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111 entries.
rob datres from butte,montana wrote on June 17, 2018:
I served as a commissary member on the USSCOLLETON from1967 to 1968.I would like to hear from other shipmates that served at that time.
Ailbhe Mcloughlin from Galway wrote on June 13, 2018:
Niece of Anthony P O Reilly 1sr Lt who served in Vietnam 1967-June68 9th div 39th when he was killed.He was Irish.He had a 2 yr old son with a German woman Alexa .son was born in Frankfurt ,possibly moved to U.S .His son Tony Jr would be 52 now.any info would be appreciated from anyone who knew him.Thank you! - Ailbhe Mcloughlin ailbhemcloughlin[@]gmail.com (remove [ ]'s)
Thomas Buckley from Lecompte wrote on June 11, 2018:
Served at sa dec ranPBR 84. Would like to find a photo of the painting that hung over the bar in EM club. Lt Laipilly knew that I commissioned an army guy to paint it so he allowed it to hang. Tom Buckley
Norm Bass from Littleton, Colorado wrote on June 9, 2018:
I was a helicopter pilot with the 9th Aviation Battalion, Jayhawks, from October 1968 to August 1969. I had the opportunity to land on most of the ships assigned to the "brown water fleet", flew countless "eye in the sky" hours over the river boats, and extracted countless wounded from their decks. I've written a few books on my experiences in Vietnam many of which included interactions with those who valiantly served as members of the Brown Water Fleet. I would like to commend the MRF Assn. for their dedication to preserving the history of an unpopular war and recognizing those that served their country honorably. As an author, the MRF Assn. website has been an incredible resource for information.
JACOB DONALD CONRAD from SAINT LOUIS wrote on May 13, 2018:
Hi, this is directed to Joseph Callaway, author of "Mekong First Light". I was an FO with battery A 2/4th arty from -11/5/1967 until 1/1/68. I was then night duty officer for the battalion FDC until early April when I was assigned to be an advisory for the Queens Cobra regiment. It soon rotated back to Thailand. I was then assigned as MAT team leader in I corp. I write because he mentioned the village of Anh Nhut Tan being overrun the night of 1/30/1968. That actually happened on 1/10/1967. I know because I was the FO on the land that morning. It was a horrific battle. We had 7 KIAs 30 some wounded. Myself included. The VC captured 5 of our 15 bunkers. One of the infantry platoon leaders received a Silver Star recapturing one. We found 14 VC kia's inside the perimeter. Unfortunately they had removed all the casualties outside of the perimeter. A Given I was the night duty officer and air-warning control officer during all of TET, I also no there were no major attacks on Anh Nhut Tan during TET. I wasn't relieve of those duties until early April when I was assigned to the Thai unit. Given the dates, it's possible I actually replaced Callaway.
Bob Nickerson from St George wrote on April 23, 2018:
I was stationed at IUWG 1, Unit 4 from July, 1969 to July 1970. The article I am submitting was sent to IUWG families and dependents in May, 1970: IUWG NEWSLETTER INSHORE UNDERSEA WARFARE GROUP CAM RANH BAY, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM MAY 1970 VOL.1 NO.1 (Transcription by ren) LETTER FROM THE OFFICER IN CHARGE, Commander George H. Overstreet, USN Page 3 FEATURE Unit One-Vung Tau Pages 4-5 FEATURE Unit Two-Cam Ranh Bay Pages 6-7 FEATURE Unit Three-Qui Nhon Pages 8-9 FEATURE Unit Four-Nha Trang Pages 10-11 The INSHORE UNDERSEA WARFARE GROUP NEWSLETTER is the official publication of the U.S. Inshore Undersea Warfare Group, Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam and is printed in compliance with NAVEXOS P-35 from funds appropriated by the Inshore Undersea Warfare Group. The IUWG NEWSLETTER is distributed to the officers and men of IUWG and their dependents. All statements and opinions contained herein are those of the writer and are not to be construed as official views of the Department of Defense. Officer in Charge: Commander George H. Overstreet, USN Assistant Officer in Charge: Lt. (J.G.) John M. Saunders, USNR Public Affairs Officer: Lt. (J.G.) James R. Harriman, USNR Editor and Photographer: Quartermaster Second Class John S. Brown, USNR Assistant Editor: Journalist Third Class James W. Fleming Jr., USNR A special word of recognition is extended to the Photographic Laboratory at the Naval Air Facility, Cam Ranh Bay, without whose assistance in providing photographic processing, this NEWSLETTER would not have been made possible. All photographs appearing in the IUWG NEWSLETTER are official U.S. Navy photographs. (Front Cover) Late April afternoon finds an IUWG patrol craft on board and search operations in the Qui Nhon Harbor. (Back Cover) A lone crewman keeps a firm grip on his weapon as he steps from junk to junk during corral maneuvers at Vung Tau. Page 3 Dear IUWG-1 WESTPAC Detachment Family, We are putting out this NEWSLETTER in an effort to bring our lives here in Vietnam a little closer to you at home. Our mission is to protect all friendly shipping in the harbors of Vung Tau, Cam Ranh Bay, Qui Nhon, and Nha Trang. We are not only engaged in protecting all friendly shipping against swimmer/sapper mining attempts, but also by checking hundreds of junks each month we help to cut the enemy supply routes and disrupt the contraband and black-market operations. To carry out this mission successfully in the face of the enemy threat and to maintain the continuous patrols in adverse weather requires considerable professionalism and dedication. The 500 officers and men of IUWG-1 WPD have met this challenge for over four years with great success, having had only one ship sunk in our harbors. Each of the units is now deeply involved in Vietnamization which is the process of training Vietnamese Naval personnel to eventually take over harbor defense. Our Vietnamese trainees have not had any English language training; neither have our men had Vietnamese language training. We accomplish our instruction through interpreters in the classrooms and on the boats, where communication is of prime importance. Training is done through a word of Vietnamese here and there, pictures, and most of all, patience. The effort has been successful and our training significantly effective that in the near future we will be ready to turn over our first unit. The Navy in Vietnam has been aiding the Vietnamese, especially the dependents of their Armed Forces, by providing an economic subsistence program which will also help hold down the inflation in the country. IUWG-1 WPD is contributing by raising rabbits, poultry and pigs. This livestock will be turned over along with our units and the Vietnamese can continue to raise them for food or money. Other projects include dependent housing construction and agricultural development programs. You can be proud of “your man in Vietnam”. He is doing an outstanding job and fulfilling a very important mission. Without secure harbors, the supplies to necessary to maintain our efforts here in Vietnam might never arrive. The swimmer/sapper continues to be a threat to shipping and requires the constant vigilance of our patrols. Let me take this opportunity to wish you a pleasant spring. I sincerely hope that the time will pass swiftly for you and that you will soon be reunited with your loved ones again. Sincerely yours, George H. Overstreet Commander USN Pages 4-5 IUWG UNIT ONE AT VUNG TAU GUARDS SAIGON SHIPPING UNIT ONE of IUWG-1 WESTPAC Detachment is located in Vung Tau, a tropical resort area of South Vietnam, and has a boat element in Cat Lo, roughly a thirty minute drive north. However, the serene beach atmosphere is shrouded by Viet Cong activity in the area. UNIT ONE has been engaged in keeping the harbor area under surveillance and has been responsible numerous times for restricting enemy attempts at sabotaging Allied installations and vessels and the running of contraband. An example of this occurred during May of 1969 when two boats responded to a swimmer sighting in the pier area. The EOD removed high explosives from the pier and a mine from the vicinity of a nearby ship. Two enemy swimmers were captured. UNIT ONE boats inspect almost 500 merchant ships each month, as well as 400 small craft during the same period. In addition to routine harbor patrols, UNIT ONE and the other IUWG units are involved in numerous civic action programs. These programs add to the ever-increasing “Vietnamization” process, and aid the Vietnamese in becoming more self-sufficient. One such program was the construction of housing for the Vietnamese Fourth Marine Corps Battalion and installing recreational equipment for their dependents. Like many other U.S. Naval bases in the Republic of Vietnam, the Vung Tau installation is scheduled to become involved in training programs for Vietnamese sailors. This type of Vietnamization will form the nucleus of the plan by which the base and its facilities can be effectively and confidently turned over to the Vietnamese successors. UNIT ONE, Vung Tau, is the only IUWG unit not situated at a major harbor entrance. The majority of shipping it guards is bound either to or from Saigon. UNIT ONE Photo Captions a. LCDR H.H. WOODRUFF, Officer in Charge of IUWG UNIT ONE based at Vung Tau, makes a periodic check on the coastal operations from the “Bridge”. This is a communications and radar installation overlooking the Vung Tau “Roadstead” anchorage area. b. Personnel scatter as perimeter brush goes up in flame. This is done to prevent enemy infiltration of the”‘hill”. c. General Quarters drills and simulated enemy attacks are often a part of life at IUWG. It is important to constantly maintain an effective security status. d. Members of the Australian EOD detachment, headed by LT. R.S. BLUE, place a plastic charge over ordinance to be destroyed. This Australian group is the only one functioning with an IUWG unit in Vietnam. e. BM1 M.L. DAVIS and member of his crew re-assemble a twin 50 cal. machine gun mount aboard a picket boat at the pier facility in Cat Lo. f. Picket “27” moors to the replenishment ship USS CORPUS CHRISTY in the bay outside Ca Lo to apply finishing touches to the 50 cal. Gun mount. Pages 6-7 CAM RANH’S UNIT TWO PROTECTS MOST TONNAGE IUWG UNIT TWO, situated at Cam Ranh Bay, was established during the summer of 1967 on the site of an old French fortress and lighthouse complex. Since its inception three years ago, it has expanded to 150 men and 6 officers who are responsible for 35 square miles of harbor. At this time there are 14 patrol boats assigned to the unit. The fortress sight on which the Harbor Entrance Control Post is built is comprised of a maze of connecting underground tunnels. It was not only used by the French, but by the Japanese and the Vietnamese. During these earlier times, 5” and 6” guns were positioned here. UNIT TWO was responsible in 1969 for the protection of an amount of shipping equal in tonnage to that of Los Angeles Harbor for the same year. This month three men were recommended for several high awards for the discovery of an 80 lb. high explosive charge attached to a ship anchored in the bay. From the incomplete state of the charge, it was assumed that the sappers had been caught during their act. UNIT TWO Photo Captions a. LCDR WILLIAM B. DYER stands beside the remaining portion of an old French watch tower situated on the IUWG UNIT TWO hill overlooking Cam Ranh Bay. b. Maintenance for the engines of the “skimmer” boats is an almost constant process. Below, four members of UNIT TWO disassemble a 40 hp engine for inspection and repair. c. With underwater grenades exploding behind them, the “skimmer” crew makes their rounds at the pier area keeping VC sapper teams away from the boats and ships. d. At right, FRED EPPERLY BM2 plays pitching position for UNIT TWO’S championship softball team. e. To circumvent the problem of climbing the 268 steps to the “hill”, UNIT TWO has installed a lift to transport supplies and equipment to and from the facility. f. ET1 SELLERS and LCDR DYER discuss the current security situation in the tower from which radio and radar surveillance is constantly maintained with the entire Cam Ranh Peninsula. g. C.L. Todd CS1, Mrs. BAI and R.D. BOLLINGER CS2 prepare a salad in the galley before dinner. IUWG units boast some of the finest food in Vietnam. Pages 8-9 QUI NHON UNIT HEADS EFFECTIVE VIETNAMESE TRAINING A SEA COBRA EFFORT IUWG UNIT THREE at Qui Nhon participated in a number of encounters with the enemy during 1969 and 1970. Operating with the elements of the U.S. Army, Vietnamese Regional Forces and Army of the Republic of Korea, IUWG’S RECONDO Teams, known as “SEA COBRAS” put a sizeable dent in the Vietcong’s’ offensive artery. The SEA COBRAS on many occasions cleared many V.C. strongholds yielding quantities of enemy stores, weapons, ammunition and secret documents, as well as destroying bunker complexes. UNIT THREE has not overlooked civic action programs, having provided medical aid and psychological operations in the Cam Cu Mong River Basin. (This has been) in addition to distributing clothing in the Hai Minh Village, and performance of harbor patrol operations. UNIT THREE Photo Captions a. QUARTERMASTER CHIEF JAMES F. WALLER instructs Vietnamese trainees during classroom navigational exercises at Qui Nhon. These Vietnamese are a part of those who will assume the IUWG base after turnover is completed. b. An “LCPL” patrol craft ties a Vietnamese junk alongside in the harbor during boarding and searching operations. Junks sailing too close to shipping anchored in the harbor or moving in restricted waters are prime targets for search by the IUWG patrol units. c. Maintenance and repair facilities are situated throughout the base as well as on the pier area. Above, American and Vietnamese ready their boats prior to getting underway for morning patrol. d. “A lucky catch!” This sailfish, estimated at 270 pounds, was seen aboard a Vietnamese junk during harbor searching operations. e. EDWARD J. GRYA JR. ETR2 is presented the Bronze Star for his leadership in the SEA COBRA strike group by LCDR H.L. BARNES, Officer in Charge of UNIT THREE. f. (Below) LCDR TRUAT (Vietnamese Navy) and LCDR BARNES look over two of almost 100 rabbits at the hill. The animals are part of an economic subsistence program being developed for the Vietnamese in anticipation of the future base turnover. g. Depicted here are the three types of combat operational IUWG patrol craft. (l-r) LCPL 36’ single diesel boat, a SKIMMER which is 16’ in length and capable of reasonably high speeds with its 85 hp engine, and the 45’ PICKET BOAT powered by two diesels and having double cabins with an armament of a twin 50 cal. Machine gun mount. Pages 10-11 UNIT FOUR NHA TRANG PATROLS ISLANDS UNIT FOUR, situated at Nha Trang, is the last of the four units operating in the harbors of South Vietnam. Its RECONDO unit was formed early in January 1969. Although it never made contact with the Viet Cong, it successfully interdicted enemy movement on the islands off the coast of Nha Trang. Unit Four has provided extensive help to the Vietnamese people through its civic action assistance. Outstanding of these programs was the providing of surplus food to supplement the limited diets of Vietnamese inhabitants of the region. Much of the Civic Action Assistance was directed towards school children. Included was a Christmas party for the children. It is through efforts such as this that the IUWG units have extended the hand of assistance to the Vietnamese in a sincere desire to promote a realizable and lasting peace. UNIT FOUR Photo Captions a. LCDR W.G. MURPHY, USN, explains the position of the Panamanian cargo ship, KIN WAH (left) which was sunk by V.C. sappers in the Nha Trang Harbor. Poor waterline illumination and lack of cooperation with IUWG by the crew of the KIN WAH are attributed to the sinking. This is the only vessel to be successfully sunk by the V.C. in waters under the jurisdiction of IUWG. Since it is sunk at an anchorage site, its position does not hamper the shipping channel. b. This view of the hill shows the HECP tower and the surrounding building on the base. In the foreground is situated the boat pier with an LCPL recently overhauled and currently in use as a training craft for the Vietnamese on board. c. From his position in the tower, FRANK BABCOCK ETR2 can view the entire Nha Trang Bay. As with several other IUWG units, the tower dates back to the early French occupation. d. LT (J.G.) DALE WATERMAN displays two of several dozen chickens being raised as a food subsistence program for the Vietnamese. Each IUWG unit is maintaining some similar project. e. G.Green SM2 and R.HANDY GM3 paint down a remodeled skimmer which is used in UNIT FOUR RECONDO team missions. These missions, begun in January 1969, aided deterring the movement of V.C. in the Nha Trang island area.
Doug Ogden from Beaufort, SC wrote on March 31, 2018:
Just catching up with any old friends. I was one of the SEA COBRAS in Qui Nhon IUWG-Unit 3 from Nov. 1969-June, 1970. I was Operations Officer, then XO prior to turnover in June, 1970, then stayed as Senior Advisor to the unit with Naval Advisory Team 42. Left country in June 1971, went to law school. and joined the FBI. Retired in 1998. I am in contact with several shipmates, but would love to hear from (new) old ones.
Fred Goundrey from Harker Heights, Tx wrote on March 20, 2018:
I was a part of the Seabee team that came from MCB 10 to build the support base at Ben Luc. Quite a challenge and many great memories. We finished officially in July of 1969 and the Battalion returned to Port Hueneme, Ca. I was discharged August of '69.
George Reischling from Rutledge, Tennessee wrote on March 6, 2018:
"TO THOSE WHO HAVE FOUGHT FOR IT, LIFE HAS A FLAVOR THAT THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW!" Ken, I came upon your site while surfing the net and knew that the above statement would have special meaning for you. Serving with 9th Infantry division in the Mekong Delta AO in Vietnam required a special type of courage. I served with 3/22nd, 25th Infantry Division out of Tay Ninh as an infantryman. Fought the NVA on the slopes of Nui Ba Den twice with numerous firefights in and around the area bordering the Cambodian border. The cover photo on my site looks out the front window of a Huey onto the Black Virgin Mountain. Remember your Christmas in Vietnam? Mine was spent on an ambush patrol near the Cambodian border. After 5 months in the field and numerous firefights, I was pulled to the 93rd Evac at Long Binh to work with soldiers suffering from combat fatigue. Over the last 10 years, I chronicled my tour of duty and the response has been overwhelming. There are presently over One Hundred 5 Star Reviews worldwide I believe that you will relate to this true story of the fight for Nui Ba Den and the struggles and sacrifices that the soldiers who served their country in Vietnam endured. Thousands of Vietnam Veterans have proudly endorsed these memoirs. Please check out the website at courageonthemountain.com with the accompanying introduction. It will make you proud for your service and all the men and women who served our country during the Vietnam war. I proud that you made it home brother! Thank you for your service and May God Bless!
william gist from wellston oklahoma 74881 wrote on March 3, 2018:
mobile riverine force taskforce 117 div. 111 sq. 11 tango 111-7 rate gmg2 1967 tru 1969
Luis A Reyna from San Antonio TX. wrote on February 17, 2018:
My name is Luis Reyna from the 6th/31st Bravo Company 9th Infantry Div (March 1968 - April 1969) The 6th Battalion of 975 soldiers arrived March 31, 1968 in Vietnam. Our first stop was Bearcat Base for basic orientation. Once our barracks were completed in Dong Tam we commence to support the Navy Mobile Riverine Force. Our support was single missions through the Mekong River in Delta. Most of our missions were via helicopters or walking most of the time. Our battalion lost about 235 soldiers during combat operations. 25% to 30% foot soldiers were wounded during missions in 1968.
Donald Mathews from Winston-Salem,NC wrote on February 11, 2018:
Sgt E-5, Plt Ldr at the time. In Echo C o. 3/60 Inf. In water up to my neck most of the time. 4/67 - 4/68 .
Tammy from West Palm Beach wrote on February 3, 2018:
I'm looking for Robert H. Johnson who was in the USNR around 1965 in Nha Trang. I have his dog tag but that's all I know about him. I'm helping my dad find his father because we have never met him before. Please contact me if you know him. Thank you so much.
neill nierman from apalachicola florida wrote on February 2, 2018:
served aboard tango 151-14 may 69 to may 70 rate was engine man was the port twenty gunner
Paul C. Daiute from Hallowell, Maine wrote on February 1, 2018:
I was a Corpsman and sent to SOD to relieve Doc Beaver. I arrived at SOD just after the barges were refloated. When I landed I was greeted by a stretcher with a Vietnamese women on it who was in cardiac arrest from an overdose, I immediately started an iv and began doing CPR, I got a mouth full of vomited fish souse and rice into my mouth. I asked to see if we could get a Doctor from off one of the ships off shore and to my surprise and relief one came but then asked me why I had started and IV I knew I was in trouble and never asked for help again. I was with SOD when it was towed to New SOD and to ATSB Ca Mau at the old French outpost. I would like to hear from Davis, Porky, Pip, Chief Miller, and especially Chief Patanaude.. I was very proud to have taken care of such brave guys. I hope everyone has done well in life and that there is peace in your lives. Doc Daiute ATSB Sod, ATSB Ca Mau 70 -71
Jimmy from Ramey wrote on February 1, 2018:
My father was Jimmy Ramey and he was the boat captain on PBR 64 in River Section 522 until they were ambushed on October 25th 1967. He sustained life threatening injuries and was flown to a hospital in Japan following this event. His boat was completely destroyed and sunk. My father passed away in 2011 and I am trying to establish contact with anyone that may have been on his boat and survived or someone that may have known him during his time on YRBM-16, or USS Epping Forest, or the USS Ajax. His service was from 1962-1968. Please contact me if you have any information that may be helpful. 770-378-2661 cell or by email at HankRamey68@gmail.com Sincerely, Hank Ramey
Thomas P Ford from Scappoose wrote on January 28, 2018:
Served with C 3/17 and D 3/5 first tour 67-68 second 70-71. Looking for Bill Sage. We served together at Ft Irwin in 1968, he was a 9ID CIB 1st Lt. No idea what spot he served in the Div. I'd very much like to get in touch with him as I have an original oil painting of his that he might like to re-claim. It has been around the world with me and hung on many walls. thomasford99@gmail.com
Bill Mullins from Flower Mound wrote on January 18, 2018:
Hello. I’m a volunteer looking for photos of servicemen killed in Vietnam. Those photos will be posted with their profile at vvmf.org. I’m looking for SN Nicholas I. Pyle, Columbus, Ohio. He was attached to Flotilla One from 1967-69 and died 23 February 1969. Anyone with a photo please contact me. Best regards.
Darrell Nelson from Red Wing, MN wrote on January 17, 2018:
Was aboard USS Askari ARL 30 from 70-71. We were at Dong Tam most of the time but went to Vung Tau, Binh Thuy and Song Un Doc and sea float. Rode the Askari to Guam and put it OOC and turned it over to the Indonesian Navy. We repaired all the heavies Alpha's and Tango boats. I was an ENC in R-2 Div and had the inside and outside EN shops.
Perry Rickard from Clovis, CA wrote on January 16, 2018:
Each new year renews memories of Doug Morton, whom I served with on M-91-3 in early 1968. Our crew took over the Monitor in 11/67 and was relived in 11/68. Doug joined us early in 68. We survived Tet with no casualties and felt very fortunate. On 4/4/68 in a nasty firefight at Kien Hoa our main turret was hit by a rocket injuring 2 and killing Doug. Doug Morton was an extremely gentle soul and his death, our first and only on our boat, was devastating. While subsequent engagements led to numerous crew injuries, the loss of Doug Morton is a memory that will never fade.
Bob McMillan from Staten Island, NY wrote on January 14, 2018:
Yesterday, Jan 13, 2018 five member's who served together with Company A, 4th Bn./ 47th Inf. Mobile Riverine Force 1968-1969 came together in sunny Florida for a mini re-union. It's been almost fifty years since we seen each other, but it was like yesterday as Bob McMillan, John Gallo, Bill Chase, David Mack and Tom Currie came together with memories of our time in the Mekong Delta. Hopefully, our paths will cross again. God Bless America!
Brad Hunter from Belmont,OH wrote on January 10, 2018:
Please have Gunner Stanley contact me at my email. I was stationed with him in the early 80s. Thank you. Brad
Richard liggett from Lambertville mich wrote on January 5, 2018:
Aboard 67 thru Nov 68,ask Al Moore how you get the weavels out of the bread flour!
Paul Daniels from Columbia, SC 29229 wrote on December 24, 2017:
Incountry Nov 67 - Apr 68. 3/E/4-47. Attended my 1st reunion last September. Looking for Information on47th Reg Reunion. Doesn't seem like it, but it's been 50 years.
Robert B Reese Jr from Dallas wrote on December 23, 2017:
Veteran of B Company, 1-26th, 1st Infantry Division. In April 69 we departed Phu Cuong on a joint MRF up the Saigon to the Ben Suc area. One of the more memorable operations I experienced. Great site. Trying to find more info on the Phu Cuong base and records of operations from there.