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Mobile Riverine Force

US Military History Throughout The Years

Short bits of history you know and some you may not!

  • First Casualty: Friday, January 4, 2002 – US Army SFC Nathan Ross Chapman, a member of the 1st Special Forces Group, is the first American military service member killed in Afghanistan. While the news of his death was national news, the circumstances surrounding it were not. In 2015 the CIA finally acknowledged that he had been part of a secret team, Team Hotel, and was with that team when he was killed. He was part of early secretive CIA operations in Afghanistan and would be killed as a result of wounds while attempting to meet for talks with local Afghans. In 2015 the CIA would honor his death with a star on the CIA Memorial Wall, with no explanation offered to his family as to why it took so long and to why he was finally honored.
  • UFO’s: Wednesday, January 7, 1948 – While flying a P-51 Mustang fighter, Captain Thomas F. Mantell would crash while in pursuit of a supposed UFO. The UFO was spotted in southern Kentucky and CPT Mantell along with several other pilots were tasked with investigating it. Descriptions of the object vary, but all report that is was a large object that hovered high in the air. As the pilots approached the UFO three of them would pull away, either for low fuel or for being called off. Mantell would continue to fly to the object, climbing high into the air without the appropriate equipment, mainly an oxygen mask. After Mantell broke 25,000 ft in altitude he passed out from lack of air and his plane quickly lost control, crashing in the ground near the Kentucky-Tennessee border. His death while investigating the UFO would change how the public treated UFOs. Before they were treated as something silly or just glib, his actions and death would lead to the public taking them more seriously as they were now seen as real and potentially hostile.
  • Mekong Delta: Sunday, January 2, 1966 – The US sends its first combat units in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The delta would become a hot spot during the war and prove to be a major engagement area throughout it. Nearly 40% of South Vietnams population lived in the region, with the 3,000 miles of waterways helping farmers transport and grow rice crops and support the population. The area has always been an important region in the country and the Viet Cong would exploit it quickly as the war began. To combat the growing stronghold the Viet Cong were making in the delta the US would send in forces to interdict enemy activity and regain control of the area. The region would see the use of ground troops as well as a newer type of combat unit, the Mobile Riverine Force. This force would be made up of patrol boats suited for river operations, supported by landing craft and other larger ships. The Patrol Boat, River and the accompanying operations that they would take part if would become an iconic part of the war in Vietnam.

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