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War Stories

"Countersigns Harass V.C."



Vol 1 - No 10 - 6 May 1966

The Viet Cong have gone into the sign-making business. 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."

When Major General Fred C. Weyand, Division Commander, saw the sign, he decided to retaliate by ordering similar signs posted around the division's perimeter. The job fell to Second Lieutenant Leon Fox, of the 246th Psychological Warfare (psy war) Detachment. Lt. Fox contacted several printers and ordered 1,000 posters. The signs read: This is U.S. 25Th Infantry Division country. Any Viet Cong advancing beyond this point will be shot. But Lt. Lox didn't want to wait three to five weeks for delivery of the signs. With the aid of the psy war detachment, he had a stencil made and, while they waited for the printed posters, Specialist Four Philip Cloupier started hand painting the first of the signs. "We've turned out a couple of dozen signs," Lt. Fox said. "These have gone to the units guarding the perimeter. We let them post them where they think the signs will do the most good. Lt. Fox, in explaining his "signs of the times," said the division has erected its own death area for the VC - a reminder that the division plans to be around for awhile.