Ed "Spooky" Nored
RVN Sep 69 - Sep 70
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6-1-70 Boonies (Cambodia) (log day) (kick out)
(Nored/Linda.) Info from June 1 letter. We finally left the cache site. We are looking for a place to cut a log pad. Letter mentions 1st. platoons contact with enemy yesterday. I wrote "I sure wished they'd make these jungle fatigues a little thicker. Darn mosquitoes bite right through them. Ouch! From June 2nd letter referring to yesterday,June 1st, I commented. We got a kick out log and that the company had found an enemy helmet with blood on it. About 30 feet away was a grave and 2nd. platoon got stuck with the job of digging up the individual. The soldier looked like he had been killed by artillery.
6-2-70 (Cambodia) Boonies
(Nored/Linda.) Info from June 2nd letter."Its 12:45 and we just came back from a patrol off a road." (Most likely just 3rd.plt.) We ate lunch and then saddled up again at 1400 and moved out. Next days letter adds "Well after we moved out yesterday we came to the top of a hill (the company sets up a patrol base) and then went out on a patrol (Most likely just 3rd. plt.) and got lost. What a mess. Anyway we didn't find anything so we came back and set up for the night."
(DOL) The following incident has to do with the 30 man Echo recon platoon working in our area. Echo sprung an ambush on a small group of enemy soldiers. One of the enemy was wounded in the leg and had a sucking chest wound. Echos medic tended to him and a medavac was requested. He was soon lifted out using the ridged litter and taken to the rear. Despite the compassionate effort of all, the man died later that afternoon.
6-4-70 (Cambodia) Boonies (log day) Designated Log bird Octave 083. Schmidt and Nored witness F-4 fighter crashing off Mo.
(Nored/DOL) Between 1230 and 1730 Delta company received its log. I jumped on one of the log birds return trip. I was having trouble hearing and went to LZ Mo. I left Dick Fowler in charge of the squad. At Mo the medics determined I had too much wax in my ears and they cleaned them. Jim Schmidt of my squad was there due to a skin rash. That night as Jim and I pulled guard on the parameter of Mo we saw what looked like a rocket with flames coming from the back. It flew over us and then fell into a hill side about a mile away. (DOL says it was 2 kilometers off Mo) The flames from the rear never stopped and as it hit there was large explosion followed by a ball of flame rising from it and then a few seconds later we heard the "boom" from its impact. We thought it might have been a large enemy rocket that missed Mo but later found out it was a F-4 fighter. The next day,June 5th,the 1/9th Cav sent out their "Blues Team" to search crash site. They found body parts only and then were lifted out.
6-5-70 (Cambodia) Company in boonies (I am on Mo)
(* Bob Angle of Ketches squad is air lifted out of the field because of a death in the family) * Concerning an emergency situation with your family back home the Red Cross was notified and they in turn requested the Army to send you home as soon as possible. Jay Selby would go home the same way in September.
6-6-70 (Cambodia) Company in boonies (I'm on Mo)
(Nored) My letter home of June 6th 1970 also included this other general information. Chris Luecke who had been our platoon Sgt. (3rd.) went to the company rear and becomes supply sgt. This means that he will not be returning to the field. Earl Falkinburg is in Australia on R&R. Jim Schmidt is on L.Z. Mo with me because he has some sort of rash. Spotted Horse has 32 days left in country. I mentioned Mike Mahr would probably go home early because his brother was being sent here and it was Army policy not to have 2 brothers in a combat zone. (All of Vietnam was a combat zone.) We have a new platoon leader (Lt. Holden) who has about 80 days left in country and is in Australia on R&R. We have a new platoon sgt. whose name is either Kaheki or Kahele as of the writing I'm still not sure. He had the nick-name of "Pineapple". Marcell Gorre who also had the same nick-name left the company several months ago. He got a rear job working in the intelligence area.
6-7-70 Boonies / L.Z.Snuffy
(DOL) Between 0900 and 1030 Bravo company is airlifted from Bu Gia Map airstrip (Snuffy) to Deltas secure LZ out in the bush. The map coordinates are the same for Delta's location and where Bravo is to be inserted. Though the DOL doesn't say so I assume the 2 companies are doing a "DX" or "Daisy Chain". The 2 companies are exchanging places.
(from J.W. diary) Our platoon then went out on a "mini cav". We C.A. (combat assault) 2K (2000 meters) from L.Z. and humped back in. It took us about 2 hours. We then all went swimming at the hole where they get the water for the L.Z. Set up guard outside the ammo point.
6-8-70 L.Z. Snuffy. ( L.Z. Snuffy at the Bu Gia Map air strip. On several civilian maps such as the one found in the National Geographic Magazine look for Phuoc Hoa (Djamap)
(from J.W. diary) When we woke up this morning we had 15 chui hoi (enemy surrenders) at 2nd platoons position consisting of men and women. Pulled palace guard all day, then had a barbeque. Put in for R&R but I was bumped again. Will try for August.
6-9-70 L.Z. Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) A person named Frank Supek in 2nd platoon 3rd squad walked into a automatic ambush and messed up his legs. Went out on O.P. all day. Found out I got R&R on July 16-22nd.
(DOL) See entries # 11 and # 12 for more info on Supek who was wounded by a claymore. As Gordon Swenson mentions below Supek would be sent home. Other info from DOL says 2nd platoon, between 0800 and 0830 was airlifted from Snuffy and inserted into the bush and then humped back in. These were called "Mini Cavs".
(Swenson) I found my release orders from the 249th Hospital in Japan and Frank Supek was released to stateside the same day I was.
(Nored) On June 9th or 10th I left the company to go on R&R to Hawaii to meet Linda. The information concerning the companies activities from June 7th to June 23th are provided by Jim Watradowskis diary. Jim was in 3rd platoon with Ketch's squad.
Their were few people in Delta company who waited as long as I did before going on R&R. Everybody seemed to want to take theirs around the middle of their tour. I had waited nearly 8 1/2 months. I had a strong concern about just how hard it was going to be to have to return to the boonies. In an April 30th letter to my parents I wrote:
"To go into the "bush" for the first time is easy cause you have no idea what it's like. Once you leave it and have to come back it's harder than hell! Dad understands." (My dad served in Leyte and Okinawa during WW2). I think in late January when I returned from the C.L.C course in Bein Hoa, I became aware of this feeling of despair. You have to turn something off inside yourself and become a robot. It's better if you don't think at all. Just pick up your pack and "16" and "drive on". I knew if leaving Bein Hoa was hard enough that leaving your girl friend in Hawaii after a week would take a lot more work to get that switch off.
6-10-70 (no officers log) LZ Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) Went out on O.P. and sat around down by the water hole. Then we were able to go swimming. It sure felt good.
6-11-70 LZ Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) Got up at 6:30 am. L.Z. was hit last night. 1 B-40 rocket landed inside. We pulled guard with 2 people together. Went out on a "mini-cav" and humped about 1K. I was really tired.
6-12-70 LZ Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) Got a good night sleep. Rained real hard until 4:00 am. Had to move our hootch because of the water. Nothing much to do except write letters.
6-13-70 LZ Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) Moved onto L.Z. with not much of anything to do. Cleaned up around bunkers. Built a sleeping position. The L.Z. was real muddy.
6-14-70 LZ Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) Sat around bunker. Worked a little on fighting positions in the morning. Went swimming in the afternoon. felt good.
6-15-70 LZ Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) Got up early built another fighting position. In the afternoon put out trip flares. Part of Arty's mess tent burnt down.
6-16-70 LZ Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) Humped off LZ. Was supposed to go on "mini-cav", rained out. Then went out on patrol. Learned how to bring mortars in. Came back in. Had Bar-B-Q 'd chicken. Took it easy. Pay day.
6-17-70 LZ Snuffy
(from J.W. diary) Got over today. Rained all day long. Just sat in hootch and wrote letters.
6-18-70 LZ Snuffy
( J.W.) Got up early 6:30 am. Got ready for "mini-cav". Did a 360 deg patrol around LZ. Came back to hootch, went swimming and did laundry. Talked to Platoon Sgt. "Pineapple" about Hawaii, as he is from there. (Jim Wastradowski is referring to SSgt. Francis Kaheiki.)
6-19-70 LZ Snuffy
(J.W.) Sat around hootch, slept most of the day. No mail. Was told last night we are going to Cambodia for a day.
6-20-70 LZ Snuffy
( J.W.) Went out on a "mini-cav" about 2k's. Sat on pad from 8:00 to 1:00 pm, got back at 4:00 pm. Ketch comes back from R&R, took back squad.
(DOL) A terrible accident takes place as Bravo company is being extracted from the bush and taken to Mo. As one bird sat on the PZ loading Bravo grunts one man named Dennis Stopplenorth walked into the main rotor of one of the birds and was decapitated. Other info confirms JWs info above that Delta's 3rd. platoon did a "Mini Cav". They were air lifted off Snuffy (Bu Gia Map airstrip) between 1230 and 1300.
6-21-70 LZ Snuffy
(J.W.) Slept in this a.m. took it easy all day.
6-22-70 LZ Snuffy
(J.W.) Went out on "mini-cav", humped off LZ to river then came back. Took it easy, laid around.
6-23-70 LZ Snuffy
(J.W.) Sat around all day. Jim Tracy came to visit and spend the night. Glad to see him we talked and talked. Went swimming. Had to guard a downed Chinook all night.
(Nored/D.O.L.) Delta company has 2 men with 103 degree temperature and need medavac from Snuffy. They are Richard A. Hagens, roster # 68 and Paul B. Barnett # 129. They most likely have Malaria......The Secretay of the Navy along with U.S. Congressman and Representatives are flying out to L.Z. Moe and Snuffy. Most likely to see for themselves the results of the Cambodian operation. Much of the equipment, weapons and ammo found in Cambodia was air lifted to the airfield at Snuffy. Including items Delta company had found. The downed aircraft that Jim Wastradowski mentions guarding over night was a CH-54 with mechanical problems.
6-24-70 LZ Snuffy Ed Nored returns to company
( J.W.) Got up late. Jim Tracy left for Song Be. Laid around then went swimming. Really enjoyed it.
(Nored) My letter on this date commented on 2 events that occurred while I was gone. Dick Fowler got caught sleeping on guard and got an article 15. "No big deal" I wrote. Jay (Selby) and Jim (Schmidt) were cleaning a 50 Cal.MG. when it accidentally went off barely missing a helicopter.
(Nored/DOL) Between 1130 and 1145 1st. platoon, on its own, was airlifted a short distance off of Snuffy where they conducted a recon of the area and then humped back to Snuffy. A Chinook helicopter is hit by enemy ground fire off of Snuffy and it makes a hard crash landing out in the bush. The crew is injured but not killed. The Secretary of the Navy visits L.Z.Moe.
6-25-70 LZ Snuffy
(Ed Nored) Company C.A.'d into field. On the 25th my letter states we were 1/2 mile form the Cambodian border. Our new platoon leader wants us to dig in every night. We leave Snuffy, come of us carrying long handled shovels. Lt. Holden at one point expresses to me and Ketch, the leader of our other squad in 3rd platoon, that if we don't stop talking back to him he would relieve us of our command. Ketch and I just looked at each other and smiled. Our platoon went on patrol while 1st platoon went in the other direction. Both platoons spotted 3 gooks. No fire exchanged.
(DOL)The air lift of Delta company started at 1000 and was complete at 1100. We found several trails and a couple of bunkers. At one bunker we found a 1917 Engfield rifle. To read complete story on the Chinook being shot down see entry # 11 of the DOL.
(J.W.) Got up at 7:00 am. One gun lit up a gook coming down the trail. got SKS and followed blood trail. Went out on 2 patrols, found nothing. Did see fresh trail. Cobra shot down off Snuffy.
(Nored/DOL) In Jim Wastradowski's diary he mentions a Cobra gunship was shot down around Snuffy. The DOL provides us with more information. It reports that during the first lift of Charlie Company's First platoon from Snuffy, an escorting Cobra took ground to air fire and exploded in mid air. They speculated one of the enemies rounds probably hit one of the gunships rocket pods. Both crew members of the Cobra were killed. A Chinook copter had also taken GTA (ground to air) fire and suffered a few holes from a AK-47 with no noted serious consequences. My letter of the 26th comments that Delta was alerted to be prepared for us to be airlifted to the area of the ground fire off Snuffy but this never happened. At about 12 noon at Battalion level an air request was made to move Delta company. They reported Delta had 102 Pax (102 people or Packs)and that it would take 20 sorties. In the DOLs I have seen Deltas size fluctuate from a low of 84 to a high of 124. There was a lot of activity today with the Battalion and Delta staid where it was. Near by Echoe recon had one man killed and his name was Gary L. Flack.
(DOL) Delta had been given orders to be in a "secure one shipper " by 1000. This means Delta has to find and secure a landing zone big enough for one bird to land. We proceed to do that. The L.Z. is for Echo recon. The DOL mentions that Gary Borkowski, one of the squad leaders from 3rd plt., will be coming to the rear for leave and Victor "Magilla Gorilla" Guerrera (1st platoon) is coming in for medical reasons. Log says it took 7 sorties to move Echo recon to our location. This took place between 1036 and 1055. Echo recon is going to get logged at this same landing zone. By 1400 Delta leaves Echo recon at the pad and moves towards what will be its NDP or night defensive position. The DOL says Echo recon was to join us at the NDP but the final map locations of the 2 of us suggest otherwise. ( If you read the DOL in its entirety be alert to the fact there is Echo (E) Company and there is an Echo (E) recon.).
(J.W.) Secure pad for Echo recon. Spent whole day then came off pad. moved about 300 meters. Set up night loc. went out on patrol.
(Nored) In letter of 27th we were working close to the Cambodian border. I complained about too many mosquitoes. The ones that bite through your pants to your testicles were the most annoying. Their constant buzzing noise in your ears. If it wasn't mosquitoes sucking your blood, it was a newly discovered leech somewhere on your body. We have a new guy in the squad named Ken. He is a "shake and bake" sgt. He is also the clumsiest person I have ever seen. He gets caught on everything. At times when we have point he is dangerous because he make too much noise. Jim Schmidt of my squad catches bugs and sends them home to his dad in Oregon. A new Captain took over the company as C.O.
6-28-70 Boonies / Log day Designated Log Bird is "Serpant # 936"
(J.W.) Got up at 7:00 am. found out we got log. Cpt Perkins is leaving. We got our new C.O. (Cpt Perry) Set up at night Loc. rained.
(DOL) Delta spent most of the day getting logged. From 0930 to 1455. The bad weather didn't help any. Time is running out on the 1/8th units still in the bush and still on the Cambodia side of the "military operational boundary". All American units have to be back on the Nam side by high noon tomorrow, June 29th. Alpha company has found a nice cache of supplies (see entry # 12 and # 16) and 2 days ago Echo Recon had found a nice cache. On todays log, details of their find are listed at entry # 27
(DOL) LZ Mo is visited by the following United States Representatives Coughlin, Flowers, Freg, Hastings and Mann. (Nored) They are probably here on one of those famous "fact finding" trips to see if the Cambodia incursion was worth it. That's why much of the enemy's supplies were flown out to Snuffy instead of us just blowing it up in place. It took a lot of energy to airlift all that evidence out to prove that the incursion had been worth it. Sometime after 0800 3rd and 2nd platoons are sent out on patrols to the north and east. At the patrol base (most likely were still at our NDP) about 0900 3 to 4 enemy soldiers are seen approaching down a trail and 1st. platoon opens fire. The enemy does not return fire and turns and gets the hell out of the area. A recon of the area finds a blood trail and one AK-47. End of incident. The 2 other platoons return and the company saddles up heavy in preparation for crossing the river. Alpha company is doing the same at another crossing area. Echo recon has joined Delta or is very close. The map coordinates given are the same during this period. At 1115 the DOL notes that Alpha, Delta and Echo recon are in the process of crossing river. At 1230 the DOL reports Alpha company has 80% of his men across. At 1258 Alpha is completely across the river and the company commander had to confirm by giving his initials,"CU". By 1300 Delta and Echo are across also. The night locations of Delta and Echo recon are the same.
Footnote for Alpha Company's commander with initials "CU". This is most likely Captain Utermahlen who is featured in a Life Magazine article which appears in the October 23rd 1970 issue. The same reporter was trying to find the right company to do a story on concerning the current "Grunts" attitude of the war. This reporter joined Delta company on July 15th. but did not find the "atmosphere" he was looking for.
To see photo of Capt. Utermahlen of Alpha Co. Click here to see Life magazine July 15th 70.
(J.W.) Got up went on recon. 1st platoon lit up 6 gooks, found blood trail. Humped 2k's. Went out on patrol, set up 6:30 pm. nice day.
(DOL) Battalion informs Delta company to stay at there present location (NDP) We have permission to run short recons around our parameter but that's all. Battalion wants us to stay clear of the extraction of Delta company of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (2/7) from a nearby hill top. Hill # 304.
(Nored/Linda) Sometimes the information just doesn't match perfectly but here is what I wrote June 30th. "About a mile away the 2/7th Cav C.A.'d (combat assault) into an area we had just left the other day. A bird had a power failure, crashed and killed 4 people."..."Anyway the gooks started shooting at the birds and soon the whole air force with their jets were all over the sky. For about 2 hours they pounded the area with rockets bombs and machine gun fire. It sure was noisey!".
(J.W. ) Got up went out on recon. Stayed at night loc. Got over. Spending second night here. 2/7 Cav got hit at our first log pad. Bird shot down, 3 killed. Dug in for the night.
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