Pat Tillman and friendly fire

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Pat Tillman and friendly fire

Postby guest » Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:20 pm

Just watched the Pat Tillman story on DVD, the lies from the US government , how Jessica Lynch and Tillman were used
as poster children for the war effort.
That said how many of you guys were involved in friendly fire, my first tour in Nam 1967 around phu bai we ( my squad)
were wiped out by another marine squad @ 0330 (other squad got lost on their ambush, we came back with to base camp
with 4 marines out of 10 original) as I watched this DVD I saw the muzzle flashes from the m-14's that ambushed us kept playing it in my memory I was bringing up the rear when the shit hit the fan.
We wrote letters to the families but the co said not to close the envelopes ( he wanted to read them first)
All these years went by and still reflecting of the friendly kills that early morning in feb 67 from a ambush that went bad.

There were other instances of similar contact but still pissed off of the cover up on friendly fire and also nothing was
written on report of declassified material.

Re: Pat Tillman and friendly fire

Postby Pat McAleavey » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:57 am

I was in a couple. The first was during an operation in mid 1967 when our CO split the company in two. One group went one way - the second group went another. Unfortunately the second group made a wrong turn and wandered back near us....across some swamp areas. They saw moment across - probably a few hundred meters and opened fire. We knew who was firing at us so we didn't return fire....finally got someone of the radio to tell them to cease. No one hurt but it was close.

The second was when my platoon was providing security for an Engineering company south of Saigon. I forget what it was they were building - a new base camp I believe. Anyway someone forgot to tell the Engineers that we would be out beyond their perimeter. So the first night one of the Engineers spotted us and opened fire. It probably lasted a few minutes until communications was made. No problems after that.

Sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was on a patrol making our way through some light jungle - again - south of Saigon. The terrain was very flat with patches of jungle that would border these open areas. I think there was probably about 10 of us - we stepped out from this patch of jungle and started crossing the open area. Just as we moved out several Huey gunships passed over us - maybe at 700 - 800 feet. At first I thought they didn't see us. But they flew about 1/2 a mile beyond and then started turning back towards us....lining up one behind the other. The first impulse was to start running - but we stopped moving, faced the Hueys with our hands up in the air....holding our weapons up so the Huey pilots could see what we were carrying. Luckily there were no trigger happy individuals on board. They flew over us to check us out, turned, and went back on there way. The funny thing was it was no ones fault. We were where we were supposed to be. Just bad communications.

I have always been surprised that there are not more incidents of friendly fire deaths. All it takes is a lapse of attention, the wrong move, and a little carelessness.

Pat McAleavey

Re: Pat Tillman and friendly fire

Postby guest » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:10 pm

I guess what Im getting at is the parents of the dead marines or soldiers dont know the whole story of what happened to
cause the death of their sons as in Tillmans case and some of the soldiers now, I know in my case my 2nd tour I was a
platoon Sgt and during a night ambush one of the squads in my platoon made contact.
First thing I did was call in 81mm mortars so they could pull out of the fire fight, it made matters worse ( the squad set up in the wrong area, things look different at night than in the day patrol) any way 5 marines were wounded by the mortars
and it never came out it was friendly incoming, this stuff happens more than we realize.

Re: Pat Tillman and friendly fire

Postby bill » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:00 pm

i saw the movie opened my eyes as to how cautious the military has become to "avoid" casualties and to wall paper over events like happened to tillman. i am glad the family has pursued this...helps keep the high costs of war up front and in the public eye.

i was also in the phu bai area, summer of '67 with alpha company, 3rd recon bn. we later moved up to quang tri. we had a number of incidents where we called our own fires in very close in order to keep from being overrun. i also was on a patrol where an AO was making gun and rocket runs over the area where we were patrolling and didn't know we were there. we were on the radio to what we though was the AO, but it was another one a few clicks away that we were talking to. he didn't know the other one (was Air Force O2 we later found out). we never found out if he had a target in his sights or was just shooting for the hell of it.

we also almost sprung an ambush on a PRU unit that was operating in our RZ and had not coordinated with anyone. they had a US advisor with them and it was seeing him that kept them from getting shot up...probably would not have ended up well for us as they had twice the number of shooters than we did. we heard them coming and smelled cigarette smoke ten minutes before we had visual on them.

there were some cases where we did take casualties from calling in our own fires too close but i was not privy to the details.

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Re: Pat Tillman and friendly fire

Postby Bob Hermann » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:48 am

I was involved in one FF incident. It occurred at Bien Hoa Army Base in 1969. We were on guard duty on the east perimeter as dawn broke after a relatively quiet night. The guys in our bunker were rousing out getting ready to be relieved when we heard machine gun fire from the bunker to our right. We dashed in to our bunker and saw about 10 people about 100 yards in front of the perimeter. Some were running and others were hunkered down in the fire. There was very little cover around our perimeter. The bunker to the left of us opened up with their M-60 also. We were just about to join in when we saw the people pop some yellow smoke. That was the signal for friendly. We later found out they were ROKs performing a sweep just in front of the perimeter. We were never told this was going on.

Failure to Communicate. Makes you wonder . . .
Bob Hermann

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