Timeline ready. You will see it soon

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Niner Alpha
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Timeline ready. You will see it soon

Postby Niner Alpha » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:15 am

I have been working on this for a while. I first had to decide what things I needed to include. I knew that major events affecting the battalion had to be included but also wanted to include small individual remembered events that would give the list a little human dimension. So for individual details I went through all my old letters home to my wife and to my parents. I asked for others to do the same....and Vern Weed, Recon Sgt. Delta, 1969 , was the only one who responded. But the two of us will give a pretty good idea of what I had in mind.

The next big thing was finding the details and trying to sort out what was true from what was not. There are few sources without going to Washington DC and sorting through battalion reports, which I'm not planning on doing. So I was left with, bits and pieces that Bruce Swander has given us, The Old Reliable Newspaper, in so far as issues can be accessed, the extensive history that Col. Karl Lowe has written at the 31st, Site, and various other publications both official and unofficial.

Now all of this would be good if there weren't conflicts. Take the date March 24, 1969. Col Lowe writes this:

On March 24, B Company spotted a company-size NVA unit in the open near a wooded fringe of the Plain of Reeds. Battalion ordered A Company to get ready to be lifted into the contact area to establish a blocking position inside the treeline. A Company was inserted into the area around 5 PM, but had to cross a small canal to enter the treeline on the opposite bank. Just after crossing the canal, they were taken under fire by a larger enemy force inside the treeline in thick earthen bunkers. The area was a major NVA supply depot to equip units entering that part of Vietnam across the Plain of Reeds from Cambodia. While most men quickly dropped behind the sheltering bank of the canal, PFC Larry E. Bailey (20) charged forward, firing his M-79 grenade launcher once as he entered the woods. According to Sergeant Bob Grant, who was wounded in the action, Bailey never had a chance. He was thrown backwards by simultaneous bursts of enemy fire from several directions and was probably dead before he hit the ground. Soon after BaileyÂ’s death, two other A Company men, Sergeant David S. Harris 21 and PFC Johnny Young 18, were killed. The enemy slipped away unhindered along the canal.



The Old Reliable writes about Alpha being attached to the 4/39th and that old public hero Col Hackworth commanding a large encircling move that resulted in a large body count.

The Wall page shows clearly that three Alpha guys were killed by small arms fire as does the Old Reliable story. Hackworth in his book, Steel My Soldiers Hearts, says this:

Unfortunately, A/631st got hung up in a minefield and took two wounded. While moving them to an LZ for Dust-Off, the litter party hit more mines, killing three sldiers--Larry Eugene Bailey, David Stanley Harris and Johnny Young-- and wounding two more. They spent most of the night extracating themselves and didn't get in on the kills. But their presence stopped the enemy from spilling out through that sector of the seal.


The Old Reliable attachment follows at the end of this post.

So...what I'm getting at is that probably some of the posts in the Timeline may be wrong because of what I've decided to use of the conficting information. Some could be wrong when there was no conflicting information because I put it in wrong. Some could be wrong because the only information is wrong...like where Alpha was and when in Cambodia from Lowe's version and my slightly different version which I use until proven otherwise.

Bottom line is: When this timeline shows up in the very near future, if you have some date or information to add, post it in this forum. If you disagree with any of the information, post in this forum.

Robert Stewart
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Last edited by Niner Alpha on Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Niner Alpha
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Further reports on March 24, 1969

Postby Niner Alpha » Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:47 pm

I learn from two sources, that were close to what happened, that Alpha was inserted right on top of a strongly held enemy position. I learn from one that there wasn't any arty support that could help them. I learn that whoever the CO was of Alpha at the time he was replaced as CO shortly after the battle, although it seems that he was, at least to some extent, a victim of circumstance. Harry Whitmore was given command of Alpha as a result of the happenings on this particular date.
Last edited by Niner Alpha on Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:36 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Niner Alpha
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Taking longer to get this up than expected

Postby Niner Alpha » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:44 pm

Few things slowing this project down in getting it ready to view. Maybe up by first part of this coming week.
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Niner Alpha
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Still not able to post this idea yet

Postby Niner Alpha » Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:04 pm

My programmer, who works for cheap.....like free...although I have made many attemps to pay him, has some other irons in the fire at the moment. I also want to go over what I have now and revise a thing or two.

Sooner or later it will be posted............not that anybody is holding their breath....but hate to get the cart so far ahead of horse as it has turned out.

But.. eventually.

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