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.

206 thoughts on “Team 36 Pleiku-west

  1. Was in Pleiku mid 70 as senior advisor to II Corps RF/PF inspection team . Member of the Crossbow Club. Only name I can recall is Major Schiessel.

  2. Would anyone know about Roger C. Thompson, a 1lt AG who worked at the MACV HQ in Pleiku City, 1970-71. He was a good friend from OCS and we were reaquainted in Pleiku, where I was assigned to MAT 37, northern Pleiku Province. Thanks.

    • Do any u guys remember the E-6 or 7 that was NCO at SOG team assigned OASIS Jan-Feb 71? Also a “French” citizen buck sergeant that was real wildling. I was an engineer E-5 TDY there for several weeks with nothing to do and he enlisted me to go on patrols with him and squad of yards daily. Spooky place out there. I was based at Weigt Davis, at LZ Lonely during Siege of Phu Nhon then on to Bammethoute next 815th at Dillard near Dalat. I reupped at Bammethoute.

      • I too was at Weigt-Davis, Phu Noon, and LZ Lonely all with Company B of the 20th Engineer Battalion (Combat). My platoon had the mortars in the southwest corner of LZ Lonely. SGT Fultz was my platoon sergeant.

        • Thank you for post. I was in EM Plt 584th at time and at Lonely during majority the siege period. I was just a lowly E5 likely disconnected from a lot of big picture at the time yet can remember spending a whole lot of time in holes we dug into berm and around our lil campfire as we loaded clips and wiped down weapons constantly. I was immediately to left of a 155mm in a hole. I spent very little time in the tent area my gear was at Weigt Davis yet remember SP4 Meadows getting Bronze star I think for suppressing dust for incoming choppers. I (we) left at some point near very end or at the end via short run convoy back to Weigt Davis. Not many we Lonely troops still here so hopefully details will be shared this forum before lost. I stayed in Army 14 years. That tends muddle my Army days memories so feel free to correct me folks.

      • Clement, if you mean MACV Team 36 HQs, maybe Ken Benson can provide some info. Ken was Team S-2 1971-72.

      • Hi Clem, I just saw your message, not sure if it was to me??? If so, my book was selling pretty slow all Summer, then picked up big time the last couple of months. Still has some of the highest reviews in its genre. I just saw that SSG Doug Monkman passed in 2019. He was on Team 37 with us at Letrung, he was from the upper midwest, Michigan and Iowa, I think.

        • Monty – Good for you! Always nice to have a book sell. Since I’m 81 and semi-retired, I may try a seventh book. My sixth book, No Thru Road, continues to sell a little, One of the chapters deals with my two weeks in Afghanistan late in ’73 — I loved the place.. Clem

        • Monty I remember Doug he was a great great guy helped me alot, sorry that he passed away. Hope you are well. Tim Dufour

          • Hi Tim, except for a couple of recent hockey injuries (I’m definitely the old fart of the group), and some Hyperthyroidism (from Agent Orange???
            )’m healthy and doing well. Do you remember the RTO that came in after you? He painted is teamhouse room black, with black lights, etc showing weird flourescent stuff. Can’t remember his name, but we all remember you very well, I’m sure. We had a good team. Major Coyne, the DSA after Bennett and Hall was a great guy, too and Cpt. David Fuqua. Best to you.

  3. Me and my small crew of criminals were in and out of the camp in 71-72 and I remember a lot of faces if not many names except Barry Stanley, John McLean, Joe the newspaper reporter (actually CIA) and Col. Rose (Rosen)?? who didn’t like us because we worked for the Embassy and couldn’t tell him why we were there or what we were doing. I have a lot of pictures from the camp when I can get around to finding them. Does anyone remember the sign in the hooch that read “If you ain’t RANGER you ain’t S–t) or the big rat called “Charlie” that no one seemed to be able to kill or the time the Mess Mom was outraged because the local Ruf-Puf leaders were invited to a meeting at the camp and were cooking a dog in his kitchen. I have a picture of one of the Majors standing near in his swim suit near the pool watching in utter disgust as one of the yards cut up a dog for the king Montagnard Pierre having one of his family feast’s. We were invited but declined only to go to the dinky little club and eat really bad pizza and drink Budweiser. For everyone other than Mac and Barry I know it seemed as if we were in our own little world and I suppose we were but I sure wish I had paid more attention to things other than business. It would be nice to put names to some of the faces I remember.

      • Barry, I just came across a photo of the Team 36 front gate with one of the female Montagnard guards. I probably took it out of boredom while waiting for the distribution bird to fly me back to my District. I’ll send it to you if you have any interest

    • I was the s-2 for Tm 36 from July 71 to Feb 72 and the CO for the Army guys was LTC John D Smith and he was always giving you guys crap when you would show up with dirty uniforms, boots, etc. I stayed out of his sight as much as possible as Chris Squires was the FSR3 in charge of the team and we had a bit of a habit that involved Single Malt Scotch’s and his supply was a lot better than mine. I replaced Bill Bailey who was shot down in May and Klimko stayed until I was up to speed. LTC Burnette was the SF Type who had the Ranger Camps and he was way cool. Maj Lackey was the S3 and Pennington S1/S4 SFC Strawn was my enlisted type, wonderful guy, several tours with 5th Group before Advisory Team and the RTO who spent more time at the TOC in town than the compound was Sp4 Sillliman. Don’t know if that will jog any of the memory cells…it did mine. I spent as much time in the air with 219th RAC Pilots as I could…spent off time at Holloway frequently as well. I need to digitize some photos as well. Ken Benson

      • I was RF/PF Advisor on Tm 36 from 12/71 to 12/72 and managed a fund for the team. I worked for Maj. Hurst and Mr. Wygant. I was there when we lived in the old SF compound, 2 Corp. HQ, and downtown. I remember 1Lt. Charlie, Maj. Lackey, LTC Smith, Mr. Squire, 1Lt. Shaw, SFC Bart Johnson, and Cpt. Glantz. My interpreter was Tony Ksor and Blar was in charge of the gate guards.

  4. Interesting to find this site, I was at TM 36 March 71 to March 72. I remember a lot of the name mentioned. Doesent anyone remember Cpt Bradley who was with Jay Garner. I drove out and gave them my cat the day before I left. When I got to the states J. Paul Van had been killed in the Contum pass. Went to Inf Adv Course with Klimko. Is he still around? Did a lot with RF’s & C-7/17th We are a lot older now! BG

    • Bob, I was with MAJ Garner in Thanh An when you gave us the cat, whom we affectionately named “Bitch.” She was pregnant at the time, eventually had four kittens who more or less lived in my room in the team house. She was a ferocious hunter, used to bring me rat heads as gifts. Our dog, MAC V, was terrified of her. We had been infested with rats in the team house. MAJ Garner and I would put out C-ration cheese spread in one of our two rooms, sit in the other guys room and drink our one Chivas and water/night, give the rats about 30 minutes to get comfortable, then burst into the room with our M1912 shotgun and flashlights; we had replaced the OO buck with salt tablets. Sure blew away the rats, but was not real healthy for the rooms. So we wanted a cat, and you delivered! Thanks.

    • Bob Glantz…was thinking of you the other day…odd
      Klimko succumbed to cancer in 06 and strawn was killed crossing the street to get his mail in Russellville AR…seems like yesterday we were all sitting around the water reservoir having a beer…hope you are well

    • Bob, just perusing and saw your post. You were a great soldier-Hope you are well. Great regard and respect, Tony Lackey

  5. Not sure if anyone can help but I am looking for someone that was in Pleiku during 1959-60 time period and went by the nickname “Little Hen” or “Little Ken”. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  6. I’m trying to find anyone who may know my father Willie Lee Stephens. He stated he was in Pleiku during the period of 1966-1967. He don’t remember too much and the VA and myself is still awaiting his military records that’s been hard to retrieve but I do have his DD214. Thanks

  7. My father served in Pleiku as Captain
    In 67/68 and returned there in 1970 in think. Captain Charles E Stewart. Anyone have any info I would be truly

  8. I just discovered and it brings back so many memories. I was the DDSA in Thanh An District from June 1971-April 1972. We had a 13-man team when I arrived, then went to a two man team (MAJ Jay Garner and myself) in early July 1971. I’ll look through my papers and see if I can find some Pleiku recollections of interest. I did notice the mention of CWO Bob Volmer (Headhunter 18), with whom I was privileged to fly some VR missions when he’d land his O-1 at the old FB Oasis, just down the road from my compound. Anyway, it’s great to connect with former TM 36 guys!

    • Rob,don’t know if you’ll remember me or not. I worked in supply w capt henderson and sfc foy. I think I remember u and Maj garner coming in the supply room a few times.I do remember bringing a large freezer down to u guys w sp 4 Gray.. it was in bad shape when we got it there as he drove like a madman, but I guess that was better than getting shot up. Good to hear from a familiar voice on hear

      • I do remember you, Barry – particularly how you and SFC Foy always seemed nervous when MAJ Garner and I would “raid” the supply room, browsing rather than requisitioning. (I found all sorts of useful stuff that we put to good use down in the District, so thanks for putting up with us!) The ride on QL 19 from Pleiku to District HQs was stressful, to say the least – driving as fast as possible while dodging the many giant holes in the road. For good reason too, as an O-3 from the District team had been killed on the road in Nov 70; SP4 Gray had the right idea! Serving with MAJ Garner was an awesome experience, and it was very pleasing to see how well he did for the rest of his career.

        • You see Barry you weren’t a deer in the headlights. Although we never needed anything, everyone remembers the go to guys who control the “goodies”.

          • Phu Nhon was hit earlier on Feb 1st. About 2:30 am the VC started walking mortar rounds into our small base consisting of 2 Engineer platoons and an Artillery battery. I was the only officer there that night. All my requests for permission to fire our 155s already loaded with Killer Jr. rounds and lock on the mortar flashes just beyond the perimeter were denied by the Vietnamese who claimed that the coordinates were in a “friendly zone.” After we took 12 casualties including 1 KIA, I used land lines to order the two Dusters on temporary assignment to us to end the assault, which they did almost immediately. The Siege of Phu Nhon took place in March, but by then we had relocated south at LZ Lonely built by my Company. Later in April, LZ Lonely was surrounded for 12 days by the 95B Infantry Regiment.

          • I got there in June of 71 and Vollmer filled in a lot of details from Phu Nhon seige but in March I was still in DC at Building 213, I will just throw that out as when McCall and I were chatting he had done TDY there earlier…interesting place. Vollmer was at Headhunters in Oct 70 and he flew bunch of missions from Holloway to Phu Nho…got my first 0-1 pilot in country and my preferred…Folkstadt was the CO and I remember Kellogg, McDevitt, Jungren Maj Sailor who took over the company when folkstadt left in Dec 71…Dean Stanton and his two dobermans left Pleiku for Cambodia in his newly painted M151…said he was going to drive it to England…wonder what ever happened to him. Wonder about a lot of stuff these days, especially when I read posts that I made years ago and don’t remember posting them…

    • I flew with Vollmer frequently…you can find him on fb lynn vollmer ‘will fly for cigars’. I replaced klimko as S-2 after Bill Bailey was shot down. I was on 36 from 5/71 to 2/72 and can’t quite put a face with your name but we were there at the same time roughly.

      • Good to hear from you, Ken. I was the tall, gangly (back then) sidekick to MAJ Jay Garner. We only got into Pleiku once/month or so, and that was to raid S-4 for stuff, the PX for Chivas and beer, and the NCO Club at Tm 36 for steaks – we ate only VN food in the District and I’m still amazed that the VN cook managed to have at least one bone in any piece of meat, no matter how small. So we were more interested in protein and American food than doing any real coordination during our Pleiku trips, Garner was awesome to work for – one of the high points of my life, actually, and it was so nice to see how well he did – ending up as a MG. Brings back old memories! Let me see if I can post some photos and you might be able to put faces with names.

      • Ken, Do you remember the date when B. Bailey went missing. I was on duty in Pleiku, TOC, team 36, when it happened. Just trying to put things together.

        • Jesus…I was just thinking of you. Weren’t you from OREGON and didn’t I see you after? I have learned more about Bailey since than I knew when I replaced him. You and I were in the toc when al lavalle saw the tail of the plane sticking up and Klimko hopped a ride to the crash site. Reynolds Potter sent me bailey’ Obit and it says March 10, 1971 he went missing I was stateside on leave before shipping out at that time. Good Lord … how sad that it’s been fifty years to hook up on a site I hadn’t found until today for you and McCall…

        • I don’t know but it says March 10,1971 on his wall posting as the casualty date. I thought he came to the team in March and went missing in May…Al Lavelle found the plane in July after I arrived at the team to replace Bailey so Klimko could rotate.

    • Hi, Ken here…I was the S-2 in Pleiku from 6-71 into 72. The pilot, Lynn Vollmer lives in St Pete, he has a fb page but it’s not very active. I replaced Bill Bailey who went missing in May and was found Kia. Steve Klimko passed from pancreatic cancer in 06 and Rober Strawn was hit by a car and died as he crossed the road to get his mail. I remember jay garner but not having much luck with you…

    • Hi, Ken here…I was the S-2 in Pleiku from 6-71 into 72. The pilot, Lynn Vollmer lives in St Pete, he has a fb page but it’s not very active. I replaced Bill Bailey who went missing in May and was found Kia. Steve Klimko passed from pancreatic cancer in 06 and Rober Strawn was hit by a car and died as he crossed the road to get his mail. I remember jay garner but not having much luck with you…Vollmer and I routinely stopped at border ranger camps to swap smokes for he or nails because they would only load smoke rockets at Holloway and flying out over the border it was tough to get fire support so something stronger made some sense

  9. 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.

    • Hi Bob, I am pretty sure I remember you. I replaced sgt Fernandez in Pleiku when he went to Plei Do Lim. I was the team Medic in Pleiku from July 66 to to July 67. You are the only one from that time I have heard anything from. Keep in touch. I do remember Capt. Tate.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 in Le Trung in 1970, when Major Bennet was the DSA , after him was Captain Hall. I do know Tim , the RTO of the team, this was a very nice young guy. I was there as an ARVN interpreter for DIOCC, i couldn’t remember the name of my very nice boss , a young MI 1 Lt.

        • Van it is good to know you are ok. I do remember very well , your tried to help me learn the language . Beat regards Tim Dufour

        • Van, I remember you, and have a picture of you in my VN scrapbook. I remember you as a very nice guy, and a good interpreter. I was a 1LT commanding MAT 37, from May of 1970 to April 19, 1971. I wrote a book on the tour “PAWNS OF PLEIKU”, on Amazon. There was also Duc, Nhan, Y Phi Nie, Long, and young Bir. Nhan had the long single hair growing out of his eyebrows that I always threatened to cut, and he’d get pretty mad, because he believed that was what was keeping him alive. I’d like to know what your life was like after we left. Best to you, Monty Vogel

    • 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.

      • I remember Chris Squires well…Highland single malt Scotch. He had been the Science Attache to the US Embassy in Moscow before rvn wow funny what pops up

  12. 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.

        • Can you give me more detail on the pet pig. My father was at camp holloway in 71-72 and he speaks of a pig name arnold who had 1sgt. Stripes painted on his hips. I’m trying to find pics of him. Any info you have would be greatly appreciated.

          • Jimmy, that had to be a different pig. Ours never left the small RF-PF compound of Le Trung. No other Americans there other than the MAT advisors. Holloway was a large U.S. compound, mostly helicopters. Holloway and out team’s interactions are in my book often, and i had the great opportunity to actually fly a Cobra with one of their W-4 pilots once, a Jim Carpenter.

      • 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

      • sgt heyward jeffers, in-country july 1968, i knew vaughn, served with him in the field and the toc we were both rto, he was a good soldier fron indiana and crazy, everyone was, i knew jerrnigan,-cords. tm 36 had just taken over special forces camps, plei do lim. phun nhon le trung and thane anne . and 36 manned them. i went out with a sfc from missouri named loran barnes. best i ever served with. he liked me, his old lady from louisiana, he showed me a lot. he was the s-3 ncoic. we got our cib’s together. black sfc swanigan good soldier. pfc matt carrino was at province hq…spc-5 culbertson, rto…… back to the world—oakland— the the day of the moon landing. all just a b-movie to me..i live in baton rouge and in the book.

        • Sgt Heyward I was deployed to veitnam in sept 1969 , I was sent out to be the rto in plei do lim, I only was there a month and was transfered to Le Trung district and spent my remaining time there until I Deros in nov 1970. Good to be home I hope all lis well with Thanks for your service. Tim Dufour

  13. 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

  14. 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

          • I had the good fortune to fly in some of your O-1 Bird Dogs, to look over areas we were going to hump in. the pilots were just this side of crazy, gave me great ‘hammerhead stalls” and other aerobatic moves. I remember the rule of either: 1) Carry an artillery shell to throw up in, or 2) pay $10 to have some VN clean it up, or 3) Don’t throw up. Also I remember the grease pencil mark on the windshield for their ‘front sight” for the under-wing missiles. And we occasionally would replace your White Phosphorous missiles with HE or Fleschette rounds when you landed at our compound at LeTrung, if we happened to be home. You weren’t ‘legally’ allowed to use the latter, they didn’t want you playing fighter pilot. I remember also the BOOM! of the rocket leaving the plane instead of the WHOOSH I expected. They didn’t take long to reach the ground. And the pilots were pretty darned accurate with their grease pencil marks.

      • You must have flown to LZ Lonely. The helipad was beside QL 14 just north of the bridge across the South Fork of the Ia Drang River. Later in April, I was sent by my CO to meet the first Huey to land during the 12 days we were surrounded by the 95B Infantry Regiment. The door gun was manned by the only Chaplain I ever saw in VN…very strange.

  15. Monte: Got a note from Tim that you would like to contact me. email is 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.

  16. 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)

    • Monty, I was one of the radio operators, TOC, Pleiku. I believe I was on duty the night it started. Can’t remember too much of the battle itself,
      Team 36 sent one of our operators down to Phu Nhon, think his last name was Fabian…I believe he and others received the Silver Star.
      Like to know more about it.

    • LT Vogel….I was at LZ Lonely during Phu Nhon battle. My question is in like 76-78 timeframe I had a plt leader named 1st LT Vogel…..stationed at Ft Meade Md at time. Not by chance U was it? SSG Wynn

      • Nope, not me. I was an Infantry CO at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD for a few months in the Spring-Summer of ’69, prior to VN, and went to Meade and Belvoir for riot control a couple of times. There was a Sgt. Wynn at Hunter Liggett Mil Res in Jolon, CA when I was a PVT the year before, probably not you??

        • Nope not Me,,,, I went from Ft Meade to Ft Carson then immediately unaccompanied tour with INSCOM in Germany…. EST’ed after that with 13+ years in.68-82.

  17. 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

      • My Engineer platoon built the underground bunkers/barracks around the two 155mm pits. The Heavy Equipment Engineer platoon helped with grading and embankments. We used our bulldozer to push berms into the area on the south side that on the maps was shown as a French minefield.

  18. 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

      • I was the OIC that Feb 1st night when we were attacked with mortars. I am more than disappointed at comments leveled at Engineers who built and shared that small compound. There were just 2 Engineer platoons and a battery of 155s, plus 2 Dusters that were on temporary assignment with us. I was in the command bunker asking over and over again for permission to fire at the tube flashes that we could see just to the south. But, all radio requests were denied/overruled by VN who said that only friendlies could be out there. Contrary to orders, the Arty crews were hanging around in the pits rather than in shelters. Eventually, the mortars found the range and we took 12 casualties including 1 KIA. When those soldiers were brought down into the command bunker, I called the Dusters with our land line that couldn’t be monitored by anyone and ordered them to take out the attackers, which they did immediately.

  19. 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?

  20. 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 Thanks. Ed Roberge

      • Ed, I was member of team 36 from 9/70 to 2/71. Doing Phoenix stuff in Thang An district. Because I spoke Vietnamese ( sort of ) I was transferred to province headquarters in Pleiiku province reporting to Major Press doing same thing. I remember having drinks with my team counterpart from Phi Nhon in Pleiku bar and hearing he was killed in attack 2 days later. Don’t remember name. . I was sent there shortly to help for few days and worked with capt Rydel. Just wondering if my drinking companion was your dad. Remember hearing that a mortar shell was responsible.

  21. 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

      • 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

      • Dave, my 1st time here…I was one of the operators in Pleiku TOC Team 36. Can’t remember much….Just retired, trying to apply for some VA benefits. I can remember our team being in an old French compound before moving into the abandoned Ranger compound, just south of II Cor-Hdqt. I was on duty the night of the Phun Nhom battle…That was a long week!!.. Like to here more.

        • Robert we did spray agent orange around the compound where we lived on CPO road ( the old French compound).
          To get VA benefits from Agent Orange you will need to show your DD214 showing time in Vietnam. My DD214 shows that I was in Vietnam for 2 tours. On application, I mentioned that I was in Pleiku during my tour; my second tour. I was in Vietnam for first tour also in 1966-1967(Pleiku and Bong Son area). Yes I did say there was Agent Orange was sprayed around our compound.
          You will have to go for the Agent Orange Review at VA. You will see a case manger and have blood work , etc.
          I did all after being diagnosed with prostate cancer; a presumptive decease, by my urologist in 2006. Took all PSA scores, bone scan, biopsy report. I made copies for VA. I still all originals of all. Do not give originals.
          I do not what you are applying for. Follow through.
          It will take some time. But things are getting done quicker now. Hope this information helps. David Blodgett

          • Thanks for all the info Dave….My 1st visit to the VA was a great experience, I told them I was a Vietnam Vet. and it was like all the right doors flew open. Signed up that day and everything going smoothly since. (Nothing like that greeting we got after landing in San Francisco in 71.
            Biggest mistake of all was not keeping a diary of the tour. As a TOC radio operator, I met, (or talked!!) to a lot of great pilots, Huey daily distribution runs, Headhunters of course those few times when “Charlie” would have a “chat” with us. Do you remember the 122 rockets they shot at II-Cor-Headquarters??..During one of those strikes, I was driving back from the AF base, drove right through a cloud of “tear-gas”.
            I thought I was gonna die, either from the gas or my driving!! Have a lot to catch up on. Hope to meet more of the team.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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!!

  25. 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, if you want.

    • After we left LZ Lonely in April 1971, I was reassigned as a platoon leader in the 509th Panel Bridge Company. Those large trucks were the best we had for hauling sand from Kontum to Weigt-Davis for road building. I remember “The Pill” but only vaguely.

  26. 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.

  27. 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 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

      • Ray, have you had any contact with Pat Ridel – who had just arrived as your O-3/DIOCC guy when Phu Nhon got hit? He was one of my upperclassmen in OCS and was the first person I met when I reported in at Tm 36 HQs in June 71. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to reconnect with Pat for many years. I think you were medivac’d eventually with malaria?

    • 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.

  28. 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 if you like . Best regards Tim Dufour

    • Mistyna,

      I’ll get the PS first…a friend of mine was in that movie, Josh Daugherty played Charlie the RTO who took a bullet between the eyes. He shot pool with Mr Gibson and Elliott when they were filming at Hunter-Legett…he was also at the first screening with General Hal Moore and after when they went to the restroom, leaving an utterly silent theatre (gibson was crapping his pants due to the silence) when Gen Moore was washing his hands he looked over at MG and said “ya did good kid” and walked out of the restroom and mel gave a huge sigh of relief. Gen Moore was an Advisor to the script as well as the writer of ‘We were young once and soldiers’…your dad was in the same Province as the setting for the movie and it was an area that Agent Orange had been liberally applied to. One of my best high school friends was a Mechanic with the Engineer Unit at Camp Enari and was transporting a couple of barrels of the dry powder in 1968…he took a turn too fast and one of the barrels overturned and spilled in the truck bed…he attempted to replace the powder into the barrel by hand. From that time until he expired from a “auto-imune colagen vascular infection” he would spike 104+Temps every six months. He was evac’d to Japan from VN for his first FUO (fever of unknown origin) and he pretty much knew he was terminal by 1975. His last year he was not able to work, high temp and his immune system was attacking his body, three months of blindness, three months of no lower body control, etc. until it attacked his heart finally quit in 1978…his wife was a nurse and after several more years of fighting with the VA was able to get some benefits…his name was Dennis M Bacina. Your road to some help will be long, just don’t give up…the Military Industrial complex got rich off that war at the expense of generations of American families.
      I didn’t know your father but his name, like Bacina’s and thousands of others should be on a panel at the wall lest –anyone forget, If I can be of help please don’t hesitate to ask, ken – 541-337-9456 text telephone

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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?

    • Does anyone remember the snake in the team 36 pool??…I believe it came over from Holloway, in a huey. I was “swimming” with it. Must have been 8-10″ long. It took 4-of us to remove it from the pool and get it back to the chopper. If anyone has pictures, please send over….my kids don’t believe me!!

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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…

  39. 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

  40. 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 to talk further. Thanks. Ed

  41. 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

  42. 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)

  43. 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 Great to hear from you.

        • Hi Jim….I was the Pleiku radio operator on duty at the TOC, Team 36, the night of the Phu Nhon battle. Could you send me the pictures??
          Just found this site. Thought Team 36 had vanished!! Good to here we’re still around

      • 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 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
        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

        • Ray, I was your TOC radio operator, Team 36, during the PhuNhon siege. We sent down an operator named Fabian to help out with the radios. Wish to know more!!

  44. 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 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 🙂

    • Barry….never thought I’d here from you or anyone else from the Team!!!…Lots to catch up on. Do you remember Fabian??…

        • Thanks Barry…Just retired from Pratt & Whitney after 47yrs. Started the VA benefit process in April. Trying to explain what happened back
          in 70/71..without talking/writing to anyone is impossible. Had some good years and some really bad ones. Should have done this 40yrs. ago.
          It would be great to talk. What’s the best way to start??…This is all new to me……

  45. 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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