Team 37 Phan Thiet-Binh Thuan

MACV Team 37 – Phan Thiet-Binh Thuan.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 37 located in Phan Thiet-Binh Thuan.

595 thoughts on “Team 37 Phan Thiet-Binh Thuan

    • Dave, how are you doing, I was stationed with AD TM 37 from May 1964 thru Mid Jun 1965 and I also can’t find anyone that was there at that time. There was only 12 of us at that time. and I also do not remember names, I remember the SR ADV was Maj Vernon V. Lewis who later ret as a Lt Gen, I think. Good Luck on your search. and thank you for your service.Lee Hatfield Ret US ARMY

      • My name is Donald Bonds, and I was assigned to MACV Adv. Tm. 37, at Phan Thiet from late June 1966- late May 1967. Initial duty was as Security under Sgt. Baines prior to reassignment to Communications at the main hotel..
        I can be reached at, and wish you continued Blessings.

        • I worked at the Phan Thiet air traffic control tower at the airfield a couple miles out of town. Just trying to find some of the guys that I worked directly with directly and I do remember the hotel and everything downtown !! I had it a lot better than most of the guys that was out in the boondocks ! 50 years plus is a long time to try to remember details about your life …. if you have not googled Vietnam lately, you really need to. It is now a high dollar vacation spa.

          • David, I’m Bob Pearson, USAF radio op, Forward Air Control team, Aug ’65 to Aug ’66. Do you remember PFC Neighbors? He was ATC control tower while I was there…good friend from Okla City. Thanks for your service!!!

          • David, I remember you from the hotel. I was advisor to 1st Bn 44th ARVN Inf. Only got in to the hotel about once every couple of weeks. Otherwise humping the boonies with the battalion and my Captain advisor. I shared the hotel room with you. Good to har from you after so many years. Bob Pitman, then buck SGT.

            • Yes, Bob, I do remember you also. I remember you sharing with me one time about being in a village with the locals and waking up the next morning and they had all disappeared into the jungles because they knew the Viet Cong were around. They didn’t bother to wake you up though. We can laugh at it now, but it was definitely not funny at that time.

            • I live in Southeast Georgia in a small community, called white oak Georgia about 15 to 20 miles north of the Florida line. If anyone is ever in this area would like to stop by and visit on the front porch and rock for a while and talk please feel free to do so !!

              • Hey David did you ever come over to the compound next to the 44th Arvn’s? I was with the 54 Sig DSTE Site 13 Oct 69 to June 70. That was a motley crew at the bar from every unit around!! We had steak dinners on Saturday afternoons if the pilots could ‘Hijack’ some from Dalat. Was you there April 1 1970 when the battle for Song Mao happened? Welcome home! Sgt Larry Seaman

          • David , I was in Phanthiet from July 65 to august 66 . It is now a high priced tourist destination
            Especially at munie which is along the beach at the northern end of Phanthiet it starts at the Cham
            Temple and goes along the coastline. You should really go back and see how it’s changed. My wife & I have two houses there ,one on the beach and one in town. I’ve been back there many times since our government lifted travel restrictions on Vietnam. The smell of nouc mon isn’t as strong as it was or I’m just used to it. You wouldn’t recognize it now some areas of the town are really nice. Google munie and check it out.

        • I have one other guy that I can still contact with…I will never forget the smell when I came into Phan Thiet…I worked the comcenter there until they pulled out and brought in a ratrig…interesting crossover for sure…I lelft Aug 71 for home and I wish i would have taken more pics then I did…

          • I also couldn’t stand that smell that permeated Phan Thiet. I’m probably not spelling it correctly, however, it was pronounced nuc baum, and I was told it was a sauce that the Vietnamese put on their fish.

            • It is called “ noun Mam” translated was Fish Water. And there were a few factories on the north side of the river in Phan Thiet and the massive number of boats docked on that river supplied the fish. My first time going there I flew in from Nha Trang. I was assigned to the 3/506 at the airfield. I was assigned there to work as medic for the civil affairs group of the 3/506. I did my time but met a secretary in a psyops office down town by the name of Dang Thi Kim Lien when I went there to pick up CHU HOY (surrender) leaflets to be dropped from planes. I went back home in Dec. 68 but had to reenlist and returned to Phan Thiet to serve with MACV Team 37 who assigned me out to replace a E-7 who went home on emergency leave. So I was sent to Tien Giáo until his return. During that time I got into a fight over Lien the secretary I was reassigned to Nha Trang with team 36.  

              I flew on choppers for them resuppling the teams scattered through the province. I finished my time but it ended in my contracting malaria and later in a chopper crash which ended my military career.  I returned to the states and after about a year I was medically discharged. Then I borrowed the money and brought Lien to the USA and we married. 3 days later some guy called asking to speak to Lien and I over heard the conversation which he asked is she ready to be picked up by him. Well you know the rest of the story, it ended in divorce. 

              All said and done I did not make a lot of good decisions but I never forgot the time there and the people.  After all that I still eat food with Nouc Mam on it. Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

              • Ben Miles you have a very interesting story that sounds like it should be televised on the Lifetine Channel. In the end did Lien run off with Gary, or another G.I.?

              • Hey there Ben, were you out in Thien Giao in 1969 or 1970? In 1969 I was on a MAT that was based out of Thien Giao. I was transferred to Province headquarters in November 1969 until I returned to the world in June 1970.


                • Spellchecker really mangles Vietnamese (and other languages) names and words like nước mắm. I store frequently used words in a file then copy-paste them into mail to defeat spellchecker misspellings.

            • yes they ate it religiously on there rice…they put fish in wooden vats and with salt ant let it ferment…then they drained it from the bottom of the vats for their sauce, and the rest was fertilizer…couldn’t get passed the smell…never did it touch my lips…afte awhile you get used to the smell around you…

              • It’s “Nuoc Mam” I was a pilot assigned to TM 37 early in ‘72. We stayed in the hotel and you could smell the stuff below 2000 feet.

                Sent from my iPad


                • Yes. The first thing I was introduced to in Phan Thiet, on the way from LZ Betty to the hotel to in process before heading to Ham Thuan to be assigned to MAT 25, was the fragrance of the rice additive.

                  Arrived in country August 70, departed Phan Thiet August 71.

                  Bud Gaylord

                  • I was assigned to the 192 AHC in Apr 71 in Phan Rang and we supported MACV . In Jan of ‘72 I was assigned to the 201 Aviation Co and sent to Phan Rang to support TM 37. We did ARVN support and resupply and were ambushed in an LZ on March 17. Shot up pretty bad but didn’t crash. Quite the time!

                    Sent from my iPad


                    • I was there the exact same time as you…mostly the whole tour with macv team 37….3 arvn, or cowboys as they were called tried to roll me one day up on the lz…I almost blew one of thems head off…I had been there 10 months and I new what they were up too…we might have ran into each other while you were there…I also got sniped at coming down from the lz one day…and this is after the arvns had taken over the lz…hmmmm.


                    • Well we were doing a resupply mission to an ARVN platoon . We had an interpreter on board and were told the LZ was secure. As soon as we landed we took fire from a concealed hole on the edge of the LZ. Both my co-pilot and myself were wounded but managed to get out without losing the aircraft. That was over fifty years ago now. We all had a facetime reunion last year on the fifty year anniversary. Since then my gunner has passed away. I have been following this page for years but it’s mostly guys who were there before me. Take care.

                      Sent from my iPad


                    • I never felt safe going up to the lz…I met a guy at my church who i found out was sniped at going through the grave yard just like i had been…but he was there a couple years before me…I told him we lit out of there, and he said he and his men lit up the grave yard…they would pop up out of there holes and take a shot…I lost my best friend who i served with over there about 2 years ago, and i only have one other person that I still talk with who was there the same time i was…happy that you made it back…God put his hand on me more than once…one chopper that i changed stops with was shot down after i boarded another one…the guys at macv thought i had been killed and they were surprised like they had seen a ghost when i showed back up a few days later. have a blessed day…good to share with you…

  1. Was there a MACV team at Luong Son firebase in Binh Thuan Province?

    I am researching my brother’s service with B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry, and his unit was stationed at Luong Son.

    Thank you for your service. . . Jeff

  2. I remember Maj. Swanson

    I was team leader of MAT-81 when the team got shot up by one of the RF crazies in June 1970. Asst. team ldr. Lt. Desocio was killed along with the ARVN company commander. Also it was either Sgt. Dudley or Sgt. Pine who was wounded. Not exactly sure which one.

    We were living in a bunker we had built in the RF compound down the road from district HQ. at village of Go Boi.

    I later transferred to Nha Trang where I was put in charge of assigning all incoming personnel to MAT teams throughout II-Corps.

    1Lt. Larry Cash

    • I was assigned to MAT 81 in the Fall of 1970 and SGT Prine was still wearing a bandage on his back where he was struck by a bullet when he jumped over the sand bags in the RF compound outside Go Boi to escape the RF soldier who killed 1LT De Socio and the RF company commander. SGT Dudley was the one with the brace on his lower leg from a wound in the Dominican Republic. Before I left to return to the US in 1971, the RF soldier was sentenced to one year of hard labor for the killing of 1LT Daniel De Socio and the RF Company Commander. MAT 81 was disbanded with the end of my tour, as all had returned home and none had been replaced. 1LT Tim Sawyer

    • June 70 the 2nd of the 1st Headquarters troop was at Song Mao i was attached as artillery liaison from the 5th 27th artillery. My name is Mike Gray

  3. My name is Steven Terrell, I served in Macv tm 37 Ham Tuan Dist Oct of 70 til October 71 as a Radio Operater, Major Swanson was C.O. , I remember Sgt Dudley, Sgt Pine, Lt Marrow, Lt Sawyer, and more. Anyone connected with this unit at the time please respond and God Bless

    • Steven

      Good to hear from you. This is 1LT/CPT Bud Gaylord from MAT 25 at Ham Thuan. I was there from Aug 70 until Aug 71. I took over the team when CPT Nederosic (sp) left.

      • Hello Mr Gaylord, don’t quite remember You, thanks for responding, do You remember a Major Swanson?

        • Steven good hear from you. I do remember Major Swanson and recall I believe that he had to depart early due to a medical condition.

          I also worked with SFC Black and SFC Gruner (sp).
          I hope all is well with you and your family.

          Best regards

          Bud Gaylord
          MAT 25

    • Hi Steve,

      A friend of mine saw you note and forwarded to me. I remember you well as our RTO. I was glad that you posted this note and that you remember some of us from so long ago. I live in New Hampshire and Tim Sawyer lives over in Maine not far from here. I get ahold of him and ask that he respond to you as well. Hope you are doing well, retired at this point, and enjoying life. Take care. Dennis Merrow

      • Hi Dennis checking in to see how you are doing?

        If you want to contact me off line I have several photos I’d like to send along.

        • May 13, 2022

          Hey, Steve, Dennis and Bud:

          Did you guys know LT Courtney? He was on MAT 24 under the DSA in Thien Giao.


          • Hi Milo,
            i was in Thien Giao from July to December with MAT 81. I think I remember Lt. Courtney; his first name was Marty. If I remember correctly he got sick while I was there. I don’t recall the nature of the sickness. Dennis

            • May 14, 2022

              Hey Dennis:

              Thanks for what you do remember of LT Courtney. Do I have this right that you were MAT 81 Jul to Dec 1970? When Courtney was first assigned to MAT 24 in September 1969 he got sick enough that I sent him to Cam Rahn Bay for 29 days. The doctors there told me they could have kept him 30 days and that would have ended his tour, but hey, he came back to us. Sounds like he got sick again.

              Thanks again,


              • Yes, you have the dates correct. I am now wondering if that was the case, that he had been very sick and not that he got sick while i was there. Sorry i can’t be specific but it has been a long time.

                • May 18, 2022

                  Hey Dennis, not worry, it has been a long time, especially since he was not on your team. Did you operate out of Thien Giao or just have a bunk and locker to keep your personal items? I sort of remember MAT II-81 operating out of a village down highway 8 aka 28 closer to Phan Thiet.

                  For the most part I operated out of a small compound near the village of An Phu. We had the old French steel bridge with a wood roadway a next to us. The VC enjoyed blowing the wooden part. Back then they did not have enough explosives to destroy the steel and concrete structure.


                  • Milo, We did operate out of Thien Giao. Lived in a bunker at a small RF company compound. Was not too far from the district HQ. I remember the tower that the French built at the district headquarters. Had a 50 cal that an old Charm used to man.

                    • May 19, 2022

                      Hey Dennis lived in a bunker when the district team lived in above ground buildings with beds and mattresses? Did you at least get hot showers and hot meals everyday?

                      Was the RF company still commanded by the old Cham Dai uy? I went on a few day time sweeps with him and learned a lot.

      • Wow, hello Lt Marrow, so good to hear from You and Lt Sawyer, You Guys we’re good to Me, it was hard, but we had fun. God Bless You both, Living in Southern California now. Will never forget our time.

        • Hi Steve,
          First, it is Dennis not LT. That was a long time ago. It was nice to hear from you and glad that you remembered me. Glad that you are doing well and living in sunny California. i still live in NH and have the long winters. Now have 3 kids and 6 grandkids. That and playing golf keeps me busy in my retirement. My best to you and your family. I enjoyed our time together more than 50 years ago. Dennis

    • Steve, I happened to open up the MACV Team 37 site this afternoon and saw your message and those from Dennis Merrow and Bud Gaylord. Nice to see these messages and replies. I hope that all is well with you and yours. I often think about the experiences that we all shared in Ham Thuan and the nearby vicinity. Please take care and stay well. Tim Sawyer

    • Steve, I am sorry to report that Dennis Merrow passed away on the first of June this year. We had been exchanging photos and memories, and his wife responded to tell me of his passing. Take care, Tim Sawyer

  4. Does anyone remember a senior NCO named Robert (Bob) Lewis Jr…? I am trying to track down information about his time in Vietnam in the mid-Sixties for one of his granddaughters who recently enlisted in the Air Force. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us. All I have to go on are some black and white, slightly out-of-focus photographs from that time period showing him in various locations and with unidentified Vietnamese soldiers. One photo is clearly from Team 37 (possibly a going-away certificate) with a date and several signatures too out-of-focus to read. Any information or possibly an email address from someone who served with him would be appreciated.

  5. Hello everyone, my name is Tony Iannetti, I worked at PHAN THIET AIR FIELD, IN THE COMO SHACK.. I WAS THEIR WHEN CHARLIE HIT THE FUEL DEPOT.

    Brings back memories. I am from just outside of Phila,Pa ( Delaware County).


    • Well another year has pass and still alive (now 84) one of my Senior Advisors was Major Vernon Lewis Jr (ret as LT GEN Arty)) and the other was Lt Col Sheldon, I served from Last day of May 1964 thru the Middle of June 1965. It was the best tour I had out of three others, I learned so much from the Vietnamese. I actually met a young lady that was born in Phan Thiet in the 90s at a restaurant in Denver NC two weeks ago, I was wearing a hat that said combat veteran Vietnam and she and her husband came over and said HI. I love reading all the replies from others who had to suffer from that GREAT smell. LOL

  6. My name is Ed Goodman. I served at the ASP at LZ Betty from Dec 1970- September 1971. SFC William Boudreau was in n charge of the ASP. Dennis Lowe, Holland worked with me . We later moved in-town to the MACV hotel which had a nightclub at the top..!!

    • I served at the Hotel in the comcenter Aug 70 – Aug 71…then went to a rat rig at the end…I remember a bar at the top of the hotel, but not a night club…the bar was for officers if I remember right…

      • Hi Dave,
        Yes, you are correct it wasn’t a nightclub but a fancy bar. I used to buy bottles of Cold Duck or Matteus (sp) wine there. I was an E-5 so I guess it was for enlisted also…!! I remember debating the Vietnamese lady bartender about how the US the was being ripped off and taken advantage of by all the Vietnamese people.

        • I served with a guy named Sam Ewald while there…he is my last brother that i have contact with and looks like I will be losing him soon as well…Sam has stage 4 lung cancer…Sam and myself got a article 15 for being drunk and disorderly one night at the Hotel…the next month i received a arcom for cross training to 2 different MOS’s while there…go figure…I left as a e-4 and got a early out from Ft Meade…

          • my name is Mike Gray i was there 5/27 artillery attached to the team stayed at the old French hotel. fall of 70 to march 71 worked downtown in an ops bunker giving air advisory and clearing targets i remember Sam, red headed i think part Native American, we and a few others used to play cards and have a good time A navy gunfire team was there at that time too. Anthony Padula from Boston roomed with me he was a driver for our Capitan Kramer. Do you remember gasing the officers bar-b-q the night they took steaks from our mess hall and our guys had to eat hamburger.. the Marine corporal Laffluer had a 79 and some cs rounds caused quite a rukus. we all jumped in bed and were asleep when they came to get who ever ruined their party. there was a guy named Beezman from New York , there was a guy from New Orleans who was a Jazz musician we all used to have a good time. I worked with a SSgt MItchell he passed about a year ago. my email address is if you remember these any of these guys

            • I remember some of the guys you mentioned in your post…I was in the comcenter Aug 70-Aug 71…finished up at Phan Thiet working a rat rig…Sam Ewald was one of my best friends there…we shared getting a Article 15 for being to drunk one night…Sam is gone now and i miss him greatly.

          • Dave

            I just happen to see this an I do not know if you will read it. My name is Ed Rice and I served with you in Phan Thiet.
            I remember Sam Ewald and Sam Funk. If you get this send me an email.

            • i used to play cards with Sam and a few others, i was artillery liaison from 5th/27th, we did drink a bit. there was a Marine Naval gun fire team also that used to play some too.

            • Hello Ed, just saw are you doing?…I miss my buddy Sam…he often spoke of you…I have a pic of you when you left Lz Betty…getting on the plane…I remember that you live in PA…life has been good to me…I have had prostate cancer, and some skin cancers…but all is well…hope you are doing well…I am on a Vietnam web site called Vietnam vets only on facebook…you have to have boots on the ground to be in there…check it out…it is well managed and would like to see you there…good to catch up some…

              • Dave

                Just following up on our previous comments. Sorry to hear about you condition. Hope you are doing well as possible.
                Sorry to hear about Sam Ewald. I did get to visit him. Back in 1990 or 91 Greyhound Bus line had a deal for $100, you could see the country but you had to do it in 30 days. So I traveled to Texas to see some friends and went from their to see Sam in
                Indiana. I spent a few days wit him and his wife. I think her name was Sophie. Anyway, after that we talked by phone for a while but I lost contact and never heard from him again.

                As for the drunken night at the hotel, I remember it well. I had the mess Sargent get us steaks, ribs etc. and of course we had the beer. Quite a night. I know about the article 15 because I got one as well. There were a few others also who got them as well. We all had to pay a visit to Colonel Robinson who gave them out. Along with you, Sam and myself, there was Sargent
                Shelby H Blevins, the mailroom guy Dominic an a few others but I can’t remember their names.

                I have an album of all of us. Maybe by looking at their faces, I will remember some.

                That is it for now.


                • hey Ed…its all good health wise…no problems since I had proton treatments…I have a few pics myself of Blevins, Padula, you, Sam, and few others that I can’t recal there names…it would be glad to share with each other if we can work it out…Sams wife was wheelchair bound for a long time, they came out a couple years ago, and we had a great visit..Sam had stage 4 lung cancer, and he wouldn’t let me come see him in his last stages…I understand…I am on facebook, it you are we could catch up with pics on there…let me know…Dave

        • Bob Pittman, I also was assigned to MACV 37 from late June 1966 to mid- May 1967. I worked the Communication Center in the main hotel that housed the Bar you mentioned. Initial assignment was Security working under Sgt. Baines, however, when replacements for the comm center weren’t forthcoming, I was thrust into communications. Though I don’t recall being acquainted with you(maybe because of aged memory) I”m glad you made it home. Stay safe.

          • Donald, we didn’t live at the hotel. We lived at Fort Pitt and ran all opns from that base. We were about half way between
            Phan Thiet and Thien Giáo. But we got hot showers at the hotel about once a month.

            • Ft. Pitt was named for Robert Pitt, KIA Oct 66 with C,2,7, Ist Cav. He was a friend of mine from high school. I placed a memorial at the old site of Ft. Pitt in 2015 when I took a trip back to Vietnam. RIP Bob, I think of you often, Ed Thacher

              • Hey ED did you come to Song Mao to take a shower at the hotel where we were located? We had a bar there to. We had a contractor that was in charge of the rf an pf’s. We all thought he was a sgt major but he was a spook. Lot of them was there but nobody never messed with each other. Never thought of learning our neighbors names and what we all was doing but co c had a e’6 that thought he was in charge of our commo center but that didn’t work out to good for him! I told my boss that he was trying to tell us what to do. He didn’t last long at Song Mao

  7. Just wanted to say hello to all of my brothers who went before me.
    I am David Parker served with team 37 under Major David Wells I was on one of the stag teams that did night ambushes. Was there June to November 1970 until the 1/50 Infantry deactivated and went home.

    • I was at the Macv hotel in the comcenter from aug 70-71…changed to a rat rig later at the end of tour…

  8. Milo,

    I didn’t hear the brigadier story, but I did see Curtis’ jeep. All that was left after he ran over the mine was the chassis and it was pretty mangled. Curtis said he did about 15 yards in the air and landed in soft mud with only bruises. It was a pretty sobering sight — I’d only been there two days. Curtis appeared completely relaxed. Interesting about the MAT 88 sergeant who went to Phan Thiet after we were hit. It must have been Lee Smith, who was the all-time champion scrounger in this or any army. Very funny guy but had a rough time when we were attacked so I’m not surprised he was a bit nervy afterward. Could also have been Sgt. Bunting. The two of them reacted very quickly to our second sapper attack and more or less saved the situation, but were then blown out of their bunker by several B-40 hits. Blown ear drums all around but no other wounds, so we were lucky. I don’t know what happened to them afterwards.

    We also had a latrine story at Phu Long. Doc Townsend and Sgt. Amick had arranged for a new and beautiful outhouse to be built and delivered and it was reverently installed just inside the wire — nice little slanted roof; perfect. Not long after, in Nov ’69, the VC launched an attack from inside our wire and once the shooting died down I took it into my head (now that it seemed to be safe) to get an M-60 and spray the perimeter just in case there was a bigger attack forming up to follow the sappers. It was pretty dark and I’m afraid I shot this outhouse completely to pieces — .30 cal. holes everywhere. I never heard the end of it and don’t think Amick ever forgave me. After that Smith nicknamed me Gen. Halftrack. Fair comment.

    • Good morning David:

      I think it was Lee Smith who “found” the things we really needed. As I recall Lee’s story. Your team had an above ground building and he went out early in the morning to take a leak. Just outside the entrance you had a sandbag wall to keep shrapnel from just blowing thru the doorway.. The Lee heads out, goes to the right and sees somebody standing in the compound with what looks like an AK-47. Well, that can’t be, so he heads around to the left side of the sandbag wall to get a different angle. Gus is still there with an AK-47. Lee is now really starting to wake up, but decided to take one more look from the right side of the wall. Charlie sees him this time and all hell breaks loose. As I recall, your team escaped the building by pulling up the floor boards and crawling out to the advisor bunker. Do I have this right?

      Like your story about the outhouse (Charlie might have been hiding behind) I do not remember having an outhouse. I know my first outpost was a RF company just up the road from you on Highway 1. That bunker was so small that you could barely sit up in it and there was not enough room for the three advisors and interpreter so lay down. so, we took turns sitting up monitoring the radio. Curtis had the light weapons sergeant at a separate outpost and I had the medic (Albritton) and heavy weapons sergeant (Murphy). Never explained to me why our five man team would be split up for the balance of Curtis’ tour.

      Did Curtis ever tell you how he ended up in the army?

      More later,


      • That’s interesting. By the way, since the site has asked me to stop telling all these stories, let’s connect on email. I’m at: david@david living in London nowadays.

  9. I’m kind of having a hard time in this site , I see many posts of others that were in team 37 but never see any from the people that were there when I was. It’s kind of disappointing, guess our tour didn’t mean much to them.
    I know that what I did there meant something to me and did shape my life for the future and would do it again if asked . I was there in 65-66 at the Macv compound in Phanthiet.

    • I have notice the same conversations from periods way past the 1965. I was stationed at the hotel with Sgt Hall.

      • Hey Jim:

        When were you in Phan Thiet and what did you do? You might have posted something earlier that has that information, but how about a refresher?

        I was on a MAT from late June 1969 to December 1969. then on the Province Team as the Detachment Commander, postal officer, mess officer, supply officer (yeah I was the hotel manager) until I left country early June 1970.

        Milo out

        • I was in advisory team 37 in Phanthiet from July 1965 to August 66 , was security . Went out with Doc Huband to the villages all the time also out on night patrols with the navy personnel we had assigned
          there. Only went out with Sgt. Sizemore a few times while there.
          Of course it was quieter during that time but still have some memories of the little action I did see.

          • June 20, 2020

            Good morning Jim:

            When you went out to the villages with Doc Huband, were those trips to provide “no questions asked medical assistance” to the locals? Part of the winning their heart and minds? I knew Mobile Advisory Teams did that, but was unaware until now that their was a team also coming out of the Province Team.

            You must have liked a little adventure to go out at night with the Navy. Were those ground patrols or coastal patrols in their small boats? What kind of patrol boats did they have then? And, more importantly, did they have Sunday BBQ’s on the beach? Always thought that beach would be a great resort and if you Google Phan Thiet now, the beach is dotted with resorts. Last question for the day, did you eat the local lobsters? In 1969 the small (baby) lobsters were 10 piasters each.

            Milo out

            • Hi Milo,
              The trips to the villages were as you say, we went out and helped anybody never asked any questions. Was just a small team of us. It’s funny as when we went out I never felt any danger. Guess I figured if Charlie ever killed us their medical supplies would have been cut off.
              The night patrols were along the coast line on a fairly small boat maybe 40 ft. In length. Again we were a small crew
              just 3 u.s. and a couple of Vietnamese. When I went with them I took the BAR as wouldn’t have to carry the
              damn thing because it’s so heavy. Yes the patrols were very interesting.
              At that time we didn’t have barbecues on the beach if we went to it one person would swim the others would watch
              for V C..
              Now Phanthiet has many resorts at the beach but the litter is terrible. The clean beaches are at Munie about
              12 km north of Phanthiet. My wife & I have a home there on the beach and another home in Phanthiet. If you
              go there now you wouldn’t recognize the place. My last time there was three years ago . LZ Betty ( the old
              airstrip ) is overgrown. But they are starting to build homes up there now. The area has really grown up from
              the times we served there. Yes it still smells like nuoc mam

            • Hi Milo, when I went out with Doc it was no questions asked, we went to help the people . That was my favorite thing to do. As far as the night patrols we would cruise the coastline at nights which proved to be very interesting. That’s where I saw most of my action while in Vietnam. I had a BAR on the boat and I must say it was the perfect choice for me at the time. We didn’t have any beach barbecues, but did go to the beach once to swim. While one person would swim the others would watch for Charlie. We took turns of course.
              There are a lot of resorts on the Phanthiet beach now and even more at munie about 12 kilometers north of Phanthiet. My wife and I have a beach house there and a home in the city of Phanthiet.
              Vietnam has changed a lot ,it’s hard to recognize now. The old airstrip is no longer as of the last few years they are building homes there.
              Phanthiet still smells of nouc mam and the lobster and all other seafoods are very expensive. In fact Phanthiet is getting more expensive than where I live here in the US. And is more expensive than Saigon for sure

            • Milo I’ve tried to reply but for some reason I can’t post on the site.will try again later today as maybe it’s my I pad acting up

            • Hi milo, when I went out with Doc it was no questions asked and we went out quite often.i never felt any danger out there as I figured if Charlie got us it would cut off the medical supplies that they would steal from the villages. I went out to help the people so that was a good thing.
              On night patrols we went along the coastline, that’s where I saw most of my action.Yes it was an adventure for sure.
              We didn’t have barbecues when I was there but now there are many resorts in Phanthiet on the beach. My wife & I have a beach house in Munie which is about 22 kilometers north of Phanthiet and also a house in Phanthiet.
              You wouldn’t recognize the area now as so many changes. My email is bsa500113 w@g if you would like any more info

          • Jim I was there from June 1964 until June 1965 do you remember anyone that was there when you arrived in July 1965, I am 85 now and can’t remember Just a couple of people. Who was Senior Advisor when you arrived, was it Major Vernon Lewis Jr (later became a General)? if you could sned me a list I would appreciate it.

      • Mr. Holmes, you referenced Sgt. Hall and am wondering if this was the same Sgt. Hall (actually an SFC) who was African American, short, probably in early to mid 40’s at that time who used to go out on ARVN Pacification missions. My name is Donald Bonds, and came to Team 37 in June 1966. Intially assigned to Security detail under Sgt. Baines, and placed in communications when Army failed to send replacement troops in timely manner. I remember a guy named Holmes who I believe was from Philadelphia. If you’re that same one, you can contact me at if you’d like to talk about old times. Stay safe.

    • Hey Jim:

      Don’t give up. Keep poking around on this site. Some of us are just learning about it. And perhaps to some extent getting to be okay with talking about it.

      Hang in there Jim,

      Milo out

        • Don’t feel too left out, I was a helicopter pilot with the 192 ahc in 71 and then with the 201 avn co. I stayed in the hotel jan 72 – apr 72. Anybody that was there then would remember that we were ambushed in an lz during a arvn resupply mission on saint patricks day .

    • James, I feel the same way I was there from Mid June 64 until June 65 you are the only person that I know was there even close to the time I was there, met another Sgt Maj (I was a Sgt E-5 in 64) that was in Nam in 59 at a Flea Market in Dallas NC a couple of years ago, however, no one from the time I was there However, I have heard from other brothers in arm from my other tours there in 66/67 and 70.

  10. Did he say when he was the interpreter there, I was there from June 1964 until July 1965 and our interpreter went by the name of Jimmy Yen. I don’t know any of the names listed. But at 83 I

    • Hey Lee, remember me we haven’t communicated for a year or so. I remember Jimmy the interpreter from Phanthiet long ago. I was wondering have you ever heard from him after you left Vietnam? I’ve always wondered what happened to him and some of the other Vietnamese personnel that were there in 1965

      • Sure I remember you Carl, just kidding yes I remember the communications we had a couple of years ago. Jimmy and I were best friends when I was there I tried to reach him several times when I returned to Nam in 66/67 and 1970 and I heard that he went to another post there and I never heard about him again, yes I think about those Vietnamese that supported us at that time. Good to hear from you again, keep in touch. Lee

        • Lee , jimmy isn’t the only one I remember from that time. There was a mountain yard that we called tommy and one of the police guards. His name was Dang Van De if I could connect with any of the Vietnamese from back then I would be happy. The Americans I served with aren’t important to me anymore as I’m so disappointed with them.
          So far I’ve contacted two of the people I served with and of course you. The others don’t seem to want to connect anymore. You’re the only one that seems to care about what we did. I would like to thank you for sharing your memories with me.

          • I really learned a lot about the Vietnamese people from that tour and it helped me try to explain to my peeps in my 2 other tours because most Vietnam Veterans don’t really know and some did care to know what the people were all about and they didn’t know anything about the culture or history. Thank you for reminding me about them. Who were the other two you heard from?

            • One of the people’s name was Bornett I believe that the other was a Air Force radio operator by the
              name of miller . They were just short messages nothing special

              • Jim, Air Force Radio operator is me, Bob Pearson 65-66. worked with Capt Kempf and Lt Zakreski (Zak the FAC, Forward Air Controllers), and Capt Don Nagle. Miller was AF maintenance for the L-19 Bird Dog we used. You were kind enough to send me several photos of Phan Thiet, but I lost your address, and just stumbled upon this site today!!! Good reading all these ADV Team 37 folks!

    • I think he said the interpreter wS talking about 69, 69 and 70. The names that were listed were the people on my team. I believe his name was Suiet. I have poison him and the team. I can not find the message he wrote.

  11. Was the compound an old French post?
    With a road running either very close to it or through one side of it? Was a square post with fighting positions in a octagon shape on each corner?

    • I have tried this before, was anyone that is reading this now in ADV 37 in Phan Thiet from June 64 thru May 65? I have met another retired Sgt Major that was there in 1959 and someone that came with the CAV in late 65, no one from my time there, I am 82 now and would like to hear from anyone there during my FIRST tour there (was there 3 more times. Great times LOL..

    • I was there in the old French fort with the tower in the center and the great solar heated 55 gallon drum enclosed shower! Remember the blasted Land Cruiser in the right side of the 2 vehicle garage? Left in April 1969.

  12. Can anyone find on a map a village named Tin Giao (I think that’s the spelling) near Phan Thiet? There was a MACV compound there. My firebase (Sandy) was in easy walking distance from the village. I was assigned to Battery C, 5th Battalion, 22nd Artillery. It had a grand view of Whiskey Mountain.

    • Ron Caruso was Team Chief for the 41st Civil Affairs Team in Phan Thiet, Milo Yoshino was on the MATS Team thereabouts, and Jim Ratzlaff was an MP in Phan Thiet has property there and returns frequently. They might know of Tin Giao. Spelling is important because it could be the name of a village, nearby shop, or just a sign tiện giao meaning convenient delivery.

      • In my opinion, it’s Thiện Giáo not Tin Giao. I am sure this is correct.  Here some information that I collect.  Best wishes to all of my fighting friends. Khue Huynh detailed map of Thien Giao and near places

        Welcome to the Thien Giao google satellite map! This place is situated in Ham Thuan Bac, Binh Thuan, Vietnam, its geographical coordinates are 11° 4′ 0″ North, 108° 8′ 0″ East and its original name (with diacritics) is Thiện Giáo. See Thien Giao photos and images from satellite below, explore the aerial photographs of Thien Giao in Vietnam. Thien Giao hotels map is available on the target page linked above.

    • Hey Neil, the village you are looking for is Thien Giao about 30 k inland from Phan Thiet.

      I remember firebase Sandy which had, as I recall, 105s and 175s. But man I remember Sandy and Thien Giao as being more than an easy walk apart.

      • Yeah, we had 175 and 8-inch, two each. We also had one 105 section on TDY from fb Cherie about 8 km south. It was an easy walk, but maybe it was a “suburb” of Thien Giao.

        • Hi Neil. My name is Terry Welker. I believe we were at LZ Sandy at the same time for a few months. I was there July-Nov 70. I have been talking to Milo and he alerted me about you.

      • hi Milo, i was at Sandy-c-5-22. We convoyed through a part of thien giao on way to base of nui ta dom for artillery raid. The lessons learned report called it lz bannister. i. was hoping you could answer a couple of questions. Have you heard of lz bannister? Where was the MACV Post located in thien giao and in vicinity to lz sandy. thanks.

        • Hey Terry:

          I do not recall (it has been 50 years) LZ Bannister or Nui Ta Dom. But if you convoyed out of Sandy on the dirt road most of the convoys took, you would go about 10 k to highway 28 and hang a left for about another 5+ k to Thien Giao. The MACV district compound was on the far side of the village with an old French tower as the MACV bunker.

          I had a mobile advisory team that operated in between Thien Giao and Phan Thiet. So, I called for fire support from Sandy fairly often. Followed a mechanized unit to your firebase once, visited for a while then realized as the sun was going down that I was on my own driving back to highway 28 with no convoy to partner with. That was a very quick and wild ride down the mountain.

          When were you at Firebase Sandy? I was on the MAT in the last six month of 1969 and on the Province Team in Phan Thiet for the first six months of 1970.

          • thanks Milo, i believe Nui Ta Dom was also called Whiskey Mountain. Sure do remember the dirt road from Sandy. Use to say nothing good ever happened on it. I frequently drove a 5 ton out to the make shift bridge to get water for showers and for any repair on bridge. Received some sniper fire there. We lost a brother, to the river as well, while repairing bridge. I arrived at LZ Sandy in July 70 so i missed you. Also served at LZ Aquarius in Ban Me Thout and then finally LZ Song Be. The highway your talking about for Thien Giao, was it 8B? i’ve seen pictures of the mountain from a helicopter showing a base, at base of mountain, and i believe it was a 846th Engineer’s base. From my memory, it does not look like LZ Bannister which we were at in sep/oct 70 for a few days.

            • Hi Terry:

              I do remember Whiskey Mountain! They had some kind of radio relay station up there and a huge search light. In July, 1969, I was stationed outside a village on Highway 1 when when that relay stationed was attacked one night. Part of their perimeter defense was 55 gallon drums filled with either real or home made napalm and rocks partially buried in the hillside. When they set those off, sheets of flames shot down the mountain top. Quite impressive.

              The river that ran through our side of the province became a real challenge during monsoon season. Almost lost my medic as we crossed using ropes. A damn fine medic, but a non swimmer and afraid of the water.

              I remembered the road to Thien Giao as highway 24, but the current map labels it highway 28. So, probably 28 when we were there.

              Your unit seems to have bounced from one base to another. What the heck did you do that you were in so much demand?

              Glad you made it back and are still kicking. Now to survive the Covid 19 pandemic.

              Stay safe and Welcome Home,


              • Hey Milo.

                Never forget the bridge getting washed out and the river current swirling around it .

                I was with three different units. c/5/22 deactivated in Nov 1970. Was transferred to c /2/17 outside of Ban Me Thout on 105 battery (Nov 70 to Mar 71). I heard that the 2nd 17th deactivated in April 71. And finally sent to A/6/27 and back on 8″ /175’s (Mar to Oct 71) outside of Song Be. Join the Army and see Vietnam.

                Take care and Welcome Home as well. Terry.

                • Good morning Terry:

                  While you were with Battery C, 5th Battalion, 22nd Artillery, did you know Neil Hyatt? Neil has been on this site fairly recently. He was also at FB Sandy with C/5/22 but I do not remember what time frame.

                  Your comment “Join the Army and see Vietnam” is the short version of….A tour operator, aka known as an army recruiter, asked, “how would you like to take an all expense paid tour of Asia? This includes free round trip air transportation and any necessary ground connections.. You even get free housing and food. However, you do have to purchase any alcohol consumed. There may be some camping opportunities which are included at no additional costs. Don’t worry about figuring out what kind of clothes to pack because shirts, pants, boots and hats selected for the climate conditions are included in your free tour package! In some cases you even get free stationery and free postage so you can write to your friends and family to tell them about your adventure.”…

                  .Should have fired that tour operator 🙂


                  • Hi Milo,
                    I found Neil Hiatt on my Morning Reports. It shows that he was a reassignment Loss on 14 Sep 70. Looks like he went back to FT. Sill. So he was there when I was for a couple of months. Not sure if I met him or not.

                    I was with SGT. Pat Eaves and was in one of the burum hoochs over by the mess area, guard tower and one of the Quads and Dusters. A lot of memories in that guard tower. I was one of 38 left when i was reassigned to Ban Me Thout. Captain Gibson left on 14 Nov 70.

                    I like your version. Funny. Wonder if he was the dude that talked me into extending for 3 months on the beaches of Nha Trang when I first got to NAM.


                    • Terry:

                      Yeah, our tours did not overlap, but that means you missed the sequence with one very dedicated VC mortar man. Every third night at 6:00 PM he would lob one mortar round into Sandy and another into Sherry. Then nothing for two nights. On the third night plop plop again. Given the distance between Sandy and Sherry and the size mortar, he had to be in a fairly narrow area. But everybody seemed to know that tat 6:00 you needed to be under cover, at least every third night. One evening somebody at Sandy did not get the word and was not undercover and was injured at…..yes 6:00 Charlie. Three days later the guys on Sandy unloaded a barrage in the suspected area. When the dust settled, plop plop one into Sandy and another into Sherry., So, three days later you guys brought in “Puff” with her mini-guns. She peppered the area like only three mini-guns can do. But, when Puff was done, plop plop again. That really ticked you guys off so you brought in slings loads of that jellied gasoline then set it off with WP round from Sandy. Quite a light show. Must have gotten him because he was silent after that firepower demonstration. I sort of missed him.

                    • Milo,
                      Sounds familiar. Some of the short guys talked about that. We did get hit while I was there. So happens that I was pulling guard duty in the guard tower with another guy. Little scary watching that unfold from the tower. Luckily no one was hurt to my knowledge. A few of us came down with disintary which I believe was close to that time frame. Do you remember the guard tower by the mess area.

                      I was pulling guard in the tower another night when a Cyclone hit. I was waking up the next shift and walkiing back when I heard a loud crash. The guard tower was blown down by the strong winds. The other guard was in the tower when it fell. I know he was hurt but don’t remember him coming back to the battery. Some times you just get lucky. I don’t remember re-building the tower. Probably getting close to standing down. It was a miserable night with the wind and rain. I wish I could remember more names. I remember watching the light shows from the mini guns at night from the guard bunkers.

                    • I was at the Macv hotel when the cyclone hit…I remember being chilled by it, and the water flooding the streets…70-71…I left in Aug 71, worked in the comcenter at the hotel, and then 05C for awhile…

                    • This was before you got there, but maybe some of the short guys might have talked about the night LZ Betty was hit in early May 1970. I remember the base was penetrated with the VC trying to knock out the hueys and cobras. Story was that one pilot managed to get a Cobra airborne and managed and function as the pilot and as the weapons operator.. So, he strafed the hillside and broke the VC attack. Years later, I met (actually his car ran into mine) the pilot of that Cobra. He was surprised that I knew his story..

                    • Yeah they talked about it alot. This is when LZ Betty in Phan Thiet was attacked and I believe they penetrated the perimeter. I believe Sandy got hit the next day or shortly after.

                      I learned alot by listening to the stories of the old vets in the guard bunkers. It would really stick with you. They also talked about a projectile exploding in the tube of a howitzer. A few Cannoneers lost their lives. I would think about it sometimes just before we sent a present to Charlie. I would be dragging the next projectile and powder charge to the 8″ as it discharged.

                      What is the hotel. I am assuming it was the your post in Thien Giao. I have seen it mentioned a few times.

                      By the way I did reach out to Neil.

                    • Hi Milo,

                      I also remember the attack on the airfield — my sources said the VC had enough time to boobytrap some of the helos before they were driven out, in part because some of the defenders were under the weather from substances. All the discussion about Thien Giao, Sherry and Sandy is very familiar since MAT 88 operated in that area on Hwy 1 as far as far north as Whiskey and further east. We were in the RF outpost at the Phu Long bridge. Does anyone listening remember that team? I was there July ’69-May ’70 and the sergeants I knew on our team were Doc Townsend (medic), Otis Amick, Lee Smith, Sgt. Bunting and our second medic Sgt. Reubin. The LTs were Steve Dove, Sam Asbury and me. Our interpreter was De. I remember spending a few days with you and Greg Curtis learning the trade when I arrived; also knew John Kleinschmidt (sp?)and Maj. Kelley at Thien Giao. There was also a captain in charge of 88 who left just before I arrived, having collected a Silver Star and two Purple hearts in our AO, including a big fight just north of Phu Long in Feb.’69. Is anyone in contact with any of these folks? Sam Asbury (later LTC) wrote on these pages a few years ago but I have been unable to contact him. I’d be interested in any news of MAT 88 before or after I served there.

                      Reading my letters, we had a pretty eventful time, including two determined sapper attacks on our compound (Nov. 4 ’69 & Apr. 11 ’70) where the VC got right in amongst us and had to be driven out at close quarters. In each case our arty (not sure if it was Sherry or Sandy) fired for us the whole time despite being mortared. Stupidly, I never got over there to thank them.

                    • Good morning David:

                      Although I admit I still do not remember you from Vietnam, I do remember you from prior postings. As I recall, you MAT 88 was in a fairly large compound with an RF Company that had a 105mm on site. And in one of the attacks on your compound you used some bee hive rounds with the 105. Sound familiar?

                      Regarding getting up to Sherry to thank them for their fire support, unless you were going in and out in a Huey or latching onto a convoy, it could be a short but very lonely ride from Sherry to highway 28.

                      Do you remember when you arrived in the province? I must have gotten there just a little and I mean just a little ahead of you.


                    • No reason you should remember; we were formally under the Thien Giao district but, being so far away, ran an independent operation and were never in TGiao. I think we saw the brigadier from II Corps more often than the province adviser. You are right, we had two VN 105s and both were firing canister point blank the night of the second attack. Next morning we found two dazed and wounded teenaged VC lying between the wheels of the two guns. The compound was about half overrun and the main attack was essentially stopped by the adviser team. Province wouldn’t fly gunships for us and sent Spooky instead, which of course arrived when it was all over. Two of our sergeants had damaged eardrums but otherwise we got away lucky.

                      I arrived July 21 and went out to Phu Long the next day. Remember meeting the guy manning the .50 cal on top of the old French tower at TG; he was Cham and claimed to have been at Dien Bien Phu. He was credited with breaking an NVA attack on the district compound, which I think had a substantial Nung garrison. Sound familiar?

                    • Hi David:

                      Since your AO was primarily on the Highway 1 side and mine was up and down Highway 28, I got to Thien Giao with some regularity for showers and a decent meal. Although my first night in Thien Giao, the compound was hit by a few 82mm mortars and some shrapnel sliced through my mosquito netting and me. All without waking me up. Major Kelly counted noses in the concrete French tower that served as the advisors’ bunker and realized that new 2LT was not there. He runs out and finds me laying bleeding in my bunk and not moving…..I was still asleep. Was he more than a little annoyed with me?

                      The RF Company out of Thien Giao was commended by a Cham captain that had jumped into Dien Bien Phu with the French. When Ho Chi Min died in 1969 the captain bought then slaughtered a water buffalo for a town wide celebration.. The Dai-uy really did not like Communism or Ho Chi Min. Going out with Dai-up was always an education on how to try to out think Charlie. Listening and watching him was a bit like watching a chess game.

                      By the time your compound was hit in 1970 i was moved to the Province Team in Phan Thiet. One of your sergeants was so rattled by the “experience” that he was assigned to me to settle down. He ended up being the best scrounge supply guy ever. When we could not get any of those PRC 25 whip antennas through regular supply channels, I sent him to Tan Sanut Air Base with my alcohol ration card. A week later he was back without the ration card, but with a box of 12 antennas. Since the Province Senior Advisor wanted some of the antennas for the province team jeeps and I knew you folks in the field needed them more. I took a short Huey ride and distributed all twelve to the field. PSA was really pissed and it showed on my OER. But I was short and not a career officer so what the hell!

                      More another time,

                      Milo out

                    • Milo,

                      I don’t recall what job John had, though he did tell me about daylight ops from Thien Giao and we played some basketball in the district compound. He’s a really good man. I think Sandy was our 105 support and they were terrific any hour of day or night, aside from the one time we asked for illumination over our compound and they delivered HE — they bracketed me perfectly and just barely missed. No hard feelings.

      • i was with 3/506th 101st.spent about ,moved there from Phan Rang.We got there just befor tet arrived.i was in a lrrp team.was set up there to watch hw 1.we called it Titty,Mountain.It was booby traped very bad.spent about 5 days up there.Jan.1968

    • I was attached to the 2/1st Cav at Song Mao I was with the 5/27th, we had some 105s at Sherry, there was a battery yours near by 8 in and 175s , later was with the MACV team in Phan Thiet we operated as Scrappy South Bn Hq was at Phan Rang.

      • What size guns did the 44 ARVN have at Song Mao? My memory is sort of fading since I was there in 69-may70. I’m seventy now glad I have some photos left! Merry Christmas Larry “Seadog” Seaman

        • When I left in 1969, the ARVN 44th Regiment artillery site had 155mm and at least one 105mm. Fire missions directed over our 41st Civil Affairs Team 4 hooch would jolt us from our cots.

        • I was with 1/44th in Fort Pitt in 66-67 except for a brief operation in Song Mao/Dai Qua area. At that time, the 44th had no arty – just a straight-leg Infantry unit….. I was an E-5 and my Senior Advisor was CPT James O’Neill. Our call sign the entire time I was there (a full year) was “Muskybait.” You can imagine how that was transmitted over the net too many times to be funny.

          • The ARVN 44th Regiment had 155mm artillery, maybe a 105mm also. I was 41st Civil Affairs translator. Our hooch Villa B, an old French Officers’ Club, was just inside the MACV compound gate closest to the artillery site. Often outgoing fire would rock us from our bunks. I left in July ’69 as the backwater post became an Airborne firebase.

          • Bob,
            Larry Seaman and others from Song Mao allowed me to scan their photos digitally. If you have some to share let me know. I can send you (or anyone else interested) a DVD of photos if you privately email me your mailing address–no charge.

  13. As Tracy indicated I will testify to those “killer” basketball games we had on a small slab of concrete and gravel. Also, volleyball games until “Charlie “ ruined the net and court with his mortar attacks trying to get the platoon of ARVN artillery next door. Trips to Song Mao etc. and the bridge along highway 1 that Cav unit at Song Mao destroyed when it caved in under the wait of one of its tanks. A lot of memories, some good some not so good.
    Best regards to all the members of MAT 27 and Team 37. Would like to hear from you if possible.
    Peter Barna, LTC USA retired

    • The VC apparently had a new mortar gunner when I was there. I seem to remember nearly every Wednesday night he’d drop three rounds with none ever hitting inside of the wire. This caused a moral and military dilemma. We needed to destroy the mortar but if we did so then they might assign a new mortar gunner who was a better shot. The problem was soon resolved when US forces went into Cambodia. From that time on, at least until I left, we never received another mortar attack. Apparently there were no rounds to waste.

      • Hello Jim, I doubt if you remember me because I transited back and forth between various places, but I believe you were with 37 in 68 or 69. I was working as S2 Intel Sgt.

  14. From Tracy Sunderlage TM-37 Hoa Da Sept. 69-Feb 1970 ADSA
    I have not been back to this sight for a long time, but unexpectedly I got an email from Peter Barna telling me he was still alive. Peter was a 2 Lt on MAT 27 and assigned to TM-37 along with an additional MAT that we stuck out in Indian country. As per Capt. James Siefert, who replace me in Feb. 70,
    I came in country with Capt. Robert Glick of which we both had gone through VN Advisory Sch. together and had been in the 82nd plus I had been in the 3rd 508 ABN Panama CZ for 2 years so we were best friends. When we got to Phan Thiet the 1st week of Sept. 69, Glick was assigned to TM-42 as the DSA and I was assigned to TM 37 as the DSA, 30 days later Bledsoe replaced me when the two MAT’s were attached to TM-37. Both Glick and I were very disappointed about the MACV assignments since we assumed with all our qualifications, Airborne, SF, Jungle expert, Diving School, and 2nd tours, we would be assigned to the 5thSF. Glick figured out how to get out and ask me to go with him to CORDS HQ, but I hesitated. When I left in Feb 70, Glick got me assigned to CCS MACV- SOG out of Nah Trang HQ, Recon Team Iowa as an Intel Officer. But that’s another story, TM-37 was an eye opener. Dirty, dusty, rat infested smelling base camp run by a ARVN LTC in a Major slot. Everyone did TOC duty. The Engineers were just finishing rebuilding the main structure of the camp, but we were still eating C’s and the shower house didn’t work plus everything was exposed, so we went to work finishing the job. We had a old 10kw French generator than ran on less than 50 cycles so nothing with a motor worked, just lights. By the time I left with a lot of help from Peters MAT the place was in pretty good shape. But there’s always funny stories, I wrote to sports Co. and asked for a basketball, and a Net. To our surprise they sent the team, 2 basketballs, a rim&net, baseballs, gloves for every position, face mask, and horse shoe set. As Peter will tell you we had some killer basketball games on a gravel court. Playing horse shoes on a brick court was a kick! Well this has gone to long, so until next time.
    Tracy Sunderlage Major SF Ret.

    • Basketball court? Horse shoes? I don’t remember any of these. I do remember the evil, old French generator that between our resources, a generator repairman from province Hq and the local operator, we kept running most of the time. Occasionally we had to fill in with our 3-KW. Some of the things I will never forget was my room was part the rice warehouse ant all through the night there was the constant pitter-patter of small and large rodent feet. I’m sure I imagined the slither of a snake but given the number of rodents about it was probably true. Also walking into the kitchen one night and flipping on the light and seeing literally every surface move as the roaches ran looking for place to hide. Or, going to a political rally one night with the District Chief to a village near Song Mao when gunfire broke out and I ended up in a ditch with god-knows-who hoping we were of the same political persuasion. About half-way though my time my time at Hoa Da, a new District Chief arrived, a Cham Captain, who took things seriously. He was much more demanding of the RF/PF and was bent on routing out a many VC as possible. It actually got interesting and then I shipped out to become a Border Ranger battalion advisor in I Corps.

  15. Does anyone know the best way to go about finding a Vietnamese girl who worked with the 43rd Signal Bn. in Pleiku? I hope she has immigrated to US, which she was contemplating. Maybe google INS?

    • Since he did things like this so often, my guess is that it was not anything to write home about. However, I did learn much from him about securing needed supplies and equipment with or without proper written authorization. And, he was a GREAT medic!

  16. Could Ormond have been working with the Agency in 1969? The name sounds right and the spook was 25-30, 6′, light color hair. The officers lived in the house and the NCOs lived and slept in the typical sheet metal roofed wood barracks seen all over RVN.

    • Hey, John:

      Ormond was about 6′ with sandy hair, but I do not remember him as being part of the Phoenix program. More of a Civil Affairs type. And, I recall, wore glasses.

      Milo, out

      • Milo, that sounds about right. He didn’t seem like most of the Phoenix types.
        Do you remember a springs or spa type area called Vinh Hoa? It was to the NW of Tuy Phong and within eyesight of a RF camp. Vacant at the time but was a mineral spa and would loved to have seen it in peace time.

        • John, I was only in Tuy Phong for a day and did not get around enough to visit Vinh Hoa. I bet it’s a resort now.

          During your brief time in Thien Giao, do you remember Major Kelley the DSA?

          Did you wife and kid stay in Thien Giao or did they go with you to Nha Trang?

          MIlo, out

          • I’ve not been able to recall the major’s name, just remember him as a short fellow. Our terp was SGT Nip and the Viet that cleaned and cooked was just called “house mouse”. SGT Nip sent me a few letters after I returned to CONUS.

        • Milo….. yes I did turn 23 in Phan Thiet (1970)… bar for an hour……St Patrick’s Day Party open bar all night😳😃(1970)….. Province Senior Phoenix Advisors were lowlife cowards…..I was a 22 year old king, did my own thing with NO support from Province Phoenix (yellow bellied cowards) …….from Song Mao to Tuy Phoung was the distance from Phan Thiet to Song Mao practically….. Province Senior Advisors would only come out if they could hold the helicopter there for their return….pure cowards….for Christmas all of our dinners and Red Cross packages were stolen by sister (sissy ass) District Teams (we ate duck eggs)…..movies, books, and sundry packs were pilfered….so my fellow MACV warriors 5-8 MACV Advisors were always on our own up North ……our radio was off the air for a week, no one even knew ….. we relied on Mushy Couple Tango… worries guys, Tuy Phoung Strong!!

          John…. the Vinh Hoa Water factory was world famous and a great economic engine in Tuy Phoung (I spell it with a “U” like the Viet Cong spelled it) Do you remember the International Service Volunteers? They were free thinking elitist students, mostly from Ivy League schools, who actually did exceptional projects for the benefit of the Vietnamese common people. They organized a project to dismantle the equipment and have it all refutbished in Saigon. I saw them taking the factory apart and the equipment leave on Rt 1. Don’t know whatever happened to it, but contemporary Google search sees it’s back and modernized. The IVS cadre were supposed to be pacifists, but after Tet 1968 a lot of them carried weapons.

          • Great memories of the place and people! I’d like to go back and see the area some day, if someone else pays for the trip.
            We had some unique experiences with powers to be and I always considered you and CPT Day good guys.
            FYI , my only souvenir from RVN is the battle flag flying across from the fort one morning.

            • John, you were a true brother-in-law arms. It always seemed us against the world and we were lucky enough to have the great people to make the world loose most of the time. I hope all is well brother🙂

              • Hey Dennis:

                Good knowing you’re out there. I also only found this site within the last few weeks. I’ve been waiting all these years for that big check you said would be coming my way one day! Hope you are doing well. Catch me up to speed on what you’ve been doing these last 50 years.

                Dave Day (Cpt Day . . . Tuy Phong)

    • Guys, just found this site. I was the Tuy Phoung Phoenix Program/ DIOCC Advisor from May 68 to May 69…..Tuy Phoung DSA JUN 69 to SEP 69 and Bing Thuan Province Senior Adviser for S1/S4 SEP 69 to JUL 70.

      • Good afternoon Dennis:

        I remembered you as the Binh Thuan Senior Advisor for S1/S4 after I was assigned as the Detachment Commander for the Province Team “hotel” from December 1969 to June 1970. I had not remembered you as the Phoenix Program advisor. I knew you not the agency team because I knew who they were.

        My room mate in Phan Thiet was CPT Slater who was the province Phoenix advisor. You might remember CPT Slater as the tall athletic African-Ameircan officer who planned on making the army a career.

        Didn’t you turn 23 while on the province team?

        Milo out

        • Milo….. yes I did turn 23 in Phan Thiet (1970)… bar for an hour……St Patrick’s Day Party open bar all night😳😃(1970)….. Province Senior Phoenix Advisors were lowlife cowards…..I was a 22 year old king, did my own thing with NO support from Province Phoenix (yellow bellied cowards) …….from Song Mao to Tuy Phoung was the distance from Phan Thiet to Song Mao practically….. Province Senior Advisors would only come out if they could hold the helicopter there for their return….pure cowards….for Christmas all of our dinners and Red Cross packages were stolen by sister (sissy ass) District Teams (we ate duck eggs)…..movies, books, and sundry packs were pilfered….so my fellow MACV warriors 5-8 MACV Advisors were always on our own up North ……our radio was off the air for a week, no one even knew ….. we relied on Mushy Couple Tango… worries guys, Tuy Phoung Strong!!

          • When I was on a MAT out of Thien Giao from June 69 to Dec 69, my MAT was split into two very small teams, I had the heavy weapons SFC and SFC medic. The team leader, LT Curtis deployed separately with just the light weapons SSG. Every once in a while the chopper would drop a sundry pack to us. When I was assigned as Detachment Commander in December, I found out that some folks were stealing the sundry packs and selling them on the black market. Province Senior Advisor did not allow the courts martial charges. But by then you and I were already out of the field. The sundry pack deliveries should have improved dramatically however.

            Didn’t you have a big box of fans from Sears shipped to Tuy Phong?


            • Same here. The staff sgt from co.c was selling them to the ville and leaving ny 5 guys out. We were a different co than those receiving so we only recived one all the time there. My guys were pissed but the staff sgt from co.c was transferred to some place else after we reported it to our home base in Nha Trang. Sgt Larry Seaman

            • Sir Milo, it took awhile but my minds eye can see you now. I remember you as a professional soldier and a good man. Lots of good memories of my time in Tuy Phoung and Phan Thiet. When I was home on my Special Leave for extending the first six months, I bought a ton of things for my guys in Tuy Phoung. Fans, kitchen cooking utensils, hand cranked meat slicer, everything on a list we brain stormed that we needed. Somethings made it, somethings were lost or stolen along their journey. It was over twenty miles through Indian Country on a closed to Americans RT 1 to Phan Rang AFB. Tuy Phoung has great Lobsters and we would steal or trade lobsters for the things we needed. SFC King and SSG Hanh knew how to turn up the temperature in the small holding freezers at the Class 1 storage area. Visit them the first thing upon arrival and beg can goods. Visit them just before we left for TP and what do you know they were in the midst of a force issue, because the freezers were acting up. I never knew wat they didn’t figure it out, because we just happened to have two boxes filled with ice🤷‍♂️. Steaks were not scarce in Tuy Phoung🙄

              • I forgot, the relationship we had with the US Coast Guard Mushy Couple Tango was our life line. Since we were abandoned by the US Army for supplies with the mistaken belief the Vietnamese Army would supply us if the MACV advisors did there job, we built a brotherhood with the Coast Guard. The boats would rotate to Nha Trang every week. It was our most closely held secret that lobsters equals supplies. Canned goods, beverages, ammunition (especially 40mm) and even ICE CREAM. By far, that was the high mark of our stay. I even took them on zero risk patrols so they had war stories. Counterfeit VC war trophies went over big too.

                • Thanks to your relationship with the US Coast Guard I got a ride from Tuy Phong to Phan Thiet on one of the 82 footers. The cutter followed the fishing boats into Phan Thiet because the cutter did not have charts for the area then got stuck in port for 12 hours when the tide went out before could get turned around. Fortunately they made it out.

                  I used lobsters from Phan Thiet for trading in Cam Rahn Bay. Great stuff. The C7 crews always had room for me when I had a basket of lobsters for them.

                  Could never get the PRC-25 whip antennas from Cam Rahn so my supply sergeant took my alcohol ration card to Saigon and bingo came back a week later with a box of ten antennas. Had to get them out to the MATs before the province team grabbed them.

                  Didn’t you R&R in Hong Kong and send home suits and shoes?


                  • Sir Milo😃 I think we did a great job with the age old Army tradition of back channel requisition. Once coming back from Phan Rang at twilight, we saw, about 50 meters off Rt1, a Vietnamese boy sitting on top of a trailer holding a huge water pump. I gave the order to hook it up and take it. About five miles going South on Rt1 I saw a US Engineer Platoon working 25 meters off the road. Unfortunately, we were giving the Vietnamese boy a ride to where he lived. He apparently waved a lot and in about 10 minutes a Jeep with red flashing lights and a siren came up behind us, but we kept going. I admire their driver, because he went off road and pulled in front of my Jeep. A Major jumped out hotter than hell and told me he was going to court martial me. I didn’t say a word to him. I told my guys to drop the trailer and release the boy. Then I calmly told the Major if he ever abandoned equipment again I would see to it he was court martialed😳😃

                    • Hey Dennis:

                      As I recall, you also sent home from Hong Kong several blonde wigs. We asked why blonde…did you have a blonde girl friend ? You replied that you liked the hair style and you would have it dyed what ever color a girl friend wanted. Or something like that.

                      My medic had an easy going Louisiana smile and charm that got us some stuff just by the way he asked. Once he borrowed a 2 1/2 truck drove it to the beach where supplies were being unloaded, and told (asked) a forklift operator to drop a load of lumber into the truck. When the operator asked for papers, my medic pulled a letter from his mother out of his shirt pocket and waved it at the fork lift operator and yelled ” here are the signed requisitions”. And, the lumber was dropped into the truck. We built a nice day room space.

                      Milo out

  17. I was with MAT 37 in Tuy Phong until April 1969. Our compound was an old French fort with “toe poppers” left by the French and routinely found by the Ruff Puffs!

  18. Looking for former members of team 37 , Ham Thuan Village, Phan Thirty. I am Steven Terrell Spc 4

        • Sorry Peter, I said the MACV compound was #37 actually it was #41, a division of #37 at Phan Thiet in Villa C, southwest corner of the compound including rooms for MACV and MATS teams, a bar, tennis court, and movie. MATS Team manned the center bunker between
          Villa C and Villa B (41st CA Team, northwest). Mess hall was directly on the south end of the compound under the small water tower. Large city water tower, and Signal Corp were on southeast corner, and the DSA Villa was on the northeast corner.

    • Was there in 69, Dec 68 to July 69. Ham Thaun Major Ellis was our Team Leader, capt Buck, Sgt Thomas Have a few other names.

      • I reported to Adv. Team 37 in January 1969. Major Ellis was our CO and I think Capt. Buck was my bunkmate. (Tall guy, short blond hair and West Point grad?) Developed an eye infection late February sent to 8th. Field Hospital, Cam Rahn Bay then to 249th. General Hospital in North Camp Drake, Japan. Met with the commanding Officer of the 500th. MI Group there and asked to return to my DIOCC. No dice. Got orders to report to 6th MI Group, Ft. Meade, and finished my commitment.

        • Then you and I were there at same time!! I left in Late June of 69. Talked
          to Capt Buck on phone a few months ago, He stayed in made it a career. Suite was my interpreter. I have a couple pics of the team . LOL but I do not remember your name. Was wounded in an ambush Jan 4th of 69, also spent 4 weeks in hospital in Na Trang with malaria.

          • Sounds like I may have briefly been your replacement as a DIOCC advisor after you were wounded? I arrived in country 15 Jan. ’69 , went to Vung Tau for Phoenix orientation then directly to Team 37, then to 8th. Field Hospital then to the 249th. General Hospital in Japan then back to the world. It was a quick and unexpected loop.

    • Was there in Dec 68 thought July 69. major Ellis was our team leader, also Cpt Buck and Sgt Thomas and I have a few other names

    • Hi, I was in Phan Thiet VN from Jun 64 thru Jun 65 I was also in VN in 66 and 67 and again in 70. Lee Hatfield Ret US ARMY

    • I was assigned to Ham Thuan District in June 1970 and remained there for about a month moved on to Hai Long (mui ne) District where I spent most of my tour,

    • 1LT Tim Sawyer, I served with you. I was on MAT II-81 with Sgt Dudley, Sgt Prine, and 1LT Dennis Merrow, many years ago. Hope that life has treated you well. I have good memories of you. Take care, Tim Sawyer

      • Hello Lt Sawyer, God Bless you, I remember you also, as a great guy, so good to hear from someone from back in the war, I am a retired trucker, Living in Indianapolis IN, with 3 grown children, hope life is treating you well, thank you for replying back to me, don’t know how many of us are still around from those days, God Bless.

        • Glad to hear back from you Steven Terrell. Nice to hear that you had a successful career as a trucker and family man. I still have a Class 1 license, but have not driven a truck for several years. One of my sons and I had a Peterbilt and lowbed that we used to move our tractors that we used to mow pipeline right of ways for a number of years. I worked construction for a number of years and needed to drive truck occasionally. Worked as a forester for 30 years and retired in 2012. The same son that I was in mowing business with, I am in the car wash business with and so spend my days at the car wash that we own. I have 3 sons and a daughter. I used to see 1LT Merrow who lived in Lancaster, NH, and I had a call once from E-6 medic that I cannot think of his name. Again, so good to hear from you and am happy for your safe return from VN and your successfull life and career. Take care. Tim

      • Hi Tim! Bud Gaylord here from MAT25. Often wondered what happened to everyone in Ham Thuan.

        Got off AD in 1972 and spent another 24 years in the USAR along with a parallel career in law enforcement after 21 years.

        Now living in Virginia.

        I have a few photos is can pass along off line if you would like.

        Best regards

        • To Bud Gaylord from Tim Sawyer. I have not been back to this site for many months. Sorry that I missed your message back in September. I also often wondered what happened to everyone on the teams. Glad to hear of your successful careers. I went back to my home in Maine and worked construction for a number of years and then got a job as a forester and worked that for 30 years and retired in 2012. One of my sons and I have some business activities together and so I actually work more hours now than before I retired. Hope to hear from you in the future. Tim Sawyer

      • 1Lt Tim Sawyer: I was on MAT 81 July – Nov 1970. Sgt Dudley and Sgt Prime were on my team. Lt Frick was the Team leader and I was the Ass’t. Lt Frick left in Sept and, I think, you were assigned to the team soon thereafter. Late Oct I was Medivaced out. Sound familiar? Peter Nowlan

        • Peter Nowlan from Tim Sawyer. I remember you well. We went swimming in Phan Thiet and you became very sick soon after and were medicated out and the last that I knew you were at Fort Devens recovering. Glad to hear that you are well. I believe that you were originally from New Hampshire. Do you still live there? MAT II-81 was dissolved when I returned to US. When you left, I became team leader until 1LT Merrow was assigned to MAT II-81. He had date of rank on me. He was from Lancaster, NH and I used to see him every few years if I was traveling up that way from Maine. The only other person that I had heard from was the District Team medic, E-6 Cordova(sp). He called me several times. Again, good to hear from you. Take care. Tim Sawyer

          • From Vermont, Tim, not New Hampshire. Still living there, in the center of the state. I called directory assistance for your phone #, but the number I was given has been disconnected. I stayed in the hospital at Ft Devens, or on convalescence leave, until the beginning of March. Then released to light duty, a desk job in the commanding General’s office, You had contacted me two or three times while I was in the hospital, about my pay still coming to MAT 81. Thereafter I remembered you as Tim, a forester from Maine, but lost your last name. Glad to hear you are doing well. Best wishes, Peter Nowlan

    • Replying to Steven Terrell who I remember as RTO for the District Team at Ham Thuan. I left in June of 1971 and MAT Team II-81 was disbanded with my leaving. Major Swanson was District Senior Advisor for most of my tour and was replaced by a Captain at the end, but he went on leave, so never really got to know him. Major Swanson was evacuated for medical reasons on the same day that General Charles Brown, MR 2 commanding general, came to present medals to Vietnamese commander and Sgt who had eliminated a VC Arrow Action Team with double trigger claymore on trail a few weeks previously. VC team was three men and a woman who carried rice receipts that were given to villagers for payment of goods taken and were supposed to be redeemable when VC won the war. That way they did not take or steal goods and food, but had pretense of paying for everything. I had a blank rice receipt, but it was taken from me as war contraband when I left the country. Some where, some one has that souvenir I am sure. I also had a bayonet from AK 47 that was outlawed by Geneva Conventiion, but traded that for a head of lettuce with Naval Advisory team because I craved something green. Good times. Went from 200 pounds to 135 pounds in ten months.

      • I was briefly in Han Thuan in June and early July of 1970. I moved on to Hai Long where I spend most of my tour. Dennis Merrow was a great friend. We went through Basic, AIT, & OCS together and drove home together from Boston Airport when were came home. But I have not seen Dennis in at least 35 years. List I knew he was living in Manchester, NH. I replaced LT De Socio and it was a difficult entry into the team and not a subject that was talked about very much. I really do not recall any names from that period, but there were two MAT teams in the District. I recall that there as a VN kid that lived with one the teams, He always seemed like a good kid to have around. I have a few photos of The Team and the compound, and always struggle to recall just who is who. My vivid recollections are really those days and events in Hai Long.

        • To Gale Mattison. Dennis Merrow lived in Lancaster, NH and worked for an insurance company there until he retired. I used to stop in and see him every few years. His personal belongings and mine were shipped to my house when we left country.. He left a short.time before me, and we met at my home when I got back and he picked up his personal stuff. I have not seen him for at least 10 years and do not know where he lives now. When I got to MAT 81, 1LT knowland (sp) was there, but he got sick and was shipped to Fort Devens Hospital. I got to Ham Thuan in September of 1970 and Dennis Merrow joined me several months later when his previous team was disbanded. He got a Purple Heart from a 60mm mortar round that landed between us. He was hit in upper leg, but shrapnel was pulled out with forceps by medic and he was OK. I had a piece of shrapnel work its way out of my ankle area ten years after I came home, but never knew that I had been hit at the time, so pretty minor. Dennis Merrow’s father was the postmaster in Lancaster,NH and my father’s work took him there frequently, so they would see each other and discuss their sons situations. I live in western Maine, about an hour and a half from Lancaster, NH. Nice to hear from you and glad you came safely home. Take care. Tim Sawyer

        • Hey cat where you headin. Gale, how are you. I just found this site and saw your name. Tim Sawyer is right, i now live just outside Manchester in Londonderry. I would love to hear from you. It’s been too long.

    • Hi Steve, I am Dennis Merrow. I was in Ham Thuan until late May of ’71. Major Swanson, Sgt. Ray, Lt. Tim Sawyer and several others. You were the RTO. What are you up to now, 47 years later?

      • To Dennis Merrow from Tim Sawyer. Long time, no see. Often wondered where you went when you left Lancaster. Hope that all is well with you and yours. Tim Sawyer

    • was there in 1969, actually Dec of 68 though June of 69. If it was a old French installation wiith mind fields . Was a Lt. My interp name was Suit

  19. I was the District Senior Advisor I 68 and part of 69. Song Mao was a Chinese town. When NV went communist (not sure what year) an entire Nation Chinese Regiment that had left China and moved to N V when China went communist moved south with all their troops and families. The SVn put them in the Cham area. Song Mao was the town they formed. The MACV compound was their HQ and the 44th Reg was where most of troops were housed. What you called a hotel was the HQ bld. My house was the Rev CO’S house. The VN’s, at some point, moved most of troops around the country as rail road guards, most of families stayed in Song Mao. There is a lot of interesting history in that area.

    • January 17, 2018

      Good evening LTC Elliott. Wow, you had a house in the district compound? Were you the DSA when a patrol of the 17th Cav was ambushed near Song Mao in December 1968?

      Did you know Major Kelley, DSA at Thien Giao? I think I put a lot of gray hairs on this head as he tried to keep track of me while I was on the MAT assigned to him.

      Milo out

      • Thanks for your reply. I had just moved to Providence Hq as the RF/PF advisor when the ambush happened. I knew Major Tayler. That all was a few years ago

        • January 23, 2018

          Good afternoon LTC Elliott: It looks like you were at Province HQ for Tet 1969. What was that like? I only know, from other folks, of what happened at the district HQ in Thien Giao.

          Since I did not arrive until June 1969, I went through Tet 1970 which was relatively calm.

          Milo out

      • Hello Milo, You may remember me as a trung-uy with MAT-88 based at Phu Long. I was there from July ’69 to May ’70 and remember you at the hotel and earlier in Thien Giao. I also have good memories of Major Kelley. Col. Sam Asbury, who has appeared in these comments earlier, was with me at Phu Long the second time we were attacked in 1970. I would very much like to get in touch with him if he is still reading these pages. Regards to all.

        • Hi David:

          Refresh my memory, was your MAT the one that had a 4.2 inch mortar in the compound?

          Was CPT Pennington your team leader?

          We arrived in Binh Thuan Province about the same time, but came home a little bit earlier. Should I ask why?

          Milo, out

          • Yes, we were in an RF company outpost built around French concrete bunkers at the Phu Long bridge where Hwy 1 crossed the river about five or six miles NE of Phan Thiet. Our AO was a string of villages on the next 5 or 10 miles of Hwy 1, and yes we did have a 4.2 inch mortar, plus a couple of .50 cal machine guns we built from parts. Steve Dove was team leader before me. I only met Capt. Pennington briefly but was impressed with him and remember the day we heard the S-3 rather crudely announce his death over the radio and Maj. Kelley coming on air to rebuke him. Can’t recall why I went home earlier than you; I arrived VN in June ’69 and went through MAT training before going to Phan Thiet, so I think it was just normal rotation. I had forgotten Curtis’ name; wasn’t he the MAT officer at Thien Giao whose jeep set off a mine and landed him yards away in a rice paddy? I remember seeing the jeep when he briefed me – it was in shreds.

            • David:
              I think our tours of duty ended on different months because of when in June we arrived in country. My guess is that you arrived in early June and I did not get to the MATA school until June 18. With a 9 day drop I left country on June 9.

              Curtis was a good team leader and quite a character. He told me that while in school he was so active in the Students for Democratic Society that his grades dropped enough that he lost his student deferment and got drafted. With a couple years of college he was offered the choice of going to OCS……….and he took it. When he returned to the states, he went back to college.

              Do you remember what we did every day on a MAT? I know we did Medcaps, night ambushes, day time sweeps of the area, trained the RFs and PFs when they were issued M-16s, and made nice with the village and hamlet elders. but it does not seem that that filled all of our time.

              Milo out

            • I was with Co D 36th Sig Bn…We manned the sig & commo room by the entrance. I was acquainted with Cpt Pennington at the Hotel in Downtown Phan Thiet. I remember attending services held for him in the small theater area/altar/day room, sad affair. He was really well liked & respected. I also had a good friend from one of the units attached too to MACV Tm 37. Can’t remember his name. I was supposed to leave on a stay over at his RF/PF compound, but he and his team were ambushed into town, and their VN escort abandoned them. I attended his services too. Can anyone remember this?? I think he was KIA shortly after Cpt Pennington! Thanks!

            • To 1LT Wells:

              Was your compound the one that was overrun, or at least heavily infiltrated in late 1969 or early 1970? I remember an SFC being transferred from the MAT to the Province Team soon after the MAT/RF compound was attacked. Must have been around a holiday because he told me he was drunk and hungover when he headed out the door to take an early more pee and spotted a VC armed with an AK-47 standing in the middle of the compound. The all hell broke loose with the MAT exiting their hootch through the floor.

              Milo, out

        • Hey David:

          Did you ever make contact with Sam Asbury or Major Kelley?

          Any chance you live in California or Nevada?

          Milo, out

    • Hello, I recently went on a trip to Vietnam and our Tour guide tells us that he served with MACV as an Interpreter. I told him I would try to reconnect him with some old friends that he served with. I would like to post some names that he gave me and if anyone can help I am sure he would appreciate it.
      He was known as Sgt. Van and was an Interpreter.

      1970 to 1975 MACV team 42, Qui Nhon city:
      • LT Col Colin
      • Lt Col Esplin
      • Maj Vaugh
      • Maj Quinones.
      • Cpt Joseph Lane
      • S4 Michael Wilson.
      • Mr John V Swango

      1968 to 1970, MACV team 37, Phan Thiet city

      • Maj Duke
      • Maj Jackson
      • Cpt Glick
      • Cpt Halcomb
      • LT Michael Mallory
      • Sgt Zimmerman

      Thank you in advance for any help that you may be able to offer.

    • Dear LTC Elliott, Wow! After so many years I come across your name. I’m the Signal Corps SGT who befriended Capt. Long (?) the Intel Officer of the 44th ARVN in Song Mao. I would be curious to find out whatever happened during that visit by the 54th Signal’s Battalion Commander when he visited Song Mao. I was on R & R in Hawaii to see my wife. When I came back to Nha Trang after R & R, I was faced with a Statement of Charges for a 3/4-ton truck. After an investigation, it was deemed that the damage had been done by the enemy. I was guilty of not having reported it and charges were dropped. Later in July or Aug. 1969 I had occasion to visit Song Mao. I learned that a PFC or Sp/4 had bought a revolver right after I left for R & R. Was he the one who stole my $500 of R & R money? We all thought that it was the Vietnamese maid who had taken it. Where did a married Private get the $300 that the MACV guy wanted for that gun? Anyway, my main concern is did you know anything about the 54th Signal’s visit to our Det. 13? Thanks!

  20. While spending a few days in Phan Thiet during December 2013 I took some photos of the street where the MACV hotel was located and some at the former airfield. Posted these on Flickr. Anyone interested please email me and I’ll send the links to them.

    John A. Hansen
    With Decca Navigator System at Phan Thiet in 1965.

    • Hello John, name: Rick Olson, email –, I was capt who “ran” the hotel in Phan Thiet, Nov ’68 to Nov ’69. Spent lots of time on that street. I would appreciate seeing your photos and to show my son even tho old hotel is no more. My thanks…..

      • Good evening Rick, I was the Det Co (ran the Hotel) from August ‘67-Aug ‘68. I also served as an Asst S3 and was the S4 Advisor for a period of time. I traveled via Jeep to Tien GAO and one other District S of Phan Thiet that I can’t remember. I spent A fair amount of time at Song Mao and Tuo phong. Lots of exciting times especially during Tet Offensive. We probably crossed paths with several Team members-Lt Jacobs, Winpenny, Birddog pilots, Senior Advisor-Col Murphrey, Major Duncan (others I have forgotten right now). I grew up in the Panhandle of Texas so the S China Sea, rice, sea food, frogs, rain and language were all new stuff to me. As Team members we became close but have drifted apart over the years. I think of my time there as a life changing event and think often of the year over there, I would like to return sometime but it would trigger lots of stuff I fear. Bob W

        • Hey Bob:

          I saw your message to Rick, Team 37 Detachment Commander 68-69, and want to introduce myself as the Detachment Commander December 69 to June 70. I was on a MAT July 69 to December 69. Thien Giao was the district team HQ where I parked most of my personal gear, got a real meal, a hot shower and a decent night’s sleep…every once in awhile. The Senior District Advisor was Major Kelley.

          Looking at our times as DC, none of us overlapped which is just a little strange.

          Rick and I have been exchanging e-mails that did not run through this blog. Care to join us since the three of us share something in common.

          1LT Milo Yoshino

        • I was there in Sept to June 69-70. Remember a master Sgt name Crown. Nobody wore rank but was in Song Mao in HQS and 44th Arvn was right across st. Do not know if it was 41st Civil Affairs or Team 37. Would really like to know what happen To Sgt Crown? Larry Was with the 54th Sig Bt. DSTE Site 13 SONG MAO. But we were hit hard April 1ST 1970. Tks

        • Hi there Bob,
          My name is Hank Urna and I was District Advisor at Tien Giap from Jan 67 to Oct 67 and then S2/S3 Air Advisor at Phan Thiet until I rotated in Jan 68 the week before Tet. I was a FA Cpt at that time. I bunked with Lt. Johnson, S2 Advisor who I believe was KIA during Tet. We probably know many of the same folks though I have a hard time remembering many. I travelled that same road by Jeep from Tien Giao to the Hotel many times. HankU

        • Hi Bob, not sure if you remember me, but I was the DSA at Thien Giao from Jan to Oct 67 and then the Province S2/S3 Air Advisor in Phan Thiet until I left country in Jan 68 about a week before Tet offensive. I used to travel in from the District compound in an old Jeep that had a broken spring. We also used to do a lot of begging and trading for food with the the Cav unit at the airfield. While in Thien Giao, I spent most of my time working with the RF/PF units that defended the compound and conducted operations in the surrounding area. They were commanded by a Cham Lt. Tho Tem, who had fought with the French and was one of the most highly decorated VN officers. Just prior to my arrival, the compound had been attacked and almost overrun and the Cav unit at the airfield had helped repel the attack and done work in reinforcing the compound. I replaced MAJ Ralls as the DSA. Also during time there, spent a lot of time rebuilding all the compound bunkers using empty 55gal drums we got from the airfield and metal railroad ties as overhead cover from the nearby railroad line that had been overturned. We also had an ARVN 155mm platoon in the compound that did a lot of H&I firing at night. My counterpart was an ARVN Cpt Ba who was totally worthless and spent most of his time selling USAID supplies out the back door of his warehouse to locals.
          When I came in from the District, I lived in the hotel and bunked with Lt Johnson who I believe was KIA during Tet. One of the funniest memories I have of the hotel was an occasion where the Det Cmdr requisitioned a new supply of soft drinks and ended up with something like 40 pallets rather than 40 cases. After hauling them from the beach up to the hotel, the entire old tennis court alongside the hotel was filled with cokes etc. An urgent request went out to the Cav unit at the airfield who came and helped reduce the glut significantly. Not sure if you were the Det Cmdr then or it was before your time. Didn’t we also run sort of a PX operation out of the hotel? I remember the Cav guys spent time there also. Let me know if you remember any of this.
          Hank U

      • Richard, I was in Phan Thiet during the first half of 1968. Actually I know John very well. I have a number of photos from that time. I’ve put some in a blog post which I have of Vietnam. They might be of some interest. Here’s the link: I at the airfield but messed with MACV.

    • John I was there from July 65 to August of 66 haven’t really been able to find anyone that was there with me at that time, perhaps you may know of any of the people & can help me find them primarily the security personel which I belonged to. Have been back there many times since the war ended so don’t need the photos.
      Thanks , Jim Ratzlaff

    • December 9, 2017

      Dear John:

      Still offering to send links to your pictures of Phan Thiet? For the last half of my tour I managed the Team 37 hotel in Phan Thiet (Dec 69 to Jun 70)

      Milo Yoshino

          • I hate to admit it but when it comes to any kind of technology, I’m lost. The best I can do is email photos or videos. Tom Hyde did send me a dvd but that was from back then. You will see his posts on the Macv website. Carl gorder ( vietnam once ) has a lot of pictures some were ones I sent him from the 60’s
            Another you can look at is LZ just punch in the year you’re interested in

        • Sgt. Hall is a name I remember ,but can’t seem to picture his face. You were there at the same time I was
          But I don’t remember your name. Perhaps if I saw a photo of you it would bring back not my memory
          I was security in Phanthiet from July of 1965 – August of 66
          My e-mail is My name is Jim Ratzlaff

      • I was asg to Adv Tm 37 from Aug 66-Sep 67. But Never lived in the hotel. Lived on Ft Pitt with Infantry Battalion until we all moved to Song Mao and Dai Qua. But we did make it in for hot showers every couple of weeks or so – sometimes more often – depending on operations.

    • I was in Phan Thiet two times. Once with 101st civil affairs under Sgt Bell and second time I was assigned to MACV Phan Thiet. I married the girl who worked for Fred Shaver at JUSPAO who lived just around the corner on the north side of the compound. I sure would love to see those photos of the afrea. could you send me the link to them please?

      • I also married a Vietnamese girl from Phanthiet in 1998 , she lived near the bridge on the river. We own a home there outside of town which I go to every other year.
        My email is. Bsa500113w@

    • My first assignment in July 1970 was with the MAT in Ham Thuan District as a 2LT. I Replaced 1LT Daniel Joseph De Socio (1946-1970) who was murdered in the compound by an RF soldier throwing a grenade at the RF Commander. Stayed in Ham Thuan for a little over a month then moved to Hai Long District (Mui Ne)

      • I was the leader of MAT 81 the day that happened. We were at the compound in Go Boi having just returned from District HQ. in Ham Thuan.
        In addition to losing Dan, one of my NCO’, our interpreter, and several RF’s were also med-evaced.

        Shortly thereafter I received orders transferring me to Nha Trang where I spent last half ot my tour assigning new replacements to MAT teams all over II Corps.

        • Glad to hear from you. I must have passed through your shop in late June or early July. You sent me on to Phan Thiet and consequently Ham Thuan. The one thing that sticks in my mind about Dan’s death is how little anyone really wanted to say. It was that it happened, it happened this way, and there was little room for questions from the new guy. While I no longer remember his name, the MAT Team Leader that I was assigned with was scheduled to leave there in mid to late September to go to the MACV Training Center outside of Saigon. I know that the Col. from the center came up to talk with him and he indicated that is where he wanted to go. VC were still kind of active in the month or two that I was there, a couple of small contacts at our compound and one larger on near the District HQ toward LZ Betty. Is my memory correct that Go Boi was the second team compound headed south on OL1 from the District HQ? I think it was from there where we had a bus full of civilians headed south blown up. Moving to Hai Long (Mui Ne) was a good for me as I had a terrific District Sr. Advisor, Maj. Tracy Baker. He was a great mentor to me throughout my tour

        • Hey Larry:

          Was the attack on your MAT on May 3, 1970 the same night LZ Betty has hit and partially overrun?

          Rumor was that the 1/50th was prepping for Cambodia so weapons were cleaned and stored for inspection the next day and the vehicles were also prepped for inspection with their hoods up.

          Also, the sappers hit the Hueys and Cobras, but one pilot managed to get a Cobra up (despite having a cracked windshield) and strafed the hillside the VC were coming up.

          I was the detachment commander (hotel manager, postal, supply and mess officer) in Phan Thiet December 1969 to June 1970. Seems that we might have crossed paths.

          One of my better memories was taking one of the C-7s out of LZ Betty to Cam Rahn, procuring without written authorization a 60 lb box of frozen steaks from the S-4 (they had plenty), bringing it back to Phan Thiet then going out on a Huey to deliver mail and steaks to the MATs in the province. Beat the heck out of the cases of C-rations we also delivered. I was on MAT 24 from July to December 1969 so I understood what a steak meant. Hope you were on the receiving end of one of those deliveries.

          Milo out

          • I’ve known about this site for months but still haven’t figured out how to get on it. I was the ADSA at Hoa Da district in the first half of 1970. Thanks. Broc Siefert

              • I left in Song Mao in July 1969. You missed the big attack the previous October at Hoa Da. Capt. Griner had just relieved Lt. Shigekawa as Team Chief at our 41st Civil Affairs Team 4. We were in Villa B, an old French Officers Club, just inside the gate and west at MACV Song Mao Compound 37. I have mine and shared pictures of Song Mao and Phan Thiet if you want to see them. Email me your mailing address to and I’ll send you a DVD. Capt. Griner just passed away this month and I sent photos to his grandson-in-law.

                Tom Hyde, SP5 Translator/interpreter
                41st Civil Affairs Team 4, Song Mao, Binh Thuan, RVN

                2020 Scales Bend Road NE
                North Liberty, Iowa 52317-9331
                (319) 430-8046 Mobile *
                (319) 626-6694 Home *
                * Leave a message if no reply; I block unknown callers as spammers.

              • Hi, Peter. I suspect our paths must have crossed at Hoa Da where I apparently replaced Tracy Sunderlage as ADSA. He was gone by the time I arrived at the end of February. Before coming to Hoa Da, I was sent to the farthest most district to the north, I don’t remember the name of it, to fill in for the DSA for two or three weeks. Apparently he had complained once to often about poor support from Province so the PSA gave him the chance to see if he could do any better. I don’t know if he accomplished anything but, I suspect, he didn’t complain any more. Fortunately I got along well with the District Chief so everything turned out well. We were both SF so he treated me well. Maj Bledsoe was a demanding person to work for but not unnecessarily so. Even though I was on my second tour, I was still going through my wild child phase, so one of his duties was to keep me from doing anything rash. I only stayed to mid-summer of ’70 when I was assigned to become the senior advisor to a border ranger battalion at SF Camp Ha Thahn in I Corps. SF was turning the camp over to the VN Army and apparently the time spent there stomping around in the AO during my previous tour as a Mike Force company commander counted for something. I really don’t remember the names of who else was at Hoa Da other than the major at the time. The radioman was a E-4 who I remembers was pleasant and competent. Our medic was a E-7. He was taking care of the generators when I arrived. Shortly afterwards he reached the end of his patience and I ended up taking over that responsibility. We also had an E-6 who wouldn’t drink water after having surgery for kidney stones. We had another E-6, who I only vaguely remember, who was our scrounger and spent a lot of time wheeling and dealing in Phan Rang at the AF base. As I recall, we ate well. Far better than the SF camp I’d been at near the DMZ.

        • To Larry Cash. Was SGT Prine the NCO that you remember being wounded? When I arrived in Sept 1970 to join MAT II-81, he still had a wound on his back that kept him from carrying the PRC-25 radio. The other SGT, SGT Dudley had a leg brace from a wound in the Dominican Republic and he could not carry the PRC-25, so I carried the radio when we went out. Before I left the country, the RF/PF soldier who killed De Socio and the VN commander, was sentenced to 5 or 10 years of hard labor. The 1LT that was on MAT 81 when I got there, was evacuated soon after my arrival with hepatitis he contracted from swimming on beach at Phan Thiet, because we did not realize that the beach was an open toilet, flushed by the tide each day and that is where many residents of Phan Thiet relieved themselves on a daily basis. Phan Thiet is now a beach resort, of course.

          • To Larry Cash. Was Earl G. Woods the Deputy PSA for Binh Thuan Province when you were there? He was there during my tour. He later became the father of golfer, Tiger Woods.

    • John I was in Phan Thiet with Adv Team 37 from June 1964 thru May 1965 Major Lewis and Lt Col Perkins were the Senior Adv during that time, do you remember any others that were there when you got there? I was also in Vietnam in 1966/1967 and 1970 if you still have photos or any info, please send them if possible. Thanks Lee Hatfield..

      • Lee, I was there at MACV team 37 when you were there., USAF pack rat radio operator, also spent time with the 101st Airborne below Nha Trang during my tour. Sept 1964-August 1965. I remember Col Perkins. Do you remember captain Danner, Captain Ballou. Major Kempf, Zak The Fac Zakreski, Mr Neuman USA , Alex Trebbian, USA. My wife and I went back 2 years go and spent 5 days at the Pandanus Hotel right on the beach. Very moving and useful trip. The old radio room across the bridge had a humongus nva officer on a statue with him on 30 foot or so horse.No matter. I was searching ADVTM37 Phan Thiet and noticed your name. Good luck to you and yours. Wife is visiting her sister in MI so I have to cook whatever I want for supper. Yea!

  21. Tom I just sent photos of song mao to paul girard last week. Paul sent them back with a nice letter of how it look back when he was there.I will be glad to share them if I get them back. I think your buddy or would of team 37 is looking for some from the post I just read from the e-mail Tell them to give address in e-mail an will do. Seadog out

    • Yes, I already emailed Amos. Good to hear from him, frankly, I’m damned pleased so many of us are still around considering. Still sorting through pictures, trying to make some sense chronologically of them. Did Paul scan your photos–maybe he could copy me those instead of your originals. Anyway, I will meet with Dennis Jones in a couple weeks, he may have some photos. I have addresses for about 25 already. Take care Seadog.

  22. Tom, I am Amos Hicks. I was the maintenance advisor for the ARVN DF site at Song Mao from 65-69. Our site advisor lived with the team and I stayed there too on my monthly maintenance and emergency repair trips. We were with S-3 Advisory, 509th Radio Research Group (Cover name for Army Security Agency). I would love to have pictures of Song Mao. Let me know the cost. My address is 1391 Mayfield Ridge Rd., Mayfield Heights, Oh 44124.

    • Amos, welcome home. I think we’ve met on your trips to Song Mao. I have your name on my list. My email address is; send me an email and I’ll reply with a few pictures to start. Lt. Tuttle, 41st Civil Affairs in Team Chief, after Capt. Greiner and Lt. Pandolfo sent me a few pictures of our new bunker behind 41st CA’s Villa B. Larry Seaman and Dennis Jones may be in the picture with the ten atop the bunker. They said that bunker saved them, so I’ll bet some of the commo guys were assigned there.

      After 46+ years, I finally found my best friend and team medic Mike Albert. I flew out to visit him in Oakland, California last summer. The next 41st CA team reunion is in the SF area next summer.

      On a nearer note, I met Dennis Jones again (last saw him at VA Hosp. in 1969) he visits the VA Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa only a few miles from my home and we will get together on his next trip.

      I also contacted Col. Harlan Elliot, DSA, Song Mao commandant, and 44th Reg Advisor. We talked for hours on the phone. He inspired me to make the DVD. No charge involved, but if you have electronic pictures to share, I’ll include them with the collection. Please do not send originals, negatives, prints, or slides–I would not want the US Post Office to lose anything that valuable. I did scan my old photos and slides and some Larry Dowty, 41st CA mechanic sent to me.

  23. Lee I emember jimmy (the interpreter ) but the other names I don’t remember. Don’t know what happened to him after I left

  24. Bernie Corpe 1st Lt team 37 Ham Thaun Dec 1968 though July 1969 and the names of my team members are gone. Had a Major that looked like Seth Adams of Wagon train, a tall blonde captain ,another Lt I think was Pasqual, a Sgt that ran the main radio and a medic I think sp4. Our Vietnamese translator was Suiet, Was a triangular compound.

    • Bernie, I think I have a photo of the firebase from the air. I took a bumpy drive on a to deliver a 3/4T truck dropped off at Song Mao because the airfield was destroyed. I also have a photo of our 41st Civil Affairs 1/4T that was demolished by a 155mm booby trap. I’m putting together a DVD, no cost, I’ll send you. I was SP5 Translator/Interpreter for 41st Civil Affairs Team 4 at Song Mao, Binh Thuan Province ’68-’69. For privacy, you can send your mailing address to–don’t post it here. Welcome back.

  25. Tom, My Name is Lee Hatfield and I was with Team 37 from June 1964 until June 1965 and would very much like a DVD my address is 1949 Rock Springs Circle Denver NC 28037 let me know what the cost is
    .Thank you very much and I really enjoy reading what happened after I left. I also served two more tours in Vietnam…

    • Added you to my list Lee, no cost involved. Most of my photos are MACV Song Mao, few of Phan Thiet. But if this works, maybe we can centrally share photos.

  26. Yup that’s me and I’m living in Ottumwa again just moved back from New Mexico. And we did meet up in the VA hospital . I would like very much to get together sometime. I go to the VA hospital a lot lately, I’m retired so timing is not a big deal look forward to the chance to meet up again.

    • I’m retired also, and live in North Liberty, Iowa about 10 miles from the VA Hospital. Call me 319-430-8046. Be sure to leave a message if I don’t answer; I screen out telemarketers.

  27. Larry glad to see your back and doing well, I was in Song Mao 68-69 worked in the commo bunker under the water tower ,, switchboard, and radio’s .. Can close my eyes and see the entire compound. I ran into Tom at the VA Hospital in Iowa City. Been back again four operations in six months, but I’m still kicking. Wishing the best for you and your family.

    • Dennis, this is Tom Hyde SP5 Translator from the 41st Civil Affairs Team at Song Mao 1968-1969. I think I know you. Were you from Oskaloosa, Oceola, or Ottumwa, Iowa? Am I the Tom you met at the VA hospital in Iowa City? I live in North Liberty, only a few miles north of there? Obviously you are from Iowa if you were at the IC VA Hospital. Contact me and we’ll get together if possible, or if you are a patient, I can visit.

      Tom Hyde
      (319) 430-8046 (Leave a message; I screen telemarketers)

  28. I was translator/interpreter for Civil Affairs Team 4 at Song Mao. You arrived at Hoa Da after they were his hard in late 1968; the MATS team RF interpreter for their team turned out to be an infiltrator killed by the satchel charge he used against his team. MACV, MATS, and CA would mount the gun jeeps at unscheduled intervals and race across the salt flats Rat Patrol style from Song Mao to spend a time at the beautiful beach at Phan Ri Cua.

    You certainly have recounted your stay well. Errors? Nha Trang

    Sp5 Thomas Hyde
    41st Civil Affairs Team 4, Song Mao, Binh Thuan

  29. I was at the hotel Aug 70 through Aug 71…worked in comcenter there…also ratt rig towards end of tour…thanks for your comments…

    • at song mao 54th sig bt nha trang hg for macv coom center then toc. made sgt then sent to dste 13 at song mao. can anybody tell me what happen to mst crown. he was in charge of rf an pf? be nice to get phone call 540-572-2470. larry seaman

  30. Great memory by OCS class was 2 May 68… I was with Team 7 41st CA…stayed at the Hotel from July 68 to July 69…

    • Ronald, We probably crossed paths at Phan Thiet Hotel. I was the Detachment Commander til early Aug ‘68 when I finished my tour. I was getting ready to head back after my year. What happened to the Hotel?

  31. Khue ,I was there before 69 I left August of 66. It’s still worth it to take your son to Phanthiet ,just because the hotel is no longer there there’s still a lot of things to see. I haven’t been there for two years now but the last time I was there the airstrip was still there. It may not be now though as I know the go to. Wants to develop that area. But first I think they will have to move the graveyard.
    As far as finding your friend try Facebook or vet finders . I really haven’t had much success with either but that’s all I know.
    We are a lot older now and so much has changed there you wouldn’t believe it . If you do decide to go let me know I know a lot of the area there. Perhaps we could meet up there. My email is

    • Jim when you were in Phan Thiet in 65/66 do you remember a Vietnamese Interpreter named Jimmy Yen or a LT Melsheimer the Senior Advisor was Lt Col Perkins? ( I may have asked you this same question before, If I did sorry about that).

  32. Hi, my name is Tracy Sunderlage, I was assigned to MACV TM 37 at Hoa DA from September 1969 to February 1070 as is ADSA, I was a CAPT then. Been reading the stories about the NCO who when crazy on our team, it’s true, he left our compound and went into the village, had to go in and find him.
    Our DSA arrived in late September, name was MAJ Bledso, we had 7 officers and 4 NCO’s, plus we had two MAT teams, one in the compound and one out protecting a bridge. I have several names and a lot of photos. I was transferred to CORDS, knew CAPT Click real well, he was the DSA for TM 42, we came in the country together, he became the Aid to the DEP CORDS commander, stayed in country for 3 years, and married A VN. Came to my house in 1974, in Woodstock IL, soon after he left VN. I have never heard from him since then. I was told by the VA that most of my TM have past away, is that true? Would you or anyone know the truth? One more thing the Naval gun fire call sign was Mushy Couple 41, from the USS New Jersey, the Fire Direction Chief lives down here in Naples FL, he remembers me calling in blocking fires in 69.
    Tracy Sunderlage MAJ Ret.
    6397 Liberty st.
    Ave Maria FL 34142

    • Glad you made it home. I was the Dsa at MACV team 37 from June 68 until Nov 68 when I was moved to Prov Hq as the RF/Pf advisor. I have a lot of tal;es about Song Mao that I have tried to forget. I have thought a lot about what happened to Cookie, The District chief and others that I know well. I retired in 1975 at Ft Leavenworth. LTC Harlen Elliott.

      • Harlem, thanks for the reply, sorry I am late in getting back to you, just had pre-op, will have right shoulder surgery this coming Monday. Also I am recovering from two spine fusion surgeries. As for Song Mao, we use to take the whole team up there and we played a killer basketball game once a month. The price was for booze for a week! We use to sit on our team house and watch the fire works at Song Mao, it seem the VC alternated between us and you guys. Our District Chief was a ARVN ABN LTC, kinda of a hard guy, what interest me is that we never knew why the whole team got replaced in September 69? When I got there we work our buts off rebuilding and filling sand bags, it paid off, we kick some but but also paid the price. I retired in 83, after spending most of my time in the Airborne and SF.
        Talk to you soon. Thanks
        Tracy Sunderlage

    • Tracy,

      I remember calling Mushy Couple when I had radio duty at Song Mao in 1968. Mushy Couple saved us many times. Until MACV had enough radio operators to handle shifts, the EM from our 41st Civil Affairs Team stood duty. Talked to Whiskey Mountain relay station during the night to stay awake or call in gunships. Where was Whiskey? I always assumed it was between Song Mao and Phan Thiet.

      A MACV sergeant went berserk and tried to shoot me point blank with an M3 my first week in Song Mao. Later he shot up the compound with an AK before passing out. Sent back to Phan Thiet on first chopper.

      Hoa Da was overrun and destroyed in 1968. The MATS team were in their hooch and spotted their Vietnamese interpreter running for them but were surprised when he tossed a satchel charge at them. Obviously an infiltrator, the charge misfired blowing him up but still did major damage to the wall. VC ran through shooting anyone who moved. One MATS member, still groggy lay still as Charlie shot him, the bullet piercing his wallet harmlessly. We helped rebuild Hoa Da’s fortifications and when Charlie returned a couple months later it was a phu-gas and Cobra turkey shoot.

      I recently found my best friend and team medic, Mike Albert, alive and well in Oakland. Visited him last summer. He would have still been with the 41st in 1969, under the command of Capt. Greiner or later Capt. Pandolfo. My team chief Lt. Shigekawa died in 2006 from cancer. Other LTs were injured and sent home or are still alive. Our team mechanic Larry Dowty builds and races stock cars in Tacoma.

      I would be interested in sharing photos.

      SP5 Tom Hyde, Translator/Interpreter
      41st Civil Affairs Team 4
      Song Mao, Binh Thuan, RVN

      • Tom, I am having shoulder surgery this coming Monday, been doing pre-op etc… now I understand why the compound was so new when I got there in September 69. It was always crazy seeing the firer works go on up at Song Mao, whiskey Mountain was our call sign, we relayed message south on the new AM radio, which didn’t work most of the time!! Talk to you again soon.
        Tracy Sunderlage

    • Hi Tracy, good memories of Hoa Da. And I am alive and well living in Wappingers Falls, NY. I was on MAT 27 from 2nd half of 69 through 1st half of 70, Roger Erickson was my team leader. I last saw George Neidringhaus in July of 1972, in Phoenix, AZ. Haven’t heard from anyone else.
      Peter Barna LTC Ret.
      43 Hilltop Dr
      Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

      • Hi Peter, did you know Lt Curtis? He had MAT 24 until about Sep 1969 when he rotated home. I stayed on the MAT until December 1969 when I was moved to the Province Team to run the hotel. Seems that we would have crossed paths some where during our year in the same province.

        Milo out

        • I was medevaced from Tuy Phong’s MAT II-37 April 1969 and don’t recall the Agency fellow our the MAJ but our medic was MSG Hamm, SFCs Mitchell and Newcombe, myself, a lowly SSG. Our other officer were CPTs Ebert and Day and 1LT Teagarden. We did out MAT training at Di An, outside of Saigon. We had our HQ in Binh Thuan, wow the odor of nucmam (sp) as the choppers made its approach!

          • Aug 1, 2018

            Hi John:

            As it turns out the army recruiter was right….that sometimes not having a sense of smell could be an advantage. All the time you guys complained about the smell of nuc man, I had no idea. Lost my sense of smell bouncing my head off the roadway a couple of years before I “joined” the army.

            Milo, out

            • The smell was a great low altitude indicator! My father was born without a sense of smell and wish it was an inherited trait when we’d have the Ruff Puffs dig up fresh graves checking for weapons caches.

              • YIKES!, Digging up fresh graves checking for weapons. Guess I would have been the man for the job. Once, I had a waster paper basket of lobsters stores in the refrigerated container on one side of the courtyard at the MACV hotel in Phan Thiet. And, had the only key. On the day I left for a two day trip to Cam Rahn Bay, the compressor went out…and no refrigeration. When I got back the interior walls of the container were crawling with maggots. Guess what was in those lobsters 😦 The smell was bad the Vietnamese could not go in without upchucking. So, I went in with a hose washed it out and burned the washed out residue with diesel fuel. Guys could not go into the courtyard for several hours. The fish sauce vapors would have been a pleasant alternative.

                Milo, out

          • John:

            Hey: This is Dave Day … Cpt Day from Tuy Phong Nov 68-March 69 before moving to Province Hqs in Phan Tiet. Hope you are doing well these days, Our OIC was Major Daniel Davidson (Inf). I remember hearing on the radio the night you were wounded and medevaced. Again, I hope you are doing well.

            Some of the fellows above were asking about Lt. Ormond, who I recall from my conversations with him was a part of the Phoenix program. Also I remember our “Cook,” (using the term loosely!) fixed us pancakes EVERY morning. I recall his name being Yoi Yoi (Sp).

            I was @ Province Hqs no more than 4-6 weeks when Tuy Phong was overrun and SFC Motes, who was on a one night overstay for a MEDCAP was killed.

            Need to run. Stay in touch.

            Dave Day

            • Great hearing from you Captain! After getting medically retired, I got a BS and MA and spent 20 years in law enforcement doing SWAT and tactical diving, even teaching both and sniper training . Retired in 1997 and now am a Adult Protective Investigator for the State of Florida. My wife and I have a horse ranch outside of Gainesville.
              You surprised me with the news about our little home, wow!
              How is your life going? I’ve often wondered how you are doing.

            • DDDay how the hell are you….on my way to leave, sitting in the Hotel Bar you were amazed that SFC King and SSG Hanh were not ambushed on the road to Binh Tanh village. SFC Motes was killed and SFC King and SSG Hanh WIA and sent Japan/ US….. Rome Plows did their magic fifty meters on each side. The A Troop of the newly arrived US Army unit tracked down the VC responsible. ….. great to get in touch….Auburn War Eagles

              • DDDay my Email is ormond.dennis@gmail. com…..and I have a Facebook account under that name (live in Cincinnati)….. I have searched for you many times, but apparently you’re in cognito. Do you live in South Carolina? I sent a letter to an address showing a DDDay, but no answer. Great to know you’re well 50 years later

              • Hey Dennis:

                If I had scrolled down further I would have seen your earlier comments here. Wasn’t SFC Motes on a one night stay @ Tuy Phong for the purpose of conducting a MEDCAP the following morning when the team was ambushed outside Binh Tanh village?

                Also, during your time in Phan Thiet, do you recall either SFC Bryson and/or SSG Dean? Those were two fine NCO’s who seemed to just anticipate what needed to be done next and took care of it. Great to work with.

                Hate to inform you of this, but your “War Eagles” are going DOWN when you come into DAWG country in the next few weeks!

                Send me an e-mail at so we can begin to catch up over the past 50 years.

  33. Monica Huband Cook, hi just to let you know your father was a good man. He had a lot of heart and during that time that was a hard thing to find in anyone. I really admired him & will never forget him. I believe I have an old picture of him and would like to give it to you as he was your dad after all.
    My email is

  34. Jim, were you in Phan Thiet or Song Mao? We had a CA Team in Phan Thiet also; you’d remember Lt. Caruso if you’d met him.

    Yes, I’m sure I met Carl Gorder on trips through Phan Thiet and I have visited his web page. David Gunn from 41st CA goes back there frequently, usually backpacking alone, but this last time he took some friends. From what I see on Facebook from friends in VN and what David Gunn shares with teammates, I would believe the changes–but then it’s been 50 years. We should have gone in there with Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, and WalMart in the first place so they’d never be interested in Communism.

    The reunion was mostly officers and they already know each other; few enlisted men and no one from my team although I know the medic is in Oakland and the mechanic is in Tacoma. Many teammates are long gone by now.

    I have photos of some Phan Thiet people, but I think they were on the CA Team. I have many photos on a DVD that I can copy and send, there is a 41st Civil Affairs Facebook page you could follow. I’m not sure how to go about linking up and sending objects. I suppose addresses on this site are not secure. My email is: drop me an email and we’ll exchange mailing addresses and photos.

  35. Hey Tom…you are better with the computer…see if you can find Francis Bauer…be nice to find him…I think I told you he was in my OCS Class at Benning…also was from New Castle PA which is across the Ohio State line near Youngstown where I’m from…Good luck

  36. Tom, none of those names are familiar to me but interested in the pictures . Maybe the reunion
    Sounds interesting though. Did you by any chance know Carl Gorder? He has a good website
    Called ” Vietnam once” I have some pictures posted on there. Have been back there many times
    Since the end of the war , you wouldn’t believe how much it’s changed.
    I didn’t really know anyone from the 41st only knew personnel from adv team 37

  37. Jim, the 41st Civil Affairs is having their annual reunion next year in the San Francisco-Chico area. Mike Albert lives in Oakland near the Fruitvale BART exit and still works at the Post Office. Lee Livingston, David Gunn, and a few others from 41st CA live in the area also. I have Song Mao and Phan Thiet photos to share if you are interested.

  38. Tom ,thanks for the information and also reminding me I’m a lot older now. At that time I was 18 years old
    Now pushing 70 . Doc was older perhaps 35 or 40. He was a good person that cared about what he had
    To do. I was with him constantly but never got to know his first name.
    Have to face the fact he’s more than likely gone by now. Didn’t think it was that long ago , the time
    Has gone by so fast I can’t believe it. You mentioned that you saw a medic friend of yours in Oakland
    I don’t live too far from there . I live in Lathrop ca. About a 45 minute drive from there.
    Again thanks for the info

    • The 41st Civil Affairs Company is having their 6th or 7th annual reunion near San Francisco this summer. You should crash the party! I’d be great to meet. A few other 41st members live in the SF-Oakland area.

  39. I was just wondering if anyone remembers Doc Huband in the team 65 & 66 ? If anyone has his contact info or even just his first name so I can try to look him up on Facebook I would appreciate it. He was one of the only people that earned my respect back then from the team. Haven’t really been Abe to find any one else from that time except one person & we really didn’t know each other when there.
    If Doc is still alive would really like to see him again

    • Good news, no Huband is listed on The Wall. I located an article about Sgt. Dick Huband posted in several newspapers; The Eugene Register-Guard dated Sunday April 3, 1966, The Daily Telegram from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and The Bridgeport Post from Bridgeport, Connecticut,The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio, and more. See attached link. The Eugene article mentions his wife and children in Richmond, Virginia. The article also mentions he worked as a medical aide for Lyndon B. Johnson, and requested the Lakeside (Richmond) Lions’ Club for donations; an Albert L. Huband, Jr. is listed in their archives, maybe a relative. Doc probably was a member of the LIons’ Cl

      Also here is a Richmond woman who must be his mother passed away. Richard V. Huband is listed as a son, his (younger) brother was Albert L. Huband Jr., a member of the Lions’ Club mentioned ab

      Died at a local hospital Saturday, December 20, 1969, Mrs. Susie Mae William Huband of 6655 Walmsly Blvd. She is survived by her husband, Arthur Lee Huband, Sr.; five sons, Richard V., Arthur L., Jr., Sonny L., Max, and Billie G.; five daughters, Mrs. Ruth E. Moore, Mrs. Grace L. House, Mrs. Mary F. Lindsey, Mrs. Sue M. Newton, Mrs. Brenda J. Renshaw; one sister, Mrs. Lillian Wyatt; 27 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of Richmond.

      Funeral service will be from the Church of God, 6517 Walmsley Blvd., Tuesday, December 23, 11 a.m. Interment at Maury Cemetery. Remains are at L.T. Christian Funeral Home, Blvd. and Patterson.

      TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 1969

      This summer, I finally found and visited my medic buddy from Song Mao in Oakland, California. Hope you find Doc or his relatives; if he was 45 in 1966, he is probably about 95 these days..

      Tom Hyde
      41st Civil Affairs Team 4
      Song Mao, Binh Thuan RVN

    • James, I found this on Facebook about an incident involving MSgt. ‘Doc’ Richard V. Huband after he left Vietnam and was reassigned to Fort Greely, Alaska.

      The Army has issued four communiques concerning VX Lake. There are some significant discrepancies in these four accounts. Careful analysis reveals something of the manner in which the Army’s cumbersome bureaucracy manages to cloud critical questions. (Because information about this incident is not readily available to the public, all four statements are included in Appendix C, pp. 148-163).

      In the June 5, 1970 “news scoop” release, the Army’s legislative liaison hastened to assure Congress that “during the entire operation no lethal chemical agent was released into the atmosphere, and no personnel were exposed to the agents.” This information contradicted firsthand accounts of possible nerve gas exposure I had come across while investigating rumors about the lake. In response to my specific questions about a possible nerve gas exposure treated at the Fort Greely dispensary, the Army’s Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM) which is responsible for the Arctic Test Center at Fort Greely, gave me a report on one leaking nerve gas weapon and two possible exposures to nerve gas that occurred during the operation.

      The letter to which the TECOM report was attached was dated July 10, 1970. According to this report, Master Sgt. Richard V. Huband was assisting two other soldiers in removing a 105-mm shell containing nerve agent from the lake in July, 1969. The round was observed to be leaking and Sergeant Huband immediately put it back into the mud. Soon he developed a runny nose and a headache. As these are symptoms of nerve gas exposure, the report explained, Huband immediately injected himself with atropine, an antidote for nerve gas carried by all men working with the lethal agent. No formal report of the incident was made, but a blood sample check for cholinesterase was taken and processed at the Arctic Test Center laboratory. Results of the test showed a low cholinesterase level, indicating possible exposure. The day after the incident, the TECOM report stated, Huband showed no ill effects. [The second possible exposure mentioned in the report was a civilian chemist from Dugway, who was assisting in the project and who was treated as a possible exposure case in September 1969. He was held for twenty-four hour observation, but blood samples indicated no exposure.

      Physicians later decided that he had probably suffered simple heat prostration while wearing a heavy protective suit and gas mask. The report did not identify the circumstances in which the Dugway chemist was stricken.] The account of the leaking weapon handled by Sergeant Huband contradicted the Army’s June 5 assurances to Congress that the draining was carried out without leakage of gas or exposure of personnel. Which Army account was accurate? After a lengthy delay, on December 21, 1970 Col. Philo A. Hutcheson, Army legislative liaison, sent Senator Gravel what he termed a “final reply” to Gravel’s repeated inquiries about VX Lake. This account, based on TECOM’s investigation, substantiated the Army’s initial representation of the mishap. There was no reference to a leaking rocket or to possible exposure victims. But three months later the Army flip-flopped again and confirmed for Congress the information TECOM had provided me the preceding summer. This was done in a confidential letter sent in March 1971 to Democratic Senator Thomas J. McIntyre of New Hampshire, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Research and Development subcommittee, who had followed up Gravel’s lead and addressed further questions to the Army about VX Lake. The information was subsequently declassified and a post-final report sent to Senator Gravel July 2, 1971.

    • Hi there! My name is Monika Huband Cook. My dad was Richard V Huband. Your statement regarding my father brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your kind words. Dad passed away in 2003 but not without a fight . So glad to hear from someone who knew him. I hope you are well.

    • Hi James,

      I was there in 65~66 and I well remember Doc Hubbard. Like you I cannot remember his first name.
      Do you also recall SSgt. Sizemore or that goofy Arkansas cook?

      • George,
        I remember doc Huband well , he was one hell of a good person ! I spent a lot of time with him going out to the villages. I did contact his daughter & she informed me that he died of cancer in 1982. I think the year is correct.
        I do think your last name is in my memory,didn’t we go on R&R together in Saigon? I’m pretty sure it was you I roomed with in Saigon back then. I was security back then . Sgt. Sizemore was pretty crazy he was fun to talk to .
        I posted a unit photo on Carl Gorders web site ( Vietnam once) plus some Ariel photos .

        I’m going back to Phanthiet for 3 weeks on February 11 th , haven’t been back there for two years now.
        I have a house about 12 kilometers from the old hotel in Muine. If your interested my email is

        • Hi Jim,

          Been trying to send you an email, but always get interrupted and wind up starting all over and the cycle repeats itself ad infinitum. I will get one off soon. By now you have completed your revisit so I hope to get the latest. at right, we did do Saigon. Found the group photo on Gordons website. They spelled my name wrong, but it is me. Top left.

          My email is

          • Does anyone know if Phan Thiet as it is today still have that awful smell?…asking for a friend…

            Sent from my iPhone


            • How could it not? James Ratzlaff just returned from Phan Thiet where he and his wife own property and sent me photos. I scanned them and sent copies to you at your ares*****@******.net address (hid some characters for privacy; I hope you received them OK. If not, you may want to check your Junk folder for mail from me as From the river west to the Mu Ne area and north is going to be a mega resort and condos in 2018, supposedly started in 2016. The MACV hotel has a high-rise in its place. Look at the photos!

            • Still smells the same , especially strong on a hot day. But you must know that Nuoc mam is a favorite
              sauce in Vietnam. In fact Phanthiet is famous for it.

              • I have bottle on my bar at home… bought it at World Market along with a bottle of VN beer… neither one will ever be opened…

                • It’s too bad you won’t open it as if used properly the fish sauce is excellent. The beer is good also. I’m favorite is a cold beer Saigon on a warm day. The 333 isn’t as good.. remember back in the 60’s the
                  beer to drink was 33.

              • When I complained about the smelll…which was often…the ‘locals’ always reminded me that Phan Thiet was the Nuoc Mum capital of the world…

  40. I had a high school friend who was KIA with C/2/7 Cav in Oct 66. His name was Robert Pitt and the fort was named for him. I returned to the site in 2015 and placed a memorial at the site of the old fort. It is owned by a Viet family who are police officers there. They graciously allowed us to do the service there and photograph the area. I have photos of the area and the old cart path off the main road running north out of Phan Thiet. I was assigned to Team 2 May of 67 to Apr 68.

    • Hmmmm. I was with Adv Tm 37 assigned to 1/44 Inf (ARVN) from Jul 66 to Oct 67. We (1/44) were on Ft Pitt most of the time I was there – and seems to me the place was named Ft Pitt before I arrived in Jul 66. We (1//44) did eventually relocate to Song Mao about 3/4 way through my tour.

  41. Maj Tyler’s went by Skip. He came through CGSC in about 72. I was assigned to the college as an instructor and later on the staff. I lost track of him after that. I was the District Sr Advisor at Song Mao, replacing Maj Pasco two days after he was captured and killed. Cpt Bridges was my assistant. Later Cpt Taylor replaced him. When I moved to Providence hq in late 68 Maj Williams became DSA. I later saw him at CGSC. I then became Prov Sr Advisor, left in summer of 69. Found my old note book a few days ago and did not want to open it, maybe someday. Enjoy the post on web pages. Always wonder what happen to Cookie and Maj Vaughn at Phan Ly Cham. They both had Junks packed and ready to go top sea if necessary. My bother -in-law has been back several times and said the beaches in that area now have luxury hotel and the MACV compound in Song Mao is a tour stop for tourist. I would like to go back some day but have CLL (bone marrow) cancer in beginning stated and cannot travel.

    • Ron, I don’t know how I remembered…I thick he and I and others got drunk in the bar upstairs one night while he went on about the paradise that was Texas. Next thing he was gone…big guy.

  42. Hello ‘Link’ Caruso..Rick Olson here. I recall Ed Pennington. Mid-day when we got word. We held a small memorial for him in the little courtyard/movie/snack bar area between the hotel and the tennis court. A pair of boots [his ?] on a table up front. I think he was a ftball player back in Tx. Short and sweet…then back to work.
    I’m still trying to find your photos on facebook. I’m not too good on the newer tech stuff. I’ll keep trying.

    • BTW, Does anyone know why his VN Wall obit reads Team 47, instead of Team 37? I remembered him, but couldn’t recall his name for years, until I starting this link about 6-7 years ago.

  43. You can still show your son but the city has changed so much you wouldn’t recognize it. Sure some places haven’t changed that much but if you haven’t been there for a long time will be hard .
    Would still be a good experience for him and you. Should try it , who knows you may bump into me and I could show you atound

    • Jim R: Rick Olson. Thanks for the quick observations. You can be sure that should I ever return, I’d gratefully ask that you to indulge this old man in his curiosity, your presence a great boon to me.
      The Catholic Church down the road to the airfield ? I spoke a bit of French and taught English to three or four nuns for a time. They had a school and orphanage. The whole bunch had moved south in ’54 after the split. They were terrified of the commy. The little nuns were eagerness itself to learn English.
      English instruction, taught in French in Phan Thiet, So. VN. C’est la guerre, C’est la vie.

  44. I left the hotel in July 69…. When available I played basketball every night …Ed ( Edward ) Pennington was a CPT that played and was killed in August 69… You can find his bio on the Wall websight… He was from TX… I have a rubbing of his name from the Wall…

    • I can now remember Cpt Pennington’s name, after all these years, thank G-d. I didn’t speak of people I knew and worked and associated with in Nam during the time I was there, Sep – Dec 68 Dong Ba Thin, Jan 69 to Apr 70, LZ Betty and MACV Tm 37, comm ctr. He loved playing basketball with all of us in the courtyard, really friendly, never pushed his rank around. He went out on a road clearing mission one day, I heard they came upon an overturned bus, he caught the first round of mortar fire. I remember the ceremony in the area where the movie screen was hitched up. Really sad. Thanks Ronald Caruso, for reminding me of him, for I could not remember his name to save my soul. There was another fella, a Buck Sgt from TM 37, whose name I also can’t remember. He worked as an ruff puff advisor in one of the nearby hamlets helping them establish defenses and civil affairs services. He, along with his team members were ambushed on a small convoy headed back to Tm 37. Their Vietnamese flank guards ran away, dropped their weapons and left them unprotected and overwhelmed. My friend died, and I don’t remember what happened to the others. I attended a small ceremony at the movie area, too, for him and his team. That one really hit me, b/c we’d become good friends and I was supposed to go join him for a while at his outpost if he had arrived back at Tm 37. I cannot remember his name, or the exact time frame he died. They were both brave men, and friends.

  45. Rick, I’m Jim Ratzlaff was there July 65. – August 66 the hotel is no longer there was taken down about 3 years ago and replaced by a of last year the airstrip (Lz Betty) was still there but over grown. Soon will be housing though its prime real estate so the Vietnamese will have to relocate the graveyard.
    Have been looking for others from my time there but with no success. Have only contacted one other person from then.
    I hope when I go again this coming new year the airstrip is still there . It’s a quiet place to do & collect your thoughts.

    • Jim,
      Rick Olson, 68/69. Thanks for the update of the MACV hotel in Phan Thiet. I spent most of my time in that building and had hoped to one day show my son. Now only the photographs. Mr. Nhung and all the folks who worked for us ? I thought I had almost a pang of regret the day I left, believe it or not. I’m afraid not long from now, if not already, that whole thing will be a footnote in some kid’s history book.

      • Jim, at that time, did you know Donald Rabbit, sergeant, who often drove from MACV hotel to airport; he returned to the USA about the end of 1969. How to find him?

        • Hi Khue

          Don Rabbit (1967-68 &1969) I was in the 41 CA team 4 at Phan Thiet and later in MACV team 37 at Thien Giao. I have retired from being Asst. Director of Personnel Chicago Police Dept. and now live in Falls Church,VA. Will soon be 78 yrs old,but still running!
          Went back to Thien Giao and Phan Thiet in 2002.
          E-mail me

    • A friend and I were walking alongside the graveyard on our way back into LZ Betty, and a mortar round fell right next to the outside of a gravemound right next to the road. The explosion blew both of us up into the air, but since it fell fell on the other side of the grave, all we got was the concussion and a lot dirt and mud. The MPs at the LZ gate saw us and rushed up to the explosion, we came to, and were taken to the 101st medics. I was really shaken up, had ringing in my ears for a couple of weeks, but otherwise, ok. I still think He was alongside me in Nam all the time!

  46. Ray, it sounds like you are describing Song Mao! Our .50 cal was atop the old commo bunker located at the south west end of the compound between the MACV hooch containing rooms, the bar, and tennis court and the building containing the mess hall. Who could forget Whiskey Mountain the only RT awake in the middle of the night. Whiskey would play music to help the other RTs stay awake. Mushy Couple, the two naval gunships standing offshore would deliver accurate and deadly rounds when things got tough. Bravo November was the prefix for our coordinates. Often we’d hunker down and give the gunships our own BN4996 coordinates and sort it out in the morning.

    RT at Song Mao was Mike(?) Putkowski from NY. Then a commo van moved in next to the mess hall with two RTs and advanced radio equipment. Two guys I seem to vaguely remember; one was Ray(?) from Ottumwa or Oskaloosa, Iowa. We used to sneak into Charlie country for a swim at the Phan Ri Cua beach–maybe you’d recognize those in the photos.

    Sp5 Thomas Hyde, Interpreter
    41st Civil Affairs Team 4, Song Mao

    • No, we were at the hotel in downtown Phan Thiet. I also spent a few duty nights working commo at the governor’s palace across the river, close to the docks. At times we also worked at the LZ Betty. We used to go help on civil affairs missions into the villages around the city, too. Provided security for those missions, and also the fellas doing cable work between the province mission, the governor’s palace, and LZ Betty!

      • at the hotel in 70-71…worked in the little com center there, and later in rat rig…was also sniped at going through that grave yard one day headed back from Lz Betty…only went out to whiskey mountain one time…and that was enough…

      • Hi Ray,

        I think you were there after I left. However, did you work that little comms room shared by the Air Force? I spent a lot of time there.

      • Good to hear from you Dennis. I have photos of Song Mao and Phan Thiet to share. My email is Would like to hear from you again. Where do you live now? Our 41st Civil Affairs Team may be having another reunion in San Francisco area this summer. Went there last year to meet with recently discovered medic, team member from Song Mao, and best friend Mike Albert last summer after 46 years.

  47. Was the sergeant that went nuts at the Song Mao MACV? I only been there less than a month. In the middle of the night came a banging on our hooch door. Sitting closest to the door, I opened it to have a M3 greasegun shoved into my face and heard the bolt slam. I grabbed the barrel, sidestepped, and punched the visitor in the face. Still holding the barrel, I handed it to our newly arrived Lt. Francis Bauer figuring out since he was Infantry, he’d know how to unload it. I had only seen them in the movies up until that point.

    Bauer turned pale. Seems it had jammed the thickness of a nickel from killing me and spraying a burst of .45s into the LT sitting just behind me. We found I’d cold cocked a drunk MACV sergeant, E7 or E8. We called his buddies to take him home and secure his weapons. Still shaking Bauer and I sat down to consider how close we’d come. Ten minutes later, AK fire broke out in the center of the compound. Our hooch was taking hits so Bauer and I scrambled for cover; the rest of the team was at the MACV bar or sleeping.

    I took a defensive position behind our door barricade with my M-14 and waited for my eyes to adjust to the dark. It was the sergeant again, cursing and shooting at the buildings or anything that moved. I aimed at his knee, an easy 50 foot distance target and considered my next move. Fortunately, the sergeant passed out. This time, my 41st Civil Affairs Team took charge strapping him into his bunk and confiscating all weapons in his room.

    The next morning, MACV airlifted him out never to return. Seems he had family problems and his drinking problem didn’t help. MACV and MATS were pissed we did not return their weapons. I kept the AK-47, AK-50, and an M2 folding-stock .30 caliber carbine. That M-3 Bauer carried throughout his tour and it never jammed although he fired it frequently.

    • That might have been the same top Sgt that also went nuts at the Tm 37 main entrance. He came up to the guard on duty and cold cocked him with a handgun. He then took the machine gun and ordered everyone close by to stand at attention in front of the gate (I was one of them), and held us at bay, training the machine gun at us, threatening to shoot anyone that moved. One of the MACV officers came over as a sort of negotiator, and after much talk, the top Sgt finally gave up. He was stinking drunk and wild minded! He was sent to a hospital somewhere, for treatment, and finally sent home. He was apparently months from retiring, so was allowed to retain his rank, as we were told. He had been brought in from the field, where we were told he had apparently assaulted his men first.

  48. Sorry ,I was gone long before that time. But rest assured you can be proud of him. Sorry for your loss

    • Dave,

      Donald Prater is listed on The Wall. In the address bar just type in The Wall and select the Vietnam Wall page.

      You will note on the additional comments page there is his buddy from Tennessee, Lester Ashby’s name and email address. I don’t know if it is a good address, but the name should always be a place to start.

      Binh Thuan is a large province, Team 37 was at Phan Thiet and Team 41 (or 42, I think) was at Song Mao. So, when MACV Binh Thuan is listed, it could be anywhere there or in between. I left Song Mao in mid 1969 just before the new firebase was constructed and all hell broke loose so I probably did not meet Donald. Lester although, seems to be very knowledgeable about Donald by the specific information he gives. I have some photos of the new firebase at Song Mao; email me if you are interested.

      ————–From The Wall——————
      Lester D. Ashby
      war buddy
      On the 4th of July, 1970 In BINH THUAN, SOUTH VIETNAM, we were attacked in our small fire support base by hostile forces of the north vietnam army and their vc support force, my BEST friend DONALD HAROLD PRATER was mortally wounded, and died later when he was on route on a MED VAC flight to a medical hospital….they list him as passing on the 5th but he was hurt on the 4th. He paid the ultimate price for our freedom…He was a cool guy from EL CERRITO, CA, who helped a country boy from TN. settle his nerves about being a ‘newbee’ in the Infantry in Vietnam, he started there in 69′ and knew his way around there by the time I got there, he had been there over 6 months before he was 20 yrs old..I try not to be sad on our Independence day, but sometime it makes us all sad for the ones we lost but they were not lost in vain, the highest honor you can pay is to give your life for your fellow man, all are in the hands of GOD now, bless them and their family and thank you for giving your all!
      Jul 4, 2013
      Good luck finding more information, and perhaps photos from Lester.

      Thomas Hyde, Sp5 Translator/Interpreter
      41st Civil Affairs Team 4
      Song Mao, Binh Thuan, RVN

      • I was the Maintenance Advisor to the ARVN DF site at Song Mao from 66-69. We (S-3 Advisory 509th Radio Research Gp.) Had one site advisor that lived with the advisory team. I made monthly and emergency maintenance trips via Wallaby Airlines or Air America. If I my memory does not fail me the team was 37B. I still miss cookies meals.
        SFC Amos Hicks Jr. (Ret.)

        Date: Wed, 4 May 2016 13:01:14 +0000

        • I remember you, but I did not know many MACV guys that well. I remember the radio operator was Sp4 Putkowski and who could forget Cookie’s meals. I never got tired of the reconstituted split pea soup and spam sandwiches we had every day for lunch. The Saturday steaks were a treat. Everyone got 2 sirloin or ribeye steaks grilled on the barbeque just in front of the mess hall. Choppers from all over would land at our helipad so they could pay off-post rations charge for Cookie’s steaks.

          I stole Cookie’s 5-gallon tin of pepper and made him promise he would not encrust every steak with pepper though. Once I took two large tins of Spam to Phan Ri Cua and traded them with the shrimp fishermen for prawns. Cookie cooked prawns for dinner and they were fabulous–2 would fill a dinner plate.

  49. I was security, spent most of my time out with Doc. Huband & out with the junk fleet when they went on night patrol . That I really liked. It’s funny but didn’t really get to know many people that stayed in your building. I was in the one on the corner & the only time I ever went there was to eat or be on guard duty in the sandbag bunker you mentioned.
    Don’t you think it’s kind of weird that we are speaking to others we served with that long ago. I thought
    Dahlman got killed but wasn’t really sure .

  50. OK you were there, but after me. As in the case of another person I’ve talked to things & faces have
    Changed. He was there prior to me. If you want to see the people in the team before you arrived
    Check our a website ( Vietnam once by Carl gorder ) has a lot of info plus some pictures I sent to
    I still live with the time back there ,can deal with it now. Have been back many times & now own
    A house near the beach at Muine appx. 18 kilometers from Phanthiet . You would be amazed how much
    It’s changed since we were there.
    Met my wife there after we lifted the travel restrictions to Vietnam around 1988. Since then life has
    Been a real adventure.
    I,m. Glad you made it back safely & wish you the best. We both have Phanthiet in common so if
    There’s anything you want to know about it now just ask

    • James, although you began your tour at #37 prior to me, it seems that your tour overlapped my arrival by a couple of months. What was your assignment?
      Also, Dalman was still the Team CO at time of my arrival, and don’t recall him as being killed during my tour.

  51. Are you sure you were in advisory team 37? I don’t recall any of those names & we
    Didn’t have a cook to my knowledge except for a Vietnamese named tommy.
    My CO name was Col. Dalman. & second in command was Maj. Miller
    I think Dalman was killed right after I left

    • James, believe me, although I’ m old now my memory is intact. By the way, I now recall that the name of the Sargeant in charge of Security was Bains and not Byrnes. The MACV cook, Sgt.Kelly was a tall slender Black gentleman who probably was in his mid-40′. Our source of clean water was a huge rubber “bladder” that was on the roof of the main compound. I also have photos taken in front of the main compound located mid-block, we had a lot of old oil barrels (painted beige) placed along the entire block. Sometimes during the Monsoon season we walk on the barrels to keep our fatigues from getting wet. In front of the main compound was a guard tower that allowed for better vision of street in both directions. There was an open air fruit/vegetable market approximately one block from compound. #2 that located at the corner. Early morning you would always hear a local man call out ” mai doi” as he peddled the Vietnamese bread. I could go on and on, however, I would think you’re now saying I guess he was at #37. Take care.

      • That was French bread. Here in El Paso, Texas that bread style is called ‘pan frances, bolillo {pronounced bo- li-yo}, or birote! In Nam i had to open it, pull out the bugs, but it made great sandwich bread! And cheap, too! Man, memories of Team 37, not just the attacks, but the getting to know another culture, although most of those people were quite poor! Always had to be careful, too!

    • I was typing too fast regarding walking on the barrels. Monsoon rains left the street flooded, and therefore walked the barrels to keep our boots and bottom of fatigues from getting soaked due to the poor drainage.

  52. I left I’m August of 66. I don’t remember any of those names you listed. I wish I would have extended
    My tour then wouldn’t have been assigned to Ft. Polk

    • Although you subsequently were assigned to Ft. Polk, I’m certain your decision not to extend was the right decision. By the way, I also was assigned to Ft. Polk following my tour. Upon arrival at Polk there wasn’t a real “need” for us, and we were given duties of chopping down trees for about two weeks. Following that “duty” I was provided a manual ( about half the size of a city telephone directory), given one week to familiarize myself with the various mines (M1/A1 anti-tank mines, Claymore mine, etc) and subsequently was placed with the AIT Committee for providing instructions to those preparing for service in Vietnam Nam. I did that for three months before receiving a 90-day drop for attending college ( the drop would coincide with start of enrollment) . I failed to mention names of a couple others were also at MACV 37; a rather tall Black guy with a shaved head named Hawkins, the MACV Cook who I believe was named Kelly, and a comical short white Sargeant named Ciccolo, also a rather heavy Italian guy in communications (whose name escapes me as well as the Black Sargeant who was in charge of communications when I came there in June.

      • Hey Donald, My name is Bob Pearson…I was AirForce Forward Air Control radio operator. I roomed with Sgt Ciccolo on the 1st floor; Aug ’65 to Aug ’66.

        • Hey Bob, I left Team # 37 in June 1965 shortly before you got there do you remember any of the members names that where there when you arrived? I think that one of the guys in the Communications room name was Bob also, I have a photo of him, but I don’t remember his last name. I served 3 1/2 tours there and so I have forgotten many names of friends that I had there. Thank you for reminding me of Phan Thiet. I will never forget my time there as an Advisor to the Rough/Puffs.

        • I was a Pack Rat (USAF) radio operator during those years at MACV ADVTM 37 in Phan Thiet. I remember Captain Ballou, Zak thr Fac, Mr Newman USA pilot, and your name seems to ring bell for me. I did go tdy up north when the 101st Airborne landed in country for a couple of months.

      • Just when I arrived at Tm 37, we had a tall black Sargent in charge of our comm center. He had been there about 4 tours, and was due to permanently DEROS. He went AWOL instead, and I was there for about 15 months, and I never heard he came back or was found. I always wondered about him. He fell in with some Vietnamese woman, and I guess he couldn’t take her back home with him.

  53. Glad to know that there still some of us who survived our “tour” of Viet Nam. My name is Donald Bonds, and was assigned to MACV 37 from June 1966-May 1967. Initial assignment was as Security, however, when replacements weren’t timely sent for the communications detail, I was quickly given OJT to begin in that assignment. Among the names I remember were were other PFC’s or Spec 4′, Cleveland Clay, Larry Sweeney, Howard Broom, Harry Scott, Sgt. Bethel, SFC Hall, Major Alfred Cade ( later promoted to Lt. Colonel) Sgt. Byrnes ( in charge of Security), a guy from Los Angeles last named Jones, a guy from Pliladelphia named Holmes, and a mean SOB named Major Thompson. Bethel was killed while out on operations supporting ARVN, and Clay extended his tour several times after having fell in love with a local lady. Again, glad we all survived the madness of those times.

    • I was @ MACV Tm 37, but with Co D, 36th Sig Bn, attached to the Team. I worked in the commo room, by the main entrance, Jan 69 thru Apr 70. I remember a black Sgt (E6 or E7) who went AWOL because of a Vietnamese woman he was crazy about. He was on his 4th tour and had to go back home and couldn’t take the woman with him. By the time I left, he had still not been found!

        • I remember Sgt Earl, lifer, kinda weird! I left Apr 1970 . I also worked at the comm car at the provincial darts grounds! I’ve forgotten so many names, but remember the area well. I also worked at the LZ Betty, too!

          • yeah Sgt Earl was a little out there…when he left, he was followed by everyone else but myself…they brought in a rat-rig and I stayed for the rest of my tour…the place was thinning out, and that made me edgy for sure…thought they would send me back to don ba thin, but they didn’t…was glad to get out of that stinking place…did you know a Sam Ewald…he did three tours there, and was in the decca building?

            • Hey Dave, my last night Apr 70, in Nam was at the new compound for Co D in Dong Ba Thin, we got hit but there were 50s on the corner towers. Next morning I was sent on a patrol to clear and search for bodies and anything else. I found a Viet Cong dead with half his head blown off by a 50 cal round. A few hours later I left for Cam Ranh Bay and my flight home! At 90th Replace,ent at Long Bing, we got hit my first night in country in Sep 68

              • only have contact with one other guy I served with…his name was Sam Ewald…I can’t hardly believe what Phan Thiet looks like now…what a difference 50 yrs makes…also wonder what happened to Sgt Earl…he read me the riot act one night that we thought we were going to be overran, and I didn’t call him on the field phone to inform him…I guess the sirens going off didn’t do the job…

      • Hey Ray I worked the radio rigs under the water tower right next to you, but was before you got there 68-69 glad you made it home ok

      • Ray, I was with the 41st Civil Affairs Team 4 at Song Mao. We were in Villa B, across the compound, north end between MACV’s gate and the grassy helipad from 1968 to 1969. Sgt. Vaughns replaced our team medic, Sp5 Mike Albert. Could the sergeant who went AWOL have been Vaughns? The quiet peaceful mood changed after the Air Cav moved in and turned Song Mao into a firebase in 69-70.

        Dennis Jones visits the VA near me in Iowa City, Iowa and we get together occasionally. I have photos to share and photos shared from others at Song Mao and Phan Thiet circa 1968-1970.

        Sp5 Tom Hyde
        41st Civil Affairs Team 4
        Song Mao, Binh Thuan, RVN

    • I was with Adv Tm 37 from Jul 66 – Sep 67 — but raarely spent a night at the Phan Thiet compound. I and my Sr Advisor were assigned to the 44th Infantry and our “home” was at Ft Pitt. Still, we were required to pay the mama-san fees for housekeeping. But paid for meals individually because we almost NEVER ate at the compound. Adv Tm 37 bird-dogged our mail to us by L-19 and dropped to us at Ft Pitt about once a week. The rest of the time we were on S&D missions throughout the area – and even spent a couple of weeks in the Song Mao and Dai Quay area. About the only guy I remember from the MACV Compound was named Crews and he was with the ATC group serving the airfield – a really good guy.

  54. I left country April 72 shortly after being shot up in an LZ west of Phan Thiet. I was with the 192ahc before the 201st. Happy Vietnam Veterans Day

  55. The last 43 years have been a ride, I got 16000 hours in helicopters and retired in 2012 after a motorcycle accident. I would like to talk sometime

  56. I would like any one that was stationed in Phan Thiet from May 64 to Jun 65 to contact me at One of the Senior Advisors was Major Vernon B. Lewis Jr (retired as a LT Gen). Thank you kindly Lee Hatfield

  57. This may be a long shot but maybe you gentleman can help. I’m trying to chase down some people who new my uncle, Jeffery Lynn Davis SPC4 (kia April 16th 1970). My uncle was a cannon crewmember with the “1st Field Force”, he was 19 at the time of his death in Binh Thuan. From what I have obtained he was in mortar alley when his platoon came in contact.

    Like my uncle, I followed the foot steps of military service. I was a combat medic in which I served a combat tour in Kirkuk Iraq in 2005 with the 506th ECES Force Protection ISAF. Any information or direction would be helpful.

  58. Does anyone stationed at Song Mao or Ba Loc recall when a POWs (Sgt. Martin–326th Engineers with TF 3-506th) walked into the compound in mid 1968? We (3-506th) spent weeks searching for him. If you any information on him, please contact me.

    Jerry Berry
    3-506th Airborne
    Vietnam 1967-68
    LZ Betty

    • I’ll ask the 41st Civil Affairs medic and the team chief at that time if they know. It must have happened just as I DEROSed.
      Where was the compound he walked into, Song Mao?

  59. Dear Gentlemen
    My name is VAN (born 1946) (Sgt Van) an interpreter in Phan Thiet, MACV 37. 1968- July 1970
    Late 1968 I was assigned to work for Ltc Colin, I was in Phan thiet hotel, my room was on the second floor right on the left of the stairs.
    In March 1969′ Maj Duke, Senior advisor of Ham thuan district assigned me to work for 1lt Micheal A Mallory, S2 advisor then Cpt Halcomb till July 1970 I transferred to MACV 42 Qui Nhon while I was in Phan thiet I went on search missions with many advisors such as Cpt Glick, Cpt Otto, Maj Jackson, Sgt Spencer, RTO SP4 Steve etc…
    I would like very much to communicate with those of you who stationed in Binh Thuan,Ham Thuan district.Here is my contact
    If anyone out there could help to guide me it would be appreciated.

    • Van , I was in advisory team 37 in Phanthiet from July 1965 to August 1966. Perhaps we may have knew each other , was security at that time was always out with doc. Husband in the villages. I remember some names from that time of the Vietnamese security and would really like to find out what ever happened to them.

      • Jim, I was with Team 37 from May 64 to Jun 65, do you remember any of the team members names when you got there. They were expecting something big to happen before the end of the year, did any thing happen? Major Vernon B. Lewis Jr was the Senior Advisor at the time I left. He went on to retire as Lt Gen. I am a retired MSG now retired in 1981.

        • Lee,
          I have a unit picture with names on it ,but most of them arrived the same time in Vietnam as I did.give me a few days and will send you the names I do remember . My contact info is.
          Some names off hand are Doc. Husband ,major Miller,let.col Dahlman do have a long list just send me your email address. Warning though will probably be the ranks and last names

        • Lee,
          I have a unit picture from that time ( with names ) I was there a little later than you were but perhaps
          You will remember some of the faces. Only a few things of any mention happened when I was there
          But don’t remember the dates.
          We were ambushed by a sizable unit about 15 – 20 miles north of Phanthiet on highway 1 at the end of
          The action had 200 vc bodies we counted ( wasn’t a good day for them) as I was always with Doc. I
          Was treating wounded & getting them to our airstrip so they could be airlifted out to Saigon. I still dream about it now. Another time is our airstrip got mortared a lot of damage as hit the fuel tanks.
          You can contact me via e- mail bsa500113w @
          Another source you may get a lot of info from is Vietnam once by Carl gorder you will see
          Some pictures I sent him of phanthiet

    • Van,
      For some reason your name sounds familiar to me, it’s been along time so could be wrong. But
      Anyway I tried your contact info & I can’t get through to your e- mail . If you want my contact info
      Is. Bsa500113w @ . Will try to help you if you wish.

    • The ARVN @ Tm 37 (Jan 69 – Apr 70 my time there) had a half Vietnamese, half Korean Sgt, we used to call “Killer” b/c he could beat the crap out of 10 people at a time, and promptly proved it one night when he was drunk. He drank a lot and hated his squad members. They ganged up on him one night, and he laid them all out, went and drank some more, and went back and beat up on them some more! Haven’t ever seen that again!

  60. 11/13/2015 Harlen Elliott, thank you for your tip on Maj Tyler. Ironically, I became involved with the Adv Tm 37, site by recalling a nick name at a distance of some forty years…”Link” [Ron Caruso, Lt. Civil Affairs]
    Funny..What we remember! My thanks, again.

    • In the early part of 72 I was assigned to the 201 avn co supporting Macv tm 37. I remember going out to the island Long Hai on Sundays for R&R. We would frag fish and have cook outs right on the beach. Anyone else there then?

      • Hey Mike , I was also with the 201 st Aviation company’ from July of 1972 until March 27 , 1973. Phan Thiet and team 37 was were I spent most of my flight time why serving as a door gunner. I was there on January 26 ,1973 when H troop 10 th Air Cav lost Robert Frankes. I have pictures I took at the time. Hope the last 43 years have been good for you. Welcome home !

  61. Harlen Elliott….Many thanks for your acknowledgement. Should I presume that since you knew him in the ’70s, that Maj Tyler made it through? Perhaps you could remember his first name. It would help to locate him via the West Point records. I had the greatest respect for him and would be gratified to salute him personally. In any case, my thanks to you and I extend best wishes. Rick Olson Tm #37..’68-’69.

    • Rick, I lost track of him when he left CGSC. We called him “Skip”, do not remember his first name.Harlen

    • Rick Olson – I don’t recall your name, but then,I didn’t talk about my time in Nam for about 25 years, so I forgot many names and events! I’m sorry I did that

    • Hey Rick:

      This is Dave Day (Cpt Day during my year in VN from Nov 68-Nov 69. I was initially assigned to the Tuy Phong District as the Asst District Advisor (Nov 68-March 69) and then came into the Province HQs from April 69-Nov 69 as the S1/S4 Advisor. Your name sounds so familiar. Is my long term memory (almost 50 years ago next month) just not working up to speed?

      Now to Major Skip Tyler. Skip’s first name was Erwin. Like you, I too had the greatest respect for Major Tyler. I reconnected with Skip a number of years ago. We had several phone conversations and almost daily e-mail exchanges for a number of years. When i no longer continued hearing from Skip by e-mail earlier this summer, I sensed something was wrong. I called his wife and she told me he had passed away in the spring. She also said that their family was trying to get approval from the VA for Skip’s remains to be buried with his father’s grave at West Point. Skip’s dad, also a West Point grad, was killed during WWII and is buried at the West Point Cemetery.

      About a month ago Skip’s wife called and said they had gained approval for Skip to be buried at West Point on Monday, 1 Oct @ 10;00. She and their family invited me to attend the service, which of course I said “Yes!” Needless to say, I am so excited to be attending this farewell for my “Boss” and friend, Major Skip Tyler.

      I chose to work for 53 years until I was almost 76. To this day Major Tyler remains at the top of my short list of all time favorite leaders. So I fully understand your comment about having the greatest respect for him. He was the best. How about giving me your e-mail address and when I see his wife next Monday I’ll let her know you would like to be in touch. I know it would mean a great deal to her. They put together a slide show honoring Skip upon his retirement from teaching and coaching at Hampton Roads Academy. The qualities you and I saw in Major Tyler some 50 years ago, his young students saw in him as well years later. It is vintage Tyler!

      Again, I’m a bit embarrassed Rick because i sense I know you. How bout rattle my memory a bit?


      Dave Day

  62. Does anyone remember a VN national who worked in the Phan Thiet MACV hotel “PX” in 1966 – 67?
    Her name was Nguyen Thi Nai. (She was young, 18 -20). Often wondered what became of her.

    • Like so many that worked or were acquainted with Americans, contacting them can only bring grief to those under the latest regime. I would avoid using their full name in public posts.

      Spec. 5 Translator, 41st Civil Affairs Team 4 Song Mao, Binh Thuan, RVN Tom Hyde (319) 430-8046

      • “I would avoid using their full name in public posts.”

        You would? Thanks for the advice.

        OK, does anyone who served with Team 37 remember a VN national who worked in the Phan Thiet MACV hotel “PX” in 1966 – 67? Her name was “Jane Doe”. (She was young, 18 -20)

        • Any one remember Fred Shaver who ran psychological warfare office where they printed up the chu hoi leaflets? Remember the really pretty secretary he had on the right as you walked through the door? I was married to her and brought her back stateside. I should have listened to all the guys warning me about marrying her. DUH was my middle name.

        • Cap,

          It’s been a long time since we knew people in VN and passions have simmered down since then for most. As a translator I had many friends outside my military role but I’d not mention their real names today solely because their association with Americans might be a stigma even today. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m still cautious.

          I remember when our supply chopper clipped the LZ Betty wire and lost our beer and mail forcing me to go to Phan Thiet on a chopper. One sweet thing in the PX burst out in tears because she did not have the 6-year Scotch I asked for, only in her words “stale 8-year stuff”, I calmed her down and assured her I’d gladly pay a buck extra for the “stale” Scotch.

          • Tom,
            I kind of think you’re wrong about the stigma of associating with the Americans at this day and time. My wife’s father was a vc back then and he and myself both know that the war was over years ago. He doesn’t blame me as he knows I was just following orders from our government. I don’t hold anything against him as he was doing the same. We were both caught in a conflict but it wasn’t our choice.
            We never speak about back then , has not been forgotten but we have forgiven and moved on. The younger generation doesn’t even know about it as they never lived it. True it’s still best to be careful mentioning people’s names but I don’t really think it’s necessary.

            • I agree with Jim. I have been back to Vietnam twice, in 2013 and 2015. We met a man on the first trip who was an translator with the 196LIB and another who was a Kit Carson scout. Both acknowledged that they are discriminated against due to their former association with the us, but they do OK. One has a home in Tam Ky and his family seem well. He even traveled to the US for a 196th reunion last year. Over 60% of the folks in Vietnam are too young to remember the war and those that do have forgiven. We had lunch one day in a restaurant owned by a former NVA near Cu Chi. She was very pleasant and accommodating. All the people were very friendly and seemed genuinely interested in talking with us about their lives and how the US is. I think the government of Vietnam knows who is who, but is more interested in creating commerce than punishing people anymore. That being said, it is still a communist country. We were run off when we tried to visit the former site of Camp Holloway and again at the old airbase at Cam Rahn. Even in Hanoi we were treated with respect and interest. Ed Thacher

            • That is relief to hear the war is fading from memories and people are so forgiving. I’d hoped we’d be remembered for the wells, bridges, and schools we helped build. I was in Germany in 1961-1964 and even after 20 years many Germans hated Americans and vice versa, U.S.military in particular: but then we were the occupying army. Maybe that is why I’m so cautious. Good to know your side of the story Jim.

  63. Steve…Sorry, I cannot remember ‘Hotel 1’, but not to worry..I can’t recall breakfast this am. The bar at the hotel was right next to our mess hall on the top, third floor..french fourth floor]. In an effort to make the place more homey, I sent letters to all the US beer companies I could think of, explaining our situation. In a month, six weeks [?] or so, we received an avalanche of napkins, signs, coasters, etc. I’d bet Charlie is still using that stuff [or selling it].
    The stench you mention was rotting fish, to make nuoc mam, fish sauce, the best produced in VN..number 1. That and the French sewer system. Responsibility for the hotel covered a gamut of services, not the least of which was the sewers. The combination of aromas dwarfed anything I’ve experienced before or since. These are the “war-stories” I tell my son.
    Best of luck…Rick Tm #37, ’68-’69.

    • Thanks Rick, I did my web search using Mat team II-27 ,which was right. When Phant Thiet /Hoa Da turned up only the team 37 I thought it was that I was wrong. But it turns out I remembered right, just no results. Threw me.
      Thank you for taking time. God bless-all the best.
      Steve Absher

    • Rick,
      Thank for taking time to reply. I got it right finally, I was right at first it was Mat team II-27. When search results for Phan Thiet/ Hoa Da only retuned 37 it threw me. Hoa Da was a small outpost. Thanks again for the reply.
      Wish the Best,Blessings

      • Steve Absher,

        I was translator/interpreter for the 41st Civil Affairs Team 4 in Song Mao in 1968-69. I remember Hoa Da; it was just down the road south of Song Mao. Fact is, it was on the only road out of Song Mao, linking up with Highway 1. There was a particularly terrible attack there Wednesday September 18, 1968,

        Were you with the MATS team in Song Mao or Hoa Da? I’ve documented some incidents, but I’d like to compare notes.

    • It took me about a year to get the daily rotten stench from my nose (must have been all in my mind), I swear I felt like my body was saturated with the stench of nuoc mam!

  64. Thanks for the reply, I had the mat team in Hoa Da and got to the hotel a few times. Do you remember Hotel 1? That was my call sign. My first flight in into Phan Thiet I was shocked by the smell, that hit about 200 feet up. Can recall a bar to relax a bit, and a field hospital near by where I was treated for dysentery before rotating.
    Glad you are back and still active.
    Steve Absher

  65. Hello Steve, Rick Olson, MACV Tm #37, Nov ’68 to Nov ’69. I was Cpt who ran the hotel in Phan Thiet, sent supplies to sub-sectors, Song Mao, Hoa Da, Tuy Phong. I know that hotel like the back of my hand, still. Relative calm after Tet, early ’68. Ltc Vincent then Ltc Robinson. Wonder whatever happened to Maj Tyler, exec W Pointer? Tennis anyone?
    Lot of “water under the bridge” since then.
    I eventually returned to Chicago [west ‘burbs].
    Hope all’s well with you and yours, Steve

    • Rick, Maj Tyler was in the CGSC course at Ft Leavenworth in the 70’s while I was stationed at the College. Have not heard any more since then. I was the DSA at Song Mao in 68 and part of 69, I then moved to Prov as the RF/Pf advisor, Maj Tyler and I roomed together.

    • I keep trying to remember the name of a Captain who used to play basketball all the time in the courtyard after patrols. He was one of the most popular officers I ever knew. He bought it on a road clearing patrol as he approached an overturned bus. I remember the service conducted for him (sometime in 69). Anyone remember his name!

    • Well your the guy I need to thank for the supplies for Song Mao 68-69 and yes who can forget Tet 68

    • Hello Rick:

      I was the LT that took over the detachment ,mess, postal, security and supply duties after you left. I was originally assigned to a MAT in Thien Giao district where the DSA was Major Kelly. When I arrived at province headquarters in December 1969 the Province Senior Advisor was a civilian, Dan Leaty. The Assistant Senior Advisor was LTC Robinson.


      • Hello [Lt] Milo….It was great to hear from you. That hotel & room on the 3rd flr [FR-2nd] was home from Nov ’68 to Nov ’69. Was Mr. Nhung still there? Some pic of compound on Carl Gorder site.” Viet nam Once”‘. Currently, I’m 73 yrs old & in the family business in Wheaton, a west suburb of Chicago.
        I’d be happy to hear about you.
        Fondest Wishes

        • December 9, 2017

          Yes, Mr. Nhung was still there. One day the big reefer unit stopped working while I was away for two days. I had put two wastepaper baskets of lobster in the reefer before I left (with the keys) so the inside of the reefer was really ripe by the time I got back. The walls were crawling with maggots. Mr. Nhung said he would clean it (hose it) out, but could not because of the smell. Since I do not have a sense of smell, I cleaned it out and Mr. Nhung was impressed and big time grateful. In fact, he invited me to his family home for dinner one evening.

          Sometime after you left we got a new Assistant Senior Advisor who was infantry. We thought this was a good change until we figured out this guy was a drinker. The junior enlisted referred to him as “road map” because his eyes looked liked major arterials. Worse was that he tried to make decisions in the radio tower when he was under in the influence putting our teams in the field under greater risk.

          I will look for some pictures of the compound on Carl Gorder’s site. Yeah, I am right behind you again, and will turn 73 in a few days.

          More another time,


          • Hello Milo, Thanks for your reply. Your being at that hotel in Phan Thiet effects me at this stage of the game. That whole experience I had filed long ago into a “Rick Olson solitary” “file” in my memory. I’ve tried over these many years to explain to folks that I wasn’t directly involved in the Bang/Bang, Shooting kind of war, that I ran a hotel for our team. Anyway, can I mention a couple of names: Ltc. Robinson, Maj [Skip] Tyler, Lt. Kilcauly [sp?], Capt. Day ? As I recall, these guys should have been there [at the hotel] when you took over in Dec. ’69.
            Your lack of smell elicited a smile. You were thus spared the overwhelming “fragrance” of the local nouc mam mingled with the stench of the Phan Thiet [old French] sanitary situation.
            I would look forward to hearing from you if you are so inclined.
            Thanks again,
            Rick [Olson]

            • I was at the Hotel from July 68 to July 69 …roomed with Kilcauly on the 2nd floor…”played a lot of basketball at night…I was with the 41st CA team …guys on my team I remember… Cook, Privetera, and Wilks…

    • Steve, weren’t Ed Plock and Carl Zender the two guys who worked for COORDS and drove around that run-down two-tone Bronco or International Harvestor van? They had their own armed defensible compound/apartment downtown Song Mao. I always believed they had another undiscussed mission.

      There was also another COORDS guy whose parents were missionaries; he always wore shorts, flip-flops, and a Hawaiian shirt. He looked like Trapper John on M*A*S*H, full head of curly hair and Fu Man Chu mustache. He spoke all languages well. I thought his name was John Llewellyn.

      Soon after arriving Song Mao the 44th’s Colonel Advisor called me over to the radio bunker at the south end of the compound during an attack to translate what was happening over the PRC-25. I could only make out a few words and the Colonel was in the process of giving me an ass-chewing when Llewellyn showed up and informed him that even the best Vietnamese translator would not be able to translate Montangard, continuing effortlessly interpreting what was happening over the radio.

      • Tom, Good memory. Their partner didn’t visit or at least when I was in Hoa Da, may have been out n about. Remember Carl the most, great guy. Finally was able to double check. It was Mat Team II- 27. Lived on Vietnamese food enough I got to like to like the sauce on veggies.
        Thanks for the help, Blessings

        • Steve,
          I don’t really remember which one was Ed or Carl. I thought Carl was short with blond hair. He accompanied our team to the sawmill and roof tile contractors to negotiate contracts, part of COORDS responsibilities. They were rarely seen with guns, but they had plenty of firepower within reach.

          What was your MOS at Hoa Da? I’m still trying to remember if we met. Must have… I’ll bet you met medic Mike Albert of the 41st Civil Affairs team in Song Mao. He was there before I arrived and remained after I left.

          Alongside my CA duties, I taught English a couple of days a week not far from Hoa Da at a Muslim village of Pham Ly Cham, also called Phan Ly Cham. You should remember some Vietnamese in light-colored robes wearing white turbans with red tassels. Those were Champa, indigenous Muslims, a minority in Viet Nam.

          We had some projects at Hoa Da and I have some photos to share. We probably built all the wells in that area. You saw the round meter round by meter high well rings above each of our wells. Interested? Email me at and I’ll return some photos. I’m still scanning photos into digital files, but I have many already.

          An interesting, but very short, book to read is Xuc May by Gary Pool who has many stories of our similar experiences. Gary is one of my students’ uncle.

  66. HI, Steve Absher here, I left Hoa Da in July 69.Call sign Hotel 1. Trying to find anyone from the same time. Dec.68- to July 69.

    • Steve.

      I was translator at the 41st Civil Affairs team in Song Mao during that time. I remember a wild night ride one night after Hoa Da was overrun. I will look up the date. During the attack the MATS team Viet translator turned out to be an infiltrator and tried to throw a satchel charge into their hooch.

      I’m touring Germany but I will send more and pictures whenI return home.

      Sp5 Thomas Hyde
      41st Cvil affairs Team 4
      Song Mao, Binh Thuan Province

      • Tom, Thanks for the reply. I was assigned due to the base being overrun.. My translator was a good man. We took several ground attacks. in and out of the base. We served about 8 months. Left in July, home for man’s first step on the moon. Steve Absher

        • You must have arrived about the time the Engineers showed to rebuild the defenses. What unit were you with? MATS? 41st has a reunion in North Carolina this summer. Last year it was Hot Springs. Did you meet Mike Albert, 41st CA medic at Song Mao? I’m retired living near Iowa City, Iowa.

          • Tom, I was assigned to ll-37 mat team. Our outpost in Hoa Da was an old French site, Now
            live in Guatemala, for 30 years, built a couple schools and have a small ministry. Presently recovering from a stroke. Thank you for the feedback. Steve

        • Steve, I was the DSA at Song Mao when Hoa Da was overrun. I arrived at Song Mao on July 19. I was going to another assignment at a Special Forces unit when Gen Peers saw my name ( I had known him In Germany) and pulled me out of the assignment to go to Song Mao. Got there the day after Major Pasco body was recovered, Capt Bridges was the ADSA and saw the body. He was skinned alive. More details on the advisor group when I have time. I found my note book with some details. The new team moved into Hoa DA on Sep 8 after the eng had constructed their house and bunker. They were overrun Sept 18. Have a lot of details on that also. Nov 13 the DSA and ADSA Cpt Hanniky (SP) hit by bouncing betty mine. Dsa recived leg wound,, They called Song Mao and I and the CA med rushed to their compound, got a MEDVAC, patched them up. Cpt Hanniky was in bad shape. Lost a leg, arm and half of his face. The medic (cannot remember his name) worked on him while I put in the trac so he could get air. Heard from both years later. On Nov 26 our compound was attached by a NVA Bn. Using spookie and our fire power kept them out of thecompound. Killed several in the wire. Sgt Smith was wounded. A lot went on during the next several months. I was replaced by Maj Williams on Feb 26 and I went to Prov as the RF/PF advisor. Departed country in July 69. I remember my jeep was a Japan made jeep the 101 left a M151 at the airfield after an operation and we repainted it and put our numbers on it. We also had a Dodge amb the Ausies took from a Air Force parking lot and brought it to us on the courier flight when they stopped for coffee and pie. We painted it and put a sign on the side “Donated by National Republi of China”. The CA team use it, Mr Richardson the Prov Senior advisor saw it and said “sure look like the one stolen from the AF but was nice of the National Chinese to donate. He knew where it came from. I have more details saved for later.

          • You mentioned the name Capt Bridges above. Out of curiosity was that Theodore or Teddy Bridges who was in 1/502 101st ABN DIV in 1967 through 1968??

    • Steve, I have often thought of continuing the Civil Affairs mission. Now I am retired it seems more of a possibility. I hope you have recovered from your stroke as much as can be expected. No guarantees, but can I help in some way? I was a mechanical engineer, electrician, plumber, and retired as a college professor between VN and now. Wish I spoke Spanish or Portugese.

      • Tom,
        My brother is a retired Parks and Rec. professor. Thanks for the kind thought.
        As soon as I can walk will go t will go Stateside. My home is now N. California.

  67. I was going through some old stuff and came across the name of Ezezeil Wigfall. I was a slick pilot flying support for MACV TM 37 early in ’72 and staying downtown in the hotel. We were ambushed in an LZ near there on St. Patricks day. If anyone wants to contact me I live near Athens, GA and am on Facebook. Mike Boyd

  68. Lt./Mr. Caruso…You’re right! There’s no going back.
    I still can’t get your photos on this Facebook thing. Am I too old or what? And I’ve yet to find my VN pictures as well. I’ll keep trying.
    Regards, Rick

  69. Rick: Ha! Ha! If you, truly want some of that fish sauce (Nuc Mam), I believe that there are places here in the U.S. where you can get it. Offhand I can’t remember the name or address of the company but, I believe in the Boston, MA area there is a place. I Googled it once. Check out Vienamese refugee communities or Vietnamese restaurants. We have a few restaurants in N.H. A refugee community in Manchester, NH. Had a former ARVN Colonel running an Oriental restaurant about a block from my place. He would bring me a Vietnamese soup every time I walked in. Yep! Nuc Mam is alive and well. The smell in Phan Thiet? That stays over there!!!! “Welcome Home, bro!” From a Combat Vets Motorcycle Association member, Spark.

  70. Paul..Try blaming the “total recall” on a overdose of Nouc Mam fumes, like I do. And my son wonders why I have a scencetive nose!! I’d really like to see that old Fr. hotel in Phan Thiet, these days, Maybe get a snoot of nouc mam…for old time sake.
    Best wishes..Rick

  71. Thanks, Rick! That’s OK because I don’t remember the movie “Gigi” playing for a week! I was either on the radio at the TOC or somewhere else in Binh Thuan Province preaching (teaching) the use of the KAK and radio procedures. We were being jammed and our radio transmissions were being monitored by the bad guys! How common was it to hear, “This is Oscar Four last name Oscar” instead of the radio call sign? My job was to break RTOs of that bad habit, as well as, improve the transmission and reception of radios throughout the Province teams. All because, “Charlie was listening!”

    • Do you remember the explosion at the MACV Hotel while movie was playing in the area next to the Medical Office? The fridge had been set up with a booby-trap grenade which went off when the fridge motor kicked in. There were a good number of guys who got shrapnel wounds out of that. We lost the lights out of that until the emergency generators kicked in. When I got back from searching the grounds (out back) for suspects, I went up to the bar to have a drink with the !st SGT. He told me that C.O. would be writing up an award the following morning. Well, the following morning I left for a chopper ride back to Nha Trang. I never heard anymore! Always wanted to contact that 1st SGT or C.O. to find out what came of it. It never happened! Still wonder today!

      • Paul G…Sorry, Paul, I do not recall this incident with the refrigerator. I do recall the evening movies. For a week, we had “Gigi”. What a movie to show GIs! We couldn’t get a new movie as there was stuff going on at the airfield. It got old real quick, that movie.
        Regards..Rick O.

      • My name is Ray Duran (Co D, 36th Sig Bn, MACV Tm 37 & LZ Betty Sep 68 – Apr 70) I was passing by the stairs where the grenade exploded and barely dodged the shrapnel, went to the roof to take position on the bunker up there. We were actually being attacked, I got into a short fire fight with an enemy soldier firing at us from the market behind the hotel. BTW, does anyone the half Korean half Vietnamese SVN Sargent everyone called “Killer?” He taught some of the men his form of karate, and he was really good. Also, does anyone remember that First Sgt from Tm 37 that held everyone hostage with his weapon at the main guard bunker at the entrance? MACV Tm CO brought him in from the field b/c he had a nervous breakdown. BTW, I used to work at the commo room right next to where the grenade exploded.

        • Ray, I was 41st CA Tm 4 Song Mao translator ’68-68. have some pictures of Song Mao and Phan Thiet to share. Also Jim Ratzlaff, MACV 37 returns to visit Phan Thiet soon and would like to contact MACV PT Hotel comrades.

  72. Hi guys, ok to join in here? I was attached to 3 MACV Teams between 10/66 and 10/67. I was one of the many Air Force airman charged with keeping the bird dog’s flying. I spent most of my time in Phan Thiet, Phu Bon, and Phan Rang. In Phan Thiet my “room” was at the head of the stairs on the second landing. At the time they had a BAR hung on the wall there. My most vivid memory was of the road to the air strip by the ocean, passing through the cemetery with all those mounds.
    Ken Gebhardt
    A3C USAF

    • Welcome home Brother… I was in Phan Thiet at the Hotel from July ’68-July ’69…Cival Affairs Team 7…we were attached to MACV Team 37…always good to here from someone who was in Phan Thiet

    • Hey Ken, good to hear from you! You most likely replaced Royce Miller; I was “PackRat” radio operator for the FAC team, and left country Aug of ’66. I have a photo of the entire compound that was sent to me recently…let me know if you’d like a copy! Also some recent photos of the area today! Bob Pearson

    • A friend and I were walking back to the LZ, by the cemetery, when a mortar round landed by the outside of a burial mound and blew us up in the air. That mound saved our lives, kept the shrapnel from hitting us, but I couldn’t hear for weeks, had concussion problems for awhile, but at least we were alive.

  73. Ron,
    Thanks, Romeo Charlie. I did see to your photos. I have lots to scan and add on. Thanks for reminding me–I have slides also.

  74. Tom…you have a great memory…my call sign was Romeo Charlie…I think…again I have photos of LZ Betty on my Facebook page…go to photos then Vietnam album…I have to go to my slides and scan in photos of the ‘hotel’…

    Ronald Caruso

  75. Frank,

    Was your call sign Whiskey or Whiskey Mountain? I recall there was a radio relay outpost that was our lifeline to Phan Thiet. Whiskey would relay radio messages from the MACV compound at Song Mao, the MATS team in Hoa Da, and the firebases in between. Whiskey also coordinated fire support missions with Mushy Couple, the off-shore gun boats and gunships Puff, Spooky, and Shadow from Phan Thiet. I think our radio operator was Mike ‘Ski’ Putkowski from New York. Can’t thank you and guys like you enough for saving our asses and being there around the clock.

    I would like to see pictures of your area and LZ Betty.

    Sp5 Tom ‘Charlie One Zero Hotel’ Hyde
    41st Civil Affairs Team 4 Song Mao

  76. Capt. Rick…my email is …Facebook and Twitter under Ronald Caruso Columbus OH…I got a lot of pics posted on Facebook…Tom Hyde Dan Cook Jimmie G all on Facebook…I left Phan Thiet last week of July ’69

  77. Jenny, I am glad you are making the effort to find out about your dad. I have returned to Vietnam twice in the last 3 years. I went to Phan Thiet to place a memorial for a high school friend of mine who was killed there with the 1st Air Cav in 1966. If you want to email me with info or photos or requests, please don’t hesitate. My email is Ed

  78. Jenny, Charlie company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Air Cav Division was in the Phan Thiet area. I checked their website, but did not see your dads name there. They have a bulletin board on the site where you can leave a message. They also have links to other companies that may be able to help you out. The website is: Good luck. By the way, his return address would have been whatever unit he was assigned to at the time. If he did multiple tours in Vietnam, it is possible he did one with the Cav and another with MACV. Team 37 was in the Phan Thiet area. Ed

    • Thanks so much Ed. I will check this link out. I wanted to thank all of you that have responded here and sent emails with information to help, as I realize this is not the exact intention of your website. But I wanted to say that listening to your accounts has been a privilege, and incredibly fascinating. I wish I had asked my father more questions when I was young but understandably he didn’t like to talk about it. He then died of cancer from agent orange when I was 21, 48 hours after we discovered he was ill. I am now 37 and have 3 boys who never got a chance to meet him and are incredibly interested in his service, I am so proud of them for it. I will continue to search. I found a photo of my father for Ron C. but cant figure out how to attach it here, but the back states that he was ‘across the bay from Cam Ranh’ at that time. On the map this appears to be a ways from Phan Thiet? The other man in the photo with him is a second lieutenant from Korea. I do see a 1st Cav patch on his arm in one of the photos too…although all his letters contain the return address of MACV Team 37. If anyone in the future has any more information, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much again and I wish all of you the very best.

      • My unit hdqtrs was at Dong Ba Thin across the bay from Cam Ranh Bay.From there I was sent to Phan Thiet & LZ Betty, and ended up working at MACV Team 37 in Phan Thiet City!

  79. Thank you for your response Ron. Do you think it’s possible that his letters would contain the MACV team 37 in the return address if he wasn’t a member of the team? Because originally I had thought she was part of the first Calvary, and then I saw his letters. So if first Calvary was station nearby with his letters have gone through differently? Just a thoight in the return address if he wasn’t a member of the team? Because originally I had thought she was part of the first Calvary, and then I saw his letters. So if first Calvery was station nearby with his letters have gone through ?

  80. Mickey Smith … Don’t remember… I was there 7-68 to 7-69… Civil Affairs team 7…we lived in the hotel with MACV #37….maybe send a pic from that time frame…Tom Hyde has a better memory than me…

    Ron Caruso

    • LT Caruso.. Capt Rick Olson, I ran the old hotel..Adv #37 Nov 68-Nov 69 Phan Thiet. Remembering you “Link” Caruso a name I recall and Lt Kilcawley. You always had a smile.

      • CPT Richard Olson. Do you have an e-mail address which I could use to correspond privately? I was with 54th Signal Bn Signal Advisory Team living at the MACV Tm. 37 Hotel back in July-Aug. 1969. Remember the explosion of the fridge by the Medics Room while a movie was in progress? I have a question regarding that night and the next morning.

        • I was with Co D, 36th Sig Bn at MACV Team 37 the night that fridge exploded, and yes, a movie was showing. We were being attacked and I had to run up to the roof where I was in charge of the machine gun on the roof, and shot it out with VC shooting at us from the market just north of the compound. My name is Ray Duran, and we were also attached to 101st ABN at LZ Betty! I had a very good friend assigned toTM 37, but assigned to one of the villages in the boonies. I cannot remember his name for the life of me, and he died during an ambush coming back into town. The ARVN or village security they had, dropped their weapons and abandoned their team. They were killed, 2 or 3 of them. I was to have accompanied him back to his hamlet for a few days, where he and his team were teaching the locals to set up security. Can anyone help?? Now I realize he may have been with 41st Civil Affairs.

  81. Hi there,
    I am looking for information about my dad. He passed away almost 15 years ago before I got a chance to ask him all the questions I wanted to about his experiences in Vietnam. In looking through his papers and what I find is that he was in Vietnam from 1966-1971 or maybe 72. He was located at Phan Tiet with the MACV team 37. His name was Darrell Dean Smith, nickname Mickey. I would love any information anyone has about him or any suggestions of where I could locate additional information. I am in the beginnings of my search and I have a stack of papers, photos, and no one to ask. Thank you so much for any help. God bless.

  82. Thanks for the heads up Ron, I’ll try to contact medic Dan Cook. He or Elmer Pence may have known our medic Mike Albert and help him.

    • Sometime during Spring or Summer of 69, I recall a bird dog coming in for a landing at the airstrip on LZ Betty and a crosswind coming in off the sea flipped the bird dog and it landed on it’s roof wings, sliding for a long way. The pilot just slid out of the plane, but he was okay!! Brave bunch of guys!

  83. I was an RTO in Quang Ngai, Team 2, 67-68. I am heading back to Vietnam 2-1-15 and will be in the Phan Thiet area. I had a friend from radio school by the name of Walt Schaffer. He was near that area, but I have long forgotten what team he was with. He would have been a PFC RTO and was a big guy. If anyone remembers him could you please leave a post? Thanks. Ed Thacher

  84. Hello, Team 37 members. I happen to find your website/guestbook while searching for information on our FACs stationed at LZ BETTY/Phan Thiet. My 3-506th (Airborne), 101st Abn. took over the operations from the 2-7th Cav. (AO Byrd) at Phan Thiet in mid-January 1968, remaining there until late 1969. Then returned in mid-1970 for a short period before reuniting with our parent 101st Div.

    I have very much enjoyed reading the different posts about Phan Thiet, Song Mao and surrounding areas, were we fought many battles and lost a lot of fine troopers. I have written a number of books about our battalion and operation, especially in AO McLain and the southern provinces of II Corps and northern province III Corps where we operated.

    I would like very much to communicate with those of you who stationed in various areas in and around Binh Thuan province, as well as at DaLat, Song Mao, etc. My contact info. in listed on the website–The Stand Alone Battalion.
    Jerry in Montana

  85. Amos,

    The forest north of Song Mao was constantly logged without affect by the locals during the day. By night we used to watch the torchlight parade of VC and NVA supplies and troops; we could expect an attack on Song Mao within a week.

    There was a large lake, now a reservoir/dam in the wooded mountains just north of Song Mao. It has always been home to many animals and plants. There were tigers at one time but the Vietnamese hunted and ate everything ruthlessly to extinction. I did see cobras though and a few monkeys. I wanted to spend two weeks R&R alone exploring the forest, but Shig explained to the 20-year-old how stupid that was. Today they have a website for the forest preserve.

    Tom Hyde

  86. Paul Girard,

    You must have been the radio operator at the end of my tour. Remember Whiskey Mountain, Mushy Couple, and Bravo November? The radio bunker with the 50 cal. atop was at the south end west of the courtyard between the MACV building that had the bar overlooking the tennis court, surrounded by enlisted mens’ quarters.

    The Civil Affairs hooch was at the north west end of the compound near the gate. Between the MACV building was the MATS bunker with a .30 cal and claymore detonators. The helipad was west of the Civil Affairs hooch. Late in my tour we tore down the tin shack between our hooch and the helipad and built a bunker in back the Civil Affairs.

    Just before I left Song Mao everyone pitched in and we built an underground bunker in front of the MACV Colonel’s hooch, on the east end of the open courtyard. Engineers bulldozed out a hole and we lined it with aluminum pallets, backfilled with concrete, and completely covered it with dirt. It was beautiful and spacious compared to the old radio bunker.

    If you were treated by the Civil Affairs medic, it was Mike Albert. He was there a couple of years. Yes, there was a major battle around Song Mao in the early ’70s. By that time Civil Affairs and I believe MACV had vacated the compound, replaced by Airborne.

    I too remember the fun, scary trips to the ocean. On a totally random basis, MACV, MATS, and Civil Affairs would load up jeeps and convoy to Phan Ri Cua. Through the town of Phan Ri Cua north to a desolate beach where we took turns sunning, swimming, grenading fish from air mattresses, and standing guard on the bluffs in the gun jeeps. That place would make a great resort. Red sandstone cliffs with wind-gnarled pine trees above a snow-white beach that curved out of sight around a crystal clear bay of deep blue water. We had a limited time and always took an alternate route home across the dunes.

    My email is

    • Ray Duran here (Co D 36th Sig Bn) I used to man that .30 on the roof. Got into a few firefights when we received fire from the rear of the hotel.

  87. Hope you had a great trip. I bet things have changed a lot. I understand that the Song Mao area is a park or game preserve.

  88. Tom Hyde, I remember things differently. I was there from Jan ’69 to Apr-May ’69. the 50 cal was set up on the bunker next to building which housed MACV personnel and bar on the bottom floor overlooking the abandoned tennis court. We were housed at the other end of the compound from where you were. Our 54th Signal switchboard was underneath the water tower. Our ANGRC-17 secure teletype was at the end of the covered area where some vehicles were parked.

    Yes, the Chinese/Vietnamese cook would make soup and sandwiches for lunch out of the previous night’s leftovers. Unfortunately, unlike you I cannot remember any names. I do remember a SSG Medic who treated my injured finger after I was returned from MEDEVAC to Phan Thiet. Only names that I remember are 54th Signal like, Holt, Dunn, Young and there was a black MACV Lt. who rode a 90cc Honda motorcycle.

    I remember attending the TET celebration dinner at the ARVN Officers’ Club. Other than the LTCOL MACV Sr. Advisor, I was the only American in attendance. As a U.S. Buck SGT, I was seated between the Captains and LTs. My friend, Captain Long had gotten the OK for me to be with him. I spoke fluent French and we had become friends because of our mutual ability to converse. With him I, also, was able to attend a TET dinner at the Province Chief’s home. It gave me the occasion to taste dog meat for the first time Two mouthfuls was all I could manage. The rest got dumped on the floor behind me on the floor for the lady of the house to sweep up. We were seated on mats on the floor….no chairs or table! Wonder what happened to that Captain?

    Another thing that remains on my mind about Song Mao was going swimming at the ocean with MACV personnel. LT thought that he could jump a ditch with the jeep. We landed in the ditch water and Vietnamese came out of nowhere to come over, pick up the jeep, and place it on dry land. That was a scary experience but, Vietnamese were friendly to us!

    Difficult to forget that place Song Mao. Heard that it was overrun sometime in 1970?

  89. Amos,

    At one time, it was against Vietnamese law to make nước mắm anywhere but offshore at Phu Quoc just like it is still law in many southern towns that chitlins must be prepared 5 miles outside the city limits. I’ve got to have nước mắm with my oriental food, available at local markets, but I was suprised a new Vietnamese restaurant locally did not know what it was.

    A few years after DROS, I tutored a 16-year-old refugee boy, helping him with English, growing up problems, and bailing him out of problems. When alive, his father, a cook from Cho Lon showed me how to make won ton, and spicy pepper oil that zings up flavor without burning the tongue and throat. The boy’s now a citizen and about to be a grandfather. We keep in touch, I’m introduced as ‘Uncle’, attend important family functions, and his wife keeps me supplied with the best egg and spring rolls.

  90. Amos,

    I stopped over at Phan Thiet on my way from our 41st Civil Affairs Company to my Team 10 in Song Mao. My first impression was how could anyone tolerate that stench? Apparently beer was the answer.

    For the over-night I was billeted with the MPs. One grunt was showing off to a newbie the 45 cal’s safety features while I tried to catch some Zs. Just as he was showing that it would not fire if you pressed your thumb against the barrel, he blew his thumb through a wall locker. I took the 45 down to the OD and had them call a medic. Pretty close, he should have pressed the receiver end of the barrel, not the barrel.

    I’ll bet you knew our team members at Phan Thiet. Who could forget Lt. ‘Link’ Caruso, nicknamed after the missing link because he was covered in thick black curly hair? I finally got used to Vietnamese kids petting my arm hair like a kitten.

    Sp5 Tom Hyde
    41st Civil Affairs
    Team 4 Song Mao

      • Lt. Caruso,

        Good to hear from you. I did not know you knew Lt. Francis Bauer. Are you still in contact with him? He always wished he could “see some action” with a real combat outfit until the day he got ambushed visiting me on site where I was relocating a pipeline. On his way back, VC dug a pit in the road, jeep dropped in and they proceeded to put AK rounds in every inch of the jeep miraculously not hitting Francis. By the time I got there with the 3/4 ton and M60 they were gone. Warning only; Francis never mentioned combat outfit again.

        I attended my first 41st Civil Affairs reunion (this was 5th) last June in Hot Springs. It was fun although no one from Song Mao was there. Shigekawa passed in 2006, Dowty lives in California, but everyone else is unaccounted. Very cordial group; same stories, different people.

        Keep in touch.

        Tom Hyde

    • Hey Tom… Just saw your post about Francis Bauer…if I remember correctly… I haven’t seen or talked to him since the last time I was in Song Mao… That was probably the Spring of 1969…Dan Cook is on Face Book… He was our medic on Team 7….he and I have posted photos from Vietnam…

  91. Amos,

    Yes I do remember John Llewellyn! His name came to me after I posted the last email. John reminded me of Trapper John on Mash. John always wore shorts, sandals, and a flowered Hawaiian shirt, real laid-back friendly guy. Still can’t remember his partner’s name. His partner was slight stature with blond hair and drove a two-tone Ford Bronco or IH, They lived off post downtown Song Mao; straight through town to the market, then left a block. We worked together on projects, relocations, medivacs, and the partner always negotiated for kips of wood at the sawmill for projects.

    We were under attack soon after I arrived. The MACV commander, a real jerk, did not have a translator. He wanted to know what the radio transmissions were saying, so he borrowed me from the 41st. I could not make out much of what was shouted over the radio. The commander gave me holy hell, calling me incompetent. Llewellyn strolled into the commo bunker popped the earphones on and rattled off the translation effortlessly. Then he told the colonel to ease off–the radioman was speaking Montangard and there was no way I could have translated more than a couple of similar words.

    John told me his parents were missionaries in China and Indochina and he was raised by them in Asia. He spoke Chinese (Mandarin, Taiwan, and Nung), Vietnamese, Montangard, and French if I recall correctly.

    Tom Hyde

  92. You may remember the ARVN advisor from the 509th RRGp at the time may have been SFC Ross or Sp/5 King. I came each month to do maintenance on the DF site out behind the MACV compound. Do you Remember a civilian John Llewellyn that worked for IVS (International Voluntary Service) and his partner who lived in town and taught the locals irrigation, crop rotation and other do good stuff.

    • Amos Hicks–that name sounds familiar.

      I arrived in Song Mao in July 1968 to replace the existing translator, can’t remember his name exactly, along with 2nd Lt. Francis X. Bauer and 1st Lt. Shigekawa who our replaced 41st Civil Affairs team chief 1st Lt. Flynn. I left in July 1969. The medic was Michael ‘Mike’ Albert. Other team members at different times were; PFC Larry Dowty, mechanic, Lt. Wilkinson, engineering officer, Lt. Seubert, Lt. Siebert, Lt. Tuttle. Sergeants Shulga, Castorina, and Walter Urusky were also there.

      Sorry, I don’t remember offhand the MATS or MACV Team members who were there. There was also a blond COORDS civilian, and a likeable but crazy flower-shirted afro-haired COORDS translator there.

      I would like to correspond with others there around that time.–Be sure to fill in the subject line so I know it is not spam.

      • If I remember correctly, most of those COORDS people were CIA. they ran the Phoenix program in the province!!

  93. I was attached to team 37, worked in the com center, and also rat rig later….served 70-71…my lasting memory of being there I think will be the smell of nouc manh being produce close by…many memories…

    • What was your unit David J Bingham?? I was with Co D,, 36th Sig Bn, also attached to MACV TM 37 & LZ Betty! I left in Apr 69.

  94. I was signal here back in 1966, mostly out at the airfield. Lt. Chi and Chu were my Vietnamese friends who welcomed me to their home and served up the best sea food. Never asked what it really was. My buddy Dunnigan and I spent a lot of time feeding the orphans as I suppose many of you did. It was a beautifu city and people and was cried to see its destruction. I have many good slides of the city and surrounding zones if any one would like a copy. Getting old now and the memories are fading. I hope you all had a good life.

    • Bob,
      I was with MACV Team 37 from April 67 through Jan 68. Like you my memory seems to be faiding about some things. I shipped out just before the Tet offensive.of 1968. I have had a great life here in Kansas City, but since 2007 I have had incurable cancer due to agent orange. However, I am lucky to have the VA taking good care of me. I would very much like to see your Photos.
      Doug Handley

      • I was there after you. I was the DSA in 68 a few month after Tet. . My last assignment was at CGSC at ft Leav. Retired in 1975 and stayed in Leavenworth. Now live in Tonganoxie and stay busy with the VFW. I also have CLL (bone marrow cancer)i n beginning stage. I use a Dr at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

  95. Bob Pearson we may have known ea. other .i was security there at that time I have a picture of almost the whole advisory team 37 . Would really like to talk with you . I can be contacted via email. Just make advisory team (37 in the subject line, Thanks Jim Ratzlaff

  96. I was with S-3 Advisory 5409th RRGp. I was the maintenance adviser to ARVN Unit 15. We had a DF site co-located with Team 37B at Song Mao. Our site adviser lived at Team 37B and they put me up on my monthly maintenance and emergency maintenance trips from 1966 to 1969. They had the best Chinese cook in the world. It was his food that got got Wallaby Airlines (Australian C-7 Caribou’s) to make three weekly flights landing to get lunch.

    • I was 54th Signal attached to MACV Tm 37 in Song Mao. We had our antenna set-up on top of the water tower at a corner of the compound. We operated switchboard and a secure teletype for sending reports. The Aussies that you mention, I thought they flew C-130? I was there the first 4 months of ’69. Later, I would be attached to Tm. 37 in Phan Thiet from June to late Aug. when I left to DROS back to the States. The night before I left Phan Thiet the fridge by the Medics Room blew up. Many were wounded by shrapnel. After “normalcy” I had a drink with the 1SG at the second floor bar. He told me that CO would write up award the next day and it would follow to my home unit in Nha Trang…..never came to my knowledge…..out of sight, out of mind. Worked as RTO at the War Room which was some distance away from MACV Hotel and traveled the province to teach RTO to use the KAK. Yes. the enemy was jamming us and listening in on radio transmissions big time.

    • I was translator/interpreter for the 41st Civil Affairs Team at the north end of the MACV compound in Song Mao.

      You are right, ‘Cookie’ was the best Chinese cook ever. The unchanging spam sandwiches and pea soup lunches were even OK, but I remember every Saturday for dinner he grilled steaks on the grill outside the mess hall. Chopper pilots from everywhere showed up to pay for a steak dinner.

      Cookie gave me an ice cream churn that had been laying around the mess hall. He did not know what it was. I bought eggs, milk, vanilla tablets from the local market and made homemade ice cream every week after that. The Nung RF guards were happy to help turn the crank for a serving of ice cream.

      Our team chief was Lt. Shigekawa, medic was SP5 Mike Albert. I remember the MACV radio operator was a skinny guy from New York City, Mike? Putkowski.

  97. MACV Hotel 1965-66…I was AirForce FAC radio operator for Baron 70,71,72…worked under Capt Hodges, Lt Zack(reski?)(Zac the FAC), Capt Kempf…love the ladies next door to the hotel, who did sewing. We had housekeepers then, ‘Mini’ was mine…glad for the experience, but glad to get back home!

  98. I was at phan thiet tm 37 68 / 69. Security team.have many pictures of the guy’s- spec-4carl karges,sgt Buckley,sgt enrich , Watson,ferguson many more. Also pictures of. Down. Town and the LZ Betty morning after attack

    • Thanks Tom. My friend was with 2/7 1st Air Cav. Not sure what contact they had with advisors/ARVNS in 66. Do you recall a ARVN post named Pitt or Robert L.Pitt? I was with Team 2 in Quang Ngai 67-68. Thanks for your reply. Ed

  99. I had a high school friend who was KIA while serving in Phan Thiet area. He died Oct 25 66 while serving with 1st Cav task force there. Supposedly there was a ARVN fort built by the 1st Cav nearby named for him; Pitt. If anyone recalls a fort in the area with that name, could you forward any memories of that. Thanks. Ed Thacher.

    • I was an E-6 with Adv Tm 37 in 66-67 with the 1/44th ARVN Infantry Battalion. Our “home” station was Ft Pitt. But sure seems like the place (a sandbag perimeter with fighting bunkers) was built before Oct 66. Most of our time (pretty well daily) was on Air Assault missions in the Sector. I was Infantry Lt Weapons Advisor. But our operations were moved to the Bao Loc/Dai Quay area in mid-67 – I have no idea what happened to Ft Pitt during Tet 68. We rarely saw Phan Thiet, although only a few miles away.

      • Thanks for the reply Bob. I was an RTO in Quang Ngai 67-68. My friends full name was Robert L Pitt. Per some men from his unit that I conversed with online, the fort was built before Oct 66, but C-2/7 Ist Cav did some work to harden it and improve it. They told me it was named after my friend was KIA, which was Oct 25 66. There is an abandoned fort that shows on an old Phan Thiet grid map at AN 832155, about 7 K north of Phan Thiet, near a village called Ap Ninh Thuan. If you have any info or photos I would love to see them as I am traveling there in Feb of 2015 and want to place a memorial for my friend at the site. my email is Thanks. Ed

  100. mike I was security in phanthiet. From august 65 to August 66 The I believe the col
    Was col Dahlman but I thought he got killed right after I left. I do have a unit picture at home with many names on it . I can always send them to you or a copy of it if interested.
    My e mail is bsa50071 @ . My name is Jim ratzlaff

    • My tour in Binh Thuan Province was 10 months and 14 days. Col Robinson was an Engineer Officer and in my quick interview he only said, “Don’t get yourself killed.” Terse and I followed his advice.

      Really glad to see this site on the net as it great to learn what was going around me back in those days and how fortunate I was/am!


  101. I was the radio operator at Thien Giao compound from May 1968 to May 1969. Thien Giao was about 20 miles from Phan Thiet. In the center of the compound was an old 50 foot high French tower with a 50 caliber machine gun on top. We humped our AO almost every day. I remember some names: Major Nugent, Sgt Karnnegy. I turned 21 in Thien Giao. We lived in the compound with the “popular” forces who probably saved my life when an enemy Battalion or more tried to overrun us. I was too young to pay attention to details. Please comment if you served in this compound.

    • I stayed at the base of the Tower which was inscribed by the name of French Officer. I was there as out Team 37 was medivaced back on April 13th, l970, and I was one the only who could remain and not wounded. I have pics of the large pile of enemy stacked up as our team had an M-60 on top of our underground bunker and the ARVN battery used their cannons shooting ‘flechette’ rounds.

      We had to await for replacements for a long time so I killed a lot of time there @ Thien Gaio!

      Happy Veterans Day!

      • LTC Asbury, I was there with 1/50 (mechanized) serving in the TOC in S2. As I recall there were several fights there. I think during the one you referenced we were taking the attack from the direction of the village to the north on Highway 1. We finally got support from “Spooky” if I am thinking of the correct action. The shooting kept up most of the night. At one point a track driver named Tennison and I were ordered to pull a track up on the road facing the village to the north. We were taking 51 cal fire from the village. I opened up on the 51 location with the 50 on our track and silenced the 51. Very quickly we got an urgent request from Spooky who said our 50 rounds were bouncing skyward and coming close to them and asking us to cease fire. The next morning there were a lot of dead enemy in the wire although I did not get a picture.
        Spec 4 Robert Gerber

    • btw I THINK I have a pic of that Gun Tower in the center of Thien Giao and it shows the name of the French Officer it was named for. MAT 88 was moved to a triangle compound post closer to the mountains called Bau Gia. One of our men was KIA after I left and he was hit by a very clever booby trap. He was from Hawaii and his name was Turkowski. He lived a while in the Hospital but finally died of his original wounds. About that time, I was told that they killed a Bengal Tiger outside the post and they slaughtered it and had a BBQ Vietnamese style.

      CPT Eastman was the Tm Ldr and he injured his ankle when we were going across a railroad trestle which had been blown up by our enemy. SGT Turkowski was choppered out there to replace CPT Eastman.

      We had a SSG Named Lee A. Smith who was awarded The Silver Star for his duty in the fight on the night of April llth, l970 at Ap Phu Long. Last words from Smitty to me was, “Lt. Asbury don’t shoot me!” He was medivaced from our helipad that next morning and I never saw him again. Wish him luck and all of us!

      Welcome HOME!

      • Hi Sam, I hope you are still reading these pages and will get in touch. Very interesting to hear what happened to MAT 88 after I left. Best regards,

    • I served at Thien Giao for about 8 months (August 1969 until April 1970) with the 1/50th (M) Infantry Division in the TOC (Tactical Operations Center). My hootch was about 100 yards from that old French tower. All we had at that FOB was us, MACV, a couple of guys from a signal unit, and the “ruff puffs” (RF/PF Vietnamese troops, Republic Forces/Popular Forces). I was sent photos of Thien Giao from Don Rainwater from the 1/50th. Somehow, he was involved in the construction of the hootches. I ran into him in Kansas City, MO during a unit reunion and he sent me the photos. Anybody there at that time. My name is Frank Romano.

      • Frank, I was at Thien Giao at the time you were. I worked for the S2 who was Capt Hagan as I remember. There was also an RTO named Ingalls and a Wireman named Warnken. Battalion boss was LTC Robert H. Luck. I stayed in the tin barracks to the right as you exited the TOC. I have quite a few pictures of Thien Giao and Phan Thiet. Also just remembered a young track driver named Tennison.

    • Hi, Albert. I was on the MAT that used Thien Giao as a place to store our personal stuff while we were living out in the villages. I arrived after you left, but you may remember my team leader, 1LT Curtis, our MAT medic SFC Albritton or our heavy weapons sergeant, SFC Murphy. The DSA was Major Kelley, an armor officer.

      I remember the old French Tower, the old RF Captain that had jumped with the French into Dien Bin Phu, the billets that had beds with real mattresses and mosquito netting. a shower and a mess hall where you could watch a movie.

      When you wrote about the VC trying to over run the district compound, was that Tet 69? 1LT Curtis was there that night.

      1LT Yoshino

    • Hey, Albert. Hope you are still kicking around this website. I arrived at Thien Giao in late June 1969 so just after you left. I was assigned to a MAT that was based out of Thien Giao.

      Do you remember the name of the radio operator that replaced you? I ended up talking to him a lot when I was out in the villages. And, when on night ambush I reported into him with two clicks on the handset.

      Was Major Kelley your DSA?

      Lt Curtis was my MAT team leader and was at the Thien Giao compound when the VC Battalion tried to overrun the camp.

      Milo out

      • As I recollect I was in a hotel and we had a water tower in our compound. The 44th arvn compound was right across from us . The name of villa was -Song Mao-. What was the name of the villa if the stature in mainstreet with the horse and solder with sword called? the Cav was about half a mile down the road. I have photos’ of the village an name SONG MAO or am I’m wrong where I was at. I was with 54th sig bt Dste site and we had a magic 19 covered with sand bads and underneath c co 54th sig had attennans on it. Seadog out

        • Hi, Larry: Seems that there must have been two MACV hotels in Binh Thuan Province. One for the district team in Song Mao and one for the province team in Phan Thiet. Sounds like you were at the district compound in Song Mao. Does anybody know more about the statue of the horse and soldier with sword?

          Then there were two MACV district compounds. One in Song Mao and one in Thien Giao. It sounds like you had the 44th ARVN with you in Song Mao. As I recall, Thien Giao had a Regional Force company.

          When I was the Province Team’s detachment commander (hotel manager) from December 1969 to June 1970, I am sure that I flew into Song Mao since I visited all of the district and MAT compounds at least twice and sometimes more often so I would like to see your photos of Song Mao.

          Was there a really cute young lady (Vietnamese) working in Song Mao compound?

          Milo out

          • Milo do not know if you know Tom Hyde; His e-mail: Learncad@aol. com or I sent him photos of Song Mao and he made DVDs And sent to us. I think he was with 41st civil affairs group as translator’ He has lots of the beginning of Song Mao and later years. Also I understand that it is a wildlife preserve now! Tom’s address is; Tom & Betty Hyde 2020 Scales bend Rd NE N. Liberty, Iowa 52317. Had his landline somewhere but my E-mail is :

    • Albert,
      I was DSA in that compound from Jan-Oct 67 until I moved into Province HQ as S2/S3 Advisor. Fondly remember RF company commanded by Cham Lt. Tho Tem (??) and PF platoons that defended compound every night.

      • We had the same tower at our Tuy Phong compound! What a view of the town, ocean and surrounding areas. About once a week one of the RFs would step on one of the toe poppers left by the French in the concertina wire.

  102. August 6, 2013 8:02 am

    We are trying to find my wife’s father, a Vietnamese national who was based at the phan thiet army base in 1974. I am hoping someone can possibly give us a helping hand to possible tracing services
    my wife’s father is a Vietnamese national who we believe served the Red cross during the Vietnam war (1973/1974 ), in Phan Thiet, Vietnam. We originally, believed
    he was based out of Phang Rang Air base, and we thought he worked for the American Red cross base, some 150km away from Phan Thiet. However, we think now that he may be have been working for Republic of Vietnam (Việt Nam Cộng Hòa),
    We originally thought his name was Tran Quang Thuc, however, it may be Tran Van Phuc or Tran Quang Phuc
    All my wife knows is that he was involved with carrying injured soldiers to helicopters. My wife’s mother said that he wore a light green 1 piece suit that you zip up from the groin. He also had hat that was light green hat that had a red cross on it – tall square type of hat. Black army type boots. The uniform had a red cross arm band (white color) possibly on the left arm. He is around 160cm tall and wavy hair.

    If anyone out there could help to guide us it would be much appreciated

  103. Where is everybody that served between 1966 to 1968? I hope I’m not the only that was there. I was the radio operator in the radio room and switchboard.I remember a guy with the last name of Smith and a black guy whose last name was louis.

    • Mike, you are not alone. I was an admin specialist with MACV team 37. I was there April 67 to January 20, 1968. I guess I knew you if you worked on a Collins SSB radio in the HQ building. We were under a bird col, can’t remember his name. There were a few other people working there including a Captain Campbell, a Major, a few Sargents, and Private Fortin. In another building close by there were G2 people, including a first Lt. We all stayed in a three story “hotel” a couple miles from there. It was in the main part of town on the street leading to the First Cav air strip a couple miles away. You probably noticed my departure date was 10 days before the Tet offensive. I have always wondered what happened then. It was a shock to hear on the news a few days after I got home that Phan Tiet was over ran.

      • Before you DEROSED, did you get any sense that TET was coming? That MACV Hotel was ‘civilization’ and I was there just IN/OUT and the thing that really caught my interest was the Mail Room and the bar on the top where you could have a drink and a meal and listen to the tactical radio when there were firefights in the valley and north on Highway One.

        I was still in Ranger training in Dahlonega when TET started. The Church near by the MAT 88 Compound @ Ap Phu Long was more of less partially destroyed in the week. We smuggled concrete to help them re-build it. Communists don’t much like any kind of religion, right/?

    • I was with Adv Tm 37 in 66-67. But rarely saw the MACV Compound. You DID however, never fail to airdrop our mail on an almost daily basis from a bird dog. I was a SSG light weapons advisor with 1/44 Inf (ARVN).

    • Mike, I arrived in 1968, I was the translator/Interpreter at the Civil Affairs Team on the north end of the Song Mao Compound. My best friend was our medic Sp5 Mike Albert. Lt. Shigekawa replaced Lt. Flynn as team chief.

      When I first arrived, the MACV commo bunker was a pile of sandbags just outside the MACV hooch toward the mess hall. There was a 50 cal atop the bunker.

      I remember the radio/telephone operator was Mike Putkowski from NY, was that you? Do you remember Whisky, Mushy Couple, Spooky, Bravo November, and Shadow?

      Still looking for my lost friend Sp5 Michael A. Albert, medic. Good to hear from anyone at Song Mao and exchange pictures.

      Sp5 Tom Hyde
      41st Civil Affairs
      Team 4 Song Mao

      • I was the District Senior advisor who designed and supervised the building of the bunker. The walls and roof was made from cargo pallets that we got from the airfield. The steps had mines that could be blown if need be. The generator was in a separate underground pit that could be reached from the bunker. If we had been overrun could have housed every one until help arrived. It was fully stocked with food, water and of course ammo. I was DSA at Song Mao then went to Phan Tiet at the team 37 Hq as the RF/PF advisor. That was 68-69. I arrived right after Tet. I was diverted from another assignment when Maj Pasco was captured and marched off to the mountains. The morning after Ray Davies( British, working for Australia,, under contract to the US. He headed the Provident Recon unit ( all ex VC). Maj Pasco was found tied to a tree and had been skinned alive. He asked what I wanted him to do. I told him to find the NVA team and make an .example of them. He returned about a week later and came into my office and handed me a 45 and a 7mm pistol, told me they were Maj Pasco’s and the NVA platoon leader, and walked out. Later when we got to be good friends he told me the full story. That is for another time. He had to fly out real fast a few months later when the National Police got after him. He drove into the compound and ran into my office tossed me his back pack and ran out and to the airfield. A single engine unmarked plane with a long engine picked him up. I got a card that said “Thanks Ole chap see you someday”. I still have his brass compass and knife. More war tales later.

        • I remember building and helping with the new commo bunker at Song Mao. Seems the Air Force got pissed when their aluminum pallets disappeared. It was so much better than the cramped 3-person sandbag bunker at the south end of the compound with the 50 cal above.

          Our 41st Civil Affairs Team hooch was located directly west of your commo bunker and building, and unfortunately we took the brunt of attacks meant for you. Later we built a super bunker behind our hooch after Charlie used armor-piercing rounds shooting holes through our brick walls wounding Lt. Seubert. As I recall you gave us hell when we celebrated the bunker’s completion, demanding we Southern boys take down our Confederate Flag.

          The bunker endured subsequent attacks fending off B40s and RPGs. Cpl. Pelt ontop with the M60 and I next to him with the 60mm. When Charlie fired on us from the ammo bunker with their heavy MG and armor-piercing rounds this time, I was the one who requested a flare, but mistakenly dropped an HE round into the gasoline barrels they were hiding behind. Rất tiếc, Đại Tá!

          I too was there when Maj. Pasco was captured; rumor was he was skinned, but the other story was he’d been tied to a tree with commo wire and it peeled the skin on his arms badly while trying to escape.

          There was Captain Mickey(?), your XO I believe, and another Major or LTC who was your replacement; he always borrowed a jeep from us. I loaned him a jeep I’d put together from parts. When I left, I repainted that jeep disguised it with numbers requested from the 44th Reg. so no one would question where it belonged and gave him the jeep.

            • Larry,
              Sorry, I thought I gave you my contact information, I will send it immediately to your email address. I am preparing picture DVDs of Song Mao and Phan Thiet area to send to everyone. The 41st Civil Affairs Team chief may be sending more photos (scanned, I hope) that I can include. Anyone else interested in a DVD should leave an email reply with their postal address at

              • Do you live in VN and have you ever been to Song Mao, if so can you send me some photos are just tell me how much things have changed since it been over 50 years> Thanks Larry Seaman Seadog Out

                • Ray did you work at out of Magic 16-17 underneath the water tower at LZ Betty Song mao? Binh thuan Prov? 54th sig bt Dste site 13. If so would like your phone or email.

                    • Larry, Sure I remember Jim Evanosky. Spoke with him on the phone recently. Hey, does anyone remember the older MATS sergeant who got drunk and shot up the compound twice, probably in mid-August 1968? He was a heavy drinker and had been in the Army way too long.

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