Team 36 Pleiku-west

MACV Team 36 – Pleiku-west.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 36 located in Pleiku-west.

101 thoughts on “Team 36 Pleiku-west

  1. Is anyone on here fron the 1965, 1966 till early 1967 fron Plei Do Lim, our team was the first group that too over the camp from the FS group. Maj Scott and a Capt Tate.

  2. I was at LZ Lonely with 584th during this siege. Sp5 Wynn….was driving Lt. Tejero in jeep with 60 mounted. Got many memories those weeks. After that went to Bammethoute for few months.

  3. Monty I remember some of the conversation about transferring you to LeTrung. The Major over ruled keeping you in Plei Do Lim.
    I do remember that he wanted to have PleiDoLim report directly to him on radio net. I over ruled him. He came to Pleiku to talk to Colonel Lee. I explained that if plei do lim was under attack or trouble, it would take much longer to get support/help. He would have to come to pleiku toc for help. I had connections at camp Holloway and the air base. Colonel Lee over ruled him and let plei do lim remain on the radio net.
    Tim and Monty: the guys I remember are: CPT Hovde. He was a Mat team leader who lived and worked out of the team 36. CPT Jernigan was S2 advisor. CPT Daley was my roommate,and MAJ Gilgrove was rf/pf advisor. Can’t remember MAJ ‘name who was Phoenix advisor

    • David, I think you were confusing me with Tim Dufour, who was transferred to LeTrung. Tim was our RTO in LeTrung, but previously in Plei Do Lim. My team was MAT 37, our ‘home compound’ was LeTrung, and some time later in my tour, maybe around Feb ’71, we were sent down to Plei Do Lim to operate from that location for about one month, then back to work out of LeTrung again.
      Major Michael Coyne was my senior advisor, who was pretty involved with Psyops, and for a short while, after he left, I was the acting senior advisor, but I was only a 1LT., so then David Fuqua, a senior Captain, took over as the DSA, and I was his assistant during my last few weeks. I don’t remember CPT Hovde, but I do remember Jernigan, but I don’t know what an S2 did as far as assignments or responsibilities go. We were working out of various villages or in the woods most of the year, and didn’t see the other Americans that much.

    • I was that “officer consulate”, the civilian side of CORDS, that Monty Vogel mentioned a long while back, out at Le Trung district for about three months, before transferring to Pleiku. And then a serious dust-up between me and civilian head Chris Squires and military head Col. Bachinski ended me up in Saigon advising the Ministry of Land Reform.

  4. Tim: I do remember the radio operator. I cannot remember his name nor the other operator. I was a tragic accident. The Night Duty Officer called me at the hooch saying that he had been shot. I went to Operations Center (TOC) immediately. One of our doctors Doctor Castanllos ; advisor to Vietnamese hospital also came to the TOC. We rushed the RTO to Pleiku 67th EVAC hospital. Unfortunately he did not survive. The worst part was his best friend caused the accident. We sent him back to hooch that night and the doctors gave him a sedative so that he could sleep. In the morning, I told him that his best friend died. It was the most difficult things I have ever had to do. It still bothers me.

    Tim do you remember the District Advisor and his deputy? He was a Major and the deputy was a Captain. The deputy I think was CPT Pearson.

    When I arrived in Pleiku July 1969, I was supposed to go to Plei Do Lim. I was to leave for Plei Do Lim that AM that Colonel assumed command. Colonel Lee changed my assignment to S3 Advisor. I had arrived the day before Colonel Lee. .

    • I was the radio operator in plei do lim that was switch out to le trung I rememeber having to come to Pleiku district hdqt and I believe we tried to talk to about not changing me out , but the decision was not a option . Both the RTO’s were friends and yes I went on R& R with the one after accident, I took it very hard I was just as he did, it was tough to lose him that way, It was so long ago I do not remember his name. I worked with captain pearson and have made contact with him he is in seattle, Our CO was a Major and he was removed , and a captain took over as CO he just died last month. You were a officer maybe a captain as I remember again a lot of time as passed and I don’t remember some of the guys. Good to have the opportunity to chat with you. Tim Dufour

      • Some of the names of MAT personnel in the Pleiku area in 1970 – 1971: RTO Tim Dufour, Sgt Ronald Frontz, Sgt. Willie Gayden, Sgt. Douglas Monkman, Sgt. William Cline, Lt. Joe Novak, Captain David Fuqua, Major Michael Coyne, Sgt. Bruce Matthews (formerly a Marine Major who dropped in rank and joined the Army just to get back to the battles) Lt. Richard Foreman, Colonel Bachinski, Sgt. Gore, 1Lt. Dennis Kline, Capt. Marks, Sgt. Robert Nickisch, Lt. Roy Reed, Lt. Tony Atenaide, and Montagnard wash girls at LeTrung Lenh, Manh, and Yenh, Handyman Montagnard “Monday”, Interpreters Duc, Long, Nhanh, Weir, Yphinee, Bir (the young, maybe 15 year old cute kid who everybody loved, great kid), and cook Kim Sau, dog MAT, and Kim Sau’s big old pet pig.

      • Tim…Jim Silver here. I was Bill Pearson’s #2 on Team 37 from October 1969 to Jan 1970, when I was sent down to Phu Nhon as OIC for MAT 38. Think we corresponded last year a bit. I recall the Pleiku RTO kid who died in the friendly-fire accident…bad deal all around. I remember him well to this day; I’d taken over Lt. Dibiase’s (spelling?) team when he’d gone home on a 30-day compassionate leave. We were on a week-long op with an RF company, early January. Last night out we came into an abandoned mech fire base and holed up for the night. We had 3-4 RFs down with malaria, and called in a dust off, early evening. The birds took fire from two sides when they came into the LZ…FAC out of Pleiku called in gunships from Holloway, B & C model gunnies, call sign ‘Crocodile’ something. By the time the gunnies got there we were taking fire 360 degrees, had a few more WIAs needed to get out, and the gunnies hosed down the trees for us, got the dust off birds in and out, kept Charlie off of us. Chuck kept popping at us all night, but no attempt to over-run us; figured it was VC, not NVA, running harassing fire while the main body got out of Dodge. Anyway, the Pleiku RTO kept in touch, kept the gunnies up for us, kept in-coming illumination rounds all night. Kid was calm, cool, collected, probably saved our butts. Owed him, never got to say thinks in person. Same thing with the gunships. I meet any crews flew out of Holloway under the ‘Crocodile’ call sign, I’ll buy’em a steak dinner. That’s what I recall…

        • Good to hear from you again Jim , Thanks for sharing that memory of him , I really like him the first time I met him we talked about home and his girl friend that he hoped to marry when he got home, when he died they brought me in to plieku to let me know what had happen, it hit me hard that he died, this site has brought back memories of the days over there and been able to have contact with some of the guys that were over there, I just cannot remember his name. Thanks again Tim

    • The captain that took over the CO at Letrung District name was captain Dwight Hall passed away in feb of this year.

    • David I was the s3 at Pleiku until mid july 1969. I was a 1lt at that time. I had arrived in May 68 and became the OIC of mats 38 at Phu Nhon. There was a 1lt in charge of the district team, and he left after about 2 weeks. Then i was OIC for a month or so and a Capt Olnick ? was assigned . He was wounded, maybe shot in the mouth but left after 2weeks I was out hiking around at the time. Then I was in command for a while ( only officer at the district) and they sent a Major direct from Germany, not even jungle fatigues, He lost finger in a weird accident and i was in command again. At Christmas 1968 I went to hong kong on rr and came back to Adv team 36 and became s3. I think the radio operator when i left was a spec Vaughn. That was a long time ago.

      Dick Graf

      • Dick I replaced you. I believe you had left CPT Bill Gher was the rf/pf Advisor when I arrived I was supposed to go to Plei Do Lim. The arrived in Pleiku, the Senior Prvoince Advisor, a full Colonel, had a staff meeting that afternoon and announced that he had relieved and his replacement would there the next morning at 0800. He was replaced by Colonel. Lee. Colonel Lee changed my assignment to S3 leaving the guys there who were doing great job. I can’t remember the Colonel’s name. Maybe you can David Blodgett

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

      • David
        Best I can remember the Colonel’s name Baurer. There was a major xo and 1lt for s1 and s2 but do not remember names. In 1968 we never had more than 9-10 at Phu Nhon. usually 1 officer, 2 medics. 1 radio operator/generator Spec4 Bruce something and 5 -6 weapons e6-e7 types.
        We had headhunter o-1 down from Hollaway 3-4 times a week. Our supplies came by huey call sign Aligator I think. We had c47 gunships call sign Spooky up at night or on call. Think they were out of Plieku air force base. There was an ARVN artillery battery 2 – 105 and 2 regional force companies. Usually 100-120 men each. That was a long time ago.

        Dick Graf

  5. Monte…No 92nd was out of Dong BA Thin near Cam Rahn. I only flew with them for a month. I flew with the 155th out of BAM Me Thout the 9 months prior to that. No one was at Holloway during the Phu Nhon attack except my one Slick Huey assigned after 57th AHC sent to An Khe. We lived at MACV compound above the 71st EVAC where I spent the next week in the ward next to the pool. Also my 20th birthday…17 Mar 71…. Medically retired 17 Jul 71….Live near Kahtadin. Worked in Hospitals 36 yrs after college

  6. A new note regarding the Phu Nhon Battle: I know some of the crew at WCSH Channel 6 TV in Portland. A show called “Bill Green’s Maine” will be aired around March 14, centered around this cassette tape recording and the interaction with some of you guys regarding this battle. They interviewed and filmed me for almost 3 hours. It’s more of a human interest story about the 46 year wait to have this tape transferred to copyable CDs, and finding others who shared the experience to one extent or another. –Monty Vogel

    • Monte,. I was a Crew Chief on a 92nd AHC Huey sent down towards Phu Nhon on 17 Mar by 1st FFV to medivac an advisor at a Firebase on the south side of QL 14 with Indeg stilt houses across 14 to the north, this was some miles east of Phu Nhon. We were told that there had been no shots fired for 24 hours. We were hit by small arms an at least one 37mm. On the 18 th I believe the advisor was picked up by a Chinook and taken to Cam Rahn also a Duster crew member was hit that day as well. My pilot was Stallion 19. The 92nd AHC flew an assault putting troops in for you in Apr. I had been shipped out so I don’t know much. The CG and CSM of 1FFV came to speak to me on the 19th or 20th. Someone thought the FB was Weight Davis, I don’t know, I am wondering what was going on at the FB if anyone knows. I have a map from those days of the Phu Nhon area but no WD. I was Plt Sgt with 155th in BMT until Dec when they were disbanded so I knew your ao well and flew for you guys alot in70 . Bob Monte I live near Kahtadin

      • Robert, I assume the 92nd was out of Camp Halloway? Called Headhunters? We used to scrounge our food and ammo there, met a warrant officer Cobra pilot named Jim Carpenter who came out to our compound and gave me a “Snake Ride”, front seat, for what I call my high point of the year. Always wanted to be a pilot. Monty

          • 92nd AHC flew UH 1s and were stationed in Dong BA Near Cam Rahn. Because of Lam Son most 11corps aircraft were up north.92nd covered daily missions out of Pleiku and BMT. Though with Phu Nhon hot many other air assets came in we stayed at MACV compound. I have since learned that I was hit going into FB St George where an advisor had been hit. I went to Pleiku he went to Cam Rahn

  7. Monte: Got a note from Tim that you would like to contact me. email is rnick@blackhills.com. I’m interested in your CD. I spent a few hours in the TOC during that time and had a small microcassette recorder. Wasn’t real successful as when the radio fan came on it completely distorted the audio on the recording.

  8. I have recently been in touch with Ray Ambrozak, who was in Phu Nhon during their 5-day battle in March of 1971, which I recorded some of while in my “F.O. tower” in LeTrung, east of Pleiku city. Phu Nhon was about 50 clicks south of us. We were supposed to bear the brunt of this attack according to intel, but as usual, this was mostly a diversion from the bad guys. We took some recoilless and mortars, etc., but Phu Nhon got most of it. Anyway, today I was able to use the new ION converter I bought to copy the 1967-era cassette tape to CDs, something I’ve been meaning to do for decades. Unfortunately, I only have some of the 3rd and 4th days recorded. I will be sending a copy CD to him. Monty Vogel (1LT INF, MAT 37, Pleiku Province, Vietnam, 1970-1971)

  9. Anyone interested…been off this grid for a while…life got in the way. Managed to hook up with Bill Pearson, my team leader on MAT 37, LeTreung, 1970. Bill did two tours, resides in Seattle area now. Need to call him instead of emailing. Per an earlier post, Ron Milam was my #2 on MAT 39 in Phu Nhon, took over the team when I DEROS’d 9/1970. Ron was on the ground for the March 1971 siege. Find him at U of TX, Google his name. He’s got details on the siege. Owe some pix to some guys, Jim Goreham for one. Will get them out soonest. Coming into the holidays, wish all of us still breathing air a hail and hearty ‘Welcome Home’ brothers…and to the Donut Dollies used to come visit us, and the nurses at Pleiku field hospital for patching us up, and taking care of the ones who went home the hard way…those ladies will always be special. Happy Thanksgiving, all…

    • Hello… I would like to know if any of you were there for the siege in ’71. My story is that we came from the coast (Lucky Star – 61st Assault Helicopter Company) that morning because most of the Pleiku helicopters had gone off to Laos. I arrived and was refueling when they asked if I would be willing to go to Phu Nhon. When I said yes, they loaded the ship with morphine and bandages…

      We spent the day doing resupply and taking out wounded. I would love to hear the story from the ground POV… someone blew up the fountain to give me a safe place to land! On my last trip out that evening, after dropping two sling loads of flares, I got blown up. We got the ship back to Pleiku but it never flew again.

      Does anyone remember?
      Lucky 19

  10. Keep mixing up my dates & years, sorry, will keep a sharper eye on future posts. For the guys who worked out of Le Treung late ’69 through 1971; anyone have a contact with any gunship pilots out of Holloway flew under the call sign ‘Crocodile’? Talking B & C model gunnies, rocket & gun bird paired up. We walked into an abandoned base camp west of Pleiku Jan 1970 (I was running another guy’s MAT team). We called in a dustoff for a couple of little guys (RF troops) down with malaria; bird came in & drew fire. Pretty soon we had incoming 360 degrees; gunnies came in were out of Camp Holloway, ‘Crocodile’ call signs, stayed on statoin all night for us. I owe a big thanks & a steak dinner for any of those crews. Thanks, all…

    • Jim Silver from David Dodson: Hi Jim, I think I was incorrect in previous note regarding refering one of my old guys to Milam. Actually, I had a web site up and running for several years back in 2011. It was all pictures about our company and all of the heavy equipment and projects we did in RVN. One of the first guys to sign the guest book was named John Ruther and he has posted on this site. Anyway, there was a guy from an artillery unit that was at Phu Nhon when the NVA tried to take it in early 71 and he was pissed at some of the “engineer types” that were at Phu Nhon and he felt they had some how done him wrong. As I was not there at the time, I put John in touch with him and haven’t heard from the Artillery guy since. I do remember a Captain being around when we were there. Was that you?? I do remember the cook but not his name, he was good. I never had any inner action with the Major while we were there, but did drink some beers with the two E-6’s and liked them. Seems like one of them told me one night that he had been in country for several years due to some troubles back in the world during his first or second tour. I found that impressive because I was just starting my second extension to get the five month early out so I had an idea of what go wrong on a leave that you’d waited so long for, etc. You remembered our gun truck, do you remember that we had a black Lab (Sam)?? Sam loved the left overs after each meal!! Also seem to recall a Lt with the team, but never had any inner action with him. Was that Milham?? Are you on face book??—————-David Dodson left RVN Sept 17, 1970

  11. James,

    Lots of info that I knew nothing about. Why would I as I was not assigned to your team, just passing thru. Yes we did have a deuce an a half that one .50 and three .30 cal Brownings on it for our own protection. The platoon was a Ben Het for a while in 1969 and found them inside of a bunker they were assigned to live in. The truck wasn’t doing much cargo hauling so the gun truck worked for several years. I rotated out in Sept., 1970, after another bout with malaria. I remember Major Major over at Weigt Davis a couple of times after we went back from Phu Nhon. He told me that he had put me in for SS that night of the mortar attack and helping your guys out, but after several weeks I found out that my CO had down graded it to Bronze. I finally got it sometime in 1971 via US Mail (it wasn’t a big cerimony, HA HA). I ran across Milam from another web site, and was e-mailing one of our other guys who was still there in 71 and back at Phu Nhon working on a bunch of upgrades for the compound or something and I put them in touch with each other. I’ve forgotten a lot since then but never that night in Phu Nhon and the guys there!!!

    • Dave-Jim Silver here (a few Jims on this site all of a sudden…Jim Goreham, too…see posts below. Goreham was on the other MAT team at Phu Nhon, the team came in summer of 1970. He and I got reacquainted on a phone call in the mid-1990s; I did insurance defenswe work 34 years, had a case in Texas, Jim ended up on the line, told me about the seige March 1971 and Milam’s role in it. That was the first I heard about it. I DEROS’d out 9/12/70 so maybe we left close to each other. ‘Flash’ Fleming, Team 38’s medic, left August, I put him on the plane to Saigon; he’d extended his tour for me. When I took over ’38, Fleming & me were essentially the team. SSgt. Smith came into the field on occasion. SSgt. Shireman had reached his limit when I got to Phu Nhon, preferred to not go out, his little voice was screaming at hm by then. I respected that, my own voice kept me alive more’n a few times. Flash and I ran most of the field and training ops; when Ron Milam came on board that was a good thing for us. Only got to work with him a few months; got his first fire fight out of the way early on, little get together in Plei Brell; place got flattened a few months later when a FAC out of Pleiku spotted some hardcore NVA close by and called in the world. The ‘vil went bye-bye by the end of the day. Ron says he kept a near-miss round from that excursion, still has it. Got one of my own, came outta the chamber of an SKS, fella I bumped into, and that’s another story. Anyway, liking this site, getting back in touch with guys who were there when I was, or shortly afterwards. Glad we alll made it back, real sorry ’bout the ones who didn’t. by the by, there was a 4th DIV CA team used to come out of the bush now and then; guys had been out in the boonies a long, long time, basically running LRRP missions and killing bad guys. Anyone recall them?

  12. 45 years since we got hit at Phu Nhon late on March 16, 1971 just before midnight. I know of three from Co. B that were medivaced. I helped get Hopper (?Holloway) on the first chopper. He had a good sized chuck of his calf muscleThere were others that were badly injured that I don’t remember who they were. There were at least two more injured from Co B that would have gone out on a second chopper. (Hunter & Gardner?) As the three of us were standing standing in a circle surveying the situation after all was quite for a while. I heard 3 mortars pop in their tubes, 1st landed outside the berm, 2nd landed outside the berm, 3rd-I just knew that sucker was coming straight for the three of us so I tried to get the other two to the ground with me.

    HI Dave-(Dave Dodson & myself were in the same bunker for a while at Weigt-Daves)

    • Saw these posts re: Phu Nhon seige, March ’71. I’m Jim Silver, was OIC MAT 38 Feb ’70 to mid-Sept ’70. My new 2nd was kid named Ron Milam, came on board June 1970 straight out of OCS Benning. He’s a history prof at Texas Tech, Lubbock. He was on the ground at Phu Nhon in March /71 for the assault. Ron teaches this stuff, both in the U.S. and in Vietnam; he’s been decorated for his command during the seige. Check him out on Google sometime. All I know about the seige is the guys from my days on MAT 38 that were still in country went home. We used to get 155 mm arty support from Weight Davis, and gunships out of Camp Holloway east of Pleiku. I started my tour with a MAT team in Le Trueng east of Pleiku, Sept 1070 to Feb when I took over 38. We got mortared pretty good July ’70, Chicom 82s, three tubes east of the dirt airstrip from Phu Nhon. Lost a few local RF and PF guys, no American WIAs. Welcome home all who made it back.

    • John – first off, thanks for your service – glad you made it home. My father was Edmund Roberge and was KIA in the Siege at Phu Nhon March 1971. Do you recall him and can you share what went down those days? Feel free to reach out to me at elrcivil@comcast.net. Thanks. Ed Roberge

  13. I was a radio operator at the le trung base from oct 1969 to nov 1970 with macv 36 worked with 2 mat teams not sure what number they were its nice to have found this site

    • Tim, this is Jim Silver; I was with one of the MAT Teams at Le Treung October, 1969, asst team leader; OIC was Bill Pearson, kid from Seattle; heavy weapons was a big Chezch guy, Ernst Finkle, had been Hitler Youth in WWII. You helped me with some pix for my family back home. I took over MAT 38 down south at Phu Nhon, Fed ’70. The 2nd MAT team OIC was guy named Debiase, who was also one of my training officers at OCS, Ft. Benning. I ran his team a few weeks when he went home on a compassionate leave; we got surrounded by a VC company one night on a week long op in early Jan. I remember you had to change the 10K generators over each night after midnight. Welcome home, troop.

      • I remember you and Debiase , you guys where closer to my age , and yes I remember Finkle I believe he got sick and had to be sent home. I am glad to hear from you , and yes welcome home.

    • \Hi, Tim. I was in LeTrung from April 70 till Nov 71. Just found this site and glad to see that you and Monte Vobel made it back. Have you ever heard anything from Cpt. Marks or LT Reed>

      • Hi Robert good to hear that you made it home, I was the radio operator for the unit from early October of 69 to nov 11 1970, I don’t remember all the guys that passed through the mat teams. I am sure we met though the unit was not that big , I have only had contact with Lt Vogel, Lt Silvers, and Cpt Pearson. I just found this site as well . Its great to hear from the guys that served . Stay in touch let me know how you are doing . Thanks Tim Dufour

        • Hi, Tim. Thanks for the reply. I’m doing well. A few bouts with the VA from time to time, but doing well. I remember you well from the TOC. I came in a few nights to set H&I fire and tried to cover a shift for you once but needed help with a “set and kac” transmission. I was only there for 6 months and spent one of those in various hospitals. Normally I did the Phoenix stuff there. I do fondly remember the volley ball games.

          • Robert yes I do remember the volley ball games , and some of guys were really into card games, I never played any of the poker games , but I had a couple of guys who would need to borrow some money to stay in the game, . I live in Oregon , we have a small contracting company and I am still working I turn 67 this month started taking my social security. I was drafted in april of 1969 went to Vietnam in sept 1969 while my mos was 15 bravo I was detached as a radio operator to plei do lim for 1month and then sent to the Letrung District for the remaining time I extended my tour of duty 2months so that when I returned to the states I would be finished with my active duty, so I only served 19 months .
            I appreciate all you guys and thanks , where do you live now?

          • Good morning Robert Monty would like to get your information he would like to contact you. He has a tape that he was able to transfer to a cd about a battle at Phun nhon. Take care I hope all is well with you in 2017. Tim

    • Mistyna; I may remember him. I was S3 Advisor team 36 from August 1969-August 1970. The radio operators in team 36 reported to me.
      I was exposed to agent orange. It was sprayed around our compound where we lived on CPO road. I was able to get disability from the VA. It’s a time consuming process. Your problems are some of the diseases of agent orange. Contact me if you wish. David Blodgett email blodgettdavid@att.net

      • David I think I remember you I was a radio operator at the letrung district from oct 1969 to nov 1970, there was a radio operator that was killed accidently in the macv plieku operation center do you remember him. Glad you made it home. Tim Dufour

  14. Hey , i have a machete from pleiku province, advisory team 36 it also has a name (SSG Edward Schwinzer) on it i want to get more information on it can you guys respond back thanks

  15. My father was Melvin Wright he was there during 1964-1966. I think his DD214 reads HHD 52d AVN BN APO SF 96318 USARV
    Not sure what this all is I have several pics of Camp Halloway.

  16. Hi Louie, I do remember The Pill. We just had a plain duece and a half with a .50 and three .30 guns on back and ran our own convoys from Weigt-Davis to Pleiku each day. I did that for about my last four months before leaving in mid September 1970, after 23 months. Also remember the 509th. Wasn’t there for the seige at Phu Nhon but heard about it a couple of years ago. Sounded like if I had been there I wouldn’t be here!! Good to hear from you!!

  17. David, I was with the 509th Engineers at Weigt-Davis, at the same time you were, apparently. Most of the the I was assigned to our gun truck, “The Pill.” We escorted convoys from Kontum to Ban Me Thout, and
    From Qui Nhon to just inside the Cambodian border. We did a lot of escorts during the Siege of Phu Nhon, and ran quite a lot of the buffalo trails instead of QL14, and QL19, getting supplies into the Special Forces Camp there; pretty much sucked. Nice to hear from a Brother Engineer, I always thought we got all the rap, but none of the glory! But, we’re both still here, right? God Bless, stay well, my friend. Feel free to contact me via loulyn147602@yahoo.com, if you want.

  18. I just realized I should have added that SFC Bruce Matthews died in 2014. He was from South Portland, ME, and on one of the other MACV Team 36 MAT teams during 1970-71.. Amazing warrior, he was previously a Major in the Marines. When they moved him to a desk position, he quit and joined the Army to get back into the field, as a senior NCO. He was about 40 during his THIRD tour of Vietnam. This guy would go any place, any time. Great guy.

  19. I haven’t looked at this site for awhile, it’s interesting to see all the notes from all. Jimmie Gonzalez, I believe I remember your name, but can’t picture you. We weren’t in the city or headquarters often, so mainly I remember the men on our 5-man team (MAT 37), and the guys from the other two teams that ‘moved into’ our home base at Letrung late in the year. This is where we stayed when we weren’t living in some RF/PF compound in a village somewhere or out on an operation.
    I just got an email from the guy who I replaced on MAT 37, he forwarded an interesting article how Camp Holloway, the helicopter base somewhere between Letrung and Pleiku City, was somewhat the start and the end of the war in Vietnam. I never knew that. If you’d like, email me at mat37@myfairpoint.net and I’ll forward it to you.
    Mistyna Pearson, I’m truly sorry for your health issues. I had Hepatitis and a broken jaw during my tour (May ’70 – April ’71), and later, in 1975, acquired a form of Epilepsy, almost surely from Agent Orange. I discovered, from a helicopter pilot’s website (named Bart Wheeler, I believe) that a lot of other guys got the same seizure disorder. Dioxin, in AO, causes seizures, and it usually comes out later and at a time of stress. I had it for 13 years, gradually got rid of it in 1988. The government never recognized this as one of the issues. Cost me a LOT of money and it was a pain in the rear, to say the least.
    My seizures always started with a strong Deja-Vu, then chills and goose bumps down one side, pale face, very ‘out of it – malevolent’ feeling, and often vomiting (in the earlier years) at the end of the 45-60 seconds it lasted. Though I had thousands of these, It wasn’t terribly debilitating, I still scuba dived, motorcycled, windsurfed, etc. No worse for the wear today, I’m 70 and still doing everything I did at 30, including hockey 3X/week. Hope this info may help you, Mistyna.
    I read an interesting article on PTSD recently, which sort of confirmed what I had noticed a long time ago. The majority of PTSD patients were not often in combat. Rather, they were in rear areas that rarely got attacked. But the unexpectedness and lack of being ready and prepared as a soldier in the woods would be caused more mental damage. Sounds a little counterintuitive, but it seems correct to me. Of course, there’s ALWAYS exceptions to this.
    Other men on our team during the course of the year: 1LT Joe Novak, SSG Emanual Untalan, SSG Doug Monkman, SSG Willie Gayden, SSG Ronald Frontz, SFC William Cline.
    The District Senior Advisor was Michael Coyne, Assistant Senior Advisor Capt. David Fuqua, an ‘Officer Consulate’ Clem Salvadori.

    Regarding “We Were Soldiers”, with Mel Gibson, it’s one of my favorite all time movies. I believe it was one of the more realistic of all war movies, with, of course, some liberties taken, such as the very quick responses from artillery (I got rounds within 5 minutes from Blackhawk, and as much as 30 minutes from Artillery Hill — even for illumination rounds — and THEN they put it in the wrong place, lighting us up instead of the NVA. Anyway, this movie’s opening scenes showed the OCS barracks behind the Airborne towers, and the VN scenes were filmed on Hunter Liggett Military Reservation in central California, (where I was a private in the Army fire department before I had to write my Congressman to get into Infantry OCS), and the 3-day battle in 1965 occurred just southwest of Pleiku City.

    I still have to see about getting my cassette tape of the Battle of Phu Nhon converted into a CD.

    Cheers to all, Monty Vogel

    • Monty – I was the District Senior Advisor before,during and after the Battle of Phu Nhon. Because of a project I am working on I have a real need to talk to you. Please call me soonest – anytime, day or night. Ray Ambrozak phone (254) 698-2266 . or cell number 254-768-7514

    • Hey, Monte. Good to see you here. I was in LeTrung from Oct70 to April 71. Any idea where David Fuqua is? I wrote a short note to Tim also, but I’m guessing neither of you remember much of me. I was the CI nerd not wearing any rank.

  20. My dad was in Vietnam and I’m trying to figure out where he was located. He would never talk to me about it and he died in Nov 2008. I’ve been told I have some health issues that might be linked to his service in Vietnam but I don’t know where to go to find out. His name is Alan Lee Bates and he was from Perrinton, Michigan. This is the information I can read on his DD214 – inducted 4/10/69 discharged 11/13/70 – in Republic of Vietnam 9/7/1969 to 11/12/1970 – Last Duty Assignment and Major Command (exactly as it appears) ADV TM 36, YI CORPS RVM MACV – Specialty #05B40 RADIO OPER – Grade SGT E5
    Any information you can share would greatly be appreciated. My dad was diagnosed with Hepatitas, Cihrosis & Diabetes partially caused by agent orange is my understanding. I have several “birth defects” that my doctor has indicated should be “looked into” to see if they were caused by agent orange such as “spoon thumbs” and no cushions in my major joints and spinal problems including missing a vertabra & partial rib and crooked shins and a partially fused lumbar vertabra and congenital cervical issues and now possibly a neurological disorder or possibly hyperparathryroidism. I’m desperate for information where my dad was located & what exactly he did. Will the VA tell me anything? Was he was involved in any of the battles that have been dramatized in movies? I have one or two pictures of him while over seas if that would help and I have his selective service number. God Bless you & I thank you for your service. In my eyes military personnel stand above all others in this world & just below God.
    I’m proud to be a Vietnam Veteran’s Daughter!
    PS – how realistic is the movie “We Were Soldiers”?

    • Hello Mistyna my name is Tim DuFour I was a radio operator during the same time met different radio operators just cannot remember names if you want to email me a picture I may remember him you can contact me at d2inc.tim@gmail.com if you like . Best regards Tim Dufour

  21. Lt. Vogel, I remember meeting you briefly. I worked at the SMDSL as the Commo Maint/Finance Advisor. I also went out to Phu Nhon the day after the attack. I was also responsible for delivering the mail via chopper to the teams during the last 5 months that I was there. I joined the team in Oct ’70 – March 72. Prior to that I was with the 41st Civil Affairs at Camp Schmidt.

    • Sgt Gonzalez, don’t know if u remember me or not. Our rooms were in same bldg. I worked in supply and I took over your mail job when u left. I actually bought some stereo equip from u before u left. Hope all is good

  22. Barry
    You couldn’t be more right. I lost friends in VN, South America and the Middle East and the soapbox I could get upon as to “Why” is about a mile high and this is certainly not the forum for it. I would never belittle the cost that any of them paid. It took me a long time to figure out the WHY and if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t. Im thankful for the skills the military gave me. After VN I went back to learn a lot more of them but using them while being nothing more than a pawn of the few that use us like so many chess pieces is something I’ll regret to my last day.

  23. Hi Phil, I’m sure everybody has stories, some good and some bad. It’s the ability to keep the bad ones tucked away . I’ve had friends ask me about Nam and how u deal w it. I say I have a box in the back of my mind where all the bad stuff is, and I just don’t open it. It’s worked so far. Now I realize I didn’t see as much combat as some but maybe more than some, don’t know. All I know is a lot of guys died for absolutely nothing.

  24. Gotta love some customs even if they don’t exactly coincide with ours:) As for rice wine, that stuff can total ya.
    Sounds like you came out of that crappy war with some stories. From my own experience i’ve noticed that as I get older the stories get better.

  25. Happy V day back. Illinois, that’s a shocker I had you pegged as a west coast guy. I was a displaced farm boy myself. Located now in Virginia Beach Va, not where I was born but where I grew up. What did you do when you got back to the world and what you doing now. (retired to a quiet farm, if your lucky)

    • Hi Phil, funny you mentioned Pierre. He worked for us in supply,or should I say out worked us. He was amazing.we became really good friends, in fact the night before I was to leave for home he came to my hooch and took me by the hand and led me back to their hooch and there were 7 or 8 women there, all his wives. It took awhile but the jist of it was he was offering me one his wives for the night, but I convinced him otherwise. So after a lot of rice wine I crawled back to my hooch and left the next morning. Truly a good person who I would have trusted w my life.

  26. The tip about the swimming pool did it. Now I do remember you guys. I always thought these guys r some bad people, at least to a remf like me. Not from cal., born and raised in s Illinois , little farm town an hour from St. Louis . Really good to connect again. Have a happy Veterans Day. Where u located?

  27. Ok LT, now were talkin. Was your crew chief john riggenbach? Had a big mustache. I remember flyin w u guys a few times on off days, just for fun. And u scared the crap out of me a few times

    • Nope, sorry Barry, wrong guys. Mac was one of the more senior Rangers to us senior in a lot of ways. He was the one built like a linebacker. Ron was a gruff Texan, I of course was the good looking one. We were just the spooks who wandered in and out at all hours and without notice doing whatever the archangle ordered us to do. Go here, do that, take out the trash ect. When in camp I was the guy always doing handstands on the diving board of the little swimming pool. Do you remember Pierre the Montagnard scout that lived at the camp with all his wives and children. He must have been 65 and could “out jungle” anyone there. I remember them cutting up and cooking a dog, seemed a feast at the time. Wish I remembered more names but we moved around a lot. Guess we werent in the business of being remembered anyway.
      I do remember you as always having something funny to say and never asked but for some reason always thought you were from California.

  28. Barry, yup along with a lot of other things and other crap:) Funny how people remember that though. I remember returning after a 5 day “outing” and heard you say there was a Korean band that had performed the night before trying to sing country songs and you said the girls were singing “O yea I’m an uky from muskuky”. Last time I was in Korea couldn’t help remembering and laughing about that.

  29. Monty, Yes, Major Major was a Black Man, kind of short as I recall but always polite around us anyways. I have heard that it really got ugly in early 71. I didnt know that the NVA were building up so much out in the valley as the Pleiku combat units were drawing down.

  30. I just discovered this website. My name is Monty Vogel, I was a 1LT, commanding MAT 37 out of Le Trung, which came under the Province Team 36 in Pleiku. Our 5-man MAT team had the northern 2/3 of Pleiku Province for our AO during the course of my year there. My tour was from May 1970 to April 1971. Got Hepatitis, Epilepsy (Agent Orange), and a broken jaw during the tour, the latter from an ambush-jeep accident which sent me home 3 weeks before my tour was done.
    Regarding the Phu Nhon battle — this had to be the one I recorded from the radio traffic, including myself, from my F.O. tower over the team house, I kept M-79 and M-16 ammo and grenades up there, along with a large crew-served starlight scope. If our team was back in the Le Trung compound, this is where I would go to call in artillery in an attack. I’d get there by crawling onto the roof, up a ladder, and pulling the ladder up with me. I had a litter to sleep on top of the sand bags if need be.
    The recording is on a cassette tape. I should get it copied to a CD. It includes conversations with the gunships, one of which was “pissed off and went home” because his gunnies were shooting up the friendly APCs by mistake.
    I think we got a few recoilless rifle rounds on my position that night as well. One of them went through the back and front windows of the team jeep, glanced off the wooden latrine, and exploded below me on a cyclone fence. Sparks everywhere. I thought they were mortars until the morning.
    Was this Major Frank Major a black man? If so, I remember him, I have an interesting story, he may have lost his command (and Army future) for interfering in a disciplinary action at one of the larger US compounds in Pleiku, sort of a ‘last straw’ kind of thing for him.

    • Monty, who were the other men in your mat team? I was lucky enough to get the mail job at tm 36. Would fly to let rung, Phu nhon nd than anh every day. I worked in supply for cpt Henderson. I’m sure our paths crossed.

    • Gotta get in on this one. Monty, I’m Jim Silver; started my tour Sept 1970 on Team 37, Le Trueng, OIC was Bill Pearson; thinking you took over from him. He was from Seattle. I was his 2nd until I took over MAT 38 down in Phu Nhon, Feb 1970 to Sept 1970. My 2nd was Ron Milam, came on the team June 1970; he was at Pho Nhon for the seige March 1071. There was another MAT team at Phu Nhon, came in late spring ’70, don’t recall the number. Re: Major Major, I knew him well. My team medic was Robert (Flash) Fleming, Atlantic City, NJ. the outgoing District Team OIC was a Maj. Ortiz, whose wife at the time was the congressional Rep from Puerto Rico. Ortiz left March or April, not sure, would have to check old letters. Anyway, Flash came in one day noonish to announce the new major had arrived, said ‘Major Major’. I said, Like Catch 22? He said no, that’s his name, Major Frank Major Major. 2nd tour, needed combat time on his jacket. Short, thin guy Went out into the field one time, with his good bud, SFC named Downer, on the district team. Chuck had tried to over run the old Plei Me SF camp, got caught in the open, and a FAC out fo Pleiky called in the world; killed hundreds; we watched the air strikes all day from Phu Nhon. Major and Downer were trying to hop a couple of Hueys on a quick reaction force. By the by, Ron Milam teaches history at Texas Tech, Lubbock, wrote books on Vietnam, teaches in U.S. & in Saigon, has been back multiple times; got decorated for his actions furing the seige. We hooked back up 2014, first time in 40+ years. Found this site by luck, seeing some familiar names again. Welcome home, guys…

  31. No sorry we were not able to land we were a single aircraft without Gun cover and we had received too many rounds through the aircraft. I was told later that the American we tried to get out had been lifted out the next day by Chinook and was taken to Cam Rahn Bay. To all you Teams guys Im not even sure which compound we tried to get into. This one was on the East side of QL-14 with the Houmg Village on the west side which the NVA had infiltrated the heavy weapons fire was out of the SW and East tree lines. I was also in the Hospital in Pleiku with a Duster guy who got hit a few days later while trying to drive down to resupply from Pleiku. Before 4 months went by I was Medically Retired . Most of the reports I have read do not talk about this incident and im aware there were at least 4 battles going on in the area at this time….Thanks Bob

  32. All I know is that we received a request to meet with MACV and were told we needed to Medivac a wounded friendly and there had been no incomming for 24 hours. When we arrived overhead we were nailed by a flak trap of 3 37mm antiaircraft guns and I was hit. This may have taken place on the 16th of Mar 71

    • Bob – thanks for commenting – this means a lot to me. I recall hearing that Dad was mortally wounded under heavy fire and that Medivac was called to extract. When you came under heavy fire, were you able to pick up that night?
      Thanks, Ed

      • Ed, your father was a good friend of mine that I first met in VietNam. We had the same job, different districts. We worked together on some cross district issues trying to find some of the bad guys. It wasn’t until about 1993 that the fog cleared away and I remembered you dads last name as well as other names from LeTrung and surrounding area. He was a good man.

        • Robert – sorry I missed your note and thanks for your thoughts. Glad to know that you knew him in Vietnam – he loved his job and the guys he worked with. He was KIA in Phu Nhon. Feel free to reach out to me at elrcivil@comcast.net to talk further. Thanks. Ed

  33. Thanks for writing back. I believe the friendly we were to pick up was gotten out a day or so later on a Chinook and taken to Cam Rahn to their Hospital. Just wanted to speak with someone who was on the ground that knew what was really going on. We believe there were 3 37mm guns set in a flak trap that we flew into……Thanks again Bob

  34. Hi bob. I arrived 3 days after . I worked in supply for CPt Henderson. Flew down few days later to get list of all lost propery. What a wake up call ( only being in country for a few weeks)

  35. Does anyone remember Mar17th 1971 and the attack on Phu Nhon? I flew as Crew Chief on H Model Huey who tried to get into compound to pick up wounded…..just wondering

    • Bob – I’m doing some searching myself. My father Edmund Roberge was killed on 16 March 1971 on the attach at Phu Nhon. He was on one of the MAVC teams – not sure which one. Looking for anyone who knows what went down.

      • Ed…I was at Phu Nhon with MAT 54 from July 1970 until Feb 1971 and knew your father well. He was a great guy. I was transferred to Pleiku City about two weeks before the attack in which your father was killed. I did get back there the next day and got pictures of the aftermath…a lot of destruction. Your Dad was with the HQ team commanded by Maj Frank Major. The other team there was MAT 36. I have pictures from the next day after the attack and also a couple of old pictures with your father in them.

        PM me and I can get copies made and get them to you.

        • Jim, we met on the phone back in the 90s, I was handling some insurance work. Hooked up with Ron Milam in 2014, mentioned your name yo him. Ron survived the seige, did well. FYI, I have pix of the three of us test firing an M2 .50 cal of mine, I kept it in a back bunker behind the water tower at Phu Nhon. If you’d like copies, reach out. Email address below. Welcome home, brother…

          • Jim…good to see all of your comments, your memory is much better than mine. I would like copies of the pics you mentioned. I’ve been in touch with Ron Milam but not Rick Payne (my OIC on MAT 54). Do you remember the Capt’s name who was the District’s Intel officer..he was s Texan. Send pics to jgoreham@austin.rr.com. Great to hear from you.

      • Jim – have been following the MACV sites so you cant believe how great this is to hear from you – can’t believe I missed your note. I will send an email to try to get a copy of your photos. Thanks a million…Ed

    • Ray Ambrozak DSA Phu Nhon Jan 71/Nov 71. Only recently found this site and read your message. Am in process of gathering all information possible on The Siege of Phu Nhon. Please contact me 254-768-7514 or 254-466-6622 or 254-698-2266. Looking forward to hearing from you.

      • Ann check 1/92 FA Brave Cannons site. Lots of info from artillerymen who were there. I was at LZ Lonely south when the battle began.

      • Maj. Ambrozak – saw your note regarding the Siege of Phu Nhon. My dad was KIA in the siege and recall reading the letter you sent home regarding the battle. Would love to hear from you regarding the siege and the circumstances surrounding it. Feel free to reach me at elrcivil@comcast.net. Thanks. Ed Roberge

      • reply to Stanley Rose – Lucky 19:
        Good to hear from you. This gives me the opportunity to offer my thanks and gratitude for the support you provided while we were still under fire. I was the PhuNhon District Senior Advisor from Jan 71 to Nov 71. contact info Ray Ambrozak – phone home 254-698-2266, cell 254-768-7514 or 254-466-6622. email Rayambrozak@embarqmail.com.
        We probably talked to each other that day you flew the supply missions to our compound as I was in the T.O.C. when not dealing directly with the NVA occupying bunkers inside our perimeter.
        I am very interested in contacting anyone with any knowledge about PhuNhon before, during or after the siege. There is an account of the siege on the net which contains false and misleading info. I am trying to get them to clean up their story. I have contacted Ron Milam who was in our MACV compound during the battle. Monty Vogel who was in Latrung called me with some unique info on tape.
        Luck 19, give me a call or email so we can visit. Looking forward to it.
        Ray Ambrozak
        DSA Phu Nhon

  36. Was here March ’71 to march ’72. Worked in supply Room w cpt Henderson, sgts foy and pack.also good friends w sfc Roy Williams. Worked to resupply Phu nhon ,le trung and thanh an.ric carter and rob silliman worked in toc. Good friend john riggenbach, lost contact.be good to hear from anyone stationed there. Peace

      • Barry, you may remember Sgt. John McLain or maybe 1st Lt. Phil Richardson or CWO Ron Redd we worked Intel for MI out of the camp for some months. We were mostly gone but came in to crash ocassionally. I think I met you when you first came in, you were the dear in the headlights 🙂

  37. It was 1970. I was part of a detachment from the 584th Engineer Co. (LE) at Weigt-Davis Quarry just north of Phu Nhon District HQ. We were rebuilding/upgrading highway QL-14S thru Phu Nhon and Southward. There were 5 or 6 American advisors under Major Major’s command. We had several pieces of equipment and came in every night, ate, slept and went back out in the morning to work on the road. Saved us about an hour each way, each day. Hit with mortar attack one night. Couple of ARVN wounded. Anyone remember??

    • Bill Pearson was OK; don’t know what happened to him; Heard Pearson got a kill on a night ambush before he went home; I saw him after the fact, seemed shaken up by it. A good guy in any event. The DSA was a major when I got there. Also recall a NG Capt named Dwight Hall, solid guy. He was in his 50s then; interesting how many WWII types were in country back then. Camp cook wsa Kim Sau; we had a ‘y-bird’ merc named Wear (phonetic spelling). Stone killer, knew his stuff, more body guard than anything else. Stay in touch, bud.

      Correction to last entry…my tour ran Sept 1969 to Sept 1970. Got assigned to Team 37, Le Trueng October 1970 following two week jungle school in Panama (a joke), and three weeks language school in Saigon when we got in country. Bill Pearson picked me up at in Pleiku at the Province team locale in October. Team wore black berets…I happened to have brought one with me, thought it’d be a cool thing to wear,
      didn’t know Pearson had a thing for’em.

    • Dave:

      Lots of posts here, brings back the memories. I took over MAT 38 Feb 1970; Rest of MAT 38 at that time was SSgt. Smith (Smitty), heavy weapons, SSgt Paul Shireman (light weapons), and team medic Robert (Flash) Fleming, who was on a 30 day leave back to Atlantic City when I got the team. Medic for the district team was Doc Pollard, , partial to White Owl cigars for chewing tobacco. SFC named Downer was senior NCO on the district team; we had a big guy, Capt, ran the DIOCC slot, corrdinated with the local military & civilian cops. I remember you engineer guys staying with us for months while working on QL-14. You guys had a deuce an’ a half fitted out with Browning .30 cals, sort of a gun truck. a PF troop who had sold his M16 on the black market, got caught & thrown in the tiger cage before court-martial. His wife let him out and he strug himself up with paracute cord. ..Yardbirds had a religious thng about a body dying close to anything biologic; the spirit inhabits the object, like a tree, bush, whatever. After they cut him down, the tree was cut down and burned. Anyway, for those looking for details on the March 1971 seige, Google Ron Milam. He was my 2nd, came on the team June 1970; he was on the ground when the seige started; he’s written about it, and got decorated for his actions. He teaches history at Texas Tech, Lubbock. Google his name, he’ll come up. We hooked up in 2014, I went looking on a whim, found him. The mortar attack you mentioned was July 1970; three Chicom 82s out beyond that dirt airstrip east of Phu Nhon; they cut us up pretty good; we lost several RF and PF guys; Flash was instrumental in running through the incoming, patching guys up. We got dustoffs in between 2-3 a.m.. Probably a prelude to the following March. I put Flash in for a silver star; he did the same fo rme. Good to see all the names here. Stay in touch, guys…

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