Team 25 Darlac

MACV Team 25 – Darlac.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 25 located in Darlac.

84 thoughts on “Team 25 Darlac

  1. Does anyone know if this team received any unit awards? I am trying to build a surprise gift for my grandfather. His CS was “M[ike]A[lpha]” otherwise know as “Sergeant Wiliford”. If anybody knows anything about him stories will be greatly appreciated. He was with Team 25 from ‘70-‘71.

    • Everyone there at the time knew Mike Alpha! Please pass along my best- was in Buon Ho at same time plus some. The pnly award we Probably considered for imsofar as I knownwould or should have been the ORDER OF THE ASPIRIN.
      Regards,
      Michael Beda
      MAT II-69
      & then S-3 Advisor

  2. Trying to find out anything about a relative James T. Smith served in VN 63 thr73 do not know if continuous or just those years. I have a DARLAC TEAM 25 patch and, a black patch shield shaped with Khanh-Hoa on a banner then RANGERS and under that Viet Nam all on a large skull. There is also a Blue Helicopter helmet paindted with Advisory Team 46 over a tiger face and Khanhhoa under it on the right side. The other side of the helmet has large PSA painted on it. That’s all we know about him and we hope someone can give us some information about him or direct us where else to look
    Regards

  3. Not sure if this subject has been covered already, but I wanted to add a few comments about “The Bungalow” being used by Teddy Roosevelt as a hunting lodge. I was a gunship pilot with the 155th Assault Helicopter Company based out at the City Airfield from 12/66 to 12/67. The story about Teddy’s hunting in the Central Highlands was repeated quite often. A couple years ago I decided to do some research to refute or confirm the story. First off, it appears “The Bungalow” was built until around the early 50’s. Next, I can find no record of Teddy Roosevelt, the President, ever traveling to Vietnam. However, I did confirm that Teddy, Jr. and his brother traveled to Vietnam, through China, I think in the late twenties. They did travel to the Ban Me Thout area and did do some hunting in the area. Am guessing that is how the rumor started, just in case anyone is interested. Enjoyed working with you guys from time to time and, also, your crew down in Bao Loc.

    • In the early 1950s, my father designed for Bao Dai a hunting lodge overlooking Lake Thien which is located between Dalat and BMT. This hunting lodge was mostly in ruins after the war but it has been re-built and is now used as a rustic hotel.

      • I was up there in the fall of 1970 when it was a two-level shell. Reinforced-concrete skeleton and nothing else up a switchback trail easily traversed by jeep. Chirping birds prevailed. Even then it didn’t look particularly old for the time and place given the construction – was not Bao Dai kicked out in 54? Though relatively high above the Lac Thien plain the hill was uninhabited including by the VC. I have some slides not readily accessible at this moment. / / / I was a captain and province A&DSL advisor in BMT 8/69 – 3/71.

        • Yes, Emperor Bao Dai was ousted by his PM Ngo Dinh Diem in 1955 and spent the rest of his life in France. The hunting lodge was designed by my father in the early 1950s and was probably badly damaged during the Tet Offensive of 1968. If you have any pictures of this hunting lodge could you please send them to me. My e-mail address is ccie4101@yahoo.com, thank you, sir.

          • I may have several slides of this building – I think so but am not certain. They’ve been in deep storage for decades. I promise to look which may take time.

            Delving into my dead storage in a Midtown East co-op apartment building is like a Rubik’s Cube.

  4. I was the nurse educator advisor for the Montagnard nursing school in BMT from NNove 1969-June 1970. I have quite a few pictures from BMT, with some from Buon Ho, Darlac District, An Lac, 155, etc. I also have 75 letters I wrote home that my Mother guarded with her life and passed on to my daughter. I will be glad to share any of the above. I was, of course, closer to the Milphap team 19 members as we worked together on a daily basis. Unfortunately cancer treatments have left me with a bit of “chemo brain” that works on my memory…especially with names. I arrived when Col Gannon was PSA and Col Mayo was his XO. Swede Olsen and Col Smith were the next officers in charge. I remember Dick Rouse well and was invited a number of times to Buon Ho, elephant rides included at no extra charge! I even have a picture of the “Lack-a-Nookie” bar…
    Not good at sending photos and not sure if it’s allowed on this site…just let me know…
    Several of the team 25 members were at Ft. Benning with us after Vietnam….One person who was great to my husband (Dan Chapman, also team 25) was Ron Parr. I would love to thank him and his family for their great support when our son died. Anyone kept up with him? He was District advisor at Darlac district, just outside town.
    Have been back to ‘Nam a number of times and went in 2010 with Doctor Zeilokowski (our very own “Hawkeye”). He has founded a group of MDs that go to Vietnam and I was able to go with them to deliver equipment and help staff.
    You wouldn’t believe BMT….KFC, luxury hotels, etc. Club Med even turned the emperor Bao “Dai’s hunting lodge on the lake into a resort!
    I did contact the daughter of the fellow killed setting up a claymore down by the lake. I could give her details of the great care her Dad received and even have a picture of her dad playing football with the lake in the background.
    Well, contact if interested in photos or info I might have included in my letters.
    I did meet Virginia at the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in 1993.
    Anyone who knew Doctor Hanchey (incredible surgeon) also Macv 25 and Milphap 19 might want to know that he died of a rare neuro disease recently. That’s all the news I have.
    Thanks for trying to get us together

    • Mary

      I was Mat Team leader in 1970 and was wounded when SFC Bob Howell was injured and died. I have been in contact with his daughter Paula got a longtime and we are friends on FB- we have not met yet but I hope to do so one day. I would love copies of any photos as I have only a handful of photos from my time in RVN . You could scan to me at Robert.hodges@mcnamaralaw.Com or mail copies to me at -641 Livorna Rd West Alamo CA 94507- please let me know any cost associated and your address to send payment .

      • You will recognize some of the folks I have in the Lac Thien photos. Tell Paula I said hello. It might have been you that put me in contact with her. I just responded to someone who left a message on her dad’s page on the virtual wall. Did not remember anyone else was wounded when Howell died. So sorry and hope you didn’t have many lasting results. Will be glad to send some pictures from the lake. Visited there a couple of times since. Were you there when my husband was still at Lac Thien (Sfc Dan Chapman). He is also one of the team that has died. He always blamed himself for Howells death. Remember Pierre? He was an NCO working with the Ruf Puffs, I think. He made it through the war but moved to another village. Will write more when I send photos. MMN

    • My name is Raymond Hice, I was assigned to MAT Team 15 with 4 other soldiers 69-70. Our Hqs was Darlac. My team was in a small Montanyard village for the entire year. We lost our Heavy Weapons NCO, was driving a jeep along with several locals and hit a land mine not far from our base. It would seem that since there were only 5 of us together for the year I would remember the names. I am being treated for PTSD but have never filed a VA claim. I stayed in the Army and retired after 23 years in 1983. I can remember our first stop was at Darlac hqs, we arrived with a brand new jeep. We were just in time for lunch which consisted of onion soup (thin at that). while eating we were hit by RPG’s which hit our Jeep and demolished it. My LT was hit with some of the fragments. As the medic I treated him and later recommended a Purple Heart which he received. We left hqs in a old jeep and on our assignment. We had a bamboo tower in the middle of the village and tunnels leading to it and to our fighting positions. We were attacked many times and brought in “pop the magic dragon” several times. My secondary MOS was heavy weapons so I did dual duty, medic and mortar man. I have never visited the wall and wouldn’t know the name to look for. I am hoping something would jar my memory. If you would like, you can send some photos any anything else you might have that might make me remember.
      Thanks

      • Raymond, were you in Lac Thien? I can send photos of BMT but for PTSD recall purposes it would probably be better if I could locate pictures of the area in which you served. MN

        • Mary,
          I was leader of Mat II-69, 70-71. I worked for Dick Rouse, taking over from Rich LeBoulier. I’d appreciate any pictures you’d care to share, especially of Dick (Maj. Rouse), my friend John Starkey and our intel guy, John Gorrie.

          I would like to get a picture of the Lack-A-Nookie bar there against the back wall.

          Thanks
          Michael kapital00@gmail.com

          • Michael,
            Forgive me, but I am still looking for the pictures of that Thanksgiving dinner in Buon Ho. As I turn 80 next week, everything becomes a little more difficult to do or remember where I placed it. I notice that there is getting to be several team members that respond to these messages and was wondering if any of you get together somewhere for a reunion. I would be interested to know.
            Dick

            • Hey Dick, happy new year all over you! I turn 72 next month, so I sure understand age. In November, 2013, I ran a 10 mile trail race, then had a darned heart attack Christmas Morning. Not a really horrible one (as if there is ever a good one) . Two stints, more pills than cherries on a tree and restricting myself to no more than 10K runs and I’m hanging in… arthritis will get me sooner, I think. Hell, what’s an old Ranger to do?

              No problem on pictures, my sister keeps assureing me that my albums still exist, although whenever we visit, they are mysteriously unavailable. My mom was an Ay nurse in WWII, and her albums disappeared also. My little sis was a hippy and did the summer of love thing in California.

              I’ve wondered if maybe team 25 or maybe all Buon Ho School for boys alumnae might get together sometime, somewhere…

              Do keep in touch. John Starkey, your ADSA said, a while back, to tell you hey.
              Best Regards,
              Michael

        • To be more specific, my unit was MACV MAT 11_15 , we were in Lac Thein District, Darlac province.. I found my Bronze Star citation the information was there. Would appricate if you could send me the pictures Mary Myer Nguyen.

      • To be more specific, unit was my unit was MACV MAT 11_15 , we were in Lac Thein District, Darlac province.. I found my Bronze Star citation the information was there.

    • Mary, I do remember you and your visit to Buon Ho.If you would send me an email address, I would share a few of the pictures I have. I have often wondered about Ron Parr, but do not know of his whereabouts or status. My email address is r.rouse@comcast.net. Hope to here from you again.
      Dick Rouse

      • Dick, what I remember is that you and your counterpart were great at “sniffing out the enemy.” One operation I recall was on the Italian Dude’s plantation where you guys brought “a world of hurt” on a group of bad guys. The Vietnamese in Buon Ho were mostly Northern Catholics who hated the VC if I remember correctly. I hope the District Chief made it out of the war ok.
        One of my favorite pics from Vietnam, by the way, show you helping me onto an elephant. We were both laughing because I was kneeling on the elephants back when he started to stand up….I just FELL into a sitting position. I kept that photo on my desk for years.
        It may take a week or two to get the photos to you as I am not too good at photo stuff. I will keep in touch. My email is maryenguyen@gmail.com. Don’t forget the E as there are tons of Mary Nguyens out there…
        “Great to be alive and a member of team 25.!”
        MN

        • Darlac was basically run by northern Catholics who emigrated after 54 and their descendants. The French had banned most Vietnamese (lowlanders) from the central highlands for a hundred years. Hence the Montagnard rebellion in the early sixties on the cover of National Geographic. / / / I was a captain in Ban Me Thuot, the so-called A&DSL advisor, in 69, 70 & 71. Nobody knew what that meant so Colonel Gannon re-designated me pacification coordinator. Nobody knew what that meant either.

    • Hi-was in Darlac Provience-Phuoc An District from April 69-April 70 Colonel Gannon was the Provience senior advisor. I had mobile advisory team 25 and was stationed on an abandened special forces camp. My team worked mainly with the Montagnards who were wornderful people. We trained them on the new weapons and went on operations with them. We also trained all the regional and popular forces in Phuoc An district. I never knew there was a hospital there as we would just go to headquarters and the PX and get out of town well before dark. I do remember the bungalow and the soccer field across the street. I also remember some of the USAID folks that worked out of Banmethuot and the French plantations owners that still ran their farms. Do not want to return to Vietnam as I understand that the new government is treating the Montagnard people very badly and that would probably get me thrown in jail as I would fight for them. I have lots of pictures of the vietnames and Montagnard villages and the people

    • Do you have old photos of Bao Dai’s hunting lodge near Lake Thien ? If yes, I will be grateful to you if you could send them to me at ccie4101@yahoo.com. Bao Dai’s hunting lodge was in fact designed by my father (architect Nguyen Van Hoa, who also designed the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon) in the early 1950s.

  5. Was hoping to find other members of MAT II-78. I was the light weapons advisor to on that team and was assigned to Buon Ho although we were assigned to Buon Ho Cu for the most part. Served with MAT/MACV from November 68 and left in June 69. Assistant team leader was 1LT Pearce, heavy weapons was SFC Bragg and medic was SSG Fears. Can’t recall the name of the original team leader. Replacement team leader was a Lt. Dave Rainey. Just hoping to get in contact with them.

  6. Looking for members or relatives of Mat Team 15 Darloc, who served 1969-1970. We had 5 members. Two Officers and three NCO’s. I was a Staff Sergeant at the time and the corpsman on the team, also handled the morotors. My named is Raymond Hice, rhice406@gmail.com.423-923-1058. One of our members never came back, a heavy weapons NCO. I ended up staying with the Army and retired as a SGM E-9 with 23 years of service. This late in life I have diagnoised with PTSD. I am being treated at the VA Hospital. I need documenting, confirmation as to what happened that year. I have blocked this from my memory, I can’t even Rembert my team mates. Hopefully someone will read this post and contact me. Thanks

  7. I was on Team 25 from about April 70 to April 71. The team was billeted in 3 different locations, The Montanyard Training Camp outside of town, then a Montanyard camp on the road to Pleiku, finally on a helicopter base more or less in town.

    • Hi my name is Todd Mortensen my dad was SSg Arvin Mortensen medic Oct 70 to Nov 71 I was wondering if you remember him I would like to find guys that served with him he passed away 3-2-05 I would like to know if you knew him

  8. To Dionicio Cruz: I was team leader of Mat 69 70-71. I fondly recall Smitty, and his assistant PSA was named Swearingen, I believe. He was a State Dept person, and when I went down to Ban Me Thuot to be the S-3 advisor, he was always having what he called ‘his soirées. A very nice guy. Dick Rouse who comments here was the DSA and was replaced by a West Point Major.

    John Starkey, the assistant under Dick and I correspond. He is living in Columbus, GA and is retired from the Columbus Police Department.

    Don’t know if you were still there at the time, but the Davy Crockett of that NVA artillery company there in Buon Ho put a 75mm rocket through the roof of my room. Seemed that every time my team came back from an operation were were hit by 75s or mortars as a welcome home. My team’s fighting position was on top of the POL bunker out back. Sgt Bradford used to say that his momma didn’t raise him to be the wick of a zippo lighter. Ha. He kept us laughing whenever we got hit and had to run out to the bunker. I always wondered what happened to intepreters The and E Blie.

  9. I have started a list of former AT-25 former Advisors. If any former advisor or family member would like the list email me. I was a helicopter crewchief in Viet Nam and not an advisor. Sincerily Doug Wilson junglecruiser335@gmail.com

  10. For anyone or everyone… does anyone still have their pocket patch or Team 25 pin that we had back then? I had both pin and patch, but unfortunately, some bad times and a worse family situation led to loss of all albums and keepsakes from both Korea and VIet Nam. I have toyed with the idea of getting a quote from one of the custom pin makers advertising online. Is anyone interested in this? I would need a picture of the pin or patch to work with. As I recall, the pin was about 1 1/2″ tall and based on the MACV patch with crossed crossbows and DARLAC across the bottom.
    If anyone would be interested in having a pin please let me know. Email: kapital00@gmail.com I have enjoyed getting back in touch with Dick Rouse under whom I served in Buon Ho when first in Viet Nam. John Starkey, the asst ADSA under Dick and I went through the Advance Course together, got out about the same time and finished up our degrees at Columbus College there in Columbus GA. We have been in periodic touch over the years.

    If anyone is interested in either a newly re-created pin, or even selling me one please let me know. I sure would like to have one as a remembrance of those days and people.

    Michael

  11. To Everyone on Team 25 around 70 – 72: Do y’all remember Col Wayne R. Smith (Smitty) who was PSA during 70-71? He also had a civilian State Department type as his assistant who was a pretty nice guy in his own right. Cannot recall his name, but he was a slight man in build, blondish or gray hair as I recall, and was always having his “soirée”. He used to tickle me during the time that I had come down from Buon Ho to be the S2-S3 advisor.

    Anyway, was thinking about Col Smith, and of course, our air support, the Headhunters of 419 aviation. We used to give them captured items and they’d take them to Nha Trang to trade to the Air Force for flechette rockets and HE. They were like fighter pilots from some Pacific island diving on the Japs. They were always up for a fight or a recon, whichever came first.

    • I am looking for a Team 25 pin. As I recall, they were around 1 1/ 2″ or 1 3/4″ tall, based on the MACV patch with crossed crossbows and DARLAC across the bottom. If anyone has one they would be willing to part with, I’d certainly pay anything reasonable. I have also considered having one (or some) made by one of the many custom pin makers advertising online. If anyone is interested in my exploring this idea to have a pin please let me know. I would need a picture of one so if anyone still has their pin and would get a picture and email to me I’d appreciate it.

      This forum has been great. I’ve been able to correspond with Dick Rouse, under whom I served when first assigned to Buon Ho as a MAT leader.

      My email: kapital00@gmail.com
      Thanks,
      Michael

    • I was on MAT 25 in 1969-70—-The Colonel in Ban Me Thuot wa Colonel Gannon. We were on top of a little hill that had been a Green Beret Camp. I remember the tanks on Chu kop that nevere moved out the entire year they were there. I will always remember the wonderful Montagnard people and especially my two companies of Montagnards–250 and 260 and they insisted on wearing their blue and red scarfs everywhere in the jungle so I had to wear one too,

  12. Michael,
    If you happen to have a picture of the team and would be willing to share it, I would enjoy seeing it very much and maybe associate names with faces. Good to hear from you. Please email the picture to my email address- r.rouse@comcast.net

    • My pictures is a very sore subject in what is left of my family. After caring for aged mother and her passing a few years ago, I took off a year and traveled in Canada… started at Niagara Falls and ended up on Vancouver Island. By the time I had returned, everything in the trunk left in sister’s care had disappeared including several albums from Viet Nam and several from tour in Korea. That discussion continues on those rare occasions we talk. Very sore subject. Having said that, should my pictures magically reappear, I would be proud to share. I have pictures of folks in the team house, my room after taking a direct 75mm hit, my MAT and also the other MAT personnel, pictures of various villages including phom pe parties. I think I also have a few from several operations.

  13. Got in touch with John Starkey and emailed district team pic. He may be able to help with names. Also, Don Gillian was 1lt asst team leader under Rich then me. He was from Wisconsin I think.

  14. You are coming up with names that start to ring a bell. I have a picture of a Thanksgiving Day dinner that Doc prepared for us and it includes the MAT teams and interpreters. Maybe you can put some names to face from it. Will send it by email, since I don’t believe we can post pictures on this site, or at least I don’t know how to do it.

    • Dick, I remember thanksgiving. If I’m not mistaken, not only were both MATs in residence, with all the intepreters, but wasn’t that Maj Koons recently arrived as your turtle and at our table?

      I’d love to see that picture.
      Michael

      • I am looking for it. I thought I had it readily available, but I couldn’t quickly put my hands on it. I will find it and send it along when I do.

      • I can remember Doc Buskey from my team, also SFC Bradford (Brad) heavy wpns my team. Remember Doc Kajioka (spell?) who made green chicken once (*god*) and my intepreter Y Blih Nea and VN intepreter The. Remember 1LT Jones from other Mat in District.

    • I recognize all front row, the possible exception is the first on left, the com specialist. I know the medic to one side of you was still there when I arrived (don’t recall exactly when I arrived at Buon Ho, but it was probably about 6 weeks to 2 months before you departed). I also think I recognize senior Sgt. I can try to locate John Starkey (if you remember him… came in as your assistant) and email picture to him to see if he can supply names.
      I sure recognize you there.

      Wasn’t a copy of this picture blown up and hanging in the team room near the “lack-a-nookie-bar? It sure looks familiar.
      Michael

  15. I was DSA in Buon Ea Yang from Mar 69 to Dec 69, was at Province HQ before that. I worked for Maj Ron Mullinax in BMT, and my Deputy DSA at BEY was Paul Struharik, the first Foreign service Officer to be an ass’t DSA. Our PSA was COL Tim Gannon. and his deputy was FSO4 JaY Blowers

    • Jack Painter, I was under Gannon and Blowers too, 8/69 to 3/71, nominally province A&DSL Advisor, then Gannon named me Pacification Coordinator, a title not in any MACV table of organization. What characters! We felt Blowers actually ran the show, to the extent that there was a show to run, since Gannon/Blowers reported to William Colby in Nha Trang. Colby would come to BMT in a suit and tie, whereas Blowers always affected a colonial-era English bush jacket with many useless pockets – how many did Jay have?

      In your time the psyops officer was LT John Luykx who was my roommate at the Bungalow before the fire. He might have visited you in his truck to show a movie.I found him on Facebook and we’re “friends.”.

      joelgraber@nyc.rr.com

    • Jack, you may be interested in my April 30, 2015 comments under Team 42. One of the people we were trying to pick up was Paul Struherik. We lost radio contact with Paul and he was captured by the NVA in March.. He was released in Hanoi approximately 6 months after the fall of Saigon. Bill

    • Jack,
      Good to hear from you. I remember Col Gannon and his deputy Bowers. However that was early in my tour. My Deputy in Boun Ho District was Capt Bruce Cushing who may have hah more of an overlap with you.

  16. Thanks– I can remember only a few who served with me– Claude Lemons (E7) died in 2014; Doc hall a medic E6–first name might have been Bob; another E7 last name Hall -heavy weapons guy, Robert Bob Howell KIA 12/1970 in same incident where I was wounded; I do recall others but not their names.

    • I served as RTO near a small town called lien saun on team 25 in the CENTRAL HIGHLANDS,out of BMT. I remember a team on a night location that went wrong. I’m thinking a Lt.Hodges was wounded setting up a night ambush? Was there last half of 69 to 1st 6 months of 71.

      • HAWK!! It’s me! Man how good to hear from you after all these years. I am so sorry for not staying in contact.

        I am in contact with Bob Howell’s daughter via Facebook– Paula Howell Durham– who lives in South Carolina. I had several long telephone calls with her over the years starting about 10 years ago when she somehow located me. Nice lady who fortunately had a great step dad after Bob was killed. Some sad news is that I learned Claude Lemons died a few years ago from cancer-apparently stayed in and retired as a CSM.

        We are now almost 46 years since I was wounded and Howell died on Dec 4th. Thanks for touching base.–contact me at Robert.Hodges@mcnamaralaw.com or on facebook or call me when you can at 925-939-5330 ext 126 Pacific time 9-5 Monday thru Friday. Still working but always time for you.

  17. Unfortunately these names don’t ring a bell Rich though sometimes memories kick in later. I found one guy on Facebook whom I knew well in Ban Me Thuot which was great.

    • Did you guys know ssgt mortensen he was the team medic Oct 70 to Nov 71 he passed away on March 2 2005 I just wanted to let his team members know

  18. Joel,

    I arrived in Country first part of January 1970 and left the end of December 1970. I have responded to your email with a couple of pictures and names. Hopefully this will help.
    Dick Rouse

  19. I was a District Senior Advisor to Buon Ho District all of 1970. I would welcome hearing from anyone who served in Buon Ho District or Darlac Province during the 1970 time frame.

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