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i worked at 17th group hqtrs from nov 14 1971 - nov 14 1972. i remember you, sir. it was my privilege to be there. i was a clerk, and worked with the warrant officers nite shift. i was at pleiku when kontum was hit!

david w. morris <>
toledo, ohio usa - Tuesday, December 14, 2004 at 18:05:12 (PST)

Thank your for this most interesting site and for your words on John Paul Vann. He was a great American! God bless him and you.

MEYRAT Francis-Michel <>
Genève, Switzerland - Tuesday, December 14, 2004 at 12:13:44 (PST)

Thank you for a great site, and for putting a major event in my life in perspective. I was on the last C-130 out of Kontum before the one that didn't make it on May 17th, and was back again in mid June as part of an Air Force "bare base" team. For 32 years I've wondered about the big picture I saw only a small piece of. Thank you for showing it to me.

Bill Faith <>
U.S.A. - Monday, November 08, 2004 at 05:09:04 (PST)

I enjoyed meeting you today at Pamplin. I am sure I will spend many hours reading the info in your book and this site. Dennis

Dennis A Penny Jr <Bel2air@yahoo>
NC - Saturday, November 06, 2004 at 15:47:54 (PST)

Your sister dropped off a copy of your book to Hendricken H.S. yesterday. I teach a class "The Vietnam Experience" to seniors, a one-semester elective. To personalize the war, each student researches the biography of one of the 227 RI Fallen Heroes from the war. We then have a May ceremony, around Memorial Day, where we affix name rubbings of the researched Heroes to a Wall of Remembrance in my classroom. I want to thank you for adding to the educational content of the war by your website and also for your service to our country.
Joe Cichon Jr.
PC '70

Joe Cichon Jr. <>
Cranston, RI USA - Thursday, October 14, 2004 at 07:36:53 (PDT)

Attention military veterans . . . having problems getting your veteran's benefits? Check out the Kitchen Table Gang's website at
It's a great resource, and might be able to give you direction towards the right answers you have been searching for!

Charlie Taliaferro <>
NAS Lemoore, CA USA - Friday, October 08, 2004 at 13:47:21 (PDT)

Jack, You have done a great job on the Kontum web site. I was a Sundog FAC at the battle of An Loc. I have been doing research for the last 2 years about the battle in order to do a web site about An Loc, It will not be as extensive as this site, you have set a very high standard. If anyone visiting this web site was involved in the siege of An Loc in the spring of 1972, let me hear from you.
Bill Carruthers

Bill Carruthers <>
Charlotte, NC USA - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 at 18:42:06 (PDT)

Looking for someone that served with b-battery 1/92nd artillery 1971 at Kontum and An-Khe.

Lenard Cottrell <>
Spencer, West Virginia United States - Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 18:28:49 (PDT)

I was looking to see if you had updated the H Troop Roster and saw the date (Sept). Both 1ST.LT.Craig Smith and I had left by then and that is why we are not on that roster. Jack Rogers escorted Jerry Spradlin's body back to the states and attended the funeral. The observer was Sgt. Larry Marrow. Jim did not want Larry as a scout because he was married and had a child. We had another married scout-1St.Lt. Rusty Waldron. Rusty was hit by a round that had gone through his observers arm. The spent round hit Rusty in the shoulder. It did a lot of damage to the observer. About fifteen years I got a call at home from some reporter doing an investigation for the Morrow family and was asked if I knew anything about Larry. I told him I did not and did not give him any false hopes after so many years. The last I had heard Larry was carried as missing in action. I never heard if that status was changed. Both Bart Burns and Jimmy Gibson will remember more about what and how things went. Both were and have vivid memorys. I have some vivid memories but as Jim Stein and I both discovered they are not always accurate.


Larry Brassell <>
Gulfport, Ms USA - Wednesday, September 22, 2004 at 20:23:44 (PDT)

Well, dad, your site has done it again. I am sitting in an internet cafe in Poland and find myself trying to control my emotions and pride. I have seen this site from its inception and I never cease to be humbled and proud to visit it. You have done a truly fantastic thing (as well as, of course, Mr. Williams the webmaster). I also want to thank all of the people who have visited this site because, as healing, helpful and cathartic as it may be for each of you, it has been equally so for my father. We're all on this journey together. Thanks all and welcome home.

joe heslin <>
rybnik, poland - Wednesday, September 22, 2004 at 07:26:48 (PDT)

Spent Feb '68 through Mar '69 with the 57th AHC in Kontum and would like to hear from anybody from that time period. Hope all is well and best regards, Bob (home town is West Fargo, ND)

Bob Odegard <>
Bismarck, ND - Tuesday, September 21, 2004 at 16:09:16 (PDT)

I was at Camp Enari in 69-70. Attached to the 4th Division in K Co. 75th Inf. Airborne Rangers. Then they moved us to Camp Radcliff in Ahn Khe. "Sin City" Welcome home my brothers and a job well done. Nam Vets are one big brotherhood......Stand tall men you ARE the regards and respects...Shakey

Howard R. Burns <>
Dryden, Virginia United States - Monday, September 20, 2004 at 17:42:49 (PDT)

I posted a short story here some time ago about flying with the 57th Gladiator's and wanted them to have my new E-mail addy! I see allot of 57th boy's on here! Shakey 2nd flight platoon T.N.69-15715

Rickey Von Vogel <>
Lake of the Ozark's, Missouri Camden - Monday, August 30, 2004 at 11:51:58 (PDT)

Served with the 57th AHC and TDY with the 4th Div. 3/8 in Kontum during the TET offensive, 67/68. Things were hot! Joe and Steve, hope you made it home? God Bless all of us.

Tom Wolinski <>
New York City, New York The only country! The United States of America! - Sunday, August 29, 2004 at 19:13:01 (PDT)

Served with the 4th Infantry 67/68 rode shogun on resupply convoys from Pleiku to Dakto, spent many nights in Kontum. Anyone interested in what it is like now contact me, I have been back in country

Mel Potter <>
Galt, Ca USA - Friday, August 27, 2004 at 11:11:30 (PDT)

I finally made it to the site. You've done a great job with this. I enjoyed sharing a table with you @ the VHPA Reunion and as a reminder, I was stationed at Kontum for six months with the 282nd "Blackcats" supporting MACV and SOG, in 1966-67. I was all over that area and your maps brought back some memories. Thanks again for all you've done.Blackcat 2-1.

Richard A D'Andrea <>
Houston, TX USA - Thursday, August 12, 2004 at 18:31:00 (PDT)

This is a great site done by person who was there, it helps me understand more into what took place then. I am interested in the Indochina conflic, things happened all around Vietnam including Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. We were saved from communist invasion after everybody fell in '75 by the war you fought in Vietnam, thank you.

Pramut Jira <>
Bangkok, Thailand - Tuesday, August 10, 2004 at 12:44:36 (PDT)

Damn nice site. I'll send along to my Soggie buds and the rest of the SF guys that worked that area in earlier times. Welcome Home men - you done good in spite of the reception you got back in the world.
De Oppresso Liber, 539th Engr Det, 1st SFG(ABN) 68-70

Walt Emerson, CPT USAR(Ret) <>
North Olmsted, Ohio USA - Wednesday, July 28, 2004 at 05:39:44 (PDT)

Jack, thanks for this excelent and informative site. I spent 4 of my 23 months in country at Dak To or running the road from Kontum to Ben Het with the Dusters of B/4/60th. I was medivacked out in sept.71 and was released from Valley Forge Hospital by Christmas 71. It was disheartening to know that every place I'd been the summer of 71 was in the hands of NVA tanks and infantry the following spring. I am inclined to believe that once the dusters, quads and self propelled 8" and 175's of the7/15th stood down in 71 the impact was certain. There is a new web site posted by the swift boat vets fron Nam that John Kerry served with that is a must see for the informed voter, the site can be viewed in a short time at

John Katich <>
Pitts., Pa. - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 at 07:25:08 (PDT)

Jack, what a great pleasure to meet you and your lovely wife Jean at the VHPA reunion in Dallas. I also got to meet Jim Stein and finally thank him after 32 years for rescuing me from Tan Canh/Dak To on 24 April 72. Larry Brassell was another one with us during those times that I was glad to meet. I anticipate adding to the website "Memories" section very soon in a post that corresponds with Jim Stein's "Flying John Paul Vann" post. Your website has allowed me to finally put many pieces of the puzzle together that I was missing. Thanks a million!

William B. Page <>
Lafayette, LA. - Saturday, July 24, 2004 at 17:20:01 (PDT)

Just discovered your web site. Great stuff. Brings back some memories. I was at Ben Het as a 4th Inf Div LNO in Mar 69. Was there during the PT 76 attack and have some stories to tell. I am putting them together for my sons. If anyone has pictures of Ben Het around that time, I would appreciate copies if possible. Great pic of the PT 76 in '72.

Frank Evans <>
Columbus, GA - Wednesday, July 14, 2004 at 18:59:17 (PDT)

Great site, I was at Tan Chan May-Nov 1970, Kontum Oct-Mar 1971.Was on a water point across from the Esso gas ststion on the river by the bridge.

Jerrell Herron <>
TX USA - Tuesday, May 25, 2004 at 18:39:42 (PDT)

What a great site! I was also in Kontum, but during your first tour. I was one of the SPAF (Sneaky Pete Air Force) pilots flying O-1 BirdDogs out of Kontum supporting SF/Montagnard insertions and (usually very quick) extractions across the "county line." I was lucky...while you guys were down in the treetops, I was flying radio relay and directing traffic at 1500-3000 feet. Thanks again for the "taxi service" during Tet; for a couple of weeks you landed at FOB2 every morning at dawn, flew us to Dak To so we could fly our missions(the Kontum strip was not secure), and picked us up again and flew us "home" at dusk. I rotated back to my unit (183rd RAC "Seahorses") in mid-May '68 and finished the rest of my tour flying out of Phan Rang Air Base on the coast. Pretty "tame" compared to the Central Highlands and points west!
By the way, the second "Seahorse" reunion will be in San Antonio in September.
Welcome Home, Guys.

Robert L. (Bob) Seymour <>
Fort Collins, CO USA - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 19:03:55 (PDT)

Having just read Neil Sheehan's book "A Bright Shining Lie" about the conflict in Vietnam, and John Paul Vann's role in it, when I found this site I only began to appreciate the type of titanic struggle that the Vietnam war really was. Thank you.

Charles Gardiner
USA - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 09:22:12 (PDT)

Thank you for telling the tale. Fred Suttle was my father's cousin. I've heard quite a bit about him but unfortunatley he died before I was born(1974) I've lately been trying to collect more information about Fred. Thank you again for everything.

Brian Suttle <>
Newport News, Va USA - Friday, May 14, 2004 at 06:51:12 (PDT)

Dad (and All readers),

Sen Kerry's Testimony to Congress April 1971:

The link is to a .pdf (Adobe) document of Sen John Kerry's testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from April 22, 1971 (hattip: Instapundit). A must-read for those weighing Sen Kerry's fitness for the Presidency while we continue to wage the War on Terror.

John Heslin (Jack's son) <>
USA - Wednesday, February 18, 2004 at 11:26:23 (PST)
[ View John Heslin's Contribution to the Discussion Board ]


I would like to hear from anyone who knew my uncle (killed in Kontum in 1967):

PATTON John Perry

Date Of Event/Death: 22 JUN 1967
Date Of Birth: 28 FEB 1941
Age At Death: 26
Home City: Oakland
Home State: CA
Miliary Branch: Army
Rank: SGT E5
MOS: 11B40
Marital Status:
Army Organization: 173rd Airborne Brigade ( Total Deaths = 1717 )
Casualty Type: HOSTILE, DIED
Air Ops/Reason: Ground Casualty ARTILLERY,ROCKET,MORTAR
Country/Province: South Vietnam KONTUM
Memorial Wall Loc: 22E 047

Clay Shannon <>
Oconomowoc, WI USA - Friday, April 23, 2004 at 12:34:22 (PDT)

For the Gentleman who said check out Kerry's Viet Nam record ect. Those who live in glass houses should throw no stones. How about Bush"s Viet Nam record? I don't think either of them would make soldier of the week but don't throw dirt on one without throwing on the other.

Mike Moomey <>
Marlow, Ok USA - Friday, April 16, 2004 at 14:08:30 (PDT)

I was in D Co 3/12 for 2 months then went to Recon platoon until deros Aug 15 1968.I have found Ronnie Baker, Van Brown, Darrel Stewart, Festus Cartwright, Rex Kimbell, Keith Wynn and looking for Tom Tanner who was in 1st Brg LRRP. Or anyone that was with me or knows someone that was. We are going to try and get together this Labor Day.

Mike Moomey <>
Marlow, Ok USA - Friday, April 16, 2004 at 14:04:04 (PDT)

Jack, Thanks for putting the link to the Redstone Arsenal TOW Missile Chronology on your website. It provides verification data on my unit (Co. D 1/12th Cav) and the 82nd Airborne Jeep TOW gunner crews That link is: - You can also follow that site to a streaming video (1988) that shows the TOW being fired in Kontum A.O. in 1972. Thanks again for the excellent website.

William Page <>
Lafayette, La. USA - Saturday, April 03, 2004 at 14:43:37 (PST)

Just found your site, I served with the 57th as a crewchief in 71 & 72 and was involved in the battle of Kontum. I served with the cougers and was an acting sgt. In the battle of Kontum I was in charge of a helicopter refueling and ammo detail just outside the city,its two days I will never forget.This is the second time I added to a guestbook keep trying to forget but can't. Welcome home

Joseph J Donlon <>
South Bend, In USA - Monday, March 29, 2004 at 14:10:44 (PST)

Have not spent as much time out here since Aug 2002 when I found the site Jack. Glad to see it continues to be as active as it is. It is good medicine for all of us! MACV 70-71 22nd Infantry and 14th Armored cav, RVN. Polei Kleng, Tan Chan, Kontum, FSB 5, 6, etc... etc.. Welcome Home all! and hope you are well Jack.
Regards, Hugh

Hugh Preacher <>
Lytham St Annes , England - Friday, March 26, 2004 at 14:09:36 (PST)

Jack, you have done an excellent job with this site, it brought to light the story of "A Bright Shining Lie." I was with you Dec 67 through Oct 68 while we both were in the 119th AHC. All of the points on the map bring back memories, we made assaults on most of those points along Rocket Ridge while they were pristine hilltops. Rocket ridge is a memory that has been frozen in my mind. I remember hours of flight out of FOB-II, Dak To, Kontum, Polei Klang, firebase milehigh, Big Mama, and the "county line" and points West. I hope to see you this year in July at the VHPA and the unit reunion following the VHPA. Dave

Dave "BABY HUEY" Weissinger <>
Annona, TX USA - Monday, March 15, 2004 at 14:59:54 (PST)

Found this to be a very interesting and informative website!

If anyone has photos of VNAF aircraft lost / left at Kontum / Dak To, and is willing to share them on my VNAF site, please contact me.



Leon Wohlert <>
Roermond, Netherlands - Thursday, March 11, 2004 at 10:41:37 (PST)

If anyone can tell me where I can find a place where I can run off aa good copy of the 17th CAG Freedoms Eagle patch I would truly be grateful. It was on the nose of my aircraft when I served as the crew chief for the Group CO.I would really like to have the picture. THANKS FOR ANY HELP YOU CAN PROVIDE.

John D, Grills (Doug) <>
Evarts, KY USA - Monday, February 23, 2004 at 17:04:47 (PST)

Just found this sight and it is a good one. Too many people don't know what all happened during this time. Seems like after TET Viet Nam was old news.

I was stationed in Iwakuni, Japan with the 1st Marine Air Wing when we got the word to go south with our air support.

I had half my tour over and was looking forward to going home when all this broke.

We then went to Nam Phong, Thailand, aka Rose Garden, so President Nixon could say he was pulling troops out of Nam. But we were doing the same mission minus the rocket attacks we had in Da Nang.

Visit for more about that place.

Welcome home everyone. And to those that didn't, God rest.

Bob Noe

Robert L. Noe <>
Sullivan, Mo USA - Monday, February 23, 2004 at 14:34:59 (PST)

Jack, great site.

Mike Hewitt
Chesterfield, VA USA - Monday, February 09, 2004 at 11:53:16 (PST)

60th ahc,(ghostriders)72. 129th ahc,71/72 (bulldogs) Walking from the chow hall back to the flight line to work on my red X'ed bird,my 2 buds and i saw a b model parked at the end of the flight line,by itself.The 60th ahc was stationed at Nin Hoa,the div. Hdqrts for the Roc,white horse div.We(the 60th) were the only americans stationed at this Out of the way firebase,between Nhra Trang and Tuy Hoa.That B model ship had caught my eye for a couple of reasons.One,someone was stationed at the nose on gaurd duty.The guns were covered.The ship wasnt from our unit.We didnt have any b models anywhere near us. If I remember correctly, it also didnt ave any numbers on the tail boom nor nose art on the nose (radio)hatch.Being couriouse,as most aviation type people are.we drifted towards the strange bird.I believe we were told to halt when we got close to the nose and the spec (gunner) on guard duty.Now everyone in Nam (gunners and crewchiefs) always talked to other gunners from other units to see if they knew anyone one went to flight school with or news from other units.This ship looked new,as did the boots and uniform the crewman was wearing. Lots of things spelled "unusual".Trying to talk to the crewman was an exercise in futility. Questions went unanswered except for ....cant tell you. Questions like ,,where you from..who you with...where you going...whats under the tarps,what kinda armament you have under there.Chuckle, we just shrugged our sholders and went on to fix my bird,the other soon forgotten about after one or two days speculation.This was very early,april 72.About that time,we ,the 60th lost a bird (both my roomies) in the pass just south of tuy hoa,the one with the jap ship just off shore that was sank in ww2.Word came down that the 129th (my former unit that I still had many friends in) had lost a bird in the an khe pass also. seems the nva had one side of the pass and the koreans had the other side.Then word came down that the whole area up from an kha was hotter than hell...shitttt, charley has tanks AND sholder held ,heat seeking missles.Knocking helicopters out of the skies like so many sitting ducks.Then word came down that some new guys had WIRE guided Missles on their birds and where killing tanks.Click,ahh, thats what was on that strange b model bird we had seen a short time before.Hey crewman, do you remember stopping by and talking to me? You where on your way north,you guys had just stopped for lunch. Welcome home and job well done.

fred alvis <>
indianapolis, in USA - Tuesday, January 20, 2004 at 04:49:56 (PST)

I learned of this web site from a friend who was there, i.e. John Harden, SP4. His comments are here too. I knoew John before he went in, and was a couple years older than me. I did not get the opportunity to serve in "The Nam". I chose to ply my skills latter in the USN they wanted me to be an ICBM tech on an SSBN. Unfortunately my ears could not withstand the sudden atmospheric pressure changes to be a sub-sailor, and was required to undergo an intense chemical brainwashing, after having been exposed to certain facts regarding sumarines. I still remain friends with John today, here's harah for two that still tick today....

Edward S. Beam <>
Eable Point, OR USA - Tuesday, January 20, 2004 at 00:24:18 (PST)

Served with Cougar guns starting at Fort Bragg in 67 Through Oct. 68 at Kontum airfield. Great website

Dick Berles <>
Ravenna, MI USA - Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 04:58:32 (PST)

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