Team 80 An Xuyen

MACV Team 80 – An Xuyen.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 80 located in An Xuyen.

141 thoughts on “Team 80 An Xuyen

  1. Peter Ragan, I must have just missed meeting you . . I was DSA in Dam Doi from about November 70 to April 72, and we had quite a bit of cooperation with the MAT in Tan Hung, until it went away. I’m Dave Hutcheson, in St Paul MN.

    • Dave, Did you replace Capt. Martinez? I was the Phoenix Advisor in Dam Doi in 69. I returned to Dam Doi in Nov. 2016 with my son. I am also in contact with Co Ha who was the barmaid at the O-Club in Ca Mau, she now lives in Fla. with her husband who was a Navy Helicopter Pilot out of Song Un Doc. I would highly suggest anyone from Advisory Team 80 purchase “My Love Far Away” written by Co Ha about her 20 year odyssey to find her long lost love. Her story is one of the most unbelievable stories I have ever read. If you or anyone is interested I can provide you with her contact information and she can provide a signed copy of her amazing book. ( available on Amazon at the same price $20 but not sighed).

      Paul

  2. Do any of you remember MAT 115? I was team leader 1970. Based in Tan Hung. My 2d Lt. went home with a purple heart and hepatitis. We often hosted Navy Seals on Phoenix missions.

    • I was with Advisory Team 80 in Song Un Doc, arriving in late December ’68. I was the 1LT. The rest of the team with our Cpt (can’t remember his or anyone else’s name) and 4 or 5 enlisted men and a medic.

      I blew out my left knee after about 4 months in-country. Probably about April or May.

      My injury happened on a Sunday AM. I got on top of our bunker which was made up of abandoned 55 gallon drums that had been filled with rocks and rubble and bound together. The idea was that if the VC got thru the first or second level of wire around of our fortifications then we would try to hold them off while falling back further, and then our team would hop aboard our 16′ skiff and head out to sea.

      Here’s a brief summary of what I remember of Song Un Doc in terms of activity with the VC. I would accompany our Cpt on his visits to the SVN captain in charge for the area. Our Cpt tried to entice and urge and suggest that our group should take action to try to engage the VC. My recollection is that the SVN Cpt which we dealt with tried to avoid gathering his local militia-level soldiers and heading out to VC territory.

      Periodically, the avoidance maneuvers were no longer tenable and the SVN captain relented and we would go out in pursuit of VC. I was involved in maybe 5 or 6 of these. Some times we simple marched out of Song Un Doc a fair distance in search of VC. We drew fire and returned fire from 200m or more.

      Other times we got access to a sampan and motored some distance inland to try to engage the VC, usually with very modest action. One time we got the US Navy to provide a WW2-like vessel that could run the vote up on the beach and drop the nose which enabled up to penetrate new territory. But the result was almost always the same in terms of the quite low level engagement and results.

      In terms of my knee injury, initially it was thought the knee would recover after some rest and treatment. But things didn’t improve and it was decided I needed go to Can To to get looked at by an appropriate knee specialist. I hopped a UHEE. Eventually I was seen by a senior doctor. After some preliminary testing the orthopedist said my injury was such that to fix the knee properly and enable me to be combat qualified would mean six months or so in Tokyo.

      But then I would have only 2 months or so back in Vietnam. So the decision was instead to not do anything about the knee, So I was sent to Saigon to find myself a job in the rear for my remaining 6 months or so. That’s what I did. I ended up in Danang doing nothing especially useful.

      When I was exiting Anzyn heading to Saigon I was told by someone that my team in Song Un Doc had organized another initiative to penetrate further into VC territory. This time a much larger sampan was used with a good sized motor that would enable them to penetrate deeper and surprise the VC. But in fact the VC knew what was coming and when the sampan reached the deeper territory VC opened fire with RPGs and other ordinance. The sampan turned over and an unknown number of SVN and US were drowned or shot or wounded.

      This last paragraph may be totally spurious, arising from some corner of my mind. But I just don’t know.

  3. To all Advisory Team 80 members. I just returned for Vietnam last Friday and have some amazing news. There was a young girl Co Ha who was the barmaid in he officers club in Ca Mau, she actually taught me my first words in Vietnamese. I remember Co Ha was in a relationship with an american and I often wondered about their fate. While in Vietnam I traveled with my son to Saigon, Vung Tao, Ca Mau, and Dam Doi. It was a long shot for me to connect with any of the Vietnamese that I had contact with….I did not re-connect with anyone; however it was an amazing experience and I returned with a great deal of satisfaction. Upon return I went to google images to try and see pics. of Ca Mau then and now, and to my amazement a picture of Co Ha and an amazing story captured in a book she wrote, “My Love far Away” (Amazon Books). Co Ha is now married to that young officer but only after 20 years of an Odyssey of which movies are made of. Yesterday I spoke with Co Ha for 20 min. and my wife and I plan to visit her and her husband in Fla. My contact info. paulecary@hotmail.com 401-644-4588.

  4. Just returned from a 9 day trip to Vietnam. We went to Saigon, Vung Tao, Ca Mau and Dam Doi (where I was a Phoenix Advisor in 69). There is a brand new hotel in Ca Mau that caters to tourist and seafood buyers. I went with my son and we stayed in Saigon at three hotels: The Rex, Intercontinental Saigon, and Caravelle, Saigon is amazing and capitalism is taking hold. There was little or no evidence of restrictions from the government.

  5. I have booked a flight to Saigon 11/9/16 3 nights at the Rex Hotel, 2nd day hydofoil to Vung Tao (Phoenix Advisor school in 1969) for the day. 3 nights in Ca Mao and a day trip to Dam Doi (private guide). 2 more days in Saigon Caravelle Hotel. It will be 49 years in Dec. I always knew I’d have to return.

  6. I recall. Prior to going to TB I was HHC Commander, or what was left by then! COL King was a good man to serve! Do you know where he is now?

    • Agree on COL King! No idea where he is. I ran into Ben Calhoun a few times over the years. We were in each other’s weddings. He retired as an LTC in the DC area I think.

  7. Hi Jim, I was in contact with you a few years ago before you retired. I was in Hai Yen from Sept 69 to Mar 69 then moved to Ca Mau and with the radios.

  8. Was on MAT 74 for MACV Advisory Team 80 Mar 1969 to Mar 1970, worked out of Hai Yen, Ca Mau, New Song Ong Doc, and Old Song Ong Doc. Team Members: 1LT Gary Findlay, 1LT Jim Moran, SFC Rich McConchie, SSG Larry Stewart (Medic), SGT Jim Greenwalt. My first team leader was CPT Bill McLarty.

    • I was a pilot with HAL-3 Det-.6 (Navy Seawolves) at Old Song Ong Doc from March 1970 until October when we got overrun. Also staged out ofCa Mau on standby for SEAL night ops. Remember being scrambled several times to Outposts in U Minh.

    • I was a Navy Corpsman (OR Tech) at SEAFLOAT II on the Song Cua Long in Ca Mau in Spring & Summer of ’70. I became very good friends with an SF Medic whose name I can’t remember now and it haunts me to this day. We would sit on the Float at night and talk about what we would do when we got back to world. I had considerable experience, but he taught me many things. He died when he and his (Biet Hai?) irregulars were ambushed about 5-10 clicks (?) from SEAFLOAT in the morning of a sunny day. They brought him to the “Float” and laid him out on the stell deck. He had a peaceful face with a single hole in his eye from a Claymore ball that Charlie stole and placed in a tree above thre river. I sat with him for a good while and I was gently ordered back to work. I lost my many of notes and a photo of him (alive) when I got back. If you can help me remember him with a name, unit and Date of KIA, I would be most grateful and could replace a bad memory with a peaceful one. Thank you for your valuable time and considerations in this matter.
      Robert L. “Doc” Chapman
      Timberville Virginia

      • Hey Doc,
        I just ran across this site by chance. Mark Fontaine HMC USN (Ret) here.
        I was on Seafloat from late July of 69 to early July 1970. I was an HM2 when I left. I don’t remember the exact incident you are referring to but there were at least 15 sailors who operated out Seafloat killed in one way or another during my tour. I’ve tried to forget a good part of my time there but from time to time over the years have been contacted by men wounded who are seeking evidence of their injuries either for purple hearts or VA so I’ve dredged those memories up from time to time. I apologize if I don’t remember you,(like I said I tried to forget) but if it would help, I have a list of the names of those KIA during my time there that I keep in my wallet with the dates they were killed. I can provide those names to you if you give me a time frame of when you think it occurred. There are probably some who died that are not on my list. My email is below.

        Regards

        Mark Fontaine
        HMC, USN Ret

    • Hey Jim,
      My name is Larry Moran. 1LT Jim Moran was my oldest brother. He served with you in 1969-1970 in An Xuyen Province with Advisory Team 80 MAT IV-74. Jim came home from Nam in 1970 and was a Social Studies teacher in Woodbridge, NJ for 36 years. He stayed in the Army Reserve for 30 years, and achieved the rank of Colonel before the Army forced his retirement. Unfortunately, Jim passed away from a massive heart attack after a surgery in August of 2009.
      If you get this reply, could you please contact me at my email address : Lpmoran26@gmail.com I would like to talk with you a little bit about my brother and the time that he spent in Nam.
      If anyone else from this page knew my brother, could you also please contact me at the above email address? I would greatly appreciate it!

  9. I was a Navy advisor staying at macv 80 compound in Ca Mau. In 1971 went on a joint operation with Army into Cambodia . Was with a Army man who was killed. Only 8 of us went including the Colonel of the compound. At the time no one was to go into Cambodia so we took and later staged the body in a Arvn base that was over run. I am trying to find out the name of the man killed. We also had one Army soldier hit in the arm. Our role was to be radio support to aircraft and stay away from the action while the ARVN went into a village and destroy a large cache of weapons that we had info on. The ARVNs left us at our LZ where we were engaged by a large group of VC. With help from air support we were able to kill all the VC and get picked up by helicopter.

  10. Has anyone found any maps on the internet that’s shows the outpost of Team 80. I’ve been looking for something that shows the locations were we worked but haven’t been able to find much for the Delta. If anyone has found anything please respond directly to my email with a link.

        • Barry that is “Red”. I was in touch with him for a while but haven’t heard back for about 6 months now. I’m Rich Sutton and worked in commo with him. Were you in the bunker with us? I remember the name.

            • Barry, did you work in the back off the bunker with the switch board and the teletype? I was moved to the radio when Red went home on leave from the outpost of Hai Yen. Rick Newman and I were the only two for a while until Red came back. Did you work nights or days. I worked some of each. The nights were usually a little quieter.

              • Switchboard…right across the hall from radio room and the Seal team office. Teletype was the room at the back end. I remember being amazed at Lt Boink, the seal team leader, planning ops AND studying for some advanced college degree from M I T in that little office of his. Worked both nights and days as needed. At one time, 2/3rds of the way into my 14 month tour, we were short handed and went to 12 hrs shifts. That lasted until my last month in country. Newman, Red, and I were close buddies. Had a lot of good buddies on the team, but after returning home, my apartment building burned down, along with most of my stuff, including my address book, so I haven’t been in touch with most of them.

                • Hey Rich, how ya doing these days? I am now retired and have been going through my stuff from back in the day. Was wondering if you could scan a copy of that picture for me. After Nam I had an apartment fire that burned up all most all my stuff…pictures and my address book, etc. I have no useful pics of me in the green. I did have some slides at my parents place at the time, but none of me to show my kids…would really appreciate a copy. Also, I’ve been wondering how things would have turned out if Trump had been President back then. God bless, Barry

  11. I remember both you and Rick. I arrived in Hai Yen as the District Senior Advisor at about the time you were “promoted” to Ca Mau. I replaced Captain Jesus Hernandez (I’m sure of the first name, but not so sure of the last). Sergeant Green was a member of my team, as was Sergeant Sid Monge (I will never forget either of them). We also had a MSG or 1SG and a lieutenant on the team, but I don’t remember their names.

    We supported Major Le Van Ta, the District Chief and an outstanding soldier, and frequently were visited by Father Hoa of Swallows fame. I worked for LTC Buzz Sawyer.

    One day, I was in Ca Mau for a meeting with Buzz and others, when the District Compound in Nam Can was attacked. The defense was led by a 1LT who was the second in command since the DSA was with me at the meeting in Ca Mau. Buzz immediately sent the DSA back to his base by chopper and called in gunships in support. The 1LT back at the district was nearly hysterical communicating back to Buzz and staff and I’m sure both you and Rick were involved in the conversation and trying to calm him down.

    Buzz asked me to go over to your commo palace and see if I could help calm things down. I had never been to your palatial estate before and was impressed when I saw you and Rick firmly in control of the commo and coordinating the gunships and general chaos as well as anyone could. I don’t remember what you said to me, but you made it clear that you guys had everything under control. I stayed just enough time to “save face” (remember that?) and then went back to Buzz and told him things had settled down nicely. By that time, the cavalry had arrived and the attack stopped.

    I’m not sure what the results of the attack turned out to be, but I don’t think there were serious friendly injuries. Soon after that, I was transferred to Thoi Binh District with Major Ta and finished my tour there. Compared to the action in Thoi Binh, life in Hai Yen was a picnic. But that’s for another day.

    George Kolesar

    • George thanks for the reply. I looked back in some of my stuff and found that Cpt Mellgren and 1lt McKenzie were the two officers at Hai Yen when I left there. I don’t remember the exact incident your talking about but some days there was a lot of action in our little commo bunker. Nights were usually better than days because there was a lot less action most of the time. Rick and I took 12 hour shifts for a long time everyday. I was in touch with Sgt Green several years ago. I was with him on the first patrol I was ever on and we got hit. I was thankful I was with him because I was scared to death. He passed away in July of 2010.

    • George, How long were you at Hai Yen? I found out the Cpt Mellgren went home the end of 69 and not sure when McKenzie left. I flew back to Hai Yen a couple of times in 70 working on radios. Anyway that was my excuse I just want to come back. I liked it there much better than Ca Mau. Do you remember when Jerry Green left?

      • Rich, I arrived in Hai Yen in mid-December 1969 and replaced the senior advisor a couple of weeks later. The name Mellgren is not familiar to me. My predecessor was CPT Jesus Hernandez, but he may have filled in for Mellgren until I arrived. SSG Green, by far the most competent member of the team, served with me until I left Hai Yen in the spring of 1970 to accompany the District Chief, Major Le Van Ta, to Thoi Binh. I think Major Ta was sent to Thoi Binh because things there were getting a little out of hand there and he was a great leader who brought things under control. I’m sorry to hear that SSG Green has died. He was a wonderful man and a great soldier who kept me and 1LT McKenzie under control as best he could. I never saw Green or McKenzie again after I left Hai Yen, so I don’t know when they returned to the World.

        George

  12. I was stationed in Hai Yen in the fall of 69 with two officers and Sgt. Gerald Green. My name is Richard Sutton and I was an E-4 draftee. I was there until the first of 1970 and was transfer to Ca Mau as a radio operator. There I worked with Rick Newman. We were the only two radio operators for quite a while. Anyone remember me or Rick?

    • My name is Lyle Persinger, I too was a radio operator in Camau. I do remember you and Newman also. As I remember, you used to smoke a pipe all the time.

      • Hi Lyle. Yes I use to smoke a pipe then. If I remember right you had red hair I think you came after Rick and I were there. I’m thinking before you showed up Rick and I were the only two operators. We were still in the commo bunker and later were moved outside the compound to the Vietnamese TOC.

  13. I knew Captain Martinez quite well when we both served together in 1970, although I didn’t know the details of his background that have come to light recently. He is an absolute stud and I would serve under him anywhere.

  14. I was the 2LT on MAT 115 in the summer of 1970. Anyone familiar with that team? The other LT, Paul Harkey, from North or South Carolina, was sent home with hepatitis.

    • Hey Peter, Do you remember the senior Adv Dom Doi? He was a Cuban and a captain. They were hit hard one time and him and a NCO were given the Silver Star. I went down a couple days after that to salvage documents etc and you couldn’t touch anything without disturbing the tear gas and it was a big mess. They said later if it hadn’t been for tear gas no one would have made it out alive. LTC Buzz Sawyer I can remember like it was yesterday, He could knock the bottom out of a whisky bottle by filling it with water and slapping the top.
      Lol! I ran into him on my way out of country on the street at MACV Saigon, We saluted and he came across street to shake hands and say goodbye. I really appreciated that.

      • Yes, I remember that Cuban Capt. clearly. His location was very close to my team.He hated the VC. Went on a few boat missions with him.
        Recently found my diary of my time on the MAT and will have to look through it for his name.

      • Jim and Peter, I was the Phoenix Adviser in Dam Doi 1/69 -10/69 and Deputy Phoenix Adviser for An Xuyen 11/69 – 12/69. The Cubans name was Capt. Martinez, a fierce anti-communist. He was in the Bay of Pigs and spent 2 years as a POW and later ransomed by Pres. Johnson. Martinez was also on the team that captured and killed Che Guevara.

  15. They have tons of stuff but it takes a little work to find it. You just have to keep refining your search and be willing to spend lots and lots of time. Here’s a link to the site http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/. It’s worth a look because there is lots of info there.

  16. Does anyone remember the alcoholic drink the Vietnamese had, it was a clear color and pretty strong. I thought it started with b, but have no idea how to spell it. Does anyone have any idea what I’m talking about?

    • You are talking about “Ba Xe De,” pronounced “Bah See Day.” The stuff kicks like a mule and gives you a hangover like you’ve never before had in your life.

    • Rượu Đế – Rice Wine. Or it’s also called Ba Xị Đế. The name begins with Đ. Đế is very strong popular rice wine in SVN. I used to be an interpreter who had worked with MACV Team 80 from 1968-1973 in An Xuyen Province. Now, I’m living in SF California.

      • Tri – Did you work out of Ca Mau or one of the outpost? I was in Hai Yen in the fall of 1969. Our interpreter went by Tiger.

  17. Hope this helps, I flew every day from Feb 1970 to Dec 1970 and then spent my last 2 months at Song Ong Doc, District, The navy had boats there. This Song Ong Doc was halfway down the river from Camau, then if you continued you would be at another Song Ong Doc, where it meets the ocean, “no US military” there. Here we go, pretend you are in Ca Mau facing north, to your right just maybe 15 Klicks woud be Toi Binh and on the only road that would take you North out of the province. Then as you are facing north would be Quan Long, they would usually come down by boat as it was pretty close. Now on left and south would be first stop At Song Ong Doc. Then on southwest to Hai Yen. Hai Yen used to be SF Team. From there we flew to Nam Can, lot of US Navy. And furthest point south in Vietnam. From there back up North to Mat 119 and then into Dom Doi. And then back to Ca Mau ab time for lunch. Hope this helps.

    • I may have east and west wrong but the north and south are right on. Most of the time we called the mission a “round robin” BC it was flown in a big circle. The mission was to take mail and supplies to the Teams and to take and pick up members of the team. Charlie didn’t have much interest in this but was used one time for dust off and we got shot up pretty good. Was real lucky to make it out of that one. I remember the tracers coming up thru the bottom of chopper. Had a couple of rounds go through map that I was holding. We went down where the Arvn were and there was a major on ground with them. I think his name was Major Short.

      • Thanks for the info, I was at Hai Yen when I first was in country which was Sept. od 69. I was moved to Ca Mau some time very early in 70 and put on the radio. At that time there were only two of us and we manned the radios 24/7 for the next 5 months, me during the day and Rick at nights, so I probably talked to you sometime. We had maps with everything marked at far as the outpost in our commo bunker, but just don’t remember anymore. Guess it didn’t mean that much then, but sure wish I had it now.

        Thanks

      • Sgt Hall, Do you remember me? Urgent contact please. I am THOAI (Toys) The person you had brought to attached the MACV compound in 1970. (spring ship Camau short strip.)

        • I do remember Taylor who had rusty blond hair from Texas. I believe I knew your mother too. Do you have a picture of your Mother? I would know for sure if I saw her photo. When I knew Taylor he was working as a radio operator at TOC Camau. Let me know if I can help you more.

        • Thoai, Where are you living now? I have contact with Co Ha who was the barmaid in Officers Club in Ca Mau, she now live in Florida.

          Paul E. Cary

          • I used to be an Interpreter who had worked with MACV Team 80 in An Xuyên Province, with LTC Sawyer and COL King, from 1968-1973. Now, I’m living in SF California. Would you be so kind as to help me connect with Ms. Co Ha the barmaid in OC? For sure, I’m very happy to see her again after a long long time! (1973-2017!!)

    • I was with Det 6, HAL-3 (Seawolves) based at what was known as new Song Ong Doc from March to October 1970. New Song Ong Doc was at the mouth of the Song Ong Doc River. The PBR’s were also based there, and it was in October that our “base”, if you could call it that, was overrun by the VC. It was after that that the PBR’s were then moved to Old Song Ong Doc, several klicks north. That’s my recollection.

  18. Has anyone found a map of the Ca Mau area that’s shows any of the Team 80 locations? When I manned the radios I communicated with all the locations but can’t even remember how many there were now. I’ve searched the internet but most maps don’t even show Ca Mau.

  19. While doing some research at the Texas Tech University Vietnam achieve I came across the following information about the Advisory Team 80 patch:

    White disc, black border, ADVISORY
    TEAM 80 and AN XUYEN. A yellow map
    of An Xuyen Province bordered black, a
    white fish, brown tree and green rice stalks
    tied by a red ribbon. Machine sewn.

    • Richard- can you tell me what information is available at the Texas Tech archive? for example would they have sitrreps from Advisory Teams?

      • They have tons of stuff but it takes a little work to find it. You just have to keep refining your search and be willing to spend lots and lots of time. Here’s a link to the site http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/. It’s worth a look because there is lots of info there.

  20. Paul Cary (1Lt. Phoenix) Anybody from Dam Doi January to December 1969, I would like to be in touch. 401-644-4588

  21. I knew Sgt Taylor. I was 1 of 3 Marines in Ca Mau in the fall of ’72 – until we shut down in April ’73. I can’t remember the name of the ship, but remember a lot of bologna sandwiches, kool-aid, back alley, spades and the AO’s coming in for lunch.

  22. I was an E 4 radio operator stationed at Ca Mau from late in 69 to the fall of 70. I worked with another operator by the name of Rick Newman from Akron, Oh. We manned the radios 12 hours a day keeping track of all the operations in the province.

    • Do you remember sp4 Taylor? TOC I think Robert was first name…kinda sandy blond hair

      • Yes I do remember Bob. He arrived a month or two before I left. At that time I was the Chief radio operator and we had a full staff of operators, so I mostly over saw them and scheduled the shifts. Don’t remember a lot but I’m sure he was from Texas.

      • Rick Newman had red hair, but I don’t remember if he went by “Red” or not. He was on the radio early in “70”. After he went home we had another guy with red hair, his last name was Persinger but don’t remember his first name.

      • Yes I surely remember. I actually got to team 80 in May of 69. I needed to get home on an emergency leave and the only way was to extend for nine months. I left In March of 70 and got back to Camau at end April. That is when I met you after the move to TOC. I then went down to Nam Can for a short time to fill in for a guy that went home, after that I was back in Camau and then to Dom Doi with Captain Martinez. Dom Doi was my nightmare.
        I am currently working here in the states but I have winter home in Thailand, I have been back to Camau twice have you ever considered going back ? It has been very cathartic for me. I will be going home to Thailand in November not sure if I will return to Camau but will be in Saigon for sure.
        Do you remember a guy by the name of Barry Fig ? He was with a signal battalion and worked the teletype in the back part of the old common bunker ?
        What part of the states do you live in ? For some reason Nebraska comes to mind.
        Hope to talk again….Lyle

        Ps. That picture was of me, didn’t think I was ever that young. Lol

        • Lyle- I was i Ca Mau in 67/68 when the team number was still 59. I went back a few years ago but unfortunately had a guide whose English wasn’t too good nor was her knowledge of how Ca Mau became such a large city. Do you know the significance of the large monument in the traffic circle just outside the old compound gates? Joe Gorman

  23. Dear Team 59/80 Vets:

    I’m working on a history of the Binh Hung / Hai Yen Special Zone, also known as Tactical Zone 33. I have found some documents on this from the Team’s records at the National Archives in College Park. I’d be especially interested to know more of your experiences with this embattled outpost lying just below the U Minh III and II. I’ve traveled to the area in recent years, even visited Binh Hung as well as the old airport and the Ca Mau area. Thanks for any help.

    • Hi David, I was with TM 80 2-1970 thru 2-71. I was Swing Ship Coordinator until 12-70, I then went to Song Ong Doc till I left. I remember Hai Yen very well as it was my far most point from CaMau. I heard Hai Yen had a SF team before TM 80 went in. I had some leave time coming and a Hai Yen Team member took me out to a Coast Guard Cutter Yakatat, I went to Singapore with the crew and crossed the equator both going and coming back. which was out of our way. I flew the whole province twice a day until I finally had enough. Jimmy w5oy@live.com

      • I was stationed at Hai Yen as my first posting. There was a captain, a lieutenant, and a sergeant. The only name I remember is Sgt. Green. I was there from 9/69 to 1/70 when I was transferred to Ca Mau. I was a 11B (infantry) and was made a radio operator at Ca Mau. I went on several patrols was Sgt. Green and the PF’s. We were mortared on the first patrol I ever was on and was scared to death. They needed another radio operator was I was made into one. was there until I left 10/70.

    • Look at the Team 59 site for comments by Maj Daigne who was in Hai Yen and has some history about when it was settled n by Hoa’s people

  24. I was a very young Marine LCpl radio operator stationed in Ca Mau from Oct 1972 until March 1973 with Sub Unit 1 Naval Gunfire. We supported aerial observers that worked the U Minh Forest for USN Destroyers. There were only 3 or 4 Marines at the camp. I remember a Vietnamese restaurant that served coke bottled in Paris that would feed four us for $5, lots of card playing, and bologna sandwiches everyday for 6 months and much more.

  25. I am former Sgt. Gary Puente(s) and was a member of the USAF 559th MSF attached to MACV in Ca Mau from July 68 to July 69. I was assigned to two separate outposts during that year. The first was in Quan Long and the second was in Nam Can. I seem to remember Capt Samples and Capt Hirschler. I have been trying to locate Sgt. Sam Williams from Miami Florida. Are there any more of us out there communicating recently?

  26. I was assistant district advisor with adv tm 59 in Hai Yen 3/68 to 6/68 and established a new adv tm 80 in dong cung on the song bay hap in 7/68 with maj dajenais (sp?) and became DSA advising dai uy/thieu ta Hy in 3/69 until deros in 10/69. Wore no adv tm patches. Unaware of them.
    Former Cpt. William Hirschler separated from army 3/70.

    • Hello Captain Hirschler! You probably do not remember me, but I was stationed with you in Nam Can in 1969. I am Gary Puente and was a medic there when the SEAL team came and gave us some relief. How is life treating you? Kathryn and I now live in Southern Oregon and we are enjoying our retired life. Where are you living these days? I would enjoy hearing from you.
      Gary Puente

      • Gary, I do remember you. Post VN, we ran into each other in ’75 or ’76 at a restaurant in La Habra or Whittier. My wife and I are retired and still live in So Cal. If ok with you, I would like to continue corresponding through email (bipast1@gmail.com). Hope to hear from you.
        Bill Hirschler

    • I just recently found this website and saw your name, and sent you an email. Hope that you are interested in communicating. Good to know you still alive and kicking, as am I. I have posted a few messages under Team 59. (brownbootr@comcast.net)

      Henry (Hank) Dagenais

  27. 16 MAR 14 Gentlemen: I served in MACV Advisory Team 80 from December 1970 through October 1971 as “Administrative Officer”, later Adjutant, at the team headquarters in Ca Mau, I did not do anything exciting or historic. Normal uniform for the team was OG tropical fatigues, with the MACV patch on the left shoulder and the Delta Military Assistance Command (DMAC) pocket patch on the right pocket. The latter was just a subdued version of the ARVN IV Corps patch, with the word “DELTA” in an arc over the IV, and the initials “M.A.C.” below the IV. DMAC was redesignated Delta Regional Assistance Command (DRAC) but I do not think anyone bothered to change the pocket patch, which was unofficial anyway.

    At various times, I roomed with the advisor for MAT Team 5, serving with 412 RF Rifle Battalion, and then later with a NAVADGRUV advisor serving with VNN 29 Riverine Division. Our MAT teams just wore the US OG fatigues, usually with a boonie hat, but normally with no special insignia other than the RF/PF pocket patch and occasionally the appropriate neck scarf for the unit they advised. My Navy roomie, wore VNN issue “tiger stripes” with VNN metal rank insignia, and a pocket patch for the unit he advised.

    A few of our advisors did wear special uniforms. E.g., the Rural Development Cadre advisor wore the Viet issue black pajamas with the RDC pocket patch, and the Chieu Hoi Advisor wore VNN tiger stripes (a really dark green variant) with a Chieu Hoi patch. it is possible some of the advisors to VN National Police Field Force may have worn the “burnt grass” pattern camo uniform, but I did not see that personally while I was there, and our police advisor (a Marine major) wore civilian clothes.

    A good friend of mine was Dam Doi District Senior Advisor in 1969-1970,and he confirmed that at that time they were wearing US issue jungle fatigues, and occasionally an RF unit scarf or an ARVN dark blue beret with ARVN rank badge. In the field, he had a helmet cover with a hand painted water buffalo on it, given to him by his RF counterparts. (Off duty, at the team hooch, they wore T shirts, cut offs, and flip flops with zero insignia.)

    While I was at Ca Mau, Team 80 consisted of about 110 military personnel (mostly army, with a few Navy, Air Force and Marines assigned or attached), plus about 10 civilian advisors. There were also some attached units which came and went from time to time. Some of the attached units did wear non-standard uniforms.

    1. A gunfire detachment from 1st Marine ANGLICO had just come down from ROK 2d Blue Dragon Brigade, and they wore ROK issue pebble suits with the ROK marine pocket badge.

    2. A detachment from USN SEAL Team 2, co-located with us, wore VNN issue tiger stripes with no insignia whatsoever, and a variety of camo headgear.

    3. A detachment from NAVY HAL-3 wore more or less regulation Navy uniforms with squadron insignia, sometimes with black berets.

    4. The Navy intelligence liaison officer wore a similar uniform, i.e., fatigues with black beret.

    5. Occasionally aviators (usually from 13th AVN BN (CBT)) would billet with the unit, wearing typical two-piece nomex flight suits with many, many non-regulation insignia. An attached FAC from 221 AVN CO normally just wore regular jungle fatigues.

    Otherwise, I do not recall military personnel wearing any unusual uniforms (except for one assistant cook, a Navy type, who insisted on wearing a bootleg set of ERDL camis and a Navy black beret). Officially, footgear for everyone at that time consisted of the spike resistant jungle boot, except for the aviators who, I believe, still retained the standard black leather combat boot. (We did have one advisor, Major, Infantry, who for obscure reasons wore the low-cut leather “Engineer Boot” that strapped instead of laced up.)

    The Division Combat Assistance Team (DCAT) for ARVN 21st Infantry Division was located right across the road from us, and for a while one of their regimental advisory teams (31st RCAT) billeted with us. They all wore standard OG jungle fatigues with either baseball caps or boonie hats, nothing unusual at all.

    With regard to a specific MACV Team 80 patch, I never saw one. My friend who was there in ’68-’69 has confirmed that it was not worn at that time. We did use a purported Team 80 emblem on the cover sheet of some of the reports we sent up to Can Tho, but I have no idea how far back the design was invented, or by whom. The emblem consisted of just the outline of An Xuyen Province, on which were superimposed some sort of fish (a carp, maybe) and a stalk of rice. I have seen a small “beer can” badge of that design. which was probably originally an emblem on some sort of award plaque. I have also seen a patch in that design (on a white disc with a black border), but to my knowledge that emblem was not worn as an item of uniform, at least not during the period 1968-71.

    I hope this will be of some assistance. I’m glad someone is making an effort to document some of the interesting historical details of the MACV teams. Better late than never! Good luck.

    MARK L. HERSHBERGER

    • Thanks for the info. Might those civilian advisors been CIA types with the PRU? The rice shutes, and carp over the outline of the Province was at the top of a plaque I received in June 69.

      Ken Sample, former MILPHAP team member.

      • 17 MAR 14 TO: Captain Sample
        In 1970-71, there was a PRU unit (roughly platoon size) that operated out of a base down river from Ca Mau about a click. I never went down there myself, but some team members had occasion to go there because US Navy riverine units took over the site when the PRU’s relocated. I do not know where they went, or why. As you know, the PRU’s reported directly to the Province Chief, and acted sort of like his personal bodyguard and hit squad. I was informed that some of the PRU’s were not ethic Viets, and included some Nung Chinese, ethnic Khmers, and others. I do not know who the US advisors to the PRU were (or, in fact, whether there were any at that time).

        I know that some of the PRU troopers, or their US advisors, were in our compound on at least one occasion, because I found a metal PRU badge on the ground outside our tiny little PX. Badge was a pin back white metal device consisting of an oriental sword, single edge with curved blade, with wings; I collect military uniforms and insignia, so I picked it up for my collection. I later swapped a bottle of nice wine for a PRU boonie hat, Viet manufacture, with a cloth PRU badge – the winged sword on a red triangle – sewn to the front. The GI, from whom I obtained the hat was an Army riverboat type, and said he “found it” down at the old PRU base, which was then being used by US Navy riverine units and occasional Army Transportation Corps boat units.

        There was a CIA element in Ca Mau, but they had nothing to do with MACV Team 80, and I only saw them two or three times. I think they came to the Team mainly to use the PX. They were a couple of guys in their late 20’s or early 30’s, wearing civilian clothing. Their post (given some BS name such as the “Embassy Liaison Office”) was in downtown Ca Mau. We referred to them simply as “The Embassy”. They may have interacted with our S-2, and with the Viet intel types, but I have no information on what they did, or why. Team 80 regarded them as an asset primarily because of their ability to provide our “morale officer” some X rated movies that were not available through military channels. I assume that the Agency guys had an administrative staff of some sort, probably including VN local hires, just as Team 80 did. However, I know nothing about how big their staff was, or what their primary missions might have been.

        On one occasion I was riding a swing ship (from 13th AVN BN) back from Can Tho, and we made the routine stop at Bac Lieu. There was a young man (American, early 20’s) standing on the tarmac, waiting for someone. The guy was wearing white cotton riding breeches tucked into suede “chukka” boots, a fringed leather jacket, and a broad brimmed Panama hat. He had some sort of belt radio – a rather Buck Rogers looking device – and he was carrying an Uzi slung over his shoulder. I was informed he was one of the CIA’s men in Bac Lieu. Presumably he was wearing civilian clothes, such as they were, in order not to draw attention to himself. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me that day.

        I hope this will be of some interest.

        Mark
        MARK L. HERSHBERGER

      • Mark: as you know us medical guys were not exactly “in the loop” when it came to operational issues. I do not remember where I heard about the PRU. But, I was told those guys were a nasty bunch. Also told many of them came directly out of Viet prisons. May or may not be true. Also told as a condition of release they joined up. Suspect your “hit squad” comment is accurate. Also would not be surprised if PRU was a key component of Operation Pheonix. Ken

    • Just wanted to ad one more thing about Dom Doi, They were overrun in 1970, but didn’t loose anyone because a cs canister went off in their hooch and Charlie got discouraged, and pulled back. I was in there the next day going thru stuff that was confidential and retrieving it. Every thing I touched reactivated the CS so it was mostly a waste of time. Their MAT team leader was a US Army Cpt who was from Cuba, can’t remember name but would probably remember his face. There were some medals awarded the Team members, I know at least one Silver Star was awarded. Was SP5 Hall w5oy@live.com

      • I remember that too. I was on duty that night running the radios in Ca Mau. I was trying to coordinate support for them at the time.

      • I was one of the Lt’s on MAT 115 and arrived in about June 1970 just after the attach on Dam Doi. I remember that Capt. from Cuba very well. He hated the commies for what they did to Cuba.
        The other LT on my team was Lt Paul Harkey. I think he was from NC. The day I arrived on the team he had just returned from the hospital as the result of a mortar attack. Thereafter, he was sent home with hepatitis. I have tried to find him all these years to no avail.

    • Mark: i was one of two 221st pilots in ca mau, from sept 70 to april 71, and attached to team 80…we wore nomex with no insignia when we flew. I flew with anglico, and they had usual marine jungle fatigues as far as i know, with rank under the collar. . leader was george class (sp), but they arrived only just before the 21st went into the uminh.

      Cia usually came in a uniform du jour.. it .could be air force, viet, navy, marine…you name it, and they were active with the PRU’s. Flew some operatives a couple times , one of which i thought the guy was bored, and just wanted to get up and out of the heat. (temp drops with altitude and 8000 was pretty comfortable)

      Sea wolves wore pretty much the same as we did during my stay (limited to 6 months attached as you likely know) and were billeted at the long strip to my knowledge
      .
      Flew several missions with seal teams, some on brightlights, and others on special ops, and as they were on a rotation different than ours, both teams 1 and 2 were represented as far as i know, also known as east coast and west coast seals then, and they were billeted next door to us at the old french compound,(along with big bertha the snake and king rat).

      Their dress code on base was non existent, but when they went on ops, all green, with paint, and sometimes with black pajamas or cutoff utilities. Also had a couple aussie folks with them. Played some basketball with/against them at the tennis court, dribbling seemed to be optional.
      My main contact and function was with Col.j. ross Franklin via the 21st arvn division TOC or the operations officer there , as the main event was entry into the UMinh, which was my ao for 6 months.(ps: colonel herbert obit was in paper yesterday, who wrote the book ” soldier”, and was relieved of command by col franklin when he was with the 173 )

      reguarding other questions following : There was a seal team site at song ong doc on the coast, and a coastal watcher on the little rock island out there (macv-sog) who i dropped c-rats to a couple times.

      Outpost at the corner of the song and doc, and the uminh canal was hit hard one night, and lost quite a few folks there…thought i saw a thread on that in following posts. I could not get there until dawn, as no light to shoot, but marked it for spooky and hour before dawn.

      private reply only please…..to my e mail. 221st website closed to others after serious hack. hope it helps. Likely saw you there….and at one time flew back two gunnysacks of lobster tails from rach gia for messhall on a sunday grilled tails…..after a seal opplan drop up there. .

      just happened to run across your site when checking details for a story in our monthly newsletter. bjs

      • I was the Phoenix advisor in Dam Doi in from Jan.- Oct. 69 and the Deputy Phoenix Coordinator for An Xuyen from Nov.-Dec. 69. The Cuban Capt. in Dam Doi at the time was Capt. Martinez (arrive around July 69), he was a former officer in Batista’s Army and was later was in the Bay of Pigs invasion, only to be captured. After spenting two years in a Castro POW camp he was ransomed along with others by Pres. Johnson. Martinez was also on the assassination team of Che Guevara and may have been involved in the Watergate break-in (plumbers). As for the CIA in Ca Mao, they were in charge of Phoenix (I answered to them indirectly) and had PRU and Navy Seals for black ops.

    • Paul, I just discovered this discussion thread this evening. I was the District Senior Advisor in Thoi Binh throughout 1970. I’m sure we met, but I don’t remember you. However, I do remember Martinez very well. He impressed me a lot and was a great guy. I had no idea of his background until I read your comments. Did you ever see him again after our time in An Xuyen? What about the Province Senior Advisor, “Buzz” Sawyer?

      • George, Sorry for such a long lime to reply. I remember a Lt. Col. Buzz Sawyer, he came to Dam Doi for a visit with his counter part. I never saw Martinez again but have corresponded with a former N.Y. Times reporter Zalin Grant the wrote “Facing the Phoenix” (best book I ever read on Vietnam). Zalin now lives in Paris, he remembered Martinez and shared some thoughts.

        I hope all is well
        P.S. I am planning a trip back to Ca Mao and Dam doi next year if anyone is interested. I will be with my son and my nephew who is a film maker.

        • Paul

          My name is Lyle Persinger I was with team 80 5/69 to 2/71. I was in Dom Doi also in 70. I have been back to Camau twice. I have a home in Thailand where I winter every year. Are you planning a trip over in 2016 ?? I will be in HCMC sometime in November. If I could be of any assistance or if you would just like to chat…..lpers_13@yahoo.com

          Thanks. Lyle

  28. I was PHX adviser Thoi Binh July 69-Sept 69 and Song Ong Doc Sept 69-Jan 70 having transferred in from Hoa Tan Go Cong Province Team 92. I seem to remember name Amon from that time period. Glad to find this site – My friend from Team 92 filled me in on it.

    • I was in AT 59 in Dec 66 to Nov 67. I started in Quan Long Then moved to Thoi Binh and opened up the PF adv team there , there was already a RF team just down the canal.
      Theen was moved to Son Ong Doc and we opened that one up till I rotated back to Ft Mcferson in Atlanta. Maj Laverty was the SOD team leader

    • Hello again Col. Maddox,

      To date I have not heard from Kass. Would you please reach out to him and ask him again to email me, or perhaps get his permission for me to email him? Thanks in advance…

    • Hi Emery. I think I served with you 70-71, can’t recall exact dates. Do you know of COL King’s whereabouts. I have fond memories of the poker games we had.

  29. Does anyone know on what date Team 59 became Team 80? I have found a Team 80 patch but thus far nothing for Team 59. Might be the same. Ken Sample, former USAF MILPHAP team member in CaMau.

  30. I was in Team 80 Dec 71-Dec 72 and have no recollection of LT Emery’s name then and I spent a lot of time at Thoi Binh. Perhaps Cary Kassabaum the USAID director there would recall as he was on the Team in 1969.

    COL Emery Maddocks USA retired

    • Thank you so much Colonel Maddocks. Since my last post, I now have the exact coordinates where 1LT Emery was shot. It took place in Tan Loc Village, Thoi Binh District, 28Sep69 at 0645 hours.

      Do you have any contact information for Cary Kassabaum or could you please furnish him with my contact info? Really appreciate this lead. Thanks again.

      Bob Amon
      amon@comcast.net

      • I was in Thoi Binh 1972. Did you ever contact Kassebaum? I have an EM but it is an old one. I also remember Col. Maddocks, I think! It’s been a long time.

      • Hi Brian, I knew a Taylor that was radio operator at TOC think he was from Texas, I left Feb 1971 and he was an E4 at that time.

  31. I am putting together a memoir and looking for anyone with knowledge of my friend’s death: 1LT Charles H. Emery Jr. Date of casualty 28Sep69.

    I have his personnel file, but his exact team and location at the time of his death are confusing. Some records show Adv Tm 68 while others show Adv Tm 80. He may have been with Adv Tm 80, but MAT Team 68, or vice-versa. And even the location is questionable. They mention An Xuyen Province in the paperwork, hence I am trying here (Team 80 – An Xuyen)to see if anyone from this province knew him.

    I am reasonably sure he was killed in Thoi Binh District, although even the paperwork states Thoi Binh Province (there is no such province). If anyone knew my good friend or had knowledge of his KIA, please let me know. Thank you in advance.

    Bob Amon
    amon@comcast.net
    (908) 451-2123

  32. Should be An Xuyen Province, with Province HQ in Ca Mau. Was formerly Advisory Team 59. I was with MAT IV-74 March ’69-March 70…We were in Hai Yen, Ca Mau, Song Ong Doc, and various smaller hamlets.

    • Hi Jim,

      I’ve been trying to get ahold of you but the only email address I have is from the MACV site and it keeps kicking back on me.

      Would you know of anyone who knew 1LT Charles Emery (Adv Team 80 – KIA 28Sep69)? He was a good frind of mine and I’m trying to locate anyone with knowledge of what hapened to him that day. I believe he was on MAT 68 in Tan Loc Village, Thoi Binh District.

      Thanks in advance for anyhelp you can give me.

      Former 1LT Robert Amon
      MAT IV-88, Team 55 (Rach Gia – Kien Giang Province)
      Jan ’69-Jan ’70

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s