"Mines and Booby Traps" card - Issued to Army troops in Nam
ORDER TO REPORT FOR INDUCTION - The "Greeting" letter!
Anti-drug message - Back cover of Artillery Review newspaper
Thanks to Davo Holdorf for providing this chart from "Vietnam Studies, Field Artillery 1954-1973" by Major General David Ewing Ott
Fire Support Element
|Cell 1||Cell 2||Cell 3|
Assault Team 2
|Cell 1||Cell 2||Cell 3||Cell 4|
South Vietnamese safe conduct
Thanks to Mike
Donley for providing the
following USARV Fact Sheet from 1968
USARV FACT SHEET
INFORMATION OFFICE - U.S. ARMY VIETNAM
APO SAN FRANCISCO 96375
ISSUE NO. 13-68 1 JANUARY 1968
HOW TO GET
WAR TROPHIES HOME
(and how NOT to)
There you are, soldier, zooming along at 30,000 feet in a 707 jet on your DEROS flight from Vietnam to the States. You've never felt better--until the guy sitting next to you jabs you with his elbow and let's you know in a confidential tone that he really put one over on the Army.
"I'm taking home a real live Commie RPG round," he boasts. "Got it in my suitcase here on the plane. No sweat in getting it past customs."
All of a sudden you're sick! Wonder how hot it is in the baggage compartment of this plane? Wonder if the safety mechanisms of that RPG round are corroded? Do you suppose some other guy is shipping lighter fluid in his bag and a fire might cook off that round? Wonder what happens when an RPG round explodes in a jet at 30,000 feet? We're carrying lots of mail bags too--I saw them loaded. Wonder how many other fellows mailed hand grenades or flares home as "war trophies?"
A Fairy Tale?
Not on your life! That's a scene which has been repeated for real more than once. Customs and postal officials have actually found, among other dangerous items, C4 plastic explosives, claymore mines with arming mechanisms, TNT, rifle grenades, flares, fireworks, and M72 rockets complete with launchers! These things and countless others have been in baggage or mail being flown to the U.S. aboard returning planes carrying 165 happy--and unsuspecting--soldiers home from a year of dodging VC bullets.
And if you are going to get home safely, you had better pray the man next to you was being honest when asked by the military inspectors if he "had any explosive materials with him," and he answered "No." If he wasn't telling the truth, you and over 160 other men are in mortal danger. A packet of C4 plastic explosive is set to go off at 30,000 feet, and it's "Good-bye, Charlie."
"So what's a war trophy?" you ask. "I risked my life for twelve hot, dirty months in Vietnam; can't I take a little something home to show the folks?"
Sure you can!
This is what is meant by a war trophy and what you can take home. A war trophy is any item of enemy public of private property used as war material acquired in a combat area or zone within a prescribed period of time, and authorized to be retained under the provisions of a couple more regulations.
This may sound complicated, but it isn't. Let's explain this a bit further. First of all, the term "enemy property" was used, so that precludes any U.S. government property, five or fifty years old.
Most of us are interested in the war trophy firearm picked up on the battlefield. This is any firearm of smaller caliber up to, and including, caliber .45 and all gauges of shotguns. Within this definition there are limitations. Sawed-off shotguns, rifles with barrels less than 16 inches, zip-guns, automatic weapons, silencers along with tanks and airplanes--may not be taken back to the United States.
Oh, yes, the war trophy must be hand-carried home in most instances. This saves a lot of questions from postal and customs people who would become suspicious if their flouroscopes turned up weapons in parcels.
You've had your share of inspections in the Army. Be prepared for another when you leave Vietnam. You and your baggage will probably undergo several detailed inspections along the way.
Because of all the prohibited explosives leaving this country by air or mail, these inspections are necessary. They will begin with the unit you are assigned to. And there will be another one at Replacement Battalion. Then there will be some more by customs officials.
If a soldier is found to have prohibited articles in his possession prior to leaving, he just won't be on that DEROS flight he's been looking forward to. If the violation is really serious, like those mentioned above, it will be back to the old outfit for awhile, pending disciplinary action. In any case, the soldier, will be delayed while his case is investigated and a decision is made on what to do.
As for mail, the military postal authorities will not break, or permit to be broken, the seal of any first-class mail while in military channels. However, all packages placed in postal channels for U.S. delivery are subject to customs inspections. If anything illegal if found, the Army Criminal Investigations Department is notified.
Soldier, if you have a war trophy, and if falls into one of the legally mailable categories, then follow the rules put down on paper. Your Provost Marshal and Adjutant General section will be most helpful in getting your new trophies home.
So, what are you going to do? Be the big man on post and slip something past Uncle Sam that you can brag about, and in doing so put hundreds of lives in danger? Are you going to try to impress the boys on the block and show them the live M79 grenade round you carried back to the States in your suitcase?
Man, don't be stupid! Have a little consideration for yourself, the men around you and the law. Wouldn't you feel a bit out of it if you were cruising along at 30,000 feet, and the tail section was blasted off your plane? Something like that could ruin your whole day!
Let's play the game right, and take home only what is safe and legal.
PPC - Japan
American G.I.'s were issued a small wallet-sized card with warnings about Viet Cong / North Vietnamese Army mines and booby traps. Below is the text from that card:
"Mines and Booby Traps" card
AND BOOBY TRAPS
BE ALERT --
DISTRIBUTION - 1 TO EACH US ARMY MEMBER
* * * * *
MINES AND BOOBY TRAPS CAN KILL SO BE ALERT - STAY
IF POSSIBLE, DON'T BE IN TOO MUCH OF A HURRY.
NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED, IT MIGHT LOOK HARMLESS
BUT IT MIGHT BE A KILLER.
EVIDENCE OF OLD CAMOUFLAGE MAY INDICATE MINES AND BOOBY
SUSPECT ALL OBJECTS THAT APPEAR LOOSE OR OUT OF PLACE.
ALWAYS LOOK FOR TRIP WIRES.
NEVER BUNCH UP AND BECOME A GOOD TARGET FOR COMMAND
DESTROY MINES AND BOOBY TRAPS IN PLACE OR MARK, REPORT,
AND LEAVE THEM ALONE.
BEFORE CUTTING TRIP WIRES, CHECK BOTH ENDS FOR
OBJECTS SHOULD NOT BE DISTURBED WITHOUT CHECKING FOR
ONLY THE ENEMY'S IMAGINATION LIMITS HIS USE OF MINES AND
BOOBY TRAPS - REMEMBER THAT.
BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL IN AREAS WHERE YOU ARE EXPECTED
TO SLOW DOWN, BUNCH UP OR BECOME A GOOD TARGET.
YOU CAN LEARN ALOT FROM THE LOCAL PEOPLE, SEEK THEIR
HELP IN LOCATING MINES AND BOOBY TRAPS.
TRAILS AND ROADS SHOULD BE SUSPECTED. CHECK
HOLES, AREAS COVERED WITH STRAW OR GRASS, LITTERED
WITH DUNG, PAVEMENT REPAIRS, AND OTHER SUSPICIOUS SPOTS.
REPORT MINES AND BOOBY TRAPS IMMEDIATELY.
ALWAYS CHECK YOUR AREA FOR EVIDENCE OF MINES AND BOOBY
TRAPS WHEN YOU SET UP YOUR DEFENSE.
PROBE GINGERLY WHEN MINES ARE SUSPECTED; DON'T DEPEND
SOLELY ON MINE DETECTORS.
SINCE THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE AREA YESTERDAY, DON'T
ASSUME THERE IS NOTHING THERE TODAY.
* * * * *
BOOBY TRAPS ARE FAVORITE DEVICES OF THE VC/NVA.
GRENADES, SPIKE TRAPS, AP AND AT MINES AND A VARIETY OF OTHER MEANS ARE EMPLOYED TO HARASS, SLOW DOWN, CONFUSE AND KILL FRIENDLY FORCES. THE FORMS OF THESE WEAPONS ARE LIMITED ONLY BY THE IMAGINATION OF THE DESIGNER. YOUR BEST DEFENSE AGAINST MINES AND BOOBY TRAPS IS . . .
was the first step of being "drafted"
into the armed services (click thumbnail):
ORDER TO REPORT FOR PHYSICAL EXAM
meant you were "drafted" into
the armed services (click thumbnail):
ORDER TO REPORT FOR INDUCTION
Also see "The Draft Lottery"
of March 25, 1971
[Complete list of US Army Vietnam artillery units]
[WW1] [WW2] [Korean War] [Vietnam War] [Iraq War]
[what's new] [links] [announcements] [15th reunions]
Attention 15th Field Artillery veterans!
Contact Davo with your unit information.
Copyright ©1998-2009 LANDSCAPER.NET All rights reserved.
Last modified 03 December 2012