The start of meade river / 1968 - Page 2
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  1. #16
    Would you have known Ken Frost? I was with him in 28 Marines, 1967. He was in Cap, two tours. I rode with him back from An Hoa, When 27 Marine left for Da Nang.He told me he had just come from identifying the bodies of his unit. He had told them to sleep on top of their bunker . They did not listen. It was not easy for him to be going home.


  2. #17
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    No, I didn't. All Caps eventually went from compounds to 100% mobile because of being overrun. I personally would not have liked being in a compound. Even though we never stayed in one spot more than 8 hours, it was harder to find us.


  3. #18
    Before I went to Vietnam,they wanted me to go to language school in Monterey, Calif.I got out of that. Cap units have been a mystery to me and maybe alot more people. Someday, tell us more. Where you around when Meade River was happening?


  4. #19
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    I was in country in 1970, so Meade River was before my time. A good book to read about CAP is "The Village" by Bing West. Being an officer, he was not actually in the CAP, but he was heavily involved in the concept. The idea was that a squad of Marines would live in a village, with a defined AO, and train the local militia, hold Med-caps, and befriend the civilians in order to gain intel and affect local politics. Each CAP was pretty much autonomous in that we set our own operations, when and where we decided it beneficial. ( "We" being the E-5 Sgt in command of the CAP.) The CAP shared responsibility with the PFs (Popular Forces) but, at least on paper, the PF commander was in charge of the combined unit. That was to make the civilians comfortable, and to train them for our absence. In actuality, in my CAP we figured that our PFs were probably 10% VC. It took a long time to learn who to trust. On the up side, we made some very good friends with some civilians and PFs. Some of them had real balls, and some of them were punks. The worst part of leaving like we did was the kids. They didn't stand a chance after the North took over.


  5. #20
    Where were you 53 years ago today?


  6. #21
    Marine Free Member FistFu68's Avatar
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    In the Evening of My Memories,I always go back.Im there right now,been sitting out in the dark with My Pup Dog,kinda foggy out with the Moon putting a weird haze around me and Buck my Pup.Wife says Iíve been very weird and super quiet last day or so.We live out in the Sticks now,I donít have a clock in my Room or a Calendar,but My Biological Clock always lets Me know,what Time it Is...Meade River Madness,I just put Buck in his crate and now gonna go back outside and sit in the Dark.


  7. #22
    Marine Free Member FistFu68's Avatar
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    Injured India

    Had too not Burn but Incinerate a few Bridges behind Me,one was a Marine I never knew that was in Weapons Plt On Meade River...He was a Flame Thrower operator,I used His Body as a Sandbag right after He got His Brains Blown out trying too BBQ a Bunker in the Hook...all these years I wanted to know Who he was ? He was very brave because We had no cover,but I did after He was wasted...He was an Italian Guy from Up State New York...there was about 15 of Em in the Phone book White page that I found online...I drank a 6pack and called all of Em,I almost gave Up...but last one a Lady answered and I asked if She knew of this Marine ? There was a long Pause and She yes,they where married two weeks before He went too Vietnam...I felt good but then felt very Bad all at the same time.Said no one ever contacted Her besides the Marines that came notifying Her of His Death.Im gonna Go Bust Some Beers down now...Adios


  8. #23
    For those that don't know, Meade River was a search and destroy operation out in the Arizona Territory, mostly in the Dodge City and No Go Island areas. It was the largest insertion of Marines by chopper up to that time, consisting of 7 Marine Battalions. All of the Marines got on line surrounding the large AO, many with metal plungers attempting to find gook tunnels. As we all moved forward we were closing in on the circle pushing all the NVA to the center so that we could kill them. There were also Marine snipers on opposing river banks to take out any NVA that successfully broke through our lines.

    During the beginning of Dec my battalion the 3/5 found the Hook (250 reinforced concrete bunkers) and all hell broke loose, I actually thought I was a goner on this one. Never ending machine gun and small arms fire, grenades, bloopers, napalm runs, B-52 runs, 155 and other rounds firing in support of us and of course the battle ship New Jersey firing in our support. Through this the 3/26 (Jack & Billy) fought their way into us in support and together, reinforced we over ran and took the Hook. The noise was deafening, the smells of death, this experience was not for the faint hearted to say the least.

    Today I live just south of Sarasota in the FREE state of Florida. It's like going back in time here, very little crime. I live on a couple of of acres with all types of birds and other wildlife. One of my hobbies is shooting black birds off of my bird feeder. They're just like the NVA, pushing out all the other birds. Of course very few of them come around anymore as I'm up to 121 confirmed kills with my pellet rifle and my sniper scope.

    I ride with the Combat Vets Motorcycle Assn. for over 12 years now, where I helped start our SW Florida chapter. I served as the chapter commander for almost 4 years. Most of our VN vets are not as active today and my vision of building the chapter and having it taken over by much younger vets has now occurred.

    Life is good today, but I must admit that the memories from my time in the Nam are always with me. I think it's safe to say that I'm no longer a super strong type A, or maybe no one sees it. Who would think an old guy like me today would have the past that many of us have. Once again, a special thanks to Mongoose and FistFu for saving my young ass back at Meade River, both of them have Steele Balls. Just saying.


  9. #24
    Nothing but respect for all of you. During my time in, I tried to live up to the standards you guys set.
    A lot of today's "soldiers" aren't fit to shine your boots.


  10. #25
    Russ,Billy,and FistFu68, I hope I have not stirred the pot to much. If I have ,my APOLOGY. Bill


  11. #26
    Marine Free Member FistFu68's Avatar
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    As far as I'm Concerned its all good Bill,at least I know;Im not the only one that was there; and Survived !! Its never spoken of In My Home,my Daughter's never heard me talk about My Experiences,My Great Wife the Col's Daughter...doesn't have a Clue besides the Scars on my Body...Hell I told her Years ago,that a Great White tore into Me while Surfing the Great Barrier Reef,Same thing I told all My Grandkids lol Its good for Me not too keep it all pened UP inside for all these years...this is the only place I speak of my time in that Chit Hole many moons ago,Call Me Jack Bill...its all good Semper Fi Brother


  12. #27
    No Bill, not at all. I've started many posts this time of the year in the past with "Guess what time it is; that's right Marines, it's Mead River Time." It's funny in a way as Meade River was one of the most defining times in my life, and if you weren't there no ones ever heard of it. So, it's something we learn to deal with privately. I'm certain that it's the same way for so many other Marines, past present and future.

    Of course the day before Valentines Day is another big one for me because as a fng I went on line at Hue and became a Marine. Today, I'm sure no one has ever heard of it either.

    I believe the largest shared trait of most MC Infantry is that we all learned to not be afraid of the dark. At least that's what I tell people. What most people never get is that in the shivt the dark is everywhere, isn't it.

    Whenever in the past I came across other Marines from the line companies, we always talk, where we were at, when, how many times you've been married (4 for me). Then, as we get more uncomfortable but happy for meeting up once again with like kind, we then move on.


  13. #28
    Around this time in 68 we were staging for (Meade River). We were surprised as Battalion choppered in a Thanksgiving treat. Had some turkey and dressing and a few other things. Only time this ever happened. As I look back, I wonder if they were just fattening us up for what was about to happen. Jacks Plt. Sgt. received the MOH. The 3/26 also had 2 Navy Crosses, 10 Silver Stars, 34 Bronze Stars with "V". There was also boo-koo Navy Commendation Medals and Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medals with "V". They also received the Navy Unit Citation for their action there. Not long after Meade River we went afloat on the U.S.S. Valley Forge for about 10 days to rest up. We then started operation Taylor Common during the 69 Tet Counter Offensive. They broke the Mold on old Grunts like Russ and Jack. They were the kind of Marines you was honored to jump into a fighting hole with.....just saying....


  14. #29
    Marine Free Member FistFu68's Avatar
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    On this day after Thanksgiving,running ShootOuts from NVA trying to Break out of Cordon...Night time AirStrikes and Big Guns pounding our next objective...Im in a old Graveyard with Flares being cooked off from Puff doing His thing around Us...the sound of the Flare swinging back and forth with the Flares burning is Weird almost like a Banchee screaming...Very Spooky night...Im out on a Killer Team...India 3 Charles...we encountered Many Booby Traps in this Triple canopy area before It got dark...Starlight scope and all the Shadows make it look like the NVA are dancing all around Us...Crazy Chit...Puff is giving Us Three out here one Helluva light show


  15. #30
    I hear ya Jack, we used to call them ghosts in the lume, makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up straight. Puff was a bad son of a bittch. Just saying.


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