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.

158 thoughts on “Team 25 Darlac

  1. Happy 2023 to all… belatedly. Last year was (as my granddaughter would say) really sucky from a medical standpoint.

    If anyone from the team, especially Buon Ho alumnae are ever passing through Roanoke, Va do holler. I might just be able to find a guest room here.

    Michael Beda
    team II-69 Buon Ho and S-3 Adv – 2d Tour

    • Not sure if I have talked to you before or not. I was with MACV Tm 25, I was the Weapons Advisor for Darlac Providence 69-70 I spent many day & nights out at Boun Ho. Was you there when the RPG 40 went thru the tin wall and roof of the eating area, I was, as was Ken Selby(Ordnance Spl). Or the time we were coming back from a meeting(party) with a Montegnard village and I lost two of my ARVN counterparts when a landmine blew up the duece and a half truck? I have talked to the medic that was there at same time.

      • Hi Larry, I was there in beautiful downtown Buon Ho-MAT 69- for 70-71, then an extension and after leave down to Ban Me Thuot as S-3 adv. I missed the RPG, but one night just after the generator shut down the NVA’s equivalent to Davy Crocket put a 75mm RR shell thru the roof of my room (just off the dayroom). The explosion gave me about an extra 10 feet start to fighting position!! LOL. Didn’t get a scratch but later I found some shrapnel that went into the claymore bag of mags I used to carry.

        Was the medic Doc Buskey? He was on my team but detached to the district team. I think Dick Rouse might have been the DSA there at that time? I caught the last couple of months of his tour. He is (was) on this site.

        I had one run in with a cobra.. shot it from the jeep outside Buon Dra Si. Had another with a python that dropped out of a tree but missed me. Not sure what it is with me and snakes… I shot a copperhead on the pistol range where I shoot last summer.

  2. I was with MACV Team 25 May 1970 to DEC 1971, ASSIGNNED To work with the civilian village radio hamlet systems for the providence and under the Dep CORDs Civilian counter part for the State department, who worked with the Police and Prisons’. You might remember me in that I used the only Black CJ5 Jeep with a White metal top.

  3. My name is Robert Magruder, I was assigned to MACV team 25, Darlac Province, Ban Me Thout from February 1969 to February 1970. I was there when the MACV compound burned down. Would like to hear from anyone who was there doing the same time. When I left my commanding officer was Colonel Gannon.

    • I was there also at that time when the fire occurred. I remember LtCol Gannon. We were with JUSPAO and advisors to the Vietnamese Information Services doing the psyops program. We lived in BanMeThout. I was an AF NCO and my boss was a Foreign Service Officer. We attended LtCol Gannon’s daily meeting. There were only two of us. My boss was Bob Powers and my name is Bob Gentry. I wore civilian clothes.

    • I was in Ban Me Thuet (Home of the Dirty Dozen) March 69 to March 70. I was a USAF Forward Air Controller. Used to frequent the bar at the long house with the Team 33, and CCC SF guys. Brave but crazy guys. Bought a Sub Mariner for $129.00 at the little PX located there. Sold it for $1000.00 in 1985, found out yesterday a collector paid $60,000 for the same watch in Scottsdale AZ. Go Figure. Got a little drunk in the long house bar one time almost got into a fight with a SF SSG, he found out I was a FAC, I didn’t want to fight with a team member, so no fight and we became friends. I remember the compound burning down, I still have pictures, it was real sad, end of an era. The Centeral Highlands were beautiful, spent some time in Dalat, ,met Nguyen Koa Ky and his beautiful wife Dang Tuyet Mai. I was talking to an Air America Pilot who introduced me to Ky who looked down his nose at me like I was a bug, so much for the hearts and minds. Flew one “Ranchhand mission” in a C123 on a hop to Nah Trang. Developed Olfactory Neuroblastoma last year, but after surgery and radiation I am cancer free, one year later. Agent Orange is the gift that keeps on giving.

      • I was assigned to MACV TM 25 from April 69 to Mar 70 as the Weapons Advisor, pretty sure Col Gannon was CO. We had a Maj OIC for our section, can’t remember his name, but he was black, really great guy.

    • I’m pretty sure you’re that Dave Burton whom I remember. If so, I’m in touch with only John Luykx, a first lieutenant who was psyops officer, followed in that position by Larry Jackson. and Facebook.

    • David, I don’t know if we overlapped, I started out in Buon Ho as a MAT leader, then followed Rich Leboulere as S-3 advisor. I worked for Maj Dick Rouse who was DSA there in Bouon Ho. He is on this site also. I am occasionally in touch with John Starkey who was ADSA under Dick. He and I were groomsmen in one another’s weddings, were in IOAC together and finished degrees at Columbus College together. Welcome to you

  4. Found some names written on an old order of my father SFC Joseph Pestovich so I am posting for information in regards to Adv Tm 25, II CTZ, APO 96297. Melvin H. Bender from Macon, Missouri who most likely was assigned to Tm 25 during the 1969-1970 timeframe. Unfortunately the was no rank annotated but did a internet search and believe I located a picture of his tombstone in Macon Missouri. He was born in 1920 and passed away in 1993 so i estimate he was about 49-50 years old and probably near retirement since he appeared to serve in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The other name was LT Hunting the letters NHA. If this rings a bell woth anyone, I be interested in hearing about it.

  5. Is there a Team 25 historian documenting the years that the team existed?

    When did the team begin and end?

    Who were the team members each year?

    What were the most significant incidents each year?

    I arrived in Team 25 in mid-May68 – began as S-2 by late Jun68 and departed in Sep69, before the Bungalow burned in Dec69. At my Pleiku orientation briefing, I was told that Darlac province was the key to the ARVN invasion during Tet 68, and whether South Vietnam survived.

    We know how that went.

    I visited the unified Vietnam in 1994 and 1999. In both years, the country was thriving and still is today.

    What does the history of MACV Advisory Team 25 say about Vietnam?

  6. Sorry About the typos, John. I am on my phone and my thumbs often have their little minds wanting to spell words differently!

  7. I had posted the following under Team 97 Cao Lanh but recently found a letter with return address listed as MACV Adv Tm 25 MAT #97, APO SF 96297 making me realize I possibly posted under wrong team number.

    “My father SFC Joseph Pestovich served as a medical advisor with Mobile Advisory Team II-97, Buon Ho District, Darlac Province, Republic of Vietnam from July 1969 to July 1970.”

    • I was in Buon Ho (MAT 69) from 70/71. The name sounds familiar, but since the MATS were rarely both in the district team house at the same time or for long there in Buon Ho, I didn’t know the other team all that well. Can’t comment on SOPs in other districts. I do remember the faces of those guys, if not names to go with them. I do recal the medic on that team was on his thord extension in-country, and when headed out on an operation was dressed to the nines to include grenades and his bayonet on his M-16.

      • Michael,

        This would have been his 2nd tour, and the previous one was several years earlier 1966-1967, but not on an advisory team. He was older than the average soldier, 36 at the time, dark hair about 5′ 9″ and stocky build. I know he was around the Montagnards based on the cross bow and brass bracelets he had brought back, as well as, a Viet Cong flag. I do believe he was always armed although he was a medic. He told me how the Viet Cong would fire a recoilless rifle at night, and had brought back a piece of shrapnel that missed him by inches. He never talked much more about his tour other than he didn’t believe he would make it back, and never mentioned any names. I think he may have mentioned Black Label beer may have been brought in by chopper and the cans were rusted. I can sent you a picture od him if you would like. I find the memories of veterans about the advisory teams very interesting and appreciate your post.

        Thanks, John

        • Hey John,
          Yep,I do recall your dad and his grin. He was telling you the truth about that darned RR team. It was an NVA artillery company and the fellow shooting it mist jave been the North Vietnamese version of Davy Crockett! He put a round through the roof and ceilingof the room I stayed in when we were in the district team house. We had heard the rounds going off in the distance and were on our way to the fighting biunkers when it hit. There was lots of junk around after that! It is a lot funnier now thinkink back and remembering the hole in the ceiling right over the bunk (that did have a heavy plywood covering with several layers of sandbags. The medkc on my team was just short of retirement (doc Buskey) and was detached to the district team for medcaps kn the various villages. I hope your dad is still alive and well. Please give him my best.

          • Michael,

            He retired in 1972, but unfortunately passed away from liver cancer in May 1983. A lot of Vietnam veterans who lived around us passed away over the years from some type of cancer, makes me wonder about the herbicides used there during the war. Interesting story about the RR. Thanks again for your posted information.


            • I’m and sorry to hear about your dad’s passing.
              The engineers came to town in their Rome Plows and opened the main route for about 100 yards on either side of it, between Ban Me Thuot and Pleiku, then hosed the open areas with an herbicide. Those were the days pf agent orange…

              • I have a map that he sent me and Ban Me Thuot where he marked on the map his location in country. One other thing I remember is he told me about a team member who had previously been assigned to the 101st who carried screaming eagle patches around with him. No problem about the typos, I understand how it typing with thumbs.

    • For anyone interested, during this time period 1969-1970 the Darlac Sector Senior Advisor was Wayne R. Smith and Deputy Senior Advisor was Robert E. Price. Also, I found some conceptual information on a Mobile Advisory Team (MAT) outlined in a 1969 welcome letter for the 14 day course at the USARV Advisor’s School located 16 miles NE of Saigon at Di An which gave me a better understanding of the teams. The Mission of the MAT was to advise and assist Vietnamese Regional Companies\Popular Force Platoons on all aspects of military operations. A MAT was organized into 7 man team: 2 officers, 3 NCOs, 1 ARVN Liason Officer (but due to shortage of ARVN Officers ,1 not normally assigned) and a Vietnamese Interpreter. The employment concept of the MAT is to move the team to a new Regional Force/Popular Force unit every 60 to 90 days consequently allowing maximum utilization of the 353 MATs presently deployed in the Republic of Vietnam.

      • Hey John,
        Up in Buon Ho, both MATS had a Montagnard intepreter, with two Vietnamese Interpreters detached to the District team. This was probably for ease and just plain common sense, since we rotated in and out of the various villages assigned to each MAT. Out on operations i.e. ambushes, again we spent most, but not all time out with the Forces from villages. There would be the occasional operation where the RF, regional forces and PF, populat forces from the villages would operate together and tjat’s when the Voetnamese intepreters would come out with us. I don’t know for sure, but would bet that all over Darlac Province the district teams organized themselves similarly since Darlac was the center of the Rahde tribe of Momtagnards and they were pretty much who we on the MATS spent most of our time with… at least up on Buon Ho. Thanks for the organizational info. I had forgotten exactly how we were supposed to operate. We had superb District Senior Advisors like Dick Rouse, who had no problem applying efficiency and common sense over more rigid TO&E.

        • Michael, Thanks for the information, very interesting how fluid these teams operated. I figured the information I found was conceptual and that each team was organized and operated slightly different for different AOs. The more I read about personal accounts on this website the more interesting it get. John

          • CORDS is one of a zillion acronyms the Army uses. It stands for Community Organization and Regional Development Support. Under CORDS, which was actually a co-managed (army and state department) they had is, with the advisory teams, medical advisors (I believe both military and civilian, police advisors (civilians) and in some areas there were tje 60s and 70s equivent to irban planners. The idea was to provide expertise in not only security, but community development. They took the Special Forces mission and added to it inder CORDS.

            • Hey Terry…
              As I recall, it stands for ‘Community Organization and Rural Development Support’ or something along those lines. Oddly enough, we were actually organized under the State Dept as a joint Military/ Civilian effort. That is why there were both military and civilians Working together. Just about all the civilians were in Ban Me Thuot and most of us grunts were out in the districts

              • The Office of Civil Operations and Rural Development Support, Military Region 2 (CORDS MR2), was activated on May 28, 1967, with the mission of coordinating and managing all pacification and rural development operations and activities in support of the Republic of Vietnam Government in II Corps Tactical Zone/Military Region 2 (IICTZ/MR2). Military Region II, located in central South Vietnam, contained the following provinces: Kontum, Binh Dinh, Pleiku, Phu Bon, Phu Yen, Darlac, Khanh Hoa, Quang Duc, Tuyen Duc, Ninh Thuan, Lam Dong, and Binh Thuan.

                (I was an Army captain, A&DSL Advisor, and later Pacification Coordinator, 69-70-71.),

            • I was only part right before… is civil operations and revolutionary development support. I had to check it out on wikipedia… i truly didn’t recal the revolutionary bit. Sounds like something Uncle Ho would have come up with.

        • My name is Stuart Tropp. I was in Ban Me Thuot from approx 12/68-late 4/69 as MAT team leader in Buon Kram. Returned from extension leave late May and found my team had been redeployed to Lac Thien District ? due to being over run by VC. We were not allowed to live with the people due to extreme danger, but did go on missions with RF companies. I then went to Nha Trang working for Office of Territorial Forces under Colonel Wheeler and was responsible for General Staff briefings and MAT orientation in II Corps. Went to Pleiku advising II Corps RF/PF inspection team. Finally went to Dalat as senior advisor to LTC LE Van Tho, Deputy Mayor and garrison commander. I worked for LTC Hilty, who was Province deputy senior advisor.I left in April 1971. Additionally I was with the 82nd fom 6/68 to approx 12/68 at Camp Black Hawk near Phu Bai. Anyone who was at any of these places or knew others please let me know I only discovered this site a month ago- thanks to everyone who contributes.

          • Stuart,
            I was the weapons advisor for Dar Lac Providence from 03-69-03-70, I spent many nights and days at Lac Then, Boun Ho and a few times at Boun Kram, I was the one who issued weapons to the ARVNs. My main office was at Ban Me Thout

            • Larry,

              There is a 1960 video of Buon Kram on youtube done by Benge. I think the windmill was gone by the time I got there. No elephant either. There were elephant in a nearby hamlet. We had a bunker and quonset hut next to the hamlet entrance. Also a 10 kw generator and conex container. I,m trying to remember remaining team members who went to Lac Thien. I think SFC Mc Dougal and an African American SFC who’s name I can’t recall. The district senior advisor was a very tall major and there was a very tall captain, I don’t remember what he did. My interpreter Ykdeng ( Sam) Buon Ea did not follow us from Buon Kram. I have a photo of the two of us in tiger fatigues. I must have run into you at some point. I would be hard to miss as I am 5′ 3″ .

    • John,
      I am Richard Rouse, the District Senior Advisor for Buon Ho District from January 1970 thru December 1970. If you would be willing to email me ( a picture of your father, taken during this time frame, I will see if my 81 year old brain can recollect any memories of your father. Pictures do help, and I am trying to find some pictures of the Thanksgiving dinner that Doc Taylor, from the District Team prepared for both MAT teams, the District Team and all our interrupters. I promised Michael I would look for them, but so far no luck. But as I look at the time window that he would have overlapped with when I was there, he would have departed before the Thanksgiving pictures would have been taken. But your picture might gar a memory loose.

      • Hey Dick, Happy New Year! I was there at that T’giving dinner. John Starkey teased me about talking with a forkfull of food and dropping it on me and put a poncho on me as a bib. Blih, The and the other intepreters loved that!

        • Michael,
          Are you and John still in the Fort Benning area? I have toyed with making a trip to Fort Benning, to visit the museum and if you guys were available, to maybe have lunch with you? Is there anyone else who might still be in the area that we might see if they would like to join us?

          • Dick, I am back in Virginia, just now in Christiansburg, but we have just purchased a home about 30 miles up the road in Roanoke to be closer to our daughter there and their son. John Starkey retired from the Columbus Police department and lives there. We both finished our degrees at Columbus College… we got out shortly after finishing IOAC there.

            I thought I had an email address for him, but have been unable to find it. I can’t find the address book either, but think I recall his phone as being listed. You might call 411 and see.

            I keep wanting to get back to benning to gazebup at the 300′ towers and maybe tey to get out to the Ranger camp.

      • Richard, I will email you a photo sometime soon here. As far as, I can tell he first was assigned to Team 46 from about July 1969, promoted from SSG to SFC in Sept 1969, and then assigned to Team 25 most likely late1969 until July 1970. Thanks, John

  8. 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.
      Michael Beda
      MAT II-69
      & then S-3 Advisor

    • With MACV Team 25, I was attached to the MILPHAP Team (# 19) at the province hospital from 1970 to 1971. I had transferred to MACV from a first tour of duty at the 8th Field Army Hospital in Nha Trang.

      I knew him well. In our four-bunk sleeping quarters that were part of a surviving section of the Grand Bungalow that burned down in 1969, Mike Alpha was one of my four room mates. Another fellow in the same quarters, Sergeant Moore was severely WIA in a convoy ambush from BMT through the Pass at Duc My in November 1970. Another room mate was Sergeant Walker who was assigned to the Chieu Hoi Center. And there was Specialist Butler who was assigned to the APT’s (Armed Propaganda Team).

      Mike Alpha may not recall how challenging it was for all of us to get a good night sleep with his PRC-25 radio blaring away. But that was the nature of his responsibility for coordinating chopper transport for everyone on the MACV teams (often with urgency) including the Province Senior Advisor, Col Robert Smith. Mike Alpha might be interested to know that in a Vietnamese community event in April 2015 I met Col Thien who was Province Chief at the time of our service in BMT. One of my MILPHAP Team members, Dr. Zelikowski, whom I remained in contract, has returned to BMT every year for nearly a decade to provide specialty training in urological procedures. Dr. Hanchey, who was also on my team joined in the medical missions, but sadly passed a couple of years ago.

      It has long been my wish to establish connection to both Mike Alpha and Sergeant Moore. In 1995 I enjoyed a brief reunion with a USAID nurse who was also stationed at the Darlac Province Hospital, Mary Moore, who had married one of Mike Alpha’s good friends who was stationed at an RF/PF outpost in Lac Thien south of BMT. Mike Alpha may remember one thing about me as one of few Vietnamese & Rhade linguists with the MACV Team.

      I remain very active with an association of former advisors, known as Counterparts ( presently serving as CO. Also very active with the Vietnamese and Montagnard expatriate communities. It would be wonderful to have more encounters with members of the team in BMT. In 1991 I assisted the MILPHAP Team interpreter, H’Gun Buon-Ya immigrate to the US when I found out she and her family had escaped Vietnam and ended up in a refugee camp in the Philippines. They settled in the Montagnard community in Greensboro, NC and are doing well. One good friend for the past 23-years lives in my area, Mike Benge, former USAID who was captured by NVA while attempting to rescue local missionaries in BMT during TET ’68 – – spending 5-years as a POW. Mike and I have a number of mutual friends from the Montagnard community here and in Vietnam.

      I extend to Mike Alpha the very best of health and happiness.

      Dr. Grant McClure

      • Extraordinary account down to today thanks Grant McClure. As province A&DSL Advisor, later deemed by Col. Tim Gannon the Pacification Coordinator, though nobody knew what that meant, one of a number of captains in BMT, from 1969 through March 1971, and living at the Bungalow that beautiful day, then the Darlac Hotel, I greatly appreciate your wealth of memory and everything that’s followed. I’ve written stories about those days while having had to engage in a great deal of poetic license. You don’t have that problem. Thanks again, best wishes and happy new year.

      • I was a MAT leader in Buon Kram, a few klics out of Ban Me Thuot from approx 12/68 to 4/69 when I went home on extension leave. Arriving back late May, found my team in Buon Kram was attacked by vc wounding my medic. My team was redeployed south to Lac Thien? still in Darlac province. We stayed at the district compound and went on missions with RF companies but were not allowed to reside in hamlets. Spent almost 3 years all over II corps in many advisory positions- Pleiku, Nha Trang, Dalat. If you know of anything related to Buon Kram or my team please let me know- this is my first outreach.

    • I believe that between 1961 to 1974 numerous units were awarded the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm including MACV. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

      • I got one of those but with gold star. My 214 doesn’t reflect anyunit awards, altjough Advisory Team 25 was certainly deserving of something

  9. 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

  10. 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, 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.

    • My understanding was that the Bungalow was the hunting lodge for Emperor Boa Dai. I lived there off and on for several months. I never heard the Roosevelt stories. Does anyone remember the SF B Team designation that abutted the Bungalow??

      • Yes
        I was in MACV Team 1967-68 and lived in the Grand Bungalow when not on operations which was most of the time. I heard it burnt in 1969 by a soldier cooking in his room.

        • Larry, I served in Team 25 From May68 to. Sep69. The SF B-23 compound was a few meters west of the Bungalow. The SF B-50 compound was at the Ban Me Thuot East Airfield. Pics of the burning Bungalow are on the net, or I can share my copies. If you are interested in the B-23 staff, go to

  11. 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.

      • 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.


          • 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.

            • 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,

        • 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 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 Don’t forget the E as there are tons of Mary Nguyens out there…
        “Great to be alive and a member of team 25.!”

        • 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.

          • Joel did you ever meet Paul Struharic, Co in Phuoc An District. I have been trying to re connect with him. He got captured when Buon me out fell. I know he got released.

    • 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 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.

    • Mary,
      As I look back through some of these messages, I have fond memories, although now fleeting, of you, your visit and Ron Parr. I too would like to hear of anyone who has contact with Ron, a good friend from that period.
      Dick Rouse (

    • Hi Mary. Haven’t seen you since April 1995. It would be great to have contact with you. I’ll be traveling to the Counterparts reunion this year in Houston, TX April 3 -6, 2019. C – 240-216-7823 W – 301-877-4534

    • Mary,
      I haven’t been able to find anyone from Tm 25, I was the weapons advisor for Darlac 69-70, I would love to see pictures of Lac Thien and Boun Ho Mat teams and TM25 members if you have some. I was in Boun Ho when the bungalo burned, lost everything in my room there.

      • Larry,,
        Dick Rouse (Maj) was DSA at Buon Ho 69-70. He is on this site and has lots of pictures of both Mats, interpreters, the team house (and of course the “lack-a-nookie bar”). I hope Dick is still around here. He told me in an email last year or year before that he was starting to have some issues. Unfortunately, ain’t none of us getting out of this life alive.
        Michael Beda
        Mat II-69, Buon Ho District

      • Larry, I was the Buon Ho District Senior Advisor from Jan 1970 to Dec 1970. I do remember Mary Meyer, Michael Beda, Captain Cushing (who was my deputy for the first part of 1970 and also spent some time in An Loc. SSG Reasor, Sfc Wilson, Lt. Forman to mention a few, other names slip past me. Good to hear from you.

        • Richard,
          Glad to hear from you also, since I left there in Mar 70, I was sure to have met you. I was actually slightly wounded at Buon Ho one night when we were attacked and had a short fire fight. I remember the bunker were you guys slept, very damp.

  12. 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.

  13. 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, 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

    • Mike, I was visiting Boun Ho and eating lunch in the small mess area there when a 40 mike mike came thru the side, took part of the roof but never exploded.

  16. 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

    • Was that the yellow octagon one that was also sewn onto the pock of our uniforms? I would love a copy of it. Thank you. Do you happen to know of a Ken Selby or Rod Rodriguez that was there also 69-70 with Tm 25

  17. 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: 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.


  18. 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:

    • 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,

      • Would you have know a medic on your team SFC Joseph Pestovich who i believed worked with Montagnards around Ban Me Thuot 1969-1970 timeframe?

  19. 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-

    • 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

      • 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.

  22. 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.”.

    • 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.

  23. 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 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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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