Crossed Rockets

Vietnam Memoirs

 

 

M-42A1 Duster

Searchlight

M-55 Quad 50

 

These pages are dedicated to the men who served with Dusters, Quad 50's, Searchlights, Vulcans and HAWKs in the Vietnam and Korean wars.

If you are new to the site and served in any AD/A units in Vietnam

 identify yourself to the HISTORIAN  <--click here 

Sgt. Stout

(Click on photo for larger image.)

ADA'S Medal of Honor Recipient - Sgt. Mitchell W. Stout

 

"We were the most highly decorated army artillery outfit in Vietnam. The only A.D.A. unit with a Congressional Medal of Honor, SGT Mitchell Stout. We were awarded Presidential and Meritorious Unit citations, Silver Stars, Bronze stars, and over 1,000 Purple Hearts.
"We were in demand, 'Fire Power for Hire'. Over four million 40 MM rounds, ten million .50 cal. rounds, and a million miles of illumination from the D.M.Z. to the Delta."
- Hugh Roberts, former President of "Dusters, Quads and Searchlights Association"

Click here for information about the vehicles, history and Order of Battle of ADA units in Vietnam.

 

   National Dusters, Quads & Searchlights Association   

(PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

CLICK ON UNDERLINED LINKS BELOW:

NDQSA Membership/ Product Sales Form  (.pdf) 

         NDQSA FORUM - contact fellow vets!

NewITEMS

  2015 REUNION FLYER June 10-14, 2015 (.pdf)

2015 REUNION REGISTRATION FORM (.pfd)

ONLINE HOTEL RESERVATION LINK

DECEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER (.pdf)

DIBBY'S DONUT DOLLIE ARTICLE (.pdf)        

        

Past Reunions and Newsletters

JULY 2014 NEWSLETTER  (.pdf) 5 MB!

2014 WDC REUNION POSTER (.jpg 12 MB)

 

NDQSA RELATED Books -

DUSTERMAN VIETNAM - Joe Belardo C-1/44

A CHAPLAIN REMEMBERS - Sam Hopkins H-4/60

available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel

HARD WAY HOME - Dennis Clark 1/44

 

 

Final Gold Star Mothers Trip Summary - April 2011

President Bob Lauver's summary of the last Gold Star Mothers trip.

"I am frankly of the belief that no amount of American military assistance in Indochina can conquer an enemy which is everywhere and at the same time nowhere, 'an enemy of the people' which has the sympathy and covert support of the people. . . . In November of 1951, I reported upon my return from the Far East as follows: 'In Indochina we have allied ourselves to the desperate effort of a French regime to hang on to the remnants of empire. There is no broad, general support of the native Vietnam Government among the people of that area . . . . [To try to win military victory] apart from and in defiance of innately nationalistic aims spells foredoomed failure.'"
     - Senator John F. Kennedy, 1954


"What has become of the steed?
What has become of the warrior?
What has become of the seats of banquet?
Where are the joys of the hall?
O for the bright cup!
O for the mailclad warrior!
O for the glory of the prince!
How that time has passed away
And grown dark under the cover of night,
As if it had never been."
     - "The Wanderer" (Anglo-Saxon)

Table of Contents

Chronicles

Paul Gronski
1/44th ADA Dusters, 1966-67

MSG Larry O'Neill
HHB 6/56 ADA Hawk, 1968


Photo Gallery

 

Duster

Quad

Search Light


Articles

ADA Units in Vietnam
Fire power, technical specifications and unit history in Vietnam

Vietnam War Memorial Wall Speech
Setting the record straight by James M. Link (LTG Retired)

The Fraud Behind The Girl In The Photo
A heart-wrenching photo leads to a gross misrepresentation of the facts

Vietnam Vet Attempts to Restore Soldiers' Valor
B.G. "Jug" Burkett demolishes misconceptions and outright lies about Vietnam veterans

The Three Walls Behind the Wall
The myth of Vietnam veteran suicide - what is the truth behind the statistics?

Canadians in Vietnam
How many Canadian nationals served in the US military in Vietnam?


Personal Accounts

Hot Pursuit in the DMZ
Phil Millam's account of how his squad found some excitement to spice their routine.

Quad Fifties in Hue [PDF format]
Bob Lauver and his crew's heroic actions in a key battle of the war.

The Siege of Khe Sanh [HTML format] [PDF format]
Bruce M. Geiger's gripping experience as a platoon leader with 1/44 Arty

Lost on Highway 1
Morris Johnson's trip from Dong Ha to Da Nang turns into a convoy of one.

Serving With Hawk Missiles
Interesting experiences during the early days of the Vietnam war

Before and After
Moving memories and reflections on life by Vietnam vet Jim Perkins

The DI
Those who say drill instructors are not entirely human may be right

Arrival
An annotated letter home - a stranger in a strange land

Under Fire
On the job training takes on new meaning during baptism under fire

First Dead
Viewing Viet Cong bodies for the first time was a disquieting experience

Little Green Bugs
A chopper pilot's first combat mission - just routine or was it?

A Flare Too Many
The VC gain a victory without firing a shot

BJ's Vietnam Story
Search and Rescue along the DMZ - a unique and human perspective

In the Court of the Khmer Kings
Even getting milk in a base camp at night can turn into an adventure

Saigon
A few surreal images of a city strangely removed from the war

Claudette
Although no Club Med, a peaceful village offered some respite from the war

Life in the Field
There were few four star accommodations and room service was nonexistent

A Path Not Taken
Is Death the final reality? A nagging feeling persists.

On the Cambodian Border
A journey into the heart of darkness at the edge of civilization

Duster Dreams
Illusion and reality blend into a landscape in which time has stopped

My First DQS Reunion
Louis Block's impassioned account of how he rediscovered his brothers-in-arms


Fiction

Tet 69
First impressions of FNGs as a fire fight rages in the distance

Shadow Show
What cultural values were transmitted to impressionable young minds?

The Treasure
As the war fades into myth, a young girl makes an unexpected find

The Last Soldier
A soldier alone with his memories...Where were the others?


If you served in a Duster, Quad 50, Searchlight, Vulcan or Hawk unit and want your own memoirs and images to be included on these pages e-mail Paul Kopsick, the DQS Historian, at: dqshistorian@cox.net

 

 

Dusters, Quads and Searchlights Sites


· The Battle at Khe Gio Bridge (Don Wittenberger)

Links to Other Vietnam Sites

 
 

Announcements

New Novel - Hard Way Home

I was in the 1/44th .... Dong Ha, Con Thien and various I-Corps locations in 69-70.

I have written a new novel. It is fiction; however, it is fact based. The first chapters start with observations while in serving in 1/44th in I-Corps. The book has been well received by those who have read it.

Dennis Clark

The link to the book and my website is dennisclarknovels.com.

 Hard Way Home

Click on image for larger view

Ronald Marks HHB 1/44, 67-68

Ronald Marks

I am the son of Ronald Marks who passed away in 1987. He was part of HHB 1st BN 44th Arty in 67-68. He died before I had the opportunity to ask him about his service in Vietnam. I was 7 when he died and am very eager to learn about his experiences while he was stationed there. Any info would be great. I have enclosed a pic from his tour in case you recognize him. Thanks again.

Daniel Marks, Principal
Pioneer Conferencing LLC
E-mail: dmarks@pioneerconference.com

 

 

The National Rakkasan* Association HAS APPROVED an attempt to organize a sub Chapter For ALL Hamburger Hill Vets.

You need NOT have been a member of the 187, just either under their control or in support off them - Arty, Engineers, other grunt outfits, etc. ARE eligible - basically ANYONE In the 3rd Bde of the 101st during 10-22 May 1969, plus other supporting XXIV Corps Art, etc. ( I think even a few Marines.)
IN ADDITION any Rakkasan from any time period is eligible

1. You MUST be eligible to join the National Association (and join!)
2. You can be from ANY geographical part of the world. (This is an exception to most sub chapters.)
3. You can be active duty or a vet.

ANY ONE INTERESTED PLEASE CONTACT DIRECTLY Ltcrhd101abn@aol.com

If you know of anyone who does NOT have e-mail, my snail mail address is:

     Roger H. Dent
     7929 Charter Oak Lane
     Charlotte, NC 28226

* Rakkasan is the Japanese term for "umbrella.". They had NO WORD for parachute when the 187th Combat Inf Regt first jumped in during WW2. It now applies to any member of the 1/187- 2/187-3/187; which are all currently comprise the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division It hasn't always been that way. They were part of the 11th Airborne and at times part of the 82nd also. It will probably change some with the new changes scheduled in the near future.

A Chaplain Remembers Vietnam by Sam Hopkins, who served with 4th Battalion 60th Artillery (Dusters), is now available.

"From 1966 to 1968, I was privileged to serve with 800 men who were called upon by our country to go to Vietnam and fight against a dedicated and deadly foe. We formed a new unit together, trained for six months together, shipped out together, served our tour of duty together, and came home together. Togetherness is the main theme of our unit's wartime experiences.
"My unit's veterans celebrate these precious bonds to this very day, especially our affections for our former fallen buddies and their surviving families. The National Dusters, Quads, and Searchlight Association actively supports the American Gold Star Mothers, an organization for women who lost their sons in combat. Proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to projects and services that will benefit these ladies. May God add His blessings to these enterprises".

A Chaplain Remembers Vietnam

For God and Country,
CH (COL) Samuel W. Hopkins, Jr., Ph.D.
USA, Ret.

Priced at $19.95, A Chaplain Remembers Vietnam is 294 pages soft cover and features over 80 full-page photos.
Click here (Truman Publishing) for more details, photos, excerpts and ordering information.

Jo Anne Embleton Jacksonville Daily Progress The Jacksonville Daily Progress Sat Nov 09, 2013, 10:17 AM CST

JACKSONVILLE — God's ways are mysterious, something that retired Army chaplain Sam Hopkins knows first-hand: In 2004, he got to accompany a group of Gold Star Mothers to Vietnam, where they retraced the steps of their fallen hero sons.

“You hear about veterans who come back from Vietnam, who look up the families of people they served with and they pay their respects,” but to be able to let these women see where their children spent their last living moments “really is poetic, it's really fulfilling,” he said, adding that it provided a sense of healing for both the mothers and the veterans.

Then his mid-20s, Hopkins was deployed to Vietnam in 1967, where he ministered to some 800 men with the 4th Battlion of the 60th Artillery of the U.S. Army, before completing his assignment a year later.

“My unit came out pretty well – we had about 45 wounded and we lost six or eight,” he said, describing how a strong bond among the group resulted in the creation of a national organization known as the National Dusters, Quads and Searchlights Association.

While it's not uncommon for veterans to want to revisit the areas years after they served there, “we realized that there were a lot of families, in particular, parents – and in particular, mothers who lost sons there, who might want toknow what happened and where,” he said, so association members began a project to raise money to escort Gold Star Mothers to Vietnam.

“We'll take any mother who wants to go – she doesn't even necessarily have to belong to the Gold Star Mothers association,” he said.

The group found a variety of ways to raise funds for the project, and Hopkins, who had kept a pictorial diary of sorts of “my all-expenses paid trip to beautiful Vietnam from Uncle Sam,” hit upon the idea to put together a book after writing a brief history for his group after a call was put out for information for stories about “our tours of duty and what happened in our units.”

His book, “A Chaplain Remembers Vietnam,” was published in 2002 and proceeds of its sales – “they were modest sales,” he grinned – were donated to the association's Gold Star Mother project, which began in 2000.

“All total, my association made five trips to Vietnam, with anywhere from three to six mothers in a group,” he said. “I think we've served a total of 32 mothers, and we would have done more if we could have found more, the mothers are getting so old. The average age of the Vietnam veteran now is in the mid-60s, and their mothers would be an average of 20 years older.”

In 2004, the former Army chaplain was able to see first-hand the kind of healing ministry his group was helping to provide these still-grieving mothers.

That year, a group of four veterans escorted six Gold Star Mothers on a 16-day guided tour “all over Vietnam by bus,” visiting areas that their sons had seen nearly four decades before, Hopkins said.

“We started a little south of Saigon and made it all the way up to the DMZ (near what was then North Vietnam),” he recalled.

The veterans planned a special ceremony for the mothers, which involved setting a spray of flowers and small flags into the ground, in a spot “close to the last place he served,” he said.

“We'd just gathered together and … we'd say something like, 'Pvt. Beetle Baily came over and he was with this unit, and they went there and they did this and he was here, and on this date, unfortunately, we lost him. But we want to celebrate his service for his country and his family.'

“This is the part that was really touching, it was how we finished it: One of the men would come over, and we'd have the mother standing there and he'd take a little trowel and dig up some dirt. Then he'd come over and put his foot print in the dirt, saying, 'You know, your son stepped right here. Mom, come over – put your foot on it.'

“And then we'd dig up the dirt and put it in sack to give to the mom and say, 'You can take this home; you've walked where your son walked,'” Hopkins said.

It was a poignant moment for the group, but “that's the part that did us some good, because it was a remembrance, a celebration years after the funerals,” he said.

“There's always some residual grief, and we didn't want to drag them through that loss again,” he added. “They were a little nervous about (the visit to Vietnam) at first, but as they'd look around, they would say, 'This is a beautiful country … my son used to write home and tell us how pretty it was.' After awhile (on the trip), one would say, 'These people are really friendly,' and we said, 'Yeah, we felt the same way,'” Hopkins said.

Gradually, the loss and pain transformed into something the grieving mothers could embrace with a kind of peace inside.

“They began to identify with what their sons had found worth fighting for – that there were people there who needed help, that you could learn to love and like. That the country was gorgeous, and among other things, they learned to love and like Vietnam like their sons had,” he said. “They weren't sure at first (that) this was going to be a good experience, but it's kind of like when the family gets together at Thanksgiving and talk about Grandma. She's gone (but) we're sharing all these good memories.”

A healing moment also came for veterans who, Hopkins pointed out, still were carrying with them survivor's guilt.

“When you're in the service, you become a band of brothers,” he said, adding that he reminded the women that while 'You lost one son, you've got us,' recalling the gratitude they expressed for those words of assurance.

But the veterans also “were saying in so many ways, 'We're so sorry we couldn't bring 'em all home, because we tried' – and that's survivor's guilt. And these mothers said to us, 'We wouldn't have wanted anything to happen to you, either,'” he recalled.

He's come full circle from conducting funerals for servicemen who returned from Vietnam in caskets, to being able to accompany the mothers of some to a land where their sons last walked, and it's been an uplifting experience.

“To take them back to where we had been, and to be able to share our experiences with them because they knew we knew their boys” has been priceless, he said.

 

Jim McLaughlin, brother of DQS KIA John McLaughlin, would like to hear from anyone who knew or served with his younger brother.
PFC John McLaughlin was KIA on may 11, 1969 at Fire Base (LZ?) Oasis in the vicinity of Pleiku. He was an Azimuth Tracker on a Duster with D Battery, 4/60. D-4/60 was attached to D-5/16 Arty at Oasis.
Jim has been searching for many years for info or someone who knew his brother. Let's do what we can to help!

Jim McLaughlin
226 Aston Mt Road RR 2
Avoca, PA 18641
Ph: (570)-457-4632
E-mail: 3-18_553rd@Computer-Cafe.net

Stuart Robinson from Redmond, Washington has acquired a Duster from Craig Rossner which has been almost completely restored to its original operating condition. For Craig, it was a labor of love which he dedicated to all Duster crewmen who served in Vietnam. Currently, Stuart wants to complete restoration of the interior. He would appreciate advice from anyone with technical expertise on the Duster.
If you are able to help and willing to answer a few questions, please contact Stuart at:

Hummer1234@aol.com

Chuck Baker (Triple B) served with C Battery. 1/44 Arty (AW) (SP) - the DMZ DUSTERS.
"My service with the Dusters was at Fort Bliss to Orogrande then by ship to Vietnam in Oct.66 to Oct. 67. The 1st, 44th service was with the 3rd Marines at Khe Sahn, Calu, Rockpile, Camp Carroll, and convoy duty on Highway 9, along with the Quad 50's. I was wounded in March 1967 at Camp Carroll during all night fire fight during an NVA attack. Would love to hear from any fellow Dusters."

You can contact Chuck at:  charles.baker@rcn.com

Were you there 12 March 1970, Khe Gio Bridge, Republic of Vietnam?
"Looking for members of Battery C, 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery and G-29, who might remember Sgt. Mitchell W. Stout. He was a KIA on that date and was awarded the Medal of Honor on the 17th of July, 1974. A memorial has been built where Sgt. Stout is buried in Knoxville, TN. I would like to recognize the other 12 Americans who were at Khe Gio Bridge on March 12, 1970."

Anyone who can help, contact the Historian at:

dqshistorian@cox.net

 

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