Team 68 Cho Lach-Vinh Long

MACV Team 68 – Cho Lach-Vinh Long.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 68 located in Cho Lach-Vinh Long.

155 thoughts on “Team 68 Cho Lach-Vinh Long

  1. I’m looking for any information regarding my grandfather, Harold Jackson. I was never able to meet him and I’ve been wanting to learn about him, but no-one in my family will talk about him. I’m unsure about what team he served with but team 68 felt like a good place to start looking. If anyone knew him or knew anything about him, please reach out to me I need to learn more about him, it feels wrong to just forget him.

  2. Hello! I’m looking for information about my father in law, Chaplain Alfred E. Brough. He passed away in 2013 and my husband wanted to see if anyone had pictures of the church he built? I really appreciate this! Thank you!

  3. I am looking for information concerning my great uncle,,
    William N La Grone.
    1969 3rd tour,
    67Z50, HHT, 7th Squadron, 1st Cav,
    Also during 1969, 1st Air Brigade.

    He died on August 19, 1969.
    Cause of death was non hostile, accidental homicide.
    Thank you for your service and any information.
    Fred Saunders

  4. Bob Joplin, MACV team 68, Vinh Long, My name David Chandler. RTO with provincial battalion and S2 and TOC at the end of my tour 68-69. You would tell us about being Janice’s cousin..I think. I remember Bob Stattleburger in that crowd also. Glad to find a site finally! David

  5. My father passed away last year. He was then Captain Arthur Smith. He was part of Mat 122 Team 68 in Vinh Long from December 1969 to November 1970. I have photos of him with a SFC Haynes, SSG Goodman, SSG Dyer at the Ba Cahn team house, in 1970. I have another photo of an interpreter Tai, Lt. Gresham, and SFC Kovaleski. Does anyone remember serving with my father, Cpt. Smith?

  6. I havent posted here for awhile. I was a helicopter crewchief at the airfield in the Outlaws and 114th AHC’s . I have made a list of some former AT-52 & AT-68 MACV Advisors. If any former Advisors or family member of an advisor would like this list email me

  7. My name is John Dice.. I was part of a MAT Team from 8-69 to 8-70. in Vinh long province . Question where there more than one MAT team in Vinh Long.. Our team consist of a Captain,, Lieutenant, 11B Sergeant , 11c Sergeant, and a Medic I was the 11B Sergeant . I think the 11cC was SSgt Dye. Thanks

    • I don’t recall the team # or location name. But I took a reaction force in 1969 to try to help a team about 30 clicks east of Vinh Long that had been ambushed. Unfortunately all three guys were KIA. We recovered the bodies of Ackerman, Early, and Wimp. God rest their souls.

      • Mike, I was on Team 68 in 69-70. I was the officer in charge of our “store” where district and MAT trams could pick up groceries. Yes, there were several MAT teams but I don’t recall how many.

        • Our commander had somewhere gotten hold of a 2.5 rocket launcher from a helicopter. and every night he would fire one into the bush… know no if he did any damage with it. but it scare dickens out of everyone around..

          • Do you or anyone know of a medic by the name of jose Lopez. He served in vietnam from 67-71 his records indicate he was on team #68
            I am his godson just trying to find out anything i can about his time in country he has unfortunatly passed several yrs ago and our family at least most of us never knew he was in sf just trying to learn what i can of his heroic deeds if anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.
            Thank you with much respect to all of you gentlemen

            • Stephan, I was assigned to Adv Team 52 in the Air Force MIPHAP Team #558 from Mar 1967 to Mar 1968. During that time there was no Jose Lopez assigned to the MILPHAP Team. During that time frame it was listed as Advisory Team 52. Sometime after I left in Mar 1968 ,Team 52 was re- designated as Team 68. Another thought, could he have been assigned to the Army Airfield dispensary. During that time frame I listed Mar 67-Mar 68 there was a Hispanic medic in the Army at the dispensary, but I don’t remember his name. Good luck hunting for info, maybe someone out there remembers him. Jim

        • Use to take boston whaler from Cho Lach island to store. Moved to Vung Liem and used jeep then. Also remember Minh Duc and Sadec teams.

    • John, our dates in country were almost identical so I am sure your MAT team picked up supplies from my “store.” It was just to right of the province HQ bldg. LTC Tausch was the PSA. I had an NCO who actually manned the facility. I was just the OIC and you know how useful us 1LTs were. Oh, I was also your pay officer so we had to have been face-to-face several times when I would use the Swing Ship to fly out to all the districts and MAT teams with their pay.

    • Found a small card saying I was a member of the Delta Club. Last month was 50 years that I set foot in Vietnam. Glad to say both the card and I survived these years. I always enjoyed my stand downs in Vinh Long. The 6 or 7 days of non stop living helped me get in the right frame of mind to go back out into the field, I needed the rest. LOL Not that any of us really slept while we were laying in our hammocks but it was peaceful most of the time until Charlie decided we needed a rude awakening.

    • Hello. My father was Captain of Mat 122 Team 68. He said he was on a team of five career soldiers, to include himself, a LT, 2 sgts, and a medic. There was also an interpreter name (Thai?). He was in Vinh Long from December 1969 to Nov 1970 I believe.

    • Hi John, I am just curious if you knew a 1sgt by the name of Jerry Wertenberger. He was assigned to team 68 sometime in the spring of 1970.

    • Mr. Dice,

      Do you happen to remember the Captain’s name of your MAT team? My father was Captain Art Smith and I believe he was on Team 68 between Dec 1969 to Dec 1970. Any information helps.

      Thank you,

      Art Smith

  8. I would like to know if anyone remembers a medic on the team last name lopez he was my uncle? Im just trying to find out anything i can about his time in vietnam he was in country from 67-71

  9. I’m looking for anyone who served on Team 68 and who knew (or knew of) the late Infantry Lt. Col. John G. Dawson, Senior Advisor ’71-’72. You might remember him for his stories of World War II in the Pacific as an NCO, and of Korea where he served as an Infantry platoon leader straight out of ROTC. His last duty station before Team 68 was Chief of Protocol, HQ U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter. Prior to that he commanded a battalion at Fort Hood, Texas.

  10. DiAn 68 – 69 MACV Advisory School. DUSTOFF Medic 69 – 70. Team 68 1970-72 initially went to Cho Lach to replace medic who was going on 30 day leave(?) teamleader was Cpt formerly E7. Burned down the prefab house. Joy was pissed. Moved to Vung Liem 1Lt Marty Phelan, SFC’s Hogg/Bass heavy light NCO’s. Spent last year in Province @ TOC. Moved fiancé down from Saigon and rented house down the alley between Church and Hotel (teamhouse) on the little canal. Married by Chaplain on Airfield before departing Jul 72.
    Just returned from 2 weeks in Vietnam. 4 Sons/wives/children thought it would be good 50th anniversary present if whole family went to motherland. From Saigon headed to Cam Ranh to visit relatives and family cemetery. Back to Saigon then headed to Vinh Long. Found the church and still next door is the teamhouse hotel. Old house has since been replaced, but bakery building just before the traffic circle where used to get banh mi ever morn on way to work is still there. No longer banh mi but still bunh bo. Next door now is a fast food chicken place (Jollibee?) that serves great chicken. The old Province HQ (Vn) is now museum and believe our old TOC is still there but in a locked yard (Navy)
    Only names still familiar Charlie Brown (MI) who stayed in Hotel, Dickens, Patton, Rhodes (who married girl from Sadec we later hooked up with in Atlanta).
    Have pics from then and now but don’t really know how to put on here. Perhaps grandson can assist. If not and want to see email.

    • Bruce, I was the Province Engineer Advisor 69-70. Just yesterday, another VL buddy and I were looking at some current VL videos trying to find landmarks. But we were wondering about the hotel. Thanks for the update.

    • I was with 525 MI. My partner Jerry Mason and I stayed at the team house as (guest), I was there 72 until cease fire was signed in 73. The team medic was a good friend. His name was John Scot. Don’t remember too many team members. I remember a Major Miller.

    • I’m looking for anyone who served on Team 68 and who knew (or knew of) the late Infantry Lt. Col. John G. Dawson, Senior Advisor ’71-’72. You might remember him for his stories of World War II in the Pacific as an NCO artillery FO, and of Korea where he served as an Infantry platoon leader following ROTC at UW. His last duty two assignments before Team 68 were Chief of Protocol followed by HQ Commandant, HQ U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Prior to that he commanded an infantry battalion at Fort Hood, Texas.

      Dan H. MBA CGSC LOM
      Major, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Retired ’93)
      SFC Infantry (Discharged ’71)

    • Bruce, I was Phung Hoang advisor in Vinh Long/Chau Thanh, Team 68 in 71 and 72 and I worked with Rudy Rhodes. I do recall a CPT Brown. I was an MI E-6 and I replaced a CPT Fournier. Not sure we are talking about the same people, but I, too, have photos that we might exchange.

    • Bruce, I was Phung Hoang Advisor Tm 68, 71 to 72. I was assigned to to Chau Thanh Distrct which shared facilities with Province, so I had a room at the Team hotel. Rudy Rhodes was Infantry Advisor and I attended his wedding. I was an E-6 at the time, but first day the 1SG, name not recalled, told me to replace all rank tags with US, as VN officers did not like dealing with enlisted. Sr Advisor in Chau Thanh was Jay Scott Noxon civilian USAID. Rudy was Infantry and I was MI type. He was glad when I showed up, as new MACV rule was if one US went on ops, second US had to go. We had some interesting times and when I left, Rudy was still there.

  11. I was with Team 68 in Mar ’70 – Mar ’71. for the first 6 months I was working as Ass’t Leader of a MAT (maybe 9) in Minh Duc. We worked 3 hamlets , one of them near the District HQ. 1 LT Greg (Last name escapes me) and E7′ Smith and Rodriguez were part of the team. That team was disbanded as I recall and I was move to lead a team working hamlets near to Vinh Long “city”. We worked out of the old French hotel for quite some time. My Asst. Leader was Mark (?) and sits Smith and Rodriguez came with. We had a medic Whittaker ? with us who was recovering from an incident with his original team that had been hit hard. Col Joy (Light Col promoted to Full Bird) was our Team Commander. I remember the club very well, many good memories of the “Establishment”. I only wish that I could remember some more names. Our team saw very little action – both good and bad feelings about that. I did come home all in one piece (the “good”) but without a CIB (the “bad) Didn’t mean much at the time, but now I am very active with Veterans groups (VFW, VVA and RFTW) and feel sort of undeserving of the accolades that I receive for my service. I would like to see if anyone remembers some of the men with whom I served. I would like to make some contact if the is possible.

    • Hey, Harry, while you were in Minh Duc, I was your province engineer advisor. By the time you moved up to the team hotel, I had rotated home. Col. Joy had just arrived in country and pinned my Bronze Star on me.

      • I don’t remember you, because I was still out in the field. But I do remember Col Joy. He was an Engineer, as I recall and spent some time in the field reviewing VN bridges. (I ended up as a civil engineer myself working in the Railroad Industry (UPRR & Amtrak))

        • Yeah, I was glad to be leaving. I don’t know that I would have liked having an Engineer full bull looking over my shoulder.

  12. Team 68 – April 1970 to November 1971 (MAT 99 Assistant Team Leader – April 1970 to November 1970 and Assistant S-3/TOC Chief – November 1970 to November 1971).

    • Based on your dates of assignment to Team 68, Mr. Hefner, perhaps you knew (or knew of) the late Infantry Lt. Col. John G. Dawson, Senior Advisor Team 68 ’71-’72. You might remember him for his stories of World War II in the Pacific as an NCO, and of Korea where he served as an Infantry platoon leader straight out of ROTC. His last duty station before Team 68 was Chief of Protocol, HQ U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Prior to that he commanded a battalion at Fort Hood, Texas.

  13. hi out thier, i was around there in 70 71 pulled some duty in civ clothes recall the cicle dam can not spell getting old i guess i lived in compond turiong right from cyc toward can tao small place safety noway can not see to well plase forgive the typing had my e-7 strip puy on thier col. t himself did the honor drinks at roof club hope all is well lee

      • A. McT I would not know anything about that time farm nice to here from some one. forgive my typing I hint an pick age and eye sight Giad you made it back I was in tm43 also in 1964 _65 T^he club had a dirt board at the bar area i became pettey good thanks for the reply live well rto sparks lee

  14. Greetings,
    New on here, was with Team 60, 16th Regiment, August 70 to August 71. Just trying to put the pieces together again after all this time. I remember staying at what I was told was an old French Hotel. Was Team 60 and Team 68 in that same hotel? Was the noisy club I went to a few times located there? I remember there was a separate compound or house were support, resupplies, etc for the 16th came out of. The NCO assigned there had to go back there when the club closed, might be were I was able to borrow a jeep from where I could stay out all night. LOL I remember playing poker with Sgt. Grigsby and Sgt. Frye there. Grigs was with us, not sure about Frye, we all would come and go at different times.

    • I left in late Aug of 70. Team 68 was in the old French hotel with the club on top. I am unfamiliar with Team 60. Team 68 was on the left just before you got into Vinh Long.

      • Thanks for the reply. Haven’t nudged the cobwebs out enough to place were everything was. Only spent 6 or 7 days between assignments in Vinh Long, longest was a 43 day stretch.

    • Yes it was an old French hotel. They called the club the Delta Club. I was with 525 M.I. My partner and I quartered there with Team 68 for security. July 72 until the cease fire was signed.

    • Happy New Year to all,

      Bob Joplin, Team 52/68 here,

      I remember reading something about a reunion sometime this spring. Anyone out there have any details? I missed the last one and looking forward to catching up.



    • It was an old French Hotel. Club was noisy on the weekends. I was with 525 M.I. Group. Stayed there as a “guest” from July 72 until the cease fire was signed in January 73.

  15. During 69-70, your 2 Province Engineer Officers were a couple of your favorites. Rob Sommer was in charge of the club (bar). Only I was better liked than him…..I was the pay officer.

  16. Hello,
    This is Noel Coppedge from Westlake High School in Austin, TX. We’re doing a research project to honor veterans who died in vietnam. I’m honoring Sergeant first class Raymond Alvin Adam. I’m aware he was part of your team when he died on April 21, 1964. He was on his way to Can Tho from Cai Son when he hit a land mine. I understand that at that time he belonged to team 52 but that later in ’69 the team number changed to 68
    I was wondering if anyone knows anything about him while he was there. I would love to see any pictures you may have as well. Also, could anyone give me a summary about what Team 52/68 did while there?

  17. JIM LEE says Hi to all the guygs and hope tomake contact with some one whom I recall was thier 70 71 worked down town in plan clothstrying to account for AM Radios hand type they sure became misplace an misused there.I drove civ ty suv I MADE USE OF THE BAR/CLUB ON TOP OF HOTLE HAVING a hard time typing and seeing forgive the writen.


    • will try again to make contact with someone whom may recall serveing me in 71 recall given a bref. about am radios hand type their use and the respect for correct usage any one here if one was lost getting old can not tpe and think at the same time plase forgive


    • James, I drank a lot of free beer at Penn State playing darts. I’m sure I would have been involved throwing darts if there was a board in the club. I left in December 69, so it must have been put up after that is my guess. I sure don’t recall it.

    • I remember a dart board, it was located at one end of the bar closest to the entrance. If anyone was using it they would have to stop while the bargirls went back and forth from the bar to the area where tables were set up to serve the drinks. I have pictures of the bar area in use but not any with the dart board in sight.


      • Todd, I don’t what I did to push your button but I was an E-3 as well. I sent a reply back to you that once I had finished getting all my photos transferred to disc I would be more than happy to send anything I have. Your comment about my “dog turd” remark was made to someone else regarding something I was blamed for . Chill a bit and, once I get the stuff transferred I’ll get you copies. The photo place I go to gets a bit busy this time of year so I generally wait until after the dust settles and start going back.

        Sooo… have a Merry Christmas.



  18. Trying to locate Jerry Mason, he was with 525 M.I., Team 42, he was quartered at the Team house 71-73. Anyone remember him?

  19. I was a USAF Medic/Surgery Tech with MACV Team 57 in Tra Vinh from Nov’68 till early July ’69 at which time I was transferred to 21st (Casualty Staging Flight) at Tan Son Nhut. A few days ago I received a partial personnel list of some of the neighboring MACV Teams. There is a MSgt Coy Hinkle who appears on this team’s list as well as Team 68. I worked with Coy Hinkle at the hospital at Sheppard AFB from 1966 till the time he left for Vietnam If any of you folks know Coy or know someone who does, it would be great to reconnect with him. Thanks folks and have a fantastic week.

    Bill Presz

  20. Hi im the grandson of Captain Edwin Ackerman and I don’t know that much about him if you knew him could you say something about him and I also want to say Thanks For Serving your Country

    • Stefan, I have been in contact over the years with Leah and Joe, one of whom I suspect is your parent? I just looked and I still have the email conversations with them describing the events on the day Ed was killed. I can share those with you if you email me.

      Mike Paluda

      • Dear Mike, my name Is Kevin Wittlief. Ed Ackerman was my cousin and like his grandson, knew very little about him. Im a old US Marine and would like to know what unit he was with. Was It a Ranger unit or Green Berets or reg. Infantry the Capt was with. No one seems to know. I was about 5 years old In 1965. I use to play with joe but not very often In our home town of Oronoco, MN. Could you help me out please. Thank you for your service…..Semper Fi…..Kevin Wittlief

        • Dear Kevin, that’s cool that you are trying to learn more about Ed. I knew him socially from the few occasions he came in to town and we got to spend some time in the club, on the roof of our team house. We all belonged to Advisory Team 68 in Vinh Long. I was stationed there in Vinh Long but Ed was the leader of a MATT, which was Milatary Assistance Training Team. His team lived in a small hamlet along with the PF troops he was advising. I dealt with RF (regional force) and he was with PF or popular forces, more like militia. So to answer your question, Ed was regular Army on assignment as an advisor with the PF’s. I was on duty and led the reaction force to try and help them when they were ambushed. Unfortunately, we were too late and only were able to recover his body along with his NCO’s Early and Wimp.

          That was a long time ago, may they Rest In Peace.

          • Mike, I want to thank you on so many levels. Thank you for your service and keeping us safe. The Vietnam memorial traveling wall is in Austin MN. This weekend and I went there last night after work. God bless them all. Thank you sir for getting out there to try and help Capt. Ed. Thank you for answering my question. I respect you sir, anyone that puts on the uniform, picks up a rifle and says follow me is a top dog in my book. I hope all is well with you and your family sir. Thank you very much………… Semper Fi…….. Kevin

  21. Hello Vets. This is Specialist Bruce DeLorme MACV Advisory Team 68 Minh Duc District 1969-1971.
    Served with Frank Garcia, Eric Smith, Maj. Kenneth Willouby, Lt. Rivers, One Operation with Capt. Bruce Bowen. Stayed on MAT Teams 37 and 39. Interpreter called Chau. Anyone out there know the area or the men? Also did they use vegetation sprays in the area ? Thanks for your Service!

    • I’m looking for anyone who served on Team 68 and who knew (or knew of) the late Infantry Lt. Col. John G. Dawson, Senior Advisor ’71-’72. You might remember him for his stories of World War II in the Pacific as an NCO, and of Korea where he served as an Infantry platoon leader straight out of ROTC. His last duty station before Team 68 was Chief of Protocol, HQ U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter. Prior to that he commanded a battalion at Fort Hood, Texas.

    • Hello Bruce. My best friend Captain Walter Gutowski was assigned to Team 68 when he was severely wounded on July 26, !969. Hensuccumbed to his wounds on August 5, 1969, caused by a 105mm land mine. I had 2 weeks left of my tour with the 101st. Airborne and received Special Orders to escort his remains home and for burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Walt was serving with Captain Bowen and Major Willouby. His RTO on that mission was Sp4 Rodrigue who received minor injuries. I’m looking for any information about Walt or Sp4 Rodrigue, or any leads that will help me learn more. Thanks.

      • Hey, Wayne. This Ken Willoughby, DSA Minh Duc. Walt was my deputy. Walt wanted to go on the operation where he received his wound. No American had ever operated in that area before. Lots of Viets walked over that one-o-five mine, but Walt’s weight triggered it. A US Navy ship was anchored in the Mekong River off Minh Duc and offered medevac support. From the time Walt hit the mine to being placed on an operating table was about 30-45 minutes. Prognosis looked good. Shortly afterwards we received word that Walt had been transferred to a burn unit in Japan The one-o-five round did not fully explode, but gave Walt a severe burn. Two weeks later, we learned Walt had died.
        You know the drill. We inventoried Walt’s possessions before shipping them home. Inside Walt’s foot locker was a small bundle of letters from a lawyer. “Dear Captain Gutowski, I represent your wife, She is suing you for a divorce. She wants out of the marriage.” Wow…Walt had never mentioned any marital problems.
        Walt’s leg had been amputated in Japan. Infection. I think Walt knew he would never regain his wife with a missing leg and turned his face to the wall and died. SAD, Sad. Sad.
        Walt was a darn good man and deserved far better.

        • Thank you for the information about Walt Gutowski. I was able to get a Pass to visit Walt near Ton Sanut. It was there that he told me his wife wanted a divorce. The classic “Dear John” letter. Unfortunately I couldn’t tell her what I thought of her at the funeral. I think Walt also would have been depressed losing a leg because he intended to make a career of the Army. I severed all ties to his ex and haven’t spoken to her in 51 years. Recently, I decided to locate her and tell her what I thought of her before I leave this world.

          • Wayne, when you tell her what you think of her, add the anguish of his team mates that thought he was far better than she deserved. Women who send a “Dear John” to men in combat deserve a special kind of hell… In the foot locker where I found the letters from her lawyer, was a large roll of dollar bills that I thought seriously of removing and sending to his parents instead. I did not and have often regretted not doing so.
            When Bruce Bowen and I reached Walt, he apologized for getting wounded, removing his expertise in helping me to pacify Mihn Duc (I had been in-country for some 10 days.) That was the type man Walt was, but you know that far better than I.
            God Bless.

            • Thank you for that information Ken. Walt and I were like brothers. 51 years later, I am so angry at her betrayal of him. I’m putting my thoughts together as to how to approach the subject with her to gain maximum effect.

              • I arrived in Vinh Long and Team 68 a few days after Walt did. The senior advisor had already assigned Walt to the “Vinh Long Battalion” as their adviser, but changed that assignment as I was already a Captain and he wanted a more senior officer with the battalion. So Walt went to Min Duc instead and I stayed with the battalion. It was the luck of the draw I guess as Walt ended mortally wounded and I returned home in December 69 to my wife and 2 kids. Have always felt uncomfortable at how this all worked out when it could have easily gone a different route.

                • Michael, there were too many variables that could affect a future outcome. I suffered from survivor’s guilt for a number of years. Even to the extent that I travelled to the Pentagon, met my Army Personnel Branch Officer and requested I be returned to active duty and Viet Nam. The Army must have seen this many times. He politely accepted my request and I never heard from them. Don’t feel like you could have done anything to prevent what happened to Walt.

      • Wayne, my name is Tony Trisilla I am
        Walts cousin, I was almost 13 when Walt died. He was my hero, a man I looked up too, and inspired me to a 38 year military career. I was given his uniforms from Walts wife after his burial At Arlington. I was honored to be able to attend his burial. I HAD NO idea Alexis 😡had filed for divorce! Thank you for the information.

    • Hey, Bruce, this is Ken Willoughby, DSA, Minh Duc. I am still in contact with John River. None of the others though.
      Yes, we use Agent Orange extensively. I came down with cancer from it and beat it. Nasty stuff.

    • Mike
      thank you very much. Actually that was not the book I was thinking of. I did find two copies of the book Vinh Long by Harvey Myerson published by Mifflin Company in 1970. there are inexpensive copies on Amazon, basically old library books, not sure how that happened. I recommend this book to all of you.

      I did find some another account on the virtual wall under Sgt Early’s listing that describes the fire fight when Sgt Early, Wimp and Ackerman were killed. I did a screen grab I can send you if you send me an email or you can simply look it up yourself. It was penned by MSG Murph “Tex” Marrow in 2003.

  22. I am inquiring about E7 Howard Early on behalf of his widow. SSG Early was killed 19 February 1969. Anything of comfort would be helpful, any pictures? There is reference to a book in the above messages. What book would that be? Is it Vinh Long by Adam Nakamura 1970? out of print but available on Amazon. I was a Vinh Long based Cobra pilot with B Troop 7/1 Air Cav from Aug 69-Aug70

  23. Really, a dog turd!
    The action that Captain Ackerman, Sgts Wimp and Early were KIA was when they acted on info that a local VC cadre had come into area to visit family. They went out to try and get the VC when they were ambushed and killed, along with their interpreter. I was on TOC duty that afternoon, Randy Leffler, another RTO, went out with reaction force of the 37th RF battalion. Sgt Early’s body was recovered first, with Ackerman and Wimp shortly after.
    I had the opportunity to pull a few ops with Capt Olson, top notch , all the way.
    Suplizio was arrested when his baggage was being loaded onto an aircraft in Can Tho and a footlocker fell off and broke open. A lot of classified documents fell out, and even though they were for his memiors he was arrested. I don’t know what happened after that.
    And, yes, you’re correct, I’m in California, want to have a cup of coffee, or a beer?

  24. My name is Tony Trisilla, Capt Walter Gutowski Advisory Team 68, 68-69, was my cousin. I have limited info on his time in Nam, and would like to know more if anyone could contact me at my e-mail, that would be awesome. I just learned that he is talked about in a book called,” Backtracking in brown water”. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

    • Dear CMS Anthony Trisilla, look for my comment from July 2014. I posted a link to the book that you mention. Yes, Walt is in the book. The author had me preview the draft before it went to his publisher and also write a comment for the cover.

      Walt arrived to Team 68 a day before I did. The boss had assigned him to the Vinh Long Battalion, but changed that when I got there the next day because I was a CPT and Walt a 1LT. So Walt was sent to the District Team instead. I only know that Walt lost his leg from a command detonated mine and was evacuated to a hospital in Japan. We thought he was doing well there and were devastated to learn of his death, that apparently was shock related. Didn’t really get to know him well since he didn’t get away from the District very often. I have always felt kind of strange about Walt and his death, since the tables could have easily been reversed.


      • Mike, thanks for the info. Here is what I know. I was 7 weeks shy of my 13th birthday when we got the news. I was divested! To say I idealized him is an under statement. I joined the Marines in 1973, I was 17(story for another day). Walt lost his leg do to gangrene, just above the knee. But succumbed to the infection. Walt was buried at Arlington National cemetery section 46 (same section as Audi Murphy)with in 200 feet of the tomb of the unknowns. I have been there 7 or 8 times ( my oldest daughter lives 2.5 miles from his grave sight). Walt’s wife remarried a few years later. We have lost contact with her once she moved to California, I believe her last name is Pelton. Walt’s parents and brother are deceased. His sister is still alive and living in Fla.I am still in possession of all of Walt’s uniforms, his wife gave me all his uniforms 6 months after is death. What I am really looking for is Walt ‘s in country date and his rotation home date. And any info you can provide on his day to day duties. If there is a better way to contact you, other then this sight. Please let me know. THANKS again for your time, I very much appreciate your time and info. Tony

      • Captain Gutowski’s date of arrival into Vietnam was January 1, 1969.

        I was Captain Gallant’s roommate at the at the team house in Vinh Long.. Gallant definitely wanted the CIB. He talked about it almost every day.

        About the book, I read the book. There are some errors. When Captain Olson was Mat Team 7 Senior Advisor, he only had two Assistant Senior Advisors, Lt Majors and myself. I guess I’m the Guy Powers. Captain Olson told me that his three sons died in a house fire in Iowa and he showed me their pictures that he kept in his wallet. Captain Olson was first in his class in both OCS, when he was 28, and first in his class in Ranger School. He was a very brave infantry officer. He was wounded three times during his tour. I could tell you some very interesting stories. The author also had the name of the village wrong. The village name was An Phouc, not Qui An which was across the river.

        There are several other personnel who didn’t survive, Captain Edwin Ackerman, age 30, Mat Team 9, killed in an ambush on February 19, 1969; Sergeant Howard Early, age 36, killed in an ambush on February 19, 1969; Sergeant Robert Wimp, age 35, killed in an ambush February 19, 1969, Sergeant Nguyen Tuan Bonh, age 31, killed in an ambush on February 19, 1969, in My An village during the Tet stand down. I was monitoring the radio when they were killed that afternoon and heard their last transmission from Sergeant Wimp, “Shit hit the fan”. I took over the MAT Team the following day. Kit Carson Scout, age 31, killed in an ambush, August 22,1969 in Vung Liem District, who was awarded the Silver Star
        I remember the team house manager, Fu who had a bad limp from having his heel blown off when he has an ARVN SGT.
        I remember LTC Tausch throwing temper tantrums when there was no hot water in the morning for his shower.
        I remember that most of the senior staff officers were air defense artillery: Major Queen and Major McCrown.
        I remember SFC McKeeg, who suppose to be the marine diesel machine advisor to the ARVN Riverine Group, but the ARVN Marine Group were all gas powered. So McKeeg spent most of his tour in his bunk.
        I remember that the mess hall food was the best food I ever had in the Army.
        I remember Captain Edison, the S-2 Advisor, being medivaced to Japan with amebic dysentery after losing forty pounds in ten days.
        I remember the Australian advisors who were such great and entertaining guys. So many stories.

        My last commanding officer was a USIA officer in charge of psychological advisory operations, Ronald Humphrey. During his five year tour, he fell in love with a Vietnamese girl. He divorced his American wife and married the girl. She was a war widow with two children. They had a child together. During the fall of Vietnam in 1975, he was located in Can Tho, but the children were in school in Saigon. He and his wife were evacuated down the Bassac River to the South China Sea. He was re-stationed to Washington in the State Department but the children were still in Vietnam. He was contacted by a North Vietnamese agent in Washington with the promise to release the children if he cooperated. The agent wanted information and documentation concerning the US promise of financial reparations promised in the Paris Treaty Agreement signed by the United States etc. He was caught, tried and sentenced to ten years in prison in 1977. You can Google it.

        I remember Joplin, the RTO in Minh Duc. He took my money when the Jets won the Super Bowl. He also put a dog turd in my boot the day he left Vietnam. I have the turd and I know he is in California. I live in California. I will find him.

        There is not a day I don’t think about Vietnam or a week I don’t dream about Vietnam. The guilt of I did or the guilt what I failed to do punishes me all the days of my life. I remember every day I spent in Vietnam.

        The best man at my wedding was Tom Trainum, the administrative specialist in the Vinh Long Provincial Advisory Team Headquarters.

        • Yep, I remember LTC Tausch and Ron Humphries. I was Province Engineer Advisor from Aug 69 to Aug 70. LTC Tausch rotated out shortly before I left. There was a full bull Engineer colonel who replaced him but I don’t recall his name. Do you recall Mel Stephens, the Education Advisor?

    • I was a member of Mobile Advisory Team 7, serving in Minh Duc District and had several occasions to talk to Walt when he was the Intelligence Advisor on the District Advisory Team commanded by Major Stephen Sheehy. Walt was one of the nicest officers I encountered in Vietnam. He was always positive and friendly to everyone. I remember when he was promoted to Assistant Senior Advisor after he was promoted to Captain. It was a sad day for me when I heard that he stepped on that mine. I had crossed that same bridge several times. He was very proud of his promotion. I was the Provincial Advisory Team Adjutant when I heard that he had died in Japan. Last year, I gave a Memorial Day presentation at my hospital and I listed those advisors who had died in Vinh Long during my tour and I listed your cousin as one the best officers I served with during this period. You should be very proud of your cousin.

    • I was deputy province advisor (DPSA) in CORDS 68 Vietnam 1968-70. I remember the day Walt Gutowski was wounded and sent to Japan, where he died. I had spent the night with his MAT at Minh Duc just a few days earlier. If you telephone me at (202) 338-6536, I would be glad to talk about that event as well about the ambush on the Mang Thit canal when Captain Ackerman and team were killed.
      Fred Brown, detailed to COMUSMACV from State Department.

      • Hi, Fred –

        My father was Ret. SGM Endel Palgi. After he left military service in 1967, he accepted a position as an advisor for PSD/CORDS and was assigned to Vinh Long, where he died on Jan. 31, 1970, when I was 9 years old.

        Endel Palgi immigrated to the US from Estonia in 1937. His military career began in WWII when he enlisted in the US Army in 1943 and served in the 501st PIR; his first combat jump was Operation Market Garden. He was later assigned to the 504th PIR when the 501st disbanded after the War. He also served as a combat engineer in Korea, served with the 499th Engineering Battalion in Germany, served with the 101st and 82nd ABN DIVs, and served with the 5th and 7th SFGs in Vietnam before he retired.

        My father never talked much about his military service in Vietnam or his work with PSD/CORDS. I remember going to visit him with my mother when he completed training in DC in August of 1967. Also, my mother rarely talked about him after his death and later discarded photos and letters related to his service in Vietnam. Perhaps that was best since I think Vietnam changed him and influenced his choices in ways that would have been difficult to accept and understand at the time.

        When I saw your post on this board, I realized that you may have a connection to my father. I am currently holding a picture of the HDQ 1st BN 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment taken at Ft. Benning after WWII. This photo belonged to my father and was sent with other photos to Charles O’Brien (C/FOD/PSD/CORDS/Saigon) by Woodrow Rickard (AD/PSD/CORDS/DMAC) in May of 1970. A note indicates that “the enclosed pictures were uncovered in the PSD house in Vinh Long by Mr. Brown” and recommends that they be forwarded to my mother. I am wondering if you might have been the one who uncovered the photos in the PSD house and if you might have any memories of my father to share or know others who might have known him in Vinh Long. Thank you.


    • CMS Trisilla,
      My name is Bruce Bowen & I was stationed in Minh Duc with Walt. I’d love to talk to a family member about Walt, however, it’s still hard to talk about. Contact me via below email. Thanks for your service!

      • Bruce, I vaguely recall you. I was the RTO for the Minh Duc District team. I was moved to the Vinh Long Province HQ to serve as an RTO at the TOC there shortly after your arrival, but not before we shared many field operations in Minh Duc with the RF/PF’s.
        Then Major (later to reach full bird) Stephen Sheehy was our team leader–and a good one.
        I can still recall trudging thru the paddies of Minh Duc under very trying condiditions while humping that radio and not knowing what to expect.
        We occasionaly met at the nice bar above the Province team house in VL to share drinks, relax, and discuss Minh Duc happenings.
        I’m glad to see you made it back OK.
        Dan Borfitz

        • Thanks for your comments Dan. I hesitate to write this but here goes.

          I arrived at Team 68 a day after Walt got there. Walt had already been assigned to advise the Vinh Long battalion but the boss changed that because I came in a CPT and Walt was a 1LT. He changed Walt to Min Duc and in turn I stayed in Vinh Long with the battalion and then the TOC for my last several months. And here I am 50 years later, thinking all these years about fate and the cards that are dealt. God Bless Walt.

          Mike Paluda, Michigan

    • Hello Tony. I was surprised and pleased to find you on MACV Teams. Walt and I were the very best of friends. We met at Loyola U. of Chicago. He was the R.O.T.C. Drill Team Commander and I was on the Team. We were like brothers. Our tours in Viet Nam overlapped and I actually got to see him in Viet Nam and we exchanged letters “in country”. Sadly, with 2 weeks left on my tour, I received Special Orders to escort his remains home for his funeral and burial at Arlington National Cemetery. You may have been there, though I don’t recall if we met. I would have been in uniform with a black armband on my left arm.

      I have photos of our days at Loyola, his letters, and of course many memories. I’d be delighted to share all I can. Hopefully, this post will reach you and we can share them here and, when appropriate, in private.

    • Tony, I was best friends with Walt and escorted his remains home and to Arlington. I don’t see your email posted here. Please contact me at Anyone else that I have not been in contact with, who can share any information about Walt Gutowski, please contact me.

  25. You and me both! I really appreciate the bits of information you pass on Mike. I’m relieved when I see another message from you. Hope you’re well, take care. Spc Joplin.

    • I think you’re right Bob. But the more vivid one I can’t remember and it wasn’t Royce. We had just got aboard a small Vietnamese boat and I was lifting the radio off his back when a burst of automatic fire came through the boat. He was hit through the arm and through his chest muscle. Neither that serious but we were able to flag down a Swift Boat for a faster ride back to town to get him cared for. Such memories. The incident is clear as a bell but my aging brain does not do well on names, especially names from 40+ years ago.


  26. Larry Worden, I was SP5 “Personnel/Finance Advisor” at the downtown A&DSL Co.. CPT. Steve Gallant was my immediate boss and LTC Roland Tausch was the province senior advisor. I was there from 1/69-12/69 and remember all of it with pride and miss all of the great guys I came to know and be friends with.

    • Larry, CPT Gallant and I were good friends on Tm 68. Spent many hours together in the club, doing what everyone else was doing up there 🙂 Did you know he talked LTC Tausch into letting him spell me for a while with the Vinh Long Battalion because he really wanted to earn a CIB. Well he didn’t get a CIB for his effort, because he was wounded by a booby trap in the first week or so. Yes, he got a Purple Heart but was very disappointed about no CIB. Steve and I kept in touch off and on over the years. After he moved to Idaho from CA I had very little contact with him but knew he was sick. Then no more contact. I did some checking and discovered he had passed away on 2 Feb 2010. I found limited information but did establish a page for him as one of my deceased brothers on Together We Served. The page is here is the link works.

      Thanks for the recollections. I too remember it with pride.


  27. Any MACV TM 68 members In Country @ VL in 1971 ? I remember riding in a jeep with some TM members after pulling some favors for those guys. I was “The Mad Sicilian” message center clerk for the 214th CAB HHC S-1 Admin section that entire year.

  28. Team 68 members Bob Olson and Walt Gutowski, both KIA, receive some detailed coverage in this book. Very interesting reading.

    • Cpt. Paluda, I was in Vinh Long when you were. Remember that “night ambush” together when I fell-off the “monkey bridge”?? An experience (Tm 68) that I remember like “yesterday”. Good to know you are still with us – best regards. SP5 Larry Worden

      • I’ll be damn Larry. Thanks for posting this reminder of the “fun” we used to have. Good grief, those were some days. Yes, I remember and I also remember breaking quite a few of those log crossings and the troops laughing like hell at me and yelling, Diawi Map, beauceau kilo! I think that meant CPT big or fat and very heavy! Yes, those were some days. Man, I’m getting old. I know I had 2 RTO’s get wounded out with me, and I can’t remember either of their names….and I am embarrassed about that. Thanks for the recollection…and certainly for your service.


  29. Bob, That would be great if you could e-mail those photos. I have a lot of ‘Nam photos, but none of our Team house.
    Dan B.

  30. Hey Dan, I do remember you, though I don’t remember the conversation about Janis (a frequent question when family name comes up). I have some pictures of the building and I think I have a couple that you are in, I’ll try to find them and email them, if you’re interested. You living in New York now? I’m in California. Let’s stay in touch.

    • My memoir will be published by Warrior Publishing out of Los Angeles. If anyone wants to donate a quality photo of the MACV TM 68 house in downtown Vinh Long ( must have the all the floors in the photo from the street ) and a gate shot of Vinh Long Army Air Base circa 1971, you will receive credit for donating the photos. THANKS ! You guys rocked !

  31. Bob, I think I remember you. If correct, you were one of my main mentors at the TOC after I humped the paddies as a raw field and base RTO for eight months or so in Minh Duc District. The TOC was a whole other world with tons of additional responsibilities and pressure, but at least my feet remained dry and was never shot at while there. It was a good tradeoff. And you were a great teacher.
    Being a naive country boy from upstate Catskill, NY, I once asked if you were related to Janis Joplin. You nearly keeled over in laughter.
    Do you recall that?
    Dan B.

    • Hey Dan, I finally got the second disc completed so I’m ready to fire off some pics to you. I thought you had given me your email address but I can’t find it, resend it, please, and I’ll send pictures. I just sent some to Ron Taylor, he was in S2 when we were there. Hope you had a good turkey day.


  32. Rob, Indeed it was a pretty good club. It was like a neighborhood saloon where almost everyone knew each other. All new comers were welcomed and often shared tales. A lot of steam and frustration was blown off up there in a good, relaxed, sort of way among fellow GI’s.
    Dan B.

  33. I was one of the Province Engineer Advisors working in the COORDS building downtown. Lived at the hotel. Was there Aug 69 – Aug 70. I actually had a COORDS Vespa motor scooter that I rode around town.

    • Dan, By “living at the hotel” do you mean our huge MACV team house? If so, I’m sure we crossed paths. I lived there from April thru early October ’69, working as an RTO out of the Province TOC downtown after serving with a 6-man team in Minh Duc District.
      Spent quite a bit of time upstairs at the bar while off duty. There wasn’t much else to do. The chatter was never-ending and quite often amusing. It was great fun in spite of the circumstances.
      I often wonder if that building is still standing. It was pretty sturdy.
      You had a lot of courage to be riding around on a motor scooter over there. Those people were crazy on the roads, always in a hurry to God knows where.
      Welcome home, my friend.
      Dan B.
      Dan B.

      • Sorry so late with a reply, I just saw this. Yep, the province team house was an old French hotel. It had the bar on top. I lived on the 2nd floor. I had duty as the Duty Officer in the TOC. We may have spent some evenings together.

  34. Lost my dad SGM Willie McLeod Jr. S.O.G. R/T Colorado 1-0 / Inducted Distinguished member of SF Regiment 2011 was Robin Sage contractor 2001- 2011. He was related to my cousin Capt. Bernard Hodges whom was killed near village of Dak Wak his last base camp was Tri Dao. One teammate of Bernard’s was a Steve Dratter. There is a letter to the family offering condolences fro senio advisor 1st Lt. Martin D. Gosler. I hope this helps. May God bless you all!

  35. I remember meeting the RTO for the PBR unit, call sign “Joiner” and another person who was either with the PBRs or Seals who was KIA around spring of ’69. Unfortunately, I can’t remember his name now. I went out with Capt. Ruth and the PRUs once and there was a Spec. 4 in S2, David Chandler, who went out with him several other times. Does that name ring a bell?

    • LTC Roland was ADSA, Col Suplizio was DSA. Since you were at PRU compound do you remember Capt. Ruth, he ran PRU ops for the team when I was there 68-69

    • This is Rob Sommer, one of the engineer advisors, along with Dan Goodwin. I was with Tm 68 from June 69 to June 70. The Province Senior Advisor you are trying to think of is LTC Roland Tausch (sp?). As I recall, he following Col. Suplizio, although I was not there during Col Suplizio’s time.. LTC Tausch had an 18-month tour in exchange for being able to fly to Philippines every so often to visit his wife. Fred Brown, a civilian with USAID and the state department was assistant province advisor during my time.

      • Rob, You guys have some memory. The Senior Advisor could have been Col Klink of Hogan’s Heros fame for all I know. And I worked out of the TOC.
        Let’s face it. Our hands were tied by the brass back home and public opinion. We were fighting two fronts. Never a good idea in any conflict.
        Dan B.

        • You’re correct, Tausch followed Suplizio, who left in early ’69. I was there from 4/68 -7/69, worked at TOC prior to Dan coming in, and with him until I left. The club was a great relief, I can remember some of the ANZAC artillery advisors coming up for some of the shows. Suplizio had replaced Rourberg (sic?) shortly after I got to the team.

    • I had more than a few drinks up there myself, Ed. Was the RTO first out of Minh Duc District and later at the Vinh Long TOC from August 68 thru October 69. That bar was a really a nice, well kept, place to relax with fellow Americans of whom very few “pulled” rank. It was almost like home. In fact the team building was home for me after my transfer to the TOC somewhere around June of ’69.
      It was good to get out of the boonies. So good, I extended my tour by two months to get an “early out” from the Army. The gamble paid off, thank God. It was quite an experience.
      Dan B.

      • Hey Dan, I remember you when you came up to VL and started shifts at TOC. I left the team in July ’69. If I remember right you came to TOC when Randy Leffler was transferred to VN Ranger unit in III Corps somewhere. Nice to see your notes. Bob Joplin

      • Dan,
        This is Bruce Bowen…Holy S—!! I served with you in Minh Duc. Jan ’69 – Jan ’70. Walt was KIA’d August ’69. He was Derosing and asked to replace me on an operation and was WIA’d, (later DIA in Japan) by a 105mmmine less than a km from our base camp.

    • Thanks for the compliment. I was the club custodian for about 4 months during summer 69, until the army auditors came through and told us that the same person could not be custodian for more than one fund at a time. I was already the custodian for the province AIK (aid in kind) fund to support miscellaneous projects that the Vietnamese undertook. Also paid Hoi Chanh and third-party inducers from that fund.

  36. Search results for ‘I was stationed in Vinh Long July 68′ – 69 I lived at the Team bldg for a couple days then moved downtown to the PRU compound with Seal Team 1 I remember Gary Shadick the 1cl Seal in charge…’

  37. I was stationed at Vinh Long 4/68-7/69 and worked with 37th RF out of VL and TOC in town. Pulled some operations in Cho Lach with district team there. Have been on Counterparts for nearly 2 years.

  38. Richard I remember going back to tm 84 base camp on W/C for supplies going into mess and was told I had to pay. The only thing I can figure out is we were getting seperate pay for rations and they were not back @ base camp. I guess I forgot about this good thing because I remember being really pissed @ the time and telling someone to GFY!

  39. I was in vinh long 69-70 with the 440th. I have a photo of what i remember the building that MACV- TEAM 68 occupied, we were fed out of dining room after getting kicked out of every mess hall on the vinh long air field, We were a detachment with only about 12 guys total, we operated the beach on the mekong between the air field and the MACV building. Some of you guys might remember us because of the red patches we wore on our pants at knee level. The use of the dinning room had a price. any one remember us.

    • I was RTO with Tm 68 and remember your unit along the beach. I don’t remember anyone from your unit but memory isn’t what it used to be. I was there 4/60-7/69.

    • Good Afternoon All, I am seeking some information on my grandfather 1SGT Jerry D Wertenberger. He was assigned to macV team 68 spring of 1970. Just curious if anyone remembers him.

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