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Team 33 ARVN 23rd Division

MACV Team 33 – ARVN 23rd Division.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 33 located with the ARVN 23rd Division.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. George permalink
    July 16, 2015 9:14 am

    I was there from april 70 to april 72. Worked in senior advisors office and admin office. Worked with Travis, Charlie Norman, Lt. Link and others. Made a lot of trips to airport picking up new arrivals and taking people leaving country.

    • Mike permalink
      August 12, 2015 5:58 pm

      Hi George,

      We are still remember you. How are you? I am retired from Defense Finance & Accounting service two years ago and Co Chi retired from Homeland Security about three years ago. It is very nice being retired. How about you? What are you doing?

  2. don goddard permalink
    May 31, 2015 6:43 pm

    sgt goddard 1/44/23.67/68, last stop was duc lap in 68.lots of places inbetween

  3. Paul Poindexter permalink
    March 5, 2015 3:39 pm

    I was the 05B20 at Song Cau from July ’67 t August ’68. I remember Colonel BA who was the CO of the 23rd Division at the time. I believe that they were quartered in Tuy Hoa then. Later I know that they were moved all around the Country.

    I reall one specific incident in which some squads of the 23rd Division were flown into the LZ at Song Cau along with Colonel Ba. I had abount a week left on my tour and had managed to stay out of trouble until then. An NVA Squad had had inhabited a Hamlet out on the very tip of the Peninsula of Xuan Dai Bay.

    We staged a night helicopter assault (RFs, and PFs from Song Cau plus the 23rd Arvin guys). Unfortunately by the time we got out there they had already shot the Hamlet Chief and his wife (they had disemboweled her).

    I vividly remember jumping out of the Huey AFTER about 10-15 of the Vietnamese had done so! Naturally the chopper had gained altitude so when I finally jumped out I fell about 15 feet though the air. Luckily I landed in a big bush which helped to break my fall.

    The NVA Squad was never caught – they had apparently swam back to the mainland and thus escaped. Most of the guys who participated in the action got “paper” certificates of commendation. Of course it was written entirely in Vietnamese and they had misspelled my name on it, as well. These were presented to us at a farewell luncheon for the Major (Frank Underwood) and I by Di-We Troung the District Chief of Song Cau at the time.

    The next day Major Underwood took at C-130 to Saigon enroute to the States. He got a flight back almost immediaty (due to his rank, I guess). I had to wait about a WEEK to get a plane. I really didn’t mind as I just got a motel room on Tu Do Street and played “tourist” in Saigon, visiting the big PX there, the Public Library, Le Circle Sportif, and a bunch of very good restuarants on Tu Do Street and elsewhere.

  4. Bob Donahue permalink
    February 28, 2015 6:51 pm

    Virgil – apparently we did overlap during that time but I really only knew the folks around the G2 shop as well as the ARVN’s we worked with. Obviously as an E5 I did not make the daily Div briefings but I have good memories about BMT and our duties as advisors. Was saddened when BMT became the first major city to fall to the bad guys at the end. I retired in ’87 as an E8 (P) and still live in the Ft. Huachuca, AZ area. Army Strong!

  5. Virgil D Bon LTC (Ret) permalink
    February 28, 2015 5:34 pm

    Bob, our time may have overlapped since i was with Tm 33 from Aug 70 to Jul 71. I was the Senior Adviser to the Division Logistics Battalion. Maj Sonsini (?) was the Senior G4 Adviser. i remember quite well the morning briefings at Division Hq.. The SF compound, being next door, was often a good change of pace. We lived in those one room BOQs on the perimeter behind the wire. You may remember that the Division SGM was ‘Yard.

  6. Robert (Bob) Donahue. 1SG (Ret) permalink
    February 28, 2015 4:07 pm

    I was a Team 33 E5 G2 advisor from Jun 70-May 71. A MAJ Turborg (sp?) was the G2 advisor, and I worked with E5 Darrel (Dusty) Baugess and Mickey (?). As noted, the Bungalow was gone and we lived in metal notches that were pretty comfy. I remember the ‘Yard village we passed on the way to Div HQ and the B23 compound where we could get fresh-made pizzas from the SF guys. Would love to hear from anyone that was there around the same time.

    • permalink
      April 13, 2015 4:04 pm

      I have heard about The Bungalow being gone but never heard how or when. I was Team 33 in 68 and 69. Col Henry Barber was CO then

  7. February 11, 2015 10:52 am

    I was a Radio Op. at BMT from January to March in 65 until I was sent to Tuy Hoa (Team 28). About all I remember was the red dirt and the heat, got to Tuy Hoa and it was beach and rice paddys.

  8. Ronald Joe Carlson permalink
    January 5, 2015 4:15 pm

    May 1963 to May 1964 personnel: Sr Advisor was Col Francis J Madden, Detachment Commander was Major Bible, Sgt Majors were Edwards and Cassell(2)- Supply Sgt was Kenneth Pettit – mail clerk was Jehrome Gohrick, radio operators were George Khria and Elmer Buard

  9. December 4, 2014 7:31 am

    Early 1964, SP5 from Philadelphia, turned in a 1049 to transfer out of adv tm 33 and Vietnam, transfer turned down, he goes to his room, shoots himself thru chest, Supply Sgt Pettit and I found him,small black power entry wound in front of chest, little red spot on his back, I ran to Sgt Major Cassell and Detachment Commander Major Bible, was told to load him on chopper, go to 8th field hospital, stay w/him and if he lives, bring his butt back..He was lucky, lived and I took him back to BMT, he went on hunger strike, got air lifted out several months later

  10. Co Chi permalink
    November 12, 2014 7:41 pm

    I worked for MACV Adv Tm 33 from July 1964 to April 1972. I am looking or any staff and friends I worked with during this time.

    • December 13, 2014 8:45 pm

      I was the Team Leader to the Regt from the ARVN Inf 23rd Div in Ban Me Thuot from Summer of 68 until Feb of 69 when I was MEDIVACED out to 239th Hospital in Japan…..later Retired on 70% in ’70. Lived in Bungalow. Boss was Col. Skelton (sp). My Xo better known (Major John Taylor). We kept Hwy 14 open mostly and provided protection for BMT.

    • George permalink
      July 13, 2015 4:09 pm

      I remember you. You married Michael Leist. I was at the wedding.

  11. Mike Dacus permalink
    October 18, 2014 12:28 am

    Can’t put a face with the name. Did you work with the regimental team, recon company, or with one of the four battalion teams?

  12. Ronald Carlson permalink
    October 4, 2014 3:49 pm

    Arrived Banmethuot, May 20, 1963, Colonel Francis Madden, Sr Adv, I was company clerk for our Advisory Team #33, helped build the mess hall, Texas style barbque pitt and best build was tennis court….US Army, Sp4, left May 20, 1964

    • Collette McDonald permalink
      October 4, 2014 8:59 pm

      Did you know Wilfrid Bourgouis? He was in Ban Me Thuot from 62-64. He was undercover as an American business man. Don’t know if he used his real name. Most people called him Bill or Will. He died in there on Aug. 17th, 1964. I would really appreciate any information about my father. Thank-you!

      • Ronald Joe Carlson permalink
        January 5, 2015 4:09 pm

        I’m sorry but I do not recognize the name

  13. j.b. fisher permalink
    August 4, 2014 1:53 pm

    I served as an advisor for 1st Battalion, 45th Regiment 1970-71, including Cambodia journey. Went back to BMT in 2007. It is now a city of over 300,000. Guess most of city destroyed in 1975 attack. I only recognized the traffic circle downtown.


  14. July 28, 2014 5:49 pm

    the funniest helo story i was personally involved in was one night during monsoon season we were called upon to assist with perimeter guard duty on the helo compound.
    We left the Bungalow and ferried down the road in jeeps to cover for the crew.
    I was Sgt then so was assigned sergeant of the guard.
    Sloshing through the incessant rain I was soaked to the bone.
    About then I saw the side door of a Huey partially open.
    Being an apparent genius…tongue in cheeek…I slid the door open a bit more and hopped up and in backwards.
    Ahhh, out of the rain for a few minutes.
    Almost simultaneously I heard “grrrrrr”…and a voice said “Sgt, that’s my dog and we came in here to escape the rain too.”
    Great, I thought.
    Then he laid the real bombshell on me….”be careful, I dont have him on leash”
    My first thought was how ironic it would be to be killed by an American dog while being a darn dumbie.

  15. Jimmy Ray Johnson permalink
    July 27, 2014 12:19 am

    I remember driving Col. Sage to the 155th. at Camp Coryell a couple of times when he was leaving on a flight and his driver was not available. His assigned vehicle was a black 64 ford sedan with U S Navy stenciled on it. The power steering did not work on it and it was very hard to steer. Also, I remember seeing Gen. Westmoreland and Fess Parker riding out of the Bungalow compound in this same car. Col Rex R Sage was one of the best officers the Army had. He was well respected by everyone at the bungalow. I had several conversations with him in the front gate shack at the Bungalow at night when he said he wasn’t ready to call it a day. We had a lot of great soldiers in Ban Me Thuot and Those helicopters and crews aboard them did a good job of protecting us all. Thank you all for your service to our country. You were the best.

    • Dan Gwaltney permalink
      July 27, 2014 1:39 pm

      I remember that ugly old Ford well, Jimmy. Col. Skelton preferred a jeep for his rides to the VIP pad, even when he had some serious rank in tow. Lt. Gen. Peers was a frequent visitor during my time, and he was another who put toughness over spit&polish in his priorities. Col. Sage and Gen. An were both very find officers who had not forgotten that they were soldiers. During the unpleasantries at Duc Lap, we spent a lot of hours on C&C there. On several occasions they had us pick up some wounded when we were headed back to refuel. This was despite the fact that we got shot up pretty bad the first time we attempted it.

  16. Dan Gwaltney permalink
    July 25, 2014 3:49 pm

    I served with the 155th AHC from May ’68-May ’69, and commanded the aircraft assigned to Col Skelton for several months. I also served as copilot on numerous missions with Col. Sage and Gen. An. I was assigned a different mission on the day of their tragic crash, but was among the first on the scene. I remember both of those gentlemen fondly and admire their courage to this day. I am very curious as to whatever became of Col. Skelton and Col. Canh, and would appreciate any info. We have a group on Facebook entitled 155th Assault Helicopter Company and any of you who would like to join us there would be more than welcome.

  17. Mark permalink
    July 19, 2014 4:13 pm

    The only MP I remember was a guy named Ken from NYC
    I was in a room directly across from the Conex that was used for a jail.
    And I rode machine gun in the Jeep several times for the MPs.
    Guess I was an adrenaline junkie
    I was there April ’68 but don’t remember Fess Parker being there. Sorry I missed him as I was a big fan.

  18. Lee permalink
    June 17, 2014 9:09 pm

    This website is a great way to link things up, but I wish you could upload photos to it. Ive got camp photos, bungalow pics and whatnot, but no way to share,,,,,,

  19. Mark permalink
    June 17, 2014 5:59 pm

    I have pictures of the Bungalow on color Polaroid film.

    • Al Blum permalink
      September 4, 2014 6:17 pm

      was there in 69 to feb 70 do you have any scanned that could be emailed of take a couple of pictures of them would be great and welcome home!

      • permalink
        September 13, 2014 1:03 pm

        let me see if I can scan them for you. Theyre pretty old. send me an email address so i CAN UPLOAD THEM TO YOU IF IT WORKS Mark

  20. Mike Dacus permalink
    March 10, 2014 11:51 am

    I was only at the division advisory team about three or four times during my tour – mostly as a stop between Song Mau and Plei Ku or en-route to somewhere else. I did not go through as I processed out to go home because someone in the division team was cooking in his room and the lodge caught fire and burned to the ground a couple of months before we invaded Cambodia.

  21. Mark permalink
    March 9, 2014 9:42 pm

    I was in Team 33 in both ’68 and ’69
    We were quartered in the Bungalow and were adjacent to 5th SF teams B23 and B50. Martha Raye was often with them and I think I remember her being shot in the ankle during Tet or soon after but my memory is like a sieve nowadays.
    We supported 5th of the 22nd artillery who employed two eight inchers and two 175mm.
    There was a small MP unit also in the bungalow. I can remember faces but names not so much (two minor strokes in ’02)
    I do remember Henry Barber as Lt Col or Col back then as we were often refered to as Barbers Bandits.
    I don’t ever remember being as wet as when I was Sgt of the guard during the monsoon season in the Bungalow.
    And that “hotel” someone refered to in Ban Me Thuot used to be a house of ill repute.

    • Jimmy Ray Johnson permalink
      July 14, 2014 12:41 am

      I served with the B Co. 504 m p det. at the Bungalow from Mar. 13 until late Aug. of 1968. We relieved the 218 M P Detachment on Mar.15, 1968. I remember Col Barber, Col Sage, LTC Reed and First Sgt. Witherspoon. I pined a M P arm band on Fess Parker at the front gate of the bungalow in April of 1968 while he was there on a USO tour. I have a great photo of this. Another M P and myself invited him to ride form there to East Field in a M P jeep. He accepted the invite and I am still thinking we were the 3 dumbest people in Viet Nam at the time for taking this trip. If only the V C knew we were on the way it might not have ended well. Any way, Fess enjoyed the ride and he was not captured. RIP FESS PARKER:

      • October 16, 2014 7:39 pm

        Does anyone remember me? I was SSGT Gene Roberts. My nickname is cowboy. If anyone out there served with me and can remember details of dates and times of any casualties or incidents that happened, please contact me. I am working on my VA claim and would be more than happy to assist anyone else with their claims as well with a buddy statement. I was on teams 7,12,and 33 during the years of 1965 -1969. I was a heavy transportation advisor.

  22. Virgil D. Bon permalink
    October 29, 2013 9:19 am

    I was the 23rd ARVN Div Logistics Bn Advisor at Ban Me Thuot in ’70 & ’71. The Bungalow was no longer there and for a short period of time many of us were quartered in a Vietnamese Hotel in Ban Me Thuot. There was Special Forces Team across the fence from our Team where I remember seeing Martha Raye relaxing. Co-located with us was the MACV Provincial Advisor Team. There were some other folks co-located us who didn’t discuss their jobs. North ?? of us was a SOG base which of course we were not allowed entry. It’s difficult remembering other Team members’ names but I’d be glad to hear from anyone stationed during the same time frame or any other.

  23. Rick wickham permalink
    August 6, 2013 8:02 am

    We are trying to find my wife’s father, a Vietnamese national who was based at the phan thiet army base in 1974. I am hoping someone can possibly give us a helping hand to possible tracing services

    my wife’s father is a Vietnamese national who we believe served the Red cross during the Vietnam war (1973/1974 ), in Phan Thiet, Vietnam. We originally, believed
    he was based out of Phang Rang Air based, and we thought he worked for the American Red cross base, some 150km away from Phan Thiet. However, we think now that he may be have been working for Republic of Vietnam (Việt Nam Cộng Hòa),

    We originally thought his name was Tran Quang Thuc, however, it may be Tran Van Phuc or Tran Quang Phuc

    All my wife knows is that he was involved with carrying injured soldiers to helicopters. My wife’s mother said that he wore a light green 1 piece suit that you zip up from the groin. He also had hat that was light green hat that had a red cross on it – tall square type of hat. Black army type boots. The uniform had a red cross arm band (white color) possibly on the left arm. He is around 160cm tall and wavy hair

    • Mike Dacus permalink
      November 15, 2013 3:19 pm

      I was a battalion senior advisor with the 2d Battalion and later the 4th Battalion of the 44th ARVN regiment of the 23d Division in 1969 and 1970. We operated out of Song Mau (regimental Hq), Phan Rang, Phan Ri Cua, Phan Tiet, Hoa Da, Da Lat, and in Cambodia. I also got pulled for two weeks for a Tactical Emergency to take over the 47th regimental advisory team at Kon Tum, Dak To, Ben Het, & Tan Kanh when their entire advisory team was killed or wounded and evacuated.

    • Mike Dacus permalink
      November 15, 2013 3:24 pm

      For Phan Tiet information, I suggest that you look for someone who was an advisor for the 1st or 3d Battalions of the 44th Regiment, or the Ninh Tuan province team during that period. I was in Viet Nam earlier than the requested time, and was in and out of Phan Tiet, but was never based there with either the 2d or 4th regiments.

  24. RL Ament (jr) permalink
    July 12, 2013 10:25 pm

    I have a photo of a sign, My dad was one of the “Founding Fathers” Ban Me Thout, MacV Adv Team 33. This was Probably around 1966. At the time he was Captain Robert L. Ament. Dad has since Passed on but as his Son, would be delighted to hear of anyone who remembers him.

    • Collette McDonald permalink
      October 21, 2013 5:34 pm

      My father was in Ban Me Thuot from ’62-’64. I would love to hear from you.

      • RL Ament Jr permalink
        October 21, 2013 9:13 pm


        See my comments to Michael below. Many photos, unfortunately dad was not too great at writing notes on the back,,,,,

    • October 16, 2014 7:48 pm

      I met your dad once. Did he ever mention to you about being captured and then escaped?

      • RL ament jr permalink
        October 16, 2014 8:44 pm

        Heck no. He was not shy about about telling a good war story, but nothing like that. My Dad was not a big guy, maybe 5-8 and 140-150 pounds at the time. He carried his own S&W .357 as a sidearm because he did not trust the .45 govt issue automatic. Sound like him?

  25. Michael permalink
    May 26, 2013 7:25 pm

    I too, served with team 33, but I was there in 1967. Spent much time at “The Bungalow” and left for home on Christmas Eve for emergency leave. This was my second tour, having served with the 1st Infantry Division in Lai khe and Di An.

    • RL Ament Jr permalink
      October 21, 2013 9:11 pm

      Hi Michael,

      Some of the Photographs of my Dad I have are dated 1967, so maybe you did meet? He commanded a Camp with American advisors and a Montagnard force ala the Green Berets. The photos show his camp (two 155’s) and Village. Unfortunately, he was not so great at marking up the backs of the photos with info. His driver was a Black guy named Burton, and another one of his guys was named Tanzola. There is another photo with him and another guy named Ray Vogel. He does have a couple photos of the Bungalow as well, but he must have spent most of his time in the field. It also looks like he was promoted to Major at some point during his tour.

      • Mark permalink
        June 17, 2014 5:58 pm

        I didn’t know your Dad but know exactly where that camp was.
        It was a Montagnard camp at Ban Me Thuot airport. We resurrected that old municipal airport for Air Viet Nam and our own military aircraft.
        There were two SF teams, 5/22 artillery with two eight inchers and two 175s.
        It was rocketed sometime in ’68 and I have Polaroids I took the next morning while it was still smoldering. The camp was totally destroyed.

  26. David M. Dacus, MAJ INF, retired permalink
    April 1, 2013 12:00 am

    In 69 and 70, I was a MACV team 33 battalion senior advisor for the 2d and 4th Battalions, 44th Regiment, 23d ARVN Division. I spent time in Ban Me Thout, and was pulled out of the field and sent to Tan Kanh in Kontum Provence when the entire advisory team of the 47th regiment (independent regiment) had been killed or wounded by mortar and rocket attacks until a new advisory team could be re-constituted, but the main stomping ground for the 44th was not either BMT or Kontum province. Our primary AO’s were Phan Rang, Song Mau, Phan Tiet, Dalat and even Cambodia.

    Care to expand your Scope?

    David M. Dacus, MAJ INF, retired

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