25th Infantry Division CRIPs
The C.R.I.P.’s were part of the 2nd Company 27th Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, worked as a Specialized Reconnaissance Platoon.
These “Wolfhounds” were a small band of soldiers working in one of the hot spot areas in the Vietnam War.
C.R.I.P is the acronym for “Combined Reconnaissance Intelligence Platoon”. As the name suggests a small group or platoon. While I served from February 1968 to February 1969 we never had more than 25 members of the platoon. The unit formed in 1967 and was absorbed back into the wolfhounds infantry unit in 1969. As many members as possible will share their stories. Each member has his own page and is open for family member comments as well. Many comments are on behalf of their loved one, a son, father or brother.
Some of our Recon brothers did not come back alive, others were wounded from gun shots, booby traps or grenades. One thing you can be certain of everyone came home wounded in some form or another.
The following pages will give you a better insight into the life of a Recon C.R.I.P. member. Most of us felt like we were the “Red Headed Stepchild” of the Wolfhounds. This is not to demean “Redheads” just that cliche’ of being unwanted. We were definitely used and in many cases that put us in harms way because of the lack of understanding of enemy movement.
The original Recon CRIP unit was used in a escort capacity for protection of needed supplies being delivered by convoys to forward outposts and battle areas. The convoys were subject to ambush. The evolution of the Recon C.R.I.P. took a dramatic change in direction after the ambush that we refer to so reverently too as “The Mighty Ten”.
The CRIP’s used jeeps with post mounted M-60 machine guns on a 360 degree turret. Also included was a jeep with a 105 Howitzer recoil-less cannon. The CRIP’s used both HE (high explosive) rounds and Bee Hive rounds. Bee Hive rounds were a shell filled with nails in the shape of little darts about 1 1/4 inch long. Both of these types of ordinance (shells) were highly effective in changing the minds of attackers.
The CRIP’s quickly changed from guarding conveys to prevent ambush attacks to an Intelligence unit. The flexibility and movements of the CRIP unit allowed for specialize missions and platoon sweeps providing area reconnaissance in key areas of Hau Nghia province and Tay Ninh areas along the Cambodian border and the Ho Chi Minh trail.
We were close enough to feel the shaking and hear sounds provided by the B-52’s as they dropped their ordinance on the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Our nightly and never more than a weekly reminder by “Charlie’s” motor shells dropping into our compound kept our focus keenly on our mission.
More details are provided based on CRIP member accounts. Please read more to understand these young men were following orders. While the nation “Back in the World” as it was called by troops was in turmoil.
The first war, conflict or however you decide to label Vietnam was a million miles away from loved ones, stop signs and ice cream. While America was seeing the first war zone being played out on national television with a media spin we were living what you were seeing.
Protests were hardly reported to the troops.
While Jane Fonda was visiting North Vietnam, American troops were being killed and wounded.
Riots and other protests were what we came home too. Not the parades, acknowledgements of those that should have been recognized as brave fighters that never considered doing anything but what we were asked to do without question or fear.
You find the reality and the reflections of a group of men that lived the history of Vietnam.
If you or a family member was a member of the 25th Infantry Division CRIPs unit from 1967 to 1969 we would like to hear from you. If you had a loved one that served with us we may be able to fill in some blanks if you would like to know more.
Use the contact form below.