Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The List 5152

The List 5152 TGB

To All,

I hope that you all had a great weekend.



This Day in Naval History

Nov. 25

1943 At the Battle of Cape St. George, Destroyer Squadron 23 intercepts five Japanese destroyers attempting to land reinforcements at Buka on Bougainville. During this night engagement, the Japanese destroyers Onami, Makiname, and Yugiri are sunk.

1943 PB4Y-1 aircraft, piloted by Lt. j.g. Vance Dawkins from VB-107, sinks German submarine U-849 in the South Atlantic west of the Congo estuary.

1943 USS Radford (DD 446) sinks Japanese submarine I-19 north of the Gilbert Islands.

1944 USS Hardhead (SS 365) attacks a Japanese convoy 60 miles west of Manila and sinks Coast Defense Vessel No.38 off Bataan Peninsula while USS Atule (SS 403) sinks Japanese freighter Santos Maru off Sabtang Island, Luzon. Also, USS Mingo (SS 261) sinks Japanese army transport Manila Maru.

1961 USS Enterprise (CVAN 65), the U.S. Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is commissioned in Newport News, Va.

Thanks to CHINFO on 25 November

Executive Summary:

• Defense Secretary Mark Esper asked for the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer on Sunday, citing a loss of confidence over the handling of the case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, multiple outlets report.

• The New York Times reports that pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong won 389 of 452 elected seats as record numbers voted in the city’s elections.

• USINDOPACOM commander Adm. Philip Davidson told reporters that the United States has no plans to withdraw forces from South Korea.


This day in History 25 November

1863 Union ends the siege of Chattanooga with the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

1876 Colonel Ronald MacKenzie destroys Cheyenne Chief Dull Knife's village, in the Bighorn Mountains near the Red Fork of the Powder River, during the so-called Great Sioux War.

1901 Japanese Prince Ito arrives in Russia to seek concessions in Korea.

1914 German Field Marshal Fredrich von Hindenburg calls off the Lodz offensive 40 miles from Warsaw, Poland. The Russians lose 90,000 to the Germans' 35,000 in two weeks of fighting.

1918 Chile and Peru sever relations.

1921 Hirohito becomes regent of Japan.

1923 Transatlantic broadcasting from England to America commences for the first time.

1930 An earthquake in Shizouka, Japan kills 187 people.

1939 Germany reports four British ships sunk in the North Sea, but London denies the claim.

1946 The U.S. Supreme Court grants the Oregon Indians land payment rights from the U.S. government.

1947 The Big Four meet to discuss the German and European economy.

1951 A truce line between U.N. troops and North Korea is mapped out at the peace talks in Panmunjom, Korea.

1955 The Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation in interstate travel.

1963 The body of assassinated President John F. Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

1964 Eleven nations give a total of $3 billion to rescue the value of the British currency.

1986 As President Ronald Reagan announces the Justice Department's findings concerning the Iran-Contra affair; secretary Fawn Hall smuggles important documents out of Lt. Col. Oliver North's office.

1987 Typhoon Nina sticks the Philippines with 165 mph winds and a devastating storm surge and causes over 1,030 deaths.

1992 Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia votes to partition the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, beginning Jan. 1, 1993.

2008 Sri Lanka is hit by Cyclone Nisha, bringing the highest rainfall the area had seen in 9 decades; 15 people die, 90,000 are left homeless.

2348 Biblical scholars have long asserted this to be the day of the Great Deluge, or Flood.



November 24, 2019Bear Taylor


LEST WE FORGET… For the week ending 30 August 1969: The United States command in South Vietnam reported that 185 Americans were killed in battle and 1,057 were wounded. That was fewer than the previous week… From the pen of the great Ernie Pyle…”…to the fighting soldier that phase of the war is behind. It was left behind after the first battle. His blood is up. He is fighting for his life, and killing now for him is as much a profession as writing is for me.”… War is a killing business… Lest we forget…

GOOD MORNING. It is Monday 25 November 2019. Humble Host remembers the FORTY-THIRD week of the hunt for trucks and North Vietnamese activity in the jungles of Laos. The hunt focused on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the network of hundreds of miles of roads and trails through the beleaguered “neutral” nation of Laos that linked the passes exiting North Vietnam with the invasion routes into the heart of South Vietnam. The COMMANDO HUNT interdiction campaign begun in November 1968 continued into 1972.

I. HEADLINES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES for 1 through 7 September 1969…

A. U.S. and WORLD NEWS… (1 Sept) CAMPUS VIOLENCE ACROSS THE NATION SPURS NEW LAWS–But States Show Restraint Despite Pressures For Tougher Legislation…”Students returning to college this month will find that new laws have been passed in more than half the states by legislatures angered over last spring’s campus disruptions…. This apparent national awareness that college in 1969-70 is a sociological experience and not merely books and ivy, football games, and pretty girls, is further reflected in the fact that nearly every state legislature in the country has at least debated what to do when the students rise up against the colleges and universities.”… ROCKY MARCIANO KILLED WITH TWO IN PLANE CRASH–Undefeated Heavyweight Champion, 46, Was On Visit to Des Moines… BRAZILIAN LEADER COSTA E. SILVALS SUFFERS STROKE–Military Ruling–Ministers of Army, Navy and Air Force Say Take-Over Will Not Be Permanent–Vice President Barred–Banks and Markets Closed… IRAQIS OBEY ORDERS TO LEAVE LEBANON–15,000 Expected To Heed Command By Baghdad… (2 Sept) PRESIDENT URGES GOVERNORS TO AID NEW FEDERALISM–Goal Of ‘Strategy For the ’70’s’ Is To Gain Greater Control Over Problems–Partnership Stressed… DREW PEARSON DIES–Columnist Was Often At Center Of Controversy… A JUNTA IN LEBANON OUSTS MONARCHY–Sets Up A Republic–Military Council Proclaims Socialist State After Coup Without Bloodshed… JORDAN BOMBED BY ISRAELI JETS–Raid Is Termed Retaliation For Attack On Kibbutz… (3 Sept) KOPEKNE INQUEST PUT OFF BY JUDGE ON KENNEDY PLEA–Court Will Decide If The Procedure Violates Senator’s Rights… GOVERNORS URGED TO TAKE OVER ALL RELIEF COSTS–Adopt Rockefeller Proposal For Reforms In Welfare… (4 Sept) HO CHI MINH DEAD AT 79–North Vietnam Expected To Hold To War Policies–Has Heart Attack–He Won Independence For Nation And Led War Against United States… STENNIS CHARGES ARMS FUND CUTS ENDANGER NATION–Answers Pentagon Critics As Senate Resumes It’s Debate After Recess–Fears 2nd Rate status–Senators Defense of New Giant Transport Plane Challenged by Proxmire… EX-POW’s CHARGE HANOI WITH TORTURE… “Two American prisoners of war recently released by the North Vietnamese gave a picture today of brutality at the hands of captors and of torture of their fellow prisoners.”… (5 Sept) VIETCONG DECLARE THREE-DAY TRUCE IN MEMORY OF HO CHI MINH–U.S. Indicates Acceptance If Hanoi Agrees… BIRTH CONTROL PILLS SAFE–Drug Agency Report Says… NEW YORK CITY RAIN WORST SINCE 1944–Subways, Busses and Trains Slowed By Downpours… (6 Sept) ISRAEL CONTINUES RAIDS ON LEBANON IN TACTICAL SHIFT–Air Attacks Followed By A Ground Assault Across Border In Response To Shelling–Guerrilla Area Target–Previous Policy Has Been A Limited Reply By Planes and Artillery… NIXON AIDE AFFIRMS U.S. WILL PRESS FOR CHINA TIES… .PRAGUE INDICATES PURGE HAS BEGUN–Party Discipline Unit Says Liberal Opportunists Are To Be Called To Account… CHOU EN LAI REASSURES NORTH VIETNAM OF BACKING IN WAR–Then Returns to Peking Avoiding Meeting Kosygin At Ho Chi Minh Funeral…TRUCE EXTENSION SEEN UNLIKELY–U.S. Aides See No Effect On Withdrawl Of Troops… (7 Sept) U.S. RECOGNIZES THE LIBYAN JUNTA THAT OUSTED KING–Timing Of Action Linked To Delivery Of First Group of F-4 Jets To Israel–Britain, France, Italy Also Extend Diplomatic Ties To Revolutionary Council… DEFENSE BUILDING IN U.S. IS CURBED–Laird Imposes A Temporary Freeze On New Projects…

B. THE VIETNAM WAR… (1 Sept) MEN OF COMPANY A DEFEND BEHAVIOR UNDER FIRE (Complete story at end of this post) … NAVY SHELLS FOE IN DMZ… “United States land and naval guns shelled North Vietnam’s half of the demilitarized zone yesterday for the first time in 37 days after the enemy fired on an American scout plane…”… TROOPS ON ALERT… “…troops in 11 provinces around Saigon were on alert as a precaution on the 24th anniversary Tuesday of the proclamation of Ho Chi Minh’s government in North Vietnam.”… (2 Sept) U.S. COMPLETES MEKONG PULLOUT–VIETNAMESE TAKE OVER AT BASE–HEAVY FIGHTING NEAR SAIGON… “The United States command today completed its pullout from the Mekong River Delta region–often called the rice basket of Asia–as it turned over the Ninth Infantry Division headquarters at Dongtam to the South Vietnamese Army…. Continuing the American policy of handing over an increasing share of the fighting to the South Vietnamese… the big air base at Nhatrang on the eastern central coast soon would come under complete South Vietnamese control.”… “South Vietnamese commandos led by American Special Force troops were reported in heavy fighting today with troops of a North Vietnamese regiment near the province capital of Songbe, 80 miles north of Saigon.”… (3 Sept) CHINA LABOR UNIT BELIEVED OUT OF NORTH VIETNAM–Withdrawal of 40,000 Who Maintained Transport Net Reported Completed–U.S. Aides Say Move Also May Reflect Displeasure Over Hanoi’s Policies… G.I.’s FLOWN TO AID ALLIED UNITS NEAR SONGBE– Fail to Find Foe… (4 Sept) B-52s POUND AREA TO BLOCK ATTACK–Strike Near Cambodian Line To Smash Threat To Song Be… (5 Sept) HEAVY SHELLING BY VIETCONG REPORTED–66 Villages and Bases Are Reported Hit In Vietnam With 26 Rated Significant… CLASH IN CAMBODIA… “United States command said today that American and South Vietnamese troops fought a skirmish in Cambodia Monday after a helicopter had been attacked and crashed in Cambodia…. The command also reported that 185 Americans were killed and 1,057 were wounded in the week ended last Saturday (30 Aug)…”… (6 Sept) ENEMY’s ROCKETS POUND AT DANANG AND NEARBY BASES… “Vietcong gunners blasted Danang and nearby military installations with nearly 100 mortar shells and rockets early today… at least 13 civilians were killed…Sharp ground fighting also raged in a jungle area about 60 miles north of Saigon. In one battle, troops of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment fought with an enemy company near Anloc and killed 40 of them. Two United States soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in the engagement.”... 83 BASES STRUCK… “In the largest number of attacks since their fall campaign opened August 12, Vietcong and North Vietnamese gunners rained rockets and mortars on 83 allied bases and towns early Friday. Enemy ground forces attacked nine allied bases but on a far smaller scale than at the beginning of the campaign. Incomplete reports from the field said 140 enemy soldiers, about 20 Americans and 30 South Vietnamese had been killed… (7 Sept) 3 BATTLES ARE REPORTED… “Three battles raged in the jungles north of Saigon today on the second day of heavy enemy attacks across South Vietnam. The bitter-fighting came after enemy gunners shelled 40 allied bases and towns overnight, including the year’s heaviest rocket and mortar attack against Danang and 15 U.S. military installations around Danang…In the overnight shelling at least 140 enemy rockets and mortars rounds were fired. At least 16 persons (3 Marines) were killed and 155 wounded (12 Marines).”… U.S.-AIDED LAOTIAN DRIVE ON REDS REPORTED BEGUN… “Reliable sources said today that Laotian Government forces supported by American air power had opened an offensive into the Plane des Jarres, apparently in an effort to cut North Vietnamese supply routes and forestall attacks by rebel forces.”…

C. THE PARIS PEACE TALKS… (3 Sept) HANOI WANTS U.S. TO SPEED PULLOUT–Delegate Indicates In Paris Such A Move Would Mean Progress In Talks… “Xuan Thuy, the chief delegate of North Vietnam’s delegation in Paris indicated today that some progress could be made at the peace talks here if the United States accelerated its withdrawal of troops from South Vietnam. He said his side would ‘take into account’ such action by Washington, although he continued to speak of total and unconditional withdrawal of American and other non-Vietnamese forces as ‘legitimate demand of the Vietnamese people… The United States must accept the principle of withdrawal, then put it into practice…It is evident that if withdrawals occur at the present rate, we cannot make a judgement. On the other hand, if Mr. Nixon withdraws forces in a considerable and rapid way, we will take account of that.'”... (4 Sept) NO EFFECT SEEN IN PEACE TALKS IN PARIS–U.S. Officials Say Death Of Mystical Leader Ho Chi Minh Won’t Alter Peace Outlook…

II. COMMANDO HUNT II (APRIL-NOVEMBER 1969) Source: Headquarters PACAF AIR OPERATIONS SOUTHEAST ASIA Summary for August 1969, held by HRA, Maxwell AFB… (Rolling Thunder–North Vietnam–portion of August ops: see CH/RTR Week 42 post of 18 November 2019). This post covers the operations in Laos, including both BARREL ROLL to the north and STEEL TIGER (COMMANDO HUNT) in the panhandle…

“Attack sorties flown in Laos during August decreased 7% from the previous month. Sharply reduced air operations in Steel Tiger reflect diminished enemy logistics movement across routes made virtually impassable by record monsoon rains and repeated cratering by strike aircraft. Operations in Barrel Roll increased substantially to support friendly ground offensive activity and to interdict troop and supply movements from North Vietnam. The southwest monsoon dominated the weather pattern during the first half of the month resulting in poor to marginal flying conditions in Steel Tiger and Barrel Roll more than 80% of the time. In mid-month, a strong high pressure ridge disrupted the southwest wind flow reducing cloud coverage and precipitation. Favorable conditions (greater that a 5,000-foot ceiling and 5 miles visibility) predominated during the period 16-31 August signaling the advent of a shifting weather pattern.

“ARC LIGHT sorties decreased to 145 from last month’s 417. This reduction was caused by a decrease in total ARC LIGHT effort with no concomitant decrease in in-country utilization of the B-52s. Strikes were primarily directed against truck park/storage areas, logistic complexes, bunkers and bivouac areas in the vicinity of Base Areas 610 and 611 (Operation Menu). Reconnaissance aircraft flew 861 successful sorties in Laos, 535 in Steel Tiger and 326 in Barrel Roll. 108 sorties were unsuccessful primarily due to weather. Two of the three night sorties being flown daily were fragged into Barrel Roll to support the increased activity in that area. The laser system remains the primary night sensor. 452 ECM/ELINT/ARDF sorties supporting operations in Laos were flown by EB-66 and EC-47 aircraft.

“USAF attack sorties totaled 8,265, an increase over last month’s total of 8,123. Additionally, USAF flew 6,078 combat support sorties in Laos. This included FAC, SAR, command and control, reconnaissance, tanker and flare missions. The USN flew 1,971 attack sorties and the USMC flew 530. Combat support missions flown by the USN and USMC were 115 and 211 respectively… Pilots and Road watch Teams sighted 2,893 vehicles (398 and 2,495 respectively). Average daily sightings were 93, the same as July 1969.

“The enemy Anti-Air Order of Battle in Laos now stands at 136 automatic weapons, 367 37/57mm guns, and two 85mm guns, a 13% decrease in the total number of weapons reported last month. These figures include only those weapons that are photo confirmed. During August, attacks on gun positions in Barrel Roll resulted in a reported 39 weapons destroyed and 3 damaged. In Steel Tiger 16 weapons were destroyed….

“The combination of cumulative weather damage and air strike activity has severely limited enemy logistic capability in the Laotian panhandle. Some road repair activity was noted but the LOC structure cannot presently support and sustain logistic drive. Route 8 north of Nape Pass was not being used to transport goods southward. Routes 12F, 1201 and 1201 south of Mugia Pass were impassable. Route 912 south of Ban Karai Pass was used only on isolated segments. The only input into southern Laos from NVN occurred in the DMZ area where supplies were portaged from the border and then floated down the Se Bang Hieng River.

“Special munitions used in Steel Tiger during August were 52 Paveway I missions, 910 MK-36 Destructors, and 131 AGM-12C (Big) Bullpups.

III. AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: 1-7 SEPTEMBER 1969… References include the report of Chris Hobson, VIETNAM AIR LOSSES, which is available on line at https://www.VietnamAirLosses.com (Thanks David Lovelady and Chris Hobson for making this possible) and the PACAF SOUTHEAST ASIA Air Ops Monthly Summary Report for September 1969. During the week ending 7 September three American fixed wing aircraft were lost and twelve American warriors perished in the incidents…

(1) On the night of 1/2 September an AC-47D Spooky Gunship of the 4th SOS and 14th SOW, call sign Spooky 71, crewed by eight American air warriors, responded to support friendly troops in contact with enemy troops 20 miles east of Bien Hoa. After taking hits in the right wing the aircraft started for home at 6,000-feet. Shortly thereafter radio and radar contact with Spooky 71 was lost. The aircraft crashed at the 500-foot level of a hill approximately 7 miles west of Xuan Loc. Chris Hobson reported the incident this way: “The aircraft arrived at the scene and started firing but it was hit in the starboard wing by ground fire and the aircraft crashed in Long Khanh Province. (All aboard were killed) This was the last USAF Spooky lost during the war. The 3rd SOS was inactivated on this day and its aircraft passed on to the VNAF and the 4th SOS followed suit by the end of the year. A total of 19 AC-47s had been lost during four years of service with the USAF. While the aircraft had its limitations and was too vulnerable for employment in daylight or over the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the AC-47 had certainly proved the value of the gunship concept and the pioneering work done by the Spooky crews was greatly developed by the AC-119 and AC-130 units.”… Killed in Action on this fatal flight were: CAPTAIN ROBERT PAUL ACHER; CAPTAIN JAMES SUTHERLAND PITCHES; 1LT RAY COLON WILLIAMS; MSGT HARRY HERR WECKER; TSGT WILLIE WARNIE ALLEY; TSGT LESTER MELVIN CAVALLIN; TSGT ALBERT CARL McBRIDE, and SSGT FRED WINSTON SMITH. Today they rest in peace at cemeteries across their homeland, and they are forever memorialized in Washington on The Wall. Humble Host suggests readers visit each of these warriors for a few minutes of remembrance at:


(2) On 3 September and F-4D of the 25th TFS and 8th TFW out of Ubon piloted by COLONEL D.N. STANFIELD and WSO 1LT C.E. DORN, call sign Nash 02, was damaged by ground fire while conducting a LORAN calibration flight at 1,500-feet over Northern Laos (Barrel Roll) ten miles south of Sam Neua. COL STANFIELD was able to fly the bleeding Phantom back into Thailand before an ejection was required about five miles from the airfield at Udorn. Both he and WSO 1LT DORN were rescued by an HH-43 from Udorn… Hobson notes: “The 215th TFS flew many unarmed cross-country sorties code named Operation Diogenes in order to recalibrate the LORAN ground stations distributed throughout Southeast Asia.”…

(3) In the early morning hours of 6 September an EC-121R Bat Cat of the 554th RS and 553rd RW out of Korat went down while executing an instrument approach in a heavy rainstorm to the runway at Korat. Hobson: “The aircraft took off during the afternoon of the 5th for a 13-hour mission, much of which was flown in poor weather which deteriorated further as the aircraft approached Korat. The pilot aborted the first attempt to land due to poor visibility in driving rain and was given vectors for another approach. The second approach appeared normal until about one mile from touchdown when the aircraft suddenly lost altitude and crashed into the approach lights about 3,000-feet short of the runway. The fuselage broke into three sections, which then caught on fire. Within minutes a HH-43 from Detachment 4 of the 38th ARRS arrived with a fire suppression kit but the rescue was hampered by poor visibility caused by smoke and the torrential rain, while flooded streams and concertina wire impeded ground movement. Eventually 12 of the 16 crew were rescued from the wreck, four of them by the HH-43. Unfortunately, the navigator and three others of the crew died and four local Thais on the ground were also killed when the aircraft hit them…. this aircraft had previously flown from Barbers Point NAS, Hawaii, with a Navy AEW squadron until it was converted into an EC-121R for the Air Force in 1967.”… Four brave airmen perished on this mission in support of combat in Southeast Asia. They are: MAJOR JOYFUL J. JENKINS; SSGT GUNTHER H. REHLING; SGT ARNOLD NOEL JACO; and, SGT JULIUS C. HOULDITCH. Humble Host suggests you drop by the VVMF, Wall of Faces memorial pages for MAJOR JOYFUL J. JENKINS, USAF, and read a few of the remembrances for MAJOR JENKINS, including one that provides an eyewitness account of the final moments of the flight, and this one from a young lady named MYLISA JENKINS, WHO WROTE on 2 October 2008: “HI GRANDPA… Although I was not blessed with your presence, I am reminded of you every day… your daughter, my mother is a spittin’ image of you, your mannerisms and your will. Love you!”…

IV. HUMBLE HOST END NOTE… Two previous posts included extensive coverage of COMPANY A and their “balking” at going forward after five consecutive days of hard fighting and suffering many casualties, both killed and wounded. This note presents the take of James Reston on the incident that was a national page-one story for two weeks of August 1969. As you read Reston and the dilemma of President Nixon fifty years ago, ponder the similar situation that President Trump is faced with in 2019. The Reston OpEd is from page 42 of The New York Times on 27 August 1969. I quote…


“In every American war there have been isolated incidents of mutiny among the troops. It is the tragic human pattern. There is a breaking point where discipline, duty and even loyalty to the men at your side are overwhelmed by fear and death in a paralyzing feeling of the senselessness of the whole bloody operation. And now we are getting a glimpse of it in Vietnam. Horst Faas and Peter Arnett of the Associated Press, two of the most courageous reporters of the Vietnam war, have now reported such an incident by men of Company A of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade’s battle weary Third Battalion in the Songchamp Valley, and the surprising thing is that there has not been more of this sort of thing under the present circumstances.

“Consider the position of the men of Company A. Most of them were nineteen and twenty-year-olds, drafted into the Army. For five days they had obeyed orders to move down a jungled glen against an enemy concealed in underground bunkers. Most of their squad and platoon leaders had been killed or wounded. In the repeated attacks on the bunkers, Company A was down to sixty men, half the assigned combat strength, some of them in the last days of their year’s tour of duty in Vietnam. This is not, of course, a typical situation. Yet it must give President Nixon something to think about as he plans his Vietnam policy.


He has been worried about revolt of the voters against the war, and even about a revolt of the generals if he humiliates them by pulling out too fast, but now he also has to consider the possibility of a revolt of the men if he risks their lives in a war he has decided to bring to a close. This is a devilish problem for everybody concerned, but particularly for men who find themselves in the position of Company A. The President is no longer saying that military victory in Vietnam is ‘vital’ to the national interest. He is not claiming that a defeat in Vietnam would result in the ‘loss’ of Southeast Asia. In fact, he is not only withdrawing troops from Saigon but opening talks for the withdrawal of troops from Thailand. Accordingly, battles for bunkers in the Songchang valley (Now called “Death Valley” in the history books) are tactical moves in the President’s strategy of retreat. He is asking Company A to fight for time to negotiate a settlement with Hanoi that will save his face but may very well cost their lives. He is also carrying on the battle in the belief, or pretense, that the South Vietnamese will really be able to defend their country and our democratic objectives when we withdraw, and even his own generals don’t believe the South Vietnamese will do it. It is a typical political strategy and the really surprising thing is that there have been so few men, like the tattered remnants of Company A, who have refused to die for it.

“At some point, the President is going to have to recognize that there is a fundamental difference between his policy of withdrawing gracefully from the war, and ending the war. The difference between what is graceful and what is decisive in ending the war is a great many lives of young men like the men in Company A, and while this may not produce a revolt among the Young Americans in the army in Vietnam, it almost certainly will produce a revolt among their contemporaries in the universities at home.

“The President is now said to be delaying the withdrawal of another 25,000 or 50,000 men from Vietnam because the enemy is pressing the battle and not negotiating seriously in Paris. The suggestion is that unless Hanoi cuts the fighting and starts making concessions at the peace table, he will keep the Americans there, and may even increase the level of the fighting. But nobody should be fooled by this. He is delaying his announcement about withdrawing more troops from Vietnam, according to our information, not to influence the American university students just before the start of a new school year, but to influence the peace negotiations. And the irony of this is that it won’t work for long.


“For the more the President says he’s for peace, the more troops he withdraws from Vietnam and Thailand, the more he concedes that Southeast Asia is not really vital to the security of the United States, the harder it is to ask for the lives of the men in Company A. They may be typical, but they are a symbol of his coming dilemma. He wants out on the installment plan, but the weekly installments are the lives of one or two hundred American soldiers, and he cannot get away from the insistent question: Why? To what purpose? The breaking point comes in politics as it came to Company A. And it is not far off. What will now be gained by this increased killing? And how will the President or anybody explain it or excuse it?”…End NYT James Reston OpEd…

HUMBLE HOST STINGER… I have gone “long” on the saga of “Balky Company A.” Accounts of the intense and bloody fighting in August 1969, including one in FIGHTING BACK by Pittsburg Steeler Rocky Bleier with Terry O’Neil, abound. Great story. The full story is found in Keith William Nolan’s DEATH VALLEY: The Summer Offensive, I Corps, August 1969 (Great Grunt book)…

There was no discipline meted out to Company A. Lieutenant Shurtz assumed other duties and visited his wounded troops in the hospital in Saigon. Company A went back to the fight that same morning and took more casualties before returning to Danang after 12 days under fire to drink cold beer and tell their story. And the war went on for more than three years. 20,000 more young American men died in vain…

Lest we forget…

Have a Happy Thanksgiving… Bear

thanks to Shadow -


Just a quick comment… I ran into Arnett down in El Salvador and Nicaragua many years later. He and his wife were both spies for the NVA and VC. Another so called journalist.



Thanks to Barrett. I remember talking to Jerry over a few brew one time when he told me what motivated him to fly. He was enlisted at the time and got to sit in a Phantom that was in high power test after an engine fix. He was running the power up and down and could feel the power of the aircraft in his bones and was hooked. He went through all the wickets and went to Purdue as a NESEP and got his commission and then flight school and then Phantoms. The last I heard from him he had retired to a house near or on the St. Andrews golf course. His other love was golf. skip

Jerry Beaulier MiG debrief

First Topgun grad to bag a MiG. The Official Version of course was an Official Lie about a photo escort. CAG Paul Speer laid a crafty trap tho I don't think it's mentioned in the video.



F-4 vs MiG-21| with Jerry Beaulier

Jerry Beaulier talks us through his MiG-21 shoot down on Saturday, 28 March 1970 during the Vietnam War with VF-142. He goes from takeoff to landing and how the engagement unfolded out in the air.



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/

Nov. 24, 1969

The Apollo 12 command module Yankee Clipper, carrying astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr., Mission Commander; Richard F. Gordon Jr., Command Module Pilot; and Alan L. Bean, Lunar Module Pilot; landed in the Pacific Ocean at 20:58:24 UTC, approximately 500 miles east of American Samoa. All three astronauts retired as Navy captains. Conrad, who died July 8, 1999, and Bean, who died May 26, 2018, were Daedalian Life Members. Gordon died on Nov. 6, 2017.

Nov. 25, 1920

Lt. Corliss Champion Moseley, Air Service, United States Army, won the first Pulitzer Trophy Race flying an Engineering Division-designed-and-built Verville-Packard R-1, serial number A.S. 40126. The race, the first of a series, started at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York. Turning points were at Henry J. Damm Field, near Babylon, and Lufberry Field at Wantagh. The total length of the race was approximately 132 miles. Weather was cold and cloudy, with a threat of snow. The New York Times reported that, “With the sun for the most part of the time concealed behind snow clouds, it was possible to watch the contest without suffering eye strain …” Still, more than 25,000 spectators watched the race at Mitchel Field, and several thousand more at each of the turns. Moseley was Daedalian Founder Member #208. Following his service in World War I, where he was credited with one aerial victory, he was in charge of all United States Army Air Service schools. As a civilian, he set up flying schools which are estimated to have taught over 25,000 pilots and 5000 mechanics, mostly for service in World War II. He was also a business executive, either helping found or organize Western Air Express (which later became Western Airlines). Moseley passed away on June 17, 1974, and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Nov. 26, 1968

While flying a UH-1F helicopter, 1st Lt James P. Fleming twice exposed his aircraft to intense hostile fire while rescuing a special forces reconnaissance patrol near Duc Co, Vietnam. He received the Medal of Honor for his heroic action. You can read the citation HERE. Retired Colonel Fleming is a Daedalian Life Member.

Nov. 27, 1917

Brig. Gen. Benjamin D. Foulois, Daedalian Founder Member #321, assumes command of the U.S. Air Service, AEF.

Nov. 28, 2001

C–17s landed in Afghanistan on an airstrip about 80 miles south of Kandahar to deliver Navy Seabees as part of Operation SWIFT FREEDOM, which introduced U.S. ground forces into Afghanistan.

Nov. 29, 1975

The first annual RED FLAG exercise began at Nellis AFB, Nevada, ushering in a new era of highly realistic air combat training for pilots and aircrews.

Nov. 30, 1912

Navy Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson tested C-1 (later AB-1), the Navy’s first flying boat, at Hammondsport, New York. The pilot described its performance as “Circular climb, only one complete circle, 1,575 feet in 14 minutes 30 seconds fully loaded. On glide approximately 5.3 to 1. Speed, eight runs over measured mile, 59.4 miles per hour fully loaded. The endurance test was not made, owing to the fact that the weather has not been favorable, and I did not like to delay any longer.” Ellyson was Daedalian Founder Member #4377.


Add to this the science reports of similar climate changes that followed the Krakatoa eruption in 1883

Let’s talk about ‘global warming’, shall we ??


Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’

By Ann GibbonsNov. 15, 2018 , 2:00 PM

Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he's got an answer: "536." Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, "It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year," says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.

A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. "For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during the whole year," wrote Byzantine historian Procopius. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved. The Irish chronicles record "a failure of bread from the years 536–539." Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire and hastening its collapse, McCormick says.

Historians have long known that the middle of the sixth century was a dark hour in what used to be called the Dark Ages, but the source of the mysterious clouds has long been a puzzle. Now, an ultraprecise analysis of ice from a Swiss glacier by a team led by McCormick and glaciologist Paul Mayewski at the Climate Change Institute of The University of Maine (UM) in Orono has fingered a culprit. At a workshop at Harvard this week, the team reported that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536. Two other massive eruptions followed, in 540 and 547. The repeated blows, followed by plague, plunged Europe into economic stagnation that lasted until 640, when another signal in the ice—a spike in airborne lead—marks a resurgence of silver mining, as the team reports in Antiquity this week.

To Kyle Harper, provost and a medieval and Roman historian at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, the detailed log of natural disasters and human pollution frozen into the ice "give us a new kind of record for understanding the concatenation of human and natural causes that led to the fall of the Roman Empire—and the earliest stirrings of this new medieval economy."

Ever since tree ring studies in the 1990s suggested the summers around the year 540 were unusually cold, researchers have hunted for the cause. Three years ago polar ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica yielded a clue. When a volcano erupts, it spews sulfur, bismuth, and other substances high into the atmosphere, where they form an aerosol veil that reflects the sun's light back into space, cooling the planet. By matching the ice record of these chemical traces with tree ring records of climate, a team led by Michael Sigl, now of the University of Bern, found that nearly every unusually cold summer over the past 2500 years was preceded by a volcanic eruption. A massive eruption—perhaps in North America, the team suggested—stood out in late 535 or early 536; another followed in 540. Sigl's team concluded that the double blow explained the prolonged dark and cold.

Mayewski and his interdisciplinary team decided to look for the same eruptions in an ice core drilled in 2013 in the Colle Gnifetti Glacier in the Swiss Alps. The 72-meter-long core entombs more than 2000 years of fallout from volcanoes, Saharan dust storms, and human activities smack in the center of Europe. The team deciphered this record using a new ultra–high-resolution method, in which a laser carves 120-micron slivers of ice, representing just a few days or weeks of snowfall, along the length of the core. Each of the samples—some 50,000 from each meter of the core—is analyzed for about a dozen elements. The approach enabled the team to pinpoint storms, volcanic eruptions, and lead pollution down to the month or even less, going back 2000 years, says UM volcanologist Andrei Kurbatov.

Darkest hours and then a dawn

A high-resolution ice core record combined with historical texts chronicles the impact of natural disasters on European society.

In ice from the spring of 536, UM graduate student Laura Hartman found two microscopic particles of volcanic glass. By bombarding the shards with x-rays to determine their chemical fingerprint, she and Kurbatov found that they closely matched glass particles found earlier in lakes and peat bogs in Europe and in a Greenland ice core. Those particles in turn resembled volcanic rocks from Iceland. The chemical similarities convince geoscientist David Lowe of The University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, who says the particles in the Swiss ice core likely came from the same Icelandic volcano. But Sigl says more evidence is needed to convince him that the eruption was in Iceland rather than North America.

Either way, the winds and weather systems in 536 must have been just right to guide the eruption plume southeast across Europe and, later, into Asia, casting a chilly pall as the volcanic fog "rolled through," Kurbatov says. The next step is to try to find more particles from this volcano in lakes in Europe and Iceland, in order to confirm its location in Iceland and tease out why it was so devastating.

A century later, after several more eruptions, the ice record signals better news: the lead spike in 640. Silver was smelted from lead ore, so the lead is a sign that the precious metal was in demand in an economy rebounding from the blow a century before, says archaeologist Christopher Loveluck of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. A second lead peak, in 660, marks a major infusion of silver into the emergent medieval economy. It suggests gold had become scarce as trade increased, forcing a shift to silver as the monetary standard, Loveluck and his colleagues write in Antiquity. "It shows the rise of the merchant class for the first time," he says.

Still later, the ice is a window into another dark period. Lead vanished from the air during the Black Death from 1349 to 1353, revealing an economy that had again ground to a halt. "We've entered a new era with this ability to integrate ultra–high-resolution environmental records with similarly high resolution historical records," Loveluck says. "It's a real game changer."

Thanks to Steve….Evacuation Day


Thanks to Richard

Subject: Millennial Intellectual....


Roe vs. Wade

A blonde in her fourth freshman year at UT while sitting in her U.S. Government Class, was asked by her professor if she knew what the Roe vs. Wade decision was about.

She sat for quite a while pondering this very profound question, finally sighed, and answered, "I think that is the decision George Washington made prior to crossing the Delaware!"


A bit on Ted Williams from the archives. Compare this Marine to the professional players of today. They are not in the same league with him.

Thanks to Shadow


As a kid who played a lot of baseball… Ted Williams was my idol. He was also my dad’s favorite ball player. Growing up as a Navy Brat, I thought it was cool that he had been a Marine, serving both in WW II and Korea. I also heard stories and rumors that he may not have served as honorable as one would hope. Turned out, that’s all they were… Rumors.

I finally had the chance to get the straight scoop on Williams from John Verdi who was a squadron and tent mate with Williams when he was in VMF-311 in Korea. John absolutely refuted any inference that Williams did not carry his load… actually quite the contrary. It was John and the others in the tent who forced the grounding of Williams because of his pneumonia. Williams refused to go to the Flight Surgeon because he knew the snipers would be out to get him and claim he was a malingerer. Instead he continued to fly long after he should have been grounded.

On the famous gear up landing… John was a witness to it and opined that anyone other than Williams probably couldn’t have pulled it off… He made a perfect gear up landing at over 200 knots… no drop tanks to soften the landing.

Couple of anecdotes… John said Ted was a “World Class Bitcher”… Complained about everything… The weather, the food, The Corps, the Commies and the cold. But NOT ONCE… did he ever try to snivel out of a hop or mission, no matter how dangerous or how crappy the weather was. John said he and his squadron mates were absolutely supportive of Williams and pointed out his recall to Active Duty was nothing more than a PR stunt and political move. He pointed out that Williams was not even in the Active Reserves and had never even flown any military airplane since WW II… much less a jet, when called back on Active Duty. There were thousands of Active Reserves far more qualified. In conclusion, he said Ted was a stand up guy! They stayed in contact with each other until Ted died.


Thanks to CVAT for this....Hal

Even if you’re not a baseball fan this an interesting story. Probably many Boston Red Sox and Williams fans aren't aware of this part of his history.


When asked to name the greatest team he was ever on,

Ted Williams said, "The US Marines".

Ted Williams was John Glenn's wingman flying F-9Fs in Korea.

I didn't know this about Ted Williams.............

Ted Williams was John Glenn's wingman on F-9Fs in Korea.

The Boston Red Sox slugger, who wore No. 9 as a major leaguer, would now be assigned to an F-9 Panther jet as a pilot. Ted flew a total of 39 combat missions in Korea. He was selected by his commander John Glenn (later the astronaut, senator, and 'septuagenonaut') to fly as Glenn's wingman.

While flying an air strike on a troop encampment near Kyomipo, Williams' F-9 was hit by hostile ground fire. Ted commented later: "The funny thing was I didn't feel anything. I knew I was hit when the stick started shaking like mad in my hands. Then everything went out, my radio, my landing gear, everything. The red warning lights were on all over the plane." The F-9 Panther had a centrifugal flow engine and normally caught fire when hit. The tail would literally blow off most stricken aircraft. The standard orders were to eject from any Panther with a fire in the rear of the plane. Ted's aircraft was indeed on fire, and was trailing smoke and flames. Glenn and the other pilots on the mission were yelling over their radios for Williams to get out. However, with his radio out, Williams could not hear their warnings and he could not see the condition of the rear of his aircraft. Glenn and another Panther flown by Larry Hawkins came up alongside Williams and lead him to the nearest friendly airfield. Fighting to hold the plane together, Ted brought his Panther in at more than 200-MPH for a crash landing on the Marsden-matted strip. With no landing gear, dive brakes, or functioning flaps, the flaming Panther jet skidded down the runway for more than 3000 feet. Williams got out of the aircraft only moments before it was totally engulfed in flames. Ted Williams survived his tour of duty in Korea and returned to major league baseball.

Pssst: Ted missed out flying combat missions during WW II, because his flying and gunnery skills were so good that he was kept as an instructor for much of the War. During advanced training at Pensacola, Florida Ted would accurately shoot the sleeve targets to shreds while shooting out of wing-overs, zooms, and barrel rolls. He broke the all time record for 'hits' at the school. Following Pensacola, Ted was sent to Jacksonville for advanced gunnery training. This is the payoff test for potential combat pilots. Ted set all the records for reflexes, coordination, and visual reaction time. As a result of his stunning success he was made an instructor at Bronson field to put Marine aviation cadets through their final paces. By 1945 Ted got his wish and was finally transferred to a combat wing, but weeks later the War was over. He was discharged from the military in December of 1945. Seven years later, in December of 1952, Ted was recalled to active duty as a Marine Corps fighter pilot.


must read, thanks to GM


The rest of the Bill of Rights to follow.


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