Vietnam War

The Dogs of the Vietnam War

The Dogs of the Vietnam War

Former dog sentry handler Richard Cunningham shared a history about well-trained dogs as a new kind of warfare. In the Vietnam War about 350 dogs were killed in action and 263 handlers were killed. When U.S. forces exited from Vietnam only 200 of the dogs made it back to the states. "I would wager that 90 percent of American combat troops killed in action during the Vietnam War never saw their killers. Whether it was a sniper at 200 yards, a rocket fired into a base camp or an attack from a well-concealed bunker complex, the element of surprise was usually on the side of our enemies. But our forces did have one elite weapon that sometimes took the advantage away. At times, these weapons even turned such situations upside down and enabled us to surprise and take them out. That elite weapon were our military working dogs in Vietnam War, and we had thousands of them. Military Working Dogs Were the Elite Weapon in the Vietnam War I was a sentry dog handler in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, a...

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Condemned Property by “Dusty” Trimmer

Condemned Property by “Dusty” Trimmer

"Dusty" Trimmer served one year of combat infantry duty with the 25th Infantry Division. In this, his first book, he presents a staggering description that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden deaths. Yet it is much, much more. It is an account of veterans long after leaving the battlefield as they struggle with physical and emotional damage in a world that seems indifferent to their plight. The book differs from most Vietnam War tomes. It is a collection of interrelated short, seemingly disparate pieces. It jumps around a lot. It does not have a plot. There is no moral to the story. However, what it does more importantly is bear witness to the things men do in war and the things war does to men. Horrible things that scar many, if not all, for the rest of their lives. To dramatize this point, Trimmer personalizes much of it by writing about his experience, observations,...

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LTJG David Brendle, U.S. Navy (1966-1977)

LTJG David Brendle, U.S. Navy (1966-1977)

Riskiest Moment: Was there any specific incident during your Military service when you felt your life was at risk? What were the circumstances and what was the outcome?:

I was an HM3 corpsman aboard the USS Enterprise CVAN 65 on January 14, 1969. We were awaiting a final drill and inspection before leaving Hawaii for Viet Nam. What was supposed to be a routine exercise turned into a deadly nightmare.

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SGT Robert Pryor, U.S. Army (1967-1969)

SGT Robert Pryor, U.S. Army (1967-1969)

Riskiest Moment: Was there any specific incident during your military service when you felt your life was at risk? What were the circumstances, and what was the outcome?:

At 0200 hours on 20 June 1969, our camp was partially overrun by approximately 100 Việt Cộng. They held the south and east portions of our compound. There were over three dozen trapped women and children hiding in that area. Four US Special Forces and two Vietnamese Special Forces were in the camp. We also had 15 to 20 members of our Civilian Irregular Defense Group. Mostly the sick, lame, and lazy. Our main camp strikers were out on two separate operations. The Vietnamese Special Forces soldiers elected not to participate in the battle, so it was four against 100.

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SP4 Brian Willard, U.S. Army (1967-1970)

SP4 Brian Willard, U.S. Army (1967-1970)

Riskiest Moment: Was there any specific incident during your Military service when you felt your life was at risk? What were the circumstances and what was the outcome?:

Finding an NVA Base Camp in Cambodia, and Killing It
Before It Killed Us Inside Cambodia
I flew in a troop-carrying Huey helicopter for my first two months in Viet Nam. After two gunners on the prestigious smokeship, Pollution IV, were shot, I was lucky enough to grab one of the two positions.

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Service Reflections of Capt Bill Darrow, U.S. Marine Corps (1963-1983)

Service Reflections of Capt Bill Darrow, U.S. Marine Corps (1963-1983)

Both my parents were in the Navy during WWII. My Mother was one of the first WAVES, and my Dad was a POW at Bataan and an officer in the Navy. I have three brothers who were all in the Navy during the Korean War. During my grade school years, I attended Peekskill Military Academy in NY and was further schooled at home with Calvert School. I graduated from High School in Belvidere, NJ.
At 17, I briefly attended a Business School in Pennsylvania but soon got bored. Then, I decided to join the Navy and carry on the family tradition. There was a long narrow hallway in the post office where the recruiters were located, with the Navy recruiter on my right and the Marine Corps recruiter on my left. I stood in the hall between the two offices. Turning to my right to go into the Navy recruiting office, I noticed that the Navy Chief was wearing a soiled uniform. Next to him was a coffee pot that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the Spanish American War. He was overweight and didn’t seem to be too interested in the young man beginning to enter his office. Just before I walked into that somewhat messy office, I heard someone with a deep, commanding voice speak to someone else he called Corporal. I turned and saw the most chiseled-faced, lean man with a very short neat haircut and wearing a shirt with creases in it that could cut your finger on. I couldn’t help but stare at the very clean office with posters of fighting men, jets, carved Marine Corps logos, and an NCO sword hung neatly on the wall. Another man with fewer stripes on his shirt walked across the office

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Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, U.S. Army (1953-1978)

Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, U.S. Army (1953-1978)

During the early morning hours of May 15, 1967, personnel of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, were ambushed in the Song Tra Cau riverbed near the Duc Pho District in the South Central Coast of Vietnam by an estimated battalion-sized force of the North Vietnamese Army. The NVA attacked with numerous automatic weapons, machine guns, mortars, and recoilless rifles from a fortified complex of deeply embedded tunnels and bunkers that were effectively shielded from counter fire. Maj. Charles Kettles Volunteered to Lead a Flight of Six UH-1D Upon learning that the 1st Brigade had suffered casualties during an intense firefight with the enemy, then - Maj. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead a flight of six UH-1D helicopters to carry reinforcements to the embattled forces and to evacuate wounded personnel. As the flight approached the landing zone, it came under witheringly deadly enemy fire from multiple directions, with reinforcements hit and killed before they could even leave the...

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ADJ3 Steve Weaver, U.S. Navy (1972-1976)

ADJ3 Steve Weaver, U.S. Navy (1972-1976)

Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time but still makes you laugh?:

My first sea duty was aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Forrestal, CVA-59 for a Mediterranean Deployment in 1974. I was attached to RVAH-6 and my rate was AD-J (Jet Mechanic) where I worked out of my squadron’s P/P shop as an Aircraft Troubleshooter on the flight deck.

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ET1 Kenneth (Ken) Fron, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1974)

ET1 Kenneth (Ken) Fron, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1974)

Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time but still makes you laugh?:

During the time spent on Lampedusa records were kept about issues, shortages, and other things that impeded progress. There always seemed to be a shortage of parts and it wasn’t certain why that was. In the event of another ATLS deployment, the brass wanted to be sure that most of the shortage issues encountered on Lampedusa would be avoided. To accomplish this, a small group of us were selected for a temporary duty assignment at NAD Hawthorne NV where the remaining two ATLS were stored. This assignment pre-empted my assignment at RADSTA Miami for about four months. Our task was to inventory the two ATLS in storage and make sure any shortages were filled.

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CDR John F. (JC) Cole, U.S. Navy  (1964-1994)

CDR John F. (JC) Cole, U.S. Navy (1964-1994)

Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time but still makes you laugh?:

It was a bright sunny day in Vietnam, and the word was out, “Bob Hope is coming to town!” The troops had waited all year to see Bob Hope, Les Brown and his Band of Renown, and of course, the “Gold Diggers.” On the day that the Christmas Show was to be given, my Squadron Commander summoned me to his office and gave me a mission. As the unit’s adjutant, I was used to getting some bazaar tasks, but this one was out in left field. The mission, “Captain, take this Black Cavalry Hat and personally give it to Bob Hope and asked that he wear it on stage.” Simple right? Wrong.

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AX2 Tim Hinds, U.S. Navy (1963-1969)

AX2 Tim Hinds, U.S. Navy (1963-1969)

Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time but still makes you laugh?:

My all time favorite story is from my time as a Radio Operator aboard a P-2 at P31-31 DET NI. One of our pilots, nicknamed Porkie by the enlisted because he was portly and had a chubby face, had an incident the previous day training a new pilot. As three crew later told us. The student was high on glideslope and close to landing. He repeatedly told the student to get it down, get it down. He failed to do so adequately, and Lt. “Porkie” got angry and yelled, “I SAID GET IT DOWN!” Now they were already over the apron (Ideal touchdown area), and he wasn’t about to make a long landing. So he pulled back the power and dropped it like a rock onto the runway. The plane hit so hard it had to be towed back to the hangar.

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