Team 56 Phong Dinh

MACV Team 56 – Phong Dinh.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 56 located in Phong Dinh.

155 thoughts on “Team 56 Phong Dinh

  1. Does anybody remember Stormy D. Garr? He was a Phoenix advisor in Phong Dinh province around 68 or 69. Family looking for information about what he did.

  2. Happy Veterans Day
    Ant information on Captain Lawrence Farelli KIA Feb 18 1968 would be appreciated. I am his son and looking for more information than family stories.
    Thanks for your service
    Lawrence Farelli USMC 1982-88

  3. Did anyone know John Philip Goggin. KIA 11 September 1969.

    If so, I hope you will attend the MACV Counterpart Reunion at Ft. Benning this September.

    John (Jack) and I attended advisor school in Di An and then spent time together in Can Tho before getting our Team assignments.
    We were certain we would survive and stay friends forever.

    Leonard Philip Ganz
    Team 65 Sadec

    • Len,

      I knew John Goggin very well. If you go through the posted comments here, you’ll find reference to him. I dedicated my book to him–“To Vietnam in Vain.” There is a whole chapter in it dedicated to what I could find out about his death. I’ll be happy to chat further about him. My email is .

      Ed Hagan
      Asst. S2 Advisor

    • Len,

      One further point: did you know Lt. Brendan Brophy, who was also on the Sadec advisory team? He was also a good friend and also knew John Goggin.

    • Len,

      I posted earlier, but my post seems to have disappeared. Scroll down and you’ll find several postings about John Goggin. He was a good friend of mine. Contact me at for more info.

      My book on Team 56 is dedicated to John–“To Vietnam in Vain.”

      Ed Hagan
      Asst. S2 Advisor

  4. MACV Team 56 reunion for all former members at Fort Benning, Georgia, scheduled for September 22 – 26, 2021. If you are interested, contact Patrick Gillis at E-mail address: Or, reply to me here and I’ll fill you in with what I know.

    I plan to be there and I look forward to seeing you there.

  5. Happy New Year, brothers. Hope all are well and taking the necessary precautions to stay that way.

    Got my COVID vaccine first of two shots, last week at my local VA clinic. If you are 75 or older, contact your VA clinic/

  6. I was assigned to Phong Ding province from 1969 to 1973 . Including MAT 12 located at xaun Hoa Village of Phong Thaun District Lt Freind .Lt yawing . Ssgt bofolo. Reassigned to Phong Dien DSA was Major AW jen

  7. To ALL TEAM 56 and ALL MACV Guys, PLEASE STAY SAFE during these crazy days we find our country and world in. You ALL are a Treasure to All us descendants, family and orphans, and Always In Our Hearts and Prayers. Never Forgotten and Always Respected. You All are Always the BEST PART of the America, and deserve nothing short of Blue Skies and Happiness for the rest of Your Days. So again Please Stay Safe, And God Bless You All.

    TSGT (Ret) David D. Fisher, son of SP5 David H. Fisher

  8. My dad was a member of Team 56 Nov 69 til Apr 70. His name was Ltc James Lawson. I have no idea what he had to do while there, all he talked about was that he got to ride around in helicopters and how the politicians lost that war.

  9. My Dad’s cousin, William Timothy Wheeler of WV, served with MACV Team 56. He was killed in March of 1969. If anyone has any information about his time in Vietnam, I would appreciate it. Thank you

  10. Hello again, After talking with old teammate, Ralph Herron, I looked up the other team members from Phong Dien (Quebec). Not good news to report: Major William Corliss passed away in 2016, in Maine; Captain Gary Wehsels died in California 2015, First Lieutenant Ted Mikkelsen died in Texas in 2012, Sergeant First Class Richard Bibbins passed in Detroit in 1999. Rest well noble soldiers.

  11. I recently made contact with Ralph Herron. With the assistance of Patrick Gillis ( Ralph was the RTO in Phong Dien district (Muddy Muscle Quebec) when I arrived in March 1968. Ralph transferred out to one of the air wings in CanTho shortly after I arrived and I lost contact with him. Ralph currently resides in Tennessee. Welcome home, Ralph.

  12. I just heard about the first, in my memory, reunion of MACV Advisory team 56. Scheduled reunion dates are April 15 -19 in San Diego. California. I’m currently trying to adjust my schedule and hope to make the event. For more information email Patrick Gillis

  13. Brothers. It is with sadness that I report on the passing of Phillip Kim. During my time in-country Major Kim was with Team 56 HQ in CanTho. My wife and I visited with Ms. Kim while we were on R&R in Hawaii in 1968.

  14. My name is David Wilson, I live in Tallahassee FL. We have a group of Vietnam Veterans (VVA 96) who visit the graves of local men who died in Vietnam. During the month that he died, we will place a painted rock on his grave so that those who love him will know that he is not forgotten. We also attempt to contact any of his relatives, ask them to join us and to tell us something about the man.

    The man named below was serving with the MACV unit when he died. If anyone has information or remembrances about him, it will be shared with his family members and our group when we visit his grave.

    CAPTAIN MICHAEL RALPH ODUM, KIA 11 SEPTEMBER 1969, MACV, Advisory Team 56 (graduated from Florida State University)

    Thanking you in advance


    • Hello David, My name is Patrick Gillis and I was a member of MACV Team 56. I have collected a lot of team information and photos from the years 1966 to 1972. If you are interested you can contact me at my e- mail address of “ I would be glad to share this information with you.
      Sincerely Patrick Gillis

      • Good Afternoon Mr. Gillis,

        My name is Ben Benavidez. My father was SFC Benjamin Benavidez and he served with Team 56 in Vietnam from 1970 until his death on April 13, 1971. You said that you had information and photos from those years. I was wondering if you knew my father and if you had any stories or photos of him.

        Thank you,

        Ben Benavidez

        • Hello Ben, Please contact me. See my earlier posts on this page for my phone number and e-mail address’
          Sincerely, Patrick

        • Hello Ben, Please contact me at “” . I have information and photos of Team 56

          Regards, Patrick Gillis

    • David,

      I did not know Capt. Odum, but my good friend, John Goggin, was killed with him in September 1969. I went to John’s funeral in New York while on leave prior to going to VN. Then I was assigned to Team 56.

      My understanding has been that Capt. Odum had just been assigned to the Thuan Trung District Team. Goggin had been there as the Phoenix advisor since July 1969. The story I heard is that both guys were in a boat, and a VC guerilla dropped a grenade into the boat and killed both of them. In short: it was a hit. There was no firefight, as far as I know. Needless to say, I enquired about what happened when I got to Team 56, right after going to John’s funeral.

      In any event may both men rest in peace.

      If you have more questions, I’ll be glad to tell what I khow, but you now have the main story.

      Ed Hagan
      Asst. S2 Advisor

      • Larry, I remember Major Kim very well. Sad to learn of his passing. Thank you, however, for sharing that information. Blessings to you, brother. In God’s love and for His glory…Nick (MACV Team 56, S2, (6/68 – 6/69)

      • ED, thanks for your response, for some reason, I am just now seeing it. I attribute this to “operator” (me) error. Thanks

        FYI, you have provided me with the only information on how he died, his mother passed away in 2008. In a 30 May 1981 article in the Tallahassee Democrat, she said that she did not know how and where he died. Michael was an only child and his mother was from Scotland. His father passed away in the early 1960’s. I have attempted to locate relatives with no luck. Thanks once more.

        • David,

          Thanks for writing about Capt. Odum; it’s very nice of you to show interest in his case and to have sought out his family, albeit in vain. As I explained, he was killed with my friend, Lt. John Goggin. I do describe Goggin’s death and my theory about it in my book, “To Vietnam in Vain,” if you’re interested. Their deaths were very peculiar. They occurred in a part of the province where the VC were scarce. There were almost no incidents there for the entire year I was there: Oct. 69-Oct. 70.

          All best,
          Ed Hagan

  15. Howdy,
    I`m the great nephew of Captain Anthony Lavite who was killed on April 17th, 1969. I`m looking for information about what he did in Vietnam. Can anyone here tell me that?

    • I believe I can help you out. My name is Patrick Gillis. I was a member of MACV Team 56 and I have collected a lot of information about the team that I can share with you. Contact me at “”

  16. Just a Solemn Reminder, On this Day Fifty Years Ago 22 OCT, 1968, 4 men from Team 56 were killed. SP5 David Fisher
    SGT James Foster
    SSGT Billy Knight
    Capt Roy Wilson
    May The Lord Keep Them Until We See Them Again. And May We Never Forget Them.

    • David,
      I am ever among those who will NEVER FORGET! I particularly recall the service held in their honor…that picture is burned into my mind and heart.

      May God bless you and give you strength as you recall this day, 50 years ago.


  17. Greetings all. My father served on Team 56 from August of 68- August of 69. It is the 50th anniversary of his tour. I am going to Vietnam in January with my 14 year old son to visit Cantho and many other areas. Patrick Gillis, the awesome radio operator, has sent me an old map of the Mekong area with locations of the Eakin Compound, the hotel, air fields and such. I plan on visiting these areas and seeing what they have become. Cantho has become quite the tourist spot with its floating markets. I am beyond excited. Of course I will be visiting the War Remnants Museum and some other historic war sites all along the way. I am happy to send photos to anyone interested as I now have the email list of everyone. I am at
    Peace to you all our beautiful Vietnam Veterans, Welcome Home!

  18. Hi! My name is Al Nash. I served as Team Chief of MATT 58, Team 56 located in Truong Long Village in Phong Dien District, about fifteen to twenty kilometers south of Can Tho. I was there from April until September of 1971, when I was transferred to Cao Lanh. It’s good to see so many who served with Team 56 still able to recall details from back then. I remember so little. God bless you all.

    • Hello Al,

      Just rereading the Team56 posted notes and saw your comment on Truong Long. I was the medic in Phong Dien from 3/68 through 2/69. I remember hat area very well. I was bitten by a centipede on an early morning raid near there. Paralyzed me and I had to be Medevaced to Can Tho.


    I recently came across an old 3″ reel-to-reel tape I had sent home to my wife in 1968. I did not if the tape was still good and anyway, I didn’t have a way to play the tape. I came across King Tet Productions on the internet. Eric at King Tet was very helpful. He cleaned up the sound and converted my tape to a CD. I highly recommend his service.

    All the best.

  20. On this Memorial Day 2018, I would like to remember three members of MACV Team 56 Phong Dien who have passed on.

    1LT Howard Pontuck (8MAR68). Howard was a MAT Team leader assigned to Phong Dinh Province. LT Pontuck died from wounds suffered from an anti personnel mine at the Province compound. For more information GOOGLE ” A Special Friend Who Died Too Soon” by Gary Weshels.

    CPT Gary Wehsels was the Deputy District Advisor in Phong Dien District, Phong Dinh Province RVN at the time of Howard’s death. Upon completion of his tour, Gary returned to his hometown, Sacramento, California. Gary passed away on 12AUG15.

    `1LT Ted (Theodor) Mikkelsen assumed the deputy advisor position after CPT Wehsels’ departure. Ted served a full tour inn Phong Dien returning to his home town of Albany, New York and from there to Dallas, Texas. Ted passed away on12JAN12.

    God bless them and all of our fallen brothers.

    Larry “Doc” Rekart, Phong Dien

    • Larry, or anyone else, recall the name of the civilian deputy Province Commander from 67-68? He was from Mathis, Texas. I know this for sure because when he was home on R & R he visited my parents who lived only 30 miles from Mathis. It was either or right after Tet when I was wounded and unable to write so some one else was writing my letters for me. When my mother mentioned this to him she said his response was the wound could not have been serious or she would have received official word.

        • Herschel, Ray,

          Well, if Ray is right, Franklin Kelly, a Texan, was still deputy PSA when I arrived in October 1969. Kelly died some years ago. I found an obituary for him when I was researching my book on Team 56.

        • My name is Paul Haros my father Louis Haros Jr. Was with MATT Team 56 senior medic Sgt with team 93 in 1969 and was replaced by Don Fender (SGM R). I read him the messages and it brought back some memories for him. He retired in 1976 with 3rd Battalion 7th SF Group (Panama).

  21. Just returned from COUNTERPARTS reunion in Pensacola. Great time was had by all. I was only Team 56 brother there. Come on, guys. Let’s have a big turnout for the reunion next year in Houston!

    Warren Plowden

  22. Another unfortunate update. Theodor P. C. Mikkelsen, former Phong Dien Deputy District Advisor 1968 – 1969 passed away due to complications of Agent Orange on January 12, 2012. Ted graduated from SMU with a degree in Finance. He was active in the VFW having served as the commander of Dallas, Texas Post 6796. Ted and I remained in contact after Vietnam frequently visiting one another in either Texas or Massachusetts. He is missed. God bless Ted and his family.

  23. Thanks to a picture I received from, Team 56 TOC RTO, Patrick Gillis, I found out I had spelled Captain Gary Wehsels’ name incorrectly. I had been looking for him, off and on, for a number of years. Gary was the Phong Dien Deputy District Advisor during most of 1968. It is with great sadness that I must report his passing on July 28, 2015. Gary lived in Sacramento, California. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard. He was one of the best leaders I served under. God bless him and his family.

  24. My name is Martin Heuer and I served two tours in VN as an aviator. A good friend of mine, Major William Wallace “Bill” Ford, with whom I served in South America and VN, was on his second tour in VN, beginning on 29 December 1968. He was in-country only 11 days before being KIA. He was assigned to Field Advisory Team 7, (?) but he died in Phong Dinh on 10 January 1969 of an “incident while performing the duties of pilot.” At least that’s what the official report of his death said. I don’t know if MACV had an aviation section at that time, or if he was part of an advisory team. He was an engineer officer/pilot. I’m trying to obtain this info to construct a profile for him on Together We Served-Army and would certainly appreciate any info you might be able to provide. Please email me at Thank you!

    • My uncle died in that area in 1968 9th Infantry Division 3rd Battalion C Co, Phong Dinh province, Sw Of Can Tho it says small arms fire Cpl Jose Rodriguez my father always wondered what happened they could not open the casket. if anyone has any information I would appreciate it.

    • When were you there, Robert? I was S2, Team 56 from June, 68 – June, 69. Can’t recall many names of fellow Team members, but, perhaps you and I were there, if not the exact same time, our tours overlapped. Regardless, I pray you are well…thanks for your service…and…Welcome Home, Brother. Sincerely, Nick Londino

      • Hi Nick, my dad, Robert, was there July or Aug 68-69. Unit 57 I believe. He is well. A dedicated high-school psychology teacher for about 40 plus years. A great father. I think he missed your message reply.

      • Nick, based on when you arrived I believe you replaced me as I left in Aug. I do recall briefing my replacement but I do not recall your arriving that early. Also, at that time where were you from? For some reason I want to say my replacement was from Alexandra, VA. Am I on the right track? Herschel L. Sheiness, 4 Corp G-2, Sept 67-Aug 68..

        • Hershel…so good to hear from you! When I left for my tour in VN, my wife and daughters were living in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. (I was born in a small borough just beyond the city limits of Pittsburgh, PA. Left home the last few days of 6/68 and returned to Pittsburgh 6/69. I remember you very well and can still “see” you in my mind’s eye. Trust all goes well with you. We have lived in N. VA since 1981. Been retired from my career (Federal Gov’t) since 1996. Just celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary last week. God has been and continues being so very good to us. If you ever plan to travel through N. VA, please give me a heads up. I would be blessed to be able to meet somewhere at your convenience for lunch, or, better yet, our door is ever open to veterans, especially those who served in VN…and…most of all…fellow Team 56 mates. Sincerely, Nick Londino

    • Col. Conger was assigned to Fort McPherson in Atlanta after he left VN. He was killed shortly after arriving in Atlanta in a plane crash at Charlie Brown airport. He was returning with a group which had been to Mississippi to inspect Guard units. I served as his Adjutant in 69-70.

      Warren Plowden

  25. There was a Capt. killed in Phong Heip village and i do remember he was prob Italian.
    he was on patrol out from his village and came across a land mine… does that sound familiar on what you may have heard ??

    • That is similar to what I have read and was told he was on patrol and found a new type of landmine and while trying to disarm it, it went off.

      • Wow , that was your dad !! I remember him, i have actually gone back and tryed to find who he was… Really couldn’t remember his name..
        I remember we were at the CP “command post” monitoring 2 patrols down toward Phong Heip.. seems that everything was about over when
        Capt Farelli’s radio operator came on said something had happened…he was shook up and someone else had to tell us what had happened.
        Good man, everyone liked him…very tragic for everyone

    • My father was Capt Roy H Wilson, he served in 1968 and was killed on 10/22/68 near Can Tho. He served team 56 and several members died with him. Have any of you served with him or know of him?

      • Yes my wife’s uncle was with Mac V team 56 in 68 he had died on 10/22/68 I believe he was with your father Captain Wilson

        • Me and another guy from
          Grorgia were the ones who put them in body bags and brought them to graves registration at Eakin compound. Done with as much as dignity as possible.

        • Mr. Fischer thank you for your reply. You are the first person that actually contacted me to say they knew dad well. He died with all the ones that worked with him. You are right he did serve in Korea he lied about his age to get in. I would be interested in talking to you about him. Please contact me at my email

          God bless

  26. HI All I am wondering if any one has information on my father.
    Capt.Lawrence J. Farelli (Major- posthumous promotion) He was KIA 2/18/68
    Served with Team 56 October 67 to Feb 68

  27. you are jogging memory cells.. I remember that burnt out chinook outside your compound. What was the spec 4 radiomans name.. young kid ?

    • You have a good memory. If memory serves me the radioman ‘s
      name was Max Herron. That Chinook pilot didn’t listen to my warning not to make his approach straight down the river. We “retrieved” the AK-47 that took the Chinook down and turned it over to the CO of the helicopter company (call sign hill climber or inn keeper). By the time I got geared up and got to the crash sight across the river a rescue chopper from Binh Thuy had picked up the crew. Everyone got out alive. Supplies to rebuild our hooch were underneath that helicopter. We had to wait nearly another month to make repairs to our hooch.

    • You mentioned our antenna being in the flight pattern. Was that the antenna or the mortar directional radar tower?

  28. I got there about a month after the compound was over run. The place was still a mess. Uncle Sugar sent in a resupply Chinook. It was shot down. Mortared every morning, noon and night. Fun. Fun. Fun.

  29. We were there at the same time.. Were you there when Phong Dien almost got over run ? VC got inside the wire !! I flew in alot of the chopper missions to the 5 MACV outposts and we almost ran into the guy wires on the commo tower you guys had at there.. the pilot didnt see them in the sunlight…Crazy times

    • Hey, Chip. After reviewing the pictures I got from Patrick Gillis, I noticed the radio antenna was outside the bunker close to the team house. I don’t remember it being in any other location while I was there. We used to land the slicks close to the compound gate, but that was early on in my tour. The busiest pad I remember was along the river close to the two story rice warehouse.

  30. Welcome home. Knew a Major Beavers at the Team 56 TOC. Colonel Conger was the CO. Have met a former Can Tho vet, Lt. Jim Laughlin, here in Florida. Jim was on the team 96 G2 staff and lived near Can Tho university during Tet 68. I was the medic at Phong Dien village in Phong Dinh province. My team mates were Captain Gary Wessels, Major Chan Duryea, SFC Bibbens, LT Ted Mikkelsen (since deceased), and LT Rick Bamberger. SP5 Hines replaced me in February 69. I spent my last three weeks working out of the team house in Can Tho.

    • Blessings to all…and…welcome home. I served with Team 56 June 68 – June 69 assigned as the S2 under Col. Lester Conger’s command. Worked with my ARVN counterpart and his staff. Lt. John Head was in my S2 section. Recall Major Beavers, Major Kim, Major Brown, Cpt. Ted “Smiles” Foreman, Lt. John Heil…to name a few at the moment. Also, remember Firefly duty and going airborne in a C&C Huey with two Cobras to support ARVN positions that came under attack…especially evacuating wounded back to the medical facility in Cantho. The service for the four members of Mat Team 59 killed in a river ambush is seared into my memory forever along with the memory of Lt. Bill whose death I learned about the minute I got back from R&R. Recall also the tragic death of the ARVN Lt killed when the airport came under attack and the Vietnamese father mourning his wife and two children who were killed by the enemy that same night. Blessed to come home unscathed, physically, but carry in my heart vivid memories of the nine men whose names are on the wall who were either a relative, former childhood neighbor, company unit member during Infantry Officer basic training at Ft. Benning, a fellow officer and friend at Defense Language Institute and finally, but far from least, those assigned or attached to Team 56. Since my 65th birthday, (now 73) when I bought my first and only motorcycle on which its personalized license plate is: TEAM56…whenever I ride I do so in honor of these fallen comrades, including my riding in Rolling Thunder. May the Lord bless and keep you all.

      • Hello Nick. I remember Major Kim. My wife and I visited with his wife in Honolulu, where she resided, while we were in Hawaii on R&R. Will pass along your name to Jim Laughlin tomorrow. Jim and I belong to the same DAV chapter in Florida. Jim was the OIC in charge of the 8 Army bird dogs that operated out of Binh Thuy air base. One of the volunteers at our chapter was a USO volunteer at Binh Thuy. It’s a small world. Welcome home brother.

      • Mr. Londino, did you know Sp5 David H. Fisher KIA 22 Oct 1968, Phong Dinh SV? He is My Father.

          • He was attached, he was killed with three other guys one being a Capt. Roy Wilson. I have met and speak to regularly Capt Wilsons son Steve.

          • The other two were James E Foster, Billy Knight. All Medic’s except Wilson who was a Green Beret.

        • David, My father knew your father and spoke to them before the went out to exchange money that day. I had posted a comment about it but I don’t know where it went. I am happy to put you in touch with him if you like.

            • Email me at

              I will put you two in touch either by phone or email. I am not sure how much he can tell you but we went to the wall in DC in 1987 as a family and went specifically for those 4 names and one other. He remembers some tough stuff for sure and he was only with in Vietnam for about 3 months when this happened. I know that might not give you much info but I know many are looking for healing and any info so I wanted to reach out to you.

        • I was with Team 56 all of 68 and did meet a tall Pvt i think from Jersey and was a longshore man…
          does that sound like him ??

          • Hi Chip, My Pops was not a longshoreman. His dad worked at the dock in Elizabeth though. I just got to read through all his letter home and it sounds like his team was always very small, like 7 Americans, and they would replace men as they died. So I am realizing not a lot of folks knew each other in some cases. My dad did some mail delivery, some supply work and advising the ARVN. From the letters, he wasn’t too fond of the unit he was training. They were loud and obvious when they went out on night ambushes and often ran away leaving the two Americans to fend for themselves. He was even with two former VC who had decided to switch over. I can only imagine the fear and lack of trust. My dad was at the Can-Tho airfield when it was hit hard in January of 69. 12 Americans died and most of the helicopters were destroyed. I got a few names of men who survived some wounds from his letters: SFC Slaughter (possibly paralyzed for life 5//14/69), SGT Phillips (shot in the face 5/14/69), his best friend SGT Davis Butcher died that night. I have a photo of my dad with a guy named BIlly Wilson (African-American). Larry Briscoe (recently passed away from Agent Orange complications and had stayed in touch with my dad over the years) was also in the unit. Tossing some names out there in case this jogs anyone’s memory.
            I wish everyone peace and healing. It’s a multi-generational journey.

            • SGT Davis Butcher went to my High School, His older brother Tommy and I were in the same class. Davis was a nice guy who died too young. Always wondered how he died.

              • Hi George, about two years ago I came across a woman’s name, Judy Schrott, on a memorial page to Davis’s sister. I contacted her and she put my dad in touch with Davis’s brother. I believe it was Tommy. There is a story on this page about a river ambush and I believe (from the letters I have read) that Davis was part of this attack. My dad was somewhere else that day but when he arrived back to a common area he found out the news. I just arrived in DC to visit the wall and honor all these men.

      • Did you take over S2 from Hershal… can’t remember his last name… I worked in S2 for almost a year.. extended 4 months & went out to Trang Trung village around July or Aug of 68 till Dec

        • Hi Chip,
          Yes, as I recall, his last name was Sheiness…not sure that’s the correct spelling. For some reason, I’m thinking he was from Texas. Have had no contact with neither him nor any other Team 56 member since leaving Nam in 6/68, except John Heil, with whom I worked while there. We later worked in the same federal agency. I would occasionally see John and attended his retirement party. Do you happen to remember him?
          How about you?…Did you stay in the military? Where do you live?..Will stay in touch, if you care to. Welcome home…and may God bless you…Sincerely, Nick

          • Thats him Herschel Shiness…I extended for 4 months..served from Aug 67 and supposed to go home Aug 68 bit stayed till Dec 68 hoping for an early out..
            moved out to Trang of our Phong Dinh villages for the 4 months and Capt Denman was our CO…

            • Hello Chip, Regretfully I do not recall you personally although I do still have a hand receipt where you signed over to me a classified document. Are you the person I replaced as the S2? If yes Ido recall one situation that involved you. For more info on me see my response to Nick below.

              • Herschel >>> what 50 years does to our memory !! I arrived in Team 56 S-2 in Aug of 67 and Capt Peppin was in charge, Lt Sterling was the other officer. I was Spec 4 at the time. They both left shortly there after Aug or Sept, leaving only me ! I was the tall skinny guy.. really didn’t go by Chip too much.. full name was John Sines. Spec 4 Dick Swarse and Sgt Dub came later that year. Maj McCall promoted me to Sgt so i could fly as liaison with our weekly Huey flights around the Province .. We must have gone on some patrols together cause i was the only EM carrying the prc25 radios in the field at that time.. I was with you in S-2 till Aug 68 when I extended my tour 4 months and transfered out Thuan Trung which was one of our villages in Phong Dinh Prov.. Dick Schwarse and I did the propaganda leaflets together !!

                • John, it is then. Did you see the photos I sent Patrick and if so, are you in them and if so which one? If not, send me an e-mail at and I will reply and send them to you. The j is for my wife as the account is an old one and in her name (long story not worth repeating). .

          • Hello Nick. I do remember that you replaced me as HQ S2. Yes, I was from Texas and am still there, in San Antonio, Spent my whole civilian San Antonio. Was in VN from Sept 67-Aug 68. Patrick only recently tracked me down. The one story I recall that involves you is when we were in the process of transferring property you asked about a field phone (walkie-talkie) that was on the books but not in the office, I replied that our RVN counterpart had it – at least that was what I was told when I arrived. I also recall that you were somewhere in Virginia and I see that a later reply to this string confirms that. After I left active duty I went to grad school, knocked around for a year or so and then got on as a civilian personnel specialist with the Air Force.

  31. served on Team 56 from Aug 67 / Dec 68..Lived at Eakin for a while then lived at hotel down by the river for a short time. Finally went to Trang Trung outpost for 4 months,,
    Some names i remember are Maj Mcall, Sgt Doakes, Sgt Dub, Lt Honda, Spec Bromhead, Capt Beavers, Max Galligos…long time ago

    • Do you recall a Captain Lawrence Farelli
      Oct 67 KIA Feb 68.

      I am his son and looking into Information regarding my dad’s time in Vietnam.


      Larry Farelli

  32. I served on team 56 from May 1970 until April 1971. I was assistant team leader on MATs 12 & 93 then team leader of MAT 154 then MAT 92. Would like to connect with Sgt. Bustillio and Lt. Partain. Can anyone help?

  33. I am looking for someone who served from July to December of 1969. My Uncle was John Philip Goggin 2LT US Army. He was killed 11 Sept 1969 in Phong Dihn. He was a staff intelligence officer and I am looking for what he was doing if it can be told. Thank you.

    • Pete,
      I knew your uncle very well. in fact, I dedicated my recent book about Team 56 to John–To Vietnam in Vain: Memoir of an Irish-American Intelligence Advisor, 1969-70 (McFarland Publishing, 2016). John and I went to Fordham together and then to Ft. Benning and Ft. Holabird. I was on leave, preparatory to going to Vietnam when I got word that John was dead. I went to his funeral, then went to Vietnam, and was assigned to the very team that John was part of. I devote a whole chapter to his death in the book. I searched for his family but could not find anyone. I’ll be pleased to hear from you. My email is .

      Ed Hagan
      Asst. S-2 Advisor
      Team 56

      • This is so cool, does anybody know Harvey Newton Slaughter sargent 1st class K.I.A. IN JUNE 1968. He was with macv  team56. He was my father.

        Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

        • I knew your Father before he deployed to RVN he was my senior instructor of the Hand to Hand committee of the Ranger Department at Ft, Benning he was a great mentor and friend
          Bill Acebes CSM USA (RET) acebes175@hotmail,com

          • Wow, Bill, that’s cool any stories you’d like to share? I’ve never met anyone who knew him. What kind of man was he?

        • E-7 Harvey N Slaughter went to Vietnam Nov 1968.and died a month later in a hospital in Japan from pulmonary embolism. On May 14 1969 he was ambushed while in a boat on the Mekong with four other men. I was told they only had three weapons W T F is that about. they were sitting ducks. At that the whole area was hot, the enemy was been attacking all over the place He said so in his letters. Before going to Nam he went to Ft Bragg for few weeks, then went to Ft Bliss for 3 months to learn Vietnamese language. Does anybody out there know what really happened????

        • Hi there, I just read a letter home my dad had sent after this attack and SGT Slaughter is named. At the time of my dad’s letter, I think he thought Sgt Slaughter was going to live. I am not sure how it all happens over there after attacks, if there is much contact between the hospitals and units or what. I can ask my dad if he remembers him well. According to the letter he wrote his sister, he was telling her how close he had become to three men who were attacked that night. I am sorry to hear that Sgt Slaughter didn’t make it home. From the letter it sounded like he was going to be paralyzed for life so I was just about to start a search on his name and see if he or his family was still around.
          Tiffany Jama

        • Q: Was SFC Slaughter in the 509th PIR in Mainz, Germany, prior to going to Vietnam? If so, we were pals in Germany. I came to MAT 58 and saw his photo on a wall in the Hotel and was told that he had died on MAT 58.

          • I am SFC Havey N. Slaughter’s widow, yes he was at Lee Barracks, Mainz Germany. He was also friends with Sgt. Rayburn Tipton. I’m pretty sure it was the 509th. I met Harvey there, where we were married even though my father was artillery (Pershing missiles) in Gonsenheim a small town near Mainz.

  34. I was the team 56 medic in Phong Dien from March 68 until February 69. Call sign Muddy Muscle Quebec (14). I served with Maj. Chan Duryea, Capt. Gary Wessels, SFC Bibbens, Lt. Ted Mikkelsen (since deceased) and Lt. Rick Bamberger. I am retired and live in Palm Coast, Florida.

    • Mr. Rekart did you know Medic Sp5 David H Fisher, KIA 22 OCT 1968 Phong Dihn SVN? He is my Father.

      • Mr. Fisher, although we were in Phong Dinh province just South of Cantho at the same time, I did not know your father. I was stationed in Phong Dien district, one of many (6 or 7 districts) in the province. Interaction between the district teams was limited. Do you know if your father was assigned to a district advisory team or to a mobile advisory team?

        • Mr. Rekart, Thank You for replying to my question. My Father, also a medic, was attached to a Mobile Advisory Team (MAT 56), per a condolence letter from a Col. Lester Conger (2 Nov1968). In the letter he stated that there was a memorial service, for my Father and the three other guys killed with him, 26 Oct. 1968 at the chapel on the Eakin Compound, Cantho. Preformed by a Chaplain Reed. Also in the letter Col. Conger states that he had been in formed by Maj.Gen. Wethrill that they’re Team # (MAT 56) would be officially retired at Di An Training Ctr for MAT.
          Again Thank You for your response, Dave

          • Thanks Dave,

            I was seldom in Can Tho let alone Eakin compound but I do remember there being a memorial service one time when I was in town. Could have been your Father’s but I am not sure. Please accept my belated condolences. MAT team members were a special group of people. I remember a lieutenant Shiree (?) who was on a MAT team that worked in our area. Does that name ring a bell?


          • Dave, Unless there were four other same-day fatalities, (that have blurred from my mind) I attended a service at Eakin held for four members killed in an ambush of a River Boat crew. I was in Team 56 from 6/68 – 6/69. God bless and keep you. Sincerely, Nick

  35. I served with Team 56 from October 1970 till about March of 1971. Are any of the team members out there that I served with?

    • James. I was the Team 56 MEDIC during some of your time there. SSG Fatali Niko was the Team House Manager when I left in December 1971 He was a big Samoan guy with a great personality.

  36. Ed LeMay, MSG Ret.

    I served on Tm 56 from Dec 69 thru Mar 71..I started at Province, transferred to District Tm. then to MAT 93. Mat 93 deactivated and I was sent to Vinh Binh Province in Mar 71. I came home in May 71. Had enough, you had to be there to understand. Welcome home brothers!

  37. John Green SFC US ARMY RET,

  38. I served with team 56 for a very short time in February 1970, was seriously wounded along with 10-15 ARVN troops when they tripped a booby trap.
    I would like to reconnect with team members who served with me. I was only with the team for 7 or 8 days. Just found this site today. Welcome Home Brothers.

    • Gary, I believe you replaced me on MAT 56, who was the team leader at the time when you joined team 56? My memory has gone blank. I would like to find him and be able to get in contact with him. I believe he was from St. Petersburg, FL. If you read this you can contact me at Sgt Sepulveda was the team medic. I would like to contact him as well.

      • Jim, just read your May 11, 2015 response to my post of June 17, 2014.
        I was to have replaced a 1Lt Army officer who was to deros on February 15 or 16, 1970.
        I was seriously wounded on 14 or 15 Feb 70. The senior Officer was a West Point Major whose name I do not remember. We were on a training mission with villagers and it was their first ride on slicks. We were sweeping a canal on both sides. I was on the right side and there were two Aussie Advisors with me. Thank you for responding. Was I your replacement?

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