History  

    WWII        

                               

                   

Born in the sands of Oran, Algeria on 25 February 1944 as the 73rd Military Police Company, separate, it was composed of personnel from the 202nd Infantry Battalion.  On 29 Feb 1944, the Company deployed to Algers and camped at Douera.  At Algers the Company was divided into four detachments.  One at Hammam Melouen, one to Baufirk, a third to Eucaluyptus, and a fourth, the HQ element, remained at Douera, but soon moved again to Birmandreis. 

In May 1944, the 73rd MP Co. moved again to Fluerus, Algeria, where it deployed to Naples, Italy. On 29 May 1944 the Company arrived in Anzio and camped at Littoria where it performed police duties. In June 1944, the Company entered Rome with the 5th Army.  The unit was sent to Piazza dell'Esedra for occupation duty.  Initial duties were to locate and seize all German and Fascist elements that remained behind.  Later duties included motorcycle patrols, MP patrols, and static guard posts.  In July 1944, the Company escorted Secretary of War Stimson in Rome.  While in Rome, the Company enforced laws against Black Market operations, controlled the flow of AWOLs into Rome, and enforced curfews.

On 29 September 1944, the 73rd MP Co. moved again, this time to Marseille, France.  Assigned to the 7th Army duties included motorcycle patrols, mounted, and dismounted patrols.  In November, the duties changed to traffic control with motor and motorcycle patrols.  A small section was established to aid the Marseille police in stopping Black Market activities.  The 73rd MP Co. was disbanded on 3 August 1946 after the surrender of the Axis.  The Company received credit for participation in the ROME-ARNO campaign.

RO ME-ARNO

 

 

KOREA

The 73rd MP Company was reactivated in 1949 in the Philippines and renamed the 560th Military Police Company.  The unit moved to Japan and was posted at Camp Fisher on the outskirts of Kyoto in the Sumizomi District.  Later part of the Company moved into central Kyoto with a detached Security Platoon remaining at Camp Fisher. On 1 July 1950, the Company deployed to Korea with the 24th Inf. Div.  Initially the Company was divided and the first element departed via the Port at Sasebo and was transported to Korea aboard the Destroyer, USS Lyman K Swenson DD729. Arriving at Pusan on 5 July the Company took up quarters in an empty rice warehouse.  They soon began town patrols, traffic control, convoy control at the Dock area, guarded the Command Post, and guarded the Generals quarters. 

 On 18 July 1950, the 560th was sent to Koche, where they established operations that included the security of all rail shipments to and from Pusan.  While there, they escorted North Korean POWs to enclosures and were responsible for convoys on the UN Green Diamond Highway to 10 miles south of Ulsan.  They also established rail blocks at Tongnae and Samnangzin to check trains for stragglers, refugees, and subversive personnel.

On 6 August, the 560th was deployed to Kumhae, Korea where they performed convoy road control from Pusan to Tongnae, and from Pussan to Kumhae, and estuary guard at Kupo-ri.

On 11 August the 560th MP Co. was relieved by the 622 MP Co. and was sent to Yongchon to set up road convoy and defile control from Kyon-gu to Yongchon and from Yongchon to 14 miles southwest of that area on the Taegu Highway.  The next day, they captured 7 guerillas and on the 17th they set up a defensive position for the railroad and highway tunnel on the Red Diamond route from Kyongsan and Chongdo.

On 25 August, the 560th returned to Pusan and was attached to the Base Provost Marshal of Pusan.  For the next few months the men of the 560th performed duties including town patrol, traffic control, convoy escort, train guard with the 512th MP Co., and operated the Stockade of the 2nd Logistical Command.  In October, they relinquished the operations of the Stockade to the 512 MP Co. and began guarding the billet of the Commanding General, Command Post, and Command Post Annex of the 2nd Logistical Command.  On 26 October, the 560th assumed all MP activities in the Pusan City area, including traffic control, town patrol, convoy escort, convoy control points, and guard all trains leaving Pusan City.

The Company remained assigned to the 8th Army throughout the Korean hostilities and was again disbanded in May 1955 after the Ceasefire.  While in Korea the 560th earned its first Meritorious Unit Citation, two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations, and was credited with participation in the following campaigns:

UN DEFENSIVE                             UN OFFENSIVE           CCF INTERVENTION

FIRST UN COUNTEROFFENSIVE                                      CCF SPRING OFFENSIVE

UN SUMMER-FALL OFFENSIVE                                       SECOND KOREA WINTER

KOREA, SUMMER-FALL 1952                                           THIRD KOREAN WINTER

  KOREA, SUMMER 1953

 

 

 

VIETNAM

                          

                                                  

    The Early Days 

First in Viet Nam - Second to None

The Company colors were again reactivated on 12 July 1962 at Fort Hood, Texas.  Staffed with personnel from Co. C of the 720th Military Police Battalion, the 560th MP Co. deployed to Vietnam in September.  Originally "The" MP Co. for all of Vietnam, the unit was soon deployed from Hue/Phu Bai in the North to Soc Trang in the South.  In all, there were ten detachments (eventually reaching twelve) spread out over 800 miles in distance.

In 1963, Brigadier General Joseph Stilwell, Commanding General US Army Support Group-Vietnam, requested MP volunteers to serve as door gunners in support of Aviation Units.  This duty was  to be accomplished in their off duty hours.  Over 70% of the personnel from the 560th volunteered. At 1400 hours on 17 September 1963, PFC Ellis Pace was wounded in the right leg by a .30 Caliber round in an helicopter attack in the Tay Ninh area.  Thus, becoming the first Military Policemen wounded in Viet Nam.  Two members of the 560th would survive being shot down and others wounded before years end.

In Saigon the 560th responded to the Kanh Hoi fire emergency on 20 and 21 March, 1963, one the worst fires in Saigon history.  Company personnel assisted in evacuation of refugees from the fire, helped in removing the injured from fire scenes, and administered first aid.

 In February 1964, PFC Peter Feierabend became the first Company fatality as a result of injuries sustained during a terrorist attack upon the Capitol Kinh-Do Theater, Saigon, which he was guarding.  In March 1964, the Vinh Long detachment suffered two fatalities while serving as door gunners with the 114th Avn. Co., PFCs John Frances Shea and Frank Holguin.  By years end, 18 others would be wounded and 58 Company personnel would earn air medals, many were multiple awards.

In late summer 1964, personnel from the Nha Trang detachment would volunteer for special duty with the 5th Special Forces in assisting the termination of a Montagnard uprising in Ban Me Thout.  Personnel from both units were organized into squads for the purpose of entering Ban Me Thout and rescuing US Army personnel, which the Montagnard tribesmen had captured as prisoners.

During 1965, the 560th would add three more detachments to its original deployment. The Ban Me Thout detachment was established in February and in July the Cam Ranh Bay detachment was established. In September, the Can Tho detachment was established relieving elements of the 615th MP Company of their Can Tho assignment. 

In February 1965, at Pleiku, the MACV II Corps HQ was attacked by a platoon of Viet Cong.  The assault was made using mortars, satchel charges, grenades, and automatic weapons.  The Pleiku MP detachment was housed in the outermost building of the compound.  Initially routed from their quarters, they quickly reorganized to counterattack and defend the compound.  In the process, 12 Viet Cong were killed.  Twelve personnel from the Pleiku detachment received the Army Commendation medal for this action, 6 were for Valor.

Also in February, in Qui Nhon, a terrorist bomb destroyed the Enlisted Personnel Hotel on Gia Long street.  Killed were 22 Americans and 7 Vietnamese.  The Qui Nhon detachment responded and aided in digging out the dead and injured.  Furthermore, a response team was formed and immediately began searching for the terrorists.  The response team succeeded in capturing 5 Viet Cong participants in the attack.  Four personnel from the Qui Nhon detachment received the Army Commendation medal for this action, one for Valor.

In April, the 148th MP Platoon was attached to the 560th and posted to the HQ element at Saigon.  The 148th would provide the nucleus of a Ship Security detail guarding US freighter ships coming up the Saigon River from Vung Tau to the Port of Saigon.  The 148th also provided security for Tan Son Nhut Airbase and selected facilities within that compound. 

Terrorist bombings at Ban Me Thout and the Tan Son Nhut Air Terminal would also involve  responding  personnel from the 560th in April and June of 1965.

In May, the Company escorted convoys of the 173rd Airborne Brigade as they arrived at the Catinal Pier, Saigon, and deployed to Bien Hoa.

In June 1965, a fully bomb-loaded B-57, Canberra, crashed in the city of Nha Trang causing severe collateral damage to structures and populace.  The Nha Trang detachment responded immediately, while many secondary explosions from the bomb load were occurring.   Five Soldier Medals were awarded to personnel from the 560th for their actions in retrieving survivors during this incident.

Beginning in August, the detachments in I and II Corps would gradually be replaced by the incoming 504th MP Battalion.

From September to November 1965, the Company escorted convoys of the 1st Infantry Division, as it unloaded at the Saigon Port and deployed to War Zone D.  Also, working in conjunction with the 560th, was the 615th MP Company and the 615th would take over and complete the final phase of the introduction of the 1st Inf. Div. to War Zone D.

In September 1965, another detachment was established to police and protect Military personnel on R&R in Bangkok, Thailand.  Comprised of personnel from all platoons the Bangkok duty was accomplished by sixty day rotation assignments.  Personnel with 8 months in country could qualify for the detail and it quickly became a popular and often requested posting.  This detachment would continue until relieved in mid-year 1966 by a permanent posting at Bangkok.

During the combined years of 1964 and 1965 personnel from the 560th MP Company had earned numerous awards, including; 8 Soldiers Medals, 5 Bronze Stars (1 with V devise), 417 Air Medals (11 with V devise), 56 Army Commendation Medals (11 with V devise), 45 Purple Hearts, and 8 Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. 

By January 1966, with the arrival of more MP units during the US Troop build-up the Company had scaled back operations to locations in III & IV Corps.  1st Platoon was located in Bien Hoa.  2nd Platoon was located in Vung Tau.   The 3rd Platoon was located in Can Tho with detachments in Vinh Long and Soc Trang.   The HQ element was located at Tan Son Nhut airfield in Saigon with the 148th Platoon.   Later, in April, the 148th Plt. would be reassigned to the 95th MP Bn.  In mid-year 1966, the HQ element moved to Can Tho and moved again in January 1967 to Vung Tau.  

In November 1966, the 1st Platoon responsibilities in Bien Hoa was transferred to the 720th MP Battalion.  The 1st Platoon would relocate to Vung Tau and would assume the duties of providing security for the Saigon River traffic.   While on this assignment the 1st Platoon would fall under the operational control of the 92nd MP Battalion, the remainder of the Company would still be assigned to the 95th MP Battalion. 

During 1966 the 3rd Platoon (Delta Platoon) would be called upon six times to clear billets and secure areas while demolition teams removed VC placed bombs.  In other instances, they would respond to scenes where devices detonated in billets or businesses.

At years end of 1966, personnel from the 560th MP Company earned additional awards including; 4 Bronze Stars, 6 Army Commendation Medals, 20 personnel would also earn Air Medals as door gunners, and one other would receive a Purple Heart.

In January 1967, personnel from the 2nd Platoon helped escort the 9th Infantry Division as they unloaded from the troopships at the Vung Tau docks and went on their way to their first base camp at Bear Cat.

By 1968, the 1st Platoon River Security Detail had expanded from placement of 4 personnel on every US freighter ship going up the Saigon River to include separate watercraft to patrol the River. The 458th Transportation Co. (PBR), assigned to the 92 MP Bn., provided the watercraft.  Daylight operations were conducted using one Boston Whaler type small boat and one Patrol Boat River (PBR) craft.  Nighttime operations were conducted with one Boston Whaler and 3 PBRs. In 1968, a platoon of Infantry from Co. C 87th Inf. was attached to the 560th and supplemented the River Security Detail. With this expansion the 560th MP Co. could aggressively police the waterway.  

In early 1968, the Viet Cong attacked the Leiks Line merchant ship, President Buchanan, with Rocket Propelled Grenades on the Saigon River.  The 560th responded to defend the ship and in the process killed 4 Viet Cong assailants.  In July1969, the River security detail suffered one fatality, SP/4 Richard Whitehouse.

In November 1969, PFC Larry D. Dupre was killed in the line of duty while on town patrol in Vung Tau.

ROADRUNNERS

On 20 February 1970, the 560th was reassigned from the 95th MP Bn. to the 93rd MP Bn.  With this, the Company moved its HQ element to Camp Badcliff at An Khe, with the 1st Platoon stationed at Camp Schmidt in Pleiku.  The new mission included combined DLO patrols in both the An Khe and Pleiku areas.  Convoy escorts, hi-way security, and reconnaissance patrols were provided on the QL-19 from the An Khe pass to the East to Pleiku.  In the West along QL-14 from Ben Het in the North to Ban Me Thout in the South.  In November 1970, a detachment was located at Kontum to provide Military Police support in that area.

During the calendar year of 1970, the 560th participated in many operations in completion of mission requirements.  The most noteworthy of them was providing support for the Cambodian Campaign.  This operation took place during the period of 4 May to 28 June, and originally to be handled by the 4th Inf. Div. MP Co.  From the start the 4th MP Co. needed assistance and the 560th responded.  Units supported were the 4th Inf. Div., 8th Trans. Group, 1st Cav. Div, and the 3rd ARVN Cav. Div..  The mission included providing convoy escort, traffic control points, and POW control.  During this period, the 560th escorted a total of 287 westbound convoys, accumulating over 22,000 kilometers.  Of these, 79 convoys were escorted to Plei Djering, Oasis, and other staging areas.  The Company was involved in 9 enemy ambushes while escorting convoys in this operation.

In 1970, much of the action involving the 560th MP Co. consisted of convoy ambushes, usually in the An Khe or Mang Yang Passes.  Among these incidents was a heavy ambush, near the An Khe Pass, on 28 August to which the 560th reacted with five V-100 vehicles.  During the daylong battle, the V-100s provided traffic control, shuttled in ammunition to Infantry units, evacuated wounded personnel from the kill zone, and aided in the dust-offs.   In October, an ambush in the Mang Yang Pass involved the V-100s returning to the kill zone to remove disabled vehicles.  Again in November, in the same vicinity, the 560th responded when a total of 20 vehicles were disabled by a large-scale enemy ambush which utilized a variety of weapons.  Enemy weapons fire had ignited the fuel in two of four POL tankers, which had been disabled, resulting in numerous burn casualties.  One of the duties of the V-100s was calling in dust offs to evacuate the wounded.   

The Company suffered two fatalities, in 1970, due to vehicular accidents involving the V-100s.  One on June 5th, a V-100 went off a slick road, rolled over and killed one of the occupants.  Another accident claimed the life of an MP in December when the V-100 he was driving lost its brakes.    

In November, the Company HQ element and 1st platoon was relocated to Phu Tai.  The 2nd Platoon remained at An Khe, while the 3rd Platoon moved from Camp Schmidt to Artillery Hill in Pleiku.  During 1970, the 560th MP Co. covered more area and more miles than any other Military Police Company in Vietnam, averaging twelve convoys and 1200 miles per day.  At the end of year, the 560th also had the largest fleet of V-100s of any MP Co. in country.

In June 1971, Company personnel in the V-100s again responded to a convoy ambush in the An Khe Pass.  In the two-hour long battle, personnel in the V-100 "Proud Mary", under the direction of Sgt Henry Mungle, helped repulse enemy forces and protected wounded personnel.  For their actions in this incident, Sgt Mungle received a Silver Star, SP/4 Roger Wamsely a Bronze Star with V, and SP/4 Ron Tomkins a Bronze Star with V and Purple Heart. 

By February 1972, the entire Company was relocated at Pleiku except the 3rd Platoon at Qui Nhon.

As the phase down of the war continued, the 560th's area of operation became larger.  On 15 June it took over the mission of A Company, 504th MP Bn at Nha Trang, which then gave the Road Runners the whole of II Corps as its domain.  One month later the 3rd Platoon moved to Da Nang and the Company added I Corps to its fold too.  The deployment of the Company had the Co. HQ and 1st Platoon at Pleiku, the 3rd Squad of the 1st Platoon at Qui Nhon and the 2nd Platoon at Nha Trang, the 3rd Platoon at Da Nang and the 3rd Squad of the 3rd Platoon at Phu Bai.

With the new deployment the Company mission returned to Discipline, Law, and Order as the days of convoy escort were over.  Nevertheless the 560th had traveled more miles than other like units in the Republic of Vietnam.

On March 24th, 1973, the 560th MP Company stood down, ending its participation in the Vietnam Conflict.  The 560th MP Company exited Vietnam as it had entered, still the most decorated Military Police Company in the US Army.

The 560th MP Company was in Vietnam longer than any other Military Police Unit, for that matter, longer than most other Army units, including all Infantry Divisions.  Its tour of duty in Vietnam spanned 11 years and personnel from the 560th participated in a myriad of roles in their support of the war effort.  Before its reassignment to the Continental United States, in 1973, the 560th had served in all four Corps of Vietnam covering almost the full length of the country.  During the Vietnam Era, the 560th earned four more Meritorious Unit Citations, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal.  The 560th MP Co. was also credited with participation in following campaigns: 

ADVISORY                             DEFENSE            COUNTEROFFENSIVE

COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE II    COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE III

TET COUNTEROFFENSIVE             COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE IV

COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE V    COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE VI

                 TET/69 COUNTEROFFENSIVE        SUMMER-FALL 1969

WINTER-SPRING 1970               SANCTUARY COUNTEROFFENSIVE

                COUNTEROFFENSIVE PHASE VII              CONSOLIDATION I

CONSOLIDATION II

 

 

 

* This History was reconstructed with partial records that are available, namely the Annual Historical Summaries provided by Carlisle Barracks, information provided by the MP Historian at Ft Leonard Wood, and some information provided by personnel serving in the 560th MP Co., Vietnam Era.  Unavailable were historical records for the years 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, and 1973. Anyone having any information regarding the those time frames or any other 560th wartime historical information, please contact the Webmaster.

 

 

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