Army

February 22, 2013

Military Intelligence — this week in history: February 23, 2013

Tags:
Ruth Quinn, Staff Historian
USAICoE Command History Office

Army Security Agency flies Last ARDF mission in Vietnam

The last formation of aircraft with LEFT JAB systems fly over Vietnam. Notice the extended antenna on the two systems in the front of the formation.

Feb. 16, 1973
In February 1968, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, or MACV, established a requirement for an airborne platform along the demilitarized zone area, or DMZ, which would intercept enemy communications, including voice and Morse code signals, and use direction-finding equipment to locate enemy installations. After several false starts, three LEFT JAB direction-finding, intelligence-collecting platforms were fielded in December 1970 and assigned to the 138th Radio Research Company at Phu Bai, not far from the DMZ. The most distinguishing characteristic of the system was an oval antenna mounted under the belly of a U-21, a twin-turboprop fixed-wing aircraft. Originally designed for ground-based systems, the antenna could be extended after take-off.

On March 4, 1971, the 224th Aviation Battalion received word that a LEFT JAB aircraft was missing in action. The fate of the craft and its five-member crew was later confirmed by a report of the North Vietnamese News Agency, which claimed that a surface-to-air missile had downed a U.S. plane just inside North Vietnam. Killed in action that day were pilot Capt. Michael Marker, co-pilot Warrant Officer Harold Algaard, Spc. 6 John Strawn, Spc. 5 Rodney Osborne, Spc. 5 Richard Hentz and Spc. 5 Rodney Osborne.

This incident was the last of three Army Security Agency, or ASA, aircraft lost in Vietnam, and the only fixed-wing; the other two incidents involved helicopters. However, these losses did not ground flights near the DMZ. On the contrary, during the enemy’s 1972 Spring Offensive, airborne communications collection efforts in the area took on an even greater significance.

On Jan. 27, 1973, President Richard Nixon ordered a cease-fire. All remaining U.S. forces were directed to depart Vietnam within 60 days. During the cease-fire, ASA crews continued to fly collection missions that, despite the truce, continued to be subjected to antiaircraft fire. On Feb. 16, 1973, a crew of the 138th Aviation Company completed the Army’s final ARDF mission in the vicinity of Pleiku. Less than a month later, on March 7, 1973, the 509th Radio Research Group was discontinued, and the handful of its remaining soldiers boarded the last plane for home, bringing ASA’s 12-year tour of service to a close.

A memorial honoring Army Intelligence personnel killed in aviation-related incidents over the past 50 years is located at the Aviation Memorial Park on Fort Huachuca, at the corner of Hatfield and Irwin Streets. Six interpretive panels highlight the contributions of intelligence aviators from the Civil War through the War on Terror. Static displays featuring several different kinds of planes used by Army Intelligence are located within the air park, which is free and open to the public. See the park on the Virtual Tour at https://www.ikn.army.mil/apps/MI_HISTORY_TOUR/ and click on “Aviation Memorial Park.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Army IMCOM photo by Amanda S. Rodriguez

Civilian mentor program shapes Army installation management’s future

U.S. Army IMCOM photo by Amanda S. Rodriguez U.S. Army Installation Management Command mentors and mentees work on teambuilding skills, building a block tower in total silience, during the IMCOM Headquarters Centralized Mentori...
 
 
DoD

DFAS reminds DoD employees to review tax withholdings

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service gave U.S. Department of Defense employees a friendly reminder to review withholdings from their paycheck, in an email last week. If a large tax refund was received or you owed a large amount in taxes during the recent tax season, you may need to look over your federal and...
 
 

Odierno: Information, instability travel at similar speeds

ASPEN, Colo. – As the world has become more interconnected and information travels faster than ever before, it also has become more unpredictable and dangerous, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said here last night. “People now understand more about what other people might have, what they might want, how much control they want...
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Post children attend Vacation Bible School week

Gabrielle Kuholski Pictured with the microphone, Colleen Sherod, 20, Vacation Bible School volunteer, emcees a review of the week’s religious lessons as VBS students hold up posters of their “Bible buddies.” The activity ...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

Seifert School-Age Center offers fun for kids, piece-of-mind for parents

Maranda Flynn Selene Ferro, 9, Jaliah Eldridge, 7, and Malachi Bergstrom, 7, build a puzzle train city in the creative play area of the first through third grade room at the Seifert School-Age Center. Creative play allows child...
 
 

Coronado National Forest fire crew assists with Oregon firefighting efforts

TUCSON, Ariz. – An initial attack firefighting crew from the Coronado National Forest has been assigned to firefighting duties on the Logging Unit Fires north of Warm Springs, Oregon. Coronado Crew 5 was ordered as a firefighting resource on July 16, 2014. The crew departed July 17, arriving at the fires on July 18. Crew...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin