Team 88 Ben Tre

MACV Team 88 – Ben Tre.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 88 located in Ben Tre.

350 thoughts on “Team 88 Ben Tre

    • Hello Sir, my name is Roberto Calderon USAF Ret. Do you or anyone on the Team remember SSG Authur E. La Chance. I can be reached by email and/or by cell 307-575-9864 Thank you and hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

    • Yes LTC Dudley was the head guy of Kien Hoa Province. Man Paul Compton was second in charge. Mr Enders was the head civilian. I remember a lot of the team in 68 to 69 era. What was your name Robert ? I was the senior personnel specialist at BenTre who also drove through the jungle five days a week to MyTho and who went on several operations with Captain Beach. Also flew with Capt Uhl a few times to observe some missions.

  1. I was the Phoenix Adviser co-located with the team in MoCay from December 68 – July 69. At the time I was 1st Lt. Edward Williams.

    • Thanks for the reply but MAT V was one of the first MAT teams put together right after TET – we trained at the base camp for THE BIG RED 1 for two weeks before getiing deployed into Mo Cay.The time period is more like March to August ’68

  2. My father, then Capt William (Bill) Harman was MACV from April 1969-April 1970. He didn’t talk much about his time in country. We have a plaque with a dent for Ben Tre and Thanh Phu. He passed Dec 10th. If there are members here who know Dad and can fill in some of his time here, we’d greatly appreciate it. Only story he told was one day, a South Vietnamese commander called for support because he was being attacked by VC on water buffalo. Dad asked for a spotter plane to swing by and report what he saw. The spotter radioed back that the unit was taking a smoke break with no VC or water buffalo in sight. Dad asked for some rockets laid down near the South Vietnamese unit. Their commander frantically radioed in “friendly fire”. Dad radioed back that they were clearing out the water buffalo VC cavalry. Guess his CO got a great laugh about it. Thank you all for any help and serving.

      • George, I was seeking information om MAT IV (Mobile Advisory Team) which is different than the MACV (Military Assistance Command) team. I took that Team to Mo Cay very soon after you left in March/April ’67. Sorry if I misled you. However, do you recall the name of the Major in charge of the MACV or other soldiers there at the time you left.

  3. You have my. condolences on his passing. He was an excellent leader of a very strong-willed combat officer. He helped me to deal with my aggressive behavior. I will never forget Major Rod.

  4. Today marks the 53rd anniversary of the day members of MAT-IV headed for Ben Tre to overnight before heading out the next day for a mission. On Oct. 7 we travelled along the river until we disembarked onto the shore. We immediately encountered bobby traps along the path we were following. Later we reached the objective trail that we were to follow. The mission was to encounter VC. Unfortunately we were ambushed. I was blown off the trail and into the brush, suffering several wounds. The NCO from the team had his right leg severed below the knee. He died in the hospital the following day. My interpreter died on the helicopter before we were able to lift off. The new Lt. who had been with us only 4 days was killed. For the past several years I have had contact with the Lt.’s family and they have been very gracious and thankful for finally learning what happened to their brother after many years of not knowing. Today, I would like to pay tribute to those team members who did not make it home. I shall fly a flag at my home in honor of their service.

  5. My father, John Robert “Bobby” Watt, was a member of Air Force in Ben Tre in 1968 and 1969. He was originally from the Chicago area. Recently I have been sorting through his many boxes of slides he took while in Vietnam and the four years after while stationed in Germany. The project will take me a very long time so this is just a start. I do have some pictures scanned and uploaded. I thought it might be interesting to this group. Since they are slides and my father died of glioblastoma in 2007, I do not have much context. I’m sure all of you have more context. You can view them on Flickr. I’ve set the albums to public so you can view them. If you want to make a comment, I believe you have to be a member which is free. If you want any of the pics, reach out at and I will send you a digital version. All of the pics are family friendly and are located at:

    • I knew your father Bobby Watt. I was a DIOCC lieutenant in Don Nhon district in Kien Hoa province from Nov ‘68 to Nov ‘69. Ben Tre was the province capital. Your Dad was a great guy. Wasn’t in Ben Tre all that often but when I was got to know many of the other Americans. I was US army Infantry. The Air Force and Navy were impt support services that kept us protected when in the field on an ops. Hope all is well. All the best. Greg Mutz

      • Hello Greg,

        I was the DIOCC Advisor in Mo Cay from December 1968 until July 1969. I was a 1Lt at the time. I later took over as the Mobile Combat Team Coordinator for Kien Hoa Province under a Major that was rotated and was replaced by Major Rodriguez. I’m sure we met in the compound in BenTre City.

    • Dear Jennifer,
      I also knew your father. He was a great guy. I was an infantry captain in Kien Hoa Province, August 1968 to August 1969. I was Assistant District Advisor in Truc Giang District from August ’68 to January ’69. Then I was pulled out to Ben Tre Province HQ to be the temporary Province Logistic Advisor when the quartermaster major went home early on compassionate leave because his wife was having a difficult pregnancy. I did the best I could as a draftee QM advisor for three months. I often went with your dad to visit the two orphanages in Ben Tre city, one Buddhist and one Catholic. We usually went with Captain Joe Siwy, leader of the Civil Affairs platoon in Ben Tre. Your dad was a great scrounger (finder of supplies, sometimes by methods better left unmentioned) of things the orphanages could use–food, medicine, clothes, etc. Once he turned up with a trailer load of wooden rocket crates which he turned into footlockers for the Catholic orphanage children to keep their clothes and other possessions in. I am sorry to hear he has died. He should have had many more years. I am sure he is in Heaven now, probably scrounging things for the smallest angels.

  6. Former District Chief of Giong Trom, LTC Le Chi THien, after spending 8 years in “re-education” camp, migrated to San Jose, California. He is still active. His Deputy, Mr. Cat, is in “Little Saigon” and about 94 now.

    • Any chance you have any contact info for LTC Le Chi THien? I spent most of my ear deployment in Giong Trom and got to know him and his family very well. I’ve attempted to search for them a number of times and didn’t have any luck . I deeply respected him for his honesty and intelligence.

      • Dear Terry
        This morning, I’m very pleased to hear from Tim Bertooti that you want to get in touch with me. So from now on, we can get to know each other through this site, email or phone after nearly half a century of separation.
        Currently I live in San Jose, California, and have just retired for a few months now.
        I survived 10 years in the Communist prison and resettled in the US in October 1991. I’m now 83 years old and having very low vision due to bad Glaucoma. The best way to contact me is by phone.
        My phone # (408)207-6849
        I hope to hear from you soon!
        Thien C. Le

    • Fifty years ago today, November 7th, 1970, Major Alexander R. Christine lost an arm and a leg in the service of his country while serving as District Senior Advisor of Binh Dai District, Kien Hoa Province.

      Chris survived to live a full life as an outstanding person and raise four very fine children.

      All gave some.
      Some gave all.
      Chris gave more than most.

      Gone but not forgotten.

      • My name is David Michael Eberhardt (Mike). I arrived at Kien Hoa Province in August 1970. I was on MAT-IV in Ham Loung District. Watching the rerun of the multi-part series on Vietnam not to long ago, the program focused on 1968-1970 indicated how heavily Ben Tre was with Vietcong. My MAT team was on a mission with the local RF-PF’s in a really bad area along the Mekong. We were ambused. I was wounded, the new Lt. that had arrived four days earlier was killed and the NCO lost a leg and died the next day in the hospital we were flown to. This was on Oct. 7, 1970. I received a message on this website that all MAT teams were pulled out of the area some time later because we could not be protected. It was not a nice place.

          • The senior advisor during my short time there was Maj. Coddington. (I think spelling is correct.) I got word that he was killed about six weeks following my being wounded and return to the States. Several team members were killed at the same time, including the Lt. that replaced me.

        • Mike, I arrived Ham Long as DDSA in July 1971. DSA was Major Dave Kretschmar. There was still one MAT Team in Ham Long, set up in An Hiep village right on the road to Ben Tre. I believe it was MAT IV-5. Was that your team? 1970 was a tough year for Ham Long — MAT Tm Chief LT Jacobsen KIA, DSA MAJ Coddington KIA, you WIA and another MAT Teammate KIA. MAT Tm IV-5 was closede down about August 1971, due to reduced strength on the province advisory team (Tm 88). The district team was closed in May 1972 when MAJ Kretschmar DEROSed, i extended and moved to Mo Cay as DDSA.. In July 1972 an NVA regiment invaded across the Mekong into Ham Long. The PSA sent the province S-2 Advisor, CPT Chandler, out to Ham Long but he was KIA after only 2 days. There was heavy fighting around Tan Loi village and the NVA came within 1 klick of overrunning Ham Long district hq (that’s when CPT Chandler was KIA). He was the last Advisor KIA in Ham Long and last Advisory Team 88 man to be KIA. The 18th Regiment 9th ARVN deployed to Kien Hoa and pushed the NVA back and out of the province. I went back out to Ham Long as DSA Aug-Nov 1972 to help restore security, then finished up my tour in Mo Cay. Finally DEROSed in mid-Fed 1973 after two weeks as a cease-fire violation because the NVA wanted to take over Mo Cay as a cease-fire present. I ended up being the last DSA in Ham Long and the last DSA in Mo Cay. It was a very interesting assignment!!
          John Haseman

  7. Sorry I read Norris’ comment so late. Mai and I are now in Austin, Texas following the lives of our eight grandchildred (youngest is a senior in HS). Mai speaks of you often and relished the record you gave her of the Supremes.

    • Hello,
      My name is Edward Jerome Williams and was the DIOCC Advisor in MoCay District from December 1968 until June 1969. I think became the Mobile Combat Advisory Team Coordinator for Kien Hoa Province under Major Rodriguez.

  8. John, nice to know you keep accurated and that your time in Kien Hoa (Mo Cay and Ham Long) never fades. Mai and I recall those days from time to time and were very happy to have hooked up with you in Indonesia. Best now and always., Tim

    • Tim, many thanks for your kind remarks. Like many, my 18 months as a district advisor was a huge watershed in my life and I very much enjoy staying up to date on that place, those dates. Did you copy the many exchanges concerning COL Kim? Having been told he was summarily executed in 1975, only to find out 45 years later that he survived re-education and made it to the US, was good news. Wish I had known that back in 1990s after he was in the USA. All is well here. Hope you and Mai stay healthy and safe Deep In The Heart.

    • Mo cay with a bad place it’s where Ho chi Minh was born we used to have to have gunships come in just to bring supplies

      • Jack – Mo Cay was still a bad place during my time there. District Chief KIA and DSA WIA in July ’72. I went back to Ham Long in August for 3 months when NVA Regt invaded. Returned to Mo Cay for good in Nov ’72. When the ceasefire was signed it required all advisors out of the field by 29 Jan ’73 and both sides to “hold in place”. Most of the Majors (including my DSA) were moved out some to the several ceasefire monitoring international teams. The VC/NVA rolled over most of the outposts in Mo Cay and took over control of the highway to the Ben Tre ferry. So the only way I could leave “on time” was for a Huey to come pick me and my interpreter up. Instead, “somebody high up” asked if the advisor was still in Mo Cay. Well, hell yes I was 🙂 I was immediately told to remain in Mo Cay until the status quo ante was restored and the highway was secure. I think it was about two weeks I stayed there as a cease fire violation. One morning the district chief came over to the team house and said “Today we go Ben Tre.” Needless to say I was a bit dubious. “No problem, the VC all gone.” So he got in his jeep, I got it mine with my very loyal faithful interpreter and all our stuff in the trailer, and he led us — just the 2 jeeps, no security — all the way to the ferry, which was waiting for me. We looked each other in the eye, shook hands, and parted. A Huey from Can Tho picked me up a couple hours later and off I went. I ended up being the last District Senior Advisor in both Ham Long and Mo Cay. So many memories. . . . . . .

  9. Mike Eberhardt: 50 years ago, Oct. 7, 1970, MAT team IV-5, in Kien Hoa province, Ham Long district was ambushed while on a mission in the area under Viet Cong control. Two members of the team, Lt. Jon Jacobson and Sgt. Mac Mclaurin, along with our interpreter “Fang,” died. Mac did make it to the hospital in Ben Hoa but died the following day. I survived the blast and was able to call the district team who called a medivac. The RF CO was also killed. Six weeks later Maj. Coddington, my replacement team leader and a replacement Sgt. were killed when two 15 year old boys blew a claymore on their jeep which was stopped before crossing a single lane bridge over a canal on the road to Ben Tre. I have been able to meet Jon’s family and spend time with them over the past couple of years. We gathered on ZOOM on the 7th to commemorate Jon’s death. Vietnam was years ago but we continue to live with the impact that conflict had on our lives. Seldom are we referred to as “heros” but those of us who lived through those years understand what it meant of have “brothers-in-arms.”

    • Mike, I was in the “next generation” after you. I arrived Ham Long as DDSA in July 1971, my DSA was MAJ Dave Kretschmar, who replaced MAJ Coddington. Our MAT Team left in late 1971, we closed the district team in May 1972 with personnel cutbacks and “better security”. I extended and was reassigned as DDSA Mo Cay. In July 1972 the NVA Dong Thap I Regiment invaded Ham Long. The PSA assigned CPT Bill Chandler, Province S-2 Advisor (former infantry company commander first tour with 9th Inf Div) as DSA but he was KIA just west of the district compound the first day he was there. I was sent out as his successor and remained in Ham Long until Nov 1972 and returned to Mo Cay. I’ve been back to Kien Hoa (now called Ben Tre Province) many times since 1995. Lots have changed but lots are still the same. The Advisors’ team houses all districts were destroyed after 1975 and the Ham Long compound is now a huge high school.
      John Haseman

    • Mike, I was the Deputy DSA in Binh Dai on Oct. 7, 1970. “Fang” was our interpreter in Binh Dai and transferred to Ham Long prior to the ambush. We heard by the grape vine that he had been killed by a bobby trap while on a night ambush.

      On one occasion Fang borrowed our jeep and went joy riding with a couple of his friends. The radio whip antennae on the jeep hit an outpost trip wire and set off a friendly booby trap. We got a message that he and a friend were at the local dispensary. The team medic and I went down there to find Fang with a head full of shrapnel and his friend in bad shape. I sat with Fang while he felt his head for shrapnel and he tried to pull some of it out. I remember that some of the shrapnel was nice and shiny.

      The medic, SSG Rainey, gave the friend CPR but I can’t remember if he made it. Fang asked me for $20.00 worth of Piasters so that he could have money at the hospital when he got to My Tho. I medevacked them both and Fang transferred shortly after getting out of the hospital.

      After all of these years I finally hear more about what happened to Fang.

    • Hello Jack, your email came to me, not sure why, but always glad to make contact with a Team 88 veteran. My name is John Haseman, I was in Kien Hoa July 71-Feb 73. DDSA Ham Long, closed the team so extended and moved to Mo Cay as DDSA, then back to Ham Long as DSA when the NVA regiment invaded in July 72. I’m in touch with about a dozen Team 88 colleagues who were there the same time as I was.

  10. I would like to first thank you all for your service. We are the land of the feee because of the brave. My Uncle Sgt David Allen Kuhns was killed in action on 3 October 1969 in Kien Hoa Province. I have been in contact with his Team Leader, Charles Chapman, and received a lot of information that I am forever grateful for. I am, however, still in search of any pictures of of my uncle from his time in action or any personal stories that anyone may be willing to share with me. My email is I would again be very grateful for any new information or pictures that could possibly be shared. Thank you and God bless.

  11. Any of you ever hear about or remember the Coconut Monk near Ben Tre at Con Phung island? The pictures I have seen of it are crazy seeing as how it was in the middle of a war zone. I figured maybe some of you might have at least heard about it.

    • He was actually a French educated engineer(civil?) and a cousin of my wife, believe it or not. I heard he died in a re-education camp having been accused of being an agent of the CIA after the war finally came to a conclusion in April 75. I visited the island several times after returning as a civilian aid worker. He was talking the last time I visited and when I asked his translator why, he responded that the war was over- a couple of weeks or so before the fall of Saigon. I left VN with my wife on April 23 on an evacuation flight to Guam after our scheduled international flight was cancelled as were all international flights that day.

  12. I am looking for information on Ssgt Ralph A Howard. He was supposed to get a member of MACV Advisory team 88 and was killed by friendly fire on Feb 10 1970. Kien Hoa province. I’m looking for details of his death.

    • I’m sorry to learn of ssgt Howard’s death in 1970. I didn’t know him personally. I was down in the Delta back in 1964.
      Perhaps another vet will reply with more information.
      Chris Newlon Green

      • Chris, Ralph Howard and I arrived in VN together after MAT training we were assigned to Kien Hoa I went to MAT 4 in Truc Gaing, Ralph was assigned to Mo Cay. He and a Capt. were on an operation with Lien Doi moving on a river when they were Ambushed Ralph was KIA the Capt. was wounded

          • Hello everyone, I’ve spent the majority of my childhood leaning in to listen to stories that my grandfather would tell me about his time in Vietnam. I believe he said he served in 71-72 or 73. His name is John Dee Caraway he came from Florence North Carolina. He left as a Private and I was wondering if anyone knows him and/or has any pictures of him. Thank you all for your service and I look forward to hearing some stories if anyone has any. Thank you very much.

        • Thank you Bill! It’s surreal to know this after 50 years. I am still devastated by Ralph’s death and wondered about the details for so long. Just a terrible tragedy.

  13. Is anyone aware of a DoD or Army site that could serve as a source of names of those that served in a specific district? I would like to research and track down those individuals who served in Giong Trom District for MACV. Because of the annual or faster turn over in the programs, Its been difficult to identify those individuals.

      • Good to hear from you. My email address is I have a number of pictures from the District and need help putting names to the faces. If interested send me your email and I’ll forward them to you. I was the DIOCC advisor (2/1LT) from about April ’69 until February ’70. under Major Weeden and Major Schaffer.

        • I was DIOCC advisor (2Lt/1Lt) in Don Nhon District which was the District just west of Mo Cay. I arrived Nov ’68 and left Nov ’69. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast but I think we met several times. I was brought to Ben Tre on Aug ’69 by PSA Kotzabue to be his staff advisor with overseeing the Phoenix Program and the Kit Carson Scout sideshow. In that role I flew out to each District to meet with the DIOCC advisor every 3rd week or so. If you were a DIOCC Lt. in Kien Hoa Province during time period Aug – Nov ’69 then we for sure met. I was an OCS guy out of Ft Benning graduating in July ’68.

          • Greg, sorry my memory is not that good. In retrospect I wish I had kept a journal of that year. While my assignment was as DIOCC advisor, I quickly learned that I was expected to be the field operations officer, the outpost visit officer, the backup supply officer, the major’s typist for monthly reports and DIOCC advisor in my spare time. I did a small project for Mr. Kotzebue in Early March ’69 when he found out somehow that I had audio-visual presentation experience from college. They then sent me out to Truc Yang (?) for a couple weeks while their DIOSS was away on other business before finally assigning me to Giong Trom. If you visited Giong Trom during that period I was probably in the field. We seemed to have limited contact with or coordination within the Phoenix Program as I remember. My email in

        • Hi Terry, I believe we may have spoken via email before. My Uncle, Sgt David Allen Kuhns served under 1st Ltd Chuck Chapman and we have been in contact. He was able to locate a picture of my Uncle but I’m driven to find more of him. He was KIA on 3 Oct, 1969 in Ken Hoa. If you have any pictures they would be greatly appreciated. He died before I was born and I am trying to honor his memory through pictures. Most of the ones the family had went to his wife with whom my family has had no contact.

          • Please forward to my email a photo of your uncle. As previously noted I have a number of photos of the several individuals who came through Giong Trom during my time there. I need your help identifying a Sgt Kuhns. Email:

      • My name is Karen Boles, sister of SGT Harry Lee Boles. I think you were his commander on October 3, 1969, Kien Hoa. I would like to talk with you. His hometown is honoring him with a memorial.

        • Hello Karen. Thanks for reaching out. I talked to a friend of yours and she said she’d pass on my info to you. I can be cotacte at the email provided. God bless you.

    • Terry, I have made a list of some AT-93 & AT-88 MACV Advisors by Districts. If any former Advisors or family would like this list email me. I was a helicopter crewchief that often flew in Kien Hoa Province

      • I was MAT Team leader of MAT 23 when finishing my tour in Kien Hoa Province from 1970-71.
        Most of that time was in Thanh Phu District and ended up in Mo Cay before leaving.
        I would like a list of MAT Teams during that time frame, as I would sure like to locate some of my team members.
        Thanks for the information.

  14. On the subject of snakes, I have a story. I was team leader of MAT 23 working out of Thanh Phu District. We were out on an operation that required we stay over a day or two in an outpost. I was about to fall asleep in my hammock while swinging lazily back and forth one afternoon. The details are hazy, but a noise or movement caused me to open my eyes and I found myself staring at a snake raised up even with me in my hammock. No one was about to convince me it wasn’t a cobra. I unassed that hammock so fast I think the snake was scared more than me. By the time the Vietnamese soldiers caught up with me and calmed me down, they had already killed the rat snake, gutted him, and chopped him up for dinner. I did not eat that night.

  15. CPT John Geary
    DDSA Binh Dai

    50 years ago today.

    It is hard to believe that it has been 50 years ago that we, on the Binh Dai Advisory Team, were surrounded and attacked by the VC on April 1st, 1970. As a Captain I was the new Deputy District Senior Advisor on the team. I had just joined the team a few weeks before the attack.

    We were under attack by the VC Main Force 263 Battalion, augmented by local force VC. Sappers got inside our perimeter and knocked out the artillery FDC and shot the artillery commander point blank in the stomach.

    We got air support from the District Chief’s brother who was a VNAF C-47 Spooky pilot, then an army chopper package and finally a pair of Navy Black Ponies who attempted to take out a VC recoilless rifle that was firing on us.

    We wound up fighting them for another couple of days before cornering them with their backs to the Ba Lai River and finishing them off with air strikes.

    • Hi John, I’m assuming you visited from time to time the Ben Tre DT condo. In ’64 there was a caged python, Sam, out in front. Did you see him, or Sam was moved before your tour. Just curious.
      Best, Chris

      • Hi Chris, No I don’t recall a python; but I was there about 6 years after you were. I did see a snake slither right through the room where I slept in Binh Dai. He came in through the open door and across the room and out through a hole in the wall.

        On my first night in Binh Dai a rat jumped up on a small table right next to my head and knocked a box of candy off of the table onto the floor. The noise woke me up and I looked around and saw nothing. The next morning I found the box of candy on the floor with the top of the box eaten off and the whole top layer of candy eaten. I found a large rat sized hole in the wall and shoved a rusty shotgun into the hole to plug it.

        The NCOs would shoot the rats with rounds with the bullet removed and packed with soap or wax. The soap or wax would not ricochet but would tear up a rat.

        John Geary
        CPT, DDSA Binh Dai

        • While running a joint operation with the 9th Infantry Division’s Battalion, the Navy Riverine Force and my RF/PF unit on a river landing off the Song Ba Lai we had nearly two thirds of our troops on shore when they suddenly started running back on the landing craft. Evidently there was a large snake on the shore that scared the crap out of them. The VN sergeant calmly walked over to the snake and cut in in half with a manchette he carried and said something in Vietnamese and the troops moved out quickly. I always thought they feared the older sergeant more than the snake. Luckily that was my only snake experience in MAVC Giong Trom.

          • Hi Terry, I was right across the Ba Lai from you in Binh Dai; but you left before I joined the team in March, 1970.
            The first VC flag that I saw flying in Vietnam was at the Giong Trom, Binh Dai border where the Ba Lai and Chet Say canal met. I was being picked up by the team leader by boat at Ben Tre. While going north on the Chet Say, we passed Giong Trom and the Ba Lai and the team leader pointed to a small hamlet on the Chet Say and proudly said that is our district. We all at the same time saw the VC flag flying in the top of a coconut palm in the front of the hamlet. We all crouched down and aimed our M-16s toward the hamlet. We were sitting ducks in that small Boston Whaler. AK47 bullets would have gone through that boat with no problem.
            That was my introduction to Binh Dai and a warm welcome from the VC.

              • I still have my VC flag from MoCai from 1967/68. I was RTO with LTC Davidson and Maj. Jones and Capt. Craig.

                • I went to Mo Cay just once. July of 1964 for an overnite at the compound. We got attacked or just harassed really that evening. Next day a flag was flapping in the wind out in a clearing or meadow. A soldier retrieved it for me. Perhaps a museum of some sort would like to have it. Suggestions?

                • George were you there when the compound was under seige in Feb. or Mar of 1968? My name is Tim Davenport and I was a birddog pilot from May ’67 to May ’68. I was asked to make a money drop so vietnamese troops could be paid so they wouldn’t defect to the VC. My call sign was Swampfox13.

                  • Tim,
                    I was in MoCay from Mar 67 to Mar 68. If you used a big bag of sugar to weigh down the parcel, then that was me standing there. Landed about 25 feet from me.

                    • George, I used to drop food and mail regularly to all of the sub-sectors. I received the DFC for a mission I flew on 7 Mar 1968. I have always wondered how the action took place from people on the ground. The citation and my recollection indicate that the compound was under siege and couldn’t get money for payroll to the Vietnamese troops. As a result defections were starting to take place and no one was able to get money to you guys because the VC had the compound locked down so you guys couldn’t get anything in or out. I really got shot up on that mission so memory of it was that I received very heavy gunfire and just barely made it back to Ben Tre. Do you or anyone who was there March of ’68 recall anything like that happening. Also I do remember dropping some food and mail outside the wire a couple of times. I guess it’s a little late but I’m sorry about that.

                • I was in BenTre July 68 to July 69 and also got a flag when I was at one of the outposts. I have no idea where it is. If you dont want your flag I will gladly take your VC flag. LTC Dudley was my boss then. If I remember right we were team 93 when I got there and then changed to 88. Some others were Maj Compton, Lt Tildon, Lt Richardson, Lt Arima, Capt Vasquez, SP4 Urbano, Sp4 Sharp, SP4 Woodward, Sp5 RichardsonSGM Bellavita, SGM SellersSSG King, and the list goes on n on. PFC Hillman, LT Scruggs and I have 2 picture books with a lot of different faces and names including some of the Vietnamese workers. Co Bai, Co ? Well you all have a great day and be safe. I’ll write more later when I have my books in front of me. Take care.

                  • I had some overlap with your tour as I served from February ’69 to February ’70 with most of my time as the DIOCC coordinator in Giong Trom District. I still have a new VC flag. We had a battalion of the US 9th Infantry Division stationed in our district, however, they were one of the first units pulled out during the Vietnamization Program, I had one of the wives of a counterpart sew the flags that we then traded with the mess sergeants of the 9th for steaks and roasts. I know mine’s not authentic yet if holds a special memory for me.

                  • Hello Donald, My name is Edward Williams and I was a 1st Lieutenant in 1969 in Kien Hoa Province. I was the DIOCC Adviser in Mo Cay District until June 1969. I then moved to Ben Tre City and was room mates with Lt Jim Arima and Lt Bob Anthony. I was the Mobile Combat Advisory Team Coordinator working for Major Rodriguez. If I remember correctly Urbana did not carry a weapon when we travelled together.

                    • Joe Urbano should of had an M16 at least. Joe stayed an extra 6 months so he could get out a little early. He did 18 months in BenTre and I know he had a Purple Heart. He was shot once but I dont remember how. I visit him sometimes when I go up to Pennsylvania. He was a good guy from Trenton NJ. Others I remember were CPT King and SSG King out in one of the districts. CPT Uhl who flew those single engine planes to observe airstrikes. SFC Taylor, SP4 Littlejohn, Co Thu, Co Xung, Co Vien, Co Vinh and Co Phuoc. LT Tildon, SP4 Appleton. That’s all I can remember right now.

                    • Hello LT Arima. Been a long time from 68 69 era. LTC Dudley was our boss, and Maj Compton I guess was 2nd in charge. Have a good picture with you, myself, LT Scruggs and Pfc Urbano. Hard to believe here we are talking 53 yrs later. I have a VC flag too, have no idea where it is, but I still have the rifle I brought home. Take care, from sunny Florida

                  • Donald, just noted your response of May 5 to mine of that date. I do hope you are enjoying the Florida sunshine and keeping your self safe from Covid-19. Urbana was wounded at a firing range.

                • Hi Mike, I hadn’t considered giving the flag to someone to help complete a display. It is a possible way to do it though. If you want, drop me a line or two describing the display: cjngsd at gmail dot com

                  On another matter, I’m looking for someone to read a PDF about my year in VN before I send it to a publisher. Some of you out there have read an earlier version of this PDF; I have your names in my greensblueandgray dot com email file. If someone is interested in this, please email me either at cjngsd at gmail dot com or chris at greensblueandgray dot com. I’ll then be able to let you know in what way I would thank you for reading the document. Chris

                  • Sorry I never replied back, all this COVID19 crap kinda got me behind on my return replies. I will email you. The flag would be a cool addition as I know some of the SEALs that operated in Ben Tre 70/71.

    • Hi CPT John Geary,
      My father is Sblt Andy Perry EMU 135th AHC. He was in a major battle at Binh Dai on the 18th of May 1970. He was a awarded the Silver Star Medal but he was an Australian Navy pilot and didn’t receive it for 25years. Were you there on the 18th of May.
      Regards Rupert Perry

      • Hi Rupert

        No I was in Saigon when the village was overrun by the VC on May 18th. I remember your father and I flew with the EMUs many times. The District Chief MAJ Hai was killed, the Lien Doi commander CPT Nam got his thumb shot off and the VC captured our jeep and our 50 cal machine gun. That is when your father was called in to drive the VC out.

        Please scroll down to see my previous post from June 8, 2017.

        Please give my regards to your father. From one old soldier to another.

  16. Good evening and many thanks and much respect to those of you that have served and to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice. My Uncle was Army Sgt. David Allen Kuhns from Massachusetts. He was MACV Advisory Team 88 Kien Hoa Province. He was Kia on Oct 3, 1969. I have been trying to find more information about my Uncle since I was not born until 1973 and did not have the honor of knowing him. I’m hoping there is a chance that someone on this page may have known and remember him. It would be nice to see pictures of him if possible. I can be emailed at
    Thank you

  17. I am obviously not nearly as computer smart as some. My posts have not been showing up on the website.

    In reply to Danny Lamb…I am not dead yet though sometimes it feels like it. This getting old is not for “the faint of heart”

    Danny, you, Springston and Hennesley were/are good friends and helped to keep me sane while on TM88.

    My time there with the KCS was an “adventure”….big understatement !!!

    I will try to send you a text message

    All the best,


  18. My name is David Wilson, I live in Tallahassee FL. We have a group of Vietnam Veterans (VVA 96) who visit the graves of local men who died in Vietnam. During the month that he died, we will place a painted rock on his grave so that those who love him will know that he is not forgotten. We also attempt to contact any of his relatives, ask them to join us and to tell us something about the man.

    The following men were serving with the MACV unit when they died. If anyone has information or remembrances about these men, it will be shared with his family members and our group when we visit his grave.

    LT COLONEL JOSEPH PHILIP SEYMOE, KIA 21 JANUARY 1968, MACV Advisory Team 4, (originally from Texas, graduated from West Point)
    I have found details of his death on the VHPA web site.
    CAPTAIN MICHAEL RALPH ODUM, KIA 11 SEPTEMBER 1969, MACV, Advisory Team 56 (graduated from Florida State University)
    S/SGT HENRY McCLENTON, KIA 3 JUNE 1969, MACV Advisory Team 88

    Thanking you in advance


    • replying to jules vo from 3 years ago. my name is danny lamb and was team clerk from june 72 – dec 72 with marvin springston. i worked specifically for ltc christenson, ltc tausch and mr kotzebue. all good men. i even have a picture of mr kotzebue pinning on my new sp4 rank which i would include if i knew how. it was either the 15th or 17th of august 1972 that we lost a young capt by the name of chandler kia. he had taught me a little photography on his canon, i purchased a yashica 35mm which i used to photograph many of the team with that summer. i have two photo albums filled with pictures that i am sure would thrill many. many of the names i have seen on this website are men i knew, some r not. moh winner major donlon, and major lamb. anyone hear from capt blankenhagen? i recently learned my good friend, michael “ike” isenhour has passed away in north carolina (2018) who served on team 88 with me that fall. if u know me please text me at (218) 590-7599. i rarely check email

      • I was one of 4 Team 88 members who participated in a Memorial Day service in memory of Captain Bill Chandler, conducted by the American Legion Post in his home town of Springfield, PA. The others were former captains Mike Delaney, Brian Valiton, and Ed Blankenhagen. I can provide more personal information by email. I do not text. My email:

      • Danny, I served as DDSA of Binh Dai District, Kien Hoa in 1970; so I was there a couple of years prior to your time. Mr Kotzebue was the PSA and LTC Eckert was the DPSA. I see that you served with Major Donlon and I have seen elsewhere that he also served in Binh Dai. Is that correct?

        John Geary

        • John,
          I was a MAT Team leader in Ba Tri District from October 1971 until February or so in 1972, before moving to Ben Tre as the province artillery and assistant operations advisor for the rest of my tour. Major (now Col. (R)) Donlon arrived in Binh Dai while I was in Ba Tri and remained there after I moved to the Province HQ.

  19. Did anyone here remember serving with a John D. Caraway. Ive looked everywhere for a service picture of him and his team. He served in the MACV Advisory team 88 in Kien Hoa from 71-72 and I haven’t found anything.

  20. I am trying to make contact with 1Lt D.R. Van Wye whose contact information I seem to have misplaced. Please send me an email Dave or give me a call if you still have my contact information. Just finished your last book.
    Thanks, RWPierce

    • Hello Randy,
      Good to hear from you again. Also glad to hear you had a chance to read “Vietnam Blues.” I sent you a private email and here is another one if you need it: Look forward to hearing from you. Dave

    • Hello Randy, Good to hear form you. Glad you had a chance to read “Vietnam Blues.” I sent you a separate email but am posting here to increase the chance of getting back to you. You can also use to reply.
      Look forward to hearing from you.

  21. Is there anyway to find out how could have written the Silver Star citation for my father Sblt Andrew Perry Kein Hoa Ben Tre 18th may 1970. Thanks Rupert.

  22. Does anyone remember this? 18 May 1970, 135 AHC took part in an intensive action in Kien Hoa province. A regional force outpost in the Binh Dai district had been overrun and then heavily fortified by a Viet Cong battalion. Three battalions of the 10th Regiment, 7th ARVN Division were inserted around the outpost by 135 AHC aircraft supported by a platoon of the US Army 7th Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry. The combined flight with LCDR David Farthing as mission commander, received heavy fire from small arms and machine guns throughout the six-hour long operation. The lead helicopter received multiple hits and was forced to break off and return to base. SBLT Andy Perry, RAN, who was airborne on another mission then, volunteered to lead the assault landings. Leading the assault Perry’s Huey was badly damaged during the first insertion but made flyable in the landing zone under heavy fire. SBLT Perry then took off and led two more lifts of troops into the bitterly contested landing zone taking further enemy fire that came through the helicopter’s windshield. A piece of shrapnel came off the pedals of the aircraft and hit Perry on the foot. Fortunately, his injuries were superficial and later that night he took part in three more landings despite the fact that his cockpit lights and instruments were no longer functioning. The brand new helicopter, which SBLT Perry was flying on this day, was so badly damaged that it never flew again. The 21-year old SBLT was later awarded the United States ‘Silver Star’ for his part in the action.

  23. My grandfather SSG Jerry W. Motsinger was KIA June 09, 1968. He was serving with Adv Team 93 and killed in Kien Hoa Province. My dad, Jerry’s son went on to join and retire Army. I joined the Army as well and served almost 9 years. I think both my dad and I were motivated to join from Grabdpa’s service. If anyone remembers my grandpa or served with him it would be an honor to speak with you. This has been a long 50 years of our family looking for more info about my Grandpas service.

    My email is
    Thank you

  24. I was stationed in Don Nhon in Kien Hoa province as part of the Phung Hoang / Phoenix and the Kit Carson Scout programs from Nov ’68 to Nov ’69. I arrived in country as a 2Lt (got commission from Ft Benning OCS) and got bumped up to a 1Lt in July ’69. Captain Karoly was the lead MACV advisor in Don Nhon and I headed up the DIOCC. Mr, Kotzbue (sp?) was the PSA in charge of Kien Hoa and based in Ben Tre. I did one ops with Lt Col Dudley in charge. I worked closely with the Sea Wolves and also the PBR navy boat folks. There was a MATS team in Don Nhon but I can’t remember the names of the guys who were living nearby. I also got to know a few folks from the 9th Div for whom we did some scouting work when they were operating in Don Nhon. I would be interested in communicating with anyone who was based in Kien Hoa and especially anyone who was based in Don Nhon who was there the year I was. Lots happened. I stumbled on this MACV Team 88 web site by accident. Fascinating to read all the posts and memories. Hard to believe coming up on 50 years since I arrived in Don Nhon.

    • Gregg, I served in Giong Trom District east of Ben Tre from the spring of ’69 through February ’70 also as DIOCC Advisor. I am not aware of
      a Don Nhon district. Perhaps it’s name has been changed under the Communists? We also had a battalion of the 9th US Division operating in our district that was part of the Vietnamization program.starting around September ’69 for us. Things went down hill rapidly after they left and the next several months were very challenging with their resources gone. Check the map in Wikipedia or other sites to see if you can identify the current location of Don Nhon. Good to hear from a fellow DIOCC advisor who has survived all these years.

      • I was DDSA and DSA in Ham Long and Mo Cay July 71-Feb 73. Don Nhon district bordered Mo Cay on the north and then Cho Lach District in Vinh Long Province. After 1975 Cho Lach was moved to Ben Tre Province and Don Nhon was eliminated by giving part to Cho Lach and most to Mo Cay.

        • Glad you are still in active contact with others that served in that area. Warment from Tim and Mai Bertotti

      • Hello Guy,

        My name is Edward Williams and I was the DIOCC Advisor in Mo Cay District then the Mobile Combat Advisory Team Coordinator working for Major Rodriquez. I was shared a room with Lts. Arima and Bob Anthony in 1969. I hope you guys can remember who I am.

        • Edward, I had very little contact with Provence personnel after receiving my final assignment to Giong Trom. I wish I had kept a journal and noted all te various names of guys I worked with. Part of the burden at that time of the war, we were all replacements. With team members constantly coming and going it was extremely difficult to keep up with anyone. I only had contact with Major Weeden and Sgt. Waller because they were both assigned to Ft Knox. I decided to go off active duty in November ’70 and have had zero contact since then.

        • I was there july 68 to july 69. Have a few pictures with LTs Arima n Scruggs. I was roommates with Joe Urbano, Brad Sharp, SP5 Richardson, Rodney Hillman and a few others. MSG Bellavita and Sellers, MAJ Compton and LTC Dudley was my boss. I was at the main compound but got out to some of the districts like Thanh Phu, Huong My, MoCay, Don Nhon, Ham Long, Giong Trom, Binh Dai, Giong Trom, and BaTri. I went on a few operations s with Captain Beach. Mostly I spent time in BenTre and going over to MyTho several days a week.

  25. I have posted here before, but never inquired about the whereabouts of our medic who worked with me from 1970-1971 in Kien Hoa Province, Thanh Phu District, initially. We were on MAT Team 23, and I was the SA. His name is Rob Emory. I seem to remember that he was from the Atlanta area, or somewhere in Georgia; however, I have learned not to trust my memory at this point. If anyone knows him or has any information on his whereabouts, kindly advise.

    • I just discovered this thread. My 12 months in Vietnam ran from May 1968 to May 1969. My first assignment after getting in country was with the 11th Armored Cavalry, which ran from May through October 1968. I was then reassigned to MACV, went to the MACV school in Di An, and was assigned to Advisory Team 88 in the Mekong Delta for the remainder of my tour. I had forgotten most of the details of this time, but recently discovered a few of my letters to my wife (50 year anniversary next year). All were from the December 1968/ January 1969 timeframe, so I was hopeful that perhaps some of you who read this thread can help me fill in details. I must admit, I’m not recognizing much from the posts, so here is what I can relate from my memories and these few letters.

      My return address was MAT IV-100, Adv. Team 88. My letters mention Houng My as our team site and Dai Dien as a principle city where we attended a wedding. Using Maps on the web I can find these places in the thin peninsula just south of Ben Tre. I also mention the possibility of being reassigned to the Mo Cai district, which is also in this general area. I don’t remember, however, that happening while I was there. Some members of our team were SSG Bishop (think he was a medic), 1LT Langley, and another older (I was 21) infantry sergeant we called “Mac.” I know that we were the first team in the area and the district chief was a disagreeable “Dai We” who was a heavy-set guy. We were lucky in that we only had 2-3 firefights during that six month period, so did a lot of training and building our hut.

      Why now after almost 50 years? I guess the PBS series is part of it, but I regret not making the effort to keep up with those guys. I’ve attended some of the 11th ACR reunions, so I guess I associate most of my Vietnam experience with the Cav guys.

      I would greatly appreciate knowing more of the history of this team. Anyone else from my time & what happened after I left?

      Sgt John Welch

      • John,
        Just read your post. My time in country began around the time you left, so I can’t comment on anything directly. I think I explained what and where I was in Kien Hoa. However, I was recently contacted by Skip Auch, who has been trying to put together a list of guys who spent some time in and around Ben Tre. If you want his contact info, contact me directly at
        Randall W Pierce

      • I found, on the back of a photo, the name of an additional member of our original Adv Team 88, formed in Nov/Dec 1968: Captain Lambert. So our original five man team was Captain Lambert, 1Lt Langley, SSG or SFC Bishop (our medic) and SSG or SFC “Mac” (assume his actual name was McSomething), and me, Sgt John Welch. By May of 1969, when I left, all four of these guys had left country or were reassigned. I know this from a picture taken in April/May 1969 which had four other different members.

      • Jack B Woodyard I was assigned to tm 88 from Aug 68, through Nov 70. I was a
        RTO promoted to SGT E5. I was assigned to the TOC reactionary forces. I had been to all the District Team Did you know 1st Lieutenant Calvin Telton, Capt Heigh

        • Jack, I don’t remember those names. I wish someone could respond that remembers how MACV district teams were organized. I’m thinking that all the five man teams that were assigned to the various geographical districts were part of Team 88, headquartered in Ben Tre. Team 88 was not just our five man team. We used to take turns every few weeks flying by chopper to Ben Tre for supplies and/or just to get away. I remember 25-50 guys who were permanently stationed there, so we all might have been part of Team 88.

        • There’s a name I haven’t seen in a long time, Jack Woodyard. How are you. I was with 88 from july 68 to july69. I worked at the compound and did some operations with Captain Beach, who was a West Point Grad. I remember 1st LT Tilton, Cpt Heigh. How bout LT Scruggs, Major Compton, LTC Dudley, SP5 Richardson, SP4 Joe Urbano, Sp4 Brad Sharp, and many others. How bout Civilians Paul Enders, I have several pictures of the team from 68 to 69 Were you from Cincinnati and a car dealership?

  26. Hi l am trying to find people that were on the ground or new about Binh Dai on the night of 18th of May 1970 when it was being over run(also known as Long Thuan) in Kien Hoa. My father SBLT Andrew Perry was awarded the Silver Star that night for 3 insertions of 7th ARVN under heavy fire he flew EMU 135th AHC. He was nominated for Australia’s highest medal the Victoria Cross and the tribunal responded with a medal of Gallantry which is not really very close to Silver Star. Thanks Rupert

    • I did not know or meet your dad but I had a battle two weeks before his incident (May 3, 1970) we got into a similar attack at the village of My Nhon which is in the same area as Binh Dai and Long Thuan. I was an advisor to the Vietnam forces, an Army Captain working out of the village of Giong Trom with my interpreter. It was a rough night but we made it out. My interpreter said, “Dai Uy, I think we die here tonight”.

      I was there 8 months and can attest that the Mekong Delta had plenty of Viet Cong and they were some mean soldiers. Most of the pilots were fearless but some, like your dad were beyond fearless. I’m glad he got his recognition for his effort. It is only worth something to the recipient. They also got out with their life which is pretty good too.

      For my effort that night I was recommended for a Silver Star but it was downgraded to a Bronze Star with a “V” device for Valor.

      I am copying Mr. (Col) John Haseman who was in the same area and I know he was all over the Delta and I think he may have been in Binh Dai. He may respond to you if he has some information to offer. He spent more time there and so he saw more than I did.

      There is a ton of information on the internet and some good photos. You can also use Google earth to find these places. I threw my photos away and the only ones I have were sent to me by John: truly a fine soldier in my opinion.

      Good luck in your quest and I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

      Tom Brown

      • Rupert, I was not in Binh Dai during my time in Kien Hoa Province (1971-1973) but followed operations there on an earlier assignment with the 9th Infantry Division across the river in Dong Tam (west of My Tho) from Feb-Dec 1968 and at that time Binh Dai District was a very hot area. During part of my advisory assignment the District Senior Advisor in Binh Dai was then-Major Roger Donlon, who on his earlier assignment with 5th Special Forces Group was the first winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor in Vietnam. So BInh Dai has had some interesting history both on the Vietnamese and on the U.S. side.
        John Haseman

      • Sir:

        My father, Major Alexander R. Christine, lost an arm and a leg on November 7, 1970 in Binh Dai. I believe he was “senior district advisor”.

        He had been over as a CPT in ’67.

        Does his name ring a bell with anyone?

        Bobby L. Christine

        • Bobby

          I had the pleasure of knowing and serving with your father. I was his deputy in Binh Dai and I medevaced him on that terrible day. I was supposed to go with your father and the district chief that day, but at the last minute I decided to stay at base and do something else. I would have been right behind your father in the district chiefs jeep when the mine went off. My son is named after your father.

          Please feel free to contact me for more info.

          John Geary (CPT, DDSA Binh Dai)

      • Mr. Brown,

        Sir: My father (MAJ Alexander R. Christine) lost an arm and a leg in Binh Dai on Nov 7, ‘70. He was Senior District Advisor. Did you two ever cross paths?

        Bobby Christine

    • Some more back ground. One man’s account. My aircraft was the first 135th slick to join the action at Binh Dai on May 18th when we were called off a routine resupply mission to provide extra lift capability for a 7th Squadron/1st Cavalry operation that had developed after their scouts (OH-6 Light Observation Helicopters or “loaches”) made contact with some VC near Binh Dai. Air Cav Squadrons and Troops never had sufficient Hueys to insert larger units of infantry once they were in contact, so this was not an unusual occurrence.
      The first combat assault around Binh Dai that day took place in the late morning or early afternoon with two or three Cav slicks and one or two others, including us. I believe the 335th AHC (a sister unit in our battalion) may have provided one of the slicks. As we entered a tight LZ with the lead Cav ship right up against a tree line, the VC opened up with small arms and at least one machine gun. Almost immediately, one of the lead ship’s pilots was shot in the head and killed outright. From my position on the right side of Chalk 3, which placed me in the interior of the flight, I could clearly see the lead ship’s crew hustling to lower the pilot’s armored seat and pull him off the controls as we returned fire.
      After departing the now hot LZ, the Cav turned the mission over to the 135th so we formed a composite flight of six or so slicks (mostly 135th and maybe one or two from the 335th). Command and Control and gunship support (Taipans) came from the 135th, but the Cav did leave a light fire team of Cobras to provide additional fire power. I believe Dick Marum initially took over as lead pilot of the flight before Andy came on the scene. However, after the first few combat assaults following up on the Cav contact, Dick’s aircraft either developed a mechanical problem or combat damage, so a radio call went out for a lead qualified EMU to take over in mid to late afternoon.
      I remember to this day all of us in the flight chuckling a bit when Andy responded by radio from a routine mission quite far away, expressing his oft displayed enthusiasm to get in on a fight. I believe his crewchief told me later that he was exceeding VNE as he rushed to take over the flight at Ben Tre, about 25 miles west of Binh Dai, where we were staging the infantry for our combat assaults. By now, the action at Binh Dai had become a major engagement. It turned out that the Cav had intercepted a VC main force battalion maneuvering into position to attack Binh Dai and the small MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam) outpost just outside of town. This sort of action had become typical throughout the Delta at this time as the VC were attempting to divert resources away from the American/Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia that had begun a few days earlier. As a result, this period was one of the most grueling for the 135th during my entire time in the company. We were one of the few aviation units in our region not openly operating in Cambodia because the Australian government would not allow its forces to operate there. So we “took up the slack” in the Delta and were involved in many serious engagements as a result. Ironically, the Delta was possibly more dangerous than Cambodia during the invasion because the VC/NVA were retreating ever deeper into Cambodia to avoid contact, while the VC/NVA units throughout the Delta were actively seeking contact with us as a diversion. Go figure!
      Once Andy joined us, we continued to insert ARVN infantry around Binh Dai for the remainder of the day and into the night. I believe we made a total of six to eight combat assaults over the entire day, all under fire, but it was the last few insertions that night which are seared in my memory and led to Andy’s Silver Star. As the day had worn on, the VC completely overran Binh Dai and set up several large caliber anti-aircraft guns in the center of town. Soon, Air Force fast movers and Navy OV-10s were brought in to attempt to neutralize these guns, which posed a serious threat to our continuing combat assaults. As a result of these air strikes, Binh Dai was totally engulfed in flames. If memory serves, I believe at least one attack aircraft was shot down or shot up badly during these attacks. On one of these night assaults, I remember taking off from the PZ at Ben Tre and as soon as we got above the trees, we could see towering columns of tracers on the distant horizon from multiple AA weapons trained on the attacking fixed wing aircraft. It was quite unnerving to know that’s where you were headed and then spend 10-15 minutes approaching the glowing inferno that had so recently been the peaceful town of Binh Dai. Being as new as I was, I just assumed we were all going to die

      • Sir:

        My father, Major Alexander R. Christine, lost an arm and a leg on November 7, 1970 in Binh Dai. I believe he was “senior district advisor”.

        He had been over as a CPT in ’67.

        Does his name ring a bell with anyone?

        Bobby L. Christine

      • Rupert

        I was DDSA in Bien Dai when this action took place, although I was in Saigon at the time. I got back in time to see the District Chief’s (Major Hai) body brought back on the hood of our jeep. Just to clarify, the action was confined to one of the hamlets (Long Thuan?) of Binh Dai District. The VC overran the hamlet and the DSA and the District Chief mounted one of our 50 calibre machine guns on the front of our jeep and led a force to run the VC out. When they turned off of the main trail onto the trail leading into the hamlet, the VC ambushed them. The soldier manning the machine gun was hit and killed. Major Hai took over and was hit in the chest and killed. The Lien Doi commander, Captain Nam, had his thumb shot off.

        At that point, the DSA and the others pulled back and the VC captured our 50 and the jeep. They took the 50 and shot up the jeep. The choppers also shot up the jeep with rockets, but it was recovered and brought back Major Hai.

        I can’t remember if I flew with Andrew Perry or not, but I did know him and he was highly thought of.

        John Geary (CPT DDSA Bien Dai 1970)

  27. Man, I was hoping everybody in the world had forgotten about that! Those 2 guys were great soldiers, but that scuffle embarrassed the devil out of me. It was bad enough for them to be clowning in front of you navy guys, but doing it in front of our counterparts was really stupid. Having to dress down a couple guys 15 years older than me with 10 times more time in the army than I presented a 22 year old with a real leadership challenge!
    My email is mdelaney at spencerfane dot com. When I get your email, I’ll send you some pictures my wife and I took of your base and the village when we were there in 2014.

  28. Actually, I think it was Thanksgiving and two of your troops got into a disagreement in our team room. Send me your email. I’ve got a photo or two you might like.

  29. Sounds right except the District was Giong Trom, the Province was Kien Hoa and Ben Tre was the capital city of the province. If I remember correctly, Lt Presnell was my replacement as DIOCC advisor. Major Thien was the VN district chief having recently been promoted from Captain while I was there. Van was our interrupter as well and we usually referred to him simply as Sgt Van. I was bounced around at province and at Truc Jiang(?) (noq called Châu Thành} for the first few months in the area providing coverage for others. The PSA was Kotzebue while I was there as well. He sent me to Saigon on a project to investigate presentation options available to him in Ben Tre (I had worked audio visual systems in college). I didn’t hear much from the District after I left with only one letter that I remember from Presnell that brought me up to date of activity and the loss of the VN Lt commanding the 294 RF Company. Looks like I just missed you.

    • Reading all of this reminds me of my time in Kien Hoa. I was the SA at the Junk Group in Ba Tri district in 71 and 72 until we closed up shop. Some of the names here are familiar especially Godby. He and I spent a very dark and wet night in Saigon awaiting transportation back to Ben Tre.

      • I think I had Christmas dinner with your team at the Navy’s team house in Ba Tri during Christmas ’71. I was the MAT 22 SA at the province training center a couple of klicks to the south of you.
        My wife and I stopped by the Navy compound when we visited Ba Tri a couple of years ago. It’s now a VN coast patrol station and the surrounding village (An Thoi, I think) has grown into a pretty good sized fishing port.

      • I remember flying over your location frequently. One of the buildings had “Tiem Tom International Airport” on it. I also loved the rest facilities. A walk out a rickety wooden pier to do business in the river…..

  30. Some clarification! I (then-Captain) John Haseman arrived in Kien Hoa Province in July 1971 and went initially to Ham Long District as Phung Hoang Advisor but was almost immediately re-branded as DDSA because of the much smaller district teams by then. When I arrived the Phung Hoang Advisor in Giong Trom was CPT Roger Wheelright (or Wheelwright). SFC Ho Van Be was interpreter in Giong Trom. He had worked for me during my first VN assignment across the river in Dong Tam where I was CO (Forward) of the 9th MI Detachmernt. When I found out that SFC Be was in Kien Hoa I persuaded my DSA to arrange a trade of interpreters, so SFC Be worked with me from about September 1971 until we both left Kien Hoa after the cease fire in February 1973. We closed the Ham Long district team in May 1972 and SFC Be and I were reassigned to Mo Cay District. I also spent 3 months as DSA Ham Long during ther 1972 NVA invasion of Kien Hoa, and SFC Be went with me on that as well. CPT Wheelwright was succeeded as Phung Hoang Advisor in Giong Trom by CPT Tim Werling something like Nov 1971, and like me remained until the cease fire, he would have left in Dec 72 or Jan 73. He and I are still in contact. SFC Be was, sadly, KIA as an ARVN NCO in the Seven Mountains area circa September 1974. When I arrived in Kien Hoa the DSA in Giong Trom was MAJ Lamb. He was the last DSA in Giong Trom and at the cease fire he was assigned to one of the cease fire monitoring teams, cannot recall which one.

  31. Terry, I (CPT Brown) arrived in Giong Trom District of Ben Tre in March of ’70. There was SFC Johnnie Cox, SSG Dilbough, SP4 first name Chip, 1Lt Presnell , and my interpreter Ho Van Be. I relieved CPT Keller, a tall German man who left within hours after I arrived. I remained there until September of ’70 with the same people the entire time. Major Thien was my counterpart. Very intelligent man, good personality, and a good leader. I have been in communication with LTC John Haseman most recently who was also in Giong Trom about two years earlier if I remember right. I hope I don’t add any confusion to the chain of events. I was an Artillery CPT, Jungle warfare training and proficient with M-16, 45 pistol, M-79 grenade launcher and M1- carbine. I was also fairly good at reading a map which came in handy. I did not have any training or even a briefing about being an advisor. I arrived in Tan An, and was told to proceed to Giong Trom.

  32. Terry,
    I left early in 1969. I don’t remember any of the newcomers.
    People who I overlapped with were Tim Bertotti, Jim Tully, and PSA Kotsebue.

    • Steve: I would enjoy connecting with you. I was the province engineer advisor from September 1971 until February 1973. John Pitts was in charge of the pdo when I arrived. He left soon after I arrived. I remember the Spangler house and I stayed in touch with Nham and Thoi after they came to the u.s. In 1975. I was a guest at Nham’s house in northern Virginia when visiting Washington for work in the 80’s. I did not realize you were their sponsor.
      Just wanted to connect.

  33. Terry,

    I left in February 1969, so I don’t remember any of the new people.
    When I arrived in mid-1967 there were no USAID people in the districts. Then, after the Tet offensive, there was at least one in each district.
    Steve Spangler

  34. I served most of my Vietnam tour in Kien Hoa Province (Ben Tre), Giong Trom District, leaving February 1970. I was the DIOCC Advisor during that period. I have not been able to locate any fellow members of the team except for Sgt Terry Wall and Maj Weeden since we were assigned to Ft Knox, KY after serving in Giong Trom. I’m ashamed to admit that Sgt Waller is the only team member whose full name I can remember. If anyone has more detailed information on the Giong Trom team from about April 1969 through February 1970 please contact me. Email terry37027 @ yahoo dot com.

  35. Chris, I was with the Seabees in Ben Tre from Nov 69 -Aug. 70. I have been following everyone’s comments and find it helpful and has interesting. Right now I am dealing with Luekemia picked up from Agent Orange which the VA has classified me 100%. I would love to read your memoirs. Thank you.

    • Best of luck to you. I still remember your goat “Snodgrass” who loved to push his head against your fist.

  36. My father would have been in the district in ’70. Anybody recall a Major Alexander Christine? He lost an arm and a leg on 07 NOV ’70.

    He had been over previously as a CPT in ’67, but I’m unsure where.

  37. I recently came across old letters of mine I had written home and my mother had saved. Reading them again – after almost 50 years – was amazing. I had forgotten much. And I discovered I had originally been assigned to MACV TM 88 Ben Tre in Aug of 68. The stop over was Can Tho where I laid over waiting for a lift out the next day or so. But a SFC somehow saw my MOS (Clerk Typist) and rushed me over to MACV HQS — their clerk had not arrived or wouldn’t arrive because of some issue and they needed a replacement bad. They gave me a test and changed my orders on the spot. So I never made it to 88 and stayed on 96 for the duration.

    Reading my letters reignited my interest in that time again, and I found this site last week.

    So I’ve often wondered what experience I would have had had I not been shanghaied in Can Tho. Can anyone tell me what a green clerk to 88 might have expected on arrival in terms of assignment, duties. And green I was, with no jungle training, zip….not even trained with the M16 they threw into my hands when I arrived in Saigon.

    SP4 Jim Carcioppolo

    • Jim my name is Jack Woodyard I served in Kien Hoa Provence from August 1968 to November 1970. I was a SGT E5

    • Jim: I was in Kien Hoa, Giong Trom District from Feb ’69 until Feb ’70. Like so many places in Vietnam the conditions and stories are diverse and the experiences often different. We were relatively stable in our district until the 9th Infantry became one of the first units to be withdrawn from the country. We could see a noticeable difference from about Oct ’69 until I left. From what I heard, thing got rough in several districts to include Giong Trom from mid ’70 moving forward. Can Tho would have felt like an R&R for most of us in Kien Hoa/Ben Tre.

      • Terry,

        Had I gone to Ben Tre we probably would’ve come across one another. Can Tho was a great spot to be in if one had to be in Nam at all. We had only two mortar attacks in late ’68 but they weren’t much. After each the Officers were lined up outside the medical unit for their various scratches and contusions having scambled into their bunkers, to qualify I guess for purple hearts. We enlisted men laughed like bastards at that. The most serious event was a sapper attack on Eakin compound that left a few perimeter guards dead. All in all, as a clerk at MACV headquarters in Can Tho I had it damn good. How about you?


  38. Steve, pls let me know if you find him, and pass on my regards. I was back in Jan with 2 of my sisters, we had Trai along as our interpreter . He was Ham Long interpreter and then PSA’s interpreter during my time, survives by teaching English privately in Saigon. Huge changes even in Kien Hoa/Ben Tre Province but except for the bigger villages (now towns) much remains the same. Except for the bridges. You can now drive My Tho-Ben Tre-Mo Cay-Vinh Binh Prov without a ferry!

    • Well, Greetings, COL John Haseman, it’s good to see you did well. I was the Phung Hoang/DDSA and Acting DSA when Truc Giang was overrun in March ’72. I am not going to go into detail too much right now, maybe later. I did well in the fight, calling in Dong Tam Arty on the compound (with permission of the District Chief, MAJ Theiu) and organizing an interior response my the GVN to the VC attack, but all would likely have been lost if the response team from Province with CPTs Godby and Swanson (and others I can’t remember – I had been a little busy) didn’t come to our relief. My few shots in anger were from an M3 submachine gun given to me by Mike Delaney (I think) having given my M16 to my new Cambodian interpreter, our long time interpreter SGT Chau having curled up in the corner of the command bunker. MAJ Stamey was in Bangkok having brought his wife to the District for a meal several weeks earlier, but staying at Mr. Kotzebue’s house at night. SGT Belk (I believe retired as a CWO) was, as stated earlier in another post correctly, wounded by a tin can grenade in the legs. I believe everybody who has a satchel charge detonate next to their team house is forever a believer in God, if they survive. Since I wasn’t a DDSA on paper there was no CIB, but the BSM/V was nice. Belk deserved his BSM/V far more than I did,

      A few weeks later on the ferry comng back from My Tho, an old VN man on the upper deck spit on me and since my wife wanted me out of the Army, I put in to get out. Never really regretted it and thought to try to come back in like you did after the “starter wife” I split, but never followed through. Went into the GaARNG full time, became branched to Engineers, later went back into Reserves and retired in ’97 as a LTC.

      As a Guard officer I had occasion to visit various Prisons in the North Georgia area, one being the Walker Correctional Center in LaFayette, GA, where I ran into Doc Chounaird. He remember me to a limited degree, we didn’t have much interaction in RVN and didn’t have time to talk much at the Prison. Doc was the “Doc” at the Prison, so I think anyone trying to track him down, might try contacting them, or try White Pages or such from LaFayette, GA, in Walker County.

      I live about 35 miles NW of Atlanta, and if you ever travel through the area, I would love to meet and talk. Email is “”.
      I visit LTC Vic Stamey in the DC area back in the last century. He had just made early pickup to LTC.

      Emory H. “Bo” Edwards, III
      LTC, USA (ret) then CPT

  39. Mr. Green,

    As a very proud son of a Vietnam veteran stationed in Ben Tre, I would be honored to read about your service in country.

  40. Chris, I was a 1Lt MAT 23 team leader in Kien Hoa Province, arriving in the spring of ’70 and leaving the following year.
    I would very much appreciate the opportunity to read about your experiences while in Ben Tre.
    Thank you in advance for sharing.

  41. I have finished my Vietnam memoir (it only took 50 years!), and it is now on PDF. Framed around my letters home, the memoir is full of photos, facts, vignettes, sketches and, at the end, a short story. I was a Medic in the Delta in 1964, stationed at the Seminary, downtown Ben Tre, Ba Ria post, and Bien Hoa. Anyone interested in receiving a copy via Dropbox, email me at chris at greensblueandgray dot com. It would be an honor and a privilege to share a copy with you. Welcome Home!

    • Chris,

      I would very much appreciate a copy of your Ben Tre memoir.

      I was with USAID in 1967 – 1969. I’m working on memoir writing, but I’ve found only one postcard home from those days.

      – Steve

        • Chris
          I was the DDSA at Binh Dai District, Kien Hoa (Ben Tre) Province in 1970. A SSG medic named Rainey (Spelling? I called him Bac Si) served with me on the Binh Dai team before transferring to the Province Lien Doi. When he left us he had been in country for 5 years.

          Did you know him? I would like to hear from him.

  42. I am looking for anyone who may have known my father Robert W. Verduin…I believe he was either a Captain or possibly a Major during his time in Ben Tre (1969-70). I am specifically looking for details as to his assignment while in country. A number of Polaroids he sent me as a child show him standing in front of what I believe may be officers’ quarters with a sign that says Delta Dredgers on it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  43. I was in Adv Tm 88 as well, I was the medical adv there from 68-68 and under Capt. Sterling, we had a lot of new people moving in and out but we were with an ARVN company stationed acrosss from the airport, I can remember that we had to offer support to the AF when a C130 went down.
    I’ve real all the emails and none of the names ring a bell but I’m sure that we all suffered out share of the never ending heat and what do I do, retire in Florida

  44. Our Battalion was getting short on ammunition and grenades and the 50 just stayed on top of the bunker, do you know where any of the other team members are? Boswell, Randy Painter. Hope your having fun at whatever your doing, I’m just enjoying retirement

  45. Hi Bill,
    It is Archie here! Don’t know where the mixup started but I do remember you and Doc. Rainey. I also remember Speakman but didn’t have much inter action with him.. I do remember trading 2 cases of grenades to you guys and came away with a 50 cal. and a box of ammo.

  46. Archie he was with us on the 301st RF Bn at the airfield before that he was with me on MAT 4 he went to the Scouts just before he left, ran into him at Ft Bragg he went to SF and I visited with him a few times when I was assigned to the 1st Ranger Bn in GA.

  47. Mike, and fellow Team 88 alumni,
    I was back in Ben Tre first week in January, I was “tour guide” to one of my sisters and her partner, who insisted on seeing where I had trod the ground back in the days. We stayed in a new 12-storey hotel built exactly where the Province compound was. The desk staff did not get it when I said I had spent a few nights there before 🙂 Otherwise not a lot of change over previous trip in 2013. Except yet another bridge crosses the Co Chien River from Mo Cay to Vinh Binh Province. That was a really BAD area back then, district chief KIA and DSA WIA less than 5 miles away. Ah well, progress.
    Best regards, John Haseman

  48. John Haseman,
    I was USAID with Adv Tm 88, 1967 to 1969.
    Mr Thoi and his wife Mrs. Nham and two sons, Turc and Binh, came out in 1976. My wife and I sponsored them here in Northern Virginia.
    Mrs. Nham died a few years ago, and we’ve mostly lost track of Thoi and his sons. I’ll have to give him a call and catch up.

  49. My name Tâm Mai- former Interpreter sergeant service for NILO-Ben Tre from 1968 to 1970. My boss : Lt ( Navy) Readon and Lt. Mac Arthor. May I have their news

    • I add some more details about my service unit call: NILO-KIỂN HOA ( Ben Tre prov) I seviced there from 1968 to 1973. My first boss in 1968 : Lt.( Navy) Bailey – 1969 : Lt. John Mac Arthor – 1970&71 : Lt Readon. Anybody have their information let me know, please.. My email:

  50. Hi, my name is Jules Vo and I worked for Kotzebue and Lt. Col Tausch and Lt. Col John H Anderson from 1970 to 1973 in the PSA office. I’m looking for anyone information on the members of team 88.
    My phone number is 408-931-1410

    • Jules Vo looking for information about sgt. Maciolek used to work for Maj. Schaffer. Capt Capenter at Chief of staff advisor office Ben tre team 88. Thanks

        • Do you remember SGT Trai or Mr. Thoi? Both worked in the PSA and DPSA offices as I remember. Dai-Uy (then) John Haseman

          Sent from my iPad


      • I had worked with Mr. Thoi. He v worked for Mr. Kitten ur and I worked for Lt. Col Tausch at PSA office. I remember Springton and Lamp. The clerks.

  51. John,

    (Buck?) Kotsebue was the PSA when I left in February 1969.

    I think Sgt. Chouinard was there the entire time I was there.

    – Steve

    • Yes, Buck Kotzebue was still PSA when I left, moved shortly after that to Binh Dinh. I visited him in Carmel, CA in 1974 on my way to new assignment in Thailand and also stayed with Mr. Parker in the PSA house. Thoi was PSA interpreter and also Trai, who moved from Ham Long to Province just before I arrived in 1971. I see Trai whenever I go to Vietnam. Thoi and his wife made it to the US (Arlington, VA), I saw him once or twice but lost touch with him.

  52. John,

    This sounds great. I need a while to put together our plans.

    It would be interesting to find which Vietnamese employees were still there from my time 1967 – 1969..

    Was Kotsebue there? And Sgt. Chounard?

    – Steve

    • Steve, I was the last American advisor to leave district level — perhaps in the entire country, don’t know that — because the NVA did not obey the cease fire in Mo Cay District (long story best told elsewhere). Mr. Kotzebue was PSA until end of January 1973, then he was transferred to Binh Dinh (Quy Nhon) in MR II and was replaced by Mr. Warren Parker. Mr. Parker was still there when I visited briefly in April 1973. Doc Chouinard was there until near the end, don’t recall exactly when he left, he rotated back to CONUS and I have lost track of him.

  53. Steve,

    Send me an e-mail to mdelaney at spencerfane dot com. I’ll be happy to share our excellent experience with Travel Vietnam, the agency we used to make our arrangements. I’ll copy John Haseman as well, as John has travelled frequently to Ben Tre over the years for any additional suggestions he may have.


    Mike Delaney

  54. Steve,
    I was DDSA Ham Long, DDSA Mo Cay, and DSA Ham Long 1971-73. I have been back to Ben Tre many times. I usually hire a car and driver from Asian Trails in Saigon. They will also provide an English-speaking driver or guide. I’ll be there right after new years with one of my sisters and her partner, as “tour guide.”
    John Haseman

  55. I served from 1 Sep 1969 – 2 Sep 1970 as platoon leader of 2nd Civil Affairs attached to MACV Advisory Team 88 headquartered in Ben Tre. My 4-5 man team stayed in the compound in Ben Tre although our company headquarters were at Long Binh which we visited at least monthly for pay purposes. We shared a small office with the CORDS personnel as part of the pacification effort. I was US Army 1LT, combat engineer, and replaced CPT. Richard Meirowitz who had followed CPT Joe Siwy. I have been in touch with both of these men in recent months. Other members of my team during my tour were: SP5 John O’Neill,SP5 Eugene Cobb, SP4 John Flanagan, SP4 Paul Zawadski, PFC Richard Coulson and SGT Ronald Thompson. We also had assigned to us full-time as Vietnamese interpreter Nguyen Van Sich who was fantastic and often advised us to avoid certain areas. According to my final performance evaluation by A. L. Kotzebue, Province Senior Advisor, he states that “the 8th platoon had seen through from conception to completion 64 civic action projects in Kien Hoa’s 9 districts. The projects ranged from school construction, pagoda repair, bridge reconstruction, river dock repair, orphanage electrification and sports stadium reconstruction in addition to his duties as Province Youth and Sports Advisor, Education Advisor and Assistant Agriculture Advisor.” We traveled to all of these projects by road, air and water. Thanks to all of the DSA’s for coordinating these projects and ensuring our safety during field visits. Special thanks also to the two Seabee teams that we worked with during my tour. We did get the old soccer field back to good shape and even had a game between teams from My Tho and Ben Tre just before I departed Viet Nam. Look forward to hearing from any old buddies from the compound or the districts.

    • Hope you, your family and any of our mutual friends from zwayback when have a Happy, Healthy, Bountiful and Safe Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.
      Joe, Theresa(Duyen) Siwy

      • Thanks, Joe. Glad to hear from you and to see that you have discovered this website of MACV Advisory Teams. Hope you and Theresa (Duyen) are doing well also. I still check on the 2nd Civil Affairs website on occasion. I have also communicated with Richard Meirowitz in New York. Keep in touch.

    • Jimmie, I was the team leader for team 88 in 1969. I think I was medivaced out in September and never got a chance to say good bye to the team. The only person I can remember is Sgt McGee. We lived in a nice compound made of train ties. Does any of that ring a bell?

      • Gary…I got there about the time you left. Served with Ted Sas who was a classmate from OCS and who was killed in May ’70. Was only in 88 a short time then took over MAT 20 at Phong My.

  56. Lou, if you find Doc Chouinard please let me know. A grand person indeed. As mentioned on this site few months ago, somewhere in my papers is a copy of the draft Presidential Unit Citation submission that was drafted in the last weeks of the advisory presence. I do not know if it was submitted or not, or whether it just got lost in the rush to get out of VN. If I can find it, I will see how far back in time the narrative goes.

    Best regards,
    John Haseman

  57. Does anyone remember the name of the Polish/American CPT who painted an American flag on the roof of the EM Mortar Inn Club during the TET Lunar Offensive “68” after the town was overrun?

    • Joe, that was Capt.George Skypeck. A good guy. I served with him and have some good pictures of the two of us together. I was a Staff Sgt. and weapons adviser for the team. George Skypeck went on to become a rather famous artiest. Well known for his military art.

      • Thanks for responding. I stayed with him for a couple days having been sent from II Field Force G5 to scout out the area for setting up a civil affairs team there. He had some interesting stories and lessons learned to share. I extended my stay in VN after that visit volunteering to setup a civil affairs presence there although by the time I returned he already had rotated back to the U.S.

        Joe Siwy

    • My name is Garry Willders station at Ben Tre June 67 to July 68. If I remenber right Capt Skypect painted the
      American flag on the mess hall roof so our air support knew were we were during Tet.I was a crew cheif on the
      o1 planes with the USAF.

      • I’ve got some pictures of you Garry that I took with the VN family we used to visit. I was a USAF radio operator in 67-68. Went to Australia with Spence. I’ve been in contact with Vivincio. I was in Ben Tre for Navy barge explosion and Tet ’68.

        • Don do you still post on this site? My name is Lt/Cpt Tim Davenport. I was one of the Army Swampfox pilots.Let me know here if you still post here. The same goes for Garry Willders. I was a sector pilot from around September ’67-May ’68. I experienced the barge explosion and went through tet ’68 there.

            • Sorry Don. I forgot that we had made contact about me going on a trip to Vietnam with you and you were kind enough to send me some pictures of your trip. I should have taken you up on your offer to go along. Traveling keeps getting harder with aging. I’m good so far but who knows when it will change. I’m still on my search to find someone who was at Mo Cay when it was under siege after Tet ’68. Hope all is well.

      • Thanks Garry. It was CPT George Skypek per a buddy of his. I stayed with him at the Compound before being assigned there from the 2nd CA Company, II Field Force, Long Binh. Do you happen to remember Bobby Watts who was a USAF radio intelligence SGT with the team around that same time? Thanks again.

      • Thanks. Per chance do you remember a Bobby Watt who was an AF radio intelligence tech SGT at the time? Can’t remember what state he hailed from.

        • I think you are likely referring to my dad who went by Bobby Watt at the time. He was at Ben Tre. He was originally from the Chicago area. I have all his photos and boxes of slides from his time in Vietnam. He passed away in 2007 due to brain cancer.

          • We are saddened to hear your Dad passed away. Thank you for your very courteous reply. He was a great guy, especially to kids at a local Vietnamese orphanage we used to visit when I was a Civil Affairs Officer on the Team. I met my future wife at the same orphanage during that time and she often asked me about his whereabouts after the good times he helped to provide for the orphans there. If it isn’t too much trouble would you happen to have a ‘my father’s mustache’ photo of him from that time you might be able to share. My wife finds it a little difficult to believe that he passed away. Best regards Joe & Theresa Duyen Siwy

            • Thank you for your kind remarks, Joe and Theresa. My dad’s letters are filled with stories of the orphanage. Those children clearly brought him a lot of joy. You will likely not be surprised that he went on to be a foster parent and adopted three of the children he and my stepmother fostered. As I am sorting through his slides, I am finding so many photos of the kids at the orphanage. Some of my favorites include soldiers dressed up as Santa at a Christmas celebration.

              I will get around digitizing the slides once I have them sorted. The slides were sitting in boxes since 1970 and unopened until my stepmom sent them to me a few months ago. I’m currently categorizing them based on the orphanage, military base life at Ben Tre, aerials, Vietnamese friends and sights in Vietnam. There are some really spectacular photos as my dad was very skilled with a camera. I would not be surprised if both of you show up in some of those pictures as well. He has a series of portraits he did of a group of young women. I imagine one of those women is you, Theresa. I do have lots of printed photos with the mustache! I’m happy to scan a few and share them with you. I can’t figure out how to post images on this site so you send me your email, I will pass some photos along. I will also share a link to this group once I get all the pictures digitized and set-up on a website.

              • I remember one Christmas party at the orphanage where guys from a local Infantry battalion came in with Santa and a sleigh full of toys topped off with a hot dog roast. We definitely had several good getogethers there and at the MACV compound(now a multistoried Vietnamese Australian Hotel) even during my time there. Should you find a good photo from back then our e-mail address is
                Thanks again even so much and hope you a nice Thanksgiving and Christmas Season.
                Best regards
                Joe & Theresa Duyen

  58. I was DDSA Ham Long 1971-72, DDSA Mo Cay and DSA Ham Long 1972-73. Yes, our PSA was LTC (Ret) Albert “Buck” Kotzebue. He was a terrific PSA, left us alone to do our job but right there to help out when needed.

  59. Johnny, you are correct that the Provincial Cmdr for Team 88 was named Kotsabu, a retired Lt Col serving the role as a civilian.
    He called me in at the end of my tour, ’70-’71, to give me my “re-up” pep-talk. I declined.
    I was 1Lt serving as Team leader for MAT 23 in Thanh Phu, among other locations. I don’t remember how to spell his name, either, but I definitely remember him.

  60. I was DDSA Ham Long 1971-72, DDSA Mo Cay 1972-73, and interim DSA Ham Long Aug-Nov 1972. Our PSA was Mr. Albert “Buck” Kotzebue, retired O5 or O6, outstanding PSA. At the end of 1972 he was reassigned as PSA in Binh Dinh up in MR II, he passed away from cancer around 1980. I have a copy of the narrative recommendation for the Presidential Unit Citation prepared for Team 88, but it was lost in the shuffle at the end of the advisory effort. I’m still considering submitting it, it’s a work in progress.

  61. I was with Adv Tm 88 in 1969 and 1970 Was heavy weapons Adv in Giong Trom District. We had 4 MAT Teams. A retired Colonel named Mr Katsabo was the 88 Team Commander. (Probably spelled his name wrong) CPT Keller was the District Team Commander when I got there. I was Then SFC Johnnie Cox…

    • Hi. I would like to look for Major Shaffer. He used to work for Giông Trom district as DSA and transferred to Kien hoa worked as Advisor for Major Vo Huu Net Chief of staff of Kien hoa province. I’d worked for him as interpreter. It ll be appreciated if u can give me any information regarding him. TY

      • Jules

        I met Major Schaffer a time or two; I did not know him well. Wasn’t he called Buck? I remember a story about him getting a little too free with fireworks and starting a fire or burning down a building?

        • I was DIOCC under Major Shaffer in Giong Trom. He was a great guy but thought was lax in the discipline department. After a long day of partying with the locals and the NCO’s on the team, the NCO’s decided to have their own fireworks show by filling M16 magazines with all tracer rounds and proceeding to the chopper pad to spray the sky with tracers. If that was not enough they cut chunks of C4 into small squares, inserted grenade fuses and threw their “firecrackers” into an old, unused cistern in the compound. The VN were scared out of their wits, thinking they were being over run by VC. All this happened at midnight to “celebrate” the new year.

          • I served under Shaffer as a MAT team leader and loved he guy. He gave free rein within our area of opns, never second guessed us, and was the first to throw all his support behind any action.

            • Which district did your MATS Team operate? Major Schaffer was moved to Province after the New Years eve incident and I left country in February ’70, so I’m not up on his status after that time. I remember we lost two MATS Team members in Giong Trom to a VC ambush while Major Weeden was DSA in Giong Trom, but can’t find their names in my notes.

    • Jack Woodyard
      ADV tm 88 I know the Name Katsabo we had a regular army colonel at Ben tre I was on the reaction force with Capt Hight and Lt Teldon

      • I was there in july 68 to July 69 and remember Cap Haight and Lt Tildon and I think I remember you too Jack Woodyard. LTC Dudley was our commander and Maj Paul Compton was my immediate boss. Recognize a few other names in here also. Joe Urbano was one of my friends as was Brad Sharp.When I first got there I think we were Advisory team 93 and then became Advisory team 88. Nice to see some familiar names. Rodney Hillman. Our first Sgts were MSG Sellers and Bellavita.

    • Johnnie Cox, I was at Giong Trom District in 69-70. I was then Cpt. William Brown . I relieved Cpt. Keller and he left in a hurry. I still have a few memories, especially Chau Bien. Good knowing you made it out alive.

    • SFC Cox, if you remember me you can email me at You and I spent quite a bit of time in the field together. I would like to hear from you. I also remember Sgt Dilbo, Chip, Lt. Presnell, and Ho Van Be.

      I remember you were from Roanoke, VA.

      Tom Brown

    • I am Cpt William (Tom) Brown. I was Assistant Dictrict seniorAdvisor on Team 88 in Giong Trom from March ’70 – September ’70. I relieved Cpt Keller when i arrived and a Major replaced me when I left Ben tre. We had alot of activity while i was there, never a dull moment. Someone stole my camera and Dai Uy Houng, found out it was an RVN Artillery group cannon cocker just there temporarily. He had him beat pretty bad.

      Lots of memories of Giong Trom. Some of them good. One night SFC Cox and I got stranded in My Nhon village and darn near overrun that night. I got a Bronze Star with “V” device for that night.

      Apparently alot of you had fonder memories of that place than I did. The VC mortared Giong Trom at night and the only thing there was old women and kids and 5 of us. If anyone remembers me, please let me know.

      We were very isolated and I don’t remember anyone outside of the Staff at our village. Maj.Thien was my VN counterpart.

    • The name sounds like someone I new I was there in Kien Hoa from Aug 1968 to Nov 1970 do you have anymore information

      • That fits the general information of a lieutenant and sergeant we lost to an ambush from one of our Mobile Advisory Teams (MATs). I’m sorry to say but the names from that period have long since escaped my memory.

        • Responding to Terry Barnett…Sgt David Kuhns was on MATv team 88. He was in fact KIA during an ambush on 10/3/69. He was my Uncle but was killed before I was born. I would be interested in hearing anything in regards to him as little as that may be. Our family was just awarded the Massachusetts Liberty Medal in honor of our loss of my Uncle. I would love to be able to maybe see pictures of him in the field or to be put in touch with someone who may have some. My email is
          Thank you for your time and many thanks for your service.

    • Sgt. Kuhns served with me. I was his MAT team leader when he got killed along with Sgt Boles in Oct ’69. Wrote his family, but understandably never heard anything back. A great guy and good soldier.

      • David Allen Kuhns is my mother’s stepbrother. If you’re letters went unanswered it is because we have all moved out of our home towns. Our family is being awarded the Massachusetts Liberty Medal in Everett MA on Sunday, Sept 29, 2019. I would be interested in any further information that you would have about my Uncle prior to his death in 1969. My email is

        • I didn’t know Sgt David Kuhns well but met him a few times. I was in Don Nhon District in Kien Hoa Province from Nov ’68 to Aug ’69 when I moved to Ben Tre to serve on the staff of Mr. Kotzebue, the Province Senior Advisor. I was part of the Phoenix Program, but worked closely with the Kit Carson Scouts and also MATS team 88. It was a somber and sad day in Ben Tre when we learned that Sgt Kuhns had been killed Sgt Kuhns was a well liked guy who knew what he was doing and handled himself well in the bush. He had a reputation of being savvy and careful and was well liked by his Vietnamese counterparts. All my very best to his family. Sgt Kuhns served the country with honor. His death was a loss for all of us in Kien Hoa Province.

          • Responding to Greg Mutz….
            Thank you for your response. I did not have the honor of knowing my Uncle since I was born in 73. It makes me proud to hear such kind words spoken about him.

  62. Hard to believe I’m having this “conversation” about something that happened almost 45 years ago. Any way you could share any more of the story? Is the guy still around? Would he be willing to talk about it?
    Just thinking about reaching out.

    • Yes, the guy is still around and he is on a private Facebook page I have set up for UDT/SEAL guys from the Vietnam era. There are 3 other Xray platoon members on the page. Send me your email to my email, I’ll pass it on to him. I don’t know him personally though he does interact on the page. Still hoping to get some help from anyone who was there from Oct 70 to Mar 71.

  63. Interesting. I was in Kien Hoa Province, Thanh Phu Distict during that time frame as Team Leader of MAT 23. I dusted off a Seal one night who had been shot in the rear. Don’t remember his name, but I would like to connect with him if you run into anything resembling that fact situation.
    Thanks, RWPierce, 1Lt, Inf., MACV.

    • Mr Pierce, the operation that the SEAL was wounded in the rear and later medivaced back to the US happened on Dec 13 1970. I have pics of that op and the SEAL being lead to a Army helo by 2 of his teammates. 4 SEALs total were wonded on this op.

  64. I’ve been doing research on SEALs for the last 20yrs and I’m looking for anyone who was with Team 88 during Oct 70 to March 71 who has any memories and possibly photos of the SEAL platoon that was stationed at Ben Tre, Xray platoon SEAL Team One. Mike Collins(KIA) was the plt commander and Frank Bomar(KIA) was the second in command. I’m also looking for any aerial photos or maps of the Team compound and the dock. I’m going to be involved with a book about Xray platoon so anything would be helpful. Thank you. Contact me at

    • I was the CO of the Swift Boat division based at Sa Dec in 1970. My memory is that X-Ray platoon was also based at Sa Dec. Both Swifts and SEALs operated from Ben Tre from time to time, but Sa Dec was the home base. I remember both platoon leaders who served there then: Lt. Todd and Lt. Collins (rip). Mike was a fellow USNA alumni. I did not get to know either of them well although some of my boats operated with the SEALs on occasion.

    • Mike Rush. My name is Paul Mindell I am Mike Collins’ nephew and I am working on a documentary on him and Xray Platoon.
      Also I am anxious to hear about the book project you are involved in. I have a wealth of source material.

      Paul Mindell

  65. Ms Dudley,
    I talked with my fellow officer who I have been attempting to contact. He is personally familiar with Cpt. Cox’s circumstances at the time of his death.
    You may contact him as follows: William “Bill” Ridley,
    703-250-4242 hm
    703-250-3044 wk
    571-236-5087 cell
    Again, good luck,

  66. Ms Dudley, I have emailed one of my fellow officers who was stationed in or adjacent to the district where Cpt Cox was KIA. He most likely has some information he can share about Cpt Cox. Hopefully, it will be of assistance to you in your efforts to find out more about his circumstances. As soon as I hear back I will post his response and perhaps put him in touch with you. I applaud your efforts.
    Regards, R. W. Pierce

  67. I left Ben Tre at the end of July 1970. It was Team 93 then – all teams were redesignated. If you go to your local Veterans Outreach Center, they can assist you in getting a copy of his service record. It would provide you with much more information such as the citations for the awards. The National Records Center website in St Louis has instructions on how to obtain relatives records as well. Good luck on this. If you need any more information, please let me know.

  68. Thank you so much, Mr. Pierce. I really appreciate it. I found his obituary in the September 7, 1970 addition of our local newspaper. Unfortunately it was not very informative. His tombstone has three listings SS BSM PH. I understand his funeral was with full military honors. I am quite incensed that the local community newspaper did not have a more significant article and details about his service. I would appreciate any and all information about him. Again, thank you so much.

  69. Linda, I believe I can be of help. My team was monitoring the radio net the day Cpt. Cox was killed. His sergeant was wounded, but rescued that day. I attended the memorial service conducted in his district which was adjacent or close to mine in Thanh Phu District. My OCS class is quite close and we have conducted several reunions over the years, beginning with our 40th in “09. I have discussed this incident with a classmate on one occasion. His name is Bill Ridley and he lives in the Washington, D.C., area. I will contact him and try to put him in touch with you.
    Randall W. Pierce
    1Lt, Infantry
    MAT 23

    • Hello Randy, Been reading your posts. Served with you on MAT 23. Good to see you are still kicking. Would be nice to chat. Published a novel in December 2014, “Saving Ben Tre.” Your are not a character in it but I though of you many times when writing it.
      Dave Van Wye
      1Lt, Inf.

  70. Henry Thomas Cox, “Tommy”, died August 13, 1970

    I am trying to find more information about Tommy. He was a classmate of mine in the Christiansburg Virginia high school class of 1965. He was killed as a member of

    We would like to honor him at our upcoming 50th high school class reunion. Any memories anyone on Team 88 would be greatly appreciated. He was not quite 23 years old when he was killed. Thank you for any help that you can give us in order to honor him.

  71. I’ve been doing research on SEALs for the last 20yrs and I’m looking for anyone who was with Team 88 during Oct 70 to March 71 who has any memories and possibly photo’s of the SEAL platoon that was stationed at Ben Tre, Xray platoon SEAL Team One. Mike Collins(KIA) was the plt commander and Frank Bomar(KIA) was the second in command. Thanks.

  72. hi Mike,
    I remember the Truc Giang battle well – we were awaked in Ham Long to stay in touch with what was needed, remember CPT Jim Swanson trying to push the reaction force over the Ba Lai bridge! I kept thinking how easy it would be to take the Ham Long compound with a large enough force, it was a larger compound than Truc Giang but had lousy mud walls and the barbed wire was old old old. Happily it did not happen. When I went back as DSA just a few days after Bill C was KIA I was both nervous and keyed up and one of the first things I got them to do was reinforce the defensive works. The NVA made a half-hearted ground probe in, as I recall, late August ’72 but the RF company intercepted them and did a good job. Brings back memories! I will be going back in December, taking one of my sisters and her partner, they want to see where it all happened. There is a brand new “high rise” hotel on the former AdvTm 88 compound, we will probably stay there 🙂
    John Haseman

  73. I was assigned to Team #88 from October 1971 to October, 1972, first as Team Leader of MAT 22 at the Province training center in Ba Tri District and later, after Tet 1972, in Ben Tre as Province artillery advisor, assistant S-3, and S-2 for a while after Bill Chandler was KIA. If I recall, the team and the other US in the province (Navy, Seabees, RMK-BRJ, OSA, etc.) shrunk from 200+/- in the fall of 1971 to 25 or so by the time I left.

    I well remember the night the Truc Giang District compound was overrun. I got picked up in Ben Tre on a US Huey and flew in and out of the compound a number of times evacuating Vietnamese WIAs. I distinctly remember how nervous I was as the pilot set his aircraft down again and again on the helipad next to a burning bunker where ammunition kept cooking-off. It was the first time I really felt there was a war going on in Kien Hoa.

    Has anyone on here kept up with CPT Dave Godby? I haven’t heard anything from/about him since he DEROS’d in late summer ’72. The trip he and I took to MACV graves registration with Bill Chandler’s personal effects was the saddest drive I ever remember.

    My wife and I just returned in October from a fabulous trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, including a couple of days in Ben Tre. Kathy had some misgivings before we left, but came home convinced it is the best trip we’ve ever taken. It will take a lot more Vietnam trips for us to catch up to John H’s record, but I would go back in a minute. If anyone is interested, let me know and I’ll be happy to share our itinerary and the name of the Vietnamese travel agency we used.

    • Mike Delaney,

      I was a USAID employee with CORDS in Ben Tre from July 1967 to February 1969.

      My wife and I are interested in visiting Vietnam like you and your wife did. Do you recommend a tour company and how did you get down to Ben Tre?


      – Steve Spangler

      • Steve, Were you in country concurrent with a Dave Schllich (?) who occupied a similar position as yours in Giong Trom District, Kien Hoa Province in ’69 and through part of “70? He was there during my tour (MI Advisor) from February ’69 through February ’70. I was assigned a two week project for the PSA and later spent a few weeks in Truc Giang as a fill-in until their regular MI advisor returned before being finally assigned to Giong Trom for the duration of my tour.

      • Steve,

        This is Norris Nordvold. I just found this site. I was the Disrict Senior Advisor in Ba Tri district when you were in Ben Tre. I went back to Ben Tre in 2013 with Larry Grossman and his wife. Larry lived at the Spankler house when he was there.

        I stayed at a hotel across the River when I visited for a week. Hotel is owned by A Kiwi and his Vietnamese wife. Did you ever visit? Would love to talk with you
        Norris Nordvold. First tour Ba Tri and 2nd tour followed Tim Bertotti’s. Position as head of New Life Sev office.

        E mail.

  74. Mike, if you’ll send me your email address I can send you a few photos from the Ham Long house one you I think if not you’ll know who it is, also one of LTC Son.
    John Haseman

  75. Does anyone know whatever happened to then Maj. Robert Stephens? He was S3 on tm 88 in 1972.
    Maj Stephens earned my respect and I would like to at least say hello and tell him as such.

    He might just kill me because Justice and me played a pretty dirty trick on him in an after action brief after he had allowed that “by God he wanted to see some results” from all the ops we were running.

    Dam near got into trouble over that one because there was a reporter nearby.

    Maj Stephens tried his best to keep me in check, didn’t always work but he at least cared enough to try.

    I read where LTC Christensen died in Fayetteville a few years back. Does anyone know if Col Taush (sp) or Kotzebue is still alive.

    Would also like to know the whereabouts of Danny Lamb or Lt Wren or Sgt Morrisy(sp).

    Marvin Springston, the team clerk died from cancer in Ga a few years back as well. Marvin was a good friend and he is greatly missed.

    Anyway, that slice of history of life on an advisory team will never be replicated again….anywhere…one of the few places where fact is even more crazy than fiction.


    • body{font-family: Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:9pt;background-color: #ffffff;color: black;}

      Mike,Replying to some of your questions:1. Maj. Stevens became BG Stevens, I last saw him when he was Chief of JUSMAG-THAI in Bangkok 1980s, when I was attache in Jakarta. I believe he was the last O7 to head JUSMAG, the slot was then downgraded to O6 billet.2. Mr. Kotzebue died from cancer many years ago, 1970s/1980s.3. I have not hear from nor about LTC Tausch in many years.Best regards,John Haseman

    • Sir,

      My name is Laurel Lamb. I have some good news for you. I just stumbled over your post from two years ago. My husband is the very Danny Lamb you’ve wondered about.

      He asks that you text him @ 218-590-7599.

      Merry Christmas! Thank you for your service!

    • Mike,
      Feels strange to reply to a post that is 3 years old but I just stumbled onto this site and read your entry. Hope you see this. I am the LT Wren you asked about. Retired as a LTC in 1972 and now live in Colorado Springs, CO. I can be contacted at

    • glad to see you on here Gary, visited 1Lt Patrick Borunda MAT 91 he is in Washington State and has a small ranch he and his wife are raising Alpaca’s. It was a good visit, also enjoyed our phone visit will be in the Tampa area in April for a 7th Army NCOA reunion will let you know when we get there. A friend of mine owns a couple of houses in My To and he and his wife want Brenda and I to go with them next summer for vacation (we’ll see) if time permits. take care brother and I’ll keep sending dirty E-Mails.

    • I think I remember you I was at Kien Hoa from Aug 1968 to Nov 1970 I went with you to the Kit Carson Scott camp or compound a couple of time you were a Sgt E6 that got a field promotion to 2nd Lit. Are you that guy if do please reply

      • I was in Kien Hoa-Giong Trom from February 1969 until February 1970. I came in country as a 2LT and made 1LT in November 1968 before returning stateside to Ft. Knox. I was a DIOCC advisor and had very limited Kit Carson Scout contact through the Phuong Huang Program.

      • Was wondering if you knew Lt Jack Harrell, original NILO for Team 93 then 88 at Ben Tre. He originally came to us to get Kit Carson Scouts for Mobile RIverine Force, SEALS, etc. Good officer, I think he slipped into the Embassy House, got a retired Navy MCPO to run PRUs and my life was happier after that. I would like to find him as I think he never got a medal he was recommended for.

  76. I was with team 88 72-73 and was the last American to work with the Kit Carson Scout unit there after Lt Justice left. The Scouts were a “ballsy” bunch of men and they turned an inexperienced young man (me) into someone who would go on to have a good 20 year career with Special Forces,

    John, has it really been 43 years?

    I have never returned to VN nor do I care to…just too many unpleasant memories there

    • Mike, I remember you following Cleon Justice. Wow, yes, it has been that long. I feel badly for our KCS, they would not have lasted long after 1975. They were a good tough bunch. I remember doiing a medevac for one of them WIA in Mo Cay, they wanted a US to go on his medevac to be sure he got into the US hospital in Saigon (3rd Surg?). Picked me up in Mo Cay pad, dropped into some hairy country, got him, off we went, walked with him into admissions in Saigon, then flew back. 2 or 3 days later I moved back to Ham Long as DSA for 3 months to help beat back the NVA regiment that came over from Dinh Tuong. Still all fresh in my memory!
      John Haseman

      • John,
        I never knew you were on the Dustoff that evacuated the Scout otherwise I would have tracked you down and personally thanked you.

        Please accept my sincere thanks for helping the Scout, albeit a bit late.

        The KCS were hated equally by the ARVN and the VC as evidenced by the huge reward placed on the heads of the scouts and the Americans who worked with them.

        I like to think that some of the Scouts were resourceful enough to survive but all my attempts to find them have failed.

        I worked with Lt Justice for a month before he left but that was long enough to realize that he was/is an exceptional leader. He never received the recognition he earned as KCS “advisor”. Strength and courage were the only two things the KCS respected, with the exception of maybe money and until one proved themselves, they would ignore you. Justice proved himself many times over and I chuckle at times when I visualize him standing in front of a class of professional soldiers and instructing them in things like proper ethics and such… Pushes the imagination a bit because of the lack of constraints we had on team 88.

        We chased many of the VC support cadre around Kien Hoa and were moderately successful in eliminating some. As I remember, the most successful operation happened in spite of agency and MI intel and happened by pure luck.
        We managed to have a “meet and greet” with the notorious VC tax collector Bac Thien (name and spelling may not be correct) and two of his bodyguards late in 72.
        I remember de-briefing Col. Christensen and he sat back in his chair and said something to the effect, “well Goddam, finally got the sonofabitch”. Was the only time I saw col Christensen smile.

        John, when I look back at the absolute operational freedom and authority we had individually on team 88 it begs the question of how todays politically correct Army would react. The commanders would pass out or go into an apoplectic fit I think and we would most likely be in prison for war crimes.

      • ETim and Mai,

        I am in Phoenix and still maintain contact with Brian Valiton who a captain working for me in New Life Development

        Also people gone I continued with were Larry Saulters And Larry Grossman

        I went back with Larry and his wife in 2013. We found 4 students females who we taught English 2 nights a week. Toured the old Province Chiefs house now a museum. Larry and I brushed up on Vietnamese for 8 months before we left and spent most of 2 week trip speaking Vietnamese. So much fun

        Norris Nordvold’

      • Kind of you to offer John


        Any contact info for BG Stephens? The lasting image I have of him, he is standing in his boxer shorts, flak jacket, rifle and steel pot raising hell after a mortar attack in which his brand new jeep had just been hit. Hilarious!!!!!

      • I would be interested in any KCS pics you have. Did you have any interactions with the 2 SEAL platoons that were based and op’s out of Ben Tre. They were housed at the MACV compound I believe.

        • Mike,
          Having operated with the scouts in 72 and 73, I have many pictures but am hesitant to release any of them simply because some of the scouts may still be alive and I would hate to do anything that might put them at risk. Memories and hate most likely still runs deep over there given our mission and the operations we ran. Many of the scouts were not only smart but well educated and it is possible that some survived under an assumed identity. Would be happy to talk with you via e-mail.


  77. Lou, I went to the MASA Course at Fort Bragg for 3 months before deploying to VN, the course included rudimentary language instruction as well as heavy on counterinsurgency intelligence. Two months after arriving in Ham Long I was sent to Vung Tau for, I think, 2 weeks in-country Phung Hoang instruction, which I found heavy on details and helpful in that respect. But when you are on a 2-man district team there was no time for being Phung Hoang advisor, it was pretty well in VN hands. The change from CIA to DoD came after GEN Abrams became COMUS MACV, he was a strong supporter of Phung Hoang and pacification in general. I was “exiled” from 9th MI Det to become 9th Inf Div liaison officer to Dinh Tuong Province. I lived in the Embassy House and worked mostly with province advisory team S-2 as well as CIA, PRU (also lived at E,. House) and 7th ARVN G-2 advisors. When in both Ham Long and Mo Cay my 1542 Infantry MOS came back right away, like riding a bicycle you don’t forget 🙂 . I was always grateful that back in the good old days MI Branch sent their new 2LTs to Ft Benning instead of doing their own attempt at making a combat arms block in their basic course as they do now.
    I have been back to Kien Hoa several times, most recently in 2013. I’ll be there this December, taking one of my sisters and her partner along to see where I was. It’s changed so much!
    John Haseman

  78. Col: Reading your comment brought back a few memories of the early Phung Hoang program. I went to the Hill Camp near Vung Tau every 3-4 weeks to teach a bit on setting up files, maintaining lists, and ICF funds. I think in Jan 67 was the first group of US/VN there. I think it went on hold in Jun 67 and went over to the civilian side. I heard from friends who went over later with SF that it was B-36 USSF went they went through 69-70 and they went to Phung Hoand in II Corps. I get a picture that the program flip-flopped a bit. As with your experience, I saw a few MI Officers who went through training in the US then later RVN to be siphoned off the chain into other jobs. When I returned to VN in 69, I actually had to go to Saigon to get NCOs for the three 44th STZ Provinces to help out. The Marine Advisory folks there provided them. In Kien Hoa, I had to do the paperwork and pay the PRU for several months with ICF as the SEALS did not set up for ops until the Mobile Riverine Force was up and running. When Lt Jack Harrell, USN came in recruiting Kit Carson Scouts, things got better. I think that the program would have had more impact if it was started earlier. I guess that when the CIA was getting a bad name, they turned it over to the Army again. Hope things are good with you. Did you stop by Ben Tre on your last trip? Lou

  79. Mike, yes LTC Son was Ham Long District Chief. When I left in Feb ’73 I went to Thai language school and assigned to Thailand. On the way I stopped off in Saigon and visited Kien Hoa — stayed in the PSA’s house at his invitation. By then LTC Son was promoted to COL and was Province Chief of Vinh Binh, so I went down there as well. After ’75 he spent 13 years in re-education, it destroyed his mind (I got this info from former interpreter Trai). When he came to the US a few years later around I think 1991, settled in Seattle area but I was advised not to visit as it would be too upsetting for him — and probably for me as well. We left a lot of good men in very bad circumstances.
    John Haseman
    CPT 71-73
    now COL (retired)

  80. As I recall, our Province HQ’s was in Ben Tre. I arrived in country around May, ’70 and after advisory school was sent to Thanh Phu district. I was assigned to MAT Team 23 and replaced a 1Lt Moss, but can’t remember where he was from. I had a medic named Rob Emery, I think from Georgia. Another sergeant we called “Big Man” because of his size. I don’t remember a lot more. I spent the entire time there until leaving the last of April, ’71. A captain named Cox who I knew from Benning was killed in the Province next to ours while I was there. I don’t remember a lot of other names. I was assigned to the Kit Carson Scouts as team leader for a day. I was to replace a Captain (whose name I don’t remember) who had gotten cross-wise with the Province G-2 as I recall. However, he made amends, got his team back and I was sent back to my team the next day. I can’t say I was sorry. This would have been in the early part of ’71.
    I was barely 23 when I arrived in country and I grew up in southeast Missouri in a little town called Caruthersville.

    Randall W. Pierce
    1Lt. Infantry, US Army
    1968 to 1971

  81. John,

    Thanks for the reply. I’m glad I left when I did in Apr 72 instead of when you were there! Just before I left, the Truc Giang District Compound was compeletly overrun after a night ground attack. The only U. S. casualty was the SFC MI NCO, name unrecalled, who received some grenade fragments in the foot. There were plenty of other casualties among the Vietnamese however. On my ride up to Saigon to Ton Son Nhut to fly out in Apr 72 we passed a convoy of the 21st ARVN Division, normally stationed in Cau Mau in southern IV Corps, that was headed north (maybe Tay Ninh) to help fight back the NVA/VC nationwide offensive at the time.

    You mentioned LTC Son. If it’s the same guy, he was MAJ Son and the District Chief in Ham Long when I arrived in Apr 69 and when I got back in Jun 71 was still in Ham Long but was then a LTC.

    Best regards,

    Mike Woodward

    • I was on Adv Tm 88 from Aug 71 to Aug 72, If I remember correctlyTruc Giang District compound was over run Mar 22 1972. I was on the reaction team with Capt. Hendricks as CO. Good to hear from others from Adv Tm 88.
      Best regards,
      John Caraway

  82. Mike – You are very familiar to me and I think I have one photo of you. I came to Ham Long in June 1971 as Phung Hoang advisor, that lasted 2 weeks and I was moved on paper (and ops!) to DDSA, stayed until we closed the team in May 1972 when Major Kretschmar DEROSed (he succeeded the late MAJ Coddington). I extended and was moved to Mo Cay as DDSA working for Major Byron Reed. In August 1972 the NVA invaded Ham Long so I went back as DSA, unfortunately because CPT Bill Chandler, the province S-2 advisor, was sent out a few days earlier and was immediately KIA in an ambush just west of the Tre Bong Bridge. I stayed as DSA until Nov 72 when LTC Son got security restored. I returned to Mo Cay and was supposed to leave in Jan 73 when the ceasefire required all advisors to leave the field, except there was no ceasefire in Mo Cay District — the NVA wanted the entire district for Madame Nguyen Thi Dinh who was born in An Thanh. After 2 weeks of combat somebody somewhere passed the word down the chain of command and the NVA withdrew from all the area they had taken over, including the entire road to the Ben Tre ferry, and I was able to drive back to Ben Tre in mid-Feb 73 and fly out. Interesting final 2 weeks!
    Best regards, John Haseman

    • John, I was Spec 4 RTO ‘living’ in Mo Cay from Mar 67 to Mar 68 Blown away reading your posts from someone who was there after me Thanks for the updates Always wondered what happened after I left

  83. I was with Adv Tm 88 twice: Apr 69 to Jun 70 in Ham Long District. I replaced SFC Robert King who was KIA about two weeks before I arrived. I was a SSG at the time and was the MOS 11F40 in Ham Long. The DSA in Ham Long while I was there was MAJ James Coddington who, unfortunately, was also KIA around the end of 1970 after I left. Others in Ham Long when I was there was our medic, SFC Alton Williams, a 1LT who was an MI officer from Eufaula, AL who’s name I have forgotten, and towards the end of my time in Ham Long we were assigned an SP4 RTO who was from West Virginia who’s name I also have forgotten; I went back to Adv Tm 88 in Jun 71 and left in Apr 72. I was on a MAT Team the number of which I have forgotten. We started out in An Hiep village and then went to Quoi Thanh village, both in Ham Long District. The team commander was a CPT Donahoo from Texas and one of the other team members was SFC Gary Demoss from Tennessee. (I ran into Demoss again in 1979 when I arrived at FT Campbell, KY.) Sometime toward the end of 71 my MAT team was disestablished and I then went to the Kit Carson Scouts. Our compound was near Ben Tre Airfield and the SEABEES compound. The only other U. S. soldier with the Scouts besides me at the time was SFC Robert Speakman. I stayed with the Scouts until I left in Apr 72 and went to 2nd ID in Korea, specifically, Company C, 1st Bn, 17th Infantry, at Camp Howze.

    Kien Hoa Province is now called Ben Tre Province. It has it’s own Web Site in English. It can be accessed through Google. I haven’t been back to the former RVN since I left in Apr 1972.

  84. I was stationed with Adv Tm 93 via Tm 96 and 525 MI Group as Intel Tm Sgt about Jun 66 thru July 1967. Worked a brief time with 41st Ranger Bn as I had my own radio that worked. I am looking for others there at the same time and from mid 67 past Tet of 68. I am trying to contact some witnesses to the team efforts during that period as to why the team did not receive a unit award although transient units did. In particular am trying to locate SFC William F. Chouinard, (Frenchy) Adv Tm 93 Medic

    • I was in the USAF as a radio operator assigned to the MACV compound with Tm 93. I was there from about Aug 67 thru Mar 68. I’ve been back to Ben Tre four times starting in 2007 and most recently in January of this year. I ran into George Costello last trip who had also been stationed in Ben Tre during TET 68. I’ve made contact with Tim Davenport, an Army pilot and Phil Vivenzio another USAF radio operator. I remember Ron Mims, PFC Smith, and Rodman who were Army enlisted. I also remember Joe Swift, and Bob Wooley who were Army pilots. The USAF officers were Chet Brown, Maj. Street. USAF enlisted were Willder and Bill Spence.

  85. I arrived in Kien Hoa in June 1971. During most of my time (through February 1973) the KCS advisor was 1LT Cleon Justice.

  86. I do remember the scouts as they were right out behind us. I remember the Cpt., but don’t remember his name. There were 2 sargents also attached to the group. One of them was a staff sgt. Jackson who while on a mission with the scouts stepped on a mine and didn’t make it. The 3 of them were always at our camp. There was also a small ARVN camp up the road from us with 3 advisors attached. A lot of memories!!!

    • I have a slide of SSG Jackson on an op with Xray platoon, SEAL Team One who op’d out of Ben Tre from Oct 70 to Mar 71.

    • Archie this is Bill Acebes from MAT 91 up the Road been along time. Remember when Earl Jackson was KIA he was with CPT Groader (SP) then a medic was the scout advisors he was wounded DOC Rainy and Speakman became the Scout advisor’s. Speakman wasn’t to well liked by me and he and I used to fight all the time at the club until I left. Hope all the other team members Randey Painter, Bozwell.. By the way I did make it back and retired as E-9 🙂

      • Bill

        Is this DOC Rainy the E-6 or E-7 medic who served on the Binh Dai District Team and then transferred to the Province Linh Doi team?

        • Sorry for the late reply, Doc was on MAT 4 with me in Truc Giang 69 then on MAT 91 70-71 and the KSC late 71 he is probably the same Doc Rainey when they were shuffleling teams around Mat 4 was split and half went to Ben Tre and The half I was on moved from Qui Son to the village next to the ferry to My Tho, I thin Doc went to Binh DAi then we wee both transferred to 91.

          • Bill

            The Rainey that I served with in Binh Dai was from Pritchard, AL and had been in country for 5 years straight. Does that match your Rainey?

            John Geary (CPT, DDSA, Binh Dai)

            • The Rainey I’m referring to was from New Orleans and served with the 173rd and 101st we linked up again in Ft Bragg in 72 when I returned. We were on Mat 4 from 69-70 then they split us up Doc went Binh Dai and we didn’t link up again until we were both sent to MAT 91 in 70 he left in 71 to the KSC after SSG Gary Orman left.

              • Bill

                It sounds like your Rainey and mine are the same person. As I recall it, Rainey was from Pritchard, AL (I am from Mobile); but he had a sister in New Orleans. Rainey was a very good soldier and medic. I would like to contact him.

  87. Jud Starr

    I was the ranking S2 advisor in Kien Hoa in 69-70 and think back on that experience often. I am in DC and whenever a veteran’s event takes place among other unites, I think it too bad there are not more connections among those who served as advisors.

    • Hey Jud, long time since Thanksgiving diner at your house with your kid brother and Sue in the 80s. Retired in FL. Loving life, Ben Tre was something else, especially when I got to translate for John Paul Van when he came to visit! Good to see your post, Pierre

  88. In 1964 I was a Field Medic with Team 75, but quartered often in the 2 story townhouse in Ben Tre. There was a pet python, “Sam”, in a cage out front. Go to my website, greensblueandgray dot com/other wars, for a photo of Sam, and photos of the lake and the traffic circle.

  89. I was on the Seabee team 0318 from dec. 1969- aug. 1971. We were a 13 man civic action team on the outskirts of Ben tre. We got our mail and supplies in the MACV compound.

    • Do you remember the Kit Carson Scout team that was quartered at or near the airport? If so, do you remember the Cpt who was in charge of that Advisory team? This would have been somewhere late in ’70 or early ’71.
      Randall W. Pierce

      • Capt. Crowder (SP) and SFC Jackson were the advisors SFC Jackson stepped on a mine and was killed. I met Capt. Crowder at Ft Bragg he was a company commander in the 1/505.

        • Thanks for your reply. That was an old post. Do you know what happened to the Captain? I was chosen as his replacement by Kotzabue after he had a conflict with a Major, I think, in G2. It only lasted a day or two until he resolved the issue and was returned to his team. I returned to mine. I was Team Leader of MAT 23.

  90. I served in Kien Hoa in 1970. I was the Deputy District Senior Advisor on the Binh Dai district team. I would like to hear from anyone who served on the Binh Dai team.

    • You guys did a great job and were much appreciated. Your commander told me that he’d pull the team if you were under threat. I know you were under mortar fire often from the adjacent hamlet. Tim Bertotti, Civilian CORDS Team, Ben Tre, Kien Hoa 1968-1970. By the way, I did an informal survey of the Vietnamese about which US programs they liked: Seabees were at the top.

      • I second that bravado. I remember them setting up near the airport and replacing a roof on a local school after an artillery unit moved into place in addition to providing material for CA projects. Although I was sent from 2nd Field Force to conduct a CA Survey, the guys that followed me probably accomplished much more in civic action projects and activities. Also thought Mario Rosario and Evangelista of PHILCAG did some really outstanding work. The sidewalks through the jungles they helped to build are still in use. Have you been across the My Tho-Ben Tre Bridge? Heard a high-rise hotel went up on the old MACV Compound site.
        Best regards

        • I was on Team 88 from June 17 to mid-Feb 1973, first as DDSA Ham Long, then DDSA Mo Cay, then DSA Ham Long for the 1972 offensive, then back to Mo Cay as DDSA. I was fated to be the final DSA for both Ham Long (Nov 72) and Mo Cay (Feb 73) — 2 weeks a cease-fire violation because the NVA land-grabbing ops closed the highway to the Ben Tre ferry and “higher” determined that I was not to be evacuated by helicopter an would remain in Mo Cay until the NVA pulled back to pre-cease fire holdings. Finally drove to the ferry with a very tight pucker but no problems. I’ve been back to now-Ben Tre Province many times. In addition to the huge bridge from My Tho to Ben Tre there is a big bridge across to Mo Cay and a final big bridge from Mo Cay across to Vinh Binh Province. Yes, there is a high-rise hotel at the former province team compound. It’s called the Viet-Uc Hotel (Vietnam-Australia) and I stayed there with two of my sisters back in January 2016. The hotel staff did not understand what I meant when I told them “I have stayed here before” :-). It’s a nice comfortable place to stay.

      • Tim,

        This is Norris. Notdvold

        I was in Ba Tri when you where in Ben Tre. I followed you at Province level

        I followed your career but have now lost track with Yaoundé like to reconnect

        • Hi Norris and Tim, this is John Haseman, would also like to have both of your locations and emails. I am leaving in an hour for suburban Philadelphia, where the Springfield PA American Legion post will honor their hometown hero on Memorial Day Monday — our friend the late Captain Bill Chandler, who Norris will remember was KIA right after he arrived in Ham Long in Aug 1972 during the NVA invasion. It was my fate to replace Bill, Mr. Kotzebue sent me out right afterwards as a DSA, stayed for 3 months before returning to Mo Cay as DDSA. Fellow Team 88 friends Mike Delaney, Brian Valiton, and Ed Blankenhagen will also attend. I am still living in Grand Junction, CO. My email:

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