Vol 2 No. 39 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 2, 1967
|Unit Page||Unit Page||Unit Page||Unit Page|
|1/5 1||2/34 Armor 1||3/4 Cav 1||65th Engr 1|
|1/5 8||2/34 Armor 8||3/4 Cav 1||65th Engr 8|
|1/27 8||2/77 Arty 1||3/4 Cav 1||Area of Operations 2|
|2/14 8||25th Inf Div 1||3/13 Arty 1||25th - WWII 3|
|2/22 1||25th Inf Div 1||3/22 1||25th - Korea 6|
|2/27 1||25th Inf Div 1||4/9 1||25th - Hawaii 7|
|2/27 8||269th Avn Bn 8||4/23 8||25th - Vietnam 4|
Division Celebrates 26th Yr.
One year has passed since the 25th anniversary of the 25th Inf Div.
In that year, the division has set new records in battle, given immeasurable aid to villages and individuals in the three-province area of operation, and opened up many areas to the people through construction of roads and buildings.
The 3d Bde, 25th Inf Div, was on Operation "Paul Revere" a year ago. The Bronco Brigade wound up spending 230 days in continuous combat. This is the longest period ever spent engaged with the enemy in the history of the Army.
Operation "Attleboro" took place in War Zone C. The multi-division operation netted 1100 Viet Cong killed and more than four million pounds of rice found.
In November, the nation's highest award was posthumously awarded to SP4 Daniel Fernandez. A rifleman for the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, who gave his life for his comrades by throwing himself on a rifle grenade during a fire fight, Fernandez was the first man in the division to win the Medal of Honor in Vietnam.
In December the 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div, joined the 25th as an attached unit and moved to Dau Tieng to fight in the Michelin Plantation and War Zone C.
With the new year, the division joined the 196th and two other major units to smash into the previously untouched Iron Triangle. More than 670 Viet Cong were killed in fierce fighting. The operation accounted for the capture of seven million pounds of rice.
Operation "Gadsden," a 2d Bde operation, started on Feb. 2, northwest of Tay Ninh City. The twenty day operation accounted for several tunnel complexes destroyed, more than 130 enemy killed, and several thousand rounds of small arms ammunition captured.
The first week in March brought a change of command for the division. MG Fred C. Weyand left after almost two and a half years with the division to become deputy commander of II Field Force. MG John C. F. Tillson III, took over as the commanding general of the 25th Inf Div.
The day Gadsden terminated, "Junction City" began. More than 23,000 troops were sent to War Zone C for this operation.
On the evening of March 15, the first enemy mortar rounds in more than eight months were fired into the Cu Chi base camp.
What is believed to be the largest number of enemy soldiers killed in a single engagement during the Vietnam war took place at Soui Tre on March 21. Five units of the 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div, were involved in the four hour fight, which included human wave assaults, that left 647 Viet Cong dead.
Operation "Manhattan," the fourth multi-division operation for the 25th, started in April. Converging movements were utilized toward and along the Saigon River. RAG boats patrolled the river itself. More than 200,000 rounds of small arms ammunition were uncovered. This number exceeded the entire division total for the preceding year.
In the middle of May, the division kicked off three separate operations. "Kolekole" covered the area southwest of the base camp and was the responsibility of the 2d Bde. The 1st Bde started working north and northwest of Cu Chi on "Barking Sands." The 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div, was delegated the area between Dau Tieng and Tay Ninh. This operation was named "Diamondhead."
These three operations combined combat with civic action with the emphasis on the latter. The most significant gain in this area so far includes the opening of the road between Duc Hoa and Bao Trai. It was the first time in 10 years that the road had been open for anything other than foot travel.
The 1st Bde conducted a massive, combined search and seal and civic action program at Phu Hoa Dong. At the same time the 65th Cbt Engrs were stripping the Filhol Plantation. With tanks and Rome plows the engineers cleared that area at the rate of 125 acres a day.
In two separate fire fights within a week, the 1st and 2d Bns, 27th Inf "Wolfhounds," killed 34 and then 66 Viet Cong without a single U.S. casualty. Also during Kolekole the "Bobcats" of the 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, found a massive base camp and a munitions factory.
On Aug 1, the 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div, and the 3d Bde, 25th Inf Div, traded names. The Ivymen of Dau Tieng became Tropic Lightning troopers as the 25th soldiers in Pleiku put on the green and white patch of the 4th.
The division greeted a new commanding general Aug 6. At a ceremony in Lightning Loop, MG Tillson handed the division colors to MG F. K. Mearns.
In the last year, the combat action and civil affairs have been expanding and becoming more effective.
647 VC Killed At Soui Tre
A battlefield dress-rehearsal is credited with preventing the enemy from completely overrunning the fire support base of the 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div (now the 3d Bde, 25th Inf Div) during the massive Viet Cong attack at Soui Tre, March 21.
LTC John W. Vessey, commander of the 2d Bn., 77th Arty, reported that the night before the attack, the artillery reactionary force of 50 men had rehearsed in what turned out to be the exact area where they were needed during the attack.
His comment to the rehearsal was, "It sure paid off."
Co B, 3d Bn, 22nd Inf, was in danger of losing its position.
"They had pulled back into a tight circle and hand-to-hand combat had flared up in many places," stated one officer. The 105mm howitzers were firing at point blank range and the rounds were landing "about 75 meters to our front and we couldn't lower the tubes anymore," Vessey stated.
It was at this point of the battle that the reactionary force was committed.
As the battle raged, units of the 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div, were rushing through heavy jungle in an attempt to reinforce the beleaguered infantry and artillery. The 2d Bn (Mech), 22nd Inf, and the 2d Bn, 34th Armor, were pushing in from the west and the 2d Bn, 12th Inf, was moving in from the northwest.
"It was the closest thing to the 'Late-Late Show' I have ever seen - it was the cavalry coming to the rescue and we were sure happy to see these tracks come out of the woodline," said one officer.
The armored personnel carriers and tanks moved across the clearing using all available firepower to save the hard-pressed U.S. troopers.
The attacking force was estimated to be a VC regiment. The Viet Cong body count reached 647, a record for the largest number of enemy soldiers killed in a single engagement during the Vietnam war.
Thirty-one U.S. soldiers were killed in the four hour battle.
|SHARP LOOKOUT - One of the many faces of combat is shown here as a 25th lnf Div soldier keeps a sharp lookout for VC. The foot soldier is still the most important factor in any victory. (US Army Photo)|
Choppers Rip VC
CPT Charles Robinson of Multon, Mass., dug his face into the soft floor of the bunker and waited. Once again came the whooshing sound, then the explosion and the clinking as mortar fragments hit tree branches.
Seconds before the first round had landed at the treeline, just beyond the tents housing the helicopter crews.
It was 12:10 a.m.; the armed-helicopter crews of D Trp, 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav, were the men in the bracket at the Dau Tieng airstrip.
The next mortar missed the bracket and the men sprinted for the aircraft. With rounds falling close by they began to pull a pre-flight inspection for damage.
Team leader CPT Francis X. Delvy spearheaded the attack with rockets and machine gun fire as soon as the ships were airborne. Following close behind was Robinson's ship which blasted the area with rockets and 40mm grenades.
Suddenly the Viet Cong were trying to overrun several isolated outposts outside the perimeter and enemy fire had ripped into an armored column on its way to reinforce the outposts. Unable to contact the ground commander, Delvy followed the tanks' line of fire and attacked the VC positions.
As the pilots swooped in low to pump fire into the enemy positions, the VC turned their automatic weapons skyward. The door gunners in both aircraft returned the fire with their M-60's, lacing the VC positions. That night the door gunners fired more than 5000 rounds each.
Three Vietnamese children hit with shrapnel from a Chinese Communist concussion grenade, owe their lives to the quick action of the men of Btry A, 3d Bn, 13th Arty.
The battery of 155mm howitzers was stationed outside the village of Cau Nga Ba in support of the 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav. A loud roar approximately three hundred meters beyond the perimeter interrupted the noon meal and sent soldiers scurrying for cover.
"I just knew the kid was hurt," said SGT Glen Miller, explaining his actions. Miller of Allentown, Pa., ran across the unsecured field to reach one of the boys who staggered a few steps and collapsed following the explosion.
Meanwhile medic Robert Blount of Sylvania, Ga., and CPT Douglas Dakan, the battery commander, were treating two other children who tried to reach the artillerymen for help.
The three youngsters were taken by helicopter to a hospital at Cu Chi.
The 25th Inf Div's Support Command was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation in a ceremony held recently at Cu Chi.
The award was presented by former 25th Div commander, MG Fred C. Weyand, who praised the unit for distinguishing itself in support of military operations in Vietnam during the period from Jan 1966 to Dec 1966.
The unit citation read in part . . . "the members of this command demonstrated an extremely high degree of initiative and professionalism while providing combat materiel support for the 25th Inf Div."
4/9th Kills 114 VC
Two platoons of Co A, 4th Bn, 9th Inf "Manchu," killed 114 Viet Cong last week, spoiling an estimated battalion-sized enemy unit from overrunning their position 500 meters south of Phu Hoa Dong village.
One Viet Cong was taken prisoner and two more detained for questioning.
The assault, which later was termed as "human wave," began at approximately 12:30 a.m. when the enemy poured in mortar, rifle grenade and machine gun fire from several positions surrounding the platoon's perimeter. The VC fired more than 100 mortars.
The two platoons were conducting a routine mission providing security for units of the 65th Engrs repairing a road which leads through the Filhol Plantation and past the village of Phu Hoa Dong.
Using CHICOM Assault rifles, carbines, and machine guns, the enemy force, 300 strong, charged the camp while the "Manchumen" fought from their bunker positions. The first wave fell to the claymore mines and machine gun fire, but were quickly reinforced.
Contact was finally broken at 1:15 a.m. when two platoons of reinforcements from the 3d Sqdn, 4th Cav, and a platoon of Manchumen from Co. B, arrived on the scene. Air strikes were called in on the fleeing enemy.
| This souvenir edition of Tropic Lightning News is a salute to the men and
actions of the 25th lnf Div over the past 26 years. The stories on pages one
and eight are highlights of division action during the last year. We hope you
will enjoy it. ED.
Regular news coverage will resume in the Oct. 9 edition.
Page 2 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 2, 1967
25th's Area of Operation
Page 3 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 2, 1967
From Birth to War
Pacific "Tropic Lightning"
The 25th Inf Div wasn't quite ten weeks old when the Japanese sent fighter bombers roaring through Hawaii's Kolekole Pass on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, and broke the Sunday calm with machine gun fire. It was at the same moment just 25 miles away, that other enemy planes were raining bombs and destruction over the fighting force of the Navy's Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.
Not until the following November, when the 25th left Oahu for its first campaign on Guadalcanal was the Div able to return the favor to the Japanese. Their mission at Guadalcanal was to break through the Japanese flank and capture Mount Austen.
Marching fourteen miles through the jungle the Div set up its lines as planned. Then the sky fell for the enemy as the Div barreled through his lines and swept up the slopes of Mount Austen. Within ten days the enemy was bottled up in three main pockets. As the 27th Inf battled in the open and the 35th Inf pushed through the jungles of Mount Austen, Div Arty pounded the mountain crest from its position in the foothills. The 161st Inf (then a unit of the Division) made a junction with other Army forces a few miles east of Cape Esperance only twenty days later.
The Japanese occupation of Guadalcanal was over. It was the unprecedented speed with which the Div waged and completed this campaign that earned it the designation, "Tropic Lightning."
Valla Lavella and New Georgia followed in close succession, both characterized by heavy fighting in jungle terrain.
Sent to train in New Zealand for the assault on the Philippines, the Div hit the island of Luzon in December 1944. During the Philippine Campaign, the 25th accounted for more than six thousand Japanese killed in 165 days of continuous combat, a record which still stands among Army divisions.
Six unit citations and six Medals of Honor were awarded to units and individual members of the Div during World War II.
When the war was over, the Div moved to Japan for occupation duty.
|UP AND OVER - Men with flame throwers move toward the Japanese, who are defending Baguio, Luzon. At the end of 1944 GEN MacArthur was ready to make good his promise, "I shall return." The 25th was alerted, it was to help in the liberation of the Philippines. (US Army Photo)|
|HITTING THE BEACH - Troops of the 25th Inf Div land on Guadalcanal. Thirteen months after the 25th Div was organized, "Tropic Lightning" soldiers were on Guadalcanal and were immediately committed to combat. (US Army Photo)|
|KING ZIPPO - Flame throwers are used to clear key route to Baguio in northern Luzon. During the Philippine liberation a record was set for days in combat - 165. (US Army Photo)|
Page 4-5 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 2, 1967
25th Division; Stamina, Heroism, Courage
|A MECHANIC SPREADS OUT A NEW TREAD IN PREPARATION FOR PUTTING IT ON.|
|INFANTRYMEN OF THE 25TH DIV CHARGE TOWARD THE WOODS AT A SUSPECTED ENEMY POSITION.|
|A 25TH INF DIV TANK RUMBLES DOWN A ROAD IN VIETNAM. TANKS HELP KEEP THE ROADS SAFE FOR TRAVEL.|
|HELICOPTERS OF THE 25TH DIV TAKE OFF ON ANOTHER MISSION. COPTERS ARE VITAL IN VIETNAM.|
|AN APC CROSSES A BRIDGE BUILT BY THE ENGRS. DIV UNITS ALWAYS WORK TOGETHER.|
|A 25TH DIV 105MM HOWITZER HAMMERS AT A VC POSITION. ARTILLERY CONTINUES TO PROVE ITS WORTH.|
U.S. ARMY PHOTOS
Page 6 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 2, 1967
The 25th at Masan - Key to Korea
On July 5, 1950, the directive came - the 25th was ordered into combat. Two days later elements of the Div began arriving in Korea.
The Red columns were advancing steadily, meeting little resistance from the outnumbered, overwhelmed Republic of Korea troops. At this point the entire northern part of South Korea was in Communist hands. Moving southward, the North Korean troops hoped to cut off and capture the vital port of Pusan. If they could accomplish that, the battle for Korea would be as good as over - for it was through Pusan that all United Nations troops and material were being shipped. Cut off, United Nations forces would be exposed to disaster.
The 25th Div was assigned to Sangju sector to hold off the Communist advance. As the Division held its ground, word came that another large Red force was moving on Pusan from the west. The Division was ordered to move to the Chinju-Masan area, 150 miles from its position, to meet the oncoming force.
The Reds, continuing their drive through the latter part of July, took Taejon and advanced on Yongdong, which tottered. The 27th Inf Regt, commanded by young LTC John "Mike" Michaelis, raced from Andong to meet the Communist threat.
On the morning of July 24, 1950, two North Korean divisions hit the regiment in force. It developed into the first full-scale engagement by a unit of the 25th Inf Div in the war to date. If the Reds managed to break through, it would drive a wedge between the 25th Div and the 1st Cav line. The "Wolfhounds" held their ground. Colonel Michaelis reported that the "Wolfhounds" were not defeated, but exhausted.
Major General William B. Kean, the division commanding general, dispatched the following message to "Mike" Michaelis:
"Entire Division takes pride in gallant and successful stand by you and your fighting men. My warmest regards, Kean."
Leaving one unit behind to create a diversion, the entire Div moved overnight to its new position. The move stunned Communist aggressors.
The Reds at Sangju, who were fighting an entire division only one day earlier, refused to move forward, fearing a trap. Surprised Red commanders near Masan, expecting to move in on Pusan unopposed, were suddenly confronted with one of America's fightingest divisions. Military experts agree that this swift action and the follow-up move into Masan were keys to saving Korea from total Red domination.
During the United Nations Counteroffensive, the "Tropic Lightning" Division slew more than 8000 enemy troops in one day.
During the Korean War, the 25th Div fought in ten campaigns. Members of the division were awarded 13 Medals of Honor, five of them to members of the 27th Inf, which was the most decorated regiment in the Korean War.
After the Korean truce was signed, the Division stayed as an occupation force. In September 1945, after more than 12 years absence, the 25th returned to Hawaii.
|READY TO MOVE - Tanks and men of the 25th Inf Div forge ahead in a spearhead attack on the western battle front in Korea. The 25th Div once again distinguished itself in Korea. During the war, 14 "Tropic Lightning Troopers" were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Division successfully defended Seoul against continuing enemy attacks.|
|NIGHT FIRE - A tank lights the sky with fire during the Han River crossing. The Div was ordered to cross the river and drive the Red forces back. (US Army Photo)|
|ADVANCE - Troops advance on Task Force "Punch," launched five miles southwest of Seoul. In Korea the Div had seen more than 800 days of combat, establishing a record. It distinguished itself in the encounter at Munsan-Ni, where one of the heaviest artillery barrages of the war was encountered and an entire division was hurled at the 25th's right flank - but the 25th held. (US Army Photo)|
Page 7 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 2, 1967
Hawaii-Home, Training, Friends
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Headquarters 25th Infantry Division
APO San Francisco 96225
To the officers and men of the 25th Infantry Division:
Since its activation on 1 October 1941, the 25th Infantry Division has spent more than one third of its active service in combat.
Its record of accomplishments extend from Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal in the Pacific, to Pusan and Masan in Korea and to Cu Chi and Logo in Vietnam. This combat service has earned the division the honor of two battle stars for its Combat Infantryman's Badge, an honor shared with only one other division.
Ours is a proud heritage. Those who have served with the Tropic Lightning Division over the past 26 years have built for it a reputation of honor and distinction unsurpassed in our military history. On this organization day I would like for each of you to join with me in dedicating ourselves to continue this proud history built by those who went before us.
F. K. MEARNS
Major General, USA
|HAWAIIAN DANCE - The 25th enjoyed their stay in Hawaii with festivals like this, but it wasn't all play, the Division trained hard in Hawaii. The training was very closely patterned after the real thing. The training received in Hawaii proved to be a tremendous help to the officers and men who later went to serve in Vietnam. (US Army Photo)|
It was not primarily for rest and relaxation that the Div returned to
Schofield Barracks. As the troopships sailed into Honolulu Harbor, cheers met
the "Lightningaires" from the shore. On the docks, Hawaiian wahines were
swaying to the hula, singing Aloha.
As the Div quickly settled into Schofield Quads, they went to work building an immediate reaction force for the United States Army in the Pacific. If nothing else, Korea had shown the Division one thing: They must always be ready to strike anywhere, anytime. In a tension-ridden world they couldn't afford to relax their defenses.
The years following the return from Korea were filled with tough, steady training and reorganization for modern combat.
The focal point of the "Tropic Lightning" soldier's existence at Schofield Barracks from the Korean War to the current commitment in Vietnam was training-intensive, well-planned and so closely patterned after the "real thing" that officers and men of the 25th Inf Div now in Vietnam frequently compare the facsimiles of problems yesterday with military operations in hamlets and villages around Cu Chi today.
The 25th Div left the marks of rugged training on jagged, lava beds, impassable training areas, bumpy twisting roads of Hawaii, and snow-covered mountains of the Big Island during mobility exercises, "Blue Blazer I and II, Red Rover, Compass Road, Saddle Road, Kona Wind, Long Sabre I, II and III" and "Lava Ridge II and III; field training exercises, High Top I and IV, "Dusty Trail" and "Boot Ripper."
To obtain a different climate and terrain, plus larger firing areas, the Division's three brigades and supporting units frequently traveled to the Pohakuoa Training Area on the Big Island, which offers shoe and track-breaking terrain, cold weather and dusty, rock-strewn mountain slopes.
The base camp was located in the lava bed saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes 30 miles from Hilo. The training area was used by units taking annual training tests for combined exercises and for combined exercises with "sister services."
The open land on the Big Island provided training areas not found on Oahu.
To many, the Big Island was a state of mind - an idyllic spot where church bells chime at sunset and the spirit of hooman-awanui, or "relax-take it easy" were the order of the day.
But to the men of the 25th Inf Div, Big Island means more than exotic flowers and tours through orchid nurseries. It recalls eating and shaving dust . . . the cold rain, late hours and early rising . . . the hard work and the outdoor plumbing.
|WOW - The Div's stay in Hawaii did allow the men to have some fun. Schofield proved to be an enjoyable place for the men, with macadam streets, picnic grounds, monuments, beer gardens, theaters, a nursery, barber shops, service clubs and a commissary. There were also seven chapels with a total seating capacity of 1000, and 17 chaplains of all faiths. (US Army Photo)|
The TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS is an authorized publication of the 25th Infantry Division. It is published weekly for all division units in the Republic of Vietnam by the Information Office, 25th Infantry Division, APO San Francisco 96225. Army News Features, Army Photo Features, Armed Forces Press Service and Armed Forces News Bureau material are used. Views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army. Printed in Tokyo, Japan, by Pacific Stars and Stripes.
MG F. K. Mearns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Commanding General
MAJ Bernard S. Rhees . . . . . . . . . . . Information Officer
1LT Larry Rottmann . . . . . . . . . . . . . Officer-in-Charge
SSG David G. Wilkinson . . . . . . . . . Editor-in-Chief
PFC Dave Cushman . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editorial Assistant
Page 8 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS October 2, 1967
Hounds Anxious For Fight
Intelligence reported that some 400 Viet Cong were headed for the forward base camp of the 2d Bn, 27th Inf, 12 kms south of the division's base camp at Cu Chi. The "Wolfhounds" came alive, not with fear, but in anticipation that they might be able to get a good fight going.
The battalion command post began planning extra bunker positions and arranged for distribution of extra ammunition. The artillerymen with the Wolfhounds transmitted all necessary coordinates in anticipation of a good night with plenty of rounds to be called in.
The tension could be felt as the men prepared for a "hot night."
Then it was wait. Nothing but wait. Communications with the ambush patrol sites were checked. Men joked as they sat and waited for the first sighting of the enemy or the first incoming rounds.
At 7:30 the first rounds of small arms fire came in from the southeast. American M-60's opened up and chatter of the M-16's could be heard. Several Claymore mines blasted out over the weapons fire.
Then fire came in from the southwest. Co B was hit. Several 81 mm rounds were fired at the suspected position. An OH-23 chopper pilot circling above saw the mortar explode in the spot where the sniper fire was coming from. The fire ceased.
Co C in the northeast corner of the perimeter was the next to receive fire. Ten minutes had gone by and no casualties. Two men were seen running across a field. Automatic weapons opened up and one fell. The other kept going.
When Co A on the northwest corner got hit, someone yelled, "Here we go. It's going to be a good night."
Then, just as suddenly as it had started, the fire stopped. It was 8:15. The fight had lasted 45 minutes. Four enemy dead had been counted and there were three more possibles. One Wolfhound had been wounded slightly.
No one could be sure if there would be more action or not that night. The men were disappointed that it wasn't a big fight. But they were ready for anything that might come later.
Engineers Tackle Filhol
A company of U.S. armor and engineers have combined to strip the cover from the Filhol Rubber Plantation about 7 kms northwest of Cu Chi, in an attempt to end the trouble spot's 20-year history of harboring guerrilla forces.
Tanks pulling four-ton drag chains from Echo Co, 2d Bn, 34th Armor, and tractors equipped with knife-edged Rome Plows from Charlie Co, 65th Engr Bn, began the operation June 1.
Clearing has been progressing at the rate of 125 acres per day, according to SSG Charles Jones of Ozark, Ala., project NCO. "We're using lengths of naval anchor chain towed by two M-48 tanks to uproot the rubber trees, and the Rome Plows for tearing up the foliage," Jones explained.
The exact amount of clearing to be done in the 9000 acre plantation was not disclosed, but MAJ William D. Borum, engineer operations officer, did state that enough will be cleared to deny the VC cover and concealment and give U.S. infantry and mechanized elements access to the area.
Bobcats Kill 27
Men of the 25th Div's 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf, scored well near the Cambodian border during recent operations.
They killed more than a score of Viet Cong and destroyed a battalion-sized VC base camp in one three-day period.
Co A's armored personnel carriers struck at 2 p.m. on the first day. Intensive firefights of 45 and 15 minutes, sandwiched around a brief lull, led to an initial body count of 17 VC dead.
Co B blew up 55 bunkers the next day, using 42-pound crater blasting charges. CPT Richard G. Jones of Sarasota, Fla., the company commander, said his men found ten more bodies for a total of 27 VC dead.
|YUM! - A little Vietnamese boy enjoys the milk and cake given to him by elements of the 25th Div. (US Army Photo)|
1-27 Cbt Assault
Three Viet Cong were killed and their weapons captured during an aerial assault by Co B, 1st Bn, 27th "Wolfhounds," recently, 30 kms southwest of Cu Chi.
Soon after the company swept out of its landing zone, COL Marvin D. Fuller, 2d Bde commander, circling the area in his command helicopter, spotted a group of six to eight VC ahead of the unit. The company was deployed toward the enemy.
Moving quickly through the mud of the swamp area, the headquarters element spotted the Viet Cong running desperately toward a hedgerow where they split into two groups.
"It all happened so fast that I didn't even have to tell the men to fire," said PSG Warren G. Brooks of Wilson, N.C.
Moments later, fire from the platoon killed another Viet Cong as he ran from the thick undergrowth. A thorough search of the area produced no further contact.
VC BC - 2/14
The command post was very ornate; the ceiling and floors were inlaid tile and the escape tunnel was lined with brick and concrete.
That is how SSG Edwin Convoy Jr. of Little Ferry, N.J., describes the main building in a Viet Cong base camp uncovered this week by the 2d Bn, 14th Inf. The enemy position was captured after the U.S. Infantrymen with helicopter gunship support broke through heavily fortified automatic weapons positions, 33 kms north of Saigon in Binh Duong Province along the Saigon River.
According to Convoy, documents were found that showed the command post was a battalion headquarters for local force VC.
Ammunition cans were found that contained record files and a red and yellow silk flag. The interpreter working with Convoy, stated that the flag was for the best platoon in the battalion.
|AIM AND FIRE - Infantrymen of the 25th Inf Div fire at a Viet Cong position. The 25th Div has succeeded in destroying many of the VC strongholds in Hau Nghia, Tay Ninh and Binh Duong Provinces. The 25th is distinguishing itself in Vietnam as it did in World War Il and Korea. (US Army Photo)|
Just Another Day
Heat, 'C' Rations, Dreams
Out of the dark, low, overcast sky the sun rises slowly, breaking the news of another sweep for the men of the 4th Bn. (Mech), 23d Inf., 25th Inf. Div. The typical "Tomahawk" is way ahead of his morning "alarm clock." He has been up for an hour or more now.
He can tell it's going to be hot today, just as it has been day in and day out. His helmet is tucked neatly on his head, his girl's picture covers a portion of his steel pot.
The command is given to load on the tracks. As he sits in the track he studies the faces of the other four men. They are a team. Each of them knowing what the other's reaction will be in many different situations.
They have lived together, waded through mud, slept in rain, gone on patrols, divided their hot beer and argued about who was going to have the ham and eggs "C" rations; all of this for six months. They are unbeatable.
As the tracks plow through the rice paddies, many daydreams are generated, savored and discarded. The infantryman. A quick stop for a contested "C" ration lunch and he is back on the move.
The sun seems to set differently for the infantrymen in a war torn country. The setting is not a sign of peace and rest but a reminder that danger could linger only meters away.
Then the most cherished words of the day are heard as the famed call "Hey, the mail is here," rings out.
269th Avn Joins 25th
The 269th Combat Avn Gp, was recently assigned to Cu Chi base camp and has begun operations for the 25th Inf Div and its attached units.
The "Black Baron's" HHC was activated at Fort Bragg, N.C., on July 1, 1966, and deployed to Vietnam Jan. 7. It arrived in the "Tropic Lightning" base camp on Jan. 27.
The unit has a 14-man pathfinder detachment and a flight surgeon. It also has medical units capable of making any mission a "dust off" if necessary.
On March 19, the battalion flew its first mission and at the end of the month its air hours totaled 1669 carrying 7250 troops and 409.6 tons of cargo.
Robert Nissen, Co. A and HQ, 725th Maint. Bn., for sharing this issue,
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.
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©2007 25th Infantry Division Association. All rights reserved.