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19 August 2010


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ah, but the combat did continue for a few more weeks, we got hit by between 60-80 rockets a night at Da Nang up until the cease fire which I believe was at 0800 on Jan 17th '73. On the night of the 16th we all got seriously drunk as we expected the VC to use up their stock of rockets on us. They didn't use a single one. But, the last laugh was on us, about 0730 in the morning the rockets started coming in and lasted till about 2 seconds before 0800. Nobody can say the VC weren't masters of psy war. The cease fire was nice but the hangover wasn't, lol. I finally left on Mar 29th for Nakhon Phanom Thailand. We had two "Freedom Birds" take off for the USA that day and several smaller birds that headed off to various bases in Thailand. The last Vietnamese I saw were NVA officers, they were counting us as we boarded with these little clicker things.

Years later I met a USAF Captain up in Canada and we got to talking. At one point he told me, "you hated my guts". Perplexed, I said, "what the hell are you talking about?" He told me he was Giant Voice on the night shift, he was at Da Nang at the same time as myself.

About 25 of us flew to Ubon and then 7-8 flew further onward to Nakhon Phanom. After coming out of the terminal at 'NKP' all of us hit the deck fast, the noon siren had gone off. It was pretty funny to some bystanders but not to us.

Giant Voice: The guy that used to scream into loudspeakers, "rockets, rockets, rockets".

Patrick Lang


I left well after the cease fire, March maybe. I was left with a few men to destroy everything in former SOG headquarters. We burned things for a week in giant bonfires of classified documents. i went out to TSN to the USAF officers club at night. There were few Americans left, just the helicoper pilots of "F Troop, 10 cavalry regiment." They had been left behind to haul the people on the 4 power military commission around. the Canadians were appalled at these men. The cavalry pilots flew on the deck all the time They were combat hardened indeed and the Canadians complained to me one night that they did not want to ride with these madmen. There were NVA and VC officer drinking in the bar, all very chummy. conversations were pleasant but distant. pl

Cato the Censor

A lot of left wing blogs wail about the 50,000 troops left behind, like such a small force is a secret combat army in miniature, but I agree with you, Colonel. We're washed up in Iraq.

Patrick Lang


JPV was looking to die before his life lost meaning and so were many of them. Were they suicidal, no, just indifferent. pl


I was based in Camp Holloway with F troop 10th Cav as an OH-6 aeroscout platoon leader. My last combat flight was 24 Jan 73. I spent the next two months flying the ICCS teams around after the cease fire. On 27 March 73 we dropped off our UH-1Hs with the RVN in Pleiku and got on a C-130 for Saigon. A few days in Saigon and then back to the states.


And this whole endeavor (Iraq War) demonstrated what exactly? Certainly not our overwhelming force. This was worth the blood and money? For what? To have Saddam Hussein tried and hung?

My apologies to the military folks for this rather bitter post. You were just doing what you were ordered to do. BUT what a waste of blood and treasure!

Please, don't post if I am beyond the house rules.


Question: "flew on the deck " means ... what? At very low level?

William R. Cumming

So how many of the troops left in Iraq are combat trained members of 3ID?

What's to stop Iraq or its factions from hiring American military contractors?

Patrick Lang


There are several remaining combined arms brigades in Iraq. They have been given a different mission for their remaining time there. They are no longer responsible for offensive combat operations.
They won't hire American mercenaries. National pride will prevent that. pl

Patrick Lang


Yes. Tree top. pl

Patrick Lang


Thanks. I wondered what happened to the birds. pl

Medicine Man

A sincere "welcome home" to the American troops rotating back to the States. However things turn out in Iraq from here forward, those blokes earned their homecoming.


Question: "flew on the deck " means ... what? At very low level?

..And a very fine and exciting way of flying it is - like the proverbial magic carpet.....as long as you are not shot at and an expert is doing the piloting.

scott s.

The mission changes, sure, but I don't see how restyling the 2d (Warrior) Stryker Combat Brigade, 25th Inf Div as an "advise and assist" brigade somehow changes its nature? Meanwhile a combat medic of the 1-21 Inf is KIA from a grenade attack on his vehicle, So they aren't just sitting on FOBs.

Patrick Lang


you imply an attempt at deception. i think that is incorrect. What they should have done is simply state that the remaining brigades have no offensive mission except as back up to the Iraqis. they will be leaving sooner htan you think. pl


Ironically, I picked up Frank Snepp's 1977 book, "Decent Interval" at a used book sale (for $1) last week.

Some of the parallels of then to now are striking.

Lord Omlette

It's been 2 years. Are we doing better or worse than you expected?


Lord Omlette

It has gone as badly as I expected. The sectarian and ethnic fighting and bombing in the country will only get worse. pl

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