~ These Reporter page excerpts are brought to you by John Laughinghouse
|Volume 1, No. 5||
Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam
March 13, 1965
The whine of turbine engines and the scurry of activity in the pre-dawn hour last week found the 114th Aviation Company about to set the second record in two days by U.S. forces in Vietnam. The 114th was staging their first preplanned night-time combat support assault mission on known Viet Cong positions by use of a troop lift. It was also the largest night time operation involving the 114th.
Long before the light of day made its appearance there were COBRA elements swarming low over, the paddies and canals trying to contend with fog and low cloud layers lingering in total darkness hampering the locating and marking of a preselected landing zone. Orbiting overhead, Knight Control, an L-19, was giving what directions he could to the armed Cobras. Meanwhile eleven "Knights of the Air" slicks were landing at the darkened air field at Cao Lanh in Kien Phong sector to receive their loads of awaiting two company strong ARVN fighting forces.
An Air Force C-47 circling high over the LZ began dropping flares to illuminate the path of the soon oncoming slicks. Two loads, were dropped at two different locations to encircle a suspected VC hospital and a platoon of VC guards. At the coming of first light the ARVN forces and their American advisors had reached their abandoned objective and begun rounding up the hastily discarded medical equipment and weapons. The medical supplies would approximate the amount that would stock a small American dispensary. Numerous grenades and mines were located in the thatched quarters of the departed VC and destroyed by the forces. Only one captive was taken and he most certainly was a product of the objective. He had only one leg.
The many problems faced by this precedent setting night-time operation against armed hostiles are being studied by Major George E. Derrick commander of the 114th and his subordinates involved in the operation to adjust such tactics as locating and marking and the control procedures to be used in the further use of assaults against these creatures of the night.
This action followed the dispatching of several 13th Aviation Battalion units, including the 114th, to the Phuoc Tuy sector where a record 148 aircraft lifted 1,100 troops against a suspected VC training regiment.
|Volume 1, No. 9||
Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam
April, 10 1965
Men of Vietnam. Freedom for all men is a stairway and we have taken many
steps up that stairway. World War I, World War II and Korea are some, and
you men are taking another ó Vietnam.
This was part of a letter read by 1st Lt. Kenneth L. Pelfrey from a junior high school student in Dayton Ohio.
Lieutenant Pelfrey is an Army helicopter pilot and was only one of the many Ohio soldiers assigned to the 114th Aviation Company and A Company, 502nd Aviation Battalion, who received the letters. There were a total of 64 messages written by the 14 and 15 year-old students of an American History class at Titus Junior High School in Dayton, who wanted to write the men in Vietnam to show they really cared!
Although the letters were addressed simply to soldiers in Vietnam, the Buckeyes of the two units shared a deep appreciation and admiration for the patriotism shown by the young Americans.
The class decided they should let their fellow citizens serving in Vietnam know how much they appreciated what these men were doing, and what an outstanding job they felt U.S. soldiers are performing to preserve the freedom and rights of others. The students hoped their letters would raise the menís morale. It did.
The aviation units stationed at Vinh Long, a remote area in The Mekong Delta, have the mission to provide air mobility for the ground forces of the Republic of Vietnam stationed in the area.
This air mobility is provided with the Armyís UH-1B helicopters, a vital instrument in aiding Vietnamese forces in their counter-insurgency fight against communism.
To bring the feeling of America closer to Vietnam, the 114th recently undertook a project of acquiring a state flag from each of the states. They erected the flags along their only street on post and named it, The Boulevard of Flags.
Here again the patriotism of Ohio was shown. The state flag was sent to the unit with a letter from Governor James A. Rhodes. His letter informed the men that he had personally directed that the flag be flown above the state capital for one day prior to mailing it to the unit.
Maj. George E. Derrick, commanding officer of the 114th Aviation Company summed up by saying, Soldiers serving their country, students expressing their thanks, state flags flying over a post in the communist infested area of the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam; all unite to signify devotion for freedom.
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Created by Terry A. Dell, White Knight Crewchief 69-70' Republic of Vietnam
in association with members of the 114th Assault Helicopter Company
who served May 1963 to February 1972.
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