Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here is a web site dedicated to Rocky Versace. Captain, U.S. Army. Winner of the Medal of Honor for heroics as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Was a captive, endured the most horrendous captivity, and finally executed by a spiteful, hateful enemy.

Awarded, posthumously of course, the Medal of Honor, forty or so years after the fact. After much lobbying on his behalf by various parties.

The story of Humbert Rocque Versace is one of great promise cut short. Versace was a true believer and a man of great courage. A man of obstinacy for the right cause who paid a terrible price.

While reading over the story of Rocky Versace, it is the last few paragraphs that catch my attention.

"3 Aides Seized in Vietnam Battle"

"Saigon (AP) Communist guerrillas smashed a Republic of Vietnam task force after disrupting its radio communication Tuesday, and probably captured all three U.S. Army advisers with the 120-man Saigon outfit."

The three Americans listed as missing and believed captured were two officers and an enlisted medic. Stragglers returning from the rout said both officers had been wounded early in the fight--one in the head and the other in the leg.

The Army identified the three as Capt. Humbert R. Versace, Baltimore; 1st Lt. James M. Rowe, McAllen, Tx; and Sgt. Daniel L. Pitzer, Spring Lake, N.C.

A second government force of about 200 men operating only a few thousand yards from the main fight, learned of the disaster too late to help. U.S. authorities said the communist radio jammers had knocked out both the main channel and the alternate channel on all local military radios."

"communist radio jammers had knocked out both the main channel and the alternate channel on all local military radios"

Help could have arrived and prevented the three Americans from being captured, but the Viet Cong [VC] radio interceptors had jammed friendly communications to the extent that assistance could not be mustered.

As I have blogged before, communist COMINT [communications intelligence] units in Vietnam were VERY good. This is just another example of the adeptness of the VC COMINT elements and how they worked in a manner very harmful to both U.S. and South Vietnamese forces.

This was, unfortunately, a common occurrence in Vietnam. The VC seemed to just be more adept, flexible, and just one step ahead of friendly forces.

As to the treatment of Versace and his two fellow captives:

"For much of the next two years, their home would be bamboo cages, six feet long, two feet wide, and three feet high. They were given little to eat, and little protection against the elements. On nights when their netting was taken away, so many mosquitos would swarm their shackled feet it looked like they were wearing black socks."

My intuition tells me that those folks complaining about the "mistreatment" of captives in Gitmo would not be at ALL upset as to the treatment of Versace and his fellow Americans. That is just in keeping with the mentality of persons I can only characterize as "LEFTISTS". I would like to think otherwise, but just cannot.

I also have blogged before of my sentiments against awarding the Medal of Honor so long after the events is just plain wrong. Politics can quite often enter the considerations to the detriment of all involved. In the case of Versace, this is not the case. IF ANYONE DESERVED THE MEDAL OF HONOR, IT IS THIS MAN!!

[The body of Rocky Versace, to my knowledge, has never been recovered for proper burial. He is listed as Killed in Action- - Body Not Recovered [KIA-BNR]. This is again, the actions of a spiteful, hateful communist enemy. In my estimation, the locations of the bodies of those persons that were in captivity at the hands of the communists and perished [such as Versace, but others like him too] is known with exactness by the rulers in Hanoi. Just out of anger and just plain ordinary meanness are the remains not returned. Perhaps someday in the future they will be.]



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