Team 46 Kien Giang

MACV Team 46 – Kien Giang

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 46 located in Kien Giang.

42 thoughts on “Team 46 Kien Giang

  1. Trying to find out information about my uncle SFC Robert Millwood. He was a Medical Advisor with Team 46 in the II CTZ during 69 and 70. What did he do over there? What was it like? Does anyone remember him? Anything would be greatly appreciated.

    • David, My name is Steve Epkins, I am a retired Army Colonel, and from Dec 69-Dec 70, I was assigned to MACV Advisory Team 46, with an assignment to Van Ninh District, RVN. I am a Military Intelligence Officer that attended Vietnamese Language School prior to going to RVN. I was the Phoenix or as the Vietnamese say Phung Hoang Officer, the District Intelligence Officer basically working for the Army but taking instructions and reporting to the CIA. While I was in Van Ninh, we had 2 Mobile Advisory Training Teams (MATT) teams assigned to train the Vietnamese Regional Force and Popular Force soldiers in our area. IF you think Army Reserve and National Guard that is the closest you will come to the type units that the MATT Teams were training. On our Van Ninh District Team, we had a Medic and his job was to keep us healthy, as well as he checked the food making sure it was safe to eat, he conducted Medical Civil Action Programs, which we called MEDCAPs. The MEDCAPS were normally scheduled through the RVN District/Village/Hamlet Chiefs. The Vietnamese would line up and go into the building where our Medic would be with his Aide Bag and other medical supplies and he would treat or refer the Vietnamese for whatever medical problem/issue they had. Sometimes we had Army Doctors that would come to our District to support these activities. Our Medic also assisted in what we called DENCAPS, which consisted of our Medic working with a Dentist to pull teeth or whatever they could do to alleviate the pain in their Vietnamese patients. Also, our Medic was the first at the District Headquarters to treat gunshot wounds, etc. for U.S. Army and Vietnamese when they either occurred at our location or in other parts of our District. Our Medic with our District Senior Advisor made the decision on whether or not to call in a MEDEVAC and fly them to Nha Trang to the Army Hospital. Also, our local Vietnamese Doctor would bring Vietnamese women to our location because they were having birthing issues, this usually occurred late at night and the decision 99% of the time was to call a MEDEVAC flight to fly them to the Nha Thrang Army Hospital. So during my one-year assignment to the Van Ninh District Team, I participated in a lot of MEDEVAC flights getting wounded and sometimes pregnant Vietnamese women to the Army Hospital in Nha Trang. I can tell you that our District Medic was a very important person on our Team, at times he was a miracle worker, but in my 28 years of service, the Medics that I saw in RVN and the SF Medics that treated me were the absolute very best and most I feel could have been MDs. I don’t know IF what I just said has helped you understand some of the many things that your Father did in the RVN but at least a start maybe. Best Wishes, Steve Epkins, COL, US Army (Retired)

      • Steve your Medic comments were on target with what our Medic was doing in Dien Khanh District in .1968-1969 with one addition. When we were moving around in the District, the Medic would take note of individuals with medical conditions and turn them in to the Nha Trang 8th Field Hospital folks who would come out and interview the individuals and set up medical procedures and treatments for them. One of the the problems we encountered the most was cleft lip and palate. A lot if kids and their families were flown to Japan for reconstructive surgery! James F Alkek, Phoenix DIOCC Advisor, MACV Team 46,
        Dien Khanh District, Khanh Hoa Province 1968-1969.

        • Jim, interesting comments from another Phoenix guy. Were you an MI guy like me or some other branch? I was on MACV Advisory Team 46 from Dec 69 – Dec 70. I started to extend, but at the last minute I didn’t, I wanted to stay because I felt that my job was not finished. I have some great stories from my ambushes, 3-5 day operations, working with the Vietnamese, and fishing with hand grenades off the coast of Van Ninh. We were right off of QL1, so we saw or heard all of the convoys going North and South along the coast of RVN. I had 12 weeks of DLI Vietnamese and I felt it always helped me when attempting to have conversations with my Vietnamese counterparts. I arrived as 2LT and 5 months later got promoted to 1LT. We were in Nha Trang trading AK-47s and Viet Cong Flags to the mess sergeants for cases of steaks, etc., one of our Team NCOs was on one of these scrounging trips, he had the jeep and I was walking, when a Captain, Aviator picked me up and turned to me and said “you must be the only 2LT in RVN” – that hurt for a short time. Oh well, all I can say is that some days were good and some were bad, especially when we were mortar rounds or had firefights, ammo bunker on fire. Take Care my Phung Hoang Brother and Be Safe, Steve Epkins

          • Steve, I was Infantry OCS and volunteered for MI. Went to Holabird in Baltimore for training as a 9300. Then to Arlington Towers just outside of DS for Phoenix/ Advisor training.

            Arrived in RVN 5/68 as a 20 year old 2Lt and was first man assigned to the Dien Khanh District for Team 46. SF Team A-502 took me in and introduced me to District officials, local National Police Chief, RF commander, and others. Went on ambush patrols with the A Team and used a Starlight Scope for the first time.

            After a month or so was assigned a US RTO and a RVN interpretor and moved to a French Villa in the Citadel across from District HQ. Over the next few months the 46 District team had a full team of 11 men and later an assigned MATS team as well. My team leader was a Armor Major and XO was infantry 1LT.

            After I built the DIOCC and created the informant quality assessment and info reliability system the results began literally rolling in. Besides RVN PF and RF info we were getting info from SF, Korean Whitehorse Div, Vills, Hamlets and Nat’l Police.

            Then the US politics started! That’s another long story.

            I was offered promotion to Captain and the Province Phoenix job, but was recovering from malaria, tired of the political tension, and turned it down. In late 69 they sent me back to the states as the XO of the 502nd MI Detachment assigned to the 2nd AD which was preparing to deploy to Germany.

            After my active duty ended in 70, I wanted to go to College (had enlisted ofter high school) and was sent to Austin and assigned to 444th R&D Detachment were I served on Reserve status until 74.

            Was approached by CIA in 70 and CIA and Navy in 74, but never followed through with them.

            • Hey Jim,

              I googled you and I saw a lot of Houston, TX, is that where you live? My parents moved to Abilene, TX when I was 4 from Ilinois, where my grandmother lived. So I went to Abilene Cooper H.S. and my junior year 64 we were the TX 4A State Track Champs, now I think 4A has grown to 6A? I attended Hardin- Simmons Univ. on a track scholarship and after 2 years of playing too many hearts and spades games at night in the dorm drinking beer, it was time to get out of Abilene. I was 20 when I left Abilene for Fort Leonard Wood and on to Fort Devens, MA for Army Security Agency training as a cryptologist. I kept seeing these young 2LTs, so I spoke with one of them and found out they had 2 years of college and had attended OCS. I applied to OCS and got orders for Infantry OCS, then my orders were canceled, I got a new set of orders and it said Engineer OCS to be commissioned MI. So I graduated on 2 May 69, as a brand new 2LT, MI guy, off to Fort Holabird for 8 weeks of basic MI training, on to Fort Bragg to the Military Assitance for Training Advisors (MATA), 6 weeks of running the MATA Mile which was about 2 1/2 miles through the woods in boots, and 4 weeks of Vietnamese language training, next on to Fort Bliss for another 8 weeks of Vietnamese Language School. My original orders for RVN said USARV and were changed to MACV. Arrived at Saigon, a few days of training, issued jungle gear, LBE, M-16, etc., the next day sent to Nha Trang via C-123. A couple of days there and then a UH-1 to Van Ninh. I can remember one morning after an
              ambush and the Deputy Province Senior Advisor flew out to the site, he landed, I briefed him, and then he chewed my butt because I didn’t have my flak jacket on and steel pot on. What I remember was that he was a LTC, Engineer Branch and that’s it about him. We had several jeeps, a couple of mopeds, and a boat with a 40 hp motor. My Vietnamese interpreter was usually with me the majority of the time. I do remember when we caught VC prisoners, that my Counterpart a Vietnamese Captain, would do the interrogation and I was always asked to leave and of course I know why. I don’t know IF you encountered that situation or not? One of my worst nights was when an NVA Platoon sent word to one of our Village Chiefs that they were coming into the village at midnight and there should not be any trouble. Well, we set up an ambush with the local PF Platoon, I was there with one of the NCOs and my interpreter. Sure enough, this NVA Platoon came in on time, and we had a hell of a firefight going on, some of the PF started to do a little E&E, so our numbers were not as many as when we started. I called for support and I got one of those old C-47s we called MaiBai Spooky. He had a minigun and flares. He came on my radio freq. and I told him that IF he didn’t hurry up and get there, he wouldn’t find anyone at the end of this radio. He came back on the radio and said you must be a lieutenant, so hold your horses, I am coming just as fast as this old bucket of bolts will fly. He finally arrives and asks me to mark my position, so I fire off a Flare, he marks and they start kicking flares out the door, he lights up the world with his flares, he can see the NVA Platoon moving toward us and we catch them in the open space, so between friendly fire on the ground and the minigun from Spooky, the Platoon suddenly was about half a squad. I found the Air Force Major later at the Nha Trang Officers Club and bought him a few drinks and a steak dinner and thanked him profusely for saving my butt. I don’t know about you but I was not impressed by the early starlight scopes, they got much better later on. After Vietnam, I attended Airborne and the SF Officers Course. My second tour was in Lop Buri, Thailand with SF Thailand as the BN S-2. We were running classified ops into Laos, Cambodia, and elsewhere for the CIA. I usually briefed and debriefed teams prior to going and returning from their missions and sent my reports off to big brother. We had a boatload of classified awards that I read in the Vault, the BN CDR pinned then on, I took a picture, and then everything was locked in the vault for a later date. Sorry, you picked up malaria, I remember those horrible malaria pills that we had to take. Have a few more good stories from RVN, for another day. I had a very lucky career as an MI guy: Battalion S-2, Brigade S-2, Division G-2 of the 82d Airborne Division during Desert Shield and Storm, Korea – my team found the 3rd tunnel that the North had dug under the DMZ, 4 years with CENTCOM, Commanded 2 Airborne Companies – 300 Man ASA company, 82d and Commander, 75 man MI Company, 7th SF Group; Battalion Commander in Berlin – 1st year the wall was up and the second year the wall was down and final 3 years as the Senior Intel. Officer or Deputy Chief of Staff for Intel, US Army Special Opns Command supporting all Special Forces, Rangers, Psyops, Civil Affairs, and Special Opns. Aviation. I can truly say that I was blessed and lucky, I had great soldiers to support and great soldiers that worked for me and made my job the best to have in the Army, plus I had many Colonels and General Officers that mentored me and made me a better officer. Hope all is well, oh by the way, I currently live in Fort Myers and will probably stay here, but if my circumstances change, I might even move back to good ole’ Abilene, TX. Warm Regards, Steve Epkins

    • Eddie, I am trying to locate information for my husband. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with V and the award says he was with advisory team 46 but also says the medal was awarded for service in as team leader of Mobile Advisory Team II-52 in Dien Khahn District, Khanh Hoa Province. Can you or anyone else tell me how to post to this site and if I should be looking under AT #46 or AT 52? Would love to put together a package of information by Fathers Day.

      • Sandra,
        If your husband is John Allard, he was the MAT team leader in Cam Lam district in September, 1969. I was his assistant team leader until I was transferred to Van Ninh District. The district HQ was in a rubber tree plantation, not far from a Special Forces compound that was overrun before we arrived there. It was a company size location with a newly built cinder block team house. John was professional and pleasant at the time we served together.
        Steven Goldstein
        stevenrgold@earthlink.net

        • Steven, I was in Dien Khanh District 68-69 and visited with Cam Lam District Team every time we went to Cam Ranh Bay on a scavaging food run. On the return trip, we would drop off the Cam Lam share of the goodies. It was on one of these runs that we came upon the accident involving Capt. John Sadler from Cam Lam. I was talking to him and he was responding clearly immediately before he passed. A very traumatic for me and John’s wife and son who many years later I had the privilege of talking.

  2. My father SSG Joseph Pestovich served as a medical advisor with Team 46 Khanh Hoa Province II CTZ in mid to late 1969 before he was promoted to SFC and then served with Team 25, Mobile Advisory Team II-97, Buon Ho District, Darlac Province until July 1970.

  3. My Dad was a Captain in Team 46 Jan1965 until he moved to 25th Division and was then in Team 99. At the time he was Captain Donald R. Brown. Horst Faas took a photo of him exiting a helicopter on April 2nd or 3rd 1965 in action near Duc Hoa that was carried by a lot of papers in the States.

  4. I am trying to help a gentleman who says he was with MACV or precursor to it in late 63 thru 67/68. Based on what I know, he was in or near Siagon when he was asked to join. Name Harris Earl Duncan, from South Dakota. Knew a Captain Brantly/Brantley and Capt Hayes. Trying to confirm his story. I have his service number etc if it is helpful.

  5. MY name is ret.SFC Hank Baker i was on Team 46 MAT22 1969,team leader was Capt.Stokes from Okla.Is there any one out there that remembers any of our team?LT.Jamison,Sgt Romball?

    • Hank, you and I were teammates for a very short time in October 1969. I joined the team as Asst Team Leader, 2LT, Inf with Rick Henderson, 1LT as Team Leader. Remember SSGTiny Romball from Minnesota, SGT Jim Smith, Texas and Doc as well as our interpreter, Mao. Recall day you choppered from our Vung Ro location to deros. Spent a few months there before I got my own team in Ninh Hoa. Continued good luck and good health

  6. I am Arvn officer in Dien Khanh looking for Lt Bauer in oct 1970
    And Sgt Gary Van Brunt Capt Harol E Pitts 1971
    I am in Sugar Land Tx

  7. I was with Team 46, Dien Khanh District 10K due West of Nha Trang 1968-1969. Team commander Major Reid, XO Lt Keenan, Medic Sgt Farrington, RTO PFC Frank Brudecki, Intel Sgt Tice; MAT Team Leader Captain Johnson. South of Dien Khanh was the Cam Lo District team with XO John Sadler (KIA). Province HQ Team was commanded by Mr Mitun(sp?). Memory fails me on the rest.

    • Dear Mr. Alkek: thank you for remembering my father John Sadler. I would like to thank you and all of the Team 46 brotherhood. Bill sadler

      • Bill, not a day goes by that I don’t think about your father. He was a great guy and because of our age difference (I was 20 and he was in his 30s), I thought of him like a big brother, Always friendly and smiling, and willing to help an inexperienced 2nd Lt. I was glad I could be with him on his last day although it is very hard for me to think about it. He was excited to be going home to Texas the next month, and wanted to make sure I would contact him after he got to Ft Hood. He talked frequently about you and your Mom.

      • Mr. Alkek: thank goodness you were with him on his last day. I am working with some veterans at work. Many do not tend to remember how important their contributions to each other were. As a son I thank you.

        • Hi Billy and Mr. Alkek,
          I asked my Mom to find a picture of John to post to the Public Radio photo collection here in Wisconsin last year. She found the one I think posted there. Tonight I did some googling to see what has come of the collection and found this site. I am very touched by this all of course and esp. the comments you posted at that site Mr. Alkek. Thank you!

          Maureen is my first cousin — and Billy when last we connected, I think was at our resort in Holcombe, Wisconsin. I would love an email (sullivan@uwosh.edu) from either of you. With great gratitude for you sacrifices, Quintin E. Sullivan

          P.S. I think Maureen was a social worker like me? You too Billy?

  8. Apparently I was on MAT 46 in August-September, 1970. I say apparently because we moved to another MAT (76) in October and I only recently looked through my notes and saw that we were called 46 in Kien Giang (Tan Hiep village). My notes say: “Captain Briggs, Lt Frank Lucas, Lt Wingate Battle.”

    • I remember Cpt. Briggs, he was a heavy set man with curly blonde hair. though, i don’t know the other two men. and i am wondering, do you remember a man, i believe was Cpt. Dallas Summers? just wondering, because he was my captain when i was there and he committed suicide when he sent out a MEDVAC too late for soldiers when they were in a fire fight. sadly the men lost their lives, and he couldn’t live with it.

    • Sgt Barnes:
      I was attached to MACV Advisory Team 55, but was on MILPHAP Team Navy-6 operating out of RachGia, Kien Giang Province. I never knew many of you guys BC you were out in the field most of the time. You were definitely not in the rear with the gear! Were you there when COL Richard Ellison was Province Senior Advisor?
      I had a corpsman, HM2 Burke, on PhuQuoc Island about the same time, 1970, trying to upgrade a potable water source.
      R.G. Ryder, LCDR, Medical Service Corps, USN, Retired (LTJG back then).

  9. My name is Anthony Richard D’Amico. MACV advisory team 46. Sergeant. Served from September 1969 to September 1970. Some squad members are Tom mooney, and Fred robinson. If someone knows anything about my squad or was in please reply.

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