1765 – Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker – Combat at the Cornfield

John Shoemaker at war

John Shoemaker at war

Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker

Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker

It is the contention of this podcaster that the Vietnam Veteran Generation is as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from its country. Despite an unfriendly reception from their country when they returned home, they rose about all the bad things that were said about them. They were not all drug crazed maniacs who lived under bridges because they could not cope with society.

Vietnam Veteran John Shoemaker confirms contention.

Episode 1765 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a presentation by Vietnam Veteran, John Shoemaker. He was the 3rd platoon leader for B Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. He served in Vietnam during 1970 and 71.  He has written numerous columns about his time in the War that appeared in the Metro West Daily News of Framingham, Massachusetts and other publications including the Wall Street Journal.

In this episode John will tell us about the Battle at the Cornfield. It happened a few miles from the base at Kham Duc. As the leader of the 3rd Platoon of B Company, he was ordered to lead his platoon on a recon in force mission to check out a mysterious corn field that was discovered in the triple layer canopy bad lands of western Quang Ngãi Province.

John describes the battle at the cornfield that produced a rush for him that was beyond belief. He will describe the action that earned one of his squad leaders a Silver Star.

As you listen to his description of the battle you will begin to discover something that made it unique to most of the combat actions that took place in the Vietnam War.

John tells his story in a manner that will produce rushing Adrenalin to the listener. Buckle your seat belt and hang on.

Listen to episode 1765 and discover more about John Shoemaker graphic description of the Battle of the Cornfield.

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1754 – Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker tells a heart pounding story

John Shoemaker in Vietnam

John Shoemaker in Vietnam

Episode 1754 of the Vietnam Veteran  News Podcast will feature another visit by Vietnam Veteran, John Shoemaker. He served as an infantry platoon leader with the 196th Infantry Brigade in Vietnam. He was in country during 1970 and 1971.

In the previous episode he provided background on what led him to join the Army, choose the Infantry branch and request assignment to Vietnam during a time of some of the War’s heaviest combat operations. John is definitely a tremendous representative of the great Vietnam Veteran Generation, one as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from its country. He tells a story in this episode that definitely verifies the above statement.

In this episode he tells a double story, one that is encompassed by another. He begins by telling about a plane flight from Zurich, Switzerland to Miami, Florida. At the time he was serving as an electronics company vice president working in Austria.

During that flight he was taken back in time to the summer of 1970. In his mind, he returned to his infantry platoon in the 196th Brigade in I Corps when they were taking part in Operation Elk Canyon. The Operation was a return to Kham Duc.

He goes on to describe a heart pounding fire fight his platoon was involved in on a mountain top. Most of the firefights and battles in the Vietnam War followed a common pattern normally dictated by NVA tactics known as “grab them by the belt buckle.”

The NVA leadership knew their forces were no match for American firepower so they decided to only engage American forces when they could get close enough to accomplish maximum casualties and avoid heavy American bombardment.

Generally the Americans had to fight defensively but this was not the case that day on a mountain top near Kham Duc when John Shoemaker and his platoon encountered a group of NVA soldiers. What happened next was astounding.

Listen to episode 1754 and discover more about the heart pounding story of Vietnam Veteran John Shoemaker and his platoon on a mountain top at Kham Duc, South Vietnam.

The Airborne OCS website features many of John’s Vietnam War columns.

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1766 – A Conversation with Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker – Unplugged

John Shoemaker in Vietnam.

John Shoemaker in Vietnam.

Episode 1766 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature an unplugged conversation between the podcaster Mack Payne and Vietnam Veteran John Shoemaker. The conversation took place after the recording of the previous podcast episode about the battle at the cornfield.

In that episode John Shoemaker told about the challenging mission his platoon was assigned in the summer of 1970. That mission was to recon in force a mysterious cornfield that was discovered in the mountains a few miles from the base at Kham Duc.

At the time John was the 3rd platoon leader for B Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. He has written numerous columns about his time in the War that appeared in the Metro West Daily News of Framingham, Massachusetts and other publications including the Wall Street Journal.

In the process of sharing more about his experiences in Vietnam on this podcast, John is contributing recorded presentations for the podcast. Recently he recorded a presentation about the mission to the cornfield of which the first part was published in the previous episode. First he describes the combat assault into the area and the battle that ensued.

He then proceeded to describe what happened after the initial assault. During the two portions of the recording John and the podcast host had a conversation about the battle. During the conversation John when into further detail about the battle, how his men performed, his thoughts about the War and his opinion of how the Army was functioning in the War.

It was such an engrossing conversation the decision was made by the podcaster to use it as a stand-alone episode. The term “unplugged” was used to describe it because it was unscripted. It is not a polished piece of audio but it is full of helpful insights about the trials and tribulations of a Vietnam Veteran in combat.

Listen to episode 1766 and discover more about the conversation between your podcaster and Vietnam Veteran John Shoemaker.

Hope you enjoy it.

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1767 – Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker – Ambush on the Ho Chi Minh Trail

John Shoemaker in Vietnam.

John Shoemaker in Vietnam.

Episode 1767 of the Vietnam Veteran News podcast will feature the story about an ambush on the Ho Chi Minh Trail as told by Vietnam Veteran John Shoemaker. This event occurred in the summer of 1970. At that time John was the 3rd platoon leader for B Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. He has written numerous columns about his time in the War that appeared in the Metro West Daily News of Framingham, Massachusetts and other publications including the Wall Street Journal.

Back in episode 1765 he told about the battle at the cornfield that took place the day before the ambush on the Trail. At the cornfield, John’s platoon routed a group of NVA troops that were a threat to the Fire Base at Kham Duc. After that action John was ordered to remain in place at the cornfield and prepare for more reconnaissance in force the following day.

The next day John’s platoon was joined by a special addition to his combat took kit. That special addition would later prove to be a live saver and a confirmation of the Biblical statement that “The Lord is my Sheppard.”

John’s story is exciting as it tells about the challenges his platoon had to endure as they hacked their way through triple canopy jungles in western Quang Ngai and Quang Tin Provinces.

He tells about how suddenly the jungle opened up and he and his men were standing on the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. He decided to further recon the trail and then as he described it all hell broke loose.

What happened next will make you appreciate the training and professionalism of the Americans who fought in that War.

Listen to episode 1767 and discover more about the ambush on the Ho Chi Minh Trail as told by Vietnam Veteran John Shoemaker.

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1771 – Vietnam Veteran John Shoemaker – Hardship, Pain and Agony

Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker

Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker

Episode 1771 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature Vietnam Veteran, John Shoemaker. He will be sharing a story of hardship, pain and agony that resulted from the death of one of his men in Vietnam.

The prologue of John’s story here can be found in episode 1767 of this podcast. There John described a battle on the Ho Chi Minh Trail that took place on July 23, 1970. At the time he was the 3rd platoon leader of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division.

His platoon was conducting a recon in force operation in Western Quang Ngãi Province. Suddenly they found themselves on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Soon after that they were under enemy fire.

Larry GatliffImmediately one of John’s men was cut down by an enemy bullet. It was nineteen year old Oregonian Larry Gatliff. He was one of the best soldiers in the platoon. His loss was a tremendous hit to John and he mourned his death for a long time.

Years later after John had left the Army and become a businessman in Boston, he took his son to see the movie Platoon. Seeing the action filled movie brought back vivid memories of his time in Vietnam.

Seeing that movie inspired him to seek out Larry Gatliff’s family and convey to them the respect he held for their loved family member. That led John on a long journey of discovery filled with disappoint and success.

John has written numerous columns about his time in the War including Larry Gatliff’s story that appeared in the Metro West Daily News of Framingham, Massachusetts and other publications including the Wall Street Journal.

Listen to episode 1771 and discover more about the hardship, pain and agony that was caused by the death of Larry Gatliff in Vietnam on July 23, 1970 on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

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1776 – Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker – A Rare Consequence of War

Bui Dan Mo

Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker

Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker

Episode 1776 will feature another presentation by Vietnam Veteran, John Shoemaker. He served as an infantry platoon leader with the 196th Infantry Brigade in Vietnam. He was in country during 1970 and 1971.

He has written numerous stories about his experiences in Vietnam as a combat platoon leader that has appeared in the Metro West Daily News of Framingham, Massachusetts and many others including the Wall Street Journal.

One of his stories was “Ghost Who Came Alive.” That story is about one of the rarest of Vietnam War consequences. It all started with a combat action in the vicinity of the firebase at Kham Duc in western Quang Ngãi Province.

Shoemaker’s platoon was fighting NVA troops who were attempting to destroy the firebase and as many Americans as possible. Shoemaker and his men prevailed and many NVA soldiers were killed.

One of those NVA casualties was Bui Dan Mo. As was the accepted practice after a firefight, the personal effects of the dead were collected for intelligence purposes. After Bui’s personal papers were examined, Shoemaker was allowed to keep Bui’s military ID papers as a memento.

Those papers were stored away in an attic in Boston until they were rediscovered fifty years later by Shoemaker when he was preparing to move to a new home. That discovery led to a chain of events that produced one of the rarest of things any Vietnam Veteran could ever experience.

In his presentation of the amazing event, Shoemaker begins by describing the challenging combat that took the lives of numerous NVA troops and one of his men. He then will describe in detail the chain of actions that led up to a rare event that should be made into a movie.

Listen to episode 1776 and discover more about Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker and what he has to say about one of the rarest consequences of the Vietnam War.

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1789 – Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker – Nightmare at LZ Judy

  • A CH-47 Chinook coming in to LZ Judy.
Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker

Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker

Episode 1789 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature an interview with Vietnam Veteran John Shoemaker where he describes one of the darkest days of the Vietnam War. That date was August 26, 1970. On that day an Army Ch-47 Chinook helicopter loaded with troops from the 196th Infantry Brigade was shot down as it approached LZ Judy. Thirty one Americans died that day when their aircraft crashed into a wooded mountain top in I Corps.

In previous episodes Shoemaker has described his unit’s actions at Kham Duc during Operation Elk Canyon. At the time he was a platoon leader with B Company 2/1 Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade. The events he describes in this episode took place as his battalion was relocating from Kham Duc to the LZ Judy area as Operation Elk Canyon was ending.

Shoemaker’s accounts of the tragedy are especially accurate because he witnessed it from start to finish. He starts out with an excellent description of the lead up to the crash with operations at Kham Duc. Shoemaker’s platoon was aboard the next to the last Chinook to depart Kham Duc. The doomed aircraft was to depart just after his.

Something very strange happened to the doomed aircraft as it was preparing to liftoff on its fateful flight. Shoemaker described what would turn out to be one of the most ironic events of the War.

Shoemaker arrived at LZ Judy just in time to witness the worst combat air crash in the Vietnam War. He knows what he is talking about.

He ends the interview with a tribute to those brave soldiers who died that day along with all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in Vietnam.

Listen to episode 1789 and discover more about one of the darkest days in the Vietnam War as told by Vietnam Vet John Shoemaker, an eyewitness to the terrible tragedy.

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Episode 2428 – Exclusive Interview with renowned author Nghia Vo

Dr. Nghia M. Vo

Dr. Nghia M. Vo

Episode 2428 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature an interview with Dr. Nghia M. Vo where he talks about his latest book Vietnam War Refugees in Guam and the history of Vietnam and the wars it has fought.

Dr. Vo is a medical doctor who was drafted into the South Vietnamese Army in 1973 upon his graduation from medical school. When the communists from North Vietnam took over South Vietnam in 1975, Dr. Vo made a perilous escape to Guam.

After a brief stay on that island he made his way to America. For five decades he went on to practice medicine and write in this country. He has written multiple books on Vietnamese culture. He helped found the nonprofit Saigon Arts, Culture & Education Institute and works to document Vietnamese-American culture through conferences, publications and a website.

His latest book Vietnam War Refugees in Guam, describes the experiences of South Vietnamese refugees who were escaping the murderous North Vietnamese. The book has been added to the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast Recommended Reading List.

It tells about more than 130,000 South Vietnamese fled their homeland at the end of the Vietnam War. Tens of thousands landed on the island of Guam on their way to the U.S. Many remained there. Guamanians and U.S. military personnel welcomed them. Funded by a $405 million Congressional appropriation, Operation New Life was among the most intensive humanitarian efforts ever accomplished by the U.S. government, with the help of the people of Guam. Without it, many evacuees would have died somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. This book chronicles a part of the first mass migration of Vietnamese “boat people,” before and after the fall of Saigon in April 1975–a story still unfolding almost half a century later.

You are recommended to get a copy of this excellent book and make sure you take advantage of a 40% discount being offered for a short time.

Listen to episode 2428  and get the full interview with Dr. Nghia M. Vo where he talks about his latest book Vietnam War Refugees in Guam and the history of Vietnam and the wars it has fought.

Recommended Reading

Buy Now

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Episode 2385 – The wisdom of Bernard B. Fall and Vietnam

Nathaniel L. Moir

Nathaniel L. Moir

Episode 2385 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a three-way conversation with your pod-caster, Andy Pham and special guest Nathaniel L.Moir who will discuss his new book about Bernard B. Fall titled: Number One Realist.

Nathaniel L. Moir has a very distinguished resume. He is a research associate in the Applied History Project at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, a former senior research fellow at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a former Ernest May Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. His is the author of Number One Realist. On top of all that, his father is a Vietnam Veteran and he served with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan.

As a result of his studies of history, he recently published a book about Bernard B. Fall. The book is described as An elegant biography of Bernard B. Fall, a highly influential twentieth-century military thinker, a man haunted by both the Holocaust and the futility of modern warfare.

In a 1965 letter to Newsweek, French writer and academic Bernard Fall (1926–67) staked a claim as the ‘Number One Realist’ on the Vietnam War. This is the first book to study the thought of this overlooked figure, one of the most important experts on counterinsurgency warfare in Indochina. Nathaniel L. Moir’s intellectual history analyses Fall’s formative experiences: his service in the French underground and army during the Second World War; his father’s execution by the Germans and his mother’s murder in Auschwitz; and his work as a research analyst at the Nuremberg Trials.

Moir demonstrates how these critical events shaped Fall’s trenchant analysis of Viet Minh-led revolutionary warfare during the French-Indochina War and the early Vietnam War.

Listen to episode 2385 and discover more about Nathaniel L. Moir and his new book about Bernard B. Fall titled: Number One Realist.

Recommended Reading

Number One Realist

Buy Now

Arrogance of Power
Buy Now

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Episode 2391 – Meet the baddest F-4 in Vietnam

Chico the Gunfighter, vietnamveterannews

Chico the Gunfighter, the unique Gun-Podded, Stormy Fast FAC F-4E Phantom II of the Vietnam War.

Episode 2391 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about the baddest F-4 in the Vietnam War. The featured story appeared in the Aviation Geek Club Blog and is titled: Meet Chico the Gunfighter, the unique Gun-Podded, Stormy Fast FAC F-4E Phantom II of the Vietnam War.

The story was submitted By Dario Leone. He is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

The Aviation Geek club was launched in 2016 by Dario Leone, an Italian lifelong – aviation geek, this blog is the right place where you can share your passion and meet other aviation enthusiasts from all over the world.

In the episode Dario describes the baddest F-4 used in the Vietnam War. He begins with a description of the events that were occurring in the spring of 1972. The North Vietnamese were invading South Vietnam and something was needed to help stem the flow of the invasion.

As a result, a somewhat unique mission for one F-4E Phantom,  was born of opportunity and circumstance, and not a little initiative on one officer’s part. At the time of this bold enemy offensive, the Da Nang based 366th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) Gunfighters was the last F-4 Wing in South Vietnam, and very close to the DMZ. These factors inspired Gunfighters Director of Operations Colonel J. D. Pewitt to conceive the idea of operating one of the Wings F-4Es as a free-roaming and heavily armed strike-recce aircraft to help stem the fast-moving enemy tide and collect up to the minute feedback on rapidly changing NVA positions and operations.

Listen to episode 2391 and discover more about the baddest F-4 in the Vietnam War.

The above print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com

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