I have interviewed a navy soldier: "In the summer of 1966 the Howard patrol from 1stReconBn got: 1 MOH, 4 Navy Crosses, 13 Silver Stars, 18 Purple Hearts. One night of work. It was a 18 man patrols. That is in fact a record for any small US military unit at anytime in our history. Navy Docs were awarded one of those Navy Crosses and one of the Silver Stars and of course 2 of the Purple Hearts. I was up near DaNang at Camp Reasoner that day and we were getting radio reports about this engagement as these guys battled for their lives."
"That was early on in the war, and not during Tet, so I am assuming it was a patrol in the Valley or across the fence. I bow and take my hat off to the Corps, but I am still proud that the Navy is putting boots on the ground and doing a great job. I also applaud the way you stated the feat without antagonism."
"There is an Army EOD (?) on another board that is mad because the Navy EOD got a show on the Military Channel. He's bad mouthing anything Navy or Corps. He is making claims that the Army is the best because they've got the most names on the EOD wall and the Navy has no one on the wall for Iraq. Glad the Navy and Corps don't measure their successes by the number of body bags. Additionally, he is wrong."
Navy/FMF Corpsman: "They are long-haired, loud-mouthed, disrespectful SOB's who would walk through the gates of hell to save a wounded Marine." I do not have a link handy but a goggle of either Howard Patrol or Jimmie Howard should get you something. Also "Hill 488" in paperback gives a great intro to what it was like to arrive in VN as a FNG and a little about what it was like to be in USMC Recon for the first 3rd or so of the book."
"Then the book picks up and runs with that patrol and an almost minute by minute break down of their fight. For Instance the book tells of a Cpl. Thompson who was last seen unconscious, being dragged off that hill by VC. When they found his body the next day he was dead... shot in the face. Two dead VC were next to him... one with a USMC KBar stuck in his chest. Hill 488 was actually near ChuLai. Well done to both of those units."
"This was not one incident. Most EOD teams (in theater) are two or three person. This was a post deployment awards ceremony for a few detachments. The Silver Star was something else. We've had a lot of near misses and I don't think that we need to apologize for that. The AF was the last to have a fatality although they are doing a great job. As far as the rest, the individual attended NAVSCOLEOD. Notice the NAV. It's not a us versus thing. I have great friends in all services. Each has their ten percent."
"The discovery program was for television. It was less then accurate by design, while getting the word out there. In a nutshell, it was free recruiting. As far as SOF thing. We and the Marines are the only services to have a standing mission as a service with specific SOF entities. That being said, I saw many Army and some Air Force working with different units on a basis. We get the missions because of our insertion capabilities. Marines support marine mission because, well, they're marines. Every EOD tech thinks their service is the best, it's they way we're programmed."
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