There are several pictures taken from my tour in the 330th RRC, after my little history, that I'm sure will bring back some memories. Please give them a look!
Many of us arrived at Fort Wolters, Texas around May and June of 1966. Since the entire unit was being transported to Nam by ship, everything (I mean everything!) had to be prepared for shipment. All vehicles, vans, mess gear, supply items, etc. had to be secured to be sent on ship. We had an advanced party (about 20 men) led by SSG Wilder that left about 2 weeks before the main group for Nam. Their job was to secure the area for our new home, and begin to transport and set things up for when the rest of the company arrived.
We spent about 20 days onboard ship (the USS Gaffey) with the 5th of the 7th Cavalry. The main group arrived about Aug. 19th, 1966 at Qui Nhon. We were flown (I believe) to Ankhe, and then went by convoy to Pleiku. Upon arrival on Engineer Hill, at Pleiku, we were informed that the area we were to have was already "taken", so we had to secure our own site and set up our own perimeter! We also learned that all our equipment that we didn't carry with us, went on the wrong ship and ended up in Italy---where the ship got a screwed up boiler. Great start!! There were about 6-8 troops with it, and they finally arrived about 2-3 months later. All the company had was a couple tents ("borrowed" from the infantry) and our pup tents and weapons and uniforms (no vehicles, tents, vans, mess equip., etc.)
SSG Dubrowski volunteered his platoon (1st platoon?--my platoon) to be the "scrounge platoon". We would go out in the day and look for things that the company needed, then at night we would all go out and "borrow" them. At first, we did very little duty during the day, but were out most of the night. We "signed" for anything we could during the day, using "any" signature (since the Army likes "signatures"). We stole everything we could get our little hands on and transported it at night, most of the time. If we couldn't transport something, we stole something that we could transport it with! We lived on C-rations for many months until we borrowed enough items to actually have a mess tent to cook with. When the Mess Sergeant discovered that by taking Joe Weir & Sakk Frankenfield along to the Ration Point, he could at least double our company's allotment, we more or less got hired for the job! The first run we made to get rations, we realized that if one of us would keep the guard busy, the other could keep loading the truck. Since we already had a lot of practice in "borrowing", it was easy! When the Mess Sergeant realized what we were doing, he said he'd let us know "his special requests" for us to get extra of an item! That first trip was the funniest, because as we were leaving the guard said (as he looked at the truck "heaped" with food), "that it didnít look like that much on paper"! When we returned to the company, the Mess Sergeant told Joe & I that he wanted us to go with him for all the ration runs, that we would never have KP and that we had "free access" to his storage tent for a "snack", whenever we wanted---life was GOOD!
Our first club was a tent with a large tub full of ice and beer, and a few sodas. In about 5-6 months, this club made about $10,000 and we were able to buy (and steal) lumber, coolers, etc. and build a real Club! Thatís one thing anyone in the ASA can do, is put the brewskiís away!! That Club may be the one that so many enjoyed for many years after when they arrived at the 330th RRC.!
We ran several convoys to Ankhe & QuiNohn for supplies every few weeks. This usually turned out to be a big road rally on the way down and back! I happen to hold a record for damaging 5 deuce and a halfs on the return trip of 1 convoy. I was kindly greeted by First Sergeant McKillip that day, and became his personal slave for almost 2 weeks afterward, one of the attributing factors (you might say) that preventing me from ever getting the "Good Conduct Medal"! Oh well!
You can see from the pictures that we filled a few sandbags while we were there also. Although many of the pictures may look like all we did was sit around and drink & play cards, we did all the work in the company area--clearing brush, digging bunkers, filling sandbags, guard duty (in our area & on the perimeter) etc., plus work very hard on the mission that we were sent to do!
We acquired some "OPís" from PhuBai after about 3 months in country to help us get going on our mission. These were some of the best OPís in country. Some names were Larry Koza (Chicago), Al Adatto (Seattle), Dave Miller, Bob Soppe and Bruce Keaton (now in Texas). Joe Weir (one of the advanced party--one of the first 20 men of the 330th to arrive in Nam) began working with Miller on the "Spy Net". They put much of this Net together from a lot of hard work. I had the honor and pleasure of working with Bruce "Buz" Keaton on another project. He was probably the best "Op" seen by many, and I feel he was a great influence on me during his stay there. There were many great men there doing all the jobs required of them as best as they could.
Some of us left after about 9-10 months and got into ARDF---Al Adatto (156th Avn. Co.), Bob Soppe (156th Avn. Co.), Joe Weir (146th Avn. Co.), Sgt. Ron Morris (156th Avn. Co.?),and me, Sakk Frankenfield (to the 146th Avn. Co.). There may have been one or two others that I can't remember the names of (itís been a while). Anyone that transferred to ARDF had to have been in country for a minimum of 6 months, "extend" for another tour in Nam and be "rated rather high". At the time, this was the "high priority" mission, so even though the CO didnít want to lose us all at once, there wasnít much choice for him. I stayed with the 146th for 2 years after leaving the 330th . The last year, I did much of the training with the FNGís coming in and flew regular missions.
some pictures of some of the planes we flew, and of the flight line. Iíll
try and get some others on the page, when I can get them processed. Hopefully,
some of you Agency vets, will remember some old faces or places. With some
of the pictures for the 330th & 146th, there may be some names missing
(or incorrect). If you can fill in any of the blanks, please feel free
to email me about it. These recollections are as best as I can remember
after all this time, and as accurate as possible. There are many stories
I could write from each of these units, and maybe in the future Iíll add
something where we can all share some of them with each other. I hope you
enjoy the page, "itís for all of us"!
This was taken the 2nd day the main group of the 330th was in Vietnam (about August 21, 1966). Pictures here from left to right are myself (Sakk Frankenfield), Joe Weir and Joe Coffell. Note, in these early flicks the brush hasn't been cleared yet and these were of the few "GP- Medium tents so far!
Also taken the 2nd day--pictured here from left are Chapman, Billy Martin and Joe Coffell.
This picture was probably taken about October or November of 1966. Now we have many of the tents in place & sandbagged. My tent is in the middle of the picture with Sgt. Ron Morris and Shoemaker.
Here I am with our"Platoon Mascot--Furdie Fox". Furd made it through 1 1/2 tours there before he got it. You could often see the Furd with a Bud & a cigarette in his mouth.
Here was my tents' house-girl, Susie. She was a good friend of myself and a few of us. I often visited her downtown to give her soap and things for her family.
Another picture of me and Furdie. This was probably
also taken about Oct. or Nov. of 1966. Note that Furd's drinking
a Bud now!
To be put on the mailing list for any upcoming reunions & events, you may either contact Sam Hamilton or me (Sakk Frankenfield)!
I'd like to express my gratitude to Dennis Buley, John Cutler, Mike "Maddog" Doran, John Fisher, Jim Guare, Doug Haas, Sam Hamilton, John Langwasser and Henry Schroeder, Mark Scott, and Joe Weir, for pictures, patches, graphics and/or information for my ASA, 146th and 330th pages.
My ASA page--
My 146th Avn main page--
My 330th RRC #2--
My 330th RRC #3--
My 330th RRC #4--
My Local sites page--
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