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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War

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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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Old 27 Feb 17, 12:24
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101st Combat Parachute Jump Cambodia 1970?

I know there are well-informed members here who can rule on this. Thanks in advance for a reply.

I just ran across a guy who claimed to have made a combat parachute jump into Cambodia as a member of a unit of the 101st. (The guy didn't specify 1970, but he said he was 17 in 1969 when he joined the Army.)

As far as I know, nevah hoppen, GI.

I didn't interrogate the guy; he's missing a leg, others were present, and I saw nothing to be gained by taking up the matter, even if I'd been deadon sure about VN War US parachute jump history.

(The Only US Mil airborne inf unit parachute op I know of was in 1967, 173rd Reg, part of Junction City. There might have been an SF parachute op or two in Laos during Lam Son 719, but I say no 101st Inf unit ever parachute jumped into Cambodia.)
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  #2  
Old 27 Feb 17, 13:43
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Originally Posted by Jeffy View Post
There might have been an SF parachute op or two in Laos during Lam Son 719, but I say no 101st Inf unit ever parachute jumped into Cambodia.)
And you would be correct.
The 506th was in Cambodia in 1970 to help the ARVNs, they were brought in by Helicopters, there was no need for a jump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSCfAL5l0yo
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Old 27 Feb 17, 17:58
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The only mass tactical combat parachute operation in Vietnam by a non-SF unit was operation Junction City in 1967.

I believe the 101st was an airmobile division by 1970, although its LRRPs and pathfinders may still have been on jump status. I'm not aware of any parachute operation by a field force, division, or brigade LRRP team. But pathfinders from the 1st Cav did make several "operational" (for lack of a better word) parachute jumps from Hueys to set up LZs before large air assaults. I don't think these were credited as "combat" jumps. And I don't know if pathfinders from the 101st ever did anything similar.

I suspect the guy is BSing. But perhaps there is the odd chance that a pathfinder team, or maybe even an ARP, from the 101st made a Huey blast at some point that never counted as a combat jump. As mentioned, I know pathfinders from the 1st Cav did.

Link: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...1th+Pathfinder
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Old 27 Feb 17, 19:39
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Jeffy,

What KRJ said. Although I'm less inclined to concede the possibility of your guy having taken part in a 101st pathfinder or ARP jump from a helicopter, and it definitely wouldn't have taken place in Cambodia.

I think the guy is claiming combat experience he doesn't have (not unlike some of the posters on here).

There's really nothing one can do about it. If your guy's elderly, let him talk it up. He's 65 now, maybe his stories bring in the chicks!

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Old 27 Feb 17, 21:48
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Originally Posted by KRJ View Post
But pathfinders from the 1st Cav did make several "operational" (for lack of a better word) parachute jumps from Hueys to set up LZs before large air assaults. I don't think these were credited as "combat" jumps. And I don't know if pathfinders from the 101st ever did anything similar...But perhaps there is the odd chance that a pathfinder team, or maybe even an ARP, from the 101st made a Huey blast at some point that never counted as a combat jump. As mentioned, I know pathfinders from the 1st Cav did.
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What KRJ said. Although I'm less inclined to concede the possibility of your guy having taken part in a 101st pathfinder or ARP jump from a helicopter, and it definitely wouldn't have taken place in Cambodia.
There's no reason that a Huey blast under the circumstances described wouldn't have counted as a combat jump. The 82d's parachute jump into the Salerno beachhead counted.
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Old 27 Feb 17, 23:02
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There's no reason that a Huey blast under the circumstances described wouldn't have counted as a combat jump.
Well I don't know why the jumps made by the 11th Pathfinder Company (1st Cav) were not considered combat jumps but apparently they were not. And there were 12 of them, all on unprepared DZs, and several at night.
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Old 27 Feb 17, 23:19
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So it's a "maybe so"?

Thanks, Gents, for the helpful replies and discussion.

I don't want the guy to be a lying phony--or deluded, or worse. He said he was in the 101st, got shot in the leg, hung up in a parachute in a tree in Cambodia. This is beginning to look more like an "I don't know," and "Maybe he's telling the truth" instead of a definite No. If some Cav units parachuted out of Hueys in Cambodia, why not a similar unit of the 101st? I'll look into it a little more thoroughly. Thanks.
(I don't care whether my term "combat jump" applies officially or not.)
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Old 27 Feb 17, 23:37
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I'd say it's a probably not, his story doesn't seem to pass the smell test. But there were a few parachute ops in Vietnam (and other places) that are largely unknown.

Example: Did the 101st jump into Bastogne? No, of course not. Everyone knows that, right? Not so fast, 24 pathfinders from the 101st jumped into the Bastogne perimeter after all the line units that arrived by truck were surrounded and cut off.

I believe all the 1st Cav pathfinder jumps were in SVN, not Cambodia.

Off topic, but here's some interesting old pics: http://www.11thpathfindercompany.org...-s-photos.html
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Old 27 Feb 17, 23:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRJ View Post
I'd say it's a probably not, his story doesn't seem to pass the smell test. But there were a few parachute ops in Vietnam (and other places) that are largely unknown.

Example: Did the 101st jump into Bastogne? No, of course not. Everyone knows that, right? Not so fast, 24 pathfinders from the 101st jumped into the Bastogne perimeter after all the line units that arrived by truck were surrounded and cut off.

I believe all the 1st Cav pathfinder jumps were in SVN, not Cambodia.

Off topic, but here's some interesting old pics: http://www.11thpathfindercompany.org...-s-photos.html
Thanks. Good words. Pays to be both careful and thorough before acting on a BS detector signal.

Here's the most thorough source I find so far:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...orne-jumps.htm

I don't see anything that could be the quy.
"Troopers" mentioned in the 70-71 ops are Montagnards.

Another consideration is that 101st has a lot of esprit d' corps, and if they'd made Cambodia 1970 jumps, I don't think they'd be this hard to find.
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Old 27 Feb 17, 23:58
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I think the Airmobile Battalions had some Airborne qualified individuals. I also recall the 101st once had a couple of Airborne Battalions. This does not endorse the guys story, but is something I have not seen mentioned yet.

The one legged dude was probably Airborne qualified once.

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Old 28 Feb 17, 07:09
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I think the Airmobile Battalions had some Airborne qualified individuals. I also recall the 101st once had a couple of Airborne Battalions.
The original design of the airmobile division had 1 brigade on jump status. The 1st Cavalry Division deployed in 1965 with three battalions, 1-8 CAV, 2-8 CAV and 1-12 CAV, on jump status. I don't know exactly when they stopped the jump pay/status for these units.

The 101st deployed in 1965 (1st Brigade) and 1967 (the remainder of the division) on jump status, as a airborne division. The converted to the airmobile division structure in Vietnam [edited to add] from 1968-1969. The designations changed- they used 101st Air Cavalry Division both 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) in their officially submitted AARs.[end edit] I've read that they weren't able to maintain jump status, but again I don't know exactly when the pay/status was officially stopped. It was stopped before they redeployed.

Both the 173d Airborne Brigade (which had apparently been able to maintain its jump status through Vietnam) and 101st Airborne Division (no longer on jump status) redeployed from Vietnam to Fort Campbell. In the flurry of reductions and inactivations as the force was drawn down at the end of the war, the 101st inactivated its 3d Brigade and some battalions, and the 173d reflagged to form a new 3d Brigade for the 101st, bringing two of its battalions (1-503 and 2-503) to the 101st. When jump status/pay for these units was stopped-not sure if it was in conjunction with the move or later- there were significant morale issues among the troops. $50/month was a significant component of the pay back then.

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Old 28 Feb 17, 12:32
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there were significant morale issues among the troops. $50/month was a significant component of the pay back then.
You mean $55, and one had to make a jump within a 3 Month time period to earn it.
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Old 28 Feb 17, 14:57
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You mean $55, and one had to make a jump within a 3 Month time period to earn it.
Had it been raised? I know it started at $50/mo and stayed there a long time, and that it has been $150/mo for a long time, but that $150/mo is a much less significant % of pay because basic pay has gone up so much comparatively.

The pay tables back to 1949 are posted at https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers...ay-charts.html

1965 basic pay:
E1 4mos<2yrs $93.90
E3 >2yrs $164.70
E4 >3yrs $216.00

1971 basic pay:
E1 4mos<2yrs $143.70
E3 >2yrs $252.30
E4 >3yrs $330.90
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Old 28 Feb 17, 18:24
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Had it been raised? I know it started at $50/mo and stayed there a long time, and that it has been $150/mo for a long time, but that $150/mo is a much less significant % of pay because basic pay has gone up so much comparatively.

The pay tables back to 1949 are posted at https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers...ay-charts.html

1965 basic pay:
E1 4mos<2yrs $93.90
E3 >2yrs $164.70
E4 >3yrs $216.00

1971 basic pay:
E1 4mos<2yrs $143.70
E3 >2yrs $252.30
E4 >3yrs $330.90
I joined in 1962 and parachute pay was $55 for enlisted, $110 for officers and stayed the same until I got out, I was on jump status my whole career, with the exception when I was in country where the $65 combat pay made up for it.
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Old 28 Feb 17, 18:59
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Originally Posted by Trung Si View Post
I joined in 1962 and parachute pay was $55 for enlisted, $110 for officers and stayed the same until I got out, I was on jump status my whole career, with the exception when I was in country where the $65 combat pay made up for it.
But you could have received both parachute pay and combat pay if you were assigned to a combat unit on jump status, correct?

What unit were you with and during what time period? (Just curious.)

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