Al ZellerAl was an airborne
infantry man in the 1st Cav Division in Vietnam 65-66.
Upon return he earned his Ranger Tab so he could find out what he should
have done there. After leaving the Army, he went to school. He received a BA in Chemistry, a MS and
PhD in Nuclear Chemistry. Following several appointments in physics
departments in the US and Australia, he landed at the National
Superconducting Cyclotron Lab at Michigan State University where he is a
Senior Physicist and does work in nuclear and accelerator physics.
Anthony F. Milavic
In those bygone years of my active Marine Corps service, the butter cutter occupied the last position on the Chow Line in the Mess Hall. His official duty was to dole out two pats of butter from a bowl of ice water he maintained to each hungry Marine who passed by. Since cutting free the pats from a large block of butter frequently took a few extra seconds, Marines tended to congregate and "shoot the breeze" at his station. Their observations, thoughts, and opinions on everything that affected Marines then became his composite wisdom. Enthusiastically, he embraced the unofficial duty of dolling out that wisdom with the attitude of a private who was not happy with being on Mess Duty and in a language unencumbered by the politically correct. As his reputation grew, Marines, when questioned about the source of the "hot scoop" they were trying to pass on, would answer: "The butter cutter told me." In that memory, I regularly visit a virtual Marine Mess Hall in search of the candid views captured by "The Butter-Cutter, USMCV" from those Marines currently at the "pointy-end-of-the-spear." If you are of a mind to witness our exchange, don a helmet and flak jacket, click on LATEST, and join us in The Butter-Cutter's "VERBAL SHRAPNEL" RICH DOMAIN. If you survive that experience, click on TBC ARCHIVES and join me in dodging The Butter-Cutter's shrapnel from previous encounters.
Bert is truly a man-of-many-parts. As a young Sailor, he served aboard "The Fighting Wantuck" (USS Wantuck, APD 125) as an Electronics Technician during the Inchon Landing in September, 1950. After duty in other ships, also in Korean waters, Bert discovered, as did so many others, that the salary of a Sailor was penurious in comparison to what a "Technical Representative" for a civilian company would make for performing essentially the same duties. So that is the line of work he followed. Later, after acquiring several academic degrees, he became a scientist working at the government facility at Los Alamos, New Mexico....and from that you must know the line of work he was into. He was probably the first "kid" on his block to own his own hydrogen bomb. Bert's ability and techniques in expressing himself in writing is, in my opinion, a thing of beauty. But read on, and you may judge that for yourself.
Billy F. Dial
Master Sergeant Billy F. Dial, U. S. Marine Corps, is currently embarked (7Apr03) on SS Curtis in the Persian Gulf as the Maintenance Chief of MALS 39, TAVB. He has given express permission to publish his writings on this website. All copyrights are retained by him.
He decided midway through the initial USMC course at Parris Island in 1960 that he had found another home, for at least 20 years. Issued a wife nearly two years later, today he proudly introduces her as his first wife. Martin made four fun-filled (about 39 months total) visits to Viet Nam, his first with the Third Herd ('65-'66). He honcho'ed an informational services team (PAO) paired with a photo team at Chu Lai (Fourth Marines and Seventh Marines), then Phu Bai (Fourth Marines). He went from 'Nam to Leatherneck in D.C. back to 'Nam, where he joined Rowdy Yates and the other kick-ass lads of Charlie One-One for a shoot-out called "Medina". Martin won a Best Combat Story of 1967 award for "Let's Go, Charlie!" from the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association for his overnighter with C-1-1. Two years later, he went back to 'Nam for a second six-month gig for the magazine. A year later, after graduating from the Navy Program in Photojournalism at Syracuse University, Martin was back in Viet Nam as editor of the official III MAF publication, Sea Tiger, which won a design award from DoD. He retired at Quantico in 1980 to work for the Pensacola News Journal as a copy editor, leaving the fourth estate nine years later to become a sixth-grade teacher. He retired from teaching in 2002 and has turned his part-time landscaping business of 11 years into a full-time success. He's still a Marine, when he needs to be.
Craig comes from a family where his Dad, and both older siblings served in the Corps. In this article tells of the impressions he brought back from a trip to Washington, D. C. where he visited "The Wall" with his family in 1988. Craig was in the 3d Grade at the time, and it wasn't until 1996 that he wrote the essay reproduced here as a school project. For those of us who are fathers, this is a cautionary tale. Craig advises: "Those who have children, let them know what you did. Let them know why you did it. The greatest thing my father has ever done for his children is telling them about his experiences in Vietnam. It helps him with the pain and helps us understand more about him and why." Craig stayed in the Corps and now wears the insignia of Chief Warrant Officer Three. Currently stationed in Beaufort, SC and as of this date 4 Sep 2017 is at Iwa Kuni on float.
A Marine who served with many ground units as a radio operator and volunteered for the CAP team after the beginning of TET 68. Was assigned to the 1st Combined Action Group with 1-1-1 and finally MTT-2, a mobile training team in March 1968. Was medevaced on June 23rd, 1968 to Japan for reconstruction surgery. Lost his entire unit on August 2nd 1968 in Quang Ngai Province. Did a total of 17 months in country and 8 years in the Corps before the war destroyed him from the inside. Is now an ordained minister of non-denominational persuasion and tries to help others come to grips with their demons by just loving them and being there if they ask.
This article is a condensed version taken from Floyd Gibbons - Your Headline Hunter, a biography by his brother, Edward Gibbons. The biography was published by the Exposition Press, New York, 1953. It is reproduced here with permission. Floyd's account of being wounded at Belleau Wood was never published as a newspaper article - it was taken from his private journals.
Ed "Rowdy" Yates
Rowdy, a Mud Marine who served with Charlie Company, 1st Bn 1st Marines, Vietnam 1967-1968. Currently lives in Kentucky and is retired from working as a Environmental Inspector for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
F.E. "Dutch" White
Dutch is a retired ('58/'85) Marine Mustang who served three tours in Vietnam. The first was in MAG-16 at Danang and Marble Mountain ('65/66); VMO -2 (UH1E "Huey") Gunships at Marble Mountain, then "All Points North," ('66/'67); and the third tour of duty was as a PltSgt, ProvRifleCo., at Red Beach, Danang ('70/'71).
Some two months ago I read a poem, "It Don't Mean Nuthin'" by Gary Jacobson. I was under the impression, for some reason, that Gary was a former CAP Marine. I learned better when I contacted him and he returned the gracious reply that I've gotten permission to publish on this site. Gary was a member of "B" Company, 2/7th Air Cavalry during 1966/1967. He is 100% disabled as a result of an open head injury caused by a mine. Must have taken half the silver in the U. S. mint to make a plate large enough to cover his wound. From his description in Gary's "note," which I've co-opted as the "Introduction," he tells much more about himself and his experiences in Viet Nam. In this note Gary refers the reader to his award -winning site which he has obviously lavished a great deal of care and attention. I urge everyone reading this to visit Gary's site at http://PZZZZ.tripod.com/namtour.html I've included, with Gary's permission, his poem ".... Nuthin'." "It don't mean nuthin'" is, it seems to me, a peculiarly specific and apt summary of so many of our experiences in Viet Nam. Because, sadly, in the end, it really didn't mean nuthin'.
Graham Sherrington (Sherro)
Sherro was an Infantry Soldier for six years in the Australian Army. He served a full tour in Vietnam as a Forward (point) Scout, M60 Gunner, Rifleman, and Battalion Intelligence Dutyman. Sherro worked in many jobs after his time in the Army, but mostly in the computing field. He is currently completing his BSC in Security.
Jim Beyersdorf - "Buddha Doc"
An old retired Doc who served his time in Vietnam and other places. Spent 21 yrs in the Navy and most of it was spent with the USMC. Other memorable places was Antarctica, Africa and New Zealand.
Jim was a truck mechanic who pulled two tours in Viet Nam. First tour was with 1st MP Bn and second tour was with 3rd Amtrac Bn and 11th Motors. While with 1st MP Bn he did work with CAP units as a grunt. He actually worked in his MOS 9 months between both tours.
A Marine who served in the Combined Action Program (CAP) June 1967-March 1968. Lived in the village of Loc Bon on Hwy 1 6 km. South of Phu Bai. Formed close relationships with villagers that were severed by the removal of personal freedom when the Communist Government assumed power. Was privileged to return to the ville in 1998. Was devastated by what he found.
Loyde P. "Snake" Arender
Born in 1950 and "raised with the hogs, butterbeans, and watermelons" on a farm near the city of Dry Prong (population 300) in central Louisiana, Loyde got "his first taste of the Marine Corps" in about 1960 while watching a movie called "Halls of Montezuma" starring Richard Widmark. The USMC hymn during the movie made goose-bumps appear on his forearms; and, he became determined to become a Marine with an eagle, globe, and anchor in the middle of his chest. Loyde served as an 0331 (machine gunner / infantry) from 1968 until 1971, earning the nickname "Snake" while serving in Vietnam with the 26th Marines, with both Bravo 1/26 and Kilo 3/26. After discharge, Snake became a "Street Cop" (a controversial police officer who enforces justice, not just mere laws, by using his discretion to bend the rules, thereby allowing individuals to learn from their mistakes) in Monroe, Louisiana and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve as a Port Security-man in law enforcement, drug interdiction, and aids to navigation. In 1991, while on Active Duty with the Coast Guard (stateside) during Operation Desert Storm, Snake suffered a serious back injury which resulted in his forced retirement based on medical disability from both the Coast Guard and Police Department. Snake enjoys spending time with Kay, his wife of 35 years (1968), their three grown children, and four grandchildren; and, finds a little time to write poetry, work in his backyard, and knock around on the internet with his buddies, especially his brothers from "The Few".
His poems may be found at http://www.iwvpa.net/arenderlp/index.htm
Michael J. Kuklenski
Mike was a Corpsman (HM3) assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Vietnam. His tour of duty was from 1969 through 1970. During this tour Mike was one hell of a Corpsman and received the Silver Star for his efforts in trying to save his Marines.
Wife of a Marine and mother of three Marines.
Michael E. Tank
Mike was born and raised in Illinois, prideful son of a WW II, "tin can" Navy veteran. Proud and concerned father of three sons. The youngest, Scott, now serving in the Corps. Mike is a retired homebuilder now a resident of Gilbert, Arizona. Served as an enlisted Marine from August '69 to '72. He says that for the "extra year" he was promised a welding course. With the 1st Marines Scout/Snipers near Danang '70/'71. With 2nd Recon at Camp Le Jeune upon his return from Nam. Then requested and received a transfer to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). Mike spent his last fourteen months on guard there.
Mike Smith ("Deduke") served with the men of CAP 4-3-2 and 2-2-1 in 1970 and 71. During the next thirty years in the World, he ran across exactly one person who had ever heard of the Combined Action Program. Then, in 2001, he was found by a group of CAP Marines on the internet, and finally came "home."
Nguyen Cao Ky
No, the former president, vice-president and Chief of the Air Staff, is not writing for PersNar.List. I found an address he had made on 13 June that Dai Uy had forwarded to the awvYahoo board, and today (17 July) BigDocS sent me an extract from Amazon which is selling Ky's autobiography "Buddha's Child." This past Sunday, General Ky was a guest on CSpan-1's "Booknotes." The interview by Brian Lamb during the one hour program is one of the most interesting I've seen in years.
Ole is a twice wounded Marine Corps veteran of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. Being wounded in that day and age was a real adventure, and getting back to your original organization was a bigger one.
Paul Gregoire - "Slowboy"
Paul was a UH 34D Pilot, who did two tours in I Corps with Marines, then another two and a half years in SEA with Air America, but still flying helos.
Ralph Stoney Bates
Major (Ret) Bates served in Vietnam (1967-68) as a lieutenant, as a small unit infantry leader (TET-68), and as the commander of a criminal investigations detachment. As a captain, he was the Marine Instructor with the U. S. Army Military Police School. As a major, he commanded the largest Military Police Department in the Marine Corps, the 600-person provost marshal"™s office, MCB Camp Butler, in Okinawa, Japan. Major Bates completed the FBI National Academy (124th Session) while the Provost Marshal of the Marine Base at 29 Palms, California. He was selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel in 1981, but chose to retire after 26 years.
A former Disbursing Clerk, Sal has led a colorful life since getting back from Vietnam. Can't say he ever got out of the Marine Corps as he still lives and breathes the Corps. Although his uniform now does say " A little less lean, not quite as mean but still a US MARINE!"
A destroyer driver (USS Black) who was tangentially involved in De Soto Patrols, and directly and very much involved in Market Time Ops. He later became CO/OIC of Junk Patrol Base 16 located just south of the Chu Lai TAOR and there had many adventures not available on the quarterdeck of a destroyer.
A retired Marine who served from '44/'67, then later completed 8.5 yrs. "on loan" to another agency. On retirement, took a Ph.D. in Clinical (Medical) Psychology and entered a conjoint psychological practice with his wife, Mary Jane. Retired now in Goliad, Texas.
Ted Gittinger was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and still brags about it (2003). He graduated from St. Mary's University in that same town, where the local ROTC unit made him into a hard-core artilleryman. He served with the 1/21 Artillery in 1966-67, a direct-support 105 mm howitzer battalion which specialized in shooting for the 3rd Brigade, 1st Air Cav Division. He can to this day be galvanized into action by the shouted command, "FIRE MISSION!"