5th Special Forces A-Team 414

A-414 War Stories
A414 Camp Rainy Season before enemy attack that severally damaged the camp Jul69  and subsequent reconstruction.

  The 5th Special Forces were among the first US troops committed to the Vietnam war. It's soldiers are among the most highly decorated in the history or our nation. The Viet Cong Communists feared and respected the Green Berets to such an extent that they resorted to offering bounties to villagers and guerrilla fighters to try and stop them.

  A-Teams consist of twelve men with 2 officers and 10 enlisted members. Each soldier is a trained expert in military skills such as small arms, demolitions, communications, medical, and others. Each member is also cross-trained in at least one other skill so that he can fill in for other members who are wounded or killed.  The Special Forces A-Team conducts operations in remote areas and hostile  environments for extended periods of time with a minimum of external direction and support.
 
  Team members Jan69-July69
 
Cpt. Louis Geneseo (C0) KIA
Capt. Albert Kittredge (CO)
1Lt. Robert Brucker (C.A.)
1Lt. William Williams II (XO)
MSG Nat Fralia (Team Sergeant)
SFC Eddie Hamby (Intel)
SFC Frank Midlil (Hvy Weapons)
SSG Thomas E. Powell, DSC
Sgt. Terry McIntosh (Commo)
Sp/4 David Hagen (Commo)
Sp/5 Philip Johnson
SSG Peter Noone (Medic)
Sp/4 Adolph Mesa (Medic)
SSG Ennis Brewer (Light Wpns)
Sgt. Dave Pharo (Commo) (Reassigned)

Military Intelligence
(Project Gamma)
Capt. Robert Marasco - Cmdr
(aka Capt. Robert Martin)
SSG. Sydney Jensen (Communications)
SGT. Norman Olivarez
(Case Manager)

Team Members who served at various dates:
Note- For a more thorough compilation of team members visit www.specialforcesbooks.com
/A414.htm


SFC Milton Zayas - (Wpns)
10.69 to 11.70

SGT Jaye Crane (Demo)
01.70 to 09.70

Capt. Bruce J. Wicks- 1968-69

CPT George O'Tool, Jr. -1967 (Later KIA on new assignment)

SFC David S. Boyd -1966 - KIA

Sgt. Gordon Merry  late 1969

Lt. Wenkus (XO)) late 69-1970

SSG Joseph Dennison 1968

Sgt. Perry - 08.69 to ?

Sgt. Michael Conlon, SFC Menkins, Sgt. Johnson 1970

Sp/5 Steve Kabel 1969- 1970
 (Awarded Bronze Star for Heroism 10 March 1970)

Attached MACV
(Electronic Surveillance)
Sp/4 William Stack 09.69 -11.69

    SFC Milt Zayas w/radio op

Entrance to camp A-414
Home life at the FOB
Vietnam - Cambodian border


Captured VC Supply Officer





Thanh Tri
Mekong  Delta
South 
Vietnam


 Detachment A-414 was located a stone's throw from enemy held territory at Thanh Tri, Kien Tuong Province, IV Corps with the primary mission of surveillance of the Vietnam and Cambodian borders. Project Gamma, a top secret B-57 Military  Intelligence Gathering Operation, originated  a covert program out of A-414 that worked with indigenous agents. The operation kept tabs on enemy troop buildup and movement within Cambodia to include Parrot's Beak. Cross border incursions and other offensive, low visibility, clandestine operations dealt severe blows to NVA and VC activities. The top secret mission was exposed after team members were accused  of executing a double agent named
Thai Khac Chuyen.   Court Martial  charges were eventually dropped when the CIA refused to present witnesses. An official Army history of the Green Berets published after the Vietnam War does not mention Project GAMMA or Detachment B57. Although the Pentagon has declassified much material about Green Beret cross border operations inside Laos and Cambodia, nothing on Project Gamma has been made available. Project Gamma played a major role in preparing for the 1970 invasion of Cambodia.
                 See story
     The Green Beret Affair 

Det. B-41 in Moc Hoa provided air and logistical support. The A414 camp converted to a Vietnamese Army Ranger  camp on 31 Aug. 1970 with a company of 315 soldiers. It could be said  that it took that many soldiers to replace 12  Green Berets, but that would be an inside joke only appreciated by Special Forces.

 The CIA had originally  implemented a plan to counter act a strong Viet Cong surge in the Central Highlands of Vietnam with the creation and establishment of the Civilian Irregular Defense Guard made up of civilian soldiers equipped and trained by Special Forces teams. The CIDG was eventually an instrumental force in the A camps across country with the goal of denying the Viet Cong access to supplies and recruits. A-414 was originally located at A Ro, Quang Nam Province, I Corps during the period 7 August 1964 thru 2 February 1965.  A-414's first mission had been surveillance of the Vietnam-Laotian border. They were assigned a secondary mission of pacification in the assigned area of operations.

All personal photos copyrighted
Ask for permission to use
MSG Nat Fralia, Team Sergeant
Photo 2009

Nat Fralia 1969


Capt. Kittredge and kids:
 It was about their future.

Enemy weapons cache after  attack on F.O.B.

SGT Perry
        To Liberate the Oppressed
 On patrol

             The Green Beret
"A symbol of excellence,  a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the fight for freedom." JFK (1962)


Submit comments and inquiries to
    usajourney@aol.com







 DVD

DOUBLE AGENT DOWN -
THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR
 
A documentary featuring team members and their stories.



TEAM MEMBERS
KILLED IN ACTION



Civilian Irregular Defense Guard
Casualty Stats Feb69-Jul69:
6 Infantrymen KIA,
1 translator KIA, 1 WIA,
4 Infantry Troops WIA

1 Double Agent
Terminated with Extreme Prejudice

NVA/VC Casualties Unknown
(28+)
Long Bien Jail 1969- Under arrest after operation was exposed. Col. Rheault second from right

SFC Eddie Hamby

Captain Robert Marasco


SGT Terry McIntosh
          


        Lt. Robert Brucker

 
SSG Ennis Brewer
Bob Marasco (R) and "Scotty"

Lt. William Williams II



Sgt. Mike Conlon

Sgt. Johnson and SFC Menkins
(Sgt. Johnson was later KIA after re-assignment to Airboat Patrol).
 









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