‘Black Lions’ faced death in Vietnam

Maj. Jim Shelton, author of the book, “The Beast Was Out There” left, is pictured with Lt. Col. Terry Allen, commander of the “Black Lions,” center, and Sgt. Maj. Francis Dowling. Both Allen and Dowling were killed by the VC at Ong Thanh. Photo provided by Jim Shelton

The ”Black Lions” were looking for a fight. The battalion had been on a search-and-destroy mission for more than a week. Now the men of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment, 1st Infantry Division were exhausted from chasing the Viet Cong through the jungle 50 miles north of Saigon.

On Oct. 17, 1967, along a jungle stream called Ong Thanh west of Highway 13, the main dirt road connecting Saigon with the Cambodian border, the “Black Lions” found what they were looking for. The 2nd Battalion of “The Big Red 1” ran head on into the battle-hardened 271st Viet Cong Regiment that was waiting for them in the bush.

When the shooting stopped, 57 “Big Red 1” soldiers from a single under-strength battalion were sent home in body bags. Another 77 were wounded in the half-day jungle fire-fight. The Viet Cong left 103 of its men on the battlefield.

Brig. Gen. James Shelton (Ret.) of Cape Haze, Fla. published a book, “The Beast Was Out There,” about this jungle battle during the Vietnam War. His book tells the story of the “Black Lions’” defeat by a stronger, more experienced and batter led VC unit 37 years ago during an engagement in the heartland of South Vietnam.

“What eventually led me to write this book was a wire service article that appeared in many papers around the United States (during the war). The article said the 1st Infantry Division won the battle against the VC,” Shelton observed. “We didn’t win the battle, but the spin doctors put their spin on what happened.”

Besides wanting to set the record straight on the battle’s outcome, Shelton, 68, wrote the book to make sure up-and-coming battalion commanders understood they could get themselves into the same predicament. They could get themselves and their men killed if they got too cocky about their abilities to whip the enemy in future wars. Sometimes one side’s great fire power doesn’t make a difference in the outcome of a battle. Ong Thanh was one of those times.

“Lastly, I wanted to tell the story of these brave men who fought and died for their comrades and their country, in that order,” he noted. “I wanted to build a memorial to these men at the 1st Infantry Division Museum at Wheaton, Ill., outside Chicago. All the proceeds from the sale of my book will go to the memorial.”

At the time of the Battle of Ong Thanh, Shelton was a major serving as the operations officer for the 1st Division, of which the “Black Lions” were part. Ten days earlier he had been the operations officer for the “Black Lions Battalion.”

“The 9th Viet Cong Division, made up of three regiments—the 271st, 272nd and 273rd –was absolutely the finest infantry in the world,” Shelton said. “These VC soldiers had been in the field for yeas. They had fought and defeated the French in the 1950s.

“Our guys were new and had never been in a fight like this before. They weren’t that well trained. Although they didn’t know it at the time, the ‘Black Lions,’ part of the ‘Big Red 1, were outnumbered 10 to 1, by the enemy. It’s the story of war. It happened before and it will happen again,” the general said.

It was September 1953 when Cadet Pvt. Jim Shelton joined the ROTC at the University of Delaware. Photo provided by Jim Shelton

The 1st Division was given the task of clearing out the enemy base camps along Highway 13 from Saigon north to the Cambodian border. The dirt road was the main artery leading from the country’s capital north to the border.

Lt. Col. Terry Allen, the “Black Lions’” battalion commander, was a seasoned, competent, professional soldier, according to Shelton. His father was Maj. Gen. Terry Allen Sr., commander of the 1st Infantry Division during the invasion of North Africa and Sicily in World War II.

The problem with young Allen’s Vietnam command was that his unit suffered from the same problem all American infantry units in the war had to cope with: Because a soldier’s tour of duty lasted less than a year in Vietnam, there was a lot of coming and going in the ranks, which didn’t improve a soldier’s ability to fight.

The “Black Lions” and their officers had only been together on the front lies three or four months when they fought the Battle of Ong Thanh. They weren’t by anyone’s estimate seasoned troops.

But what happened to the battalion was more deeply rooted than the men’s lack of front line experience.

“It was an error in judgment. It was a lack of good intelligence. It was overconfidence on the part of the battalion commander,” Shelton said. “It didn’t register with Terry Allen that there was a much larger force than he expected. I think he thought we could whip the world. I think he thought we were invincible.”

This is the patch worn by member of the Black Lion Battalion in Vietnam. The unit first made its mark in France during World War I.

The general said Allen’s depleted “Black Lions” battalion of 150 men was facing a regiment of 1,500 VC soldiers. D-Company’s Lt. Clark Welch was the first member of the unit to realize the battalion was possibly taking on more than it could chew the day before the enemy ambushes on Oct. 16, 1967.

“When the lieutenant confronted Terry Allen with the suggestion they should call off the search-and-destroy mission or get more troops on the ground, the battalion commander told him, ‘Look, that’s why we’re out here. We’re going in there again tomorrow, but you’re not gonna be the lead company.’ That didn’t go down well with Welch, but he followed orders,” Shelton said.

At 0805 A-Company moved out of the NDP (Night Defensive Position) looking for the VC. The 1st Platoon spotted several VC soldiers on the trail and Capt. James George, A-Company’s commander, told his men to set up a quick ambush. The enemy disappeared into the jungle before they could be attacked.

Moments later A-Company was hit by heavy fire from a concealed machine-gun. The platoon was pinned down.

“A-Company was wiped out in 20 minutes,” Shelton said. “Two platoon leaders were killed almost immediately and Capt. George was injured.

“When the shooting started, Lt. Welch, who was following behind the lead unit with D-Company, organized a perimeter around the command group that included Lt. Col. Allen and Sgt. Maj. Francis Dowling. They were inside Delta Company’s perimeter,” he said.

Brig Gen. Shelton was speaking to a group of ROTC cadets at Eastern Oregon University in 1981. He was the commanding general of the 4th U.S. Army ROTC Region at the time. Photo provided by Jim Shelton

The VC was hiding in the jungle—30 feet from the “Black Lions” in some cases—when they launched the initial attack. They had also out flanked A-Company during the heat of the battle and were shooting at the disintegrating American unit from both sides.

Because of the closeness of the fighting it made it impossible for the “Black Lions” to call in air strikes or artillery without the risk of being killed by friendly fire. Before the battle was over, Lt. Harold Durham, a forward artillery observer with D-Company, was forced to call in 105 millimeter artillery fire on their position to keep his company from being overrun by the enemy.

“Lt. Welch remembers seeing the brave artillery lieutenant pressing the ‘press-to-talk’ switch on his radio handset with the stub of his wrist because his hand had been blown off,” Shelton writes in his book. “Durham was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions that day.”

Despite Lt. Durham’s heroic effort, it didn’t save Lt. Col. Allen or Sgt. Maj. Dowling. They both died near an ant hill in the middle of the jungle fight.

“A platoon sergeant moving to the rear was the last one to see Allen alive. The sergeant looked back and saw either an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) or Claymore mine explode near Allen, followed quickly by a burst of machine-gun fire, which killed him,” the general wrote.

Brig. Gen. James Shelton of Cape Haze, Fla. is pictured with his new book, “The Beast Was Out There.” It’s about the defeat of the Black Lion Battalion by some of the “best soldier in the world, the 271st Viet Cong Regiment.” Sun photo by Michael McLooner

“By all accounts, on Oct. 17, 1967, the “Black Lions” were out-positioned, out-gunned, out-manned and out-maneuvered,” Shelton added in his book.

For whatever reason, the 271st Viet Cong Regiment didn’t press home its victory.

“After a couple of hours, the enemy started to withdraw as we were pulling our guys out of a hole we chopped in the jungle with chainsaws,” the general said. “We brought in helicopters to get them out of there. The VC could have easily overrun the NDP and wiped out the whole battalion.

“It was kinda like Gen. George Custer at Little Big Horn. The ‘Black Lions’ were surrounded and the enemy was coming from both sides. Ong Thanh was like history repeating itself. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and we got whipped. We’re fortunate we didn’t lose every man.”

Shelton’s File

Name: James E. (Jim) Shelton
Age: 68
Hometown: Franklin, N.J.
Address: Cape Haze, Fla.
Entered Service: 11 October 1957
Rank: Brigadier General U.S. Army
Unit: U.S. Army 8th Division and Berlin Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in Combat, Vietnam
Commendations: Three awards Bronze Star Medal, Two awards Air Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Expert Infantry badge, Korean and Vietnam Service Medals
Married: Margaret Joan Stephens
Children: Margaret, James Jr., Paul and Terry Shelton; Patricia Rasmussen, Theresa Garcia, Kathleen O’Halloran, and Sarah Senter.

This story was first published in the Charlotte Sun newspaper, Port Charlotte, Florida and is republished with permission.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be republished without permission. Links are encouraged.

Click here to view the War Tales fan page on FaceBook.

Members of Black Lions Battalion in Vietnam met troops at Fort Jackson – Brig. Gen. Jim Shelton of Cape Haze is Black Lions
Charlotte Sun (Port Charlotte, FL) – Thursday, October 28, 2004

Senior Writer

A dozen or so old soldiers met in Fort Jackson, S.C., outside Columbia for a weekend of reminiscing about a battle they fought in almost four decades ago. While there, they also played golf, enjoy some libation and motivated today’s troops of the 28th Black Lions Battalion.

Brig. Gen. Jim Shelton of Cape Haze was part of the annual pilgrimage this year to Jackson.

They call it their “November Nightmare,” even though this year it was held in late October.

The 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division is a fabled Army unit. It distinguished itself in World War I, World War II and Vietnam .

Members of the current Black Lions battalion serve as part of the training cadre at Fort Jackson. The fort is the largest Army basic training base in the country.

He was a major and had just been transferred to division headquarters for the Black Lions when the unit got mauled by a Viet Cong Regiment.

Thirty-seven years ago, on Oct. 17,1967, these old warriors were young jungle fighters. They took part in the little-known battle of Ong Thah, approximately 50 miles north of Saigon, South Vietnam , during the early part of the war.

They were badly beaten by a regiment of Viet Cong, South Vietnamese guerrillas. The enemy force was much larger and more experienced in jungle warfare than the Black Lions, many of whom had just arrived in Vietnam. The VC outfit had helped run the French out of Vietnam more than a dozen years earlier.

The Black Lions’ objective was to flush the enemy out of the bush and kill him. The under-strength, inexperienced battalion walked into an enemy ambush that resulted in 61 of them getting killed and 87 wounded in a couple of hours. Supposedly, 103 of the VC were killed in the jungle fighting, but that was probably an inflated figure, in view of later accounts of the battle.

For some of the Black Lions soldiers who survived the heat of battle that day, friendships were forged that will last until the last Lion involved fades away. That’s what last weekend’s get-together was all about.

They came to Jackson to be with their buddies who had experienced the horrors of close jungle combat like they had. They came to Jackson to talk about their life experiences with good friends who thought like they did, fought like they did and loved the United States of American like they did.

To be in the presence of these war heroes who put their lives on the line for their friends and their country decades ago was a humbling experience.

Of course, none of them would admit he was a war hero. If asked, they simply say they were just doing their job. They were trying to protect themselves and their buddies from getting killed in the jungle of Vietnam so long ago.


  1. A compelling story of being out numbered.. A contingency plan should have been in place. Sir strikes should have been called in. Unknown territory one should use extreme caution, and sent out patrols or air intelligence. Under the circumstances the troops showed great courage and skill.






      • A friend of mine, Ralph Deavers was with Quarterhorse as driver and gunner from1966-67. He was at Quan Loi during the battle was was the biggest action of his year tour. Lost Ralph to brain cancer some years ago. I always remember him saying that if you wanted to start some shit in his unit, just start the rumor that it was going “back into Michelin.” I’m betting some guys will remember Ralph; he had the driest of humor it took a while to appreciate.. We were both veterans and after the Army served until retirement with the Metro-Nashville Police Department..

  3. There were a lot of problems in the Army in those days. Arguably the worse was the practice of changing field officers every six-months so that as many as possible could get their “ticket punched” for higher promotions. As soon as an officer become as competent as he was going to get, he was replaced by a rank rookie who didn’t know rice from confetti. The men paid the bill for it all with their lives. Even the combat medics were rotated in and out of the field in order to qualify for the Combat Medic Badge. The leadership took care of the war and the men only after it had taken care of itself.

  4. There were a lot of mistakes in the beginning of the Vietnam War. I was with the First Infantry Division in 1965 and 1966 in the Village of Lai Khe. These mistakes were real and many of our guys were killed because of them, numbers of VC killed were doctored to make it look like we won the battle. We lost our Recon in 1966 just through stupidity. I can see these guys even after all these years. We never learn by our mistakes but continue to make them, over and over.

    • Paul,
      Unfortunately that’s what happens in war some times. And you’re so correct we, and a good many other folks in this old world, don’t learn much from past misakes.
      Don Moore
      Sun Newspapers
      War Tales

    • I had a brother that got killed at Loc Ninh June 11th 1966 battle at the rubber plantation there. His name was Harvey J. Proffitt. He was from East Tn. If you were there from January to June of 1966 Just wondering if maybe you would remember him if you should have happen to have known him. He was with the 28th Inf. ist Inf. Div. Co. C. I think all but two of the soldiers in his platoon got killed on that day. My email address is meturner22@yahoo.com. Please let me know. Have not been able to find anyone who knew him while he was there.

    • I was in Lia Kia 65 66 as the 4.2 FO I went on alot missions, My Brother in Law who was also my HS team mate was in Lia Kia Recon and wounded. He was on R&R when Recon was wiped out.
      All I can say is its true WAR IS HELL,
      For all of my Vietnam brother and sisters who did not make it home , I hope your in a better place now. Love all who served , and for all who did not have to serve thank you for your support

    • You are absolutely right.Just look at Ia Drang.The 2nd of the 7th marched to LZ Albany with no air cover when the North Vietnamese had just left the battlefield less then 24 hours earlier.If there were some scout ships flying with them they could have easily spotted the NVA on their way to ambush the americans.Its unbelieveable looking back how so many mistakes were made during that war.

      • I was with the 1st division 65/66. we went over by ship out of Fort Riley. 2nd Batt/company C, gunner on 81 m/m mortar

    • Fort Carson 1964-65.to Fort Riley, Ks. Remember SSG Joseph Correll, KIA 01/12/1966 Cu Chi area.Same for SFC LC Blake and SFC Jandershovitz.

  5. I deployed to V.N from Ft Riley by ship on 1965 Tru 1967, I was with the Black Lion 2/28 Inf Lie Kia Vietnam I had a awesome job RTO FOR A 4.2 MORTAR, I had that job for two Days then my FO took one in the head then my dumb ass took over the mission killing about 63 VC and wounded, once back at the CP GUESS WHO THE NEW FO WAS . LEFT IN 66 RETURNED AS advisor to the ARIANS , 69 TRU 70 MY Captain was Kia along with my best friend SFC Cordell both placed on their knees and shot in the head.
    Welcome home everyone BLACK LION 2/28th

    • I was also deployed to V.N. from Ft Riley in Sept, 1965.I was with company C, 2/28 Black Lion, I was a gunner on the 81 MM Mortar. I remember being at A place called Phouc Yen, a gravel air strip.

      • My name is joe i was with the blue spaders 1/26 and later the ist med battallion.i was a medic but crossed trained as an RTO.My call sign was doctor charlie and was in basecamp QuanLoi when i got call from 2/28th That they needed a dust off.I remember it well and may GOD BLESS ALL WHO GAVE THERE LIVES

  6. I belive my father was involved in this battle. I found this website while trying to research about his tour. If anyone has any information about Robert “Lonzo” Morris Jr please email me @ ashannise@gmail.com. I know he was very proud to be a “Black Lion” but he was Co C 1/28th Inf Big Red 1. Thanks

    • Ashley-I was in Co D 1/28 8th Div early1956. We were in Ft Carson Co. I had a Sgt Robert Morris. Don’t remember “Lonzo”
      name. We went to Heilbronn, Germany late 56 – 58. Don’t know
      if your R Morris would be that old. My Sgt served in the Korean
      War. After I was discharged the Black Lions were put in the 1st
      Div. My sgt was a great guy. I think of him often.
      B Gould

  7. My father was A Co, 2/28. He was pulled back to Korea a month before the 17 Oct battle. Things may have been much different for me had he still been there.

  8. just informed by Maj Mark A Smith the Black Lions survivors are having a reunion in Las Vegas Oct 17-19, 2015.

    • I’m a Black Lion myself though from the 1/28 and arrived in Lai Khe, V.N. a year after this horrible battle. I just returned from attending this reunion in Las Vegas. I wanted to personally meet and shake hands with these war heros/brothers in arms. It was truly an honor!

  9. Thank you for this. The story of the Black Lions at Ong Thanh was told in the words of the men who lived to tell in an excellent book called “They Marched Into Sunlight” by David Maraniss. We appreciate that Mr. Moore took the time to share this information.

    • Smith –
      That’s what this War Tales website is about. “In the words of the men who lived to tell” and if they don’t get told soon, much will be lost. The ‘Nam vet is the one least likely to give an interview for numerous reasons, which we do understand yet we wish they would put those feelings aside and start talking to people who will record it. Because of Agent Orange and PTSD, it’s doubtful the Vietnam veteran will have as many post-war years as the WWII & Korean War vet has had.
      But you, yourself know this.

      • To Don Moore
        I would like to tell you a story of a Black man he was a Maj name Maj or Col Moore for my understanding back in 1965 1966 67 he was with the 2nd 28th in Lai Khe,
        He left and return sometime later, He left a Black Baby Boy
        in lai khe and his girl friend name was Hoa like in ( Y ),
        He left her holding the bag and when he return to see his girl friend name Y he then ment his baby and he give him a pack of M & M’s candy then he just pick up and hall ass out of town,
        and never return to see his baby agin, Now he has a home in North Carolina, His mon Y is now gone for ever and he will never know who his father is, What a story to tell .

      • We appreciate your interest in sharing your story with War Tales but our interviews are first person, with a dvd recorder running, recording incidents — vignettes — of a veteran’s time in the service. You might contact a Vietnam group in your area. I’m not quite sure exactly what you’re after, but if you’re looking for Colonel Moore, you might try a search engine like http://www.zabasearch.com.

  10. I served in Vietnam from February 1967-February 1968. I was a combat medic with the 2nd inf 2nd bn mechanized. I served as a platoon medic as well as senior medic for over 10 months out in the field. I heard many stories bout the 2/28 and the 1/16 being hit many times during my tour. Our unit was out in the field during the time that this incident happened, but not close enough to come to their aid. I always said that being a mechanized unit with our 4 50 cal. and all the extra ammo and such that we had is what really saved our unit from getting into much action. I always felt sorry for the 1/6 and the 2/28 unit being foot soldiers and not having the weapons and such that we had. Of course our soldiers were foot soldiers just like the others, but we still had the advantage over other units. So sad that many died and were wounded, but all that served are “HEROS” for doing their part for their country.

  11. Just read about the ambush of the Black Lions by the 271th Viet Cong Regiment on Oct. 17 ’67! As l read on my heart beats fast and is full of pain; my mind takes me back to that place called Vietnam a memory that l will take to my death bed! Six in my family served in Nam. Two cousins

  12. are in the Vietnam Wall one die due to Agent Orange at age 46yrs. another became a drunkard due to PTSD and got killed by a car! Faito and I are still living and continue to deal with the memories of Vietnam! The story of the Black Lions’ battle at Ong Thanh must be told as many other battles of the Vietnam War! I served in Quan Loi 70-71 as a medic with the 11th ACR “Black Horse” Allons!

  13. Rest in peace my brothers. Gone but not forgotten as we approach our anniversary. I was in Delta Co, 1st Platoon and still see your faces. It is getting hard to hide the agony these days of October.

  14. The Vietnam war was over many, many years ago! YOU NEED PSYCHIATRIC HELP living in the one moment that you believed you were great.

    Is this one of YOUR mentally sick Black Lions????

    Black Lion 1 hour ago
    Richard: By the way, 1st INF DIV, 2/28, Delta Company, 1st squad, 11B40, Black Lions, Sir. You can read all about us October 1967. Google it you puke.

    God bless my fallen brothers.
    Black Lion 5 hours ago
    Richard: Why don’t you get off your masquerade as an intelligent psychiatrist and go to one to get some help. All you do is call people that have a different opinion names and insult veterans. Pssss off.
    Black Lion 10 hours ago
    Richard: I never needed to say I was tough and never said I was a hero. I simply exposed the fact that I was a combat veteran which is absolutely factual and I do not care what your opinion is about that at all. But you lost this debate at 1200+ thumbs up with 39 thumbs down which include your 8-10 multiple ID’s. I am not laughing in your face over this, I am spitting in it. Own, it coward.
    Black Lion 10 hours ago
    Hey Richard, nice try with your multiple ID’s
    Richard: I suggest you continue your psychiatric help as evidenced by your purported clinical evaluation. Maybe they can help your anger before we read about you in the news. I suggest that you have a conversation with one of our honored combat veterans suffering with PTSD real soon so you can share the comments you have made about them being cowards. I am sure he will contribute to your education.
    Black Lion 10 hours ago
    Hey Richard: Nice try with your multiple ID’s.
    Richard the disgusting idiot: Nice medical record you typed up. Nothing from the VA Health vet site is able to be cut and pasted. But I am glad to see that you are getting mental treatment. Hope they work for you. You know that it is not possible to post a DD214 by anyone. No links, no photo’s are able to put into yahoo.

    I do think that pretending to be a Veteran when you are not is actually against the law (stolen valor) and I also find that disgusting but I am surprised that you find it disgusting.
    Especially, when you make multiple posts that combat veterans who suffer from PTSD are really cowards. Why would you not be thankful for our veterans instead of condemning those who did what you did not do for our country?
    Black Lion 1 day ago
    Please post your dd214 to prove you are not a liar. You can’t and won’t and you know it. If it could be done it would be worth hearing your apology. Even though cowardly people like you never apologise out of stubborn ignorance. I survived. You fantasize. You can repeat your claims as many times as you choose but it will not make them true.
    This is Gary’s post. I suggest you read it again.
    “I am an Army Retired US Army Vietnam vet who served in the Infantry. The tactics you learn when you are caught in an ambush is to charge the ambushers instead of hunkering down. That’s exactly what this brave man did. I won’t go into why this tactic is effective because it would be a very long post. Anyone reading this post should follow this tactic. When you charge the ambush you come out of their pre established kill zone, the accuracy of the shooter is impaired by movement and the fact you are coming at them (nerves). It is your best chance of survival rather than to hunker down and get picked off. It is an extremely effective tactic that works. Could you be shot charging the ambush? Possibly yes. Will you be shot if you hunker down down? Probably yes. I like possibly better than probably in this case.

    My congratulations and respect are as large in this case as I would have for a Medal of Honor winner.”

    Gary was right and you appear to be a delusional idiot. I owe you proof of nothing. I survived, when few did while you simply cast factless aspersions of things you read and did not experience. Your ignorance has been exposed and you are PO’d about it as we read your childish rant and reactions of disrespect to military veterans. You disgust all Americans with that kind of rhetoric.

    I do think you posted something that was very true. “Mature, rational, logical, mentally healthy per would consider they might be wrong.” I suggest you look in a mirror and read that to yourself repeadedly until you get it. Then go back to your cut and pasted training manuals you got online. Go fk yourself imposter.

    Black Lion 2 days ago
    Please post your dd214 to prove you are not a liar. You can’t and won’t and you know it. If it could be done it would be worth hearing your apology. Even though cowardly people like you never apologise out of stubborn ignorance. I survived. You fantasize. You can repeat your claims as many times as you choose but it will not make them true.
    This is Gary’s post. I suggest you read it again.
    “I am an Army Retired US Army Vietnam vet who served in the Infantry. The tactics you learn when you are caught in an ambush is to charge the ambushers instead of hunkering down. That’s exactly what this brave man did. I won’t go into why this tactic is effective because it would be a very long post. Anyone reading this post should follow this tactic. When you charge the ambush you come out of their pre established kill zone, the accuracy of the shooter is impaired by movement and the fact you are coming at them (nerves). It is your best chance of survival rather than to hunker down and get picked off. It is an extremely effective tactic that works. Could you be shot charging the ambush? Possibly yes. Will you be shot if you hunker down down? Probably yes. I like possibly better than probably in this case.

    My congratulations and respect are as large in this case as I would have for a Medal of Honor winner.”

    Gary was right and you appear to be a delusional idiot. I owe you proof of nothing. I survived, when few did while you simply cast factless aspersions of things you read and did not experience. Your ignorance has been exposed and you are PO’d about it as we read your childish rant and reactions of disrespect to military veterans. You disgust all Americans with that kind of rhetoric.

    I do think you posted something that was very true. “Mature, rational, logical, mentally healthy per would consider they might be wrong.” I suggest you look in a mirror and read that to yourself repeadedly until you get it. Then go back to your cut and pasted training manuals you got online. Go fk yourself imposter.

    Black Lion 3 days ago
    Richard Truth: Gary was right in his post. In your scenario you do not survive since you are cowering on the floor, wetting your panties and waiting to be executed next. In mine there is a chance. I will stick to mine base upon personal experience. I have bled to give you the right to your opinion and spout it out to anyone foolish enough to take it as gospel. By the way in a stressful situation one must pay attention to details. The kids were not seated at all as you represented. I am not an idiot, a kitty cat, stupid, delusional and you have not offerred facts……..only your opinion. As soon as the name calling begins you start damaging yourself.
    Why don’t you take a moment to google Black Lions October 1967 to get a sense of where some of my experienced opinon actually comes from since you know nothing about me or my background as you seem sensitive about your own background or lack thereof.
    Black Lion 3 days ago
    Richard/Truth: Likely same guy, but how can you jump to the conclusion that there was only ONE person in the classroom? There were many young men and women in the classroom and could have likely overpowered a single man whether he was armed or not. There would have been losses but it clearly worked on the train in France. As I earlier “You can cower in the corner and wait your turn to die, but that is just not the role I choose to follow”. Experience is a great teacher, sad that everyone who does not agree with you is an idiot and yet you have no personal experience that makes you an expert.

  15. Here is some more comments from YOUR MENTALLY SICK Black Lion!!!

     Black Lion 14 hours ago
    Richtard: I see that I still live in your mind rent free. I notice you are cleaning up your posts as you should. And you have deleted some of your multiple ID’s like Gary. Too bad your ruse claiming that you knew Berry did not work out so well. Your posts claiming all Christians are delusional to have their beliefts and all Veterans with PTSD are cowards need to go too. We will be posting to each other until you do.
    Do you realize how childish you are being saying you are going to turn me into the FBI. But if you insist, please ask for Agent Thomas Sparks at the DC Bureau. He will be glad to help you conquer your fears. but do it soon as he will retire after the first of the year. He is also a Black Lion so make sure you let him know my screen name.
    Gary was right. You lost this debate 1200+ thumbs up to a measley 40 thumbs down. Own it, child.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not laughing in your face for your childish rhetoric, I am SPITTING in it. Cheer, child.
     Black Lion 19 hours ago
    Gary who is really Richard: I think berry was a medic assigned to our unit just before I left. Joe Lovoto was our medic and I don’t see a problem mentioning his name since he was KIA on 17Oct67.
    I don’t recall Berry being at the reunion in Oct 2006 but I was there with Dauntless Delta Six, David L, Ron C. Mike T,Gerald T, Robert G, Fred K, Bill Mc, Doug C, Jim G, David A, David H and the Professor. We talked about the Maraniss interviews and told stories. It was good for all of us who were warriors once.
    But you do know that I take exception to Richtards words that those with PTSD have the disease of cowards and by proxy you parrot those words.
    Tell Berry to stay away from the Barber because he was VC.
    Other than that you can kiss my A double S

    • Doc Berry was our medic in B Co. 2/28th 3rd platoon during this operation.
      R.I.P. our Brothers who gave all that day, and all who have given all for freedom.

      • J.V. Perez: I served with the 1/28 ( m-60 gunner) D company out of Lai Khe but arrived one year after this battle. I’m from El Paso, TX and lived very close to Co. commander Terry Allan, KIA at that battle. The 2/28 survivors have a yearly reunion at Las Vegas, NV in October every year.

      • looking for info on SSGT Correll KIA Jan.1966 and SFC Jandershovitz KIA Dec. 1965. Fort Carson to Ft. Riley to Vietnam. Both served in B Co. 1st Bn., also SFC LC BLAKE KIA Nov. 1965

  16. I went home 43 days before the Oct 17th battle. I was an rto in the field with LTC ALLEN. Everyone who died or was in that battle, or at any time during that war, or any war, deserves our gratitute, respect and thanks for our freedom. Those who survived deserve to be treated with honor. Disrespecting a veteran who suffered PTSD or a physical injury, goes against the principles of humanity.

    • I was on a mission in 67 when a Ltc or Col was hit by a sniper shot and killed him, I’m just not sure who he was. I remember he was tall and came cause his men were in the jungle and he should be with them.
      All I remember is he was good person joking and putting himself in danger.

  17. My name is also Richard I can assure you I not the Richard I just read of. Mack Forgey sent out a issue about me being the FO for Hq 1st Div 2/28 65-67 Lie Kie I was no hero, so that other Richard. Best not be using my name. I am and only Child and did not have to go but I singed a paper wavering my rights, only cause I did not want my guys to go without me. Please don’t get me mixed with hero Richard I’m far from a Hero. And thank everyone of you for your servise . Rick Doyal retired US ARMY

    • Anyone who served in that war is a hero. We lost a lot of brave guys in that war and a lot of them were not line infantry, truck drivers bring supplies down HWY 13. No one was safe even in Saigon.

  18. Richard, what was your call sign? Mine was 29-O (two niner oscar) F O 68-69 2/28 Black Lions.

      • Sorry to say 68 an 69 I was on a three man MAT Team 66 in the Delta, four if I count the Medic which I don’t he was a chicken shit when shots were fired.
        Capt Polk and SFC Cordell we’re KIA WHILE I was at the Dr in Sigon when I returned I was informed, and I lost it, Cordell was to meet his wife the next Day
        In Hawaii, she was informed in Hawaii of his death. Shredders Re married in three Mounts. How but that.
        When I got home I went to Cap Polk and met his family. His brother ask how he was killed, I informed him, but I lied , I will not say how it went down to his family. At that time they no

    • I really can’t remember I want to say Duncking 29 but I’m not sure I was in Nam 65 and again in 69 and 70 five man matt team lost my Capt and SFC Cordell who were both shot in the head. Cause the Vietnam Military ran leaving them in the rice pattie to be KIA

  19. I often wonder why they did not transfr LTC Allen to a stalff position AS I know that his mind was confused by his Dear John and his emer.trip home to try to resolve the domestic problem. I was in the 1st as Trial Counsel for the Di v,Lai Khe. The 1st thing that I heard was about his domestic problem. These good men might be alive today if he had not been making the decisions on 10/17/67. Lt.welch confirmed that he was disssasociated later in the battle. Probably the biggest mistake of all was walking into the lion;s mouth.But for Welch,the entire force would have been killed. Black Lions.

    • Kermit I am in total agreement with you. I was a member of 2/28 myself at the time of this Battle. Knowing LTC Allen there was no way he was going to voluntary give up his Command of this Infantry Battalion. This was his “make it or forget it” assignment for the remainder of his Military Career. I am a firm believer that his domestic problem was a big factor in his decision making on that day. I remember you as we were both in SJA in Dian for a short while.

  20. God bless you men!! Thomas here, my dad was in this unit I believe! E-7 SFC Wilson (Bill) Thomas Harrison.
    Trained at Fort Polk (Drill Sgt.) then went with his unit to Viet Nam I was 11 you. If anyone knows or can verify this contact me at thgotsaved@gmail.com. He ret. at Benning 1974, 24 years 9 months.

  21. I was at Lai Khe getting ready to go home. My best friend Michael Morrow died in the battle. R.I.P. all Brothers

    • I was in the same platoon with Michael but transfer to HHC 2 months prior to the loss of his life along with another buddy of mine named Bobby Minton. Still think of both. I am from Albany New York and I know Michael was from NY.

  22. I recently read “The Beast Was Out There.” I greatly appreciated the detailed and candid account of the Battle at Ong Thanh as portrayed by James Shelton. I was an artilleryman during that battle, that being Commanding Officer, Battery C, 2nd Bn 33rd Artillery. I’ll never forget the intense artillery support we provided, firing over 2000 rounds in less then two hours. The shock of losing so many infantrymen that day in October remains vivid in my memory. Dennis D. McSweeney, Colonel, US Army(Ret)

    • Dennis, I was your FDO during that battle and would love to connect with you again. My name was David Hearne. You can find my contact info online very easily by Googling my name. I have a book out about the battle of Xom Bo II which happened 3 months prior to Ong Thanh. The battle was also against the 271st and we lost 39 dead and 150 wounded. I am happy that you recall that horrible day because it is nice to know that my recollections are real.

      • In response to David Hearne, I am 76 years and to this day I easily recall moment by moment the circumstances and events during that horrendous battle. One recollection is the coolness and courage exhibited by a fire direction officer known to me as “Dave”. It was “Dave” who kept his cool while managing the artillery fires of Dungeon Charlie. It is my pleasure to be reacquainted with “Dave”. I am retired military living in Williamsburg, Virginia, teaching at The College of William and Mary. My email is ddanielmac@aol.com.

  23. My dad Steve Walls was a radio operator for HQ Company in the 1 2/28 Black Lions in ’67 -’68. I found this and a few other pages and have started to learn about what my father and others endured. Dad remembers serving under Cpt. Karl Keizer who was KIA on 19 June ’68. If anyone remembers my dad I would love to hear from you. Thank you ALL for your sacrifice and service!

    • CPT Carl Sanford KIZER was 28 when he was killed. He was with HHC, 2ND BN, 28TH INFANTRY, 1ST INF DIV,. He was killed by an errant friendly rocket directed at the enemy during combat operation in the Binh Duong Province on June 19, 1968. He had about a month left in country. He was from Scranton, PA. I did not know your dad but you are right about CPT Kizer – just spelled it differently.

  24. i just received a hand written letter from Joe hermann today. he was my step dad. we never knew what he did in nam. i found out today he was there in this war. the letter talks about this in detail and how got a sword and a rifle from there taken from the enemy. he also received a purple heart from there. we lost him this christmas. i thank all of these brave men

  25. I ran an M88 tank retriever out of Lai Khe in Fall ’69. I was at many of these sites of major battles earlier in the war, but it’s taken many years to know the bad history of these places. An Loc, Loc Ninh, Michelin Rubber plantation, Minh Tanh, My utmost respect to those that fought there.

  26. Lost a lot of friends on June, 67. Cried a lot. Miss them all very much. Prayers to them all. Wish I was there with them, but my time was up and I was at home base getting ready to go home.
    The were a gallant troop and I’ll see them soon. Take care brothers all you brothers out there and be safe. One who wishes he could have your back, but my age keeps me from doing so. .
    God bless you all. Bob

  27. defiant bravo1-6 here.
    the 1/28th. was 5000 meters from you guys that day but not allowed to respond,we just completed setting up an ndp and were told to break it down quickly and withdraw another 2500 meters now.a b-52 strike was on the way.we saw flashes and heard a constant roar like continuous thunder,then saw whole trees in the air looking like broccoli spears floating in the sky.the rto said the 2/28th. was in an ambush and pretty much wiped out and we were ordered to return to base camp at quan loi.upon return I was told to report to graves registration near Saigon and retrieve a list of kia and other documents.when I arrived at registration I was told to wait they have not arrived but on the way.i looked inside a hanger like quansot bldg. and saw rows of stainless steel tables that were set up for large scale reception.then I heard the choppers coming in as they settled onto the pads they were dripping and the smell of iron was all around within 2 hrs. I had a packet of paperwork and returned to quan loi.an actual firefight with rockets and all would have been a better assignment but then I didn’t have to wait to long for that to happen too.in about 9 days,in vegas,the remaining 4 of our platoon will have a reunion for 3 days,we were fortunate.R.I.P. brothers.we will salute you.

  28. My father, Jose “Joe” Lopez was 1st ID 2-28 C Co. He was a radio man. I have heard many stories of this day. Never in such detail of the events but he explained it as an adrenaline rushes madness. He always spoke very highly and proudly of his brothers. He was a proud Black Lion until his passing. There are no words to explain my gratitude to these fine men. You went above and beyond and for this you have a huge place in my heart. WELCOME HOME BLACK LIONS. You will live forever in my heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s