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The Centaur Timeline: 1966-1973

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Events of 1966

March 1966:

April 1966: "The Jesus Nut" War Story by Bob Graham: In army aviation, the “Jesus Nut” has become a real specific item to many. This story touches on this metaphor’s possible origin or development and how it played on the minds of a Hog crew returning from a night fire mission. We were supporting the fortified hamlet of Bo Tri when suddenly things seemed to go wrong. Violent one to one vertical vibrations threatened to bring the Hog out of the sky. This firsthand account has some short poetic lines about the divinity of certain chopper parts. The article was published in the The VHPA Aviator magazine. Mentioned in this story are MAJ Prosser, MAJ Squires, LT Alto, LT Allred, SP5 Cooper.

April 1966: "Counter Mortar Tactics-1966"- War Story by Bob Graham: April 1966 - March 1967, I experienced severe mortar attacks while on outsourced incountry training with the 114th AHC Knights gun platoon, the Cobras, at Vinh Long in the Delta shortly after arriving at Cu Chi. Their well-organized scramble to the alert horn put at least 60 Hueys airborne in minutes, day or night. At the Centaur Corral the tactic was to hanker down in the bunkers.

April 7, 1966: "Baptism by Fire" Book - page 31 of "Centaurs In Vietnam; Untold Stories of the First Year"

May 6, 1966:"Countersigns Harass V.C."News - TropicLightningNews Vol1No10. D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, found a Viet Cong poster tacked to a tree about three miles northwest of the base camp. It read: "Attention. This is a death area. Do not enter. Stay in the safe area." Division Commander had our own signs put up around the base.

May 20, 1966: "Little Bear Crash" War Story by Bob Graham: Carl Burns and Bob first recorded this tragic accident in the book Centaurs In Vietnam. The topic has been reignited from discussions in email exchanges. The original accounts, page 60 thru 62 of the book were written in 2008 by eyewitnesses who did not have all the viewpoints. This article presents some added variation and may conflict in recording memories that are nearly five decades old.

June 1966:"Shell Rep by Fearless Frank" War Story by Bob Graham: Early June 1966, caught in the open with incoming mortar and recoilless rifle fire is the experience. Then CPT Frank Delvy dutifully conducts a shell rep as the rounds continue to fall around the Cu Chi base camp.

June 1966:"Luck Has Its Day" War Story by Bob Graham: Geometry and good luck save Centaur maintenance officer CPT Thompson when a mortar round lands within three feet of his bunk. In the aftermath CPT Delvy and I discover that Thompson is bleeding from wounds on the chest and back indicating that shrapnel may have passed through him. We did a mini damage assessment and attributed the minor wound to geometry and good luck.

June 1966: "The Birth of Robin" War Story by Bob Graham: This is an essay of an emotional event in my first tour in Vietnam, the birth of Diana’s and my third child, Robin. I share my experience of the evening at the Centaur’s new home at Cu Chi.

June 1966: "Flameout 66" War Story by Bob Graham: LT Herbert Caddell was my copilot for an early morning mission supporting the ARVN Ranger School at Trang Bang. Although the cloud ceiling was low, flying VFR on top was an option in fulfilling the mission. While establishing radio contact with the rangers, Herb and I experienced a flame out and executed an autorotation through the overcast, jettisoned our rocket pods and landed successfully in a dry rice patty. CPT Thompson in Stable Boy responded to our dilemma, and we were out to fly another day. I close the story with a poem “Emergency Reaction”.

July 1966: "The Claymore Ambush" War Story by Bob Graham: The Cu Chi base defensive perimeter of bunkers overlook wide bands of concertina wire. An area named in honor of entertainer Ann Margaret is the scene of a squad ambush by LT Alto’s aero rifles utilizing claymore mines. This account with a poem includes the tricky task of defensive wire maintenance and the stealthy setting of an ambush with a real nerve- racking surprise ending. Also named in the story are PSGT Horner, Squad Leader SGT Nixon

July 1966: "Extractions-R-Us" War Story by Bob Graham: July-August 1966
During a period of intense intelligence gathering, the split Centaur operation out of our forward base at Dau Tieng became overcommitted with two active LRRP teams. A compromised team called for extraction. I joined MAJ Mike Squires and his crew (crew chief James Pyburn and door gunner Herb Beasley) of 661 as copilot for the hot extraction. This article was published in theThe VHPA Aviator magazine. Also mentioned was MAJ Peterson.

July 01, 1966: "Downed chopper saved from Marauding Cong". News TropicLightningNews Vol1No18. General Weyand, 25th Inf Div Commander thanks 1LT John Alto for his AeroRifle Platoon rescue of a downed helicopter near the Iron Triangle.

July 12, 1966: "Crashes & Hard Landings". Book page 47 of "Centaurs In Vietnam; Untold Stories of the First Year"

August 1966

September 1966: "LRRP Insertion" War Story by Bob Graham: Actual event Around September 1966
This is a short vignette with poem of a LRRP insertion in the story “Cambodian Sunset” published in the The VHPA Aviator Magazine, The action was authenticated by personal contact with SP4 Mike Wood of the LRRP and SP4 Herbert Beasley, the insertion slick door gunner. The insertion slick crew and the five man LRRP team are all identified. Mentioned in this story are MAJ Squires, CPT Hatfield, Pyburn, Beasley and LRRP Team members; Arp, Wood, Blackman, Robins, and Caldwell

September 1966: "Cambodian Sunset" War Story by Bob Graham: Inserting the LRRP at choice spots along the Ho Chi Minh trail stretched the Centaurs operation out of Tay Ninh. Just after a picture perfect insertion as the sunset, an Air Force RB-66 spent a split second in nearly the same air space as MAJ Peterson and I in the C&C. This article was published in the The VHPA Aviator magazine. Mentioned in this story are MAJ Squires, CPT Hatfield, Pyburn, Beasley and LRRP Team members; Arp, Wood, Blackman, Robins, and Caldwell

September 2, 1966:"Stable Boy Watches Helicopter Corral" News TropicLightningNews Vol1No27. When the helicopter pilots of D Trp., 3rd Sqdn., 4th Cav., fly their choppers out of the corral, they take the "Stable Boy" with them. The stable boy is a UH-IB helicopter which acts as a maintenance and recovery ship. More info on the Stable Boy missions and people involved; MAJ Richard W. Thomas and MAJ Nicholas H. Doiron

September 2, 1966: "Stable Boy & the Corral" Book page 37 of "Centaurs In Vietnam; Untold Stories of the First Year"

October 12, 1966: "A Day Late & a Nickel Short" Book page 71 of "Centaurs In Vietnam; Untold Stories of the First Year"

October 28, 1966: "Rifle Team Destroys V.C. Med Supplies" News TropicLightningNews Vol1 No36, Rifle team discovers and destroys VC aid stations with explosives.

November, 1966

December 2, 1966:"New Mexico Family Adopts Division's Aero Rifle Platoon" News TropicLightningNews vol1No18 – Mrs. Iva Jo Parratt of Carlsbad, N.M., decided to do something to let the men in Vietnam know that someone was thinking of them.

December 9, 1966:"Young Pham's 'Gift' Explodes in His Face" News TropicLightningNews Vol1No42 Young Vietnamese boy rescued by D Troopers when he is injured by booby trapped gift.

December 23, 1966: "LRRP Action Ends in 4 VC KIA, One Distinguished Flying Cross" News Tropic Lightning News Vol1No44 LRRP Patrol - 4 VC KIA - 1st Lt. Gerald D. Traxler. DFC for MAJ Myron E. Squires,

December 25, 1966: "Christmas in Cu Chi". Book Page 195 of "Centaurs In Vietnam; Untold Stories of the First Year"

1966: "Transition Year 1966 to 1967" - War Story by Tom Fleming
As the mass departure of first year Centaurs began, the Troop went through some big changes. The second year of the Centaurs had begun.

 

Events of 1967

1967: "Second Year of the Centaurs" - Mar 1967 to Mar 1968 - War Story by Tom Fleming
A Troop Commanders summary of D Troop during the second year of combat and how it changed from the first year.

1967: "The Way it Was" - War Story by Tom Fleming
A description of the organizational, personal and equipment status of the troop and the tactical activities engaged in by the ¾ Cav Squadron and D Troop.

1967:"Operational Level Timeline" - War Story by Tom Fleming
A Troop Commanders overview of the operations of D Troop in 1967

1967: "Audio Tapes to Home" - War Story by Tom Fleming
Eight reel to reel audio tapes sent home describing events of the day in D Troop.

1967: "Flight Operations Audio Tape" - War Story by Tom Fleming
Audio tape recording of the radio traffic in Centaur Flight Operations one evening.

January 1967

Jaunary 27, 1967: "Return to the Devil’s Playground" War Story by Bob Graham: The crew assignments for MAJ Squire’s slick (661) gave First SGT Petty an opportunity to give “wannabe” door gunner CPL James Spencer a mission as SP4 Herb Beasley was on shit burning detail for the day’s checkmate operation in the ‘Devils Play Ground east of Cu Chi. This account chronicles the hazards LT Alto’s aero rifles face while checking the credentials of indigents with the assistance of the Vietnamese police, ‘white mice.’ MAJ Peterson elects to join LT Alto, the squad, and the white mice as they proceed through a sequence of very close calls. Highlighted are the very tenuous low level maneuvers by slicks and gunships in support of this specific event when CPL Spencer was shot at close range following a squad insertion. This story will continue to be updated as others clarify their account of the action. Mentioned also are CPT Lacy, his crew chief Lara and door gunner Mike Vaughn and riflemen SP4 Risner.

February 1967: "Two Down" War Story by Mike Vaughn: This is an essay that Mike wrote in 2003 and was published on the VHPA website and other places. It is an amazingly well told story of the life of a Crew Chief on a slick.

February 13, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell Stationed at Cu Chi. "D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry." We're the Strike Force for the Division, under direct control of the Division Commander General Weyland. Unit's history dates clear back to Bull Run. (Remember "MacKenzie's Raiders"; they were 4th Cav.) Flying OH-23's right now. CPT Sanders is my IP while I'm in the "Light Scouts". I flew wingman for Capt Stephans on the "Dawn Patrol". Park in bunkers (sandbags stacked about 5 feet high in a horseshoe shape). Warrant Officer Basset was waiting for me to fly copilot with him on a "C & C South". First mission as a single ship with 2 MP's. One was a Lt (Lt Cooney) who flew from San Francisco with me. Ethan Norris and 5 others are one block from me in A Company, 25th Aviation Battalion. Buck Buxton (Ethan's roommate in flight school, is bunking next to me here at "D Troop." Food's good. Morale is high, housing is good enough,; It's hotter than hell!

February 25, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: 5 hrs of Gunship time, but still flying OH-23's___Medavac soldier from convoy with battery acid in eyes (OH-23, Trang Bang area)

February 27, 1967: How LRRP Scored Big in Op. 'Gadsden' - News Tropic Lightning News" The eyes and ears of the division." That's what MAJ Gen. Fred C. Weyand calls the 25th Inf. Div. Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP), and that's what he called decorated the men of two patrols recently for their part in Operation "Gadsden. SGT Jerry L. Caldwell, CPT Gary I. Hatfield, CPT Joseph A. Lacy, SSG. Patrick L. Lacy, CPL Albert G. Pruden Jr., SP4 Larry D. McIntosh and PFC William J. Boyd III.

March 3, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell ___Squadron Duty Officer in a bunker___LRRP team outside perimeter on ambush mission___Description of unit structure___A and B Troop on convoy duty; C Troop attached to 1st Brigade.___I am Motor Officer and Generator Officer for extra duties___Training part time with CPT Delvy in guns.

March 5, 1967: Audio Tape Home (Transcription): War Story by Bruce Powell to home: Part One. The hooch we’re living in has about 8 or 10 guys in it. Their having a B-52 strike in the distant background. I can also hear a Huey crankin’ up. Our D troop area here is just across from the airstrip. The 23s are parked first, and then the Hueys. D troop is really different than any organization you’ll run into. Composition of the Aerorifles. Flying a Sabre Alpha 6. One of his APCs ran over a mine just up short of Trang Bang It blew the hell out of the APC and killed a couple of guys. I flew over it the whole time with Sabre Alpha 6 and an artillery observer. Centaur 44 and his wingman pulled what we call a “stickemup.” ...picked up about 5 suspects Spotted 5 or 6 Spider holes. I went back to Go Dau Ha, Checkpoint 178 a refueling station . They’ve got an artillery unit there. Boy, that’s really something to come landing in that place, in that little 23, and having ‘em fire them 155s off. OH-23 problems.

Major Paul Stalker and CPT Joe Stephenson got a Delta model Huey and took CPT Strickland, and the man I was flying around (Alpha 6), and took him back up over the area. Bunch of troops leaving. ...one mountain in the area and it’s up by Tây Ninh, north of Tây Ninh. Nui Ba Den Two of the Hueys that are out there right now (I just got a report a few minutes ago) got fired at. One of them was at 2000 feet, and one was at 1400. Both received fire out of that area. Checkpoint 8, is a great big graveyard. Flying Sabre 6 , Col. Webb, commander of the 3rd squadron. We were in a Huey, shooting an approach into that graveyard where they had their command deal set up, and an armored track about 50 yards from us drove over a mine; just blew it all to hell and killed three of them. [end of audio] Dictated by: Bruce Powell, Scout and Gun Pilot, D Troop 3/4 Cav (67-68). Date: 5 Mar 1967 (670305bap1)

March 5, 1967: Audio Tape Home (Transcription): War Story by Bruce Powell Part Two. Artillery unit behind hooch; Medivac coming in; Cpt Sanders; Centaur 17 and then 12; Col Peterson CO; Maj Prosser XO; Motor Officer duty; WO Anderson leaving; personal weapons vary greatly; Jungle fatigues; Pepsi; Putting up radio tower Transcribed audio (transcribed verbatim with no grammar correction):

March 14, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Breaking in 3 new pilots for Dawn Patrol___Flew 6 hours in War Zone C___Building Motor Pool hootch (office and tool room)___Applied for cement pads for generators___Sgt Chapman is Motor Sergeant/ good scrounger.___Studying TM 38-750 to get Motor Pool records straight___PX ran out of audio tape mailers___120 flying hours so far

March 15, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Mortared last night at 1900 hours. 75 rounds. 50 were 81 mm and 25 were Recoiless Rifle___Two direct hits on our hootchs. Two enlisted seriously wounded. 14 other minor injuries.___Much confusion. Ran the radio in Opns awaiting Opns Officer. Lt Cowell & Maj Stenehjem (CO) arrived.___2 hrs later after all clear we had another attack.___Arthur, Ashabranner, new guys, and Baum & I dove into open bunker. Lt Skinner running from shower.___Quite funny in retrospect. Spent rest of night in bunker.___We are covering the withdrawal of elements from Junction City (1100 vehicles so far)___CBS TV with Squadron Cdr and Commanding General.

March 21 1967: "Battle of Soui Tre (LZ Gold)" War Story by Tom Fleming
A Description of the battle which resulted in 647 enemy dead, 38 US KIA and 187 US WIA – the largest battle of the war to date. Describes the participation of several D Troop elements and personalities involved in the medical evacuation and downed air crew recovery during the battle.

March 26 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Trying to get M-60 machine guns for skids for our 9 OH-23's ___I been lobbying with the Sqdn Cdr since I fly him a lot.___The gun systems jam frequently. Lt Skinner describes how they hooked them up in the 1st Cav.___7 ½ hours over War Zone C today. Found abandon VC headquarters 25 mi NW of Tay Ninh.___Lt Julian (FO) blew up the whole area with artillery.___Last week in this area had big battle. 596 VC dead. 10 or 15 GI's KIA. Lots of wounded. I missed it.___Bought a TV for the hootch. Seems funny to fight a war then come home and watch TV.

March or April 1967: Night Attack on Dau Tieng Airfield - Army Reporter - March or April 1967
Charles "Tony" Robertson, Frank Delvy and SGT Robert E. Price

April ?, 1967: "Post Card Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Grounded for a while to get Motor Pool ready for inspection.___Flew Stable Boy yesterday. Standby at Go Dau Ha. 10½ hours flight time. ___Flew mostly Medivacs. Hauled 4 wounded and 3 KIAs. Back to OH-23's tomorrow.

April 3, 1967: "Audio Tape Home (Transcription)" War Story by Bruce Powell: (Part One); Sitting outside hooch again at night; Flares being fired; LRRP mission today;___Sabre 2 Cpt Drake to Dau Taing; Lt Skinner Finance Officer to Saigon; Hotel 3 approach; new CAR-15; Chulon PX;

April 3, 1967: "Audio Tape Home (Transcription)" War Story by Bruce Powell: (Part Two); Ice problems in Saigon; 118 Piasters = 1 dollar; UH-1 slick Hornet;___Convoy driver with eye accident; medics

April 4, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Motor Pool is a 24 hour job.___Feel safer here than I did at Ft Rucker.___Comparison of wars___Sent to Korea for Mail Order Catalog___Cpt Sanders went to Hong Kong two months ago and spent $2000

April 23, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Transferring to Heavy Scouts (Gunships) in a week or so.___Major maintenance day in Motor Pool this morning. 21 drivers.___What it is like to fly Medivac (in Stable Boy the other day).___Description of Stable Boy. The on board Medic. Maintenance Officer CPT Fleming. The Corral.___Detailed account of the 2nd of 3 medivacs from the other day. Mohawk Alpha call sign. Tight area. Set off mine in trees.___CPT Fleming was PIC. Heavy fire. Dragged through the trees on the way out. 6000 rpm.___One man shot in lower forearm. 2 KIA's.___Rainstorms make Cu Chi look like a lake. Roof on hootch leaks too.___Ethan Norris and 3 other guys (Little Bears) from my class took hits last week. Forced to land. No injuries.

April 24, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Troop Duty Officer today. Description of what goes on; siren; standy guns; etc.___Found out that the battle where I was flying Stable Boy mission the other day got a body count of 32.___CPT Delvy shot down this morning. Hydrallics out; landed in a mine field. No one hurt.___IG inspection of the Motor Pool will be this morning.___Artillery unit next to us makes sure we get no sleep.___My overreaction to artillery barrage (Lt Buxton reacts)___Rainy season. Grew mustache two months ago.___Dreaming of Vung Tau In Country R&R if Motor Pool inspection goes well.___Ethan Norris (Little Bears), Buck Buxton and I put in for R&R in Hong Kong in September.

May 1967:Deadly Ambush, but No Body Count" War Story by SSG Bill Altenhofen, Platoon Sergeant of the AeroRifles, led his men on a night ambush in the “Iron Triangle” that blew up one Viet Cong insurgent with a claymore mine, leaving no intact body to confirm the kill.

May 1967: KIA Medevac - May 1967 War Story by Tom Fleming
A description of the troop Maintenance and Recovery crew’s (Stable Boy) effort perform a MedEvac in the midst of a fire fight only to discoverer that the real reason they were called upon was to evacuate a dead soldier for morale purposes.

May 1967: "War Zone C LRRP Rescue" War Story by Tom Fleming
A description of a successful rescue of a LRRP involving all elements of the troop standing by on high alert for over many hours. The successful rescue was in doubt from the moment the LRRP was compromised deep in War Zone C.

May 8, 1967: "VC Surprised" news TropicLightningNews Vol2No18 . An estimated company size unit of Viet Cong was surprised recently in a fortified base camp nine km southeast of Tay Ninh City by elements of the 25th Inf. Div. during a search and destroy mission "Saber Thrust." Alpha and Delta Trps.

Of the 3rd Sqdrn., 4th Cav., working with Co. B, 4th Bn., 23rd Inf. accounted for 17 enemy killed. The Viet Cong were initially shaken by an air strike at 8:30 a.m., immediately followed by a Delta Troop armed helicopter assault. As the helicopters criss-crossed the objective with machinegun, grenade and rocket fire, M-48 tanks and armored personnel carriers moved through the dense jungle uncovering numerous tunnels, bunkers and living quarters. One underground dispensary complete with medical supplies was uncovered.

Alpha Trp. Commander, CPT James H. Strickland, of Birmingham, Ala., at one point during the height of the action dismounted from his command armored personnel carrier and flushed into the open an armed Viet Cong who was wearing "Ho Chi Minh" sandals, an olive drab uniform with web gear complete with a canteen and hand grenades. The combined element of surprise, superior fire power and mechanized and air mobility assured the success for the "Tropic Lightning" a unit spokesman said.

May 7, 1967:"Iron Triangle Incident" video Bill Mosenthal tells of heroic actions of LTC Shea in battle. The battle is also referred to in Bruce Powell's Letter Home 6 Jul 1967.

May 8, 1967: "Frantic Call Brings Help In Minutes" News TropicLightningNews Vol2No18 A frantic call for help came into the "Tropic Lightning" Div. operation center at two in the morning. An Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) outpost in the village of Phuoc Hiep, about four kms north of Camp Cu Chi, was under attack. Just 37 minutes after the division received the early morning call, "B" Trp. Of the 3rd Sqdrn., 4th Cav., was on its way to the rescue.

As the first platoon, commanded by Lt. George Rogers, 24, of Williamsport, Pa., arrived at the besieged outpost, an estimated battalion size enemy force was at the perimeter wire. The VC broke contact immediately at the sound of the approaching armored cavalry. The first platoon chased the fleeing VC to the south as the second and third platoons surrounded the village. SSG Glen Pike, 26, of Denver, Colo., and his second platoon soon found and engaged elements of the enemy force. Pike's "track" was hit by an anti-tank round and completely destroyed. All the men were rescued from the personnel carrier as it burned.

Five wounded men were "dusted off" by Delta Trp. Helicopter gunships. No Americans were killed. In the morning the second platoon found four dead VC, apparently the ones who had destroyed their lead "track."

May 8, 1967: "What Sort of Man Reads TLN?" News TropicLightningNews Vol2No18 An independent man by nature, SGT Jerry Caldwell was a member of the elite Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol before becoming a fire team leader in the 3rd Sqdrn., 4th Cav. The 20-year old Kingsport, Tenn., soldier joined the commando style LRRP shortly after his arrival last summer. His leadership qualities soon became apparent and he was changed from SP4 to CPL. A short time later, he was promoted to team leader with the rank of sergeant.

While leading his team on many intelligence gathering missions, Caldwell earned the nation's third highest award for valor, the Silver Star. In making the transition from follower to leader, Caldwell recalls "I've always had fear but I used to think of myself when I got in a tight spot. Now I find myself thinking of the men I am responsible for. I still have fear but it is for my men now."

May 10, 1967:"Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Fly OH-23's in the morning and UH-1's all afternoon.___Four Hueys on standby on the “Hot Spot”. Aerorifles in field. ___Crossed rifles on the doors. Description of flight gear, positions, aircraft.___Got butt chewed for not wearing Chicken Plate. Some talk about the Chicken Plate.___WO Anderson and 3 AC's scramble from Opns Shack. Detailed description of a Hot start.___Thrill of the formation take off. Off to pickup the ground troops dropped earlier.___Talking about a few months ago when I was in San Francisco trying to get to Nam.___Detailed war story about classmate Cpt Bill Hill, Silver Star as Lt on first tour. Flying UH-1s this tour. Killed.___Story of flying commercial airlines to Bien Hoa. Rode in the cockpit___The IG inspection I wrote about was a CMMI. Didn't fly for 2 weeks prior in preparation. We did well.___Early flight tomorrow over the Fil Hol Rubber Plantation area with Cpt Strickland (Sabre Alpha 6).___Not many Tanks left in A Troop; keep hitting mines. I was flying over 3rd Plt when they lost one today. None hurt.___Lt Rogers from B Troop killed three days ago by mine. Night mission. Lt Sharpe (B Trp) killed a week ago___Two pilots wounded by their door gunners several weeks ago. I transfer to Guns on 15 May.

May 11, 1967: Audio Transcription: War Story Bruce Powell to home: (#1Storm11May67) ; Flying Cpt Strickland; Monsoon season; terrible storm; ruined hooches;___Little Bears and Arty Unit wiped out; Trip toWar Zone C maybe; Motor pool damage.

May 12, 1967: Audio Transcription: War Story Bruce Powell to home: (#2SabreAlpha) ; A Troop, Lt Appler and Cpt Strickland; Lt Julian FO; Sabre Alpha 65 Beocki;___Centaur 12 now; 12 May actions.

May 12, 1967: Audio Transcription: War Story Bruce Powell to home: (#3AttackRaven) ; Combat operations; Going down in tunnels; VC ambush killed several;___attacking with OH-23; Death up close; broke chin bubble; VC Squad.

May 12, 1967: Audio Transcription: War Story Bruce Powell to home: (#4Tunnels) ___Monsoon Rain; Centaur Guns; Marking targets; sniper rounds; finding more tunnels;___A Troop Tanks; Dig out the tunnel entrance; tunnel findings; shape charges; Mighty-mite smoke blower; Giving Charlie a target;___Go Da Ha; Cpt Sanders & WO Baum; VC flags

May 12, 1967:Audio Transcription: War Story Bruce Powell to home: (#5Rat Down) PFC Mark Thomson driver for Strickland; Wanted to be Rat; Shape charge; New tunnel; Booby trapped tunnel; LT Webster; Thompson's hand blown off; Centaur Medivac; WO Baum; Hospital visit

May 12, 1967: Audio Transcription: War Story Bruce Powell to home: (#6MoreTunnels) OH-23 pilots are not heroes; Comradeship with A Troop; Going to guns; WO Baum update; Sgt Monroe lost in tunnel; Lt Julian; Australian make rifle found; trophy for PFC Mark Thomson.

May 22, 1967: "Join LRRP" News Advertizing the LRRP Unit.

May 22, 1967: "LRRP Plays Hide & Seek with VC." News TropicLightningNews Vol2No20". . . we just laid there and watched them," stated SSG Billy Ponder of Columbus, Ga., as he described how the five-man Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) of the 25th Inf. Div., played a deadly game of "hide and seek" with the Viet Cong. "Our mission was to locate and observe their actions, and we did just that," he added.

Ponder and his patrol from the 3rd Sqdn., 4th Cav., were dropped into the dense undergrowth of the Boi Loi Woods 64 Kms northwest of Saigon. They were prepared to spend three days at the deadly game. According to SP4 Thad Comer of Chicago, the team landed in mid-afternoon and started looking for an overnight position to observe a VC supply route. "We got within 150 meters of the road when we spotted a VC walking down it. "We hugged the ground, remained silent and let him pass. We continued looking for the best possible observation point." An hour and a half went by as the men just laid there and watched." "We counted 13 of them," Comer continued, "it seemed as if they were all around us." "I called back to the base camp for artillery support and a chopper to pick us out of this VC infested area," said Ponder.

Five minutes passed and the artillery started to drop in, and the men made their way quickly and quietly back to the landing zone, their three-day mission working deep in VC territory was cut to a short four hour period. The men saw what they were sent to see and made a safe return without casualties.

June 6, 1967 The SP4 Buff Suicide War Story by Tom Fleming. A description of the tragic loss of a soldier at his own hands and an attempt to account for one more Centaur on the VMWall. The description is made from the perspective of several players as the tense situation unfolded in a tent at Goda Ha fire base while standing by for a LRRP mission, culminating in Specialist Buff taking his life and his evacuation to graves registration

June 10, 1967: "Letter" War Story From LTC Neirus,1/9th Cav Sqdn Cdr answered my (Bruce Powell) request for transfer.___He said wait for LTC Shea to take over ¾ Cav.___Shea trained with 1/9th and is taking over ¾ Cav soon. Things will change. He took over week and a half ago. Things changed.___Several weeks ago I was transferred to Slicks (flying aerorifle platoon). Four Huey's covered by escorting gunships. ___Description of an air assuault. Flew as CPT Fisher's peter pilot. Learned a lot about formation flying.___10 June I finally got transferred to Guns. CPT Delvy is Platoon leader and my instructor. He has 3000 hrs of UH-1 time.___Description of Heavy Scouts gunship & weapons. The aircraft are 1000 lbs overgross, overstressed, overflown & full of holes___They hunt, disrupt, confuse & kill charlie. I was born to fly a gunship.___Last 3 weeks I've been building a new hootch in spare time. Beautiful inside. Strongest hootch at CuChi.___The Majors want it for an officers club. No way. Buying booze in Saigon and trading for materials.___Lost a roll of $10 bills in that big storm. $120. Never turned up.

June 24, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Still building hootch. 32 x 16 feet (standard) but my new slanted design for the sides. More hootch details.___Gunship training here is more OJT than anything else. Siren blow continuous pitch for mortar attack. Up & down for guns.___Oogha horn for Dustoff crew. Mission last week supporting Mohawk Alpha (Troop attached to ¾ Cav for Iron Triangle Opn.)___Description of gunship scramble; tells what every one does. Flew to “Sabre Forward” in Iron Triangle. Delvy PIC.___Description of the “Fire Mission” & the battle. Receiving fire, mark with smoke, G force turn, 3 gun runs at machine gun position.

June 26, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Continuation of above letter. Taking off for 3rd training mission. Diverted to battle again.___CPT Eschenwald, Centaur 21, called “Got a hornets nest in SW Hobo.” Hang right head for Trung Lap.___Delvy concerned. This was my first mission in right seat. We didn't have time to change. Into combat with limited rocket training.___Centaur 21 out of ammo. His wingman shot up & headed for Cu Chi. No injuries. Ensuing battle described in detail.___Bringing in the fast movers. Birddog marks with Willy Pete. Movers dropped high and low drags; straffed with 20 mm. ___Had counter mortar duty last night. Need sleep.

July 01, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Picture of me in front of GP Medium tent holding AK-47 (Russian) given to me by Lt Bud Benson, XO A Trp.___CPT Fisher said I could sell it to Airforce guys for 2 or 3 hundred dollars. Will keep and try to get it home. ___Tents temporary while building hootch. Hot and dusty, miserable quarters.___CPT Bill Vinson taking over gun platoon when Delvy moves to Operations. Vinson has mostly fixed wing time in Middle East.___Chain of command for me right now: Delvy, Vinson, Eschenwald, then me. ___Mom, go visit Vinson's wife Ann in Monmouth, OR. She is 29, has two kids, Kimberly 8 and Gregory 4. ___Getting settled in the new hooch. Gun training going well.

July 06, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Been in Vung Tau for 3 days with WO1 Rick Arthur. (need dates). Rick had been slightly wounded in left leg by his door gunner. ___Hitching rides to and from Vung Tau. A/C from “Blackhawks”. Describing the “Rung Sat” area. Near accident enroute.___Met WO Zeke Broadley, flt school friend of Ricks. The town, the beach, the jellyfish stings, Jap gun emplacements, serious sunburn.___(Need date) Sqdn back in base camp for repairs (from Iron Triangle). Long description of Iron Triangle battle. A & B___Trps hit hard. Casualties were about 30 in A Trp and 20 in B. Lt Rogers & Lt Johnson KIA. ___Our Rifle Plt Ldr, Lt Gerrie, wounded in 4 places. Div Cdr, Tillison, awarded Silver Star to LTC Shea. LT Mosenthal wounded.___LRRP guy, only a week incountry, died during Medevac. also see Iron Triangle Incident 7 May 67

July 17, 1967: "Postcard Home" by Bruce Powell: Short on pilots. Another mortar attack last week (need date). 24 hour standby.

July 25, 1967: "Postcard Home" by Bruce Powell: Norm Clark, door gunner, home to Oregon, 30 day leave. Visit my family.

July 30, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: A while back, flew gunship escort for President of Phillipines at TayNinh. CPT Bill Vinson my instructor in guns. MAJ Delvy to Opns.___Covering the Wolfhounds at Trang Bang in hairy operation. 9 “Hornets” (Slicks) doing insertion. Also dodging friendly fire. ___Hit in exhaust and main rotor. A Troop hit bad yesterday. CPT Drake, doing bad job (Replaced CPT Strickland). Drake had no control.___We couldn't shoot for some time. Drake says or fire too close. Dodging friendly 50 cal richochets. Artillery out of nowhere.___5 dead, 16 wounded for A Trp. Talked to SGT Michaels (A Troop Plt Sgt) at 12th Evac. Said he wished I had been with them with my___“Go Kart Chopper” (OH-23). COL Shea let WO Baum & CPT Stephenson go fly with 1/9th Cav. Came back ready to arm the scouts.

August, 1967: War Story "FNG" War Story by Pat Eastes: Pat's story of getting to Vietnam, training as a Centaur Gun Pilot, then his first hot mission.

August 04, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Bought Minox Spy Camera. Had cold. Released by Flt Surgeon. Made A/C – Aircraft Commander. Got mini-guns for gunships.___2000 rds per min per gun. Wow. OH-23s flying in pairs now with skid guns.

August 09, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Counter mortar at Dau Teing 7 & 8 Aug, Cu Chi tonight. Flying mostly nights, trying to shake a cold. Thunderstorms every night.

August 16, 1967: "Notes" War Story by Bruce Powell:___Wrote SGT Chapman's commendation award. WO Walt Baum flew me to Saigon (Hotel 3). Description of new OH-23 armament.___Yesterday Baum was flying wing on CPT Stephenson and passenger was killed (OH-23). His door gunner was SP4 Bill Whitmore.___They were at check point 41 preparing for Stick-em Up.

August 21, 1967: "Army Photographer Captures Viet Cong" News TropicLightningNews Vol2No33 – Twice A U.S. Army photographer played a double role when he caught a Viet Cong on film and then by the scruff of the neck. An OH-23 helicopter from Trp D, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav, was on a road check operation along Highway 1 when the pilot, 1LT Leland Burgess of Auburn, Ala., spotted a Viet Cong running along a rice paddy dike. "We had just cleared a high hedgerow when I spotted the VC standing on a dike," explained Burgess. "He started running for some woods about 300 meters away so I flew up ahead to block him."

While Burgess was maneuvering the aircraft back and forth blocking the running VC, Sp4 Jack Mraz of Fairfield, Calif., was snapping pictures. "We were running low on fuel," Burgess added, "so Mraz volunteered to jump and take the VC. It was touchy because I couldn't take another passenger, which meant Mraz would have to wait on the ground till another chopper could get in." The photographer grabbed an M-16, three magazines of ammo, jumped, grabbed the VC and waited almost ten minutes for another chopper, while Burgess circled overhead. "The funniest thing about the whole operation," Mraz recalled, "was watching the VC running back and forth yelling 'Americans number one, Americans number one!'"

The VC was taken to the 25th Div's base camp for interrogation and later admitted that he was a member of a local force VC unit.

That same afternoon, just a mile away, two other choppers from D Trp caught two more Viet Cong.

August 23, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Got back from 7 days in Bangkok yesterday. Details of Bankok trip. Guy killed with Baum was CPT from 65th Engrs. ___CPT Vinson grounded for 3 months with lung problems. CPT Eschenwald, next in command, DEROS in 7 days. CMMI in Sep.___Motor SGT Chapman to rotate in month. Dispatcher/Clerk leaves in week. Fly Road Runner for convoy tomorrow.

September 05, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Team Leader now. Took 3 hits covering slick last week (date?). Tailfin, sink elevator and cabin top. 4 slicks hit. 2 wounded.___20 air sorties. Was this in 462 covering CPT Fisher? CPT Vinson feels better. Short pilots in both sections. Rewire generators.___Getting replacement Motor Off and 3 assistants.

September 14, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: (date?) CPT Vinson became Centaur 20 (Gun Plt Ldr). Delvy promoted to MAJ Detailed description of Team Ldr job in combat.___9 Sep I became Gun Platoon Leader (Centaur 20) (is really Heavy Scout Section Ldr.) Signed for 6 helicopters & weapons systems___and all plt equipment. About 3 Million dollars worth. One LT, six Warrents, and 12 enlisted work for me. Experience level is low.

September 29, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Almost have to live in the Opn Shack. New Warrent to my section this week. LT Moore not ready for AC yet.___WO Hooper leaves in 4 days. Made Mark Schmidt AC when I took over Section. Made Jeffrey “Doc” Halliday AC today.___Story of night mission “Lightning Bug” Cu Chi to Go Da Hau. Moore is pilot. Rick Arthur, Centaur 43, is wing.___“Diamond Head” flew the bug. My crew chief Collins spotted road block in the heavy rain. Went IFR for a while.___Refueling at South Pole. MAJ Fleming had us change out all rockets (bad batch). Heavy rain made it tough.___Ethan Norris, Flt School buddy in Little Bears, shot down yesterday. Wounded in leg. ___334th unit in Bien Hoa got 4 Cobras (AH-1G) a few weeks back. My goal is to get a Cobra.

October 9, 1967: Divisional Air CavWar Storyby Tom Fleming
An operational example of how the Air Cav Troop of the 25th ID division Armored Cav Squadron performed an integrated reconnaissance and offensive combat mission. This example describes an actual mission performed.

October 9, 1967: Stuck Throttle War Storyby Tom Fleming
A description of unfortunate circumstances that came very close to ending with disastrous conclusions for a young aviator and his passengers. Some pilots newly graduated individuals from flight school were not cut out for duty as an Aero Scout.

October 9, 1967: "Teamwork Pays Off For Army Air Force" News Tropic Lightning News Vol2No40. LRRP Team works with FAC and F5's to wipe out VC between them and Pickup Zone

October 09, 1967: "LRRP/USAF teamwork" News TropicLightningNews...LRRP deployed along an enemy infiltration route spends night surveilling a large VC base camp with over 100 VC...but a VC ambush blocks LRRP's escape route to pickup zone...LRRP radios information to USAF FAC...two F-5 fighters strike with 500-lb. bombs while LRRPs keep their heads down...later LRRPs find 4 VC bodies...followed by successful extration involving "split-second coverage" by Centaur gunships, field artillery, and USAF fighters.

October 15, 1967:"Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Training CPT Stephenson to take my job as Centaur 20. Training MAJ Fisher, XO, as gun pilot. CPT Vinson on leave. ___Hog leader Johnson on leave. CPT Wilde (Gun pilot instr) working with 1st Cav for a few weeks. Designing our own tactics.___Writing section SOP. My pilots are extremely aggressive. I think the VC know it. Diamond Heads (25th Div) seem to draw more fire.___13 Oct Diamond Head pilot killed near Hobo Woods. They need to upgrade their tactics. Talk about “Check Mates” & “Stick-em ups.”___Things we do to get VC to shoot at us. Ship availability problems. Round thru rotor blade last night. 6 hits in the last week.___Detailed story about night mission, LT Sanford on wing with no landing lights (shot out), landing to lights of trucks along runway.___Unpredictable night weather is problem. So many new pilots. Hate to send them out at night.___Made LT Moore AC today. He is on night mission with Halliday (copilot) tonight. Has very new crew chief and door gunner.

October 16, 1967: Men Need For 25th's LRRP Det News TropicLightningNews Vol2No41 Volunteers will make up the LRRP Detachment,

October 29, 1967: "Letter Home" War Story by Bruce Powell: Describing the emotions of war. The excitement of seeing the new AH-1G in action (Playboys; 334th at Bien Hoa). ___Story of Cobras coming in to replace our shot up Heavy team. Rick Arthur leading, Mark Schmidt on wing, me in third position.___Arthur took 4 hits. WO Gary Cockran (Rick's copilot) hit in leg. Playboys are only “Company” of all guns in the Army.___Put in my application to extend for that unit. COL Shea pinned DFC on me for OH-23 action with A Trp.___Scout platoon operations focused on Hobo Woods. Found 3 base camps two days ago.___Wolfhounds, ground unit of 25th Div sent in and are in heavy contact. Will scout for them tomorrow.

November 1967: Flight Operations (Audio)by Tom Fleming
An audio tape of an actual mission involving a shot down Aero Scout and the subsequent scramble of the troop in response to the downed aircraft and the engagement of enemy elements in the vicinity of downed helicopter and crew. The audio has background noise from the VRC-24 UHF radio in Flight Operations and at times the transmissions are difficult to clearly hear. An explanatory document describes the mission and players.

November 13, 1967: "Progress Being made In Securing Highway 1" News TropicLightningNews Vol2No45Quick and highly visible progress is very gratifying. In September and through October the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, was making frequent contact with the enemy on Highway 1 north of Cu Chi. During the earlier part of September an incident occurred almost every other night. The road is far more secure now. The 25th Inf Div's Cav unit's mission is to secure the road. It is not an easy task.

The actions, scattered over the past two months, netted 11 Viet Cong by actual body count. The squadron estimated that another 31 Viet Cong had been killed. Two RPG-7 rocket launchers were captured the night of Sept. 12. An RPG-2 was also captured during that action. Several carbines and much small arms ammunition has been captured by the squadron. The frequency of the contacts dropped. In an effort to secure the road and the surrounding areas during the Oct. 22 elections, the entire squadron went to the field for five days.

The headquarters' elements established a forward command point near Go Dau Ha, 44 kms northwest of Saigon. The squadron's four troops were dispatched in around-the-clock security vigilance. Delta Troop (Air) maintained aerial security. Its Aerorifle Platoon was active in "roundups." Working with the National Police the platoon checked ID cards in various areas near Cu Chi.

The other three troops were on the road, holding various sectors of responsibility. There was only one casualty during the election vigil. The man was returned to duty the same day.
The election went by without mishap. Record crowds went to the polls, ignoring Viet Cong threats. Progress has been made.

November 13, 1967: "Aerorifle Platoon conducted nighttime "roundups" of VC..." News TropicLightningNews Sep-Oct 67...Aerorifle Platoon conducted nighttime "roundups" of VC along the Main Supply Route (MSR) as part of round-the-clock operations by all four 3/4 Cav Troops to improve security along the MSR..resulting in 11 VC KIA, 31 more estimated KIA and captured weapons.  MSR security contributed to a high turnout in Vietnamese elections.

November 13, 1967: "The Bu Dop Mission" War Story by Bruce Powell: This was a supposedly dangerous and classified mission that called for volunteers. It ended up being a cakewalk for the unsupported gun crews, while our buddies in Cu Chi got the crap shot out of them with heavy mortar and recoiless rifle attacks.

November 20, 1967:"Chopper Finds, Rescues Wounded GI" News TropicLightningNews Vol2No46 Circling 300 feet above the HoBo Woods, 54 kms northwest of Saigon, the crew of a 25th Div gunship spotted a wounded man in the dense jungle below. Rolling in for a closer look, the aircraft commander WO Bruce Wood of Fresno, Calif., from Delta Trp (Air), 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, scanned the terrain. SP5 Sidwayne D. Collins, the crew chief from Pennington, Va., spotted the infantryman waving his arms. Collins threw a smoke grenade signaling that he had spotted the wounded man. "He looked seriously wounded, but he managed to drag himself into a small clearing," Collins said. "Then he threw a smoke grenade to mark his position for us," he continued.

Circling the area five minutes before the sighting, the gunship had received several rounds of automatic weapons fire. The wounded man, PFC Arthur B. Lyon of the 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, was also under fire. The gunship fired rockets and miniguns into a trench where several VC had been spotted. Lyon killed one VC himself. This is remarkable as Lyon had crawled and pulled himself through thick underbrush all night after his ambush patrol had suffered heavy casualties. He had been wounded in the leg, lost a great deal of blood, and was unable to walk. In the face of imminent danger from point blank enemy automatic weapons fire, Wood took control and eased the helicopter into a clearing 100 meters from the wounded man. Before he had a chance to ask his crew, they all volunteered to go in after Lyon. "I was proud of my crew and especially Collins who said over the radio that he insisted on going to get Lyon," Wood said.

The next three minutes were critical. Wood maneuvered his ship among the trees at a three-foot hover. WO Howard Anderson, the pilot from Marathon, Fla., said, "The landing zone was small and full of stumps and small trees. We could not land the craft." The door machine gunner, SGT Kenneth Wilson of Rosamond, Calif., gave his M-16 to Collins who had volunteered to get the wounded man. Wilson said, "Collins was gone a minute or so into the thick brush, then he came back carrying Lyon. He could have beaten the 4-minute mile easily." Covering Collins, Wilson scanned the brush looking for signs of the enemy. After Collins carefully placed Lyon in the ship, Wood and Anderson coaxed the helicopter up over the tree tops, the skids dragging branches. The ship was carrying more than its normal load. The Delta Trp gunship carried Lyon to the "Tropic Lightning" Div's 12th Evac Hosp in Cu Chi. The trip took five minutes. Wood said, "Lyon thanked us for rescuing him. He didn't really have to. I got all the thanks I needed when I saw the expression on his face after we picked him up."

November 27, 1967: "Cong's Aiming Stakes Fail As Cav Hits 2 VC" News SquadsTropicLightningNews Vol2No47 . Bamboo aiming stakes failed to improve the Viet Cong's aim and dug-in firing positions did not protect them during a recent contact with Charlie Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav.

The 25th Div's cavalry unit was sweeping southeast on Highway 1 toward the Hoc Mon Bridge. The bridge is 16 kms northwest of Saigon. At 10 p.m. the troop's 1st Plt made contact with two squads of Viet Cong firing from the south side of the road. Five vehicles were hit by 10 RPG-2 rockets. The enemy also fired some 200 rounds of small arms ammunition.

The armored vehicles were lightly damaged. There were only two U.S. soldiers wounded.
The contact lasted five minutes. The 2nd and 3rd platoons arrived as reinforcements minutes after the initial contact. A flare ship and a gunship from Delta Trp (AIR) provided illumination and added firepower. The combined elements returned fire with 90mm tank guns, small arms and automatic weapons.

Immediately after the contact with the Viet Cong on the run, a reconnaissance of the area was made. Blood trails were found strewn with bloody T-shirts and web gear. The bamboo aiming stakes were found by members of the 1st Plt. The stakes were alongside the road, set apart approximately the length of an armored personnel carrier.
The following morning the troop found one dead Viet Cong still holding his RPG-2 rocket launcher. He was carrying a green canvas packet with two RPG-2 rockets and three grenades. An AK-47 assault rifle was also policed up

November 27, 1967: "Leaping From Helicopters, Aero Rifles Kill 4 Viet Cong" News TropicLightningNews Vol2No47. Leaping from their helicopters and assaulting through 500 meters of brush, the lightning-fast Aero Rifle Platoon killed four Viet Cong and detained two suspects near the village of Duong Long in Tay Ninh Province, 56 kms northwest of Saigon.

The quick reaction platoon, from the 25th Div's 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, dropped into the landing zone after helicopters had sighted movement in the thick hedgerows. It was the same area where intelligence sources indicated the presence of an enemy concentration. "We were alerted over the radio of the activity," said 1LT William Mosenthal, the platoon leader from Norwich, Vt. "We charged at full speed to the hedgerows," he added. Fanning out, the Aero Rifles received small arms fire from the hedgerows. Fire was returned, until two Viet Cong came into the open with their hands in the air. PSG James Price of Onaway, Mich., and his elements found the body of a third Viet Cong. Two carbines were seized.

The helicopters of Delta Trp spotted more movement in hedgerows to the southwest. Two more helicopter loads of Aero Rifles were flown in, as the 2nd Plt of Bravo Trp rushed up in their armored personnel carriers, dismounted and helped beat the brush. During the sweep, Price saw fresh footprints around a well checked earlier by the platoon. As one of the men peered down the well, he was shot at, from a tunnel dug into its side. "We moved out of the angle of fire and began digging," Price explained. "Our equipment was pretty modern. . . a couple of bayonets and some bamboo stakes," Price said jokingly.

After the digging and fighting was over, the Aero Rifles had added three more Viet Cong to the day's list of KIAs. Before the tunnel was destroyed, the platoon found a RPG-2 rocket launcher and six rockets, a CHICOM sub-machinegun and small arms ammunition in the tunnel. The Delta Trp Aero Rifles suffered no casualties during the contact. "Except one; I got sunburned," lamented Price.

November 27, 1967: "Baby Scouts Net 2" News TropicLightningNews Vol2No47. Two Baby Scouts" (OH 23s) from Delta Trp (AIR), 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav, found three men hiding in a rice paddy between Trung Lap and Trang Bang recently. Flying the daily "last light" patrol, WO Mackie Webb of Ware Shoals, S.C., spotted the men just north of Highway 1. He pushed the stick on his "Baby Scout" and plummeted in for a closer look. Two armed men started running across a paddy. Webb called back to base camp for permission to fire. Permission granted, his doorgunner placed effective suppressive fire behind the fleeing figures.

WO Daryl Gunn, St Louis, Mo., flying security several hundred feet above swooped down for a better look and a chance to join in. A third man suspect was spotted near all the action. He came into the open with his hands in the air. Both scouts landed and Webb and his doorgunner looked for the two men in the paddy. He found one body but the other man had disappeared into the water of the rice paddy and could not be found. The detainee was brought back to the 25th Div's base camp at Cu Chi. "We have had about 75 per cent of our contacts in this area," Gunn said.

?....November 27, 1967: News TropicLightningNews Cu Chi base camp on 15 Nov 67 suffered its 7th mortar and recoilless rifle attack (135 rounds) with 5 KIA and 26 WIA...Counter-mortar gunships retaliated and "silenced the enemy positions." 

?....November 27, 1967: News TropicLightningNews 2 Centaur gunships (Powell and Meeks) deployed to Song Be and Bo Duc in the Highlands in support of the 1/27th Infantry (Wolfhounds) in a 2d Brigade task force engaged in search and destroy ops.

?.....November 27, 1967: News TropicLightningNews After a helicopter sighting of VC near Duong Lap,Tay Ninh Province, Aerorifle Platoon led by 1LT William Mosenthal and PSG James Price landed, charged through half a kilometer of brush, received and returned fire, and captured 2 VC and killed 1.  After more aerial sightings, Aerorifles conducted a sweep with B Troop, killing 3 more VC, capturing weapons, and destroying a tunnel.

?....November 27, 1967: News TropicLightningNews Two OH-23 Light Scouts on "last light" patrol along MSR, piloted by WO Mackie Webb (flying low) and WO Daryl Gunn (flying security above), used door gunners to attack 3 VC in a rice paddy between Trung Lap and Trang Bang...landed, captured one prisoner and verified 1 KIA.

December 1967: LRRP Extraction Charcoal Kiln War Story by Tom Fleming
A description of a LRRP mission out of Dau Tieng in which a newly assigned Team leader with a barely trained team madea mistake and compromised his mission. The LRRP Team is successfully rescued.

December 1967: "Kit Carson Scout" War Story by Tom Fleming
The troop was assigned its first Kit Carson Scout, a young man from a nearby village who while operating with a Viet Cong element was wounded by a Centaur gunship, Chou Hoed, volunteered to be trained as a Kit Carson Scout and requested assignment to the unit that wounded him. He proved to be a loyal brave soldier who acquired the respect and confidence of the soldiers and leaders he served with.

December 19, 1967: "Bloody Stickem Up" War Story Video Pat Eastes/TJ LangeTwo pilots put their crew in danger by trying to capture a VC, who answered by throwing a grenade at us and almost killing us all. All crewmembers were wounded. TJ awarded a Bronze Star "V" for his action. Also see TJ Lange retelling the story.

December, 1967: Prek Klok War Story Video TJ Lange A LRRP team that was compromised in War Zone C NE of Tay Ninh and SE of the SF Camp at Prek Klok in Dec 1967.

 

Events of 1968

1968: "Digging the New Well"War Storyby Tom Fleming
D Troop had recently closed on a new home on the South East side of the main runway and was in the process of adding to the constructed facilities already in place. A new well for the water source for the officer’s shower was called for. The operation turned out well after some difficulty digging the well.

January 1968: "Mission at Dau Tieng"War Storyby Tom Fleming
A description of a rear area security mission in attachment to the 3d Bde and the ensuing actions which include, prisoner snatch, enemy base camp search, LRRPs, B-52 Arch light and a two division Division Artillery” time on target” that nearly wiped out D Troop.

January 7, 1968: "Letter" War Story Jim Moore to Bruce Powell:___Not many missions lately. Will change when Maj Fleming gets back.___Hot and dusty. ¾ Cav attached to the 2nd Brigade to get the Go-Mon ?? over by Phu Cong. ___BDA after AirForce tested new bomb and dropped 50 gal drums of CS gas. We wore masks. Worked well.___3 runs, 5 VC body count. Hit in tail rotor driveshaft. Returned home for repair and back out.___Air Force dropped Napalm, missed, killed 25 americans. The 20 mm was accurate and got kills. Warrior 6 happy with our part.___Got new pilot WO Yetman fresh from Flt School. New gunner Rice. Two or three training missions a day to get new guys up. ___Got 461 back today. Pick up 744 from 725th tomorrow. Suppose to get a brand new Charlie model from Saigon. ___New logging rule. Log engine time not flight time. Engineers finishing bunkers.___Lange, Hoffman, Portas, giving classes to new guys on their own. Made Williams Maintenance Officer. ___Scrambled to Bao Trai. Being overrun. 3 50's firing at us. Johnson and Wood took hits (433 & 172). I flew 460. Had Hydrallic leak.___462 had minigun problem. Scrambled again at 02:30. 4hrs. Expended. 2nd Brigade moved in at 06:30.

January, 1968: "Year of the Rat" War Story by Pat Eastes: Pat's recollection of several incidents during Tet '68 combat operations. First 122mm attack. NVA regulars were showing up instead of VC. LTC Glenn Otis; Doc Halliday, Mike Siegel. AC-47 Spooky. Downing a damaged Aircraft and hitching a ride. Handling enemy 50 cal positions. Fighting in Saigon.

January 29, 1968: "Battle of the Ho Bo Woods" Video part one War Story by Tom Fleming Part one of two videos describing the operational situation, planning for the mission and circumstances leading up to the engagement.

January 29, 1968: "Battle of the Ho Bo Woods" Video part one War Story by Tom Fleming Part two details his participation in the engagement up to the rescue of the survivors of the Aero rifle Platoon and my departure from the troop area.

January 30, 1968: "The Battle for Saigon": War Story This War Story page outlines and links to all the Centaur related events of this big battle.

February 1968

 

March 1968: "Sharks Teeth Tale" War Story Audio by Bruce Powell

April 1968

 

May 1968

 

June 2, 1968: Log: 1805 hours; location XT630293; Centaur 11, OH-6A, shot down, burned, and exploded; pilot, Lieutenant Charlie Rice and observer (and LOH Plt Sgt) rescued. Centaur 14, OH-6A, also took hits but flew back to Base Camp. Two WIA (broken ankle, shot in leg.). see video story. Gunteam (Powell) and Slick Rescue bird (Mike Siegel and Bill Blair); in the Mushroom.

 

July 2, 1968: "Cobra LRRP Team Rescue" War Story Audio by Bruce Powell: Centaur 40, Heavy Weapons (AH-1G) Section leader. His voice and that of Centaur 41, to be determined, are on the tape. It is a detailed account of the hot extraction of a six man LRRP team (Cobra 23) trapped on the East side of Nui Ba Den mountain by LOH pilot Centaur 14 (believed to be 1LT Anderson). At that time, Jul 68 , I was a month from rotating from Nam back to the states after 18 months as a Centaur. Through my personal notes and letters, here is what I think is correct about that time frame: Major Fred Michaelson was Centaur 6, the XO was who ever Moose Marcinkowski replaced later in that month, CPT Mills was Operations Officer, John Whitehead was the Gun platoon leader over all the sections of Light Scouts (OH-6A), Heavy Scouts (UH-1C), and Hogs (which were now AH-1G Cobras). Charlie Rice was Light Scout section leader, Rick Williams was Heavy Scout section leader and myself with the Cobra section. Cobra 23 LRRP Rescue

July 2, 1968: "Pilot Risks Life to Save LRPS" News TropicLightningNews: This is the newpaper version of the Cobra 23 rescue story above.

19 August 1968: The Battle for Tay Ninh

 

September 1968

 

October 1968

 

November 1968:

 

November 4 1968: "The An Doc Extraction": War Story by Dale Dow. This synopsis of actions involving the Aero-Rifles is based on the memories of several of the pilots, crew members, and Aero-Rifle infantrymen who were assigned to Trp D (Air), 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav on 4 November 1968 and on the Daily Staff Journal (DSJ) prepared by the S3, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav that recorded the events for that day. Many aircraft were lost; 1 KIA and several WIA.

 

December 1968

 

 

Events of 1969

 

January 1969

 

February 1969

February 20, 1969: "Letter" War Story by Dallas St John who wrote this letter from Nam to Bruce Powell in Savannah, GA. Chuck Weseman got his commission & he didn't; Trouve left & Laird took over; 11 Cobras and 24 pilots; No C models; took off sharks teeth; lost 2 Cobras; Clay Maxwell and CW2 Scott B. Moore were injured in crash & sent home.

February 26, 1969: Military Aircraft Serial Numbers —1908 to Present for 1966 shows: Hughes OH-6A Cayuse 66-14378 assigned to D Troop, 3/4 Cav Regiment; Accident: CW2 Orville T. Failen provides that crash occurred at Fire Support Base Stoneman in February 1969 and occurred due to engine failure, not enemy fire. Failen was in the back, not flying.

March 1969

 

April 1969

May 19, 1969: Cavalry Boasts Flexible Air, Ground Team CU CHI News TropicLightningNews, Vol4No20 D Troop - Quick and efficient support is the mission of D Troop, the aerial arm of the 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry. D Troop's Commanding Officer, Major William Laird of Tampa, Fla., describes his unit this way, "We fly anytime and anyplace that Squadron requests. Normally we have gun teams, flare ships, dustoff and visual reconnaissance flights on stand-by, 24 hours a day. In addition, we fly for other units in the division," Laird explains, "but supporting Squadron is our primary function."

D Troop is sometimes thought of as a mini-aviation battalion. It has OH-6As for visual reconnaissance and Command and Control flights; AH-1G Cobras for gun support; and UH-1 slicks for carrying troops and supplies. D Troop has one platoon not normally found in an aviation unit, the Aero-Rifle platoon. This is a regular infantry platoon used to develop the combat situation on the ground. An elite unit, the aero-rifles have figured strongly in numerous actions involving the Squadron. The pilots and aircraft commanders flying the Cobra gunships are experienced and highly qualified. Experience is an absolute necessity when fire support within 50 meters of friendly troops is needed. This support is awe-inspiring to say the least. With mini-guns, grenade launchers and rockets pounding away at Charlie, it is small wonder that ground troop commanders often pay personal visits to the pilots to say "thanks."

Captain William Cirincione, Cobra platoon leader, has nothing but admiration for his men. "From the crew chiefs and armorers to the pilots, I have never worked with such a dedicated and professional group of men," praised Cirincione of Cleveland, Ohio. The aero-scout platoon has the most exciting job in the Troop. The aero-scouts fly at tree-top level in front of advancing ground troops to look for the enemy in his lairs. If the LOH discovers Viet Cong, it can engage the target, provided it is not too large. The pilot calls in the fire of his covering Cobra. Between the two aircraft, the enemy usually winds up with the short end of the deal. This method used to discover the enemy has enabled the ground commanders to change their plans to suit themselves, not the enemy.

The advancing LOH carries a crew chief and observer who both act as door gunners. Their eyes have to be sharp and their reflexes fast. Numerous North Vietnamese Army soldiers have found out just how quick they are, but are not around to tell about it. First Lieutenant Gerald Odom of Mount Dora, Fla., is the platoon leader. He compares the Indian scout of yesterday to the modern LOH. "When the enemy has to he found, the scout will do it," says Odom. "Years ago it was a man on a horse, today it's men in an aircraft." The work horses of the Troop are the slicks. They slingload ice to thirsty troopers, carry their mail and resupplies, provide medical evacuation no matter how hot the action is, give illumination with flares, transport the aero-rifle platoon on assaults, insert and extract Rangers, and perform many other missions. Captain William Reavis of Greensboro, N.C., has command of all facets of slick and aero-rifle operations. "We hae pulled as many avs five combat assaults in one day and then flown all night when the Squadron made contact," relates Reavis. My pilots and crew members are nothing less than outstanding," said Reavis. "They exhibit great courage on every mission we have. Not only that, but they sometimes work through the night just to make sure the aircraft are ready to go the next day."

The aero-rifle infantry platoon is a highly mobile force capable of swift reaction to any situation. From scramble horn to insertion is usually only 20 minutes. First Lieutenant Eugene Carolan, of Detroit, Mich., is the ground platoon leader. His situation is unusual for an aviator. He has earned the Combat Infantry Badge for ground action in addition to his flying duties. He enjoys leading the "Rifles" and considers himself fortunate from the standpoint of experience.

The heart of D Troop is the operations center. Captain William Chiaramonte of Albuquerque, N.M., receives missions from the 3/4 Horse S-3 and passes them down to the appropriate platoon leader. Since the Centaurs could be on many different missions simultaneously, it is necessary that Operations be a well-run and efficient machine. "We have to know everything to make the Troop function efficiently," Chiaramonte explains. "To insure efficiency I have radio operators, operations sergeants, clerks, and an artillery liaison officer. They're kept pretty busy throughout the day and night. We never close!"

A vital part of the Troop efficiency is the Service Platoon. First Lieutenant Jack Dickson of Tullahoma, Tenn., has direct command of both the maintenance section and supply section. The job which occupies the majority of his time is maintenance of the Troop's helicopters. Dickson's crews work around the clock, side by side with the crew chiefs from the flight sections. In addition, the avionics and armament sections make sure the aircrafts have good communications and that weapons are functioning properly. The supply section cares not only for the mundane replacement of pencils and other gear, but also services the fuel tankers and wheeled vehicles in the unit.

Delta Troop is large. It must be to insure combat effectiveness. It is a proud troop, part of a proud squadron. From the pilots to the supply clerk, professionalism is a way of life. The ground troops know that when the Centaurs are requested, the job will be well done and done fast. Captain Garrett Marcinkowski of Cohasset, Mass., the Executive Officer of D Troop, sums it up this way, "You name it, we've done it. If we haven't, nobody has."

June 1969

July 1969

August 1969

September 1969

October 1969

November 1969

December 1969

 

Events of 1970

 

January 1970

 

February 1970

 

March 1970

 

April 1970

 

May 1970

 

June 1970

 

July 1970

 

August 1970

 

September 1970

 

October 1970

 

4 November 1970: Notes: War Story   Ed Wolfe: Transfer to D/3/4 CAV, Long Binh.  After interviews by the Cobra and Huey platoon leaders, I choose to fly the OH-6A as a scout pilot.  Transition in December in the Loach.

December 1970

 

Events of 1971

1971-72 Yearbook Photos

January early, 1971: Notes: War Story Ed Wolfe: Started to fly aero-scout missions

January 22, 1971 Notes Proud Mary (68-17337) is shot down resulting in the loss of CW2 Rog Johnson, Sgt Mike Petty, and SP4 Fred Vigil.  Film from Ed Wolfe notes the incident. “Hunter” Crew & Rescue Crew KIA essay gives a complete account.

February 10, 1971: Notes: War Story D/3/4 Cav re-designated as F/4th Cav

February 13, 1971: Notes D/3/4 Cav re-designated as F/4th Cav stationed at Camp Frenzell Jones, Long Binh.  The Troop supported 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, separate. (From introduction to 1971 Year Book).

February 1971 War Story Video by Cary Bacon (at 2:01 minute) described return of D-troop colors to Schofield Baracks and the transition to F-troop and the new designation as F-troop, 4th Air Calvary attached to the 1st Aviation Brigade.

March 1971:

 

April 1, 1971: Notes F-Troop became part of 3rd Squadron 17th Cavalry and moved to Lai Khe in the “Sherwood Forest” area.  It was the only US unit in the base camp. Since moving to Lai Khe the troop supported many ARVN Divisions including 25th, 18th, 5th Divisions and the 6th Ranger Group.” (From introduction to 1971 Year Book)

April 21, 1971: Notes SP4 Kenneth W. Shamblin was a flight-qualified helicopter mechanic serving with F Troop “Centaurs,” 4th Cavalry, 1st Aviation Brigade. On April 21, 1971, SP4 Shamblin was the crew chief on a U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A (tail number 68-17175) from Battery E (Aviation), 82nd Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) on a reconnaissance mission in Cambodia when the aircraft was fired on by a hostile ground force with automatic weapons. At least one round entered the cockpit of the helicopter, fatally injuring SP4 Shamblin. The aircraft was able to continue flight and diverted to the nearest friendly medical facility.(Taken from The Wall of Faces)

April 1971: Notes Don Phillips, Cobra platoon commander,  describes the move from Camp Frenzell Jones to Lai Khe and the insistence of the troop to keep the Centaur call sign.

April 1971: Notes Jim Hoag (see “Lai Khe” section in his “My Tour essay”) describes early days in Lai Khe and the frequent rocket attacks.Troop moves to Lia Khe as the only US unit in the base camp.

May 7, 1971: Notes: War Story Ed Wolfe: DEROS orders and heading down to 90th Replacement

May 16, 1971 Notes Rocket and mortar attack results in heavy damage to an F-Troop aircraft (69-15272) and the loss of the maintenance personnel SP4 Ralph Posey, SP4 Phillip Blackmond and SP4 Leo Montes. This article reports heroic deed of Captain Skip Petrie.

June 1971  Notes Alpha Troop 3/17th joins F-troop at Lai Khe.  They are located on the south end of the base with F-troop on the west side facing QL-13 and Lai Khe village along the main PSP runway.

July 5, 1971 Notes Loss of CW2 Edward Mortimer, DFC recipient, in a OH-6A ( #69-16043) shot down in the Mushroom.  Steve Borden’s account "Another Scout Killed in the Mushroom"

July 1971 Notes The following is an account I (C. Betsill) received as a fax from SP4 Dave Sullivan in 2003 when I was trying to find info on “The Screaming ‘OD’ Zonker”) OH-6A “032” shot down on November 17, 1971.  Dave describes the loss of “043” well but attributes it to “032” apparently mixing up the serial numbers and dates: “I was the crewchief of “032”.  CPT Jim Whitman was the pilot until he left and then I flew with just about everybody.  “032” was the only ship that had the minigun so there was no observer in front, just the pilot and me in the back.  I remember the day it got shot down very well.  I was short and decided to quit flying just a few days before so CWO Edward Mortimer and Glen Nicholas were flying.  They took fire and went down.  Mortimer was killed and Glen was wounded (shrapnel in the back & shoulder). Another scout team from some other unit happened to be in the area so they extracted them.  I think Glen was recommended for the Silver Star because he kept waving off the other LOH due to heavy fire but they went in and got them both out.  Don’t know if it was ever awarded or not.” (He did)

July 28, 1971 "Sapper Attack" War Story Joe Hoover describes the attack on Lai Khe base resulting in four A-troop 3/17th aircraft destroyed. 

August 1971  “My Year in the Air Cavalry” War Story CW5 Randolph W. Jones describes activities of F-troop in during the second half of his tour covering the period of April through August.  He brings with him the Mississippi Queen cobra to F-troop.  He describes the troop activities into Cambodia as well as the loss of OH-6A pilot Ed Mortimer on July 5, 1971.   

Early August Notes D-Troop 3/17 Air Calvary, a ground calvary troop, move to Lai Khe to provide security for A-Troop in response to the sapper attack in July.  Rumors were that the sapper attack was conducted by a women’s VC battalion. This is partly confirmed by an article entitled “D Troop Rejoins Squadron at Lai Khe” describing D-Troop’s first duty when arriving was to prevent “young ladies from Lai Khe village” from coming through the wire.  I remember shooting hand flares hand close over their heads to discourage this activity myself.  –Carl Betsill

 

With the addition of D-troop there are now three US Calvary troops on the east side of QL-13 (Thunder Road).  The ARVN 5th Infantry Division (The proper ARVN unit designation needs confirmation.  All I remember is hearing artillery fire from them) on the west side along with MACV headquarters for Team 70.  Calvary troops used the small PX located at MACV headquarters to purchase laundry supplies for the hooch maids.  A few other items like cameras and watches were available.  The only steady items on the shelves were a few dust covered boxes of feminine hygiene products.

 

Notes Betsill describes avionics equipment

 

August 31, 1971: Notes Joe Hoover describes Nighthawk mission resulting in 17 confirmed kills.  He mentions use of the Xenon light.  Also mentions pilots Captain Dennis T. Yenser, Captain Douglas R. Jones, Captain Donald E. Borey, Captain Gilbert Medina, 1Lt John L Tayor, and WO1 Robert C. Jones.

 

September 24, 1971  Notes SP5 Jerome Todd accidentally walked into a tail rotor at night and was killed on the flightline at Lai Khe. Newspaper article in “Together We Serve” mistakenly describes the location as “near Da Nang”.  (I did not know SP5 personally but remember the incident well.  No one could believe that someone with his experience could have such an accident.  Some blamed the accident on the recent modifications that involved changing the side on which the tail rotor was mounted on the AH-1G.– Carl Betsill)

 

October 1971

 

November 1971  Notes “November found the Troop operating with the 1st ARVN Airborne Division reconing “Across the Fence”. As F-Troop provided more and more solid intelligence, it became apparent that the enemy was building and operating a massive supply complex in Cambodia. ARVN decided to capture or destroy these enemy supplies.” (Taken from Unit History of F-Troop (Air) 4th US Calvary as recorded in the 1971-72 Yearbook Photos).

 

November 10, 1971 Notes Dambe, once a lovely town with a red-roofed temple, became the since of a bloody battle.  During that battle we lost our only casualty of that period (see below).” (Taken from Unit History of F-Troop (Air) 4th US Calvary as recorded in the 1971-72 Yearbook Photos).

 

December 12,1971 Notes OH-6A (68-17229) shot down in Cambodia resulting in the loss of PFC Howell Wayne Burns.  CW2 Jackie R. White was the pilot. 

 

 

Events of 1972

 

January 1972  Notes “January brings the drive into the Khup Rubber Plantation, then the long withdrawal back to Krek, and finally the return to RVN itself. The ARVN drive had been successful and F-Troop played a stellar role. 

The most important and saddest event of January was the Troop’s move to Long Binh.  Lai Khe had been a beautiful place to live - initial views on Long Binh were appalling.  F Troops continued to bounce around MR III staging out of Tay Ninh, Ben Luc, Dau Tieng, Phuc Vinh, Tan An, Toule Cham, Quan Loi, Loc Ninh and countless other deserted strips around the region.”  (Taken from Unit History of F-Troop (Air) 4th US Calvary as recorded in the 1971-72 Yearbook Photos)’

Frank Dillion describes stand down of A-Troop at Lai Khe and his move to Long Binh with F-Troop

 

February 1972  Notes “Major Spencer replaced Major Hatch as Troop Commanding Officer.   Operations continued as usual – one day in Cambodia, the next around Saigon.  The next somewhere different.”  (Taken from Unit History of F-Troop (Air) 4th US Calvary as recorded in the 1971-72 Yearbook Photos).

 

February 20, 1972  Notes Loss of CPT James Hamrick and SP4 Don Ware when their LOH was shot down when returning to Long Binh from action in the Mushroom.  Newspaper article Five are Awarded DFC describes the incident.  Also providing details of the incident is an Affidavit by Maj John Spencer recommending the Medal of Honor for CPT Ron Radcliffe.

March 1972  Notes “March brought F Troop OPCON to 1st Air Cavalry Division. The Troop began to look at its own back yard.  Yes, there were bad guys there also.  Melony and Ennis became familiar land marks.” (Taken from Unit History of F-Troop (Air) 4th US Calvary as recorded in the 1971-72 Yearbook Photos)’

April 1972  Notes “April brought the most momentous piece of news F-Troop had received in months.  The NVA drive into I Corp was rolling over ARVN bases.  F-Troop went to Phu Bai.  With only overnight notice, F-Troop moved the bulk of its forces to the north.” (Taken from Unit History of F-Troop (Air) 4th US Calvary as recorded in the 1971-72 Yearbook Photos

April 2, 1972  Notes While walking to the 90th Replacement Battalion for my return to the world, I looked up and saw our unit helicopters flying north to their new assignment in I-Corp.  President Nixon had just ordered a large troop withdrawal.  I had received orders on 25 March that my DEROS date had been changed from 22 August, 1972 to 6 April, 1972.  I would not rest easy, however, until my freedom bird left the runway on the night of 6 April.  Word was that Major Spencer, not knowing what the future would bring with the big move, had requested that some of us be declared “Mission Essential”.  An approval would have cancelled our orders.  I have to admit I was relieved that no such approval was granted.  Carl Betsill

 

May 2 1972: elements of F Troop were responsible for the rescue of two AF pilots and one AF Forward Air Controller. During the mission, a Centaur rescue helicopter (UH-1H - tail number 70-15863) piloted by Warrant Officers William Jesse and John Petrilla was hit and destroyed by a Russian Surface to Air Missile (SA-7). see also: Rescue of Air Force Pilots - Miller and Shelton.

 

June 1972

 

June 8, 1972:  Notes: War Story Log Book entries These excerpts are from the US Marine advisors to the Vietnamese Marine 147th Brigade and 258th Brigade logbooks during the NVA offensive in 1972. Entries dated 9 thru 14 Jun and 11 July 1972

 

July 22, 1972 : F/4 destroyed one soviet-built tracked vehicle at YD383646.

 

August 1972

 

September 1972

 

October 17, 1972: F/4 destroyed two NVA trucks at YD558035
(Wayne Moose as Scout flew on this mission and spotted these trucks - I’m working with him to write this one up - Brian Harrison) Google Earth coordinates

 

November 10, 1972:  Notes: War Story F Troop, Fourth Cavalry engaged an enemy company-size element (AT978571), equipped with .51 caliber weapons resulting in three enemy KBH. Google Earth coordinates

November 15, 1972:  Notes: War Story F Troop, 4th Cavalry observed and engaged two T54 tanks, two Soviet armored personnel carriers, and four trucks one mile south of the Qua Viet River (YD 379662).  During the engagement, the team received heavy automatic weapons fire and one SA-7 was launched by enemy ground troops forcing the aircraft to depart prior to making a damage assessment of enemy forces. Google Earth coordinates

December 11, 1972:  Notes: War Story A light reconnaissance team from F Troop, 4th Cavalry, acting as a Naval Gunfire adjustment platform, directed fires resulting in 11 secondary explosions.

December 19, 1972: Notes: War Story Elements from F Troop, 4th Cavalry conducted a search and rescue operation in the vicinity of Y400644 for the crew of a downed Air Force OV-10. The team was successful in extracting the downed pilots and returning them to DaNang for medical attention.  The pilot of the OV-10 died of injuries incurred in ejection and the aerial observer was treated for injuries and returned to duty. Google Earth coordinates

December 31, 1972:  Notes: War Story A light reconnaissance team from F Troop, 4th Cavalry observed four tanks and 20 troops at YD338704.  The team adjusted Naval gunfire with unknown results. Google Earth coordinates

 

Events of 1973

January 6, 1973:  Notes: War Story A light reconnaissance team conducting a bomb damage assessment of a B-52 strike (YD298748) observed trucks moving in the area.  The team adjusted Naval gunfire resulting in five secondaries and six sustained fires.

January 8, 1973:  Notes: War Story A UH-1H aircraft from the 62nd Aviation Company while flying in support of the Vietnamese Airborne Division was reported shot down in enemy held territory northwest of Quang Tri (vic Y3155).  Field reports incited that the aircraft was hit by small arms fire and an SA-7 missile.  Negative contact was established with the crew and repeated attempts to locate the aircraft were unsuccessful.  USAF aircraft participating in search and rescue efforts reported intense antiaircraft fire and attempt was terminated with negative results and four crew members and two passengers were listed as missing in action.
(Brian's note - F/4 flew this mission as well, a maximum effort).

January 28, 1973:  Notes: War Story Elements from F Troop, 4th Cav engaged targets along the Son Tra River resulting in 30 enemy KBH.  The contact terminated at 0755.  At 0800 hours, all arms combat activities by the 11th CAG ceased due to the provisions of the unilateral ceasefire in the Republic of Vietnam.

January 28, 1973:  Notes: War Story Equipment retrograde/transfer:  D/17 Cavalry ceased combat operations and prepared to retrograde all OH-6A helicopters to CONUS through the 142n Transportation Company.  D/17 was informed of a requirement to maintain five AH-1G, Cobra gunships on strip alert for an indefinite period.  Two of the gunships would be provided by F/4 Cavalry with crews provided by D/17.  All other AH1-G Cobras were prepared for retrograde.  F/4th Cavalry ceased combat operations.

February 1, 1973:  Notes: War Story F Troop, 4th Cavalry completed the transfer of the installation at Tan My Island.  The island, with all installed property and equipment, was turned over the the 1st ARVN Division.

February 15, 1973:  Notes: War StoryThe Morning Reports of F Troop, 4th Cavalry and D Troop, 17th Cavalry were zeroed.  Al of the personnel from these unites had been either shipped out of country, transferred to the Joint Military Commission or the ICCS, or assigned to the HQ 11th CAG.

February 28, 1973: Notes: War Story ICCS aircrew received ground fire Northwest of Hoi An, Coord BT085625 wounding the pilot.  ICCS members from Canada and Indonesia wet aboard ( Brian's note - I think this was WO Broadnax from F/4)