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  #41  
Old 13 April 2016, 23:59
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Moving through the woods, we began to find signs. Took up a position on the edge of a stream, and could smell the cooking going on - it was about 1 p.m. - the usual time for breaks for the North and South Vietnamese. (Yep, they did that). Sitting there, all cammie'd up, looking like the bush I was sitting in, watching the opposite bank for movement - had to be close, but didn't know how close.

As I watched, a NVA-uniformed dink materialized on the opposite side, about 30-40 meters from me. I stopped breathing, my heart stopped and I just watched him start to wash his gear. He looked up, I must've moved, he started to try to see me by craning his neck around, peering, squinting his eyes, etc. As he saw me, he looked like he started to smile, raised his hand, BIG smile, WAVED! (I am short, and when cammie'd up often was mistaken for a dink - by BOTH sides). Well, I was definitely compromised, couldn't get in touch with the others, so I let him have it. Break was over, so we moved out smartly, ran all over hell's half acre, got extracted with no additional contact, although there were suddenly folks all over the woods.

...... they did break in the heat of the day to refresh for the evening's entertainment. I just started the entertainment of the day a bit early. The man met his maker on a full stomach - can't ask for much more. There
is no medal for cook-killing, so all I got was an ass-chewing for being compromised...

Ranger C
K/75th
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  #42  
Old 14 April 2016, 00:07
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A Lt. Marshner came to our outfit somewhere in Sicily,as the communication officer. I think he had some training with the 2nd.or 5th.Bn's in England.not sure. We had pulled back from the front. the 36th.div. moved on ahead twords Naples. While we bedded down on a hill side in a big olive grove. Well our new Lt.Marshner and a Ranger named Stewart got into one hell of a hassel. They both claimed the same sleeping spot. Tell the truth Stewart had it first. I was there and I know. When Stewart left the area the Lt. moved Stewarts equipment and took the spot. That Lt. should have gotten more training.because he sure as hell didn't know Rangers

Later Stewart came back from whereever, saw what had happened. He tore down Lt. Marshners setup, kicked his stuff around. said something about reposessing territory,rolled out his own bedroll and went to sleep, I think.

When Marshner came back,he almost had a heart attack. to think a enlisted man could do this to him. It freeked him out. He went to Col.Darby,and they say almost "demanded" (and maybe rightfully so) that Stewart be court martialed for insubordination refusing a direct order & ect.

Well one of our officers came down,disarmed and put old Stewart under arrest and guard. After that we had to build a stockade. Simple we just strung three strands of barbwire around four diffrent tree trunks, let old Stew crawl in and that was that. Then we got to wondering what would happen to old Stew. Someone suggested that he could even be shot, and maybe could have, it being in a combat situation and all that B.S. From here on no one explains anything. No pre.op or later post op, briefings, no nothing.

But the same night or the next (crs) we got an alert with orders for everyone pack up with everything ready to move out A.S.A.P. Shortly afterwards,we loaded up on great big assed earth moving trucks belonging to the combat engineers. How we ever came by them is still a mystery. But leave it to Darby. He could do anything. we could have used a cherry picker and a parachute to get on and off those damn trucks. We moved out, no one knew where or why. The best I can remember we rode around most of the nite. Wasn't a joy ride. At one time we could smell sulpher burning from sulpher pits that dated back to biblic times, so I'm told.

Hours later we off loaded, exactly where we started from. Same spot. When we got the alert Stewart was given back his side arms, and turned back to duty with his unit. After the joy ride (we named it) nothing was ever said about Stewart's C.M. We were given the understanding that by rearming and turning Stewart back to duty nullified the pending C.M. Anyway it didn't happen. And there's not a Ranger who was there, who will ever believe anything other then Col.Darby initiated this joy ride to save old Stewart's ass from a C.M.

Almost forgot ! Stewart kept his sleeping spot. We built his stockade around it.

Earl Morris
Darbys, Rangers
Hq.4th.Bn. 43-45
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  #43  
Old 14 April 2016, 07:53
2ndrgrbn82-85 2ndrgrbn82-85 is offline
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Anyone remember that semi destroyed shirt that was on the wall in one of the old RIP buildings when RIP was at North Fort, Fort Lewis. Story was that I believe Conrad had shot the the wearer with a flare while about to use it to signal and the guy came through the grass.
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  #44  
Old 15 April 2016, 22:24
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Running of the DZ.

Heard this story from two credible Senior Ranger NCO's when they were doing a stint in the 82nd. Can't remember the BN Cmdr's name in the story, but he bounced back & forth from 82nd & Ranger Regt. Took place on a DZ at Fort Bragg on a night jump as BN Cmdr is running off the DZ and see's a trooper walking:

Cmdr - Hey Airborne, double time off the DZ.
Trooper - Fuck you
Cmdr - Do you know who I am?
Trooper - No
Cmdr - I'm LTC ????
Trooper - Do you know who I am?
Cmdr - No
Trooper - Well fuck you then...and begins double timing it!
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  #45  
Old 16 April 2016, 12:21
RangerJurena RangerJurena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abnrgr1sg View Post
Running of the DZ.

Heard this story from two credible Senior Ranger NCO's when they were doing a stint in the 82nd. Can't remember the BN Cmdr's name in the story, but he bounced back & forth from 82nd & Ranger Regt. Took place on a DZ at Fort Bragg on a night jump as BN Cmdr is running off the DZ and see's a trooper walking:

Cmdr - Hey Airborne, double time off the DZ.
Trooper - Fuck you
Cmdr - Do you know who I am?
Trooper - No
Cmdr - I'm LTC ????
Trooper - Do you know who I am?
Cmdr - No
Trooper - Well fuck you then...and begins double timing it!
I've got one better than that, similar circumstances. We got a new PL to 2 Charlie, Lt. Craig. I liked him quite a bit, listen to us NCO's and pretty much stayed out of the way.

Seems when he was at Bragg, they were coming to a long halt on a dark night. He's busting through, telling everyone to get in the prone, get off your knee, etc.

One High Speed Low Drag Paratrooper basically refuses.

PL : Take a Knee
Airborne - "we are just going to be moving again, this is stupid".
PL - I said take a knee
Airborne - Hey sir, do you know who this is.
PL - No, but when i say...

Before he can finish the Trooper knocked him out cold.

Swears its true, told it to us so many times we started finishing the story for him.
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  #46  
Old 16 April 2016, 20:47
Fu King Lawyer Fu King Lawyer is offline
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So we are down at Hunter AAF on an Ocean Venture - with forced entry jumping into Roosevelt Roads, PR. Anybody been there before, knows those grates on either side of the runway to deal with the tropical rains. We do the blackout jump and AF takedown, and a stud comes down to PLF with one leg that goes thru the storm drains and he has a compound fracture of his femur. Country Carl Steiner from XVIII ABC is down there telling everybody he is in charge. Total black out on the DZ with nothing for the VIPs to see and suddenly the injured Ranger is understandably moaning. Dragon 6 from the VIP viewing area decides his presence is needed and asserts himself and heads over to determine WTF is going on. He arrives at the area with the moaning and groaning and there is a Ranger medic with NODs who is working on the WIA when his work is interrupted by the senior officer on scene, saying, "What seems to be the problem here?" Ranger medic takes out his flashlight, violates light discipline, and puts a light on the protruding bone (with tissue) that is protruding through theRanger's fatigues, and with and an obvious cheek full of chew says to Steiner, "I'm not sure, but I recon it has something to with this." Steiner sees the crap the Ranger medic is working on, I suspect got sick to his stomach, and turns and leaves.
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  #47  
Old 24 April 2016, 09:18
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There I was....... the following is as true as I can recall it, and I hope someone might find my teammates (all
living when they left RVN) someday.

Circa March, 1970 - AO: An Khe, RVN - central highlands. Briefing says quiet AO, some intel about movement, but nothing exceptional, 13 klicks out, no biggie, morning insertion, side of a hill, just off the ridge. Heavy
woods/jungle, double-canopy, no f****** elephant grass, etc. Dress for a picnic. So, after packing LOTS more weaponry, given the normal accuracy of Intel, we go for the pad (Ranger S, TL - myself, ATL & Point - W.D., Taildragger, - T as the RTO, and a big Polish fella (CRS) with an M60 - first time I'd walked with more than 4 men on a team - should have known something was wrong when he was included...) No one except the MG guy has more than 90 days to go before rotation, all should be out of the field by now so they can "humanize" prior to
re-meeting their Mommies.

Dropped out of bird from about a million feet at some speed, rolling around through the short grass until some appendage brought me to a halt, bruised, pissed, scared and trying to be sneaky. Crawled around, found some gear that looked like I'd packed it, reattached it and found the team. Moved off the LZ 20 meters into the woodline. I made the comment that I sensed people, others gave me "that look". Gathered around an eight inch tree, all looking out while recovering, etc. 5 secs later *BANG* right behind me! Look around, the MG guy is looking at his weapon with a real weird look, we all think he fired off a round (he HAD done that during a POW Camp mission earlier)....I am strongly considering cutting this idiot's throat when Wadley starts grunting, drops
ruck and spider-runs into the brush. Amazed, I look around, but nothing catches my eye. TL pokes me and sez, "Drop your ruck and move off", points two feet above our heads on the tree. There, fitted into the three-branch fork, sits a SMOKING Chicom WITH PINEAPPLE STEEL JACKET (first of those I'd seen). The cap had blown, but the grenade hadn't fired, or we'd be dead. After the heart attack, we all left the tree and gingerly recovered the gear. The trip wire was attached to a bamboo stick right up against the tree, so when we slid the rucks down the tree to sit.... Wow.. Now we're REALLY scared. TL had reported the "shot", so decisions were being contemplated.

Find cover about 25 meters away, look around, LOTS of these things all over the place. Trouble by the ton here...

Movement starts in about 5 min. Low brush is moving around, but looks like animals, not ppl... Here come 3 chickens (no kidding, CHICKENS), moving like they're driven - right toward us. We're checking this out, waiting for Papasan Farmer to follow, when all the chickens go bazrack, spread out, making lots of noise. Immediately following that, all HELL breaks loose near our position and we start returning fire on every moving bush (and some innocent ones, too). People start running all over the place, dropping, etc., but the Dinks don't quite know where we are, so we're doing OK. Then the bad thing happened for me. I had noticed there were ppl everywhere, but until the TL said into the radio "We're surrounded", I hadn't really thought about it that way.

True, though, and no good place to E&E. Birds were on the pad being refueled, 20-30 min out.. Damn, seemed like the end to me. TL says move out, points in a direction and I take off, followed at about 1 foot by my 4 real tight teammates. The wall of fire just drops everybody in our path and we break out of the ring into new brush. About 75 meters out, we go to ground and wait (I casually got my camera out at this point and took PICTURES of three of the guys until Siglow's wide-eyed "what the f*** are you doing?" look made me put it away). Where are the BIRDS???!!! (Been about 10 minutes, or a week, maybe). Ppl start coming again, but we move toward the LZ we'd just crawled off of, not allowing flanking to work. Grenades, small arms, lots of folks moving around, hazy stuff from here to LZ, feeding the MG guy who is working like an MG on a swivel from the center of the position (everybody got to carry a belt or two this mission), firing the '79 (hit a branch 10 ft out, went straight up through the canopy and came down somewhere - TL gave me that look again, stopped THAT) waiting for the personal explosion within my clothing.

BIRDS are above, making circles - WONDERFUL sound!!! Smoke on the LZ, birds say they're coming in, guns start making runs even though they can't see us. Dirt fountains start appearing around us, so we have to move to the LZ. I'm first out, and as I break out, there is a Dink, running parallel to my left about 25 feet away. He's DiDi'ing same as me, but I see him first. He sees me, tries to spin (long spin to the right if you're right handed, ooops), I gave him an entire mag, head for the chopper. Gunners firing at our faces, Dinks firing at our asses, we get aboard while the bird is growing pimples and the pilots are looking around like it's another day at the office - amazing fellas. The right-seater is actually firing a .38 wheel gun out the little window! Flying out, working the woods with everything in the bird (I actually took another picture or two 'cause I hadn't taken many for Mom - funny how you get when you're short). Funny-looking sight for me right then, couldn't believe it.

Body count (by chopper pilots - who couldn't see well through the canopy) was eight NVA. Secondaries all over the hillside, so we knew we hit something big, but Intel questioned the whole story, as this was WAY too close to our base for the size of unit which carries the steel-jacket Chicom. There were some medals given for this 3-mission project (it had a name, CRS), BS for some (can't remember what the others did - a bit busy to watch each other, but they were working the problem heavily), ARCOM w/V for me, I did not show for the ceremony, as these medals were being given because we were all short and it was our turn. Much redder things had passed for all of us with no mention, hence it was a bit hard to take. Blood-pinned by buddies later. Still have the orders, lost (threw out) the little thingie.

We would be re-inserted two more times within a couple klicks of AO in the next couple weeks, with similar results. Stories of those two and the end will follow when finger-cramps settle. It is a good end, as all on our side lived to see Mom.

After I had left the unit about 30 days later (to Military Intel to 'humanize", can you believe THAT?), I found out an entire team was lost when inserted 150 meters from there on the other side of the ridge - inserted directly into the 9th NVA Regimental HQ. Luck of the draw....

Whether from training, life, love or war, stories are great things to read if life wouldn't put you there to live it.

C
K/75th
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Melville / Captain Ahab
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  #48  
Old 24 April 2016, 09:18
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There I was....... the following is as true as I can recall it, and I hope someone might find my teammates (all living when they left RVN) someday.

Circa March, 1970 - AO: An Khe, RVN - central highlands. Briefing says quiet AO, some intel about movement, but nothing exceptional, 13 klicks out, no biggie, morning insertion, side of a hill, just off the ridge. Heavy woods/jungle, double-canopy, no f****** elephant grass, etc. Dress for a picnic. So, after packing LOTS more weaponry, given the normal accuracy of Intel, we go for the pad (Ranger S, TL - myself, ATL & Point - W.D., Taildragger, - T as the RTO, and a big Polish fella (CRS) with an M60 - first time I'd walked with more than 4 men on a team - should have known something was wrong when he was included...) No one except the MG guy has more than 90 days to go before rotation, all should be out of the field by now so they can "humanize" prior to re-meeting their Mommies.

Dropped out of bird from about a million feet at some speed, rolling around through the short grass until some appendage brought me to a halt, bruised, pissed, scared and trying to be sneaky. Crawled around, found some gear that looked like I'd packed it, reattached it and found the team. Moved off the LZ 20 meters into the woodline. I made the comment that I sensed people, others gave me "that look". Gathered around an eight inch tree, all looking out while recovering, etc. 5 secs later *BANG* right behind me! Look around, the MG guy is looking at his weapon with a real weird look, we all think he fired off a round (he HAD done that during a POW Camp mission earlier)....I am strongly considering cutting this idiot's throat when Wadley starts grunting, drops ruck and spider-runs into the brush. Amazed, I look around, but nothing catches my eye. TL pokes me and sez, "Drop your ruck and move off", points two feet above our heads on the tree. There, fitted into the three-branch fork, sits a SMOKING Chicom WITH PINEAPPLE STEEL JACKET (first of those I'd seen). The cap had blown, but the grenade hadn't fired, or we'd be dead. After the heart attack, we all left the tree and gingerly recovered the gear. The trip wire was attached to a bamboo stick right up against the tree, so when we slid the rucks down the tree to sit.... Wow.. Now we're REALLY scared. TL had reported the "shot", so decisions were being contemplated.

Find cover about 25 meters away, look around, LOTS of these things all over the place. Trouble by the ton here...

Movement starts in about 5 min. Low brush is moving around, but looks like animals, not ppl... Here come 3 chickens (no kidding, CHICKENS), moving like they're driven - right toward us. We're checking this out, waiting for Papasan Farmer to follow, when all the chickens go bazrack, spread out, making lots of noise. Immediately following that, all HELL breaks loose near our position and we start returning fire on every moving bush (and some innocent ones, too). People start running all over the place, dropping, etc., but the Dinks don't quite know where we are, so we're doing OK. Then the bad thing happened for me. I had noticed there were ppl everywhere, but until the TL said into the radio "We're surrounded", I hadn't really thought about it that way.

True, though, and no good place to E&E. Birds were on the pad being refueled, 20-30 min out.. Damn, seemed like the end to me. TL says move out, points in a direction and I take off, followed at about 1 foot by my 4 real tight teammates. The wall of fire just drops everybody in our path and we break out of the ring into new brush. About 75 meters out, we go to ground and wait (I casually got my camera out at this point and took PICTURES of three of the guys until Siglow's wide-eyed "what the f*** are you doing?" look made me put it away). Where are the BIRDS???!!! (Been about 10 minutes, or a week, maybe). Ppl start coming again, but we move toward the LZ we'd just crawled off of, not allowing flanking to work. Grenades, small arms, lots of folks moving around, hazy stuff from here to LZ, feeding the MG guy who is working like an MG on a swivel from the center of the position (everybody got to carry a belt or two this mission), firing the '79 (hit a branch 10 ft out, went straight up through the canopy and came down somewhere - TL gave me that look again, stopped THAT) waiting for the personal explosion within my clothing.

BIRDS are above, making circles - WONDERFUL sound!!! Smoke on the LZ, birds say they're coming in, guns start making runs even though they can't see us. Dirt fountains start appearing around us, so we have to move to the LZ. I'm first out, and as I break out, there is a Dink, running parallel to my left about 25 feet away. He's DiDi'ing same as me, but I see him first. He sees me, tries to spin (long spin to the right if you're right handed, ooops), I gave him an entire mag, head for the chopper. Gunners firing at our faces, Dinks firing at our asses, we get aboard while the bird is growing pimples and the pilots are looking around like it's another day at the office - amazing fellas. The right-seater is actually firing a .38 wheel gun out the little window! Flying out, working the woods with everything in the bird (I actually took another picture or two 'cause I hadn't taken many for Mom - funny how you get when you're short). Funny-looking sight for me right then, couldn't believe it.

Body count (by chopper pilots - who couldn't see well through the canopy) was eight NVA. Secondaries all over the hillside, so we knew we hit something big, but Intel questioned the whole story, as this was WAY too close to our base for the size of unit which carries the steel-jacket Chicom. There were some medals given for this 3-mission project (it had a name, CRS), BS for some (can't remember what the others did - a bit busy to watch each other, but they were working the problem heavily), ARCOM w/V for me, I did not show for the ceremony, as these medals were being given because we were all short and it was our turn. Much redder things had passed for all of us with no mention, hence it was a bit hard to take. Blood-pinned by buddies later. Still have the orders, lost (threw out) the little thingie.

We would be re-inserted two more times within a couple klicks of AO in the next couple weeks, with similar results. Stories of those two and the end will follow when finger-cramps settle. It is a good end, as all on our side lived to see Mom.

After I had left the unit about 30 days later (to Military Intel to 'humanize", can you believe THAT?), I found out an entire team was lost when inserted 150 meters from there on the other side of the ridge - inserted directly into the 9th NVA Regimental HQ. Luck of the draw....

Whether from training, life, love or war, stories are great things to read if life wouldn't put you there to live it.

C
K/75th
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"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee"
Melville / Captain Ahab
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  #49  
Old 29 April 2016, 02:25
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Quiz for you older Rangers. Might not even be taught in the new high tech Army:

Mogastruck - Rolexwatch - Blackhorse ?????
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Old 29 April 2016, 21:38
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  #51  
Old 30 April 2016, 02:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixgun View Post
Thunderpig
Your all over it. You get a smiley face.
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Old 30 April 2016, 14:27
jhoover jhoover is offline
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MOTHERFUCK was my personal favorite to use.
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  #53  
Old 18 May 2016, 07:59
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Mike V, code name "Termite" probably because he was a 3rd generation logger from Washington State, was drafted, went to basic, AIT and was selected for the NCO candidate course, AKA: Shake & Bake. Following graduation Termite volunteered for ranger training. He could only choose one, either Airborne or Ranger and Mike believed, correctly, Ranger training would do him more good than a parachute in Vietnam.

Bob W, a Pvt. from Bogalusa, Louisiana was a member of Termite's patrol inserted on 4 Aug 1970. The Reconnaissance Patrol, consisting of six Rangers, moved on 4 and 5 Aug. finding a booby trap and a well used trail. On Aug 6. after confirming a trail and heavy movement, Termite requested an extension of his patrol box and moved parallel to the trail setting up a point recon 10' from it. 23 NVA with AK47's, Pith helmets and rucksacks slung equipment passed within 6' of the patrol.

One NVA about 35 to 40 years did manage to stop directly in front of Termite to take a leak. I had my CAR15 trained on his head. I was ready to trigger him when our eyes locked. He was dead meat and he knew it. Taking two steps backwards, the dink turned and faced his buddies. The other NVA kept looking in our direction and he kept hitting them on the shoulder, shoving them down the trail. Without lowering my weapon I eased the patrol back down the mountain, took cover, listened, and the dead calm gave us a chance to move further away from the larger force. The radio was useless in the valley and I used the URC-10 to give a spot report to Hillsboro and informed them that I was hitting our E&E route since we were compromised. My mind was racing at the enemy possible actions after being observed.

Two pink teams from the 2/17th CAV came on station and LT B ordered us to be extracted through the triple canopy jungle. NO time to get Stabo or McQuire rigs from Quang-Tri. It was going to be a swiss seat extraction on rappelling ropes and we went out two at a time. Jim S and Greg W first, Ken S and SGT H my assistant next. S is now deceased. I kept W a PFC because I trusted him to go down shooting if need be. Almost dark now, I tied each man into his Swiss seat and put 12 overhand knots in each Ranger's snap link and around it. Out of 327 Rangers in class six, only five failed the knot test. The knot I never got right was the end of the line bowline.

After tying in W in, I reached for my weapon and rucksack and couldn't find them in the dark. At this point with the gunship action going on and coming our way, I hadn't tied my own swiss seat thinking I wouldn't need that around me if I go smoking through the jungle alone. Tripping over the rucksack in the dark, I whipped up the worst swiss seat ever tied in and told the pilot to take off.

As we ascended it was obvious my swiss seat was a "D" for ranger school, but good enough. Halfway up through the canopy the chopper hit a limb with a blade strike and they pulled pitch causing Wimmer And I to shoot straight up through the canopy. The pilot told me later we were taking groundfire and green tracers were ripping past his windshield. The jolt of hitting the canopy with our heavy rucksacks flipped W and I upside down and the pilot, having cleared the canopy floorboarded the Huey. I knew I was in trouble with the swiss seat and W was laughing and swang over by me yelling whee,whee,whee actually enjoying himself. He didn't scare period. As the bird increased speed the swiss seat slipped between my knees and butt and was pulling over my left side. The pilot took the bird up high, four or five thousand feet and I felt the rope slipping about one inch every thirty seconds.

The handset for my PRC-25 was trailing behind us and I reeled it in and hollered "Hey up there" The pilot said, "Good to hear everything is okay" "Okay hell, I'm falling out of this swiss seat, set us down or I'm going down myself". "Hang on buddy I'll put her down as quick as I can." During the next few minutes in the pitch dark I cracked off ten Hail Mary's and an equal Our Father's and thought, "I can't hold on any longer" The light under the Huey came on and I saw the ground about a hundred feet below us and W and I were swinging in a forty foot arc. We began hitting brush and trees and finally crashed into the ground.

My left leg was paralyzed, Bob W was fumbling with the ropes when the bellyman, ran over, chopped both ropes and dragged us into the Huey. Gunships blazing on both sides we lifted off and it reminded me of a SGT Rock Comic Book Scene. My leg was locked in place and an hour passed after a muscle relaxant shot was given before I could move it.

As W and I were being extracted through the canopy earlier, two Cobra gunships were working the ridge over and raining destruction on both sides of us. The ridge we'd seen the dinks on was literally on fire. Once we were clear the 175 Howitzers bombed the place all night... I've often wondered how many men died in that onslaught. W told me at the LRRP/Ranger Reunion at Fort Campbell during June '86 that he wasn't going to look at my face if I fell. He wasn't a good Garrison Trooper, but he always at his best when the heat was on and our backs were to the wall.

Bob G
Co L (Ranger) 75th Inf.
70-71
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Old 18 May 2016, 08:03
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In Italy we were taking a short replenishing break.Before the push into Naples. Johnson,Chippy,I and others were setting around a blanket playing cards. Making bets we would never pay. And arguing about , who should be getting a medal,from our last operation.

I guess we were a little loud, And we weren't far f rom the CO,s tent. "Col Darbys" So I guess he heard us yammering. Anyway he came over,declined our invite to join us (. Then he said in a voice that meant nothing but "Attention") Rangers let me tell you something, And don't you ever forget that you are, or should be wearing a patch on your shoulder that surpasses any decoration or medal that you will ever put on your chest. And you had better keep doing it proud.

He gave us that little half smile (we called it his chicken shit grin) Walked off, under his breath muttering medals huh,, Then after a couple of steps , stopped turned saluted, and said. If we are lucky. we'll be moving out in a day or two.

Our Rangers didn't get many medals. And incidently Col. Darby couldn't salute worth a shit either.A little half ass eye scratch. That was it. Oh well ,As far as I'm concerned No one was worth his salute anyway. And as for that moving out in a couple of days Hell if I had of known. I'd have probablely deserted. ha.ha.

Earl Morris
Darbys Rangers
Hq.4th.Bn
43-45
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  #55  
Old 18 May 2016, 08:06
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Heat tab, myass. Small chunk of C-4. Hotter, less odor.

Apparently, C-4 has some chemical properties the engineers (and medics) don't advertise, to wit: late 1967 or early 1968 (before Tet), Southern I Corps free-fire-zone on that sand spit running south from Da Nang to Chu Lai (can't remember the name). An old hold-out papa-san, rotten teeth and all, approached my platoon while we were heating some C's. After we rousted his ass (he was carrying nothing but the clothes -- so to speak -- on his back), he crouched a few meters away from me and the RTO. Then he duck-walked over by our coffee rig, picked up the remnants of the C-4 block, and took a big bite. Well, it wasn't five minutes until he was absolutely into another galaxy -- ranting, raving, doing flips (literally), and to all appearances, having a close and energetic conversation with Buddha, or his great-grandfather, or whatever. After about fifteen minutes he fell into a trance-like state, and given the choice between shooting him and medevacing him, I chose the latter.

Somewhere in the lost archives is a report of an "indigenous civilian in severe physical and emotional distress" being saved by the American liberators.

I never had the balls to chew a chunk of the stuff myself, but it sure was interesting to watch that old guy. Hearts & minds.

Ranger B
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  #56  
Old 18 May 2016, 08:12
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Okay boz its time to put your patrol caps on and come along with me.

"Mustta been a dud" or "War is Hell and Combat is a Muther Phucker"

Place: Camp Eagle (At that time it was the home of the 101st) Nestled in the beautiful Central Highlands of RVN.
Time: Summer of 1970 (Nixon was still prez)

Typically when a LRRP team returned from the bush after a mission (missions were scheduled to be 5-7 days)we were debriefed by the TOC Staff and the Div S2. We would either confirm or deny that there were BG's, active high speed trails or underground tunnel complexes in the AO they sent us into. Many times we would be reinserted back into the same AO right after the B52's delivered the carpet style Arclight Strikes to ascertain the extent of the (1000lb & 2000lb)bomb damage. I can still smell the smoke that lingered for days after an Arclight. Ah I love the smell of napom in the morning... Ops wrong story..

Oh I almost forgot the company medic would always greet us (with a big smile)at the top of the stairs that lead down to the TOC and retrieve his syringes of morphine : ) The PL and or APL would usually draw 2 syringes per man per mission. The morphine was only used in cases of extreme pain in the field. Once you shoot up one of your buddies with morphine you had a 170-200lb whacked out Ranger that you had to drag with you every where.

After we were G2ed we were usually on 24 hour stand down after we had cleaned our CAR15's. By this time we were pretty s grungy and stinky. From the time we get the Warning Order on an upcoming mission (usually 2-3 days out) we stopped taking showers, using soap, mouth wash, shaving anything that would leave a scent. That means 7-10 days worth of blood sweat and tears in the same uniform. phewwww...

At that time on Camp Eagle the 101st had a sanctioned "Steam & Cream" so after cleaning our CAR-15's we would head over and get a "Special" BTW there was no flush toilets or running water back then. A regular shower was a mickey mouse rig consisting of an old row boat sorta thing that was elevated on stills with rubber hoses hanging from it.

The potable water truck came by once a day around 5 pm loaded up the old row boat and the water only lasted about 30 minutes. We didn't want to wait till 5 to get clean again that was another good reason to head over to the S&C. From time to time the S&C was off limits and we were would have to wait for the water truck.

Once after not being able to go the the S&C we took our showers at the company watering hole and then proceeded to drink our allocation of warm beer. Back then the army issued you 2 cans of beer a day. After returning from the bush the platoon sgt(our 1st Platoon Sgt was SFC K) would usually draw each team 2 cases and leave it in their hooch. On this particular occasion we had had a couple of beers and decided to head up to the post club to get a few more beers.

Bob W & I found that the bar was so full of office REMF'S that we couldn't even get in. So we went back to our hooch got a frag grenade unscrewed the blasting cap pulled the pin let it go off. Screwed the now exploded cap back on and headed back to the club. When we got back to the door Bob W pulled the pin and let 'er fly right into the middle of the club. Someone shouted "HAND GRENADE" and people came flying out of the doors and windows as fast they could. In about 2 seconds the place was empty so we ambled in and helped ourselves to a few drinks.

As people started to slowly come back into the club we were sitting at the bar with our black berets on the bar and our AIRBORNE RANGER scrolls on our fatigues they would look at us and we replied as we looked at the unexploded grenade "musta been a dud" and kept on drinking. A day to remember in the life of a Ranger.

Bob H
L Co (Ranger) RVN, 70-71
12th SFG (Airborne) 76-86
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  #57  
Old 18 May 2016, 08:18
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The Rangers were in position along the cost road,anchoring the extreme left flank of the 36th.I.D.advance, into somewhere north of Naples.(crs) We had been under shell fire and air burst most of the day.I hate that stuff. Late the first evening four of us took a radio jeep with a 50 and a 30 cal. mounted on it and a 193 radio a mile of phone wire and a phone to send msg's through the radio. We left the jeep behind,strung our wire and took up a O.P.along a rock fence. "Rock fences" I can love and hate them at the same time.Things quieted down after dark,except a few "don't try it" artillery rounds from both sides.

Early next morning things started picking up.Tanks and artillery got active some planes too.(OURS) We were getting ready for another miserable day,when Chippy nudged me and said he saw movement a few 100 yds.into the olive grove.I glassed it,and saw two jerrys dodging through the trees. They didn't act like the point for any unit.They were coming towards us,so we let them. But one of them just didn't fit the picture. He was too small, he didn't handle his gun like a soldier,his clothes were too large and he was wearing an officers tunic.

Well they were close enough by now [pistol range] so we opened fire.At the first round the the short one flung his burp gun aside and started running straight at us. He jumped the fence not 20 yds. from where I was kneeling. we were all aiming at him. He gave out the most pitiful moaning sound and started running away down the fence line. There wasn't a shot fired at him. But I can tell you that little shit couldn't have been 14 yrs.old. We moved together a bit the first thing that was said almost simultaneously was [don't tell] the rest was left unsaid. We were afraid to tell anyone about letting that kid get away.I never heard it mentioned, never.

I went over to check the dead one.I rolled him over. We had some good marksmen.Not as good as they said they were.ha,ha. I hung the dead ones helmet on the wire cutter in the front of mt jeep.I still remember his name. I later traded his helmet to a M.M.sailor for a qt. of Four Roses bourbon. Now don't tell me Rangers don't have a heart, and aren't Gentle people. Huh!?

Earl Morris
Darbys Rangers
Hq.4th.Bn. 43-45
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  #58  
Old 18 May 2016, 08:42
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We had both an air force and a ground force going on these different missions.(Somalia) In my opinion the major problems were:

1. We didn't have specter as an asset. The assholes in DC said no.

2. There was no armor / Bradley's in country, except for a bunch of old Soviet APC's and two tanks operated by the inept Malayians & Pakastanies. Again Les Aspin said no to the field commanders who had requested numerous times. We ended up using there vehicles and drivers with 10th Mtn. & Rangers inside to rescue the others trapped at the first crash site.

3. ROE were too strict. We had to have two sources saying where the precious cargo was at. One skinny(Somalian) who was being payed off by the CIA and the "eye in the sky" Navy P3 plane. We were told many times we had over flown and missed Aidded by seconds, he had run out into a crowd and blended in.

The good thing is we were never under UN control. 10th Mtn was and was considered the QRF for the UN. We were a Spec-ops package consisting of Rangers, Delta and Task Force 160th. To make long story short. Original mission was to go in and capture all of Aidded's LT's who were having a meeting. We had started to make his world miserable, we had captured many of his LT's in past missions including Osmann Otto, second in charge and chief financer for Aidded.

This mission was going into the middle of Injun Territory, meaning we were in the heart of his clan who happend to hate our guts! EVerything was going well, we had fast roped into the site, captured his LT's and called in our ground force who had setup blocking positions and were now putting the skinnies on the duece & halfs. There was sporadic gun fire at this time, but it was building up every minute. The ground force was starting to head out(including Tim Grizz Martin) who was in a hummvee. It consisted of about 2-3 trucks and half a dozen hummvee's with Mk 19's and 50. cals on the roofs being manned by Rangers. With the Rangers inside the hummvee's for security. This is when the first Blackhawk got shot down by an RPG. Blackhawks and little birds were doing the race track around the site waiting for an exfil order. Again gun fire is steadily picking up.

What was happening was every skinny had an AK-47 and was running toward the action, we didn't know it at first but we were getting surrounded. The other major problem was the skinnies were firing from all directions at the same time. They would pop their heads out from around the building or window and fire off a couple of rounds and then run down the alley to setup again for us to come through the ambush. All I can relate it to is if you were driving in your car in a residential neighborhood and everyone in the houses were coming out and firing at you as you road by. Although you could fire back the amount of people firing from different directions was impossible to manage.

Anyways as the ground force was leaving first helicopter gets shot down, now the mission becomes a rescue. Rangers waiting for an exfil start running to the site to secure it and get the wounded out. The ground force tries to get over to site but is taking heavy fire and getting lost. They pull back toward the airport all the time fighting through ambush after ambush. This is where Martin got hit. He was laying down in the back of the hummvee facing out the back with two other Rangers on his right side lying facing back also. A RPG hit the rear quarter panel, went threw and hit Grizz right around the hip area, exploding into him. The concussion through the Rangers out of the back and took out most of Grizzes pelvic area.(By the way Grizz was with Delta Force at this time and had been with them for a couple of years as I think a demo god!) He was still alive when they got back to the airport. He died during triage, unfortunately, he was put at the end of the line so to speak. He probably saved everyone in the hummvee by taking the RPG. I saw his .45 sidearm the next day. It was torn to bits. When the PPG hit, the heat cooked off the round and exploded in the chamber, pretty nasty stuff.

On the way back into the airport, there was about 4-6 spec-ops killed along with most of the skinnies in the back of the 2 1/2 ton trucks. After this the second bird got shot down about a mile from where we were trapped with the first bird. That's when both Shugart & Gordon fast roped into the site to try and help. Both got killed and got the MOH for this action. Nobody else was able to get to them, that's where they showed the dragging of the American body and pilot Mike Durant got captured b/c everyone else was pinned down at the first site and using hummvess's and trucks was death. However we did try again by ground to get into the first crash site, but were turned back, along with 10th Mtn, who ended up back at our compound at the airport.

This mission started at 3:30 on Sunday and didn't end till Monday 6am when the APC's came rolling up. That's a whole different story, talk about a goat fuck trying to get altogether with foreigners who barely spoke any English, trying to find our way back to the site through alley's and under constant fire. Altogether out of 100+ Rangers & Delta on the ground we lost 18 and 75+ wounded. Fate would have it I was one of the 20+ who didn't get hit. So much for the short story, but their is so much more to tell. It has been noted that this group won the most amount of medals for such a short time in country and small number of men. Way to many heroic stories to tell in one sitting!

As for the skinnies learning our patterns, the answer is somewhat. We would fly a mission about twice a day. Flying all over the city, letting'em see us doing touch downs etc... So they never knew when we were doing an actual mission. However they knew we would come in by air at first with guy's in all black(Delta) and then security 30-60 seconds out with Rangers in blocking positions both ground and air. I guess they would know it was happening within 30 seconds if their was group of them in a building as the tin shanty roof got blown off by the down wash of the copters.

Needless to say my enlistment was coming up in a few months after this. I decided I was sick of getting shot at(not enough $$ to get shot at) and I figured it was time to move on. After I got out, went back for my MBA and now living outside of XXXXX, newly married, in sales for a hi-tech company.

RLTW
Ranger S
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  #59  
Old 18 May 2016, 08:51
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Day one, Grenada. I jumped in with SGT Paul A near by, and SGT Casey K too. Landed hard, just south of the airstrip at Pt. Salinas. Shooting, distant yelling, fucking relief to be out of that deathtrap bird. Fell fast from 500 feet too. No one ever mentioned what we were to do with the chutes (no turn in point on this jump) but the answer was obvious... I cut a bunch of shrouds off and shoved the the 550 cord into my pocket... and left the chute lie. Ranger K ran up, blood all over his face. He yelled "M, I broke my nose" but in his eyes, he was asking a question. "Yes". We kept moving, oblivious to the superficial blood. His ruck had flew up an hit him in the nose on exiting. The rucks were full of steel and nothing else. Bigtime ammo. Hell, I had two mortar rounds, 2 LAWs, 8 qts water, 2 boxes of linked 7.62, sixteen 30 round mags loaded plus two bandoleers, PVS-4, PRC-77, KY-57 (I was a hey-you stinger team leader with Todd B for the first 30 minutes), M-16, .45 with 3 mags, and whatever else. No chow. No hot gear. We did not know the 82nd was following us in so we thought it was us alone against the Cubans, and early intel sounded pretty bad for us.

After assaulting across the airstrip, linking up on the other side with most of the company, SFC M found SGT A was missing. Told me to take another ranger and go back across to look for him. Found those pools of water, near where we landed. small lagoons, I guess. Chutes out in the water with B-7 water wings on shore. More chutes than water wings. OK. Reported back. I thought that SGT A didn't make it. Learned later that 1st Bat mixed in with us, and had commandeered him (had a 60), and he even got a confirmed body count that day. Back with SFC M, we got word another Ranger was wouned- gut shot, I heard (did not see him) and covered by Cuban fire out in the open. SFC M told Rangers K and M to run out and bring him back. So they did, running through direct fire, and brought him back. (he was not from 2nd Bat, any 1st bat guys shed light?) K and M were both put if for the Bronze Star with V later on. The award was downgraded to an ARCOM with V. Can you believe it? I heard an entire battalion of 82nd troops in the rank of SFC and up getting a Bronze Star as an "I was there" badge. You all remember what a black eye the service took for issuing more awards than there were participants in Grenada. They did not go to Bat. We had higher standards. Too bad, though, that years later, memories of the action will fade, and there will be lots of 82nd guys with impressive bolo badges for not doing much, while Rangers under fire got ARCOMS.

Ranger S
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Old 18 May 2016, 08:53
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Here's one of Col. Darbys dig at his jeep driver pfc. Contrera. I don't know how true it is. But I remember it going around. While on recon. at San Rafaelle, the Col. and Contrera, came upon two pill boxes that were still active.

The Col. told Contrera, there's no need to call the Bn, as we will take them out ourselves. The Col. said you take the one on the left,I'll get the one on the right.

Old Contrera said, "you mean just we two are going to knock out those two pill boxes?" The Col. said, "sure we'll take them. Your not shaking from fear are you?"

Contrea said "no sir, I'm shaking from Patriotism"

E.Morris
Darby's Hq.Bn.43 45
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