Team 86 Tan An

MACV Team 86 – Tan An.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 86 located in Tan An.

155 thoughts on “Team 86 Tan An

  1. Does anyone remember TET’68 when the main compound in Tan An took fire, was mortared, and RPG-ed, and the soccer field in front, Tan An City, and the walls around the Province Chief’s house were swarming with VC – none got in the compound (thanks a great deal to the 50-cal on the water tank and the compound bristling with weapons), but it was an exciting time. I understand the old compound is gone now (PC’s house?). I lost my name list years ago (except I remember my right-hand man and ultimately good friend (who was with me on countless heli-mobile assaults), Rob Macovich (sp?), whom I would very much like to hear from, as well as others. From early 67 to late 68 I was at Tan An as a CPT; then 71-72 with MACV in Hau Nghia. Gordon Carmichael

    P.S. I also remember the friendly server in the mess hall we called “Bubbles” – does that ring bells?

    • Hello,
      I was there during TET 1968. I remember the .50 caliber on the water tower and a mortar round hit the roof of the house where I was living while working with the PRU unit. I was a 1st LT, MI. I remember then CPT Robert Rintz who I have met with several times in the last ten years.

      • Hello, Bill,

        Thank you for your reply. It stirred another memory of the gunships (I think we called them “Spookies”) raining fire around us, with the tracers making the rounds look like colored solid lines. They were welcome sights!

        I can never forget the distant but distinctive “fumps” of the mortars leaving the tubes and that dread-filled wait to see where the rounds landed with that blasting crunch – burned in my mind. And I’ll always recall the smell of the fog the smoke-laying choppers provided for the heli-mobile insertions (the neat thing was it seemed to cling to us and acted for a while as a terrific mosquito repellant – but I wonder what that did to our lungs?)!

        Although I’ve often thought of it, I’ve never gone back. But I guess oddly, I have deeply fond memories of the experiences and the camaraderie of the working as a team and depending on one another. It was a hellish time, but in spite of the fact I stayed in the army until retirement, I never again had that amazing feeling of the strong bonds it created (the worn-out cliché of Shakespeare’s ‘we band of brothers’).

        I have looked at Google maps of Tan An today and am absolutely amazed to see it is a big place now – not the rather charming village it once was. And Saigon is unrecognizable!

        I’ve racked my brain for names, but, alas, my memory is dimming.

        Good to hear from you. Gordon

        • Gordon,
          I have two pictures of the Spooky that circled Tan An that night but I can’t figure out how to paste or attach them to this post. As I recall the river was called Song Vam Co Tay? I also have a picture of the roof where the mortar round hit. We went back in 1998 but the old compound was gated with no entry. The bridge has been replaced but the old bridge is still there as a pedestrian only bridge. The water tower is still there but doubt it is in use.

          I just finished the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. If you haven’t read it I would highly recommend it to you since you mentioned the camaraderie we experienced during those times.

          I got out in Sept. 1969 after running the San Francisco Field Office of the 525 MI Group.

          Keep the messages coming.

          Bill

          • Yes, Tan An sat on the Song Vam Co Tay, which joined the Song Vam Co Dong to the east-southeast. You may remember that the vital Ben Luc Bridge over the Song Vam Co Dong was blown down by the VC (and the Corps of Engineer’s replacement pontoon bridge was blown up a month later but they quickly re-replaced) during the summer of the waning months of TET68 – that bridge was the Delta’s (and Team 86’s) heartline to Saigon (up to the actual blow up of the bridge, we flippantly used “Defend the Ben Luc Bridge” as our joking mantra daily, which suddenly became not funny at all)!

            Funny recalls: During TET68, I was twice actually arrested by American MPs – once while I was on a supply run with my Vietnamese unit to ARVN (when the MPs called in, they were told to release me PDQ), and another time (by real jerks and their 1st LT, a simpering idiot “Well I’m just following orders, Sir” he kept repeating over and over as I told him he was making a huge mistake! – I and my men were held for four hours so we had to drive back to Tan An after dark, which was damn scary!) while on a really desperate ammo run to Saigon because I did not have Saigon-issued passes during TET! Oh! Did some MPs and their CO get scorched – I understand the whole issue of MACV Advisors’ status as to whom they belonged reached Westmoreland’s MACV Chief of Staff, MG Kerwin, and MACV won and advisors were removed from the purview of American MPs (I doubly loved my MACV patch after that).

            I am pleased to know that as of 1998 our old ‘villa’ at our compound still existed – it holds some unusual but fond recollections (such as, during TET68, our Senior Advisor had as many people as possible move into/onto the first floor to use the roof and second floor as a mortar shield – golly, it was packed and many of us moved outside to sleep but near enough to run in when we heard mortars firing). I wonder if the Province Chief’s villa remains (I recall our then-Province Chief was a fat and pompous old guy wearing an unlikely array of medals who would not go near any chance of facing fire but loved all the pomp and kowtowing the Americans and locals provided) and the soccer field out front? Probably too high-priced property now.

            You know, Bill, in looking back, I think we were so very, very, very lucky to serve as advisors – at least in Team 86, which maintained its integrity (as far as I’ve ever heard) while American units struggled with “fraggings”, gangs, drugs, anti-war near-mutinies, racial tensions, and such. We seemed to be a professional, cohesive bunch of troops, who kept our morale and sanity. But I do not think a single one of us came home the person we were before (my mother and grandmother used to quietly comment that they wished they could send the present Gordon back and have the old one returned, while my dad – a WW II Army Air Corps B-29 veteran – absolutely ‘loved’ the new one = a “real soldier”).

            But I’ll Never – to my grave – Ever Forgive what we came home to. No “Heroes” then! I still carry deep-seeded anger (and when people of my age come up with their “Thank You For Your Service” self-serving guilt-soothing blather, I really want to ask them where they’ve been for 50 years and then to tell them to go to Hell)! Okay, rant over.

            I’ve read O’Brien’s book. Quite interesting.

            Best, Gordon

            • It’s too bad pictures can’t be posted with these notes. Pictures would bring life to our history. I spent 1968-1969 in Thu Thua, west of Tan An on the Plain of Reeds near the Cambodian border. We were a remote part of Team 86. Six great guys. Best to you all. RS.

    • Gordon Carmichael,
      I am Dennis Carmichael-Antenucci… I met you once at Duc Hoa (Team 99) where I was in commo detachment NCO in the amazing cafeteria until I was reassigned to Team 86. I was in fact at Hau Nghia compound that first night and had been there 2-3 months already. I was the only commo team member who survived the two 122mm rockets that hit our hootch. Specialists Hanson, Lightborne and Story….I survived the attack to include going back into the hooch under heavy small arms and RPG attack at gate to pull Hanson out of the hooch while he was still alive. Got a couple medals and a cup of coffe back in Duc Hoa….LOL…We were lucky enough to have the LRRP platoon element from 25ID on the compound that night and the machine gunner received a Silver Star for laying his M60 down behind the front gate where sappers had blown the gate down. Thanks to him and many others including MACV Security that night we were not overrun. Lots of heroic actions by many. I headed back to Hau Nghia in 2012 and yea the compound is no more that is for sure….but I met some great Vietnamese there and we had a great reunion night together as the locals still alive to remember DID remember.

      • PS…..I have a website that addresses what I did after I came home. I don’t know the URL but if you go to “TeamPanteraRacing.com there ares some good photos of life AFTER the Nam

  2. Rob – Left CG in late ’68 for Tan An, so I didn’t know Major Moss. My successor in Can Giuoc was Larry Crandall, and his successor was Rob Gehring. Ring any bells? I gave contact info for both of them. RSVP

    • Bruce……thanks for the quick response. Don’t know Rob Gehring. I was in Can Giuoc for only 2 months then transferred to Clark AB in the P. I. as a bodyguard as all of the field grade officers’ (1 star and above) families lived at Clark AB and the U.S. Army Liaison Det. served to protect those 58 or so families.

      Thanks….

      Rob

    • Bruce…..If you sent their contact info to me…….I haven’t received it! Were you stationed at the “house” that served as HQ (TOC) in Can Giuoc? What was your rank and duties, etc?

      Thanks….

      Rob

  3. Carl, you are so right to be amazed that I remember your living in Alexandria. My memory is getting very, very poor, so I am also amazed I remember such. I was thumbing through the website and saw the name of Scott Seawel. Scott, I am so sorry I do not remember you, but you sure did bring back some memories if the hospital life. Wow. Back to Carl, I have lived all over the country, almost coast to coast, and now live in northern part of Oklahoma.

  4. Richard,youre correct,i was from alexandria,va,great memory,how are you doing now,ok i hope,the time has gone by so fast,my wife died last yr,which has made things a little difficult,stay in touch good friend,Carl Johnson

  5. Carl, when I left Viet Nam, I was stationed at Andrews AFB. I thought you were from the Alexandria area, but didn’t know how I could find you, way back then. While there, I thought of you often. Oh, yes, the reason I served only 11 months in Nam was that I was one of Nixon’s statistics. I didn’t have any idea why my orders showed up a month early, but when I got Stateside I was told. Remember Nixon’s speech when he said; “We have already brought home ….thousands…” Wow, it is so good to communicate with you, and leave a comment.

  6. Richard,this is Carl Johnson,i do remember you,so glad you made it out ok,i agree with you,that 14 months i was there,i wouldnt exchange for anything,nice to hear from you,you take care and welcome home.

  7. My name is Richard Coy. I served as medic in the hospital in Tan An from July 1968 to June 1969. Carl Johnson, it is good to hear that name again. Such a long time ago, but I still look at it as the best year of my life. First time I’ve seen this page, but now I plan to see it often. Sincere thanks to whomever put it together.

  8. Steve,my name is Carl Johnson,i was with MACV team 86,in the yrs 68-69,i cant find anything on that compound,very sorry to hear your dad was killed,i know col.Gray was killed over there,if i come across anything,i will let you know,thank you,Carl Johnson

    • Thank you for any info. That was his second tour and he was only there from early November to December 28, ’68.
      Just not sure where to look either.

      • Steve, Richard Sutliffe would like your email. It is regarding your father William Ferguson. If you will send it to me I will pass it on to you.

      • I was a captain in Team 86 (mid-1967 to late-1969 — I extended my tour), in Tan An and served under Colonel Grey for about five or so weeks until I was medevaced out of Vietnam early in December 1969. Even in those few weeks, I recognize that he was one of the nicest, most forthright, and intelligent officers I’ve known. He genuinely cared about his troops! Sadly, I did not learn he was killed for some years. But for the short time he was my commander, it was an honor to know him. I tried to pattern myself on many of his characteristics as I rose in rank in my career. He was a wonderful man.

    • Felix Garcia MACV ADV TM 86 May 72-Feb73. Forgive my intrusion. Have seen several comments regarding the main compound. It was abandoned shortly after my arrival in 72. By that time there may have been a dozen personnel left not counting civilians. Operations were moved to the N/W corner adjacent to the old compound. Upon our move the locals stripped the old compound bare. Seemingly overnight the two-story barracks disappeared. It’s been good to hear names of places. Col Hemphill was commanding at the time.

      • Hello, Felix,

        Thank you for the description of the Team 86 compound’s end. I lived there for nearly two years (early-1967 to late-1969) as a Team 86 MACV captain, and remember it well. We had a small bar to the right of the villa building (the mess hall was inside the villa on the ground floor with rooms above) with a movie room behind. I bunked in a room in a building off to the left of the villa; the big barracks was behind me with the latrine and showers between. Hard to believe it was sacked.

        I was there for TET68 when the compound was attacked with mortars, RPGs, and ground fire. It was a wild time! Vietnam was bedlam for months afterwards. Everywhere we manoeuvred in heli-mobile assaults all over Long An to Saigon, we ran into fierce ground fire, and the VC had seemingly unlimited mortars and RPGs.

        I also recall the Delta-wide disruption when the vital Ben Luc Bridge was blown down that summer and the pontoon bridge we had to use was blown up a month later – but the marvelous American engineers restored it again quickly. The VC liked to harass us while we were crossing that bridge (up or down).

        Thank you for the update! Gordon Carmichael

  9. just watched “Brothers in War” on netflix. It brought back a lot of memories about Vietnam for me, and seeing the delta and Long An Providence really took me back. Those were a tough bunch of guys in 67 and 68. I remember going out on ops with maj Gesluga and Col Grey and calling in air strike and gunships for support. Pretty crazy times. Anyway if you haven’t seen the documentary you should check it out. I’m still trying to find out if anyone knows where a Will Utsey from tac86 is. Welcome Home!

      • Another Veterans Day has passed. All of us still enjoying each day are blessed to be able to pause and reflect on our days of service to this great nation, and for all of those men and women who proceeded us and those that have followed us up to the young inductees reporting for training tomorrow.
        We all need to focus our prayers and best thoughts that President elect Trump leads our nation from a position of strength, using his skills as a negotiator and sparingly puts our troops at risk.
        God Bless America!
        J Fred Oliver

  10. Ray,im doing ok,my wife died last year ,so life is so different now,hope youre doing well.Have you heard from anyone ekse who was there with us?

    • Hi Carl. I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. Glad to hear you’re doing well though. I haven’t heard from anyone else personally. It’s been a while since Randy posted anything. Since I learned that had Jim had died I managed to track down his son whom I believe lives in or near Reno, Nevada. I have a California flag Jim gave passed on to me as a fellow Californian when he left the unit. The plan was to pass it on to the next guy from California assigned to the unit. Never saw one until I left in October 70. I brought the flag home. Now I’d like to give it to Jim’s son. I’ll let you know when and if I locate him. I don’t check this site as frequently as my private email. Write to me there at rvortiz@gmail.com. I check my private email everyday. Take care my friend. I’ll stay in touch. Thanks for your friendship.

  11. I served on team 86 as engineer advisor from May of 1969 to May of 1970 mainly restoring roads and bridges, working with the Seabed team and the public works dept. I worked with Sgt David Miller who was the best combat engineer I ever met. From MILPHAP555 I remember Sgt Gentles. Others were Major Simpson, Major Gesulga, Col Sanderson, George Serencko, “Snoopy” (at the front gate), Captain Gregory, Murphy,and Pitaro. I met many good people and have no regrets for my time there. I love to reminisce and welcome the opportunity. My email is ralphwed@verizon.net and my cell is 609-471-3361. Best wishes to all.

    • I served on Team 86 in Thu Thua from May 1968 until May 1969 with some great guys. Lts. Stone, Buehrig, Sgts. Hoepner, Spec John Baugh…just to name a few of the guys. We had about six guys in our Outpost so I’m sorry to be leaving out a few. John served as my RTO on many chopper combat assaults in the Plain of Reeds on the Cambodian border as well as many night ambushes with our PRU platoon. I’m still in touch with John Baugh, Richard Stone and Grant Buehrig. If there is a way to post a couple of pictures let me know.
      PS. The best to all you guys that served.
      Richard

      • Guys,
        A couple of weeks ago I sorted through my old VN slides. Thanks to an Instamatic camera my parents sent me I have a couple of hundred slides. John Baugh, RTO and I did several Ops, both day and night, with that Instamatic camera in a plastic bag. We sent the film off to the PX with the request for two copies of each picture. Thanks to that we’ve got a number of slides from ’68-69.

        It was interesting to look at these pictures from many years ago. Chopper combat assaults, daytime Ops in the Plain of Reeds on the Cambodian border, the early morning beauty of the rice paddies…and much more. I selected a few and had them converted to CD (digital). It was not expensive. If you have some old photos from your time in VN converting them to a digital format is easy and pretty inexpensive. Think about doing it.

        Best to you.
        Rich

        • Mr. Sutliffe,

          You were kind enough to share a story and possibly some info with one of my brothers regarding meeting my father, Capt. William E. Ferguson and working with his unit the night he was killed, December 28, 1968. With your story and one from Mr. Richard Stone, it was mentioned dad was based at the “122 Compound” down the road from the MACV Team 86 compound. Someone provided a map from that time but I was wondering if you know of any photos of the 122 Compound or of any additional contacts that may be able to share any info, stories, etc.

          Still want to find out anything we can.

          Thank you for any help and info and for your previous comments.

          Steve Ferguson

          • Steve, very sorry for your father’s death. I put together a reaction force with my PRU mercenaries that night to try to save him and others in his company. But we got there too late. I’m having trouble with this website. If you send me your email address I’ll try to give you more information and some pictures. You should know your father loved all of you and proudly showed me pictures of you all…and he did the very best by his troops too.
            Richard Sutliffe

        • Marion lane (rto at tan an). 68-69 sept I remember you and John coming to Tan An once in a while,I’m sure we talked a lot on the radio

      • 111-57 Team 86
        Gary Johnson Sgt.
        Thu Thua
        June 68 to June 69
        With Lieutenant Buehrig, Captain Byrd,
        J T Crawford, Gary Ruck, and later with Lieutenant Pifer, and Lieutenant Mead and Sgt Gonzalez,
        Our team was at the South end of Thu Thua and I think we came to you to pick up our mail.

        • Hi Gary,
          I think you were with the MAT Team at the 849 Compound down the canal from our Team 86 team house. I’m still in contact with your old Lt. Grant Buehrig. We met in San Francisco a few years ago. He and his family are doing fine. I got a text message today from Lt. Stone who now lives in Austin and has two granddaughters. He is also doing fine. I also met a year ago last summer with my buddy Spec4 John Baugh who humped the radio on so many day and night Ops with me. He lives in Indiana and is also a father and a grandfather. I’m glad to be in contact with all of them. I hope you and your family are well. I might have a picture someone took with you in it on the top of 849 compound when Lt. Buehrig left the Mat Team to go back to the 9th Inf. and we did some celebrating. The best to you.
          R.

  12. I served as engineer advisor on team 86 from 5/69 to 5/70. I remember a Sgt. Gentles with MILPHAP555 and had the good luck to work with Sgt. David Miller. We restored a lot of roads and bridges working with the Seabee team and the public works dept. Met many good people and have no regrets for the time there. I love to reminisce and welcome the opportunity. My email is ralphwed@verizon.net and can be reached at 609-471-3361. Best wishes to all.

  13. I served on Advisory Team 86 during the latter part 1970-1971 under Major George E. Watkins. I was the MI Phoenix/DIOCC Officer.
    Would like to hear if any one has any info regarding Maj. Watkins or others.

      • I served on Team 86 under Major Watkins in November 1970 and went home April 1971. So far I have not been able to find anything in regard to the Major. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    • I, too, was the DIOCC LT in Ben Luc District in July 1967 to Oct 1967 when I moved to Tan An and joined the PRU CIA folks.

    • What can you remember or tell me about the special action teams devised by Col Gray in early 69 until july 69 until I left? They continued on after I left but how long? I served as team leader in tan tru province under Major Gravitt, the DSA and Captain Smith was the Phoenix officer.

  14. John Greer, SGT with 493 MID supporting 5/60 9ID at Binh Phouc in 1970. Not seeing much here from the MACV 86 outpost in Binh Phouc so thought I’d include a line. CPT David White requested my transfer to Team 86 in July, but was sent to Saigon for CMIC instead.

    • Hi Carl. Haven’t seen any postings/comments from you in a while. Hope all is well. Let me know how you’re doing buddy.

      • Ray,
        Just saw your recent entry concerning Sergeant Battles. I was with him the day he was blown up by booby trap in the Plain of Reeds. We were on patrol with the RF company out of Tan Tru. Worst day of my life. He was a brave, professional soldier and I counted him as a friend. I visited his widow at Fort Bragg after the War.

  15. Clarence,

    The Wild Turkey and Kentucky does not ring a bell. The two COs that I was in conatct with were Maj Sweeny and Maj Simpson ,,, I did not know Maj Simpson for that long so he might be an outside possibility.

    Pat Hearn

  16. Clarence,
    Lt Whitall was CO at that time and our radio did not go out. This was another incident you are recalling I guess.

    • I don’t. Although I’m told I may qualify for something. Are you collecting?

      I’m living in San Jose, Ca. Moved here in 1973 with my wife right after we got married. We both graduated from San Jose State University. Been here ever since. Here’s my personal email address so you can contact me directly. Look forward to staying in touch. Take care.

      rvortiz@gmail.com

      Have you heard back from Randy Stewart?

      • Ray,im not getting anything from V A,tried but was turned down,no i havent heard anymore from Randy,ill keep in touch,take care

    • Hi Carl. Hope all is well with you. I have some sad news. You may already know but I recently learned that Jim Ahnlund died in December 2013. I’m trying to reach a family member who may live in Reno, Nevada. I’ll keep you posted. Take care my friend.

  17. In regards to my postings back in November and December last year. I found a letter from Mr. Jeffery Race who indicated that a Major Robert Rintz was in Can Duoc at that time and maybe the person who I spoke with the morning of 11 November 1967. Anyone remember him ?

    Bob

  18. Ray,this is carl johnson,has been a long times,years have gone fast,the name was Jeff Upp,what a waste of human life.Was happy to see your e-mail,i live in Virginia

    • Good to hear from you and that you seem to be doing well. When I asked if you still lived in New Mexico I was thinking of someone else. A good friend named Ron Ball. Do you know him? Last time I saw him we were in Bien Hoa getting our assignments. He was very disappointed he went to I Corps. I got mine to team 86 and left the next day. Never saw Ron again. So how are things? Just enjoying life at the moment. I belong to a veterans group. A casual group. Most of us were in Vietnam. We meet twice a month for lunch. Just because we can! Good group.

  19. I was CO of MAT III-26 from 1970-1 in Can Douc and Can Giuoc Districts in Long An Province Vietnam. I am looking to make contact with members of my team & sister MAT III-74::
    SFC Charles Collins, 1LT Joseph J. Makowski Jr., 1Lt Petterson, SFC Brese, 1Lt Matthew J. Whittall III (my CO), SSG “Doc”John S. Himmelheber . I am in contact with SGT. Robert L. Pelloux &.
    Sister MAT III-74 1LT Thomas Walsh, SFC “Doc” Fish, SFC Gibbs, Sgt Beaver, SFC Pollack

    PSA of LONG AN Province during our time there was MAJ Grant.

  20. Clarence

    I remember you now. You were RTO in Tan an. I remember you as a tall, very likable person. Sargent E-5. I can remember your voice on the radio. It was very nice to know you were linked to the higher ups. More and more is coming back to me now. NEAT!

    • I wish my memories were a little better. There was an RTO from Tan An named Up or Upp spec 4 or E-5 who was killed in our last encounter with the NVA 520 Bn Hq does anyone remember his first name? I was out on the same op the day it happened but on the other side of the river. Was some heavy fire that day.

      • His name is Jeff Upp. I remember him well. I was the awards and decorations clerk with Team 86 at the time. I had the honor of writing the details of his actions and death for his medal recommendation. I will always remember Jeff as one whose death epitomized the shear waste of lives during that war. May he Rest in Peace.

      • I was also there when Col. Gray was killed. Also remember SSG Charles Battles. He died at Saigon hospital from wounds received on patrol. Don’t remember what district. Both good men.

        • I was with C E Battles when he was blown up by booby trap and severely wounded on patrol in the Plain of Reeds with RF company from Tan Tru. .SFC Battles died soon after in III field hospital in Saigon in July, 69. He was a professional soldier and proud of it. I was a MAT team leader and the special action team leader in tan tru district.. The special action teams were put together by Col Gray in Mar 69..

        • Hi Ray, My name is Dave Cook and I served with Sgt Chas.E. Battles in C 1/327 in ’65-’66. I went over in July ’65 on the boat with the First Brigade, 101st Abn and came in Nov.’66. We were both in the Wpns. Plt. as mortar men. He was a squad leader and I was FDC/RTO. He was a great guy and had a sense of humor that we remember. He was a tad heavy when he arrived from Ft. Bragg. We went to the field soon after he came and we stayed out over a week eating sparingly. We came back to the rear area and were going swimming and he had peeled off his fatigues shirt and stood sort of flexing and looking at his belly. He said “Cook, check me out, I’m neat around the waist as a wasp and big across the chest like a Budweiser hoss.” I left in July ’66 and did write him letter but never got a reply. It wasn’t until 30 years later that I saw the book of names on the Vn Mem. and there he was. It jumped out of the page at me and I was upset. The same thing happened w/ another guy I knew. Anyway, I always wanted to communicate with someone who knew him after our tour with the “Always First Brigade,” (as a loyal trooper I’m supposed to add that.) I taught school-H.S. and college for 45 years and am now retired and live in Maine. I hope all is well with you and if you were a friend of Charles Battles you are a friend, “Above the Rest!” Dave

          • Hi Dave..I didn’t know Charles well. Only saw him a few times if he happened to come by admin in Tan An. As the awards and decorations clerk for team 86, I had to write up his decoration recommendation upon his death. As it was for all recommendations of this nature, it was a sad task. But I was honored to have been involved. Some tasks one just never forgets. I currently live in San Jose, California with my two sons and two grandsons. My wife of 44 years recently passed away so life has changed. She wrote to me in Viet Nam at the request of my sister who was her childhood friend. She sent me a type-written letter with the word “hi” in the middle of the page. I returned it after I changed the “i” to and “e” and added “llo”. Lead to the happiest 44 years of my life. Take care my friend and welcome home.

            Ray

    • Darrell I was in Can Douc District. Was on radio a lot but I was actually Revolutionary Development advisor at first then was RF/PF advisor after that. I remember being at your compound and did have contact with your team.

  21. We were a SRDF team from the 335th RRC in direct support of the 9th infantry Division and were in the PF compound in the village of Can Duoc when the village came under attack From a VC/NVA force. It was the early morning hours of 11 Nov 1967. Advisors from team 86 were located elsewhere in the village. I’m looking to find out where exactly the PF compound was.(I.e. West side, east side, etc.). I believe the team radio operator was named Joe and at the time of the attack only had his boots, under ware and radio on. The VC booby trapped the advisors hooches. There was also a Sargent who when passing the compound after things had died down who thought we were dead. I also met a major later near the dispensary but don’t remember his name. Any info would be appreciated.

    • Robert, did you know any of the Advisors in Tan Tru? Our call sign was Foxy Spooner 10. I am trying to get names of my teammates. The SA was Major Alonzo D. Foote. He died recently and is buried in Arlington. Tried to contact him prior to his death but was informed he had Alzheimer’s. The Asst SA was Capt Hill ((NFI). I was the O and I Advisor. Can’t recall the name of my RTO or Vn interpreter. Do you remember ant friendly fire incidents in Tan Tru that involved a military air strike that killed one of our counterparts families that was in a river boat which was blown out of the river. If you can remember any of Tan Tru Advisors between 86-87 please email me at wattshawaii@aol.com.

      • Warren,
        I didn’t know any of the advisors at Tan Tru. I was at Tan Tru,but in support of the 9th Infantry. I was with the 335th Radio Research Company and assigned to a two man short range directional finding team.

        Bob

    • Robert if its is any conciliation for you I was in Can Douc from 69-71 and in 70 we captured the last of the 520 NVA Battalion HQs. We dad it down to where there were no NVA in the district and had the VC under control. My first tour was pretty crazy the second one we didn’t have to worry a lot
      .

      • I was on MAT III 26 in Can Douc and Can Giuoc District from 5/70-4/71. I closed the team down in 3/71. I was with Bill Polloux. (See above)

  22. Was back a few years ago. Tan An is now a bustling Saigon suburb. Could not find the old advisory compound. Lotsa government stuff now behind high walls. People very friendly.

  23. I served as radio operator in Tan An from Sep 1969 to Sep 1970. I served with Jim Smalley for a while and Will Utsey. It is amazing what I don’t remember about my tour. I am planning a trip there soon. I hope to see where I was housed and worked. If any one has been back there at Tan An. I would appreciate in info you could give me.

    • I was CO of MAT III 26 stationed in Can Duoc District, Long An Provence. Were you on duty the night of 20 July 70 when our compound was attacked at midnight?

      • Darrell I remember a little about that night I was in district HQ. I believe we came out there one day around then and I remember shrapnel flying around.

      • Darrell didn’t you guys radio go out that night and you had to meet someone at the 2×4 bridge to get another radio?

        • Clarence, Sorry for the late reply. Memory is getting foggy and I do not remember our radio problems. I do remember Lt Whittall diving out the front door with the radio in hand. He may have broke it? I do not remember.

    • Hi Lane. Were you at the main compound in Tan An? I remember an unkept soccer field in front and the province chief’s residence nearby. The main admin building for team 86 was located near the chief’s residence in August 68 when I arrived. It was later moved to a small building in the village. I left in October 70. Crossed paths with many good guys during that time.

      • Ortiz, did you work with Scott May in Admin? I was operating the TOC Radio network across driveway from Province Chiefs house and was housed with May for a while. Also a guy named Coutchie. Ring a bell, ding ding

        • HI Jim. Yes I do remember Scott. If I’m correct he arrived sometime in 1970. I left in October of ’70. Are you in touch with Scott?

        • Just an added note about Scott. As I was leaving the compound by jeep on my way to Bien Hoa headed home, I turned for one last look at the compound. Scott was standing there with a smile. Never forget him. Last person I saw from team 86.

      • Hi, Ray I haven’t been on this site for a while. Yes I was at the main compound and in front was a soccer field. We used to have football game out there once in a while, and I think we even had a couple of BBQ’s out there too. I remember a bunch of geese running around out around there and they were as mean as all get out. If you saw them you had to go way around them. I wonder if the compound is even there any more.

  24. Served with macv tm 86,from sept 68 till nov 69,col gray was our commander,great bunch of guys,never regreted any of it,carl johnson

  25. Just found this site.

    I served in ThuThua from May 1968 till about May ’69 with Richard Stone, John Baugh, Grand Buehrig and others. Before that I had been an Armored Cav Platoon Ldr. but in Thu Thua my responsibilities were night Ops with my PRU mercenaries and day Ops with my teammates and local VN forces. It was a long time ago but as I look back on it, I was privileged to serve with my teammates (we were part of Team 86…although remote) and also privileged to know Col. Gray.

    • Richard,
      Thanks to Pat Hearn’s efforts we have had a fun get together. Pat Also shared some photos, I think you were in several. It was fun sharing MACV, and the 47 years since.

      You should make contact with both of us.
      Col. Gray should be remembered by all of us the Memorial Day.
      Best,
      J Fred Oliver
      Fred@assetpropertygroup.com

  26. Bruce,

    This may help indirectly … Major Simpson replaced Major Sweeney as Team 86 Can Duoc subsector CO. This was approx March of 1969. As the local 5 I helped to get Major Simpson transitioned but I have not kept in touch. Hope this helps in some way to track him down. On a separate note, I am trying to locate Joseph F. Oliver ( Fred Oliver ) who commented in June on the Team 86 blog site. I left him a message on the blog but if he is not logging in or subscribed to the email connection he will not see it. Is there a a way for the blog site master to connect me to Fred ? Good luck on the book .. I have tons of photos and stories to tell if you want to connect. I am at nwe9000@gmail.com or you can call me at 978-263- 4721 in Massachusetts.

    – Pat Hearn

    • Pat do you know which Major in Can Duoc was from Kentucky and loved his Wild Turkey. It wasn’t Simpson but was before or after not sure which. He also got us a boston whaler from the Navy at the mouth of the river with an 85hp motor on it. We used to water ski in our spare time.

      • MAT 26 used that whaler to good effect trading off the USS Sphinx for steaks. They were wonderful people (OR thought our stuff was wonderful). This was a time when Lt Tom Walsh was CO—I think.

  27. My name is Scott Seawel. I was with the 555 MILPHAP at Tan An from Nov 68 to July 69. We worked in what was loving called a TanAn hospital. Wish I could remember everyones name. I mostly remember that it seemed like my name would never move up the chain of names at the bar.

  28. Randall Stewart — Just found this web site. I was Advisory Team 86 in Tan An in Aug ’68 to Aug ’69 – I was a clerk typist for the team. Sgt Orange, Ray Ortiz, and Jim Ahnlund are some of the names that I remember. Would love to hear from anyone there during this time.

    • Hay Randy. This is Ray Ortiz. Been a long time. Are you still in Medina, Tennessee? Remember when I asked to say wolf and woof one after the other. Both words sounded so similar Sgt. Orange asked “who you barking at?”

  29. Hi, Clarence. I’m in toiuch with Rob Gehring, who was with you for a time in Can Duoc. He’s in Reston VA.

  30. I was at Tan Tru District, AT 86, 1966-1967. DSA was MAJ Alonzo D. Foote. ADSA was CPT Tom Hill. I was Opns and Intell Advisor.

    • Hi Clarence,

      I think we may have just missed each other. I was at team 86 Can Douc Subsector approximately Apr 68 to Apr 69. You can reach me at nwe9000@gmail.com or 978-263-4721. Our lead was Major Patrick Sweeney who left just before I did. He was replaced by a Major Simpson who was probably in charge when you were there. Also you may have overlapped with Spec 5 Moses T Siregar the RTO. I was able to reach Moses T Siregar a few years ago .. an interesting story there.

      Please get in touch.

      – Patrick Hearn

      • I was there during the time Maj Simpson was, I don’t remember names Yi was our interpreter. I was there for about 20 months.

        • Clarence,
          Have you maintained contact with Maj Simpson?
          If so, please reach out to him with my regards.
          Best,
          J Fred Oliver

    • Clarence, my name is Bill Pelloux. I was a sgt with MATIII-26 just up the road from Can Duoc outside of Cho Tram. I am in regular contact with my then Lt. Darrell Goss. I was there for only a few months when the team was disbanded. Am also in contact with Thach Ngoc Nguyen, our interpreter whom worked for different teams and now lives in Lowell, Mass. Time from was 1971.
      PS Interesting enough, all around our compound has been developed according the google maps however the motes are still visible from satellite images. Thach’s daughter has since been there and took pictures of it and email them to us.
      Hope this helps. We may have met as we would come to Can Duoc once in a while.
      Bill

      • Hi Bill,
        You will see a few of my posts on the Team 86 Website. I would be very interested in getting in touch with our Can Duoc interpreter, a Mr. Yi, and would like to contact Thach Ngoc Nguyen who you mentioned, Do you have contact information on him that you could pass along ? If you prefer not to post publicly you can send to my private email nwe9000@gmail.com.

        Thanks, Pat Hearn
        Team 86 Can Duoc 1968-69

      • Patrick, I talked with Thach today and he said the best way to contact him is via instant message on Facebook. If you search for Thach Ngoc Nguyen then you should find him. His English is very, very difficult to understand, it’s not what it was. Good luck

      • I was over there 3 times about 3 years ago. Can Duoc is a thriving upper scale place now got to go for 1 month twice and 2 weeks once.
        . I was there for almost 2 tours ending in 71 when they started the pull out. First tour I was RD advisor 2nd tour I was RFPF advisor

  31. Google south vietnam 1968 555 milphap for a peek at Long An Provincein 1968. Some names of people in the video were Soloman, Sutton, Brown, & Ducharme.

  32. Assigned to 555 MILPHAP Tan An 68-69. Would like to contact anyone from 555 in that time frame if you know of any.

  33. I served with AT 86 at Tan Tru District between 1966-1967. MAJ Alonzo D. Foote was the DSA, CPT Tom Hill ((NFI) was the ADSA, SSG Warren L. Watts was the Opns & Intell Adv, SSG Bachsi
    “T” (NFI), was the medic, and the RTO was a young white male (NFI). The Tan Tru District Chief was CPT Truong-Ngoc Than. My counterpart was LT Rung (NFI), Cdr, 763rd RF Company, who was KIA during a river boat operation. I lost contact with all of my Teammates after leaving Vietnam in 1967. I eventually established contact with MAJ Foote but he could not remember any of the other teammates other than myself. If anybody can help me locate my other teammates I would be most grateful.

    • Hello Doug, I was a member of AT – 86 from April 1967-May 1968. Serve in Bien Luc, Rach Kien. Was the
      Medic on our 5 Man Team would love any info that you might be able to share from that time frame.
      SSG Hugh Williams, e-mail: hwilliamssr@nc.rr.com

  34. Richard – I’m forwarding your note to Stan Ifshin, a civilian who served in Thu Thua 1968-70. I visited Thu Thua in 2006. It was the same colorful place as when we were in Long An. People have returned to the abandoned villages out on the Plain of Reeds. It’s worth going back!

    • Bruce, in your research what particulars did you find regarding the death of Col. Asa P. Gray? I was the Thu Thus ADSA and in Thu Thua the day he was KIA and have read conflicting accounts.

  35. I was on Team 86, Thu Thua District, July 68-69, as ADSA. Other team members I keep in contact with are John Baugh, Richard Sutliffe and Grant Buehrig. Would like to hear from anyone who was assigned to Thu Thua

    • Stone,
      Maj Sweeney was my CO. I had a team in late ’68 and early ’69. Sgt Collins and Billingsly were on my team. Do you ave contact with any of these fellows.
      Joseph F Oliver

      • Joseph,

        Its good to know you are alive and well. We were together in Can Duoc Subsector, Long An province in approx 1968. I recall we scavanged perforated steel planking in our jeep to help you get your bunker set up. You can reach me at nwe9000@gmail.com or 617-240-5148. I would like to send you a team photo and catch up.

        -Pat Hearn

  36. I have, after decades of searching, turned up Steven GRAY, who was an infant when his father, COL Asa Parker Gray, was killed in Thu Thua while serving as Province Senior Advisor. I am planning a luncheon for Mr. Gray this spring, in or near Washington. If you’d like to come, let me know.

    Bruce Kinsey
    brucekinsey@hotmail.com

    • I was serving with macv tm 86 when col gray was killed,a very good person,always remember his name was serving in tan an provincen, carl johnson

  37. Hi Bruce,
    Just found this web site while playing with the computer.
    I was with the MILPHAP team assigned to Tan An from Jan. 68 to Jan 69. Arrived about 3 weeks before Tet. Welcome to Vietnam!!!!
    We worked in the Vietnamese Hospital and did some MEDCAPS throughout the province. I suppose it was a Hearts and Minds thing. Maybe we won some hearts but not sure about the minds.
    Good luck with your book. Feel free to contact me
    Richard Millenbach

  38. I served on Team 86 for over two years, first in Can Giuoc District and then as head of NLD in Tan An. I’m writing a book about the pacification program, to be called GOOD GUYS: The Quiet Americans Who Tried to Pacify Vietnam. Contributions welcome! I am also trying to locate the family of COL Asa Parker Gray, Jr., our PSA who was killed in action in May 1969. Any help would be welcome.

    Keep the faith,

    Bruce Kinsey
    CORDS I

    • Bruce, I’m Rob (Bob) Weamer Jr., and I was an RTO with Teamm 99 our of Duc Hoa from Jan. 1969 to Oct. 1969 when I transferred to Cần Giuộc to work with Maj. Moss at TOC in a house that served as our HQ. Did you know him and, if so, what can you share with me?

      Thanks…

      Rob

      • Bob –

        Sorry – just found your messagwe. I did not know Maor Moss, nor his predecessor, Malor Neely (sp??) Can Giuoc was tough turn when I arrived in April ’68, Nearly everything across the river was VC. But Larry Crandall, my successor, made solid strides.there and elsewhere in the district. I waas back in ’06 to find the place a gfar-out suburb of Saigon, but still quite recognizable. Hardly so Tan An, How were things in CG when you were there?

        • Bruce….

          I wasn’t in Can Giuoc more than 30 days when I transfer to Clark AB in the P.I. for the remaining 2 months of my tour when I DEROSed home in December 1969. As I recall, our duty station was in a very small house which served as MACV HQ for the Team. During those last days, we three Comms guys worked 8 to 10 hour shifts in the TOC to maintain comms and provided air and ground support for the field teams. I mostly remember that many of the OPS resulted in firefights with joint 9th Inf. and the MACV teams as well as some NAVY PBR’s.

          In that regard, I had very little free time to socialize or roam around Can Giuoc and get in trouble. What got me transferred to the P.I. was a second bout with malaria that put me in Tan Son Nhut Hospital for 3 days. When I returned, Maj. Moss sent me into MACV HQ at Tan Son Nhut to interview with Maj. Gen. Townsend, Chief of Staff-MACV for that open position at Clark AB. I got the job and spent the next 75+ days eating good food and enjoying the rest of my tour.

          That’s it in a nutshell……

          Rob

          • Bob –

            You’ll be pleased to know that in the twilight of the Republic of Vietnam, Long An gave a good account of itself. Later documents from North Vietnam struggled hard to account for the Revolution’s lack of success during the final years of the war in both Long An and, of all places, Hau Nghia .In particular the RF in Long An fought on ’til the end.

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