Team 48 Ham Tan

MACV Team 48 – Ham Tan.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 48 located in Ham Tan.

69 thoughts on “Team 48 Ham Tan

    • I was with MACV at Ham Tan in 1965, up until just before Thanksgiving in November, ’65. I am aware of only one American compound in the entire area at the time, and that was the one I was in (other than what is suspected to be a CIA compound in the area). The compound I was in was on white sand three miles inland from the South China Sea.

      I have posted pictures of that compound on both Shutterfly and Flckr, but they are very hard to find by only doing a google search. If you want to see them, email me at bultena(at)rocketmail.com. You need to change the (at) to @ in the email address I have provided.

  1. Hi Marlin
    My name is Glenn Fieber I was still in charge of the radio room at HamTam until October 69.
    I was in Tanh Linh subsector for some of my tour doing ambushes and helping the RVNs out there.
    I remember the monkey behind the medics bunker. Was Col. Hemphill there there and Major Beck?
    How does the Village of LiGi look is there a resort there now?
    Is Ham Tan built up now and is the Korean clinic across from the compound gone?
    Nice to be in contact
    Glenn

    • Hi glenn, thank you for replying. I do not remember Col. Hemphill but Major Beck was in the hooch up from the signal hooch. I did not see much of La Gi as I slept in a hotel on the northern edge and needed to get moving in the morning as I was on a mission. The clinic and the compound are all gone and there is a huge government building where our compound had been. I have travelled Viet nam extensively north and south and have met many former nva and vc soldiers and I plan on going again soon. I would love to talk to you and see if we knew some of the same people and also tell you why I go to Viet nam. I never tire of talking to Vietnam Vets. I leave you with my cell no. 484 221 2057 Hope to hear from you. I live in Honey Brook Penna.

  2. Jim I was at Ham Tan and Tanh Linh compounds for most of my tour as an infantry RTO.
    I stayed at an outpost for one night or (MAT) just to fill in for the Americans who were gone to Saigon. I remember there were one or two 105s there.

    • Hi Jim, My name is Marlin King. I was at Ham tan sept. 69 to april 70. I remember you very well. I have been back to Vietnam 10 times in the last 9 years, The last time in Ham tan was nov. 2012. the compound is completely gone. I would love to talk with you as I have many stories to share with you.I am in touch with NEAL LEWIS, GLEN TUCKER, WARREN FARBER. Please reply as I would love to tell you about my Vietnam adventures in the last nine years. Remember George the monkey? Anxiously awaiting your reply! An old comrade , Marlin

  3. I was at Ham Tam between 1968-69 as an infantry radio operator.
    I remember the Carabous dropping off Mogas in 55gal. Drums . It was hell on my back tipping them up to vertical position. I hung with the Kenny Fac guys quite a bit. One was named Bob Urias from California I believe

  4. My first mission in Vietnam was to Ham Tan – January, 1970. I was with the USAF 8th Aerial Port Mobility Team and remember that 3-walled ‘terminal’ building well. That was the only building I remember. The village was off in the distance. The runway was clean and quiet. I shared my Bull Durham tobacco with a local farmer; he gave me some of his local stuff. Kinda rough… But good diplomacy, I guess… I also recall some Aussies there on that day – and an OV-10 Bronco FAC who offered me a ride in his plane. But I was there on a mission and couldn’t leave the airstrip… Missed my chance, I guess. After over 60 missions with 8th MOB, I never had a chance to fly on one of those FAC planes. All of my time was on C-130 Hercs, C-123 Providers and C-7 Caribou… Thanks for the photos. Brings back some memories of my youth…

  5. I was a security advisor/radio operator in Tanh Linh in 1968. My Major at that was John Melcher.
    I am sorry to hear that the team was overrun after we left and lives were lost.

    • As I recall, the 119th RF Company had VCI it. They let Viet Cong sappers in through the north wire of the MACV compound at Tan Linh. The sappers made it through the team house and rolled grenades under the sleeping advisors. The enemy intell was so good they didn’t waste a grenade under the cot of a team member who was on R&R in Hawaii. When I got there the next day myself and my Vietnamese counterpart interrogated every member of the 119th. We ferreted out another six or seven VCI from the company, and then transferred the company away from Tan Linh.

  6. I led MAT Team III-48 in an RF outpost in the village of Vo Xu, Hoai Duc District, from March, 1970 to February, 1971. During that time I was also the acting District Senior Advisor in Tanh Linh after sappers penetrated the wire and successfully attacked the advisors’ team house. I was there for a month until a major could be transferred in. If any one recalls how many advisors were killed in that attack and what their names were I would appreciate knowing.

    • I’ll try to relay this info to a couple of men I served with Captain Hans Plug and Major John Melcher thanks much.

    • I am CPT H PLOOG REt..Was assistant District ADVISOR 1968TO1969 WOULD like to some more info about the inci,dent plan to stop in Texasto visit Mihn

  7. In 1969, I wrote, “I took a good trip yesterday to a little town on the coast about due east of Saigon (Ham Tan). It was just a slow and sleepy as another world and sure would make a fabulous resort. We checked some construction at a MACV facility and toured around the village centered around a lagoon at the mouth of a river. They had a fantastic fish market, and I couldn’t resist eating a big gob of raw snails (oc in Vietnamese – escargots in French). They were dipped in a kind of salt-red pepper mix and delicious – maybe even better than Louisiana crayfish – and washed down with the local Hai Muoi Ba (33) beer. We flew along the southern coast to Vung Tau and then back up to Long Binh.”

    Tom Butt tom.butt@intres.com

    • Hi Tom
      My name is Glenn Fieber
      I was in that area in 1968-69. MACV Tm48.
      That little Village was called Lagi(Lijee).
      We used to go there from Ham Tan and I liked the Chicken in rice dish and of course the “33” beer.
      I hear that this is a huge resort area now but I haven’t seen anything about it yet.

    • Hey Tom: You were right that the Ham Tan area would make a good resort. That is exactly what it is today. If you do a search on Ham Tan as it looks today, you would see many major resort hotels.

      I was in Ham Tan in 1965, there had already been an attempt to turn it into a resort town similar to Vung Tau. The attempt was made by the first lady of one of the deposed presidents (I knew at the time who it was but cannot remember now). That attempt was well before I got to VN. Beautiful white sand beaches. I know the river of which you speak. That same river is where we got our drinking water. After I left, a well was dug, so the MACV team no longer had to travel to the river (up stream from where it emptied into the South China Sea) to pump water down to the MACV compound.

      I posted photos of Ham Tan from when I was there in 1965. They are on Shutterfly in an album called Ham Tan 1965. The web page is entitled Saigon1965 (no space between Saigon and 1965). If you have trouble locating it, let me know and I will email you the link, as links are not allowed on here.

      I sure remember the 33 beer. However I remember the Vietnamese name/pronunciation to be something like “Ba Moui Ba” or some such.

  8. I was at Ham Tan, ’71, worked teletype, NCOIC was a SGT Clayton Reed.

  9. I have been trying to post a link here for some photos of Ham Tan from 1965. The attempts never worked, but I have FINALLY figured out why (I am sometimes slow on the uptake). This site doesn’t accept posts with direct links.

    Hope you enjoy, or that it brings back some memories.

    • Okay, my posts with the links to where you can find the photos of Ham Tan keeps getting deleted, so I guess y’all will just have to do a google or bing search to find it. You can search for Saigon 1965 on Shutterfly or go to shutterfly and try to find it. Whatever. Or you can email me and I would be happy to send you the link. bultenaATrocketmail.com Of course, replace the AT with the @ symbol.

  10. Does anybody remember a Cpt. Haller or Cpt. Lewis or Major Billy Beck at Ham Tan 68/69?
    Also an Air Force guy named Urias from the Kenny FACS team or Benjamin Booth?
    Glenn Fieber, radio room at Ham Tan

  11. Jim I served with an Air Force guy named Urias I think Bob was his first name in 69 at Ham Tan
    He was with the Kenny FACS.
    They vave me thier snoopy patch still have it

  12. Great memories of Ham Tan thanks.
    I was there in 68-69 and Tanh Linh
    I’ll try to get my Ham Ran photos out there somehow . I’ll have to ask my son how to do it.
    The radio room when I was there was wrapped in sand bags
    We had a monkey who lived in a window/cage behind the medic’s room
    Wonder what Bam Tan and Lai Gi look like now
    Sincerely
    Glenn Fieber Sp4

  13. I have located my old photos (slides) from Vietnam taken in 1965. Several of Ham Tan, plus Chon Thanh, Saigon, etc. Once I convert them to digital, and since I normally do NOT post photos on-line, does anyone have any ideas of where I can post them so others can have access?

    Thanks.

    • I use shutterfly. They offer a link you can post here and offer password protection. They often offer specials for good enlarged copies. Just be aware you can only print them out in 72dpi so keep your original files! Can’t wait to see them!

      • Thank you so much for the suggestion. I will open a Shutterfly account, and also DropBox and maybe a few others if anybody has any more suggestions, to make it easy for people to access them.

        I just got done going through the slides. The slides were really mixed up, and they all have dust spots. Also, as they are 50 years old, and I am 50 years older, it is hard to identify just where some of the shots were taken, as I had moved around to different locations while in Vietnam.

        However, there are about 50 slides of Saigon (including a few of Ton Son Nhut), and maybe around 35 or so of Ham Tan and around 30 or so of Chon Thanh (not very many of the village, as being only 19 or 20 at the time, I was NOT very talented when it came to selecting subject matter). After I left Chon Thanh, I went to Ham Tan.

        There are several I cannot tell where they were taken, and then several more that I most likely have misidentified, so do have patience, and once I get them posted, please help me correct any misidentified ones or those I could not identify.

        It’ll take me maybe a week to get them scanned, then maybe another week to clean them up a bit in Photoshop Elements, if I can.

        Does anyone else have photos at these various locations? I’ve been in Phouc Vinh, Ap Bo La, An Loc (briefly, on my way down to Chon Thanh), Chon Thanh, and Ham Tan. I’ve also been at the airstrips for Song Be and Loc Ninh, and Tay Ninh, and of course passed through Bien Hoa a number of times.

        Thanks.

  14. I was in Ham Tan for a few months, leaving there just before Thanksgiving, 1965. Radio operator for the advisor team. I don’t remember what the team ID was then, maybe 48. Our compound was about three miles in from the coast (South China Sea) and was on white sand that extended that far inland from the coast.

    At the time that I was there, there were just two buildings, one the mess hall/day room/ radio shack (attached to the back of the building), and the other the “bunk” house with very small individual rooms for living quarters. Just as I was leaving, a third building behind the living quarters was being built for an infantry unit to provide the compound with security, as there was NO security in the area other than ARVN.

    I met some of the guys from up the road a ways who had their own compound. While never identified, I believe they were CIA as they were always in civilian clothes and had good equipment. At one point, they transferred a tall radio tower from their compound to ours, which was lifted in place by a Huey. Radio communications was difficult there, when I was there, but I was afraid the tower would just make a good aiming point for the VC. Don’t know if that was a problem after I left.

    Periodically, several of us would jump in a jeep and head inland, past a little hamlet, to the river winding through the jungle, where we would start up a generator to pump water through a small pipeline up to our small water tower. As it was a small tank, we would need to do that about once a week or so, if I remember correctly.

    I was crazy enough to volunteer, as often as I could, to go up as an observer in a little L-19 with an AF captain as pilot. The object, of course, was to fly low and slow over the jungle canopy in the hopes of getting shot at in order to identify VC locations.

    Unfortunately, I don’t remember any names of the people who were there with me. I think at the time I was there, there were maybe 18-20 or so of us, but the numbers seemed to be increasing.

    • I mentioned a generator to pump water from the river. I actually meant a gas-powered pump. The pump was so noisy that it would disturb hundreds and hundreds of monkeys in the jungle trees around. They would start howling and some would swoop down from the trees to swipe at us, although they didn’t get close enough to actually touch or hit us.

      There was also a third building, small, just below the water tower. It was large enough to hold a big generator, and 55 gallon drums to fuel it. I can’t remember the hours we actually had power, but at the minimum in the evenings.

      Among the radios we had was a single-side band radio given to us by the (what I assume to be) CIA station guys. They supposedly belonged to some foreign aid agency. Yeah, sure.

      Somebody mentioned they were at the MACV compound in Ham Tan that was about five miles inland and surrounded by jungle. I think it was a few years after I was there. That definitely was not the compound I was at. The white sand from the beach stretched inland a bit over 3 miles, and the compound I was at was on the white sand, right about where ended. The jungle was, ummm, maybe a mile away, if I remember correctly. It could be the MACV team at Ham Tan grew too large and the compound had to be moved, or perhaps a new team was created later which was involved in advising a different segment of the South VN armed forces.

      There was a Buddhist pagoda in the village of Ham Tan that some of us would go visit, to pay respects. On rare occasion, we would also take a jeep and go to a spit of land that extended out into the sea from the main part of the village. The waves there were just right to go body surfing. We would go with at least four or more people, so one could stand guard while the others body surfed.

      One of the wives of a deposed Vietnamese president (I used to know which one, but don’t remember now) had tried to turn Ham Tan into a resort destination similar to Vung Tau. The area between the coast and our compound was beautified, but the war interfered with her plans even before her husband was deposed.

      If I ever went back to Vietnam (not likely), Ham Tan would be one of my prime destinations. From looking at current photos of the area, Ham Tan has REALLY prospered and grown. Way bigger than when I was there.

    • Hi Jim,
      I was a member of MAT10 in Binh Thuy Province, on Hwy 1 in 70-71. Seems like my Assistant Team Leader was a 1LT named Staley, from Morgan Town, WV. Are you that Staley? My memory is bit faded and sometimes jaded. So I don’t know if I’m getting it right.

      • Hi Ted–Capt. Martineau–You found me. I have tried on several occasions to locate you but had no luck until now. My email address is jimstaley03@msn.com. Hope we can continue to communicate and catch up on 40+ years. Jim Staley

  15. I was AF buck sgt radio operator 70-71.
    Worked with Kenny FAC’s. Dodged a few bullets and mortar rounds with you guys. Thanks for the memories. Proud to serve with you.!! Be glad to hear from you.

  16. 269th signal Ham Tan radio teletype 69-70 and worked in the signal bunker also.
    I knew a Glen who worked there. Are u from Louisiana ( Houma I think)).
    Loved the seafood in Lagi.
    Jim Krause

    • Hi Jim, I remember the signal bunker well like a trailer? I’m Glenn from Wisconsin I served in the radio bunker in the fall of 69 I derosed in Oct 69.

  17. I was in Tan Linh in 1968-69 as an infantry/rto served under Major Melcher
    Major Melcher and I reunited just two years ago
    I also served at Ham Tan in the radio bunker during my tour
    We also went to the Village of Lai Gi

  18. Thee was a Teu Ta Za who commanded the ArVN troops who was alter kia in Ba Ria. I was in Tanh Linh and Lai Gi as an RTO, Remember a SSG named Sinhleton and anothe SP4 Zalesny and Sackett.

    • Hi, my name is Tien, Arvn ssgt Interpreter for MJ. Moore during that time, beside him I was worked for Lt Hanna and Mr An who was a member of Phoenix operarion if you would like to contact me please email me at Vuongjames 007@yahoo.com

  19. Sorry i cannot write English clearly , My name is Manh Quynh, born on 22-5-1970, My Mother ( Quyen Thi Do ) she was a housekeeper at( HOAI DIC District 1969) , im looking for my father He was stationed in Hoai Duc District town of Binh Tuy ,near Tanh Linh , all I know that he was stationed in HOAI DUC DISTRICT 1969 his Name is (Hackett I’m not sure ) he African Americans , I just wants to know what my father looks like or if he is alive at all. If you can give leads, I would appreciate it so much ,

    • Hi my name is Glenn Fieber I was in Ham Tan in 68-69
      Do you remember a Cpt Lewis or Major Billy Beck or the guys from the Air Force who were in the radio room.
      One was named Urias

  20. 1971 & 1972 I was on this team. There a very few days that I don’t think about the men that were assigned with me in Ham-Tan. I hope someday to be able to travel back and see all the changes and hopefully find some of the VN soldiers that I worked with every day.

    • I was at Ham Tan during 68-69 as an infantry advisor. We pulled ambushes outside of town and up at Tanh Linh. Great memories would love to come back and see Lai Gi also. Lai Gi was a pit with the smell of dead fish and nuchbahm. I remember the Korean clinic across from the compound, the small bar at the compound , the chopper refueling dump down the road and the radio room and the smal mess hall. I always wonder what is in that space now. This is a great site. Long overdue for sure. Glenn Fieber sp4. Infantry

      • I was in Advisor team 48 at Tanh Linh Dictrict,we go out ambush around Lac Tanh village,DuyCan and Xau also.My name Minh Nguyen Interpretter team 48 from 1966 to 1973,looking for some one my frienr still live,I living at TEXAS.email; minhngbr@gmail.com ..I need to know all friend information please let me know.Thank you.

        • Hi Minh Nguyen, I’m Cpt. Hans Ploog I would like to write to you about our time in Tanh Linh. I have lots of questions about you and what happen after I left in 69. Please reply to this post. Thank You, Hans

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