HAINES VISITS FIREBASE FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR NOVEMBER 14, 1969.

Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines


LZ 4-11 — While gunships hovered over the three month old firebase, GEN Ralph E. Haines Jr., the USARPAC Commander received an open air briefing from LTC Leslie J. Stottle Jr., commanding officer of the 3-1st Inf. The site was a high ridge overlooking the battalion's area of operation. As Colonel Stottle described past combat operations he pointed out the actual terrain where the action occurred. "Over to your left was the scene of three major contacts in July. Then it was a maze of spider holes and enemy positions, today it is a secure area."

Resettlement Village

Of special interest to GEN Haines was a combined Vietnamese-Montagnard resettlement village just below the firebase.

Following the briefing, the General was greeted by four 3-1st Inf. soldiers, all natives of Hawaii, the home of the 11th Bde. and USARPAC Headquarters. One of the men, SFC Ernest M. Tau (Honolulu, Hawaii) has been with the 11th Bde. since it was deployed from Hawaii in December 1967. The others were SP4 Thomas Yosjikawa (Honolulu, Hawaii), PFC Richard Hobagasi (Hilo, Hawaii) and PFC MacDonald Bagoon (Honolulu, Hawaii).

Caliber of Crew

GEN Haines spent most of his hour visit speaking with the men on the firebase. Often he asked specific questions about their jobs. CPT Joseph Monday (West Bend, Wis.) CO of D Btry 6-11th Arty. remarked, "He was extremely interested in the caliber of my crew."

Many of the soldiers found themselves casually discussing such niceties as R&R and home towns with the man who commands all the Army units in the Pacific.

(11th IO)


The original copy of this document was a personal purchase from the Carlisle Barracks Military History Institute by Leslie Hines.

 

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