Discussion:
Chinese Bandit Recon LRRP Team 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav 1965-66
(too old to reply)
Chinese Bandit 13
2007-07-09 02:33:22 UTC
Permalink
The Chinese Bandit Recon LRRP Team 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav 1965-66 was
awarded two Presidential Unit Citations for extraordinary heroism for
their participation in the Battles of the Ia Drang (November 1965) and
Nathan Hale (June 1966); conducted the historic FIRST night combat
rappel lead by RANGER Lawson; and performed DOD/MACV directed long
range reconnaissance (LRRP) operations lead by 101st RECONDO Grimes
along the northern Cambodia and southern Laos borders in the spring of
1966..."Laying Down FIRST Tracks in the Central Highlands".

RANGER Jerry Conners
Master Parachutist, Special Forces Weapons Expert, 101st RECONDO, Army
Aviator
Chinese Bandit 13

http://www.geocities.com/d6566mustangs
http://www.geocities.com/d6566mustangs/history ... for more articles
on the combat and reconnaissance patrols performed by the Chinese
Bandits
La N
2007-07-09 04:00:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chinese Bandit 13
The Chinese Bandit Recon LRRP Team 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav 1965-66 was
awarded two Presidential Unit Citations for extraordinary heroism for
their participation in the Battles of the Ia Drang (November 1965) and
Nathan Hale (June 1966); conducted the historic FIRST night combat
rappel lead by RANGER Lawson; and performed DOD/MACV directed long
range reconnaissance (LRRP) operations lead by 101st RECONDO Grimes
along the northern Cambodia and southern Laos borders in the spring of
1966..."Laying Down FIRST Tracks in the Central Highlands".
RANGER Jerry Conners
Master Parachutist, Special Forces Weapons Expert, 101st RECONDO, Army
Aviator
Chinese Bandit 13
http://www.geocities.com/d6566mustangs
http://www.geocities.com/d6566mustangs/history ... for more articles
on the combat and reconnaissance patrols performed by the Chinese
Bandits
Hey, I just saw this and responded to it on the smn group. Really
interesting anecdotes on those sites. And I'm impressed at how many good
writers have emerged from the Vietnam war and one of the reasons for awv
being such an interesting read (albeit after having to update zee golden
killfile a kadzillion times a day)

- nilita
Chinese Bandit 13
2007-07-09 16:54:02 UTC
Permalink
SPRING 1966 LONG RANGE RECONNAISSANCE PATROL (LRRP) by RANGER Jerome
Conners (Chinese Bandit 13)

A Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol was formed from members of the 1st
Bn (ABN) 8th Cav Recon platoon and attached to division headquarters
in the spring of 1966 as directed by the Department of Defense where
seven LRRP teams from the US Army Special Forces, US Marine Corps,
Navy and other Army units were established to conduct simultaneous
patrols within the Republic of Vietnam.

The Chinese Bandit six man team members were SSG Robert Grimes (Acting
Platoon Leader of the Recon Platoon), SGT Jerry Conners, Keijo
Hyvonen, Frank Bishop, Louis Tyler, and Terry Stevens. The first long
range patrol was conducted along a 75 mile route adjacent to the
Cambodian and Laotian borders for a period of twelve days and was
performed while the other DOD directed teams performed LRRP patrols in
other portions of Vietnam. The major objective of the patrol was to
locate North Vietnamese positions that had been reported along the
border and to obtain specific essential elements of information that
included descriptions of the enemy's uniforms, weapons, communication
and other equipment and the presence of any Caucasian personnel.

We wore a mixture of uniforms including standard issue jungle
fatigues, WWII vintage M42 jungle camouflage fatigues and 'tiger
fatigues'. All members wore patrol caps, LBE with two canteens, two
ammo pouches containing four magazines each, one butt pack and carried
M-16 rifles (taped with slings removed) with bayonets. Two members of
the patrol also wore NVA captured rucksacks. Only one 35mm camera and
two sets of binoculars and one small IR device were carried. The first
LRRP rations were issued and each member carried six after removing
the outer package and discarding everything except the main dehydrated
meal. We intended to only eat one meal every other day and our diet
was supplemented by a variety of foods including 'jungle chocolate
candy bars'. Only one PRC-25 radio was carried; however, a vertical
half-rhombic antenna was assembled in addition to the two other
standard antennas. Only one SOI was carried and used to prepare the
coded daily reports what were transmitted. No fragmentation grenades
were carried and only two smoke grenades, one by both Grimes and
myself. I carried the only signal mirror and a single VS17 air panel
to assist in any emergency extraction. Several of us wore the 101st
Recondo School taped soap dish containing sutures, morphine and other
emergency medical items secured to our LBE harness. All members of the
patrol had a wound piece of '550 chord' secured to our harness with a
2000 pound tensile strength snap link.

SSG Grimes and I drove a jeep to Division G-2 where captured NVA
equipment was stacked in front of the entrance. We were given a
briefing that included descriptions of the area we were to patrol and
the locations of suspected NVA regimental CPs. We were instructed to
recommend and plot our routes and request for pre-arranged fire
support after Grimes completed his low aerial reconnaissance of the
area in an OH-13. Grimes and I returned to the Battalion area and
tentatively selected the routes and observation points from the
supplied topographic maps and aerial photographs. We gave the LRRP
patrol members a warning order prior to Grimes performing the
reconnaissance flight. Upon his return we discussed what he had
observed and updated our information on the area but did not alter our
intended routes. The entire patrol participated in the preparation of
the operations order that was later given by SSG Grimes. There were no
rehearsals performed and the time prior to departure was spent
studying maps and checking equipment.

We were inserted about two hours before nightfall using one UH-1 that
made only one descent and hover for unloading located near an active
and believed to be safe farming area located about 2.5 km east of the
area where we would be operating. The actual LZ was located north of
the area at coordinates 48PYA554597 and this area had been evaluated
for enemy activity during Grimes' observation flight and by the low
level photo reconnnaissance performed by the Air Force. No enemy
contact was anticipated and none were encountered. We moved rapidly
into the tree covered mountains at the southern limit of the patrol
area and proceeded northward along the border and through the night to
our first observation and study area (hilltop 847) and arrived prior
to BMAT. We had previously conducted numerous three day patrols,
including those along the Cambodia border, where we had located and
cleared a NVA Regimental CP and hospital; however the terrain had not
been as steep but our navigation skills and physical conditioning
enabled us to move quickly.

Movement, consisting of rapidly walking (routinely 3 km/hour)point to
point routes for approximately 18 hours, was intended to be limited to
late evening and night navigation with daily situation reports made in
the early morning to airborne Air Force aircraft from positions
selected on mountain tops that afforded the opportunity to observe
long distances. Rising smoke from what was believed to be cooking
fires was plotted on the topographic maps that we carried; however,
the planned patrol route was not altered and these sightings were not
evaluated from close range. We remained on well worn and narrow trails
during most of the movements between observation points. We did not
expect the enemy to establish ambush sites or set out mines and booby
traps in these areas that were believed to be only occupied by NVA
troops. On several occasions we discovered enemy boot prints at stream
and trail junctions but not along the trail routes that we were
following. We wore issued jungle boots and altered our routes to avoid
trails having damp and soft surfaces where our boots would have made
an impression in the soil. This was difficult to achieve during night
movement but when I checked our trail when doubling back during
temporary halts, we managed to do well at leaving no signs of our
passing.

After about a week of patrolling, an emergency extraction was
necessary when Tyler became unconscious with a malaria fever. At the
risk of compromising our location, we requested a single UH-1 to a
small tree lined hilltop where we used a rope hoist secured to Tyler's
snap link to lift him from a large rock outcropping to the skids of
the hovering helicopter where the crew were able to grab and lift him
onboard. After the aircraft departed, we moved quickly along a narrow
trail down to a valley and up to another mountain ridge where we 'lay-
dogged' until nightfall and then resumed our patrol as planned.

We were able to zig-sag along our planned routes and complete the
daily observation reports from the pre-selected observation points.
Close enemy observation was only made on the last day of the patrol
where we were to be extracted by two UH-1s from an area located in the
northern limits of the patrol area. Eight NVA were found gathering
firewood with their rifles leaning against one tree. That encounter
will be described in a separate writing.

We were extracted by two UH-1s from a LZ which we had occupied for the
entire morning. The areas and trails leading into the LZ were reconned
by different team members and we were certain that no enemy troops
were within several miles of the LZ. The UH-1s arrived mid-day and on
time and we dove aboard the helicopters and returned to base camp
where we requested and were given ice cream, milk and different meals
while we prepared our combined de-briefing report that was given by
Grimes to G-2 and other division staff late that afternoon. No other
LRRP members accompanied him. When he returned, he informed us that
everyone was surprised that we had not become lost since the other six
teams had more difficulty navigating. When he and I were alone, he
asked, "Would you like to dye your skin brown, put on black pajamas
and parachute into North Vietnam?" "We have a chance to be the first
'Sting-Ray' team.

RANGER Jerry Conners
Master Parachutist, Special Forces Weapons Expert, 101st RECONDO, Army
Aviator
Chinese Bandit 13
Chinese Bandit Recon LRRP Team 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav 1965-66
Mac the Kid (aka Mac from Texas)
2007-07-09 22:55:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chinese Bandit 13
SPRING 1966 LONG RANGE RECONNAISSANCE PATROL (LRRP) by RANGER Jerome
Conners (Chinese Bandit 13)
A Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol was formed from members of the 1st
Bn (ABN) 8th Cav Recon platoon and attached to division headquarters
in the spring of 1966 as directed by the Department of Defense where
seven LRRP teams from the US Army Special Forces, US Marine Corps,
Navy and other Army units were established to conduct simultaneous
patrols within the Republic of Vietnam.
The Chinese Bandit six man team members were SSG Robert Grimes (Acting
Platoon Leader of the Recon Platoon), SGT Jerry Conners, Keijo
Hyvonen, Frank Bishop, Louis Tyler, and Terry Stevens. The first long
range patrol was conducted along a 75 mile route adjacent to the
Cambodian and Laotian borders for a period of twelve days and was
performed while the other DOD directed teams performed LRRP patrols in
other portions of Vietnam. The major objective of the patrol was to
locate North Vietnamese positions that had been reported along the
border and to obtain specific essential elements of information that
included descriptions of the enemy's uniforms, weapons, communication
and other equipment and the presence of any Caucasian personnel.
We wore a mixture of uniforms including standard issue jungle
fatigues, WWII vintage M42 jungle camouflage fatigues and 'tiger
fatigues'. All members wore patrol caps, LBE with two canteens, two
ammo pouches containing four magazines each, one butt pack and carried
M-16 rifles (taped with slings removed) with bayonets. Two members of
the patrol also wore NVA captured rucksacks. Only one 35mm camera and
two sets of binoculars and one small IR device were carried. The first
LRRP rations were issued and each member carried six after removing
the outer package and discarding everything except the main dehydrated
meal. We intended to only eat one meal every other day and our diet
was supplemented by a variety of foods including 'jungle chocolate
candy bars'. Only one PRC-25 radio was carried; however, a vertical
half-rhombic antenna was assembled in addition to the two other
standard antennas. Only one SOI was carried and used to prepare the
coded daily reports what were transmitted. No fragmentation grenades
were carried and only two smoke grenades, one by both Grimes and
myself. I carried the only signal mirror and a single VS17 air panel
to assist in any emergency extraction. Several of us wore the 101st
Recondo School taped soap dish containing sutures, morphine and other
emergency medical items secured to our LBE harness. All members of the
patrol had a wound piece of '550 chord' secured to our harness with a
2000 pound tensile strength snap link.
SSG Grimes and I drove a jeep to Division G-2 where captured NVA
equipment was stacked in front of the entrance. We were given a
briefing that included descriptions of the area we were to patrol and
the locations of suspected NVA regimental CPs. We were instructed to
recommend and plot our routes and request for pre-arranged fire
support after Grimes completed his low aerial reconnaissance of the
area in an OH-13. Grimes and I returned to the Battalion area and
tentatively selected the routes and observation points from the
supplied topographic maps and aerial photographs. We gave the LRRP
patrol members a warning order prior to Grimes performing the
reconnaissance flight. Upon his return we discussed what he had
observed and updated our information on the area but did not alter our
intended routes. The entire patrol participated in the preparation of
the operations order that was later given by SSG Grimes. There were no
rehearsals performed and the time prior to departure was spent
studying maps and checking equipment.
We were inserted about two hours before nightfall using one UH-1 that
made only one descent and hover for unloading located near an active
and believed to be safe farming area located about 2.5 km east of the
area where we would be operating. The actual LZ was located north of
the area at coordinates 48PYA554597 and this area had been evaluated
for enemy activity during Grimes' observation flight and by the low
level photo reconnnaissance performed by the Air Force. No enemy
contact was anticipated and none were encountered. We moved rapidly
into the tree covered mountains at the southern limit of the patrol
area and proceeded northward along the border and through the night to
our first observation and study area (hilltop 847) and arrived prior
to BMAT. We had previously conducted numerous three day patrols,
including those along the Cambodia border, where we had located and
cleared a NVA Regimental CP and hospital; however the terrain had not
been as steep but our navigation skills and physical conditioning
enabled us to move quickly.
Movement, consisting of rapidly walking (routinely 3 km/hour)point to
point routes for approximately 18 hours, was intended to be limited to
late evening and night navigation with daily situation reports made in
the early morning to airborne Air Force aircraft from positions
selected on mountain tops that afforded the opportunity to observe
long distances. Rising smoke from what was believed to be cooking
fires was plotted on the topographic maps that we carried; however,
the planned patrol route was not altered and these sightings were not
evaluated from close range. We remained on well worn and narrow trails
during most of the movements between observation points. We did not
expect the enemy to establish ambush sites or set out mines and booby
traps in these areas that were believed to be only occupied by NVA
troops. On several occasions we discovered enemy boot prints at stream
and trail junctions but not along the trail routes that we were
following. We wore issued jungle boots and altered our routes to avoid
trails having damp and soft surfaces where our boots would have made
an impression in the soil. This was difficult to achieve during night
movement but when I checked our trail when doubling back during
temporary halts, we managed to do well at leaving no signs of our
passing.
After about a week of patrolling, an emergency extraction was
necessary when Tyler became unconscious with a malaria fever. At the
risk of compromising our location, we requested a single UH-1 to a
small tree lined hilltop where we used a rope hoist secured to Tyler's
snap link to lift him from a large rock outcropping to the skids of
the hovering helicopter where the crew were able to grab and lift him
onboard. After the aircraft departed, we moved quickly along a narrow
trail down to a valley and up to another mountain ridge where we 'lay-
dogged' until nightfall and then resumed our patrol as planned.
We were able to zig-sag along our planned routes and complete the
daily observation reports from the pre-selected observation points.
Close enemy observation was only made on the last day of the patrol
where we were to be extracted by two UH-1s from an area located in the
northern limits of the patrol area. Eight NVA were found gathering
firewood with their rifles leaning against one tree. That encounter
will be described in a separate writing.
We were extracted by two UH-1s from a LZ which we had occupied for the
entire morning. The areas and trails leading into the LZ were reconned
by different team members and we were certain that no enemy troops
were within several miles of the LZ. The UH-1s arrived mid-day and on
time and we dove aboard the helicopters and returned to base camp
where we requested and were given ice cream, milk and different meals
while we prepared our combined de-briefing report that was given by
Grimes to G-2 and other division staff late that afternoon. No other
LRRP members accompanied him. When he returned, he informed us that
everyone was surprised that we had not become lost since the other six
teams had more difficulty navigating. When he and I were alone, he
asked, "Would you like to dye your skin brown, put on black pajamas
and parachute into North Vietnam?" "We have a chance to be the first
'Sting-Ray' team.
RANGER Jerry Conners
Master Parachutist, Special Forces Weapons Expert, 101st RECONDO, Army
Aviator
Chinese Bandit 13
Chinese Bandit Recon LRRP Team 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav 1965-66
when were you at Benning...class #? you do any Hay-hos to Smoke Bomb
Hill? Rucker or Wolters?
Chinese Bandit 13
2007-07-10 01:18:41 UTC
Permalink
Mac:

The Ranger Class number is not depicted on the diploma hanging in my
den...but I remember it to be Class 502...the Ranger department has
the class numbers and class photos online (or did so several years
ago). I do not recall any run routes or many details of the Benning
Phase ...I do remember some of the more colorful moments...crawling
out to the Ranger tab and dropping into the lake (I had wanted to do
that for many years prior to going to Ranger school)...I enjoyed the
Mountain and Florida phases more and have more memories of those
experiences...pushups in the rain for singing "MRC-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E,
mrckey mouse..." outside the 'cabins' at Dahlonega...

I had wanted to attend Ranger school since my early childhood...my
father was a career officer (enlisted Private to 1SGT in
WWII...Africa, Sicily, Anzio, then up Italy to the Alps...has multiple
purple hearts, including three German MG-42 bullets in his back...was
battlefield commissioned in Italy...trained in Ireland with the
British Commandos prior to Anzio...later fought and wounded in Korea
(large artillery fragment in his leg) then served with JUSMAG
(Thailand...with TDY assignments to Laos and S Vietnam)...many of the
WWII Rangers were from the Africa campaign combat infantry units...I
grew up expecting to be a Ranger.

I met several Special Forces officers while in Bangkok when my father
was with JUSMAG and had met Lauri Torni, a well respected SF officer,
earlier at Bad Tolz and was able to go mountaining walking/climbing
with him and others...those persons inspired my interest in Special
Forces. Frenchy Therault was one of my senior SF Weapons
instructors. I met many great officers and NCOs during my childhood
and in the period immediately prior to the build up in SE Asia.

Ft Wolters ("orange hat" Bobcat Flite) for Primary Flight, then Ft
Rucker for instruments and tactics including NOE...I still fly and own
N94K.

How about yourself? Since you are familiar with the Ranger and
aviation terms, I am assumming you are also a graduate of the Ranger
and Aviator courses.

Did you attend the 101st Recondo school? My number is 1919. We
graduated 13 persons with the Recondo Brand in my class...I had been
prepared by several of the Recon NCO's (Ranger qualified...Recon 1st
Bn (ABN) 502d Inf) prior to attending...I would not have graduated
without their 'training'.

Hopefully, you have followed the links to the Chinese Bandit history
articles...if not, then please do...we are still trying to locate some
of our men...Grimes, Tyler, Stevens and others. The Chinese Bandit
homepage was developed primarily to assist in locating our 'missing'
Chinese Bandits and their families.

Jer
!Jones
2007-07-10 15:24:51 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 09 Jul 2007 18:18:41 -0700, in alt.war.vietnam Chinese Bandit
Post by Chinese Bandit 13
pushups in the rain for singing "MRC-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E,
mrckey mouse..." outside the 'cabins' at Dahlonega...
My issue with the "Mickey Mouse Club March" is that it has a
syncopated beat... you don't end up on the same foot from verse to
verse.

... high, HIGH, *HIGH*... ends on the left foot, causing the following
verse to start on a right beat unless you remember to pause one beat
and most cadence callers don't.

Jones
Mac the Kid (aka Mac from Texas)
2007-07-10 21:32:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chinese Bandit 13
The Ranger Class number is not depicted on the diploma hanging in my
den...but I remember it to be Class 502...the Ranger department has
the class numbers and class photos online (or did so several years
ago). I do not recall any run routes or many details of the Benning
Phase ...I do remember some of the more colorful moments...crawling
out to the Ranger tab and dropping into the lake (I had wanted to do
that for many years prior to going to Ranger school)...I enjoyed the
Mountain and Florida phases more and have more memories of those
experiences...pushups in the rain for singing "MRC-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E,
mrckey mouse..." outside the 'cabins' at Dahlonega...
I had wanted to attend Ranger school since my early childhood...my
father was a career officer (enlisted Private to 1SGT in
WWII...Africa, Sicily, Anzio, then up Italy to the Alps...has multiple
purple hearts, including three German MG-42 bullets in his back...was
battlefield commissioned in Italy...trained in Ireland with the
British Commandos prior to Anzio...later fought and wounded in Korea
(large artillery fragment in his leg) then served with JUSMAG
(Thailand...with TDY assignments to Laos and S Vietnam)...many of the
WWII Rangers were from the Africa campaign combat infantry units...I
grew up expecting to be a Ranger.
I met several Special Forces officers while in Bangkok when my father
was with JUSMAG and had met Lauri Torni, a well respected SF officer,
earlier at Bad Tolz and was able to go mountaining walking/climbing
with him and others...those persons inspired my interest in Special
Forces. Frenchy Therault was one of my senior SF Weapons
instructors. I met many great officers and NCOs during my childhood
and in the period immediately prior to the build up in SE Asia.
Ft Wolters ("orange hat" Bobcat Flite) for Primary Flight, then Ft
Rucker for instruments and tactics including NOE...I still fly and own
N94K.
How about yourself? Since you are familiar with the Ranger and
aviation terms, I am assumming you are also a graduate of the Ranger
and Aviator courses.
Did you attend the 101st Recondo school? My number is 1919. We
graduated 13 persons with the Recondo Brand in my class...I had been
prepared by several of the Recon NCO's (Ranger qualified...Recon 1st
Bn (ABN) 502d Inf) prior to attending...I would not have graduated
without their 'training'.
Hopefully, you have followed the links to the Chinese Bandit history
articles...if not, then please do...we are still trying to locate some
of our men...Grimes, Tyler, Stevens and others. The Chinese Bandit
homepage was developed primarily to assist in locating our 'missing'
Chinese Bandits and their families.
Jer
Mac the Kid (aka Mac from Texas)
2007-07-10 21:32:31 UTC
Permalink
reposted after a previous brain phart
Post by Chinese Bandit 13
The Ranger Class number is not depicted on the diploma hanging in my
den...but I remember it to be Class 502...the Ranger department has
the class numbers and class photos online (or did so several years
ago). I do not recall any run routes or many details of the Benning
Phase ...I do remember some of the more colorful moments...crawling
out to the Ranger tab and dropping into the lake (I had wanted to do
that for many years prior to going to Ranger school)...I enjoyed the
Mountain and Florida phases more and have more memories of those
experiences...pushups in the rain for singing "MRC-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E,
mrckey mouse..." outside the 'cabins' at Dahlonega...
I had wanted to attend Ranger school since my early childhood...my
father was a career officer (enlisted Private to 1SGT in
WWII...Africa, Sicily, Anzio, then up Italy to the Alps...has multiple
purple hearts, including three German MG-42 bullets in his back...was
battlefield commissioned in Italy...trained in Ireland with the
British Commandos prior to Anzio...later fought and wounded in Korea
(large artillery fragment in his leg) then served with JUSMAG
(Thailand...with TDY assignments to Laos and S Vietnam)...many of the
WWII Rangers were from the Africa campaign combat infantry units...I
grew up expecting to be a Ranger.
I met several Special Forces officers while in Bangkok when my father
was with JUSMAG and had met Lauri Torni, a well respected SF officer,
earlier at Bad Tolz and was able to go mountaining walking/climbing
with him and others...those persons inspired my interest in Special
Forces. Frenchy Therault was one of my senior SF Weapons
instructors. I met many great officers and NCOs during my childhood
and in the period immediately prior to the build up in SE Asia.
Ft Wolters ("orange hat" Bobcat Flite) for Primary Flight, then Ft
Rucker for instruments and tactics including NOE...I still fly and own
N94K.
How about yourself? Since you are familiar with the Ranger and
aviation terms, I am assumming you are also a graduate of the Ranger
and Aviator courses.
Did you attend the 101st Recondo school? My number is 1919. We
graduated 13 persons with the Recondo Brand in my class...I had been
prepared by several of the Recon NCO's (Ranger qualified...Recon 1st
Bn (ABN) 502d Inf) prior to attending...I would not have graduated
without their 'training'.
Hopefully, you have followed the links to the Chinese Bandit history
articles...if not, then please do...we are still trying to locate some
of our men...Grimes, Tyler, Stevens and others. The Chinese Bandit
homepage was developed primarily to assist in locating our 'missing'
Chinese Bandits and their families.
Jer
just trying to follow the time lines I was in m/w radio when I was active
Army and that was my initial job in RVN I live down the road sorta from
Wolters or whats left of it I spent time in in CH47s as CE and FE was
part of an early griup scheduled to support POW and remains recovery based
in Thailand got a number of Ranger pals who might be interested in the CB
site <G> I was at the old CCC camp outside ol Kontum City early '72
supporting cross the fence ops around the tri-border area....you might dig
thru SF sites for some of your Ranger buds...you a member of SOA? that
could be a good resource
Chinese Bandit 13
2007-07-10 23:59:39 UTC
Permalink
SPRING 1966 LONG RANGE RECONNAISSANCE PATROL (LRRP) by RANGER Jerry
Conners (Chinese Bandit 13)

A Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol was formed from members of the 1st
Bn (ABN) 8th Cav Recon platoon and attached to division headquarters
in the spring of 1966 as directed by the Department of Defense where
seven LRRP teams from the US Army Special Forces, US Marine Corps,
Navy and other Army units were established to conduct simultaneous
patrols within the Republic of Vietnam.

The Chinese Bandit six man team members were SSG Robert Grimes
(Acting Platoon Leader of the Recon Platoon), SGT Jerry Conners,
Keijo Hyvonen, Frank Bishop, Louis Tyler, and Terry Stevens. The
first long range patrol was conducted along a 75 mile route adjacent
to the Cambodian and Laotian borders for a period of twelve days and
was performed while the other DOD directed teams performed LRRP
patrols in other portions of Vietnam. The major objective of the
patrol was to locate North Vietnamese positions that had been
reported along the border and to obtain specific essential elements
of information that included descriptions of the enemy's uniforms,
weapons, communication and other equipment and the presence of any
Caucasian personnel.

We wore a mixture of uniforms including standard issue jungle
fatigues, WWII vintage M42 jungle camouflage fatigues and 'tiger
fatigues'. All members wore patrol caps, LBE with two canteens, two
ammo pouches containing four magazines each, one butt pack and
carried M-16 rifles (taped with slings removed) with bayonets. Two
members of the patrol also wore NVA captured rucksacks. Only one 35mm
camera and two sets of binoculars and one small IR device were
carried. The first LRRP rations were issued and each member carried
six after removing the outer package and discarding everything except
the main dehydrated meal. We intended to only eat one meal every
other day and our diet was supplemented by a variety of foods
including `jungle chocolate candy bars'. Only one PRC-25 radio was
carried; however, a vertical half-rhombic antenna was assembled in
addition to the two other standard antennas. Only one SOI was carried
and used to prepare the coded daily reports what were transmitted. No
fragmentation grenades were carried and only two smoke grenades, one
by both Grimes and myself. I carried the only signal mirror and a
single VS17 air panel to assist in any emergency extraction. Several
of us wore the 101st Recondo School taped soap dish containing
sutures, morphine and other emergency medical items secured to our
LBE harness. All members of the patrol had a wound piece of `550
chord' secured to our harness with a 2000 pound tensile strength snap
link.

SSG Grimes and I drove a jeep to Division G-2 where captured NVA
equipment was stacked in front of the entrance. We were given a
briefing that included descriptions of the area we were to patrol and
the locations of suspected NVA regimental CPs. We were instructed to
recommend and plot our routes and request for pre-arranged fire
support after Grimes completed his low aerial reconnaissance of the
area in an OH-13. Grimes and I returned to the Battalion area and
tentatively selected the routes and observation points from the
supplied topographic maps and aerial photographs. We gave the LRRP
patrol members a warning order prior to Grimes performing the
reconnaissance flight. Upon his return we discussed what he had
observed and updated our information on the area but did not alter
our intended routes. The entire patrol participated in the
preparation of the operations order that was later given by SSG
Grimes. There were no rehearsals performed and the time prior to
departure was spent studying maps and checking equipment.

We were inserted about two hours before nightfall using one UH-1 that
made only one descent and hover for unloading located near an active
and believed to be safe farming area located about 2.5 km east of the
area where we would be operating. The actual LZ was located north of
the area at coordinates 48PYA554597 and this area had been evaluated
for enemy activity during Grimes' observation flight and by the low
level photo reconnnaissance performed by the Air Force. No enemy
contact was anticipated and none were encountered. We moved rapidly
into the tree-covered mountains at the southern limit of the patrol
area and proceeded northward along the border and through the night
to our first observation and study area (hilltop 847) and arrived
prior to BMAT. We had previously conducted numerous three day
patrols, including those along the Cambodia border, where we had
located and cleared a NVA Regimental CP and hospital; however the
terrain had not been as steep but our navigation skills and physical
conditioning enabled us to move quickly.

Movement, consisting of rapidly walking (routinely 3 km/hour)point to
point routes for approximately 18 hours, was intended to be limited
to late evening and night navigation with daily situation reports
made in the early morning to airborne Air Force aircraft from
positions selected on mountain tops that afforded the opportunity to
observe long distances. Rising smoke from what was believed to be
cooking fires was plotted on the topographic maps that we carried;
however, the planned patrol route was not altered and these sightings
were not evaluated from close range. We remained on well-worn and
narrow trails during most of the movements between observation
points. We did not expect the enemy to establish ambush sites or set
out mines and booby traps in these areas that were believed to be
only occupied by NVA troops. On several occasions we discovered enemy
boot prints at stream and trail junctions but not along the trail
routes that we were following. We wore issued jungle boots and
altered our routes to avoid trails having damp and soft surfaces
where our boots would have made an impression in the soil. This was
difficult to achieve during night movement but when I checked our
trail when doubling back during temporary halts, we managed to do
well at leaving no signs of our passing.

After about a week of patrolling, an emergency extraction was
necessary when Tyler became unconscious with a malaria fever. At the
risk of compromising our location, we requested a single UH-1 to a
small tree lined hilltop where we used a rope hoist secured to
Tyler's snap link to lift him from a large rock outcropping to the
skids of the hovering helicopter where the crew were able to grab and
lift him onboard. After the aircraft departed, we moved quickly along
a narrow trail down to a valley and up to another mountain ridge
where we `lay-dogged' until nightfall and then resumed our patrol as
planned.

We were able to zig-sag along our planned routes and complete the
daily observation reports from the pre-selected observation points.
Close enemy observation was only made on the last day of the patrol
where we were to be extracted by two UH-1s from an area located in
the northern limits of the patrol area. Eight NVA were found
gathering firewood with their rifles leaning against one tree. That
encounter will be described in a separate writing.

We were extracted by two UH-1s from a LZ that we had occupied for
the entire morning. The areas and trails leading into the LZ were
reconned by different team members and we were certain that no enemy
troops were within several miles of the LZ. The UH-1s arrived mid-day
and on time and we dove aboard the helicopters and returned to base
camp where we requested and were given ice cream, milk and different
meals while we prepared our combined de-briefing report that was
given by Grimes to G-2 and other division staff late that afternoon.
No other LRRP members accompanied him. When he returned, he informed
us that everyone was surprised that we had not become lost since the
other six teams had more difficulty navigating. When he and I were
alone, he asked, "Would you like to dye your skin brown, put on black
pajamas and parachute into North Vietnam?" "We have a chance to be
the first `Sting-Ray' team.

Reference locating Chinese Bandits...I have solicited assistance from
every vet group but our success in locating Chinese Bandits has
occurred only when persons have located our Chinese Bandit homepage.

However, I appreciate the efforts of those that have tried.

Jer
i2p6 west
2007-07-11 03:16:47 UTC
Permalink
How glorious. Who won the war?
Post by Chinese Bandit 13
SPRING 1966 LONG RANGE RECONNAISSANCE PATROL (LRRP) by RANGER Jerry
Conners (Chinese Bandit 13)
A Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol was formed from members of the 1st
Bn (ABN) 8th Cav Recon platoon and attached to division headquarters
in the spring of 1966 as directed by the Department of Defense where
seven LRRP teams from the US Army Special Forces, US Marine Corps,
Navy and other Army units were established to conduct simultaneous
patrols within the Republic of Vietnam.
The Chinese Bandit six man team members were SSG Robert Grimes
(Acting Platoon Leader of the Recon Platoon), SGT Jerry Conners,
Keijo Hyvonen, Frank Bishop, Louis Tyler, and Terry Stevens. The
first long range patrol was conducted along a 75 mile route adjacent
to the Cambodian and Laotian borders for a period of twelve days and
was performed while the other DOD directed teams performed LRRP
patrols in other portions of Vietnam. The major objective of the
patrol was to locate North Vietnamese positions that had been
reported along the border and to obtain specific essential elements
of information that included descriptions of the enemy's uniforms,
weapons, communication and other equipment and the presence of any
Caucasian personnel.
We wore a mixture of uniforms including standard issue jungle
fatigues, WWII vintage M42 jungle camouflage fatigues and 'tiger
fatigues'. All members wore patrol caps, LBE with two canteens, two
ammo pouches containing four magazines each, one butt pack and
carried M-16 rifles (taped with slings removed) with bayonets. Two
members of the patrol also wore NVA captured rucksacks. Only one 35mm
camera and two sets of binoculars and one small IR device were
carried. The first LRRP rations were issued and each member carried
six after removing the outer package and discarding everything except
the main dehydrated meal. We intended to only eat one meal every
other day and our diet was supplemented by a variety of foods
including `jungle chocolate candy bars'. Only one PRC-25 radio was
carried; however, a vertical half-rhombic antenna was assembled in
addition to the two other standard antennas. Only one SOI was carried
and used to prepare the coded daily reports what were transmitted. No
fragmentation grenades were carried and only two smoke grenades, one
by both Grimes and myself. I carried the only signal mirror and a
single VS17 air panel to assist in any emergency extraction. Several
of us wore the 101st Recondo School taped soap dish containing
sutures, morphine and other emergency medical items secured to our
LBE harness. All members of the patrol had a wound piece of `550
chord' secured to our harness with a 2000 pound tensile strength snap
link.
SSG Grimes and I drove a jeep to Division G-2 where captured NVA
equipment was stacked in front of the entrance. We were given a
briefing that included descriptions of the area we were to patrol and
the locations of suspected NVA regimental CPs. We were instructed to
recommend and plot our routes and request for pre-arranged fire
support after Grimes completed his low aerial reconnaissance of the
area in an OH-13. Grimes and I returned to the Battalion area and
tentatively selected the routes and observation points from the
supplied topographic maps and aerial photographs. We gave the LRRP
patrol members a warning order prior to Grimes performing the
reconnaissance flight. Upon his return we discussed what he had
observed and updated our information on the area but did not alter
our intended routes. The entire patrol participated in the
preparation of the operations order that was later given by SSG
Grimes. There were no rehearsals performed and the time prior to
departure was spent studying maps and checking equipment.
We were inserted about two hours before nightfall using one UH-1 that
made only one descent and hover for unloading located near an active
and believed to be safe farming area located about 2.5 km east of the
area where we would be operating. The actual LZ was located north of
the area at coordinates 48PYA554597 and this area had been evaluated
for enemy activity during Grimes' observation flight and by the low
level photo reconnnaissance performed by the Air Force. No enemy
contact was anticipated and none were encountered. We moved rapidly
into the tree-covered mountains at the southern limit of the patrol
area and proceeded northward along the border and through the night
to our first observation and study area (hilltop 847) and arrived
prior to BMAT. We had previously conducted numerous three day
patrols, including those along the Cambodia border, where we had
located and cleared a NVA Regimental CP and hospital; however the
terrain had not been as steep but our navigation skills and physical
conditioning enabled us to move quickly.
Movement, consisting of rapidly walking (routinely 3 km/hour)point to
point routes for approximately 18 hours, was intended to be limited
to late evening and night navigation with daily situation reports
made in the early morning to airborne Air Force aircraft from
positions selected on mountain tops that afforded the opportunity to
observe long distances. Rising smoke from what was believed to be
cooking fires was plotted on the topographic maps that we carried;
however, the planned patrol route was not altered and these sightings
were not evaluated from close range. We remained on well-worn and
narrow trails during most of the movements between observation
points. We did not expect the enemy to establish ambush sites or set
out mines and booby traps in these areas that were believed to be
only occupied by NVA troops. On several occasions we discovered enemy
boot prints at stream and trail junctions but not along the trail
routes that we were following. We wore issued jungle boots and
altered our routes to avoid trails having damp and soft surfaces
where our boots would have made an impression in the soil. This was
difficult to achieve during night movement but when I checked our
trail when doubling back during temporary halts, we managed to do
well at leaving no signs of our passing.
After about a week of patrolling, an emergency extraction was
necessary when Tyler became unconscious with a malaria fever. At the
risk of compromising our location, we requested a single UH-1 to a
small tree lined hilltop where we used a rope hoist secured to
Tyler's snap link to lift him from a large rock outcropping to the
skids of the hovering helicopter where the crew were able to grab and
lift him onboard. After the aircraft departed, we moved quickly along
a narrow trail down to a valley and up to another mountain ridge
where we `lay-dogged' until nightfall and then resumed our patrol as
planned.
We were able to zig-sag along our planned routes and complete the
daily observation reports from the pre-selected observation points.
Close enemy observation was only made on the last day of the patrol
where we were to be extracted by two UH-1s from an area located in
the northern limits of the patrol area. Eight NVA were found
gathering firewood with their rifles leaning against one tree. That
encounter will be described in a separate writing.
We were extracted by two UH-1s from a LZ that we had occupied for
the entire morning. The areas and trails leading into the LZ were
reconned by different team members and we were certain that no enemy
troops were within several miles of the LZ. The UH-1s arrived mid-day
and on time and we dove aboard the helicopters and returned to base
camp where we requested and were given ice cream, milk and different
meals while we prepared our combined de-briefing report that was
given by Grimes to G-2 and other division staff late that afternoon.
No other LRRP members accompanied him. When he returned, he informed
us that everyone was surprised that we had not become lost since the
other six teams had more difficulty navigating. When he and I were
alone, he asked, "Would you like to dye your skin brown, put on black
pajamas and parachute into North Vietnam?" "We have a chance to be
the first `Sting-Ray' team.
Reference locating Chinese Bandits...I have solicited assistance from
every vet group but our success in locating Chinese Bandits has
occurred only when persons have located our Chinese Bandit homepage.
However, I appreciate the efforts of those that have tried.
Jer
Chinese Bandit 13
2007-07-11 13:07:33 UTC
Permalink
Combat/Reconnaissance Patrol of the Recon 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav during
Operation Nathan Hale June 23, 1966

On July 19, 1966 the 2d Bn (ABN) 327th Inf, 101st Airborne Division
conducted air assaults northwest of Tuy Hoa in the vicinity of Trung
Luong Valley and encountered heavy resistance and casualties from
battles with the 66th, 95th and 18th Regiments of the North Vietnamese
Army 302d Division. B and C Companies of the 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav, 1st
Cav Division were inserted to reinforce the 2/327 Inf on June 20. B Co
1/8th Cav linked up with B Co 2/327 Inf in the morning on June 21 in
the vicinity of LZ Eagle. The two airborne battalions experienced
continuous attacks, including hand-to-hand combat, and inflicted heavy
losses on the two NVA attacking battalions. One wounded NVA company
commander was captured from the area in front of the rifle companies
and reported his unit had been annihilated and the other NVA units had
begun to withdraw on the evening of June 22d.

On June 22, Recon 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav (Chinese Bandits) were
extracted from reconnaissance operations being performed in Kontum
Province and airlifted to Tuy Hoa airport and placed under the
operational control of the 1st Bn 9th Cav, 1st Cav Division. At 0530,
23 June, the Chinese Bandits Recon Platoon and one Recon Platoon of
the 1/9th Cav were inserted into separate landing zones southwest of
LZ Eagle to regain contact with the one of the withdrawing NVA forces.
The sun was shining and the weather dry and combat engagement was
anticipated so the ranger patrol caps were stowed and helmets donned
as the Bandits approached and then exited the helicopters on the tree
lined hilltop LZ. Both landing zones were located adjacent to wide, ox
cart size, trails that led to the higher hilltops where several
hundred of the NVA 66th Regiment were believed to be occupying. The
Bandit LZ was located along the ridgeline approaching the expected
enemy position and the 1/9th Recon LZ was located further downhill in
a draw on the Bandit's left flank.

The Bandits moved along the ridgeline trail and at mid-morning, point
man PFC Raymond Carley observed a NVA size squad moving towards them
and away from the 1/9th Recon Platoon that was proceeding along the
lower trail towards the intersection of both trails. Carley and three
others moved into a position ahead in the vicinity of coordinates CQ
958626 where they were able to kill three of the fleeing NVA before
the remaining NVA, wearing khaki uniforms and some tan helmets,
retreated further uphill.

The Bandits continued up hill along the trail with Carley now opting
to carry the new AK47 that he had removed from one of the NVA and
having given his own M16 and ammunition to the medic assigned to
Recon. Anticipating a main NVA force to be occupying the intersection
of the trails being used by the Bandits and the 1/9th Recon Platoon,
the 25 man Chinese Bandit force advanced slowly along both sides of
the trail while listening to the voices and sounds of the NVA
preparing positions along the ridgeline ahead. Carley continued uphill
ahead of the other Bandits until he located the first enemy positions
and machinegun along the left side of the trail where the Bandits
began to move into combat positions amongst the small and sparsely
treed locations below the NVA. A second machinegun position was
located on the right side of the trail and moments later a third NVA
machinegun opened fire and the Bandits exchanged small arms fire
(rifle, machinegun, and grenades) for several minutes as they
attempted to advance and attack the NVA force.

Operating without orders, SP/4 Frank Spickler, team leader of the 3d
Scout Squad, immediately ran forward to assist Carley and those
engaging the most concentrated NVA force located in the vicinity of
coordinates CQ 962618 where he observed Carley laying along the trail
about 30 feet in front of the nearest NVA position. Carley had been
shot several times and although alive, he was unable to crawl clear of
the withering fire. Spickler moved closer and avoided detection by the
NVA until he attempted to cross the trail and pull Carley to safety.
Heavy enemy fire prevented Spickler from advancing and he withdrew a
short distance to obtain the assistance of other Bandits located near
him. Spickler positioned one of the scouts in a location where the
scout could provide suppressing fire during his effort to move Carley.
Leaving his rifle with the other Bandits, Spickler again moved into
position near Carley, he dashed towards him, dropping to a low craw
when the NVA fired on him and then rolling near Carley, he was able to
hoist Carley on his back and quickly dragged him towards the side of
the trail. During this attempt, Spickler felt the impact of bullets
entering Carley. Once clear of the most intense fire, Spickler carried
Carley to the medic who was already treating several, but less wounded
Bandits.

During his second attempt to retrieve Carley, Spickler had located SGT
James Lester lying less than ten feet from where Carley had been
laying. Again acting without orders, Spickler returned to the area in
front of the enemy's position where he low crawled under fire and
dragged the much heavier Lester clear of direct enemy fire.

The Recon Platoon of the 1/9th Cav had quickly advanced along the wide
trail located in the draw and came alongside the left flank of the
Chinese Bandits, where both Recon Platoons unsuccessfully attempted a
coordinated attack in an effort to over run the NVA positions located
near the intersection of both trails.

MSG Johnson, acting platoon leader of the Chinese Bandits, directed
Spickler to move forward to a position between the lead scouts and the
NVA and mark the position with smoke grenades. All available indirect
fire mortars and artillery were positioned to support the other
elements of the 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav and the 2d Bn (ABN) 327th Inf and
only ARA equipped gunships were able to provide supporting fires.
Spickler remained in position, marking the enemy lines while the
gunships continually attacked the NVA located in front of the two
Recon Platoons and on the higher hilltops for about thirty minutes.
One gunship pass was made 'danger close' resulting in a 2.75-inch FF
aerial rocket exploding and injury several Bandits, including SSG
Robert Grimes, the 1st Scout Squad Leader and acting Platoon Sergeant.

The NVA withdrew further uphill allowing the two Recon Platoons to
carry their killed and wounded scouts along the side of the lower
trail that had been used by the Recon Platoon of the 1/9th Cav.
However, as darkness fell, another large NVA force resumed the attack
and pursued the wounded men of both Recon Platoons as they made their
way towards the LZ designated for extraction. Small firefights
occurred throughout the night resulting in further Bandits being
wounded. Approaching the LZ that was secured by other troops from the
3d Brigade, 1st Cav Division, in the early morning light, medivac
helicopters arrived and both Recon Platoons were airlifted to a field
medical station that had been located along Highway One. The bodies of
Chinese Bandits PFC Raymond Carley and Sergeants James Lester and
Honorio Ramirez and the other many wounded Bandits were left with the
medics, doctors and nurses. The remaining Chinese Bandits rejoined the
1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav and commenced patrolling in the area SW of LZ
Eagle on June 26, 1966.

This description of the actions taken by Carley and Spickler is only
one of the many efforts made by the scouts of both Recon Platoons and
warrant being written in recognition of those that fought that day on
June 23, 1966. Efforts are underway to post the other detailed
descriptions of those engagements on the Chinese Bandit LRRP Team
Recon 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav homepage.

Raymond Carley [ http://thewall-usa.com/guest.asp?recid=7869 ], our
youngest Chinese Bandit, is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
in San Diego County, California; Frank Spickler was awarded the Bronze
Star with V Device (something that remains a source of irritation
after forty years...it was initially discussed that he was to be given
the Distinguished Service Cross); and Recon 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav was
awarded its SECOND Presidential Unit Citation for valor. 101st Recondo
Spickler was later shot in the lung while serving as the Platoon
Sergeant of the 3d Platoon, C Company, 2d Bn (ABN) 501st Infantry,
101st Airborne Division and unable to remain on jump status and left
the military in 1970.

The 1965-66 Chinese Bandits were to remain a fighting airborne Recon
Platoon with its LRRP Team performing extended long range
reconnaissance operations along the borders of Laos and Cambodia until
November 1966 when they were disbanded having lost most of its
original NCOs and scouts.

Extracted from written statement made by Duke Barrett and interviews
with Frank Spickler and others serving with the Recon 1st Bn (ABN) 8th
Cav on June 23, 1966; and the official after action reports of the 1st
Bn (ABN) 8th Cav, and 2d Bn (ABN) 327th Infantry.

Historical footnote: Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 - September 22, 1776)
was a captain in the Continental Army during the American
Revolutionary War. Hale is best remembered for his "I only regret
that I have but one life to lose for my country" speech before being
hung following the Battle of Long Island. An account of his capture
was written by Consider Tiffany, a British Loyalist, and obtained by
the Library of Congress. In Tiffany's account, Major Robert Rogers of
the Queens Rangers ("Rogers Rangers") was the individual responsible
for his capture and personally apprehended him. More information can
be obtained reference Nathan Hale's capture in the Library of Congress
Information Bulletin-July-August 2003 on line at http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0307-8/hale.html
!Jones
2007-07-10 15:17:14 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 19:33:22 -0700, in alt.war.vietnam Chinese Bandit
Post by Chinese Bandit 13
RANGER Jerry Conners
Master Parachutist, Special Forces Weapons Expert, 101st RECONDO, Army
Aviator
Chinese Bandit 13
Are you also a "ballistican", by any chance?

Jones
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