Military feature: Veteran recalls serving in Project Delta

Courtesy photo Alton Monroe’s unit, Project Delta, was honored with a memorial on Oct. 24 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Curry County rancher Alton “Moose” Monroe fought with one of the most decorated special forces in history.

Project Delta was a covert special forces unit made up of several branches of the military that did long-range reconnaissance patrols during the Vietnam War.

The unit conducted more than 60 operations behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War. Their missions included locating enemy units, air strike coordination and special purpose raids. The unit operated from 1964 to 1970.

“We went in to areas that were totally out of range of artillery,” said Monroe, who served in Vietnam from 1963 to 1972 in the Army special forces. “Many times helicopters could barely get us there and get us back.”

The unit was honored with a memorial Oct. 24 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

“I thought it was a great ceremony. It was befitting of the unit,” said Monroe, a former sergeant first class with Project Delta from 1967 to 1968 and 1969 to 1970.

During their time with the unit, Project Delta members did not have ranks nor did they serve with the service in which they enlisted, the Clovis native said. They operated behind enemy lines and beyond air strike support.

More than 600 servicemen served in the unit during its six-year duration, according to the release.

The unit consisted of six-man groups performing missions well inside enemy territory.

Monroe said several members of the unit were from New Mexico, including Allen Groth, who was assigned to Cannon Air Force Base.

Other members of the unit include physicians, ministers, college professors and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton.

Citations Project Delta received:

• Presidential Unit Citation

• Valorous Unit Award

• Meritorious Unit Commendation

• Navy Unit Commendation

• Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm

• Vietnamese Civil Action Honor Medal First Class

Source B-52 Project Delta Web site, www.projectdelta.net