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The Delta Raiders
The Delta Raiders
I built the web site about 22 years ago
for the Infantry Unit I was with in Vietnam,
D Co. 2/501st. Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
I have had many visitors over the years, a lot signed my guest book
Looking For a Hero.
The man on the cover of this book, on the left,
was my friend, Sgt. Joe Hooper.
Some say that he was the most decorated soldier
in the Vietnam War.
The day Joe earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, I was there with him.
From the book:
"Widely acclaimed as the Vietnam War's most highly decorated soldier, Joe Ronnie Hooper in many ways serves as a symbol for that conflict. His troubled, tempestuous life paralleled the upheavals in American society during the 1960s and 1970s, and his desperate quest to prove his manhood was uncomfortably akin to the macho image projected by three successive presidents in their "tough" policy in Southeast Asia. Looking for a Hero extracts the real Joe Hooper from the welter of lies and myths that swirl around his story; in doing so, the book uncovers not only the complicated truth about an American hero but also the story of how Hooper's war was lost in Vietnam, not at home.
Extensive interviews with friends, fellow soldiers, and family members reveal Hooper as a complex, gifted, and disturbed man. They also expose the flaws in his most famous and treasured accomplishment: earning the Medal of Honor. In the distortions, half-truths, and outright lies that mar Hooper's medal of honor file, authors Peter Maslowski and Don Winslow find a painful reflection of the army's inability to be honest with itself and the American public, with all the dire consequences that this dishonesty ultimately entailed. In the inextricably linked stories of Hooper and the Vietnam War, the nature of that deceit, and of America's defeat, becomes clear."
You only have to read to page 3 of the Prolog, to see my name.
A link to the book on Amazon. is below
JOE'S TOMBSTONE - AT ARLINGTON
Joe was in Louisville, Ky. for the Derby (he never missed the Kentucky Derby), when he died on May 5,1979. He was found in a hotel room. He was just 40.
The Perfect Warrior and the Ideal Combat Soldier had died a quiet death from a
cerebral hemorrhage while sleeping.
The news of Joe Hooper's death wasn't big news. The national media ignored his passage.
There was just a notice in the Medal of Honor Society's newsletter.
End of Joliet Herald-News story
THE TET OFFENSIVE - FEBRUARY 1968: A BLOODY CHAPTER IN THE WAR
Feb. 21, 1968, Hooper and I were there, just ourside Hue in I Corps..
This is the day he earned his Congressional Medal of Honor.
Ssg. Clifford Sims also earned the CMH that day but died from his wounds.
From the book:
Joe ended up with the 101st Airborne Division and went to Vietnam where he earned The Congressional Medal of Honor. ...Company D. was assaulting a heavily defended enemy position along a river bank when it encountered a withering hail of fire from rockets, machine-guns and automatic weapons. He rallied several men and stormed across the river, over running several bunkers on the opposite bank (yours truly, Al Mount was one of those several men, looking over my right shoulder I saw Joe motion me to move forward. I had taken only a few steps when a bullet from an AK-47 hit my left leg and knocked me down. Joe and the others advanced past me and I crawled to the rear.)
.....With utter disregard for his own safety, he moved out under the intense fire again and pulled back the wounded, moving them to safety...Joe was seriously wounded, but refused medical aid and returned to his men. With the relentless enemy fire disrupting the attack, he single-handedly stormed three enemy bunkers, destroying them with hand grenades and rifle fire, and shot two enemy soldiers who had attacked and wounded the Chaplin....
Finding his men under heavy fire from a house to the front, he proceeded alone to the building, killing its occupants with rifle fire and grenades By now his initial body wound had been compounded by grenade fragments, yet, despite the multiple wounds and loss of blood, he continued to lead his men against the intense enemy fire....
He gathered several grenades and raced down a small trench which ran the length of the bunker line, tossing grenades into each bunker as he passed by, killing all but two of the occupants... He then raced across an open field, still under enemy fire, to rescue a wounded man who was trapped in a trench. Upon reaching the man, he was faced by an armed enemy soldier whom he killed with a pistol... He neutralized the final pocket of enemy resistance by fatally wounding three
North Vietnamese officers...
Joe was wounded seven times that day. But he wouldn't allow himself to be removed from the battlefield until all his men were safe. He finally passed out from loss of blood.
He regained consciousness in a field hospital. But Joe was still worried about his men, young men who depended upon the experience of the 29 year old sargent.
The next day he stole a rifle and hitched a ride back to his outfit. Technically, he was AWOL. But by the time the Army found him two days later, Joe had been wounded again.
President Richard Nixon pinned the Medal of Honor on Joe, who had been commissioned a 2nd Lt. He went on a speaking tour across the nation.
Then he asked to go back to Vietnam.
The ORIGINAL DELTA RAIDERS - D Co. 2/501st Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division
The picture above of the original Delta Raiders
was taken at Ft. Campbell, Ky. in the fall of 1967, shortly before leaving for Vietnam.
Every man in the unit was a jump qualified "PARATROOPER",
but heavy casualities would soon bring an end to that proud distinction.
Sgt. Hooper is top row far right,
Ssg. Sims is 4th row, 3rd from right
Yours truly (Sgt. Mount) is 5th row up, 10th from left.
VETERAN'S BENEFITS - Books to help you in obtaining what you earned.
NO OINK OINK GI
Just before Tet Offensive of 68 we were on bridge guard across the river from Hue City.
The bridge behind me leads to Hue.
There were South Vietnamese soldiers (ARVN) also encamped near us.
One evening an ARVN asked me & a buddy if we wanted to eat the evening meal with them.
Keep in mind, we couldn't speak their language nor they ours.
Always a rice lover and getting tired of C-Rations, I agreed.
We began eating, they gave us a bowl of rice and then passed a mixture of green veggies and meat.
The soldier with me picked out a piece of meat, held it up and asked "Oink Oink", thinking it was pork.
The ARVNs broke into almost hysterical laughter and one said "No Oink Oink GI... Bow Wow."
When he discovered we were eating "Dog Meat", my buddie sat his bowl down and left
all the while the ARVNs were rolling in laughter as he walked away.
I kept on eating and asked for a second helping.
The moral here is unfortaunely , Dog is the other other white meat. :-)
47 Secret Benefits for Veterans - Benefits You Have Earned...but Don't Know About!
AGENT ORANGE - WAITING TO DIE
THE NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY (NVA) - These were the cream of the crop sent down from Hanoi
They were not a rag tag group.
They were well trained, dedicated tough little cookies.