Team 65 Sa Dec

MACV Team 65 – Sa Dec.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 65 located in Sa Dec.

182 thoughts on “Team 65 Sa Dec

  1. I got to Sa Dec in 67, worked AF radio until late 68 when I was transferred to Vinh Long AF radio. Does anyone know what happened to Darrell Foste, an AF intel guy with the 9th ARVN Div in Sa Dec and Long Xuyen?

  2. I arrived at MAT 16 in September ’69 and relieved Capt. Morales, a questionable replacement for a
    stellar officer. I forget the name of my second in command, a southern boy (OCS)!who should have taken over. Sgt. Valdez was on the team (his second tour) who was a great soldier except when he got stinking drunk and wet his bunk. I also forget the medic’s name, a really good guy who took me under his wing. Of course he rotated out 2 weeks after I arrived. And then I had a stint as adjutant for LLL. Ah, what fun times.

      • Gantz got $50 for that? He got jipped. I paid $75 and no, he never paid me even though we’ve seen each other several times since. But that’s ok; he was still there and I was gone.

        • You should have gotten $10 from each of us as we all used it at one time or another. I even had to go to Saigon and rescue it from MP HQ as someone was caught with it in the city. Why they gave it to me is lost in history. But they needed an officer to recover it. Ganz took a picture of Resau and I on a road trip in civies and Resau was wearing it. I had my ChiCom 54 and Ganz was unarmed. We used him for bait.

      • Hey Tom, thanks for the welcome. I didn’t know this site existed, just found it yesterday.
        Took awhile to read through all the comments. I don’t believe for a minute you would use that picture as your wallpaper.
        How are you?

        • That is the picture CPT. Anyone who sees it says it is the ultimate VN photo. For everyone else it’s the one he is using only more to it. I’m fine, old, playing golf with LTC Resau tomorrow. We do once a month usually. I’ve told him and LT Ganz about this site maybe 12 times but they don’t seem to join.

          • Tom,
            OK, I finally figure out that WordPress thing and now I’m live.
            Cpt. Bill, always good to hear from you.
            Tommy, it will be good to catch up.
            Gordon, ditto.
            Captain Jim Claxton, you arrived the day I left for R&R. I took over Team 94. You wanted us to relocate the team house, but I refused. Long story, would love to tell you why.
            I think Art may still be in Singapore (or was it Hong Kong) and Traister may still be in Pakistan.
            Looking foward to a reunion.
            Anyone up for a trip “home”?
            Len

    • Sure good to hear from you , I will never forget you and dyer when I came in on that chopper , could not have on a better team ,for the experience , and fellow team members , for a 20 year old E-5 and what a hell hold to start with, others thought they had it bad but little do they know ! and I speak with experience of 2 years with MAT’s , thank you for your leadership !

    • Greetings to all MACV vets … and despite Lt Jinks scathing indictment of my ability to join … here I am better late than never.

      I am Jim Resau LTC, US Army retired. I was the Mat team 65 and 94 commander between May 1969 and May of 1970. I am mostly retired now only teaching or doing rare faculty assignments like teaching an occasional course at either the Van Andel Institute or Michigan State University. I worked as a technologist/research scientist/professor at Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, the National Cancer Institute or the Va Andel Institute for 30 years and retired in 2011. Now I am a full time grand father, serious but not skilled golfer and book reader living 1/2 time in Towson, Maryland and the rest of the time in Michigan or traveling. I will be most interested in a full or mini-reunion in East or mid West. I will be in Maryland for next 6 weeks.

  3. I was on Team 65, Duc Tinh District team, as “Phung Hoang”/DIOCC advisor from May 70 – May 71. Arrived as 1LT, later promoted to CPT. Senior Advisor was Art Kobler, who was succeeded by Werner Holstein, both Foreign Service. CPT Ed Brasher and Sgt Jack Coppin were other Duc Tinh team members during my time. Back in CONUS, I met and married a wonderful Vietnamese lady who still feeds me delicious pho, bun ba sau and ban xeo (but no rice-field rat). I got to Sa Dec because on day 2 in-country while a bunch of us intel advisor newbies were in Can Tho IV Corps HQ getting our assignments, the guy behind me in line asked if he could go ahead of me because he was in a hurry to meet a friend for lunch. Sure, why not? The assignments officer was just working his way down a list. The guy who moved ahead of me got sent to the U Minh Forest. Next on the list was Sa Dec.

    • Jim,
      Who says courtesy doesnt pay. Sadec and Duc Thinh are garden spots in comparison. I was briefly a Phoenix guy in Kien Giang and Sadec but spent most of my tour and a half doing economic development, part of the time working for Art who I looked up in Hong Kong three years ago. I am writing a memoir/Sadec province history and would like to get your take on Phoenix especially. Shoot me an email at gordonbare@msn.com if you would. Gordon

      • Gordon: I think I remember you. Big Grenadier Guards mustache, right? Used to rock forward on your feet and stroke the tip of the ‘stash when you were talking. Anyway, sure, I’ll crank out an initial email, see where it leads.

        • Sounds about right — we would have overlapped since I left in Nov 70. I was wearing civvies as an ersatz econ development guy.

      • Hi Susan. We both must be thinking about Michael’s dad this week with the airing of the Vietnam documentary. This is such a strange coincidence — I am Michael’s cousin Brad Walp. I was only three when Alexander died but I never forgot the framed memorial displaying his service medals and handgun at their house in Mountain Top. As a kid at that age, I didn’t understand what happened but I knew everyone deeply missed him. Please say hello to Micheal, Pam and Mary Jane.

    • And I am gone first half of June. Maybe try for late June before I leave again. Tommy, did you want to make it a threesome? Lets take the comms to email rather than clutter up the bulletin board.

    • Dennis,
      We must have met sometime. I got stuck as pay offers for 2 months in 1970. I think Jinks set me up. It was less than fun.
      Thanks for your service.
      Len

  4. I’m in Bethesda. How about lunch at the Rice Paper restaurant in Eden center Falls Church which is something like halfway in between this Friday or next Monday?

    • Jerry,

      I live outside Boston, but from your neighborhood (Monrovia HS and Cal Poly Pomona)
      Moving back next year.

      Len

      • My work here is done. Now after 3 years I got a LTC/PhD and a Silver Stat/Soldier’s Medal holder/MBA to figure out how to work the G/D site.

        • To all in recent posts. Am in europe at moment with limited connectivity. Lets at least
          try for some Wash DC gathering this summer or next fall. Gordon

  5. This reunion idea doesn’t seem to be moving very fast, but here is a new twist. I’ve recently done a few rock and roll dances with a cute lady from Hanoi VN. She is in Oregon on a 90 day visa visiting her daughter who is here on a student visa. She says Hanoi now likes Americans, peace reigns, and Viet Nam welcomes our tourism. Imagine flying over to Hanoi, renting car(s), driving down the coast to Sa Dec. Probably crazy, but my knee doctor did a 100 KM bike tour down the VN coast 2 years ago.

  6. Might work, but no real connection between TM 60 & TM 65. TM 60 was spread all over the Delta with the 9th ARVN Maneauver units. Heck we didn’t even eat there! Long live the USN! Tom Jinks

  7. I have updated a Advisory Team 65 list of names that I have collected from this site and other websites . If any AT-65 or family members would like this list please contact me junglecruiser335@gmail.com . I would appreciate any help with corrections and additional names.I was a helicopter crewchief from Vinh Long 175th & 114th AHC’s

    • Hi Doug,
      Would you please send me a copy of your list, was at TM 65 70-71.
      Where do you live?
      I’m in Encino, CA if you ever have the time to visit the Left Coast, you gotta place to hang you hat!
      CIAO=CHOW,
      Jerry Zimmermann
      Encino, CA

    • Doug – Was with TM 65 in Sa Dec based in Duc Thanh District as Ops-Intel NCO (Phoenix Program) and would love to receive your updated TM 65 personnel list when you have time. Also interested in having any/all info on Agent Orange and other Monsanto agents sprayed over Sa Dec Province and Duc Thanh District in particular. Thanks so much. Michael Burke (NY then GA now)

  8. I just ran across 2 other names of men who died on TM 65. Most of us were aware of MAJ Slussear and LT Leonardis (8/16/68) when their jeep backed over a booby trap/mine. But now I find SSG Joseph Allessie (11/25/68) and SGT Thomas Smith (4/14/69). Anyone shed any light on them? I have a list of 2900 who died in ADV TMs, MAAGV, SF, NAVY ADV and USAID. I just found it and have no idea where it came from.

    • Tom, MAJ Slussear was my father in law…and he was killed along with LT Leonardis…can you provide me with any other info or contacts of those that may have served with them?

  9. Dumb question. But age has dulled my memories. I was with a 10th Psyop field team and we were billeted at both the Hotel Sagiang and when I get a new LT we moved to the base inside the ARVN 9th Div. One was team 60 and one was 65. I no longer can remember which was which.

    • Team 65 was the Advisory team for the Province, RF/PF, etc. Team 60 was the Team attached to 9th ARVN Div. We ate at the Navy mess, team 60 ate in a tent. But our MATs were lucky to eat at all.

    • Team 60 was the ARVN 9th, 65b was the province. When were you there? I vaguely recall a psyop team in 1969. Would be interested in your perspectives for the book I am writing on the province. gordonbare@msn.com

      • Gordon; we had a Navy 0-5 as Psyops assisted by !st LT Morris Ferensen. However I have no idea if they were seperate or connect to what Christopher is talking about. As I recall they had nothing to do with Team 60. Commmander whos-it lived on his own somewhere and Ferensen lived with me.

      • ’69 was when I was there. I replaced Sgt. Courtlon Ward. It was a two man team (3 during the overlap) plus Thot, a Kit Carson Scout. My original partner was 1Lt Dan Hermann. He had the front room (to the left opposite the stairwell.) on the ground floor and Sgt Ward and I had the one all the way in the back. Your clerk, had the other room on the ground floor. SP5 Sarazen.
        LT Hermann was replaced by 2LT John Richards who didn’t feel safe in the hotel and asked to have us moved over to Team 60. Life was much better at Team 65!

      • I’m sorry, I didn’t answer your question. Jan ’69 – Aug ’69. (SP4 Christopher Ness. Again sorry about the ‘handle’ but I have that as a a WordPress acct. and that is what it wants to call me)

  10. Tommy: Would like to see your photos of MAT 17. I was on numerous battalion sized operations with RF Company 122 that almost certainly involved MAT 17. I don’t recall meeting you guys but could hear you on the radio as we stayed in touch with Maj Yaugo, who was always flying around in a chopper with his district counterpart during these operations. Email your photos of MAT 17 to richardsmiley@comcast.net or snail-mail them to Richard Smiley, 4900 Prato Way, Pahrump, NV 89061. Give me your email address and I’ll send as attachments the 10-15 photos I took while serving in Sadec with MAT 65. I’ll need your email address since there does not appear to be a way of attaching photos to the messages we post on macvteams.org. Cheers

  11. I met a NAVY adviser Ken Jacobsen who pointed me toward the monthly reports describing naval actions and the following actions on the west leg of the Y, the Nha Man canal in March 68. The following is my write up of two ambushes drawn from the official reports. If anyone has anything additional I’d like to hear about it. I don’t think these are the same fights that John Cooper describes where the Army province senior adviser was wounded but not sure. Was that in March 68? “In the post Tet period, Vietnamese and US Navy brown water boats were engaged in at least two major actions in Sadec. On 24 March, PBRs 33 and 99 were engaged in a savage action that claimed the lives of three PBR sailors and wounded five more. The boats were evacuating two dead and nine wounded Vietnamese soldiers on the Nha Man Canal, the west leg of the Y. The after action report states:
    “As the boats entered a curve in the canal leading to the Mekong River, the Viet Cong opened up a deadly fusillade of rocket and recoilless rifle fire. The first rounds hit PBR 99, the cover boat, which immediately capsized, dumping the crew and the wounded Vietnamese into the canal. The boat sank, however, the installed floatation material kept the bow above the water. The crew swam to the opposite bank with several of the wounded Vietnamese and proceeded to a nearby outpost where they were subsequently recovered. Meanwhile, PBR 33, the lead boat, still under attack, was the target of numerous RPG-7 rockets. Direct hits killed the patrol officer Boatswains Mate First Class George F. Proffer, USN, and the after gunner, Gunners Mate Third Class Ronald R. Lake, USN, instantly. The boat captain Boatswain First Class Arthur O. Pendergrast, USN, though mortally wounded and intermittently losing consciousness stayed at the wheel of the boat, to clear the attack area until he fell. Pendergrast died while en route to Dong Tam for medical treatment. Four additional PBRs and a light helicopter fire team were soon on the scene and commenced providing suppressing fire on the enemy positions and aid to the wounded crewmen and stricken craft. The crippled PBR 33 was escorted to Sadec and later that night the sunken PBR 99 was towed from the area and subsequently refloated. Four additional PBR sailors were wounded in the battle. Enemy casualties were undetermined.”
    The next day Navy Lieutenant Ken Jacobsen accompanied Vietnamese River Assault Group 23/31 with eleven heavily armed assorted river craft supporting a regimental size ARVN operation was traversing the Nha Man Canal apparently near where the previous day’s action had occurred and was ambushed from both sides:
    “The well-entrenched enemy fired B-40 and B-41 rockets and automatic weapons at the friendly troops. The ambushed craft were soon joined by Army gunships. The combined counter fire silenced the enemy, but upon re-entering the area the river craft were again taken under fire. The convoy maneuvered out of the kill zone as the helicopters overhead attacked the enemy gun positions. It was reported that the Viet Cong were so well dug in that the heavily bunkered area resisted the numerous helicopter strikes. During the ambush, 13 ARVN soldiers were killed, 25 wounded and two river craft damaged by enemy rockets.”
    Glad I was there later when the place was a lot more secure.

  12. One of the officers wounded during Tet was a big guy who wore glasses. I don’t remember his branch of service or his name. Remember he was a good guy. I don’t remember ever hearing what became of him although I think he was shot twice. I recall getting them both on the chopper and then waiting for them to leave when the 1st Lt motioned for me to get on with them. Always appreciated them taking care of me.

    • Cooper, his name was Culberson or Culbertson, I believe. He was in an intelligence slot and may have been MI. I do remember you. I too lived in that hotel. I was the ADSL advisor , a QM officer and worked closely with Harry Rienhold, another QM officer who was the S4 advisor and we scrounged for the team

      • Gents, I’m writing a history of Sadec/memoir and would appreciate info from those there before I arrived in 69, particularly on Tet 68. If you send me an email, I’ll forward my manuscript. Gordon Bare gordonbare@msn.com

  13. Lot of posts for team 65 on this Memorial Day; very fitting. John, you wrote about 2 LTs being wounded during Tet in early 68. I remember that on my last full day in Sa Dec in Sept. 67 meeting a 2nd Lt. on his first day with the team. He was a stocky guy w glasses, and he said he had requisitioned a set of weights for the team while he was in-country processing in Saigon. Like me, he was quartermaster trained, not infantry. I don’t know if he became team 65’s supply offricer or RF/PF advisor, or both. Do you remember a LT. fitting that description?

    I was exiting as RF/PF advisor and, like you, still feel lucky not to have been hit. I also learned early on that it was far easier on my stomach to eat C Rations (only part of each box was edible) than to eat the local gruel when out on search & destroy operations.

  14. No problem, I am currently in Northern MI but will go home on or about the 5th of June and will made you copies of the 3 DVDs, about 180 slides on each. Not great but does stir memories.

  15. Found this page awhile back. I was stationed in Sadec in 1967 and 1968 but like some others find it hard to remember names etc. I was a SP4 intelligence coordinator (glorified clerk) and worked out of the HQ building close to the Navy base. I carried the radio when we went out in the field with RF/PF troops. Some of the things I remember are:
    Being in the field with two American advisors (can’t remember their names, but 1st Lt and 2nd Lt I think) during TeT and both of them being shot and being medivaced out to Can Tho (I think). I know we were trapped there for a couple of days because they were under attack There was another radio operator with us (Bud Knofple (sic) ) who was also evacuated.
    Remember when Lt Leonardis was killed when their jeep ran over a booby trap.
    One time we went out with some navy PBRs and a Army Colonel that wanted to take some decorations to an outpost located up a small canal off the main river. We set up CP while they went up stream They got hit by a rocket attack with a boat or two sunk and several killed. Colonel was wounded and I still can remember him saying to me that he”fucked up”. Guess it didn’t look good on his record.
    We lived in a Vietnamese hotel in downtown Sadec. Not much security so I assume the VC pretty well left the town alone.
    Looking back I consider I was pretty lucky. Most of the time when we went out in the field it was pretty uneventful. Remember being hot and wet and cold and wet freezing at night when we were out and eating rice with chicken heads and feet and probably a little field rat mixed in for good measure.
    Wish I could remember names better but do remember a lot of the people and things that happened.
    Anyone remember me or these events would like to hear from you.

    • John, I was on Sadec 69-70 and am writing a history of the province and looking for exactly what you posted. Am now overseas but shoot me an email and I will send you a draft when home next week. Gordon Bare. gordonbare@msn.com

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

    • Cooper the 2nd Lt I don”t remember his name but we called him Baby-Huey the 1st Lt was Gallaway. I was there in March of 68 but don’t remember the attack on the Y and probably should I was on the radio most of the time, Fosty and I never went on R&R until April. Sorry about the slow response but just now found the Web Site. Elsie

    • I was stationed in sadec ’67-68. MACV, radio operator. Do you remember blonde female singer who performed at compound without her band? Think her name was Chris Noel ?

    • John I was at sadec January 1967 thru July than got transferred to Can Tho. Your name doesn’t ring a bell. Sorry

  16. Thomas, I too would love to see your photos. Please send a copy of your DVD to Richard Smiley, 4900 Prato Way, Pahrump, NV 89061. I too have some photos of MAT 65 from the Sept-Dec 1968 period. I have only about 10 photos but would be willing to send them as email attachments to anyone who provides me with an email address. Sure would be nice if we could publish these photos on this website.

    • Rich, I remember you from your MAT days in Sadec. Hope you are well. I am Dick Colt. I was a 2nd LT then 1LT first in Duc Thinh then in Duc Thanh. Anybody on this site from May 68 – May 69? Just came across this in VVA newspaper. Would be interested in communicating with anybody from that time period. Thanks for your service to all of you.

    • I am going to go thru my pic’s today and will try to make copys asap. I would also like any pics or info of others during same time period . also that power point

  17. If anyone was on MAT 65 during 1969 send me your email address and I’ll forward a few photos of the guys that served with me Sep-Dec 1968. Perhaps you can identify some of the personnel – richardsmileyATcomcast.net

  18. I use to cross the ferry at CanTho saw an ARVN QC shoot a truck driver right in the head two vehicles ahead of me. I never trusted them………..hated that ferry if it wasn’t the QCs I worried about someone blowing it up and find myself heading out to sea in the fast rushing Mekong River.

  19. Could be, have no idea but Mac and I were there Xmas 69. Based on my limited experience you should have driven and let Valdez ride shotgun.

  20. Lt Ganz (old guy) has just remembered Highnote as his RTO and just remembered he has a picture of Highnote and Valdez on his desk. I remember going with CPT McKinney to arrest Valdez for punching a LT when they were both drunk in the District House. The Lt begged us not to arrest e-5 Valdez (soon to be e-2) and we mentioned that maybe they shouldn’t have reported it! Veldez being someone you wnated on your side when the s… hit the fan.

    • Was that at Christmas 69? As Adjutant, I got to take him to Can Tho, in a Scout, via the Cao Lanh ferry on Christmas Day. He was given to me in irons and I took them off, as he drove while I rode “shotgun.” There had been shootings of US by ARVN at the ferry. We were very
      polite. It took about five hours on the road, and they flew me back to SaDec in 15 minutes in a loach.

      Scariest Christmas of my life!

    • I don’t know when Lt. Ganz was talking about but I started out on Mat 17 with Cpt McKinney
      June /July 1969 then went to mat 65 when they moved to Sa Dec- Vin Long Hwy January 1970, Was light wpns advisor on both and Medic also for both, Cpt.mcKenney moved to s-3 and Lt Dyer took over Team Ldr team 17 And Lt Akins assistant ,

  21. I put the question to Lt’s Ganz and Resau; here is answer. Lt Resau had Mat team 65 command from July 1969 to Dec 1969 then Lt Wilton January 1970 till probably July. SFC Negron was NCO chief others were SSG/SFC Iwanec medic

    • That’s right Lt. Wilton was there ,And remember Lt. Resau , SSG. Nagron the name is familure, but not at that time with mat 65 ? Sfc, Zimmermen was senior nco

  22. I was team leader of MAT 65 from Sept-Dec 1968 and while I have a few photos of that time, I cannot remember the names of my team members or the name of the ville where MAT 65 was located. Sgt. Kong was my interpreter and I always wondered what became of him after the war. Ditto for the Cpt who was CO of the RF company I advised, whose name I also don’t recall.

    • I was on mat 65 Feb 1970 until June 70 ( preiviusly mat 17 June 1969feb 1970 ) mat 65 at that time SSg Johnson, Sfc Zimmerma,n , and cant remember others

  23. Hey Tommy,
    The Y has changed a lot since our day. I’d be interested in hearing your recollections of the MAT Team deployments down there. I have collected tales form about a dozen guys stationed in Sadec for my history. Were you training RF and or PF? How did they do on operations? I recall having to travel by boat from district down to I think An Khanh village on the East leg where you and LT Akins probably were if memory serves. And only by chopper to the base of the Y. Any notable ambushes/firefights?
    Shoot me an email or give me a call at 301-717-4127.
    Gordon Bare
    gordonbare@msn.com

  24. Most of us (3) think he was a CPT and stayed on with the State Dept. I agree about the FSR. I have always thought it was something like RA officers Vs USAR officers. The reserve guys are legally easier to get rid of without letting them get to a retirement. In the old days about 75% of army officers were USAR on active duty. Gives the army some wiggle room to downsize. Roger Yarbro stayed in and applied to be RA and was accepted. I know many guys who applied and were refused. Likely those guys were many times short of a college degree. Guys like CPT Ansel were RA who applied after being Destinguished Military Graduates from ROTC (also worked for OCS). West pointers were RA from the start. Maybe VMI and a few others also. I just read the army was getting rid of 17,000 majors. I bet they are all USAR and mostly short of 20 years (to get retirement). Anyway a friend just retired from the AF and it was exactly the same for him as of 2-3 years ago.
    You can also stay in the reserves (if you can find a job at your rank) and get points toward retirement. i think Resau told me he did 26 years(4 active duty) to get 20 years for points to retire as a LTC. Also LTC seems to be the best you can do on active duty without being RA.
    I was DMG from OCS and had a letter asking me to apply for RA, but I couldn’t get to law school fast enough. I was “counseled” by my BN CO (FT ORD) to apply as the best thing in the world but I was also counseled by the Brigade CO who had a more understanding outlook.

  25. Thanks, LT. I was told, I think by 1SGT Orval Kolden(?) he was an Army CPT who stayed on with the foreign service after his tour. I remember his rank to be FSR-4 as opposed to FSO for the foreign service ofcrs in the districts. As John Vann was made an FSR-1 this seems possible. The FSR designation may also be used for CIA personnel within the state dept. He has got to be getting rather long in the tooth. I hope to have his apparent energy when I am his age.

  26. Apparently a busy man, he was “outed” various times in Europe over the years as a CIA man. Last I saw (very recently) he was a member of the U.S. Consullate in Phakistan. Got to be getting older or was very young in 1970.

  27. I was assigned to Team 65 from Feb ’70 to Jan ’71. I was basically the team clerk. I still have a govt drivers license somewhere signed by Lt Jinks. LLL was there when I got into town, but I only saw him once–when he welcomed me to the team. I remember that Lt Jinks did wear glasses. CPT McKinney was the S-3. He got me and CPT Krider out of trouble one day when we were pinned down just inside a wood line with a somewhat less that adequate RF company. I have a deep appreciation for Cobras. A google search on Curry revealed that he passed away last year. He was an LTC in the reserves.

  28. 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.

  29. I was in Sadec a few years ago backpacking SE Asia and went back to Sadec and found out that Uncle Ho’s father was born there. Really suprised me how much it’s grown. I was with Adv Tm 60 and was WIA on 11 Feb 69. Does anyone remember Sgt. Lewins???

    • There was a fancy orange stucco house on the east side of the canal just south of the Team 60 billet (interestingly, the branch from the river to the canal that was the east side of the Team 60 compount has been filled in since then) . The Viet that owned that ,very large house was a PhD from the Sorbnonne in Paris.. His son had won a Croix de Geurre in the French Foreign Legion. He had been a University Professor and rumor had it he had educated both Bao Dai and reportedly Ho Chi Minh.
      His house was raided by VC and his books and barn were burned.. He received a letter of apology from Ho Chi Minh. I wonder if Ho’s father had been the connection?

  30. Was in Sa Dec Jun 69 June70 Mat 17 & 65 ! East leg of the Y on 17 And road to Vin Long on 65 !& consisted of Cpt McKinny, Lt. Dyer SSG. Neff , SSG.Leroy Simions.Doc shadile SSG.Baker, Interpator Song . Mat 65 SSG Johnson, Sfc Simmions And cant remember others!

    I was in chung thin Prov Jun 1971 -1972 Mat58 2 Man ( Americans ) And 5 viets takeing over Mats program ! Then Op Intil Nco Jan 72 Long me Dist ! Maj Madira was ambushed around Apr- May In next Dist, Duc Long ! some time in 72 Feb or march Viet cong rose up and hit every Dist Over run Kin thin Dist, And our fire base (Long Me Dist. ) Not far from the Split in The Road from vi thin to Can Tho In Duc long ! We called that split the Buss stop !

    Sometime not long after I got home I was watching the evening News I saw that the viet cong could hold any tairattoriy they held and GVN could do the , and VC at that buss stop laughing ! next day on the news showed the GVN had Bombed it ! This was under some kind of truiss !

  31. Pam, so sorry. I found the first info about the incident (a year before my tour) in a letter from another Lt to the parents of the deceased LT. I believe the writer is an attorney in GA. i have no record of who it was but I have to assume he knew your dad also. Tom jinks

      • Pam,
        I knew your Dad and was on MACV team 65 when he was killed. He was an S3 advisor. His duty was to advise and assist the Regional Force and Popular Forces of Sadec Province in tactical operationsHe was killed when the Jeep he was in backed over a high explosive booby trap in a field tactical Command Post during an tactical operation. My condolences to you and your family.I remember him as a fine officer and liked him personaly. As a logistics officer I knew little of tactics and operations. He taught me a lot and I appreciated it a great deal.
        Jim Baker

      • Thank you Jim Baker….there was no “reply” on your post….I hope you see this. I appreciate your comments very much!!…..and continue my search!!

  32. Hello…was doing a search to see if I could find out more about the advisory teams in Vietnam and exactly what they did, when I find this site and clicked on it to see what it was. I have to saw my heart stopped when I saw it posted by one of your members….that’s terrible about Leonardis and Slussear…..my Dad was Maj Slussear. Can any of you please advise what these men did at that time? Did any of you know or serve with him?

    • Pamela, my sincere condolences for your father, and reading the post I made December 4th referencing him. That would be a jolt. I did not know your father. I was S3 operations officer in August 1967, and primarily was an advisor to the small S. Vietnam RF/PF infantry units in Sa Dec province. I was a Lt. Since your dad was a Maj. he probably had a higher level of duties than I. It certainly grabbed my attention when I first heard of what happened a year ago, and then tried tracking down information.

      Again, I apologize for startling you with wording of my Dec 4 post. Feel free to ask me anything you wish. I’ll do my best to answer.

      • Larry, thank you so much for your reply. I only recently started to do some research. It was amazing to find this website. If you have any ideas of where I might find out more, I would appreciate your direction…thank you again….Pam

      • Pamela, I only found this website after searching for information on MACV teams off and on for years. This site is the best of what I found. I did find a huge, laborious history of how the US got involved so deeply in a military history called “MACV The years of escalation1962-67, volume 1”. It appears that JFK was swayed by advisors to reduce the American presence in VN, however with not much different advice LBJ decided to greatly increase our troop presence. Volume 1 is some 500 pages long, and volume 2 begins in Jan 1968 and might cover what the Pentagon and LBJ administration were thinking when your Dad was there. The two volumes were written for the US ArmyCenter of military history, Wash. DC, by Graham Cosmas. Larry

  33. Thank you Zach. I guess you sort of had to live it. Many have forgotten that the American Legion and the VFW wouldn’t let us in. They later changed their minds and apologized (like Jane). To this day I think any of us who joined either was giving the rest of us the finger.
    Also the “anti war” riots ended (more or less) when the draft ended. Apparently baby boomers weren’t as offended by the war as by the chance of actually having to serve.
    Tom jinks

  34. To whom it concerns, i am a young man who has come to terms that our countrymen have severely dishonored our war vets of the 60’s. It is my goal to fix this problem before it is to late to understand what you vets went through during this war. Is anyone willing to share these memories to a youth so he can strive to make a change in the world? Just as the viets were wronged back then, our vets took the brunt of blame for a political outcry for attention. Its time to right the wrongs our country has made both politically and in regards to our countrymens view of respect.

    Anonymity is requested as i do not wish to place any veterans at risk for any reason. I know nam is still sensitive both emotionally for you guys as well as politically. Any resources i can obtain to further your confortability will be arranged, i wish only to understand a past i was not around to understand in the first place.

    Thank you,
    Zach

  35. While discussing knee replacement with an orthopedist last week, he said that last summer he rode a bicycle from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City ( Saigon, to we of a certain vintage). He said it appeared that nothing along that route had changed for at least 30 years. He didn’t think, it was a bad thing, just extremely laid back.

  36. Thank you, Gordon, for the virtual tour.
    Your description of the Y area would
    be incredible if I hadn’t seen some
    Navy reunion video from the Can Tho
    side before.

    I had transferred in from MATs in Go
    Cong and the story there is the same.
    The DMAC briefings had repeatedly
    mentioned the “Densely populated
    Mekong Delta” but the areas we operated
    were devoid of anyone but VC. Now,
    Google Earth shows people all over
    (and our old hooch is Party District HQ)-LOL

    Sorry about the Hoa Hao, Cao Dai are
    facing the same discrimination
    according to Counterparts.org.

  37. I returned to Vietnam for the first time last month. For those of you who managed to get to Saigon, the ninth floor bar of the Caravelle Hotel, once the highest spot in the city and from which the press corps covered the war, is now dwarfed by a new tower and other skyscrapers. But the Continental Palace next door where Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American retains its French- era charm. The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange occupies a prominent building but the Communist Party.
    Highway 1 to the Delta is a two-year-old, six lane divided toll road as far as My Tho and an elegant suspension bridge soars over the Mekong a few kilometers from Duc Ton. I can just barely recognize the turn to the road down the east side of the Y at the expanded Phu Huu market bombed just before I arrived in Duc Ton. The old village dinh is now occupied by two elderly sisters one of whom worked at the US airfield at Vinh Long. The road down the Y is two lane and well-paved. Brick walls and tile roofs have replaced the thatch and tin of my era in the house and shops that line the road. Traffic is fairly heavy on the road and lighter on the canal, once the safer way to travel. The two-room schools I funded have been replaced with two story multi-room structures painted in pastels and with glassed windows. The mud-walled outposts for RF or PF every few kilometers are gone. The base of the Y, once an open moonscape and the symbolic center of the VC base area, is now lush and crowded. At Hoa Tan where we once dodged an ambush there is a large covered market and a thriving village center. Phu Long village, where we were once sniped at in the village office, had no road access in my day; now it is linked to the Y and on to Sadec City. There are textile factories on the main road to Sadec and street lamps in the still more prosperous northern part of the district. Flower growing is now a key part of the local agriculture. Sadec City is now more open with some of the main streets widened but not vastly different. The Peoples Committee Building (signed in English) is the grandest structure to be seen. None of the once ubiquitous Hoa Hao temples appear to survive. In June 2013, Radio Free Asia reported a police attack on a Hoa Hao attempt to celebrate the seventy-fourth anniversary of its founding at a pagoda in An Giang province neighboring Sadec.
    Vietnam is doing some things right witness the roads and schools. Beginning in 1986 the Party adopted a policy of Doi Moi — limited economic reform and opening to international trade and investment. Land tenure was re-privatized after collectivization in the decade after 1975 led as it always does to famine. Growth perked up but absence of rule of law and a species of Mafia capitalism with the Party playing the role of the Mafia feeding off the hard work of its citizens have lead to mediocre performance after the initial burst of reform. Gross domestic product per capita is a third that of Thailand or China and the gap is widening. Indeed Vietnam looks a lot like Thailand 25 years ago in terms of economic development. Vietnam stands well below these countries in international comparisons of corruption. Even China has moved further toward a degree of governmental accountability.

    Democracy and prosperity in Vietnam are a distant dream to the people of Vietnam.

    • COL Bare is obviously still on VN time or a night owl. Several of us talked about taking the trip. While I think Gordan’s trip was really interesting it also shows you “can’t go home again”. I have always assumed anyone I knew was dead or in California but I wouldn’t mind finding out.
      Mich ST Univ alumni had a river trip with a day stop in Sa Dec which interested me but that’s as close as I got. Maybe some day.
      CPT Bost took me to the Carevelle roof top bar to see the french/vn mixed race prostitutes. We then went to dinner at the Rex and as we entered the elevator to go to that roof the back wall of the lobby blew past us (Jan 29, 1970). After the MP’s came up and had us leave we found our selves standing around the entrence with about a million field grades so di di ed out of there on a cyclelo
      I recall being baffled by Gordon telling me how little he was trained before being dumped into VN (apparently true of all INTEL officers, although Yarbro told me, before he died, that INTEL officer were such because they were so intelligent). Ganz was ADA/ARTY OCS and got a 2 week school in country with a few hours of language before going to a MAT. Resau (ROTC-INF) had “advisor training” at Benning including 4 hrs/day of language for a few weeks. I (ENG OCS) had a duty station in Calif. then got orders to Def Language School for 12 weeks of full time Ting Viet. I was shocked to learn how few guys actually had that much language training. Of course i get to Sa Dec and had the best interpreter of the bunch.
      My immediate POD at DLI had 2 Army 2nd LTs, 2 Lance Corporals and 2 Army CPTs.
      I have never figured out what the selection process for advisor consisted of (if any). I do recall a “made up” language test some where along the way. I have also never found a TO&E for a Province Team and sort of figured they were set up on an “as needed ” basis.
      In my first month in country my counterpart took me on a road trip to the mud fort at the base of the Y on a supply run. Imagine the suprise on the guys in the team hut when i stuck my face in the door. Probably why my counterpart died several months later.

      • That was mat 65 at base of the Y I was on Mat17 with Cpt mcKinny later Lt. Dyer 17 east leg and mat 16 east Was on west leg with fire base, Mat 65 moved
        to vin Long Sa-Dec Hwy march or april 1970

  38. Was very impresssed with the considerable training Gordon went through before going to VN; even though it was not as VN specific as it should have been. When I went over in 1966 I was a 1LT. quartermaster supply officer, with a ROTC background from college. The only thing in my past that was remotely relevant was that I studied the 19th century development of nihilism, socialism and communism in the course of getting a BA in European history, That was of little application since Ho and NVA were far more nationalists than communists, and my advisory team knew it. Of course, it was insignificant in the day by day challenges. I did receive 5 days of training in Saigon in Jan. 67 in the Revolutionary Development Program.

  39. Lucky you, going out on a PBR (Swift boat). I always wanted to do that, myself. Nice to hear from another near-sighted warrior, its like we were tough enough to go into combat with one hand tied behind our back. Ha, ha, truth is I was just plain lucky to return stateside in one piece.

    Talking about the 9th ARVN Div, one of their Sa Dec area units got overrun by the VC one night around AUG 67. The VC captured many of their weapons and probably used them in the TET 68 offensive.

    Tom, thanks to you and Gordon for your replies.

  40. Tet 68 must have been very hard on the VC in Sa Dec as we were told we were in one of the most pacified Provinces. Although depends on the moment some one is shooting at you or where you are stepping. But we did have Civilian PSA and military deputy PSA which tended to be the distinguishing factor (re pacification). Plus we had team 60 HQ with the 9th ARVN Div HQ but they didn’t operate in our Province, we were an RF/PF military operation which lends some credience to the pacification arguement. Also must give weight to the fact Sa Dec was the epicenter of the Hao Hoa religious movemnent which was violently anti communist.

  41. I couldn’t see the ground without my glasses and not much better with them. Thank god for lasik, but didn’t get that until 1999! Unlike you MATs I had an operation about once/month. Heard about 3 shots fired at us and several booby traps. But did get “fast mover” dropping nalpam in support, that was excititng. CPT MdKinney and I had an observer role on a Swift Boat with about 50 RF/PFs and SEALs in support.

  42. Thats terrible about Leonardis and Slussear.
    the VC had a strong presence in Sa Dec and a couple years ago I saw a declassified CIA report quoting our team that the VC pretty much owned the province at night. I don’t know of any LTs kia while I was in Sa Dec from Feb-Sep 1967. I was asst. RF/PF advisor in MACV team 84, Kien Phong before transferring to team 65…Team 84 was replaced by a Special Forces airboat unit in Feb. ’67.

    In mid ’67 one of our medical techs was shot in the stomach by the VC, and , happily, I heard he survived after being air med evacuated to Saigon. I was on R & R when that happened and don’t know many details.

    A little later , on a search & destroy operation, we chased 3 VC who were freely shooting at us, and set-up some hard to see booby traps. Finally one of them threw a grenade which wounded Capt. Veselka. Shrapnel from the grenade hit him on the point of his chin, and he said it felt like someone wearing a metal ring had punched him. Medics coptered in, treated him, and he continued on the mission. The 3 VC didn’t continue, they got punched out.

    The next day near completion of the operation, and skirting more fishing line booby traps, Capt. Veselka (I hope I have his name right) took aim at the stem of a coconut high in a tree, fired, hit the stem, and the coconut fell at our feet. The milk was perfectly fresh and the best coconut I’ve ever tasted. BTW the Capt. and I both wore glasses, and, personally, I never could see triplines, and never could have made a shot that perfectly. Thankfully the RF or PF soldiers pointed the traps out or I wouldn’t be posting this.

  43. Larry; I have that info somewhere. I actually got it off the web from a letter written by another guy to the deceased’s poarents. I’ll look around. As fraa s we cna tell he was killed on the dame day as a major and we assume a road mine or ambush.

  44. On 16 August 1968, the S-2 intelligence advisor 1LT Stephen Leonardis of Newark, New Jersey and the S-3 operations advisor Major Alexander Slussear, Moosic, Pennsylvania, were killed, I think when their jeep struck a mine. I think it was Len Ganz who pointed me to this incident. In 1967 I understand there was a LT killed but I have no further information.
    Shoot me an email and I will send you a memoirs/Sadec province history I am writing. I would much appreciate the perspective of someone there in the 67 timeframe.
    Gordon Bare
    Phoenix and Economic Development Advisor, 69-70
    gordonbare@msn.com

  45. As about 12 of you know I have 5-600 slides i put on 3 DVDs a while ago. All dealing with Sa Dec in 8/69-7/70. I am happy to share for what they are worth (free). I also have Resau’s (PhD; LTC USAR RET) pictures from his power point presentation for C&GS (Co Van Me 101). Ganz, Resau and I have also run across a couple of stories of guys killed on team 65 in 1968;( same day so we assume ambush or road mine) a Maj and a 1st LT.
    Resau and I try to play golf once a month or so and last time he brought us 2 bottles of Ba Mui Ba to drink after the round. Found them in an exotic beer store in MD.

    • Mr. Jinks,

      I was the RF/PF advisor and Revolutionary Development. officer at team 65 in 1967. Went out on numerous search & destroy missions in Sa Dec province. I believe the 1Lt. who was kia in 1968 was my replacement. Do you know his name and where he was from? I saw a little info once, and have been unable to find it again.

      • I was the 1st Lt. team leader of MAT 65 from Sept-Dec 1968. I may have been the replacement for the 1 Lt. who was killed, although I didn’t hear anything about it. Perhaps it was my replacement who was killed, maybe late Dec 68. My XO was a 1st Lt., and although I have a photo of him, I can’t recall his name. My boss was Maj Yaugo.

        • Richard, When were you made 1st LT team leader of MAT 65 in Sa Dec? My father in law was killed in Sa Dec in Aug of 1968?

  46. I was briefly a Phoenix LT then an Asst Area Development Officer (because there were not enough State and AID guys to fill the slots) for 16 months serving in both Sadec City and Duc Ton District, May 69- Nov 70. I am writing a memoirs/province history which I will send to anyone interested and I would greatly appreciate comments/criticisms/additional insights and info.
    Gordon Bare COL USAR (Ret)
    gordonbare@msn.com

  47. I was Tm 65 S1 from Aug 69 to Jan 70 under LTC Lynn L. Lee. Best thing about it was access to the NSA Mess Hall. Most pacified province in the Delta, they said. Uncle Ho’s father is buried there and Charlie had deep roots.

    Rick Gandenberger

      • Sadec. (Officially “Sa Dec”) First town west of Vinh Long, South edge of the Plain of Reeds. John Kerry called it the Cambodian border, but that’s a five hour drive up-river.

        • Loved reading about Sa Dec! Was at 65 from 70 to 71. Was grateful to have made it back to my wife and two little kids!! They were babies when I left!
          TO ALL OF YOU, WELCOME HOME!!!
          ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`
          TOMMY HIGHNOTE, A PICTURE OF SEVEN OF NINE IS SHORTLY ON THE WAY!

          Jerry Zimmermann
          ISG/Ret.
          Encino, CA
          jerrypgr@hotmail.com

      • Sa Dec was a historic province but pushed into Vinh Long Province as political punishment. BUT recreated in the early 60s. I always heard it was a reward to our Province Chief for being the Company Commander who “arrested” the Diem brothers. Also one of our District Chiefs was the Platoon leader who “actually did the job”. (no problem, just get in the ambulance). Also The wha hao (SP!!!) sect has sreong presence and power
        in Sa Dec and had to be placated. The sect chief was our only LTC district chief.

      • Team 65 – Sa Dec ????? My father -in-law was killed in Sa Dec – 8-16-68 by what I believe to have been an IED…Alexander M. Slussear…Can anyone provide first hand knowledge from that location and date…?

        • Susan
          I was a young lieutenant in Sadec when your father in law died. I was friends with Steve Leonardis who waas close to going home. As I remember there was a fairly large operation underway across a large portion of Sadec. I was in the field that day with the Duc Thinh district team. The province operations center was in an abandoned brick factory in a walled compound with an entranceway that supposedly had been searched and cleared for mines before the ops center was established. I was told after the fact that their jeep was entering the compound and the mine was tripped on the right side of the vehicle. My team was told that your father in law and Steve died instantly. The province advisory teams held a memorial service sometime later but I don’t remember exactly when. I am sorry that I can’t provide more details. As a fairly new officer on a district team I did not know the senior province officers. I can tell you that any time I visited Washington I went to the Wall and said a prayer for them. God Bless. I hope this note helps in your search for more information.

          • Dick,
            I am writing a memoir/Sadec province history now at the publishers and interested in the reflecting the perspectives of those there in the bad old days of 67-68. My own time was 69-70 briefly as a Phoenix guy but mainly doing economic development both in Duc Ton and at province because there were never enough State and AID types to fill the slots. Drop me a note if you would since it is hard to communicate on this page.
            Gordon Bare
            gordonbare@msn.com

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