151 VVN – The Battle of Dak To, Part 3

173rd Abn Bde Fighing on Hill 875, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

U.S. troops in combat on Hill 875.

In this episode we will look at the carnage in the mountains known as the Battle of Dak To. The terrible thing about this battle is that Americans died as it was attempted to write in water. The common fashion of war by the combatants in the Vietnam War was as follows: the NVA forces would concentrate on a mountain top, build defenses and set a trap for the Americans as they searched out the enemy. A battle would ensue with the NVA staying only long enough to inflict as many casualties as possible on the Americans and then disappear in the night to their sanctuaries across the border where they knew they were safe. It was a deadly game of cat and mouse.

In all this, American troops performed in a magnificent manner and the North Vietnamese displayed a reckless and relentless willingness to sacrifice their people in the cauldron of war.

150 VVN – The Battle of Dak To, Part 2


Major General William R. Peers, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran News

Major General William R. Peers, commander of the 4th Infantry Division and overall U.S. commander at Đắk Tô

This episode is a continuation of an examination of the Battle of Dak To, one of the biggest and bloodiest of the Vietnam War. Here the immediate events leading up to the battle are detailed. The American forces were spearheaded by the 4th Infantry Division with help from the 1st Cavalry Division, the 173rd Airborne and 199th Infantry Brigades and several ARVN units.

The Battle of Dak To was fought in fierce mountainous terrain against a tenacious foe who had made elaborate preparations for months in advance. In this episode, how the forces on both sides were arrayed for the oncoming battle is laid out.

149 VVN – The Battle of Dak To, Part 1

The Battle of Dak To, mack payne, vietnam veteran news

Members of Co. C, 1st Bn, 8th Inf, 1st Bde, 4th Inf Div, descend the side of Hill 742, located five miles northwest of Dak To. 14–17 November 1967.

The Battle of Dak To was one of the largest most challenging of the Vietnam War. Dak To was a small little bump in the road north of Kon Tum. It sat near the tri-borders of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The North Vietnamese military leaders deduced that it would be an opportune place to sacrifice more of their sons in the effort to reunite their country under the Communist banner.

The ruckus arose in the US 4th Infantry Division’s area of operations and it was so significant other notable units were called in to help in the hornets’ nest of fighting. They included the famous 1st Cavalry Division, my son’s former unit, The 173rd Airborne Brigade and The 199th Light Infantry Brigade.

In this episode I take a look at the beginnings of the battle. The rest of the battle will be covered in later editions of the Vietnam Veteran News – stay tuned.

148 VVN – Vietnam Vet Tom Ducharme Finally Gets His Medals

Tom Ducharme, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Vietnam War veteran Thomas Ducharme, center, receives the Bronze Star from Herman Breuer, right, executive director of the Trumbull County Veterans Service.

Tom Ducharme is another great American who answered the call when is country put out the call for help. He went to Vietnam and served well with little support and appreciation from the people back home in the USA.

Finally after forty plus years he has been publicly recognized in his own place of business, The Texas Big Dog restaurant in Warren, Ohio. He received ten medals and citations.

His story is highlighted in this episode. It is from a story by reporter Glenn Stevens of WFMJ of Warren.

147 VVN – 74 Brave Americans Sailors Died on The USS Frank E. Evans

Ensign Alan Armstrong, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Ensign Alan Armstrong died in the South China Sea in 1969.

74 brave American Sailors died one night in the South China Sea during the year 1969. They were participating in a training exercise when a terrible accidental collision with another ship resulted in the death of those sailors.

Because of a strict interpretation of eligibility rules by the Defense Department the names of those sailors were not included on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. Finally after years of effort by the survivors and the families of those lost a glimmer of hoped has appeared in the form of a Congressional Resolution that the names be added to the Memorial.

In this episode a story from the Seattle Times by Jack Broom is shared. His article tells about nearly 200 Evans veterans and relatives from across the country gathering in Seattle this week for a reunion of the USS Frank E. Evans Association.

For more information about the event contact Jack Broom at: jbroom@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2222


146 VVN – Vietnam Vet Mike Mullins Opines

Mike Mullins, mack payne, vietnam veteran news

Mike Mullins today and then.

Mike Mullins is another outstanding member of the Vietnam War Generation. In this episode he will share his reflections on both the war and his viewpoint on where the country is headed today and the reason why.

The story comes from the Kokomo Perspective and was submitted by Joyce Alpay. Joyce is good friend of Vietnam Veterans and has provided several excellent stories about them in the past.

145 VVN – Larry F. Freeman Gets Silver Star for Vietnam Service

Larry F. Freeman Awarded Silver Star, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

Vietnam veteran receives Silver star 48 years later(Photo: Kendall Morris)

Larry F. Freeman of Pulaski, Virginia was recently awarded a Silver Star for his service in Vietnam after a 48 year delay. The medal was pinned on his chest by Lt. Col. Howard Lavy, U.S. Army (Ret), a fellow member of the 1/27 Inf (Wolfhounds), 25th Inf Div at a reunion of fellow Wolfhounds at Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The reason for the 48 year delay is the same old tired excuse “the paperwork was delayed.” But it really doesn’t matter because Larry Freeman is just as much of a hero today as he was 48 years ago.

This story is courtesy of WBIR, dateline Gatlinburg, Tennessee by ace reporter – Kendall Morris.

144 VVN – Knoxville Building Housing for Veterans

Helen Ross McNabb Center Project, mack payne, vietnam veteran news

Crews are working on nearly two dozen apartments for veterans as part of a new supportive housing project by Helen Ross McNabb Center Project.

The United Way and The Helen Ross McNabb Center are teaming up to provide housing for Vietnam Veterans who need help. This is a privately funded operation with little or no help from the government. The program will provide 23 new apartments just for veterans in Knoxville.

There is still a need for $75,000 to finish up the project. They are looking for donations to get the job completed so the veterans can start moving in by December. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause click here.

Veterans should help their fellow veterans who have fallen on hard times so please donate what you can.

This story came from WATE, Channel 6 in Knoxille. It was provided by Laura Halm,6 News Reporter.


143 VVN – Restaurant Removes Red Star

Bahn Shop, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran News

Banh Shop in Dallas, Texas

Yum Brands, owner of such favorites as KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell has pulled a real bonehead marketing move. Specifically they put a communist symbol on the logo of a new restaurant serving the Vietnamese Community in the greater Dallas, Texas area. That symbol was a five-pointed red star that highly offended the sizable Vietnamese community in that area.

One of those citizens, Cung Nhat Thanh, President of the Vietnamese-American Community of Greater Dallas was so incensed that someone would stick a communist symbol in the face of a people who risked life and limb to escape the communist government who took over their country he took action.

He presented a petition with hundreds of signatures to the Yum Brands company asking that they modify the logo. Yum Brands folded like a cheap tent and agreed to remove the offensive red star.

Listen to the whole story in this episode.

142 VVN – Students Honor Vietnam Vets

Students Honor Vietnam Vets, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

Newnan High School juniors and seniors in Steve Quesinberry’s Vietnam War class were distinguished guests at the Georgia Capitol Thursday for a ceremony honoring those still MIA from the Vietnam War. From left are, front, Aaron Sweatman, Christian Hayes, Sam Diaz, Patricia Sheppard, Laura Beth Dawson, Macie Fleming, Hailey Seay, Laura Robinson, Courtney Griffin. Directly behind are Caleb Schenk and Anna Haydon.

Steve Quesinberry, a teacher at Newnan High School in Newnan, Georgia took his class to the Georgia Capital where they were distinguished guests at the Georgia State Capitol for a ceremony honoring those who are still missing in action from the Vietnam War.

In this episode the story of that event is shared. It is a confirmation that the youth of this country are learning about the Vietnam War and are willing to honor the veterans of that difficult time in our history.