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Old 07-07-2012, 02:11   #16
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I know nothing of counter intelligence, but was there some effort to info fingerprint.

I.e. you make a very small change to info coming down different lines in the tube, and see what pops out the other end, after a few cycles, you start narrowing down on the culprit.

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Old 07-08-2012, 17:04   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geenie View Post
Can someone shed some light on his statement? I would have assumed that such a specialized unit - operating at the highest level of secrecy, with missions of strategic importance - would have had access to the best equipment available, no?
Geenie,
The commo situation was bitterly frustrating and when it failed, deadly.
We put in numerous requests for better commo.
We carried URC-10s for emergency commo with US air assets, which included a beeper that they could hone in on, but the commo was our achilles heal.
One major clue: Some One-Zeros began changing the primary LZ without telling Saigon, only Covey. In most cases, the insertions went smoothly.
Once, when our Kingbee was descending into an LZ, our VN TEam Leader spotted a trip wire across the LZ, which was tied to a 500-pound bomb. That's how bad things got.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:47   #18
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Originally Posted by Brush Okie View Post
Wasn't there rumors that the barracks they hit in the Son Tay raid was full of Chinese troops? Also I heard a rumor they killed a Russian or two on that raid?

I know I read a book where a guy claimed they got into a firefight and the bodies were Asian but big guys and they guessed they were Chinese from Northern China in NVA uniforms. It has been too many years now and I cant remember the book or the details.
There are two or three books and at least that many articles.

eta: That mention personnel at the second camp that were larger than typical Vietnamese. Also the story of one Raider who found the belt buckle he had taken from a body was a Chinese Officers uniform buckle. One article states that same officer turned in photos and a statement in an operation debrief indicating such a thing.

Quote:
According to the Captain Udo Walther, Simons' executive officer for Greenleaf, “It wasn't a secret that there were Chinese there (at Son Tay), and it wasn't a secret that there were a bunch of them.” Walther stated he took photographs on the scene of dead Chinese and that he informed his debriefers of their presence during the attack. He does not know where his photos went once the film was turned over. - Son Tay - A Story of Success (Part 2) 01 July 2005 Greg Walker
Quote:
Colonel Britton offloaded the Simons group and flew to his holding area. The raiders under Colonel Simons were immediately engaged in a furious firefight with what appeared in the darkness to be well-armed Chinese or Russian soldiers. With the advantage of complete surprise, his men killed more than 100 of them within the next few minutes. Colonel Simons hurriedly called Colonel Britton back and reboarded his men for the quick flight to the prison. Remarkably, there were no assault group casualties. - The Son Tay Raid By C.V. Glines
Interesting article here, but I haven't yet found much about the author.

Quote:
HO CHI MINH’S FOREIGN LEGION

One intriguing aspects of the Vietnam War, still shrouded in mystery and half-truths, concerns the foreign communist volunteers who assisted the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese forces. During the war thousands of Russian and Chinese advisors were stationed in North Vietnam and South Vietnam. They primarily worked as technical advisors and military engineers, and were usually stationed in the Hanoi-Haipong area. Outside that, there is little or no awareness that these Russian and Chinese advisors, assisted by Cubans, North Koreans, East Germans and other communist influenced nationals also served as advisor to the North Vietnamese forces fighting inside South Vietnam. Although described as ‘advisor’ they also took an active role in combat operations; as a result, some were killed and others were captured.

http://www.globusz.com/ebooks/LuisSilva/00000018.htm

Last edited by sf11b_p; 07-09-2012 at 12:07.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:54   #19
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Originally Posted by Sarski View Post
I know, they were small. Generally 4-6 man, plus some indiginous.
I got the impression that quite often 6, maybe 7 total, was about it. As to the traitor(s)... hopefully some due-process was applied later.

ETA: The accomplishments of MACV-SOG continue to inspire, also considering all the other accomplishments by Special Forces in toto throughout the various countries in the theater during that time.

Last edited by Badger52; 08-13-2012 at 09:30.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:09   #20
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This is a very interesting article. I have heard these suspicions from SOG warriors. I would be very interested in reading more about this. I did an internet search for “THE SECRET SOVIET WAR IN VIETNAM” but the only return result was for this post. Can you please tell me the author and any other information on where I can find this article? Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:12   #21
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Russians and Eastern Europeans were not the only caucasians involved in the war on the communist side. The VC/NVA also had French sympathizers...

Last edited by mark46th; 08-13-2012 at 11:12.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:06   #22
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The best book I have read is "The Secret War Against Hanoi", Richard H. Shultz Jr.

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Old 08-13-2012, 11:16   #23
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CCS had a target NW of Duc Co that was hot as a firecracker.
RT was usually shot off during the insert.

We pulled a false extraction using dummy's on STABO rigs "NIGHTINGGALE" simulators and the RT went in on the secondary LZ and got shot out the next day.

Also every day at 1700 ASA/NSA would intercept a strong HF station in the Saigon area.
They were told not to DF the station. We had to establish rapport and work with our counterparts!!

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Old 08-13-2012, 12:42   #24
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Originally Posted by BMT View Post
Also every day at 1700 ASA/NSA would intercept a strong HF station in the Saigon area.
They were told not to DF the station.
We had to establish rapport and work with our counterparts!!

BMT
Thanks for that sir. Another rabbit trail...

Last edited by Badger52; 08-13-2012 at 14:42. Reason: question redacted
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Old 08-14-2012, 15:07   #25
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Originally Posted by Ambush Master View Post
Not in RVN, but up North and in Laos, YES!! Also Red Chinese!!
AM, for you & BMT and others I'll never know, took some time from rec-reading over some hours of the past evening & lunchtime, pouring over some declas'd NSA archives I've got, with relevant snippets over several volumes on different topics. Finding your hot or booby-trapped LZ (or someone talking to your team on your freq) seems to have a variety of contributing factors. Oh what a tangled web was woven in many ways.* A few impressions from the SIGINT/COMINT side of things (most hindsight being 20/20):
  • The NSA clearly ID'd Chinese participation by '65.
  • OPSEC programs to control the lack of surprise RE many Rolling Thunder or Arc Light missions revealed that a variety of bad practices gave a very vigilant enemy lots of indicators to the extent that they often had 8 hours notice of an impending strike in an area. Such things as reluctance to encrypt, simple plain-text by support elements in laying out an artillery fan for a ground op, and actually coordinating IAW civil aviation practices the altitudes & routes so good old NOTAMs could be published. The list goes on and they had people on Okinawa, Guam, NKP...
  • A long standing relationship with supposedly stellar ARVN SIGINT personnel in Saigon, especially their commander, an ARVN Lt.Col. who was regarded as so diligent & squeaky clean that I thought references to him were describing Robert Hansen. Funny, at one time advance transmissions to extreme NE DRV regarding upcoming Rolling Thunder missions were so timely that when the Christmas halt came, so did a halt in the transmissions.
  • Also, we vastly underestimated the sheer numbers of enemy personnel, technically trained, who lived at the tactical level and had very good SIGINT and DF skills. Plenty of instances of us intercepting THEM relaying their plain-text take from us. They didn't need to apply cryptanalysis to alot of our stuff because we often broke down and used plain-text, busting every OPSEC rule in the book. (I'm not talking about MACV-SOG Soldiers here, but those further back who may have any role in pre-mission coord.) A couple of ARVN SF units in particular were singled out as being notorious for reverting to plain-text when they had to make something clear in terms of coordination.
  • PW interviews revealed they really were more aware of the rhythms of their "hood" than given credit for.
Certainly relevant to SOG opns it would seem they had some tragic level of success with all their moles, prostitutes, corrupt ARVN, long-term well-placed agents, foreign advisors - and maybe a particular single source in Saigon that didn't care if his HF CW transmissions were heard because no one was gonna touch him anyway...

They also were sometimes very good at exploiting a simple OPSEC screw-up to manhandle an ARVN Ranger Bn. Some of these findings came out over time, some as a direct result of the initial Purple Dragon OPSEC studies at the time. By the way, much of the declas'd stuff is still heavily redacted. However, MOO, the redactions taken in context as the volume "flowed" seem not so much to protect a living technology or person, but a relationship. Not that we'd alter the badguys in a movie remake to switch them from Chicoms to North Koreans...

* There was a special SIGINT person operating out of a village right ON the border, a person who'd previously been an advisor to the Royal Thais. Viewed as a rogue by the Pacific Dep Dir who was gonna shut the op down & substitute their own assets. Said Dep Dir was told in no uncertain terms that he would not be reporting this to NSA HQ and to go about his business. This was just prior to the April '70 Cambode opns, and that analyst operating out of the hut reported only to 2 people: Ambassador Bunker and GEN Abrams.

I have learned that where 1 furball could exist, others are capable of concocting more. If there was a specific POS to point to who was blowing SOG operations I hope someone made chum out of him. Sharks gotta make a livin' too.

Hindsight gives a wider angle lens.
No matter what was in your way, well done gentlemen & Salud.
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Old 08-14-2012, 19:10   #26
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[QUOTE=greenberetTFS;457246


The U.S. intelligence officer also learned one more nugget of information: “I was told that there were enemy agents in the highest command levels of SOG in Saigon. Their cover was so deep, it was never exposed during the Vietnam War.”

[/QUOTE]


This I had heard, that the counterpart teams being inserted into the North were disappearing sometimes to a man, compromised because an NVA mole had infiltrated SOG. I can't recall the source.

As noted above, there were some 15,000 Soviet personnel in Southeast Asia during the war, mostly advisors, sometimes combatants, many of them air defense specialists. There had to have been some from other Eastern Bloc countries and the PRC as well. And it would surprise me if some of them hadn't acted as combat advisors or participated in action.

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Old 08-14-2012, 20:10   #27
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Originally Posted by Inflexible Six View Post
This I had heard, that the counterpart teams being inserted into the North were disappearing sometimes to a man, compromised because an NVA mole had infiltrated SOG. I can't recall the source.
I think MAJ Plaster mentions that in his 2nd book.

Having been generously provided yet another trail for my education I encounter from the early days of OPLAN 34A and the OP35 opns piece of that so many things that just make me say "damn." A flow chart for some mission-approvals that enters WashDC (and takes a long time to leave and passes through way too many eyes) that looks like a nightmare worse than Powerpoint hell; cables from the USAMB in Laos at the time (aka "Field Marshal") that prove micro-management of the politics involved isn't a new thing at all; so-called 'mini' sensors to plant whose weight would've been better replaced by ammo... there is alot yet to digest.

From extracts, Mr. Schultz's book is now a must-add to the shelf. Hat-tip to BMT.

I'll say it again - damn.
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Compromised SOG Commo
Old 09-17-2012, 18:00   #28
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Compromised SOG Commo

As I understand it, the compromised commo was directly related to the WALKER spy ring. They were responsible for the N. Korean capture of the Radio intercerpt ship PUEBLO in 1968. Both the hardware and code books were airlifted to Moscow within 48 hours of capture. Once they had codes and machines, it made radio intercepts of the entire SOG program a snap.

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Old 10-13-2012, 12:11   #29
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bushmaster11,

You are absolutely correct in your comment. He even admitted to giving the Russians what they needed in regards to codes and what teams were where.

What many non-SOG members have to understand too is that in the communist states, Vietnam was a family affair. You had Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, East Germans, and Cubans. All of which trained North Vietnam its "Counter Recon Teams" against SOG. They also supplied weapons, nurses, doctors, medicines, advisors, and all other type of specialties.

There were also sightings of Russian airplanes and helicopters appearing in the skies over Laos. Some would land on a small airstrip, drop supplies, or shuffle the NVA around in helicopters. The chinese also had airplanes as well. There were times when Russian donated MiG-17s would fly over in Laos possibly taking pictures of certain sites or gathering more intell.
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Last edited by MAB32; 10-13-2012 at 12:15.
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