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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers Operation Niagara (Jan-Mar, 1968) - Mar. 16th, 2005
Vietnam Magazine | 1998 | Peter Brush

Posted on 03/15/2005 8:39:30 PM PST by SAMWolf


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

.................................................................. .................... ...........................................

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Operation Niagara

The thing that broke the back of the NVA at Khe Sanh, said General Westmoreland, was 'basically the fire of the B-52s.'

By late January 1968, American intelligence sources had detected 20,000 or more NVA soldiers in the vicinity of Khe Sanh. American tactics were to allow the enemy to surround the 26th Marine Regiment (Reinforced) at Khe Sanh, to mass their forces, reveal troop formations and logistic routes, establish storage and assembly areas, and prepare siege works. The result would be the most spectacular targets of the Vietnam War for American firepower.

General William C. Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, chose the code name "Operation Niagara" for the coordination of available firepower at Khe Sanh. According to Westmoreland, the name Niagara invoked an appropriate image of cascading shells and bombs. Niagara would be composed of two elements. Niagara I was the comprehensive intelligence-gathering effort to pinpoint the available targets, and Niagara II was the coordinated shelling and bombing of these targets with all available air and artillery assets.

The effectiveness of the firepower available to the Marines at Khe Sanh was heavily dependent on target selection--a responsibility of the intelligence section (S-2) of the 26th Marine Regiment Headquarters Company. S-2 knew the siege strategy employed by the NVA at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and Con Thien in 1967, and it could predict the enemy's actions at Khe Sanh.

Various sources were utilized to keep track of enemy activity around the Khe Sanh plateau. Sources outside the immediate battlefield included intelligence reports from MACV in Saigon, III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF) headquarters in Da Nang, as well as the headquarters of the 3rd Marine Division at Phu Bai.

Intelligence was generated locally in many ways. Hundreds of acoustic and seismic sensors were seeded around the combat base. This comprehensive sensor system cost approximately $1 billion and was credited with reducing Marine deaths during the fighting by 50 percent. By Marine estimates, the sensor system provided 40 percent of the raw intelligence at Khe Sanh. Ground and aerial observers supplied visual evidence of enemy activity, as did photoreconnaissance. Analysis of incoming rocket, mortar and artillery craters determined the likely source of the attacks. Shell/flash reports, infrared imagery and analysis of intercepted enemy communications were also used to identify potential enemy targets.

Marine reconnaissance patrols, Army Special Forces, CIA personnel, and the MACV-SOG all provided input to the 26th Marines S-2. The CIA Joint Technical Advisory Detachment and SOG obtained their information from casual encounters with villagers; from regular paid agents, including Rhade and Bru Montagnards; and from locals who wanted to be agents of the U.S. intelligence community around Khe Sanh. Likely or confirmed targets were then pummeled by the available firepower, while the base Fire Support Coordinating Center (FSCC) coordinated the array of supporting arms.

After making the trip down the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos, the NVA established various forward logistic bases within a few thousand meters of the combat base. At night the Communists dug shallow trenches from their supply points toward the U.S. positions. American intelligence noticed this trenching system around February 23, 1968. Once the system had been constructed close to the base, secondary trench lines branched off and paralleled the Marine perimeter. These close-in, secondary trenches were dug for the purpose of launching ground attacks against the base.

Initial FSCC fire tactics were to saturate infiltration routes into the area around the combat base with artillery fire and airstrikes. This slowed down NVA trenching efforts but could not stop them completely. From a logistic standpoint, it was impossible to sufficiently saturate the trenching systems with massed artillery fire, so the FSCC altered its tactics. The NVA was permitted to dig trenches close to the base--then it was easier to pinpoint them.

The sensor system quickly proved its worth. During the night of February 3-4, sensors detected up to 2,000 NVA soldiers in the vicinity of Marine hill outposts northwest of the combat base. Defensive artillery fires were ordered against them, and sensors reported hearing men screaming in panic and the sounds of troops fleeing their assembly areas. The NVA units were completely destroyed in their assembly areas and the intended attack was effectively broken up. This is one of the earliest examples in warfare of a ground attack entirely thwarted by using remote sensor data.

With crater analysis, it was possible to confirm the location of enemy batteries, assist in counterbattery fires and detect new types of enemy weapons--new calibers or new munitions. The flight direction of a projectile could be determined with reasonable accuracy from its crater, ricochet furrow or, in the case of dud rounds, soil tunnel.

The particular characteristics of the soil at Khe Sanh often yielded valuable information through crater analysis. A stick placed in the soil tunnel made by a dud round would point in the direction of origin, and the angle of the stick would indicate the angle of fall. By measuring this angle and using the firing tables of enemy weapons, counterfire personnel could compute the range of the enemy weapon. Shelled areas were inspected as soon as possible after a shelling.

"Khe Sanh CAS"
During the siege at Khe Sanh, Marine aviators from various squadrons scraped the tree tops at high speed to provide Close Air Support to their fellow Marines on the ground. 400 knots at 30 feet. Air support doesn't get much closer.

Staff Sergeant Bossiz Harris, the acting gunnery sergeant of the mortar battery, 1st Battalion, 13th Marines, conducted crater analysis during incoming fire, which allowed the battalion's Fire Direction Center (FDC) to direct prompt return fire. Rapid and accurate counterbattery fire could force the enemy artillerymen to seek cover and could destroy NVA guns and gun crews.

To minimize the reaction time of the Marine and Army artillerymen at Khe Sanh, Colonel Lownds, the base commander, periodically entered the regimental FSCC bunker, indicated a spot on the wall map and directed the senior artillery officer to hit the marked spot. The coordinates were sent to the FDC, computed and sent to the appropriate gun crew, which adjusted its tubes. This aiming process usually took less than 40 seconds before a round was on its way. During the battle at Khe Sanh, the 1st Battalion, 13th Marine, guns fired 158,891 mixed artillery rounds in direct support of the 26th Marines.

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Acquiring data on enemy troop locations was one thing, but correctly interpreting it was quite another. On the first day of the 1968 Tet Offensive, intelligence analysts on the MACV staff received a set of infrared imagery photos. The photos were interpreted as indicating NVA troop movements away from the combat base, while sensor readout data showed these troops were closing in on the base in preparation for a massive attack. In actuality, no enemy ground attacks were launched around Khe Sanh during this period.

Shortly after the beginning of the Tet Offensive, aerial reconnaissance and communications intelligence indicated a major target in the Khe Sanh Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR). Photo analysts spotted a bank of radio antennas at a limestone cave complex in the DMZ northwest of Khe Sanh, and radio signals emanating from it showed the caves to be a major enemy headquarters. There was speculation that NVA General Vo Nguyen Giap himself was supervising the battlefield from the caves. Repeated Boeing B-52 attacks by the U.S. Seventh Air Force knocked the enemy radio system off the air temporarily and even managed to seal the cave entrance with rocks and other debris. In spite of these attacks, the cave headquarters remained in operation for several weeks.

One Marine spotter on Hill 881 South, Lance Cpl. Molimao Niuatoa, had especially sharp vision. Niuatoa was scanning the landscape with a pair of 20-power naval binoculars when he saw the muzzle flash of an NVA artillery piece 12,000 to 13,000 meters from his position. Because the gun position was beyond the range of Marine artillery, it could only be taken out by airstrikes, and an observation aircraft was directed toward the position. Since the observer did not know the exact location of the gun, he fired a 2.75-inch smoke rocket into its general vicinity. A Marine Douglas A-4 Skyhawk jet dropped a 500-pound bomb on the marking rocket. Niuatoa observed how far the billowing bomb smoke was from the artillery piece and called in adjustments to the spotter aircraft. More smoke rockets were fired and additional strings of bombs were dropped. Corrections and bracketing continued until a Skyhawk on its fourth pass scored a direct hit on the gun position.

After 1965, air power was deployed in South Vietnam to increase the effectiveness of field artillery. Although the 26th Marines possessed 30 artillery pieces as well as tanks and recoilless rifles, the fact that the base could only be supplied by air limited Marine ability to saturate the Khe Sanh area with artillery-delivered munitions. It was air power that would raise the flood of firepower to Niagara-sized dimensions.

Khe Sanh had top-priority claim on all U.S. air assets in Southeast Asia. B-52s, personally directed by Westmoreland from the Saigon MACV combat operations center, came from Guam, Thailand and Okinawa. Marine and Air Force fighter-bombers provided support from bases in South Vietnam, and Navy aviators from Task Force 77 flew sorties from aircraft carriers in the South China Sea. The VNAF and U.S. Army aviation also provided aerial support. From B-52s, originally designed for high-altitude strategic delivery of nuclear weapons, to propeller-driven Douglas A-1 Skyraiders, aircraft from the entire spectrum of American aircraft were deployed to support the 26th Marines at Khe Sanh.

Air representatives worked with their artillery counterparts in the FSCC. Requests for air support were channeled through the Tactical Air Direction Center of the 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW) at Da Nang. If the 1st MAW could not fill a quota, liaison teams from other services were called upon for their support. At times the sky over Khe Sanh was said to resemble a giant beehive. Upon arrival, aircraft were normally directed into a holding pattern until a ground controller or ground radar operator was free to direct the strike. Often holding patterns extended upward to 35,000 feet, with dozens of aircraft corkscrewing their way downward as each flight delivered its ordnance and departed the Khe Sanh airspace. A pilot might be directed to a succession of holding points, only to end up with his fuel expended and his full load of ordnance still on board. If the pilot ran out of fuel before his turn came to deliver a strike, he was forced to jettison his bombs and return to base.

In February 1968, about 77 percent of the Navy carrier sorties planned against North Vietnam were redirected against targets around Khe Sanh due to clouds that enveloped the North Vietnam airspace. One naval aviator who attacked the NVA trench system said the detonation of his 1,000-pound delayed-action bomb resembled a volcano eruption. After U.S. air support collapsed 50 meters of trench, the NVA abandoned building assault positions in the area.

This photo, shot from the rear seat of an F4E strike aircraft, shows bomb impacts and secondary explosions at an enemy ammunition dump, which is hidden from view below the jungle canopy

Close air support was sometimes employed against targets close to friendly troops. Tactical air controllers in light airplanes or helicopters maintained communications between strike pilots and troops on the ground, and fighter-bombers were over at Khe Sanh around the clock. The controller made a marking run by firing a smoke rocket or throwing a colored smoke grenade at the target to be attacked. When the strike pilot saw the smoke, dummy passes were made until the controller was satisfied the jets were lined up on the proper target. Bombing runs were executed and short corrections were made via radio until all ordnance was expended. The tactical air controller would then fly over the target to record the effectiveness of the strike, and battle damage assessments were relayed to the departing aircraft.

During bad weather, ground-controlled radar bombing was employed. Radar controllers operated from a heavily reinforced bunker that contained fragile computer equipment and the TPQ-10 radar used to guide aircraft to their target. This radar emitted a beam that locked onto the aircraft. Using targeting data acquired from the FSCC, the controller programmed the computer with information on enemy position, ballistic characteristics of the ordnance, wind speed and direction and other relevant data. At a predetermined release point, the controller instructed the pilot to release his bombs. In specially equipped aircraft such as the twin-engine Marine Grumman A-6 Intruder, bombs could be released automatically by the ground controller. Marine controllers routinely directed strikes as close as 500 meters to friendly positions. The Air Force liaison officer felt strikes could be conducted to within 50 meters in case of emergency. Marine pilots flew 7,078 sorties and delivered 17,015 tons of ordnance in defense of Khe Sanh, while U.S. Air Force tactical aircraft made 9,691 sorties and delivered 14,223 tons of munitions.

The most spectacular display of air power at Khe Sanh was provided by the B-52 Stratofortresses. The B-52s had a payload of 108 500-pound bombs per plane, and these strikes, code-named Arc Lights, were conducted against targets such as troop concentrations, supply areas and bunker complexes. These targets were programmed into on-board computers and were launched from altitudes above 30,000 feet. Arc Light bombing procedures were based on a grid system, in which each block in the Niagara area was represented by a box superimposed on a map. Three B-52s, composing one cell, could effectively blanket a box with high explosives. On average, every 90 minutes one three-plane cell of B-52s would arrive on location around Khe Sanh and be directed to a particular target by a controller. Several cells of B-52s could churn up boxes of terrain several thousand meters long. Many enemy casualties were due to concussion alone. In some instances, NVA soldiers were found after an Arc Light strike wandering around in a daze, blood streaming from their noses and mouths. To catch these stunned survivors, artillerymen at Khe Sanh often brought massed artillery fire down onto the Arc Light target area 10 to 15 minutes after the heavy bombers departed.
1 posted on 03/15/2005 8:39:31 PM PST by SAMWolf
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To: snippy_about_it; PhilDragoo; Johnny Gage; Victoria Delsoul; The Mayor; Darksheare; Valin; ...
Arc Light attacks delivered a total of 59,542 tons of munitions from 2,548 sorties during the siege. General Westmoreland was elated at the performance of B-52s. According to Westmoreland, the thing that broke the back of the NVA at Khe Sanh was "basically the fire of the B-52s."

Arc Light attacks had some limitations, however. An NVA soldier captured in April 1968 told his interrogators that his unit received frequent, timely and accurate warnings of impending B-52 attacks. The alerts came either by radio or telephone and usually provided two hours' notice. The NVA prisoner was not certain as to the origin of these warnings. Possibilities include Soviet intelligence-gathering trawlers operating in the Pacific, and the interception of communications sent to or from the MACV combat operations center at Tan Son Nhut air base near Saigon.

The target intelligence officer at Khe Sanh, Captain Mizra M. Baig, felt that Arc Light was an accurate weapon that could be employed around Khe Sanh much the same as other supporting arms. However, since requests for B-52 strikes had to be submitted 15 hours prior to the drop, Arc Light raids could never be as responsive or flexible as tactical air and artillery. The FSCC developed ways to combine the strengths of aerial and artillery support. One technique was the Mini-Arc Light.

When data indicated that NVA units were in a certain region, the FSCC computed a 500-by-1,000-meter box in the center of the suspected assembly area or likely route of movement. Two A-6 Intruders, each armed with 28 500-pound bombs, were placed on station. Army 175mm guns at the nearby artillery bases at Camp Carroll and the Rockpile initiated the Mini-Arc Light by pouring 60 150-pound rounds into one half of the block. Thirty seconds later, the A-6s unloaded their ordnance in the middle of the block. At the same time, the artillery at Khe Sanh poured an additional 200 artillery and mortar rounds into the target area. Fire coordination was such that bombs and artillery shells hit at the same instant.

The Mini-Arc Light could be put into effect in about 45 minutes. To reduce reaction time even further, a Micro-Arc Light was executed. The block size was reduced to a 500-by-500-meter area. Any aircraft on station could be used for bombing. Twelve to 16 500-pound bombs, 30 175mm artillery rounds, and 100 mixed lighter artillery rounds from Khe Sanh batteries could be unloaded on the target block within 10 minutes. On an average night, three to four Minis and six to eight Micros were executed in the vicinity of the Khe Sanh combat base.

Because the Marines at Khe Sanh were surrounded by NVA, the base could be neither supplied nor evacuated by ground operations. An effective method of aerial resupply was vital, and the base's principal source for supplies was Da Nang, a 30-minute flight away. Lockheed C-130s and Fairchild C-123s delivered the bulk of the supplies. Transport crews used speed-offloading techniques to minimize time spent on the ground at Khe Sanh. When weather or hostile fire prevented transport aircraft from actually landing at the airstrip, parachute and various cargo-extraction systems were used to unload cargo without putting the planes' wheels on the ground.

The Marine hill outposts, originally supplied from the base at Khe Sanh, were thereafter served by helicopters flying from the Marine base at Dong Ha. Air Force and Marine crews en route to Khe Sanh flew the last few miles through a wall of enemy anti-aircraft fire.

As tactical air supported the Marines on the ground, so too did it accompany transport aircraft on their supply missions into the Khe Sanh TAOR. NVA anti-aircraft guns in calibers up to 37mm were dug into the hills around Khe Sanh and menaced the aerial highway leading to the base. By March, the danger from enemy fire was so acute that all transports were provided with tactical air escorts. Air planners drew on their maps a line indicating the flight path for a cargo plane from the time it dropped below 3,500 feet until it regained that altitude after disgorging its cargo. The potential danger area from which a 37mm gun could hit a plane was calculated. Fighter-bombers were directed against known or potential enemy gun positions, using 20mm cannon and fragmentation bombs. These attack runs commenced when the cargo planes descended to 1,500 feet.

In clear weather, two fighters would lay smoke screens to conceal both sides of the flight path of the incoming transports. During the siege, every 37mm gun emplacement was repeatedly attacked until intelligence showed the gun to be destroyed or abandoned. More than 300 anti-aircraft sites were reportedly destroyed. When necessary, Air Force F-4 Phantoms equipped with cannon were kept in the area to discourage the North Vietnamese Air Force from intervening in the fighting around Khe Sanh. Carrier-based aircraft bombed airfields in North Vietnam that short-range enemy MiG aircraft would have had to use to attack the Marine positions.

General Westmoreland was certain the NVA intended to overrun the Marine base at Khe Sanh as they had done at Dien Bien Phu. If so, air power was instrumental in denying victory to the Communist forces. Weather and other considerations prevented accurate measurement of the damage sustained by enemy forces from Operation Niagara. Photoreconnaissance and direct visual observation credited Niagara forces with causing 4,705 secondary explosions, 1,288 enemy killed, 1,061 structures destroyed, 158 damaged, 891 bunkers destroyed, 99 damaged, 253 trucks destroyed and 52 damaged. Without a body count, enemy personnel losses were estimates. Westmoreland's Systems Analysis Office produced four models from which its analysts concluded that total NVA casualties--killed or wounded seriously enough to require evacuation--numbered between 9,800 and 13,000 men. The generally cited figure of 10,000 casualties represents half the number of NVA believed to have attacked the Khe Sanh combat base at the beginning of the fighting there. The number also represents 59 percent of the number of enemy killed in all of I Corps during the Tet Offensive.

Additional Sources: namspeak

2 posted on 03/15/2005 8:40:35 PM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #4 - When faced with facts, ignore them.)
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To: All
The $1 billion of aerial munitions expended by the United States during the siege totaled almost 100,000 tons. That was almost 1,300 tons of bombs dropped daily--five tons for every one of the 20,000 NVA soldiers initially estimated to have been committed to the fighting at Khe Sanh. This expenditure of aerial munitions dwarfs the amount of munitions delivered by artillery, which totals eight shells per enemy soldier believed to have been on the battlefield.

General Vo Nguyen Giap claimed that Khe Sanh was never of particular importance to the North Vietnamese. According to him, it was the United States that made Khe Sanh important because the Americans had placed their prestige at stake there. In the larger scheme of things, the fighting at Khe Sanh was of little lasting significance.

Before the bombs and shells of Operation Niagara stopped falling on the Khe Sanh battlefield, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered severe restrictions on aerial and naval attacks against North Vietnam, declared the readiness of the United States to begin peace discussions to end the war and declined to seek re-election to the presidency. In June 1968, the base at Khe Sanh was abandoned by the Americans. Ultimately, the United States would learn that it was unable to win at the conference table what it could not win on the battlefield.

3 posted on 03/15/2005 8:40:59 PM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #4 - When faced with facts, ignore them.)
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To: All

Veterans for Constitution Restoration is a non-profit, non-partisan educational and grassroots activist organization. The primary area of concern to all VetsCoR members is that our national and local educational systems fall short in teaching students and all American citizens the history and underlying principles on which our Constitutional republic-based system of self-government was founded. VetsCoR members are also very concerned that the Federal government long ago over-stepped its limited authority as clearly specified in the United States Constitution, as well as the Founding Fathers' supporting letters, essays, and other public documents.

Actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.

We here at Blue Stars For A Safe Return are working hard to honor all of our military, past and present, and their families. Inlcuding the veterans, and POW/MIA's. I feel that not enough is done to recognize the past efforts of the veterans, and remember those who have never been found.

I realized that our Veterans have no "official" seal, so we created one as part of that recognition. To see what it looks like and the Star that we have dedicated to you, the Veteran, please check out our site.

Veterans Wall of Honor

Blue Stars for a Safe Return


The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul

Click on Hagar for
"The FReeper Foxhole Compiled List of Daily Threads"


4 posted on 03/15/2005 8:41:21 PM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #4 - When faced with facts, ignore them.)
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To: Bombardier; Steelerfan; SafeReturn; Brad's Gramma; AZamericonnie; SZonian; soldierette; shield; ...

"FALL IN" to the FReeper Foxhole!

Good Wednesday Morning Everyone.

If you want to be added to our ping list, let us know.

If you'd like to drop us a note you can write to our NEW address:

Wild Bird Center
19721 Hwy 213
Oregon City, OR 97045

5 posted on 03/15/2005 9:25:16 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Professional Engineer; alfa6; PhilDragoo; msdrby; Samwise; Darksheare; ...

Good morning everyone.

6 posted on 03/15/2005 9:48:06 PM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: snippy_about_it

1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel "The Scarlet Letter" was first published. It was about adultery, revenge and redemption in Puritan Massachusetts.

And now off to bed as I need my beauty sleep.

7 posted on 03/15/2005 10:04:17 PM PST by Valin (DARE to be average!)
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Darksheare; PhilDragoo; Matthew Paul; All
Good morning everyone!

To all our military men and women past and present, military family members, and to our allies who stand beside us
Thank You!

8 posted on 03/15/2005 10:30:09 PM PST by radu (May God watch over our troops and keep them safe)
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To: SAMWolf; All
This is an important posting.

There is this Khe Sanh Marine I know named Bill. I know him, his kids, and his wife, Peggy. Bill is in his late fifties.

Bill stayed in the Marine Reserve. Today he is in Iraq. Last Sunday he was hurt by a buried command detonated mine. His HMMV was wasted. He is awake, aware, and not hurt bad enough to evacuate from Iraq at this time. He plans to stay with his unit if at all possible.

Please excuse the absence of his last name. I will not take any risk that might endanger him or his family.

Please say a prayer for Bill, that he may recover fully and rejoin his unit. Please pray for his wife, Peggy.
9 posted on 03/16/2005 1:17:38 AM PST by Iris7 (A man said, "That's heroism." "No, that's Duty," replied Roy Benavides, Medal of Honor.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning Snippy.

10 posted on 03/16/2005 2:06:51 AM PST by Aeronaut (I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things - Saint-Exupery)
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To: snippy_about_it

Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Foxhole.

11 posted on 03/16/2005 3:01:52 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: snippy_about_it

Good morning

12 posted on 03/16/2005 3:36:53 AM PST by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All

March 16, 2005

A Cleansed Conscience

Romans 2:12-16

I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. -Acts 24:16

Bible In One Year: Joshua 16-18

cover The much-loved children's story Pinocchio is about a wooden puppet whose nose grows long when he tells a lie. His friend Jiminy Cricket chirps, "Let your conscience be your guide." Pinocchio follows his advice, repents, and returns to Geppetto his creator, where he is given a heart of flesh and is freed from his strings.

There's a principle in this story for God's children. If we don't listen to that voice deep down inside that tells us what we should and should not do, we live in bondage. But a cleansed conscience brings freedom.

Some people have no strong basis for making godly decisions. Their conscience is weak, and they can be easily swayed by the behavior of others. Then there are those whose conscience is defiled. The standard by which they measure good and evil is corrupted, polluted, and impure (Titus 1:15). But saddest of all are those who have a "seared" conscience (1 Timothy 4:2). They have resisted that inner voice for so long that they no longer hear what it has to say.

But you ask, "How can we have a cleansed conscience?" We must repent of our sin and return to our Creator. We must ask Him to conform our desires and behavior to His Word and then be careful to obey it. -David Roper

There is a treasure you can own
That's greater than a crown or throne;
This treasure is a conscience clear
That brings the sweetest peace and cheer. -Isenhour

Conscience is a trustworthy compass when God's Word is your true north.

The Forgiveness Of God

13 posted on 03/16/2005 4:24:50 AM PST by The Mayor (
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To: SAMWolf
According to Westmoreland, the name Niagara invoked an appropriate image of cascading shells and bombs.

One man's imagery is another man's head scratch.

14 posted on 03/16/2005 4:33:13 AM PST by Samwise (On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.)
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To: Iris7

Prayers for your friend and his family.

15 posted on 03/16/2005 4:35:01 AM PST by Samwise (On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.)
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To: Valin; SAMWolf; snippy_about_it; All

Hump day Bump fore the Foxhole, I am off to the BORG as we here at the alfa6 domicile are undertaking another "Weekend Home Improvement Project"



alfa6 ;>}

16 posted on 03/16/2005 4:38:06 AM PST by alfa6
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To: SAMWolf

On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on March 16:
1739 George Clymer US merchant (signed Declaration of Independence, Constitution)
1751 James Madison Port Conway VA, (D-R), 4th US President (1809-17)
1787 Georg Simon Ohm physicist (discovered Ohm's Law)
1802 George Archibald McCall Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1868
1806 Norbert Rillieux inventor (sugar refiner)
1812 Henry Dwight Terry Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1869
1822 John Pope Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1892
1832 Charles Camp Doolittle Brevet Major General (Union volunteer)
1836 Andrew S Hallidie inventor (cable car)
1839 René François Armand Sully Prudhomme France, poet, 1st Nobel winner (1901)
1849 Reverend James E Smith became father at 100 with woman 64 years younger
1868 Maxim Gorki USSR, playwright (The Lower Depths, Night Asylum)
1878 Reza Sjah Pahlawi [Reza Chan], shah of Iran
1884 Harrison Ford Kansas City MO, silent screen actor (Just Married, Vanity Fair, Love In High Gear , Rubber Tires)
1903 Mike Mansfield (Senator-Democrat-MT) majority whip
1906 Henny Youngman London England, comedian (Take my wife please)
1920 Leo McKern Sydney Australia, actor (Rumpole of the Bailey)
1926 Jerry Lewis [Joseph Levitch] Newark NJ, entertainer/fund raiser (MDA), especially loved in France
1927 Daniel Patrick Moynihan US ambassador to UN/(Senator-Democrat-NY, 1977-2001)
1927 Vladimir M Komarov Moscow Russia, cosmonaut (Voshkod I Soyuz 1)
1932 Ronnie Walter Cunningham Creston IA, Colonel USMC/astronaut (Apollo 7)
1933 Ruth Bader Ginsberg justice (US Supreme Court)
1942 Chuck Woolery Kentucky, TV game show host (Love Connection)
1956 Ozzie Newsome NFL tight end (Cleveland Browns)
1959 Michael J Bloomfield Flint MI, Major USAF/astronaut (STS 86)
1963 Phung Vuong Saigon Vietnam, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List)
1976 Michelle Rae Collie Miss Bahamas-Universe (1996)

Deaths which occurred on March 16:
0037 Tiberius Claudius Nero emperor of Rome (14-37), dies at 77
1838 Nathaniel Bowditch astronomer & navigation expert, dies at 64
1881 Modest P Mussorgsky Russian composer (Boris Godunov), dies at 42
1882 Charles R Darwin English naturalist (Origin of species), dies at 73
1914 Gaston Calmette editor (Le Figaro), killed by Madame Caillaux at 55
1933 Alfred Her Hungarian mathematician, dies at 47
1935 John J R Macleod Scot/Canadian physiologist (Nobel 1923), dies at 58
1957 Mosa Pijade Yugoslavian MP (communist), dies at 67
1959 John Sailling last documented Civil War vet, dies at 111
1970 Tammi Terrell singer (Ain't No Mountain High Enough, You're All I Need), dies from brain tumor at 23
1971 Thomas E Dewey US Presidential candidate (R 1944, 48), dies at 68
1975 T-Bone Walker blues guitarist (Funky Town, Well Done), dies at 64
1978 Aldo Moro 5 times Prime Minister of Italy, assassinated by terrorists
1979 Jean Monnet French economist/CEO (ECSC), dies at 90
1983 Arthur Godfrey TV host (Arthur Godrey Show), dies at 79
1991 7 members of Reba McIntire's band killed in a plane crash
1996 Peter Clemoes Anglo-Saxon scholar, dies at 76



POW / MIA Data & Bios supplied by
the P.O.W. NETWORK. Skidmore, MO. USA.

On this day...
1079 Iran adopts solar Hijrah calendar
1190 Jews of York England commit mass sucide rather than submit to baptism
1345 Holy spirit glides above fire; "the miracle of Amsterdam" (legend)
1517 Pope Leo X signs 5th Council of Lateranen
1521 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches Philippines
1527 Battle at Khanua: Mogol Emperor Babur beats Rajputen
1621 Native American chief visits colony of Plymouth MA
1641 General court declares Rhode Island a democracy & adopts new constitution
1660 English Long Parliament disbands
1690 French king Louis XIV sends troops to Ireland
1731 Treaty of Vienna: Emperor Charles VI of England & Netherlands
1792 Murder attempt on King Gustavus III by count Ankarstrom at opera
1802 Law signed to establish US Military Academy (West Point NY)
1802 US army Corps of Engineers established (2nd time)
1829 Ohio authorizes high school night classes
1830 London's re-organised police force (Scotland Yard) forms
1830 New York Stock Exchange slowest day ever (31 shares traded)
1833 Susan Hayhurst becomes 1st US woman grad of a pharmacy college
1836 Texas approves a constitution
1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" published
1861 Arizona Territory votes to leave the Union
1861 Confederate government appoints commissioners to Britain
1862 Battle at Pound Gap KY: Confederates separate battles
1865 Battle of Averasboro NC (1,500 casualities)
1869 Hiram R Revels makes the 1st official speech by a black in the Senate
1871 1st fertilizer law enacted
1876 Nelly Saunders & Rose Harland fight 1st female boxing match (New York)
1900 American League meets in Chicago, Ban Johnson announces that an American League teams will be in Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland & Buffalo
1900 Sir Arthur Evans finds old city of Knossus
1910 Barney Oldfield sets land speed record of 131.7 mph at Daytona
1912 Mrs William Howard Taft plants 1st cherry tree in Washington DC
1915 British battle cruisers Inflexible & Irresistible hit mines in Dardanelle
1915 Federal Trade Commission organizes
1918 Geoffrey O'Hara's "K-K-K-Katy" song published
1922 Sultan Fuad I crowned king of Egypt, England recognizes Egypt
1926 Robert Goddard launches 1st liquid fuel rocket, goes 184' (56 meter)
1930 USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) floated out to become a national shrine
1934 Congress passes Migratory Bird Conservation Act
1935 Hitler orders German rearmament, violating Versailles Treaty
1939 Germany occupies Czechoslovakia
1939 Hungary annexes republic of Karpato-Ukraine
1940 German air raid on British fleet base Scapa Flow
1941 Blizzard hits North Dakota & Minnesota killing 60
1941 Dmitri Shostakovich receives the Stalin Prize
1941 National Gallery of Art opens in Washington DC
1944 Vichy Internal minister Pucheu sentenced to death
1945 US defeats Japan at Iwo Jima
1952 1870 mm rain in Cilaos, Réunion (world record)
1953 American League rejects Bill Veeck's request to move St Louis Browns to Baltimore
1959 Iraq & USSR sign economic/technical treaty
1962 1st launching of Titan 2-rocket
1962 US Super-Constellation disappears above Pacific Ocean, kills 167
1964 Paul Hornung & Alex Karras reinstated in NFL after 1 year suspension(gambling)
1966 Gemini 8 launched with Armstrong & Scott, aborted after 6.5 orbits
1968 My Lai massacre occurs (Vietnam War); 450 die
1968 Robert F Kennedy announces Presidential campaign
1969 Peter Stone & Sherman Edward's "1776" premieres at 46th St Theater NYC for 1217 performances
1971 KDCD TV channel 18 in Midland TX (IND) suspends broadcasting
1972 John & Yoko are served with deportation papers
1977 US President Carter pleads for Palestinian homeland
1978 Amoco Cadiz tanker spills 68.7 million gallons of oil off French coast
1978 Red Brigade kidnaps former premier Aldo Moro in Italy, 5 killed
1978 Soyuz 26 returns to Earth
1978 US Senate accepts Panamá Canal treaty
1979 CBS-TV airs "Wings Over the World" with Paul McCartney
1984 Terrorists kidnap William Buckley, CIA station chief in Beirut
1985 Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson taken hostage in Beirut
1985 Denny McLain, pitcher; convicted of racketeering, sentenced to 25 years
1988 Federal grand jury indicts Marine Lt. Col. Oliver L. North & Navy Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter in Iran-Contra affair
1988 North-Ireland Protestant fires on Catholic funeral, 3 killed
1991 7 members of Reba McEntire's band are killed in a plane crash
1991 Members of Irish Gay & Lesbian Organization march in NYC parade
1994 Moravcik forms Slovakia government
1994 Tonya Harding pleads guilty to felony attack on Nancy Kerrigan
1995 Mississippi House of Representatives ratifies 13th Amendement-formally abolishes slavery (On the cutting edge of societal evolution)
1996 In his weekly radio address, President Bill Clinton accused the Republican-controlled House of bowing to "the back-alley whispers of the gun lobby" by gutting anti-terrorism legislation he'd submitted in response to the Oklahoma City bombing.
1996 For the first time, ordinary citizens were allowed inside the central archives of the Stasi, the former East German secret police.
2000 In Pakistan a judge sentenced Javed Iqbal (42), the killer of 100 children, to die the same way his victims died, by strangulation, dismemberment and dissolvement in acid
2000 White house denied that Hillary Rodham Clinton or senior White House officials had sought FBI background files of Republicans. (File? What files? Oh you mean THOSE files, how do you suppose they got there? It was the nightshift pastry chef...yeah that it!)
2003 Rachel Corrie (23) of Washington State was crushed to death by and Israeli Army bulldozer as she tried to block the demolition of Palestinian homes.(safety tip here)

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"
Surinam : Holi Phagwah
Umatilla OR : Curlew Day
US : Daffodil Days (Day 3)
US : Straw Hat Week (Day 3)
National Women's History Month

Religious Observances
Christian : Feast of fictional St Urho, patron of Finland
Roman Catholic : Commemoration of SS Abraham, hermit, & Mary, penitant
Roman Catholic : Commemoration of St John de Brébeuf & companions/martyrs

Religious History
597 BC According to certain archaeological calculations, the first conquest of Jerusalem by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar occurred. In the Bible, the event is recorded in 2 Kings 24:1ff. and in 2 Chronicles 36:5-8. It is also implied in the early chapters of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
1621 Birth of George Neumark, German educator. Twice in life he lost everything: once by robbers and once by fire. As a poet, Neumark is best remembered as author of the hymn, "If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee."
1915 Birth of Dr. Robert H. Bowman, missions pioneer. In 1945, along with John Broger and William J. Roberts, Bowman helped found the Far East Broadcasting Company. Today FEBC reaches thousands of Pacific island clusters with the Gospel through Christian radio.
1952 The first religious program on TV, "This Week in Religion," debuted on Dumont television. It was the only ecumenical program of TV's early religious offerings, and ran for two years, last airing in October 1954.
1970 The complete text of the New English Bible was published, simultaneously, by the Oxford and Cambridge Presses. (The New Testament of the NEB had been first published in 1961.)

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.

Thought for the day :
"He is truly wise who gains wisdom from another`s mishap."

17 posted on 03/16/2005 6:09:05 AM PST by Valin (DARE to be average!)
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To: SAMWolf

Good Morning, Foxhole. 

Good thread.  A whole lot of new-tech war stuff was being tested over there at the time.  The sound sensor info is interesting, but the sharp-eyed Marine seemed to to a better job than the sensors. 



Incoming rounds slammed into the runway and apparently struck the C-130's left main landing gear, causing the aircraft to swerve and smash into a forklift.


Five-hundred pound bombs fall on NVA trenches at the northeast end of the Khe Sanh runway.


Bruce M. Geiger
At Khe Sanh:  February 22 - April 14, 1968
First Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery, 108th Artillery Group, 1st Field Force, U.S. Army Attached to the 3rd Marine Division

18 posted on 03/16/2005 6:31:05 AM PST by tomball
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All

Good morning all. Thanks for the pings, even if I don't reply to them all. Good article on the use of airpower to support the ground troops.

I didn't like the last comment about the US not being able to win at the conference table as well as not winning on the battlefield. It's a well known fact that the US would have beaten the NVA and ultimately the VC if the Armed Services had been allowed to do their jobs instead of the politicos telling them what to do.

Again, thanks for the ping and ...........


19 posted on 03/16/2005 6:35:06 AM PST by SZonian (Tagline???? I don't need no stinkin' tagline!)
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To: Valin; All
1945 US defeats Japan at Iwo Jima

I believe it was Adniral Nimitz who said of the Marines at Iwo..."Uncommon Valor was Common"

A pic of the first flag with what appears to be the second, more famous flag raising on Suribachi

Carrier Landing Practice On Iwo Jima Iwo Jima Iwo Jima 2 The attached picture was taken during our last day of carrier landing practice on Iwo Jima, 15 Janauary 2003. The flag flying proudly atop Mt Suribachi and adjacent to the American Memorial is "Old Glory," the very same "Old Glory" that has been touring America's Freedom Road since 1999. Leading the division of VF-154 Tomcats is the Commanding Officer, CDR James H. Flatley, IV. We head back to NAF Atsugi tommorow for carrier qualifications aboard KITTY HAWK, then await subesequent tasking.

Enough Said


alfa6 ;>}

20 posted on 03/16/2005 6:36:32 AM PST by alfa6
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