Team 24 Kon Tum-Dak

MACV Team 24 – Kon Tum-Dak.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 24 located in Kon Tum-Dak.

92 thoughts on “Team 24 Kon Tum-Dak

  1. Norbert,
    MACV Team 24 in Kontum. Assitant Artillery Advisor to the 63rd ARVN Arty Bn and later G-3 Air Advisor. Nov 69-Nov 70.

  2. Randy,
    I don’t recall any MACV discussion when we met last year. We talked about our days at Artillery OCS and my friend and contemporary Mark Steiner KIA. What team were you on? Where were based?
    Norb Weller

  3. Welcome home. Visited Dak To DHQ once. I was at tan Cahn Jan 70 to Jan 71 with the 42nd. Do you recall the American missionary living in TV village who sold yard souviners.

  4. I will be there! This is 1 operation I will be happy to be part of.
    Ben Youmans , Advisory Team Leader, 4/42nd, Jan 70 — Jan 71. Tan Cahn.

  5. Thanks, Bill, for coordinating the reunion. I’ve made flight, car, and hotel reservations and am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones along with, of course, telling and hearing war stories. 8-))))
    Tm 23 2nd Bn Advisor, Aug 68-Feb 69; 24 STZ G-3 Air Advisor Feb 69-Aug 69.

  6. TEAM REUNION — All Teams serving the Tan Cahn/Kontum Areas of Operation; including Teams 22, 22 (Fwd), 23, 24; Advisors with the 22nd ARVN Div, the 4oth, 41st & 42nd Rgts for example. ***REUNION 17-18 SEP15 in CLEARWATER, FL *** for Registration & Details go to: *** Current registered attendees range from 1963 thru 1971. Catch-up with old friends and maybe collect on an old debt!??! PASS THE WORD!!!
    Feel free to contact me with questions: (Bill Greinke 1LT/CPT TanCahn/Kontum 70/71.)

  7. TEAM 22 KONTUM, TEAM 23 AND 24SIT-REP—Mark your calendars as the dates for the get together will be Sept. 17 & 18, 2015. Clearwater, FL. We have a recon unit checking for hotels, restaurants etc. Told them not to look for bars as any good Advisor can find one within 100miles.
    There two guys, Frank DeLong and Bill Grienke who have condo/lodging in the area. If anyone else does great. We will try to find a moderate priced hotel for all others. I know this will not be huge the first time but it is a start. Gentlemen we are not getting any younger. Remember we all shared an experience in an area that was part of the key corridor for the PAVN to win the war. We helped keep them from doing that while we were there with a lot of US units help. It does not matter what year or what job you did, we were all involved with the Kontum province Vietnamese especially the 42nd ARVN Infantry Regiment. Team 22 Div Fwd, 23 and 24 and any other US who supported supplied or assisted us are welcome also. This is a family friendly party. Tentative itinerary is Friday night meet and greet share stories photos history etc, Saturday Morning enjoy the local area and beaches or hang and share more “war stories (sometimes know as “you had to be there to believe it”. Saturday nite cocktails and dinner somewhere local. Short opening to honor our fallen teammates. I will look at the Coffelt Database and try to find team members. PLs send me via email any names of guys who died while with our teams. If anyone is interested in maybe having a nice Polo shirt with name team numbers years there etc let me know and will look for a vendor unless someone has one already and get us a good price. ALSO if you did not recently get an email on this then I don’t have your email on the distribution list, send it to me to stay up on the news.

  8. Probably it was on January 1971 when in Kontum the vc were digging a tunnel toward the MACV helipad. Looks like they miscalculate where to make the exit and showed up their heads at about 25 yards from the perimeter. We fire a lot of rounds to keep them inside the tunnel and in the morning the tunnel had to be blown.

  9. All team 23,24,22nd div forward etc. If u worked with or supported the 42nd Infantry Regiment ARVN u are welcome and families. Clearwater Fl, Sept 2015
    More detail later.
    Email me if interested at

    • Ben, You seem to be point man for the Kon Tum teams. I was just in Kon Tum a couple wks ago and met a former intrepreter Lt John Le Van Ho who would like to contact some of his American buddies. He was at the Kon Tum district team and Plei O outpost. He is looking for Lt Carter, Cpt Bearson and Cpt Simpson. My email is:

      • Hi Max.I tried to keep in touch with you by your email but i couldn’t send it to you .It was failed.Can you give me your exact email address,please ?
        John Le Van Ho

  10. I’m lucky to remember my name let alone someone from back then outside my close group. If had a picture, might remember them.

  11. Norb:
    I got stuck with being pay officer (MACV Kontum HQ) during that time….so I probably paid you every month for several months. I left end of 1969.

    Did you know Hartley Coursen & Mike Harney? They might have moved from Kontum to DakTo after you left.

    Patrick Garland – 1Lt, G2 Air, MACV

    • Their names ring a bell. Did you know George Moose, Larry Dacey or Desker Campbell? All based in Kontum (city). Norb Weller

  12. I was on Team 41 based at Dakto District HQ on Hwy 14 about 2-3 k due north of Tan Canh. Seven of us advisors lived with Montagnards and advised RF’s and PF’s in tactical ops. I was 1LT with Artillery and Infantry mos’. Headhunts flew for us out of Kontum Province HQ. They had slicks and Cobras. I was there Dec 68-Dec 69. The shit hit the fan in our Montagnard and Viet villages many times during my year. Dien Binh (bridge blown), Kon Horing, Kon Honong, Toumorong, Dak Sut and others. Major Wayne Culp followed by Major Sam Starley were Dakto senior advisors to TuTa Bao. Anybody ever visit us? Did you write your name on the wall on the team house?
    Norb Weller

  13. I met Gary Biekirch in the late 70s He was working out of what we called the House on South Ave in Rochester, NY, it was like a Vet Center. I was in a PTSD group there in the 80s, and Gary was the facilitator.

  14. The medic in the SF camp Gary biekrich got the MOH. That was a month of hell up there. Nah bro you can talk and share with us anytime.

  15. Gene, check out team 23 and 24 FB page
    macv tan cahn. Send a friend request so I can okay you. Send unit name and years when u first post. Your unit gave a lot of rides to us.

  16. Was not SF. Advisor with regular arvn out of tan cahn. We were about 20 of us US. On the 18th I was back at tan cahn getting resupply and replacements. Dinks hit the arvn artillery ammo dump with 122. I went back up in ca nw of the camp. Lz got hit hard with .51 mortars and rickyrifles. Rest of my unit came in next day. 1st week of may I took our recon platoon back to secure crash sites so graves registration could recover remains. Lot of choppers and AF caribous were shot down. One of the chopper units lost a few on ca to the hill north on around your crash date.

    • I knew those guys. Was in the 71st med evac with Don Summers. He had been shot multiple times. There was a SF guy in the bed next to me. Shot multiple times also. Never saw so much pain and suffering in my life. Wish I had learned his name but did not. One night we were hit with 122s and I put my mattress over him and held his hand. He kept telling me to get under my bed but I told him no if we die tonite we die togeather, Ill see you in heaven. I hope he made it home. Sorry sometimes I talk to much. Thanks Ben. I will check out those pages

  17. Gene thanks. All of us on the ground during that time were very grateful for you chopper guys. My Advisory Team with the 42nd ARVN Infantry regiment were all up and down that valley where dak seang was. Our home was at tan cahn just east of the old dak to airstrip.

    • Was an honor to work for you guys Ben. I know right where Tan Can is. You”re the first special forces guy I have run into from that fight and I”m really glad I did. I did 3 tours with the 119th. June 68 to may 70. Flew the FOB 2 missions staged out of Dak To in 68 and 69. Was at the seige of Ben Het in 69. Took the 4th ID into the Plie Trap in March 69. Lost our ass in there. I have been to every special forces camp in II corps and a few in I corps. Went to Leg Horn Laos a couple times droping off ammo and radios. I think I liked Mang Buc the most for the water falls and its seclusion. Best meal I had in Nam was at Poli Klieng just west of Kontum. You guys were amazing and have all my respect.

      • OK, I’ll bite (pun intended). Tell me more about this scrumptious meal in Polei Kleng. I remember eating egg flower soup and drinking Japanese whiskey with the ARVN Captain in charge out there, but have no recollection of a four star restaurant.

      • It sure beat the mess hall at Holloway and c rats. We were a taxi service for Lt. Col. Beckwith ( dont know if it was Charlie) . Would have been @ July August 68. Seems he had to visit every SF camp in II corps. I do remember the chow was good and tasty. Maybe they put the hog on for him?

    • Yes Ben outside the wire at Dak Seang. We were talking to call sign krumpet kilo. Ours was croc 6. 119th AHC. Crocodile guns.

  18. Was shot down 18 April 1970 and crashed just outside the wire. All 4 crewmen wounded. Gooks had a 51 set up and got us. Wing man dropped his pods and came in and got us after a good gun fight

  19. Does anyone remember a gunship going down in August of ’69 across the road from Dak To feul dump, and burning. there were 3 killed, the pilot and 2 convoy drivers who just wanted a joy ride. The pilot was hotdogging and clipped the tail rotor on some wires, it went down in a ball of fire, the Peter was ejected into some concertina and survived with some burns. A couple of my team mates and I had the unfortunate duty to help extract the bodies the next day after wreckage cooled.

  20. MACV Sgt. Louis E. Janca died on October 1970 due to “friendly fire”. Gloria Redlin who was with him also died. There are rumors about that the RVN soldier who killed both received a bounty for the killings. Gloria was a very nice woman, I did visit her house downtown Kontum.

    • I was at tan canh and we heard about the incident. There was questions about why they were out riding a scooter that late. Also we heard the rumor started about the bounty. On another site a guy remembers the bounty was US 20K. Hard to understand why such a high or a bounty period on the SGT. What made him so important? If I recall that 20K was many times higher than even the one on COL Day. I think (saw it happen before) the bounty rumor was created to make an obvious friendly fire death appear to be more of a “in line of duty” action. There were US personnel making a much larger impact in the AO who would have been better targets. A tragic loss indeed as a result of a terrible incident with no other implications. imho!

  21. John years I was told by a guy who was at dak to airstrip with arvn 14th cav that a Hugh mushroom cloud an a large ball of fire went up and he actually thought the nva hit us with a small nuke. He also said all the resulting secondaries was the greatest fireworks display he ever saw. I jokingly told him I’m glad he enjoyed the show. We sure didnt.LOL

  22. By the way just last week I found on the Internet the USAF. After action report on dak seang. Will try to figure out how to post it here or can email it to someone who knows how.

  23. John do u recall the 122 hitting the ammo dump in tan canh middle of April 70 during dak seang. My bn. Had just got in after being extracted for refit and resupply. We all spent hours in the toc bunker while the shrapnel rained down. My bunk had a 5 lb. Piece of steel that came right thru the roof. Ltc. Hai came to get Stearns to walk the compound with him in the middle of it, no way was Stearns leaving the bunker.LOL. couple arvn arty guys killed and couple prisoners in the stockade. By the way guys in the after action report about dak seang the 42nd was considered a “Hardship Tour” for the arvn assigned there. LOL what did that make it for us based there.

    • Yes I recall. Was in the bunker. Explosions went on for hours maybe until morning. Greatest drum symphony I have ever heard.

  24. Randy:

    We (AVVBA – Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association) did a memorial in Atlanta for Patrick Yeager, a Caribou pilot that was shot down in the Battle in Dak Seang.

    Go on our website – – to see his memorial & 26 others we have done since 1987.

    Patrick Garland

  25. I meant soc. Sec. Numbers. I have the after action report too. Lost franks contact info. We were there together. I was with 4/42nd.

  26. Ben,
    I would like a copy of those rosters. Not sure I understand what you said about the problem with many having son on them.

    I have a copy of the Battle of Dak Seang after action report April- May 1970. Secret -declassified in 1982. 106 pages. Frank DeLong got it for me a few yeras ago. Brings back a lot of memories.

  27. I will get them scanned this weekend and email to any wants them and post here as pics. Problem though many have son on them. Any suggestions.

  28. I was assigned to Team 41 a seven man MACV at Dak To District HQ on Hwy 14 north of Tan Canh from Dec68-Dec 69. District Chief was Major Bao and District Senior Advisor was Major Wayne Culp.

  29. BTW, Art Elliott and I were in the same Bn, 1/39 IN, around 67-68 before we went to RVN, and I used to call him in CO until a few years ago when he didn’t remember me.

  30. You’re doing great detective work, Ben; thanks. Can you post the rosters here so we may also see them; I would be interested in seeing them to refresh my memory about who was there?

  31. I have located several rosters covering the advisors in Pleiku and Kontum provinces. Covers years 68-early 71 deros dates. Roster reflects actual positions at the time roster was produced.

  32. Oh God. My bn was at the foot of the hill north east of the SF camp trying to fight up to rescue art elliott. We could not get across the small river as the dinks had it covered with multiple mgs. I last spoke on the radio that day and art said they were going to try and break out to the southeast. He was captured
    I spoke with him a few years back after I tracked him down he has since passed. I still grieve for him and feel guilt that we could not get to them that day.

  33. Yeah, the team thing is kind of sketchy and I’m hard pressed to recall what all Tm 41 encompassed. I’m thinking it was KonTum Province and KonTum and DakTo Districts Advisors including the MAT Teams.

  34. Hi, I’m Joel Gartenberg (CPT), Tm 24, Sr. Advisor 2/42 Regt Tanh Canh Aug 68 till o/a Mar 69 when I moved to 24 STZ in Kontum to serve as G-3 Air advisor. Worked in Tanh Canh with MAJ Milt Goo, CPT Jess Miller, LTC Jack Daniel, LTC Dick Littlefield, LT Charlie Cade, and others, More later..

    • Welcome Home. I was at tan cahn jan70 to jan 71. Sr adv with 4/42. It had been renamed team 23 for the 42nd regt. Team 24 was just the Kontum base advisors to the 24th STZ.

  35. Tv bit listing major battles in US history just ran and had Dakto – so many old memories &emotions erupted as result. I was Dist intel advisor 71-72.

  36. I was at tan canh the whole tour did not have a assignment in the rear so don’t know about any explosion down south.

  37. How many ammo dumps explosions? The explosion I was talking about was not far from the date Sgt. Louis Emil Janca and Goria Redlin died on Oct. 1970. I am completely sure because by that time I was moved from a barrack where the post office was to another barrack across the street. I was sit barefoot at the top of the stairs when the explosion occurred. My compound was about 500 yards from the explosion and both compounds were connected by a dirt road.

  38. I had just returned to the 24th STZ TOC at Tan Canh when the rockets hit the ammunition supply point on April 17th. It was completely destroyed and the secondary explosions seemed to last forever. The After Action Report concluded that the the area lacked the required protective berms and that the ASP was located too close to warehouse and Class III storage areas which were also completely destroyed.

    • Randy I was in from the field and at Tan Canh that day. An Advisor with the 14th Cav over at dak to airstrip saw the explosion and told me he thought the dinks had used some kind of new weapon and he was sure the entire base was blown up and gone. He said the fireball and smoke cloud resembled a mini Nuke explosion. We must have run into each other. At least at meals or in the team house. I will never forget LTC HAI coming into the TOC bunker and wanting LTC Stearns, my boss the Regt. SR. Advisor to go with him to the ammo dump. I dont blame Stearns for not going. Stuff was raining down all over the compound. LTC. Hai was fearless, a great guy in my book. One day I will tell the story of going on my R&R to Bangkok and bringing back over $5k in diamonds to him. Hey years ago I read on the internet on some macv advisor forum that it turns out a high ranking ARVN officer at Kontum with 24th STZ was a VC spy and ended up with a high ranking job in Saigon after the collapse in 75. He was feeding our ops plans and all other units too to the NVA.

  39. Mid April 70 at 4 2nd arvn rest he at tan canh.damn lucky dinks hit us with couple dozen 122s. This was during the battle of dak seang. My bn was in palace guard for refit and resupply. We spent a few hours in the toc bunker until all the secondary stopped. The arvn ammo dump was hit. Our team quarters was full oh holes from falling steel. I found a 10 pound chunk right in the center of my bunk. Was a fun time.

  40. Does anyone was in Kontum by the end of 1970 or the beginning of 1971 when the huge ammo dump explosion? I was with the 175th Signal Company and the sand bags were falling as rain around me. the explosion was in the 24th ARVN STZ

    • I was there. In the tactical bunker when the ammo dump was hit. Sounded like kettle and snare drum symphony. Maj Fowler. G3 ops was in the bunker and we could do nothing. A FAC or helo pilot reported the NVA coming down from the hills with flashlights on as in procession, undisturbed. A Huey on the helio pad looked like Swiss Cheese in the morning. I don’t recall any US casualties, but many ARVN and dependents were killed. Cpt John Avila

  41. Ben:

    Was in Kontum ”68-’69 w/TM24, MI-G2 Air Officer. Hartley Coursen was in our office. We are still friends and email each other. He lives in Ohio.

    (Lt) Patrick Garland

  42. Anyone know what happened to the three companies of the Highland Scout Companies? Their compound was down the street from the 24th STZ HQ and the ARVN Hospital. Any info would be appreciated. I was an advisor to this wonderful soldiers and have wondered what happened to them since I left in Dec 1968.

  43. Randy, you came in right after I left. I will email Hartley “Kit” Coursen to tell him to visit the site & reply to you.


  44. Hi Patrick,

    Sorry to hear about Harney. Glad you’re well. I’m living in Seattle and retiring from the IT world this January. I have a group picture of the usual suspects when Abe left Kontum. Harney’s back is facing, the group may include you?

    I can’t attach in this reply. If you want a copy send an e-mail to


  45. Mike:

    Harney passed away a couple years ago. Coursen is in Ohio & doing well. I am in Atlanta & mostly retired. I left Kontum in Nov. ’69. Harney went up to DakTo & Coursen stayed in Kontum. Those were the days! Hope all is well with you.


  46. I remember Mike Harney in G-2, a Hawaiian Irish guy, kinda crazy (& who wasn’t) and I kind of remember you Lt. Garland. I was in G-3, took over for Abe Elizardo when he DEROSED. I left in Jan 70, just after Col Miller KIA in early Dec 1969. Hope your life has been well since…

    • Hello all – I was G-3 Air from December 1969-November 1970. Remember having drinks with COL Miller the night before he was lost. Major Elliot, who was later a POW was my boss for awhile. Would like to get in contact with Coursen – lost his address on the way home.

      • I was just south of maj. Elliotts bn the day he was captured. My 4/42nd was trying to get through to them. His last radio message to me was “we are going to try and break out now” we carried him as MIA and never knew he was still alive and pow until years later. I took part of recon company back into the area after the dinks went back to cambode searching and recovering many arvn and US bodies. Did not find him. He passed away back in 2012 according to the POW/MIA website.

      • Art Elliot was my Bn XO in Germany and I stayed in touch with him periodically a few years ago. I believe he lived in CO. Did I read correctly in a post that he passed away?
        My Regimental Senior Advisor in 1968 in Tanh Canh, Jack Daniel, who I categorize as a soldier’s soldier, passed away about two weeks ago in Knoxville. -:((((

  47. Started out with Tm 24 in July of 68 and at some point we at Kontum District transitioned to Tm 41. Spent the year as Kontum District Deputy Senior Advisor west of Kontum.

    Rick Nelson

    • Rich,
      I was assigned to MACV Team 41 in Dak To District from Dec ’68 to Dec ’69. We were based about 2-3k north of Tan Canh up highway 14. We were a team of seven. Major Wayne L. Culp was our District Senior advisor followed by Major Sam Starley. Our Province Senior adviser was Col. Wahlen followed by Col. Dillard. We trained and lead Ruff-Puffs (Regional & Popular Forces) on numerous operations. We had about 25 villages in our A/O. I was 1LT with an infantry and artillery mos.
      I was there from Dec ’68 to Dec ’69.
      Norbert Weller

      • It’s been a long time. I only made it up to Dak To a couple of times but talked to you guys on the radio a fair amount. No doubt we’ve met. Pictures would help for sure. I have a whole box of them in storage to go through so now that I’m actually retired I guess I’d better get to it. Happy 4th of July. We still have the traditional small town doings out here in Steilacoom, WA with parade, street fair, beer garden and fireworks over the sound. Wish you the best,


      • Norbert,
        Enjoyed visiting with you when you were at Fort Sill in March 2014 at the OCS Hall of Fame. Can’t remember if we talked in any detail about our MACV time. I arrived in Kontum Nov ’69. Memory bank is overdrawn sometimes. Randy Dunham

  48. 1st Lt Garland, MACV Tm 24, Kontum Province, G-2 Air Advisor – 1968-1969
    Hartley Coursen & Mike Harney were advisors also in our office.

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