Hillary Clinton: Bosun’s Mate 3rd SOG 1967
The mouth of the [REDACTED] River, 1967
It was the toughest mission to date, thought Bosun’s mate Hillary Clinton, as she donned her diving gear and checked her weapons. Swim upriver underwater for 10 klicks and retrieve a fallen flier, who just happened to be the son of a US Congressman. She checked her gauges one more time and quietly slipped into the stinking Vietnamese river. She recalled how one of her team was invalided out because of an infection from this very river. She fired up the “scooter” and began the slow trek upstream.
It had been a busy tour for Clinton. This was her third mission into North Viet Nam. After a successful exfil from an area just north of the DMZ, where she earned the name Viper, she was seconded to a unit she didn’t know the name of until she arrived for training. The 3rd Special Operations Group was a black project buried deep in the Pentagon. Viper’s successful escape from the DMZ after planting explosives at a political officer’s headquarters had earned her a slot on the team. That and her unswerving loyalty to the flag and hatred of Communism.
The Ops planners for this mission had really done their homework, Viper’s mission briefing had included sat photos of the fliers wrecked F-4 that were less than three hours old. Also were the exfil plans. The amount of assets covering Viper’s withdrawal was staggering. Granted, no one other than Viper and the Ops planners knew what was going on; all the other assets knew was to create an exfil lane devoid of SAMs, ZSU-23’s (despite repeated claims that the Soviets had not given them to the Viet Cong) and the VC themselves. Napalm, flak suppression, and anti-radar tactics were all being used. Viper shuddered to think of the fire power she would be ordering when she sent the code words, “BrightStar, BrightStar, BrightStar!” Viper didn’t know it but the 105’s would begin the initial barrage.
Lieutenant (j.g)Tom Andersen, callsign Cardinal4, winced as he moved further in to the dense foliage. He grimaced as he thanked the Gods at Dupont for not visiting this area yet. He replayed the last couple of seconds of the mission in his head for 300th time, as he moved under the canopy. The mission was basic SAM suppression for a B-52 raid. Two SAM batteries were set up on the approaches to Haiphong Harbor and needed to be taken out. The SAMs weren’t supposed to be able to reach the -52’s, if they were to complete their mission. Cardinal4 personally witnessed both batteries destroyed and as he was turning for feet wet, his SkyHawk shuddered and every master caution light on his panel lit up. He stayed with it long enough to destroy the mission “card” with callsigns, alternate freqs, and Rescue plans, and bailed out at 150 feet…or tried to. When the seat wouldn’t fire, he used the treetops to buffer the impact. He was relatively unscathed, except for his back. It wasn’t broken, just badly sprained. He immediately deployed his search and rescue beacon and settled into wait for the Jolly Green.
Viper surfaced at the designated point and ditched the scooter. She verified her position, and moved into the jungle. “Viper to Broken Arrow, Bright Sun!” she transmitted the code for feet dry.
Master Chief Manny Rodriguez fiddled with the panel in back of “his” Jolly Green. They had been given a codename Sunflower4, and were plus 5 on the deck of the *** *****. Five mins earlier two EA-6’s configured as tankers had launched to “tank the strike”. “What strike?” Master Chief Rodriguez wondered. He stiffened as he heard, “BrightStar, BrightStar, BrightStar!”
Viper crawled further into the canopy, she could see the tail of the SkyHawk, and yes, right over there was pilot.
Cardinal4 had seen the SEAL, too. He started to gather up his stuff, and using his rescue flashlight with a red lens, he signalled Viper he was ready and the area looked “clean”.
…”BrightStar!” Captain Steve “Cornbread” Tyler reefed is F-4Phantom into a tight turn at hearing the codeword. “Rhythm Devils, follow me!” Six mike clicks answered his call, as they swooped into position for the attack run.
Master Chief Rodriguez switched the master start switch on his panel and waited for the engine to spool up. Nothing…
Viper was on almost on top of him before she saw him; a black pajama clad VC climbing out of a rat hole. She counted three as the last one turned to cover up the hole. “Christ on a Bike! He crashed on top of a Rat Tunnel!” Viper swore.
Rodriguez frantically hit the master start switch again.
Viper crawled forward with her K-Bar in her mouth. She slit the throat of the first one, used a silenced colt on the second one and strangled the third.
Cardinal4 was fighting a rising panic; he too, had seen the VC climbing out of the hole, and Viper was three minutes overdue..
“Shit!” Master Chief Rodriguez swore as he read the notation in the log can, ‘APU will not start.’ “We need an air start! Who the hell left an open write up in the book??” Swearing like only a Master Chief can, he started preparations for the air start. A sudden whoosh of air and the turbine started to turn. 45 seconds later Sunflower4 was lifting of the deck.
Viper crawled up to Cardinal4, scaring him senseless. She covered his mouth and told him to take cover.
Captain Jason Rasmussen heard the codeword and turned to yell, “Fire!”. Three 105mm guns started firing. The forward artillery spotter radioed in, “Drop 300 and fire for effect!” The 105s would also be dropping leaflets.
Viper and Cardinal4 heard the shells before the impact, they buried themselves into the dirt, as they waited for the heavy dose of arty coming their way.
Lieutenant Alfred Johnson was still swearing about the APU as he increased power on the Jolly Green. Sunflower4 went feet dry 60 seconds later.
Cornbread allowed himself a brief look at his wingman. Right where he was supposed to be. “Five Klicks to go, Devils!” he put the nose down and selected Napalm on his panel..
The Earth shook as 105’s rained down on Vipers and cardinal4’s position. More and more VC, who were emerging from the tunnels, were being mowed down as the 105s were coming fused for airburst.
Lt Johnson could see the smoke from the 105s as Sunflower4 bored in, he couldn’t worry about SAMs, the Weasels were supposed to take them out, and the big guns should stop any ground fire.
Viper tossed the smoke grenade into the LZ, while spinning around to fire on some VC who were firing on their position.
“Smoke, open the door, Chief!” Rodriguez needed no urging, he opened the door and the Machinists Mate took up his posit on at the heavy gun at the door.
Viper grabbed Cardinal4 and slung him over her shoulder as she began calculating the distance from her dubious cover of the canopy to the LZ.
“Two Klicks, Devils form up!” Answered by the mike clicks of his team, his thumb moved for the “release” switch on his yoke.
Lt Johnson swung the huge helicopter around to face the open door to the side of the canopy Viper and cardinal4 were in. The Gunners mate opened up laying withering covering fire down as the SEAL and downed flier began to move.
“Fire, Devils, Fire!” Cornbread shouted into his mike, “Light’em up!”.
Bosun’s Mate Hillary “Viper” Clinton 3rd SOG, made the 100yard run to the open door of the Jolly Green under horrific sniper fire. She tossed Cardinal4 into the waiting arms of the Chief and turned around to start firing again.
“SEAL!” the Chief yelled, “Napalm coming in! And you have a gook behind you!” Viper tossed three grenades in rapid succession into the canopy and jumped into the chopper.
Cornbread’s Phantoms came in right after the Weasel mission (their part is still classified). They loosed their Napalm and pushed the throttles forward; no pilot wants to be with ANY distance of a Napalm raid, the rising heat wreaks havoc with the air.
Lt Johnson, pulled the cyclic up and pushed the power forward. They shot down the lane created by the napalm and under sporadic small arms fire made it feet wet in about 10 mins.
Under escort back to the ship, Viper went over the mission. Her 4th successful exfil from the North! She would make Master Chief for this! She glanced back at Cardinal4, who was being tended to by two corpsmen. He looked up and through tear stained eyes and a strained voice from the morphine, and said, “Thanks, Seal..”
“And that is why I should have the nomination, my experience in crisis management.” Hillary wrapped up her stump speech in Pennsylvania, and looked at her husband.
“Think they bought it?” she asked, as they walked to the waiting SUV.
“Sure they did, honey..” Answered the disbarred, disgraced, and impeached former C in C.