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NATIONAL HIGH FIVE DAY / NATIONAL YELLOW BAT DAY
NATIONAL HIGH FIVE DAY
Each year on the third Thursday in April, we observe National High Five Day. This is a fun day where you can “High Five” everyone that you see.
Folklore fills the hallowed halls of sports stadiums concerning the origins of the high five. From the basketball to the volleyball court and baseball stadium, the sports metaphor has been well worn on this topic.
The two most well-known claims take place in less than a two-year time span.
During the last 1977 regular season Dodgers’ game, Dusty Baker hit the home run that made the team the first in history to have four players with at least 30 regular-season home runs each. As Baker rounded third and headed home, Glenn Burke waited at home plate to congratulate him. In a moment that is Dodgers history but was never televised, Burke greeted his teammate by raising his hand, and they slapped hands in a victorious high five.
During basketball’s 1978-79 season, the University of Louisville basketball team switched up their regular low-fives on the home court thanks to Wiley Brown and Derek Smith.
Out of all the triumphant sports gestures, such as the fist bump, fanny slap, fist pump, end zone dance, and chest bump, the high five stands in a class all its own.
NATIONAL YELLOW BAT DAY
April 21st honors National Yellow Bat Day. On this day in 1967, the Army activated the 265th Army Security Agency Company (Airborne) with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The official insignia of the 265th is a bat with outstretched wings on a full moon rising with the motto Through the Night below. Symbolically, the bat represents mystery and secrecy due to its nocturnal nature. The bat fittingly describes the intelligence support provided by the Army Security Agency Battalion.
Before deploying, the personnel painted all the military vehicles and equipment with a yellow bat. The symbol made the equipment clearly visible from a distance and aided in identifying all unit equipment.
On November 19th of the same year, they deployed to Vietnam with the designation 265th Radio Research Company (Airborne) to provide intelligence support to the 101st Airborne Division. Arriving a few weeks ahead of the Viet Cong Tet Offensive, they soon learned of the North Vietnamese campaign. However, few commanders would believe the intelligence.
January 31st on the Vietnamese calendar, Tet, celebrates the lunar new year and is considered a most important holiday. During the conflict between North and South Vietnam, a long-standing informal truce took place every year on Tet.
General Vo Nguyen Giap, commander of the North Vietnamese, prepared to ring in the lunar new year with a series of coordinated attacks, breaking the informal truce.
Doug Bonnot, who was assigned to the 265th RRC (ABN) Operations NCOIC in the spring of 1970 and author of The Sentinel and the Shooter, says, “The offensive would come as a surprise to many, but personnel of the 265th RRC (ABN) were manning their sector defensive perimeter of Bien Hoa Air Base, along with the very few small units that believed their intelligence reports, some 12 hours before the Tet Offensive was launched.”
The Viet Cong never breached these positions, and the Battle Flag of D: 275th Viet Cong Battalion hangs in the Sentinel Museum today.
As a mobile museum, The Sentinel Museum provides insight into the Vietnam conflict. It also increases awareness of the contributions of the 265th Radio Research Company. Since the 265th’s activities were highly classified, these honorable men’s sacrifices remained cloaked in secrecy until decades after the end of the war. Even today, the general public remains unaware of these men who worked in the shadows providing silent and ceaseless support to the infantry soldier during the Vietnam War. The Yellow Bat symbolizes their secrecy and their service through the night.
Interesting, especially in light of the crucial role intelligence plays in helping the Ukrainians in their current war. Hats off to these "Batmen".