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Old 09-05-2007, 20:52   #1
MAB32
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"Prairie Fire" x2

This is a recording of two Recon Teams (RT's) who are in dire straits. Both RT's are loosing a battle wherby death is immenient. Those RT's are: RT Colorado with Pat Mitchel being the 1-0, Lyn St. Laurent as the 1-1, and David "Lurch" Mixter as the 1-3. RT Colorado is an eight man team including the five Indigenous troops. The other was RT Hawaii with Les Dover as the 1-0, Regis Gmitter the 1-1, and John Justice the 1-2 (I believe this to be the case with this recon team as far as who was what on the team through natural progression of skills learned in combat.) May not be accurate though, reader and listener take note. Also, it is unknown to me how many Indigenous Troops made up RT Hawaii at that time.

RT Colorado is the team that is running for its life. RT Hawaii is holding their own. Both RT's have called out a "Prairie Fire" in Laos near the Ho Chi Minh Trail and are approximately 10 miles apart as the crow flies. Colorado has just been hit by a North Vietnamese platoon of 40 men who desire no more than to wipe this team completely off the face of the Earth.

During this Prairie Fire, David Mixter is killed when he saves Mitchel's life by shoving him to one side and exchanging fire with an NVA armed with an RPG. Mixter and the NVA exchange fire immediately. The NVA fires his RPG as Mixter fires his weapon. The RPG hits Mixter in the knee area and kills him instantly as the NVA drops dead by Mixter's return Fire.

What exactly does a "Prairie Fire mean? It means at least three things, they are: 1) You are in contact with a much superior force than yours. 2) Either completely surrounded or will be. 3) Death is imminent.

The other two "emergencies" were the following: 1) Tactical - meaning you are in engaged with the enemy, but you are holding your own for now. This could be upgraded at any time to a "Prairie Fire". Especially if you are surrounded and have allot of wounded. 2) Team - Somebody is sick or injured.

All pilots that flew gunships, helicopters, attack and fighter aircraft were given a "briefing" before flying in country. That briefing entailed what to do if a FAC has called out a "Prairie Fire" over the radio. By the rules in Vietnam everyone listening was to stop what they were doing and come to the aid of the FAC/Recon Team(s).

John "Plasticman" Plaster is the "Covey Rider or Backseater" on the afternoon shift with Captain Mike Cryer as the pilot of their OV-10 Bronco. They had just lifted off from Pleiku after eating lunch there and are heading out towards Laos. Ken "Shoebox" Carpenter is flying as the CR onboard the military version of the Cessna 210 Skymaster over Laos at this time. As Plaster and Cryer left for Laos they noticed how clear the sky was considering that most of January had been very wet. As they passed Ben Het below, Cryer switched their radio frequency over to "Shoebox" Carpenter's frequency and what you hear for the next 35 minutes is two RT's fighting to stay alive.

One other item of importance. The reason why you hear so many people talking at once is because allot of the helicopters and FACs had what is known as a "hot mic". What this means is that the microphone is always on and talking on it is much like talking on a telephone. Everybody can talk and hear responses immediately. The only exception to this is the Recon Team(s). They relied upon the PRC-25 and much later in the war the PRC-77 for commo and this meant that the RT could constantly moniter a channel (receive) and transmit by pushing the button in on the handset.

Also, the first "Prairie Fire" you here is from RT Hawaii's 1-0 Regis Gmitter and it is during their rescue mission. When you here Platster call on the radio: "I have your smoke, where do want the firepower brought in?" you will hear Pat Mitchel's voice stating that "Their is only two of us left and Charlie is dead on our ass!". Mixter was killed a few minutes before this and the Indigenous troops are nowhere to be seen. Also, it is during this time that Mitchel is carrying Lyn St Laurent as he is seriously wounded himself. They are fighting for for their lives. Pay special attention to the background noise when Plaster is talking. You can hear the twin engines screaming and an occasional burst of the four mounted M-60's. The continuos M-60 firing at the end is from the rescue Hueys doorgunners. One is firing one long string of 7.62 ammunition through his M-60 without stopping. It is still a very hot area.


Here is the following code names/words that are used in this recording that may be of use to the listener. Hopefully this will make the following conversations easier to understand and follow. Here are some of these words:

1) Plasticman John Plaster's personal call sign while on a RT
2) White Lead Huey in charge of flying the rescue mission
3) Delta Papa Three John Plaster's call sign while flying as Covey Rider in Bronco
4) Tango Papa Pat Mitchels call sign as 1-0
5) Panthers AH-1G Cobras. Also known as "Cobra"
6) Kingbees H-34 Helicopters usually flown by Vietnamese pilots
7) Bravo Hotel Ben Het SF camp
8) Delta Tango FOB at Dak To
9) Foxtrot Mike FM radio frequency
10) Victor VHF radio frequency
11) Uniform UHF radio frequency
12) Straw Hat/Type Code name for American personel on a RT
13) Kilo November Known North. Position is "Kilo November"
14) Lurch David Mixter's personel call sign
15) Winchester Air assets that are out of ordnance

Note: If any codenames/words are left out, they are unintentional. I ask that you either PM me or send a response to this thread with any question you may have. I will try and find out the answer and if I cannot, hopefully one of the SOG members here can respond to it. Any error(s) that may have occurred above are mine and only mine. I applogize a head of time for this.

Note: From my point of view, one should listen to this if possible, in a dark and quiet room with no distractions. This way you can hear and understand most of the recording.

This recording is dedicted to the greatest soldiers in the world, the men who wear the Green Beret.

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/...in_trouble.mp3

NOTE: For further information on this Prairie Fire x2, one should get "Secret Commandos, Behind Enemy Lines With The Elite Warriors Of SOG", By John L. Plaster

Last edited by MAB32; 09-06-2007 at 17:17.
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Old 09-06-2007, 16:16   #2
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I remember this day vividly, 29 January, 1971!! I was at One-Zero School and had just been through the Brightlight Mission (posted in the Briefback Forum: http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/...read.php?t=788) one week earlier. We inserted on our FTX on the 28th and heard about these in the Club after we were extracted and de-briefed.

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Old 09-06-2007, 21:45   #3
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I found this link that has some pages from Mr. Plaster's book

http://books.google.com/books?id=JYT...65N0h4#PPA3,M1
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Old 09-06-2007, 21:53   #4
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Originally Posted by MAB32 View Post
This recording is dedicted to the greatest soldiers in the world, the men who wear the Green Beret.
After listening to this again,...............this tribute also goes to the Air Support Members that would get OUR FAT OUT OF THE FIRE!!!!!

As I was told several years ago, by an air crew member when I was invited to the Gladiator's Reunion, "You know, a lot of us thought that you guys were crazy getting off our Choppers where you did... and some thought we were nuts going back after you when you got caught... but we know they can never really know anything about it at all." This was from 1992, before all of this was de-classified and cleared for release, but there is also a very hidden message!!

Take care.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:26   #5
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Wow... A unique piece of history right there.

I have one question though for those of you in the know. Was Delta Papa Three actually getting ALL of those transmissions to include the helo common nets (i.e. the chatter between birds on their internal frequencies)? If so that seems like a bit of overkill. We have a phrase this day and age for situations like that where you're processing conversations on multiple nets at once: helmet fire. That said, I've never come across anything as confusing as what I heard here!
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:55   #6
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As AM has stated, the Aviation units and their crews need to be recognized as the bravest and most courages of all the units flying in support of SOG. Whether you were Army, Navy, Marine, Vietnamese (VNAF), or the USAF aviation this is also to you, that I dedicate this CD.

How I forgot all of you, I am not certain. Please forgive me for this huge mistake.

Last edited by MAB32; 09-07-2007 at 11:58.
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Old 09-07-2007, 14:40   #7
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Anyone else getting error on page?
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Old 09-07-2007, 15:07   #8
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Lightbulb

Try to memorize the code words/names. It makes listening/understanding what your hearing, more realistic.

Stay safe.
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Old 09-08-2007, 00:37   #9
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Originally Posted by Guy View Post
Try to memorize the code words/names. It makes listening/understanding what your hearing, more realistic.

Stay safe.
Are you referring to my question? I can't download it. Probably one of my settings.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:00   #10
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Originally Posted by kgoerz View Post
Anyone else getting error on page?
From which link, Post #1 or #3?? You might need to turn your Firewall off to open it if your anti-spam/pop-up settings are set too high.

Later
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:51   #11
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Originally Posted by kgoerz View Post
Anyone else getting error on page?
You could always right-click on the link and save target as, then save it to where ever you save files on your hard drive. I did that and it makes playback abit easier. If you don't want to save it AM's method hit the spot and will work as well.
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Old 09-08-2007, 18:44   #12
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Got it thanks
Guy is right. If you know the code names it's not as confusing. You have to also listen to it more then once. It gets more interesting every time you listen to it.
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Old 09-08-2007, 19:01   #13
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Got it thanks
Guy is right. If you know the code names it's not as confusing. You have to also listen to it more then once. It gets more interesting every time you listen to it.
You are correct!! There are many side conversations going on in it, beside the commo between the RTs and Covey!!

I probably find it easier to understand because I recognize most of the voices, having whispered in Plaster's ear for HOURS and have been "In The Loop" on several similar Ops!!!

Later
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Old 09-08-2007, 19:23   #14
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I believe that allot of the begining of the CD is chatter between the rescue helos and the Panthers crews from the first "Prairie Fire". If you can isolate them talking about what they just went through and their own opinions being voiced, you can then concentrate on Plaster's conversation and the second "Prairie Fire" in the background. You also have to remember that this tape/CD starts near the end of the first "Prairie Fire".

You also have to remember that this tape/CD starts close to the end of the first "Prairie Fire" and rescue procedures are well on their way.

Also, I have listened to it at least 50 times and on a regular basis I play it in my truck's CD player when driving and I still find it interesting and I do learn something new each time I play it. Just like AM stated that he understood the voices better than us because he was there, if you do listen to it more and have read any books on SOG you will pick it up much faster.
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Old 09-08-2007, 19:25   #15
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Originally Posted by Deadhead 63A1 View Post
Wow... A unique piece of history right there.

I have one question though for those of you in the know. Was Delta Papa Three actually getting ALL of those transmissions to include the helo common nets (i.e. the chatter between birds on their internal frequencies)? If so that seems like a bit of overkill. We have a phrase this day and age for situations like that where you're processing conversations on multiple nets at once: helmet fire. That said, I've never come across anything as confusing as what I heard here!
Only if he wanted to hear it. You could select any of the comms that you wanted active at any given time.

Later
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