Gary N. Overby
I was assigned to the Security Police Platoon
I've enjoyed reading about the Battle of Kontum through your web site. From November 1971 to April 1972 I was assigned to the Security Police Platoon, HHC, 52nd CAB at Camp Holloway. In April, following the departure of the 52nd, I requested and rec'd a transfer to the 560th MP Company, 18th MP BDE, which was the American Military Police resource for the Pleiku area. Our HQ was located at the Signal Compound, next to the 67th Evac Hospital. We patrolled QL-14, QL-19. Pleiku, Camp Holloway and the greater Pleiku area. I served there until August 1972, when I returned to CONUS.
As a Sp/4 road MP, I worked many assignments including 2-man jeep patrol, ARVN QC/National Police TC combined patrol, POW handling and my red alert position was as a RTO/Gunner on a V-100 armored scout car. I also pulled TOC duty and screened personnel seeking to enter the II Corp TOC. I saw Mr. Vann many times coming and going during the Eastertide Offensive and pulled TOC duty the night he was killed. He was a good man who always acknowledged me and asked how I was doing. I always thought that he looked like a car salesman, but by the way he carried himself, you knew that he was the boss!
I also was one of two MPs from the 560th who were sent to help grave registration pick up the body of Lt. Conry (361st Pink Panthers) at the 67th and convey him through Pleiku and over to the GR Detachment at Camp Holloway. A sad duty that is still fresh in my mind.
I took many pictures during my tour with my trusty 126 Kodak and I am sending you a few pictures you might find of interest.
There is a photo that shows damage from what appears to be a B-52 strike. It was at this juncture in my youthful stint in Vietnam that I almost got killed. Four of us left the road while the other three guys covered us. We did a line abreast patrol/creep through the churned up area to survey the damage. Twenty meters into the bomb field, I felt a tug on my left boot and froze. (Fort Ord Infantry training kicking in) A trip wire snagged my left boot and 1 meter to my left was a small stake with a grenade wrapped to it. I alerted the other three, they froze and after I gingerly eased back my left leg I reversed my path (foot step for foot step) and so did the others, back to the road. Whether it was NVA or ARVN who placed it didn't matter, I became a bit wiser, but I still kick myself for the needless endangerment. Fittingly, the last picture in the series is of the Catholic Church in Kontum. Many Catholic Churches aided the refugees in Vietnam and I remember our Catholic Chaplin at Holloway regularly transported food and aid to an orphanage in Pleiku. In any event, I hope these photos may help to further bring the Kontum war area into better perspective for interested parties.
Thank you for your great endeavors in this project.
Best Regards ,
Gary N. Overby
560th MP Co (Roadrunners), 18th MP Bde. (1972)
Gary N. Overby <email@example.com >
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 16:36:18 (EST)