Team 83 Go Cong MACV Team 83 – Go Cong. This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 83 located in Go Cong. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading...
Think I uploaded som Go Cong pics. Check out my site.
Just got a call from Fritz Guenther, he was Shotgun 34 for a while.
My name is Bob Preble. This site is not easy to use. Dont know how to change my name.
I have lots of Go Cong pics. Any way to post?
This website does not have the ability to post videos or photos. If you want to share videos or photos with others, it would be better to do it directly with them and not through this website.
Dick Pendleton here. Happy New Year 2022 to all my conrades in arms of AT 83/92. Be well.
Hi Dick, Regarding Go Cong operation ’66, do you recall who authored the awards for action during operation?
It’s good to hear from you.
Which op are you referring to,? Are you referring to the late Nov op on which Bernie Plaza was KIA?
Received 2 VN decorations and end of tour US BS. Don’t remember who prepared VN decs. Paul Wirth wrote US award.
I went on over 50 ops during my year with AT83-about 1 each week.
Hi Dick, The November ’66 where Captain Plaza was killed.
My team of Larry Hoffman and I did not receive a US award for this op. I don’t recall any advisor who received a US award during 66-67 for other than end of tour. Larry Hoffman received an ARCOM with V after Tet 68.
BTW, I donated 3 scrap books of photos, op overlays, maps, and other documents to my undergrad school library, Gettysburg College. I think they have digitized it and put it on line.
HI Dick, You are reading my mind. I am preparing a draft of claim of award. Your message has been very helpful, Thank you, Jim
Hi DickActually I did received an end of tour award from Hoa Dong District Chief 11/66. Thanks, Jim
I was in the air shotgun 34 a the day Bernie was killed. He was a close friend. Not sure why any award was in order. Perhaps someone can explain.
Concur, I originated most recent award comment. Not intended to diminish memory of Captain Plaza. I was RTO when Captain Plaza’s RTO SP4 Stevenson (my friend) keyed up at time of action. His screams have been source of numerous nightmares for me. Jim
All team members have memories of our year and that day. Compared to US unit’s personnel, we had it easy.
I am sorry you have bad memories. Perhaps VA PTSD group therapy could help you. You were a Soldier and honorably performed your duty. I salute you for this.
I can’t support an award for doing your duty.
Concur, Roger that. Thank you.
Hi Dick, Hope all is well there. Navigated Cupola.gettysburg.edu. Downloaded 235 contents pgs. Are boxes listed also digitalized? Thank Jim
I don’t know.
Hi Dick Pendleton
Capt.Bernie Plaza was my Cousin. Before he left for Vietnam I was his adopted kid. I used to spend time at My grandfather’s home in Turners Falls, Ma. and Bernie’s Mother Stachia was my God Mother. She passed a few years ago at 101 years old.
My daughter recently went to Washington DC for a school trip and went to Vietnam Memorial where she looked for Bernie’s name on the wall. She then asked what happened to him, I can remember what i was told from the time of his burial but with the internet we looked for more information. and found your Listings. If you would could you let me know what he did while with MACV Advisory 83? I have medals he gave me from Second Armor in Germany and always thought he had been assigned to Vietnam with Second Armor. Bernie’s wife Kaye has also passed and I have met my Cousin Phil Bernie’s Son.
I play golf and some of my good friends are Vets. One friend Dennis who was at LX Xray and another close friend of mine Mike was a Marine Sniper. Knowing these great people I have studied a lot of the History of our time in Vietnam.
I would appreciate any photos and if you could what happened to my cousin.
I would like to say thank you for being great friends of my Cousin. To see him being remembered in 2022 in your emails was incredible. My daughter asked me how I remember when we lost Bernie and I explained to her it was 3 years and 3 days from when we lost President Kennedy .
Thanks So much
I was there from July ’68 – July ’69. Sorry that I don’t know of anyone who would have been there during that time period.
I am trying to get up with Jim Lacy. it is about MyTho and TET
M y name is John Bouey, OIC of Seabee Team 6202. We we’re located about 10 km outside the Province Capital most of 1969 working on numerous Vietnamese construction training projects (at the peak of our deployment I estimate we had about 100 trainees). Would like to hear from you and find out where you were headquartered in Go Cong.
My wife and I are going on a Honor Flight to DC next month. Everyone we know who has been on one says we’ll never forget the experience.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Initially, I worked with then CPT Vic Stamey in the S-3 Province Operations section along with fellow 1LT Bob Best. I was subsequently sent to Hoa Tan District as the Asst District Senior Advisor to replace 1LT Dan Spurlin who was KIA. The USS Askari was stationed for a while near Go Cong and a SeaBee detachment helped us build an extension onto our hooch. I recall that they also reconstructed a large swing set for an elementary school in the town of Vam Lang which delighted the children in the area and also did a lot of road repair work and other projects for the District Chief. The only member of the detachment whom I recall was John (?) Hapgood.
Dick Pendleton here. I remember the coastal town of Vam Lang. In 66, the only way in was by Huey. The town had a nuoc mam factory and had a distinctive smell. If the wind was blowing from seaward, you could smell the fish sauce odor in a Bird Dog flying
to the West at 1500 ft AGL.
There was a road into Vam Lang when I was there. Shrimp & crabs were always fresh and cheap. I never really acquired a taste for nuc mam, but I was able to put some on rice and keep it down. Its smell was actually much worse than its taste to me.
I still put nuoc mam on rice. During my second tour, I had b the mama San, i.e. Co, bring me a bowl of pfo with nuoc mam.
At the main team house, was the python “no shoulders” in the round cage adjacent to the parking lot and the H2O purification unit. We would get the snake out, let him wrap around a body, hold his head and offer him to a visitor. It was fun to see the color drain from that person’s face. The snake scared the hell out of the white mice guard detail ( national police, who wore white shirts and green trousers). During 66-67, we built the bar building behind Team House #2. Rats as big as cats cavorted among #2s ceiling thatch.
All, I remember the hot spicy sauce pronounced ‘uck’. Saw the rats in Hoa Dong run straight up our exterior cinder block perimeter walls appearing to have a black smut fur. I had fear of snakes including no shoulders. However, we encountered various snakes in the field. Once while making solo supply run to Go Cong I saw an object moving in the road ahead a couple hundred yards. A large snake I thought and sped up. When I was close enough to see the snake I stopped because the snake was so large I thought it it flip the jeep if I hit it. I let it go. I heard the snakes would attack rice paddy workers.
Hello Jim. It’s great to hear from you. I hope you are well.
I am in my 83rd year. I retired from a civilian job in 2013. Now am my blind wife’s care giver, chief cook, bottle washer,, and house keeper.
The most dangerous snakes, were a neon green color. They were called Bamboo Vipers. They were pit vipers whose lethal venom attacked the body’s central nervous system.
Hi Dick, year 83 and I can tell you are going strong. I also contribute by doing numerous daily routine household and domestic duties. Planning meals, shopping and selecting best products. Laundry, dish washing, you name it. These efforts are really what it takes to keep the family on course with their daily routines as well. Anyway, speaking of the neon green snake. During operations it was routine for the PF and RF soldiers to break for lunch at a pre-designated hamlet. On this day as we entered the hamlet center area, all of a sudden people started yelling and screaming. I took a defensive position, looking around intensely there was no firing, I clicked my safety off and was on high alert. The people and soldiers were yelling and pointing up in a tree. One soldier was poking a length of bamboo into the tree and a bright green skinny snake hit the ground and was quickly killed. It was a big deal in the hamlet. Finally we settled down to our favorite meal, smashed chicken, rice and ‘uck’ .
There was a nest of young vipers at the foot of some bamboo just outside of the S2 building back door at the opns compound. I’ve often wondered if someone planted them there.
A nest of that species close to humans is scary. One night (we) Captain Schlossberg, Lieutenant Mc Garity and me were led by PF along the road toward Cho Gao. (The opposite direction of Go Cong). VC were forcing villagers to build road blocks. We moved off of the road in the rice paddy. That night the moon was full and as we moved along I began to see images of dozen shadows/silhouttes crawling right to left across the road from the side we were travelling. All I could do was watch and then I realized they were snakes about 12″ to 14″ long. I looked to my rear and the snakes were crossing there as well. Then I realized they were passing all around us as we moved slowly along. I just kept moving with the team. We didn’t make contact that night.
One day couple of months later, Major Howe and I were contacted, there was a massive road block constructed in that same area. There was concern that a pressure release device was concealed. Major Howe directed me to place a one pound C4 charge ground level center mass. I placed the charge with about a three minute fuse length, lit the fuse and walked away to Major Howe’s position a couple hundred yards away. There must have been a device planted. The detonation flash was massive and sent large chunks of earthen material beyond our position. We were standing when a large chunk of earth struck my left shoulder. Nearly knocked me down.
Nam was a zoo of animals. The VC weren’t the only lethal inhabitants.
anybody know of anyone there in 1970
I served on the team from Jun 66 thru Jun 67.
Hi Dick, Do you remember Lt. Lawrence Croft assigned to Hoa Dong, Phoenix program? I have a written account of his tour at Hoa Dong in ’67.
Yes. I bet it is an interesting read. I’d like to read it.
I hope the years have been good to you
Hi Dick, I think I contacted a post from Laurie Croft on this network. The read is indeed remarkable in terms of increased activity in Go Cong/Hoa Dong right after I left in November ’66. Do you have a P.O box of fax # I can send to? Cannot scan/attach. If not I will go to Kinko to scan to zip drive. The years have been good, life challenges have made life stronger/better. I hope you are doing well too. Jim.
Hi Dick, I now have Col. Croft’s So Far From the Grounds on zip drive. Can’t figure out if I can upload it to this network. Can I send it directly to your email address? Hope all is well, Jim
Yes, please. My email is: email@example.com. An alternate email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for sharing this book. I will enjoy reading it.
I hope you are well.
Hi Dick, Will send shortly. Out near Sacramento and Joaquin River delta for a couple of days.
Dick Pendleton here.
My email is email@example.com
Please send the file.
In closing, thanks very much.
Hi Dick, I thought I sent it to a catsailor email. Anyway, I need to located the zip drive around here. Hope all is well with you and family. Jim
Just got a e-mail from Carl Robinson ( USAID Go Cong) Coming to visit us in August. Comes to the US every two years from Australia where he has been living since the fall or Saigon. He married a girl from Go Cong. Has a daughter that lives in up state NY.
When was he there?
I don’t recall him–Doug Keane was the only USAID rep I remember. Enjoy your forthcoming visit w/your friend!
You carried a P39, right?
Hi, my name is Jim Lacy and was berthed with Team 83 members in the old French Planters house from April, 1967 to January, 1968, when my assignment responsibilities were moved to My Tho. I spent my final 4 months in My tho and was there for Tet. I was a Special Agent for Army Intelligence and was an advisor to Vietnamese Cpt Nguyen Van Tuong who maintained a compound away from the old Province Chiefs headquarters. I was in civilian clothes daily unless dressed for field operations when I wore fatigues wth no rank. I remember Hennessy, Egnar, Pooley, and Maj “Barky” Norman very well.
could you contact in private at Pody@Roadrunner.com
I have some questions about TET in MyTho
We missed each other by about 8 months. Early July 1968, I was originally assigned to Team 63 in Soc Trang (Ba Xuyen Prov) to work with the 21st ARVN Div Arty. In Aug I was recalled to Saigon & reassigned to Team 83 in Go Cong. Worked as Asst S-3 with CPT Vic Stamey & SFC Rayford (?). Half-way thru the tour I got sent to Hoa Tan District to replace 1LT Dan Spurlin who was KIA.
S-3 Ops SFC was Hapgood…SFC Rayford was w/me in the 2/320th FA attached to 1st Bde, 101st Abn Div (Air Assault).
Greetings. How is BG Roach (sp) doing? Thanks for the information on the guy who served first in my PHX position.
Hi Larry! You’re the only team member I’ve ever corresponded with since leaving the Team. I was reassigned to Ft. Sill when I left the Team. Spent a year as Battery Commander in a battalion which provided a variety of support to the Field Artillery School. Most of our time was spent helping OCS students and Officer Basic Course LTs learn how to call for and adjust artillery fire, the basics of field artillery tactics and how to operate as part of a combined arms team. Went through the FA Office Advanced Course next and was fully expecting to return to Viet Nam, but President Nixon rescinded orders for the involuntary assignment of officers 3 wks before graduation. I volunteered to go to Language School in Monterey, CA for a year to learn Turkish and spent the next 3 yrs (1972-75) in Ankara, Turkey as the Chief of the Translation Unit for the Joint US Mission for Military Assistance to Turkey (JUSMMAT). Lots of Generals/Admirals and Cabinet Secretaries used to visit us–ostensibly to see how relations were progressing w/the Turks–but most of them came to buy brass &/or copper pots/pans/samovars and hand-woven Turkish carpets. Sec of the Army Robert Froehlke and a party of about 10 strap hangers came to visit us. Turned out that his senior aide was none other than our former pacification, then MAJ. Suffice it to say that our “strained relationship” from the Team days had not significantly improved since leaving Viet Nam. I didn’t know that he became a BG–not really surprised that he made it as I always felt that he was more preoccupied with looking good than being good. Nice to hear from you, Larry! You can contact me anytime via “firstname.lastname@example.org” Be well!
I served RTO on Team 83 at Hoa Dong subsector 1/66 to 11/66. Glad you are both are well. I have been having trouble sending messages on this website. Hope this message gets through. Jim
Jim, I remember you. Glad to hear from you and that you are still kicking. I guess you know that the Hoa Dong Team’s CPT Arnold Schlossburg made two stars. If you remember CPT Bill Pooley, who was the Sector S-3 Advisor, he passed in July 2012. He was a great guy. Dick
Richard F. Pendleton
Hey Shotgun, Yep, still kicking, just not as high. Haven’t had contact with any Team 83 member except Bob P. in 2012 when I entered my username inadvertently and discovered this website. Do you remember Sp.4 Stevenson and what happened to him?
I remember Stevenson but not what happened to him.
Hi Dick, I apologize for my previous Shotgun remark. Stevenson was Captain Plaza’s RTO during the Thanksgiving ’66 operation. I traveled Go Cong to check on him but he was not there. I rotated shortly afterwards. Captain Schlossberg and Lt. Mc Garity were great team leaders. I learned a lot from their leadership. Jim
Hello again, Dick, recently googled Major General Arnold Schlossberg and found him at rest in Arlington. RIP, Sir. Fields
Thanks Jim. No need to apologize.Lest we forget. Dick
Richard F. Pendleton
Hi Rich, Jim Lacy responding. Thanx for the response. Nice to know someone remembers me. I left the service after my commitment and was hired as a Special agent with the US Secret Service. Spent time on the protection details for Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and then was assigned as an Instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, in Glynco, GA. I retired in January, 2002. Two names I failed to List were Jay Barber, the Navy LTJG, who served as the Naval Intelligence Liaison Officer replacing another NILO Lieutenant Tom (Last name not remembered). I lived with Barber for about 2 months in temporary trailer, brought in to handle the overflow living problems caused by the buildup. Also CPT John Black.
It’s good to hear from you. The Tom NILO was Ensign Tom Chirug. John Black also went on to become a GO.
I can’t imagine where the house trailer was located.
You had a splendid post Army career. You should be proud of your service. You definitely had more fun than I did. HA!
I just need to chat with you about the Provincial Hospital and the 5 USAID Nurses that wee there during TET
I was an E4 Air Force Radio Operator that communicated with the FAC Pilot. I was in Vietnam from August 67 to August 68. I was loaned to Team 83 by the Air Force Head Quartered in Can Tho. We were in the French Villa in Go Cong during TET when the 1st Sgt was wounded. During a quiet period he said “boy, this is a pain in the Ass”. It took several days before they could get a chopper in to take him out. The acting 1st Sgt gathered us together and asked, “who here only had 15 minutes sleep?” 2 of us raised our hands. He said “good, most of us got no sleep at all. You’re on guard duty tonight.” After TET I was loaned to a 5th Special Forces Outpost either 13 or 15 on the Cambodian border for 2-1/2 months. A couple of weeks after I returned the Major said I was very lucky because the Outpost was overrun and everyone was killed. I can’t find any information about it. Any information about that would be greatly appreciated.
Hey Angelo, I was an RTO assigned to a Go Cong subsector 12/65 to 12/66..I was often assigned to duties away from my subsector. But, being assigned near the Cambodian border with Special Forces that was overrun Wow. Very lucky, James
Thanks. I’m trying to get more information about that unit. Very lucky. They would mortar the camp every 7-10 days and then try to breach the perimeter. They did breach twice while I was there 2-1/2 months.
Hi Angelo, Sent inquiry to Special Forces contact yoday. James
Hey Angelo, I have a 5th SF contact who was in country during that time I will inquire and follow up with you. Jim
Thanks. Look forward to hearing from you.
Did you sometimes wear black pajamas?
I have set up a Go Cong picture site on Dropbox. Email me for details. email@example.com
No, email only. James
Is there any place on the site to post pictures?
I would like to view Go Cong photos if they can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The APC 113’s assigned to the recovery of the A-4 Skyhawk pilot were manned by ARVN personnel. They forded their tracks at Cho Gau. I saw 113’s operate in Grafenwoehr, Germany in snow, rain , mud and icy conditions, But, not a water crossing. I was impressed. Afterwards we convoyed to Hoa Dong and into the Coconut Grove.
One afternoon I was GI detailing our jeep on the side of the road just outside Hoa Dong near a rice paddy. The PRC 25 picked up a tactical air transmission. I stopped work and looked to the skies. North of my position I saw jets circling and climbing into attack position. I grabbed the binoculars for a better view. I saw a jet dive and then a giant fireball. I drove immediately back to report my sighting. The Senior Advisor at that time was Captain Schlossberg. He reported to Go Cong. The next day we were informed that a Air Force 100? with four 750 napalm canisters went in, siting enemy scattering in the open, Cause ‘Target fixation’.
If I may jump in here. Tauno Wirkki was shotgun 34, followed by Fritz Guenther and Gary Varner. I was with these guys last week at a reunion. Leo Origer was Andy 88, Manti took over from there. I have lots of Go Cong pics if there is a way to up load.
Thx for remembering these details. Your memory is better than mine
Shotgun 34 was Maj Leo origer. We also had an Army O-1Birddog but I don’t recall who replaced Cpt Ivo Werkli in July 1966. He took me up on my first orientation flight.
A street in Go Cong city was named for the pilot who went down near the coconut plantation.
I do not recall Dave Long but I am very sorry to hear that he is gone. Since that operation took place in November near Thanksgiving, I think my tour ended approx. that time because I did not take any R&R doing my tour. Perhaps that’s why I don’t recall any further contact with Stevenson. I heard that I was recommended for award but I got into a fight with another RTO at Go Cong compound and Major Hennessey fined me $50.00 informally. I think the recommendation was withdrawn.
I am James Fields I served with team 83 as RTO from January 1966 to November 1666 in Hoa Dong subsector. I remember Major Hennessy, SFC Howell, Shotgun 34, Beaver 19 and more. Hope all are well. James
I was stationed in Go Cong 1965-1966 but I don’t remember the team number. Maj Bruce L Hennessey was the Sr Advisor and I was appointed his “shotgun”. I volunteered from Berlin, Germany with the 287th Military Police Company and never regretted leaving Germany. Don’t remember many of the other guys names but I was PFC when I got there and Maj Hennessey promoted me to Sp4 before I was transferred to STRATCOM in Cholon. Don’t know how that happened but all of a sudden, one day Maj Hennessey told me I was transferred to STRATCOM and there was nothing he could do about keeping me with the team. We really had a good relationship and he was a really good guy and a good officer. I really liked the guys on the team, who were mostly E-6 and above. We had a Capt who was our S-2. I can see him in my memory but can’t remember his name. Also, someone mentioned Lt. Wirkki, he was our AF L-19 pilot. I forget what his handle was but he spotted for us on operations. Speaking of that I was there when Col. Berry was injured by a grenade explosion he stepped on or kicked or something like that during an operation on the coast. He was a really good officer, too. Later, became Commandant of the USMA. He was at My Tho so we didn’t see him that much except during operations with the VN 7th Infantry Division. I, too taught English during my time with the team. What an experience.
I served with Tm 83 from Jun ’66 thru Jun ’67. MAJ Hennessey was the Sr Advisor when I arrived and was followed by MAJ Paul Wirth,Inf.. I may be wrong but I think the change took place in July.
Thanks for your service.
When I arrived in GoCong, March 1967. Paul Wirth was a LTC. He sent a letter to my folks acknowledging my arrival and what I’d be doing there. Letter is dated March 23rd.
Roger that. He was promoted after he took over the team.
Gentlemen, I am James Fields, Go Cong Province, RTO Hoa Dong subsector 1/66 to 111/66. Anyone remember RTO Stevenson Go Cong? He was RTO during operation where MACV Captain was KIA approx. 6/66.
I remember Stevenson. CPT Bernie Plaza was KIA on the first day of an op 1 or 2 days before Thanksgiving. Bernie was shot in the head
I have the onion skin overlay for that op. Larry Hoffman and I were with another RF Co thru out this multi day op.
During that operation I was RTO with an RF company, Major Robert Howe was Hoa Dong senior advisor. I was nealy dumped out of the chopper. We were not alerted to a false insertion maneuver. A soldier grabbed my web gear. Major Howe and Major Hennessey we flying C&C. I believe we held the blocking position. There was approximately 200 meters of rice paddy separating our position from a tree line across the paddy. To my left five RF soldiers entered the rice paddy. They moved out about 15-20 feet before they took direct automatic fire. I saw the rounds impacted the water where the men were. Like a crescent shaped firing pattern. I heard one of the men was KIA. Choppers returned and provided suppressing fire. They took fire, I saw a huey wobble as it passed in front of my position. A second chopper passed directly over my head and the door gunners M60 brass tinkled down on my helmet. I recall a pilot shouting, ‘stop firing that g_ _d_ _ _ _. mortar. I had an M79 but I was firing directly into the rice paddy dike at the tree line. I saw an individual dart through an open space in foliage. Then, Stevenson keyed up his radio with a scream. We had to go to the alternate frequency. Later, A1 Skyraiders dropped 500 lb WP on the tree line and general area. No big explosions, just billowing white/gray dust filled the air above the trees. A RF soldier crawled over to my position. His helmet was dented like a car wreck. He held a large chunk of fragmentation from the bombs. I think he was trying to tell me to get down.
We remained in position over night. The mosquitos had a feast on me. In the morning we moved out across the rice paddy and into the tree line. The area was burned out by WP. No bodies were recovered.
Afterwards, it was my understanding that Major Hennessey directed the C&C down to medevac the Captain and Stevenson. I also understand that they took a lot of fire in doing so. I don’t recall any contact with my friend Stevenson after that. It has been many years since then, I hope he is Ok.
Jim great to hear from a fellow 83 member…I served with the 519th with Dick Pendleton…Never forget the op before Thanksgiving….That is when Bernie Plaza was KIA…Normally assigned to be Dicks RTO on all op’s but for some reason at the air strip was instructed to be Plaza’s RTO…for what reason I do not know…I believe Stevenson was always Plaza’s RTO…and just before lift off was re- assigned back with Dick….very rough Operation…after it was all over a lot of medals were given out….Dave long who was company clerk and RTO was also on the operation that day…Knew Dave very well …last year took his own life….
This is Marvin Shelsky. I was in Go Cong province 83rd advisory team from March 1967- March 1968.
– Marvin Shelsky
Thanks for the reply, Dick. I think me and the other guy who joined the team at the same time, we were both MP’s (951’s), Mike Fromile, from Pittsburgh, PA both left together and were stationed at STRATCOM. Totally political move. As a matter of fact, Westmoreland cleaned out IV Corps Advisory Teams of all 951’s and sent us to STRATCOM. I was told. I think the transfer took place in early 1966 because I remember Christmas and Thanksgiving in the Team House and Hugh O’Brien came and talked with us. You may be right about the command change because Maj Hennessey was an old timer when I got there and was due to rotate back to Ft Sill (he was an artillery officer). A really nice guy. I remember more stuff, too, mostly being out in the field with Maj Hennessey and the Province Chief on operations. Again, thanks for the reply and thank you for your service.
Hi Colin, I’ve been navigating site for response to AF L-19 handle, I recall Shotgun 34. Received lots of field support and numerous mail call via air drop in grenade canisters. Also, Naval air L-19 was Beaver. Beaver coordinated numerous airstrikes on the area known as the Coconut Grove. I recall a strike where a Navy A4 was lost making a strafing run. Took several months before we launched recovery effort supported by platoon size detail of APC113’s. and air cover. James
Thx Carl. That is progress. I wonder how many of the sapper destroyed bridges over unnamed streams have been rebuilt.
One of my proudest moments was helping rebuild the VC-destroyed ferry pontoon at My Loi in ’64-65 and getting Route 5 directly to Saigon re-opened. While MACV convoys still went the long-way via My Tho and the Cho Gao Ferry, itself replaced by a bridge around 1973 or so, I loved running my Scout back & forth on that road. One day, I even drove John Black and George Egner — both in civvies, of course — up to Saigon for lunch and back to the 5pm briefing. Reckless as hell — but we were fearless, eh?! Cheers.
George was my turtle in June 67. I’ve always wondered what happened to him. I remember Cho Gao.
Shane Black here. I was reading “Once Upon a Distant War” and thought I would do some web research on my dad’s time in Go Cong.
Amazing to find your post. I am email@example.com.
I trust you and your family are well.
is anyone else having problems filing onto this site?
Oh, OK, then. What I’d like to say is that the Vietnamese Government’s been building a new bridge across the Vam Co River which forms the northern boundary of our old Go Cong Province and eastern Long An. (Go Cong is now part of Tien Giang, or the old Dinh Tuong province with Mytho as capital.) The bridge is just east of the old My Loi Ferry and is quite a site with a sweeping middle part to allow passage of boats, but not really sea-going ones. I’d love to put up a picture but this site does not lend itself to that. Cheers.
Hi, Old Team 83’ers. I’m back for 40th Anniversary of the Fall/Liberation of Saigon where I’ve organised a reunion of ex-war correspondents/etc. Please read more here https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/vietnam-old-hacks
Thanks Carl. It’s good to hear from you. I will never forget the actions of the traitorous Democrats in the US Senate who took advantage of the Nixon dust up to severely cut aid to the South Vietnamese government. No ammo, no avgas, no repair parts. Is it any wonder that the good guys imploded. The failure to resume air support was also a key factor. Probably not the first time the USA broke a promise to an ally and as the last 40 years has demonstrated the USA has much experience breaking promises to allies, especially since 2009. The Fall of Saigon will never be a day or event to celebrate. It was and still is a sad day in our Nation’s history. April is a black month. I was serving in Iran during the fateful last 4 months. The location was so remote that we had to rely on BBC radio for English language news and that’s how my team learned about the final tragic act. Glad you had such a fine time in Saigon and enjoyed the Communist regime festivities. Sat Cong. Cheers, Dick Richard F. Pendleton
Thanks, Dick. And, of course, if you read especiallly what I’ve written, coming back for the 40th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon has certainly been no “celebration” for me — more bitter-sweet with flashes of anger & resentment. The 29th & 30th always fill me with depression, wherever I am, and this year was no exception. Damned commie rats are still here too.
Hi Team 83 members. I was chief NLD arriving in Province in June ,1968 and departed station in April 1971. Major Dean Hogan was the admin officer, John Swango was the PSA. Working with me was CPT Chuck Wells- Ag advisor and CPT Andy Risberg – Engineer advisor. Also on th Team was Stretch Ostrander- PRU chief.
Larry Hoffman: It has been mentioned that I was in Vietnam when the TeT offensive took past….I was out of country at that time and back in the states…Great site …Learned about it from Dick Pendleton…always looking for some of the greatest people who served in Vietnam…Advisory Team’s
I never knew that. I doubt it was Ho because he spent years in a reeducation camp. In the early 80s, I saw a photo in the Seattle newspaper that showed a group of former 7th ARVN Div personnel that were incarcerated at the former ARVN basic training facility located to the West of Hwy 4 between My Tho and Saigon. I don’t remember the facility name. Ho was one of the former ARVN soldiers in the photo.
Hope you are well.
I was in GoCong during TET. Myself and one of the 514th MI clerks had just returned from R&R and got stuck at TonSunut(sp) for 24 hours at the helipad(in a drainage ditch) before we hitched a ride to Dong Tam then to HoaDong via PBR. Anyway myself and another RTO had guard duty on the roof of the main compound when they mortared the guardbuilding next to the Province Chiefs ‘Palace’, I have pictures of it. SFC Karl Howell was wounded at the SOIC when the big jail break happened. He and Bill Pooley were my bosses. Karl has passed away also. I have a ‘older’ spreadsheet that I built back in the late 90’s early 2000’s with a fairly complete roster. If anyone would like a copy shoot me your email. Fun listening to everyone.
Hi Richard, did SFC still have the Boa during your time? Do you remember a RTO named Stevenson? He was in an operation when a MACV Captain was KIA. Do you recall Hoa Dong Tet after action reports? James
I Derosed in mid June 1967 and didn’t get back into Nam for my second tour until 2 Feb 1968. Larry Hoffman was at Sector during Tet. Recommend you contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. I remember Stevenson.
Yes, SFC Howell had a pet boa at team house 1. The snake’s nickname was No Shoulders. The VN National Police guard at team house 2 freaked out when the boa got out of his cage. Their normal reaction was to get on a vehicle hood.
No. I was not in Go Cong for Tet. However, Larry Hoffman was. His email is email@example.com
Tom Chirug was the Team 83 Naval Intelligence Liaison Officer (NILO). He did not directly work with the Vietnamese Sector S2’s Provincial Recon Unit (PRU). The PRU was led by Vietnamese MSG Nguyen Bach Ho. As the Assistant S2 Advisor, I routinely worked with Ho.
OK, do you know where he was for TET?
Say, Jon, it really would be good if we could have at least a last name for you and your affiliation with Team 83. I don’t mind divulging info on good old Tom Chirurg but just help clarify things from our end. At Tet ’68, I had just been assigned to CORDS Regional HQs in Cantho but returned to spend a couple days there with my young sweetheart – and future wife. But as soon as I’d arrived on the Air America Shuttle, the Offensive shut everything down and I was stuck in Go Cong for another week. (Fyi, Go Cong was about the only place not hit during Tet and then only a week later in a short, sharp & sweet attack that liberated the bad guys from the local prison.) I spent a lot of time at MACV and the CIA house, mostly in the company of a SEAL guy on secondment to the PRU. But Chirurg was definitely not around and I have no idea where he was as he did sorta’ drift in and out of the province. In any case, Tom’s quite a yarn-spinner — and I don’t mind saying this publicly on this site — and whatever you’ve heard, I’d definitely take with a half-a-ton of salt. Cheers.
if you would email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Say, Richard, did you know that the head of the PRU in Go Cong failed his lie detector test after Tet and exposed as a VC agent? Not sure if same guy you knew but quite a little scandal according to our old buddy Stew Mayse with whom I kept in touch after quitting USAID after Tet. Question is, just who was he knocking off out there in the boonies for all those years?!
Didn’t you and I visit him in Boston ’67 or ’68? Think he was at Harvard.
It’s good to hear from you after all the eons after ’67. Lots of water under the bridge. Go Cong and ‘Nam are never far from my thoughts. Served a second tour Feb ’68 thru Feb ’69 at Hq USARV in G2. The Army wouldn’t let me resign in ’67 so I stuck around until 1990. Had a short tour in Iran as an advisor in ’75. Also, served 13 1/2 years in Germany. That was the place to be during the Cold War. Married an Army Nurse in ’67. We have 2 children in their 40s and 4 grand kids.
My phone numbers are 256-325-1185 and 256-497-8434 (CP). We live in Northern AL.
Bill Pooley passed in Jul 2012. He was a great friend and I miss him. Jim Schall died in a fire at his home in MD over 20 years ago. He was a DA civilian. Dave Long died in 2013. He committed suicide. PTSD was a major cause. I keep in touch with Larry Hoffman. He and his wife are fine friends.
We had a great group in AT 83.
All the best to you.
Good to hear from you. As you probably know, Carl and I have been in touch for years.
Quick up date.
I went back to college in 67, graduated from U Mass in 71. Got married and moved up to Upstate NY. My First Pilot, Tauno Wirkki was from the area also. Did 20 yrs in the Heating and Oil business, sold it. Went into financial services, Paine Webber, UBS and LPL for another 20.Sold that last year. Still have a car wash and self storage business. We have two kids, one granddaughter.
For the last 10 years I have been active in 221st. Aviation Co. reunions. Hank Collins from Northern Al. and I worked closely on the project for years. Have two coming up this fall. One will be at Ft. Rucker to commemorate the new Birdog memorial.
Any idea of what happened to A.C. Cunningham? He was a character.
I am always amazed of the lifelong bonds that were forged in the Go Cong experience.
Nguyen Bach Ho was a MSG and the PSG and Senior Intel NCO of the PRU. I don’t remember the name of the LT that worked with the PRU. Larry Hoffman always thought that one of the LTs in S2 acted like a VC sympathizer. I wish that then MAJ Bill Pooley, the S3 Advisor, was still alive to get into this conversation. He had a great memory of Go Cong events and Viet personnel. CPT Jim Schall is another officer that worked with the PRU. He was a CPT and USMA grad. Unfortunately, he died young in a MD house fire after he got out of the Army and was working as a civilian at the Pentagon. I was back in ‘Nam in ’68-’69 at USARV G2. Dick Richard F. Pendleton
Bob, I’ m Denny Lane was with 1/12/7th ARVN we operated in and out of Go Cong ALWAYS MOVING. it was always great to return as we could shower ans relax for a short time. Regards A.C. I remember him well he worked with the RF/PF troops in a training capacity. He carried a short
barreled 38 and was heavy into Mutual Funds, he also made a good batch of ” Apple Jack ” On one of our return deployments to Go Cong I
was told A.C. had some kind of altercation and fired his 38 and was reassigned . I could not find out where. He was one of a kind.
it’s great to hear from you. Merry Christmas. Glad you are still vertical!
RE “AC”, SFC Cunningham, he passed in Guam. I don’t know the year. He was a super person and NCO. Sure knew his demolitions.
Bob Casto of the NW district lives in SW FL. I occassionally hear from him. Larry Hoffman of the provincial team lives in Mercer, PA. He is a good friend and we stay in touch. Bill Pooley the S3 Advisor passed in July 2012 at the Landstuhl General Hospital, Germany. He too was a good friend.
I live in Northern AL near Madison. Retired from a post Army civilian job in Feb 2013.
Dick… Larry….. knew a Sgt Lane who came into Go Cong of and on. Me, Dave and AC spent time with him
when he came into Go Going to rest and get the mud out of his boots…If I am not mistaken the Lane, I met was from Ohio…Maybe Cincinnati….And I will even take it a a little further his father owned a butcher shop…Well just a thought
Larry, Good details. Thanks. Have a good evening. Give Pam a hug for Barb and I.Cheers,Dick
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Larry your right Cincinnati While our team was not assigned to Go Cong we had no permanent quarters there all our Class A where kept in a tin
box in our trailer you van imagine what they looked like when we shipped stateside. We where assigned to Team 75 in My To but nothing
permanent there either. We kept cots and other stuff in the trailer and when ever it caught up with us we had a few creature comforts . Rarely made it to My To which was fine as they were not very accommodating You guys in Go Cong where the best. Some names you might remember
Cpt Costello was team leader. Lt Gruell was asnt SSG John Wadsworth and I were the NCO’s I hooked back up with John @ Ft Ord a few years
later. Lt La Croix also joined us when Lt Gruell rotated out . Spent a lot of time in Dinh Toung Province constantly moving but we were a lot
younger had good troops to work with I spent 2 yrs with 1/12 and wound up @ Cai Be with 12th Regt Team shipped back Stateside after Tet was in an instructor Bn @ Ft Ord and finnally got out after 6 1/2 yrs I live outside San Antonio kjids 4 grand kids and 5 Great grand kids all
back in California. And your right A.C. new his demo’s Thanks for the memories and have a great Holiday Season
It’s good to hear from you. Your service as an ARVN Inf Bn advisor for 2 years is commendable. I am proud of you, The info about 1/12 is interesting.
You’ve had a great post Army life with great grand children.
Did you know an advisor in 2/12 named Bernie Lockrem? He was a 1Lt and later a CPT. Had a really bad case of Malaria in Spring 1967.
Best wished for a very healthy New Year 2022.
Like to say Hi to Richard F. Pendleton . Carl Robinson just put me on to this site. No sure how it works. Bob Preble Shotgun 34 A , Go Cong.
I am trying to gather some data on J. Thom Chirurg. I was told he was assigned to Go Cong, he was Navy possibly PRU
My good friend Bob Preble, crew chief on US Army’s L19 in Go Cong in ’66-67, and I have been trying to track down Thom Chirurg for ages. We did have a get-together with him in upstate NY in mid-80’s when he was living & working in San Francisco area. But since then nothing. He worked with PRU’s but never quite sure of his relationship. I had a feeling he was more of a liaison guy for SEAL operatives who’d come in occasionally for joint ops with the CIA-run PRU’s. Lots of bluster to the guy and never did quite believe that story about a secret landing north of the DMZ and hiding under a hootch all night. Or maybe it was too much wine. Cheers!
the last I know he was in SoCal, some sort of businessman. what I am trying to find out is his whereabouts during TET.
I was told by some of the guys from 66 that he had a rep as the story teller. to hear them tell it, he was part of a secret plan to slip into Hanoi and take out HCM. He has listed himself on the Gamewarden Website as a SEAL. I checked with a SEAL buddy and he checked on him. none of them ever heard of him.
I was also told that they thought he was logistic. spun great stories and knew how to disappear.
Anyway, I still need to know where he was on the first night of TET.
Thom was the team Naval intelligence Officer (NILO). I can’t remember him doing any intel work. He did not operate with the Provincial Recon Unit (PRU). The Go Cong PRU was not run by the CIA (CAS) in Go Cong in 66-67. However, CAS did have a team of Nungs in Go Cong that was separate from the MACV Team. It was led by a “seconded” USMC Major. Sorry, but I don’t recall his name. The Go Cong PRUs were assigned to each of the 4 districts. Sometime in late 67 or 68, the Province Chief (VN COL) brought all PRUs under his personal control and later disbanded them. I was back in Nam on 1 Feb 68 for a second tour.
Thom was a Yale grad, class of June 64 or 65.
I look forward to talking with you. Since we both reside in AL, perhaps we can get together.
Please contact me via email.
I will be in Huntsville in two or three weeks.
Did anyone serve with 1LT. Robert Oliver from 4/70-4/71. We went to the MATA course together and arrived in country at the same time. I was assigned to MAT 44, Kien An District and he to Go Gung. Can’t remember the number designation of his MAT.
Former Captain Bill Morgan, MAT 44 4/70-4/71.
Go Cong Sector (Province) Advisory Teams were numbered 83 and 92. The team in Dinh Tuong Sector to the West of Go Cong was #75. The team to the South of Go Cong in Kien Hoa Sector was #82 (if I remember correctly). Within the 7th ARVN DIV AO there were 4 Sectors, each with an AT: Go Cong (along the South China Sea coast); Kien Tuong (along the Cambodian border comprised by the Plain of Reeds); Kien Hoa; and Dinh Tuong (My Tho where the 7th Div Hq was located).
I really don’t know MACV’s rationale for numbering the ATs. However, from a second tour, I remember that AT #1 was located at Hue in Thua Thien Sector.
I served with AT 83 from June ’66 thru Jun ’67 as an Asst Intel Advisor (1LT and then CPT). I worked with the PRU led by VN MSG Nguyen Bach Ho and also went on numerous operations (too many to count) with RF companies and a provisional RF Bn formed for specific opns. Also, participated on opns with Vietnamese Riverine Force elements and after Jan ’67 with the USN PBRs. Maj Edwin Swoppe was the Sector Intel Advisor when I joined the team. He was replaced by CPT John Demschuk.
During “free” time, I taught English to children at the Catholic orphanage staffed by French/Vietnamese speaking Nuns located across from the Sector Hq..
Was on the 7th ARVN Div (My Tho) AT 75 (The Seminary) duty roster for opns with the Div Recon Co..
Early July ’68, I was originally assigned to Team 63 in Soc Trang, but only spent a month there. Was flown back to MACV HQs and re-assigned to Team 83 (92) where I spent the rest of my tour as an Asst S-3 to then CPT Vic Stamey and was then moved to Hoa Tan District as the Asst DSA to then MAJ Wm Roach. Spent a lot of time participating in joint operations w/the Provincial forces and elements of the 7th ARVN Div. Worked with Larry O’Daniel for part of our tour–good guy who deserved better than he got from PSA John Swango and LTC Charles Ruth.
Carl, I’d like to add any team info you are willing to provide to my ‘Nam data base. I served on Team 83 as a 1LT/CPT from mid-June 1966 thru mid-June 1967. I was the Asst Intel Advisor working for MAJ Ed Swope and CPT (P) Demschuk (not sure of this spelling). I spent most of my time going on combat ops with Larry Hoffman.
Served a second tour from Feb ‘;68 thru Feb ’69.
My phone contact info is:
I live in Northern AL.
Richard, I was in the 83rd team in March 67, to March 68, I am Marvin Shelsky. I will try to call you on Wednesday, Oct. 29,. I now live in Alabama now.
Hey Marvin, Long time since I’ve heard your name. I believe that you, myself, Joe Spagnolo and another guy whose name escapes me all arrived in Go Cong in March of 67 as RTO’s. Spagnolo went to Hoa Lac, the ‘other guy’ to Hoa Tan and you and I stayed in GoCong. My name is Jim Rode and had red hair then.
I have some pictures of you in your cool Tiger camos. Drop me a line sometime.
I just found this website. I do remember. Didn’t you have red hair?
Please contact me.
Hi, Richard. Sure, I remember you well — and you were my future wife Kim-Dung’s favourite teacher at the evening English classes! Glad to help out with a few names for you. Want these on-line or back-channel email which is “email@example.com”? We’ve been living in Australia since ’77. Cheers.
Mike Hacker–My tho 1970– –The only contact info I have is 305-458-1938
Kevin Connelly–Go Cong 1968-1971
Yes, I knew Mike Hammer –USAID — he worked in My Tho
is there a chance you know how to contact him? I am trying to locate some of the folk from My Tho from TET
Could you contact him and ask him to join the group. I have some questions from back them. Also, My Tho was not a pleasant place to be then, and I will understand if he would rather decline
I think I was on team 84 in Go Cong.
Kevin Connelly- USAID Foreign Service Officer- US Dept of State
I arrived in Go Cong Province in June of 1968 as a New Life Development Advisor ( NLD). I served as chief of NLD from 1969 till April of 1971. My areas of responsibility included general economic development, agriculture, public works. ( I worked with the Public Works chief to assign projects to our attached Sea bee Team. . I reported to the Deputy Province Senior Advisor ( LTC- US Army) and had 3 US Army Captains assigned to our department- Public works, Ag , econ dev.
Kevin, did you have any contact with the USAID folk in My Tho in ’68?
MACV Team 83 was the name of the advisory team in Go Cong province in July 1964 when I was assigned there as Asst Prov Rep with USOM, the United States Operations Mission and predecessor of USAID. After a few months I was re-assigned to Kien Hoa for a couple months and then Saigon before my one-year contract expired. I completed university back in the US and returned to Go Cong with USAID in July 1966 and worked there until Dec 68 when it was still Advisory Team 83. I wasn’t aware of Go Cong’s team number change until I started browsing and saw number 92. This is going to make for some confusion, believe me! I’ve also got quite a list of former military and civilian members of the team.
Thank you Carl.
It’s great to know you are alive and kicking. 1966-67 was a very interesting year in the province.
My good friend Bill Pooley, LTC(R,) passed at Landstuhl Hospital, GE, in July 2012. He was 81. Bill is buried at the FL National Military Cemetery in the Panhandle.
Help me understand the numbering system. I was on MAT 84 in go cong prov.
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MATs are not the same as Advisory Teams (AT).