Unfortunatley, some of the photos on the 1st page Are NOT SOG, but Mike Forces, Delta and Camp Strike Forces.
I saw a couple of vanilla LRRPs, as well.
Macv-sov pics, site recommendations
Greetings all. I'm new and I am former macvsog, and I'm still going to Afghanistan and Iraq. I knew Billy Waugh, Jesse Cambell, MOH winner Fred Zabitoski, MOH winner John Kedenburg, etc. I haven't figured out how to post an Avatar yet or photos, but will make a couple of comments:
-- We didn't wear Tiger *****es in fob-2 Kontum. we wore plain green jungle fatigues with no insignia. I can't speak for the other fob's. Some of those pics, though, don't seem to be macvsog.
-- The best macvsog site is Robert Noe's site www.macvsog.cc. It is not as "pretty" as others but it is the most up-to-date. Visit the "in memorium" site,
http://macvsog.cc/chronological.htm#...A%20Chronology, which contains detailed descriptions on the death of every macvsog man. Remember, there were about 2,000 men who served on an "RT" in macvsog from 1966-72. 900 were wounded or killed....45% casualty rate.
-- For books, check Robert's book reviews: http://www.macvsog.cc/books.htm
-- Look up Jason Hardy's 1st volume "SOG." Jason is a memorablia collector whom I met at the Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) ceremony at Ft. Bragg in 2002. He is publishing photos of every man who ever served on a RT to try to get around the BS artists. His first volume is excellent and I'm waiting for the volume that has my team in it.
-- Also in the above book section take a look at Steve Sherman's "whose who in macvsog" (or some such). It's the definitive list of personnel who served. But it isn't complete since intel agencies put men there who were never officially recorded as serving,.
-- There is a photo section. Take a look. http://macvsog.cc/photo.htm#Photo%20Gallery
-- There are a few stories: Mine is there: http://macvsog.cc/tales_from_sog.htm#Tales%20from%20SOG
Anyway, I'll post some photos and observations when I figure out how to do it. You'd be surprised how many of us are still "active."
Last edited by Elfstone44; 11-14-2008 at 03:10 AM.
I look forward to your future posting!!
I agree Jason hardy's books are great!!!
I have access to Tilt Meyer's (One-Zero Rt Idaho) photos along with quite a few from FOB-1 and the Green Beret Lounge inside and out. looking forward to your photos, and thanks for your service!!
hey Elfstone thanks for the website,not pretty but hella neat!
and on a sidenote,you could insert images by clicking on the Insert Image button.(thats the icon with the mountain)
What we carried at FOB-2 (CCN till Nov 68; CCC afterwards)
I will try to post several pics; a couple from my team RT Deleware. Also a pic from Tilt Meyer from www.macvsog.cc RT Idaho and one from RT Maine.
MACVSOG generally had two elements;
a. reconaissance teams RT sometimes called spike teams ST. I've heard a differention made between an RT and an ST. One was heavier than the other. I never heard the differention when I got to FOB-2. We used ST up to about May 1968, afterwards RT. They teams were supposed to have 3 Americans and 9 indig, usually Montagnards at FOB-2. The RT could be broken up into a smaller force. We once went in with 2 Americans and 4 indig.
b. Hornet Force or Hatchet Force: a platoon size reaction element with 4 Americans and about 40 indig. They were to fight, not look.
c. In addition, there were other elements which were snatching NVA prisoners. They would carry AK's and walk the trails till they met an NVA patrol. You'll see RT Maine is so armed. I never saw a team go out armed like that.
You'll see the troops are remarkably light compared to today.
Commo was via one PRC-25. Each American carried a strobe and a couple of pencil flares and a small florscent orange cloth panel. We had some little emergency commo device to talk to a pilot but I never used it. Each American had a "Kat Code" with him used to encode voice commo with the relay sites. We communicated 3x a day. (I sometimes turned the radio off..didn't want to hear the kibbitzing). We were working on 10km sq grids labled "letter-number" ("X-3", "H-1") ...they would go ballistic if you went outside your grid. We had a map only for our grid (though once on a brightlight I carried a map all the way from H-1 over to Ben Het in case we had to exfil ourseles).
We carried a small section of rope and a D ring to make up a rapelling harness (which could be hooked onto a McGuire rig to let 5 men come out on 4 ropes if needed).
Missions were for 5 days although we once went on a 10 day mission down to the junction of Highway 96 (Ho Chi Minh Trail) and Highway 110 (Sihanuk trail) in Laos. We usually would run 2 missions a month, sometimes 3. But that depended on the weather. From May-September the rains came; it was really hard to get choppers over the Annamite Cordillera into Laos during that time. We'd fly from FOB-2 up to Dak To day after Day to await a break in the weather. After each mission we'd usually get 3-5 days off.
The rucksacks were "Montgnard striker" indig soft sacks (see photo of Yuk below). We had 5 days of rations..usually dry LRRP rations (just coming out); occasionally a can of c-ration peaches, and the striker "rice issue." I carried a standard Army poncho and a small indig ponch and a standard cammie Army poncho liner. At night, we'd rendevous (RON) very close to one-another. I would spread the big poncho on the ground, cover it with the liner, put the small poncho under the head and under the big one, fold half over me. I could sleep that way through the most pounding rain.
We carried a small pocket knife, usually a big knife (mine was a Randall), 4 to 8 grenades HE, some rigged with 30" or 1' time fuses which could be tossed behind if we were running. We carried several colors of smoke, each man usually had smoke. I carried several safety pins, a sewing kit, some rubber bands too...never knew when they would be needed. Always had insect repellent (great against leeches) and cough syrup. (Summer 68 someone banned codine cough syrup because grunts were using it to get high. It really put us in danger). water purification pills. Sometimes I carried Dextro-anphetamine. Only took it once next to the Ho Chi Minh trail and was awake for 3 days; never took it again. Two canteens. bandages and small first aid kit and a morphine shot.
The harness was interesting. Look at the RT Idaho photo and you'll see two are wearing WWII BAR belts. They were by far the most comfortable and everyone got them. CAR-15 mags fit sideways perfectly, 4 per pouch. there were 3 pouches on each side of the BAR belt with a connecting strap at the back. Sometimes the guys would cut off the back pouch on either side and have a canteen pouch sewn on in its place. I had my knife on the back strap. 1st mission coming out in Mcguire rigs (we called them "strings") I had a D ring hooked into the rig and it stretched and broke the back strap. My hand-made Randall fell 2,000'. Randall sent me another one which I still have...but, I just saw an identical knife on e-bay sell for $2,000.
The uniform at FOB-2 when on an operation was plain unadorned green jungle fatigues and boots. No markings. We usually had a green scarf around the neck, used to towel off and soaked in insect repellent it prevent leeches from crawling into the uniform. I also soaked the upper parts of my boots in insect repellent and the belt line. I wore my boots without socks and no T-shirt or underwear. We wore bounnie hats. I knew one yard who wore a helment (Johnnie..see Dahling's site) but he'd been hit in the head once and liked the protection. We carried a pair of gloves to use in rapelling or riding the ropes out of a tight LZ-hover hole.
The arm of choice was the CAR-15. It was great, you could write your name with it on full auto. We usually carried 16 20-round mags. We also carried M-79's (2). M-79'ers carried 30 rounds, mix of HE and Flechette. Some guys would saw off the stock and front barrel of a M-79, load a flechette round and hang it around their neck as an "ambush breaker." I thought this was a bit much. For prisoner snatch missions we'd carry a silenced STEN gun. Sometimes a silenced .22. We once carried a M-60 on a brightlight though. Some guys like the Swedish K but god-help you if you start to fiddle with it with the mag in; Jimmy marshall put 3 rounds into the club at FOB-2 once.
Hi-Standard Silenced .22: Originally made during WWII for OSS; 3,000 later made for CIA in early 1950’s. There are no originals on the market. They’re worth a fortune. I've seen some in Afghanistan. Good for killing guard dogs I suppose. I carried one on my first mission...Terry Dahling was the 1-0. NVA passed close enough to grab them by the ankles. I don't know what I'd have done had I shot somebody with that thing. .22 long rifle...good for 10' maybe? But gwad is it neat looking....psst psst psst...that's about it. You can buy a copy for $3,000. Find an original..you can retire.
Silenced Sten gun: 9mm and remarkably quiet. We carried it once with almost disasterous consequences. See the story below:
Anyway, that's about it for now. I'll try to put the photos on. If not see www.macvsog.cc photo section: Humm...I need a url. Have to figure that one out. Will edit this once I do.
RT idaho with Fred Zabitowski from FOB-2 at the Dak To launch site. Note the scarf, BAR belts etc: (thanks to www.macvsog.cc) (Note: I'm pretty sure Fred was with my team RT Delaware in Jan 68 (I arrived in April); I think he was strap hanging with RT Maine when he won the CMH - not sure of this).
Rt Maine in NVA dress: (www.macvsog.cc)
RT Idaho from Tilt Meyer. Note BAR belt on the right hand man: (www.macvsog.cc)
Y Yuk Ayun, RT Delaware point man 1968; He was a socerer-The Yards believed he couldn't be killed. Photo taken just after getting off the choppers from a mission to destroy NVA Artillary (see the story below). Note the rucksack and how light we travelled. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the guys are humping 90 lbs at least.
For those interested, here is the story of RT Delaware at FOB-2.
My predecessor was Terry Dahling who has a web site and pics. See his account of the death of 1-0 Linwood Martin in March 1968 http://tadahling.com/5thsfga/id5.html. (read it also at www.macvsog.cc in memorium, copied below).
22 Mar 68- Linwood Martin, SFC E-7, Tm Ldr, RT Delaware, CCC, KIA-RR. SFC Martin was the 1-0 and I the 1-1 on an operation which commenced on 21 Mar, 1968. The team was Delaware and there were 9 Montagnards on the team. The operation was a recon of an area in country. It was requested by the CG 4th ID since his LRRPS were incapable. We were inserted in the afternoon and everything was more or less uneventful. We were looking for a road/train and possible crossing point of a medium sized river. Around 1700 we came upon a classic high-speed trail. It was about 4-6 feet wide and smooth and clean. We also found some fresh bunkers looking over the trail and river. While the indig got water I found some “rabbit holes” dug into the bank. These rabbit holes were squared off – apparently man made. It was getting late so we decided to pull back and observe the trail over-night. One of the yards planted a toe-popper on the trail. We heard the mine go off and decided to pull further into the jungle. One NVA happened upon us. We killed him and a small fire fight ensued until we could break contact and pull as far into the jungle as possible to RON. All night the NVA probed and threw rocks and sticks trying to get us to betray our position. In the morning they started making noise, beating sticks, blowing whistles, etc. They had us surrounded on three sides with the river being the fourth side. Martin and I discussed the situation and decided that the best course of action was to slip through a flank, rather than go where they were pushing us. We managed to evade without a shot being fired. Linwood decided to go back to the bunker complex and take pictures. I was dead against it. My every instinct said not to return to the hornet’s nest we had just left. I said that if they wanted pictures I’d draw some foogin pictures. Martin, being the 1-0 prevailed. Upon arrival at the bunkers we found the shoe of the individual who had stepped on our mine. It still had the foot in it along with a letter from home. We were just getting situated and setting up a perimeter when we took a high volume of fire. I was face to face with Martin and a round from the first burst hit him over the left eye. I was going to apply a dressing but when I reached behind his head it was obvious he was gone. I immediately panicked and started screaming on the radio after a few minutes I realized the antenna was laying on the ground. I set it up and got Covey and we declared a Prairie Fire Emergency. We couldn’t go back into the jungle so we pulled into a clearing and set up a “wagon Spoke” perimeter with me in the middle. I imagine we looked like Custer and his last stand from the air. We were in the center of a football sized field. We couldn’t go anywhere but the NVA had to cross the open to get to us. This exposed them to CAS and ground fire from us. I got support from gun ships as well as 2 F-100’s. The F-100’s had napalm and I for one liked it at the time. My standard correction was: “Put it in the same place but on the other side. After three attempts they finally managed to extract us. I grabbed yards by the collar and seat and literally tossed them into the choppers. After we lifted off, the crew chief wanted to know who was on the first ship. I asked him why and he said it had gone down. My stomach turned flips and I could see the looks on the yards faces. However we found out the ship hadn’t been shot down. One of the indig caught his gear on an extinguisher and the crew saw the smoke and thought they were hit. They unloaded, realized the ship was OK and reloaded and joined us. In MACV-SOG.com they say Martin was with Torres and Wells out of FOB-5. This is wrong. The account of Torres’ mission is similar to mine. I don’t know what happened but I was with Martin when he died. We were ST Delaware." By Terry Dahling
Last edited by Elfstone44; 11-16-2008 at 12:17 AM.
Reason: add sites and photos
Damn, I'm not nearly as old as you, but I can barely get out of bed. Good on ya!
Originally Posted by Elfstone44
No Good Bloody Seppo
Originally Posted by clean
First of all Elfstone, welcome to the forum.
Class of '69 3/3/3 Marines.
Clean, hell you need to know the secret, a dozen raw oysters a couple of 22 year hot chicks makes a man a Tyrannosaurus Rex in and out of the rack
I had the honor to meet Jon Cavaiani at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA sometime in 1977. I was there for a Russian course and he was there for some language course, I assume. I was just an E-2 at the time and quite awed at the idea of being in the presence of a MOH winner.
Originally Posted by Jacknola
Waywickedcool Federal Ninja
Elfstone welcome to mp.net. Interesting reading. Thanks for staying in the game.