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MOBILE RIVERINE FORCE ASSOCIATION

GUESTBOOK

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309 entries.
Thomas Michael Spencer from Jensen Beach wrote on April 15, 2024
Upon returning from Vietnam in 1970 myself. I had the good fortune of working for a company where the owner and President was a man named John M. Tolpa. He read like a Dewars profile. A mechanical engineer, attorney and Naval officer. He was in fact serving on the LST515 USS Caddo Parish while in Vietnam I believe as the engineering officer. As a Marine serving at the same time in Vietnam, we had a lot in common. I'm mentioning this because on Thanksgiving 2022. Jack passed away. I thought anyone of his shipmates who knew the man, might be interested to know. His son Stephen runs the company at present and I'm certain that he might like to hear from anyone who knew Jack Tolpa. I came to discover that there are only about 600,000 Vietnam veterans left. Hence my post. The company is the Tolan Machinery Co. in Rockaway, NJ. 732-947-2180. Ask for Stephen. Mention my name. Tom Spencer. God bless us and those like us.
George Giacoppe, LTC USA, Retired from Riverside, CA wrote on February 17, 2024
I still seek photos for my book: WAR SKETCHES FROM THE MEKONG; A Soldier's Reflections. My email is: geocopy@att.net. I have completed my manuscript and would like to illustrate the book with clear photos of the ships and boats of the MRF. I would prefer email so that I will know how to contact you for any permissions and credits. Thanks! If any of the N4 or the S4 staff would like to contact me, I would be delighted.
Rich "Lucky" LaChance from Wilmington, OH wrote on February 16, 2024
Hi, I was the engineer on A-112-4, 68/69, I am trying to locate my crew members: Christopher Emerson Coxwain; Radioman Charles; Gunner; Ferdinandson, Boat Captain ?? Whitehorn Sorry, the memory is history. Remembering our 50 Caliber gunner Mike Salaba Thanks.
Michael Mortimore from Ravenshoe QLD Australia 4888 wrote on January 26, 2024
I am a Welfare Officer with the Ravenshoe Return Services League. An American Veteran and friend has passed away on the 14/01/2024 and we are going to conduct a Poppy Service for him. I am finding it very difficult to get his Record of Service. Is there a website you can simply type in his name and Date of Birth and get his Service History. His name is James Barry McLenson DOB 30/10/1944 he was born at the California Hospital, LA. He didn't talk much about Vietnam but he did mention he was in the Mekong Delta. Jim meet an Australian Lady on RnR, they had 2 sons and he settled in Australia after he retired from the Los Angeles Police Force.
George Giacoppe, LTC US Army, Retired from Riverside, California wrote on January 14, 2024
I was the S-4, 2nd Bde of the 9th Infantry Division from Dec 1967-Dec1968. I am writing a short book of my time in the MRF to be titled: "War Sketches From the Mekong"; and hope to publish on Amazon. I need clear photos of the craft used in the MRF including the USS Benewah, The Westchester County, especially after 1 Nov 68 when we lost 28 sailors and soldiers, but also the Tangos and the ASPBs and Monitors to put some visual support behind my words I need both permission and access to the photos. I am happy to pay a small fee for the access and will credit the photographer(s) and the MRF Association in the book. Cell: 714-235-4004. Email is desired. The Navy provided complete support with the 2 LSTs for both Army and Navy needs. I operated with the N-4 and would like contact with any of his staff from the Benewah. Thanks.
VERNE "toby" EDSTROM DC3 from DEADWOOD wrote on December 29, 2023
LSMR 409 USS Clarion River, Rocket Rain Maker Fall of 1966 thru 1968; LSD 27 USS Whetstone 1969. They would not send me back.
Jimmy Ray Wells from Humble wrote on December 15, 2023
I was on the LST 980 Meeker County and LST 1170 Wyndham County both during 1968 and 1969. I was with Boat Support Unit one out of Coronado in 1970 in Vietnam as a Mobil Support Team -2 Seal Support, detachment Charlie from May - December. I was on a LSSC (landing seal support craft), also called a STAB (seal team assault boat). We inserted and extracted the Seals. Our base was a Seafloat in the middle of Son Cau Lon River.
michael j saul from Glendale wrote on November 20, 2023
My AD-29 U.S.S. Isle Royale salvaged what we could from the U.S.S.Mahon LST-912 that broke it’s anchor chain and ran aground on the beach of Chu Lai. In the year of 1966.
Robert Anthony Nunes (Tony) QM-3 wrote on October 9, 2023
I served on LST-839 Iredell County; LST-515 Caddo Parrish as Quartermaster. When in 1969 w/ John Swofford on *In Country Combat* Tour of Duty. His account is a little off on transferring LST-515; missing key points as we rafted up in Vũng Tàu to swap ships! 1. We had just returned from a SOG Troop Extraction from Cambodia down around the horn (not supposed to do that) as we went in DARK w/o running lights (red lights only), just prior to the swap; ordered to stop logging location; then delivering those troops to Vũng Tàu. Why do I know? As Quartermaster of the Watch, that's what you do; Log Events & Location; 2. We took LST-515 to Philippine Naval Base at Sangley Point/Cavite City (near Manila, Philippines (not Subic Bay, where we went for Repairs; R/R/Leave) . Just before going to Clark AFB, by Angeles City to fly home! 3. Why is there no mention of LST-839 also extracting SOG from Cua Viet, DMZ after Tet Offensive Carpet Bombing the hell out of the place in 1959 50yrs later? It was well documented that USS New Jersey setting offshore blowing up Tiger Island, also Fired in 16"; Guns for cover fire in DMZ, after being rocketed so LST-839 could be loaded up. We had a swimmer at DaNang Fuel Dock under Red Alert too. SOG (dog tag-less) were camped out on deck, when we left heading for Okinawa, Japan. I believe this was Sept/Oct, when New Jersey was still there. Cua Viet had been Carpet Bombed nearby shown on maps for a few decades barren looking like the cratered moon. Doesn't anyone remember tying ourselves in, w/ Bow Hung Out Over Huge Waves... twisting and turning (could have ended up broke up in two) just keeping way on, over wall of water... 100 ft Waves; 300 ft Crest to Crest (felt like we were on a empty row boat/cork bobbing around, instead of a ship. Thinking we weren't going to make as we entered the Eye of that Typhoon... after Leaving Okinawa? After being called back at midnight, partying in Naha... drunk! 4. And I'll never forget a young Gunner's Mate, after the storm, blowing his own head off! Why? Because as my friend, he was dropped out of Annapolis, as son of a High Ranking Officer after attempted Hazing him, w/a broom stick up his A$$. He was my friend; he told me about it. I tried to prevent him from blowing his head off, but was too late, after remembering something he said earlier, knowing he was depressed. His body bag was stored in the Reefer, where I worked mess cooking! Truth needs to come out now 50 yrs later. He didn't deserve it nor the ignorant treatment by fellow Navy Personnel after being busted down to regular Navy! ...he never would have done that, if the Gung Ho Spirit of Macho Man Identity wasn't so prevalent in Military Service. HAZING was acceptable, but not sexual like in prison. This should be seen as 1 of the Devil's Tools to degrade; hold power of over others by BULLIES. In his case just because he was son of high ranking officer! 5. How about Bridge Ramp near miss, only because of being late did we witnessed 5-Rockets land where we would have been feet away. With hits on Helicopter Pad, Guard Tower, etc. I was on the Helm! QM-3/Striker Nunes Does anyone remember that Gunners Mate's Name on LST-839 Iredell County, after leaving Okinawa dropping off Troops? Should be in Log Book, but being transferred to microfiche now!
Mike Harris from Monroe, Oregon wrote on September 12, 2023
As Webmaster I thought I'd jump in here and grab the 300th entry to our Guestbook. Keep them coming folks...! Mike
Frederick Allen Camacho, USA Major Retired from Wisconsin Rapids wrote on September 1, 2023
In memory of my brother-in-law Jimmy Harries, killed June 25, 1968, Cau Viet. A young man I never met, whose sister I married in June of 1969. He must have been a fine sailor to have sister like Joyce.
Howard Raines from SaultSteMarie, MI wrote on July 31, 2023
Welcome home brothers. Words come from hearts and souls to fill volumes. Pages left for others who know and understand. We are combat hardened with hearts as soft as the summer rain. WE ARE A BROTHERHOOD ONLY A FEW CAN UNDERSTAND.
Gordon M Caldwell Jr from Franklin,Georgia wrote on July 28, 2023
Iwas a medic on a 254th dustoff on 6/19/67 we were sent to the Delta to pick up your wounded from a battle. you all were involved in on this date.We landed in a lz where youall had the wounded.as soon as we touched down we started receiving fire, our ship took several hits andwe lost our hydralics the AC decided we .needed to leave the lz.We didn't make it very far from the lz,we sa tdown just over the tree line from your lz.We called our Dustoff control in Long binh to let them know were down and you all would need another Dustoff pickup That ship came in later and was so badly shot up the crashed in the lz.I would like to know what the name of the ville was that we were near .Thank you for any INfo you can provide about that battle.
Andrew H Roberts from DeSoto, TX wrote on June 10, 2023
I served with HHC 3rd Brigade 9th Infantry Division 9th Commo July 1967 - 1968 in Tan An. Medevac to Siagon Hospital during TET.
David Fletcher from Sherwood, Arkansas wrote on June 2, 2023
Was a Marine 0431 embarkation with MAG-36 at Phu Bai. Served from Oct 67- Jun 69, extended tour. May 68 me and Sgt Johnny Teat took an LST from Danang to Tan My. Escorted gear in Mike boat to Hue Ramp. LST was an MSTS ship. Korean crew under American Flag. Spent two nights on the refrigerated lighter. Have pics taken from LST and along the perfume river to Hue. If anyone would like copies would be glad to send. Wish I could remember the sailor drivin the Mboat.
Bob Rich from Novi, Mi wrote on April 3, 2023
Hi: Great Site I have a few photos from 1968-69, when I was with the U.S. Army 118th AHC based at Bein Hoa, Vietnam. We helped out the Navy Riverines for a number of months on a regular basis. We would fly back and forth to forward river bases by the Parrots Beak then to an LSD, call sign (Bowling Ally), in the river system and then down to Vung Tau (Moon River). I also ran into a high school friend on one of these resupply missions. He was in the 553rd Riverine Div. on PBR's way out southwest of Saigon. His name is Bob Fullerman from Youngstown, Oh. The "Mike Boat" LCM we landed on in the river was marked, in my photos, as T-112-10. I am wondering if Bob Fullerman is part of your vet's group on this Website? I would like to know the location of the 553rd Riverine Div., town or village in Vietnam around that time. I have pictures of the Mike Boat and PBR's tied up along the river if that would help ID the location. Bob also painted a large Holiday Inn sign with 553rd Vietnam on it. I would appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks Bob Rich
Troy Upshaw from Kuna wrote on March 28, 2023
Nice site. Was here looking for my father-in-law, Carlyle G. "Corky" Story. He was with the US Navy and ran Landing Craft up and down the Qua Viet River from Dong Ha Harbor. He had 3 boats in all, two were lost on the river. He passed away in 2018. My stepfather, Oscar Rogers ran the rivers in small black unmarked speedboats while he served with the Beach Jumpers. He passed away in 2020.
Dave Reinheimer from STL.Mo. wrote on March 8, 2023
Fantastic web site...Hats off to all involved...some much History & Information...Honor to know Frank thru our Honor Flight Hub here....keep up the God work.. Safe Travels Dave Reinheimer current pres. www.b2501airborne.com
James Naulty from ohio wrote on March 7, 2023
Was in A Co. 5TH 60TH MECHANIZED From march 1967 to september 1967 wounded september .
Honor B Cole from Fort Worth, Texas wrote on March 4, 2023
I was assigned to PBRs Class of 23 when I entered Saigon’s Annapolis Hotel as temporary residence while processing units of assignment with River Patrol Boats River Sections, March 10,1967. Later, I was assigned to River Section -511, Bravo Patrol PBR (58 and PBR 59) until February 27,1968 when I (we) spent from 1-5 days awaiting flights back to the United States. I stay at the Annapolis Hotel Saigon about 5-days before my “Space A flight left Vietnam. I next thank all my Comrades for their service too.
Eric Mason from Homosassa Florida wrote on February 21, 2023
The comment that CCB-18 is the only riverine craft still around is not true. Both the former USS Nueces APB-40 and USS Mercer APB-39 are still in US Navy service as messing and berthing barges. I stayed on board the Nueces while in dry dock. I was allowed to roam all spaces as the manager in charge saw that I loved history. Both these vessels were part of riverine forces. Both vessels still have engines in place. Boilers removed along with props. Mercer is serving in Sasebo Japan and Nueces in Yokosuka Japan. These vessels while still serving will be replaced with the new APLs the Navy are building. Currently 5 have been built. The Nueces has a small museum dedicated to her service. I hope a home may be found for these two vessels when retired. Maybe serving again as a museum vessel in Patriots Point SC alongside the riverine exhibit and patrol boat would be a fitting home. Former GM3 Mason CFAY
larry d scheafer from Sierra Vista wrote on February 2, 2023
I was with MACV-SOG OP35 in 1968. It was great to learn about OP34A and probably why the deeds of SOG remained classified for so long. We sure don't want to embarrass our politicians of that era.
Johnny De'Scoville from Taos wrote on January 23, 2023
I was told my Dad , Ltc James L.Scovel was 2nd Brig XO MRF in 1968 before being reassigned to 2/47 9th Inf Mechanized. I've spent quite a lot of time trying to find more info regarding his service 1968-69 RVN. Trying to piece it all together Thank You for your Service & Sacrifices Thank You for any assistance
Mike Scolastico from Spring Grove, Illinois wrote on December 30, 2022
Was with the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion out of Soc Trang. Did some air traffic control out of Nam Can in October/November?, 1970. So much mud & water. Sapper got one of the boats while there. Believe the SEAL team had an operation in the U Minh & we also dropped a 5 or15,000 #er on a suspected VC stronghold.
Ralph Bigelow from Livonia wrote on December 21, 2022
Has any one seen an mrf anchor and gun badge. Not in a circle pin.