John T. "Ted" Mosure of Westerville is a 69-year-old Vietnam War veteran who was part of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 1 at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in Coronado, California.

An Ohio State University student at the time, he enlisted in February 1968, shortly after the Tet Offensive -- a North Vietnamese campaign of roughly 85,000 troops whose mission was to destroy larger South Vietnamese cities and annihilate U.S. troops.

In 1969, Mosure joined SEAL Team 1's Kilo platoon, which comprised two officers and 12 enlisted men, split into two squads, he said. During pre-deployment training, the platoon practiced patrol tactics, using live-fire maneuvering and practicing hand signals and radio communication with support elements. The platoon also learned to detect and disable explosive devices.

Upon arrival in Vietnam in July 1969, Mosure was stationed primarily in the Mekong Delta region and worked with the LDNN (Lien Doi Nguoi Nhai), which Mosure described as the Vietnamese equivalent of SEALs.

The Kilo platoon, which Mosure described as a direct-action platoon, performed raids and ambushes. His primary mission, he said, involved finding and engaging Vietcong leaders.

Mosure was aboard the Seafloat, a large Mobile Advanced Tactical Support Base stationed on the Song Cau Lon River in Ca Maul Province, on the southern tip of Vietnam. The area was remote and secluded but was within a stronghold of North Vietnamese and Vietcong fighters.

"We would typically go out at night after dark and arrive on our location," he said. "We'd get inserted by boat and arrive on location after patrolling 1,000 to 1,500 meters. ... Then we would set up for an ambush or to snatch the target."

In addition to facing an enemy, Mosure's unit had to contend with Vietnam's wildlife.

Mosure recalled lungfish, which he described as 8 to 15 inches long with a head like a grasshopper that would skitter across mudflats, sometimes over SEALs' legs.

He also endured more than 50 leeches while on an ambush mission one night, and on another occasion, he bumped into a water buffalo.

He and others in his unit would patrol closely together so they could reach out to each other every few steps.

"All of a sudden, I bumped into just a huge mass of muscle with a big low grunt, and that wasn't in my awareness," he said.

He said he remained quiet and walked around the buffalo, which didn't move but grunted and continued "eating whatever it's eating."

Mosure returned to California in February 1971 and left active duty as a signalman 3rd class that November.

Mosure's decorations include the Navy Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia and marksmanship medals for rifle and pistol expertise.

Mosure was born and raised primarily in Columbus and attended DeSales High School before graduating from Brookhaven High School.

He and Linda, his wife of 47 years, have a son and daughter and six grandchildren.

Mosure's post-military career includes jobs in the grocery industry while attending Franklin University and later a position at a food-brokerage firm.

He is a co-founder and board member of the Ohio Military Hall of Fame, which honors veterans and active-duty military personnel for specific acts of bravery in combat and on the battlefield.

shummel@thisweeknews.com

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