VIETNAM 1967-1968
The tourist version of what I saw for 365 days
   Everyone's experience was their own, good, bad or lasting ugly. Mine turned out as well as could be hoped for under the circumstances. I never spent a night outside the wire, although some wire was easily stepped over. Of course air borne deliveries didn't honor perimeters. I believe it was called "incoming". 

   Having said that, being an air traffic controller had it's advantages. The Vietnam life experience was about how you handled stress, fear and danger. The bottom line was - "How lucky are you".

   I waited about 20 years too long to digitize these 126 ektachrome slides, so this is what I got.  I've tried to organize these pictures in some logical order, but like life there isn't any. So here is my best shot. Some of the names and details are a bit foggy. I'm learning "that's life". If you haven't learned that yet, you will.
   This was my first assignment and I didn't have a camera. The pics were taken when I passed through at a later date, not sure exactly when.  Most of what there is to know about Quan Loi can be found here - 
I was assigned to the 125th Air Traffic Control Company. A history can be found at - 125th ATC  
   When I got there, spring of 1967, company HQ was at Bien Hoa. I was assigned to the 3rd platoon at the time, 3rd platoon HQ was at Vung Tau and soon moved to Tan Son Nhat AFB/International Airport. We, two of us, were told we were going to Quan Loi, as soon as they found it on the map. We were loaded onto "Traffic Minder 3" (UH1-D) and dropped off on a rubber plantation with 2,500 feet of laterite surface with an aircraft parking area at the NE end.
Quan Loi - 1967 - Late June
​   When we got there, a guy from Ohio and myself, we shared duty with Air Force Combat Control teams that rotated in and out weekly. The Army promised us a control tower, wasn't built when I left a couple/three months later. The big non-hostile event at Quan Loi while I was there was a C-124 bringing in a tracked artillery piece. For the record, I'm one of the guys standing by the jeep (control tower). A thank you to Bill Carr for the use of the image below.   More HERE  
QL runway looking from the SW.

Compliments of Bill Carr and
The runway looking SW. from our control position (jeep).
The eventual Control Tower.
When I was living there these revetments were full of 105's
This was home sweet home, but without sand bags when I was there. I was told as long as the Frenchman paid his taxes we didn't get hit. Great huh. I hadn't been there 2 weeks, when he forgot to pay his taxes.
Click a picture to enlarge the gallery pictures below. They can be made slightly larger again by increasing your browser magnification (settings usually top right in the browser window).
Tan Son Nhat - Sept - Apr '68
   My plan is to keep the pictures and relevant information on this page and my ramblings on other pages. 
ARVN NCO housing.
Base housing.
Kid at an on base beer stand being a cool dude. The boy on the right would wait until a GI had a few beers then show up with a piece of paper and challenge you to a game of Tit Tat Toe for 10¢ a game. He probably make a couple bucks a day. Good money there.
Another industrious kid.
It must have been bring your daughter to work day. This was a good house girl.
Laundry detail.
This is Ipana, head house girl in charge. Vietnamese mafia, the other women were hired and fired by this one. Somehow she got the money on pay day and passed it out. They were scared to death of this one. .
Saigon Radio, the 3rd Corp Flight Following Center. Flight following was - the A/C takes off, says his destination and ETA. If he doesn't call  at the destination we start looking for him to be sure all is well. We also gave artillery advisories.
Our artillery map. The red circles were hot areas. The aircraft would contact the batteries for azimuth and range info.
These were the new AF barracks they let us live in. charlie was "surveying" them before we got fully moved in.
A cool one after work.
I wonder how many reel to reel tape decks were sold in the war years?
When I first got to Tan Son Nhat the 125th lived in an old French compound. This is my drinkin buddy, Ernie.
This is an on base beer stand where Tit Tat Toe boy worked his game. They specialized in American beer and rat sandwiches. Not bad with enough ketchup and a beer chaser.
Life as usual 
Hotel 3   
H3, the major heliport on Tan Son Nhat, It was a full repair and maintenance facility.
H3 looking north. A little side note - the two large radar domes were "Paris" radar, 200 mile range. These bad boys were potent. If you were recording a tape on your reel to reel you would get a audible "beep" sound on it on every sweep.
Flight of six coming in. Our barrack was right under final approach. Funny how eventually you get use to it.
Touching down.
In front of the maintenance hangar..
Working on a Hog.
Most of the Cobra gunships came into country through H3.
Saigon City
Sunday at a park on the Saigon River.
Howard Johnson with plenty of American cigarettes.
Handmade household goods
Shop keeper at work.
Son of the craftsman.
Sunday stroll
Ma ma san & pa pa san in their pickup going to work?
Street vendor at work.
Kid taking chance on crossing the street.
Hot day, cool dip.
Another Howard Johnson.
Mobile take-out.
a Vietnamese backhoe.
Buddhist Priest on the street. ( No gas can)
Home of hamburgers & milk shakes.
Some interpret this as an American solider leading an ARVN into battle. Others say an American soldier pushing into battle.
Saigon police station
Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
Another police station
Everyone has heard of Tu Do St. Well this is a part of it you didn't visit on purpose.
These people just made due with what they had.
Yep, an international company. I took this one for a buddy in the states that hung a Shell sign too.
The traffic in Saigon was nasty. The rule of the road was - the biggest vehicle had the right of way. As you can see here motorbikes didn't carry much weight.
An American Western and the primary means on of getting around at the hitching posts.
Looks like a nice little side street, NOT.
some street
Another one.
I couldn't tell if this was a Goodyear or Firestone tire shop.
A typical downtown US officer's quarters.
It appears the building codes were a little lax.
Some govt. building.
Waterfront living with black water.
Waterfront living with brown water.
Hard to see, there is an ARVN in a hammock slung between the tracks. Maybe some kind of Asian siesta thing.
3rd Platoon HQ at base of H3 tower
Traffic Minder 3
Saigon Heliport
Tet  1968
This was the morning of Tet 1968. This is Vietnamese A1's bombing the bad guys in Cholon, the Chinese neighborhood of Saigon.
Same as last.
This is the result of the bombings, as well as artillery fire during the night. The circular metal frame in the background was a race track/stadium.
Resilient people.
Tan Son Nhat took it's share 122mm rockets. This was a setback for the under construction AF BX.
Highway trailer
The Playboy Club, EM club.
The business end of a 122mm rocket. The previous 4 pics were within 300ft of H3, none landed on the heliport. NVA/VC weren't quite on there game that night.
NE Saigon near the bridge to Bien Hoa
From front to back - The old French compound, then ARVN parade Field and then the Water Tower observation post.
The Tan Son Nhat perimeter bunker that got overrun during Tet. You can see the runway in the left background.
Seems like everywhere I when hadn't been hit yet. We were in brand new barracks though. This is/was 3 acres of fill for a construction site. I wish I had a dollar for ever sand bag these airman filled.
They did free delivery too.
The rest was do it yourself.
More DYI
This bunch I lived with showed no interest in digging a hole. So Willie and I dug a hole big enough for us and maybe a frightened house girl. When we went to ground, there were 2 fixed bayonets sticking out of the entrance.
You can see a bunker in the background of this and the last picture that shows they eventually understood.
My digging comrade.
Aircraft Gallery
Cobra gunships started showing up at H3 at the end of Aug. '67
This one had a 7.62 minigun in the turret. They had to stop using the three minigun configuration because they couldn't carry enough ammo to stay in action a reasonably amount of time.
This one had three miniguns and two 19 2.75in rocket tubes.
Same as last.
UH-1C with miniguns and 14  2.75in rockets.
OH-6 "Cayuse", also known as the "Loach". An amazing little bird. They started showing up at H3 around December '67. These must have been built at different plants, some had numbers starting at 13001 and others 67775.
13001, fresh off the assembly line.
Loach with teeth, minigun equipped.
OH-23D, the 3 seat replacement for the OH-13 a 2 seater..
Ch-54 Sky Crane with CH-47 Chinook on the hook. Pure power.
The prop wash could blow a little guy over. Not to mention projectiles in it.
HH-43 "Huskie" An AF rescue & SAR bird, very stable platform.
UH-1 after a bad day at work.
UH-1D Looks like charlie had a commandeered claymore.
CH-47  Looks like an inside job.
Fixed Wing
C -130  "Herky Bird" Fixed-wing work horse of the war. Upgraded many times and still a work horse.
C-123 "Provider" The ones I saw in Nam had a jet engine near the end of each wing for extra take off power on the short strips. If you got a dose of Agent Orange, one of these probably delivered it.
C-7A "Caribou" The Army's biggest fixed-wing. I've seen these boys backup on the runway by reversing thrust, strange looking event.
C-7 and probably a C-47. I did see a few C-46 's. Usually Vietnam flagged.
C-124 "Globemaster II"  This aircraft dwarfs a C-130. The big drawback of the C-124 was being under-powered.
You can just see a crewman looking out the roof hatch. The one I saw at Quan Loi did the same thing, likely an extra set of eyes.
The size difference between a C-130 and C-124.
OV-1  "Mohawk"  An odd little turboprop Army fixed-wing. Could fly 300 mph if needed. During this period most were fitted with Side looking radar carried on the belly. I did see one with wing mounted gun or rocket pods.
L-119/O-1 "Bird Dog"  Flown by the AF and Army as FAC's, spotters, SAR, you name it. They sported rocket pods for marker rockets (usually smoke) for the "Fast Movers".
They had some very dedicated pilots
Beside the last one based at Song Be.
F-102 "Delta Dagger"  These are interceptors based at Bien Hoa. They were used in Nam the escort /protect bombers from enemy fighter jets.
Entertainment at the Playboy Club. This is one of the Philippino bands that made the rounds of the clubs. They actually weren't bad. Funny - they didn't do real well speaking English, but never missed a word in our songs.
English not necessary here, she spoke a universal language.
This was in the NCO club. I eventually got enough rank in get in.
More universal language.
This girl could actually sing, not bad either.
One night the club had a magician type guy show up. He would grab people from the table near the stage to "work with him". It was fun. Shame I didn't have a set of matching fatigues. (Funny - I had two sets like that)
Playing the illusion.
Song Be    Spring of 1968
  Phouc Binh Province HQ building.
Entrance to Song Be MACV Base, an old French Army compound originally.
First stop inside the gate.
You could hear all kinds of stories on this one or just makeup your own.
This kid was the concrete contractor patching bunkers.
One of our mortar pits
The closest bunker to my bunk. I spent my last two nights at Song Be in here. I was down to four days in country.
The local 50 cal. We use to get some trigger time occasionally on this bad boy after dinner.
The rear wire.
Probably Charlie working on our wire putting quick release fasteners on the strands.
The reason I was there, Song Be Radio.
Halfway between my bunk and my favorite bunker. I was in before it hit. Young ears hear better than what I'm working with now.
This messed up tennis for a couple days. As well as one of the guys that worked for me.
Rear perimeter looking in. The drum had av gas with a claymore behind it.
The neighborhood 
ARVN compound beside us.
Adjoining ARVN compound.
FAC Ops one block over on the main street.
There were two Bird Dogs at the "main street airbase", Army & Air Force.
A "Robinhood" flight on "main st" with Nui Ba Ra in the background.
"Robinhoods" loading ARVNs
Loading up
Song Be Airfield
Typical ARVN compound.
DI An, only granite quarrying operation I saw in Nam. Located between Saigon and Bien Hoa.
Big acreage of rice paddies.
Phan Thiet airfield on the coast.
Nui Ba Den at Tay Ninh.
United States bound on a freedom bird. 
Honor and never forget the sacrifice of those who gave it all.
A harsh in your face reminder of the cost of war.
The Song Be Airfield complex was in business from 1965-1970. A lot went on there in that time. Just a stones throw from Cambodia. The big guns could put hot steel a good way across the border.
8th Aerial Port operations in spring of '68.
This appears to be a 125th ATC tower with an Air Force Combat Control team set-up in front of it. There should have been an Army field GCA set-up too.
C 124 making a delivery.
It appears there was a large variety of aircraft in and out of there. Check the Mohawk on the left.
C 46 or 47 on the right.
Size comparison - C 130 on the left, C 124 on the right. People have a tendency to think C-130's as big.
Go to Quan Loi
Steaks & Juiced 
The rest of       
  the story
Last, but surely not least to my fellow vets - Welcome Home.

                 And a sincere - Thank You  for your service 
At the bottom of 
   Rambling 2
Updated  5-28-20