Monthly Archives: August, 2014

2nd Amendment

US Flag and Constitution of the United States of AmericaConstitution Lesson #2 – I feel that there is no room for interpretation on this. The reason this amendment was put in the Constitution was so that the people would be equally armed and capable of throwing off the shackles of a tyrannical government if it ever came to that again. For those that argue that we do not need firearms available, try using an M-16 A2 against a Tank. We are already out gunned and the underdog. If you have any opinion that there should be more gun control and bans than there already are, then you probably do not belong in America. It is very cut and dry. Read, study, discuss, and ask questions.

SECOND AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Shall not be infringed. So it’s stops there. It’s unconstitutional to even have to get a firearm ID card, permits, and registration for the firearm

Shall not be infringed! Enough said!

So with ‘them’ wanting to twist in laws of regulations on our purchases, do we stick solely to gun shows and private sales for guns and ammo? I mean, that would be the best option right?

As of right now, that does seem like the best option for many. Again, it is the same as the First Amendment; it really depends on what state you live in anymore.  The more the government knows about you, the more they can use against you. No sense in giving them more intelligence that isn’t necessary. I could understand why someone would not want “them” knowing you purchased a firearm.

I still can’t get over the fact that when this was written other than a few cannon some may have had the use of that the actual arms were exactly the same yet some ill informed people think that we should only have muskets. This document is not frozen in time it evolves with the world. If the first amendment covers current communication why can’t they see the second covers current arms?

We have guns registered by state. The others were private sale. But now I even wonder about the ammo I just bought last week at a store. I mean, what else have ‘they’ been monitoring besides our emails and phone calls? Start making your own ammo. Reloading is a useful skill to take up.

Some of the liberals have their heads buried so far up their butt that they actually think the 2nd amendment was created for hunting and recreation.

“Shall not be infringed” says it all. But it also talks about a well regulated militia. And I think that’s a very important part. Together we are stronger.

The discipline and regulation of said militia is important so that you do not have a bunch of disorganized idiots running around trying to play Rambo.

“A well regulated militia…” The army national guard? Or private militias? Which would that apply to?

Private. Thought so. I thought that was private such as the minutemen.

Private; meaning the individual citizen, meaning all of us who individually elect to do so.

Wouldn’t it stand for both as a militia consists of 2 parts, organized (state guards) and unorganized (private militias consisting of every able bodied citizen)?

Having a firearm is not about fighting police or government agents. Having a firearm represents that you are prepared for the absolute worst, heaven forbid. Nobody thinks they are going to stop tanks with an AR. The original purposes of the rifle were for competition shooting, and varmint hunting. I think blaming responsible gun owners is absolute nonsense. I don’t know a single gun owner who would willingly supply arms to a criminal or felon, for any amount. The very nature of half of the gun control arguments derive from fear and ignorance of a craft, hobby and a divine right. Not divine from God, but from Nature. You have the right to defend yourself, and we all know there are awful excuses for human beings on this planet. Every time I turn the news on, or log into Facebook, a girl got raped, a couple got murdered, and we’re on the brink of another war. Enough already. Stop demonizing good, law abiding people. We get it. Stop hurting the working class, and stop demonizing innocent people.

It encourages all citizens to be soldiers so to speak. Well armed to defend freedom, more on a domestic level.

It is so cut and dry that the only point that was possibly discussable was the private militia, and that was short lived. It’s simple and profound.

As is the whole Constitution. It is on two pages for the Constitution and one page for the Declaration of Independence so that it would be short, to the point, and easily interpreted. Very different from today’s legislative/Congressional bills.

A private militia can be commanded by an ex or retired Officer of the US Armed Forces.

Go and by a fresh replica today of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights today. Look at them, and be amazed by the fact they were only 2 pieces of parchment!

Simple yet priceless words.

Militias are perfectly legal. They have to be known to the government, but they are legal. There are many, and at least one in every state.

That is if you want to do it the law way, which is a good idea, or they can shut you down in a hurry, technically.

Many people I know of are part of the state militia but also do “activities” in smaller groups. Squad size, if you will.

The bad thing is that the left wing media has painted a bad picture for militias even though they have not been in a terrorist attack.

Here’s the thing with the militia. You run around calling yourself a MILITIA, and people automatically think NUT JOB. We don’t need this. Instead of running around like idiots, in surplus army gear, just practice shooting with your buddies at a range. The left wing media make militias look like neo Nazi and crazy hillbillies.

Shall not be infringed . . . there is nothing more to be said . . . no one has the authority to take away something God has given.

This is the sad part . . . how can someone paint something as “terroristic” that is perfectly legal according to the United States Constitution?

People pin Patriots in a bad light to convince the weak that “Patriots” are bad and the government is justified for taking our rights away.

The only good thing about the Left is that they make themselves look like total idiots multiple times on a daily basis. What people forget is that liberal sentiment resides on the coasts, but inland, central, northern, and southern parts of the United States are a different world. This is still a 50/50 fight at the least. Sure, liberals control the media, but we are fixing that. Gun owners, both Red and Blue States, are telling the current regime no way their gun control agenda will work and it is falling apart.

“Shall not be fringed upon”. Enough said!

The Second Amendment says ‘the right of the people’, it does not say it is a privilege; and that RIGHT SHALL NOT be infringed. We know that felons are not allowed firearms. It does not pertain to misdemeanercrime too. My question is this. Are the rights of those felons regardless if it’s a violent crime or not, are their rights being infringed upon? I’ve heard said that gun ownership is a privilege not a right. That rights can’t be taken but privilege can. I do know of rights that are trampled on every day. I wonder also if background checks then infringe. The point of a background check would be for them to prepare to infringe.

Insulting Militia is not going to get us anywhere when many people on here are in and support militias. It is a right protected by the Constitution to form militias. I agree that it needs to be organized, but as was stated by the boss earlier, in fighting isn’t going to be tolerated.

But you don’t just have to be a felon domestic dispute will get them taken as well regardless. Form a hunting club, or a marksmanship team. Network with police officers, and sheriff’s deputies whenever possible. Get in good with your neighbors. Practice your sport. Get proficient. This should be your new craft or hobby on the same level of “Bowling, Softball, Volleyball, Flag Football,” or whatever you used to occupy your time with.

When the law was written, most felons would have seen the gallows. No reason to restrict their firearm ownership. Take their lives. They don’t sit on death row clogging up the legal system with endless appeals. Background checks, waiting periods and limits on types and modifications are ALL ways of infringing on our God-given right to protect ourselves from a government that’s gotten too big for its breeches. I’m a firm believer that if you can afford to buy a weapon that’s very much a military weapon, like an M134 Dillon Minigun or an M1 Abrams tank and it’s various ammunition and armament, you should be allowed to.

Host shooting competitions. For the love of god, Develop Rifle Competency!

The first ‘assault rife’- the lever-action repeating rifle, was immediately available to any civilian that had the money to purchase one . . . of course when the second amendment was penned private citizens owned cannon, mortars and naval warships, there was no discussion at that time about limiting possession of ‘arms’ based on their type . . . if you had the money you could own whatever you wanted we’ve gotten very far away from what was intended when the amendment was written . . . for the most part because the elected elite are scarred to death that WE THE PEOPLE might actually remember why that right is enumerated and might actually exercise it in for its intended purpose . . .

THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE . . . Shall NOT BE INFRINGED . . . In Simple English . . . Any Questions?

Whoever controls the money and the weapons, has the power . . . That’s what they want . . . And the social media and news media promote it . . . They hope we are too busy playing and not watching . . . .

This amendment is so simple, it raises too many questions. No wonder it’s so difficult for a liberal to understand.

It is well put. It is difficult to have a discussion with people that an automatic firearm should be legal.

“Shall not be infringed ” doesn’t get any more clear than that!!!

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Have We Forgotten Our Heroes? Chapter 11

JamesAMulliganJames Alfred Mulligan, Jr.
Captain O-6, U.S. Navy
Veteran of:
US Navy 1944-1949, 1950-1952, 1956-1975
US Naval Reserve 1949-1950, 1953-1956
World War II 1944-1945
Cold War 1945-1975
Bay of Pigs Invasion 1961
Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
Vietnam War 1965-1973 (POW)

James A. Mulligan, Jr. was born in 27 March 1926 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Naval Aviation Cadet V-5 Program on February 6, 1944, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and designated a Naval Aviator on August 16, 1947.

After completing transition training in the AD Skyraider, ENS Mulligan served as an AD-3 and AD-4 Skyraider pilot with VA-8A and VA-75 at NAS Oceana, Virginia, from April 1948 to November 1949, followed by service in the Naval Reserve with VF-913 at Squantum, Massachusetts, from November 1949 until he was reactivated in July 1950.

He then served as an AD-3W pilot with VC-12 at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, from August 1950 until leaving active duty in August 1952. LTJG Mulligan re-joined the Naval Reserve in January 1953, serving with VF-917 at South Weymouth, Massachusetts, until returning to active duty in January 1956.

LCDR Mulligan next served as a flight instructor at NAS Pensacola, Florida, from January 1956 to January 1959, followed by service as an A4D Skyhawk ph0001001rflight instructor with VF-21 and VA-43, the A4D Replacement Air Group, at NAS Oceana, Virginia, from January 1959 to November 1960. His next assignment was as an A-4 pilot and Operations Officer with VA-72 at NAS Oceana from November 1960 to December 1962, and then as a staff officer on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon from January 1963 to July 1964.

CDR Mulligan attended Armed Forces Staff College from July 1964 to January 1965, and then was Executive Officer of VA-36 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) deployed to Southeast Asia from January 1965 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on March 20, 1966. He was to have become Commanding Officer of the Squadron on April 1 1966.

When talking about his experiences in North Vietnam, CPT Mulligan states:

I was Executive Officer of VA-36 on board USS Enterprise and scheduled to become Commanding Officer on 1 April 1966 but I was shot down near Vinh in North Vietnam on 20 March 1966. I had flown more than 80 missions over North Vietnam when my A4 was shot down. I was injured on ejection, receiving a broken shoulder and cracked ribs.

My prison itinerary was as follows:  Hanoi Hilton (Heartbreak Hotel and New Guy Village) from 27 March to 23 April 1966; the Zoo from 23 April 1966 to 26 January 1967; Las Vegas from 26 January 1967 to 25 October 1967; Alcatraz from 25 October 1967 to 9 December 1969; Las Vegas from 9 December 1969 to 25 December 1970; Camp Unity (or “No OK Corral”) 25 December 1970 to 12 February 1973. I was in solitary confinement for 42 3/4 months.

I spent more than 30 months in leg irons. I was the senior officer on the 3rd plane out of Hanoi in the first release on February 12, 1973. I was lucky enough to be the 1st POW cleared for release from Clark Air Force Base to the States on February 14, 1973. I was awarded 2 Silver Stars, 8 Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and 2 Purple Hearts, as well as the POW medal.

mulligan02After captivity I earned my MBA degree in Public Administration. In 1975 after 31 1/2 years of service, I retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. (01 August 1975)

He has written a book regarding his time in Vietnam entitled, “The Hanoi Connection.” James and his wife Louise have 6 sons, (Jim, Kevin, Terry, Mark, Sean and Neil) and 17 grandchildren. James had a personal note on his update — “I share 6 POW grandchildren with Sam Johnson via his daughter Gini and my son Jim.”

His 2nd Silver Star Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam – In January 1969, his captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attacking international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.

Information contained in this article has been gleaned from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, published sources, interviews, and oral history.

Have We Forgotten Our Heroes? Chapter 13

81211921_138143219640 StorzName: Ronald Edward Storz
Branch/Rank: United States Air Force/O3
Date of Birth: 21 October 1933
Home City of Record: SOUTH OZONE PARK NY
Date of Loss: 28 April 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War/Died in Captivity
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: O1A

The following is QUOTED directly from THE PASSING OF THE NIGHT, by Brigadier Gen Robinson Risner, Copyright 1973, Ballantine Books. Pages 63 – 71.

“One day they replaced Shumaker with Air Force Captain Ron Storz.  I tapped on the wall to him, got his name, and so forth.  He said that up until this move, he had been living with Captain Scotty Morgan.  “I leaned on the door and broke the lock.  Now I am over here alone being punished.” Ron told me he had been shot down in an L 1 9, one of those little planes called grasshoppers.  Since he, as a forward air controller, normally worked with Vietnamese ground forces, he would carry a Vietnamese officer in the back seat.  His mission was to circle and spot enemy positions or helps the artillery batteries adjust for accuracy. “One afternoon I decided to go up and buzz around by myself.  I was just looking the area over, and I circled real close to the Ben Hi River.  I knew that was the seventeenth parallel, but I didn’t mean to get over the river. When I did, a Vietnamese gun got me, and tries as I might, I could not keep from crashing on the north side.  I thought they were going to kill me when I got out of the airplane.  They made me get down on my knees.  One of the officers took my gun, cocked it and put it against my head.  I figured I was a goner.” He had been in prison for some time and really wanted to talk.  I could hear him moving around in the other cell.  He hollered out the back vent as Bob before him had done, but I could never understand him.  We tapped on the wall, but it was too slow and unsatisfactory.

There were a lot of things we wanted to tell each other.  Finally he asked, by tapping, “Have you tried boring a hole through the wall yet?” I told him I had tried several places but could not get through.  “Each time I try, I hit a brick after I’ve gone in maybe eight to twelve inches.” I had several partial holes; in fact, the wall looked like a piece of Swiss cheese. “Well, I’ll try, too.” Pretty soon I heard some scraping and grinding.  By that afternoon he was through. His hands were blistered, but he had made it.  That gave me some incentive to try to go through the other wall.  I really went to work, and I punched through there, too.  We passed our tools through and let them work in the next room.  In a few days, every room was connected up and down the hall.

Once we got the holes bored through, Ron said, “I’m really down in the mouth.” I asked what the matter was.  “Well, just the fact that I have nothing.  They have taken everything away from me. They took my shoes, my flying suit, and everything I possessed.  They even took my glasses.  I don’t have a single thing.  They took everything.” Ron had indicated to me that he planned to become a minister when he got back to America. Consequently we talked about religion quite a bit, as all of us did.  When he said he was depressed because they had taken everything, I told him, “Ron, I don’t think we really have lost everything.” “What do you mean?” “According to the Bible, we are sons of God.  Everything out there in the courtyard, all the buildings and the whole shooting match belong to God. Since we are children of God, you might say that all belongs to us, too.” There was a long pause.  “Let me think about it, and I’ll call you back.” After a while he called back, “I really feel a lot better.  In fact, every time I get to thinking about it, I have to laugh.” “What do you mean?” “I am just loaning it to them.” I will never forget the day he called me and told me, “They’re trying to make me come to attention for the guards and I will not do it.  What do you think I ought to do?” “What do they do?” “They cut my legs with a bayonet, trying to make me put my feet together.  I am just not going to do it.” I knew he meant it.  He was an extremely strong man.  I thought about it for a while, then I called back, “Ron, I’m afraid we don’t have the power to combat them by physical force.  I believe I would reconsider.  Then, if we decide differently, we all should resist simultaneously.  With only you resisting while everybody else is doing it means you are bound to lose.” He said, “Okay.” I knew, though, that if I had said, “Ron, hang tough! Refuse to snap to,” he would have done it without batting an eye.  He was just that kind of man and he proved it a short time later.

It happened after we had begun to set up a covert communications system throughout the Zoo.  By means of the holes in the walls, special hiding places in the latrine and other ways, we could pass a message through the entire camp within two days.  I had put out directives establishing committees and worked out a staff.  Certain people had been assigned specific jobs.  One man was heading up our communications section.  We had a committee working on escape.  And we kept a current list of all the POWs and their shoot-down date. I then decided to put out a bulletin.  It was not too large, but it contained directives, policies and suggestions.  Since Ron was next door to me, I dictated it to him, and he wrote it down.  Despite the Vietnamese’s denying us our dues as POWs, I still felt that we could outsmart them by using tactics such as these.  We had only been at the Zoo around four weeks; given time, I reasoned, we could begin to effect some changes. I could not have been more wrong. One day during this period, a guard came in and made me stand at attention with my back to the wall. In a few minutes the Dog came in with another Vietnamese in a white shirt. The Dog did not say who the civilian was, but he paid him a lot of deference.  Using the Dog as an interpreter, the civilian made a statement: “I understand you are also a Korean hero.” I was still standing braced against the Wall.  “That is military information and I cannot answer.  I can give you only my name, rank, serial number and date of birth.” When he heard the translation, the cords in his neck swelled up and he tamed red in the face. “We know how to handle your kind.  We are preparing for you now.” He turned and stomped out. The Dog came back in a little while.  He was either so scared or mad that he was still trembling “You have made the gravest mistake in your life.  You will really suffer for this.”

With that threat he left. A few days later a guard caught the men two cells above me talking through the hole in the wall to Ron.  He also found some written material.  Then he went into Ron’s room and caught him by surprise.  He took two pieces of written work Ron had prepared; one was a list of all the POW names, the other was one of the bulletins I had put out.  To make matters worse, Ron had put my real name on the newssheet instead of my code name, “Cochise.” While still in the cell, one of the guards began reading the two sheets.  Ron reached over, snatched one and ate it while holding them off with one hand.  Unfortunately he had grabbed the wrong one.  He ate the list of names which was not too important, but they kept the list of directives. They also found the hole in the wall.  This so excited them that they stepped out in the hall yelling for reinforcements. While they were out, Ron ran over to my wall and beat out an emergency signal to come to our hole in the wall. They searched and found everything. I ate the list of names, but they got the policies. Get rid of anything you don’t want them to find.” I told him to deny everything, and I would do the same.

He just had time enough to stuff the plug back in the hole when they came and took him away. I passed the warning down to the other two rooms and they began to clean house.  As fast as possible I began to try and dispose of anything incriminating.  The steel rods that we had been using to bore the holes in the walls I put under the floor through the grate.  I destroyed lots of paperwork, but the fat was in the fire.  A big shakedown was on.  One thing I had not destroyed was a sheet of toilet paper that had the Morse code on it.  I didn’t think it was any big deal or I would have gotten rid of it. This was one of the pieces of evidence they would use to accuse me of running a communications system.  The irony of it was that I actually was relearning the Morse code with the knowledge of my turnkey.  He had even written his name on it for me.

They put Ron in another room for three days and nights without anything at all – no food, water, bedding, blankets or mosquito net.  They just shoved him in and left him there.  He not only got cold, but the mosquitoes chewed on him all night. They took me before the camp commander for interrogation.  He had the piece of paper Ron had not been able to destroy and started reading the fourteen items it listed, such as: gather all string, nails and wire; save whatever soap or medicine you get; familiarize yourself with any possible escape routes; become acquainted with the guards, and in general follow the policy that “you can catch more flies with sugar than, with vinegar.” I denied the paper was mine.  “Storz has already admitted everything and said you were responsible.” I knew that was a lie.

They would have had to kill Ron before he did that.  He might admit to his having done it, but he would never say that somebody else had.  They, of course, told him the same thing and said that I had admitted everything, and all he had to do was confirm it. After making the usual number of threats, they took me back to a different room at the end of the building.  They left me a pencil and paper and told me to write out a confession that I had violated prison rules.  “If you do not, you will be severely punished.” The first thing I knew, I heard a tap. It was Ron Storz in the next room.  We exchanged what had happened in interrogation. I said, “Remember, I’ll never confess to anything.” “Roger, I won’t either.” He then tapped, “God bless you.” I sent back a GBU. I later heard that Ron was put in Alcatraz, a harsh punishment camp.  Though he was an extremely strong man, the torture began to get through to him. The North Vietnamese hated him so that even when they moved out all the other POWs, they left Ron there alone. I later saw one of the postage stamps put out by the North Vietnamese.  It was typical North Vietnamese propaganda.  On it is a picture of an American POW.  He is big and tall.  Behind him is a teen-age girl, very small, holding a rifle on him.  The American was Ron Storz. When making their report on the POWs in 1973, the North Vietnamese said that Ron Storz “died in captivity.” Ron Storz died as he lived – a brave American fighting man who considered his principles more valuable than his life.”

Ron Storz was beaten unconscious and died on 23 April 1970. His remains were recovered and returned on March 6, 1974.

Have We Forgotten Our Heroes? Chapter 12

THOMAS MICHAEL HANRATTY

21196_Hanratty_Thomas
Name:                   Thomas Michael Hanratty
Rank/Branch:     Lance Corporal/US Marine Corps
Unit:                      HMM 265, Marine Air Group 16
Date of Birth:       19 June 1946 (Pueblo, CO)
Home of Record: Beulah, CO
Date of Loss:         11 June 1967
Country of Loss:   South Vietnam
Status in 1973:       Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category:                2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:   CH46A “Sea Knight”

Other Personnel In Incident: Curtis R. Bohlscheid; Charles D. Chomel; Dennis Christie; John J. Foley; Jose J. Gonzales; Michael W. Havranek; James W. Kooi; Jim E. Moshier; John S. Oldham; James E. Widener (missing)

REMARKS: A/C CRASH-EXPLODED-NO SURVS OBS-J

The Boeing-Vertol CH46 Sea Knight arrived in Southeast Asia on 8 March 1966 and served the Marine Corps throughout the rest of the war. With a crew of three or four depending on mission requirements, the tandem-rotor transport helicopter could carry 24 fully equipped troops or 4600 pounds of cargo and was instrumental in moving Marines throughout South Vietnam, then supplying them accordingly.

Because the war in Vietnam lacked a defined front line, the enemy strategy made Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols (LRRP) a needed tool to gather intelligence about communist activities throughout Southeast Asia. The ground commanders who fought the day to day war readily recognized the need for special reconnaissance units at the onset of the fighting. During 1965 provisional LRRP units were formed with all assets they could spare.

On 11 June 1967, Capt. Curtis R. “Dick” Bohlscheid, pilot; Major John S. Oldham, co-pilot; LCpl. Jose J. Gonzales, crewchief; and LCpl. Thomas M. Hanratty, door gunner; comprised the crew of the lead CH46A helicopter (aircraft #150270) on a troop insertion mission. A total of four aircraft were involved in the mission, two CH46 troop transports and two UH1E helicopter gunships that were providing air cover for the transports. In addition to being the aircraft commander of the lead Sea Knight, Capt. Bohlscheid was also the mission commander.

Cpl. Jim E. Moshier, LCpl. Dennis Christie, LCpl. James W. Kooi, LCpl. John J. Foley, LCpl. Michael W. Havranek, PFC Charles Chomel and PFC James E. Widener comprised half of Marine Reconnaissance Team (RT) Somersail One, being inserted into a designated landing zone (LZ). RT Somersail One was on an intelligence gathering mission. Early that morning Capt. Bohlscheid briefed the aircrews on the mission flight plan, while the reconnaissance team waited outside.

The flight of four aircraft departed Dong Ha and proceeded to the southern boundary of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) to an area located in the jungle covered mountains approximately 4 kilometers north of Hill 208, which was identified as the NVA’s 324B Division Command Post during Operation Hastings. It was also located 900 meters west of Hill 174, another well known NVA position.

Capt. Bohlscheid first attempted to insert the RT Somersail One west of a landmark known as “The China Wall.”  The flight pulled away from the briefed LZ when the gunships, which were clearing the LZ by making low strafing passes over the landing zone to set off any booby traps that might have been placed there as well as to locate any enemy positions, began taking enemy ground fire.

The flight returned to Dong Ha to refuel, rearm and plan a second insertion mission attempt. The second attempt was made directly at the base of The China Wall, but once again it was driven off. For the second time the helicopters returned to Dong Ha to rearm, refuel and evaluate their options.

Because of the heavy NVA pressure in the area and the need to gather current intelligence about their activities, headquarters ordered RT Somersail One be inserted at all cost. The four aircraft returned to the DMZ for the third time in a matter of hours. This time the location chosen was approximately 5 miles northwest of Firebase Vandergrift, 9 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and 11½ miles northwest of Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.

Before the Sea Knights landed, both gunships again went to work clearing the proposed LZ. This time no booby traps were sprung and no enemy fire was received. As the Hueys strafed the area, the members of RT Somersail One prepared to initiate their mission once the insertion was completed. Hank Trimble was the pilot of one of the gunship escorts. After clearing the LZ, he stationed his aircraft to the left of Dick Bohlscheid’s, then radioed him to proceed to the LZ.

At 1115 hours, the Sea Knight made its approach. At an estimated altitude of 400-600 feet above the ground, the helicopter transitioned from travel to landing speed. As the lead troop transport did so, other flight members observed it climb erratically in a manner similar to an aircraft commencing a loop. At the same time Capt. Bohlscheid radioed that they had been hit by machinegun fire.

As those aboard the other helicopters watched in horror, portions of the rear rotor blades were seen to separate from the Sea Knight. In almost slow motion, the helicopter’s nose rose, then rose more sharply and continued to climb toward the sky until it was nearly vertical to the ground. It rolled to an inverted position then appeared to perform a “split S” maneuver before it burst into flames and continued out of control. Hank Trimble reported that Dick Bohlscheid keyed his mic at the time he was inverted and started to say something, but what came out was a strangled cry, “Mama.” The Sea Knight crashed into a steep ravine on the north side of a stream that ran through it.

Ground units subsequently entered the area to search for survivors or recover the remains of the dead if possible. Due to a well-entrenched and equally well camouflaged enemy bunker complex surrounding the entire LZ and crash site, the ground units could only inspect the site through binoculars from a distance of approximately 500 meters. During the brief time available to them, they observed no survivors in or around the aircraft wreckage. At the time the ground mission was terminated, all eleven Marines were listed Killed In Action, Body Not Recovered.

If the crew and passengers aboard the Sea Knight died in their loss incident, each man has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. However, if any of them were thrown free and managed to survive, the large number of enemy troops actively operating in this region most certainly would have captured them. Either way there is no doubt the Vietnamese could account for them any time they had the desire to do so.

For other Americans who remain unaccounted for their fate could be quite different. Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia.

Military men in Vietnam were called upon to fly and fight in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.