Đà Nẵng Attack!
 

Đà Nẵng Air Base

Hi Don: I'm Mike Bush, (MSgt, USAF Security Police - Retired)

Jack Brokaw informs me that you would like to publish the letter that I wrote which outlines the circumstances surrounding the death of SSgt Terry K. Jenson at Đà Nẵng Air Base during the attack that took place there on 1 July, 1965. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute. The letter follows:

9 July, 1997
CMSgt Jim Calcutt 48 FW PSC 41 Box 2603 APO AE 09464

MSgt (Ret) Michael K. Bush:

Da Nang AB, Jensens TruckDa Nang AB, Jensen's Truck I served in Vietnam at Đà Nẵng Air Base From August 1964 to August 1965. I fought in the action against the NVA and elements of the Viet Cong on 1 July 1965, during which SSgt Terry K. Jenson was killed.
      I was part of the Strike Team Reaction Force that counterattacked to sweep through to the south end of the base during that action. Terry was my friend, and he died fighting valiantly in the best tradition of the Security Police (then known as "Air Police").
      The following is a brief account of the circumstances that led to Terry's death. The details are accurate - I was there, and those memories are as fresh in my dreams now as the night they occurred: 1 July 1965.

I was a young SSgt assigned to the armory during the day shift, and was also assigned to the teams that provided security in the field during classified reconnaissance drone recovery operations.
      I "hit the sack" around 2300 hours, 30 June, 1965. At approximately 0132 hours, 1 July, 1965, the first incoming mortar rounds hit the base on the South end of the runway and aircraft parking area, where the alert F-102 interceptor aircraft, and two C-130 flare ships were parked. Later, Monkey Mountain Radar reported that the NVA had six mortar rounds in the air before the first round impacted - they were very good!.

Da Nang AB, F102Da Nang AB, F102Da Nang AB, F102

The mortar fire then shifted (they reportedly had three mortar tubes working us over) and started "walking" fire up the flight line, and splattering random rounds up through the cantonment area of the base. At the same time, an attack in strength hit in the area of the main gate.



Da Nang AB, Vietnamese Workers
That force reportedly consisted of NVA wearing the uniform of an ARVIN Ranger unit, and had arrived in three ARVIN "six-by" trucks.
The "VNAF" gate was also hit at the same time. Both gates were manned by USAF AP's, a few Marines from the 9th Marine Expeditionary Force, a few VNAF "Pun Viets", and ARVIN "QC's."

   src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-pan-east-perimeter-01.jpg" lowsrc="dn-pan-east-perimeter-01.gif" height="75" width="260" align="left" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Đà Nẵng AB, Concrete Revetments">Da Nang AB, Concrete Bunker, East Perimeter.

The "Sapper" attack on the south end of the base occurred as follows: The NVA (guided by local VC) had infiltrated the southeast perimeter through five holes cut in the perimeter fence. Their strength was estimated at approximately 60 personnel. The main force consisted of "hard-core" NVA--not VC. We knew this at once because of the sound of AK-47 fire. At that time, only the NVA carried the AK-47 -- not the VC.

Da Nang AB, Concrete Revetments

After successfully infiltrating the base perimeter undetected, the enemy force grouped behind two large concrete revetments, in which two C-130 flare ships were parked. There, they waited for the mortars to open up. That would be their signal to begin their attack.


Da Nang AB, S/E Perimeter USMC Tower When the mortar fire began, the NVA force advanced in assault under their own fire across the taxiway. As they moved past the revetments, the: NVA ripped open the fuel cells in the C-130's with automatic weapons fire, threw grenades into the fuel and fired the aircraft, destroying them. A team of NVA worked their way around behind the alert F-102's, and fired either RPG's or 57mm recoiless rife rounds up the engine exhaust pipes of three of the aircraft, destroying them.


Da Nang AB, C130 Wing Fuel CellDa Nang AB, C130 Wing Fuel CellAll of the F-102's were parked "cocked" with the canopies open. The NVA destroyed or disabled the remaining aircraft with automatic weapons fire, and by throwing grenades and satchel charges into the open cockpits. Air-to-air rockets onboard the burning F-102's burned, exploded, or "cooked off," and launched north towards the cantonment area and other aircraft parked on the rest of the flight line.


src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/aps-posting.jpg" lowsrc="aps-posting.jpg" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Đà Nẵng AB, AP Posting">Da Nang AB, AP Posting

Only two posts were located at the south end of the base. One was a checkpoint, (not an access control point) located on the west edge of the taxiway across from, and approximately 50 yards North of the first C-130 revetment. The second was a position located at the juncture of the taxiway, and the active runway, near the runway overrun area.

Da Nang AB, Jensen's TruckDa Nang AB, Jensen's Truck Many times, off duty troops could not sleep for one reason or another, and would go over to [Command Security Control] CSC, check out the ton-and-a-half truck, and run coffee around to the troops on post. Sometimes, the Flight on-duty would assign someone to do this, but usually someone off-duty would just "volunteer." I had performed that duty just two nights before the attack.
[Photo of an E4 in a truck like SSgt Jensen drove that night. Patched AK-47 holes are over the cab]

 

      On the fateful night, SSgt Jenson was running coffee. He was armed only with a .38 caliber revolver, and basic load of ammunition. (Up to that point, we were still state-siding it as far as weapons and ammunition were concerned.) In those days, the Air Police were thought of as little more than internal point security guards for critical resources. We were neither trained, nor equipped to fight an actual ground engagement against a determined enemy. Only a few troops wore steel helmets--flack jackets were not an issue item. We were authorized only basic load of ammunition for the M-16 rifles (three 20 rd. magazines). We were neither issued nor authorized grenades, or M-60 machine guns. We carried nothing that wasn't carried at a CONUS base.

      At approximately 0129 hours, SSgt Jenson pulled up in the truck to the checkpoint at the F-102 Alert Area. The checkpoint was manned by a young "two-striper," last name of Handy, first name unknown. Handy was TDY to Đà Nẵng from George AFB, and had been in-country about a week. SSgt Jenson told Airman Handy that the "coffee jug was in the back of the truck" if he wanted some.
      At that moment, the first mortar rounds impacted at the end of the runway--approximately 200 yards from where SSgt Jenson and Airman Handy were located. At the same time, the NVA force moved from behind the C-130 revetments, and across the taxiway, firing as they advanced, into the small tent/trailer area, located between the taxiway and the active runway where the alert crews, and maintenance troops were billeted.
      Over the noise of the enemy fire and explosions, SSgt Jenson yelled at Airman Handy to "get the radio in the bunker," as the truck that SSgt Jenson was driving was not radio equipped. SSgt Jenson dismounted the vehicle on the driver's side (preparing to engage the sapper team), and was immediately struck once in the lower abdomen by a 7.62 X 39 mm. AK-47 round. SSgt Jenson went to his knees, and though painfully wounded, drew his .38 caliber revolver, and returned fire at three NVA soldiers at a range of approximately 30 yards. SSgt Jenson fired three rounds, and witnesses later recounted that two of the NVA soldiers went down--no enemy bodies were found as the NVA always removed the bodies of their dead upon withdrawal.
      Seeking better cover, SSgt Jenson managed to crawl around the rear of the vehicle, where he took up a position behind the right-rear tandem wheels, and prepared to re-engage the enemy. An NVA soldier who had approached SSgt Jenson's truck from the front, threw a grenade into the cab. When the grenade detonated, the vehicle [SSgt Jenson was behind] burst into flames. In the ensuing confusion, the NVA soldier managed to circle around the rear of the burning [ton-and-a- half truck], and approach SSgt Jenson undetected. The NVA soldier stood over [the gravely wounded] SSgt Jenson and fired four rounds into his upper and middle back, killing him instantly.

      Da Nang AB, Motorola Radio [Meanwhile,] Airman Handy had been attempting to contact CSC with the radio located in the bunker (a large "portable" non-tactical Motorola radio not a small handheld radio which he could have worn in a belt carrier case), with negative results. Handy reportedly looked up from inside the bunker (which was nothing more than a ring of single sandbags approximately three and one-half feet high, and with no overhead cover), and saw the NVA that had just killed SSgt Jenson.
      Handy then brought his M-16 rifle to bear, and killed the NVA soldier. Airman Handy then remained at his post, and delivered flanking fire on the advancing NVA line, and broke their assault. Airman Handy continued to engage the enemy until his ammunition was exhausted.
      An captured NVA officer later revealed that the initial objective of the attack was to eliminate the Marine Aviation Battalion Helicopters, which were hurting NVA operational efforts in the local Đà Nẵng area. The NVA officer further related that when Airman Handy had opened fire on their advance, they were convinced they had run into a "dug-in heavy machine gun"--broke off their attack and began to withdraw by the same route by which they had entered the flight line area.
      In the light of the burning aircraft, the NVA could be seen dragging dead and wounded toward the fence line. The NVA were also engaged by the F-102 crew members and maintenance personnel in the tent area, who were lightly armed with a few unauthorized M-16's and hand weapons.
      The Marines, from the aviation battalion, also contributed effective fire from their positions across the active runway to the west. [In 1965, there was only a single runway]
      I will never forget the sight of an Air Force Major, dressed in a flight suit and hatless, sitting on the hood of a jeep with an M-16 rifle in his right hand, barrel pointed upward, with the butt anchored against his right hip--tear filled eyes staring unwaveringly straight ahead. SSgt Jenson's body was draped across the Major's lap, and his head gently cradled and supported by the Major's left arm as the jeep moved slowly down the taxiway toward the Air Force compound. No fallen warrior could have had a more solemn, profound, and appropriate escort.

Da Nang AB, Concrete RevetmentsMajor Howard You said that you sent a picture of a Major receiving a medal...That was probably our "commander" at the time, an Major Howard, I believe his name was. I don't know if it was him that brought Terry's body in. I know that it was a Major in a flying suit, and Major Howard was a pilot that wound up being our commander - and I never saw him wear anything but a flying suit! It was dark that night, and nobody was about to turn on a light of any kind...There still plenty of action going on, and a whole bunch of very trigger-happy GI's. I have a photo of Major Howard taken out at the firing range standing on a berm...that was before the attack.

[Major Arthur B. Rupert directed Base Defense during the attack that Airman Jones was killed in, and is decorated by the new base commander, Colonel Eisenbrown, a full bird.]

There is much more to the story and events that took place that night, but these are essentially the details of the circumstances surrounding the death of SSgt Terry K. Jenson.


JENSEN, TERANCE KAY
SSgt - Air Force - Regular
33 year old Married, Caucasian, Male
Born on 01/14/32
From DETROIT LAKES, MINNESOTA
Length of service 14 years.
Casualty was on 07/01/65
in QUANG NAM (Đà Nẵng), SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
OTHER EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
Body was recovered
Panel 02E - - Line 26



src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/jbj-01.jpg" align="left" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Memorial Room/Services">Memorial Room/Services Michael: I have a copy of SSgt Jensen's award for the Silver Star and will include that, along with local newspaper articles, follow-up of his two USAF daughters that were also S.P.s, and finally, photos of the Squadron's memorial services for SSgt Jensen and my tentmate, A3C James Bruce Jones (J.B.).
      For 30+ years I have wondered about the story--they never told us what happened. About the time you left, LtCol Art Phillips came in, relieved the Officer In Charge and tightened things up. He even had us going to a firing range on the east side of Freedom Hill and doing rapid response exercises on the flight line. Still, on Jan 25, 1966, 122mm rockets came dancing across the flight line from the southeast and killed J.B. who was posted near those large tanks near our tent compound.
      I would like to hear more about that night. Right now, Gary Eberbach is visiting with me. I introduced him to his wife (31 years now!) when he stopped by to visit me after leaving Đà Nẵng in 1966. We are having a great visit, looking at old slides and talking about those days we all remember so vividly.
      As for me, I became a computer programmer analyst, and later Director of Public Safety at California Baptist College, where, after all these years I a BS in Public Administration/POL.
      I appreciate your story more than you can know. I'm positive the guys at Vietnam Security Police Association (I Webmaster that site too) will also value SSgt Jensen's story. Do you know if "Handy" was decorated? I remember and Airman Hensen, and have a photo of him--he went into K-9, and so did I.
      Don Poss
 

 

Subject: SSgt Terry Jensen
From : Fred Reiling, LTC USAF (Ret)
To : Don Poss, Chief Calcutt, and Terry Morris

F102 debris, sapper attack/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret) Received your message and thought I'd send you some details of the Đà Nẵng memory of the night of Sgt Jensen's death. At the time, we had three areas on the base that we were guarding. First, was north end of the ramp where the aircraft that were scheduled for sorties either in country or up north were parked. As I recall they were mostly F-104's, A-1's and B-57's. Secondly, was the bomb dump which was across the runway about mid field. Finally, was the south end where F-102's and C-130's were parked.
      The 102's were TDY from Clark and were for air defense of the base. The crews were on "Alert" and lived in tents between the taxiway and runway. The C-130's were Ranch Hand aircraft and were used in the Agent Orange program. They were parked on the east side of the taxi way in the newly completed revetments. [replaced sandbag revetments]
      On the night in question we had a guard adjacent to the tents the F-102 aircraft people were in. We also had a SAT team that was responsible for all src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-f102-b.jpg">F-102 debris, sapper attack/photo by Fred Reiling, LTC (ret)  src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-f102-c.jpg">F102 debris, sapper attack/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret) the other transit a/c that were parked all over the ramp. The actual perimeter of the base was the responsibility of the 3rd Marines, and we had the pockets of our resources that we guarded. We also had people spread out in the base proper to protect the people, especially in the "compound" where most of us lived.
      That night, Sgt Jensen was performing duty as coffee patrol and hence he had the truck (I thought it was a ton and a half but not sure) and was on the south end at the time of the attack. He was delivering coffee to the guard on the F-102 tents when we started receiving incoming mortar round. I don't recall the exact time but it was late enough that most of us were in bed.

      src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-c130-a.jpg">C-130 debris, sapper attack/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)  src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-c130-b.jpg">C-130 debris, sapper attack/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret) The mortars woke me up and I was to the desk down by the gate of the compound in minutes. As I recall, we took about a dozen incoming rounds of mortar, all hitting in the area of the south overrun and doing virtually no damage. At the same time the sappers came under the concertina fence behind the C-130 revetments. Best estimates were that there were between four and six of them.
    



src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-c130-c.jpg" height="150" width="250" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="C-130 debris, sapper attack/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)">C-130 debris, sapper attack/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret) They opened small arms fire and Sgt Jensen returned fire with his side arm, a .38 revolver. He had left his M-16 at the desk when he got the coffee jug. He fired and then moved to the rear of the truck where he took up a defensive position and continued firing. He was killed in the gunfight and the sappers continued on with their bandolier grenades, placing them under the aircraft and attempting to get to the tents where the people were sleeping.

      Sgt Jensen, by standing his ground, kept the sappers out of the tents and consequently saved many lives, but gave his own by his action. When the sappers had expended their grenades they left the base the same way they had entered.
      Due to the heavy smoke, fires and exploding ammunition we set up a perimeter around the area and waited for daylight. Sometime during the night, Sgt Jensen's body was brought out of the area. Best I can remember a SSgt Oates (SAT team leader) and a Army officer had found him and brought him out. He apparently had been killed where he was found, at the back of the truck.

      src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-jensen-1020-kia.jpg" height="150" width="250" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Đà Nẵng AB, area Sgt Jensen was KIA/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)">Da Nang AB, area Sgt Jensen was KIA/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)  src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-col-eisenbrown_lt-reiling.jpg" height="175" width="125" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="LT Reiling & Col Eisenbrown/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)">LT Reiling & Col Eisenbrown/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret) The guard in the area had taken cover in his foxhole and was not injured. The attached pictures are of the area the morning after the raid. The one of the tents with the water tower visible in the background and the two lockers is the approximate area where Sgt Jensen was killed. The aircraft were all in the immediate area. The picture of the young Lt and the full Colonel is yours truly and the base commander, a Colonel Eisenbrown. I believe he is the one in the picture with Col Art Phillips.




src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-july4-usflag-2.jpg" height="170" width="250" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="US Flag posted, Đà Nẵng, July 4 th/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)">US Flag posted, Da Nang, July 4 th/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)

 

The two of the flag flying at Base Headquarters were taken on the Fourth of July, the only day of the year that we were allowed to fly the American Flag, hence it got a lot attention.

 

 

US Flag posted, Da Nang, July 4 th/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)US Flag posted, Da Nang, July 4 th/Photo by Fred Reiling, LTC, USAF (Ret)


Nuff for now, this brings back memories that I haven't thought of in many years. I did remain in the Air Force and retired after 23+ years as a L/C, but that is another story. Can't remember many of the names, but Warren Milburg and I were the first two PCS cop officers in Đà Nẵng, replaced by L/C Art Phillips, Major Marion Hopkins (Ops officer) and numerous Capt's and Lt's. Also had a CASAF package from Cannon TDY which had Lt Howie King as leader. Howie ended up an O-5 or 6. Col Jim Black and Al Feldman were our bosses in Saigon.

 

 

By: "Ray, Steve"

Don, we had a request from the AFSPA looking for info on an AP last name Handy (TDY from George AFB) that was supposed to have killed the sapper that killed Terry Jensen. Of course, the VSPA would like to find this individual as well. Did you know Handy and can you put something on the Web about trying to find him? On another note, if you think you might use the second story I sent you I would like to review it one more time prior to publication. I've done some additional research on the KIA's since I submitted the story to you and may wish to amend it somewhat? Thanks for all you are doing. I've been reading the comments you have been getting. I concur completely with all the good things people have had to say about your Web site. Later, Steve Ray

 

 
You asked about Airman Handy. As I said, he was TDY from George AFB, and had been in country about a week. A then friend of mine, an A1C Joseph, (can't remember the first name) who was part of the response force, but some distance from where I was related the following to me: "As we swept down the taxiway, Handy came running and stumbling toward our group shouting his name.

When he reached us, he said that he was out of ammunition, and wanted to get more! According to A1C Joseph, Handy was really a mess, and could barely talk coherently. At some point, Handy was transported back to the compound, and OSI grabbed him to debrief him about the death of SSgt Jensen.

Now here is the part that nobody talks about - In traditional fashion, the OSI tried to play "HANG THE COP"!! The first "theory" that the OSI came up with was that Handy had "panicked" and shot SSgt Jensen by mistake! I am proud to say that I "shot holes" in that theory!! A couple of days later, an OSI puke, contacted me in the armory and showed me four pieces of 7.62 X39 brass, and asked me to ID it. I immediately ID'ed the brass, as the type used with the AK-47 assault rifle. The OSI person then told me that was the brass they had picked up near SSgt Jensen's body, and then he related: "Well, I guess that gets Handy off the hook." The OSI agent then coldly tossed SSgt Jensen's .38 cal. revolver on the armory work bench, and said: "Here - you might want to clean that up!" (It was completely caked with SSgt Jensen's blood).

After the OSI agent left, I picked up Terry's .38, and opened the cylinder to check it. It was still loaded. Three rounds had been fired. I detailed stripped the weapon, and cleaned it thoroughly then I put it aside in the armory. Later that same day, I asked the Operations Sergeant, (TSgt Herbert Steer), if there was any way that we could send Terry's weapon to his family as a keepsake. I was told to "forget it." The weapon was returned to the inventory, and reissued as far as I know.

As to what happened to Airman Handy, well when he was brought in for interrogation by the OSI, he reportedly looked down at some point, and saw blood and brain tissue all over the front of his fatigues, and upon seeing the gore, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he went "catatonic." He was air-evaced out the next day (don't know where to). I heard a few days later that they had put him in for the bronze star, but I don't know if he ever got it. Many of us were put in for decorations, but most of the paperwork ended up in the trash can. I remember pulling mine out of the trash and reading it! I was so numb about the whole event that I didn't even care! I guess that even then, it was not "politically expedient" for lower ranking Cops to get medals. As we used to say: "That's okay - It don't mean Nuthin' - Never did - Never Will!"

Don, like SSgt Jensen, many of us were very upset about the way that the war was being fought, and especially how we (the Air Police) were being used. They used to send teams of us out to secure the sites where those fire-bee reconnaissance drones would crash after they got the hell shot out of them while flying up North, and over Laos and Cambodia. The did not equip us properly, did not provide us with communications gear that would even reach the Base, and most of the time CSC did not even know (or care) that there were troops in the field on an operation! We could have all been killed, and the Squadron would probably have marked us AWOL! What a mess! Those of us who went out on those Ops. regularly, scrounged enough field gear, extra ammo, grenades, and tactical communications equipment so as to be able to survive out there, and hopefully get back on our own, or by the good graces of the Army chopper pilots! (God Bless those guys!) We had plenty of "contact" on those Ops, and put in our time "in the bush."

You would not believe some of the things that Cops were involved in, and did on their "own time"! We were strictly forbidden and threatened with court martial if we were caught taking part in any "unauthorized" activity. Well, that just "lit the fuse" with some of us, and we went out at every opportunity, doing anything that would get us a chance to get a crack at "Charlie"!

Terry Jensen, and another troop named "Brandenburg" (first name not remembered) used to fly as door gunners regularly on the old HH-34 choppers with the Vietnamese!! Boy you talk about a "death wish" Those two were really nuts! I remember once when they "got back", Terry had been nicked by a slug in the upper left arm. Not a serious wound, but nonetheless, a wound! To get treatment, he had to go over to the Vietnamese hospital, and slip the doctors there "beucoup Piasters" to treat him and not report the injury! If he had gone to the USAF dispensary, he would have been investigated, charged, and would have undoubtedly gone to jail! Yup, it was a wonderful war! Go figure! I flew as a door gunner on the Army choppers myself several times.

The Army didn't give a damn, and it gave some of their troops a break! Everybody was happy ... we got our "action" time, and the Army got extra bodies! Nobody said anything, and the Air Force was none the wiser. But - we received no flight pay, several of the guys had enough missions for an Air Medal which they never got, and a couple of them had to really argue and plead like hell to keep the Army from putting them in for decorations for some of the absolutely heroic things that they did while flying on those "illegal" missions! Got real stickey there a couple of times! I accompanied Marine Corps Force Recon units of Ops west of Hill 327, over in "happy valley"! I went on Ops with Special Forces a couple of times (damn near got my ass shot off on one of those - and still have a hearing problem in my left ear that I could never report). We had guys that flew as gunners on the those old HH-43 twin bladed choppers with Air Rescue and who were "on the ground" up North with the P.J.'s looking for Pilots that had bailed out!

On one op, a P.J. named "Silvers" wanted to put the Cop in for a medal because he stood his ground and laid down heavy suppressive fire that kept the NVA at bay, while the P.J. recovered the injured Pilot! The P.J. was awarded the Silver Star for that "save" - the Cop was never there!

Some of us knew that the Base was going to be hit 30 days before it happened. How did we know? Because we went out there beyond the wire on unauthorized patrols, and found all kinds of "sign". We found foot prints right up the the concertina wire that showed that they were practicing the infiltration! One night we watched them digging one of the mortar pits!

Troops on town patrol were getting Intel from the bar girls, and shoeshine boys that something big was going to happen at the Base! Nobody would listen, and nobody wanted to hear it! Cops weren't suppose to be smart enough to do those kinds of things! OSI was worthless. They had no ground intelligence capability whatsoever, they didn't liaison effectively with Army Intel, and all they were interested in was catching GIs selling cigarettes and booze on the black market! They put their heads in the sand and kept them there!

I had three pretty rough years after I got back from Nam. Six of us went to Lowry AFB Colorado upon reassignment, and out of the six, one killed himself, and one went to jail for murder! It was really odd. Among the six of us that were in Nam together, we hardly spoke to each other when we were at Lowery! It was like none of us wanted to remind each other of what we had been through! Since we were among the first Cops that had been to Nam and come back, we were treated like "lepers" by the rest of the Squadron! They said that we were all "crazy", and "killers", and really walked on eggs around us! It was really strange! All we wanted was just to be treated like everybody else.

I can remember several hearing muffled remarks from my own Flight Chief to others saying, "Don't mess with Bush, he's one of those Vietnam Crazies." I will never forget how I laughed until I cried when he got his orders to Saigon! Boy, you talk about being "white around the mouth"! That guy stuck to me like glue for the rest of the time that he was there trying to pump me for information about "what to expect when he got to Nam"! You can just guess how much help I was to him!

Thanks to a GREAT lady that I married, I made it through the post-Vietnam problems (we are going on 31 years together now)! I stayed in for 22 years, and retired in 1980. Staying in helped me "cope" with the experience. I trained troops to stay alive in combat. When the SPECS program finally was established, I was able to contribute significantly to its development, and at last Air Force Security Police finally received the training and equipment that they needed to function as a first-class fighting force! (I understand that all of that has been done away with now and that the Cops are almost right back where they were prior to Vietnam! I guess they even changed the name and now call them "Security Forces" instead of Security Police! What's that all about?

While I was in, I went to eight years of night school, earned two college degrees, and graduated from the FBI National Academy (113th Session). I kept one foot in the civilian community, and successfully "packaged" myself for a job on the outside after retirement. Nine days after I hung up the blue suit (or Cammies in my case), I went to work as Security Director at an R&D facility in Ann Arbor Michigan. The company was a DOE contractor, doing research in inertial confinement laser fusion. I spent two years there, then landed a job as head of physical security with EG&G Energy Measurements Inc. in Las Vegas Nevada. EG&G was a prime contractor to the US Department of Energy in support of Nevada Test Site Operations.

I built up the Physical Security section into the Physical/Technical Security Department, and had 17 people working for me including two Electrical Engineers. When Operations Security became Big in 1988, I did a lateral transfer to a Staff position, and worked in developing and implementing the DOE Nevada Operations Operations Security (OPSEC) Program. Had a lot of fun, and my DOE counterpart got awards for the best OPSEC program in DOE, and the best in the Federal System for 1980!

I did a stint in Albuquerque as Task Manager for a contract startup operation for Review Evaluation and Inspection of Nuclear Productions Facilities, and other DOE facilities, and once that was off the ground, I decided that I had had enough of the Stress and BS that goes with jobs at that level! In short, It just wasn't fun anymore! I am now semi-retired (although I still do consultant work and technical writing for DOE whenever I feel like it), and I have a nice little no-brainer security job with the Nevada Power company here in Las Vegas! Once in awhile, I will write something "spectacular" for my "Boss" and make him famous! He, in-turn, lets me pretty much do anything that I want to do, and I have a lot of fun! I will never go back to the "Corporate mind grinder" again! Don't need it - Don't want it! We have everything that we need, and I will just kick back and putts along until I can draw from my little Annuity fund when I'm 59 and a-half, and then I think that we may take a cruise around the world or something like that!

If you ever get over to Las Vegas Don, give me a call! We can get together and hoist a couple of brews in memory of those who didn't "make it back", including the ones that are still alive! Maybe we can try again some time to get those pictures to "come through". I knew that SSgt Jensen had one daughter that was an SP, but I didn't know that he had two! I had heard that one of them was stationed out here at Nellis when my EG&G office was out there. Never tried to find her, but I would have liked to talked to her/them about their father. I could tell them some stories!

Take Care Don!

By: PotterZoom@aol.com

I have Stars & Stripes (Air Edition) from 2 JUL 65 which I cut out and kept, describing the attack on Đà Nẵng. It states in the opening that one air policeman, standing guard near the south end of the field, was killed when the suicide squad sprayed his post with small arms fire. Also have some pictures from the Bangkok Post of the damaged and destroyed aircraft. Is this info you would like? Since these are old newspaper articles and obviously in delicate condition, would you like me to have copies made? I only ask this because I am not sure how to get copies that will show the pictures best. I don't have a scanner and am new to the computer. Also, have not gotten to my slides out yet as job search is "Number One" at the present time, by the way, my best buddies are Marines and am looking forward to possibly becoming an associate member of their local shooting team.

My club cards I had laminated last year as they were getting pretty frayed. They are in color. Guess I am asking, what is the best way to get this info to you, if you are interested?

I mailed everything to you today. I was surprised at how yellow the headline article came out since I asked to have it done in color because of the Stars and Stripes on the front. Guess something 32 years old is going to show it's age. Not like you and I! Have no aerial pictures of the Air Base, just some of the coast and villages we flew over during takeoff. If you would like me to work on them and send you what I have, let me know! Was on your site this afternoon enjoying the pictures since they were so familiar. You really have done a great job on the Web Site! Have interview in AM, so will get off now. Wife and I were at fellow Viet Vet's home this evening for a swim and that sort of did us in.

 
Da Nang AB, C-130Da Nang AB, C-130 src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-deros-02.jpg" height="100" width="150" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Đà Nẵng AB, C-130">Da Nang AB, C-130

Da Nang AB, C-130Da Nang AB, C-130 src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-deros-04.jpg" height="100" width="150" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Đà Nẵng AB, C-130">Da Nang AB, C-130 src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-deros-05.jpg" height="100" width="150" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Đà Nẵng AB, C-130">Da Nang AB, C-130

Da Nang AB, C-130Da Nang AB, C-130 src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-c130.jpg" height="100" width="150" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Đà Nẵng AB, C-130">Da Nang AB, C-130 src="http://www.war-stories.com/images/dn-c130-taxi.jpg" height="100" width="150" vspace="5" hspace="5" alt="Đà Nẵng AB, C-130">Da Nang AB, C-130

War-Stories.com
Report a Broken Link / Photo, or eMail a Comment
© War-Stories.com 1995-2017. All Rights Reserved.