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ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS,

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MYER 1ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS, and GLOSSARY OF TERMSUsed in My Songs of the Southeast Asia War (SEA)Jonathan Myer20 Mike Mike: 20-mm gun and/or ammunition (used by fighters for air-to-ground strafing or,more rarely, close-in air-to-air combat)A-10 “Warthog”: Post-SEA close air support aircraft. Two high wing-mounted engines, one seat,30-mm tank-killing gun, heavily armored aircraft. OA-10 used for post-1970s FAC operationsAAA: Anti-aircraft artillery, usually pronounced “Triple-A.” Ground defense crew-servedweapons ranging from 37-mm through 100-mm rapid-firing cannonAK-47: Designation of Soviet assault rifle used by Communist forces in SEA, non-Westernforces the world over today. Then prized as a souvenirAlert: Tactical aircraft readiness status where it is fuelled and loaded with armament, and readyfor instant takeoff (“scramble”) and flightApron: Airfield’s parking ramp areaARVN: Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (“Arvin”)Auger In: Crash the aircraft; reference is to making a hole, like a drill bitAT-6 “Texan”: Attack (“A”) version of the T (Trainer) -6. Used in the Korean War as the firstreal forward air control (FAC) aircraftA-Team: U.S. Special Forces field unit (10-12 men; two officers, others NCOsBDA: Bomb Damage Assessment (currently “Battle” Damage Assessment)Beer: Essential dietary supplement, used either alone or to wash down any of the four basic foodgroups: meat, potatoes, biscuits, and gravyBien Hoa: Major city and base in III Corps, NE of Saigon (“Bin Wah”) Bird: Often a reference to an aircraft (usually a smaller type, like a fighter)MYER 2B-Team: U.S. Special Forces HQ unit at province or higher level, responsible for several A-teams’Burner: Short for “Afterburner,” an additional stage of most fighters’ jet engine combustion thatenables faster acceleration, higher altitude and/or supersonic speed, albeit at a significantincrease in fuel consumptionCam Ranh Bay: Major U.S. military facility in South Vietnam Cammies: Camouflage fatigue uniformsCarrier: Usually, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier (in SEA, operating in the South China Sea off theeast coast of Viet Nam)CAS: Close Air Support (mission and flight operations focused on the delivery of ordnance closeto friendly forces usually engaged with the enemy; (see also “TIC”)Cat Shot: Catapult shot, Naval term for the compressed-air or other accelerator system that helpsto launch an aircraft from the carrier deckCBU, CBUs: Cluster Bomb Unit(s); reference is to the canister that carried these grenade-sizesubmunitionsChopper: Vietnam-era slang for military helicopter (currently “helo”)Club (The): Reference to an Officers’, NCO or Enlisted Club on a military facility (whereStateside-peacetime dress codes are not appreciated if applied in a combat zone)Crab: Flying technique for maintaining a ground course by heading into a crosswind just enoughto counter its effects; wings are thus kept level as the wind effect causes the plane to“drift” along its desired course. (See also “wing low,” as landing in a crab is notadvisable)Crewdog: Aircraft crewchief, maintenance support personC-Team: U.S. Special Forces HQ unit at corps level (four corps in RVN, q.v.)DEROS: Date of Estimated Return from Overseas; i.e., projected rotation dateDinky Dao: Crazy (Vietnamese term)DMZ: Demilitarized Zone (in SEA, the narrow area that separated North and South Vietnam atabout the 17th Parallel (17/ north latitude)MYER 3Downtown: Flying over or attacking “downtown” Hanoi, capital of the Democratic People’sRepublic of Vietnam (or North Vietnam), from the Petula Clark song of the timeFAC: Forward air controller (as noun). Perform forward air control mission and functions (asverb); occasionally used as a euphemism for other activitiesFighters: Generic term for small-to-medium size tactical aircraft (“tacair”), comprising U.S. AirForce, Navy, Marine and allied aircraft that “deliver ordnance” or launch other weaponsagainst enemy targets on the surface or in the airFreaking: Along with “friggin’,” a euphemism for “fucking” (used as an adjective)Freedom Bird: Military or civil airliner returning U.S. troops to the U.S. of A.GCA: Ground-Controlled Approach. Radar equipment and operator’s process for radioingapproach and landing instructions to an aircraft flying in low weather conditionsGolden BB, “Golden Bee-Bee”: reference to a lucky (i.e., UNlucky) shot that hits an airman orbrings down his aircraft. A round “with one’s name on it”Go West: Slang reference to dying, or flying a mission and not returning (per RAF) Green Beret: Colloquial name for a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces (USSF)Hanoi Hilton: Reference to the prisoner-of-war (POW) compound(s) near Hanoi for U.S.military and other POWsHelo: Generic reference to helicoptersHo Chi Minh Trail: Infiltration routes for forces and supplies from North Vietnam through Laos,then south and east into several areas of South VietnamHose: Delivering a continuous stream of fire from an automatic weapon (verb)Jarhead: Slang term for a U.S. MarineJungle Suit: Camouflaged fatigues (field uniform)KIA: Killed in Action (also MIA and WIA, for Missing and Wounded in Action)Kontum: Both city and largest province in the Republic of Viet Nam; also, the northernmostprovince of RVN’s Military Region II, or II Corps. Located in VietNam’s CentralHighlands, Kontum was also bordered by both Cambodia and Laos, the “Tri-BorderArea”MYER 4L-19 “Bird Dog”: Aka “Lima One-Nine” (“L” = Liaison); earlier Army designation for the O-1aircraftLZ: Landing Zone: designated area for debarkation of troops for ground operations or for their extraction afterwardsLZ Prep: Preparation of an LZ by “attacking” it and its environs before landing troops there, toreduce the chance of an ambushMcNamara: Robert S. McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defense during much of the Southeast AsiaWarM-16: In several models, the standard 5.56-mm (.222-in) automatic rifle used by U.S. Army andAir Force and ARVN forces in SEAMach 1, Mach One: The speed of sound, ranging from 760 mph at sea level to 660 mph at highaltitudes, standard day conditions (i.e., temperature decreasing from 15/C at sea level tominus 55/C at high altitudes (above 36,000 ft)Mang Buk: Special Forces camp in the mountainous NE area of Kontum Province, hard to get toin bad weatherMed-Evac: Medical Evacuation (used as noun and verb), usually by helicopter in the field, andby


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