Monday, March 4, 2019

TheList 4940

The List 4940     TGB


 
To All,
 
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
Regards,
Skip
 
This day in Naval History
 
March 4
§  1825—The schooner Grampus, commanded by Lt. Francis H. Gregory, captures a pirate sloop off the southern coast of Puerto Rico.
§  1862—The wooden side-wheel steamship USS Santiago de Cuba, commanded by Cmdr. Daniel B. Ridgely, reports the capture of sloop O.K. off Cedar Keys, FL.
§  1925—Congress authorizes the restoration of frigate USS Constitution, which had launched in 1797. In July 1931, amid a 21-gun salute, Constitution is recommissioned and sails on a tour of 90 U.S. ports along three coasts.
§  1945—USS Baya (SS 318) sinks merchant tanker Palembang Maru off Cape Varella, French Indochina, and USS Tilefish (SS 307) and sinks Japanese fishing vessel ShikoMaru.
§  1963—US Navy C-130 Hercules aircraft complete a 12-day rescue operation of a critically-ill Danish seaman from a Danish freighter off the coast of Antarctic.
§  1991—Iraq releases 10 Desert Storm prisoners of war (six Americans, three of whom were designated MIA), including Navy Lt. Jeffrey Zaun, Lt. Robert Wetzel, and Lt. Lawrence Slade.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
 
Executive Summary:
Leading national news headlines today are reports that a series of tornados in Alabama yesterday has killed at least 23 people, as first responders continue to search for the missing.  Five thousand people gathered in Charleston, S.C. for the commissioning of the Navy's newest littoral combat ship USS Charleston. "This ship was made to defend America. Take care of her, so you in turn can take care of all of us," said Adm. James Foggo III to the crew of the newly commissioned Charleston. The United States and South Korea announced the cancelation of the Key Resolve, Foal Eagle and Ulchi-Freedom military exercises reports Stars and Stripes. Additionally, the Navy issued a draft RFP on Friday for its planned class of 20 next generation guided-missile frigates reports USNI News.

This Day in World History
 
1152 Frederick Barbarossa is chosen as emperor and unites the two factions, which emerged in Germany after the death of Henry V.
1461 Henry VI is deposed and the Duke of York is proclaimed King Edward IV.
1634 Samuel Cole opens the first tavern in Boston, Massachusetts.
1766 The British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, the cause of bitter and violent opposition in the colonies
1789 The first Congress of the United States meets in New York and declares that the Constitution is in effect.
1791 Vermont is admitted as the 14th state. It is the first addition to the original 13 colonies.
1793 George Washington is inaugurated as President for the second time.
1797 Vice-President John Adams, elected President on December 7, to replace George Washington, is sworn in.
1801 Thomas Jefferson becomes the first President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.
1813 The Russians fighting against Napoleon reach Berlin. The French garrison evacuates the city without a fight.
1877 The Russian Imperial Ballet stages the first performance of "Swan Lake" in Moscow.
1901 William McKinley is inaugurated president for the second time. Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated as vice president.
1904 Russian troops begin to retreat toward the Manchurian border as 100,000 Japanese advance in Korea.
1908 The New York board of education bans the act of whipping students in school.
1912 The French council of war unanimously votes a mandatory three-year military service.
1914 Doctor Fillatre of Paris, France successfully separates Siamese twins.
1921 Warren G. Harding is sworn in as America's 29th President.
1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to his first term as president in Washington, D.C.
1944 Berlin is bombed by the American forces for the first time.
1952 North Korea accuses the United nations of using germ warfare.
1963 Six people get the death sentence in Paris plotting to kill President Charles de Gaulle.
1970 Fifty-seven people are killed as the French submarine Eurydice sinks in the Mediterranean Sea.
1975 Queen Elizabeth II knights Charlie Chaplin.
1987 President Reagan takes full responsibility for the Iran-Contra affair in a national address.
 
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Thanks to THE Bear - 
 

COMMANDO HUNT AND ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 3-9 DECEMBER 1968–WEEK FOUR OF THE HUNT…

March 3, 2019Bear Taylor
COMMANDO HUNT AND ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 3-9 DECEMBER 1968–WEEK FOUR OF THE HUNT…COMMANDO HUNT AND ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 3-9 DECEMBER 1968–WEEK FOUR OF THE HUNT…
COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR… IN THE WEEK ENDING 30 NOVEMBER 1968, 228 BRAVE AMERICANS WERE KILLED IN ACTION, BRINGING THE TOTAL KILLED FIGHTING IN SOUTH VIETNAM SINCE 1961 TO 29,865. TOTAL WOUNDED: 188,159… LEST WE FORGET…
Good Morning. It's Monday, 4 March 2019. Humble Host remembers Week Four of COMMANDO HUNT I– 3-9 DECEMBER 1968…
HEADLINES from The NEW YORK TIMES (3-9 Dec 1968)…
THE WAR: (3 Dec) ENEMY POSITIONS IN DMZ POUNDED–Contacts In Zone Total 29 Since U.S. Bombing Halt…"United States guns and planes pounded enemy positions in the demilitaized zone twice during the last 36 hours in the first combat actions in almost a week. The actions brought to 29 the number of engagements in the six-mile wide buffer strip since the United States halted attacks against North Vietnam on Nov. 1… Aerial observers directed air strikes against the guns, then called in artillery fire on supplies nearby. Several secondary explosions–of ammunition and fuel stores–were set off by the bombs and artillery shells."… TWENTY-FOUR HOUR HOLIDAY TRUCE ANNOUNCED IN VIETNAM… (4 Dec) BATTLESHIP NEW JERSEY JOINS PLANES IN STRIKES ON POSITIONS IN DMZ… "American fighter-bombers and the battleship New Jersey struck against enemy gun positions that fired from the DMZ on U.S. reconnaissance planes yesterday for the third consecutive day."… "In ground action troops of the United States First Cavalry Division (Air Mobile) fought a sharp battle near the Cambodian border…23 Americans had been killed and 82 wounded in the four hour battle."… SOUTH KOREANS KILL 93 NORTH VIETNAMESE… "…At least 12 prisoners were taken…The clash took place on the Goboy Plain north of Quinhon."… (5 Dec) PLANE DAMAGED BY MISSILE… "Soviet-made surface-to-air missiles damaged a United States Navy reconnaissance plane and narrowly missed another over North Vietnam yesterday. Both planes returned to their carrier. It was the second such incident since 1 Nov."… (6 Dec) U.S. REPORTS RISE IN COMBAT DEATHS– (228 KIA week ending 30 Nov)… MAIL CALL IN SAIGON: 1,000 TONS EACH DAY… (7 Dec) ENEMY GUNS SHELL VIETNAMESE CITIES WITH LITTLE EFFECT… DEFECTIONS FROM VIETCONG INCREASE… "… 2,200 in October and another 2,200 in November, totals higher than in any other month of 1968."… (8 Dec) MARINES BATTLE TO CLOSE CORDON–They Lose 8 Men and Kill 22 in Action Near Danang… "Bitter fighting broke out yesterday as United States marines tightened a cordon around an enemy force entrenched south of Danang."… (Dec 9) Terrence Smith reporting from Ubon…U.S. PLANES AT THAI BASES STEP UP BOMBING IN LAOS…"Camouflaged in green and black, Phantom F-4D fighter-bombers roar off the runway of this sprawling base in eastern Thailand all day and night. Loaded with bombs and flying in tight formation, they streak towards the Laotian border, just 45 miles to the east. The planes usually are back at the base in little more than an hour, their undersides free of bombs. The planes have been striking targets along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the enemy supply route, since Nov. 1 when the American bombing of North Vietnam was halted… United States Navy warplanes have virtually stopped bombing targets in South Vietnam and are being used, along with Air Force B-52s, to strike bases and routes in Laos… Their targets are the dirt roads and twisting jungle paths that are the principal route by which North Vietnamese supplies and reinforcements are moved to South Vietnam…. this flow of equipment averages 60 tons a day."…
 
PEACE TALKS IN PARIS: (3 Dec) U.S. AND NORTH VIETNAMESE CONFER ON PLANS FOR SESSIONS IN PARIS…"…started confidential talks today to arrange the first formal session of a broadened Vietnam conference…no date has been set for the proposed meeting."… (4 Dec) NIXON SAID TO ASK LODGE TO REPLACE HARRIMAN IN PARIS–Ex-Ambassador to Vietnam Is Termed Eager to Serve at Peace Negotiations–A Delay Is Indicated–Final Action Not Expected Until a New Secretary of State Can Be Consulted… SAIGON AIDE REACHES PARIS… "Nguyen Thieu Nhon, a member of Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky's delegation to the peace talks arrived here today."… HARRIMAN AND RUSK CONFER… "…the chief United States negotiator at the preliminary talks in Paris reported to Secretary of State Dean Rusk on the expanded talks expected to open next week…"… (5 Dec) HARRIMAN TO ASK A FORMAL TRUCE AT DMZ AT TALKS–Seeks To Replace Informal Arrangement With Hanoi–sees Nixon Today…. (6 Dec) NIXON RULES OUT SENDING AN ENVOY TO TALKS IN PARIS BEFORE HE TAKES OFFICE JAN 20.–Repeats Earlier Stand After Harriman Says Observer Will Probably Be Named"… SAIGON HOUSE DELAYS ACTION ON TALKS… (7 Dec) KY TELLS VIETNAM CHANCE OF PEACE AT TALKS IS GOOD–Delegation Determined, But 'Full of Goodwill,' He Says–Seating Still an Issue… TABLE FOR PARLEY KEY ISSUE IN PARIS–Vance and Hanoi Aide Settle Some Procedural Points…"The major outstanding difference remaining concerns the table or tables to be used in the meeting."… (8 Dec) BACKING ON TALKS IS VOTED IN SAIGON AND TEAM LEAVES FOR PARIS–Legislature In Joint Session Approves by 80-21–Meeting Called Tense–Goodwill Asserted–Thieu Sees Ky and Party Off–Says Outcome in Paris Is Up To Communists… SAIGON MEN PLAN FOR LONG STAY–Team Will Try to Show It Represents Solid Regime…
 
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK: (3 Dec) KISSINGER NAMED A KEY NIXON AIDE IN DEFENSE POLICY–Job Of Overhauling Work Of National Security Council Given Harvard Expert–New Emphasis Sought–President-Elect Says Top Advisor Will Specialize in Long-Term Planning… JORDAN AND ISRAEL RENEW HEAVY ARTILLERY EXCHANGE–Air Strike In Jordan… NASSER ASSERTS THAT SUEZ FRONT IS GREATEST THREAT TO ISRAEL… (4 Dec) ISRAEL JETS SILENCE ARTILLERY IN JORDAN FOR SECOND DAY… POLICE REPEL STUDENTS AT COLLEGE IN SAN FRANCISCO… "Club swinging policemen kept 700 student strikers from disrupting classes today at San Francisco State College. Reporters watched the police beat dozens of demonstrators to the ground. Students broke furniture and used the pieces as clubs against the police….31 persons were arrested on felony charges"…  ANTI-WAR LEADERS TELL HEARING YOUTH PROTESTS WILL GET WORSE…"The organizers of antiwar street protests during the Democratic National Convention told a Congressional committee today that youthful protests would get worse as today's '7 and 8 year olds' grow up into rebels. 'There will continue to be rebellions as long as we elect people like Mayor Daley and Richard Nixon,' Rennard Davis told the House Committee on Un-American Activities."… HEAD OF CHICAGO POLICE DENIES HIS OFFICERS RIOTED IN AUGUST… (5 Dec) CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN CONSENTS TO NIXON REQUEST TO STAY ON UNTIL JUNE–Yields To Plea That He Remain To Prevent Disruption In Court Work… IRAQI POSITIONS IN JORDAN RAIDED BY ISRAELI JETS–Attackers Tell of Striking 40 Miles From Border–9 Israeli Aircraft Lost, Arabs Say... (6 Dec) APOLLO 8 IS SET TO LAND IN THE DARK–Pre-Dawn Return From Moon On December 27 Is Announced… OPED: "Tyranny on Campus"… (7 Dec) ARMY TO RELEASE 20,000 MEN EARLY–Acts To Demobilize Guard and Reserve Next Year–Draft Calls To Rise… U.S. IS SAID TO NOTIFY SOVIET IT IS READY FOR MISSILE TALKS–Moscow's View Is Asked On Time, Place and Level For Delayed Meeting–Summer Move Studied–Nixon Reported To Agree To Johnson Intitiative For Restricting Weapons… (8 Dec) ISRAEL CURBS ARAB TRAVEL IN CAMPAIGN AGAINST SABOTAGE–Measures Start Today–Jordan Urges Liberation… COMMUNIST CHINA PURIFYING IT'S CLASS RANKS IN WIDE PURGE… (9 Dec) LAIRD REPORTED CHOICE OF NIXON TO HEAD DEFENSE–House Republican, Age 46, Has Taken Hard Line On War–Selection A Surprise… GREAT SOCIETY: WHAT IT WAS, WHERE IT IS–Federal Domestic Role Has Increased Ten-Fold In The Johnson Era…
 
OPERATION COMMANDO HUNT I… PACIFIC AIR FORCES: Southeast Asia Air Operations… November 1968… Declas 2/92…
MONTHLY SUMMARY (11/68)… 346 attack sorties were flown in North Vietnam before the bombing halt became effective at 2100H, 1 November. Traffic flow at the end of November indicates Mark-36 Destructors previously seeded were not seriously inpeding the enemy. Reconnaissance aircraft were escorted by fighter aircraft over North Vietnam after ground fire reaction began on 7 November. Information obtained from reconnaissance photos indicate heavy rebuilding, repair and resupply efforts by the enemy. Average weekly vehicle sightings increased sharply from 363 during previous period to 1,002 during the 28 October–1 December period. Average weekly waterborne logistices craft sighting decreased from 284 to 138 during this same period.
The volume and intensity of the resupply effort appears massive. Supplies passing south through MuGia Pass appear destined for use in Laos and/or South Vietnam. Increased supply movement is also prevalent north to Hanoi and beyond.
The continued photo reconnaissance effort permits a factual appraisal of the enemy's efforts. RF-4C aircraft flew 108 photo reconnaissance sorties over North Vietnam during November.
Attack sorties in Laos increased 169% (12,821 in November versus 4,764 in October) following the North Vietnam bombing halt. Heavy pressure was maintained on South Laos lines of communications against the flow of enemy supplies moving south. Sorties in support of ground operations increased in North Laos (Barrel Roll). Expanded controls over aircraft operations were imposed to handle the additional flights in Laos and to prevent North Vietnam border incursions.
Pilots and Roadwatch Teams sighted 7,686 vehicles from 28 October to 1 December. 15% of the 3,556 trucks sighted by pilots were destroyed/damaged.
Barrel Roll attack sorties increaed 89% to 1,296. Strikes were primarily against troop concentrations, supply areas and gun positions. Attack sorties in Steel Tiger increased 183% to 11,525 during November. 8,380 attack sorties were flown by the USAF, 2,312 by the USN, and 833 by the USMC. OPERATION COMMANDO HUNT I, a closely integrated and centrally directed U.S. air campaign against the enemy logistices system, began 15 November. Approximately two-thirds of the Steel Tiger sorties flown after 15 November were within the COMMANDO HUNT area. Allied forces in South Vietnam continued on the initiative, pressing the enemy into combat where possible. Heavy use of tactical air, armed helos, fixed-wing gunships and artillery contributed to the continuing high trend of enemy versus friendly KIA ratio.
B-52 Arc Light sorties in SEA decreased from 1,849 in October to 1,790 in November. All November B-52 sorties were flown in South Vietnam and Laos.
Of 56 allied aircraft lost to enemy action in November, 38 were helicopters. The 50 aircraft losses in South Vietnam is the fourth lowest of the year. 25 enemy attacks were launched against friendly air bases/airfields. 71 aircraft were damaged during these atacks, but none were destroyed.
5 SAM firings were reported during November. No aircraft were lost to SAMs.
FINDINGS: The reconnaissance effort in North Vietnam shows clearly the character of the massive resupply, repair, and rebuilding efforts underway. Large sea-going vessels, two lane traffic, and exposed supply depots are common from the DMZ to Hanoi and beyond.
 
AIRCRAFT LOSSES 3 THROUGH 9 DECEMBER 1968… References include: Chris Hobson's VIETNAM: AIR LOSSES… Seven aircraft and four aviators were lost…
(1) On 3 December an OV-1A of VMO-2 and MAG-16 operating out of Marble Mountain piloted by 1LT ROBERT LYON NORTON, USMC, and 1LT ROBERT ARTHUR CARNEY, USMC, was lost after completing an artillery spotting mission six miles south of Danang. The pilot radioed intention to conduct a short reconnaissance of "Happy Valley," an area southwest of  Danang, and disappeared. The wreckage of the aircraft and the remains of the two Marine aviators were later found and recovered. It was presumed the aircraft had been downed by ground fire. 1LT ROBERT NORTON and 1LT ROBERT CARNEY, who flew, fought and died together, are buried in Arlington National Cemetery, together, under a dual headstone…
(2) On 3 December an F-4D of the 497th TFS and 8th TFW out of Ubon piloted by MAJOR C.L. GALLANGER and 1LT D.K. CHASTAIN was downed on a Night Owl mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail near Ban Senphan and the exit of the Mugia Pass. The aircraft was hit by AAA and both aviators successfully ejected, parachuted safely into the jungle, evaded the enemy and were rescued by a USAF HH-53 Jolly Green out of Nakhon Phanom…. To fly and fight, again…
(3) On 6 December an F105D of the 357th TFS and 355th TFW out of Takhli piloted by CAPTAIN R.M. WALKER was one of four Thunderchiefs striking a POL site near Ban Soppeng opposed by 57mm ground fire. CAPTAIN WALKER was hit while in a dive on the target and was able to maneuver a few miles from the guarded target before ejecting to be rescued by one of the bravest-of-the-brave, HH-3 driver LCOL ROYAL BROWN out of Nakhon Phanom, who would earn one of his Silver Stars for intrepid performance on the 21 November 1970 Son Tay Raid…
(4) On 8 December an A-1J of the 602nd SOS and 56th SOW piloted by MAJOR T.H. O'CONNOR was downed on his third strafing pass on a enemy troolps near Sopka in Northern Laos (Barrel Roll). Small arms fire created an airframe fire requiring MAJOR O'CONNOR to eject a few miles from the enemy troops. He was rescued by an Air Force helicopter, but not without difficulty… A squadronmate would fall in the rescue effort…
(5) Two hours after MAJOR O'CONNOR was downed, CAPTAIN JOSEPH SAMUEL PIRRUCCELLO, JR of the 602nd SOS was flying an A-1J supporting the RESCAP helicopter. After several runs suppressing ground fire throughout the Sopka area to allow the Jolly Green an opening to make the rescue of MAJOR O'CONNOR, CAPTAIN PIRRUCCELLO's Spad was hit by ground fire and failed to recover from the attack. He was not seen to eject and was declared killed in action. Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his brother…
The following is quoted from the book CHEATING DEATH: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos by COLONEL GEORGE J. MARRETT, USAF, a great storyteller whose squadron was on the scene that day… (Page 140-141)…
"On the morning of December 8, 1968, the day Tom O'Conner got shot down and rescued, Gene McCormack briefed Joe Pirruccello on the high speed stall characteristics of the single seat-H and J models. The planes were very unforgiving of pilots who manhandled them during a steep dive and rapid pullout low to the ground.
"Squadron commander (Lieutenant) Colonel (Walter) Stueck was also flying on O'Connor's rescue. Stueck later said, 'Pirruccello's A-1 exploded on contact with the ground then careened  back into the air and ran smack into a karst mountain about five hundred feet high.' Colonel Stueck didn't see Pirruccello eject or parachute to the ground. He had no doubt in his mind that Joe Pirruccello was killed. Even after 32 years, he can still vividly see Pirruccello's Skyraider crash into the mountain. Whether Pirruccello was hit by ground fire or simply pulled too many Gs in the stall-prone J-model was never known.
"Gene McCormack, who had briefed Pirruccello only hours earlier about the J-model's stall characteristic, grieved over the loss. He said, 'I guess I wasn't a good briefer–the high-speed stall got Pirruccello.' McCormack felt Pirrucello's loss greatly, but Joe Pirruccello was flying the plane and made his own decision on dive angle and pull-up point. We are individually responsible for our own flying techniques and the risks we took in attempting to save another pilot. That fact didn't lessen the pain and frustration we felt in losing a squadron plot and good friend.'"…
CAPTAIN PIRRUCCELLO went down in an area of many caves where many Americans were known to be held, out of sight from aircraft searching overhead.Any hope that the Captain survived was dashed when the POWs were released in 1973. He was declared killed in action, body not recovered; a status valid today. He is memorialized at the USAFA…
(6) On 8 December an F-105D of the 354th TFS and 355th TFW out of Takhli piloted by 1LT ROBERT ALAN REX was lost on a mission in Barrel Roll. 1LT REX rolled in on his first dive attack, was hit by ground fire in the run and failed to eject before the Thunderchief flew into the ground. His remains were recovered by a joint US and Laotian team in 1994 and positively identified in 1996. The young warrior was buried at the Randolph, Utah cemetery on 25 July 1996, where he rests in peace…
(7) On 9 December an RF-4C of the 11th TRS and 432nd TRW out of Udorn piloted by MAJOR ROBERT I. McCANN, with CAPTAIN J.B. KOEBBERTLING in the rear cockpit, was downed on a photo reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. The photo Phantom was hit by 37mm fire at 7,000-feet and 540 knots 25 miles northwest of Dong Hoi . MAJOR McCANN was able to keep the crippled F-4 flying east to enable an over-water ejection. The pair of aviators came down about one mile at sea and were rescued by an Air Force SAR helo. MAJOR McCANN would go on to log more than 150 missions with 100 over the North. He would retire a a General officer… oohrah…
 
RIPPLE SALVO…The New York Times, 5 DECEMBER 1968, Page 1:
BOMBING HALT LEADS BOTH SIDES TO SHIFT TACTICS IN VIETNAM by Douglas Robinson, Dateline Saigon, South Vietnam, 4 December–
"'It would be easy if we just knew what the enemy was going to do,'an American officer lamented recently as he stared out at the rugged mountains that stretch across the demilitarized zone into North Vietnam. 'Before the bombing halt, we kind of knew what he was up to and how to react,' he continued. 'Now we don't know whether he's going to jump or lie down.'
"The impatience voiced by the officer could easily have come from a majority of the allied military commanders in South Vietnam these days as they wait and watch, their minds occupied with thoughts of the Paris talks and the battlefield at the same time. In the month since President Johnson announced the halt in attacks against targets in North Vietnam, there has been a slow but perceptible change in military tactics on both sides. For the Americans the change has brought an increased emphasis on wresting control of villages and hamlets from the Vietcong, the placing of troop screens along the Cambodian border to keep down infiltration while at the same time occasionally attempting to lure the enemy into a fight, and close watching for enemy movement in the demilitarized zone. For the Vietcong and North Vietnamese, it has brought a call for increased guerrilla warfare to keep the allies out of the hamlets, threats of pending invasions, retreat into sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos to refurbish and resupply mauled troops, and a new wave of terrorism against the civilian population.
"'The door is open to gain new villages for the South Vietnamese Government,' says one high-ranking officer in Saigon. 'In some parts of the Mekong Delta and in the provinces along the Cambodian border, it is total war.' In the delta and in the Central Lowlands, American and South Vietnamese units are increasing their efforts to take over villages long held by the Vietcong. The cordon operation, in which a large body of troops surrounds an area suspected of containing a large number of enemy soldiers or cadres, is increasingly coming into use.
"The emphasis in this drive is on elimination of the Vietcong's shadow government, which the military calls the infrasructure. There are signs that the accelerated effort to get control of the hamlets is succeeding. Just today it was announced that the Government had succeeded in 'planting the flag' in 250 hamlets near Saigon occupied by more than 300,000 peasants in little more than a month.
OTHER AREAS YET TO REPORT
"The countrywide goal is to assert control over a total of a thousand formerly contested hamlets containing more than a million people by January. Today's report from the III Corps area, embracing the eleven provinces around Saigon, means that in the Saigon area the accelerated pacification program has been virtually completed. The official reports from the other corps areas are not yet in. 'The problem with the village programs is that once we're in a village, we have to leave South Vietnamese militia there to guard it while we move on to the next hamlet,' said the high-ranking officer. 'At this point in the war, we can't afford to tie up large numbers of troops to guard villages. When the military is in a village in force, the residents are just fime,' he added. 'When we start to leave, they get nervous.'
ALLIES SEEK TO DRAW OUT FOE
"At present there is at least one large-scale cordon operation under way–Operation Meade River south of Danang–involving several thousand troops that have surrounded territory where there are large numbers of enemy soldiers. More than 400 Vietcong and North Vietnamese have already been killed and the Americans are slowly drawing the noose tighter around several hundred more. To the northwest of Saigon, a large number of helicopter-borne troops are for the most part keeping enemy units bottled up in their rest camps and bases in Cambodia. Occasionlly the allies draw the enemy into a fight, and occasionally they are successful.
"The rice fields and tree lines, between Saigon and the border, however, still hold large cumbers of Vietcong and North Vietnamese regulars, and there are almost daily skirmishes that take a steady toll of American lives. Clashes in the demilitarized zone are continuing as the North Vietnamee continue to move troops into the buffer area and the Americans atack them out with artillery and air strikes. Although the United States has stopped bombing the North, there are many reconnaissance flights each day over the DMZ and indeed over a large part of North Vietnam. At least three planes have been shot down. When the antiaircraft fire comes from the buffer zone, artillery shells are directed at the positions.
CHANGE IN NORTHERN AREA
"For the most part, however, the North Vietnamese troops have been driven out of the northern provinces and here too, the Americans are turning their attention to cleaning out the infrastructure in the scattered towns and villages. The enemy, for its part, is keeping up a steady drumfire of threats to destroy the allied combat units and pacification teams, both by guerrilla warfare and by a new offensive. 'We think that these threats are primarily for local consumption,' one intelligence source said. 'The threat of a new offensive, we think, is designed to help keep up the morale of the enemy troops.'
"The bigger threat, he said, comes from the calls for more guerrilla warfare, since they led to attacks on allied outposts and ambushes. Since the bombing halt, 439 South Vietnamese have been reported killed in terrorist attacks, a rise over the number of those killed in the fall and summer months. The South Vietnamese warn that an increase in such terror attacks is to be expected. Many American officers around the country fear the growth of a Korean-War situation if the peace talks are protracted. In that war, fighting went on for two years after talks began. These leaders feel that the enemy will stall at the bargaining table while consistently pecking away at allied troops in the field. But their fear is not universally shared. 'Drawn-out talks may be in our favor,'  said one general. 'It will sure give us a chance to root out more cadres and to take more and more enemy-held villages under our wing.'
"Many high-ranking American officers concede that the largest threat to the allied military position in South Vietnam lies in the enemy's ability to retreat from the battlefield entirely, leaving an enormous warmachime to churn along in high-gear with no place to go. 'If the enemy drew back for a year,' one military leader remarked, the outcry to 'bring the boys home' would be tremendous. 'Then once we left, the enemy could come back and pickup the marbles,' he said."….   End Douglas Robinson report….
HUMBLE HOST END NOTE: Ponder, if you will, the wisdom of that last remark: "If the enemy drew back for a year, the outcry to bring our boys home would be tremendous. Then once we left, the enemy could come back and pickup the marbles."…. But the enemy did not draw back, they chose instead to "fight while talking." And the war went on: for another 52 months; another 1,565 more days of inhuman imprisonment for Joey Crecca and more than 500 other Red River Valley Rats and Yankee Air Pirates housed in the Hanoi Hilton; and most tragically, another 28,355 American troops would be called on to lay down their lives in a war that never should have been fought.
Lest we forget…       Bear… 
 
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Thanks to Dr. Rich
 
WW2 - Piper Cub vs Storch ... weirdest dogfight ever !!
 
This is another one of those stories that I had never heard before like the 4 motored Dogfight.  They keep popping up and if you hear of one send it to me so we can share it with everyone
 
Thanks to Felix:
 
 
 
 
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Thanks to Carl
 
 

Concorde at 50: How supersonic passenger jet with 1,350mph top speed and iconic nose-cone made the world a smaller place... before devastating air-crash that killed 113 chimed its death knell

·         Graphic reveals technical marvel of Concordes including their pointed nose which drooped during take-off.  The first Concorde prototype took off from Toulouse in the south of France on 50 years ago on March 2, 1969 . Aircraft had a cruising velocity of twice the speed of sound allowing it to cover one mile in just 2.75 seconds . In July 2000 Air France Concorde crashed shortly after take off and killed 113 people including four on ground
 
 
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South Korea—Dong Maeng Drills Launched With U.S. In Place Of Key Resolve Exercise  Yonhap | 03/04/2019 U.S. and South Korean forces have just kicked off the Dong Maeng exercise, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The command-post exercise began on Monday and is scheduled to wrap up on March 12.  South Korean army, navy and air force personnel are participating in the combined maneuvers, along with forces from the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC), U.S. Forces Korea and U.S Indo-Pacific Command.  The move comes after acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong Doo agreed on Saturday to discontinue the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises in support of denuclearization talks with Pyongyang, reported the Korea Times.  North Korea opposes the drills, which it says are preparations for an invasion. The allies insist that they are purely defensive. President Trump has criticized the cost, reported the Stars and Stripes.  Key Resolve was a computer-based exercise based on contingency plans against a North Korean attack. It involved personnel from the South Korean Defense Ministry and military as well as U.S. Forces Korea and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. The Foal Eagle field training exercise will reportedly be replaced by battalion-level or lower drills throughout the year.  
 
Syria—Battle Against ISIS In Baghouz Continues  Syrian Observatory for Human Rights | 03/04/2019 At least seven members of U.S.-backed forces and 18 suspected terrorists have been killed in fighting to push ISIS from its last territorial holding in eastern Syria, reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based watchdog group.  On Friday, Baghouz, the last town held by the terror group, was cleared of civilians and offensive operations could resume, said a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman cited by CNN.  Some troops evacuating the town and U.S. officials disputed this assertion.  By Sunday, at least seven SDF fighters had been killed in the fighting, mostly by land mines.  ISIS suicide attacks and a fear of anti-personnel mines pushed the U.S. coalition to pause the advance for 18 hours while fighters cleared mines from the area, reported Reuters. Militants are also using underground tunnels for ambushes. The pace of the advance has slowed in the face of the fierce resistance, said a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition. ISIS fighters were using suicide vests and car bombs to hinder the offensive and planted improvised explosive devices in the tunnels. The militants still held some civilians, which they were using as human shields, said an SDF spokesman as quoted by the Rudaw (Iraqi Kurdistan). Reports have suggested that the most seasoned fighters in ISIS remain in the town. The terror group is expected to remain a threat even after it is pushed out of its last territorial holdings. 
 
China—Defense Spending Continues To Grow At Slower Rate  South China Morning Post | 03/04/2019 China says it will increase defense spending again this year, reports the South China Morning Post. On Monday, the spokesman for the Chinese Parliament said that the next increase will be in line with spending growth since 2016, which has increased by single digits after more than two decades of double-digit rates. The defense budget is expected to increase at a similar rate to the 2018 figure, which was 8.1 percent, Rear Adm. He Lin, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said on Sunday. A final figure is expected on Tuesday, reported Reuters.  Critics have long accused China of providing misleading defense spending figures.  The cost of the development and construction of aircraft carriers, with the goal of maintaining six active carrier battle groups by 2035, is not part of the budget, a military source told the Post. Personnel and training costs to support the carrier groups are expected to be counted, the source said.
 
 
 
USA—Legislative Provision Hinders Launch Of Space Command  Defense One | 03/04/2019 Language in the 2019 defense authorization act is preventing the Pentagon from moving forward with a new combatant command, reports Defense One. The defense act mandates that the U.S. Space Command be subordinate to U.S. Strategic Command, in opposition to the administration's plan to launch it as a unified, independent command. President Donald Trump and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan have urged congress to promptly remove the requirement. In a letter to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Shanahan said that the Defense Dept. determined that creating a unified, independent space command was vital to address growing security challenges in space. Other steps remain to be completed before the new command can be established. Pentagon officials expect President Trump to nominate a four-star general or admiral for the new top post soon, with a confirmation hearing anticipated for April and formal establishment of the command to occur in May.
 
Japan—Okinawa Governor Seeks 3-Way Talks With U.S. To Discuss Airbase Relocation Plan  Kyodo News Agency | 03/04/2019 Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki has called for three-way talks with Tokyo and Washington to discuss a controversial plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Base Futenma, reports the Kyodo news agency. On Friday, Tamaki met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to report the outcome of a non-binding referendum held on Feb. 24 in Okinawa.  The referendum asked whether Okinawa residents agreed with landfill work related to the relocation of the Futenma air base to the coastal region of Henoka.  More than 71.7 percent of residents disagreed with the work; 19 percent were in favor; and 8.7 percent replied neither. Tamaki has urged Abe to stop construction work and hold a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump to review the plan. Abe did not directly respond to the request, but later told reporters that he intends to continue the talks. The prime minister previously said that work would continue regardless of the outcome pf the referendum, indicating that the plan was the "only solution" for removing the dangers posed by the Futenma base without undermining the deterrence provided by the Japan-U.S. security alliance.
 
 
 
Israel—U.N. Report Finds Troops May Have Committed War Crimes During Gaza Protests  Haaretz | 03/04/2019 Israeli soldiers intentionally fired at civilians during protests along the Gaza border last year in violation of international law, according to a report by a U.N.-backed independent panel cited by Haaretz (Israel). The U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry investigation into the Gaza protests in May 2018 was launched in response to an increase in the number of fatalities among Palestinians in demonstrations along the Israeli border fence. On Feb. 28, the commission, backed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, presented its findings, stating that 183 Palestinians, including 35 children, were killed by Israeli security forces during protests between March and December 2018. Of those killed, 154 had been unarmed. A series of videos and descriptions of incidents involving fatalities and injuries were presented. The cases that were examined involved Israeli forces firing directly on children; journalists who were clearly identified as press; and a disabled person in a wheelchair. The report also noted the death of an Israeli soldier and injuries to several others during the confrontations, reported the Jerusalem Post. The panel said it found "reasonable grounds" to believe that Israeli forces used lethal force against people who did not pose an immediate threat, violating international law. Some of the violations may qualify as war crimes or crimes against humanity and must be investigated by Israel, said the commission. The report recommended that member states impose sanctions on those identified as being responsible, as well as submitting the findings to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The Israeli government rejected the report, calling it biased. Israel provided no support for the panel's investigation and prevented investigators from entering Gaza.  
 
Germany—Government Agrees To New Rule For Stripping Citizenship From Terrorist Fighters  Reuters | 03/04/2019 The ruling coalition in Germany has agreed to a proposal that would allow the government to remove citizenship from those who fight for foreign terrorist groups, reports Reuters. Citizens who meet three criteria can be stripped of their citizenship, an interior ministry spokeswoman said on Monday. The individuals must be adults; hold a second citizenship; and would have to be involved in combat once the new rule enters effect, she said. Under German law, individuals holding more than one nationality can lose their German citizenship if they fight for a foreign army without permission from the defense ministry, noted Agence France-Presse. The proposed amendment would add participation in combat with a foreign militant group. German jihadists who have already been captured would not be affected. An estimated 1,000 Germans have traveled to the Middle East to fight for extremist groups since 2013. One-third is believed to have died and one-third returned to Germany.  
 
 
Syria—25 Troops Die In Jihadist Assault  Reuters | 03/04/2019 At least 25 Syrian troops have been killed in a militant attack in Syria's western Hama province, reports Reuters. On Sunday, members of the jihadist Ansar al-Tawheed group attacked two Syrian army posts in Masasneh in the northern part of Hama province, members of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army said.  Syrian media confirmed the attack, saying only that "a number of" government troops had been killed. The assault came during bad weather. Ansar al-Tawheed said that it had used suicide squads, which caught the army troops off guard in an area near to opposition-held territory. Residents in the area have complained of increasing civilian casualties since the army launched a campaign to retake the area early last month. The government missile and rocket attacks have targeted schools, mosques and bakeries and significantly damaged infrastructure, according to civil defense and hospital sources in opposition areas.  
 
   Afghanistan—6 Fighters Killed In Assault On Checkpoints In Faryab Province  TOLONews | 03/04/2019 At least six Taliban fighters have been killed in clashes in the northern Faryab province, reports the Tolo News (Afghanistan).  On Sunday, Taliban militants attacked checkpoints in the Dawlat Abad district, said a provincial spokesman.  At least six militants, including two local commanders, were killed in the fighting, the spokesman said. Four Taliban fighters were injured, said a release from the 209th Shaheen Corps cited by the Khaama Press. No casualties were reported among the Afghan forces or local civilians. 
 
 
 
Singapore—Defense Ministry Takes 1st Step Toward F-35 Buy  Channel News Asia | 03/04/2019 The Singapore Ministry of Defense is seeking to purchase F-35 fighter jets to replace its aging F-16s, reports Channel News Asia. The ministry plans to issue a letter of request for an initial purchase of four F-35s with an option for eight additional aircraft, Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen told Parliament on Friday. The cost of the aircraft, including maintenance across its lifespan, will be comparable to the F-15SG Eagle program, Ng said. The minister did not disclose which variant Singapore might purchase. He previously said the government had ruled out the F-35C carrier variant, noted Defense News. Contract negotiations are expected to take nine to 12 months, the Straits Times (Singapore) reported earlier this year. In January, Singapore selected the F-35 as the best option to replace its F-16s following a lengthy evaluation by the Defense Science and Technology Agency and air force.   
 
USA—Air Force Set To Launch Program For New Engines For B-52 Bombers  National Defense Magazine | 03/04/2019 The U.S. Air Force plans to launch a program to refit its aging B-52H Stratofortress bombers with a new engine in the coming weeks, reports National Defense magazine. The Air Force is on schedule to issue a request for proposal for new engines within the next month, Will Roper, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, said on Feb. 28 at the Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. The service plans to procure 650 new engines that will keep the B-52 flying through the 2050s. The bomber, which has been in service for more than six decades, is currently equipped with eight Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines. Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric are expected to compete for the project. A contract award is anticipated for fiscal 2020.
 
 
 
Russia—New Air, Missile Defense Systems To Enter Service Soon  Tass | 03/04/2019 The Russian military's newest air defense missile systems are slated to enter service later this year, reports the Tass news agency (Russia). The S-500 Prometey and S-350 Vityaz surface-to-air missile systems will enter service in the near future, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Lyaporov, the commandant of the Zhukov Air-Space Academy told the Krasnaya Zvezda, the Defense Ministry's official newspaper, on Friday. The first group of officers are scheduled to complete training on the S-500 surface-to-air and missile defense system later this year, the general said. Deliveries of the S-500 system to troops are scheduled to begin in 2020, with priority for the Moscow region and central Russia, said Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, as cited by Russia's Sputnik news agency.  The S-500, developed by the Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern, can hit targets at a range of 300 miles (480 km) and can shoot down both aerial targets, such as drones and aircraft, and ballistic missiles at altitudes of up to 60 miles (95 km). The new system will supplement the military's S-400 air defense and A-135 anti-ballistic missile systems. The S-350 has a range of 40 miles (60 km), can engage targets at altitudes of 18 miles (30 km) and is designed to defend important administrative and military facilities.                                                                    
 
 


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