Certain Reporters Barred from DMZ Area
for Erroneous Reporting on 8/4th
By Dick Sugg

Here is more to the story about the incident mentioned where a rocket ignited the powder near one of the guns. I was required to respond to a "Presidential" inquiry in September of 1971 about a newspaper article describing the event. The article was written by a reporter named Robert Trout (not the old WW II radio reporter of that name) and described the event as a disaster in which the gun was destroyed. Fortunately, there were some still in the 8/4th who knew the true story. We reported that the gun had been saved by the brave action of the section chief driving it out of the firing pit, and it was back in action that same day.

Not long after we had gone through that administrative hassle while firing 60 rounds per tube per day with under-strength crews, I was forward at the ARVN CP. No U.S. ground troops except our forward observer parties were on the DMZ by then. An American reporter and a German photographer showed up and were asking if they could go up to where they could see into North Vietnam. I had a lot of respect for these men, compared to most of the reporters who were just trading news stories in Saigon bars. When I asked the American's name, he said it is Robert Trout. I let him know what a hassle he had caused us by his poor reporting. When he asked if they could go forward, I said that the ARVN and VN Marines were manning the DMZ, and it was up to them. They asked the ARVN C.O., who then asked me if I wanted to let them go up. I said "no," and that was it. I think Trout learned a lesson about getting facts straight before reporting a story.

Thanks to those of you who did your duty faithfully.

Dick Sugg C.O. 15 Aug-15 -- Nov 1971.