Friday, November 8, 2019

TheList 5139

The List 5139 TGB

To All,

I hope that you all have a great weekend. The Marine's birthday is Sunday and Monday is Veteran's Day. We will have Lists for both days



This day in Naval History

Nov. 8

1861 During the Civil War, Capt. Charles Wilkes, commanding the warship San Jacinto, seizes two Confederate diplomats from the British steamer Trent, causing an international controversy with Great Britain known as the Trent Affair.

1942 In Operation Torch, American and British forces land in Morocco and Algeria. The U.S. Navy sees most of its action around Casablanca and elsewhere on Morocco's Atlantic coast. This ambitious trans-oceanic amphibious operation gives the Allies bases for future operationsShare to Twitter. In six more months, all of North Africa is cleared of Axis forces, opening the way for an invasion of Italy.

1943 USS Bluefish (SS 222) sinks the Japanese army tanker Kyokeui Maru in the South China Sea off the northwest coast of Luzon while USS Rasher (SS 269) sinks the Japanese merchant tanker Tango Maru in Makassar Strait and survives counterattacks by auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 41.

1956 Navy Stratolab balloon, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Malcolm D. Ross and Lt. Cmdr. M. Lee Lewis, surpasses the world height record by soaring to 76,000 ft. over Black Hills, S.D. The flight gathers meteorological, cosmic ray, and other scientific data. For this record ascent, the men are awarded the 1957 Harmon International Trophy for Aeronauts.

1975 More than 100 Sailors and Marines from USS Inchon (LPH 12) and USS Shreveport (LPD 12) fight a fire aboard a Spanish merchant vessel at Palma.

1985 In a change of tradition, the rank of Commodore is changed to Rear Adm. Lower Half. The rank of Commodore had been in use since the beginning of the United States Navy.

1990 President George H. W. Bush announces decision to double the number of carrier battle groups deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield. By Jan. 15, 1991, USS Ranger (CV 61), USS America (CV 66), and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) were to join USS Midway (CV 41), USS Saratoga (CV 60), and USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67).

1991 USS Lexington (AVT 16) is decommissioned at NAS Pensacola, FL. She was commissioned on Feb. 17, 1943.

Nov. 9

1822 The brig Alligator, commanded by Lt. William H. Allen, recaptures several merchant ships from pirates off Matanzas, Cuba, but Allen dies in battle. Boats from Alligator capture all the pirate vessels except one schooner that manages to escape.

1863 During the Civil War, the side wheel steamer James Adger, commanded by Cmdr. Thomas H. Patterson, captures blockade runner Robert E. Lee off Cape Lookout, Shoals, N.C.

1921 USS Olympia (C 6) arrives at the Washington Navy Yard from France carrying the body of the Unknown Soldier of World War I for internment at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

1944 USS Barbero (SS 317) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks the merchant ship Shimotsu Maru about 250 miles west of Manila while USS Queenfish (SS 393) also attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks the gunboat Chojusan Maru about 50 miles west of Kyushu. Additionally on this date, USS Haddo (SS 255) sinks the Japanese tanker No.2 Hishu Maru in Mindoro Strait.

1950 Task Force 77 makes its first attack on the Yalu River bridges. In the first engagement between MIG-15 and F9F jets, Lt. Cmdr. William T. Amen, commanding officer of VF-111, based on board USS Philippine Sea (CV 47), shoots down a MiG and becomes the first Navy pilot to shoot down a jet aircraft.

1956 Secretary of the Navy Charles S. Thomas proposes the Polaris missile program to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• In a post on Navy Live Blog, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer laid out his strategic vision for the Navy.

• A U.S. led coalition created to protect shipping in the Middle East formally launched operations, reports Bloomberg News.

• Navy Times reports that former USS Fitzgerald commanding officer Cmdr. Bryce Benson will not go before a Navy Board of Inquiry.

• Multiple outlets report Aventura Technologies was charged with selling fraudulent Chinese equipment to U.S. Military installations, including some Navy commands.


Today in History November 8


Theodosius of Rome passes legislation prohibiting all pagan worship in the empire.


Louis IX succeeds Louis VIII as king of France.


The 17 provinces of the Netherlands form a federation to maintain peace.


The King of Bohemia is defeated at the Battle of Prague.


Fredrick William of Brandenburg issues the Edict of Potsdam, offering Huguenots refuge.


The Louvre opens in Paris. But wasn't it already a Palace and it merely opens to the people?


Charles Wilkes seizes Confederate commissioners John Slidell and James M. Mason from the British ship Trent.


President Abraham Lincoln is re-elected in the first wartime election in the United States.


Doc Holliday, who fought on the side of the Earp brothers during the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 6 years earlier, dies of tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.


Montana becomes the 41st state of the Union.


Theodore Dresier's first novel Sister Carrie is published by Doubleday, but is recalled from stores shortly due to public sentiment.


President Theodore Roosevelt is elected president of the United States. He had been vice president until the shooting death of President William McKinley.


The Democrats prevail in congressional elections for the first time since 1894.


Adolf Hitler attempts a coup in Munich, the "Beer Hall Putsch," and proclaims himself chancellor and Ludendorff dictator. .


Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected 32nd president of the United States.


Crystla Bird Fauset of Pennsylvania, becomes the first African-American woman to be elected to a state legislature.


The United States and Great Britain invade Axis-occupied North Africa.


John F. Kennedy is elected 35th president, defeating Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the closest election, by popular vote, since 1880.


Vietnam War, Operation Hump: US 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong in Bien Hoa Province. Nearby, in the Gang Toi Hills, a company of the Royal Australian Regiment also engaged Viet Cong forces.


Republican Edward Brooke of Massachusetts becomes the first African American elected to the Senate in 85 years.


Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos discovers what is believed to be the tomb of Philip II of Macedon at Vergina in northern Greece.


Wilson B. Goode is elected as the first black mayor of the city of Philadelphia.


A dozen people are killed and over 60 wounded when the IRA detonates a bomb during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, honoring those who had died in wars involving British forces.


Dispute begins over US presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore; Supreme Court ruling on Dec. 12 results in a 271-266 electoral victory for Bush.


More than 10,000 US troops and a few Iraqi army units besiege an insurgent stronghold at Fallujah.


Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, slams into the Philippines, with sustained winds of 195 mpg (315 kph) and gusts up to 235 mph (380 kph); over 5,000 are killed (date is Nov 7 in US).


The eighth of November the battle and the song

Open the site below to in order see the whole article and play the video which contains the Big and Rich song the 8th of November. Very good.

November 8, 1965 – Operation Hump. A tribute to the brave ...

Video embedded · 118 Responses to November 8, 1965 – Operation Hump. A tribute to the brave ... Rich's song 8th of November to teach about Vietnam to ... up November 8, 1965 ...

November 8, 1965 – Operation Hump. A tribute to the brave men who fought this one….

A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards.
-Theodore Roosevelt-

Every once in a while I like to pay tribute to certain troops who have sacrificed their all fighting for the American Military. This tribute goes back to the Vietnam war, to Operation Hump. A search and destroy mission that was fought from November 5 – 8th, of 1965, and involved the 173rd Airborne brigade, and some troops from Australia. The total force for the American forces that day were about 400. The enemy who ambushed the 173rd, numbered around 1200. Here is their story, along with the video of the song 8th of November by Big and Rich, with an introduction by Kris Kristofferson.

Operation Hump was a search and destroy operation initiated on 5 November 1965[1] by the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in an area about 17.5 miles north of Bien Hoa. The 1st Battalion,[2] Royal Australian Regiment, deployed south of the Dong Nai River while the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry, conducted a helicopter assault on an LZ northwest of the Dong Nai and Song Be Rivers. Little contact was made through 7 November, when B and C Companies settled into a night defensive position southeast of Hill 65, a triple-canopy jungled hill.

Operation detail

At about 0600 on the morning of 8 November C Company began a move northwest toward Hill 65, while B Company moved northeast toward Hill 78. Shortly before 0800, C Company was engaged by a sizable enemy force well dug in to the southern face of Hill 65. At 0845, B Company was directed to wheel in place and proceed toward Hill 65 with the intention of relieving C Company.

B Company reached the foot of Hill 65 at about 0930 and moved up the hill. It became obvious that there was a large enemy force in place on the hill, C Company was getting hammered, and by chance, B Company was forcing the enemy's right flank.

Under pressure from B Company's flanking attack the enemy force—most of a People's Liberation Armed Forces (Viet Cong) regiment—moved to the northwest, whereupon the B Company commander called in air and artillery fire on the retreating troops. B Company halted in place in an effort to locate and consolidate with C Company's platoons, managing to establish a coherent defensive line running around the hilltop from southeast to northwest, but with little cover on the southern side.

Meanwhile, the PLAF commander realized that his best chance was to close with the US forces so that the 173rd's air and artillery fire could not be effectively employed. PLAF troops attempted to out-flank the US position atop the hill from both the east and the southwest, moving his troops closer to the Americans. The result was shoulder-to-shoulder attacks up the hillside, hand-to-hand fighting, and isolation of parts of B and C Companies but the Americans held against two such attacks. Although the fighting continued after the second massed attack, it reduced in intensity as the PLAF troops again attempted to disengage and withdraw. By late afternoon it seemed that contact had been broken off, allowing the two companies to prepare a night defensive position while collecting their dead and wounded in the center of the position. Although a few of the most seriously wounded were extracted by USAF helicopters using Stokes litters, the triple-canopy jungle prevented the majority from being evacuated until the morning of 9 November.

Operation results and aftermath

The result of the battle was heavy losses on both sides—48 Paratroopers dead, many more wounded, and 403 dead PLAF troops.

Operation Hump is memorialized in a song by Big and Rich named 8 November (Introduction, by Kris Kristofferson):

"On November 8th 1965, the 173rd Airborne Brigade on "Operation Hump", war zone "D" in Vietnam, were ambushed by over 1200 VC. 48 American soldiers lost their lives that day. Severely wounded and risking his own life, Lawrence Joel, a medic, was the first living black man since the Spanish-American War to receive the United States Medal of Honor for saving so many lives in the midst of battle that day. Our friend, Niles Harris, retired 25 years United States Army, the guy who gave Big Kenny his top hat, was one of the wounded who lived. This song is his story. Caught in the action of kill or be killed, greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for a friend.

To me, it is amazing that any of the American forces survived this battle, as the enemy outnumbered the Americans 3 to 1. But the casualties tell the story. On the American side there were 48 killed, many wounded. 2 Australian MIA's *located and repatriated to Australia on the 5th of June, 2007. The Commanders for the American side was the 173rd Airborne Brigade. The Commanders for the People's Liberation Armed Forces (Viet Cong) are unknown. Their strength was around 1,200 and they lost 403 that day. The result was a standoff. To me, that means the American forces that day did America proud. And I am very proud of what the American soldiers did on that bloody day on the 8th of November, 1965.


This my friends is what we should be proud of. The ability of Americans to do the impossible. And to come out of it not losing. The song 8th of November is about one of those brave men that fought that day against overwhelming odds…..and lived to tell about it. God bless these men who fought and died that day for the American might, against oppressive odds.

As an addition to this, I got a comment from a Dutch Holland, who was there on the 8th of November, of 1965, and fought in that battle. He was wounded there. He gave some additional information that I felt needed to be added here.

This my friends is what we should be proud of. The ability of Americans to do the impossible. And to come out of it not losing. The song 8th of November is about one of those brave men that fought that day against overwhelming odds…..and lived to tell about it. God bless these men who fought and died that day for the American might, against oppressive odds.

As an addition to this, I got a comment from a Dutch Holland, who was there on the 8th of November, of 1965, and fought in that battle. He was wounded there. He gave some additional information that I felt needed to be added here.

I was wounded on Hill 65 during Operation Hump (B1/503d) and would like to add more history to our legacy. After the battle of Hill 65 the 1st Infantry Division found hospital records from the 272nd VC Regiment when they took over one of their unit locations. In those records the 272nd recorded over 800 deaths on or near Hill 65 on the 8th of November. The 272nd was attached to the elite VC 9th Division who the 173d Airborne Brigade went against throughout their tour in the War Zone "D" area. I would also like to mention and thank the USAF ParaMedics (PJ's) who delivered us critical ammo and med supplies during our battle.

So that being added, I have to add, God bless all you who fought this battle, and Thank You all for your service.

God Bless America, her troops and her people
God Bless my readers, my listeners on BTR and my viewers on You Tube…



Arctic Strike: Operation Leader, the U.S. Carrier Raid on Norway and "Diz" Laird, 4 October 1943

H-Gram 022, Attachment 3
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC
October 2018

On 4 October 1943, the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) launched two strike packages against German shipping targets along the coast of occupied Norway near Bodø (just north of the Arctic Circle) and Sandnessjøen, 100 miles to the south. Armed with excellent intelligence derived from breaking the German's Enigma code and from the Norwegian Secret Intelligence Service, the raid caught the Germans completely by surprise and was a success.

The strikes by USS Ranger (CV-4) aircraft against targets along the Norwegian coast—north of the Arctic Circle, near Bodø, Norway—on 4 October 1943 were the first Allied carrier strikes against Norway in over two years. Although the German invasion of Norway in April–May 1940 had cost the German navy dearly, it was a debacle for the British and the Royal Navy as well. The Germans lost more sailors (2,375) than soldiers in the invasion of Norway. In the first days of the invasion, Norwegian coastal defense batteries (particularly torpedo batteries) and the British Royal Navy sank one of two heavy cruisers, two of six light cruisers and ten of 20 destroyers in the German navy, including a daring attack right into the Narvik fiord by the battleship HMS Warspite that destroyed eight German destroyers on 13 April 1940. However, the Royal Navy's attempt to defend Norway ended badly on 8 June 1940 when the German battle-cruisers Scharnhost and Gneisenau caught the British aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and her two escorting destroyers Acasta and Ardent in the Norwegian Sea, sinking all three ships, with the loss of 1,519 British sailors and only 40 survivors—one each from the two destroyers, which had valiantly tried to protect the carrier to the bitter end. After that, the Royal Navy stayed clear of Norway, which became a base for German U-boats and surface combatants, including the battleship Tirpitz.

By late 1943, with the battleship Bismarck sunk in 1941 and the battle-cruiser Gneisenau badly damaged during the "Channel Dash" from Brest, France to Germany in 1943, the remaining German major combatants—battleship Tirpitz, battle-cruiser Scharnhorst, and "pocket-battleship" Lutzow—were based in the far north of Norway (along with 14 destroyers and over 20 U-boats) where they could threaten the convoy route to the Soviet Union. The Royal Navy had to keep extensive forces based at Scapa Flow to guard against a breakout into the Atlantic by the German "fleet in being" based in Norway.

In May 1943, a U.S. Navy force augmented the British Home Fleet, freeing some British battleships to participate in Mediterranean operations. This U.S. force, under the command of Rear Admiral Olaf M. Hustvedt—who was embarked on heavy cruiser USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37)—consisted of two new battleships, USS Alabama (BB-60) and USS South Dakota (BB-57), which was recently repaired from her damage at Guadalcanal, and five destroyers. Operating with the Royal Navy, this force "trolled" several times to bait the Germans into coming out to fight, but the Germans refused the offer, and in August 1943, CNO King had gotten tired of it and sent the two battleships to the South Pacific. He replaced them with Ranger, a carrier of an obsolete design not considered survivable in Pacific combat, and the heavy cruiser USS Augusta (CA-31). Rear Admiral Hustvedt remained in command aboard Tuscaloosa.

In September 1943, the German navy sortied in force from Norway (feeling a need to justify their continued expenditure of resources to Hitler). Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Lutzow and 10 destroyers, using gross overkill, shelled and put troops temporarily ashore on 8 September 1943 to destroy the small Allied outpost and weather station on the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen, far north of the Arctic Circle. A week later, Tuscaloosa and destroyer USS Fitch (DD-462) landed Free Norwegian troops to re-occupy the island.

On 22 September 1943, a force of six British X-Craft midget submarines attacked Tirpitz in Altafiord, Norway in a daring operation. Two of the X-Craft were lost while being towed across the Norwegian Sea—one aborted its attack due to mechanical problems—although its target, Scharnhorst, was underway and out of the fiord. The other three were lost while laying bottom mines under the Tirpitz. The X-Craft inflicted enough damage that Tirpitz was out-of-action for many months—until she was bombed and sunk by British bombers. The cost was nine British sailors killed and six POWs. Two crewmen were awarded Britain's highest award, the Victoria Cross.

With the Tirpitz out of action, the commander of the British Home Fleet determined that the time was right to try a carrier attack on Norway. The timing of the strike was driven by Ultra code-breaking intelligence and radio-intelligence that indicated the large tanker Schleswig would be making a run to supply the German warships in northern Norway. Extensive force and weather intelligence was provided by Norwegian Secret Intelligence Service agents via radios inside occupied Norway. The British carrier HMS Furious was undergoing re-fit, and the carrier HMS Formidable's participation was cancelled because of forecast weather conditions; i.e., the forecast wasn't bad enough; there was insufficient cloud cover to protect her torpedo bombers from superior German fighter aircraft. The prospect of clear skies, however, did not stop Ranger, which was under the command of Captain Gordon Rowe. The carrier's air group was still flying older F4F Wildcats (27), and SBD Dauntless dive bombers (27), but did have 18 of the newer TBF Avenger torpedo bombers.

The Ranger task force departed Scapa Flow on 2 October 1943, covered by British battleships HMS Duke of York and HMS Anson, and was not detected by the Germans during the transit to the far north of the Norwegian Sea. Ranger's strike consisted of a Northern Attack Group (20 SBD dive bombers, escorted by eight F4F Wildcat fighters) and a Southern Attack Group (ten TBF torpedo bombers, carrying bombs, escorted by six F4Fs) with a Norwegian navigator flying in the lead plane of each attack group.

The Northern Attack Group launched first, commencing at 0618 on 4 October 1943. At 0730, as the group approached the Bodo area, four dive bombers and two fighters peeled off to attack 8,000-ton German freighter La Plata, which was badly damaged and beached to prevent sinking. As the other aircraft approached Bodø at 0730, a German convoy was sighted, escorted by the German minesweeper M 365. Two dive bombers attacked Kerkplein, while eight others went after the large tanker Schleswig. The earlier intelligence was right. Schleswig was also badly damaged and had to be beached—but was later salvaged. The eight remaining dive-bombers attacked four small German cargo ships near Bodø, sinking one, seriously damaging two, and strafing the fourth. Two dive bombers were shot down by German anti-aircraft fire; the two aircrew in one were killed and the two in the other became POWs. During the first raid, the Germans jammed their own radios with so much chatter that they were unable to get warning through to other units.

The Southern Attack Group launched 50 minutes after the Northern Group at 0708 and targeted shipping around Sandnessjøen, about 100 miles south of Bodo. The strike bombed the Norwegian (German-controlled) cargo ship Topeka, and set it on fire, killing three Norwegian crewmen and several members of the German anti-aircraft detachment, which had succeeded in downing one of the Avengers—only the pilot survived. The aircraft also bombed and sank the Norwegian cargo liner Vaagen, whose crew had already abandoned ship after witnessing the attack on Topeka, so there were no Norwegian casualties. The U.S. aircraft also bombed and sank the 4,300-ton German navy troopship Skramstad—which had been "requisitioned" from Norway. Accounts vary wildly as to how many German troops went down with the ship. Norwegian intelligence claimed 360, but some modern accounts citing official German records say as few as 37. Samuel Eliot Morison, in his History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II, also claiming to cite official German records, put the death toll at 200. U.S. aircraft also strafed the German cargo ship Wolsum and bombed an ammunition barge—which blew up—for good measure.

The mission achieved surprise and was assessed as a great success, particularly in that it severely disrupted shipment of critical iron ore from northern Norway to Germany for several months, and especially since it was the first combat mission for 60 percent of the aircrews. A total of four U.S. aircraft were lost—three to anti-aircraft fire—and one Wildcat to accident (the pilot survived). Six aircraft were damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Commander J. A. Ruddy, the commander of Ranger Air Group and of the Southern Attack Group, would be awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. The downed Avenger was located in 1987 and the remains of the two aircrewmen were recovered. A blade from the propeller is now in the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. One of the two Dauntlesses shot down near Bodø was found in 1990, and the remains of the pilot and gunner were recovered. There is a memorial near Bodø in honor of the crews and casualties of Operation Leader. Ranger returned to the United States in December 1943 and served the rest of the war as a training carrier.

At around 1400 on 4 October 1943, radar detected three German aircraft approaching Ranger. By then, the unlimited visibility of the morning had given way to extensive cloud cover. Two pairs of Ranger fighters belonging to VF-4 "Red Rippers" played cat and mouse with the German aircraft in the clouds. Finally, Lieutenant Junior Grade Dean S. "Diz" Laird and his flight leader located a Ju-88D twin-engined bomber and took turns shooting it full of holes—unlike Japanese bombers, German aircraft did not immediately burst into flame when hit—before the plane finally crashed into the ocean. Laird subsequently sighted an He-115B twin-engined float plane flying at very low altitude and hit it. The float plane attempted to land on the water, but one of the float pylons collapsed and it cartwheeled into the sea. These were the first German aircraft shot down by U.S. Navy aircraft.

After Ranger returned to the states, VF-4 transitioned to the new F6F Hellcat fighter. Flying from USS Bunker Hill (CV-17), Laird shot down two Japanese Kawasaki "Tony" fighters near Manila on 25 November 1944. on 16 January 1945, near Hainan Island, China—after VF-4 had cross-decked to the USS Essex (CV-9)—Diz was flying in great pain with what turned out to be an inflamed appendix when he shot down a Mitsubishi "Hamp" fighter while protecting a U.S. Navy aircraft on a reconnaissance mission. On 16 February, flying near the Japanese Home Islands, Diz shot down a Mitsubishi Ki-21-II "Sally" twin-engined bomber and, the next day, shot down two more fighters. Diz would be credited with 5 ¾ kills at the end of the war. In April 1945, Diz was sent back to the States where he served in Experimental Fighter Squadron 200 (XFV-200) flying kamikaze strike profiles on U.S. ships.

Diz continued serving in the U.S. Navy, including in the Navy's first jet fighter squadron (VF-171) and first squadron to carrier-qualify in jets, finally retiring in 1971 as a commander. While still on active duty, Diz was one of the pilots flying the simulated Japanese aircraft in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, taking part in the most technically demanding scenes, including the first take-off of a "Val" dive bomber from the carrier Akagi (USS Yorktown—CV-10—with a fake "Japanese" deck overlaid on the flight deck) and the "Kates" dropping torpedoes over Southeast Loch at Pearl Harbor while attacking "Battleship Row." At age 95, Diz took the controls of a T-34C, the 100th type aircraft he had flown, flying over 8,000 hours. I had opportunity to speak with Diz aboard the museum carrier Hornet (CV-12) in Alameda, California, in the fall of 2016. He was incredibly sharp and is still alive and well so far as I know. What an extraordinary career, and what a hero he is!

Sources include: Atlantic Battle Won: May 43–May 45, History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. 10, by Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison; "An Ace in the Hole: 'Diz' Laird," by Mark Carlson, Aviation History, 4 May 2018.


Thanks to Jerry

From List 5138"….On 26 November 1943, a German Hs-293 radio-controlled, rocket-boosted glide bomb hit and sank His Majesty's Transport (HMT) Rohna off the coast of Algeria, resulting in the deaths of 1,149 crew and passengers, including 1,015 U.S. Army troops (plus 35 U.S. soldiers who subsequently died from wounds.) The loss of Rohna constituted the greatest loss of U.S. life at sea due to enemy action.

"……In order to keep the Germans from learning how successful the guided-bomb attack had been, a tight lid of secrecy was clamped down on the incident, which continued long after the war."


During the Iraqi War every Sunday the Washington Post would publish pictures of every service man /woman killed that week, how they were killed (IED, sniper, fire-fight, etc) and where they were killed. I am convinced that because of this kind of reporting in the MSM, it became very apparent to the insurgents how effective IED's were – both in causing casualties and in affecting morale. If we had the same kind of security as mentioned above I do not believe that the enemy would have known how effective they were and our troops would not have suffered near the number of casualties as they did. I've always thought that the two easiest jobs in the insurgent forces during that time period had to be the intel officer and the morale officer – all you had to do was get a subscription to the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Jerry "Karate Joe" Watson


Thanks to Randy

Truth of The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War

by Terry Garlock*, Peachtree City, GA

Well into the autumn of my life, I am occasionally reminded the end is not too far over the horizon. Mortality puts thoughts in my head, like "What have I done to leave this world a better place?"

There actually are a few things that I think made my existence worthwhile. I will tell you just one of them, because so many of you need to hear it.

No matter how much this rubs the wrong way, I am quite proud to have served my Country in The Vietnam War. Yes, I know, most of you were taught there is shame attached to any role in the war that America lost, an unfortunate mistake, an immoral war, an unwise intrusion into a civil war, a racist war, a war in which American troops committed widespread atrocities, where America had no strategic interest, and that our North Vietnamese enemy was innocently striving to re-unite Vietnam.

The problem is, none of those things are true. That didn't stop America over the last 50 years lapping up this Kool-Aid concocted by the anti-war machine, a loose confederation of protesting activists, the mainstream news media and academia. They opposed the war with loud noise, half-truths and fabrications. They are the ones who still write their version in our schoolbooks, and their account of history conveniently excuses themselves for cowardly encouraging our enemy while we were at war. You see, having the right to protest does not necessarily make it the right or honorable thing to do.

So, yes, I am defiantly proud to have been among those who raised our right hand swearing to do our duty for our country while so many others yelled and screamed and marched, burned their draft cards, declared, "Hell no! I won't go!" and some fled to Canada. In that period of uncomfortable controversy, even patriots tended to look the other way when activists heartily insulted American troops as they returned through California airports from doing the country's hardest work in Vietnam. War correspondent Joe Galloway summed it up nicely in a column about Vietnam vets in the Chicago Tribune long ago; "They were the best you had, America, and you turned your back on them."

To be sure, there were lots of warts and wrinkles in the war. We were fighting a tough Communist enemy, defending South Vietnam's right to remain free. At the same time we were betrayed by our own leadership in the White House with their incompetent micromanagement and idiotic war-fighting limitations that got thousands of us killed while preventing victory. And we were betrayed by fellow citizens encouraging our enemy.

I was trained to be an Army Cobra helicopter pilot. I remember many times, with no regrets, shooting up the enemy to protect our ground troops, firing to cover fellow pilots, and firing to keep the brutal enemy away from South Vietnamese civilians. A high school student asked me last year how I deal with the guilt. I answered that I don't have any guilt, that I was doing my duty and would proudly do it again.

When John Lennon turned the Beatles into a protest band, his song "Give Peace a Chance" was hailed as genius. Look up the inane lyrics and judge for yourself At protest rallies, crowds of tens of thousands would raise their arms to wave in unison while chanting in ecstasy, "All we are asking, is give peace a chance!" over and over. Luminaries like Tom Smothers, presidential candidate George McGovern, writer and self-acclaimed intellectual Gore Vidal and a host of others lauded Lennon's song and observed "Who wouldn't prefer peace to war?"

What self-indulgent, naive stupidity!

My friend Anh Nguyen was 12 years old in 1968, living in the city of Hue, the cultural center of Vietnam. One morning when he opened the shutters to his bedroom window, a shot was fired over his head, the first he knew the enemy's Tet Offensive had begun. The Communists had negotiated a cease fire for their New Year holiday of Tet, then in treachery attacked on that holiday in about 100 locations all over South Vietnam.

The enemy was well prepared and they took the city of Hue. They had lists of names and addresses provided by spies, and they went from street to street, dragging from their homes political leaders, business owners, teachers, doctors, nurses and other "enemies of the people." The battle raged four weeks before our Marines retook the city. In the aftermath, mass graves with nearly 5,000 bodies were found, executed by the Communists, many tied together and buried alive.

Anh and his family had evacuated to an American compound for protection. Anh says when the battle was over and they walked Highway 1 back to their home, the most beautiful sight his family had ever seen was US Marines lining the road, standing guard over South Vietnamese civilians. To follow John Lennon's plea, Anh's family and countrymen could "Give peace a chance" by surrendering to the Communist invaders, but even a mush-head like Lennon should know there are some things you don't give up without a fight. I doubt Lennon would have understood the best way to ensure peace is to carry the biggest stick.

Want to know what causes me shame?

In 1973, when we basically had the war won, the US gave it away in a peace agreement when escape from Vietnam was the only politically acceptable option. In the peace agreement, the US pledged our ongoing financial support to South Vietnam's defense, and pledged US direct military intervention if the North Vietnamese ever broke their pledge not to attack South Vietnam. In the 1974 elections, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and President Nixon's resignation, Democrats were swept into Congress and promptly cut off all funding to South Vietnam in violation of the US pledge.

Of course North Vietnam was watching.

In early 1975 when the North Vietnamese attacked South Vietnam, President Ford literally begged Congress to fund the US pledge to intervene, and Congress refused.

The same news media, protesters and academia who had screamed against the war, firmly turned their back in 1975 and refused to notice the slaughter and inhumanity as the Communists overwhelmed the ally America had thrown under the bus. Even today, few on the anti-war side know or care there were roughly 75,000 executions, that a panicked million fled in over-packed rickety boats and died at sea by the tens of thousands, that a million were sent to brutal re-education camps for decades and also died by the tens of thousands, or that South Vietnamese who fought to remain free - and their descendants - are still persecuted to this day. Abandoning our ally to that fate is America's everlasting shame.

We could have won that war if our military had been allowed to take off the soft gloves, but it went on far too long with no end in sight, mismanaged to a fare-thee-well by the White House and became America's misery. Through it all, even the betrayals from home, we fought well and never lost one significant battle.

Leftists think they know all about the war and the Americans who fought it. They don't know didley.

At the 334th Attack Helicopter Company in Bien Hoa, we Cobra pilots were 19 to 25 years old with very rough edges. We thought of ourselves as gunslingers and might have swaggered a bit. We drank too much at the end of a sweat-stained day, for fun or escape or both. We laughed off close calls with the bravado of gallows humor. We toasted our dead and hid the pain of personal loss deep inside. We swore a lot and told foul jokes. We pushed away the worry of how long our luck would hold, and the next day we would bet our life again to protect the South Vietnamese people and each other.

To properly characterize my fellow Vietnam vets, I need to borrow words from John Steinbeck as he wrote about the inhabitants of Cannery Row, and ask you to look from my angle, past their flaws, to see them as I often do, " . . saints and angels, martyrs and holy men." America's best.

I am proud to be one of them because we faced evil together in a valiant effort to keep the South Vietnamese people free, doing God's work for a little while, even though it failed by the hand of our own countrymen working against us from safety at home.

More than any other class of people, I trust and admire the American men and women who served in Vietnam and met the test of their mettle, even the ones I don't know. I wouldn't trade a single one of them for a thousand leftist anti-war elites

Everyone deserves a second chance But for the naval-gazing flower children who remain unrepentant about encouraging the enemy we were fighting, who still smugly know all the wrong answers about us and the Vietnam War, who have never known mortal danger and didn't give a fig when Saigon fell and the Commies made South Vietnamese streets run red with the blood of innocent people.

I want to be sure to deliver this invitation before I get too old and feeble:

Kiss me where the sun don't shine.

*Terry Garlock lives in Peachtree City, GA.

Published on Wed Jan 30, 2019 in The Citizen, a Fayette County GA newspaper.

"A Helicopter is always trying to commit suicide, and its up to the Pilot to talk it out of it."

Yes, I too am proud to be "one of them".


No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Post

THE MYSTERIOUS PHONE CALL Jack Blanchard's Column February 13, 2021

        Thousands of readers around the world ...