Team 71 Soc Trang MACV Team 71 – Soc Trang. This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 71 located in Soc Trang. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading...
Happy Veterans Day to all! 50 years ago today I was 4 days to DEROS. Anyone remember that acronym?
Capt. Mike Tholl
Phoenix Advisor Long Phu DIOCC. (Another ancient acronym)
Hi Cpt. Bise/Cpt. Dave Wilson.
Date expected to return from overseas service. Remember it well Mine was just about a month from now fifty years ago. I remember your name Mike, and am thinking Long Phu was where you guys always whipped up the canned ham and pineapple dinner for us guys from HQ in Soc Trang when we came to visit, is that right? I was the asst RF/PF working for MAJ Widrig out of the 3 shop. Fred Morris, CPT AR long, loooong time ago.
I think I remember that! We had a VN cook who did all the cooking, how was it? Could it really be 50 years ago?
We always liked coming to Hoa Tu just to get something good to eat!! Only better place was the CIA hoochI on the compound at Soc Trang – just like a real apartment back in the world. Never did care much for the mess hall food and ate most of my meals on the economy or cooked something on the hot plate we kept. I have never again been as sick as I was for two weeks after coming home when my Vietnamese stomach bugs rebelled against hamburgers and pizza!
Day leaving country for home.
Date Expected Return from Overseas, I think? Too many acronyms too remember 51 years later
I agree. It is hard to remember things back then.
I was assigned as the intelligence officer in support of the Vietnamese District Commander of Hoa Tu (Soc Trang Province team 71) in 1971. Left country in Jan 1972. SGT Mack (Dave) and Capt Carbone were there for most of my tenure. It doesn’t appear that anyone who has replied on this site has ever spent time in Hoa Tu, but would welcome a reconnection if there were.
Hi I’m Gordon Gogola. I was a 1LT in October 1969. I took a seven man MAT team to Hoa Tu. It was the only seven man MAT team in Ba Xuyen at that time. We formed MAT 15 at Col. Rodney’s behest. I was it’s first commander and took the team from Soc Trang where we were advising the provincial reaction force, 22 RF BN. to Hoa Tu. I believe we were the first MAT team in Hoa Tu. We built the fortifications around that compound during our first few days there.
We were hit by a force of 500 VC within 2 weeks of our arrival there. Thanks to the Navy and a flight of F-4s. We survived the attack. We also participated in the Battle of Chu Xom. That happen about two weeks later. I’m trying to capture the events and participants in a book I’m preparing about my tenure in Ba Xuyen.
To Gordon Gogola,
Have you finished that book? I’d love to read it.
Please email me: BuckFan234@gmail.com
BTW-Hoa Tu was not a district when I arrived there. The only GVN presence was an RF company, I believe it was the 251st RF company. Captain Ngoi was the local militia commander and there were only 44 troopers in the company when we arrived there.
I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you. This is the first I’ve seen your reply. I wasn’t notified when you sent it.
Our team had a lot of turn over and I don’t remember everyone’s name, but it was generally a 4 man team. The Major who was the district chief’s/commander’s counterpart, me (S-2) who liaised with the executive officer, a medic and an arms specialist (Sgt Mack). Hoa Tu was still a very small town (district?) with no reasonable access to it by road. I call it a district because our direct reporting relationship was to Soc Trang Province and we would back seat the medivac’s that were called in when our outposts had casualties. Maybe it wasn’t officially a district?? (I was young and stupid but nevertheless the “intelligence” officer). We relied exclusively on chopper pilots for support and supplies (and navy jets and gunships when needed). They were the BEST and took good care of us. When I arrived, we were living in the district chief’s/company commander’s home just outside of town, but we eventually built a team house for ourselves next to the artillery pit and helicopter pad. The fortifications I refer to may well have been the ones you built in 1969. There was a company barracked across the street that was about 44 strong. We used gun boats to navigate around the area but the locals kept tying them up tight to the dock and they would sink when the tide came in, so we abandoned them over time. Thanks for the reply. It was good to hear from a fellow “Hoa TUer.”
Thanks. When we’re you in HOA Tu?
It was in Charlie’ s hands when I arrived. You described it very accurately.
Gerry Susko was there with me.
So Charlie kept on trying to retake that compound.
No surprise there. They tried to overrun us within two weeks of our arrival.
Sent from my iPhone
To Gordon Gogola,
I mistakenly posted that I was District Senior Advisor in My Xuyen District. I meant Hoa Tu District. I have forgotten the names/ranks
of those I served with. Can you help me out with this? I apologize but my memory is not what it once was.
I was in Hoa Tu from September 1969 to February 1970 when I PCS’d to Panama.
Hi Gordon, I was there in 1971. Left in January 1972. I think you were there a couple of years earlier.
I was in sock trying Province when Dave Mack got his Purple Heart on his way home. Then Captain Mark Moser and myself for the only two Americans that ended up in watu. We would usually have an NCO there and sometimes they lasted 2 weeks or 3 weeks it was kind of a filling on their way home too. I’ll never forget Captain Hook the district Chief had a one-year-old birthday party in Sauk train for his son what to it was a great party. Stay safe man thanks for a memory
Hey, My name is Steve Gray. I ran the Mess Hall with VN cooks. I left Soc Trang in April 1972.
While Soc Trang was my province town, I was an advisor in Hoa Tu district. I only spent a few R&R days in Soc Trang. Usually at the O club getting shit faced. Can’t say I was familiar with the province town at all. Left country in January 1972. Good to hear from a fellow MACVer. Happy Memorial Day. Safe travels.
We were there at the same time.
So who remembers The Bungalow??? I was the Medic on MAT 108 at Vinh Quoi. When staying overnight at Team 71, I would stay at The Bungalow. Fond memories…..
To John Baum: The reason they changed the number of the team was because the original team was captured and all killed gangland style — a bullet to the back of the head. I was the new team leader, and no one but no would tell me about the team my team replaced. Bad luck, they said. Well, it wasn’t. I found out when I returned, but none of my team members were killed or injured.
When was the team you replaced wiped out? Where did that happen? Maybe I can shed some light on that.
I was in Long Phu District HQ in 70-71, and I never heard anything about this terrible event! Is there any record or official recognition of our guys being executed like that?
I was in Thua Hoa District 68-69 when the name changed from Advisory Team 63 to Advisory Team 71. As far as I knew it was only a name change and not for the reason described.
I don’t know any of those writing I was in Soc Trang MACV Team 71 Sept 71 to May 72, I’m Smokey Hatt and I was a Spec 4 and was the Post Master, assigned as an E8 over the PX and Personal records. We lost a SFC who had 5 children back home and Doc Reynolds was our MD. Things were really hectic as we were downsizing getting ready to leave. I just found this sight
My name is Edward Davis. I was a SP4 there in team 71 from Feb 1070 to July 1971 and I worked as a mail clerk among my many other duties. I even ran the movies for awhile too. Most of the time I was flying around the Delta in our Hues and not flying them just going along and picking up mail and delivering to our out post. Did get some time on the M60 too. I tried to extend again and I had to go. I am glad that I founf this place it is great to read about Soc Trang Vietnam. Hope everyone is well and staying safe. Ed
Hey Smokey I remember you. I was a captain S2 advisor when you left I think I bought your 38 in a little Gunslinger holster. Glad you’re alive and well me too but I’m getting dang old. Stay safe my man
Sorry to bust your bubble Smokie, but you were not in charge of the PX Personal records ! I was the PX NCOIC from May 7o until April 71 and our records were kept, and always were kept, by Saigon PX Hqs Mngt. Just thought I would correct an error…
I would like to find my old friend Cpt. Dave Wilson Infantry advisor who served with me in Long Phu District. 70-71. Pretty common name. I’ve googled him without any luck. He was on his second tour and just turned 21! Sent deep in the Delta after Long Phu. I was the Phoenix Advisor. I found one of my friends, Lanny Bise but Dave. Any ideas Lanny?
Paul I also was in chau hong villiage. Capt Hill a good man. Were you the 2nd LT that arrived in 1970 I was on that team
Paul would you happen to Know Capt Hills full name
I was a Sgt with SMDLC. I DON’T REMEMBER CPT HILL’S name…
Does anyone have a photo of LTC Richard Rodney in combat fatigues or maybe even MG Wetherill? If so, could you please send those photos to me? (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Greg. Good to hear from you. If you remember they made me your roommate Christmas Eve 1971 for a bit. I guess you got all the info on Pierce’s death. sad right after he came back from his Christmas vacation I’m glad he got to see his wife and family I can’t believe he stayed so long in the one spot. Than Tri District was always a p i a. Hope you’re doing well I’m in South Florida ready to move to the mountains somewhere in the Ozarks take care brother
In dec71 @ an observation outpost outside soc Trang, I was in an accident. Dung island was across river. (Don’t know if outpost had a name) I just wanted to thank those men that saved my life. Because of their quick thinking they stopped the bleeding and was medivac to 3rd Surgical hospital Binh Thuy). There work allowed me have a full life. Sorry I am 48 years later. Only the men involved would know this incident. If you were one of those plz contact me. Thank you,Dennis cooley
does anyone remember who the Doc was during 1969/early 70 ? Tm 71, Soc Trang. I ran the PX there and had an accident with one of the team members when we went on the MSR returning his girlfriend home
The senior province medic was an SFC Williams or Wilson ?? He had been in Nam for a long time. Married to a Viet, nice lady. Story was she was a Nurse with the Viet Minh during the French War. LOL Who knows. I was there from Oct 70 to Oct 71, RDC Advisor. Merry Christmas to you all.
Doc Booth was the medic in Long Phu District
His name was WILLIAMS. I was MILPHAP 6/8 1968/69
Did you used to play a lot of pinochle at the club in Soc Trang?
Sure did !
I think we played a lot of games together! Sgt Hodges and Sfc Jackson also played a lot. Hodges was my
SFC Jackson was my NCOIC for 8 months. He was the soldiers soldier. Best ever.
What time frame did you know him?
Did he DEROS while you were there?
That was my past time! My partner was usually my roommate, a black Sgt named Hodges.
He also taught at West point later in the mid 70s I think
He was a ssgt then. The letters I got are from August 71 and September 71. I dont know if he ever went by james. He was from Kentucky if that helps. I dont have much info on any of his service he never talked about it and I can’t find anything anywhere about him
I am looking to see if any knows my dad. His is gearld Ingram but he went by jerry. I’ve been looking for a while to find out what he did in the army. I recently found a letter with soc trang on the envelope and a plaque with team71. If anyone knew him I would love to here stories or what ever you could tell me
The name is a familiar one, but then again, as I stated, I wasn;t a team member. I ran the PX at TM 71 Hqs. You might want to go here, pay attention to what they ask of you, and I;m sure you will get some help…
I was at the MACV compound in Soc Trang from Aug 67 thru Aug 68. Then it was called Advisory Team 63 but was changed to Team 71 shortly after I left.
I worked in the ARVN S-2 and partway through that year our S-2 NCO was replaced with a SSgt Ingram but I’m pretty sure his first name was James. Real nice guy and he was still there when I left.
I checked with my good friend Ray Renois, who also worked in S-2 and he also remembers Ssgt James Ingram. Ray was there for quite a while after I left, so may jump in here with more information but to my recollection, the only Ingram in our outfit was named James.
There were a lot more Americans stationed at the Soc Trang airfield, about 5 clicks away, so maybe someone there knew him.
SIR, DID YOU POSSIBLY KNOW WAYNE GARBER…?
I do not recall him off hand but believe his name has come up in this forum before.
No ma’am. I am like you trying to find people who knew my father and could tell me some stories good or bad I want to hear them.
How can I post a picture or possibly send one to either on of you
Sorry Heather I did not know him. I was in the jungle 95 % of my tour
I was on a mat team south of soc trang. 5 man team in chau hung villiage. spelling might not be right. I think soc trang was our headquarters. My team leader was Capt Hill. I arrived may 1970. I can’t remember a lot but would like to connect with someone on that team. I remember SSgt Newell from Utah. Any help would be great and Welcome Home. Thank You
I left Team 71 in May 0f 1970. I had the opportunity to have SSG Daye Newell on one of my MAT teams. Really enjoyed working with him. He was a top notch NCO. He was an 11B. We were never in hot combat together. He was from Utah and incredibly dependable.
He had one unfortunate incident that I was aware of after I left the team. Thanks for asking about him. It brought back some pleasant memories of a good soldier.
Gordon, Could you tell me some other team members name that served with SSG Newell. I arrived in May of 1970. Thank You William
Absolutely, just on that team my medic was SFC John Deckle, 11B was Sgt. James Porter. I believe he became very ill and may have been sent back to the US early. The XO was 2LT William Ahearn of Harvard. He was a personal favorite of LTC Matney the DPSO. My last assignment there was Combat Police Advisor to the National Police Field Force. That was a force of about 100 member SWAT team group that would raid VC hid outs, camps, and infrastructure. We also performed drug raids.
I was the NCOIC of the PX at the Hqs compound, 8/69 thru 9/70. Got to interact with just about that served there at the time…Nice finding this site
Was CPT Hill a black guy who looked like a linebacker??
I do believe he was white….
yes he did. I think he was from virginia or west virginia
yes he did. he was a great team leader
Played a lot of basketball with Cpt Hill when he came to Soc Trang….
I also was on Mat team. Capt Hill was team leader. Were you 2nd LT That arrived in april or may 1970
I was a Sgt at SMDSLC
Hey Smokey I remember you. I was a captain S2 advisor when you left I think I bought your 38 in a little Gunslinger holster. Glad you’re alive and well me too but I’m getting dang old. Stay safe my man
I was assigned to SMDSLC. I think you were my OIC
1st Lt Naum
Last year (9/17) I visited my Alma Mater Niagara University and their ROTC office. They have a ROTC Hall of Fame and among others such as “Wild Bill” Donavan of CIA fame; there was a plaque for our own Col. Richard Rodney. Among other actions in his career, he was cited for having trained and led the first RF heliborne night time insertion into a hot LZ. This took place during the battle of Chu Xom.
We were across the river from that outpost that evening. Cpt John Susko call in fire support for the outpost until ARVN, RF, and US units could be inserted into the battlefield. VC body count was extensive with over 300 in the wires.
Hello, does anyone know my dad SFC Walker, Edward J from the team 71, time period Oct 72- Feb 73
Any info would be helpful
Mr. Walker I was the Deputy District Senior Advisor in Kế Sách District (Huyện Kế Sách) and served with your Dad. He, MAJ Robert V. Branson, the District Senior Advisor, and I were the last three Americans to serve in Kế Sách District. Your father was an excellent soldier. He was the first of the three of us to leave the District, then Maj Branson, and then me. We also had responsibility for all of Long Phú District (Huyện Long Phú). There were no American Advisory personnel remaining in Long Phú District so we would fly from Ke Sach to Long Phú for military support and operations. Your father was our team operations, logistics, and administrative team member who coordinated our support with the Province Advisory Headquarters for Ba Xuyen Province (Tỉnh Ba Xuyen) in Sóc Trăng. That was MACV Advisory Team 71 Headquarters at that time.
I am also in a search for information for MAJ Branson’s family and LTC Frederick Daly who was the Deputy Province Senior Advisor at that time.
So any information anyone else might have would be very helpful. I just found this site so I am reading through now to see what other information is here.
Welcome Home Brother Warriors.
I was in Long Phu District late 70-71, MI Phoenix advisor. Our team co was Major Tom Dast and Capt. Lanny Bise, and Capt Dave Wilson,Doc Booth, Sgt. Richard Skolnekevich and others whose names I have forgotten. We were Advisory Team 71 reporting to Soc Trang Province Part of our area was Dung Island, called in lots of air strikes there and many operations with RF/PF, dangerous place. I am in contact with Lanny Bise, any one else out there from our team? Love to here from you.
Mike Tholl (Captain MI)
I got to Soc Trang in Oct 70. Cpt Bise was my boss in RD Cadre with SFC Byrd. Cpt Bise soon went to Long Phu and Byrd went home. I spent the test of 1971 alone as the RD Cadre Advisor. If you talk to Cpt Bise, say hello.
I remembered Sergeant Mack he got wounded with a mortar beef just before he left it was a minor wound then I went to want to through the end of 72. Captain stampini was there with Mac Captain Mark Moser was there with me he was the senior District advisor
My uncle was 1st Lt. Henry Rockower. He was in the “MACV Advisers” unit and killed in a helicopter crash in 1970 in “BA XUGEN” (according to AAD archives), which I think is Soc Trang. If anyone here remembers him, I’d appreciate hearing anything you care to share. Thank you.
It was Ba Xuyen Province where Henry died. I was in town the night it happened. Usually I was out in the field advising a Vietnamese combat units. He served as our Adjutant. He was a very quiet and dignified person. Per se, Henry didn’t do any advising. He had a job in headquarters working for LTC Richard Rodney. He handled administrative tasks for the advisory team.
My understanding was that occasionally the headquarters staff such as your uncle were required to ride helicopters at night to coordinate between the airfield staff and the advisory team.
We had two famous gunships in the province. Tiger Surprise and Lucky Strike. Tiger Surprise was lured into an ambush as the VC had recently acquired heavy machine guns capable of bringing air craft down. Your uncle was flying liaison on Tiger Surprise the night it went down. My understanding was the all personal were burned almost beyond recognition. For awhile he was listed as missing in action. That was due to the difficulty in identifying the bodies.
He was well like by everyone who got to know him.
Thank you for the information, Gordon. I appreciate it.
Jon, I knew Henry very well as did many of the MAT team leaders, Brian Conley, Dan Miller, Edmund Schmidt, etc all 1 LTs. I think Dan knew him the best and called him Hank. Although I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday I remember that incident very clearly. My name is Tom Naum and I was logistics officer for the province. I ran a supply ship to all the MAT teams that could not drive to Soc Trang ,the hq compound for the province. I was also one of the 6 or7 officers who was in the rotation to fly night time firefly missions. I could never sleep the night before. Henry was not in the rotation but volunteered to take the rotation of a Captain who had come down from Big Red 1. I remember all of us listening to the chatter over the radio. One of our MAT advisors had led in an ARVN unit to try and recover any personnel off the chopper and he was saying there were bullets flying all over the place. I am so sorry for you loss and extend my condolences to his whole family.
Tom, thank you for this information. I really appreciate it and so does my mother.
The requirement to have MACV on board the light ship started in 1967 after an incident in the northern part of the province resulted in over 80 friendlies killed and 130 wounded. There were two and sometimes three of us who flew so we were flying about three nights a week. Myself, Cpt Carlos Salinas and Cpt Fred Knudsen. Had to be airborne 8 hours a night. Not a lot of fun during the rainy season when there were virtually no land marks to identify the free fire zones. So many years ago. Lee Gilmore, Col, Ret.
Were you the OIC of SMDLC in Soc Trang? Do any any of these names ring
Cpt Conner. Replacement
I have a couple of pics….
Yes Paul, definitely SFC Schultz and Donchez. And SFC Santos (ordinance) and SFC Hodges( finance ?)Was your arrival date the latter part of 1970?
I was with the 1st Cav 1968-69, 70-71 with Tm 71.
You put me in for E6, but Hodges and I had one too many one night and wrote President Nixon a letter with our unsolicited opinions on the conduct of the war and was promptly removed from the promotion list!
Thanks for responding!!
863 860 9224
Tom: I stumbled upon this website and was shocked to see my name appear in your post. I remember you well and recall that we were part of the “magnificent seven”, a group of second lieutenants who arrived in soc trang about the same time in 1969. I knew Dan Miller well and remember Brian Conley. My MAT team 50 was the first team stationed at My Phouc outpost, after the outpost was overrun during the Tet Offensive. Then for about six months I was adviser to RF Group 22 which was the province main reaction force in Ba Xuyen Province. Love to hear from you. Edmundjschmidt@gmail.com
Ed, Since you succeeded me as MAT team leader with RF 22; who became that units commanding officer after Capt. Chuoung was assassinated?
Gordon: My memory fails me when I try to summon up my year with MAT Team 50 and Team 71 in Soc Trang. I must say that I am very impressed with the information you recall in your posts. So bear with me if I am hazy on what I do recollect. I was the team leader for MAT #50 when we were moved from (My Phouc?) outpost to become the advisors to RF 22 in Soc Trang. I don’t recall the name of the unit commander. See if my description sounds familiar. He was an older soldier and the story was that he had been at Dien Binh Phu when it fell to the Viet Minh. He on several occasions proudly showed me his scars/burn marks on his body that he said he received at the hands of the communists while he was in captivity.
While he was a fierce and courageous fighter, he would consume a fifth of Hennesy’s Cognac while on operations and get rip-roaring drunk. He had a vile temper and would scream at his troops, sometimes swatting them with a swagger stick he carried. He was universally disliked by his troops and considered a problem by the Province
chief and the MACV advisors. Is this the same man you are referring to? My recollection is that he was gunned down inside the RF 22 compound by one of his drunken soldiers after we returned from an operation. I think his replacement was an excellent commander and easy to get along with. That’s what I recall and it probably reflects the “fog of war” and 50 years. 1st Lt. Ed Schmidt
so that’s what I recall
Eddie, my buddy from Wyoming, so glad to hear from you. We spent a lot of time together. Still remember the time you took me on one of your LZ insertions! And I still remember the best looking Vietnamese woman who only had eyes for you. I still have a picture of her. My daughters boyfriend, who is a federal agent, found this site when he showed me a comment Brian Conley had posted about me back in 2014.
Tom: I may be sending this message twice since I can’t seem to tell if I am actually logged in but please contact me on my email which I have entered in the reply box provided below. I live in Loveland, Colorado.
Eddy, I can’t seem to find your email on the response
Tom: email@example.com. Hope you and yours are OK. Crazy world we live in. It was pretty crazy for us back in Nam in 1969. Send me an email and I will respond. Maybe we could even talk on the phone. I guess people still do that. (970) 775-3446 Ed
Eddy , I can’t believe it’s been a year since I looked back into this site so please forgive my tardiness. When did you leave Wyoming for Colorado? Any special reason?
Is this the Lieutenant Naum who was assigned in Soc Trang and who was from (I believe) Louisiana? If so, I remember you were always smiling and had that Cajun mojo. I think we may have downed a beer or four together at the Soc Trang Officers Bar.
Former Lt. Ken Henrici–Advisory Team 71 Lich Hoi Thuong District
Ken, I do believe you are referring to our buddy Clyde Hymel who was from Louisiana, loved extremely hot foods and had no problem wrapping pythons around his neck!
Yes I certainly do know Lieutenant Rock her very much so I was only a suspect for at the time but Lieutenant Rock Kerry used to always go out on night Firex missions on the helicopter and I used to go with him anytime he had the duty roster for the night that he was killed he wasn’t scheduled to fly that Chopper so I wasn’t with him and they woke me up in the wee hours of the morning to tell me that Lieutenant Rockower was killed it literally tore me to pieces he was a great man and a good friend my name is Edward Davis and I was only aspect for the time I ended up retiring as a Sergeant First Class
Yes, I remember your father well. I was on an advisory team in Lich Hoi Thuong District and went on ops with regional/popular Vietnamese forces and also was part of the Phung Hoang program. Every 2-3 weeks I went via swing ship to Soc Trang where Henry was in the adjutants command. Had some contact with him.. He was a really good guy, smiling a lot. I believe he lived outside Philadelphia. I remember the night LT. Rockower died. Lieutenants in the “head shed” were required periodically to fly what were called firefly combat missions with Hueys at night. I believe his chopper was hit with an RPG. All flying were killed. Fifty years later, I offer my condolences.
First Lieutenant Ken Henrici
I did not know Henry but did know everyone else on the crashed helicopter. I was a Huey Crew Chief with the 121st AHC. I just found out that Henry was on the helicopter. The link below will take you to the Fall 1970 Edition of the Army Publication called “UP TIGHT.” Scroll down to pages 39 & 40 to an article titled Tiger, Tiger.
The Article implied there were 6 people on the Huey. I searched the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Wall by date of death. Henry was the only person besides SGT Vaspory that died in April 2, 1970 that could have been connected with Soc Trang. I searched for his unit and found this website and your post.
The story had a few errors. The crash occurred on April 2, 1970. The helicopter did not have mini guns but did have the following: 1) .50 cal sub-frame mounted machine gun on the crew chief’s side; 2) twin 60’s on a special mount on the gunner’s side; 3) a hand cranked Honeywell 40mm grenade launcher; 4) C-123 landing light cluster on a swivel mount crew chief’s side; 5) 3 free M-60’s; 6) phu-gas bombs containing C4 in .50 cal ammo cans. Phu-gas was made by dissolving styro-foam in JP-4 until a jelly like consistency was obtained.
The Phu-gas exploded when they took the hit. The Army regulations did not allow the Pau-Gas bomb (home made bomb). I was offered the crew chief position on Tiger Surprise by WO Skusa. I Told him “You are going to take off one night and not come back and I do not want to be with you that night”. The bomb was never authorized. The bomb issue was addressed a month earlier after the 336th AHC (also based at Soc Trang) lightship was blown out of the sky. Tiger Surprise stopped making the bomb for a few weeks and then started again.
Thank you for sharing this information. I appreciate hearing about what happened. I see you posted your message in February, but it just reached me a few days ago for some reason. The link you mentioned didn’t post, so please try again or email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks very much.
I remember Lt Rockower, was a great guy, when chopper went down in our district our MAT Team went out to secure area until daylight. Often think about him & that event
Thanks for sharing that, Keith. I remember him as a great guy, too, though I was only 5 yo the last time I saw him. If you or anyone else has any pictures of him, I’d love to see them and I’m sure my mother would, too.
My Dai Uy certificate was signed by Captain David Whaley. Think he was from Boston area, big Bruins hockey fan. That was late ’71. Are you out there Dave?
Don’t remember where Whaley was from but he ended up as a lawyer in the Dallas/Ft Worth area on the mid 70’s after he got out of Army.
My dad, Ba Hoang Le, was an interpreter in Soc Trang from ‘69-‘71. Would be nice for him to reconnect with some people and to talk about their experiences. Wondering if anyone knows anything about Sgt Coleman as well.
Uyen Le, I was a member of Team 71 from September 1968 to September 1969. I was the advisor to the S5 from September 1968 until March 1969 when I was reassigned to Thuan Hoa District. From September 1968 until my reassignment myth interpreter was a SGT. Is he the same guy as your father?
Did you know my father…Sgt Wayne Garber…he was KIA in ’71??
Victoria, no I left RVN in September, 1969.
Thank you for answering my question. Thank you for your service. God Bless You!
to Mike Devlin. I believe I knew you. I’m Gerry Susko. I arrived in late February, 1969. I was a Captain and spent 6 months in the S3 office running operations and firefly missions. I also started the agent orange defoliation missions. I worked for LTC Thompson in S3 and then went to My Xuyen District as district advisor. I left Team 71 in late Feb, 1970.
Gerry, just saw your post. Thanks, I have seldomly found anyone on this site to correspond with. I was the S-5 Advisor starting in Sep 68 until moving out out to Thuan Hoa District in late March 69 where I was the Dep Sr Adv for a month and then Sr Adv until departing in Sep 69. I clearly remember MAJ Tomkins (Engineer Officer) as the S- 3. I can’t place you right now but I am certain we must have met. John Huber replaced me as S-5.
Let me throw some names at you. CPT Dick Eaton worked with me in the S3 shop. Major Peoples also showed up in S3 for a brief time before PCSing. CPT Jerry Schneider was the Phoenix guy. I cannot remember the CPT I replaced but you might. We had a one week overlap.
I did know John Huber. I loved working for LTC Thompkins.
Gerry, yes Ed Peoples is who I replaced as Sr District Advisor in Thuan Hoa. The Phoenix guy I worked with was Bill Garrison (later MG Garrison). I think I remember Eaton and CPT Rackley took my job in Thuan Hoa when I PCS’ed. Was ‘Doc’ Evans still the PSA & LTC Rodney the Dép PSA during your time. You are clearly helping my memory. Stay in touch. Mike
To Mike Devlin. Mike, please send me your email. BuckFan234@gmail.com
Just to catch up: I was the Phoenix guy in Thuan Hua from May 68 to May 69. Capt Frank Montoya was the district senior advisor and was replaced by Maj. Ed Peeples on or about Jan 1969. Mike Devlin replaced Maj Peeples after I I left. Lt Russell Eno was the XO and left about a month after I did. Russ retired as LTC and was the editor of the Infantry Magazine. I have not been able to track down Capt Montoya or Maj Peeples. Our medic Vince Zizak retired as a Sgt Major and passed away in April 2010 of pancreatic cancer. Our Navy CorpsmanTom Porter died of suicide in 2006. John Graupner replaced Sgt Zizak and is currently living in Minnesota.. I have not heard from other Team members: Spec 4 Bob Budnick, Spc 4 Lee, or Sgt Jim Jordan. The civilian guys in Soc Trang were Fred Bruger and Pat Gorman. I undertand Pat became a high ranking officer in the agency. Lt John Baum worked with Fred and Pat in SocTrang. Lt William Campbell and I arrived at Team 63 later Team 71 in May 1968 Bill was the Phoenix guy in the district just south of Soc Trang.
I was the Medic on MAT 108, at Phu Loc, then we moved to Vinh Quoi. Capt Neil Springborn was my team lead. You can find him on Facebook.
I mistakenly said above that I was District Senior Advisor at My Xuyen District. It was Hoa Tu District
I was the RD Cadre Advisor from Oct 70 to Oct 71. My interactor was was a fine fellow and a I admired him greatly.
I hope he escaped with his family. We had many adventures and he kept me from making a fool of myself.
I just found this page, and the one for the 63rd as well. I was with the 221st Shotguns from Feb 69 to Feb 70 with my first three months out of Soc Trang flying for Team 71 under Captain Bruce Werner. I was Shotgun 33 and I also flew with Lt. Jim Kummings ( Shotgun 32). Jim, as you know, was KIA on June 4, 1969 right after I had lunch with him and I left to return to Rach Gia. Memories of flying for Team 71 … the night the outpost SW of Soc Trang was overrun with several US KIA and two captured … the outpost about 15 miles SW of Soc Trang that had several VC trenches being dug toward the team and in plain sight. I flew over and rec’d the most ground fire from one point in my entire year in the Delta. In May of 69 I was sent to Rach Gia and Team 55. I was quickly introduced to the U Minh forest, the Three Sisters and all points in between. Loved flying for the Advisors!!
Hello, I am looking for someone from MACV TEAM 71 who knew my father Wayne Garber he was an E7 He was KIA 14 JUN 71. Anything you could share with me would be greatly appreciated. I know he was married to someone else and that I have a half brother named John. I only have just a couple of memories of him as I was only 3-4 yrs old when I last saw him. It would bring me great joy to just talk to someone who knew him. Much love and respect for all our Nam vets!! Respectfully, Tori
Tori. I was in the Team at the time of your fathers death. He was one fine soldier. There is quite a story behind his service in Vietnam. Here is my Email. Contact me and I’ll give you my phone nr. email@example.com. I’m in Ohio, if your close we can meet. Your dad was special, you can be proud.
Hello, Thank you so much for replying so quickly. I had almost given up hope of ever finding anyone who knew him. I live in Illinois, near Scott AFB. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My phone number is 618-206-8110. I would love to speak with you and find out everything I can. I am just so greatful to you for answering me so quickly. God bless you!! You can email me a time convenient for you to talk with me and maybe in the not too distant future we could meet. Thank you again so very much!!! I look forward to talking soon.
Respectfully, Victoria Tancredi
I believe my husband knew your father. He re,members his name. My husband is alive and here with me. Am very sad that you lost your father.
Thank you so much Mrs. Penbirthy for answering my post. I have been searching a long time. Any information is greatly appreciated. My email address is email@example.com. My home phone is 618-206-8110. I am retired and home most days. Please feel free to call any time or if you prefer I can call or email you. God Bless, Tori
Do you know about Forces 67 of Team 71? Anyone out there? Am wife of a vet.
As I recall, Soc Trang basically had two good RVN battalion (Regional Forces). They were the 22nd battalion which was the Provence reaction force and the 67 battalion which guarded the American air field and also acted as the reaction force. For a while I was the Advisory team leader with the 22nd battalion (69-70). We conducted many joint operations with the 67th. The Vietnamese commander of the 67 battalion was Captain Sau. He was a great leader. Does that help any? Gordon Gogola
Sent from my iPhone
David, What was the name of the outpost? Was it Ke Sach? Tm 63. Nov 66 to Nov 67.
What was the name of the outpost? I was with TM 63 Nov 66 to Nov 67.
Lee, if you are asking me (David McGowan) about the over run outpost name, I don’t know. As a Shotgun pilot we didn’t learn the names like the Advisors did. For your information, it was about 5-10 SW of Soc Trang.
Were you the OIC of SMDLC in Soc Trang? Do any any of these names ring
Cpt Conner. Replacement
I have a couple of pics….
Looking to make a connection with James C. Wise who was a CPT in ’72 and was a member or part of Team 71 SOC Trang. I have a certificate he presented to my father, then CPT David O. Davis. The certificate is a Mekong Delta Chapter Dai Uy Protective Association presentation to my father as a testimonial to his long and faithful service to our cause.
My father passed away in 2002 from Prostate Cancer caused in part by Agent Orange exposure and complications. I just wanted to touch base with anyone who knew my Dad and to get any information I could
Thanks and with respect, COL (Ret) Brian P. Davis, Army, ’85-’16.
I served w both ur dad david o davis n james chris wise. The certificate was issued to all captaind on the team. Wise was the senior ranking cpt ergo president of the daiuy protection assn. So sorry to hesr of ur dads passing. His nick name was “frog”. O only met up once with him after service in miami fla when he was visitin for two days around 81-83. We were tight when in country. If i rememer u also had a brothet?
Feel free to call me if u like. David harshbarger. 954-552’6377
It is great to hear of someone who knew my Dad! Thank you for responding and the offer of a call!
In all the times he spoke with me; he never mentioned that nickname! At home he went by Butch or Ollie and he had a nickname from OCS; Stubby, but I never heard the Frog nickname!
I would love to give you a call! Would a weekend day (ie Sat or Sun work)?
Thank you again sir and I look forward to getting in touch with you!
I am interested in details on the death of Major Rodger Pierce on 25 Jan 1972. I served with Rodger in 1967/68 in the 25th Division. I replaced him as the Commander of B Company, 2/14th. We were class mates in the IOAC at Ft. Benning following our first tour. I am writing my memories of a military career and wanted to provide details of all those lost in the conflict. Any help would be appreciated.
LTC (Ret) Al Coke
Welcome Home and Thank you for your service !!!
Sometimes I alternate between the blog on Tm 63 and 71 to try jogging my memory. For reasons I do not honestly recall, but the Team number did change during 1968. You may wish to do the same as the then, Capt. David Zeckser and Capt. Lee Gilmore may very well be able to assist in some way as they monitor Team 63’s blog as well. As enlisted, I served from Aug ’67 to Apr ’69, in the S-2 group, under Lt. Michael Delaney and Capt. Salinas. Although this isn’t much help at this point, I feel as though both of these gentlemen, former Capt.’s Zeckser and Gilmore can provide a far better memory to your need. Capt. Zeckser’s contact info can be found by scrolling down on this blog to July 8, 2015. Also, an enlisted Walt Mather may also be able to help. He, too, monitorsTeam 63 Blog.
Hello Alfred, I served with Major Pierce, was there the day he was killed, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to talk with you about Roger.
WOW, this is weird… I was in B/2/14 in Hawaii and with them when we arrived in Nam in April,66. Captain David P. Williams was the CO. Ex-Special forces with a combat tour in Malasia. I left the 25th in 67 and went to the 121st Viking Gunship platoon. I remember helping a couple of senior sargents with red berets. I would supply them with 2.75 inch rockets when thy needed them. I remember one sargent had a pock scarred face and I believe may have been spanish. I left in November, 69.
Good to hear from another 121st survivor, LOL I was attached to the 121st from July 66 to July 67. I was in the 69th Inf Det. I flew a good deal with the slicks. I went back to Soc Trang in Oct 70 to Oct 71 as a Advisor in team 71. What a change that was. I was the Rule Development Cadre Advisor. Take care man, good to hear from you.
Not sure if we crossed paths, I was the Phoenix Advisor from Nov. 70 to Nov. 71 in Long Phu District. Pretty quiet by that time. I worked with Dave Wilson, Lanny Bise, Major Dast, “Doc”Booth, Richard Skolneckovich, only bad area was Dung Island. We’re you in Soc Trang or one of the Districts?
Michael Tholl (Captain)
I worked out of the Province Team in town. I worked a month or so with Cpt Bise to learn RD Cadre before he went out to the District.
He is a fine officer and I respect him a great deal.
Each Rd Team had an Intell team in it. We provided a lot of information to the Province and the PRU’s worked some of it.
I served as the District Senior Advisor in My Xuyen District next door to Thanh Tri District where Major Pierce was killed. I recall his death that day. The story was that he had just returned from R&R with his family in Hawaii when he was on an operation with his Vietnamese counterpart. They had traveled on a boat up and down what I believe was the Red River. The Vietnamese officer made the mistake of traversing the river too many times and was ambushed. Advisory Team 71 held a tribute for Major Pierce either that evening or the next day. We suffered very few casualties during my year there and the loss of Major Pierce was felt by all of us.
Greg. Good to hear from you. If you remember they made me your roommate Christmas Eve 1972 for a bit. I guess you got all the info on Pierce’s death. sad right after he came back from his Christmas vacation I’m glad he got to see his wife and family I can’t believe he stayed so long in the one spot. Than Tri District was always a p i a. Hope you’re doing well I’m in South Florida ready to move to the mountains somewhere in the Ozarks take care brother
Don’t remember the names of all those islands, so many. We did have several RDC teams on them. One was way down at the end of that maze, couple clicks from the Sea. Was always interesting getting in and out of there by boat. The Seabee’s were working there building a school and dispensary. They flew in and out and got all there supply’s by chopper also.
Yes, I worked with Lanny Bise for about 6 months! I left VN before he did. I think he has been a local city official in North Carolina..
Can’t believe I just found this site!
Did you ever go to Dung Island across the Bassac? Supposed VC R&R site.
SFC Gaddis. RDC Advisor Oct 70 to Oct 71. Passed by your front door may times in the Boston Whaler on the way to inspect our teams. Did you know Cpt Bise ? Don’t recall the District he took over. I worked with him in RDC for about a month before he went to a District. Learned a lot from him, damn fine officer.
I was in Long Phu District, Phoenix Advisor Nov. 70- Nov.71.
Captain Mike Tholl MI
Anyone out there, Major Dast, Dave Wilson, Sgt. Skolneckovich?
Captain Toholl, I just found this website. It’s good to hear from some of the old team members. I’m doing well, living in Fort Worth, Texas. My email address is: email@example.com. Ran across some old pictures, if you send me your email address I’ll try to send some to you. CSM Richard Skolnekovich, Retired.
Wow! I tried to find you numerous times! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a rare book business. Living in SE Massachusetts. Found Lanny Bise. I’ll give you his details . No sign of Dave Wilson.
I sent you via email Lanny Bise’s contact information. Hope you got my previous response on this site. Sometimes its not so easy to navigate. 50 Years Ago, can you believe it? Look forward to hearing from you.
Mike Tholl (Captain) Phoenix Phuang Houang Program, Long Phu District, Soc Trang, Ba Xuyen Province, IV Corp, MACV, South Vietnam. 70-71 What a title! email@example.com 508-728-0435. Keep in touch.
Bill, Thanks for responding. What were the circumstances of the Major’s death? Gordon
For those who remember William ‘Bill’ Simmons, web site reports his death injured Savannah, GA in January, 2016. I remember him as a man of great integrity and honesty. A real pro!
Mike, would you possibly have a link to the web site on which the report you mentioned is posted.? In addition, I am wondering whether you recall another State Department officer named Dick Rosenberg who, as I remember it, was Bill Simmons’ deputy?
Helping my dad out here.
Thanks much, Brandon!
John V. Baum
John, sorry, I did put the link in but it did not ‘take’. Anyway, my son helped me and re-posted it. I can’t quite understand how this web site works as, once I post there seems to be a day’s delay in seeing it. I do not remember Dick Rosenberg. When I arrived, LTC McCray was thePSA and Simmons was his Deputy. By December 1968, Simmons was the PSA and LTC Dick Rodney became the Deputy. Simmons was gone by July 1969 and Doc Evans became the PSA.
I finally have a converter for converting my 35mm slides and hope to share those in the near future.
Sorry, guess I can’t post a link here. If you Google “William Simmons obit Savannah” it will be the first one that comes up.
John, did you see Brandon’s post ref finding the infor for Bill Simmons? I am really not very good with web sites and did not realize the caveat of the web site against posting refe to other sites. I finally am able to convert my 35mm slides and am now trying to figure out how to allow my fellow ‘ancien combattants’ access to viewing them.
“Ancien Combattants.” I served as the Phung Hoang advisor in My Xuyen District (lived in Soc Trang while serving in My Xuyen) from about February 1971 through April and then transferred to Can Tho to be Phung Hoang legal advisor. There was a lieutenant in Soc Trang whose French was good, and I wonder if that might have been you as I have been unable to retrieve the name out of my remote memory. If it was you, I have a photo taken on a Sunday afternoon while exploring a Cambodian village – nothing important or notable, but a moment out of the past that you might like to see. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 210-771-5226.
I would also like to have information about my My Xuyen interpreter who was a friend as well as an associate.
To all those who served inTeam 71 in 1968 and 1969, I am hoping we can continue a dialog but after a flurry of activity in 2016 – 2017 I have not seen many posts for quite a while. I recently found quite a collection of photos and comments from 1LT Kelly who, I believe was at Thuan Hoa District either after or just prior to the time I was there (Mar-Sep 1968). The information is on the RVN War site at Texas Tech.
Hi Mike: Good to hear from you again. Hope all is well and you and family are keeping safe. Who would have imagined after all these years we would be facing this pandemic. Lt Kelly was my replacement in Thuan Hoa. He arrived in May of 1969. I visit Thuan Hoa on Google Maps, But I hardly recognize the place and all the names have changed and are in Vietnamese. Stay safe.
Mark, great to hear from you again and yes, this COVID19 business is really something beyond imagination. I have to tell you that my memory is really getting worse and I am getting confused the Lt Kelly(s). I know that the DIOCC guy in Thuan Hoa when I arrived was, I thought, Lt Kellstedt; who we called Kelly. However, after looking at the pictures he posted on the Texas Tech website; he doesn’t look like the guy I remembered.
Anyway, I am still looking for anything on the members of the team that were there during my time as Dep DSA and then DSA after MAJ Ed Peeples departed. Of course I am also trying to contact anyone from the Team 71 HQ during the first half of my tour (SEP- MAR 1968-69).
Thanks again for the reply and stay in touch and stay safe.
Lt Eno and Lt Clark. Mark, I googled and read the article about lessons learned for successful advisory work whether in Vietnam or in the Middle East, or in the time of Lawrence of Arabia to current conflicts. It was interesting. When I have talked of issues affecting returned veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan, I’ve said I thought it must be much harder for them with their multiple rotations in and out of those areas. And every time they have told me that they thought Vietnam was much worse. I find that interesting. I would love to see photos. I don’t have many, but I have one with Lt. Eno getting a shower under the broken rain gutter, in back of the house during a monsoon rain, which is amusing. Think of all the 5-gal. cans of water that we had ferried out to us for drinking, cooking and showers.
Hello John, was w/Team 71, Than Tri District. 71/72 w/SFC Paul Manuel and MAJ Roger Pierce who was killed 25 JAN 72 down by Gia Hoa village. Colonel James Turner was Ba Xuyen Province Senior Military Advisor
Hello John Graupner,… I have gotten my old 35mm slides out of storage. I came across a picture which I believe is you, along with Maj Peeples , and SFC Jordan. I have been trying to get my 35mm slides converted to jpeg files but it is rather expensive. However, my old slide projector still works and I just took a picture of the projection with my i phone. The picture quality is pretty good, but I could not read your name tag. My email is: mwclark7@gmail,com. Send me your email or phone number and I will send you the picture so you can confirm. FYI for John Baum I came across a picture of You, Pat Gorman, Fred Bruger , and Bill Campbell. Keep in touch…. Mark
Mark. I went thru basic n ocs w bill campbell.saw his photo in team book when i got there late 71. Been tryin to find him ever since. I know he was from wpb area in fla. Any clues?
I also rememer john ditmore. He was in than tri when i was in soc trang.David harshbarger
Hi John Graupner. I am trying to put togeather and convert my 35mm slides to jpeg files. I think I have a picture of you and Maj Peoples, and Lt Kelly. Mike Devlin or Russ Eno can possibly identify Lt Kelly( my replacement).Send me your email address and I’ll send you the pictures. I can definately identify Eno, Montoya, Jordan, Zizak,Porter, and I believe Budnik.
My father SFC Peter Maccini Jr.showed me many 35 mm pictures of the hootch and three guys under a rain gutter taking a shower and more. He was MACV ADV TM 71 during MAY 69- MAY70. Does anyone still have information to share about his time there. He passed on in 2014. I was a proud ARMY brat and enlisted Air Force 1982..
Hi Russ… Great to hear from you. I stumbled on this website 2 years ago. Heard from a lot of people that followed us and it was great to hear from them.
I googled you a few weeks ago and read your article in Infantry Magazine. Once I saw that John Graupner had answered on this website I knew that we had made a connection and some of the old Thuan Hoa Tigers were still alive.
Sadly, Tom Porter a great navy corpsman and a great humanitarian took his own life a few years ago. I always thought he would have become a great surgeon.
Vince Zizak, and outstanding medic and great soldier retired as a Sergeant Major. He died of pancreatic cancer several years ago, and is buried at Arlington.
I have not been able to track down Cpt Frank Montoya. I still remember Cpt Montoya after all these years as the person who taught me everything I know about being a survivor. If I am ever in a tough spot, Frank’s words of encouragement and advice still echo in my mind. To this day whenever I travel I still remember his advice to carry a map and know exactly I am.
This Memorial Day I will be joining my co workers in placing flags at Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery.I will remember all the great guys that did not make it back.
I still need to go through my 35mm slides to get them converted to DVD. As soon as I do I will send them to you and John.
So keep in touch and great to hear from you.
Lt Clark, I accept that My Tu must be Thuan Hoa, expecially since Lt Eno spoke of the MAT team at Tam Soc. I was there at that time and remember getting the radio calls from them and us connecting with Soc Trang. It was, as I recall, mere chance that we had not yet signed off. I also recall the feeling of helplessness–so close, yet so far–nothing we could really do, except stay on the air. Finally, but too late, the aircraft with the miniguns, (Puff the Magic Dragon?), hosed down the place with red fire. A very sad time.
Bill Simmons was a great PSA. He received LTCOL McCray who I did not get along with at all. MILPHAP N6/8 MACV 63/71 JUNE 68 JUNE69
I was supervisor of HM2 TOM PORTER. He was an excellent corpsman.
Lieutenant Eno, It is great to see your post and it is great to recognize another name. My memory is so bad. I think I have mistaken a Lt. Kelly for you. I don’t know who Lt. Kelly is now.
Great web site!
I arrived in Thuan Hoa District as a 2LT in June 1968 and worked for CPT Frank Montoya as his deputy district advisor. We were LT Mark Clark, MI officer, brave, good man; SSG Zizak, medic; Tom Porter, Corpsman, a good decent man. Worst point in my tour was when our MAT team got overrun down at Tam Soc. 1LT Rick Bowers and SSG Arroyo (medic) were captured but later died of wounds. SFC Anderson and SFC Freidman (SP?) died at their positions in the mortar pit after firing up all their ammo. We were working a deal with LTC Rodney to swap captured VC Mausers for 2 M-60s; he got the rifles but the M60s never materialized in time. I recall LTC McCray as a good and decent man of extraordinary courage. John Graupner and Bob Budnick made the team work. Brave, smart Soldiers. Bill Simmons was a bright light as Province advisor. Foreign service officer, fluent in French, he lent dignity to a bunch of grunts.
Russell, I was Shotgun 33 and flew over the team house after the overrun the next morning early. I also overflew the operation that same morning to hopefully get Lt. Bowers and SSG Arroyo back. I think I was the last to see them as I witnessed two shirtless and tied caucasians being forced into a sampan just South of the Team. Never got to see where they were taken as they were lost under a tree canopy on the canal. Horrible feeling for me.
I replaced Lt. Rick Bowers, but never met him. He was killed a few days after I arrived in country, and was told at MAT team was captured, but the Lt. and the medic hadn’t been found yet. But a few days later, they were. Would you have any more information on Bowers, or a picture? If not, do you know of a way to get more information? Thank. Tom Mahon Email: email@example.com
SFC Anderson was my dad. I happened upon this website while doing some searching on his name. I was looking for soldiers that knew him.
Thank you Mark. I noticed UBND huyen My Tu, on road TL930, WNW of Soc Trang, for the position of the bridge, the confluence of canals and the amount of vegetation along the canals. I hadn’t noticed what might be our house. But I am still not convinced. So many roads and new houses and large buildings have been constructed. I tried to imagine parachuting ammo in for the artillery. And picturing the rat trapper pushing his bicycle over the bridge with his catch strung out as he headed off to market. There is a Thuan Hoa near the road TL 1A going from Soc Tang NW to Can To, but it has no resemblance to what I remember.
road QL 1A
On Google Maps it looks like the name is My Tu. A lot has changed but I remember the intersection of the two canals and the bridge going to the village. Our old house looks familiar.
John, Thuan Hoa is wnw from Soc Trang. But remember that is the old GVN District name and may have been re-named after 1972. I have a picture of the map somewhere. Will try to find it and send. Mike
Can anyone clue me in on where Thuan Hoa is? I have been scouring satellite maps/imagery and cannot find anything that looks the way I remember it.
Re: Bernard Kline. Thanks for news of Tom Porter. Could you describe him a little? Was he fairly tall? Do you remember the approximate month he was assigned to or left Thuan Hoa. A tall order, I know, because my memory isn’t worth beans.
Mike Devlin, I think I’m beginning to understand. Mark Clark can clarify, if not. Mark’s replacement was Lt Kellsdt. Lt Kelly was already at Thuan Hoa with Mark and Capt. Montoya. Sp4 Budnik was there, and SSG Perez. I thought we were a great team. Budnik and I were playing catch with a baseball one day and he dislocated his arm. I couldn’t reset it so we medivac’ed him out for that. The first navy medic I met was a bit chubby and quiet. I just don’t remember him well. Huynh Suh and Miss Nguyet were the girls. Huynh Suh sent me a letter admonishing me for giving them a present when I left, because they couldn’t give me something of equal value. I am so happy and relieved, really, that she would marry SSG Perez, because I was so concerned about what might have happened to them after the North VN takeover.
I meant to write. Lt Kellstedt….. missed a couple of letters.. The implication is that I confused Kelley and Kellstedt.
John, thanks for clarifying the names and giving me the names of the house girls. I don’t know which one Perez married but I think the older of the two. I do not know Lt Kellstedt he apparently was gone ong before my arrival. By the way, you may want to check out Team 63 on this web as I found that the number was changed in August of 1968 from 63 to 71. No one seems to know why. Stay in touch. Mike
Mike, I don’t recall Vince Zizak. He, the medic, had left before I got there. Tom Porter rings a bell. I worked with two different navy medics and I think Tom was the second. We set up a number of MEDCAPs with our counterparts, which I thought went really well, especially after the road was built and we had means of carrying supplies
I was on MILPHAP N-6 with HM2 Thomas Porter USN June 68/69. He is deceased of suicide in 2006. He was married to Judith Ann Porter and lived in E. Lansing, MI. Sorry for the bad news. I was his supervisor and supervisor for all the navy medics in the districts during that period.
John Graupner, no , you have me confused with LT. Kelly who was the DIOCC officer. I have several pictures also but are unfortunately in 35m slide format and i need to get them converted. You probably don’t remember me because you departed for the 9th Div within about 20 days of my arrival from the Team HQ in Soc Trang. I remember you well because MAJ Pepples was getting ready to depart shortly and the Team Sr NCO was PSG Everette Turnbow (I screwed up his name in my last response to you) was also a recent arrival. So you are the guy that really introduced me to Thuan Hoa and we went on a couple of ops together just before your departure. I was impressed by your knowledge and no nonsense attitude.
Yes, SP4 Budnik was the radio operator. There also was a Hamlet Security NCO who I think was a SSG Perez?? I later ran into him at Fort Rucker. He had married one of the house girls (the older sister) that used to clean our quarters.
PSG Everette Turnbow, replaced Sgt Perez….? That name seems to be back in the shadows of my mind. He was a real asset, but I have to say, when he first came out to Thuan Hoa I had a reticence to accept him after Sgt Perez. He was just in the business of taking on the role and fitting in, but I guess I wanted Perez’s clone. Turnbow and I never had an argument or said nasty things. It was in my subconscience, because one night I had a terrible nightmare about Turnbow and me. In the dream I yelled at him and slugged him in the face. I was surprised and embarrassed to wake myself up, and the whole team, and the District Chief and everyone else. My knuckles were pretty sore from hitting the cement wall. But from that point on I really enjoyed working with him.
Michael, I confused you with Lt Russel Eno. Kelly, I think, is a nickname for Lt Kellstedt. I know Kellstedt because I have a letter he sent on behalf of the two girls, and I know he was Lt Clark’s replacement. I don’t know if this is crazy or what, but my time in Thuan Hoa was the best of my 18 months in Vietnam. Although I am getting some memories back. it is a personal disappointment not to remember more.
Hi John: Did you replace Sgt Vince Zizak as the medical advisor ? Also do you remember Tom Porter ? He was a Navy Corpsman attached to the Thuan Hoa Team.
See my previous note above. Tom Porter died of suicide in 2006.
My name is John Graupner. I was placed as medical adv. in Thuan Hoa from late Jan. to mid July ’69. I’ve forgotten everyone’s names from back then, but I do recognize Lt Kelly, Lt Clark, Capt Montoya and Maj. Pepples. I never imagined there was a site like this.
To John ‘Doc’ Graupner. Wow, finally I have found someone from the Thuan Hoa Team that I remember. I came to the Thuan District Team shortly before you transfered to the 9th Div. I was MAJ Ed Pepples deputy for a short period and then I became the District Sr Advisor when he DEROSed. I clearly remember being on a couple of ops with you. I have been looking for people that i served with like you and SP Budnik, and LT Kelly and PSG Elliot Turnbough. I unfortunately lost my list of all the rest of that team. Great to hear from you! Mike Devlin
Michael, were you a 1 Lt, blonde hair and did a lot of ops? Was Budnik a radio operator, or what? I have pictures but no names to go with them.
Certainly would love to join all of you tomorrow, but I’m currently undergoing Chemo Therapy and not yet up for travelling. Best Regards to all of you. If anyone would like to contact me, you have my email address. Chemo treatments should be over in February. Gordon
Yes. I do remember John Huber. I seemed to recall that he was promoted to Captain while in country. I do remember him in the S-5 role. He seems very effective in that role. Did you know Don Lapes (1LT)? He also worked for Max Sanchez at the Provence Reaction force. Don was actually poisoned by a VC infiltrator at our unit. If you’d like more details let me know. Good to hear from you.
Gordon, I did not depart from Soc Trang until Sep 1969. I certainly remember LTC Rodney and Doc Evans with the greatest of respect. Did you know John Huber? He was working as the S-5 Advisor after I left for Thuan Hoa in April. Mike Devlin
I was just reviewing the earlier postings. I want to let you know that the MACV Team 63 reunion is now firmly scheduled for 10:00 Nov 7, 2015 in Windermere, Fl., near Epcot.
The address is 12821 Water Point Blvd- Windermere-34786. You seem to be in the circuit with the guys from the MAT Teams. Please spread the word to them and give them my contact information. David Zeckserfirstname.lastname@example.org Tel:4077580820.
Gordon Gogola here. I was in Advisory Team 71 from June 69 until May 70. My first assignment was working with Lien Doi 22 -provincial reaction force. Max Sanchez was the team leader. LTC Richard Rodney was the deputy province senior advisor. I remember Doc Evans well as a man of integrity.
I took the first MAT team into Hoa Tu. We had an 8 man team and it was wild and woolly. SFC John Jackson was my Senior NCO. For those of you who don’t know it. He went to Saigon to take the E-7 test and finished first in MACV. His stripes were waiting when he returned.
Good to see Brian’s name. We worked together in Thanh Tri with LTC Ninh. It would be great to hear from any of you.
The MACV Team 63/71 reunion is firmly scheduled for 10:00 am Nov 7,2015 at: 12821 Water Point Blvd-Windermere, FL. 34786. Please spread the word to the guys you know in the MAT teams attached to MACV Team 63/71 at the time, they are all invited. The location is near Epcot Center. Also, wives are invited. Food and drink will be provided and catered.
Further details will follow.
David Zeckseremail@example.com tel: 4077580820
If you were in Thanh Tri anytime between June 68/69 you may recall HM2 WESLEY P. MILTON from Erie, Pa. He was honored by the U.S. Army with and Army Bronze Star for heroism under fire in the most dangerous district in Ba Xuyen Province. I spent lots of bad hours there! I was his supervisor stationed in Soc Trang MACV 63/71 JUNE 68/69
I was in Thanh Tri on MAT-108 68/69. We started training a PF platoon in Phu Loc, and then moved to Vinh Quoi. Spent a night or two at The Bungalow
Hello Gordon, I was on Team 71 Than Tri District 71/72 with SFC. Paul Manuel and MAJ Roger Pierce who was killed 25 Jan 72. I was a SSG at the time. COL James Turner was the Province (Ba Xuyen) Senior Military Advisor then.
Hello Gordon, I was on Team 71 Than Tri District 71/72 with SFC. Paul Manuel and MAJ Roger Pierce who was killed 25 Jan 72. I was a SSG at the time. COL James Turner was the Province (Ba Xuyen) Senior Military Advisor then.
Who was the District chief when you were there? When I was there it was LTC Ninh. He was President Thu’s first cousin and incredibly corrupt. If you wanted an artillery barrage you had to pay for it. How was Maj Pierce killed?
Our team leader was a very strange bird. At one time he ordered me to go on an operation unarmed. I refused the order and left the very next day from Thanh Tri to go to Soc Trang and become the combat police advisor.
Hello Gordon, Major Pierce was killed during a 5 day operation in the vicinity of Gia Hoa village – was in a sampan, got ambushed. Really great guy, learned a lot from him.
Hello SSG Ditmore….hope all is well. Served with you, SFC Manuel, MAJ Pierce. Left in ’72. Always wondered if I’d ever possibly get in touch with you or Paul. CPT Smith…..
Hello Dai Uy, thought a lot about you over the years, considered you a great friend. As I recall, we shared a lot of laughs. Hope you’re doing well. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org . Ever hear from SFC Manuel?
Hello…my father was on team 71 until his death in Jun 14, 1971..Wayne Garber. I am looking for folks whom he served with. I have found one gentleman Bob Gaddis that knew him briefly. If you knew him please contact me. I would like to find out more about him and his service.
I read through all of these posts for the first time, as well as the posts for Team 63, earlier this morning. As Mike Devlin implies in his own post, the Bung-a-low was, for all practical purposes, a bordello. There was a similar establishment just outside of the fencing surrounding the compound and adjacent to LTC James G. McCray’s offices and residence. The PRU advisor was, in fact, a SEAL whose name was Swede McPherson. He was preceded by William F. Goines, the very first person of color to become a SEAL, who retired as a MCPO and who recruits on behalf of the SEALS to this date. LTC McCray, a 1948 graduate of the USMA is, I think, still living.
John, just saw your post. When were you with Team 71? Mike Devlin
Good recall! However I disagree the the Bung-a-low was a “bordello” I had the pleasure of volunteering to run rip shod over all prostitution establishments in Soc Trang from June 68/69. I could never pin anything on the Bung-a-low. But I made sure most of the houses of ill repute were “clean” by payday. I had photos of every girl in the houses and they could not work without a pelvic exam that I did myself at the hospital and a negative culture. No compliance from the mama san and I called CanTho MP’S and they were placed off limits. It worked well. I reduced VD in Soc Trang by over 90% and was awarded the Nave Commendation Medal for my efforts. On the other hand I still worry about all the IUD’S I put in for my girls to avoid unwanted pregnancies. What kind of care did they get after the fall of the South?
I recall Swede well and contributed pictures of him for the reunion last year. He hosted great parties at the PRU hooch at the back gate. Can’t recall William F. Goines except perhaps by reputation.
LTC JAMES G. MC CRAY is alive and well in AZ I think.
The Bung-a-low was so named for a reason. They weren’t selling fortune cookies in the little back rooms, as I am sure many of our compatriots would tell you were they put to the question!
What was your verdict of Liz’s place (approx left of the rear bunker) ?
I think that may have been in the 10% that “got away”. LOL
I was a member of mat 14 from August 1970 to May of 1971. Served with two Sfc with last name of Jackson and our medic had last name of Picou.I was First Lt. Would like to hear from anyone.
Just found this site in my search for what was then Thuan Hoa village, which does appear to be located just east of My Tu where two canals come together. I was the counterintelligence advisor (with “US” on the collar) on the Thuan Hoa team from August 1970 to June 1971, and then did a short assignment in Soc Trang after that. I remember you and the two sergeants – especially the colorful Picou – and the dog. Our team was led by Maj Rivera, with Lt. Andy Traver. Can’t recall the names of the two sergeants who rotated in and out, or the medic from Tennessee. It was an educational experience, made more interesting with my conversations in French with the Village Chief. Wish I could know what ever happened to our interpreter who was a member of the RVN. We recently met a chef who was 4 years old when his family left via helicopter from the roof of the US embassy in Saigon, and it brought back a lot of memories. Hope you are doing well.
John, his name was XIA (see-a)
Navy medic was James Caldwell
Army medic was Larry. ????
Andy Traver lives in New Hampshire
I was RTO in Thuan Hoa & from September 70- February 71 was in TOC at MACV compound, living in middle Tennessee now. Last I heard about you, you were working in Seattle with FBI.
Welcome Home Brother
I played a lot of pinochle with Sfc Jackson
At in Soc Trang! My room was in the same bldg as the NCO bar. Played a lot of basketball with him too! Never had a drink with him! Hahahahahahahaha!
I was a MAT TEAM leader in Hoa Tu sub sector, Ba Xuyen province from Sept 1969 to Sept 1970. I had a 5 member team that consisted of myself and 4 of the finest NCO’s to ever serve in the army. I wish I could find them to thank them for their great advice,”just keep your ass down lieutenant”. Thanks to Tommy Naum who was senior Logistics advisor in Soc Trang and helped keep us as fed and comfortable as possible in very difficult times
I was a MAT leader in DAi Ngai with province hq in Soc Trang. We may have been at the same monthly meetings with the chief advisor Dr. Evans. I was there in 1970..
I was assigned to SMDSLC.
Our MACV Team 63/71 reunion is now firmly set for 10:00am, Nov 7, 2015 at 12821 Water Point Blvd-Windermere, FL. 34786. Wives are also invited, food and drink will be provided and catered. We are hoping to have seventy or eighty people but so far we have only 30.
I would like to add your name to our master email list that will provide other details about the reunion such as a group discount at a nearby hotel. Please contact me, David Zeckser at email@example.com tel 4077580820. Thanks,
“I never had the chance to properly thank you for the nice things you said about me under MACV 71 because I didn’t think you liked me because while you were in the rice patties I was overhead in a helicopter.-Tom Naum
I was assigned to SMDSLC. I think you were my pic.
I was assigned to SMDSLC. I think you were my pic.
I was assigned to Tm 71 70-71, after being with the 1st Cav in 68-69. This may sound very peculiar, but after head injuries later in life, I have limited and fuzzy memories of my time in Soc Trang, as well as other gaps in my life.
Some names I can recall, and some places.
I was a SGT E-5, and I’m wondering if you could help fill in those gaps. I can email you proof that I was there, if you desire. I have a few pictures that have survived the years.
Paul A. Downes
Did you by chance ever know a Sgt Wayne Garber??
I did not
Although I was assigned to team 51 in Bac Lieu I spent my tour in Soc Trang, 8/68 to 8/69 as the advisor to the vietnamese 2/9 cav unit assigned there. Would like to hear from anyone that was assigned to the vietnamese 9th cav.
I remember the 9th cav, I was the advisor for the 67th RF Battalion in Soc Trang, We have set the date for the MACV Team 63/71 reunion for 10:00am-Nov 7, 2015-at 12821 Water Point Blvd-Windermere, FL. 34786- Wives are also invited. Food and drink will be provided and catered. Please send me your email address so I can keep you posted and tell the other guys you know from Team 63/71. We have also invited the MAT teams attached to team 63, as well as the Seabees. Contact: David Zeckser, firstname.lastname@example.org tel 407-758-0820.
I need some help from you IV Corps (Mekong Delta) Advisory Team vets.
I am trying to piece together my brother’s experiences in Vietnam (June 65 to June 66) for the benefit of his boys and the rest of the family.
A2C Tom Toussaint was a USAF reciprocating engine mechanic. For part of his time he was on Advisory Team 53 at Long Xuyen or Can Tho. He spent time at Soc Trang and Chi Lang. And he had been in both Thailand and Laos.
I think he was a crew chief on a Forward Air Control 1-E Bird Dog. He had hundreds of slides taken from the rear seat of the FAC plane of air strikes in the forests below. But the few pictures I have of him show only Bird Dogs with US Army markings, not USAF.
How were these Advisory Teams organized? Who did the members report to?
Could he have been working on an Army plane?
He talked about having an M60 mounted on the door of the O1-E. The FAC’s I have talked to said that the Army O1-E’s did this, but not the Air Force.
What was the role of these USAF people on these Advisory Teams in the Delta?
Ed, I don’t know if I can assist but I can tell you that all MAC-V Province Teams had Bird Dog (O-1 fixed wing) support from the 221st Avn in two aircraft and two pilot detachments known as “Shotgun”. In the case of Team 71, the guys flew out of the Army Airfield at Soc Trang which also had the USAF 8th Aireal Port. I would imagine that your brother may have worked in joint support of those detachments. I don’t know if the 221 has an active website.
Hello, my name is Mike Devlin and I joined Tm 71 in Sep 1968 and was assigned duties as the S-5 Advisor. I think the Senior Advisor was a COL McCray(?) and the Deputy was Bill Simmons. i recall the S-3 Advisor was MAJ ‘Tommy’ Thomkins and the S-2 was a CPT Thoms. I believe Bill Garrison was the RD Cadre advisor and a SEAL known as ‘the Swede’ was the PRU advisor. CPT Jon Huber took my place in late Mar 1969 and I was assigned as the Thuan Hoa Dep District Sr Advisor and worked for MAJ Pepples. He departed in May and the Tm 71 Sr advisor (then ‘Doc’ Evans) asked if I could be the Sr Advisor and I accepted. My Intel guy was LT Kelly and NCOIC was SFC Everett Turnbough. I returned to the US in Sep 1969 and ultimately retired from active duty in Aug 1989.
Would like to talk to anybody who remembers that time and place.
Mike: Lt Kelly was my replacement in Thuan Hoa. I worked for Maj Pepples for a short time before I returned to the US. I remember Lt Kelly and Maj Pepples. I must have been there just before you got there.The senior NCO was SFC Jordan, Capt Frank Montoya was the Dist Sr Advisor prior to Maj Pepples. My best memory was the Vietnamese Capt Theiu ?.Educated in North Vietnam and spoke fluent French. The Vietnamese S2 was LT Tho ?
Mark, thanks for the reply. I can’t remember the names of the counter parts but as DSA my counter part was a very young Major who moved his wife and 2 children into the compound. I thought that was pretty gutsy. We had lost a MAT team in the very south of the district in Feb 1969 and that necessitated the removal of the old district chief. Godd to hear from you.
I saw your reply to Mike Devlin. When you were in Thuan Hoa I was with the 67th Security Battalion at the airport in Soc Trang but I had a bunk in the first room on the right in the old Team 63 house, Sep 67-Oct 68. I remember Montoya and that time the Ranger Lieutenant got his arm shot up badly crossing the river going back to the District Hq in Thuan Hoa.
Anyway, I live in Windermere, Fl. near Orlando and I am trying to set up a Team 63 reunion here on Oct 31, 2015. I need names and addresses of team members if you have any. So far I’ve got Joel Leson, John Baum, Lee Gilmore, Walt Mather, Larry Moore, Fred Knudsen and I’m waiting to hear from Mike Devlin. My email is: email@example.com. My address is: 12821 Water Point Blvd.-Windermere, FL.34786
I’m looking for Carlos Salinas, Nick Chandler, Dick Gertz, Bernie Watson and lots of others. Please let me hear from you. You’re invited.
Good to locate you. My name is David Zeckser and I was the senior advisor to the 67th RF/PF Province Security Battalion at the airport from Sep 67 to Apr 68 and through the TET offensive. I was the assistant S-3 under Maj. Herrington from Apr 68 to Oct 68 and then I left to become the Army Officer in charge of the R&R Center in Sydney.
We must have met but it was still Team 63 when I left. I remember Montoya and wasn’t Bill Simmons the bald GS-14? I remember the “suede” too but not his name.
Anyway, I am trying to set up a Team 63 reunion in Orlando on Oct 31, 2015. You’re invited and you mentioned a lot of guys I would like to find, like Mike Kelly. I can send you a list. So far I’ve located John Baum, Lee Gilmore, Walt Mather, Larry Moore and Joel Leson. I hope you can get back to me.
Did you possibly know my father..Wayne Garber? He was on team 71 until his death in ’71, any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Robert D. Gaddis Team 71 Oct 1970 to Oct 1971 RDC Advisor. When I got there I think there were about 175 Advisors there. I was one of the last new pep to come in. By Oct 71 the about 75 Advisors left. I was there at the time Wayne Garber was killed.
Unless they expanded that compound or added a bunch of tents after I left in ’68, it’s hard to imagine 175 advisors packed in there. Were some advisors living in the big house just left of the rear bunker? Nice Vietnamese family lived there too. Was “Liz’s” place still there? 😉
That number was for the entire Provence Team. Facing down the street from the bunker, I lived in the house to the left. The Vietnamese were in the house next door and that was Garber,s family. What did you do there ? I had good luck working with the RD Cadre. They were great folks and I spent a lot of time out in the Vill,s with them. I had a big old Boston Whaler and got into some really scary places with that thing. I don’t recall Liz,s but a bar was a bar, LOL Now that I think about it, you may have been a diff compound all together. One of our main buildings was the old Bungalow Bar. Was that the some place ?? Good hearing from you, take care.
My dad Peter Maccini, had pictures of a center console Boston Whaler with a Johnson outboard and a 50 cal. on the front. Said he used to intercept junks and check on mines in the river. Picked up a lot of weapons and dead bodies out of the water. As a child the photos left quite an impression. Hard to imagine the risks of boobie traps on the corps also. He also said water-skiing and strafing the shore at VC camps were among the other events.
That “Boston Whaler in scary places” remark brings back the memory of when we lost 3 of our guys in Dec 67. Can’t remember their sub-sector but they also used to travel in to our MACV compound by canal every weekend. We even warned them about establishing too much predictability. One day Charlie ran a cable just under the water line and when the boat hit it, they opened up from both sides. They never had a chance. I think the boat was wood / fiberglass but I’ll never forget how riddled with holes it was. Things had been relatively quiet until this. Of course Tet wasn’t too far off and that’s when it really hit the fan.
HMC RALPH D HALE HM3 USN was one of those killed in this ambush. 12/9/1967. RIP.
Hi Walt my name is Tom Thelen. I was with MAT 63 from Early 68 to Aug 68. I believe we knew each other and shared a “few” drinks. I was transferred in from the 173rd. I am hoping you are the same man. Pls contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410/643-4236
It’s possible Tom but I can’t place the name. Did you stay at the MACV compound or the airfield? If at the compound, what function did you serve there and do you remember any other names?
I just emailed you a conversation Ray Renois and I have been having regarding that night I was “cooking” with the VC hat. I found the picture. LOL.
I was an S-2 advisor from Aug ’67 thru Aug ’68. Liz’s place was basically her house, which was on the left of the compound, past the tennis courts, heading toward and left of the rear bunker. By “Bungalow Bar”, do you mean the bar on the ground floor of the NCO quarters, that had access from both the street and the compound? (or at least that’s how I remember it). Short, cute little Cambodian lady tended bar for a while. Lizards all over the walls ….wait, every bar had lizards all over the walls. 😉
Robert and Walt, let me help explain. I arrived in late Sept 1968 and I never heard of “Liz’s” but the Bungalow was right on the Main Street in front of the Team House. The Bungalow was a notorius hang-out for the Airfield guys and was ultimately purchased by MAC-V and by May of 1969 was no longer in operation. By the time I DEROSed ( I had moved to Thuan Hoa District in Apr 1969) in Sep 1969 there no longer were any ‘private’ business enterprises on the Team 71 compound.
The Bungalow bar was next to the bar in the NCO quarters. There was a barbed wire gate from the MACV Compound just outside the NCO bar that went into the Bungalow Bar” but LTC McCray sealed it off in the fall of 68.
Sir…I am Wayne Garber’s daughter and I would love to talk to you about him. Please contact me either through this website or my email is email@example.com. Respectfully, Tori
Was this the former Adv Tm 63, located in Soc Trang?
Thank you Walt.
Yes. The new number was assigned to the team, for reasons I do not know, in mid 1968
Hi John, I cycled out in Aug ’68, so must have just missed it.
At that time I was at 3rd Surgical Hospital in Dong Tam.