Longest Recon

LRRP, LRP, RRD, LRSD, LRSU, etc...
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hobbit
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Post by hobbit »

Re: Ripcord.

Recruiting for the 101st Airborne Division Ranger Company generally depended on attrition. In 1969 & 1970 everybody there was a paratrooper, maybe half had gone through Ranger School, many others had gone through Special Forces training in the States. Others were from MACV SOG who came and went, as well as NVA turncoats (Kit Carson scouts), none of whom my team trusted so we never took them to the bush. Then there was the odd Hmong, Nung, and the occasional Montagnard too. Of course we worked with the Hoc Bao a lot, mainly conducting BDAs. Nearly all the officers from 1969-1970 were West Pointers. It was an eclectic zoo of humanity, no doubt about that.
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Tater Nuts
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Post by Tater Nuts »

BadMuther wrote:Why have a big ass flash suppressor on a weapon if you are going to disable it?? Why not take it off and put a smaller one on then if you aren't concerned with flash?

With all due respect, I'm just trying to learn a thing or two. I have a ton of Vietnam LRRP/Ranger books, and this is the first pic I've seen of the practice. It raised my curiosity.
The large flash suppressor was used on the XM177E2 version of the CAR, it was what I carried in Batt. The inside of the device had hundreds of dimples like a golf ball, was a bitch to clean, and is classified as a sound suppressor by the BATF even tho it did not silence the weapon. The best thing about it in my opinion was that you could not attach a blank firing adapter to it and thus avoided a lot of post training cleaning time because you had not fired up 23 magazines full of blanks. Of course blanks were the furthest things from our LRRPs minds when they carried them. The little black plastic muzzle caps would not fit over this suppressor so even later when I was in we used green 100 mph tabe to close the muzzle of the weapon.
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hobbit
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Post by hobbit »

Hey Steadfast, did you know Jim McLaughlin? He did a tour as a 4th Div. LRRP, got out of the army, rejoined four months later, came back to Vietnam and volunteered as an L Company Ranger. That's him on the right. He was killed in action 4/16/1971 in the A Shau Valley along with Lt. Paul Sawtelle. The guy standing beside him in this photo is Lt. Jim Smith, who along with Jim England and Gabriel Trujillo was also killed in action 2/15/71 on an earlier mission in the Roung Roung Valley.

"There are two types of soldier who go into battle. Those many whose first resolve is to survive, and those rare few whose first resolve is to kill the enemy."--Julius Caesar

Roy Aguero photo:

Image
Last edited by hobbit on December 16th, 2004, 5:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. -Albert Einstein

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Ripcord
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Post by Ripcord »

Ranger Hobbit
Did you ever run into a Medic by the name of Charlie Corbin he was with either L or K CO.
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hobbit
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Post by hobbit »

'Did you ever run into a Medic by the name of Charlie Corbin he was with either L or K CO."

There is no Corbin listed on our master roster. He didn't serve with the 101st LRRP/Rangers as far as I can tell.
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Steadfast
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Post by Steadfast »

hobbit wrote:'Did you ever run into a Medic by the name of Charlie Corbin he was with either L or K CO."

There is no Corbin listed on our master roster. He didn't serve with the 101st LRRP/Rangers as far as I can tell.

I never knew Corbin or any guy being a medic in K co. Then again, I knew many but not all by name and very few were in the rear at any one time.

hobbit wrote:Hey Steadfast, did you know Jim McLaughlin? He did a tour as a 4th Div. LRRP, got out of the army, rejoined four months later, came back to Vietnam and volunteered as an L Company Ranger. That's him on the right.

Jim McLaughlin, a definite no. RIP ~S~
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4/325 82d DIV 68-69
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hobbit
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Post by hobbit »

"I never knew Corbin or any guy being a medic in K co. Then again, I knew many but not all by name and very few were in the rear at any one time."

I tried to explain this to my younger brother a few years ago. For the life of him, he couldn't understand why everybody in such a small company didn't know everybody else by name and by memory 25 years after the fact. "We were't there to socialize Mike, " I told him. "It might be three months before you even met some people, since so many were in the bush at a given time and others were off at Recondo, sniper, or combat leadership school." Then there was the "juicer" and "head" issue, each group tending to gather seperately for their own particular method of escape.
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The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. -Albert Einstein

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hobbit
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Post by hobbit »

Well boys and girls, I've been holding back on this one, but since this thread is getting so many hits, I'll post what I regard the magnum opus of L Company Ranger Vietnam reconaissance photos. It's my favorite of all that have surfaced so far. This is Al Bartz, probably in the A Shau Valley or somewhere near, or in, Laos.

Rick Butler photo:



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Steadfast
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Post by Steadfast »

Nice photo, very serious eyes of Bartz.

I don't mean to detrack hobbit but I went to you site and was looking over your brothers you guys honor in memory. I notice that one team was wiped out. Can you give us the dope on this mission hobbit? I think the only MIA was James Champion. So that means you guys brought home the deceased team. I may be wrong. I know you guys in the 101 usually had 6 man teams as you guys needed the additional firepower against the enemy.
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4/325 82d DIV 68-69
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hobbit
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Post by hobbit »

The story about the team wiped out in the Roung Roung Valley is included in nearly all the 101st LRRP/Ranger books.

How did they get wiped out? By 3 NVA with 3 grenades. We know that because we killed the NVA involved in the contact about a month later, and one had documentation on him regarding the incident. All of the Rangers were killed instantly. There was no expended brass at the site. They fucked up. That's why they died.

The two on guard duty probably fell asleep. That'd be my guess. They picked an NDP 40 feet off a high speed trail too....on flat terrain. That was a bad decision.

My team carried a small length of rope for each man and we almost always set up our NDP's on the sides of mountains or hills, the steeper the better, and the thicker the foliage the better. We slung the rope under our arms and around tree trunks or thick brush roots or whatever else was available. We slept that way -tied to a tree, our bodies on a steep incline with our feet pointing downhill. It was very uncomfortable, but it was the safest kind of NDP to set up. You could hear even the quietest sapper trying to approach long before he got close enough to toss a frag.

Our teams were either five or six men. My team was five men. "Heavy teams" expressly going out to do contact were 10-man teams. Hoc Bao advisory teams were 2 men attached to an ARVN Ranger company. Myself and David Hazelton went out as advisers on three occasions with the Hac Bao. All three missions were BDA's (Bomb Damage Assessment missions were always conducted within 15-20 minutes of an Arc Light strike). These were almost always just across the border in Laos.

Champion is still MIA, but is presumed to be dead.
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Steadfast
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Post by Steadfast »

Thanks for the explaination hobbit. RIP ~S~.

The 1st books I ever read on LRRP's was the triology of Six Silent Men about 7 or 8 years ago. I remember one of the books where the TL was telling the guys what they were gonna do tomorrow and me screaming at the book, "No, do it (whatever I don't remember the exact thing I was thinking and reading back then)". The following page, the TL changed to what I screamed about, to me it was as if I was with them - it was too real for me. To me that day I had many new brothers.

Back in 98 @ 75th RRA Rendezvous I met Gary and had him autograph a copy of one of his books. James Champions sister was there also. She spoke to the membership and they gave her either 5 or 10K to go to Nam to search for her brother. The membership took an immediate collection on the floor and gave her the amount of which I have forgotten. Might have been a few thousand. The pride I felt in that room as LRRP's and Rangers went to the front to donate would being tears to your eyes. No hestiation on the members part.

I saw the years you attended have been many. I've only been to two (98 & 04), the two you weren't at. I've got a video I took of the entire march of guys including Merrill's Maurauders, D-Day Rangers, Korean Rangers and our guys (LRRP's) marching to the Ranger Memorial of 1998.
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Steadfast

4/325 82d DIV 68-69
2nd Bde HHC (LRRP), 4 ID
K Co (Rgr), 75th Inf (Abn), 4 ID
69-70
I cooked with C- 4

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Steadfast
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Post by Steadfast »

hobbit wrote:My team carried a small length of rope for each man and we almost always set up our NDP's on the sides of mountains or hills, the steeper the better, and the thicker the foliage the better. We slung the rope under our arms and around tree trunks or thick brush roots or whatever else was available. We slept that way -tied to a tree, our bodies on a steep incline with our feet pointing downhill.
We slept on steep hillsides but did not tie ourselves to trees. I remember one time sleeping on a hill with an incline of more than 60 degrees. I straddled a thin 5" tree. I set my ruck on a tree less than a meter away. I was a skinny fuck back then, lanky, 6'2" and around 145 lbs. I used to joke with the guys that I would turn sideways to hide behind thin trees. My TL didn't allow us to take pouncho's with us on missions during the monsoons. Our TL said pouncho's were too noisy. Soaking wet out there over night I used my pouncho blanket from the tree between my legs up to my neck to try to stay warm. I wore the Tiger soft hat with the 1" brim to keep the rain out of my eyes, not to obstruct my vision.

Many times while waiting for the chopper to come in (extraction), we set two to a side, actually we were set in the 4 points of the compass then consoldated to two a side, I would forget to take my hat and tuck it in my shirt- and avoir as the helo prop wash would send it aloft. Towards the end of my time, I wore a green OD baseball cap with the peace symbol with the words, "Make Peace or I will kill you." That saying was on the door to our room at Camp Radcliff, An Khe left by someone prior to us taking up residency. I have always used this saying as part of my signature. It sure is strange how certain things stay with you always.
RLTW
Steadfast

4/325 82d DIV 68-69
2nd Bde HHC (LRRP), 4 ID
K Co (Rgr), 75th Inf (Abn), 4 ID
69-70
I cooked with C- 4

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Longest recon

Post by Gravedigger »

21 days in Germany trying not to get run over by a tank!!
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Steadfast
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Re: Longest recon

Post by Steadfast »

DarbyTm wrote:21 days in Germany trying not to get run over by a tank!!
We heard about you Gumbies! :lol:
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Steadfast

4/325 82d DIV 68-69
2nd Bde HHC (LRRP), 4 ID
K Co (Rgr), 75th Inf (Abn), 4 ID
69-70
I cooked with C- 4

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Post by Kilted Heathen »

Ranger Hobbit,I wear Ranger Champions' MIA bracelet.
I never take it off.

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