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Posted on Dec 19, 2005 in Armchair Reading

Last US Combat Troops in Vietnam?

By Steven Greaf

I believe there is a mistake in the Jan 2006 issue of Armchair General.  The answer to question 6 on the Military Mastermind shows the American Troops leaving Vietnam in 1972.  Shouldn’t the answer be B., 1973?

I throughly enjoy your magazine.  Keep up the good work!



Thanks for taking the time to ask this!

The question asked when the last US ground combat troops left Vietnam. We gave the correct answer, ie 1972. The last American combat unit was a task force from the 3d Bn, 21st Inf Regt and battery B, 3d Bn, 82d Field Artillery Regt which had been stationed in Danang (I commanded battery C, 3d Bn, 82d FA and B btry was our ‘sister’ battalion). These were the last US ground combat units in Vietnam and I was there when they left in August of 1972. As a matter of fact, when my unit disbanded in June 1972, we sent B Btry about 15 of our guys who stayed with B Btry until it left in August. Of note: these C btry guys took along a US flag that had flown over my firebase and put it up over the B Btry firebase where it flew until the task force departed in Aug 72. Therefore, the last American flag to fly over a US firebase in Vietnam was mine.
Some American troops (no combat troops) were still in Vietnam until they left in 1973. 
Thanks again for the question.


Jerry Morelock
Armchair General
Senior Historian


  1. The “Gary Owen Task Force”, a brigade of the 1st Cavalry was still in country near Saigon as a combat infantry unit in August of 1972. Probably left about the same time that month as the 82d FA elements up north.

    • I was infantry assign to a mortar section. I left Vietnam between Mar-May of 1973

      • There is still so much about this war that is ‘unknown’ except by the people who were there and lived it.

      • I was also with Co A and Co D, 1/7 in 1971 and thenworked with the Blue Teams of the 229th during the Easter Offensive of 1972, mostly over An Loc, destroying downed aircraft and picking up pilots. The Garry Owen stand down was late June of 1972.

        We stopped all active patrol missions within about a month or so of that. We closed down firebase Spudis sometime around July 15th or so right after my friend Robert D. Hamilton was killed on July 4th. It was the last active 1/7 firebase (after Grunt II and Crossed Sabers).

        I left country August 13th.

      • Ricardo, you say that you were with a mortar section March – May 1973? Can you tell me what unit and where you were located? I’m very interested in this because I am writing a book (my 2nd about Vietnam) about the last year of America’s involvement there: March 1972 until March 29, 1973.

        Richard Vidaurri
        Americal Division

      • Mortar platoon in 72/73? I was in country in 72/73 and there were no ground pounders left, at least that I was aware of. All our guys ‘flew’.

      • How can anyone say that the last ground pounders left before April of 72. I was still on Fire Support Base Melanie until June 26 1972. When I transfered to the Garry Owen Task Force in Bien Hoa in late June of 72, we were still doing active Search and Destroy missions from Fire Support Base Green. Maybe all the upper echelon left, but I can assure you that we still a a ground presence after March 30 1972. Anyone who says anything to the contrary is either misinformed or just plain lying.

      • All U S combat troops were out of Vietnam by the end of March, 1972. I was on the next to the last aircraft carrying the last of U S combat troops out of Vietnam that departed from Saigon on March 30, 1972.

      • Jack Kennedy, You need to correct your last post:


        JAck Kennedy says:

        7/24/2013 at 10:20 pm

        All U S combat troops were out of Vietnam by the end of March, 1972. I was on the next to the last aircraft carrying the last of U S combat troops out of Vietnam that departed from Saigon on March 30, 1972.

      • I was with F/9th at Bien Hoa. I left there in Jan 73 to fly for the UN in Saigon. I left country on Feb 13th 1973.

      • I was a member of the 3-2/1 task force in DaNang in the summer of 1972 and supposedly we were the last combat unit to perform field combat operations in Vietnam. No doubt there were many support groups with combat MOS left for security purposes until all Americans had gone. Now, could I bet my life on the statement I just made about the 3-2/1 the answer is no, there may have been more going on than we were told, but I do have a commendation stating that I was a member of the last combat unit to perform combat operations in Vietnam.

      • Hi James highland the last patrol 196lib3/21inf red leg grunt nick name (runt) 1972

      • I arrived in RVN March 4, 1972 and became member of 99th EOD at Long Bing. The 99th at the time was the most active in country. It became the last active EOD unit, disbanding in August, 1972. I then transferred to what became the 533rd EODC (control) with emphasis on embassy protection. We lived in villa 3 blocks from the embassy. I was further assigned to the Combined Materiel Exploitation Center mainly examining shell fragments to let units in the field what they were being hit by. I also made 4 trips north to try to secure SA 2 missle, render safe for transport back to Piccatinny Arsenal. These trips were in November and December, 1972. Most everyone was standing down in January and February. Our unit of 12 hosted a party for the peace keeping force before standing down March, 1973. My return.

      • The last American troops, not assigned to the Embassy, departed on 28 Mar 1973. The last Army ground combat unit last in August of 1972. Units of the 1st Avn Bde were in country until 1973 but the helicopters were disarmed in Nov-Dec of 1972. All weapons and weapon systems were turned over to the South Vietnamese in Jan Feb 1973. There were NO mortars or US Infantry units or weapons in country at the date you describe. I left country 9 Mar 73 and a friend was had been the US military advisor to the Mayor of Saigon left 29 Mar 73.

    • It appears, from the Order of Battle published by the VHPA, that ALL of the Air Cav Troops in Vietnam were stood down February 1973.

      It is not true that all of US combat troops were out of Vietnam by 1972.

      IF it was said all of the “ground” troops were out of Vietnam by 1972, that would have been closer to being correct BUT for the fact that each Air Cavalry Troop had an Infantry Platoon assigned.

      • Fran Lawrence and Jerry Morelock:

        I’ve been reading this thread with great interest. I’m working on a 2n book about Vietnam which will be set during the last year of the U.S. phase of Indochina, March 1972 to 29 March, 1973.

        Among my reference works I rely heavily on Stanton’s Vietnam Order of Battle. According to Stanton you left RVN along with the rest of the 196th LIB on 29 June, 1972. B Battery’s assets, while it may have appeared to you to have gone to your sister battery, C / 3 / 82 FA, actually went to a newly formed Provisional Battery G / 29th FA, which was the successor to C Battery. It was that G Battery that formed a task force with 3rd Battalion / 21st Infantry, which you mention.

        All that said it appears to me that any confusion as far as last combat unit in Vietnam is really a matter of “combat unit” vs. “ground combat unit.” Stanton calls the 3 / 21 Infantry (without mention to a task force) the “last U.S. Army ground combat battalion to leave Vietnam: 23 August, 1972. Under the entry for G / 29 FA he states that the battery departed Vietnam in September 1972 with no further explanation.

        All that said, I’m still left searching for the last ground combat ( including aero-rifle platoons) unit, regardless of size, to turn out the lights in Vietnam.

        Best to all,

        Richard Vidaurri
        Americal / later 196th LIB
        Author of The Gates of the Shadow, the unlikely story of America’s last battle tank in Vietnam.

      • I have had so many sleepless nights over this war I had to be a
        Part of . I am not sure why our government needs make our history such a mistory.

        Like the many who are trying to set things right I was part of the color guard for the 62nd (Royal couchman) for there stand down. I have posted a photo of this color guard on my home page. ) I am not sure why we need to defend a job that we proved that we were well trained followed all our orders.

        If we had been told to take and destroy Hanoi it would have been done in no less than three days.

      • My last post should have said the last combat troops left Vietnam in March, 1973, NOT 1972.

      • I was with F/9 Air Cav in Bien Hoa from May 1972-Feb
        1973. I came home 13th of February 1973. After the stand down a few of us were sent to Saigon to pick up NVA advisors for the peace talks. We had orange stripes around our birds so they wouldn’t shoot us down. We flew out of Saigon for the UN. Some of us were still there.

      • Roger that! I was USAF and left in March of 73. Air Cav troops were still there in Jan and part of Feb.

      • Roger that! I was USAF and left in March of 73. Air Cav troops were still there in Jan and part of Feb.

      • Roger that! I was USAF and left in March of 73. Air Cav troops were still there in Jan and part of Feb.

      • I was still in the bush until sometime in June 1972. My buddie, Sgt Larry Harvey was killed 3/21/72. That firefight was against the 33rd NVA. We were ABSOLUTELY a combat unit in the bush in June. Task Force Gerry Owen.

      • That is correct. I was in F Troop, 4th Cav, and I left with most of my unit on Feb 4, 1973

      • I left Vietnam in June of 72 I was in the engineering unit in denying up for the second of the first infantry Camp Purdue

      • I was with “Task Force Gerry Owen” until June 72. We were still in the bush on search and destroy missions.

    • I was in Bien Hoa up until August 1st 1972 attached to the Garry Owen Task Force during the rocket attack that morning. I was sitting in the radar tower and at about 5AM when the rockets started coming in. We triangulated the position from the radar towers and dropped a bunch of artillery on them. Later that day, I was taken to the air base in Siagon for processing out of country. I left VietNam on August 5th 1972. I also served at FireBase Melanie from February through mid June of 1972. I was on the last chopper out of Melanie with the colonel when we turned it over to the ARVN.

      • To Mike Evenson, Please email me about NCOC 71 and Task Force Garry Owens 72. Would love to talk to you.
        Phil purdy

      • To Mike Evenson, If you could please email me at The reason being that I might have a item that you lost after you came back to the US in late 1972


      • I was also at Bien Hoa, Oct 71 to Aug 22,’72. We experienced the same earth shaking rocket attack. Right after the Cav Colors were cased we became 1/7 Provisional Force. A couple of weeks later we became Task Force Garry Owen. The day I left I met a young Major who was a advisor to the RVN Para’s who took over our AO. One man, Donald Butts (So. Calif.) was transferred to the 5th SF just north of Bien Hoa, he had only been in country 3 months. Never heard from him again but I know he stayed, I always felt a little guilty over that.

      • Michael,
        I too was pulling guard duty at either Bien Hoa or FSB Garry Owen (which was a glorified OP about 1/2k outside Bien Hoa) that night of the rocket attack. We had spotted rockets coming out of the Michelin (I think) rubber plantation, but nobody was firing at that target from our side. For economic reasons we were told.
        I’ve also seen a number of very specious govt. generated accounts of what our unit B Co. 2/8 (1st Cav) was doing throughout that spring. I distinctly remember doing several mission outside the artillery arc in the vicinity of Xuan Loc just prior to the An Loc offensive. On 1 of them we saw fresh tank sign (a chilling sight to 11b grunts operating platoon seperate in a free fire zone).
        Being the last of the 1/7 grunts to leave Bien Hoa, meant being the last grunt from the Garry Owen Brigade to leave. My unit at the time (C Co. 1/7) had lost my 201 file and for several days I’d go over to Long Bien to see if they’d found it before being sent back to a base empty of U.S. forces. The ARVN didn’t seem interested in feeding me, so one day I just refused to leave Long Bien. After taking (stealing) all my souvenirs of any value the MP’s sent me to Tan Son Nhut just to get rid of me. I eventuallygot sent home on Alexander Calder’s Braniff 727. I was the last true grunt to leave country. I didn’t bother turning out the light at the end of the tunnel.

      • Michael: Saw your message about being at Melanie and remember seeing you and you showing me how the RADAR system worked. Email me at if you like. Nice to hear from folks there.



      • That day was my birthday I just turned 19 years old And my company responded to that attack I was with F battery 26FA

      • Michael I was there on that day during that attack in the morning I was part of a field artillery unit that was stationed there F BTRY 26 FA And responded to that attack

    • I have looked and looked for those who were with Task Force Garry Owen. I was with 1st Brigride HHC and stood in the stand down cermorny @ Bien Hoe in June 1972. For those that were there remember one of the honor guards that passed out and fell forward and landed on his steel pot that fell off just before. After that there weren’t many of us left. I remember selling refigritors to the Marines that were bought in to protect our rear as we left. What a joke that was as most were new in country and we all know about newbe’s. Thanks to all the Skytroopers out there and we will all fly again together some day!

      • I remember somebody falling down. But what I really remember about that ceremony was a loach pilot getting an award for pulling out something like 11 ARVNs or Vietnamese civilians at one time, most of them, of course, hanging on the skids. I’m not sure but he may ahve made two different trips doing the same thing. I think their compound was overrun during the Easter Offensive.

      • Al,
        You may have been at a ceremony in June. I left FSB Melanie in June, but I then got sent to C Co. 1/7 and we still pulled Air Cav missions until August. Check out the reply I sent to Michael Everson about that time.

      • Al; I was there until the bitter end. I was with A 1/7 until we were made into “Task Force Gerry Owen” in the spring (?) of 72. Our job didn’t change. We were still doing 3 week missions in the jungle. I was transferred to C 1/7 when they stood down A co. I was a M60 gunner until we were extracted to FSB Bunker Hill on the “Dong Hai” (?) river. I took a bath in a tanker truck that night. The next day I went on a “light to fight” patrol. It was blowing dust around, so I was cleaning my 60. Someone called my name and said “go check out. You are leaving in 15 minutes”. I gave my 60 to my AG (a new Guy who was with me 3 weeks) I was out of there in 15 minutes. I would love to hear from you, Al

      • Somebody mentioned a young Major. Was that Marine Major John Campanelli? He was my cousin who I was told took over security of Bien Hoa air base where I was stationed from Easter 1972 to Jan 1973. I was part of the Marine A4 Squadron. I know my cousin came for security because we had none. I never knew we were their together until I read someplace he was their.

    • Dear fellow AG commentators:

      For the last couple of days I’ve been involved in research regarding combat units in Vietnam during the last year of the American phase of the war. Several of you have given me your time and memories so that I now have a pretty clear understanding of the matter.I might add here that there is precious little published material on that last lonely American year of March 1972 through the end of March, 1973.

      In the final analysis I can say that after Task Force Gary Owen departed on 22 August, 1972 there were no longer American ground combat units anywhere in Vietnam. That is not to say, however, there were no ground combat soldiers still in-country . Rifle security companies, Special Forces soldiers attached to MACV or CIA, MACV advisers, these all soldiered on until the end.

      So, I was about to close out this part of my search out when I stumbled onto something intriguing: something called the Infantry Security Force (Special Guard). The only information in Stanton’s Vietnam Order of Battle is that this was a battalion-sized force under the direct control of MACV and later (later? later when? later how?) the Department of the Army, that it served in multiple locations, was composed of specially chosen soldiers, and was a TDA organization. The unit served in Vietnam from March 1965 until March 1973.

      I have hunted all through my reference library, the Internet, old friends… and NADA. Can anyone give my any information on these folks?

      • Also as an interesting observation I’ve gotten the overwhelming impression that unless a soldier who served that last year had done a previous tour in Vietnam, he had no idea what the war was like in the earlier years – no clue whatsoever. But I cannot be certain of this until I hear from if reading about the experiences of the earlier Vietnam soldiers leaves you with the same impression of remoteness that reading your stories leaves in me.

        I also want to say that like every soldier who served in Vietnam I have the greatest admiration for the air crews. But the challenges and the raw courage of the men who flew in Vietnam at the end are remarkable even among that already remarkable group.

      • Easter Offensive(Tet with tanks). Levee out of Polk and thru Oakland in May72 into camp alpha to 3d Bde, Cav at Bien Hoa until (July?) and pcs to HHC 525th MIGp on the MACV annex. Part of a QRF for the MACV cmpd and annex. until early December. PCS to MR2 with 572d MIDet with mostly support for rtty nets and courier assignments. Not many of us left in beginning 73 and after Paris accords I departed back through Tan Son Nhut in Feb 73.

        I have a lot of opinions, but I would probably be accused of rewriting history. I was 20 so most would not know of what I am talking about.

      • I served with “TASK FORCE GIMLET” 3rd BN 21st INF 196th INF BDE, we were the last combat unit to depart Viet Nam in Aug. 1972.

      • Richard,
        My platoon Sgt in C 1/7 (who was one of the rangers who assaulted the roof of our embassy in ’68 Tet and stayed in-country as long as he could because he was wanted for murder in San Jose Ca.) was recruited to that outfit for a salary of $30k (a lot at the time). The impression he got was that it was a CIA affair that was to be operating mostly out of Laos. Who knows though. He could’ve been lying. Or mistaken. Or both. I experienced and heard tell of a lot of strange doings over there. I’m sure at least some of them were true. Did anyone meet an Australian Major that had spent 20 yrs looking for Japanese gold in the Mekong River? I did.

      • Richard: I don’t know where you did your research; heavens know the records weren’t the best. I was in the Cav at the end of the war and have orders to confirm and my personnel record if it will help. I was at FSB Melanie like a couple others on here in 2/5th Cav under LTC Blagg as the commander of company E (base defense commander as a captain). This was my second tour in country. He turned over command to LTC Walker ( have the change of commander ceremony pics. 2/5th colors were covered and many of us went to 1/7th Cav in Bien HOA and were part of TF Garry Owen.
        When the historians speak of American combat units, they generally talk about a unit of self sustaining size which normally is a division, but a brigade may be augmented to be separate. TF Garry Owen was formed to be separate. The 101st still had a unit up north and we all wanted to be the last American fighting unit to leave country. However, some how that distinction went to the 101st.
        From 1/7th, I went to F Troop/9th Cav which was a flying unit (air cavalry). That unit had been assigned to MACV, but still had most of the Cav folks in it. We flew until after the cease fire, then, individually rotated home.
        I’d have to do some digging in my personal records, but it specific dates and assignments would help, let me know and I’ll dig through them.

        Best regards,

        Dave Siciliano

      • I believe yu are referring to installation infantry companies serving as night-time guard units.

      • When 4th Inf,(Mech) outed country in ’71, 1 Btln size force was left in place in country until ’72, so a force of that small of a size could be emplaced under a different umbrella.

    • This is for Al Hagen. Welcome home soldier.This may be late but it’s nonetheless heartfelt.I appreciate all you did in Nam to keep a skinny college sophmore in Mississippi safe and warm at home.You are not forgotten and I’m proud to stand tall with you.

      • Correction to my post above. I was in 2/8th Cav. at FSB Melanie from April 8, 72 until Jun 15, ’72 when I moved to 1/7th. On August 15, I was assigned a separate infantry company) securing the Ben Hoa perimeter. On 11/15 my records show going to F/9.


    • My neighbor(US Army) states he helped in the evacuation of Saigon. He enlisted in 1974. You think this is true?

      • If he’s 54 years old or older, it could be.

      • Yes, it is true. April 30, 1975 – At 4:03 a.m., two U.S. Marines are killed in a rocket attack at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport. They are the last Americans to die in the Vietnam War. At dawn, the last Marines of the force guarding the U.S. embassy lift off. Only hours later, looters ransack the embassy, and North Vietnamese tanks role into Saigon, ending the war.

        The last COMBAT TROOPS were out in 1973, but we still had military forces in country and the was not going to be over for another 2 years yet.

      • I take a different view of the time line from January 1973 to 1975. The Paris Peace Accords were in fact a peace treaty. The war ended on 28 January. I know, was there that Sunday morning. When one has a peace treaty, hostilities end.

        It is clear that the North Vietnamese broke that treaty in 1975, which is a completely separate issue lost by historians who argue we lost the war in Vietnam. We did not lose! For all practical purposes it was a draw. No winners or losers.

        Of we are to follow the logic of those folk of the loser mentality, them when Germany broke the treaty of Versailles, that would mean we lost the Great War.

        These are the same people who spat on us, hated us. The same people I will never, NEVER forgive, and a nation which turned their back on us as if we had a choice in the matter.

        I am still angry and bitter with this country for what they did and continue to do to the Vietnam veteran.

    • i am ex army medic and i am looking for other medic who served in nam from 71-72 with 85 evacuation hospital in qui nhon and we where under control of 43 medical group then i move to 67 evacuation hospital till mid 72 in pleiku an long binh then to 95 evacuation hospital in da nang 72..we travel to long giao,phu thannh,chu lai,phu if any old medic digger please write to me at my email..thank you for reading my request

      • ed vail,g’day mate, sorry for late reply, been so frustrated with everything, for years searching for people serving in the medic and no such luck. looks like no many people are interested in reading my message, I am pretty sure there are some army medic’s who serve with me in 71-72with 85 evacuation hospital in qui nhon and we where under control of 43 medical group then i move to 67 evacuation hospital till mid 72 in pleiku an long binh then to 95 evacuation hospital in da nang 72..we travel to long giao,phu thannh,chu lai,phu bai.ed,feel free to contact me again or you can search for me on facebook.
        Henry Gutierrez

    • g’day to you all i was with the USA army medic from 12/71 till mid 72.from 85 evacuation hospital in qui nhon then to 43 medical group then to 67 evacuation hospital in pleiku and long binh then to 95 evacuation hospital in da nang .what i need to know is this..what happen in nam in 72 with all the army document .i believed and i hear the big general order to have all document from the HQ to be destroy and all those paper where army record and i wonder if any one have any recollection of this.i like to hear from any one who can remember all this,you can email me and let me know any of this information and i will much appreciated if you can,and if any medic remember me feel free to contact me because i love to hear from some old medic.male or female members.i need all this information so i can closed the chapter as i got brain tumor.regards from the thunder of downunder

    • g’day guys,i was in nam from 12/71 till mid 72 with 95 evacuation hospital in da nang and also 85 and 43,67 medical hospital ,qui nhon,pleiku,long binh,long giao,i would like to know if any medic served in any of this evacuation unit and if any one remember me at that time,also like to know if any one hear anything about documents been destroy from HQ by the order of the big general,i know for fact the was army records been destroy before NVC took over Saigon and the USA did not want to leaved any documents and record of soldier for VC to see.if any member hads any information on this,please feel free to contact me or email me with any info..regards..henry gutierrez

      • if any one has read my message in relation of services in Nam with me 71-72 with the medic unit then please contact me.thank you,ex-army medic corporal Henry Gutierrez

      • Henry,
        I was a 1LT INF in the 2/8 1st Cav located in Bien Hoa from 10/71 to 3/72. My Co CO and I visited our wounded at Long Binh Hospital as often as we could. Who knows, our paths might have crossed there.
        All the best in this, your hardest fight.
        And huge admiration and thanks to the care and comfort that you gave the grunts in your care. May that grace come back to you!

    • This article is about as accurate as anything I have read that sums up the last combat troops in Vietnam. I was the last Arty FO to walk the bush with Task Force Gary Owen in June of 1972. I was medivac’d later that month.

      • What I found interesting about the article was that Bob McConnell was with Delta Company. I thought Bob was always and only the C Co commander. I was with both A and D Co and the company commanders I knew were both named Witter. I was mostly with Tony Witter. James Witter followed on after that. I searched in the late LTC Jim Brigham’s list of those that served with the First Cavalry in RVN but it doesn’t show McConnell as a D Co Commander.

        I have the email addresses for both and think I might ask Bob McConnell is that’s a misprint. Bob ran for Congress in Colorado a few years ago but wasn’t successful.

        Bob Flournoy who did you operate with?

    • As an 11B and part of the Gary Owen Brigade C1/7, I was doing search & destroy missions right up until the unit stood down in early 8/72. Because my 201 file had been lost, I was the last member of the unit to leave. Everybody else had gone, so I went to Long Bien and told them they had to send me somewhere because the base (Bien Hoa) was empty.

      • I to was at Bien Hoa with Task Force Garry Owen. I was 72b with HHC. I also, went to Long Bien for out processing before flying out of Sagion in Aug 27, 72. Welcome home!!

    • Seal Team 2 was on the roof in 1975.After the last Helo was lifted ,The Team stay for recon for two weeks, They had a 5 mile swim , to the USS MEYERKORD FF-1058 , The team brought back valuable info on who and how many troops was in Saigon . This operation for highly classify and nothing is mention in any papers about this, But members of SEAL TEAM 2 knows that

    • I was with the “Gary Owen Task Force” 1st Cavalry 21st Battalion, B Battery and was station in Ben Hoa. We had a ceremonial fire of our 105M Howitzers and before we left in August of 1972 we were each handed a brass canister made into an ashtray from the 105m engraved with last in Viet Nam and our unit. I treasure it to this day.

      • I was the B Battery FO for A Company 2/8th from Feb 1972-July…..I literally stayed in the field as the Gary Owen Task Force FO when the Cav stood down and became the GOTF. B/21st shot for me until then, but I do not recall who did for the task force. But…I never got a howitzer canister 🙂 In fact, besides the B Battery CO and XO and FDO (I would see them on FSB Melanie between missions) I never saw anyone from the 21st once I went to the grunts. I was medivac’d out of the field in July and never saw anyone from the unit. I am surprised that my records survived, so invisible was I to my parent unit as I was ingrained with the infantry. I cannot name one person from the 21st Arty, but am still in contact with the platoon leaders from A/2/8th Air Cav. Just the way it was.

      • Interesting blog. I was with D Btry, 1/21 with the Cav. Worked out of BN HQ and volunteered for 2 convoy missions while with BN late 1971. One to pull out FSB Pace on the Cambodian border (Oct 71) and the next a POW operation conducted by MACV (SOG) in Dinh Quan by FSB Nancy (2/5 I believe was involved as well?). Later station on FSB Gibralter and then FSB Bunker Hill II last FSB to be built in Nam. I left in June 1972. Guess I missed the 1st Cav send off. lol!
        Bill Marek, Section Chief FDC / Recon Sgt 1/21 Arty, D btry

      • i have the same ash tray

    • i WAS part of seal team 2 , on APRIL 30 1975 ,SEAL TEAM TWO WAS ON THE ROOF, AFTER THE LAST HELO LIFTED THE TEAM LEFT THE ROOF AND Went back into the Jungle, we did reconn for two weeks after, on May 14th we had 5 MILES SWIM TO AWAKING Ships , The USS MEYERKORD FF 1058 pick up the Team. No records will be found ,but look at the last photo of that day when the Helo left the Roof and if you take a good look ,you will see two member of the Deals one looking down yelling at me to get off of the roof.

    • I was with the 1/21st FA Gary Owens Task Force Bea Hoa. We left in Aug 72. We received one of the last canisters we fired made into an ash tray inscribed “Last In Vietnam” and unit August 1972. Along with a plaque. I still have them. I remember that period well. I was on FB Melanie, Enus, Bunker Hill and Gary Owen.

      • I serve on Fsb Spudis an polishing up my ash tray for Veterans Day Then reasigned to H Troop 10th air Cav

      • Welcome home Stan we may have been on FSB Bunker Hill around the same time. I worked FDC.
        Bill Marek, Section Chief FDC / Recon Sgt 1/21 Arty, D btry

      • I was on FSB Grunt in 1972 with the 1st CAV 21st FA. I wasn’t the last to leave but I departed in August of 1972. The 1st CAV stood down and returned to Fort Hood Texas in mid 1972. I remained and we were designated a task force providing security for the air base. We had a split battery, 3 102 arty and 3 155 arty. Does anyone remember that? Looking for some old Redlegs.

    • I was the last member of task force ‘Gary Owens’ to leave Vietnam (my 201 file had been lost somehow) and I ended up wandering around Bien Hoa airbase for a couple days before showing up at Long Bing and pleading my case to leave. I flew out on the Calder 727 (unforgettable aircraft) on 8/11/72. Even with a 11b MOS, every one after me was a REMF. Not a combat grunt. Finding out who was the last grunt would be easy to determine if you knew who were the last people to be awarded a CIB and adjust from there according to their unit.


  2. What about air or support units? What US personnel were permitted per
    the 1973 agreement? How were advisors or technical support organized
    and how did they leave, right to the end in 1975?



    • I have a few questions trying to connect the dowith my dad.. help plz

      • Fire away with your questions.

    • your right some were there till 1977, read your naval historical foundation it will tell you some were there till 1978 ,someone had to clean up the mess

      • Dennis, are you sure of what you are saying? You of course realize that the NVA came down and deactivated all of South Vietnam in April 1975. That action alone would lead one to believe that there were no American servicemen or civilian government employees in Vietnam after that time.

  3. Hey! Hold up there. You are refering to artillery units as being the last combat troops to leave Viet Nam. A FACT is that C Troop 10th Aero Cavalry left Viet Nam in February 1973. I don’t know if they were the absolute last unit, and I don’t want to quible about who is combat and whom are not, but I will suggest that anyone who was medivaced out of, or extracted whole from, a hot LZ would probable not doubt that helicopter crews were in fact , combat troops
    Rick Reavill, UH-1H Crew Chief, 176th Assault Helicopter Co 69/70, A Conpany, 158th Assault Helicopter BN, 101st Airborne, 71

    • iwas one of those looking for pow [smu]

    • Rick, this is an entry from Vietnam Order of Battle by Shelby L. Stanton:

      Troop H, 10th Air Cavalry, departed Vietnam 26 February 1973, was an air cavalry troop raised from the assets of Troop C, 7th Squandron, 17th Cavarly. Troop H served with the 17th Aviation Group at An while in Vietnam.

      • Correction: that last line should read “…at An Son while in Vietnam.”

      • I was with D-1-7TH Cav from Jan 72 Till Aug of 72 Any questions call me at 229-336-1300 9-5EST

      • There is no ability to reply to Mayburn Boyles so I hope that he sees this. Mayburn, you can contact me by email at I have a Facebook page called 1/7 Garry Owen Riff Raff. I was with D Co as an attachment. We have a couple of others guys in the groups as well (Walter “Doc” Roberts), a medic, is one.

    • I was Infantry in an Artillery Unit that was there at air base while pull out in April 1975 so I assure you there were still grunts on the ground under hostile conditions.

      • my marine air squadron was deployed to Bien Hoa in March of 72 I lefts few days after the peace accord was signed. If you were there you remember we were hit the day it was signed. Our squadron left soon after I did.

  4. The 1st Aviation Company, 1st Brigade, 1 Calvary, 12th Combat Aviation Group, F Troop 8th Cavalry was there until at least Feb 1973.

    During the Easter Offensive 1972, F Troop, 8th Cavalry was attached to the 11th Combat Aviation Group from June 1972 to October 1972.

    The U.S. Army 11th Combat Aviation Group’s activities were closely coordinated with those of the ARVN units. This group provided essintial support with troop lift logistical support, gunships and medevacs.

    F Troop, 8th Cav was there in Quang Tri, the day the Easter Offensive started. The movie ‘Bat 21’ portrays the the time as during the ‘Tet Offensive’ …this is totally incorrect. It took place and began March 29-30, 1972 in Quang Tri. The book is much better than the movie too….and it’s all true. Men of F Troop, 8th Cav gave their all and some – their lives – in the largest search and rescue ever.

    Some of the F Troop, 8th Cav were kids and probably still don’t know to this day that they fought in the probably the biggest and bloodiest battle ever.

    Because of the intensity of the war, most of the F Troop, 8th Cav, 12th CAG files are not available. The service of many from F Troop are not documented.

    • bless you for your service fred , we are all brothers till the end. do you remember what smu is .

      • paris peace accord was jan 28,1973. didnt know war was over till sometime march 1973. stayed in hosiptal till june 20, 1973. was retired july 17, 1973.

    • Fran, it isn’t my intention to sound argumentative. I do have to question, however, your comments that “… because of the intensity of the war F Troop, 8th Cavalry, 12th CAG files are not available…” Then “The service of many from F Troop were not documented”

      I’m not sure what that means. I have had a hell of a time getting even anecdotal evidence from that last year but I believe that’s mainly because in many American minds the war was over by mid – 1972. I have indeed only been able to find ONE non-fiction book about that period: America’s Last Vietnam Battle (Dale Andrade) and that’s only the Easter Offensive.

      All that said, I cannot see why intensity should equal shoddy record-keeping. That hasn’t been the case in any other American war.

      • The last Air Cavalry Troops left Vietnam in 1973. They are the last U S Army conventional COMBAT forces to leave Vietnam. And, technically speaking, since each Air Cavalry Troop had an Infantry platoon that could be employed to fight “on the ground’ you could argue that the last conventional U S GROUND forces left Vietnam in 1973.

        I was the S-3 of the 11th Combat Aviation Group from Oct ’72 to Feb ’73 and can verify this information.

      • Major John P. Kennedy, served 10 November 1972 to 28 January 1973 under Lt. Colonel Stanley D. Cass, 11th CAG.

        No need to verify, I have the 11th CAGs After Action Report in front of me, detailing the 11th CAGs methodical consolidation down to the 62nd Aviation Company + FPJMC and ICCS Detachments, colors to USAEUR on 16 March, and finally turning out the lights on 28 March.

        I am, however, happy that you responded, Major Kennedy, as the same After Action makes note that during the “pre-stand-down phase,” November 1972, a security force was formed from the Blues, the ground component of the aerorifle platoon. As they are again mentioned at the end of the report it is apparent that they stayed until the end, 28 March 1973.

        Despite what Fran proclaims I’m not without a clue nor am I trying to make a point. I also agree that any combat soldiers, assigned to any unit in Vietnam should be classified as “ground combat troops.” I’m doing research for a book, my 2nd book on Vietnam, set during the last year of the American phase, 72-73, and information is hard to come by.

        Now, as long as I have you on the line, Major: Is the After Action Report correct as to those Blues? And, after forming up into a security force did they ever again go on operations, SAR, anywhere outside the wire?

        Thank you for responding to my post, I greatly appreciate any information that you can provide.

        Richard Vidaurri
        Specialist – 5 Vidaurri
        Americal Division, then 196th LIB

        Author: The Gates of the Shadow.

      • The massive stand down of American forces in 1972 and the subsequent reassignment of units to other headquarters resulted in some pretty shoddy records keeping. In June of 1972 I personally submitted a recommendation for the Medal of Honor for Lt. James P. McQuade. A year later I found out that it had been “lost”. There are many more examples of a lessor magnitude than this but it is indicative of what went on at that time.

        F/8 went from the 196th Light Infantry Brigade to the 11th CAG to the 12th CAG in less than a year’s time.

        My last assignment in Vietnam was as the OIC of the Region I Four Party Joint Military Commission Aviation Detachment stationed at Danang AFB. I left Vietnam from Bien Hoa on MArch 30, 1973.

      • Colonel Kennedy: Re-reading your response to my post I see that you left RVN from Bien Hoa on March 30, 1972. As that was the last day for all American soldiers to be out of Vietnam it occurs to me that it must have been a surreal experience.

        Who was there to:

        Out-process you?

        Drive you to the airfield?

        Provide security?

        Did you fly out commercial or U.S. Air Force?

        Where did you arrive back in the States?

        It seems as if someone must have been walking right behind you turning out the lights. I am indeed impressed.

        I’ve never conversed with anyone who was there the very last day so any information that you can provide will help me immensely.

      • g’day Richard name is Henry Gutierrez and i would like to ask you in relation to all the army documents got burn during 72 i the USA going to recognize all the arms service for pension and medical treatments and plus…i am still waiting for 41 years for your accept my claim.the Australian gov.tells me there found record i have serve with the allied forces so they ask me to write to the DVA in you know many services members in the same situation.please let me know if you do so i can contact them and ask them for advice .
        yours sincerely
        Henry Gutierrez..ex-army clp medic.

    • You may want to check some of your facts. I am very confused on your statement that March 29/30 of 1972 started at Quang Tri? I was not there, but my brother was located on the DMZ at Gio Linh on those dates, when 25,000+ NVA came south down rt 1. Him and 5 other marines were at that outpost fighting. My brother “Diamond Jim” (they called him) James Worth was the radio man guiding missle strikes from ships into the DMZ. He became an MIA on April 1, 1972, as noted in the attached link on page 46. I’m going there spring of 2015 to find him.

  5. Air cavalry units with the primary mission of supporting South Vietnamese Army forces were the only active Army combat units in Vietnam throughout 1972. Both the 11th CAG and the 12th CAG, (Combat Aviation Group), were there until at least Feb. 1973.

    Many of these men fought, supplied logistical lift and provided medevacs in support of the ARVN troops in the biggest battle of Vietnam, ‘The Easter Offensive’ or ‘The Spring Offensive’.
    ‘The Easter Offensive’ began and ended in “The Second Battle of Quang Tri’. Some of these men died there.

    March 29-30 1972 at Quang Tri, was the first time that SAMs and regular AAA weapons were used. The NVA introduced the Soviet-built SA-7 (Strella) heat-seeking, shoulder-fired missile, for use against low and slow-flying Allied aircraft. It was deadly, and numerous Allied aircraft losses were attributed to the weapon.

    Until USAF fire power could be transported back from Saigon, (sent there from the ‘drawdown’), 1st Calvary, Combat Aviation Groups held down the fort with help from the Marines that where still there. There were still some Navy offshore that helped too later with firepower. The Army of the Republic of Vietnam, backed by the United States Army, shelled more than 80,000 tons of ordnance, the destructive capacity equivalent to almost six Hiroshima-size atomic bombs.

    When the massive firepower was first unleashed, unsuspecting NVA soldiers reporting for duty were in the city at the time and Quang Tri was referred to as ‘Hamburger City’ by some that saw the aftermath.

    As well, leading out of the city was still ‘The Highway of Horrors’ from when
    South Vietnam had earlier lost its Quang Tri Province on May 1st, 1972 and the NVA cut down masses of panic civilians, war refugees, who were fleeing the city and got stuck at Truong Phuoc Bridge because of the traffic jam after an enemy artillery shell heavily damaged the bridge. Chaos occurred when enemy artillery began a rain of many hundreds shells from their 130mm guns on the refugees. A moment later, Communist foot soldiers attacked the crowd with infantry weapons that included mortars and grenade launchers.
    When ‘The Second Battle of Quang Tri’ was over, (Sept. 16, 1972 the city was taken back. On Oct. 22, 1972 Quang Tri Province firebases were secured), not one building remained standing. The intense bombing, combined with U.S. use of the Agent Orange defoliant, turned the land into a virtual moonscape.
    This all took place during ‘Operation Ceasefire’ when we were standing down and turning over the bases to the ARVN.

    Americans still have little knowledge of this time in Vietnam and the part that brave American troops, including U.S. Army Air Calvary Combat Aviation Groups, took in it.

    • Richard-
      No problem. The quote you mentioned that I wrote about records-keeping is from a notarized letter of a Colonel, U.S. Army, Air – Retired. He was my husband’s commander in Vietnam.

      The reason records-keeping was chaotic at best was because almost everyone was redeployed back home and out of Vietnam at that time, including HQ. A skeleton crew of junior administration was left behind and later as Communications was handed over to the ARVN, communications between the Admin left behind and HQ, (which already left) was even harder to maintain for instructions to be given. (Here I am parapharsing excerpts of Command History and After Action Reports.)

      The other people left behind in Vietnam we’re busy fighting an intense war.

      I am familiar of the bookand author you mentioned.

      Yes, the story of US Army Aviation during this time of the war has been untold, still…. and basically unknown to Americans still. That is why I having been wanting to write such a book. If Mr. Andrade is interested in helping me write this book, he can contact me and I will talk with him.

      • Fran, I’m a writer but I don’t know Dale Andrade. The way to contact him is to go on Amazon, find his book, and then send him an e-mail via his publisher.

      • I understand the lack of record keeping. I began the 1st Cavalry Division LRRPs (along with Capt James)just the two of us, back on Nov 1, 1966. From that date until April 67 (as far as I know) records were not kept or maintained. Then I learned that our EXO, Lt Hall took all the records home with him and eventually they were lost after his death.
        The only history of the beginning of the 1st Cav Div LRRPs in my book, Above All Else, published by Publish America. It can be found on Amazon.

      • Fran, my family lost our brother “James Worth” USMC as an MIA at Gio Linh on April 1, 1972 when 25,000+ NVA came south across the dmz down rt 1. Can you help me find details on the fight and the last 5 that stayed behind to guide missiles from ships? My brother was declared KIA several years later and I’m going there in the spring of 2015. Thanks… Alan

    • Richard-
      Also in answer to your question…
      After F/8 was transferred from 11th CAG to 12th CAG and they moved down to Bien Hoa… At Ceasefire, everyone was trying to roll up and get out quickly. There was a mass accumalation of paperwork. It was very difficult for the skeleton crew of junior admin to know exactly what to do with it. Because of the problems in communications after Communications was handed over to the ARVN, a lot of paperwork was taken to Tan Son Nuht and burnt.

      That’s what I made out of reading Command Histories and After Action Reports. When I have more time, I will post, word for word, the exact words and sources for you.

      • F-R-A-N!!! Please do not go to anymore trouble to unearth quotes and sources. Now, you’ve gone and made me feel like a sap who’s been questioning a nice lady’s credibility.

      • Richard- thanks man. 🙂

      • g’day fran,my name is henry.fran i need to ask you some question and i hope you will be able too help me in some way.i was in nam in 1971 to 1972.i was army medic with 1 fd vang tau then i went to the USA army hospital voluntary to help to clean up and pack up at long binh,now i have write to the DVA in USA for years and they told me they can not found any records of my time of service,i then i write to the Australia DVA and also tells me they can not found any documents but they told me in a letter they can see i have service with the allied forces in that you guys keep mention about documents got destroy in Nam means that also my records got burn Fran ,what happen with all the soldiers who serve in Nam means we can not claim anything even a pension,where is the best place to complain and get both government to recognize our time and services .would you be able too tell me what can i do.had been 41 years now fighting for this.feel free to send me an .cheers mate.henry

      • Sorry Fran, forgot to give my email on the following:
        Fran, my family lost our brother “James Worth” USMC as an MIA at Gio Linh on April 1, 1972 when 25,000+ NVA came south across the dmz down rt 1. Can you help me find details on the fight and the last 5 that stayed behind to guide missiles from ships? My brother was declared KIA several years later and I’m going there in the spring of 2015. Thanks… Alan

  6. An excerpt from the very well researched and written literature:

    The etiology of Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
    By Jim Goodwin, Psy. D.
    Published by Disabled American Veterans

    Page 6-7
    “For both World War II and the Korean War, the incidence of neuropsychiatry disorder among combatants increased as the intensity of the wars increase. As these wars wore down, there was a corresponding decrease in these disorders until the incidence closely resembled their particular prewar periods.”

    However, the Vietnam experience proved different. As the war in Vietnam progressed in intensity, there was no corresponding increase in neuropsychiatry causalities among combatants. It was not until the early 1970’s, when the war was winding down, that neuropsychiatric disorders began to increase. With the end of direct American troop involvement in Vietnam in 1973, the number of veterans presenting neuropsychiatric disorders began to increase tremendously (President Commission on mental Health, 1978).”

    Interesting, isn’t it?

    • Richard – eek, the quote you quoted was not the commander’s. (My mistake… being busy and texting.)

      The commander did say however, “Due to the intensity of the war, records-keeping was chaotic at best.”

      You were not being aurgumentive. It was a good question.

      (I do know that on one my post that I wrote years ago on the Easter Offensive; not everything I wrote was perfect and I need to make some minor but important corrections.)

    • 🙂

  7. I am not sure the last troops came out in 72-73 I was a member of the 5th special forces group was reasigned to the (MACV SOG)/ CCN and as a member of this elit special observation group I was not out until around late 74-earily 75 can you shed some light on this please as i was very young and it was a long time ago i want to be sure i am right. thank you please reply to my e-mail address with any information

    • Brad I have some information for you. Please contact me.

      • I need some confirmation on a date as to when US troops were completely reassigned from Viet Nam

      • I served with multi-national peace keeping forces in country post 1975 to investigate and document MIA / KIA. Decommissioned April 1977. Do you have a question?

      • Hello Cloversmom, an Italian (national)friend of mine (Comsubin – Italian Navy Special Forces) claims to have been in Vietnam in February-March 1975 (Operation Tet of 1975) with thirty other Italian military (all nationals) to unofficial undercover secret action in collaboration with US Special Forces. He would have participated in some acts of sabotage by North Vietnamese mobile bridges around Saigon. His name is Nino Arconte, its history is on Google. You think he’s telling the truth? Thank you very much. Diego Verdegiglio, Roma, Italia,

    • Hello Brad, a friend of mine Italian (Comsubin – Italian Navy Special Forces) claims to have been in Vietnam in February-March 1975 (Operation Tet of 1975) with thirty other Italian military (all nationals) to unofficial undercover secret action in collaboration with US Special Forces. He would have participated in some acts of sabotage by North Vietnamese mobile bridges around Saigon. His name is Nino Arconte, its history is on Google. You think he’s telling the truth? Thank you very much. Diego Verdegiglio, Roma, Italia,

  8. I served with my brother for six or seven months in 1972 at
    Marble mt compound, DaNang. We were with the 11th CAG.
    I WAS WITH HEADQUARTERS AND HE WAS WITH THE 282 THEN THE 48TH. His name was Morris. Did any other brothers serve together in vietnam at the same place and time?

    • Roger, I too, served with my brother in and around Marble Mtn, DaNang from around Aug ’72, after leaving Task Force Garry Owen, until October ’72. We were with “F” Company, 50th Infantry. After they stood down, we went to Can Tho were we were assigned to “C” Troop 1/16 Air Cav, 1st Avn Bde until Feb ’73.

      • interesting to know other brothers served together in Vietnam it was a real blessing to have my big brother there to give me the inside info when I arrived in jan of 72 he had been in country about 4 mos when I arrived.

  9. Thank you General Truong for giving credit to the Americans that were there assisting the ARVN in the Battles of Quang Tri during the Easter Offensive until the very end and calling them by name. It means so much to me – especially since it has been the only reference that I have found on the Internet doing so.

    Our own American military have given them no public credit whatsoever, these troops that stayed and fought and served long after the all of the ground troops went home in August 1972.

    But you gave them credit where credit was due. Thank you.
    May you rest in peace.

    Ngo, Lieutenant General Quang Truong, The Easter offensive of 1972. Washington DC: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1980.

    “In addition to support provided the U.S. Air Force, I Corps forces also received much assistance from the U.S. Army 11th Combat Aviation Group whose activities were closely coordinated with those of ARVN units. This group provided essential support with troop lift logistical support and gunships.”

  10. Statement byJerry Morelock, Armchair General, Senior Historian

    “Some American troops (no combat troops) were still in Vietnam until they left in 1973.”

    You are wrong. Aviation COMBAT Groups (CAGs) were there at least until March 24, 1973 that I know of personally.

    May I suggest you read a few After Action Reports or Command Histories? Something? If you do, you will see that I am correct.

    Combat Aviation Groups in Vietnam were COMBAT TROOPS in EVERY sense of the word and the few left behind were fighting HARD and NON-STOP after everybody else went home until ceasefire. It was very dangerous after ceasefire as well.

    Please help honor our veterans by correctly recognizing them and their sacrifices, especially as a senior historian.

    • According to the After Action report of the 11th CAG:

      Elements of F Troop / 4th Cavalry engaged targets along the Song Tra River (Danang) on 28 January 1973. They recorded 30 KBH (killed by helicopter) in an action that ended at 0755.

      The Cease Fire was effective at 08000 that morning.

      So you are correct that combat troops were in Vietnam until the end, indeed the very end, 28 March 1973. Although they were no longer actively engaged in combat after the Cease Fire they were in country supporting the Four Powers Joint Military Command, and the International Commission for Control and Supervision, and indeed received hostile fire during some of those missions.

      But Morelock’s post was referring to ground combat soldiers and in that he is correct – sort of – because although the last ground combat battalion left Vietnam in August 1972 there were odds-and-ends in-country until the end, and perhaps even after that.

      • Richard – “Odds and Ends” ?????
        That makes my blood boil.
        I am looking and looking for the After Action Reports from April 1972 to October 1972. I cannot find them.

        11th CAG was involved upfront in the rest of the Easter Offensive that started back up June 28th, 1972.

        It was not “Odds and Ends” dammit!

        I know guys who were personally there including the commander who led them into battle.

        “Odds and Ends”?

        That is extreme disrespect to their
        service and sacrifices.

        You and most of America, including
        Jerry Morelock and Dale Andrade have no clue.

      • After Action Reports… ORLLs… anything to do with that time… I cannot find online for the time period, April 1972 to October 1972. I know where to look… but I have been so busy fighting the VA because they told my husband that they did not know that there were any combat troops in Vietnam after APRIL 1972… and called him a liar. We are almost done with dealing with the VA, I hope… and I know that a book needs to written about the US Army Aviation for the time that we are discussing… but I really want to spend time with my family after the grueling fight with the VA… but it needs to be written and done RIGHT. It was NOT “odds and ends”. It was an all out war.

      • Fran… relax and re-read my post, specifically the last paragraph where I mention “odds and ends.” I was clearly referring to GROUND COMBAT troops, and what I meant was this: after Task Force Gary Owen stood down on 22 August, 1972 and 3rd battalion , 21st Infantry stood down one day later (thereby making it the last ground combat battalion to leave Vietnam) there were no longer any ground combat formations in Vietnam. As far as I can tell from the after action reports of the 11th and 12 the CAGs even the Aerorifle platoons (Blues) were given base defense missions.

        It’s obvious that you have some very deep personal associations with the subject that are making you touchy in the extreme. Morelock and I are Vietnam Veterans. I served 18 months with the Americal Division and later the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. I’m a 100% service-connected disabled veteran, thus it’s absurd to say that that Morelock or I would dishonor anyone else who served in Vietnam.

      • Richard – you just don’t get it. Base Defense Missions was a part of what was going on. These guys were part of snd participated (in many ways since almost everyone was gone), in the largest enemy offensive in the entire war. I say this in complete confidence and with proof.

      • Yes I know about the Tet Offensive. This really is a part of the Vietnam War that needs to be better known…. And of the men who were there and fought in it.

      • I was with F Troop 4th Air Cavalry until 26 Jan 1973 and can attest that we were involved in combat action until that time. A search on the VHPA website, F Troop 4th Air Cavalry, evidences this operational time period. Insofar as the assertion that no combat troops were in country during that time period, be sure to pass that information along to the families of the F/4 pilots and crew that were lost. May they rest in peace.

    • Lizzie, Mr. Morelock is not wrong, but your response to his opening comment, along with more than 90% of the semi-literate commentary on this distressing thread only reinforces my belief that Americans have forgotten how to speak, read, and write their own language.

      Morelock’s opening statement, from the very first sentence, Lizzy, is clearly concerned with only “ground combat troops.” That said, that being so clearly obvious to all, you and the majority of commentators here have gone off into all sorts of twisted tangents merely because you do not know how to read.

      Richard Vidaurri
      Guadalajara, Mexico
      Americal Division & 196th Light Infantry, 1970-72
      Author: The Gates of the Shadow

      • I served Aug 70 to Aug 71, 16 CAG, 23rd Div. Americal, A Co., 123rd CAB
        Richard, you might find additional information from the Americal Veterans Association Historian.

      • It might be interesting to maybe define what a ground combat unit consisted of. For example, I first served with A Troop, 1/9th Cavalry, 1st Cav Div. In that Troop we had a lift section (those pilots and Hueys that took the Blues into the jungle). We had a gun section (those hueys and pilots who had mini-guns and rocket launchers on their hueys and then we had the scouts. They flew around in those bubble choppers looking for the enemy. Now for the ground combat troops. That was us, the Blues. We were a platoon of aero-riflemen who were flown out into the jungle (from our forward fire support base) where we patrolled all day looking for the enemy and almost on a daily basis we found him.

  11. I was flying with F Troop, 9th Cav, 12th CAG out of Bien Hoa up until February 1973. It is true many of the ‘records’ seem to be missing. I was told that what records do exist are stashed away in the DC area in a warehouse. To make my point about records. After I returned to the world and assigned to Ft. Bragg (no comment), I was awarded a DFC in a quiet ceremony in the battalion commander’s office. There is NO record of me being awarded the DFC in the records.

    • John Lane,
      ‘Hi’. My name is Jim Lawrence. I was with F Troop, 8th Cav, 12th CAG in Bien Hoa until late January and then went to FPJMC in Saigon. What was your MOS and job? Looking for a
      friend who was a crewchief with TOW, nicknamed ‘Gopher’.

      • ‘Hi’. My name is Jim Lawrence. I was with F Troop, 8th Cav, 12th CAG in Bien Hoa until late January and then went to FPJMC in Saigon. What was your MOS and job? Looking for a
        friend who was a crewchief with TOW, nicknamed ‘Gopher’.

        I remember when F/8 showed up, presumably to give us a hand taking care of III Corp. I was a 67V2T (OH-58), but was a Scout in F/9 flying OH6A’s. We did not have a tow bird with us, in fact only you guy’s had a minigun mounted loach, which as I recall you lost due to a command detonated claymore in some trees. I know there was at least one tow bird owned by someone because I got called in to an area where they were operating and could not hit the target because of the trees…this was 12 November 1972, a day I will never forget. We tried not to pay much attention to F8 except when you guys would lob a 40mm CS round across the motor pool at us. Retaliation was such fun…LOL.

    • I was evacuated from Bien Hoa by Air Cav — on or about Sept 27 72 on the final day of the stand down of the 175th RRFS comms center. I was among the last group at the comm center flown out that morning at dawn after demolition of remaining comms equip. I haven’t been able to find any record of what Cavalry unit was flying. The 5th Cavalry had already stood down and gone to Saigon I think. Were you there or do you know what Cav outfit flew us out?
      Same question to Jim Lawrence…??

      • That was probably F Troop 9th Cav. They were the last Air Cav Troop in three corp. Best of my knowledge they were there through the ceasefire. I was already up country by then and lost track of them

        Dave Wallace Call sign White Zero

      • asana-

        F Troop, 8th Cavalry and F Troop, 9th Cavalry (sister troops) were both conducting combat operations in Military Region I until October 1972. I do know that the F Troop, 8th Cavalry (Blue Ghost) served until October 1972 from Chu Lai to Quang Tri to Hue, Phu-Bai to the Que Son to Mo Duc and Duc Pho, establishing themselves as the premier air cav troop in Vietnam. They served as the aviation “fire brigade”, called upon time and again to conduct operations in the areas of greatest enemy threat.

        The versatility of F Troop, 8th Cavalry (Blue Ghost) was demonstrated repeatedly through it’s ability to conduct short-notice unit moves with no loss of operational efficiency. Deploying from Marble Mountain to Da Nang Main in late August 1972, F Troop, 8th Cavalry detached two cav teams to Chu Lai on September 15, 1972 to suppress a serious enemy offensive in the Mo Duc-Duc Pho area. They stayed in Military Region I until the end of the Easter Offensive and all threat of any enemy offensive was suppressed.

        On October 15, 1972, F Troop, 8th Cavalry received orders to redeploy to Bien Hoa, in Military Region III. (F Troop, 9th Cavalry worked closely with F Troop, 8th Cavalry and I am sure they moved to Bien Hoa at the same time.) Seventy-two hours later, F Troop, 8th Cavalry teams were conducting combat operations against an enemy build-up in the Saigon-Bien Hoa area. From Xuan Loc to Tan An to Lai Khe to Tay Ninh, the specter of the Blue Ghost covered Military Region III like the monsoon rain.

        APPENDIX 2 (12th Combat Aviation Group) to ANNEX B to USARV/MACVV SUPCOM After Action Report

        “Purpose: To report significant activities and planning involved in the stand down of the 12th Aviation Group during the period 1 November 1972 through March 1973.”

        “The combined average monthly flying hours of the two air cavalry units, (F Troop, 8th Cavalry and F Troop, 9th Cavalry), flown while accomplishing their primary mission, exceeded all other air cavalry averages in Vietnam.”

        “The aircraft loss rate was the lowest in Vietnam even though the combat activity in MR III had increased sharply.”

        So, I don’t believe that either F Troop, 8th Cavalry nor F Troop, 9th Cavalry were involved in the September 1972 event that you have explained…. but I would not count them out. There were a few other air cavalry units in Vietnam then… some pulling out at that time.

        Very few air cavalry remained until the Ceasefire and beyond, (a VERY dangerous time to be in Vietnam as well.)

        F Troop, 8th Cavalry and F Troop, 9th Cavalry were two who remained until Ceasefire and some troopers stayed even longer, until March 1973.

        What is so frustrating is that even books and references that have ‘authority’ have so much information wrong about units and our brave troopers who served in COMBAT after “all the combat troops came home” in 1972.

        (Note: The 1st Cavalry (Airmobile), all of them, were noted to fly into any situation, no matter how dangerous and intense to provide medevacs and assistance to troopers on the ground.)

      • Asana –

        In reply to

        “I was evacuated from Bien Hoa by Air Cav — on or about Sept 27 72 on the final day of the stand down of the 175th RRFS comms center. I was among the last group at the comm center flown out that morning at dawn after demolition of remaining comms equip. I haven’t been able to find any record of what Cavalry unit was flying. The 5th Cavalry had already stood down and gone to Saigon I think. Were you there or do you know what Cav outfit flew us out?”

        I have done more inquiring and have found that:
        Yes, F/9 Cav was in III Corps-Third Regional Assistance Command (TRAC) at that time.

        Which supports what Dave Wallace said:

        “That was probably F Troop 9th Cav. They were the last Air Cav Troop in three corp. Best of my knowledge they were there through the ceasefire. I was already up country by then and lost track of them.” – Dave Wallace Call sign White Zero


      • The only Cav unit at Bien Hoa, 27 September 1972 was F/9. I showed up there my first day on 28 September 1972….F/8 showed up in October as I recall.

      • Asana… D Troop, 3rd Squadron, was the 5th Cavalry’s only air cavalry troop. They departed Vietnam along with the rest of 3rd Squadron on 8 November, 1971.

      • why did you get to ride a bird out on the last day of the 175th?m i had to ride in duece&1/2.. i remember cutting the 2×4 of the building with an axe. .

    • I would like you to contact me if possible. I was with Ftrp for a short time. We were hooched up with the Browns if I am not mistaken. I cant remember how we wound up getting assigned to Long Bien and what the unit designation was there. I was medivaced in mid august.

      • Okay guys… Anything I got wrong about F/9 – I apologize.
        I know someone who will be a great help here.
        Be right back.

      • III Corps-Third Regional Assistance Command (TRAC)

        F/9 Cav 30 Jun 71-26 Feb 73 (Air Cav)

      • I would like to know if any of you folks knew or had anything to do with H Company Rangers, 75th Infantry, also attached to 3rd Brigade (Separate), 1st Cav Div?

    • I was an Avionics Mechanic with F Troop until January 73. No doubt worked on your bird.

      • Tom were you with F/8 or F/9? I knew of one guy and African-American fellow named Anderson, he was avionics, we got to F/9 together in September.

      • John, I was with F/9. I think the Avionics Mech that arrived in Sept with you would have been Les Johnson from the southside of Chicago.

      • Maybe the guy I was talking about was an armament’s guy. It’s been a couple of years. His name was definitely Anderson, we called him Andy. You know us Scouts were a snobby bunch and did not associate a lot with other’s in the unit, except maybe Blue Lift at times. LOL

  12. I’m a student in High school studying Vietnam, and I think everybody is partly right. Yes, there were SOG/MACV units in Vietnam well after August 1972, and also several air units, and infantry units. But, correct me if I’m wrong, the last MAJOR and WELL KNOWN pullout of troops was in August, 1972, I believe.

    • Task Force Garry Owen stood down on June 26, 1972. However, that was the “official” date. I know. I was in that ceremony.

      There were some additional infantry combat patrols that went on after that but none that I am aware of follwoing the closure of FSB Spudis, which was just outside of Bien Hoa. That closure was about mid-to late July 1972.

      We did a police call of the firebase while the Vietnamese congregated outside the berm. We our last vehicle pulled out, the Vietnamese came in and dumped all of the 55 gallon drums and started foraging.

      I have no knowlege of any active, offensive infantry GROUND combat missions following that, although there may have been some. I am aware of defensive security operations around the major bases and both fixed and rotary wing missions.

      • I was with Bravo 1st 12th and then Bravo 1st 7th. I was in the Blues after that. Bunker Hill and Grunt II were the two firebases I spent most of my time at. We spent some time at Long Than north (I am not sure if that is the right spelling) Thing changes so often for the short period of time I was there. I was medivaced with mixed malaria August 15 of 72. I had been sent to the reaction force at Long Bien. I have seen several posts regarding Spudis but for the life of me cant place it. I was on the security force when we closed down a small firebase i thought was named Mars but not sure if that was the right name. It was pretty small. It seems like for the last month or two i was there no one really knew what was going on.

      • Larry Overstocker: You asked about Firebase Spudis. Before that it was Firebase Fiddler’s Green and occupied by the 11th ACR. I have pictures of the 11trh ACR moving out and also a picture of the sign at the base that had Spudis’ history on it.

        If it means something to you, send me your email address and I will forward the pciture to you.

      • I am not sure I know or remember anything about Spudis. I did operate out of Bunker Hill and Grunt II. I pulled security while a small firebase was torn down. I thought the name was Mars but maybe I didnt have the name right. When the 7th stood down I was transferred to Ftrp 9th at Fort Courage Bien Hoa. I was at Bien Hoa 1 aug 72 when the airbase got rocketed. The first rocket hit right in front of my bunker on the green line. I could see them coming up from the ville. I had four months in country and was the senior man on that section of the berm. I was medivaced mid august with mixed malaria. Email is

      • When the rocket attack happened my hooch was located close to HHC headquarters close to the air base. All the action was on the other side of the base. We were on allert, but nothing came close to us. Lucky. my last day at Bein Hoa was Aug 22, 1972. was sent to Tan Son Nha to catch my ride to the real world 5 days later. As best as I can remember not even a thank you when I got home. bother by that even today!!

      • Al Hagen: Welcome home. I think the way returning veterans from “our” war were treated has been the reason things are so changed for the good now. People remember that and surely some carry a guilt over it.

      • Thanks Bob!!
        I have read a lot of the discussion about the last man out. Although it’s important to know whne we were really out, all that matters is that all of us that came home never let those in charge forget those that didn’t go home to loved ones. I wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I stood up and was counted and I am not setting down untill all are accounted for. And that from all wars!!. nuf said, welcome home to all!!

      • SGM Bob Zornes: Welcome Home, top. I was with A 1/7 and then Task Force Gerry Owen. We worked off of Spudis several times. It was renamed after a 3rd squad AG named Donald Spudis who was killed 12/17/71 in a mortor attack in the field. We worked off Spudis on a blocking force/ambush mission for the ARVNS. There were several causalities from booby traps. I was only there for one mission after that. I left mid june (I think). The 229th took us to the field usually, but we walked of of Spudis for the 8 day blocking force. Thanks for your hard work, SGM.

  13. I flew Air Cav (H Troop 10th Cavalry) all the way through 1972 until five minutes before the cease fire which I believe was Jan 27 1973. we were flying out of Phan Thiet at the time TDY from Lane AHP.
    We lost SGT Robert Lee Frankes the next to last day of the war to enemy ground fire.

    Dave Wallace Call sign White Zero

  14. All of us need to back off and give credit to the people who remained in country while everyone else went home. The troops that stayed behind were in as much danger as anyone else we all did our duty and were proud of our service no matter where we served.

    The last combat troops of the United States were pulled out of South Vietnam on 29 March 1973. 8,500 American civilians, embassy guards, and defense office soldiers remained in Saigon. The largest helicopter evacuation in history occured on 29 April 1975 when 7,000 Americans and South Vietnamese were evacuated from the US Embassy in Saigon. Saigon fell the following day to the North Vietnamese troops.

    • Absolutely right!

    • Thanks for that. My father was part of the 1975 evac, although I was told it was April 30th by the time he was actually out of Vietnam. I’ve never been able to get any answers about what he was doing at the time. All I know is he was in 3rd group and was supposed to come home but he pulled some strings to get assigned TDY so he could stay there. I’ve tried on and off for years to learn about those last few years but so much has been redacted.

      • 3rd Group would be odd as that was a 5th Group war.

  15. I know I am a late-comer to this thread but since I came across it by accident, I wanted to add a bit of info. I was assigned TDY to RTAF Takh Li in Thailand with the various iterations of aircraft. Even though US Air Units were activated and deactivated/moved in theater and out of theater, there were always support units flying missions out of Thailand. My aircraft was F-111’s. Even though the peace accords were signed, we still flew unacknowledged flights into the DMZ for purposes of recovery/demolition of classified aircraft electronic equipment. The last time, in August of 1974, the chopper I was in took a direct hit while we were preparing to land. Casualties were heavy but the guys from 11th Combat Aviation Group were the ones who got us survivors out. Helluva great pilot and braver guys I can say I never knew. I owed my 20 year old rear end to them. I’m sorry that it took all these years for me to recognize them for what they did. The government wouldn’t acknowledge the flights. To all who served in the army, and saved us Air Force guys…thanks and God Bless.

    Mike Welch

    • The 11th CAG went home in 1972.

      • Thanks for the reply Jack…My memory has gotten fuzzy with age..I may be mistaken about the CAG but they were defintely Army and if I remember right, the patch was an eagle with either lightning bolts or arrows(blue?)….anyway wanted an opportunity to say thanks after all these years. God Bless.


  16. i was with eco. 14th inf.,long binh ammo dump from june to nov. 1972.does anyone rember aug.13 72 when 11 vc sappers hit the ammo dump. i was the one that sat out there all day while the bunkers were cooking off as an f/o. stood down nov. 72, wound up in pleiku with h trp.17yh air cav.. was with inf. plt. for a short while. then sent across the airstrip to the nung compound where i finished the rest of my tour. stood down march of 73

    • I was at Long Bien when the ammo dump went up. I thought it was August 7th though. I was at Bien Hoa on August 1 when they hit the air base. The first rocket hit right in front of my bunker on the green line. I was medivaced to 3rd fld hosp Saigon I thought the 13th or14th and was medivaced stateside with mixed malaria. I served with 1st 12th, 1st 7th (Task Force Gary Owen) Ftrp 9th and dont remember what the last unit at Long Bien was just it was hhc of a combat aviation unit as reaction force.

      • I was there – I was the one that called in the artillery on the cong that day.

    • Hi
      Do you remember when the ammo dump blew on Fire Base Fiddlers Green later call Fire Base Spudus? The base was just out side the green line of Bein Hoa. I think it was the spring of 72 or early summer?
      I’d really would like to know the dates if someone can remember.
      can’t r. s.

      • I have some dates for October through January of rocket attacks and mortar attacks at Bien Hoa.

        October 26, 1972 – The military command in Saigon reports that Communist forces have initiated the largest number of assaults throughout the country of any 24-hour period since the 1968 Tet Offensive.

        1972-1973 COMMAND HISTORY, Part Two, Page 35
        Bien Hoa was attacked by indirect fire 17th &19th December 1972

        1972-1973 COMMAND HISTORY, Part Four, Page 127
        On 16 December ARVN forces began an eight battalion operation in the Bien Hoa rocket belt, following rocket attacks on Bien Hoa Air Base. Five 122mm rockets were captured, and several minor contacts made near launch positions.

        1972-1973 COMMAND HISTORY, Part Four, Pages 130-131
        The Bien Hoa Air Base received 28 122mm rockets on 26 January, and Tan Son Nhut Air Base received 33 122mm rockets on 28 January. one American was killed at Bien Hoa, one civilian was killed and 20 injured at Tan Son Nhut.

        1972-1973 COMMAND HISTORY, Part Three, Pages 107
        The enemy used harassing rocket attacks on air installations during the period from October through January, striking DaNang, Tan Son Nhut, and Bien Hoa on several occasions….

        I have a friend who was there then… I can ask him if one of those attacks were by the ammo dump when he was there… I seem to remember him saying so.

        Look up the 1972-1973 Command History if you need more information about Bien Hoa in the Spring or Summer of 1972. I may be able to help you if you need the help… just ask.

        Also… what was your troop/unit?
        Look up their USARV/MACV SUPCOM After Action Reports. That will help you know where they were stationed and when. Their After Action Reports may also include additional reports of rocket and mortar attacks that the unit encountered.

        Hope this helps.

      • Assigned to Task Forse Garry Owens Co E 1/7th. Left the green line Aug 13th and few home on the 15th. The last FSB for us was Grunt 2 a few clicks out of Bien Hoa. Our ammo dump went up to in late July or early Aug. Was on morning tower there when on Aug 1st the 122’s went over us and into the Airbase were the Marines were musted for payday in a hanger. Worked out of FSB Elderidge, Cross Sabers, Mase, Morter Hill, Bear Cat and Spudis when we took it over from the 11th ACR. T54’s with a click.
        Went back in 06 and walked the old green line for the last time
        Garry Owens MF’ers. Glad you we with us.
        Phil Purdy
        Evergreen Colorado

      • My memory is very shady of some things because they were changing so quick. Aug 1 1972 the first rocket of the attack on Bien Hoa airbase hit just in front of me on the green line between the ville and the base. Could actually see them coming from the ville. Had come to Bien Hoa from Grunt II. Had just helped close up Mars. Went to Ftrp 9th Cav Sabre Blues then to Long Bien. Left mid august and was hospitalized till early November with mixed malaria.My friends took care of me for a couple days until I could get medical attention. They took me to see a Frankenstein movie. Never forget thier care but names escape me. Bless them

      • Hello Fred. I can check on that at my reunion next month because several of my buddies were on that base when the dump blew. My thought is that it wans’t Spudis but a different one. I was on patrol in the field at the time. A firefighter was killed when it went up.

        We ran into a bunker and got a KIA. When I sent back for a catering charge what I got was 10 sticks of C-4, which was sufficient to do the job.

        My friend, Phil Purdy, Co E, 1/7 just posted above here and perhaps he is correct about which firebase it was.

        As I said, i will check and get back to you.

      • @Fran….1972-1973 COMMAND HISTORY, Part Four, Pages 130-131
        The Bien Hoa Air Base received 28 122mm rockets on 26 January, and Tan Son Nhut Air Base received 33 122mm rockets on 28 January. one American was killed at Bien Hoa, one civilian was killed and 20 injured at Tan Son Nhut..

        I remember this particular rocket attack well. Got my ass blown off a conex by a delayed 122 which landed short of the flight line. Most of the rockets were walked up the runways on the Air Force side, the BIG voice blaring…like we did not know the rockets were already falling.

      • Phillip Purdy – I think I went to the NCO academy with you in the summer of 71 at Benning.

      • The Ammo Dump that blew up was Grunt II. If I recall right, we had just built FSB Bunker Hill II. so may have been April? Fiddlers Green was mechanized 155s. I remember talking to someone who said an NCO was on top of the S3 when it blew. Rumor was some soldiers were cooking with C3 inside the storage facility. Sounds about right . . . 🙁

    • I was also with E co 14th inf and I was in a 60 ft tower on Aug 13th when they hit the ammo dumps a day I won’t forget.

  17. no, larry,it was aug.13th. i have commo reports from long binh h/q..i have been trying to find my unit records for over twenty years. just before the last of us pulled out in nov.,the 1st sgt. got myself and about for or five others out in front of the orderly room with a stack of papers in his hand. he said that we were put in for these awards and he didn,think we deserved them.he through them in the burn barrel. been trying to find the x/o lt. stenrum ,or anhbody i was with,or photos of that day when the sappers hit. it was 11sappers.

    • To Phil Purdy I was with you on Firebase Grunt 11. I was with E.CO I came from Firebase Spudis and the Recon Team to man a Radar Tower that was under your control. I was the kid from Montana (Jimbo). Neil Kennedy also came with me and you two guys ended punching it out on the by one of the guard towers. As I recall you won. I was also in the tower when the rockets went over us and hit Bien Hoa. After we stood down in Aug. I went to H Troop 7/17 and pulled bunker line guard and flew with the Blue Teams until it was over in 73. I would love to talk to you sometime. Jim

      • Dude – I was in one of the other towers that morning the rockets flew. WOW.

      • Jim, I do remember you and Kennedy. I sent you a email asking you to call or send me your number. There are a few of us from Echo Company that meet up for reunions, emails and talk. Please join us. Welcome Home Brother! Sgt Purdy

      • Jim, I do remember you and Kennedy. I sent you a email asking you to call or send me your number. There are a few of us from Echo Company that meet up for reunions, emails and talk. Please join us.

      • Micheal, After the rockets flew over us into Bien Hoa, remember how everybody on Grunt 11 was waiting for them to hit us next. Hope your Arty call got those Cong. Thanks

        Phil, Thanks for the e-mail, can’t wait to talk to you, Jim

      • To Don Gibson, I do remember you very well on Firebase Grunt11 mostly from your great sense of humor. I did get your welcoming e-mail but i have replied twice to you and the post master keeps sending it back with not a valid address. Would love to talk to you , please send me another e-mail. thanks Jim Ohs

  18. Fran
    Thanks for the info it is a start. btw I was in the 3rd Brigade (Separate) 1st Cavalry Divison (Airmobile) Delta Company 1st Battalion (Airmobile) 7th Cavalry from December 1971 – June 1972

    I was a 60 gunner- Had 2 missions on/with the Point Team also part time mailman I flew back to Bien Hoa to get the company mail at times. Also a 3rd Field Hospital Siagon patient for a few months and finishing my Army carreer with a 10 month hospital stay at Fitzsimmons Army hospital Denver Colorado.

    • Fred, you were with D 1.7? Who was the Company Commander at that time? I was with them (attached) and A Company as well.

      • Hey SGM Bob
        The Company Comannder was Captain James Whittaker, the Command Srgt Major (E10) was Westmoreland youngest man with that rank in the army (39 yrs old) at that time. BTW I took a camera on a couple missions and have a pretty good photo album. I and willing to share the pic’s with those interested. Also I made about 6 to 8 copies of same pic’s for guys in my platoon in 1972. So if you have some of those pictures you know me.

      • Fred, I have to reply to my own post as this site doesn’t permit me to reply to you. I can’t recall the name of the A Co Commander right now but he was a good looking blond guy. I can’t say that I remember Whittaker. The Ban Co was LTC Hodges. I don’t know the CSM but you must have made a typo because there are no E-10s. He was 39 at the time, eh? I made SGM at 36.

        The D Co Commander was Tony Witter. I have his email address. The C Co Commander lives in Colorado and ran for US Congress the alst rlection cycle but didn’t win.

  19. If anyone has some dates or names please contact me. When 1st of the 12th left and we were combined into 1st of the 7th (Task Force Garry Owen) things started to get very confusing. I remember on log day in the bush one trooper got a newspaper clipping from his mom that said there were no more combat troops in the field. The nearby artillery strike must have been a figment of our imagination. Places I was are Bunker Hill, Grunt II, Mars, Bien Hoa, Long Bien.

    • My parents saw me on the evening news getting on a UH-1 going to the field from Crossed Sabers AFTER it was reported there were no more combat troops going out on offensive missions.

  20. We called the 11th CAG patch the “Chicken on a stick Patch”
    H Troop 10th Air Cav and H Troop 17th Air Cav were there through the Cease fire in late Jan 73. I lost a good man Sgt Robert Lee Frakes the next to last day of the war.

  21. Also was at Long Than* Not sure of the spelling on that. I had some black hats made up for the Task Force Garry Owen guys

  22. I’m trying to debunk someone I highly suspect is a “veteran poser”. Can anyone give me dates that would be the LATEST that any NEW regular troops would have ARRIVED in Vietnam?

    • I’m in a hurry right now… but I DO KNOW someone who arrived in Vietnam in September 1972. US ARMY (Air) Regular Army. A lot was going on in Vietnam then. THIS IS VERIFIED.

      What is this person telling you?

      There is a lot that so many of us do not know about this war, unless we were there.

      • Fran, I arrived in country on 28 September 1972, through Camp Alpha, Long Binh and Plantation, eventually ending up at Bien Hoa, finally settled with Fox9.

    • I have known of several fake NamVets including one who claimed to have gone on a “reforgery” to Vietnam. Obviously had no idea what Reforger is. And another who was actually the president of the area PowMia group.

    • I was stationed at Bien Hoa AB from 20 May 1972 until 30 January 1973 when I left. The parent unti was MAG-12 from Iwakuni, Japan commanded by Colonel Macho. No shit.

      There was an explosion in or around an ammo or bomb dump a few days on either side of 10 September 1972, if memory serves.

      The biggest rocket attacks I recall were in August 1972.I totally forgot the one on 26 or 28 January unless that post referred to 1972.

      I seem to recall a brand new Marine being assigned to our unit on or about September 1972. I think that he was 18 years old, which would make him one of the youngest Vietnam Veterans I can think of.

      • There were two rocket attacks, the second one, I believe in January was by far the largest. Our flight line at F/9 was hit by 4, plus the short round that damned near got me. The rest were ‘walked’ up and down the runways on the Air Force sides, a couple hit the revetments as I remember. We had a clear view of the attack from across the base. The BIG VOICE blaring !!! The one in December as I recall was not as large. We had captured a little VN girl coming through the ‘wire’ and the decision was to let her go, she came back around 0430, the rockets started to fall a few minutes later.

      • Robert,
        I was part of MAG 12. I would like to open up communication. Please email me I was at Bien Hoa from May 1972 – February 1973. There is a lot of untold history and stories. Semper Fi!

      • Hey Robert

        I was an L/Cpl at Bien Hoa that Summer. Were you with the air wing?

      • I was an AF Buck Sergeant assigned to night Security with the 6251st SPS at Bien Hoa during all of ’72 til DEROS late November. There were 100 of us and 500 combat Marines all assigned together and we all got along fine. Rode Gunjeep patrol with Marine L/C Smartt most nights. Nixon may have said that all combat troops were out but that was simply not true.

  23. larry, reforgers are nato war games held in germany once a year. my first one was with b co. 4/63rd armor.same year back from nam. reuped feb. 74. wound up with h co. 2/2nd acr for second and third reforger. my fourth, fifth and sixth reforgers were with hht 4/69th out of mainz germany. forgot,2/2nd was out of bamberg. left germany four days after comming off my last reforger in 78. got out of the army in feb. 80. deita,1/3rd cav, ft bliss, texas.

    • Yes David I know what they are but the fake NamVet didnt. He claimed to have been on one to RVN. I was medivaced with mixed malaria in mid August of 72 and left hospital at Great Lakes Naval Hospital in early November. My state side unit was 1st Inf. at Fort Riley. They were preparing for REFORGER. So I did get to tour the lovely German countryside from an open jeep. While I was there I ran into several of the people I served with from 1st Cav. It was actually very interesting as I got to see a lot of the country and the various cultures it held.

  24. i,ve met a few of those nam wanna be,s myself. i haven,t seen or heard from anybody i was in nam. with. i,ve been searching for years.

  25. What a wonderful world we live in we all know that the only thing that we can count on when it comes to our government is either an out and out lie or a greatly stretched truth.

    I to was stationed at Danang Air base 1972-1973. I was with the Royal Coachman. We had many flights that were single bird flights. I flew many flights as a door gunner. I was shot at a couple of times walking to or from my hooch going out to walk, pick up cigarettes go to the NCO club. I was also shot at more then once as a gunner. Now I was not a ground fighter so if the enemy would have had better aim my death would not have been acceptable because I was not a ground fighter? I know of at least one bird the went down with 5 on board the 4 man crew and a macv Officer. They were not ground ponders and were KIA’s Do they count? they were shot down well into 1973. Oh well who cares? The families and me. We were being shot at Well into 1973……The US knows and does nothing about it must be OK..

    • hey larry
      You don’t know me i was just wandering if you can remember a C130 flight landing under rocket fire at danang may 30th 1972 at 0330 am you can reach me go by Dale snyder.

      • Dale, I think I remember that landing. I was working Air Base Ground Defense (I always worked nights), usually at the end of the runway or off post at the bomb dump. If the date is important I can check at my work where I have a listing of all rocket impacts on Danang. Jim

  26. i remember when kontum got over run. we watched the fireworks that night from camp holloway.we were wanting to go up there to help them,but they wouldn,t let us. if i remember right, it was during the CEASE FIRE….

    • I was at 1st Cav training center when a planeload of very surprised tow missile crews arrived in their jeeps. Still had stateside fatiques on. They were going north to hit the armor being used in the easter offensive.

      • I arrived in country in May of 72. Was initially assigned to 2/8th Cav. Can’t remember the Co. Pretty sad huh. There were a bunch of us that were newbies to replace,( which we couldn’t ) some Troopers who had been killed in a helicopter crash. There was almost a whole platoon if I recall, who had been shot down in a Chinook. Anyway, after doing one mission in the bush we were reassigned to the 1/7th Bien Hoa. Eventually a platoon was tasked with learning how to operate those Jeep mounted TOWs that you speak of. We then flew, with the jeeps and TOWs to Pleiku on cargo planes. We took fire upon landing and basically rolled off the plane while it was still moving. The next leg was to Kontum where the weapons were eventually turned over to the ARVN troops. After that we went back to Bien Hoa. After the ground combat troops were ordered out of action some of us ended up in the Blue Lift Platoon in F Troop 9th Cav.
        Our Commander was Major George Hewlitt. A friend of mine WO Ronald Boeing was shot down some time in the fall I believe. Richard Warren from Fitchburg MA was in the unit as well as David Richardson. We got to Nam together and left together. Tom ( I think ) Legge was with us as well. We were still flying up until the cease fire. We generally flew to Staging areas in the morning and worked from there for the day. We flew to Tai Nihn, Tan Ahn, CuChi, Xwan Loc, and other areas that I can’t recall. I wish I had taken notes, but that’s not how I roll even today. I have a memory like a sieve as well. I’m still glad I was there and that other troopers know that we were still fighting for the duration. It doesn’t matter whether you are inserting US Troops or ARVN Troops, the action is the same. Thanks for reading this. I haven’t said this much to anyone, about this time of my life. Thanks again for your service. Wayne martel

  27. I stumbled onto this site and am glad that I did. I was a NCOC “speedy 5” that got to Vietnam June 1972. I enjoyed reading the emails from people that were in the same places at the same time as me. I went in country at Saigon/Camp Alpha then to A Co 1/7th. at Bien Hoa, got transferred to C co1/7 company after the stand down ceremony at Bien Hoa where I was awarded my CIB. I remember hearing about the ammo dump. I was on the Green Line when the Marine pilots got hit during a mortar attack. (I have a few slides of that attack that I shot the next morning while smoke was still billowing. I was in and out of Grunt II and Bunker Hill FSB’s and conducted missions and patrols out of them. I got sent to E Co 14th. Inf. then C co 87th Inf. at Long Binh. Transferred to 277th. S & S Bn at Camp Horn Danang It was indeed a very busy time. I have in my posession to this day copies of orders from Ft. Leonard Wood all the way through my discharge in Jan. 73 at Ft. Carson. What a hell of a ride for a 20 year old kid from the Ozarks of southern Missouri. Thanks to all of you for your emails and most of all thanks for your service. Welcome Home!

    • Roger:

      We just finished our reunion of E Co 1/7 in Orlando last month.

      Give me the names of some of the guys in 1972 to “vet” (no offense, just performing due diligence) you and I’ll pass on the information if you want.

      The next reunion is in two years in Green Bay.

    • My mistake. I thought you said E Co. I was also with A Co and D Co during that time. Who were the Company Commanders of A Co and C Co then?

      • Robert T. Schovilie was the Captain of C Co. 1/7 on 13 Aug. 72 on my Installation Clearance Record.
        My Plt. Leader was a guy named Cook from Alabama or Louisianna. I also remember the 1st.Sgt’s driver was a Stephen Kelley. A guy named McSwain comes to mind also
        I was in A Co for 1 month then went to C Co for a stint.
        I have names of 33 1/7 troopers that were awarded the C.I.B. at the same time as me.
        Somewhere in my collection of stuff I have 3 of the 1st Cav magazines from 1972 as well as a Stars & Stripes article about the 87th. Inf. Div.pulling the last infantry mission in Vietnam. I was on that one is why I kept the article. I imagine that a lot of units can claim that same task.
        Thanks for the replies that you sent. Roger

  28. A very small world. I was looking up facts about the 1/7 Cav in 1972 Vietnam and came across this site. I too was at FB Grunt 2 and also FB Crossed Sabers. I was in E Co, mortars. as a squad leader. I vividly remember the ammo dump explosion and the rocket attack on Bien Hoa airbase. I do believe the battalion commander was Col. Hodges. I also provided security for the base doctors when going on Medcaps to the local villages to provide medical treatment for the sick and malnourished. Also attended NCO school, Ft. Benning graduating May ’71. I also was part the Standdown ceremony when the colors were encased. Thanks for the forgotten memories.

    • Bob,
      are you aware that there is a site called The NCOC Locator that you can go on and read stuff about us and the names of lots of our classmates as well as some of their email addresses. It is a very well done site. It has a few links to other sites as well as the Infantry Museum at Benning.
      The History Channel and Military Channel are planning to do a documentary about the NCOC academy in the next couple of years. They are asking for any graduates of the school to volunteer to be interviewed for the project. Thanks for your service, Roger

      • Hi Roger– I am doing research for a book (like lots on here it seems) and I have some questions that perhaps you could help with. I am researching a guy named Phillip Hillman who was in Co C 1st BN 7th Cav from 28MAR72 until he was moved to CO C 87th INF on 13AUG72. He is somewhat interesting as he got himself to Vietnam 6 days after his 18th birthday. He enrolled with parental permission at 17. Anyway–he claimed his job in Vietnam was to “assault enemy supply trains” and “ambush enemy soldiers and drag there bodies off the trail and bury them”. I apologize to everyone if I sound naive– but does this type of claim make sense at this stage of the war? (Mar 1972 through NoV 1972) and in these units?

  29. Bob, we’re you at the reunion in Orlando in February?

    • No I did not attend. I just found this site yesterday. Being able to attend reunions is problematic for me as I am now retired and living in the Philippines. Funny though. I found the people and country here to have many similarities as Vietnam.

      Garry Owen to all my buddies!

      • Next one is Green Bay in 2014.

      • Just to be clear, I’m talking about E Co, 1/7 reunion. Pat Jones, Larry Berber and others.

  30. “SGM Bob Zornes says:
    4/17/2012 at 1:33 pm

    3rd Group would be odd as that was a 5th Group war.”

    I don’t know much about him, just a handful of details. I know he was in 3rd group but no clue what other units since obviously that wouldn’t be the only one he was ever with. When I was with the father of my kids, I met Lt. Col. Dennington (around 1995-1996, a chaplain at that point), once at some fancy dinner/ball thing, once for the 10k Army birthday run on Ft. Bragg, and the last time at the commissary. I know he served in Vietnam with my father, got a couple ‘hero stories’, one was where my father got a silver star for hand-to-hand combat, something about crossing a river with his squad and VC came out of nowhere while most of them were still in the water.

    Where I get more fuzzy is the timeline. I’m pretty sure he started off in Ft. Benning, then went to Ft. Sam Houston for awhile, then to Ft. Bragg for awhile, then two years in Vietnam from 1966-1969 with some time off in the middle of that and that’s when I know he was in 3rd group because that’s the only thing I still have from him besides a picture (paperwork about his silver star), then he was moved around a lot between Ft. Bragg, someplace in Germany, and some shorter trips to Vietnam and I’m pretty sure he was just doing medical stuff for those last few years.

    After all that mess, he came home, I was born in 1976, he completely disappeared in 1977.

    • I retired from Special Forces and am involved with different SF groups. If you’d like to send me what you have (i.e. name, etc.) I can post it up for you and see if anything hatches anywhere.

      There are other ways to get information “through channels”, too.

      My email address is

      We can communicate that way if you wish to proceed.

  31. Read the April 2012 VFW Magizine. It has a 4 page write up on Vietnam 1972. Very little about the grunts but Task Force Garry Owen in mentioned. Has the last infantryman KIA. Worth the read.

  32. whats with all the b btry, ed bn and the other . just wondering.

    • Huh?

      • LOL—Classic CSM/SGM comment–no doubt accompanied by a SGM glare. God Bless the NCO corp–the back bone of the US Army!

        Garry Owens SGM

        Dave Wallace
        LTC (ret)
        D-229 AHB TF Garry Owens First Cavalry Division Apr 72-July 72
        H Troop 10 Air Cavalry 17th AVn BDE July 72-Feb 73

  33. LTC Wallace:

    We might well have crossed paths if you flew the An Loc missions because I see you were with the 229th April through July. I was with the “Blues” for part of that. I mostly flew in circles watching the Pink Teams work out and waiting for somebody to go down as we had recovery duty to get the pilots out and destroy the aircraft.

    I still recall one aircraft that I’ve tried to find the pilot(s) of as I flew in it several times. Does the number 106 mean anything to you?

    Also, small world … I live only a few miles from Bruce Crandall.

    Garry Owen, Sir.

    • SGM Zornes,

      Blue Max did a helluva job during the Easter offensive bearing the blunt of the fight around An Loc. I had the honor of flying with CPT Bill Causey of Blue Max later in 72 up in II Corp. A lot of the Cav pilots from D/229th were transferred to H Troop 10th Cavalry at Lane AHP near An Son late July 72.

      I flew snakes and was shot down 23 Jun 72 near Quon Loi. Took a hit at 3500 feet from a large antiaircraft weapon and pretty much went straight down. I was in the front seat with CPT Paul Lent as my back seater. We caught a lucky break and a B 229th slick pulled us out after about 10 minutes on the ground.

      I was and still am very proud of the PUC that TF Garry Owens won at An Loc.

      Thanks for your service SGM. Life has been pretty good for this old soldier–sounds like it has been for you as well.

      Garry Owen,

      Dave Wallace

      • I’m glad you got out. The first two things they told me about those birds was: 1) never stand in front of the rocket tubes while trying to rescue the pilots and 2) don’t try cutting through the canopy by striking anywhere other than right on the edge of the plexiglass.

        I can personally attest to how close that air support was when one of the rockets kicked up a rock and it hit me in the wrist.

        Did you know the pilot that went down near An Loc and was interred at the Tomb of the Unknowns? He went down during the Easter offensive. I found out later that his DNA matched a family out here in Hoquiam, Washington.

        All in all, life has been pretty good here, too. My wife is about to retire and the last of four grandchildren we raised will graduate in June.

        Thank you for your service, Colonel.

    • By the by …

      Are you hooked up with the Yahoo! group 229th? If not, I can send you the link but I don’t want to post it here so send your email address to me at

      • Just replied to you via your email SGM Thanks!

        Mr. Overocker,
        What unit were you assigned to in RVN?

      • To Dave Wallace. My first unit in RVN was 1st of the 12th. I joined up with them from the training center and went out to Bunker Hill. I got a nasty sunburn stringing concertina. We went on three day R&R to Vung Tau right after joining them. When they left I went to 1st of the 7th and we were mostly at Grunt II. When the 7th stood down went to Ftrp 9th. From there went to Long Bien. I came down with malaria while in the reaction force ready room. This all happened from April to August of 72. I was Popeyes RTO at Bunker Hill when he shot himself in the foot during John Wayne “Cowboys” movie. Was at Long Than* with 7th.

  34. After reading these posts I am more bouyed by the fact WE knew we were there and what we were doing while the government denied we were there at all. Viet Nam almost cost me my life and there is no mention of any of it on my DD214.

    • No mention of ????

  35. Larry,
    I’m getting old–just read the post again and saw that you were with F/9th Cav as well as others.

  36. Just found this site. Pretty cool. I was a machine gunner Bravo Co. 1st/7th firebase Crossed Sabers, Spudis and Grunt II. Was on Grunt when ammo dump blew – was setting claymores with Sgt. Goolsby (sp?). Was also there for the rocket attack at Bin Hoa in Aug. 72 – left soon after – was among some of the last of the combat ground troops to leave. I remember the guy getting newspaper clip from parents about no more ground troops being in Vietnam. Made us wonder, if that was true – what were we doing there?

    • FYI – Your former Commander ran for Congress and lives in Colorado. Unfortunately, he wasn’t elected.

      I recall sharing an article from my hometown about the combat troops no longer being in the field but that was with either Co A or Co D guys.

    • To RMontoya. I was a 60 gunner with 1st of the 7th also. When you mentioned the guy getting the newspaper clipping was it on log day in the bush? We had a guy pull it out of the envelope and that was the headline of the clipping and she had wrote on it “Does this mean you?” Or words to that effect.

  37. What about the classified recovery team I was on from the 101st Airbourn Division that came in early 1974 to try to find and get POWs and body remains, which I still have nightmares about. There is no record or info I can find on this Special Operation. Aside from that, They have conviently lost my records and pick up from when I was sent to Germany. Its like my first 2 or more years don’t exist. I have tried for 7 years or more now to get something but they tell me to forget it if they don’t have a record of it. I am now beeing treated for MS,High BP, Type 2 diabetes, severe depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, sleep apnea and breathing, now using a CPAP, Pain, increased sensitivity to heat and sun light, blurring of my vision, double vision, fatigue, PTSD and others. I am 100% disabled, house bound and require aid and attendance provided by my wife. The Doctors say most all this came from exposure to Agent Orange but since they have no records, I am not service connected so my wife and I suffer and try to make it as best as we can. I have a back injury where I crashed and burned on a jump but there again there is no record. My current MRI and X-Ray show the injury. Do any of you remember this mission or anything about it. There was a MP group when we got to Saigon but my memory is so messed up I can’t remember who they were. My code name for the mission was “Bear”.

    • Well, don’t you have any orders with other people’s names on it from the unit you were in the 101st with? Who was the unit Commander? Where did you deploy from? Where did the recovery team go in-country?

      The VA will accept testimonials from people that were there and can confirm your presence in-country.

      There shouldn’t be any reason a mission like this would be classified at this point.

      • Sgt. White, my husband’s DD2-14 did not show how long he really stayed in Vietnam and where and who with later after Ceasefire. There was the Four Party Joint Military Commission and the ICCS which formed after Ceasefire and lasted until March 29th 1973. Their purpose was to help exchange POWs and recover remains interred in Communist territory. Record-keeping was poor at that time because of lack of Administration and how the US was trying to get out quickly. I found one page in the 1972-1973 Command Histories regarding these missions. I suggest going on-line and seeing if there is any reference to these missions in 1974. (I do not know IF there is a Command History for after 1973.) ALSO! I was able to have it confirmed that my husband was in Vietnam after Ceasefire and after his DD2-14 stated by going over his DA-20… It shows he was not stateside for three months after he was suppose to be and that he left Vietnam March 25, 1973. I texting this and reciting from memory… hope it might help some.

      • Also, I learned so much about this time and these missions from… my sister-in-law, brither-in-law and mother-in-law. I had them write notarized written testimonies of the things that my husband told them when he just came back from Vietnam. He can’t remember much either, but it really impact him. Because of their testimonies, the Command Histories speaking of these missions and times, and my husband’s DA-20 confirming that my husband was ‘missing’ for three months at that time… the VA now acknowledges that he was there then.

      • I can’t reply to some of these mails, Fran below for instance so I will post here. When a GI gets discharged, or reenlists, his records are gone over by an Admin LT with the GI present. At that time the GI has the right to challenge any and all entries on his 214. I have heard of so many just wanting to get out that they accepted whatever was written. Now, many many years later they complain trying to blame somebody else for something they failed to do. Many WWII guys did the same thing, just wanting to get home. But here is the thing. If you can get a buddy letter from anybody who served with you, the VA will recognize those letters.

      • My apologies SGM Zornes, I am trying to reply to a reply following your post by Ron Christopher and hope I am not violating protocol here. I also want to add that I see in reading (and enjoying) comments here, we are all still to some degree, sensitive about that time in our life and the inexcusable way we were received!

        Ron, I know factually that if your “outproccessing corrections/additions” were not in the Military’s best interest, the revisions got “LOST”! ;(

        I have, thus far, read some bashing of fellow soldiers, which we do freely in service, but it is NOT my intent here. I see we are continually amazed at the plethora of intel we were not heretofore aware of and it is in that vein I share this data. Sometimes, more often than not, it really is the unintentional or intentional fault of someone else where the record is wrong. Working at HQ and having a father in EW and daughter in Intel, I’ve seen and heard of way too many FUBAR’s or FOVER’s.

  38. looking for info. on 12 April 72 Sgt. Marvin Lynn Biscamp was K.I.A. Another man was wounded at the same time.Sorry to say i cant quite remember his name,been a long time can anyone help me out.

    • I sent an email to Biscamp’s former Commander that did the eulogy. I’ll let you know if he replies.

      • Fred, here is his name: DALE BURTON MOILANEN. He was killed February 1, 1972, 6 weeks after he arrived in-country.

    • to fran they can never find your dd-214 till they want to , they are 800,000 claims behind as we talking, two yrs they say to me hold on we are working on it

  39. To R Montoya

    Was Sgt Biscamp with the Delta company 1/7th? I remember taking over a NVA bunker complex about April. I was moving out with the point team when another GI past me on the way to guard duty. It was down a hill toward a water hole. On his way there a NVA regular shot the GI in the face. I remember see the body bag next to Captain (James) Witter while he was on the horn calling for a helicopter. I have a few more memories about what happened if this is the right GI.

    • Fred: OMG, I just got chills all over. The guy that originally headed out that way was me. I was the engineer that rappelled in to blow those bunkers. I needed to dig a cat hole and make a deposit but I decided to go into one of the bunkers and do it there.

      While I was there, a fairly new Shake and Bake sergeant straight out of NCOC took out a relief for the OP and took four in the head and hest. For some time that thought was that it was me that was shot as I was the last one anybody remembered going out that way.

      If you recall, the bird that brought me in flew around quite sometime as the dinks were popping smoke in the area and the pilots swere trying to confirm who was who. I burned my gloves coming down. When I got down, there were two guys in D Co from Washington. One was Ed Nelson from a town called Walla Walla and nobody belived that he came from a town by that name. I went to a small, private college there and eventually went to Ed;s wedding about 1973.

      The other guy was from Bremerton, where I grew up and still live near today. I’ve never been able to recall his name.

      The commander wasn’t James Witter, it was Tony Witter. James took over a little later.

      Sheesh! I thought maybe we had crossed paths somewhere and now you just recalled this KIA. I think it was about February 1972 and it was D Co. Biscomb was either B or C.

      I also wound up walking point for several missions for D Co as I had more time out there than many of the infantry guys.

      • SGM, We had taken a bunker complex and while we were waiting in a clearing for the engineers to arrive one of our guys had a nervous breakdown. I was wondering if it may have been the same mission. We also had two K.I.A. and two W.I.A. from a friendly fire in our other platoon.

    • Fred, here is the name of the sergeant that was killed that day:


      He was killed February 1, 1972, 6 weeks after he arrived in-country after completing NCOC.

  40. SGM Zornes
    WOW! I got your response last nite but i couldn’t reply. I spent the nite staring at the ceiling, lots of memories of that terrible day. Yes you recall it well, I saw you repeling, heard the birds flying just over tree tops all around us. While this was happening to you, my life was unfolding. “Slim” my squad leader told me to go on guard duty at the blues. I told him I couldn’t because the point team was about to move out. I said to him to get someone else… how about a newbee that need the practice. Slim did and secounds later I heard the fire. I still to this day wonder if I would have had a better chance than the newbee. I was and still am hypervidgilent and at the time never went anywhere without my weapon on full rock and roll. I remember hearing that the killed GI had his weapon on safety. Did he think he was walking in the park… We were in the middle of a enemy Bunker Complex for god sakes. a memory burned deep

  41. Funny what one recalls but I think I remember that there were actually 17 bunkers that day. We blew them with 40 lb cratering charges.

    Molinen was actually killed after I was on the ground and unless ‘Im wrong, it was the day after I came in, sometime around the morning I think, rather than that same day because I believe I rappelled in late in the afternoon and we called for the charges the next day.

    You remember seeing the body next to Tony Witter. I have burned into my memory watching him pulled out of the jungle up to the bird in a litter. I can’t remember if we took his water and ammunition, ghoulish as it sounds.

  42. Larry: I don’t recall the incident you’re speaking of. I have no recollection of being around when anybody had a nervous breakdown.

    I do remember once a Latino guy named Sanchez always wanted to carry the 60. He got his wish one mission. We passed through a muddy swamp (I wouldn’t call it a rice paddy because there wasn’t any rice growing it it, at least at the time.).

    It was ass-kicking grueling with mud up to the lower part of our hips. We finally got into a grove and the commander called it quits for the day so we set up the NDP. Sanchez cramped up so bad and was screaming that we had to evacuate him. The funny part of this story is after we got into that grove, everybody checked for leeches and the guy that had been walking in front of me had one right on his penis (well, not funny for him).

    Anyway, I only recall one time being in friendly fire when the tail shot up the point because the point somehow sort of doubled back around. Nobody got hit, though.

    Does anybody here remember a Staff Sergeant we called “Irish”? I think he dd a couple of tours. I seem to recall that he had been busted at one point. He had a “famous” blond handlebar moustache.

    We ran into a bunker complex once and Irish passed the word the point was going to recon by fire. There was some fire, then we waited. Irish came back and said they’re going to recon by grenade. We heard a couple of explosions and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally Irish came back, obviously perturbed, and said “They must be reconning by bayonet now”. Funny, at least to me, at the time.

    Nobody got killed on that mission, unlike the one we talked about above, I have no recollection of how any bunkers I blew.

    • Larry I was on the mission when the guy had the nervous breakdown. It was much later than the SM’s story. I remember seeing a cleared vegetable garden in the corner of the clearing when we landed. Then we waded in a waist to chest deep stream into the bunker complex. Very dumb move but we were lucky. I was on point for my squad and came out of the creek face to face with a VC bunker. Evidently they were running out as we dropped in and no one was in the bunker. Beyond the bunkers there was like a little ville of a few bamboo huts with fires still smoking and dogs and chickens running about. There was cooking woks and baskets and other gear plus a pile of bloody bandages. I remember the guy that broke down. He was just crying and shaking and rocking back and forth. Someone had handed him a puppy we had found and he was holding on to it for dear life. Seems like they took him out on a jungle lift, still hanging on to the dog.

  43. SGM Zornes
    Your right in the timing of events, writing these shorts i seem to jump over some things.

    Oh Yes I remember “Irish” a drinking man after my own heart. I seem to remember that Irish went over a firebase berm with knife in mouth to personally waste a wounded zapper. At least that was the rumor about the wildman. Do you remember a Lt. Williams. No reason you should. He held down the company rear and wanted a field asignment so bad. He got one after while and really showed his OFFICER stupidity. I think that even today i’d have a hard time not punching him. I hope he is around to read this!!! Irish and Williams got along like oil and water.

    • Fred: Was Williams a goofy looking Lt with a Medical Corps background?

    • Was Irish in D Co?

      • I was the 3rd plt rto when we went into that bunker complex. My Lt.’s name was Hendrix, and my platoon sgt was named McCaffrey, known as Irish. Crazy guy from NYC who had a bushy mustache and walked on most every platoons point team. I remember there being 16 bunkers and being ambushed the day before we went in there and discovered them. Molian (sp?) was killed leading a water gathering detail, and after his death the detail was suspended and the bunkers were destroyed and we left and tried to find our pz the next day with no luck. McCaffrey told the CO he heard chopping up ahead and a Pink Team was bounced to look for the source of the noise. When no activity was seen by the aircraft McCaffrey asked if they happened to see a large clearing ( our pz we couldn’t find) and they saw it and we were able to finally get outa there and back to Crossed Sabres. Irish got a big kick outa using those Loaches to find our way out of that place. I was made the CO’s rto shortly after that while we were on Spudis which was a large 11th ACR Fire base that we knocked down and made into a Company sized triangular FB similar to Grunt. February 72 I think

      • Doug Stamper, I clearly remember you. I remember Lt. Hendricks, too, particularly on a mine sweep we he and his squad or platon was providing security. But through these years I thought you were a medic. So you were the RTO, eh? I have either a photo of you or a Grunt magazine or Garry Owen newspaper article that has a picture of you that I wrote down the names of the guys that were in it.

        I was the engineer that blew those bunkers. I was there in nearly the same spot where Molilenan was a few minutes before he was shot. I thought, though, that he was taking out an OP relief rather than a water detail. Here’s the brief details of Moilanen.

        DALE BURTON MOILANEN. He was killed February 1, 1972, 6 weeks after he arrived in-country.

        Yes, Irish was a different guy. The blond, handle-bar moustache was unforgettable.

        One time (I think I mentioned this earlier) we ran into a bunker complex and we all halted (perhaps the same patrol), He came down the line and passed the word that the lead element was going to recon by fire. There was some firing.

        Then he came back and said they were going to recon by grenade. After that a few explosions. Then a long, long silence.

        He eventually came back and joked they must be reconning by bayonet.

        So what’s been up with you these last 40 years?

    • The stupidest officer I saw over there was running security for me while I mineswept the road from Spudis one morning.

      I’m on the left side of the road running the mine detector and over on the left shoulder, about seven or eight meters in front of me, is this Lieutenant. I seem to recall that his branch was Medical Corps. I think he wore eyeglasses. He was a goodf looking guy.

      I stopped, pulled my headphones down around my neck and said something like “Hey, Lt, do see anything wrong with this picture? If you’re gonna sweep that shoulder for me I may as well bring up the rear because you don’t need me up here.”

      I went back and told my people to not ever send that dumbass out with me again.

      • I go back weekly and read updates for this subject. I find comments about people and places and/or events that happened while I was there. I saw Lt. Hendicks name above this posting and remembered him being my Lt. when I got transferred to Co. C 87th. at Long Bien. I have a First Team Cav magazine that did a big article on him and his platoon finding a huge weapons cache.
        Do you remember Lt. Cooks RTO? I think we called him Charles or Chuck. His running buddy was a guy named Jerry Sistrunk when we were in the rear or on a firebase. Anyway, Chuck shot tons of photos and taped lots of mad minutes and of fellow soldiers when we would CA out or get picked up. His photos and recordings would be a treasure trove of info. to have.
        I too was at the stand down ceremony when the guy locked his knees and passed out. Did you know Sgt. Stephen Kelley? He approached some of us after the ceremony and said that all the state flags that flew there were also being thrown away. He said that if we wanted the one from our state to take it with us. I brought the Mo. flag home and donated it to the Mo. State Museum in Jefferson City.
        Thanks again for this column, it seems to be theraputic in a good way.. Roger Phipps

  44. From R Montoya to F zink no we were B co. Date was 12 May 72 we were on patrol off F.S.B. spudis it was hot lots of bush SGT. Axleys squad had been on point. We stopped and the LT. met with squad leaders.wanted to head back to the N.D.P. SGT Biscamp told Ace( (S.G.T. Axley) that he would take the point.We had taken a few steps when there was an explosion killing biscamp and wounding anouther.

    • Was Ace Axley a “Shake & Bake” NCOC? Iremember a NCO that assisted with the NCOC class that I graduated from. He was a tall skinny guy with a big mustache that hyphenated every other word with the F word. I think he said one time that he flew planes in Tn.

      • To R. Phipps – Yes that was Ace. He was a shake and bake squad leader – pretty good guy – pretty good in the bush. Yes – he did fly planes, I believe he was an instructor from TN.

        Regarding the red towels or hammocks – had a similar thing happen to me at night. We were on ambush patrol – don’t remember if it was Firebase Spudis but I think so. The ground search radar wasn’t working and they wanted me to get out in the clearing and wave my helmet around so they could pick me up. Surprising how dumb some people can be – not only to give such an order but to follow it! Only thing we got in the ambush were some pigs. Sorry been out of touch – computer took one and crashed and burned! Great hearing from you guys – brings back some memories, some good, some not so good. Check you later (GARRY OWEN)

      • Commenting on earlier post you had about your CIB and 33 other names on those records. Looked at mine and you are on there. My travels in nam seem to be just like yours

  45. To Thoses that served with amazment:
    Lt Williams was tall, thinning hair and a mustche. I believe an admin background. On our first mission he decided the chopper pilots couldn’t find us by cordinances alone to pick us up.. So 5 of us where ordered to stand in an open field with six foot long red towels held over our heads waving for the gaggle. I first refused… but a direct order with threats…well I went out in the middle of the frig’in field laid down on my back put the red towel over my 16 barrel and held it up with my left arm. I figured I’d sacrafice my left arm for god and country. We got back to fire base cross sabres safely but the relationship was never the same. Friends come and go but idiots last forever

    • Fred: You have described the same moron I had as security the morning of that mine sweep. That is EXACTLY what he looked like.

      I know there were a couple of occasions when we weren’t sure where we were so we had artillery fire a spotter round but waving red flags in a clearing? There’s a guy that escaped a frag.

      I’m curious, though, where in the hell did you find six foot long red towels?????

      Do you remember Doc Roberts?

  46. Yes Irish was in D company

    • Fred, I did some research on “Irish” MaCaffrey and found out that he died in Florida several years ago at age 59.

  47. The red towels are more simple to discribe than: Do you remember buying solid color hammock’s from the locals. We used them to swing low and sleep off the ground. Mine was dark blue. Well the LT got some in red., Cut the tie strng from both ends and had a 6 plus foot red nylon cloth seamed on all sides. Brilliant for someone with no brains and trying to get you killed.

    • Yeah, I used to “swing” when I wnent out with certain companies (others wouldn’t let you). And we had to swing low in case of mortars or incoming fire.

      So here’s my funny story about swinging in a hammock. When I first got to Crossed Sabers it was nothing but a piece of dried up dirt right of Highway 1. I pounded in two engineer stakes (what we call steel T fence posts in the civilian world). I had no rope so I took detonating cord (yup, THAT detonating cord– the stuff made with PETN that burns at 32,000 feet per second).

      I cut two pieces to hold the hammock up, sat my butt on the hammock to swing in and the det cord sliced right through and I fell on my ass.

      I used to carry blasing caps in my pocket like change. Yes, the stupid things we did when we were kids.

  48. Doc Roberts yes the name only. Just remember him as a nice guy. Do you remember the KC named Kim? He was a North Vietnam defector. He was also a Hanoi university trained Medical Doctor. Wonderful man. kind, intellegent, bush savvy took care of you if he liked you. It only took a smile and a little respect towards him to win him over. He was so scared for the war to end and what would happen to him. Yes I wonder what did become of him?.

    • Doc Roberts…you’d know him. He carried a grease gun. I was with A company once and you guys weren’t far away. Something happened and the firing started. You can always tell a grease gun by the very slow pop .. pop..pop it made. Roberts went back home to Virginia and got a job working for the US Army repairing helicopters in the Washington, D.C. area that were used by high ranking civilian DOD people.

      I vaguely remember the KC guy. I used to give him money to go into the ville and bring me back Ramen. I think it was 200 p. By the time Ramen became a big thing back in the states I was tired of it but it was so light to carry instead of C rats. You had to be going somewhere that had water though. You could pull up some bamboo shoot roots to flavor it with.

      I have no idea whatever became of those guys. They probably ended up in re-education camps IF they were lucky. I recall working with some Cambodian scouts, too.

    • Again, being the CO’s rto I Knew Niem the KC or chuhoi we had along with us. He said he was a dr in Hanoi. I also knew Doc Robert. HE called everyone “snuffy” I left VN on the same flight and talked to him in the mid 80’s when he called me on Christmas eve. Last I heard he was in Ft Pierce Florida. My medic in the 3rd platoon was Pete Schagg from Aurora Ill.

      • I remember Schrag, as well.

      • I also remember schagg and Niem. My guess is Niem was shot as a trader.
        I saw Niem eat 2 black cinnipeds. Nice person he offer me one.
        I have a pic of schagg naked in the bush, why i don’t know.

  49. Now that you say grease gun i remember better. I still did not know him any more than name. He went home (back to the world) before I did and when i was in the compamy rear once “French” supply sgt about 7foot tall red hair. Tooo tall to go into the bush showed me a grease gun he had in the weapons room. Shoots 45’s if I remember right

    • Yes, the grease gun fires .45s. Piece of sh*t. Another friend of mine that has posted here (Phil Purdy, Co E) carried a Thompson. Also fired .45s.

      • The .45 caliber Grease Gun… a P.O.S. says SGM Zinkes. Well, that Sergeant Major is because you weren’t a tanker.

        In early 1971 my unit in the Americal received a newly rebuilt M-48A3 battle tank from Okinawa to replace our worn out machine. The thing had been done over from the tracks up, all to original equipment standards right down to the Grease Gun in it’s clip holder on the interior turret bulkhead.

        “It’s a P.O.S. ” I said to our tank commander, Sergeant Jose Rojas, the rate of fire is too slow.”

        “Watch this, Gunner” he says as he proceeds to remove the recoil spring from the receiver and replace it with a spare recoil spring for one of our .50 caliber machine guns. It’s hard to describe the improvement that heavier spring made but it easily doubled the rate of fire. P.O.S. no more.

      • The slow rate of fire could be ramped up, for certain, but the the weapons had many other shortcomings, not the least or which is the effective range AND when you ran out of ammuntion, it was highly, HIGHLY unlikely any bird coming in to kick out ammo boxes was going to be kicking out cases of .45. Never mind the issue of reloading the magazines.

        Any field weapon you can’t get resupplied with ammuniton is pretty much useless.

      • Well SGM, it’s like this: considering that an M48A3 tank carried three tons of fuel and ammunition the resupply of .45 ACP was, how do they say, not an issue.

        And it was a very handy little gun for the driver, who being crammed into hull would have had to rely on his .45 pistol for any close encounters.

        Beauty, SGN, really is in the eyes of the beholder.

      • Perhaps the thread morphed too much. My comments relate to carry the gun in the jungle.

  50. SMU? S omeone M umbbled U h?….. and got volunteered for a special missions unit? is that right?

  51. Richard,

    I was the commander of F Troop, 8th Cavalry until October of 1972. I then became the S-3 of the 11th Combat Aviation Group that same month.

    To my knowledge, no “Blues” platoon was never used on external operations during the time I was in MR 1. In fact, when I commanded F troop, I was not allowed to employ my organic Infantry Platoon without the permission of the USARV commander!

    Please do not hesitate to call/contact me if I can be of any further assistance.

    Colonel (Retired) John p. Kennedy

  52. I was with the 11th CAG in 72, I was Col Cass’s crewchief. I also flew with th 62nd and stayed with the US Element of the Four Party Joint Military Commission. In late 72 or early 73, I was on an ash and trash mission with the 62nd when we were called for an emergency medivac. This was somewhere North and West of Danang, maybe even North of Monkey Mountain. As I remember it there were three or four American infantry troops that had set off a couple of booby traps. They threw them on my slick and we headed for the hospital at China beach. Anyone have any information on what infantry unit this was. These had to be some of the last US ground casualities.

  53. Brad; There were MACV SOG/CCN folks in country untill mid july 1973. Other “civilians” and unconventional troops perhaps later. I may know someone who has a better memory than I. Let me know if you are still interested in perhaps some new info, perhaps not.

  54. I would like to speak with anyone on Spudis from E Company 1st Battallion 1st 7th Cav Garry Owen I was called Arkie.

    • I’ll post your email to the E Co 1/7 Facebook page for you (it’s private page, otherwise I’d direct you to it). Somebody there will know.

    • Ron, I found somebody at Echo Company that knows you. I’ll give him this link.

    • Welcome Home Ron! I believe that we were drafted on March 9th 1973 and trained together at Ft. Ord and then went to Ft Carson then on to Nam. I was with 1/7 Echo Co for Jan – August 1972. Please email me and I can tell what has been going on. We have had a couple of reunions and will be having another in 2013 in WI.
      Ken Cook

  55. Hey Ron
    great to see another post from the 1/7th. I was in Delta company and was company clerk for a month had my ear to the phone line about the Battalion. If i can help?

  56. Just to know about any troops sent to vietnam during 1972, i was station in fort richarson alaska, and our unit 172 inf. was activated to go to num in the early of 1972, but thing cancel out , but my question any troops sent to vietnam during 1972?

  57. Sorry to bust anyone’s bubble, but Tet 1968 was NOT the largest enemy offensive while the U.S. was still combat engaged! The Easter Offensive of 1972 was the largest, with an invasion across the DMZ and out of Laos in the I Corp sector and flanking movements along borders further south to try to “divide” the RSN. The 3/21 of the 196th was ‘moved’ to an A.O. north of Camp Evans in the spring of 1972 south of the river and Camp Carroll. 3/21 Inf. was the last “large” brigade in the Field in Vietnam until the extraction of Aug. 10th, 1972. B.J. Phillips, Co. D, 3/21, 196th L.I.B. 1971-72

  58. Phillips, thank you for your post. I do have these comments.

    1. As you information is 39 years old it’s unlikely to burst anyone’s bubble.

    2. Can you tell me why you put the words moved and brigade in quotation marks? I’ve noticed this about Americans over the last few years, the incorrect use of quotation marks, and I haven’t been able to get to the source. Perhaps you can help.

    3. While you are certainly correct that U.S. forces were combat engaged during the Easter Offensive, you fail to say that those forces were exclusively air and advisory. 3/21 never did engage the enemy and as the 196th was my last unit in Vietnam I consider this to be an act of cowardice second only to abandoning our ally to the North Vietnamese.

    Richard Vidaurri
    Guadalajara, Mexico

    • There was NO cowardice on the part of 3/21. They were in the field during the beginning of the Easter Offensive and took casualties while there. They were, however, ordered NOT to search out or seek engagement with the enemy by higher headquarters.

      For the record, 3/21 was not a brigade, it was a reinforced battalion.

      To imply that the men in 3/21 were cowards is just wrong and an absolutely incorrect reading of actual facts.

      • Relax Kennedy, I didn’t mean to say that the men of 3/21 were cowards, how could I know that, I was back at Fort Mead by then. I meant the United States, as I meant the United States abandoned its ally, South Vietnam when it became bored with its mismanagement of the war in Vietnam. It seems that your country, while certainly a great nation, is at times also capable of breathtaking feats of cowardice followed by very convenient bouts of amnesia.

      • Thanks for the correction on Brigade and Battalion! I’m just a grunt! Don’t know if we (3/21) had any specific “orders” not to engage the NVA or what was left to the VC, but we just went about business as usual. That is, Air insertions, search and destroy, Wedge and blocking, L.P.’s , O.P.’s etc. – nothing really changed in our ‘normal’ routine before , during , or after the Easter Offensive. We did, in about June or July, 1972 get two (2) enemy NVA kills, that just stumbled near our NDP shortly before dark, and I was told that one of the officers had NVA documentation to “avoid” American forces – he evidently didn’t do a very good job of that! I’m no history buff – I was just there.

    • Used the Quotation marks because that A.O., North of Camp Evans was not our “usual” area that we (3/21) operated. Was normally in the areas west and northwest of Danang. Perhaps you remember Charley Ridge and some of those other places. Don’t quite know what to think of your comment about courage or coward! – WE were just grunts and had no decision about where we were or who we confronted or engaged. Fortunetly, we did not engage while north of Camp Evans, but I, personally, attribute that to the B-52’s that stopped the NVA Easter Offensive or just plain luck! It is and was not grunts decision(s) to go to Vietnam, stay there as long as we did, or leave when the U.S. finally pulled out. Courage or being a coward had nothing to do with it as far as grunts were concerned! You need to crawl up some politicians ass when talking about abandoning the South Vietnam area!

    • Don’t believe for a minute that onl “air” and “advisory” forces were used during the 1972 Easter Offensive! The 1/7 of the 1st Cav took quite a few KIA’s and wounded in the early months of 1972, and the 196th had at least two(2) KIA in that same period of time. The 11th Cav took some hits too! Nixon had put ‘restictions’ on news coverage at that time and most of the public had no idea what was REALLY going on, even those at Ft. Meade. The percertion that Nixon wanted the public to ‘see’ was that the ARVN was capable of defending the southern part of Vietnam. News of a massive offensive by the NVA would have skewed that perception. The people of the U.S. had grown tired of that war, and congress went along with them.

      • Phillips… you may be on to something here and your post jogged my memory. I was the gunner on the last American battle tank in Vietnam, but because that machine belonged to the 26th Engineer Battalion, Americal Division, no one will ever know that. In any case, when the Americal stood down in November of 1971 my crew and I were shipped by LST to Danang to join the 196th LIB and I was given command of a CEV (Combat Engineer Vehicle, an M-60 tank modified for engineer tasks in the field) perhaps the last such machine in Vietnam.

        In any event, in late January 1972 I rotated back to the States after 18 months in Vietnam and I left my crew and that CEV back in Danang. The Easter Offensive, as you know, started two months later. Now, during the entire American phase of the Indochina War there were said to be only three tank-on tank engagements, but in his book “Vietnam Tracks” Simon Dunstan says that there is a rumor that late in the war a CEV engaged and destroyed an NVA tank. If that rumor were to be true that CEV would have been my former CEV, manned by my former crew mates and everything you’re saying would be true. Fascinating. And after all these years.

      • Don’t know anything about U.S. vs NVA tank confrontations. I was just a grunt, but I do know there was definetely tank barriers, if you will, in the areas north of Camp Evans to try to stop or slow down NVA armour! Perhaps one of the engineers would know something of that “tank battle”, but I am totally unaware of such.

      • I’m not aware of any exchanges of fire between US armored vehicles and NVA tanks. The only incident I am aware of where US personnel confronted tracked NVA vehicles was at Lang Vei near Khe Sank in early 1968.

      • H Company, 75th Rangers also had a few men killed during that offensive.

  59. I would not characterize us as abandoning our ally, although some South Vietnamese would argue otherwise. They still blame Nixon for going to China, which they see as the beginning of the end. I was there at the end, rotating back to the world in late February ’73. There was tremendous political pressure to end the war, Nixon had promised to end the war. The Christmas bombings brought the North back to the table, but the South was as intransigent as usual. So a deal was struck without the South being advised and crammed down their throat. We had no leverage with the South because they could not come to grips with the concept that we would really leave. The South, over the years received billions in aid, training, hardware. Everything they needed to maintain their own country. They were left with all the tools they needed to stand, finally on their own two feet. Hardly cowardice.

    Years later, I worked with former VNAF personnel who defended Tan Son Nhut. According to them, while the NVA was bombarding the airport, requests were made to Washington for guidance, what do they do now? No one answered the phone. The South Vietnamese had become so dependent on getting their orders from Washington that they had no idea how to make up their own decisions. Tough love for sure. In the end, the South was responsible for their own defense and they failed miserably, which should be no surprise to anyone who served there. I certainly was not surprised.

    • Lane, I wouldn’t expect n American to characterize the ignominious retreat from Vietnam as cowardice, but that is certainly what it was. First of all the it is instructive to note that every one, count them, every single one of The Best and the Brightest claimed that no one in Washington had any in-depth knowledge of Indochina. This while Bernard Fall (Street without Joy, Hell in a Very Small Place) was teaching at Howard University).

      My point here is that throwing money at South Vietnam was not the cure, it was part of the disease. Reform, reform from the bottom up, starting with land ownership and land rents, up through military command structures so that district and province chiefs would be removed from military decisions, up through the General Staff. As the U.S created the country I cannot be persuaded to believe that this was not possible. The entire program is to lengthy to detail here but it’s not that complicated and it could have been done. Oh, and maybe not lying to the American people would also have been helpful.

    • Let’s face it. The US of A put the screws to South Vietnam.

  60. Vidaurri, the U.S Congress abandoned it’s ally, South Vietnam in late 1974 by refusing to support that government with fuel and ammunition, etc. This betrayal had NOTHING to do with cowardice, however. It had EVERYTHING to do with the lack of moral turpitude on the part of certain U S politicians. Only a fool would mistake that for cowardice on the battlefield.

    In 1972 the valiant fight put up by American airmen and others to assist the South Vietnamese in defeating the North Vietnamese’s Easter Offensive was ANYTHING but an act of cowardice!

    Not committing 3/21 to the ground war in the 1972 Easter Offensive was a political decision made in Washington, NOT on the battlefield.

    Mentioning 3/21 and “cowardice” in the same sentence is irresponsible and provocative. Was that your intention?

  61. Kennedy… although after Spanish and French, English is my third language my conceit is that I can write it better than 99% of living Americans. This of course can be true and still be an insult. I believe, however, that in this case I don’t need your help composing my sentences. Once again, and for the last time, I did not mean to say that the men of 3/21 were cowards. I hope that this satisfies you.

    • Americans, or people from the United States tend to use slang about the same as people from Mexico and most other countries of the world does also. It is not imperative to speak or write in the perfect “Queens” english! Just chill out dude!

    • You wrote: “Kennedy… although after Spanish and French, English is my third language my conceit is that I can write it better than 99% of living Americans. This of course can be true and still be an insult. I believe, however, that in this case I don’t need your help composing my sentences. Once again, and for the last time, I did not mean to say that the men of 3/21 were cowards. I hope that this satisfies you.”

      Your use of the world “cowardice” in characterizing America’s abandonment of their ally, South Vietnam, suggests that your understanding of the nuances of the English language do not match your grossly inflated opinion of your mastery of English.

      Perhaps you should write in Spanish and have someone who DOES know how to use properly nuanced English translate for you…….

      • Kennedy… I almost forgot, it’s a holiday in your country isn’t it? That explains a great deal. Did we get into the Irish again? As for my English:

        1. As this is an English language site it would hardly do for me to write my post in either Spanish or French now would it?

        2. One of us is a published author – in English – and one of us isn’t, so mine isn’t the only opinion which I rely on when it comes to your language.

        3. When the U.S. creates a little country, then occupies it, then forever alters it’s social and cultural character, then cobbles together a hasty treaty which leaves hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers within that little country’s borders as it makes its escape, I would call that cowardice. Its not a nuanced word because its not a nuanced concept.

        4. I cannot for the life of me fathom why you would bother to re-type what I already wrote. Please don’t answer that, I’d rather cherish the memory.

        Look, Kennedy, you’re probably not a bad egg, so why don’t you stop jousting with me?

      • Richard V. – My goodness! Please stop being such a pompous ass!!!
        It’s getting old.

      • I knew this was going to happen as I kept reading along. One slip of a word misused and it is war between a few veterans. OK, the guy did not call anybody cowards. However, if the word can be used correctly I would say the democrat congress under Ford were cowards by not backing up the peace accords agreement, i.e., supplying South Vietnam with materials, one for one, a bullet for a bullet fired, etc. Yeah, the Congress of the uS of A were cowards, scared to death of their not getting reelected.

  62. Well, since this can of worms was opened up, I guess I might as well jump in with both feet. As we all know, the origins of the Civil War between North and South was the result of an agreement broken by Eisenhower. There was an agreement between the US and North Vietnam for unification, after two years of politicking a vote was to be held which government was to be the legitimate government of a unified Vietnam. Intelligence indicated that Ho Chi Minh would win the referendum and Eisenhower bailed on the deal to prevent yet another Soviet sponsored state to be formed. The end result is what we ended up with. Generally speaking, the average South Vietnamese could care less about the politics involved. They were more interested in their farms and families than anything else. Emperor Bao Dai was deposed by Diem in 1955 and that was the beginning of the end. What was there to choose from? A corrupt Saigon government or a government for the people as promised by the North? Some choice. Our goal was not to save South Vietnam for the people, but for our own political desires. When it was clear later on the war was unwinable, we bailed. We did leave the South with the tools to maintain their independence, but once we made the decision to leave, it was irrevocable. The South had to sink or swim on their own. The North broke the peace treaty and unified the country, which was their plan all along. It is true we created a country that was dependent upon US aid, but sometimes it is best to just walk away. No amount of money or fuel or resources could have prevented the fall of the Saigon government which did not have the support of the people.

  63. Phillips, everyone loves a mystery and I think you may have just helped me solve a very juicy one. That rumor, it has been nagging and tugging at me for years, ever since I first read “Vietnam Tracks.” Why, I’ve asked myself, should a historic event, one of only four tank-on-tank engagements of a 12-year war, be nothing more than rumor? Up until I read your post I had no idea about the news restrictions (look, I hate to be nit-picky, but for your own good you simply have got to stop that misuse of quotation marks), so now it all makes sense. Stay with me here.

    Asking just any combat engineer would do me no good. The fact that the 26th Engineers / Americal and then the Provisional Engineer Company / 196th LIB had the only battle tank (M48) in their respective formations was one of those bureaucratic flukes that the Army sometimes produces. When we turned that machine in for good in December of 1971, I was given command of a CEV which is TOE for an Engineer Armor Platoon, and a new crew. My old crew mates were dispersed among the platoon’s other vehicles: portable bridges, a tank retriever, no other CEVs, no more M48’s, nothing else that could shoot back. The CEV, I might add here, while not a real battle tank, carries a 165mm demolition gun. If that round were to land even within 20 meters of anything in the NVA armored arsenal it would at the very least stop it, a direct hit anywhere on the vehicle and the thing would have been history.

    January 1972: My last month in Vietnam. The U.S. Army has sent most of its armor to Okinawa for rebuild and the machines are coming back to South Vietnam to equip new ARVN cavalry regiments. The training of those regiments is going poorly, which surprises no one.

    January 22, 1972: I rotate, reluctantly because my request for a second extension has been denied, back to the States, which to me is a foreign country, and for the next 40 years, aside from intense study I lose track of what I will forever consider MY WAR – until this morning.

    What now? As I said, Phillips, asking just any combat engineer would be an meaningless exercise. But asking the the former Sergeant Jose Hernandez from Coahuila Mexico (ever wonder why there so many of my countrymen in your Army?), who stayed behind when I deros’d would. Because Sgt Hernandez would have been the only man left in the Armor Platoon who would have been qualified to TC that tank…. and if he’s still among the living I think I can get his telephone number.

    If life were a thousand year long, Phillips I could never tell you how much I appreciate what you have done for me and I’m certain for my former crew mates.

    Best and nay God bless you,

    Richard Vidaurri
    Guadalajara, Mexico

    P.s. Do you think that perhaps I can persuade you to stop saying “I was only a grunt?” Who do you think fought that war anyway?

    • I probably use the term “I was only a grunt” first out of pride – WE WERE SPECIAL! But, also to let you know that in most cases we were very underinformed as to the BIG picture of what was really going on. In the Easter Offensive I do not believe any NVA armor made it much farther south than southern Quang Tri area in I corp A.O., and I heard nothing about action near DaNang. As stated before the invasion was basically a conventional thrust from the DMZ and Laos, and, I think the NVA intentions was to do the same as they eventually did in 1975 against the ARVN – continuing south to Saigon! Also, I did hear about NVA tank confrontations in the An Loc area further south, but it was always U.S. aerial involved in those battles. Thanks for your service and your countrymen!

      • I can personally attest to NVA tanks NW of Lai Khe on 12 November 1972, at least three of them. I cannot say whether we had crossed the border, although my pilot suggested we were in Cambodia. We were sent by Chuck-Chuck to investigate reports of three tanks. Sure enough we found them. We followed the tracks from one location to another and found them in a semi-circle in ‘cut outs’ in the foliage….much to our surprise, all three hatches were open and no one was around… we decided to drop willie pete’s down the hatches…though we had to do it we slid sideways, never stopping, me pulling pins and dropping them as fast as I could…got all three. Our snakes did not have the firepower to take them out and the Tow Bird from Fox 8 was dinking around trying to take out a truck full of pigs, in a jungle….which eventually we had to take care of later. So up the tanks went up, presumably Tac Air took care of them later as they were well marked.

      • F4s took out an NVA tank about a click from FSB Gunt II which was not far from Bien Hoa.

      • I stand corrected, we where staging out of Tay Ninh, the tanks were NW of there, past Nu Ba Dinh. I was not familiar with FSB Grunt II, but we did do autorotations on top of the flag pole at Bunker Hill.

  64. “i was only a grunt” and I was 1/7th 1971/1972 we did what we where told and never new why. UNTIL I saw a re-election poster for President Richard Nixon. It stated “Why change dicks in the middle of a screw vote for Nixon in 72.” It’s good to be home i think.

  65. Zink….. I enlisted into the U.S. Army when I was 17 years old. I had never been to the States up until that time. I turned 19 and then 20 in Vietnam and I hated leaving the place. My brother also served in the Army, my son recently served with 2nd battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Ever since Lieutenant Atanacio Vidaurri served with the Texas Militia during the American Civil War the men in my family have been deeply loyal to the U.S. (or in Atanacio’s case C.S.A.) Army. Some men are just born with the soldier gene, I guess.

    Most Americans will never know of the intense suffering endured by the American infantryman in Vietnam. They’ve never cared and they don’t want to hear about it now. And the Army was very much to blame for that misery. There was, for instance, no reason to keep men out in the field during monsoon, month after month without a single stand-down to their base camp. It was inhuman that their own side would do that to them while the base camps were teeming with unemployed men with nothing to do but go insane with boredom and then turn to alcohol and heroin. And who thought up the Individual Replacement Policy? Was that a stroke of genius or what?

    How many Americans do you suppose know that the American infantryman in the Pacific in WWII, over a three year period, saw combat an average of 40 days, but in Vietnam, over a single year, it was 240 days? Who volunteers to go out and find a military-age American who would care?

    Vidaurri steps down from soap box, stands down for remainder of day. Bless you all.

    • Richard,
      2nd Battalion, 75th Rangers carries the colors of my unit, 1st Cav LRRPs (E Co, 52nd Infantry) and H Company, 75th Infantry.

  66. Fran… you’re back? And speaking of old…. last I heard they’d put you away in a menopause asylum. (Sorry, but you ought to know better than launch unprovoked attacks on me.)

    • Richard V. – Back? I have been here. Watching you provoke people and then tell them to ‘relax’. Listen.. evidently.. you have no idea who I am. And most importantly… you have no idea who Colonel Kennedy is.. or else you would never be so disrespectful to him. Mark my words.

      • Well, I know who you are not, Fran. You aren’t a veteran of anything but the J.C. Penny’s President’s Day Sale. You’re the nut case who flamed out at me once for referring to platoons and squads, versus brigades and divisions as “odds and ends. You’re a neurotic old bird who’s husband lied to her about his service and now has been frantically searching for phantom proof of of things, places, and events she’ll never, ever find. Am I getting warm?

        The more you pick at me the worse it’s going to get.

      • Richard V. – Poor Baby… Been this way all your life?

        For your information.. my husband is 100 percent Permanent and Total … 210 percent cumulative. His troop was part of the 11th Combat Aviation Group of which Colonel Kennedy was S3. Jim was a doorgunner on UH-1 helicopter. He served on the Nighthawk bird along with others that returned as well. There are more than Colonel Kennedy of the 67 plus members that meet at our reunions each year that know Jim and of his service. We need absolutely no validation from anyone to prove his service or mine. I served MY country as a United States Marine and require no benefits.

        Unlike a parasite like you, who thinks he knows something, Colonel Kennedy and the rest of the troop who are actual combat veterans laugh when we understand the degree of your stupidity and realize there really is no point in having a conversation with you.

        (P.S. My husband married a younger wife and I am totally freaking HOT.. So your insults are totally falling on deaf ears.)

        As well, I am here on this site to help other REAL Vietnam Veterans not to tell everyone how awesome I am all the time like you. Compensating?????

        We have a word for people like you:


      • Richard V.

        I quote you:

        “The more you pick at me the worse it’s going to get.”

        ARE YOU SERIOUS???

        Only REAL PUSSIES say things like that to who they believe are elderly women.

        What a ‘big man”.

        You are really are trying to compensate aren’t you?

        Your must be still mad from when they laughed you out of the showers before you got kicked out of boot camp for peeing in the bed.

  67. C’mon, folks ….

    • Okay, Bob, you’re right. We now have Netflix in Mexico and my wife is waving at me with a Vodka Martini in her hand, Sorry I let it get out of hand.

  68. Fran… “totally freaking hot” Yes, I hear that’s one of the symptoms. If Kennedy is an “actual combat veteran” would that make me a what, an “unactual combat veteran?” Please don’t stop, I’m starting to enjoy this. Same with “REAL Vietnam Veterans. so I spent 18 months in an UNREAL Vietnam, is that what you’re saying?

    If I’m a parasite presumably I”m feeding off of something or someone. Any ideas there?

    As for that last word, Fran, I think only you would be qualified to comment.

  69. This thread started out very interesting and has been very beneficial to many of us who served a tour in Viet Nam. Unfortunately, it has The time I spent in Viet Nam as a young Lieutenant flying Cobra Helicopters during the Easter offensive of 1972.was a significant event in my life as I believe it was for many others who have posted on this site.

    Please stop the personal attacks and political comments and focus on the details of what happened at the small unit level.


    Dave Wallace D-229th AHB and H Troop 10th Air Cavalry

    • Amen, Dave!

      For the record, Fran, RIchard is a former member of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. He IS one of us and served with honor!

      We may dig at each other but the respect never goes away……….

      • Jack Kennedy –


        I have been posting on this site for many years and have enjoyed it immensely listening and learning from everyone here. It has been to my dismay to see it digress into provoking statements and unnecessary insults in the last few months.

        Lacking the fine diplomacy skills of Dave Wallace (Thank You!)… I digressed as well by calling it as I saw it and dishing back what was served to me.

        I apologize to all and will now gladly cease.

        Again, thank you Dave.

      • See, Kennedy (not trying to be cute, in Latin countries men other than close friends address each other by paternal surname) I knew you were a much nicer man than I can ever hope to be.) Anyway, as you undoubtedly know,for Catholics, the Lenten season is a time of retrospection and penance. But in my household that time comes next week. Because every year, it is the first day of December that I take Gabrielle d’Amboise-Vidaurri to New York City for one week of shopping for her and penance for me. Ha… and you folks complain about your national debt.

        So, Kennedy, although I’m certain that you don’t wish such a thing you’ll have your revenge. I won’t return to this board unless and until I make contact with the former Sergeant Hernandez, M-48 Tank Commander, and see if he can shed light on that rumor of the fourth and last tank-on-tank battle of the Vietnam War. If so I’m going to need a lot of help getting it into the official records.

        God Bless you all and a Very Merry Christmas.

  70. Well, I didn’t check my spelling or sentence structure either LOL

    Please disregard the word “unfortunate” in the sentence above.

    There’s those pesky quotations marks again. Dang


  71. Wallace… a stab in my heart, but I had that one coming.

  72. For the record, the TOW B Model Huey when attached F/8 Air Cav, never operated anywhere near Lai Khe. Don’t know who owned the TOW helo chasing them pigs around but it was not attached to F/8 at the time.

  73. I thought I had made the correction from Lai Khe to Tay Ninh. There is something weird about that day as well that I have not been able to nail down. For years I have been trying to chase down my orders for the DFC I was awarded for that action. To no avail I might add. I know when and who signed the orders, but there appears to be no record to be found. Anyway, while I was trying to track down that date, found the after action reports for that time period. Oddly enough, I could not find any reference to that day (which was a really big thing) and what transpired from F/9’s records. What I did find though was an after action report from F/8 which closely resembles what happened that day, and it was signed by Major Dantzler (what an act he was).

    As for the TOW bird, I have no idea who it belonged to. All I know was we got directed to the area and I got up close and personal with the 40mm CS and 60 fire. From the direction we came from, there were plenty of trees, but on the opposite side (I could never figure out where north or south was) it was fairly open. Thinking back, if VNAF or ARVN had one, maybe it was them. We were told there was a VNAF helicopter base at Dau Tieng, which I suppose would have been closest. I don’t t remember ever flying missions with F/8 at all. We all went our own separate ways. Frankly, I don’t remember them doing much of anything after they came down, we always flew first and last light. The only contact we had with them was the CS and pin flare wars at night. We pulled main gate guard as well. We had to be on the lookout for Major Dantzler because he would sit in his jeep at night down by the water tank by the motor pool in the shadows in case we let his guys come in with um……guilty pleasures. We would direct his guys to take the ‘back way’ if they were um…in possession.

    • John,
      I was only commenting that the TOW system was not attached to F Troop, 8th Cav at that time. It definitely was NOT a VNAF bird though.
      Lost award citations and orders were very common at that time. Knowing who signed the order might help you track down your DFC award. I assisted three members from F/8 obtain their DFCs in 2003. The entire award recommendation had to be resubmitted! If I can be of any assistance to you in that matter do not hesitate to contact me.
      I take it you were assigned to F/9th? Ironically, I was supposed to take command of F/9 when I arrived in Vietnam but ended up commanding F/8 instead.
      Regarding your encounter with the NVA tanks in November of 1972, F/8 took part in an encounter with a T-54 in the summer of 1972. An NVA tank was reported stuck in a river bottom and the SS-11 MIKE Model Huey attached to F/8 was sent out to destroy it. Escorted by 4 F/8 Cobras, the SS-11 Bird made 6 runs on the target, never receiving ANY fire from the tank. It apparently had been abandoned! Five of the 6 SS-11 wire guided missiles missed the tank and a 6th missile would not come off the rail. The ARVN later reported the tank as being “killed” having been hit by 4 Cobra loads of 2.75 rockets. I know of no other instance in MR I where helicopters engaged enemy tanks during the Easter Offensive.

      • Perhaps that tank was the one not far from FSB Spudis. That on, though (I believer) was “killed” by F4s.

      • Bob,

        I am pretty sure the T-54 I am referring to was not destroyed by F-4s unless, of course, they were carrying 2.75 rockets. And, as I recall, that was about the time the USAF would not operate below 10,000 feet in MR I due to the threat from the SA-7 Strella missile. Kind of hard to hit a lonely T-54 with dumb ordnance from the spectator seats…….

        The ARVN reported to FRAC “numerous” 2.75 rocket hits on the tank producing a mobilty kill.

    • John: I was with F/9 at the end of the war. Was an air mission commander for a short period and called in air strikes on tanks a couple times. I’m trying to place you. Maj. Hewitt, our former CO was at a couple reunions. Maybe you could raise your concerns with him. Let me know if I can help. I may recall a couple other folks if it would help.


      • I too was at Melanie the same time you were. I was in Echo Company and was the SGT put in charge of the squad that manned the perimtter with Field Radar units during the night. I had guts at FB Ennis and Melanie. When I first got to Melanie I was the E5 in charge of the mortar squad at the bridge. That lasted for a few weeks until the LT in charge of Echo Radar rotated state side and I got that position as a SGT. I remember many nights at the TOC as well.

      • Dave, email me at
        This site is frustratingly slow to message.

      • Dave, email me at redspydergt@gmail dot com. This site is frustratingly slow to message.

  74. I was with F/9 from September 1972 until were stood down in mid-February 1973. As I recall F/8 came to Bien Hoa in October. I don’t remember seeing a TOW bird with them, they did have one OH-6 with a minigun, which was taken out by command detonated claymore (so I was told) in a clump of trees. The date of my encounter was 12 November 1972. I remember that day all to well. I could not say if they were T34 or T54’s, what did I know about tanks? The last thing I remember before went looking for them was ‘Sabre 14, be advised no friendly activity in the past 5’. They were easy to find, just followed the tracks. There three in a semi-circle and hatches open. Down the hatches went the frags. Wally Gator (Sabre 14) was funny, he was trying to figure out the best way to drop them, we chose on flying sideways. It was after that when we were sent to look for the trucks the TOW bird could not hit. I know we did not have one. After that, after refueling we just took off from Tay Ninh and got the emergency call to rescue two VNAF pilots who got blown out of the sky in the Michelin, SA-7’s. We were the only one’s in the air and so we went…..the rest is history. When did Major Dantzler take over F/8? You were supposed to replace Major Hewitt with F/9?

    • Major Hewlett took over F/9 in May of 1972. His predecessor Major Coleman McDevitt left command of F/9 in April of 1972. I got in country in March of 1972 and was originally designated as Major McDevitt’s replacement. Meanwhile, up North, Major William Head took over F/8 in January of 1972 and went home on emergency leave in March of 1972. I was sent from my position as S-3 of the 229th Combat Aviation Battalion at Bien Hoa to Marble Mountain in March of 1972 to replace Major Head.

      Major Dantzler replaced me in October of 1972 when I was assigned as the S-3 of the 11th Combat Aviation Group. Shortly after that the 11th CAG was tasked to send one it’s three air cavalry troops South. F/8 was in the best position to fulfill this tasking so they were selected and sent ot the 12th CAG.

      • Major Dantzler was an odd duck according to his troops. From what we could tell, they were not a very well disciplined unit. I mean F/9 wasn’t disciplined as one would expect back in the world, we were basically self policing if you know what I mean. F/8 seemed to us to be pretty much a bunch of misfits, no offense meant. Maybe it was sibling rivalry. We had been the only Cav unit in the area and were always busy. Maybe we were a bit territorial.

      • John,

        F/8 shared MR I with two other air cavalry troops , F/4 and D/17. F/8 lived in Marble Mountain and then “Dogpatch” at Danang Main with D/17 and NEVER had an incident with D/17. In fact, whenever either one of the other two air cavalry Troops got in trouble or if we did, the rest would come to the rescue like blood brothers. This was demonstrated over and over again throughout the Easter Offensive.

        I have no idea why some in F/9, a grand old air cavalry troop like F/8, did not get along with F/8 but I can GUARANTEE you that it had nothing to do with F/8 being a bunch of “misfits”! Perhaps having another classy air cavalry troop in town was something they just were not used to handling.

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was nice to have some sort of back up when F/8 came down. Yes, I would characterize the situation like a sibling rivalry. We were separated by the motor pool, but shared the same gate as we only had one. I used the term misfits in the context that they weren’t very well disciplined, I suspect they might have been cobbled together. Maybe disciplined is not the best term. They were the ones who usually started the CS wars. Good clean fun I suppose. They had some really wild guys over there. One guy was a native American with a bit of a drinking problem, one night he put on his war paint and climbed up on the roof of one of the hootches screaming his ‘war cry’. Took quite a bit to get him down. Don’t get me wrong, we had our strange birds too. One guy was so burned out, probably scag, he was with the Blues thankfully, one night he came out on the flight line, all blacked out with a flashlight claiming to find the tunnel to Saigon, but the little green men would not let him pass.

        I suppose it did irk them a bit that we had our ‘Fort Courage’ rotor blade marking our territory. Then again, they too were an ‘F’ troop.

    • Yes, SA-7’s were a problem. All out birds had the IR deflectors and we never lost one due to a a Strella. I remember when that Shithook went down in III Corp, down in the Delta all souls lost, we were told that they were then ordered not to fly above 300 feet because the SA-7 could not lock on that low. All we knew for sure was 0-9000ft in 4 secs is nothing to be trifled with. Which makes the two VNAF jets being taken down by SA-7’s in the Michelin all the stranger to us. By the time we got there, we knew what they may have been after, lots of bad guys and at least one 23mm antiaircraft weapon. Maybe a target of opportunity? It just seemed odd because we weren’t working the AO. Maybe a couple of cowboys? The guy I collected was actually wearing cowboy boots.

      • John, were you with the Blues in April or May of ’72 during the Easter Offensive?
        Our Blue Team got a couple of days off and I went to the flight line to hop a ride to Vung Tau. They said they had an infantry going down later in the afternoon. I decided not to wait and hitchhiked down and when I got there, I found out 33 guys got killed when it went down. I thought that hook went down as a result of a chain breaking.

        Isolated? Well, with arrows sticking out of that old wooden fort wall who cut the knowing wanted to go there?!

      • Are you referring to the Chinook that went down near a firebase outside of Bien Hoa? If you are, that was the fire base I was at in May of 72. I was part of the clean up crew. It was called Fire Base Melanie.

    • I flew guns for F/9 during the 1972 Easter Offensive. Not sure when I left county, but I found an OER signed by MAJ George P. Hewlett, dated 24 June 1972. I also have an OER that covered the period thru September 1972, which sounds about right. Most official records say the last combat troops from the 1st Cav left Viet Nam on 21 June 1972. However, when I left Viet Nam (almost sure it was Sep 72) members of the F/9 Air Cav were still flying combat operations. I guess it really does not matter to many folks now.

      • Maj. Hewitt was the CO of F/9 when we were disbanded in Feb 1973. We were definitely still flying up until the cease fire in January, every single day.

  75. Oh, I spoke with Wally Gator some years back, he asked if I got my DFC, which I was awarded with no fanfare at HQ 782d Maint. Bn. in May of 1973. The odd thing was that when I left the army, there was no record of it in my 201 file, nor does the Army seem to have any record of it. Major Hewitt said it’s not unusual because were weren’t really a ‘real’ unit, a quasi-provisional one, but the paperwork does exist, just he has no idea where. The orders came from 12th CAG, Lt. Col. McQueen signed them on or about 13 February 1973, SO 212 as I recall. Wally asked as he was awarded a Silver Star for 12 November and wanted to know if I got my DFC. Unfortunately for me, I sent all my records to my mother and they were destroyed in a flood in Ft. Kent, ME long ago. It’s just one of those things that has been nagging me for many years.

    • John,

      I would write to the National Archives and ask them how you can obtain Special Orders from the 12th CAG from January, 1973 until they stood down in RVN in March of 1973. Give them the SO number you think it is for starters.

      Another approach would be to have Major Hewett and any other survivors you can find to reconstruct the action that day in the form of a belated awards recommendation. DoD has an awards section that assists in processing lost award recommendations.

      Anyway you look at it, it was almost criminal how badly awards were handled in the last days of the war. Lieutenant Jim McQuade’s Medal of Honor recommendation was lost and had to be resubmitted a year and a half later!

      I am sorry this has happened to you and countless other brave men who deserved better.

      • ok a was a little off hand…last time. I am now an accredted Doc. working with so many of the “unknowns”:, your final comment about the medals and all was moving….you know those medals are dated (lacking poser infiltration), please General give them what they are due….we all know who we are succeeded in “dot connecting”. Boots left in small units way up till 1977! I feel you know this…. it is not about benifits or money it is about recognition! So many “small” units” did not know the “wire” displacment or deployment reasons. or whom they were advising at the time!…it is a job and they were SPECIAL!

  76. Im proud to have served with the 11th cag led by col cass in 1972.
    regardless of who was first or last in country i have a deep respect
    for all who answered the call to duty. some gave the ultimate
    sacrifice while others came home broken in body or spirit. at
    the end of the day in my mind this is still the greatest nation in
    the history of the world. god bless america

  77. I have read the previous posts with great interest and some frustration. I was recruited into F/8 by my former stick buddy in Flight School, Dusty Holm. Sadly, he was killed just before I stood down the last remnants of the 48th AHC (Blue Stars) at Marble Mtn and reported to Major Jack Kennedy, Troop CO of F/8. He assigned me as the Blues Platoon Leader, I suppose because I was Ranger qualified….not common for a pilot in those days.

    I participated in operations across I Corps until October 1972 when we deployed to III Corps and Bien Hoa AFB. As Blue Ghost Blue I primarily functioned as an AMC for recon, search and rescue, BDA and quick response missions, while also serving as the Blues Plt Ldr. We used our blues for unit security, some on-ground BDA and SAR functions. When we arrived at Bien Hoa, most of the American infantry were pulled out and sent home and we received Chinese Nungs as replacements. They had their own Platoon Leader who was Chinese.

    Upon arrival in III Corps, myself, the Troop CO and the Gun Plt Ldr attended a briefing where we were told our primary mission was to find an NVA/Russian 130MM Towed Arty BN that intel was tracking West of Nui Ba Din and that they believed was intending to get near Saigon in order to bring it under indirect Arty fires… about a potential game changer! So that is what we did until we found it in late October. We engaged it until the Air Force brought in heavy air, to include an Arc Light. That was a hell of day and an interesting story! No one got a single award from any US military command for that operation! In 1974 I received, via the U.S. Air Force, an VN Cross of Gallantry for the operation. The Army refused to award it to me and it is not in my records. I do have the citation and the medal.

    When I came back to the US in Dec 1972, I DROS’d with a load of unit members for F/8 and F/9. We were stripped of all clothing and records, to include 201 files, orders, wallets, flight logbooks and cameras…everything but our ID cards and Dog Tags. We were given civilian clothing on the flight line and all the liquor we could carry. We boarded at Pan AM 707 and flew home. Upon arrival at Travis AFB, we were given $300, an airline ticket to our home of record and told to wait at our homes for orders. I went home and received orders for a Chinook unit at Fort Bragg. Upon arrival there, I had no records, they had no records for me and Branch told me they were trying to find them. They never did and I still have no official records for that period of my service. I did keep and send home some of the routine unit orders, such as extra duty orders.

    I retired as a Colonel O-6 in 2000. For every promotion board during my career I had to provide evidence of my service for this period, My Official US Army Personnel microfiche simply has a letter from the G-1, 18th Airborne Corps in it that states “the whereabouts of Captain Hoffman during 1972 are unknown by this command”. There are pay records of course, but they do not provide evidence of Honorable Service, just regular pay, flight pay and combat pay. The VA does not except pay records as evidence of combat service……very strange.

    I never smoked but I have lung cancer now. My Dad was also in RVN in 1972 (his third tour) as an Air Force Colonel working with South Vietnamese Air Force units around RVN and he died in 2010 of lung cancer. It took me two me two years to convince the VA that I was in RVN. The National Personnel Records Center in St Louis reports that they can find no records for me in RVN or for F/8 after August 1972 and they told Senator Burr (NC) that they believe that all records for Soldiers in RVN in 1972-73 were burned in a mysterious fire in 1973. If you did not keep your own copies, you have little to prove your combat service during this period. While I do have my own records for some Air Medals for flight operations and a Bronze Star from August 1972 (while assigned to the 48th), I have no other A&D for my service in RVN. These are no in records at NPRS, so it is tough to make the case. Testimonials from other unit members are the best help but your application to the VA will be at the bottom of the pile.

    My son is now an Army Major in special operations with 10 tours in SW Asia under his belt. I counsel him regularly on record keeping.

    John T. Hoffman, Colonel, USA, Retired

    • Col. Hoffman, interesting you mentioned the VN Cross of Gallantry. I received mine over on the Air Force side in Dec 72 for action on 12 November 72. It was an action where, with F/9, we were involved with collecting two downed VNAF pilots in the Michelin. Maybe you can shed some light on this emergency operation. Originally I was operating west of Nu Ba Din (not suggesting we were in Cambodia) looking and finding three Russian tanks. After refueling we were called out to the Michelin. Upon reflection of that action and the way it happened and after reading the F/8 after action report (even though I was with F/9), it raises some questions. I could find no reference to this action from Major Hewitt from F/9, however I did find an after action report from Major Dantzler that was generally speaking what we had done. I have always found this curious. I was unaware of any joint F/8 and F/9 operations, but I wonder now if the call we received actually came from F/8 and since we had just lifted off from Tay Ninh after refueling, we got the call. It was all very confusing at first, all we knew was that two VNAF pilots got shot down in the Michelin and no one knew where they were. Is it possible that Dantzler took credit for something we did?

      As for your records. I left in Feb 1973 and I know that 12th CAG was scrambling to close up shop and I was told later that a lot of the paperwork was squirreled away in some repository outside DC, this according the Mr. Lundwall (Wally Gator), from Major Hewitt. I have been able to find many records online, just takes a lot of patience and thinking outside the box. What you cannot find online directly because the records have not been scanned, you can still do a search and locate records and then make the request with the box numbers. We were a provisional unit (F/9) and as I recall F/8 was also a consolidation unit, which also leads to problems of tracking down records. If you left in Dec 72, and F/8 had just showed up from 11 CAG, I can imagine why the records are screwed up.

      Frankly I am glad you guys came down as it was pretty lonely being the only Cav unit around, we were pretty busy. As you know all too well, where we were located at Bien Hoa, we were pretty isolated on the whole base.

    • John,

      Please call me.


      • colonel jack Kennedy,i would like to ask you a question in relation to the loss of army services document in 1972 in Nam,what is going to happen with all this soldiers who serve in Nam and there is not record proved of serve in Nam cos as you mention before what went on that time with documentations got destroy it and burn,so is that means my army documents got destroy or burn?and what can i do now.i have been waiting for 41 years for the DVA in Australia and USA to accepting my claim.i was in vang tau and in long binh hospital as a field medic from 71-72.i volunteer to go to longh binh to help to pack up and clean up. please feel free to contact me
        yours sincerely
        Henry Gutierrez

      • Henry,

        I am not aware of any mass destruction of records kept in the USA documenting the service of soldiers who served in Vietnam. If you have lost your discharge DD Form 214 you can obtain a replacement through the following site:

        Good luck!

  78. Jack,

    Great speaking with you today. Sometime, somewhere, someone needs to capture the history of F/8 during this period and publish it!

    Speaking of the 50 ship lift back into Quang Tri, I have a few pictures from that mission. One of them shows the destruction on HWY 1 as we flew north after departing the main PZ north of Hue near the old R&R station. There is a PT-76 in the frame just before it fired its main gun (76m) at our formation. Of Course he mised and was immediately creamed with 2.75 rockets. In that same frame is a downed F-4 in the distance. Another shows all of the US helicopters on the ground in the PZ waiting to load the ARVN troops. I was not in F/8 at that point, I was in then 48th, also flying out of Marble Mtn. I did not transfer into F/8 until the first of August, 1972.

    I was one of the AMCs for that mission to Chu Lai, as you may recall, where we operated from Rosemary’s Point to support operations in the southern part of the province. That was the first time that Dick Blystone from AP spent a week flying on missions with us. I still have a TWX copy of an article he did on that young boy who hung around us at Chu Lai and worked in the small O’Club that the Spec Ops guys operated there. I spoke to him years later in London in 1995, when he was the CNN Bureau Chief there. I was on my way to Moscow for meetings with the Russian Military on sharing access to their remote sensing satellite systems as a part of a Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission project. He remembered the times he flew with F/8 in I Corp and III Corp in late 1972. He still had photos and he gave me several copies, including one of me flying a mission near Nui Ba Din. Small world!


    • I would LOVE to see the pictures from the 50 ship lift!

    • You folks are aware of the 229th Yahoo Group, aren’t you? If not, send my an email and I’ll put you in touch as I’m one of the members.

  79. I knew Dane from ROTC at ASU and when I just saw Dane Hatley’s comments, it brought back some amusing memories. The last time I saw Dane was at Lai Khe 23 Jun 1972. I had just been shot down along with CPT Paul “Bimbo” Lent in a Smiling tiger (D-229th AHB) snake somewhere SE of Quon Loi. A Bravo troop slick picked us up within five scary minutes and dropped us off on the air strip at Lai Khe. I think F/9 also lost a snake that day or at least within a couple of days of the 23rd. I think 1LT Karl Bruener was the front seat, but I no longer remember the back seat
    Dane was sitting by a tree eating a loaf of french bread and drinking a coke which I think he said he bought from a mamasan. When Dane saw me he said “Wallace you look like shit” and offered me some bread and part of his soda. I have a vivid memory of this, but when I talked with Dane a few years back he had no memory of this event :–).
    I finished up my combat tour with H troop 10th Cavalry at An Son in II Corp and we flew combat missions right up to the cease fire. If any of you have a chance to read the VFW magazine (Feb 2013 issue) Richard Koob has written a good article talking about the Air Cav troops there at the end. God Bless all you old Cavtroopers–We stood our watch!


  81. I was in Vietnam from Feb 1972 until Feb 1973, shortly after the “peace agreement” was signed in Paris. I began as a forward observer with F Btry, 26th Arty, part of Task Force Gary Owen, 1st Cav Division, at Bien Hoa. I remember the S3, the young-looking major Binford Peay, who later commanded the 101st Abn Div in Desert Storm, and as a four-star, USCENTCOM.

    There was a shortage of forward observers (FOs), so I served with three different infantry companies operating out of Fire base Melanie.

    On 10 May 1972, while with D/2/8, 1st Cav, call sign “angry skipper,” one of the platoons and I were bumped from a Chinook at Bien Hua as the company was being flown to Vung Tau for in-country R&R. While waiting for the next lift, word came back that the chopper had gone down and a full-strength company was slated to combat assault into the area to secure the chopper. There was no FO with this company, so I had to go with them into the area.

    When we were air-lifted in there was only the charred remains of the chopper, with bodies scattered a few hundred yards around the site. The Chinook had lost a blade, went out of control, and troops spilled out of the open ramp at the back. All were burned because a fire consumed them and the vegetation all around the site – no survivors. The heat was so intense from the burning fuel that the magnesium alloy of the chopper ignited and increased the temperature, melting parts of weapons and the chopper itself. However, the bodies retained their shapes, but uniforms, helmets, and skin were burned to a jet black color.

    I had known everyone in that platoon (Skull), so was more connected to the troops from the chopper than the troops of my new company. When the bodies were recovered and the remains of the chopper removed for analysis – it took about three days – I remained with the company as it moved off on a regular patrol.

    In August 1972 my six months with the new company and the 1st. Cavalry Division ended when the last unit was flown back to the US.

    I served the remaining six months as the senior adviser to the ARVN 104th Artillery Battalion, at Long Binh, a newly-forming unit being equipped with 175 mm self-propelled artillery guns. I had another lieutenant, Don Moran, a Citidal graduate, and two NCOs to assist.

    Thiếu tÆ°á»›ng (major) Than, the battalion commander, was a true professional who as a captain had commanded an artillery battery during the 1968 Tet Offensive which had accounted for large numbers of Viet Cong KIAs. When the Paris “Peace Agreement” was signed in Feb 1973, he, and his officers, told us the NVA would not honor the agreement and would invade again. I ofter wonder what became of him.

    As for the chopper crash: For the most part we didn’t use each others names, especially in the bush. This was especially true for me, because I was mostly with my supported companies in the field, and would generally return to my parent artillery back in the base.

    Without knowing their names I could not look them up when visiting the Vietnam memorial (I live in the DC area). I eventually found them through the “Angry Skipper” web site: when I clicked on D/2/8 Honor Roll and found about 21 KIAs on May 10th, 1972, and the name of the company commander, Cpt Ken Rosenberg I knew I had found them. I clicked on Ken’s name and saw his photo. He seemed much older back in 72, but to me now looks much younger.

    Since then my wife and I have been to about 4 Angry Skipper reunions, which take place in different locations in the US, and about every four years in Washington, when we have a ceremony at the Vietnam memorial. When we were there in 2011 I got Fred Downs, a neighbor who wrote “The Killing Zine, my life in the Vietnam War” (a gripping read) as the guest speaker. He gave a great presentation and was very warmly received. Here is one of the Angry Skipper newsletters:

    We look forward to our next reunion in June in San Diego.

    John D.

    • Unbelievable – Someone else who remembers Malanie. I was there in ’72. I was on the last chopper out with the Major when we turned it over to the ARVN. I have search everywhere for references to Melanie without much success. I was an E5 in Echo Company. After turning the FB over to the ARVN, I was relocated to the Army Base at Bien Hoa and was manning one of the radar towers the morning of the August 1st Rocket attack on the Army and Air Force Bases. I remember thinking – My last day at Bien Hoa and they have have to attack today. I was scheduled to leave for Tan Son Nhut Air Base for processing out of country back to the world on that day.

    • I was a 1LT FO walking with A/2/8th out of Melanie from the beginning of 1972 until June 1972. I remember the Chinook crash. We were in the bush at the time. Our company CO was Fred Vengelen, a great guy. Platoon leaders were Bob Clark (later CG of the 101st), Dave Carr and Robb Stewart. I am still in touch with Clark, and saw LTC Blagg years ago. He lives in Colorado. Long time ago.

      • WOW – we were on the same fire base at the same time. Did you ever make down to the outpost at the bridge that lead into the fir base?

  82. We had a few days off from the 229th Blue Team so I decided to go to Vung Tau. I went to the airfield to see if they had any birds going out and they told me they did in the afternoon. It was morning so I decided to, literally, hitchhike.

    I caught a ride with two or three different Vietnamese and when I got to the gate at Vung Tau they asked me if I was from the bird that went down. That’s when I learned about it.


    Michael Evenson did I talk to you before about E Co, their Facebook page and reunions?

    I also have a Facebook page called Garryowen Riff Raff. Guys from E Co include Tom Preece, Pat Jones, Larry Berber, Alton Eckert and several others you may know.

    We have some D Co guys like Walter Roberts, Pete Schag (both medics), Doug Stamper (radio), etc.

    Hit me up if you’re interested and have a FB page.

  83. Michael Evenson here are some other names from the page: Bruce Goetsche, Tom King, Shannon Gibson, George Potter, Robby McPhail and Paul Wessman (FO) to name a few others.

    There is also a new challenge coin, if you’re interested.

  84. face book – – I’ve got some pictures of Fire Base Melanie posted. It’s been 40+ years so none of the names ring a bell. My forgetter is wroking better than my rememberer these days.

  85. Does anyone know of a couple sniper teams that went in during the early part of 1974. The LTC in charge told us that we were going where we were not supposed to be, doing what we were not supposed to do. We did get about 37 total alive and dead. I was only 20 years old at the time and now I suffer from sleep apnea, PTSD, Night Mares and several other things that the VA prescribe medication for me. I am classified by the VA hospital as 100% disabled, Home Bound and require aid and attendance. The VA says they have lost about the first 2 and a Half years of my records but the VA doctors say that the problems I have would only come from what I went through in Vietnam, I am 59 years old now and have been this way for about 10 years now. The PTSD group I am in has about 24 in it and we are all in our late 50’s and early 60’s.

    • Why on earth would the U S put “sniper teams” into Vietnam in 1974? IT doesn’t pass the common sense test…

    • You should buy my book, A Question Unanswered, PTSD and read it to your group. It will do you all some good. You can find it on Amazon or Xlibris. By the way, you can’t have something that does not exist.

  86. What is the breakdown by branch of service for US fatalities in Vietnam in 1972? My copy of the original 1985(?) edition of the Vietnam Almanac edited by LtCol Harry Summers is not handy,

  87. Can you refer me to any online site that would have any pictures or information on LZ Linda. I was onLZ Linda Feb – May 72 in an artillery unit but I can’t remember the company or battalion. Also went from LZ Linda (196th LIB) to Task Force Gary Owen, artillery unit at FSB Grunt. Just looking for information or even pictures.

    Thanks Kirk

  88. To Jon Keehner in response to number 28.1
    According to one of my records a Spec. 4 Phillip Hillman was in the 1st Cav. Co. C on Aug. 5 1972. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge at that time. As far as what his duties may have been, I couldn’t speak to that at all.
    I can tell you that I was doing all kinds of stuff from protecting fire bases, pulling Green Line security around Bien Hoa and Long Binh. Flying out on recon missions and patrols, sometimes lasting several days. Setting up night time ambushes between FSB Grunt 2 and Bien Hoa. Escorted a AWOL (for 2 years I was told) prisoner to long Binh and then on to Camp Alpha so he could get out on a Chapter Ten discharge. I even drove a Duece and a half in a convoy to some place where we rode on ferries to get to an ammo. dump to pick up ammo.
    Hell, I even had a group of guys on a detail where we were spraying weed killer (rumohr was it was left over Agent Orange I don’t know the truth about that either), into the mine fields and concertina so deer wouldn’t go in to eat the vegetation and trip mines. It was a very busy, scary and confusing time.
    Sorry I couldn’t help you more than that. Good Luck with your book, Roger Phipps

    • Roger– would you be willing to scan that document and e-mail me a copy? Amazingly, one of the things we have searched and searched for is any record of a CIB –and come up empty. I would be very grateful–


  89. To Jon Keehner to the best of my knowledge

    I was in “D” delta company 1/7th during most of the time you are referring to. We where fairly close in operations with “C” company and I never heard of any trains being attacked. Now the ambush with bodies being buried, yes. Shallow graves because the jungle floor was so thick with roots and there wasn’t much time before we had to move out again. Had to bend toes to get everything covered up.

    • I was in Vietnam from Feb 1972 until Feb 1973, shortly after the “peace agreement” was signed in Paris. I began as a forward observer with F Btry, 26th Arty, part of Task Force Gary Owen, 1st Cav Division, at Bien Hoa.

      There was a shortage of forward observers (FOs), so I served with three different infantry companies operating out of Fire base Melanie.

      On 10 May 1972, while with D/2/8, 1st Cav, call sign “angry skipper,” one of the platoons and I were bumped from a Chinook at Bien Hua as the company was being flown to Vung Tau for in-country R&R. While waiting for the next lift, word came back that the chopper had gone down and a full-strength company was slated to combat assault into the area to secure the chopper. There was no FO with this company, so I had to go with them into the area. We recovered the bodies and helped with the wreck of the chopper. I had known most of the guys in “Skull” platoon who were all killed, so it was a bad time for me.

      I found the web site from D/2/8 “Angry Skipper Association” which also has members from C company. They ASA has a reunion every year, and I and my wife are at the one in San Diego right now. Anyone in these units who would like to track down their buddies should check out the web site:

      John D (FO)

    • As with Fred Zink, I, too, was attached to both D Co and A Co, 1/7. I have no idea what trains were anywhere that we would have attacked. This is the first I’ve heard anything like that. It sounds, well, I’ll leave it at that.

      Burying bodies? Yes. In my case I was there to blow bunker complexes and what we killed, we put in those bunkers and blew them in.

      Fred, if you’re on Facebook, I have a “secret” page (not observable to the general public) called Garryowen Riff Raff. We have a number of guys from D Co (Stamper, Schag, Roberts) and several from E Co (Preece, King, Leonard, McPhail, Jones, and others) from that same era.

      Hit me up if you’re interested.

    • John Keener, I didn’t thoroughly read your post and when I saw Fred’s here, I jumped in a bit early. I see what your friend means by supply “trains” as not being actual trains.

      In any event, from my time there, which overlapped your friend’s, I never heard an OPORD where the mission as to interdict “supply trains”.

      Our missions we all pretty much “search and destroy”, although on a much smaller scale than earlier in the war. E Company’s job was recon.

      I would still look askance at your friend’s claim until I had additional information. Perhaps you can get the name of the Company Commander (between you and me he lives in Colorado and ran for Congress last election cycle) or ask him who the Bn Commander was at the time. Or the name(s) of the firebases he was on. He would at least know some of his buddies names and we can cross-check them against a published list that was maintained by Col Jim Brigham until he fairly recent passing.

      This isn’t unusual except that he isn’t claiming he was in Black Ops because it seems everyone in RVN 40 years ago was either a Ranger, SF or SEAL. I’m on a couple of Special Forces Facebook pages where we research through FOIA whether or not these “heroes” are, in fact, what we call “posers”.

      • “supply columns” is more like it. I can’t recall ever hearing the term “supply trains” used in military histories that I’ve read.

  90. Check out The Vietnam Almanac 1985 first edition. It is written in chronology style. The last ground combat troops–infantry, armor, arty–were pulled out of SVN in the summer of 1972. After that only American advisers and technicians remained, along with embassy personnel.

    Also note that in 1972 the remaining American ground troops did not play a major role in SVN. In I Corps during the spring offensive that year no American units took part in the fighting, only advisers attached to ARVN units.

    After the peace accords were signed in Paris in Jan 73 only around 300 American military personnel remained in SVN as per the accords.

    I think what is at play with some vets is confused memory or just outright fabrication when they say there were in late ’72 or ’73 with a combat unit.

    • Mr. Treska,

      I would strongly suggest that you read those historical sources you cite with some skepticism. Most of those sources have political bias or are based upon false information provided to protect the reputation of a few politicians of the era. The actual fact is that US Army units were both in Vietnam and were conducting combat operations there until late December of 1972. Some elements of 1st Avn Bde were operating there until March of 1973! If you would like concrete facts, simply go to the National Archives in Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. There you can read the declassified daily combat operational summaries, prepared by the 1st Aviation Bde staff, for units like F/8 Cav, which conducted operations in I Corps out of Marble Mountain and DaNang Air Force Base until early October of 1972. At that time, the unit was moved to Bien Hoa Air Force Base. From there it conducted combat operations in western III Corps and combat security operations around Saigon until the end of December, 1972. After that it provided aviation support to the supposed “peace keeping” forces of the Warsaw Pact who came into RVN to “enforce” the peace treaty.

      Sadly, these misinformation sources you cite are often cited by the VA to deny rightfully earned benefits to many RVN veterans from 1972.

      John T. Hoffman
      Colonel, US Army, Retired
      Blue Ghost Blue, 1971-72

      • Colonel Hoffman….were you the 23d Arty Group commander in late 1971? I commanded FB Joanie, a little north of Xuan Loch, and remember meeting you there, and at my next FB on Long Than North. If so, nice to find you well. I have been unsuccessful trying to find our battalion CO, LTC Billy Thaxton. A fine man that I would like to reconnect with. When our bn (45th? I need to look at my old paperwork) stood down, I went to the Cav and FO’d for 1/7 and 2/8th, then Gary Own Task force until late June 1972. To your continued health…

        Bob Flournoy

      • John, these were aviation units you cite? I’m speaking about infantry units. To my knowledge, US infantry units only took part in defense actions during the spring 1972 offensive. Also, I do not buy into VA conspiracies. There is too much unit diary documentation to valid if a unit was in-country at a specific time.

    • You wrote: “Also note that in 1972 the remaining American ground troops did not play a major role in SVN. In I Corps during the spring offensive that year no American units took part in the fighting, only advisers attached to ARVN units. ”

      There were three U S Air Cavalry troops plus other aviation elements in I Corps that participated in the Easter Offensive in the Spring of 1972. All three cavalry troops lost numerous aircraft and took fairly heavy casualties fighting the North Vietnamese regulars. IT should also be noted that all three of these troops had Infantry platoons organic to them.

      It is patently offensive and slanderous for anyone to make the claim that “no American units took part in the fighting” during the Easter Offensive in I Corps.

      • Not seeking to create a historic stink here, but I like to see place names and units listed when I read military history. The only American military personnel in I Corps that I’ve read about being on the ground during the ’72 spring offensive were advisers. I seem to recall seeing a number (19?) of US fatalities listed for around 14 May 72 in what appears to have been a helicopter crash, possibly not due to enemy fire.

        Total US fatalities listed in VN for 1972 are something like 730. Please direct me to specific actions for any clarifications.

      • Respectfully Jack,

        Do you see why having that book written is so important to me? And it’s not for me. It’s for the men who where there and fought there at that time.

        Let’s talk sometime.



  91. Also note that there were no functioning rail road trains operating in SVN from around 1967 until after the war when reconstruction began. The track was still in place when I was in I Corps in 67-68 but there were no trains operating.

    • Whoever made the original comment about “trains” was referring to enemy supply lines. The problem is that the term “trains”, while used in academic environments where operations against Warsaw Pact forces were anticipated, was – to my knowledge – NEVER used to refer to the resupply efforts of the NVA. My guess is that the author of the “trains” comment and his statement that he spent time attacking enemy “trains” was based on something he read in a textbook or operations manual and not real life experience.

      Another wannabe….

    • Al, you are referring to the Chinook crash in which a platoon (39 soldiers) of D Company, 2/8th Air Cav died in May of 1972. They were moving out of field operations to a rear area for a 3 day R&R when they went down. The ruling was aircraft failure, but there were some witnesses who said otherwise. I was close by as an FO with A Co, same battalion. The 2/8th stood down shortly after this tragedy and the 3 battalions of the 3d Brigade (Forward) were turned into the Gary Owen task force. I FO’d with the GOTF, patrolling in the bush north of Saigon (the rocket belt) until late June of 72. I was medivac’d and the unit ceased ops in July, I believe, although our air assets (Cobras) remained in the fight until 1973 from what I have discerned. My best friend was in the field in the winter of 1973 as an infantry adviser to the RVN and they were very much engaged. Hope this helps

      • Bob,

        On 10 May 1972, while assigned to Task Force Gary Owen, but as an FO, was attached to D/2/8, 1st Cav, call sign “angry skipper.” My RTO and I plus several other guys were bumped from the Chinook at Bien Hua just before it left for Vung Tau and in-country R&R. While waiting for the next lift, word came back that the chopper had gone down and a full-strength company was slated to combat assault into the area to secure the chopper. There was no FO with this company, so I had to go with them into the area. We recovered the bodies and helped with the wreck of the chopper. I had known most of the guys in “Skull” platoon who were all killed, so it was a bad time for me.

        When the remains and the chopper wreck were recovered, I went with the new company (my third) on a regular patrol. When we were about a click from the crash site we passed by a single broken blade from the Chinook. This and later evidence show the chopper went down as a result of mechanical failure; not enemy fire.

        I found the web site from D/2/8 “Angry Skipper Association” which also has members from C company. They ASA has a reunion at different locations every year, and I and my wife just attended the one in San Diego. Anyone in these units who would like to track down their buddies should check out the web site:

        John Dullahan (FO)

  92. My husband Joseph L. Caminati Jr. was in the Navy from Sept 1972 thru Oct 1973. He died in October 2011 and after his death my brother in law told me about the Agent Orange exposure benefit for Vietnam Veterans who had heart disease. I applied for the survivor benefit and was denied. He was on the USS Flint, but according to his records he was never “In Country” only on the ship offshore. Does anyone remember him. He claims to have been on a PBR crew.

    If anyone remembers him please let me know. I did not know him until 1992.

    Carol Caminati

  93. Roger, Fred, John, John, Bob and Al: Thank you for taking to the time to reply. Any and all information is helpful. I will certainly look in the directions you have all pointed. I realize that getting a definitive “yes” or “no” answer either way is probably close to impossible as this was over 40 years ago, but given the circumstances I am extremely motivated and will continue my search for answers. Thanks again and have a great 4th– we owe that day to all of you.


  94. For Al Treska and the record, F Troop, 8th U S Cavalry; D Troop, 17th Cavalry; and F Troop, 4th Cavalry all fought during the Easter Offensive in 1972 in MR I. In the other military regions there were additional air cavalry assets that engaged the enemy as well. I commanded F/8 from March 1972 until October 1972. During that time F/8 had over 20 aircraft downed by enemy action. A total of 9 men were killed and another 10 medically evacuated due to combat injuries. One trooper was taken prisoner and later released in 1973.

    Anyone with a computer and who knows how to use a search engine can verify this information. Anyone who continues to question the presence and service of the air cavalry troops and other combat aviation units during the Easter Offensive in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is either a fool or an idiot…or both!

    F Troop, 8th Cavalry losses by date during the time I commanded F/8:

    April 2 , 1972 – Three Army crewmembers aboard a Huey are shot down trying to rescue Bat 21. (One crewmember taken prisoner)

    June 11, 1972 – Three Army crewmembers aboard an OH-6A shot down and killed during an armed reconnaisance mission over an NVA regiment.

    June 11, 1972 – One army crewmember aboard an OH-6A killed when the aircraft was shot down during an armed reconnaissance over an NVA regiment. The pilot was rescued.

    • My point I keep making is about “infantry,” personnel on the ground during tghe spring offensive in ’72 and after. I realize there were US air assets still performing in SVN in ’72. It is my (friendly) contention that A) no US infantry units took part in fighting in I Corps in the spring ’72 offensive and that US infantry role in ’72 throughout SVN was minimal.

      Of the 730 US fatalities in 1972 in and above VN, I’m guessing few were infantry on the ground from hostile fire. I am not including those that died in helicopter crashes be it from hostile fire or accidents in my take. regards, Al

      • Al, let me make this crystal clear for you. During the spring of 1972, the 3d Brigade Forward of the 1st Cavalry Division was in the field, conducting combat ground operations, inserted via helicopter borne combat assaults. The brigade consisted of these battalions….2/8th, 4/5th, and 1/7th. Each battalion operated out of it’s own fire base, with a battery of 105mm howitzers on each fire base providing close arty support. These batteries comprised the 21st artillery regiment. My battery, C, was on fire base Melanie, which is where the 2/8th combat assaulted out of, with me, the FO along for the fun. In May of 1972, all of the companies of these 3 battalions, were in the field, conducting combat ops between Saigon and An Loch, to protect Saigon from the NVA which was trying to come down QL1 (main highway). The NVA had tanks, and we, the ground troops IN THE FIELD, were issued LAWS (light anti tank weapons). Contact between he enemy and the Cav companies deployed to block them was not heavy, but it happened every day. I sat many a night adjusting artillery along approach routes north of us, and monitored the fight going on between our Aerial Rocket Artillery (Cobras) and the NVA armor. We won. QL1 looked like a smoldering junk yard of tanks when it was over. The brigade stood down in late May or early June, and a reinforced over strength battalion of infantry was formed (the Gary Owen Task Force) to continue looking for the enemy in the same vicinity as before. I participated in 2 combat assaults with air cav infantry in June. I left in late June, and do not know what happened afterward, but during that month, elements of the 1st Cav were in the field, with full arty support, conducting ground operations. Don’t know how to get any clearer than that.

      • Al, this is addressed to Bob Flournoy but there was no reply button beneath his last comment so I’ll put it here. It seems to me that you two are talking about two different areas of the country. If I’m not mistaken, Al Treska is talking about I Corps and Bob is talking about areas far south of there.

        Bob Flournoy, you and I probably crossed paths as I occasionally deployed with A Co but I think more with D Co. A Co had that blond Captain, didn’t it? D Co was Captain Witter.

      • Two Bobs: I was not in SVN in 1972. As stated above, I skyed up for “the world” in Dec 68. I spent the last half of ’68 with a Marine Combined Action Platoon village unit and the first half of my tour with 1st MarDiv rifle platoon as a 0311(same-same Army 11B). I have read extensively on the war, as well as having visited VN a number of times between 1994 and 2010. My interest in SVN in 1972 is for historic interest purposes (I’m not an academic).

        I didn’t appear on this thread to stir anything up. I’m just responding to some of what I’ve seen posted here. Jerry Morelock at the top of this thread seems to be on target and close to what VFW magazine said last year about the last “ground combat unit” in SVN.

        Does anyone have figures for U.S. KIAs and WIAs in SVN for 1972? Also, as I’ve seen in various accounts over the years, fatalities of all causes are sometimes mixed into KIAs. “Death from hostile action” (aka KIA) is a separate category from accidental deaths (includes aircraft crashes not due to hostile fire), suicides, homicides, and natural deaths.

        Bob Zornes, disregard my previous post. You either confused me for someone else or were teasing.

  95. Bob, I to was attached to Task Force Gary Owen as part of HHC in Bien Hoa and left country 14 Aug 72. I was attached to the signal group and my job at the time was to distribute daily signal codes. My houch was next to the chopper pad and they were flying everyday with infantry and QA forces. These guys were grunts and suffered casualties often. I have no pictures or documents that show, but they are as fresh in mind now as when I was there!!I

    • Bob Zorne….A Co. CO was Fred Vengelen (dark hair) but his XO who frequently took the company out was Bob Clark (blond). Bob became CG of the 101st AB Division and retired as a 3 star. Our platoon leaders were all down from the 101st up north, as the 101st had stood down and they joined the Cav. All WP grads class of 1970. Good men all. Col Blagg (2/8th CO) is doing well in Colorado Springs. My friend Paul Cowan, Echo Recon platoon leader is still a good friend of mine, and I am also in touch with Clark.

      • I don’t remember a dark-haired guy. did you have a black platoon leader that was a West Point grad? I went out on one or two ambushes with his platoon. Really good guy.

        Clark: I remember sitting under a tree one afternoon when LTC Hodge came out. The three of were talking and (if it was Clark) he said my Lt had called me back to the firebase. Hodge asked if I wanted to go back and I told him no. Hodge asked (Clark) if he needed me in the field and he said yes. LTCs always overrule 1LTs. If you talk to Clark, ask him if he remembers an engineer that was occasionally attached to A Co.

        The C Co Commander is also in Colorado and ran for Congress last election cycle. Unfortunately, he lost. He had a great commercial, though, showing him riding a horse and holding the staff of a big American flag.

        Tell your friend Paul Cowan, if he’s on Facebook, to look up Echo Recon and Mortars. He’ll probably know some of the guys there. Recently we got hold of Karl Swenson who was on Hill 54 when 17 guys in his reinforced platoon were killed one night.

        Also, I have a page called Garry Owen Riff Raff just for 1/7 guys.

        Thanks for the reply.

      • Not trying to blow my horn here, but I am a writer, and have published a dozen or so articles in several magazines about Vietnam, and have also contributed to the International War Poets web site (an Australian effort). This memory I wrote some time ago might contribute to what you are looking for, AL. Glad to help…–.php

    • Al, I left one day ahead of you.

      • Bob: When did you leave SVN? I don’t recall stating when I left in Dec 68. Did we cross paths in 1st Mar/Div or CAP? Al

      • Al, I left on a stretcher (serious Asian disease of the blood) in late
        June of 1972. I got ill in the bush on a mission with the Gary Owen
        Task Force, patrolling between Saigon and An Loch (FO for an infantry company) and was medivac’d off
        the landing strip in Long Bien when the mission terminated. I was
        embarrassed, because the Air Force medical Boeing 727 was full of
        American wounded, several from a Navy destroyer that had been hit off
        the coast of NVN. There is another story that has gone untold…

      • The confirmed KIA for American troops in Vietnam in 1972 was 641. Here is the link…

        Also, when the Easter Offensive kicked off on March 30, the heaviest fighting was in III Corps, around An Loch, not up in I Corps, although Pleiku in II Corps was heavily engaged.

      • Al, Treska I was referring to Al Hagen. He said he left August 14th and Ieft August 13th.

        Al Treska I was a junior in high school when you left.

  96. Al Treska asked if anyone had casualty figures for 1972.

    I do not.

    The last death I heard about ( Marine scuttlebutt) was on or about New years Eve 1972 at Bien Hoa AB. Rumor had it that two Marines from the reinforced infantry company( Okinawa based) were playing a quick draw game with their .45s and one Marine was shot and killed.

    I was with MABS-12, later Sub Unit-2, not the grunts so this story may not be accurate.

    For what its worth, I recall reading a Stars and Stripes in August 1972 that stated that an Army Unit at Long Binh had just completed the last official combat patrol by a U.S. unit, sometime that month. The paper further stated that the Army unit patrolled inside the base, not outside.

    • Robert,
      the Last Infantry Patrol you mentioned was done by C Co.87th Inf. stationed at Long Binh. I was on that patrol and yes it was outside the wire. My CO was Capt. Wayne Morgan from Newark, Del. The S. Sgt. was a 5 tour (64 mths), Vietnam vet by the name of Clevelin Clay from Winter Haven, Fla. He had a Vietnamese wife and 3 children.
      I kept the article out of the Stars and Stripes paper and have it on my desktop in front of me as I write this reply.
      It was written by a guy named Holger Jensen.
      Capt. Morgan was supposed to have gotten in some level of trouble for referring to the men in his company as “my boys” in the article.
      Thanks for jogging my memory to get the article out and read it one more time. Roger Phipps

      • Good to hear you confirm my memory Roger. Sorry to have gotten the inside versus outside the wire part wrong.

        Maybe the one photo of that patrol in that Stars & Stripes issue was when your patrol was still within the base and I focused on that instead of the entire article.

        I had been to Long Binh a few times on supply runs that Summer. The Long Binh Jail (stockade) was huge, if memory serves and the base had a lot of vegetation in some areas.

    • US fatality figure for 1972 in VN is listed at around 750 for death from all causes as per VN Memorial site.

      • Well Al, you went to Marine boot camp and became a marine. I went to Army boot camp and was a soldier. You made many posts asking about the casualty numbers but never asked about NVA casualties for 1972. Was it Patton who said that a soldier’s job was to make the other poor son of a bitch die for his country? 1972 was not 1968. Don’t confuse the two. The half-million men LBJ fought with was down to a tenth of that by the spring of 72. You might check with your marine buds, because I do remember some Okinawa marine units showing up in November 72.

        In the end, our POWs were released and I left country. That is all. Semper Fidelis! Joe

      • A reinforced rifle company from Okinawa was deployed to Bien Hoa
        no later than July 1972 if memory serves.

      • I also remember Marine units arriving at Bein Hoa in June/July. They stayed on the Air Base and were to provide security for the Air Force as Task Force Gerry Owen (1st Cav) contuned to stand down.

      • MAG-12 deployed to Bien Hoa from Iwakuni, Japan in mid May 1972.

        It was also my understanding that the Marine Rifle Company did not make patrols off the base also.

      • Marine Corps infantry units left SVN in 1971. Marine Corps aviation units left SVN in the spring of 1972. Rather than rely on memory, I suggest that everyone check some sources on what units were in SVN and when they left. I had a 1985 copy of The Vietnam Almanac that was edited by the late LtCol. Harry Summers. That is one of my sources.

        There was a thing called MSG, Marine Security Guard, that provided security personnel for the embassy and US consulates in SVN and at some other facilities.

        Joe, in regard to NVA casualities, that is not what I am addressing here. I am only discussing the number of US fatalities in SVN in 1972. According to the VN Wall Memorial website there was something over 700 US fatalities in SE Asia related the war in VN. Of that number are aviators in sorties related to VN.

        The Vietnam Almanac does have some errors such as listing 4000 US fatalities in VN in 1972. I suspect that is a typo as there probably were not 4000 US wounded in SE Asia that year.

      • Marine Air Group-12 did return from Japan to South Vietnam in 1972 and operated out of Bien Hoa until being withdrawn in early 1973. But I can find no record of a Marine infantry being returned to SVN in ’72; USMC advisers to ARVN remained in ’72.

        I will dispute the claim in the link below that claims a Marine pilot dropped the last bomb in Vietnam in January 1973 as B-52s continued bombing the Trail in NVN, Laos, and SVN until the summer of 1973.

      • The war officially ended January 27, 1973 – the U.S. agreed to end hostilities around 11:45 A.M. local RVN time. Colonel John Caldas, Commanding Officer of VMA 311, just before he led the last combat sortie of the Viet Nam war on January 27, 1973 –armistace day from Bien Hoa. The bomb rack was configured such that the painted bomb was the last one released from the compliment on the A-4E Skyhawk; and that Skyhawk was the last plane in his flight to drop bombs just minutes before the end of hostilities at 11:45 local RVN time. The target was an old, former French rubber plantation north of Bien Hoa where there was reported enemy activity. The bomb painted by troops in the squadron says: THE LAST BOMB, 9,738.38 tons dropped VMA-311, Bien Hoa, RVN 17 May 72 – 27 Jan 73 .
        (Official History of Marine Air Group 12)

      • @Matt…are you sure about the date and time? I was with F/9 (Scout) that Sunday morning and I am pretty sure it was 28 January at 0800. We had pulled interior guard all night just in case of a ground attack. The 155’s were going off all night anyway….but at 0800 all fell silent. It was eerie. Then the 155’s opened up again for a few more rounds and it was all over. I don’t recall any USAF combat aircraft flying out that morning.

        As for dropping ordnance in the Michelin….LOL..suspected enemy activity? Nothing suspected about it. Chuck had heavy ordnance themselves, 23 mm anti-aircraft guns, 51 cal.’s SA7’s…even a few tanks…I know from personal and up close what was there. We had to be rerouted on a rescue mission for a downed VNAF pilot….I still remember the call from Chuck-Chuck…..’Sabre 14, be advised you are heading towards suspected 23 mm area..” I thought to myself…23 MM?!! You have to be kidding me. We did a quick 180 needless to say. Loved the OH6 !!!!

      • Matt, how does the claim of the last bomb dropped on VN from an American aircraft in January 1973 ring true when B-52s sorties continued into the summer of ’73?

      • Al you are looking at Vietnam as one country. In 1973 our obligation was to stop Air Ops in the Republic of Vietnam. “Tiger” John Caldas dropped the last official bomb from an American aircraft in the Republic of Vietnam.

      • Mat, not to split hairs or sound sarcastic but the distinction of having dropped the “last official bomb in South Vietnam (RVN)” doesn’t hold much of an historic ring for me considering that B-52s continued bombing until summer or autumn of 1972. And considering that the Ho Chi Minh trail traversed four countries, there is a good chance South Vietnam took some more hits after the “last official bomb” was dropped earlier that year.

  97. Bob Flournoy says:
    7/11/2013 at 12:08 pm Your comment 92.5

    Hey Bob

    I left VN June 72 with with a “blood disease of unknown origin”. I spent about 2 months in the 3rd Field hospital in Saigon. Then 10 months at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Ctr in Denver CO. They took my spleen out but never identified my problem. How about you? What happened and what did they…. Dr’s find? I still have problems!!

    Co D, 1st Inf Bn, 7th Cav
    3rd Bde, !st Cav Div (AM)

    • Fred, I was in the same hospital with you in Saigon, late June, early July…was that you putting moves on the nurses? Small world. My diagnosis was Hepatitis A, contracted from living in the filth of the bush for so long, and another parasite that they eventually killed with medicine. I spent a month in the hospital at Ft Benning after Saigon. I have never had the same energy, but who knows. The whole year over there was enough to do that. 1/7th, your bn, was part of our brigade. What was your home FSB in spring of 1972? Mace?

  98. I was an ejection seat mech. with VMA-311. 311 reentered Vietnam on May 17th, 1972 at Bien Hoa. We began ops around three days later. On Aug. 1, 1972, we had a huge rocket attack. Many of the army troops had been rotated out and there were not enough to cover the base. The DOD decided to send in Marines to augment the coverage. The first group came in on the morning of the 1st. It was strickly by cance. They had decided to send them in days before the rocket attack. I rmember coming back at 0930 from hand- sweeping the runways of FOD and being told that even though we were 3 1/2 hours into our opperation day, we were still going to fly the same amount of sorties as usual. A “grunt” Marine came off the C-141, not knowing that we had just had a rocket attack that killed a guy from VMA-211, and said, “Ah Vietnam. I can’t wait for my first rocket attack.” I saw red and punched him in the gut. His MSgt. told him to keep his f___ing mouth shut and get off the flightline. In the Marine Corps, all infantry MOS’s start with 03. Aviation MOS’s start with 6. I was a 6062. 0311 was a rifleman. The Marine Corps gave all the infantry troops (Who came from Camp Butler) the basic aviation MOS of 6000 so they could tell the public and the news media that they were aviation troops and not ground troops. It is my belief that they stayed with us till MAG-12 (Marine Air Group 12, First Marine Aircraft Wing) came out of country in 1973. A 6000 MOS is given to a Marine that is in basic Aviation School. That is where you learn what an airplane is. Just goes to show that what is the “Official Word” is not always the truthful word.

    • Thanks for posting that.

      I did not know the Marine grunts were from Camp Butler, but did know they were from Okinawa.

      I was in MABS-12, later Sub Unit-2, from May 1972 until January 30,1973 which I always thought was two days after the cease fire. In a way I was right, because it was 28 January in Vietnam time when the Paris Peace Accords were signed on 27 January in France.

      I recall spending two nights on perimeter watch shortly after the August 1st rocket attack.

      Soon after that MABS-12 was given separate areas to stand watch on and we did not mesh with the Grunts any further. We had one spot near the end of the flight line and another called the French Bunker. We used about a squad strength at the flight line, and a three man team to man an M-60 machine gun at the Bunker.

      • Anyone ever hear the Ghost of “J” Row in Bien Hoa? I heard her once and the “Mud Marine” that was on duty at the end of the flight line told me to shut up and not say anything. He had heard her for weeks.

      • 40 plus years and early retired at 62 I have finally taken the time to find out about the missing story of those who served at Bien Hoa.I was part of MABS 12 MAG 12 and you are correct.
        I was a SGT E-5 and was the squad leader for Marines performing guard duty or perimeter watch if you wish at the end of the runway.My squad was made up of Marines that were in Motor T.
        MAG 12 started arriving MID May 1972 and some of us were there until approximately February 10, 1973. I seem to recall the orders were we had 30 days to get out of the country and we got out in about 10 days. Returned to Iwakuni Japan. Everyone seems to talk about the numbers of rockets during attacks. I got news for you we were engaged in small arms fire during those attacks.
        FYI Joined the Corps the day I turned 17 I was born in 1952. Served in Nam from Jan 1971 – end of May 1971 2nd CAG short tour because troop withdrawl started. Worked with and supported CAP Units around the Da Nang area Hoi An, Dien Ban, Duc Duc and all around in what I think believe was the I Corps area. So when arriving in Nam in May 1972 I was only 19 and turned 20 there in Bien Hoa. I arrived and E-04 was promoted meritoriously because I was combat experienced. There are stories to tell!

    • I was one of those Army guys you spoke of. I happened to be in one of the towers at the Bien Hoa Army base (right next to the Air Base) that morning and was one of the Army Grunts that help triangulate the source of the rocket attack from the field radar equipment we had set up in the tower. When I heard the movement of the troops in the headphones and saw the radar scope light up, I immediately called up arty on the radio and gave the direction and distance from our tower. The other towers also called in and gave their information. We were able to drop rounds on them within a minute of the start of the attack. What a morning that was. Coincidentally August 1st 1972 was also the day I was scheduled to go to the air base in Saigon for out processing.

    • Mat, on or about what date did you leave South Vietnam?

      • Mat, I left SVN in Dec 68. I spent the first half of my tour as a 0311 (same-same Army 11B) with the 5th Marine Regiment and the second half of the tour with a village Combined Action Platoon. My interest in the war and VN in general goes back to when I was in high school. To date I’ve read 30 to 40 books on VN not just on the war, but the country’s history and culture as well. Not braggin’, just sayin’.

      • I have read a lot on Vietnam, wondering if any author could capture and do justice to what I did in the bush with the CAV. Best ones for me were “Fields of Fire” (Webb), “Dispatches” (Herr), and “The Last Valley” (DelVechio).

  99. There was ordance dropped after 11:45 that was not legal. “Tiger” John dropped the last official ordance in RVN.

  100. August 71 – may 72 ,I drove 18 wheeler flatbeds hauling out of 3rd Ord. Did any of you remember seeing one of these trucks unhooked w/ the tractor leaning against a comm. bunker in the CP of FSB Bunker Hill in spring of 72? the trailer was back across the road loaded w/ projos & powder…..we convoyed out there w/ a black Lt. from the Cav. who wore a derby…..the trans blew in the 5-ton pulling up the hill…I was in the 86 tc at Long Binh a worthless REMF…lol

  101. Al, The last bomb dropped by an American Aircraft in Vietnam was January 27th, 1973. Your last post said summer or fall of 1972. Yes B-52’s were still dropping bombs on North and South Vietnam right up until I left in Dec. of 1972. MAG-12 with VMA-211 and VMA-311 stayed till early Feb. 1973. The last bomb was dropped by John Caldas, Lt.Col. commander of VMA-311 just before 11:45 AM Vietnam time. That was the official end of hostilities between the United States and The People’s Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). The South Vietnam Airforce continued opperations and continued to drop bombs. We did not. Now I have the official history of Marine Aircraft Group 12. What history do you have that states we were still using B-52’s in Vietnam after January 27th, 1973?

    • Mat, I meant to say summer of 1973, not 1972. See the William Shawcross book “Sideshow” that focuses on the war spreading into Cambodia. I believe there are maps showing the areas bombed in the Laos and Vietnam after the accords were signed in Jan 73. I think it was in Gloria Emerson’s book “Winners and Losers” were she stated that more bomb tonnage was dropped on Laos after the accords were signed than were dropped on Japan. The Vietnam Almanac 1985 edition may also have the chronology on B-52s strikes on Laos and VN until the summer of 1973.

      • Ok Al here we go again. Not to sound tense but….I am saying that the last American Bomb dropped in Vietnam…That is Vietnam, was on January 27th, 1973. Yes there were bombs dropped in Cambodia but that is a different country. If you mean Southeast Asia, yes, the last bomb was in July or August of 1973. We did not drop ordanace in Vietnam after January, 1973.

  102. For the last hour or so I have read every word posted by you veterans.i must say that most of all the info brought forward in the time frame of April 1972 till march 29th 1973,I was right there with you.being a infantryman by mos,with tow misle qualification i arrived at camp alpha,April 11th 72.within no less than 24 hours I was on a bus headed bien hoa, assigned to echo company 1st7th at a fire base known as fab spudis.bored to death filling sand bags,oh I almost forgot that as the headed to the 1st& 7 th headquarters I
    Look over into a chain like parking area and there sets 6 or 8 tow missile jeeps. Being fresh out of ait ft Jackson, we were told no I repeat no tow units would be sent to vn. Hell beat me there.anyway as I reported I reminded them I was fresh out tow the army usually does they rolled their eyes and told me to get on the next bird to spudis and miss a step. It seems they (who ever the hell they was) couldn’t wait to get ass to one of the most boring places on earth, fsb spudis.low moral mostly draftee’s who hated being there as much as I did. If my memory serves me correctly the grunt company’s rotated in and out every 3 or 4days. They pull guard duty on the bern line and usually fill those g/d sand of you guys mentioned your friend that stepped on a bobby trap while out on patrol, well I was filling those sand bags on the heli-pad and helped transfer him from the loach that brought him In to spudis to the medical.what a waist of a young mans life.i enjoyed an uneventfull life spudis stood down. Us unlucky ones rode the rage tag convoy back to bien hoa.everybody back in b/h was all up in arms about the shithook falling out of the sky because of poor maintance. The head of the first cav had a all handson deck/formation and somewhat apologized. Soon they said dismissed my lowly spec4 ass was on the first rode I find over to long bien to vist Macv to volunteer as a door gunner up north in I corp. with only a short time in country, they were glad to have me. It seems the units f/4 of the 8 and 9th and other cav units were in need of replacements. I was on a c130 the next day that reminded me of an old bus in Mexico. Pgs chickens babies women , you name it , it was in the belly of that hot as hell/cold as hell shaking piece of an airplane, that am sure it should have been in the airplane boneyard in Arizona .landing in da nang late in the day, everybody I need to see was at the officers club or house of illreput. So where did end up? In a bunker the beach. Not bad I thought! By dark the loach size mosquito’s were having there way with my virgin ass. Just as I said enough is enough I went outside just as the nva started their all night rocketing. They would sart then stop, then just as you thought is was safe to come out of the meat grinder/bunker they’d start again. Needless to say no sleep for this guy, not to mention I looked like I had stumbled into a hornets nest.after finding a mess hall, I was off to the 11th cag. With in hours I was on a Huey headed north to what use to be the r/r beach resort of the 101st. White sand, blue water, a house of illreput and a place to buy a cold beer and a hot pizza.there was only one catch,you mounted your bird at sun up and usually not returning at dusk. Oh yeh, don’t forget night hawk missions! I think it was about mid June of was a few days after lt. Mcquaid and another crew was lost. The pilot who flew tail when they went back the second time(lt frank walker) turned out to be from rock hill s.c which is about 10 miles from Charlotte n.c where I am from introduced himself and the next day I was training as his Oscar. By jan. the 27th 1973 I had accured almost 500 hours. I eventually move to back )torque).frank derosed in august, not to mention a chest full of awards such as soldiers medal silver and bronze stars along with the dfc and stew others to top it off. One of you guys mentioned the 100 ship assault.rember the marines sea stallion that took the sa11 on the way to counter attack quang tri. Well frank was loach pilot who went in to pick up what was left of the marine crew. If any of you guys want to see pictures of the crash sit along with f:8 cobra wreckage just f troop 4th cav. Vnhpa section on the the months progressed I must say I wasn’t bored any longer.scared shitless but not bored. F and the 4 th continued to help the Arvn push back the nva.on jan 26st one pink team was sent south to help with big push for land till 8 am on the 27th.we ended up flying just 10 miles north of ma lie. Those bad tarted were still shooting at us as8 am bell rang and we told fly over the coast and dump all our ammo(yea right) and return to da nang. We did and then refueled and flew north to tan my. We then commenced to trying to drink every thing in sight. After nursing the hangovers we started tearing down our paradise. The Arvn didn’t want our slice of heaven,so we took every thing that was value the good ol USA. As we left we had to have one last flyby, the locals were storming place and within a week or two all the buildings were this very day you can google map and the runway is still there, but they’re breaking up the runway. Check it out. Upon returning to our rear unit in da nang we were assigned to camp swampy.does that ring a bell to any of you? I was picked to stay in country and help pack our cobra’s and loach’s into transfer truck trailers and tak them to the deep water Pier and off they went. I then went back to the boring army life of pulling guard duty. On march 29 th/30th I along with mr Kennedy and the colors and off to the world of the giant px.we went arriving at Travis afb.just one day after a flight of POWs had arrived. The red carpet was still on the Tarmac. Within 45 days I was at ft Jackson s.c. Getting walking papers. 11 months and 17 days that I’ll never this day ,there isn’t one day since, that those 11 months 17 days arn’t remembered in one way or you can see I seem to be all over in that last part of the war. Guys I hope life has been as good to you as it has been to surely have spent your time I’n hell. Cheers troopers

    • To set the record straight, Frank Walker, a legitimate hero and DSC recipient, DID NOT, I repeat, DID NOT go on the second attempt to rescue Captain Holm or anyone else on the day Jim MCQuade was shot down. He was most likely on the scene the day after when WO1 Tom Martin was shot down in the same general area. I was the on-scene mission commander that day. No F/4 aircraft were present when MCQuade went down.

      Also, the “hundred ship assault” was actually 25 U S Hueys and 25 VNAF Hueys led by one LOH and 6 Cobras. I led that assault.

      Finally, on the day we left Vietnam at the end of March, 1973 no colors accompanied us. They had all been sent out of I Corps prior to that date.

      • Hi Jack,

        I was a 11C serving as a slick door gunner in F/4 and we flew a mission in the vicinity of Chu Lai the morning the final ceasefire went into effect – 28 Jan 1973. Here’s my writeup:

        I’m also trying to help write up some other late-war F/4 missions including the SAR one below and also the JMC/ICCS missions, I’m wondering if we might discuss at your convenience? My email is briankn4r @ (remove the two spaces) I’m also recently in touch with Dennis Hogan.

        8 January 1973:
        DaNang AFB received a misdirected Loran strike causing light damage to one building and one UH-1H aircraft. Six members of the 11th CAG were slightly injured with minor cuts and bruises.

        also 8 January 1973:
        A UH1-H aircraft from the 62nd Aviation Company while flying in support of the Vietnamese Airborne Division was reported shot down in enemy held territory northwest of Quang Tri (vic YD3155). Field reports indicated the the aircraft was hit by small arms fire and an SA-7 missile. Negative contact was established with the crew and repeated attempts to locate the aircraft were unsuccessful. USAF aircraft participating in search and rescue efforts reported intense antiaircraft fire and numerous SA-7 firings throughout the area. The search and rescue operation was terminated with negative results and four crew members and two passengers were listed as missing in action.

    • Ken Cook asked to send you his email. He may recall you.

  103. If you were with E Co 1/7 you would probably know some of these names: Robby McPhail, Pat Jones, Larry Berber, George Potter, Bruce Leonard, Alton Eckert, etc. (some of these would have been before your time, though).

    We have a FB page for E 1/7 Recon and Mortars if you’re interested.

  104. As per the 1985 edition of The Vietnam Almanac page 340 the last bombing sorties over SE Asia occurred on 14 August 1973, forty years ago today.

    • Yes Al, South East Asia.

  105. I was an Army Cobra pilot who served in Vietnam between Feb. ’72 and Feb. ’73. When I arrived in early ’72, I was assigned to F/79th Artillery “Blue Max”, an aerial artillery unit of the 1st Cav. working down in III Corp. We supported U.S. ground troops in the field with close fire support until the Easter Offensive started in early April. After that point U.S. troops seemed to disappear from the field in combat operations except for the sneaky pete’s and the U.S. Advisors who were assigned to support the ARVN. Most of the 1st Cav’s. 3rd Brigade stood down around that same time and the units left behind were organized in what became Task Force Gary Owen.

    Around the beginning of July when An Loc was secure enough to allow it, we were sent up North to Da Nang to assist in the big joint operation called Lam Son 72 that would launch the ARVN Rangers & Marines into taking Quang Tri back from the communists. Again, in that region only a few U.S. Advisors and special operations troops were operating on the ground in combat rolls. Our unit and most of Task Force Gary Owen were stood down and returned to the States in early August ’72.

    Those of us with time left on our tours were reassigned in-country to other units. I was assigned to H/17th Cav. at Camp Holloway in Pleiku. H/17 was formerly B/7th of the 17th Cav. that was re-designated when the 1st Aviation Brigade was organized as command & control for all the bastard aviation units still flying throughout Vietnam.

    While I was serving with H/17 from late August to early Feb. ’73 we performed the typical hunter-killer cav. mission all over II Corp using “pink-teams” of Cobra gunships with OH-6 Loaches as the bait. Our AO was from the Tri-border & Dak To in the North to Da Lat and Ban Me Thuot in the South, with the Cambodian Border on the West and the Mang Yang Pass & An Khe in the East. Interestingly, our unit’s “Blues” became the “Browns” as we weren’t allowed to insert U.S. troops anymore and instead used Cambode & Mnong mercenaries as our ground troops when we needed them for recon. and aircraft retrieval.

    By late ’72 all the Special Forces camps and artillery bases on the Cambodian Border were either deserted or manned exclusively by the ARVN. There were still a few small, very specialized, U.S. SOG teams operating in very far reaching areas. The NVA troops were pretty much hunkered down and waiting for the U.S. to leave. They had lost much of their will to fight after getting their butts whooped during the spring offensive.

    Once the Paris Peace Accord was signed in late Jan. ’73 we were direct to immediately cease all operations return to the States. On the other hand, according to the terms of the Accord the NVA were allowed to keep all their troops in-place in South Vietnam. It was not surprising that in just two years they would cease control in the South.

    • I’ve been looking for the guys that shot a 2.75 rocket so close during a contact that I took a rock in the left wrist. Ha!

      There is a separate 229th ASB web site on Yahoo! Groups if you’re interested. I was an engineer attached first to the 1/7th, then to the Blues and back again to the 1/7th. I worked with the “An Loc for Lunch Bunch” in a UH-1 bird chasing Pink Teams, with the mission of recovering downed pilots and destroying their aircraft.

    • Jet, it is highly likely that you and I, or your back seater, spoke on the radio in the field between your arrival in Feb 72 and the time I left in late June 72. I was an FO with the 3d Bgde Cav and then the Gary Owen Task force. Not long before you arrived, an infantry platoon leader called in a Cobra strike during contact with the enemy, and he got his grid, and/or direction wrong and one of your pilots put some nails into an American unit, killing, I think, around 30 of them. The CG of all Vietnam (Abrahm’s?) issued an order that no one, and he meant NO ONE, was authorized to adjust aerial or tube artillery for close support but a Field Artillery trained officer. Some ass covering there in anticipation of more events like that tragedy, but the result was that a lot of FA officers were deployed to the field with the Cav in 3 Corps as FO’s. I was one of them. Your were our direct support AFA, and I very well remember the Blue Max moniker. I was in the bush east of An Loch when you guys locked up with the NVA armor that came down QL1 during the Easter Offensive. You won, but at a great cost. Thanks.

      • Would any of you happen to know CPT Paul Wessman, an FO at the time (second tour)?

      • Yep, things were touchy when I got there regarding close fire support for US troops on the ground. We were fortunate to have a bunch of 2nd tour artillery officers who had been FO’s during their 1st Tour. Of course, no one wanted to endanger the lives of any troops and we took great measure to make sure we understood the location of all “friendlies” before we started shooting.

        Blue Max was THE most professional aviation unit I ever served with. So many brave and intelligent people, we were very lucky.

        The Battle of An Loc was a wild an tough fight. We lost 10 of our 13 original aircraft and had 8 pilots killed during that 3-month engagement with the NVA. The tanks and the SA-7’s were like nothing ever encountered in Vietnam before.

        Good to hear from you……………………….and Gary Owen!

      • No, can’t say I know that name. Sorry.

      • The new really hot aviation unit is the 160th Nightstalkers. Whenever an SOF unit has a mission, the 160th is the first unit they request. It’s the unit that flew in to get Bin laden and more recent excursions (but they dont get the glory the high profile SEALs get (who does?)..

        My son was in the Rangers for awhile and then was able to transfer from kicking doors to being a Special Operations Combat Flight Medic with the 160th. I’m glad he’s not kicking doors anymore.

  106. I was a machine gunner – Bravo Company, 1/7th. Sorry – been offline for awhile. I have some pictures I would like to post. Are there any sites I can post them on? If so, please give me contact information or website address. Thanks. Good to hear from you guys. Rich

    • Rich: In reply to both of your posts:

      1. I have a Facebook paged entitled 1/7 Garry Owen Riff Raff. Mostly guys from 70-72 in D and E Co. Pat Jones, Robby McPhail, Alton Eckert, Walter “Doc” Roberts, Terry Williams, “Doc” Schag, and others. Most of these guys also wound up on Spudis and Grunt II. Hit me up if you’re interested.

      2. Yes, I do remember Sammy David, Jr. Came in with either one or possibly two slicks with two snakes as escort. We sat towards one of the corners or sides of the firebase. He started off by greeting all of his “brothers” and called the white guys his “cousins.” He sang his signature song at that time that was Candy Man”. I have no clue who the girl was and don’t even remember there being one.

  107. On a lighter note – does anyone remember Sammy Davis, Jr. coming out to FSB Crossed Sabers? If so, who was the chick with him?

    • Rich, was it The Miss 1972 Black America lady named Linda Barry? I did not get to see them but heard several guys talk about him coming to the firebase and drinking hot beer with them. I understand that he even sang songs without any music to help him. I do remember troopers sayin gthat they respected the hell out of him for coming out to FSB areas to see the grunts.

  108. Jack Kennedy,
    You are right in correcting your post.I was with the 3rd Battalion 21st Infantry,did my time,left April 30,1972 from DaNang.The 3/21 left in March 1973 from DaNang.I know it has been a long time but just because you carried a M-16 does not mean you were a grunt in a combat Infantry Unit.

    • My “1972” post was a typo. I corrected it to “1973”. However, the 3/21 Infantry left sometime in 1972, not 1973. I know this because my unit, F/8Cav, was transferred from the 196th LIB to the 11th Combat Aviation Group in 1972 when the entire 196th Brigade stood down and went home.
      I do not know what your comment about carrying an M-16 refers to but I did not carry an M-16 in Vietnam. I carried a CAR-15. The M-16 would not fit in the cockpit of the Cobra Attack helicopter that I flew….

      For the record, F/8 – the unit I commanded – had an organic Infantry platoon.

  109. Hi, I was with the 2d Bn 1st Bde 101st. We were assigned to Task Force Gary Owen in February (?), 1972. We had been based at Camp Eagle in I Corps but all of the remaining 101st left country. We joined the task force at Cam Rahm Bay and operated in AO Wesson and AO Smith, mostly (there were 2 more that I have forgotten’). My platoon relieved a platoon of the 7th.

    We were required to wear the 7th Cav patch on our jungle fatigue pocket. Supposedly, the Bn Commander did not want the 101 patch removed from our sleeves.

    May (?) 72 we “stood down to the tune of “Gary Owen” while our Bn CO and an officer from the 7th trooped the line. Cam Rahn Airfield.

    I was sent to Pleiku for a while and then to Kontum as an advisor with an RCAT. Let Nam in October, 72.

    • Oops! Above 7th should be 1st Cav.

      • Hi Ray. You mentioned Camp Eagle. I was stationed at Camp Eagle with the 501st Maintenance Company. I repaired all vehicle radio transmitters/receivers. When the 101st stood down, 5 of us were left behind to make sure everything was finished and gone. We were surrounded by Arvin and only one of us had a weapon. After the 1st night, we all decided to leave the next morning because it was too weird to stay there without any US Troops. Plus, we all knew there were 3 Battalions of NV Regulars all around Camp Eagle. We left next morning and went to Phu Bai. I was then ordered to an Artillery Unit stationed at China Beach, DaNang. I was in the Signal Corp with the Artillery unit. Our Unit went on Raids several times and I had to go to Fire base Bastion to set up communications. We left the morning before Bastion was run over. I eventually left Nam in March 1973. Even though we were not infantry I considered being under fire a combat situation.

  110. Camp Eagle was the location of an American Advisory Detachment commanded by an American Army colonel during most of 1972. My unit received missions from this activity on a regular basis.

    I would be interested in what “raids” you went on after leaving Camp Eagle and what unit that was. The 196th Light Infantry Brigade was the last ground combat unit to leave MR I in mid-1972. They took ALL of their equipment with them, including field artillery.

    FSB Bastogne was indeed overrun but retaken by the ARVN in due time.

    • Dear Jack, I have to apologize to everyone because I got my date wrong about when I left Vietnam. It was March 1972, not 1973. I am so sorry. After standing 101st at Camp Eagle, the 5 of us went to Phu Bai and were all reassigned. I was reassigned to DaNang, China Beach with 2nd Bn 94th Artillery. I believe this unit was in the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. I looked back on my awards letters which were from 196th. There were 2 specific “raids” we went out on, that I remember. I cannot tell you where we went but the unit would go many miles out to a hill and then fire lots of artillery, including 8 inches and 175s. We would bombard an area miles away all through the day and night for a few days then go back to DaNang.I was always amazed at how the unit would get rid of mines on the road, by driving giant dump trucks full of dirt backwards. All the way on the road we were taking until we got to the hill we were going to set up on. Since I was a 31E20 and repaired 504RT units with the 101st, I could repair the RT’s without having to send them to a higher repair area. When not repairing the units, I would go out on the raids to set up Communications. I remember in particular going to Fire Base Bastion because I was getting real short and my Signal officer wanted to go out and check out the layout for communications. He tried to get a copter to take us but couldn’t so instead, three of us, including the officer went in a jeep all the way to Bastion to get their communications working. It was particularly a scary ride. Being fired upon and being concerned of land mines on the road. We were going to stay the night but decided to go back. Sadly, that night we heard that Bastion was over run.
      Again, sorry about the date. In my mind I was still 101st and never really got adjusted to being in an Artillery Unit. Sometimes dates get messed up for me concerning Nam, especially then because I had received a Dear John David letter at Christmas and was trying to get a Compassionate Discharge so I could go back to the world and try to save my marriage. The discharge was slowly going through the chain of command but before it came down approved, I had went back to the world on an extended leave. When I cam back to Nam, the unit I was with was not there any more. I had no idea what had happened or where they were, even though I talked to them on MARS before coming back. I thought my Discharge may have went through while I was in the world. Thank God I saw 2 of my fellow unit members and they were shocked to see me because they thought I had got out and wasn’t suppose to come back. They said all my possessions were sent back to world. By the way, I never received any of them. My unit had been moved to Hill 54. When I got there the CO was surprised to see me too and told me the discharge did come down but had a time limit for me to act on, which had passed while I was back in the world. What a bummer!. The CO had new orders cut for me and I went back to the world to ETS about 6 days later. I had no stuff except what I was wearing.
      I hope this clarifies and answers the questions you asked. The above info you have listed is absolutely correct and my date was wrong. Thanks for correcting me.

      • Also, I want to apologize to all you who were on FSB Bastogne. I have misspelled Bastogne twice before. You deserve everyone to remember the correct name where you served your country. Thanks for your service and I will not misspell it again.

    • One more thing Jack, Thanks for your support in Vietnam. Anyone being there loved to see the Attack Cobras go to work. So many lives saved by you guys. I may have even seen you doing your thing during that period of time. I wish I knew where we went on the raids so I could tell you but all I was concerned about was setting up good communications and keeping it that way. I never knew where we were going, I just went and did my job. Thanks Again!

    • Hi again Jack, I guess I need to apologize again about messing up on times concerning my tour in Vietnam. After thinking how I messed up on the year I left Vietnam, I started wondering just when I went to FSB Bastogne. I now know I went to FSB Bastogne before 101st stood down. I went to FSB Bastogne with my Sargent because the 501st Infantry were having trouble with their radios. We went because we were the 501st Maintenance Co. which supported them. We took some equipment with us to fix their problem. We did go by jeep instead of helicopter from Camp Eagle Instead of staying over nite we went back to Camp Eagle. FSB Bastogne was overrun that night. So it was before I was stationed in DaNang with the 2nd Bn 94th Artillery. My mistake again.
      I recently had Triple By Pass surgery for heart disease attributed to Agent Orange. I read where that after being hooked up to Lung Heart machine you may experience some brain damage. Which may have helped me somewhat confused about dates and times, I don’t know. I guess that is a good enough excuse for not just saying I am getting old and my memory is not what it used to be. LOL
      Although, as you know, most of our memories from Vietnam sometimes feel like it was just last week. Enough said. I hope you and yours had a great Christmas and New Years and will have a great year coming up.

  111. One more thing Jack, Thanks for your support in Vietnam. Anyone being there loved to see the Attack Cobras go to work. So many lives saved by you guys. I may have even seen you doing your thing during that period of time. I wish I knew where we went on the raids so I could tell you but all I was concerned about was setting up good communications and keeping it that way. I never knew where we were going, I just went and did my job. Thanks Again!

  112. I understand you folks believe the Army was the only combat troops in Vietnam. However. Det 1 377th Combat Security were still there, and defending in active combat until the end of January of 71. So maybe the Army quit in 72 but we didn’t until 73

    • So you’re saying Det 1 377th Combat Security actively patrolled on combat operations? Or was this outfit tasked with perimeter security?

      That’s two completely different matters. In the Army we consider active combat troops as going into the field to make contact with the enemy, close and destroy. We don’t consider securing a perimeter a combat operation. so it’s perhaps a matter of definition.

      Also, what do you mean they were “defending inactive combat until the end od of January 1972 and then you say 1973?

      • To answer your first question. Yes. Some of the Det 1 377th SPS actively went on patrols outside the wire with Army troops and FAC’s. They also as you said manned harden positions around the base, as well as provided flight line security. Our outside ops ended after Christmas 72. Some members of the unit had been manning LP posts 2 to 3 miles outside of the perimeter. After Christmas 72 it was all turned over to the Vietnamese Army. The second part was a typo on my part. We were actively involved in combat ops with the Army, and Marines assigned to Bien Hoa up to January of 73. After that most of our guys were sent either to Thailand or got re-assigned to 1st Air Cal Div 229th HAS as door gunners. When they deactivated our unit in February of 73. If you would like more information might I suggest you look up the history of the SP’s in Vietnam. What they did after January 14th of 73 I can not speak to. I caught a rocket frag that night, and was shipped out to the PI then home. I am not trying to get into a pissing contest with anyone on here,but the Combat SP’s did their part also.

      • There’s no mechanism to reply to your reply. I’m not trying to get into a pissing contest either, just trying to define what amounts to “combat troops”. I thin the AF definition is different from the Army definition. The Army definition would be troops that are actively seeking out the enemy on patrolling missions. Anyway, that’s the way I see it as both a solider with the First Cavalry Division there in 71 and 72 and also with the 229th and then after that 19 years in Special Forces.

        From the Army perspective, an LP wouldn’t qualify as a combat troop mission…just sayin’.

        I don’t know is the 229th left when Task Force Garry Owen stood down. I was attached to them in April when we were flying over An Loc during the Easter Offensive. So you’re saying that AF personnel were assigned to the 229th? That just sounds odd to me that the Army would take AF Security Police and turn them into door gunners.

      • Try looking it up. As I said I am not going to engage in a pissing contest with you, but combat is combat and the Security Police did their part. Weather its in the jungle or on the ramp. This is one story there are a hundred more out there concerning the Security Police role in VN.

      • Combat troops below has no reply button so I will post it here. Combat troops are the infantry. Everything else is support. That is the Army I served in for over 23 years.

  113. The last Army Air Cavalry Troop stood down on January 27,1973, the day the Paris Accords took effect in Vietnam. That means that the Army had Infantry soldiers in Vietnam until the official end of the Vietnam War.

    Whether there were other “combat troops” in Vietnam up until that time, I do not know. I do remember we still had an Air Force Air Police unit operating at Danang Air Force Base near the end of the war. I would not call them “combat troops” however…

  114. I disagree with you. Combat Security Police were still actively engaged in operations up to and including 1973. By the way the Security Police have not been called “Air Police” for quite some time. Since October 1959 to be exact. Combat Security Police were Combat Troops. We trained as units( by Army)and then sent to VN as units with the sole purpose of Air Base Defense.Our record, decorations, and names on a wall would disagree with someone saying they were not “Combat Troops”. If they were not trained as combat troops, then why would the Department of the AF, Army, and DC send 23 of these non combat troops on May 12, 1975 on a rescue mission to help free the crew of the The American freighter Mayaguez? We lost 23 of my friends when their chopper crashed due to mechanical failure. You can believe what you want, but we were combat troops and I have the scars, and the memories to prove it. OUT

    • Well, I’m curious and would like to learn about the combat operations you or this unit was involved in. Where was it located and what did it do?

      • Well I was one of those SP’s assigned to the Army and from what you tell me about your assignments we may have crossed paths. I was assigned to Troop F 12th Aviation Bg 8th Cal at Bien Hoa. We were initially formed as a combat unit. We did not get sent over until January of 72, by the time we got into country our units were dis banned and divided all over the country. Because of our training we were not your typical SP’s so our skill set was unique. We were trained by the Army at Ft. Bennings and at Ft. Rucker. I was previously aircrew with aerial gunnery experience just like quite a few others in the unit. So when the head sheds decided to have us fly on Army, and AF Huey’s on Aerial patrol it was not unusual to see SP’s doing it. Some of them were even crossed trained FAC and this skill to help direct fire control for Spooky’s when the base came under rocket or mortor attacks. As I said I am not trying to get into a pissing contest with anyone over this. Maybe you might not consider hiking to an LP 3 mile from you support a combat mission but some of our guys did not make the trip back. So you may not consider it a combat mission but when people start shooting at you what would you label as? I am not claiming we were the John Wayne’s of the AF but we managed to carry our own in more than one fight. END

  115. It just stikes me as odd. I ran a search of Air Force personnel killed from January 1, 1972 through April 30, 1975 and there were ten. One enlisted man was killed in or around Bien Hoa and died in captivity in 1974. Most of the rest were officers that were aircraft casualties and one enlisted man killed near Da Nang.

    Just sayin’.

  116. I am replying specifically to this comment, and I quote: “Maybe you might not consider hiking to an LP 3 mile from you support a combat mission but some of our guys did not make the trip back.”

    Even by your own link, there were NO AF combat casualties after 1972 when a vehicle hit a landmine. THAT is what I’m talking about. So I have no idea what you mean about “hiking to an LP” during the time frame we are discussing and “some of our guys not coming back”.

    Using The Wall and the Air Force list of dead in operations is factual and therefore hardly a pissing contest. I get it that the AF had combat casualties but not when you said.

  117. Here’s the information from the link you provided that shows AF SP losses from 1971 through 1975, including 18 (not 23) including what appears to be a dog, that were killed when their aircraft went down (non-hostile). Once again, not a pissing contest, just getting the facts straight by using factual information.

    Arron Jr.


    Phu Cat

    12 SPS


    Combat: Vehicle vs. VC landmine

    Purple Heart


    Wissig, Edward S.


    Phu Cat

    12 SPS


    Combat: Vehicle vs. VC landmine

    Purple Heart


    Hicks, James R.


    Da Nang

    366 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Accidental Homicide (Gunshot)


    McFadden, Samuel L.



    645 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Drowned/U-Tapao Beach, Gulf of Tonkin


    Nix, John David


    Phan Rang

    35 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Jeep Crash


    Botzem, Willy K.



    8 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Jeep vs. Pedestrian/bicycle.


    Supnet, Richard A.


    Cam Ranh Bay

    483 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Accidental Self-Destruction(Gunshot)


    Anderson, Herman B.



    635 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Veh vs. Pedestrian: Hit & Run Thai Taxi.


    Peterson Jr., Rufus G.



    633 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Drowned/Lake Suan Kaset Lingsun (UD)


    Bolster, Dan A.


    Da Nang

    366 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Accidental Self-Destruction (Gunshot)


    Porovich, Steve


    Tan Son Nhut

    377 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Illness/Injury, Heart Attack, massive myocardial infarction


    Jones, Dale Bruce


    Tan Son Nhut

    377 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Accidental Self-Destruction


    Slaughter Jr, Freddie L



    (93rd Evacuation Hospital)


    Non-Hostile: Drowned (Saigon)


    Stepp, Charles H.


    Da Nang

    6498 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Gunshot wound to chest


    Birket, Scott L.


    Da Nang

    6498 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Suicide


    McNeill, Michael S.


    Da Nang

    6498 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Accidental Self-Destruction (Gunshot)


    DeWolf, Dale L. Sgt Dale L. DeWolf, TSN, 2-5-1973


    Tan Son Nhut

    377 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Vehicle Crash


    Carr, Rodney G.



    (804 Hospital Center)


    Non-Hostile: Vehicle Crash


    McKnight, Clarence


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non Hostile: Gunshot to chest


    Davis, John B.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Myocardial infarction/cardiac arrest.


    Cordon, Hubert C.


    Korat RTAFB

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Accidental Self-Destruction (Gunshot)


    Blakeney, Melvin J.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Illness: Massive pulmonary embolism.


    Black, Jimmy P.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Collums, Bobby G.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Coyle, Gerald A.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Dwyer, Thomas D.A1C Bernard F. Ford, LOD, Phan Rang AB: Jul 5, 1967


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Ford, Bob Wayne


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Fritz, Gerald W.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash K9*

    Bronze Star


    Glenn, Jackie D.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Hamlin, Darrell L.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Hankamer, Gregory L.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Higgs, David A.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Ilaoa, Faleagafulu


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash,K9*

    Bronze Star


    Lane, Michael D.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    London, Dennis W.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash,K9*

    Bronze Star


    Mathias, Robert P.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    McKelvey, William R.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Moran, Edgar C. II


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Nealis, Tommy R.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


    Ross, Robert W.


    NKP Thailand

    56 SPS


    Non-Hostile: Helicopter Crash*

    Bronze Star


  118. Most of those deaths were in Thailand, where we were never engaged in hostilities. I notice a several heart attacks, and strokes, etc….drug overdoses?

    • The writer seems to think I am trying to engage in a pissing contest when all I am really doing is stating the facts (specifically on his claim about combat deaths in the Air Force SF during the period 1972 – 1975) as they are reported in reliable journals, particularly on the Air Force’s own site.

      I’m not suggesting that there is an embellishment here but I always look askance at some claims. Perhaps it’s from the same component of my personality that makes me an active investigator for Guardians of Valor, Military Phonies and the Special Forces Poser Patrol.

      Just sayin’.

      • Apparently you are attempting to get into a pissing contest now. My whole responses to the message here was to enlighten people that many people overlook that the SP’s in Vietnam were in fact trained, and engaged in combat operations. As for your list. I am well aware of who, what, when and why, we lost SP’s and how we lost them. The 23 I referred to was men that I served with and knew everyone of them from VN to NKP. I have provided you or anyone else a link of the Unit I served with from 65-68, and from 72-73 with Det1 377th SPS. So (with all due respect to my friends in the Army) look it up. You were not the only one who saw combat.

      • You say you pride yourself on accuracy then you show me ONE drug over dose on that list? There isn’t one. No one including my self is attempting to CLAIM anything. As for my statement of losing a couple of guys resupplying an LP. Read the list. Those guys TSN returning from resupplying LP post when their vehicle hit a mine. There was no embellishing there.They did not come back now did they. You apparently cannot accept the fact someone other than ARMY saw combat there. As far as your other hobby (other than putting others down) I am glad you do checking and investigating or whatever else you claim to do. My post was not to make any other claim but to enlighten you and others there was a little more to the SP’s than what some people think about their role in VN. They were trained(by the ARMY or did you miss that part?)and did have a combat role there. Bottom line the AF SP’s were trained and qualified for combat, and we held our own when the time came. I did not nor am I embellishing anything here, except to point that out the Army was not the only ones who saw Combat in VN. I respect ALL my brothers who served in VN no matter what their role was. We both have pride in our branch of service and our units. We all endured our own little hell, then and now. So lets let it go at that.

      • My husband was in the Air Force and came home from Vietnam in 1975.

  119. Jim, you truly are lacking in critical thinking. You seem to know nothing about logical debate and staying within the boundaries you set on the issues. No reasonable person would even try to debate with someone like you, a person that can’t even follow the bouncing ball.

    I’m out.

  120. Gents, your debate is now spilling into delivering personal insults. No one benefits from that, no one learns anything from it, and it is not permitted on the ACG website. You’ve put forth some interesting information and raised some good questions, and we would welcome you to continue the discussion but keep it within the bounds of civility. Thanks.

    • My apologies to the members if I offended anyone, and the party involved. You won’t hear from again. Thanks

  121. Sirs: I was a 11 Bravo in the Army Reserve, but went thru ROTC and was told I was not combat qualified, because of my eye sight, so I was commissioned in the Transportation Corps. My question is when did the last transportation unit leave the RVN. Also I served two tours in the RVN, 1968-1969 and 1970-1971. Regards,Oiva

  122. Hello, does anyone know where I can find online material related to “proposed” US re-engagement the fall in 1975. Kissinger in the media at the time was advocating landing marine divisions on the DMZ to “stabilize” the situation. I’m sure that the Pentagon would have had “paper plans” in the event of such a situation but these were obviously never approved. I’m interested to know what units (marine, navy and airforce) were proposed. I don’t think the navy ships off the cost of South Vietnam, were not there just to rescue civilians.

  123. For Bob Florney: Hi Bob, glad you made it out of country ok, even if it was via medivac. I served as an FO with three different infantry companies, the last being B Co 2/8th until our last mission in June 1972. However, my friend, Don Moran, a Citadel graduate, served in the field with B Co 1/7th until July 1972.

    On 10 May 72 on Bien Hua my RTO and I were bumped off a Chinook, which we had just boarded with Skull platoon, D Co 2/8th. On its way to Vung Tau, it went down, killing all on board, including the company Co, Cpt Ken Rosenberg.

    B Co 2/8th combat assaulted into the crash site to secure it and recover the bodies, and since it was short an FO I went with them.

    The vegetation surrounding the crash site was completely burned out, as was the Chinook (The magnesium had ignited and melted the aluminum) and the bodies were unrecognizable. Some had fallen out through the open ramp before impact, but were also consumed by the surrounding fire. We only recognized Ken from his CAR-15.

    We spent about three days at the crash site; a difficult for me to be in the presence of my dead friends. I had spent my bush time in the CP with Ken, and also knew most of Skull platoon.

    I departed the site with B Co 2/8th and Cpt Bish on a regular mission, and remained with the company until it finished its last mission in the bush in early to mid June 1972.

    After spending some time turning in Task Force Gary Owens’ equipment, in August I was assigned as the senior advisor to a newly-constituted ARVN 104th artillery battalion being created from the ground up with the complete US TO&E of a 175 mm artillery battalion – guns, vehicles, small arms etc. I had 2nd Lt Don Moran and two NCO’s to assist. We were imbedded with the unit (interesting times) until the “peace agreement” went into force on 28 January 1973. Don later became the attaché to Malaysia, and retired as a colonel. I recently made contact with him, and here’s his account, lightly edited:

    “In June 72, my inf co B Co, 1st Bn 12th Cav stood down (along with the rest of the 1st Air Cav Div 3rd Brigade (1/5th, 2/8th and 1/12th Cav infantry battalions). My artillery battery, Delta Battery, 1st Bn, 21st FA also stood down.

    In late June I was subsequently reassigned as FO to B Company, 1st Bn, 7th Cav (TF Gary Owen). My B Company operated out of FSB Bunker Hill (Note: in early Feb 1972 my first mission with B Co, 1/12th Cav was a helicopter combat assault to land, clear and start to build FSB Bunker Hill).

    Most of the men in my 7th Cav infantry company were troopers reassigned from the 3rd Brigade units standing down i.e., the 5th, 8th and 12th Cav infantry battalions. In late July 1972 I vividly remember going on an unexpected and unplanned company PZ extraction from the jungle while assigned as the FO to B Co, 1/7th Cav. When we lifted off the Huey door gunners popped colored smoke grenades and fired their M-60’s door guns. I was surprised at this and my Company Cdr then leaned back and yelled in my ear that we would be standing down and this was our last PZ and day in the field. The helicopter ride back to Bien Hua was “nap of the earth” flying and the most exciting helicopter flight I’ve ever had. (in celebration of our last infantry mission).

    I also recall a few days later in early August 1972 the NVA 122-mm rocket attack on Bien Hua Air Base (killing several USAF/USMC personal there). Took place around 5.00 AM – 6.00 AM. The rockets flew over our heads at F Btry, 26 FA to hit the air base which was adjacent/behind our bunker line. [I, John D. was there also] I ran over to the Btry FDC but they didn’t need my help; then wandered over to the105-mm Howitzers and watched them firing at suspected enemy rocket sites.

    F/26th FA was the last 1st Cav Div artillery unit in Vietnam (Major Parnell was the Battery Commander of this mixed 105-mm/155-mm heavy battery – met him several decades later when he retired as a Colonel). For a week or so I was then tasked (like you) to help supervise the turn-in of battery equipment/perform investigations of lost equipment and I recall that’s when we met each other again and you urged me to come to work with the ARVN. (and the 104th Arty Bn).

    Several weeks later I too remember reading in the “Stars and Stripes” newspaper that a unit in the 196th Inf Bde was the last US unit in Vietnam (several weeks after the stand-down of TF Gary Owen). It’s interesting that after so many years that a discussion of this subject of last in Vietnam is still going on. The Vietnamese custom of holding our hands was interesting. Great training for us future Foreign Area Officers”! [end quote]

    John Dullahan

    • John, you account of your days in Vietnam brings back many memories. I to was there and actually in the stand down ceremony @ Bein Hoa. I was with HHC and my job was distributing the radio codes to all the different units. I remember the rocket attack. I also helped collect and log the signal equipment and serial numbers as each unit left. When I left country , 28 Aug 72, there weren’t many left.
      Thanks for the memories!

    • Hey John,
      I was section chief in FDC on Bunker Hill. We also had a mix of 105s (3) and 2 155s while I was on FSB Gibralter (Song Don Gna River) late 71 – early 72. During An Loc, they assigned rangers to the base and gave us anti-tank rounds . . . Lol!
      I watched the engineers build Bunker Hill II. They dropped Foo Gas in on a bunker complex they found during construction and brought in a cobra to ignite it. I have a few picture up on my Facebook Vietnam album.
      I remember hearing about the supply dump going up on Grunt II.
      Left in June of 72′ Was walking the streets of Okland, CA on 24 hours later as a civilian . . . what a transition!

  124. Al,

    Thanks for the feedback. BTW, D Company, 2/8th of the 1st Cav. has an excellent website and annual reunions, where other 2/8th company members are also welcome. Just google “Angry Skipper Association.” (Angry Skipper was the call sign of D company commanders). The next reunion is at Myrtle Beach in May. COL Blagg, 2/8th former commander, has attended several of them. Here’s a link to one of ASA’s newsletters. This one describes the Chinook crash and a younger Cpt Blagg’s 30 – man unit encounter with an NVA battalion, for which he received a silver star.
    Best, John D.

  125. Does anyone know of anyone who graduated high school in 1971 at age 18, was then drafted into the U.S. Army, and then served in Vietnam as an infantryman ’71-’72?

    • Volar (Volunteer Army) started in 1971 and the notion was to get an all volunteer Army into the field. I would look askance at a draft that late into 1971. If he graduated in 1971 (June), then spent four months in training he could have gone to RVN by November. But again, the draft matter has me wondering a bit.

      • Bob, i may be an exception to your comment about last draftees comment. I got drafted in May 1971, was in the second year of the lottery and had received a letter that since my number was 165 and they did not think they would be drafting any higher than the low 100,s that I should be ok. On appr. Thursday May 13th i got my draft notice (Greetings from Mr. Richard Nixon) that i had to meet the induction bus at Farmington Mo. on Monday May 17th to go to Ft. Leonard Wood if I passed my my physical on Tuesday the 18 of 71. I did and was a soldier before the day was over. within the next year I completed Basic, Infantry training at North Fort Polk, NCOC school at Benning, OJT at Ft. Carson, went home for an 18 day leave then go to VN. Well that turned into being home from the extensions for around 40 days or so. Then Bamm I got a notice to fly to Travis AFB for a direct flight to VN from there. Got there was told that I was being diverted back to Ft. Carson after going to Oakland for new orders to be cut and VN was out of the picture. Two weeks of Oakland and I was called out to get Jungle fatigues and leaving that evening for VN. Sooo people were indeed still being drafted in the spring of 1971.
        Also we were told constantly in the Army that no matter what MOS you were that when things fall apart every US service person is basically a grunt So grab your rifle and go to work. By the way, I got orders from Saigon over the phone while in Danang around Dec. 22 of 72 that i was being sent back to Ft. Carson so I cleared post starting at the NCO club at Camp Horn that night , flew to Saigon the next morning and was able to be back in St Louis Mo. on Christmas Eve Eve (Dec.23) Enough for today. I still enjoy reading the comments on this site. As so many other fellow soldiers that write comments here know it was one hell of a ride for all of us. Thank all of you for your comments and most of all for your service. Roger Phipps

    • 1971 lottery would have been for those born in 1952 then drafted in 1972 if their lottery number was 100 or less which was the last year of the draft. Therefore those drafted in 1972 were turning 20 years age in that year. A high school graduate in 1971 would not have been drafted. Didn’t happen

  126. We shouldn’t rally care who was “the last combat troops” in Vietnam, we should just honor those who served in any capacity.

    I have still have the papr orders dated 6 Aug 1972
    Reassigning me from Co D 1st BN 7th Cav (WAGPADO) APO SF 96490
    to FT Riley, KS


    If anyone is interested I also have copies of the Sergeant E-5 promotion orders for the October 4, 1971 11F40 Class of the US Army Infantry School, Ft Benning GA that lists all of us who graduated and the complete NCOC training schedule for our class.

    • Yes – please – I too was processed out of country early August 1972 and graduated from the NCO Academy at Ft Benning on Oct 4 1971. I would very much like what ever documentaion you have concerning that class. When I left Southeast Asia in August of 72, I was assigned to Ft Riley KS also.

      • Michael Evenson I may have asked before but I don’t recall a reply. Did you know Pat Jones, Larry Berben, Terry Williams, Tom King, Jack Parente, Alton Eckert or any of those guys?

      • Michael Evenson here’s some more names: John Clark, Tom Preece, Robby McPhail, Shannon Gibson, Ken Cook, Alred Spry, George Potter, Keith Druckery, Ken McNaughten and particularly these three: “Rusty”, Trotter and Eggers.

      • Aloha Michael,
        I would be more than happy to send or email you copies. Just need to know where you can call me at (808)871-6996 (office) or (808) 250-3375 cell. I left country Aug 8, 1972 and was at Ft Riley until November 1972. There was a mistake on the orders I had to leave Vietnam, It said Co D, but I was HHC as the S2 NCO in the TOC 7 pm to 7 AM.

    • Richard Wilcox if you were in the field with D Co 1/7 then we worked together. Do you know Doc Roberts? We must also have left at the same time as I departed August 13, 1972.

      I was an engineer attached to D Co and A Co but wound up being the point man for a number of missions. Would you know Dale Moilanen?

      • I was in Echo Company during that time at FB Melanie. I made back to the world on August 5th 1972. I remember that day well. I transfered to the air base in Saigon on August 1st – the day of the rocket attack on BH. Spent my last month and a half in BH at the Army base and FB Green.

      • Sorry,
        Although my orders to go home said D co, I was in the TOC assigned to HHC 1/7 my whole time. I was the S2 sgt from 7 pm to 7 am with Sgt. Doug Kizer. The only others I really knew were Sgt. Rusty Brockman Echo Recon, Sgt Henry Lucero, Cpt Bach, Cpt McConnell, & LTC Hodges. Since I worked nights, didn’t see much of anyone else, only on occasion.

    • Also Doug Stamper and Pete Schag?

      • Those names do not ring any bells, but we usually referred to each other with nicknames – mine was five.
        (Pat Jones, Larry Berben, Terry Williams, Tom King, Jack Parente, Alton Eckert, Doug Stamper and Pete Schag)

        I do recall one guy we called Williams, don’t recall first name. It was LONG time ago.

    • I knew a Wilcox in delta co. Are you from Tennessee?
      Delta co. 1/7 1972. Company commander captain McConnell.

  127. No bells going off on the last list of names either. I do recall that when I was attached to Delta Company at FB Green when assigned to TFGO, I was in a fog most of the time. A lot of night patrols – when I got back to the FB – I just crashed on my bunk. I remember getting painted up for the patrols before heading out and tossing my rucksack on the deck just before my head hit the rack. Not much in between though. Must be blocking it to maintain my sanity. That may be why I didn’t lose it when I came back. Some depression, but I survived that too.

    • Were you with E Co in 1971 and 1972?

      • I processed in country in Feb of 72. I was at Fort Ord for OJT between graduating from NCOA until then as an assistant drill instructor. Funny story – I actually got assigned to the same company I did my Basic and AIT training as an assistant DI working with the same DIs that I had when I was there as a trainee. Weird. I came into VietNam through Da Nang. Was ther about a week while being processed. Flew in the back of a C130 (standing up) to Bien Hoa where I remained for the rest of my tour. Fire bases and Army base and the bush.

  128. I was in Vietnam in 1968-70 with three different EOD teams. II Corps and Northern I Corps. I am currently active in the National EOD Association as legal advisor and Director of Veterans Benefits. Today, we got an email from a guy claiming to have been an AF EOD operator and further claiming that he was in Vietnam until “late 1975.” He says this because the logo of the Vietnam EOD Veterans Association shows the dates of 1965-1973 as being the dates that any US forces, other then embassy security, were in Vietnam. Now, I have found two different historical reports that state that at the end of 1973 and 1974 there were still “50 US military personnel” in Vietnam and I am assuming that they were embassy security. As far as I know, all USAF bases were closed by March 29, 1973. Does anyone know if there were any AF people, other than, perhaps, at the embassy after that date?

    • He was an EOD “operator”? Huh? Did he actually use that term? That term came out in the not too distant past and was at first used exclusively for Special Forces guys. Having served in SF since I returned from RVN and currently “working” on several Stolen Valor sites, I am always suspicious of people that use terms like this unless they have some proof of their bona fides.

      I’ve never heard an EOD person termed an “operator”.

      Just sayin’.

  129. The last US Army Field Artillery fired in Vietnam were fired by B-3-82nd FA on 10 August 1972 as part of Task Force GIMLET. I have the documentation and the pictures as provided by the guys who fired those rounds.

  130. Just found this site. For CSM Bob Zornes, I remember you leaving with Leonard on the 13th of August. I was told to get myself to Saigon to get home. I had just returned from supporting a 1/7th mission where I took a 40 lbs cratering charge to destroy a bunker they found. I finally left 15 August. I arrived at Ft Belvoir which you know about and I remember you stopping by my apartment. Anyway, they had to reactivate the morning report of our unit to bring me back as accountable. Last I saw, our old guidon that you and Henry A Leonard brought back is now at Fort Leonard Wood Museum.

    Couple of months ago, I found Richard “Pappy” Tyler. Stopped in to see him.

    • Wow! I was thinking about you the other day when I was looking at a photo of you and Indian (Snyder) sitting on old Mary Beth.

      Do you have a FB account (I’m Bob Zornes if you want to friend)? I have a “secret” page just for 1/7th guys. Not sure you’d know a lot of them as they were guys I was in the field with.

      Hit me up at

      And, yes, Leonard and I did leave on the 13th. I’ve been in contact with him through the years. He went to work for the Rand Corporation and does “think tank” military stuff for them.

      Good to hear from you…

      • Oh, that photo is of Pappy (not you) and Indian.

  131. All of those comments and not one word from any Ranger of Company H, 75th at Spudis or anywhere else around Saigon. By the way, all those units around Saigon were sent there to protect Saigon, nothing else.

    • The comments are, to be charitable, difficult to look up here. I tried several times but couldn’t locate your comment.

      Yes, Hotel Company was attached to the First Cav. I recall that they went for something like two years without a loss. Then they hit the sh*t. The 229th Blues came out to rescue.

      As for your notion that only infantry troops were “combat troops”, I beg to differ, as there were several attachments that went along on the missions with the infantry (check out LTC Brigham’s page for who was there).

      One other thing: Do you know Joe Kirby? He was with your LRRP unit and eventually became my company commander when he went into SF.

      • Bob Zornes
        The comments are, to be charitable, difficult to look up here. I tried several times but couldn’t locate your comment.
        Yes, Hotel Company was attached to the First Cav. I recall that they went for something like two years without a loss. Then they hit the sh*t. The 229th Blues came out to rescue.
        As for your notion that only infantry troops were “combat troops”, I beg to differ, as there were several attachments that went along on the missions with the infantry (check out LTC Brigham’s page for who was there).
        One other thing: Do you know Joe Kirby? He was with your LRRP unit and eventually became my company commander when he went into SF.

  132. Hi Everyone I have been enjoying this thread and find it very informative. I am Australian born in July 1972, two of my uncles served with the Australian task force in Vietnam during the 1960s. I am interested in the Vietnam conflict and am particularly fascinated by the period of the war from 1971-75. I was wondering if any of the veterans on this board had read Stephen Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger novel Time To Hunt and could comment on the accuracy or not of his description of Vietnam in February – May 1972?

    • Was one of your uncles called Ben? There was a Zippo lighter found with that name on from this base. Thought I’d ask.

  133. Some added intel that you neglected :

    November 30, 1972 – American troop withdrawal from Vietnam is completed, although there are still 16,000 Army advisors and administrators remaining to assist South Vietnam’s military forces.

    Yr incorrect intel” ground forces in Vietnam were being reduced and by August 1972 all combat forces had been withdrawn.

    US flag that had flown over my firebase and put it up over the B Btry firebase where it flew until the task force

    My source:

  134. The disagreements in this thread are all about semantics. When the 196th LIB stood down some personnel were transferred to 3/21st Inf Bn which , with supporting units, formed Task Force Gimlet. (The name came from the nickname of the 21st Infantry Regiment – The Gimlets.) This Task Force was the LAST infantry unit in Vietnam, and it left the field on August 11, 1972. Some of our personnel did not come home with us, but were transferred to remaining units. These units, regardless of what they did, were not officially called “combat units” by the Dept. of Defense. This allowed the White House to claim all combat units were out of Vietnam. The reality is that only all designated and complete infantry units had left Vietnam.
    I was there as a platoon leader with Co. B,3/21/Task Force Gimlet. I was transferred there from Co b. 2/1 Inf when the 196th stood down.
    A side note to the White House politics of the end of combat is the news release when the 196th was left after the 101st Div and the Americal Div stood down. It said that the we were doing port security duty in Da Nang. We were running patrols and ambushes as American infantry units had done for years in Vietnam. They also ignored the fact we were sent north to Phu Bai to back up the ARVNs with the same infantry operations when the ARVN 3d Division ran when the NVA Easter Offensive began.

    • Jack Dragoni,

      My father was an E-4 with Task Force Gimlet (later promoted to E-5 but did not receive promotion until returning stateside). I recall a panoramic picture as well as a Certificate hanging on his wall of the ‘Gimlets’.

      I am assisting him with putting together the pieces from the end of the war and would love learn more about the last combat unit in Vietnam. Any information you would share would be most appreciated.

    • Jack, at least you got things very correct for the “Historical” record. I was with the 196th L.I.B. C. Co. 3/21 until June 1972 and D. Co.3/21 until the final mission in August, 1972. I read many times in many places that the 3/21 was “port security” at Da Nang, but all the grunts there KNOWS we were beating the bush. I was in Task Force Gimlet and have the certificate. D. Co. 3/21 WAS the last ground combat INFANTRY unit/battalion in the field in the war!!! Also, I did do the northern thing near Phu Bai and Hue during the Easter Offensive – and yes that was combat!!! I pay very little attention to “historical” record any more because the politicians at that time distorted truth. Other combat aviation units remained until 1973, but for the grunts on a battalion or unit level Task Force Gerry Owen (1st Cav.) and Task Force Gimlet WAS the last two with Gimlet staying in the field just a few days after G. O.!!! Contact me at

    • I also was part of 1/7th/Task Force Garry Owen in spring/summer ’72. I remember Nixon coming on the radio saying all combat ground forces had been returned to base, out of the field or words to that effect We had been still out humping the bush the day before when orders came for everyone to return to base. They had packed so many people in to Bunker Hill our platoon was forced to hump back outside the wire to camp for the night. Someone set off a claymore during the night and told us the next day he had been carrying that thing for 6 months and didn’t want to see it go to waste. Some of the highlights I remember toward the end was going out to a little hellhole of a firebase called Mars. One of our “shake and bake” squad leaders refused to go and was left behind for court-martial or whatever. We stayed there a couple of days and then turned it over to a bunch of ARVNS. I never saw or heard of him again. He may have gone home or to LBJ which I believe may have still been open at the time, Some of the last casualties I recall was a chopper crash going down in the Dong Nai river on March 17th. I know the date because I just found an article about it written by one of the pilots on one of the other birds. We were on the pad at Bunker Hill waiting on birds when a Blue Team in 3 choppers flew overhead. Evidently a grenade went off in the last bird and it dove straight in to the river trailing black smoke. I read an account of the incident/accident report that stated that the crew chief bailed out at about 200 feet attempting to hit the water. Sadly he missed by only a few feet. 4 crewmen and 7 grunts died. Our mission was aborted as we sent a platoon to provide security at the crash site. They were referenced as the “Dong Nai 11” in the next months Stars and Stripes. We also had a casualty in our company in an instance of “friendly fire” when on patrol a cutting party was sent out without a radio and stayed gone too long. Another squad was sent out to find them. The rear man of the cutting party takes out the point man of the searching for them squad. Everyone is extremely pissed and the mission is scrubbed. Back at Bunker Hill that night their is a lot of talk of retribution and suddenly a shot rings out and the E-6 platoon sergeant has accidently shot himself in the foot while cleaning his rifle. He was airlifted out that night. Shortly after that we had a newbie come in bragging about how he was gonna transfer out to the Rangers and be a bad ass. First trip out, before we even get on the birds he’s be-bopping around the pad and fires a 3 round burst right thru the top of his foot. He starts hopping up and down on the other foot and I can plainly see 3 quarter size holes in the bottom of his boot. Bunker Hill was pretty high and we had a fairly decent view of night fires at Bien Hoa air base when some F-4s were hit by rockets and also remember the smoke from the ammo dump explosion at FB Grunt. Some of this may be out of sequence as we were pretty heavily self-medicating between missions. Bravo 1/7th may not have been last but we were close. I left August 21. I am almost positive though that Bunker Hill was the last American firebase built in VN. I was never too concerned about us being the last but was always grateful that I was at the last and that action had slowed immensely from previous years. And am quite happy that I survived our biggest fear, being the last soldier to die in Viet Nam.

      • I was with you. Popeye (my squad leader) shot himself just as the first shots were fired in The Cowboys movie. I was an RTO at Mars when we turned it over. Flew out there with a pilot named Cowboy. Nap of the earth exciting ride. I also camped out at Bunker Hill. The idiot on the pad as we were waiting. The M-16 sounded like a jackhammer. Somewhere during that time I traded in my radio for an M-60. I know we were both in Bravo 1/7th. I first went to Bunker Hill with 1/12. I am going to space my email in case they block them. unclelar52 @ yahoo. com

      • Warren – Bunker Hill II was the last. I guess named after the 1st . . . 1st CAV FSB ever built in Nam.
        I was there when the engineers pieced it together. Section Chief, FDC, 1/21st Arty. D Battery . . . “You Yell . . . We Shell . . . Like Hell” Before that we were on FSB Gibralter along the Song Don Gna River . . . only way in was by chopper. Our sister battery was FSB Katie at the time,

  135. Well SGM, it’s like this: and ammunition the resupply of .45 ACP was, how do they say, not an issue.

    And it was a very handy little gun for the driver, who being crammed into hull would have had to rely on his .45 pistol for any close encounters.

    Beauty, SGN, really is in the eyes of the beholder.

    The corrert capacity of considering that an M48A3 tank carried three tons of fuel IS 2 T0NS OF FUEL.

    Fuel capacity
    200 US gal (760 l; 170 imp gal)


  136. Oh Weihrich, I flew an M-48A3 in Vietnam for 18 months but YOU had to go to Wikipedia for the shear joy of correcting me.

    Although after Spanish and French, English is my 3rd language my post clearly states (for the very few Americans who can read their own language) “three tons of fuel and ammunition.” That means both types of equipment, but you, in your semi-literate English, just had to correct what did not require correction.

    I no longer live in Guadalajara Mexico. I grew weary of living in the past so I came to the place I never wanted to leave in the first place – Indochina.

    I clear mine fields and defuse 500 pound American aerial bombs + everyone’s mortar and artillery shells.

    Care to join me, (REDACTED)?

    Richard Vidaurri
    Dragon Royal Condominiums
    Treang Village, Commune Slor Krom
    Siem Reap, Cambodia 17250 (VPN will make my IP appear to be in Los Angeles)

    (855) 63-966-809

    It is (REDACTED) like you that have prompted me to not comment on this forum for over one year.

  137. Nothing has been mention about SEAL TEAM 2 being left behind for two weeks of intel work, The team was on the roof when the last helo took off.,They made it back into the jungle and laid low and got the information back to the command that was much needed., After 4/30/1975. After the team got the intel the goverment wanted they swaim five miles to the Ships waiting to pick them up.

  138. Maybe this isn’t the website to be posting this, but my father was born to an American soldier and Viet woman in 1973–which means the soldier must have been part of the last units that were stationed in Vietnam in 1972. I have zero information on who this man is or was. I was wondering if I’d be able to get any advice from the veterans on this page about if finding this G.I (a.ka my grandfather) is even a possibility. Even if it is, not sure if it’s something that would be fair to the man or his family should he have one. As veterans, how would you feel about a distant relative from a night of passion in Vietnam popping up out of no where? I can be contacted at

    Thanks in advance, Akiro

  139. I’d suggest you post up a photo of her in her youth, her name and where she was in 1972.

  140. How many Americans was in South Vietnam in the first four months of 1975? Thanks

  141. President Kennedy sent 400 Special Forces Advisors and another 100 ECHO 31 Advisors to Vietnam in April/May 1961.
    WHO, were these ECHO 31 Advisors?

  142. In April of 1972 I was sent to Vietnam where I ended up at Camp Alpha in Saigon. From there I was sent to Bien Hoa and assigned to the 229th Assault Helicopter Bn, 3rd Brigade, Task Force Garry Owen, 1st Cavalry Division where I did base security and flew some doorgunner duty. Stayed at Bien Hoa until 3rd Brigade went home and was sent to Danang where I participated in unit deactivation ceremony of 196th LIB. Upon arrival in DaNang was assigned security duty with the 1st Combat Aviation first near Marble Mountain on the beach, then unit moved to an area where we were located near a village( I believe it was Freedom Hill ), but separated by a chain link fence where I was tasked with convoy duty riding shotgun and bringing supplies to ARVN units as well as pulling base security around DaNang Airbase outer perimeter( was at DaNang when U-2 landed and when crippled B-2 landed as well with resulting rocket and mortar attacks trying to destroy it ). Also found out why DaNang was nicknamed “Rocket City” because like clockwork we got hit every damn day. Was also present for when the war ended and we got rocketed and mortared like hell. Around February of 1973, was sent to a camp full of ARVN’s where I had to turn my records over to a dubious looking civilian. After that found myself pulling nite patrol with an ARVN unit around DaNang, and watching them more then I was watching for Chuck. Finally in March 1973, was sent to Camp Horn and sent home. Arrived in Oakland Army Air Terminal at 3 in the morning, and since I had no records, went to SF airport and went home to NY, where two weeks later received orders assigning me to the 101st at Campbell.

  143. I was sent to Vietnam in April of 1972, arriving in Saigon at Tan Son Knut in the afternoon. 3 days later I was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Bien Hoa, and when an old 3/4 ton truck pulled up, was told to get in the bed and lie down. Being a FNG sucked but it was what it was. The guys in the truck dropped me off at a compound within the main base at Bien Hoa and I stayed there for approximately a week while they taught us Cavalry tactics and got us our units. While there I underwent my first rocket and mortar attack and was introduced to a sand bag bunker. When I got my unit, I was sent to the 229th Assault Helicopter Bn, and from there was sent to HHC where I was utilized pulling perimeter guard and doorgunner and shotgun duties. I was at Bien Hoa when we had the big rocket and mortar attack in June or July in which we got hit with 69 or more rockets and mortars. In August, I participated in the stand down ceremonies for the 3rd Brigade and soon after was sent up to DaNang where I not only participated in the stand down of Co D, 3/21st, but learned why DaNang was called “Rocket City.” From there I was sent to the 1st Aviation Group and was sent over to Marble Mountain where I pulled security on the beach. We were then run out of there by Charlie because we didn’t have the numbers to stop him and ended up on the other side of DaNang Airbase near some Ville seperated from us by a chain link fence( I believe it was Freedom Hill ). We used to take our showers when we could, outside near a large water container near the fence line. I remember there being several hootches for us to sleep in, a large bunker to hide in and not much else, and I was assigned night security detail on the perimeter of DaNang Airbase( during this time, I remember a U-2 landing at DaNang as well as a crippled B-52 Bomber )as well as doing shotgun duties delivering supplies to ARVN camps. I also remember we had incessant rocket and mortar attacks damn near everyday till you could set your watch by them. Finally we had the cease-fire which wasn’t much of a cease fire as Charlie threw everything he had at us. After the cease-fire went thru in Jan 73, I was sent up to an ARVN base camp located west of DaNang where I had to turn in our 201 files and medical records to some civilian. My buddy who joined me, I never saw again, and as for myself, I was sent to an ARVN unit near a waterfront where I helped them or better yet watched them while we pulled night patrol around this pier. I finally was allowed to go home at the end of Mar 73, and got on a plane with around 15 other guys( the last of us to leave the area I believe ). I then arrived at Oakland Army Air Terminal at 3 in the morning. Since I had no records or orders, I caught a cab to San Fran Airport where I met some nice people who wished me well by cursing at me, and caught a plane to New York where I met no one. 2 weeks later I received orders for 30 days leave and then to report to Ft. Campbell to some Engineer unit in the 101st. I did my remaining time there and got out and went home.

    • The Ville was called Dogpatch. It was between Danang and Freedom hill. Highway one was the two lane running along the fence line. Sounds like you lived in Danang West, the old Marine compound. (Or Camp Swampy) I was with Air Base Ground Defense (AF Unit)so we could have crossed paths. Do you remember tower 44? I remember the -B-52 landing with SAM damage. I was pulling foxhole duty at the North End of the runway and felt like I was being pulled up when the B-52 under shot the approach. I looked at my buddy and asked WTF is that. It came around again to land, and since we were in the boonies and could not see the runway, I though it was a second AC landing. You are correct about the constant rocket attacks. Earlier in 72 it was mostly at night, but as the VC realized we may be leaving they started using up their munitions day and night. Were you there when the PX got hit?

  144. Dear friends of the site, for my historical research I would like to ask you how many American soldiers were present in South Vietnam between early February and late April 1975. Thanks. Best regards.Diego Verdegiglio, Roma, Italia,

  145. Dear friends of the site, for my historical research I would like to ask you how many American soldiers were present in South Vietnam between early February and late April 1975. Thanks. Best regards.Diego Verdegiglio, Roma, Italia, dv52 – hat

    • About 500, all under classified missions using Op Phoenix, sweep up lost snipers & their teams took longer than the white papers stated. Took out 4 teams + 6 POWs within the area that we were neer in. Took 2 yrs but we got back 23 of ours guys!!! SEMPER FIDELIS!!!

  146. I realize that this may not matter…may be looked at as just general information. I have not read all of the posts here as some of them seem to be involved in matches to see whose privates are bigger. I do know that the last U. S. Air Force personnel off of Danang Airbase were the Security Policemen, some aerial port personnel, and support personnel. These folks, including myself, left on March 29th, 1973. Most went to bases in Thailand and the last aircraft with American personnel to leave Danang, was a C-130 which flew to two bases in Thailand, Udorn and (I believe the other was)Utapao. How do I know? I was on it with the other remaining U.S.A.F. Security Policemen and our Officers. Welcome Home to all Vietnam Vets…men and women!!!

  147. Interesting web site. There were a lot of People left in Vietnam in 1972. What about the Marines that supported the 1st MAW, MAG 12 and MAG 15 at Bien Hoa and Danang? They didn’t leave until 1973!!!! I was with 7th Air Force, Detachment 1, 377 Air Base Wing during the Easter Offensive when the Marines came back to Vietnam. Gary Owen 1st Cav was very active also during that time.

    • That was me. I left in late Jan 73. We were hit the morning of the day after the Paris peace accord was signed.

      • Tony what unit were you with? I was part of MAG 12.

      • Good to hear from someone else there at the time. It sucks we can’t just communicate via email. Here is mine – let’s see if they don’t post it.

  148. VMA-211 I believe. I was ran the night crew sheet metal shop until I got busted for not greasing the tail hooks after midnight. Me and the staff sergeant didn’t get along that ran the metal shop. But unfortunately for him I was the ranking enlisted that knew the A4 inside out!

  149. I got to Vietnam in March of 1972 being assigned to HHC 229th AHB, Task Force Gary Owen, 1st Cavalry Division under command of BG James Hamlet. I stayed with them pulling night security around the base at Bien Hoa and doing convoy duty until they went home in August and was sent up north to Danang with F Trp, 8th Cav, 1st Aviation Brigade. where I at first pulled security at Marble Mountain, then around the outer perimeter of the airbase at Danang as well as pulling convoy duty. After the Paris Peace Accords took effect on January 1,1973, I got reassigned to the nearest ARVN Base Camp where I was sent to an ARVN Rifle unit staying with them pulling security until March 1973,finally leaving Danang on a C-130 to Saigon where I caught a civilian flight arriving back in the world. What is really funny is that when I left Vietnam, I had no records of any kind as I had to turn them in to a civilian prior to being reassigned to the ARVN’s and when I got to Travis Air Force Base, I and most of the guys on my flight just caught cabs to San Fran International and went home. I still had some time to do in the regular Army so I went to the nearest National Guard Armory, turned myself in, was told that records would be forth coming and go take a 30 day leave. Records finally arrived assigning me to Ft. Campbell to the 101st Airborne for 6 months after my leave was over.

  150. I was one of the 3/9 infantry Marines at Bien Hoa. Love to chat with anyone who was there.

  151. I just found this site. I just retired. i was also in TFGO and i was on a bunker when the rocket attack hit Bien Hoa. I remember when FSB Gary Owen closed. There were definitely patrols happening in the area thru August of 72.

  152. My brother and I were with 1/7 Cav TFGO starting in May ’72. We were near Bien Hoa on a firebase we knew as “Grunt” which we turned over to ARVN in August ’72 and told it was the last FB in VN. We were then transferred to DaNang to the 50th Inf. While we were there the “last infantry patrol” as reported in the “Star and Stripes” was completed in DaNang. Don’t remember the date. When the 50th stood down in Oct., my brother and I were then transferred to “C” Troop, 16th Cav, 1st Avn Bde in Can Tho. While there I flew as a crew chief/gunner in the Four Horsemen platoon, engaging enemy forces until a few days before the cease fire in the end of January ’73. On the morning, just a few minutes before the cease fire was to take effect, while most everyone was still sleeping off the previous night’s celebration, our unit received one enemy mortar round directly in the middle of our morning assembly location! We were “locked down” in our compound until we left in early Feb ’73. While so “imprisoned” we got to look outside our fence line to wacth the NVA as they “toured” Can Tho!

  153. Jerry, Mike Rogers, from Australia,
    I served in Vietnam with the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (infantry) in 1969.
    I am searching for a copy of the ‘Original’ Memorandum/Directive,possibly Memorandum #149, from the Chief Joint General Staff, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, on January 28 1973, the date maybe plus or minus that?
    It is regarding the reduction in the Criteria, for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, from 181 days to 60 days, to the Free World Military Forces/Allies. I know you have the Code of Federal Regulations Title 32 Title section 578.129 and Dept of Defense Instruction 1348.17 ‘enclosure’ para ‘D’ stating RVNAF Memorandum #149. with the added US interpretation, however, I am looking for the ‘Original’ that is the Vietnamese Document, ‘before’ the US interpretation was added.
    Would you be able to assist me with this?
    The Australian Government insists on us having the exact document and number, for any enquiries we have with them regarding that document. I would say that it is Memorandum #149 dated January 1973, but that number may only be to/for the United States Forces?
    I’d appreciate any info you may have on this,
    Mike Rogers

  154. Can any body on here remember if they was at danang ab in the early morning of may 30th at 0330 1972 if so please let me know as all these diseases are getting worse just came out last month from open heart procedure. kenneth snyder

  155. Hi all, I am an Aussie, ex 6th Battalion Royal Australian Reg’t, (infantry) (6RAR/NZ/ANZAC in SVN.)
    Could someone please tell me, or explain, “if MACV was in overall control of all Free World Military Forces in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War? I can’t find ‘any’ information that they were?
    Wiki doesn’t mention it!
    Thanks, Mike

  156. I SSgt Carl R. Lewis was on the last plane to officially leave DaNang on Mar 23. We were loaded on the plane three times, waiting for the POWs to get to Phillipines. We we counted by outside forces to make sure we were all gone from the base.

  157. I’ll just add my comment. I was a Sgt E-5 in Bravo Co. 1/7 Cav Air Mobile from Sept 71 until I left country on April 22 1972. At that time the company was still actively working the bush out of FireBase Crossed Saber. We had a point walker killed by VC claymore a week before I left country on April 22 1972.

  158. I viewed this site due to the activist Nathan Phillips claiming to be a marine Vietnam vet. This, I believe is BS. I was at Danang from Nov 71 -72 (AF). Marines had left in early 71. My Air Base Ground Defense Unit (366 TFW, later the 649th ABG)took over the security of the AB. I lived in their old compound (Danang West). A Marine Air Wing re-deployed to Danang during the East Offensive (Apr-Jun 72). Phillips was not part of this group, and based on his stated age, the chances he was there April 1971 (when marines left)or earlier are slim to none. I feel that false in-country claims does a great dis service to all who did serve in country and especially when news outlets perpetuate these false claims. For the brothers who did serve – welcome home.

  159. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog!

    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  160. I arrived in country Sep 1972, and left 28 March 1973. I was assigned to the 59th CAC VIP section along with 4 pilots and four enlisted to serve as crewchiefs and doorgunners for the commanding general.

  161. Hey all, I’m a journalist working on a story from the Vietnam War era and hoping to hear from anyone stationed at Bien Hoa Air Force Base in 1972. A US Foreign Service officer named Joseph Fandino died there, apparently on June 27, 1972. I’m trying to figure out how it happened. If anyone has any information on this, please email me at
    Brent Crane

    • I was an AF Buck Sergeant assigned to night Security with the 6251st SPS at Bien Hoa during all of ’72 til DEROS late November. There were 100 of us and 500 combat Marines all assigned together and we all got along fine. Rode Gunjeep patrol with Marine L/C Smartt most nights. Nixon may have said that all combat troops were out but that was simply not true.

      Brent: Could Joe have been a homicide victim? I remember a Marine killing a guy.

      • I was an AF Buck Sergeant assigned to night Security with the 6251st SPS at Bien Hoa during all of ’72 til DEROS late November. There were 100 of us and 500 combat Marines all assigned together and we all got along fine. Rode Gunjeep patrol with Marine L/C Smartt most nights. Nixon may have said that all combat troops were out but that was simply not true.
        Brent: Could Joe have been a homicide victim? I remember a Marine killing a guy.

  162. I was with MACV STDAT as an ARVN EOD advisor until leaving March, 1973.

  163. Just a comment about how I was bounced around in 71-72. I spent 7 months there.
    Oct to Dec, 1971 101 Airborne, D 2/506 PIR
    Dec to Jan 1972, 1st Cav, B 2/5
    Jan 1972, sent to E 2/5 Cav because of my Mortar MOS, no more Bush humping. Got a cool assignment. Sent our mortar squad to Vung Tau beach with only illumination rounds in case Tet broke out again.
    Guess Date, March 1972, 2/5 Cav stands down.
    Now sent to E 2/8 Cav , Firebase Melanie til end of April 1972. Ready to go on R&R. Sargent says “No, you’re being sent home” Wow was I happy. That sounded better than R&R. Also couldn’t believe they were sending me home in the middle of the Easter Offensive. 1st Cav Firebases I was on. Mace, Ritchie which I think they changed to Drinnon when he was KIA. Gibraltor and Melanie. 101st Firebase Rakasaan.
    I think the last Ground Pounders left around August 1972.

  164. I’m trying to find anyone that served with Michael Douglas Jones, he served 70-71 he was radio and also small and often a tunnel rat. I’m trying to find anyone that remembers serving with him. Please if you know please contact me. Thank you all.

  165. May I suggest, for the record, a review of the website “” – the last Marine Combat Force to Leave the Vietnam War Theater… Sept 1973

  166. i was overwatch when pow were released taken from camp to choppers , i was hit by mortar fire sent home in feb 1 1973
    signed not supposed to be there 7th macvsog

  167. would like to find information on when I was assigned in Vietnam and the Manning roster for my battery alpha battery 3rd of the 82nd artillery assigned to danang Providence field artillery 5-day slender please give me information too many sleepless nights growing old would like to have closure trying to see closure

  168. In Vietnam, the peace deal quickly fell apart. Even before the last American troops departed on March 29, the communists violated the cease-fire, and by early 1974 full-scale war had resumed. 


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