Booby Traps

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Steadfast
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Booby Traps

Post by Steadfast »

Booby traps were a nasty thing in Republic of VN. Our enemy believed religiously that their entire body had to be intact in order for them to be able to reach their "Heaven". So with that little tidbit of info, wouldn't they also think we felt the same way! The enemy was very good at making booby traps. Any man we had walking point for a team had to have extemely sharp eyes as he watched out for an elusive enemy and also keeping a team from triggering a booby. Pungi Stakes were made out of Bamboo, split in half and generally urinated on. When a G.I. walked into a pungi stake he would not only get injured but if he didn't get treatment fast enough with anti-biotics he was sure to get a severe infection. There were different methods for employing pungi stakes. Sometimes they were on the bottom of a pit. I think they used that one in Hamburger Hill and "Motown" fell in one and died. Then in the "Green Beret's" with John Wayne the tall skinny guy called sumtin-san had a multi pungi stake triggered by stepping on a trip wire slammed into his chest, killing the character in the movie. I saw one of these sprung in the jungle of Vietnam. It was several months old when I saw it. But whomever sprung it wasn't so luckee. I just started thinking about these while doing Malarkey's assignment. Suddenly thinking about booby traps is considered an "invading thought". A soldier also had to watch for mines, trips with grenades, claymores, and even unexploded ordinance found dropped previously by our bombers & fighters. Every step we took we had to be aware of where we placed out boot. Being stealthy and observant required time and patience. I just wanted to start this topic off with a few items and will appreciate any input on this subject on everyday happening as LEO'S Aas well as Troop's in the field. Even you Snipers had to be careful as you moved stealthily along.
RLTW
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4/325 82d DIV 68-69
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69-70
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Creeping Death
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Post by Creeping Death »

When up in the sniper section, when we were lucky we would get a early infill mission to recon for the follow on forces. Sometimes this would entail clearing the avenue of approach to the OBJ of any booby traps that may foil our element of suprise.

Certainly our experience was nothing compared to you 'Nam era guys, but one trick we came up with I thought was pretty cool. I would measure a piece of 550 cord that I would tie off to the front sight post of my M-4 so that when carried at the low ready, the 550 would hang down to approx 1-2 inches off the ground. This would allow you to watch for mines, and enemy to your front, while watching for trip wires in your peripheral vision. If the 550 went anything but vertical (dangling from the front of your weapon), you had a trip wire device that head to be dealt with.

This little trick worked wonders at night, too. We got those baby chemlights from the fly boys, poked pinholes in the covers, and taped them onto the 550 making them directional. Used in conjuction with your nods, while leading the main force up to the OBJ, if the vertical pattern of your little dots of IR light was disturbed, voila! Trip wire.
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Slowpoke
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Post by Slowpoke »

That's a neat trick Ranger CD! I wish one of us had thought of it.

Never got to see any new Booby Traps, we ran into a few old ones but not very often. A close buddy of mine (eventualy became ATL) lost his "cherry" to a very well concealed Pungy Pit. As he sat down he fell in and got a stake up his ass, cost him two weeks in the hospital and months of shit from the rest of us.
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Steadfast
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Post by Steadfast »

On a further note of booby traps I would like to add another perspective. I have many acquaintances from the Veteran Administration Hospital I have met over the last 34 years. Some are convicted murderers, or have been convicted of manslaughter. I have one friend that was in RVN two years prior to me. He moved out of NYC to get away from the violence and is now in a FLA jail charged with manslaughter for killing two guys that tried to rob him. Well by now he is prolly on another manslaugher charge. One guy I know would boast he had a shotgun trained at every window and door in his house and any one dumb enough to attempt to rob him was gonna get it!
RLTW
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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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Tater Nuts
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Post by Tater Nuts »

I used to have an IED underneath the floor just inside my front door run to a claymore clacker in the gun closet in my bedroom. This was back when I was working with the Drug Task Force and following an arrest of a Colombian national , I have since removed it as my house is now full of crumbsnatchers.
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Steadfast
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Post by Steadfast »

The DTF allowed you to have that clacker? Or did you just requisiton it old style. Wait don't answer directly. :lol:
RLTW
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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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Tater Nuts
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Post by Tater Nuts »

Actually, it had been converted to two alligator clips to hook quickly to any electric fusing system (blasting caps or electric matches) and was used to trigger breaching charges, distractions etc. it was a part of my SWAT kit for years, dont remember its origins. :wink:
Last edited by Tater Nuts on May 7th, 2004, 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Steadfast
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Post by Steadfast »

Terry Welshan wrote:Actually, it had been converted to two alligator clips to hook quickly to any electric fusing system (caps or matches) and was used to trigger breaching charges, distractions etc. it was a part of my SWAT kit for years, dont remember its origins. :wink:
Thank you for the info Terry. It clears things up for this old timer. :shock:
RLTW
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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

Spartan

Post by Spartan »

Flash bulbs get hot enough to ignite gun powder and can be ignited with a couple of low-voltage batteries.

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Creeping Death
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Post by Creeping Death »

My personal fav has always been electrical traps that used water to detonate.

Like wiring a building with charges, and priming it to be electrically detonated. Wire a sink up so that when the sink is turned on, the water flow completes the circuit, and BOOM. Sneaky.

Or the stories about WWII grunts pissing on walls and the building exploding, using the same type trap.
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Smokin Joe
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Post by Smokin Joe »

We have come across light bulbs filled half way with gas and/or white gas screwed into the socket hit the switch and pop.

I have a friend who is a Captian with LAPD bomb squad he advised me of some extremely scary high tech but commercially availabe gizmos that could ruin anyones day. (The worst part is SOME are not defeetable) If you care to know drop me a PM I don't want to post this stuff in the open.

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Steadfast
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Post by Steadfast »

I know some that saw partially through their basement steps, every other step. So an intruder would step on the wrong step and fall through sure to cause injury.
RLTW
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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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Re: Booby Traps

Post by rangerjd »

Old thread, but very interesting. As a side note while I was an instructor at the SAPPER Leader Course, teaching advanced and expedient demolitions, we were instructed to say 'Anti-handling device', and not 'Booby Trap'. Booby Trap just sounds so politically incorrect. hahaha :lol: True story.
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