Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Indochina 1945-1954

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by altus View Post
    If only could you please call me simply Altus.
    Whew! . . . I thought you were going to say "simply Comrade Altus" . . .

    -- Just plain, old RR
    www.RadioVietnam.net

    Comment


    • Indochina 1945-1954

      Originally posted by altus View Post
      Hi RJD,



      Now I'm too flattered. I'm just glad I could help. Besides, it was nothing but some searching, based on the CIA article that Mick provided, on my part.

      Miss Saigon does have a point, however. If only could you please call me simply Altus.

      Respectfully yours,

      Altus
      Altus,

      The compliment was genuine. My friends call me Bob--please call me simply Bob. [Or, if you prefer, many of my Vietnamese friends call me Cường]

      Based on the information you provided, I found a three-part series (last updated 16 Dec 08) that includes a fascinating history of US air support to the Nationalist Chinese during WWII and beyond, and to the French during the French Indochina war. The series includes many interesting photos from that era, including two photos of the actual crash of McGoverns aircraft. I recommend this series to anyone who might be interested in the history of the activities of the American armed forces and the CIA in Asia during that era:


      Warm regards,
      Bob D
      Last edited by RJD; 13 Dec 09, 17:39.

      Comment


      • Hi, Bob,

        Originally posted by RJD View Post
        Based on the information you provided, I found a three-part series (last updated 16 Dec 08) that includes a fascinating history of US air support to the Nationalist Chinese during WWII and beyond, and to the French during the French Indochina war. The series includes many interesting photos from that era, including two photos of the actual crash of McGoverns aircraft. I recommend this series to anyone who might be interested in the history of the activities of the American armed forces and the CIA in Asia during that era
        While we're at it, I wonder if you have anything on the aircraft that delivered OSS supplies and men to the Viet Minh in 1945. I've mentioned them here. All I've found so far was they were most probably L-5 observer planes. Should you have anything on them, I'd be very interested to hear.

        Many thanks in advance,

        Altus

        Comment


        • Originally posted by altus View Post
          Hi RJD,

          Miss Saigon does have a point, however. If only could you please call me simply Altus.


          I was looking forward to calling you Đại T

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Miss Saigon View Post
            I was looking forward to calling you Đại T
            Is this a subtle suggestion toward framing me to call you Tướng C, Miss General?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by altus View Post
              Is this a subtle suggestion toward framing me to call you Tướng C, Miss General?
              I understood. You didn't have to translate.

              But no. I have many military friends and I address all of them by their ranks. If in fact you were a Colonel I would have addressed you that way as it is my way.

              Unless told otherwise, which someone here did

              Comment


              • RJD in re:
                He claimed that he was a sergeant serving with the US Army Rangers and that his mission was to observe French operations and draw lessons learned that might be incorporated into the US Army Rangers' training program
                There were, as you know, no U.S. Army Ranger units in 1953/54. The only plausible explanation of this, if true, is that the individual was TDY from the Ranger Training Company of the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Were that so, there should have been more than a single member of the team (i.e., an officer). Likewise, one wonders what lessons a fixed battle like DBP would possibly hold for the Rangers. One of the reasons the Airborne Ranger companies were disbanded in 1951 was that the Korean War had bogged down in positional warfare. Barring a set of orders surfacing for just such a TDY from the Ranger Department, USAIS, I would see a Ranger qualified individual from the 10th Special Forces Group attached to the 8th Parachute Choc Group (later renamed its original 8th BPC) as the only plausible explanation. Assuming that the source was telling the truth, and did not understand the difference between someone from "the Rangers", i.e., units disbanded in 1951, and a Ranger qualified soldier. During the 10th SFG's early years in Europe, they reportedly trained regularly with the 11th Choc, which provided cadres for the G.C.M.A. And at one point during DPB's existence, the 8th Colonial Para's were redesignated the 8th Groupement Parachutiste de Choc and earmarked for employment in G.C.M.A. operations. But as DBP wore on, the High Command apparently decided that they needed colonial paras in the general reserve more than the GCMA needed an elite parachute choc battalion. I would assume that the 10th Group routinely swapped LNOs and LNCOs with the 11th Choc, as they later did with 22 SAS. How plausible is that? About as plausible as the 1984/85 10th SFG posting an LNO at HQs, CIA on its own initiative. Which, by the way, happened. But, even in such a case, there would be a paper trail. TDY vouchers have to be submitted, with copies of unit orders attached to them.
                dit: Lirelou

                Phong trần mi một lưỡi gươm, Những loi gi o ti cơm s g!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by altus View Post
                  Hi, Bob,



                  While we're at it, I wonder if you have anything on the aircraft that delivered OSS supplies and men to the Viet Minh in 1945. I've mentioned them here. All I've found so far was they were most probably L-5 observer planes. Should you have anything on them, I'd be very interested to hear.

                  Many thanks in advance,

                  Altus
                  Altus,

                  I was not able to find a definitive answer this evening, but I can offer an educated guess. The following paragraphs summarize the results of my research this evening:

                  Victory at Any Cost... (Cecil B. Currey, Potomac Books, 2005, 424 pp.) Currey desrcribed the activities of the OSS Team Deer that parachuted into Vietnam on 16 July 1945, to work with Ho Chi Minh. On page 89, Currey writes that Team Deer parachuted from an old Dakota cargo plane.

                  On page 92, Currey writes that the OSS brought in an unspecified number and type of weapons in a total of three parachute drops; however, he does not identify the type of aircraft that were used.

                  Vietnam 1945... (David G. Marr, Univ of Calif. Press, 1997, 587 pp.) Marr made reference on page 284, to [a] further parchute drop of radio sets, medicinces, and weapons; but he also fails to identify the type of aircraft that was used to make the parachute drops.


                  Why Viet Nam? (Archimedes L. A. Patti, Univ. of Calif. Press, 1980, 612 pp.) As you undoubtedly know, Patti was a member of Team Deer. I could not find any mention of the type of aircraft used to insert Team Deer or to make air drops of equipment and weapons to the team.

                  The Indochinese Experience of the French and the Americans (Arthrur J. Dommen, Indiana Univ. Press, 2002, 1192 pp.). Dommen discusses the OSS Team Deer, but does not identify aircraft used in air drops.

                  Vietnam: A Dragon Embattled (Joseph Buttinger, Frederick A Praeger Publishers, NY, 1967, 1346 pp.). I had high hopes of finding the answer here. But, alas, Buttinger mentioned Archimedes Patti and his team only briefly. Although Buttinger makes passing mention of officials moving around on C-47 aircraft, he does not mention any aircraft in connection with air drops to the Deer Team.

                  I think it is very likely that the air drops were made from Douglas C-47 Dakota aircraft. Currey wrote that Team Deer was inserted by parachute from a Dakota. The C-47 Dakota was the workhorse of allied air forces for air transport and air drops of supplies and paratroopers during WW II. A fairly comprehensive history of the C-47 can be found here: http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/aircraft/Dakota.htm

                  I will keep my eyes open for additional information about the air drops in question.

                  Warm regards,
                  RJD

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by lirelou View Post
                    RJD in re:

                    There were, as you know, no U.S. Army Ranger units in 1953/54. The only plausible explanation of this, if true, is that the individual was TDY from the Ranger Training Company of the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Were that so, there should have been more than a single member of the team (i.e., an officer). Likewise, one wonders what lessons a fixed battle like DBP would possibly hold for the Rangers. One of the reasons the Airborne Ranger companies were disbanded in 1951 was that the Korean War had bogged down in positional warfare. Barring a set of orders surfacing for just such a TDY from the Ranger Department, USAIS, I would see a Ranger qualified individual from the 10th Special Forces Group attached to the 8th Parachute Choc Group (later renamed its original 8th BPC) as the only plausible explanation. Assuming that the source was telling the truth, and did not understand the difference between someone from "the Rangers", i.e., units disbanded in 1951, and a Ranger qualified soldier. During the 10th SFG's early years in Europe, they reportedly trained regularly with the 11th Choc, which provided cadres for the G.C.M.A. And at one point during DPB's existence, the 8th Colonial Para's were redesignated the 8th Groupement Parachutiste de Choc and earmarked for employment in G.C.M.A. operations. But as DBP wore on, the High Command apparently decided that they needed colonial paras in the general reserve more than the GCMA needed an elite parachute choc battalion. I would assume that the 10th Group routinely swapped LNOs and LNCOs with the 11th Choc, as they later did with 22 SAS. How plausible is that? About as plausible as the 1984/85 10th SFG posting an LNO at HQs, CIA on its own initiative. Which, by the way, happened. But, even in such a case, there would be a paper trail. TDY vouchers have to be submitted, with copies of unit orders attached to them.
                    LireLou,

                    Thanks. Excellent analysis. I will add it to my list of disconnects between this fellow's story and the real world. His story never did pass what I refer to as the Huh!? test.

                    Warm regards,
                    RJD

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by RJD View Post
                      I will keep my eyes open for additional information about the air drops in question.
                      Thanks, Bob.

                      Actually, what I'm interested in was the aircraft that landed in Viet Minh controlled territory which apparently brought both supplies and OSS personnel. I've found mentions about the airstrip and those missions in Marr's and Shapleen's books, corroborated by the memoirs of Le Gian, who oversaw the construction of the airstrip on the Viet Minh side at the specific request of Maj. Allison Thomas. Pretty rare stuff I reckon.

                      But any info on the airdrops will be appreciated as well.

                      Best regards,

                      Altus
                      Last edited by altus; 14 Dec 09, 09:44.

                      Comment


                      • Colonel Altus

                        Fenn also doesn't cover it in his book, At The Dragon's Gate, which was more like a travel log than anything.
                        Last edited by Miss Saigon; 14 Dec 09, 09:49.

                        Comment


                        • Altus, I've been reviewing Dixee R. Bartholomew's "The OSS and Ho Chi Minh: Unexpected Allies in the War Against Japan. I find no mention of the specific aircraft involved, but suspect they were 14th Air Force C-46 or C-47s. Page 193 covers the drop of Major Allison Thomas at Tan Trao on 16 July 1945. The party consisted of three Americans and three French representatives; a lieutenant, a "Eurasian" Sergeant, and a Vietnamese Sergeant. A six man drop with equipment from China flying in over the Tonkin Alps would likely have been a C-47 due to the range and weight of 6 passengers and equipment. (Bartholomew, pp. 193 and following)
                          dit: Lirelou

                          Phong trần mi một lưỡi gươm, Những loi gi o ti cơm s g!

                          Comment


                          • A huge new book (supposedly the 'definitive account'), about DBP is gonna be released early next year by Random House, might interest some of you guys:


                            http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/d...=9781400066643

                            Comment


                            • Hi Altus

                              Harry Maurers Strange Ground An oral history of Americans in Vietnam 1945-1975 is full of interesting little vignettes.

                              Allison Thomass interview is in it. You can get a copy of it to read here.

                              He makes no mention of a Stinson Strip. I am sure that had it been available to Team Deer, they would have used it to fly Ho out at the very least, given his frail condition. As it was Ho, Giap and Team Deer walked out of the camp at Kim Lung to the road head at Thai Nguyen.

                              That said, L5s of the 19th Liaison Squadron did fly into Indochina on OSS support missions according to the USAF Histories. Have a look here. (Be patient it is a bit slow loading)



                              "After Mar 1945, the squadron carried mail and passengers to American liaison personnel in South China, and 19th TASS flew re-supply missions to resistance forces operating behind enemy lines in French Indochina. Shortly after the Japanese surrendered, the 19th returned via India to the U.S., where it inactivated on 1 Dec 1945."

                              Ironically the Squadron returned to Vietnam in 1963 equipped with Bird Dogs.

                              One other point, although powerful the Stinson was also very heavy. With Maximum fuel for maximum radius (A little less than 200 miles) The L5 could not carry much of a meaningful load. Id say less than 100 lbs. 8 Rifles or so? This is my best guess based on my extremely limited experience.

                              Cheers

                              Mick

                              Comment


                              • Hi, Mick,

                                Originally posted by Chippymick View Post
                                Harry Maurers Strange Ground An oral history of Americans in Vietnam 1945-1975 is full of interesting little vignettes.

                                Allison Thomass interview is in it. You can get a copy of it to read here.
                                Thank you! Very enlightening indeed. While he did not mention the airstrip, I learned many other things that I had only superficially heard about.


                                I am sure that had it been available to Team Deer, they would have used it to fly Ho out at the very least, given his frail condition.
                                The airstrip was constructed in July 1945, by which time Ho Chi Minh had already recovered, I think.

                                As it was Ho, Giap and Team Deer walked out of the camp at Kim Lung to the road head at Thai Nguyen.
                                Actually, only Giap and his team went along with the OSS team. Ho had gone to Tan Trao and subsequently to Hanoi.

                                That said, L5s of the 19th Liaison Squadron did fly into Indochina on OSS support missions according to the USAF Histories.
                                Yes I also tracked down the 1945 OSS support missions to the 19th, but I'm not sure whether those L5s were theirs. I assume the Dakotas that RJD and lirelou cited were theirs however. Do you know what aircraft did they have?

                                In the meantime, I've found a fresh article on the Tuyen Quang province newspaper (in Vietnamese), in which it is said that the airstrip was 400m by 20m in size, that the first L5 that landed "was carrying two Allied officers and some supplies", that there were a number of subsequent similar flights, that the American posted a technician at the airstrip who assisted in landings and takeoffs, and that the airstrip was used in end July to repatriate a number of French imprisoned by the Japanese.

                                Also, this photo is said to have been taken of the locals who were constructing the airstrip.



                                I've even located a photo taken at a monument near the said site (the airstrip no longer exists), featuring this US aircraft. Anybody might know what it is?



                                Altus
                                Last edited by altus; 15 Dec 09, 04:40.

                                Comment

                                Latest Topics

                                Collapse

                                Working...
                                X