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.

106 thoughts on “Team 53 Long Xuyen

  1. Sometime in the second quarter of 1966 I flew down to the dirt strip outside Long Xuyen to brief the province senior advisor on the intelligence available to him from MACV Hqs. My branch manager was a Navy pilot and flew me down in a Navy Beechcraft. A jeep was waiting for me and it took me to where I did my briefing. After lunch I was driven back out to the dirt strip and my manager was not there. The driver left me there and I waited down in a ditch along the strip. It was getting close to dark so I walked to a nearby ARVN basecamp to find a place to contact my manager and find a place to sleep. I heard some partying in one tent and it was two NCOs who were celebrating their escape from being captured that day. They were too drunk to talk to and I needed to contact my manager. I got through a very primitive communications system to his BOQ in Saigon. He had forgotten me!! He picked me up the next morning and flew me to Saigon. Does anyone remember these two NCOs and their escape? I wonder if it ever got into the Brightlight System or that the NCOs did not want anyone to know about them being captured.

    • Lol. Did you get drunk with them and sleep in the ditch? I flew back from Saigon to LongXuyen in late 1968. The aircraft came down so fast it blew my eardrums and I was made temporarily deaf. There were only two ARVN guards on duty. They didn’t speak English and I was stone deaf. They thought I was mad. However after a couple of hours sitting in the sun, someone came along in a jeep. The whole damn country was like the wild west!

  2. My MOS was 11B infantryman, but detailed as an RTO posted to Team 53 from April 67-April 68. I arrived a PFC & left a SPC4. Initially the team house was out on the southwest edge of Long Xuyen, but later relocated in an old mansion close to the Bassac River on the north side of town. I remember the hospital and have a couple pictures of the Aussie Nurses there. I remember another house I believe was Navy near the hospital. Also, I have a couple pic’s of Air Force FAC bird dog the crashed on the airstrip outside town & the army “Orange Blossom Special bird dog at the strip. Don’t recall the pilots name. Got a chance to ride backseat on op for team S2. I have several pic’s of Med Cap & CORD missions to distribute medicine & food to villages. Also field ops near Cho Moi, Ba Tai & Nui Sap near Tri Ton. I have pic’s of ops in canoes with RF / PF troops & LCVP’s during rainy season. When not on ops I manned the radio at the Trung Tam Hanh Quan ( TOC) tactical ops center. I was assigned to man an old 30 caliber machine gun for defense at the MACV house which had a platoon of ARVN for security. My enlisted buddies were Specialst’s Gillett & John Gerasimos

    • I don’t remember you. I arrived at MACV 53 in November 1967, and the CO was Lt Col. Lane. In January, 1968 the Team’s number was changed from 53 to 69. The Bird Dog Orange Blossom was flown by, then Captain Richard Capps; now a retired Brig. Gen. The Navy detachment by the Aussie Hospital in Long Xuyen were the Sea Bees. Like you, I too was a PFC and left as an Spec 4..

      If you can send me your mailing address; I will send you an extensive DVD of scads of photos that I took while I was there, some may bring back some memories.

      Best wishes,
      G. Craig

      • Hey Geoff, I would very much like to share pictures of Long Xuyen & Team 53. You mentioned having some on a CD. My mailing address: Ronald Ellis 199 Timber Lane, Mt. Pulaski, IL 62548. I’m also can be reached via Linkedin

      • Hey Jeff, I am compiling my tour of duty and would greatly appreciate your photos. I will be happy to share my collection of pics. I may have one with u in it. My mailings address:
        Ronald Ellis
        189 Timber Lane
        Mount Pulaski, IL 62548

      • Hey Geoff, hope things are well with you. I am still hoping you will send me a copy of the DVD photos you took during your tour with Team 53/69. I may have a picture of you during field op along with a Major and ARVN interpreter, I can share.

        • Hi! Ron,

          Sorry it took so long to reply. I rarely, if ever, look at this site, and finally noticed a request for my Long Xuyen DVD..

          It’s on the way as of today 4 March, 2023.

          The DVD is very long and extensive, and I have inclosed instructions on how to access all of it.

          You may ever see photos of yourself in it.

          Best regards.
          Geoff Craig

  3. I was in the 18th AOD attached to the team from Oct 64 – Apr 65. We operated a Flight Following station. Myself and SP4 Wagner were Air Traffic Controllers. As I recall there was three Officers, two Navy enlisted, six Army enlisted including Wagner and I. Yes the bar had the reclining lady. There was two ladies who cooked and maintained the house.

    • All Bird Dogs, whether the Army version (L-19) or the AF Version (0-1), had four rocket tubes mounted under the wings. The Air Force carried only white phosphorus rockets used to mark targets. The Army planes carried these rockets and other types.

      The Air Force Bird Dogs were light gray in color and the Army’s were Green. The Army added some orange to them at a point in the war.

      Only the Air Force FACs could order air support. through the Tactical Air Support Center (TASC)..

      The Bird Dog was manufactured by Cessna. It was originally designed to be a civilian commuter plane (Cessna 305). Bird Dogs were used by the U.S. Army in Korea as artillery spotter planes.

        • Hey Dick. I am still here and going not as fast. I sold my Cessna Cardinal last year. To busy to fly and pay for upkeep. Fellow Swampfox Ralph McRae went back in Jan 2020 for 2 weeks exploring our AO. Cap Lahn,Moc Hoa, Long Xuyen,Chau Doc,Chi Lang,Rach Via,Camau,Soc Trang,Vinh Long ,Can Tho and Saigon. Have lots of pictures and good memories.

          • Sam, Glad to hear you’re doing well. Same here. Life is good. I’m still working for the sheer joy of it (software), building boats, and fishing the saltwater. Going shooting with one of my grandsons this Saturday. Hard to believe that Long Xuyen and Cao Lanh were so long ago.

          • Sam, “Rach Via”, was that Rạch Giá where the Seabees were? We used to swap them ice cream for steaks. The meat that got to Cao Lanh was at the end of the MACV supply chain after all the good stuff was taken. I’d love to visit the Delta, but my wife won’t fly. 🙂 Glad you could make the trip.

  4. My dad was with Team 60 then 53 in 1965-1966. His name was Frank Newman but everyone knew him as “Bud” Newman. He was Army Infantry Airborne Ranger. (please excuse any redundancy – not sure about that) He was 5’7″ of fierce but fun determination, bright blue eyes and mischief.

    His particulars:
    Ltc. Frank ‘Bud’ Newman, US Army Infantry, Airborne

    8 Jun 65 – 2 Oct 66 II Field Force – 82162 – Adv Team MACV
    (SubSecAd, 9th InfDivAdDet(CI),
    Regt. Staff AD, 15th Regt., 9th INF (CI) MACV

    — recv’d Capt then Maj – 20 Jun 66

    (Served with Special Detachment 59891 (SD-5891), (MACV)

    2 Aug 69 – 2 Jun 70 HQ I Field Force – 2011 –
    Asst SGS – – Chief of Protocol

    I have a few hundred slides I’m working on with about 70 more slides to finish editing, and will at that point release the high resolution project in its entirety to anyone/everyone interested. I expect to finished no late than 31 Aug.

    The finished product will also contain the notations from my dad showing details – He wrote on nearly most every slide with re: comments/locations/persons named….Some areas mentioned in the inscriptions are Chau Doc, Rach Gia, Sa-Dec, Long-Xuyen, Vinh Binh…

    I can release super low-res pdf contact sheets to everyone now – but because of portrait/landscape problems when creating the low-res pdf’s – I have to make separate, unorganized sheets per orientation. (there are 75 slides not included as they are in process. The finished project will have them in the proper order and make a lot more sense. (it’s annoying but if I can figure it I’ll fix that)

    This is a culmination of 2 years work, started when my dad passed away 25 Oct 2016.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions and email me at to receive the low-res versions available now.

    *Note : the files are large so I will include instructions to open them via Google Chrome – it’s super simple. You will then be able to view, download and/or print the contact sheet.

    • Dear Janine, it will be very happy to receive your pdf about Long xuyen and Mekong delta.It reflected your Dad ‘s time come to help Vietnam.Thank you very much.

      • Sorry for the late reply but I don’t have your email address to share the link. Please reply again. Thx for your interest. Stay Safe.

  5. I was the USAF radio operator for the FAC team that was in Long Xuyen in 1965 and when they were moved to Chi Lang I was sent to the SF compound in Chao Duc. At that time we still needed PC approval for any strikes , and since he was in Chao Duc it cut the app time down quit a bit. Wasn’t accepted right away by the SF folks, but when we saved their asses a few times they even invited me to participate in Texas rules volleyball…I left in Oct. 1966 with many great memories and one really sad one , as SSGT James Jackson , our Medic, was on a routine .village
    visit with 15 ARVN and his VN nurse. They were overrun and he was captured…Spent 18 months(?) with the VC and was released in Laos.
    One great Dude. Wish I could tell him so…Haven’t been able to find on the web. Any Help???
    Art Fromm

  6. You folks who served in An Giang Province need to read THE GROUND KISSER, by Thanh Duong Boyer, co-written by Lisa Worthey Smith. Thanh was born in An Giang and escaped communist Vietnam by boat at the age of 12. She profusely expresses her appreciation for US soldiers and our effort.

  7. My dad was with Team 60 then 53 in October 1965-1966.

    His name was Frank Newman but everyone knew him as “Bud” Newman. He was 5’7″ of fierce but fun determination, bright blue eyes and mischief. Readiing all your comments assures me he would have been right there with ya’ll!

    He was Army Airborne Ranger. MACV. He was assigned ‘SubSecAdvisor, 9th Inf Div, Advisory Detachment (CI) and Regiment Staff Advisor, 15th Regt, (9th Inf (CI)

  8. My dad was with Team 60 then 53 in 1965-1966. His name was Frank Newman but everyone knew him as “Bud” Newman. He was Army Infantry Airborne Ranger. (please excuse any redundancy – not sure about that) He was 5’7″ of fierce but fun determination, bright blue eyes and mischief. Readiing all your comments assures me he would have been right there with ya’ll!
    I’ve got all his records, medals, etc. and am attempting to organize in order to write about his experiences. thx for your time, Janine Newman
    Pls contact me here and at

  9. 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

    • Greetings Ed,

      I served in “brown water navy” in 1970-71 up and down the Bassac from Long Xuyen to Tan Chau. My last assignment was with Naval Advisory Group and I lived with the signal company in Long Xuyen. They had a bar and the “house” was a short walk to the river. Is this the bar you have photos of?


      Mike Dellerson

      • I’m not sure. There may have been a new an an old MACV house. This is a picture of the bar in the MACV house in late 1965 or early 1966. The photo shows a an amateurish but memorable portrait of a nude woman reclining.

        I also have a picture of the front of that same MACV house and of the girl who worked at the bar. My email is If you email me, I’ll send you a scanned image of these photos.

      • I don’t think this is the same bar or facility you describe. The bar in the photo I have was in a building that was a “reasonable Cyclo ride” from town.

  10. 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 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.


      • 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.

  11. 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.


  12. 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!

  13. 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.

      • Hi Sam, he’s actually Lt. Skaug, stationed in Hue-Duc (Nui-Sap) Sub-Sector. I served as ARVN Interpreter when he was there, as well as Capt. Grugle, Capt. Wright, Maj. Robertson.
        What a wonderful memory.
        T. Tran

    • 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.

      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.

    • I remember you. I served on Tm 53/69 from 5/68 – 5/69. Served under Lt. Skau and Cpt. Grugle. I was the RTO. Lt. Skau like to hold the handset in his hand. Man, it was hard keeping up sigh those long legs!

  14. 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.

    • Hello Steve,
      Glad to hear from you 50 years after I left Hue Duc district for the 5th Special Forces Group. I’m Ssgt Tien Tran who was assigned to team 53 Nui Sap as an rvn interpreter. I still can picture your face (well, from 50 yrs ago). I also remember Maj Robertson, Capt Grugle, Capt Wright, Lt Skaug, Mr John Forbes, Sgt Doggett (USAF), Sgt Fogarty (passed away in Ft. Leonard Wood), Larry Hemphill,and of course you and few others. I surely had great time with team 53 back then. I wonder if you ever got in touch with others in the group. I’m now in Canada, and would love to hear from you as well as others in our group. My email is . What a beautiful memory!

        • Hello Steve. What a big surprise. After quite a long time trying to reconnect with Nui Sap team w/o much success, and I lost hope. Suddenly I decided to go back in the site, and saw your post again. Thanks God. I trust that you and your folks are doing very well also. I settled down in Toronto, Canada in 1975, and lived there many years, until I retired and moved to London, ON, Canafa. I’m now 75 yrs old, and tkx God, still doing ok. Pls keep in touch and drop me a line sometimes, at my email All the best to you, Steve.
          Tien Tran

          • Hello Tien I was wondering if you were there the same time as my Father Major Harold Brown? His CO was Col Lane. There was an Abel Vela and a Capt Ferebee that would have been there as well 67/68.

    • Hi Steve,
      I may have replied at wrong spot. So, see the one below. Hope you’ll read this soon. All the best. Tien T.

  15. 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.

  16. 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?


    Ed Toussaint
    Potomac, MD

    • 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

  17. 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 Brayley Storyteller Email: 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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