L/CPL Robert J. Slattery, Det #206, "SCUTTLEBUTT NEWS", Jun 2024 - Page #7
Vietnam; A short Part #1

From: Thomas Miller

Short part #1

During the period of October, 1964 until December 1965, I was assigned the Tactical Air Control Party group with the Communications Section of the Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions (for a short period upon arriving in Vietnam, we were assigned to the 3rd Marine Division before reverting back to the parent division, the 1st Marine Division).

The Tactical Air Control Party was made up of a dozen enlisted Marines (E-1 through E-3) and two officers (O-1s that were promoted to O-2s upon being deployed to Vietnam). We were separated from our Communications Section of the battalion and our everyday existence was controlled by the two officers (1st Lieutenants. Amish and Davis). Our job was to control all air traffic that dealt with the battalion and its field companies (Echo, Foxtrot, Golf and Hotel Companies).

We were broken up into four different teams each containing 2 or 3 enlisted. Some teams had an officer and some were without. My team member for the entire time in Vietnam and for the 5 months prior was L/Cpl. Jack Swender. We spent most waking hours with each other training on the PRC-10 and PRC-25 radios we carried. Our team (Jack and I) did not have an officer attached nor did we need one.

It was our sole responsibility, when attached on an operation, to provide the needed air power control capabilities for our assigned company. During combat in a firefight the responsibilities rested completely upon Jack and I! Our scope of operations included daily resupply, (food, ammunition, mail, water), medical evacuation, close air support (bombing runs, napalm, rockets and strafing) and troop or dignitary movement.

This Month in USMC History
  • 2 June 1918: At dawn on this date, the crack German 28th Division attacked along the axis of the Paris-Metz road hitting the American 2d Division, including the 4th Marine Brigade. The Marines opened with deadly rifle fire and helped hand the German troops a setback which set the stage for Marine victory at Belleau Wood which would soon follow, although at great cost.
  • 8 June 1995: A Marine tactical recovery team from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit stationed on board the USS Kearsarge rescued a downed U.S. pilot, Captain Scott O'Grady, USAF, from Bosnian-Serb territory in Bosnia.
  • 10 June 1898: The First Marine Battalion, commanded by LtCol Robert W. Huntington, landed on the eastern side of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The next day, Lt Herbert L. Draper hoisted the American flag on a flag pole at Camp McCalla where it flew during the next eleven days. LtCol Huntington later sent the flag with an accompanying letter to Colonel Commandant Charles Heywood noting that "when bullets were flying, ...the sight of the flag upon the midnight sky has thrilled our hearts."
  • 12 June 1961: President John F. Kennedy signed a Presidential Proclamation calling for the American flag to be flown at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, "at all times during the day and night." Discussions between the Attorney General's office and Marine Corps officials earlier in 1961 on improving the visibility and appearance of the monument led to the proposal to fly the Flag continuously, which by law could only be done by Congressional legislation or by Presidential proclamation.
  • 15 June 1944: Preceded by naval gunfire and carrier air strikes, the V Amphibious Corps assaulted the west coast of Saipan, Marianas Islands. By nightfall, the 2d and 4th Marine Divisions, moving against heavy opposition, had established a beachhead 10,000 yards wide and 1,500 yards deep.
  • 20 June 1993: The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit returned to Mogadishu, Somalia, to stand ready to assist United Nations forces in maintaining peace in the war-torn country. Earlier that month, the 24th MEU had been ordered to cut short Exercise Eager Mace 93-2 in Kuwait to respond to possible contingency operations in Somalia.
  • 25 June 1950: Shortly before dawn, eight divisions of the North Korean People's Army crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded the Republic of Korea. Within three days, the South Korean capital city of Seoul had been captured. On 30 June, President Harry S. Truman ordered a naval blockade of the Korean coast and authorized the sending of U.S. ground troops to Korea. Two days later, General Douglas MacArthur, the Commander in Chief Far East, formally requested that a Marine regimental combat team be deployed to the Far East.
  • 25 June 1966: In Vietnam, Operation Jay began about 30 kilometers northwest of Hue, and lasted nine days. The 2d Battalion, 4th Marines landed north of the North Vietnamese 812th Main Force Battalion, and the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines landed south of the enemy's position. Caught in between the two Marine units, the enemy suffered over 80 dead in nine days of fighting.
  • 26 June 1918: BGen James G. Harbord, the Commanding General of the 4th Marine Brigade, notified American Expeditionary Force Headquarters that Belleau Wood was "now U.S. Marine Corps entirely." After 20 days of combat, and at a cost of over 4,000 casualties, the 4th Brigade of Marines had proven its fighting heart. The grateful Commander of the French Sixth Army would soon decree that in all official correspondence, Belleau Wood would henceforth bear the name, "Bois de la Brigade de Marine."