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Flowers Gone To Artillery

Copy of article provided by George V. Ellis

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Duc Pho (South Vietnam) -- The Viet Cong recently beamed a reverse "Chieu Hoi" message to Americal Division troopers on an isolated fire support base five miles southwest of Duc Pho, but were met with a chorus of Bronx cheers and a point-blank volley of artillery.

Soldiers of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry were bedded down on Fire Base No. 411 when an enemy psychological operations (PSYOPS) team began broadcasting the haunting, American anti-war ballad "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" via loud-speaker.

Americal artillery and 81mm mortar rounds briefly silenced the tune but early next morning the broadcast resumed.  "This is a special GIs' and officers' program," said the enemy loud-speaker, first in English, then in Vietnamese, and then the folk song was repeated.

Next came "Why Are You Fighting Here?" sung in Vietnamese, number two on the VC PSYOPS hit parade.  The third tune was "North To Alaska," and its psychological implications were unclear.  Then came a Vietnamese vocal arrangement of "Come on Over to Our Side," which did not influence the men either musically or politically.

Rounding out the VC Top Six was the Vietnamese tune "Help Us Rid the Country of Troublemakers," and the infantrymen did just that -- with a barrage of artillery and mortar fire which permanently silenced the enemy broadcast.

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