Tuesday, October 29, 2019

TheList 5128

The List 5128 TGB

To All,

I hope that you all had a great weekend. Just got home and have over 400 email to wade through. I will get caught up over the next few days.


Today in Naval History

October 28

1812 During the War of 1812, the brig Argus, commanded by Commodore Arthur Sinclair, captures the British merchant brig Fly in the North Atlantic.

1882 Orders are issued for the first Naval Attache, Lt. Cmdr. French E. Chadwick, to be sent to London.

1943 Lt. Franklin M. Murray, in a TBF Avenger, and Ensign Gerald L. Handshuh, in an FM-2 Wildcat, from Composite Squadron (VC) 1 on USS Block Island (CVE 21), sink German submarine U-220 east of Newfoundland.

1944 USS Gleaves (DD 423), while operating off the Franco-Italian coast, bombards German troop concentrations, barracks, and gun emplacements. Enemy shore fire at the destroyer is inaccurate, but Gleaves achieves excellent return fire results.

1952 The XA3D-1 bomber designed to carry nuclear weapons made its first flight. Skywarriors also later served in reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and tanker configurations.

Thanks to CHIINFO

Executive Summary:

• President Trump announced on Sunday that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died in a U.S. -led raid in northwestern Syria, multiple outlets are reporting.

• Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer stated that Huntington Ingalls' leadership misled the Navy on the severity of engineering issues with Advanced Weapons Elevators on USS Gerald R. Ford, reports Defense & Aerospace Report.

• Multiple outlets reported departure of USS Gerald R. Ford from Norfolk for sea trials Sunday, commissioning of USS Indianapolis at Burns Harbor, Indiana Saturday, and departure of USS John S. McCain from Yokosuka, Japan for sea trials Sunday.

Today in History October 28

0312 Constantine the Great defeats Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius at the Mulvian Bridge.

0969 After a prolonged siege, the Byzantines end 300 years of Arab rule in Antioch.

1216 Henry III of England is crowned.

1628 After a fifteen-month siege, the Huguenot town of La Rochelle surrenders to royal forces.

1636 Harvard College, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, is founded in Cambridge, Mass.

1768 Germans and Acadians join French Creoles in their armed revolt against the Spanish governor of New Orleans.

1793 Whitney applies for a patent on the cotton gin, a machine which cleans the tight-clinging seeds from short-staple cotton easily and effectively--a job which was previously done by hand.

1863 In a rare night attack, Confederates under Gen. James Longstreet attack a Federal force near Chattanooga, Tennessee, hoping to cut their supply line, the "cracker line." They fail.

1886 The Statue of Liberty, originally named Liberty Enlightening the World, is dedicated at Liberty Island, N. Y., formerly Bedloe's Island, by President Grover Cleveland

1901 Race riots sparked by Booker T. Washington's visit to the White House kill 34.

1904 The St. Louis police try a new investigation method: fingerprints.

1914 George Eastman announces the invention of the color photographic process.

1914 The German cruiser Emden, disguised as a British ship, steams into Penang Harbor near Malaya and sinks the Russian light cruiser Zhemchug.

1919 President Wilson's veto, Congress passes the National Prohibition Act, or Volstead Act, named after its promoter, Congressman Andrew J. Volstead. It provides enforcement guidelines for the Prohibition Amendment.

1927 Pan American Airways launches the first scheduled international flight.

1940 Italy invades Greece, launching six divisions on four fronts from occupied Albania.

1944 The first B-29 Superfortress bomber mission flies from the airfields in the Mariana Islands in a strike against the Japanese base at Truk.

1960 In a note to the OAS (Organization of American States), the United States charges that Cuba has been receiving substantial quantities of arms and numbers of military technicians" from the Soviet bloc.

1962 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev orders Soviet missiles removed from Cuba, ending the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1965 Construction completed on St. Louis Arch; at 630 feet (192m), it is the world's tallest arch.

1971 Britain launches the satellite Prospero into orbit, using a Black Arrow carrier rocket; this is the first and so far (2013) only British satellite launched by a British rocket.

1982 The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party wins election, giving Spain its first Socialist government since the death of right-wing President Francisco Franco.

2005 Libby "Scooter" Lewis, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, resigns after being indicted for "outing" CIA agent Valerie Plame.

2007 Argentina elects its first woman president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.


American Minute for October 26th:

On OCTOBER 26, 1774, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts reorganized their defenses with one-third of their regiments being "Minutemen," ready to fight at a minute's notice. These citizen soldiers drilled on the parade ground, many times led by a deacon or pastor, then went to church for exhortation and prayer. The Provincial Congress charged:

"You...are placed by Providence in the post of honor, because it is the post of danger...The eyes not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore, altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our character as Americans, as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable to us." The Provincial Congress issued a Resolution to Massachusetts Bay, 1774:

"Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual...Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us." Boston patriot Josiah Quincy stated: "Under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men."


Shootout at the OK Corral

American Minute for October 27th:

His wife and mother died on Valentine's Day, 1884. Depressed, he left to ranch in the Dakotas. Returning to New York, he entered politics and rose to Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He resigned during the Spanish-American War, organized the first Volunteer Cavalry, "the Rough Riders," and captured Cuba's San Juan Hill. Elected Vice-President under William McKinley, he became America's youngest President in 1901. This was Theodore Roosevelt, born OCTOBER 27, 1858. In 1909, Roosevelt warned: "The thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming. The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining. The choice between the two is upon us." In his book Fear God and Take Your Part, 1916, Theodore Roosevelt wrote: "The 7th century Christians of Asia and Africa...had trained themselves not to fight, whereas the Moslems were trained to fight. Christianity was saved in Europe solely because the peoples of Europe fought the Mohammedans who invaded." Teddy Roosevelt continued: "The civilization of Europe, America and Australia exists today only because the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization...that is, to beat back the Moslem invader."

American Minute for October 28th:

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated OCTOBER 28, 1886. A gift from France, it was built by Gustave Eiffel, builder of the Eiffel Tower, and designed by Auguste Bartholdi, who wrote: "The statue was born for this place which inspired its conception. May God be pleased to bless my efforts and my work, and to crown it with success, the duration and the moral influence which it ought to have." On its 50th Anniversary, OCTOBER 28, 1936, Franklin D. Roosevelt stated: "The Almighty...did prepare this American continent to be a place of the second chance...Millions have...found...freedom of opportunity, freedom of thought, freedom to worship God." Dwight Eisenhower remarked April 8, 1954: "I have just come from...the dedication of a new stamp...The stamp has on it a picture of the Statue of Liberty and 'In God We Trust'...It represents...a Nation whose greatness is based on a firm unshakeable belief that all of us mere mortals are dependent upon the mercy of a Superior Being." Relighting the Statue of Liberty, July 3, 1986, Ronald Reagan said: "I've always thought...that God had His reasons for placing this land here between two great oceans to be found by a certain kind of people."


[USS Oriskany]

26 OCTOBER 1966

Alexander, Balisteri, Blakely, Boggs, Brewer, Bullard, Carter, Clements, Copple, Dilks, Donahue, Dyke, Ewoldt, Farris, Ford, Francis, Fryer, Gardner, Garrity, Gray, Hammond, Harris, Hart, Hudis, Hyde, Johnson, Juntilla, Kelly, Kern, Lee, Levy, Liste, McWilliams, Merrick, Miller, Morrisette, Nussbaumer, Shanks, Shifflett, Siebe, Smith, Spitzer, Stone, Strong, Tardio, Thomas, Tunick, Walling, Welch, Welsh.

Fifty officers and men, shipmates united in a deadly battle for the freedom of a desperate people, serving thousands of miles from their homes and families, dedicated to their oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America ... now only names on a wall ... killed while struggling valiantly to save their ship ... written out of the history of the nation they loved by a media not worthy to kiss their feet ...

forgotten by all save their family, friends, and God.

Memories of the 26th of October 1966, the explosion and fire aboard USS Oriskany on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, and the men who perished there will soon die with those of us who survived; but they are forever enshrined in the Heavens where most of them once soared so high as to "reach out and touch the face of God."

Very respectfully submitted,

Dick Schaffert

Fighter Squadron 111 Sundowner, 1965-1968

25 October 2012

25 October 2016

[Oriskany Fire]

At 07:21 tomorrow morning, 26 October, I will be kneeling by the side of my bed, giving thanks to God for sparing my life 50 years earlier, at that exact moment.

I had just finished shaving, was already in my flight suit, and was returning my shaving gear to my stateroom aboard the USS Oriskany on Yankee Station off Vietnam. As I stepped out of the "head" (restroom) into a passageway, I was startled by a loud alarm over the ship's 1MC: "THIS IS A DRILL, THIS IS A DRILL. FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE ON THE HANGAR DECK." My head automatically snapped to the door leading to the hangar deck, which was only two steps to my left. I was immediately aware of heavy, acrid smoke coming underneath that door. I ran for the curtained doorway of my room, only a few steps down the passageway. I threw back the curtain to see my roommate Lieutenant Commander Norm Levy sitting up on the edge of his bunk. I tossed the shaving gear on my bunk, which was directly above his, and shouted at him: "It's no drill, Norm, we're on fire! Let's get the hell out of here." At that moment, the ship's bugle sounded the call for GENERAL QUARTERS. Were we under attack? I was scheduled for the ALERT FIVE (ready fighter aircraft) at 07:45, which meant I needed to get to our squadron Ready Room immediately and into my flight gear. I ran down the passageway, banging on the sheet metal wall and shouting: "IT'S NO DRILL! WE'RE ON FIRE! WE'RE ON FIRE!" I was about 10 steps short of the end of the passageway, which entered the opposite side of the hangar bay, away from my room, when I felt the concussion and heard the explosion which literally blew me out into the hangar bay. I was tumbling, then I was skidding on my back. I turned on my right side to get up and saw a huge fireball rolling across the top of the hangar bay. I ran the 50 feet further down the hangar bay deck and stumbled down the hatch to the next deck and into the passageway which led directly to Ready Room Three, and my flight gear.

The rest is history, which I've written about for years. My memorial to Norm Levy is engraved on a stainless steel plaque and entombed in the Oriskany now asleep in the deep off Pensacola, Florida. For more than 20 years after that fateful morning, when Norm Levy and so many of my shipmates perished in our fight to save the ship, I relived that event in my dreams, two or three times a night. With the help of our most merciful God, which came in the form of some wonderful personal companionships, it finally faded. Now, with His Grace, and even with a failing memory, I can recall it at will, in living color, and even smell again the deadly phosphorous smoke from the munitions locker that exploded.
I will not do that tomorrow morning at 07:21. I will be repeating the 44 names of my fallen comrades, and asking God's almighty blessings upon their heroic souls. An ungrateful nation, both the government and the people, has long forgotten them and the supreme sacrifice they so freely and valiantly made to save Oriskany ... and me! God is good, He never forgets!

Very Respectfully,

Dick Schaffert aka Brown Bear
25 October 2016



A bad night for Schoolboy

Thanks to Ed…..I was on board that night off the coast of North Vietnam and will never forget the sound of the aircraft sliding over the flight deck right above me and then running next door to look at the PLAT camera and watch the fire truck follow the A-6 into the flames with his nozzles spraying. Those guys got medals for that and deserved all they got for doing their job and helping to save the ship. The whole bow was in flames…Be sure to read all the stories below. Skip

For me the response of Midway's crew is a perfect example of learning to operate in an unstable environment and being ready - knowing what to do vs. doing what you know.

Naval Aviation 100 Years – Part 1: A Bad Night for Schoolboy – A Self-designing, High Reliability Organization


IV. Bad Night for Schoolboy – And Other Stories of the Carrier

1. The Pilot's Story: Bruce Kallsen VA-115

2. Landing Signal Officer Perspective

3. Champs In the Middle

4. Survival on her own terms: Midway's Magic

You must read these stories to fully comprehend how this serious accident – one that was on the verge of catastrophic – is indeed indicative not so much of the obvious danger inherent in sea-based aviation, but rather of the ingrained "knowing what to do" of a self designing, highly reliant organization.


Thanks to Micro


I see you reused Hal's and my comments from a few years ago in commemoration of the bombing of the Marine barracks and the French military headquarters in 1983.

I would take issue with one comment that Hal made, and that is that Beirut looked like Dresden or Cologne or Berlin during WWII. That was only true on the outskirts of the city and not at all in the business district or the waterfront (or the high-dollar mansion neighborhoods). As anyone knows that has flown in combat areas at night, the only lights on the ground are fires since all other lights are targets. There was a swath about 10 miles wide and 10 miles deep, starting south of the southern border of Beirut and reaching to the peak of the mountains at the edge of the Bekaa, that was blacked out except for fires. Beirut (and everything north of Beirut) was lit up like Christmas, as was the Bekaa.

This was my primary introduction to "fake news." When I came home from that deployment, virtually everyone made a comment about how awful it was that Beirut had been reduced to rubble. I said, "That's not true at all. What makes you think that?" They pointed to the evening news, so I watched it. Here's the true story:

Photographers and on-camera "talent" for skirmishes such as this are often "stringers." They are hoping for a permanent gig with the news organization they're reporting for. They are being paid per diem, and, for many of them, it's a good life for the time being, especially if nothing of great risk is actually going on. Here's a typical day:

They go downstairs from their room in the Hilton Hotel on the beach and get into their Hertz rental car. They drive to a remote area where they know the scenery will fit their objective. They pay some local teenager gang members with guns to go down the block and, on signal, shoot into the air. They get an old, toothless lady to hold a baby (everybody gets paid a few bucks), and they position her in front of a burned out Mercedes from a riot a year ago, and they make sure the guys down the block get the signal when they fire up the camera. The old lady isn't allowed to smile except to show her lack of teeth. They get back in the rental car, tell everyone to meet them tomorrow, and they head back to the Hilton. The on-screen "talent" stands on the balcony with his bathing suit on but wearing a tie for the torso shots with the hills over his shoulder all out of focus in the background, hiding the fact that he's in the hotel. He does his story, they ship the film off to Cyprus to be posted via Fedex (or electronically) to New York, and they go to the pool for lunch. The "story" is whatever their editor in New York has told them (or indicated to them over time) he's looking for. If they don't deliver something to fit the preconceived narrative, they don't get on-air. If they continue to fail to get on-air, their temporary duty is revoked, and they have to go find a real job, or they're posted to a far less pleasant place. So, they feed the narrative. The more exciting, the better, to help push them onto the sound-bite "news" broadcast, to be believed by millions of gullible Americans.

Now, here's how bad it was in Beirut: the news was so wrong and scared so many people in the States that families and friends contacted Congress, the White House, and their local news organizations demanding that all Americans in Lebanon be evacuated. It didn't matter that their family members in Beirut said, "It's fine where I am" because the people in the States "knew" it was just a matter of time before those Americans, too, were standing in rubble. So, we were ordered to provide massive cover for an evacuation of all Americans in Lebanon. We put together something that looked a great deal like an Alpha Strike over North Vietnam, except you can add the British flying out of Larnaka (Cyprus), the French flying off either Foch or Clemenceau (don't remember which was there at that moment), and the Israelis. We had a full Marine Amphibious Group under a one-star, and a myriad of surface ships for both anti-air and shore bombardment, if it became necessary. The point of debarkation was Jounieh, as I recall, about 15 miles north of Beirut.

On the appointed day, with everything in place, including lots of jammers in case the Syrians decided to get involved, we orbited and waited. The MAG sent boats into the docks to retrieve the evacuees, with appropriate air cover from helo gunships and Harriers, with overhead CAP, recce, Airborne Early Warning, EW, etc., etc., etc.

Nobody showed up. Nobody. To the best of our knowledge, not one person was evacuated.

You see, everyone there knew they weren't in danger, and, besides, the night before at a popular disco in downtown Beirut, there had been a huge "Evacuation Party" (picture a "Hurricane Party" in Key West, if you can), and everyone was too hung over.

I was blessed, as many on your List, to spend almost my entire career in places where headlines were being made, so I became quite cynical when I saw what the "Journalism Majors" decided happened. Today, I'm skeptical if there is any organization out there that has a smidgeon of "journalistic integrity" remaining. They may think they do, but they've slid so far down that slippery slope that they can't recognize objective reporting anymore. Besides, they're being taught their "craft" in universities, with summer internships in New York or Los Angeles, if they're "lucky." If they're posted to somewhere in fly-over country, they're being taught by people who aspire to go to New York or Los Angeles, and they have the same mind-set as our stringers in Beirut.

My only advice is: when you are making up your mind and forming your opinion on a subject in the "news," consider the source.



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/

Oct. 27, 1918

First Lt. Russell L. Maughan, U.S. Army Air Service, was presented the Distinguished Service Cross "for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 138th Aero Squadron, U.S. Army Air Service, A.E.F., near Sommerance, France, 27 October 1918. Accompanied by two other planes, Lieutenant Maughan was patrolling our lines, when he saw slightly below him an enemy plane (Fokker type). When he started an attack upon it he was attacked from behind by four more of the enemy. By several well-directed shots he sent one of his opponents to the earth, and, although the forces of the enemy were again increased by seven planes, he so skillfully maneuvered that he was able to escape toward his lines. While returning he attacked and brought down an enemy plane which was diving on our trenches." For more information on Lieutenant Maughan, Daedalian Founder Member #547, click HERE.

Oct. 28, 1982

Naval aviation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first flight of the A-3 Skywarrior. The versatile aircraft had served in the fleet since 1956 in heavy attack, radar bomber training, electronics reconnaissance, tanker, electronics jamming, photo reconnaissance, dedicated electronics jamming, airborne weapons testing, and VIP transport roles.

Oct. 29, 1975

The first F–5E Tiger II aircraft entered the Air Force inventory at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

Oct. 30, 1992

NAS Cubi Point, Philippines, was disestablished. For nearly 40 years, the NAS Cubi Point Officers' Club was a mix of American efficiency and Filipino hospitality. The club was especially famous for its Plaque Bar, where transiting squadrons retired old plaques and commissioned new ones to commemorate each WestPac tour. The tradition of placing plaques began during the Vietnam War and lasted until the base closed. At that time, the thousands of plaques that adorned the walls of the club were packed up and sent to the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola, Florida, to be placed as they were when the club closed.

Oct. 31, 1956

The US Navy R4D-5 Skytrain, Que Sera Sera, commanded by Rear Adm. George Dufek, became the first airplane to make a landing at the South Pole.

Nov. 1, 1941

The Army acquired the Sikorsky YR-4, the first true helicopter.

Nov. 2, 2001

A 20th Special Operations Squadron MH-53 helicopter crew received the Mackay Trophy for rescuing the crew of a second MH-53 that had crashed in the Afghan mountains. To learn more about the mission, read the press release HERE.


Thanks to THE Bear


October 27, 2019Bear Taylor


LEST WE FORGET… The NEW YORK TIMES, FRIDAY, 8 AUGUST 1969…. "The low level of fighting was reflected in the weekly casualty figures made public today by the United States command. American deaths were 139 against 110 the previous week but still 100 below the average weekly figure for this year. A total of 37,598 United States servicemen have been killed in Vietnam since January 1, 1961."…

Humble Host turns to Richard Bach who wrote in 1963 for all single seater pilots in STRANGER TO THE GROUND: "I belong to a group of men who fly alone. There is only one seat in the cockpit of a fighter airplane. There is no space allotted for another pilot to tune the radios in the weather or make the calls to air traffic control centers or to help with the emergency procedures or to call off the airspeed down final approach. There is no one else to break the solitude of a long cross-country flight. There is no one else to make decisions. I do everything myself, from engine start to engine shutdown. In a war, I will face alone the missiles and the flak and the small arms fire over the front lines. If I die. I will die alone."… Richard Bach never met Dr. Fred Manget…

COLONEL ROBERT LEE SCOTT, Jr., did!!! The ace was flying P-40 Warhawks with the "Flying Tigers" in 1942. On his first mission as group commander he tangled with a Japanese fighter and took several hits. Wounded in the cockpit he managed to get his damaged P-40 back to base. He became the patient of the famous missionary DR. FRED PRUDENCE MANGET. Great aviation writer BARRETT TILLMAN tells the story. "With no anesthetic, Scott endured the pain as the medical missionary extracted the (steel) splinters (from Scott's back). During the prolonged process, Manget's Chinese aide asked Scott, 'Colonel, you fly plane, shoot guns, talk radio, all time flight barbarian. You do all these things alone?' Biting down the pain, Scott snapped back, 'Where in hell would anybody else sit? No, I don't need any help. I'm a fighter pilot!'…

"Dr. Manget interrupted his alcohol swabbing to confront his patient, eye to eye. 'You're wrong there, son,' he said softly. 'You are never alone up there. Not with all the things you came through. You have the greatest copilot in the world even if there is just room for one in that fighter ship.' When he sat up, Scott reeled figuratively and literally. He visualized illuminated figures dancing on a black velvet screen. They resolved themselves into a phrase: 'God is my copilot.'…"



President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in 1954: "As a former soldier, I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth–that there are no atheists in the foxholes. They know that in time of test and trial, we instinctively turn to God for new courage.".. HUMBLE HOST contends that are no atheists in the cockpits of our single seat aircraft either. During the Vietnam war more than 1,000 FAC, fighter, strike-fighter, and light attack pilots perished carrying the fight to the enemy in Southeast Asia. They did not die alone…

Good Morning. It is Monday, 28 October 2019. Humble Host reflects on the THIRTY-NINTH week of the relentless interdiction campaign against the North Vietnamese supply line in Laos called the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The campaign was called COMMANDO HUNT…

I. HEADLINES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES for 4 through 10 August 1969…

A. THE WAR… (4 August) WAR DISILLUSIONS MANY G.I.'s IN VIETNAM (By H. Drummond Ayers, Jr.)… "It was 2:25 A.M. and the moon over Landing Zone Center was high, too high for night ambushes. But the private from Phoenix had his orders. He slung a belt of machinegun ammunition over each shoulder and wrapped a third around his waist. Then he smeared his face and hands with camouflage grease paint. As he worked, he offered a running commentary on the war. 'If you'll look closely,' he said, 'you'll see some beads and a peace symbol under all of the ammo. I may look like Pancho Villa on the outside but on the inside I'm nothing but a peacenik. I fight because that's the only way to stay alive out here in the boonies. I don't believe this war is necessary. I just work hard at surviving so I can go home and protest all this killing.' He picked up his rifle, slid in a fresh magazine, slammed home a round and trudged off into the moonlit paddies stretching toward nearby Danang.'"… BRIDGE IN VIETNAM BLASTED BY ENEMY… (5 Aug) FIGHTING IN VIETNAM AT NEW LOW LEVEL… "Despite a flare-up of fighting in Apbia Mountain, the lull in enemy-initiated action continued today…This summer American deaths have averaged 181 a week since the lull began June 18. Enemy deaths during the same period have averaged 2,800, according to United States estimates."... (6 Aug) NORTH VIETNAMESE RAID HOSPITAL KILLING 2 AMERICANS –Wound 99… U.S. TROOPS CLASH WITH FOE AT ASHAU… "A short but sharp clash broke out in the Ashau Valley today, the third since Sunday, but United States officers said they saw a mounting threat from the enemy in this major infiltration corridor in the northern part of South Vietnam."… (7 Aug) U.S. SHELLS BUFFER ZONE… "…fired three barrages into the demiliatarized zone yesterday silencing two enemy rocket positions and touching off explosions and fires."… (8 Aug) 8 KILLED AND 62 HURT IN SAIGON AS BLASTS RIP MILITARY SCHOOL–4 Americans Among Injured At South Vietnamese Facility–Wide Area Damaged… 4 CLASHES IN BUFFER ZONE…"American soldiers and Marines sweeping just south of the demilitarized zone reported killing 82 North Vietnamese regulars in four battles. Eight Americans were killed and 23 wounded. The series of battles lasted from dawn until dark, with the Americans calling in artillery, helicopter gunships and jet fighters… Three United States helicopters and an F-100 jet fighter-bomber were lost over South Vietnam yesterday. Five crewmen were listed as missing and 10 were injured in the crashes…The number of Unitied States helicopters shot down in South Vietnam since January 1, 1961, is 1,253, and the number of fixed wing aircraft is 378… (9 Aug) FIGHTING STEPS UP IN VIETNAM… "In the last 24 hours fighting in South Vietnam rose to its highest pitch in nearly two months… Since early yesterday, 147 enemy troops and 14 Americans and 17 south Vietnamese soldiers had been killed in significant actions ranging from the demilitarized zone to the Saigon area. In Addition, 164 Americans and 51 South Vietnamese were wounded… (10 Aug) 64 REPORTED KILLED AFTER RAIDS BY B-52's FLUSH 2 ENEMY UNITS… "Two North Vietnamese units were attacked with small arms fire, rockets, artillery and bombs today apparently after they had been flushed from hiding north of Saigon by the biggest B-52 raids in five weeks–1,000 to 1,500 tons of bombs were dropped…"…

B. THE PARIS PEACE TALKS… (4 August) NO LULL YET AT THE PARIS PEACE TALKS–Relationship To War Action In Vietnam Is Out Of Phase… "Although relative peace has descended on the battlefields of South Vietnam, the vituperation in Paris is as strong as ever. The peace talks here involving the four main parties to the war in Vietnam thus seem increasingly out of phase with events in Vietnam itself, but no one is quite sure yet which represents the true situation. There is hope, for example, that the lull in fighting and the correspondingly sharp drop in casualties herald a gradual ending of the war, a tacit cease-fire. Informed sources indicate clearly that the allied forces have deliberately scaled down their effort even if this change does not show in the actual orders of field commanders."… (5 Aug) THREE U.S. SERVICEMEN RELEASED BY HANOI… "…The men will return home in the custody of an American pacifist group…The three men are Captain Wesley Lewis Rumble of the Air Force, LT Robert Franchot Frishman of the Navy and Seaman Douglas Brent Hegdahl of the Navy (A HERO!!! Look him up)…"… (8 Aug) VIETCONG IMPLY COALITION MOVE–Aide In Paris Reports Talks Have Begun On Forming Regime In Saigon… "The provisional revolutionary government formed by the Vietcong indicated today that it had begun discussions with other groups inside and outside South Vietnam to form a coalition regime. The indication came after another fruitless discussion here among the parties to the Vietnam conflict… Appealing for consideration of allied peace proposals, Henry Cabot Lodge, the chief United States delegate, declared in somewhat blunter fashion that in the past that 'we remain ready for serious negotiation. Until your side shows a similar readiness we can expect no progress. We have done all that we can do by ourselves to bring a negotiated peace in Vietnam. Now it is time for you to respond.' In answer… the North Vietnamese delegate categorically rejected Lodge's assertion and plan because it was absurd."…

C. THE REST OF THE NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINES… (4 August) PRESIDENT NIXON RETURNING HAILS FRIENDSHIP HE FOUND ON TRIP–Tells Crowd At Airport That 'The Spirit of Apollo Can Bring Peace In The World–Agnew Leads Welcome–Ceremony Held In The Rain–President Is Gratified By Reception In Rumania… ISRAELIS DECLARE THEY WILL RETAIN OCCUPIED AREAS–Leadership Intends To Hold Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and Large Part of Sinai… RIOTING IS RENEWED IN BELFAST AFTER RELIGIOUS CLASHES… "New rioting broke out in Belfast today only hours after Northern Ireland's cabinet, following a two-hour emergency meeting, declared that it would take any measures 'however firm or exceptional' to end the violence that began yesterday. Government ministers appealed to the public to stay off the streets, but their plea went unheeded as a mob of more than 2,000 Protestant militants, trying to invade a Roman Catholic area of the city clashed again with the police."… PUBLIC FORGIVING IN KENNEDY POLL–But His Account Of The Mishap Also Draws Skepticism"… (5 Aug) NIXON BRIEFS KEY CONGRESSMEN ON ASIAN POLICY–He Wins General Approval Of Plan To Honor But Not Expand Commitments–Will Report to Nation–Televised Address On Trip And On Domestic Program Scheduled Friday… NIXON POPULARITY DECLINES IN POLL–62% in June, 44% in July Rate President Good... (6 Aug) GREEN BERET CHIEF HELD IN SLAYING OF A VIETNAMESE–7 Others Also Charged With Murder and Retained Pending Investigation of Killing Near Nhatrang June 20… (7 Aug) NIXON MISSILE PLAN WINS IN SENATE BY 51-50 VOTE–House Approval Likely–ABM Foes Beaten–Vice President Agnew Acts To Break Senate Tie… WEST SEEKS TALKS BY TWO GERMANYS–Three Powers Notes To Ask Soviet Cooperation In Bid To Ease Berlin Tension… SOVIET DEFENDS INVASION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA ON 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF INVASION–Also Puts Pressure On Prague To Bar Disorder August 21… NAVY INQUIRY OPENS IN USS EVANS COLLISION WITH AUSSIE CARRIER… INQUEST PLANNED IN KENNEDY CASE–District Attorney Decides To Exercise His Power… (8 Aug) NIXON SAID TO PLAN NEW LINKS IN EASTERN EUROPE DESPITE RUSSIANS–Proposals For Talks Between East and West Germany Could Test Moscow–Russians In Rumania Hint Displeasure At Nixon Visit… PANAM IS STRUCK IN SPITE OF TALKS–Ground Personnel Walk Out As Mediators Postpone Deadline Hour By Hour… (9 Aug) NIXON ADDRESSES NATION: ASKS OVERHAUL OF WELFARE WITH WORK OR TRAINING REQUIRED–Urges U.S. Aid States And Cities–Welfare Rolls Could Soar–Cost Of The Proposals Put At $4-Billion For First Year… PARIS SEEKS TO AVOID UNREST IN COMING MONTHS… PANAM STILL IDLE DESPITE NEW PACT –TENTATIVE ACCORD RELEASED IN STRIKE BY TEAMSTERS… KOPECHNE INQUIRY IS SET FOR SEPTEMBER… (10 Aug) PRESIDENT CALL FOR WELFARE REFORM— Breaks Long Silence On The Problem… ACTRESS SHARON TATE IS AMONG 5 SLAIN AT HOME IN BEVERLY HILLS–Actress, 2nd Woman and 3 Men Victims–Suspect is Seized… CANADA TO WAGE WAR ON POLLUTION–Provinces Will Join Ottowa To Fight Spreading Evil… SOVIET SAYS CHINA STIRS HATE DRIVE–Accuses Peking Of Lying To Maintain Dictatorship… AN EMBITTERED MOTHER SENDS THE PRESIDENT A FLAG… "A mother, embittered by her son's death in Vietnam and frustrated by cold response to her letters to Washington, has sent the American flag from her son's coffin to Presdent Nixon. 'I hate the flag for what it stands for in Vietnam–the murder of our young men,' said Mrs. Miles Stewart, a prominent businesswoman in this east Georgia town (Warner Robbins). 'But I love it for what it is supposed to stand for.' Her son, Private Wayne Stewart, 22 years old, was killed in combat last April. Mrs. Stewart said she has sent letters to Congressmen and military authorities asking 'what this war is about.' She said she had written the president but there was no answer. Along with the flag, she sent a photo of the young private and a letter that said: 'I so not want a flag which represents a country which is sacrificing her young men as this one is doing.'…"…

II. COMMANDO HUNT II (April to November 1969) The following summary of ARC LIGHT–B-52 OPS complementing the COMMANDO HUNT campaign during 1968-1969 is snipped from a 50-page HQ,PACAF (CHECO Division) document available at the Texas Tech University Vietnam Archive: THE AIR WAR IN VIETNAM, 1968-1969… I quote…

"The B-52 operations in Southeast Asia (ARC LIGHT) were being flown at the rate of 800 sorties per month at the beginning of 1968 from Anderson AFB, Guam, and U-Tapao RTAB, Thailand. On 1 February, the sortie rate was increased to 1,200 and to 1,800 on 15 February because of the Pueblo crisis and the siege of Khe Sanh. Kadena, Okinawa was added as a base of operations on the latter date. The 1,800 sortie rate continued until October 1969 when the rate was reduced to 1,400 sorties per month. The standard load for sorties throughout the period was twenty-four 500-pound bombs carried externally and eighty-four internally (27 tons) for U-Tapao aircraft, and twenty-four 500-pounds externally and forty-two 750-pound bombs internally for Kadena and Andersen aircraft (23 tons).

"Khe Sanh proved to be a watershed for B-52 operations in SEA. As a result of this siege, the sortie rate was increased to 1,800 per month and close-in bombing (within 1,000-meters of friendly forces) was inaugurated as a direct close air support tactic. Another innovation was BUGLE NOTE. Prior to the siege, the most rapid response was a seven-hour ground divert capability from U-Tapao. The BUGLE NOTE permitted target changes as late as one-and-a-half hours prior to the scheduled time-over-the-target (TOT). The force allocation was later changed to a six-aircraft cell every three hours over the pre-IP, with a selective target change three hours before TOT.

"The results of B-52 strikes were difficult to evaluate in terms of BDA but the psychological impact was immense. The PWs and Hoi Chanhs (prisoners and deserters) indicated airstrikes forced them to move constantly, kept them off balance, caused numerous casualties, lowered morale, and prevented them from staging offensive action. As a result, on 1 April 1969, one B-52 in each three-ship cell began to carry one M129RI leaflet bomb with the strike, exploiting the psychological impact. A single B-52 mission, consisting normally of six aircraft, could deliver approximately 150 tons of ordnance on a two-kilometer square target with better than 99-per cent accuracy. For tactical fighters to deliver the same tonnage would require many more times that number of aircraft… (Humble Host: @ 2-tons each=75 TACAIR sorties, but every aircraft could be directed by FACs to specific targets. Therefore, the combination of ARC LIGHT box bombing and TACAIR FAC directed stikes were extremely complementary and effective)…

"The B-52 target nominations were made by field commanders, COMUSMACV, and Seventh Air Force. Target approval rested with MACV. Each Field Force or other nominating agency was responsible for assuring the military and political clearance of each target. The final determination of targets for ARC LIGHT strikes was usually made by the Deputy J-3 for Operations at MACV. While a number of the aircraft were fragged for preplanned targets, all operated under the BUGLE NOTE system.

"U.S. Commanders were so concerned about getting more B-52 strikes in their area of operations that they often went to great lengths to request such support. At one point, for example, General Corcoran, First Field Force Commander, made a special trip to COMUSMACV during a particularly heavy fighting in his area (October 1969) to make a personal plea for more ARC LIGHT support. The power of this weapon was clearly recognized by every U.S. commander from General Abrams on down. His statement on ARC LIGHT in the fall of 1968 demonstrated this enthusiasm:

"In one instance where no ground forces were available (NW Kontum Province), the enemy was stopped by repeated B-52 strikes alone. Every time the enemy is found massing anywhere within South Vietnam, he is hit in this way. The B-52 used in this manner under centralized control becomes a tool of such effectiveness that the theater commander has no possible substitute within the conventional arsenal. Without B-52 sorties, the theater commander would need more ground troops to achieve the results obtained since initiation of this B-52 concept. This concept was so effective that ground commanders' requests for B-52 strikes continue to exceed available sorties. In summary, the B-52s are the theater commander's reserve, his artillery, his interdiction tool, his means for influencing the battle, and in some instances his only means for meeting the enemy immediately upon discovery."


III. AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: 4-10 AUGUST 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 10 August eight fixed wing aircraft were lost and five brave aviators died taking the fight to the enemy from the sky…

(1) On 4 August an F-4E of the 421st TFS and 366th TFW out of Danang piloted by COLONEL GEORGE STANTON DORMAN, prospective Wing Commander, and 1LT ROY DONALD BRATTON was downed by .50 cal ground fire on a fourth run on a Vietcong target 10 miles north of Quang Ngai in South Vietnam. The aircraft was hit in the fuselage and observed to crash about one mile from the target. Neither COLONEL DORMAN or 1LT BRATTON were able to clear the aircraft before impact with the ground. Their bodies were recovered and COLONEL DORMAN rests in peace at the USMA West Point Cemetery and 1LT BRATTON is buried at Phillippi Baptist Church in Union, South Carolina. COLONEL DORMAN was Aide to General Curtis LeMay at the time of the President Kennedy assassination. His wife Mary was on duty with the White House staff at the time of the tragic event… RTR Deep Thinkers may be interested in follow-up reading of an on-line article concerning the activities of the Dormans during that November 1963 event… read at…


There is also a touching remembrance for COLONEL DORMAN left on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Foundation WALL OF FACES by his grand daughter KATIE DORMAN TUTTLE…

"Honored to be your Granddaughter. Two years ago I was able to hear your voice for the first time via a CNN Pierce Morgan tape. Tapes (Highly Classified) were released from the day of President Kennedy's asssination, you were calling for General LeMay. When I heard this clip I had chills and tears. I've heard stories from since I was little and to hear your voice which is so much like your three sons, it was amazing. I am beyond honored to call George S. Dorman my grandfather. I am a proud Dorman."…

(2) On 6 August an F-100D Super Sabre of the 308th TFS and 31st TFW out of Tuy Hoa piloted by 1LT R.P. BUSICO was downed by small arms fire while attacking enemy positions 25 miles northeast of Phan Thiet in South Vietnam. 1LT BUSICO was able to fly his aircraft a few miles from the target before being forced to eject from his burning bird. He was rescued by an Army helicopter to fly and fight again…

(3) On 8 August another Super Sabre from the 614th TFS and 35th TFW out of Phan Rang piloted by 1LT E.I. DANIEL was hit while on his fourth pass on an enemy weapons cache 15 miles southeast of Song Be City. He was able to fly the aircraft to within five miles of the Phan Rang runway before being forced to eject. He was rescued immediately by an HH-43 helo of Detachment 1 of the 38th ARRS based at Phan Rang…

(4) On 8 August a Navy RA-3B Skywarrior of the VAP-61 photo recon detachment based at Danang, with a crew of four, suffered engine and fuel problems that cascaded into a flameout of both engines and the inability to get a relight on either. All four of the crew bailed out and were rescued… Short on details…

(5) On 9 August an F-100F Misty FAC of the 416th TFS and 31st TFW out of Tuy Hoa piloted by CAPTAIN LAURENT LEE GOURLEY and 1LT JEFFEREON SCOTT DOTSON was lost while on a COMMANDO HUNT visual reconnaissance mission 15 miles southwest of the Ashau Valley. Other aircraft heard the pilots report that they had been hit and were about to eject. One witness reported seeing at least one parachute but neither aviator was heard or seen again. Extensive visual and electronic searches failed to develop an area for further searches. Both were declared Missing-in-Action. On 4 September 2002 the family of MAJOR DOTSON was notified of the postitive identification of the remains recovered in 2001. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. MAJOR GOURLEY's remains were also recovered in 2001 and identified in August 2002. He rests in peace at the Villisca Cemetery in Montgomery County, Iowa… A very detailed account of this tragic loss of two young warriors is at…


(6) On 9 August a Marine OV-10A Bronco of VMO-6 and MAG-39 out of Quang Tri was lost on a training mission due to engine problems that led to engine fires requiring the crew of two to eject. Both were rescued to fly and FAC again…

(7) On 9 August an F-4E Tiger FAC of the 34th TFS and 388th TFW out of Korat piloted by CAPTAIN P.M. LANG and CAPTAIN C.W. MAGSIG was lost after sustaining damage from ground fire on a Barrel Roll mission in northern Laos. They were hit on their third attack on a truck park and headed for home. Unfortunately, the Phantom became uncontrollable and they were required to abandon the aircraft about 45 miles north of Vientianne, Laos. They were rescued the following day by a helicopter from the 40th ARRS…

(8) On 10 August an A-4E of the VA-144 Roadrunners embarked in USS Bon Homme Richard piloted by LT WILLIAM EMIL MICKELSEN was lost on a night landing ramp strike that killed the pilot and incurred several injuries to sailors on the carrier deck of the Bonnie Dick. The aircraft went over the side with LT MICKELSEN aboard. He rests where he fell in the Gulf of Tonkin fifty years ago a casualty of the war. He is memorialized with a military stone at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery and at the Courts of the Missing in Honolulu…

IV. HUMBLE HOST END NOTE… There is a memorial to FORWARD AIR CONTROLLERS in Colorado Springs that rates a visit. Add it to your "Bucket List"… Humble Host has a special place in his heart for FACs. He "was one" in the days when Navy carrier air wings required two pilots be trained, ready and experienced in controlling the the aircraft from their respective carrier air wing on targets ashore. A memorable week ashore with my jeep and five man Air Wing FAC Team supporting a Marine exercise on Capo Tulado, Sardinia in 1962, was the highlight of my short FAC stint… Inscriptions:

"This Memorial is dedicated to those special Air Force aviators, support staff, Army Special Forces and Marine Observers who lost their lives during the War in Southeast Asia from 1961-1975 while flying or supporting the Forward Air Controller Mission."

"At all times the FAC was the final air authority on whether or not the strike would continue. He was, in fact, the local air commander for the conduct of air operations and his authority was recognized by the ground commander and flight leader alike."… General William M. Momyer, MACV Commander for Air…"

by Major John J. Duffy, U.S. Army, Retired…

"It is the lonely mission,

The Forward Air Controller.

His are the eyes above the battle.

He is the link to those below.

"While others avoid and strike fast,

He lingers and trolls for contact,

Seeking out the enemy below,

Determining the strike force needed.

"His is the job to control the air attack,

He determines the needs of the troops,

And works the airstrike margins.

His judgement is relied upon by all.

"Watching a 'FAC' roll in hot on target

All guns blazing at his destruction,

Is to watch a man of courage in action.

This is the daily job of the FAC."

Details on the FAC MEMORIAL at:

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