Hamburger Hill Assaulted by U.S. Troops on May 11, 1969
Hamburger Hill Assaulted by U.S. Troops: Hamburger Hill was the scene of an intense and controversial battle during the Vietnam War. Known to military planners as Hill 937 (a reference to its height in meters), the solitary peak is located in the dense jungles of the A Shau Valley of Vietnam, about a mile from the border with Laos.
The Vietnamese referred to the hill as Dong Ap Bia (or Ap Bia Mountain, “the mountain of the crouching beast”). Though the hill had no real tactical significance, taking the hill was part of Operation Apache Snow, a U.S. military sweep of the A Shau Valley. The purpose of the operation was to cut off North Vietnamese infiltration from Laos and enemy threats to the cities of Hue and Da Nang.
101st Airborne Division Attacks
Under the leadership of General Melvin Zais, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, paratroopers engaged a North Vietnamese regiment on the slopes of Ap Bia Mountain on May 10, 1969. Entrenched in well-prepared fighting positions, the North Vietnamese 29th Regiment repulsed the initial American assault, and after suffering a high number of casualties, U.S. forces fell back.
The soldiers of the North Vietnamese 29th Regiment—battle-hardened veterans of the Tet Offensive - beat back another attempt by the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry on May 14. An intense battle raged for the next 10 days as the mountain came under heavy air strikes, artillery barrages and 10 infantry assaults, some conducted in heavy tropical rainstorms that reduced visibility to near zero.
Due to the bitter fighting and the high casualty rate, Ap Bia Mountain was dubbed “Hamburger Hill” by journalists covering the Vietnam War. Speaking to a reporter, 19-year-old Sergeant James Spears said, “Have you ever been inside a hamburger machine? We just got cut to pieces by extremely accurate machine gun fire.”
Hamburger Hill Captured
On May 20, General Zais sent in two additional U.S. airborne battalions (the 1st Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment), plus a South Vietnamese battalion as reinforcements for his increasingly disgruntled soldiers.
One U.S. soldier—who had fought in nine of the 10 assaults on Hamburger Hill - was quoted as saying, “I’ve lost a lot of buddies up there. Not many guys can take it much longer.”
Finally, in the 11th attack, the North Vietnamese stronghold was captured on May 20, when thousands of U.S. troops and South Vietnamese soldiers fought their way to the summit. In the face of the four-battalion attack, the North Vietnamese retreated to sanctuary areas in Laos.
Hamburger Hill Abandoned
On June 5 - just days after the hard-won victory - Ap Bia Mountain was abandoned by U.S. forces because it had no real strategic value. The North Vietnamese re-occupied Hamburger Hill a month later.
“The only significance of the hill was the fact that your North Vietnamese (were) on it - the hill itself had no tactical significance”, General Zais was quoted as saying.
Reports of casualties vary, but during the 10 days of intense fighting, an estimated 630 North Vietnamese were killed. U.S. casualties were listed as 72 killed and 372 wounded.
Legacy of Hamburger Hill
The bloody battle over Hamburger Hill and the fleeting victory resulted in a firestorm of criticism from anti-war activists. Outrage over what appeared to be a senseless loss of American lives was exacerbated by photographs published in Life magazine of U.S. soldiers killed during the battle.
On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Edward Kennedy scorned the military tactics of the Nixon administration. Kennedy condemned the battle for Ap Bia Mountain as “senseless and irresponsible.” General Creighton Abrams, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, was subsequently ordered to avoid such intensive ground battles.
But not all the soldiers and military leaders agreed that Hamburger Hill was a wasted effort. Of the criticisms leveled at U.S. commanders, General Zais said, “Those people are acting like this was a catastrophe for the U.S. troops. This was a tremendous, gallant victory.”
Vets, KIAs remembered at Hamburger Hill ceremony. U.S. Army.
Troops count cost of Vietnam’s Hamburger Hill. The Guardian.
Battle of Dong Ap Bia - Hill 937-10-21 May 1969. Unclassified Report. Texas Tech University.
History Channel / Wikipedia (Vietnam War) / Britannica Encyclopedia (Vietnam War) /
Hamburger Hill, Vietnam War (YouTube)
Understanding Military Terminology - Mine
(DOD) 1. In land mine warfare, an explosive or other material, normally encased, designed to destroy or damage ground vehicles, boats, or aircraft, or designed to wound, kill, or otherwise incapacitate personnel and designed to be detonated by the action of its victim, by the passage of time, or by controlled means.
2. In naval mine warfare, an explosive device laid in the water with the intention of damaging or sinking ships or of deterring shipping from entering an area. See also mine warfare.
Joint Publications (JP 3-15) Barriers, Obstacles, and Mine Warfare for Joint Operations
The Old Salt’s Corner
Typical Ship Organization
Navy warships will of course vary in size and function. Most however, have similar organizational structures. For purposes of instruction, we will examine the organizational structure of the modern aircraft carrier as the largest expression of ship administration. Keep in mind that individual ships will incorporate different organizational structures.
A. Carrier Orginization
When fully manned, an aircraft carrier is home to as many as 5,000 personnel—the size of a small city. Thinking of a carrier as a city is a useful way to understand its organization. At the top and comparable to a city’s mayor is the ship’s Commanding Officer (CO), who is ultimately responsible for the entire ship and the accomplishment of its assigned mission. Next in line and acting as city manager is the Executive Officer (XO). From the XO on down, the ship’s individual functions are handled by the ship’s company via different departments. These departments are in turn divided into divisions, each specialized in an area of the ship’s operation and mission.
The carrier battlegroup’s primary mission is power projection to targets ashore and at sea. The central element of the carrier’s offensive punch is its embarked air wing (CVW). The typical carrier air wing normally consists of nine squadrons, each with individual missions, which join the carrier while it is deployed.
B. Commanding Officer
The Commanding Officer of an aircraft carrier must satisfy two requirements: He must be an unrestricted line officer (which enables him to command at sea) and he must be a naval aviator. He is always the rank of Captain (O-6). Through his XO (who in most cases is also is a Captain), the CO runs the ship via its various departments.
“I’m Just Sayin”
“A lie gets halfway around the world
before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
“Thought for the Day”
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters
cannot be trusted with important matters.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Never tell the truth to people
who are not worthy of it.”
~ Mark Twain
“The truth is rarely pure
and never simple.”
~ Oscar Wilde
“What I Have Learned”
“If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past.
If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.”
Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)
Bizarre smuggling attempts that went wrong, in pictures
Here is a collection of photographs of bizarre smuggling attempts involving animals, drugs, mobile phones and submarines:
This image released by the Portuguese Police shows a multicoloured swim trunk that has two brown bags attached to the rear containing about a kilo of cocaine, which was seized at Lisbon's international airport after the arrest of a man who arrived on a flight from the city of Belem, in northern Brazil.
Portuguese police have detained the man who arrived at Lisbon's airport wearing fake buttocks that contained the cocaine, enough to make 5,000 individual doses of cocaine police said in a statement.
The Telegraph (02/13/2018)
Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What is Mercury in Retrograde, and Why Do We Blame Things On It?
Mercury retrograde - as it's technically called - was being written about in astrology circles as far back as the mid-18th century. The event was noted in British agricultural almanacs of the time, which farmers would read to sync their planting schedules to the patterns of the stars.
During the spiritualism craze of the Victorian era, interest in astrology boomed, with many believing that the stars affected the Earth in a variety of (often inconvenient) ways. Late 19th-century publications like The Astrologer’s Magazine and The Science of the Stars connected Mercury retrograde with heavy rainfall. Characterizations of the happening as an “ill omen” also appeared in a handful of articles during that period, but its association with outright disaster wasn’t as prevalent then as it is today.
We are all influenced when Mercury is in retrograde.
What is “Mercury Retrograde”?
Due to the way our own orbit interacts with those of the other planets, they might sometimes appear to be traveling backward through the night sky with respect to the zodiac. This is, in fact, an illusion, which we call apparent retrograde motion.
Several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards. These times in particular were traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.
Perhaps Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. It’s said that intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.
Mercury Retrograde Dates 2018
In 2018, Mercury will be only be retrograde during the date ranges of:
● March 23 to April 15
● July 26 to August 19
● November 17 to December 6
What to Do When Mercury is Retrograde
The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such. So, when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.
About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand. You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.
Some people blame Mercury retrograde for “bad” things that happen in their lives. Instead, take this time to sit back and review where you put your energy in your life. For example, if family and faith are important to you, are you putting your energies there or just overextended in other areas? Take a moment to reflect.
The Old Farmer's Almanac - Farmer's Almanac
• Live Science
• Mental Floss
NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang
SEAL: The United States Navy's Sea, Air, Land Teams, commonly known as the Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command and United States Special Operations Command. There are currently two Coast Guard SEALS, who completed SEAL training before the program was cancelled.
Secure: To turn off, end, or make tighter, e.g. “secure the forward diesel” or “"secure from general quarters”; can also be used to to prepare something for sea, as in “secure for sea”.
Senile Chief: Slang for Senior Chief.
Service Dress Beer: With the pre-NWU utility uniforms, the act of removing the shirt and untucking the T-shirt to hide the name tape above the pants pocket, in order to purchase alcohol on an off-base establishment. When leaving base, only “essential” stops could be made in utilities, of which alcohol was not one of them. Like many such measures, this fooled absolutely nobody.
Service Dress Bozo: Service Dress Blue uniform with a bow tie worn by a junior officer to a formal event for which he was too cheap to buy a formal mess dress jacket.
Just for you MARINE
Walking John: Nickname for a Marine marching in dress blues uniform that appeared on World War I-era recruiting posters.
War Belt: A web belt used to carry canteens in pouches and other miscellaneous equipment.
War Paint: Camouflage, face paint.
Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames
VFA-102 - “Diamondbacks”
Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture Japan - Established July 1, 1952
Where Did That Saying Come From?
“Chow down:” Meaning: Sit down to eat - similar in meaning to the British term 'tuck in'.
Origin: A chow is a breed of Chinese dog. The reputation that poor Chinese had for eating dogs has led to chow being thought of as a slang term for food. In fact, the use of 'chow' to mean food predates the naming of the chow breed of dog. Nevertheless, that reputation for eating animals which are regarded in western countries only as pets also resulted in the Australian slang term for Chinese food - 'chow miaow' (recorded since at least 1948).
'Chow', in the sense of food, is recorded from the mid-19th century. In Spirit of Age, 1856 we get this line:
“Ah Chow- ah in the Celestial lingo means Mr, Chow something good to eat.”
In Sir Henry Yule and Arthur Burnell's Hobson-Jobson: being a glossary of Anglo-Indian colloquial words and phrases, 1886 were unambiguous in their definition:
“Chow is in 'pigeon' applied to food of any kind.”
The phrase 'chow down' originated in the U.S. military around WWII. The earliest printed citation I can find is from The Hammond Times, December 1942, in a story about life on a submarine:
“'Chow down, sir' a mess attendant in a white coat informed.... 'Served on navy blue and white china we put away steak, potatoes, peas and ice cream.'”
Science & Technology
Pacific plastic dump far larger than feared: study
• Patients to skip the lab, get immediate results with new blood test technology
• Metalens achieves near-unity numerical aperture
• Genome of American cockroach sequenced for the first time
• Diffusiophoresis found to be critical factor for getting clothes clean
• The brain learns completely differently than we've assumed since the 20th century
• GPS guidance can be fooled, so researchers are scrambling to find backup technologies
• Hubble solves cosmic 'whodunit' with interstellar forensics
Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore
The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird
No, It's Not an Alien - Here's What That Tiny, Pointy-Headed Skeleton Really Is
A tiny, pointy-headed skeleton that fits in the palm of a hand isn't an alien, despite conspiracy theories that have circulated for years.
The skeleton, with a dramatically elongated skull and an underdeveloped jaw and face, was uncovered in Chile's Atacama Desert in 2003, and mystified scientists when it was first found.
Research published in 2013 offered some clues about the skeleton's bizarre appearance, but five additional years of genetic analysis have provided even more answers. Examination of the skeleton's entire genome revealed that it was Chilean and female, and that its misshapen skull and other deformities might be linked to a host of genetic mutations that affect bone development. Together, those mutations shaped an array of abnormalities that gave the remains an alien-like form. [Image Gallery: Odd Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery]
Though the skeleton is the size of a 22-week-old fetus, it was initially thought to be a 6- to 8-year-old child with severe deformities. Nearly a decade later, a highly detailed analysis - including X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and DNA sequencing - showed that it was a fetus (and that it was definitely human).
It's hard to tell how old the skeleton is just by looking at it, but prior examinations found it to be about 40 years old, scientists explained in a new study. Despite the skeleton's minuscule size, previous analysis cast doubt on whether it was a fetus because its “advanced bone age” more closely resembled that of a young child, particularly in the structure of the skeleton's skull, with sutures that were already fused.
But that feature was a byproduct of a genetic mutation - one of many that caused its numerous skeletal deformities. And, in fact, the premature fusing of skull plates in the fetus is what gave the skull its pointed shape, the researchers reported.
The scientists extracted DNA from one of the skeleton's ribs - another anomaly that previously had fueled speculation about alien origins, as there were 10 pairs, rather than the 12 normally found in humans.
However, alien hunters will likely be disappointed to hear that “the specimen is shown here to have a purely earthly origin”, the study authors reported.
Genetic anomalies, not extraterrestrial DNA
While the scientists found no evidence of alien DNA, they did find mutations in seven of the fetus's genes: COL1A1, COL2A1, KMT2D, FLNB, ATR, TRIP11 and PCNT. Mutations in these genes are known to play roles in premature joint fusion, abnormalities in rib development, malformed skulls, and diseases that inhibit the development of bone and cartilage, according to the study.
Taken together, the mutations expressed by these genes would explain all of the fetus's skeletal abnormalities, the scientists concluded. However, finding so many mutations that specifically affect skeletal development is unusual; in fact, it's never been reported before, and it is unknown what triggered this cascade of mutations, study lead author Garry Nolan, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University, told Live Science in an email.
As bizarre as this skeleton may appear, it isn't the first example of remains that look mostly human but nevertheless invite comparisons to popular images of creatures from science fiction.
In 1999, excavations in a 1,000-year-old cemetery in Mexico yielded 13 human skeletons - many of them children - with skulls that were stretched and pointed in the back, bearing a distinctly alien appearance. But researchers determined that the skulls' unusual shapes stemmed from cultural practices that deliberately deformed the bone, similar to those seen in pre-Hispanic cultures in Central America.
And 14 elongated, alien-like skulls in Bavarian graves dating to 1,500 years ago also were traced to cultural practices of cranial shaping, this time in tribes from southeastern Europe, Live Science previously reported.
However, five so-called “alien mummies” from Peru - mummified humanoids with three-fingered hands — were widely denounced by experts as fabrications, perhaps even cobbled together from looted body parts belonging to real human remains. [In Photos: 'Alien' Skulls Reveal Odd, Ancient Tradition]
Live Science (03/22/2018)
“Sunshine of Your Love” - Cream
Album: Disraeli Gears
The lyric was written by Pete Brown, a beat poet who was friends with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. He also wrote lyrics for “I Feel Free” and “White Room” . Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce wrote the music.
Jack Bruce.'s bass line carries the song. He got the idea for it after going to a Jimi Hendrix concert. When Kees van Wee interviewed Bruce in 2003 for the Dutch magazine Heaven, Kees asked him which of his many songs epitomizes Jack Bruce the most. At first he was in doubt whether he should answer “Pieces Of Mind” or “Keep On Wondering”, but then he changed his mind and opted for “Sunshine Of Your Love”. Because, Said Bruce, “It's based on a bass riff. And when you enter a music shop this is the song that kids always play to try out a guitar.”
Pete Brown wrote the opening line after being up all night working with Bruce and watching the sun come up. That's were he got, “It's getting near dawn, when lights close their tired eyes.”
Tom Dowd, who worked with most of the artists for Atlantic Records at the time, engineered the Disreali Gears album. Dowd was renowned for his technical genius, but also for his ability to relate to musicians and put them at ease.
When Cream recorded this song, it wasn't working. In the documentary Tom Dowd And The Language Of Music, he explained: “There just wasn't this common ground that they had on so many of the other songs. I said, 'Have you ever seen an American Western where the Indian beat - the downbeat - is the beat? Why don't you play that one. Ginger went inside and they started to run the song again. When they started playing that way, all of the parts came together and they were elated.”
According to Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 songs issue, Jack Bruce knew the song would do well. “Both Booker T. Jones and Otis Redding heard it at Atlantic Studios and told me it was going to be a smash”, he recalled.
One man who was not impressed was Ahmet Ertegun, who was head of the group's label. When Bruce revealed the song at the sessions, Ertegun declared it “psychedelic hogwash”. Ertegun constantly tried to promote Eric Clapton as the band's leader, and also didn't believe the bassist should be a lead singer. He only relented and agreed to champion this song after Booker T. Jones came by and expressed his approval.
This is one of Eric Clapton's favorites from this days with Cream; he played it at most of his solo shows throughout his career. When Cream played some reunion concerts in 2005, they played the song as their encore.
Jimi Hendrix covered this at some of his concerts, unaware that he was the inspiration for the bass line.
Hendrix did an impromptu performance of the song when he appeared on Happening for Lulu, BBC TV show in England hosted by the prim and proper “To Sir With Love” singer. After playing part of his scheduled song “Hey Joe” , Hendrix stopped the performance and said, “We'd like to stop playing this rubbish and dedicate a song to the Cream, regardless of what kind of group they may be in. We dedicate this to Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce.”
This version appears on the Experience Hendrix 2CD/3LP The BBC Sessions towards the end of Disc 2/Side 6 on the LP. An instrumental version appears on the 2010 Valleys of Neptune album, which was recorded by Hendrix at London's Olympic Studios on February 16, 1969.
Hendrix engineer and producer Eddie Kramer recalled to Toronto's The Globe and Mail: “Jimi loved Cream, he loved Eric Clapton. It was a fabulous song, he loved to play it, and he would just rip into it whenever the mood hit him.” (thanks, Jippers - Gosford, Australia)
This was Cream's biggest hit. It was their first to do better in the US than in the UK, as they started to catch on in America. In the US, this first charted in February 1968 at #36. In August, after the album came out, it re-entered the chart and went to #5.
Clapton's guitar solo is based on the '50s song “Blue Moon” .
Excepting “Strange Brew” , the Disraeli Gears album was recorded in just three days, as the band had to return to England because their work visas were expiring. Engineer Tom Dowd recalls the sessions coming to an abrupt end when a limo driver showed up to take the musicians to the airport. Dowd was tasked with mixing the album in their absence.
Cream played this at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 12, 1993 when they reunited for their induction. To that point, the only other time the band got back together was at Eric Clapton's wedding in 1979.
Jack Bruce released a new version on his 2001 album Shadows In The Air. Clapton played on it along with Latin percussionists from New York City, which gave it a Salsa sound.
Cream official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Cream
Image: “Disraeli Gears (album)” by Cream
● In May, 1884, 214 packing cases arrived in the U.S. by boat from France. These cases were unpacked, and in the next 30 months were assembled into the Statue of Liberty.
● In 1955, the U.S. launched the world's first nuclear-powered submarine. This ship was named after a sea animal with a spiral shell the NAUTILUS.
● People who like to eat raisins or drink champagne might know this: what happens if you drop a raisin in a glass champagne? It will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top. The bubbles from the champagne will inflate the dried raisin and it will float up to the surface.
A Test for People Who Know Everything
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “INVENTION & INNOVATION” ($200):
“Percy Spencer got the idea to invent this type of oven after a magnetron melted his candy bar.”
● Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Famous Inventors.org
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “INVENTION & INNOVATION” ($600):
“Mixing slaked lime & volcanic ash, the Romans made use of this cement-based building material in monuments & roads.”
● Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Smithsonian
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “INVENTION & INNOVATION” ($800):
“He was inducted into the Inventors' Hall of Fame for pioneering the solid-body electric guitar.”
● Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer The Globe and Mail
Answer to Last Week's Test
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “INQUISITIVE WRITERS” ($400 DD):
“R.L. Stevenson wrote, 'I had gone to bed' this man, 'I had awakened' this other man. 'How was this to be explained?'”
● Answer: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Biography
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ANNUAL EVENTSS” (Name the maker of the product for us.) ($1,000):
“Halloween (All Hallows' Eve) leads into this observance the next day in the Christian church.”
● Answer: All Saints' Day. Catholic.org
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ANIMALS” ($800):
“This was the first dog breed to collect admissible evidence for American courts of law.”
● Answer: A Bloodhound. Guinness World Records
Joke of the Day
“Advice and instructions taken from actual military sources.”
'When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.' ~ U.S. Marine Corps
'Aim towards the enemy.' ~ Instruction printed on U.S. Rocket Launcher
'If the enemy is in range, so are you.' ~ Infantry Journal
'A slipping gear could let your m203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit.' ~ Army's magazine of prevention maintenance
'It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.' ~ U.S. Air Force manual
'Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo.' ~ Infantry Journal
'Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground.' ~ USAF Ammo Troop
'Tracers work both ways.' ~ U.S. Army Ordnance
'Five-second fuses only last three seconds.' ~ Infantry Journal
'If your attack is going too well, you're walking into an ambush.' ~ Infantry Journal
'No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.' ~ Unknown
'Any ship can be a minesweeper....once.' ~ Anon
'If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up with him.' ~ USAF Ammo Troop
'Never tell the platoon sergeant you have nothing to do.' ~ Unknown Marine Recruit
'Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you.' ~ Infantry Journal
'Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.' ~ David Hackworth