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Odds 'n Ends
Topics posted to this page relate to Modern (Post-WW II) Wars
Updated November 6, 2017
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Iraq & Afghanastan
(3/25/14) EXTERNAL LINK: Interview with the Navy Seal "Last Survivor"...This video is long (35 min.), I saved it for a rainy day, I really recommend you watch, after getting into the video I was wishing it was longer. What a story! I saw the movie and now I want to read the book, this Navy Seal actually went through more hell than the movie tells, for instance in the movie he walks back for miles to find help, the truth is he could not walk because of all his injuries, he crawled for over 7 miles.
I saw the movie with my son-in-law ( gulf war army vet). When it was over I said to him, they really tried to rescue those guys, gave it everything, including many lives lost trying. Sure was different than Bengazi.
(8/15/13) EXTERNAL LINK: YouTube video: Miami Dolphin cheerleaders and US Troops in Afghanistan Well done mimick of each other to the song "Call Me Maybe." Turn speakers on. Contributed by Ernie Halley
This Army soldier in Iraq with his tiny 'plot' of grass in front of his tent. It's heartwarming! Here is a soldier stationed in Iraq, stationed in a big sand box. He asked his wife to send him dirt (U.S. soil), fertilizer, and some grass seed so that he can have the sweet aroma, and feel the grass grow beneath his feet. When the men of the squadron have a mission that they are going on, they take turns walking through the grass and the American soil -- to bring them good luck.-
CLICK HERE to see:-Mowing Grass-If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of scissors. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that we take for granted. Say a little prayer for our soldiers that give and give (and give up) so unselfishly for us. Contributed by: Ernie Halley
In this April 2, 1967 photo, a wounded U.S. soldier is given water on a battlefield in Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas via DenverPost)
(12/26/14)EXTERNAL LINK: 28 minute high-quality documentary: Vietnam Vets Tell Their Stories--This is probably one of the best videos on Vietnam . Contributed by George Montgomery
(9/9/14) EXTERNAL LINK: Vietnam War Casualties on the Vietnam Virtual Wall---Selections can be made state-by-state, photographs, units and more.---Contributed by Greg Engler
(10/1/13): 40th Anniversary of the Nam POW Release (1973) 12 minute video celebrating the 40th anniversary of the POW release, President Nixon's honoring them, and their gathering at the Nixon Library (2013)--Contributed by Ernie Halley
(1/20/13) EXTERNAL LINK: Travel photo-story by mountain bikers who traveled the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos with photos to show
what the area looks like today. Lots of photos showing the wreckage of war material. --Contributed by Ernie Halley
Adobe pdf format file(4/28/12):For all you A3D "Whale" lovers .. ..here is another story of the benefit of the A3D modified for refueling duty. An incident during the Viet Nam War --contributed by Ernie Halley
The Original "Dirty Bomb"
Just as this AD was being shot off, we got a 1MC message from the bridge,
"What the hell was on 572's right wing?"
- For those too young to remember, during the Vietnam conflict, carriers were so woefully short of ordnance that missions were often launched with only a half load just to keep the sortie rate up so that the REMF's in DC would not send out blistering messages about failure to support the war effort, etc.
Given that the loss rate approached, and sometime exceeded, one aircraft a day, all will understand that there was a degree of reticence to launch with less than a full load -- if I must dance with the elephant at least let's make it worth while. Nevertheless, the indomitable spirit of the carrier aviators, and their squadron-mates, prevailed in some rather perverse way.
I have every hope that today's successors to the mantel left at the Cubi "O" Club bar persevere as well. Kick the tires, light the fires, bolt for the blue and brief on guard -- last one up is lead. Back in 'Nam', if you weren't on USS MIDWAY in Oct 1965, I thought you'd get a kick out of one squadron's ingenuity. Yes, this really happened. Once again history is stranger then fiction, and a lot funnier:
The USS Midway VA-25's Toilet Bomb
In October 1965, CDR Clarence J. Stoddard, Executive Officer of VA-25 "Fist of the Fleet", flying an A-1H Skyraider, NE/572 "Paper Tiger II" from Carrier Air Wing Two aboard USS Midway carried a special bomb to the North Vietnamese in commemoration of the 6-millionth pound of ordnance dropped. This bomb was unique because of the type... it was a toilet!
The following is an account of this event, courtesy of Clint Johnson, Captain, USNR Ret. Captain Johnson was one of the two VA-25 A-1 Skyraider pilots credited with shooting down a MiG-17 on June 20, 1965. Clint Johnson was also a classmate and Company-mate of mine at the Naval Academy.
572 was flown by CDR C. W. "Bill" Stoddard. His wingman in 577 was LCDR Robin Bacon, who had a wing station mounted movie camera (the only one remaining in the fleet from WWII).
The flight was a Dixie Station strike (off South Vietnam) going to the Delta. When they arrived in the target area and CDR Stoddard was reading the ordnance list to the FAC, he ended with "and one code name Sani-flush".
The FAC couldn't believe it and joined up to see it. It was dropped in a dive with LCDR Bacon flying tight wing position to film the drop. When it came off, it turned hole to the wind and almost struck his airplane.
It made a great ready room movie. The FAC said that it whistled all the way down. The toilet was a damaged toilet, which was going to be thrown overboard.
One of our plane captains rescued it and the ordnance crew made a rack, tailfins and nose fuse for it. The squadron flight deck checkers maintained a position to block the view of the Captain and Air Boss while the aircraft was taxiing onto the catapult. Just as it was being shot off we got a 1MC message from the bridge, "What the hell was on 572's right wing?"
Click photos to enlarge
Contributed by Ernie Halley
Joint Navy/Air Force: North Vietnam SAM Hunter-Killer Mission -to knock out SAM sites near Hanoi on October 31, 1965. . -Submitted by Walt Quist
An army medic carries a wounded U.S. sergeant from the battle scene in South Vietnam on March 31, 1967 during the Vietnam War. The sergeant's squad also withdraws, unable to drive the communists from their trenches in War Zone C. The Americans left the Viet Cong to be hammered by artillery and air strikes.
(AP Photo/Horst Faas via Denverpost)
Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into tree line to cover the advance of Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh on March 29, 1965, which is northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border. Combined assault routed Viet Cong guerrilla force.
(AP Photo/Horst Faas via Denverpost)
Webmaster's Note: Information on VFP-62 and VFP-63 operations in Vietnam, checkout our "Vietnam Operations" page..
PBS Vietnam War Documentary by Ken Burns
Can be streamed on PBS.org
(11/6/17) (large .pdf file): Aircraft Losses of the Vietnam War ... pictures and statistics of the aircraft lost in the Vietnam War.--Contributed by; AFCM D. BEBOUT VF-13 USS SHANGRI-LA (CVA-38) 1966-1970
2013 is the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War
Statue of Korean War horse Reckless to be unveiled at Marine museum in Virginia!
(7/28/13) Some 60 years after carrying wounded soldiers and ammunition during heavy firefights, a decorated war horse praised as America's greatest equine soldier during the Korean War is finally being immortalized.
Staff Sgt. Reckless, a Mongolian mare that served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War, made 51 solo trips during a five-day battle in March 1953, carrying nearly 10,000 pounds of ammunition and explosives from a supply depot to the front lines. She was wounded twice and later received two Purple Hearts for her service, as well as several other military decorations. On Friday, a 10-foot bronze statue of the courageous - and insatiable - horse will be unveiled at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va."She wasn't a horse, she was a Marine," said Robin Hutton, whose book, "Sgt. Reckless, America's War Horse," will be published later this year. "When the Marines got her, they became her herd. She bonded with them and would do anything for them. She'd follow them anywhere and everywhere."
The 900-pound Reckless, whose legendary appetite included huge portions of scrambled eggs, chocolate pudding and even beer, joined the Marines in 1952 after she was purchased by a soldier for $250 from a Korean boy who needed money to buy an artificial leg for his sister.
Then known as "Flame," the horse was later renamed by the Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marine Regiment, Hutton said, adding that the horse was not startled by the powerful anti-tank guns used by the unit.
The horse's main caretaker, Sgt. Joseph Latham, quickly "taught her everything," Hutton said, including how to kneel during incoming fire or to step over barbed wires. Reckless also quickly memorized routes to and from battle stations, travelling dangerous paths and mountain trails without the accompaniment of a fellow Leatherneck. Hutton said she expects emotions to be running high when Korean War veterans attend Friday's ceremony.
"They're coming to town to honor Reckless because the horse meant so much to them," she said. "They're going to cry, I know they are." After the war, Reckless, who was praised by The Saturday Evening Post while still in Korea, made several television appearances, including on the "Art Linkletter Show." A film was planned, but ultimately did not materialize, Hutton said, and the horse fell from the national conversation. She later retired in 1960 at Camp Pendleton and after dying of natural causes, was buried there with full military honors on May 13, 1968.
Reckless gave birth to three colts - named Fearless, Dauntless and Chesty - and a filly that died one month later. Hutton said it's "disappointing" that the horse's line was not carried on, but she hopes Friday's ceremony will re-ignite interest in Reckless, whom Hutton featured in a screenplay she's written.
"I've been so blessed with this story," Hutton said. "This horse has forever changed my life."
More than 33,000 U.S. soldiers were killed during the Korean War, with another 100,000 wounded and 7,000 additional soldier still listed as missing in action, according to Department of Defense statistics. Maj. Billy Canedo, of the Department of Defense's 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Committee, told FoxNews.com that up to five Marines who served alongside Reckless are expected to attend Friday's ceremony.
"What's special to me about this story and the accounts of her exploits is that she travelled with no handler," Canedo said. "Whenever a Marine would get hit or wounded, a fellow Marine would put that Marine on Reckless' back to be carried down to the casualty collection point. Then Reckless would walk back with ammunition." Canedo said Reckless walked more than 35 miles amid heavy enemy fire and, according to military lore, never flinched.
"She was probably going against every instinct of an animal, working off pure love of her fellow Marines," he said. "That's what is remarkable to me. The story, to me, is a great story."
Click to see YouTube video: Reckless, an Amazing horse Scenes from Korea and back in the United States. A touching story of the best of man and beasts.
"Semper Fi Reckless"
(7/29/13)EXTERNAL LINK: The Story of: Rescue Attempt at Chosin Reservoir Medal of Honor recipient Lt.jg Thomas Hudner's attempt to rescue fellow aviator Ens. Jesse Brown, the first black naval aviator. Also, see link below.
(10/15/13) EXTERNAL LINK: Tom Hudner's trip to Chosin Reservoir to recover Jesse Brown. Tom Hudner's July expedition to Pyongyang was rained out but the team hopes to go back. Maybe under the new leadership, MIA recoveries could open the door to that country.---contributed by Pete Michael
(2/18/13)EXTERNAL LINK: One F9F-5 Cougar vs Seven MiG-15s: LT. Royce Williams Fighter Pilot On Nov. 18, 1952 four F9Fs were launched for a CAP over the USS Oriskany. They were vectored to intercept seven boggies. Two returned for mechanical reasons and the third had mechanical problems with his guns. LT Royce faced the seven MiGs and shot down three.
(2/5/13) EXTERNAL LINK: YouTube video Korean War Era Air Action & More See F9F Cougar flightdeck crash; F2H Banshee fighter ground support; F4U flightdeck crash; B-29s & much more. Contributed by John Becker
Remembering Those Who Served
General Petraeus on the military today
Thanks to my fellow veterans:
I remember the day I found out I got into West Point. My Mom actually showed up in the hallway of my high school and waited for me to get out of class.
She was bawling her eyes out and apologizing that she had opened up my admission letter. She wasn't crying because it had been her dream for me to go there. She was crying because she knew how hard I'd worked to get in, how much I wanted to attend, and how much I wanted to be an infantry officer.
I was going to get that opportunity. That same day two of my teachers took me aside and essentially told me the following: "David, you're a smart guy. You don't have to join the military. You should go to college, instead."
I could easily write a theme defending West Point and the military as I did that day, explaining that United States Military Academy is an elite institution, that separate from that, it is actually statistically much harder to enlist in the military than it is to get admitted to college, that serving the nation is a challenge that all able-bodied men should at least consider for a host of reasons, but I won't.
What I will say is that when a 16 year-old kid is being told that attending West Point is going to be bad for his future then there is a dangerous disconnect in America, and entirely too many Americans have no idea what kind of burdens our military is bearing.
- In World War II, 11.2% of the nation's population served for four (4) years.
- During the Vietnam era, 4.3% of the nation's population served in twelve (12) years.
- Since 2001, only 0.45% of our population has served in the Global War on Terror.
These are unbelievable statistics. Over time, fewer and fewer people have shouldered more and more of the burden and it is only getting worse.
Our troops were sent to war in Iraq by a Congress consisting of 10% veterans with only one person having a child in the military. Taxes did not increase to pay for the war. War bonds were not sold. Gas was not regulated. In fact, the average citizen was asked to sacrifice nothing, and has sacrificed nothing unless they have chosen to out of the goodness of their hearts.
The only people who have sacrificed are the veterans and their families. The volunteers. The people who swore an oath to defend this nation. You stand there, deployment after deployment and fight on. You've lost relationships, spent years of your lives in extreme conditions, years apart from kids you'll never get back, and beaten your body in a way that even professional athletes don't understand.
Then you come home to a nation that doesn't understand. They don't understand suffering. They don't understand sacrifice. They don't understand why we fight for them. They don't understand that bad people exist. They look at you like you're a machine - like something is Wrong with you. You are the misguided one - not them.
When you get out, you sit in the college classrooms with political science teachers that discount your opinions on Iraq and Afghanistan because YOU WERE THERE and can't understand the macro issues they gathered from books, because of your bias.
You watch TV shows where every vet has PTSD and the violent strain at that. Your Congress is debating your benefits, your retirement, and your pay, while they ask you to do more. But, the amazing thing about you is that you all know this. You know your country will never pay back what you've given up. You know that the populace at large will never truly understand or appreciate what you have done for them.
Hell, you know that in some circles, you will be thought as less than normal for having worn the uniform. But you do it anyway.
You do what the greatest men and women of this country have done since 1775.
YOU SERVED. Just that decision alone makes you part of an elite group.
"Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few." -Winston Churchill- Thank you to the 11.2% and 4.3% who have served and thanks to the 0.45% who continue to serve our Nation.
General David Petraeus
West Point Class 1974
Via Hoss Pearson
(8/15/13) EXTERNAL LINK: YouTube Video Delta Air Lines Honor Guard Returning a fallen warrior with honor---the way it should be done. Turn speakers on.
The Military's Hardest Job-- Burial at Sea --Notifying the next of kin--Contributed by Marion Swinford
EXTERNAL LINK: A son's eulogy to his fighter pilot father-- "The Great Santini"__Col. Don Conroy, USMC--Contributed by Ernie Halley
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Created on ... January 1, 2010