September 1968 to September 1969

Arrived Cam Rahn Bay Viet Nam at approximately 0630 Friday 13 Sep 1968.

First day in Viet Nam.map1a.jpg

Saturday 14 Sep 1968:

Departed via C130 to Tan Son Nhut  (Saigon) flight was about 1 hour. Bussed to a local hotel for processing.  (RepoDepot) incountry processing.

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Wednesday 18 Sep 1968:

 After finally convincing the assignment people that  I was not there for assignment to a field unit I made it to:

Reported to Defense Communications Agency, Southeast Asia Mainland (DCA-SAM) for duty.

nametag2.jpg   logopin2.jpg

 

Tuesday 24 Sep 1968:

First trip.  Orientation with other new members of DCA-SAM.

C-130 Tan Son Nhat (TSN) to Nha Trang.(NHA)C-130.jpg

 

 

Wednesday 25 Sep 1968:

C-46 (Air America) NHA to Da Nang (DNG)(on the coast of the South China Sea at the mouth of the Han River)map1b1.jpg

We spent 3 days in Da Nang. (this time).

 

Saturday 28 Sep 1968:

C-130 Da Nang to Cu Chi to Tan Son Nhut

Back in office for trip  report  writing.

After each trip there was an extensive trip report that was written (at least 3 times) about our findings on that trip. filling my pipe.png1.jpg

 

The next couple of weeks were spent at the office trying to figure out what had been done, what they wanted done, and what we were going to do. (never did figure that out).

 

 

Sunday 13 Oct 1968:

C-130 Tan Son Nhat to Pleiku (central highlands) (1445 to 1530). Another 2 and one half day trip.

Wednesday 16 Oct 1968:

C-130 PKU to TSN 0805-0910

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Plei Ku 15 Oct 68.png

That is not an earring it is bullet hole in the office door.

 

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Another two weeks of paperwork in the office.

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Tuesday 29 Oct 1968:

Jeep trip to Long Binh (Bien Hoa Vietnam, 33km{20.5 miles} from Saigon).liljeep4.bmp

I made the trip alone. This was something that was very seldom done in Viet Nam (traveling alone).  It was a major, high traffic, highway so what could go wrong?

Approximately half way, I heard what sounded like something rattling around in the Jeep gas tank (right under the driver seat).  I pulled over to the side of the road.

In less than a minute, an army MP patrol jeep stopped.  We discussed my "problem", and they called a demolition team.  The team arrived in less than 5 minutes.

The gas tank is located directly under the driver seat on the jeep.  The fill tube/nozzle was on the driver side with a padlock.  The key to the gas lock was on the ring THE RADIO.jpg

with ignition key for vehicle.   The demolition team personnel took the keys from me and unlocked the gas cap.  Using some a flexible probe with "fingers" that they

could open/close they checked the gas tank.  Very carefully they removed a hand grenade.  The pin had been pulled and the handle was being held down with a rubber band

made from a piece of inner tube cut into a circle.  It was beginning to deteriate from exposure to the gasoline.  Team chief gently but firmly threw the grenade out into a rice paddy.

In less than two minutes it exploded. It was not a dud.  I thanked them and finished by trip with no further interruptions. I returned to the office that evening.

 

Three days in office.

 

Saturday 2 Nov 1968:

TDY trip to San Miguel Naval Communications Station, Philippines:

727 departed RVN 1340 arrived Clark Air Force Base PI at 1550.  We spent the night at Clark AFB.

 

Sunday 3 Nov 1968:

Military Auto depart Clark AFB 0800 arrive San Miguel 1145.  Started 5 day Operational Evaluation the next morning.

 

Friday 8 Nov 1968:

Return to Clark AFB.

 

Saturday 9  Nov 1968

727 Depart Clark AFB 0140 and arrived TSN at 0340.

The next couple of weeks were spent in the office and on the side helping one of the civilian team members move into a Villa that his Uncle was renting.  The Uncle was a pilot for Air America.  I know during that two to three week time frame, several events took place that might turn into another story all by themselves.  I will only try to hit the high spots here.

The electricity in Saigon was not very stable.  You could count on at least 3 to 4 hours of brownout every day.  There was not enough electricity to run everything, and the lights would dim the TVs go off refrigerators shut down.  The solution was to get a generator for the villa.  I guess I had best describe the villa, as best that I can remember.  It was a three story brick/concrete/wood building surrounded by a courtyard which had a 6 or 7 foot rock/concrete wall all the way around it.  The guys that lived there (Air America Pilots mostly) had been under a pretty constant bombardment during the Tet attacks earlier in the year.  Rock walls, and outside/inside walls had bullet hole scars from the attacks.  Downstairs: Living room, kitchen, dining room, large rec room. Upstairs were bedrooms/bathrooms on the second and third floors with large meeting rooms on each floor.

It was really a pretty nice place.  The yard was large enough for several vehicles to park in the driveway. Getting away from the point of this tale.

I knew that a Navy CB outfit had just moved into the adjoining area of the Air Base and that they needed "gravel" for their roads.  There was an Army engineering outfit not too far out or Saigon that had "Gravel" but really wanted some "beer" for a party they were planning.  A Communications battalion had "beer" but need "plywood".  And, I located a 500KW diesel generator in the central highlands at a site that could not find the paperwork on where it came from..... Let's just make it a little shorter. The CBs got their Gravel, the Engineers got their beer, the plywood made it to the comm. battalion and Air America flew into the central highlands and picked up a very large generator that wound up at a Villa and there were no more problems with blackouts, TV going off in the middle of a show or beer getting warm. 

 generator2.jpg

They did have a house warming and it was supposed to be a potluck.  I managed to "find" several cases of New Zealand steaks and Lobster and no one was out anything except an invitation to the "Person" from which the food came.... and he could not make the party because he had duty at the Commanding General's Mess.

Sorry to say that here my Daily Diary book goes blank (no entries of trips until early Jan 1969).  However, I do know that during that time I was extremely busy investigating supposedly lost and/or delay messages from the American Red Cross to/from Army units.  I made several multi day trips to units in the northern and central highlands during that fact finding duty.

I may or may not have TDY or travel orders for those trips.  It was mostly on verbal orders from Commanding Officer, Col. Walter J. Harbort. It worked out that there were a few, less than a dozen, messages that were delayed for some reason or another and possibly a few that were actually lost.  That was far below the hundreds that were being reported. 

I do know that I did not get back to the office until late on 30 Dec 1968. 

Try as you might to find a bottle of champagne on New Year Eve.  A few of the guys in the office had a stash in refrigerators but made it very clear that they would not share.

Made a call to a Navy Yeoman that I had know in the Philippines.  In fact he had been the one that typed my application for Army Warrant Officer for the Capt. Frank Romanick USN to approve.

I ask him if possibly he had any bubbly.  His answer was typical, "well, yes, we do have some, it is New Years Eve and there is going to be one hell of a party here at the Generals Mess".

"Can I get one?" I ask. His reply actually stunned me. "Yes, I guess we can spare a little, they will never miss it." he replied. 

"Great, I'll be right over........" he interrupts me "NO you won’t, I'll send it over to your office".

Approximately 15 minutes later: Col. Harbort was preparing to go to the party at the General's Mess.  As he opened the office front door, a young man dressed in black pants, white shirt, bow tie and black vest ask, "Sir, could you tell me where Chief Warrant Officer....." the Colonel stopped him, "Are you looking for CWO Wolfe? Oh, never mind answering of course you are only he could have that delivered here."  The driver followed the Colonel back to our office where he put a CASE of French champagne (12 bottles) (cold) on my desk. I did give the Colonel a bottle.

The rest was consumed by our crew.  Did we share with the others? NO, they had already made it clear that they had their own.NewYearsEve1969(3).jpg

Happy New Year 1969

Monday 6 Jan 1969

C-130 TSN 1500 to Quin Nahn 1615 to Da Nang 1800

then by jeep to Long Lines Batallion North at 2000   for a three day stay

 

 

Friday 10 Jan 1969

C-130 Da Nant 0930 to TSN 1530

It was this week that they said I needed to go to Technical Controllers School

Carabu  TSN to Vung Tau (on coast) 1400  for 4 day school. bcw vung thau 1.png bcw2.png

(Vung Tau was an R&R center. Not only for American GIs but for Viet Cong as well. Everyone needs a break.

 

 

Friday 17 Jan 1969

Carabu VTU 1400 to TSN 1525

caribou.jpg

 

Two more weeks in the office.

Monday 3 Feb 1969

We were scheduled to go to the DMZ for a 3 or 4 day evaluation.  Already packed and waiting for ride to planeside, the Colonel came in and handed me a classified message.

"How would you handle this?" he ask.  My reply was to go to the origin of the problem.  I did not make the trip to the DMZ.  An hour later, after hurriedly repacking from

Fatigues to dress uniforms, I was waiting for a THAI International flight to Bangkok Thailand. 

Depart TSN 1040 arrive Bangkok Thailand at 1105

depart by bus at 1530 and arrive Sattahip Thailand 2055.

Tuesday 4 Feb 1969

Depart Sattahip 1935 arrive Bangkok 2010.

 

 

 

Thursday 6 Feb 1969

727 depart Bangkok 1640 arrived TSN 1800  (Lost suitcase at BOQ in Bangkok, stolen from lobby while waiting for transportation to airport)

Sunday 9 Feb 1969 to Friday 14 Feb 19690

R&R in Taipei Taiwan. visit In-laws.

The first three weeks in March was spent in/around the office and nearby bases. No actual trips were made.

 

Friday 21 March 1969 *(have just turned 34 the day before).

Brannif f 707 depart TSN 1600 arrive Clark Air Force base PI 1815

We stay at the Clarktown House (base hotel) for the next week... check out hotel bill $45.00

Sunday 30 March 1969

AirLift International 727 depart Clark AFB 1155 arrive TSN 1355

 

Saturday 5 Apr 1969

727 Depart TSN 1525 Arrive Bangkok 1535 (time zone)

 

Saturday 12 Apr 1969

Continental 707 depart Bangkok 0930 arrive TSN 1130

Another story to tell about the week in Bangkok, but will link to it.

 

Two weeks of report writing.

 

Monday 28 Apr 1969

C-130 Depart TSN 1130 arrive Plei Ku (again) 1655

4 days stay this time

 

Saturday 3 May 1969

C-130 depart PKU 0755 arrive TSN 1300. The remainder of May was doing reports and local jobs.

 

Tuesday 3 Jun 1969

C-130 Depart TSN 1700 arrive Nha Trang (coastal city) 1930 jeep to Khanh-Hoa

 

Friday 6 Jun 1969

Air America C46 depart NHA 1315 arrive TSN 1435

Local jobs and reports again

 

Monday 30 Jun 1969

C-130 depart TSN 1030 arrive Vung Tau 1430

 

Saturday 5 Jul 1969

C-130 depart VTU 1600 arrive TSN 1630

 

Tuesday 8 Jul 1969

C-130 depart TSN 1400 arrive Nha Trang 1600

 

Friday 11 Jul 1969

UH1 Huey chopper depart Nha Trang 0815 arrive Bihn Hoa 0830  bcw at uh-1.pngUH-1%20Huey.jpg

Jeep for 30 miles site

Monday 14 Jul 1969

C-130 depart Nha Trang 1710 arrive TSN 1830

Monday 21 Jul 1969

C-130 depart TSN 1600 arrive Nha Trang (again) 1700

Tuesday 22 Jul 1969

C-123 depart Nha Trang arrive Bami Tuit 0945

c-123.jpg

 

Thursday 24 Jul 1969

UH-1 Huey chopper depart Bami Tuit 0835, arrive Nha Trang 0930 depart 1730 arrive TSN 1850

UH-1%20Huey.jpg

 

Thursday 31 Jul 1969

UH1 depart TSN 1600 arrive Bien Hoa 1915 depart 2000 arrive Phan Rang (Delta) 2100

 

Friday 1 Aug 1969

UH-1 depart Phan Rang 0800 arrive Phan Tuit (Delta) 0855

 

Saturday 2 Aug 1969

UH-1 depart Phan Tuit 1015 arrive/leave Long Thahn1120/1145 arrive/depart Long Bein 1200/1300 arrive TSN 1400 DCA-SAM 1500

 

 

Thursday 14 Aug 1969

Carabu depart TSN 1000 arrive Dong Tam 1025

caribou.jpg

Friday 15 Aug 1969

C-123 Depart Dong Tam 0930 arrive Soc Trang 0950

Monday 18 Aug 1969

UH-1 depart Soc Trang 0730 arrive Bac Lieu 0800

 

Tuesday 19 Aug 1969

platipus.jpgPlatipus depart Bac Leiu 0750 arrive Ca Mau 0830

 

Wednesday 20 Aug 1969

UH-1 depart Ca Mau arrive Ria Gia 1405

Thursday 21 Aug 1969

Air America Twin Beachcraft depart Ria Gia arrive Cantho 0900 *last plane out of this airport for two weeks

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Friday 22 Aug 1969

Air America C-47 depart Cantho 0840 arrive TSN 0930

c-47.jpg

 

Some of the places we visited not in order. site1.png

 

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 Not drive-in movie screens. Antennas.

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site5.png

unknown2.png  unknown3.png

still waiting.png

 Waiting for a flight. We did a lot of that…

stillwaiting2.pngStill waiting!

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Some of the guys occasionally went to a place called “The MONKEY Bar” have no Idea why it was called that.monkeybar.png

 

 

 

 

We received “atta-boys” awards…. (in fact we were awarded the Bronze Star)  col-bcw1.pngcol-bcw-dwellis.png

awards.jpgLeft to right: Al Dwelis Capt USAF, (my boss) Lcdr Anderson USN(our boss) and yep that’s me. Can you believe they gave us all three the Bronze Star????

 

 

Thursday 4 Sep 1969

Big Bird Depart Saigon and Arrive Travis AFB California.