chickenman
chickenman
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March 24th, 2014 at 5:31:12 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

My ex-husband was a door gunner on a helicopter. And he left Vietnam 40 years ago exactly. I'm wondering if there's a relationship there. Was Jim 7th Cav? My understanding was all my husband's unit is on the Wall except him, but I could easily have misunderstood.

The nomenclature can get a bit confusing here along with some crossover. Blue Ghosts were F Troop 8th Cavalry assigned to the Americal Division up around Chu Lai. There were 7th (à la "We were Soldiers Once, and Young") and 8th Cavalry Regiments in the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Completely separate deals. I can't think of an instance where "all.. [of a] unit less one is on the Wall" but maybe it just isn't coming to mind.
mickeycrimm
mickeycrimm
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March 24th, 2014 at 5:45:01 AM permalink
Quote: chickenman

The nomenclature can get a bit confusing here along with some crossover. Blue Ghosts were F Troop 8th Cavalry assigned to the Americal Division up around Chu Lai. There were 7th (à la "We were Soldiers Once, and Young") and 8th Cavalry Regiments in the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Completely separate deals. I can't think of an instance where "all.. [of a] unit less one is on the Wall" but maybe it just isn't coming to mind.



I'll see if I can get Jim to tell us about the Blue Ghosts.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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March 24th, 2014 at 6:15:31 AM permalink
Quote: chickenman

The nomenclature can get a bit confusing here along with some crossover. Blue Ghosts were F Troop 8th Cavalry assigned to the Americal Division up around Chu Lai. There were 7th (à la "We were Soldiers Once, and Young") and 8th Cavalry Regiments in the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Completely separate deals. I can't think of an instance where "all.. [of a] unit less one is on the Wall" but maybe it just isn't coming to mind.



Chickenman,

Yeah, 7th Cav is correct, with the horsehead on yellow and the diagonal stripe behind. That movie was about the same guys but before his service dates. The nomenclature I'm likely messing up is what constitutes a unit/company/platoon/division/etc. According to wiki, unit is too big. This is somewhere between squadron and cavalry troop, if I'm picking out the right terms from the list. He was referring to his group of more than 20, less than 100, if I understood him correctly. Thanks for the clarification; I used the word "unit" generically and should not have. They were what he called a "blue team" trying to grab pinned-down infantry (squads?) under fire and pull them out. Again, I know the numbers from his DD-214 (I built a shadowbox for him) but not the significance: he was awarded 16 air combat medals (can't remember if he had a V on those), 1 Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars with oak leaf clusters, 3 Purple Hearts, and the Order of Vietnam. He was shot down 3 times but never taken prisoner.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
mickeycrimm
mickeycrimm
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March 24th, 2014 at 6:22:15 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

Quote: chickenman

The nomenclature can get a bit confusing here along with some crossover. Blue Ghosts were F Troop 8th Cavalry assigned to the Americal Division up around Chu Lai. There were 7th (à la "We were Soldiers Once, and Young") and 8th Cavalry Regiments in the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Completely separate deals. I can't think of an instance where "all.. [of a] unit less one is on the Wall" but maybe it just isn't coming to mind.



Chickenman,

Yeah, 7th Cav is correct, with the horsehead on yellow and the diagonal stripe behind. That movie was about the same guys but before his service dates. The nomenclature I'm likely messing up is what constitutes a unit/company/platoon/division/etc. According to wiki, unit is too big. This is somewhere between squadron and cavalry troop, if I'm picking out the right terms from the list. He was referring to his group of more than 20, less than 100, if I understood him correctly. Thanks for the clarification; I used the word "unit" generically and should not have. They were what he called a "blue team" trying to grab pinned-down infantry (squads?) under fire and pull them out. Again, I know the numbers from his DD-214 (I built a shadowbox for him) but not the significance: he was awarded 16 air combat medals (can't remember if he had a V on those), 1 Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars with oak leaf clusters, 3 Purple Hearts, and the Order of Vietnam. He was shot down 3 times but never taken prisoner.



From the looks of it he was in a lot heavier action than Jim was, although I can't say for sure at this point.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
odiousgambit
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March 24th, 2014 at 6:40:01 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

My ex-husband was a door gunner on a helicopter. And he left Vietnam 40 years ago exactly.



What does your husband think of that scene in the film "Full Metal Jacket" where the gunner gratuitously shoots a farmer in a rice paddy while flying over it?

Regarding atrocities in war, of course we all know they happen, and all armies will have guilty parties. But it always bothered me that they included that one in that movie, as to throw such a thing in there and just move on with the regular story, not ever referring back to it, and it having nothing to do with the regular storyline... well, clearly, the intent was to defame American troops as being guilty of constantly committing such atrocities as a regular routine and laughing about it.

I suppose some Vietnam vets would shrug it off, but ...
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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March 24th, 2014 at 6:52:10 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

What does your husband think of that scene in the film "Full Metal Jacket" where the gunner gratuitously shoots a farmer in a rice paddy while flying over it?

Regarding atrocities in war, of course we all know they happen, and all armies will have guilty parties. But it always bothered me that they included that one in that movie, as to throw such a thing in there and just move on with the regular story, not ever referring back to it, and it having nothing to do with the regular storyline... well, clearly, the intent was to defame American troops as being guilty of constantly committing such atrocities as a regular routine and laughing about it.

I suppose some Vietnam vets would shrug it off, but ...



I'll ask him. I think that may have had something to do with it being a Stanley Kubrick movie, myself; he always had multiple agendas.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
chickenman
chickenman
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March 24th, 2014 at 6:54:57 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

Quote: chickenman

The nomenclature can get a bit confusing here along with some crossover. Blue Ghosts were F Troop 8th Cavalry assigned to the Americal Division up around Chu Lai. There were 7th (à la "We were Soldiers Once, and Young") and 8th Cavalry Regiments in the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Completely separate deals. I can't think of an instance where "all.. [of a] unit less one is on the Wall" but maybe it just isn't coming to mind.



Chickenman,

Yeah, 7th Cav is correct, with the horsehead on yellow and the diagonal stripe behind. That movie was about the same guys but before his service dates. The nomenclature I'm likely messing up is what constitutes a unit/company/platoon/division/etc. According to wiki, unit is too big. This is somewhere between squadron and cavalry troop, if I'm picking out the right terms from the list. He was referring to his group of more than 20, less than 100, if I understood him correctly. Thanks for the clarification; I used the word "unit" generically and should not have. They were what he called a "blue team" trying to grab pinned-down infantry (squads?) under fire and pull them out. Again, I know the numbers from his DD-214 (I built a shadowbox for him) but not the significance: he was awarded 16 air combat medals (can't remember if he had a V on those), 1 Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars with oak leaf clusters, 3 Purple Hearts, and the Order of Vietnam. He was shot down 3 times but never taken prisoner.


BBB,

In The Cav, the Blue Teams were normally with the 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry and were typically 6-man reconnaissance teams. The 7th Cav was an infantry regiment so his sub-unit might have been a platoon - around 40 men. Not to put too fine a point on it but the door gunners were assigned to the aviation units, not the "line" units like the 7th Cav. Messy. My thinking he may have done both, door gunner and grunt given the breadth of the medals. But no Combat Infantryman's Badge listed so more likely not the infantry.
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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March 24th, 2014 at 7:11:17 AM permalink
Quote: chickenman

Quote: beachbumbabs

Quote: chickenman

The nomenclature can get a bit confusing here along with some crossover. Blue Ghosts were F Troop 8th Cavalry assigned to the Americal Division up around Chu Lai. There were 7th (à la "We were Soldiers Once, and Young") and 8th Cavalry Regiments in the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Completely separate deals. I can't think of an instance where "all.. [of a] unit less one is on the Wall" but maybe it just isn't coming to mind.



Chickenman,

Yeah, 7th Cav is correct, with the horsehead on yellow and the diagonal stripe behind. That movie was about the same guys but before his service dates. The nomenclature I'm likely messing up is what constitutes a unit/company/platoon/division/etc. According to wiki, unit is too big. This is somewhere between squadron and cavalry troop, if I'm picking out the right terms from the list. He was referring to his group of more than 20, less than 100, if I understood him correctly. Thanks for the clarification; I used the word "unit" generically and should not have. They were what he called a "blue team" trying to grab pinned-down infantry (squads?) under fire and pull them out. Again, I know the numbers from his DD-214 (I built a shadowbox for him) but not the significance: he was awarded 16 air combat medals (can't remember if he had a V on those), 1 Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars with oak leaf clusters, 3 Purple Hearts, and the Order of Vietnam. He was shot down 3 times but never taken prisoner.


BBB,

In The Cav, the Blue Teams were normally with the 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry and were typically 6-man reconnaissance teams. The 7th Cav was an infantry regiment so his sub-unit might have been a platoon - around 40 men. Not to put too fine a point on it but the door gunners were assigned to the aviation units, not the "line" units like the 7th Cav. Messy. My thinking he may have done both, door gunner and grunt given the breadth of the medals. But no Combat Infantryman's Badge listed so more likely not the infantry.



Chickenman,

I'm proving in discussing this that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...lol. This is not my area of expertise, and it's been over 10 years since I saw his paperwork. I should also mention it's not a subject where he just tells all of this; it was years of comments putting things together. He doesn't talk about Vietnam much.

I went and looked up the Combat Infantry Badge, and he definitely had that as well; I don't know how many, if they award them repeatedly, or if it's one-and-done. His Silver Star was for a ground-based action, not airborne. He had an expert marksman designation; I don't know if that's a sub-category of the CIB or something else. The Air Combat Medals were either per number of flights each or per weeks on that duty; my impression was that each one was 8 weeks of door-gunner duty, but wiki says they were usually for 5 flights each, so I'm not sure which is correct.

He said he pissed somebody off to get sent over there in the first place, and got assigned where he did (all over the place) so he'd get killled, but they didn't quite manage it. He was in-country for 2 1/2 tours, and came out with the withdrawal, got moved to Germany.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
chickenman
chickenman
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March 24th, 2014 at 7:26:38 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs


He was in-country for 2 1/2 tours


Bingo. Most likely 7th Cav initially as a grunt then moved to door gunner subsequent tour(s). This was very common. Albeit you'd have to be "crazy" to do either one of these...;-)

Only one CIB per customer, per war. A star is added for each war.

The movie "We were Soldiers once..." was extremely poor IMNSHO. Didn't do justice to the book by Hal Moore, and that was one of the best depictions of combat since "The Naked and the Dead" Read it if you have interest, well worth your time. Another suggested book, and this one does a very credible job on the 1st Cav helicopter action is "Chickenhawk" by Bob Mason.
yourfriendjim
yourfriendjim
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March 24th, 2014 at 12:53:07 PM permalink
Good Afternoon friends,
My name is Jim Lawrence and Mickey and I became good friends after I moved to Juneau in 1974.
I had Just returned home after getting out of the service. At the time I wasn't doing very well with the effects of my tour in Vietnam. One of my uncle's had invited me to come to Alaska try to get on as a labourer at the Little Delta Jct. Pump station, well it didn't work out as planed and I ended up in Juneau. That's where I met Mickey Crimm and we became friends.
Regarding Vietnam; I was a doorgunner on a UH-1helicopter and a member of an Air Calvary Troop, F/8 or F Troop 8th Air Cav when C7/17th Cav stepped down F/8 was reenacted and the men that were with C7/17th Cav became F/8 and to this day we are the only troop welcome at their reunions and they are the only troop welcome at our reunions we were called the Blue Ghost F/8 was stationed at Marble Mountain in Military region 1 in the most northern part of South Vietnam. I was assigned to the Troop on July 18, 1972. We later moved to Da Nang then we took over the Marine base on the beach at Chu Lai and were then moved down to Bien Hoa. The events of my tour are documented very well. Not only by me but in the after action reports of the troop, also after action reports of 11th combat aviation group, as well as the honorable mention of our efforts in the support of General Truong's troops and he wrote about F/8 in his book " about the Easter Offensive of 1972. It was the first of many missions my troop would be involved in. It was said to me by my Commander Colonel John P. Kennedy that the Easter Offensive of 1972 was the longest and bloodiest battle of the entire Vietnam war. Col. John P. Kennedy US Army Ret. It started in March of 1972 and went until the end of May beginning of June at which time both sides were worn out and there was period of a few weeks which both sides used to resupply and rearm the battle began again on the 20th of June and lasted 81 straight days into October. During this offensive there were said to be approximently 40,000 NVA killed I do not know how many Americans lost their lives. I do know that F/8 lost 27 helicopters and 9 men, 1 captured and was a prisoner of war for 5 months and was released as part of a prisoner exchange after the day of ceasefire January 28, 1973. I do not remember how many were wounded however I am sure there is a record. There are many stories I could tell after returning home from Vietnam, I did not speak of these things for 22yrs because I could not prove any of it. Well after having 65 jobs and 14 businesses I was forced to sort it all out.
I am now a member of the Blue Ghost Assn. And know the men I served with including my commander and even if no one else understands or believes it they all know the truth.

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