( Taken from http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/former-eighth-army-commander-campbell-dies-1.393246 ) Former Eighth Army and Army Forces Command chief Gen. (retired) Charles C. “Hondo” Campbell died Monday after a lengthy illness, according to The Times, his hometown newspaper in Shreveport, La. Campbell, 68, was the Army’s last continuously serving officer who had seen action in the Vietnam War, according to an Army statement released at the time of his retirement in 2010. “When I went to Vietnam, we had more than 500,000 soldiers in Vietnam (alone),” Campbell said in the statement.
There are fewer active-duty soldiers than that in the entire Army today with plans to cut troop strength to 450,000 by the end of 2017. During his service, Campbell saw the Army’s transition to an all-volunteer force, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the counterinsurgency campaigns that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He spent his final four years in uniform as chief of Forces Command, overseeing all continental U.S.-based conventional operating forces.
He earned his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Louisiana State University. After Special Forces training, Campbell taught tactics at Forces Armee’ Nationale Khmer Training Command, Army Advisory Group, Phouc Tuy Training Battalion, U.S. Army, Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he subsequently served as A-Detachment executive officer and commander, according to the statement.
In retirement, Campbell mentored Army and coalition leaders in South Korea and Afghanistan, and traveled to Korea numerous times, the Times reported.
Among those paying respects was his friend, retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, a former 2nd Infantry Division commander in Korea and the general who led relief efforts in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. “Rest in peace, General Hondo Campbell,” Honore wrote on Facebook, according to the Times. “Rest well boss, we shall see you on the high ground.”
C-141 Bien Hoa, Vietnam 1970-1971. David Skiba
Jim Dolan A1/1 68/69
Members of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division pass sand bags down the line at Phu Bai Combat Base, south of Huế in central Vietnam.
Marine grunts exit their transportation, a CH-53A Sea Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter.
For those who have fallen that we want to remember.. and those who came back …. 🙂 thank you to ALL!
On this date in U.S. Army SF history…..06-07 – February, 1968, SFC Eugene Ashley, Jr. would earn the Medal of Honor, later awarded posthumously.
On February 6, 1968, he was serving as a sergeant first class in Company C of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces in Vietnam. On that day, Ashley led an assault force in an attempt to rescue American troops trapped by North Vietnamese infantry and tanks during the Battle of Lang Vei. He led several assaults against the enemy and was mortally wounded in his fifth and last attempt to reach the American forces.
I did my first tour in Phu Cat AB, then I was sent to Seymour Johnson, while there we deployed back to the war to Ubon AB, Thailand. By now Bien Hoa had closed, no more aircraft based there. Then someone came up with the idea that if the F-4’s from Thailand could stop somewhere in Vietnam, we could get more missions out of each flight before returning to Thailand. It was a risky op because we wouldn’t have much support, so I got asked to go because they wanted only experienced crew chiefs, they sent us with bare minimum to work with, the base being closed there were no hot meals or anything and we got hit often, making us work in helmets and flak vests. Kinda eerie on a closed base. The planes would land and we would refuel them and re-arm them with bombs and they would go right out, a plane would leave Thailand and not return for 8 hours or more. Then they moved us to DaNang AB, again after it was closed and we did the same thing. But there we were dodging rockets more often. During the time I couldn’t tell my folks any of this as it was a quiet operation. Strange thing was, I had seen DaNang when operational, it was once called the busiest airfield in the world, then when I went there second time it was an eerie ghost town. But we got the job done.