This section of the Team Web site is for those members of AATTV who served with Mike Force. Our US allies have gone to great pains to recognise those Australians involved with them during the war in Vietnam. From recognition of the Presidential Unit Citation for AATTV members who served, setting up a Mike Force Association web site and to a reunion in 2002 which included laying of a Mike Force Stone in the USA.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Barry Rust AATTV is currently doing the rounds with his US veteran mates in the USA. Barry has kindly sent some photographs of Charlie Mike's Pub with has the names of Mike Force and AATTV members of Mike Force KIA.
From Left to Right: Hank Luthy, Keith Parker Charlie Mike's Bar with list of Mike Force and AATTV Mike Force members Killed In Action. Charlie Mike's Bar
Hidden: Ben Long, Ray Morris
Some of the Unit Patches on Charlie Mike's Bar Mike Force photographs Charlie Mike's Bar Ceiling patches Charlie Mike's Bar
Charlie Mike's Bar Fayetteville, North Carolina Unit Patches Charlie Mike;s Bar. Note RAR Badge
Airbourne and Special Forces Museum, Fayetteville, North Carolina USA
Photos, courtesy Barry Rust taken at the Airborne and Special ForceMuseum in Fayetteville in June 2017. The museum is fantastic. The museum was built with money provided by an Texan Billionaire.
Airbourne and Special Forces Museum, Fayetteville, North Carolina USA Inside Airbourne and Special Forces Museum Outside Airbourne and Special Forces Museum
Mike Force Association Web Page
I have been advised by Barry Rust, AATTV that the Mike Force Association Web Page has been re-newed after a few years of non operation.
Link is at: http://www.mikeforcehistory.org/default.asp
Take care and Persevere,
AATTV Facebook Page
For those of you on Facebook, you may wish to join the Facebook group as explained by Col Chadwick AATTV.
When you get to the page, look up towards the left hand side and you should see a link to click on: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam and that should take you to the Team Group page.
Also, you will need to be logged into your Facebook page to gain access.
Take care and Persevere,
At the Reunion held last year in Brisbane/Canungra,Apart of the Padres (I think it was the Padre) speech made me sit up and listen.
The context was if you dont start talking to your children Grandchildren ect about your time in Vietnam and more specifically the AATTV Then in time no one will know of the AATTV as history will be lost.
I have given this a lot of thought over the last 11 months or so and wondered what i could do to further this statement that rang true to me.I thought i could tell my family about my time with the team and i did.However i felt that my story on its own pales into igsignificance not for any other reason except i was only one of the 1000 men.
I searched everywhere and could not find a full history of the Team.Sure there are publications about but none that show too many individual picture stories.
I looked at various ways in which i thought i could best do something.I therefore have decided that i would start a Facebook group called The Australian Army Training Team Vietnam which i hope will be use by many ex members and their families.I envisaged that in this techno savvy times we are in it might be a good time to hand the photos and pics over to the younger ones and they can put the pics up on the facebook page for all to see.
I hope I am not treading on anyones toes but i figure its a way of keeping our story alive.
The link to the group is https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/AATTV/members/
you just need to copy and paste this into your browser.
PleaseI pass this around to your various networks and lets all share
Regards Col Chadwick
Mike Force now on Facebook Page
Mike Force Association has now joined Facebook. Link is shown below. Team members are welcome to join.
Take care and Persevere,
Mike Force Association on Facebook:G'Day
to our Aussie brothers We want you to join us and post and comment on the
new Facebook Mike Force Association page
https://www.facebook.com/MikeForceAssociation. E.L.Woody, MFA for Lt Col LH "Bucky" Burruss
Entry Date: 9th December 2012
Family seeking information on WO2 John P. Hagean AATTV
Wayne Hagean, son of Team member John Hagean who passed away in September 2008 is trying to gather information of his father's time with AATTV.
John Hagean RAINF served with AATTV as a WOs in South Vietnam from 21 Apr 1967 as a Platoon Commander, 5th SFGA, Danang and from Sep 67 to 20 Oct 67 as LO, 5th SFGA, Mike Force, Danang. Medevac to Aust.
I will liaise with Wayne on the medals issue.
Email address for Wayne is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care and Persevere,
Subject: WO2 JP HAGEAN
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2012 18:50:51 +1030
hi rick, i am trying to find as much information as possible about dads tour of vietnam ,ie,unit he served with etc.any thing at all will be appreciated,as my brother and i am making a memorial wall for him .i did post a msg in the guest book a while ago with no responce as yet.i realise you are very busy,but if you could refer to my guest book msg and help in any way we would be forever greatfull,
best wishes and regards wayne hagean
hi rick and all members,
am seeking information about dads tour of vietnam.would appreciate any input as to who he was attached to unit wise.would also like to be put on the right track as to aquire replicas of his citations medals etc as they were sold on e/bay soon after he passed away,without our families approval or notice.if any member has knowlege of their wherabouts i would do all i can to buy them back to be where they rightfully belong.also would like to join the association with great pride.any feedback from those that knew dad would be greatfully appreciated.dads service no;42735 WO2 john patrick HAGEAN
Mike Force Footage with AATTV Member in Action
Roger Hawkins has kindly sent the link to some footage he took in RVN which includes footage of George Francis, AATTV (now deceased) in action with USSF.
Link is to Youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBZljoV_sVI
Take care and Persevere,
From: r.b.hawkins [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 20 November 2012 9:17 AM
Subject: Mike Force Footage featuring AATTV footage
Thought you might want to link to this Mike
Force footage that shows AATTV
WO George Francis in action.
After all these years I got someone to cut it together for me. I was a 1LT
with the 221st Signal Company (Pictorial) and on a whim I hooked up with the
Pleiku Mike Force in early 1969. I shot 900 ft of 16mm film of an operation
near Ba Me Ga. George took responsibility for showing me the ropes. Years
later I tracked him down and talked to him just before he died of cancer. I
also tried to track down Sgt. Fred Crawley USSF but came up with his son as
Fred Sr. died three years after leaving Vietnam.
Welfare Report - Trevor Gilliver AATTV
Latest update on Trevor Gilliver AATTV as received from Terry Smith AATTV.
Not sounding too good from what Terry has written. Contact details for Trevor are shown below.
Email messages for Trevor can be passed to Terry Smith on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us all hope for the best on Trevor’s health.
Take care and Persevere,
From: Terry Smith [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, 17 February 2012 1:41 PM
To: Rick Ryan
Subject: Trevor Gilliver
Bad news I am afraid. Trevor Gilliver has been
very ill for some time and is not improving. He is receiving palliative
care in the Cootamundra Hospital (02) 6942 0444.
I am sure he would like to hear from some of his old Army comrades and can be contacted on the hospital number.
Trevor served in AATTV from 26 March 1967 to 26 March 1968 with postings to B50, Project Omega, 5th SFGA, Nha Trang and then as a platoon commander and acting company Executive Officer in 23rd Company, B20 Mobile Strike Force, Pleiku. He was the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 4th Battalion, the Royal NSW Regiment from 1977 to 1981 and awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to Army Reserve training on 26 January 1981
I will let you know if his condition changes. In the meantime could you circulate this message via your web site.
Below is the latest novel as released by Shaun Darragh USSF. My review is shown below. A great book and well worth a second read once you get to know all the characters involved.
Take care and Persevere,
The Dega – A Mike Force Novel by
author Shaun Darragh and published by Hellgate Press. A beautifully
well written novel by a former USSF member who served with an A Team and
Mike Force in the South Vietnam War. AATTV Team members that served
with Mike Force will no doubt see the correlation between various characters
in the book and the actual exploits by some AATTV members in South Vietnam.
This book of some 557 pages really gives the reader a great insight into the most difficult task that members of the Mike Force encountered. A mixture of US Special Forces from varying ethnic persuasions coupled with Australian advisors (officers and NCOs) training indigenous tribesmen using various dialects and interference of Vietnamese military personnel is certainly going to create a potent mixture when combined to produce a fighting force. Such was the task that faced Mike Force.
Shaun Darragh is kind enough to provide the reader with qualification as to some of the unfamiliar terms used throughout the book. It also gives the reader a detailed picture of the intricate nature of the problems faced when trying to win a war with such a mismatch of men. Without giving away too much, the period involved also includes the Montagnard uprising.
Although classed as a fictional novel, I could see quite a bit of factual detail has gone into the book especially when it comes to battle scenarios’. . Character names and places allow the reader with some knowledge to identify them. Although the characters of some involved overlap, I found it entertaining to try and identify those involved.
Well worth a second read, The Dega gives Vietnam War veterans a great insight into the working of Mike Force. You can order your copy through Harley Patrick of Hellgate Press on email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Harley will organise your copy here is Austalia. You can also order as an e-book providing you have the device to use it with. Price plus postage will be advised by Harley once he has your details.
Sad news from the US of A on the passing of J.C. Cooper – Mike Force Association.
JC was one of our US allies who was instrumental in getting recognition for AATTV Team Members who served with Mike Force in RVN.
He also helped me greatly in re-uniting some of our members with their Mike Force counterparts.
On behalf of all Team members our sincerest condolences go out to his family at this time.
May he Rest In Peace.
Take care and Persevere,
From: MoeElmore@aol.com [mailto:MoeElmore@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 24 March 2010 10:14 PM
Subject: Fwd: J.C.Cooper has made his final jump tonight. AIRBOURNE!
A well known Mike Force Veteran passed last night. Damn good man that never stopped serving the nation in some form until the grim reaper came to call.
Sent: 3/24/2010 1:15:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: J.C.Cooper has made his final jump tonight. AIRBOURNE!
Bev Cooper called. She let me know that J.C. had passed tonight. He had been standing in the door for the last year. He blasted out of here to a better place. AIRBOURNE ALL THE WAY! I will miss him. He was a fine man. I am proud to have served with him. He was my friend.
De Oppresso Liber
"King of the Paparazzi"
Lest we forget
RAAF MIA - Canberra Bomber Incident 3rd Nov 1970
Information is being sought from Maj Jack Thurgar - Department of Defence (Army) into the RAAF MIA as detailed below. Any details can be passed to Jack Thurgar on email: email@example.com
Of interest, it should be noted that Jim Bourke AATTV and Operation Aussies Home were the real instrument into locating three of the four Army MIA. It was only after their successes that the Department of Defence really got involved and located the last MIA.
Hopefully, sometime in the future, the two airmen will be located and brought back home.
Take care and Persevere,
Australia had four soldiers and two airman listed as MIA from the Vietnam War. Army has repatriated its four soldiers and brought them home.
Air Force has now asked the Army investigative team to help them find their two man crew from a Canberra Bomber aircraft (a/c) very similar to a a B-57, which was lost in Nam Giang District, Quang Nam Province ( approx. 65km south-west of Da Nang) on the night of 3 Nov 1970. (2022 hours local).
The Last Known Position (LKP) of the a/c was about 17km due West of now Thanh My town (formerly known as My Hiep). The a/c had completed its bomb run, received voice confirmation of the target details from the Milky operator located at Phu Bai (near Da Nang) and had turned for home when all contact and radar trace of the a/c was lost. The Milky operator stated that the bombing mission had been in support of 1 ARVN. (voice tape transcript)
I need to establish if the Milky operator meant 1 ARVN Division or 1 ARVN Regiment. There is a big difference. It appears from records kept that 1 ARVN Divsion was North of the 16th parallel and this mission was flown just South of the 16th parallel as at Nov 1970.
Additionally, can anyone comment on whether the 2 ARVN Division was located below the 16th parallel on the 3 Nov 1970?
I also believe the 1st US Marine Division operated in Quang Nam province in Nov 1970. Can anyone give me feedback on that.
Given that the area of the LKP of the a/c was in the West of Quang Nam province, in a remote mountainous region, it seems more likely that the target which was reportedly a 'known enemy position' may have been called in by LRRP, CIDG or SF team. In this case I need to determine who called in the mission.
I would really like to talk to by email or telephone to any of your members who served in Quang Nam Province who may know something of the target acquisition, crash , or of the finding of parts of a crashed a/c, or even of the reported finding of bodies, in the jungle from 1970 onwards. (there is always scuttlebutt after the event)
If you should learn of anyone who can help, can you please have them contact me either by email (Best Option) Email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +61 439 610 913 . I will return their call if they give me their contact phone number.
Thank you very much.
Entry Date: 22nd March 2006
Passing of Joyce McClure - Wife of Chris McClure Mike Force
Message below as passed from Barry Rust AATTV on the passing of the Joyce McClure, wife of Chris McClure one of our close US allies of Mike Force. Chris is still intent on attending the Team re-union next year. Condolence messages can be passed to Chris on email: email@example.com
Take care and Persevere,
Barry & Peta
I am going to do my best to get to Oz next year for the AATTV reunion. Sadly, I will be without Joyce, but she loved Australia, so I will just have to do it for both of us. When going through my email inbox today, the thought occurred to me that you folks may not have heard that Joyce passed away very suddenly from a cerebral hemorage 5 weeks ago. I have tried hard to notify all of our many friends, but I have been really busy and less organized about it than I should be. I am working through the grieving process, which is not easy because we were so very close. I have many friends and relatives for support, and that helps a lot. If anyone gets to go to heaven, it would be Joyce, so there is comfort to me in that as well.
Hope to see you in a year or less. Keep me posted.
I Corps Mike Force Team mates:
I got a telephone call from Steve Sherman today, and he's asking for help with the I Corps Mike Force history and CD that he will be starting around October.
Steve has done great work on pulling the history together in the other Corps, and will be starting on I Corps this Fall. He has pulled material from the national archives, military history department and a number of other sources. As you can imagine, some of it is incomplete, some is conflicting and there are a lot of holes for which he doesn't have information.
Steve needs our help, both with specific MF operations and other Mike Force deployments and life. In I Corps, other than the Blackjack operations, it appears that there were few specific named operations with retrievable documents. Often the I Corps MF was simply deployed on various missions, either to A camps or in other AOs, either in support of A Camps or other US operational units. For those of us who experienced this, it's somewhat understandable. For those like Steve, who is trying to pull a coherent history together, it's almost impossible to understand and to document. Here's where we can help, and here's what Steve said he needs:
1. This is the alert order. Start pulling together any documents, photos or slides, or other recollections, and jot down the pertinent data about them. If you have photos or slides, write captions for them.
2. If you were on Blackjack 11, 12 or 13, Steve has a lot of data on these, and would like to have a volunteer to sort through the material (he'll send it to you), take the point and pull them into a coherent summary of each op. I know some of you A-100 folks can do this.
3. Same, same for the other MF ops or deployments that you were on. Steve has little documented data on these. Apparently these were not recorded to any degree in I Corps (why am I not surprised?). So one thing to do to help, is to identify the deployments of the MF teams you served on, the years, and a brief summary of them.
4. Any other information or photos of note and interest for the I Corps MF history.
5. Forward this email to other I Corps MFers that you know. I've included a number of II Corps and other MFers in this email, in the hopes that they will have some additional contacts from I Corps to whom this can be forwarded.
Steve specifically asked that no one send him anything at this time. He's got a bunch of other SOA and related activities scheduled, and can't start this history until at least October. This is a first call and request for help--just start organizing your materials and thoughts. We'll hear more from Steve in the Fall.
To reach Steve for questions or information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-683-9076
PO BOX 207
27 June 2003
Former Mike Force Soldiers and Miss Ling
As most of you know, we formed a Mike Force Association in 2000 during the Special Forces Association reunion held in Boston. Since then, thanks to E. L. "Shotgun" Woody we have a Mike Force Web page located at http://www.mikeforceassoc.org/sys-tmpl/door/ on the web. Now thanks to Sam Wheeler of Valutech, we now have a Mike Force History Web page. The page is located at http://www.mikeforcehistory.org/. Go to the site a click the "Join" button to register. If you want to look around, go to the "timeline" and look at the awards posted on the these dates March 9, 1966, February 19, 1966, September 9, 1969 and May 13, 1969.
The plan is to post the history and experiences of the men who fought so bravely in Vietnam. This page will be the history of the Mike Force. Where most units and their history is in some archives warehouse, the History of The Mike Force will be on line so everyone can see the accomplishments, exploits and successes during the 6 years that the units were active. This can only work if you, the former members of the Mike Force participate. We need your input. I know some of the guys are reluctant to tell of some of your experiences, especially if it seems you are patting yourself on the back. Believe me I know the feeling. You are not bragging, tooting your own horn, you are telling things as you remember them. I'm sure there will be those who will question, there will be some nah sayers. Forget them. Put in your experiences, failures, your accomplishments, your awards and the operations that you participated in.
I know some of you don't have computers. Maybe your grandson or granddaughter has one. A neighbor or a friend. Anyone that will help, give them a call and tell them you want to put you experiences on line. I know the most public libraries have computers. Go to your library if necessary. This is an important project, don't let our history die with us.
The process is simple. Just read the directions. If any of you have any problems, feel free to call Sam Wheeler 800-456-2991 or J. C. Cooper 910-531-3990 and we will assist you anyway we can.
It will be our history. The Mike Force History! Let the world see how the United States Army Special Forces, the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam and the indigenous forces lived fought and died. It's up to you.
MIKE FORCE ASSOCIATION
“HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL"
MIKE FORCE ASSOCIATION BULLETIN (MFA) NUMBER 11, DATED 1 NOVEMBER 2002
We had a very successful reunion during the Special Forces Association reunion. Everyone seemed to enjoy him or herself. It was a time to see old friends, have good food and talk about times so long ago. Some of the memories were good and some were not so good. All in all, I think the good memories far outweighed the bad. We were fortunate to have some of the Australians that we served with to be here also.
If you recall in MFA Bulletin 10 I ask for suggestions on what the MFA should do as far as the future is concerned. The response was not very good. I think I had maybe three (3) or four (4) that let us know what their thoughts were. Based on the response, this is what we are going to do. The officers will remain the same until the next reunion. The guys have volunteered to stay in the offices they now hold. They are: Tommy Batchelor-Secretary, Kenny McMullin-Treasurer, Willie Williams-Quartermaster and I will remain the President.
I ask about our next get together. Again, the response left it up to the officers to decide when and where the next one will be. We decided that the next one should be in conjunction with the SFA reunion in Las Vegas in 2004. We have several guys out there that can make the arrangements. I think every two- (2) years is enough. Most of us have enough reunions to go to as it is.
As most of you know, we (The Mike Force Association) received money for the Mike Force Documentary that was made. That is what the MFA has been operating on. At this time we are not charging dues to be a member of the MFA. We still have money from what was given to us by the Production Company and money that has been donated by members. I would like to thank all those that have donated. Some were very generous. They know who they are and I won't put their names here, but the donations are appreciated. I think I have sent letters that can be used to deduct the donation from your taxes. If I have not sent you a letter, please let me know and I'll get on in the mail. Again, thanks. The money we have will be used for the reunion in 2004.
This will be the last bulletin until next summer unless there is something that I need to put out to everyone. Next summer we will begin making plans for the reunion in Las Vegas. Until then, stay safe, take care.
James C. (JC) Cooper
Mike Force Down Under
AATTV 40th Anniversary Reunion
Well folks, the AATTV 40th Anniversary Reunion has come and gone. From all reports I have had, everyone attending has had a great time. I will not steal any thunder that may come out of the MFA Down Under mobs newsletter but I have included a couple of photographs now.
Chris McClure - MFA after presentation of the MFA plaque to Gen Hartley - National President of AATTV Association. Tony Thorp - President of AATTV Association WA Branch stands to the rear.
Shaun Darragh II Corps MF presenting a personal MF II Corps medallion to General Hartley
at the AATTV Aussie BBQ on Sunday, 1st September 2002. Shaun also presented a medallion
to Brig Gen Lloyd AATTV WA Branch patron and former AATTV Commander.
Shaun Darragh MF II Corps and Kim Hoang prior to the memorial service held at Kings
Park on Saturday, 31st August 2002.
Neville Wilson AATTV and Scott Whitting MFA smile for the camera at the Kings Park Memorial
Service held in Perth, Western Australian 31st August 2002.
I would like to thank all of those Mike Force members that attended the reunion such as Chris and Joyce McCLURE, Aaron and Caroline GRITZMAKER, Scott WHITTING, Keith and Reny PARKER, Virgil and Merle CARTER, Shaun DARRAGH and Kim HOANG, John and Victoria LINER, Richard and Lynette NORWOOD. If I missed anyone, then my apologies.
To all of those in Mike Force members who assisted us with items for fundraising for the reunion, then a special thanks. It was a pleasure seeing you down under and meeting you face to face.
Rick Ryan AATTV
Entry Date: 3rd August 2002It’s a great privilege to be here today to take part in the dedication of the Mike Force memorial stone -- a tribute not only to the Americans and Australians who led the Mobile Strike Forces, but to those magnificent, loyal, culturally diverse soldiers -- mostly from the ethnic minorities of Vietnam -- that we had the honor of leading into battle. It’s a special privilege to be here during the 50th anniversary of Special Forces, in the presence of so many of the original members of SF. And it is great to see the Australians taking part in this dedication, because it’s their stone, too, and because the Aussies of the Mike Force distinguished themselves with a degree of leadership and valor that far exceeded their numbers. Incidentally, I’m sure everyone here is aware that American and Australian special forces are again fighting side-by-side as they hunt down and kill our enemies in Afghanistan, writing a glorious new chapter in the history of Special Forces.
MIKE FORCE ASSOCIATION PO BOX 207Website http://www.mikeforceassoc.org/sys-tmpl/door/
“HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL"
MIKE FORCE ASSOCIATION BULLETIN (MFA) NUMBER 10, DATED 1 AUGUST 2002
Troops the Special Forces 50th Anniversary Reunion is over. Also the Mike Force Association 1st Reunion is history. The Mike Force Association now has a stone at United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) to honor those brave individuals that served so honorably in Vietnam. The stone has been laid to honor not only the Americans and Australians, but also those indigenous forces that fought so well with us. We had a good representation of the Montgnards and some of our Australian friends made it too. It was estimated that there were approximately 2500 folks there. The Chief of Security told me that it was the second largest event that has taken place there at the plaza. It has been a long time coming but I think the wait has been worth it.
To bad all of you could not make the ceremony here at Fort Bragg and the Mike Force Picnic afterwards. The picnic went well and there was plenty of food, refreshments and good music. I would like to thank Tommy Batchelor for taking the bull by the horns and organizing the picnic. Also Ms. Maria Starkweather (Willie Williams daughter) for the "Oldies, But Goodies" music she provided for the group. She did a super job and I think she deserves a round of applause, plus a "tip of the beret."
Also I would like to thank John Vincent who is a member of the MFA in Australia and who is also a member of the AATTV Association, Victoria Branch. He presented the MFA with a plaque and an Australian Flag. As soon as we get a suitable and proper site we will display the flag and the plaque. Thanks John.
Where do we, the Mike Force Association, go from here? Let me give you a little background on the Mike Force Association. The Nah Trang Mike Force B-55 (A-503/A-504) has been having a reunion every four (4) years since 1984. In Boston during the reunion in 2000, one of the guys from B-55 suggested that we form a Mike Force Association. At that time it was mostly guys from B-55. The suggestion was accepted and the Mike Force Association (MFA) was formed. Bob Gilstrap, the former Team Sgt. of B-55, was elected to be the first President of the MFA. He was the only elected officer. All the other guys that have been serving are all volunteers. Ed (Shotgun) Woody (B-55), the Webmaster for the MFA, has spent his money, resources and time maintaining the website. Tommy Batchelor (A-503) volunteered to be the Secretary, Kenny McMillin (Pleiku Mike Force) took on the Treasurers job, and Willie Williams (B-36, III Corps Mike Force) took on the Quartermaster job. All of these guys are doing one heck of a good job. I take my hat off to them; this past reunion would not have been the success it was if it were not for them.
As stated earlier, Bob Gilstrap was the first MFA President. Bob actually started the ball rolling and worked to get the association incorporated here in North Carolina. Decisions had to be made about all kinds of problems. The stone, T-shirts, coins hats, Bob made those decisions and has done one fine job of guiding the MFA for these past two years. Bob has stepped out of the picture now. He will be available to whom ever you decide to elect in his place, but he no longer wants to be the President of the MFA. He goes with a well-deserved pat on the back for a job well done. Thanks Bob. This still leaves the question, where do we go from here?
I propose that we have elections. This is a hard thing to do because we, the members, are literally all over the world. How do we do this? I think that you should think about whom you would like to see in the positions that need to be elected positions. Those positions are; The President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. As long as Ed Woody will maintain the webpage, I think that should be left alone. He is doing a great job. Quartermaster should not be an elected position. Willie stepped in and has done a tremendous job. As long as he will continue, I think he should stay. When someone else volunteers to do the job and give him a break, then we will go that way.
Having said all that I would like for you to send me names of individuals that you would like to see in the positions that I have named. Once we have the nominations, we will announce them to the MFA, send ballots and let you decide who you would like to have for the next two years in the positions of leadership and responsibility. As soon as you have decided who you want in the positions, then a constitution should be written and by-laws made to guide the association and those who are in those leadership positions.
Also another thing. I also propose that we have another Mike Force Association Reunion in Las Vegas in 2004. I know that is only two years away and that we have just had a reunion but I think it might be fun. What we will do is have a mini reunion in conjunction with the SFA. Or we could have one every four years here in North Carolina. If you don't know, the SFA has its reunion here every four- (4) years here in the Fayetteville area. Give me your ideas.
Money! In the past several of you have sent monetary contributions. They were appreciated. At that time we were returning them to the sender because we had money in the bank. This is not the case now. We have had expenses and our bank account isn't as large as it was. Any contributions that you send will be deposited into the Mike Force Account at the First Citizens Bank at Fort Bragg. Those that send contributions will receive a thank you letter and a notation how much you contributed. Because this is a contribution to a non-profit organization, you can take the contribution from your income taxes.
We are no longer in the T-shirt business. We have turned our inventory over to the JFK Memorial Museum. If you would like to purchase additional coins or lapel pins, contact Willie Williams at email@example.com. Willie will contact you and the deal will be done. For those of you that do not have e-mail, you can contact Willie at the following address.
315 Lizard Lick Lane,
J. C. Cooper
Entry Date: 25th June 2002
MIKE FORCE STONE DEDICATION CEREMONY: 19 June 2002
Today, we’re dedicating a stone to earlier units whose mission was to hunt down and kill the enemies of freedom -- actually, there was seldom a need for the Mike Force to hunt them down, because we already knew where they were -- at places like A Shau, Dak Seang, Duc Lap, Nui Khet, and Lang Vei, they were surrounding the camps, or already in the wire, or inside the camp. It was the mission of the Mike Force to move in, root them out and destroy them, and by God, that’s what we did, and did it well. The sad thing is that so many good Mike Force soldiers lost their lives in combat; on the memorial wall over there are the names of at least 157 American Mike Force soldiers. And there were so many good Australians who fell, and thousands - thousands - of Montagnards, Nungs, Cambodes, Chams, and others it was our privilege to lead.
Let me tell you about a few of those Mike Force warriors…
One of the first to fall was a medic named Billie Hall. Sam Carter had taken the newly-formed Mike Force to Camp A Shau to help defend the camp against some 2,000 communists moving into position to overrun it. During the early stages of the attack, Staff Sergeant Hall had both legs blown off. In spite of his critical wounds, he tied tourniquets on his stumps and dragged himself around to treat his wounded comrades. When he was finally carried to the aid point, Hall refused morphine so that he could stay lucid and give instructions for treating the other wounded, which he did until he lost consciousness and died. Hall was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for his actions, although many of us feel he deserved a Medal of Honor. In the fight at Camp A Shau, by the way, the Mike Force suffered eighty-six percent casualties; every American was wounded at least once, many of them several times, before they had to abandon the place. But not until after they killed thousands of communists.
SFC William Bryant of the 3rd Mobile Strike Force -- the NCO that Bryant Hall is named for -- was awarded the Medal of Honor for counterattacking the three enemy regiments that had surrounded his Mike Force battalion. During thirty-four hours of incessant fighting, in spite of the fact that he was greatly outnumbered, Bryant continued to seize the initiative and hit the enemy at every opportunity. Already severely wounded, he was killed after he fearlessly charged and overran an enemy automatic weapons position.
Brian Buker, one of my own teammates, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his singlehanded attacks, in spite of his wounds, against heavily-fortified enemy bunkers atop Nui Khet, an enemy-infested, rocky mountaintop that we took back from the communists with the IV Corps Mike Force.
Another Mike Force soldier, Jerry Hetzler of
II Corps, was twice recommended for the Medal of Honor after he already
had one DSC. The last time was at Dak Seang, where both the Pleiku and
NhaTrang Mike Forces had gone to keep the camp from being overrun by a
couple of NVA divisions. Chuck Randall had left the camp with a platoon
to try to get back to his battalion - which, by the way, had gone in to
replace a whole South Vietnamese regiment that had been run off by the
NVA. Randall got cut off and surrounded, was wounded several times trying
to save Tim Drake, the other American with him. Randall, all shot up, would
have died that night if Hetzler hadn’t taken his company out at night in
the jungle, fought his way through the NVA surrounding the camp and rescued
Randall, recovered Drake’s body, and fought his way back to the camp. Chuck
had eighteen holes in his body from bullets and fragments, when I kidnapped
him from the hospital, at his request, so he wouldn’t be medevaced to Japan.
Hetzler ended up with three Distinguished Service Crosses, but not the Medal of Honor he was twice recommended for and richly deserved.
There were two Australians who were awarded the Victoria Cross, the equivalent of the Medal of Honor, while serving with the Mike Force: Keith Payne in I Corps, and Ray Simpson of the II Corps Mike Force.
We all saw incredible acts of bravery from the indigenous Mike Force troops, too. One of my favorites was a Cham named Khoe. I remember watching him the time Sam Coutts attacked the entire 18B NVA Regiment with one company of Chams, up on the Grand Summit. I was trying my best to melt into the ground and hide behind a two inch sapling, while Khoe was walking up and down the line of his platoon, kicking them and getting them up and into the assault while bullets were knocking leaves and branches off the trees all around him.
There are so many images like that of Mike Force soldiers burned into my mind: Don Poncin running straight into an ambush killing zone to pick up a wounded ‘yard before getting knocked down himself by a bullet in the belly. Bud McBroom downtown during Tet, lying in the street with an M-60, trading burst after burst with an NVA machine gunner until he finally killed his foe. Larry O’Neill assaulting into Province headquarters by himself because he was tired of seeing his men killed and wounded.
But there were fun moments, too; drinking nam pe with the Yards, singing “Mary Ann Barnes,” and “God Bless America,” hand grenade fishing during stand down, walking into the Streamer bar, throwing all the money in your pocket on the bar and telling mama-san, “Let me know when it’s all gone, mama-san.” Flying into the III Corps Mike Force FOB after they had captured the biggest weapons cache of the war, where Lee Mize - a Medal of Honor winner in Korea - finally had to put up a sign that said something like, “General, if you’re here to get yourself an SKS, get your ass back on your helicopter.”
But what we remember most are the many battles that the Mike Forces fought, with so much valor, so much heroism, so much sacrifice. The Valorous Unit Citations, and combat parachute assaults. The loss of friends we remember not just as teammates, but as brothers. Frank McNutt, Otis Parker, Joe Zamiara, and all the others. I still often wonder how it is that I was allowed the honor of serving with such magnificent men, and not just those who have crossed the final Line of Departure, but those of you here today. We share a sacred bond as Mike Force brothers, and I admire and love every one of you. As we so often said when watching each other head off to another difficult battle, “You sweet mothers… don’t you never die!
Now, let us unveil the Mike Force stone, not only to remind us of those who went before, but to inspire those Special Forces soldiers who will follow in our footsteps… seeking out and killing the oppressors of freedom. God bless the Mike Force, and God Bless America.
ATTENDING THE MEMORIAL STONE DEDICATION
|B20 ABBUHL DALE
B20 ALBRACHT WILLIAM
B16 ALLEY JERRY
B36 ANDERSON JOHN
B16 ARCHER JOHN
B20 ARELLANO ALFRED
B55 BAIER MANFRED
B36 BAILEY HENRY
B20 BAREND RON
B55 BARIBEAU DOUG
B55 BATCHELOR THOMAS
B20 BEEBE DONALD
B16 BELAU FREDERICK
B20 BELL GENE
B55 BERNIER BOB
B40 BLESSING DAVE
B40 BLUE DONALD
B40 BOGGS WILLIAM
B20 BROWN BART
B16 BUFORD JOHN
B55 BUNNELL DERALD R. "BOB"
B40 BURKE TOM
B55 BURRUSS LEWIS
B55 BUZZELLI DONALD
B20 CAMPOS DOMINGO
B20 CAREY MICHAEL
B20 CHALLEA CHARLES
B55 CHEATAM JACK
B55 CHIARELLO AGOSTINO
B20 CHILDERS CHARLES
B55 CONNELLY TOM
B40 COOK HENRY
B55 COOPER JAMES
B55 COSTA ROBERT
B55 COUTTS SAMMY
B20 CROSSMAN GARY
B16 DAVIS IVAN
B55 DEWS HAMP
B20 DI GIACINTO RALPH
B20 DOE EUGENE
B55 DORISKI GEORGE
B20 DOYLE AL
B20 DRAFFONE DENNIS
B55 DRAKE LYLE
B55 DRIVER RUSSELL
B16 DUFFY JOHN
B20 DUNNING RICHARD
B55 EFIRD ALVIN
B36 ELDRIDGE JOHN
B40 ELLIOTT WILLIAM
B16 FERUSON JIM
B20 FLACK RODNEY
B16 FOWELL ROBERT
B20 FRANCIS GEORGE
B20 FRY CHARLE
B20 FRYE BERT
B36 GARZA JOSE
B36 GATES WILLIAM
B55 GILSTRAP ROBERT
B20 GLEASON JERALD
MF LAST FIRST
B20 GLEMAKER ROBERT
B40 GODSEY HARRY
B20 GOLDEN BOB
B40 GOLDSTEIN RICHARD
B55 GONZALEZ MANUEL
B55 GORRELL STEVEN
B40 GRIFFITH JOHN E
B16 GRITZMAKER AARON
B55 HALL MARION
B20 HAMMOND THOMAS
B20 HEAD ROBERT
B55 HETZLER WALT
B55 HICKOX OTTIS
B20 HOAGLAND CHUCK
B16 HOLTHUSEN PATRICK
B36 JANOSIK JAN
B40 JENSEN ERNEST
B36 JOHNSON RICHARD
B55 JONES ROBERT
B16 KATZ DARRELL
B55 KENNEMUR FRANK E
|B55 KRECKLER K'PHE CIL
B36 LANE GLENN
B16 LEE EARL
B55 LINDSAY WILLIAM
B16 LITTLE LOYD
B20 LUCIER DAVID
B20 LUTHY HENRY
B55 MAKETA JOHN
B36 MARQUIS ROLAND
B55 MARTIN DAVID
B55 MCBROOM CLAUDE
B20 MCMULLIN KENNY
B20 MULCAHY ROBERT
B55 MURPHY REGIS
B20 MYERS DONALD
B55 NAIL RICHMOND
B55 NICHOLAS FRANCIS
B36 NUQUI RONALD
B20 OCADIZ JOSE-LUIS
B40 OCHSNER ROBERT
B20 OCHTYUN JOHN
B36 OLSON RON
B36 OWENS JOHN
B20 PETRIE GEORGE
B55 PRESLEY EULIS
B55 RABERT LING
B55 REILLEY RICHARD
B20 ROBERTSON CLIFF
B20 RODRICK WILLIAM
B40 RODRIGUEZ RUDY
B36 ROLLINS GLEN
B20 RONDIAK ROMAN
B55 ROSITANO RICHARD
B55 SAMANO SALVADOR
B55 SCHULTZ PAUL
B20 SCOTT CLAYTON
B16 SCRUGGS BILL
B55 SHARP MIK
B20 SINCERE CLYDE
B55 SKINNER ROBERT
B20 SLAUGHTER CHARLES
B40 SMITH CALVIN
B16 SOSA STEVE
B40 SOUTHWORTH JOHN
B40 STEINHARDT ALLYN
B20 STEVENS LOWELL
B36 STRINGHAM JOSEPH
B55 SUNRICH WILLIAM A
B55 TALLEY JOHN
B36 TATE ROBERT
B20 TAYLOR DONALD
B55 TIBBIT WILLIAM
B55 TOBIN JACK
TRAYLOR WILLIAM B
B20 TRUSSELL WILLIAM
B16 ULRICSON CHARLES
B16 UNDERWOOD VICTOR
B20 VINCENT JOHN
B20 WAST JOHN
B20 WHEELER SAM
B55 WHITTING SCOTT
B55 WIEPRECHT DAVID
B16 WILLIAMS WILLIE
B55 WILSON LEE
B55 WOODY EDWARD
B36 YEDINAK STEVEN
B16 YOST DANIEL
I received the following from David Savage. Apologies that I have just loaded it today as I have been out bush.
PO Box 465
All AATTV Members of Mike Force Association
First up, thank you to all for responding to our earlier letter and for bringing forth additional names for consideration. We will catch up with those in the near future.
There were a good number of responses soon after we sent the first letter and thereafter a slow flow for quite a while. This helped to cause a delay in preparing this letter in case others were slow in responding. David Gibson at CARO has been more than helpful in forwarding letters to those for whom we had no current address or no address at all. This resluted in a number of responses that otherwise would not have been possible. Despite this we have returned undelivered mail intended for TW Smith, MJ James, BT Fitzpatrick, LA Kapp, BC Smith, WJ Bryson, O Stevenson and BM Featherstone. If anyone can assist, drop us a line to MFA, PO Box 465 , TOOWONG 4066 QLD.
Apart from that we hold the silly season and domestic affairs responsible for any delay - at least that's our excuse and we are sticking to it.
The attached list shows all who responded along with email addresses where relevant. In a few instances we were not sure that we had interpreted handwriting correctly and it would be appreciated if all those on email could send a comms check to firstname.lastname@example.org under an email subject heading "MFA Comms Check" to confirm details if this has not already been done. To those whou have already responded, thank you. The responses can also be used to form an address for future use as required.
We have also included phone numbers where they were shown on individual returns. Hopefully this will help people to establish contact where relevant and also hopefully no-one objects to the phone numbers being shown.
Future letters generally will only be sent to those not on the Internet. Those on the Internet can get the information form Rick Ryan's website at http://www.aattv.iinet.net.au . Please keep us up to date with changes of address, both snailmail and email.
Mike Force Association Stone Laying Ceremony
There have been a few changes since last year. The ceremony at Fort Bragg will now be held in June, not July. The latest MFA Bulletin is shown below this letter.
Advice from the US is that accommodation will be scarce because the numbers attending, so get in early. Early advice is that five or six AATTV members had intended to attend at their own expense. However since then a number have pulled out. Whilst this is an individual decision and early advice was give in good faith, it make things awkward for the organizers in the US. JC Cooper has booked five rooms in good faith and paid from his own credit card. Therefore early confirmation from those really intending to attend will be appreciated. Accommodation at Fort Bragg is already very tight and early confirmation will help ensure somewhere to sleep. It will also help to keep JC Cooper in the black with his credit card supplier. (An email from jc Cooper is attached at the end of MFA Bulletin NO 7. Please note the accommodation situation and if intending to go, it is advised that you contact jc as soon as possible.) Any travel and accommodation arrangements should be made by individuals direct with the MFA in the US. A Questionnaire is included with Bulletin 7 below.
Official Representation at Fort Bragg
Last year we submitted a request to DVA for funds to send official representatives from AATTV but the request was not approved. Further action is now in process to have that decision overturned. We will advise in due course if there is a change. Even if not approved, we think that someone should be nominated as representative. Don Cameron has been approached and agreed to do the job if his health holds up and he is able to go. If anyone going can supply a video of proceedings for later distribution it would be appreciated.
The Mike Force Association has produced coins featuring flags and badges represented in the Mike Force. The MFA in the US has decided to present one of each design to MFA members at no cost. Two coins are included with this newletter (snailmail only). We believe that everyone will join in thanking the US men for both the design and the thought to present them.
Shaun Darragh (those in Pleiku in 68/69 will remember him as the US S1 (Adjt) has kindly donated a number of the IICTZ Mike Force coins he designed and had made in Korea. These will be sent to the widows or other NOK of those AATTV men KIA with IICTZ Mike Force. These coins are at present sold out. If more are produced we will let you know.
Till next time,
Signed Peter Wilkes and David Savage
21 Feb 02
NHA TRANG MIKE FORCE COIN!
John Tobin has created a Nha Trang Mike Force coin. He has only one hundred coins and has limited sales to five per buyer. The price is five dollars ($US5.00 plus postage). He also has decals of Nha Trang Mike Force Patches for a US dollar. He can be reached at JNTOBIN@aol.com
Members: Addition to the message of 21st November 2000 from John Liner USSF. You can reply to John Liner direct on email:email@example.com
There was a month-long siege at the SF camp at Dak Seang, Central Highlands, Kontum Province. The battle began on 1 April 1970. The 1st and 4th Mike Force Battalions were inserted to relieve pressure on the camp. Warrant Officer Pettit was KIA there, and WO Sanderson was WIA.
I am writing an account of the battle that I hope will be published one day. My objective is to include more than just the experiences and anecdotes of the team members. I want to include the folks that supported us as well, and in that regard I'd like to include as much as I can find. I am going to include names, rather than merely mention "that some other units supported us"(as I've seen in some recently published books). I'd like to include personal accounts, if I can find them and get the appropriate permissions.
My objective is to bring as much credit and recognition as I possibly can to the individuals that enabled us to keep from going under. I especially want to include anything you can tell me about Pettit and Sanderson.
Very few Americans know that Australians participated in the Viet Nam war.
I spoke with either Pettit or Sanderson briefly, during the battle. I only wish I knew which one. The Mike Force was moving past the camp and he was dropping off some of his wounded Montagnards.
I also know very little about the Australian participation in Viet Nam, nor about life on the Mike forces. I was assigned to the border camps near the border in II Corps.
As I may have mentioned to Rick Ryan, I would not be sitting here right now were it not for the efforts and sacrifices of a lot of other people, Army aviators, Mike Force members and Air Force gunship and Caribou crews.
Like I said, I want to include as many asI can find in the story.
Anything you can provide to me will be gratefully appreciated and certainly acknowledged.
Thank you for replying. And, 30 years late, thanks for what you did for us.
Members: John Liner, Mike Force DetA-245 Dak Seang is writing a book and needs some Team members input. If you can help contact John on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Sir, I am a former member of Detachment A-245, Dak Seang. I was at Dak Seang for the April 1970 siege. I am currently writing a book on the battle, and trying to re-create it as best as I can (given my somewhat fuzzy, thirty year old memory). The Mike Force played a very large role in support of the camp during the siege. As I recall, there were Aussies that participated. I believe they were members of the 1st Bn MSF. In fact, I spoke with one briefly, one day, as the battalion passed by the camp and headed across the airfield and to the north. He was dropping off some Yard WIA and we spoke for a few minutes. I heard later one of theAustralianWarrants was KIA sometime during the battle. Anyway, I am trying to collect stories, anecdotes and info on the Mike Force participation in the siege. I am especially interested in the stories of the AATTV.
I realize some of this maybe a little traumatic to recall (it is for me) ; however, I would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone that participated in the battle of Dak Seang. I know it is thirty years late, but please accept my grateful thanks for what you guys did for us. I would not be here now, typing this, were it not for you. Thank you. JohnW.Liner, CW3,US Army, (retired). email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org@yahoo.com
Mike Force Association Web Page
There were some Team members who served with Mike Force in Viet Nam. This US site, just released, is devoted to accurately documenting the five Special Forces Mobile Strike Force Teams that served in RVN during the period 1964 - 1971. Any AATTV member who served with Mike Force and strikers are eligible for membership. There are no dues or fees. All survivors of KIA Mike Force members are also welcome.
There were five Mobile Strike Force Teams inViet Nam from 1964-1971. The First Mobile Strike Force was in Da Nang, the Second Mobile Strike Force was in Pleiku, the Third Mobile Strike Force was inKontum, and the Fourth Mobile Strike Force was in Can To. The Fifth Mobile StrikeForce was in Nha Trang.
The Mobile Strike Forces made more combat parachute jumps than all other units in Viet Nam. The Special Forces Advisors trained their Montagnard strikers to jump at Dan Ba Thien, near Camh Rahn Bay.
Mike Forces combined for many operations.The Second M.F. from Pleiku and the Fifth M.F. from Nha Trang combined to achieve one of the most significant victories in Viet Nam at the Battle for Camp Duc Lap in August 1968. More than 1000 N.V.A. regulars were killed and the camp retaken by Nha Trang and Pleiku Mike Force Strikers and their American Special Forces and Australian Advisors from A.A.T.T.V. The website is at: http://www.mikeforceassoc.org Drop in and leave a message from The Team.
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