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ARPS D Trp 1/4th Cav

 

 

The following was submitted by Russell Clark on 6-29-2002



I WILL GIVE YOU ALL OF THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE "ARP TAB" THAT WAS SEEN AT THE REUNION IN NASHVILLE ON 8-19-2001 TO THE BEST OF MY MEMORY. FIRST OF ALL THE ARP TAB IS IN AN ARC LIKE A RANGER OR AIRBORNE TAB AND IT IS MADE FROM GREEN OR OD CLOTH WITH DARK BLUE LETTERS "ARP" AND A DARK BLUE BORDER. WHEN THE ARMY WENT TO SUBDUED PATCHES THE BORDER AND LETTERS BECAME BLACK AND THE 4TH CAV PATCH WAS SUBDUED BUT THE ARP PATCH, AN UPSIDE DOWN TRIANGLE WITH A JUNGLE BOOT WITH ROTARY WINGS ON TOP, WAS NOT SUBDUED IN OUR UNIT THE BIG RED ONE PATCH WAS NEVER SUBDUED EITHER.

WHAT IS COPIED IN THE WEBSITE IS CALLED A "FREBUS" THE NAME MEANS NOTHING THAT I KNOW OF BUT IT WAS CALLED THAT BY THEN LT. BOB HARRIS WHEN HE PRESENTED MINE TO ME IN THE FIRST PART OF 1969. THERE IS MUCH LEGEND THAT ACCOMPANIES THE FREBUS, THE KIT CARSON SCOUTS SAID, "VC NO CROCADOU (EXCUSE MY VIETNAMESE SPELLING)" IF YOU ARE WEARING THIS AMULET IT SEEMS THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE KILLED BY THE VIET CONG. I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT BEFORE BUT IT WORKED FOR ME, SO ALL WE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT WAS FRIENDLY FIRE, AND NVA.

UNTIL I READ THE NOTE ON THE WEBSITE I DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE MATERIAL FOR THE FREBUS WAS MADE OUT OF (PHENOLIC 1/8") BUT I DO REMEMBER WHERE IT CAME FROM. THERE WAS AN EXPLOSIVES KIT USED BY THE COMBAT ENGINEERS THAT THE FREBUS CAME IN. THE EXPLOSIVES WERE C-4 AND WERE THE OLDER STYLE ONE POUND BLOCKS THAT WERE SURROUNDED BY CLEAR HEAVY PLASTIC WITH HARD PLASTIC ENDS. THE ENDS HAD PRE-MARKED HOLES THAT WERE PUNCHED OUT WITH WHAT WE CALLED THE FREBUS IN ORDER TO INSERT THE BLASTING CAP. THE MATERIAL IS A NON-CONDUCTOR AND THE PLASTIC WAS COVERING THE C-4 BECAUSE THE FISH LIKED TO EAT C-4 IN THE NAVAL UNDERWATER APPLICATIONS. LATER C-4 CAME IN THE QUARTER POUND STICKS WRAPPED IN A SARAN WRAP TYE OF MATERIAL WITH A PEEL OFF ADHESIVE ON THE BACK SO THE FREBUS' BECAME IN SHORT SUPPLY.

SIDE STORY: EACH MEMBER OF THE ARP PLATOON CARRIED A QUARTER POUND STICK OF C-4 DURING MY TOUR AND THE PLATOON LEADER CARRIED THE BLASTING CAPS, FUSE, IGNITORS AND DET CORD. WE ONCE USED ALL THE EXPLOSIVES WE HAD TO BLOW UP AN OLD FRENCH BUILT BRIDGE AND WE WERE UNSUCCESSFUL AND HAD TO CALL IN AN ENGINEER DETATCHMENT TO COMPLETE THE JOB. THE BRIDGE WAS HALF DOWN AND AIR STRIKES AND ARTILLERY WERE ALSO UNABLE TO SINK THE BRIDGE.

BACK TO THE FREBUS: THE SECOND PART OF THE FREBUS ASSEMBLY WAS THE NYLON CORD. THE CORD WAS FROM A STANDARD ISSUE ARMY AVIATION SURVIVAL KNIFE SCABBARD AND WAS USED TO TIE THE SCABBARD TO YOUR LEG OR YOUR WEB GEAR. THE THIRD PART OF THE ASSEMBLY WAS THE METHOD OF TYING THE CORD TO THE FREBUS.
THIS PART IS A LITTLE FUZZY TO ME, IT INVOLVED A SQUARE KNOT AND A SURGEON'S KNOT (I THINK THAT'S ANOTHER SQUARE KNOT WITH A HALF HITCH ON EACH SIDE, DOC MORGAN MAY BE ABLE TO HELP OUT ON THAT PART). FINALLY, THE FREBUS WAS TIED ARROUND YOUR NECK FAIRLY TIGHTLY WITH THE SHORTER POINT UP AND BOTH POINTS AWAY FROM THE NECK. YOU WERE NEVER SUPPOSED TO REMOVE IT UNTIL YOU LEFT
COUNTRY. I WORE MINE FOR ABOUT ANOTHER YEAR AFTER I GOT HOME JUST IN CASE SOME VC HAD INFILTRATED ARIZONA. NOW MY FREBUS HAS A PLACE OF HONOR ON MY FLOP HAT.

WHILE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT OLD TIMES, LARRY PROKOP WAS MENTIONED. HE WAS THE THIRD PLATOON SERGEANT THAT IS SERVED WITH IN THE ARPS IN 1969. THE FIRST TWO WERE CHAMPACO AND GOATCHER. I HEARD THAT PSG. GOATCHER DIED, HAS ANYONE HEARD FROM CHAMPACO AND DO YOU HAVE AN E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR PROKOP?

THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE SOME MEMORIES,
RUSS CLARK
DARKHORSE 4-4
PREPARED AND LOYAL

 

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