Team 93 Ben Tre

MACV Team 93 – Ben Tre.

This Page is intended for the discussion of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Team 93 located in Ben Tre.

14 thoughts on “Team 93 Ben Tre

  1. Haston Presnell MSG E-8 Advisory Team 93 Giong Trom District May 1966 – May I did an interview with TWS and copied this from those notes My email is elenaandhaston @verizon .net

    In 1967 at Kopler Compound in Saigon. I received three days of orientation. On the last day they brought us into a class room with a large fiber glass boat mounted with 50cal MG’s. That give me an indication that I was headed for the Mekong Delta Area. My assignment was to Advisory Team 93, Don Nohn but the assignment was changed when I arrived in My Tho to another sub sector Giong Throm. I was there as part of The Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) and supporting the VN 7th Division and specifically was advisor to two VN Regional Force/popular Force Companies . We flew into MyTho on a (then Army Aircraft) Caribou and landed on a short muddy air strip that was too short and I did not know that a Caribou could stop that quick and even take off again in that short distance. The first time I felt uneasy was seeing two wounded Americans who were being loaded on a helicopter, one had lost most of a right foot the other the left one. The Air strip was near the 7th Vietnamese Division Headquarters just across the Mekong River at My Tho, From there I was picked up by jeep and taken to Ben Tri, Providence Headquarters Compound. The next Day I joined Giong Throm MACV Team 93. ( Team 93 was a five man advisory Team consisting of A Chief (Major) Assistant Chief (Captain) Team NCO (MSG E-8) a lead Medic (SFC E-7) Radio Operator (Cpl)). I was a Master Sergeant E-7 and was promoted to E-8 while there . We had a team house inside a South Vietnamese Compound in Giong Trom near their District Headquarters. and just across the main road from the Giong Trom Market. We had been provided what was called a sub-sector living kit with a stove, cots, a kerosene burning refrigerator and some chairs so we didn’t have it too bad when we were at home base.

    We received mortar rounds on or near our team house about every week throughout the year. I was on operation with the Poplar Force and Regional Force (P/F and RF) Companies over thirty five times when we were involved in fire fights with Vietcong. Probably the most significant time was on Nov 19, 1966 when I and Major Bowen accompanied two RF Companies on a heliborne operation to secure an area along the Giong Trom and Ba Tri border and set up as a blocking force for a operation taking place in the Ba Tri District. On landing we had a hot LZ and had to fight our way to the objective. With gunship support we were able to take the objective and capture a large weapons cache of over five tons of ammunition and weapons. I had been separated from my team leader Major Bowen, but I had the radio with me and continued to coordinate artillery and gunship support until the objective was taken . I was recommended for the Bronze Star for Valor. However, this was never approved but I did receive the VN Cross of Gallantry for this action.

  2. Hi,

    I was not part of team 93, but I suspect that my long lost grandfather was. I know his last name was Marshall and his first name was most likely James. My mother was born in 1969 so he was there around that time. Does that name ring a bell to anyone? I’ve also heard from my estranged grandmother that he might have been a helicopter pilot.

    I’d greatly appreciate any info. Thanks!

    • My name is John Todd and I was with the air force. I was with Gary Wilders and my pilot Major Brown. I worked on the bird dogs and was there for the Tet Offensive living in the compound. My phone number is (917) 559- 7959

      • I don’t remember you John, but I’m sure that we slept in the end of the enlisted barracks in the Air Force room. Garry Willders left a message on the Team 88 message board. I remember visiting a family in Ben Tre with him. I’ve contacted Tim Davenport, an Army pilot and ran into George Costello in Ben Tre this past January while visiting Ben Tre. I’ve been there 4 times for vacation in the past 8 years.

    • Maj. Ames,

      I left a reply directed to you on the Advisory Team 75 site today. When I first enrolled at the macvteams site, there wasn’t a Team 93, so I haven’t received posts for that site and don’t look at it often.

      Carter Rogers

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

  4. I’m glad to see some comments for Team 93. I was in Advisor Team 93 from Jan. 1968 to June 1969. The team designation was changed to Team 88 some time in 1969. So you might check there too. Thanks to Louis Rothenstein for his comments and extensive knowledge about the team and the general area. One name he mentioned was Capt. George Skypect. I knew 1st LT. Skypect, and then later Capt. Skypect, very well. I have pictures of us standing together after we interrupted a VC lunch meeting west of Ben Tre. The tea was still hot. He was quite an artist even back then. Several of his sketches were in the mess hall. He painted the American flag on the mess hall roof to be sure air support knew where we were during Tet. I was weapons specialist for the team. I worked out of Ben Tre but traveled to all of the outlying Districts, with my counterpart, in a weapons support function. I did some shooting classes for the ARVN troops with the new M16A1s that were handed out. I introduced a new shooting concept to them, that of keeping their eyes open when they pulled the trigger. I worked wonders. I don’t remember many names. It’s been a long time. I worked for Capt. Hite (sp?) and overall for Maj. Konnkel (sp?). You might also check team 75 (My Tho). There are a lot of Ben Tre comments there. I can be reached at darrellhartigan@yahoo.com. I hope to see more of your comments.

    SSG. Darrell Hartigan (former)
    Ridgway, Colorado

  5. I was with Advisory Team 93 from Jun 66 to July 1967. I was assigned to 525 MI Gp and attached to the Team as the Intelligence Sergeant. I was sent here as I knew the area from TDY trips in 61 and 62 to My Tho and Ben Tre. We had a Major, running PRU, a Capt, Tm Ldr, a 2Lt IPW, a clerk SP4 and myself, an SP7/SFC. When Maj Hovey became ill, I had to do the PRU things for a couple of months until we got a Naval Inte liason Officer (NILO) in who got a USN MCPO Ret who worked at the Embassy House to take this task over. Along with ground ops, I did a lot of back seat O-1 time (Bird Dog) photo, VR, Arty, etc. I wirked with the 41st Ranger Bn a few operations but mostly night security and LP stuff coordinating with USN Seals who came around Mar of 70. I knew the CO from 1962. This was a good unit as was the 856 RF Company. Several of us were on a few of the first few operations by the Mobile Riveine Force out of Dong Tam – CTF 117. Operation Deckhouse V was in Jan 67 at Ba Tri, amphibious – USMC and VN Marines along with some of our Rangers. Capt Harrison F Wolf was intel tm ldr. The VC put out a wanted poster on him. Maj Quackenbusch was O&T Advisor, Major Vail did admin stuff, SFC WIlliam F. Chouinard (a real hero) was Team Medic and did much more. SFC Allison, a Korean War Vet was our supply guy who was still deadly with a BAR. I became the senior enlisted guy and had to do Team Sgt duties for awhile. We got in 1SG Rutherford, WWII, Korea, VIetnam who took this job over. He was filling in at Huong My when 2 VC Battalions attacked. He probably saved many casualities manning a .50 ca. He received a SS for this action. My Clerk, SP4 Johnson received a BSM V for rescuing one of our officers while injured and under fire. I have corresponded with Cpt (R) George Skypect who led the 3//39 Inf into town to help take it back from the VC during Tet of 68. He is a renown military historical artist. Has a website. I had a later tour with Advisory Team 64 Chau Doc actually serving with Advisory Team 50 at Cao Lanh, 44th Special Tactical Zone. I will try to put in a few names there as well. CSM (R) Lou Rothenstein

    • My dad 1SG Phillip Retherford (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) was assigned to Advisory Tm 93 from ~Jan 67 to Jan 68. He passed away Oct 2004. I found some pictures of Adv Tm 93 that have no names except for SFC WIlliam F. Chouinard and a group pic with actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. I transferred the pics into digits if anyone is interested. CSM (R) Miles Retherford

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