Vietnam Veterans who served with the 101st Airborne and the 1st Cavalry were conducting Air Assaults before there was an Air Assault Badge. This year it has been determined that they deserve this as they were the pioneers of this technique.

Randal Underhill, the Executive Director of the 101st Airborne Division Association and the Screaming Eagle Foundation Will tell us all about how to know if you are qualified and how to get your Air Assault badge.

TRANSCRIPT – Transcript and Subtitles are generated automatically by YouTube and may contain errors.

good evening vietnam this is ronnie
ambrose your host
i served with 101st airborne division b
first of the 502nd infantry from
december 1967 to
december 1968. welcome to veterans live
tonight we have a very special guest the
executive director of the 101st
airborne division association randall
this is a great time to have ma because
the army is just
i guess okay an air assault badge
for the 101st airborne division and the
first cavalry division
it’s only 50 50 years later that
they get around to these things it’s
really uh amazing
but at least they recognize a new tactic
air i guess air mobility
and ground war at the same time
so let’s uh bring randall into the show
hey randall how you doing
hi good evening ron thanks for having me
on i appreciate it man this is really a
good uh first time
uh situation where we had somebody that
have association so big because let us
give us a little background of your
service and then we’ll go from there
i am uh retired from the army i spent um
more than 24 years uh almost all of it
with the 101st airborne division i was
kind of an oddball
as far as like uh my time spent in the
army it was mostly with 101st i started
out in uh
third brigade with 1187 for the gulf war
um stayed there
five years before i went to korea and
spent a year with the second id
and was sent right back to fort campbell
where i served as a pathfinder for three
years before drill certain duty and at
the end of my drill certain duty it was
uh right before 9 11 and
i was sent back to fort campbell to take
a platoon in
delta company uh 2187 infantry
uh where i went to afghanistan and uh
iraq with uh two one eight seven ended
up in charlie2187
but uh predominantly for the next ten
uh in third brigade going uh
fighting the gulp fighting the global
war on terror between iraq and
afghanistan so
retired in 2014 after a a
a tour as a uh senior military
instructor at austin peay
state university where we put out what i
like to think of as
uh some of the greatest cadets uh that
would become lieutenants in the army
and was lucky to find the 101st airborne
division association soon after i
yeah it’s amazing you have a great
repertoire to
years of service different places
mostly with the same division but
different duties and
the perfect guy for to be uh executive
director of association with so many
people in it how many people we have in
the association now what’s the
current amendment we hover right around
7 000
people on the rolls uh it kind of
fluctuates up and down
um i think by last count we were about 6
uh active members of the association
i see yeah there’s the guys who join and
never do anything after that right yeah
there’s a lot of guys that join and uh
you know particularly like uh people who
join while they’re on active duty they
um they’re part of the association while
they’re here in the division
and it takes them some time usually
until they retire
and they come back and kind of join the
you know as they get to my age their
children are
largely self-sufficient out of the house
and they’re not trying to uh
work as hard as they can make a living
so they kind of come back to the
uh right around
i got you okay so the big event is
coming up in june
late june 20 21 2 3 4 whatever
and fort campbell the presentation of
the air assault badge
give us some background and the update
on the latest thank you
thanks ron uh so this is a program that
is really the 101st airborne divisions
program uh last october the association
was approached
to help the division make this happen
and it goes back much further than that
um i believe even in the mid 90s there
had been a movement to
uh retroactively award vietnam veterans
from the air mobile divisions air
assault wings
and the army had
for for many years
not really pursued it but this year
this past october i was contacted by a
lieutenant from the uh
division g1 awards and the department of
army had uh
authorized the division commander for
the 101st airborne division
to award vietnam veterans from the 101st
a honorary air assault badge and what it
what it’s really intent
is is to recognize the uh
the technique the the tactics the
techniques and really
um the legacy of the air mobile soldier
in developing
uh what would later become in 1974
uh air assault so um
with they announced the program uh in
veterans day of 2020
and uh it’s essentially
uh open to those from the 101st airborne
division and the first cavalry division
uh first air cavalry division that
served in vietnam
from 1965 to 1972.
uh it actually goes all the way back to
1965 which predates the
the parenthetical designation of air
mobile because
uh even back in 1965 when the first
brigade separate
uh which deployed ahead of the 101st
airborne division
uh when they were in vietnam they were
they were developing these tactics
uh while in combat so
you know famous people like uh
then lieutenant colonel gunfighter
developing the checkerboard technique
which was
used very effectively by the division
those tactics and procedures would be
further refined as the division stayed
in vietnam
and really formed the basis for air
assault skills as the
division transformed from an airborne
for a very short time to an air cavalry
designation and then
the 101st airborne division air mobile
it kind of coincides with 1974 with the
units from the division coming off of
jump status that the
saboloski air assault school is created
at fort campbell
and at that time the air mobile badge
was really only authorized for graduates
of the school
to wear while they were assigned to the
101st airborne division
a few years later the uh air assault
school was
officially recognized by tradeoff ever
since then has kind of been the uh
the uh
the center if you will
for air assault training and doctrine
for the army
uh there are several different air
assault schools there’s uh there’s one
in hawaii there’s one at fort drum the
air assault school is
also ran by the national guard
but uh really the center for air assault
and and doctrine uh comes from the 101st
airborne division
air assault at fort campbell kentucky
the uh that’s uh
i may have lost you ron uh veterans who
are interested in
applying for the badge there’s an
application that’s available on the
101st airborne division website
it’s at
you can get to it by clicking on the air
assault badge which is on the home page
and it’ll take you to a downloadable
those forms have to be in for this year
by may 1st and that is to allow the
division to create
all of the certificates needed
for week of the eagles so week of the
eagles runs from
june 21st to june 25th and
the honorary air assault badge
presentation is a large part of that and
it’s scheduled for the 24th of june
following the division review division
review starts at 9 30
and around noon at the air assault
um a barbecue and
award ceremony for the vietnam veterans
who are receiving the honorary air
assault badge as well as a recognition
the 30th anniversary of the gulf war is
going to go on there at
fort campbell at the savaloski air
assault school
we talk about air assault doctrine
you know vietnam was like the uh
the genesis of air assault doctrine as
the use of helicopters to overcome the
um was heavily used by the united states
army the the first cavalry
first air cavalry division uh
came in uh very early in the war
right uh the first divisional unit to
and the first brigade of the 101st
actually secured the division lodgement
for the first year cavalry division but
the first team got in got right to work
and uh
it was some very uh early
uh trial and error that further refined
the use of air mobility
over the vietnam war until the
the end of the vietnam war when american
troops predominantly left by 1972
the use of helicopters for mobility of
to bring aerial rocket artillery
to better spot for the field artillery
that’s on the ground
bringing in supplies evacuing the
and really just being able to uh free
the ground soldier the combat instrument
from the constraints of uh
terrain was really quite revolutionary
and it’s
you know it’s it’s really looked at i
think as a further extension of uh
airborne warfare from his genesis in
world war ii
throughout korea and further defined
as we get into the vietnam war the
benefit of the helicopter being that not
only is the uh
the combat soldier inserted by air
without having to negotiate all that
terrain on foot but also
that they’re able to uh be picked up
resupplied or further reinforced by
air and it’s really the um
bringing those components of the air
and the land that make it
three-dimensional battle uh
what drives air assault we got some
photos from uh
the division 101st airborne division
from vietnam
if uh you want to bring those up we can
we can kind of look through those and
kind of chat about those photos
so this photo is uh
it shows a uh
a member of first brigade separate these
photos were actually sent to me by a
member of the association
who uh when he had left vietnam from
first brigade separate he had worked in
a headquarters apparently
but he had uh pages and pages of
uh official reports and public
information office photos from the first
brigade separate from
their tour and he had left and as he was
thinning out his things in his home
he thought that the association would be
the proper
proper place to uh to send those and
when i got
them i was ecstatic and i actually
called the don f pratt museum and i i’ve
given them all these photos and
documents for the records but
you know that photo shows the urgency of
the moment when that aircraft touches
down and all those
soldiers in the back with everything
gotta get off uh it’s not clear whether
this is uh
under under fire or not but one would
by the hurried position of the grunt
getting off the uh
the door that uh it’s certainly not a
permissive environment where he’s
getting off
the hueys back in those days were went
through several generations of huey’s
this is another photo
from first brigade separate that shows
them uh you know
getting off of an aircraft and and i
kind of tend to think that this is not
directly under duress because it looks
like the helicopter is on the ground
and you find the in some of these later
photos where the aircraft is
is uh hesitant to touch down on the hlz
you know troopers are just kind of
hopping off the skids from uh
various heights to get onto the ground
you’ll notice that the aircraft uh
brings in combat equipped soldiers with
you know a fighting load and what they
need to sustain them
for normally about 72 hours
i believe is is kind of the uh the gold
standard of how much stuff you carry but
you know the great thing about
helicopters is they can come back in and
bring more
uh equipment more reinforcements and
more supplies to you so
the fighter can go in lighter with uh
a lighter combat load to make them more
effective and be resupplied by the
aircraft for reposition
it was a definite culture change in
vietnam as the 101st which were proud
paratroopers and many to this day still
are proud paratroopers but
the air mobile concept
really came about prior to the division
deploying the movement was made
before the division deployed as early as
1967 to transition the division to an
air mobile division
um the first brigade separate which the
second and three two seven would have
um already deployed
were uh also transitioned over to air
mobile infantry but you know the remain
the soldiers pretty much predominantly
remained as uh
paratroopers and airborne qualified
while they were fighting
and a lot of the airborne spirit was was
continued and transitioned over to
the air mobile infantry units after the
division made the transition
probably one of the most key elements of
the current division and but probably
made a huge impact in uh vietnam where
the medium lift and heavy lift
capabilities that allowed
the division to move masses of soldiers
uh into terrain that that otherwise
would have taken a lot of effort and a
lot of uh
probably lives to get to in this case
the ch-47 which is still
heavily used in the division is bringing
soldiers or replacements
let me look real quick
i believe this is firebase
bass stone i don’t i can’t identify the
exact unit
or the date this photo came from the don
pratt museum out of their vietnam
archives but it’s a really
good indication of just how good a pilot
has to be to land a large aircraft like
chinook in a very small hlz like
many of these firebases had and you
notice you know
they’ve dozed it they’ve cleared it off
as much as they can but
you know that uh unless it’s mud that’s
going to turn into a very large brownout
cloud so it’s
some very uh good flying and continues
to be some good flying i’ve seen a lot
aircraft doing uh very
similar maneuvers in afghanistan to get
soldiers in to the mountains of
afghanistan where otherwise it would
take them a long time to
to walk to
so this is another photo that if
it shows a troop insertion and you
notice that it looks to me
like this was not an hlz but was cleared
probably by explosives or by
um b-52 or by field artillery where they
fired enough ordnance into an area to
knock a clearing in the trees to bring
in the aircraft
the huey’s uh you know would bring those
guys in
and and get them as close as they
possibly could with uh
the constraints of the enemy and the
time available but you know this was
oftentimes um
in my dealing with veterans from the
101st this was kind of probably the norm
for how they got off the aircraft and
you know they bring in they pause you
jump off
and uh barely visible in the back you
can kind of see a
soldier from the opposite side of the
aircraft scurrying away from
out from underneath the rotor blades
hueys have become kind of the
symbol of vietnam because it was so
prominent in its use and it was really a
transformed the way infantry got around
in vietnam
aircraft uh in today’s division and in
also played a key role of logistics
uh the ability to reinforce soldiers
you know is is transformational in a
soldier a soldier that
believes in the supply chain doesn’t
carry everything they own
on their back they go in with weapons
uh what’s required for the fight and
they really key in on those aircraft
bringing the supplies yes ron
yeah let me uh yeah here we go you ready
for this
yes most important what was the most
important thing on the
slick or the dewey whatever you want to
call it for the
troops in the field i don’t know ryan
tell me mail mail yeah that’s true
mail and then came ammo there can be
then came food and
i don’t know after that i don’t know
what came out but everybody was looking
for letters
or care packages from home that uh
particularly in the gulf war it was very
similar i mean the aircraft had changed
we transitioned over to uh 60s but
in the 101st airborne division in the
gulf war everything
came by we called it the hook whether
aircraft flying in mail
water food yeah it was all by aircraft
and mail was one of the
very popular things to come in on those
and the other one was reinforcements and
for replacements
i noticed the uh the sea rations kind of
getting chucked out of the
chucked out of the aircraft um
it was it was my experience you know we
did we did not do a resupply
under fire in the
in desert storm in my particular unit of
most of our aircraft was sling loaded in
and particularly in afghanistan
sometimes they would free drop
loads to some of the austere locations
but that
that use of the helicopter to provide
logistics was really
like i said earlier transformational you
know uh
it gives a great amount of confidence to
know that aircraft are going to get to
you and they’re going to bring you what
you need
yeah there was a big one though
everything we just mentioned was
mail ammo replacements
uh you name it but the best one was
ghouls getting out of that on aircraft
and getting
out of the war yeah it’s it’s uh
you know but the uh when you look at
statistics and i don’t have the exact
statistics in front of me but i know
that uh
it was actually very high uh
despite what the media would have you
believe in vietnam if a guy was
treated in evac within that first hour
it was a very high probability that he
was going to survive his injuries in
in most cases and i think that that
golden hour has been
really refined now and it’s
it’s very high it’s if the medics can
get to you and treat you and get you on
an aircraft and get you to the next
level it’s
it’s a very high probability of
survivability and that really comes from
those uh
aeromedivac aircraft getting to the
point of injury very quickly and the
capabilities of those uh medics on the
ground to
treat and stabilize injuries
and yeah and also you know i don’t know
this is for me from my own point of view
i think the type of injury
mattered in the gulf war uh
sub-asian war whatever you want to call
it afghanistan
was 911. there was a lot of ieds
we didn’t have that many we had what we
call booby traps
and the destruction of the body of the
was you know right on the edge of life
and death
whereas most of our guys were it was
either shrapnel
which was sometimes really extreme or
bullets so i think that made a
big difference in the survivability up
from world war ii in korea like
yeah absolutely i mean um
you know developments in body armor in
the last
uh conflicts have made a huge
in survivability uh
sadly the type of weapons used have
that’s why you see a lot of amputees now
from afghanistan
and uh um right back particularly
that that survived the war is the
development in body armor
um does a really good job of protecting
your vital organs but
you know your extremities are still
exposed and that device is devastating
uh but you know those those guys are uh
you know today
pretty well assured that uh if the
injuries are survivable if they can get
them on an aircraft
uh you know within that first hour
that uh they stand a very good chance of
and that’s a testament to those air
crews absolutely
medical personnel that are in those
you guys didn’t have to wear body armor
all the time did you ron
and my hat’s off to those medevac guys
let me tell you that in in vietnam did
wear body armor all the time
no we actually put it on a base camping
like you know
for show in the field forget it it was
too hot
too hot yeah it is extremely hot um
you know the difference is you know the
biggest probably the biggest change has
been the
advent of ceramic armor that can uh
withstand a an actual bullet strike
to uh protect a person so you know i’m
sure the
soft armor has gotten better but it’s
really those ballistic plates that
protect you from
a projectile that make a huge difference
so this is uh a photo of a ch-47
or it could be a 46 i think it’s a 47.
uh it’s a little bit too far away to
really make it out
for certain but i believe it’s a 47
flying into uh
fire support based gladiator and uh
it’s it’s one thing that’s really easy
to see is
uh uh you know
inclement weather monsoon season
that’s going to create some serious
issues for uh
any type of vehicular traffic but those
aircraft can come in and terminate to
hover and still bring their supplies
you know what that that uh
this picture was taken fire support
based gladiator i’m not sure the year
i don’t know what unit it would have
been i believe
uh this is a lady
just my belief i believe it’s a later
picture probably post
post uh 67 68 because it’s color
most of the earlier photos are all black
and white goes but
um you know probably 68
fire support based gladiator and i was
just i was just saying i mean it
it could be a 46 but i think it’s a 47.
it’s just a little bit too far away to
see but
uh you know they’re again
troopers of the 101st being uh their
lifeline coming by aviation
resupply ammunition um
and your mail medevac
medevac i’m going to say that that place
turns into a mud pit
pretty quick first drop of rain just
looking at that photo
that’s great you have these uh yeah they
all do yeah
it was seasonal too it came from like uh
until like the end of may uh
was uh up north but down south
uh it was a little less rain
we got the average dry december january
and then february got up north we moved
right for tet and uh january 68 we got
early january and uh they knew it was
so they they shipped uh the two brigades
up there
and uh the
weather was bad we had i have pictures
of myself with a t-shirt
a jungle sweater a field of the
cam the fatigue jacket the shirt
whatever they want to call it
and a fuel coat field jacket on
being 40 or 50 degrees soaking wet with
your feet wet
all night sleeping in the rain cold
crazy my dad
my dad was actually a marine up in
in uh 67-68
and uh that’s one of the things that he
told me was
you know you think of vietnam as being
hot and he liked to froze to death on uh
some of those fires it was so cold up
there and just wet
and miserable exactly yeah that was
really good that’s a good way to put it
yeah got one photo with his
sweatshirt underneath of his fatigues uh
this is a pretty interesting picture
that uh
kind of shows a an aviation
uh parking area or
uh landing zone you get your bunkers
pretty close by and believe it or not
um aside from you know knowing this is
in vietnam
a lot of these a lot of these hlz’s are
are not much different than what
guys would experience in afghanistan
from uh
the earlier years of the conflict you
know you always had a bunker quite close
to the hlz because the hlz was a
a magnet for indirect fire and they like
to shoot at helicopters when they come
in and out
oh yeah oh echo company who’s this bird
that’s beautiful uh you know this this
is uh
one of one of the unit signs from echo
company uh
and you notice they’ve got their air
mobile designation on there
so you know this is uh post 1968
uh you know there was there were a few
months there
and i have one photo in there that’s uh
it says 101st air cavalry there were a
few months there where
it did say 101st air cavalry but my
understanding is that the uh
the commanding general went back and uh
fought and had the designation changed
to 101st airborne division
air mobile yeah yeah and it only lasted
a few months the 101st air cavalry
get ready for this i have orders that
let’s say on top 100 first
airborne division air mobile air calvary
all three on all three november 1968 i’m
going to put that on facebook next week
hey i got something for you okay you got
to leave me your name and address
beside giving you a book i sure will
yeah there you go
and you know what a couple other rocket
signs out there any other rocket sounds
you just uh send us a message and i’ll
get you a uh
i know several there you go send me
their names too
yeah plenty of stuff here man
you know what to get stuff interesting
is the 101st
uh like i said started out as a
paratrooper division
when they were deployed with the first
brigade but uh
it was a it was a very large
and complicated ordeal to transition the
when in combat from a paratrooper
with um you know a battalion i guess of
of aircraft
to a air cavalry or air mobile division
its own organic aircraft for each of its
units that
form a direct support relationship that
was a tremendous
effort to bring in those aircraft
certify and train the crews
develop ttps you know as well as
you know basically rewrite the divisions
procedures to include that new aviation
all in contact with the you know
the uh the enemy that’s that’s just uh
a testament to the professionalism of
the division at the time
oh absolutely they’re ready to go
anytime that
that was our uh slogan uh we salute you
know you see an officer you say airborne
throw all the way he go
ready to go you go yes sir you’re born
you know like there you go
ready to go you you know it’s a kind of
i don’t know it’s a little kind of a
frat where or a special
thing where it’s just special man you
you got that you got that brotherhood
you got that ego
you got that inherent uh patriotism
and uh probably ten other things like a
for for young men to uh
join up and some even got drafted at
that time
and uh i’ll get back to that in a minute
but uh
unbelievable excellent service
one of the biggest things that i
probably had in vietnam
we had what do you understand as a leg
on that on the unqualified airborne
another yeah
we had guys drop dropping mortar rounds
on the trail because they didn’t want to
i’m sorry we had guys dropping mortar
81 millimeter mortar rounds on the trail
because they didn’t want to carry them
yeah soldier uh soldiers are
are a very yeah how shall i put this
inventive lot when it comes to uh
getting over on uh
what they’re always asked to do and
sometimes sometimes that’s
a real detriment but you know it’s uh
that’s one of those things that i can
tell you that uh
ammo is not one of those things that i
want to be sure of
yeah yeah not only that but like kind of
we had we went over as all volunteers
nothing against guys who got drafted
because some draftees but
i mean a lot of draftees were great
soldiers but some people just did not
want to
fight the war and then they had their
peace signs on their helmet and the
whole deal you know what i mean
and they would actually let you know
what was going on
and we had to keep up our street accord
man you know what i mean in our
it wasn’t happening with people who
kind of brought that infiltration of
lack of desire and
not being gung-ho like the rest of us it
was really a sad situation which we had
not only fight the enemy but try to keep
the guys in your own squad
or fire team on
you know up the park crazy
yeah i think that a lot of that uh that
swagger and bravado you talked about
comes from being well trained
and when you are well trained and you
know you’re well trained and you trust
in the people with you
it kind of develops that uh sense of of
swagger and invis
invincibility you know so you know my my
time in the army is all
you know post uh
draft era all volunteers and and uh
you know it it it really is believing in
the team you’re with and believing in
your own training that that brings you
the confidence to do the job
this is a pretty interesting photo i
mean it’s obviously it’s a later photo
because it’s colorized but
you know uh when i got the photos from
first brigade separate from the
gentleman i noticed most of the
howitzers in the pictures were all m101s
that were
you know late world war ii 50s design
with a split trail
and this one appears to be an m102 which
would have been a later howitzer it’s
got a um
kind of a y-shaped yoke on it but what’s
interesting is how they’ve got it rigged
with the uh
the load there the secondary load kind
of as a counterbalance for the uh
artillery piece a lot of times now
they’ll just
they’ll sling load the uh the howitzer
and then they’ll have a secondary sling
load for any sort of ammunition
or any other equipment that goes with it
so it’s uh
not really rigged on one hook per se
like this it’s rigged with a howitzer
and then another pendant below it
typically of ammunition
got the cav which was a pretty
pretty uh unique um
formation in in vietnam you know you
you have uh gunships you have scout
helicopters and then you have
infantry that are you know to exploit
the uh
reconnaissance of the aircraft and uh
you’ll notice i think this particular
says air mobile right here
but 217 cavalry so since um
since vietnam that that has kind of uh
transformed and it’s now
moved away from scout helicopters and
it’s now apache based
so it has ah 64 gunships and uh
they utilize a drone which is uh
you know linked to the aircraft to
provide the
scout helicopter mode and they’re all
linked electronically and digitally so
the pilot so the drone and the pilots of
the aircraft can communicate and target
this is something that probably any
infantryman back in the day
would really recognize and it’s a it’s a
flight of slicks coming in
this is a first brigade separate photo
that uh
unidentified photographer took but it
really speaks to the essence of uh
air mobility where you have those
aircraft that are going to come in and
pick up infantry and go out and do
uh do what they have to do
this is one of my favorite photos this
is uh
it’s such a dramatic photo and and you
know ron i was talking with your uh
son before we went on this is a a 2-5-0
first photo
but i really don’t know i i have to
wonder if the
the photographer knew he was taking such
a fantastic photo when he took the uh
picture and you know i’m going to assume
this is an extraction
because i see two aircraft and it looks
like he’s kind of waiting for the
aircraft to touch down but
it’s a it’s a fantastic photo with the
lighting the sun
and the uh you know the soldiers
silhouetted waiting to get on the
i can hear that uh looks like the blades
as they’re coming in in my head that’s a
that’s a sound no one forgets
yeah not only that you see the
reflection off the blades from the back
chap the chopper in the back
yes yeah and a little bit a little a
little bit looks like maybe
uh it could be steam it could be dust
you know the rotor wash from uh
there you go rotor wash from a huey can
depending on where it’s landing can be
uh can be pretty uh
pretty thick depending on the pitch of
the blades
this is a really interesting picture
again it shows you know the uh
the uh troopers hopping out and it looks
like it was
either a maybe a
demoed lz it could have been a b-52
that dropped bombs and created the hlz
but you know they’re hopping out in an
unimproved hlz and it almost looks like
the uh the guy on the left side of the
bird is getting a hand out but i really
think that’s the
the back of the guy that’s on the
opposite side that’s coming off the
other skid
you’re right but how about the machine
gun check out the guy in the chopper
yeah he’s uh he’s checking the you know
he’s engaged he’s engaged
probably looking to make sure that
they’re they’re off and off the skids
and make sure there’s nothing left on
the aircraft and they’re gone
exactly but that was the next job yeah
it was great
great picture boy gosh
all right here we go medevacs they suck
not really but you know what i mean yeah
you know the problem with the medevac is
if you see a medevac somebody’s had a
uh a bad day but uh
you know these and the commies used to
about comments used to shoot them down
they had nothing to do with the geneva
yes um i was uh
let me think i’m trying to i’m trying to
put it together
whom i was talking i know it was uh
one of the applicants for the uh
the badge had sent some psyop leaflets
in that uh
you know had what
pictures of the psyops leaflets and one
of them was trying to convince the uh
the uh nva and the vehicle
not to shoot at the the uh
medevac aircraft you know tell them hey
look these are evacking your people and
our people
let’s both agree not to shoot down the
medevac aircraft because you know they
they didn’t carry guns they still don’t
care guns i mean they have personal
weapons but they don’t have doors and uh
you know if they’re if they’re not uh
escorted with
uh some type of armed escort you know
it’s really the pilot’s uh
skill that keeps it keeps it intact
keeps it flying
i’m going to say for a huey pilot that’s
a pretty tricky
pretty tricky uh maneuver there because
unlike a lot of the new helicopters
where they have a lot of
you know electronic aids to help you fly
the helicopter huey you really had to be
on the stick and pedals and collective
to keep it
to keep it where you wanted it so you
know it’s kind of a testament to the
skill of those
early pilots that they were able to do
some of the maneuvers they did and fly
in the conditions they did and this is
all pre-night vision you know now
helicopters predominantly fly at night
and we fly with night vision goggles and
a very high
skill level with those pilots that are
doing it but you know in vietnam
they were flying uh without night vision
so if they were flying at night
it took a lot of took a lot of guts to
fly a helicopter at night when you
really can’t see everything that you
would like to
uh see to fly so a lot of respect for
those pilots
lorenz i gotta tell you we’re gonna call
it up because thank you so much for all
we’re gonna have to have you back in the
show because welcome
of information in your body i appreciate
your uh time ron the big thing i want
folks to take away is no problem the
they got to get it in before may 1st
i’ll see oh yes right i agree with that
i put it up we’re putting on our
facebook pages and our emails and our
uh what do you call it uh websites
so uh thank you i’m not the techiest guy
in the world
you got it brother thank you all the way
air assault
thanks ron
okay my man are we done
so this is our new website here follow
we have all kinds of pages of videos and
branches of service army navy air force
and even vietnam era music videos
you can subscribe to our youtube page or
visit our shop
we have all kinds of great things in
there as well lots of great gifts
then you can check out our book follow
them forgotten vietnam memorials in the
it makes a great gift it is a tribute to
the men and women who never came home
from the war that we never forget
we also have original content on the
site some articles in news section
and you can watch episodes and
highlights from the veterans live show
right here
on the phone never forgot network’s
and this is a favorite of a lot of
people the vietnam veteran jukebox
vietnam era music the public domain
from our time in vietnam edited together
and that’s pretty cool
you know guys in the jungle planes
flying over helicopter assaults you name
and last but certainly not least we are
making a vietnam war timeline
you can look up major events that
occurred in the war here by date
we’re currently adding more dates every
day so
there’s certainly some information you
guys are all going to appreciate
okay i hope you all enjoy the new
we put a lot of time into it and we are
expected to
be a great wealth of information to you
and the younger generation for years to
and once again the website is fallen
matt could you hear me
hello did you hear me matt
who’s that
there you go thank you sorry about that
no worries probably my fault
nothing like oh not like gold age gonna
get to forgetfulness
sorry about that okay let’s go with the
matt bring the photos on
i don’t know how i got back into this
this is great oh that’s one of my guys
taking off from uh
that’s our first combat assault yep
i kept the camera in my pocket i got
about 100 200
pictures no problem that was in couche
vietnam 1968 next picture please
that’s the first brigade separate photo
that i got from the gentleman it kind of
shows that
m102 coming in with uh field artillery
nice i never rode in one of those
classy there’s the
uh there’s my first combat assault
taking pictures with my instamatic
camera the 60 hanging off the side of
open door there’s uh buddies behind us
coming up oh my god
first combat assault man that was like
he didn’t know what to expect
some guys were nervous some guys were
now what do you got next matt
this is a uh i think this is a
one five-o first photo
and uh the photographer caught it it
looks like it’s sitting flat but it’s
frozen the blades and i think it’s
showing the uh
offloading of some equipment and it
looks like they’re getting ready to
unload some other things so
um like i said earlier i i don’t know if
i wouldn’t think it’s under duress
because it’s on the ground and
everybody’s standing up but
uh it certainly is a great
representation of uh
infantry and aviation working in concert
in the air mobile division
amen there you go very good
chinook it’s one and you know
i like it because it’s got a lot of room
and you can stretch out and you’re not
all cramped up like you are in some of
the other aircraft and
you know our our experience in uh
blackhawks in the gulf war was you know
they have
an acl of 11 and we had like 17 people
and a bunch of crap in there
so it was really really jam-packed so
anytime i got to ride in a chinook i
felt like i was getting a limo ride
because i had all this room
but uh this is a great great picture of
a pathfinder bringing in a load
what’s that ron yeah you always were not
hueys are not net jets
you know what i mean yeah that jeffy was
we still had a few hueys in my early
days and i always felt privileged to get
to ride in them they uh
were were awesome
oh yeah yeah okay we got here check this
out looks like a
firebase of some sort up in a mountain
yeah i think it is a firebase because it
looks like all the
brush and everything’s been cut down to
a really small level
um and i’m guessing that they’re going
to get on to go out and do a mission
uh it looks like maybe a pickup because
you know the door gunner’s guns are down
and he’s kind of sitting back so i have
a feeling they’re going to pick up
a load of troopers to go out and do a
there you go right good good observation
next matt
all right here we go load up oh
there we
um go loach behind the sign
you can make out the logic back there
behind the sign which is uh
you know kind of a kind of an iconic
aircraft of its own that you know is is
a version of it
is still in use which you know the
160th soar has their little birds which
are are
kind of a refinement of the original
loach but
pretty pretty amazing little helicopters
yeah i was i was always saying to myself
what the hell is that thing doing up
you know like but they were buzzing
around like doing combo and ammo i mean
observation right that’s what they were
for yeah wait for somebody to shoot at
them so they can
you know bring the gun ships in which is
pretty pretty uh brazilian job
pretty brazen yeah right man yeah pretty
pretty intense job i’m gonna fly around
until somebody shoots at me
that’s a tight that’s the tires call of
or something you know what i mean yeah
some cj jones going on there
all right what do you got next matt vip
i can’t make out that sign i’m sorry
yeah this is a don f pratt
uh photo that i got and it’s uh you know
your brigade and you’ll notice it says
air cavalry on the sign
and what i thought was pretty cool is uh
it looks like a hard stand hlz and they
got bunkers there for the aircraft
to kind of land up in so
pretty pretty interesting photo a lot of
a lot of
small details there i you know it’s kind
of lost forever on who’s actually
getting off those aircraft but it’s
pretty uh
pretty cool somebody somebody out there
in facebook knows where that
photo was taken i’m sure yeah so you
don’t know okay
all right here we go this is it that
um can you hear me yeah so of
of interest i kind of like this photo
because it’s got a picture of the mule
behind the uh
the company’s the cp sign which uh
is kind of you know that what’s old is
new again
so currently the uh the army’s working
the bugs and testing uh kind of a
robotic version of the mule if you will
that uh
will kind of fill that role and it’s you
know controlled uh
wirelessly and they can drive it and
everything but it looks a lot like a
and if it performs a lot of the same
function you know to move heavy stuff
for the uh
the ground soldiers they don’t carry it
that uh
oh boy here we go firebase bastogne was
one of the only other friendly fire
incidents that i recall
i might be wrong with 101st airborne
division in
in vietnam we had the gander crash in
the 80s
which killed 250 troopers
uh but on march 26 68
nine mortar rounds fell short on our
property uh b company first hit a 50
and uh killed uh 13 guys and wounded 22
of us
and uh that’s when i saw firebase
that stone that was the only other
friendly fire
incident that’s listed that i found
in my research from the vietnam war
which is pretty sad
okay next okay you got questions here
matt uh we got
jim kwasinewski
uh that’s a hard jim watching in uh
colorado springs
there you go
and we got friends sparrow my husband
repelled on the
fr fire triple canopy jungle
oh yeah that’s tough that must have been
like a recon outfit
because we in the infantry unit you had
a way to steal pots
in the field yeah even even uh
even in reconnaissance on you know i
spent a fair amount of time in in my
time in
in the in the scalp container in a
reconnaissance unit and a lot of times
when we’re on patrol we wear a soft cap
we always carried a helmet for
uh you know airborne operations when i
was a pathfinder we would use a helmet
fast rope operations which is you know
kind of the new
the new rappelling if you will um you
know what the army is doing now is
mostly fast rope but
it is still a viable and and you know
the air assault school still teaches
repelling today so
every every soldier that’s trained gets
uh trained how to repel
there you go next we met muslim was on
the first airborne in 1st 506.
very good he’s deceased god bless his
soul and i would love to know
more uh fran
sproul yeah so originally when this as i
said earlier it kind of has
has changed a little bit since it first
started um
originally it was directed entirely at
you know surviving veterans of the war
who who are out there
but if fran if you want to apply
on behalf of your husband go to the
you know
and you can click on the uh the air
assault wings there that’s actually a
link and it’ll give you the uh
downloadable form and when you fill it
out you’re gonna put um
your your husband’s information
but for the address uh you know an
email telephone number you’re going to
list yours and we just ask that you
you know at the top of the form before
you send it in
that you write posthumous and then put
your name
and you know say uh you know he was my
husband he was my
my brother my father and uh we’re we’re
we’re trying very hard to uh to cover
all the eventualities but the form was
not originally
we’d already put it out before the uh
the issue of of uh a posthumous award
came up so we just asked
you right on the forum posthumous when
you send it in
that’s good cover thank you very much
really well done
okay well next joe wrote robbie roby
will receive uh we’re receiving the
aerosol birds required to update a
vietnam version
sorry the updated version of the dd214
or is just an honorary badge no
it it is an honorarium um the
division commander the 101st is
authorized to
award honorary badges to uh
vietnam veterans but it’s it’s not a
retroactive award of the badge
for vietnam veterans so you know it will
uh be added to their official military
records or their uh
dd214 it is it is an honorarium
you know i think on the honor the word
honor means more than dd-214 to me
i i you know um
i i understand the uh
the desire and and frankly i’m i’m
thrilled that
uh you know there’s as much interest as
there is because
uh you know
i i’m obviously a later soldier i wasn’t
in vietnam but
you know we we from the time i showed up
to the division in in 1990 we felt like
we were standing on the shoulders of the
vietnam guys so
i think it’s a great thing that uh by
honoring their
air mobile service in vietnam with the
division and all the great things that
that they’ve done to develop air assault
that uh we’re able to connect the
vietnam veteran with the
today’s screaming eagle soldier that’s
an air assault soldier
amen to that not only that let me tell
you what
back in uh 2010 i think it was
it was a 40-year again on rough
rough numbers 40 years out of vietnam
for us
that they had a call back to fort
campbell for all the vietnam veterans
and we lined up outside that big hangar
yes sir thousands of us came in there
and uh this reminds me of that and i
hope i hope
i know it’s uh 10 11 years
since but uh
hopefully most of the guys are still
around to uh
to to gather this and put it in their uh
and they have a little feather in their
cap you know what i mean
absolutely kilo 19 says uh the hillsides
look hammered
yeah i i imagine uh
between uh us trying to clear all the
that looks like it was uh a combination
of defoliated and uh
and probably cleared with uh some sort
of explosives but
um yeah contested
contested ground for sure
kilo’s a good guy we got to get him on
the show he knows he
is that very active we’ve got to bring
him out into
the public eye here one one thing
uh sure when you look at all those
um you know you
it just kind of brings you in obviously
ron it brings your memories back
but uh you know even being a a later
generation veteran when i see those
it it it takes me to a very similar
place in
different times you know the job has
uh the designation of the the unit may
have changed
uh uniforms have adapted and everything
but the the job is
is still largely the same um
so it’s it’s fantastic that uh there’s
all this in common
you know it started back in the 90s we
used to have our uh
reunions at west at thayer hotel at west
point every
uh december for the best storm reunion
yes and then
in memorial day we’d have it at the
sheraton in arlington
uh for the weekend there and there was
always a sign up
and the sign said if you wore the patch
you’re welcome yeah you know uh
right now um we just we just posted it
up but
uh the our our national capital chapter
which has run the
memorial day events in washington dc for
for many years that’s where our
divisions monument is outside the gates
of arlington
they are um planning driving ahead with
planning memorial day events this year
so if you’re
out there in the national capital area
you know they’re gonna be out there
they’re gonna have a hospitality room at
the uh
sheraton pentagon city and you can find
the uh
information for the memorial day events
for the national capital chapter of the
101st airborne division association
so they would they would uh they would
welcome you into the fold
yeah i wrote them already uh they got an
answer tentative if they’re planning it
as well as uh uh thunder alley there in
by the state department off of uh
pennsylvania avenue
where they have all those vendors in
there uh we’re in there every uh
to sell our books uh i published matthew
and i published two books
uh about the vietnam war uh well one’s
about a paratrooper one’s about
the fall of never forgotten guys who
never made a home from vietnam
and by the way we’re going to send you a
copy of that book uh
where is it let me get this to show you
a picture of that there
here it is right here man that’s going
to come in the mail to you
so before you hang up either that’s
awesome you’re
this is a state by statement once
one memorial from each state tells you
how the memorial got built how they got
the money
the who did the sculptures who did the
landscape architecture
and then with this alphabetically all
the guys who never came home from
tremendous undertaking ron how many
years did it take you to complete that
uh well matt was the publishing guy i
was the research guy
about took her already about six six six
seven months
wow well from in august no maybe i’m
wrong august to uh
to april then ted looks like 10 months
but the research
it wasn’t the you know research time was
like the waiting for the publisher too
i don’t think that counts you know what
i mean yes
other than that thank you my brother god
bless you
airborne all the way you ever saw and
welcome home i appreciate you ron thanks
for having me on
um again anybody interested in the badge
go to uh www
and click on the air assault badge on
the home page and just a reminder
you know for this year we have to have
your application
uh before may 1st in order to get it
uh on the timeline for this year so
there’s only about 10 days left
so thanks we’re going to put it on our
websites and our facebook pages
thanks ron you got it brother thank you
very much
take care air salt
it won
i love it