Team 89 Phuoc Tuy MACV Team 89 -Phuoc Tuy. This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 89 located in Phuoc Tuy. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading...
Hello Erie, I believe we have met before.
I was an advisor to S-2 from 10/67 – 12/69. Did many walks with the I&R during those years.
I believe both men are now in California but their current status is not known.
Hi Tom – from Ernie Chamberlain,
Thanks for the names of the two ARVN S2 officers at Phuoc Tuy Sector HQ – I will include them in a footnote in my current writing on Phoenix/Phuong Hoang and the VCI in Phuoc Tuy. Yes, we have corresponded before – my “records” show an email exchange of 19 January 2018, but I’m now no longer to recover its text.
Best wishes, Ernie
RF/PF Advisor, Tm 89, Nov ’67 – Nov ’68
Hi Team 89 veterans – I trust that you are all safe and well. I am finishing writing a book on the 275th VC Regiment – the principal VC force at the Battle of Long Tan in August 1966, then attacking Bien Hoa at Tet 1968, before moving to the Cambodian border, and later fighting the Khmer Rouge for several years.. Interestingly, in 2016 one of their veterans claimed: ““The Regiment had suffered 4,860 of our comrades killed – including 890 killed in Cambodia,”
I am also finishing off a book on the Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI) in Phuoc Tuy – which I’ve titled: “Uprooting the Viet Cong Underground in Phuoc Tuy Province”. In 1969, I served as the 1 ATF intelligence liaison officer in Baria (“resident” in Van Kiep) – with a “desk” in the PIOCC. At that time, the US Army Phoenix/Phung Hoang advisors/coordinators were US Army Captain Leon Sullivan, Captain Yardley, Lieutenant Layton, and Spec 4 Ken Boontjer. Sadly, my memories of that time are fading, but I’m hoping that Team 89 veterans might be able to remind me of the names of : the ARVN S2 officer in Baria in 1969 (Captain … or Major …); and the MACCORDS Team 89 intelligence advisors in the “S2 Shop” – ie a US Army lieutenant and a US Army senior sergeant.. Any information would be appreciated.
My name is Anthony Parrello. I am the youngest son of Antonino Parrello who was an Australian Soldier WOII and a member of the AATTV when he was killed in action in Vietnam on 1st Feb 1968 during the TET offensive in Baria Thuoc Tuy Province..
I have copies of my father’s service records and his Silver Star recommendation, as well as a letter to my mother, from an American Captain Robert Hede, who was with my father when he was killed. The letter details the time leading up to the battle and when he was killed and how. He advised that he had recommended my father for the American Silver Star.
I can provide copies of this information and the records etc. I am still shasing formal recognition and awarding of the Silver Star on my fathers behalf.
I recently contacted the US embassy and was contacted by a DREW CUNNAR, Lt Col, USAF Air Attaché US Embassy Canberra, Australia, who advised me that I would need to locate any record of the Silver Star being awarded to your father and provide an Order number to prove the recommendation was processed. He advised that without that it would be very difficult to push through the medal as an initial submission over 50 years later.
He recommended I search the US National archives, which did not seem like an easy or straight forward task.
Is there any possibility Mr Robert Hede is still alive and is he, or anyone else able to provide any further information or assistance, that could help my father get the recognition for his brave actions on the day he was killed.
If you could provide an email address, Id be happy to share with you the records I have, including the letter from Robert Hede and the formal recommendation for the SIlver Star.
Many Thanks in advance
Good morning Anthony, Robert “Bob” Dale Hede was not a serving US Army captain – but had served in the US forces during WWII. He was a CIA officer who served as the “SPO” (Senior Public Safety/Security Officer) in Phuoc Tuy Province in 1968- that included managing of the Vietnamese Police Special Branch, the Province Interrogation Centre, and the Provincial Reconnaissance Unit. He left the CIA in 1970 and died in June 2007.
Your father’s award of the US Silver Star award is recorded in the publication: Australian Gallant and Distinguished Service Vietnam 1962-73, by Barnes I.L. , p.78. – ISBN 0 999859 091. I recommend that you contact the AATTV Association for assistance in approaching US authorities on the matter of the Silver Star award – ie the US Defense Attache in Canberra. Best wishes, Ernie Chamberlain
Iserved with Det 1 Div Int as The CI Operator in Duc Thanh 70/71. We were with a unit of Team 89. I have written about my two years in the army in two tranches . 1) Australia and 2) Vietnam. You are welcome to a copy of Part 2 if you think it would be useful . Regards , Kerry Cattell
Hi Ernie, I have some photos taken by a Time Life photographer around April 1968, of Phuoc Tuy. of my father Maj. Rafael Sanchez who is with John Paul Vann, Ltc. Austin, Maj. Long. My father served with the Adisory Team 89, KIA in May 1968.
Thank you for your recent posting to the Team 89 website. I was saddened to learn of your father’s death in Phuoc Tuy in May 1968. The Australian Task Force records show that engagement took place on Route 44 – beginning when a VC command-detonated charge exploded against a 2 1/2 ton truck – in an area of near YS 435537, at about midday on 17 May 1968. Your father and Sergeant Martin were killed-in-action (KIA). A Vietnamese interpreter was also KIA and four Vietnamese – including the District Chief, were WIA.
If you would like a copy of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) Operations Log Sheet that briefly reported that action, please email me at email@example.com , and I will send it to you as an email attachment.
Best wishes, Ernie Chamberlain
Hi Team 89 Veterans,
On their request, I have emailed the article on “184 ARVN captured at the Van Kiep range” to several Team 89 veterans. Some have expressed interest in engagements in Phuoc Tuy before the arrival of the Australian Task Force in mid-1966. A couple of years ago, I wrote a chapter on that period – that included the major Battle of Binh Gia (Dec 64 – Jan 65) – when the first AKs in the South were landed on the Phuoc Tuy coast; and the Battle of Tam Bo/Cam My when – during the 1st US Inf Div’s Operation Abilene, a 134-strong US Company became “isolated” and suffered 48 KIA and 58 WIA in northern Phuoc Tuy. If you’d like me to email you a copy of that 24-page chapter (including its photos and maps), just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Sir; Once again I would very much appreciate the newest article you reference of actions in Phouc Tuy prior to he arrival of the Australians.
I will surely remember many of them. As I mentioned earlier, these recent articles are stirring the few working grey cells this old soldier has left.
I can actually clearly visualize many of the places you refer to. Some good times sprinkled some bad times.. (such as when a cart load of Nuoc Mam overturned at the compound gate ……ugh, .I can still smell it in my dreams.)
Hi Baria/Van Kiep war-time colleagues,
I have recently completed a five-page article titled: “Viet Cong Capture 184 ARVN Soldiers Outside Baria Town – 9 December 1966” – that includes a marked map of the incident site. I you have any memories of that time – or are interested, let me know and I can email you a copy of the article. Contact me on email@example.com .
Ernie Chamberlain (Baria PIOCC and Van Kiep resident – 1969)
I would be very interested in your article. Know the area well . I served from Dec 64 to Dec 65 as a SSG on TM 89. I was the Intelligence Advisor to the Ruff/Puff forces. Lots of combat action. .We were billeted at Van Kiep National Training Center. That was my second tour in Vietnam. Third tour was with the 173rd Abn Bde (Sep). Now retired after total of 50 yrs in Army (7.5 yrs enlisted, 23,5 commissioned, 19 yrs as a civilian on Pentagon army staff) My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, Thanks very much for the offer. Anxiously awaiting.
ED Anthony (LTC, Ret)
Were you the 1LT who was a motorcycle expert?
Reply to query from Robert Banes,
No Robert, I wasn’t a “motorcycle expert”. Rather, I was an Australian Army 1st LT – posted to 1 ATF at Nui Dat, then lived in Van Kiep and worked as the 1 ATF representative in the PIOCC in Baria Town. Later, I was posted for a tour at the Australian Embassy in Saigon – where I did own a 50cc Vespa.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
I am very much interested in your article. I served on the Phouc Tuy province advisory Team 89 from Dec 64 thru Dec 65 . I was a SSG Recon advisor to the Ruff/Puff troops. Lots of combat action. We billeted with the training advisors at Van Kiep National Training center. My e-mail is email@example.com. I served 50 yrs in U.S. Army(7+ enlisted, 23+ commissioned, and 19+ as a civilian on the Army Intel Staff in the Pentagon. Now retired for the last 12 yrs. Know the area In Phouc Tuy exceptionally well. Eagerly awaiting you article. Send to;
Ed Anthony LTC ,USA (Ret)
RF/PF advisor, Nov ’67 – Nov ’68
Hi US Baria/Van Kiep war-time colleagues,
Regarding locations in Baria, I have a good copy of the 1ATF 1:10,000 – scale map – ie that I last used in my 74-page non-commercial article “The Fall of Phuoc Tuy and Vung Tau” (free to read on the Internet via Scribd – or as a free pdf copy that I can send on request to you as an email attachment). I also have a copy of that 1: 10,000 scale map “marked” with the VC attack at Tet Mau Than 1968. If any Team 89 veterans would like a copy of the 1:10,000 map – I can forward such as a pdf email attachment – contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org . Regrettably that 1 ATF map does not include street names in Baria – and it does not include all the buildings on Le Loi Street Regards, Ernie (Baria/Van Kiep) 1969.
If you drive into Ba-Ria from Bien-Hoa you immediately encounter a traffic circle. Le-Loi street would be the first left turn at a 90 degree angle to the highway but vehicles must drive around the circle and take a right on Le-Loi street. The village offices are adjacent to the circle and village bulletin board and a statue are in middle of circle. Approx half a klick down Le-Loi street (on the left) is province HQ. About another half a klick was prov chief’s mansion. Our compound was adjacent to the mansion. Our chopper pad was between our compound and the mansion. Early morning briefings were held in our dayroom and attended by military and civilian dept heads. Grade school was across street from chopper pad. I am remembering more ad I think back to the three yrs I lived in Ba-Ria. The six yrs I lived in RVN were best yrs of my life. We did have a few bad times. Tet Mau Thanh in 68 comes to mind. Also, the mortar attack on the Ba-Ria compound. For the most part it was a good life.
My email address: RBanes7748@AOL.Com.
Hi US Baria/Van Kiep war-time colleagues,
Regarding locations in Baria, I have a good copy of the 1ATF 1:10,000 – scale map – ie that I last use in my 74-page article “The Fall of Phuoc Tuy and Vung Tau” (free to read on the Internet via Scribd). I also have a copy of that map “marked” with the VC attack at Tet Mau Than 1968. If any Team 89 veterans would like a copy of the 1:10,000 map – I can forward such as a pdf email attachment – contact me on email@example.com .. Regards, Ernie (Baria/Van Kiep) 1969.
A 1LT Chambliss occasionally borrowed my Honda. Very nice guy. His family had something to do with motorcycle sales in North Carolina or Tennessee. I have forgotten details. I know he was an expert bike rider as am I. I now have a Honda 450 and a Harley Road King (1600 cc). I had a lot of friends on the military side of the team as I had just completed 4 1/2 yrs svc. MSG Edgren was one of my favorites. I have had 15 heart attacks so my memory is not what it should be. When I do remember names or events I had previously been unable to retrieve I tend to write the details in my NCO notebook. I still carry the notebook all the time and have since discharge even though I became the senior VP of a mgmt company and retired after 32 yrs in 2004 (3 days before open heart surgery).
I was assigned, as a civilian, to Team 89 from March, 1969 until April, 1972. I had previously served with HHC, 303d ASA Bn from April, 1966 to Nov, 1968 at Long Binh. I was discharged as SSG (E-6) and had already lined up a position with USAID. I actually joined the 303d in early 1965 at Ft Wolters, TX. I was one of the ten officers and EM on the advance party. We flew on a C-130. The rest of the company were transported on a troop ship and arrived several weeks after the advance party. While with Team 89 I lived at 49 Le-Loi Street in Phuoc-Le (Ba-Ria). I am 76 and retired. I live in Silver Spring, MD. I am in frequent contact with Hal Wheatley, another former civilian team member and a close friend. Unfortunately, Martin Christie, one of the four civilian PSAs I served with, died about 3 yrs ago. He was also a close friend. I served with Christie, Walkinshaw, Perkins, and Joseph (all civilian PSAs on Team 89. I recognize some of the names. Mike Currie was a friend. I remember LTC Bacci (DPSA) well. I was very close to many of the VN employees, many of whom made it to the US. While in Ba-Ria I was married to Ngo-Thi-Mao (the reason I had OCS orders canceled and chose discharge). Still married with 3 kids grown and gone. She is 69 now and only weighs 12 lbs more than the 75 lbs she carried in Ba-Ria. My closest friend while in Ba-Ria was Aussie CPT Tony White, a VN linguist, among other capabilities. He retired as a LTC but had a brain aneurysm a few yrs ago and cannot remember much of his two VN yours. A very good man and officer. My VN language skills have faded somewhat as I only use the language in restaurants, grocery stores, and the barber shop. My wife has only engaged in VN language with me once since I brought her to US in 71. She refused to teach my kids the language. Her call. They did fine. Youngest turned 42 in Dec. I have four grandchildren, also.
Robert: Where was Le Lou street located. Was it near the Team 89 HQ?
It has been a couple years since I promised you that I would scan the slides that I have from my brief tour with Team 89. Now, That I’ve done it, I’m very disappointed with the results. The film had deteriorated over the past 50 or so years. Many of the slides were so dense or mold-eaten that it wasn’t worth scanning them. Here’s a URL to my OneDrive folder where they are filed. . I hope that you and your family have a healthy and safe holiday.
Warm regards, Mike (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Le-Loi Street was north of traffic circle as you entered Ba-Ria from Bien-Hoa. A few hundred meters north of traffic circle was province HQ (Viet). A few hundred meters further up Le-Loi was #49 ( our civilian housing compound) which contained 4 trailer houses, 3 pre-fab buildings, a generator building, guard quarters, 3 elevated guard posts, a parking lot, and a chopper pad. I lived in one of the trailers. A few hundred meters further up the street was another street. Don’t remember name of street offhand. A right turn on that street would place you at the province national police HQ. Immediately across the street was our HQ building for PSA, NLD, and other offices. My office was in that building. I lived in the compound at 49 Le-Loi from April, 1969 until April, 1972 with my wife (Ngo-Thi-Mao, now Mao Thi Banes) and daughter (Cheryl). The U.S. Govt forced me to take wife and daughter to U.S. in April, 1971. I then returned to RVN for a second two-year tour with USAID. As I had already served 3 years in RVN while in the Army, I quit in the middle of my second USAID tour and rtnd to the states. I saw the end coming and did not wish to participate further though I liked RVN and the people and I had learned the language. Looking back at the way congress treated Viet-Nam I think I wasted 6 years. I did gain an excellent wife. We just celebrated our 50th anniversary. We have two girls and a boy. Nice, intelligent, well educated kids. Though I really liked my 4 1/2 yrs in the Army, I did not encourage my children to serve. I did not care for the cavalier manner of congress toward countries where we had interfered but did not see the task through to a desirable end.
In order to protect those using this website from potential cyber harm, no post containing links to other sites will be permitted nor will posts coming from non personal (e.g. business) email addresses. If you want to share links with others, please do it directly with them and not through this website. The only exception is that personal email addresses are allowed. So you were correct that if you delete the http you can denote a site.
No sweat. Looks like the disarticulated link remains, as well as my personal e-mail. Thanks for the insight. Mike
Just read your entries about Team 89. Brings back a lot of memories, I was a SSG there on my second tour from Dec 64 thru Dec 65.(first tour was May 63-May 64 In Cantho with MAAG) With Team 89 I was the Intel NCO working with the Province and District Recon teams..all Ruff/Puff troops. Back then we shared the compound at the Van Kiep training center. Lots of action during my tour there. Battle at Binh Gia immediately comes to mind. Many times we were in contact as soon as we entered the Minh Dam so called ‘secret zone ‘. Dat Do and Muc Hoa were also hot areas . When I left I went to Infantry OCS and immediately returned for third tour, with the 173rd Abn Bde as a POW Interrogator. Served 31 years on active duty, followed by 19 years on the HQDA DCS -G2 staff in the Pentagon. Fully retired for the past decade. Almost a neighbor yours as I have lived in Waldorf, MD for last 30 years!
Was the Mike Currie the same who was the Psyops Director sometime in 1969? The Mike Currie I worked with was an Australian Army Major on assignment from JUSPAO. Lost track of him when he rotated out of Vietnam. Do you have an e-mail or home address for him? I would love to get in touch. I was the psywar adviser to the military side of the psyops advisory effort in Phuoc Tuy Province from January 1968 to November 1970.Resided at Van Kiep MACV 89 compound and worked in Baria.
My name is Tom Menke. I worked sector S-2 from Oct 67 – Dec 69. I was wondering if you remember a Stephen Ransom at Team 89 during 1972.
I do not remember a Ransom. Sorry. I have had several heart attacks, the most recent was 2/26/2021. These attacks have affected my memory. At times I seem to remember everything I saw or participated in. At other times I draw a lot of blanks. My closest friends among the military team members were SGM Edgren and a captain John (can’t remember last name). I seem to remember he was Phung Hoang (Phoenix) advisor. He was trained at Presidio of Monterey as an Arab language linguist. Don’t know why he was sent to RVN. He had one blue eye and onr brown eye. Nice, capable young man. We were close enough that he actually visited me my home in MD on 72 or 73. Loss of memory sucks. I will probably remember John’s last name tomorrow morning. I seem to do better early in the day. I still talk to Hal Wheatley frequently. He was a civilian NLD advisor. Marty Christie and I were close, then he died. He became PSA shortly after I arrived at Team 89.
To Denis Gulakowski (Team 89) and Tommy Smith (Xuan Loc). Thank you for your kind thoughts and concerns regarding the wildfires in Australia. We live beside Port Phillip bay about 70km southwest of Melbourne – and apart from the smoke, that area has not been affected by the fires. About 3,000 Army reservists have been deployed to fight the fires. I have tried to reply to your emails several times in the past week, but each time my emails have been rejected as “Relaying denied. Proper authentication required.” I trust that the Team 89 website managers will allow this single “indirect communication”. Best wishes to all, Ernie Chamberlain
PS. Australian veterans are still writing on the war in “Phuoc Tuy”. LTCOL (Retd) Fred Fairhead (CAPT IO, 6RAR, first tour – 69-70) has just published “Long Tan: A Reappraisal”; and Professor Bob O’Neill’s (ie CAPT, IO 5RAR first tour – 66-67) “Vietnam Vanguard” will be launched on 2 March 2020. Several other shorter works are also currently being “penned”.
Thanks for your reply Ernie. Not sure why the email is not going through, but appreciate your effort to use this venue. Maybe the Russians are doing it. Glad to hear that you are okay! Thanks to the Team 89 webmasters for passing on your response. Good luck, & hopefully, the situation will get much better.
RTO. Nov 1966 / 1967 Duc Thanh / Van Keip
I was an Australian Artillery Officer who served alongside Team 89 at Sector HQ from August to November 1968. I was particularly close to LT Mike Mccauley, LT/CPT Don Mcargill and CPT Bub Pickup on Team 89 on Sector HQ. I often wonder what became of those Vietnamese. It was a pleasure and an honour to serve alongside Team 89. I would enjoy hearing from any of the aforementioned men. 2LT Phil Busby.
Hi Phil, Your classmate Ernie Chamberlain here – while serving as the Baria Int LO for 1 ATF in 1969, I was accommodated in the Team 89 compound at Van Kiep with other members of HQ 1 ATF’s TALU. Sorry, I don’t have any detail on the fates ot the ARVN personnel that you mentioned in your post to the Team 89 website. However, a few months ago, I published Research Note 7/2019 titled “The Fall of Phuoc Tuy and Vung Tau” – in April1975, 78 pages, that relates events from both the ARVN, US and communist sources. If interested, the Note is available “free-to-read” on the Internet via Scribd.
Best wishes, Ernie
PS. I retired from the ADF in 1998 after service as Defence Attache in Jakarta – then did a couple of years in Timor with the UN etc.
My name is Denis Gulakowski and as a captain, I served on Team 89 November 71-November 72, as Deputy District Senior Advisor (DDSA) , later District Senior Advisor for Dat Do district and adjutant at the team headquarters in Baria. Maj. Geoffrey Carter of the Australian Army was our operations advisor, and he and I worked together on several occasions -good man & officer. The entire team was involved during the Easter Offensive of 72 (Nguyen Hue Campaign).
In your note about your article, you mentioned it’s availability on the Internet, using Scribd. I am not familiar with that, so if you would be so kind as to provide specifics to access your article, I would very much appreciate it. I’ve read several books/articles about the Easter offensive, and as you can imagine, am most interested in any material that focuses on our Area of Operations (A0).
Look forward to hearing from you.
I tried sending this replying to your email, but the delivery failed. I’ll try again.
Thank you SO MUCH for your quick & thorough response. I do remember when the Australian forces left in December 1971, I believe.
The 33rd NVA & D445 were heavily involved in the Easter Offensive, occupying pretty much of the Dat Do tri-village area, surrounding our HQs compound & the National Police HQs, as well as the district compounds in Duc Thanh & Xuyen Moc. In fact, they had infiltrated in through our outer wire perimeter and were preparing to attack and overrun us before dawn. There is a good write-up in the book Our Vietnam Wars Vol. 3.
I will definitely follow-up with the sources you identified.
Let’s stay in touch.
Hi Ernie, Long time no see! On 8 Aug 68 I was attached to Team 89 at Sector HQ in anticipation of the enemy’s 3rd General Offensive, to plan and then conduct if necessary the artillery defence of Ba Ria. As I recall, that long-awaited Offensive commenced locally in the early hours of 22 Aug with an attack by mortars and rockets upon Dat Do. An hour later, supported by mortar and rocket fire, the VC attacked Long Dien and remained there. That kept me somewhat busy.
Ba Ria was attacked on the night of 22 Aug with mortar and RPG fire, all of which overshot, and small arms fire, while Duc Thanh was also mortared and attacked. On 23 Aug Duc Thanh and Binh Ba were mortared and attacked and La Van hamlet at Duc Thanh was occupied. The enemy had entered Dat Do and were still occupying part of Long Dien, reportedly with an anti-aircraft weapon set up. Most of the US officers from Team 89 at Sector HQ went to Long Dien and got involved in the battle, and only US LT Mike McCauley and I were left in the HQ co-ordinating the artillery. I believe that at least two of the US advisors personally led attacks on VC positions in Long Dien. For 48 hours I had no opportunity to leave Sector HQ and was forced to use the Vietnamese toilets which was an experience to say the least as others might remember. By 24 Aug for all intents and purposes the 3rd General Offensive was over. My party and I remained with Team 89 at Sector HQ until November, during which time I took every opportunity to accompany the advisors on operations in the FO role.
We were not quartered in the Team’s compound at Van Kiep but slept at Sector HQ, having to be on the spot should anything eventuate, but we did eat, conduct ablutions, and relax at Van Kiep. It was an ‘interesting’ introduction to American cuisine; hot cakes, eggs, and chipolata sausages all drenched in maple syrup for breakfast and salad with jellied fruit through it for lunch stick in my memory (and in my gut at the time). It was my first experience of iced tea, which I did love. Except for the food, my time with Team 89 was the highlight of my tour.
I am familiar with your writings and have followed your literary efforts with great interest and admiration. They are prodigious feats of scholarship and you really are to be congratulated. I found it so interesting to read the enemy’s version of events/battles I was familiar with. I will chase up Research Note 7/2019.
PS. After unit command (87-88) and attendance at JSSC (89) I retired from the Army in late 89 and commenced a new profession as a Psychologist, eventually serving as such with the NSW Police Force (now that was interesting) before retiring a final time.
Hey Phil, try to reach me at Mccauley email@example.com.
Hi Mike, My mail server says that the email account “firstname.lastname@example.org” does not exist. I also earlier tried “email@example.com” with no joy. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Great to hear that you are still with the living – I was beginning to wonder.
Hey Phil, sorry about my email address, I got hacked by someone selling gummy bear style pot products. I should be good at email@example.com, I will try to send you an email to your address. My phone is (505) 470-7377. I live in 1412 Miracerros Lane South, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505.
Team 89 Dec1968 to Nov1969, Wounded on 18 Nov along with US SGT , Officer from Nui Dat, and the Long Dien District Chief. I was the Senior District Advisor. WE were attempting to contact a missing in action Lt. I am trying to remember the Lt’s name.
The Moon Landing – July 1969. I remember watching the moon landing on TV in the Team 89 compound (but am not sure whether I watch it live – or on a later news bulletin that day). On the same day, a colleague – Lieutenant Peter Hines (3/A/6RAR NZ ANZAC), was killed in a mine incident near Hoi My (several of his platoon were seriously wounded). The Australian Official History relates: “some of the soldiers were reportedly listening to transistor radios, expecting news of the first landing on the moon by American astronauts.” (Fighting to the Finish, p.279). Subsequently – in1982, the moon landing and that fatal mine incident were memorialized in a very popular song: “I was only 19” (“A Walk in the Long Green”) that has become the Australian Vietnam veterans’ official “anthem”. Vale Peter Hines – and John Needs who was killed in a mine incident later that day (in which the CO 6RAR/NZ – LTCOL David Butler, and others were wounded).
Ernie Chamberlain (1 ATF Int LO, Baria 1969)
I was the MACV Psywar Advisor for Phouc Tuy Province (Dec 67 – Nov 70) during the time LTC Nguyễn Bá Trước was the Province Chief. Was any mention made in your book about his family. The reason I ask, is his oldest daughter worked in the same office with me and the MACCORDS Advisor of whom there were several during my 2 1/2 year tour, MAJs Keith McGhee, Mike Currie and Miles Farmer, all Australian Army officers. Did you by chance know and/or remember any of them?
Hi Richard, Thanks for your reply. Regrettably, I don’t know much about LTCOL/COL Nguyễn Bá Trước’s family – except that I believe that “post-re-education, he (and his wife:Cao Thi Hong Khiem) were able to leave Vietnam (I assume under the Orderly Departure Program) and went to live with his son in the Federal Republic of Germany (but I can’t be sure). At the “Fall”, he was the CofS of 7th ARVN Inf Div. His on-line documentation – including the communists’ “Release from Re-education Report” can be found on the Vietnam Center and Archive website (Texas Tech University – Lubbock) . I didn’t know the Australian officers that you mentioned ie MAJ Keith McGhee (second half of 1968), MAJ Mike Currie (Nov 68 – Dec 69), nor MAJ (later LTCOL) Miles Farmer (1969-70). In 1969 in Phuoc Tuy, I was a lieutenant – second tour: a captain at the Australian Embassy. Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Thank you Ernie for your response and for providing further info about LTC Nguyen Ba Truoc. I’ll be checking the document you mentioned! Just an additional note of info…the other MACCORDS advisor prior to MAJ McGhee was a MAJ Desmond Smith, US Army the one that was rescued from his office the morning of TET ’68 by Aussies from Nui Dat.
I’ve uploaded the Note on “The Fall of Phuoc Tuy and Vung Tau – April 1975” to the Internet as “free-to-read”. It relates the Battle of Xuan Loc, ARVN withdrawal down Route 2, “staging” at Van Kiep, the defence of Baria Town, attack on Vung Tau (including the NVA “flanking amphibious attack” from Phuoc Tinh… . At 78 pages, it’s a “heavy read”, but a quick scrolling through the maps and photographs will give the “gist” of those final days. The Note includes some comments – and photographs, on “re-education”. If interested, see: scribd.com/document/416594424/The-Fall-of-Phuoc-Tuy-PDF-Note-7-2019 . Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Ernie, thank you for all the works you’ve done regarding the war in Vietnam, especially concerning Phuoc Tuy, Vung Tau and the 1ATF. I’ve downloaded “The Fall of Phuoc Tuy and Vung Tau” for reading.
Thanks Ernie for your try. If I heard the name
of the Major who preceeded Major Foster
I would recognize it. This (unknown at this
time) Major (believed to be an INF Officer). left his tour as District Advisor
around Sep / Oct 68 and he was from California. Major Foster was a FA Officer
and was from San Antonio Texas. The
superior of both Maj Foster and his
predecessor (unknown Maj) was the COL,
O-6, CIA rep, at the Phuoc Tuy HQs.
I’m doing some writing on mid-1969 in Phuoc Tuy and came across the names of some US advisors: ie Major Otto J. Thamasett (Dat Do senior advisor) and a Captain V.R. Hadley (also at Dat Do). Major Robert S. Cannon was at Long Le.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Toi Biet ; Ong John Vann & Seminary …not far from SLAR ships parking …outside Vung Tau
After having served as an Army CPT (Armor Branch) with the 11th ACR (BLACKHORSE) from March 68 to about Aug 68 under Colonel George Patton, I was reassigned to MACV Advisory Team 89 as a MAT III-62 advisor for the regional and popular Forces (Nghia Quon (sp?) / Dia Phoung Quon (sp?) until March 1969. I was supposed to rotate and return with my boss, Major Hadley Foster!
I worked with Otto Thamasett during the early 80s at a government contractor’s office in Northern Virginia. He noticed a plaque I had hanging in my office that contained a tailfin assembly from an 82 mm mortar round graciously sent to me by the officers and men of 74 A, 274 MFVC Regt. He asked me about it and after we got to talking, found out that we both had served on team 89 ; he 69-70 & me 71-72.
I am asking (for the SECOND TIME / REQUEST) what was the name of the District
Advisor who preceded Major Hadley Foster.
I am (Retired, Army LTC) Harris J. Gelber.
I was a CPT and in charge of MAT III-62, along Hwy 15, during the approximate period of
Aug 68 to Mar 69. Major Foster was my
superior and we were scheduled to leave
Vietnam on the same flight.
Good afternoon Harris, I’m not sure that I can help – but in early 1968, the US District Advisers in Phuoc Tuy were: Robert W. Chutter (Long Le ?), Tommy R. Pack, Bobby Noble, and Paul Y, Sugimoto. The District Senior Adviser in Long Dien was an Australian captain – Clarrie Rule.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
I was the Phoenix Intelligence Advisor in Duc Thanh District, Phuoc Tuy Province 1967-68. The nearest friendly units were the Australians at Nui Dat. I had frequent contact with the members of their SAS team. I Would love to hear from anyone that was in Duc Thanh during that period.
I was the 1 ATF Int LO in the Baria PIOCC (CAPT Leon Sullivan was the PIOCC advisor) – from May 1969 (ie after I had done the Phoenix advisor’s course at the Seminary Camp in Vung Tau – your successor was on my course). I’m currently writing on the VCI in Phuoc Tuy.. Can you tell me the date from which you were appointed the Phoenix advisor in the Duc Thanh DIOCC ? Regards, Ernie Chamberlain.
According to my DD214 it was 11-29-67
I also recall that I took my Phoenix training in Saigon immediately before that before that
In my draft monograph on the VCI in Phuoc Tuy, I have included: “As at 31 December 1967, 103 DIOCCs had been established (80 were fully-functional) including 47 in III CTZ; and 29 functioning PICCs meeting with ICEXs. … A USMACV January 1968 report noted that while DIOCCs had been established in 53 districts of III Corps.” November-December 1967 were certainly the Phoenix/Phung Hoang’s “early days”. You may remember that on 16 December 1967, two Australian WO AATTV advisors were killed in a VC ambush on Route 2 south of Duc Thanh at Binh Ba.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Ernie, I was not aware of that, but interestingly enough, I was the target of an ambush around that time, just south of there (on the road going through the Rubber Plantation). I was driving a jeep with my counterpart and my translator aboard, when we received fire from the wood line. I stopped the jeep, and returned fire. Whoever it was was deep in the wood line, and the spacing of the trees did not allow for a good line of fire. I did call in artillery on their calculated route of retreat, but, to my knowledge, no casualties on either side.
I also recall that our Province Intel Advisor, Mr. McKee (I believe that was his name) was killed during the TET offensive in Ba Ria. Our compound was also attacked at the same time, but we were able to repel the attack.
We have written quite a bit about the Tet 1968 attack on Baria – and the following attack on Long Dien. the Province CIA Advisor was not injured. The PRU advisor and the AATTV PRU Advisor WO2 Tony Parello were killed during 1ATF’s 3RAR/M113-borne extraction and counter-attack. The commander of the 1 ATF Ready Reaction Force – 3RAR (MAJ – later MAJGEN, Hori Howard) has written a two-part article on the relief of Baria in the Australian Infantry Magazine – but as I don’t have your email address, I can’t email copies to you. More recently, a Vietnam veteran colleague (Dr Bob Hall – Defence Academy/NSW University – CAPT 8RAR 1 ATF, 69/70) has established an excellent website on the War in Phuoc Tuy at https://vietnam.unsw.adfa.edu.au/ . Click on “Articles” for “Tet 68 in Baria” if you are interested. In recent years, I’ve also written books on D445 (two), D440, and 33rd NVA Regiment (two) – all are free to read on the Internet.
I wasn’t in Duc Thanh, but I was the DIOCC advisor in Xuyen Moc from April 69 to April 70. Set forth below is an excerpt from a memoir I put together last year for my grandchildren describing a visit from the senior NCO in MACV III Corps:
Xuyen Moc was officially designated an “Isolated Outpost,” a dubious distinction that meant we got a monthly packet of free stuff, to pick up our spirits, I suppose. It also meant that from time to time we were visited by various bigwigs who conducted inspections and attempted to bolster our morale. A couple of times the visiting bigwig actually stayed the night with us. One of those times the visiting bigwig was a Sergeant Major (SGM), the senior NCO in III Corps MACV. He was an affable guy in his forties, who appeared amused to find a grass-green second lieutenant younger than his own son acting as an “advisor” in this godforsaken place.
He decided to spend the night, and after he called off his return chopper we sat down to a modest advisors’ dinner consisting of local Vietnamese noodles and c-rations. After dinner a poker game got started in which the SGM was an enthusiastic participant, along with the radio operator (RTO) on the Australian liaison team who lived with us, and me. Based on my too-extensive experience with card games in my college fraternity, it quickly became apparent to me that a) the SGM knew what he was doing and b) the RTO didn’t. We were playing for small stakes but with real US Dollars represented by MPCs—military payment certificates—which looked exactly like Monopoly money. After an hour or so, the SGM was ahead a few bucks, the RTO was way behind, and I was about even.
When it was my turn to deal again, I announced the game would be seven card stud poker, four up and three down. I dealt the first two down, the third up, and the betting started. The SGM opened the betting, the RTO raised and I raised too. Apparently all three of us thought we had good hands. As the up cards kept coming, the SGM’s hand kept looking better and better, winding up with a pair of Aces and a pair of Kings showing, while it looked like the RTO was sitting on a flush. My hand looked lousy: 10 high, possibly a straight but no chance at a straight flush. I dealt the last card down, and the betting took off, each of us raising multiple times until the pot stood at almost $200, a lot of money for a junior second john making $220 a month. Finally the SGM intervened and announced that he couldn’t let the betting continue, saying “I’m sorry, Lieutenant, but I can’t allow myself to take any more of your money—I know how little money you make!”
“Sorry, sir, but there it is,” he said, turning over the third Ace from his down cards to reveal a full house, Aces over Kings. The RTO cursed and turned over his down cards to reveal the expected flush. After a long moment, I reached over and slowly turned over my three down cards, one after the other, to reveal, each time, another 10. With a large grin on my face, I said, “Sergeant Major, um, I believe four of a kind beats a full house. Am I right?” “Jesus H. Christ,” he said.
My bame is gus Morgan, I was the DIOCC advisor in Xuen Moc from may or june 1970, I transferred from the 199LIB. I’ terrible at remembering names names. but our rep from the Australian army was Barry Stach and larer lohn Bodenar. . Barry and ai hit it ff and stayed in touch. After rotating home. He and his wife came to vist my family in California and spent christmas with us. In the late 1980 s My work offered me a tmp assignment in Melborn, but we wer unable to hook up . Good people the aussies. a lot of fun, I worked with three differnt Senior advisors,but I’m sorry to say I cant remember any name. The two sgts the wer Robertson and Hartfield. also good people. We got one of the goodie packs once No one used tobacco products so we gave our cook, ba yen. a carton of smokes and she made us A VC flag. we wrapped a chicken the flag and shot it,, leaving a nice bullet hole in th flag and some blood. Sgt Robertson anf I took the flag to Vung Tao am he traded it for a case of steaks, with a proper tale about the bullet hole and blood.
Gus, I was assigned as the Province Paywar Advisor in Advisory Term 89, Phouc Tuy from Dec 67 to Nov 70. I know what you meant when you wrote that Xuyen Moc was considered isolated. There was no way to get to your camp except by chopper which I remember doing just once, but I don’t remember when. I could very well have met you when you were there, but like you, I can’t remember names very well, and I never once saw a roster of personnel assigned to the team in Baria or the districts. I do remember the chopper flight leaving Xuyen Moc flying NOE (nap of the earth) back to Baria. My first and only NOE flight in a chopper…scary as all hell! Love your “Chicken in a VC Flag” story! Welcome home, brother.
1969 …the Seminary ; John Vann ..then to I Corps….some evenings with SAS …clips & bottles , not necessarily in that order.
Hi Sir, I’m doing some research with my father Lt Colonel James (Jim) Maloney retired. Jim served as a Captain with the NZSAS (New Zealand) attached to the Australian SAS and was also an intelligence officer who worked with Team 89 in 1968. He’s currently writing up his memoirs and would appreciate a contact and information from that period. I found this site while researching family heirlooms of my Dad’s a “K-Bar” and American Flag gifted by Buddy Parker A Navy Seal? Baria 1968. Jim served in Malaya and Borneo before Vietnam and after went on to to be CO of the NZSAS 80-82. Many thanks for your time and look forward to any info if anyone remembers him.
I was at Beria in 1967 working telephone lines from post to Beria town, and out to that old Frank fort, the Australians were down at Beria town.
I’m currently attempting to retrace my grandfather’s steps when he served in Vietnam. I’m hoping to find anybody that may have served on team 89 with Cpt Gary J. Thomerson in Ba Ria between Oct 66 and Oct 67. Any information at all would be greatly appreciated.
I served with Major Hadley Foster on Advisory Team 89, the night he and Sgt. Baumgarner were killed. I was the. Major’s Brovo. His ambush was successful except there were far to many VC . We could not find them until daylight.
What was the date on the ambush?
In a posting to the Team 89 website some time ago, I mentioned that:
Regarding the death of Major Hadley Foster, on 13 September 2015 I posted a note to your website noting that his death was reported in the Australian 1 ATF INTSUM No. 73-69 of 14 March 1969 at sub-para 3.a: ie – “At 2240Z 14 March 1969, at YS 413645 ((north-western approach into Hoa Long village)), an ambush patrol was attacked by an estimated enemy company who fired RPG-2 rounds, automatic weapons and small arms. Fire was returned and the enemy withdrew to the west. Results: one enemy KIA, one AK-47 captured. Friendly casualties: two US KIA, three PF KIA, four PF WIA, six PF MIA.”
Subsequently, in an exchange of postings on the Team 89 site on March 18 and 19 last year, I related the VC version of the engagement and other 1 ATF reporting.
Regards to all, Ernie Chamberlain (1 ATF Int Lo, Baria, and Van Kiep resident).
Michael McCauley, my name is Tim Tjader. I was on that team from Aug. of 68 to Oct. of 69. I was a Spec. 4 radio operator. Call sign 20 tango. It was Capt. Jack Moore and I that carried Fosters and Baumgarners bodies to the helicopter. I did a lot of night ambushes with Foster or Moore . It was 50 years ago last week that they died. Today is March 18 2019.
Hey Tim, glad to see you are still kicking. I’ve thought about you many times over the years, I have a picture of you standing by the Jeep before we went out on an ambush patrol before Major Foster and Sgt Baumgardner went out. We fortunately did not run into any VC. That was a bad morning, the way we found the bodies, especially Sgt. Baumgardner. I know he was a good friend of yours and mine. You and I had been out on the last ambush patrol, so it was Sgt Baumgardner’s turn. If you get this, let’s talk. lt. Mike Mccauley.
Tim, I tried to contact you before, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I live in Santa Fe NM. Say hi if you want.
Hi I was wondering if anyone had any info on the Australians MAT 85 based at Lo Gom 1967, my mate Syd McLeod is have trouble getting the army to acknowledge the existence of the first Australian Mat teams.
Yes, I was with Advisory Team 89, at Phouc Le near Barea, spell check, I had an Australian friend named Lt. Busby. I meet and was breifed by one of the Aussie CO’s about activity in the area, they tended to spring a few friendly Vietnamese ambush. VC liked to mine road with big blocks of plastic explosives battery,cap, simple pressure board over top of plastic. I have a picture of the one I found in the road heading to Australian headquarters. It would take out a tank. I have had people tell me there were no AUSSIEs ,but there were. Ist It. Michael Mccauley 68,69.
I assume your Australian friend that you mention was LT Phil Busby (Artillery – served May 68- Mar 69). Articles and detailed data on the Australians in Phuoc Tuy (and elsewhere) can be found on the website “Australia’s Vietnam War” ADFA/UNSW (managed by Dr Bob Hall – Lieutenant, 8th Battalion 1969-70) who also lectures on the Vietnam War at the Australian Defence Academy). The site details every Australian contact/incident during the War on its complex “Battle Map”.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain (former LT/Baria PIOCC/Van Kiep “resident”
Great to hear that Phil Busby made it home safe. I still have his hat with Arty. Badge and a pair of his kangaroo boots. Lost his bayonet. Good trading. I have a picture of us taking a break during a combined mission, Yanks, Aussies, Viet’s, what a gang. Pic has CPT. Bub Pickup, a West Point friend. Thanks for reply. Mike Mccauley. Mccauley email@example.com
My name is Robert “Bob” Collins. I served as the RF/PF advisor in Phouc Tuy Province from November of ’67 to Nov ’68. It was the best of times and the worst of times. For a short time (unfortunately) CPT Larry Clanton, USAF, was my roommate at Van Kiep. He was killed in a mid air collision of his O-1 with that of the new ALO out of Bien Hoa who wanted Larry to “show him around.” The ALO made it back to BH, Larry crashed just off the beach on the south side of the Long Hais. The who thing was utterly unnecessary and a waste of a good pilot and great guy. Left a wife and 4 or 5 kids. The upside of the tour was the opportunity to work with our allies at Nui Dat.
I remember talking with Larry and him telling me thatearly in his career he was a B.U.F.F. pilot but that he enjoyed more flying O-1s. Only knew him for a short while in early 1968 before his mid air collision. He was a one of the good guys.
My name is Gus Morgan, in 1970-71, I was a 1Lt serving as a Phoenix advisor ln the village of Xuen Moc, Phuoc Tuy province. I work with an Australian liaison officer named Barry Stach. We became life long friends. I mostly put Viet nam behind me, but I do have a few records, maps pictures. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lt Morgan, following your lead and advice helped greatly in accomplishing our duties in Xa Xuyen Moc.
My name is Derrill de Heer (Australian Army Veteran 2 tours Vietnam) and I am a Visiting Fellow (Military Historian) at the University of New South Wales Canberra Australia (UNSW Canberra) based at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). Our research team here is led by Dr Bob Hall (also a Vietnam Veteran) and others and we have produced an Australian web site at vietnam.unsw.adfa.edu.au/ .
The web site displays the combat activities of 1 Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment when it was attached to the 173 Airborne Brigade in Bien Hoa in 1965-66, and the activities of the 1st Australian Task Force based at Nui Dat from 1966 – 1972.
Gus, we invite you to join the site and write your stories of your time there. These stories enrich history as official records record facts and not the personal touch of those involved. Part of my first tour was (69-70) I worked in the 1st Australian Psychological Operations Unit and visited Xuyen Moc on a few occasions.
Were you at Xuyen Moc in May/June 1970 when Australian troops brought the bodies of some of those killed at Thua Tich ambush on Route 328? They arrived on APC’s M113’s. They were place near the market place and the Vietnamese were waiting for the families to collect the bodies.
I hope your life has been good to you. If you are in touch with any other Team 89 members please pass this along.
May you enjoy the festive season and may 2018 be a good year for you.
Regards from Australia.
I served as rto at Dat Do subsector from January 66 to February 67. Had several Senior Advisors and other personnel over that time I remember most by name. Earned my CIB the first month I was there. Always wondered what happened to the VN soldiers who I lived with there after 1975. Stayed at Van Kiep February and March until DEROS. Email with any questions. Rick
Did you know SGT James P Tynor Team 89, John
I have an old picture of my grandfather last name Green. He would have been a SSG or SFC in 66. We have no records that say he was in a macv team, but the picture during the deployment shows a unit patch that I can only assume is macv. I know I can’t post a picture here and have requested his records from the archives, he passed away when I was in middle school, and we recently found paperwork that he was awarded the silver star during his time when the picture was taken. Is there anyone that could email me so I can share the picture and get confirmation that this picture does indeed show a macv unit patch. Thanks in advance for any help!!! My email is email@example.com.
Bob Pack was the DSA most of the time I was in the province, Nov 67 to Nov 68
Hello, I am Major Hadley Foster’s youngest daughter. I happened upon this site, and wanted to thank all of you who served with him. I have the highest regard for the price you paid and still pay today. My dad is forever my hero.
Dear Elizabeth, I was Major Foster’s 1Lt.,or his Brovo, he being my alpha in radio talk. He was a great soldier and a good guy. We, as officers, traded off night ambush duty. It was usually one American officer and one American Sgt. That night Sgt. Raymond Baumgardner went out with your dad. The other thirteen men were Vietnamese, including our new Vietnamese interpretor who was seventeen and just out of language school. Major Foster had planned a very secret ambush because we had many Vietnamese with family on both sides with lots of leaks as to where ambushs were to be set up. The secrecy worked, but your dad was hit by a much larger VC forse than expected. We think about forty. Michael Mccauley firstname.lastname@example.org God bless.
Occasionally, Team 89 veterans have queried where they might find the Team’s reports – so I offer the following: An historian at the Australian War Memorial – Tom Richardson, has just published a book: Destroy and Build – Pacification In Phuoc Tuy 1966-1972 (if you “Google” the title, you’ll see that some of the book is free-to-read on the Internet.
During his research, Tom visited the US and accessed the following at your National Archives and Records Administration (College Park, Maryland): A1 123 Senior Advisor’s Monthly Evaluation Reports 1964-1965; A1 488 – Province Files 1972; and A1 731 Records of CORDS Advisory Team 89. Australian veterans are continuing to write about their service in Phuoc Tuy ie Fred Fairhead (IO 5RAR 1969-70) is completing a second edition of his “A Duty Done” (a history of the RAR battalions in Vietnam); and Bob O’Neill (Professor, IO 5RAR 1966-67) is working on a book on operations on Route 15 and in the Nui Dinh/Thi Vais in 1966. I’ve just finished another book on the 33rd NVA Regiment – free-to-read on the Internet, and am working (ie grinding along) on a book on 1 ATF’s “anti-VCI” Acorn Operations. Best wishes to all. Ernie Chamberlain (IO Baria 1969).
I appreciate the information! I was at the Van Kiep Training Center in 1971-1972, but spent most of my time at the RF/PF Training Center down in Long Hai. When I arrived there the team (Team 78) was four members strong living inside the Training Center Compound. One by one, the team members returned back to the States until I was the only member left. At that point I was moved back to the Van Kiep Center for the remainder of my tour. Does anyone have recollections of Team 89 at that point??
To all members and friends of members of Tm #89:
I am pleased to report that Hugh (Buddy) Adcock has finally won his case with the VA. After more than 15 years VA finally acknowledged that his claim was and is true and accurate on all counts. The final hearing was held some weeks ago with his attorneys, his son, and me in attendance. The attorneys and I testified. We were loaded for Bear, as we say in the south. We were determined VA didn’t deny him again especially in the face of the evidence we found that supported his case, ie he was where he has always said he was, that the tragic incident resulting the death of Simpkins was true and of official record and that he experienced combat trauma as a result. Thanks to the Aussies we had photos of the Van Kiep compound and the building where his office was located. We also had official geological survey maps of the III Corps area showing where he routinely traveled in performance of his regular duties, most of it traveling through ‘Indian country’ alone providing his own security.
Miracles of miracles I was allowed to be with him during his C&P exam for PTSD. That is essentially unheard of. The examiner was very knowledgeable, capable, and compassionate. The examiner acknowledged VA had mistreated him and was very careful to be fair. Before the exam was completed he was informed he indeed was and had been suffering from PTSD.
At present he is awaiting official notification of service connection for PTSD, the per centage and his back pay.
Each of you who has assisted him in providing information, documentation and testimony is appreciated. Hugh furthermore sends his thanks and appreciation. He would have personally conveyed his thanks but he does not use the computer, his health is deteriorating rapidly, and he has much difficulty getting around.
Again your contributions to his cause is greatly appreciated.
Thanks for posting the info about Hugh. Quite some time ago I had come across a post that indicated he was having a real battle with the VA about his claim. I’m glad to see he finally won his case, but I am sad to hear about his declining health. I was the Chief Province RTO during ‘69-‘70 overlapping the two tours that Hugh served. I remember him going to Hawaii on a 30 day R&R between tours to meet his wife. Hugh was a great friend, but every once in awhile he would have an outburst of anger. I didn’t know it at the time, but I can see that this might have been related to his PTSD from an incident that occurred before I arrived for my tour in August ‘69. He never talked about it. I guess most of don’t reveal those problems. I tried to file a claim for my severe hearing loss (clearly documented during my separation hearing exam), but was denied because I could not link the problem a specific incident that caused the damage. I didn’t fight the decision, but I’m glad to see Hugh did and won. It shouldn’t be that hard. If you see him ask if he remembers SGT. Dan Horyn (first room on the right at the top of the stairs in the barracks) and tell him I said hi.
I was with with SGT James Tynor Team 89 met in Baria before ambush in 1966
I was at Long Hai 67-68. I recently looked at Long Hai on Google Earth and can not recognize the place. It is a major resort.
I’ve done that, too! you’re right, it looks nothing like it did way back then. I used to live in the hotel in downtown Long Hai after I became the only member of the team left. Somehow felt safer there than in the middle of the RF/PF Training Center compound…..
Hey, did you know my friend and have contact with Mike Chistim, from Tennessee?
S-5(PPCVA)/Acting S1/Acting DSA(Duc Thanh), 1971-2-ish
Do you remember the name of the person you replace at the RF/PF Training Center in Long Hai? I seem to remember in 70-71 it was a CPT Murdock. Do you know if that is correct?
You know, that name is familiar to me also. But I’m not sure if Murdock was at Long Hai or at the Van Kiep Center. Once the Long Hai team was reduced to just one person – me – I was reassigned back to Van Kiep, where I started my tour. The commander at Van Kiep was a LTC Anderson (?), I had been assigned to a unit in Alaska and he was the XO there. He and I had some run-ins there and when I showed up at his office in Van Kiep, he took the opportunity to fill a vacancy in Long Hai….
Back to the original question, I still think that Murdock worked in the S3 office at Van Kiep.
Hi Ernie, just a quick note to add to your ref to Fred Fairhead, he was IO 6 RAR 1969-1970, (not 5 RAR) as mentioned.
His book, ‘A Duty Done’ is now out, and is Published by the Royal Australian Regiment Association South Australia Inc, 13 Beatty Street, Linden Park South Australia 5068. AUSTRALIA. It is a very informative read, I have a copy, and recommend it for all who served in Phouc Tuy Province in 1969-1970. He retired a Lt Colonel. ( I drove him a fair bit visiting the Various Hamlet Chiefs, he apparently had a price on his head!)
Mike Rogers, L/Cpl
ex 6 RAR/NZ/ANZAC, 1969. (a 10th Intake Conscript.)
Hi Mike, Thanks for the correction – yes, Fred was IO 6RAR, I met him once or twice in Phuoc Tuy in 1969. As with the first edition of “A Duty Done”, I’m assisting Fred with “enemy” aspects – including some SIGINT that’s now been released. This week, Fred has been sorting out some formatting and publishing issues. I think that Edition 2 will also be very well received. Separately, I’ve been collating info on US personnel KIA in Phuoc Tuy in 1966 – eg in the period early April to mid-September 1966, their casualties were reportedly 90 personnel KIA and 408 WIA – ie in Operations Abilene (principally the Cam My/Tam Bo battle), Hardihood, Hollandia, and Toledo. In my view, those operations and casualties should be acknowledged more prominently in Australian accounts of the fighting in the Province. As noted on the Team 89 website, MACCORDS Team 89 lost three KIA in a D445 ambush at Da Giang on Route 44 on 8 January 1966 (CAPT Blair, SSGT Wittman, SGT Tynor – advisors at the Long Hai Training Center). I’m hoping Team 89 veterans might advise me of other Team 89/78 casualties in 1966.
Hi Ernie, thanks for you quick reply, I don’t usually receive replies, especially from our Government!!! I’m glad to hear Fred is writing another book, looking forward to it. I have been doing a bit of research on MACV lately, MACV was the superior Command in SVN I believe during the War, with Australia/ Allies being Subordinate to it, and all ops would have to be ok’d by it, is that correct. There have been some inconsistencies with Awards bestowed/‘intended’ for Allied Forces (including Americans) from the Government of the Republic of Vietnam at the end of the War. I have seen information on the Internet that states that, ‘all’ who served in South Vietnam under MACV were awarded the Cross of Gallantry! Is that correct. Also, and more important to my research, is that I have also seen, on the internet where the GRVN intended that ‘all’ who served in South Vietnam are entitled to wear the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal? As a National Servicemen called up and sent to serve in SVN and having served for 127 days, (along with 90 of my intake in the same Battalion) we are not permitted to wear the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, because we didn’t serve 181 days? It was a ‘Campaign Medal, we did our duty, we ‘were’ there, but no? We need the proof that the South Vietnamese offered it to ‘all’ servicemen at the end of the War. Any leads on that would be of great help to our fight with the Australian Government ! There are still approximately 17,000 Vietnam Veterans who are being denied this Medal by our Gov’t. It’s been 50 years since we were there,
and still we have no recognition or Gratitude from the Government of South Vietnam for what we did for them. Any thoughts on that, or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again Ernie, Regards Mike Rogers Ex 6RAR/NZ/ANZAC Battalion SVN 1969
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you for looking up the truth on SGT Tynor . Rest of story to be told
Looking for LT Col. Team 89 1966 LaRossalee
LT Col Ruyffelberg
What happened to Capt Johnson KIA 1964
email@example.com is my direct email to get snail mail addresses
Any chance I can get a copy? I can send you an address for mailing. I just sent John Hullum a copy of what I had. Can do the same for you.
There are three Stephen Rohaty’s listed on Facebook which one is you? Or just request a friend invite and I will list you so that I can add you to the viewing list.
Each of the 3 is me. I have no idea why I have multiple listings!
Hey Bill: I promised to send you slides (1/2-frame 35 mm, Spring 1972). I can put them on One-drive, Google Docs, or send them to you on CD.
Mike Sheehan (former PPCVA(S-5), Acting DSA Duc Thanh, Acting Adjutant) wlgeek (at) snet.net, OR telephone: eight-six-zero-eight-six-one-two-three-seven-five.
Please let me see your Team 89 photos on Facebook. Stephen Rohaty, MAT 64.
A group of Australian Vietnam veterans are completing a book on the “early days” of the Task Force in Phuoc Tuy – including securing Route 15 in the second half of 1966 (ie operations in the Nui Thi Va and Nui Dinh Hills etc). Does anyone remember whether in May 1966 LTCOL J.R. Thurman III (later LTGEN, d.2004) was the “senior advisor” in Phuoc Tuy or the “Senior advisor: with the 10th ARVN Division ?
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain (intelligence liaison – and Van Kiep “resident” 1969).
Hello Mr Chamberlain.,..I noticed this post of yours and I was wondering if you could help me. I was posted to Van Kiep from
the 1 ATF Nui Dat in 1969-1970. I served there on a MATT team (cant remember the number) at the time of the posting I was
a RAEME Cpl . I am ex infantry hence the detachment, my team leader at van kiep was new Zealand SAS sergeant attached
to the SASR(Aust) .I spent time at the LRRP school and camp heavy weight there are a lot of gaps for me regarding this
can you help me with this I have more information so my email address is supplied firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regards Chriss Grant
#89 Team members: All hands on deck. That ought to get your attention. It’s that USMC (Uncle Sam’s Mischievous Children) influence.
Seriously guys, do any of you remember a *Village Security Planning Guide for District and Mobile * *Advisory Teams* (1970) for III Corps. I have a copy of the one for IV Corps. I am assuming they would be the same or very similar.
If you are familiar with it and or have a copy of it, that also would be very helpful in proving Buddy Adcock’s VA Claim.
Also do any of you have copies of or know where I can get them ASAP for the period May 1 – July 9, 1969 for command chronologies, after action reports, casualty reports, personnel rosters, etc. Any of this will be helpful.
Thanks again. joe
Hi All, Regarding the query on the “Villages Security Planning Guide”, I only know of two 1970 copies on the Internet – ie accessible on the Texas Tech Archive website with an introduction by John Paul Vann DMAC IV Corps. It appears to have been initially produced by Colonel (Retd) T.E. Rowe. Both copies have a “MACV IV Corps” logo on the front cover and the introduction refers to IV Corps – but the contents appear to apply Vietnam-wide ie not specific just to IV Corps. The second copy is at Texas Tech VCAT Item number 2810102002. Best wishes, Ernie Chamberlain 1ATF MILO 1969 (Van Kiep resident).
Regarding “handbooks”, there were of course several eg HES, RD Cadre, Military Support to Pacification, Pheonix Advisors Handbook, Guide for Province and District Advisors etc …. The “broader” handbooks included: “The Territorial Security Advisors Reference Book”, 29 January 1973 by MACCORDS “Predecessor” books were the 1969 PSDF Handbook by Colonel (Retd) T.E. Rowe – that probably inspired the IV Corps “Vann” book of 1970; and the RF/PF Advisors Handbook (draft Feb 69). Copies of all the foregoing can be found and read on-line on the Texas Tech Vietnam Center and Archive (VCAT) website.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Ernie: Thanks for this ‘heads up’ info. I shall try it. I’m getting closer to the ‘spot on’ evidence on Buddy’s claim. I’ll let ya know how this unfolds. joe
To members of MACV Advisory Team #89, I want to thank each of you for the very valuable information and documentation you provided to me on behalf of your fellow Tm Member, Hugh S Adcock III (Buddy) in his many long years (more than 15 years) of fighting the VA for service connection. Earlier this month on June 7, 2017 (after denial decision by BVA and the Federal Court of Veterans for VA Claims) his private attorney and I testified on his behalf in a DRO Hearing. We both were ‘loaded for bear’, as we say in the South. We both had spent about 200 hours in research and preparations. We were very surprised at the outset of the hearing that the VA conceded the existence of his stressor, the death of Tm Member, Tim Simpkins and Major Hadley Foster and VA conceded service connection. This ruling was published without our having to present any testimony. So after more than 15 years of fighting VA as of the date of the hearing ruled he is indeed service connection for PTSD. He will undergo another C&P exam to determine the per centage.
A special thanks go to fellow team members who offered testimony and documentation and a huge ‘shout out’ goes to the Aussies for providing photos and combat op documentation which helped to confirm stressors. We couldn’t have been successful, I believe, without your help.
Semper FI joe adcock, Capt USMC
I was the DIOCC advisor in Xuyen Moc when Simpkins was killed on the XM chopper pad. I was on the horn calling in a fire mission to Nui Dat Arty for our two gun SVN arty platoon when the pilot broke in to advise that his aircraft had just been disabled by his passenger walking into the tail rotor. A medevac was summoned and we learned a few minutes later that Simpkins had died. A day or two later, while waiting on the pad for a Huey to take me to Baria I noticed a bloody piece of Simpkins’ scalp on the ground, curly black hair attached. A grisly memory, unforgettable.
1Lt John M. (“Clay”) Gregory (49 years in grade, unpromotable)
I have uploaded several pictures onto my Facebook page of Phuoc Tuy Province pre 1975. I have also started to upload some post 1975 pictures with the only one now being the First U.S. Naval Ship Visit to Viet Nam since 1975. I was posted to the U.S. Consulate General in HCMC at the time of the visit.. As of now they can only be viewed by me but if you are interested in seeing them and are on Facebook let me know and I will allow individual access. They are uploaded into albums which are identified. I will continue to upload more as I get time.
Michael: I’m sure you have read at least some of the replies from me concerning one of Team 89 members, Hugh S Adcock. He has been fighting the VA since 2002 for service connection for PTSD. Would you be willing to send me copies of your photos of the Team 89 compound. This would be helpful as supporting documentation for his VA Claim. Thanks Joe Adcock (no relation to Buddy)
Send me a PM at email@example.com and explain a little more of what type of info on Team 89 and the compound that you are looking for. I may be able to help. The VA can be hard to deal with.
William, please accept my apology for the delay in replying to your posts. My health has interfered with my plans. I have asked by Hugh Adcock’s attorney to testify in his behalf on or about July 6 or 7, 2017. If you could resend the photos and anything you can share ref to any enemy attacks on the Team compound or camp anytime during 1969 or 1970, it would be very helpful. Thanks, Joseph B Adcock
Hi Joseph, I sent a link to your facebook page that should enable you to see the photos I have. I replied earlier, in this forum, with the link to the photos, but it did not appear in the forum. I am guessing they disallowed the post due to the URL being present.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send the link.
Regarding the death of Major Hadley Foster, on 13 September 2015 I posted a note to your website noting that his death was reported in the Australian 1 ATF INTSUM No. 73-69 of 14 March 1969 at sub-para 3.a: ie – “At 2240Z 14 March 1969, at YS 413645 ((north-western approach into Hoa Long village)), an ambush patrol was attacked by an estimated enemy company who fired RPG-2 rounds, automatic weapons and small arms. Fire was returned and the enemy withdrew to the west. Results: one enemy KIA, one AK-47 captured. Friendly casualties: two US KIA, three PF KIA, four PF WIA, six PF MIA.”
Subsequently, in an exchange of postings on the Team 89 site on March 18 and 19 last year, I related the VC version of the engagement and other 1 ATF reporting.
Regards to all, Ernie Chamberlain (1 ATF Int Lo, Baria, and Van Kiep resident).
Did you know Sgt James P Tynor KIA Feg 1966 @ Long Hai? Veitnam assigned Team 89
Hi John (Prush) – my second attempt at a reply:
The Australian Task Force (1 ATF) didn’t arrive in Vietnam until April 1966 – so there are no 1 ATF Reports covering the earlier part of 1966. However, the 1991 D445 VC Battalion history does relate an ambush in early January at Da Giang on Route 44 (Long Dien to Long Hai) on a large column of ARVN trainees from the Long Hai Training Centre – and in which three US advisors were reportedly killed. A captured VC document related : “at Đá Giăng, the communist forces “appealed to US troops to surrender” unsuccessfully, so they “shot and killed them all” . Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
PS. My translations of NVA and VC unit histories (D445, D440, 33rd NVA Regiment etc) – with extensive “correcting” commentaries, are free-to-read on the Internet.
my recollection is differeret then the NVA reports
I have several photographs of Dat Do District, mostly from during & after the ’72 Easter Offfensive.
Just need you to email me at email@example.com
sorry ,all of my Vietnam stuff was lost to water damage .
After 48 + years I think you refreshed my memory. Dat Do may have been where Major Hadley Foster ++++ lost their lives in 1969.
I have 8 mm movies of 1968-69 when I was MAT III-62 team led along Hwy 15 (includes at least one VC who did not make it through our booby trap under a gully along Hwy 15!🐸😞😟😟😟😇😇😇
Maj. Foster and Sgt. Baumgarner died in Long Le district, well south of Dat Do. I saw their bodies the next morning, stripped of their watches by our “allies”.
Stephen, Could you explain what you mean by our “allies”? Are you saying that taking personal items from deceased troops was a common thing? I realize the extreme times, but don’t understand the thinking here.
Mat 64, AFTER I taught the Viet Cong to never bother me during Happy Hour. Stephen Rohaty
From November 64 t0 aug 65 I was the ncs for the team . radio net control three core .
pls send your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a member of adv team in 1964-65 and I would like contact other team members if possible .
I’d love to have copies too. This goes for any of y’all (a Southern term).
I’ve been going through boxes of “stuff” that I have had in storage for about 25 years. Now that I am retired I am going through all of my files, mementos, and collections.
This weekend I found some items pertaining to Viet Nam and Advisory Team 89. Along with other items I found a “Van Kiep Compound” diagram with the defensive positions and by position personnel stationed there in an alert. I also found a list of Team 89 military members. It does not have a date but It is most likely from around the spring of 1972. LTC Modica is listed as PSA, CPT Watson is listed as the Admin Officer and CPT Gulakowski is listed as the Psyops/Pol CA/VIS Adv along with everyone else from LTC Modica to SP4 Darrell K. Utt. It also has FSO-5 Jerrold M. North as DPSA.
I’d love to get copies of whatever documents you have, especially the ones you mentioned in your most recent posting.
Appreciate your effort doing this.
Watson was an effective poker player. I was also the PPCVA for a time., before I went out to close down Duc Thanh, but that was during Mr. Perkin’s reign as PSA and LTC K’s time as DPSA.
Yea, I think this list is after that. I also found a couple of pictures. One of LTC K and Mr. Perkins during an awards ceremony on the compound and the other of the PSA’s office.
I will get the two documents scanned in a few days. Bill
I still owe you those ½-frame photos, once I get around to scanning them. I’m sure that there’s a photo or two of you and the civilian staff at the Province office.
Have a great holiday!
Sent copy of pix at 0850 today
Did you send me a copy? Would appreciate it. email@example.com
LTC (ret) Richard B.C. Tom
Much “mahalo” for the pic. Brings back memories. Some of my recollections were wrong. For instance, I mentioned Advisory Team 76 instead of AT 78 in some of my musings. Must be getting semi-senile!! I do recall in the picture that the first building on the left was part of the bar and movie room, the second building next to it was I think where the barbershop was located. On the right of the picture by the banana tree was the supply room and the motor pool was where the jeep is shown. I don’t think I ever heard anything broadcast from the loudspeaker over the sign in the 2 1/2 years I was there. What the heck was it for??
On further observation, the speaker I thought was over the MACCORDS Team 89 & MACV Team 78 is more likely than not just a light fixture.
I have a photo of the sign above the entrance to the MACCORDS Team 89 & MACV 78 compound, taken in 1971. I also believe the “loudspeakers” are light fittings, not speakers. I was billeted in the compound whilst working as an 1ATF Liason Officer Sig, for Capt Terry Nolan. We commed to the Tactical Operations Centre (TOC) in Baria (Callsign 91). I have a few (bad) photos of the TOC. I am visiting the area on 16/17 April 2017. Can anyone provide a Google map reference for the locations of the Van Kiep Compound and/or the TOC? Thanks in advance. ( I also have a few scanned photos some of the buildings in the compound, some taken at a Korean martial arts demo as well as of the TOC. if anyone is interested, send me an email.)
my email address firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m interested in your recollections of Team 78. I was originally assigned to the training command of team 89 but was then transferred to team 78, down at the RF/PF training center in Long Hai. Have lost touch with all in both teams……….
Jon: I need your email address
Mr. Gulakowski: If possible I would like a copy of the pic as well, I served on TM89 as SSG from Dec 64 thru Dec 65. Served as the S-2 NCO under Cpt Avant and Cpt Husnian working with RF/PF Recon troops. Very busy year, lots of contact. Earned my CIB there. After that went to INF OCS with a follow on assignment with the 173rd Abn Bde. Ret in 90 and then spent 19 yrs on the Pentagon DCSINt staff. Finally perm Ret in 09. Fond memories of my time in Baria. Had great bunch of Vietnamese soldiers.
\Ed Anthony …email@example.com
Mr. Gulakowski: I possible I would like a copy of the pic, also. I was assigned to TM 89, Baria from Dec 64-Dec 65 as a SSG. Worked as the S2 NCO under Cpt Avant and later Cpt Husnian . Training S-2 personnel and the RF/PF province and Disrict recce team. Lots of action.earned my CIB there. Left there and went to INF OCS with a follow on assignment to the 173rd Abn Bde in early 67. Fond memories of my year in Phuoc Tuy. Would sincerely appreciate a copy of the pic if at all possible.
Ed Anthony LTC (Ret) firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know First Sgt James p Tunor served on Team 89 KIA jan 1966
Sgt John Maples Team 78 Know ?
Didn’t get picture of MACV team 89 compound. Could you resend it please. email@example.com
I was part of team 89 & 87 from 1966-67……..
Denis, I would like to see the picture. Bill
If you provide an email address I can send you a picture of the entrance to the Baria compound that shows the 2 team IDs.
R U interested in the photo?
I was with team 89 from august 68 thru october 69 could u send photo of Baria compound please.
I would like to see any pictures from Baria, I was there as a communication specialist , call sign, whiskey whiskey Romeo nines 3
MAT 64, within hearing distance of Baria, AFTER I taught the Viet Cong to not bother me during Happy Hour. Stephen Rohaty
I’m at: firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-861-2375
When you took me to Vung Tau to order my stereo equipment and eat Pho at that French-style restaurant, I purchased a little Pentax half-frame camera from the Navy Exchange and documented my final weeks in PhuocTuy. It produced key-hole-like images which aren’t very impressive; nevertheless, I’ll convert them to digital images and share them with you and Bill Connerley, when I get a little time this winter.
I too would like to have a picture of the entrance to the BaRia compoind showing AT 89 & 78. I was there from Jan 1968 thru Oct 1970. The only picture I have of Van Kiep Training Center is of the VN soldier at the enteance to the camp. I can be reached at email@example.com
former Psywar Advisor
Phuoc Tuy Province
I too would like a photo of the entrance to the BaRia compound showing AT 89 & 78. I only have a picture of the statue of a VN soldier at the entrance to Van Kiep Training Center. I was the military Psyops advisor to the province from Jan 68 to Oct 70.Worked for a MAJ Desmond Smith who was the JUSPAO advisor to the province civilian public affairs. (He was one of the two Americans rescued from his home, caddy corner from the PRU house the morning of TET68). I was in the second APC when the rescure occurred
I don’t think I have your email address. I’m not that familiar with the MACV Tm 89 website to know where to get it. If you could pass it on, I’ll send you the photo in reply.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks! BTW, anyone out there remember an incident at the MACV compound in Van Kiep when after a movie (we had one every night) a Lieutenant and a sergeant was playing “fast-draw ended when the lieutenant accidentally shot the sergeant dead? The lieutenant was immediately gone by the next morning. I think it happend sometime in 1968—maybe later.
I think the incident involved a Lt Meeks and a SSG Herman Duncan and I think it was late 68. I served with Duncan while on ROTC duty at Middle Tennessee State University. He was a really good man, such a shame. I was not a member of either team but thought I had something to share. I was in MACV Hq at the time.
Bob Overton. Thanks for the additional info. Lt Meeks was originally from Texas. I still have his address in Texas, though he may or may not be there anymore.
Oh yes, remember it well. The fit really hit the shan that night.
Yes,I was in the club when it happened,l helped carry the Sgt. to the first aid container. The medic could not find the vein for transfusion, l won’t comment on the medics condition, but he was the same one who gave me darvon for my appendicitis attach which thank God waited until I got home. The Lt. Was immediately kicked upstairs, so we heard . I talked to him briefly and he was very sorry, he and the Sgt. were good friends and drinking together and playing grab ass and pretend quick draw. We all had loaded guns, so it seemed really strange and stupid to me. Lt. Michael Mccauley.
Bill, did you receive my earlier response?
Bill, I’m embarrassed to say I’m having trouble placing you; I’ll blame it on the fact that I am> 30 & as you indicated, that was 40+ years ago.
I too have pictures from that era, to include the Easter Offensive & would be interested in seeing yours. Given email file attachment limitations, we might have to work out an alternative or a schedule to exchange them.
I currently live in Northern Virginia just outside Washington DC ; have been retired from the military since ‘94 and fully retired in 2012.
Perhaps we can hook up telephonically as well. Let me know your thoughts.
Denis, I was the Admin Specialist in the S-1.
I have digitized all or at least most of my pictures and slides but they are scattered out on CDs, DVDs, hard drives, and different computers. I have had things in storage for so long, some items were in storage for about thirty years. I will try and get everything pertaining to Phuoc Tuy / Vung Tau in one place.
I lived in the D.C. area off and on for about 15 years. I lived just east of 123 and south of Braddock Road behind University Mall. Our house was on Portsmouth Road. I was working at Fort Belvoir with assignments to West Point and SHAPE HQ during that time. My wife stayed in Fairfax as we knew I would be assigned back to the USACE’s Facilities Engineering and Support Command at Fort Belvoir. After I retired in 1991 I worked for New York Power Authority’s Nuclear Generation Division in White Plains, New York. I did a weekly commute from White Plains and Fairfax. We sold the house when I joined the U.S. Foreign Service in September 1995.
We still have a lot of friends in the D.C. area, most of them in the Vietnamese community. We have been talking about making a trip to D.C. if we do maybe we could meet. In the meantime I will get my pictures together and think about how I can share them. I would enjoy speaking with you. Send me an email at email@example.com and I will give you me phone number.
After 18 months of retirement I am finally getting around to going through and organizing all of my papers, souvenirs, and junk collection that I have gathered and saved during 45 years of worldwide travels. It has been a rather adventurous life for someone from the Midwest who until he was drafted into the U.S. Army had never been further than the Saint Louis, MO Zoo.
My permanent military assignments and Foreign Service postings have taken me to, of course first, Viet Nam, then The Netherlands (Allied Forces Central Europe), Belgium (SHAPE), Malawi U..S. Embassy Lilongwe), Bosnia-Herzegovina (U.S. Embassy Sarajevo), back to Viet Nam (U.S. Consulate General Saigon), Iraq (U.S. Embassy Baghdad), Cambodia (U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh), Germany (U.S. Embassy Berlin), Afghanistan (Regional Command North, Mazar-e-Sharif), Kenya (U.S. Embassy Nairobi). Those are only the year or more postings with many TDYs to others.
A few of the papers that I found have the signatures Mike Sheehan and Denis Gulakowski on them while they were Acting Adjutant.
The documents that I found:
The authorization document to operate a RVNAF vehicle, actually two of them for different vehicles. These have the signature of John F. Kwasigroch, LTC, DPSA.
Denis, I have an inter-installation travel document signed by you for me to go to the MACV AG, Saigon, Long Binh, and Bien Hoa.
Mike, I have several documents that was translated by the team’s interpreter/translator and as I remember overall senior local national in the Admin Section. The documents had to be notarized and you notarized them as Acting Adjutant. I needed the documents to get my wife’s visa to the U.S.. I am not sure if they had seen anything like it when I showed up at the airport with my wife and three children but things went smooth and I had no problems.
I also have documents signed by SP6 James A Hutchins who was in Intel. He signed the documents for my knife and CHICOM Type 53 Carbine that I took back with me.
I have a lot of pictures of my time at both Team 78 and Team 89. I have several of the damage of the Easter Offensive of Dat Do. I just looked at one of LTC Kwasigroch and Mr. Perkins at an awards ceremony. I think that Mr. Perkins was an FSO-1, just junior to the SFS (Senior Foreign Service).
I have been back to the area and until about 2001/2002 you would have been able to locate most things. In the last ten/twelve years things have changed drastically. Most of the area where Van Kiep was is now all civilian except a small part is a SRV military installation.
I think that I remember you as the Team’s Senior (only) Admin Specialist. You lived in Ba Ria and had extended with the team for your 2d or 3d year in order to remain with your lady. I think that you and I went to a restaurant near your house that served a glazed crab, and the chickens ate the scraps on the floor at our feet. I was originally assigned as the PPCVA (S5), and stood in briefly for the adjutant (S1) while he went home on R&R. I vaguely recall the issue with your wife, and am thrilled to think that we did something to help you and your family get settled back here.
I eventually moved out to the DucThanh compound with SSG Ray Johnson, who formerly worked with me as a Drill Sergeant at Ft Lewis. Ray and was headed for a direct commission in MI after leaving RVN. Lacking a college degree, I was RIFed and given a nice $20K severance which buffered my transition back into democracy. Coincidentally, I flew home with Ray and several other members of Team 89, in the spring of 1972 (or some such year). I snapped a few 1/2-frame 35mm photos during the few days before I left for the states. It’s like looking through a keyhole, but I’ll scan them into digital form for you, if you wish.
My recollections from Phuc Tuy and Duc Thanh are of a very pleasant cultural experience. My first tour in 1968-69 was not so pleasant as a rifle platoon leader with C-2/12-25th Infantry, ending in a mine explosion that hospitalized me for four months. Today, I remain in very close contact with more than a dozen survivors of that platoon. The internet helped us reconnect, and we usually gather at a reunion in Gatlinburg, each year.
Very best regards,
Good to hear from you. I am surprised that you remember that I actually lived in Ba Ria. It probably was not the smartest thing I ever did. I never had any trouble at night while sleeping there and surprisingly I heard nothing about it from LTC Kwasigroch. Mr. Perkins did mention it one time, basically telling me to be careful.
In looking back on that time, getting married, living in Ba Ria, I am amazed at how laid back everyone was about it. You would think that with all the Army regulations, especially about getting married overseas, that somewhere along the line I would have had some problems, but I didn’t. I never went through the paperwork to get married. My wife’s uncle came to the house with the paperwork, I signed it and we were married. Her uncle was the Chief of Phuoc Le. After we got married I took her to MACV HQ and she received her dependent ID card. I still have a copy of the application, again no one asked for anything concerning my authorization to get married. They just looked at the original and translated marriage license, I completed the form and she received her ID card. I also had no problem with the U.S. Embassy in getting a visa. It was harder getting her a Vietnamese passport. Another surprising outcome was getting military transportation for my family so that they could fly home with me. Every other US military member that I have talked with who married in Viet Nam had to pay for their wife to travel to the U.S. and they had to fly commercial airlines. Again I guess I just lucked out.
I left Phuoc Tuy very late in June for Saigon and departed Viet Nam on 2 July. I went to Oakland where I received my discharge from the Army. I got out of the Army mainly because I was concerned about the Army finding out about not going through the proper paperwork to get married and court martial me. That was probably very paranoid on my part but I didn’t want to chance it.
I was out of the Army for two years. I enlisted in the Army in July 1974. After getting out I moved back to Indianapolis, started college and worked full time. With a wife and three children I had to buy a new house, and new car. After two years I thought it best to go back into the Army where I completed my degree.
I would like to see the slides. If you want digital copies of my slides I will be glad to send them to you when I get them together. I have slides from the time I was on Team 78 and also Team 89.
Hey again, Bill:
I sent a separate message to your personal e-mail. Meanwhile, I recalled that Team 78 was co-located with our Team at the Ba Ria compound. There were only a couple other U.S. Infantry officers on those teams. One was my friend Mike Chistim, on Tm 78. He and I attended the MATA-CORDs program together at Bragg.
Glad you still have the paper work on your rifle and Knife.
Baria PIOCC – Major Taureke
Living at Van Kiep in 1969, I worked in the PIOCC in Baria Town – the US Advisor was Captain Leon Sullivan. I’m trying to compile a listing of US PIOCC advisors. Can anyone recall the dates that Major “Sasha” Taureke was the senior US advisor in the PIOCC in the period 1970-71 ?
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Regarding Stephen Rohaty’s “Vale” of Australian 2LT Brian Geoffrey Walker (b.25 January 1947) – KIA on 9 March 1969 in the minefield surrounding the 609 RF Company post at Hoa Long. Brian – of 5RAR, had only been in-country five weeks. The extensive investigation of that incident is related in the Australian Army Official History “Fighting to the Finish”, 2012, pp.102-105. Sergeant B.L. Smith and Corporal G.G. Gilbert were also killed – and seven Australians were wounded. Sapper R.F. Ryan was awarded the Military Medal. I remember visiting the US MAT advisor – Stephen Rohaty (?) in the compound on the north-western (?) edge of Hoa Long village – and being impressed by his array of defences – including mines linked up for detonation to a switchboard in his CP. Regards, Ernie Chamberlain (LT, MILO – Baria).
I was the Alpha of MAT 64. Noteworthy accomplishments: I went into a known minefield at night and found a missing 5 RAR platoon and located the body of their commander, B. G. Walker. I had a 100 percent re-enlistment rate among my enlisted men. The Vietnam Cong disobeyed their orders rather than attack a site I defended. I was allowed into the Enlisted Club any time, without an invitation (still the proudest time of my life).
Battle of Long Tan: 50th Anniversary Commemorations – US battlefield support and involvement in the Commemoration.
On 18 August, Australian commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan fought in 1966 by 105 Australians (D Company/6RAR) and a three-man New Zealand Z artillery FO team: 18 Australians were killed; and 245 NVA/VC were KIA (BC) on the battlefield. Heavy artillery fire support from Nui Dat was critical to the success – this included fire from the US Army’s A Battery 2/35 Artillery (commanded by Captain Glen Eure; six 155mm SP M109 howitzers) that fired 242 rounds in support . “Wanting to see some action”, US Sergeant Frank Beltier (2/35) – without permission and later censured, joined the M113 APCs lifting Alpha Company/6RAR that moved to the battlefield five kilometres from Nui Dat to relieve the beleagured Delta/6RAR.
At the Memorial service in Canberra on 18 August 2016, US Army gunners were part of the artillery saluting party – firing 105mm howitzers (2/35 is notlonger on the US Army order-of-battle). Two US Air Force B-52s from Guam flew overhead – two flypasts, including UHIH (two had resupplied ammunition during the Battle). An emotional day for all veterans present. Regrettably, for the first time, the Vietnamese authorities refused to allow a memorial service at the site of the Long Tan Cross at Long Tan (Phuoc Tuy) – about 2,000 Australian veterans had travelled to Vietnam for the service. At previous services, the Vietnamese rules have been: no uniforms, no medals, no banners, no music, no singing, and no “triumphalism”. Yesterday – 19 August, some small groups of Australian veterans and families were allowed to visit the Cross – but no photographs were permitted.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain (Baria/Van Kiep 1969)
Frank Beltier was my father
Thanks for your response. Still trying to remember the name of Major Foster’s predecessor. I said farewell, in person, to my boss, Major Hadley Foster, at the morgue / holding area in Saigon. I can still see his face in the body bag with all his camo paint on and all the dirt and grime from the overnight ambush. I have been unsuccessful in contacting his wife or any of his 5 children formerly in the San Antonio, TX area. “Welcome Home!”
Again, sorry. But if you give me some NCO names, I have a better chance of remembering them. I do remember Maj. Cannon, of artillery. He helped me out of a jam when I was relieved of duty.
Sorry, that was MAT Team lll-62 ( mind failing in old age). Anyone know the name of the District Advisor (American Army Major / Infantry) who preceded Major Hadley Foster? I believe this Major, who served around Sep 1968, was from California?
I was there before Hadley Foster. I carried Maj. Foster’s body to the helicopter on March 11, 1969. Major Cannon came after Foster. I don’t remember who was there before Foster.
I will check for more information.
Tim Tjader, Siren, WI
I had a SGT Montiel as the assigned Medic to MAT Team lll-64 on Highway 15 but probably not assigned until Sep-Oct 1968.
Sorry, I must have arrived after his death. I never knew him. Try the Fifth Royal Australian Regiment at Nui Dat. They may have something on him.
MAT 64 Ah, the good old days. NOW, I’m sorry for the freedom fighters I killed.But THEN, I really thought they were communists. I was stationed near 5 RAR when Lt. Walker was killed by an M16 bouncing Betty. I was the one who located his body.
My father served with MACV 89 from Oct. 65 to Jan.8 66 when he was KIA. His name is SSG Gordon R. Wittman. If anybody knew him i would like to hear from you.please leave a reply, thank you.
First Sargent James P, Tyner was killed near Long Hai the same day, he was on Team 89 along with Capt Blair..Did your father know them? I don’t know your father. I was suppose to go with FS Tyner but did not go.If you get this e-mail please reply to jprush967@att,net
My name is Jon Blair and my dad was Capt Don Blair who was killed on Jan. 8,1966. I was shown this webpage earlier today by my son Jake, who served 11years in the Army. I know very little about what happened and I would appreciate any information that might be available regarding the unit members and the circumstances of that day.
Good morning John,
I was saddened to hear of your father’s passing in January 1966 in Phuoc Tuy Province. The US MACV Military History Branch’s “Chronology of Significant Events during 1966” – dated 27 April 1967, recorded: “8 January 1966, VC ambush RF convoy in Phuoc Tuy Province, 31 RF KIA, 3 US KIA, 30 RF WIA, 10 MIA.” The ambush is related in some detail in the histories of the Viet Cong D445 Local Force Battalion as the “Đá Giăng” ambush that occurred on Route 44 (Upper) against a column of ARVN personnel from the Long Hai NCO School – with US advisers, and including a small number of ARVN wheeled armoured vehicles. Đá Giăng is sometimes misspelt in communist sources as “Đá Vắng” – and on some maps appears as Núi (Mount) Đá Dung. The ambush occurred in the vicinity of grid reference YS 432549. The VC force was D445 Battalion and elements of the 25th VC District Company (of VC Long Đất District). The VC Long Đất District History describes the ambush at “Đá Giăng on Route 44 between Long Hải and An Ngãi villages. Long Đất was provided with two 75mm recoilless rifles (RCL) by 800 Battalion ((a VC main force unit, later the 1st Battalion of the 274th VC Regiment)). The Long Dat District History states that: “Two companies from the Long Hải training centre were destroyed (150 killed – including a US advisor).”
Regrettably, most of my information above reflects the VC accounts – of coursed US accounts would be far more accurate.
Best wishes, Ernie Chamberlain
Hi David – and Team 89 veterans who might be interested in signals intelligence aspects of the War,
The Australian 547 Sig Tp has written a comprehensive history of its activities – using “released” material, but unfortunately it’s not fully “Internet-accessible. In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had just published a “not-for-sale” history of VC activities in Phuoc Tuy – which I’ve made Internet-accessible – ie just Google: “Chamberlain D445 Long Tan 2016”. The 29-page SIGINT Summary is at Annex E, so you can just scroll through to it. The VC D445 Battalion’s history – ie the “main text” is “hyperbolic” and inaccurate – hence my 645 footnotes to comment upon/correct their account. For the Battle of Long Tan itself, see pages 71-80 in the main text.I have also included a history of the 275th VC Regiment – the principal enemy force at Long Tan, as Annex O.
I will pass the information in your posting to the 547 Sig Tp historians for their records.
Best wishes, Ernie
I’m currently collating further material on VC losses in their failed attack on Baria Town in early February 1968. As you know, the US “summary report” relates that: “206 VC were killed and 61 weapons found in the Town and in the vicinity of the A & L Coy. At the Van Kiep Training Center, 52 VC were killed, 2 VC and 53 weapons were captured”. On 4 February, “in the Ba Ria area … an additional 44 VC bodies were found and four more VC were captured.” I am trying to determine where the enemy KIA were buried. In particular, was there a mass grave within the Baria Town environs and, if so, where ? I’ve heard such a grave might have been accidentally uncovered in late 1968 or the first half of 1969.
In late March this year, I finished a 348,200-word book on “The VC D445 Battalion: Their Story (and the Battle of Long Tan)” and placed it on the Internet – ie for those interested to have a read. The main text – ie a translation of D445 Battalion’s published history, is “heavy going” – but the Battle of Long Tan at pp.71-80 is probably “digestible” (with lots of footnoted comments to correct the VC record !). Interestingly, it includes the first (and only ?) VC sketch map of that Battle. The book also includes 18 discrete annexes – including Annex E – the “SIGINT” story; and a history of the 275th VC Regiment – the major enemy formation at the Battle of Long Tan just Google: Chamberlain Scribd D445 2016 306536690.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
I was a member of a DF Direction Finding covert TS signal intelligent unit (ASA 175 RRC Detachment 2 ) located at Nui Dat 1ATF. Dec. 68 to Aug. 1969. Our location was at the base of SAS Hill just East of the Kangaroo Helipad. I was ambushed on 25.Feb. 1969 on Highway 2 about half way between Nui Dat and Hoa Long heading toward BaRia to resupply. I was wounded and my door gunner Harold Douglas Biller, was KIA in an ambush of land mines and small arms fire. Can anyone provide me with any information available to you? We collected sig int on D445 and 245 NVA Regiment and plotted their location thru DF signal detection of morse transmitters. That intel must have been made available to you. We often visited your compound just East of BaRia. I would personally like to get some closure from that ambush. Any help would be much appreciated.
For David Breisch – re mine incident 25 February 1969 near Nui Dat.
Hi David, I was sad to hear of the incident. It is recorded briefly in 1 ATF’s INTSUM 56-69 of 25 Feb 69 at sub-para 3.d. : “At YS 410647, a US vehicle detonated a mine. Casualties: One US KIA, one US WIA, and one vehicle destroyed. Combat engineers have recovered several more mines from the area.” – that INTSUM is on an Australian War Memorial file: AMW95, 1/4/40. I have queried the Australian SIGINTers of 547 Sig Tp and will shortly provide any further available information to you.
PS. The next day, ie 26 February 1969, the VC fired 80 x 82mm mortars into the Van Kiep base from vic YS 3763 resulting in 13 KIA and 89 WIA.
I’ve spoken to 547 Sig Tp veterans – ie 1 ATF’s SIGINT DSU, and offer the following:
A US MRDF site within Nui Dat was planned in 1967 – but was not active until April 1968 (ie within the base at YS 442669 – once some rubber was cleared). The OC of 547 in 1968-69, a major, recalls the incident and advised me that: “It was made very clear that they (US SIGINTers) were self-supporting and their product was reported directly to some central coord location. … I do recall on a few occasions one of their detachment visiting us. However, I remember vividly the consequence of this mine incident. Some months later, I had a signal from on high (303rd or 504th, can’t recall who), requesting a visit from a senior ASA officer and a meeting with Brig Gen Sandy Pearson (Comd 1 ATF) about an upcoming quick trip by the Commander ASAPAC in order to present a Purple Heart to the wounded American soldier. I escorted this guy, (full colonel if I recall) to meet BRIG GEN Pearson who said he would welcome a visit of COMASAPAC to his location – which should include a short briefing from 547. This was the last thing the visitor wanted to hear, stressing that the Major General had a very full schedule flying around the country presenting awards, receiving briefings, etc. Sandy Pearson was having none of it. ‘In a war like this, we can’t be ham-strung by unnecessarily tight schedules. I personally will meet the general and escort him during his stay, but he should certainly visit our own SIGINT unit.’ – Or words to that effect! And so, in due course, this massive entourage arrived, was met by BRIG GEN Sandy on Kanga Pad and – and, with the Purple Heart ceremony completed, Sandy dragged them all back to our 547 compound. There, Captain Steve Zagon gave his usual brilliant horse and pony show, stressing our contribution to the ASA effort and responding to some searching questions from the General.”
The only other “paper record” appears to be the log of 1 ATF’s 1st Field Squadron (ie engineers) that relates that on 25 February 1969: “two combat teams from the 2nd Troop under Sergeant Stahtoures went to sweep the Route 2 Bypass Road after a vehicle hit a mine.”
Checking the 2004 history of the VC Chau Duc District Unit, it appears to me that they were responsible for laying those mines on Route 2 in the vicinity of Hoa Long village.
Best wishes, Ernie Chamberlain
Ernie, I can not thank you enough for this detailed summary of events on 25Feb.1969. I am amazed at the detail. Thank you so much for this. This is far more than I ever thought could be pieced together from so many different sources.
The irony of it all. Nui Dat Base was increasely being pressed by VC activity which was associated with the Post Tet Offensive, had closed the main road out toward Hoa Long and BaRia for days because of increased VC presence. When a window of opportunity presented itself on 25Feb. our ASA DF site needed supplies from BaRia, I volunteered to do it.
You made a very clear mention of a very high level Army Security Agency General visiting our ASA DF SigInt Det. for this medal pinning activity. That Purple Heart went to me that day. I also received the Army Commendation Medal and the KIA soldier Harold Biller received our third highest medal of valor, The Bronze Star posthumously. That was Major General Denholm, Worldwide Commander of the Army Security Agency stationed in Washington, Arlington Hall Headquarters. He and a Colonel Godin ASA Pacific and your 1ATF Brig. General Sandy, and others all came to our Detachment that day. By the way, I have photos of that Ceremony showing the principles and myself.
The whole ASA entourage as you call it was very nervous to send such a high level Intel Commander to a relative forward base. After all, we were suppose to be covert. Officially our whole ASA Signal Intel Command was code named Radio Research and reported very strictly only through very secure signal intercept command directly to DIRNSA, or the National Security Agency. Our DF groups were hidden from official records as we were covertly assigned to other official combat units, like SF or 82nd Airborne, CIA assignments. All of this, was deemed TS. Therefore, the ASA group was nervous to officially be greeted by 1ATF. It was crazy, it was probably unnecessary, but the whole Saigon Intel Community NSA was terrified that this Major General Denholm wanted to go so forward in the first place.
That explains the reasoning why this group was so nervous. Again, this General represented the highest level of NSA Intel world wide. We were a unique group for sure. Now our signal intercept and DF information was passed over to Nui Dat officially at your signal intel group at Long Binh. Or from Davis Station in Saigon earlier. I am sure your 547th signal intel unit will verify this. In what form the 547th received this may still ve classifed, I don’t know.
It can be noted that our DF station could have been put to much better had we liasoned directly with you. I know that you later by the end of 1969 had your DF Porter up and running by the beginning of 1970 where our airborne ARDF specialists worked with you directly at Luscombe and flew missions with you in your Porter. Perhaps a John Swayze is familiar? I have a picture of him as well with your Porter at Luscombe. He was assigned then at Nha Trang AFB. Now he worked directly with your 547th group. Our HFDF site was removed from Nui Dat around Jan. 1970 and repositioned on Con Song Island.
I hope we can continue this dialogue if you will allow this. I was involved in a number of VC ambushes which happened on Highway 15 perhaps 5 km out from the bridge at BaRia. MACV may be aware of this if they worked with the ARVN units in protection of BaRia West.
I can not thank you more for this help. Thank you so much Ernie. Best regards, David Breisch
I was running a rifle platoon with the 25th Div at that time. Iâm sorry, but I have no insights into what was going on with our MACV brothers.
I have been unable to find any 1966-67 advisory team 89 province reports for phouc guy at the National archives. Does anyone know if they were under any other jurisdiction?
I suggest that perhaps you might also try Team 87 (Xuan Loc) records. Some of the Phuoc Tuy Province Senior Advisor’s reports were sent to Team 87 at Xuan Loc – with Team 89 reports appended. Phuoc Tuy Sector was subordinated to the 33 Special Tactical Zone (Biệt khu 33 Chiến Thuat of 3 CTZ/MR3) headquartered at Biên Hòa and encompassing the provinces of Biên Hòa, Long Khánh, Phước Tuy and Bình Tuy. As an aside, the title of this Team 89 website is misspelt – ie it should be “Phuoc Tuy” (ie the diphthong is “uo” not “ou” – this is important if doing a computer search); and “Doc Than” should be omitted from the title (it’s a misspelling of “Duc Thanh” ie the District astride Route 2 (now Route 56) with its headquarters at Ngai Giao – north of the Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat and just west of the larger “Catholic” village of Binh Gia.
Best wishes, Ernie Chamberlain
Try the records of 5 RAR, based at Nui Dat.
Hi All, In my post yesterday, I referred to the death in action of Team 89’s “Sergeant Baumgartner” (of Kannapolis, North Carolina) on 14 March 1969 near Hoa Long – ie together with Major Hadley Foster. There are apparently several spellings of Staff Sergeant Raymond E. Baumgarner’s name. A memorial and brief description of his service – and photographs, can be found on the Internet at the findagrave website as Serial 3295756 . In that memorial text, Stephen Rohaty notes that Sergeant Daniel Blake (MAT 64) recovered the bodies. There is also a note by First Sergeant (Ret) Thomas Hackler (of Team 99 -who did Vietnamese language training State-side with Ray Baumgarner; and passed away on 26 December 2011). Vale SSGT Ray Baumgarner. Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Hi All, In my earlier post today, I referred to the death in action of Team 89’s “Sergeant Baumgartner” (of Kannapolis, North Carolina) on 14 March 1969 near Hoa Long. There are apparently several spellings of Staff Sergeant Raymond E. Baumgarner’s name. In the memorial text, Stephen Rohaty notes that Sergeant Daniel Blake (MAT 64) recovered the bodies. There is also a note by First Sergeant (Ret) Thomas Hackler. Vale SSGT Ray Baumgarner. Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
Hi All, I’ve previously posted the detail from the 1 ATF INTSUM on the deaths of Major Hadley Foster and Sergeant Baumgartner on 14 March 1969 on the western edge of Hoa Long. No doubt, there is a detailed Team 89 report on that engagement, but I’ve not found it.
However, the following might be of interest – ie additional to the 1 ATF INTSUM. The 1 ATF Ops Log notes Vietnamese six ambush patrols(APs) in the Hoa Long area that night – including at YS 413648. In the early AM of 15 March, Sector HQ advised 1 ATF that: “One of the APs in the Hoa Long area at YS 413645 came under attack with B40 and automatic weapon fire. A reaction force was sent out at 2400hrs and a sweep started at approx.150545H with illumination support from Nui Dat ((fired from 0320hrs)). Results – 2 US KIA, 3 VN KIA, 5 VN WIA, 5 VN MIA, 1 VC KIA (BC).” At 1015hrs 15 March, the 1 ATF LO in Baria amended the number of VN WIA to 6. Subsequently, some months later, on 16 August 1969, 1 ATF killed the OC of the Chau Duc C-41 Company – Nguyen Hoang Mai, and recovered his 177-page notebook. An entry noted: “14 Mar 69: The unit went into Hoa Long. When they were near the fence, they were ambushed. After one hour, the enemy ran off and had one killed or wounded. Our casualties were 7, Minh was killed. Two recce members – Loc and Chu were killed and one AK-47 was lost.”
Trust the foregoing is of interest. Regards, Ernie Chamberlain.
I also was listening to the radio (2300 – 0100 hrs) and heard Major Hadley Foster’s request for help but the District Chief would not and possibly could not send help. Typically after dark the roads were closed and anything moving was ” at risk”! I am not sure whether his call for help was before or after his wounds which later caused his death. When he was found the next morning I was told he had crawled / moved either 500 feet or yards from the ambush site and had both his M16 and at least one other M16 from his American NCO and/or his Vietnamese interpreter. The “word” was that his Disrict Chief (Major / Thieu oui) Vietnamese counterpart could have / should have sent help but was afraid /(chicken!) and it could have saved some of the 35 +/- lives (2 Americans, the Vietnamese interpreter, and 30+ Popular Force Platoon (Dia Phun Quan) ambush members! I was on the other side of the mountain, along Hwy 15 with my MAT lll-62 (team) in a RF compound. I went to the morgue the next day and saw / said goodbye to Major Foster (a picture ingrained in my memory forever)! The VC sent a few across the road and when the PF Platoon all opened fire and gave away their position then the VC fired and destroyed the RVN PF Platoon ambush personnel!
Social Media and now many Flashbacks from 1968-69! Unfortunately the info on Major Foster’s ambush patrol in 1969 is mostly “Incorrect”! I was with and under Major Foster in 1969 (We were supposed to leave in March 69 on the same plane but he decided to go out “one last time”). I was MAT Team Ldr of MAT lll-62 on Highway #15 with ILT (Trung Oie(? sp) Marquardt, SGT Kenny, SGT English and another SGT and Vietnamese Interpreter (I have 8 mm movies). I am retired LTC Harris Gelber, formerly CPT Harris J. Gelber (Dai oi), now 73 yrs old and if anyone cares I can provide “the real story or events that led up to a PF PLATOON size ambush that left all 35 +/- dead including Major Hadley Foster, his E-6 NCO (name along side his “on the wall” and his interpreter. Contact me at HarrisGelber18@COMCAST.net in New Jersey. God bless you all and Welcome Home!
If my memory is correct, while in the MACV compound in Van Kiep, we listen to radio pleas from MAJ Foster for help while he was tied down in the ambush. Don’t remember if he was wounded at the time. Anyone out there remember? I think a CPT Bub Pickup (Chatsworth, CA ) was either the S3 or was on duty that night when attempts were made to contact the Assistant Military PSA, a full colonel, for permission to sent a rescue platoon but could not find him. The rest was as described by you. I was the Province Psywar advisor from January 1968 to October 1970.
CPT Richard Tom now LTC USAR Retired, Maui, Hawaii.
Hi Team 89 Veterans,
Regarding the death of Major Hadley Foster, on 13 September last year I posted a note to your website noting that his death was reported in the Australian 1 ATF INTSUM No. 73-69 of 14 March 1969 at sub-para 3.a: ie – “At 2240Z 14 March 1969, at YS 413645 ((north-western approach into Hoa Long village)), an ambush patrol was attacked by an estimated enemy company who fired RPG-2 rounds, automatic weapons and small arms. Fire was returned and the enemy withdrew to the west. Results: one enemy KIA, one AK-47 captured. Friendly casualties: two US KIA, three PF KIA, four PF WIA, six PF MIA.” Note that the 1 ATF INTSUM is dated 14 March 1969 – further and more detailed information on the engagement might have become available in the following days.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain
I CPT Harris J Gelber, later retired as LTC, served with and under Maj Foster. I was on Highway 15 advising RF / PF Forces (Dia Phun Quan and Nia Quan) as team Ldr (5 man team) MAT lll-62. Contact me for info re: Major Foster, etc. Aug 68-March 69, when 35+ died on a DISTRICT PF PLATOON ambush patrol! This included Major Foster, his E-6 NCO and his interpreter! I could not help as I was on the other side of the mountain at 1 am in the morning.
DPSA was John Kwasigroch
Thanks Denis. I probably wouldn’t have guessed the correct spelling. I’ve long since lost any written stuff from those days. Both Perkins and Kwasigroch wrote letters to Infantry Branch on my behalf questioning their RIF decision and its timing. They were loyal bosses! In retrospect, the RIF was the best thing for me and my family. My severance allowance kick-started my education at UConn and enabled me to enter a very satisfying profession as an applied scientist, working in wetlands while raising five kids. In 2014, after more than 40 years of federal service, I retired from the Corps of Engineers. I now work part time in New England with BlueFlags Ecological Services. My five kids and six grandkids join us most weekends for Sunday dinner, and Marion makes me travel to “exotic” places several times a year. One of those trips usually involves a reunion with survivors from my old rifle platoon.
In late winter of 71, I was hired as the PPCVA (S-5), which afforded me some memorable times with the reluctant PolWar Company, including a couple nights in the Rung Sac on two converted LCVPs spinning Vietnamese folks songs over a loudspeaker, eating little fishes cooked on a #10 can, and drinking ba si de, while the artillery recruited hoi chans from one of the islands. In addition to a fair share of TOC night duty, I performed odd jobs such as solacium and civilian pay officer, played substitute adjutant when he was on extended R&R, and filled in during the final weeks at Duc Thanh, while the DSA (Maj Rowe?) was processing out. I do recall your name and think that you may have hosted me at Dat Do, playing the Beach Boys on a newly acquired sound system. You may even have helped me pick out my stereo system at the Navy Exchange in Vung Tao — I still use the Pioneer Speakers that I sent home.
Anyways, enough reminiscing. It’s good to hear from you.
I too still have all my stereo equipment from that timeframe.
Just before I went to Vietnam, all the veterans in my Battalion back at Fort Carson said to get a PACEX catalog & order all the quality Japanese stereo gear not available in conus PXs. So I did just that, and did as much research as was feasible. My NCO Sgt. Edwin Parker, on his third tour with team 89 began calling me Cpt. PACEX.
It sounds like your RIF did, in fact, turn out for the best. It’s quite a resume and family you have. I’m sure you’re thankful for them.
We on Team 89 were counting down the days in early 72 hoping for a 60 day drop, as the war was winding down. Our actual operations were minimal until the Easter Offensive of 72; then things changed 180°. Got quite hairy for a while, but fortunately everyone was pretty much unscathed and returned home with a bunch of awards and decorations(if you’re ever interested in the details, let me know & I’ll send you an interesting article about the team).
I stayed in the Army & had an interesting career. Did 12 years as Regular Army, went into the reserve, to avoid a field assignment to Germany in an infantry unit, which at that time(early 80s) meant nearly constant field duty. Although an accompanied tour, word on the street was that if you were a combat arm, you never saw your family, who was living in cramped, government kaserne quarters. With a brand-new son and daughter on the way I left active duty. Spent five years in a local reserve unit, working a civilian job that exposed me to computers & ultimately led to my recall As Active Guard Reserve(AGR) to be a computer jock. Consequently, finished up 20 active and managed to stay in the local Washington DC area.
Did a variety of jobs as a Beltway Bandit, picked up two graduate degrees & spent 30+ years as an adjunct faculty member at the local community college.
Have a daughter, who is a high school teacher and coach, a fine son-in-law who is also a high school teacher and coach and two granddaughters. My older offspring, a son, got an ROTC scholarship, went on active duty in the infantry, and had a combat tour in Iraq, as part of the invading 101st Airborne Airmobile Division. He left active duty and became a federal agent. He and his lovely wife, a social counselor, have a brand-new grandson and is being assigned to Quantico Marine base as an expert weapons instructor (rumor has it, he had a good instructor when he was a kid).
Thanks for the update and stay in touch. You can touch base directly at hawkeye15@EarthLink.net (that was as close an email address as I can get to my RVN radio call sign Hawkeye27.
Best to you and your family.
I served briefly with Team 89 while Mr. Perkins was PSA and LTC Kosagrow was DPSA. My memories are unremarkable. My time with Team 89 was very much a cultural tour, absent the combat stress from my previous visit to RVN, and with much better food!! In the spring of 1972, I joined SSG Ray Johnson to close s hop at Duc Thanh. Then my RIF notice caught up with me and we flew back to the U.S. I’ve maintained close contact with my rifle platoon (C 2/12th Infantry, 25th Div ’68-9), but lost contact with the MATA-CORDS crew.
For Joe Adcock
There are no military records in Australia that I am aware of that cover the activities of Team 89 in any detail.
Regarding the death of Major Hadley Foster (1932-1969), I previously advised that the engagement was reported in the 1st Australian Task Force’s Intelligence Summary No. 73-69 ie: “At 2240Z 14 March 1969, at map grid reference YS 413645 ((north-western approach into Hoa Long village)).
Second Lieutenant. Brian G. Walker, 21, Cottesloe, Western Australia.
Brian Walker enlisted in 1966 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, over the objection of the officer who became his company commander in Vietnam. On March 9, 2nd Lieutenant Walker was leading his platoon through a mine field at night when a mine was detonated killing Sergeant Smith and Corporal Gilbert and himself. I led MAT 64 that night and found his body. At that time, Mobile Advisory Team 64 was attached to Team 89 in Phuoc Tuy Province, Long Le district. This was recorded in the after action report for 5 RAR.
Ernie: Joe Adcock here.
Please recall that Hugh (Buddy) and I are not related. We just have the same last name.
Hugh’s (Hugh Adcock III) VA Claim is still on Appeal after the court turned down service connection on a technicality.
What we can do to help right a wrong? A few of you have contributed documentation and that helps immensely. Specifically, I am referring to any and all official Army combat ops documentation that more likely than not contain proof of Hugh’s claim.
This is what is needed at this point:Do any of you have any personnel rosters for Team 89 during the period of the entire year of 1969. If you do, we need it for the period April – July or more specifically June the month Simpson was killed when he stepped of the chopper and was killed by the rotary blades.
If you were present when he was killed, an eye witness account of what happened will provide more proof.
Any information on enemy attacks on the Team compound anytime.
Copies of official documentation on combat ops are really needed.
Copies of official Army records on the operation when Maj Foster was KIA.
Well I have exhausted my strength. Welcome brothers.
I can’t your earlier posting on the LoGom incident seeing as it was about me I would find it of Interest as I have written another book not yet presented for publication on that pieceing the jigsaw together to how it came about and the fact the 1st MAT did not officially exist so were denied promotions medals and recognition and those responsible who have also been blocking Official investigations my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Well gentlemen seeing as how Ernie Chamberlain has gone missing and well he should if he knows the truth You will find out about an Inglorious period of 89 MACV in my up coming book.
From Ernie Chamberlain. I’m a former Australian Army Officer – served two tours in Vietnam: as the 1 ATF intelligence liaison officer in Baria living in Van Kiep in 1969 (desk in the Pheonix office); second tour at the Australian Embassy and detached to an ARVN HQ. I am a Vietnamese linguist and headed our language training in Australia (also an Indonesian linguist and Khmer speaker). Served as the JIO (ie the Australian version of the US DIA) Vietnam desk officer 1972-75. Later served two-year tours in Singapore, the UK, Cambodia (as the Defence Attache – DA), Indonesia as the DA (Brigadier), and in Timor as the Defence Minister’s policy advisor – a total 36 years military service. Also earlier was the Director of Military Intelligence 1988-91, then Director of Studies at the Australian Army’s Command & Staff College. Have written several books on Vietnam and Timor – all are free-to-read on the Internet. Apologies for the long-winded reply. Regards, Ernie
I note that you were not there at the time you arrived a year later.I am curious what is your interest probably other than Bradshaw who is not allowed to speak to me and I was warned off from him by the Australian Army.
I have all that other stuff including roll books, but am interested in Incident at Lo Gom, as you seem to be the only person GAME enough to make comment especially seeing as how Bill Young had taken command the 12th was the day I left it occurred on the 10th of May.
I’m currently researching the beginnings of the PRU in Phuoc Tuy – ie as the “1st Commando Company” advised by the late USMC Captain Tom Matthews (late 65-July 66). The “commandos” wore a beret with a badge – but the badge it is unclear in all the photographs. Later, of course, the PRU had a “winged dagger” beret badge. Any information or ideas would be appreciated.
Regards, Ernie Chamberlain (1ATF Int LO Baria, 1969)
PS. I have checked all the photos on the Texas Tech website cited to Tom Matthews and Captain Brosman.
Hi. Son of an Aussie Tết Bà Rịa veteran. I had a comment on a video that I posted to youtube from Rchard Toms (MACV 89) and am trying to get in touch with him but not having any succesd via the suggested methods. Interested in hearing from anyone indeed who was present during Tết ’68. Thanks
I was there during Tet “68.
Hey Bob, Merry Christmas.
I remember the name, but can’t place the face. My e-mail is email@example.com. If you have a pix from that time, it might help. After all, I’m > 30
I was there Tet ’68
Robert were you still there through until William H Young took over in May 68 and is there commanders diaries of 89 MACV from Tet until May?
Regards Sydney A McLeod.
Team 89: Major Hadley Foster (1932-1969). The 1 ATF INTSUM 73-69 records: “At 2240Z 14 March 1969, at YS 413645 ((north-western approach into Hoa Long village)), an ambush patrol was attacked by an estimated enemy company who fired RPG-2 rounds, automatic weapons and small arms. Fire was returned and the enemy withdrew to the west. Results: one enemy KIA, one AK-47 captured. Friendly casualties: two US KIA, three PF KIA, four PF WIA, six PF MIA.”
Vale Major Hadley Forster
Regards to Team 89 veterans, Ernie Chamberlain (1ATF’s 1 TALU 1969).
stephenrohaty, can you put an approximate date when MAJ Foster was KIA?
29W, line 035 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. 3-14-69
Hadley Forster I never kept a diary, so I have no other date. I can only add that he died with Sergeant Baumgarner, who was due to come home soon.
Yes, I remember Geoff Carter. When he was a brigadier in Canberra – Director General of Army Development, I was on his staff. Later, as a Major General, he served as the Defence Attache – Southern Europe, based in Rome (covering France down to inclusive of Turkey and Israel). I was the Defence Attache in Jakarta at the time.
I’ve had some trouble writing in detail about D445 and 33rd Regiment after 1 ATF withdrew from Phuoc Tuy. Of course, I use the Texas Tech archive site extensively and have been able to access most of the reports of the Australian Army Advisory Group – ie stationed in Van Kiep and down at Long Hai. We’ve been back to Vietnam a couple of times – and have met and interviewed 33rd Regiment veterans. They are now writing their history – but 80% of the writing team are political officers from the Baria-Vung Tau Military Headquarters, so I expect it will be another propagandist and inaccurate work. My current book on D445 is delayed as I’m waiting for officials in Canberra to declassify some material for me. That book has more post-1975 information on D445 – including their operations against “enemy remnants” and later operations on the Cambodian border against the Khmer Rouge. As with my other books, it is technically an “exegesis” – ie using the “communist text” as a base, I add extensive footnotes (currently over 800) to comment upon – and correct, the communist account. I also add a large number of annexes – 17 on my current book. My books are not for sale – I only have a small number printed for museums, libraries etc – but, as mentioned, put them on the Internet as “free-to-read” via Scribd
Best wishes, Ernie
PS. I tried to use your personal email, but without success,
I’m ex-Australian Army (36 years). As a LT, I served with the 1 TALU/Div Int Unit, worked as Int LO (in the PIOCC Baria) and lived in the Team 89 compound at Van Kiep in 1969. A Viet linguist, I’ve recently written books on D445, D440, and 33rd NVA Regiment – and am finishing another now. I place them on the Internet via Sribd as “free-to-read” ie not for sale. If interested, just google the unit title and “Chamberlain”. I later served two years in Cambodia, a couple in Singapore/Malaysia, and a couple in Timor. Best wishes, Ernie Chamberlain
I was on MACV Team 89 November 71 to November 72. Got to see departure of the Australian forces from Phouc Tuy in December 71. We had an Australian major, Geoff Carter, assigned to our team; he was the S3 (operations) advisor. An outstanding officer, he was awarded the US Silver Star, along with a few of us Yanks. He and I worked closely together, and we shared the background of graduating from our respective countries’ military academies.
As I recall, MACV Team 78 worked closely with the Australian forces in the Baria compound.
I will definitely check out your book postings. During the Easter Offensive of 72 (Nguyen Hue Campaign), we got in deep s@#$%t from the 33rd NVA Regiment & D445 Battalion.
My personal e-mail is hawkeye15@earthLink.net. Feel free to contact me.
LTC (RET) US Army
How about some word on your Mobile Advisory Teams? I was on MAT 64 when Major Foster of Team 89 was killed.
I was assigned, as a CPT, to Dat Do District November 71-April 72 as the Deputy District Senior Advisor (DDSA), joining MAJ Ken Hightower, CPT Bob Genenz, CPT Richard Ohrt, CPT Hollis Reddin, & SFC Ed Parker, (who was on his 3d tour w/ Tm 89). All except “Ranger” Parker DEROS’d w/in a month. With the Vietnamization program, we closed out the district team & returned to the province HQ in Baria sometime in early April. I was the Team Adjutant for about a month until the Nguyen Hue Campaign (Easter Offensive) hit our province. I & my RTO, SP4 Rich Kapusniak of Baltimore, MD, went back to Dat Do to reestablish support for the RF/PF. We subsequently managed to get surrounded by the 33rd NVA Regiment & 274th Main Force (MF) VC Battalion. I could go into the history of the countrywide plan by COSVN to grab as much terrain as possible, the international politics, et al, but maybe some other time. Suffice it to say, thanks to our FAC (Sun Dog 26) and an A37 loaded with CBUs (Cluster Bomblet Units) we all made it out with pretty much nary a scratch (at least nothing to speak of). Same cannot be said for the bad guys; too many blood trails to count. We had a minimum of 240; after that we stopped counting. The rest of them withdrew. Brought home some war trophies & several good recipes of Vietnamese cooking. Our family celebrates Memorial Day with a full-blown Vietnamese meal made by Chef MoI, and I think about my two college roommates and all my other classmates who were KIA in RVN. Someday I’d like to go back to my district just to see what it’s like now.
Good luck & God speed to all Team 89 alumni.
I was assigned to MACV Team 89 the same time that you were. I remember you during your time as Adjutant. I left in early July 1972. I also served on MACV Team 78 and MACV Team 32 in II Corps. As a member of the U.S. Foreign Service I was posted to the U.S. Consulate General in Saigon (I still Can’t bring myself to call it HCMC) 2001 until 2004. You would be surprised at the changes to the Dat Do area.
I was RTO at Dat Do sub sector from January 1966 to March 1967, yes I extended. Had 6 senior advisors during that time period. The pics I have seen of that area are unrecognizable now, all modern paved roads and resorts at Phouc Hai and Long Hai.
Did you know Sgt James P Tynor ?
I am trying to find more information on Cpt. Donald Ray Blair. I believe he was with this team in June of 1965. The information would be for a memorial to go up on the Vietnam Virtual Wall found here http://www4.eanesisd.net/~vietnam/.
Hi Sydney, my name is Rachel Blair Bush, I’m Donald Blair’s granddaughter. What information are you needing?
To Sydney Criswell, Correct me if wrong go to Internet, Sgt James P Tynor and Cpt Blair were KIA at Long Hai ambush in Jan 1966, Capt Blair was awarded a Silver Star, Thank You firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed and Doug: I assume since you have responded to my e-mail posted on Team 89 web site months ago and I received this email from Doug, both of you are possibly interested in exploring whether you might be able to provide some supporting documentation for your Team Member’s VA Claim. It is still pending and I just read the attorney’s legal brief to the Court of Appeals for Veterans VA Claims. The attorney has indicated that any documentation in addition to that already contained in the Claim would be appreciated. In other words any new and material evidence will strengthen his case. By the way the T member’s name is: ADCOCK, HUGH S III. He went by “Buddy” while in VN for 26 months.
We are not blood relatives, that we know of.
I am serving as his Pro Bono Advisor to help him comply with VA Claim requirements. He has some serious medical problems, which necessitates assistance. Since I retired from the Vet Center Program in the year 2000 and served in VN with the Marines from 9-1-1967 to 9-16-1968 and have served as a veterans’ advocate for more than 30 years, I have volunteered to facilitate his attorney client communication, etc.
If this something you would like to do, please let me know and I will provide the details of what is needed in terms of documentation/corroborating information ref his tour with the Team.
Even though his Claim has been active for more than 12 years, I am cousiously optimistic of eventual service connection. If you knew the details of the VA’s screw ups on his Claim, I believe you would be furious, as I have been.
Hoping to hear from you soon. Simper Fi former Captain, USMC, Joseph B. Adcock
I have sent you an email with details. I was there and remember specialist Simpson well.
The tail rotor struck him at the base of his neck, right below the collar line. He was almost decapitated. Check for an email from me, Sgt. Milner sent 3-9-14 from:
Served as a SSG Inf intel NCO with the team on my 2nd tour from 23 Dec 64 to 15 Dec 65. Interesting year. Worked for Maj French and Cpt Avant initially, then for LTC Finsterle and Cpt Huznian. Advised RF/PF troops to include the Prov and local I&R platoons. Lots of operations thoughout Phuoc Tuy. Some major contacts to include Binh Gia in Jan 65. Truly earned my CIB. Later served a third tour as a Lt with the 173rd Abn Bde. Long ago but sometimes seems like it was yesterday.
Ed, I have a list of some AT-89 & a list of some AT-96 former advisors. If you would like these lists email me. Doug Wilson email@example.com
The place is Duc Thanh not Doc Than. I was the Aussie Intelligence guy from Jan 71 until Sept 71. We have about 4 DSAs in my time. One US Colnel an Aussie Major , Web, an Aussie WO2 ,Spud Murphy and a young Aussie lieutenant for about 2 weeks as a fill in. Two Districts chiefs. Major No and Captain Yem. There were two other US E7 or E8 as military trainers, a US intelligence guy for about a month and at one time a US Top named Speed from Kentucky. He was a great bloke and a top soldier. Apart from these we had an Aussie driver , and a Sig. Good times in Duc Thanh. It was a great job going out into the villages every day. About 2000 I went back to Vietnam to start our business there and visited Duc Thanh HQ. It had been converted into a school. I allso went to Binh Gia which was a Catholic village in my time. Now it is mixed and it seems people have been resettled from North Vietnam. Most of the area was difficult to recognise as the population density had increased dramatically.
I served on Team 89 as the RF/PF advisor from Nov ’67 to Nov ’68. My orders to the team had me assigned as the S-2/3 air, but that lasted about 10 minutes until Colonel Austin, the Province Senior Advisor figured out I had recently transferred from infantry to MI! Tom Menke (above) and I did lots of those fun things together although him being with the I&R Platoon meant he didn’t have to work with some of the more marginal units. I was responsible for 26 RF companies, 50 PF platoons, an RF boat company and an RF armored platoon. Working in the Australian AO was a real treat for me except they were always look for a fight with Charlie!!
I was part of the original 1ATF MAT started in 1967 We trained 3/48 ARVN Bn at Dat Do after which I was assigned to LoGom 3rd Pl 612 RF Coy Nov 67 Ambushed Jan 22 68 returned after stay in 36 EVAC. An incident happened on the 12 MAY 68. Can you tell me who the Commander was of MACV89 in Baria at that time. Major Green was ic Dat Do as far as I can recall
I believe the Commander of MACV89 was Lt-Col Thomas Austin 111. He succeeded Lt-Col Jack Gilham. Armour. I was District Senior Adviser Long Dien and took orders from both Colonels. Prior to the posting of DSA Long Dien, I was Jack Gilham’s S-3. I was an adviser with the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV). Hope this helps.
I believe you were my boss in June 67 when I first arrived at Team 89. I was a 1LT then. After some members were killed at another district Ltc Austin sent me to the Long Hai RF/PF training center. I just found this web site and it is interesting to read the history. Names have escaped me but I clearly remember Major Fox from the Aussie madcap team which came Long Hai often. Also remember WO Andy(can not remember last name who was with the team’s logistics team. My radio operator destroyed the Jeep he loaned us when he stuck it in the water on the beach. When we pulled it out every wire on the Jeep burned up when it hit the air.
Hi John, I assume that the “medcap” Major Fox that you mentioned in your posting was Major “Doctor” Bruce Walter Fox. He had a remarkable career ie with the Commandos, then as the Medical Officer with the Special Air Service (SAS) Squadron at Nui Dat – but “mysteriously” he “ran foul of military authority” and was short-toured, Later, he returned to Vietnam and did a full tour with the Civil Affairs Unit in Phuoc Tuy – where you would have met him.. His beret is in the Australian War Memorial collection with a very interesting “bio” of his career – awm.gov.au/collection/C1120303 . .Regards, Ernie Chamberlain (Van Kiep 1969)
I put him in the category of the most interesting people. The people in Long Hai loved him when he came down with his team. He loved to go up to the outpost we had and shoot and throw grenades. He had 2 great NCOs. I loved the guy. They told the story about his first tour. They said the officer who had him sent back met him at the plane and Fox hit him. They also said he got drunk one night in Sydney and found himself the next day in Brisbane. I have learned a great deal reading this site. Plan to read the Australian materials referenced by several people. Great hearing from you.
I googled Major Fox and saw his medical and airborne berets. I liked the comment that he had trouble with authority. I just read the article about the Fall of Phuoc Tuy and Vung Tao. Quite a bit of debate. When Tet started I turned on my tape recorder to record the radio traffic. On the tape you can hear the helicopter gunships. One pilot said to the other watch that tree line. I got my ass shot off over there. Also the Aussie pilot landing in Baria to pick up wounded. I remember seeing Puff the Magic Dragon laying down a ribbon of fire. tape is at my home in Virginia. I am in Nevada where we spend the winter. We were not hit during Tet in Long Hai. Lucky for us since most of the PF bugged out for Tet and we only had a dozen or so in the camp. I believe the Special Forces Mike Force camp just outside Long Hai saved us. They were a tough bunch.
Colonel Austin, who passed away several years ago. I think Bobby Pack was still the district senior advisor in Dat Do in May of ’68
The good part was we got plenty of Victoria Bitters from them.
I was a Cpt at the Long Hai Traing Center 67-68. I remember Col. Austin. We went through the Mata course together. Great guy.
I was assigned to Team #89 in S-2. I worked with the Provinceal I&R Platoon and Recon Platoon. I was located in Ba Ria, SVN from Oct 67 thru Dec 69. I was there for the TET Offensive and several other campaigns. Saw some interesting things from B52 results to interrogations. Ambushes, on both sides and a resounding feeling that I did trust my Indigenous unit above all others. We were brothers in arms and in loyalty. There were many “33’s” drank to prove it. Several weddings and promotions. Several Bronze Stars and Gallantry Crosses. We were a kick ass unit.
Collins and Menke: Thanks so much for your comments. I am in search of members of Team #89 who were there from 9/68 – 11/70. A clerk typist was a member of your unit for 2 tours during this time frame. I am his Pro Bono Advisor for his VA Claim. VA has screwed over him for 10 years denying his service connection for PTSD several times most recently 2 mos ago. I was a Capt, USMC in VN 1967-68 and worked for the VA Vet Center program for almost 20 yrs helping VN combat vets w/ PTSD and after retirement w/ their claims. I also was an administrative and clinical investigator for VA. We need someone who was in his unit to corroborate a couple of traumatic events. One was the cook exited a chopped at the unit LZ and backed into the chopper blade and was dismembered. However, the vet can’t remember his name or the approximate date this happened. Another unit member remembers and witnessed the event as well but can’t remember the date. VA won’t recognize as a stressor until more detail is provided. Can either of you help? VA has been crucifying you fellow unit member unmercifully and unjustifiably to the point I will likely be filing a complaint with the VA IG shortly. Please reply at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I will provide his name and other details as we establish identities.
I served in Advisory Team 89 from August 1968 to October 1969. I do remember the chopper incident. The cooks last name was Simpson. I’m almost positive about the name. Can’t remember the date though.
Hope this helps Hugh in some way.
Jon: I just saw your reply. I don’t know why I have missed it. The info you provided above is consistent with other Team Member input. We have confirmed that there is a more than at least 75% chance the cook’s name was Simpson and we found his name on the Wall. We also have confirmed other identifying info in ref to him. The date of death was early 1969. I don’t have the official documentation with me, but I’m sure it was early ’69.
Did you know Hugh ‘Buddy’ Adcock? If so would you be willing to provide a letter stating such? As a member of Team #89 at the same time Hugh was there and confirm the death of Simpson, this corroborating info will increase the weight of evidence in his behalf. If so, I will provide a guideline to prepare your letter. Also if you have a copy of your DD-214 which would provide offical DOD confirmation, that too would increase the weight.
Hugh’s health continues to deteriorate with another heart procedure upcoming before both knee replacements. These are among other medical difficulties he faces. I saw him today when we both were at Bay Pines VA Medical Center.
I am his Pro Bono Advisor regarding his VA Claim and I hope V A will rule in his favor soon. His health continues to decline and he should be service connected.
Hope you are willing to help. Sincerely, Joe Adcock
Yes I remember Hugh. We worked in the S1 building together. He was the mail clerk. He would drive to Vung Tao every day to pick up the mail and bring it back to BaRia. The days he didn’t make the mail run I would go instead. Sorry to hear he is not doing so well. Sure, I will send a letter and DD-214 if will help. Let me know what you need and I will mail it to you. Funny the things you remember about people. I doubt if he still can but ask him if he can still do that trick with his fingers. He would snap his wrist and slap his first two fingers together to make a noise like he was snapping his fingers. Just something I remember bout Hugh. Dont know if this helps or not but Hugh was two different people. He could be happy and all smiles and then the smallest thing would not go right and he would instantly be so mad you would think he was going to explode. You just never knew which Hugh was going to appear. Anyway you might not want to bring that up.
Jon: Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, what you offer will be extremely helpful. I will email later this week to provide further guidance. joe
What do you remember about your Mobile Advisory Teams? I was in MAT 64 when Major Foster of Team 89 was killed.
I was part of the original 1ATF MAT started in 1967 We trained 3/48 ARVN Bn at Dat Do after which I was assigned to LoGom 3rd Pl 612 RF Coy Nov 67 Ambushed Jan 22 68 returned after stay in 36 EVAC. l
Hi Tom. Be great to get in touch with you if I could
Luke: Are you responding to Tom Menke?
I was part of the original 1ATF MAT started in 1967 We trained 3/48 ARVN Bn at Dat Do after which I was assigned to LoGom 3rd Pl 612 RF Coy Nov 67 Ambushed Jan 22 68 returned after stay in 36 EVAC. Do you know anything about an incident at Lo Gom 12 May68 where we were forced to allow several hundred enemy to pass by without contact.
For Macsam43: For 1 ATF MATT casualties at Lo Gom/Hoi My on 22 Jan 68 incl casevac, see ARU reports in 1 ATF Ops Log Sheets 306-308, Serials 3701, 3717, 3723 and 3731. See my earlier posting for the incident at Lo Gom on 12 May 1968. Regards, Ernie Chamberlain