Team 55 Rach Gia

MACV Team 55 – Rach Gia.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 55 located in Rach Gia.

374 thoughts on “Team 55 Rach Gia

  1. I have asked this before but does anyone have a map that shows the boundaries, towns, and/or geographic features of the RVH Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province as it existed during the Vietnam war? Is the old Kien Bien District the new Vietnam “An Bien” district southwest of Rach Gia? That seem to be where I remember it to be.

    • I have kept a blue line print of a map produced by public works that shows district boundaries, towns, roads, canals. It is too large to copy or scan the whole map, but I could scan Kien Binh district area and email it to you.

      • Dan, that would be great if you could send me the map of Kien Binh. Send it to BTW, I spent a little time in Kien Tan (or Thanh) district near Rach Gia. If you don’t mind, could you send that one too?
        (1LT) Ken Shuck
        Kien Binh District DIOCC/Phoenix Advisor
        Jul 1968-May 1969

      • Dan,
        I would love to get a copy too if possible. Ken and I met up for lunch to discuss Team 55. As context, my father was on Team 55 and I am going to Vietnam with my family in January. I am trying to find the areas where he may have been stationed so that I can tour the area. He rarely spoke about his time there and he passed away so I cant learn anything from him on the matter.

    • Ken,
      Kien Binh town was SE of Rach Gia. While I was researching locations for my book “Rice Roots,” I was able to access complete online topographical maps of Kien Giang Province and Kien Binh District. I was able to print them out and that’s how I have both maps in my book of the Hoa Quan Village and Vinh Thanh Village areas.
      You should be able to do the same thing online and just Google the hell out of it in various ways. I believe I may have even put in map coordinates, such as WR358883, for example, which is about 400 meters north of our outpost in Vinh Thanh Village in 1969.
      Try Googling Kien Binh with “1969” or “topographical Army map” or whatever. There’s a University in TX that had a bunch of this stuff online too.
      Very sorry, but after we published the book I lost track of where I obtained the online maps. They were so crystal clear of such high resolution that I was able to copy and paste them into my computer and enlarge and label them with PhotoShop. Can’t find them right now but I’ll keep on looking.
      Bob Amon
      1LT Team Leader, MAT IV-88, Advisory Team 55
      Kien Binh District. Kien Giang Province, RVN

      • Hello, Bob, nice to see your posts again.
        (This is in response to another post in this thread.)

        It was easy to have been disoriented when in Kien Giang Province. Most of us were – unless we worked with maps daily as I did. For a long time I thought Can Tho was NE of Rach Gia but it is practically due east.

        Kien Binh was not southwest of Rach Gia. SW of Rach Gia was the Gulf of Thailand. One could take a boat (even a Boston Whaler) to nearby Hon Tre island which is SW of Rach Gia. It had a pretty nice beach.

        Phu Quoc island (home of a US Navy base and a large PW camp) was far to our west, slightly NW. Phu Quoc had one of the nicest beaches in this world.

        I might suggest getting the Google Earth (its free) program (assuming you are using a computer) and then zoom in on Kien Giang province to see it all in full perspective. You can zoom in and out. Many (maybe all) of the District names have been changed. Most towns and villages have the same names. I’m still confused, but zoom way in and look for a town name you remember then zoom back out to get perspective. I hope this is helpful.
        Don Barker, Sr. S-2 Advisor 68-69

        • Hey Don,
          You’re right about “working with maps” – brings back memories. My topographical map was as important to me as my rifle was out at our outpost. Whenever we went out on a patrol or mission with the RFs, I HAD TO KNOW (constantly) what my exact position was. This was drummed into our heads ad nauseum.
          If the you-know-what hits the fan it does you no good to call in a SITREP and not know your exact position in relation to where the fires is coming from. You can’t bring pee on Charlie unless you know his exact coordinates and more importantly, you’re own, so you don’t bring anythng in on top of your own troops.I remember walking alongside my counterpart practically staring at my map the whole time, fearful I didn’t know my exact coordinates.
          Bob Amon
          Teamleader, MAT IV-88
          Kein Giang, 1969

        • Don,

          I would love to hear more about the Kien Binh area and its location. I did google and Kien Binh District shows up a little NE of Rach Gia. Closer to Han Tien than Rach Gia. Is your understanding that the military district during the war is in the same area that Google maps shows as Kien Binh district today? Or did the military draw the district lines very differently?
          My late father was in Team 55 and I am going to Vietnam in January. I would love to tour the area and maybe find some of the towns/villages that had outposts and/or where he may have conducted operations. Any information you have on town names in Kien Binh or the location of the Kien Binh district in general would be most appreciated. Oh, and I had the honor of meeting with Ken Schuck for lunch and he shared some great information about the team with me.


          • Michael, Kien-Binh was our easternmost District. I operated in that area mostly doing aerial reconnaissance. I was rarely on the ground in that District. I’m sorry but my memory is vague. Except for one tiny village on the District border, (which was actually in the neighboring Province of Chuong Thien (where the S-2 Advisor was a friend from previous assignments) and in a disputed area, where I went to hand out some Solatium payments to several villagers – my memory cells are blank.

            • Don,
              Regarding your post above dated November 18, 2022 at 6:02 pm, your reference to making reparation payments at the border of Kien Giang and Chuong Thien Provinces: Was the date of your visit late October or early November,1969? If so, I was there on the ground at the time only perhaps a click away. On October 22, 1969, US helicopter gunships blasted away at a small hamlet to the east of our outpost at Vinh Thanh Village (on the border of Kien Giang and Chuong Thien). Two civilians were killed and I’m pretty sure the families received about $100 for their loss (this was a considerable amount of money to them at the time).
              Someone from Rach Gia went there during that timeframe to deliver the payment. You should have stopped by Vinh Thanh outpost for a beer. This incident is mentioned on page 213 in my book.
              Bob Amon
              1LT Teamleader, MAT IV-88
              Kien Giang Province, 1969

              • Yes, That was me. It was a sad day. A couple of weeks (can’t recall for sure) earlier I had taken a gunship team to hit a target a few kilometers south of the village where the people were fired on.
                While striking the designated target, two Huey gunships had swung to the north to clear the area for other strikes after they had made their first run. Soon they called that they had “VC with rifles fleeing toward the trees” to me. I was on the original target in the C&C. I distinctly told them to hold fire until I got there. They got antsy and opened fire – wreaking destruction on a bunch of old men and women and very young girls. The “rifles” were agricultural tools for working the fields and paddies.
                When I got therel, and went in to take a close look, I was sick at my stomach. Besides two killed we had several with serious wounds. The gunship pilots had used fleshette rockets. Even though the investigation absolved me of blame, the entire event was whitewashed. Nobody was blamed – it was caused by “the fog of war”). That was pure BS. They ignored my clear orders.
                LTC Stanberry determined that, since I was the mission commander, It was my duty and role to go and distribute the Solatium payments to the aggrieved families. I got a C&C and two gunships, went to the Chuong Thien to pick up the Sr S-2 Advisor there, and, with my pockets loaded with cash and documents ready for the X of the survivors’ – and with no public announcement, headed to the affected village.
                My C&C landed and dropped me and two men (and the Chuong Thien Sr S-2 Advisor) with M-16s off in the village then it, and the two gunships, after doing a recon of the surrounding area, went to, I think, a nearby location where some US forces were stationed, just barely to our west – we had radio contact – and waited for our call for the pickup.
                Those choppers might have waited at your location. Their flight leader made those decisions.
                Man, I could have used a cold – even warm – beer when that was over. Considering what had happened, and that I must have been perceived as the person responsible, I expected a hostile reception by the villagers. I never really thought I would come back alive.
                As it turned out, I was never physically threatened but my emotions took a beating. They were all harmless poor farmers.
                My brain was numb for several days.
                How I wished I had taken a photographer.
                If you would like to read the entire full story, it is a chapter in my book “Vietnam Remembered” and I will be glad to send you a copy of that chapter. Just let me know. I titled that chapter: “Solatium Payments: A Clash of Cultures”. As my old Kentucky hillbilly kinfolk would say; “It ain’t pretty.” You were practically there with me – why didn’t I just pick you up on the way in!!!! I’m sure you will be one of the few people who could grasp what I saw and understand it all.

              • Bob, I just noticed the date you wrote about (Nov 69). I had read it as 1968. That would not have been me. Mine would have been about a year earlier or maybe less than a year. Nobody had ever heard of such a mission at the time I was sent on that mission so I assumed you were talking about mine but I departed Kien Giang in July, 1969. It appears that somebody else may have been involved in a similar incident. My apologies for my earlier error.

                • Hi Don,
                  Yes, the incident I’m referring to at the border of Kien Giang and Chuong Thien happened in 1969… mentioned in my diary (Oct 22) and in my book on (Rice Roots) on page 213. The farmers from that village built a funeral pyre of logs in Lincoln-log fashion. It measured approximately 10′ tall. Put the bodies at the top of the pyre and torched the whole thing. Burying people in the sloppy mud of the Mekong Delta rice paddy was not the way to go, hence the cremation.
                  Every day was quite the adventure. I never knew what I’d be seeing or experiencing.
                  Bob Amon
                  Former 1LT – MAT IV-88 (Team 55)
                  Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province

    • I wonder if anyone would remember this incident. I was looking for a ride back to the short strip in Rach Soi from cantho air field. I was asigned to co. c369th signal that was assighed to teamd 55 in rach gia across from the chow hall. This was probably in may 1970 to sometime in 1971. I caught a ride on a Huey gun ship and was headed that way. then the gun ship got a call in flight that an outpost up next to the 3 sisters mountains was being attacked. The door gunner told me that they would drop me at the outpost. The outpost was an old french villa out in the middle of rice paddies. When the gunship came in to drop me off, the locals and advisors had just captured a viet cong in the elephant grass with a b-40 rocket. I ended up spending that day, night a most of the next day on the perimeter. The old french villa must have been overrun sever times as there was bullet holes everywhere. Sometime during the night I happened to walk in on the vc that was captured, was being interrogated. Not a pleasant time for him.. I managed to get on another gunship late that aftenoon. We took ground fire as we were taking off around one of the mountains. When I returned back to the tean in Rach Gia, I was threatened to be courtmartialed for being awol for two days.

      • Kien Binh was the easternmost District of Kien Giang Province. It was due east of Rach Gia and bordered two other Provinces. As for an earlier question, there was a typo saying “to the SW of Rach Gia”. Anything SW of Rach Gia would be in the Gulf of Thailand.

        Most of what was Kien Binh is now Giong Rieng and Go Quao Districts.

        I have such a map but it is a large sheet (approx 2′ X 2.5′) but I have no way to copy it. I may be able to get it commercially copied and mailed if you wish. Or, I could do an 8.5″ X 11″ scan and attach it to an email to you personally. That would also show Rach Gia, Kinh Tan and Kinh Thanh plus parts of other old districts.

        • Don is 10% correct about the location of Kien Binh District. The two main “towns” within the district were Kinh Binh proper and also Ben Nhut. They were prominent at the time because you could access them both by road, making them unique among towns in the Delta. Both marketplaces thrived because of this vehicle access.
          From our remote outpost at Hoa Quan Village, we could travel to Ben Nhut by sampan in about 1.5 hours. We used to accumulate cases of soda that the Swing Ship would drop off to us (for free), as well as cases of Carling Black Label beer or Hamm’s.
          The warm beer didn’t last long, but we soon discovered that the cases of soda would bring a handsome “profit” at the marketplace in Ben Nhut. At $.10 a can, the case would generate $2.40. $2.40 in piasters was a lot of money in 1969.
          We used that money to procure local labor to re-thatch our teamhouse, get our laundry done, or hire local farmers to hump our drinking water in buckets from the filthy canal over to our teamhouse, a distance of about 150 meters.
          I did not include this “black market” activity in my book, not knowing the statute of limitations on such antics. (LOL)
          But those were the days alright. It wasn’t bad enough that we had to risk our lives going out on night ambushes with the RFs, after a while we had such disregard for our own safety that we’d willingly take the dangerous sampan trips in broad daylight to Ben Nhut just to improve our primitive lifestyle.

          Bob Amon, former 1LT
          Teamleader, MAT IV-88
          Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province

          • The recent reference to travel along the cannals by sanpan. Causeed me to want to send a pic of my team kenner ski bardge… 50 cal mounted front.. gensde layncher and m60 at the stern…
            Used all weapons on a trip through a canal to south china sea… for a oucnick… and to use the skiis the navy guys gave us
            Former cpt tem 69 tri ton village

          • Greetings, Bob. Nice to hear from you again.
            Your comment about the value of $2.40 in 1969 caught my eye. While at Rach Gia, in 68-69 I made one of those life-changing decisions. I had always been a “spender” – not a saver and investor. I decided, just before coming home, that I was going to set goals for saving and investing and become a millionaire within the next ten years.

            While that isn’t an impossible goal, (I didn’t quite make it) it is nearly impossible to achieve. The problem is that they keep moving the goal posts. That is because one million dollars, in 1969, would need a couple of million to have the same buying power in 1979. It is called “INFLATION”! Actually, today, for us to have what was one million $$$ in 1969, we would need to have about 9 million $$$!
            I’m still striving for my 1969 millionaire status! 🙂

  2. Does anyone remember 2/Lt Donald F McClung. He was Team 54 and I presume Team 55 1967-68.

    He later served with 101st Airborne LRRP.

    Any infor woudl be appreciated.

  3. Shotgun… dave…
    Good to see your name.. I was thinking of you recently.. I recalled our trip to aus and an exciting day with you above me. Sadly I had to look at an old award to see when it was and where…
    All I could recall was the top of the u Minh … and the view flying out on the last uh1 into a beautiful setting sun
    R T Geck. Cpt

    • I am trying to post a comment. can anybody help. I am looking for anyone who served on team 55 in the year 1970.

      • At various times, I was assistant team leader on MAT 64, 46, and 87, all in Kien Giang, during the period August 1970-April 1971.

        • Im not sure .. but as a captain team leader in soc son 2… i had a Lt .. named tom.. who turned out to be quite an artist…
          Is that you?

          • We may have served togoether in soc son 2 village… if you are the tom i am thinking of you are a very good artist… and the last timebi saw you was at an art sale at firt hood.
            Ar the time i was cot. Team leader

          • Hey there, My father was James Betz. I am his son. I just learned he was part of Advanced Team 55. He was a green beret. The records are hard to read, but it looks like he was definitely there in March 1971. He passed away suddenly years ago, and never spoke about the war. Ever. Anything you might know about Team 55 or the team members would be so appreciated.

            • Hello Michael. My name is Chalmer (Don) Barker. I was the Sr. S-2 (Intelligence) Advisor for Advisory Team 55 from Aug 1968 through July 1969. Team 55 had been Team 54 until early 1968. I was a CPT for nearly all of my time there – having been promoted to Major a few days prior to my return stateside.

              Our Team was headquartered in the town of Rach Gia which was the Political Headquarters of Kien Giang Province. A Vietnamese Province is, roughly, the same as a State in the US but much smaller. Kien Giang was politically subdivided into Districts.

              Each district had a smaller Advisory Team assigned to it. In addition, Team 55 had several smaller mobile teams of 5-6 US soldiers that were placed in strategic locations which changed from time to time. These teams were called MAT-Teams (Mobile Advisory Teams) and most were commanded either by a Captain or a First Lieutenant. These teams were the “tip of the sword” and lived in “outposts”, or “forts” in or near small villages in conditions highly fraught with danger. Those men lived a life of danger with few of the “comforts of home”. They were the ones, at the advisory level, most often involved in combat operations.

              Our team was augmented by US Navy personnel and watercraft because of the unique geographic nature of our Province. We also had a SEAL team attached (or working in our area) most of the time. Most Team members were never aware of these units because they operated “under the radar”. The MAT teams required lots of support from both the District and Provincial teams. Most of their food and ammunition was supplied via helicopters. Surface transportation to their locations was often too dangerous. My relationship with them was to keep them abreast of the latest intelligence on VC units in, or near, their location. I was always more than happy to do all I could to support them.

              Team 55 was one of the larger teams in-country. It was commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel while I was there and he had served much of his former career as a Green Beret. But, as was likely the case with your father, his assignment as the Senior Advisor of Team 55 was not a Special Forces (Green Beret) duty assignment.

              There was a Special Forces team located in our Province (near Ha Tien and on the Cambodian border) but it was not a part of our team. They served a different master. In my official capacity I did interact with that team a few times because they gathered lots of intelligence. The SEAL team also was a great intelligence source. And, we had a PRU (Provincial Reconnaissance Unit) operating out of Rach Gia. I could throw a rock from my offices to the PRU compound. The PRU units were unique and had a separate chain-of-command (CIA) from ours. We were a part of MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vetnam).

              Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have. You can email me at

        • Don’t believe our paths crossed. I was the DSA in Kien Tan District all of 1971. Jack Matthews.

          • I may have been the team leader on your team… perhaps in soc son 2 … but if so it was 69..
            Richard geck cpt then

            • Hey Richard,

              I believe our paths crossed in 1969 and I’m pretty sure I remember your name. I was Team Leader of MAT 88 in Kien Binh District for all of that calendar year.

              You may be interested in reading my book (published in April 2020). It’s based on a diary that I kept the entire year: “Rice Roots, The Vietnam War: True Stories from the Diary of a U.S. Combat Advisor.”

              I did not mention your name, but others are mentioned, including LTC Stanberry, Mayor Stroud, CPT Henderson, LT Cussen, SGT Hank Sekusky and many others.

              Available on Amazon and also Barnes and Noble, and I have my own website: Hope you’ve had good fortune since your tour in Kien Giang Province!

              (Former) 1LT Robert R. Amon Jr.
              Team Leader, MAT IV-88, Feb.-Dec. 1969
              Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province, RVN
              (908) 451-2123

              • Ill get a copy… ltc. Stanberry was and still is one of my favorite people and the best officer i knew… i was close to amb colby all his life and kept track of col stanberry untill the 90s… life has been good.. but still the days in chau doc and later rach gia snd people like my medic sargent painter and dave shotgon mc gawan provide my best stories

                • I relied on “Shotgun 33” many times to drop my map overlay out of his cockpit. He used to fly in so low over the outpost I thought he’d hit one of the antennas!
                  Yes, Bill Stanberry and his wife Martha are still carrying on! Carolyn and I visited them in Austin prior to publishing “Rice Roots.” He wanted to read my manuscript before giving me his permission to use his name. But after he read it, he not only gave me permission, he enthusiastically offered to write the Foreword for the book. He told me it was a very accurate depiction of what life was like as an Advisor under him, so that was quite an endorsement.
                  Did you command a MAT Team out by the “big canal” near the U-Minh? For some reason, my memory remembers your team getting into some sh*t quite often.
                  If you order the book, there are topographical maps within the first several pages and perhaps they’ll help jar your memory.. But I swear, I do remember your name in the province and I think I remember you getting on the radio and getting into some deep sht from time to time.

                  Bob Amon
                  (908) 451-2123

          • Jack, Do you happen to know who the DSA MAJ was of Kien Tan District in May-July 1968 time frame. I was assigned to be the Phoenix Advisor there but was transferred to Kien Binh district after a month or two.
            Ken Shuck

      • Hey there, my father (James Betz) was on Team 55 from March to April 1970 (March to August for certain, maybe a few months before or after too). He was a Green Beret, Military Intelligence. He passed away several years ago though. He never spoke about the war, but I just did get his full military records from the National Archives which provides some insights. I too am looking for information on Team 55. My family and I are going to Vietnam in December and hoping to learn more about where specifically he served (I hear that the Team spent most of their time in/near small villages). Happy to share what I have learned and would love to hear if you find anyone that served in Team 55 in 1970. Im at

      • Hi, my dad did ( James Betz) and we are trying to locate anyone who knew him. Hope to hear from you even though this post is several years old.

        • Courtenay,
          Are you and Michael Betz brother and sister? I am meeting Michael for lunch this Friday, November 18, 2022, in Washington DC. I was the Phoenix Advisor in Kien Binh District about a year before Michael’s Dad, James Betz held the same position.
          Ken Shuck
          Kien Binh Phoenix/DIOCC Advisor
          May 1968-May 1969

      • Jim, My father, James Betz, was a member of Team 55 in 1970. He is deceased and rarely spoke about his service. I am also trying to find veterans for family members of veterans from Team 55. I am going to Vietnam in December and hoping to learn the names of the towns where he fought. Will le you know if I learn anything and please do the same.

        • I was on Team 55 thru the year of 1969. While I have forgotten the names of the villages, I do remember the districts. I was Phoenix advisor in Kien Luong, Kien An, and Kien Thanh districts during my tour.

        • I was District Senior Advisor, Kien Tan District all of 1971. Col Art Moreland was the PSA, Province Senior Avvisor.

        • Hello Michael,
          Your interest in travelling to Kien Giang Province and learning more about where your dad served is very heart-warming.
          Although your family name “Betz” is not familiar to me (it probably wouldn’t be, since I departed Vietnam in January of 1970) I’m hoping there are others here who will recall his service there.
          Team 55’s Area of Operations included the entire province (a province is the equivalent of a state in the U.S.) and therefore, there are many small “towns” (or villages). It would probably help you to search through some of his records and try to pin-point what “district” (like a county within a state) that he served in. He may have served on a Mobile Advisory Team and perhaps you could determine which team he served on.
          If you’d like to know more in general about what field duty was like on one of the eleven MAT Teams within Kien Giang Province, you can always read a copy of my book on the plane to familiarize yourself with the goings-on in Kien Giang during that timeframe.
          My book is available on Amazon and B&N titled “Rice Roots, the Vietnam War: True Stories from the Diary of a U.S. Combat Advisor.”
          Good luck with your trip to Kien Giang Province and a big “Thank You” to your dad for his service there.
          Robert R. Amon Jr.
          Former 1LT Team Leader, MAT IV-88
          Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province
          Calendar Year 1969

          • Bob Amon, BTW, Michael Betz and I have connected since I was the Phoenix Advisor in Kien Binh District from 1968-69 and he says his father was the Kien Binh Phenix Advisor in 1970. Coincidentally, we both live in Washington DC, so we are getting together over lunch on November 18th. I did not know his father, but I can give him a lot of information on how the program developed in my area, who the players were, my working OPCON to CORDS, and what I have read about the life of Phoenix Advisors once the military took over the program. I also have the pictures that I took on that tour. Ken Shuck

            • Hey Ken,
              My encounters with you aren’t mentioned in my diary (and subsequently my book) but I do remember your last name. Part of my job as team leader was to obtain names of individuals in our AO who were known Vietcong or VC sympathizers. John Paul Vann stressed the importance of submitting the names through our channels, so I’m sure we had contact.
              I live in NJ, so if I’m ever down your way I’d love to hook up and exchange remembrances. Like you, I’ve got plenty of photos also… over 500 (mostly color) prints,
              Bob Amon
              MAT IV-88, Kien Binh District
              RVN 1969
              (908) 451-2123

              • Richard geck here…
                I dont have your memory so i need to look up names and location. But i worked in both chau doc and rach gia..
                In rach gia i was a dep sr advisor 1st lt then team leader cpt. Mat 69…
                In rach gia worked with then sfc drew dix… in rach gia i was very close with col stanberry… then jihn van … and went to senate hearings with mr.colby.. who i remainer in contact with untill he died.. invited and honored to attend his funeral at arlington.
                I have mostly avoided discussiins of those days but have been to this site before.
                I just now say the nj address.
                I live in barnegat… perhaps we could meet some day…
                I have very few pics… but would enjo_ seing yours

              • Hi Bob, It totally baffles me how I get to a specific message on this site like the one you just sent me – or my own posts as well. Any idea how it works? Anyway, if you are planning to be in DC and have some time, email me ( or call 301-512-4653. Ken Shuck

                • The posts are in chronological order based on the date a “conversation” was started. For example, if someone posted a comment in 2019 about an incident which happen on a team, all responses to that comment are grouped with the original 2019 comment.
                  You are correct that it is confusing.
                  However listing comments chronologically in order of the date received would also be confusing in that a comment posted today in response to a 2019 comment would have no context or reference point.
                  Neither system is perfect so the one having context was chosen. Also, when this website was started, we had no idea that we’d have over 23,000 comments which is great however requires more digging.

    • Darn, Richard, we have a similar memory. One day I had led a team of Huey gunships to hit a newly developed target along the main canal going into the U-Minh Forest. After the strike, it was late and the sun was low on the horizon, and, as we headed home the pilot put on some off-air music and I dangled my legs out the side of the plane as they played one of my favorite songs – “The Games People Play”. The music of that era was great stuff!
      What a wonderful memory. For a few minutes the war did not exist.

  4. I was the Corpsman at a SeaBee construction site at the end of the big canal on the Big Blue. “Lucy’s Gun Club” The PBR crews use to supply us and come for meals all the time. The SEAL team operated and stopped by. They were my only medivac.. which even today still haunts me. I could not get a medivac in.. I had to use a boat. Just looking to say hi to anyone who may have had chow or a beer with the SeaBees. You were our only protection and rescue. We never had a gunship except for a lucky air crew who lost all electronic saw our lights @0130 and landed right smack in trhe middle of camp.. Boy did we get them drunk.
    276-930-3009 you’ll have to leave a message
    Ray Wells HM1 ret RN EMTP (active until I die)

  5. Hello,

    I’m hoping someone to find someone who might be able to help me with some research I’m doing on my Vietnam service OCT 1970 – SEP 71 .

    My name is Stephen Abney, and I was a Sergeant in Vietnam, OCT 1970 – SEP 71 with HHC of the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion, First Aviation Brigade. I was in charge of airfields at Rách Gia and Vi Thanh, IV Corps. I was first attached to MACV Advisory Team 73 at Vi Thanh and then to MACV Advisory Team 55 in Rách Gia .

    I am looking for someone who could put me in touch with or who has knowledge of MACV Advisory Teams 73 and 55 and/or my unit when I was in Vietnam either HHC of the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion, First Aviation Brigade 1970-71, or 13th CAB Personnel for the time period I was stationed at airfields in Can Tho, Vi Thanh, and Rách Gia. I would particularly like to find the CO or 1st Sergeant for HHC (or anyone else) or any of the pilots in the 13th CAB to see if they’re still around and would know of my CO or first sergeant.

    Some of my recollections of Vietnam are not so clear after all these years, but I left Oakland in October 1970 and flew to Bin Hoa Air Base and from there left for Camp Alpha at Long Binh. From there I was sent south to Can Tho to a holding company. A first sergeant came through after I had been there a few days and asked for volunteers for a job running airfields. I ended up in a helicopter unit, HHC of the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion, First Aviation Brigade, and was sent first to Vi Thanh where I lived in the MACV Team 73 compound with other GI’s and officers and a Navy SEAL team stationed there and their other related personnel. During the time when I was in charge of the airfield at Vi Thanh the United States was going through the institution of the Vietnamization Program where we were turning over all assets to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam so I had a lot of ARVN personnel at the airfield who worked for me. But basically I had about a half a dozen GIs who worked for me at Vi Thanh and about the same number later when I was reassigned to the airfield at Rách Gia. We refueled and re-armed all helicopter and fixed wing traffic coming into those two airfields. I managed JP4 storage and ammo dumps and the airfield operations at both of these airfields. There may have been some air traffic control at Vi Thanh but there wasn’t any at Rách Gia.

    I am looking for anyone in MACV Teams 55 or 73 who may have known the CO or 1st Sergeant for HHC of the 13th CAB and specifically to see if anyone has any recollection of my being stabbed in the back on the city street in Rách Gia in 1971. I seem to recall my CO’s name was Whorton or Morton and had a Captain America helmet he wore sometimes and flew a Kiowa. I was stabbed by a Vietnamese guy riding on the back of a Honda 50 as I was walking down the street with a couple guys in my unit. As they came by, the VC stabbed me in the left shoulder, and then they kept going. Best I recall I was treated in Rách Gia and later flown out of Rách Gia into Can Tho where they fixed me up. For whatever reason, it is not in my medical records. I do not recall going back to Rách Gia after that, but shortly thereafter I left for home in September 1971 and separated from the Army as an E-5 sergeant.

    If you know anything about my unit or the MACV Team 73 or 55 during the time when I was there, I would appreciate it if you would get back to me or forward my name and contact information to anyone else you might have known me in Team 73 or 55 or the13th CAB and who might be able to help me.

    I see there is a scheduled reunion of those who served in Chuong Thien Province, Vietnam, Advisory Team 58 and its successor, Advisory Team 73 in San Antonio, TX the 17-20 May, 2018. Is this still open to attend? I would like to attend if possible.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you can help me or if there is any one you know who I can contact. I’d love to visit with you.

    Thank you for any help you can provide. I have a number of photos from both assignments, and I’d love to share those if there is any interest.

    Here is my contact information:

    Best regards to all,

    Stephen Abney
    2010 Crisfield Drive
    Sugar Land, TX 77479

    Sergeant – Vietnam
    US Army

    281-414-2924 (cell)
    281-565-3152 (home)

    • Hello Mr. Abney, there is a MACV Facebook page.

      I hope that copy and pasted correctly. If not, it’s titled “Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) Team 55.

      My Father was in MACV Team 55 from August 1970 to February 1971. If you happen to have any photographs of the team, I’d love to see them.

      My Dad’s name is SFC Leslie “Roy” Karnes.

      • Sue, thank you for the reply. I was in Rach Gia from ~APR 1971 through SEP 1971 so I would not have worked with him, and I do not remember meeting him when I was in Vi Thanh attached to Team 73. I have quite a few photos of my time in Rach Gia I’d be happy to share. I am going to attend a reunion this weekend in San Antonio with the Team 73 Vi Thanh Team. Here is my email If you’ll email your address I’d be happy to send what I have. All of my contact information is in my post. I have now visited the Facebook page you recommended and will try to join the group to post stay up with everyone. Thank you again for the reply. Stephen Abney

      • Sue Ann,

        My father was a member of Team 55 in 1970. His name was James Betz, Captain. He is deceased and rarely spoke about his service. My family and I are going to Vietnam in December, and I am trying to learn more about what towns he may have fought in during his time there. If you have any information on where Team 55 may have spent time during 1970, I would be most appreciative.

    • I was on team 55 from around April of 70 until Christmas of 70. It might have been you in the control tower when I arrived there a helo dropped me off and I think I rode into town with you at the end of the day. If that was you. Remember a lot of things from back then. Just found this site. Hope to talk more.

      • Unless there is some pre-arranged code writing system between limited partners, I cannot understand what this is about. It is undecipherable to me.

  6. Today is Easter Sunday, 2018.

    Brought back remembrances of Team 55 in 1969-70.

    Went to the traveling Wall today and saw the names of the 3 Seals who got killed in our barracks in downtown Rach Gia on May 19, 1969 doing something with a Chicom munition they captured: Kenneth Van Hoy, Lowell Meyer, and Ronald Pace, RIP. One of them, who I don’t know, died in my jeep as the Navy surgeon tried to save him while I drove to the helo at the small airstrip just south of town.

    But Easter Sunday, brought back a better memory of taking a whaler with my sergeant and an interpreter out to the North Vietnamese Catholic Church on the canal about an hour east of town. Last time I ever went to communion and the first time I ate dog.

    I was around when Major Boyd and Lt Granger ran the Kien Binh operation. Granger spoke French and so did the Cambodian Captain so we didn’t need an interpreter. I liked going out there as I got of Rach Gia and, like the others here, liked them a lot. I remember patrolling on the canals with them and finding concrete bunkers that the villagers told me had been built by Nguoi Den (black men). These were French Foreign Legion soldiers from 1953/54 who built them. History repeats itself.

    I was a REMF as I’d been working as a civilian in a refugee camp at An Khe in 1967 and lived outside the Green Line of the Cav and developed a very disdainful view of the war listening to the Cav guys. I spoke some Vietnamese and ended up in MACV.

    Other memories that come to mind were the CIA guys working the Phoenix Program while I was the liaison to the PSDFs. They had a nearly floor to ceiling safe in their office in Rach Gia on the canal that was packed full of Vietnamese Piasters. What an image!

    I was in the HQ office a lot and got corralled by some major who had just come back from Hon Chon (sp?) Mountain where he’d been on some operation and he ordered me to write up the Silver Star application. Never knew what happened to that. I don’t think Silver Star heros get to dictate their own repo

    Mike Cussen
    March 69 – Jan 70.

    • Thank you for your service. Thanks also for sharing your memories. I just wondering if you have known my father SFC George Conley he was there Nov 68 to 70. He worked with communication. My dad never talked about his tour in Vietnam. I remember my mom saying he had a close friend and something about a Jeep that upset him, so your memory caught my attention. I can send an email with a picture of Dad and Jimmy Stewart. Dad usually had a cigar and he wore special hat. He was a very likable guy, liked his beer and dancing. I’ve been trying to find more about that time. If you could help it would be much appreciated.
      Thanks again for your service.
      René Conley Fowler

    • Hi Mike,

      I believe we’ve spoken before. I was in Kien Giang Province from Feb ’69-Jan ’70, so yes, I do remember the District Compound and sleeping qaurters at “Kien Binh Town” very well. It was commanded by Major BOND, by the way, not Boyd. Bond had had a field promotion during the Korean War and this was probably his last combat assignment before retiring. He liked his Four Roses whiskey. But he was a very street-wise officer who deeply cared about those under him. And Granger was a piece of work, no doubt. When I first arrived, LT Gorland and I were REMFs, so LTC Stanberry sent us to Kien Binh to be “under their wing” during Tet, 1969, before going out to our respective MAT Teams. Granger took us out on the canal in his Boston Whaler. Looking back – a dumb move. In fact, it’s the very thing that got SSGT Karnes and Stanberry’s replacement (COL Ellison) killed in early 1970.

      I remember the May, 1969 incident you speak of. I was not at Province HQs at the time because I was by then the Team Leader of MAT 88 at Hoa Quan Village (NE of the U-Minh). Beaucoup VC. But about the incident… I had HEARD that they weren’t Seals, but rather Seabees who were working on the short strip with bulldozers. They uncovered a dud 105 round and brought it back to the barracks. One of those sailors, I was told, was straddling the damned thing on his knees, while drilling into the nose-cone with a Black and Decker drill. It went off and he could not be saved. I believe the Nave Ensign in charge of them was brought up on charges for allowing this to take place right outside the mess hall. Now, I don’t know if I have this story straight. It’s what I was told afterward when I came out of the field for one of Stanberry’s MAT Leader briefings. So I could have it all wrong, I don’t know.

      At any rate, I’m sure our paths must have crossed. We “pacified” Hoa Quan Village by June of ’69 (John Paul Vann visited the outpost with Stanberry and praised our work there). Then my MAT Team was sent into the untamed Vinh Thanh Village (under communist control since 1954). That’s when my tour of duty changed dramatically. Our RF Company started taking many casualties. I remained in the field throughout my entire tour as Team Leader, never being rotated to any other job. I came home after 10 months of that with a sh*t-load of bad memories and a pretty decent half-assed case of PTSD which I still deal with.

      Be that as it may, I’m extremely proud of my contribution to try to save the Republic of South Vietnam. My story is written up in “Chicken Soup For the Veterans’ Soul,” published in 2000. The story is titled “Return To Hoa Quan Village” and tells of how Carolyn and I went back there in 1993. I have since written a book titled “Rice Roots” (registered) which I am trying to get published, based on my diary that I kept for the entire one-year tour as a Combat Advisor.

      Bob Amon
      Team Leader – MAT IV-88, Team 55
      Kien Binh District, Kien Giange Province
      Republic of South Vietnam – 1969

      • Hello Bob my name is Lionel Alexander Jr. My father was SFC Lionel Alexander he was part of adv team 55 in 1970 and was wounded in July of 1970 he was also apart of Team iv-7 any phots or even any memories of him would be greatly appreciated he died in an auto accident in 1973 i was very young so i dont have a lot of memories of him

        • Hi Lionel,

          I’m so sorry to hear of the early passing of your dad. Unfortunately I DEROSed (left Vietnam) in early January, 1970 and do not have a recollection of your dad. I do know that he was not on my Mobile Advisory Team (MAT 88) while I was Team Leader. And I do not have photos of other Teams in our province (Kien Giang) because for the most part, MAT Teams were an isolated bunch and pretty much cut off from the outside world. We had very little contact with other teams and were rarely in Rach Gia, the provincial capital.

          Good luck to you and I’m very proud of your dad. Mobile Advisory Team work was an Infantry Slot and at time very dangerous work. Your dad exemplifies the courage and dedication is took to be a MAT Team member. I’m sure he was proud of what he was trying to accomplish as am I to this very day.

          Former 1LT Robert Amon
          Team Leader MAT IV-88, Advisory Team 55
          Kien Giang District, Kien Giang Province, 1969

          • Thank you Bob for your service i also followed in my fathers footsteps i served for about 10 years USMC and ARMY if you know of anyone i could contact it would be great thanks anyone that possibly stayed after you left again thanks.

          • Hi Bob
            I am sure we must have met. I took over Team 149 in Tin Dao village, north of Rach Gia. Left in June 0f 71.

            • Hi Wayne,

              Unless you served more than 18 months in country, I don’t think we could have met. I departed in January of 1970. But thank you for your service during that very trying time.

              Former 1LT Robert Amon
              MAT IV-88 Team Leader, Team 55
              Kien Giang District, Kien Giang Province, IV Corps
              Jan 1969-Jan 1970

            • Wayne,
              I am John Michael Lacey, the CPT that followed you as Team Leader on MAT 149. After you DEROSED we ran few operations but had many MEDCAPS. and after 6 weeks or so we disbanded but SFC DeLosSantos and I went to the U Minh (MAT 44) SSG Davis went out to Phu Quoc for the remainder of his tour, SSG Kramer went home on Emergency Leave and did not come back. the interpreter got a job in Province and opened a jewelry store in the Rach Gia Market. Hope life has traeted you well.

              • John,
                The CPT Lacey rang a bell, so looking at the January 72 roster of the team lists you. I was there at that time as the Engineer Advisor/ Open Mess Officer among several duties. I do remember you and the team coming in a couple of times. I kept that roster if you might need any information from it, let me know.
                Dan Ray

        • Hello Lionel. I just found this website and read your note. I was Team Leader of MAT IV-7 in 1970 and was there when your dad was wounded in a mortar attack on the Kien Binh District HQ. At the time Mat 7 team house was next to District HQ. I hope you get this and I can tell you a little about your Dad. I was in-country only about a month when this attack occurred.

      • Belatedly saw your post and read your piece in Chicken Soup for the Veterans Soul which I had not been aware of. Much more poignant than my return visit to Sadec in 2013 but I experienced some of the same emotions. You said you are working on a book– looking forward to it — let me know when it comes out. Writing my book led me to getting back into contact with people I had not heard of in many decades and finding others who had served in Kien Giang or Sadec. PS I got an undeliveravle on an old email address for you.
        Happy New Year
        Gordon Bare

      • Hi All,

        I’m happy to announce that my book, “Rice Roots,” has finally been published on April 17, 2020. It’s available on Amazon ($18.95) and features a Foreword by Col. Bill Stanberry. The official title is “Rice Roots, The Vietnam War: True Stories from the Diary of a U.S. Combat Advisor.”

        The book is based on the diary that I kept in 1969, and since LTC Stanberry’s name was obviously mentioned throughout my diary, I thought it prudent to contact him first for permission to use his real name. He not only graciously gave me permission, he actually remembered me and offered to write the Foreword. The result is the story of what it was like to be the team leader of MAT 88 in Kien Giang Province for the entire calendar year, 1969. A residual benefit was travelling to Austin, TX to COL Stanberry’s home in July, 2019 and visiting with him and Martha for two days. It was wonderful to see him again in person and to meet his lovely family.

        I didn’t write this book for the money and I’m not promoting it for monetary gain. I wrote it for my family, primarily, and for anyone else who has an interest in the advisory effort. If anyone wants to contact me about the book or for any other reason, please email me.

        Hope you all enjoy it!

        Bob Amon
        Former 1LT, MAT 88 Team Leader
        Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province, RVN
        Feb 69 – Dec 69

        • Sorry Bob – Think I was there just after you whem Col. Ellison took over and was unfortunately killed in an ambush.


      • You heard wrong, they were Navy Seals. It was a tragic accident that took place just outside the EM Bar. They were sitting at the picnic tables. One was trying to remove the powder, so he could take it home the next day when they rotated. Around mid-day, I was waiting at the short strip for the CIA courier. Stanberry was on the plane and I offered him a ride to town. We heard what sounded like an incoming round, very unusual except at night. May they Rest In Peace.

    • Hi Mike. I was the Phoenix Adviser at the Kien Binh District from July 1968 to May 1969 working for MAJ Roy Bonds. I have posted some colored pictures that I took (or had someone take of me) that show MAJ Bonds on the Team 55 Facebook page (( ). My pictures are way down the list, but they are “colored” so easier to find. Let me know if you recognize anyone else as I can’t seem to, especially 1LT Granger. He and I became good friends in Kien Binh and I actually went to New Orleans and Mamou, LA while on leave after my tour to see a girl that he hooked me up as a pen pal. Had a great time, but moved on to Fort Meade, MD where I soon met my wife to be. We didn’t stay in touch though. 1LT Ken Shuck

    • I was stationed at Hon Soc fire base and was eating my first hot meal and I heard the explosion that killed the three Seals. Army officer came up to me and said you are Navy and I said yes. I took care of their bodies until they were picked up by a helicopter. They were trying to disarm a mortar and it exploded. The Seals are not proud of that and they list it as a misadventure. Before Hon Soc in the three sisters I was assigned to A421 Ba Xoai in the seven sisters by the Cambodian border.

      • Hi David

        I was MAT 149 leader in 70/71 just down the canal from 3 Sisters in Tin Dao village.
        Nice to meet you.

        • I was at A421 Ba Xoai in the Seven Mountains before I was sent as a advisor with a Vietnamese Army squad on Hon Soc fire base. I was on top of one of the Seven Mountains with the Mike force. I have operated in the U-Minh forest also. I was a Navy Beach Jumper out of Coronado, Ca…Glad you made it home. Have a great Memorial Day.

    • Hi Mike. In late May 1968, I was assigned as the first Phoenix (we knew it then as ICEX) coordinator in Kien Giang OPCON to the CORDS (CIA) Public Safety Officer in Rach Gia. He sent me first to Kien Tan to try to set up a District Intelligence Operations Coordination Center (DIOCC) there where the District military S2 and the police Special Branch (FBI equivalent) shared information. I had trouble getting the US District Advisor (a Major name I cannot remember) to support me in doing that. He felt that since I wore an Army uniform that I should just be another part of his team for him to task as he wanted. I tried to explain to him that I had my own orders as to what I was supposed to do, but I would periodically help out the team by going on combat operations advising the local RF/PF forces. This was my 2nd tour in VN, as I was a Special Forces A-Team comm operator in II Corps before going back to Infantry OCS. When I told my CORDS boss of my problems, he reassigned me to Kien Bien district where MAJ Roy Bond and 1LT Jack Granger welcomed me with open arms. MAJ Bond was great to work for and Jack and I became good friends. Jack was a real Casjun from Mamou, LA. When I left in May of 1969, I spent a week of my leave time in New Orleans with a Cajun girl that Jack had connected me to as a Pen pal. Had a great time hanging out at Father’s Moustache bar/restaurant on Bourbon Street where she worked and sleeping on her couch. Unfortunately, my memories of that time are fading, so i would appreciate anything you can remember that might be applicable to me. Thanks (then 2LT Ken Shuck)

    • Mike, I was the first Phoenix Adviser in Kien Binh district from around July 1968 to May 1969. When I arrive in Rich Gia in May 1968, LTC Stansberry told me I was to report to the CORDS advisor, Ken Mahony. I spent a month or so working in Kien Tan district, but the District Advisor, a Major, did not like that I reported (was OPCON) to Mahony. I told Mahony that the Major ? refused to help me talk to any of the District officials (e.g., S2 or Police Special Branch Chief) or allow me to do it on my own. Mahony told me to pack up and move to Kien Binh as MAJ Bond wanted one of these “new” Phoenix guys. It was one of the best assignments that I had in my entire 20-year military career. MAJ Bond was a soldier’s soldier and 1LT Jack Granger was a Cajun from Mamou, LA through and through. He even set me up with a pen pal woman who worked in Father’s Mustache in New Orleans that I stayed with for a week after returning home from my tour. I regret not keeping tabs with either of them. I posted some pictures on the MACV AT 55 ( of people who I cannot remember their names. Let me know if you know any of them. Thanks, 1LT Ken Shuck

    • Hi Mike,

      I hope you don’t mind, but I mentioned you in my book, Rice Roots, that was just released April 17. You came out to my location at Hoa Quan Village in Kien Binh District and we handed out 60 Greaseguns (M-3s) to the 90-man PSDF unit we had trained in Hoa Quan.

      Bob Amon
      Former 1LT, Team Leader MAT IV-88
      Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province

    • Mike
      We’re you along when we drove to Ha Tien to pick up the PRU truck. Sherm Flanders was driving the gold Jeep and I was riding in the back.
      SSG. Jim Fosse
      PRU/RD Advisor

      • Hi Jim,
        Probably was. We drove up from Rach Gia one morning/afternoon. Maybe 3 or 4 vehicles. I have no idea why we did that (PRU truck?) or who was in charge and as I think back it was probably pretty stupid. I remember getting near Ha Tien and then turning down a dirt road to the beach where there were ruins of vacation beach houses. Nice beach and I remember thinking this would be a nice place to come back to. Trying to remember where we spent the night and then how we got back. In 2007 I went back to RG from Chau Duc. Took the local bus across land we would never dreamt of entering. Back in RG, the old house that was our barracks was a museum. They had no idea it was an American barracks.

  7. I have published a memoir of my time as a Phoenix and economic development advisor mainly in Sadec province but with a chapter on my brief stint in Ha Tien. If you are potentially interested contact me about the book and the veterans service organization all proceeds go to. Happy New Year to all. Gordon.

  8. I’m looking to find out whatever I can about my dad he never really talked about Vietnam I know he was in macv team 55 in a 8 man group in umin his name was James Owen

      • 68-70 he passed away 2 years ago due to complications from agent orange exposure.. he was a radio man.. he and his buddy George went in on the buddy program and then went to learn Morris code … he did have one other friend who he kept in touch with and his name was Forrest.

  9. My name is Marval Richardson and I was a PFC in advisory team55 from October 70/71 I knew Col Eliss and SFC Karnes they were great team members and friends. I worked in the Messhall For SSGT Gulley and SGT Jones .

    • My name is Kathleen Conley, my Dad served with the army in Rach Gia in 1968-70. While there my dad was awarded a Bronze Star. He came home a very disturbed person. Therefore we his family never knew anything about what happened to him there. He was able to over come his difficulties after a lot of years . I would so appreciate any information pertaining to my dad. Sargent George Conley, he would have been 42 at the time, he was a person who brought a good time with him. He was mostly known as Sarg. He was there as I said from around October 1968-1907. Can anyone help?

      • Kathleen, I was the Sr. Intelligence Advisor in Rach Gia (Kien Giang Province) from Aug, 1968 – July 1969. While I did not know, or do not recall having known, a Sgt Conley, you need to realize that ours was a large team plus we had several District Advisory Teams as well as several Mobile Advisory Teams that were strewn all over our larger Province.

        May I suggest that you join our Facebook Group named Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), Team 55. You will find many additional members who participate in that group and it is a more favorable setup for exchanges of information about other members.

        It would be helpful if you knew what job your father performed while a member of the team and his exact location. Was he in the Province Capitol of Rach Gia or was he with an outlying team at some other location. What sort of work did he do – if you know.

        I am sorry that I cannot help more but all of us are now much older and our memories are fading. Unless we worked with a person on a daily basis, and became friends, we often lose memory of the others. Hopefully, somebody on the other, more active, group might be able to provide information. Good luck.

        • MajorI worked in rach gia as a lt on a mat later as cpt and commander of mat 69. I knew and admired col staberry. And spoke with him later in life when he ran army training in the states. I left to testify before sent. Fulbright with Mr. Colby. Who I stayed close to until he died. I think I remember you from the to and a debrief or two.Do you remember me?I am glad to see how well this page is received.

          Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

          • Since no name was attached to the above post, I cannot be sure whether or not I knew you.

            Please feel free to contact me directly at if you do not wish to post details on an open forum.

            I am assuming your testimony before Congress was in connection with the Phoenix hearings. I had other friends who were called before that committee. One of them was my NCOIC in Rach Gia (SFC – WO – Richard P Destrempts). You may also have known him.

            Looking forward to hearing from you again.

            Chalmer (Don) Barker

        • Thank you for your reply. This is SFC George Conley’s youngest daughter Rene Conley Fowler. I was 8 when Dad was there. All I remember is that he was in mobile communications. He climbed telephone poles, and did communication wiring. He has the telephone in the boxes that we played with. Michael Treinen posted a picture on his Facebook that shows my dad with Jimmy Stewart and his wife also Senior Advisor LTC Billy Stanberry. If you look at the picture my dad is the the one with light shirt standing behind Jimmy’s wife on her left side. One of his habits was smoking cigars. I hope this information will help, I will check out the link you suggest too. Thank you so much for your service and you reply.

          • Good morning.
            I believe I know the man you are talking about. I have cropped a photo of him standing between LTC Stanberry and Gloria Stewart. He was dressed in a light colored, open collared Polo type civilian shirt.

            I cannot attach a photo here but can send one to whatever email address you wish.

            Yes, I knew your father but only casually. He was not one of the people on the team with whom I worked closely in my official duties and we were not close. I frequently saw him, along with groups of other team members, but it was usually in or around the Club. Unfortunately, I was not one who frequented the Club often and never went there to drink and socialize. If I went into the Club, which was adjacent to the Officers’ quarters, I usually was looking for some person I needed to talk with.

            You said your father liked to smoke cigars. I was a non-smoker because of allergies and was highly allergic to cigar smoke so, perhaps, that may have caused me to have given your father wide berth. 😉

            I would assume that he did his job capably and with honor. As the Intelligence Officer, I did not get involved with members of the team in any administrative capacity. Such was the purview of the Senior Advisor and the Personnel Officer and staff. If I ever became involved with team members not involved in intelligence collection, analysis, and distribution, it was in a negative way because of some special assignment or investigation into nefarious activities.

            I can assure you that, to the best of my memory, he was never the subject of any negative issues involving security or intelligence.

            Once, the Senior Advisor tasked me with ferreting out all team members involved in Black Market activities. It had become a sensitive subject due to the involvement of VN government officials. This meant finding out who was “shacking up” with local women and funneling US Exchange items into the Black Market. This happened almost exclusively in exchange for the physical “favors” of their Vietnamese cohorts. I did uncover quite a few of our Senior NCOs participating in this unlawful activity but I have no memory that your father was involved in any way.

            I was also tasked with another mission, after an unfortunate incident where several team members became ill after having used some bad drugs, to discover the depth and details of drug use and distribution within the team and, again, your father was not so implicated. The only Courts Martial I recall being conducted during my tour was as a result of this incident.

            So, my lack of bad news can be interpreted as good news. I hope! 🙂

            I regret that I am unable to supply you with more information about your father.

            • Thanks Don, that is our father in the polo shirt. He was an instructor teaching the VN army personnel about communications (I think).He has passed away in 2008, he never talked about his tour in Vietnam. My mom told us the story that he was with a good buddy and that the buddy got killed. Something about being in a jeep, so we weren’t to ask him about it and never did. I think Dad felt guilty that it was his buddy killed.

              I recently had some home movies of my Dad’s put on CD’s to view. There is some footage of Vietnam more in the city but I don’t know what city he said he was station in Rach Gia . There is part of a female group performing songs I think it was the Australia group ” The Sapphires”. There looked like a parade going on in the streets. My Dad and another fellow army man are in the city. I do not know who the other man is. I can screen shot his picture and send to your email if you would like.

              Do you know where else I could find out more? Would anyone be interested in seeing the CD? Unfortunately, it has no sounds.

              Thanks again, Rene

              • Thank you for your response.

                Yes, you can send me the photo to and anything else you might be able to attach. I will post them on the FB chat group (Military Assistance Command (MACV) Team tt) for everybody to see. That group is the best bet, in my opinion, for finding somebody who may have known your father well.

          • Hi, I am Jeff Stewart. This is late August, so it is late in the thread . . . Sorry. I just had to write. Aim also have the photo of Jimmy Stewart. Col. Bill Stanberry is a dear friend and He gave me a copy years ago. Bill said that Jimmy and Gloria stayed in his quarters while they were there.

            • I was honored to serve under col Stsnbery. I was there 69 to 71. Akso worked a while in chau Doc.
              I would love to see the pic of the col and jimmy Stewart.
              I have a have several pics of the area… but none of the colonel.
              Will appreciate it you would share it.

              • I got that picture from posting on Facebook. My dad George Conley is there in the light colored polo shirt. Can you tell me more about that picture? Dad told us very little of his time there. I found some movie film while he was there, but there no other pictures related to that one. There are pictures of up on top of a building roof where he and a buddy were weightlifting with cement blocks as the weights for a dumbbell bar. Thank you for your service.

    • Marval,
      I served on Team 55 Mar 71 to Feb 72 so I was there for your wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner as well as Christmas 1971. I remember the menu’s and the Pear Ripple. Thank you for making Liver edible when the ration ship left only that meat for Team 55 on the end of the run.

  10. Hello, I’ve read comments pertaining to my Father’s death (SFC Karnes) and that of Col Ellison.

    There seems to be different teams that were invokved during this ambush/battle. You were all so extremely brave. I have read the after battle reporr where it showed my Dad was last seen floating face down after he drove the BW into the ambush site. From what I understand, it was 2-3 days until my Dad’s body was recovered. Can anyone please let me know who retrieved my Father, so that he was brought back home to us? As odd as it may sound, I need to thank him or them for their bravery. So many are still MIA and I am so thankful that my Dad is at least not one of them. Can anyone please help me locate them or whoever went diving for his body?

    My permanent email is

    • Sue Ann, to the best of my knowledge, your father and Col. Ellison were recovered at the same time. I was up the canal at Mat 44’s location at the time the ambush occurred. We then headed South to secure the area North of the site. Vann personally landed at the site after the incident. The Lt. at Mat 102 was the first one on location after the ambush. I do not remember his name. All enemy elements had departed when he arrived. Hope this helps.

  11. I was with Team 55 in 68-69. Did not know your husband…but if you go to Facebook site “Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) Advisory Team 55” and search “Prusic” you will find several mentions of him and some photos that I believe contain his image

    • Thank you very much for the link. The pictures look familiar or quite similar to the ones that he had at one time. Those were all dolled out to his family so I wouldn’t have to deal with the he-promised-me routine. LOL! Now they have to talk that way to each other and not me.

  12. Cannot edit the previous comment obviously, but my husband was Charles Joseph Prusik and he was at Rach Gia 1970-1971. Any comments and remembrances about him would be appreciated also….

  13. Captain Davis was an outstanding officer. Wish I could remember his first name, but another member of this site served under him. He should remember.

  14. Robert Boyd, I was briefly a Phoenix LT in Ha Tien before transferring to Sadec where I ended up doing refugee and NLD at district and province at John Vann’s orders because there were not enough State and AID guys to fill the slots. I am writing a book and am in touch with some of the CORDS crowd. Would be interested in getting your perspective on refugee and NLD work in Kien Giang and particularly Ha Tien. Gordon Bare

  15. Bob;

    I still need your email address. I do not wish to post COL Stanberry’s numbers in the open.

    I have fuzzy memories of which MAT team was at what location. I do recall the details of one.

    I was the Duty Officer in the TOC on the night of 24-25 Jan, 1969, when two companies of VC attempted to overrun MAT 68 and the 336th RF Company in Kien Than District. The situation was dicey for several hours. We fought a hard battle before repelling them. US loses were only one wounded Advisor, one dead ARVN, and about a dozen seriously wounded (plus several wounded dependents) who required medevac. Those with scratches tried to swarm the Dustoffs and I authorized the NCO on-scene and in radio contact to use physical force to clear them and allow the helicopter to take off. He did as authorized – using feet, fists, and rifle butt as necessary.

    I wanted to go along with the clean-up forces the following morning (only a few hours after it ended), but was told “NO”. COL Stanberry did write me up for an award for the way it was handled. I think he was surprised that an MI officer could handle such things. Ordinarily, he would come to the TOC and assume command during any attack but, on this night, he stayed home and monitored the radio and left it to me.

    Before we could get the Dustoffs in, we completed expended several Spookys and several gunship teams. We expended enough ammo to have wiped out the entire NV and VC Armed forces! We only found a dozen or so bodies and many blood trails when the sun rose. There were moments when it looked bleak but our outstanding Advisors had done their jobs well and things worked out.

    We can exchange manuscripts thru email contact. You might be surprised at the details concerning Major Stroud that are in one or two chapters of my book.

  16. LT Amon, I will supply the home and cell numbers of LTC (COL Ret) Billy J Stanberry if you will contact me personally at or, if you are on the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) Advisory Tm 55 Facebook group, I will post them there. He lives in Balstrop, Texas. Major (COL Ret.) Lamar Stroud is deceased. I was the Sr. Intel Advisor in Rach Gia from Aug 68-Jul 69 and served with both of these men. I have visited Col Stanberry at his home in Texas.

    • Don,

      If yuou were the Sr. Intel. Advisor in Rqach Gia then I think I still have an intelligence report generated (probably) by you. We had captured 5 VC on a raid that Spring just north of Hoa Quan in the Free-Fire Zone. The 168 1st SGT waterboarded them into confessing where their weapons were hidden and we obtained other timely info. Then we sent these distinguished individuals up to you for further interogation. As it turned out, one of them was a woman who was a high ranking party official at Thoi An just to our SW.

      What ensued was an intel report that I received days later from your office that made the hair on my neck stand out. Approximately 200 VC were hell-bent on “annhilating” (exact words) our Hoa Quan Outpost because it and the one just to our south at Thoi An were impeding their movement out of the UI-Minh and moving toward the NE. So the info obtained from that high-ranking VC we captured put us onm a high state of alert. We were sporadically attacked and harrassed and we actually caught a dozen VC in Hoa Quan proper, planning an early morning attack. My 168 RF Company killed 3 of them and shot them all in the temple, then displayed their corpses on a concrete slab in front of the pagoda for the entire village to see. I had furnished the 168 with M-16s and the VC weren’t ready for that. After that incident, they stayed away and we pacified the villagem holding free elections and many MEDCAPs.

      I have beaucoup photos of all this and have written a manuscript titled “Rice Roots,” but as yet have not sought to publish it.

      I am very sorry to learn of COL Stroud’s passing. I loved that guy. He was an absolute pleasure to serve under. I will email you and if I can get COL Stanberry’s contact info I’d be most greatful. Thank you so much.

      P/S: maybe we should exchange manuscripts for proofreading and editing, etc.

      Bob Amon
      1LT – Sr. Advisor MAT 88, Team 55
      Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province

    • Does anyone remember SFC Gerald Skotarek. I remember seeing him one time at the toc. I believe he was with the phoenix program in 1970-71. I served with him at Ft Bragg in 1969.

  17. Actually It took a minute or two but yes … I do remember you. My first asignmet was Chau Doc where I worked under a Civilian Province Sr Advisor whose name I do not recall then moved to Kien Giang under LTC Billy Stanberry one of the best officers I ever met. I was not a Phoenix officer but worked closely with then Amb Colby and John Van very closely. I was also close to General Wetherill at IV Corps HQ.
    In Dec 1969 I was asked to testify with Bill Colby and several others before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – a sad study on politics – where Phoenix and every thing we had done right were written off as an assasination program.
    But, the good part was that Mr Colby and I became long time friends – And I was privlidged to know him and work with him until he was fired b President Ford. During that time.
    I resigned from the Army as Commander of C battery 1/78 Artillery when an LTC who was our Battalion Commander decided that my rank and my progression was all due to my PI resulting from the Hearings. I called General Wetherill who was in command of the Artillery School then. So I resigned visted him and went on my way.
    A while later I was thinking of going back in. (you never get over the great commaraderie the army has) and I got to speak to Col Stanberry, then the head of Army Tranining – so all of the men I respected from RVN were always there for me.
    It ended up that I did not – but I did get to work now and then – with Mr Colby – got to see him at home in Georgetown when he was no longer with the agency – and was asked to be at his funeral at Arlington – For me a great honor.
    His book “Lost Victory” is the best history of what we did – and an honest person would see that – not for the politics – and given a few believers – the story may have ended differently.
    I have been very quiet about our history in VN but recently have begun to look back at all of the great men who did as much as they could for our Country – who do not get much credit – Lots of people know about the heroic Marines – and others but few know about the effectiveness of the MACV programs or the risks that were happily taken.

    • Richard. Enjoyed reading your comments since I met, and worked with or for, all those people. I fully agree with you remarks about LTC Stanberry. I had a nice visit with him, at his home in Balstrop, TX, over a couple of days in Sep 2004.

      Did you happen to meet a WO by the name of Richard Destremps? He was in the Phoenix program and, earlier, had been on my S-2 staff in Rach Gia. He, also, was required to testify during those hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He shared (he is now deceased – Lung Cancer) your feelings about that episode. I also got to visit with WO Destremps for several days while he was living near Fort Hood, TX, after his retirement.

      • Don Im sorry but I do not remember WO Destremps but I will look back at my records – the hearing minutes are all on line now – as part of the congressional record

      • I knew Dick Destremps quite well ,i”m 59 years old Richards oldest son , and i can assure you he did not die of lung cancer but by a myriad of health issues which exceedingly got worse after his retirement from the Military , After the death of my youngest brother in 02 things got increasingly bad for my dad his health suffered dramatically until his death in 05

        • Ron, it is a delight to hear from you. I’m glad I turned on my computer today.

          Your father was one of the finest NCOs I ever met in the US Army. It was a pleasure to have worked with him. In fact, he was not an NCO when I last saw him. While working for me, as an NCO, he was in a cover assignment. We had some very interesting adventures together. He was a man of many talents and many faces.

          I last saw him in mid-to-late July, 1969 (19 Jul I think). When I left my assignment, in Rach Gia, Kien Giang Province where Dick and I served together, I did not go directly to Saigon as ordered. I flew to Can Tho where the HQs of our Corps was located. We spent a couple of days together. While there, he took me in to see the General who was Corps Commander (your father was serving as a Special Aide to him) and your father sprang a surprise on me. He and the General pinned a Silver Star on my chest and promoted me from CPT to Major. I did not know either of those were going to happen. It was a pleasure to have your father, and the general, pin those item on my uniform.

          As for the lung cancer… I last saw him in the Fall of 2004. He was not in good health. He informed me, at that time, that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and asked me for a document to confirm his exposure to Agent Orange which could establish that as the cause of his illness. That was important because such a connection would have made it combat related and would have provided benefits for your mother upon his passing. Your mother and my wife were also present during most of our conversations. I am assuming that was your mother (was the name Helga?) but did not know such details. Strangely, they were not married at that time. He did not appear to be in good health and did not inform me about any other illnesses beyond having said that his health was rapidly deteriorating before being diagnosed with lung cancer. I suppose I made some erroneous assumptions as to the cause of his condition. We corresponded for a few months after I returned to my home in Florida but he suddenly went silent. I made some inquiries and was told that he had passed away the following Spring (2005).

          My condolences to you and all the family

          I now live in Idaho and the years and heart disease have taken their toll. If you wish to contact me, my email is

        • Ron,
          Thanks for your post.
          I may have responded to your post earlier but am unable to find any archived response.
          Perhaps I had informed you that it was a few months after my wife and I had visited your father and mother (Sept 2004) that he passed. I am assuming his wife, at that time, was your mother.
          My information did not come from any official documents but I did recall that Dick had stayed in contact with me (I lived in Florida at the time) )after our visit and that he had said he had been diagnosed lung cancer in addition to a myriad of other illnesses. After my return to Florida, he asked for a statement from me – as documentation to provide to the VA – but there were no other communications from him after the request. That would have been in early 2005.
          After I heard of his death, I was informed, by a member of a veterans’ group (the DAV I believe) in that area, that he had died of lung cancer. I apologize for the mistake.
          At the time of my visit, your father was still in good spirits and we walked around his large back yard as we talked while my wife and your mother visited. The four of us also went to dinner at a local eatery while there. Except for your father’s serious illnesses, it was a very pleasurable visit.
          Your father was one of the most intelligent men I ever served with in the US Army. He was invaluable while serving as my Intelligence NCOIC. (Actually, he was not an NCO but was there working undercover on a “special assignment”. After our meeting, we became near-instant close friends. After I departed Rach Giia, in late July, 1969, your father was serving in an assignment as “Special Assistant” to a general (I believe it was General Wehtherill) at V Corps HQ in Can Tho and I stopped there for an overnight visit with him on my way out of country. He was the last friend I chatted with as I was leaving Vietnam headed home. After he had left his “special assignment” in Rach Gia, I had managed to get to Can Tho several times to visit with him.
          On my final visit there with him (I flew out the day after I last saw him) due to his “insider” position, he surprised me by pinning on the insignia of my new rank. I had been promoted to Major a few days earlier but had not received any word of it while in Rach Gia. Your father knew about it. He also walked me into the General’s office so that I could be congratulated, by the General, on having been awarded the Silver Star medal. I had no clue I had ever been nominated for the Silver Star.

          • CW3 Richard Destremps, did in fact pass away from lung cancer on Feb 5 2005. It was large cell carcinoma attributed to Agent Orange and a heavy smoking.

            • While I certainly am not medically qualified to determine the cause of death, I do know for certain that, during my visit with Richard, at his home just outside Fort Hood, TX, (I believe it was in Oct, 2005) he told me he had lung cancer and that agent orange played a role in it. In a personal letter later, he confirmed that he had lung cancer.

              I learned that he had passed some months after my visit. I did not know, for certain, the cause of death but assumed the lung cancer played a role.

              CW3 Destremps was my Intelligence NCOIC at Advisory Team 55, in Rach Gia, for many months until his cover war revealed and he was immediately transferred to Corps HQ in Can Tho. He had been in Rach Gia on an undercover assignment (working for the CIA) in the role of a senior NCO. He was one of the most intelligent and competent persons I ever met in the Army. We became really close friends.

    • Gentlemen:
      I absolutely love reading rembrances and names of people with whom I was so familiar while serving on MAT 88 in Kien Giang Province (Kien Binh District) from Feb ’69 until Jan ’70.
      As a newly-arrived 1LT in Feb ’69, LTC Stanberry made me Asst. Tm. Ldr. of MAT 88 at Hoa Quan Village under 1LT Darbro. Upon Darbro’s DEROS in April ’69, LTC Stanberry entrusted me with commanding MAT 88 and I did this faithfully until my own DEROS in Jan ’70, having served in the field as a Combat Advisor (Infantry Slot) for my entire one year tour of duty.
      During this time my MAT 88 pacified Hoa Quan Village quite effectively despite being so close to the U-Minh and all the attacks and resistance we encountered from the SW, developing a 60-man PSDF and arming them with 60 M-3 Grease Guns. I remember many required night ambushes that we pulled, including one special night when MAJ Stroud visited and went out with myself and my counterpart, 2LT Hungl, on a roving 20-man ambush. But most of our night ambushes were with two of us Americans and about 7-9 RFs or PFs.
      I returned to Hoa Quan Village in 1993, before the lifting of the US embargo, and was reunited with 2LT Hungl’s son, who informed me that his father had been shot to death just after my DEROS. This story is published on page 305 in “Chicken Soup for The Veteran’s Soul,” published in 2000.
      But back to Kien Giang. We Advisors in the field had very little contact with personnel in Rach Gia. Yes, I do remember meetings with Phoenix officers but they were brief helicopter visits to our outpost. After pacifying Hoa Quan we were moved to Vinh Thanh Village to the west. I did run into “Shotgun 33” on one of my team leader meetings in Rach Gia. Great guy. And I’m sure I met both of you at one time or another but probably briefly. We did our best with Phoenix. John Paul Vann visited our outpost at Vinh Thanh in August of ’69. Great guy. Never saw anyone in the field wearing a white short-sleeved shirt! So sorry to learn of his ultimate death shortly thereafter.
      Major Bond was my DSA at Kien Binh. He and 1LT Granger (a Cajun from LA) ran the roost at Kien Bihn HQ Compound. We pulled night ambushes with US Navy PBRs too. It’s all in a book I’ve written based on a diarly I kept while in the field for the entire year, but as of yet is unpublished.
      I’d LOVE to have some sort of reunion. All of you guys are the best this country offered at the time. And I’d especially love and audience with LTC Stanberry and/or MAJ Stroud.

  18. I was the Sr. Intel Advisor in Kien Giang (Rach Gia Aug 68 thru Jul 69. I do not recall us ever having any PAIR personnel stationed there. If they were there, they must have avoided my shop.

    • Don,
      I was briefly assigned to Ha Tien, April-May 69 to replace the Phoenix officer there, LT Dean Haynes, but was reassigned to Sadec province after about a month. I have written a memoir/history including about Ha Tien and I would very much welcome your comments/corrections/anecdotes about Ken Giang and your perspectives on Phoenix and the intel mission generally. My email is I would be happy to send you a draft manuscript.

      • Gordon; I have your manuscript (Rcvd July 3, 2016) and am reading it and making notes. Several incidents have conspired to make life a bit too busy in the past several months but are (hopefully) settled to a more normal pace as of now. I also sent you a copy of my manuscript (“Vietnam Remembered”) and would very much like to hear any comments, corrections, or needed editorial comments. Thanks a million.

    • I’m sorry for my tardy reply. I just saw your response to my PAIR inquiry, three years after you posted it. Thanks for considering my inquiry about the PAIR program in Rach Gia. The local PAIR (at one time we had one in each of IV Corps’ 16 provinces) was positioned to train South Vietnamese ARVN personnel and others in intelligence net operations. The intent was to equip ARVN with the techniques developed over the years by the MI Branch in vetting, recruiting, training, targeting, dispatching, and debriefing personnel to collect information on VC and North Vietnam Army activities in their provinces. The PAIR typically worked with counterparts in conducting classes on these topics. I may owe my life to the Rach Gia PAIR. As the PAIR program coordinator in IV CORPS, My responsibilities included visiting each PAIR and the American advisors with whom he worked ensure the program was working as intended. At the end of one of these visits to Rach Gia and as I was ready to climb into our unit’s Huey to fly back to Can Tho, the PAIR asked me to spend the night at his villa, which as I recall was next door to a villa occupied by a contingent of Australian nurses. I accepted and enjoyed the hospitality that included a BBQ that evening. I learned the next day that as our chopper flew back to Can Tho, it took a round that passed directly through the seat I would have occupied on that flight. If nothing else, I’d like to thank the PAIR again for his invitation. If any of my post triggers recollections by you or others, I’d be happy to continue the dialogue.

  19. NIce to see this page – not many people know of the efforts macv put forth in the delta. I was first assigned there in 69 working with Cpt Kayabu in a village i can not remember. Later commanded MAT 69 – and was lucky to have support when needed from Dave McGowan shotgun 33 and others. LTC Stanberry has always been one of my great memories – I was happy to see that it seems he is still alive.

    • I drop this note into your Team’s dialogue now and then, but never frequently. I was with the 525 MI Group, 4th Bn in Can Tho and coordinated the Province Area Intelligence Representative (PAIR) program in IV Corps. We had one PAIR in each of the Delta’s 16 provinces for a time, and the Ranch Gia PAIR’s name has escaped me for years. If anyone remembers someone answering to the PAIR designation in 1968-69 and you know his name, I’d appreciate hearing from you. Thanks, Doug Carlson, Sacramento

      Sent from my iPad


    • Ken, I believe you are responding to ‘Breezy’ and NOT Sue Ann regarding map of Districts. As such, again, please provide me a mailing address OR I can scan to the yahoo adress but the quality may suffer; remember I am 1st making a copy since the map resides on the inside cover of the photo album. Please advise. Breezy

  20. I commanded MAT 44 just North of where Col. Ellison and SFC Karnes were killed. Major Renner, Diatrict Senior advisor was wounded. They were in MAT 44’s whaler and were ambushed by aNVA recon team, who saw them come down the canal and waited for them to return. We learned this through our intell net the next day. The group was inspecting a newly constructed outpost. MAT 102’s Deputy Senior advisor was first on the scene.

    • I was the Sr. Refugee Advisor/NLD in Kien Giang. I was one of those coming down the main canal at the time of the NVA attack that resulted in Col. Ellison’s and SFC Karnes death. I was ahead of the colonel’s boat and must have gone right past the attackers. But they knew who they wanted, and it wasn’t a refugee/NLD advisor. Col. Ellison was certainly an Officer and a Gentleman. Even now, decades later, every time I’m in WDC I go by the Vietnam memorial to honor the Colonel.
      Do you recall the first name of a Capt. Davis who commanded the MAT team just above the start of the U-Minh? At Col. Ellison’s direction I visited all MAT teams in province. I especially remember Capt. Davis’ team and the team in Ha Tien.

      • Hey Robert. It’s Merle Moore. Are you the Robt. Boyd with whom I was in training in ’68-’69. If yes give me a reply.

      • Hello Robert,
        Thank you for your service! I wouldn’t have known you or Col. Ellison (or SFC Karnes) because I DEROSed in January, 1970.
        But having taken part in many, many ambushes and been ambushed myself, I can tell you that you’re correct about the individuals the Vietcong would target… i.e., the ones in the middle of the column. Years later I often wonder why we didn’t figure this out, but if we were riding in a sampan with an RF Company, my company commander would always occupy the middle sampan for “command and control” purposes. My job as his Advisor was to be at his side, but this was all VERY risky business (just travelling in sampans to begin with). My diary (and subsequently my book) is loaded with examples and first-hand accounts..
        So yes, you probably passed through the “kill zone” because you were in the lead boat. The VC knew this and knew it well.
        Bob Amon
        Former 1LT, Team Leader
        MAT IV-88, Team 55
        Kien Binh District, Kien Giang Province.
        Jan 1969-Jan 1970

  21. Col. Ellison was a great officer and gentleman. I was MAT 149 Team Leader in Each Gia Province on that day
    . Recollection is vague but this incident was very disturbing to me because I do recollect chatter over the radio as to the Colonel’s itinerary that day.

    • Wayne Ferrentino:

      I’m wondering if that “chatter over the radio as to the Colonel’s itinerary that day” may have contributed to his being KIA. It wasn’t just Advisors, in our team, who had some of the world’s worst communications security practices. Before I became the Sr S-2 Advisor in Team 55 (Aug 1968), I has worked in the Army Security Agency in Signals Intelligence and Signal Security operations. I was appalled at our practices on our radios. The ARVN, RF/PF communications security was even worse than ours. Many Americans died in Vietnam because “the enemy was listening” every time we touched that “Push to talk” button.

      After leaving Rach Gia (July 1969) I became the initial EW/Cryptologic Officer assigned to a Div (24th ID and 1st ID) at Fort Riley, KS. I worked diligently to instill a better sense of security when using a radio. On two of our field exercises to Germany (REFORGER), we had an opportunity to practice what we preached. We didn’t do very well. Old habits die hard!

      Nice to read comments form all you guys and I’m glad all of you made it.

      Don Barker (S-2 Advisor, Rach Gia, Aug 68-Jul 69)

      • I did think at the time it was more than a factor. I remember calling in and yelling at COM and tried to get them to alert, but it was too late.
        I was at Riley before VN and left as we changed patches to Big Red One.

  22. Looking to make contact with any Team 55 member that was present on February 16,1971, when Colonel Ellision and Sergeant First Class karnes were killed. My name is Rolland Cannon. I was on the helicopter that landed and evacuated a wounded major and a sergeant.
    (805) 404-7866

    • By the way, you should talk to Captain Bill Morgan (Sorry, exited as Colonel.) who is on this forum for further information. He will give his own story about this incident.

    • Sorry to take so many spaces to reply, but looking this up in records at same time. You might be able to contact Bob Blair here on line for whatever ever he knows about the incident. It is my understanding that he was also there but for how long I do not know. I do know that my husband was shipped out shortly after the overrun where they survived a monumental attack by Viet Cong one night, which was after the incident with Colonel Ellison. Sam Yearty was there also, but he is now deceased after living as a homeless man in Florida. If you can track down the SeaBees there they may have some info—I had no luck. I am looking for some people also but have had no luck. Trying to piece things together and the first effort just about shorted my brain out. Too many loose ends and winding roads to trek to find details, and the military refuses to cooperate My granddaughter wants my to write a book about his service, but I am an old school writer: I believe in adjectives and adverbs which is verboten in modern writing. If you reach Morgan and Bob Blair send them my best and tell them I am still looking… This forum is the best place to get the straight skinny if you can. There are so many minds that cannot or won’t bring up those details after all these years… Best of luck.

      • P.S. My husband’s name was Charles “Chuck”/”Charlie” Joseph Prusik. He was a chopper gunner for Hollingsworth during his first tour.

  23. I was at MAT 149 which was in Tin Do village. Team house was s on major canal and another canal crossed going to the Hamlet’s. There in 70, 71.

    • Wayne, I took your place in 71 at MAT 149. We closed it down in June 71 and I was transferred to MAT 44 down in the U Minh along with SFC DeLosSantos. SSG Davis got assigned to Phu Quoc and Chamer went home on Emergency Leave and never came back. Minh moved to province where he started a Jewe;ry store in the Rach Gia Market

  24. Don (Chalmer)
    I would be very interested in your book (I couldnt locate it with a Google search). I was briefly the Phoenix replacement in Ha Tien but transferred to Sadec in the central Delta for most of my extended tour and am writing a memoir/history. Would be pleased to send it and get your perspective. Email is
    Gordon Bare

      • John, if you find out anything about Tim Patton, I would be interested as I would have been his predecessor as the Kien Binh Phoenix Advisor from June 1968 to May 1969.

    • Wayne, I was on an advisory team also up near the Three Sisters (Hon Soc, Hon Mae, Hon Dot) at a sub-sector outpost in what was then the village of Kein Son, now called Hon Dot I discovered. I was wondering if you were at the same place. The compound sat on the north side of the main canal (ran east and west clear down to Rach Gia) and where a main north south canal (running up north to the “Seven Sisters” mountains) made a T. Hon Soc was directly south 2 or 3 kilometers. This was in 67 – 68. Is this the area you were in? I don’t recognize “Tin Can” village. There may have been another “3 Sisters” area. Thanks.

      • I believe it was Tinh Dao Village, Tri Ton Sub Sector. It was further up the road or canal from Kien Son and was the last sizable settlement before the Cement Plant.

    • I took your place in April 1971 till we closed the team down in June. Then went to MAT 44 in Kien An

  25. My Dad was on Advisory Team 55. He’s gone now. He told a few stories about his time there, like the VC “born in the North, Die in the South Brigade”, and Demo Dick, but was quiet about most of it. Thank You Guys for the Great Job you did.

    • Per Jim Sturgis below, Dean Haynes was wrapping up his tour as the Phoenix guy in Ha Tien in April 69 when I was briefly there

  26. Clyde, many of us former members of Team 55 have been communicating on Facebook. You will find hundreds of pictures of Tram members, Rach Gia, and Kien Giang. I’d love to see you post your pictures and join the chat. The site is: Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), Team 55
    I know our paths crossed. Minimally we spoke often via radio. I was either at the radios in the TOC, in the field w/the 597 RF Co., or on the radios w/CP. From 6/68 – 6/69. Please join us on the Facebook site and post your pictures!

  27. Gordon,
    I can fill in a little more info. I was assigned as Asst Advisor on the Ha Tien district team. Our 1st Sgt Cotto was Puerto Rican and was in fact on 2nd tour. We had the searchlight team (3 men) assigned much of the year. I also remember the stolen jeep and I believe the fellow responsible was Sgt Sarner (spectacular drive from Can Tho on many unsecured stretches of road).
    The Navy was quite active around Ha Tien, including Seal ops.
    You mentioned a Captain. I am guessing that was Senior Advisor Cpt. Cowgill. If you have a way to connect to him, I would appreciate very much. Finally, I’d mention that I have many slides and hope to convert to digital some day.
    One more question: do you remember the Swiss Medical team?

    • Jim, I think I remember the 1st Sergeant as an Irish guy, maybe from Milwaukee, a large guy maybe 220 pounds and perhaps 40 years old Am I wrong about that or was it someone else? I do recall he took good care of me the several times we went out on an ambush with RF, to a PF outpost for an overnight or some such — no contacts however. Sorry I have no contact info for Cowgill or anyone else on the district team — you are the first I have been in contact with. Would appreciate any contact info you have. From my manuscript: I remember the Swiss Red Cross team living in Ha Tien city – two doctors and two (middle aged) nurses. One evening several heavily armed Cambodians from the unit the Special Forces was training decided to visit the district customs inspector who happened to live next door to the Swiss. It seems he had been interfering with their cattle smuggling operation – or maybe it was a dispute over bribes. As they came in his front door he went out the back and sought refuge with the Swiss. The Swiss gave us a call when some of the Cambodians lingered outside their door. Four of us saddled up, grabbed our M-16s, jumped into a jeep and made the five-minute drive to town. We walked past the Cambodians and found a very nervous customs inspector in their living room. We put him between us, walked him out to our jeep, and took him to our compound where he spent the night on our couch. One of our NCOs spent the night with the Swiss. I’ll send you my manuscript if you are interested and would much appreciate comments/corrections/additions.

    • Happened upon this string when researching Team 55’s detail in Ha Tien. When not on the river, I was in the NOC shack (Naval Operation Center) directing Navy Seawolf cover and suppression for our boats on the Rach Gia and Vinh Te canal. Worked side-by-side in that small plywood structure with your operators who were monitoring PSID(?) placements. I became friends with “Rubio” who was on Team 55. I remember stories about the Army’s 1st Sgt and one of our Master Chiefs becoming involved in an argument at the MACV compound on the hill.

  28. Jim, Thanks for that. Now that you told me it rings a bell. Do you also remember the E8, a Korea vet on his second tour in Vietnam? The CPT who was the Senior Advisor sent me on ops, with him several times with the suggestion that I pay attention to what he had to say. As a brand new 2LT with all of 5 months active duty I thought that an excellent idea. I also remember an Army searchlight team that went to Can Tho to steal the team a jeep for the team and the great view from the team house. What were you doing on the Ha Tien team? Would like to chat and get your perspective on the place. Best. Gordon 301-717-4127

  29. Anyone know where I can find a map showing the District boundaries in Kien Giang Province in the late 60s? After the fall, it seems as if the district names all changed and my memory isn’t what it used to be.

      • Thanks, Sue Ann. That did provide a map of the Kien Giang Province boundaries, but I did not see any maps that identified the boundaries of the “Districts” in Kien Giang Province.

        • Thought I’d pass on something I came across on the ‘net yesterday when trying to find district maps for Kien Giang Province — a chapter from a book that might bring back memories for your MACV Team’s members. It was written by an advisor one province east of Kien Giang about his time in district there in late ’67, early ’68:

          I was in and out of Kien Giang from May ’68 to November ’69 as an MI officer with 4th Bn, 525 MI Group, Can Tho.

          All the best, Doug Carlson

          Sent from my iPad


        • Sorry for that last email; the link I attempted to attach to the “Walk Into Darkness” chapter from the “Witness to War” first-person oral history project didn’t come through.

          Sent from my iPad


        • Ken, just reading your comments from last year. I was in Kien Giang from April, 70 to March, 71 and I have a map of the Districts as they existed at that time. My map was hand drawn for my photo album but it is accurate. If you want a copy, send me your mailing address. Breezy.

          • Hi Breezy. In September 2016, you said you would send me a hand drawn map of the Kien Giang District. ” Ken, just reading your comments from last year. I was in Kien Giang from April, 70 to March, 71 and I have a map of the Districts as they existed at that time. My map was hand drawn for my photo album but it is accurate. If you want a copy, send me your mailing address. Breezy.”

            Unfortunately, I don’t think I saw it. If you are still willing to send the map, I really would like to have it as, my memory is getting worse by the day. I can sen you my mailing address if you will email me at

            (1LT) Ken Shuck, Kien Bien Phoenix Advisor 1968-69

    • John, As I just posted in reply to Ken Shuck below, I was briefly assigned to HaTien in April-May 69 where I was to take over the Phoenix slot but was reassigned to Sadec province. I wonder if you recall the Phoenix LT at Ha Tien or the CIA guy running Phoenix at Rach Gia in the first half of 69. I have written a memoir and province history of Sadec and would like to fill in some blanks. I’d be interested in your perspective on Phoenix and will send you my manuscript if interested.

      • The Ha Tien Phoenix guy was LT Wes ?. The Province Phoenix guy for most of 1969 was CPT Marty Pierce. I followed him in an acting capacity until CPT Pter Rebold arrived .

      • The Phoenix (DIOCC) person in Ha Tien in spring 1969 was Dean Haynes. He and I were there roughly July ’68 to July ’69

      • Gordon, according to my proficiency reports, in May 1968 the CORDS guy for Advisory Team 55 (and my Phoenix/DIOCC Indorser) was Kenneth R. Mahoney, FSR-5; and on my report in May 1969 was John Sylvester Jr. FSO-4.

        • Thanks Jim. I’m afraid I don’t remember the guy from my brief stint in Ha Tien. I recall CPT Marty Pierce but I didn’t remember the name until reminded by a post on this group. Gordon Bare

        • Jim, I’m trying to tie your post “Lou Morris” into some other post but not having much luck. I was, at that time, CPT Chalmer D (Don) Barker, the Sr Intel Advisor for Kien Giang. I knew Lou Morris well. In fact, one entire chapter of my book is pretty much about him. He, and his PRU team were headquartered in a building almost directly across from my office. My office had once been the BEQ for most of the team’s EM but had been attacked and pretty well destroyed just a few days prior to my arrival.

          • The following lived at the OSA House across the street from the old BEQ in August 68.
            Lou Morris, CIA.
            Stan Rodiman, RD Advisor, replaced by Sherm Flanders
            Frank Flynn, PRU Advisor, replaced by Leon Rauch
            Jim Hilbert, CIA.
            SSG, Bob Babb, PRU/RD Advisor, replaced by SSG Bill Bates
            SSG. Jim Fosse, PRU/RD Advisor
            Frank, Stan, Bob and I led the PRU’s on multiple combat operations, for six months, to destroy the VC Infrastructure. Things slowed down considerably when Frank and Stan left.
            Jim Fosse
            PS. Marty Pierce was a great guy.

            • Hi Jim, I’m the former S-2 Advisor whose offices were, at the end and once earlier before our building got shot up and pretty much destroyed, almost directly across the street from the PRU quarters. I’m not sure whether you were addressing me in your post about Lou Morris.
              Were you a PRU team member when Lou departed? I am unable to remember the name of the man who replaced him. I’m not sure I even remember his physical description. Somehow, I have the vague idea that his replacement was a big burly red-headed Irishman. I’m probably wrong.
              Feel free to reply if you have any comment or question.

              • Don
                When Sherm Flanders took Stan Rodiman’s place as RD Advisor, he moved SSG Babb and I to the BEQ (Hotel by the market). I didn’t spend much time at the OSA House after that and I think Lou Morris was still in country when I left 8/69. The PRU’s were very active until SEAL Frank Flynn was replaced by Leon Rauch. Frank was much more aggressive. I was on all operations while Frank was in charge, then returned to my assignment as a RD Advisor. Very few operations took place the remainder of Leon’s tour.

    • John, do you know the name of the Major who was the Senior Advisor in the Kien Tan District around May- July 1968? I was assigned as the Phoenix DIOCC advisor there during that time. He did not like me going to see the VN District Chief without him along (though he would not go with me) to discuss getting his S2 and the district Special Branch Chief to coordinate intel and to set up a District Intelligence Operations Coordination Center (DIOCC). My CORDS Chief, Ken Mahony, (who I was technically OPCON to) was furious when I told him that the Major was a stonewall in me getting anything done. After talking to the Major, he decided to move me to Kien Bihn District on 23 July 1968 where MAJ Roy Bonds had been asking for a Phoenix Advisor. I found out later from the Team 55 personnel officer that the Kien Tan Major had written a terrible proficency report on me, but Ken Mahony went to COL Stansfield, Province Senior Advisor and it was torn up. MAJ Bond later wrote proficiency reports coving my entire time on that tour (my second tour).

      BTW, 1LT Granger (was it Bob or John?) set me up with one of his old Mamou, LA girlfriends to be a Pen Pal. Her picture (facial only) showed she was gorgeous, so we corresponded for months. When I got back to the states, I went to New Orleans where see now lived and worked (in Father Mustache’s on Bourbon Street). Only thing was the bottom part of her was around 250-300 pounds. But we hung out up and down Bourbon Street for a week and had a nice time. Parted ways after that.

  30. I was the first district Phoenix advisor to Team 55, Rach Gia, arriving in June 1968. I was immediately assigned to Kien Tan District Advisory Team (although assigned to Team 55, I was “OPCON” to the Province CORDS advisor). I only stayed at Kien Tan for a few months when my CORDS Advisor decided I would be more effective in Kien Binh District where MAJ Roy Bonds, District Advisor had been lobbying him for a Phoenix Advisor. So I stayed in Kien Binh District until I rotated back to the States in May 1969. I would be interested in talking to anyone who was there during that time or was a Phoenix Advisor. (2LT) Ken Shuck

    • Ken, I was briefly assigned to HaTien in April-May 69 where I was to take over the Phoenix slot but was reassigned to Sadec province. I wonder if you recall the Phoenix LT at Ha Tien or the CIA guy running Phoenix at Rach Gia in the first half of 69. I have written a memoir and province history of Sadec and would like to fill in some blanks. I’d be interested in your perspective on Phoenix and will send you my manuscript if interested.

      • Gordon, According to my efficiency report dated 10 May 1969, my CORDS supervisor (who was my proficiency indorser on that report, it was John Sylvester Jr. FSO-4, CORDS, MACV ADV TM 55, APO 96215 DPSA. On my November 1968 efficiency report my indorser was Kenneth R Mahony, FSR-2, CORDS … Since joining this blog, I have thought about capturing my time at Adv Tm 55 in writing, but have not done so yet. I would like to see your manuscript and compare experiences. Can you get my email address from this site? I was the first Phoenix advisor in Kien Giang Province (it was called ICEX (Intelligence Coordination and Exploitation) when I arrived in country. Before the CIA renamed it Phung Hoang (Phoenix) so the Vietnamese could claim it as one of “their” programs. Ken Shuck

    • I was Kien Luong Phoenix advisor from Jan 69 thru May 69 and then was sent south to Kien An district. I cannot remember the name of the Province Phoenix advisor early in 69 but Marty Pierce from Kien Thanh replaced him sometime in the spring. During my time in Kien Luong, things were pretty quiet and our Phoenix operations never accomplished much. Going to Kien An was a different story. We had great intelligence and many of our nighttime Phoenix operations were successful. We would target a known VCI and find him typically south of the district headquarters on the edge of the Uminh. I had a squad of Chieu Hoi’s who I took on these operations and I made sure to pay them quite well with Phoenix funds. I’m sure I met most of you guys but my memory of names from long ago is failing. I was the tall blond headed Kansas boy who always look scared.
      Everett Thompson

      • I was looking for Maj. Simpson, the Kien Luong Sr. Advisor, when I stumbled into your name. I was the young blond Tm. 55 Deputy Sr. Advisor, and you and I were quite friendly before you rotated home. I’d love to share some memories with you, and remember you quite well as a good, dedicated officer.

  31. To all; I have been successful in reaching a friend who filled in a lot of pertinent information about my husband SFC Charles Joseph Prusik: Viet Nam 66-67 & 70-71. When he was with MACV (70-71) he was stationed at Rach Gia. And I have communicated with a few people who have posted here previously. My search has now led me to try to find a man named BOOMER MARKLE or MARKEL. Thought I would start here first although I doubt people will know the name. This man was assigned as a bodyguard for my husband when he was sent to Germany. Looking for contact info or suggestions where to go next. Thanks to all, Donna m. Davis-Prusik

  32. Pictures (and people) who can answer all your questions at Facebook site
    “Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), Advisory Team 55”.

    • Thanks, I requested to join, but have not been added so I cant post or ask questions. I have learned more by reading other members posts. My father always said he was an Advisor, so I assumed all Macv were Advisors. I didn’t realize there were Macv desk clerks, supply clerks, excetera. It makes sense they would want all their own people for those jobs too.

  33. The rocket/recoilless attack to which you refer took place in late June or early july ’68, on the enlisted quarters (known as the “BEQ2” on the edge of the main canal in the Southeast corner of Rach Gia. Yes, it was at night, as usual. The 50 cal on the roof was “manned” by local VN Regional Forces who were most likely sleeping. 2 Americans were Killed and several wounded. Building was heavily damaged (pictures on Facebook), but not collapsed. We occupied it for several days after, pulling our own guard duty. Shortly thereafter we were moved to rooms in the Cam Do “hotel” in the center of Rach Gia. During the time I was there the “hotel” was not attacked. All this information and pictures of team 55 members and activities is on Facebook page mentioned in earlier post. Probably someone there can fill you in regarding your father. What was his MOS? Where did he operate?

    • Did the part of the roof the 50cal was mounted to sustain damage. He said something about that. All his papers talk about Rach Gia team 55, 1 paper says team 54 I thought it was a miss print. But his medical records indicate a hearing loss due to combat July 12 1968. And lists some involvement with team 96.

    • I was stationed at Rach Gia, Kien Gianc Province part of Advisor Team 55. I was a radio operator. Prior to that assignment I was stationed at Kien Binh Province working with Maj. Roy F. Bond on a small advisor team. I was wounded when the MACV BEQ2 compound at Rach Gia came under attack. According to my casualty report the attack occurred on 25Aug68. Yes. several were wounded and I believe 2 killed. There was a 50cal. on the roof manned by Viet soldiers. The gun was not being fired so two Americans were able to reach the roof and return fire. Yes, the roof was damaged because as the 50 cal. was fired it was bent down at an angle. I remember one of the soldiers name was Willie Plyant who was a supply clerk. When I was not in the field we would hang out together. Several years after being home we actually ran into each other in Detroit , Mich. which is my home. We lost touch but I would love to contact him if he’s still in the area.

      • On my earlier post I forgot to mention that we were moved to the Cam Do Hotel in the middle of Rach Gia. I was the last team member to leave the BEQ2 compound. I have a photo of myself in front of the entrance of the Cam Do Hotel.
        As I read the post on this website it brings back many memories of my time in Viet Nam. Many of my experiences I had pushed to the back of mind.

        • I posted on the Team 54 site because my tour ended in May 68. I was a team medic up at Kien Son(now called Hon Dot) by the 3 Sisters mts.. In reading about Team 55 here I noticed mention of the BEQ 2 attack in Rach Gia. One of the men killed that night was Les Carter a Navy corpsman I met when I was deroseing in May. He was from my hometown area here in N. Dak. so we hung out for a few days drinking beer and talking about home etc. before I left. He showed me where his room was and I remember thinking it was really exposed being right next to the canal. I have a picture I took from the doorway for that reason. I heard later at O.A B. where I was doing Separation physicals (turn you head and cough) that he had been killed. Years later I talked to his wife and I believe she said it was July 12th when it happed. He lived for a couple of days but did not regain connciousness.

          Names some of you might recognize from our Subsector Team ; Major Delmonte – Captain Fred Belanger

          • To Wayne Loberg;

            Sorry this response is so many years late. For some reason, I never saw your post before today (July 4, 2022). The posts on this site are a hodge-podge of dates. Nothing seems to be in any sort of chronological (or any other) order. I almost never received the supposed email notification of a post to a thread I’m following come in.

            The damaged building (BEQ2) did not collapse. I had just arrived to be the new Sr S-2 Advisor and this was my welcome party. I arrived a few days after the attack and walked through the entire building. All the men had, by the time I arrived, been evacuated. The building was empty.

            After structural soundness had been established, the ground floor of the building was refurbished and I moved my entire Intelligence Advisory team back into it and we remained there for the rest of my tour. We had been temporarily quartered in some space in the Province HQ – right next to the TOC. One night, at this temporary location, we suffered an indirect rocket attack and our “new” office space was near-totally destroyed. I don’t think the VC/NVA liked us very much!

            • The posts are in chronological order based on the date a “conversation” was started. For example if someone posted a comment in 2019 about an incident which happen on a team, all responses to that comment are grouped with the original 2019 comment.
              You are correct that it is confusing.
              However listing comments chronologically in order of the date received would also be confusing in that a comment posted today in response to a 2019 comment would have no context or reference point.
              Neither system is perfect so the one having context was chosen. Also when this website was started, we had no idea that we’d have over 23,000 comments which is great however requires more digging.

              • Sorry if this post confuses anyone. I’m attempting to respond to a post by someone in Admin which was posted yesterday in response to an earlier post, by myself, commenting on how posts are sorted and organized.


                Thank you for the response.

                I can see that whatever type of sorting is done, it is a monumental task. Apparently you chose the best option available since posts do not require a “Subject” line which is repeated in subsequent responses to either the original post on the subject or some secondary response which discusses an entirely disconnected subject..

                The problem (for me) is that I am unable to determine which post started a thread. Since there are no subject lines it apparently is when someone makes an original (not a reply to another post) post. Some of the “responses” to the thread, or subject, may be years after the original post and there isn’t a word that logically relates to the original post’s subject matter.


                Let’s say a surviving child of a team member posted asking if anybody knew his or her dad. Someone will post saying yes or no and identifying who they are and when they were on the team and in what capacity, dates, and locations they served in Team 55.. Then someone else will respond to that second post (first reply) by saying; “Hey, great to see you again, ………” because they served with the person who responded.

                Then, in the second response the person posting happens to mention that they were (for example) on MAT 44 when an event happened. Suddenly, the entire thread has morphed into a discussion of the mentioned event with little or no relationship to the original post asking for information about the child’s dad.

                I see nothing wrong with doing that but I just find myself confused as to what I am reading about – especially when many posts, on the same subject, were made years later than the one being responded to.

                Sorry for the confusion. Perhaps my brain just works differently.

      • Clyde, SFC Hank Sekusky’s nephew, sent me some photos uncovered after Hank passed. You may be in one I’ve posted it on the FaceBook page: Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) Team 55. If you don’t do FaceBook, e-mail me at Mike Treinen, S-4, Team 55, March 1968-1969 P.S. I also may have a photo of Willie Plyant,,,

      • Clyde, I arrived at Kien Binh District Advisory Team somewhere around August 1968 as the District Phoenix Advisor and left in May 1969. My memories of that time seem to have long faded away. Besides MAJ Bond, who I thought was one of the best officers I worked for in my 20 years of service, there was 1LT Jack Granger, but who else was on the team? I have some pictures of team members, but no idea who they are. Would you possible remember them if I sent you the pictures? Any information you can give me about the District, the town the Advisory Team was located , etc. would be appreciated. Thanks, 1LT Ken Shuck (then)

  34. James, I was same place, same time, same unit but don’t remember your brother by name.
    Go to Facebook page “military assistance command vietnam (MACV), advisory team 55” and ask the same question. The rocket attack on our quarters took place in June of ’68, I believe.

    • Wast he headquarters in a hotel? My father said it came under attack, he ran the the roof and got on the 50cal and started laying down suppressive fire as the evacuated the building until the barrel got too hot. As he went to leave no one could find the cook. He ran back in to find him with a leg wound hiding under his bunk. My father took off the only article of clothing he had on at the time (the attack happened at night while he was sleeping) and tied off the leg to stop the bleeding. He carried the cook out and just as he did the hotel collapsed. Then he had some higher ranking officer yell at him for being “out of uniform” I think he was naked.

  35. I hope I’m allowed to post here. My father Larry David Brown was Macv team 55 from 68-69 Rach Gia RVN. He past away in 2005. Growing up he’d occasionally talk about what happened over there but I got very little from him but the occasional repeated stories and when I asked questions or got into specifics he’d shut down. The only members he’d talk about beside his interpreter was a cook that was in a hotel with him when it came under fire and a (if I remember right) General that was retiring and a bunch of guys got together and made a bust of him out of c4 as a going away gift.

    Searching the net I found this sight and was hoping to find someone that knew my dad and Know a little more about what happened to him over there.

  36. John,
    Do you have any idea what Major Carr is doing? He was the Team Leader and ADSA for Phu Quoc for about 3 months or so in 69 when I was the medical Advisor at Duong Dong.

    • Don’t know. We had about three months together. I was called up to Province (Kien Giang) and we had litte interaction after that. His branch ias I recall was Air Defense Artillery

      • Thanks for the reply and welcome home. You are correct. He was an Army Air Defense Command Officer, which I always found to be a strange fit. He was a “nice” man and I got along with him well. He was very supportive of our turning a former Air Force “machine room” into a full dispensary for our Lien Doi guys and allowing me time to to do training classes for the medics and emergency first aid classes for selected other Lien Doi personnel. As you probably remember he was fairly formal and to see him and Sam Hosier, The Phu Quoc DSA ( former Green Beret E9 who served in every war and conflict from WWII to Vietnam and was nicknamed “Cowboy”) together was always entertaining. Sam teased and ribbed him constantly.

        Thanks, again, for your reply.

      • LT John Schweich, Remember me, Mike Giglio, ANA Doc, Me and you were together at Kien Tan, Before Carr sent me to a MAT team. I have pictures of us. I do not have good memories of Kien Tan, Do you remember when we were suppose to drain the bunker. How do we trade e-mails on this site?

  37. Never been back or even wanted to. Using a map program did locate the old team house or what is left of it. They built a few more bridges across those canals as well. Imagine any VN who worked for or translated for the Americans found themselves in a heap of trouble when NVN took over. During my tour the old PSA was killed and Col Art Moreland took over.

    • I went back in 1993, before the lifting of the embargo, the story of which is written up in “Chicken Soup For The Veteran’s Soul,” titled “Return To Hoa Quan Village,” published in 2000 under the Chicken Soup Series.

      I went back to Hoa Quan to visit the village again (mostly for closure), and encountered many Vietnamese civilians living in the village who remembered me and actually thanked me for what we had tried to accomplish for them. But I discovered that my counterpart, Trung Uy Hungl, was shot to death a month after my DEROS in early Jan, 1970.

      I met his son, then a 24-yr old monk, who honored me in the village as I donated $300US (then a year’s wages in Vietnam) to the village school teacher for the school building program.

      I know it’s not for everyone, but going back (for me) was a very good experience. My wife said that before going back, my PTSD was out of control, but afterwards, it became much better.

      Today, through counselling, I think I’m doing much better. Being a team leader of a MAT Team in 1969 with the U-Minh Forest being so close and beaucoup VC working so vigourously in the area, it was a pretty stressful tour.

      But I have 7 grandchildren now, And boy, do they ever keep Grandpa smiling and laughing!

  38. Sue Ann, Michael Treinen created Military Assistance Command Vietnam(MACV) Team 55 website. You should be able to post after being accepted to the group. If not, leave a message for Treinen and he should reply. Your father was on the Kien An District Team when I commanded MAT 44. Did not see him very often because our missions were different. Whenever we interfaced, he was a personal, professional, and dedicated soldier. I had always wished he was on my team. His actions just south of my outpost on that fateful day did not surprise me. They were those of a courageous and brave soldier!!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Captain Morgan: I’ll send him an email to his most recent email address. On one of the reports that I had received years ago, it had mentioned that my Dad’s body was recovered by a diver team. I didn’t know if that would been MAT 44, 102 or ? Maybe the Navy? I’ll keep looking. Thanks again for your response.

  39. Bob, sounds like a plan. Let me know when you are in town. I do a bit of traveling since my children are in Chicago and Michigan. We also have a Pussers just south of Ponte Vedra.

    • Let me have your email. Maybe CAP’s works for you. We like the Conch House too.

  40. Dennis Gatlin, Saw your posting and glad you made it back. Where are you living?I live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

    • Bill,

      We live in NJ but also have a home in St. Augustine Beach. We need to get together at the Sunset Grille for a beer. I DEROSed Jan ’70, so I missed you by 3 months. Crazy times…

      Bob Amon

    • John, When I first arrived in Rach Gia in May 1968, the COORD Advisor assigned me to be the Phoenix Advisor to Kien Tan District as it was close to Rach Gia. But the DSA (a Major) and I could not see eye-to -eye. I needed to deal directly with the District military S2 and the Chief of the District Police Special Branch office to get them to share intelligence. The DSA told me that I should tell him what I wanted to do and he with talk to them – only he didn’t. When I decided to just walk down the road from our District compound to the S2 and Special Branch officer (I knew some Vietnamese since I had a tour in 66-67 on A-teams in II Corps. ). He got really upset and started to bad mouth me to Province Hqs, who told the COORDS Advisor, who had me moved to Kien Binh with MAJ Roy Bond, who had been asking for a Phoenix Advisor. My question is do you happen to know who the Kien Tan DSA was in the summer of 1968? Thanks, Ken Shuck,

      • John Matthews, DSA, Kien Tan District 1971. I replaced a CPT whose name I can’t remember. Also, can’t remember any of my predecessors although I do remember reading old reports. I had two Phoneix advisors who both did a goof job. The first went to Rach Gia before deriding.

        Sent from my iPhone


  41. Richard E. White, Maj AUS Ret
    I was DSA in Kien Loung (the cement plant) 1966-67 and moved up to RacGia 1967-68. Lots of memories, zero photos and one major regret;not keeping a log of all the great folks we lived and worked with. Did a third year ” in country”, II Corps, 1970-71. Retired in Oregon but have lived in Arizona over 20 years. Contacts welcome at:

  42. Wow…just found this website and the memories and names flooded back.

    Good to see posts from Bill Morgan. Bill and I served on MACV Advisory Team 55 during the same period. If I recall correctly, Bill and I went thru the same MACV training at Ft Bragg and Ft Bliss prior to deployment.

    I advised the provincial Rural Development Cadre and People’s Self-Defense Force groups in Kien Giang province from May 70 to April 71.

    With Veteran’s Day just a few days from now, thanks to all for serving and sacrificing.


    • Welcome home. Go to Military Assistance Command Vietnam(MACV) Team 55. A site where we have posted pictures and personal experiences. Several guys have passed on, but many are still around. Think you will enjoy.

    • Dennis, you are right. Had the same training at Bragg and Bliss. Do you remember Bob Oliver in our training?

  43. Does anyone remember Captain Davis who commanded MAT 102 when I arrived in April 1970 and was assigned to MAT 44 ? Their location was south of the Kien An district team location on the main canal. Both he and his counterpart sported handle bar mustaches. Lots of action in his AO.

    • Stephen Miles, MAT 102. 70/71. He was/is a great fan of SEC football, fear less, a born leader. Cared for all of us, I remember an ambush at the Rach Soi airfield. We had all we could handle at Tu Chin. The loss of COL Ellison, Karnes, Renner,

        • Bill, I was going thru my cell phone directory and for some reason, I have “Captain Jim Davis, Vietnam” listed. Do you and Stephen Miles have an email address that I can send it to?

          • Update:. I went thru my emails and I had contacted him awhile back. This Jim Davis served in Vietnam but he said he’s not the person I’m searching for.

      • Bill: Yes, I was with Team 55, MAT 102 with Captain Davis 70/71. I believe he went back to Alabama/Auburn area but I too have lost touch with him. I have lots of photos of life at MAT 102, and over the years I wish we had stayed in touch. I will commit to finding him.

      • Great! Were you there when MAT 44 members visited MAT 102 for a BBQ at your location? Stayed a little late and had a unique rid3
        back on Numbnuts.

      • I think everyone would enjoy seeing the pictures. We also have a separate Team 55 website for all prior members.

      • As I’ve mentioned in other posts I was the Sp/5 Medic with Mat 102.

        I arrived in Rach Gia right around Thanksgiving of 68. The next day it was out to the field joining Capt. Bell, Lt. Slayton, Sgt. Musquez and Sgt. Harris already in progress. Between then and Aug. 18, 1969 the only time I got out of the field was R.&R for a week.Otherwise it was life in the Mekong.

        Anyways, a month or two later Capt. Bell DEROSed and Capt. Gorland took his place.

        here is where one can located him. It appears he’s done well in civilian life.

        I have not reached out to him specifically but I have been in touch with Sgt. Musquez and Lt. Tomberg who replaced Lt Slayton. Those encounters where about four years ago.

      • Mike,

        You mention CPT Gorland in your above post. Small world.

        I arrived in Rach Gia on 11Feb69 with then-LT Gorland and we were briefed by LTC Stanberry in his office. I know this exact date because I kept a diary and now I have completed a book about my entire one-year tour on MAT 88 based on the diary.

        Anyway, after the briefing, MAJ Stroud walked us around the compound and took us into the TOC radio bunker where we were introduced to SGT Sekusky. I remember that bunker felt like it was air conditioned! Sekusky was a great guy who eventually helped me out of many a jamb in the months to come. He was at a desk littered with lots of notes scribbled on pieces of paper, but he always had a handle on what was going on and who needed what.

        The next morning, Gorland and I were sent down to Kien Binh district town where we met MAJ Bond and LT Granger (crazy cajun from Louisianna). It was Tet, and MAJ Bond wanted to take us “under his wing” before sending us out to our MAT Teams. We went out on an operation with LT Granger at 4AM after some VC kidnapped the father of one of their districe Kit Carson Scouts (but neg contact-neg results). Several days later Gorland went out to MAT 102 (I guess) and I went to MAT 88. I never saw Gorland after that, so I’m very glad he made it home in one piece.

        I think you guys would love to read my book. I’m working on finding an agent right now. It’s about 267 pages or so and will have lots of photos. Right now I’m torn about using real names. I don’t know if I should contact them to get their permission but it may be difficult for me to find them.

        Anyway, this is a great site for Team 55 Advisor talk. Stay well guys!

        • Bob, although my memory is fading, I seem to remember having met you on a couple of your visits to Rach Gia. My name is Chalmer D (Don) Barker. I was a CPT when I arrived at Rach Gia to become the Sr Intel Advisor in Kien Giang. I served there from 25 Aug 68 thru 17 July 69. I would love to get a copy of your book. My email address is: Hoping to hear from you and am glad you made it back and are doing well.

  44. Ben,

    Since our first communication back in March, I have tried to reconstruct in my mind some of the chronology of that year with mixed success. It sometimes seems a fruitless effort. Just when I think I have something in the right time frame, I realize that it can’t be because of something that I just remembered which would make it not possible.

    I went out with a Mat on several occasions from the day after my arrival at Duong Dong in late December of 1969…actually, the day after Christmas possibly. The Air Force was in the process of breaking down and shipping out equipment but were still in control of that compound. The personnel ranks started to shrink rapidly the week after my arrival.and I think by mid-January and certainly by February it was only the District Team,, Capt. Bob Harter, who was the Team leader and Ass’t DSA; MSG Earl”Chief” Vergoren, NCOIC;
    Paul, a young blond from the Midwest who was a Sp4 and the RTO ;a Navy Corpsman 1st Class who was the MiLPHAP medic but also pulled routine details if need be and me.

    There was also there in the compound a Sea Bee group that were nicknamed “The Beach Boys” for obvious reasons which I am sure you can figure out. I don’t think I knew then and,
    certainly now, cannot tell you their purpose there. There were 4 of them..As I mentioned I went out on an Op the day following my arrival up just above Cua Can. I want to say that my involvement with the MAT teams…I say teams because I seem to remember 2 separate teams whom I accompanied on occasion and my memory is 44 and 45.??? From looking at pictures on the FB site I am certain that I worked with LT Sherlock on several occasions.
    For some reason , I cannot remember who was the person in charge of the other team ( that would be 45?) . It is possibel, I suppose, that I ALWAYS operated with MAT 44 and that LT Sherlock just wasn’t along for those walks.

    Anyway, Cpt. Harter left VERY shortly after I arrived, I think late January or early February.
    Chief left less than a month later. Harter was replaced by Major Carr, an ARADCOM officer.
    He had the misfortune to be there only a day when the only mortar attack on the air field compound that I knew of occurred. We were moved into the Villa downtown with DSA “Cowboy” Sam Hosier within 48 hours. Major Carr was a good guy but out of his element.
    We rarely went out with the Lien Doi after that for a bit, Did a lot of make work .. but I did manage a few Medcaps with Joe Cox and the District Hospital Chief..

    I believe that Cpt. Tom Glodek, a Phoenix officer , arrived just before Major Carr and was billeted at the Villa already when we arrived.Cpt. Gloidek was tall ..maybe 6’4″ with a “Clark Gable” style mustache. Major Carr was replaced by Cpt. Bob Krick in April , I believe . Major Carr went to Ha Tien and I visited him for a couple hours on my way out of country. Captain Krick, moved us, thankfully, back to the airfield compound and we started moving the bulk of the Lien Doi in there as well because it was large enough and was well defended by the berms from when the AF was there and was gated and… quite frankly just made more sense. Joe Cox and Cpt Glodek remained at the villa. I don’t think that I went out with a MAT team more than 2 or 3 times after Cpt. Krick arrived so I would place their exit from An Thoi
    around late April or early May. I really don’t know if the team was kept in tact or if everyone was scattered around the province.Up to that point in my tour I had very little contact with An Thoi. I think I may have gone down there one time up to the point Cpt. Krick arrived.

    Cpt Krick left in October and was replaced by 1stLT Bill Ruby and Phu Quoc quickly became a “Special Sector” and we were renamed a “Special Combat Assistance Team” which consisted of LT Ruby,, SSG Don Knigge and me. The RTO, Paul, DEROS’d just after Cpt. Krick left. We spent a lot more time “out of compound” after that .. on ops and on the Medcaps that were much needed on the Island Joe Cox had introduced me to a Naval Doctor in An Thoi who was helping me with meds and advice. Luckily we had an interpreter , Anh , who had really helped push me to learn “passable” Vietnamese. So if he was needed elsewhere when I had a Medcap I could usually get through that barrier plus the District Hospital Chief was usually along and he spoke pretty good English.
    Another team showed up during our “conversion” period. i was trying to be sure that I left the team and the Lien Doi medics.and the extensive Medcap program we had developed would continue after I left.. I think it was a MAT team but, honestly, I don’t know. I don’t really know much about them. There was a Team leader who, I believe, was a 1st Lieutenant, young but I don’t remember much beyond that, A medic who was an E-6 who i invited on Medcaps a couple times but he was much older than me and didn’t seem to wish to be bothered. A young black E5 whose job I didn’t know, a Hispanic E5 who was the friendliest of the group and spent a good bit of time with SSG Knigge and I when we were free. I believe a young 2nd Lieutenant joined them shortly before I left.I remember going out twice with them, once being the night before I left for Rach Gia to begin processing for DEROS.

    All in all, my time there was fairly interesting, partly because of what seemed to be our constant state of “rotating” Team leaders partly because we managed to keep an excellent rapport with the locals and the outlying hamlets. There was a mutual respect between our team, especially under Cpt Krick and continuing under LT Ruby, and our counterparts….. from Commander Hoa, the District Chief and Dai uy Loc, the Lien Doi Commander all the way through the ranks. Because of this the last half of my tour was more enjoyable( maybe that should be endurable) than the first 3 or 4 months ,during which time, outside of Ops, I had no real assignment and became the “go to guy” for all the “odd ball” and “mind numbing” routine tasks that needed doing. Cpt. Krick and i received Vietnamese Honor medals( he First Class and We Second Class) and I was honored to receive a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service. I received my Combat Medical either late march or early April.

    Sorry for the length but now you have the history of my tour but I guess not much more information about your fellow MAT 44 members. Take a look at the pics on the FB site.. there are a couple people neither Krick or I could identify and a nice article in his local paper about his woodworking…it is very interesting.

    Glad we are both here to, at least, try to remember some of this stuff. I don’t know about you but, at the time, I din’t think i would EVER forget a minute of it..

    Take Care of yourself and let me here form you time to time……

    Larry Downs
    Tm 55, Phu Quoc

    • John, Did you know SFC Gerald Skotarek, he was with the phoenix program in Kien Giang Prov. I seen him a couple times there. We were at ft bragg together. Don Smith 1st signal brigade..Rach Gia 70-71

  45. Still trying to find details of mat 44 move from an thoi on phi quoc to mainland. Did the rf company also move. The pf platoons probably stayed in their villes. My counterpart was major Thieu, older gentleman who had been regular arvn at one time. I left mid feb 68 and lt. Sherlock took charge of team. Then at some time he went to 9th I’D and was kid in Aug 68. Both sgt. Mac and Ssg manship,
    2 of my team ncos don’t recall the details.any help is welcome. We were first team of mat 44 straight out of school at Dian.

  46. I was assigned to Advisory Team 55 from 1969-1970, first in Kien Tan and later at Rach Gia. Our commander was LTC Stanberry

  47. Sad to hear. We never had a code book as we could only talk to district he at duong duong using the navy commo gear. Our prc. 25 would not reach.

  48. What team were the guys at an thoi with? When I was there a mp advisory team to the pow camp was there with us as well as a navy team and a swift boat base.I wonder what happened to all the pows when saigon surrendered.

    • Ben, I really do not recall since I had little contact with An Thoi. We ran some infantry ops north of the camp. I believe the mp advisors were still there with a navy team. The cutter Dallas was anchored there for sometime. When the Dallas was heading state side they had Lou(warrant office/bird dog pilot) fly me over the island to direct their 5 inch gun on preselected targets for the 175 shells left in the ships ammo storage hole. Larry Downs may remember more about An Thoi since we ran a number of medcaps in the hamlets and he was getting some medicines I believe from the navy.
      I would think that the prisoners were all returned to the mainland. I bet the south vietnamese would have fled in panic. My thoughts were for all of the rf-pf forces we had trained and fought with not to mention the ARVNS and the choi hoys. I believe my counter part at duong dong, a major over a lindoi battalion, made it out.
      If I am slow to answer this is new to me and I use my wifes lap top when she is not using it.

      • Biill,
        Are you speaking of Commander Hoa or Dai uy Loc who was actually the Lien Doi commander when I was there . Commander(Tueta) Hoa was the District Chief.I wondered often about them… what happened to our young interpreter Ahn… I was haunted for a while about what would become of him.
        Played beautiful spanish flamenco guitar… spoke English, Vietnamese, German, french and a couple Mandarin dialects…
        Also my thoughts were with the OLD chief medic with the Lien Doi…Khuyen… I beleive him to have been in his 50’s at that time and had fought with French versus Viet Minh.Hopefully he survived and was able to “enjoy” going 0 for 2 .

      • Larry,

        A Dai Uy (captain) Hoa with the Linh Doi Battalion was my counterpart for awhile in Hoa Quan Village, Kien Bihn District (around Feb, 1969). I have many photos of he and I.

        Is it possible you knew the same Hoa and he was promoted to Thieu Ta (major) after he and I parted company (around March, 1969 or so)? I believe it must be the same Dai Uy Hoa I knew, because he was in the Linh Doi Battalion at the time.

        I remember MAT Team 44 and MAT Team 45 very well. MAT 45 was at Thoi An Village getting hit all the time. I was sniped at while visiting their outpost, approximately March, 1969.

        Bob Amon, MAT 88

    • Ben. I checked out the macv team 55 site and there is a picture of a jeep that hit a mine outside rach gia and killed the driver. In, I think early 69, I was on mat 46 at a hamlet down a road from rach gia. Can not remember the outpost name, but remember a coded message came over the radio. Got the kack book from my pocket- remember the book? The message was to not use the road that evening because s2 had intel charlie had planted a mine. We did not have a vehicle so I did not think much about it. Next day we heard a SGT was killed in a jeep. I believe it was a SGT Miller whom I had meet at the boq in rach gia and had a few beer with him while there before going to the field.

      • I remember that incident with the jeep hitting a mine. I was at the short strip waiting for the swing ship to take me to my new assignment as Phoenix advisor in Kien Luong. The swing ship was diverted to assist with picking up the SGT’s body. When it returned for me an hour or so later I threw my gear in and the floor was still bloody. I considered that quite the welcome for me.
        Everett Thompson

    • Ben,
      At Duong dung. Compound by airstrip. We had a Boston Whaler and would run to
      An thoi to meet up at times with Maj. John and MSG. Ferguson. In fact, it was
      Ferguson got me on the navy ship for sick bay one time. I believe it was the USS
      Dallas if I recall.

  49. Served mat 46 from Dec. 68 to Dec. 69 as 2nd Lt. assistent team leader and had CIB within a week in the field. Then extended and went to Phu Quoc Special sector until June 70 when 1st. Lt.. It has been since then that I have even thought about looking up Team 55. Spent 36 years as forester before retiring in Virginia. Could never really handle stress after Nam so was happy without a lot of responsibility. Try not to be introverted; have a wonderful family which I think is my anchor.

    God bless all the brothers that served!

    Bill Ruby

  50. Jim, go to Facebook page: Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), Team 55. There you may find familiar names and faces. The only name I can think of that May have been there that early is SFC “Hank” Sekusky who did 7 tours and was there when I was 6/68- 6/69. Also a great collection of 400 or so pictures.
    Dave (SP4, radio operator)

      • Hello, Jim: Hope this finds you well. Found this web site recently and hoped I would find you and Verdi some where. Like a visit from the past. Drop a line, let me know how you are doing. I’m finally old.

  51. Any of you in rach Gia in 65-66? Wonder if any are still around. Use to love listening to Herschel ? Sing hank Williams song at night. Maj. Wilson was team leader. I was the psywar/civic action Lt. Had an interpreter and a jeep loved playing tennis at
    The local courts with the Vietnamese province commander. Good memories. Jim

  52. My wife and I revisited Hoa Quan Village in 1993, before the lifting of the embargo. The story of my “Return To Hoa Quan Village” is published on page 305 in “Chicken Soup For The Veteran’s Soul,” published in 2000. I’m sure things have changed vastly since then, so I’m sure I can’t be of much help with anyone’s current plans, but good luck to you all!

    Back then, they confiscated our passports, driver’s licenses and all other IDs and held them “for safekeeping” until we returned to Saigon. We were assigned “tour guides” who turned out to be former VC in Kien Binh District who had their original combat maps showing exact locations of outposts! I had mine with me too, so it became very interesting points of discussion among us! I wound up drinking Ba Xe De with the former VC and we all got plastered and then told one another how fortunate we all were to be alive!

    Please keep us posted on your return trip and especially looking forward to your “After-action Report!” Good Luck again!

    Bob Amon

    • Bob,
      Team 88 of Kien Binh was just south of Kien Yang where at the time in 69 I was a 2nd Lt. on Mat team 46. 1st Lt.Shepard was team leader, SGT Pratt was medic, SGT Jones was heavy weapons and SGT Thurmond was light weapons. Did you have a 2nd LT. first name of Jay with blond hair? Thought he was from team 88. Had a large operation with the ARVN 1st Div. to take the Three Sisters mountains near Cambodia in Kien Yang. Lost 29 apcs, never took the high ground and Jay was hit through the shoulder but returned to duty 3 weeks later. Col. Stanberry gave him the purple heart. It looked like we moved every 3 months to work with another group of rough- puffs, but I just can not remember the names of all the hamlets/outposts. I do remember we traded a lot with the navy folks down there for goodies off of the sunken boats for things like a 50 and a belt feed 40mm honeywell . Just had to keep it from the IG when they came around.


  53. My experience last November going back to Sadec province in the central Delta where I spent most of my time (I was briefly in Ha Tien also) may be relevant. I got a car and driver through the fairly upscale Continental Palace Hotel, Saigon specifying destination, back roads and (limited )English speaking — not cheap but worth it. (Sorry I don’t have the driver’s name.) I used Google maps before departing and determined there was road access to a lot of places unreachable before and the driver (unasked) came equipped with a IPad and Google maps which was highly useful. We had a very successful and worthwhile trip visiting the villages I knew quite well in 1969. As far as government goes it was never an issue — there were a few traffic checkpoints and or speed traps on the main roads but we were never stopped and I saw zero police presence in the villages. My assumption is that the regime is confident in their control including in the once rebellious Hoa Hao areas and not worried about a random vet on a visit. I wrote this up a bit more fully on the Team 65 page. Enjoy your trip.

  54. You can post your pictures on the Team 55 Facebook page.
    “Military Assistance Command Vietnam, (MACV) Team 55”

  55. I have just returned from Rach Gia, and have taken a couple of photos. Does anyone know how to post them online here? If not, I am more than happy to email them to any interested parties.



  56. Sure, no problems Ben. If there are any sites in particular That you are interested in, I may be able to arrange a few photos…just let me know.

    I have been travelling to Rach Gia for a bit over 6 years years now and the speed of development makes the place hard to recognise today, even from 6 years ago…but maybe places like the airport and the Rach Soi junction may bring back some memories for those that post on this site…?



    • Rodney, read with interest your comments on Rach Gia. I commanded Mobile Advisory Team 44, 1970-71 and operated out of Kien An District. I and two other previous commanders of this team Bob Blair and Mike Lacey are planning on returning to Vietnam and retrace our steps in March, 2015. Our desire is to fly into Saigon, rent a car and hire a driver/interpreter. Drive to Can Tho and Rach Gia and then proceed by boat to Dong Yen and Dong Thai villages and other key places. We do not want a tour. Do you know if we will need any special permits, etc to make this happen. Thanks for your help.
      Bill Morgan

      • Hi Bill, to achieve what you are trying to achieve, I think you are going about it the right way. The driver will be the key, as he will be local and will have the best chance of getting you to the places you want to see.

        For us to do our work, we need to maintain a very close relationship with all seven levels of Government in the area as where we work is simply not accessible by tourists without Government assistance and permissions. So you may find some places are simply not accessible, but having a local driver will get you into most places. I am not sure how to get the best connected driver who may have connections in the south, but I would spend a bit of time asking questions of the driver telling him everything you want to achieve, including the places you want to go.

        I wish you and your colleague the best of luck and I hope it is a rewarding experience for you both…good luck and regards, Rod

  57. Thank you for the nice post. In 1970 I was up north based in the Kontum area. During april 70 I was leading a viet unit in a combined operations campaign and talked a lot on the radio with an Australian Special Forces fellow who was leading a montagnard unit. One night he did not answer my radio calls to him and I learned a few days later he had been killed. I never knew his name. The Australians were great allies during the War. As far as I am concerned you are always welcome. Maybe you could add some current photos of the area.

  58. Hi all, please forgive me if my post here is not appropriate or welcome.

    I have read your posts here and your stories and it is simply awe inspiring to read what you all sacrificed in your time in Kien Giang.

    I am an Australian businessman and I travel to Rach Gia 5-6 times per year to help the poor there with teams of people from around the world to assist me.

    Many of the places you mention in your posts are familiar to me. Although I am Australian, and not American, I just feel a sense of pride and awe listening to your stories.

    I wish you all the very best of luck as you reconnect with your mates.


    Rodney Stone

  59. Larry, I derosed feb 69. The red haired lt. Could have been dave sherlock, who was my asst tm leader. He took over the team when I left. Sadly he was kia aug 69. He apparently transferred to the 9th inf div by extending 6 months to get the early out the army offered. I was at duong duong in dec68 or jan 69 to cover for the district advisor when he went on r&r so we may have met then. Welcome home.

  60. Ted, good to hear from you again. Since last we spoke I have retired to a point of land sticking out into Grand Traverse Bay near the villiage of Suttons Bay in Northern Michigan. With time on my hands, I began catching up on my memoirs which I began years before. In my research, I came across Cpt. (Now retired Col. Mike Treinen), former Team 55 member during our tours. He has posted comments on this site and hosts a Facebook site which has,so far, 20 some odd members and +/- 350 photos and captions, comments, and questions about missing members. I’d love to see you join the group and post your collection of photos and experiences. That would go a long way toward filling in some of the blanks in our collective memories.
    BTW, I still contend the other AF RO’s first name was “Fred” and last name “Kasting” or “Kastings”. There is a picture of an AF RO at the TOC who is neither you nor Fred. Who the heck is he?
    Re: Christmas ’68, one of the only surving pictures I have is a slide of an 18″ high Xmas tree w/ lights, sitting atop my KWM-2a at my array of radios in the TOC.

  61. Joe Sekusky just sent an email about the FB site Adv. Team 55 is on. Don’t have access just yet, but working up nerve. Typed in the team name and up comes this site. Pretty impressive. Memories coming back.

    I was USAF Sgt. with the FAC team flying out of Rach Soi, “Long Strip.” AF wouldn’t let our O-1E use “Short Strip” due to size of rocks or something to that effect. I was in Rach Gia from Oct ’68-March ’69. Lived in the Cam Do Hotel. Flew with AF Capt. Ed Stevenson, Lt. Gary Cave (I think), Maj. Anderson (with bad back), and Capt. Terry Nelson (good poker player). Sgt. Bob Kastner was roomie and the other AF radio maint. for the FAC team, “Brute 49.” Someone told me the full call sign, but I forget.

    Now I remember “Ski” in the TOC, by way of his physical description. Capt. Keeny, too.
    Have orders cut in March ’69, signed by Col Van Tai, province chief, for various medals that include Maj. Bond, and others. Can get the names in a bit, as I recently scanned the 4-page document. Have a good pic of the TOC building, which was razed for a new building.

    Dave Randel made contact some time ago and got me to start questioning my memory. Does anyone remember Xmas ’68, when, if memory serves me, a fairly inebriated “Admiral” Lt. jg MacGrath (sp) called around Nam for Bob Hope to invite him to RG? Sgt. Green was on switchboard. I was upstairs in another room listing on a second line to confirm. We got to the stage in Cam Rahn I think, but Hope’s schedule was full, and no dice. Brass flew in the next day or two and Green alerted everyone to get scarce. Would like to know where my mind’s failing me. DAve remembers something different. Makes me wonder.

    Have been living part-time in Viet Nam since 1989. Been back to Rach Gia, Rach Soi, and the area. The airport (same building refurbished) at Rach Soi serves flights to Phu Quoc, which is a decent tourist spot (and military site). But we knew that.

    Have slides of a few Army residents…Sp4 Bob Haddad in his room at the Cam Do, and others I don’t know names. Can see some images at

    Remember watching “The Green Berets” at the outdoor theatre…and everyone having a great laugh at the “special effects.” Reality was different.

    The Filipino band (with “Wonder Boy Mondragon”) and the strippers…and getting worried when the rafters start creaking as guys climbed up to get a better look.

    Street names have changed in every city (all cities have the same revolutionary names for streets), but I found the Cam Do hotel and the name in the green and white tile as you walk in from the street, then take the stairs up to the reception.

    Denver, CO

  62. 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

    • I had several tours with MACV Teams in the Delta. I flew perhaps 400 hours in the back seat of one doing my intelligence collection. At most Province Teams, there was always one USAF O1, usually an E model and one Army O1 (F) model. The F had a variable pitch prop. We also had a VNAF O1 Bird Dog with us. At times during operations, the number of Bird Dogs doubled to maintain air cover/FAC/radio relay for the ground operations. The Army units were the 199th (Swamp Fox) and 221st Surveillance Airplane Companies (Shotguns). The 22nd TASS (Tactical Air Support Squadron) was at Binh Thuy and I think most of the FACS in the Delta came from there. The FACs called in airstrikes from tactical air units in support of ground operations. They were advised of, or spotted an enemy element, fired a white phosphorous smoke rocket to mark the target and adjust the airstrike from that. The Army did artillery and naval gunfire adjustment and radio relay. All did visual reconnaissance and photography to show at briefings. On my teams, I also had an USAF intel enlisted guy that plotted airstrikes, potential targets, and reported bomb damage assessments. The ground mechanics did wonders to keep the planes flying. I saw one change a cylinder on our strip after one mission.This was supposed to be done at a major aircraft maintenance facility. We would have had big problems trying to engage the VC without our Bird Dogs. Our USAF pilot got good at directing artillery as well as airstrikes. Good people.

    • I forgot to mention that both the USAF and Army mechanics helped each other out. Reloading rockets, refueling, cleaning the planes and applying 100 mph tape (Duct Tape) to the occasional bullet holes. The USAF FACS in Laos were known as RAVENS and flew Royal Laotian AIr Force Bird Dogs. The mechanics in the forward areas had to work on everything about the aircraft. Some even ran the R& R (Rearm and Refuel) sites at their airstrips for Army Helicopters.

  63. I was assigned to Advisory team 55 and worked communications at the signal site across the street from the mess hall in Rach Gia. I was there from March 70 to Nov. 71. Does anone remember SFC Gerald Skotarek who was one of the Phoenix Advisors.

  64. Dave, email me your address and i will plan on getting them to you and also Mike Treinen.Mabe you fellows can put them on the facebook page.

    • Joe,

      I would love to have some photos too. I met Sgt. Sekusky in Feb, 1969… Major Stroud introduced me to him before I was sent out to MAT 88 in Hoa Quan Village. His name is in my diary.
      Thanks in advance…

      Bob Amon

  65. He smoked both pipe and cigar. He actually passed away after having his morning coffee and pipe in March 2012. Send your email address to me at and I will send my address. I have a photo of him at the TOC chomping on a cigar. Thanks

  66. David, I remember fueling the TOC Jeep with Avgas at your facility when regular gas was not available.
    Are you aware that some of us Team 55 members are in communication on Facebook? Your picture and hundreds more are posted there. Go to “MACV Advisory Team 55” Facebook page and get in on the conversation . My email is:

  67. Joseph, I have a very vivid mental picture of your uncle..barrel-chested, flat-top haircut, and chomping on the ever-present cigar. I worked w/him practically every day for a year and I too have no recollection of any rash. I consider SFC Sekusky high on my short list of heroes, and a very positive influence/role-model for me as a young, inexperienced, draftee in a very strange
    You should, if you haven’t already, get on the MACV Advisory Team 55 Facebook page, there contact Col. Mike Treinen, and share what information you have. EVERYBODY remembers “Ski” Dave Randel

    • I guess I made a mistake on the name. I did work with a SFC IN S2 team 54 1967 – 1968. I was a sp5 working in S2 and that name sounded familar. I departed Rach Gia in Nov 1968.

      • Hi my father was in mat control in Vietnam 1967-1968. I do not know what base though. He was from China. I know very little as my mother divorced him when I was 4. I may have only seen him around a dozen times after that. He died when I was 22. If anyone could help me I would appreciate it. Guess when you have a special relationship with your dad even if it’s only until your 4 it stays with you forever. His mother was in prison in China for being a Christian. I know that he was stationed at Scott Air Force base after he got back from Vietnam. I was the only one who loved him and still do.


    • Thanks for your rememberance of my uncle Hank. He was John Wayne to me! You remember him well. your description is right on the money. Barrel chested, crew cut and cigar! He was a second grandfather to my. Kids when my dad, his brother , died in 1998. Went to all their school events .(sports ,etc) . He was in Team 54 and then it became 55. I have some photos but I don’t know all the men in photos. You fellows may know them.

    • As a young 20 yr old Shotgun 33, Ski always called me Penny. That’s a reference to the old TV show “Sky King”. I never took it personal.

      • I read your book. I remember the show Sky King and know my uncle Hank only had the utmost respect for you. He was always a buster!

      • Can I send your book to you to be autographed? Send me your email and I can get your address thanks Joe Sekusky

  68. If SFC sekusky had a skin rash on his face, I served with him and I beleive his name was SFC Sekusky. Like Dave I have trouble rembering names.

      • I was known as Breezy (Polish last name) when I served with your uncle in Rach Gia when he arrived in June, 1970. Though I had other field assignments, I did work in the TOC with uncle and he smoked a pipe; not a cigar. He had a dog; Charlie Brown. I had relatives in Duryea, PA and your uncle and I both shot pool at a bar/pool hall in Old Forge, PA though we never met during that time. If you want a picture of him with a pipe and Charlie Brown, reply and with your mailing address and I will send same to you.

  69. I was Shotgun 33 in Rach Gia from April ’69 to February ’70 flying out of the short strip on the South side of town. Many fond memories of Rach Gia, Team 55 members and of course the exciting times flying the Province every day. It made a 20 yr old Army pilot grow-up quick. Nice to see some folks staying in-touch. I live in Bowie, Maryland and email is:

    • Hi David! We’ve spoken before. You flew low and slow over my outpost in Hoa Quan Village (Kien Binh District) many a time, dropping map overlays for the next day’s operation. We even had a few beers together in the O-Club one night, when I was up there on one of my too-few trips to Rach Gia. I remember sleeping in the ornate Chinese Funeral Parlor in town (BOQ).

      I also remember asking you what you would do if you were shot down and I speculated you could go down over the water, but I think you told me that’s not a good idea.

      I’m finishing up a book that I’m writing, based on the diary I kept from Jan ’69 to Jan ’70, and I’m sure you are in those diary entries. Those were quite exciting days indeed. It’s so nice you are still around and thinking of everyone as I sometimes do also. I live in Colonia, NJ and my email is

      • Bob, I was the Phoenix advisor in Kien An during 1969 and I see you were on a MAT team in Kien Bien district. Your DSA was a good friend of mine-Major Bobby Arrington and I have never been able to find him. My email is

      • Hi Everett,
        Small world. Major arrington took over Major Bond’s slot as DSA of Kien Binh district. I’m going to say Major Bond DEROSed around June ’69 or so, and that’s when I met Maj Arrington (that was probably the start of Arrington’s tour)..

        I remember him as a really nice guy… really a very fair commander and extremely easy going. In fact, I really had nothing but the utmost regard for all the officers in Kien Giang at the time.

        I was in the field my entire tour (calendar year 1969) and was on MAT 88 (Team 55) the entire time.

        His predecessor, Maj Bond, was a really unique guy. Battlefield commission in Korea. he appeared in the background scenes of the movie “Green Beret” while they were filming at Benning.

        I’m in the final stages of putting together my book now, based on a diary I kept the whole year and on letters home plus over 5oo photos. It’ll be a really accurate, truthful account of the life of a combat advisor and full of a lot of detail because of my daily diary entries.

        Stay tuned and I’ll give the guys a heads up when it’s available in hard copy as well as Amazon. My biggest quandry right now is whether or not to use actual names! Legally, they are telling me the safe thing to do is use other names, but with guys like Bond, for example, it seems like a shame to not include his real name. He was a real rough and tumble, common sense field officer, the best kind.

        • I began in Kien Luong district in Jan 69 as the Phoenix advisor working with Maj. Arrington and Cpt Krick.  Our radio operator was Dan Dennis who was KIA in August of 69.  In June when Maj Bond left Kien Binh, Maj Arrington was assigned as DSA.  He encouraged me to come with him and I said “That district sounds too hot for me!” Several days later I was assigned to Kien An which was also very hot. Our DSA was Cpt Wriske and the radio guy was Jay Whisler who I am still in contact with.  We were on the edge of the U Minh forest and whenever we took a company or battalion down there we got hammered.  It seems the safest ops were the Phoenix night ambushes with only myself and Jay and 5 of our hoi chanh’s. We “neutralized’ a number of the VC infrastructure. I remember 2 of our Mats team leaders: Cpt Larry Bonham and Cpt Mike Passen.  I was in contact with Mike about 20 years ago but he was still struggling with the effects of the war and was very introverted. I was only around Maj Bond a few times but heard much of his exploits with “Bond’s Marauders”. I am looking forward to your book and hope you keep the correct names. That should provide great reference for readers like myself. Everett Thompson 19494 S. Stubbs Rd Quenemo, Ks 66528 Ph 785-665-7847

    • Hello Shotgun 33.

      My only contact with you was what you dropped from your window to us. As 1st. Lt. Amon said, the map overlay for the days activities. You never knew what the day would hold but one thing was for sure, you were going to find out. There where exciting days and I to, can not believe some of the things we got away with. I use to hate being on the PBR’s and getting ambushed at such close quarters. Those canals where not very wide and heavily vegetated.

      You where twenty years old up in the air and I turned twenty one on the ground. Glad you made your way out of there safely.. Did you continue with your flying? One of my friends was a chopper pilot in II Corp but never flew again upon his return.

  70. Bill, I can’t help you with Dai Uy Davis, but thanks for sharing the info on Ellison and Karnes. I had learned about the incident many years after I left country but was never aware of the exact circumstances.

    My good friend 1LT Chuck Emery and another MAT member were killed in the same way, but riding in a sampan and not a whaler. When I look back on all the times I travelled this way throughout Kien Binh District it blows my mind.

    Your location was west of me. We were about 12 clicks from the U-Minh Forest. Sure would love to contact some of the people on Team 55 in the 1969 Era. I’ve found some of them and it’s always nice to hear from everyone.

    We all risked our butts big time, but I always found being an advisor to be really rewarding and I wouldn’t change a thing about my tour in Vietnam.

    • Major General Renner was a Major when he was our District Senior Advisor during the summer of 69. I was the Medic, Capt. Gorland was our MAT 102 Leader. 1st LT. Tomberg was second in Command. SSGT Musquez and SSGT Jones rounded out the other Team members.

      Here’s Major General Renner’s obituary

      When I met him we were staying in an old French Rubber Plantation along the Cailon River. He and his Team where down an adjacent canal a mile or so.

      My time with MAT 102 was 11/68 thru 8/69. My first Team Leader was Capt. Bell from Georgia and second was LT Slayton from St. Louis.

      • My tour ran concurrently with Captain Gorland’s tour.We both arrived in Rach Gia on February 13, 1969 and were briefed by LTC Stanberry and Major Stroud up in their offices on the 2nd floor. It was then that we met Sekusky and Randel in the TOC (Stroud took us outside on a walking “tour” of the compound that afternoon).

        On 14Feb69, Gorland and I flew into Kien Binh District town and spent several days going out on operations with LT Granger and drinking with Major Bond in the evening. I have it all in my diary.

        From there, Gorland went to MAT 102 and I went to MAT 88. I never ran into Gorland again but I’d love to hear from him. I’m putting together a book based on the diary I kept while in the field Feb ’69- Dec ’69.

  71. Looking for Captain Davis who commanded MAT 102 the same time I commanded MAT 44 (70-71). MAT 102 was located south of our location on the Kien Gao canal. The team had a lot of action. We both reported to the Kien District Senior Advisor. We had a great Thanksgiving feast at their location in 1970. The return trip up the canal was a whole different story. Finally made it back to the Kien An Naval base that was still under construction at the mouth of the Cai Lon river. Lost track of Dai Uy Davis after he left country.

  72. Former Captain Bill Morgan, Commanded MAT 44, Advisory Team 55, Kien An District, Kien Giang Province
    I commanded MAT 44 from 4/70-5/71. Other members of the team included 1LT Stu Ferguson, SSGT Charles Prusik(deceased), SSGT Thompson(medic), SGT Sam Yeartie(deceased). Major Renner was the District Senior Advisor and Col. Dick Ellison (KIA) was the Province Senior Advisor. Renner went on to be a General. Ellison was killed along with SFC Karnes on their way back to our outpost in Dong Thai Village. Renner was wounded along with the Province First SGT. The party was inspecting a new outpost completed along the canal south of our location and upon returning in my Boston Whaler were ambushed. MAT 102 (Captain Davis) and MAT 44 immediately sent rescue teams to the location. On arrival both Ellison and Karnes were dead. Renner, Province First SGT and a Vietnamese LT were secured. The enemy had already removed the shirt of Col. Ellison. All would have killed had SFC Karnes, although mortally wounded, not turned the boat into the ambush giving the others a chance to survive. SFC Leslie Karnes received the Silver Star for his actions on that day.

    • Captain Morgan, Hello! I am the daughter of SFC Karnes. Thank you for your kind words about my Father. There was mention somewhere in this thread about seeing the Boston Whaler. I was going to post a couple pictures of the Boston Whaler with I see there’s not an icon to attach a picture. I had the privilege (after I found his address and sent him a letter) of speaking with Major Renner back in 2007, when he called me. I’ll never forget that day, just like I’ll never forget being picked up from 1st grade by the Pastor of our church. If there’s a way I can post any of these pictures or if you would care to see any of them, please let me know ( I’ve ‘joined’ the MACV 55 facebook, but I can only see posts. I can’t upload photographs for you all to see.

  73. I was very briefly a Phoenix LT in Ha Tien, April- May 69 before being reassigned to Sadec province. I am writing a memoirs/Sadec province history including archival history that has some recollections about HaTien. I will be happy to send it to anyone interested and would welcome comments.
    Gordon Bare COL, USAR (Ret)

  74. Dave,

    I am now convinced that I met you in person in Feb 69. I have a diary that I need to consult which will tell me the date and probably the time of day. I arrived at Team 55 HQ in Rach Gia after doing my language school and MAT training at Dian and slept the first night in the Chinese Funeral Parlor with the ornate, fancy carved wooden cubilcles that held thousands of Chinese corps’ prior to our arrival.

    But the next morning, I reported to COL Stanberry’s office and I remember MAJ Stroud giving me the compoound “tour” of the facilities. He took me over to the TOC bunker and inside was a young man, sitting at a “desk” (probably made of plywood) manning the radio. I was introduced to him and we chatted briefly until his radio sounded off and he was busy arranging something or other.

    But I remember how cool it was in this bunker (it was now about 95 degrees outside and climbing) and I remember commenting on what a great job it was inside this thing because it was so cool. And then it was either you or Stroud that said “Yeah, that’s why he likes his job” or “Yeah, that’s why I like this job.”

    i departed the next morning by “Sierra Sierra” for Kinh Binh district town and then ultimately to MAT 88 in Hoa Quan Village. Major bond was a hoot up at Kinh Binh District.though. He appeared in the movie “Green Beret” while at Bragg… don’t know if you knew that. And yes, he DEROSed around June 69 or so, so you two would have departed the AO at about the same time. Man… you are really bringing back the memories now. Thanks so much for remembering how hot our sector was,

    Bob Amon
    1LT Team Leader, MAT 88
    Feb-Dec 69, Kien Giang Province, TM 55, Mekong Delta

  75. Bob, our tours definately overlapped. I was there 6/68 -6/69. SFC Sekusky was the senior NCO in the TOC. Most of the time that would have been my voice at the other end of the radio. With the exception of the Navy guys, your subsector saw more action than any other in the province. I have vivid memories of Spooky, Dustoff, Medivac, and artillery requests. Since we all communicated by radio, and addressed each other by call sign, I don’t remember many names. I am beginning correspondence with Col. (Then Cpt.) Treinen who is in touch w/ other team members from that era. I have been working on my memoirs for a while and while my memories of specific events, people, and placed is surprisingly vivid and detailed there are still missing pieces. BTW, I have thought of Maj. Bond often, as we exchanged a lot of radio chatter both in the field and in the TOC. I also believe we came and left together, same day, identical tours. Any contact w/him or others? My email is
    Thanks for the correspondence, Dave

  76. Hi Dave,

    I arrived in Rach Gia in late Feb and then went out to Hoa Quan Village, so I probably talked to you on the radio up at TOC until you DEROSed. Forgot my callsign though. I haven’t heard the name Sekusky in all these years, but isn’t he an RTO who manned the TOC center radio too? He bailed me out of many a jamb… got me medivacs quite often and also Spooky one night down at our outpost in Vinh Thanh Village… saved our a$$.

    Major Bond was my District Senior Advisor at Kien Binh District HQ. LT Granger was his assitant. I remember Col Stanberry very well and also Major Stroud and Mr. White. Shotgun 33 often dropped tactical maps to us the night before an operation in Kien Binh District.

    Would love to hook up with some of those Team 55 guys. Nice hearing from you!

    • I saw your post mentioning Sekusky….he was my uncle…I was in Jr high school in the late 60’s and would write to him a few times each week when he was in Rach Gia…he told me many stories about the men he served with…he passed away 3-9-12.

    • Hi Bob, I was a Phoenix Advisor on Kien Binh District Advisory Team from the fall or 1968 to May 1969. I remember MAJ Bonds and LT Granger. I would enjoy discussing those days with you or anyone else who knew them. (2LT Ken Shuck)

      • Hi Ken,

        Yes, I slept in that Kien Binh District teamhouse when I was a new arrival. LT Gorland and I arrived together and spent several nights with Bond and granger, but I don’t remember you being there. Maybe you were on R&R or off on an overnight somewhere or up at Rach Gia. It was Tet, 1969, and Bond didn’t know what was going to happen (since Tet ’68 was a real show). so he kept us there “under his wing” and we drank whiskey every night.

        went out on a few operations with granger to sweep the canal but had no contact. One of the Kit carson scouts’ father was kidnapped by the VC on the 2nd night, so we went out looking for him at first light, but had no luck.

        Sorry I missed you at the teamhouse. I do have a real nice photo of myself and granger in their boston Whaler, screamiong down one of the larger canals. I’ve written a book based on a diary I kept. This is how I know exact dates and locations and even most of the names.

        • Bob, you mentioned that you had a picture of you and Lt Granger from Kien Binh District . Can you email me a copy? I will send you some that I have, but I don’t seem to have Jack or MAJ Roy Bond. My email is

        • Bob, what is the name of your book and what basically does it address. I am trying to capture my military career for my grandkids and I can use any information that might help me remember what was going on. Thanks,
          Ken Shuck

        • Bob, Did you ever email me the picture of You and 1LT Granger at the Kien Binh teamhouse? Does your book have anything more to say about the Kien Binh district? I have been having a hard time getting a map showing the District at that time. Ken

  77. I was a radio operator w/Team 55 from 6/68 to 6/69. Spent my time @ TOC radios and packing PRC-25 in field. I am retired to Northern Michigan after 42 years as doing architectural woodworking. Working on and off on my memoirs.
    I would love to communicate w/anyone from that period. Names that come to mind..Quackenbush, Sekusky, Holz, Kastings, Treinen, Crowell, Harding, Tooke, Pendarvis, Segbart, Knight, Stanberry, Stroud, the Shotgun and David pilots, Bond, and others who I knew only by call signs. Any pictures you can share would be great. All mine were destroyed by my x-wife.
    Please communicate. Thanks, Dave

    • Dave, as you can see from my earlier posting, I started a Facebook page, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), Team 55 that has photos of many of the people you mentioned. Contact me by e-mail ( and I’ll forward a listing of the dozen or so Team 55 guys located so far. It has e-mails and phone numbers for Crowell, Stanberry, Stroud and others… I’ll gladly share this with any Team 55 people who served in the 1968-1969 time-frame. If you don’t do Facebook, drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you a CD of photos…

      Pass on your mailing/phone/e-mail nformation and I’ll add you to the list.

      Let me know if you know the location of any other of our teammates.

      Mike Treinen
      Des Moines, IA

  78. Actually, I don’t know where any of them are now… but I will send you an e-mail… Thank you very much. LD

  79. What years were you there? I’ve have a photo of CPT Krick and a group shot of a Bird Dog aircraft being refueled at Duong Dong, likely in late 1968 or early 1969. No idea of where
    Krick is… Drop me an e-mail at and I’ll send copies of the photos. Do you know the location of any other of your team mates? Thanks for your service!

    • I was a Phoenix advisor first in Kien Luong district then in Kien An during 1969. I remember Cpt Krick who was the the assistant DSA in Kien Luong.

  80. Worked as Medical advisor in Duong Dong on Phu Quoc . Often accompanied MAT 44 and 45 as they seemed to have no medic… wondering about Captain Robert H Krick, HMC1 Joseph L. Cox who was our Milphap Advisor and a great help to me…

    • Larry, when were u there. I led mat 44 at an thoi. We were the first team all trained at Dian, went to can tho and flew to the island in a Army Otter. Me, sfc bernard smith, medic advisor, sst jim manship, hvy wpns, sgt mac, light weapons. This was mid to late july 68. Lt dave sherlock, my asst team leade joined us several weeks later. We were quartered with the MP advisory team to the pow camp ant the navy advisory team14. I derosed feb 69 and all the guys were still there. Prior to leaving I went up to duong duong to cover the district office while the very old cpt went on R&R. The team was moved back to the mainland some time after I left, no one seems to know when. Damn Sherlock transferred to the 9th ID, recon platoon and was kia aug 69. Dont know what possesed him to do that. He was with 1stID for about a month and always said he wanted more action and there wasnt enough on the Island. The rest of the team had been with US infantry units for 6 months prior to transfer to mat and the lack of firefights was just fine with us. I had been an inf plt ldr with C 2/35th, 4th ID up in west kontum province and didnt miss humping those 3 to 5 thousand foot hills at all.

      • Ben,.
        Sorry I haven’t answered as I just saw this. I arrived Duong Dong December 1968 just as the Air Force was getting out of there, Cpt Bob Harter was the Team Leader and asst, DSA( ‘Cowboy’ Sam Hosier was the DSA), MSG Vergoren was NCOIC,the RTO was a young guy named Paul and I can’t remember his last name… he was from the Midwest. HMC1 Joe Cox was the Milphap Medic and I worked with him in town at the hospital he accompanied me on Medcaps a little. There was no medic when I arrived and I went on an operation with one of the Mats the next morning to somewhere past Cua Can to question a suspected VC female.

        I remember operating with 44 and 45 but can; remember who was who. Always got along with a young red haired !stLT ( or maybe Cpt?) and went out with him probably 4 or 5 times?

        Within the first 3 months I was there both Harter and “Chjef” ( Vergoren’s nick name)had DEROS’d, Chief went to Ft Richardson in ALASKA … he took “Lady” the little mountain monkey he had with him. T%he last letter I had from him while I was in-country he had pottie trained her and she was wearing doll clothes… you can’t make this kind of stuff up! Harter was found to have hepatitis when he arrived at Saigon and was quarantined for 60 days,

        Our next Team Leader was Major Carr who had the misfortune to arrive and gothrough the only mortar attack I ever saw on the airfield compound… no direct hits on us bit the Lien Doi unit just outside the compound had some casualties which required my assistance. When returned in the AM thye were loading everything into the deuce and a half and Major carr was moving us into the villa with Sam…Lol!

        Shortly after that Major Carr moved to Ha Tien and Captain Krick became team leader and DSA as San went on leave and Never returned, That would have been aaround April or so ’69’. Just got back in touch with Cpt. THIS WEEK through here. I believe he came to us via Kien An?

        By the time I left in December ’69 there was another Team leader 1st Lt, Ruby, Phu Quoc had been renamed a “Special District” under Major David John and MSG Don Ferguson( a REALLY great guy) and we were a 3 man
        team,,,,Lt Ruby SSG Don Knigge and me . Just before I left a five man team arrived for a”temporary” stay.

        Your name sounds familiar, Ben. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Anyway… welcome to you, as well… Keep in touch!

    • Larry,
      I can not believe I found you- God bless you man. I have been retired for 10 years now as a forester here in Virginia. Kind of came home from Nam after my extension and got lost in the woods. It has taken me a good while to adjust and did not even look on the internet for MACV until several years ago and found nothing on team 55. Happened to type in MACV Team 55 and saw Lt. Ruby on your thread- I about fell off the chair. You mentioned you had worked with mat 44 and 45. Ever work with mat 46, based out of Kien An district? There was an older American-Japanese captain there and I can not remember his name. He was tough as nails and he would take the new 2nd Lts. on a few missions to break them in before sending them on to a team. I think the hamlet was tu ba, if I spelled it right, but then that could have been where Mat 46 was located.
      I still remember how we would run to Antoi in the Boston Whaler for meds I think, and you had me run closer to the coast so you could fire 40mm from the m-79 at Charlies trails.
      I am not great on the computer and use my wifes lap top, so I am not checking it everyday but I do check it.
      Take care and God Bless!

      Bill Ruby

      • Lt Ruby!
        It was the USS Tutuila… How in the hell are you?
        I am fine and I am so glad to hear you are well. yes I I remember our runs up and down the coast line. Usually was for meds but occasionally to meet with MSG Ferguson or Major John. I wasn’t there very long after they took over and we … You, SSG Knigge and I became a 3 man team before the arrival
        of another 5 man team was that 46? they satyed separately for awhile then took over one of the vacant hooches…
        I was on a night ambush with them (and I believe you were along) the night before I went to Rach Gia to process out for DEROS… got back about 5:00AM packed my duffel bag and waited to head home…LOL

        Do you remember Joe Cox our Navy MilPhap Medic? I think he left shortly after ( or maybe just before) you arrived…Can’t find him … haven’t haerd from Knigge since he sent my E-5 orders to me upon my arrival at Fort Ord.
        Captain Krick, whose replacement you were has been found retired in Booneville, Mississippi

        Am I mistaken or were you from Montana?

        Don’t be a stranger… let me hear from you…
        You know that happened to a lot of us…
        God belss you LT
        Larry Downs

  81. S-4 Advisor, Team 55, Rach Gia, March 1968-69

    Over the past few years I’ve made contact with over a dozen soldiers assigned to Rach Gia while I was there. Let me know if you are looking for anyone from that time-frame. Numerous photos of mine can be found on Facebook page I started at: Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), Team 55

    If you can identify anyone in those photos let me know. Currently I’m looking for 1LT David Ross Vogt, a Bird Dog pilot working out of the “short strip” at Rach Gia, and CPT Jim (?) Fowler.

      • I not sure ,but I new a guy name Cook when I was there 67-68 My name is David Dincler I was there at the short runway were I was in control of the gas depot . Boy I remember TET also .

    • I was stationed in Can Tho as an MI officer and from there coordinated the Province Area Intelligence Representative (PAIR) program in 1968-69 in the Delta. We had a PAIR in each of the 16 IV Corps provinces, including in Rach Gia. I don’t remember the name of the PAIR there, but I thought that in your position, you may remember the program. The PAIRs trained SVN assets in agent net operations. The program itself is virtually invisible on the Internet, so any recollections you might have would be most welcome.

  82. MAT 102 TM 55 – Nov. 68 to Aug. 69 Rach Gia – Long Xuyen Canal, Cailon River, U-Minh Forest.
    Team members at start were Capt. Bell, Lt Slayton, SSGT Musquez, SSGT Harris and myself.

    Thank goodness for my Navy PBR friends River Division 531 and my North Vietnamese Chu Hoi pal’s.

    • I was Team Leader of MAT 88, Advisory Team 55, from Feb ’69-Jan ’70. Including rotations, the guys on this team were (somewhat chronologically): Pierce, Benevente, Lt. Darbro, Purdue, Lt. Wetherell, Logan, McCrary, Boyd, Griffith and finally LT PArker who replaced me upon my DEROS.

      During my time there, we were stationed at Hoa Quan Village until July, ’69, then Vinh Thanh Village, then Thoi An Village, all within Kien Binh district, Kien Giang Province.

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