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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers The Easter Offensive - Vietnam Spring 1972 - May 25th, 2003 ^ | September 1998 | Walter J. Boyne

Posted on 05/24/2003 11:59:43 PM PDT by SAMWolf

Dear Lord,

There's a young man far from home,
called to serve his nation in time of war;
sent to defend our freedom
on some distant foreign shore.

We pray You keep him safe,
we pray You keep him strong,
we pray You send him safely home ...
for he's been away so long.

There's a young woman far from home,
serving her nation with pride.
Her step is strong, her step is sure,
there is courage in every stride.
We pray You keep her safe,
we pray You keep her strong,
we pray You send her safely home ...
for she's been away too long.

Bless those who await their safe return.
Bless those who mourn the lost.
Bless those who serve this country well,
no matter what the cost.

Author Unknown


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



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The Easter Halt

In the spring of 1972,
a North Vietnamese invasion was stopped
and then turned back by US airpower

The year 1972 produced notable US battlefield victories in Vietnam, most of which, however, now are virtually forgotten. The American military managed to prevail in these struggles despite serious weakness caused by the US exodus from Southeast Asia. The 1972 battles marked the final major US engagements of the Vietnam War. Moreover, they illumined the future of the Air Force more than anyone imagined at the time.

Spring 1972 saw an onslaught of regular North Vietnamese units into South Vietnam, with Hanoi hoping to deliver a knockout punch to end its long war of conquest in the South. US politics had put the Air Force in the position of having to compensate for drastic reductions of ground forces. Faced with this challenge, USAF responded with a mass movement of troops and equipment and fearsome attacks with new systems, all of which were key factors in halting the invasion.

North Vietnam's patient and practical leaders had for several years observed the steady decline in American strength in the South. Then, on Good Friday, March 30, 1972, the Communists struck, launching a series of military drives collectively known as the "Easter Offensive."

Hanoi sought an outright military victory in order to establish Communist control over South Vietnam, drive US forces from the South, and prevent the re-election of President Richard Nixon. They called the action the "Nguyen Hue Offensive" in honor of a Vietnamese hero who had inflicted a massive defeat on Chinese forces in 1789.

NVA artillery in action, April 1972

Hanoi's desire for a military victory was understandable; the North Vietnamese had been fighting for decades, and a clear-cut triumph on the battlefield would be far more satisfying than one won at the negotiating table in Paris. Moreover, Communist strategy might have had a personal edge to it: The architect of the offensive was Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, whose questionable tactics in the Battle of Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive in 1968 ended in bloody debacles costing North Vietnam some 100,000 casualties.

In the Soviet Image

These events vitiated Communist offensive capabilities for almost four years, but Giap rebuilt his forces. He created a new kind of North Vietnamese army built in the Soviet image-that is, well equipped with tanks, artillery, and, most importantly, an anti-aircraft system that could be taken into the field.

The Easter Offensive was a massive conventional attack. Giap committed to the battles 14 regular divisions, 26 regiments, and a massive amount of supporting armor-more than 600 T-54, T-55, and the amphibious PT-76 tanks. By comparison, the German Army launched the Battle of the Ardennes with 19 divisions and 950 tanks. The North Vietnamese ground forces also were fully equipped with artillery, including the dangerous and effective 130 mm and 152 mm artillery pieces and huge 160 mm mortars.

An AC-130 Spectre gunship. These aircraft were on station over An Loc for the entire battle and proved highly effective against the NVA attackers.

Even so, the key element of Giap's arsenal was a vastly expanded anti-aircraft system that traveled along with invading forces. The flak weapons included 23, 37, 57, 85, and 100 mm guns. Supplementing the familiar SA-2 surface-to-air missiles were deadly man-portable SA-7 Strela heat-seeking missiles, for which totally new tactics had to be devised.

On the eve of the Easter Offensive, Giap's confidence in his ability to gain military victory was high, but not unreasonably so, given the great decline in the number of American ground forces in South Vietnam. The US land component had shrunk from 550,000 troops at the height of the war in 1969 to only 95,000. During the same period, the strength of US air and naval forces fell to about one-third of their previous peak levels.

This across-the-board decline in power reflected the American policy of Vietnamization and disengagement. The United States wished to negotiate a face-saving settlement with North Vietnam that would permit withdrawal of all ground forces. At the same time it sought to arm and train South Vietnamese forces so that they could defend their country against the North.

This policy was pursued in the context of the so-called Nixon Doctrine, which stated that the United States would provide military aid to Asian countries under Communist assault. The aid would include air and naval forces if required but would under no circumstances involve US ground forces-a reversal of policies advocated for so long by President Lyndon B. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

A column of T-54 tanks destroyed during the initial assault on An Loc, April 1972

Unfortunately, there was a fatal flaw in Vietnamization. South Vietnamese forces were trained in the American style of war in which, whenever possible, US planners would use overwhelming airpower to destroy enemy resistance before sending in US ground forces for battle. Though strengthened in recent years, South Vietnam's air force (VNAF) was too small to provide such support. It did not have the correct training and equipment. Moreover, it lacked helicopters and the transports to provide the air-mobile forces and prompt, generous air resupply to which the South Vietnamese Army had become accustomed.

Because these elements were lacking, only the best-led units of the South Vietnamese army (ARVN) were capable of resisting the Communist assault. The quality of ARVN leadership varied and was often dependent upon the extent and expertise of US advisors still in the field.

Tactical Surprise

In the months before Easter 1972, the Communist buildup had been noted, but Washington and Saigon underestimated the scope, magnitude, and character of the coming attack. Thus, the North Vietnamese achieved considerable tactical surprise. Hanoi's invading forces thrust into three of South Vietnam's four military regions. Just as Hitler had used clouds and low ceilings to mask the advance of German armor in the Battle of the Bulge, so did Giap count on bad weather hampering USAF reconnaissance and air strikes.

An NVA T-54 killed near the center of the city by the 8th Regiment of the 5th ARVN Division

In Military Region I, more than 40,000 North Vietnamese troops swarmed southward through the DMZ and eastward from camps in Laos. By April 2, the enemy had captured all intervening fire-support bases and was moving directly on Quang Tri City, the provincial capital. Interdiction by US Air Force fighter-bombers and B-52 bombers slowed the advance, but Quang Tri City was evacuated May 1. The enemy then reorganized for a drive on Hue.

In Military Region II, 20,000 Communist soldiers surged out of Laotian and Cambodian sanctuaries to attack the major cities of Kontum and Pleiku. The intent was to cut Pleiku off, then drive on to split South Vietnam in half. South Vietnamese troops fought well, stiffened by US advisors. Kontum, however, was cut off and surrounded. The city was sustained by a massive aerial resupply effort. In addition, the Communist military attack failed. US Air Force B-52s and tactical fighters combined with TOW­toting US Army UH-1s to defeat the northern invaders in the field, despite a monumental effort by huge numbers of North Vietnamese tanks and artillery.

In Military Region III, one regular North Vietnamese division and two Viet Cong divisions-some 30,000 men combined-sallied from their Cambodian salient to attack An Loc and Loc Ninh in hopes that a quick victory would lead to a drive down Highway 13 to Saigon itself.

An ARM defender at An Loc. Using M-72 LAW missiles, such defenders knocked out several North Vietnamese tanks.

The Easter Offensive engaged the full weight of USAF's in-theater forces which, though much reduced, were still formidable. The B-52 force, which had proved to be key in the relief of Khe Sanh four years earlier, had been reinforced. There were 53 of the heavy bombers at U Tapao RTAB, Thailand, and 85 at Andersen AFB, Guam. By the end of May, another 33 BUFFs were deployed against the attackers, bringing the force total to 171 B-52s.

Despite three years of Vietnamization, some 102 Air Force fighters remained in South Vietnam--64 F-4s, 15 A-1s, and 23 A-37s. These were supplemented by 15 AC-119 gunships. Also on hand outside of South Vietnam were 91 F-4s and 16 F-105 fighters, 10 B-57s, and 13 AC-130 gunships based in Thailand. (An AC-130 would fall victim to a Strela, the first loss of its type.)

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Desperate Situations

These forces were committed as soon as weather permitted. The combination of Tactical Air Control Systems, Forward Air Controllers, radar, and airborne command posts enabled American commanders to get the maximum effectiveness from the limited resources. B-52 bomber and tactical fighter attacks were provided in the most desperate situations as they arose, and gunships were allocated to the outposts under the heaviest fire. The gunships also provided mobile cover for retreating forces, laying down gunfire as roadblocks to the pursuing enemy armor.

A fighter aircraft destroyed this North Vietnamese ZSU57/2 antiaircraft weapon near the center of the city

While the in-theater forces were putting on a maximum effort, the orders went out for a worldwide mobilization of USAF units to return to Southeast Asia prepared to fight a vicious, protracted battle. The transfer of B-52s was called "Bullet Shot." The return of tactical fighters went by the name "Constant Guard" (I-IV).

The 45 days following the start of the Easter Offensive saw the Air Force demonstrate global mobility and power on a massive scale. From bases in Korea, the Philippines, and the United States, additional fighters, bombers, gunships, electronic warfare birds, search and rescue units, transports, and tankers moved in a swift, smooth flow to Southeast Asia. In some instances, units were in combat just three days after they received orders to move.

The strike forces built up rapidly: Fighters doubled to almost 400, B-52 bomber strength increased to 171, and the number of tankers rose to 168. The Navy and Marines also responded, with the carrier force building to six.

In many instances, USAF's airmen were coming back for their second or third tours in the area, often to the same bases from which they had operated previously. The bases themselves were in varying states of readiness; after the years-long drawdown, the local population had stripped them of useful material, from radar gear down to household wiring, toilets, and window panes.

An A-37 with the various types of ordnance it was capable of carrying. These aircraft provided close air support during the intense fighting in An Loc in April and May.

Air Force units returned to find runways intact, but not much else on hand, and tent cities sprouted where there had once been a complete base complex that had included air-conditioned hootches, clubs, theaters, and swimming pools.

Creature comforts were of little consequence, however, as the new units were immediately thrown into desperate battle. B-52 sorties in South Vietnam built from 689 in March to 2,223 in May. Fighter strike sorties of all branches (including the South Vietnamese air force) rose from 4,237 in March to 18,444 in May and were held at 15,951 in June.

USAF suffered heavy casualties. Between the start of the offensive and its withering away in June, the Air Force lost 77 aircraft, including 34 F-4 Phantoms. The scope of the conflict had been expanded on May 8 when Nixon authorized extensive strikes into North Vietnam itself under the code name Operation Linebacker. As it turned out, Nixon's decision to take the war north was crucial, because North Vietnam, as a result, could never muster the kind of logistical flow necessary to support such an intense offensive.

USAF and the Halt Phase

The relative degree of Air Force responsibility for halting the invasion varied from region to region and depended in large part upon the effectiveness of the South Vietnamese army in defending its homeland. Where the ARVN fought effectively, as it did in Military Region II, the demands on USAF, while still crucial, were moderate. Where events or poor leadership caused ARVN to waver, as in Military Region I, massive USAF intervention was absolutely essential.

American B-52s like these, flying from Guam and Thailand, were instrumental in breaking up NVA troop concentrations at An Loc

Yet in every region, the same combination of USAF capabilities worked effectively. Massive B-52 strikes (some by aircraft that were in the United States only 72 hours earlier) hammered Communist troop concentrations, while tactical aircraft carried out surgical strikes at specific targets. Tankers once again became the true force multipliers, refueling both bombers and fighters. At bases such as Bien Hoa in South Vietnam, "turn-around" tactics permitted fighters from Thailand to land, rearm, and make another sortie before returning to home base.

Significantly, the Air Force made use of "smart bombs" against key targets. Cargo aircraft weaved their way through smoke, flak, and the dangerous Strela missiles to land when they could or drop when they could not. Gunships flew protective sorties around embattled garrisons, laying down a curtain of fire to suppress enemy attacks. Amidst the carnage, FACs flew calmly, calling out targets and monitoring enemy movements. And through it all, the search and rescue units worked to recover downed airmen.

The bottom line was that, in under two months, USAF had returned to Southeast Asia-in strength and fully proficient-and went on to break up and halt Giap's powerful offensive and thereby thwart Hanoi's drive to take over South Vietnam.

Of the three major invasion thrusts, the stakes had been greatest in Military Region III where a decisive North Vietnamese drive past An Loc and into Saigon might well have won the war in a single battle. The fight for MR III typifies the struggle that unfolded in all three areas and can be used as a model to illustrate the powerful results achieved by USAF in all three regions. The strength of the Air Force effort was heightened by its use of battle-proven techniques.

The Cessna 0-2B Super Skymaster, flown by the forward air controllers from 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron, during the Battle of An Loc

The enemy had brushed by weak ARVN resistance to put the town of An Loc under a siege that would last for two months and would become a byword for hardship and misery. The ARVN units invested at An Loc had no artillery with which they could respond to the almost continuous shelling of the city. The South Vietnamese army depended entirely upon aircraft for critical supplies.

Burning Hulks

Continuous sorties by B-52 bombers, using "Bugle Note" tactics that had been so effective at Khe Sanh in 1968, smashed the enemy buildup and made North Vietnamese commanders spread out their force, inhibiting their ability to concentrate for an attack. US Air Force FACs flew through the intense anti-aircraft fire to spot artillery, mortar, and rocket batteries and call in strikes by the fighter-bombers. When the enemy, using tanks and infantry, surged past the city's outer fortifications into the heart of An Loc's defenses, the F-4s and gunships ground them down with a series of ferocious attacks that left the tanks destroyed in the streets.

Just as at Khe Sanh, Allied air forces operated in two modes. On the one hand, they were at the front lines, blunting attacks with bombs and rockets. On the other, they placed the besieging Communist forces under siege themselves by bombing supply dumps and routes.

A North Vietnamese T-54 tank destroyed in the western sector of the perimeter at An Loc

The demand for aerial resupply was crucial in the battle for An Loc, where more than 20,000 personnel required everything to be brought in by air. South Vietnamese air force efforts at resupply had failed, for the anti-aircraft fire was too intense. Their aerial drops had been inaccurate. Initial USAF resupply efforts were both ineffective and costly. The C-130s began Container Delivery System drops immediately, but these were too hazardous. Intense anti-aircraft fire had brought down one C-130 and caused heavy damage to four others.

The C-130 crews turned to a Ground Radar Aerial Delivery System, but a series of parachute malfunctions aborted the effort. Knowing that the defenders at An Loc were desperate for food and ammunition, the CDS operations were resumed with some success until another C-130 was shot down. Night CDS drops were tried but proved unsuccessful. It was impossible to deliver the supplies to the drop zone with any accuracy.

The supply situation was finally resolved with the resumption of GRADS sorties, this time with an improved parachute system. The difference was remarkable, and about 1,000 tons of supplies per day were dropped to the defenders. (At Kontum, in MR II, the All Weather Air Delivery System had been the delivery system of choice.)

The massive weight of the American aerial effort finally paid off in the field; North Vietnamese forces suffered enormous casualties and were forced to withdraw in all three military regions. South Vietnamese forces were able to recapture their badly damaged cities.

This NVA T-54 tank was knocked out just as it attempted to breach the barbed wire around the Binh Long Province compound near the southern gate of An Loc

In retrospect, it becomes clear that the American air assaults of spring 1972 bought South Vietnam three more years of existence. The United States in December 1972 forced Hanoi to resume serious peace negotiations by unleashing Linebacker II, 11 days of heavy bombing of key targets in the North. At the end of it, the North Vietnamese had had enough for a while. In February 1973, the warring parties signed the Paris peace accords, and American POWs returned home.

Giap, after suffering a third major battlefield fiasco, licked his wounds and waited for the right time to attack again. It came in spring 1975, when American forces had withdrawn, Nixon was no longer in the White House, and it was clear the American public no longer had the will to defend South Vietnam. Then, he attacked, and this time, without US backing, South Vietnamese military units offered scant resistance. Communist tanks finally rolled into Saigon on April 30, 1975. American airpower had been withheld, and Giap had his victory at last.

1 posted on 05/24/2003 11:59:44 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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The Easter Offensive of 1972:
A Failure to Use Intelligence

It was not Intelligence (evaluated information of the enemy) that failed. The failure was [that of] the commanders and certain G2s, who did not act on the intelligence they had.
-- Colonel Robert S. Allen, on The Battle of the Bulge

Like the Battle of the Bulge, the 1972 Easter Offensive in Vietnam has often been referred to as an "intelligence failure," mainly because it caught the United States and South Vietnam completely by surprise. A look beneath the surface, however, reveals that U.S. and South Vietnamese combat commanders were aware of significant changes in the posture of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and had access to many indicators of an impending NVA offensive. Colonel Allen's assessment that commanders at The Bulge failed to embrace the intelligence available to them holds true when evaluating why American and South Vietnamese forces failed during the Easter Offensive, as well.

Several factors contributed to the success enjoyed by the NVA during the Easter Offensive. First, the U.S. and South Vietnamese commanders failed to use all of the intelligence available to them. Their overconfidence, coupled with command and control (C2), and communications problems, violated the cardinal rule of "never underestimate your enemy."

A Pave Aegis AC-130 Spectre gunship, armed with a 105-mm howitzer, a 40-mm cannon, and 20-mm miniguns. The 105-mm howitzer was very effective against NVA tanks in An Loc.

Also, Allied commanders relied on only two of the three forms of intelligence---imagery intelligence (IMINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT). In ignoring human intelligence (HUMINT) data, they overlooked the most accurate forecast of enemy intentions leading up to the Easter Offensive.


While most areas of South Vietnam encountered NVA ground force activity during the Easter Offensive of 1972, it was the northern-most portion of the country, the Quang Tri Province, which bore the initial and most severe brunt of the NVA's conventional ground campaign. The offensive began with an extensive artillery bombardment just before noon on Good Friday, 30 March 1972. Only the 1st ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) (Hue) and 3d ARVN (Quang Tri) Divisions, the 147th and 258th Vietnamese Marine Corps (VNMC) Brigades, and the understrength 20th ARVN Tank Battalion stood in the way of the NVA onslaught into the northern provinces.

The North's plan of attack was relatively simple. The 324B NVA Division, supplemented by two infantry regiments (the 5th and 6th) that had made their way south from North Vietnam, would engage the 1st ARVN Division, widely considered to be the ARVN's best. Operating from its usual B-4 Front staging area in the A Shau Valley west of the Hue, these NVA units would preempt any possibility of relief to the north by applying pressure to the firebases west of Hue and, thereby, to the city of Hue itself. However, the 1st ARVN had conducted offensive operations during March that precluded any B-4 Front operations from achieving surprise before Good Friday. At the same time, the 3d ARVNC comprised of three infantry regiments (the 2d, 56th and 57th), the attached 20th Tank Battalion, and the two VNMC brigades was prepared to face the onslaught of the NVA's B-5 Front, bounding down from the north.

The Easter Offensive - 1972

Nevertheless, the enemy struck with speed and accuracy at the weakest link along the line. The offensive began with the 308th NVA Division and the attached 204th Tank Regiment springing from the western Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Concurrently, what amounted to (and perhaps was) a division-sized task force composed of three independent infantry regiments (the 27th, 31st, and 126th Sapper) and the 201st Tank Regiment, jumped off from the eastern portion of the DMZ.

The flood of refugees that crowded the roads often obstructed operations against the NVA

Meanwhile, the 304th NVA Division (which had infiltrated from Laos) and the attached 203d Tank Regiment arrived in the Khe Sanh area and attacked eastward, eventually linking up with the 246th and 270th Infantry Regiments on its left flank. This assault from the west allowed the NVA to conduct flanking attacks towards Quang Tri City and, most importantly, enabled some units to become a blocking force against any attempt to relieve the 3d ARVN from the south. Additionally, there was an intelligence report that indicated that the 324B NVA Division detached two of its three regiments (the 29th and the 812th) in an attempt to strike northeastward towards Quang Tri during this period.

Essentially, the NVA forces had achieved a lightning-fast victory that sealed off the 3d ARVN Division from its reinforcements and relief. Striking at the weak link along the Allied line, the NVA completely surprised the Allied forces. Or did they? History tells us that the Allies had prior knowledge of NVA activity in preparation for the attack, but did not use that information to the maximum extent possible.

Reluctance to Use Intelligence

Indications of some sort of offensive were forecast first during Tet, then in March. The NVA's 324B Division was known to be headed for their usual AO in the A Shau Valley. A slight buildup across the DMZ was detected, but it was not enough to cause any great alarm.

Despite the buildup, most Allied commanders were confident that the NVA could not sustain an offensive so soon after Tet. The South Vietnamese I Corps commander, when presented with the idea of a North Vietnamese attack across the DMZ, bluntly stated, "They cannot." His U.S. counterpart at the First Regional Assistance Command (FRAC) agreed, "His appraisal appeared reasonable and well-founded."

Also, despite the known NVA buildup across the DMZ, the 3d ARVN commander, Brigadier General Vu Van Giai, decided to swap the positions of the 2d and 56th Regiments, creating a situation where his forces would be in transition. Unfortunately, they were in the process of switching positions when the Offensive began. In fact, NVA shelling began less than thirty minutes after both regiments' communications shut down. Coincidence? Or, rather, evidence of good enemy use of intelligence?

An example of a high-altitude airdrop from the 61st Tactical Airlift Squadron. Much trial and error was required before the proper procedure was developed and successful resupply drops could be effected in the high-intensity air defense situation over An Loc.

A South Vietnamese Joint General Staff (JGS) account later claimed that there was a country-wide alert on March 29. If so, the word of the alert never arrived at Military Region-1 (MR-1) or the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), or it was largely ignored by those commands. Otherwise, U.S. Air Force and Republic of Vietnam Air Force aircraft would have attempted to preempt offensive operations in the days and weeks prior to the offensive. Also, U.S. and South Vietnamese ground units would have been on alert and the two regiments of 3d ARVN would not have been changing AOs.

C2 Problems

In Vietnam, C2 was problematic. The leadership provided by the South Vietnamese commanders was rarely exemplary. The I Corps commander, Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Lam, who was more a political general than a military commander, often exhibited inept and indecisive leadership. To compound the problem in I Corps, the Corps' headquarters had "never actually functioned as a field headquarters in combat," as the FRAC commander later admitted.

However, the most infamous example of the dearth of ARVN leadership was the surrender of the 56th ARVN Regiment by Lieutenant Colonel Phan Van Dinh, its commander, at Camp Carroll after a short fight on Easter Sunday. Many other examples of cowardice occured during the Offensive, but none was so flagrant or damning.

To add to the Allies' C2 woes, there was a distinct lack of cohesion in coordinating the efforts among the army and marine corps units in MR-1. The 147th VNMC Brigade at Mai Loc and the 258th VNMC Brigade at Fire Support Base Nancy were technically attached to the 3d ARVN Division. The 3d did not, however, have operational control (OPCON) over these units the I Corps commander did. The Vietnamese Marines were also considered part of South Vietnam's strategic reserve a reserve whose squandering would ruin their commander's career. As a result of this C2 confusion, the VNMC units located with the 3d ARVN were under-utilized during the Offensive.

This T-54 was part of a six to eight-tank column attacked by F-4 Aircraft. When this tank stopped during the attack, two airborne soldiers boarded it, opened its hatch, and lobbed a grenade on top of its struggling crew.

Finally, MACV was receiving most of its intelligence third-hand from Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) in Hawaii. In addition to providing offshore naval gunfire support, U.S. Navy destroyers, with the naval intelligence liaison element in Da Nang, were presumably providing the PACFLT Commander in Hawaii with more timely tactical situational reporting than the MACV commander, General Creighton Abrams, was receiving from I Corps. The destroyers were not OPCON to MACV or I Corps and, therefore, reported directly to the PACFLT Commander. He, in turn, relayed the reports from Hawaii back to Saigon. "As it turned out, it was up to three days after the enemy attack was launched in MR-1 before it aroused any major concern in Saigon," the JGS Assistant J2 stated years later. Across the board, C2 was not very smooth for the Allied forces.

Ignoring HUMINT

During the Easter Offensive, two of the three pillars of intelligence, IMINT and SIGINT, supplied some indicators of what was about to occur. However, it was the ignoring of the third pillar, HUMINT, that ended up shaping the incorrect opinion among Allied commanders that the NVA offensive was unlikely and, even after it began, that it was doomed to failure.

IMINT provided the first real clues of the NVA buildup north of the DMZ. U.S. photographic intelligence missions detected a large concentration of tanks near Bat Lake, where the borders of North and South Vietnam met the border of Laos.

Although no information is currently available concerning the Easter Offensive radio SIGINT intercepts prior to March 30 (nor afterwards), it is reasonable to assume that the NVA communications security (COMSEC) measures and traffic minimization were in effect. However, sensor activity along the Ho Chi Minh Trail was unusually active with "movers" during February and March.

Although there has been little written on SIGINT reporting during the Easter Offensive, it can be presumed that there were, in fact, few SIGINT intercepts during that period, especially when one considers the actions not taken by the Allied forces. If SIGINT had indicated the NVA buildup, the MACV commander would probably have returned early from his rest and recuperation in Thailand or perhaps would not have left South Vietnam at all. In addition, a country-wide alert generated by SIGINT intercepts of NVA offensive preparations would have alerted U.S. forces, thus precluding the senior U.S. Army advisor to 3d ARVN from leaving for an Easter visit to Saigon.

The A-37 light ground attack aircraft, a small but reliable tactical support aircraft, here dropping a 500-pound bomb. These aircraft, flown at An Loc by Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Weed and his 8th Special Operations Squadron, were extremely effective in the close fighting that characterized the battle for An Loc.

While IMINT and SIGINT provided some clues as to the NVA's intentions during March, HUMINT provided the most accurate forecast of enemy intentions before the Offensive. In December 1971, a "usually reliable source" had provided a significant document, a North Vietnamese Politburo policy, which indicated that the Viet Cong/NVA would switch over to "main force" rather than "protracted" warfare operations.

Then, on March 27, a friendly ambush southwest of Firebase Pedro yielded unexpected results. One of the dead NVA soldiers carried a map showing all of the trails, streams, firebases, and units in Quang Tri Province.

A U.S. intelligence unit even predicted the NVA's preliminary objectives in advance of the Offensive. Based on agent reports, the 1st Battalion (Provisional), 525th MI Group, constructed a detailed description of the major NVA units, their commanding officers, and the date the Offensive was to begin. Using the intelligence summary (INTSUM) for the first time in the 525th MI Group's history in Vietnam, their predictive analysis was sent electronically to the 525th MI Group, MACV, U.S. Army, Vietnam (USARV) and 7th Air Force Headquarters. It was carried by courier to the FRAC, naval intelligence liaison, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, 1st MIBARS (Military Intelligence Battalion, Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron), the Central Intelligence Agency, and U.S. Army Special Forces in the Da Nang area before the Easter Offensive began. Their reporting continued for many weeks afterwards.

Despite the reliable HUMINT analysis sent to them, the American command took a lot of time to realize the true intent of the NVA offensive in the north. It was not until 27 April 1972, 28 days after the offensive had started, that the FRAC wrote to the MACV commander:

AH-1G Cobra attack helicopters proved to be very effective tank killers in An Loc, particularly in the early part of the battle in April and early May

Reports are fragmentary at this time but intelligence indicates that the objectives are the capture of Fire Support Base Nancy and to establish a blocking force on the Quang Tri/Thua Thien border. Other NVA forces will then assume offensive operations to capture Quang Tri City. In fact, the HUMINT INTSUMs from the 525th MI Group had predicted weeks ahead of the attack that Quang Tri City, and not Hue, was the objective of the NVA action.

Obviously, the main lesson here is that neither SIGINT nor IMINT are the sole foundation of intelligence. They should be treated as two of many elements that make up all-source intelligence analysis. During the 1972 Easter Offensive, the lack of SIGINT collected was, in and of itself, a possible indicator. SIGINT cannot (and should not) be the crux or final determining factor in assessing enemy intentions or capabilities.


The Easter Offensive caught the Allies by complete surprise needlessly so. While the indicators of attack were numerous, U.S. and South Vietnamese commanders ignored them in favor of a more reassuring position: that the NVA could not and would not attack before the end of March. Their failure to use HUMINT to the fullest extent possible also contributed to the Allied forces being caught off guard. The "intelligence failure" during the Easter Offensive was less a failure to collect intelligence than it was a failure to exploit obvious indicators.

by W. R. Baker

Additional Sources:

2 posted on 05/25/2003 12:00:41 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere!)
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To: All
In the spring of 1972, North Vietnam launched a massive military offensive designed to deliver the coup de grâce to South Vietnam and its rapidly disengaging American ally. But an over-confident Hanoi misjudged its opponents who, led by American military advisers and backed by American airpower, were able to hold off the North's onslaught in what became the biggest battle of a very long war.

3 posted on 05/25/2003 12:01:06 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere!)
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To: All
The State of the Union is Strong!
Support the Commander in Chief

Click Here to Send a Message to the opposition!

4 posted on 05/25/2003 12:01:30 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere!)
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To: All

5 posted on 05/25/2003 12:02:01 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere!)
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To: GulfWar1Vet; armymarinemom; AZ Flyboy; feinswinesuksass; Michael121; cherry_bomb88; ...

FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

The Foxhole is updating our Ping list!
We had lots of duplicates on our lists and so we are cleaning house.

If you have been left off inadvertantly as I clean up the list and would like to be added let me know.

We apologize for any duplicates, if you'd like removed, please give me a holler.

6 posted on 05/25/2003 5:30:15 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: snippy_about_it
7 posted on 05/25/2003 5:39:02 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: SAMWolf


In Arlington and Flanders Field,

They rest in row by row.

They fought and died for liberty to preserve the peace we know.

They fought upon the beaches

of many foreign lands.

They fought for right and glory for which our country stands.

They marched to war with courage.

They fought the battles thru.

They only thought of victory, our peace they would renew.

On distant shores and jungle wars, they would for peace persist.

They gave their lives for freedom, no greater cause exist.

For honor, truth, and glory, they fought and died together, side by side in trenches deep.

They're remembered now and ever.

In Flanders Field and Arlington, and in jungles and oceans deep, our boys will rest forever.

We pray they rest in peace.

Jack E. Barnett

8 posted on 05/25/2003 6:57:12 AM PDT by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action
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To: snippy_about_it
BTTT-for once, I'm not at the bottom of the replies (but it's 2300 my time).
9 posted on 05/25/2003 6:58:01 AM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: GailA
Good morning.

Good poem, thanks for posting it.
10 posted on 05/25/2003 7:00:40 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere!)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good Morning Snippy.
11 posted on 05/25/2003 7:01:10 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere!)
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Awww. Get some sleep. Thanks.

We read all the way to the bottom you know. :)
12 posted on 05/25/2003 7:15:24 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: SAMWolf
Good Morning SAM.

I'm having a good morning, how about you?
13 posted on 05/25/2003 7:16:14 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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It's okay, it's Saturday ;-)
14 posted on 05/25/2003 7:27:31 AM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: snippy_about_it
It must be a Sunday, because I messed # 14 all up.
15 posted on 05/25/2003 7:32:06 AM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: SAMWolf
On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on May 25:
1494 Jacopo Pontormo II Italy, painter (Sepulture of Christ)
1550 Camillus de Lellis Italian soldier/monastery founder/saint
1688 Christian August Jacobi composer
1713 John Stuart 3rd earl of Bute, English premier (1760-63)
1726 Giuseppi Paolucci composer
1729 Jean de Neufville Dutch/US merchant (started 4th English war)
1767 Ferdinand Franzl composer
1767 Friedrich Johann Eck composer
1779 Henry M Baron de Kock Dutch officer/politician
1781 Ferdinand archduke of Austria-Este/Governor-General (Sicily)
1803 Ralph Waldo Emerson US, essayist/philosopher (Concord Hymn)
1818 Jacob Burckhardt Swiss cultural historian
1821 Diederich Krug composer
1830 Jules de Geyter Belgian poet (International)
1839 John Eliot English meteorologist
1845 William Muldoon Belfast NY, boxing commissioner (help find PAL)
1847 Alphonse Goovaerts composer
1847 John Alexander Dowie [Elijah the Restorer], US, evangelist
1852 Louis Franchet d'Espèrey [Desperate Frankey], Fren marshal (WWI)
1865 Frederick Augustus III King of Saxon (1904-18)
1865 John Raleigh Mott organizer (YMCA, Nobel 1946)
1865 Pieter Zeeman Dutch physicist (Zeeman effect, Nobel 1902)
1877 Billy Murray singer
1878 Bill "Bojangles" Robinson actor (Stormy Weather, Little Colonel)
1879 W Maxwell Aitken lord Beaverbrook Canada/English banker
1882 Harry Fox entertainer
1886 Philip Murray founded Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
1888 Miles Malleson writer/actor (Phantom of Opera, Postman's Knock)
1889 Gilardo Gilardi composer
1889 Igor Sikorsky developed a working helicopter
1889 Sverre Jordan composer
1891 Robert W P Peereboom Dutch editor in chief (Haarlem Newspaper)
1892 Josip Broz Tito Kumrovec, Austria-Hungary (now Croatia), leader of Yugoslavia (1945-80)
1894 Dirk Vansina Flemish playwright (Verschaeve Gives Evidence)
1896 Jan N Bakhuizen van den Brink theologist/church historian
1897 Alan Kippax cricketer (22 Tests for Australia 1924-34, brilliant bat)
1898 Bennett Cerf publisher (Random House) panelist (What's My Line)
1898 Gene Tunney world heavyweight boxing champion (1926-30)
1898 Gustav Regler writer
1898 Mischa Levitzki composer
19-- Sue Simmons news anchor (WNBC-TV)
1901 Milenko Zivkovic composer
1902 Helvi Lemmikke Leiviska composer
1904 Kurt George Hugo Thomas composer
1905 Binnie Barnes London, actress (Adventures of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim)
1905 Joseph C Harsch Toledo OH, newscaster (Background)
1907 Rachel Carson conservationist/writer (silent springs)
1907 U Nu premier Burma (1948-58, 1960-62)
1908 David Lean British director (Lawrence of Arabia)
1908 Theodore Roethke US, poet (Words for the Wind)
1910 Ernest Anderson publicist
1912 Eddie Maxwell singer (Yes We Have No Bananas)
1913 Joseph Peter Grace businessman
1915 Daniel Wolf journalist
1916 Lou van Rees Dutch impresario [or May 29]
1916 Virginia Ginny Simms actress/singer (Kay Kyser Band)
1917 Dorothy Sarnoff US, actress(?)
1917 Jimmy Hamilton saxophonist
1917 Steve Cochran Eureka CA, actor (Mozambique, Gay Senotiys, Dallas)
1917 Theodore Hesburgh ex-president of Notre Dame
1918 Claude Akins Nelson GA, actor (BJ & Bear, Movin' On, Lobo)
1918 Peder Lunde Norway, yachtsman (Olympics-silver-1952)
1919 Gino Negri composer
1919 Lindsey Nelson Pulaski TN, sportscaster (New York Mets)
1921 Hal David lyricist (Promises Promises-Grammy 1969)
1923 John Weitz spy/author/fashion designer (Friends in High Places)
1925 Aldo Clementi composer
1925 Jeanne Crain Barstow CA, actress (Man Without a Star)
1926 Kitty Kallen rocker
1926 M von der Grün writer
1926 Miles D Davis Alton IL, jazz trumpeter (L'ascenseur pour l'échafaud)
1927 Robert Ludlum New York NY, spy novelist (Bourne Identity)
1928 Frigyes Hidas composer
1928 Mary Tuck social researcher/civil servant
1929 Beverly Sills [Belle "Bubbles" Miriam Silverman], Brooklyn NY, soprano
1929 David S Ruder 23rd chairman of Securities & Exchange Commission
1931 John Gabriel Niagara Falls NY, actor (Cat Gang, Fantasies)
1932 Georgi Mikhailovich Grechko USSR, cosmonaut (Soyuz 17, 26, T-14)
1932 John Grogery Dunne US writer (Up Close & Personal, True Confessions)
1932 K C Jones Taylor TX, basketball player (Olympics-gold-1956)
1933 Roger Bowen actor (MASH, Main Event, What about Bob, Petulia)
1934 David J Burke Liverpool England, writer
1934 Ron Nesson press secretary (Gerald Ford)
1935 Barbara Harris US, actress (Family Plot, Plaza Suite)
1936 Rusi Surti cricketer (Indian slow lefty, hat-trick for Queensland 1969)
1936 Tom T Hall Olive Hill KY, country singer/writer (Harper Valley PTA)
1938 Ludmil Buldakova USSR, volleyball player (Olympics-gold-1972)
1938 Raymond Carver poet/short story writer (Furious Season)
1939 Dixie [Virginia] Carter McLemoresville TN, actress (Designing Women, Edge of Night)
1939 Ian McKellen England, actor (Keep, Plenty, Scarlet Pimpernel)
1942 Bill Young rocker
1942 Brian "Blinky" Davison rocker
1943 Leslie Uggams New York NY, singer/actress (Leslie Uggams Show, Roots)
1943 Wynand C Malan South African lawyer/NP/DP-politician
1944 Frank Oz Heresford England, puppeteer (Sesame St, Muppet Show)
1944 Robert Michael Payton pizza magnate
1945 Dave Lee Travis DJ
1946 Irnema Szewinski Kirszenstein Poland, 200 meter runner (Olympics-gold-1968)
1946 Janet E[llen] Morris US, sci-fi author (Golden Sword, Tempus)
1946 Tommy Cecil ferryman
1947 Jessi Colter [Miriam Johnson] Phoenix, country singer (I'm Not Lisa)
1947 Karen Valentine Santa Rosa CA, actress (Love American Style, Room 222)
1947 Mitch Margo Brooklyn NY, rocker (Tokens-Lion Sleeps Tonight)
1948 Valin (Grand High Poobah of Ranjapor)
1948 Klaus Meine Hanover Germany, rocker (Scorpions-No One Like You)
1949 Jamaica Kincaid [Elaine P Richardson] Antigua/US journalist (New Yorker)
1949 Lalith Kaluperuma cricketer (two Tests for Sri Lanka 1982)
1951 Clifford Archer bassist (Atlantic Starr-Touch a 4 Leaf Clover)
1953 Donald Albert Weibring Jr Quincy IL, PGA golfer (1979 Quad Cities)
1953 Jane Priest Perth Australia, Prince Charles' lover
1953 Rich Alves Pleasanton CA, singer (Pirates of the Mississippi-Fred Jake)
1954 Alison Stern wife of radio personality Howard Stern (Private Parts)
1955 Connie Selleca Bronx NY, actress (Hotel, Captain America II)
1956 Tatsutoshi Goto wrestler (WAR/NJPW)
1957 Hillary Bailey Smith Boston MA, actress (Margot-As the World Turns, Nora-One Life To Live)
1958 Dorothy Straight 4 year old author (How the World Begun)
1958 Paul Weller guitar (Jam-This is the Modern World, Style Council)
1959 Cathryn Harrison London England, actress (Old Woman in Black Moon)
1960 Benoît van Innis Belgian cartoonist/painter/cartoonist (New York Post)
1961 Hiro Saito wrestler (All-Japan/NJPW/Calgary)
1962 Amy Read Birmingham MI, golfer (1994 Healthsouth Palm Beach-15th)
1962 Zulqarnain cricketer (last person in alphabetical order to play Test)
1963 Mike Myers Canada, comedian (Saturday Night Live, Wayne's World) [or Jun 25]
1964 David Shaw St Thomas, NHL defenseman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
1965 Mark Knight California, rock guitarist (Bang Tango-Dancin' on Coals)
1965 Remco Prins Dutch rock guitarist/vocalist (Burma Shave-Stash)
1965 Roef-Ragas Dutch actor (Missing Link, Red Rain, Juju, Mykosch)
1965 Stefka Kostadinova Bulgaria high jumper (world record 1987)
1966 Bill Haselman Long Branch NJ, catcher (Boston Red Sox)
1966 Dave Hollins Buffalo NY, infielder (Minnesota Twins)
1966 Melissa McNamara Tulsa OK, LPGA golfer (1991 Stratton Mountain Classic)
1967 Danny Gonzales jockey
1967 Juan Jimenez WLAF quarterback/receivers coach (Barcelona Dragons)
1967 Luc Nilis Belgian soccer player (RSC Anderlecht/PSV)
1967 Ruthie Bolton McClain MS, basketball guard (Olympics-gold-96)
1968 Debbi Miho Koyama LPGA golfer (1995 US Women's Open-28th)
1968 Kendall Gill NBA guard/forward (New Jersey Nets)
1968 Nathalie Schneyder San Fransisco CA, synchronized swimmer (Olympics-gold-96)
1968 Shawn Bouwens NFL guard (Jacksonville Jaguars)
1969 Anne Heche Aurora OH, actress (Donnie Brasco, Juror, Volcano)
1969 Matt Borlenghi Los Angeles CA, actor (Brian Bodine-All My Children)
1970 [Rachel] Lindsay Greenbush Hollywood CA, twin actress (Carrie-Little House on Prairie)
1970 Danni Roche Melbourne Victoria Australia, field hockey midfielder (Olympics-96)
1970 Heather Simmons-Carrasco Mountain View CA, synchronized swimmer (alternate-Olympics-96)
1970 Joey Eischen West Covina CA, pitcher (Los Angeles Dodgers)
1970 Michael B Enyaer writer (Pilot One)
1970 Robert Croft cricketer (Glamorgan off-spinner, England 1996-)
1970 Sandra Dopfer Lustenau Austria, tennis star (1995 Futures-Lerida)
1970 Sidney [Robin] Greenbush Hollywood CA, twin actress (Carrie-Little House on Prairie)
1971 Alan Kline NFL tackle (New Orleans Saints)
1971 Justin Henry Rye NY, actor (Kramer vs Kramer, 16 Candles)
1971 Keith Hamilton NFL defensive tackle (New York Giants)
1971 Larry Thompson CFL/NFL wide receiver (Seattle Seahawks, British Columbia Lions)
1971 Tim Kroeker Chilliwack British Columbia, 110 meter hurdler (Olympics-96)
1972 Antonio Lang NBA forward (Cleveland Cavaliers)
1972 Tony Ronaldson Adelaide South Australia, basketball forward (Olympics-96)
1973 Duncan Free Australian rower (Olympics-96)
1973 Earl Mackey NFL linebacker (Minnesota Vikings)
1973 Jeff Smith NFL/WLAF corner (Scotland Claymores/Kansas City Chiefs)
1973 Josée Corbeil Pointe-Claire Québec, volleyball player (Olympics-96)
1973 Maria Jose Gaidano Buenos Aires Argentina, tennis star (1993 Belgian doubles)
1973 Racquel Spurlock WNBA center (Houston Comets)
1974 Dennis Stallings linebacker (Tennessee Oilers)
1975 Adam Saathoff Tuscon AZ, running target (Olympics-1996)
1976 Tarik Glenn offensive tackle (Indianapolis Colts)

Deaths which occurred on May 25:
0615 Boniface IV Pope (608-15), dies
0709 Aldhelmus of Ealdhelm England, abbot/bishop/poet/saint, dies at about 69
0946 Edmund the Older king of Wessex/England (939-46), dies
1085 Gregory VII [Ildebrando] Pope (1073-85), dies
1125 Hendrik V last Salische German king, dies
1261 Alexander IV [Rinaldo dei conti di Segni] Pope (1254-61), dies
1510 Georges d'Amboise French cardinal/viceroy in North Italy, dies at 49
1555 Gemma Frisius Frisian geographer/astronomer, dies at 46
1681 Caldéron writer, dies at 81
1765 Pierre-Joseph Le Blan composer, dies at 53
1826 Christian Friedrich Ruppe composer, dies at 72
1849 Andreas Michiels Dutch Military Governor of West Sumatra, dies in battle at 52
1862 Johann N Nestroy Austria, actor (Einmal Keine Sorgen Haben), dies at 60
1895 Ahmed Djevdet Pasja Turkish minister of Justice, dies at 73
1899 Marie-Rosalie "Rosa" Bonheur French painter, dies at 68
1914 Paolo Giorza composer, dies at 81
1916 Jack Marsh cricketer (Aboriginal bowler played for New South Wales 1900-03), dies
1917 Leon Felix Augustin Joseph Vasseur composer, dies at 72
1919 Madame C J Walker wealthy cosmetics manufacturer, dies at 51
1924 Theodore Morse composer, dies at 51
1926 Symon Petlyura leader of Ukraine (pogroms), assassinated at 47
1934 Gustav Theodore Holst English composer (Ode to Death), dies at 59
1936 Jan Levoslav Bella composer, dies at 92
1937 Henry O Tanner artist, dies
1946 Patty Smith Hill songwriter (Happy Birthday To You), dies at 78
1948 Jacques Feyder actor/director (kermesse héroique), dies at 59
1949 Simon H Spoor intelligence officer/general (WWII), dies at 47
1958 Rolland Beaumont cricketer (5 Tests for South Africa), dies
1964 Vasily Andreyevich Zolotaryov composer, dies at 92
1965 Sonny Boy Williamson [Aleck Miller] blues player, dies at 65
1968 Charles K Feldman [Gould] producer (Casino Royale), dies at 63
1968 George KFW von Küchler German marshal (Netherlands 1940), dies at 86
1971 Jo Etha Collier young black woman killed by 3 whites in Drew MS
1971 Mark Brunswick composer, dies at 69
1971 Terence De Marney actor (Case Thomas-Johnny Ringo), dies at 62
1974 Donald Crisp actor/director (Beloved Brat, Dawn Patrol), dies at 91
1974 Frank Ward cricketer (4 Tests for Australia 1936-38), dies
1974 Pam Morrison wife of Door's vocalist Jim, dies of drug overdose
1981 Rosa Ponselle US singer (Metropolitan Opera), dies at 84
1981 Roy James Brown rocker (Good rockin' tonight), dies of a heart attack at 55
1982 Larry J Blake character actor (Earth vs the Flying Saucers), dies at 68
1983 Sydney Box academy award producer, dies at 76
1984 Piet Ketting Dutch pianist/conductor/composer, dies at 79
1985 Harold Hecht choreographer, dies at 77 of cancer
1985 Robert Nathan US writer/poet (Portrait of Jennie), dies at 91
1986 Chester Bowles US senator/ambassador, dies at 85
1990 Vic Tayback actor (Mel-Alice), dies of a heart attack at 60
1991 Dorothy Davis Bostwick entertainer, dies
1992 Danny Biasone persuaded NBA to use 24 second clock, dies at 83
1992 Johan B W Polak publisher/publicist (Bloom of Décadence), dies at 63
1992 Marshall Thompson US actor (To Hell & Back), dies at 66
1992 Nancy Walker actress (Ida Morgenstein-Rhoda), dies of cancer at 71
1992 Philip C Habib US diplomat (Middle-East/Asia), dies at 72
1992 Viktor Grishin hardline soviet communist, dies at 78, dies
1993 Dan Seymour actor (Bombs over Burma, Intrigue, Watusi), dies at 78
1993 Louise Tazewell entertainer, dies at 93
1994 Eric Gale guitarist, dies at 55
1995 Dany Robin actress (Follow the Boys, Topaz, Julietta), dies at 68
1995 Dick Curless singer/songwriter, dies at 63
1996 Bernard Charles Sendall deputy director general of ITA, dies at 83
1996 Buck dog (Married with Children), dies at 13
1996 David W Howe test pilot, dies at 77
1996 Enid Kathleen Hutchinson adult educationalist, dies at 86
1996 John Morrison politician/landowner, dies at 89
1996 Laurence Marks journalist, dies at 67
1996 Renzo de Felice historian, dies at 67
1997 Muhammad Fadhel PM of Iraq (1953-54), dies


(02/12/73 RELEASED BY PRG)

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

On this day...
0585 -BC- 1st known prediction of a solar eclipse
1085 King Alfonso VI of Castily/León occupy Toledo on Moren
1241 1st attack on Jewish community of Frankfort-on-the-Main Germany
1522 Emperor Karel I returns to Spain
1632 Albrecht von Wallenstein recaptures Prague on Saksen
1659 Richard Cromwell resigns as English Lord Protector
1660 English King Charles II lands in Dover
1661 King Charles II marries Portuguese princess Catherina the Bragança
1720 "Le Grand St Antoine" reaches Marseille, plague kills 80,000
1721 John Copson becomes America's 1st insurance agent
1784 Jews are expelled from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek
1787 Constitutional convention opens at Philadelphia, George Washington presiding
1793 Father Stephen Theodore Badin is 1st US Roman Catholic priest ordained
1810 Argentina declares independence from Napoleonic Spain (National Day)
1812 Earthquake destroys Caracas Venezuela
1825 American Unitarian Association founded
1844 1st telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot
1861 John Merryman is arrested under suspension of writ of habeas corpus it later sparks a supreme court decision protecting the writ
1862 Battle of Winchester VA
1864 Battle of New Hope Church GA
1868 Australian Aboriginal Cricket tour of England begins vs Surrey Gentlemen
1870 Irish Fenians raid Eccles Hill, Québec
1876 1st tie in National League history (Athletics & Louisville, 2-2 in 14)
1876 4th Preakness: G Barbee aboard Shirley wins in 2:44.75
1878 Gilbert & Sullivans opera "HMS Pinafore" premieres in London
1887 Gas lamp at Paris Opera catches fire; 200 die
1895 20th Preakness: Fred Taral aboard Belmar wins in 1:50½
1895 Oscar Wilde sentenced to 2 years hard labor for being a sodomite
1898 1st US troop transport to Manila leaves San Fransisco
1899 33rd Belmont Stakes: R Clawson aboard Jean Beraud wins in 2:23
1900 Eyre M Shaw, 78, becomes oldest gold medalist in the Olympics
1904 38th Belmont Stakes: George Odom aboard Delhi wins in 2:06.6
1906 After 20 straight wins, Boston Pilgrims lose to Chicago White Sox 3-0
1911 Revolution in México overthrows President José Porfirio Diaz
1914 British House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule
1915 2nd Battle of Ypres ends with 105,000 casualties
1915 Chicago Claude Hendrix no-hits Pittsburgh (Federal League), 10-0
1919 Casey Stengel releases a sparrow from under his baseball cap
1922 Babe Ruth suspended 1 day & fined $200 for throwing dirt on an umpire
1923 Britain recognizes Transjordan with Abdullah as its leader
1927 Henry Ford stops producing Model T car (begins Model A)
1928 Amelia Earhart (as a passenger) is 1st woman to fly Atlantic Ocean
1934 Béla Bartòk's "Enchanted Deer" premieres
1935 Babe Ruth hits his last 3 home runs, Boston Braves vs Pirates
1935 Jesse Owens equals or breaks 6 world records in one hour
1937 1st airmail letter to circle the globe returns to New York
1939 Carl Storck becomes the 2nd NFL president
1940 German troops conquer Boulogne
1940 Golden Gate International Expo reopens
1941 5,000 drown in a storm at Ganges Delta region in India
1941 Ted Williams raises his batting average over .400 for 1st time in 1941
1943 Riot at Mobile AL shipyard over upgrading 12 black workers
1943 Trident conference in Washington DC (operation plan '43 against Japan)
1944 Partisan leader Tito escapes Germans surrounding Bosnia
1945 Arther C Clark proposes relay satellites in geosynchronous orbit
1946 Abdullah ibn Hussein becomes king of Jordan
1946 Jordan gains independence from Britain (National Day)
1947 Coal dust explosion rocks Centralia Coal Company's Mine #5 killing 111
1948 30th PGA Championship: Ben Hogan at Norwood Hills CC St Louis
1948 San Fransisco receives its 1st telecast
1949 Chinese Red army occupies Shanghai
1950 Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel opens in NYC
1951 New York Giant Willie Mays 1st major league game (goes 0 for 5)
1953 1st atomic cannon electronically fired, Frenchman Flat NV
1953 1st non-commercial educational television station-Houston TX
1953 Braves Max Surkont strikes out record 8 Reds in a row
1955 Series of 19 twisters destroy Udall KS & most of Blackwell OK
1956 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Haurietis aquas
1957 "Shinbone Alley" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 49 performances
1959 Khrushchev visits Angola
1959 Supreme Court rules that Louisiana prohibiting black-white boxing is unconstitutional
1960 George Crowe's record 11th pinch-hit homerun
1961 JFK sets goal of putting a man on Moon before the end of decade
1961 NASA civilian pilot Joseph A Walker takes X-15 to 32,770 meters
1962 Isley Brothers release "Twist & Shout"
1962 US performs nuclear test at Christmas Island (atmospheric)
1962 US unions AFL-CIO starts campaign for 35-hour work week
1963 "Hot Spot" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 43 performances
1963 Early Wynn wins his 300th baseball game
1963 Great Britain ends its amateur-professional classes in cricket
1963 Organization for African Unity formed by Chad, Mauritania & Zambia
1964 16th Emmy Awards: Dick Van Dyke Show, Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore
1964 Frank Gilroy's "Subject is Roses" premieres in NYC
1964 Ground is broken for a new stadium in St Louis
1964 Supreme Court rules closing schools to avoid desegregation unconstitut
1965 Dave Davies of the Kinks stumbles & is knocked unconscious on stage
1965 India & Pakistan border fights
1965 Muhammad Ali KOs Sonny Liston in 1st round for heavyweight boxing title
1965 Roel van Duyn, Martijn Ananar & Rob Faado align in Provo
1966 Peru & Argentina soccer fans fight in Lima; 248 die
1967 Celtic wins 12th Europe Cup 1 in Lisbon
1967 John Lennon takes delivery of his psychedelic painted Rolls Royce
1968 "Unicorn" by The Irish Rovers hits #7
1968 BPAA All-Star Bowling Tournament won by Jim Stefanich
1968 BPAA US Women's Bowling Open won by Dotty Fothergill
1968 Gateway Arch in St Louis dedicated
1968 Rolling Stones release "Jumping Jack Flash"
1969 "Midnight Cowboy" released with an X rating
1969 Mickey Wright wins LPGA Bluegrass Golf Invitational
1969 Sudanese government is overthrown in a military coup
1970 3rd ABA Championship: Indiana Pacers beat Los Angeles Stars, 4 games to 2
1971 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakhstan/Semipalitinsk USSR
1972 Heavyweight Joe Frazier KOs Ron Stander
1972 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1973 Argentine Peronist Hector Cámpora installed as president
1973 Borussia Mönchengladbach wins 2nd UEFA Cup at Mönchengladbach
1973 George Harrison releases "Give Me Love" in UK
1973 US launches 1st Skylab; crew Kerwin, Conrad, Weitz
1975 29th NBA Championship: Golden State Warriors sweep Washington Bullets in 4 games
1975 Cleveland's Dennis Eckersley, debuts shuting out the A's 6-0
1975 Joanne Carner wins LPGA American DefenderGolf Classic
1976 Heavyweight Muhammad Ali KOs Richard Dunn in Munich
1977 "Beatles Live! At the Star-Club in Hamburg Germany" released
1977 "Brady Bunch Hour" last airs on ABC-TV
1977 Dutch social democratic party wins parliamentary election
1977 Liverpool wins 22nd Europe Cup 1 in Rome
1977 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1978 "Star Wars" released
1978 Stanley Cup: Montréal Canadiens beat Boston Bruins, 4 games to 2
1979 American Airlines DC-10 crashes in Chicago killing 275
1979 Israel begins to return Sinai to Egypt
1979 Raul Gonzáles of México completes 50,000 meter walk in record 3:41:38.4
1980 "Musical Chairs" closes at Rialto Theater NYC after 15 performances
1980 Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA Corning Golf Classic
1980 Jacek Wszoka of Poland sets high jump record (7'8")
1981 Al Unser becomes 1st Indianapolis 500 winner to be disqualified
1981 Daniel Goodwin, scales outside of Chicago's Sears Tower in 7 hours
1981 Rangers' Bill Stein sets American League record with 7 consecutive pinch hits
1982 Ferguson Jenkins becomes the 7th pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters
1982 Iranian troops reconquer Khorramshar
1982 STS-4 vehicle moves to launch pad
1983 "Return of the Jedi" (Star Wars 3) released
1983 1st National Missing Children's Day is proclaimed
1983 Fire in Nassermeer Egypt kills 357
1983 France performs nuclear test
1983 Kirk Gibson (Tigers) & Jorge Orta (Blue Jays) hit inside park homeruns
1984 Boston Red Sox trade pitcher Dennis Eckersley to Chicago Cubs for Bill Buckner
1984 Detroit Tigers lose to Seattle 7-3 ends record tying 17 consecutive wins
1985 Allan Border scores 4th successive 1st class 100 (v Derbyshire)
1985 Cyclone ravages Bangladesh; 11,000 killed
1986 95-year-old woman scores a hole-in-one in Florida
1986 Ferry boat Shamia sinks on Maghna River Bangladesh, 600 killed
1986 Hands Across America - 7 million people hold hands from California to New York
1986 Kansas City Royal George Brett gets his 2,000th hit
1986 Laurie Rinker wins LPGA Corning Golf Classic
1986 Virgilio Barco elected President of Colombia
1988 PSV wins Europe Cup
1989 Eastern Airlines graduates its 1st class of non-union pilots
1989 Mariners trade Mark Langston to Montréal for Randy Johnson
1989 Mikhail Gorbachev elected Executive President in the Soviet Union
1989 Stanley Cup: Calgary Flames beat Montréal Canadiens, 4 games to 2
1989 Weird Al Yankovic records "She Drives Like Crazy"
1991 "People Are Still Having Sex" by LaTour hits #35
1991 Israel evacuates 14,000 Ethiopian Jews
1991 Stanley Cup: Pittsburgh Penguins beat Minnesota North Stars, 4 games to 2
1992 Jay Leno becomes permanent host of "The Tonight Show"
1992 New York Yankees score 9 runs before 1st out in 8th inning, beat Milwaukee Brewers 13-7
1992 Oscar Luigi Scalfaro elected President of Italy
1994 Emmy 21st Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci not nominated
1996 Jennifer Maria Holsten, 18, crowned Miss Filipino-American
1997 Bell Atlantic Senior Golf Classic
1997 David Frost wins Golf's Colonial Final in Fort Worth TX
1997 Minnesota Twins retire Kirby Puckett's uniform #
1997 Rosie Jones wins LPGA Corning Classic
1997 Todd & Mel Stottlemyre become 1st father & son to win 100 games

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

Argentina : Day of the May Revolution/National Day (1810)
Chad, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Zambia : African Freedom/Unity Day
Jordan : Independence Day/Arab Renaissance Day (1946)
Lybia, Sudan : Sudan National Day/May Revolution Day (1969)
Yugoslavia : Day of Youth
US : Memorial Day/Decoration Day, a legal holiday (1868) - - - - - ( Monday )
Virginia : Confederate Memorial Day (1868) - - - - - ( Monday )

Religious Observances
Anglican : Deposition of St Aldelmus, bishop/confessor
Roman Catholic : Commemoration of St Urban I, pope (222-230), martyr
-BC- Buddhist-Hong Kong : Buddha's Birthday
Anglican, Roman Catholic : Memorial of Bede the Venerable, priest, monk of Jarrow (optional)
Roman Catholic : Memorial of St Gregory VII, pope [1073-85], confessor (optional)
Roman Catholic : Feast of St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi, virgin
Roman Catholic : Commemoration of St Madeleine Sophie Barat, virgin
Christian : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Trinity Sunday)

Religious History
1085 Alfonso VI of Castile captured Toledo, Spain, and brought the Moorish center of science into Christian hands.
1521 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V pronounced Martin Luther an outlaw and heretic for refusing to recant his teachings while at the Diet of Worms (held the previous month).
1793 Stephen T. Badin, 25, was ordained in Baltimore, MD ÀÀ the first Catholic priest to be ordained in the newly independent United States of America. Badin afterward served as a frontier missionary, and played a key role in establishing Catholicism in Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee during the early nineteenth century.
1824 The American Sunday School Union was established in Philadelphia. It pledged itself: (1) to circulate appropriate literature in every part of the land; (2) to secure a unity of evangelistic effort; and (3) to plant a Sunday School wherever there was a population.
1876 The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (org. 1743) united with the Free Church of Scotland (org. 1843) to form the new Free Church of Scotland. (In 1929 the Free Church merged with the Mother Church, afterward retaining the name Church of Scotland.)

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

Thought for the day :
"If your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt."
16 posted on 05/25/2003 7:37:51 AM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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LOL. Yep, it's Sunday. Late night?

17 posted on 05/25/2003 7:49:56 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: SAMWolf
Been to AnLoc when the US Army was still there, and it was a very dangerous place, considering the triple canopy jungle that surrounded the "airfield". I was in a Flying Crane, along just for the ride, and we were shot at as we were leaving--I'll never forget that, and I doubt the pilot will either, since he was still rattled when we arrived back at Long Binh, and accidentally chopped the hook.

But another story about AnLoc. Somewhere in the (VN) history books, there should be a story about a very brave man, COL William V Crouch, USA, who flew his Huey into AnLoc as the US military were leaving the base under fire. COL Crouch made several trips in, and his final trip under some very heavy fire, he had his Huey so loaded with the last of the troops, people marveled how he got them out safely, if at all, considering how overweight the Huey was.

We recently read about a British Colonel who put a US major at attention, and some of the FR posters called the COL a "showboater". Bill Crouch was no showboater, and didn't even tell his friends about this dangerous, but successful mission, yet he was a hero to many; we learned about it much later.

18 posted on 05/25/2003 9:12:46 AM PDT by katze
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To: snippy_about_it
Not too bad so far.

Testing out some new code tweaks in PE and updating some unit files.
19 posted on 05/25/2003 9:17:32 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere!)
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To: Valin
1978 "Star Wars" released

I can still remember the total awe of watching "Star Wars" for the first time. I couldn't help thinking "Where was this SCI FI when I was a kid?"

20 posted on 05/25/2003 9:19:52 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere!)
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