DISTINCTIVE UNIT INSIGNIA

COAT OF ARMS

 

CHALLENGE COIN: 2/9TH FA
re-designated as an ADA missile unit
in Germany during Soviet threat

REVERSE OF CHALLENGE COIN:
2/9TH FA re-activated as a Pershing
unit in January, 1986

2nd Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment

The 56th Field Artillery Brigade in West Germany reorganized in January 1986 and was redesignated as the 56th Field Artillery Command. 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment was inactivated and reformed as 2nd Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment in Schwbisch Gmnd. With the ratification of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on May 27, 1988 the missiles were destroyed and the battalion was deactivated on June 30, 1991.

 

CHALLENGE COIN presented by Maj Jerry Orr to those attending our 
historic first-ever reunion held at Ft Sill, May-June, 2013


UNIT HISTORIES

THE HISTORY OF "THE MIGHTY NINTH"

{as compiled by 2/9th Arty Bn HQ}

THE HISTORY OF "THE MIGHTY NINTH"

{
Courtesy - Lt Don Keith}

THE HISTORY OF "THE MIGHTY NINTH"

{
Courtesy - 25th Inf Div}

THE HISTORY OF "THE MIGHTY NINTH"
(recounting our service in Vietnam)

{
Courtesy - Bill Kull}

 "THE MIGHTY NINTH" - COAT OF ARMS

U.S. ARMY INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY

MOVE OUT!
The 25th Inf Div gets Deployment Orders

GO HOME!
The 2/9th Arty turns Camp Enari over to the ARVNs.  Beginning of the End.

2/9th Arty Deactivated
SSG Charles Wahlquist presents the 2/9th colors

3d Brigade Flown to Hawaii, 
News accounts

{Courtesy of Lt Pat Kasperbauer}

"OPERATION BLUE LIGHT"

{Courtesy of 35th Inf Regt Assn}

SPLITTING THE BATTERIES OF "THE MIGHTY NINTH"
{
Courtesy of Lt GD Springer}

CHRONOLOGY: Events leading to our arrival in Vietnam

{Courtesy of Lt Pat Kasperbauer}

Operation Garfield
An "after-action" report covering the period 25Feb - 31Mar66

Operation Lincoln
An "after-action" report covering the period 31Mar66 - 7Apr66

"After-Action Report"
An "after-action" report dtd 27Mar66 under 2/9th BnCo Saul Jackson.  It is one of the rare AAR's prepared by the 2/9th.  
{Courtesy of Bill Kull}

3d Bde "Lessons Learned" Report
PAUL REVERE: 1Aug66
PAUL REVERE II: 26Aug - 18Oct66
PAUL REVERE III: 18Oct66 - Ongoing
----------------
PAUL REVERE IV: AAR
{contributed by Robert Wilson}

3d Bde "Lessons Learned" Report
THAYER II: 3Jan - 12Feb67
PERSHING: 12 Feb - 19Apr67
LE JEUNE: 19 Apr - 22Apr67
BAKER: 22 Apr - Ongoing

3d Bde "Lessons Learned" Report
WHEELER: 1Feb - 30Apr68
WALLOWA: -same-
PATRICK: -same-
{contributed by Walt Schneidereit}

3d Bde "Lessons Learned" Report
ATTACK ON LZ OASIS: May, 1969
{contributed by Walt Schneidereit}

3d Bde "Lessons Learned" Report
OPERATION HINES: Ending 31Jan70
WASHINGTON GREEN: -same-

{contributed by Walt Schneidereit}

Ft Sill Commanding General Visits the 3rd Bde - 15Apr66

THE BIG SWAP: 25th & 4th Div
1 Aug 67
The truth behind "The Bastard Brigade"
{Courtesy of Lt Dick Arnold}

Nixon's "Peace With Honor" Speech
The Daily Oklahoman, 24Jan73
{Courtesy of Lt Don Keith}

 

Mighty Ninth - 2nd Battalion 9th Artillery (PDF File)
{click on link}

Courtesy of Lt Don M. Keith, 1967-1968, he has furnished the website with a history of the 2/9th Arty that ends after a 1962 call-up to the country of Thailand and pre-dates the assignment of The Mighty Ninth to the Republic of South Vietnam.  His contribution also includes documentation of the unit Coat of Arms.

Courtesy of Sp4 Walt Schneidereit, 1969-1970, he has graciously provided this website with a document prepared by the Headquarters of the 2/9th {above} as they made their departure from the Republic of Vietnam in April, 1970.  This document includes a detailed explanation of the Coat of Arms for "The Mighty Ninth".

With thanks and appreciation, Mr.John Keliher, Historian for the 25th Inf Div Assn,  is acknowledged for providing this website with the Unit History as it presently appears on the 25th Infantry Division website, the parent unit of the 3d Brigade prior to the "brigade swap" with the 4th Infantry Division that occurred on 1 August 1967.

With thanks and appreciation to Pat Kasperbauer, news accounts of the deployment of the 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in December, 1965 are provided from his collection of scrapbooks compiled by the Office of the Chief of Information, Department of the Army, U.S. Army Command Information Unit, Washington, D.C.

{For those who cannot open the PDF document or have difficulty with the faint print of the 60s era typewriters used to generate the first document, a "reproduced" copy is found below using a modern-day version of that font.}

HEADQUARTERS
2D BATTALION 9TH ARTILLERY
APO SAN FRANCISCO 96255

COAT OF ARMS AND DISTINCTIVE INSIGNIA FOR THE 9TH ARTILLERY

The blazonry is as follows:

SHIELD:    Gules two puloulou palewise proper (a ball argent on a staff sable), on a canton 
                or a stand grape shot (for the 1st Field Artillery)

CREST:      On a wreath of the colors, or and gules, an alia (crossed Hawaiian spears) supporting a 
               puela with nine plumes, five of gold and four of silver,  gold and silver alternating
               (the flag of the Hawaiian CHIEF) all proper.

MOTTO:     Kulia-i-a-nuu  (Hawaiian meaning "Onward, still higher, win the day, gain the victory".
            

         The 9th Field Artillery Regiment (parent organization of the 9th Field Artillery Battalion) was organized in 1916 in Hawaii form the 1st Artillery.  This descent is shown by the stand of grape shot in the canton, taken from the coat of arms of the 1st Field Artillery, which commemorates General Taylor's famous remark to the Battery Commander in the old regiment at Buena Vista, "A little more grape, Captain Bragg".

       The place and origin and first station of the 9th Field Artillery Regiment are depicted in the remainder of the arms:  The shield is red for Artillery.  The two Hawaiian puloulou--a black staff with a white ball--were ancient emblems of the country and were placed on each side of the gateway to the king's quarters.  The crest is an alia, the two crossed spears which were placed in front of the King's house.  The puela, the duster-like flag of the king, is drawn with nine plumes, five gold and four silver, indicating the number of the organization.

(page 2)

HEADQUARTERS, 2D BN 9TH ARTY
"THE MIGHTY NINTH"

       "The Mighty Ninth" traces its origin to the activation of its parent regiment, the 9th Field Artillery, on 6 August 1916, at Schofield Barracks, Territory of Hawaii.

       The 9th was organized and equipped to be the first completely motorized artillery unit in the Army.  As such, she was challenged at birth to prove that the, then radical, concept of completely motorized artillery was valid and practical.  That the challenge was accepted is evident.  By her performance the advantages of highly mobile artillery on the modern battlefield were proven and were considered in the organization of future artillery units.

       After the declaration of war with Germany, the 9th Artillery was ordered to the mainland.  She departed from Hawaii with the 1st Artillery in December, 1917.   She was sent to Ft Sill, Oklahoma and assigned to the 19th Division.  The Armistice was signed before the unit was sent to Europe.  She remained at Ft Sill, the mecca of the artillery, for several years until she was ordered inactivated in 1921.

       From 1921 until late 1939, the 9th Artillery remained inactive, though two of her subordinate battalions were activated during this period of peace.  The 1st Battalion was on duty from October 1926 to September 1927 at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, and the 2d Battalion was active at Fort Sill From October through December 1922.

       The 9th Artillery, while inactive, was assigned to the 7th Division on 24 March 1923, to the 9th Division on 15 August 1927, the 4th Division on 1 January 1930, and, finally, to the 3d Division on 1 October 1933.  She was to remain on  organic unit of the 3d Division up to and throughout World War II.

       On 1 October 1939, the 9th Artillery Battalion, a subordinate unit to the inactive 9th Field Artillery Regiment, was activated at Fort Lewis Washington, in anticipation of the ensuing war.  She moved with the 3d Division from Ft Lewis, Washington, to Camp Pickett, Virginia, in September, 1942.  This new location was a staging area, for on 24 October 1942, the Division sailed from Norfolk, Virginia.  Destination:  French Morocco.

(page 3)

       Early on the morning of 8 November 1942, the 3d Division hit the beaches of North Africa near Fedala, French Morocco.  The 9th Artillery Battalion, the 3d Division's medium Battalion, landed with 105s mounted on half-tracks.  (The light battalions were armed with 75mm pack howitzers.)

       Fedala soon fell, and on 11 November, Casablanca was occupied.  The primary mission of the 3d Division was now to prepare for the invasion of Sicily.  The preparations were interrupted in February 1943 when over 3,000 members of the division were sent to Tunisia to aid in repulsing the stiff German counter-offensive.  In June, the entire division moved to Tunisia to exploit the success of the II US Corps.  After the conquest of the Axis troops in this area, the division embarked on the invasion of Sicily.

       At 0200 hours, 10 July 1943, the invasion began.  By 0630, Battery A, 9th Artillery Battalion had landed and gone into position.  It was during this campaign that, for the first time in any operation, naval gunfire was successfully directed from an artillery FDC.  After over a month of intense fighting to clear the island, the division was able to rest in preparation for its coming campaign in Italy.

       On 18 September 1943, the Division Artillery landed south of Naples, Italy.  During the follow two months, the division penetrated the German winter line and forced the approaches to Cassino when relieved by the 36th Division on 17 November.  The 9th  did not go out of action however.  She followed the Infantry into Anzio and helped to blast their breakthrough to Rome.  Rome taken, the 9th prepared to join the invasion of Southern France. 

       On 15 August 1944, the division landed.  One month later the enemy had been pushed 358 miles inland and the 9th prepared to support the crossing of the Vosgos Mountains, a feat that had never been accomplished by a military force opposed by an enemy.  By early January the mountains lay behind but so did over 6,000 casualties the division suffered in the crossing.  Ahead lay the Celmar Pocket where the intense action against a determined enemy would earn the division the Distinguished Unit Citation and the French Croix De Guerre with  palm.  The citations at Annex A and B tell the story of this action.

       At 0100 March 15, 1945, the 9th contributed to the massive artillery preparation that initiated the division's drive into Germany.  Thirty-one minutes later the first unit stood on German soil  At Worms, the battalion crossed the Rhine.  From here the road led through Schweinfurt, Nuremberg, Munich, Salzburg, and finally ended at Berchtesgaden on 5 May 1945.  When German Field Marshal Kesselring, succeeded Field Marshal Von Rundstadt as command of the German west front, was asked, "What was the best American division faced by troops under your command on either the Italian or Western fronts?", he named four divisions.  Without hesitation, the Third Division was placed first on the list.  As an divisional unit, the 9th Artillery Battalion was partly responsible for the division's enviable reputation.

       Soon after the 9th Artillery Battalion returned to Fort Benning, the Korean conflict began.   In early August 1950, the 9th Artillery was ordered to Korea as a separate battalion, thus leaving the Third Division  for the first time in seventeen years.  Three days after arriving at Pusan, the 9th went into action in the famed "Bowling Alley" near Taogu.  After a three-week pitched battle in support of the 1st Cavalry Division, the Communist attack was completely broken.

       The 9th Artillery was then assigned to the 1st Republic of Korea Division, acting as the principal fire support unit.  After breaking out of the Pusan perimeter, the 1st ROK Division and the 9th Artillery advanced through Seoul, Pyongyang, Pakihon, and finally to Unsan, 600 miles up the Korean Peninsula.

       At Unsan, about 50 miles from the Manchurian border, the 1st ROK Division engaged and was surrounded by a Chinese Communist Corps.  Firing in a complete circle, the 90th assisted in storming the savage Chinese attacks for four days before being forced to withdraw.  The 9th provided continuous support for the  300 mile withdrawal, firing mission after mission and moving only to go into position to fire again.  This support enabled other units to withdraw in good order and with a minimum of loss in men and material.

       The 9th Artillery Battalion rejoined the 3d Division in South Korea on 17 January 1951 and remained with it throughout the war.  While in Korea, the 9th supported every division committed, including Korean divisions, with the exception of the United States 7th Divisions and compiled a record of over 730 consecutive days in combat.

       In March 1954 the 9th returned with the 3d Division to Fort Benning, Georgia, where she was inactivated. concurrently, she was activated in Germany as an organic Artillery battalion of the 10th Infantry Division.  Upon reactivation, she was designated "The 2d Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Artillery".  On 14 June 1958, "The Mighty Ninth" was relieved from assignment to the 10th Infantry Division and inactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia.

       The Mighty Ninth was again reactivated as the "2d Howitzer Battalion, 9th Artillery" on 1 April 1960 and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.  She had returned to her birthplace.

(page 4)

       The 2/9th remained n Hawaii until late 1965.  Much of the time was spent in the field.  With tensions building in Southeast Asia, the Mighty Ninth was challenged to prove that artillery could effectively support ground forces in a jungle environment.  She helped to prove that the use of artillery was not only feasible, but necessary as the only totally reliable fire support means available.  In addition, she was called on to test various concepts for the employment of Artillery operating in a jungle environment.  From these tests, ideas evolved which, though radical, would improve the support provided by all artillery units destined to fight in Vietnam.

       In December 1965, "The Mighty Ninth", as part of the 25th Division's 3d Brigade task force, received orders for deployment to Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam.  The battalion departed Hawaii in late December with its first firing unit, C Battery, arriving in Pleiku on 1 January 1966.

       The Vietnam war would be a new experience and a challenge for Artillerymen everywhere.  There were no front lines to offer security.  Enemy action, from small and harassing to large scale and violent, would flare up anywhere, anytime.  Small, mobile ground forces would move great distances with little warning or time for prior planning.  On such a battlefield supporting artillery would be widely dispersed and fragmented to support the Infantry.  A battalion's batteries would seldom be within mutually supporting range.  Batteries themselves would often be divided to support small unit operations.

       From early February through the next 3 months, the 9th supported the 3d Brigade in Operations Taylor, Garfield and Longfellow.  Those operations, though considered minor, resulted in 160 enemy soldiers killed in action. 

       On May 1966, the 9th became part of what was to become one of the largest operations in the Vietnam war--Operation "Paul Revere", under operational control of the 1st Cavalry (Airmobile) Division.  Elements of the third Brigade and supporting Artillery were moved quickly and continuously to various locations in the highlands in an effort to unsettle and destroy the enemy.  The battalion co-located its headquarters with that of the 3d Brigade ("None Better") at LZ Oasis, a landing zone southwest of Pleiku, which was to become the battalion's "home away from home" for more than three years.

       Operations Paul Revere I, II, III, and IV saw the battalion and its supported brigade fighting in and around Plei Djereng and Duc Co, on Highway 19 from Pleiku to the  Mang Yang Pass, and over the rugged Chu Pa Mountains.  The fighting resulted in heavy enemy casualties.  Over 1700 NVA were killed in action with a large share of those "kills" direct attributable to the fires of "The Mighty Ninth". 

       (page 5)

       On 20 April, the 3rd Brigade and "The Mighty Ninth" were ordered to Quang Ngai Province as part of Task Force "Oregon" under the  operational control of I Field Force (IFFV) Headquarters.  Vicious clashes with elements of two North Vietnamese divisions and smaller Viet Cong battalions resulted in 3,000 enemy dead by the summer of 1967.

       On 1 August 1967, the 3rd Brigade and the 2/9th Artillery were transferred to the 4th Infantry Division where both would remain for the rest of their service in Vietnam.

       On the night of 30 January 1968, Vietnam erupted into a massive battlefield.   The 3d Brigade with its direct support Artillery battalion held off determined enemy attacks on coastal cities south of Da Nang, killing more than 600 enemy soldiers in nine days of aggressive fighting.  During TET 1968 operations (Code name: Wheeler/Wallowa) the 3rd Brigade supported by the 9th succeeded in driving the 2nd NVA Division from the Coastal Plains and jungles near Chu Lai, Da Nang and Duc Pho.

       In early April, the Third Brigade with "The Mighty Ninth" returned to 4th Division's control and took part in Operation "MacArthur" which resulted in repulsing enemy thrusts form Cambodia, toward Kontum.  More than 5,000 enemy were killed by men of the 4th Division.

       In November 1968, the 9th was chosen to receive the new M102, 105mm howitzer.  All three of the battalion's batteries were armed with this new lightweight weapon.  It would be more than a year before other Artillery battalions in the division would be so armed.

       In early February 1969, operation "Sledge Hammer", an effort to clear the Chu Pa Mountains commenced.  When it terminated three months later, an estimated 500 enemy soldiers had been killed.

       In early March 1969, the Might Ninth supported the 3d Brigade in Operation "Hines".  Recognizing a reduction in enemy activity the operation placed emphasis on support of the Government of Vietnam Pacification Program.

       Operation "Hines" continued through the summer, fall and winter months of 1969-1970 marked by light and scattered action.  Enemy forces launched two abortive "sapper attacks" on 3d Brigade firebases during this period.  On 11 May, an enemy raid against the 3d Brigade and 9th Artillery Headquarters at LZ Oasis was repulsed leaving 65 enemy dead.  On 6 November, sappers attached LZ St George, a firebase occupied by A battery, 2/9th Arty, resulting in 41 enemy soldiers killed in action.

       On 12 January 1970, US Military Command Headquarters in Saigon announced that the 3rd Brigade with its direct support artillery battalion would be included in President Nixon's Phase III redeployment of troops from Vietnam before mid-April.

(page 6)

       The history of the "Mighty Ninth" in Vietnam is, for the most part, the history of the 3d Brigade.  The two were inseparable.  The guerrilla war in Vietnam demanded it.  The "Redleg" offered support by firepower to the "Grunt". The "Grunt" secured the "Redleg" from enemy attack.  The actions of each cannot be separated.  The both contributed and both can be credited with their total success.

       The Mighty Ninth will soon retire.  It will be a sad occasion; but she is no peacetime soldier.  As always before, when her country needs her, she will be ready to fight, ready to fulfill her mission of providing fire support to the ground gaining army and ready to again live by her motto:  "Onward, still higher, win the day, gain the victory".

Document Source:  With many thanks and great appreciation to Sp4 Walt Schneidereit, he has provided us with this excellent documentation of the 2/9th's history from its origin through its sojourn in Vietnam.  As noted in the history above, "The Mighty Ninth" left Vietnam in April, 1970, and, consequently, this is where the documentation ended.  Below you will find a historical account of the 2/9th Battalion beyond the war in Vietnam, courtesy of the 25th Infantry Division Association.

                                                 

  UNIT HISTORY
Courtesy of the 25th Infantry Div Assn

Constituted 1 July 1916 and organized at Schofield Barracks using personnel of the 1st Field Artillery Regiment. Inactivated in 1921 at Fort Sill. The 1st Battalion was active from 1922-1927 and again from 1930 to 1940. The 2nd Battalion was active in 1922 and 1939-1940. The 9th FA was reorganized and redesignated as the 9th Field Artillery Battalion on 1 October 1940. Assigned to the 3rd Division, it was equipped with 155-mm. howitzers and served as the division artillery's general support battalion. In WW II the 3rd Division fought in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany, participating in ten campaigns, more than any U.S. division world-wide. It was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and two awards of the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. On 1 September 1950 the 9th FA was relieved from assignment to the 3rd Division and sent to Korea as a separate 155mm. howitzer battalion. Upon arrival in Korea the 9th FA's primary mission was supporting the 1st ROK Division. The 9th was reassigned to the 3rd Division on 17 January 1951. The 9th FA participated in all ten of the Korean campaigns and was awarded the Bravery Gold Medal of Greece and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations. On 1 July 1957 Battery B was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Artillery, assigned to the 10th Infantry Division and activated in Germany. The 2nd Battalion was inactivated at Fort Benning on 14 June 1958. Redesignated as the 2nd Howitzer Battalion, 9th Artillery it was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division and activated on 1 April 1960 as the direct support battalion for the 1st Battle Group, 35th Infantry. It was redesignated 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery on 5 August 1963 and became the direct support battalion for the 3rd Brigade. The battalion was airlifted to the Central Highlands of Vietnam with the 3rd Brigade arriving on 28 December 1965. The 2/9th Artillery initially supported 3rd Brigade operations along the Cambodian border and then in Quang Ngai Province. On 1 August 1967 the battalion was reassigned to the 4th Infantry Division. The 2/9th Artillery participated in ten Vietnam campaigns receiving a Valorous Unit Award and three awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. In addition Battery C received a Presidential Unit Citation while attached to the 101st Airborne Division during the battle of Dong Ap Bia Mountain, 10-21 May 1969. Inactivated on 10 April 1970 at Fort Lewis, it was reassigned to the 25th Division on 11 December 1970 and held at zero strength. On 1 September 1971 it was redesignated as 2nd Battalion, 9th Field Artillery. The 2nd Battalion was inactivated on 25 July 1972. On 17 January 1986, the 2nd Battalion was relieved from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division and reactivated in Germany as a Pershing surface-to-surface ballistic missile battalion in response to the Soviet ground forces' missile threat to western Europe.  With the Soviet ground force missile threat removed, the 2nd Battalion was inactivated on 25 February 1991.  The battalion's colors are currently stored at Aniston Army Depot, Alabama.    Presently the only active element of the regiment is the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA.

25th Infantry Division Association

NEWS ACCOUNTS: 3D BRIGADE, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION FLOWN TO VIETNAM
{Courtesy of Pat Kasperbauer}

 

The Washington Daily News, City Edition, Wednesday, December 29, 1965

1st Elements of 4000-man Unit Land in Highlands

Brigade Flying to Viet Directly From Hawaii

PLEIKU, South Viet Nam.  Dec 29th (UPI) -- A new wave of U.S. Army infantrymen was flown directly from Hawaii to Viet Nam today, boosting American combat strength to 184,000 men.  The reinforcements will be used to counter infiltration from the Communist North.

Troops and equipment of the 3d Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division shuttled into a newly-constructed jet airfield in the Vietnamese central highlands.  The "Tropic Lightning" Division's motto is "ready to strike -- anywhere, anytime."

MOUNTAIN REGION

The first elements of the 4000-man brigade landed in the heart of the mountain region where infiltration is the heaviest.  Their arrival appeared to answer Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's statement on his last visit here that new counter measures were required against greatly increased reinforcements from the North.

"Elements of the 3d Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division will be landing at several places in South Viet Nam in the next few days," a U.S. military spokesman said in Saigon.  A spokesman at Pleiku said the brigade would eventually consist of three infantry battalions plus artillerymen, engineers, motorized cavalry, and a support battalion.

2 OTHER BRIGADES

The entire outfit is being flown here direct from Hawaii where the 25th Division is based.  The division's other two brigades will remain behind for the present.  The air brigade was made up of Big C 183 Cargomasters and the larger C 141 jet transports.

The First Air Cavalry Division and the 101st Airborne Brigade already are in action in the mountainous central region, stamping ground of most of the North Vietnamese Army units which have infiltrated South Viet Nam.  It has been the scene of the bloodiest American battles.  The reinforcements are the first to reach Viet Nam since last October.

DOCK TIEUP

The American buildup since has been stalled because Viet Nam's ports, docks, and warehouses were incapable of handling the supplies needed for additional troops.  U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Harold K. Johnson said today a crash building program at two seaports had filled some supply gaps.  The arrival of the brigade seemed to bear this out.

Altho the 25th was not officially posted in Viet Nam before, hundreds of its soldiers have fought here in the past three years.  All were helicopter machinegunners who rotate from Hawaii.

The Washington Post

4,000 Jungle-Trained GIs
Are Airlifted to Viet Nam

Saigon, Dec. 29 (AP) -- The U. S. demonstrated its military muscle today with an airlift of some 4,000 jungle fighters from Hawaii to the central highlands, increasing the total American combat force in Viet Nam to nearly 185,000. [The 4,000 troops are the first contingent of the 20,000-man 25th Infantry Division that is expected to arrive in the next several months, Reuters reported, quoting authoritative sources in Saigon.  This would bring the U.S. Forces in Viet Nam to more than 200,000]

The 3d Brigade of the U.S. Army's 25th Tropic Lightning Division began arriving by C-141 and C-133 transports at Pleiku, 240 miles north of Saigon.  They will take over a bivouac area secured by elements of the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry Division as part of the U.S. challenge to six or seven North Vietnamese regiments reported operating in the mountains.

The Evening Star
WASHINGTON, D.C.  WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1965

U.S. Bolsters Combat Force
Brigade of 4,000 Airlifted to Pleiku

SAIGON, South Viet Nam (AP) -- While truce talk pervaded the Vietnamese theater of war today, the United States underscored its commitment to South Viet Nam by airlifting another brigade of U.S. troops into the jungle conflict.

The moratorium in the U.S. air war over North Viet Nam went into its sixth day, but the halt in the air attack still drew no public peace feeler from Hanoi.  The South Vietnamese government was reported ready to join the Viet Cong in proclaiming a cease-fire for the Vietnamese new year next month.  The United States entertained some doubts but was expected to concur in the truce.

Neither Washington nor Saigon saw the Communist offer of a truce on Tet, the lunar new year festival Jan. 20-23, as a significant breakthrough toward peace.  In the long guerilla war, a military lull during the national holiday has become an annual ritual.

4,000 Airlifted

The airlift of some 4,000 jungle fighters from Hawaii to the central highlands base of Pleiku, 204 miles north of Saigon, raises the total American force in Vietnam to 175,000 men.  The 3rd Brigade of the U.S. Army's 25th "Tropic Lightning" Division was arriving by C141 and C133 transports to join the American challenge to six or seven regiments North Vietnamese regiments reported operating in the mountains.  The brigade is taking over an area through which Communist supplies are believed coming from North Viet Nam.

Some of the men served as volunteers in Viet Nam before as machine gunners on helicopters.  The division won its nickname and lightning armpatch for its jungle fight against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands in 1943.

U.S. officials did not say whether the rest of the division would be moved in from Hawaii.

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