[The following article and photograph from the Americal Division newspaper,
"Under the Southern
Cross," were provided by Bud Carlson (D/1-6 Inf, 1970). The officer mentioned in the article
and shown in the photograph was his platoon leader in D Co. 1st Bn 6th Inf prior to moving to
the S-5 Civil Affairs job at the 198th Infantry Brigade. The Viet Cong soldiers who surrendered
had been fighting in the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry area of operations south of Chu Lai, Vietnam.]
"1st Lieutenant William Cain, civil affairs officer of the 198th Infantry
Brigade, watches as a
rallier makes a broadcast from a chopper to induce his former comrades to rally. (US Army
Photo by 1LT Mark Tucker)" [reproduced from the newspaper article]
"8 rally in a day" by LT. Mark Tucker
CHU LAI, (198th Inf. Bde. IO) -- The Psychological Operations Program
(Psyops) of the 23rd
Division's 198th Infantry Brigade, a proven savings program in terms of casualties for both sides,
paid an extra dividend recently when eight Viet Cong soldiers turned themselves in to the govern-
ment in a single day.
At least one of the returnees turned himself
in as a result of a unique "live" helicopter broadcast
made the day before by another former Viet Cong who had previoulsy rallied. This was believed
to be the first time in the Division area that a returnee had personally flown on a Psyops mission and
made a "live" appeal to his former guerilla mates.
The eight ralliers, all former guerillas in
Bin Son District, turned themselves in to a Popular Forces
outpost southeast of Chu Lai. All stated that the Psyops program of the 198th had influenced their
decision to return to the government, according to 1st Lieutenant William Cain of Burlington, Vt., the
Brigade civil affairs officer.
"We have been running an intensive Psyops program
in that area for some time," said Lt. Cain.
"We were particularly interested in appealing to the village guerillas who set booby traps and attempt
to harass the pacification projects. These eight all told us that, because our broadcases and allied
operations in the area, they had decided to rally."
Two days before the eight returned to the government,
a lone Viet Cong turned himself in to the
Brigade's H Troop, 17th Cavalry which was working in the area. The troops sent him to a nearby
firebase where the former guerilla expressed his willingness to go up in the Psyops helicopter and
make an appeal for his friends to rally.
The next day, the normal schedule of broadcasting
taped messages in the Brigade area was suspened
and the helicopter was utilized for the "live" message by the rallier.
"We normally use only taped messages in our
broadcasting," the lieutenant said. "But this time the
opportunity presented itself for us to make a direct "live" appeal. Our interpreter, the rallier, and the civil
affiaris officer of the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry got together and composed a short but effective message
for the rallier to broadcast."
The next evening, the eight turned themselves in to the Popular Forces.
"Our Psyops program has been extremely effective
this month, " Lieutenant Cain said. "By employing
this new twist of 'live' messages, we hope we can have a few more days of receiving eight ralliers in a
[end of newspaper article]
[Note: during December 1970, 89 former Viet Cong and NVA soldies returned
to the Government of
Vietnam in the Brigade area. According to the 198th Infantry Brigade History Supplement, this total was
believed to be the largest single month for receiving ralliers in the Americal Division's service in Vietnam.]
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