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A LOT of history and some tidbits.
Today in Naval History
1821 The schooner Enterprise, commanded by Lawrence Kearny, engages four pirate schooners and one pirate sloop off Cape Antonio, Cuba who are in the act of robbing two American vessels and one British ship. The pirate leader, Capt. Charles Gibbs, escapes to shore but his ship and two others were burned. The remaining ships are sent to Charleston, S.C. as prizes.
1861 The Union screw steamer South Carolina captures the schooner Edward Barnard, with a cargo of turpentine on board, at Southwest Pass, Mississippi River.
1885 Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan becomes the superintendent of the Naval War College at Newport, R.I.
1891 Two sailors from the cruiser Baltimore are killed and 17 are injured by a mob in Valparaiso, Chile. The incident shifts relations between the United States and Chile. In 1892 Chile pays $75,000 in gold for restitution and apologizes for the incident.
1942 USS Thresher (SS 200) mines the approaches to Bangkok, Thailand, the first US Navy submarine mine plant during World War II.
1943 The Navy accepts its first helicopter, a Sikorsky YR-4B (HNS-1) at Bridgeport, Ct., following a 60-minute test flight by U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Frank A. Erickson.
1957 USS Lake Champlain (CVS 39) reaches Valencia, Spain to assist in flood rescue work at the request of the American ambassador to Spain, John Davis Lodge. The ship's Chickasaw helicopters undertake numerous rescue missions, and the ship's crew fight in the "mud battle" that follows the disaster.
Thanks to CHINFO
• CNO Adm. Mike Gilday spoke with USNI while visiting Sailors in Rota, Spain and released a Navy Live Blog post on cybersecurity.
• Wall Street Journal reports Beijing has ratcheted up its crackdown in Hong Kong without using tanks, as the U.S. House of Representatives passed three bills supporting protestors.
• The New York Times reported on Russia's efforts to expand its presence in Syria as the U.S. withdraws.
Today in History October 16
The Protestant martyrs Bishop Hugh Latimer and Bishop Nicholas Ridley are burned at the stake for heresy in England.
Yale University is founded as The Collegiate School of Kilingworth, Connecticut by Congregationalists who consider Harvard too liberal.
Queen Marie Antoinette is beheaded by guillotine during the French Revolution.
Ether was first administered in public at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston by Dr. William Thomas Green Morton during an operation performed by Dr. John Collins Warren.
Abolitionist John Brown, with 21 men, seizes the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, Va. U.S. Marines capture the raiders, killing several. John Brown is later hanged in Virginia for treason.
President Theodore Roosevelt incites controversy by inviting black leader Booker T. Washington to the White House.
The first airplane flight in England is made at Farnsborough, by Samuel Cody, a U.S. citizen.
Mao Tse-tung decides to abandon his base in Kiangsi due to attacks from Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists. With his pregnant wife and about 30,000 Red Army troops, he sets out on the "Long March."
Billy the Kid, a ballet by Aaron Copland, opens in Chicago.
Benjamin O. Davis becomes the U.S. Army's first African American Brigadier General.
Ten Nazi war criminals are hanged in Nuremberg, Germany.
The New York Mets win the World Series four games to one over the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles.
Israeli General Ariel Sharon crosses the Suez Canal and begins to encircle two Egyptian armies.
The college of cardinals elects 58-year-old Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, a Pole, the first non-Italian Pope since 1523.
A baboon heart is transplanted into 15-day-old Baby Fae--the first transplant of the kind--at Loma Linda University Medical Center, California. Baby Fae lives until November 15.
The Million Man March for 'A Day of Atonement' takes place in Washington, D.C.
Skye Bridge opens over Loch Alsh, Scotland
General Augusto Pinochet, former dictator of Chile, arrested in London for extradition on murder charges
Inaugural opening of Bibliotheca Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt., a modern library and cultural center commemorating the famed Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity
Thanks to the Naval History and Heritage Command
In November 2016, Director Cox initiated a series of "H-grams." Inspired by the late Admiral Zumwalt's series of Z-grams used to communicate with Sailors throughout the Navy, H-grams are an avenue by which NHHC provides significant historical context to aid today's decision-makers. H-grams and associated attachments reflect Director Cox's personal assessment, aided by NHHC historians, of significant events in U.S. Navy history. Each H-gram draws on archival material, historic imagery, and written and oral history. In addition to the H-grams reproduced here, you'll find links to Director Cox's regular contributions to The Sextant, NHHC's blog. The linked content explores a variety of topics, but consistently emphasizes the importance of honoring the service of Sailors throughout history and understanding the relevance of the past to today's Navy.
Click on the colored items to get the full story
In his latest H-Gram Special Edition, Director Cox discusses the World War II Battle off Samar, the event underlying the theme to this year's Navy Birthday: "No Higher Honor." Samar was a key engagement in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in modern naval history and a decisive U.S. Navy victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy. The phrase is from the after-action report of Lieutenant Commander Robert Copeland, skipper of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413), lost in a valiant sacrificial action off Samar. In lauding the calm courage of his crew in the face of near-certain death, Copeland wrote that there was "no higher honor" than the privilege to lead such a gallant crew.
As a postscript: On 14 April 1988, the third USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) struck an Iranian-laid mine in the Arabian Gulf. Upon FFG-58's commissioning in 1986, her skipper, Paul X. Rinn, had a bronze plaque installed that listed the names of all those who served aboard the first Samuel B. Roberts when she fought so valiantly off Samar. As FFG-58 was burning and in grave danger of sinking, Sailors were seen to place their hand on the plaque, gaining inspiration and strength from the legacy of those who endured and persevered before. Post-event computer-simulation showed that FFG-58 should have gone down, yet those Sailors saved their ship in one of the most awesome displays of damage control in U.S. Navy history. At a time when the survival of the ship was very much in doubt, Rear Admiral Anthony Less, Commander Middle East Force, queried Rinn as to whether he was considering abandoning ship. Rinn responded he had absolutely no intention of doing so, finishing his defiant statement with the ship's motto, "No Higher Honor."
On Oct. 17, 1944, 75 years ago, naval forces landed the 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion on outlying islands at the entrance to Leyte to secure and guide naval forces to the landing beaches.
The Sixth Army, commanded by Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger and supported by two corps and two divisions, would conduct invasion operations once ashore. Allied naval forces consisted primarily of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, commanded by Vice Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid. Preliminary operations began at dawn by Task Group 77.2, under Rear Adm. Jesse B. Oldendorf, with minesweeping and shore bombardment. Although delayed by a storm, the Rangers secured the islands of Suluan and Dinagat by about noon, encountering a small number of enemy defenders on Suluan and no opposition forces on Dinagat. Rangers would occupy the third island the next day. On Oct. 20, American forces, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur, landed on their assigned beaches. A few days later, the Battle of Leyte Gulf—the largest naval battle of the modern era—began to liberate the Philippine Islands.
Thanks to the Bear
COMMANDO HUNT and ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… WEEK THIRTY-SEVEN of the HUNT… 21-27 JULY 1969…
October 13, 2019Bear Taylor0 Comments
COMMEMORATING THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR (1961-1973)…
LEST WE FORGET… The New York Times of Friday, 25 July 1969… "182 AMERICANS DIE IN WEEK's BATTLES–DESPITE LULL IN WAR, SHARP SKIMISHES INCREASE TOLL… Although the number killed was below the year's weekly average of 235, it was the highest since 241 Americans were killed in the week of June 22-28…"… HERMAN MELVILLE… "…there is no folly of the beast on earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men."…
Good Morning. It is Monday, 14 October 2019. Humble Host returns to a week in a yesteryear– 50-years in the rearview mirror and the quagmire of Vietnam — to remember the sacrifice and service of the warriors who carried our flag to foreign shores to fight for the freedom of the South Vietnamese. This post covers the THIRTY-SEVENTH Week of Operation COMMANDO HUNT and the interdiction of the flood of men and war-fighting material flowing from North Vietnam to the battlefields of South Vietnam…
I. HEAD LINES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES for 21 to 27 JULY 1969…
A. THE WAR… (21 July) DESPITE SHELLINGS, VIETNAM LULL ENTERS 5th WEEK– 27 Enemy Attacks Cause Only Light Casualties–G.I.'s Raid a Jungle Camp… "Despite some military action, the general lull in combat contiued today into its fifth week… there were 27 enemy rocket and mortar attacks on allied bases…American casualties were light with three killed and 13 wounded… Troops of the 25th Infantry Division staged another raid today on an enemy jungle supply camp where they killed 40 and captured 10 enemy soldiers in a surprise helicopter assault just before dusk yesterday… spokesmen also said five Americans were killed and 11 wounded when paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division fought near the Ashau Valley, 33 miles south of Hue."… (22 July) VIETCONG DOWN U.S. COPTER–9 SOUTH VIETNAMESE KILLED… "Vietcong guerrillas shot down a twinrotor CH-46 Chinook helicopter near Danang, killing nine South Vietnamese soldiers and wounding nine others… In two battles yesterday South Vietnamese soldiers killed 61 North Vietnamese in Quantri Province…"... (24 July) U.S. AIDES IN SAIGON THINK LULL WILL LAST BEYOND NEXT MONTH… "The leading American military officials here believe that the current lull in battlefield activity is likely to continue through August and possibly into September."… (25 July)182 AMERICANS DIE IN WEEK's BATTLES… "…The increase to 182 men killed from 148 the week before reflected an increase in the small but sharp skirmishes, which are averaging 60 a day."
"The 1969 average weekly killed in action is 235… 1,406 Americans were wounded last week compared with 1,612 the week before."…
(26 July) 5,500 U.S. AIRCRAFT LOST IN CONFLICT–Value Is Put at $3-Billion–9 Dead In Latest Incident… "The United States has lost more than 5,500 aircraft in Vietnam since 1961 worth at least $3-billion, the American military command said today. The latest losses were a UH-1 medium haul transport helicopter, shot down yesterday 35 miles west of Saigon, and a light spotter plane downed Wednesday… Seven American soldiers and two South Vietnamese died in the helicopter and one crewman in the spotter plane was wounded… This brought to 1,241 the number of helicopters shot down over South Vietnam. Ten helicopters have been shot down over North Vietnam and 1,627 have been destroyed in crashes or accidents not connected with hostilities. Statistics disclosed by the spokesman showed that 920 fixed wing aircraft were shot down over North Vietnam before the United States called off bombing raids last November, and 374 were brought down by Vietcong gunfire over South Vietnam. The spokesman said that since January 1, 1961, 1,494 planes have crashed accidentally. The total of all aircraft reported lost is 5,656…. Losses so far in 1969 include 14 A-4 and F-100 jet fighter bombers reported to cost $14-million….The spokesman also noted that it is estimated that more than 6,300 servicemen have died through non-hostile causes in the last eight years, the majority of these have been in aircraft crashes."…
(27 July) SMALL CLASHES ERUPT IN VIETNAM–They Are Not Seen As End Of Battlefield Lull… "Military spokesmen said 115 enemy soldiers had been killed in a series of small fights and that the bodies of 28 slain in earlier skirmishes had been found. But a United States spokesman said the figures did not reflect a change in the battlefield situation…. The command reported 12 enemy shellings in the last 24-hour period, about average in recent days. There were no American casualties."…
B. THE PARIS PEACE TALKS… (21 July) WHEELER DETECTS NO PEACE SIGNAL IN VIETNAM LULL–General Ending 4-Day Trip Won't Discuss Possibility of New U.S. Troop Cut… (23 July) THIEU SEES NO VOTE (AND NO PEACE) WITH FOE BEFORE 1971… "President Nguyen Van Thieu said in a speech made public today that it will be at least two years before national elections could be set up to include the Vietcong….According to Mr. Thieu, the two years required to set up the elections would include 12 months for the withdrawal of most United States and North Vietnamese troops, six months for bargaining with the Vietcong over the details of the election and six months for setting up an international committee to supervise the balloting."… (25 July) HANOI AIDE SAYS U.S. INVADED LAOS–U.S. Troops Are In Cambodia, Thuy Charges At The 27th Plenary Session Of The Peace Talks… "North Vietnam charged today that the United States had invaded Laos with 12,000 troops and had started a separate war against the kingdom of Laos. 'We demand that the United States cease its aggression, withdraw its troops from Laos and cease the bombing of that country,' Xan Thuy, head of the North Vietnamese delegation, said at the 27th plenary session of the Vietnam peace talks… Some diplomats suspected that the forceful introduction of Laos and Cambodia into talks previously concerned only with South Vietnam signaled a North Vietnamese desire to have the future for these countries included in discussions at the present conference. Other diplomats thought that the charges against the United States were preparation for further North Vietnamese military activity to 'protect' Laos against the alleged American invasion. Henry Cabot Lodge, the chief United States delegate at the talks here, rejected the charges as groundless. North Vietnam, he said, has sent forces to Laos in 'large numbers' and then into Cambodia as well. The best allied intelligence estimate available here is that there are more than 40,000 North Vietnamese troops in Laos supporting the Pathet Lao rebels and a 'sizeable force,' perhaps numbering 10,000, operating in Cambodia with the so-called Khmer Rouge guerrillas opposing the government…. At the peace talks, the charges and countercharges on Laos and Cambodia came at a session in which neither side conceded anything toward substantive negotiation on a settlement of the war."… (26 July) NIXON CONSIDERS A WAR SLOWDOWN– Says He May Order Cut In Operations If That Would Help The Peace Talks… "At a news conference in Guam, he left the impression that he was weighing a change of tactics to either draw North Vietnam into more active negotiations or to reciprocate for the enemy's withdrawal from major engagements over the last month."… (27 July) THIEU TERMS ELECTION PROPOSAL THE 'FINAL' OFFER TO THE ENEMY… "President Nguyen Van Thieu said today that his recent invitation to the National Liberation Front, the Vietcong, to participate in free, international supervised elections in South Vietnam had been 'the final solution we can afford to offer.' The President later added, 'We have nothing more to say at Paris.'…"
C. THE REST OF THE NEW YORK TIMES HEAD LINES ( Apollo 11 Moon Landing and Senator Kennedy Drives Off A Bridge)… (21 July) MEN WALK ON MOON–ASTRONAUTS LAND ON PLAIN–Collect Rocks–Plant Flag–A Powdery Surface Is Closely Explored–A Voice From Moon: 'Eagle Has Landed'... THE WORLD CHEERS FOR AMERICAN TECHNOLOGY ARE MIXED WITH PLEAS FOR PEACE… KENNEDY TO FACE CHARGE IN CRASH FOR LEAVING THE SCENE–Police Chief Tells Senator He Intends to Prosecute–Offense a Misdemeanor–Investigation Is Ended–Official Finds No Basis For Manslaughter Case In Death of Secretary (Mary Jo Kopeckne), 28… DIPLOMATS WORRY ABOUT O.A.S. TRUCE– El Salvadore Government Said To Be Under Pressure To Hold Honduran Lands… (22 July) TWO ASTRONAUTS LIFT OFF MOON– Link up With 3rd–Start Home–Lunar Module Is Jettisoned–Apollo Engine Is Fired to Boost Craft Out Of Its Lunar Orbit… SOVIET LUNA MISSION ENDS–Russian Craft Down on Moon–TASS Says Work Is Finished… COLUMBUS, OHIO RIOT BRINGS OUT NATIONAL GUARD… KOSYGIN MEETS WITH HUMPHREY–Stresses Cooperation For Peace… EL SALVADORE THREATENS TO KEEP TROOPS IN HONDURAS… NASSER AND MILITARY CHIEFS DISCUSS SUEZ FIGHTING… KENNEDY SEEKING TO BAN POLICE FROM PROSECUTING HIM IN CRASH… (25 July) ASTRONAUTS COASTING HOMEWARD ACCELERATED BY EARTH'S GRAVITY–Nation Plans Mammouth Welcome–Course Is Altered…Parade And A Reception Set in 3 Cities On August 13… YORK (PA) INJURY TOLL REACHES 37 AS NATIONAL GUARD IS CALLED–Man Wounded By A Sniper While Driving His Car is in Critical Condition…219 HELD IN RIGID CURFEW IN COLUMBUS (OHIO)… POP-ROCK FESTIVAL FINDS NEW HOME–Woodstock For August 15 Event… (24 July) APOLLO TO SPLASH DOWN TODAY–Storms Force Landing Site Shift–Astronauts Send A Final Report–Land Closer To Hawaii–Bad Weather Leads To Move of 247 Miles–No Problem Seen… ABM FIGHT TAKEN TO SENATE FLOOR–Opposition Willing To Allow Funds For Development But Not Deployment… NASSER DECLARES LIBERATION STAGE IN WAR HAS BEGUN–But He Warns Of Difficulties Ahead for Egyptians In Conflict With Israelis… (25 June) ASTRONAUTS BACK FROM MOON–Begin 18-Day Quarantine–Nixon Sees Crew–Splashdown In Pacific Is 11 Miles From Carrier Hornet.. Prayers and Champagne Hail Return Of Apollo 11… KENNEDY TO ENTER COURT PLEA TODAY— He Will Answer Charge of Leaving the Scene Of Crash In Which Woman Died… JUDGE AGAIN SENTENCES CASSIUS CLAY TO 5-YEARS AND $10,000 FINE… NEW SUEZ BATTLE RAGES FOR 8 HOURS–Both Israel And Egypt Say Other Side Lost 7 Jets–Fighting Worst Since 1967… TOP ARAB LEADERS MEET–Nasser Will Urge Cooperation… DIRECT ELECTION BACKED IN HOUSE–Plan To Eliminate Electoral College Clears Rules Committee… (26 July) KENNEDY WIEGHS QUITTING–Seeks Advice Of Voters–Pleads Guilty To Charged Mishap Describe–He Calls Indefensible His Delay In Reporting To Police On Fatality… (27 July) NIXON IN MANILLA–Bids Asians Wider Role In Own Security–Tells Philippine Chiefs U.S. Maintains Interest In Area Despite Planned Cutbacks–Confers With Marcos… ISRAEL CONTINUES CANAL AIR STRIKES–Make 5th Attack In A Week–Cairo Claims Three Jets Downed… CASTRO SAYS CUBA IS OPEN TO SOVIETS–He Takes 4-Hour Cruise On Soviet Guided Missile Ship…
II. COMMANDO HUNT II (April to November 1969) The following is snipped from the PACAF SOUTHEAST ASIA AIR OPERATIONS SUMMARY for July 1969…
"Tactical reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam were down from previous months as a result of unfavorable weather. Analysis of results obtained from successful missions indicate the North Vietnamese continue to move supplies southward toward the Republic of Vietnam (see previous RTR/CH post for greater detail on Recce Ops in the North–Rolling Thunder)…
"Total Laotian attack sorties in July remained at the June level. Barrel Roll attack sorties increased 87% to 3,621 while Steel Tiger (COMMANDO HUNT) attack sorties declined 17%. MDQ, COMMANDO NAIL, or LORAN techniques for ordnance delivery were used by 16% of UDAF sorties.
"Pilots and Road Watch Teams sighted 2,890 vehicles in Laos during July. Average daily sightings are 44% below the previous month.
"Increased emphasis was placed on USAF operations in Barrel Roll as a result of the unprecedented NVN/PL rainy season offensive. The major areas of strike concentration were along Route 7 in the Plaine Des Jarres in the area of Muong Soui. An estimated 2,000 enemy were killed-by-air (KBA) during the period 7-16 July in connection with Operation OFF BALANCE. Average daily vehicle sightings declined 16% from the previous month. Barrel Roll included 128 vehicles and 1,720 buildings damaged or destroyed.
"21% of COMMANDO HUNT attack sorties were flown at night with approximately 61% of the effort being against truck parks/storage areas. Enemy truck activity in Steel Tiger has come to a virtual halt as a result of deteriorating road conditions. Pilot and sensor reports reflect an 85% decrease in traffic while Road Watch Teams reported vehicles are down 24%.
"Ground activity in the Republic of Vietnam remained at a low level during July. Total enemy intiatiated incidents were down 385 from June. Attacks by fire decreased appreciably. Total sorties in RVN decreased 3.4%, reflecting reduced ground activity. Attack sorties in South Vietnam declined 7.4% from the June level while strike results were generally lower. Tactical Combat Skyspot missions increased 36%, reflecting the unfavorable weather associated with the Southwest Monsoon. All sites contributed to the increase.
"Arc Light sorties in Southeast Asia remained at the June level with 1,731 sorties reported in July versus 1,711 in June.
"18 fixed wing and 31 rotary wing aircraft were reported lost to enemy action in Southeast Asia during July. The all-services combat loss rate equalled June rate of 0.19 losses per 1,000 sorties. There were no allied aircraft destroyed on the ground by enemy action during July for the first time since December 1967."…
III. AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: 21-27 JULY 1969… References include Chris Hobson's updated VIETNAM AIR LOSSES, which is now available on-line at: https://www.VietnamAirLosses.com … During the week ended Sunday 27 July twelve fixed wing aircraft and 13 courageous airmen were lost forever in Southeast Asia.
(1) and (2) On 21 July the World Famous Golden Dragons of VA-192 embarked in USS Oriskany, lost two A-4Fs in a midair collision while on a combat mission. Both pilots were able to eject and were rescued to fly and fight again…
(3) On 22 July an A-4C of the VA-112 Bombing Broncos embarked in USS Ticonderoga spit out the bridle on a catapult shot. The Skyhawk pilot was able to eject before the aircraft hit the water in front of the carrier and was rescued by Navy helo… (Humble Host: less than 10 seconds of flight time and a flight that will never be forgotten. Great pilot response and thanks to the seat/chute engineers who mastered the rocket assisted, zero airspeed/zero altitude ejection system!!… )…
(4) On 22 July a Marine Ov-10A Bronco of VMO-2 and MAG-16 out of Marble Mountain was lost on a COMMANMDO HUNT mission in southern Laos when the aircraft engine failed and it crashed into the side of a mountain. The pilot, unnamed, was rescued, but the observer, 1LT ROLAND CHARLES HAMILTON, USMC, perished in the incident. LT HAMILTON, a Grunt Tanker, is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery…
(5) On 23 July An A-1G Skyraider of the 6th SOS and 633rd SOW out of Peleiku piloted by MAJOR FRANKLIN WILLIAM PICKING and MAJOR THOMAS HUBERT McCARTY was downed by enemy ground fire while attacking Vietcong in South Vietnam. The aircraft was hit at 2,500-feet on its third attack on the target, burst into flames and went out of control before either aviator could eject. Both bodies wer recovered. MAJOR PICKING is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and MAJOR McCARTY rest in peace at St. Anne's Cemetery in Wabasso, Minnesota…
(6) On 23 July an O-2A Skymaster of the 20th TASS and 504th TASG out of Danang, call sign Trail 39, flown by 1LT K.W. HAMAN was downed by ground fire while observing enemy troops on the ground near Hue. He was able to survive the incident and was rescued by an Air Force HH-3E of the 37th ARRS and flown to the hospital ship REPOSE. He suffered minor injuries…
(7) On 24 July an F-100D Super Sabre of the 510th TFS and 3rd TFW out of Bien Hoa piloted by 1LT S.H. MOREHOUSE was downed making a third attack on a Vietcong staging area in South Vietnam. He was able to continue his pullout after being hit and eject a few miles from the target. He was rescued by an Air Force helicopter…
(8) On 25 July a Marine F-4J of VFMA-232 and MAG-13 out of Chu Lai flown by CAPTAIN J.C. STOKES, USMC, and 1LT R.P. DEVER, USMC, was downed by small arms fire while attacking enemy troops about 15 miles west of Chu Lai. The aircraft was on its first strike on the enemy postion when hit. Both marines were able to eject from their faltering Phantom. CAPTAIN STOKES was rescued by an Army helo and 1LT DEVERE was picked up by an Air Force helo…
(9) On 26 July an OV-10A FAC of the 19th TASS and 504th TASG out of Bien Hoa piloted by CAPTAIN B.W. HAWKINS and 1LT W.G. STEGEMANN was downed 15 miles northwest of Bien Hoa. The Bronco was at 4,000-feet when hit by .50 calibre fire in the port wing. The crew ejected and were rescued by an Army helo..
(10) On 26 July an A-4C of the VA-112 Bombing Broncos embarked in USS Ticonderoga piloted by LT RICHARD DAVID BRENNING was lost at sea. Hobson tells the story: "The Ticonderoga's run of accidental aircraft losses in July came to a tragic finale on the 26th when a Skyhawk crashed into the sea after a catapult launch about 70 miles northeast of Dong Hoi (Yankee Station), this time the pilot did not survive. The ship had lost a total of seven aircraft during the month and completed its last tour of duty off Vietnam on 1 August. During the 97 days on the line it had lost a total of seven aircraft, including two A-4s, three A-7s and two F-8s, all of them from accidental causes…"… A search for LT BRENNING was negative and the young warrior rests today where he perished in the service of his country 50-years ago… If all is right at Arlington National Cemetery, there is an individual marker in that area of the cemetery that honors each and every warrior who has perished at sea, including LT BRENNING…
(11) On 26 July a C-7D Caribou of the 537th TAS and 483rd TAW out of Phu Cat with a crew of five suffered an engine failure on takeoff from Vung Tua Airfield in Phuoc Tuy Province and crashed killing 1LT JAMES FIELDING WOHRER. The other four aboard survived. Fate is the hunter… 1LT WOHRER rests in peace at Oak Hill Cemetery in Geneva, Illinois…
(12) On 27 July a B-52D of the 70th BW attached to the 4133 BW out of Anderson AFB, Guam crashed on takeoff when the starboard wing suffered a catastrophic structural failure. All eight aboard perished in the crash. Killed in the service of our country in this tragedy were: LCOL ROBERT HOWARD BARR; CAPTAIN EDWARD WILLIAM WYATT; CAPTAIN JOHN ANTHONY ALBASIO; CAPTAIN DONALD JOSEPH MACCIO; CAPTAIN EDWARD ANTHONY MISKOWSKI; 1LT GARY PAUL LEACH; TSGT CLINTON EUGENE TIBBETTS and TSGT RICHARD PISKULA…
Host visited the Wall of Faces and the Remembrances of these eight fallen warriors who are never to be forgotten. A remembrance for sharing is this one from the daughter of LCOL BARR left in 2000… "I was the 5th child born to my mother and father on June 5, 1968. All that I have of my father are some pictures and his name, and being honored on The Wall. For without this memorial, my father would never had a true resting place. As a boy all my father wanted to do was fly and he served most of his life in the Air Force. Dad was a great father to five children and a terrific husband to my mother. He now has 11 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild… May you fly forever among the clouds… He Will Never Be Forgotten–Our Dad."…
IV. HUMBLE HOST END NOTE… The following is from The New York Times of 27 July 1969, written by Terrence Smith reporting from Saigon… I quote…
MILITARY OPPOSES A WAR SLOWDOWN–Ranking Officers in Vietnam Contend Reduction Would Imperil U.S. Troops…
The top officers of the United States military command here remain opposed to a reduction of the American effort on the battlefield despite the continuing lull in the fighting. President Nixon, briefing reporters on Guam yesterday disclosed that he was reviewing United States battlefield tactics and said that he might order a reduction in military operations if such an order would help break the deadlock at the Paris peace talks.
To a man, the ranking officers are vehemently against any modification of the strategy of "maximum pressure" they have been pursuing since last November, when Washington halted the bombing of North Vietnam. They believe that the five-week-old reduction in enemy activity is merely a tactical device on the part of the enemy and that it is devoid of any political significance. They fear that a cutback in United States activity would serve only to increase American casualties. The ranking officers have been arguing for months against a change in tactics. They have presented their case to various representatives of the Nixon Administration who have come here on inspection tours, and discussed it directly with Washington.
In private conversations and background briefings here, the officers have revealed the depth of their feelings on the matter. One leading general intimated he would resign if he was compelled to modify the strategy in a manner that would endanger the safety of his troops. 'There are only two ways to fight this war without increasing American casualties,' he said. 'One is to go all out, keep moving and keep the enemy on the defensive. The other is to go home. There is nothing in the middle.' According to reliable military sources, General Creighton W. Abrams, the commander of the American forces in Vietnam, presented this argument in some detail to General Earle G. Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during General Wheeler's visit here last week.
WHEELER APPROVED STRATEGY– Relentless Pursuit…
Judging from the remarks he made on departure last Sunday, General Wheeler was persuaded. He told reporters at the airport that he fully approved of the strategy of relentless pursuit of the enemy. 'I believe we have been following the right course,' he said. But, perhaps aware that President Nixon was already considering modifying that strategy, the general added: 'The enemy changes his tactics from time to time and we must change ours at the same time.' Despite their deeply felt opposition to any modification of the prevailing battlefield strategy, the top officers of the command are expected to go along with any such order from the White House if it comes. Few observers take seriously their talk of resignation despite the obvious sincerity of their position. Such an order could come next week, when General Abrams is expected to fly to Bangkok to confer with President Nixon during the President's three-day visit there.
GENERAL CITED CASUALTIES
Early in April, when the Administration first was considering modifying the battlefield strategy, General Andrew J. Goodpaster, now chief of United States forces in Europe but then deputy to General Abrams, was on an extended visit to Washington. In private meetings with the President and sessions with the National Security Council, General Goodpaster argued that American casualties would increase rather than decrease if United States units were any less aggressive on the battlefield.
The general's view prevailed at the time and no orders to curtail allied operations were issued. The pressure for such a modification intensified last month, however, when the enemy began to disengage his main units from the battle. This prompted a number of Congressmen and officials within the Administration to propose anew that the United States units restrict their pursuit as a gesture of willingness to scale down the over-all level of the fighting.
The object would be to lure the other side into a series of tacitly arranged, reciprocal stand-downs that would reduce casualties and improve the atmosphere at the Paris talks. The position of the military men remained unchanged. They believe there is no militarily feasible way to limit American operations without endangering the lives of the soldiers and damaging their morale.
"THEY'LL GET HIT"
"'Just as you can't ask a football team to play a game at half speed,' one general said, 'you can't ask a rifle company to give less that a maximum effort. If you let them drop their guard, they'll get hit. If we have learned nothing else from fighting in Vietnam, we've learned that.' One ranking general was asked by a reporter if he could devise a technique to reduce American casualties to 50 a week. "Certainly,' the general said in a voice laced with sarcasm. 'But I would want to resign my job at the end of the first month.'
"The implication was that the casualties during the second month necessarily would soar as a result of the modified strategy. The officers' reluctance to change strategy is also rooted in their conviction that the enemy is currently preparing for another round of attacks. No major offensive is expected before September, but the officers believe that sometime after that the enemy will attack again, and that like the earlier assaults this year–the aim will be to cause American casualties. 'But if we let off the pressure,' one general said, 'the enemy will move in closer to our positions and be in that much better position to kill American soldiers. We have to keep pressing, we have to keep sending out patrols and keeping the enemy off balance. We have to do it to protect our own hides.' "… end quote…
HUMBLE HOST STINGER : Fifty years ago our nation was enmeshed in the same grave dilemma we face in our world today. How do you withdraw from a fight that cannot be won?… It was Vietnam and Southeast Asia then; it is Syria, Afghanistan and the Mid-East in 2019… Nearly a century ago, historian Robert Strausz-Hupe wrote that it is the "historical destiny" of the United States to "expend itself" attempting to prove that constitutional republic is the most viable form of government…. We are well on our way to fulfilling the Strausz-Hupe prophecy and our "historical destiny."…
Lest we forget… Bear