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.

53 thoughts on “Team 93 Ben Tre

  1. Looking for any/all available information about my grandfather Jerry W Motsinger from NC. From what I can gather he was on the MACV ADV team 93 near kein hoa and received fatal wounds around 6/6/68 I do not have much more information than that so any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Josh,
      I’m so happy to see a posting about Ssg Motsinger. I knew him through being stationed with MACV #93 as a SPC4 radio/radio teletype operator assigned to Co B, 52nd Signal Battalion in the same compound. Living in Ben Tre was not bad duty; not as good as My Tho but far fewer people. Less than1/4 of a city block in size it was surrounded by a broken glass-encrusted, plastered block wall with a guard shack at the main gate. There was a policeman’s hut across the street and it backed up to a branch of the Mekong River. It was home to several branches of US military and some ROK troops and Korean contractors. We had cooked meals, fresh linen, hot water, flush toilets, fairly regular electricity, television and a combined OFC/ENL club. When I checked in there was still a wet concrete patch in the wall of the club that had been perforated by a rocket loosed by an overzealous ground attack helicopter pilot during the Tet offensive from January 1968 os so I was told.
      I met your grandfather when he arrived about the time I did in Spring of 1968. Jerry was pals with New Yorker Sgt Jim Pringle. As I recall, both had come from the 24th ID ( taro root on a round insignia) near the Cambodian border. They had lots of experience and were highly valued combat infantry NCOs. They went together to the field many times with the major and the ARVN Infantry that we were supporting. Jerry had a ruddy complexion, moustache, and reddish hair. He was very upbeat and friendly; Jim was taller, darker, and clean-shave. He was more reserved but you could sense they were true friends. They were also “short”; meaning they’d nearly finished their tours and were ready to depart for the US soon. I admired them greatly but they discouraged me from wanting more field exposure which probably saved my life. The last time I saw them was early June 1968. Everyone was saddened by their loss. Shortly afterward I was reassigned back to my company who was supporting the 9th ID at Dong Tam. In early October 1968 I returned to the US having completed my tour anxious to be separated after my 2-year obligation as a draftee.
      Much later, while working at F.E. Warren AFB, WY in the early ’90s I assisted the crew of the portable Vietnam Wall when they stopped in Cheyenne for a few days. I was deeply affected by finding Jerry and Jim’s names with over 58,000 others. Took a “rubbing” of their names and stuck it in my Bible.
      Sorry for your loss; the world is a lesser place without your granddad and his friend.
      Barry C. Mountain US 55 878 635
      PS: Thank you for the chance to recall these memories so long deferred.

      • Thank you so much sir. I have always wondered about my grandfather, the story you have told me is the most insight into who he was that I have other than a service photo and his flag. If you are willing to I am more than happy to read anything you want to remember and tell if it includes my grandfather or not, please do not feel pressure. I am simply interested and incredibly thankful for the information you gave me. I wish I could explain how much this means to me or had a way to reciprocate the generosity.

      • Sir I can not thank you enough for taking the time to respond. I have always wondered about my grand father. Please feel free to contact me I will gladly read anything you are willing to type about your time in country, again thank you so much I have nobody I can ask the only things I know are the things I can find about him myself
        My email is I’ve responded one other time but I want to ensure you have a chance to see it . Please, do not feel pressure to respond you have already done so much

  2. Hey Team 93, this is Jack Slater still amongst the living. I am living outside Boise, ID. Arrived in Ben Tre 1967 out in July 1968. I remember lots of you guys, would love to hear from anybody. You might remember me, and First SGT Rutherford; we were doing the resupply from the airstrip. Several rides with Bird Dogs and Swamp Fox, those tail draggers, were memorable.
    Here it is 50ish years later, I can still remember those times. Comments above from several of you, I can reply to now.
    If I had to do it again with Top, I could do it again. I am still in contact with Stubby and Smitty, and remember all you Air Force Guys!
    You can contact me by phone 208-340-1108, or my e-mail
    Feel free to contact me, Slater

    • Hey Jack this is Tim Davenport. My call sign was Swampfox 13. I flew my birddog out of Ben Tre from about Sept. ’67 to May of ’68. My crewchief was named Rodman. Do you remember him?

      • Hello,
        I remember your names and those tiny, skinny, gray aircraft. Loafing around low and slow above the mangroves and rice paddies strangely protected with the knowledge that if you took fire from the ground the Phantoms might be the last thing the shooters would see.
        I think we overlapped our times during the Spring of 1968 at Ben Tre. I was an Army SP4 radio/radioteleype operator from the 52nd Signal Bn, CoB assigned with a few Signal Corps troops from My Tho to Team #93, Ben Tre. Our station was next to the VHF(?) commo van outside the door of the TOC a few blocks from the compound. Best place of the few I was stationed while in-country. I think I remember you as one of several of the pilots who wore the baggy, sage-colored flight suits around the compound. My recollection of you was as a Captain, right?. Even after all this time I can still recall Rodman. Big, loud, and a Texan, too, I believe! A picture of him surfaces in my random assortment of photos every so often. A real character.
        Otherwise, you might remember me as the guy who’d tune API from Subic Bay, PI on my radio teletype rig and run printouts of the accounts of the latest news including the King (April) and Kennedy (Aug) assassinations from my commo van to the compound. My big opportunity to scoop the Stars and Stripes and Overseas Weekly papers, ha! I also bartended a little bit and will never forget the Army SFC who took all that good Hennesey cognac with Dr. Pepper. Even as a 20-year old from North Dakota I knew that was wrong!
        Barry Mountain – Whitewater, CO

    • Sir, thank you for your service. Do you remember if a CPT Floyd McGurk was at this site from NOV-66 to NOV 67?

  3. Anyone familiar with the ambush at Phu Tuc on 8/20/64 resulting in deaths of Coyle, Stone, Ragin and Ward as well as about 200 ARVN troops? Would appreciate being contacted if so via e-mail. Need info. Thanks. I’m Ragin’s 1st Cousin.

    • In my notes I have written that the 41st Rangers (7th ARVN Division) were ambushed at Ham Long District, Kien Hoa Province 20 Aug 1964. Recently I read that their jeep hit a mine ( Coyle, Stone Ragin & Ward KIA ). I was not there . I was a helicopter crewchief . I collect IV Corps history .

      • Thanks much, Doug. I did not know that. All I know is what Gen. Wm. McCaffrey told the family at the Arlington Funeral in 9/64, newspaper accounts and letters from Gen., Barry McCaffrey ( Barry’s father) in later years. Apparently, when the ambush was sprung, the ARVN Officers rec’d permission to leave their troops to their fate but the 4 American Advisors stayed with the troops to cover whatever withdrawal the ARVN could get. All 4 died of small arms fire and bayonet wounds over the 90 minutes of fighting. All 4 Rec’d DSC s for staying to cover the withdrawal of the the ARVN remnants. Although the battle hit the papers nationwide, about a week later The Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred and and the story was dropped.. FYI, the area you reported is absolutely correct, so the info you gave sheds a little more light on what happened. Can’t thank you enough…..I’m getting long in the tooth and am trying to get as much info on the incident as possible for future generations of the family before I check out. Very much appreciated and if you know any more, would be glad to hear it. Pls stay in touch. Fred.

        • Fred, there is some good information on the Vietnam wall of faces about the incident . Google ‘ the final mission of William David Howsare Ragin ” . Maybe you have already seen it .

  4. Looking for anyone who remembers a MSGT William Matthews. His record shows Team 93 Sep 67- Jun 68. Tragically he died in a car crash on leave in Texas in Jul 68.

    Thanks, Cliff

  5. I’ve been trying to reach Bill Spence for years. Ken Frazer has stopped in, I’ve been in touch Smitty and Slater Tim Ryan and Jack Harrell. Saw George Costillo years ago. I’d love to hear from anyone.

    • I’ve been in touch with a few from Ben Tre and have visited Ben Tre 5 times in the last 11 years. I last saw Bill Spence in Denver in 1969.

    • Hi Stubbs, Jack Slater called me and informed me of this site. I was never aware of it until today. I live in Prescott, Arizona if you are ever out this way. I have seen Jack a number of times over the years.

    • Hey Earle, my name is Tim Davenport. I was 1st. LT birddog pilot at Ben Tre from about Sept. 67 to May 68. I was a room mate with Jack Harrell
      and Bob Wooley, the other birddog pilot and a red headed Cid Lt , I can’t remember his name. How do you get in touch with Jack?

        • Earle, sorry to be so slow getting back to you but thanks for the info on Jack Harrell. For some reason I haven’t been getting notifications of new posts. I have new computer and for some reason I do get notifications. It also doesn’t help that there are two Ben Tre sites. Thanks again. Hope all is well.

    • Stubby , how are you, Happy New year 2022 Slater here. Send a reply to my e mail hope to here from you , Wonder if this reply goes to you or the tm 93? Anyway good out west best wishes

      • Jack, I tried texting Stubbs on both the phone numbers you had sent me. One didn’t go through and the other I didn’t get a response back.

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

    My email is
    Thank you

  7. 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.

    • 19 NOV 1966, V C engage 60 PF & 2 U S Advisors in Kien Hoa Province. Losses: frd U S 1 KIA, PF 17 KIA, 28 weapons lost. En 60 KIA 9 Ind weapons . Maj Homer L Pease KIA. Possibly operation “Cuu Long 62”

    • Don Fender Medic E-7 MAT 93 1969 Thoi Lai Village< Phong Dien Province. I wasn't aware MAT 93 had been any where except Thoi Lai before my assignment there after a brief initial assignment with MAT 11. At the time of my tour with the team, Captain Jammison, and 1LT Payne were the two officers. WE had 5 Staff Sgts. Gibson, Hamilton, Jankura, and Lovell. SSG. Smith was the other member of our team. other members joined as needed to replace folks who rotated. My best friend SSG Edison Lemay was one of those later arrivals. The last replacement SFC John Benjamin Benavidez was killed in action shortly after I departed to become Team 56 Medic in Can Tho. Ben was a good guy and a great team-mate.

  8. 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.

      • Hi John, My name is Tim Davenport. I was a birddog pilot and had crew chief named Mac Rodman. Do you remember him or how to get ahold of him? Same goes Maj. Brown.You guys converted to O-2’s while I was there.

    • 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 I hope to see more of your comments.

    SSG. Darrell Hartigan (former)
    Ridgway, Colorado

    • Mr. H, Hmmm, I arrived in Spring of 1968 as an Army SPC4 radio/radioteletype operator. I was assigned a bunk in a room behind the bar that had a recently patched very large hole in the wall from an errant rocket sent through it by an over zealous ground attack helicopter pilot I was told. Two of the NCOs, one a balding, moustached Army E-6 named Davis, I think, and a Latin-named fellow of the same rank took schrapnel but survived and returned, albeit, briefly. I think they fared as well as they did because there was a double wall between the rooms for whatever reason but found that the extra beer was stored there.
      Barry Mountain – Whitewater, CO
      PS: Upshot being I don’t think the pilot saw the flag.

      • Thank you so much little more insight into who my Grand father was. Words will never fully express how grateful I am to know anything about him. Again thank you for the information

  11. 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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