March 28 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of the loss of SOG recon team Spike Team ASP. SFC George "Ron" Brown, team 1-0, and SGTs Al Boyer and Greg Huston, 1-1 and 1-2, respectively, had completed a wire tap mission approx 12 klicks NE of Tchepone, Laos. They were, however, compromised and called for an emergency extraction.
At approx 1100 that morning, an AF CH-3 "Pony Express" helicopter arrived on station, but due to terrain, it could not land. A rope ladder was dropped and as the last Viet team member and Boyer ascended into the chopper, the ladder either broke or was cut, sending at least Boyer back to earth. Brown and Huston were still on the ground, delivering cover fire. The record is unclear regarding whether another rescue attempt was made or not.
These individuals were on the rope ladder when the CH-34 helicopter came under intense enemy fire and the helicopter had to depart when the ladder became caught in the trees and had to be cut away. When last seen these three individuals were seen alive and appeared to be unharmed. A search team was inserted on 01 Apr 68 but failed to find any evidence of the three Americans. ST Asp consisted of three Americans and six (seven) indig's. They were assigned to FOB 4 but launched out of NKP. They were inserted by chopper (AF 20th Helicopter Squadron call sign "Pony Express" CH-3(?) On a wire-tap mission several clicks NE of Tchepone. Around 11AM local time on the 28th, they were compromised and requested emergency extraction. The Pony Express chopper could not land and lowered a rope ladder. Five of the six indig successfully climbed the ladder to the chopper. As the sixth indig was going up, Boyer started up. At this point the ladder either broke or was cut by ground fire and the indig and Boyer fell back to earth. According to the chase medic on the extraction chopper, SGT Dave Mayberry [also from FOB 4], his last sighting of Brown and Huston before turning his back to treat one of the wounded was that they were still alive and returning fire. That was the last they were seen. The Pony Express chopper apparently did not try another extraction and requested assistance. Several Jolly Greens were placed on stand-by at NKP to help and others were diverted from another mission. In addition, several A-1 Sandies were alerted. By early afternoon, there was no further communication with the team and the follow-up rescue effort was called off. This would lead me to believe there was no air support involved in the extraction attempt. On 1 April SGT Chuck Feller [also from FOB 4] launched out of NKP on a mission to search for Asp. They were inserted by Pony Express and immediately came into contact with enemy forces. Feller called for an emergency extraction and a ladder had to be used. In fact, one of his indig's dangled from the ladder all the way back to NKP. While on the ground, they found no evidence of Asp. NOTE: RT ASP WAS ALSO COMPLETELY LOST AGAIN ON 10 MAY 71.
On that day, Brown, Boyer, and Huston joined the ranks of America's unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
"I have worn Ron Brown's MIA bracelet since 1980. In 1992, I finally located his daughter, Ronda, and a friendship developed. Several years ago I had a head sculpt of Ron Brown commissioned and after many, many years, the stars aligned and I was fnally able to meet Ronda during a recent business trip to Texas. I had the pleasure of finally presenting her with the 1/6 scale likeness of her father. To say it was an emotional event would be an understatement." said Jack Kull, creator of this tribute.
On this, the eve of the 40th anniversary of ASP's loss, Jack Kull, a new member of Modern Forces Living history Group, wanted to post pictures of that figure in memory of Brown, and Boyer and Huston, as well as the other approx 1,760 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
Jack Kull says "
I admit I took some "liberties" with equipping the figure and, in hindsight, should have changed out the BAR pouches with newer versions, but much of this was done several years ago. I think, however, that it captures the essence of a SOG troop in early 1968. And for the purposes of this figure -- and Brown's daughter -- it met my standard. I want to thank Sawgunner for his assistance in providing me instructions for this post (my first with pics). And, truth be told, a special thanks to my 12-year daughter for helping her computer-challenged father navigate Butch's instructions."
"Brown's remains were recovered in 1999 and IDd in 2001, but I continue to wear his bracelet IMO Boyer, Huston, and the other SOG MIAs."
Jack Kull is a new member of Modern Forces MACV-SOG Living History Group, he is based in the States and he works for the the U.S. Defense Department doing POW/MIA accounting work from the Vietnam War.His bio and details will be added soon.
Here are some other custom figures from Jack Krull, one witha cut-down RPD!