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1st 50th Infantry Association

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1. Co. F (LRP), 50th Inf., 25th ID
2. Co. F, 50th Inf., Danang, USARV
3. Unit Awards & Decorations
4. Vietnam Campaigns

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Unit History, Company F (Long Range Patrol), 50th Infantry


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Company F (LRP), 50th Infantry

(20 December 1967 to 1 February 1969)

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Fox Rangers (Tropical Rangers)

We are grateful to the 75th Ranger Association for the following information.

Throughout history the need for a small, highly trained, far ranging unit to perform reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and special type combat missions has been readily apparent. In Vietnam this need was met by instituting a Long Range Patrol program to provide each major combat unit with this special capability.

The 25th Infantry Division arrived in Vietnam from Hawaii in two major groups. The 3rd Brigade deployed as a task force arriving in Pleiku, Corps II region of Vietnam on28 December 1965. The 3rd Brigade would later have its own LRRP contingent and also be traded to the 4th Infantry Division for a brigade in August 1967. The remaining brigades and headquarters arrived at Cu Chi in Corps III area from 20 January 1966 through 4 April 1966.

It quickly became apparent to Major General Fred C. Weyand that a reconnaissance/specialty unit was needed to supplement 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry who were mounted troops and had the mission of providing road security and were ill equipped or trained to perform dismounted reconnaissance missions. General Weyand authorized the formation of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol detachment and forty-one officers and enlisted personnel were selected for duty with the unit.

The unit was known as "Mackenzie's Lurps" because it was assigned to the 4th Cavalry known as Mackenzie's Raiders after Colonel Slidell Mackenzie who had commanded the unit from 1870 to 1882 with proficiency.

Training for the new LRRPs was accomplished at the Special Forces MACV Recondo School at Nha Trang. The unit started patrolling at increasing distances from the Division and fire support bases. Missions included waterborne operations and were primarily oriented to finding the enemy so U.S. firepower could be staged and brought to bear on the enemy. Other types of missions including prisoner snatch, ambush, etc. were ordered for the normal five man teams.

On the job experience added Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for later volunteers to the unit. The only way into the unit was to volunteer and the members could be reassigned by unvolunteering themselves for less hazardous duty in a rifle unit. Allocations to Nha Trang and length of training time encouraged the formation of a 25th Division Recondo School which quickly brought volunteers to a workable patrol knowledge level.

LRRP was eventually given a TO&E personnel strength of 60 plus, but its real strength was closer to half that while its address was D Troop (LRRP), 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry. A remarkable amount of useful patrol knowledge was passed on in these classes always bearing the indelible stamp of the original Nha Trang training by the Special Forces.

The word "Reconnaissance" is somewhat misleading because missions were often combat in nature stemming from the desire of patrollers and commanders to do more than just look. Missions often were ended with an ambush or were interrupted by targets of opportunity. This was a prevailing attitude in the field and base commanders. While the 25th Division was in Cu Chi, its 3rd Brigade was still in Pleiku with its LRRPs referred to as "Bronco LRRP's". The Brigade LRRP teams existed from mid-1966 to August 1967, participating in 7 major operations from the border west to the South China Sea east including Duc Pho and Qui Nhon.
The Department of the Army officially authorized the formation of Company F, 50th Infantry Detachment (LRP) on 20 December 1967. LRP stood for Long Range Patrol which more closely represented the missions. This unit was formed with the personnel and equipment from the LRRP detachment. The combat nature of the unit was borne out when General Weyand said in March 1967 that LRRP was the "fightingest unit under his command".

The 50th Infantry continued to operate in III Corp region of Vietnam which included War Zones C and D which contained the floating enemy command for all of Vietnam (COSVN). The 50th Infantry was now known as the Cobra Lightning Patrollers and continued to operate in areas such as Tay Ninh, Fish Hook, Parrots Beak, and Angels Wing along the Cambodian border. Actions initiated on 28 January 1968 by the LRPs resulted in the KIA of 64 Viet-Cong reconnaissance troops.

Credit needs to be given to the personnel of the LRRP platoon and the 50th Infantry Detachment (LRP) for establishing the doctrine that would become SOP for Company F (Ranger), 75th Infantry. The 75th Infantry absorbed the personnel and equipment of the 50th Infantry detachment (LRP) on 1 February 1969. They were now known as "Fox Rangers" from the phonetic "F" and "Tropical Rangers" from the Division's name "Tropic Lightning". Rangers included one sniper qualified trooper on each team. Ranger training started in the U.S. and was more refined than ever based on intelligence and experience gathered by Vietnam Ranger parent units (LRRP & LRP). This produced extremely qualified personnel well able and motivated to do the dangerous missions of the Rangers.

On 2 April 1970, two ranger teams made contact with entrenched forces of the crack 271st VC Regiment that required 2 American Battalions to deal with (one was mechanized). Rangers mission continued to operate in Hobo & Bo Loi Woods, Nui Ba Den mountain (the only mountain in the area), the Iron Triangle and into Cambodia as the historical predecessors had done since 1966.
The "F" Company Rangers were now authorized 123 troopers. In spring 1970, the Rangers participated in the process of Vietnamization which was to allow the South Vietnam more latitude in fighting the war in their country. From August to October 1970 Rangers from "F" Company conducted 85 patrols. In 1971 operations worked to disrupt enemy supplies and Tet 1971 was remarkably free from enemy activity. "F" Company, 75th Rangers was deactivated 15 March 1971.

For additional history, please visit the F Co, 50th (Inf) LRP, F/75 (Inf) Ranger Website.


SP4 John Herbert White
1 March 1968  -  42E 026
SP4 Gregory Richard Kelly
6 April 1968 (OPCON)  -  48E 028
SP4 Charles Dennis Pekny
25 July 1968 (After Transfer)  -  50W 009
SP4 Hubert Arthur Meredith
1 August 1968  -  50W 044
PFC Lorenzo Sewell
18 August 1968 -  48W 048
SSG Howard Brown Handley
13 September 1968  -  44W 048
SGT Gary Richard McFall
13 September 1968  -  44W 051
SGT Steven Edward Collier
27 October 1968  -  40W 042
PFC Reid Ernest Grayson, Jr.
28 December 1968  -  36W 084
SP4 Raymond Walter Sullivan
24 January 1969  -  34W 072

Unit Awards and Decorations

Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered BINH DUONG PROVINCE--1-30 Jan 69, DAGO 2, 71, amended DAGO 39, 70 (Earned 1-22/2/69 by Co. F, 50th Infantry (LRP), 25th Inf. Div.)
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-1968--20 Dec 67-31 Aug 68, DAGO 48, 71
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1969--1 Jan-31 Mar 69, DAGO 48, 71, amended DAGO 43, 70

Campaign Participation Credit

Vietnam War


Co. F (LRP), 50th Inf.
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Tet Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 69/CounterOffensive (as F/75th Infantry (Ranger))
Summer-Fall 1969 (as F/75th Infantry (Ranger))
Winter-Spring 1970 (as F/75th Infantry (Ranger))
Sanctuary Counteroffensive (as F/75th Infantry (Ranger))
Counteroffensive, Phase VII (as F/75th Infantry (Ranger))

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