Team 32 Gia Nghia

MACV Team 32 – Gia Nghia.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 32 located in Gia Nghia.

481 thoughts on “Team 32 Gia Nghia

  1. Trying to close a few loose ends. I was on Tm 32 from Oct. 67 to Oct. 68. While I was there we had two of the Viet Namese who worked on the compound arrested for being VC agents. They were Loi (sp?) the laundryman/barber and Co Hai one of the KPs. Does anyone know whatever happened to them?

  2. Richard Warren looking for anyone from team 2-32 Jan 69 to July 69. I was team chief. Typhoon magazine did an article on us in 1969

    • My husband died January 2022 John Edward Redic he was a medic served on Mac team 32 ! I have been going through his paper
      He received a bronze star and he never talked about the war but some time his team members he held his time as with the best
      Thank you for your service if you knew him anything about him please I am interested. He later be came a pastor of

      • Carolyne. I may have served with your husband on MACV Team 32 during the period of May 1970 to January 1971. I have a picture of the Sgt Redic I served with and can offer some information if he is your husband. Take care, Lt Rich Sims

          • John or Carolyne. I would be happy to send a digital picture via Email of the Sgt Redic I served with on MACV Team 32 if you feel free to provide your Email address on this site.

    • Can you paste-in the Typhoon article? I was the last Team member (civilian) in Quang Duc post-cease fire, ’73

      • Dear Mr. Schwab,
        I arrived US two days ago and now staying with my son at Lawrenceville, GA. Could you kindly confirm my service status with MACCORDS/Quang Duc when you were PROPREP/ Quang Duc? OPM will see it a good proof for paying my retirement pension. Thank you very much.
        Mr. Cu.– Your former Interpreter/Quang Duc. My email address: And

    • I was in Mat team 32 in April 1969. I was the medic on the team along with Mc Millan and a Lt I don’t recall the name. Yes, I had the Magazine Typhoon but I cannot fine it. It must have gotten lost in the movies I have made. I remember that I was on the last photo it was taken from my back we were walking up a river.

      • Cpt Warren hi doc the Lt was David Rice what about McMillan my Typhoon is also lost I do have some of the photos

      • Richard, do you have any pictures from your time on TM 32. I was there 11-67 to 06-69. Would be much appreciated. We had a mortar pit about 4-6 meters from the latrine. One of the medics I remember was a Navy Corpman. To verify I was there I don’t remember all the names but Maj. Harris, Metcalf, Beddows. 🙂 Thanks T.A. Made a special email to contact me

          • The other guy was John Merrick. I had to accompany their bodies to graves registration in BMT for positive identification.

            • John Ford, That was close to his name; it was actually Steve Marek. He had 99 days left when he was killed on 30 August 1968. Pedro Mota was killed the same day (both in the early morning hours, before sunrise).

              • John, thanks for the technical assistance on the details. How in the world did you remember those details? I had forgotten that they were killed at the same time the days long attack on Duc Lap was underway. I remembered it being earlier in the year. Shows you how memories can be distorted. Maybe you can fill in a detail about their deaths. As I recall, they were assigned to the bunker overlooking the entrance gate to the compound, which was quite a haul from the barracks. From my discussions with our medic, I got the impression that they were killed at the entrance to the bunker, although I never asked specifically. Do you know if that impression is correct or were they killed at some other location?

                • We made a run for the bunkers out the back door. They went to the right … me and another guy or probably me was trying to figure out what to do. My bunker was at the front on the compound. Before I made my move motar rounds hit a they fell back down the hill. That Navy medic was all in with no hesitation. That’s when we ran for the trenches and bunkers at the front of the compound.
                  I can still hear one of them crying out …

                • John, as I recall they were killed on the way to the bunker. But I’m not sure I ever knew whether it was right at the entrance or further away. I have the impression they were a bit further away, but I was busy at the time in my mortar pit, and I didn’t actually see it happen. As for the details, they stuck in my mind, partly because I made a few notes at the time. You might recall that Ken Reid was killed at Duc Lap on the opening few minutes of that siege, on 23 August. The battle of Duc Lap went on for over a week.

                  • I was a RTO from Dalat. That’s where I met Mota. I got the coded message talking about an offensive and I tried to send it to the 2 camps we supported.
                    I remember 2 guys volunteering to go there. (Duc Lap) the guy with the Thompson machine gun.

                    • Ron, the two guys who volunteered to go up there after the siege began were both from my mortar crew: Watkins and Hargis.

                    • I didn’t know them but I applaud them … all these years I felt bad for Mota and the other guy. I saw them die. I remember when the medivac chopper came to get them. They weren’t even in body bags just on the stretchers

                    • Ron, just an inquisitive observation. I don’t know if we had body bags, but the Viet Namese did. However, we did have ponchos.

                    • John, thanks for mentioning their names. I remembered Hargis as a person, but could not remember his name no matter how hard I tried.

                  • Thanks, John. Were you in charge of one of the pits or were you in the same pit as Dale? Before I left for BMT on the med evac chopper, I talked to our team medic. He did not say where he found them, but said they were both dead by the time he got to them. On a different note, I found the after action report for the fight for Duc Lap online. It was prepared by a military history team and is interesting reading. It does discuss 1LT Reid’s death.

                    • John, I had one pit (the one between the liquor storeroom and the latrine) and Dale had the other. I would be interested in reading the after action report on Duc Lap. I’ll take a look for it. Tony Nieves won the Silver Star for his actions there, and one of the guys on my mortar team, Willie Watkins, won a Bronze Star with V Device after he volunteered to supplement the team up there during the siege. He drove a jeep outside the wire to rescue the crew of a downed chopper under fire.

          • There were people from several elements other than Tm 32 at Gia Nghia. One of those was a Navy Medical Civil Action Program (MEDCAP) team. The MEDCAP team consisted of a Navy Lt. (0-3) doctor (Jerome Cohen), a CPO and 2 corpsmen. I don’t know the names of the Corpsmen or when the Team arrived in GN, but it was withdrawn a couple of months after Tet in ’68.

        • Bert: Do you remember who replaced you as Operations Officer? Too, do you remember the name of the Personnel (S1) Officer?

          • The S1 was Gus Riolo. I still have contact with him from time-to-time. I don’t remember who replaced me. Bert

              • Correct! Captain Talmadge Birdsong was the S-3 and Captain Gus Riolo was the S-1. CPT. Birdsong and I DROS’d together in December, 1970. I was the Senior Phoenix Advisor (Captain) for Quang Duc Province, operating out of Gia Nghia, from Jan-Dec 1970.

  3. Hello All! I would like to begin by saying thank you for your service!

    I am a student at the college of LTC James R. Etheridge’s hometown. They are opening a small museum and a portion will be dedicated to servicemembers who fought in the Vietnam War and are native to Milledgeville, GA.

    If you have any information you would like to share about LTC Etheridge, please email me! Whatever you feel comfortable sharing. If you could also include any memories you have of him, that would be nice as well. I have spoken with his family already and would love to hear more about his military career.

      • I met Col. Etheridge on 3 Oct 1967, reporting into Advisory Team 32. He was the senior military advisor. In a very short time I determine that he was a highly competent senior officer and a great human being. In my 4 ½ years in the Army, as an officer, I can honestly say he and Major Purser were the life of the Team, making great strides with the civilian counterpart, to help the advisory effort. It is hard to explain to a civilian, but there was an immediate bond to both of these gentlemen. Not only were they good officers, they were caring human beings. I can honestly say during my brief time with both, I came to admire and respect both for their leadership and professionalism. I had the unfortunate duty to secure the crash site and place all the bodies in bags for removal. To this day, on the anniversary of this unfortunate event, I drink a toast to both men with my favorite scotch.
        I am not sure if this is of any help but……….

        • Hey Dale, I work at the Georgia College Library in Milledgeville, GA. I have been assisting the undergraduate class (Lauren’s above question is in regards to this project) in researching Milledgeville’s Vietnam deaths and I am responsible for taking the collected materials and creating the online digital exhibit. I am currently putting together James Ralph Etheridge’s material and have been trying to further piece together LTC Etheridge’s story and timeline in Vietnam. His tour of duty started in October 1966, so he must have extended. Do you know if his entire time in Vietnam was with Team 32? Please email me at, I have a few questions and I would be grateful for your knowledge.

          • I don’t want to speak for Dale, but he and I served with LTC Etheridge for essentially the same time. Dale got to Team 32 in October 1967 and I got there the first part of November 1967. Perhaps the two of us can provide you with a fairly complete picture of our service with LTC Etheridge. I echo what Dale wrote. In addition, LTC Etheridge took an individual interest in his subordinates. He took more interest in my development as an officer than any other commander I had before or afterwards.

      • Would like to contact John Ford in regards to The Great Forklift Ride” at airfild. I am being questioned by the VA for medical problems from old injuries incurred. There are some entries in my medical files but VA need more. Medical issues have come home to roost in this old body. I just thank God this isn’t AO related, been there,done that. Any information would be of help. Please call or email at walt001jvr@ / 210-216-9155

        • Highly recommend you use a service organization e.g.; Amvets, vfw, dab, etc. to handle your case. Direct to the VA is harder to get what you deserve because it’s their job to say no if possible. Service orgs job is to advocate for you. In my case, VA kept saying no until the Amvets took over and got me everything and more.

      • Stir-up TAPS: USAF Crew Chief / Observer / Shotgun: Sgt. Alan Erickson deceased, entered eternal life on 7/26/2022, Services Oliver Funeral Home Chesapeake, Virginia. Assigned Advisory Team 32 Gia Nghia, USAF unsecure remote site 1967/1968. A Brother in arms and true devoted friend to all who met him. We say goodbye to Alan and pray for peaceful rest. As of now his passing may very well be attributed his exposure to Agent Orange. A big concern to all who served through out Vietnam.

  4. Mike Leonard, I ordered your paperback today. I look forward to it and will advise my 183rd RAC “SEAHORSE” family too!!!

    • Mornin’ Mark and Team 32 members. Just an FYI. I was asked to put my book in an audio format. The publisher, has contacted it and I’m in the middle of the reading effort. Fir those interested, it’ll be finished in a few more days and will come out by early June.
      Mike Leonard

      • Mike L, Too bad Mel Blanc or James Earl Jones aren’t available any more, huh? You might try Sam Elliott to see if he’s available . . . give the whole book a kind of a southern drawl appeal, even though he was born in Sacramento! But you’ll do great . . just keep your vocal cords well lubricated with some good scotch!

  5. Hello! My name is LT Mike Patalano. I was on Mat 32 in Long Khanh Province, Oct 1970 to Jun 1971, based in Soui Cat. I don’t see any familiar names in the posted conversations here. I was with CPT Tom Smith, SSG Key, SSG Stewart, Sp5 Maturi; prior to these guys I was with LT Jaeske, SFC Jedrinski, SFC Daulhauser, SFC (I can’t remember his name right now). Comments anyone? Was I dreaming this?!/!?

    • Hey Mike Patalano . . you’re not dreaming this. You simply thought that this page was for MAT team 32 when, in fact, it’s for MACV Team 32 out of Quang Duc Province. So you’ll need to track down your MAT team on some other page . . good luck! Jim McPhee, Phoenix Advisor, MACV Tm 32, Gia Nghia, Quang Duc Province.

  6. Walt “Phil” Phillips was an AF FAC. Arrived around Oct. 69. Was in backseat on a familiarization ride with Major Lattin when they were shot down near Gia Nghia. Both survived. Bad luck dogged Phil and he was seriously wounded in March or April of 70. Again survived. He lives in San Antonio, TX.
    As to tail number 883, it didn’t survive the attack on the airfield in April of 70. I have photo’s of both destroyed planes if you’d like to see them. Drop me an email address.

    • Mike, You had provided me with some wonderful photos of Gia Nghia. sadly I was not expecting the one photo of 883. As an ex Crew Chief that one really hit home hard. Your follow reply on Walt: Phil was unknow to me and provided a closure for how AC883 ended. I still keep in touch with the Crew chief I replaced at Gia Nghia, Alan Erickson and will relay the events leading up to the demise of 883. Mike, I also live in San Antonio and if you think Phil would like to converse about where we served, I would welcome the chance, but knowing some people don’t relish going back and revisit the past, I would understand. Stay Safe and Peace and Kindness Be With You

      • Hi JV
        I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen Phil on this MACV Tm 32 site on occasion. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you reached out to him. By the way, Phil and George Lattin were in #867 when they were shot down at BuPrang in 1969.

  7. I was assigned to Tm 32 in Gia Nghia from Oct. 67-Oct 68. A few months before I left, the Vietnamese gave us a live bear in a small gage (what we would consider today to be a classic case of animal abuse. I don’t know where the bear came from because I never say it anywhere before it showed up on the MACV compound. I was just wondering if anyone knew what happened to that bear.

  8. Don’t know if this site is still open but will give it a try. I was with Advisory Team 32 from 5/66 to 5/67 in the security platoon stationed in Gia Nghia and Duc Lap. I served with some great guys and only wish I could remember all their names but age (76) has taken a toll on my memory. If there are any 66/67 Team members reading this I’d really like to hear from you and Welcome Home!

    • M-SSGT Harry Jones April66-June67 Was my grandfather’s brother, he has passed now but I have fond memories of him and have a plaque given to him when he left. He served in WWII,Korea,& Vietnam before retirement.
      I posted here in the past looking for anyone that served with him. I noticed the years you posted that why I have replied.
      I thank you all for your service and sacrifices for our counrty.
      I have some pics of the plaques and of him.
      IF anyone interested.
      Thank you

    • I was on MACV Team 32 after you in 1970 and 1971. After reading your posting, I realized that I left VietNam 50 years ago! Time does pass. People now tell us Welcome Home which is very nice, but it was not that way in June 1971 when I arrived on Braniff chartered airline at the San Francisco Airport. Living here in Columbus, GA, next to Fort Benning, it does me good to see the soldiers being liked and welcomed by the local populace. Best wishes. Tom Jeter

      • Tom Jeter please email me in reference to 183rd Seahorse pilots at Gia Nhia during your tour. I need your help, please.

        • Hey Mark
          Mike Leonard here. Just to let you and the guys on the Team 32 site that I wrote a book (to be published and available on Amazon around mid-January). It covers among other things the rescue of Duane Brudvig and his crew on Thanksgiving 1969. It was my phone and email exchanges with Duane before he passed away that was the catalyst for the book. But I give you credit for putting us together 43 years after the incident. Book is titled, “An American Combat Birddog Pilot: Vietnam Battlefield and beyond”.

        • Looking for troops who worked with 183rd Recon Airplane Company, “Seahorse”. I am in contact with former Seahorse alumni KEN BURNS &
          crew chief Jeff Dearing. They served at Gia Nhia 70-71. Ken impaled a NVA Lt. with one of his marking rockets in Support of MACV 32.

          • Tom, were you in 97th Co. at Benning, or at the Ft. Bragg advisory school in the winter-spring of 1970? I remember a Jeter.

    • Stephen, I was at Team 32 from 4/66-10/67. I spent a lot of time elsewhere but maybe we crossed paths. Sorry I don’t remember you but you probably don’t remember me. I remember some of the guys in the security platoon, Beasley, Mitchell, Carr, If any of this sounds familiar shoot me a line. James R. Ingle. I was a Staff Sgt.

    • If my memory is correct, you were from southern Indiana. I was from Indianapolis at the time and arrived at Gia Ninja in late January 67. I ended up staying at team 32 for 15 months, leaving in May of 68. Seems to me you carried an old M3, am I right?

    • I arrived at team 32 in April 66 and left in October 67. I don’t recall your name but I don’t recall alot lately. I spent a lot of time at Duc Lap also. I recall some of the guys in the security platoon. Mitchell, Beasley, James, Carr and Bart. I am James R Ingle. I arrived a buck sgt and made ssg while there.

  9. I’m very sad to report the recent passing of my “Boss”, LTC Ralph W. Julian, who was my Province Senior Advisor when I was there for the entire year of 1970. He retired as a full bird and was 90 years old when he passed. Even more sad was that he died from COVID-19! A couple of tours in Nam and God knows where else and he dies of COVID-19! That’s not right! He was a BN CO with the Ivy Division and survived that and then 18 months as Quang Duc’s PSA. He was a good man and a great leader and served us all quite well! RIP Boss!

    • hey Jim I remember him well he gave me a couple of breaks my name is Jim Davidson I was with the security platoon from 6/69-7/70.took an early out because of Col Julian. he ran that compound great he will be missed but always remembered in our hearts RIP col JULIAN.(a tuff bird) no fun intended. HOORAAH!!!!!!

    • Jim. Thx for sending out the word re Col Julian’s passing. There are certainly some fond memories of him. He created a great working environment on and off the Team 32 compound. Although most of us probably preferred to be back in the States, he helped maintained a light hearted morale. I served on MAT 2 with Cpt Guibert, SSG Redick, SSG Tucker and SSG Smith in 1970. Col Julian always gave us free reign and great encouragement as we operated between, and lived in, mostly Mountainyard villages surrounding Gia Nghia. Always appreciated the good attitude and terrific support from you guys at the compound when our mobile team came in for resupply. Regards, 1Lt Sims

      • Rich, thanks for your comments. I had been in touch with LTC Julian over the past few years and also one of his sons who recently retired as an O-6 himself. So it was sad to hear of his passing, particularly to a virus after such a storied life and career! Thanks for checking in! Stay safe out there.

    • For those that served under LTC Ralph Julian, Team 32’s Province Senior Advisor in 1970 when I was there, who passed away in April of 2020 from COVID, his son, Greg (a retired Colonel himself), just sent along details of his upcoming memorial service if any of you might be in the area of Denver . . “Memorial will be at Ft. Logan (National Cemetery) in Denver on April 8th, 2021 at 1415 hours. Memorial ceremony that morning at 1000 hours at the funeral home.” Greg told me that because of COVID, the family really doesn’t expect anyone to attend but who knows where we’ll all be with this pandemic by April. COL. Julian will finally get the military sendoff that he genuinely deserves!

      • RIP COL JULIAN !!
        I am sure your loyal and trusty companion, Snoopy, was waiting at the Rainbow Bridge to welcome you home. 1LT Robert Barna

        • Bob Barna . . as I live and breath . . . so good to see you on this page and know that you’re alive and well after all these years. I now have read a few more of your responses which I hadn’t caught in the times I’ve been on this site. Good to hear from you!

            • Tom Jones… I was a Phoenix officer, initially based in Gia Nghia from Sept 69 to Dec 69, then as District Phoenix Advisor in Kien Duc from Dec 69 to end of tour in Aug 70.

              • Bob: I was the XO of the MACCORDS Camp Conversion Team at Nhon Co from the Spring of ’70 until PCS-ing in early November of that year. CPT James Patterson was my boss at Nhon Co. We had a few dealings with CPT Haas and LT LaSalle at Kein Duc during that time. Do you happen to recall their first names or know anything about what became of them later? Am also interested in the names/disposition of the Province S-1 and S-3 at the time if you could help. Would also love to know more about your experience with the Phoenix program. Have heard some rough things about MAC-SOG which, I understand, was an outgrowth of Phoenix.

              • 1971-1972. Looking for Mike Anderson, team adjutant, same years. //

                I was the Kien Duc Phoenix Advisor, Nov 71-Sep72. The District Chief was CPT Nguyen Khac Hu. Kien Duc was the first district to fall to the NVA. I have a NY Times article about it.
                I helped CPT Hu and his family after they fled VN, making it to the Philippines and ultimately Omaha, NE.
                I had an opportunity to meet John Paul Vann. My operational boss was COL Lew Millet, a MOH winner in Korea, recently passed.
                A good friend of mine served on Adv Team 32 before me, COL Nick Nicklas.

                • Danny, I was assigned to Team 32 from Oct. 67 thru Oct. 68. Our intel officer was a CPT Harold Nickolas. I ran into him several years later and he was a COL then. Is he the same individual as your friend? If so, can you give us an update on him? There are several people on here who served with him.

          • Jim, great to hear from you. Hard to believe it has been over 50 years. Just completed a book called “The Greatest Beer Run Ever”, which provided a few chuckles, and also was a vivid reminder of our life in Vietnam back in the day.
            Recently retired after a long career in the packaging industry. Happily married and living in Northeast Ohio. Be safe and healthy.

            • Bob Barna,

              I’ll have to look up that book. Glad to hear you’re doing well. I spent a number of years in Columbus where I became a dyed in the wool Buckeye fan! Great times in Ohio! You stay healthy, too! Send me your email address . . I believe I have a couple of pictures of you at The Compound. My email is

              • Hi Jim… I came home from Vietnam with literally hundreds of photos and slides… all of which were destroyed by a vengeful former wife. Any photos you may have that depict the compound, me, LTC Julian, 2LT Ted Corvette, or any of the other officers in Team 32 would be very much appreciated. Also any of the Air Force Birddog pilots… Danny James in particular. Many thanks.


  10. Hi Team 32 team members. I need you help.

    I was the District Senior Advisor in Ken Duc district from 3/69 to 2/70. On August 8, 1969 I had a mortar explode behind me causing severe lower lumbar strain. I was medivac by helicopter from the district to the 71st Evac Hospital in Pleiku. I was treated at the hospital for 10 days and then released. Unfortunately, my medical records from the hospital have disappeared.

    Years ago I applied for VA benefits because of the damage done to my back by the explosion. However, the VA keeps claiming the injury was not service connected even though we had incoming, I was medivac by chopper to a army hospital, and treated there.

    I know this happened 50 years ago, but does anybody, by chance, remember this happening and could write a brief statement to confirm it. It is written in several medical physicals that I took after the incident but the VA is not satisfied with just the medical physicals.

    You can contact me at Thanks,

    CPT Dale L. Stringer

  11. Well my Mac v brothers, l hope you brothers haven’t forgot Big Al from the com center who hooked up mars calls. Gia Nghia 2/70-71. Great memories Team 32

  12. I was at Gia Nghia from September ‘68 until April’69. It doesn’t matter how long you were in country as long as it is a day. Go to a service organization:VSO..Veterans Servce Officer from Purple Heart,VFW,American Legion.He/she will help you file. I have diabetes and its presumed to be service connected.I applied,was sent for blood tests,physicial by a M.D. and several months later received an award…for Diabetes..This was in 2017. no i income$$$ limitations..

  13. I was on Team 32 from May 1970 to June 1971. Just a question based on comments from Army retirees here in the Columbus-Fort Benning, GA, area. Has any member(s) of Team 32 suffered any of the medical problems that the VA has attributed to Agent Orange?

    • Manning, Funny you should ask . . . I was just recently diagnosed (3 months ago) with Multiple Myeloma which my VA Hospital folks told me was directly attributed to exposure to Agent Orange along with Type II Diabetes which I was diagnosed with decades ago but never did anything about because I never made any connection. But I’m now starting the paperwork for obvious reasons. One of our Army FAC’s, W2 Bill Shaeffer, died from AO exposure and I’ve been “told” that some other members during our time have come down with various medical problems, including 2LT Ted Corvette (S-2) and 1LT John Graham. Haven’t asked the rest of the team that I have on a group list, but will. Send me your email address and I’ll add you to it . .
      CPT Jim McPhee
      Senior Phoenix Advisor

      • Jim, I served at Quang Duc in ’76-’77. I recall flying in an L-19 right behind and under active defoliant-spraying missions. However, a web site which allegedly shows all Agent Orange missions does not show that it was used in Quang Duc. Who knows the truth? I believe anybody who served in Vietnam is assumed to have been around it. My second tour in the Delta I was given the additional duty of Corps Chemical Officer and was around it a whole lot. My commiserations for your afffflictions and hope the VA does right by you. Someday I expect some doctor is going to hand me the black spot and I shall be following you through the VA’s doors. Best, Jim Dickey, Kien Duc Assistant and Duc Lap District Advisor.

        • All We definitely flew Agent Orange defoliant missions in Quan Duc province. The FAC component of those spray missions were flown out of Gia Nghia. In fact we were so good at it that we supported Lam Dong (South) and Darlac provinces, as well. If you were in and around this area you came in contact with it. I have the dubious distinction of being praised in my officer efficiency report for running the Agent Orange mission in Quan Duc. I probably flew a dozen of these missions myself. Would come back to Gia Nghia with the Birddog and myself completely covered with this crap. If anyone claims differently, they are completely uninformed. Mike “Walt” FAC 1969-1970

          Sent from my iPhone


          • Asked this before, trying again. My Uncle Buck received a plaque that reads.
            Presented to
            M Sgt Harry Jones
            By the officers & Men
            Of Advisor Team 32
            Qualms Bug Province
            June 66 to April 67

            Does anybody remember Harry Jones?

            • Hey Robert, I remember Sgt Jones. I was in Gia Nghia from June 66 till May 67, as an advisor to Vietnamese MSS. As I remember Sgt Jones was a WWII vet. He was very personable. I liked him alot. I may have a picture of him in civies on Christmas day 1966 at our compound. Sorry I don’t remember more. It’s been 52 years! I assume he’s not with us anymore.

              Paul Kancler

              • Paul,
                Thank you so. Much for the reply. I am so happy to read this, it brings tears to my eyes. You are so correct in your comment.
                I would love to have a picture of him if you have one. I have a picture of him in Germany on a motorcycle, a picture of him receiving his discharge and also a picture at my wedding..
                I’m sorry for the late reply.. You have made my day. He was my hero growing up.
                , Robert Klose.

          • Thanks for the information “Walt”! I was in Kein Duc District and know that Nhon Co airfield also flew chemical spray missions. Long story short I have congestive heart failure, stage 3 kidney failure and spinal stenosis due to AO exposure. To make matters worse my two sons born after my tour in Nam both have birth defeats. My oldest son born before my deployment has no birth defects. Due to lost medical records from Nam I have had problems with the VA. Your post is appreciated.

            • Glad to help. I used the Amvets to handle my case. It was strongly suggested not to go directly to the VA but through a service organization

              • Anyone who served in or off shore in Vietnam was exposed to Agent Orange. I have to agree with Mike and advice all brothers to seek help from any Organization Service Officer DAV, VFW, AL, etc. there out there to help one file. They have the training and possess the skills to jump over the hurdles the VA places in front of all veterans. My experience with my rating and compensation was a no brainer with the severity of illnesses. Serving in Gia Nghia with Advisory Team 32 in 1968 was something I was happy to walk away from but with no idea of what future health problems would effects my body later. Taking care of these health issues early on is a big factor in preventing a serious condition. While my quality of life is somewhat effected by my exposure AO, I am still enjoying Life.
                *Note to Mike Leonard, if your offer still stands, I would greatly appreciate see your collection of pictures taken of Gia Nghia. Reminders of our past.
                Thanks J.V. Ramirez – e-mail

        • Hey Jim Dickey, Thanks for your info. Good to know but, be advised, that if you search long enough and hard enough you’ll find a few sites showing Quang Duc and where the AO was spread . . . different sites that I found showed different a areas that were covered over different periods of time . . not surprising that “Operation Ranch Hand” had (or has) different reports, maps, etc. on this whole operation. BTW, The VA Docs are treating me very well and I’m really impressed with what I’ve experienced so far. I just hope that the chemo drugs they’re giving me weren’t manufactured by DOW Chemical . . . ha!

    • Jim Sadler here , l worked in the comm shack , March ‘68 thru Sept ‘68 . I have stage 4 lymphoma from agent orange, I ‘m responding well to medication but it took a while for the VA to discover it . If you have any health problems stay after your primary care Dr and demand a very comprehensive blood test . Remember , the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
      I know AO was sprayed just over the horizon on the way to Nhon Co . The pilots on here would be able to tell is more .
      I wonder if any one kept count of how many nights we had mortars coming in . It was common enough we accepted it as normal . For several weeks at 7:00 am ,Sunday morning 7 rounds came in as quick as they could drop them in the tube . I was standing in the shower and the First Sargent was shaving . We both counted 7 and went about our business like nothing happened. Of course if number 8 had landed we would have ran like hell .

  14. Tom,

    Thanks for that first hand input . . I certainly know that “time” has a tendency to blur the memory but I’ve read the accounts of a 1970 crash and that didn’t mesh with my memory. I arrived in Jan ’70 and that C123 was already over the side and I was told that it had happened many months before I had arrived. Not sure what may or may not have happened on Mar ’70 but nothing comes to my mind except the “fireworks” of 4/1/70. So,again, thanks for your account.

        • Hi Mike, it has to be #562. I was in country from Jun 1969 to June 1970 and the plane crashed in Gia Nghia approx. 2 to 3 months after I got there. I was assigned to another C-123K as crew chief in approximately Aug. or Sept. 1969. I have pictures with date’s on the backs. Thanks for your input

        • I was assigned to Tm 32 from Oct. 67- Oct. 68. There were some 123 carcasses on the runway and down the hill when I got there and more crashes while I was there. It was a daunting sight for rookie pilots when they made their virgin flight onto the SS Gia Nghia.

          • Hi John, Still alive and kicking. Purser’s and Etheridge’s names are on the wall. The first time I visited the Wall, I looked them up. I don’t think the civilian senior advisor is on the wall, though. I heard indirectly that Ted is still alive, that’s all I know. Did you ever resolve the issue on the OER that civilian gave you? Living in eastern Washington, in the woods. Closest town is 18 miles away, Leavenworth.

            • Helicopter 66-16595 Final Flight: On this final flight, WO1 Hight was the Aircraft Commander of the single rotor light cargo UH-1H (Huey) helicopter; call sign “Bikini Blue Two Eight”. “Bikini Blue 28” was operating out of Camp Holloway near Bam Me Thuot (a French rubber plantation south of Pleiku), Tuyen Duc Province Republic South Vietnam. This area was within the operational area of the Army of the Republic South Vietnam (AVRN) II Corps. The US Army’s 4th Infantry Division was also operating in the area. On February 23, 1968 the helicopter departed Camp Holloway at 0620 hours and proceeded south to Ban Me Thuot where it refueled. It then proceeded to Gia Nghia southeast of Ban Me Thuot where it took-on seven passengers without shutting-down. After taking-on passengers without refueling, the helicopter departed for Duc Xuyen northwest of Gia Nghia. The final flight ended at 10:49 hours local time 24 NM northeast of Gia Nghia in the vicinity of Duc Xuyen, Quang Duc Province with WO1 Hight at the controls. The coordinates of the crash site are ZU 196600, 1:50,000 Map Sheet Number 65331, Series L7014 dated 1965.

            • Dale, good to hear from you. I have not been to the Wall in several years although I live in Northern Virginia. Last time I was there, their names were not on it. I’m glad there names are there now. Do you know if the cause of the “crash” was ever determined? As I recall, it was assumed they crashed but I don’t know if it was ever decided that they were not shot down.
              Yes, I got the OER resolved satisfactorily and got the promotion. I am surprised you remember that.
              I don’t know if you have seen some of the posts on here from people who were our contemporaries or their children. Its hard to believe that we were there 52 years ago. Many memories of then are still vivid, both the good ones and the not so good.
              Here’s wishing you many good years to come. If you ever get back to the DC area and have a chance, please give a call.

              • My name is Ronald Anderson and my cousin was the aircraft commander and pilot when the helicopter crashed on February 23, 1968. The official reports say crash was caused by engine failure, but their is some indication that they may have been downed via ground fire which caused the engine failure. If you would like additional information, please contact me.
                Ronald Anderson
                (573) 355-0328
                1811 Trellis Lane Columbia, MO 65201

              • Hi John, I went to the Wall in the middle 90’s on business and both Purser & Etheridge were on the wall then. I just looked them up to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, or mis-remembering. Purse is on Panel 41 E, Line 2. Etheridge is on Panel 40E, line 73. I also double check to see if Hamblin was there but he isn’t. I guess there is no memorial for civilians KIA.

              • Hi, John Ford and Dale Sterling,

                My name is John Arlington. I was at Team 32 from January to December 1968 as a young 1LT. Perhaps you remember me. Very glad to see you both are still hanging around. I’m in Washington DC, and working for the Feds. Still going to the combat zone after all these years, most recently Afghanistan. I just stumbled onto this site while looking for something else. It has brought back a flood of memories. Maybe I can fill in some gaps for you or others while you fill in some stuff that I don’t remember. And I have some pictures. I’d be delighted to hear from you. I’ll spell out my email in hopes that some bot doesn’t scrape it up for junk mail: jarlington at mac dot com.


                • John, I definitely remember you. I’m glad you made it home, hopefully all in one piece. Are you still in an active status with the Feds? If so, you must be having some interesting times with your comrades who are much younger. I retired from the Feds in 1997 and live in Dumfries, VA now. I still do some consulting work on a part time basis, helping companies do business with the government.
                  Was the bear still at the compound when you left?

                  • John, I remember the bear quite well, but for some reason I seem to recall the bear being up at the Province headquarters, not at the compound. But it’s been more than 50 years, so . . . . In any case, I have a hazy recollection that the bear might have been moved elsewhere. I don’t remember why I think that. Honestly, I can’t remember why that poor bear was there in the first place.

                    Yes, I’m still a full-time Fed and I think I may be one of the oldest employees in the Federal government, after Dr. Fauci and Joe Biden. In other words, all of my colleagues are younger than I am.

                • Hey John, Yes I remember you. Retired for 20 years this month. I live in the woods in eastern Washington that is a dot on the map as “Plain”. I don’t envy you having to go to places like Afghanistan. Let me know your email address, and would like pictures if you have them.


  15. Kind of put Vietnam out of my mind until recently. I’m retired and have a little more time to think about it. Unfortunatlly I don’t remember a lot of names but remember faces. I was there from nov 1968 to nov 1969

  16. my name is john rowley i was at gia nghia oct 69 oct70 would like to here from dan cappino and others

    • Hello John, my name is Tim Heal, AF radio operator Mar.70-Nov 70, we had some good times in Nha Trang, I have talked to Dan Capuano and Gene Mullaney on this site. Gene lives close to me and we have gotten together a few times. Good to hear from you.

    • Hey! John, it’s Jim Davidson last time I heard from you was when you called me at my home it was about 2002.i also talked to Dan. this is one great site am glad I found it. how you been doing? am still kicking. still married to the same women 48yrs.three children 8 grand children. I have a picture of me you and Dan when you guys killed that rat snake. do you still remember April 1st.? I was on duty in tower 3,boy what a long night that was. well got to go hope to hear from you. Jim

    • I am looking for anyone who may have known LTCL James Etheridge, Maj Charles Purser, Mr. R M Hamlin, Col Nguyen Man, Le Ngoc. All boarded my 170th AHC on morning February 23, 1968 for Duc Xuyen as passengers. My 1st cousin WO1 William Reid Hight was pilot. Helicopter crashed killing all passengers and WO1 Hight. I am attempting to contact anyone who may have information about their mission on this day. I can be contacted at or (573) 355-0328.

      Ronald Anderson

      • I was in there the day the chopper went down. I took a VN Intel team to secure the crash site and recover all the bodies and chopper. The crash site was in Quang Duc Provence, the Army has it in Tuyen Duc Province, but that is where they flew all the bodies. The trip was to inspect a very small VN outpost due north of Ghia Nhia. The trip was also sort of a boondoggle. The outpost was in a very beautiful part of the province next to a river. The reason I found this post is because today is the anniversary of that event, and because of what I had to do that day, it is a day I cannot forget. Purser and Etheridge were the good guys the team was never as effective after that.

        • Dear Mr. Dale Sterling, thank you for your response and comments. My name is Ronald Anderson and I am the first cousin of the Aircraft Commander and Pilot, WO William Reid Hight, when the helicopter crashed. I am currently writing an account of WO Hight’s death which means that February 23, 1968 is important to me. I would be interested in your 1st hand memories of the circumstances of the crash, securing the crash sight and the recovery of the helicopter and bodies. My review of all available data and communications with all living personnel associated with this incident has generated many questions. I would like to share the information I have with you and others in the hope that you will share any data, photos and information you may have. Since much of my data comes from official Army records, any updates or corrections you can provide will be appreciated. I can be reached at, (573) 355-0328, 1811 Trellis Lane Columbia, Missouri 65201. When you secured the crash site did you see any evidence of ground fire or gun fire from within the crashed helicopter that may have contributed to crash. The neck wound to the AC Commander, WO Hight, was possibly caused by a gun shot. It seems that certain personnel equipment of AC was missing and his autopsy information is also missing. The passenger list is a very unusual mixture of personnel. I served in the US Air Force and US Navy and I have an understanding of certain terms such as “boondoggle” , but could you expound on this term as you have used it?

          Thank you for your information and please contact me,


        • Dale, I hope you are still alive and kicking. I saw your post and just had to respond. I remember the event very well also. Purser and Etheridge were definitely good people, although they were very different in personality with Chuck being some what of a fun loving character with LTC Etheridge being some what straight laced. Because they were killed in a crash, their names are not on the Wall. Have you ever heard from Ted Maddry?

    • Hi John Rowley… were you and I in Kien Duc together in 1970? I was the tall thin 1LT who lived in the trailer outside the team house. I believe you adopted my “Brown Dog” when I went home in Aug 70. Bob Barna, Chagrin Falls, OH

  17. Any info would be great, My grandfathers brother was M Sgt Harry F. Jones. We have a plaque presented to him by the officers and men of Advisor Team 32. Quang Duc Province Vietnam June 66 – April 67. We called him Uncle Buck and if anyone served with and remembers him any info or stories would be great. Buck served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam.

    Thank You,
    Robert A. KLose

    • Hi Ronald,my name is Jim Davidson,i was there june 69 to july 70. I was with security platoon. I would like to wish everybody who served with Macvtm 32, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.(God Bless us All ).

  18. I was the XO on the Trai Nhon Co Camp Conversion Team from o/a Jan 70 until we turned in over in late Oct of that year. CPT James Patterson was the Conversion Team Commander. CPT Richard Brewer was the outgoing SF Detachment (A-235) at the time. The District HQ just west of us was led by CPT John (?) Haas; XO was a lieutenant by the name of LaSalle. Generally, good memories of that time. My counterpart, Đại úy Thuyet was a trip. One of the few Vietnamese I knew who had a genuine hatred of the other side which did not always work to our advantage. Would greatly appreciate any pics anyone might have.

  19. I was with Team 32 during 70-71 and remember all the guys mentioned in the string below who were also there at that time. Flew with Burns and Chartier, and spent nights at the TOC with Tony Delorso and Kevin Lynch. Also remember Lasiche in admin. I remember Jeter running around the compound with a homemade weight bar on his shoulder.

      • Hello, Guys. Yes, fondly remember all you guys who were on the Team dousing all of 1971. As I recall LTC Julian was in command a good part of that year. Has anyone gone back to Vietnam? I am doing well living in SWFL. Hope everyone else is doing fine.

        • Hey, Gary: I was at Trai Nhon Co as the Exec of the Camp conversion team there from Feb until early Nov in ’70. Sadly, Colonel Julian passed just recently of COVID-19; early 90’s. Do you happen to remember the names of the S-1 and/or the S-3 during your time in Province? Thanks.

        • Gary Marlar, do you recall the Seahorse birddog detachment at Gia Nhia, 70-71? If so I need help identifying a Seahorse pilot whom impaled a
          NVA lieutenant into the ground with one of his rockets. Rocket did not detonate and a bloody NVA flag recovered from that body was given to our pilot.

  20. I am a Viet Vet, Tour 69-70, 183rd Recon Airplane Company, “Seahorse”. A detachment of our BIRDDOGS supported MACV 32 at
    Gia Nghia. As our SEAHORSE unit historian,
    I am Always seeking reports/stories of our units service to you. I have spent years
    attempting to document Seahorse service
    in theater. Most of our pilots just aren’t that forthcoming. Please assist me if you can, as I work to document our unit history.
    Email me at
    Mark Mitchell
    Benton, LA

    • Mark you arrived about the time I rotated. I ncoic of the comm center. 69to70. MOST OF THE NAMES i REMEMBER. I have to think more about it. I remember the c123 crash landing and I will never forgrt April fools day. As a mater of fact it lasted about 5-days. NVA flag was flying in a tree top in the town. I remember a chopper knocked it out. we celebrated. I was with Col Jullian for the boby count, still in my head. I seized a NVA Col belt buckle for him. Can’t forget that either. My unit was in Dalat. I had baeloc and also Zlin, I traveled most every week to those sites. I remember quite FEW STORIES, maybe later.


    • Mark, I was in Gia Nghia from Oct. 67-Oct. 68. if you are still interested in information on this, let me know and I can provide you with quite a bit of information.

  21. Hi guys,i was there june69 to july 70,iknow paul and Dan,am the guy with the missing tooth.(Jim Davidson),remember you guys well.iwas there when the C 123 went down I have a picture sitting in the cockpit.i have to get my thoughts together before I write again. take care guys.

    • Hi Jim. A lot of people keep talking about the Caribou which crashed at Gia Nghia’s landing strip in 69. I was as the DSA out in Kein Duc district and rarely in Gia Nghia. Evidentially we didn’t get the memo! What happened?

      • hi Dale, it was a C-123, it came down for a landing I was on the compound at the security barracks,when we said he’s to short off the landing field, he hit the belly of the 123 at the end of the field and the plane cracked opened like a egg. the loading engineer was killed the others where injured,but don’t know how bad.we didn’t go up there till it was all over.i have a picture in the cockpit of the plane,but that was a few days later. Sgt james Sadler and I was the one on the hill when it you remember when we got hit on april fools day 1970.i was in tower 3 when vc attacked the airfield then worked his why down to the village and set the market place on fire,we called in spooky andhuey gunships to find these guys and they did flush them morning we called in a air strike on the strong side of compound which was between tower 3-4- we fought from midnite until 7 or 8 in the morning.sgt. sadler,sgt.Reynolds,my self and few other guys went out to see the damage.sgt.rowley and LTC.Julien also went,we seen a lot of bodies,going towards the garbage dumb. the count we got was 63. that’s what I remember.maybe somebody else can verifiy it but that’s what we got. Ileft the team july 70.but I just found this site a couple of days ago. AWESOME.i hope this helped I mean that’s what I remember,who would for get.later JIM

        • I was a medic in the MACV Advisory Team 32 from April 1969 to March 1970. Sometime in early March of 1970, there was a crash of an Air Force C123 on the runway at Gia Nghia airfield. I was called upon to treat two Air Force enlisted men, and I am trying to find out what ultimately happened to them. I do not know their names. Can your office help me?

          This is what I remember about the aircraft that crashed in Gia Nghia, Quang Duc Province, Vietnam, sometime between March 1 and 15, 1970.

          It was an Air Force C-123. I was told that the aircraft’s front landing gear (nose gear) hit the end of the runway as it was making a landing and that is what caused the crash. The aircraft was loaded with 55 gallon drums of diesel oil and on impact, they all broke lose, causing all of the broken bones on the one airman in the cargo compartment.

          There was a crew of four: a pilot, co-pilot and two airman, one a regular member of the crew and the other a friend from the same home town — in Ohio, I believe.

          The pilot and co-pilot get out OK, but the two airman in the rear of the aircraft were injured. One was thrown out of the aircraft and landed on the side of the runway. He had severe head wounds and broken bones. The other airman was rescued from the air craft. He had been crushed by the 55 drums of diesel oil. He had a broken pelvis, compound fractures of both leg and internal injuries.
          (Note: Gia Nghia runway was formed by leveling the top of a small mountain. It only was about 2,000 feet long)

          The crash occurred in the afternoon, the best I can remember. I don’t recall how I was told about the crash, but I was called to the scene. I rode my 50cc engine motor bike to the landing strip and when I got there, the one airman was lying on the side of the runway, having been thrown out of the aircraft. He had head wounds and broken bones. The other airman was rescued from the aircraft and taken to the side of the base operation shack. He had been crushed by the drums of diesel oil and had a broken pelvis and compound fractures of both legs, plus internal injuries. I gave the emergency care I could and then, using an ARVN litter jeep on the scene, we transported the two airmen to my aid station at Team 32, about two miles from the landing strip. I had our S-2 get a helicopter standby so we would be able to transport them. I got them stable and transported them to the hospital in Ban Me Thout. I went with them to Ban Me Thout to the hospital.

          Someone told me afterward that they were from the same home town; I think it was a town in Ohio. As I remember, the aircraft burned for a few days at the end of the runway, and was pushed off the end of the runway. But I never found out what ultimately happened to these two airmen. Can you give me any information or tell me how I might go about researching the identities and status of these two men? I need some kind of closure.

          • Hi Richard, Jim Davidson,don’t know the names there was fuel on board,that’s why the plane burned awhile. I knew the plane hit the runway but I thought it was the belly.and someone did say one was killed,but you know better since you treated I said I was there june69-july 70.sorry can’t remember you. let’s see,where you tall and wore glasses? your rank was SP4?. I was with the security platoon. like I said I have a picture in the cockpit of the plane. that’s all I kmow. Jim

            • No Jim I was the team medic. I was in the trailer next to LTC Julien. Just as soon as you came through the gate.

          • The C-123 was from Phan Rang. The pilot was Clyde Clem and I flew with him a number of times. The description of the accident is pretty accurate. One of the enlisted guys died and he was not a crew member. He was on the flight as a “joy rider” to see what it was like. He was a friend of the enlisted crew member. I believe he was in the Army. It’s been a long time and the memories are a little foggy. I hope this fills in some of the holes in the story of the C-123 crash.

    • Hi Jim. Been a long time. I remember the crash and have a few pictures also.
      I think we went up together that day. I also remember April 1st like it was yesterday
      I have a few pictures of us in the bar getting stupid(drunk). I one you have a cast on
      your arm. I also have a picture of the birddog that was hit and the bodies of 4 VC in
      a ditch by the ditch( by the front entrance i think).
      Good to hear from ya.

      • Hi Dan, can’t believe I found this site.April 1st still fresh in my mind.yes it was you that was with me and Sgt Sadler outside the compound,on the way up to the garbage dumb that’s where the bodies where.the vc in the ditch also I remember. The bar can’t forget we made up a song about the market was a Beatle song.the words went happy every after in the market place Charlie burnt the M.F. down. Sp4 Holmen the guy from California also was in on that. do you have any health promblems? I guess the water we drank there was not so pure. I had open heart surgery 2009,caused by agent orange,iwas up on the airfield pumping something from a 55 gal. drum into a Huey that went out and sprayed the fields came back and filled it again.went on for 2 days. treated for PTSD.still go to groups every Monday for the past 18yrs. am 67 yrs. old married to the same women for 47yrs. 3 kids and 8 grandchildren.don;t drink anymore,got in a lot of trouble from that.well glad you made it back. welcome home Cap.

        • Hi Jim
          Yes I do have some health issues they say are attributed to my time in Viet Nam
          since none of the issues I have are in my family. Agent Orange is tossed about
          as the contributor to most of my ills.

          Yeah, I read somewhere where the water we purified was not exactly “purified”.
          Swimming in that water tank may not have been the best thing to do. But what
          the hell did we know.

          Don Holman is from Portland Oregon. I’m from “originally,Rochester N.Y”. Raised
          in California now living in the state of Washington since 88.
          Bob Streb was from Rochester also. He lived near my grandfathers house
          where my family also lived before heading to California. I had the chance to hook
          with him in the late 70’s for a few moments at a bar not far from my grandfathers
          I was in touch with John Rowley for awhile but lost contact when I switched my
          email address. Somehow things got messed up. He was living in Corpus Christi

          That picture with your arm in a cast I believe was taken at the SF camp in NonCo(spelling?).
          Anyway, I”m Retired and Taking it a day at time. Just turned 68 in Dec. I can’t believe how
          time goes by so F…ing fast. I have a son in who’s an Officer in the Navy and he
          blessed me with 2 grand daughters. Other than that, my feet hit the ground in the
          morning, so I can’t complain to much.
          Glad you made it back as well. What an experience for a young person at that time.

        • I Just scrolled down and noticed your other post
          I remember Joe Dockery. If I remember correctly, I
          took over his hootch at some point. I have a picture
          of him also as with most of the guys in the platoon
          that were there during our time on the hill.
          When I arrived in Gia Nghia, Dockery was on his way
          home in a few days or weeks along with Danny Bacon.
          I didn’t really get to know them that well as I was still
          trying to figure out how things worked on the compound.

    • Hi Jim I was there from August 1968 to august 1969, I was a security guard and help build bunkers on top of the two water towers there! Sgt.E 6 vallard and I also built a pump with a generator motor to pump water up the mountain ! I have lots of memories I was met by a Spanish EBuck sarget and he welcomed me to MACV Team 32. That night we got hit from the valley and him and a Spec 5 were KIC and they were laying in front of the mess hall and I said at least they should be covered with a sheat! What a shame He is still on my mind after 50 years!

    • I was there before the crash, the thing I think of as you circled the airfield there were 3 planes that were over the end of the runway down the mountain that did not make it or were pushed over it! That was a bad sight as a newbie landing there in August of 1968 , I was there from 08/10/1968 to 08/12/1968!

  22. MACV TEAM 32, WELCOME HOME!!! A small detachment of troops & O-1 Birddog from my unit 183rd Recon Airplane Co. “Seahorse”, supported you in 70-71. Those pilots were
    Captains Ken Burns, Leon Cook, Alan Chartier
    & Lt John Champlin. Enlisted were crew chief Sp5 Jeff Dearing, Sp4 Joe Rice, Sp4 Hattix
    and Beaumiester. MACV TEAM 32 photo interpreter was Jim Fisher. Do any of you recall this Army detachment or Jim Fisher of Team 32?? Any pictures to share??

    • Dear Dwayne. Your father must have arrived in Gia Nghia just before I left, and I am sorry I do not recall him. Being stationed in Kien Duc or Duc Lap, I do not have many Gia Nghia stories. I recall once going to a Vietnamese hospital in Gia Nghia and there were bodies everywhere. My boss, being a kind man, lifted one off of the floor where he had been left, and gently placed it upon a nearby cot. He asked the doctor what the poor man had died of and was told, “plague.” At this by boss, as if electrified, pulled out his shot record and exclaimed, “My God! I’m overdue for a booster!” And we tore out of there at high speed for the Team Dispensary. Alas for our immortal souls, we found this hilarious. The USAF L-19 pilots were also great guys. As might be expected, the USAF had not trained wings of L-19 pilots in the early 60’s. The Air Force had, however, trained large numbers of B-52 pilots, and not all of them were needed in Vietnam. Thus a retraining effort had been underway. These guys wanted to be bombers and we’d have a few drinks for lunch and take a crate of grenades on board and go out to seek the enemy. Also, the USAF only issued marking smoke rockets to their pilots, so they’d trade. The army to get HE rockets so they could try to do some damage. Great guys. No help for your father, I’m afraid. Best, Jim Dickey, another retired regular.

      • French !My name is Ron Bond I was a gard and sp. 4, I was the man that worked with Sgt. E6. Valard on the bunkers on the water water towers!

      • I got sand bags from Kien Duc to build the Our commanders bunker, also help Sgt. vallard build the pump to get water up the mountain, also helped put a minigun and shoot it in the 2 water towers with bunkers on top, it stopped the VC from hitting us with the 3 82 morters they used on us several time before I lit them up! I also had the job of taking the Panda to Ban Be Tuir . I have lots of stories and I suer was glad to leave in one piece in August 1969 !

      • I did not know of any Hospital, I was there in 1968 around August to August of 1969, It was a out there place and I spent my time working around the compound building bunkers and so forth, I did thke a Panda Bear to Ban be Tuet for the provance Cheaf but the ARVN stold it and it never got to him!

        • There was a Vietnamese hospital in Gia Nghia. I recall visiting it once in 1966 with my boss who was at the time the District Advisor in Kien Duc. There was a body on the floor and my boss tenderly picked it up and put it back on a bed. Then he asked the Vietnamese doctor what the patient had died of, and was told “plague”. At which point my boss pulled out his shot record and said, My God! I’m three months overdue for my plague booster!” We left instanter for the dispensary. At the time we considered his response howlingly funny.

      • Jim Dickey, I don’t know if you remember me but I was at Team 32 from April 66 to October 67 so I know we had to have crossed paths. Before I go any further, are you familiar with the Boberg incident? Are you familiar with Maj. Cox or Less Green 30. I also spent time at Duc Lap and Kien Duc.

          • Hello Mr. Dickey my name is Ronald Anderson and I was not a member of Team 32. I lost my 1st cousin, WO William Reid Hight (Reid) when his helicopter crashed on February 23, 1968 after departing Gia Nghia with passengers from Team 32. I am researching the crash and looking for anyone who may remember the incident or those involved. If you can help or know of anyone who may be able to help me I would appreciate you contacting me at or (573) 355-0328, If you can help, I would appreciate your help.

            Ronald Anderson

          • Jim, sorry I didn’t leave my name. Just got to excited to see someone I might know. Ssg Ingle. I spent time at Duc Lap with Maj. Dwayer.( spl) I also spent time at Kien Duc but not so much. Other times I would go on operations. I also flew with the AF Maj. Walters and an Army Lt. Meraska.(spl)

            • Jim,
              I’m afraid at my age I have become terrible on names. I served as Asst Sub-Sector Advisor at Kien Duc from about Nov 66-Jul 67. I was brought in to create a new sub-sector team for Duc Lap, which had never had one. I think we went in that Aug, but I lasted a week before being ambushed, along with the District Chief and his assistant on a road-clearing operation to Gia Nghia. Was in the hospital at Nga Trang for two months and then returned to Kien Duc to serve out my last month plus. Most of that time I was on an extended TDY as pay officer for all MACV teams in southern II Corps. Oddly enough, that was an extraordinarily hairy and interesting experience: “Find as many people as you can, take as long as you need, don’t declare that payroll as a combat loss unless your blood is on the bills, and here is a map, an L-19 and a pilot to take you around.”

              Best, Jim

    • Col. Wagner, I was @ Gia Nghia all of 1968 and there was a Army Black SGT. who was in charge of the refueling depot at our airfield. Don’t recall his name but have been trying to find out about him. We may be talking about the same person. We became good friends and one of the founds memories that I recall was the day he received a care package from home and ask me to share it with him. So the two of us sat atop a bunker that evening and we celebrate his wedding anniversary. The care package contained a bottle of Champagne and cigars for his wedding celebration, don’t remember how many years of marriage he was celebrating. Many soldiers spend special dates away from home and celebrate however they can. I was fortunate in being asked to shared that special day with him.

    • Yes, ostensibly he was under my supervision. I was an advisor to DSL Co. and was supposed to have two SGTs assisting. However, SGT Wagner, (your Dad) had clerical skills, so he was diverted to the G-1. I will tell you a funny story about him. I was the OD and was checking the perimeter of the compound one night when your father came popping up out of a bunker like a Jack in the Box. He had been sleeping in the bunker when one of the rats we had that were the size of possums crawled into the bunker with him. I think your dates are a little off. He was supposed to rotate out in Oct. 68 but extended for six months. That would extend him out to April 69.

  23. Hi Dan,.i was there with Sgt Delosro at TOC oct 70 to nov 71,Tom Laiche wkd in the admin part we got there together

    • Hi Kevin. I’m sorry I don’t remember you ,
      ,but that doesn’t mean we never met. I left Gia Nghia on Air America Nov. 16th 1970.
      I spent most of my last month in my hooch or the EM bar. Tom. Yeah, that was his name. I remember most guys I pulled guard duty with in the towers (the real night shift)ha. It sure was an experience being in the middle of nowhere with no place to go.
      In an earlier message I asked if anyone knew what happened to titi Charlie. Im sure he was still there when you arrived. The little guy was always helping guys out with boots and cleaning the hooch etc. Felt sorry for the kid trying to speak English. The hard part for him was that he had a slight stutter.
      Anyway glad you made it back. I’m retired and kicking back enjoying what time I have left in this world. Hope your doing the same.

      • Hey Dan, my name is sp/4 Willie Allen, the fellows call me Big Allen. I work in the com-center, I also remember Sgt Sadler, sp/4 Banks, sp/4 Lacey, Brown, LTC Julian, Cpt. Birdsong(TOC), Donald Stevenson was in charge of the pol dump at the air field can’t forget Lt Chappie James (bird-dog pilot) , Williams (security) and of course I remember tete charlie. I was assigned to bunker 8, right behind the orderly room. I was there 2/1970-71 until they deactivated the site. I also remember on a Monday volunteering to go to the air strip for chow and mail run when vc started shooting at the plane, after several tries it flew back to Cam Rhan bay. It took hours for the gum ships and f4 fanton to get them out. I think maybe 19 men, women and children were kill by the vc. My scrapbook has been ravaged, I had lots of pictures if I can find them , I ‘ll post them. You can reach me at

        • Hi Allen my name is Jim Davidson I know all them guys you mention in your letter I was there 6-69 -7-70 I was with the security platoon I pulled guard in tower 3 most of the time but I can’t remember you.(sorry).but we all know what happened April 1st. after it was all over we it the bar and tried to drink that day away I sat with Dan I have a picture sitting in the bar. I just hope the guys that where there after me made it back. well nice to here from another macv vet from our site. God Bless and Merry Christmas too all and a safe NEW YEAR. Jim Hoorahh!!! I think.

    • Hi Kevin. Sorry I don’t recall ya ,but that doesn’t mean we never met. i was on my way out in Nov so I just pulled my guard duty (the real night shift,ha) and stayed in my hooch marking off the days. Oh yeah, a few beers in the EM bar also. The fellow that worked in admin with Gene was Wes. he tended the EM bar now and then. It was sure an experience. I hope you had some good times considering the situation being in the middle of nowhere with nowhere to go. I do remember Streb and most of the guys I spent time with. Quite an interesting bunch. I wouldn’t change a thing. Welcome home Kevin.

      • Hi Dan, I can’t believe I found this site,and am the guy with the missing tooth. am Jim Davidson,i have a picture of you sgt. Rowley with the 6 foot rat snake you guys killed. I still have thoughts of the fight I had with Dockery,and I still have troubles with it.every veterans day I take my photo book down and look threw the pictures and I found the picture of Dockery and I just can’t deal with it,i wish I knew what happened to him,when they flew him out he never came back.i was told by the Doc. not to worry.hope to hear from you guys. later Jim

  24. Hello fellow Team 32 members — I’m SP/4 Gene Mullaney. I was stationed in Gia Nghia in !970. I was an Admin and worked the mortar pit. I would also pull night guard duty once in a while. It’s great to see this website enabling us to hear from each other. I remember Capts McPhee and Birdsong. We actually rotated back home together. I remember (vaguely) our last few nights in country, drinking Cold Duck in Tan Son Nhut. While in Gia Nghia, I usually hung out with Tim Heal, Bob Streb and Lawrence Coughlin.

    • hi gene,kevin lynch sp4 here, got to team 32 october 1970 left in nov 1971,05b radio operator wk in TOC.Remember Streb and Coughlin he was from Boston,Sgt Budda was in control of all the guards,cant remember what his real name was,worked with Maj Lloyd Easter,also Tom Liache was there.

      • Hi Tim
        Great to hear from you. What community are you living at? I am also in a retirement community in Allentown, NJ (we call it an active adult community so we don’t sound old). Sorry we didn’t stay in touch. Last time we were together was at my house in Lakewood, where we had a couple of steaks on the BBQ (better than those steaks we had in Gia Nghia on Saturdays).

        • Hi Gene, I am in Crestwood Vilage 1 in Whiting NJ, just off RT.530. Are you near Rt.539? Trying to keep active here, hope to join a senior softball league, remember those Sunday softball games when the engineers came. By thwe way there is a building where the soccer field was. I remember those steaks, they were good!!

      • Hi Kevin
        You arrived shortly before I left in mid-December. I don’t remember Sgt Buddha. I think there was a Sgt Edwards in charge of the guards when I was there. I stayed in touch with Coughlin for a short time after I got home but then lost touch with everyone until I ran into Tim Heal in NJ in 1994. Quite a few years passed by. I also remember Curtis and Marquez who were radio operators before you arrived.

        • Hi Gene. My name is Dan Capuano
          I was there Oct 1st-Nov 16th. I came in as a radio operator but Sgt. Beckman kept Curtis and Marquez in the bunker. Which was ok with me. I never seen a radio like the one they had in AIT. and frankly a little overwhelmed at 19yrs old . Ended up on the security platoon which was ok with me. Anyway. I remember you and the guy you worked with. Can’t remember his name but a real nice guy. He rented the bar now and then. Coughlin messaged me a few years ago. I replied but I never heard back. I had a couple of emails from Sgt. John Rowley. Visited Bob Stred in Rochester N.Y. briefly (I was born there)while visiting relatives in 75 or 76. I met with Marquez in 73( i think )in Sacramento where he lives. I was living in California at the time.
          Well welcome home and hope all is well with ya. Time flies. That’s Sept 69-Nov70

          • Hi Dan
            I certainly remember you. We shared a few adventures during our time in Gia Nghia. It’s great that you were able to contact some of the guys after you got back. I remember you saying you were from California. Where are you now? The guy I worked with when I first arrived in Gia Nghia was Wes Moore — great guy — I believe he lives in Montana. Cpt. Riolo was in charge of our team at the time. When they left, Sgt Lambert came in. We also had another guy — SP/4 Bennie Haarstad. I heard that Sgt Lambert suffered a massive heart attack and passed away while still at Gia Nghia. I also remember Rowley — funny guy – lots of laughs. Hope everyone is doing well — Welcome Home.

            • Hey Gene. Wow. Sorry to hear about Sgt. Lambert.
              Your right I was from California. I now live in the state of Washington since 88. I got tired of the traffic in L.A . Wes. That’s him name. I just messaged Kevin that I thought it was Tom. Oh well. I’m old and have CRS.. This site is cool although I think I messed up sending stuff. I wasn’t quit sure if my message posted so I hit post again after I added another line to the text.
              Rowley was a funny guy. We
              Kept in contact for awhile through E-mail a few years back. He was selling boats in Coupis Christy (spelling)Texas. I retired from the Airline industry in 05. I hope all is well with you
              Thanks for the reply

              • Hi Dan, my name is Tim Heal, don’t know if you remember me. I was AF radio operator. Spent many days or nights with you in EM club, played ping-pong a few times. Remembered a guy who we called Cap or Cappie, that is you I assume. Good to hear your doing ok!

                • I do remember. Yes Cappy was the name. I almost forgot about the ping pong table in back. Funny, it was hard to play a good game with no rubber or sandpaper on most of the paddles, but it passed time. I think if it wasn’t for that and the EM club we would have gone nuts The rain,mud,humidity and wind blowing at times made for a real adventure going to the showers. If anything made me thankful to this day for what we have no matter whats going on here. It could be worse. Welcome home Tim. Great hearing from ya.

            • Hey Gene. Good to hear from you. Damn it sure was a long time ago. At the same time just like yesterday.
              Yeah, Wes, that was his name. Nice guy, as your were also with your big’ol smile. I hooked up with the Airline industry in 72 and retired in 05. I did live in L.A county till 88 then took an opening here in the State of Washington. I got tired of the traffic in L.A. unfortunately its getting crowded here also. At least I don’t have to drive to work in it any longer. Sorry to hear about Sgt. Lambert. Rowley was a funny guy. When I was in contact with him he lived in Corpus Christi and selling boats. Somehow we lost contact. i Remember Cpt. Riolo. I didn’t Know Know him. Just who he was. I remember most everybody that was on the compound even if I didn’t hang with them. Small place. I did have some good times considering the situation. Thanks for the reply Gene.

      • Lynch, hit me up at I’m in Mexico right now until May of next year. Was just thinking of our R&R in Sydney and some of the other excursions we shared. Good to see you on site. Just found it today, 11/19/2018. Would be good to hear from you.

    • Hello Gene, this is Tim Heal, how have you been. Still in NJ? I am living in a retirement community near the shore. I was in Vietnam in 2010 and visited Gia Nghia. So built up now but I did stand on the site where the compound was. They dug out the lower level of the compound to make it flat and built a school there. Also stayed in Nha Trang which is a big tourist attraction, many hotels and bars on the beach. Austrailan college students go there for their spring break. Anyway good to hear from you.

    • New Jersey Eugene Mullaney . . . as I live and breath . . . all we need now is PFC John Smith and we’ll have a foursome because I’m in touch with CPT Gus Riolo! I often tell the story of sneaking you into the O Club with our “US” brass on your collar (mine and Birdsong’s) and the Sergeant at the O club door looking at us like “OK, that’s bullshit, but go ahead!” We had to stick together as we out processed. I’m in touch with a few guys from the team. Gus retired as a LTC, LTC Julian retired as an O-6 and is living in Colorado. CPT Bobby Odom is in Georgia . . .the list goes on! Send me an email at so we can share some other great memories of beautiful downtown Gia Nghia! Great to see you online. Hope you are well! CPT Jim McPhee (long ago and far away!)

  25. I see in this comment that Non Co got overrun. News to me (’66-’67 in Kien Duc and Duc Lap). Can anyone give details of this event? I still wonder about any details of Kien Duc or Duc Lap District being overrun (after my time, of course). As for USAF operations at Gia Nghia, I do remember a time that the Air Force refused to fly anything larger than a birddog into Gia Nghia and the province team’s only resupply came from Australian Caribous. No one has mentioned USO visits. We had James Garner, who came in and refused to play poker with any of the troops. The locals killed a buffalo for him and he got his brass bracelet (for those who remember, John Wayne got one earlier and wore it in all his later movies). Lana Turner visited Gia Nghia — I assure you no one visited Kien Duc. She had twisted an ankle and her escort officer had to carry her about. One of our radio operators looked on sadly and said, “Gee, my father thought she was a real babe.”
    Best, Jim Dickey

    • Hi Jim,

      Just a brief note as I don’t know details yet. You made me curious about the conflicts in Quang Duc Province. I googled the Battle of Kein Duc and the Fall of Kein Duc. By googling Fall of Kein Duc, I found the District and surrounding areas indeed the NVA overran them in March 1975. Unfortunately, I could not find any details. These comments were just excerpting from books about Vietnam. I get the impression there was a massive assault by the NVA on the division level over Quang Duc Province. When I get a little more time, I’ll see what I can dig up. You know you can spend 4/5 hours in about 20 minutes on the internet.


      Dale Stringer

  26. I served in Advisory Team 32 from Nov 66 to Nov 67. For most of the time I was the XO at Kien Duc and then inserted the first district team into Duc Lap. I lasted a week there before the District Chief, Deputy District Chief and I all got shot. After a few months in the hospital, I returned to Kien Duc to finish my tour. I did not know that the SF camp at Nan Kho (sp?) got overrun during Tet. That’s where we at Kien Duc were to E&E to in the event Kien Duc got overrun (a guaranteed outcome, were Kien Duc ever to be attacked by more than a platoon). Does anyone know the real story of what happened at Kien Duc and Duc Lap District HQs during Tet?
    Jim Dickey, at the time, CPT.

    • Hi Jim: I arrived in-country in February 1969. I was the District Senior Advisor in Kein Duc from March 1st, 69 to February 26th of 70. The whole time I was in Kein Duc I never heard anything like you just described. However, it doesn’t surprise me one bit it happened.

      We were friends and visited with the SF guys over at Khon Co. During our visits, never once did anyone ever say anything about Kien Duc nor Khon Co ever being overrun. I learned about the Battle of Duc Lap months after I arrived in Kein Duc. Yes, we had some unfriendly skirmishes and lots of incoming but nothing like being overwhelmed. In November of 69 it got a little dicey one night; but, with Air Force’s help, (Spooky 41) we came out okay.

      I will tell you this, the whole time the senior NCOs and I were there, we felt uneasy about our exposed situation! The NCOs were constantly building up the defenses and securing additional weapons and equipment for the compound. I don’t know where or how they got all of the stuff they did, and I didn’t ask!! They did a great job!

      Dale Stringer, CPT

      • Dale,
        When I arrived at Kien Duc, the five-man team (five including myself) was living in a GP medium. The sole effort was to build the team house. The major has the brilliant idea to make bricks to cover the house from the ground to the windows. These were to absorb VC mortar rounds and small arms fire. Many bricks had been made. I tested one with my trusty M-2 carbine and the brick exploded in a cloud of dust. So much for that great idea. The major never forgave me. The day I arrived, I walked the perimeter. Virtually no guards, a single strand of barbed wire and an unmarked French minefield filled with waist-high weeds. On the road to Nhon Co there wad a pre-dug regimental ambush site. Another huge ambush site was pre-dug on the road to Saigon. I wondered why we were not dead already. There was a reason. The district chief was in cahoots with the VC. Also, the district was a resupply zone for stuff moving from Cambodia to III Corps. The VC had overrun a SF camp earlier and a bde of the 101st had stomped all over the district interfering with the modus vivendi. Thus, not a single event of any sort marred my time in Kien Duc. I think the local VC used to sit outside the wire and watch the movies in reverse which we showed on a sheet. Our major demanded American food, so we ran the road to Ghia Nghis every week for resupply (no helos at Province). We had two rat patrol jeeps mounting .30 cal mg and off we went at high speed through the ambush site, got our stuff and returned. I confess that we were not often sober for the return run. Fun days of youth in Kien Duc District.

        • Hi Jim: I chuckled as I read your reply. Events were so similar when I was there in Kein Duc. By the time I arrived the district had a full advisory team. It consisted of myself, two lieutenants, and eight enlisted. The completed team house was comfortable though spartan. Outside of the house previous occupants had placed 55-gallon drums and filled then with dirt. They were around the team house with sandbags inserted between the barrels and up to window level.

          For protection, we had an RF infantry company at the compound. Fortunately, they were well trained and elite troopers! (NOT!!) They had managed to dig a deep trench around the district headquarters and placed concertina wire. We trusted them so much that around the perimeter of the team house the NCOs put claymores pointing into the compound.

          The VN didn’t like that. The claymores stayed! Over the period of the year, we added perimeter lights, 50 Cal machine gun, new bunkers and lots of other improvements. I still don’t know where they found a spare 50 Cal?? It did come in handy later!

          After a few months, out of the blue, we had a National Guard engineering platoon come for a visit. They built a water tower and ran water lines to the team house for the kitchen and showers. We greatly appreciated them for that!

          Running the Road to Ghia Nghi!! Oh, what an adventure! I remember those quite well. Most of the time our supplies like food and small things came by chopper. But other times we had to make the “Road Run!” For security reasons, we would put on all our equipment, weapons and then make a dash to the jeeps and fly out of the compound. But we would still run into VN peasants that would accidentally be “bird hunting” as we drove towards Ghia Nghi. Fortunately, they were “piss-poor shots” though we could hear the rounds go by us!

          I don’t think our District Chief had an “in” with the VC. We had incoming too many times. Most of our contacts were with NVA types. In fact, the November incident, I was told by the PSA, was by the NVA 411 Sapper Battalion.

          • An RF company. You had the Grenadier Guard! We had a reinforced platoon of PF’s dressed in black pajamas who were always high on dope. I am glad the team House we built was satisfactory. When I came over in ’66, the word was bring everything, as I might be assigned to Saigon, I brought over a foot locker and a duffle bag of gear to include green underware, khakis, greens and God knows what. During the year termites ate through the concrete floor and my trunk, ate the khakis and crapped over everything else. I went home with a hand bag. The engineers must have been a good deal too. When I arrived, we had kerosine lanterns. We bathed in a water hole with the elephants in some local village. Then we found a wing tank discarded by a USAF fighter and rigged it to catch roof water, added a kitchen heater in a garbage can and had hot showers. In those days there was something called a “District Team Kit” which had neat stuff like a small generator, movie camera, and other goodies. Naturally all these were pilfered in the rear and it took us six months to get one. But we did have it better than some other district teams. In my last months I had little to do so I was appointed pay officer for all MACV teams in Southern II Corps. This was the most hairy duty I had to perform in two tours. Some district teams lived in palaces, others in underground bunkers, one died to a man the night before I could pay them. I dine out on the long version. Things were very different by ’71. Jim

        • Hi . I’m Dan Capuano. In Gia Nghia Oct 69-Nov70. I remember Hauling butt down the road to Nhon Co a couple of time for reasons I was never told. I was just an extra body(I was on the security platoon) . I remember before we left to Nhon Co we were looking at about a 10x12in map on a board with red dots all along the road. The dots representing zappers along the road I was told. Supposedly the RVN’s cleared the road before we left..They did. Anyway, needless to say it was an adventure each time. When we got there I thought to myself, This is crazy. Small compound in the middle of nowhere. After a few beers and hard liquor the road back was a blur. I just remember holding on for dear life . I have a picture of that day sitting at the small bar they had. Cracks me up when ever I look at it.
          On another note. I’m not sure history of battles in our area were noted for some reason. While we had our share of in coming during my time one stands out to me. April 1st 70. The NVA came in and brought havoc which lasted (I think for about a week). We were on code red for awhile. I know cause I pulled gate guard duty and in the towers a lot . I remember the gun ships during the night and day and the jets doing their thing and the low fly over with a wave on the way back to where they came from. The point of this is ….Nothing mentioned anywhere. Something was going on.

          • Dan, I continue to be impressed by the war you folks fought at Gia Nghia in the late 60’s and early 70’s. My memories when I was stationed in Kien Duc are in earlier posts on this site. There was no war in 66-67. We drove from Kien Duc to Gia Nghia and back weekly (often drunk) in jeeps mounting .30 cal MG’s, like the Rat Patrol, for a year without action. Duc Lap to Gia Nghia I only tried once and never made it. The SF camp at Non Co was only half way from Kien Duc to Gia Nghia and a regular drive. One night at Kien Duc after an operation our team medic found a large leech on his dick and went crazy. We had two old US Army WWII half-tracks which had been given to the French and after that to RVN. We drove in the dark past the pre-dug VC regimental-sized ambush position (never occupied in our time) to Non Ko, but by the time we got there the leech had its fill and dropped off. So we drove home. I too have tried to find any history of Quand Duc Province in the war and have found nothing. Best, Jim Dickey, BG, USA (Ret), at the time CPT, Armor.

            • That was Funny. Yeah,strange why there is not much mentioned about where we were in the Highlands. I recall several times while on duty(and off) Snoopy buzzing around,streaks of red firing down,the sound a few seconds later. The 105’s above the compound blasting away .Our mortar pit was busy during the time mentioned above. To me at the ripe old age of 19,it was pretty intense.. If i’m not mistaken, the first or second day i arrived we had incoming. kind of a welcome to Gia Nghia. I didn’t sleep for days. Having lost 5 friends I grew up with prior to my arrival and looking out over the country side out of the window of the Air America plane on my way in, I thought,this is it. looking out over the perimeter while on duty late at night in the tower, looking through that stupid starlight scope which made every thing green and if you starred long enough it was like the vegetation started to uproot and walk away I would think to myself, we are sitting ducks. Where ya gonna go when crap hits the fan. leaves one to think how lucky we are to be home.

            • I think all you guys are thinking of the SF Camp at Bu Prang that got waxed in Oct 69. I arrived in Gia Nghia 4 January ’70 and heard all the stories about Bu Prang and the role our FAC’s (both AF & Army) played over there. Our PSA was LTC Ralph Julian, former Bn CO with the 4th Ivy doing an 18 month gig as Province Senior Advisor. I was the Senior Advisor for the Phoenix Program which was quite an assignment, to say the least. CPT Phil McCarthy was DSA at Duc Lap. We were already starting to wind down when I got there but Charlie kept it interesting for us, particularly on 1 April ’70 when he decided to attack Gia Nghia (and elsewhere) and burn down a lot of our village down the hill. What memories this site is bringing back. I’m still in touch with a lot of my fellow “Advisors” all these years later.

              • Hi, Jim, I was the District Senior Advisor in Kein Duc when what you’re talking about happened. What happened, in my fading memory, was the 66 NVA Regiment attached Duc Lap, Gia Nghia and Kein Duc in a three prong attack in late October and November of 1969. They tried to overrun Duc Lap and the Bu Prang SF Camp but were not successful. The NVA thought they could over run Quang Duc Province but the MACV advisors in Nha Trang knew about their activity. MACV knew they were going to attack and was prepared. In fact, Kugler, LTC Julian and I were flown into Nha Trang for a briefing before all of this started. They brought in the 23 ARVN Division and they drove the NVA out by early December 1969. In late October the NVA hit all of the isolated outposts along the Quang Duc Province borders with mortars, RPGs and that’s when the fun started. CPT Roger Kugler was the District Senior Advisor at Duc Lap District during this time. After it was all over I had the chance to visit Duc Lap and it was basically underground when we arrived. There were no standing buildings left. Camp Bu Prang was closed down and moved out of the range of the NVA artillery located in Cambodia that was 5 klicks away. Dale Stringer, CPT

                • Dale, You’re the first guy to start to string out a story of what happened after I left in Nov ’67. I hope you have read a few of my earlier posts about life at Kien Duc District in 66-67. Did the team house bricked up to the windows still exist? How about the wing tank shower? Jim

                  • Hi Jim: The team house you guys build was indeed standing when I arrived in Kein Duc in March 1969. It was not quite the “Motel 6” quality but it well served its purpose! In fact, it was quite comfortable and had all the needed basics. It was not bricked up to the windows but had 55 gal barrels with sandbags between and on top for protection. To the best of my knowledge, the shower was not a wing tank. The showers were built next to the team house as an addition. There were two with concrete floors and piping with shower heads. With the help of the engineers, we built a water tower with running water to both the kitchen and showers. That happened about 6 months into my tour.

                    I’m glad you had a quiet time while you were in Kein Duc. There were times I would have traded with you. Those 4.2 mortars and RPGs the NVA used will get your attention! When we got hit in early November ’69, a 4 deuce took out Kein Duc’s district headquarters building. Fortunately, the District Chief and his family wasn’t hurt. As you may recall, in Quang Duc Province, Duc Lap was in the northwest corner, Gia Nghia was in the southeast corner and Kein Duc was southwest of Gia Nghia.

                    That left a whole bunch of empty space in the middle of the province. The big party in October, November, and December of 1969 occurred in the middle of the province. I don’t know all of the details but there were a lot of artillery fire bases set up and lots of infantry activity. A large number of copters were shot down with rescue attempts to find the pilots. Most of the activity tended to be in the northern part of the province. They were trying to protect Ban Me Thout.

                    Eating lunch at the Gia Nigha chow hall I know the American advisors with the ARVN troops were catching hell! In fact, one advisor, a Captain, was talking about how his company of ARVN’s turn and ran out on him! He was one pissed dude!! The thing that really upset me was the NVA purposely mortaring the villages and killing innocent civilians! I can’t tell you how many were killed during this time.

                    Enough for now,

                    Dale Stringer

                • This sounds like a repeat on what happened in August ’68. Then two regiments of the 1st NVA Div, including the 66th, attacked Duc Lap and BuPrang. As a diversion, the VC mortored Gia Nghia and Kien Duc at the same time. The NVA artillary was set up in Cambodia where we could not fire back. The SF camp was mostly overrun, which was bad for the NVA. Five MIKE companies surrounded the hill and Colorado Air National Guard F-100s and Huey gunships were lined up practically to BMT waiting to take a shot at the top of the hill. After everything was over, the maps of the area had to be redrawn because the hill in Bu Prang was several feet shorter than before.

              • Hi Jim. We never met formally, however I remember who you are as with most of the people on the compound.
                After all, spending 13 and a half months there you become familar with who’s there. Thanks for the info on what went on in the province. I was just a spoke in the wheel (security platoon) making the best I could while there.
                April 1st was an eye opener. In reading some of these post no one mentioned it but me. I thought maybe I had the wrong date.
                Glad you made it back

              • Good evening,
                My uncle Buck served June 66 – April 67.
                I received some items handed down after his passing. I have a plaque given to him by the officers and men of advisor team 32
                Quango Duc Province Vietnam.

                I was wondering if anyone served with or remember him?
                M-SGT Harry Jones

          • John Carr. Was your father also named John Carr? If so, we served on the same team in Kien Duc at the same time. He was a wonderful soldier and I could tell you stories about him that I bet he never told you. If he was your father, please verify this by telling me his civilian occupation before he was drafted, and email me at If your father is still around, please have him contact me.

    • Hi, Jim. My dad was a radio operator who mentioned a Capt. Dickey. He was stationed in the same area and bon mi taut. Spec 4 John Carr was his name.

      • John, I am that Captain Dickey and served almost the whole year at Kien Duc with your father. When I asked about his profession before he was drafted, I was looking for you to say meter reader for ConEd in the Bronx. He had stories of the basements there. My email is Please send me yours if you are interested. Best, Jim Dickey

        • Jim, So sorry For the delay. I’ve emailed you. That is my dad. He was a meter reader before service and went on to have a 35 year career with Con Ed after as a chief lineman. I look forward to hearing from you!


    • I was with tm 32 from Oct 67-Oct 68 which included Tet 1968. Quang Duc was missed completely by Tet. There was no activity there at all, totally calm and quite. The biggest impact we had from Tet was that the Aussies did not fly their Wallabys in to bring us mail for about two weeks.

  27. I am looking for anyone that may have served with my father, Charles David Harrell. I am pretty sure he was in Gia Nghia, Dak Nong area. He said the area he was in was claimed by both sides. He was stationed out of Ft Hood Tx 2bnd armored Tank Div I think. (Hell on Wheels is what I remember) He was civil affairs adviser to some village and served 68-69. My mother also remembers him saying Tri Ton and Quo Doc. He got a Bronze Star for something about the villagers taking food to the cong in the mountains. I don’t want to say too much he did not like being called a hero. Any help is appreciated as the memories there were too much for him and he lost his fight to go on.

    • Sorry, didn’t know your dad. I was in Gia Nghia and Kien Duc Aug 69 to Aug 1970. Your mother’s recollection of “Quo Doc” might actually have been Quang Duc. At that time, the Vietnamese name for the province (or state) was Quang Duc. Gia Nghia was province capital. Not sure was “Tri Ton” means. Good luck Rochelle.

      • My father was the province chief in Kien-Duc from 1968 til the Fall of Saigon. His name is Hieu Khac Nguyen. I was wondering if you know his MACV. I believe he lived in Central California. I just wanted to see if anyone knows information of the the person so that I can contact them and let them know how my father’s family is doing.

        • John,

          Your Dad would have been District Chief of Kien Duc, rather than Province Chief of Quang Duc. That was a long time for a District Chief to remain in one place. And Kien Duc was a hairy place. The Province Chief at the the fall of Saigon was a Col. Thien.

          I believe there is an informal ‘network’ of former senior ARVN officers in the US. If Col. Thien is there, he would have known your father.

  28. Hello Capt. Lenard, Im AF Sgt Bill Brown I was at Gia Nghia from Dec.1968 to Oct 1969 you must have got there just a little after I left. I was crew chief on 883. Walt 22 then was Capt Zolatsky he went home before I did. I cant remember the names of the other pilots we had 3 and 2 planes. The Army had 4 pilots and 3 planes.The CO of the compound was Lt Col Metcalf. We had some good times there, I hear a lot of things changed after that. Take care.

    • Bill, I was Walt 21 when you were there (I was there from November 1968 to late March 1969 before disappearing to go to Laos as a Raven FAC). The ALO was Major Hilbush. Karl Polifka

      • Yes I remember you very well 1st Lt. Karl Polifka, Ive thought about you ever since you left us. Im so glad you made it home! I was really worried for you when you left on that secret mission. Seems like you were also from California? I live in Lemoore Ca. I got stationed at Travis Air Force Base Ca. when I got home from Vietnam. When I got out of the service, I got married had 2 Sons , now I have 3 grandsons. What did you do in Laos, and after you got home, I would really like to hear about it! Im so glad to hear from you, to tell you the truth I didnt think you would make it back, that was a dangerous mission! Please stay in touch . Sgt.Bill Brown email

    • Hi Bill;
      My VN odyssey. First tour 1965-1966. 1969-1970 second tour, I was ALO at Bao Loc from Aug. 69-Oct.70 (Walt 70). Reassigned to Gia Nghia under ALO George Lattin in late Oct. 69. (picked up the call signs Walt 21A, Walt 22) depending on if I were replacing George Lattin as ALO off and on. Had FAC’s Gustke, James, Uhl, and one or two others (passing through). Spent Nov. 1969 out of BMT City Field. Returned to Gia Nghia on or about 1 December. Flew Gia Nghia until April 1970. Assigned as Chief of 0-1 Stan Eval at the 504th TASG in Cam Ranh Bay in April 1970. Gave check rides and taught FAC Mission and Tactics for 3 months before DEROS ing to Charleston AFB, SC to fly the C-5 Galaxy. Bit of a transition from the 0-1 to the C-5. Fun, all the same.

  29. Just bumped into this site. Hello to all you Team 32 guys from then AF FAC Capt. Mike Leonard (Walt 22, and a couple other Walt #’s). In Gia Nghia from Oct. 69 through April 70. FYI. Capt. Jim McPhee (, Phoenix Program, has been keeping the remembrance fires burning over the past few years, and for those interested, can connect you to a few more of us. See his email above. By the way, it was Lt. Walt “Phil” Phillips that was severely wounded in the stomach and still managed to bring his O-1 down on the airfield. He now lives in San Antonio, Tx. You may also remember the head FAC (ALO) at the time was Major George Lattin. George unfortunately past away a few years back. Lt. Karl “Lob” Gustke is in contact with Jim McPhee’s TM 32 bunch, as is Capt. Tal Birdson, Col. Julian, and others. As for me, hit the big 75 mark in December and will be living the dream in Reno, NV as soon as I retire (March, 2017). Best to you all. Glad to know you great guys are still out there. Mike (775) 901-1122 and

    • Bill Perkins here. Radio operator mainly at Walt control BMT from April 69 to April 70. Did spend about one month at Gia Nghia I am guessing around January.

    • I stumbled on this blog looking for Walt 22, Mike Leonard. I wasn’t at Gia Nghia, but had friends. Can’t remember their names.
      I was at Ban Me Thuot East field, with 5th Special Forces,TDY for about 6 weeks in the fall of 69. I was a AF Sgt radio op, & did mostly flight following activities. Don’t remember what strikes we did but was in support of operations in the Bu Prang, Duc Lap areas. I was also at ROK CAP DIV in early 69.I do recall monitoring some hairy radio traffic with a FAC screaming for air support, as ground troops in contact were getting picked off. I also recall the rumble of B-52 strikes, probably along the trail.

      Mike, you can add me to this group as well

    • To all the Team 32, another post from the last formal Team 32 member Civilian after all Military withdrawn couple days before so-called Cease Fire. There were two more Civilians who replaced me later and each other briefly. This report won’t be anything like the war stories you guys have but it’s strange enough. I resigned from CORDS shortly after cease-fire because the GVN (military and civilian) for a long time had been mistreating the Montagnards. We Americans were implicated in that treatment because, being Advisers, we had no authority. Just like the MACCORDS military advisers–no American could order a Vietnamese officer or civilian to do anything.

      Gia Nghia and the Districts were relatively quiet immediately after the Cease-Fire–except for some serious flare-ups along the Cambodian border–the SF camps had been turned over to GVN “Border Ranger Camps.”

      Before I resigned, I had a pair of uninvited visitors who had gotten into a Jeep in BMT and drove down to Gia Nghia: two French reporters doing a story on what life might be like in remote areas since the War was “over.” One was normal, the other was a photographer with a major speech defect so I felt sorry for him. Big mistake.

      I put them into an Air America chopper later in the afternoon, back to Saigon. The next day I got a landline call from an American reporter. Those two Frenchmen had been telling some other Press colleagues in Saigon how they fooled the Adviser in Quang Duc into meeting with Viet Cong representatives so a local cease-fire could be reached (presumably the same trick was being attempted in other remote places near Cambodia) point being to kidnap me somewhere on a stretch of QL 14, near Kien Duc.

      Another interim CORDS civilian was sent up to replace me–Bob (last name forgotten), who had been a retired 1st. Sgt in Special Forces. A few days after that, a second replacement (I learned) came up to replace him–this third fellow wanted to get away from civilization in Nha Trang and jumped at the chance to take over in Quang Duc. Then came the day when the NVA made their move across the board in South Vietnam. By this time I was on my way back to the US but I learned the final stage in Gia Nghia.

      Walt (his name) was not somebody you’d figure for a buccaneer. But he got as many of the local staff as he could on a couple more Air America birds, then collected all the available weaponry he could (he’d never been in the military) and bundled up all the remaining staff and their families into several Jeeps and maybe an ARVN truck and ran his pretty damned heroic little convoy out of town and to Kien Duc where he kept on trucking and there they headed south along the definitely
      enemy-held QL 14 and didn’t stop until they reached more friendly territory and kept going until they finally reached Saigon, all in one piece.

      Prior to all of that, including his stint with CORDS, he had been a Campaign Manager for a politico in one of our Southern States. I don’t know about the Feds, but Walt assuredly will gain entry through the Pearly Gates for his truly heroic ride along QL14, not many people can say that.

      Rob Schwab

  30. Hi Carter ,
    I’m Lt. Tu Vietnamese team at T.O.C.
    Capt. Birdsong and Msgt Brockman were my S.3 advisors. I remember you, Timethy Heal ,and Cherry Holmes with all others R.O. Under T.O.C tiny bunker.
    Now my family live in Arizona. I want to know about Capt. Birdsong ang Msgt Brockman.
    Hear anything about them?

  31. My name is Bill Brown crew chief USAF I was at Gia Nghia from Dec 68 to Oct 69 when I got there, there was a Army crew chief called Red he was a real great guy. Im pretty sure I remember your Dad as the Army 1st Sgt. But its hard to remember faces from that long ago. If I saw a picture of him I would remember him. I hope this helps you.

    • I was a Radio Operator with ALO/FAC Team 32 April 70 to Dec 70 When we ceased operations and were ordered to pull the Air Force operation out of Gia Nghia . I was sad to leave and worried about the Army that was left. Our ALO was Major Ertle who I still have contact with in Shreveport La. Tim Heal was the other RO when I arrived until Sep. 70 when PCS to North Dakota. I cant remember his replacement. Curt Shoup was the crew chief and senior enlisted man for the Air Force. Capt Birdsong Msgt Brockman Ssgt Butler and Sgt Stebbins were some of the Army personnel.

      • Hello John:
        I was also an R/O in Gia Nghia from November 69 – December 70.

        I remeber Shoop, Washington, and another Army A/C mechanic only known to me as “Hillbilly”.

        The other R/O’s were Kraz, Sonny Litson and a guy from NC that was also sent there for the same reason as me. I was sent there to bolster the crew because of the activity that was going around there

        Our intel guys were John Sacco and Robinson.

        Maj Lattin was the ALO and the FAC’s were Geagly, Gustke, Leonard and Phillips.

        The NC guy was sent to Bu Prang and was hit his first day out there. I was sent to replace him that afternoon and I was on the camp for 3 days. In those 3 days, the camp was being pounded and probed almost constantly at night. We took 175 rounds of incoming in 15 minutes and when it lifted, bad guys were in the wire. The SF guys killed 5 of them on the camp that night if I remember it correctly. Lots of “harry stuff” out there for the three nights I was there.

        Maybe this will stir up a few memories for you and I would love to hear from you.

        Clay Peacock

        • I was in Gia Nghia in 1969.I was a crypto repairman that work on the crypto gear.I was there off and on when the gear went down.I was in Co.E 43 Sig and my main place was in Dalat.Do you remember me coming to work on the gear and any action that went on there or in Dalat??If you know of anyone that was assigned to Co.E 43 Sig in 1969 would you get in touch with me??My name is Michael S.Barnes.#305 304 0979..Thanks..Take care..

          • Staff Sgt Keeter Barnes I remember you. I was ncoic of communications at Gia . My company was also Dalat. I was there 1969 to 1970. I’m glad to hear from some of you. If any one has pictures of ghia nhia, please contact me at I would love to hear from you. All the names that I have read I remember most of you. One story you may remember was after about five days of hell we woke up to see the nva flag flying from top of a tree in town a nd a chopper knocked it out. I was also incharge of bae loc. and went back and forth many times. Col Julian was a good friend to me and may men. I am retired and live in Athens, AL

    • Thank you Mr. Brown for posting to my inquiry about my father Paul Ryan. My email address is, please email me and I will reply with a picture taken hours before the Tet offense started. You may also contact me at 740.816.9802.
      Thanks Alex Ryan

  32. My name is Alex Ryan and my father was 1st Sergeant Paul Ryan. He was stationed at ia Gia Nghia during 1968 -1969. I was hoping anyone would remember him. I am also looking for a forward air controller pilot with the nickname of Red who served around the same time. Thanks

    • Although this post is somewhat dated, I was in Gia Nhia from Oct. 67-Oct 68. I knew your father very well. He was a good man and a good soldier.

  33. Bill,

    I also knew Tom. I recall his correct name was Thomas Oscar Norris. When I looked for him a few years ago on google, I got an obit. Not sure where he went to school, but he was 3 or maybe 5 years older than me and I am 71. Marshall may have more

    • Bill,
      I was 18 when I met Tom, in 1964 (I’m 71 now) and he was 3 0r 4 years older than me. I am pretty sure he has passed away. He was from El Centro(sp) CA or near there. I went to Saigon with him when he cleared Country. A great friend at the time. He was “stronger than an Ox”. He was the Diesel Generator Operator/Mechanic.

  34. Hello Marshal,Im Bill Brown I was USAF crew chief at Gia Nghia in 68 &69. I read that you knew Tom Norris? Do you know if he was from Campbell, California? Im from there and when i was a kid I ran around with a kid named Tom Norris, we were real good friends went to church camp together,our Moms were real good friends. But I lost touch with him when we started middle school.

    • I don’t think we had any Air Force stationed at the Advisory Team when I was there. Probably less than 25 total Americans there at one time. I left in June or July of 1965

      • My name is BJ Cheramie, I remember Red Cormack who arrived in Ghia Nghia a few months before I left (April 65)to come back home to Louisiana. Red came to Ghia and worked with me. our job was to Flight Follow aircraft flying through our area,we had no aircraft at Ghia at that time the closest aircraft to our area were approximately 30_45 minutes away. It feels great to see your name Red. Sad to hear that Tom Norris may have passed.
        Hope you are well.I remember our group well,at times I can,t recall everybody’s name but I still can see their faces. I remember Moschetti,Walterscheid,Hagiuwara(Haggy), Major Mordente, LT Glenn,Sgt West, Capt Stebbins, Major Johnson, Sgt Schreik,Sgt Moody; the others will come to me later, there was another older Capt. And so on.All nice folks. I just found this site and plan to follow it and hope to hear how my buddies are doing.

        • BJ,
          Great to hear from you. Not many from our time period using this site. Until my step son found this site, I had not heard from anyone who even knew of Gia Nighia. Finley met up with Marshall Welch last Summer in North Carolina to share pictures and stories. Big regret is not getting to connect with TO before he passed away. My email; I will shoot you and email right now with my contact info. Let’s catch up.

    • My name is larry Westcott. I was a pfc in the army stationed with advisory team 32 during 1965-66. I served with Capt Medlin. I served as his radio operator on two occasions away from Gia n. I am 70 years of age and live in west Virginia.

        • Gordon,
          No. There was a small communication building there, but due to clearance requirements I never got inside. I was with the security/grunt, unit there. We dug trenches all day and worked on the bunkers. We pulled guard duty every single night and also refueled C-123’s and spotter planes, using a hand pump, at the primitive airfield. When I left Vietnam I got stationed at Fort Polk as a Drill Instructor at Tigerland training infantry guys for Vietnam. I then got out of the Army for a few years and then enlisted in the USMC, I served 19 years in Signals Intelligence with the Naval Security Group and had two assignments with NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland. I retired from the USMC as a CWO4. I was 19 when I got to Vietnam and I will never forget those days with Team 32. Thank you for responding to my comments.

          • Larry,

            Give or take a few weeks, I arrived in Gia Nighia around September 64 and left in July or August of 65. Plus or minus, there were 26 or 27 Americans. I remember the first Air Force arrival as well as the first arrival of the security platoon\squad. I returned for a few months in the Fall of 66, leaving in December to return to civilian life. I remember being told by Adams (I think was his name) that one of the security guys was accidently wounded by a friend sometime between 65 and 66. Did you come with the first group of guys? I wounder if we were there at the same time?

            • Hi Gordon
              I wanted to respond to your post but mistakenly responded to someone else a few posts above this one, guess I’m getting old. I am BJ Cheramie and if you are the Red Cormack I remember, you and I worked together in Ghia Nghia in 64-65,we were part of the 18th AOD and attached to Advisory Team 32. My email address is It would be nice to from you. I hope that you are well.

        • When you said troposcatter unit you got my attention..I was with the 362 signal detachment that put in that troll site I 63&64… my name is Ray Matthews, I was the NCOIC of the signal detachment….

          • Ray,

            I can picture the NCOIC, A spec 6. I can picture him and think we called him Buck. Maybe that was you or your replacement???

          • Ray,

            I met up with Marshal Welch this summer in North Carolina and we shared stories and photos. We think we have a picture or two of you. Spec 6, liked cigars? I think you were a short timer when we got there and a spec 6 by the name of Buck took your place. I will try your email as well.

  35. No that was not me, I left Gia Nghia in Oct 1969,and one of the AF pilots flew me to Nha Trang, to process out of Country.

  36. Wow! Guess that really did happen. Sometimes I’m not quite sure. I didn’t spend much time at Province. I was MAT Team Leader first at Khiem Duc…then at Duc Lap after CPT Horton rotated back to the states.

    • Hi Bill. I believe I took a ride with you on Air America to Sagion. I was with the security platoon on the hill. If my memory serves me correctly I was on my way to MACV HQ to interview for an E5 stripe. I think you had short red hair. I certainly don’t expect you to remember me. We just looked out the window to pass the time. This would have been in 70. Not sure of the month.

  37. Im Sgt Bill Brown USAF I was there from DEC 68 thru Oct 1 1969 I had an M2 carbine wire stock while I was there I cant remember who I gave it to for sure, but I think it was a Army Spec4 John Galloway? He worked at the Air Field with me.

  38. I was a medic in the MACV Advisory Team 32 from April 1969 to March 1970. Sometime in early March of 1970, there was a crash of an Air Force C123 on the runway at Gia Nghia airfield. I was called upon to treat two Air Force enlisted men, and I am trying to find out what ultimately happened to them. I do not know their names. Can your office help me?

    This is what I remember about the aircraft that crashed in Gia Nghia, Quang Duc Province, Vietnam, sometime between March 1 and 15, 1970.

    It was an Air Force C-123. I was told that the aircraft’s front landing gear (nose gear) hit the end of the runway as it was making a landing and that is what caused the crash. The aircraft was loaded with 55 gallon drums of diesel oil and on impact, they all broke lose, causing all of the broken bones on the one airman in the cargo compartment.

    There was a crew of four: a pilot, co-pilot and two airman, one a regular member of the crew and the other a friend from the same home town — in Ohio, I believe.

    The pilot and co-pilot get out OK, but the two airman in the rear of the aircraft were injured. One was thrown out of the aircraft and landed on the side of the runway. He had severe head wounds and broken bones. The other airman was rescued from the air craft. He had been crushed by the 55 drums of diesel oil. He had a broken pelvis, compound fractures of both leg and internal injuries.
    (Note: Gia Nghia runway was formed by leveling the top of a small mountain. It only was about 2,000 feet long)

    The crash occurred in the afternoon, the best I can remember. I don’t recall how I was told about the crash, but I was called to the scene. I rode my 50cc engine motor bike to the landing strip and when I got there, the one airman was lying on the side of the runway, having been thrown out of the aircraft. He had head wounds and broken bones. The other airman was rescued from the aircraft and taken to the side of the base operation shack. He had been crushed by the drums of diesel oil and had a broken pelvis and compound fractures of both legs, plus internal injuries. I gave the emergency care I could and then, using an ARVN litter jeep on the scene, we transported the two airmen to my aid station at Team 32, about two miles from the landing strip. I had our S-2 get a helicopter standby so we would be able to transport them. I got them stable and transported them to the hospital in Ban Me Thout. I went with them to Ban Me Thout to the hospital.

    Someone told me afterward that they were from the same home town; I think it was a town in Ohio. As I remember, the aircraft burned for a few days at the end of the runway, and was pushed off the end of the runway. But I never found out what ultimately happened to these two airmen. Can you give me any information or tell me how I might go about researching the identities and status of these two men? I need some kind of closure.

    Thank you for you assistance.

    • I had already left Gia Nghia when that happened. I was told by one of the r/o’s that it was a bladder bird but I can see how he got it wrong. He also told me that the C123 burned for 3/4 days. i never knew that the crew members had been injured.

    • Hi Richard,
      My name is Tom Griffing. I was stationed at Phan Rang AB (315th) from June 1969 to June 1970. I was the asst. crew chief of a C-123K. Our plane crashed there short of the runway causing the plane to break in 3 pcs. I was not on the plane. The serial number was #562. The Aviation Safety Network data sheet had the date the plane crashed as 12/17/1969. It really happened in August or September. I have pictures of the plane with the serial number visible and also a picture of it right after the crash in three pieces. I would bet your team was involved in the medivac recovery process. One person was killed out of the five. Any questions, please text to I will send pictures and a copy of the Aviation Safety Network sheet describing the plane, cause of accident, place of accident etc. How ever like I said it was not December 1969, it was either August or September. Thank you for your heroic actions.
      Thank You,
      Tom Griffing

  39. Carlos Martinez SP-4 Hi I was in Gia Nghia 1967/1968 happened to run into this site by accident glad I did. It’s really good to here from somebody that was there around the same time I was.I don’t remember a lot of names or heard about any of the guys that were there until now.We were attached to MACV-Team-32 as Petroleum Specialist aka ( Pump Jockeys) there were four of us we were at the end of the runway at the fuel depot.It’s kind of sad I was in charge of the group and i only remember one first name in our group it was Charles.I would like to thank you for all this information it’s been very helpful my memory not very keen anymore.I do recall the crashes on the airstrip regarding the C-123 and C-47 that went down the side of the runway and the Huey gun ship crash after we refueled it. I think the pilot got disoriented with all the dust every time they lifted up and it tilted to much and the rotor hit the ground good thing the crew was ok we refueled about 8 or 10 that day.One of the bird dog pilots gave me a ride in one of the planes we didn’t fly just taxed on the runway he asked if I wanted to go up I said no there were patches on the plane where some rounds had gone through in the back.Wish I could remember his name don’t even know if he was Army or Air Force. I don’t recall who was in charge of the MAC-V team at the time but I do remember the captain asking who can drive a forklift (like a dummy) raised my hand and told him I had an Army licence to drive a 6,000/10,000 lbs forklift took a course at Fort Ord ‘Ca. The captain said that the col. was getting a single wide mobile and we needed to bring it down from the airstrip.So he ordered the fork lift and when they delivered the mobile home by flying crane I carried it to the compound very slowly but it made it. That is how we got the forklift which came in handy loading and unloading the planes. You guys have brought back some good memories and hopefully remember me and some of the guys at fuel depot and their names .Would be glad to hear from them and how they are doing also the rest of you guys. I do remember one name he is a great guy Mike Crafton I think that is how he spelled it, he and I were wounded at same time going to our assigned bunker during one of the mortar attacks.Don’t know the name of the SGT. that picked me up and carried me to the medical bunker under fire, I would like to thank you for risking your life for mine. Hopefully someone remembers the incident and recalls the name.Glad you made it home.

    • Brother Carlos, remember you very well and I have being trying to fine out what happen to you after you and Crafton were medivac-ed out of the compound. There are events in one’s life that we will never forget, the night of the mortar attack is one. You asked to see me while you were in the medical bunker, and I ducked in to see both of you, Mike was out of it and you were shot up with morphine for the pain but still wanting to talk, I’ll save that conversation for later. If I recall correctly you home state was California and you could not speak a lick of Spanish, but you had a great family and really wanted me to meet your sisters. I always kidded with you about that, “if they were as ugly as you, not a chance brother ” We always manage to have a few good laughs and a lot of beer. I did manage to locate Mike Crafton in Florida a few years back and again, will save that conversation for later also.. We should have allot of catching up to do and your right we do forget names and sometimes faces. Another individual I have been trying to hook up with is the Black Sgt. that worked with you up at the airfield fuel depot but have had no luck
      Here’s hoping you recall knowing Sgt. Juan Ramirez USAF for we have been carrying memories of each other for a long, long time. If you wish you can reach me at 210-216-9155 or email at

    • Carlos,
      My name is David Townsend I was a Sp.4, with the signal corp group at Ghia Nghia; I remember that night. You and Mike got wounded heading for the bunker on the north 40, I believe. I remember the SSgt. who picked you up, but for the life of me can’t come up with his name.It may come back to me; if it does I’ll try to contact you.(he was stocky, with red hair). He went back after you were hit and manned the 50 Cal machine gun, in a rage over what had happen, fired so many rounds that the barrel melted. I was in the radio shack during the attack and was hoping that we could stay on air, and mostly that one of those mortars didn’t come through the tin roof.
      You guys were medavacted out and we never saw you again. I have often wondered about how you two made out. We were told you both had severe leg wounds. I have photos of the gun ship that crashed just after take off or on take off, at the air field.
      Do you remember a Methodist Missionary (minister) named Merle Douglass. I remember the big flying crane bring in the the Col. mobile home. The Col. wasn’t too popular when he first arrived. Wanted us to get rid of our dogs, MACV, and the two pups. the one we had we named Yard. He wanted French to shave off his mustache, and he wanted us to bury the older ammo. Well we got to keep the dogs, I think French grew his mustache back. and we hoarded our ammo, where we could get it if needed.
      Would like other from any of those who were in that compound in Ghia Nghia, and thank God you survived that attack.

      • Hi David good to hear from you and glad you made it back.The term north forty kind of took me back a few years have not herd that in a while.Yes i do remember the SSgt. with the red hair but i also don’t remember his name. The person that got to me when I got hit called me by name and gave me a shot of morphine.He told me that Mike had also been hit and he was going to check on him and that he would be right back.All I remember is seeing sgt. strips on his shirt, his name could have been Ryan i’m not sure.I used to go in the radio shack and call in for more fuel when we were running short.One of you guys showed how to use the radio and call it in myself, maybe it was you.I think you guys got tired of me bringing in the list- (lol).yes I remember the new Col. we thought he was to gung-ho about the dress code issue.Wish i had pictures to help remember but some of my personal stuff did not arrive, it’s probably still in a warehouse some where (ha).David if would like to get in contact my home # answering machine is 1-559-783-0421 and cell# text/message is 1-559-310-1524 email is .I’ve been in contact with Sgt. Ramirez USAF who was there the same time we were. Agian i’m glad to hear from you and glad you made home in good health.

      • Hi David
        I was the USAF crew chief assigned to Ghia Nghia from Dec of 68. We share some great and not so good memories of our time spent there but we left as survivors. Some whole and some with holes (no pun intended) but we all met our commitment. One of the individual RTO’s in the compound was named Pedro. if I recall correctly he was Porto Rican, he and a newly promoted Spc.5 were KIA setting up their 30 cal. on top of their bunker that was located to the right of the compound entrance. Like I said we had our good and bad times. Welcome Home David and have a wonderful “Veterans Day” Lord knows you earned it.

        • I’m glad to see these posts. I was there then and remember that attack as well. I am sure the individual who found Carlos and Crafton was 1SGT Paul Ryan. To bring back more terms you may recall, we knick named the bunker where you guys were heading as the Hot Dog Stand because of its shape. It was the bunker where you had to run the most to get to it. In addition, it was uphill. From what you have written in your posts, it seems you guys have had pretty good lives. I’m happy for you.
          The other two guys that Juan mentioned as being killed were Mota-Cruz and John Merrick. I had to accompany them back to graves registration in BMT and make sure they were properly identified so they were returned to the right family.

      • David, I am new to this site and just recently saw this. I definitely remember Rev. Douglass. He was a dedicated man, but someone I thought was nuts for having his wife and children with him especially after Tet. When the VC overran BMT during Tet, some of the first people they rounded up and had marked for execution were the missionaries. Once they were killed, the VC booby trapped the bodies so they could not be moved safely. The Douglass family lived in the vill where they had a school as well as church. If an attack was suspected, they would come to the MACV compound. One night, the VC hit the school and church with RPGs, but fortunately no one was hurt. Interestingly, someone had given Rev. Douglass an M-14 that had been recaptured from the VC. He did not want it and gave it to me.

    • Marty I don’t6 know it you will receive this. My name is Charles Hawkins.besides you and myself I believe it was Gary Wente and Sgt Roland Qurion that watched the C1233-K crash. The Chopper that you refired to was from the155AHC.. He tried to turn back in a cloud of dust and got vertigo and hjit on his side. No one was hurt thank God. I hope this is of help and that you are doing well. Take Catre Charlie Hawkins

      besides you and my self

  40. I know what you mean about time and memory; however, our time in Gia Nghia was some 46 years ago. Soon to be living in the Nashville area.

  41. Jim… time has eroded some of the shar edges from memory. Sorry. Actually, I think we had a Staff Sergeant Richardson who adopted Brown Dog. And, as I recall, he was the same NCO who had to undergo a full battery of Rabies shots, after being bitten by a pet mongoose, who bit him, then escaped.

    Where are you these days, Jim. I am in northeast Ohio.

  42. Hi Bill
    As you may already know, I was at Gia Nghia from Jan to late Dec of 68 and during my 11 1/2 months there I witness two plane crashes. The Air America C-47 that came to rest down on the east side of the airfield, was due to a locked up right brakes or right landing gear problem. The other was a replacement O-1 from Nha Trang that landed long and went off the north end of the field. It ended in a semi flat area with its nose in the ground, some smoke rockets laid scattered all over the place from the impact, bent prop, dented fuselage, bent wings, but no fuel leaks. Pilot was unhurt and quite embarrassed as I recall. The C-123 incident occurred before my arrival but I remember a group of civil service guys out of Ton Son Nhut who were on TDY out of Kelly AFB in San Antonio Texas being sent out to recover any useable parts. They arrived early in the morning and worked like ants through the hot day, loaded everything up and were gone before dark. For some reason they did not want to spend the night at our little resort “Gia Nghia”. Can’t blame a guy for wanting to spend the night in Saigon!!!!!

    • So yes, the C123 landed a bit short and broke the C123’s back. It skidded sideways down the runway and stopped blocking flights in and out. Once the wings and engines were evacuated we tried again to move it with a 1949 road grader with no luck so we put 2 55 gallon barrels of av gas an one barrel of JP4 in the side door and tried tracers from my M2 carbine. No luck so the final blow was a WP grenade with a Brown Derby beer can cover. It burned all night long, but by 7AM we pulled it off the runway easily. They say the C47 was going too fast and since it had no prop reversal they pilot tried a ground loop. Oops, not well done since all it did was go off the runway at an angle. I was there from about March 68 to end of August – left right after the battle at Duc Lap. Anyone else witness that battle? I was with the 525th MI group assigned to Advisory Team 32 and flew with the 185th and tracked SLAR sightings of NVA.
      Nick Udall
      408-309-4 4 8 two

      • Hi Nick
        I arrived in Gia Nghia Oct.1st ,69 and was given a M2 Carbine which I held on to till I left in Nov.70 and passed it on to another member of the security platoon. Unless you took it with you, I’m wondering if it would be the same carbine since it was the only one on the compound. I also had the pleasure to go up as a backseat rider with LT. Danny James once.
        E4-Dan Capuano

        • dan this paul riddle and i dont remember anyone in security having or getting a carbine we all had 16.tell me you came to team 32 without a 16.

          • I had an M-16. The Carbine was left to me by the guy who’s booth I took over when I got there. I just kept it and passed it on.

  43. I was there from Dec 68 till Oct 69 there were no crashes at the airfield during that time.A.F. Sgt Bill Brown crew chief 883 01 bird dog

  44. Hi I was stationed in Gia Nghia 1967 tet 1968 with 185th recon as a pilot. When Non Co got over run. Their was an observer from MACV in back seat that was wounded. I flew him back and C130 was waiting to Medivac him. I have blocked his name out of my memory, I am having continues flash back over this event. I have forgotten his name and if he is okay from his injuries. It would really help me if you could find out for me. Capt Dick White 185th Recon

    • Capt. White,
      It always good to hear from old acquaintances and the first thing I would like to do is “Welcome You Home”. I remember you well and even have an airfield group picture (pilots & crew chiefs) with you in it. We all suffer from a lapse of memory now and then. Forgetting the past is impossible for me and I have only managed to set it aside so as to move on in my life.
      I recall the incident you mentioned in your reply, the backseat observer was wounded that day and lost quite allot of blood. You wouldn’t think one AK47 bullet would do so much damage and I’m sure your thoughts wonder to what would have happened if that bullet had been two feet further up. The Officer was loaded and medevacked out on a waiting C123 and flown to Phan Rang for medical treatment. His name and wounds I don’t recall, I may have mentioned the incident in my letters back home and will check them for more information. Hope I can be of more help in the future. In the mean time, we keep you in our prays, for there is a reason for the extended life we lead. The Good Lord would want us to make the best of it.
      Thank you and again “Welcome Home”.


      • Great to hear from you. I would like a copy of the picture you mentioned you had. any other info on the observer would really help. Welcome Home!!

        • Capt. White,
          Don’t think we can post pic’s on this site but please look up “185th Recon. Airplane Co. Angle fire”. Scroll down to Gia Nghia there you will fine some interesting pic’s. Even a going home picture for two of the Army pilots, you may recognize one of them.
          Will be attending an out of town mid-year seminar this weekend, but soon as I get back I will check on the information you requested. In the meantime feel free to use my email

      • Sounds like Captain Phil “Lob” Phillips who took AK round in rear end, very badly hurt, retired out of AF mrpeducally, lives in Atlanta.

        • Thought Lob’s last name was Gustke ??? Went to Notre Dame?
          Wounded by Armor Piercing AA round during Cambodian Incursion in April- May 1970.

          • Lt Phillips graduated from Auburn. Lots of times when he was flying he would use War Eagle if I was on the radios and of course I answered him as Roll Tide. LOL

            LOB (Loaf of Bread) Gustke may have been a ND guy but I don’t remember for sure.

            • Clay;
              Walt Phillips now lives in San Antonio area. Had drinks a few years back with George Lattin, Walt, and me at a FAC Reunion in SA. I believe he was a War Eagle. LOB Gustke was a ND grad.
              Mike Leonard
              (alive and kicking in Reno, NV)

          • Bob;
            LOB Gustke wasn’t wounded to my recollection. Walt Phillips did take one through the fuselage and stomach. Survived.

        • The person wounded was my hoochmate and his name was Phil Phillips. I never heard him referred to as Lob. He was in charge of the Phoenix program.
          Dick, I remember you very well. You and Hal Smith ferried me around quite a bit. Hope you are still around.

          • Hey John Ford . . . Phil was an AF FAC (as you undoubtedly know) and a 1LT but not in charge of the Phoenix Program. That would have been me . . from 1/70 – 12/70 anyway. “LOB” was AF 1LT Karl Gustke’s nickname (“Loaf of Bread”). I think Army 1LT Al Pulito gave him that nickname but not sure. John, I’m sure you posted this info somewhere on this site but please post again when you were in Gia Nghia and what your job was. Thanks. Jim McPhee (former Army CPT, Senior Advisor – Phoenix Program) PS – I wish that this site posted all the comments in chronological order to make it a little easier but, oh well . . . I love this site anyway!

            • Phil Phillips must be a very common name. I was there from Oct 67-Oct 68. Phil came into country sometime in early 68 but after Tet. Officially, that was his first tour, however, unofficially, it was his third. He had always been assigned to some other place, and then sent TDY to VN. He was a CPT and in charge of the Phoenix program for just a few months before he was wounded. I suspect he was sent home due to his wounds because he never came back to Gia Nghia while I was there.

              • Wow . . what a coincidence! Walter “Phil” Phillips was an AF 1LT FAC when I was there in 1970. Sadly, he, too, was wounded . . while he was flying during our April 1st attack. Took some rounds through his fuselage. He had a VN observer in his back seat at the time. Somehow managed to land and was loaded onto a dust off right away. The VN immediately claimed that the back seat observer heroically managed to land his O-1 but that BS was immediately squelched! Phil is alive and well and living in Texas! Good to know that one of my Phoenix predecessors was named Phil Phillips, too! Hope he’s doing well wherever he is!

                • A lot of strange things happened in VN. CPT Phillips was the observer in an L-19 piloted by CPT White. We would place flak jackets on the seat of the plane hoping they might do some good. CPT Phillips was sitting on one when a round came up through the fusilage, hit him in the leg ricocheted off bone and went up into his abdomen. CPT White radioed in about CPT Phillip’s condition. The Team medic was waiting at the air strip when he landed and did what he could, primarily a morphine shot. Fortunately, when CPT White called in about what was happening, there was a C-123K on the strip getting ready to take off. The pilot was asked to wait for CPT Phillips and fortunately he did. When CPT Phillips was loaded on board, the C-123 pilot fired up the jets and off they went heading for a hospital. I was told that wherever they were going, the hospital had been alerted and there was an ambulance waiting for the 123 at the air field.
                  CPT Phillips had only been in country 2-4 months when he was wounded. He never returned and we did not get a replacement for the Phoenix program while I was there.

                  • Everything was a matter of luck and timing. I have written on this site extensively about my time (’66-’67 — essentially quiet times in the province) in Kien Duc and Duc Lap. Many is the time I went up in an L-19 with the army and Air Force. Used to take grenades to drop on potential enemy sites and pot out of the window with my issued M-2 carbine. Never got any return fire on this tour: the VC policy was not to exercise allied forces in a province they wished to keep quiescent. You who came later to Quang Duc had it much worse.

                    • You are absolutely correct about luck and timing. I have often commented on how random things happened, such as an ARVN sitting in a truck a mile from a fire fight being hit in the head by a stray round and killed, but someone standing 10 feet from an NVA with an AK could be missed totally although the NVA fired almost an entire clip.

    • Dick,
      I believe his name was Captain Ford,can’t remember the first name. I was at Gia Nghia at that time, I was with Co. E 43rd Signal Corp. attached to MACV Team 32. We received word that Capt. Ford was wounded, but was expected to recover. I never saw nor heard from him again.

      • To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of my wounding are greatly exagerated. The wounded individual was my hoochmate CPT Phillips. I made it out of VN generally in one piece.

  45. Good to hear from you Juan,when I got Gia Nghia Lt.Col. Metcalf was the CO. He left before I did and I cant remember the new COs name? You didn’t say if Willie Franklin was there with you or not, he told me he was, he was from Tenn. Another Army guy at the air field was John Galloway he was from Calif. like me. That was a real experience there. we kept really busy.Sometimes after dark up at the airfield. Had to put out the cans of avgas to light up the airfield. remember Ben where we took are laundry to get done,or the little barber shop on the way to the airfield.One day on my way to the airfield, a sniper shot the tire on my jeep,I just kept going all the way to the airfield. Well take care Brother I have your email yea lets keep in touch my email is

    • Brother Bill,
      The compound CO Was Lt.Col. Metcalf and Second in Command was Maj. Harris for some reason they never took a liking to me. I guess having no control over AF personal was one and having to go through a 20 year old kid for what they wanted to implement was another. I always placed my priorities first, mission and the safety of personal. Willie Franklin was there, I’m betting he the one that received the BIG Sugar Daddy Lollipops from his wife, I have a pic with him and his lollipop somewhere. The army crew chiefs that I remember were Frenchie, Rick Clark, Jim Sommers, Crafton, Ayers, Dennis Shape and of course Red. Don’t recall a John Galloway for the time being. Keeping busy was never hard to do as I remember, between the airfield and the compound there was always a few sand bags that needed replacing. During my tour there was only 4 times we had to light-up the runway and that was a big job & dangerous. We would use the small army trailer to place the avgas canister out from one end of the airfield to the other, of course there were some spills. You ever wonder why the bed of that trailer looked like it had been burned? Now you know. Never a dull moment and it doesn’t take much to keep a crew chief occupied. After we secured the plane we all made tracks in a convoy to the compound, safety in numbers was the explanation. I’ll get back with you on some other events that took place there, like the “Great Roller Coaster Fork Lift Ride” that was never again duplicated. You may have heard of it but I can give you the true skinny on it.
      Later, God Bless you and yours, JVRamirez

  46. Hi Juan I remember you, I was your replacement, when I arrived Willie Franklin was my boss,the top Army NCO Pappy. Our CO was a Major an older guy bald head cant remember his name. My pilot was Capt. Zolatski,great guy and a 1st Lt. Plifka, as to answer your question Snoppy was still on 8883 when I left in Oct 1969. there was also a red headed Army crew chief there when I got there cant think of his name. Oh there was also 4 Aces on 8883,i had to put a new engine on 8883 while I was there.Good to hear from you Jaun.

    • Brother Bill,
      Willie Franklin and Jerry Hayes were there when I left Gia Nghia, our CO was Major MaCormick left right before me, found out later that he was shot out of the sky and died in 1972 up by Danang. Capt, Zolatski was an LT back in my time but your right he was great guy. Capt. Wayne Arnold was another one of our pilots, flew back seat with him many a times, had brass ball when it came to troops in contact, learned quite a few things from him, hope he’s still alive. I still keep in touch with Alan Erickson the guy I relieved, it took us 25 years to fine each other, and we have kept in touch ever since. We even had a small reunion here in San Antonio with the Army Crews and one of their pilots, Capt. Ball. The Army NCO Pappy was part of the MACV team and we always thought He was up at the airfield just to spy on us. The red headed crew chief your trying to remember was named RED. That’s what I always called him never bothered to call him by his given name He and I spent some days together at DaLat and at Ban Me Thout never called him anything else but RED, sure wish I could touch base with him, he was a great guy and a true friend, back then we’d did thing that we wouldn’t dare do today. But we lived through it. God Bless you and your. If you need to reach me feel free to email @

  47. Jim, I remember you. Which is remarkable since these days I can hardly remember breakfast. I was a Captain then and the MAT Team Leader at Duc Lap. Jerry Owens

    • Jerry!!! Good to hear from you. Think you were from Pittsburg area and had political aspirations?? Did you have red hair?? Anyways, I am glad we made it back. Do you remember Sgt. Loc, my interpreter? Was killed unfortunately..

      • Jim,

        I entered the Army in Pittsburgh, but we retired in Washington State. I did have red hair. I still have hair, but it is sort of a light blond now:) No, I’m not in rock band, it just got that way on its own. SGT Loc served as my interpreter as well. We were with an RF Company constructing a fire base at Dak Son when he was killed. I called in a Dustoff and SGT Loc and several other soldiers in the company were med-evac-ed to Bami Tuit (sp-?) But I think Loc was DOA. We took up a collection and went I went down to Dion a VN CPT took me to his home in a small village and we gave the money to his Mother.
        Do you remember our cook, Tau? He was about 17 years old and a very good cook I thought. When I met my wife in HI for R&R we bought him a fishing rod and a pair of levis and sent them to Maj McCoy.

  48. Served at DucLap and left in 71. Maj McCoy was Team leader.medic was Rowdy, Sgt Huey, Sgt Ballardand I was Diocc(Dist, Intelll Ops Center Chief
    . J. Shaw

  49. I was with tm32 from Oct 1, 69-Nov.16, 70 ..
    Ltc Julian was our CO. What an experience. I hope all is well with those I served with.
    Yard and Guard were the compound dogs at the time and titi Charlie was a kid always happy to do something for you. Anyone know his status these days?

    • Gordon (Red) Cormack
      I was with the 125th ATC, Army flight following stationed at Gia Neghia 64 to 65 and later in 66 for 4 months. I remember Tom Noris, Lt Lovegreen, Texas John Slaughter, Raymond Hagawara, BJ Cherrami, Sargent West. I am sure my spelling is off. Also the cook was Ben and Sey cleaned the hooch. How about Major Johnson. Michael Welch? Smith, radio operator.

      • I remember you , “Red” All those names bring back memories. I met Lt. Lovegren through his brother about 5 years ago. Kept in tough with Tom Norris for a while. He was in California. Still in contact with Richard Boucher, he may have came after you left. We (362 Sig) left in mid 65 to just outside Chu Lai. I did a 2nd tour in 1966 was wounded in Bin Loc and got out in Mar of 1967. Now live in NC. How about You? Sp/4 Marshall Welch.

  50. Kevin Lynch,team 32, 70/71,i remember the spider monkeys we had in the cage in the center of the compound,we had a big dog think YARD was his name,.good to hear from you lt Tu,time goes by quick,seems so long yet so new in your mind,things you remember right away i Iive ,lancaster Pa now,, hope to hear from you 2 digit midgets again..SGT RALPH DELORSO was also there when i was there.I remember going for a swim in our water supply basin on the hill.

  51. i served with team 32. 70 /71 under major lloyd easter remember captain birdsong I AM k lynch SP4 great bunch of guys,tom laich fron La ,etc.Hi lt tu remember me worked as radio operatoer in the bunker YOU HAD YOUR SON WHILE I WAS THERE LTC J ulien was CO then greay guy.

    • Hi Kevin ,
      I am happy to hear from you. Too many memories come back. I still remember some others operators as Maquest , Heal, Cherry Holme…My son now 45 y old. my family now live in Arizona.

  52. I was with Advisory Team 38 in Bao Loc, Lam Dong province. We were visited once at an outpost named Dai Quay in western Lam Dong province by a Lt. Royal (late 1967). I believe he worked with Regional Forces in Quang Duc province. Do any of you Team 32 personnel remember or know him. I have a photograph of him, but all I know is his rank and last name. Thanks.

  53. @ Manning Jeter: College students Huh? Different steps for different generations I guess. Times were so much different for our generation. My wife and I were just watching an old Paul Newman movie called “Verdict.” It was made in 1982. I was amazed at the difference in technological advances. There were no cell phones, no faxes, etc. Remember pay phones. Newman’s character, a lawyer, was always running around looking for a pay phone. These teenagers and 20’s types today are so use to modern technology they probably don’t know any thing that happened beyond 5 minutes ago. It’s all good for the better right?

  54. Dale Stringer, as I recall, you were my District Senior Advisor in Kien Duc for maybe 6 months in 1970. I was a 1LT acting as District Intelligence Advisor (Phoenix), through 8/21/70. You may recall I lived in the trailer attached to Kien Dyc team house, when you moved to the team house. I had a young German Shepherd named Brown Dog (from Snoopy’s litter in 9/69). Master Sgt George “Papasan” Porod was a fixture on our team.

    • Hi Bob, I remember you vaguely but only because of the years that have passed. I honestly thought your name was Pharma. As I remember you replaced Neil Rooney or he replaced you. Do you recall any of these men? There was our medic SFC Cossette, our top sergeant MSG Perod, SFC Richardson and of course SP4 J. C. “Jesus Christ” Riggs. SFC was medivaced back to the states with a broken leg the night we were hit by the 411 Sapper Bn. There was a CPT Zoburn. I can’t recall which position he held. There was LTC Metcalf, LTC Julian and the Group S-3 was MAJ McFadden all were at Gia Nigha. Oh Yes! The team dog “Sweet Thing.” Never met a boy dog she did not like!

        • Dale, do you recall the two monkeys we had in mid 1970? Aggressive female rhesus named Boon, and timid, scrawny squirrel monkey George. Boon used to ” beat up” George, and also used to pick the latch on her cage to escape. She would raise holy hell on the metal roofs, banging on them to raise a ruckus. She also got into my trailer and destroyed some of my stuff. We had a Sgt on the team with a pet mongoose, who bit him. needing series of rabies shots. I also recall we rotated responsibility for setting claymore mines in perimeter concertina wire at dusk. I was more concerned about snakes and took.a.flashlight.. I recall Porod screaming “Lieutenant, you’re gonna get yourself shot.” As you said, it was long ago… I this recent thread has triggered long forgotten memories. Hope you are well.

          Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

        • John Carter I served at Gia Nghia with the ALO FAC TEAM 32 from April 70 to December 70 when we closed down the ALO FAC TEAM. I really hated to leave the Army guys without our support. they were all a great bunch of guys. I learned a lot from them and really enjoyed their friendship. Msgt Brotman, Spec 4s Curtis, Marque, Delgado and Sgt Stubbins. I would like to hear from anyone that can update me on what happened after the Air Force left and when did MACV TEAM 32 shut down. Ltc Julian was a great leader and gave us good support. Our ALO was Maj Ertle Pilots were Lt James Lt Uhles who was lost over the Plain of Jars in Laos in the Steve Canyon program.

          • John;
            Just an fyi,. Lt. Grant Uhl’s was killed over the PDJ with the Steve Canyon program. Lt. Danny James rose to rank of Lt. Gen. in charge of the AF Reserve. Danny died around 2010 (+/-) time frame. His father was, of course, Gen. Chappie James (of WWII and Korea fame).

  55. Dear Bob: I saw it (a C.123 aircraft) running so fast on Gia Nghia airfield runway that day and took off successfully. The aircraft pilot must be an expert. Let’s give him a clap. Your friend Cu/Vietnam.

    • No C-123 crashed in 1969, loadmaster killed. I was there spring 1970, flew 5 missions with 185th, WO Bill Schaffer and Walts, Capts Leonard and Phillips.

      • Larry, Jim Davidson,i was there 6-8-69 to 7-7-70,i saw the crash.your right the load master was killed,but the plane did not burn for 3 days.i have a picture sitting in the cockpit after everything was cleaned trying to remember names you I can’t remember you I was with security platoon,but I do know Dan. later.

        • SFC Richard J. Laudenslager (U.S. Army Retired)
          U. S. Army, Medical Corps
          MACV Advisory Team 32 Medic at the time.

          I was a medic in the MACV Advisory Team 32 from April 1969 to March 1970. Sometime in early March of 1970, there was a crash of an Air Force C123 on the runway at Gia Nghia airfield. I was called upon to treat two Air Force enlisted men, and I am trying to find out what ultimately happened to them. I do not know their names. Can your office help me?

          This is what I remember about the aircraft that crashed in Gia Nghia, Quang Duc Province, Vietnam, sometime between March 1 and 15, 1970.

          It was an Air Force C-123. I was told that the aircraft’s front landing gear (nose gear) hit the end of the runway as it was making a landing and that is what caused the crash. The aircraft was loaded with 55 gallon drums of diesel oil and on impact, they all broke lose, causing all of the broken bones on the one airman in the cargo compartment.

          There was a crew of four: a pilot, co-pilot and two airman, one a regular member of the crew and the other a friend from the same home town — in Ohio, I believe.

          The pilot and co-pilot get out OK, but the two airman in the rear of the aircraft were injured. One was thrown out of the aircraft and landed on the side of the runway. He had severe head wounds and broken bones. The other airman was rescued from the air craft. He had been crushed by the 55 drums of diesel oil. He had a broken pelvis, compound fractures of both leg and internal injuries.
          (Note: Gia Nghia runway was formed by leveling the top of a small mountain. It only was about 2,000 feet long)

          The crash occurred in the afternoon, the best I can remember. I don’t recall how I was told about the crash, but I was called to the scene. I rode my 50cc engine motor bike to the landing strip and when I got there, the one airman was lying on the side of the runway, having been thrown out of the aircraft. He had head wounds and broken bones. The other airman was rescued from the aircraft and taken to the side of the base operation shack. He had been crushed by the drums of diesel oil and had a broken pelvis and compound fractures of both legs, plus internal injuries. I gave the emergency care I could and then, using an ARVN litter jeep on the scene, we transported the two airmen to my aid station at Team 32, about two miles from the landing strip. I had our S-2 get a helicopter standby so we would be able to transport them. I got them stable and transported them to the hospital in Ban Me Thout. I went with them to Ban Me Thout to the hospital.

          Someone told me afterward that they were from the same home town; I think it was a town in Ohio. As I remember, the aircraft burned for a few days at the end of the runway, and was pushed off the end of the runway. But I never found out what ultimately happened to these two airmen. Can you give me any information or tell me how I might go about researching the identities and status of these two men? I need some kind of closure.


          Richard J Laudenslager
          15 Wedgewood Court
          Berlin, NJ 08009

  56. I remember airplane carrying General Stillwell, belly landed at Gia Nghia, approx, July 1963, no injuries, bad plane damage, story was told pilot did not extend landing gear, do not know if true

  57. I served on Team 32 from June 1970 to May 1971. LTC Ralph Julian was the Province Senior Advisor. I served as the PSYOPs/PSYWAR advisor to the Province S-5. Seems like long ago now.

    • Hi Tom: I served as the District Senior Advisor in Kien Duc District from March 1969 to February 1970. I remember LTC Julian quite well. I was not in Ghia Nia all that much. that was a long time ago. Will try to rack my brain for other details and memories.

      • Last month I had a college student ask me which came first – Korea or Vietnam. Guess it would have been a waste of time to try to explain MACV and CORDS now. But back then, we served.

  58. LTC Julian.. Howdy sir. Good to see your post. I was young 2LT and 1LT on your team 9/69 thru 8/70. Spent part of that time in Kien Duc. When 1LT Al Polito rotated in late 69, I adopted his dog (Brown Dog), who was one of Snoopy’s pups. Hope you are well. Still in South Dakota?

  59. Glad to see the listing. There has been a lot of changes to the area. Glad to see comments of team members. LTC RWJ

    • Happy to see your post.

      Agree that there have been many changes to the area. Over the past few years have looked at recent pictures of Gia Nghia. Found nothing that I recognized. Couldn’t even find the air field. Probably not there anymore, at least not as an air field. Looks as lots of money has been pumped into the area; however, it was well overdue for some basic infrastructure.

      Have also spotted several posts of pictures of Snoppy. I remember his riding in your vehicle.

    • This is a very nice surprise! I never in the world expected to run across you again Colonel Julian. Our tour in Quang Duc was many years ago. I was your District Senior Advisor in Kien Duc District from 3/1969 to 2/1970. You might recall Roger Kugler was the DSA up in Duc Lap at the same time. Best thing I remember was you released the gun ship “Spooky 41” to us one night and that got the bad guys off our back. Thanks for covering my back!

    • LTC RTW my name is spec 4Paul Riddle,and I remember you .I was up on the hill with the security for awhile,glad to hear your doing good after all these years, LEFT IN NOV.1970 Do you remember the other air field where there were 5 soldier stationed.

    • LTC Julian, Do you remember me Staff Sgt Keeter? I was your NCOIC of communications. I ran into this site today. I have many stories that I also remembered. I live in Athens AL. retired and fight health problems like most. Look forward to hearing from you. I sure appreciate your support.

    • LTC. Ralph Julian,Sir I hope you remember me. I was the one you gave to art.15 but I deserved them I was amazed I found this site.i wish we could all get together for a Tm32 reunion. well sir it was great having you as our commanding officer.Do you remember april 1st.i will never forget that day.i also hear from the other guys that was there with me.Am married to the same women for 47 yrs, have 3 kids and 8 grandchildren. hope you get this letter.God Bless you and your family.

      • Jim,Hi Kevin Lynch here ,dont remember if we met was there oct 70 to nov 71,LTC J ulien was there when i arrived ,was o5b radio operatoer Sgt De Lorso was there at the toc,also Tom Laiche was there to.

        • Hi, Kevin Lynch,

          I was in Kien Duc, and Duc Lap in 66- 67. Just before I arrived, the VC had attacked a SF camp and the US Army had sent a brigade to stomp around the countryside to punish them. This lesson had been learned and we were left in peace so they could use the province to move stuff through the province to III Corps, where the war was more important to them. As a result, I in Kien Duc and all else in the province was left alone. I was inserted into Duc lap District and lasted a week before the VC responded by taking out the District Chief, the Deputy District Chief and me because we had mucked with the status quo. Later, apparently things got hotter for you guys.

          Best, Jim


  60. Served on MACV Team 32 October 1969 until October 1970. LTC Julian was the commanding officer, a very competent and highly respected leader. The passing of almost fifty years takes a toll on the memory; however, I do recall that the team members did their jobs well.

    • Are you the same Sgt Green who adopted my dog BROWN DOG when my tour ended in August 1970. MACV Team 32, in Kien Duc district?

      • Although I remember Brown Dog, I am not the one who adopted. I did, however, adopt the open mess accounting records, which you had been maintaining prior to your reassignment. I was at that time 1LT Green.

  61. Spent 15 months with MACV team 32 from Jan. 67 to May 68. Found Richard Horton a while back but no one else.——–Don Billings

    • Don,
      I was sent out to to MACV team 32 just after New Year in 1968; with Company E 43rd Signal Battalion. I remember you. Were you the one who went out with a flash light and a 45 to get rid of a cobra in one of the bunkers? Richard Horton was from Boston Area I recall. I remember Captain Maddry coming up to the radio transmitters hoping to get a better connection and yelling on the phone, his face beet red. There was a guy named Halprin, or something like that. You guys got short and rotated back to the world. I left on Sept.15, ’68

      • David,
        I remember you, and Al Halprin, Larry Blackham, Pat Kelly, Sky, Sgt. Moore ( and his replacement : Sgt. Jenkins ). I have talked via phone with Horton a few times during the last few years, he now lives in Plymouth, Ma. I live near Indy but was motorcycling in Ma. last week and wanted to go see Horton but it did not work out. Don’t know where you are located but hope life is treating you well, I’ve been retired since 2005 and been traveling the U.S. for fun. Never did find that snake. Best Regards———-Don

        • Don,
          So glad to hear from someone in our group. I think of our group constantly. I remember that we were going to meet on the steps of the Capitol Building in Richmond Virginia, on the 4th of July in 1970. I remembered about it in 1974; I often wondered if anyone showed up. I live in Hudson Falls, New York, about 200 miles north of New York City, about 6 miles from Lake George, a popular resort town. I have been involved with our American Legion Post here in Hudson Falls, supporting our vets’, so that they don’t receive the treatment we received on our return from Vietnam!
          Welcome Home Brother!
          Dave Townsend- Co. E, 43rd Signal Brigade, Camp 32, Ghia Nghia

        • Well don you brought backs some name from the past.In think of Halprin everytine I hear :when I’m 64:. When I left Gia Nghia I went to FT. Bliss and was assigned to a Basic Training Brg. and Blackham came hrough as a Trainee..

  62. Hi, I am Bob Barna. I was in Gia Nghia, and also in Kien Duc District and Duc Lap District, from August 69 to August 70. I was a Phoenix officer. Interpreters then were Nghia and Van. Did you know either of them ?? Thank you, sir, for posting your message. I have very warm feelings toward the people I met in Gia Nghia and Kien Duc and Duc lap.

    • Cu, you have a phenomenal memory! Thank you for all the information that you provided. Unfortunately, only a few names ring a bell. Are you now in the States? Have you been to Gia Nghia since the war ended. If so, how has the area changed. According to pictures seen online, the town has grown considerable in the past 40 years. Thank you for your information and any updates you care to share.

    • Bob, I was at Gia Nghia from jan to Sept. 1968. I was with Co.E 43rd Signal corp. We visited both Duc Lap & Kien Duc, and were sent to set up antennas for VHF communication systems, replacing the old antennas. At Duc Lap we had to leave hastily because of incoming small arms fire. In Kein Duc the only threat was an elephant charging after our jeep. We received a new antenna at Team 32 in Gia Nghia shortly after. We installed the new antenna, and two nights latter were bombarded with mortars & rockets. Our new antenna was like putting up a bulls eye. It was hit as well as our radio shack several times. The building was riddled with shrapnel. Thank God for all those sand bags we put in as extra precaution. Sadly one our group as well as another at their bunker were killed. But with all the destruction we were never off line, and able to get some assistance from F4’s that ended any more shillings.

      • David,I also went to Duc Lap to re establish communicatins.I was a good friend of Pedro (he and I from NYC)who ran from the switchboard to the bunker. I was assigned to the switchboard and remained safe.John 48 years ago..

    • What years did you serve as an interpreter? Were you assigned to MACV Team 32? Do you recall the names of any team members with whom you worked?

      • Dear Jim: I served as an interpreter for Public Safety Division (PSD)/MACCORDS/Quang Duc for period 1968-1972. Names of the Police Advisors/Quang Duc I worked with: Messrs. Drexel Doolin, Charles Trout, Richard Elving, Sam McKinney (NPFF), Georges Braxton (NPFF) and Lowell Janson. From 1972 to April 1975: Transfered to MACCORDS/Province Senior Advisor’s Office/ Quang Duc. Names of the PSAs and DPSAs I worked with: LTC Metcalf, LTC Ralph Julian and Col. Katagiri (A Japanese American). DPSAs: Messrs. Holcomb, Frank Hope Young (a Philippino American). Names of some District Senior Advisors of Quang Duc: Maj. John Rich (Khiem Duc District), Maj. Peter (Kien Duc District). Names of some military interpreters of Quang Duc Sector: SSG Phuong, Sgt. Vy. Names of some civilian interpreters of Quang Duc MACCORDs Office: Messrs. Y’Klong Adrong, Long Buon Ya. Names of some Vietnamse staff/ PRRO office/Quang Duc: Mrs. Xiu, Mrs. Phuong, Mrs. Phung. CORDS Compound supervisor: Mr. Le Dao…
        I’ll be happy if any of these US Officers/civilian officials and Vietnamese personnel still remember me. Thank you.

        • Mr. Cu,

          I’m so glad you are alive and in the US with your family. Who replaced me when I left CORDS? Was it Walt Martindale? How did you leave Quang Duc? Did the rest of our staff make it to the US too? I’m sure other Team 32 members would like to hear your account of what happened in Quang Duc after the ‘cease-fire’.

          • Dear Mr. Schwab,
            It’s so good to hear from you. Yes, I’m still alive and now living in Dong Nai Province, about 20 minutes to Saigon by road. Send me a word at if you have time and care. Mr. Cu/Vietnam.

            • Please let me know if the others of our staff left Vietnam or are in the US. I have seen “Grandma”, about twenty years ago, in North Carolina. But then the sad news that the Communists killed Long. Did Walt Martindale replace me, and take all the staff away from Gia Nghia? I have been back to Vietnam several times, and Quang Duc twice, driving a motorbike all around the province, then up to BMT. I couldn’t be certain where our compound was….but the new government has cut the top off the air strip hill and seems to be building something up there. I rode the motorbike all around it, no policeman stopped me.

          • Yes, Walt Martindale replaced you when you left MACCORDS/Quang Duc. I was the last person who left Gia Nghia by Air America chopper. Catholic Father Moriceau was on the same flight with me. The chopper landed at Dalat helipad (Tuyen Duc Province) where I caught a civilian bus and went back Nha Trang to meet my family. The other staff personnel were evacuated out of Quang Duc a few days earlier and I don’t know where they were. I’m sad to hear from you that Long was killed by the Viet Cong. He was a good Montagnard friend of mine working for MACCORDS/Quang Duc. Hope to hear from you to exchange more info about MACCORDS/Quang Duc’s staff.
            Mr. Cu
            Former Interpreter/MACCORDS Quang Duc

            • Ciao Mr. Cu, I left Quang Duc because I was angry with the way the GVN treated Montagnards, and Americans couldn’t do anything about it. Or TRY to do anything. The last thing was when Province officials in Duc Lap forced the Montagnards in Sarpa to leave, THEN vIETNAMESE cATHOLICS AND TOOK OVER THE LAND. I was a Catholic, and that made me even more angry. The ex-CORDS adviser from Phu Bon–
              I forget his name–told our bosses, and maybe you and other friends in the office, that I left because I was afraid!

              Walt Martindale did a fine job of getting the staff safely away., I was so glad to hear that. Both he and I had some trouble after we came back to USA. I don’t know all the details, but Walt got into some trouble with selling illegal weapons in the US. I still think of him as a hero for the staff. As you probably know, I went back to Vietnam illegally in 1985, to try to get my Kontum fiancee out of Vietnam. I spent 16 months in prison (Qui Nhon–they hate Americans there, boocoo), Danang and Saigon. They never let us meet. About Father Moriceau: I came back to Vietnam two years ago (with a visa) and came to Gia Nghia. I tried hard to find any remains of the Father’s compound but nobody would show me the place, or were afraid to do it. I did go to see the Catholic Church priests outside of Gia Nghia and,sadly, learned that Father Moriceau had JUST been there, from Indonesia the week before! He was 93 years old, but the VC wouldn’t let him try to find any of “his Montagnards”. I went out of Gia Nghia to the town named “Quang..” something, not far from Gia Nghia.. A few Catholics there were very afraid to say very much to me. They say they don’t even meet to talk with one another….there is a small church there, and a classroom but both of them are locked. There is a dirt playground but no children, a very sad place.. Please send more news about the staff when you have it. The VC are apparently going to make something out of our little mountain and its landing strip. Maybe a park…they’re knocking everything down.

              • This is an interesting thread. I was District assistant advisor in Kien Duc and later a district advisor (until shot) in Duc Lap in ‘66-‘67. I don’t recall the Catholic Church at all. All the local Christians had been converted by some Protestant sect and my memories of Easter celebrations among the local Montagnards was of slaughtering a buffalo and drinking a great deal out of a deep vase. Catholics no where to be seen.

                • Yo, GI! Those were Catholics from just over the border in Darlac.. If you have the interest you might enjoy a trip back to Gia Nghia, you won’t recognize anything except our small mountain dirt strip. I hope your injury was fixable. BTW, the locals don’t hate us at all. The local Party guys do hate us but you won’t run into them–they can;t talk to Americans without asking Party permission first…and just asking permission would get them in trouble.

                    • Hi Mike this is Jim Davidson i was there jun69- jul70 and the book you wrote was fantastic now your telling me Macvtm 32 is not standing anymore?. i was on duty that night we got hit i was in tower 3 it was on march 31st at midnight so really it was April Fools Day. and i had only 4 months to go before my trip back to the world. take care.

                    • Hi Jim
                      Good to hear from you. Glad you liked the book. By the way, Jim McPhee has a video of someone firing the .50 Cal from one of the towers (maybe you) as well as helicopters on a rocket attack just off the compound. I think that may have been the April Fools attack but don’t know for certain.
                      Stay safe brother!

                    • Hi Mike your right it was April fools and the 50 gal was fired from tower 4 it was sp4 Ervin choppers yes i remember that also. I Still remember like it was yesterday but 52 yrs ago. and thanks for the Book you wrote God Bless.

                    • I was with Tm 32 from Oct 67-Oct 68. At that time we did not have towers, but only a trench line with bunkers. I have seen references to towers in a few posts. Can someone provide info on what the towers were, e.g. when were they constructed, who did the construction, what was their purpose? Thanks.

                    • Obviously constructed just after you left John. They (assume the Province Sr. Advisor) approved and built 4 steel girder guard towers. They were spaced roughly equidistant around the compound. I’m guessing they were roughly 40 feet tall with a steel plated & sand bagged (and covered) bunker at the top. There was a .50 cal and I assume an M-60 in each tower. They were definitely an impressive part of our perimeter defense.

                    • For Michael and others before the so-called Cease-Fire in ’75: The only thing there was to be defended was me–the military contingent flew off in a pair of choppers to Nha Trang . The Perimeter Security was a squad of elderly PSDF Montagnards with M-2 Carbines posted behind sand bags around the compound. About 10-15 clicks away to the West there was a war going on between ARVN and VC/NVA units fighting for control of the Bu Prang and border area for control of the Trail snaking in and out of Cambodia. The small war there was fierce, bloody on both sides. The Eastern half of QD was quiet….until the end.

                    • The towers were actually water towers without the tanks. The logistics advisor, a Quartermaster major whose name I have forgotten, had them shipped to Gia Nghia. He also had a front loader sent out. One of the towers on the airfield side of the compound had a mini-gun. Bert

                    • When I joined QD Team 32 in late ’72, the lone civilian, the first thing I noted was the one decoration in the team house: a large FAC propeller mounted on the front wall. The two propeller tips were artfully bent backwards as if the pilot had leaned forward in the cockpit on landing on our small mountain top and used the prop tips to slow and eventually stop his aircraft where he ran out of runway and was looking down at our other abandoned airframe –a baleful abandoned C-123 staring up at him from its position where the runway died. The C-123 pilot must’ve been a pilot among top pilots to have managed to have gone off the end of the strip tail-first.

                    • If you were an adviser you may have spoken Vietnamese a little, that makes a big difference, the Vietnamese appreciate a good effort. There are several good and OK hotels spread around town, and the receptionist where you stay can probably call on a relative who has learned pretty fair English. There are a legion of fine cafes. You can rent a motorbike cheap, and drive all over the province (including up to Ban Me Thuot) but you should be able to speak that smattering of Vietnamese so you can ask directions. One thing to note: If you go ‘out west’ near the Cambodian border to QL 14, you may run into this situation: There are a few signs that proudly announce, “This the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail.” If you go a little farther and take a right at the fork of QL 14B, you see another sign CAM VAO (no go on this road) , that’s the REAL fought-over HCM Road, leading down toward Phuoc Long. It’s closed to local Vietnamese too, and the whole border region is sensitive. Abandoned Bu Prang SF camp, relocated, lost and taken several times, is in the heart of that area.

                    • I’ve been back to VN on business 5 times back in the 1990’s but never made it out to Gia Nghia. Getting out into the rural areas was difficult back then. I think that has changed nowadays. Just wondering if there are any recommended tour agencies that handle hinterland visits?

                    • All you need to do is pick the place you want to go, and find the bus terminal–every town has one–that has the bus you want that will start you off in the right direction. But you really need to practice some basic Vietnamese re: travel or find a student who speaks basic English and will explain things. The trains are tricky: you can think you have made (and paid for) reserved seats on a First Class sleeping car, say, from Saigon to Nha Trang, only to find out somebody else–the agent who booked your place–sold it to somebody else. One great venture would be to rent a motorbike–125cc is plenty good for one–get up to Pleiku by bus, head north on tthe HCM Trail up QL 14 past Dak To to Dak Pek, take a look at the VC/NVA cemetery above the town. Their losses were huge.. Keep going north, put up at a hotel in Kham Duc, read about the Battle first in Wikipedia, drop down out of the mountains on winding roads toward Danang and Hue or keep heading north into the best countryside of all on the HCM Trail until you reach the lowlands of Ha Tinh province. Best scenery is along the roads in the north and west of Hanoi, roads go everywhere in the North, some places heavily touristed–ask around.. You can get around by bus easily. Hiking is great if you;re in good shape.

                      Michael, as soon as VISA replaces my credit card I will buy your book on Amazon. I believe I flew the last Air America unauthorized aerial recon after the Cease-Fire that got shot at. Pilot and I agreed it never happened. Then we spotted an abandoned Huey on the return flight to Gia Nghia, apparently it had to put down in the bush….plastic shopping bags all over, must;ve been Provincial officers’ wives after shopping in Ban Me Thuot..

                    • Fascinating travelogue. At 80 y/o I might try and grab a quick guided tour. 😂
                      Thanks for the recap. Felt like I was riding on the back of that scooter as you related your travels.

                    • Hell of a lot of History along the northern stretches of the HCM Trail, Incredible engineering and maintenance on Hanoi’s part. QL 14 and whole Trail in good shape. Good book on the battle of Kham Duc–what a debacle, entire 12-man SF Team wiped out for lack of support. USAF did its damnedest but Army was climbing up its own butt. And a second book on the same front: the battle for all-but-forgotten Ngoc Tavak, just a few klicks. from Kham Duc. Several friendly unrelated small units trying hard to maintain the position but NVA heavily outnumbered them.

              • Ciao, Mr. Schwab,
                …so, since then you didn’t meet your Kontum fiancee again? Maybe she is now an old lady. If we have a chance to visit VN again (you and me), maybe we could go back there (where your previous office was) and I could talk to some locals there and might know something about her?? We could also do the same with Father Moriceau’s remains… What’s your idea? BTW do you have an email address? We can talk more about our staff personnel by emails…
                Mr. Cu. Your former MACCORDS Interpreter/Translator/Quang Duc Province/MR II/ VN.

                • It’s painful to think about her, but she is happily married in Australia I believe. Father Moriceau did not die in Vietnam but the VC ordered him to leave Gia Nghia at the age of 93 in poor health after only a few days. He had come there from his church in Indonesia.. I hope he may be alive in Indonesia but I know his heart is in Quang Duc. The Vietnamese fathers in Gia Nghia have their own Church but the VC do not let them do much Catholic activity. I don’t know if any members of their Church are Montagnards. All of Father Moriceau’s Montagnard families went back into the forest after 1975, the Fathers do not know where they are. I’m in Thailand but don’t have money to go to Vietnam now. I am owed money from a Vietnamese family who live in Dalat but doubt I will be able to recover it. My email address:

  63. Served with MACV Advisory Team 32 as the USAF FAC Mechanic/Observer during 1965-1966. First Pilot Capt. Bill Fearno was killed while I was on a 3 day R&R. Second Pilt was Capt. John Houston.

    • Im Bill Brown I served in Gia Nghia with USAF FAC Mechanic Observer 1968-1969 I was crew chief on01 bird dog #8883 was it there when you were? I have a lot of memoires of up at the Air Field.

      • I came across some information about one of our former comrades. You might remember CPT Roger Kugler up in Duc Lap. He was the District Senior advisor in 1969. After his tour in Duc Lap he returned to attend the Armor Advance course at Ft Knox, KY. Then went to another District Senior Advisor Course in Washington DC. He then returned to Pleiku as DSA in 1972 and left when the Paris Peace Treaty was signed in 73. He retired as a major in 1981 and currently lives in Vermillion, SD with his wife Janet.

      • Bill Brown what ever happen to the Snoopy Decal (hub cap) on the engine cowling of # 883. There is a great story behind it. I served my time at Gia Nghia from Feb. of 68 to Dec of 68. I recall very little of them days but your posting jarred my brain a little, Would you be the USAF person that received the large Sugar Daddy lollipops?. If not it’s nice to know that #883 kept flying after I left. Welcome Home!!

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