MACV Team 90 – Tay Ninh.
This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 90 located in Tay Ninh.
MACV Team 90 – Tay Ninh.
This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 90 located in Tay Ninh.
I was stationed at Phu My my CO was lt.Col John Baker Wadsworth from Boise. Also an Academy grad. Great guy.
I was a member of the MAC V A-B Team 90 in Tay Ninh from October 1963 through July 1964. I was at the FOBs in Phuoc Ninh and Go Dau Hau , worked with CDIGs as a heavy weapons specialist, and made quite a few excursions into Cambodia on search and destroy missions. Tay Ninh Base West was our main command and supply post and I remember the base well. As I recall, the Team 90 compound was close to the hospital (Pasteur street) and on the east side of the base. So, the location in Ralph Estes’ comments fits with my recollections of where the compound was at. Rich (Hawkeye) Brauhn from Iowa.
Were there other CIDG Camps in Tay Ninh Province other than Team 90?
I am trying find the location of a “triangular camp” to which I made an 0’dark-thirty emergency landing sometime is January 1969. We landed our Cobra after developing a transmission oil leak while on a starlight-scope mission along the Cambodia border north of Tay Ninh and possibly northeast towards the Fishhook. After a quick loop around the camp we touched down inside the concertina wire on the access road side. After touching down, a couple of American advisors came out along with many excited Vietnamese concerned about a Cobra circling their base in the middle of the night. After a few minutes on the ground, the flare ship picked us up.
A few hours later after dawn, a Chinook lifted our Cobra out and retuned it to Dau Tieng.
If anyone may know of such a base along the border, I have a photo taken a couple days later which may help identify it.
Tiger 38, D/229, 1st Cav 68/69
In January 1965 the US Army Special Forces took over responsibility for the border provinces. Special Forces team B-32 was responsible for Tay Ninh province, and they lived in the same compound as MACV Team 90. They later built their own compound closer to the Tay Ninh Airfield. B-32 had smaller “A” teams that reported to them, some were located on the border, and had the triangular shape you described. These camps consisted of two or three special forces, and a small force of mercenaries. There are 3 places that might possibly be what you are looking for. Two are currently Border Crossing Stations, and they have that same triangular shape. I don’t know if they are using old Special Forces Camps, or if they just copied the design.
The first is up by the “Fishhook” area, northeast of Tay Ninh City.
Đồn biên phòng 815
11° 40′ 6″ N 106° 24′ 12″ E If you type the coordinates into Google, and go to Satellite View you will see the distinct triangular shape.
The second is directly north of Tay Ninh City.
Cửa Khẩu Chàng Riệc
11° 46′ 16″ N 106° 4′ 37″ E you will see that it looks identical to the first location.
The third has no name, and looks much more like something left over from the war.
It is a few klicks west of the second location.
11° 46’ 8” N 106° 1’ 11” E
Hope this helps.
Ralph Estes SMSgt USAF Retired
MACV Team 90 December 1964 thru May 1965.
Thanks much for your timely response. I will check these locations on Google Earth to see if any match up.
You can see my aerial photo on the Vietnam – MACV, Facebook site. My post is dated 13 March of this year.
Due to unrelated research, I’ve downloaded nearly 250gb of satellite photos from the USGS Earth Explorer site the past few months.
Each strip is approximately 10gb, divided into 10 segments of roughly 900mb each. Each strip is approximately 300km (west-east) & 20km high. These are Declass 3 photos, from the Keyhole 9-Hexagon satellite system.
Most of my collection are of III Corps.
Now that I’ve caught up on the some of our research, I will order for personal reasons D3C1204-200292A100, D3C1204-200292A101 & D3C1204-200292F100. These will cover the border areas north of Tay Ninh, to the Fishhook and more.
All the best,
Richard W Magner CW2 US Army Retired (Medically)
Tiger 38, D/229, 1st Cav December 1968 – March 1969
thanks Bruce, I have done the 2nd shot and came back gym for three times a week.
I’m Dai Chu, Khiem Hanh District S2 (1970-1972). Now I’m in USA . I try to looking for Captain Springer was the S-2 advisor of the Khiem Hanh District Team in 1971, Captain Springer left Khiem Hanh in the summer of 1971. Then, he was a Major and Foreign Area Studies student in India. We were good friend. So if you know any information or how to find him please show me. Thank you.
Dai Chu Q., I am a daughter of Captain Springer’s (retired as a Lt. Col.). I was going through some of his paperwork and found a notation that he was a member of Advisory Team #90 in Vietnam. Curious, I googled – and found this page! My dad died at the age of 82 in January of 2021, less than a month before your message. It is really great to see your message. He had a long career with the Army and then as a retired civilian with the Defense Intelligence Agency working mainly on India and that region. I hope you are well.
I am trying to help my father Jeff Butts to reconnect and find out more about lost and incorrect paperwork. He was stationed in Tay Ninh from April 70 till mid-Dec 70. He worked through team 90 as observation and demolition. Any help would be appreciated.
My name is John Hansen, was station chief at the Decca Navigator transmitter station in Tay Ninh from May 1965 through mid 1966. Have some old photos of Tay Ninh from that period on Flickr at:
Great photos, John. I recognize some things although my Tay Ninh adventures were five years later. In ’65 – ’66 I was in II Corps. Bruce
First I thank you all for your service! I am the son of 1stLT Oliver Coleman JR. He was part of advisory team 90.. he died when I was 3years old so I have precious few memories. Did anyone know/serve with him and can provide any insight about him and what he did?? Any and all info would greatly be appreciated.
Oliver Coleman III
I replied to your question via Facebook Message.
Mark. Do you happen to remember the name of the street that the MACV compound was on? John Hansen and I have been trying to locate where it was. That whole area of Tay Ninh has been pretty much torn down and replaced. The Hospital is gone and it’s now a city park. The only thing that seems to remain is the Catholic Church. The PSP airstrip is now a 4 lane boulevard.
From 1LT Jay Dee Clark: “The photos I sent to you were within 1/2 mile from the Catholic Church near our
compound that we would drive by each day if we were going to the new TOC or to the temporary office that was across the street from the Province main compound. That compound was still there 13 years ago but rebuilt.
I google-earthed Tay Ninh after I returned from my trip and was able to see the footprints of things that were torn down. You might be able to define and see modern Tay Ninh and compare it to how it was in our day. Most of the streets were rebuilt but in the same footprint. I did not pay any attention to street names. Pull up Tay Ninh on google-earth and see if the street names are there. This is the best I can do for you. Jay”
From CPT Joel Borof: “Sorry for the delay in answering. When I was there with my son Alex, it looked to me like the street where our Compound was should be on the north side of the current park. Jay’s suggestion is good using the park as a reference. Remember if you took a right out of the compound the hospital was just a bit down on the right where the current park is situated (west of the hospital). I have a number of Park pictures and 1969 – 1971 pix vs current (2018) pix (numbers 18 -21).
Here is what I believe to be the location of the MACV compound.
The compound would have been on the southwest corner of the intersection of Pasteur street, and Nguyen Van Cu streets. Pasteur street was out the front gate, and Nguyen Van Cu was the side street on the east side of the compound. To get to the airstrip, you would turn right out the front gate, go down and take the first left which would be what is now called 30/4 street, which ended at the airstrip. Pasture street also runs along the south side of the city park where the hospital used to be. There is very little left in this area that has not been torn down. One thing that is still there is the Catholic Church. There was a small balcony on the second floor of the MACV House on the east side. You could see the steeple on the Church from that balcony. I remember that quite well, because I had a 30Cal BAR under my bunk. My assignment if we ever came under mortar attack, was to take the BAR to the balcony and shoot up the steeple since it was the only place that a VC forward observer could see the compound. Fortunately, I never fad to shoot up the church. I found a US Army Topographic Map dated 1969. The map shows what is identified as the Provence Office on the North side of Pasture across from where the Compound would have been. John Hansen remembers borrowing a jack from a Government Public works yard across the street from the compound. That location is now The TTC Plaza Shopping Mall, and the SACOMBANK. You can see all this on Google Earth or Google Maps
Having lived in Tay Ninh during 1966-67 and again from 2012 to 2016, I am reasonably certain of the location of the MACV compound although much has changed over the years. I agree with Ralph’s description of its location. The place was the former residence of a Dr. Sua (Bac Si Sua). I asked a person in Tay Ninh to take some photos of the area. He did so somewhat reluctantly, having lived in a police state for 45 years since he was young. While the photos do not confirm anything they show the area and the street intersection identified by Ralph.
I recently found a youtube video of Tay Ninh City. It is shot from a drone, in 4K, so the quality is quite spectacular. Knowing where to look, I can confirm that the compound as we knew it has been torn down and replaced. Not much in the video is recognizable, except for the Cathloic Church, the Cao Đài Temple, the bridge over the river to the old business district, and of course Núi Bà Đe
Ralph, thank you for tracking this video down. My Dad was waked at the Catholic Church when he was killed in 1968.
Hello to All.
This is quite a nice web/blog spot. The Team 90 participation is excellent! Great to have been part of that kind of team. Thanks to all who threw in their two cents. Here’s mine.
My time with Team 90 was May ’69 to August ’70. It was all spent in Khiem Hanh District. I arrived leading Mobile Advisory Team III-33. The DSA, Major Lundberg, initially placed the team with an RF company in Ap Soui Cao.
The company was commanded by a crusty old Dai Uy. He’d been the CO forever. My impression was that he would tolerate this young captain all brimming with military knowledge. His welcome was cordial enough, but it carried undertones of “Don’t imagine you could teach your grandmother to suck eggs.” On the other hand, the unit 1st Sgt’s wife ran a neat little store where I enjoyed Vietnamese coffee and Chinese chicken noodle soup for breakfast. In an ironic event I listened to the moon landing on my short-wave radio in a dirt bunker the middle of the “fort”.
I soon proposed to the DSA that, being the only MAT in the district, the team might be more useful and effective working out of the district compound and meeting the training needs of all the RF/PF units in the district. He agreed, so the team headed north to better digs.
In October, Maj. Lundberg had a falling out with Maj. Tran, the district chief. Lundberg was pulled back to Tay Ninh to mollify the DC. Maj. Tran later confined to me that Maj. Lundberg was pushing him too hard. Tran was a North Vietnamese whose family had fled south in the post-French truce time. He said was working to get established and creditable with the local headmen. We got on pretty well.
Maj. Lundberg was soon replaced by Maj. Price. On top of my MAT job, he tasked me with ADSA work. Maj. Price moved on in the middle of January ’70. I was named the DSA and served until May when Maj. Dozier was appointed DSA.
I left the district and Vietnam in late August for advanced schooling at Fort Benning. Living outside the American bubble “on the economy” was an interesting and educational experience. Like all of you, I have big basket of stories tucked away. Some funny, some tragic. I wish I would have been fluent in the language. Not being so was a huge disadvantage that having an interpreter (of dubious quality) did little or nothing to overcome. By the time of my leaving I had a total of three years in-country under my belt. I had concluded that the Vietnamese had little need of our help and once they’d settled their civil war, they’d do quite nicely, thank you. I believe time has verified that.
FWIW, my rank at this time was O-3. I left active duty in ’72 as an O-4.
Hi, Ed: It was great to read of your experiences in Khiem Hanh District. Perhaps you’d like a few words on the next chapter. I arrived in Tay Ninh a few months after you departed, but started out in two other districts before arriving in Khiem Hanh in the spring of 1971 to replace Maj. Dozier (whom you mentioned) as DSA. At that time we had a fairly full team house, to include a MAT (under Captain Ramos). I was the last DSA to be a full-time resident in the District. In the fall I moved to Hieu Thien (Go Dau Ha) as DSA, while remaining DSA for Khiem Hanh. I and other members of the team traveled back and forth regularly, but usually lived in Hieu Thien.
Major Canary replaced me in January, 1972
When we were in Khiem Hanh it had no paved roads. Now the main highway between Ho Chi Minh City and Tay Ninh City passes right thru the district. And there’s no need to check the road for IEDs now.
Thanks Ed for the very accurate recap. I also spent time at Khiem Hanh with you as ADSA .
In the 80’s and 90’s I spent lots of time volunteering in the Camps in the Philippines and Thailand and located one of our former colleagues, Trung Uy Lang Van Hoa. I was able to sponsor him out of vn in 1994 and he spent a year in my home. Friends of mine guided him to an Iron Rice Bowl (civil service job) and that he held for at least 22 years. You were a good guy then and I suspect you still are.
It’s so hard for me to look for my Adviser, My dear friend who Mr. Bruce Beardsley says:
November 9, 2018 at 8:17 pm
“… My last contact with Cpt Springer, bythen promoted to Major, was in 1976. I was the American Consul in Kabul, Afghanistan then, and he was assigned to India with a foreign area studies program. Bruce,” Thank you very much Mr Bruce.
So every one who know how and where to ask or to write to
Please show me at this Blog
Thank you. Dai Chu
I have often thought of going back to see the areas I lived and served in/around the Go Dau Ha District. I assume it will take a travel agency to arrange the details. Of those of you have been back several times – anyone have a recommendation?
BTW: My Infantry OCS Class (Benning) is having it’s 50th reunion this Fall – the majority of us were assigned to MACV.
Two of my friends from Advisory Team 90 Province HQ traveled back separately within the past few years.
If you can’t otherwise find a travel solution, please reply and I’ll consult with both of them.
Thank you – I can find local travel agency companies willing to take my money but was hoping to find one that someone had a good experience previously. Most offer “tours” – I want to show my family where I was – so my “tour” is very personal and specific.
Former CPT Joel Boroff and his son, also an Army CPT, went as individuals, I think.
This is “Co Nguyen thi Cam Le”, i’m so glad discovering this site and recognize so many names here during the time i worked for MACCORDS Tay Ninh 1969-1971, my office was in the province compound, PSA was Mr Appling then Mr Parker Wyman, i also remember Col Cloud, Col Jimenez, Capt Boroff, and many more. I left VN Jan72 and married your successor ;))
I would like to thank those who served, God bless You all.
Incredible, Cam Le. I was worried about you and tried to search after the fall of Saigon, but with no success
I have pictures of you plus great memories.
Did you marry my immediate successor who arrived about May/June 1970?
How may I reach you? I am on Facebook if you are.
Where do you live?
Cam Le, my name is Sandy O’Dea and my Dad LTC Tom O’Dea serviced (1968) as an advisor with Mr. Appling, would you happen to have known him.
I was there 1969 and working for the adv team 90 MACV CORDS , i do not think that i know your Dad, i am so sorry to hear about your great loss, God bless you and your family
Thank you so much for your reply, God bless you and your family.
I didn’t know any one working for MACV CORDS.
Sorry you didnt know any of us, we were such a great hard working group lol
You are in Sleepy Hollow, Illinois? Can’t find any connection information.
Do you have an email so we can catch up?
Don’t like to post it but you could send it here email@example.com.
When you do, please post a note here because that is not my regular mailbox. Then I’ll be able to retrieve it retrieve it.
Were you able to see the pictures from Tay Ninh, Cam Le?
I am on Facebook
If you see this, please reply with an email address.
Look again at the pictures. I have a photograph of Mr. Thanh with my replacement.
My name is Andrew Finlayson and I was the PRU advisor for Tay Ninh from Sept 1969 until June 1970. I was not a member of Advisory Team 90, but I often worked with the District Phoenix advisors. I have written a book that includes my experiences with the Tay Ninh PRU, entitled “Rice Paddy Recon.” I am sure I mention several individuals in the book that may be familiar to the team.
Hi, Vern: I was DDSA in Go Dau Hau in 1970 and DSA there in 1971 to early 1972. Since then I have been to Tay Ninh three times, once in 1987, again with my then fiancee in 2004, and again by myself in 2017. In ’87 I was in VN on official business, being monitored and forbidden to do certain things. The second trip was by private car, and the third was in a bus. If you want to go to specific places I’d recommend hiring a car, which can be done in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). The Hieu Thien Team House is now a military base and you probably won’t be able to enter. I hope this helps. Bruce
Thank you – did you get the car service via your hotel in HCM City or thru a travel agency or oterwise? Did you find the car service “agreeable” and do they still speak English?
None of the above, Vern. The car and driver were arranged by a friend. The driver didn’t speak English, but my Vietnamese was sufficient to get to where I wanted to go. On my last trip I noticed a number of travel agencies offered private cars and drivers, and hotels can likely provide the same (with a surcharge). A lot of people in the travel and tourism business seem to speak English, which led to a number of strange conversations wherein I was trying to use Vietnamese while the other person used English.
1Lt C Vernon Hartline Jr TEAM 90 Tay Ninh Province II Corp – Go Dau Ha – MAT 83 – Tra Vo (Michelin) and Ben Cau – My OCS Class 24-69 had it’s 50th Reunion two weeks ago in Washington. Good to see folks you don’t expect to see again. Good time – paid respects for those we lost – laid 2 wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington – had dinner at the Army Navy Club and did lots of catching up.
Question:: Does anyone remember my interpreter E-6 Sgt Ha? I lost track after getting dusted off in the Spring of 1971. If so, I would like to try to re-establish contact. Thank you
Paul Jemison here. Was in Team 90 from Dec 1964 – June 1965 as a 1LT working for a MAJ Eckhart who was a sub sector advisor of one of the districts but we were located in the MACV compound in Tay Ninh city. LTC Tanzey was the Province Senior Advisor. I had spent the previous 6 months (June – Dec) as an ARVN Infantry Bn Advisor in MACV Team 70 to the ARVN 5th Infantry Div. The Special Forces came in while I was in Tay Ninh and took over Advisor responsibility for the border provinces.
Soui Da SF camp was in our subsector as was the village Katum. Things were really interesting in those days.
Went back to Tay Ninh in 1969 – 1970 while serving in first the US 25th Inf Div as an FA BN XO (2/77) at Cu Chi till Dec ‘69 when the 25th stood down, and then as a FA Bn XO of a heavy 8” and 175 Gun Bn (2/32) in 23d FA Grp headquartered on Phu Loi. In the 25th we had Fire Support bases in Ben Suc and up near The Michelin rubber plantation in Dau Tieng. Then in the 2/32d FA Bn we had Fire Support Bases in Tay Ninh at Elsenberg FSB and Katum FSB and one other.
Will try to recall the guys I served with in Tay Ninh. We had a full 5-man team headed by MAJ Joe Eckhart and we had a Spec 5 Alexander (medic) and a SSG Doukakis or something like that.
Hats off and best wishes to those who served in those days!!!
I was at Katum as a 2LT/1LT fire direction officer with C Battery 2nd of the 35th Artillery in late 1970 until around March 1971. We had 6 self propelled 155 guns and were co-located with a battery of the 32nd Artillery that had two 8” guns and two 175 guns. In March 1971 I was transferred to the Consulate Compound in Tay Ninh to fly reconance over Cambodia. I left Vietnam in mid 1971. Today it seems like another lifetime.
I was 1LT Team 90 Tay Ninh Province Engineer Advisor June ’69-June ’70. We probably breathed the same air if you visited the Team 90’s HQ compound during your second trip. I have lots of pics.
I was assigned to ADVTM90 as the USAF Comm tech, mid Nov ’64 on a 120 day tdy, among other things I relocated the power generation equipment from the city plant near the airfield to a relatively secure hooch along the driveway inside the compound. Would occasionally ride GIB missions in the O1, now retired living in Cedar Falls Iowa
Don, we must have been there during the same period. I recall the volleyball games at the MACV compound and I was the one who had the honey bear, Jasper. I also would frequently fly in the back seat of the O1 first with USAF CAPT Howard Shook, and later a CAPT Redman, I believe. Happy you made it back safe and sound and thank you for your service.
Paul. I was the USAF Radio Tech at Tay Ninh from December 28 1964 thru April 1965. There were two USAF Radio Operators, Eric Zetterquist, and Lawrence Braxton, along with Capt Shook. I recently reconnected with Eric, and he sent me some photos, two of which have Jasper in them. send me an email, and I will send the photos to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Don. I believe I was your replacement at Advisory Team 90. I was sent TDY to Tay Ninh 28 December 1964 as the ground Radio Technician.
Are you talking about the hooch that was built on top of Dr. Ti’s memorial hut?
If so, that became a huge embarrassment when he died in 1970 and his relatives found construction equipment in there. We had to tear down the wooden walls to expose his memorial site.
Wasn’t a direct member of team 90, served 68-69, air warning with the 25thID..
Also looking for Rick Galloway, village advisor near Cu Chi.
Hi, I was 1LT and Province Engineer Advisor from 06/69 ’til 06/70, working out of the MACV Team 90 compound in Tay Ninh City. District Team nearest Cu Chi was in Go Dau Ha. I don’t remember who was stationed there during my time.
After taxes, I’m going to make a YouTube video of all my Vietnam slides and post the URL here.
Team 90: i received the below email on our vietnam vets website in the “lost and found section”. your’s for info/action as appropriate
There has been a submission made through your form, lnf_new_6.html:
PERSONAL NAME Son Ngoc Nguyen
MAILING ADDRESS 5424 W. Highland St,
CITY STATE ZIP Santa Ana, California 92704
EMAIL ADDRESS email@example.com
ORGANIZATION MACV Team 90 – Tay Ninh Province – Hieu Thien District
RELATIONSHIP Vietnamese Interpreter
MISSING NAME Maj Almy,Maj Cain,Maj Shurmp,Capt Water,Capt Bell and anyone in Hieu Thien
UNIT MACV Team 90
WHERE Tay Ninh Provine, Hieu Thien District
If anyone were in MACV Team 90 Hieu Thien District from 1967-1972.
Please contact me at email firstname.lastname@example.org
IP Address 220.127.116.11
INSERT FLAG 1
IS REVIEWED 0
Submission made: Dec 6th 18, 5:41 PM
Was in Tay Ninh from Dec. ’70 until Aug. 71. MAT 81. Used to operate along Straight Edge Woods and spent time on top of Nuy Bah Dinh. We had top and bottom and Charlie had middle. Used to call in Spooky at night to use up their leftover ammo. The Red hose. Watched Charlie’s trucks coming out of Cambodia. We had security for Army/Airforce relay station in old Cao Dai temple. Long time ago guys.
First Lieutenant Mark Blass—I was Engineer Advisor MACV Team 90, 1969-70.
Hoping you are having a good Veterans Day. When I was a 2Lt Inf and at the time the only officer on MAT 97 in Phuc Ninh district, I believe you assisted me in a civic action project. I recall you had the mustache and sand bags lining the floor of the jeep you drove around in the province. The project was near the refugee tent city and a PF outpost. The local manioc root harvesters would dump about one-third of their ox cart load when they crossed this ditch/rut in the dirt road, and block the road while they retrieved their harvest. The dirt road had just gained some strategic value as we were reclaiming an abandoned outpost west of the ditch in an area of overgrown rice paddies. I told Maj Phil Brown (the DSA at the time) about it and he said Lieutenant write it up and contact the Engineer Advisor which was you. We went out together and looked the physical site, and you got me culvert materials to bury which would provide unobstructed smooth access across the ditch. It was a solid plan. Unfortunately, the PF started the job while our MAT was not on site. We arrived after the roads had been cleared and were open to traffic. When we got there we found the culvert incompletely positioned, and no cooperation to reinstall and place the headwalls we had planned. The MAT had great fun at ribbing me about the project whenever they could. At least the ditch/rut had been replaced with a more manageable hump in the road and there were fewer episodes of obstructing the dirt road. Hearts and Minds brother, happy Veterans Day.
Yes, I had a mustache, but so did many others. I don’t remember having sandbags in my jeep nor do I remember helping on a civic action project. I was Engineer Advisor from late June 1969 ’til mid June 1970. My successor also had a mustache, I think I’d have to look at his picture to be sure.
Your account has me baffled, somewhat because I don’t remember the names of our four districts. I don’t remember getting culvert material either.
Are you on Facebook? If so, I’d like to continue this discussion offline. If you are, then I’ll open my FB account so that you could friend request me.
Meanwhile, Happy Veterans Day and hope to hear back from you.
From your reply to Sergeant Brewer, I think that you are remembering my Province Engineer Advisor successor, not me.
You wrote “… We were the MAT on the mountain from November 1970 through April 1971.”
Given that I went home about 10 June 1970, it’s unlikely that we crossed paths.
Thank you for your reply. Phuoc Ninh district was west of Tay Ninh city and bordered Cambodia. I was in Phuoc Ninh from June 1970 until MAT 97 was deployed to Nui Ba Den when the 25th Division withdrew security. You are right, I must have dealt with your successor. I cannot recall his name but was very helpful. The culvert project would have been in July-August 1970. Lots of mustaches…thanks again.
My name is Stacey Davis, CSM (Ret), My father was SFC Melvin Davis and served on Team 90 (Tay Ninh) 69-70. I would like to chat with anyone who knew and served with my father.
I was Province Engineer Advisor from June ’69 to June ’70. I worked from the Team 90 compound.
I don’t recognize your father’s name, but it was long ago and I may have known him.
If you can tell me what his role was on the Province Team and even show me what he looked like, I might turn up a picture since I have many pictures from that time.
I was a MAT Team Leader (#83) in summer 1971 – Spring 1972 in TraVo (at the old Michelin Compound on highway to Tay Ninh) and Ben Hau on the Cambodian side of the river from Go Dau Ha off Highway 1. Worked with RF’s and PF’s in the area, bridge and at the border. Love to hear from anyone in the area at the time.
Hi. Chuong-uy. Welcome to the Team 90 site. My time in the area largely overlapped with yours. I went to Hieu Thien as Deputy DSA in the summer of 1970. After moving to Phu Khuong (DDSA) and Khiem Hanh (DSA), I returned to Hieu Thien in the fall of 1971. I left Tay Ninh for Lebanon in early 1972. At least two others from your time in the District also check on to this sit from time to time.
Greetings, my name is Peter Trefz and I was the Phoenix advisor team 90, Tay Nihn Province, Phouc Ninh District 1970.
In 1972 , i recall having green coconut water on the side of the road with a FSO who drove a Ford pickup. I was attached to Go Dau Ha with my MAT team and we had the Cambodian side of the river along Hwy #1 to the border. I remember the FSO driving solo to Phenom Phen (or whatever it was called at the time- maybe after the Prince) for a vacation which I thought was the most dangerous thing I could possibly imagine (and I was going on weekly ambushes with PF’s and RF’s) . Was that you?
It wasn’t me. When in Tay Ninh I either drove an International Scout or a Jeep. And although I did a few reckless things, driving to Phnom Penh wasn’t one of them (I did go there by air in the summer of ’71 though). Bruce
what color was the Scout?
When I first was in Tay Ninh (1970) I had a clapped out green one. When I moved to Khiem Hanh in the spring of ’71 I got a newish gold colored Scout. Much more reliable. I brought that Scout along when I moved back to Hieu Thien. Bruce
My late Father, SFC Crutchfield, Walter, served with Team 90 from approximately Apr 69 – Apr 70. He never talked about it much and I totally understand why. Maybe there are some of his brothers on this page that might be able to help me find out for information about him and the troops he served with.
I was on MAT team 90 in Tay Ninh fall of ’68’ to May ’69’ . We were attacked 5 nights in a row in spring of ’69’ while at Mo Cong outpost. I was an artillery officer and called in artillery to the enemy’s surprise..
Was there in early ’71. Wild times, incredible fog. Had ARVN Co. In charge of hill and AF AR Radio relay from Co Dai temple. Basically ate beans and weenies when you could chase flies away long enough to scoop up food. Used to sit at night with Sgt. and fire mortar rounds at gook trucks coming out of Cambodia. Then of course there was always Spooky coming back with half basic load to use somewhere. Blew our gen. One night but was probably because I was outside perimeter tossing baseballs down their hidyholes.
LT Hughes, my name is Sandy O’Dea, my Dad, LTC Tom O’Dea landed in country in Sept 1968 and eventually in Tay Ninh in October as the MACV adviser, did you happen to know him? He was killed on Christmas Day 1968.
I was a member of DCATM 99, served on Nui Ba Den Nov. 1970 to Feb. 1971, after U.S. 25th pulled out of Vietnam. ARVN 25th took control of Cu Chi and Nui Ba Den. I maintained the ARP signal converter relays while up on Nui Ba Den. We were overrun, late January 1971….I can find no after action reports of the incident. The TOC was destroyed, the Pagoda was burned/destroyed and many enemy lost their lives as well as a number of ARVNs. There were U.S. troops on the mountain serving as radio relay personnel in the TOC. Any one recall being there for this event?? Jim Brewer, SGT MACV TM-99
I was there as advisor to ARVN in July of 1971 as Team leader in charge of ARVN security (yeah right). Remember Cao Dai temple, or what was left of it as radio relay for USA and USAF. Used to look at Cambodia border at night to see NVA trucks bringing supplies. Tried to mortar and Spooky them. Some success. Remember FOG. That was Spooky. Some action. Long time and several lifetimes ago. Welcome home BROTHER!
Thanks for the comeback on my message. I have never found an after action report regarding the incident on Nui Ba Den. The were flying in Chinooks with very large water buckets, looked much like a dumpster, to put out the fires in the TOC and Black Virgin Pagoda. The TOC was damaged very badly and they destroyed our generator. Thank God we drove the bad guys out. Welcome home G.I.
They blew our gen. also. One night. Probably because I got bored and walked down outside the perimeter and dropped baseballs down their hideyholes. Good old days. Welcome home Brother.
I was the DIOCC Advisor at Phu Khuong District from Sep 70 – Sep 71 & Nui Ba Den was in my district. I can’t be sure of the time frame but I do remember going to Nui Ba Den after they were hit. I believe Rich Kidwell from the 525 MI Group was still working in Tay Ninh at the time of this incident & may be able to shed some light on this.
Sgt Brewer, I check the MACV Teams website from time to time and saw your posting and can shed some information about this event. Mobile Advisory Team III 97 (MAT 97) took over the American command of Nui Ba Den when the 25th Division pulled off the mountain as security. 1Lt Bill Kessler and I were the officer advisers on the MAT. I was also 1Lt Infantry on the MAT. We were the MAT on the mountain from November 1970 through April 1971. Bear with me as this takes a little explaining. At the time the MAT took over the pagoda was the main area for Air Force radio relay had a wooden structure on top of it which included an observation deck and a control tower booth to manage the helicopters coming into the various three landing pads on the summit. Above the control tower was a kind of open air crow’s nest. Well, our medic, Doc Ronald Kennedy, got the idea that the crow’s nest would make a great fighting position. Sure enough, when you were in the crow’s nest you could see completely around the rocky irregular perimeter of the summit. So, we outfitted the crow’s nest with sand bags and a nifty tripod fitting (which the 25th had left us) for the MAT’s M60 machine gun. Then we placed several hand grenades, flares and star cluster flares, and ammo cans of M60, M79, and M16 ammunition for emergency use in the nest. There was one time when a bunker on the east side of the perimeter caught fire and we scrambled into the crow’s nest with the M60 and PRC25 and could observe no enemy action from outside the perimeter. We thought, okay this position preparation is really a good thing and we were ready to go. Now let me inform you that at first our MAT was assigned Nui Ba Den radio relay security and then after a few weeks MAT 97 was also given the mission of advising the road security force which secured the road leading around the mountain to the west and then turned north to Cambodia. The 25th Division engineers mined laterite from the western side of Nui Ba Den to build up the road before they completely left Vietnam. So half of the MAT was on the road security while the other half was on the summit. We were unable to have our MAT together in one place as we would rotate team members on and off the mountain every few weeks to accomplish both missions. While this was going on I believe it was the Air Force which decided to expand some capability on the summit. They sent a work crew to start building on top of the wooden deck which was on top of the pagoda. They used electric tools and were wiring the construction. Then a fire started. It was night and Doc Kennedy and I were on the road security mission at the time in a night defense position. We could see the glow on the mountain top and watched the helicopters bringing in the “buckets” of water to try to douse the flames. In the meantime all the ordinance which was stashed in the crow’s nest started to explode from the fire. It was terrible. Eventually, the fire was put out. The base structure of the pagoda survived but all the wooden structures on top of it were destroyed. The next day the place was covered in “brass” looking around. Was it faulty wiring or sabotage? Ultimately, it was placed in a non-enemy action category, but who knows? The observation deck, control tower, and crow’s nest was never rebuilt while MAT 97 was on Nui Ba Den. Hope you have had a good Veterans Day.
I am surprised that we never met. I do not recall any other MACV personnel on the mountain. I lived in a conex layered with many, many sandbags. On top of my hooch was a crows nest of sorts, a defensive position. As I walked out of my front door I faced the huge bolder that the pagoda was on top of. If I turned left out of my front door I would quickly at the shed where that ARPs were located. If I turned right and walked a fair distance I would arrive at the TOC which was pretty much destroyed by the fire, the ARP shed was pretty much destroyed also. When I was on Nui Ba Den the deck you spoke of had 50 cal. mounted on it…..which was set to single-shot and it had a very large starlight scope mounted on it. There was a sign-up sheet for those who wanted to watch the saddle and try to pick-off bad guys. If you were there the same time I was, where was you hooch located, was it in the inner-compound or the outer-compound? There were US Army guys from various outfits manning radio relays in the TOC, I recall also there were a couple of Green Berets up there too.
I submitted a reply to your last post in an attempt to answer some of the questions you had; however, I think it may have been way too long and did not attach. So, I am resending the essential content separated into three parts.
Part 1. We may be talking about different events on the same Rocky Top, or maybe not. When the 25th Division pulled the perimeter security off the mountain, Mobile Advisory Team 97 was moved from Phuoc Ninh district and deployed to Nui Ba Den to advise and coordinate the security mission. 1Lt Kessler and I lived in the commander’s bunker (inner compound) which was also the MAT TOC. It was nestled between boulders and located near the pagoda. There were maps of the perimeter bunkers and the mountain mounted on the wall. We took this bunker over from the departing 25th Div commander who was a Major (O4). MAT 97 Infantry NCOs (SFC Hogue and SSgt Thompson) lived In a stand-alone above ground bunker (inner compound) about 8-10 meters away to the east. A little further down the path to the north helicopter pad was the infirmary where Sgt (Doc) Kennedy and the team interpreter SFC Bach lived. When MAT 97 arrived, Sgt Kennedy took down the 25th Div sign identifying the infirmary saying “I don’t believe in advertising”. So there was no longer any outside indication that it was an infirmary. We had landlines connecting theses bunkers with one another and PRC25s in the TOC and Infantry NCO advisors bunkers connected to mast RC292 antennae. We were on the Tay Ninh network 24/7 and sometimes had to relay radio messages to the Tay Ninh Province TOC when they could not pick up transmissions from Trang Bang or our MAT off of the mountain on road security. In Phuoc Ninh district compound, MAT 97 was in a single team bunker, but on Nui Ba Den team members were spread out. We ran some defensive drills and coordinated fighting positions for the American troops who were there. We also advised the Regional Force (RF) Company brought to the summit for perimeter security when the 25th Div security left. I included the MAT 97 names to see if they might assist in remembering our team. If we were there at the same time, you most likely saw us, even when part of the team was off the mountain on the road security mission. Do you recall the name of the Commander/Senior Advisor officer for security on the mountain when you were there?
Part 2. The MAT 97 did have a 50 cal machine gun. However, we deployed it on top of one of the western perimeter bunkers, not on the observation deck above the pagoda. We had tried to position the weapon inside the perimeter bunker but could not get the tripod to be stable enough to use there. So it went on top. Every once in a while Nui Cao would catch several rounds from the 50. It did not have a starlight scope mounted on it. When the observation deck burnt down, our MAT 50 cal was not affected as it was away from the fire on top of a perimeter bunker. The MAT did have a starlight scope which we mounted on a suppressed M16 which had a M60 bipod. These were not on the TOA; sorry, CPT Boland (Team 90 S4 – at least he was for us). Our counterparts would often use this M16 on the perimeter. You may have fired the 50 cal on top of the perimeter bunker, or maybe the modified M16, or maybe there was a different setup before or after our team.
Part 3. In late April/early May 1971 SSgt Thompson and I left the mountain together. SFC Hogue and 1Lt Kessler had previously DROSed and left, and Sgt Kennedy had been moved to another MAT. I passed the MAT mission to CPT Johnnie L. Ray and spent a day or two with him on the mountain before SSgt Thompson and I left. I believe the MAT number changed from 97 to another MAT number, but I am not sure. Prior to MAT 97 being deployed to Nui Ba Den, we had heard stories of the Special Forces camp being overrun on the summit in 1968. There was also a story of a NVA/VC soldier having been found wandering around east of Nui Ba Den with a note pinned to him directing him to a hospital somewhere within the mountain. However, these were stories passed one soldier to another over a Ba Muoi Ba beer. It has only been in the past few years that I have learned details of several fights the American and Vietnamese counterpart soldiers had on Nui Ba Den. It’s been reported that the summit had been attacked at least twice in 1968 with significant losses. In January 1970, the 25th Div conducted Operation Cliff Dweller IV on Nui Ba Den which at the time was a large operation which degraded enemy operations on the mountain. I have also learned that on April 8, 1972 Nui Ba Den was attacked and again had causalities. CPT Ray was captured by the NVA and held for almost a year as a POW in Cambodia. Salute to you CPT Ray and the MAT which you led. Salute to all those American and counterpart soldiers who fought and sacrificed on the mountain. As the saying goes, “All gave some, some gave all”. Salute to them all, and never forget those who died. Remember and honor them. No doubt there were many battles, firefights, ambushes, and skirmishes that occurred on the slopes and on the top of Nui Ba Den some of which I know about, and others of which I have no knowledge, but others do.
Long replies are best sent directly to the individual involved and not through the MACVTEAMS website
I agree – I too was keenly interested in the “long reply” and would have completely missed it if limited to a single individual response. Here I think the “rule” is incorrect. If a person reading it thinks it’s too long – they can stop reading it or delete it – individual choice.
The following is listed under Guidelines on the website homepage: “Lengthy commentaries between individuals are best done directly between the individuals and not through the website”. While the website currently has over 15,000 comments, it represents only a small fraction of off site conversations between individuals who have reconnected and that is the purpose of the site.
I was with MAT III-26 in LONG AN. Bill Kessler (d1988) and I were good friends. He and I graduated from OCS Class 22-69 &-11-69. 50 years ago. We toasted him and others who had died over the last 50 years at our last (and first) reunion this past April at Ft Benning. It is good to read about his time in VN. There were about 30 of us out of our class who served on MAT teams through out VN in 1970-71. God be with you and our brothers who are gone.
Thank you for your message. I am still curious as to what was and was not. When I arrived on Nui Ba Den a few of us went up on the platform above the TOC and I personally saw a 50 cal. with the biggest starlight scope I had ever seen. There was a sign-up sheet for recreational watch for charlie on the saddle below. If you can shed light on what actually happened on the mountain that night I am willing to try to understand. I was up there to monitor the two ARP signal converter relays that monitored activity related to anti-personnel sensors planted in area around a large area. When the fire occurred there were many explosions and lots of gunfire. My ARPs had been destroyed by an explosion that occurred inside the conex where they were located. I had to wait days for replacement ARPs. Shortly after that night I was taken down to Cu Chi to begin processing out of country, that would have been Feb. ’71. Any info you have is appreciated. Welcome Home.
I was the DIOCC Advisor from Sep 70-Sep 71 & very familiar with opns in the Nui Ba Den area during that time. After the Jan 1971 attack Sgt. Kennedy joined our team for a brief period of time. I was acquainted with Lt. Bill Kessler during this time. Sorry to hear about his passing. I would appreciate any info you might have on his passing.
I arranged our reunion and know he died from the research I did. We all miss him and are sorry he passed on. He died to young. I have a picture of him that was in “the stars and stripes”. I wish it could send it to you.
Darrell – I have a picture of Lt. Kessler during an opn around Nui Ba Den, I could email it to you if you can provide me with your email address. My email address is email@example.com.
I was the DIOCC Adviser from Phu Khuong District from Sep 70 -Sep 71 & Nui Ba Den was in my A.O. I remember taking a Huey to your outpost after you were overrun in January 1970. There were still bodies in the perimeter wire. I remember a Captain Ramos & Lt. Peterson from the Mat Team in our A.O.
Cpt. John L Valles
AKA Dai Uy Map
Memories, memories. Capt Ramos and Lt. Petersen and their MATT were in Khiem Hanh District when I moved there from Phu Khuong in the spring of 1971.. Ramos had just returned from a medevac for a head would (his third Purple Heart, I recall). That summer all the guys but me left Khiem Hanh, And of course, Sgt. Kennedy had joined the Phu Khuong team when he came off the mountain. I’ll remain silent as to off duty activities.
John Valles. This is Rich Kidwell. I ran team 32, 525 mi, out of Tay ninh city, while you were there. I was in civilian cover and provided Intel reports to you. We shared a few beers and. Did a fire fly mission one time. I have a picture of you in an album
Also remember Pete Trefz from other district. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rich, glad to hear from you after all these years. I responded to you via your email address. Did you receive my email?
Happy New Year to you too, Sandy. In honor of our fathers, I hope earnestly that it will be a peaceful one.
Jane, you echo my hopes and prayers. I had actually done some research on your father and have read the transcript of his oral history from the Library of Congress. Quite a fascinating career. With everything that he had done in his career, how did you happen to come across this website?
I was at Lai Khe with the 587th signal.we arrived around the end of March 1967..a platoon went to Lai Khe one went to Chu Chi and one went to Nan Nighn. We arived at nam by a troop ship. call THE U.S.WEIGAL at Vung Tau..looking for guys I served with..I worked at the Comm Center at Lai Khe
My father served with Advisory Team 90 from April 1965 to March of 1966 3 Bn 9th Reg 5th Arvn Div.his name was Terry Busby , he passed away in July of 2009. Am trying to find out as much as I can , your help would be very grateful Thank You Torhres L Busby
Tom, my name is Peter Trefz and I was the Phoenix advisor in Phouc Ninh District, Tay Nin Province team 90 for most of 1970. My first DSA was Major Phil Brown and my second DSA when I left was Captain Steve Hodge. The RF CO was Captain Anh, A very courageous and qualified commander. My interpreter’s name was Ziem. I have been trying to locate the team RTO Spec 4 Scott Douglass. Any help would be appreciated.
LT. Peter Trefz
I was there with Scott Douglas 1971-1972. Was a substitute RTO and worked an advance command post with Scott. This was MACV Team 90.
Scott and I worked in the TOC, and I did the intsum (intelligence summary) for Lt LLoyd, Col. Jiminez (not HIMinez) daily briefing.. My roommate was Tom Stover who worked in the Phoenix program. Also Jim Garn, the company clerk.
Thanks for posting Mike. I have been looking for Scott Douglas and am wondering if you might know how I can get in touch with him.
Are you sure it was not CAPT. Lloyd who served up on Nuey Bah Dinh as a basic enemy of LTC. Jiminez, not (Himimez). We were not exactly friends. Me and Jiminez. Remember the DOG someone left up there and I had to take care of?
Lt. Trefz, from Brooklyn if I am not mistaken, as I hope you will recall I was on MAT 97 which was parked on the Phouc Ninh compound when I met you in 1970. I remember first getting delivered to the district compound and noticing several flat tires on the jeeps in front of the district team bunkers and was told VC mortars had taken them out. Well the basketball halfcourt only had minimal damage. I remember Sgt. Diem as a good guy. I am not sure but maybe you recall. MAT 97 was deployed from Phuc Ninh to Nui Ba Den in Oct-Nov 1970 as the 25th pulled their infantry support from the summit. Spec Douglass always supported us however he could. Once sent me back to Nui Ba Den with a silenced M-16 with a M-60 bipod attached. Another time sent me with a M-79. Both very appreciated. He was the greatest. Last I saw Sgt. Diem was in the province compound maybe a couple of months before I left in 1971. Would like to hear from you, I hope this contact attaches my email address.
Hi Robert, Yes I do believe I remember you. I seem to remember your team providing training for the RF company in Phouc Ninh. I believe for a while your team was stationed at Mo Cong Hamlet before going to Nui Ba Den. Spec. Scott Douglass and I became friends and stood side by side on several occasions when the compound came under VC attack. He always acted as my RTO on cordon and search ops and on night ambush ops. When my tour ended I ended up in CA. At the same time Scott had extended his tour in Vietnam for an early out. He was given a 30 day leave and I spent time with him and his family in Orange County, CA. We even dated a couple of nursing students has had been writing us in Vietnam. I believe I have a photo of you standing with the other team members. Sorry, I did not receive your email address but if you send it to me I will attach the photo. My email is email@example.com.
I will be sending you a note via normal USPS. It will make more sense when you receive it. You are the first person I have had any contact with from Phuoc Ninh. Thanks.
Lt very retiredTrefz. I remember Captain Anh very well-agree he was a good officer. I’ve always wondered what happened to him and the rest of the Vietnamese officers with whom we served.
I’m planning to return to Vietnam for the first time next year-50 years later. I’ve taken the satellite view from Tay Ninh City to Phouc Ninh-Tay Ninh West base camp is gone though the airstrip is still visible. The district headquarters in the fork of the road is gone too.
There is a gondola to the top of Nui Ba Dinh-I have a 1:50,000 map on the wall of my office which includes Nui Ba Dinh, Tay Ninh City, and surrounding area.
I’ll take some pictures on my trip and post them on the Team 90 site.
Hi Tom and thanks for posting on this site. I’ve spoken with several vets that have made the trip back to Vietnam. For most it was a positive experience as I hope it will be for you. Take plenty of photos as I’m sure I and others would enjoy viewing them.
Hello All: I’ve been back to Tay Ninh three times since the end of the war. It, like the rest of Vietnam, continues to evolve. About the only things that seem the same are the Cao Dai Holy See and Nui Ba Den (at least seen from a distance). Oh yes, and the new road between Cu Cui and Tay Ninh City cuts thru Khiem Hanh District, but should you take the old road that we all know (QL 22) much of the countryside remains unchanged (but the built up areas are more built up) Enjoy the trip. Bruce Beardsley, Adv Tm 90 (1970 – 72), DDSA and then DSA, Khiem Hanh and Hieu Thien Districts.
Former CPT Randy Mulligan here. I was the Advisory Team 90 Phung Hoang advisor in Hieu Thien from early May ’71 to early Feb ’72. Looking for Bruce Beardsley and others I worked with.
Randy! Great to learn you’re still above ground. I, too, have been back to Vietnam a number of times since leaving Team 90. I was most recently there last Sept and Oct, which included my third trip to Tay Ninh since the war. On that trip I also visited Dien Bien Phu for the first time, and also spend a few days in II Corps, where I was stationed my first VN tour. Now in SW Florida, where the eye of Hurricane Irma made landfall and the eye of the storm passed over my house. I’ll send you an e-mail to catch up. Ong Bruce
Thank you for let us know the the changes now in Tay Ninh areas. I was Khiem Hanh S2 (1970 – Jun 1972). Capt. Springer Was my Adv. and I’m looking for Him.
Hi, Dai Chu: Glad you’re in touch. My last contact with Cpt Springer, bythen promoted to Major, was in 1976. I was the American Consul in Kabul, Afghanistan then, and he was assigned to India with a foreign area studies program. Bruce,
Thank you very much Mr Bruce. But until now I can’t found him. Can you help me? Please . Dai Chu MIO
I was assigned to the Phouc Ninh District west of Tay Ninh from Jan ’68-Aug ’69. Looking for anyone who might have been assigned to Advisory Team 90 during that time-especially my RTO Sp4 Berardi.
My father, SSG Robert L Lamson, was assigned to AdvTm90 during your time there up to Nov 68 when he was medevac’d out. I know its a long shot and even my memory of the old days isn’t all that great anymore, but am hoping that you may have crossed paths with him. I have photos of his time in Nam so I can provide you a couple to help shake the cobwebs loose if needed LOL. I lost my father to cancer in 2013 so I am trying to connect with those he served with.
SSgt Tony Lamson, USMC (ret)
Tom, my Dad, LTC (infantry) Tom O’Dea served as an advisor in Tay Nihn between Sept. ’68 to Dec ’68, when he was killed in a helicopter accident. Would you have crossed paths with my Dad.
Thank you, Sandy O’Dea
I served as the RTO at Phu Khoung from about May 67 to SEP 67. MAJ Carl Schrouder and I were the first to be assigned to Phu Khoung when the SF Team move to another base. We were joined soon thereafter by a SFC and then a SP4 medic. We initially reported to B-32 Special Forces Team in Tay Ninh. B-32 was commanded by a COL Hapersat. Sometime later MACV CORDS opened an office in Tay Ninh and we reported to them. We worked closely with the CIA Station at Tay Ninh and the PRUs in our area.
Prior to Tay Ninh I spent a year assigned to Team 99 with 4/46/25 ARVN. The 4/46 HQ was in Can Gouic in Long An Province.
I am just wondering if there is anyone from that time frame on this sight.
I was in Tay Ninh at sub-sector Khiem Hanh from Mar 67-Nov 66,
we too replaced a group from B-32 and inherited 18 PRU’s. I was
inf advisor with a medic and SA Cpt Lally (I believe),RTO Rodigus(sp) E-mail me at
my home E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org),Thanks.
Sorry the dates should be Mar67-Nov 67.
LT Peter Trefz. I was the Phoenix advisor Phouc Ninh District, Tay Ninh Province 1970. I’m looking for any members of MACV team 90 during that time.
CPT. John L Valles, I was the Phoenix advisor in Phu Khuong Tay Ninh from Sep 1970 to Sep 1971. LTC Adam Jimenez was the APSA & Parker Wyman was the PSA during this time. Major Love was the PIOCC advisor during my time. My first DSA was Vince Kaufmann an FSR & Major Fred Johnson was my DSA from Dec 1970 to Sep 1971.
My name is Randy Castro. I served with Team 90 Tay Ninh East from 14 February, 1968 to 29 December 1968. Our compound was an old French hospital. My MOS was 72B40, a crypto technician sending and receiving classified messages. Anyone out there remember me? Would like to hear from anyone.
Randy, My father (SSG Robert Lamson) was with Team 90 (see post below from me for details). You were both there the same time frame and am hoping that maybe you both crossed tracks. If there is a common knowledge, please feel free to connect with me. Any info would be much appreciated.
I worked the comm center at Lai Khe my have chatted with u some. A platoon with the 587th was at lai khe
Was there March 1966 to March 1967. Stayed at “MACV House”. or SF Team B-32
Nguyen Ngoc Son just posted a request asking for assistance in locating others who were on our team. For those of you who don’t know him, he was among the finest and most honorable men I met in my 2 1/2 years in Viet Nam. While on the Hieu Thien team he received both a US Bronze Star (with “V”) and ArCom — both rare for a Vietnamese EM to receive, and well earned. Bruce Beardsley
My father, Rhett Daverio I believe was a member of this team? We only met when I was a baby.
My name is Jim Grant; I served at the MACV Team 90 compound. I will also have Paul Tuttle list some names of the people he knew there as well. I was a radio operator and when I first got there in December 1969; SFC Green was my section chief in the commo bunker. Others I knew,,,I mentioned Paul above, Wayne Ficken, Jim West, Rhodes, Colonel Cloud was the commandant, Clarke, Pete Lang, Ed McGee…there are several more faces I recall, I know some of their names. Maybe Paul can help me out. I recall the dog Charlie…kind of reddish brown. Is any of this ringing a bell with anyone? I was assigned to the 1st Sig Bde, 2nd Sig Group, 86th Sig Bn (Cu Chi), 587th Signal Company (Tay Ninh West…Base Camp). My first 3 months I served at base camp as a 31 M radio operator and driving convoy to Cu Chi…made a lot of trips to the rock quarry at the base of Nui-Ba-Den. Second 3 months, I alternated duty at base camp and assignment on Nui-Ba-Den operating the relay station there…then I came to MACV. I DEROSed in May, 1970. There are several faces right now that I see…but their names escape me; I cannot recall the name of the SSG that worked in the mess hall…he was a real friendly guy that was bald on top and wore glasses. And Doc, the medic that generally ran the bar. Goodness, I wish I could recall more names…forgive me please, my email is email@example.com Jim
My name SFC Son Ngoc Nguyen, I was interpreter of Advisory Team 90 Hieu Thien District, Tay Ninh Province 1967-1972. I looking for Captain Waters, Major Cain,Major shurmp, captain Bell ..ect or anyone know me. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Roger Skold and I served with you as radio operator in Go Dau Ha? Major Cain was my superior for the first months of my tour of duty. I was there from Auf 68 until Aug of 69 when I was wounded and was transferred back to the United States.
I think did remember you , please email me .
Hi Roger Skold,
Please contact me 714-292.3130
Hi Roger Skold,
I am SFC Son Ngoc Nguyen was interpreter of Hieu Thien Team. I remember the night we went out ambush operation with PF platoon # 114 accompany with Navy located at Go Dau Ha bridge . On the way back we were ambushed by VC on Vam Co Dong river. Please contact at :
I arrived at TSN on 26 August 1970 and had orders for the 3909th/3910th Special Activities Sq.. Was an E-5 USAF (x-ray tech) and was told that I was going to Tay Ninh as an advisor to my counterpart at the Provincial Hospital. Went through inprocessing, issued weapons, and the next day was called to the commander’s office and told that my orders had been red-lined. Reassigned and sent to the 483rd USAF Hospital at Cam Ranh Bay. Interested in finding anyone who might have been assigned to the hospital at Tay Ninh about that time. Thanks to all who served; and, thank you all who gave all.
I was an interpreter with 2nd Civil Affairs, and stationed at the Team 90 compound. I helped to build a new TB ward at the Tay Ninh hospital. It was finished by the time I left country in October 1970. You can find a picture of it at 2ndcivilaffairs.com and scroll down to the second 6th platoon.
Might you have known my brother, Dave Walker (recently deceased) also an interpreter with Team 90 in 1970? Any information greatly appreciated.
I did know Dave, and so sorry to hear of his passing. I was his replacement, and did overlap with him for a while. Dave was quite fluent, well liked and a big help to me in getting acquainted. I believe he had been stationed at one or two other places before he arrived in Tay Ninh. I have an old picture of Dave I could send to you, if you can provide an address.
Thank you for your good reply. I am heartened to learn that Dave served with such a stalwart comrade as you. And, yes, please send along the picture. My address is email@example.com
My name is Dave Umthun and was stationed with Dave in Phuc Tuy and Tay Ninh as the team medic. So sorry to hear of his passing, he was a great guy.
I am so very grateful for your kind words–and once again heartened by the camaraderie shown by those who served alongside Dave. My brother made a tape while stationed in Phuc Tuy. If you would like to hear it, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to hear the tape. Also, could I get your email address for future correspondence? I am corresponding by email with former members of the team and we would like to get more information about Dave.
Ah, you worked with Joel Boroff and Lloyd Seales.
Joel just visited Tay Ninh two weeks ago.
I was there with Joel and Lloyd. Also Jim Wallis and Dave Walker were there when I first got to Tay Ninh compound.
I know Joel was going back, but I haven’t heard since then.
Just spoke with Joel. Helping him post his Tay Ninh photos.
Have you seen everything that Joel, Lloyd and I have posted?
Joel sent me a bunch of pictures that he and Lloyd took.
Can’t wait to see what Joel brought back.
Anyone serve in Doc Hoa or Cu Chi in 1964 – 1965? Gerald Foley here ,still alive and somewhat kicking. Love to hear from anyone of that time.
I was there 64-65 with the ARVN 5th, 3/9 of the 9th Reg. N/E of Ga Da Ha. Operated in and near Chu Chi. Ed Warneld
CW4 Ret Tom Harney,
I flew with the 187th AHC (Crusaders), JUL 69-DEC 69. Reading these posts with the names of places around there brings back a lot of memories. Later flew with the 190th AHC and picked up the 5 SF HQ mission in early 1970. Yep, cross border stuff.
Tay Ninh Tower 68-70 Tom Uhlich, alias PH (peckerhead) Most likely talked to you many times Tom…. email@example.com
This is in response to Joe Johnston’s inquiry. Captain Springer was the S-2 advisor of the Khiem Hanh District Team in 1971, when I was the District Senior Advisor. Without checking my papers in storage, I’d wager he’s the one you’re interested in. Captain Springer left Khiem Hanh in the summer of 1971. I saw him again when I lived in Kabul, Afghanistan — he came for a visit as he was then a major and Foreign Area Studies student in India. That was my last contact with him. Bruce Beardsley
For the past 30+ years, I have owned the Chicom 54 pistol (with “capture papers”) brought back by William H. Springer of Advisory Team #90 APO 96314 (whatever that all means). It originally had a ratty Chinese holster that was modified with the prongs so it could be carried on a GI web belt. Any information on this man or the unit would be very much appreciated.
Mr. Johnston, I am a daughter of William Springer’s, and finding the paperwork “War Trophy Registration/Authorization” on the Chicom K-54 is what led me to google Advisory team #90. My dad died in January 2021. He had a long career with the US Army and later as a civilian with the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was a world traveler and amazing with history. It is so interesting to see your message.
My condolences for your loss, Katie: Your father was a colleague on the Khiem Hanh District Team during his final three months there (I remained until early 1972). I last saw him in 1976 (I think) when he and a group of FAOs visited the Embassy in Kabul from India. He had been promoted to major at that time. Bruce Beardsley
Looking for Captain John W Dargle that was involved with VN District Chief Major Nguyen Van Mach in Khiem Hanh District, Tay Ninh Province, July 1966, building the “New Life Hamlet” of Ben Vang. Captain Dargle spoke Vietnamese like a native. I was on the MACV team that replaced his Special Forces “A” team. in Khiem Hanh.
Dwight, thank you for the info…it helps so much….Kim Wallace
Kim…..My name is Dwight Ladd. I was in Tay Ninh Team 90 from May 69 to July 70 and knew your father fairly well. He was a very nice guy that everyone liked. Had a great sense of humor. Always laughing and being funny. I worked under him as a radio operator at the TOC. I remember when his chopper went down. It was payday and he was delivering pay to the mobile advisory team members. He had asked me to go with him but I declined because I was working nights at the TOC (tactical operations center). He was so well liked that they named our compound after him. He was nicknamed Chicken Little. He had that painted on his helmet. I have been to The Wall in Washington DC and saw his name on it. I liked him a lot and will never forget him.
I hope this info is of some help to you.
My name is Kim Wallace, The only child of SSgt Gilbert E Wallace killed November 1, 1969 Tay Ninh. I never got to know my Dad, I am wondering if anyone knew him and could tell me about him…
Dwight Ladd permalink February 12, 2015 4:08 pm Kim…..My name is Dwight Ladd. I was in Tay Ninh Team 90 from May 69 to July 70 and knew your father fairly well. He was a very nice guy that everyone liked. Had a great sense of humor. Always laughing and being funny. I worked under him as a radio operator at the TOC. I remember when his chopper went down. It was payday and he was delivering pay to the mobile advisory team members. He had asked me to go with him but I declined because I was working nights at the TOC (tactical operations center). He was so well liked that they named our compound after him. He was nicknamed Chicken Little. He had that painted on his helmet. I have been to The Wall in Washington DC and saw his name on it. I liked him a lot and will never forget him. I hope this info is of some help to you. Dwight Ladd
Dwight Dwight Ladd firstname.lastname@example.org
I did not know your father. I was there in 1970 – 1971, after he died. However, I do a photo of the gate to the Tay Ninh Team 90 compound with your father’s name on it. I will be glad to e-mail that photo to you if you want it. You can e-mail me at email@example.com if you want the photo.
I knew your father in that I saw him at least once per week when he delivered mail and supplies to our remote outpost on the Cambodian boarder in Tay Ninh Province. As noted by Dwight Ladd he was very a friendly NCO and I enjoyed our brief conversations. I remember that he Wen down twice in helicopter crashes. The first time was on the day of the Army/Navy foot ball game in 1969 when his copper crashed into the water near the Navy docks on the river. He received a broken arm in that crash, and I warned him that he was perhaps spending too much time in the air, and might want to ask for some relief from the supply chopper duty. He loved serving in this capacity and continued to fly.
On the day he was killed I flew with him and two other lieutenants to province headquarters in Tay Ninh. That afternoon I had just ordered a cool drink at the base club, when he and the two lieutenants informed me that they were ready to return to their outposts. He suggested that I could finish my drink and catch another chopper that would be leaving in about an hour. Thankfully, I took his advice and waited. Their chopper was shot down by the VC and all on board died. The other members on my team thought I had died with them and were quite surprised when I walked into our HQ one hour later.
The headquarters compound was named for him because he was so well liked by everyone on the team. I’m sorry you never got to know him.
formally Senior Advisor MAT 66, 1st. Lt.
Kim,my name is Ray Varassi, just found this site. I served with and shared sleeping quarters with Dwight Ladd and Stan Kozloff who are on this site. Met your Dad many times and agree with Dwight that is was a great man and everyone loved him. I also worked in the S1 admin office for LTC Cloud, our commanding officer. I typed your Dad’s Air Medal award and also the letter of condolences from LTC Cloud. Sadly, that was one of my duties in that office. Thought you may this interesting. Take care..
I remember your father. Long time ago, though. Was he bald?
I have a photo of our compound gate with his name above it.
My name is Jack Howe, I was at the Wallace E, Gilbert compound from June 70 to June 71. I was attached to MACV Team 90 but was with the 535th Signal Battalion, 579th Signal Battalion. I was a Spec 4 and was the Crypto technician that worked graveyards. I used to send/ receive messages for all the Intel of each unit section. AF, Army, civilian Intel etc. My partner in crime was Kevin Erbentraut and we had a crypto repairman called MOP. Kevin and I first spent a little time at the 25th Infantry Tay Ninh Base camp which at that time was turned over to the ARVN’s. At the EM club on the compound their was a girl named May. I was messing around with a little girl named TAM. She cried her heart out when I left. Well I can’t seem to get much info either about this MACV Team 90 or the Signal units I was with. Oh, I seem to remember there was a graveyard of an important Vietnamese doctor buried there and we had Cambodian guards at the front gate and perimeter. I think in the year I was there we got attacked twice but nothing seriously. I re-upped and was assigned to the 125th Signal Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, HI where I was Spec 5, Crypto Custodian and Discharged July, 74. currently live in Las Vegas, NV.
Get on facebook. look up Jim Grant, he was MACV team 90 in Vietnam.
I was 1LT and Tay Ninh Province Engineer Advisor June ’69-June ’70.
Your memory of Dr. Ti’s memorial is correct. He was the wealthiest person in the province and the owner of our compound. Every month I visited him at his home clinic to pay our rent. He died sometime in early 1970 and his family came to us to arrange for his burial in his memorial shrine. I was clueless about a memorial shrine on the compound grounds, so I took them around to look for it. Turned out that our predecessors had built a wooden shack on top of his shrine and were using it to store tools and equipment. How embarrassing for us. Anyway, we had to tear down our shack and restore the shrine to its original condition. I have photos of Dr. Ti’s memorial inside the shrine.
I served as ADSA Khiem Hanh District from August 1969 to late Novemer 1969 and I had the the distinct honor of serving with two of the best officers a young Captain could serve with. Their example and influence are still pronounced 45 years later. They were Major Philip Lundberg and Major Donald A Price, and if per chance they ever view this site I want to extend my gratitude to them as my mentors. If it were not for Major Price’s professionalism and attention to the well being of the men under his command, I would not be here today nor would I enjoy the benefits I now receive from the VA
As ADSA, I went on quite a few operations with the RF company in Khiem Hanh. My counter-part on these operations was a young Sino-Viet named Lang Van Hoa from Saigon. Years later while working/volunteering with ICMC at PRPC, Morong Bataan I found that he was still alive living in a card board box outside his family’s home in Saigon off TuDo Street. I gave my address one of my former ARVN students who forwarded it to Hoa.Thus I was able to contact him and begin a correspondence Then with great assistance from the Orderly Departure Program, specifically Miss Anne Convery I was able to sponsor Hoa out Vietnam. He stayed in my home for about a year and found his ‘Iron Rice Bowl’ with a civil service job—-22 years later he is still hard at work.
Thank You for this site, as it allows me to express certain gratitudes!
mike, i served with a don price, major usmc. he was an advisor. could this be one and the same?
Donald Price was a West Point graduate and one of better ones. I beleive he was badly injured in May/June 1970 during our foray into Cambodia after COSVN as where most of the Khiem Hanh Team
I was offered an early out some months before the intrusion and initially declined the early Deros and elected to stay with the Team until May1970. One afternoon I was walking into our TOC when I suddenly decided to take the early out offer–no thinking just a decision. I talked with Thieu Ta Price immediately and he told me in no uncertain terms to listen to my intuition. I rotated home shortly and for quite a few years had mixed feelings about my decision until I learned from our former Phoenix adviser what happened after I left.
Don Price was a very very good ,compassionate, and competent human being and it because of those qualities I am alive today.
Van Tran, one of the Vietnamese Army interpreters assigned to Hieu Thien District, Tay Ninh, died in California in June, 2014. He was 70 years old and is survived by his wife and 11 children. He often accompanied me on on operations while I was there (1970 – 72) and continued his service with the ARVN until the fall of Saigon. He ultimately spent several yers in “reeducation” camps. He contacted me in 1988 when I was the Director of the Orderly Departure Program from Vietnam, and I was able to facilitate his (and his family’s) resettlement in the US. Curiously, one of his sons in now back in Vietnam — as a Catholic priest! RIP
If only I had read Mr. Beardsley’s message before I wrote my own, I was so excited that Mr. Marshall had somewhat mentioned my Dad. If anyone knew my Dad, who was stationed in Tay Ninh from about Oct. 1968 to Dec. 1968, please let me know. I would love to hear anything about my Dad.
Sandy O’Dea, daughter of LTC Thomas O’Dea, US Army
I was assigned to MACV Team 90 as an E4/E5 from early 1969 until July 1970. At that point headquarters was the Gilbert E. Wallace Compound in Tay Ninh. Before that I was assigned to the 2/16th Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Lai Khe, Vietnam, worked in the Iron Triangle and Trapezoid areas
Stan….. I was at the Gilbert E Wallace compound with you in 69 and 70. In July 70 Ray Varrassi and I stopped and visited you in Anaheim during a cross country trip. Hope all is well with you after all these years.
Dwight its Ray–cannot believe you guys are on this site-lets catch up firstname.lastname@example.org e mail I think about you guys all the time!
hello stan my name is dan chavez from panaca Nevada I was on team 90 in tay ninh provience a place called mo cong give me a call my captain was John smith 1969 I left Vietnam on 6-27-69
I was with Team 90 from Oct 64-Apr 65 we were lacated N.East of Go Da Ha about 6 Klicks.
The unit was the 3 Bn 9th Reg 5th Arvn Div. The encampment was about 100 Meter by 100 meters Trigangle outpost.It was built in 63 by a SF team out of Tay Ninh TDY from Okinawa along with the compound at Trang-Bang. Ben Cat was Due East about 30 Klicks.The area was controled by VC Ed Warneld US Army Retired
Ed Did you hear from Cpt Harvey and how about that crazy Lt. we had with the pistol…
Dan the RTO
Dan, My email is email@example.com,Also Cpt Church is still alive living in Calif
Dan Strady, Give me a call at 606-474-6159 Grayson, KY
Dan, I do not want to type his name here for old time sakes, But I do remember him LOL Thought he was John Wayne LOLOL
I was assigned to MACV Team 90 as a 2LT/1LT from early 1971 until June 1971. At that point headquarters was the Gilbert E. Wallace Compound in Tay Ninh. It was the first time I ever had an actual bed with a mattress while I was in Vietnam, although I did not stay there all the time. Met some interesting people who lived in the villa next door.
Going through my father’s service records, it shows on his timeline of duty that he served with the AdvTm90, III CorpsAdvGp USMACV from Aug 4 1968 until he was wounded in action on November 10, 1968. My father (then: SSG Robert Lamson) passed away Aug 1st and I am putting together a timeline for the family of his military service. If anyone could help (and I know this is probably a shot in the dark), please hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org
He was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions on 10 November and would like to know what the details are surrounding the awards that he received. Thanks!
SSgt Tony L Lamson USMC(ret)
Son of SFC Robert L Lamson USA(ret)
Tony-this may sound like an odd question-where were your father’s wounds? I had a Team 90 NCO with me who was wounded in both legs by automatic weapons fire-I can’t recall his name. I called in a MEDEVAC and carried him to the LZ when it landed.
Sorry didn’t see your reply until today. His wound were heavy on one leg, but he had upper thigh wounding to both legs and waistline/stomach area. Not sure if it was Pop or not, but worth connecting to find out. I posted a photo of him on the MACV Team page on Facebook.
I need to check this site more often! Your father’s wounds are consistent with the wounds of the NCO who was with me that day. He was with the lead elements of our unit when he was wounded. The Vietnamese came to me and told me he was too big for them to carry! Truth be told, he had fallen over the dike of a rice paddy and lay fully exposed to the machine gun which wounded him-so I don’t think it was his weight as much as his circumstances which deterred them from the rescue. I went forward, pulled him back over the paddy dike and dressed his wounds as much as I could. We were under pretty intense fire so I had to drag him (with his pants down) quite a distance to safety. I was then able to pick him up and carry him to the MedEvac helicopter. He was evacuated to the hospital at Cu Chi and when I went to see him there a few days later he was complaining that the most painful of his injuries were the scratches he had on his bare bottom because I dragged him over the ground with his pants down! I remember the nurses got a kick out of that.
Tom, that was my dad alright. Didn’t change much. I honestly didn’t get to know him until he was on the leg in this world. Cancer ate him up. Spent a month with him in 2013 just before he passed. Guess because I put my own time in, he felt that he could finally explain things.
You filled in the holes missing from what I got from records (which were sparse) and his Swiss cheese memory. But he was my dad and I respect and love him! Family has ice cream on Aug 1st every year to honor his passing. Always said two scoops of vanilla and a slice of peach pie can put out the fire grumbling in his belly. I have a few shot of him from back in the day. I can send a couple your way to confirm. Haven’t been expecting much out of this, but kept my hope alive for a morsel.
As a CORDS civilian on loan from the Foreign Service, I lived with the Phu Khuong District MAT from 9/68 to 3/70. The team was located on the Phu Khuong District Compound south of the Cao Dai Holy See near Long Hoa Market, and it included the provincial capital, though the village comprising the capital, Tay Ninh City, was worked mostly by the provincial team consisting of about 140 military and 10 civilians. The district MAT team commander was Maj. Charles B. Gray, later followed by Maj Ricketson. The District Chief was Maj Nguyen Van Mach. Up at province, the PSA was (FSO) Hugh G. Appling, and his deputy was a Colonel (whose name I have forgotten, but he died in a helicopter crash on Christmas day (either 1968 or 1969 – that, too, I have forgotten – most probably 1969). There were two Province Chiefs during my time there, the latter being Col Thien. Perhaps I might be able to dredge up more memories if my mind is jogged.
Sad to say, I recently received an e-mail informing me that Gene Marshall died this past summer — I think at the end of August, 2013. I followed him as a junior Foreign Service Officer to Tay Ninh (where I was from the summer of 1970 to early 1972), and again in Kabul, Afghanistan, where I replaced him as the U.S. consul.
Also, LTC Mach, the Phu Khuong District chief mentioned by Gene, died in California earlier this year.
Bruce A. Beardsley
This message is for Gene B. Marshall. The LTC you spoke of was my Dad, Tom O’Dea, who died on Christmas Day, 1968. Mr. Appling was also in the helicopter when it went down. If there is anything you may remember about my Dad, please let me know. I was eight years old when he was killed.
Sandy O’Dea, daughter of LTC Thomas O’Dea, US Army
Sandy, I’m Hugh Appling’s youngest daughter, Jane, also 8 years old that Christmas Day. I knew my dad lost colleagues and friends in the crash, Vietnamese and American, to his great sorrow. Dad was injured, but we were fortunate to have him with us until he passed away in 2006, at 84. My father always spoke so highly of those he worked with in Tay Ninh – I’m sorry about your dad.
Jane, I am sorry that I haven’t checked this website in quite some time. Thank you so much for your response. Your Dad wrote my Mom a lovely letter explaining the crash and answering all you many questions regarding that Christmas day. Sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing but happy for you and your family that you had precious moments with him. Ironically I work for the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration and I speak with Vietnam Veterans everyday, but unfortunately I’ve never come across someone who served with my Dad. Thank you again for your response and all the best for the New Year.
Your father was an elegant man. Didn’t get caught up in the military silliness part of MACV. Wish I could have been like Hugh Appling.
After I left the Army, he wrote a kind note on my behalf for my graduate school.
I have pictures of your father that you may not have seen. Please ask if you wish to see them.
Mark, did you happen to know my Dad, LTC Tom O’Dea? He was killed in the helicopter that went down with Mr. Appling.
Sandy, I didn’t know LTC O’Dea. I didn’t arrive until June 1969 and never heard about that helicopter accident until reading this thread.
I’m sorry about your father’s loss. I guess it never goes away
Hello, my name is Stacey Davis, Son of SFC Melvin who served on Team 90 during your time in 69-70. Do you have any pictures or memories of my father during that time?