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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:52 am 
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Just finished re-reading (first read them all in the 90s) the VN "air novels" ...

Coonts, Stephen, "Flight of the Intruder"

Berent, Mark, "Rolling Thunder"
___________, "Phanton Leader"
___________, "Steel Tiger"
___________, "Eagle Station"
___________, "Storm Flight"

I was surprised. My memory was that I liked Flight of the Intruder more ... but actually, I could barely even read it ... the technical aspects were fine though few and far between ... the attempts at writing were pretty bad ... I wound up skimming the second half of it ...

On the other hand, the Berent books were riveting ... well, except for the "love" scenes ...

Even though these books are fiction ... some things are mentioned that provide fruit for further study. Berent mentions there was a "class" for SVN military men who actually wanted to try this "democracy" thing ... and they were motivated in the field ... however, Berent says, as officers, these types were suppressed by the "regimes" who wanted loyalty ... not ideas and capabilities ...

So the question is, were there ever any such people? If so, I want to hear from them. Well ... I am hunting for them .. both in print and in real life. Haven't found any yet. But haven't given up yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:54 pm 
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No. 79, RAAF flew F-86 coverage over Ubon and other nearby locales during the mid-60s, during Rolling Thunder.

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:16 pm 
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It doesn't get much better than Robin Olds ...

Quote:
Just as Olds began firing, both engines of his P-38 quit from fuel exhaustion; in the excitement of the attack he had neglected to switch to his internal fuel tanks. He continued attacking in "dead-stick mode", hitting his target in the fuselage and shooting off part of its engine cowling. After fatally damaging the Bf 109 he dived away and restarted his engines.

Still in a shallow dive, I observed another P-38 and an Me 109 going round and round. It seemed that the 38 needed help so I started down. At about 4,000 ft (1,200 m), the Jerry, still way out of my range, turned under me and slightly to the right. I rolled over on my back, following him and gave him an ineffective burst at long range. By this time I was traveling in excess of 500 mph (800 km/h). My left window blew out, scaring the hell out of me. I thought I had been hit by some of the ground fire I had observed in the vicinity. I regained control of the aircraft and pulled out above a wheat field. I tried to contact the flight to get myself recognized, but observed an Me 109 making a pass at me from about seven o'clock high. I broke left as well as my plane could and the Jerry overshot. I straightened out and gave him a burst. He chandelled steeply to the left and I shot some more. He passed right over me and I slipped over in an Immelmann. As I straightened out at the top, I saw the pilot bail out.

In September 1966, Olds was tapped to command an F-4C Phantom wing in Southeast Asia. En route he arranged with the 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, (where Col. James was now Deputy Commander of Operations) to be checked out in the Phantom, completing the 14-step syllabus in just five days. His instructor was Major William L. Kirk, the 4453rd CCTW's Standardization and Evaluation officer, who had been one of Olds' pilots at RAF Bentwaters, and who later commanded the United States Air Forces Europe as a full general. Kirk accompanied Olds for practice firing of AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on the Point Mugu missile range while Olds was en route to Travis Air Force Base for his charter flight overseas. Olds rewarded Kirk by granting him a transfer to his command in Thailand in March 1967.

The Bolo plan reasoned that by equipping F-4s with jamming pods, using the call signs and communications codewords of the F-105 wings, and flying their flight profiles through northwest Vietnam, the F-4s could effectively simulate an F-105 bombing mission and entice the MiG-21s into intercepting not bomb-laden Thunderchiefs, but Phantoms configured for air-to-air combat.

After an intensive planning, maintenance, and briefing period, the mission was scheduled for January 1, 1967. Poor weather caused a 24-hour delay, but even then, a solid overcast covered the North Vietnamese airbases at Phúc Yên, Gia Lam, Kép, and Cat Bai when the bogus strike force began arriving over the target area, five-minute intervals separating the flights of F-4s. Leading the first flight, Olds overflew the primary MiG-21 base at Phúc Yên and was on a second pass when MiGs finally began popping up through the cloud base. Although at first seemingly random in nature, it quickly became apparent that the MiGs were ground-controlled intercepts designed to place the supposed F-105s in a vise between enemies to their front and rear.

The F-4s and their crews, however, proved equal to the situation and claimed seven MiG-21s destroyed, almost half of the 16 then in service with the VPAF without loss to USAF aircraft. Olds himself shot down one of the seven, for which he and the other aircrew were awarded Silver Stars. Follow-up interceptions over the next two days by MiGs against RF-4C reconnaissance aircraft led to a similar mission on a smaller scale on January 6, with another two MiG-21s shot down. VPAF fighter activity diminished to almost nothing for 10 weeks afterwards, thereby accomplishing the main goal of Operation Bolo: to eliminate or diminish the threat of MiGs to the strike formations.

We weren't allowed to dogfight. Very little attention was paid to strafing, dive-bombing, rocketry, stuff like that. It was thought to be unnecessary. Yet every confrontation America faced in the Cold War years was a 'bombs and bullets' situation, raging under an uneasy nuclear standoff." The Vietnam War "proved the need to teach tactical warfare and have fighter pilots. It caught us unprepared because we weren't allowed to learn it or practice it in training ...


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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:25 am 
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JW to complete your studies you should read "Chickenhawk" and "Low Level Hell"

You won't be disappointed.

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:22 am 
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First Sergeant

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Aye. I have "Chickenhawk" ... got it back in the 90s when I grabbed every book on Vietnam helicopter war I could find ... I'll add it to the re-read list ... as to "Low Level Hell" ... don't think I have that one ... so will check it out ...

And oh BTW, this is not an exercise that ever gets "completed" :D the more we learn, the less we know ... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:14 pm 
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Got a new kindle for xmas ... and "Low Level Hell" was available on kindle ... so I got my first book on kindle ... started reading ... boy ... starts off with a BANG! Shot down 16 times! The way the book is going ... all 16 times will be on the first day !!! :D
It is hard to understand how people can barely survive and encounter with the enemy ... get back to base .. dust themselves off and head out to do it again ... I read that in book after book ...

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:17 pm 
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I'd recommend "The Boys of '67: Charlie Company's War in Vietnam" by Andrew Wiest. I read it on the Kindle and it was excellent. Follows the company from their formation through the tour in Vietnam in the Delta and then after.

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:35 pm 
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jwilkerson wrote:
Got a new kindle for xmas ... and "Low Level Hell" was available on kindle ... so I got my first book on kindle ... started reading ... boy ... starts off with a BANG! Shot down 16 times! The way the book is going ... all 16 times will be on the first day !!! :D
It is hard to understand how people can barely survive and encounter with the enemy ... get back to base .. dust themselves off and head out to do it again ... I read that in book after book ...

Low Level Hell was a Doggie recommendation.

Also read anything by Keith William Nolan.

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:00 pm 
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Old Eagle wrote:

Also read anything by Keith William Nolan.





My old man is mentioned a couple times in his book The Magnificent Bastards.

His CO (iirc) mentions seeing the barrel of his M-60 glowing brightly during the night engagement(s) from his vantage point further back. Although the old man was a bit pissy that his account recalled him being a Private, but he'd actually made Sergeant by that point.

Tough battle against lots of NVA in I Corp attacking the base at Dong Ha in the lead-up to Tet IIRC. It was a brutal head-on fight more resembling large bloody battles of previous generations.

Pretty sure I posted a pic or two, here at the Doghouse or a previous iteration, of a village they had been holding after they were being lifted out after a few days of battle. Looked like the surface of the moon.. almost no buildings or vegetation just artillery craters left.

Got a few interesting little tidbit stories regarding that episode.

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:30 am 
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Slightly off topic but Multiman Publishing will son release a tactical (company level) tabletop consim of VN combat called Front Toward Enemy. It's in Preorder status right now ($48) and will retail for $65 when completed.

http://www.multimanpublishing.com/tabid/58/CategoryID/2/ProductID/318/Default.aspx

Quote:
FRONT TOWARD ENEMY is a simulation that recreates tactical engagements during the Vietnam War at the scale of 50 meters per hex and five minutes per turn. Units represent fire teams, heavy weapon sections, leaders, vehicles, and helicopters. Eight scenarios with set-up options recreate twelve missions that typified company-level engagements during the Vietnam War, including airmobile insertions, assaults on fortified positions, and classic search-and-destroy operations, among others.

Rules cover all of the elements associated with combat in Vietnam: helicopter gunships, armored vehicles, artillery support, snipers, sappers, civilians, booby-traps, medics, evacuation of the wounded, prisoner interrogation, tunnels, hidden caches, and more. Winning doesn't always mean holding the objective if the cost in casualties is too great. Sudden combat in difficult terrain causes command and control to quickly break down. A chit-pull system means command and control is erratic, and volume of fire is rewarded, but results are fickle. The unforeseen occurs, ranging from non-combat injuries to interference from higher headquarters to so-called “friendly fire”. Immediate action drills, staying close, and the ability to move and act as a coordinated unit ensure survivability in this environment.

FRONT TOWARD ENEMY scales:

each turn is approximately 5 minutes
each hex is approximately 50 meters across
counters represent Infantry Units of one to four men (Fire Teams, Weapons Teams, Leaders, and Individuals) Helicopters, and Vehicles
Additional markers represent Civilians, Caches (rice, medical, and ammo), Bunkers, Foxholes, and Tunnel entrances

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