A COMBAT MEDIC’S VIETNAM EXPERIENCE

Posted in Travel on November 3, 2011 by ivankatz

JOURNEY TO VIETNAM 31 May 68 Oakland, Ca. Joe Ciacio and Ivan Katzenmeier – Oakland

– awaiting transport to Viet Nam

– We are leaving at 5:30 on Flight F239.


Flying Tiger Airlines will fly us to Viet Nam via Fairbanks, Alaska and Japan.

We will land in Bien Hoa, Viet Nam.

PHOTO AS WE FLY BY MOUNT FUJI JAPAN

I June 68

4:00 pm

This country is really scarred by war.  As we prepare to land, I see fields below.  Each field has at least a half dozen bomb craters in it.  It really looks like a war zone.

Bien Hoa – I arrive at the 90th Replacement Company.

Bien Hoa is 22 miles NE of Saigon.

MAP OF BIEN HOA AREA

2 June 68

Cu Chi – I was at Bien Hoa overnight and then I fly to Cu Chi Replacement Company for the 25th Infantry Division.

We are northwest of Saigon at Cu Chi.

It is hot, damp, muddy, and rainy over here.

The kids are thick as flies.

The Army buildings are very temporary wooden structures.

Water for drinking and especially bathing is hard to find.

I shaved this morning by standing in the rain.  It was the only source of water available.

I will receive 5 days RVN (Republic of Vietnam) training here at Cu Chi and then ship out on 10 June.

I expect to be assigned to a mechanized unit.

The living conditions are not good.

Every day there is a down pour of rain.  My clothing is always damp.

There is very little drinking water and no hot water at all.

The ground is always muddy.  The sidewalks are wooden.

The barracks look like they were built out of giant wooden Venetian blinds.  This permits the air to circulate through the walls.

There are bunkers right outside the barracks for shelter during enemy rocket attacks.

It has been six days since the last attack.

4 June 68

Cu Chi – Tomorrow I start 5 days of RVN  (Republic of Vietnam)  training.

After completion, I will be sent to an infantry unit.

Last night, we were mortared, here at Cu Chi, at 1 AM and 3 AM.


Each time we went into our bunkers until the ‘All Clear’ was given.

The Viet Cong were shelling the air strip’s heliports which are on both sides of the Replacement Company.

6 June 68 Cu Chi – We started our second day of RVN training.  We were shown Viet Cong booby traps and  dud rounds (bombs that did not explode on impact).

We haven’t been mortared for two days now.

Today we go through tear gas training.

I am sorry to hear  Robert Kennedy was shot.

8 PM I heard Robert Kennedy died.  I don’t understand why people have to kill.

See: http://www.robertfkennedy.net/

7 June 68

Cu Chi – I was issued a rife today and fired it at the rifle range. It is raining right now and I am lying on my cot in Hootch #9, listening to the rain hit the tin roof.  We call our barracks, ‘hootchs.’

It started raining about 6 PM while we were in an outdoor class.

The classes are held in the middle of a rubber tree plantation, among the trees.  I am soaking wet right now.

8 June 68

Cu Chi -There are no weekends over here.  Tomorrow is Sunday and it is my last day of RVN training.

Today we fired BB guns in a quick kill exercise. We are being trained on carrying out search and destroy missions and ambush patrols.

Monday I go to Dau Tieng.

10 June 68

Dau Tieng looks better than Cu Chi.

Morale is high and everyone feels reasonably safe here.

On the horizon I can see Nui Ba Den, The Black Virgin mountain.

This area has the largest rubber plantations in the world.

It is also a major silk producing area.

The natives wear black silk pajamas for every day dress.

Dau Tieng has a ‘MARS’ station, PX, library, and an Enlisted Men’s Club.

See photo below of the  Enlisted Men’s Club.

11 June 68

Dau Tieng – I am presently working in a clinic called a Battalion Aid Station, Head Quarters, Head Quarters Company 3/22nd, 25th Infantry Division (HHC, 3/22, 25th ID) which serves 4 infantry companies (Alpha ,Bravo, Charlie, and Delta).

We treat a lot of skin diseases.  What we can’t handle, we send to the 25th Evacuation Hospital.

Our Battalion Aid Station is made of brick with a tile roof.   It was part of a plantation mansion built by the French.  I would guess our building was servants’ quarters as it is connected to the plantation mansion.  It  is now used to house our officers.

The medics sleep in hootchs.  There are 8 cubicles with two men to a cubicle.  We sleep on cots.  Some have TVs and refrigerators.  All have electricity and lights, which flicker bright to dim.

Tomorrow I have guard duty.  I will carry an M-16 rifle with 14 clips of ammunition (20 rounds per clip).  I will be assigned a building to guard.

Guard duty is  two hours, then off duty four hours, and then on duty for two hours.

Dau Tieng was mortared today, with 3 mortar rounds hitting at 5 PM.  So far most injuries are caused by  running to the bunkers and stubbing toes, rather than injuries caused  by flying metal shrapnel from the exploding mortar rounds.  This is especially true when they hit during the  night hours.

The photo is a mortar pit, with mortar tube.  A mortar is a small rocket with an explosive charge.  It is dropped down the mortar tube, detonates when it hits the bottom, and fires.  When it lands, it detonates again, spraying shrapnel.

There isn’t much work  to do around here but fill sand bags to build more bunkers and entertain ourselves by playing checkers and writing letters during our spare time.

MEDICS’ BUNKER – DAU TIENG

13 June 68 Dau Tieng – I received my first letter from home today.  It took 6 days to arrive.  We can send letters home for free.

Dau Tieng is 100 miles from Saigon and about 30 miles from the Cambodian border.  The Ho Chi Minh Trail ends at Dau Tieng and stretches north through Cambodia into North Viet Nam.  It is the enemy’s main supply route.

The water situation at Dau Tieng is good.  There is plenty of water to drink, and I can shave and shower every day.  Cokes and beer are also in good supply here.

We  receive all our news from the Armed Forces Radio in Saigon.  That is how I heard of Robert Kennedy’s recent assassination.

It is so hot and humid over here, that it doesn’t take long to perspire after showering and then I feel dirty again.

The food isn’t always prepared very well.  A lot of grease is used in food preparation.  But so far I have survived.

The Vietnamese civilian women, mamasans, are hired to help in the kitchen, so there is no KP for us.

There is a lot of teasing of the women to make them laugh.  If they are mad at you, you are ‘Number 10,’ and if they like you, you are ‘Number one.’

14 June 68 Dau Tieng – We lost another medic, James Loyd Lawrence Jr.  He was with his infantry platoon (Delta Company, 3/22nd, 25th Infantry Division) on patrol, when his squad leader was hit by enemy fire.  He rushed forward through intense enemy fire and was shot and killed.  His squad leader was already dead.  This happened day before yesterday.  It was only this medics sixth day in the field.

See: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=17683626

See:  http://www.virtualwall.org/dl/LawrenceJL02a.htm

16 June 68

Dau Tieng – The mortar attack I reported on 11 June was not from the enemy.  They were from our own artillery!

We laid Constantina wire today, around the perimeter of this base camp.  It was hard work.

It is raining this evening.  A gentle, cooling rain, not like the down pours at Cu Chi.

The medics are having a barbecue with ice cold cokes, beer and chicken.

The area around Dau Tieng is mostly level with the Black Virgin Mountain being about 8 miles away.

There are rubber tree plantations and rice paddies in the area.
It thunders and lightnings when it storms, but it thunders more from the artillery firing constantly on suspected enemy positions.

Sgt.  Penneck is our platoon sergeant.  He is a nice person to work for.  He has requested 10 new medics, who should arrive in 2 weeks.

17 June 68 Dau Tieng – Today I was on latrine duty AKA ’shit’ burning detail.

Fifty five gallon drums are cut in half and used as containers to catch human wastes in the latrines.

The medics are assigned the responsibility of pulling the containers out of the latrines, pouring diesel fuel in the containers and lighting the wastes and watch it burn.

It is not glamorous duty to say the least.  It takes about two hours.

I also filled sand bags for a couple of hours and the Sgt. told me to take a break.  So I went to the air conditioned base library to read and write letters home.

Nearly all our medics have been wounded.  Out of eleven I know only one or two haven’t been hit.
Things are getting worse.  The enemy is now armed with automatic weapons, Chinese AK 47s and our M-16s!

A year ago they were using single shot German and Chinese rifles.

18 June 68 Dau Tieng – I will go to the field (forward combat location)  tomorrow.  I am replacing an infantry  medic who was wounded and will be hospitalized about 10 days.

I fly to Ton Son Nhut Airbase near Saigon, tomorrow and locate the Battalion Surgeon.  He will assign me to an infantry  unit.

20 June 68 Dau Tieng. 7 AM – No mail today.  The convoys can’t get through the enemy controlled highways.

An enemy attack was expected last night, but nothing happened.  A battalion of Viet Cong are near Cu Chi.  And a battalion of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) were on both sides of Dau Tieng last night.

We are mortared by the enemy every day now, around noon, midnight and 4 AM.

20 June 68 Ton Son Nhut – I arrived in Saigon today.

I am living in a tent. we have half a tent where we hold sick call.  Since I don’t have a military drivers license, I can’t take patients to the hospital.

I think the Battalion Surgeon, Ira Mersack, M.D. will be sending me back to Dau Tieng and ask them to send him someone with a driver’s license.

21 June 69 Dan Tieng – I flew back to Dau Tieng from Saigon today.

Tomorrow I will fly back to Saigon to replace a medic that has been in the field 8 months.  He should have been replaced at 6 months.

We were mortared last night at Ton Son Nhut, but no one was hurt.

Here at Dau Tieng last night a soldier tried to ‘frag’ his commanding officer by throwing a half dozen grenades at his barracks.  The officer wasn’t in his barracks, so wasn’t hurt.  The soldier will be taken to LBJ,’ the Long Binh Jail.  There are a lot of guys refusing to fight, but of course it doesn’t make the news.

25 June 68 Saigon Area – I am assigned to an infantry platoon as a front line medic.  Last night we went out on ambush patrol on the Saigon River.

About 8:30 PM, 12 San Pans are seen floating down the river.

After curfew, anyone on the river is an enemy.  Our platoon  fires automatic weapons at them, killing 20 Viet Cong.  No one in my platoon was hurt.

We go out every day on patrols and have guard duty at night.  Every third day our platoon goes out at night on ambush patrol.  Then we get the next day off. The area around here is flat and tropical.  There are banana and coconut plantations in the area.  It is also very swampy.

27 June 68 Ten miles north of Saigon – We sleep on the ground at night, and are brought hot meals by helicopter once a day.  The other two meals are C rations.  The hot meals are very good.

We have not encountered the enemy in the last 2 days.

The area around here is a tropical orchard of banana trees, coconut, rubber trees, grape fruit, pineapple and rice paddies.


Canals are every where.  They connect with the Saigon River.

Natives swarm around our campsites selling us beer, coke and bread.

I treated two little boys, babysans, who had stubbed their toes.  They pointed to their bloody toes and said, ‘number 10!’ No one in my 20 man platoon has been wounded.  I treat them for skin diseases, headaches, colds and upset stomachs.

I haven’t bathed or changed my clothes since 23 June, and might not for another month.

When on patrol, I am in the middle of the formation, with the platoon sergeant and his radio operator.

I don’t carry an aid bag, but rather carry all my medical supplies in a Claymore mine bag.  I don’t want to look like a medic.  I am told the enemy shoots medics first, so I try to look like a ‘grunt,’ (infantryman).

28 June 68 Saigon Area – Today on patrol we walked through rice paddies looking for the enemy and found none. Papasan and his family followed us today, which was a good sign, because they know when it is safe and Viet Cong aren’t around.

Papasan carries a block of ice on his shoulder and mamasan and the babysans carry the coke and beer to sell us.

Papasan spins a can of coke on the block of ice to cool it and then sells it to us for 40 cents a can.

When walking in the rice paddies, we try to stay out of the water by walking on the narrow dikes that form borders of each rice field.

30 June 68 Saigon Area – I was on ambush patrol (AP) last night.  My clothes are  wet from wading through canals.  Mosquitoes bit my ears.  I am miserable. On yesterdays patrol, the mud was knee deep in places.  The canals are full of water and I fell in several times.

Most canals that are 4 feet across or less can be jumped.  Some canals are even narrower and are covered with grass, but are still waist deep.

The large canals are formed by earthen dykes and have numerous Viet Cong bunkers built into them.  I saw one yesterday that had two dead enemy in them.  They had been killed by air strikes several days before.

The bodies smelled of the stench of death.

We also crossed several sugar cane fields.  It rained on us yesterday morning. When we find bombed out houses, we stay in them when we can during ambush patrols at night.  Sometimes we find Vietnamese money or other ‘souvenirs’ in them.

The scout dog in the above photo leads the way, when we are walking  through thick vegetation.

Today is our day off.

We are getting about every other day off now.

We go out on a search and destroy mission during the day, set up an ambush patrol at night and then return to a field base camp the next morning.

1 July 68 Saigon Area – We have ambush patrol tonight. we waded across numerous canals and ditches today.  It is exhausting trying to leap over them and not always making it.

Sometimes we are wading through ankle deep water and then the bottom drops into a deeper canal about 3 feet deep.

Sometimes fallen branches and limbs form a bridge across the canals, but it takes good balance to walk across them with wet, slippery, muddy boots and carrying a rifle and equipment.

As we walk through the villages, it is common to see small children standing in the doorways with a shirt and no pants.

I can count the ribs of the children, they are so thin.  The children beg us for cans of C rations.

https://katzenmeier.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/viet-nam149.jpg

3 July 68 Ton Son Nhut – We moved to a different camp site.  It isn’t the best. Viet Cong had just been in the area.  We found the remains of their dinner, a fish they were preparing to eat.

I am now at the Battalion Aid Station in Ton Son Nhut as a patient.  I had fever, chills and dysentery all day yesterday. MEDICS ROBERT ROSS “DOC” DEWBERRY (kneeling) & IVAN “DOC” KATZENMEIER (patient)

4 July 68 Ton Son Nhut – The Dr. says I am well enough to go back to the field. Dau Tieng was attacked last night with mortars and a couple of enemy made it through the wire and into base camp.  There were a few casualties.  I am glad I wasn’t there.

5 July 68 Dau Tieng – We were taken out of the field today by helicopter and flown to Dau Tieng Base camp.  I have been assigned to Company B, Bravo Company.

Note:

Spec 4 Oliver Stone, Bravo Company, later in life created a movie reflecting his war experiences.    He made three films about Vietnam, Platoon (1986), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), and Heaven & Earth (1993).  Stone served with Bravo Company and  the 3/4 Cav in Vietnam, from April 1967 to November 1968.

Robert Hemphill (LTC ,Retired), former Bravo Company commander published his side of the story in his book  ‘Platoon Bravo Company.

Hemphill commanded B/3/22 in the Tropic Lightning 25th Infantry Division from 1 October 1967 through 18 Feburary 1968. During this time Bravo Company fought sharp battles with the Viet-Cong along the Cambodian border until the 1968 Tet offensive where they fought around Cu Chi.

I now have my own GI bed and GI mattress!  I really appreciate it after being in the field for a month.

Last night Dau Tieng was attacked.  The enemy fired 350 mortar rounds and 122 mm rockets at us.

There were 6 Viet Cong with satchel charges of explosives tied to them.

They came through the wire around the base camp perimeter and got inside of the base camp before they were killed.

Five of our soldiers were killed and 70 were wounded. That is why they pulled Bravo Company in from the field.  We are to guard the base camp.

Vol 3 No. 31          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          July 29, 1968

July 4th Attack Repulsed (By SP4 BILL SLUIS)

3D BDE – More than 400 enemy rocket and mortar rounds and a pair of pre-dawn ground attacks by two reinforced Viet Cong companies were repelled by 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division soldiers on the 4th of July.
The attack, largest sustained in the two-year history of Dau Tieng base camp, was broken by gunships and infantry.  At least 10 enemy soldiers were left dead on the perimeter of the camp.
The attack began shortly before 2:30 a.m. as salvo after salvo of mortar fire struck all corners of the base camp.
Miraculously, no one was killed as an official total of 374 mortars, eight 107mm rockets, and 25 RPG rocket rounds slammed around infantrymen who were huddled in defensive bunkers.
Striking from both sides of the perimeter north of the airfield, the Viet Cong, arrayed in suicide squads, attempted a ground wave pincer movement which hit night defensive positions of the 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery, and the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry.
Several artillery bunkers were damaged as the enemy suicide squad, hitting the west side of the camp, struck with RPG rocket rounds and satchel charges.  At least seven VC broke inside the perimeter before the attack was halted.
On the east side of the camp, a larger Viet Cong force emerged from behind tombstones in a cemetery but were cut down in a welter of machine gun and duster fire.  Two VC planted themselves near the end of the runway and tossed pressure-released satchel charges onto the east end of the airstrip.
As gunships scrambled and shattered the air with a deafening roar of fire, the ground wave attacks were completely disrupted.  By the light of flares, enemy soldiers were seen to toss their weapons to the ground and run for the protective cover of nearby woods.

Before dawn, an AC-47 “Puff the Magic Dragon” aircraft began circling the base camp, dropping flares and adding further firepower to the assault on the retreating enemy.  Artillery fire and more gunship raids also rained down on the attackers.
A preliminary search of the perimeter the following morning recovered, in addition to the enemy bodies, 434 home-made satchel charges, three bangalore torpedoes, a dozen RPG-7 rocket rounds, 49 RPG-2 rounds, 45 60mm mortar rounds, one RPG-2 launcher, numerous hand grenades and six AK-47 assault rifles.
Blood trails leading away from the base camp indicated additional enemy deaths which could not be positively confirmed.  American casualties numbered five dead, all in defense of the west perimeter, and 53 injured, 18 of whom required hospitalization.

BRAVO COMPANY ASSIGNMENT

I am assigned to the 3rd Platoon of Bravo Company.

We have a good Sergeant.  Some of the guys are using ‘pot’ which is a concern.  Especially when they fall asleep on guard duty!

I    took my first shower today in a week and a half.

10 July 68 We are in Cu Chi base camp for 5 days.

During the day we stay in base camp and at night we go out with the 3/4 Cavalry (mechanized armored vehicles).

We ride on their Armored Personnel Carriers (APCS) and tanks and guard the roads (road security).

When we come to a village, we get off the vehicles and walk through the village.  Sometimes the yards are booby trapped.  Earlier this morning one of our men received a bullet wound in the leg.

Yesterday a soldier was accidently shot by a 50 caliber machine gun through the stomach.  A dressing was put on him and he was sent to the hospital.

A lot of soldiers are shot by accident.

11 July 68 Cu Chi – We went out again last night.  I slept on top of an armored personnel vehicle all night.

No mail since I left Dau Tieng.

CHARLIE COMPANY ASSIGNMENT

12 July 68 Cu Chi – I am at the airport waiting on a flight to Dan Tieng.  A medic arrived this morning to take my place in Bravo Company.

I    am assigned to be Charlie Company’s Sr.  Medic in Dau Tieng.

Last night we were on ambush patrol waiting in a ditch outside of a village keeping watch for any Viet Cong that might be in moving in the area.

The natives act like the war is ours and not theirs, and maybe it is!

13 July 68 Dau Tieng – Charlie Company is to come in tomorrow.  Our platoon Sgt says he talked to the Commander of Charlie Company and gave me a big ‘build up.’ He told the Captain of Charlie Company that I was the best man they had!  I am eager to be their Sr.  Medic.

14 July 68 Dau Tieng – Dr. Ira Mersack is our Battalion Surgeon.  He talked to me today and complimented me on my abilities.  It made me really feel appreciated.

17 July 68 Dau Tieng – The last 3 days I have been with Charlie Company in the rubber plantations near Dau Tieng.  It is easy walking through the rubber trees.  They are tall and their lowest branches are well above are heads.

We also went through some jungle.  It was slow moving due to the vines entangled throughout.  We had a German shepherd scout dog with us to alert us of any enemy.

On our last day in the rubber plantation we had ‘Boom Boom’ (prostitutes) follow us several times to sell themselves along with beer and soda.  It is a sign there are no enemy in the area.
Just before the trucks picked us up to bring us back to Dau Tieng, we saw a half dozen of them coming toward us on motor bikes.

CHURCH ON THE FRONT LINE
We have church in the field too.  The chaplain comes out in the middle of us as we form a semi-circle.  He reads a prayer, gives a short sermon, we sing a hymn, say the Lord’s Prayer and if it is the first of the month we have communion.

Part of my duties as Sr. Medic is to fill out the paperwork for Purple hearts.  I have about 20 to complete.

CAPTAIN HANSARD

Charlie Company is getting a new Captain, Captain Hansard.

Everyone wonders how we will like him.

This is his second tour in Viet Nam, so he is experienced.

CHARLIE COMPANY CAPTURES VIET CONG SUSPECT

20 July 68 Dau Tieng – Charlie Company spent 3 days and 2 nights in the rubber plantation near here.

This morning we captured a Viet Cong suspect.

He had no ID and only wore a pair of dark green shorts. He only carried a plastic bag containing tobacco and cigarette papers. His story Is that he was swimming last night and was captured and released by the Viet Cong.

Later he began telling more about VC activity in the area. An interpreter with us to interrogated him.

Yesterday we had an exhausting walk through the rubber trees.  Some of the soldiers became sick from the heat and lack of water. I have never before felt so thirsty.

A helicopter finally brought us water.  After a rest, some water and C rations I am ready to go again.

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D.NELSON

23 July 68 Dau Tieng –

We stayed in villages during the last two days, denying the Viet Cong access.

We killed 3 Viet Cong.

There are areas in the rubber trees with tall weeds and the wind doesn’t blow.  It is hot and we usually have one heat casualty a day.

It is hard to carry enough water plus the rifle and equipment.

Yesterday we walked about 7 kilometers or 5 miles.
We have fought the enemy every day we have been out this past week.

CHARLIE COMPANY AMBUSHES  VIET CONG SUPPLY TRAIN

27 July 68 Dau Tieng – Last night we set up an ambush patrol.  A Viet Cong supply train came through our camp site and we opened fire on them.  First we set off the claymore mines and then opened fire with automatic weapons.

Three Viet Cong were killed and one was captured. The rest of the Viet Cong company escaped, dragging their dead and wounded behind them in the night.  We also captured 12 oxen and ox carts full of rice, powdered Pet Milk, peanuts, salt and peas.

All of the enemy supplies were in sacks stamped ‘US.’

None of Charlie Company were hurt. We have run into Viet Cong every day and night this week.

28 July 68 Tay Ninh Area – We are near the Black Virgin Mountain by Tay Ninh.

Last night we had hard rains.  The monsoons are finally here.

We are camped in a young rubber tree plantation.  The trees are 15 to 18 feet height and 2 to 6 inches in diameter.

I slept on a piece of card board from a C ration box with my poncho stretched over me tied between two small rubber trees to form a tent.

The crops in this area are rice and a type of potato.  The roots look like sweet potatoes and the stems are tall with leaves on top.

30 July 68 Tay Ninh – We have been going out into the jungle the last two days.  We have seen no Viet Cong, which is good.

Helicopters fly us out (eagle flights).  I ride with the CP (Command Post) group, which is Captain Hansard, his 2 RTOs (Radio Telephone Operators and FO (Forward Artillery Observer).

We also have two Vietnamese with Charlie   Company.  One is an ARVN (Army of the Republic of Viet Nam) interpreter   and a Kit Carson Scout.  A Kit Carson Scout is a Viet Cong defector who   assists us in finding Viet Cong.

31 July 68 Tay Ninh Area – We are searching the base of the Black Virgin Mountain for the base camp of 3 regiments of Viet Cong.  Artillery prepares the area by shelling and bombers drop their bombs on the jungle before we go in.  Then we walk about 2 miles into the jungle.  It is hard going.

Animal Traps in the Jungle
1 August 68 Tay Ninh Area – Today we followed trails through the jungle.  It was easy walking.  There were animal traps made out of limbs built into a brush fence. Animals were caught in the traps as they passed through them to cross the fence line which was about two feet high and a mile long.

It was probably constructed by the Viet Cong to catch wild animals for food.

2 August 68 Tay Ninh Area – More walking through the jungle looking for the enemy.   We didn’t walk far.

I found some propaganda leaflets. Some have flags on them. They are supposed to provide safe passage for the enemy, if they surrender to us.

The C rations are good, or at least I am learning to like them.  The canned fruit is good with the canned pound cake.
We use blue heat tabs to heat the canned food.  So we can have a hot meal three times a day, if we want to.

In the evening we are brought hot prepared food by helicopter. Today we had veal, baked potatoes, lettuce and tomato salad and two cans of Pepsi.  Yesterday we had the same plus milk.

It rained on us just as the helicopters picked us up from the jungle.

I have 300 days to go over here.

3 August 68 Tay Ninh Area – Today is Saturday  and I attended church.  We stayed in camp today to rest.  I received two letters from home.

5 August 68 Tay Ninh Area – We have really been busy.   We walked 10 miles yesterday.

Today we walked through rice paddies and swampy jungle. They flew us into one area by helicopter, picked us up and flew us to another area and we were done by noon.

6 August 68 Tay Ninh Area – Today is my 2nd wedding anniversary.
We were ready to go out on a ’sweep’ today and then it was called off.

Last night Alpha and Delta Companies were out on a patrol and they ran into Viet Cong.  Two of our men were killed and 6 wounded.

PHOTO BY SP5 GORDAN GAHAN

Dau Tieng was attacked with mortars last night

Shamming
More of the men are claiming injuries or failing to care for their feet, in order to avoid going out on patrols.  Faking injuries is called ’shamming.’

It is my job to determine who has a valid injury and who is ’shamming.’  Sometimes when I tell them they are OK and can go out on patrol, they complain up through their chain of command.  So far my decisions have been upheld.

Sometimes I am not too popular, but it isn’t fair to the rest of the men who go out, if I would allow some to ‘sham.’

Most GIs don’t ‘sham’ but for some it is their way to try to protect themselves and survive this war.  This is every one’s goal.

Viet Cong Surprised by Charlie Company

9 August 68 Dau Tieng – We were pulled out of the Tay Ninh area about August 6th and put into the rubber plantations around Dau Tieng.  I haven’t had time to write.  Now we are being flown by helicopter to the Tay Ninh area.

Today we surprised 3 Viet Cong dressed in black building a dike.  It was in an open, grassy field and we were about .25 miles from them.  They didn’t notice us until Captain Hansard and his interpreters were about 100 yards from them.

The three Vietnamese men made a dash for the jungle and we began firing at them.

One Viet Cong paused, reached for his back, as if he had been shot, and then continued running.  At the edge of the jungle they grabbed their weapons and began firing back at us. Our Forward Artillery Observer (FO) began calling in artillery rounds on them and we followed them. We found their house and what they left behind.

I picked up a rice paddy hoe which had been dented by bullet.

I also picked up a small bottle with Chinese writing on it.

They left their ‘home’ with their dinner on the fire. A wrist watch, radio and $165.00 in U.N. currency was also found.

We are sure one of the enemy was hit in the back but they all got away.

When the shooting began, I hit the ground, with my steel helmet pushing against the back of my neck, it also covered my eyes every time I raised my head.  I realized for the first time it is difficult to belly crawl with a helmet on.

I also saw a punji pit, a big hole in the ground, covered over with grass, with sharp bamboo stake in the center of the hole.  The idea is for the someone to stumble into the pit and fall on the stake.

Fortunately the Kit Carson Scout that was with me pointed out the punji pit before I stepped into it.

10 August 68 Tay Ninh – Last night we were flown out here into a plowed field.

The 3/4 Calvary (mechanized unit) is camped with us.
I was so tired when we left Dau Tieng I unintentionally left some of my equipment there.

It is raining tonight and I am writing this letter with the help of a flashlight.

The So. Vietnamese aren’t helping us in this war, when given a chance.  Their heart isn’t in it.

We stayed at the campsite today, building fighting bunkers. I attended church today and had communion.

11 August 68 Tay Ninh Area – I can’t wait for August to pass and all the other months.  I am feeling well, but tired.

I am looking forward to getting out of Viet Nam and the Army. I will appreciate everything so much more when I get out.  The only good moments over here are eating and sleeping and sometimes they aren’t too much fun.

It is still bearable over here as long as I don’t see any more fighting than I have already. I hope to be taken out of the field soon, although I am confident I could make it for 4-5 more months if I had to.

We didn’t walk much today.  Instead we rode on the 3/4 Cavalry’s armored vehicles.  We only saw some farmers.  We rode right up to the base of the Black Virgin mountain.

12 August 68 Tay Ninh Area- Today is my day off.  I dug a latrine.  It was 5 feet by 3 feet, by 4.5 feet deep.  We hit water!

Charlie Company Guards Dau Tieng Base Camp 13 August 68 Dau Tieng – Yesterday at 1:45 PM we were notified we were flying back to Dau Tieng and by 3 PM we were in the air and on our way.  That’s how fast things change over here.

We are to be here in Dau Tieng a week or more, guarding this  base camp.  Everyone is happy to be in from the field.  It is so nice to be able to take a shower.

I located the equipment I left here and it is alright.

Our Battalion Surgeon, Dr. Mersack, leaves Sept 1st, so will be getting a new one.

Combat Fatigue
The other day we were following an oxcart trail into the  jungle.  We were fully expecting to be ambushed by the Viet Cong.   It was about an hour and a half before sundown.

One  of our men who was pulling ‘point’ suddenly went into a  fetal position and began sobbing, biting his fingers and   hiding his head in another soldier’s arms.  I gave the man librium, and tried to comfort him.  A close friend of his was killed in combat and this is the second time he lost  control of his emotions.

A helicopter was called in after  dark and he was flown out.  On his helmet was written ‘ I don’t want to die here, I have too much to go   back to.’

This is how we all feel inside.  We all have our breaking point.  It is just a matter of time when the stress of the  war will take control of our minds and emotions. We went back into the jungle after the helicopter took off.   It was a scary night for us all.

The Command Post

15 August 68 Dau Tieng – I am in the Command Bunker right now on radio watch for 2 hours.  It is 3 AM.  I have to keep in contact with the platoons who are guarding the perimeter of the base camp.  I ask them for a ‘Sit Rep’ (situation report) every 15 minutes.  They usually respond ‘negative sit rep.’  If they would see enemy movement then they would report that also.

Our company is manning 30  bunkers and will be doing this for a month.

This command bunker I am in has a large fan, TV, radio, cot with mattress, and wooden walls.  It is about 6 feet underground.  I am operating a field radio and a land line switch board.

I am in good spirits.  There isn’t too much enemy activity.

It rains everyday now.  The enemy uses this rainy season to move and store supplies for the next big offensive around the first of the year, when the dry season starts.  They tend to avoid contact until the dry season and then hit us with everything they have.

I hope to be out of the field by then.

17 August 68 Dau Tieng – I am still with Charlie Company. Last night we were mortared at 4 AM.

My duty is easy right now.  The medics are responsible for the latrines – burning the human wastes.

Usually I can get a detail of 3 men to help plus one of my medics.  Then I am free to do as I please until it is time to pull radio watch.

This evening I have radio watch from 6 – 8 PM, so I will get a full nights sleep unless we are attacked.

It has been raining tonight since 5:30 PM and it is now 9:00 PM.
Rumor has it that an enemy attack is planned for tonight. An informer has told our command that the enemy will attack us with 2000 men.

19 August 68 Dau Tieng – No attack.  The informer was misinformed.  We have been mortared several times, but that is all.

The mechanized unit ran into 1000 uniformed North Vietnemese Army in the rubber plantation by Ben Cui, near here.  They had quite a battle.
The fire support base at the bottom of the Black Virgin Mountain was attacked, and I heard our base camp on top the mountain was wiped out Saturday night by the enemy.

I was at the fire support base at the base of the mountain right before we were pulled into this base camp.

This is the beginning of the third enemy offensive that was predicted.

Dau Tieng Cut Off by the Enemy

Convoys can’t get through to us, so our supplies are being flown in.

20    August 68 Dau Tieng – Last night the Mechanized unit had 5 men killed and 50 wounded in the rubber plantation by the North Vietnemese Army (NVA).  The NVA will be trying to overrun Dau Tieng soon.

Last night was scary.  We heard lights of an enemy truck convoy was spotted North of here heading our way.

But nothing happened.

Our artillery and air strikes completely destroyed two suspected enemy villages last night.  They were near Ben Cui in the rubber trees.  We have been in the area many times.

We were mortared at 5:30 PM today.

Our First Sergeant was born in Mankato/ Kansas and lives in Missouri.  He is a nice guy.


21August 68 Dau Tieng – The enemy mortars hit us again today at Noon and 5:00 PM.

The situation is not good outside of the base camp.  The rubber tree plantations are full of the enemy NVA.  Yesterday 180 – 200 enemy were killed with 15 GIs killed.  None from Charlie Company.

Note:  The following report I found on the Virtual Wall, probably refers to the event mentioned above.

‘Shortly before 7 AM on 21 August 21 1968 C Company 1/5 Inf departed Dau Tieng for a reconnaissance in force operation through the Ben Cui Rubber Plantation. C Company was to operate approximately 1 kilometer south of Highway 239, while the 1/5 Recon Platoon, the 3rd Brigade CRIP Platoon, and one twin 40mm “Duster” were to sweep the highway itself, paralleling C Company’s movement through the rubber plantation.

Just after 11 AM C Company began receiving sniper fire, followed by increasingly heavy automatic weapons and RPG fire. At 1140 the Recon Platoon sighted hundreds of enemy soldiers moving south to engage C Company. The Recon force engaged the enemy with .50 caliber machine guns and the Duster’s 40mm cannons but were unable to break up the attack against C Company.

In the heavy fighting which ensued, C Company suffered 17 men killed in action and 21 wounded in action. Staff Sergeant Marvin R. Young received the Medal of Honor and SP4 Michael R. Mangan the Distinguished Service Cross for their efforts in support of their comrades. Additional information regarding the fighting, which continued on 22 and 23 August, is available on the 5th Infantry site  (http://bobcat.ws/history1968.htm#mangan.)’

The President of the United States
in the name of the Congress of the United States
takes pride in presenting the

MEDAL OF HONOR

posthumously to

MARVIN REX YOUNG
Staff Sergeant
United States Army

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt Young distinguished himself at the cost of his life while serving as a squad leader with Company C. While conducting a reconnaissance mission in the vicinity of Ben Cui, Company C was suddenly engaged by an estimated regimental-size force of the North Vietnamese Army. During the initial volley of fire the point element of the 1st Platoon was pinned down, sustaining several casualties, and the acting platoon leader was killed. S/Sgt Young unhesitatingly assumed command of the platoon and immediately began to organize and deploy his men into a defensive position in order to repel the attacking force. As a human wave attack advanced on S/Sgt Young’s platoon, he moved from position to position, encouraging and directing fire on the hostile insurgents while exposing himself to the hail of enemy bullets. After receiving orders to withdraw to a better defensive position, he remained behind to provide covering fire for the withdrawal. Observing that a small element of the point squad was unable to extract itself from its position, and completely disregarding his personal safety, S/Sgt Young began moving toward their position, firing as he maneuvered. When halfway to their position he sustained a critical head injury, yet he continued his mission and ordered the element to withdraw. Remaining with the squad as it fought its way to the rear, he was twice seriously wounded in the arm and leg. Although his leg was badly shattered, S/Sgt Young refused assistance that would have slowed the retreat of his comrades, and he ordered them to continue their withdrawal while he provided protective covering fire. With indomitable courage and heroic self-sacrifice, he continued his self-assigned mission until the enemy force engulfed his position. By his gallantry at the cost of his life and in the highest traditions of the military service, S/Sgt Young has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit and the U.S. Army.

Sergeant Young had been wounded twice before, on 7 Dec 1967 and on 1 Feb 1968. At the time of his death he was within two months of completing his tour in Vietnam.

 

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D NELSON

22   August 68 – Two more infantry companies flew in today to help us defend the base.   Also some artillery pieces were flown in.

There is a constant pop pop from the big guns. 

At times the ground vibrates from air strikes.

Charlie Company Becomes Viet Cong Bait Charlie Company Becomes Viet Cong Bait

23    August 68 Tay Ninh – We moved out of Dau Tieng today and are now at the base of the Black Virgin Mountain, where we were 10 days ago.

ARTWORK BY SP4 HARVEY W OLSEN III

We are bait for the enemy to attack.
Things are bad.  I expect to see my first real battle tonight.  I can’t wait until we are in a secure area again.

23 August 68 5:00 PM – We returned from a sweep of the area and saw many dead bodies of NVA.  I picked up an enemy canteen and military belt.

25    August 68 – Things are going fine for us.  No attacks on this fire support base, although one is expected.

I saw a lot of dead enemy lying around the perimeter of the fire support base yesterday. They use bulldozers to bury the bodies.

We are surrounded by enemy foxholes.  I hope they are filled in.

We are to be picked up by helicopter today and go somewhere. We walked a lot yesterday, but probably won’t walk much today.

Charlie Company Assaults the Enemy
26    August 68 Tay Ninh – Yesterday was one of the worst days so far.  We were carried by helicopter to the jungle.  We were walking through water most of the time.
At 1:00 PM we were notified a convoy had been ambushed between Go Da Hau and Tay Ninh, near a village called Ap Nhi.  Our assignment was to help them.

We were flown to Tay Ninh, waited an hour and then flown by helicopter to the sight of the ambushed convoy.

EAGLE FLIGHT TO HELL

The Viet Cong had taken the village and our job was to get them out.

A mechanized armored unit was in the area and they led the way into the village.  We followed behind the armored vehicles on foot.

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D NELSON

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The following account is of The Battle of Ap Nhi as told by Ron Leonard, crew chief of a Diamondhead gunship of B Company, 25th Aviation Battalion.

I have edited his account, in order to condense it and eliminate some of the military jargon, to make it more readable for someone without a military background.  I also inserted my account of the battle, based on my first hand participation as a Senior Company Medic for Company C, 3/22nd, 25th Infantry Division.

I am indebted to Mr. Leonard for his excellent research and detailed account of this battle, which has many heroes, including  Medal of Honor recipient, William Seay.

The scene is the little Vietnamese village of Ap Nhi, which stretches along the south side of Main Supply Route 22, for about a mile.

It is a farming community, about half way between Go Dau Ha  and Tay Ninh, a distance of 45 miles.

The Ben Cui Rubber Plantation, known locally as the ‘Little Rubber,’ is near the village.

The weather and poor military planning on the part of our Commanding General,  favored the enemy’s ambush plans.  It was the  rainy season, with poor visibility, and a low ceiling making flying of helicopter gunships dangerous.  There was no available artillery in range of the ambush.

Colonel Duquesne ‘Duke’ Wolf, Commanding Officer of the 1st Brigade, complained bitterly to  Ellis W. Williamson, 25th Infantry Division Commanding General, about the lack of resources to react to an enemy attack.  His warnings to the General proved to be prophetical!

GENERAL ELLIS W. WILLIAMSON – ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D, NELSON

On the night of 24 August 1968, a reinforced Viet Cong battalion of 5 companies moved into the village, with the intent of ambushing the Tay Ninh supply convoy.

The convoy had 81 trucks of the 48th Transportation Company, made up of Refer Trucks in front, then supply trucks, fuel  trucks, and ammo trucks following.

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D. NELSON

The enemy positioned four Viet Cong companies in the trench and rubber trees on the western edge of the ‘Little Rubber’ plantation.  The fifth Viet Cong company occupied fighting positions in the village.

25 August 1968
11:45 AM
As the lead convoy trucks entered Ap Nhi it was misty and raining. The convoy was met by a column Viet Cong dressed as  ARVN (Army of the Republic of South Viet Nam) soldiers marching single file along the north side of the Main Supply Route  adjacent to the Little Rubber plantation.

As the lead trucks exited  the village,  the fuel and ammo trucks, at the convoy’s rear were in the enemy’s ambush kill zone.  The enemy troops opened fire.

The initial shot of the ambush signaled the  beginning of  the assault.  Almost immediately at least one fuel truck at the front of the kill zone was hit and blew up which stalled the remainder of the convoy as it blocked the road and burned.

Thirty-one trucks in front of the fuel tanker truck sped away and escaped, but fifty were caught in the kill zone. Seconds later an ammunition trailer at the rear of the convoy was hit and burning,  cooking off ammunition.

The initial assault, disabling the lead and rear  vehicles, sealed the remaining 51 trucks in place.

In the initial attack, gun jeeps and vehicles with radios, were also disabled.

Almost as soon as the column came to a halt, the enemy charged from the rubber trees. They were firing automatic weapons, throwing grenades, and were supported by machine gun, and rocket propelled grenade (RPG) fire in an attempt to overrun the drivers and take control of the trucks.

From hastily established firing positions, the truckers gallantly returned fire.

Specialist Fourth Class William Seay of the 62nd Transportation Company  was one of those drivers. He had been driving a truck laden with artillery charges.

SPECIALIST 4TH CLASS WILLAM SEAY

When the attack began, he immediately leaped from his truck and took cover behind the left rear dual wheel of his truck.

About 20 feet away Sellman was behind the dual wheels of the trailer.

As two Viet Cong soldiers attempted to charge his truck he shot them with a burst from his M-16.

All along the line the convoy’s drivers held their ground until the attackers had been pushed back to behind the berm.

Within minutes the initial attack had been blunted, but the battle was just beginning. For the next nine hours the Viet Cong attempted to wipe out the small groups of drivers and convoy personnel concentrated along the roadway.

The Americans soon realized that they were not only being subjected to automatic weapons fire from the berm across the road, and the rubber plantation, but from snipers in the treetops as well.

Seay spotted one of the snipers in a tree about 75 meters to his right front. Aiming around the right side of the truck tire, he fired a burst from his M-16, killing the sniper.

Minutes passed, and then a grenade thudded to the ground and rolled under the trailer within a few feet of Sellman, who was well aware that the trailer was loaded with 175mm artillery shells.

Sellman later reported that Seay left his position without hesitation, exposing himself to intense enemy fire in the open ground between the truck and the trailer wheels, picked up the grenade and hurled it back across the road. Four Viet Cong jumped from their cover and tried to run, but they were killed when the grenade exploded.

Minutes later, when another grenade landed close to Seay’s group, Sellman kicked it off the road behind them. No sooner had the dust cleared from that explosion than another grenade rolled under the truck and Seay again retrieved it and threw it back across the road at the attackers.

Just as Seay returned to his cover he and Sellman killed two more Viet Cong trying to crawl through a fence. A few seconds later, an NVA bullet tore through the back of Seays right hand, shattering a bone in his wrist. Yelling that he was hit and for Sellman to cover him, Seay  ran back to his rear looking for someone to help him with his wound.

Positioned in a ditch on the west side of the road, Seay had found a group of six truckers who helped him with his wound. Unable to use his weapon with his right hand, Seay lay down to rest in the roadside ditch while the others moved to better firing positions 15 meters away.

After half an hour Specialist Fourth Class William Hinote brought water to the wounded man and remained with him in the three-foot wide ditch, while both men occasionally fired at enemy positions and awaited the next assault.

Suddenly while Hinote’s back was turned, even after being in mild shock from a loss of blood, Seay fired another burst with his M-16.

Seay had risen to a half-crouch and was firing with his left hand at some Viet Cong trying to cross the road. Hinote turned just in time to see  three of the Viet Cong fall backward over the berm.

No more than five seconds later he turned again and saw Seay himself fall backward, struck in the head by a snipers bullet. The man who had saved the lives of his fellow soldiers at least three times that day died instantly without making a sound.

Some of the trucks were being looted by the enemy. At one point when Viet Cong were crawling all over the trucks, the truckers requested permission to call in artillery and blow the enemy troops off the road. The 25th Division Commander, General Ellis W. Williamson, denied the request.

12:00 Noon
The 1st Brigade learned of the ambush about noon from Company C of the 4th Battalion 23rd Infantry (Mechanized).  This unit had positioned a platoon one kilometer south of the “Little Rubber” plantation, to protect the Main Supply Route .

This under strength mechanized infantry platoon consisting of one officer and ten men along with two Armored Personnel Carriers (Armored Personnel Carrier’s) had sped north when it heard of the ambush.

The platoon charged into the southern end of the ambush site in the plantation and was immediately engaged by a company size enemy force, along the length of a  trench.

They also began receiving fire from the enemy strong point in the farmhouse, now 200 meters to their rear.

Another platoon of Company C located some five kilometers north of the ambush site, sped south and came under heavy rocket and small arms fire from the enemy strong point in the Buddhist temple at the northern end of the ambush.

This under strength force, one officer and fifteen men in four Armored Personnel Carrier’s lacked sufficient combat power to overcome the enemy force firing on them  the Buddhist temple, so they kept the enemy fixed in position by firing on them.

12:20 PM
At approximately 1220 hours, the 1st Brigade Commander, Colonel ‘Duke’ Wolf,  arrived at the ambush site in his  Huey helicopter, “Little Bear.”

Immediately he flew to the aid of  Company C platoon, which was being surrounded by the enemy. With the additional firepower of the M-60 door guns of this helicopter, and the dropping of several cases of tear gas, the enemy fell retreated  from their attack on two Armored Personnel Carriers of the platoon.

12:30 PM
Lacking any immediate standby reaction forces, the 1st Brigade Commander, Colonel ‘Duke’ Wolf, orders Company C of the 3rd Battalion 22nd Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, to fly by helicopter as quickly as possible to the northern end of the ambush.

12:35 PM
Ten Huey helicopters  of the 25th Divisions 116th Aviation Hornets are scrambled for an emergency Combat Assault.

The Company C of the 3rd Battalion 22nd Infantry, 25th Infantry Division troops are  picked up 5 Kilometers north of FSB Buell II and inserted just north of the Buddhist temple at Ap Nhi.

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

Charlie Company Assaults the Enemy

Inserted in the middle this  battle narrative by Ron Leonard is my account of the battle as I experienced it.
25    August 68

At 1:00 PM Charlie Company 3/22nd, 25th Infantry Division is ordered to join other assault units engaged in the battle at Ap Nhi.

Our unit is flown by helicopter to Tay Ninh, waits an hour and then flown to the sight of the ambushed convoy.

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D. NELSON

We land on a road outside of the village.

A mechanized armored unit leads our assault troops towards the village as we follow on foot.

ARTWORK BY JIM D. NELSON

There are many wounded and the medics are busy treating the wounded. first aid. Our Captain, James B.Hansard, walks in the center of the road with his RTO (radio telephone operator) at his side.

A model of courage, he shows no sign of fear.  He is intent on doing his job and taking care of the men in Charlie Company. I am walking with him, but near the ditch trying to keep a low profile.

Death and Destruction
Bodies of civilians are lying along the road. Parts of their bodies blown away.
The ambushed convoy’s trucks sit on the road, their drivers dead in the cabs.

Bullet holes in the thick metal rims of the trucks, bear witness to the fact that my fragile body is no match for the penetrating power of a machine gun round. The reality of the situation slowly soaks into my mind.  I am in a life and death situation.  I might be the next dead medic!

The tragedy of the situation intensifies as I see villagers, walking and running towards us towards us, screaming and crying in anguish, with children in tow along with a few meager possessions in their hands.  It was the most awful scene I have ever seen. I felt their terror, and knew I could not help them.

A lieutenant and an infantryman come towards me and ask me to treat their head wounds.  They have been hit with shrapnel.  I stopped their bleeding and continued on into the village.

Someone calls, ‘Doc’ over here.  I am close to the village now, and a trooper leads me to his buddy, with a bullet through his neck.  There is little I can do to save him from bleeding to death.  ‘Am I going to be alright Doc?’  ‘Yes,’ I reply, but know deep in my heart, his chances of survival are not good without a surgeon.

He is bleeding and spitting blood.  I start an IV and hope he can be evacuated.

Next a man is hit by a falling tree limb that has been shot off the tree by an enemy rocket propelled grenade (RPG).
Four more wounded come to me for help, I treat them and send them on their way to be evacuated to a med-evac helicopter (dustoff).

An armored vehicle roars up next to me with another wounded soldier. He has been bullet holes through his leg and hand.

I climb aboard the vehicle, an armored personnel carrier, and start treating his wounds.

Dan Orozco, a new medic, is with me now.  I ask the driver to head down the road toward the evacuation area where the wounded can be picked up by helicopter.
We arrive at an ARVN (Army of the Republic of South Viet Nam) compound where I jump off the vehicle and begin treating wounded lying in a ditch.  My supplies of bandages are running out.
A soldier runs up to me and asks me to help a man lying on the ground.  It is obvious from his pale face and shallow breathing he is going into shock. I begin giving CPR.

The enemy begins shooting mortars at us from the tree line.

We moved the man into a ditch to provide a little more protection and continued to give him CPR.  Our goal is to keep him alive until  a helicopter can transport him to a hospital.  Even though we thought he had died several times but we kept up the CPR.
Evacuating  Wounded Under Fire

In an instant, I feel red hot metal shrapnel hit my back, head and elbow, and several loud bangs.

Several enemy mortar rounds have found their targets – us!  They are trying to kill us!

I assess my wounds.  Am I OK? Am I mortally wounded?  My right elbow feels like some has hit my ‘funny bone’ with a hammer.  I have pain in my right forearm.  I am not sure if I need to be bandaged, or how bad I am losing blood.  The wounds seem to be minor and not life threatening, but my right for arm has ulnar nerve damage, causing numbness and pain, making it difficult to use.

I have to get these men to safety.  They are wounded, not able to fight due to their wounds.

Parked near us is an Armored Personnel Carrier. I yell at the  wounded “get on the ‘track.’  No one can help you, you have to get off the ground and climb on the track.  We have to get out of here before more mortar rounds find us.’

The dying man is left in the ditch. We are unable to help him. I climb on the Armored Personnel Carrier with difficulty, as do the others, in response to my urging.

‘Take us to the med-evac,’ I yell at the driver.

My right arm is useless, but with my left arm, I am able fire several short bursts toward the tree line from  my M—16 rifle.

The tree line is far enough away, it is impossible to see the enemy mortar crew.

My rifle jams several times and the track crew hands me another.

The Armored Personnel Carrier has a 50 caliber machine gun mounted on top, but they are unable to fire it, the wounded cover the top of the vehicle.
At the helicopter landing area, we wait for a helicopter to evacuate the wounded.  Although I am wounded I am undecided whether I should evacuate myself or stay and assist the other medics.

I am wounded, in pain and nearly out of supplies.  I also have a new medic with me, and that makes the choice even more difficult. In a few hours it will be night, the clouds are heavy with rain.  The battle is not over, it will go on through the night.

Do I stay and face the terror of battle, certain death for many, wounds for others, lack of supplies, and a cold lonely night in hell of battle, or do I leave for the safety of the hospital?   Those not wounded, have no option but to stay and fight.  I have an option, but with a price!

I leave a new medic on his own, to face the terrors I do not want to face any longer.

12:40 PM
The 1st Brigade commander, Colonel ‘Duke’ Wolf,  receives a radio message from the squadron commander of the 3d Squadron, 4th Armored Cavalry offering to send his Troop B to assist the brigade. The offer is gratefully accepted and Troop B was ordered to speed north along Main Supply Route  22 to reach the southern end of the ambush.

1:05 PM
The Combat Assault troops (Company C, 3/22nd, 25th Infantry Division) is inserted north of the Buddhist temple without incident, but have to fly in at 200-300  feet elevation to be under the cloud cover.

While supervising the Combat Assault troop’s  insertion ‘Little Bear’s crew chief is wounded in the lower leg by small arms ground fire and flown to the 12th Evacuation Hospital in Cu Chi.

1:10 PM
Troop B of 3rd Squadron 4th Cavalry arrive and are ordered to attack and destroy an enemy position in the farmhouse,  200 meters south of the Little Rubber Plantation.

Troop B charges the farmhouse.  The enemy directs heavy rifle and RPG
(Rocket Propelled Grenade)  fire at them.

After a 20-minute intense fire fight the lead platoon and  company commander, reaches the enemy occupied farm house. The company commander and four of his men are killed and eleven others wounded during the assault.

Approximately fifty enemy soldiers run from around the farmhouse and retreat north into the Little Rubber Plantation.

1:30 PM
The 1st Brigade Commander gives orders to the new acting Troop B Commander, who had just replaced his  commanding officer because he had just been killed.  He is to leave the farmhouse’s assault platoon in place, since they had suffered heavy casualties.  The remainder of his troop is to pursue the retreating enemy.

Troop B (less one platoon) pursues the Viet Cong through the Little Rubber Plantation.
After 15 minutes the enemy disappears among the rubber trees.

Next, the 1st Brigade Commander directs this force through the center of  The Little
Rubber Plantation to a position approximately 100 meters to the rear (east) of the Buddhist temple.  They prepare to assault the temple.

In the meantime, the platoon of Company C, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mechanized)
(consisting of eleven men and two Armored Personnel Carriers), which had been trapped in the extreme southern end of the Little rubber Plantation, has taken advantage of Troop B’s successful route of the enemy and joins up with the assault platoon of Troop B.

2:30 PM
A 155-mm howitzer battery is repositioned from Trang Bang and begins firing in direct support of 1st Brigade units. With this added fire power, the tide of battle begins to turn in our favor.

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D. NELSON

CWO Robert Spitler remembers the flying difficulty.

He couldn’t climb up and roll in on a target, due to the low cloud cover.
Flying low and firing flat at a low angle with very little forward air speed is not a good fire angle.  Rockets easily go over the head of the enemy or fall short.

ART WORK BY SSG JULIO C. DIAZ

A steep dive angle from 1500′ is much more accurate. Eventually, they depleted enough fuel and ordinance to hang low over the convoy and fire at point blank range into the tree line.

He was  nearly hovering at some points, as couldn’t afford to lose the time it took to go out and make a full run back in again. They were everywhere.

The helicopter gunships fired  door guns, rockets and miniguns from all sides at the same time, until the ammo ran out.

CWO Robert Spitler remembers the flying difficulty.

He couldn’t climb up and roll in on a target, due to the low cloud cover.
Flying low and firing flat at a low angle with very little forward air speed is not a good fire angle.  Rockets easily go over the head of the enemy or fall short.

A steep dive angle from 1500′ is much more accurate. Eventually, they depleted enough fuel and ordinance to hang low over the convoy and fire at point blank range into the tree line.

He was  nearly hovering at some points, as couldn’t afford to lose the time it took to go out and make a full run back in again. They were everywhere.

The helicopter gunships fired  door guns, rockets and miniguns from all sides at the same time, until the ammo ran out.


3:00 PM
After Company C, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, had been moved by helicopter into the northern end of the ambush site to reinforce the two platoons of Company C, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mechanized), the platoons of Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry advanced to a position 200 meters to the rear of the Buddhist temple.

The 1st Brigade Commander (from his Huey helicopter)  directed the infantry unit’s fire against the front of the Buddhist temple as Troop B assaulted the rear.

The Troop B platoons advanced in a line, firing all its weapons. When the assault reached the Buddhist temple, over 100 Viet Cong evacuated the temple and retreated southward through the trench in the Little Rubber Plantation.

3:30 PM
At 1530 the 1st Brigade Commander directed a “roll-up” attack operation down the axis of the enemy ambush positions in the village and the Little Rubber Plantation.

Company C, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry moved along the edge of the village, and Troop B platoons moved just inside the Little Rubber Plantation but parallel to the trench.

The enemy began moving southward through the trench in the Little Rubber Plantation while the enemy along the edge of the village also retreated southward through the village.

After advancing approximately 800 meters, the Troop B platoons receive rifle and  and Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) fire from approximately three hundred Viet Cong in a very large trench located 200 meters to their front.

This trench, approximately ten meters wide and two meters deep, ran perpendicular from Main Supply Route  22 in an east-west direction through the center of the Little Rubber Plantation.

4:20 PM
Troop B forces begin to assault the enemy-held trench, but after ten minutes reported that enemy resistance is very strong and that they are unable to move forward without more infantry support.

To bolster the assault on the trench the 1st Brigade Commander directed Company C, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, to move across Main Supply Route  22 and proceed into the Little Rubber Plantation to join Troop B in an assault on the enemy-held trench.

Unfortunately, Company C was almost out of ammunition.  It had only enough for two platoons; thus it left one platoon in the village, and joined Troop B with two platoons.

Troop B reduced to about 50 armored cavalrymen, and Company C, reduced to about forty infantrymen, with the assistance of helicopter gun ships from Company B, 25th Aviation Battalion’s “Diamondhead’s” attempted a valiant assault against this naturally defensible position held by many times their number.

ARTWORK BY SSG JULIO C. DIAZ

After twenty minutes of intense fighting, both company commanders report the enemy is in great strength in the trench to their front, and in ever increasing strength on their flanks;  enemy firepower is too strong to permit them to close in and destroy them; and that both units are almost out of ammunition.

5:00 PM
Permission is requested to withdraw, regroup, resupply ammunition, and attack.

Due to darkness approachingand the impending monsoon rains adding to the enemy’s advantages permission is granted to withdraw and move to a defensive position astride Main Supply Route  22 just north of the Little Rubber Plantation.

They will attack again as soon as ammunition is resupplied.

5:15 PM
Back at Cu Chi, an additional light fire team from B Company 25th Aviation Battalion “Diamondheads” was scrambled to assist the withdrawal.

An A Company “Little Bear” helicopter is scrambled to the resupply point for the needed munitions, and an additional “Little Bear” helicopter is put on 3 minute strip alert loaded with CS gas.

5:30 PM
Our troops withdraw  as a very heavy monsoon storm hits the area., bringing total darkness and heavy rains which force all helicopters from the sky, preventing the evacuation of the wounded and resupply of ammunition for several hours.

5:40 PM
Both “Diamondhead” Light Fire Teams and the “Little Bear”, and resupply helicopters return to Cu Chi because of poor visibility and to wait out the storm. Diamondhead 174 is grounded after suffering several bullet holes in the rotor blades and had some structural damage in the forward cabin. CWO Spitler and his crew have to change ships to get back into the fight.

As we wait for the storm to subside in the scramble shack, we discuss strategy the enemy’s battle field strategy.  The enemy doesn’t want to blow up the convoy or they would have They wanted to steal the ammunition.

The drivers, some still pinned down at the north end of the convoy with little ammunition is a real concern. The large Viet Cong force in the Little Rubber Plantation is another.

Our main concern is to support the assault troops, protect the convoy from pilfering and looting, and to support the pinned down drivers. To do this successfully we needed the rain to stop and the clouds to lift some to give us room to work.

7:30 PM
Outside it is a torrential downpour.  I run back to my ship and dial the radio’s ground frequency.  The best I can tell is the fighting is continuing,  but mostly sporadic sniper fire, and the .50 Cals from the Mech Armored Personnel Carrier’s with their searchlights is keeping the looting of the convoy down.

The artillery unit from Trang Bang is doing a job on the Little Rubber Plantation, so the Viet Cong in the trench are at least frozen in place for the time being, and hopefully thinned out some.

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D. NELSON

7:45 PM
A Little Bear Flare ship is scrambled to the convoy. The Little Bear ship got on location at about 1955. The weather was still atrocious and they could not see the ground from their elevation of 2500 feet. They dropped a few flares, but it was a lesson in futility since the ceiling on the ground was too low to be effective or accurate.

8:15 PM
Due to no visibility the Little Bear flare ship returnS to the Bear Pit to wait out the storm further, as the artillery unit continues to pound the battlefield around the convoy and inside the Little Rubber Plantation.

10:05 PM
An emergency call is received an emergency resupply of ammunition. The assault units and drivers are in dire straights without it.  Since the Little Bear resupply helicopter is already loaded, they vote to take a try it. At worst they wil be forced to return.

As they approach the convoy they duck under the low cloud cover, the artillery unit firesillumination rounds and somehow they find the drop zone, illuminated by a strobe light.

The conditions are much too treacherous for the gunship helicopters to work, or any other aircraft for that matter.  Unloading quickly, they take on some of the wounded and return to Cu Chi’s 12th Evac hospital to deposit the wounded and then on to the sanctity of the Bear Pit and safety to wait out the weather.

11:06 PM
At 2306, again the Little Bear flare ship is scrambled. According to the ground commander the sky is starting to clear some, and the ceiling improving. It will prove to be a very long night for the flight crews.

Jay Marion, the crew chief on the Little Bear flare ship remembers the night all to well.

‘We took turns “rotating on station” with the Diamondhead flare ship. While we were reloading, Diamondhead was dropping flares and visa versa. That way we could constantly have the battlefield lit up. It was one very very busy night.’

‘We were flying with NO LIGHTS on anywhere and we didn’t have monkey straps on, so one wrong step, or you get hung up on an out going flare and you went with it. It was not one of the better missions that I would want to repeat.’

‘We were flying quite high and worked our butts off tossing out flares… hoping like you would not believe that we would NOT get hit. I still don’t want to think about what it would have been like to get rounds into that pile of flares and see it catch on fire. Things would have been very nasty.’

‘From the elevation we were at we couldn’t see things very clearly, but I do know the action was quite intense down below. Tracers were going everywhere, red ones from the gunships going down, green and white ones going up, and all of them going sideways on the ground.’

Within minutes of the arrival of the flare ship, the 1st Brigade  “Little Bear 120″ with the 1st Brigade Commander aboard was back on station above the convoy to direct the attack and recon the battlefield.

The Viet Cong again were beginning to assault the trucks in the convoy and the supporting drivers.

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D. NELSON

Since the weather is beginning to break up, and the ceiling lifting,  “Diamondhead” gunships are called to return on station to assist in the battle.

11:29 PM
At 2329 the phone rings in the scramble shack on the Diamondhead flight line. We are off within five minutes enroute to Ap Nhi to assist in the protection of the besieged convoy.

I remember just before we arrived on station we were monitoring the radio listening to the ground commander “Noble Corners”, situated at the south end of the convoy talking to his counter part at the north end of the convoy, “Bristol Kites”, about the developing situation.

There are pockets of drivers and other convoy personnel still engaged with the Viet Cong along the roadway, and a pocket still pinned down at the north end.

At the south end Viet Cong are unloading munitions from the trailers, but there isn’t the manpower to totally stop it.

As we arrive above the convoy.  The weather still isn’t great, the ceiling is about 900 feet with patchy clouds and a foggy mist hung in the air.

The flare ship is dropping flares, which cast an eerie almost surrealistic glow to the battlefield.

The artillery shells impacting in the Rubber Plantation create a noticeable amount of smoke drifting back towards to the convoy.   Add to this the tracers flying all over the place, green and white ones coming from the west side of the road, and red ones answering them from the east.

While our fire team leader is figuring out the location of our troops, and the bad guys, I noticed a little Lambretta scooter, one of those three wheeled jobs with a small cargo box on the back leave the south end of the convoy and disappear into an old barn or farmhouse. In a couple of minutes he returns and repeats the trip. My aircraft commanders (CWO David Stock)  and I decide to let him make one more trip before giving him a wake up call.

By now the ground commander had briefed us on the situation, and the  location of, our  troops and the bad guys.  From the 900 foot ceiling we make one rocket run at the trench across from the convoy at the south end.

As we start our run all hell break loose.  A a wall of tracers comes to greet us on the way down.  We punch off 4 sets of the 36 rockets we have with us. I covered with machine gun fire as we break west away from the roadway.

As we circled around, there was our little buddy and his Lambretta heading back to the little barn a couple hundred yards south of the convoy.

I opened up on him with the door gun and walked the rounds into him just as he cleared the door.

CWO Stock was already lined up and rolling in. He punched a set of rockets off as a barn-warming present.

ARTWORK BY SSG JULIO C. DIAZ

They went right in the door behind the Lambretta. At this point I estimate we were about 200 feet off the ground, and due to the intense ground fire we broke pretty hard and gained altitude quite quickly.

I don’t know how many trips that Lambretta had made into that barn, but now it was quite apparent what he had been hauling; it had been howitzer rounds!

The secondary explosion that went off in that barn was totally incredible!  The fireball went up into the clouds. We were back up to 900 feet and the bam parts were up there with us. We barely missed a piece of roofing tin and some other miscellaneous building materials.

ARTWORK BY SP4 JIM D. NELSON

My mind flashed to the morning headlines “Diamondhead 085 Shot Down By Exploding Barn!” That would make for a really shitty day!

After getting our composure back we use the rest of our rockets and machine gun ammunition in the trench across from the drivers, and into the edge of the Rubber Plantation.

This stops the attack on the convoy for the moment. We are out of  ammunition and head back to Cu Chi to re-arm and refuel. We were in battle  more than an hour.

26 August 1968
12:41 AM
The Little Bear also left the battle to change crews, those guys had been going since 6 A.M. yesterday and are exhausted.

At Cu Chi’s refueling point we top off the tank with twelve-hundred pounds of JP-4 and then hover over to the rearming point to begin the arduous task of loading thirty-six more rockets and re-arming the mini-guns and door guns of our ship and our wing ship.

12:55 AM
While we are refueling, our secondary team is scrambled back to the convoy. The battle continues.  They were under attack by an estimated battalion size enemy force. At least we  get a little break until the secondary team needs to re-arm and refuel.

After finishing the task at hand, and inventorying the aircraft for damage we fly back to the “Beach”, the “Diamondhead” portion of the flight line, and enter the scramble shack to await our next mission. We had acquired a couple of holes from enemy bullets, but only punctured the helicopter’s skin and hit nothing vital to our safety. A piece of duct tape will hold it for now.

01:35 AM
As we enter the scramble shack, the phone rings and we are on our way, back to the battle.

One of our helicopters is shot up pretty bad for the second time in 24 hours and will leave the fight.

The rest of the night was not real eventful, save ducking some ground fire.
Re-arm, re-fuel, return to the convoy, shoot up some ammo and a few rockets when we found proper targets.

06:30 AM
At 0630 the 1st Brigade Commander directed a “roll-up” attack operation down the axis of the enemy ambush positions in the village and the Little Rubber Plantation, a repeat of the operation the previous afternoon, while the team at the southern end of the ambush site acted as a blocking force.

Company C. 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry will moved along the edge of the village, and Troop B platoons will move just inside the Little Rubber Plantation but parallel to the trench.

Main Supply Route  22 will be both the axis of advance and the boundary between the two attacking units.

The Troop B Commanding Officer is designated team leader. During this sweep the gunships will fly overhead in case they are needed, and as a safety precaution.

During this time frame all of the wounded will be med-evaced to 12th Evacuation hospital in Cu Chi.

10:00 AM
The entire ambush area has been swept clear and the evacuation of the disabled convoy vehicles begins. The enemy left before dawn.

Five of the ambushed trucks are total losses, but the trailers with the artillery ammunition are in good shape with little loss of ammunition

About one hundred four enemy killed and twice that number wounded.   Our losses are nineteen killed and forty-nine wounded.

Seven of the dead and ten of the wounded being truckers.  The 25th Aviation Battalion sustained one wounded. There were also two MlA’s.

10:30 AM
Two helicopters are sent to pick up our nineteen dead soldiers. This is the most gruesome job any aviator could have.

Epilogue:
Two Americans are taken prisoner by the Viet Cong during the ambush.

Specialist 4th Class Bobby Louis Johnson of Detroit and Staff Sgt. Kenneth R. Gregory of Altus, Okla., both of the 62nd Transportation Company, were captured late in the fight. Both were held in a Viet Cong prison camp NW of Tay Ninh City.

Nine months later a 1st Cavalry Division helicopter was flying over northern Tay Ninh Province near the Cambodian border.

Twelve miles northwest of Tay Ninh the crew sighted someone  waving from a trail in the bamboo below.

ARTWORK BY SP4 RICHARD W. MCDOWELL

When the pilot descended for a closer look, he decided that the man looked like an American and brought the chopper down to pick him up.

It was Sergeant Gregory.
“When they picked me up, I was actually crying,” Gregory is quoted saying.

He escaped four days earlier and wandered in the jungle ever since – praying that a helicopter would fly over.  Gregory was taken to the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh.

Johnson remained in captivity for five years. In February 1973 he was released with most other known POWs and sent to Ft. Knox Ky.
Bibliography:
Convoy Ambush At Ap Nhi-Stephen C. Tunnell, Vietnam Magazine The Infantry Brigade In Combat-Duquesne Wolf Daily Journals from 25th Aviation Battalion After Action Reports From The National Archives

TAY NINH BATTLE AFTER ACTION REPORT 1968

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11, 2011 by ivankatz

 




 

NOTE:   PAGE 38 IS MISSING

NOTE: ANY EXHIBIT OR ATTACHMENT TO THIS REPORT MENTIONED ABOVE,  ARE MISSING

 

GARDEN OF THE GODS

Posted in Uncategorized on August 25, 2011 by ivankatz

Before the White Man ‘discovered’ this area, it was the home of  various Native American tribes for thousands of years.







Click on photos to enlarge to full size!

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Strouse Showalter Family Tree

Posted in Uncategorized on February 13, 2011 by ivankatz

WE ARE INDEBTED TO JOE STROUSE FOR RESEARCHING THE STROUSE SHOWALTER FAMILY HISTORY.

THE FOLLOWING CHART IS HIS WORKING COPY.

THE ABOVE IMAGE OPENS INTO A SMALLER CHART.

THE IMAGE BELOW EXPANDS INTO A LARGE CHART.

BOTH CHARTS ARE THE SAME.

IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING THIS FAMILY TREE, PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE IN THE COMMENT SECTION.  THE FOLLOWING FAMILY TREE WILL EXPAND, IF YOU CLICK ON IT.

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGECLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE


CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE
CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGECLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGECLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE ~ photo below: Marie (Showalter) Strouse,
Ashland, Kansas
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CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The Year 1968 – Charlie Company 3/22nd, 25th Infantry Division

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2010 by ivankatz

The following  ‘Tropic Lightning News’ excerpts are related to events during 1968  involving Charlie Company, 3/22, 25th Infantry Division.

 

Vol 3 No. 01            TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS            January 1, 1968


Page 7

SGT Saves His Platoon

DAU TIENG – Saving the men in his platoon from the blast of a VC claymore mine, a 25th Div sergeant singlehandedly silenced a Viet Cong bunker during intense fighting southeast of Dau Tieng.
SGT David H. Moran, a member of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, was with Co C when a machine gun opened up from a hidden bunker inside a fortified VC base camp.  Hearing the cries for medic, Moran signaled SP4 Michael V. Jamilkowski, 4th Plt Medic, and they headed forward.
The young sergeant helped treat the most seriously wounded and then grabbed a grenade and his M-16 and crept toward the enemy bunker.
“Suddenly, I saw a green wire leading out from the bunker to another claymore aimed at our platoon,” said Moran. Cutting the wire, Moran rushed the bunker and tossed in his grenade.

Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           January 1, 1968


HELICOPTERS STAGE MASSIVE AIRLIFT IN ONE OF MANY ASSAULTS BEGINNING OPERATION “YELLOWSTONE” IN WAR ZONE C.  THE 1ST AND 3RD BDES ARE TAKING PART.

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           January 15, 1968

Silver Star

SGT Fred C. Du Bose, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf PSG Wayne O. Knowles, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Vol 3 No. 04            TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS            January 22, 1968

3RD BRIGADE KILLS 382 VC
IN BATTLE NEAR SOUI CUT

Four battalions of Main Force Viet Cong attempted to overrun a 25th Inf Div fire support base on Jan. 1 and 2, and lost 382 men in the abortive attack.  The battle took place at Soui Cut, some 90 kms from Saigon.  The enemy launched their attack on the afternoon of Jan. 1, hours before the termination of their announced New Year’s truce period.  The Div’s fire support base had been set up only three days earlier.
The attack began with mortar and rocket grenade attacks in the afternoon and evening.  Then shortly before midnight, still well before the end of the truce, four enemy battalions from the 271st and 272nd Main Force Viet Cong Regiments, launched human wave assaults against the fire support base perimeter.
The defenders were members of the 25th Div’s 3rd Bde who were in the process of setting up a powerful fire support base at Soui Cut, only 12 kms from the Cambodian border.

The above map is of the 10-hour battle of Soui Cut. At least 382 Viet Cong of the 271st and 272nd Main Force VC Regiments were killed in their abortive attempt to overrun the fire support base.
The enemy was repelled with small arms, automatic weapons, hand grenades and supporting fire.  The tubes of the 105mm howitzers were lowered and fired directly into the Viet Cong attackers.
It was only last March that men of the 3rd Bde, then the 3rd Bde. 4th Inf Div, had killed 647 communists of these same Viet Cong Regiments in the battle of Soui Tre.  That battle is still the biggest one-day victory of the war.
Additional fire support for the battle at Soui Cut was provided by Army helicopter gunships and Air Force tactical aircraft hitting enemy positions from which they launched their assaults, and later enemy escape routes.
When the Viet Cong attempted to flee to the south and west at daybreak on Jan. 2, these aircraft sprayed the jungle with thousands of rounds of machine gun fire and air-delivered rockets.
The infantrymen found most of the enemy dead around the base camp perimeter.  U.S. casualties were listed as 23 killed and 153 wounded.
In addition to the 382 Viet Cong killed, the enemy lost 87 individual (rifles, carbines and sub-machine guns) and 29 crew-served (machine guns, mortars and recoilless rifles) weapons.

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 5, 1968


Bronze Star Medal (Valor)

SGT David H. Moran, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Page 7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 5, 1968

Stranded GIs Survive Night

3RD BDE – “If our patrol had been located 15 meters away in any direction, none of us would have survived,” stated PFC John M. Golden from Westminster, Calif.
The ambush patrol from Charlie Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, had set up 350 meters from the perimeter of fire support base Burt near the Cambodian border.  A few hours after dark the patrol came under heavy Viet Cong mortar, RPG and small arms fire.
With the only radio knocked out of commission and men wounded, the patrol was forced to remain in position.  “We couldn’t move because we didn’t know where the Viet Cong, were,” commented Golden.
In the meantime the enemy was advancing all around the patrol in their attack upon the fire support base.  With both enemy and friendly fire dropping around their position, the uninjured patrol members bandaged the wounded for the rest of the night.
Only when morning arrived was the patrol able to receive aid from the base camp and return to safety.

Quick Thinking Ambush Patrol Kills 7 VC

3RD BDE – Quick thinking by an ambush patrol that was caught in the direct line of attack on the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div fire support base Burt resulted in their pulling back to a bomb crater where they held off an all night attack killing at least seven enemy troops.  This action took place during the Battle of Soui Cut that resulted in 382 Viet Cong killed.
The ambush patrol from Charlie Co, 2nd Bn (Mech), 22nd Inf, was led by SSG Mark Ridley of San Antonio, Tex, with only two weeks in country.  Although the New Year Truce was in effect, previous mortar attacks which had broken the truce prompted the “Triple Deuces” battalion commander, LTC A.G. Norris, to send the ambush patrol out as counter-mortar security for the support base.
Leaving the southern end of the perimeter at 6:30 p.m. the patrol traveled 400 meters down a main trail before angling in to the right.  “We had been set in place for half an hour,” said Ridley.  “Around 7:30 the perimeter opened up and a little later we began to hear the Viet Cong talking all around us.”
“Then some Viet Cong came down the path, led by a man with a flashlight,” commented PFC William Thompson from Seabrook, Tex.  “We threw some hand grenades and got them.”
By then SSG Ridley had received word that the whole fire support base was under heavy enemy contact.  With friendly .50 cal. and enemy fire cracking overhead, the patrol crawled to a bomb crater where they set up in a circle.
It took only a moment for the men to realize that they were in the line of a major attack on their battalion, and their only chance for survival lay in maintaining a purely defensive posture.  For the rest of the night, the patrol called in artillery concentrations and provided targets for the gunships and aircraft pounding the enemy’s line of attack between their position and the perimeter.
The only reply to the enemy heavy small arms fire and hand grenades thrown by the circling enemy troops was defensive fire to keep the enemy at bay.  PFC John Marts from Owaneco, Ill, kept his M-60 machine gun below ground level until he could see enemy troops creeping up to throw grenades. “We knew we were surrounded and would not be relieved until dawn,” said Marts.  “To conserve ammo I waited until they came close enough so I couldn’t miss and then put a few bursts into the enemy and got back down in the hole.”
The only casualty came when a CHICOM RPG-2 round hit the lip of the crater, lightly wounding one of the men.
By dawn the unsuccessful attack had been beaten back, and a reinforcing element had moved to the ambush site to escort the patrol back to friendly lines.  Seven enemy bodies were found within 15 meters of the bomb crater, and four heavy blood trails led from the immediate area.
“It was a real hairy experience,” remarked Ridley back at the fire support base, “and I never want to go through anything like that again.”

Page 8

Big Ammo Cache Found Near ‘Burt’

3RD BDE – An old Viet Cong base camp 1500 meters outside of fire support base Burt yielded a large store of munitions to a careful search by men of the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div.
Bravo Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, led by CPT Robert L. Hemphill from Lavonia, Ga., discovered the recently hidden explosives while on a reconnaissance patrol.
“We knew from the numerous VC footprints nearby and the perfect condition of the stores that, they had been hidden only a few days ago,” explained Hemphill.
The discovery included 156 60mm mortar rounds, 3 82mm mortar rounds, 13,750 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 41 cases of TNT, 24 cases of C-4, and 14,400 non-electric blasting caps.
The mortar rounds were carefully packed twelve to a box and the fuses and warheads were separately packaged in small metal boxes to insure that the rounds didn’t accidentally explode while being transported.
Using the TNT and C-4, the “Regulars” destroyed the entire bunker complex.  The mortar rounds which had been packed were brought back to the fire support base for experimental study.

Vol 3 No. 9          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          February 26, 1968

Page 1

Div Kills 400 Around Cu Chi

 

By LT Bruce Burton
In two weeks of continuous contact, elements of six 25th Inf Div battalions have killed more than 400 Viet Cong during the fighting in the Cu Chi area.
Battles raged along Highway 1 from the outskirts of Saigon to the north of the division’s base camp at Cu Chi.  Heavy fighting also broke out during the Tet period from the Ho Bo Woods to Duc Hoa in the northern and southern extremes of Hau Nghia Province.
Soon after the Viet Cong shattered their declared Tet truce, the 1st and 2nd Bns, 27th Inf “Wolfhounds” airlifted into the Saigon area to reinforce American units defending the capital.  When it became apparent that more troops would be needed to handle the string of coordinated attacks along Hau Nghia Province’s stretch of Highway 1, units were dispatched from the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div.
Both the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf and the 2nd Bn, 12th Inf came in heavy contact within hours of arriving under 2nd Bde control at Cu Chi.
The 1st Bde’s 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf already under the operational control of the 2nd Bde on a land clearing operation in the Ho Bo Woods, also saw heavy action in the Viet Cong Tet offensive.
The 2nd Bn, 27th Inf airlifted into Tan Son Nhut Air Base where the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav was repulsing a massive enemy assault.  The “Wolfhound” battalion set up a base nearby and began to battle enemy units poised to strike at the Tan Son Nhut military complex and at the capital.
Also on January 31, an ambush patrol from the 1st Bn, 27th Inf killed 15 Viet Cong and captured a 75mm recoilless rifle.  Reinforcements from the battalion’s forward base at Duc Hoa killed 22 more and captured a second 75mm recoilless rifle.
Three companies made heliborne assaults into the Saigon suburb of Hoc Mon, which the Viet Cong had overrun the night before.  The American force immediately began clearing operations.
In the early stages of the fighting around Cu Chi, the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf and the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf bore the brunt of the action.
Within days, however, the 2nd Bn, 12th Inf also became fixed in a continuous struggle to push entrenched Viet Cong from two villages to the east of the Cu Chi base camp.
Early on the morning of February 1, the ARVN Cu Chi subsector reported it was under attack by an estimated Viet Cong battalion.
The reconnaissance platoon of the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf led a company of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf in a daring charge through heavy enemy automatic weapons and recoilless rifle fire to relieve the burning sub-sector compound.

At daylight, three more companies of the 22nd Inf joined the fight in a three-pronged attack into the village of Cu Chi.  Street-fighting raged for five hours until the enemy force abandoned the village.  The enemy unit, identified as the 1st Bn, MR IV Main Force Regiment, suffered at least 12 killed, five weapons lost and 21 personnel detained.
The fighting in Tan Phu Trung and Ap Cho, neighboring villages along Highway 1 less than 10 kilometers from Cu Chi, began January 31 when the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf moved in to clear two enemy companies blocking the road.
In almost five hours of continuous contact, the infantrymen killed 17 enemy.  The Viet Cong unit, believed to be from the 272nd Regiment, appeared to withdraw from the village.
Two days later, however, fighting again erupted in the two communities, this time as a truck convoy attempted to pass through from Saigon to Cu Chi.
While the convoy waited three kilometers to the south, a company from the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf and elements of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf fought their way into the town.
Although the 3rd Bde battalion has borne the majority of the action in Ap Cho and Tan Phu Trung, elements of the 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav, Alpha Co, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor; and the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf have assisted the 22nd Inf in its attempts to drive through the enemy fortifications.
So far, at least 106 Viet Cong have died in the American assaults on their fortifications, lost six individual and two crew served weapons and several personnel detained.
The 2nd Bn, 12th Inf killed at least 115 Viet Cong in the battle to clear Highway 8A at Tan Hoa, and in action between there and an Phu Trung, six kilometers to the south.

 

Also faced with Viet Cong entrenched in reinforced concrete bunkers, the 3rd Bde unit fought against elements of an estimated two battalions of the 272nd Viet Cong Regiment.
Although the American unit had faced sporadic contact shortly after it airlifted into the Cu Chi area, its first significant contact came on February 5, when it killed 33 Viet Cong who had dug in at the hamlet of Phuoc Hung.
The following day, the infantrymen moved north in an attempt to drive through the village of Tan Hoa.  Like the action along Highway 1, the fighting has raged ever since.
On February 6, a company of the battalion killed 22 Viet Cong who had opened fire with small arms, machine guns and rockets.  Artillery fire from Cu Chi and armed helicopters supported the troops in their assault.
Air Force fighter bombers dumped thousands of pounds of explosives onto the enemy fortifications during the eight-day battle.
Although the U.S. troops several times penetrated the enemy defenses and captured several automatic and crew-served weapons, the Viet Cong force has continued to resist with heavy fire all attempts to break through the town.
In other actions throughout the province, the 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf killed 24 Viet Cong and captured one RPG-2 rocket launcher in a five-hour fight in the Ho Bo Woods.

 

Throughout the two-week period, tactical air strikes accounted for 35 Viet Cong killed, artillery 30, and helicopter gunships 25 enemy killed.
Two kilometers to the east, two companies of the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf were locked in battle with a large enemy force.  Fighting until dark, the infantrymen killed 102 enemy, and were supported by tactical air strikes, artillery and gunships.

Page 6

Wandering Wallet

3RD BDE – Finding a wallet in the jungle that had been lost two months ago and 35 kms away, sounds unbelievable.
But just such an oddity happened to PFC John J. Foster.  The soldier from Charlie Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, had lost his billfold when wounded on an operation south of Dau Tieng.
Two months later, as Charlie Co was sweeping through a Viet Cong base camp near Cu Chi, the wallet was discovered in a large bunker.

Page 3                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           February 26, 1968


MAP OF FIGHTING FOR TASK FORCES OF THE 2ND AND 3RD BDES, 25TH INF DIV, FROM JANUARY 31 TO FEBRUARY 14.  THE CHART SHOWS GENERAL DIRECTIONS OF ATTACK AND GENERAL LOCATIONS OF ACTIONS ONLY.  (MAP BY LT BRUCE BURTON)


Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           March 4, 1968


 

Two Actions
Fighting Nets 14

3RD BDE
During an operation east of Cu Chi a unit of the 3rd Bde narrowly escaped being surrounded by a heavily armed Viet Cong force.
Moving north through swampy terrain, Charlie Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf discovered fresh food and other signs of enemy activity.

 

Minutes later the Viet Cong opened fire on the lead elements with heavy automatic weapons and RPG fire.  Withdrawing, the American company returned the enemy fire as they maneuvered away.
Then the company commander, 1LT Charles J. Boyle called in three air strikes on the enemy force.  The troops continued to pour in fire on the VC as the jets and gunships pounded the bunkers.

 

After the bombing the company moved back through the area and located 14 VC bodies.
“When we discovered well over 50 bunkers with tunnels, it was obvious that this was a base camp for a large VC unit,” commented Boyle.

 

3rd Brigade Regulars Kill 55 In Four Days

3RD BDE – Recent fighting in the Saigon area brought the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf into combat south of Cu Chi.
With several companies of Viet Cong headed for the village of Cu Chi, troops of the 3/22 were called in to assist the local ARVN forces in pushing back the enemy.
Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie companies swept through the village, killing several VC infiltrators and taking 21 detainees.
Delta Co accounted for 27 of the enemy dead in heavy fighting in and around the smaller villages near Cu Chi base camp.
As the Viet Cong companies scattered throughout the area, the “Regular” troops conducted highly effective search and destroy missions among the dusty rice fields.  Constant enemy fire from rockets and automatic weapons produced U.S. casualties, but the dispersed enemy paid a high price.  In four days of fighting 55 enemy were killed.

LTC Flint 3/22 CO

3RD BDE – With his battalion engaged in heavy combat outside of Cu Chi, LTC Roy K. Flint recently assumed command of the 3rd, 22nd Inf.  LTC Thomas U. Harrold, former battalion commander, was unable to return to Dau Tieng so the customary change of command ceremony was omitted.
A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Flint spent six months with USARV Headquarters prior to taking command of the “Regulars”.
After a brief handshake ceremony with the former CO, Colonel Flint took to the air in an observation helicopter to direct his battalion in its fight against the Viet Cong

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           March 25, 1968


BRONZE STAR  MEDAL  (HEROISM)

SP4 William H. Schieber, Jr., Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 15, 1968

SILVER STAR

CPT Elliot G. Fishburne III, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf SGT David H. Moran, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

SP4 Thomas Volz, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf PFC Kenneth E. Giesing, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Page 8

SIX STARS – GEN William C. Westmoreland, on a recent visit to Cu Chi, listens attentively to a report from MG F. K. Mearns, 25th Inf Div commanding general.  (Photo By 1LT Larry Rottmann)

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 22, 1968

SILVER STAR

1LT Oscar J. Harris, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL  (HEROISM)

PSG Ronald L. Springsteen, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf SSG William L. Watson, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

SSG William R. Barbow, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf SGT Gaston R. Golding, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

SGT Harold R. Key, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf SP4 William E. Dahl, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
SP4 John L. Sayers, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf SP4 Jerry Rudisell, Co C, 2nd Bn, 22nd Inf

SP4 Wilbur Williams Jr., Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Page 7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 22, 1968


 

Regulars Still Controlling Rivers, Canals

3RD BDE – Night resupply in the area north of Saigon has become a fatal job for the Viet Cong.
Operation Saratoga brought the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, of the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div, into the Tan Son Nhut area where VC and NVA regulars had been utilizing the hundreds of small rivers and canals to transport troops and rockets close to the capital.
To stop the infiltration, the “Regulars” have met Charlie on his own terms, at night.  Each night, part of the Bn moves out into the canals and streams of the surrounding fields to intercept the Viet Cong as the enemy comes out of hiding.
In four weeks, the 3/22 has accounted for over 60 VC killed and 18 enemy sampans destroyed.
Coupled with intensive daylight sweeps, the Regulars highly effective night operations have markedly reduced Viet Cong rocket attacks in the Tan Son Nhut area and denied Charlie one of his key weapons, freedom to operate at night.

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           April 29, 1968

SILVER STAR

2LT Michael D. Balser, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Vol 3 No. 19          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          May 6, 1968


Page 1

Regulars Fight Off Attack, 124 Viet Cong Killed

3RD BDE – The 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, fought off a Viet Cong human wave attack 110 kms northwest of Saigon only hours after they had set up their night position.

 

The 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div unit was taking part in the multi-division Operation Toan Thang when the attack occurred.
The Bn had been heli-lifted into their position and set up their night perimeter in a remote part of the jungle close to the Saigon River.  Very early in the morning, the camp came under heavy mortar attack.  As the mortar fire increased, the VC hit the battalion perimeter with a massive human wave attack.


One sector of the perimeter received the brunt of the attack and was quickly reinforced by the reconnaissance unit.  The Viet Cong began getting inside the perimeter but an all-out effort drove them back.


Air strikes and artillery pounded the VC and the attack began to weaken.  As dawn broke, the enemy was driven back to the edge of the perimeter.  The VC kept trying to press the attack as their mortar rounds were pounding the “Regulars” position.
By sunrise, the unit had successfully beaten off the attack and were joined by the 2nd Bn (Mech), 22nd Inf, who had worked their way through six kms of jungle to reinforce their sister battalion.


The two units gained complete control of the perimeter and received only sporadic fire throughout the morning.
The first sweep of the area that morning produced 124 VC bodies while later sweeps turn­ed up 13 more to bring the total to 137 enemy killed.  Also found were 5 AK-47 rifles, 13 machine guns, 7 RPG launchers and 2 chicom carbines.
The day was climaxed by the presentation of Silver Stars to six Regulars of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf. (See Picture)

COL Leonard R. Daems, at left, the CO of the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div, congratulates men of the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, on their receiving the Silver Star for their part in a battle in which the unit killed 137 Viet Cong.  The men are, from left, CPT Gerald J. White, commanding officer of Co D; 1LT Richard J. Prairie, commanding officer of Co B; SFC Robert E. Nelson, Co D; SGT Edward D. Crow, Co B; SP5 Carl L. Felgenhauer, attached to Co C; and not pictured, SP4 David Chedester, medic with the reconnaissance platoon. (Photo By SP4 Paul Payne)


This is the third engagement of this nature the battalion has been in.  The first was the “Battle of Soui Tre,” the largest single day battle of the war.  Second, “The Battle of Soui Cut” where 380 VC were killed and now, this battle takes its place in the Battalion’s history.


Each battle was fought under close combat conditions and each was a victory for the American forces

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           May 6, 1968

BRONZE STAR (HEROISM ) SP4 David B. Leverty, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL  (HEROISM) PFC Frank J. Piraino, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           May 6, 1968


3rd Bde Mobility Proving Itself

3RD BDE – Mobility, the U.S. Army’s number one asset in Vietnam.  The 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div has proven its mobility many times ever since the first of Dec, when the Bde Command Post and Hqs elements began touring War Zone C.
First it was to Soui Tre, the site of the Bde’s battle with an NVA force last Mar.  But, in Dec, the VC and NVA had abandoned the area.  Two weeks of operations turned up only 4,500 hand grenades and a few booby traps.
Then, the Bde CP moved to Fire Support Base Burt, 12 kms from the Cambodian border.  For the first few days it seemed as though the enemy was not there either.  Then, on the night of New Years Day, elements of the 271 and 272 NVA Regiments attempted to overrun Burt.  The New Year began with the Bde killing over 300 of the enemy that night and over 500 for the three weeks in the area.  The Bde then returned to Dau Tieng.
Time in the base camp was short as the men were called for duty against the VC and NVA units north of Tan Son Nhut early in the Tet offensive.  The task was to take the offensive away from the enemy and clear them out of the Tan Son Nhut area.
Commanded by COL Leonard R. Daems, the 3rd Bde units found and destroyed large numbers of the enemy, pushed them out of their strongholds and away from the populated areas.  Dozens of 122mm rockets, mortar rounds and numerous weapons were seized from the enemy.  During these operations, the Command Post moved three more times.
Finally, after almost four months in the field, the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div CP has returned to base camp, still mobile, still ready to go after Charlie.
Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           June 3, 1968

SILVER STAR ~ 2LT Philip J. Hallisy, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

BRONZE STAR (HEROISM) ~ 1LT Ruben Barkley, Jr., Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Vol 3 No. 24          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          June 10, 1968

Page 1

Task Force Kill 600 In 13 Days

3RD BDE – In 13 days of operations northwest of Saigon, a task force of the 25th Inf Div has killed more than 600 enemy soldiers attempting to slip away from the Saigon area following the May offensive.
The task force, consisting of four battalions, destroyed 94 bunkers.  Over 60 Viet Cong suspects were detained for questioning.
COL Leonard R. Daems, Jr., CO of the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div, headed the task force, which included a mechanized battalion, two battalions of infantry and one of armor.
The operation began between Cu Chi and Hoc Mon, as first day action cost the enemy 159 killed.  During the following days, Task Force Daems pursued the scattering Viet Cong across the division area of operations past Trang Bang, forcing remnants into the area of the Boi Loi and Hobo Woods.
On the seventh day of the action, 118 VC were killed in the vicinity of the Cambodian border.  Three days later another 91 Communists were killed, with lesser body counts on the other days of the operation.
The capture of 77 AK-47 assault rifles and four 60mm mortar tubes as well as several enemy rockets was also accomplished during the action, a continuation of Operation Toan Thang.  The task force also captured over nine tons of rice, 1,300 pounds of salt, two USSR flame throwers and several Chinese radios, as well as medical supplies.  Additionally, Task Force Daems turned up an assortment of mines, booby traps, enemy clothing and supplies.
Battalions comprising the task force included the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf; 4th Bn, 9th Inf; 4th Bn (Mech), 23rd Inf, and 2nd Bn, 34th Armor.  Companies from other battalions of the division were assigned to the task force for portions of the operation.

Page 6

REGULARS – From the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, board a Chinook from the 242d Aslt Spt Heli Co as the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div, force moves to a new position near Cu Chi.


Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           June 10, 1968


 

Charlie’s Rockets Streak For Home
Cu Chi Base Camp celebrated the 78th birthday of North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh.  It was with the greatest of pleasure that Tropic Lightning Divarty, assisted by men of the U.S. Element Combined Material Exploitation Center prepared their own version of a North Vietnamese party.
But for ‘Charlie’ out beyond the perimeter, it was not to be such a pleasant occasion.  Rather than use U.S. artillery to show the Viet Cong that they wanted in on the celebration, they fired his own weapons back at him!
Using 122mm Russian-built rockets captured by men of the 2nd Bde, the canoneers set them up on the outskirts of the base camp and, on the eve of the President’s birthday, the six foot-four inch long rockets blasted off on a return trip to ‘Charlie.’
Undoubtedly, it gave him some food for thought, but for the men of the 25th Inf Div it was more like the icing on the cake.

Page 2 Decorated

PFC Jimmie Burton, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf PFC Alvin E. Hayes, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
PFC Paul E. Lewis, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
PFC Wallace L. Giesen, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

PFC Jimmie L. Marcum, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf PFC Virgil E. Ewings, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
PFC Gerol Mingo, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
PFC James E. Dice, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

PFC Sheliey O. Smith, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf PFC Roger S. Warner, Co C, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf
PFC Gill R. Moffitt, Co B, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           June 17, 1968

Army Commendation Medal (Heroism)

SGT Joseph H. Best, Co C, 2d Bn, 22d Inf PFC Harvey Long, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

SP4 Daniel L. Juan, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf PFC Melven Thomas, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

PFC John M. Golden, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

PUSHED FOR FIRING – A captured Russian-built 122mm rocket is fused for firing back at Viet Cong forces.  Fusing the rocket at Cu Chi base camp is Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Thomas L. Swearenger, munitions analyst for the Combined Material Exploitation Center.  He is assisted by SP4 Jerry L. Peters of 1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf.  The rocket, captured by men of the Tropic Lightning Div, was fired on the eve of North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh’s 78th birthday.

Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           June 17, 1968


 

Regulars MEDCAP Tay Ninh

3RD BDE – Using a Huey as transportation, a medical team from the 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf of the 3rd Bde, 25th Inf Div, flew into Tay Ninh Province for a MEDCAP.
Under the direction of the battalion surgeon, CPT Ira P. Mersack, the “Regulars” medics treated over 300 patients in the hamlet of Suoi Can during the afternoon project.
This turnout was the largest yet for a medcap in this heavily populated district, where the previous week had seen only half as many villagers attend the afternoon clinic.
“We will be coming to one of the hamlets in this district every week,” commented Mersack;  “eventually we hope to establish a tuberculosis clinic and an immunization clinic here.”

Vol 3 No. 26          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          June 24, 1968


Page 1

BUNKERS NO GOOD

3D BDE – In a furious day-long battle south of Saigon a company of the 3d Bn, 22d Inf, routed an entrenched Viet Cong force and accounted for ten enemy killed.
“We were checking out the area as a possible laager site,” explained CPT Gerald T. Brown, C Co CO from Cape Girardeau, Mo., “when the VC attacked from their bunkers with RPG rockets.”
Reacting quickly, the 3d Bde, 25th Inf Div, troopers maneuvered to flank the triangular shaped bunker complex.  Without cover from the heavy enemy fire, however, the company had to pull back.
“I called in artillery and gunships to soften up the area,” added Brown.
Throughout the afternoon gunships, artillery, and finally airstrikes alternately pounded the VC bunkers while the Regulars continued to probe the positions only to encounter increasingly intense small arms and RPG fire.
As dusk drew near, C Co made a final attempt to drive out the enemy with hand grenades, small arms and light antitank weapons.  The bunker-to-bunker battle lasted until darkness when the American troops were forced to withdraw from the area.  During the fighting, one enemy soldier surrendered.

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           June 24, 1968

ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL (HEROISM)

PFC Pedro J. Mundo, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf SGT Joseph H. Best, Co C, 2d Bn, 22d Inf

PFC Harvey Long, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf SP4 Daniel L. Juan, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

PFC Melven Thomas, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf PFC John M. Golden, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf


Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           July 1, 1968


 

BRONZE STAR  (HEROISM) ~

1LT Dennis R. Adkins, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf 1LT Michael Donnelly, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

SSG Perry Rowe, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf SSG Cecil. A. Du Cote, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

SGT Donald J. Manlief, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf SP4 Peter J. Novosel, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

SP4 Loydell Anderson, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf PFC Harry Jordan Jr. Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC John E. Lesniak, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           July 15, 1968

BRONZE STAR MEDAL (HEROISM)

1LT Charles J. Boyle, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf 2LT Michael Donnelly, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

PFC Edward Runge, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           July 29, 1968

SILVER STAR ~ 1LT Dennis R. Adkins, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

BRONZE STAR MEDAL (HEROISM) ~ 1LT Oscar J. Harris, Co C, 2d Bn, 22d Inf

Vol 3 No. 31          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          July 29, 1968

July 4th Attack Repulsed
By SP4 BILL SLUIS

3D BDE – More than 400 enemy rocket and mortar rounds and a pair of pre-dawn ground attacks by two reinforced Viet Cong companies were repelled by 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division soldiers on the 4th of July.
The attack, largest sustained in the two-year history of Dau Tieng base camp, was broken by gunships and infantry.  At least 10 enemy soldiers were left dead on the perimeter of the camp.
The attack began shortly before 2:30 a.m. as salvo after salvo of mortar fire struck all corners of the base camp.
Miraculously, no one was killed as an official total of 374 mortars, eight 107mm rockets, and 25 RPG rocket rounds slammed around infantrymen who were huddled in defensive bunkers.
Striking from both sides of the perimeter north of the airfield, the Viet Cong, arrayed in suicide squads, attempted a ground wave pincer movement which hit night defensive positions of the 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery, and the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry.
Several artillery bunkers were damaged as the enemy suicide squad, hitting the west side of the camp, struck with RPG rocket rounds and satchel charges.  At least seven VC broke inside the perimeter before the attack was halted.
On the east side of the camp, a larger Viet Cong force emerged from behind tombstones in a cemetery but were cut down in a welter of machine gun and duster fire.  Two VC planted themselves near the end of the runway and tossed pressure-released satchel charges onto the east end of the airstrip.
As gunships scrambled and shattered the air with a deafening roar of fire, the ground wave attacks were completely disrupted.  By the light of flares, enemy soldiers were seen to toss their weapons to the ground and run for the protective cover of nearby woods.

 

Before dawn, an AC-47 “Puff the Magic Dragon” aircraft began circling the base camp, dropping flares and adding further firepower to the assault on the retreating enemy.  Artillery fire and more gunship raids also rained down on the attackers.
A preliminary search of the perimeter the following morning recovered, in addition to the enemy bodies, 434 home-made satchel charges, three bangalore torpedoes, a dozen RPG-7 rocket rounds, 49 RPG-2 rounds, 45 60mm mortar rounds, one RPG-2 launcher, numerous hand grenades and six AK-47 assault rifles.
Blood trails leading away from the base camp indicated additional enemy deaths which could not be positively confirmed.  American casualties numbered five dead, all in defense of the west perimeter, and 53 injured, 18 of whom required hospitalization.

REPAIRING THE BUNKER LINE at Dau Tieng Base Camp, GIs with the help of Vietnamese nationals reinforce the positions.  The west perimeter of the base camp came under heavy ground attack in the predawn hours of July fourth by two reinforced NVA companies.  (Photo by SP4 Bill Sluis)

Commander Gets In on the Action

3D BDE – Seven NVA soldiers died at the hands of a 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division battalion commander firing from his command helicopter.
Lieutenant Colonel Roy K. Flint of St. Petersburg, Fla., Commander of the 3d Battalion. 22nd Infantry, used an M-l rifle and two hand grenades to kill the NVA in rice paddies six miles northwest of Saigon.
The enemy soldiers had been pinned down while LTC Flint and his pilot, Captain Jerry R. Pierce of Celoron, N.Y., strafed the area.  Dropping down to 100 feet, LTC Flint and his pilot spotted one man fleeing along a canal line.  Flint blasted away, unsure whether he got the enemy.
“I looked to one side and saw several shadow-like shapes creeping in water in an old bomb crater,” Flint said.  Quick investigation found them to be enemy troops trying to hide.  LTC Flint fired away all his remaining ammo, killing three of them.
After the action, which took less than 20 minutes, members of Charlie Company turned up four AK-47 assault rifles and two RPG rocket launchers, including one that was loaded and ready to fire.

MANY distinguished guests passed through the division’s area of operations during General Mearns’ year in command.  One frequent visitor and friend of the Tropic Lightning Division was the former commander of all U.S. Forces in Vietnam and now Army Chief of Staff, General William C. Westmoreland, pictured with General Mearns and 3d Brigade Commander, Colonel Kenneth E. Buell.

Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           August 12, 1968

Regulars Count Accomplishments
Come Up With Impressive List

3D BDE – “Everybody pop smoke” was the enthusiastic cry as companies of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry pulled into Dau Tieng base camp after a record 88 days in the field.
The smoke-popping ritual marked the start of a stand down and a well earned rest.
Operation Toan Thang II so far proved to be most successful for infantrymen of the 3d of the 22d.  From April 10 through July 6 the 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division Regulars killed more than 275 of the enemy.
While combing woods and jungles, wading through rice paddies and slogging through swamps, men of the 3/22 came up with more than 75 AK-47 and AK-50 assault rifles, more than a dozen RPG-2 rocket launchers, upwards of 100 grenades and 7,000 plus rounds of small arms ammunition.
In addition, they found close to 100 RPG rocket rounds, 80 RPG boosters, and more than a dozen light machine guns.  To this were added more than 10,000 pounds of contraband rice – in all it was a truly impressive list.
The days at Dau Tieng were rewarding ones for the Regulars.  Brigadier General Carleton Preer Jr., assistant division commander for support, was on hand to present 11 Silver Stars.
Lieutenant Colonel Roy K. Flint, battalion commander, presented 42 Bronze Stars and 141 Army Commendation Medals to men of his command.
During the remainder of the time in camp the battalion made sure that its weapons and equip­ment were in good condition. Then the men began to unwind a bit.  Company sponsored barbecues were on the agenda with steaks, hamburgers, refreshments for all.  Trips to the gift shops, swimming pool and PX were also in order.
For some it was a time to answer letters that just couldn’t be answered while in the field – for others, a time to just relax and get caught up on some sleep.

Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           August 26, 1968


MOVE! – Men of Charlie Company, 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry race toward a chopper ready to lift them into a combat assault to the JUNGLES OF WAR ZONE C seven miles north of Tay Ninh. The 3d Brigade Company was sent in to assess damage from B52 bombing raids. (PHOTO BY PFC HERB BURDETT)

Page 8                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           September 2, 1968

Regular-Type Ambush Nets Seven-Ton Cache

3D BDE – Infantrymen of the 3d Brigade killed three Viet Cong and seized more than 13,000 lbs of enemy supplies in a night ambush two miles west of Dau Tieng.
A platoon of Charlie Company, 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry ambushed an enemy convoy consisting of 10 oxcarts along a road in the Ben Cui rubber plantation.
Among the captured supplies were 3,500 lbs of rice; 2,800 lbs of peanuts; 3,500 lbs of salt; 500 lbs of tea and 2,800 lbs of peas.  Also taken were 1700 cans of milk and 200 cartons of cigarettes.

VC ASSAULTS FAIL

Pages 1 &8

FSB Buell Forces Crush Enemy Drive

1ST BDE – The apparent lull in the Vietnam conflict ended for units of the 25th Infantry Division and Vietnamese forces in Tay Ninh Province.  Base camps, fire support locations and numerous outposts came under heavy enemy fire as a determined Viet Cong force attempted to overrun U.S. positions.
The attacks triggered a two-day battle filled with fierce fighting as 179 Viet Cong soldiers were killed near Tay Ninh City before pulling back late Monday.  The attacks were apparently aimed at denying U.S. and Vietnamese control of the city itself.
Initial action was triggered as an ambush patrol from Delta Company, 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry spotted an estimated enemy battalion three miles northeast of Tay Ninh City.  As they let the Viet Cong force deliberately pass their ambush site they engaged the enemy’s rear elements while coordinated artillery fire blasted away at the front of the column.  Five VC were killed in the action, two rifles and one pistol captured.
At Fire Support Base Buell II, only three and a half miles to the northwest, base personnel were alerted by the ambush and were aware of the imminent danger.  They were ready when at 1:23 am, 75 to 100 rounds of 82mm mortar and 12 rounds of 107mm rocket fire crashed into their perimeter.
Moving under the cover of the rockets and mortars, an estimated enemy battalion made a vicious ground attack on the base, hitting first in the direction of the 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery.  During the following four-hour battle, the fire base was hit from the southeast and northwest.
Small arms and sustained automatic weapons fire plagued the staunch U.S. defenders.  The 105mm howitzers from Bravo Battery, 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery and the 155mm guns of Alpha Battery, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery retaliated with point blank fire.  Elements from the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry, 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry and 2d Battalion 34th Armor delivered a devastating fire into the VC as they pushed their attack.
As the elements of the 9th NVA Division attacked from the shelter of a nearby banana plantation to the northwest, Base Coordinator Lieutenant Colonel Alexander H. Hunt, battalion commander of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry directed the artillerymen to use direct fire on the approaching enemy the VC attempted to penetrate the perimeter of the fire support base, and met a wall of flame and steel from the hard-working artillerymen.  Within seconds the 155mm howitzers of Alpha Battery, 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery (The Clan), under Captain Clifford Crittsinger, joined the 105s of the threatened Bravo Battery under Captain Robert A. Snyder in presenting tremendous firepower to the stunned enemy.
Lieutenant Colonel Hunt used flare ships and called U.S. Air Force tactical air strikes within 150 meters of the perimeter.  Helicopter gunships from Delta Troop, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry and Bravo Troop, 25th Aviation Battalion continually strafed the enemy with machine gun fire and rocket attacks.  They were assisted by the 187th Assault Helicopter Company, under the operational control of the 25th Infantry Division.
As the shattered enemy assault forces began to retreat, the 7th Battalion, 11th Arty followed their movement with continuous fire from their 105mm howitzers.  Twenty minutes later, another assault force attacked from the southeast.  This time The Clan was directly faced with the charging enemy.
Leveling their self-propelled howitzers, the artillerymen once again fired round upon round directly into the enemy’s front.  Howitzer crews of both batteries continued to man their pieces despite small arms fire and automatic weapons fire throughout the attack.
Heavy fighting continued until 4:40am when the enemy started retreating after suffering heavy casualties from the combined Infantry, Artillery and Armor team at the fire support base.  Eighty-three enemy were killed while American forces suffered only one killed and 26 wounded.  Over 700 rounds of artillery alone were expended.
“It was a real joint effort.  The artillery batteries here did a real fine job as did the tank’s direct fire,” commented Major Jerome Johnson, the 3d Bn, 22nd Infantry Operations Officer from Green Bay, Wis.
Meanwhile, Tay Ninh base camp was attacked at 1:15am during the enemy operation but little damage resulted from the five 82mm mortar rounds and the nineteen 107mm rockets hurled inside the perimeter.
A second target for the coordinated enemy advance was the communications center atop the 3200 foot Nui Ba Den mountain near the fire support base.  The small signal relay station received fire from small arms, automatic weapons and RPG rounds, beginning at 2am.  The sharp conflict continued until dawn.  At one point, four bunkers were occupied by enemy troops.  Ten Viet Cong were killed while eight Americans died and 23 were wounded.
At 7:20 am Monday, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry made contact with prowling enemy units three and a half miles due west of Dau Tieng base camp.  Two VC companies unleashed small arms, automatic weapons and RPG fire on the infantrymen.
Throughout the day, the Bobcats aggressively fought the enemy, proving too strong for them by 4:30 pm when the VC broke contact.  Forty-two Viet Cong bodies were found.
During the coordinated attacks, Tay Ninh City was hit as the VC mortared the district headquarters in an attempt to move into the city itself.  An unknown size enemy force was reported in the city.
As the Regional Force and Popular Force units in the area, assisted by the 51st ARVN Ranger Battalion moved in to rout the VC, it became evident that the enemy could not hold their quarters and the Long Hoa market district, fled to the southwest at night after two firefights between 5 and 8 o’clock at night.
Early Monday morning, the Vietnamese soldiers including elements of the 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry and 2d Battalion, 34th Armor who maintained blocking positions in the southern city limits, swept the city.  The sweep confirmed that the enemy had left the city itself.  During the two days of fighting around the city, these units killed 14 VC while tactical air strikes accounted for another nine enemy killed.
During the actions, 16 AK-47 rifles, two RPG-7 launchers and 32 rounds, 11 RPG-2 launchers and 84 rounds, six .51 caliber machine guns and one .30 caliber with two barrels, one M-16, one radio, 214 hand grenades and 40 rifle grenades, 4,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition and twenty-one 57mm recoilless rifle rounds and 10 pounds of documents were captured.  Thirteen enemy soldiers were detained for questioning.

Vol 3 No. 37          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          September 9, 1968

ENEMY ATTACKS SMASHED
900 VC KILLED IN WEEK

On Sunday, August 18, the enemy came out of hiding to launch a series of attacks on 25th Infantry Division and Vietnamese forces in Tay Ninh Province.  He hit an impenetrable wall of fire power – the Tropic Lightning Division.
The enemy was unable to take any of his apparent objectives.  His losses were staggering: more than 900 enemy were killed by the 25th in seven days following the first clash.  Certainly his plans – whatever they may have been – were foiled.
The 25th knew he was coming; the question was when.  Infantry and artillery units had been deployed astride key avenues of approach to Tay Ninh City.
When the enemy struck, the 25th was ready.  Determined infantrymen, cannoneers and tankers stopped the enemy’s main thrust into Tay Ninh City and then set to finding and destroying the VC and NVA as they tried to move through the rice paddies and rubber plantations around Tay Ninh City and Dau Tieng.
The fierce fighting began around Tay Ninh City.  Late Saturday night, two companies from the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, set up an ambush along Highway 13 leading into Tay Ninh City from the northwest.  The ambush was sprung on the rear element of an estimated 300 NVA as they moved down the road.  Five enemy were killed in the short engagement.
About four hours later, the 1st Brigade’s base camp to the west of Tay Ninh City received mortars and rockets.  The attack was apparently a diversion for simultaneous attacks on two 25th Division fire support bases, a mountain top signal facility, and a special forces camp.
Fire Support Base Buell four miles north of Tay Ninh City at approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday started receiving mortar and rocket fire.  Under cover of the barrage, the enemy launched a ground attack.  Infantrymen and artillerymen fought for three hours; and when it was over, 83 enemy had been killed.
At the same time, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacked a U.S. Special Forces and Vietnamese Combined Civilian Defense Group camp at Katum in War Zone C.  There, the enemy’s cost was 59 killed.
The signal facility atop 3,200 foot Nui Ba Den mountain also came under ground and mortar attack.  Ten VC were killed as the Americans repulsed the enemy.
Sunday morning, an unknown sized enemy force was reported in Tay Ninh City.  They had set several fires in civilian areas of the city.  The Tropic Lightning Division deployed forces in blocking positions around the city and astride key exfiltration routes as Vietnamese forces moved through the city flushing out the enemy.
In the southeastern portion of the city elements of the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry, and the 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, killed 10 enemy.


Meanwhile, the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, was moving into the Ben Cui rubber plantation 11 miles east of Tay Ninh City near Dau Tieng.  They clashed with the enemy at 10:30 a.m. and in six hours of heavy fighting, killed 50.


After a comparatively quiet night, mechanized forces of the Division again set out looking for the enemy. They found him.
At 9:30 a.m. Monday, the 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, was moving down Highway 26 when four miles east of Tay Ninh City, they received small arms, automatic weapons and RPG fire from an unknown-sized enemy force entrenched in nearby rice paddies.  Reinforced by elements of the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, and the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry, they fought until 5:45 p.m. killing 40 enemy.


At the same time, elements of the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, again made contact in the Ben Cui Plantation.  They were reinforced by elements of the 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, and killed 67 enemy in the ensuing four-hour battle.


Before dawn Tuesday, several U.S. camps received harassing mortar fire.  But, an ambush patrol from the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, met with more than harassment.


The patrol opened fire on six VC moving to their front and immediately came under heavy attack from an unknown-sized enemy force.  “The RPG’s were coming in at a rate of six to ten a minute,” recalled Sergeant Paul Lambers of Holland, Mich., who took charge of the patrol when the patrol leader was wounded.  After four hours of intense fighting, the enemy withdrew.  He left 56 bodies on the battlefield.


Except for a mortar attack on Dau Tieng base camp, all was quiet during the night and until almost noon Wednesday.  Then, at 11:30 a.m., the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, was again searching out the enemy in the Ben Cui Plantation when they ran head-long into an unknown-sized enemy force.  Track-mounted .50 caliber machine guns blazed until the barrels burned out as the enemy launched three human wave assaults at the Tropic Lightning troops.  After 1½ hours of all-out battle, the Bobcats had to return to Dau Tieng base camp for more ammo, and airstrikes and artillery continued to pound the enemy during the afternoon.  The sharp battle left 182 enemy dead.


At 1:00 a.m. Thursday, the enemy launched a pair of mortar and ground attacks on two fire support bases.  Buell was hit for the second time in five days.  Artillery tubes were lowered to fire point blank and determined infantrymen spewed hot lead at the attacking force.  This time, the enemy’s abortive attempt to overrun the base cost him 39 lives.
Simultaneously, Fire Support Base Rawlings, two miles east of Tay Ninh City, was hit by a mortar and ground attack.  Here, the infantrymen and artillerymen took a toll of 25 enemy killed.


At first light Thursday, the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, and the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, again swept into the Ben Cui Plantation.  Early in the morning, they met light resistance and killed 10 enemy.


After five days of fierce fighting, Friday was comparatively quiet for the soldiers.  But, the breather was not long-lived.
Just 20 minutes after midnight Saturday morning, the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, at Fire Support Base Schofield five miles southwest of Dau Tieng was attacked by an unknown-sized enemy force.  Close-in artillery fire and gunships supported the infantrymen as they killed 62 enemy.


As fighting tapered off somewhat, the soldiers had time to reflect on an exhausting but highly successful week.  The combined fire power of infantry, artillery and helicopter gunships along with always-present tactical jet fighters had dealt the enemy a crushing blow.  More than 900 Viet Cong and NVA soldiers were killed as they tried to dent the Tropic Lightning Division’s impenetrable wall of fire power.

Page 7                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           September 9, 1968


 

FSB Buell Repels Two Attacks In Four Days

 

Bn-Sized Enemy Force Loses 83 During Battle

3D BDE – Tropic Lightning Division infantrymen and artillerymen at Fire Support Base Buell repelled a human wave attack launched by an unknown-sized enemy force, killing 83 enemy.
The enemy attempted to storm the perimeter four miles north of Tay Ninh City after subjecting the defenders to a thundering rocket and mortar barrage.
Infantrymen and tankers from the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry; 2d Battalion, 34th Armor, and 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry, along with howitzers of the 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery, and the 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery, supported by helicopter gunships and tactical air strikes drove off the enemy and captured hundreds of pounds of equipment, weapons and ammunition during the four-hour night battle.
Lieutenant C.C Brown of Auburn, Ala., of Delta Company, 3d Bn, 22d Inf, credited trip flares with playing a major part in making the night defense a success.
“The flares gave us a clear view of the enemy as he attempted to enter the perimeter.”
A sweep near the perimeter the following morning found 40 freshly dug foxholes plus tunnels and numerous bunkers.  The Tropic Lightning soldiers policed up ten large piles of enemy ammo, bangalores, grenades, ammunition and RPG rocket rounds, all of which were destroyed by engineers.
During the sweep, men of Delta Company, 3d Bn, 22d Inf, made contact with a straggling enemy force.  Sergeant Robert Clark of Atlanta, Ga., and his platoon caught three enemy in an open field and cut them down.  They surprised and killed several more in a bunker.
Included in the items captured were 11 RPG rocket launchers, 112 RPG rounds plus 18 boosters, 15 AK-47 assault rifles, three Chicom machine guns and a .30 caliber machine gun.
Also captured were 214 Chicom grenades, 21 57mm recoilless rifle rounds, 40 anti-tank rifle grenades, eight 60mm mortar rounds, 24 bangalore torpedoes and more than 4,000 rounds of rifle ammunition.
“This was the finest piece of work that’s ever been done by anyone under my command,” said Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hunt, the 3d Bn, 22d Inf, Co.  “Infantrymen, support troops, gunships – all did an outstanding job.  Not one enemy soldier got inside the perimeter all night long.”

VC-NVA Fail Again
U.S. FORCES CRUSH 2D ASSAULT

3D BDE – An unknown sized enemy force launched a second attack in four days on Fire Support Base Buell four miles north of Tay Ninh City.  The enemy lost 39 in their abortive attempt to penetrate the perimeter.
Elements of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry; 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry; and 2d Battalion, 34th Armor along with cannoneers from the 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery, and 3d Battalion, 13th Artillery, repelled the human wave attack.
At 1:00 in the morning 82mm mortars and rockets came whistling into the perimeter followed by a ground attack that lasted until 5:45 a.m.  “The mortars even continued after the ground attack started,” said Specialist 4 Al Gibbs of Philadelphia, Pa.  “That’s what made this attack harder to handle than the first one.”
Company D and the Reconnaissance Platoon from the 3d Bn, 22d Inf, were responsible for one side of the perimeter and Company C of the 4th Bn (Mech), 23d Inf, for the other, with the tanks and artillery providing support.
“Our listening posts spotted movement, and we immediately pulled them in,” commented Platoon Sergeant Robert Nelson of Hannibal, Mo., from Delta Company.  “They hit two of our platoon sectors hard.  Many VC lay out in the brush firing RPG’s at our bunkers.  Others tried to charge the wire and insert bangalore torpedoes, but we stopped them cold,” said Nelson.
“The VC marched right up the road that bisects the perimeter,” said Sergeant Robert Clark of Atlanta, Ga.  “We held them off with our machine guns and M-16’s. Unfortunately our claymores were not too effective.  The VC had shot them full of holes.  Some APC’s from 4/23 and one of the tanks came up quickly to help us.  The tank was firing point blank at the attackers which had the effect of turning a giant claymore mine on them.”
First Lieutenant C.C. Brown, reconnaissance platoon leader from Auburn, Ala., had his unit deployed as a reaction force behind Delta Company.  “As soon as the attack started we moved right up to help hold the bunker line.  We came up to plug gaps in the line and to help out those positions that were pinned down.”
Once again artillery and mortars played an important part in making the defense a success.
“We had 105’s and 155’s firing point blank just outside the perimeter.  These high explosive projectiles showered the enemy with shrapnel,” said Lieutenant James W. Carper, 3/22 liaison artillery officer from Tampa, Fla.  “We also called for 8 inches from the 1st Brigade at Tay Ninh and 175’s from Camp St. Barbara,” continued Carper.
Delta’s 81mm mortar crew fired 137 illumination rounds and 235 high explosive rounds during the attack.  “The crew. (Privates First Class Alex Sudano, of Los Angeles; Bob Searfoss, of Summit Hill, Pa.; and Dennis Bealka, of Chaska, Minn.) put out a maximum effort that helped save the base,” said Lieutenant John Paulding, New Cumberland, Pa., Delta Company platoon leader.
A sweep around the perimeter the next morning turned up the 39 enemy.
“Once again the men under my command did an outstanding job.  Once again, not one VC set foot inside the perimeter,” said Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hunt, commander of the 3d Bn, 22d Inf.
Major Jerome G. Johnson from Green Bay, Wise., operations officer for 3/22, praised the efforts put forth by all units in the perimeter:  “We couldn’t have done it without them.  The tanks, APC’s, and the artillery were just what our infantry troops needed to help repel the attackers successfully.”

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           September 16, 1968


SILVER STAR

SP5 Carl L. Felgenhauer, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf


BRONZE STAR (HEROISM)

SP4 Geroy Mingo, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf .
SP4 James E. Boggess, HHC, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

Vol 3 No. 38          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          September 16, 1968

Page 1 (August 25, 1968 Ambush at Ap Nhi)

Company C of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry was on eagle flight operations north of Tay Ninh City when they were directed to join the battle.  The infantrymen were flown to a position just north of the fire fight, landing in rice paddies on the eastern side of the road.  As the Regulars jumped from the helicopters, they were hit with several volleys of enemy mortar fire.
Company C commander, Captain James Hansard of Plainview, Tex., deployed two of his platoons on each side of the road.  Under a constant sniper fire, they swept through an area which separated them from the NVA positions in the “Little Rubber.”
The two platoons on the eastern side of the highway made their way to the edge of the rubber trees.  Staff Sergeant James Allen of Louisville, Ky., stated, “By the time we reached the rubber trees we began receiving RPG rounds.
The NVA were firing them into the trees above our heads so the shrapnel would shower down on us.”
As Platoon Sergeant Fred Painter from Pontiac, Mich., and his men moved into the rubber, they were greeted by an unusual NVA trick.  “We spotted what appeared to be American troops along a berm, wearing green uniforms, helmets and goggles.  They were standing up waving for us to come over to their position.  They turned out to be NVA who had taken the helmets and goggles from the trapped convoy trucks.  They opened up on us, and we all had to hit the dirt,” recalled Painter.
Just inside the tree line, the platoons ran into a U-shaped ambush.  “The NVA were dug into a high berm running parallel to a deep ditch on our right flank.  We were receiving sniper fire from the trees on our left flank and rounds were coming directly at us from another ditch to our front,” said Hansard.

Tanks and APC’s from B Troop, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, called up from Cu Chi, and tracks from the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry, came up on line with their guns blazing to support the infantrymen.
Another platoon from the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry, on the western side of the highway moved across the road, using the disabled convoy vehicles for cover.  As they moved through the trucks they pulled wounded Americans to safety.
According to Staff Sergeant William Landman of Granite City, Ill., “We moved through the trucks and got into the rubber.  Part of my platoon acted as spotters shouting directions while the rest of us tossed hand grenades into the spider holes.  In some cases we just rolled the grenades down the berm into the holes.”
The fighting eased, and the Americans set up night positions on both sides of the “Little Rubber.”  The next day, they counted 96 dead enemy.

Vol 3 No. 40          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          September 30, 1968

Pages 1 & 8

First Bde Put Down VC Move

TAY NINH – Soldiers of the 1st Brigade fought off a major attack near the Dau Tieng base camp as enemy activity around Dau Tieng and Tay Ninh increased.
More than 100 enemy soldiers were killed in 14 hours of fighting around the U.S. bases.
Ninety-nine enemy soldiers, dressed in green NVA uniforms and carrying relatively new weapons, were killed in an abortive attack on a night defensive position of Company A, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, three miles southwest of the Dau Tieng base camp in the Ben Cui rubber plantation.
A relief force from Company C of the Bobcats came under heavy fire from an enemy blocking force half way to Alpha’s position.
Company B, located in the Dau Tieng base camp was helilifted to the south of the fight to pinch the enemy off. However, the enemy broke contact and fled shortly after their arrival.
The enemy also made his presence known around Tay Ninh, shelling U.S. fire support bases and the 1st Brigade’s Tay Ninh base camp.  Hardest hit was Fire Support Base Buell II, two miles north of Tay Ninh City.  The base received an estimated 200 mortars and RPG rounds.

A disorganized ground attack was repelled by infantrymen of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry, and an early morning sweep of the area revealed nine enemy dead.  Also found were: 2 RPG-7 launchers with 7 rounds and 10 boosters, 37 hand grenades, and 2 bangalore torpedoes.


Also hit with enemy fire were Fire Support Base St. Barbara, which received 50 rounds of 82mm mortar fire; Tay Ninh base camp, which received nine 107mm rockets; and Dau Tieng base camp which was hit with less than twenty 82mm mortar rounds.


Action during the remainder of the day was on a smaller scale as 1st Brigade elements sought to find the enemy and destroy him.


Elements of the 25th Infantry Division maintained blocking positions to the south and east of Tay Ninh City as two battalions of Vietnamese airborne soldiers swept through the city.


Companies A and C of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry, conducted a reconnaissance-in-force to the west of Tay Ninh.

In other action, gunships of B Troop, 3d Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry, killed two Viet Cong who were hiding under trees two miles north of Nui Ba Den. B Troop chopper crews killed seven more NVA soldiers seven miles northeast of Tay Ninh base camp.

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           October 21, 1968


 

Decorated

BRONZE STAR MEDAL (HEROISM)

1LT Richard Booth, HHC, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           October 28, 1968


 

Decorated

BRONZE STAR MEDAL (HEROISM)

SP4 Tyrone Smith, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf PFC John R. French, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf
PFC Karl Kaiden, Co C, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           November 11, 1968


 

No One’s Objecting To This Objector

DAU TIENG – A 3d Brigade conscientious objector has received such widespread acclaim in the United States following his heroic actions in Vietnam, that his name has become almost a household word.
After Specialist 5 David Chedester of Walla Walla, Wash., was presented the Distinguished Service Cross by General Creighton Abrams, U.S. commander in Vietnam, the story about his amazing exploits while a medic with the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry reconnaissance platoon made the pages of hundreds of stateside newspapers.
Included were the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, St. Paul Pioneer-Press, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, his home town newspaper and many others.
The Associated Press story told of the medic’s fear of war and hatred of fighting, based on his strict faith as a Seventh Day Adventist.
Chedester received the nation’s second highest award for valor for saving more than a half dozen lives when the battalion’s night defensive position subjected to a massive ground attack last April (12th) in War Zone C.
Chedester, while mortars, rockets and RPG rocket grenades rained in all over the perimeter, rushed to the aid of wounded comrades, treated them, brought them to safety, and supervised their evacuation aboard dustoff helicopters.
The publicity has caused Chedester to be deluged with dozens of letters from admirers all over the United States.
“It is reassuring to us, who only stand and wait while our sons are fighting and dying in Vietnam, to read about someone like you,” said the city manager of a city in South Carolina.  “My own son, Tim, flies C-7A Caribous out of Cam Ranh Bay.  If ever he needs help, I hope you are around.  As a fellow Christian, I pray God will look after you and return you safely to your family.”
A woman from Pittsburgh wrote, “It is truly rewarding to see someone like you and others your equal receive some amount of recognition.  After reading the article I was called upon by a little voice within me to write you.  I guess you could consider this an unusual thank you note, a note that expresses my thanks for your bravery…  God bless you not only when you sneeze, but always.”
A letter without return address said, “We in the Northwest are very proud of you.  You are a brave man.  My very best always.”
Recently Chedester relinquished his post as reconnaissance platoon medic to assume new duties at the battalion aid station.

Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           November 18, 1968


 

Combat Honor Roll

SP4 James E. Beverett Added to the Tropic Lightning Combat Honor Roll this week is Specialist 4 James E. Beverett of Company C, 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry who well displayed the spirit of the American fighting man.


Beverett distinguished himself by heroic actions on 17 September 1968 while serving as a machine gunner with Company C, 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry in the Republic of Vietnam.  While on a road clearing operation, Company C came under an intense hostile attack, sustaining several casualties.


Fearlessly, Beverett exposed himself to a heavy volume of fire as he moved forward, placing effective suppressive fire on the insurgents, allowing his comrades to evacuate the wounded to safety.


As he was withdrawing from the area of contact, he noticed a severely wounded soldier who had not been extracted with other friendly casualties.  With complete disregard for his own safety, Beverett exposed himself to the withering enemy fire as he attempted to carry his fallen comrade to safety.


Realizing that he could not reach safety unless he received supporting fire, he readjusted the wounded soldier on his back, picked up his M-60 machine gun and began placing highly effective suppressive fire on the enemy as he evacuated the wounded soldier to safety.


His valorous actions contributed immeasurably to the success of the mission.  Beverett’s personal bravery, aggressiveness and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division and the United States Army.

Vol 3 No. 49          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          December 2, 1968 Page 1

Lightning Thrust Into War Zone C,
Convoy Pushes On Towards Phillips

 

By SP4 Herb Berdett

CU CHI – The 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry Regulars conducted a clean sweep of the area along Route 22, securing an important crossing site on the Soui Tri Bi River.
The quick, efficient work of the Regulars enabled combat and support arms of the 25th Division to make a safe and secure crossing and continue on their way toward establishing FSB Phillips, the new base of operations for actions against suspected NVA concentrations in Triple Canopied War Zone C.
Route 22 was at one time a major highway running along the western edge of South Vietnam into the heart of Cambodia.  It is bordered on both sides by thick woods and jungle making it hazardous going for convoys.
The climate, lack of care, and the ravages of war have taken their toll.  Bullet-ridden road signs along the route tell all travelers that the name War Zone C  has real meaning.
As the men of C Company jumped off their Huey copters, their commander, Captain Donald I. Haramoto of Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, realized the gravity of his mission.
“The whole mission depended on securing the river-crossing site, and we were bound and determined to see that our mission was accomplished,” said Haramoto.
Teams from the 46th Scout Dogs were directed to take the lead in checking the areas.  They moved cautiously along the road, sending sweep teams to either side until they reached the river.  The once serviceable bridge lay destroyed at their feet.  It was still possible to cross the foundations on foot, so the sweep team proceeded across, setting up security on the other side.

Action Photos, Story
See Pages 4&5

 

First Lieutenant Robert Wadkins of Columbus, Ga., a member of A Company, 65th Engineers, stopped to examine the crossing site.  “I’ flew in with C Company to examine the river banks for the best possible site,” said Wadkins.  “We have an AVLB (Armored Vehicle Launching – Bridge) coming up that will permit all the convoy vehicles to cross safely.”  A site parallel to and to the left of the old bridge was selected.  At that point the river was only 35 feet wide and the AVLB, which can span 60 feet, could easily operate.


Soon the convoy with APCs from the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry, artillery pieces from A Battery, and tanks and. trucks of A Company, 65th Engineers, approached the river.  By this time C Company Regulars had effectively sealed off the area from any possible enemy infiltration.


Now it was the AVLB’s, turn to go to work  The huge tank-like machine lumbered to the edge of the river.  The 60-foot bridge, which had till then been collapsed on the deck of the tank, was raised skyward and thrust across the river, coming to rest gently on the other side.  The tank then charged across, and gravel trucks were brought up to prepare solid approaches to the bridge on both sides of the river.


Then the vehicles began pouring across.  There were tanks and APCs, trucks and jeeps, artillery pieces and water trailers, ammo trucks and mess hall vehicles; in all, 70 tracked and wheeled machines sped across on their way to the new FSB.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hunt, the Regulars commanding officer, landed in his ‘C and C’ ship to view the operation from a hill overlooking the river.


“The bridge was set down at 1230 hours and the entire convoy was moved across by 1350 hours,” said Wadkins.
When the last vehicle came across, the AVLB moved down and picked up its bridge and joined the convoy.

Page 4-5                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 2, 1968

1st Bde Spearheads Deep Drive
Into Jungles of War Zone C

 

By 2LT Mack D. Gooding
CU CHI – Major General Ellis W. Williamson, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division, and Colonel Nguyen Quan Thong, province chief of Tay Ninh Province combined elements of the 1st Brigade and Regional Forces to conduct operations around Thien Ngon, in northern Tay Ninh Province.
Thien Ngon lies three and a half miles south and six and a half miles east of the Cambodian border on strategic Route 22.  One of the major objectives of this operation is to clear the area of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army units to allow resettlement of War Zone C by South Vietnamese civilians.

Two companies of the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23d Infantry, under Lieutenant Colonel Clifford Neilson, of Mobile, Ala., and two companies of the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Alex H. Hunt, of Wealder, Tex., began the sweep of Route 22 from Tay Ninh Forward Operations Base to Thien Ngon, 30 miles to the north.  The armored column was greeted at Thien Ngon by the 101st Regional Force company and Colonel Thong.
Troops from the Tropic Lightning Division and the 161st Regional Force Company under Colonel Thong and Colonel Robert L. Fair, commanding officer of the 1st Brigade, executed combined operations within the shadow of the Cambodian border.
Elements of the 1st Brigade swept strategic Route 22 to Thien Ngon, combining forces with the 161st Regional Force Company at the civilian irregular defense group camp.  When the two forces linked up, they began reconnaissance-in-force operations in the area.
The operation around Thien Ngon was a first in many respects: It was the first time a Regional Force Colonel and a U.S. Colonel together directed combined forces of battalion size.  It was the first time that an armored column moved, in force, into northwestern Tay Ninh Province.  It was the first time vital Route 22 was used to resupply a large element in the field.

Comments heard after the first day of action by some of the Americans reflected the admiration and confidence they have in their Vietnamese counterparts.
Fighting as they did, one could not draw a distinction and say, “That’s a U.S. soldier over there and an RF over there.” They fought as one.
The opening and use of Route 22 by Americans and Vietnamese forces denies the use of this route to the Viet Cong, significantly reducing Charlie’s capability of movement of men and supplies in this area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOLDIER AND SCOUT DOG – Specialist 4 Del Troujillo, of Las Vegas, N V., and his scout dog, Smokey, both with the 46th Scout Dog Platoon, prepare to lead a sweep team from C Company, 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry on a search-and-secure mission near the Cambodian Border. (PHOTO BY SP4 HERB BURDETT)
SECURING BRIDGE SITE – Men of C Company, 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry, move across the foundations of a demolished bridge on the Suoi Tri Bi River.
Page 2                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 16, 1968


 

SILVER STAR

LTC Alexander H. Hunt, HHC 3d Bn, 22d Inf 1LT Char1es J. Boyle, C Co, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

SGT Charles G. Carosin, C Co, 3d Bn, 22d Inf

Vol 3 No. 53          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          December 30, 1968

First Brigade, RFs Encircle,
Crush 100 VC Near Tay Ninh

By SGT Herb Burdett

TAY NINH – In just a few hours elements of the 1st Brigade reinforced Regional Force elements heavily engaged against VC and NVA forces 14 miles southeast of Tay Ninh City.


The Tropic Lightning soldiers moved from their position nine miles northwest of Tay Ninh to bolster their Vietnamese allies in their fight against an estimated NVA battalion.

Within minutes after receiving the word, companies C and D of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry, Regulars were preparing to lift off from fire support bases Washington and Buell.  Bravo Battery, 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery, was on its way to Fire Support Base Hull five miles southeast of Tay Ninh to train its big guns south toward the area of contact.


Daylight was fast disappearing when companies C and D flew into the contact area  “We sure landed in a very hot spot,” said First Lieutenant Donald I. Haramoto of Makawai Maui, Hawaii, Charlie Company commanding officer,  “There were rice paddies all around us and a small nearby village full of VC.”


Company D, commanded by First Lieutenant Dale N. Richey of Fayetteville, N.C., came in on the heels of Company C and also received a hot reception.


The Regulars quickly consolidated their forces establishing a defensive perimeter, girding themselves for a night of combat.  “We began receiving rounds from the rice paddies and hamlets to the south,” said Sergeant Eric Morris of San Francisco, Calif.  “It was good time for some support.”


“The flares are so bright I can easily see the whole area,” radioed the Forward Air Controller.  “Very fine,” replied Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hunt of Wealder, Tex., commanding officer of the 3d Battalion.  “Your target is the rice paddy bounded on the right by a long hedgerow.”


Soon the strikes were on the way, pounding the enemy soldiers who decided to try to hold their own.  In all, 26 air strikes were called in on the enemy that night and the following morning.


While the aircraft were blasting away, the Regulars finished establishing their night defensive positions, sealing off an important area of escape for the trapped VC and NVA.  Regional Forces and American forces had forged an ironclad ring around the enemy-infested area.


It started around 2:15 a.m.  A torrent of RPG rounds, mortars and automatic weapons fire rained in on the defensive perimeter.  The VC tried to break out through Charlie Company’s section of the perimeter.


“They walked up along a nearby road.  Boy, what nerve,” said Specialist 4 Jim Rodgres of Blythville, Ark.
A VC RPG team was drawing a bead on a group of four defenders when an M79 round put an end to their night’s activities.  A Kit Carson Scout with Company C had knocked them out with a single round.


Despite the heavy RPG and mortar barrage, the determined effort by the trapped VC to break toward the Cambodian border was an utter failure.


When morning came the Regulars and the Regional Forces prepared to sweep the area. The search revealed a total of 96 enemy dead, their bodies clad in forest green uniforms either impaled on the wire or lying nearby.
The 128th Helicopter Company cruising the area in support paid the enemy back for the many aircraft rounds fired at its choppers from around the hostile area.  Just five miles northwest of the contact area they spotted five NVA soldiers in a bunker, engaged them with rockets and got a body count of four.


In all, allied infantry and support accounted for a total of 100 enemy killed while suffering light casualties.

Page 6                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           December 30, 1968


 

Regulars” 1968 Record Reveals
Host Of Honors, Valor Awards

DAU TIENG – During the year 1968 the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry has proved to be one of the most decorated units in Vietnam.
Since the middle of April the Regulars have been awarded 52 Silver Stars, four Distinguished Service Crosses, more than a hundred Bronze Stars for valor and more than 150 Army Commendation Medals for valor.
The Distinguished Service Cross has been presented to Captain Gerald White, First Lieutenant Phillip C. Bryant, and Specialists 4 Richard Stuart and David Chedester.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander H. Hunt of Wealder, Tex., the Regulars commander, frequently travels to the many locations occupied by the units under his command to distribute the awards to the recipients.
“It is my intention to have the awards presented to the men in the presence of those they have served with these many months,” said Hunt.  “An awards ceremony is always of prime importance to the recipient, but also to his unit and his fellow soldiers.  That is why we are conducting the ceremonies in this manner.”
Colonel Lewis J. Ashley, commander of the 3d Brigade, has heaped praise on the battalion’s awards and decorations section.
“The 3d of the 22d deserves the high number of awards they are receiving. Since the beginning of this year the battalion has borne a large part of the fighting burden in our area of operations and has done outstanding work,” said Ashley.

Klema Rodina: Příběh utrpení a přežití

Posted in Uncategorized on June 20, 2010 by ivankatz

Klema Rodina: Příběh utrpení a přežití

09.06.2010

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House # 90

Náš rodinný příběh začíná v domě # 90 v malé moravské vesnici Bušín (Buschin o roce 1850 mapy), nyní Česká republika.

To je lokalizováno asi 10 kilometrů od polských hranic. Bušín je uhnízděný v krásném údolí obklopeném kopci velký, porostlý trávou a stromy.

Tato fotka je z lístek za předpokladu, že starosta Bušín.  (Klikněte na fotografie pro zvětšení.)

Potok protéká obcí a nakonec se stává přítokem řeky Moravy, z nichž Oblast dostala své jméno z Moravy. Tento přítok se nazývá ‘Bušín Stream a na jejích březích je melivo mlýn v Bušín. Více o tomto mlýnu později.

Klikněte na mapu pro zvětšení

Tato malá obec, je-li Adalbert Klema, syn Franz Klema, žil se svou ženou Ann (Dušková).

Jejich první dítě se narodilo v roce 1851, a pojmenovali ho po svém otci, který byl pojmenován po sv. Adalbert (‘Svatý Vojtěch’ v českém jazyce) – slavný biskup pražský a patrona českých lidí.

Pak následovalo narození jeho bratři a sestry, Agnes, a dvojčata Josef a Ludmila. (Josef děti, by se Ludvík a Anna později emigrovat do Ameriky, se Ludvík usadili v Nebrasce. Jeho syn vnuk, Frank Louis Klema, stále žije v Norfolku, Nebraska.

Mladý Vojtěch, v jeho pozdních dospívajících nebo časných twenties, našel práci v místním mlýně.

Tato fotka starého mlýna je poskytována Leroy Klema, ze staré pohlednice datovaná 04. 1909. To poslal JJ Krátký panu Albert Klema, Wilson, Ks.

Podle starosty Bušín, že ‘horní’ mlýn koupil ‘pan Dasky ‘v roce 1886. The Dasky byli pravděpodobně Vojtěcha matky rodiny, protože její otec byl Ignaz Daska. Tato rodina byla z Klosterle (nyní Klášterec na moderní mapy), na Moravě malé vesnici asi 3 míle jihovýchodně od Bušín.

Starosta také nalezený v jeho výzkumu, že nižší Bušín byl mlýn koupil Josef Venos na Hrabenov v roce 1914, kvůli válce. To by mohlo být v příbuzenském vztahu Cecelia (Venos) Klema, whos otce matka, Terezie (Mazak) Venos mohou být narozen v Rabenau (Hrabenov na moderní mapy), malá vesnice asi 3 míle rovně na východ od Bušín.

Práce na mlýně byl Adalbert a pan Krátký, který s největší pravděpodobností byla ve spojení se Klema o manželství, neboť Terezie (Klemova) Krátký byl Adalbert otce sestra.

Adalbert se setkal místní dívky jménem Cecilia Vejnos (Venos nebo Wenos), který žil v nedaleké vesnici Hosterlitz (Hoštice na moderních mapách) v domě # 58.

Hosterlitz je severovýchodně od Bušín, v docházkové vzdálenosti, asi 3 míle daleko. Její matka Cecelie se narodil v domě Bušín # 39 Prosinec 19, 1825, a její otec Johann Wejnos (Vanos) se narodil v Hosterlitz, House # 58 Březen 16, 1826. Její rodiče byli oddáni 06.6.1848. Cecelia byla 22 a Adalbert byl 21.

Tyto fotografie jsou z rodičů Johanna a Cecelie.

Mladí Adalbert a Cecelia byla stejného věku, se zamiloval, a nakonec se rozhodl oženit.

Následující svatební fotografie ukazuje rodinu Vejnos, ženich a nevěsta ve fotografii nejsou známy.

Johann Vejnos je v zadní řadě, uprostřed dveří, jeho žena je na jeho levé straně.

Cecelia rodiče, Johann a Cecelie lze vidět na této fotografii. Dcera Cecelia je asi někde na fotografii také.

Jejich prvorozený byl chlapec, pojmenované po jeho otci, Adalbert. To dítě zemřelo.

Brzy Cecelia byla těhotná znovu.

Se rozhodli cestovat do nové hranice v Americe. Byli teď ve svých pětadvaceti let, a vzrušený začít jejich nové dobrodružství.

Ačkoli ona byla 6 měsíců těhotná, Albert a jeho Cecelia opustil svou vlast a nikdy se nevrátí.
Výše uvedené fotografie by mohla být Klema sousedů říká jejich dobré byes!

(Poznámka: Cykrits, naše Bušín bratranci, potomci bratra Josefa Vojtěcha, mají tuto fotografii do svých domovských Bušín, spolu s fotografiemi z našich příbuzných Klema v Wilson, Kansas, ze sto lety!

Jejich adresa je Martina Cykrytova, Ludmila Cykrytova a Antonine Cykryt, Bušín 101, 789 62 Olšany, Česká republika. )

Na podzim dni v listopadu 1876 Klemas nastoupil SS Ohio na cestu do nového světa.

Také cestování s nimi, v závislosti na lodi manifest, byly další tři rodiny, Cykrits, Kratkys a dva Ptáček rodiny.

Uvedeny společně na manifest (# 52 až 58) jsou rodiny Cykrt:

Anton, 25 let, zemědělec, Cath? 47 let, Franz 15 let, Josef věku 14 let, Marie 12 let, Anna ve věku 25, a Josef věku 6 let.

Rodina Krátký (# 60-63):

Johannes bylo 25 let, dělník, Amalia 24 let manželka, Johann věku 2 let, a baby Francisca, stáří 9 měsíců.

Rodina Ptáček (# 64-74):

Vojtech? 35 let, mlynář, Anna Věk 31 manželka, Marie 3 let, a baby Anna ve věku 11 měsíců.

Johann věku 35, Miller a Joesfa 33 let, jeho manželka, Francisca věku 9 let, 6 měsíců, Anna ve věku 8, Marie věku 6, Johann věku 4 let, a malý Josefa věku 1 rok 6 měsíců.

A nakonec naši předkové, (# 77-78) V Klemas, Adalbert 23 let, mlynář, a Cecile, jeho žena, 21 let.

(Kopie lodi manifest takto tohoto vyprávění – níže).

Všichni byli zřejmě souvisí a ze stejného společenství. Johannes Krátký uvedené v manifestu může být Krátký, kteří pracovali s Adalbert na mlýn drti, Bušín.

Theresia Krátký, byl Adalbert teta (sestra jeho otce). Příbuzní rodiny Cykrit se současným majitelem domu # 90 v Bušín.

Pan Cykrt žena matka Hedvika (Klemova) Janků. Její sestra, Stepanka (Adalbert neteř), bydlel v domě # 90, kde se narodil Adalbert, až do její smrti říjen, 5, 1982. Takže tam je rodinné pouto mezi těmito třemi rodinami a Klema je.

Nevíme, co všechno měli ve svých zavazadlech, ale my víme, že Cecelia přinesl kuchař kniha psaná ve staré nereformovaných českém jazyce, s ní. Někteří věří, že ona může mít pracoval pro vyšší třídy moravského rodu jako kuchař. Nebo to může být svatební dar od své matky nebo babičky. Nikdo vlastně neví. Barbara Myers, vnučka Anna (Klema) Štika, poskytla překlad kuchař knihy, která se tohoto příběhu.

Oni nastoupil SS Ohio, v přístavu Brémy, Německo.

Lodi podmínky byly strašné pro ty, na palubě, a zejména pro mladé, těhotné Cecelia.

Po čtrnácti dny na moři, dorazili do New Yorku, unavený, ale rád se na suché zemi. Bylo to 6. den v prosinci.

V dalším kroku jejich cesty byl dlouhý, tvrdý vlakem do Wisconsinu.

Bydleli v Wisconsin přes chladné zimní Wisconsin, dost dlouho na Cecelia dodat chlapeček. Opět se jmenoval dítě, Adalbert.

Malý Adalbert přišel 13. února 1877, na první člen naší rodiny se narodil v Americe.  On byl pokřtěn v Racine, Wisconsin, přesně o dva týdny později.

Pozemků v Kansas byl povýšen v místním jazyku českému tisku, v tomto okamžiku. Kansas musel připadat jako skvělou příležitost, možná i trochu ráje, je-li pozemek stimulátory mohou být věřil. Takže bylo rozhodnuto, a cestoval do prérie Kansas začít svůj život v novém světě. Život, který by byl jedním z strádání, chudoby pro některé, a bohatství pro ostatní.

Leroy Klema poskytlo kopii autobiografii napsal Joseph Satran, úspěšný Wilson oblast zemědělec. Satran příběh nám dává nahlédnout do toho, co rodiny Klema došlo během jejich cesty, která v mnoha ohledech musí mít paralelně jeho.

Wilson nebyl moc městě, když Joseph Satran přijel v roce 1877 usilovat o své štěstí v české kolonii začal Francis J. Swehla. Jedná se o stejný rok rodiny Klema také přijel hledat své štěstí, nebo neštěstí!

“To stanici v té době nebylo příliš dobré dívat se na, pro ni skládal z rámu chatrči na sklad, dvou-story hotel v nativních kamenů, malý sklad obilí, dva obchody s potravinami, železářství, počínaje na pile, kovárna, tucet nebo více domů a nevyhnutelný sedan, “Satran psal 36 roků později, o tom, co našel při příjezdu do Wilson.

“Určitě ne přímo vybízí začátku, ale většina z osadníků byly středního věku a mladých lidí, plná naděje a odhodlání, a docela ochotní drsné to na začátku.”

Satran příběh je jedním z utrpení, dlouhé hodiny práce a život plný požehnání.

Podle jeho autobiografie, Satran se narodil 04.07.1851 v malém městečku Wesec na úpatí hory Říp na severu středních Čechách. Byl prvorozený z devíti dětí.
Jeho otec, obuvník obchodu, nakonec sbalil svou rodinu a odešel do Spojených států. Důvod – jeho obchod nepřinesl dostatečný příjem na to, aby podpořila rostoucí rodinu.
V roce 1865 opustila tato rodina z přístavu v německých Brémách pro New York City.

“Bylo tam více než 250 lidmi, nahnali dohromady jako dobytek, v kormidlování své malé lodi, a ne kabiny ubytování kromě posádky lodi, proto životní podmínky byly strašné, a na jídlo ven na emigranty byl tak drsný a nechutný že malé děti nemohly strávit a plakaly hladem. Kromě toho, že pitná voda rozdělován bylo sotva dostačující, aby se stanoví žízeň lidí – nebylo nic, co pro mytí kromě vody slané moře, které bylo zcela nevhodné pro tento účel.

“Při pohledu zpět se to zdá nesnesitelný, ale my a ostatní stáli, že po sedm dlouhých týdnů, až jsme dorazili do New Yorku.”

Po dosažení New York, rodina cestovala do Milwaukee, Wisconsin, kde Joseph Satran strýc žil.

“Odjeli jsme v New Yorku za Buffalo, přes Albany, na New York centrální železnice, a když si vzpomenu na to teď, to mi připadá, že vedení této silnice pracovala pod dojmem, že emigranti, černoši a dobytek byly ve stejné třídě , neboť jsme jeli společné krycí vybaveny hrubé prkenné lavice bez opěradel, a pouhá záminka pro toaletní potřeby. Trať byla tak hrozná hrubý a nárazům tak hrozný, že děti, a dokonce i dospělých cestujících, by spadnout z těch mizerně lavic, takže v době, kdy jsme dorazili Buffalo jsme byli všichni bolest a surovin. ”

S 600 dolary v kapse, Satran podíval do Kansasu.

“Rozhodl jsem se na Kansas jako moje volba, protože jsem měl předsudky proti začíná statku v zemi dřeva. Naučil jsem se přes naše česká rodina papír, který FJ Swehla právě začíná kolonie českých ‘na vládní půdě Ellsworth County na trati železnice Union Pacifik ve střední Kansas. ”

V Kansas, Satran usadil na zemi ležící 9 mil severovýchodně od Wilson. Protože on měl trénink jako tesař, to bylo snadné pro něj vybudovat malou domů na majetku a vozidel, které se dodává.

“Na první úklidovou můj způsobil mi nějaké trápení a já jsem problémy, ale nakonec jsem se zlomil jsem na to. Kdykoli nabízené příležitosti, jsem pracoval za mzdu, ale tam nebylo moc dělat, protože osadníci byli jako špatný jako já a mohl si dovolit najmout. ”

Satran rodina se k němu připojila na podzim roku 1879. Následující jaro se oženil s Kateřinou Peterka. Satran byl 28 let, jeho nevěstě bylo 24 let.

“Tak letech spěchal rychle na. Některé přinesl dobré úrodě, další hořké zklamání. Obsah libového let vždy v přesile, že tuk z nich. Najednou tři velmi hubených letech přišel po sobě, která se snažila naše trpělivost, vynalézavost a zůstat pravomocí na velmi nejvyšší. To bylo rozhodující období, kdy tolik Kansans zastavené svých domovů a později byly vyprodány na šerifa.

Nyní zpět k rodině Klema příběh.

Po příjezdu do Wilson, oni žili s mužem jménem Josef Tobias.

Albert (Vojtěch) a Cecelia koupil 80 akrů půdy, šest mil na východ, a jedna míle severně od Wilson.

Na tomto pozemku byla vyhloubena jeskyně, kde mohou mít žil až do rámu dům byl postaven.

Další rodina výzkumník říká, že žila s mužem jménem Josef Tobias.

Někteří říkají, že Albert byl alkoholik. Když jeho děti byly malé, nikdy nebyl doma. On dělal zanedbávat své děti, když byli mladí.

Albert cestoval do Chicaga a žil nějaký čas v katolické doma, ale byl nešťastný. Strýček Bude Klema byl vypracován jít a přinést jej zpátky do Wilson.

Následující novinový článek vypráví o Albert je kartáčovaný vlakem zlomil ruku.

“Albert Klema měl úzký únik z bytí přejet a zabit vlakem úterý ráno.   Chystal na sever na ulici Hlavní o době, kdy rychlé nákladní prošel.   Na ulici Hlavní přechod byl asi na krok na cestě, když cítil, že vlak kartáč jím.   Parní hrudi udeřil ho spinning ho kolem a kartáčování ho stranou, jako by byl z peří.   Nevěděl, jeho paže byla prolomena až o několik minut později.   Byl převezen do nemocnice, kde byla stanovena na kost.   Klema je docela dobře spolu v letech a je velmi tvrdý sluchu. ”

Mildred (Klema) Katzenmeier, připomíná příběh o její babička Cecilia, denní fuška na dojení krav.
Jednoho dne, Albert, z nějakého důvodu musel udělat dojení pro ni. Vzhledem k tomu, krávy nebyly použity k němu dojení je,
nebudou stát za ním. Takže k dokončení dojení úkol, Albert se vrátil do domu, dát na šaty Cecilia, a pak dokončil dojení fuška.
Mildred rovněž připomíná, že její babička často říká, že když weren’ta křesťanské ona zabije sebe. Zdá se, že život nebyl snadný pro ni. Bill Perterka také tvrdil, že řekla, ‘Když weren’ta křesťan, by si skočil do studny a utopil se.

Život byl tvrdý pro tuto farmu pár. Cecelia porodila celkem 17 dětí.

  1. Adabert který zemřel v roce Bušín
  2. Adalbert, který se narodil 13 února 1877 in Wisconson

3. Méně než dva roky po příjezdu do Wilson, se narodil Dorthea (25 října 1879).

4. Francis ‘Frank’ se narodil další (18 října 1880), 11 měsíců a 3 týdny po jeho sestry narození.

-Šel nebo jel na kole, s bratrem Will, do Great Bend k účasti na obchodní akademii – od Wilson.

Strýček Frank Klema dělal mnoho různých věcí, že mlácení outfit krátce, měl Music Store, tažených pšenice s kamiony provozu, s Else Eaton, prodal Model T, byl prodavač automobilů Pontiac, prodávaných parní pluhy v Dakoty.

5. William ‘se’ (narozen Mar 7 do 1882).

Strýček Bude se oženil s Mary Beth (Vopat) 9 dubna 1907. Měli sklad, kde Klema to IGA, nyní Shaw, stál. Strýc Bude se v obchodování s nemovitostmi, kupují a prodávají pozemky, atd.-prodává také Avery zemědělské stroje, Dodge automobily, Model T Fords, pak se stěhoval do Salina v roce 1922 nebo 1923, kde byl v obchodu s nemovitostmi.

Následující příběh je o tom vůle působí v zemi, sklad, 10 mil severozápadně od Wilson.
THE Ellsworth Reporter
Čas bere daň na Starém Grillville Obchod Dorothy Grothusen

To bylo na přelomu století, že Sam Gril stanovené úložiště blízko jeho domova v závislosti na “Stručná historie Weinhold rodiny” od Opal Weinhold.

Bude Klema, další průkopník, pomohl gril v podniku. To bylo nazýváno Gril a Willa Store.

Později, Klema vypadl z podnikání a to bylo jmenováno Grillville.

Dříve měla budova byla školní Fairview, okres č. 63. Škola byla uzavřena a Sam Gril přestěhoval budovy na jihozápadním rohu Oddíl jedna, Columbia černošské čtvrti, Ellsworth County, a převést jej do smíšeným zbožím obchod.

Prodejna měla vzkvétající obchodní území, jehož součástí všech zemědělců, na míle daleko, a prodloužený jak daleký sever jako Bullfoot Creek v Lincoln County.

Hodně zboží se prodává a nakupuje. Zemědělci v obchodu na území přinesli své výrobky, smetana, vejce, máslo, kůže, atd., a získal díky účty, pro které jsou obchodovány na věci, které potřebovaly.

Většina cokoli a všechno, co byla prodána v obchodě, buggy biče, koňské chomouty, postroje, oděvy všeho druhu, a samozřejmě celou řadu potravin.

Většina zboží byla přinesena od Wilson o dříví vůz se čtyřmi koňmi vytáhnout zatížení.

Kromě toho došlo k budově jako obchodní vzkvétal. To přišlo být místo setkání celého okolí a novinky byly vyměněny týden od týdne tímto způsobem. Všichni mladí Swains se tady sešli v sobotu večer na swap příze a hrát triky na sebe.

GRILLVILLE OBCHOD

Sam Gril ne, jako obvykle věc, provozovat obchod. On chovu, ale spolu s jeho hospodaření on a bratr Dave táhnul produktu do a ze Wilson.

Sam Gril také provozoval melivo mlýn na místě skladu Griilville, podle čl. Gril, Ellsworth, synovec Sam. To byl poháněn osmi hlavu koně. Zemědělci z oblasti koupili obilí sem, aby se kukuřičné mouky, atd.

Pozdní Simon Duryee. který se narodil v roce 1874 v Illinois a který přišel do Kansas v roce 1879. byl – zeť Sama Grill. Řekl, že si vzpomněl, pomáhá přesunout uložit do jeho umístění daru v oddíle jeden.

Duryee také řekl některých mužů, kteří provozoval obchod. První z nich. jeho znalosti, byl někdo George, který byl mrzák druhů a opilec. Zdálo se, že pil až zisky, když nikdo kolem. Tam byl další George, jehož příjmení si nemohl vzpomenout, dva synové Sam Gril je, Roy a Henry gril. Harve Hetzell, zeť a James Klema, který se oženil s Hattie Weinhold dceru, Hattie.

Podle James Novak z Ellsworth Novak IGA, jeho otec, Jim Novak, pracoval v obchodě Grillville někdy v průběhu starší teens.

Mary Novak, Ellsworth, vzpomíná žijící v Grillville a řízení obchodu a smetanou stanice se svým zesnulým manželem, Frank Novak.

“Domnívám se, že svazu zemědělců by mohla mít vlastní, když jsme byli venku,” paní Novak řekl: “To byl příchod automobilů, které uzavřel obchod. Oni by raději cesta do města potom, “řekla.

Paní Dorothy (Richard) Headley, Ellsworth, vzpomíná účast na aukci za obchod Grillville uzavřena.

“Vzpomínám si na aukci, to by mohlo být v roce 1919 nebo 1920 – Novaks žili tam pak / ‘paní Headley připomenout.

Existuje mnoho vzpomínek na budovy skladu Grillville, který byl mezníkem téměř tři-čtvrti století. A to bylo kvůli Samuel Grill. Jeden z 12 dětí, se narodil v Illinois, kde se jeho rodiče stěhovali do roku 1800. Jejich potomci přišli do Ameriky a do hrabství Lancaster, Pennsylvania, v roce 1700, ještě předtím, než revoluční války.

  1. Joseph, ‘Joe’ jako jeho bratr Frank se narodil (nar. 2-28-83) asi 11 měsíců a 3 týdny po poslední dítě.

Podle Leroy Klema, ‘Uncle Joe Klema farmové a žil na domovské místo, iust přes silnici na sever od kostela Excelsior Lutheran, ale dříve, myslím, běžel obraz show tady v Wilson, byl v západní Kansas na nějaký čas . Můj otec, August A. Klema pracoval, pro strýčka Bude Klema před 1. světové války, jako mechanik. On byl mechanik v Army Air Corp. Ten servis svého velitele letadla, jít do obchodu pro sebe po válce. On také prodával Avery a Hart-Parr traktory, atd. a pak Oliver zemědělské vybavení.

7 a 8. John a Anna, dvojčata, následoval, se narodil za méně než rok poté, co Joseph (Feb 14?, 1884). Zemřel 23.května 1964 @ věk 80 vzhledem k mrtvici).

John Prosinec 12, 1912, ženatý Agnes Stehno

Agnes se narodila 3 června 1891 – zemřel 17 dubna 1966 @ věku 74 – ona byla diabetická – zemřel po zlomené kyčle a zápal plic).

On farmové the Klema ‘doma místo’ přes silnici na sever od Excelsior luteránské církve, šest mil na východ a míle severně od Wilson. Žil v oblasti zvané Hell Creek, poblíž Wilson Dam. Později, po farmě selhal, on pracoval v Wilson v řeznictví.

Jeho bratr Jim mu finanční pomoc při přesunu rodiny na Kanopolis, Kansas byl on otevřel obchod s potravinami.

Tato fotka je jejich skladu v Kanopolis, Kansas.

Jejich nejstarší dítě, Mildred, nepokračoval školy po 8. platové třídy. Její rodiče ji potřebuje na přípravu jídel rodinu, umýt oblečení, a péče o mladší sourozence, zatímco John a Agnes běžel do obchodu, s pomocí od starších dětí.

Starší děti ze potravin ve voze, aby se zákazníkům ve městě. jména dětí jsou Mildred, Victor, Rudolf, Arthur, Albert (stále narozený 1923), Adeline (Bartůněk), John a Shirley (Krug).

9. Leroy Klema spekuluje deváté dítě může být, že se narodila další, datum narození neznámé, jmenoval Mary ona může mít zemřela při porodu.

John sestra dvojče, Anna provdala Peter Štika.

Výše uvedené fotografie je označena, ‘Anna a Petr Štika svatební tanec.’ Všimněte si lidé, kteří hledají ze sena loft dveře.

10. Pak se 18. července 1886, se narodil Cecelia (tzv. Suzy).

Teta Cecelia (Suzy) Klema, byla jeptiška, Sr Bertille, vstoupil Konvent sester sv Joseph-Wichita-15.června 1911-vzal poslední sliby 02.7.1913. Zemřel-chřipky-Dec. 6, 1918 Mt. Carmel nemocnice-Pittsburg:, Ks. Buried-St Mary klášter – Wichita. Ks.

To je zajímavý příběh o Susie:

Susie je ztracena

Děti se budou muset chodit z jejich domů do Wilson, Kansas, několik kilometrů daleko, pro katechismus lekce. Tam bylo asi sedm dětí chůze.

Anna, vzpomíná chůzi na 5 nebo 6 kilometrů na náboženství třídy, spolu se svými bratry & sestry, a když oni chodili domů, zapomněli počítat hlavy a jejich sestra, Susie, nikdy nevrátili domů. Susie (později známý jako sestra Bertilla) bylo asi pět, to dostal mlha a děti ztratila na cestu domů. Nikdo po ní stýskalo, dokud se druhý den ráno!

Matka Cecilia vyšel na mléko krávy a rozhlížel se po ní. Nakonec ji našli. Spala v příkopu celou noc!

Pravděpodobně spal na podlaze doma a ne na stejném místě každý večer, takže by bylo snadné přehlédnout jedno dítě, zejména proto, že Albert a Cecilia měl 14 dětí (17 porodů, ale ne všichni žili v dětství).

11. James ‘Jim’ (Václav) se narodil 1.října 1887. Strýc Jim Klema pracoval v Grillville store-“Wills a gril je”. Věřím, že to byla severně od Stucky’s-N. I-70-NK z Wilson.
Pak byl manažerem Zemědělci Uchovávejte v Wilson. Někteří ředitelé nebyli platí účty, poslal je Dun – z nich blázen – oni vystřelili ho! Potom otevřel IGA skladu v Wilson.

12. Leroy Klema věří, 12. Dítě může být narodil a zemřel, následovaný dalším Mary, narozen 03.10.1890.

13. Mary Francisca II (narozen 03.10.1889 – zemřel 1906, handicapované zemřel v Winfield státní nemocnice)

14. Elizabeth (narozený 16 listopadu 1890) – se oženil s Alvin Steinle – Albert Klema byl hluchý – ona má svůj sluchový aparát (stará módní sluchadlo)

15. Matilda se narodil Feb17, 1892.

16. Emanuel se narodil 10 června 1893 – zemřel 12. 1918 – epidemie chřipky? Byl postižené.

17. A na závěr srpna se narodil 28.srpna 1894. Srpna ‘Gus’ je Leroy Klema otec – Gus pracoval pro jeho bratra, bude mít mechanik před první světovou válkou, Klema Brothers Garáž, Wilson, Kansas.

Následující fotografie je Gus a bude v přední části Klema Brothers Garage, v Wilson Kansas.

Poté, co přišla prvorozeného, a možná dvě další děti při narození, tragédie udeřila znovu, když byl mladý Albert zabit během mlácení nehodě v Plzni, Kansas. Jeho paže chytli v pásu a on vykrvácel. To se stalo 28. srpna 1897.

Telegrafu byl poslán k jeho rodičům, se mu oznamuje, že jejich syn je tragická smrt. Ale paní, která pozoruje děti ztracená telegrafní zprávu a to bylo zapomenuto, a tak jeho rodiče nebyli informováni o jeho smrti až po pohřbu.

Na 9 prosinci 1899, matka zemřela Cecelia, končí svůj dlouhý život nešťastná.

Někteří viní její smrt na ‘vodnatelnost,’ podmínka my teď voláme edém. Některé připomínají ona byla velmi oteklá v době její smrti, pravděpodobně kvůli srdečnímu onemocnění ledvin.

Jiní připomínají, že Albert byl velmi znamenat pro jeho rodinu, a zejména k jeho manželce, Cecelia. Někteří lidé se domnívají, že zemřela v důsledku Albert kopání ji z domu za deště bouře, a ona může mít zemřela kvůli jeho zneužívání.

A konečně, Barbara Myers poznamenal, pokud jde o smrt Cecelia to: ‘důvod (ona), zemřel v 48 byl ne proto, že měla 16 nebo 18 nebo co děti, žijící na prérii se opilec, ale proto, že Albert zamčené ji ven jedné zimní noci, v opileckém vzteku, a dostala zápal plic! ‘

Marie zemřela v nemocnici ve státě, Winfield, 9 března 1906 ve věku 15 let.

Emanuel zemřel 12. 1918 ve věku 25 let.

Mladí Cecelia (Suzy), také zemřel v roce 1918, během chřipkové epidemie (6 prosince 1918) ve věku 32. Byla jeptiška, pouhých 5 let poté, co ji vzal poslední sliby.

Cecilia je

Smrt

Oni stavěli zcela nový dům na své půdě a Cecilia pak zemřel ve věku 48.

V této pre-1905 foto mají Susie a Anna, Mildred a Vic Klema se tady narodili,

V tomto domě severovýchodně od Wilson, naproti Excelsior Lutheran Church.

Osvětlený kříž lze vidět z I-70.

Nechala za sebou 14 dětí. Jejich nejstarší děti byly, Frank, 17, William, 16 a Anna a John, 14.

Na své smrtelné posteli, Cecilia zeptal se jí 14 roků stará dcera, Anna, nikdy, nikdy nechat nikoho vzít dvě zmrzačené děti a Anna slíbila ona by se o ně postarat.

Děti odebrané z Albert.

Anna držela slib, po dobu jednoho roku. Když Anna bylo 15 let, někdo může mít hlášeny zanedbávat, protože (dvě zmrzačené), děti byly převezeny do Winfield státní nemocnice, a pak se sousedy přišel a vzal všechny ostatní děti. To může být důvod, proč jsou na všech různých náboženství.

Anna nikdy odpustil sama. Vždycky pocit, bylo to jako slib na smrtelné posteli.

Anna nechce žít se svým otcem (Albert), takže po (dvě) děti chodily do Winfield, někdo jí pomohl jít do Salina, kde pracovala v švadlena škole a v restauraci v kuchyni. Řekla, že kdyby lidé věděli, jak špinavé, že kuchyň byla, ale nikdy by se tam jíst.

Albert dostal udržet Gus, proč, nikdo neví. Gus byl čtyři v té době. Jedním z tajemství je, proč Cecilia je rodina, Krátký je nevzala děti.

Albert se v posledních letech.

08.09.1928, Albert přišel zůstat se svou dcerou a synem-v-právo, Anna Klema Štika a Petr Štika.
Beatrice si myslí, že Anna bratři jí zaplatil, aby ho (Albert). The Štika by si potřeboval peníze.  Nebyly zjištěny žádné pečovatelské domy v těch dnech.

Byl tam asi tři roky. On už pil. Nikdo s ním mluvil, když byl úplně hluchý.

Pamatují si ho s úsměvem po celou dobu.Ale on asi mluvil hodně anglicky, protože když Anna Ženatý Peter, nemohla mluvit Českého velmi dobře. (Mluvila a číst německy).

A Frances Bednars, Peter matka, kdo byl protichůdný k manželství (Petra a Anna) rozhodl, že proti Anna, protože “Nemohla ani mluvit české”.

Albert by sedět v rocker v salonu dveří a Anna by se říct dětem hrát si tam tak on by měl na co koukat.

Beatrice si pamatuji něj procházel kolem loděnice trochu. Vždycky se modlil růženec.
Nakonec se stal ochrnutý a upoutaný na lůžko a nejsou schopni se o sebe postarat.

Beatrice, dcera Anna si vzpomene, že Peter stanovena na praní dům (pro Albert žít), docela pěkné.

Ona také si pamatuje všechny mycí, že to musel udělat … bez tekoucí vody, venkovní čerpadlo,
voda ohřátá na dřevo ohně a valcha.Anna vařených jídel v domě a odnesl je do něj.

On nemohl jít na záchod sám a tam byla spousta mytí.

V těch dnech bylo vše provedeno na valcha (ručně). S vodou provádí z čerpadla a zahřívá
přes dřevěné kamna.Byl zvyklý sedět v mytí domu a dívat se na děti hrát.

Gertrude a Mary Ann by řekl, hrát u okna, aby mohl sledovat je.

Kněz přišel, když umíral.

Poznámka: Výše uvedený příběh o Albert, není-li uvedeno jinak, byla zřejmě založena na rozhovorech

Jean Shanelac, s Ann Klema Štika, a Barbara Štika Myers.

Následující fotografie je o děti a jejich manželé.  “Táta a máma ‘jsou John a Agnes, bratr / sestra v-právo k ostatním, nikoli jejich rodičů.

Albert Klema bratra a sestry byli:

 
1 Albert byl farmář a mlynář. Jeho záznamy jsou: Fol. 22. Fol. 34

Cecelia Vejnos Klema sestry byly:

Maria Alosia (Vejnos), kdo si vzal John Pospíšil, ze Wilson & Plzně.

Mathilda (Vejnos), který se oženil s Augustine Schneider-Narodila se 18.srpna 1857 – zemřel 1921.

Paní Winkler, který navštívil Kansas, pak se vrátil k Czechoslavkia.

THE ADALBERT KLEMA FAMILY – A Story Of Suffering and Survival

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 by ivankatz

(CLICK  PHOTOS TO ENLARGE) Bušín House #90 Our family story starts in house #90 in the little Moravian village of Bušín (Buschin on 1850’s maps), now the Czech Republic. (Note: a good Czech map resource is at: http://www.mapy.cz/  ) It is located about 10 miles from the Polish border. Bušín is nestled in a lovely valley surrounded by very large hills, covered with grass and trees. This photo is from a post card provided by the Mayor of Bušín. A stream flows through the village and eventually becomes a tributary of the Morava river, from which the area derives its name of Moravia. This tributary is called the ‘Bušín Stream and on its banks is a grist mill in Bušín. More about this mill later. This little village, is where Adalbert Klema, son of Franz Klema, lived with his wife Ann (Duskova).

Their first child was born in 1851, and they named him after his father, who was named after Saint. Adalbert (‘Svaty Vojtěch’ in the Czech language) – a famous Bishop of Prague and patron saint of the Czech people.

Then followed the births of his brothers and sisters, Agnes, and twins Josef and Ludmilla. (Josef’s children, Ludvik and Anna would later emigrate to America, with Ludvik settling in Nebraska. His grandson, Frank Louis Klema lived in Norfolk, Nebraska, and is now deceased.

Young Adalbert, in his late teens or early twenties, found work at the local mill. This photo of the old mill is provided by Leroy Klema, from an old post card dated Apr 1909.  It was sent by J. J. Kratky to Mr. Albert Klema, Wilson, Ks. According to the mayor of Bušín, the ‘upper’ mill was purchased by ‘Mr. Dasky’ in 1886. The Dasky’s were probably Adalbert’s mother’s family, since her father was Ignaz Daska. This family was from Klosterle (now Klášterec on modern maps), Moravia a small village about 3 miles south east of Bušín.

The mayor also found in his research that the lower Bušín mill was purchased by Josef Venos of Hrabenov in 1914, due to the war. This could be a relative of Cecelia (Venos) Klema, whos father’s mother, Theresa (Mazak) Venos may have been born in Rabenau (Hrabenov on modern maps), a little village straight about 3 miles east of Bušín. Working at the mill were Adalbert and a Mr. Kratky, who most likely was related to the Klema’s by marriage, since Teresia (Klemova) Kratky was Adalbert’s  sister.

Adalbert met a local girl by the name of Cecilia Vejnos (Venos or Wenos), who lived in the nearby village of Hosterlitz (Hoštice on modern maps) in house #58.

Hosterlitz (Hostice) is northeast of Bušín, within walking distance, about 3 miles away.   Her mother Cecelie was born in Bušín house #39 on Dec 19, 1825, and her father Johann Wejnos (Vanos) was born in Hosterlitz, House #58 on Mar 16, 1826. Her parents were married June 6, 1848.   Cecelia was 22 and Adalbert was 21. These photos are of her parents Johann and Cecelie. Young Adalbert and Cecelia were the same age, fell in love, and eventually decided to marry. The following wedding photo shows the Vejnos family, the bride and groom in the photo are unknown. Johann Vejnos is in the back row, center of the door, his wife is on his left. Cecelia’s parents, Johann and Cecelie can be seen in this photo. Daughter Cecelia is probably somewhere in the photo also. Their first born was a boy, named after his father, Adalbert. This child died. Soon Cecelia was pregnant again. They decided to travel to the new frontier in America. They were now in their mid twenties, and excited to start their new adventure. Although she was 6 months pregnant, Albert and his Cecelia left their homeland, never to return. (CLICK  PHOTOS TO ENLARGE) The above photo could be their neighbors saying their good byes! This  photo was shown to me  (Ivan Katzenmeier) while visiting the Cykrit home in Bušín.

On a Fall day in November 1876 they boarded a sailing ship for the new world. Also traveling with them, according to the ships manifest, were three other families, Cykrits, Kratkys and two Ptacek families. Listed together on the manifest (# 52-58) are – Cykrt Family Members: Anton age 25 Farmer, Cath? Age 47,  Franz Age 15, Josef age 14,  Marie age 12,  Anna age 25,  Josef age 6 Listed together on the manifest (# 60-63) are – Kratky Family Members: Johannes age 25 Workman,  Amalia age 24 Wife,   Johann age 2,  Francisca age 9 mos Listed together on the manifest (# 64-74) are – Ptacek Family Members Vojtech? Age35 Miller,  Anna age 31 Wife,  Marie age 3,  Anna age 11 mos Johann age 35 Miller,  Joesfa age 33 Wife Francisca age 9 yrs 6 mos,  Anna age 8,  Marie age 6,  Johann age 4,  Josefa age 1 yr 6 mos Listed together on the manifest (# 77-78) are – Klemma Family Members (should be spelled ‘Klema’) Adalbert age 23 Miller,  Cecile age 21 Wife

All were probably related and from the same communities.  The Johannes Kratky listed on the manifest may be the Kratky who worked with Adalbert at the Bušín grist mill. Theresia Kratky, was Adalbert’s aunt (his father’s sister). Relatives of the Cykrit family are the current owners of house #90 in Bušín. Mr. Cykrt’s wife’s mother was Hedvika (Klemova) Janku. Her sister, Stepanka (Adalbert’s niece) lived in house #90 where Adalbert was born, until her death Oct, 5, 1982. So there is a family connection between these three families and the Klema’s. We do not know what all they had in their luggage, but we do know that Cecelia brought a cook book written in the old unreformed Czech language, with her. Some believe she may have worked for an upper class Moravian family as a cook. Or it may have been a wedding gift from her mother or grandmother. No one really knows.  Barbara Myers, granddaughter of Anna (Klema) Stika, has provided a translation of the cook book which follows this narrative. They boarded the S.S. Ohio, at the port of Bremen, Germany. The ship’s conditions were horrible for those on board, and especially for a young, pregnant Cecelia.

The following narrative describes the competition among the ship lines and ports of Bremen and Hamburg. Source: http://www.pathfinders.cz/article.php?article=36224 and http://www.catvusa.com/index.php?page=new_tv_serials The ships from Bremen and Hamburg had the best reputation. After the cholera epidemic in 1848, both of these cities established stations for the immigrants, where they were isolated from the rest of the population, bathed, deloused and disinfected. In Hamburg such a hospice was founded for 4 000 people, in Bremen it was similar.

The meals should have consisted of salted beef and pork, peas, beans, semolina, rice and wheat stuffs, cabbage, potatoes, plums, and butter etc. In the morning and in the evening coffee or tea was offered with biscuits, for the rest of the day there was only water to drink. The ships should have stored food for three months or 13 weeks, the passengers could take food of their own to improve meals, but they could not provide their whole boards. The space for each person was measured to 20 square feet; the passengers had the right to a cargo box with measurement of 1m x 166 cm. The passengers had to provide their own blankets and bedrolls in steerage. They also had to have their own pots and utensils for food, drink and washing.

The passengers were insured by the company in case of catastrophe, they had the right for medicines from the ship’s storage, but medical attention was not promised to them. The Bohemian (of Slavic origin) customers were contacted by a company ”representative”, Alois Kares, who urged the people to form communities in USA.   This lead the police to investigate a possible conspiracy, which would have the goal to create a ”New Czechia.” The passengers were required to have a valid passport and a ship’s transportation contract.  Permission to leave Europe, for Moravian citizens, had to be requested from the Austrian government.

The sailing ships sailed from Bremen to New York the first and the 15th of each month, similarly to Baltimore and New Orleans (only from March to November) and to Galveston from March 15 to October 15. In 1877, Bremen’s competition, transportation agent August Bolten, representative for a Hamburg – American stock steamboat company, HAPAG (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft) in Europe, advertised transportation only on ”iron post steamboats” traveling from Hamburg to New York every week for prices much lower than ever encountered before.

”The Czechs traveling in steerage could pay in Austrian money. The HAPAG claimed the meals on their steamships out of Hamburg were ”plentiful, filling and healthy.” In New York, HAPAG had general agent Kunhardt, Richard & Boas, in 1878-1879 Pastor’s representative was Johan Vosátka. HAPAG did not travel to Baltimore, and so it is not surprising that Bolten and Pastor attacked the Bremen line to Baltimore.

“The Passage to America through Bremen to Baltimore” versus  ”The Passage to America through Hamburg,” Controversy The battle was on between the two travel companies and their representatives. HAPAG’s pamphlet, Who travels to America chooses the passage only through Hamburg, expresses the advantages of Hamburg and its boats and the low regard for agents, who ‘try to get people for Bremen, where the transportation of poor immigrants a long time ago became merely a place for many money-seekers without conscience.’ The pamphlet summarized quotes from articles in the Chicago Vestnik, the Labor Lists from Cleveland, Slavia from Racine, American Slovan from Iowa City and the West Progress printed in Omaha, Nebraska. According to these pamphlets, the Bremen ships smelled horribly, the Hamburg ships had perfect conditions and good meals. ”Until recent times the majority of Czech immigrants traveled through Bremen, now they start to turn toward Hamburg, where operates honest and convincing Czech, Josef Pastor, the true friend of Czech immigration.” “The Hamburg (steam) ships had the food as delicious, as given by the contract, we even had every day wonderful beef soup, fresh meat and other foods, which were brought to us.” “There was a medical inspection twice a day, and the captain with the crew took care of the passengers’ health.” At least, that was the opinion of F.J. Chaloupka from Cleveland, who traveled on a HAPAG ship with his mother.

Another pamphlet, “The Passage to America through Bremen to Baltimore’ combined all public opinions taken from the Czech-American newspapers. There were experiences of immigrants printed in the American Slovan and Slavia, mostly in 1874-1875. The articles outlined all the evils of Baltimore, and they underlined how much better it was to travel through Hamburg. Sailing Ship vs Steamboat On his first passage to America, Chaloupka traveled by sailing ship instead of steamboat, but the meals were so bad that he couldn’t eat them. At the end of the 70 days, that is how long the passage lasted, he had to pay 70 dollars to the captain for meals that he could eat. “I cannot and I mustn’t praise my first passage to America through Bremen.”

Those poor Czechs, who couldn’t pay, badly cursed misters Kareš and Stotzky. It is obvious that the Bremen agents, to whom Kareš and Stotzky associated as independent entrepreneurs, wanted to use the capacity of old sailing ships, while in Hamburg they counted on fast and modern transportation of immigrants with steamboats. The Austrian police were not interested in agents of both rival companies, the North German Lloyd and HAPAG, especially since ex-officers of police or government founded the agencies. The Czech and the Czech American public remained divided about the best route to America. In 1879 Josef Novinský, agent of the company Omaha-Topeka-Santa Fe Railway, in his pamphlet about buying land in Kansas wrote ”A word about passage from Europe”, where he recommended to the Czech immigrants himself (address: Great Bend, Kansas, North America), Kareš and Stotzky (29 Bahnhofstrasse, Bremen) or August Bolten, representative of W. Miller (33-34 Admiralitatsstrasse, Hamburg), ”where the Czech department is lead by well-known mister Josef Pastor”.

According to Novinský the passage from Prague to Great Bend cost an adult 64 dollars, which when 1 dollar = 2 florins and 10 kreutzers, meant about 130 florins. This meant that to cross the ocean he counted only 20 dollars, which meant about 44 florins. This estimate was very low. On the other hand, Novinský was correct, when he emphasized that in every American port there is some “good Czech agent”. After fourteen days at sea, they arrived in New York, tired, but glad to be on dry land. It was the 6th day of December. The next step of their journey was a long, hard train ride to Wisconsin. They stayed in Wisconsin through the cold Wisconsin winter, long enough for Cecelia to deliver a baby boy. Again, they named the child, Adalbert. Little Adalbert arrived on February 13, 1877 and was baptized in Racine, Wisconsin, exactly two weeks later. Land in Kansas was being promoted in the local Bohemian language newspapers, at this time. Kansas must have seemed like a wonderful opportunity, maybe even a little bit of paradise, if the land promoters could be believed. So a decision was made, and they traveled  to the Kansas prairie to start their life in the new world. A life that would be one of hardship, poverty for some, and riches for others. Leroy Klema provided a copy of an autobiography written by Joseph Satran, a successful Wilson area farmer. Satran’s story gives us insight into what the Klema family experienced during their journey, which in many ways must have paralleled his. Wilson wasn’t much of a town when Joseph Satran arrived in 1877 to seek his fortune in the Bohemian colony started by Francis J. Swehla. This is the same year the Klema family also arrived to seek their fortune, or misfortune! “That station at the time was not very good to look upon, for it consisted of a frame shack for a  depot, a two-story hotel of native stone,  a  small  grain  storage warehouse, two grocery stores, a hardware store, a beginning for a  lumberyard, blacksmith shop, a dozen or more houses and the inevitable saloon,” Satran wrote 36 years later, about what he found upon arriving in Wilson. “Certainly not a very inviting beginning, but most of the settlers were middle-aged and young people, full of hope and determination, and quite willing to rough it at the start.” Satran’s story is one of hardship, long hours of work and a life filled with blessings. According to his autobiography, Satran was born July 4, 1851, in the small town of Wesec at the foot of Mount Rip in north central Bohemia. He was the first born of nine children. His father, a shoemaker by trade, eventually packed up his family and left for the United States. The reason — his trade did not bring enough income to support a growing family. In 1865, the family left from the seaport of Bremen, Germany for New York City. “There were over 250 human beings, herded together like cattle, in the steerage of their little vessel, and no cabin accommodations except for the ship’s crew, consequently living conditions were frightful, and the food served out to the emigrants was so coarse and unpalatable that young children could not digest it and cried with hunger. In addition, the drinking water doled out was barely sufficient to keep down the thirst of the people — there was none whatever for washing except salty sea water, which was entirely unfit for that purpose. “Looking back now it would seem unendurable, but we and the others stood it for seven long weeks, until we reached New York.” After reaching New York, the family traveled to Milwaukee, Wis., where Joseph Satran’s uncle lived. “We left New York for Buffalo, via Albany, on the New York Central Railway, and come to think of it now, it strikes me that the management of that road labored under the impression that emigrants, negroes and cattle were in the same class, for we rode in common boxcars furnished with rude plank benches without any backs, and a mere excuse for toilet necessities. The track was so terrible rough and the jolting so terrific that the children, and even the adult passengers, would fall off of those miserable benches; so by the time we reached Buffalo we were all sore and raw.” With $600 in his pocket, Satran looked to Kansas. “I determined on Kansas as my choice, since I had a prejudice against starting a farm in timber country. I had learned through our Bohemian family paper that F.J. Swehla was just starting a Bohemian’ colony on government land in Ellsworth County on the line of the Union Pacific railway in central Kansas.” In Kansas, Satran settled on land located 9 miles northeast of Wilson.  Because he had training as a carpenter, it was easy for him to build a small home on the property and stock it with supplies. “At first my housekeeping caused me some vexation and I trouble, but finally I broke myself to it. Whenever opportunity offered, I worked for wages, but there was not much doing because the settlers were as poor as myself and could not afford to hire.” Satran’s family joined him in the fall of 1879. The following spring, he married Catherine Peterka. Satran was 28 years old; his bride was 24 years. “Thus the years sped rapidly on. Some brought good crops, other bitter disappointment. The lean years always outnumbered that fat ones. At one time, three very lean years came in succession, which tried our patience, resourcefulness and staying powers to the very utmost. That was the critical period, when so many Kansans mortgaged their homes and later on were sold out by the sheriff. Now back to the Klema family story. Upon arriving in Wilson, they where they lived with a man named Joseph Tobias. Albert (Adalbert) and Cecelia bought 80 acres of land, six miles east and one mile north of Wilson. On this land was a dug out cave where they may have lived until a frame house was built. Another family researcher says they lived with a man named Joseph Tobias. Some say Albert was an alcoholic. When their children were small, he was never home. He did neglect his children when they were young. Albert traveled to Chicago and lived for a time in a Catholic home, but was unhappy. Uncle Will Klema was drafted to go and bring him back to Wilson. There is a news article, that Albert was brushed by a train breaking his arm. Klema Albert hit by trainMildred (Klema) Katzenmeier, recalls that her grandmother often said that if she weren’t a Christian she would kill herself. Apparently, life was not easy for her. Bill Perterka also claimed that she said, ‘If she weren’t a Christian, she would have jumped in a well and drowned herself. Life was hard for this farm couple. Cecelia bore a total of 17 children.

  1. Adabert who died in Bušín
  2. Adalbert who was born Feb 13, 1877 in Wisconson

3. Less than two years after arrival in Wilson, Dorthea was born (Oct 25, 1879). 4. Francis ‘Frank’ was born next ( Oct 18, 1880), 11 months and 3 weeks after his sister’s birth. -walked or rode bike, with brother Will, to Great Bend to attend business college – from Wilson. Uncle Frank Klema did many different things,  had a threshing outfit briefly, had a music store, hauled wheat with Traffic trucks, with Else Eaton, sold Model T’s, was a salesman for Pontiac cars, sold steam plows in the Dakota’s. 5. William ‘Will’ (born Mar 7-1882). Uncle Will married Mary Beth (Vopat) Apr 9, 1907.  They had a store where Klema’s IGA, now Shaw’s, stood. Uncle Will was in the real estate business, bought and sold land etc. -also sold Avery farm machinery, Dodge cars, Model T Fords, then moved to Salina in 1922 or 1923 where he was in the real estate business. The following story is about Will’s involvement in a country store, 10 miles northwest of Wilson. Grillville trade token MVC-005S Grillville trade token MVC-010S THE ELLSWORTH REPORTER Time Takes Toll On Old Grillville Store by Dorothy Grothusen It was around the turn of the century that Sam Grill established a store near his home according to “A Short History of the Weinhold Family” by Opal Weinhold. Will Klema, another pioneer, helped Grill in the enterprise. It was called Grill and Will’s Store. Later, Will Klema dropped out of the business and it was named Grillville. Previously the building had been the Fairview schoolhouse, district No. 63. The school was closed and Sam Grill moved the building to the southwest corner of Section one, Columbia Township, Ellsworth County, and converted it to a general merchandise store. The store had a thriving trade territory which included all the farmers for miles around and extended as far north as the Bullfoot Creek in Lincoln County. Much merchandise was bought and sold. The farmers in the trade territory brought in their products, cream, eggs, butter, hides, etc., and received due bills for which they traded for things they needed. Most anything and everything was sold at the store, buggy whips, horse collars, harness, clothing of all kinds, and of course a full line of groceries. Most of the merchandise was brought from Wilson by lumber wagon with four horses to pull the load. An addition was made to the building as business flourished. This came to be the meeting place of the entire neighborhood and news was exchanged from week to week in this way. All the young swains gathered here on Saturday night to swap yarns and play tricks on one another. GRILLVILLE STORE Sam Grill did not, as a usual thing, operate the store. He farmed, but along with his farming he and a brother Dave hauled the produce to and from Wilson. Sam Grill also ran a grist mill at the site of the Griilville store, according to Art Grill, Ellsworth, a nephew of Sam’s. It was powered by eight head of horses. Farmers of the area bought their grain here to make corn meal, etc. The late Simon Duryee. who was born in 1874 in Illinois and who came to Kansas in 1879. was – a son-in-law of Sam Grill. He told that he remembered helping to move the store to its present location in Section one. Duryee also told of some of the men who operated the store. The first one. to his knowledge, was a George somebody who was cripple of sorts and a drunkard. He seemed to have drunk up the profits when no one was around. There was another George whose  last name he could not recall; two of  Sam Grill’s sons, Roy and Henry Grill.  Harve Hetzell, a son-in-law and  James Klema, who married Hattie Weinhold’s daughter, Hattie. According to James Novak of the Ellsworth Novak IGA, his father, Jim Novak, worked in the Grillville store sometime during the earlier teens. Mary Novak, Ellsworth, remembers living at Grillville and managing the store and cream station with her late husband, Frank Novak. “I believe the Farmers Union might have owned it when we were out there,” Mrs. Novak said, “It was the coming of cars that closed the store. They would rather drive to town then,” she said. Mrs. Dorothy (Richard) Headley, Ellsworth, remembers attending the auction after the Grillville store closed. “I remember the auction, it might have been in 1919 or 1920 – the Novaks were living there then/’Mrs. Headley recalled. There are a lot of memories of the Grillville store building that was a landmark nearly three-quarters of a century.  And, it was because of Samuel Grill. One of 12 Children, he was born in Illinois where his parents had migrated in the early 1800s. Their descendants came to America and to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in the 1700s, even before the revolutionary war. 6.  Joseph, ‘Joe,’ like his brother Frank, was born (born 2-28-83) about 11 months and 3 weeks after the last baby. According to Leroy Klema, ‘Uncle Joe Klema farmed and lived on the home place, iust across the road north of the Excelsior Lutheran church, but earlier, I think, ran a picture show here in Wilson, had been in Western Kansas for a time. My father, August A. Klema worked, for Uncle Will Klema before World War 1, as a mechanic. He was a mechanic in the Army Air Corp. He serviced his commander’s plane, going into business for himself after the war. He also sold Avery and Hart-Parr tractors, etc. and then Oliver farm equipment. 7 & 8. John and Anna, twins, followed, being born in less than a year after Joseph (Feb 14?, 1884). He died May 23, 1964 @ age 80 due to a stroke). John on Dec 12, 1912, married Agnes Stehno Agnes was born Jun 3, 1891- died Apr 17, 1966 @ age 74 – she was diabetic – died after a broken hip and pneumonia). He farmed the Klema ‘home place’ across the road north of the Excelsior Lutheran Church, six miles east and a mile north of Wilson. He lived in an area called Hell Creek, near the Wilson Dam. (CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE) Later after the farm failed, he worked in Wilson at a butcher shop. His brother Jim gave him financial help to move the family to Kanopolis,Kansas were he opened a grocery store. This photo is their store in Kanopolis, Kansas. Their oldest child, Mildred, was denied her request to continue schooling beyond the 8th grade. Her parents needed her to prepare the family meals, wash the clothes, and care for her younger siblings, while John and Agnes ran the store, with assistance from the older children. The older children delivered groceries in a wagon, to customers in town. the names of the children are Mildred, Victor, Rudolph, Arthur, Albert (still born 1923), Adeline (Bartunek), John and Shirley (Krug). John’s twin sister, Anna married Peter Stika. The above photo is labeled, ‘Anna and Peter Stika’s wedding dance.’  Note the people looking out of the hay loft door. 9. Leroy Klema speculates a ninth child may have been born next, date of birth unknown, named Mary She may have died at birth. 10.  Then on July 18, 1886, Cecelia (called Suzy) was born. Aunt Cecelia {Suzy) Klema, was a nun, Sr. Bertille, entered Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph-Wichita-June 15, 1911-took final vows July 2, 1913.  Died-influenza-Dec. 6, 1918 Mt. Carmel Hospital-Pittsburg:, Ks. Buried- St. Mary’s Convent – Wichita. Ks. This is an interesting story about Susie: SUSIE IS LOST The children would have to walk from their home to Wilson, Kansas, several miles away, for catechism lessons. There were about seven children walking. Anna, remembers walking the 5 or 6 miles to religion class, along with her brothers & sisters, and when they were walking home, they forgot to count heads and their sister, Susie, never made it home. Susie (later known as Sister Bertilla) was about five, it got foggy and the children lost her on the trip home. No one missed her until the next morning!! Mother Cecilia went out to milk the cows and kept looking for her. Eventually they found her. She had slept in the ditch all night! They probably slept on the floor at home and not the same place every night, so it would be easy to miss one child, especially since Albert and Cecilia had 14 children (17 births, but not all lived into childhood). 11.  James ‘Jim’ (Wenceslaus) was born Oct 1, 1887. Uncle Jim Klema worked at the Grillville store-“Wills and Grill’s”. I believe it was north of Stucky’s-N. of I-70-N.K. of Wilson. Then he was manager of the Farmers Store in Wilson. Some of the directors weren’t paying their bills, he sent them a dun – made them mad – they fired him!    Then he opened the IGA store in Wilson. 12.  Leroy Klema believes a 12th child may have been born and died, followed by another Mary, born Oct 3, 1890. 13.  Mary Francisca II (born 10-3-1889 – died 1906, handicapped died at Winfield State Hospital) 14.  Elizabeth (born Nov 16, 1890)- married Alvin Steinle – Albert Klema was deaf – she has his ear trumpet (old fashion hearing aid) 15. Matilda was born Feb17, 1892. 16. Emanuel was born Jun 10, 1893 – died Dec 1918 – flu epidemic? He was handicapped. 17. And finally August was born Aug 28, 1894. August ‘Gus’ is Leroy Klema’s father – Gus worked for his brother Will as a mechanic before World War I, Klema Brothers Garage, Wilson, Kansas. The following photo is of Gus and Will, in front of the Klema Brothers Garage, in Wilson Kansas. After losing her first born, and possibly two other babies at birth, tragedy struck again, when young Albert was killed during a threshing accident in Pilsen, Kansas. His arm got caught in a belt and he bled to death. This happened on August 28, 1897. A telegraph was sent to his parents, notifying him of their son’s tragic death.  But a lady who was watching the children misplaced the telegraph message and it was  forgotten , so his parent’s were not notified of his death until after the funeral. On Dec 9, 1899, mother Cecelia died, ending her long unhappy life. Some blame her death on the ‘dropsy,’ a condition we now call edema. Some recall she was very swollen at the time of her death, possibly due to heart of kidney disease. Others recall that Albert was very mean to his family, and especially to his wife, Cecelia. Some believe she died as the result of Albert kicking her out of the house during a rain storm, and she may have died because of his abuse. And finally, Barbara Myers commented regarding Cecelia’s death: ‘the reason  (she) died at 48 wasn’t because she had 16 or 18 or whatever children, living on the prairie with a drunk, but because Albert locked her outside one winter night, in a drunken rage, and she got pneumonia!’ Mary died in the state hospital at Winfield, Mar 9, 1906 at the age of 15. Emanuel died Dec 1918 at the age of 25. Young Cecelia (Suzy) also died in 1918, during the influenza epidemic (Dec 6, 1918) at the age of 32.  She had been a nun, just 5 years after taking her final vows.

Cecilia’s

Death

They built a brand new house on their land and then Cecilia died at age 48.

(CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)


She left behind 14 children. Their oldest children were, Frank, 17, William, 16 and Anna and John, 14. On her death bed, Cecilia asked her 14 year old daughter, Anna, never, never to let anyone take the two crippled children and Anna promised she would take care of them.

Children taken from Albert.

Anna kept her vow for one year. When Anna was 15 years old, someone may have reported neglect, because the (two crippled) children were taken to Winfield State Hospital, and then the neighbors came in and took all the other children. This may be the reason why they are of all different religions. Anna never forgave herself. She always felt it was like a vow on the death bed. Anna didn’t want to live with her father (Albert), so after the (two) children went to Winfield, someone helped her go to Salina, where she worked in a seamstress school and in a restaurant in the kitchen. She said if people had known how dirty that kitchen was, they never would have eaten there. Albert got to keep Gus, why, no one knows. Gus was four at the time.  One of the mysteries is why Cecilia’s family, the Kratky’s didn’t take the children.

Albert’s last years.

September 8, 1928, Albert came to stay with his daughter and son-in-law, Anna Klema Stika and Peter Stika. Beatrice thinks that Anna’s brothers paid her to keep him (Albert).  The Stika’s would have needed the money.There were no nursing homes in those days. He was there about three years. He no longer drank.No one talked to him as he was totally deaf. They remember him smiling all the time.But he probably spoke a lot of English, because when Anna Married Peter, she couldn’t speak Bohemian very well. (She spoke and read German). And Frances Bednars, Peter’s mother, who was opposed to the marriage (of Peter and Anna) held it against Anna because “She couldn’t even talk Bohemian”. Albert would sit in the rocker by the parlor door and Anna would tell the children to play there so he would have something to look at. Beatrice can remember him walking around the yard a little bit. He always prayed the rosary. Eventually he became paralyzed and bedfast and unable to take care of himself. Beatrice, Anna’s daughter remembers that Peter fixed up the wash house (for Albert to live in) pretty nice. She also remembers all the washing that they had to do…no running water, an outdoor pump, water heated over a wood fire and a washboard.Anna cooked the meals in the house and carried them to him. He wasn’t able to go to the bathroom by himself and there was a lot of washing. In those days it was all done on the washboard (by hand). With water carried from the pump and heated over a wooden stove.He used to sit in the wash house and watch the kids play. Gertrude and Mary Ann would be told to play by the window so he could watch them. The priest came when he was dying.   This a photo of their grave in the Wilson, Kansas Catholic Cemetery:Klema Grave Albert Wilson Cemetery Gate Note: The above narrative about Albert, except where otherwise stated, was probably based on interviews by Jean Shanelac, with Ann Klema Stika, and Barbara Stika Myers. Albert Klema brother’s and sisters were: (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS AND FAMILY TREE)

Albert was a farmer and miller. Cecelia Vejnos Klema’s sisters were: Maria Alosia (Vejnos) who married John Pospisil,  of Wilson & Pilsen. Mathilda (Vejnos) who married  Augustine Schneider- she was born August 18, 1857- Died 1921. Mrs. Winkler, who visited Kansas, then returned to Czechoslavkia. =============================================================== Following are some of the sources the above history is based on: =============================================================== KLEMA FAMILY HISTORY – WRITTEN BY LEROY KLEMA (GRANDSON OF ALBERT KLEMA & SON OF AUGUST) This is some of what I know about the Klema family, much of which is supported by documentation.  The Klemas, Kratkys and two Ptacek families all left together  in Nov. 1876 from the village of Busin, in northern Moravia, not far from Poland, and I think in the district of Olomouc (see map).  It was part of the Astro-Hungarian empire, Czechoslavakia after World War I, now a part of the Czech Republic. The voyage took 14 days.  According to Helen Kratky – her grandmother was Theresia (Klema) Kratky – grand father Albert Klema’s sister. They left Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York on Dec. 6, 1876 (see S.S Ohio manifest – 94 passengers all in steerage.  Ship went on to Baltimore, although not stated on manifest. Helen Kratky said they spent three months in Wisconsin, then to Wilson. Recently obtained Uncle Albert Klema’s baptismal record – see copy.  Born Feb. 13 1877 and baptized February 25, 1877 – Holy Family Church – Racine, Wisconsin.  He died in a threshing accident at his Uncle John Pospisil’s farm near Pilsen, Kansas.  His aunt was Alosia (Vejnos) Pospisil – Grandmother Cecelia Klema’s sister. Uncle Albert bled to death – caught in the belt (of the threshing machine).   the nearest doctor was in Marion, Kansas, a 10 mile ride on horse back. He was buried in Pilsen Catholic cemetery-on what was then the Posposil plot-bought or given? to the Klema’s. A telegram was sent to his parents, but the but the lady taking care of the Klema children, put it up somewhere, and forgot to tell them, so of course, they didn’t know. Bušín had a grist mill on the Morava river, where grandfather Albert Klema and Mr. Kratky worked.  I have the impression the Ptacek’s owned the mill, Busin, about the size of Wilson. Surnames there (in the Czech Republic) Moravia) are masculine and feminine- Klema – masculine, Klemova feminine.  Kratky – masculine, Kratka feminine.  See copy of Theresia (Klemova} Kratky 1849 birth record (sister of grandfather Albert Klema} which lists their parents.  She was wife of Johannes (John) Kratky had two children with them on the voyage, the Klemas had none. A letter dated 1951 to my mother from Aunt Anna (Klema) Stitka – Mrs. Peter Stitka states, ‘Folks said there were 17 of us.’ Somehow the sheet on which their birth dates were recorded got lost, so some did not know exactly when they were born.  I have constructed a chronological chart which, I think, makes 17 children plausible. My mother said the first child-Albert- died in Moravia.   When the second child arrived-also a son-he was given tne same name, a common practice. St. Wenceslaus church in Wilson, Ks. has baptismal records -of 13 Klema children, beginning with Dorothea – born Oct 25, 1879, Bapt. July 25 1880, one ‘child ‘born in Moravia – one in Wisconsin -1 3 in Wilson, then there are two intervals-one two and one half years and one two years when no child was baptized, so I would guess they died before they could be baptized. ” Aunt Anna -Stika asked my mother if she would go and see if Fr.  McManus could find the baptismal records for the Klema children.   He spent an afternoon going through the old records.  It is in my mother’s handwriting, so I assume Fr. read and mother copied. She gave a copy to each Klema family. In 1986 St. Wenceslaus church had their one hundredth year celebration, and published a booklet with pictures and the baptismal records, but there were omissions, errors, and discrepancies which I have corrected.  This booklet is still available. Page 2 Aunt Anna Stika wrote in 1951, ‘they had two Marys, one died as a baby, the other I remember died after I was married.’  She died in Winfield State Hospital. I was allowed to examine all their records, but the one for the oldest baptismal records is hidden.  Although I knew it was there, because of mother’s list, I hunted and hunted. It is in the middle of a journal, only a very few pages, all blank pages in the front and also in the rear. When compiling, they did not find the earliest baptismal records, so they are not in this booklet. The early priests wrote in Latin, which clearly the compilers did not understand. The entry for the twins-Uncle John Klema and Aunt Anna Stika reads “Joannes et Maria Klema” but in 1986 they put it in (the booklet)  ‘Joan es Ma r i e Klema.’   Maria is an error by the priest – should be Anna, because there already was a living daughter by that name – Mary – who died in 1906.  Mary, Marie and Maria, are, I would think, interchangeable. Johannes is late/new Latin for John, so correctly it is John and Maria Klema (Anna), twins, not a girl (Joannes) as they had it. The date of baptism was Feb. 24 1884.  Since that paper (list birthdays) was lost.  They at the time, not knowing the actual date, chose Feb. 14, Valentines Day.  By coincident,  in the 1986 booklet, they miscopied the original record – Feb. 24- and put Feb. 14. All the old baptismal records are there, but not the earliest death records.   If the other records are there why not the early death records?  If they were destroyed in a fire, why were the others in existence? Marion Klema began a family history and did a great deal of work on it, but there are some errors. No Klema child died at sea, since the captain was required to list everyone who did.   Passengers had to list their children and ages on the ship’s manifest.  The Klemas listed no children.  None of the 94 died on that voyage. None of the 94 died on that voyage. ‘Where are the five Klema children buried? Jorothv (Dorothea} B’. Oct l879–Elizabeth-B.Nov. l890-Mathilda-B.Feb. 1892 and the two infants I am supposing died before they could be baptized -one 1885 – the other-1888? Marion has it that they were buried on the farm, but I wonder since grandfather Albert was such a devout Catholic, wouldn’t he want them in consecrated ground? Helen Kratky said a Kratky child is buried in Pleasant Valley cemetery N. of I-70 – on the Wilson flats, a protestant cemetery, because at the time, there was no Catholic one. On June 16, 1887, an acre a n d a half of ground  given by Jacob Jedlicka to establish a Catholic cemetery about a mile and a half southeast of Wilson.  The current Catholic cemetery (1900) adjoins the Wilson City one. The Klema family farm buildings were just across the road north and a little west of the Excelsior Lutheran Church,six miles east and one mile north of Wilson,  They  first owned the lower 80 acres, on which was a dugout, and then, somewhere farther north, a frame house,  Later, purchased the east part from George Irey. I have all the original deeds (LGK-yr. 2001)- given to us by Glenn Klema. Tony Somer’s mother walked with our grandparents and showed them the lower 80 acres. Ruth Weinhold, a close neighbor, not far N.E. of the Klema home, at times, looked after the Klema children.  There is still a tin bldg. south across 1-70 from the Ivan Weinhold farm where they lived. Ruth Weinhold (for a long time) lived in Wilson-first house west of the August A. KLema-later Klema Bros  garage, just south of the Methodist Church.  She was married – briefly— I believe they lived – for a short time – with grandfather Albert Klema on the farm. Page 3 Her maiden name must have been restored, I grew well acquainted with her in the 1940’s and 1950′ s.  She gave us Klema family pictures and others. There were two handicapped Klema children – Mary and Emanuel.  One day they were playing and Mary tumbled down the inside of the house cellar stairs, but wasn’t hurt.

Grandmother Cecelia (Vejnos) Klema died Dec. 1, 1899 this is recorded on two different pages-one-cause of death-dropsy (edema) -the other-no cause given. Joe Schneider (first cousin to my aunt and uncles) remembered her in the casket as swollen-very large . We now know dropsy is a symptom, not a cause, perhaps, heart disease. My understanding is, grandfather Albert Klema was mean to his family, especially his wife, and the children blamed him for her death. Bill Peterca told us that grandmother Klema said “If she wasn’t a Christian, she would, have jumped in a well and drowned herself.”   Source???  Mrs . Kubicek???  Mrs. Kubicek told others that grandfather Albert drove her out of the house when it was raining and she died after this exposure. Grandmother  Cecelia’s maiden name was Vejnos, which I would think is the correct spelling, but there are five others, Venus is on her father’s (grave) stone on the Schneider family plot in the new (current) Catholic cemetery. Johann (John) Wejnos or Vejnos, born March 16, 1826 – (grave) stone has 1825 -year-l889.  His daughter, Mathilda was Mrs. Augustine Schneider-B. August 18, 1857- Died 1921.

A sister, a Mrs. Winckler, was said to have visited the U. S.- did not stay. Maria Vejnos was ; Mrs John Pospisil. They lived one mile west of Klema’s-on the south corner, later Kubicek – today Louis Kasner. Pospisil’s moved to Pilsen, Ks. – then back to Wilson, on Hell Creek, where John Dlabals lived (Philomena Pospisil) .  Her twin.  Matilda Pospisil, so there were the four sisters we know of.

Barbara Myers, Eureka, Ks – John and Beatrice (Stika) Spachek’s daughter (Anna Klema Stika’s grandchild)  has done a great deal of work getting records from Moravia and the Czech Republic . Mother said Mrs Albert (Cecelia Vejnos) Klema was buried in the first Catholic cemetery, then moved to the current one . My theory is when their daughter died in 1906 at Winfield State Hospital – funeral (death record is in Wilson) her father needed a burial plot. The stone only has Albert and Cecelia’s names, but mother said Uncle Emanuel (Dec. 1918) is there, I think this Mary is buried there also.  Divining rods show four graves, but no (grave)  markers for Mary and Emanuel; maybe there are more graves on their plot, but thick vegetation hinders checking. There is an interesting letter-Aug. 24, 1983 – to Juanita Stika – her father-Albert- her mother was Kratky, a sister to Helen Kratky, etc., but the Klema’s said to be our relatives are not, the dates do not correspond to archival records.

Aunt Anna Stika took care of  grandfather (Albert) Klema during his last few years.  They lived at Pilsen, Ks. Grandfather Albert  Klema went to Chicago and lived for a time in a Catholic home, but was   unhappy.      Uncle Will Klema was drafted to go and bring him back to Wilson. He lived a in two different homes, as I understand it,   the last was a small home which they had built for  him.  He  was profoundly  deaf.    Mrs. Alvin (Elizabeth Klema) Steinle has his ear trumpet.   He was  brushed   by   a train breaking his arm.Klema Albert hit by train

 

Grandmother had a book, written in a   language no  one could translate.      In   1970-71   Barbara   Myers  sent  it  to a  Roger Dvorak in  Chicago.  It   is a cook book  in unreformed   Czech – in  use  before   1848. He wrote, ‘the recipes are very good.’  His 90  year   old   grandmother says it’s   exactly  the way her mother and grandmother used to cook in Bohemia in the last century (1800’s). He tried #9 Bohemian Crown Cake – it was delicious. (See translated copy below – it was written in and translated from unreformed Czech language – not German). Did the Klema’s speak German?  This Roger writes it was a German speaking area.  (Ivan Katzenmeier’s Note: Bušín was never a German village, nor did it have a German name, one of our Czech cousins whose family is from Busin.)

Recently, Barbara sent pictures with all the text in German. In the area the Klema’s came from, (some) towns had both a German name and also a Czech name, for example- Eisenberg is Ruda nad Moravou-not far from Busin.  Tony Sula came from there. Uncle John Klema “may have farmed, but had a butcher shop in Wilson, then he and Aunt Agnes opened  a grocery store (in Kanopolis, Ks). Uncle Jim Klema worked at the Grillville store-“Wills and  Grill’s”.  I believe it was north of Stucky’s-N. of I-70-N.K. of Wilson.  (See news story below) Then he was manager of the Farmers Store in Wilson. Some of the directors weren’t paying their bills, he sent them a dun-made them and-they fired him. That is when he opened the IGA store in Wilson. Uncle Frank and Uncle Will Klema went to business college in Great Bend- my sister says they walked but I thought they rode bicycles. I know they stopped at the Bouska farm S.W.of Wilson, for water, I suppose. Uncle Will and Aunt Mary had a store where Klema’s IGA,  now Shaw’s, stood. Uncle  Will was in the real estate business, bought and sold land etc. -also sold Avery farm machinery, Dodge cars, Model T Fords, moved to Salina in 1922 or 1923 where (he) was in the real estate business. Uncle Frank Klema did many different things,  had a threshing outfit briefly, had a music store, hauled wheat with Traffic trucks, with Else Eaton, sold Model T’s, was a salesman for Pontiac cars, sold steam plows in the Dakota’s. Uncle Joe Klema farmed and lived on the home place, iust across the road N. of the Excelsior Lutheran church, but earlier, I think, ran a picture show here, had been in Western Kansas for a time.  My father, August A. Klema worked for Uncle Will Klema before W. War 1, as a mechanic. He was a mechanic in the Army Air Corp. serviced his commander’s commander’s plane, going into business for himself after the war, sold Avery and Hart-Parr tractors, etc. and then Oliver farm equipment. Aunt Cecelia {Suzy) Klema, was a nun.  Sr. Bertille, entered Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph-Wichita-June 15, 1911-took final vows July 2, 1913.  Died-influenza-Dec. 6, 1918 Mt. Carmel Hospital-Pittsburg:, Ks. Buried- St. Mary’s Convent – Wichita. Ks. I just now, came across information I had forgotten was here. Carolyn Stika wrote (the) Klema’s settled in Wisconsin , stayed three months – moved to Wilson-took a claim of 80 acres. Lived in a cave until house was built on it. About Sister- Bertille-Sr. Laura – custodian of the record, thought she was a cook.  Her mother was a cook and had worked for the elite in Moravia before her marriage.  She, her mother, spoke , read, and wrote German. I have a translated copy of her cookbook – (see translated copy below – it was written in and translated from unreformed Czech language – not German). Albert was deaf for a number of years and bed fast, for about three or four years prior to his death.  He died at the home of his daughter, Anna Stika , at Lincolnville, Kansas where he had lived about two years. I welcome your corrections, additions, comments, etc. today-June 9, 2001   Leroy C. Klema Box M, Wilson, Ks. KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK ___________________________________________________________________________ Note: Some of these stories, except where otherwise stated, was probably based on interviews by Jean Shanelac, with Ann Klema Stika, and Barbara Stika Myers. WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Dear Klema Relatives, I am sending you these 160 year old recipes, since I thought you might enjoy having a copy for Christmas. Some copies have been available at the Klema annual reunions in Wilson, Kansas, so you might have a copy.

Although Bohemia is mentioned, Great Grandma Cecelia is from Moravia (north eastern Czechoslovakia)- not Bohemia (southern Czechoslovakia).

This cookbook is meaningful, since she brought it with her from her home in Bušin, Moravia 133 years ago this month, to America. It survived the deprivation and discomfort of the 12 day voyage on the sailing ship from Europe, the brutal train trip across many states, and the difficult life on the Kansas prairie. Today, it is her gift to us this Christmas, thanks to Barbara Myers.  Barbara took the initiative to have it translated, 28 years ago!   Thanks Barbara!

………………………………………………………………………………………………….. THE VEJNOS COOK BOOK February 7, 1971 Dear Mrs. Myers, I have finally finished translating your cookbook for you.  Let me offer you a sincere apology for keeping it so long.  You see, it took me longer than I expected to render all of the old Bohemian measurements into their modern English equivalents. The recipes in the cookbook are very good.  I have even shown them to my 90 year-old grandmother.  She verifies this statement.  Indeed, she says, it’s exactly the way her mother and grandmother used to cook back in Bohemia in the last century. My grandmother also says that the book was probably written before 1848, since the spelling is still the old unreformed Czech.  This should interest you.  Your ancestors no doubt came to America many years ago. I have made a carbon copy of the recipes for myself. In fact, I have already made No. 9, the BOHEMIAN CROWN CAKE.  It came out beautifully and tasted delicious. I trust that you and your family will be satisfied with my work.  Thank you very much once again for the donation you sent to the Czech Studies program at the University. Please drop me a line to let me know whether you have received both the book and the envelope continuing the translation in good order.  My home address is 2730 S CHRISTIANA AVE CHICAGO IL  60623-4611 Sincerely, Roger Dvorak P. S. I did not translate about 5 recipes because they were too obscure and made absolutely no sense.  Also some of the little tips on cooking I left out since they have no meaning for today. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

SISKY (doughnuts) 1 cake yeast                                3 T. butter 1 T sugar                                    1/2 C sugar 1 1/4 C. milk, scalded and cooled     1/4 t salt 4 1/2 C. flour                                1 t nutmeg 1 egg, well beaten Dissolve yeast and 1 T. sugar In warm milk. Add 1 1/2 C. flour and beat. Cover and let rise in warm place until bubbles burst on top. Cream butter and sugar, salt, egg and nutmeg. Add to yeast mixture.  ‘Add remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead lightly. Cover and let rise 14 hours. When light turn out on floured board and roll J inch thick. Cut with cutter 3 inches in diameter.  Cover and let rise 1 hour. -“Fry in deep fat until brown. Drain, cool and roll in powdered sugar or fill with Jelly or custard.

BOHEMIAN CROWN CAKE (ČESЌY KORUKOCЎ TORT) 1 cake compressed yeast    6 egg yolks 1/4 C. lukewarm water        2 1/2 t. salt 1 t. sugar                         2 C. lukewarm milk 3 I. flour                           5 C. sifted flour 1 C. butter                        1/4 to 1/2 C seeded raisins 1 1/4 C. sugar                    2 whole eggs Dissolve the yeast in J cup lukewarm water, add 1 t. sugar and 3 T. flour, blend thoroughly and allow to stand until the mixture becomes foamy. Cream the butter, add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and whole eggs, one at a time. and stir until well blended. Add the salt and yeast mixture and stir vigorously. Add the flour alternately with the milk, blending well after each addition.  Add raisins.  Wash raisins well and dry them. Let rise until double in bulk. Beat down, then turn dough into a buttered tube pan. Let rise until almost double in bulk again. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixed together. Bake in 325̊ oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.

Bohemian KOLÁCЌY (Tarts) 1/2 C. butter     1 cake yeast         3 1/3 C. flour 1 C. milk      3 eggs 5 T. sugar     1 t. salt To melted butter add mils and sugar. Mix yeast in little of lukewarm mixture. Beat eggs until fluffy. Add the lukewarm mixture and beat good together. Add yeast and salt. Add flour about 1C. at a time. Mix until spoon comes out clean from the dough. Let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Make KOLÁCЌY, using as little flour as possible. Put on buttered pan and brush with melted butter. leave rise and bake in 375̊ oven until golden brown This will make about 3 1/2 dozen. The dough may also be used for raised doughnuts.

CHEESE FILLING. Mix: 1 Ib cottage cheese, 2 eggs, sugar to taste 1 t. vanilla, 1 t. melted butter little flour to thicken . HOUSKA (Bohemian Twist) 1 pint scalded milk       1 egg or yolks of 2 (if 2 eggs, 1  C. sweet butter       reserve few T. for brushing the top) 3/4 C. sugar               1 cake yeast 1    t. salt                  1/2 lemon rlnd grated 6 C. flour                   almonds – mace – raisins Warm bowl and flour (room temperature). Crumble yeast in a cup with teaspoon sugar. Add 1/2 C. scalded milk, cooled till lukewarm. Let stand in warm place to rise. To the rest of scalded milk add shortening, sugar, salt and little mace, lemon and when lukewarm beaten, yolks of eggs.  Stir yeast and some flour and only enough more to knead till smooth and elastic. If raisins are desired, add now (1/2 cup)  Mix well into dough. Cover dough closely. Let rise till double. Cut dough. Form into shape. Place in greased pans. let rise till double size and bake. Bake 375” for 45 min or till well browned. Houska Twist:  Cut three parts of dough, reserving a little. Make three long strips of equal size.  Roll out to fit pan (long pan) and braid together. Place in a greased pan. Take small extra piece of dough.  Cut in 1/2 and twist loosely.  Put on top of Houska Allow to rise double. Then brush top with remaining egg yolk which has one T of water- Almonds can be sprinkled on the top.  :May be made in two regular loaf pans.

 

PORK, SAUERKRAUT AND DUMPLINGS 3 pr 4 pork shanks (spareribs may also be used) 3 pigtails                      1 1/2 lbs fresh sauercraut 2    pork blades             caraway seed 1 small onion                 potato dumplings salt and pepper Wash pork. Cover with water and allow to boil about 15 minutes. Chop the onion.  Add to meat along with the caraway seed and other seasonings.  Let boil another 1/2 hour. In the meantime, wash the sauercraut and add to the meat. Continue to cook until meat is tender.  Add the dumplings the last 25 minutes of cooking time. More water may be added if necessary. It tastes better when nice and Juicy.

 

POTATO DUMPLINGS FOR THIS MEAL:  4 large potatoes, 1 egg, salt 1/2 C. flour. Peel potatoes and grate. Put into a cloth to drain most of the water off.  Squeeze the cloth slightly so as to get most of the water out.  Transfer into a bowl and add the egg, salt and flour.  When mixed well, drop by spoonfuls on top of pork and sauerkraut mixture. Cook 25 minutes      Serves 5

BEEF WITH DILL GRAVY Beef off the chuck or round bone    1/2 pint sour cream pinch of salt                                3 rounded T. flour 1 t. sugar                                    2 eggs about 1/2 c. dill, fresh, without blossoms or heavy stems, chopped fine Boil the same amount of beef that is usually used to serve your family as you would to make beef soup—with usual soup greens.  The resulting broth or soup may be set aside for future use or to begin this meal. Set the drained beef aside. Combine sour cream, flour and eggs in a bowl. Beat with beater until smooth. Combine milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add egg mixture to milk mixture as it boils. Beat again with beater. Boil until mixture thickens. Remove from the heat. Add finely chopped dill. Do not boil the gravy after adding the dill. Pour gravy over drained, boiled beef (cut into serving size pieces) and allow to stand about fifteen minutes before serving.  If it is necessary to reheat do so, but do not bring to a boil again. Serve at once. Boil potatoes as usual, adding salt and about J t. caraway seeds. Drain and serve with meat and gravy.

SVÍĆKOVÁ (Pickled Beef Tenderloin) Meat    Salt Bacon, sliced                  Flour lemon Juice                    Onions Juniper berries                soup greens Allspice                         Sour cream Water                          Crock or Enamel Pot Wipe meat with a damp cloth.  Crush juniper berries into a powder.  Spread on both sides of meat. Place into covered crock or enamel pot. Allow to set one day or over-night in a cool place. Scrape off powder. Place bacon strips on the top. Set into lemon juice instead of usual water and vinegar solution. Add soup greens, onions, allspice and salt. Leave set another day or over-night. Boil, stirring or bake, basting until tender. Strain liquid for flour thickened sour cream gravy. Pour over the meat and serve.

 

ROHLÍĆKY (Fruit filled crescents) 4 0. flour                  4 egg yolks 1/2 Ib. butter              1/2 pint sour cream Mix together and form into balls the size of a walnut, let stand in a cool place overnight. Roll out on floured board. Spread with filling and then roll up into crescents. Bake at 350 Rom 25-30 minutes.

FILLING: 4 egg whites; do not beat too stiff 1 C. sugar             2 T. lemon juice 1/2 lb walnuts        cinnamon to taste mix the ingredients

 

LISTY (Celestial Crusts) 3 egg yolks             1 T. red wine 1 T Sour cream       pinch salt 1 T sugar              about 1 1/2 C. sifted flour Place in center of “bread “board 1 cup flour, make a well in the center.  Add the yolks, sour cream, sugar, wine and salt.  Mix with a fork until liquids are well combined.  Work in the flour.  The dough should “be like noodle dough.  Knead to make a smooth dough.  Split into two portions.  Roll the dough paper thin on a floured board. Cut into squares 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.  Make 3 or 4 gashes in them.  Fry in deep fat until golden brown, drain. another recipe for LISTY 2 egg yolks            4 T cream pinch of salt           enough flour to make noodle dough Roll out very thin a part of the dough at a time.  The thinner the rolled out piece the better.  Drop in hot fat.  Turn quickly an and remove from fat.  Should be light in color.  When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

POTATO PANCAKES 2 C. grated raw potatoes     ( a little more than a pound) 1/4 C. milk                         2 t. salt 2 eggs  slightly beaten        1 t baking powder 2 t. grated onion                 1/4 C. flour Drain potatoes, add milk, eggs, onion.  Mix together salt, baking powder and flour and add to potato mixture.  Mix well.  Drop by heaping soup-spoonfuls onto a hot well-greased skillet.  Spread thinly and fry to golden brown on both sides.  Fry more slowly on the second side to insure thorough cooking.  Makes about 18 four-inch in diameter pancakes.  Nice served with pork sausages and apple sauce.

POTATO DUMPLINGS 6 large potatoes      3 eggs sufficient flour         1 t. baking soda salt                       2 t. baking powder. Put potatoes through a ricer.  Mix the other ingredients with the potatoes.  Drop into boiling water and boil about 20 minutes.

BONELESS BIRDS ( Ptáćky bez kostí) Two pounds round steak sliced very thin and cut into pieces about four inches square.  Cut 4 slices bacon into 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Pry out very slightly.  On each piece of meat, place 2 or 3 pieces of the bacon and a little chopped onion.  Roll; pin together with toothpicks and roast them to a nice brown in bacon fat with any remaining pieces of bacon.  When brown, season with salt and pepper. Add water to cover and cook until tender. Remove birds Add 1/2 pint sour cream mixed with 2 T. flour to remaining liquid.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Pour over birds and serve.

CHICKEN PAPRIKA Cut up a stewing chicken. Pry 1 large onion cut fine in 1 T. butter.  Add chicken, water to cover and salt.  Cook until tender.  Mix 2 T. flour into 1 pint sour cream.  Add to chicken, season with a little red pepper and paprika and boil until gravy is thickened. Serve with dumplings.

HOT POTATO SALAD 6 baking potatoes                    1/4 t. pepper 1/3 cup vinegar                       1 Ib. bacon, chopped 2 t. salt                                 6 eggs 3/4 C. chopped green ionions or 1/2 C. chopped onions Cook potatoes in boiling water. Peel and dice. Add vinegar and seasonings.  Pry bacon until crisp.  Cook eggs 4 minutes.  Combine potatoes, bacon, 2 T. bacon fat, soft cooked eggs, and chopped onions.  Mix well.  Serve hot salad on a bed of lettuce with frankfurters. Serves 6 people.

SPLIT PEA SOUP 2 packages split peas, green  2 carrots, cut up 1 large ham bone, with ham on it   1 onion, cut up celery or celery leaves, cut up    I tomato (cut up water to cover in 6 quart pot, Bring to a boil, then simmer in covered pot, until peas and vegetables are very soft. Allow to cool about half an hour.  Then pour soup through strainer.  If soup is too thick, thin with water.

OXTAIL SOUP WITH LIVER DUMPLINGS 1 oxtail, cut up                 1 tomato, cut up 4 carrots, diced                spinach, peas, etc., 1 small onion, cut fine        or any vegetable 4 stalks celery, cut fine      1 pkg. prepared liver (includes leaves)               dumplings Salt and pepper to taste Place oxtail and vegetables in water to cover.  Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Add the liver dumplings and cook 15 minutes. (I have a recipe for liver dumplings, if you want to try this recipe: Barbara Myers)

SVESIKOVÉ KNEDLÍKY (plum dumplings) 2 1/2 C. flour           2 eggs 1 t. baking powder    1 C. milk 1    T. salt Mix all ingredients together to form soft dough.  On floured board, cut in small pieces. Flatten out. Set plum, apricot or 3 cherries in center. Pull edges together tightly so that the fruit will not come out while boiling. Drop into boiling water and boil for 20 minutes.  Serve with melted butter, sugar and cottage cheese.

NOODLES WITH COTTAGE CHEESE 2    eggs and 1 yolk            1 yolk 2 T. butter                        6 T. grated almonds I 1/2 C. fine noodles            1 Ib. cottage cheese (dry) 1/2 C cream                       6 t sugar Put cheese in bowl, add the 2 eggs and 1 yolk, mix well, then add the melted butter, the sugar, and 2 T. grated almonds, beat well. Have the noodles boiled, add to cottage cheese mixture and mix well. Butter a deep dish, put the mixture in, now add to the cream the 1 yolk, beat well then pour it over the cheese mixture, and sprinkle top with rest of the almonds mixed with a T. sugar. Bake till a nice brown. Serve hot.

BREAD DUMPLINGS 1 egg    1 t. salt 1 C. flour    1/4 c. milk 1 t. baking powder    1 slice white bread, cut into cubes. Mix the dough and make into one roll or loaf. Boil for 20 minutes. Do not remove the cover of the pan until the dumplings have boiled for 20 minutes. After they are done, cut in slices like a loaf of white bread is cut. RAISED DUMPLINGS 1 C. milk    1/2i Cake yeast 2 eggs    Flour to make stiff dough. I t. salt Dissolve yeast in a little lukewarm water. Add rest of ingredients.  Beat well, cover and let rise in a warm place about one hour. Form into balls, place on a floured board and let rise until light.  Drop into boiling water; cover and boil rapidly until done. Test with straw.

FARINA DUMPLINGS 1 egg             salt 1 C. Farina  (I think Cream  of Wheat is a substitute…Barbara Myers) Mix together.  Leave set 5 minutes.  Drop into liquid, boiling, from teaspoon and boil about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and pour about 1 C. cold water over dumplings, letting stand a bit before serving.

WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW LEROY KLEMA’S KLEMA HISTORY: (CLICK TO ENLARGE)LEROY KLEMA'S FAMILY HISTORY SUMMARY 1 LEROY KLEMA'S FAMILY HISTORY SUMMARY PAGE 2LEROY KLEMA'S FAMILY HISTORY SUMMARY PAGE 3

LEROY KLEMA'S FAMILY HISTORY SUMMARY PAGE 4

LEROY KLEMA'S FAMILY HISTORY SUMMARY PAGE

Emanuel and Mary Klema’s Winfield State Hospital Record ANNA KLEMA STIKA’S LETTER SS OHIO SHIP’S MANIFEST SS OHIO SHIP’S MANIFEST

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