Bien Hoa, Republic of Vietnam (1968)
I enlisted in the US Army in May 1967. I was sent to Fort Polk, LA for basic training. After Ft. Polk I was sent to Keesler AFB, MS (near Biloxi) for US Air Force Air Traffic Controller (ATC) training. I graduated from Keesler in February, 1968 with my USAF ATC certificate. Next stop was the 72nd ATC at Fort Rucker, AL for US Army ATC training. When I finished that training I was given a few weeks of leave. I was sent to Vietnam in April, 1968.
I was stationed with the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD), 145th Combat Aviation Battalion (CAB), 1st Aviation Brigade (AVN BDE), US Army. My military occupational specialties (MOS) were 93C20 Air Traffic Control Operator and 11B10 Infantryman. I love to fly and volunteered for many helicopter missions. I crewed on Hueys for all types of missions. One of the crews presented me with a my own flight helmet. I even got some front seat time in AH-1G Cobra gunship. For my entire tour my main responsibility was the operation of Spartan air traffic control tower. Bien Hoa was the largest combat airbase in Vietnam. It was split between the Air Force and Army. We each had our own Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), but due to our shared airspace we had to work together.
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Everyone who served in Nam has experiences and stories to tell. This is some of mine, in photos.
145th Combat Aviation Battalion, US Army
1st Aviation Brigade, US Army
These were my unit insignias
These pics were taken by me in 1968 using a Kodak Instamatic 126 camera with fixed focus and zero exposure control. The original negatives were not stored as well as I would have liked so some image deterioration is evident. The originals were scanned in with a Kodak image scanner and sweetened on a Mac. If these pics are used elsewhere please acknowledge my ownership.
My first stop was the 90th Replacement Bn in Long Binh
I was assigned to the 145th CAB in Bien Hoa
The Action Inn, look close and you can see the shrapnel holes
Spartan Tower was the little blue box (TSW-7) on top
The rains are approaching
Tower view towards NDB mountain of UH1 revetments
Notice the AHIG Huey Cobra hovering
The Cobra's Den
Vietnam Page 2