Home About Faq Links Sitemap Login Contact


Sitreps (continued)

Tom Skiens, 2/09

I built the SITREP's by reading a months worth of journals a day ( between 150 and 300 pages ) and hand writing the date, time, place and names of the dead for each event as I would come across them. I also marked the location of each booby trap on a map for the first six months of 1968 which became, Boomer, in buffgrunt.com. This took about 16 to 18 hours a days for three and a half months. One day I would read and take notes, the next day I would type my notes from the day before and move on to the next month. Whenever I found something interesting like Lam Son 719 I would research it to add depth to the SITREP's. I spent dozens and dozens of hours surfing the net for military related websites to learn what they did and how they did it. I found Marc Levy and Tony Swindell's poems this way. Please understand that as I was building buffgrunt while I was learning how to build a website. Everything was new and in transition and would remain so for about 2 years. Build and rebuild, build and rebuild. I built and posted buffgrunt.com in 3 1/2 months. I now understood enough about websites to know I had room to add all the wounded for all 46 months the 4/3 was in Vietnam. I reread the 11,000 pages of journals again and added all the wounded, all the casualty producing events and other items of interest like the run away blivit that broke a mans back and D company killing 12 water buffalo in one day. Other people fed me information about automatic ambushes, Col. Grimm, Lam Son 719, My Lai, and on and on. For anyone else to claim they developed the SITREP's in buffgrunt.com is a lie. I still have the original hand written notes mentioned above.

That, to best of my recollection, is how, I, my X wife, a US Senator, the national archives, Les Hines, C 1/1, John John, Bruce Flaherty, Rich Raitano and hundreds of hours, are related to the staff journals which would provide the information for the SITREP's in buffgrunt.com. The dated documents at the top give credibility to this story.

1968 Staff Journals

The four wars fought by the 4th Battalion in Vietnam are recorded in approx. 11,000 pages of daily staff journals. These journals and many other documents were collected over a 5 or 6 year period by Bruce Flaherty Of Delta 4/3, 68-69. The first war comes from personal experience as well as confirmation through reading the staff journals. The year was ruled by booby traps, mostly bouncing betty's. The Boomer page lists 70 booby traps the first 6 months in country. If you read the SITREP's for the the rest of 68 a total number of booby traps can be arrived at.

1969 Staff Journals

The second war came in 1969. The 4th Battalion took the boots off the ground whenever possible by mounting them on 11th Arm Cav APC's. This year also took the 4th to deeper jungle around San Juan Hill. Charlie changed his tactics. He now resorted to heavy mortar, RPG and grenade attacks. In one case causing 30 casualties in one day. This year also saw a Bravo company chopper get shot down while conducting a Combat Assualt. All six grunts and four crew were KIA.

1970 Staff Journals

The year of the mech amb. I call this payback. By the end of 1969 the 4th Battalion was having a love affair with mech amb's. By 70, they were it's masters. Sometimes the Battalion would put out 70 mech amb's each night. Tigers, Monkeys, Birds, a bunch of wind and rain, Women, Children Gooks, they all will die the same. In April a terrible event, "preacher and the rice bowl", resulted in possibly 60 casualties. The battle of BaTo will occur this year.

1971 Staff Journals

At the end of 1970 the 4/3 was released OPCON the 198th lib. They had a Battalion stand down at Duc Pho followed by a trip north of Danang, North of Hue, way up there along Highway 9. The Battalion manned LZ Hickory and LZ Shepard in the Khe San AO. Alpha Company had major contact in the first week of the 4th Battalion's participation in Operation Lom Son 719. Alpha stood tall, they did good. This year is waiting for the final stand down on Oct. 17th 1971. Every day is just one less. This year has many self inflicted wounds and friendly fire accidents/incidents.

Supporting Documents:

A Sitrep Day
My main goal in developing SITREPs from staff journals was to list the dead and wounded. The journals contain a great deal more information than I could or would want to digest and convey. Below I offer the reader a chance to see what a day at war is like. There are no casualties this day, just an endless line of gathering, planning and exacting a number of events at once. You will see that a day never ends, at 0001H someone is planning, contacting, exchanging SITREP's ect. At 2359H the same thing is happening. I also wanted the reader to see that the month of March 1970 has 288 pages of staff journals and attachments. Every day maneuver elements find evidence of enemy presents. Every day B-52's, air strikes and artillery both preplanned and on call are delivered on target, on time:

March 14, Journal #1
March 14, Journal #2
March 14, Journal #3
March 14, Journal #4
March 14, Journal #5
March 14, Journal #6
March 14, Journal #7
March 14, Report #A
March 14, Report #B
March 14, Report #C
March 14, Report #D

© Copyright & Disclaimer
2011 Tom Skiens. All Rights Reserved