Posted on Dec 26, 2020
CWO3 Dennis M.
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Good Morning RallyPoint on this day, 26 December, 2020, thank you for your service. Here is your history for the Vietnam War on this day 26 December through the years of the war.
Welcome home all Veterans… and those that gave their all, …may you rest in peace...!

Today, 26 December in Vietnam War History

26 December 1962 Senator Mansfield gave Kennedy a copy of his lengthy report on South Vietnam and briefed the President. Mansfield concluded that little progress had been made by Diệm, politically or militarily, since the Geneva Accords of 1954. Diệm had also made little progress in gaining popular support in the countryside, which by night was ruled largely by the VC. It "wasn't a pretty picture" that Mansfield presented to Kennedy, who disagreed with some of Mansfield's opinions.

26 December 1960 Four H-34C Choctaws from United States Army inventory were airlifted to Saigon replace the worn out H-19s of the RVNAF 1st Helicopter Squadron. A further seven would follow later.

26 December 1966, In South Vietnam, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York Francis Cardinal Spellman told U.S. soldiers that they were in Vietnam for the "defense, protection, and salvation not only of our country, but... of civilization itself." The next day, sources from the Vatican expressed displeasure with Spellman's statements.

26 December 1967, A USAF C-47D crashed while making an emergency landing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base killing all 26 onboard.

26 December, 1967 – Laotian Premier Souvanna Phouma reports that North Vietnamese troops have started a general offensive against government forces in southern Laos. Phouma reported that at least one battle was being waged near Pha Lane, but said Laotian troops appeared to be in control of the situation. On December 29, North Vietnam denied that its forces began a drive in Laos, but it was supporting the communist Pathet Lao in their long-time campaign against the Royal Lao government.

26 December 1967, Operation Lam Son 166, ARVN 1st Division operations against the 816th Vietcong Battalion, Thừa Thiên and Quảng Trị Provinces

26 December 1967 – 2 January 1978, Operation Badger Tooth, 3rd Battalion 1st Marines search and destroy operation, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên Provinces.
Background;
The operational plan called for Special Landing Force (SLF) Bravo Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines to land one company by LVT to secure Landing Zone Finch, 3 km inland from the beach on the southern Quảng Trị Province border and the rest of the battalion would then land by helicopter. The objective area was the extreme west of the Street Without Joy and intelligence estimates placed as many as 1700 PAVN/Vietcong (VC) troops in the area. The BLT commander Lieutenant Colonel Max McQuown described the plans for the operation as “The scheme of maneuver called for a river crossing over the Song O Lau river once all the BLT task organisation had landed from ARG shipping. After the river crossing the BLT was to conduct search and destroy operations through 14 towns and villages on a route running southwest from LZ Finch terminating at the town of Ap Phuoc Phu, 11km from LZ Finch. Initial fire support for the operation would be organic 81mm mortars, available on-call air support and naval gunfire support. Once the BLT had closed on the first intermediate objective, Thon Phu Kinh, 105mm howitzers from a platoon of the 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines and a battery from the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines would provide artillery support.”

Information relayed to the SLF by a US Army liaison officer with nearby Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) units changed the plan. After securing LZ Finch, the SLF directed the BLT to search new objectives consisting of the coastal villages of Thom Thâm Khê (16.7446°N 107.38°ECoordinates: 16.7446°N 107.38°E) and Tho Trung An. Intelligence officers suspected PAVN/VC forces were hiding there after evading ARVN operations to the north and west. Once the BLT cleared the two villages, the SLF would continue with the originally planned sweep to the southwest

Operation;
The operation started with Company L, 3/1 Marines landing on Green Beach at 11:00 on 26 December and proceeding to LZ Finch meeting minimal opposition. HMM-262 landed the last elements of the battalion at LZ Finch at 14:15. The SLF commander accompanied by the US Army liaison officer to the ARVN arrived at the battalion command post with orders to change direction and sweep the coastal villages of Thâm Khê and Trung An. Company L was assigned to sweep Thâm Khê with Company M in support. After moving to the edge of the village in LVTs, Company L advanced northwest into the built-up area. By 18:22 Company L had cleared the first village and was well into Trung An. The Marines killed 3 VC and detained 4 suspects, but found no evidence of larger PAVN/VC formations. By 19:40 both Companies established night defensive positions north and west of Thâm Khê.

At 07:00 on 27 December both companies moved out on another sweep of the two villages. Company M moved north on a line parallel to Trung An so it could begin its sweep of the village from north to south. Company L with the mission to sweep Thâm Khê initially moved out to the northeast. Leading eelments of Company L were almost into the south of Trung An when Company L’s commander realised that his lead platoon had not turned south towards Thâm Khê. Company L then reversed direction and started towards Thâm Khê. As the lead platoon of Company L approached the edge of the village a concealed PAVN/VC force opened up with a devastating barrage of machine gun, rifle, Rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and mortar fire inflicting numerous casualties. The Company commander Captain Thomas Hubbel decided to pull his company back and regroup for an attack. He requested supporting arms fire on Thâm Khê while his company prepared for an assault. After two airstrikes followed by naval gunfire Company L assaulted the village but were again met by heavy fire killing Captain Hubbel and his radio operator. Lt Col McQuown lost communications with the company until the acting company executive officer assumed command of the company. While out of radio contact McQuown ordered Company M to move east and south and join the fight on the left flank of Company L. Company M reached its attack position and immediately came under heavy fire. McQuown realised that the 2 companies were up against a major PAVN/VC force in well-prepared defensive positions. McQuown then ordered Company I to move to the south of Thâm Khê, requested that the SLF land the tank platoon and instructed Company K to relieve the pressure on Companies L and M by attacking the south of Thâm Khê.

After hitting the area with 81mm mortar fire Company K attacked the south of Thâm Khê meeting strong resistance and were unable to make any progress until 2 tanks arrived at their position. The tanks’ communication systems had suffered water damage to their communication systems and could only be instructed by voice. While the tanks did knock out some PAVN/VC positions with their 90mm gunfire, the inability to coordinated the tanks’ fire with the Company K assault prevented them from making more than a limited penetration into Thâm Khê. All 3 companies continued fight until nightfall. McQuown expect that the PAVN/VC would escape under cover of darkness and so moved Company I to the right flank of Company K where it could control the beach side of Thâm Khê, Company M to the north would cover part of the beach side by fire, while elements of Companies K and L were moved west of Thâm Khê.

On the morning of 28 December Companies K and I renewed their assault on Thâm Khê meeting initial heavy fire but they secured the village by midday. The Marines then conducted a thorough search of the village. McQuown described the search as follows: “This search revealed a village that was literally a defensive bastion. It was prepared for all-around defense in depth with a network of tunnels you could stand up in, running the full length of the village. Connecting tunnels ran east and west. This tunnel system supported ground level bunkers for machine guns, RPGs and small arms around the entire perimeter of the village. Thus the PAVN were able to defend, reinforce or withdraw in any direction. All defensive preparation had been artfully camouflaged with growing vegetation.

Residents of Thâm Khê, questioned after the fight, disclosed that the PAVN had been preparing the defense of this village for one year.” The search uncovered numerous machine guns, RPGs, AK-47 rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition which clearly indicated that a major PAVN force had defended the village, not local VC. A dying PAVN soldier confirmed that the force had been the PAVN 116th Battalion. ARVN forces operating northwest of Thâm Khê found over 100 bodies from the 116th Battalion in sand dunes, the PAVN had apparently evacuated its casualties through the gap between Companies K and L during the night.

Aftermath;
At 18:00 on 31 December a New Year’s truce went into effect and SLF Bravo began returning to its ships and by 11:30 on 2 January the BLT had left the operational area. Marine losses during the operation were 48 killed, while PAVN/VC losses were 131+ killed.

On 30 December 1967 Brigadier General Jacob E. Glick ordered an investigation into why the 3/1 Marines had suffered such heavy casualties at Thâm Khê. On 31 December Colonel George Benskin arrived at Thâm Khê and interviewed villagers and senior officers of the battalion. Benskin sent his initial report to Glick on 5 January 1968 and it emphasized the strength of the PAVN's positions with fields of fire permitting them to "neutralize efforts of all attacking units except Company K when supported by tanks." The PAVN had withheld its fire "on all fronts until attacking units were drawn into the killing zones." The terrain together with the village defenses combined in the favor of the PAVN "in every respect." On 15 January Glick sent the report on to Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, commander of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. The battle and the report would lead to a doctrinal debate within the Marines and Military Assistance Command Vietnam about the use of the SLF in Vietnam.

26 December 1967 – 21 January, 1967, Operation Fargo, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment operation to engage the VC 271st, 272nd and 273rd Regiments, open Route 13 from An Loc to Loc Ninh and prevent infiltration from Cambodia. 2 PAVN/VC KIA, 2 Allied KIA.

26 December 1969, The SS Badger State, a civilian-owned 441-foot cargo vessel chartered by the U.S. Military Sea Transportation Service, encounters a storm in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. It is carrying a cargo of munitions intended for delivery to South Vietnam. Several bombs in the hold break loose and explode. The explosion blows open the vessel’s side, and the 40 members of the crew abandon ship. When a merchant ship arrives 30 minutes after the explosion, it recovers only 14 survivors. A total of 26 crewmen die. The ship drifted before sinking on 5 January 1970

26 December 1971 – 20 December 1971, Operation Proud Deep Alpha, USAF and USN bombing operations, Route Package 1 south of the 20th Parallel.

Background;
In November 1971, aerial reconnaissance revealed more Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF) MiG fighter deployments to several airfields in lower North Vietnam. On 20 November a VPAF MiG fired a missile at a cell of B-52 bombers attacking the Ban Karai Pass. This threat spurred Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer to direct CINCPAC to consolidate two existing plans: Fracture Deep, formulated in July 1971 and Proud Bunch, proposed on 18 November 1971. The new, revised plan, called Proud Deep incorporated the main objectives or the original plans:
Destruction of MiGs on the ground and attainment of a level of damage of Bái Thượng and Quang Lang Air Bases sufficient to inhibit further use of these bases by the VPAF for MiG operations against B-52s and gunships in Laos; and

Destruction of logistical and other military targets in North Vietnam south of the 18th parallel north, with priority on targets of greatest importance to the enemy as storage and supply for his logistics system in Laos.
The decision to go ahead with the plan was still not forthcoming by mid-December, weather being the overriding factor. Meanwhile, between 16 and 19 December, in separate Operation Barrel Roll air actions supporting a desperate stand by General Vang Pao’s forces near Long Tieng, Laos, three F-4 Phantoms were lost. Two fell to anti-aircraft fire and the third was evading a Surface to air missile (SAM). On 18 December a VPAF MiG-21 downed the first U.S. aircraft since June 1968, a USAF F-4D flying a combat air patrol over the north, approximately 70 miles (110 km) west/northwest of Bái Thượng. On the same day two USAF F-4s searching for the crew of the downed aircraft were engaged by two MiG-21s, ultimately resulting in the ejection of the two F-4 crews for lack of fuel and loss of their aircraft. COMUSMACV immediately forwarded another plea to execute the Proud Deep plan: "In view of recent hostile MiG activity culminating in the loss of F-4 aircraft this date, strongly recommend execution Proud Deep."

Admiral Moorer, sent the execute authority the next day. It widened the target area to all valid military targets in North Vietnam south of the 20th parallel (rather than just the four airfields and targets south of the 18th parallel as in the original plan), but restricted the duration of the strike to 72 hours rather than the five days provided in the plan. This operation, re-christened Proud Deep Alpha was the biggest attack and deepest penetration of North Vietnam since the end of Operation Rolling Thunder in November 1968.[1]:32[2]:30 It has been argued that the operation was timed for the Christmas holiday period to preempt any anti-war protests on university campuses.

Operation;
Over 200 USAF and US Navy planes conducted 1025 sorties striking targets as close as 75 miles (121 km) south of Hanoi.

Although Christmas Day had been clear, the weather closed down on the morning of December 26 just as two flights of USAF F-4s were approaching the Thanh Hóa barracks and truck repair shop. The attackers got under a 1,500 feet (460 m) cloud ceiling and lost an F-4, apparently to ground fire. The rest of the five-day operation had to be conducted through clouds. For the USAF, which conducted two thirds of the strikes, this meant the use of LORAN bombing. Effective LORAN bombing required photography annotated to show the target's exact relationship with the navigation beacons, but this painstaking work had not yet been done for most of North Vietnam. In any case, the greater the distance from the beacons, the lower the accuracy. The Navy relied on radar-equipped A-6A Intruders pathfinders leading A-7E Corsairs and F-4s to deliver ordnance. Neither methodology produced good results. Based on bomb damage assessment photography, the USAF estimated that only 25 percent of the bombs dropped hit anywhere near their targets.

The strike on Quang Lang Air Base was among the most accurate, with more than 160 craters appearing in photographs after about two hundred bombs had been dropped. But even here the Pierced steel planking runway was broken in only fourteen places and was quickly repaired. East German television indicated that two MiG–21s were blown on their backs. As to the thirteen buried gasoline tank farms attacked that week, estimates of destruction ranged from a total of 194,000 gallons up to 870,000 gallons out of a capacity of about 3,500,000 gallons.

There were 45 confirmed and two possible SAM firings during the operation. The Navy lost two aircraft in an attack on Vinh on 30 December, SAMs downed an A-6A from VA-165 operating from the USS Constellation and an F-4B from VF-111 operating from USS Coral Sea. One A-6 crewman was rescued by a helicopter from HC-7, but the other crewman was killed and the F-4 crew captured.

Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, in justifying the operation at a 27 December news conference, cited among other reasons the fact that in the month of December more U.S. planes of all types had been attacked by North Vietnam than in any month since he assumed office in January 1969. Domestic reaction to the bombing became intense in some quarters. Democratic Party election opponents to President Richard Nixon called the bombing a desperate attempt to salvage the President's wrecked Vietnamization policy and 31 members of the House of Representatives telegraphed the President, labelling the raids "a reversion to the discredited bombing policy of the past. China condemned the attacks on 30 December as did the Soviet Union the following day.

Aftermath;
Aside from indicating that the Nixon administration might be willing to resume full-scale bombing of North Vietnam, the operation did not achieve very impressive results. The VPAF campaign aimed precisely at countering the U.S. air interdiction campaign to which the President had keyed all his hopes for success, in making North Vietnam give up the fight and negotiate and in giving Vietnamization the time and opportunity to work. But North Vietnam had, in effect, accepted the President's air challenge. Three U.S. airmen were killed, two captured and three aircraft destroyed.


26 December 1972, In Vietnam the bombing over Hanoi resumed after one day of respite and bombs hit a residential street killing 283 civilians. As part of Operation Linebacker II, 120 American B-52 Stratofortress bombers attacked Hanoi, including 78 launched from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the largest single combat launch in Strategic Air Command history. Operation Linebacker II was a US Seventh Air Force and US Navy Task Force 77 aerial bombing campaign, conducted against targets in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) during the final period of US involvement in the Vietnam War. The operation was conducted from 18–29 December 1972, leading to several of informal names such as “The December Raids” and “The Christmas Bombings”. Unlike the Operation Rolling Thunder and Operation Linebacker interdiction operations, Linebacker II, would be a “maximum effort” bombing campaign to “destroy major target complexes in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas which could only be accomplished by B-52s.” It saw the largest heavy bomber strikes launched by the US Air Force since the end of World War II. Linebacker II was a modified extension of the Operation Linebacker bombings conducted from May to October, with the emphasis of the new campaign shifted to attacks by B-52 Stratofortress heavy bombers rather than smaller tactical fighter aircraft. North Vietnam agreed to resume peace negotiations within five days of the end of bombing.


Today is December 26 2020
Vietnam War Memorial facts
148 Names on the wall were born on 26 December
94 Names on the wall died on 26 December
245 men earned the Medal Of Honor in the Vietnam war and 160 of those men are listed on the wall


Other wall information/quotes;

“I saw the Vietnam Veterans Memorial not as an object placed into the earth but as a cut in the earth that has then been polished, like a geode.”— Maya Lin


Of possible interest or Interesting things about Vietnam/Vietnam War;
Vietnam War ghost stories? None today




Links of interest?

Looking for a Brother or sister you served with? This might help you.
The Viet Nam Veterans Home Page to be quite useful in finding living veterans. They maintain a Lost and Found section http://www.vietvet.org/lostfnd.htm, with listings of people looking for people.

To find information on the availability of U.S. Navy deck logs during the Vietnam war era, check out this link. https://historyhub.history.gov/community/military-records/blog/2020/10/08/update-on-availability-of-vietnam-era-1956-1978-us-navy-deck-logs

Unit Reunions, Homecomings, Gatherings, Newsletters, Etc. can be found at http://www.vietvet.org/unitlist.htm
There are two replica versions of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial that tour the United States regularly. The first of them which is called The Moving Wall, has been traveling the country for almost twenty years. You can find their schedule at http://www.themovingwall.org/
Where can I find the latest information on the status of Prisoners of War and those listed as Missing in Action? A: The Library of Congress maintains POW/MIA information at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pow/powhome.html


Quotes;
“Boys, it is just like the Alamo. Somebody should have by God helped those Texans. I'm going to Vietnam. “-Lyndon B. Johnson

“This is not a jungle war, but a struggle for freedom on every front of human activity. “-Lyndon B. Johnson

“Our purpose in Vietnam is to prevent the success of aggression. It is not conquest, it is not empire, it is not foreign bases, it is not domination. It is, simply put, just to prevent the forceful conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam.”-Lyndon B. Johnson

“ Never forget, the press is the enemy. The establishment is the enemy. The professors are the enemy. Professors are the enemy. Write that on a blackboard 100 times and never forget it.’-
Richard M. Nixon


Medal of Honor for actions in the Vietnam War on this day 26 December; None on this day throughout the war.
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SFC Contract Administrator
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CWO3 Dennis M. thank you for the awesome read and share of the Vietnam War history on 26 December. Thank you for your service. I appreciate you continuing the legacy of SP5 Mark Kuzinski read/share of the Vietnam War history he posted for many of years on RP. Thank you for continuing the legacy.

COL Mikel J. Burroughs CPL Dave Hoover Lt Col Charlie Brown Lt Col John (Jack) Christensen SCPO Morris Ramsey PVT Mark Zehner Sgt (Join to see) SSG Michael Noll SSG Robert Mark Odom CPL Douglas Chrysler PO1 Tony Holland SGT Robert Pryor SPC Mark Huddleston CW5 Jack Cardwell PO1 William "Chip" Nagel PO3 Phyllis Maynard TSgt Joe C. SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth
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MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
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1st Inf. Div. GIs advance under fire, Oct. 1965:
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1LT Voyle Smith
1LT Voyle Smith
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MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D. - We called her Puff the Magic Dragon because she breathed out a steady stream of fire from her 6,000 RPM miniguns. Firehosing by those Gatling guns was an awesome sight.
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PO3 Bob McCord
PO3 Bob McCord
2 mo
1LT Voyle Smith - When Spooky fly VC die.
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MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
2 mo
1LT Voyle Smith Yes, I remember it well!
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LTC John Griscom
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The media and colleges/universities started being enemies in the late 1960s. The communists were taking over.
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CWO3 Dennis M.
CWO3 Dennis M.
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LTC John Griscom I saw it myself and I remember Khrushchev pounding his shoe on a UN podium in a speech to America. He said all he needed was three generations of our school children and we will not have to fight you, your country will be ours. May of us know the NEA is a powerful untra left union and they set the ball in motion with curriculum modifications, and and teacher changes.
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1LT Voyle Smith
1LT Voyle Smith
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And now ir’s a fait d’accompli. The deed is done.
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PO3 Bob McCord
PO3 Bob McCord
2 mo
CWO3 Dennis M. - Absolutely Dennis. The NEA needs to be eliminated along with their communist agenda that is creeping into our school system. In this post Nixon had it right when he said the media and the professors are the real enemy. He was right then and still is today.
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