This page is from Harlow Short old A-502 website, 
which I downloaded part of it over 10 years ago for my own studies when his website was still live. 
This has been uploaded on the Gia Vuc website without Harlow knowing of it 
as I have lost contact, but I am pretty sure he would appreciate part of his website been on the "Net" again.  
, I and a few friends are looking for you, so please get in touch if you visit this page. 
Jean Luc (

With the 6th

HSberet.jpg (609236 bytes)
Sgt Harlow Short "Green Beret" from when his time with the 6th SFG. I have the privilege to be its custodian.

These four pics are from when we went down to Eglin AFB on Ranger Training support. 
We jumped in on Halloween and left just before Christmas '68. It was the coldest I have ever been, and I have been at Barrow, Alaska in the winter at 50 below F. 
It was the humidity, combined with temps down to 19 degrees F. It was also the only place I have been where I treated men for frost bite. 
The ranger training included pre-dawn river crossing exercises, but precluded fires afterward. 
About four guys a week were washed-out for cold weather related injuries.

 LeBomber.jpg (32522 bytes)

The first pic is of Max, our premiere explosives expert par excell'ance. He is placing some sticks of C4 on either side of a bridge to blow when the trucks transporting the Ranger trainees drive over. The blasts would lift columns of water on both sides and shove them over the bridge to drop a ton of water on everything and everybody. 
We would then shoot them from ambush as they exited the vehicles.  

Eglin01.jpg (30869 bytes)

The second pic is just of us wandering down one of the many little roads of the base. Scrub pine and red dirt! 
At night they would often have us march down some trail carrying food rations and blanks in our back packs so the trainees could ambush us and get re-supplied. More times than not we would reach the map co-ordinates and nothing would happen. 
We would walk up and down some more and finally start whistling or singing until someone in the ambush party woke up and went 'bang' 'bang' - they were generally out of blanks. Then we would fire a few rounds and fall down. I have a couple pics of how trees look when you are flat on your back and a ranger trainee is standing over the dead body of his fallen foe :)

The third is of someone I used to know, he is probably not happy thinking about a future in which he is going to disappear into a ton of fat one day.  

EglinClowns.jpg (39439 bytes)

The last is of the three-some SF Vaudeville act we put on at Eglin for the benefit of all those air force characters who needed cheering up as they had to survive on Air Force food in Air Force mess halls....(God! their food was great, and they had personnel busing the tables to boot! At that time the Army messes were in a mess with the food being stolen and sold by those in charge, they would back their pickups up to the unloading ramps and load the steaks up & away - the lowly enlisted guys got fed a lot of hot dogs at the 6th's mess halls) Dave Smick is in the lead, the guy in the middle of the sandwich is another of our regular team sgts; he was the one who took some of the above photos on the river trip.... and I can't for the life of me remember his name..... Anyway, Nightingale is the tall dufus guy to the right with his hands in his pockets, and 'Red', from 'noi jersy', is on the extreme left. I don't remember the guy pointing at Dave, but there was another team down there also on support, which I wasn't familiar with. My only 'war story' of any note is of rescuing one of their guys one night as we harassed a Ranger trainee company which had gone into a defensive position around an old air strip. This guy had come along with us, and some how got himself captured. It is a long story but I pretended I was a Ranger cadre, all berets are black at night :), and got him free while shooting the big West Pointer who had grabbed him. Lost my beret in the bushes as I hauled ass outa there, and the next day during stand down one of the Ranger cadre brought it back to me. He didn't say much, just shook his head as he handed it to me and then left. I would not have wanted to be that dick-head West Pointer for anything.

Before all you West Point grads get up in arms about my use of adjectives, just let me point out that I put a three or four round burst into him with a M-16 from about six feet away, and after he got over the shock of the Ranger cadre, who he had just released his prisoner to, shooting him, he was yelling and screaming and on my heels. Since he was mad as hell and twice as big as me, you can appreciate why I didn't much like him not playing by the rules. When you are shot with an M-16 in that situation you are D-E-A-D! You are not supposed to keep participating in the war games as if you are a fully combative participant; even if you want to rip the head off that guy who just suckered you. Anyway, you have to understand that I can't run worth shit, my grandma could outrun me at my best, and I was terribly concerned for awhile that I was going to get seriously hurt by a dead man who wouldn't play fair :)

The following are just your typical jump and rappelling pics from Ft. Bragg .   

Jump02.jpg (34314 bytes)


Apparently, by the date on the pic, 
it was the spring of '69 that six of us took a river journey down the Cape Fear river to some ordinance facility where we snuck in one night and put "KaBoom!!" signs on various ammo bunkers for the staff to find the next morning. A couple things that stick in my mind include knowing where the moonshine stills were by the smell as you floated down the river at night; farting around and being a day behind schedule so we flagged down a passing tug boat who loaded our rafts and ourselves onboard and took us down river; and just having a good time with some really good people.  

CapeFear02.jpg (33485 bytes)  CapeFear03.jpg (34572 bytes)  Poole26Speers01.jpg (33367 bytes)

Nightingale.jpg (35005 bytes)

Max Speers, the guy on the left in the first photo, was in charge and was just a great NCO and person. He had been in Nam a time or two and was always sharing info on what to expect and how to deal with things, not to impress you, but to try and impart a little bit of hard earned experience to help you survive when you got over there. He was someone you knew you could always count on.

Paul Poole, the guy on the right of the crossed paddles, was also a good guy who had been with CCN . He had WP burn scars on his ass from tossing grenades down hill between his legs as he and his team ran for their lives from NVA capture teams. He said he finally had to request to switch to flying covey after they were chased for days on one mission and while hiding in a bush from searching NVA with lanterns, he had to knife one in the throat to keep him from crying out. When he saw Paul.  
He said he could never forget the moon light glinting off the guy's glasses.  

The guy in the last photo getting the Speer's hemroid-ectomy paddle treatment is Nightingale, 
he's also in the Eglin AFB photo above, in case you are wondering what the other side 
looks like.

 Eglin02.jpg (38811 bytes)

Please note quite a few photos are missing from Harlow's original website 


With the 6th 
by Sgt R.B. MacPhee

I  finished the SF Medic Q Course in mid March, 1967. Of the original 53 14 of us completed the course. 15 graduated, one being a holdover from the previous class who had been injured just before completing the course. Of the group of 15 I was the only one assigned to the 6th SFG. The 6th was a rather obscure group housed in old WWII barracks just off Gruber Rd., Ft. Bragg. One barrack was used for commo and administration the other for housing. On those brief occasions that I lived in the barrack there were no more than a handful of other guys at any one time staying there. One of my favorite things about the location was that there was a small restaurant catering to SF in a cul de sac at the end of the road. My favorite combo was a steak sandwich, onion rings and a Coke. 
Man, we can handle junk food when we're young !

A few days after setting up in the 6th I was assigned to a partial A Team, never had more than 10 guys on it. Initially I was only one of two American born guys on the team. Being a Spc 4 I was the low man on the totem pole. Within a week of joining the team I was told that I was one of a handful of 6th Grp guys going to the Mountain Ranger School in Georgia. As it turned out I was chosen for 2 reasons. First they needed bodies and 2nd because I had scored very high in the use of topo maps and lensatic compasses during Training Grp.. I was told to turn my shirts in for alterations. When I got them back they had E 6 stripes and master parachutist wings. I was told by team sergeant, MSgt Peter Astalos, that rank is respected. E 4 not so much as an E 6. "Am I wrong to assume that I will be receiving E 6 salary ?" "Yes you are" was MSgt Astalos' response. We got along great and he was my mentor while I was on that team.

While we were at the Mountain Ranger School we graded the students for the week they spent in the field. The other SF guys were, at least, legitimate E 6s. As a medic/observer I could keep on eye out for problems as the platoon size group was being tested and graded. It rained every day, not  cold or heavy, just a constant drizzle. Some of the students were experiencing problems with their wet feet. Impossible to dry socks not being worn, On the whole I had an excellent group of highly motivated West Pointers. No complainers or critics. 

Our partial team returned to Ft. Bragg about 10 days later. Guess what? After we returned I wasn't asked to turn in my E 6 shirts. Instead I was given a couple of new shirts with the right designations. A few days later I was asked if I would be interested in taking the HALO Course, a slot was open. Unusual for a wet behind the ears first enlistment when more experienced guys might have been available. At the time the HALO Course classroom was near the 6th Grp facilities. About a week into the course I was told to get ready to go out with my 6th team.

During my time with the 6th, at Bragg, I met only one other medic. We were a rare commodity and the traveling teams needed us.

In late  April 67 our team left Bragg in a C 130, out of adjacent Pope AFB. After a fuel layover in the Azores we had a long flight to northern Ethiopia (3wks), then Israel (8-10 hrs), Lebanon (3 wks), Iran (3 wks), Indian Authority Kashmir, via Jammu (3 wks). As I recall half of the team was former FFL Paras, the CO, Capt  Gerhard Frick was former German military, XO Lt. Brian MacArthur, was former Brit Royal  Marine, team Sgt. Astalos FFL Para. Other former  FFL guys were E 7s: Von Schotten, Schroeder (German name, actually French citizen), Erdmann, other guys names escape me at this time. I, on the other hand, was a lowly American pretend E 6.  Anyway, I had several months of challenging growth experiences.

Back at Ft. Bragg, July 67, I worked in a dispensary during the mornings and spent time cross training with demo guys. My final 2 years in college I was in the USMCR as a combat engineer. I was already familiar with some of what the demo guys were doing, but, still had a lot to learn. Around the end of July I went off with a handful of different 6th guys to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. We observed Army Reservists from Chicago and St. Louis training. Lake Geneva, a major recreation area, in Wisconsin for Chicagoans, was celebrating the grand openings of major resorts. There were a number of events scheduled including our team jumping and repelling from a National Guard C 47 and a Huey. I don't recall a  single incidence of rude behavior towards us. Quite the opposite, actually.

After about a week in Wisconsin we flew to Helena, Montana, via Billings. Western Montana is beautiful and proved challenging for the exercise we were to undertake. We joined about 20 other 6th Grp guys that were already there. None from my original team and mostly Americans. Only one of them that I knew previously. Before we started our planned exercise the group was contacted by the USAF in Grand Forks to see if we would add to their planned events. We did. Again jumping, repelling, displaying equipment and answering questions. August in Montana means great weather to spend outside.

Our planned exercise was an E & E from S of the lakes near Kalispell back to Helena, close to 100 mi cross country. We were to be searched for by state and local law enforcement, National Guard units from Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Eastern Washington. Three 4 man sticks jumped from an old WWII vintage C 47 at about 0200 hrs. On my jump we had several injuries because the National Guard aircrew missed the IP on approach and we hit on a hillside W of the planned LZ. Our chutes had just deployed and we getting ready to drop our gear on tethers when we hit the ground. We expected a few more seconds of air time and couldn't see well enough to tell how high above the ground we were.

One guy, Phil, I just met suffered a serious back injury. My left arm was caught on a wire fence and my shoulder was dislocated. We all sustained bruises. Help came up the hill from the LZ several hundred meters to our E. Phil was evaced from the LZ and my shoulder was reset. Damn that hurt ! After a while, when things were settled, I was asked if I wanted to be evaced. I had already secured my left arm and told them I was good to go. That was a very miserable 5 days of rapid E & E. I suppose it could have been considered character building.

 MSgt " Preacher" Elmore led the way. He was a very good marathon runner, tall and lanky. Grueling pace that the chasers couldn't keep up with us. We had to give our locations several times a day to keep them in the game. Sort of like the mechanical rabbits being chased by greyhounds. With my left arm immobilized at times it was hard to breath right and keep my balance. Occasionally I needed a little help. Except for my shoulder I was in pretty good shape after the exercise. A lot of nasty fly bites in areas with deer and livestock, itchy for days.

Back at Ft. Bragg I received orders to report to Ft. Lewis, Washington for deployment to Vietnam on October 9th, 1967. I and several other SF guys arrived at Cam Ranh Bay late morning,  October 67. Transportation from SFHQ Nha Trang wasn't to arrive until late afternoon. The staff at the reception center started looking for things for us to do while we waited.

Dumb stuff. We few Sf guys were E 4s. I had a couple of my 6th Grp shirts in my duffel bag. Put on my E 6 shirt and walked into the reception center and told the staff I needed to take charge of my men. No problem. We went to the mess hall ate and then went to a small inlet behind some nearby quanset (sp?) huts to hang out. We, from there, could see when the Bus from SFHQ arrived at the reception center. My left shoulder still ached a little, but, was much improved. That's the last 6th Grp related experience. I never met anyone else who spent time with the obscure 6th Grp once I arrived in RVN, or since.

 Sgt R.B. MacPhee A-103  Gia Vuc (Nov 67- April 68) 

(A-502 Photo Page) Harlow Short 2/Dec/2000
Please note this webpage is from A-502 old website 
and has been posted temporary on the Gia Vuc Website 
until I can get in touch with Harlow Short 



Go to the Green Beret website

 Steve Sherman the  archivist for 
 the Special Forces and Special Operations Associations  
 Need your help!