Saturday, August 24, 2013




31 MAY 1968:

"(6)  Support by and liaison with the communications platoon of the 27th Marine Regiment has been outstanding thus far during Operation Allen Brook."

Sunday, July 21, 2013



Monday, June 17, 2013



Southern sector Danang TAOR for 27th Marines was found in several map sheets, the predominant one being Sheet 6640-IV.
The map as a whole can be found at :"

A B/W version of the map:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013



Tuesday, March 19, 2013


DA NANG, VIETNAM — Le Ha Uyen never tires of searching her hometown’s shady alleys and side streets in search of the perfect bowl of noodles.

“It takes time to explore,” said Ms. Uyen, a 24-year-old foreign affairs officer who blogs about Da Nang and its vast food culture. “We have a very diverse cuisine, and different shops have different types of cooking.”
Travelers arriving in Da Nang typically travel by road 29 kilometers, or 18 miles, south to the former trading port of Hoi An, which Unesco has designated a cultural heritage landmark. Others drive north to the former royal capital of Hue, another designated heritage site, where a preserved citadel offers glimpses into a former feudal empire.
But some residents and expatriates say Da Nang, a coastal city that was host to a U.S. air base during the Vietnam War, is emerging as an appealing destination in its own right. The city’s charms include a riverfront promenade where locals sip iced coffee, and a museum displaying artifacts from the Champa kingdom, which ruled for centuries along Vietnam’s central and southern coasts.
And the central region’s best-known foods, like the noodle dish mi quang and the chicken-and-rice medley com ga, easily rival salty specialities from Hanoi and sweet ones from Ho Chi Minh City. It is easy to spend less than 200,000 Vietnamese dong, or about $9.60, on a day of eating in Da Nang, and hard to resist sampling the noodles, snacks and desserts that confront you at every street corner.
Ms. Uyen, who lived in Japan and Australia before coming home in 2011, says dishes from Da Nang and Vietnam’s central coast are underrepresented outside the country, especially when compared with the interest in foods from the north or south. “They deserve to be more popular,” she said.
Da Nang, Vietnam’s fourth-most populous city, also has a crescent-shaped beach that lies largely vacant by day except for some expatriate surfers. Vietnamese revelers arrive just before dusk, tossing volleyballs or strolling in the surf as vendors sell beer and quail eggs from foam coolers.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

TET '68

"I wouldn't miss it for the world,"


"L'Angelle, I didn't think you would make it," the Captain remarked.

My reply to the Captain in the formation that morning out on the parking lot that served as the grinder behind the barracks. I had barely made it there in time and had spent the night in Newport Beach with my girlfriend, Patty Dell, a real surfer chick blonde looker. She dropped me off in her VW and that was the last I ever saw of her.

I'd met Patty at the Hatch Cover Bar in Laguna Beach on the Coast Highway, next door to the Sandpiper, and that's another story, the Hatch Cover. Anyway, I was playing the guitar and she went over and dropped a quarter in the juke box and it drowned out my playing. I went over and told her about it and she apologized and took me home.

San Onofre was the HQ for the 28th Marines and a number of us had just been called up to fill the billets for the 27th RLT, a ready action unit that had been given the nod to go West (to the East) in a hurry, in C-141's from El Toro, and I was going along, free of charge, for my first and only tour of duty in-country, in Vietnam.

They say that 1968 was the "Defining Year" for the war, but it had been going on for quite some time already with no end in sight. When Tet hit at the end of January, General Westmoreland needed more troops and LBJ obliged by offering the 27th RLT and the 82nd Airborne. Westy wanted 500,000 more to fight the VC and the NVA; he never got them. In fact, he was eventually replaced and I got my first look at his replacement, General Abrams, when he visited Liberty Bridge during Operation Allen Brook in May of '68.

I historically have set the date for that famous grinder formation when Patty Dell dropped me off as February 4th, when in fact it probably wasn't. It was today, 45 years ago. It wasn't until many years later that I heard the line I spoke to the Captain, used in Mel Gibson's movie, "We Were Soldiers" (2002). I am sure everybody else at the 28th Marines at San Onofre could agree that it was better to serve and fight than to shine boots and stand firewatch, or for that matter, mess duty. So we went.

The Radio Section at the 28th Marines was lucky, it got to go to the Nam as one unit so we all pretty much knew each other by the time we were mounting out our gear over at Camp Margarita, the home of the 27th. A little like the movie "Battle Cry" (1955) where Tab Hunter, Aldo Rray and the rest of the Marines all served in the same radio unit. By then, we had all done enough training at Camp Pendleton to be familiar with each others' radio procedure only we left a few good men behind at the 28th, some vets who just came back to The World like Randy Elliott from Arizona and Mertz, forever on mess duty but one hell of an inspiration for morale around the radio section at San Onofre. We went without them and I never heard or saw them again. But we had Rossi, Downey, Seitz, Quantz and a few more who proved themselves time and again on the radio.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Vietnam war haunts Dobama stage

Reviewed by FRAN HELLER                       

“Ghosts of War” begins as Vietnam veteran Jim Kyle (George Roth) walks on stage bearing a bouquet of yellow flowers, his mien somber and introspective. Jim sits, then opens a footlocker, from which he removes a storehouse of memories: a basketball, a folded U.S. flag, photographs of all the men he lost in his platoon. Soft background music gives way to the drone of a helicopter and the sounds of combat, hurtling the audience back to the late 1960s and the Vietnam War.“Ghosts of War,” a documentary play by Cleveland playwright, director and freelance journalist Christopher Johnston, is the true story of Jim Kyle and his best friend, Danny Nicklow, Marines who served in Vietnam.
Kyle survived. Nicklow died with most of his company on a hill in South Vietnam. He was 20.
Written with the expertise of a seasoned journalist, “ Ghosts” is a 90-minute monologue of anecdotes interspersed with facts and figures of the war, excruciatingly detailed material that could prove dry in the hands of an actor less gifted than Roth. He can find passion and heart, even in raw facts.
The play is smartly directed by Charles Kartali.

Roth makes a cast of one seem like an entire company as he recounts the story of two best friends and the people who affected them. Projections of grainy photographs of family members and happier times, of the guys in Jim Kyle’s platoon and of the Vietnam countryside heighten the drama.

In Roth’s rich storytelling, we come to know Jim and Danny intimately, from the time they met working a summer job at a marina in Maryland. Jim describes Danny as a super athlete; charismatic; a blonde-haired hit with the ladies; a regular guy from a well-to-do family, yet unspoiled and civic- minded, foregoing a full football scholarship to Youngstown State University to serve his country. Jim describes himself as self-absorbed and only interested in girls and sports, the idea of serving his country during a war something he would never consider – until the news that Danny had been killed in action, a tragedy that would change Jim’s life forever, including joining the Marines.

The war doesn’t stop when its survivors return home, notes Jim, who was discharged in 1971. The play traces his postwar years and self-destructive lifestyle, including drinking, bar fights, marriage and divorce. He takes his anger out by making tons of money – and then losing it.
Jim spends 1967 to 2007 trying to find out how his best buddy died. His tenacity pays off, and in the tear-filled finale, he pays choked-up homage to his mentor and hero.
At times, the production suffers from factual overload and needs trimming, but its emotional impact clear. It is a salute to all who went to war but never came back – and to the friendship and love of two real men in real time.

WHAT: “Ghosts of War”
WHERE: Dobama Theatre at Heights Library, 2340 Lee Rd, Cleveland Hts.
WHEN: Through Sunday, Jan. 27
TICKETS & INFO: 216-932-3396 or

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Back in the World on March 30

THE HILL--A Senate committee on Wednesday endorsed creating a working holiday to celebrate Vietnam-era veterans. March 30 of each year would become “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” if Senate Bill 83 passes.

That’s the day in 1973 when the last United States soldiers to leave Vietnam arrived back in the United States. A number of Vietnam veterans testified before the Senate State Affairs Committee that such a holiday would be long-overdue recognition for their military service.

“What we would like to do is have this as a recognition of the fact that we were called or volunteered, we served, we came home, we did our duty,” said Phil Braeger of Watertown.

Lawmakers took turns praising the veterans.

“I only have two words: thank you,” said Sen. Corey Brown, R-Gettysburg.

“Anything we can do as a legislative body to continue to make you folks feel welcome at home and be welcome in our communities is extremely important,” said Sen. Jason Frerichs, D-Wilmot.

The committee approved SB 83 unanimously, sending it on to the full Senate.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


'Nam Huey on Display in Pittsburgh

Kaitlynn Riely / The Pittsburgh Press
STEELTOWN--At the Heinz History Center today, some assembly was required.
The project was to piece together about 20 olive drab green parts to rebuild a UH-1H helicopter -- better known as a Huey -- used during the Vietnam War. The Army aircraft will be part of an upcoming exhibit at the Strip District museum called "1968: The Year That Rocked America," a traveling exhibit created with the Minnesota Historical Society.

"This is probably the largest artifact we've dealt with to date," said Emily Ruby, assistant curator at Heinz History Center. The helicopter, when completed, is 20 feet long and 8 to 10 feet wide, with two blades on top that are each 22 feet long.
Her staff had help putting the helicopter together from local Vietnam veterans.
"It's a way for us to connect with veterans in the community," she said.

The work started this morning, and at noon, about two dozen people -- museum staff, people involved with the Minnesota Historical Society and local vets -- paused to take a photograph in front of the partially completed Huey.

The helicopter, built by Bell Helicopters in 1966, was used by the Army in the Vietnam War from 1967 through 1970. The Minnesota Historical Society obtained the refurbished and rebuilt helicopter a few years ago for use in its exhibit.

Jim Puhala, 70, a retired North Strabane lawyer, watched this morning as the helicopter formed. He flew a similar, though slightly smaller, Huey during the war, when he spent most of 1967 in Vietnam as a gunship pilot and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.
Though he flew them, he never saw one being assembled, he said.

"I said, if I ever knew how they put it together, I never would have flown," he joked.

The Huey will be one part of an exhibit that tells the story of a year in American history that witnessed, among other events, the Vietnam War, the assassinations of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the national launch of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, which was produced in Pittsburgh.

The exhibit opens Feb. 2.

Kaitlynn Riely: or 412-263-1707.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Vietnam War monument takes shape in Bastrop

BUNKER--We travel all over the country to see war monuments, but now Central Texans have a chance to watch one being built.

Sculptors in Bastrop are carefully crafting a clay model of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument.

Don Dorsey is a Vietnam veteran who is working to etch the names of Texans who died during the war—a total of 3,417 names.

"I'm doing it at the rate of 26 per hour," he said. "Though it was controversial, the people died like people do in every war, and we were willing to risk our lives for our country."
Now, 40 years later, the risks they took will be honored publicly. Dog tags from fallen soldiers will be entombed in the $1.5 million monument.

The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument is being sculpted in Bastrop at the Deep in the Heart Art Foundry. Once it’s finished, the 500-pound model will be cast in bronze--one step closer to helping Texans remember.

"It's been too long coming, it’s been 40 years,” Dorsey said. “There's just not been anything to recognize us for our service."
The State Capitol is already home to memorials dedicated to the Alamo, the Civil War, both World Wars and the Korean War. The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will join the others November 2013.