Team 63 Soc Trang

MACV Team 63 – Soc Trang.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 63 located in Soc Trang.

228 thoughts on “Team 63 Soc Trang

  1. I was an Air Traffic Controller on the airfield 01/69-09/70. Had a friend Pfc Day that was a MACV Radio Operator, he spent most of his time coordinating efforts of the teams out of MACB Soc TrNg. One thing I never did was get a picture of him at the facility, always regretted that.

  2. I was Pathfinder working out of Soc Trang from Dec 67 to June 68. Worked most of time with Arvin Rangers or Arvin Marines, also regular Arvin units.

  3. Still here for any of Soc Trang personnel that want to reminisce of days of old, just turned 73 this March but alive and moving. I was an Air Traffic Controller on the airfield from 01/69-09/70.

  4. And a Very Merry Christmas / Prosperous New Year to everyone from an old Air Traffic Controller at Soc Trang Army Airfield 01 05 69 – 09 05 70, God Bless Us Everyone!

    • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I was attached to the 121st AHC from July 66 to July 67, with the 69th Inf Det. I returned to Soc Trang in Oct 70 to Team 71. I guess you were present for the transition over to VNAF at the Airfield. What was that like ?? They wound not allow me back on the Airfield in 71, LOL Those were some crazy days for a bunch of young bucks that thought they were indestructible.

    • Hello to all 1967 – 1969 Soc Trang 63/71 Team Members and the Airfield Group. It been a long time since I have communicated with anyone and would like to hear from you again, or for the first time. Today marks 59 years since I was inducted into the Army. Yeah, I was a draftee who chose to remain for 22 + years. My, how time does fly by! My email is

      • Hi John (and others),
        Yes, time does fly! Hard to believe some days.
        I’m doing well and feeling decent considering I had radiation for throat cancer in late 2018-early 2019; surgery for colon cancer in July 2019; and surgery for an inguinal hernia last week. Everything seems fine at the moment and I feel good. Hey, it’s a day at a time at our age, right? 🙂
        I’m still working and supporting a family of six, although work was non existent for a while during covid. It’s recently showing signs of picking back up, so that’s another plus.
        How about you?

        • Good to hear from you Walt. I knew about your throat cancer treatments but did not know about the colon and hernia surgeries — MAN!! Glad you are up and about. I had umbilical hernia surgery first. Then 44 radiation treatments for prostrate cancer. I still take daily hormone treatment pills and monthly low dose chemo shots to keep the cancer at bay. So far so good. Then on May 10th, 2019 I had my abdominal aorta completely rebuilt from my legs to my heart via Fenestrated Endograft Procedure. A custom built device made of space age fabric was inserted into my aorta and expanded to the inside aorta walls. Then stents for all branch arteries were placed thru the fabric to the arteries for blood flow. Relatively new minimally-invasive procedure. I am in a 5 year clinical study. I am completely retired now. I did work till I was 73, I am now 79. Walt, the Good Lord has been good to both of us – can I get an AMEN!! email me — I am also on face book.

          • You can absolutely get an amen my friend and yes the Lord has been good to us.
            I’ll write more when I get a minute. Still working, so heading to bed soon. Keep the Faith and well chat again soon.

          • Good to hear we are all still in fighting shape and could return to duty at the TOC on call. Amen to all the blessings we have all received over these years. Now we have reached that point where our main topic of conversation is our ailments and our survival. Walt, I’m glad to hear you have everything under control and John, they just have to stop cutting on you.

            I know how it is, every Wednesday I go in and have another skin cancer cut out and sent for biopsy. That is what one gets from too much exposure to the Ba Xuyen Province Sun during the summers of 1967 and 1968.

            But I am still able to work in Real Estate, finding good retirement community options near Orlando for Veterans. I sold that big home you guys visited and moved to a gated community called Esplanade, 55+, in Clermont, FL. It is a great place, nearly all my neighbors are Vets, most yards have a Flag Pole and although we are far from any of this unrest, frequently I adjust the fields of fire for the Claymore Mines I have placed in my front yard.

            Can anyone tell me where all those idiots in Portland and Seattle came from?


            David Zeckser

            • July 30, 2020
              It is so good to hear from you David and I apologize I’ve not been in touch more.
              Yes life is crazy lately. We’re spared some up here in Vt but not all. No claymores at my perimeter yet but plenty of “ordinance” available if needed. 🙂
              I’m occasionally in touch with Ray Renois and Terry Styx and hopefully they’ll pop in here to say hello.
              We also hear from Hoa and Cuc one in a while. They were two of the children from that house behind the rear bunker where Ray and I bunked after Tet.
              Do you hear from John Baum at all. I used to see him on Facebook occasionally but haven’t in quite a while. I hope he’s well. He may have tired of my conservative snippets, as we did butt heads politically but I respected his views and miss his presence.
              I wish there was a way we could post photos on this forum.
              Lets all stay in touch more often.

              • Hi Walt,

                I spoke with John Baum yesterday and he is doing well. He runs a local Elk’s club in Orlando and stays busy with that. Actually, he remarked that he had seen the email from you to the group.

                I glad your health is holding out and with Medicare and the new VA under Trump we might last a little longer.

                Take care,

                David Zeckser

              • Hey Walt, Do you know if the old MACV house is still standing. Year ago I could find the tennis court and the team house on Google Earth but haven’t been able to find it in years.

                • Not sure about the MACV house but as of a few years ago the house some of us bunked in outside the rear bunker perimeter is still there.
                  Hope all is well with you and yours.

      • Still here and kicking, 71 y/o and life’s pretty good overall, no corona problems here at least with me and hope so also with you. Looking forward to Christmas again, weather’s good and mother earth is still under our feet. Stay well and hope your holidays are excellent as well! Cheers!

  5. On the eve of this most joyous occasion, the time we celebrate the birth of out Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I wish to extend greeting and good cheer to all who served with Team 63/71 in Soc Trang Vietnam and the supporting persons at the Air Field.

    Msg Army Retired
    John Knowles

    • Thank you John. I hope this finds you well and wish you a wonderful Christmas season followed by a happy, healthy new year.
      I also extend these wishes to all the team, especially those we directly served with.
      Walt Mather

  6. Was going thru my grandfathers stuff and found out he was in Soc Trang with army Macv. Not sure the year. His name was Fred DeMarco. Trying to see if anyone has any story’s or pictures of him. Thank you all for your service.

      • Hi Walt.
        I was with MILPHAP Navy Team 6, 1966-67assigned to Advisory Team 63 and was housed in the tent on the compound. I was evacuated to the 3rd field hospital then to San Diego. I would like to know if you remember my team mate Ernie Aviles. Also, what happened in Soc Trang during the Tet offensive.
        Thanks, Hm/2 Ed Woods

        • Hey Ed,
          Ernie visited me in Carver MA not too long ago and we had a great visit and a sharing of stories. He is currently in CA but is thinking of moving to Maine. I was with team 6 from 1967-68 and Ernie spent some time with my team also. To all others from MILPHAP team 6 and later 8 and to all the folks from Advisory team 63 I hope Santa brings you all that you wish for and 2018 brings you all good things.

          • Hi Val – you probably don’t remember me but we communicated about 12 years ago. It seems I lost track of my former team mate Ernie Avilas. I was just wondering if you had his email and or Ph # & address. Awhile back I changed my email and dropped my house phone.
            Is your email still vpochay@ I’m sure you’re retired by now correct? I hope all is well with you & yours.
            Larry Moore RTO at Thuan Hoa

        • Hi Ed, Sorry but the name doesn’t ring any bells yet. I wish this forum had a way for us all to post pictures, as many of us remember faces if not the names. Even if we all had a picture of our self from back then added to our name tag, it would help.

        • I knew Ernie Aviles. The entire Navy medical team moved downtown to the MACV Compound. It was commanded by Commander Potter. Lt Cdr Jerry Maier was one of the other doctors. I have pictures of the team with Ernie and the other MILPHAP Team members. They had a CPO who ran the enlisted part of the team, and a JG we called “Leroy”.. I’ll try to load the photos to this site.

      • Hey Walt, How are you? Have not written for awhile, although I do see your facebook posts every so often. Do you happen to remember a LT Green (I think) who was an S2 guy sent out to My Xuyen? Longtime ago! Best of the New year to you and your family.

          • Hi David and Val,
            I think Capt Salinas was S-2 CO when I first arrived in Aug ’67 but I think 1Lt Delaney may have been 2nd in command at that time and then stepped up to CO when Cpt Salinas leff a few months later. I mostly remember Mike as heading S-2 too but I know he left before I did. I loose track after that but I think we had a 1st Lt Wallace and 2nd Lt Johnson in the mix at some point during my stay Aug ’67 to Aug ’68.

            I also remember Lt Delaney being involved in the “Dagger Team” (night time recon) ops. Wish my memory wasn’t so foggy.

        • Hi Val, Sorry but I don’t remember him. Don’t worry about not writing much, I understand. I’m terrible at keeping up with communications……but in my defense, I’m still working full time and supporting a family of 6. Not complaining but it do occupy my time. 🙂

      • Merry Christmas back at ya Brother Walt Mather! Emil Mitchell Air Traffic Controller 347th ASD Soc Trang 01/05/1969-09/05/1970

    • To Matthew and all other members of Team 63
      I am owing an answer or pictures to some of you but I just had open heart surgery ten days ago so in the New Year I will get back to you.
      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Team 63 members.

      • David, I am very glad that your surgery went well and to see you on line. I have been bad about writing, but still and always interested in pictures and stories of Soc Trang. Get well my friend for 2018 will be given us good things.

        • Val-Pochay – this is Larry Moore and I served March 67- 68 in Team 63. Think we’ve communicated before. I was wondering if you or anyone else especially MILFAP (not sure if that’s correct – advisor Navy corpsman group) know how I can get in touch with Ernie Avilas. We both served at Thuan Hua subsector for approximately 9 months. I have a lot of pictures I’d like to share with him and for that matter anyone else. I would really like to know how he’s doing. We shared one heart rendering experience when our subsector came under attack and at the same time one of our outposts was overrun 2 miles down the road. We took on numerous civilian and military casualties and Ernie and our Army Medic SGT Alverado (real name Jeronimo Alverado-Rivera*) did their very best in taking care of the wounded. They worked well into the night and throughout the next day.
          * On 12/9/67 Geronimo Alverado-Rivera, along with 2 other members of our team, John Patrick Flood and Ralph David Hale II would later die in an ambush along the canal between Thuan Hua and headquarters Soc Trang in a 16′ Boston Whaler.

          There’s a lot to tell about the experience of a lifetime while serving my country. I don’t regret any of it.

          To David Zeckser – hope you’re doing well sir. Hope within the next 6 months to get down and see you.

          Went back to Vietnam. Last February my daughter Lauren had a business trip scheduled to make a sales pitch for her company Handicraft in Hanoi. The company manufactures and exports among other things Dr. Brown’s baby bottles for children with a cleft palate. It’s a very popular item especially 3rd world countries. Told her I didn’t really want to go there as I’d been there 50 years ago. Well I went back with my wife and my daughter stayed there and showed us around for a few days. It was amazing. More to come. LM

          • Thanks for the info Larry. I made contact with this group because I entered the Navy on the buddy system with Ralph Hale. We both stayed at Great Lakes Training for A school. I became a Radarman. Served on Yankee Station twice. Once on the Kitty Hawk then transfered to the John Paul Jones for a second cruise. I think about Ralph a lot. Visited the wall several times. I have several high school friends also on the wall.

          • I am MSG (RET) HECTOR PEREZ nephew of SSG GERONIMO ALVARADO-RIVERA army medic KIA 12/9/1967, who served with you in viet nam. I was doing some research on your unit and just found this link. You can e- mail me.

      • David, I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch more and that I’m just now hearing about your surgery. I hope recovery is going well and that you’re getting good care. Don’t push yourself too hard my friend. All things in good time. 🙂 My best to you and Eros and have a wonderful Christmas season.

      • Dave, First I heard about your heart surgery. Hope all is well by now and that you had a great Christmas and that 2018 will be good to you.

    • All the very best to you David as you continue recovering from your recent surgery. And to all, may each of you have a very safe, happy and Merry Christmas with family and friends.. Team 63/71 ; Aug ’67 – Apr ’69

    • Conference Call for Papers and Panels
      “1968 and the Tet Offensive”
      April 27-28, 2018, Lubbock Texas

      The Vietnam Center and Archive (VNCA) and the Institute for Peace & Conflict (IPAC) at Texas Tech University are pleased to announce a conference focused on the year 1968 and the Tet Offensive

      • I would like to know more information, date and time, about the above conference being held at The Vietnam Center and Archive (VNCA) and the Institute for Peace & Conflict (IPAC) at Texas Tech University. I served during that time and am very interested in what the agenda would be.
        Thank You

    • I just picked this MACV site. I was an advisor to the 3rd Bn 33rd reg 21st ARVN. Our camp was about 12 kilometers outside of Soc Trang. Many air assaults outside of Soc Trang. The outfit was a good one, commanded by Maj Tro. Div CO Gen Minh used them as Westmorland used the !73rd. all over the south Delta; all types of Opns. I was there in 1967. Anyone? Regards to all…. RPB

      • Hi Richard,

        I was the advisor to the 67th RF/PF Battalion at the Soc Trang Airfield from Sep 67 to April 68 and then I was the assistant S-3 for Team 63.
        We were probably on some of the same operations. The morning after the Tet offensive I led 53 men of the 67th, from the TOC to the A&L Compound on the road to the airport to rescue three American advisors, WO Stan Strumsky, and two NCO’s.

        Take care,

        David Zeckser

      • I was on Soc Trang Airfield with the 121st AHC. Probably put you in on some of those CA’s Was there from July 66 to July 67. I flew a mission with Col Maddox the 21st Dive Senior Advisor on Easter Sunday 1967. We got to see that big battle on the island the 175th AHC was involved in and Col Dempsy, 13th Aviation Bn Commander was killed in. What a day, 12 hrs of flight time and never did a dam thing. Those were those days. Hope you are well.

  7. I was the Navy Admin Officer (LTJG – mustang type) of Navy Team N-6 in Rach Gia, Kien Giang province during the 1970-71 era. Corpsmen were HMC Daniels, HM2 Burke, and another HM2 who I can’t recall right now. (As soon as I get off this site, his name will come back to me.) The Medical Officer of Team Navy N-6 was LT H. Glenn Barnett from New Orleans. We had relieved an earlier crew which was much larger, and included DT2 Mello, HM2 Skaggs, and a Medical Officer,( Dr. Cordes) who insisted in getting geared up as John Wayne, with a 45 and all. There were others that I can’t recall.. I did the best I could under the circumstances to take care of my team and to get our jobs eliminated.

  8. Hi, The 57th Dustoff is trying to locate a Sgt. (E-6) Carter that was in Soc Trang in 1963 or 1964. Not assigned to the 57th but assisted many times. Need a first name and contact info. We have two photos of him. Contact Don @ Thanks in advance for any help.

    • Hi Don,

      Most of us in this group were in Soc Trang later than Ssgt Carter. As for myself, I was in charge of the security for the airfield as the advisor to the 67th RF Battalion but that was in 1967 and 1968.

      The only Carter I remember was Dr. Carter, in charge of the hospital at the airfield and he patched several of us up over time.

      Hope you find someone from 1963, that was the very beginning of the US establishing a presence in Soc Trang.

      David Zeckser
      Ex-Senior Advisor to the 67th RF.

      • We received a call with some info. He was with the 134th Med Detachment and was attached to the 121st Avn. Co. at Soc Trang. Any help in determining his first name and home state would be appreciated.

      • Hi DAVID.
        My Father, Lt. Mario Stoffiere, Jr., served in Soc Tran February 1967-February 1968. He was in the 347th aviation detatchment. I Was wondering if you or anyone remembered him?
        Thank you all for your service!

        • Ms. You may check with 121st Aviation web site, and see if someone there remembers him. I was a Viking doorgunner and they have a good web board you may be able to put message on it to see if anyone at airbase ( Soc trang ) may remember him.

          Good luck,

          Paul Woodby


          • I was an Air Traffic Controller at Soc Trang Army Airfield 01 06 1969 – 09 05 1970 in the 347th Aviation Support Detachment. When I arrived our Cimmander who also was the airfield Commander was Col Knight. The XO was a Lt Belcher and the replacement Commander became a Major Cox. I do not recall a Lt Mario Stoffiere but the you say he was there from 02 1967 – 02 1968. I wish I could help but at least wanted you to know your message was read. And as Paul Woodby says the 121st and the 336th Assault Helicopter Companies both have web sites and on Facebook as well which could possibly give your search a little wider coverage. I also have a Facebook page and you are welcome to visit it in your quest. I wish you the best of fortune in your search. Emil Mitchell Ret USA Sfc 347th ASD APO SF 96296

    • Sgt Carter full name is Russell E Carter. My name is Bob Hayes and we were with the 134th medical, and detached to the 121st avaition company. We also flew with the 57th Dustoff. We left Soc Trang, we were shipped to Hue Phu bai. The last time I seen Sgt Carter was the 14th of March 1965 that’s the day I left for Saigon to be shipped home. To contact my Father please send information to his daughter Denise Hayes at dennyee43 My Father has his RA Number. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

  9. I was assigned to MILPHAP Team N-6 attached to Team 63. I was there from July 1966 to July 1967. Looking for any teammates that were with me.

    • Hi Don. Just located this site while looking for information on the 63 advisory team. I’m interested in what happened to our MILPHAP N-6 Team once I left. You and I met later at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, my last duty station. If I remember correctly you had a new Camaro.

  10. Hello my name is Todd Vencil the son of Sgt Vencil of the 347 aircraft control tower I believe it’s the 347 AZN or the ASN the out fit that ran the white and orange checked tower in mid 68 to April of 70 do anyone of you know him and would he be welcome at your reunion i don’t know what you all did there dad says it was a big base and he didn’t know everyone any information would be great thanks for your time

    • I fowarded your message to (USAF) Air Control Tower Veteran from that time and place. They will, hopefully, know and provide some responses.    Dale Ross Stith

  11. my name is Alonzo Parham III. I was radio operator in Bac Lui, again sector hqsTOC ,SocTrang. my memory is very spotty I only remember a few names, Major Hagerdorn who encouraged me to go to school. if I could get some pictures or some names who Might remember me,it would be greatly appreciated. thank you

  12. Hello David,

    I hope you had a great Christmas and you didn’t receive a lump of coal in your stocking. It’s gettin darn cold up here in Missouri and will be taking a trip to Hawaii in the spring and then home and then down to Orlando. I have a lot of photos and hard copies or pics.
    I will try to get a few of them out to you. Hope you have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!

    Larry Moore

    • Hi Larry,

      Be sure to call me when you are in the Orlando area so we can get together.

      I will be in Brazil from Jan 22nd to Feb 7th.

      David Zeckser


      • Dave, Computer blew up and had to reload. Lost all email info re Tm 63 folks. If you have such a list, please send to; Lee Gilmore, 414 Hwy 167, Daleville, Al 36322. At one time I think I had a clean list of folks with addresses, phone numbers, etc, but can’t find it. Thanks, Lee

        • Hi Lee,

          It’s good to hear from you and I’m sorry about your computer. I will send you a hard copy of a couple of lists I have, one with email addresses.

          I’ve been very busy as a business broker for foreign investors as well as a little residential real estate so I’ve kind of lost touch with Team 63. Once in a while political arguments on the internet drag me in as well. As I recall, you were pleased, as was I, with the election of Trump. Its’ too bad he has to fight so many old dragons to get his policies and programs into effect but it looks like we have at least saved the Supreme Court for a while.

          If you are in this area, please give us a call. We have some out of the way places to have a nice dinner.

          Take care,

          David Zeckser

          • Dave, Thanks. Look forward to getting the lists. Hopefully, Carlos Salinas’s email address will be on one of them. Yep, Trump all the way. Just wish the republican congress would get it’s act together.

  13. Hi Larry,
    Thanks for that reply and I’ll look forward to seeing you on your next trip to Florida. We had a nice reunion in Nov of 2015.

    David Zeckser

  14. I’m looking for an old buddy. His name is Joe Bonnett. He was stationed at Soc Trang from October 1969 to August 1970. He served as the USAF crew chief. I was at Bac Lieu during the same time frame. Best wishes to everyone. Paul.

  15. Dear Jesus,

    In answer to your email regarding Jeronimo Alverado who served with MACV Advisory Team 63 in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, based out of the city of Soc Trang, I regret to tell you that Staff Sergeant Alverado was killed in action on December 9, 1967. Although I was part of Team 63 at that time, there were more than eighty members located in different sub districts of the province and I did not know him personally.

    I will look into my files to see if I can find any additional information for you. Perhaps some of the MACV websites could provide more information.

    I have no information on Sgt Castro.

    Perhaps this will help,

    David Zeckser

    • Dave and Jesus,

      I should’ve responded sooner, I new Geronimo or “Gerry” Alverado pretty well. We were on the same subsector or district team Thuan Hoa for several months. What a great guy. I was very sorry to hear about him and 2 other members of the team (corpsman Hale and Sgt Flood (my replacement)) also killed in action on that day, They were in transit via the canal to our MACV headquarters in the town of Khan Hung(sp) a few miles from Soc Trang airfield. I new Gerry as a really nice guy who was from Puerto Rico and had a daughter. I have several pictures of Gerry and other men of Team 63..

      Dave – sorry I missed your gathering, I had change providers. I hope all is well with you and your family. I hope to get down to your neighborhood within a year and hope we can get together. Do you know of any websites that are specific to Team 63?

      My best to all.

      Larry Moore

  16. Hi Jesus,
    I remember SSgt Alvarado and even have a picture of him somewhere. I’m on my phone now, so will be brief and try to follow with more later in week.
    We met through a mutual friend, SSgt David Bell and the picture I have is of the two of them together.
    Walt Mather
    My email address is

  17. Unrelated to previous messages.
    Soc Trang Images:
    Mr. Tim McCullough
    exposed and yet has many Soc Trang Images. Most are very good quality. I believe that he was there in the ’67 -’68 period

  18. My name is Doug Weiser. I joined the Navy on the “Buddy System” with Ralph David Hale II. He and I went through boot camp together at Great Lakes and we both had A School there. He became a Corpsman and I went to Radarman “A” School. He was Corpsman Petty Officer Third Class with: MILPHAP TEAM 6, ADV TEAM 63, USMC ADV UNIT,NAVAL ADV GROUP, USNAVFORV. I received some second hand information about his demise back in 1967. I understand he was escorting some ill civilians to get medical attention by a boat and was killed in an ambush. He was with this unit from June 15, 1967 until his death on December 9, 1967. If anyone remembers Ralph (who always had a nickname) growing up we called him “Bucky” Hale. In “A” School they called him “Wolfie” I don’t know what they would have called him in NAM. He had the kind of personality that everyone usually knew who he was. I would like some feedback and any remembrance of him and what you know about what happened to him. Thank you in advance for any info.

    Douglas J Weiser

    • Hi Doug,

      I think I remember that incident, As I recall they were in a flat bottom boat in the Thuan Hoa district, crossing a river by pulling on a cable. I remember a young Ranger Lieutenant getting shot in the arm. That would have been in the district led by Captain Frank Montoya.

      But I’m not absolutely sure. I am forwarding this email to Bernie Kline who is the unofficial historian for Milphap Team 6 and I am sure he will respond to your with more details. Last Nov 7th we had a MACV Team 63 reunion at my home in Florida and we had four guys from the Milphap team attending, including Doc. Rene Grace.

      I hope this helps you find more information.

      David Zeckser

    • Hi Doug (and my good friend David),

      We actually had that boat in the compound for a while after the incident. I recall it as fiberglass and I think it was referred to it as a Boston Whaler. I have a picture of it somewhere, which David may have too. It has Ray Renois and Ssgt James Ingram standing in front of it and I think it was one of those we provided for your recent reunion.

      I knew one of the other Americans killed in the same incident, Ssgt (Alvarado) Rivera. I also remember Ralph Hale some but no specifics – probably met him with Ssgt. Rivera once or twice. I believe the third American was a Ssgt John Flood but I didn’t know him at all.

      My recollection of the incident is they used to boat in from sub-sector every weekend to hang out with us at the compound – sort of a weekend R&R. I think some of us even cautioned them about creating too much of a pattern. This trip the VC had stretched a rope or cable across the canal, about 6 inches under the surface. It stopped the boat cross-ways in the canal and Charlie opened up from both sides. They never had a chance. There were a LOT of bullet holes in that boat. It rattled many of us at 63 not only because we knew and liked these guys but also because prior to that things had been basically pretty quiet and passive and we had probably gotten a little too complacent. Of course that all really changed a short while later with Tet.

      Walt Mather

      • Walt, When I was stationed down at Lich Hoi Thoung District (sub-sector) on the South China Sea, we’d drive our Boston Whaler with a giant Mercury Engine on its tail, up to the outskirts of Soc Trang. A Team 63 jeep would bring us to the Province HQ. We would stay in the hotel team house (which had a small bar), or in a hotel the team leased that had a full bar) I flew into Saigon (MACV Koelper Compound) with SSG Alvarez and MSG Alvarado. I have photos of both of them. Yes we lost good men in that Boston Whaler. The story we heard was that they over-ran their RF/PF and “Shotgun” L-19 coverage. That bullet-riddled boat sat in the compound courtyard for a few weeks. Corpsman Ralph Hale, USN, was a blond-headed kid straight out of Hollywood Central Casting. He was killed in an ambush coming up from his district. My boss at district was Major Billy G. Coleman. The Province PSA was Mister N.G.W Thorne, a Foreign Service Officer 4. Nick Thorne charged the beaches of Inchon during the Korean war as a captain of Marines. He retired as a Marine colonel before joining the foreign service. He liked his Johnnie Walker Red! One of these days I’ll write a book about that year in ‘Nam (Sep 67- Aug 68) if the Jameson’s Irish Whiskey gets the Muses flowing. I’ll ask you folks for help! Take good care!!!

        • Hi Joel,

          You and I remember well the old Boston Whaler covered with a tarp in the parking lot just above the area where we had the Awards Ceremonies after the Tet Offensive. As I recall the young Ranger Lieutenant was wounded in that river attack and wasn’t Capt Montoya involved also?

          Everyone’s favorite story will always be Nick Thorne with his Johnny Walker Red in his hand, standing in the doorway of a second floor balcony where I was laying down manning and M-60 and returning fire. Thorne, just standing there with bullets bouncing off of the walls, would say, “a little more over to right behind the water tower, I think that’s where they are”. It was bizarre.

          And the other crazy one we had like that was Pat Gorman.

          Long live Team 63

          • I’ve got a picture of that Boston Whaler sitting in the parking lot with Ray Renois and Ssgt James Ingram standing in front of it but I can’t figure out how or if we can post photos here. Seems like in this day and age there must be a way for us to share our pictures within this group.
            Walt Mather

              • This website does not have the ability to post videos or photos. If you want to share videos or photos with others, it would be better to do it directly with them and not through this website.

    • Ralph trained with me at My Xuyen before going out to his village. I enjoyed his company and his honesty. He so looked forward to working independently with the Vietnamese and he had so much enthusiasm and I am glad that I got to share some time with him

  19. The fellow you ask about was a SP/5 by name of Huffmaster. He was still there when I left the second time 5th if Sept 1970 just before the VNAF takeover. Other than that I have no particular knowledge of him other than the fact we did not get along. I wore zippers in my boots and tailored jungle fatigues…..he was a fair bit over the weight standard as was our detachment sergeant SFC Boyles. Hope that helps a bit, you guys in 121st and 336th AHC’s were all tops with us in the ATC tower. Will you be going to the reunion at Grissom this Aug 12, 13, 14th, hope to see you there!

    • Donald,

      We had five Milphap guys at the team 63 reunion last Nov 7th in Florida.
      Most of us were from the 67-68 period. Keep in touch.

      • That is great. I am having problems with making contact with any of my teammates from 66-67. I wonder with my age now and the fact that I was 20 then has anything to do with it.

        • Donald,

          Instead of me sending you a partial list of Milphap guys, you can contact Bernie Kline who was with the Milphap team in 68 and he can give you a list of everybody.
          Bernie Kline
          7712 Lackside Woodlands Dr.
          Hudson, FL. 34667
          Cell:607 742 4588

          I hope that helps, Bernie was at the reunion last Nov 7th.

          David Zeckser

        • I think I remember you David. SFC Vince Valadez 8/66. Wounded 10/6/66. Left Team 6/67 and went Soc Trang
          to Headquaters to wait for orders to go home.

        • Hi Don. I’m trying to get in touch with you. I would like to find out what happened to our team once I left, among other things.

            • Sgt Valdez,

              I wasthe new RTO on your team in Thuan Hoa, arrived in early March 1967.  Ihave some information about our team with Major Erbe, Capt Johnson, Sgt Hullingand Navy Milphap Ernesto Avilas.  After Johnson & Erbe left weacquired Lt Don Driver and Major Johnson (not sure about last name) and otherreplacements. I was over there during the TET 68 offensive and worked as aradio operator at the TOC.

              Sometimelate summer or fall our team was given a 16′ Boston Whaler powered by 40 HPJohnson as we did not have a road between us (Thuan Hoa) and headquarters /MACV compound in Soc Trang.

                And so it began our mode of travel between the aforementionedlocations. We knew this mode of travel would be extremely dangerous given thedistance, area we would be navigating and the uniqueness of the enginesound. So to provide an extra layer of security we had an L-19 (eye in the sky)follow us, and all our outposts and watch towers along the route would providesoldiers stationed along the canals. It wasn’t complete coverage, there weregaps and we knew that.  We did get some copter transportation but not asmuch as before.

                OnDecember 9th 1967, our BW was ambushed and there were approximately 10 souls onboard who would die including Geronimo Alverado-Rivera Army Medic, Ralph DavidHale Navy Corpsman and my replacement John Patrick Flood Jr.

              I have a lot more information on our team and the time I spent atHQ working in the TOC and a lot of photos of a lot of different people and willput them out (Facebook, a website or other media) hopefully before the end ofthis year.


              Ihope this answers the mail.

              For God and Country,

              Sp4 Larry Moore

              • I apologize Sgt Valadez for misspelling your name. I would like to add that your replacement was a African American whose name I don’t recall but I do have photos of him and hope to put them out before the end of the year.

                Larry Moore

              • Thank you for providing this additional information. I originally contacted this group in search of information as what happened to Ralph D Hale. We entered the Navy together on the buddy system. I was on Yankee Station aboard the USS Kitty Hawk CVA 63 the same time Ralph was in The Soc Trang Area. We exchanged several letters then nothing. I did not find out about what happened until I got back home.

              • Thanks for the info. All these yrs I’ve wondering what happened after I left the Team. When Tet hit I was at Fort Ord CA. I was on my back to VN, at the end of 68. My ETS was in Nov 68. I wanted to go, but my family asked please not to put them thru leaving them again. I wish I had stayed in. Sorry to hear about ambush & the KIAs. Vietnamese I guess made up the other KISAs. Again nice to you made home safe.

          • Guys, I am in contact with maybe ten from Team 63-1967. We had a reunion in Florida two years ago. My period was from Aug 67 to Oct 68

            • Hi David.
              I was with MILPHAP Navy Team 6 living in the tent outside Advisory Team 63 building. This was from 66 and 67. At your reunion, did anyone from MILPHAP team show up or do you have any information about them? Thanks Ed

  20. Any chance of acquiring a copy of that cd John Baum put together? Would really like to see it or at least the pics if posted somewhere . Will be happy to give email or address I’d copy is possible, thanks for listening.

  21. To all of the Soc Trang Veterans
    Merry Christmas and the best New Year ever. If you were ever in the class 6 store there you have met me. Plenty of Crown Royal and other spirits. Plus all those 1.20& 1.40 cigarettes.

    • Hello Matthew it been a while since we last talked, sorry about that, time seems to fly by anymore. Anyway, I’m racking my feeble old mind trying to remember a medic that worked with DR Carter at the field hospital at the airfield in Soc Trang. He was an E6. He played a 12 string guitar and sang mostly folk songs. On occasion I would come pick him up and bring him to the MACV compound downtown to play and sing for us. Of course we paid him with some of your good Class Six spirits – HA! Being that you were at the airfield though maybe you may remember him.

      John Knowles

      • Gents,Re a guitar player at Soc Trang: The guitar/banjo player that I remember andliked was Chris Howe (Sp?). I believe that he pronounced it “Howee”, or similarand he was from the avionics shop.He was a great entertainer and was fromTiburon, CA. I last saw him in San Jose, CA; so, he made it out of there. Image attached

        I’ve now, unsuccessfully, searched for him for a decade. Help, please

  22. Was Air Traffic Controller on Soc Trang Jan 69 – Sept 70, made many trips to MACV compound near downtown area hanging out with a PFC Day. Good memories, good times mostly. Had a number of friends in both 121st and 336th AHC’s, went to 9th Reunion of 336th this past August. Great time for all! Merry Christmas to you and your Family!

    • Emil, I’m Tom Feigel, I was crew chief on Super Slick , nighthawk,336AHC, May – Sept 1970.. Was looking to reconnect with night air traffic controller call sign ” baby Huey” don’t know his name…can you help…tks

  23. I was a Pathfinder stationed at Soc Trang from Dec. 67 to June 68. I spent time working with a lot 21st ARVNs, also Arvn Marines, and Rangers. If you were there the first six months or so, we could have very well crossed paths. After that six months, I ended up with Viking Gun ship platoon. Spent the next 12 months as Door Gunner with them at Soc Trang.
    Enjoy life, I woke up again above ground. I am already ahead of the game.
    Merry Christmas
    Paul Woodby

    • Hi Matthew,

      I know the feeling. I missed it to and also will never forget those times at Soc Trang. Did you get a copy of the photo CD that John Baum put together? It’s great. Many, many pictures of Soc Trang, the MACV compound, the airfield and surrounding area.

      This discussion forum is great too. I joined it a few years back when hardly anyone knew about it but now many more are participating.

      Take care,

      • No I didn’t get a copy but would love to have one.
        My address: Matthew Hall
        501 Stansberry Rd.
        New Tazewell Tn. 37825

    • Matthew,
      It was good to talk to you today. I hope you are able to reach John Knowles. I’m sure he knew Ssgt Smith who was running the PX at the airfield. If I’m not mistaken I’ve heard him mention Smith.

      I’ve asked John Baum to try to send you a copy of the CD.

      David Zeckser

  24. To the several members who were unable to attend the recent reunion in Florida, please know you were deeply missed by those in attendance. Further, you unfortunately and greatly missed out on the tremendous emotion, camaraderie and exceptional hospitality shared by all that day. The wonderful fellowship provided to each of us in attendance was totally unprecedented. A special thank you to John Baum and David Zeckser for their tremendous effort in the planning and execution phases of such a spectacular event. David and his lovely wife were magnificent hosts and are to be commended exponentially for their tireless efforts preparing that day to receive and welcome our Team Members from long ago. If ever there was such a Thanksgiving, it was indeed that day when we once again forgot all our external cares and focused on each others well being and ever binding Brotherly Love. Welcome Home to all of you and may the future hold yet another fantastic happening. Hopefully next time circumstances will allow both those attending this year and those who were unable to reunite once again. How awesome that would be!!! Happy Thanksgiving to All.

    • Dear Ray,

      Thank you so much for that post to the MACV website and for the kind words.

      We enjoyed receiving everyone so much and like you Ray, we hope to repeat this event another time. But in any case, as you said, we should be very thankful that we were able to get together this time, so close to the end of the year festivities. Personally, my Christmas will be exceptional this year with the memories of our reunion.

      Thanks again,

      David Zeckser

  25. Mathew,
    Are you coming to the Team 63 reunion tomorrow in Florida? I will ask some of the guys if they know this fellow Standifer and let you know.
    David Zeckser

  26. Does anyone remember SSG Standifer? Or know his whereabouts . Thanks. I don’t remember names real well but faces I am pretty good with .
    Sgt. Matthew Hall
    Oct 67-Oct 69

    • Mathew,

      I don’t remember him but I will ask the guys at the reunion tomorrow. Are you coming to the Team 63 reunion in Florida? It starts at noon in Windermere. If you need directions let me know.

      David Zeckser

    • Sgt Stanfil was the Advisor Team 63 medic out of the ke Sack hamlet. He was my buddy. I was the team RTO. I have never seen this site before, don’t know what happened to him

      . Jim Wilson

    Reunion at noon on Nov 7, 2015-Windermere, FL. -at home of David Zeckser.
    12821 Water Point Blvd. 34786

    Tell anyone you know that was with teams 63 or 71 from 1966-1970.
    Call Dave for details-4077580820

  28. Looking for everyone that was at soc trang in 68 to 70 347 avs air traffic control and the soc trang tigers that know my dad cc Vencil any body please email me thanks again Todd Vencil

    • Bernard,
      We are anxious to see you at the reunion, thanks for responding. I will communicate more details via direct email.

      If you have contact with any of your buddies from Soc Trang please forward the information on to them.


      David Zeckser

  29. Team 63 members/Team 71 members or anyone who knows ex-team 63/71 members

    The date of our reunion is rapidly approaching. On Nov 7, 2015 we will get together in a private home near Disney World. There are about fifteen of us on the list so far but we are looking for these persons listed below. If you know any of these guys PLEASE pass on this email address for them to contact me:

    Don Alexander, Elvin Burger, Billy Coleman, Mike Delaney, Frank Montoya, Carlos Salinas, Chester Roscoe, Dick Rosenberg, Bill Simmons, Tommy Tompkins and anyone else from Team 63 or Team 71.


    David Zeckser

  30. John Knowles

    Were you able to find a picture of Lt. Petett? We really need one for the fallen comrades table at the reunion. Also, his brother in law, David Martin was looking for a picture.
    David Zeckser

  31. I guess MACV must have had one big mix-up. I will not be attending the meeting in
    Florida. My team was Mobile Advisory Team I-63 (MAT I-63). From Sep 70 to Feb 71 when I was wounded and medevac. The team was located in I Corp, Quan Nai province, the city of Mo Duc. I joined the conversation because I read a reference to one of my former Team Members, Raul Rodriguez. If anyone has any information on him I would like to know. sorry guys. Hope you have a wonderful reunion.

    • Dear Freddie,

      Thanks for your reply. Actually I think we may have discovered why MACV Team 63 in Soc Trang was changed to Team 71 in late 1969. If it is a mix up now, imagine during the war.

      We have had other MACV people contact us last year and they were suspicious that we were not Team 63 people and vise versa. This must be the explanation.

      We will keep our eyes open for info on your friend Raul Rodriguez and we will let you know if we find him.

      Welcome home,

      David Zeckser

  32. I was with Advisor Team 63 during 1966 & 1967. I was SFC Vince Valadez stationed in Tuan Hoa. Team Chief was Maj Erbe & number 2 was Capt Johnson. Can’t remember others names. I was wounded 10-6-1966.

    • Dear Vincente,

      I’m glad you responded and I hope you can come to our reunion in Florida next Nov 7th.
      As for myself, I arrived with Team 63 in August of 67 so I’m not sure our paths crossed but I remember the names of Capt. Johnson and Maj. Erbe. I was with the 67th RF Battalion at the airfield and all over the province.

      Please keep in touch with me and send me your email address so we can communicate directly regarding the details of the reunion.

      Some of the people that are expected to attend are as follows: Joel Leson, Lee Gilmore, Jim Grapengeter, Walt Mather, John Knowles, John Baum, Fred Knudsen, Ray Renois, Larry Moore, Terry Styx, Michael Kelly, Joe Chudzik, Bill Goines, Wesly Milton, Paul Woodly, Freddie Odomes, Val Pochay and others from the MAT teams, MILPHAP and the Seabees.

      The location is my home in Windermere, Florida which is near Disney. We will start around noon on Sat, Nov 7th and the event will run all day and into the night. Food and drinks will be provided. We will have slide presentations, poster size photo displays and other material.

      Monthly up-dates will be sent out directly to personal email addresses.

      Thanks again,

      David Zeckser

  33. John Knowles,

    I don’t know where that story came from, it is ridiculous, at least if we are all talking about the TET offensive era at the TOC. I remember you going up on that tile roof to fix an antenna but not to post a flag.
    Can we count on you for the reunion?

    David Zeckser

  34. I guess I am way behind the times as I just found this site. Wow!

    Not to step on any ones toes, but I would like to put to rest the “White Flag” comments. I was Team 63 Operations/Commo Sergeant during Tet 1968. I assure all that no one was captured from the TOC and taken to the airfield.

    MSG John Knowles – US Army Retired.

    • If you scroll way down, you’ll find that “white flag” thread started here in February of 2014 with a post by Dale Ross Stith who had heard the “story” elsewhere and was posting here looking for input.

      There were also some erroneous comments added by someone named Ron Clark who claimed to have been there. I tried to discredit the story as best I could with help from others here who were also there. I also asked Mr. Stith to re-consider in light of my responses but I didn’t get any indication that he did. There were other “recollections” from Mr. Clark that didn’t seem to fit with others of us that were there but in all fairness, we’re probably all a bit sketchy about how we remember things.

      • Again let’s try to clear this up. MACV Team 63 was not MAT1 63. Those were different units. MACV Team 63 in Soc Trang became Team 71 at the end of 1968. MAT1 63 was in BaXuyen Province under both MACV Team 63 and Team 71. But if you were part of MAT1 63 the folks in MACV Team 63 may, or may not know you because those were two separate units.

        I welcome someone else to shed light on this matter.

      • Walt,
        A previous reply attempt probably failed.
        If not, to reiterate the main point:
        We believe that forces opposing the U.S. and our allies at Soc Trang during the 1st Qtr of ’68 knew who we were and what we were doing a STAAF: Flying the QT-2PC Aircraft on nightly reconnaissance/surveillance missions in IV CTZ.

        Is it possible to find out what they knew and what they tried (or did) about it?

        Dale Ross Stith
        Prize Crew Team Member

  35. I am researching my brother’s experiences in the Delta (Jun 65 – Jun 66).

    Two of the USAF Forward Air Control pilots he was stationed with were at Long Xuyen until Dec 65 and then further West at Chi Lang in Chau Duc Province in the first half of 1966. They were frequently in Soc Trang. USAF Capt. Don Taylor (Beaver 98) and Capt Len Eggen were their names.

    I am in frequent contact with Don Taylor, who lives in Winchester, VA these days. He remembers well an Army Captain Barry Taylor, who flew L-19 spotter planes out of Soc Trang. If any of you remember Barry Taylor, I’d like to get whatever details you can give me. I have searched for him but have been unsuccessful finding anything on him.

    • Ed, you might want to try the website of the 221st Recon Airplane Company, aka the Shotguns. The website is:

  36. David Zeckser I remember Cpt Knight but did not know him personally, talked very much to all the T Birds and Tiger Guns and Slicks being working in the Tower. Would really like to have any pictures of MACV area and personnel there. Have not found Pfc Day yet, only lead was to FL but not there. I have made contact with 5 of the guys from the tower and one of the 212 Dog Handlers. Been 45 years but still miss the area and the guys I knew there, for the larger part was a good experience for 19 months.
    Thank you for the communication!

    • Emil,

      If you send me your email address I will send you some pictures of the MACV compound and even some of the Soc Trang airfield. I had a bunker/hooch in the 67th RF Battalion area just to the left of the entrance gate to the airfield. (Aug 67 to Oct 68)
      David Zeckser

  37. I was an advisor to ARVN Ranger 5th Battalion in Soc Trang for most of 1966. The Mekong Delta was a rough place to be at that point.

    • Neil, we are having a team 63 reunion in Florida on Nov 7th of this year, perhaps you would like to come. I was the advisor to the 67th RF Battalion, Ba Xuyen Province security battalion, at the airport, 67 and 68.
      Stay in touch
      David Zeckser
      Windermere, Florida

  38. I was attached with the 15th ARVN Armoured Cav (70-71) just in time to go to Cambodia with them and our team. Looking for any of the guys I served with. Most are probably long gone, I was a 19 year old radio operator and they were hard-core Army

  39. I was stationed at Soc Trang Airfield from Oct 67- Oct 69. No MPs were stationed at the MACV compound they were at the airfield. Does anyone remember SFC Smith who was at the PX there? I have tried finding him for years no luck. SFC EDWARD D. SMITH. I remember the compound downtown. It set right beside the Bungalow. Loved that 33 beer. I always thought it was Team 63 did not know it changed to 71 remember SOC TRANG FOREVER

    • Matthew,
      I was the senior advisor for the Vietnamese 67th RF Battalion at the Soc Trang Airport from Oct 67 to June 68, during the TET offensive. You’re right, the only MP at Team 63 in town was Capt Joel Leson, the Province S-1.

      My assistant advisor was SFC Smith, “Smitty” everyone called him and he bunked at the NCO house in town. I have no idea what happened to “Smitty” after I left Soc Trang and that probably isn’t the SFC Smith you are talking about but I just thought I would let you know.

      David Zeckser

  40. The Advisory Team was renumbered to Team 71 from Team 63 in August of 1968 and, when I left country on December 31, 1968, LTC James G. McCray was still the PSA. As a matter of historical interest, MACV advisory teams assisting the Army of the Republic of Vietnam performed three types of functions: 1) advisory teams were attached to South Vietnamese Army, Navy, or Air Force units to give military advice and support in operational situations; 2) advisory teams were assigned to South Vietnamese logistical units and training commands to provide basic training to combat troops; 3) advisory teams were assigned to provinces where they worked directly under the CORDS organization, advising the Vietnamese on pacification efforts. There were, if memory serves me, only 43 provinces in RVN and that would account for that number of advisory teams. The remaining team numbers (and there were 140 0r more advisory teams of one kind or another) must have therefore been assigned to RVN military units, logistical units or training units. However, I am clueless as to why Team 63 ultimately became Team 71, especially when it does not appear that the original number was assigned to another team located elsewhere.

    • Thanks for this bit of information. I arrived at the team in September 1970 and was medevac in February 1971 after the basecamp was attacked. I was the team commander, and a Major Waite was the District advisor. We were in Mo Duc, Quang Nai Province. When I recouperated I was a Benning Ranger instructor for 2 1/2 years. I never found out what became of the team. One other member was evac-ed at the same time as I. Some of this information was sealed confidential until 20 years ago. The team’s designation was MAT I-63. Five Americans and sometimes one interpreter.

      • Hi Freddie,

        As a follow-up to our contact last March, the MACV Advisory Team 63/71 reunion date has been set for 10:00am, Saturday, Nov 7, 2015. The location is 12821 Water Point Blvd-Windermere, FL. 34786, at my home. Of course you guys from MAT1-63 are invited. If you have a list of the guys that were part of the team from 1967-1971 please contact them or maybe send a copy to me.
        If you can please contact me at: or 407-758-0820. Over the next few months I will be sending out communications regarding the event. Thanks,
        David Zeckser

    • John Baum:
      Your post is the most correct that I have seen for MACV 63/71. Recall I was there June 68/69 with MILPHAP N-6 later renamed N-8. btw. the grouch LTC McCray (who wanted to bring me up on charges) was replaced shortly after you left by a career state dept employee William Simmons. A real good guy. You have a picture of the back of his balding head sitting on a amtrak at the SEABEE compound during on of our many parties.

  41. I have an uncle who was in Mobil advisory Team I- 63, his name: Raul Rodriguez, I also have a pic of him and his team that I would like to share with his crew/family.

  42. Looking for any info on 2 Lt Larry W Petett assigned Adv Team 63, Hq, MACV Advisors, KIA 2/27/68, Ba Xugen province, Thanks in advance David Martin

    • The name doesn’t ring a bell. Can you provide more details. Did he reside at the MACV compound in Soc Trang or one of the sub-sectors? What was his duty assignment? How was he killed?

      • I don’t have any further info, he was my wifes 1st cousin who I only met once and I was in Nam at the same time he was, I med evaced the same month he was killed and knew nothing about his death untill close to a year later, post hospital. The only thing I know about how was KIA was what family told me which was it was hot where he was and he was being pulled, story goes he was on aircraft and air borne when hit, know isn’t much but all I know, all the old folks who would know more have passed Thanks David Martin

    • Wow,

      There are some weird things going on here. To begin with, my name is David Martin Zeckser. I was assigned to MACV Advisory Team 63 from Sep 67, through the TET offensive, and until Oct 68. I am not sure but I think Larry was killed while on Fire Fly duty in an observer Huey (slick). I was shot down in one of the slicks about the same time. The person that I think would know for sure would be Col (ret) Joel Leson who was the Admin officer for Team 63 at the time and he would have made the arrangements. His email is:

      Hope that works for you.
      David Martin Zeckser

    • Hello David,
      I arrived in country on 3 January 1968. I was assigned to Advisory Team 63 with duty at the Than Tri Sub Sector with Lt Petett. I was pulled out and reassigned back to Soc Trang the day before Tet started. It is my understanding he was killed while an observer in a Huey chopper that took ground fire while flying over a free fire zone. I have a few picture of the team members at the Sub Sector and may have one of Lt Petett. I will look thru my stuff to see. Send me your email and if I do I will send it to you if you wish.

      John Knowles –

    • David Lee Martin,

      We communicated last year about Larry Petett, I hope you were able to get more information on that. Larry’s Team 63 is having a reunion this November at my home in Florida. We will have a special table with photos of those members now deceased. I was wondering if your family might have a photo of Larry that we could use (copy) for this event.
      If you do please email me at:,
      David Martin Zeckser

  43. Pfc Robert day is most likely different guy due to lower rank, however I would greatly like to have any pics of the MACV Compound you might have. I spent a lot of time there since when I was off from tower duty I got the hell out of area because of extre details our lower rank than everybody else would dish out in order to gain points if you know what I mean….the MP’s I refer were the 212th Doghandlers on Soc Trang AAF proper not the MACV compound. Thanks for the answer, it is always good to hear from anyone who was at the area no matter the year. Soc Trang has a lot of good memories for me as well as the negative, and the good far outweighs the other.

  44. I have a web page on facebook search for Vinh Long Army Airfield, it has lots of photos and personal stories from its members and have even connected those who served in IV Corps.

  45. My name is Emil Mitchell, was in 347th Aviation Support Detachment at Soc Trang, Jan 69 to Sept 70. That is out of your time frame but I do know of one member of 121st AHC who also was in 336th AHC both at Soc Trang and we al; fell under 13th CAB for pay and rations. His name is Tom Materne and he is on Facebook regular and may have knowledge of some of the info you seek. The only guy I knew in MACV was a Robert Day whom I have not been able to reconnect with. Anyway I hope possibly this helps to some degree. A friend from Soc Trang, Emil Mitchell

    • I remember a SSgt Day (or maybe it was “May”) who was at the MACV compound when I first got there in Aug 67. If it’s the same guy and my memory isn’t playing tricks, I may even have a picture. I think he was attached to S-3. I’ll dig into my stuff.

      • Pfc Robert day is most likely different guy due to lower rank, however I would greatly like to have any pics of the MACV Compound you might have. I spent a lot of time there since when I was off from tower duty I got the hell out of area because of extre details our lower rank than everybody else would dish out in order to gain points if you know what I mean….the MP’s I refer were the 212th Doghandlers on Soc Trang AAF proper not the MACV compound. Thanks for the answer, it is always good to hear from anyone who was at the area no matter the year. Soc Trang has a lot of good memories for me as well as the negative, and the good far outweighs the other.

      • I was with TM 63 in Soc Trang from Nov 66 to Nov 67. There was a SSG names May there who was in the 3 shop, I believe.

      • Hey Lee, Hope all is well with you.
        The name “May” sounds right. I believe I have a picture (that you may have sent me). Young (hell we were all young), dark haired guy with Ssgt stripes sitting at a desk studying a field map. Holding a pipe in his left hand and a field radio to his left. Looks like the ARVN S-3 office as I remember it. I’d attach the picture but not sure if we can do that here.

    • Emil a good friend of mine was with MAT 63 in 1969. He was wounded I believe 19 or 20 Oct 1969. He spent from 20 Oc 69-29Oct69 at 3rd Field Force Hospital for injuries received. He never got the Purple Heart. Have been down to National Archives looking thru Third Field Force Hospital records. Saw many where the hospital placed the wounded in for award. Marty was ranking officer and didn’t place himself for the award.
      Seems I guess MACV should have placed him in for the award. His DD214 doesn’t show award. How might I go about getting the award he earned? I am a Very Active Veteran. Served from 1973-80 73-77 with B 2/325th Abn Inf 82nd then to Korea with 2nd Inf Div. Thank You Very Much for Your time and help. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. GBU ALL THE WAY AND THEN SOME MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL THE BEST FOR 2018

      • I really wish I knew how to help other than recommend communication with the Administrator of this site, I spent quite some hours dowm at MACV Soc Trang but never had any contact with anyone other than a PFC Day whom I have not been able to find either. If NARA cannot help then I might suggest commo with perhaps David Zeckser, or a VSO you may know around your locale.

  46. Walt, I will continue to try and get enough information together to get my CIB. As stated in my E-Mali, the DOD said that I was not eligible. I get so frustrated when trying to deal with them that I just so the “HECK” with it. I fought with them for ever trying to get my disability.
    However, the CIB means much to me, and I will continue to fight their rejection. One big problem is we had a first LT as our leader, ( dumb as a coal bucket ) and he never put us in for anything. I even have a picture of us running from and Air Strike on a hamlet. I have no idea of any names of people that I served with in the Pathfinder Unit at Soc Trang, and that unit is not like the Viking Gunship Platoon. We have a reunion every year. I remember a few faces, but not names of the Pathfinders I served with. I have no info on the unit, who we were under, or where our orders came from, other than the 13th CAB.
    If possible, can you find anything on my Pathfinder unit, and also the info where you may have received the twenty five hours under fire to get the CIB.
    It really hurts me to be turned down, when it is so important to me.
    Any assistance you or anyone else can provide will be appreciated.
    Paul F. Woodby RA 12903051 Soc Trang Vietnam
    Airborne Pathfinder 67-68
    Door Gunner, Viking Gunships 68-69

  47. Gentlemen of MACV Team 63. I arrived in Soc Trang in Dec. 1967 and was assigned to the Pathfinder group there. We worked in the field with regular ARVNs also ARVN Rangers and ARVN Marines and MACV. I served as a Pathfinder from Dec.1967 to June 1968, I spent many days in the field with you guys carrying a PRC 25 and a 30 Caliber carbine, My name is Paul Woodby, MOS at the time was 11B1Y (Airborne Pathfinder ), My serial number at the time was RA 12903051, I attempted to get my CIB, but the Records department said that due to the fact that I was not assigned to an Infantry Unit, I was not eligible to receive one. I was also under the 13th CAB. I was under fire just like everyone else for six months, including the TET Offensive. I later volunteered to be a door gunner on a Gunship with Viking Gunship Platoon. I ended up staying with them for one year and DROS’ed from Soc Trang in June 1969. Can anyone assist me in this matter, or provide some advice on what I should do. By the way, I still had nine months to do after arriving back in states, and was put right back in a Pathfinder unit at Ft. Rucker and MOS back to 11B 1Y. Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanking my combat brothers in advance
    Paul Woodby
    E-Mail Address-

    • Paul, you should’ve recieved the CIB. I can’t remember all the details but I know you didn’t have to be assigned to an infantry unit, just a min of 25 hours under fire. I and some others at the MACV compound in town accumulated that and more from occasional field operations and of course Tet. Have you tried to appeal to the DOD? Do you remember Bob Knight or Dave Zeckser?

    • Hi Paul,
      My name is David Zeckser. I read your post and the reply from Walt Mather. I don’t know if we ever met but I was part of team 63 at the same time you were there and was involved in heavy combat during TET. I was the senior advisor to the 67th Vietnamese Province Security Battalion at the airport.
      I feel for you and the problem with the CIB. I got mine and a few Bronze Stars at those awards ceremonies we would have in the team parking lot, given out by LTC McCray. Here is just a possibility. McCray’s Admin officer during TET was Capt Joel Leson. He handled all the award processing. He might be able to tell you where you could write to get that straightened out and he might be able to find records of your participation. Ret Col. Joel
      I hope that helps you.
      David Zeckser

  48. not only arvn guards,but we had sp because i drove truck to get & take back peopleback to town kp club girls lol
    but i was the mess hall ncoic also .

  49. ED;we used 01&02 spotter planes almost every day,they were basicly a fixed wing piper cub.i couldn’t tell you which one was airforce but I remember that most of them had the 60.MACVconsisted of all the services,i worked with navy PBR boats air force jets and I was army I know there were marine units there also.but never had an operation with them. We all reported to battalion HQ. at can to” or MACV HQ in siagon.Basicly in the field everyone worked together.Spotter planes and gun ships were two of the most important tools we had to keep us on the ground safe.They both saved my life more time than I could count.spotter plans were very slow and took a lot of guts to pilot one.they were always being shot up but never left us unless they were downed, I have the highest respect for every one of they no matter what service they were in,you can feel proud. Ron

    • RE Pathfinders at Soc Trang in 1968:
      USA Specialist Dick Wettach , a Pathfinder, served with us on Prize Crew (QT-2PC Aircraft – See for images). He was injured by “incoming” during TET.
      Evac’d to where and how is unknown – Dick hasn’t had much to say about any of it.
      PS: We know just a little about our project, but less about our surroundings and our adversaries. As a historian for our projects, I’d like to know more about the whole 1968 “situation”. Other than what’s posted on your website, have you published anything. The 50th of TET is fast approaching and worse – old age is a factor.

    • Thanks Ron! I flew as Shotgun 33 in Soc Trang with the Adv. Team from March 69 to May 59 when I went to Rach Gia and Team 55. I flew the O-1.

  50. 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

  51. Hello, my name is Mike Devlin and I was assigned to Team 71 in Sep 1968. I didn’t realize until finding this site that Team 71 had been Team 63. Anyway my background and what I did in Ba Xuyen is posted on the Team 71 site. It looks like all of you on this site were there before me but I remain interested in the operations in the Ba Xuyen province.

    • Hi Mike,
      This will be brief only because I can’t type worth crap on my cell phone.
      I rotated out from the MACV compound at Soc Trang Aug 9, 68 and it was still called Advisory Team 63, so it must have changed in those few weeks before you arrived.
      I and some others resided with a Vietnamese family in the house just to the left if the rear bunker.

      • Walt, thanks for the reply. The change in team number may be the reason i was delayed 10 days in Saigon before going south. I think that COL McCrea (?) may have been the PSA when I arrived. Anyway he shortly departed for the US and his deputy, Bill Simmons, took over as PSA. I was assigned as the S5 advisor and went to live downtown in the JUSPAO house. Simmons and a couple of other civilians (a Mr. McBride among them) lived next door.
        I believe that Bill Garrison was the RD advisor and a SEAL known as “the Swede” worked for him as the PRU advisor. After 6 months I was reassigned as the deputy DSA for Thuan Hoa District and worked for MAJ Ed Pepples until his departure in May as I became the DSA (I think I was the youngest DSA in country).

  52. well walt I didn’t mean to get a cat fight started.the fact that D.Z. does not know what a voluntary 6 mo. extension form was for says a lot.I guess the reality of it all,is that none of you guy”s in sector have any idea what we were doing out in the field.That was as it should have been for obvious reasons.I never said I saw these guys rounded up.Only that,that was the orders that were given to the p.f.s. And think about it,I had pretty extensive intel. about the v.c. commanders but none of them would have been kind enough to bring that many American advisors to a heavily guarded airfield to release with or without a white flag.At no time that day or night did any v.c. unit enter soctrang city.As far as us not being able to get to soctrang from KeSack by jeep,well myself and our cia field agent did it every few weeks,at least once a month,when the buses came through the road was clear,45min the way,the outpost not sub-sector had a Maj. a weapons spec.a medic,a radio oper,and a cia field agent.Just to be accurate.Now to be fair,i have no idea what a CWO is either.To the the sargent that is having the bad memories,don”t listen to some of these guy”s,they will go back and forth like this forever,in truth they don”t have a clue.Hope you feel better..RON

    • Ron,
      No fight, cat or otherwise intended at my end. I just think you may have a few memories or locations mixed up, which is certainly understandable after all these years. I simply felt the need to add what information I had.

      As for DZ (and the others) – I passed on their comments exactly as I received them and I guarantee you can take every word to the bank. I consider DZ not only an outstanding officer but another of the hero’s of Tet 1968. Anyway, they don’t need me to defend them.

      I assumed everyone that experienced combat in Vietnam knew what a CWO is. It means “Chief Warrant Officer”. You know, the real hero’s that flew the gunships that saved our collective butts so often and especially during Tet.

      Not sure how you knew I wasn’t feeling well Ron but thanks for wishing me well.

  53. Gents,
    I passed Mr. Clark’s message on to CSM (Ret) Smith, who accepts it as the truth and sends his thanks for the explanation.
    He is, however, haunted by witnessing the event and numerous conversations with a CWO (apparently of that group), who gave a different account of it afterwards.
    Unless, I learn more about the event – I’ll believe everyone has done their best to “sort it all out”.

    As a historian (with a special interest in the Prize Crew OpEval (QT-2PC/X-26B Aircraft), ’68 TET, and the VC at that location), I’ve read/been told numerous events from the ’68 to ’72 period (I also experienced some of them, myself).

    I’ve seen that there’s truth in most of the reports/stories I now know and have described. Yet, there’s usually a difference regarding some dates/places/names.
    I add that we all believe that we, not they, have the best memory! OK with that.

    • Dale,
      Before you close the book (so to speak) on this, I want to pass this thread along to a couple friends of mine that were also there and have a much better memory of events than I. One was the S-3 CO and the other worked with the local CIA liaison.

      I have no recollection of any Americans Advisors at our sector level location being “rounded up” and taken to the airfield. Certainly not from the MACV compound, which was right in the heart of Soc Trang. We defended that position at first and then eventually evacuated briefly to the airfield after receiving Intel of a possible VC battalion threat to our location.

      One of the men I’m referring to was personally involved in rescue / evacuation efforts of some American and ARVN personal the first night of Tet but I don’t recollect if they were from sub-sector or in-town Soc Trang.

  54. What this man saw was not what he thinks it was.All americans and some Vietnamese were rounded up and tsken to the airfield by viet RFs and PFs brought into town by us from our outpost.We were ordered in suddenly from operations we were conducting and most of us did not have time to change our clothing.We were told that our men need to sweep the city for americans and gov. officials and get them to the airfield.dressed as they were there probably was a white flag involved and the comment about eating in the airfield that evening was a private joke among us because we were never aloud to eat at the airfield mess our team commander Maj,Johnson made the comment to our men that we would be eating in the airfield mess tonight.After we destroyed all maps and papers at sector headquarters we went to the airfield and manned the fences.The ARVNS along with our RFs&PFs and our M.I.Ps (military indoctoranation platoon) managed to engage the VC before they entered SocTrang.We lost eight of our men not sure how the other outpost teams faired.It was a fierce battle but our boys did good.We were very worried about them so the Maj.told us that we could leave the airfield at dawn if we wanted to.We did.We rejoined our guys and watched as the ARVNs poured lime on the hundreds of VC dead.I was with those guys for 26 months and could not have been prouder that they did that with out our supervision or support in anyway.When you think of that night thank them for standing firm and being the men that Maj.Johnson spent so much time teaching them to be.There was only 4 of us americans in that outpost and 90 viets and Cambodians,but we always felt safe with them. and Walt you were right about the American mp,s that I new they were at the airfield sorry.I always thought of the airfield and the macv compound as one big place.(to many people for me) ha ha. RON CLARK SP/4 radio op.for Maj.Johnny Johnson KeSach district

  55. Some Soc Trang “Scuttlebutt”:
    The following story was recently told to me by a retired Army CSM. He said that he witnessed the incident. Can anyone corroborate the story”

    “Soc Trang Commo Crew during 1968 TET

    The communications crew (16 Individuals) in Soc Trang City were captured by the VC? during TET 1968.

    1st, they were line-up up to be shot; but, then delivered to the Soc Trang Army Airfield Main Gate under a “white flag” and released.

    The VC leader then warned the Airfield Commander (Ltc Johnson?) that they (VC) would be eating in the Airfield Mess Hall later that evening!

    It was fortunate for Prize Crew that it didn’t happen.

    The Commo Crew’s leader C.W.O. Who? retired ASAP and, much later, returned to Soc Trang to work in the community.

    Dale Ross Stith
    1968Prize Crew

    • I lived about 5 clicks from the airfield at the MACV compound (in-town Soc Trang) all year (8-67 thru 8-68) and don’t recall that incident. My memory is pretty spotty though. Still, that seems like something I would have heard about through S-2 where I worked.

      I assume this “commo crew” was based at the airfield? During the initial attacks of Tet, things were pretty crazy at the compound and various places in town and between us and the airfield. Most of us at the compound stayed in defensive positions there but a few were involved in rescue attempts around town. Eventually, when it appeared our compound might be over-run, we evacuated to the airfield. Can’t remember how long, maybe a day or two, then we went back.

      I’d be interested in any photos or video you have from that time period as I’m sure some the others that were there would be.




    • Hi Ron,
      I totally forgot you had provided your e-mail address, so let me reply there. Somewhere I even have some pictures of the compound including the front gate which I’ll attach if you don’t mind. I stayed at the compound from Aug ’67 until Aug ’68, so our paths might have crossed at some point. I worked at the ARVN S-2 and did some field ops with Capt Zeckser, Lt Delaney and Capt Salinas.
      I’ll e-mail you soon.


    • Glad to meet you Ron. Offhand I don’t recall the name but if you want, we can swap e-mail addresses and I can pass yours on to others I know who were also there then. I’m not sure how to do a private message in this forum but I have asked. I do remember hearing of a Maj Johnson from someone. If I don’t get an answer about doing PMs, I’ll just post my address.

  60. I was with MACV Advisory Team 63 from Aug 67 thru Aug 68. It was located in Soc Trang, about 5 miles from the airfield. I heard it was later renamed to team 71. Maybe others can jump in here and we can get a discussion going.

      • Hi Ron,
        Are you referring to the air field about 5 miles from Soc Trang or the MACV compound itself, which was in Soc Trang? I don’t remember that we ever had MPs at the compound where I stayed. In fact our only security were a few ARVN guards.

    • I was an Air Traffic Controller assigned to 347th ASD on Soc Trang Airfield, but had a very good friend Name Robert Day working there at the MACV compound in Soc Trang. Walked there many times during my 19 months in Vietnam. Would really like to reconnect and find pictures of the MACV compound as most all my pictures were lost due to a divorce. If you could help me it would be most appreciated. [Then SP4 Emil Mitchell] []

      • Hi Emil,

        I can send you a picture of the MACV Team 63 compound during the period 1967-1968. I was the Battalion Advisor to the 67th RF battalion located at the Soc Trang airport. Do you remember Capt. Bob Knight (knightraider) who led the Thunderbird gunships during TET? Contact me directly for some pictures. Thanks,
        David Zeckser

        • Still here David, I remember Col Knight from the Thunderbirds well, did you ever find the pics? There’s another reunion this Aug 11,12,13 at Grissom AFB near a Peru, IN, hope to meet you finally there! A picture of the MACV compound would really be great, wish I had one of Pfc Day from then also. Hope to hear from you.

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