Team 53 Long Xuyen

MACV Team 53 – Long Xuyen.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 53 located in Long Xuyen.

42 thoughts on “Team 53 Long Xuyen

  1. There’s a book written about Long Xuyen…. “An Australian Surgical Team in Vietnam, Long Xuyen October 1967-1968.” Its in the Library of Congress, USA. Most universities and State libraries in Australia. Also available freely to view at Scribd.com

  2. Can anyone recall the name of the USAF FAC (O-1 Bird Dog pilot) that was at Long Xuyen in mid-1966.

    He replaced USAF Capt. Don Taylor (“Beaver 98”), who left in June, 1966. . This new FAC came from an assignment supporting the Mass. Air Guard.

    He was an older guy. When he received his orders for Vietnam, he tried to retire. The USAF said “No Dice”

    • Sam,

      Great! My mobile number is 508-498.7919 and my email is dick.dowdell@gmail.com. I thought I remembered that you were from Alabama. I tried to connect with one of my friends in Cao Lanh, Frank Gilliatt who worked for Harold Thorne the Ranger Advisor — I tracked him down to one of our local high schools, but they wouldn’t give me any contact info as he’d recently retired. Connecting with you has inspired me to look up more Army friends. I’ll be 70 in June and find my self becoming nostalgic.

      Cheers,
      Dick
      http://cumulus.aunt-mary.net/images/peeler/

      • I remember a Maj.Thorne who worked out of Cao Lahn.Ithink he might have worked under Mal Hombre (Col. Geracci)They got into some deep seirra east of airfield and only air available was a couple of Bir dogs making hot reloads and expending our rockets and coming back.On one of the runs I had a push rod shot into and had to make emergency landing for repairs.A couple of years later I ran into him at O Club at Ft.Benning.

  3. Sam,

    I cannot say that COL Lane enhanced my respect for authority all that much. When I later became a CO, I remembered to avoid his example. I have fond memories of sitting behind you in the BirdDog. My dad had been a Naval Aviator and I’d always loved airplanes. I’m doing great. I love my job and am still working at 69. Have a lovely wife, great daughters, and many grandchildren. Built a boat a couple of years ago and spend my spare time out on Narragansett Bay and playing golf. I hope you are well too.

    Cheers,
    Dick

  4. I wasnt part of MACV Long Xuyen. However I was stationed there as part of an Australian Civilian Surgical Team 1967-68. We were kept in supplies by MACV. I knew Sam Givhan and Geoff Craig also Also Captain Marshal ‘Skip’ Hough. Major Bill Otte and Major Harold Brown among others.

    • I remember Skip – and Lois Nugent the US nurse educator. Our team was well attended at the bar – in our white house. I recall fondly Josh the Doberman left by the SeaBees. I particularly remember rabies and being exposed and then helped with vaccine by USAF flying it in for me from Phillipines. In return I was pleased to help out with a flight into Cambodia to pull out a young soldier ? rabies – and a monkey!. I got into a lot of trouble with admin but it was a joy to fly low, hear bullets and chop tree tops – and get back to the bar safely – in a Huey and with some of the finest men I ever knew.

      • Hi Bruce, I was the one who adopted Josh the Doberman after the Seabees left. The day I left, in a hurry, I tied a note on his collar and had to just walk away. I’ve often wondered what became of him. Do you know? Clive

        • I have a picture on the interior of the bar at Long Xuyen taken in early 1966. Are you interested in seeing?

        • Sorry to be so slow Clive – I have your book and thank Brian Kearney for showing it
          I wasn’t expecting a reply – but … Josh was my ‘best friend’ and when we left we left him and so many others behind … to heavens knows what!
          Co Hue got out and Brian saw Ba Sau after the war.
          I have lots of photos somewhere in a box and now retired I may go over the 35mm slides.
          Much to admire about the Americans and a lot not understood – senior State Dept to young soldiers – we are grateful.
          Often wonder if the young bloke with a strong sense of humour and his monkey in Cambodia – went home safely!
          very best wishes

          • I remember Cameron LaClair as an impressive senior – we thought CIA. I think it was Cameron who talked me into the ‘illegal’ flight into Cambodia to get the suspect Rabies case out. It caused a stir when I said we had to go back in to get the monkey also. Without the monkey getting sick we couldn’t be sure of the soldier!

  5. I was Swampfox Birddog pilot April68-April 69.Lived in MACV house and Marie House across bridge on Le Loi Street.Col. Lane was SA.Some other names I remember are SFC Norris, Lt.Slaughter, Cpt. Grugle.I have a group picture somewhere with most names.If I find it I will try to scan and post.I flew out of Long Xuyen but supported 44STZ based in Cao Lahn.

    • Sam,

      Are you a big guy with red hair? I was S2/S3 Air on the advisory team for a while. I think it was you who flew me around An Giang Province while I took 35mm pictures. One time we were landing at Can Tho when a C-123 almost flew through us. You had great reflexes. You flew me to Cao Lanh when I got transferred to Advisory Team 50.

      Cheers,
      Dick Dowdell

      • I was the guy with red hair and handlebar stache until Col. Lane highly suggested that it needed to be reg.I don’t remember the C123 incident but that was a long time ago. I still get to fly a BirdDog now and then.I am still in contact with some of the guys that were in Long Xuyen and Cao Lahn with reunions and email.Hope you are doing well.

  6. I was an RTO on Team 53 (later Tm 69) 68-69. The team was actually located in Nui Sap village in Long Xuyen Provence. I served under Cpt. Grugle and Lt. Skau.

    • I was Swampfox 31 Army Bird Dog Pilot and was in LX April 68-April 69.I knew both Grugle and Skau. The only person at MACV other than AF Facs and Swampfoxes that I have been able to connect with over the years are Geoff Craig and Sgt. Buck Norris who passed away several years ago.

  7. My research into my brothers experience’s in Vietnam has been successful.

    Starting in August, 1965 the USAF group at Long Xuyen consisted of two FAC pilots, Capt Don Taylor and Capt Dean Eggen. The O-1 Bird Dog crew chief was A2C Tom Toussaint (NJ) and the radio guy was A2C Art Fromm (Ohio)

    Much of their off duty time was spent drinking beer with the Aussie nurses and doctors who worked at the Australian hospital at Long Xuyen.

    Don Taylor and Art Fromm are still alive and living in Virginia and California respectively.

    Dean Eggen died recently in Clearwater, FL. Tom Toussaint passed away in Feb, 1984.

  8. I need some help from you IV Corps (Mekong Delta) Advisory Team vets.

    I am trying to piece together my brother’s experiences in Vietnam (June 65 to June 66) for the benefit of his boys and the rest of the family.

    A2C Tom Toussaint was a USAF reciprocating engine mechanic. For part of his time he was on Advisory Team 53 at Long Xuyen or Can Tho. He spent time at Soc Trang and Chi Lang. And he had been in both Thailand and Laos.

    I think he was a crew chief on a Forward Air Control 1-E Bird Dog. He had hundreds of slides taken from the rear seat of the FAC plane of air strikes in the forests below. But the few pictures I have of him show only Bird Dogs with US Army markings, not USAF.

    How were these Advisory Teams organized? Who did the members report to?

    Could he have been working on an Army plane?

    He talked about having an M60 mounted on the door of the O1-E. The FAC’s I have talked to said that the Army O1-E’s did this, but not the Air Force.

    What was the role of these USAF people on these Advisory Teams in the Delta?

    Thanks,

    Ed Toussaint
    Potomac, MD
    Etoussaint44@yahoo.com

    • Hi Ed, my name is Mike Mirkes. Just saw your inquire about whether Tom could have been on an Army plane .I was on advisory team 53/69 in 68-69 in Long Xuyen. We had a Air Force Medic on our team so it is possible that Tom was on a Army Plane. I know this is 3 years since your inquired but I just saw it.

      • Mike;

        Thanks for your response. Since I left that message, I have been very successful at tracking people down that he had served with at Long Xuyen and then at Chi Lang in Chau Doc province.

        No, Tom was assigned to the USAF FAC team there at Long Xuyen. At the time he was there (Jun-Dec of 65) there were two USAF FAC pilots flying the same 0-1 plane. There was also an Army FAC there whose name was Barry Taylor.

        One of the Air Force TAC’s had a strong relationship with one of the Aussie nurses. He belives it was the reason he and my brother and the Comm guy (Art Fromm) were sent out tot he boonies (Chi Lang in the Seven Mountain Area near the Cambodian border)

        If you are interested I have a picture of the bar at Long Xuyen I can send you.

        Ed Toussaint
        Potomac, MD

  9. My brother, A2C Tom Toussaint was on was assigned to Advisory Team 53 before Christmas, 1965. I thought he was at Can Tho.

    He did talk about being at Tan Son Nhut, Soc Trang, Long Xuyen and finally Chi Lang.

      • You are correct. I was a Infantry Radio operator at the Macv Base in Long Xuyen from August 68 to August 69. Have tried to make contact with others with no success. Please contact me if there is anyone out there who were stationed at Long Xuyen at that time, Thanks, J. Manzella

          • I was there April 68-April 69.Sam Givhan Swampfox pilot.

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            • Dear MACV Teams,

              I did try to contact with you guys last year but never got an answer so figured I didn’t connect…

              I released a book last year in Australia called Our Vietnam Nurses….

              I wanted to tell you because MACV came up a lot in the civilian nurses stories at Long Xuyen. In fact, I wish I’d known about this group when I was writing the stories!

              They all spoke of you guys so warmly and clearly those of you who knew them, looked after them (the Australian surgical teams) incredibly well.

              I would love to know if any of you remember them?

              Best wishes and thanks!

              Annabelle

              Annabelle Brayley Storyteller Email: bellarose55@bigpond.com Fbook: Australian Outback Storyteller

        • Hey Joe, I was with MACV from May 68- June 69 as a radio operator. I was with the team in sub.sector Chau Than (not sure about spelling). CT Hamlin and LT. Underwood.

          • I was at Long Xuyen April. 68 thru March 69.BirdDog pilot with 199thRAC.The only person that I have been in contact with is Geoff Craig and other pilots and crew from 199th.

            • Its almost 50 years ago – but if you were there you can’t forget (the Long Xuyen Australian Surgical Team and friends)

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