Unfriendly Fire

327 Infantry Veterans

Unfriendly Fire


November 18, 2022
Subject: Delta Air Strike – 327 Infantry Veterans


From: 04KOOP
11/19/2022 Subject: Re: : Delta Air Strike – 327 Infantry Veterans
Sad story…sadly happen at times or could have…usually by inexperienced or anxious errors…always a severe concern…not for me with this much loss thank GOD as mistakes can be costly so it reminds me of some stories/experiences I sort of forgot actually 5 incidents which could have been much worse for us with the ARVN which I/we took great pains to keep from accidentally encountering American troops on the hunt. Often they (101st) were required to clear fire in our AO with me and we didn’t enter theirs. 2 times I had to quickly changed a called in fire mission grid by newbie infantry advisors to ARVNs which would have killed us (where we were). Luckily our FDCs listened to me on them but it did tell Charlie where we were exactly. 2 other times were once one time with Puff which would have included us in the spray/kill and with flyboys dropping Napalm once. So glad I was anal about map reading and knowing where we were at. How many mistakes were not caught? The last time almost killed Potts and I when we were outside Currahee early in its occupation when they inside were often hit and they were shooting illumination with their mortars…we were coming in (night time) all cleared and arrange with 101st guides through their mine fields (just a platoon size patrol of ARVN) when someone in 101st mortar section accidently (I presume but I was pissed then) dropped a HE in the tube instead of illumination. It killed two ARVN right behind Potts & I as we were walking in. I was so pissed (didn’t wear rank then) I foolishly went over to mortar unit and raised hell which they somehow tolerated (they had been under fire too and may have lost men)? Not one of my better moments. One of the ARVN spoke good English and was tasked with protecting us with the other guy killed. Getting killed by your own fire has to be the worst. I told you I had to kick two guys out of A Btry FDC for intentionally shooting out (giving you guys wrong data) verses awakening me to clear the data (I had been awake near 48 hours catching snoozes) as always required but luckily they didn’t kill any friendlies. They had done this before with the previous FDO who was replaced by me. Then I put Pee Wee in charge. So sorry for those who suffered from mistakes like this MAN described.

neal2551 November 28, 2022
Interesting read. It shows how our personal timelines get screwed up as we attempt to document the past. One thing that stood out to me in the Delta Air Strike story was the reference to Apache Snow. But he did good in the way he addressed his memory, “I do not remember.”

“I must now digress; it is difficult to remember exactly the events leading-up to 8 AUG 68. Was it part of NEVADA EAGLE or APACHE SNOW? I do not remember.”

I can attest that Apache Snow started some 9 months later. It is the one operation that most sticks in my mind. In any case I felt a real cold chill come over my body when I read the words, “Apache Snow”, I knew exactly what it represented to my decaying mind. Some things we never forget. I also appreciate the reading for reminding me of parallel happening from my own experience which in all reality was mostly pretty simple and easy, with few exceptions. The words, “Doc Stewart died a few paces away from the CP as he tried to assist other wounded” flashed over in my mind as to the same scenario as Doc Paddleford dying from a major injury while assisting others.

Reading these stories I thank God, I got assigned to the Artillery. It wasn’t as personal as the experience of those in the bush. Thank you for the copy on this, it’s really appreciated.

From: 04KOOP
Sent: Friday, December 2, 2022 8:12 AM

The 83rd was tasked with sponsoring (adapting and supporting this flawed terribly internally via personal conflicts Kentucky National Guard 155SP unit)..they shot out more then once from the get go and were pathetically slow on a call for fire thus unusable or they probably would have killed more of us (friendlies). The unit was plagued with internal personal conflicts from their civilian lives and a brazen show off attitude nonsense verses earned competence. As an FO in need they were pure worthless. Tried but gave up and sought elsewhere. I heard about some incident but had myself already given up on them and didn’t their brazen incompetence in security literally invited Charlie to attack them at one time. I know our chopper pilots never wanted to fly their brass around? As I understand it from memory they had to literally breakup the unit personnel wise up with removals and implants making virtually no longer a cohesive Kentucky unit to obtain any rational effectiveness. But I never used them again for fire or trusted them again when they shot who knows where when asked and were so stinking slow. My experience with them. Thankfully killed none of us with me but loose cannons for certain. Zero respect. When was the big shoot out error? Wasn’t their another? Was it at Tomahawk or Sally? Didn’t they cause an incident at Roy with their security failures? I was elsewhere in the woods out of their range thank GOD then so I never heard for certain…other than to say they as originally configured with dangerously useless.

Sent: Friday, December 2, 2022 2:52 AM

Another Friendly Fire incident came across the 83rd arty discussions a few years ago. It may have been B battery 83rd 8 inch/ 175 that was stationed at Camp Eagle or Gia Le. Our pare pits were near the big white movie screen right at the hard left curve around the arty hootches. The area of the gun emplacements were tight so it was decided to move the outside wire another 50 or 100 feet farther out and install new NDP’s at the current new wire. The blurb of land change at Eagle / Gia Le was sent out to all arty and mortar units. I don’t remember how long after the NDP relocation took place but Gia Le needed perimeter fire and the Kentucky 155 unit tasked for the job. That battery just stayed at Tomahawk a long time and didn’t move. The 155 SP unit did not read the new rules of engagement sent by Gia Le and fired using the old perimeter lines, thus killing arty soldiers in the NDP’s
The 83rd 1st Sgt was calling the Bardstown group to cease fire but it took a few minutes to get the word out to the gun crews.
Those of us at FB Roy also received erratic fire from the KY team on Tomahawk in late 69. The third time our FDC called them to cease fire on our AO it was followed by Heavyweight Battery will fire upon you if another round leaves your tube and seemed to shut them down for the night. YJ should be able to verify that night also. 83rd and 327th met at the No Slack CP to be assigned guard bunkers at Roy. NS/OTOT Dano

Brothers Dano & Koop,

I can verify the 155 SPs on T’Hawk shelling Roy November of 1969 as I was and eyewitness to that event.
Yankee Jim

Fri 12/2/2022 2:18 PM

Sorry, I was gone back to world beginning of Sep 69…because I was wearing two hats as BN had no signal officer till one came I think Jan 69…I was Commo Officer when in the rear and FO per whatever special missions and patrols MAVC requested an FO for. I remember the Commo crypto troops having to assemble calls signs & frequencies for the Kentucky 155SP unit and telling them they could not use whiskey bourbon (their own calls signs) exclusively like they wanted too which they actually ignored clearly comprising them. This had to be end of 68/beginning of 69 (not clear on time line) and may been with their advanced party even. As I mentioned before I was pulled into BN FDC sometime in late Jan or in Feb 69 and then with A Btry FDC as the FDO for about 2 1/2 months as we moved toward the valley Bastogne, Blaze and Arrow but left literally as Cannon was being occupied. Then back to FO’ing primarily in the Ashau (Laos a few times). But I remember the Kentucky unit literally shot 180 out when firing for effect with 1 or 2 guns blowing up something which caused problems (not sure they killed anyone but what a start)? Shot out some more times on other missions and like I said as said very lax on security and unreliable. I did some missions out and south west of Tomahawk where they and our guns at Roy were all that were primarily available to me and I quit using the guard Arty at all. Weren’t they found negligent for some perimeter failures at Tomahawk or somewhere? Sorry to hear they didn’t improve. Incompetent is all I ever experienced with them.

4 thoughts on “Unfriendly Fire

  1. My father was awarded I believe it was the SILVER STAR for noticing and de-boobie trapping (I guess is what it’s called) Firebase Kathryn He was Machine Gunner in 101st Airborne 1970-71. After the US Army had abandoned it. Their platoon was sent there to reclaim this Firebase. If you know or have any pictures could you please post or send to my e-mail. I would love to see anyone/thing about this. My schools were not allowed to teach us anything about this war. So noone has been educated or aware of the bravery, dedication, or the sacrifices of the men/women who were involved. Thank You.

  2. Would like any information about my Father. Gary Rone from Indiana.
    A company 1st Bn 1966-1968.
    Killed in an industrial accident when he was 25 as a civilian.
    Please see his picture in the Guest Book.
    Thank you.

  3. Looking for any buddy’s of Gary Lee (“Butch”) Cross to get back to me.
    he was KIA April 9, 1969.
    We were best friends, and grew up together in Hopkins Missouri. I have conflicting accounts of how Butch was killed. it’s been over 54 years, needing closure about this. Any other comments or photos would be precious to me. Thank you all, and welcome home!

  4. Unfriendly Fire is very unclear on how Doc Stewart came to be in this story…
    He was killed in the Delta 2/327th air strike in August 68 A Shau Valley. I was nearby in A co.
    I knew him and he is a central figure through my book, “Hawk Recon” which tells a lot about that day!
    Doc Osgood

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