIGHTS LEADERS AND LIBERALS… APOLLO CREW SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES LAST SIMULATED LAUNCHING… (5 July) ISRAEL WILL KEEP THE GAZA STRIP AN ISRAELI OFFICIAL ASSERTS–Statement of Cabinet Aide Firmest So Far On Future Of Strategic Territory–Eban Scores U.N. Body–He Says Hold on Jerusalem Will be Tightened Despite Censure Vote In Security Council… MOSCOW PLEDGES MORE AID TO ARABS–But Soviet Still Seeks Just Middle-East Peace… EDUCATION LEADERS DEMAND RETURN TO SCHOOL DESEGREGATION DEADLINE… (6 July) PEKING IS SAID TO EXPECT A SOVIET WAR BY OCTOBER… "At a recent unpublicized meeting of senior officials in Canton, capital of Communist China's Kwangtung Province, a speaker is reported to have declared that war with the Soviet Union was 'definitely imminent.' Announcing that he was speaking on behalf of a higher authority, he stated that 'World War III' would break out by October… Thoughout China similar meetings have been held to apprise officials and the public of the imminence of war."…SOVIETS SEEK CONCILIATION….

II. COMMANDO HUNT II (April-November 1969) The following is snipped from the PACAF Summary of AIR OPERATIONS in SOUTHEAST ASIA for June 1969…

Laotian (Steel Tiger and Barrel Roll) attack sorties remained at essentially at the same level despite deteriorating weather. 13% of USAF sorties used MSQ Radar, Commando Nail and LORAN techniques for all-weather ordnance delivery… Pilots and Road Watch teams sighted 5,027 vehicles in Laos during June. Average daily sightings were 61% less than the previous month… The number of USAF attack sorties in Steel Tiger (COMMANDO HUNT) remained approximately the same as during May. 51% of the sortie effort was against truck parks and storage areas. Visual truck sightings in Steel Tiger indicate an approximate 69% decrease in truck traffic. The POL pipeline from North Vietnam into Laos through the Mugia Pass was struck repeatedly during June. By the end of the month, pipeline cuts were no longer producing secondary fires…. 18,693 attack sorties were flown in South Vietnam, 164 less than May… Arc Light sorties declined 7% to 1,711 in June. The majority of the 1,450 in-country B-52 sorties were flown near Benhet and in the vicinity of Tayninh… Southeast Asia COMBAT SKYSPOT (Milky?) increased 36% reflecting the poorer weather associated with the southwest monsoon…24 fixed-wing and 56 rotary wing aircraft were lost in enemy activity in Southeast Asia during June. An Air Force RF-4C was downed over North Vietnam on 5 June. The overall loss rate in Southeast Asia increased slightly over last month's all-time low…. The enemy AAAOB in Laos now stands at 154 automatic weapons, 488 37/57mm guns and 1 85mm gun, a decrease of 3% in the total AAA reported last month. These figures include only those weapons that are photo confirmed. During June, attacks on gun positions in Steel Tiger resulted in a reported 35 weapons destroyed and one damaged. In Barrel Roll, 40 were destroyed and 15 damaged…. SUMMARY OF TWO OF THE MORE INTERESTING STRIKES: Route 7 east of Ban Ban was cut by USAF air strikes on the afternoon of June 10 June and was kept closed through 12 June. Repair crews then partially opened the route and enemy trucks began moving during the night of 12-13 June. The following morning, 2 A-1s on armed reconnaissance sighted approximately 40 trucks backed up on the road. A total of 22 sorties were flown against the trucks during the day with a BDA report of 37 destroyed or damaged plus 23 secondary explosions and fires….On 8 June, a Raven FAC directed air strikes at a target in Steel Tiger. The attacks resulted in 159 secondary explosions including 2 large fireballs and numerous roman candle type explosions. It is believed tht the area was a rocket ammunition dump… Construction activity continues on the Communist Chinese road in northern Laos. Ground teams report heavy traffic associated with the movement of road construction materials, POL, food, CHICOM security forces and work crews. Comstruction explosions are heard daily in the area… AIRCRAFT COMBAT LOSSES: There were 80 aircraft lost in combat during the month of June 1969: 20 USAF; 1 Navy; 10 USMC; and 49 U.S. Army. During the first six months of 1969, an average of 79.7 allied aircraft have been lost to enemy action each month. 55 of the 80 aircraft losses in June were rotary wing losses in South Vietnam. Allied aircraft losses compared for the first six months of 1967, 1968 and 1969….


1967 49 40 66 54 101 55

1968 136 153 121 92 117 76

1969 75 77 84 74 88 80

III. AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: 30 June through 6 July 1969)… References include Chris Hobson's Vietnam Air Losses. https://www.VietnamAirLosses.com During the week ending 6 July 1969 the United States lost six aircraft and two valiant aviators…

(1) On 2 July an A-1H of the 1st SOS and 56th SOW out of Nakhon Phanom piloted by CAPTAIN JOHN LEROY FLINN was downed near Muong Soui in Barrel Roll. He was flying an armed reconnaissance mission and sighted a truck. He immediately executed a strafing pass but was hit by ground fire in the dive and was unable to either control or leave the aircraft before it hit the gound. CAPTAIN FLINN was confirmed killed in action and in due course his remains were recovered and he is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego… His story is included in Richard S. Drury's MY SECRET WAR. Humble Host notes that a lengthy portion of CAPTAIN FLINN'S final flight, as clipped from Drury's book, is on line… It is well written story (and a great book, too)… try this link…


It that doesn't get it, Google CAPTAIN JOHN LEROY FLINN and search the entries… Try the "Together We Served" link. Shows the cover of the Drury book…

(2) On 3 July an F-4B of the VF-213 Black Lions embarked in USS Kitty Hawk was lost at sea when the Phantom suffered a control problem. Both aviators successfully ejected and were rescued to fly and fight again…

(3) On 4 July an A-1H of the 602nd SOS and 56th SOW out of Nakhon Phanom piloted by COLONEL PATRICK MARTIN FALLON, vice-commander of the 56th SOW Wing was downed by ground fire on an armed reconnaisance mission in Barrel Roll country near the Plain of Jars. COLONEL FALLON was leading the flight when directed to attack enemy troops in a village on the southwest side of the Plain. COLONEL FALLON was hit by 12.7mm fire recovering from his second attack on the troops and his Spad crashed in the extremely hostile enemy area between two ridge lines that hosted enemy AAA guns. COLONEL FALLON ejected and came down in the the heavily defended area. Chris Hobson tells the story this way: "…Fallon's wingman attacked them (the hot guns on the ridge lines) until his aircraft was damaged forcing him to return to base. Col Fallon was in voice contact with the rescue forces but he was surrounded by enemy troops and was wounded. His final message was to request the Spads to bomb the enemy all around him as, in his own words 'They have zapped me. I've had it.' (Another source states that his last transmission was: "Put it all around me. I'm hit.") It was presumed that he was killed by the enemy soldiers in a final stand of defiance. A few months later a report was received to the effect that a US airman had been killed by grenades while defending himself with a pistol. Patrick Fallon had flown over 100 combat missions during his time in Southeast Asia and had flown 125 missions as a FAC in the Korean War."… He had been downed behind enemy lines during his Korean tour but escaped to be rescued to fly and fight again… COLONEL FALLON was listed as Missing in Action until the homecoming of POWs in 1973 at which time his status became "presumptive finding of death," which remains his status today (2019). During the period he was listed as missing he was the most senior American officer in that status… A memorial service for COLONEL PAT FALLON was held on 22 June 2012 at Arlington National Cemetery where he is memorialized with a stone marker. He was among the bravest of the brave and is remembered here with admiration and respect…

(4) On 5 July an F-100D Super Sabre of the 531st TF and 3rd TFW out of Bien Hoa piloted by 1LT S.L. SHOOK was downed while executing a fourth diving attack on Vietcong troops and bunkers near My Tho in the Mekong Delta. His fourth pass was a napalm run at 100-feet. He was hit by small arms fire and pulled up and ejected from his disabled Hun. He landed a mile from the hostile troops and was rescued by an Army helicopter… Fifty years later I'd love to hear the Happy Hour tale S.L. Shook tells about this flight…

(5) On 6 July an F-8H of the VF-111 Sundowners embarked in USS Ticonderoga was lost at sea after the Crusader lost oil pressure. The pilot ejected and was rescued from the sea snakes to fly and fight again…

IV. HUMBLE HOST'S FINAL NOTE… As I compose this remembrance of a war fought 50 years ago and report the fruitless search for peace and a way out of the Vietnam quagmire, our nation is enmeshed in a very comparable dilemma in Afghanistan. The following C.L. Sulzberger essay PRICE TAGS FOR PEACE is quoted from the Saturday, 21 June 1969, NYT… I quote…

"SERQUIGNY, France–At this stage of the Paris peace talks on Vietnam are not even moving as fast as a glacier, and there are many indications that Hanoi, which calls all signals for the Communist side, wants to make another try at collapsing our position, not compromising with it. This is not so much a matter of launching yet another offensive on the bloody South Vietnamses battlefield (although this should be expected) as it is of hoping that an unyielding refusal to settle on any terms but its own, will drive war-weary American public opinion to insist on total withdrawal, not a gradual cutback such as President Nixon has begun.


"Hanoi's hard approach could explain the decision after all these years to create a 'provincial revolutionary government' for South Vietnam and to summon world Communist regimes ranging from Moscow to Pyongyang, Bucharest and Havana to join in granting diplomatic recognition. Some observers of the confused and disheartening Vietnamese political scene choose to interpret the move as indicative of Hanoi's recognition that reunification of all Vietnam must now be postponed and that therefore a second-best choice would be to start the wheels turning for creation of an ultimate coalition regime for the South alone, a regime including elements of both the Saigon and 'provisional' cabinets.

"Even that would imply a decision to work for a disguised and delayed American sellout instead of an open and imminent American bug-out. Nevertheless, there are many hints that, in order to humiliate the world's greatest power, one more effort has begun to persuade U.S. public opinion and the Nixon Administration that maximum embarrassment must be accepted. Hanoi seems to calculate that there is no escape from the slough of despond created by American war-weariness. North Vietnam, although it has suffered enormous bloodletting in its Southern expeditionary force and although the actual fighting quality of its troops is steadily declining, has no public opinion problem. Therefore, Hanoi seems determined that Washington must accept all its conditions. In effect these are to plead guilty before the world of aggression and of colonialism and to publicly demonstrate faithlessness to pledged treaty commitments.

"When Washington eased bombing the North, Hanoi saw this as implied acknowledgment that aggression had been perpetrated. It never admitted that in the negotiations preceding the halt, Hanoi itself agreed to start the Paris talks, to respect the demilitarized zone dividing North and South, and to reduce rocketing of civilian targets in the south.


"The inner meaning of insistence on a coalition government in the South instead of an internationally supervised free election is that Hanoi wants Washington to impose such a coalition on Saigon and abandon the Constitution we helped promulgate. Any move to impose a coalition would of course publicly confirm Hanoi's charge that Washington had 'colonial' control over Saigon and could order it about. Finally, Hanoi wants to hammer in a demonstration that the United States will not stick by its international treaty obligations. Of course phased reduction of military aid is not the same thing as its abrupt termination, but it is not too difficult to forsee the ultimate wall-handwriting of Communist propaganda.

"At this moment there is no indication that Hanoi has relented or is in the process of modifying these marginal goals. In a sense, by attracting support of the new 'provisional government' from such capitals as Bucharest and Moscow, it seems to be trying to dilute the effect of their respective previous pacifying efforts. It is necessary for Washington to explain the situation in all its bleak truth at home and abroad so that opinion can be mustered behind the 'Vietnamization of the war' policy now shaping up. Only when Hanoi is persuaded that today's signs of rot will not produce collapse tomorrow is it likely that progress can once again slowly resume.


"Obviously, as he indicated again Thursday, President Nixon wants to arrange a decent peace and to save blood, money and honor. But he is also evidently not prepared for the kind of abject grovelling Hanoi's extremist faction hopes for. The proof of this will have to be demonstrated during the coming summer by restrained but determined defense in South Vietnam's tragic battlefields, by reiteration of U.S. minimal goals both to the frazzled American public and worried American friends abroad, and finally, by patient diplomacy in Paris. Hanoi simply has to be persuaded that the price tag for peace must be marked down, not up."… End Sulzberger OpEd…

HUMBLE HOST Final Note… To appreciate the similarities of the 1969 peace talks in Paris, that included the Vietcong, and the 2019 peace talks in Afghanistan, that include the Taliban, three recent articles on the Afghanistan dilemma are linked here for your consideration… The facts are: we are relearning a lesson from 50 years ago in Vietnam in our ongoing 18-year war in Afghanistan. The lesson: how nearly impossible it is to wrap up a war and come home. Do you think these redundant lessons will be recalled the next time an American Administration is caught in "the winds of war"?… How soon we forget…




Lest we forget… Bear


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